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Xu Zhao was slightly startled, and caught Cui Dingchen’s eyes through the rearview mirror. Cui Dingchen’s eyes were long and narrow and very beautiful. They looked to be as deep as bottomless pits of water, clear but also impenetrable. However, since he said he wasn’t busy, that meant he would continue to follow Cui Qingfeng and him around. That was exactly what they were looking for.
“Then, I’ll have to trouble you, Youngest uncle,” Xu Zhao said very politely.
Cui Dingchen’s expression didn’t change as he said, “No problem. Where are we going now?”
“The food factory,” Xu Zhao replied
“Which one?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“All of the ones in the East District.”
Cui Dingchen didn’t speak, but started the car to drive into the East District.
Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng both looked outside their windows. Once they saw a food factory, they would get out of the car and inquire about the situation of mooncakes. On and off like this, they asked four to five small food factories. It wasn’t that they didn’t produce mooncakes, they just thought that Xu Zhao wanted too little. Turning on their machines to make only twenty or so mooncakes wasn’t cost efficient, so they refused.
Of course, they refused very tactfully and had them come back August 13th or August 14th to buy the twenty pieces of mooncakes then. They could even buy ten pieces if they wanted, and they’d even get a discount.
Xu Zhao’s goal wasn’t the discount but the timing of the market. He wanted to seize the key moment. If he waited till August 13th or 14th, would he be able to make any money? And so, Xu Zhao ruled out one factory after another, he was determined to find the right factory, then make a huge profit.
Therefore, when Cui Qingfeng blurted out that there may be no chance, Xu Zhao still remained unmoved and continued to ask the factories one by one. They asked around until there was only one food factory left—West Prefecture Food Factory.
West Prefecture Food Factory was a national enterprise, and it was also the last food factory in the East District and probably in all of West Prefecture City. If they were rejected once again, Xu Fan would really have a headache on his hands. However, he still had to try and strive to win them over. He hoped that after this Mid-Autumn Festival, he’d be able to let Mother Xu, Father Xu, and Xu Fan pass the winter warmly.
Therefore, he got out of the car once again and took a deep breath. He walked towards the factory entrance and told the guard his reason for coming here. Just as expected, when the guard heard he wanted twenty mooncakes, it didn’t matter if Xu Zhao mentioned a depo, mooncakes types, samples or anything else, the guard directly refused. He said that the related machines were currently off and they couldn’t waste the power just for the sake of twenty mooncakes. Similarly, he told Xu Zhao to come back a month later. They wouldn’t sell mooncakes for at least another half a month.
Xu Zhao became silent after hearing this.
Cui Qingfeng sighed and said, “Let’s go home.”
“Wait a minute,” Xu Zhao said.
“Wait for what?”
“Wait for someone who can make decisions.”
“I don’t know.”
Cui Qingfeng knew that Xu Zhao was the type of person who would persist until he reached his goal, therefore, he returned to the car first to notify Cui Dingchen of the situation before returning to Xu Zhao’s side.
The harsh summer sun boiled the earth, and the occasional summer breeze also brought upon an air of heat. It was very warm, so Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng sat under the shade of the tree, silently waiting. There was silence all around with the occasional bird chirping. It was clear that the surrounding area was very quiet.
At this moment, a jingle was heard from inside the West Prefecture Food Factory. It was the bell that signaled the end of work. Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng quickly stood up and surveyed the area of the factory. Even Cui Dingchen, who was sitting inside the car, also looked towards the factory. Less than three minutes later, a group of men and women wearing neat work clothes came out from the factory.
While Cui Qingfeng was still looking around, Xu Zhao had rushed forward towards a slightly plump elder sister and asked for the branch production manager of the food factory.
In this era, these enterprises were newly formed, and the personnel structure inside the enterprises weren’t distinct. Earlier, Xu Zhao had learned from the guard that the branch production manager not only oversaw the factory but also did sales. They had a lot of power, and that was why Xu Zhao had asked for the branch production manager.
The elder sister before him was very sincere and honest. Seeing that Xu Zhao was handsome, refined, as well as polite, she could tell that he was an intellect. Therefore, she immediately told Xu Zhao what the branch manager looked like, what they wore, and their name. She told him everything. Xu Zhao was very thankful, then returned to stand by the entrance to wait.
“You received an answer?” Cui Qingfeng asked in surprise.
Xu Zhao nodded.
“Mn. Didn’t you need to go to the bathroom? You should quickly go.”
“But the branch manager isn’t here yet.”
“There’s no rush. The branch manager might not have arrived yet even after you come back.”
“Alright, I’ll go then.”
Cui Qingfeng held his stomach as he left. Xu Zhao looked towards the factory and a man wearing grayish-blue work clothes and a hat appeared from within the crowd. The man was slightly plump and tall. The reason Xu Zhao was able to recognize him was because he had a mole the size of a soybean on his chin.
Xu Zhao immediately smiled as he walked forward and very politely said, “Hello, Manager Xu. My name is Xu Zhao.”
That was correct, the branch manager of West Prefecture Food Factory was also surnamed Xu. His name was Xu Jianguo.
Once Xu Jianguo saw Xu Zhao, he was shocked and asked, “Xu Zhao? Do I know you?”
“No, but I know you,” Xu Zhao said.
“How do you know me?”
“Sister Wang said that you were a member of the production department and very amazing. You’ve made huge contributions for everyone and for our country.” Sister Wang was the slightly plump woman from before.
Xu Zhao placed the huge hat of contribution on Xu Jianguo’s head. People of this era loved talking about things relating to the country’s honor. Moreover, it was doing something like this, so Xu Jianguo was immediately happy. However, he still modestly said, “It’s nothing. It’s nothing. How do you know Sister Wang?”
“I just met her because I was looking for you since I needed your help.” After failing numerous times, Xu Zhao paid a lot of attention to his speech.
“Help with what?” Xu Jianguo asked.
“Won’t it be the Mid-Autumn Festival soon?” Xu Zhao said.
“No, there’s still a month.”
“However, you guys are country owned, after all, so you’ll provide a certain amount of mooncakes for the country. Therefore, before you start the production of mooncakes, won’t you have to test the machine first?”
“That’s right. So what?”
“Then, of the mooncakes you make from the test sample, can you sell me twenty pieces?”
“Sell you twenty pieces?”
Xu Jianguo looked at Xu Zhao with shock and asked, “Why?”
“I want to sell the mooncakes from your factory in my village. However, I’m worried that the people from my village aren’t accustomed to your favors. That’s why I wanted to write down a few flavors that the villagers are especially fond of and have you guys make them when you’re testing the machine. I want you to produce twenty pieces so I can give it to them to try. If they like it, we’ll order more from you guys.” Xu Zhao said.
“So it’s like that.”
“Mn, I can pay you for them.”
Xu Jianguo sunk into his thoughts. It wasn’t impossible, but he didn’t know if he could trust Xu Zhao’s words. At this moment, a car’s horn sounded from the streets. Xu Jianguo lifted his gaze and asked, “Is someone waiting for you in the car?”
Xu Zhao turned to glance back, then said, “Yes.”
“Who are they?”
“My youngest uncle.”
“He’s even driving a compact car?”
“What does he do?”
“He opened a logistics company.”
“Then he must be rich.”
“He’s alright. But his money is his. I’ll make my own money.”
When Xu Jianguo heard this, he felt something in the bottom of his heart, and said, “Alright. Once it’s done, you must come to our factory and buy mooncakes from us.”
Xu Zhao was overjoyed when he heard this and quickly pulled a piece of paper from his pockets. He handed the paper to Xu Jianguo and said, “Manager Xu, take a look at this. Can you make mooncakes using the ingredients on this list?”
Xu Jianguo opened the piece of paper to take a look and saw that all the ingredients were very common, and said, “Sure.”
“Then let’s sign an agreement.”
“Okay. Come with me to the factory.”
Xu Zhao turned back to glance at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen understood and nodded to Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao turned around and followed Xu Jianguo inside the factory. Ten minutes later, came out from the factory with two pieces of paper in his hand. Once he climbed into the car, Cui Qingfeng excitedly drew near and asked, “Did you get it?”
Xu Zhao nodded and said, “Yes.”
“You succeeded during the time that I went to the bathroom?”
Cui Qingfeng was very surprised. He really had no hope towards the West Prefecture Food Factory. They were rejected by so many small factories, who would have known that a large factory would accept Xu Zhao. Moreover, it was only twenty pieces of mooncakes. With such a small amount, if he had opened a factory, even he would think it was too little. Even if Xu Zhao emphasized that there would be larger orders in the future, if there wasn’t at least a 50 Yuan deposit, he wouldn’t believe it. However, he never would have thought Xu Zhao would actually be able to accomplish it.
“How did you do it?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“I was able to speak a bit better than at the previous factories,” Xu Zhao said. Although he wasn’t very good at speaking, he was able to learn from his previous failures this time. He had to first understand the other party and then speak according to the other party’s situation.
“You were able to succeed just by speaking well?”
“Mn.” Xu Zhao nodded.
Cui Qingfeng didn’t dare believe it.
Xu Zhao smiled.
There was also a slight smirk in the corner of Cui Dingchen’s mouth as he asked, “When will you come back to get the mooncake?”
“In five days,” Xu Zhao replied.
“It’ll take that long?”
“Because they have to purchase the ingredients and dispatch the workers and whatnot.”
“Oh. Let’s go eat then.” Cui Dingchen said.
“Where should we go?” Xu Zhao asked.
“We’ll eat in the city,” Cui Dingchen said.
Xu Zhao quickly refused and said, “No, I’ll just return home and eat.”
Cui Dingchen looked through the rearview at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao held Cui Dingchen’s gaze and said, “My son is still waiting for me.”
Cui Dingchen didn’t say anything as he turned the steering wheel towards the road leading back home. However, when they passed through the city, they purchased two roasted ducks. One was given to Cui Qingfeng and the other to Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao wanted to return the money to Cui Dingchen, but Cui Dingchen naturally didn’t want it, and focused his attention on driving.
Since the first stage of inspecting the market and the medium-term stage of finding a factory to produce the mooncake were smoothly settled, Xu Zhao felt very relaxed. Cui Qingfeng was also very happy. That was why the trip back home was very lively. Cui Dingchen would also look at Xu Zhao through the rearview from time to time.
Xu Fan thought Cui Dingchen was annoyed at how loud he and Cui Qingfeng were, so they quieted down until they reached the county town. Before the car even arrived at Fan’s Little Shop, Xu Fan could be seen at the entrance of Fan’s Little Shop. Xu Fan was holding his toy car, standing in front of the foam box outside of Fan’s Little Shop. He would fiddle with the wheel of the toy car for a bit, then ask the passersby if they would like to buy popsicles for a bit. He probably just came back from playing with the local children, so there was still a blush on his face and he was still gasping for breath.
Xu Zhao’s mood got better when he saw Xu Fan, and he couldn’t help but press against the car window and yell, “Xu Fan!”
Xu Fan heard Xu Zhao’s voice and immediately turned his head. However, he didn’t know which direction it came from, so he looked all around but still didn’t see Xu Zhao.
“Xu Fan!” Xu Fan called again.
Xu Fan’s eyes immediately locked onto Xu Zhao’s body as he happily danced for joy. “Daddy! Daddy!” he shouted.
When Xu Fan started running towards the black compact car, the black car had already stopped. When Xu Fan ran in front of it, Xu Zhao was just getting out of the car.
“Daddy, you’re back?” Xu Fan hugged the bus and asked.
“Mn, I’m back,” Xu Zhao said.
Xu Fan held the toy car with one hand and hugged Xu Zhao’s thigh with the other. He was very happy when he realized that Second Grandpa Cui’s black car still had it’s door open.
Xu Fan happily stepped towards the car, and excitedly lifted his small head, looking at Xu Zhao as if saying, “Daddy, I want to sit in the big car.” In the end, as he was turning to Youngest uncle, the car door was pulled shut by Cui Qingfeng, who was inside the car. Xu Fan hadn’t reacted yet before the black compact car pulled away. However, moments later, the black car returned. It didn’t stop in front of Xu Fan, but in Xu Zhao’s line of sight instead.
Immediately after, the car’s window slowly rolled down and Cui Dingchen’s handsome face came into view as he looked at Xu Zhao.
“Youngest uncle, what’s the matter?” Xu Zhao asked in surprise.