Chapter 6: A Young Calf Is Not Afraid of Tigers
When Liu Haitao heard this guy speak, it was none other than Xiaoliu. There was no trace of politeness in his tone, which irritated Liu Haitao a bit. Normally, when he goes out, everyone respectfully calls him “Comrade Liu.”
How old are you, kid? I’m being polite with you, but you don’t treat me as an outsider. But Xiaoliu’s political background was still solid.
Although there was some dissatisfaction in his heart, he maintained a smiling face on the surface and said, “Zhang Yang, Secretary Li invites you to have dinner at his house.”
As soon as he said this, the slight imbalance from earlier disappeared instantly. The people who can be invited to have dinner by Secretary Li are definitely not ordinary figures. It is even more extraordinary to be invited to his home.
Liu Haitao secretly reminded himself that he still didn’t know the exact relationship between this kid and Secretary Li. Although Secretary Li told Liu Haitao that Zhang Yang is the son of an old classmate, people’s thoughts are the hardest thing to figure out.
Liu Haitao still twisted this matter in his mind. If he’s just a classmate’s son, why all the secrecy? Couldn’t it be settled with a phone call? Now Secretary Li wants him to personally drive over and pick Zhang Yang up, and the destination is not the county committee compound.
The county committee compound is where the official wife lives. The place Li Changyu asked Liu Haitao to take Zhang Yang to is Wei Garden, southeast of the county town. Not even the official wife knows where Secretary Li has another house.
So it’s normal for Liu Haitao to speculate. Could this kid be Secretary Li’s illegitimate child? Although he had doubts in his mind, he could only keep them to himself. He definitely wouldn’t dare to say such a thing. If Secretary Li found out about his thoughts, he might end up being kicked out tomorrow.
And so, Zhang Yang had his first experience riding in a Santana car. Originally, Liu Haitao intended for him to sit in the back. Although they couldn’t determine this kid’s identity, it’s always better to be courteous. But Zhang Yang didn’t appreciate it. In his eyes, people with status always sit in the front. Who the hell do you think you are, a mere chauffeur, sitting in front of me? Do you look down on me? Therefore, Zhang Yang’s gaze towards Liu Haitao became somewhat malicious, which made Liu Haitao shudder. Damn it, being a driver is so difficult nowadays. I can’t afford to offend you. Should I just act submissive?
Just as Liu Haitao started the car, the pager on his waist beeped. He glanced at the message on it and realized that Secretary Li was getting a little impatient.
Zhang Yang looked at Liu Haitao’s pager with envy. “This thing must be expensive, right?”
His little scheming thoughts started to spin again. After all, he was the county lord. Even the chauffeur was equipped with a pager.
Liu Haitao forced a smile that seemed somewhat unnatural. “Uh, Secretary Li provided it. I’m really grateful for the leader’s concern…”
Before he could figure out the other party’s intentions, Liu Haitao was cautious in everything he said. When he first received the pager, he was indeed proud for a while. But soon he realized that this thing wasn’t all fun and games. In the past, when he didn’t have a pager, he could occasionally take a break. But ever since he started wearing this thing, it was like he had invisible handcuffs on.
Whenever Secretary Li needed him, no matter the weather or time of day, even when he was getting intimate with his wife, a pager would go off, and he had to immediately pull up his pants and leave. Others saw the surface glory, but who knew about the bitterness he experienced behind the scenes? Thinking about this, Liu Haitao couldn’t help but feel a little sad.
Lost in thought for a moment, Liu Haitao accidentally ran a red light. The traffic officer standing in the center pointed at Liu Haitao and he lowered his half-open car window, cursing, “Are you fucking blind? Can’t you see the license plate?”
The traffic officer, who had just started the job and indeed didn’t recognize the county lord’s license plate, got a bit angry from being scolded. He was about to confront Liu Haitao when another senior traffic officer rushed over and gave him a slap on the back of his head, sending the young officer’s cap flying far away. Then, the senior traffic officer approached Liu Haitao in a conciliatory manner.
Liu Haitao flipped his eyelids indifferently and said, “Old Song, the quality of your subordinates is really poor. Take some time to educate them more.”
Traffic officer Old Song bowed and saluted inside the car. “Comrade Liu, this young kid just started here. I’ll make sure he pays more attention next time, definitely.”
Liu Haitao looked up, slowly drove past the traffic light, and in that moment, Zhang Yang clearly felt a domineering aura emanating from Liu Haitao’s body. But it was just a fleeting moment.
As soon as they passed the traffic light, Liu Haitao realized that his performance just now might have been a bit excessive. He showed a humble smile to Zhang Yang and said, “These road blocks are always arrogant. They even dare to stop Secretary Li’s car. We must teach them a lesson.”
Zhang Yang nodded and slowly closed his eyes, but in his mind, he kept replaying the scene of Liu Haitao berating the traffic officer. Undoubtedly, at that moment, Liu Haitao must have felt invincible. Damn it, just thinking about it feels so satisfying!
The black Santana slowly entered a small residential compound called Wei Yuan. In the early 1990s, China’s housing policy had not undergone formal reforms, and commercial housing was still not widely available. This compound was initially built with funds from the County Civil Affairs Bureau, with the intention of establishing a recuperation center for retired officials. However, after its completion, the county committee saw its elegant environment and peaceful location, and directly requisitioned it as a leisure resort for county-level leaders. It was also used to entertain higher-level officials when they visited.
Liu Haitao drove the car directly to a two-story small white building. After parking the car, he eagerly opened the door for Zhang Yang and said, “Secretary Li is waiting for you inside.”
Zhang Yang nodded and didn’t say much to Liu Haitao. He walked towards the front door.
Just as he reached the door, it opened, and a kind-looking old lady appeared before him. This old lady, surnamed Su, was Secretary Li’s sister-in-law. Zhang Yang later learned that Li Changyu’s parents died when he was young, and it was his older brother and sister-in-law who raised him. Later, when he made progress in his career, he didn’t forget their kindness.
Unfortunately, his older brother passed away early, leaving only this sister-in-law living in the village. Their three daughters were all married, and Li Changyu could be considered conscientious by bringing his sister-in-law to live with him. However, his wife, Zhu Hongmei, was not an easy person to get along with. She often spoke coldly and sarcastically to his sister-in-law, leading to frequent arguments between the couple. In anger, Li Changyu secretly arranged for his sister-in-law to stay here.
Mrs. Su smiled and said, “You must be Zhang Yang. Li Shu has been mentioning you these past few days. Come in quickly, he’s been anxious.”
She led Zhang Yang into the small building, and he felt both amused and irritated. Li Changyu was actually taking advantage of him. I, Zhang the Divine Physician, am over a thousand years old. Can you really be called my uncle?
The furnishings inside the small building were not as luxurious as Zhang Yang had imagined. The floor was made of ordinary tiles, and there was a set of solid water elm wood sofas in the living room. The TV was just a 14-inch domestically made color TV. At first glance, Secretary Li seemed to be clean and incorruptible.
“Zhang Yang, please have a seat! Let me go and call Li Shu…” Mrs. Su’s warmth was genuine.
Few people visited her here on regular days, except during holidays when Li Changyu would come to visit. The old lady lived alone, and in her spare time, she developed a small vegetable garden in the back and built several chicken coops.
Technically, the residential compound did not allow such activities, but the management personnel knew that she was Secretary Li’s sister-in-law, so who would dare to intervene? When the hens laid eggs elsewhere, the management staff would dutifully bring them to her.
“Zhang Yang has arrived!” Li Changyu’s small figure appeared at the corner of the staircase.
A faint smile graced his face as he stood with his hands behind his back. From Zhang Yang’s position, the county party secretary had to look up to see him. Their gazes met in the air, each wearing a smile that carried a hint of deeper meaning.
Li Changyu nodded, the implications understood only by the two of them: “Sister-in-law, please prepare the meal quickly. Zhang Yang and I will talk upstairs.”
Old Lady Su happily agreed. She was a restless person who got excited as if it were a festival whenever someone came by.
Zhang Yang slowly ascended the stairs, following Li Changyu to his study. Li Changyu closed the door and took a seat behind his desk, then gestured towards the sofa across from him: “Have a seat. No need to be formal!”
Zhang Yang glanced at the sofa. If he sat on it, he would be dwarfed even more by this guy. Did Secretary Li have some sort of inferiority complex due to his height? Always wanting to be superior in every situation. Zhang Yang had a rebellious temperament. You ask me to sit, and I’ll sit! I’ll even stand on top of you if I have to. You want to use your official tone with me? Damn, why didn’t you show off when you took off your pants?
Seeing Zhang Yang still standing there, Li Changyu smiled awkwardly. After many years in the political arena, he had developed a knack for understanding other people’s psychology. He keenly sensed that Zhang Yang might have some resentment towards his actions.
Li Changyu’s subsequent actions showcased his wisdom and versatility. He enthusiastically stood up and grasped Zhang Yang’s arm, saying, “No need to be formal! Treat this place as your own home. Come on, have a seat!”
He practically pushed Zhang Yang onto the sofa. Of course, Zhang Yang didn’t resist. If he did, a simple lift of Li Changyu’s small arm and leg could send the Secretary flying out the window.
After successfully pressing Zhang Yang onto the sofa, Secretary Li sat beside him. “You thought I was being condescending, didn’t you? Well, I’ll sit on the sofa with you. This should be more approachable, right?”
Both of them knew the reason for this meeting without it being explicitly mentioned. If no one broke the silence, their meeting could continue in silence. Zhang the Divine Doctor’s strategy was to be patient and observe, to act accordingly.
After careful consideration, Secretary Li’s countermeasure was to take the initiative and find the other’s weakness as quickly as possible. He poured a cup of tea for Zhang Yang from the teapot and observed the two teacups already prepared on the coffee table. It was evident that Secretary Li had come well-prepared for today’s meeting.
As Zhang Yang held the teacup, he suddenly remembered the poisoned wine bestowed upon him by Emperor Yang of Sui. His right hand trembled involuntarily, spilling a little tea.
A flicker of insight passed through Secretary Li’s calm eyes, and a faint smile graced his lips. After all, young people were still young. Despite putting up a facade of composure, they lacked confidence. In subtle ways, Zhang Yang’s anxiety began to show. Little did he know that it wasn’t Secretary Li who he feared, but rather the memories invoked by the situation.
The tea was of excellent quality, a top-grade Bi Luo Chun. With its clear and bright infusion and elegant fragrance, Zhang Yang was someone who appreciated the finer things in life. In the past, he might have been inspired to compose poetry and express himself artistically. Even though his poetry had never been remarkable, he didn’t have the mindset for it now. He couldn’t even find the state of mind to savor a sip of tea, slowly placing the teacup back down.
In the world of politics, a professional tone naturally emerged when speaking. Despite Li Changyu’s efforts to appear amiable, his words still carried an air of authority. “Zhang Yang, I must thank you for that incident.”
Expressing gratitude was necessary, regardless of the underlying intentions or how things may develop in the future. After all, he was Zhang Yang’s savior, and Li Changyu couldn’t deny this. He always considered himself a person who repays kindness. The fact that he treated his lonely sister-in-law well was evidence of that.
If Li Changyu hadn’t witnessed such an awkward scene when Zhang Yang saved him, perhaps their relationship would be simpler and more innocent. His gratitude towards Zhang Yang would also be more sincere. Now, even though he knew that Zhang Yang was his savior, his gratitude was not as genuine. Honestly speaking, his hostility and wariness towards Zhang Yang outweighed his gratitude.
Compared to one’s life, what does a trivial affair between a man and a woman amount to? Zhang Yang’s magnanimity was not to be underestimated.
However, Secretary Li didn’t share the same perspective. He was more concerned about the illicit affair, thinking that Zhang Yang intended to use their relationship with Gu Chunli to manipulate and gain the maximum benefit. He didn’t consider that Zhang Yang simply wanted to ask him for medical fees.
Silence during a specific period can be a cruel psychological confrontation. In the clash between Secretary Li and Zhang Yang, Zhang Yang completely held the upper hand. Who asked Secretary Li to expose himself in such a way? Who asked him to have a lack of restraint and engage in car rendezvous despite his physical condition not being up to par?
As Secretary Li looked at Zhang Yang’s unwavering expression, he couldn’t help but feel appreciation for the young man before him. He must be around twenty years old, yet he displayed such composure, which was rare.
When Secretary Li was twenty, he didn’t possess such mental resilience. Little did he know that Zhang Yang was an experienced individual who had seen the world. Even if you were an imperial county governor, Zhang Yang had encountered countless individuals, including the Emperor of the Great Sui Dynasty.
Zhang Yang remained silent. In Secretary Li’s eyes, this young man was waiting for him to propose conditions. Secretary Li cleared his throat and said, “Xiao Zhang, I went to the county hospital for a comprehensive medical examination yesterday, and the results are out. I’m completely healthy, hahaha…”
Li Changyu laughed twice but noticed that Zhang Yang’s handsome face remained tense, with a hint of disdain on his lips. Although it was only a slight expression, Li Changyu was skilled in interpreting words and expressions. How dare this young man look down on me? Li Changyu rarely got angry, and even if he did, he wouldn’t show it on his face. He believed that getting angry was a sign of losing control.
As a mature politician, he shouldn’t make such a low-level mistake. However, since the car rendezvous incident by the Chunshui River, Li Changyu’s calm state of mind had undergone significant changes without him realizing it. It wasn’t the exposure of the incident that was terrifying; what was truly terrifying was not knowing when it would be exposed. This young man before him was like a time bomb, causing him distress. The problem was that Li Changyu had no idea when this time bomb would detonate.
These past few days, Li Changyu had also considered the worst-case scenario. Even if this young man were to reveal what happened that night, so what? He was just a student from a vocational school and came from an ordinary working-class family. How credible would his words be? Li Changyu was the first Party Secretary of Chunyang County, and if he were to speak out, others would only see it as an attack on his character.
Li Changyu had great confidence in his reputation. In the two-plus years he had been in Chunyang County, his leadership in both party and government affairs, as well as his work capacity and achievements, were evident. When you do things, it’s inevitable to offend some people, and it’s normal for some to defame you. Li Changyu was lost in his thoughts, contemplating these matters.
Meanwhile, Zhang Yang casually played with the cigarette box on the coffee table, seemingly indifferent as he said, “What do those quacks know?”
In one sentence, he completely dismissed the conclusions of the county hospital.
Li Changyu felt a mix of anger and amusement. Those experts were from the county hospital, and besides, they were his teachers. Who was this intern from a vocational school to challenge their judgment? Li Changyu replied meaningfully, “Xiao Zhang, in the field of medicine, it’s important to have evidence and sound reasoning. Most people would still believe the words of experts. Although you have a high level of skill, you’re still too young.”
This statement was essentially a blatant threat, as if saying, “Why are you showing off to me? Even if you have some leverage on me, do you have any evidence? Who would believe what you say about that night?”
Although Li Changyu’s words were veiled, he now referred to Zhang Yang as “Xiao Zhang” and his tone subtly changed. Even a fool could sense the pressure of his condescension.
Zhang Yang, of course, could sense the hidden meaning behind his words, but his expression remained unchanged. He calmly said, “If a horse is hit by a strong wind and doesn’t receive timely treatment, it will undoubtedly die. Even with emergency treatment, if it weren’t for me, there would still be lingering problems.”
Li Changyu’s heart suddenly sank. As expected, this guy started talking about his and Ge Chunli’s affair. Zhang Yang repeated the motion of raising and then putting down the cigarette box, saying, “Press down on the area between the third and fourth ribs on your left chest with your hand.”
Li Changyu looked at him skeptically, his face full of doubt, and he didn’t follow his instructions, partly because he didn’t know where the third rib was. Zhang Yang shook his head and lightly tapped a certain spot on his left chest. Li Changyu moved his right hand, brought his index and middle fingers together, and pressed down.
Suddenly, a sharp sensation, like a needle piercing, quickly spread from his fingertips and extended throughout his body. Li Changyu’s complexion immediately changed.
Zhang Yang then pointed to a spot about half an inch behind his right ear, and Li Changyu followed his guidance and pressed it. Suddenly, everything went black before his eyes, and his heartbeat became intense, almost pounding out of his chest. Li Changyu instinctively covered his chest, his face turning pale as paper.
In fact, after that night, he had also looked up information about sudden windstroke and knew it was an emergency condition often related to cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the next day, he went to the county hospital for a comprehensive examination, and he was pleased with the results.
The words Zhang Yang had just spoken were not exaggerated, but Li Changyu had assumed that Zhang Yang had merely coincidentally saved him and that his own physical condition was not bad, hence leaving no sequelae.
However, the demonstration of Zhang Yang’s abilities just now deeply shocked him. It was enough to prove that this young man before him indeed possessed profound and unfathomable skills. Li Changyu whispered, “How is this possible?”
His voice was slightly trembling. It should be noted that he was only forty-four years old this year, far from retirement age, and his political achievements in Chunyang County had earned the admiration of a powerful figure in Jiangcheng City. It was highly likely that he would soon rise even higher and enter the city-level leadership.
All of this relied on having a good physical condition as a foundation. If his health deteriorated, everything would be over. No matter how capable he was, no matter how strong his connections were, his body would no longer be able to keep up. What meaning would great power hold if your body failed you?
Wherever there are people, there will be struggles. Li Changyu and Zhang Yang, who initially seemed to come from different social classes, were now sitting together and engaged in a silent struggle.
Although it was a silent struggle, it did not hide its cruelty and cunning. Li Changyu had approached Zhang Yang from the beginning with political maneuvering, attempting to use political pressure to make the young man surrender.
However, Zhang Yang didn’t even take the bait. Dealing with Secretary Li only required a small move. Who the hell do you think you are? In my eyes, you’re just a patient. You’re sick, and only I can cure you. I am the one in a position of strength. If you want to recover, if you want to stay alive, you must bow down to me.
The patient has no dominance in front of the doctor, especially when the doctor has saved their life and their future health is still in someone else’s hands. When Li Changyu realized this, he immediately put on a friendly smile and warmly greeted, “Zhang Yang, come! Let’s have tea first!”
Taking the initiative is just the first step for Zhang Yang. What he needs to do next is to follow up on his advantage and gradually break down Secretary Li’s psychological defense. The ultimate goal is to make him completely surrender.
Zhang Yang extended his right hand and covered the rim of the cup, pretending to sympathize with the good Secretary Li. In fact, he had no understanding of sympathy at all, so his expression was completely off. In the eyes of others, his current expression was not sympathy, but rather pity and contempt.
Sympathy definitely doesn’t involve looking down on someone. Secretary Li felt annoyed but didn’t dare to explode. Damn it, when have I ever been subjected to such humiliation? On second thought, there have been many times when I’ve been humiliated, but that was in front of my superiors. Who the hell do you think you are, you inexperienced brat… Tiger falling in Pingyang! Secretary Li felt a sense of sadness, but he could only keep it to himself.
On his face, he maintained a friendly and warm demeanor. When dealing with comrades, one should be as warm as spring. As a seasoned veteran, Secretary Li still possessed this quality.
Zhang Yang whispered, “There’s no one else here, so I’ll just say it directly.”
“Speak up, speak up! I like it when people get straight to the point!” Secretary Li couldn’t stand the beating around the bush anymore. Playing defense with others used to be his forte, but unfortunately, this person in front of him had already figured him out. If he played along, wouldn’t he be looking for trouble?
“These past few days, have you lost your virility?”
“What?” Secretary Li was slightly taken aback but quickly understood.
Zhang Yang thought he didn’t understand and immediately explained in a straightforward manner, “Can’t get it up, can you?”
Secretary Li’s face turned red, cursing Zhang Yang inwardly. Such a question should be asked more tactfully. I have a certain status, couldn’t you give me a bit of face?
But after calming down and thinking it over, it was true that he hadn’t engaged in that kind of activity these past couple of days. However, that was normal. After the car incident by the Chunshui River, he immediately fell ill. That experience had to leave a psychological impact, right? Although it was pleasurable, Secretary Li was a person who knew how to distinguish priorities. He couldn’t risk his life for a few minutes of pleasure, could he?
Seeing him standing there stunned, Zhang Yang persistently asked, “Have you ever had an erection?”
Now that the facade had been seen through, Secretary Li seemed much more natural. He sighed and said, “Time really takes its toll. There are some aspects that can’t be compared to when I was young.”
When he spoke these words, Secretary Li felt a deep sense of shame. In this aspect, he didn’t have any dominance. In his younger days, he didn’t have much to offer, and coupled with a lack of political awareness, such matters were only confined to his wife. Perhaps it was because his wife didn’t possess any allure in terms of sensuality. It was always a straightforward process.
But now that he had the means and the political awareness, Ge Chunli could easily embody sensuality and charm, yet it was still a straightforward process. So he could only look for the reasons within himself. However, there was one aspect that made Li Changyu feel proud. Despite lacking in this particular ability, he still had a strong possessiveness.
Upon hearing Li Changyu’s response, Zhang Yang couldn’t help but laugh. “So, you haven’t been able to get it up these past few days, and you haven’t even thought about it?”
After Zhang Yang’s remark, Li Changyu pondered and realized it was true. Ever since the car incident by the Chunshui River, he hadn’t thought about such matters. Yeah, why did he suddenly become so detached?
Zhang Yang’s finger landed lightly on a spot half an inch below Li Changyu’s navel, and with a gentle press, Li Changyu suddenly felt a swelling pain in his lower body. His eyes widened with astonishment.
Zhang Yang smiled and said, “As I said before, there’s congestion in many of your meridians. If left untreated, you might even suffer a stroke.”
He glanced at Li Changyu’s lower body and continued, “Even if a stroke doesn’t happen in the short term, if the meridians aren’t unblocked, you won’t be able to perform in bed in the future. Of course, Secretary Li may not mind.”
Cold sweat started to appear on Li Changyu’s forehead. Who said I don’t mind? I’m only forty-four years old. It hasn’t been easy for me to go from being a secretary in a small township factory to where I am today, right? I’ve been a man for most of my life. If you call me a eunuch, then I’d really be a eunuch. No one can accept that! Despite feeling wronged, Li Changyu quickly accepted the reality.
Only by facing reality could he think of ways to solve the problem. Having immersed himself in the political arena for over twenty years, his political instincts were truly remarkable. He quickly understood that Zhang Yang wasn’t just making empty threats. He was indeed sick, and seriously so. Even the People’s Hospital couldn’t identify the root cause of his illness.
Fortunately, he still had hope, and the person who could save him was the young man in front of him. The way Secretary Li looked at Zhang Yang had completely changed. He no longer saw the youthfulness on Zhang Yang’s face. No wonder this young man dared to challenge him at such a young age. He was truly extraordinary, qualified to challenge him.
Although Secretary Li understood that he was completely in a passive position, he still needed to uphold certain boundaries. Questions like “What do you want?” or “What will it take for you to help me?” were beneath him.
Even though he was just a county-level official, Li Changyu had become a master at insinuation and compromise. He slowly picked up the teacup, lightly blowing on it. Although there were no tea leaves on the water’s surface, Li Changyu used this gesture to convey to Zhang Yang, “See, I’m not afraid. I’m calm.”
Zhang Yang didn’t pay much attention to the details, and in his eyes, he had already figured out Li Changyu. There was no need for him to focus on the finer details. Just like a leader and a subordinate, which leader would care about the feelings of their subordinates?
Secretary Li calmly went about his surface work. It was a habitual process and a mental adjustment and relaxation. When Secretary Li had adjusted his state of mind, he calmly said, “Zhang Yang, you’ll be graduating this year, right?”
As a leader, guiding others was one of the most basic political tactics. Secretary Li was naturally adept at this. Since Zhang Yang was unwilling to propose conditions proactively, Secretary Li could only guide him. What was most important for an intern? Of course, it was the upcoming job assignment.
Although Li Changyu was just a county party secretary, his words carried weight within the scope of Chunyang County. As a graduate of a health school, Zhang Yang’s qualifications were indeed somewhat lower. The county-level People’s Hospital no longer accepted non-undergraduate students.
Even if he were to enter, he would only be assigned to an auxiliary department, and that would require connections. However, as long as Secretary Li gave the order, the County Epidemic Prevention Station, Blood Station, or even the Health Bureau might help him find a well-paid position. It would be like giving him a golden rice bowl, which was more tempting than giving him money directly.
Of course, Zhang Yang knew what Li Changyu was thinking. However, he didn’t have a specific concept of job assignments after graduation. The work unit didn’t hold any special significance to him, a divine doctor who had just arrived in the 1990s. Besides the county People’s Hospital, he didn’t know of any other options for health school graduates.
But one thing Zhang Yang was clear about was that since coming to this era and witnessing various displays of official power, he had developed a deep longing for holding an official position. That was the purpose of his visit to Li Changyu today.
“I want to become an official!” Zhang Yang blurted out without hesitation.
Li Changyu was momentarily stunned, but then a knowing smile appeared on his face. He had thought Zhang Yang would make a difficult request that would put him in a tough spot, but he didn’t expect this to be his demand. Li Changyu felt relieved because as long as Zhang Yang had conditions, he had the leverage to negotiate with him.
However, it would be quite a challenge for a graduate from a health school to become an official, especially considering Zhang Yang hadn’t even graduated from the school yet. Li Changyu couldn’t let him reach the top in one step, as he didn’t have enough influence for that.
After careful consideration, Li Changyu replied in a low voice, “I will make arrangements for you once you graduate from the health school.”
“I can wait, but Secretary Li’s medical condition can’t wait that long!” Zhang Yang said with a sly smile at the corner of his lips.
Li Changyu was stunned, looking at Zhang Yang’s brazen and threatening expression. Was this kid out of his mind? A health school student like him wanted to become an official. Did he expect Li Changyu to help him become a class leader in the school? Li Changyu couldn’t afford to do that! He understood clearly that Zhang Yang wanted more than just a class leader position.
The request Zhang Yang made was within his authority, and he certainly wanted to become an official in Chunyang County. If this had happened in the past, Li Changyu would have slapped him across the face without hesitation. But now he had to suppress his anger and reluctantly ask, “Which department or system do you want to work in, Zhang Yang?”
Li Changyu had been caught in a disadvantageous position, and today he had to compromise and make concessions repeatedly.
Zhang Yang scratched his head. While he had decided to become an official, he hadn’t really thought about what position he wanted. The county magistrate had prestige, but Li Changyu himself was just a county magistrate. He couldn’t just hand over that position to Zhang Yang. Besides, even if Li Changyu was willing, he had to consider the feelings of others, right?
After thinking for a while, Zhang Yang still didn’t know what position he wanted. However, he suddenly thought of the deputy director’s power at the county people’s hospital. An idea popped into his mind, and he said, “How about this? Make me the director of the county people’s hospital!”
Li Changyu almost fell off the sofa. He had finally witnessed an audacious request. It seemed that Zhang Yang’s illness was serious indeed. Li Changyu himself was just a department-level official, and the director of the county people’s hospital was a deputy department-level position. Could he just appoint Zhang Yang to that position? Zhang Yang seemed to think too highly of him.
Seeing Li Changyu’s sudden change in expression, Zhang Yang realized that this matter would be quite difficult. However, Zhang Yang was not an unreasonable person. He could make requests, but they shouldn’t exceed Li Changyu’s authority.
Immediately, Zhang Yang came up with a compromise, saying, “If you find it difficult, then just let me be the party secretary for now!”
At this moment, Li Changyu felt like thunder had struck him. In his more than twenty years of political career, he had encountered various types of people, but Zhang Yang’s shamelessness was a first. He thought to himself, “Either this kid’s brain is not right, or he’s deliberately playing with me.”
Li Changyu squeezed out a bitter smile and asked, “Are you a party member, Zhang Yang?”
Zhang Yang shook his head.
You’re not even a party member, and you still want to be a party secretary? Have you lost your mind from studying too much? Li Changyu couldn’t help but complain silently.
He patiently explained, “Being an official is not as simple as you imagine. Every step upward requires a price to be paid…”
As he said these words, Li Changyu felt a pang of bitterness. The price he had paid this time was indeed heavy, and for some reason, he had a vague feeling that it was just the beginning. Who knows how many more troubles awaited him in the future?
“In the political arena, there are rules to follow, and no one can reach the top in one step. Even if I help you wholeheartedly, you still need to accumulate enough political capital,” Li Changyu said earnestly, and his expression showed that he wasn’t being insincere.
At that moment, they heard Su Lao Tai calling them to have dinner.
Li Changyu smiled helplessly.
Zhang Yang smiled and said, “Let’s discuss this later. Let’s have dinner first!”
During the meal, Zhang Yang felt the warmth and enthusiasm from Su Lao Tai. She kept serving him food as if treating him like a nephew. Li Changyu, who had been uneasy before, gradually relaxed when he saw Zhang Yang behaving politely and not saying anything inappropriate.
Li Changyu had always believed that there were different levels of moral conduct in a person’s character. Zhang Yang’s behavior today made him both cautious and pleased. Setting aside other factors, just from Zhang Yang’s acting skills, one could see that he had some potential to be an official.
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