Chapter 427 - Negotiations Begin!
[Book 3: The South]
Inside the meeting hall of the Guilin City's government building, the 2 factions from Guilin City and Nan Ning City had come together, with the old farts from the military as they began to discuss the matter of Yue Zhong who had gained control over the granary.
Li Jiu Ming's face was grim with fury as he said: "Yue Zhong and the rest are a virus to us! They will spread. I reckon we should use our forces to wipe him out immediately!! We definitely cannot give in to his terrorist threats! The moment we give in once, there will be a second time, or even third time!! We need to maintain our firm stance, and fight it out with him!!"
Li Hong Zhi was the only son of Li Jiu Ming and he was precious to him. Li Jiu Ming was getting on in years and thus, doted on his son to the point of excessively spoiling him. When he heard that Li Hong Zhi had been killed on Yue Zhong's orders, his logic and reasoning had gone out the window, and everything in his mind was only about getting revenge by killing Yue Zhong.
Hearing Li Jiu Ming's words, everyone in the meeting room frowned. If they forcefully launched an assault on Yue Zhong, Yue Zhong could just casually set the granary ablaze, and the entire Guilin City would fall together with him.
When that time comes, other than a few influential people with their own reserves, the rest who relied on their ration tickets would definitely go crazy. These upper echelons would also be torn apart by the frenzied people in the chaos.
When people are forced to a corner, as long as a person can incite their feelings, and turn it into a formidable force, the entire city would lose its sense of order and stability.
In fact, if the government had not clamped down on the news regarding Yue Zhong snatching the granary, the entire city might have been plunged into chaos.
For the sake of their own families, even the trusted aides of Li Jiu Ming were not willing to support him, as they kept silent.
Right at this time, Guilin City's mayor Chen Ying spoke calmly: "I disagree!! I believe that we should seek peaceful settlements with Yue Zhong! He had not yet burnt the granary, which means that it's possible to negotiate! We can talk things out! Regarding the cause of the matter, it was primarily the fault of some comrades here who had failed in the teachings of their children, allowing them to run amok with people of ill intentions, becoming the umbrella to protect them. They then caused problems and forced Yue Zhong to a corner. I suggest that we let the Disciplinary Committee and the Police Force to jointly form an investigative team, and get to the bottom of this."
Li Jiu Ming's face turned ugly, and slammed down on the table, as he pointed at Chen Ying and asked furiously: "Chen Ying! Are you suggesting that I am the backer of the evil forces? Do you have proof? If not, don't slander people maliciously!! At that time, if it wasn't for me, could you have become the mayor of this Guilin City?"
When Chen Ying heard these words, his face also turned ugly. Initially, he had the opportunity to become the mayor of Guilin City, was largely due to some help from Li Jiu Ming.
However, in this day and age, those who did not know how to curry favour would not be able to become politicians. Although Chen Ying was always doing it, and had the bad habits of those who constantly seek to elevate themselves, he could be considered to be a decent politician. He brought up his kids with decent values, and were unlike most of the other officials who stepped on the ordinary citizens. Comparing him with Li Jiu Ming, was like a gulf between Heaven and Earth.
At this time, Chen Ying's trusted aide An Chang Sheng, who happened to be the former deputy secretary of law spoke up: "I personally feel that Mayor Li Jiu Ming is not fit to continue to help govern over the Nan Ning people. I suggest that we will form a provisional assembly to cast a vote, on removing Li Jiu Ming from his position temporarily, handing him to the Discipline Committee to conduct their investigations!"
After which, An Chang Sheng immediately raised his hands.
Under the wolf-like gaze of Li Jiu Ming, amongst the 2 parties, a number of officials also started raising their hands in favour of removing Li Jiu Ming from his post.
Suddenly, even the hand of somebody Li Jiu Ming had never expected to raise, was raised. Seeing that, Li Jiu Ming's heart trembled, as he gritted and spat out: "Good!! I never thought that even you will betray me! Wang Ru He!!"
Wang Ru He was a secretary of the Political and Law Division in Nan Ning City, and had been boosted up by Li Jiu Ming. They had become the de facto leaders of the Nan Ning City after the apocalypse, and both had close ties. Li Jiu Ming did not expect that Wang Ru He would stab him in the back when he was down just to get his share of power.
Wang Ru He looked at Li Jiu Ming with pity as he remarked: "Li Jiu Ming! You're crazy! We can't go crazy with you, just to be buried together!"
Wang Ru He was truly on good terms with Li Jiu Ming, but even he was unwilling to risk the entire Guilin City to antagonize Yue Zhong. Furthermore, by taking down Li Jiu Ming, then he would replace Li Jiu Ming as the leader of the Nan Ning City's side. Who would decline power?
Chen Ying eyed Li Jiu Ming who had his powers stripped as he mildly commented: "The votes are in! From now on, Li Jiu Ming is temporarily removed from his role!"
Li Jiu Ming's eyes were bloodshot as he snarled loudly: "I don't accept this!! I'm a provincial leader!! You want to remove me from my position?!! You'll need to go through the proper channels!! What are you guys considered? You want to dismiss me? This is not following protocol!!"
Li Jiu Ming knew that the moment he lost the identity as Nan Ning City's mayor, he would die quickly. This was not a world where people bothered about human rights.
At this time, 2 Discipline Committee members came in and announced: "Comrade Li Jiu Ming! We are from the Discipline Committee! Please come with us!"
Li Jiu Ming took a look and suddenly seemed to realise something, as he swivelled to stare at Chen Ying with a venomous look: "Very good! Chen Ying!! You have already planned this beforehand! Seems like whatever I say, it'll be useless! Then I shall go with you, but you guys will surely regret this!!"
After which, Li Jiu Ming followed the 2 members as he was handcuffed and led away.
Right as Li Jiu Ming left, Dan Hong came into the meeting hall, and he was flanked by Bai Xiao Sheng acting as his guard.
Chen Ying pointed towards Dan Hong as he introduced him to the rest: "Let me introduce to everyone! This is the negotiator Yue Zhong has sent, Dan Hong!"
After that, Chen Ying proceeded to introduce all the members in the meeting hall to Dan Hong.
Now that Yue Zhong had forcefully snatched the granary, nobody knew what the future would hold. Although both parties of the government despised Dan Hong, they used a fervent attitude to greet him.
Dan Hong saw that all these upper government officials which he had to bend over backwards for in the past, greeting him warmly, and he could not help but feel excited.
Du Shan Xiong glanced at Dan Hong, his face sullen: "Dan Hong!! Yue Zhong asked you to come, what does he have for us?"
Dan Hong opened his mouth and controlled his excitement, saying: "Truthfully, this time, we're completely innocent! The Heavenly Dragon Triad, and Green Bamboo Triad had betrayed the entire Guilin City at the mountain range. It was our Leader that singlehandedly unified the remaining experts and defended against the 200,000-strong Mutant Beast horde, and saved the 900,000 people of Guilin City! However, how did you guys treat our leader and saviour? The Heavenly Dragon Triad assigned some people to assassinate his parents, and you guys stood by and did nothing. That can be forgotten, but after that, you guys still brought troops to surround the subordinates of my Leader, and everyone present insulted and humiliated my Leader. Let me ask, why is the saviour of our Guilin City was going to be humiliated, insulted, and put to death, while those evil forces are to go free?!! Who can sit idly by and do nothing? Who would still be willing to work hard for Guilin City? Our Leader just wants answers and compensation, and that shows his magnanimity already!!"
When Bai Xiao Sheng heard all these, he almost could not control his facial expression, as the corner of his mouth twitched slightly, almost breaking out into laughter.
Yue Zhong in fact dealt with the Mutant Beast horde because he was forced to, otherwise he would have fallen at their jaws as well. It was purely a selfish reason that motivated him to give his all. However, from Dan Hong's mouth, it seemed as though Yue Zhong had suddenly become a hero that fought for everyone in Guilin City. Furthermore, the Heavenly Dragon Triad was truly insidious, however, Yue Zhong himself wasn't particularly decent, and if there was a comparison, Yue Zhong was a maverick that could go against people as and when he so desired. Compared to the Heavenly Dragon Triad, Yue Zhong was more dangerous.
It was obvious that Dan Hong was lying through his teeth with no remorse, as he casually twisted some facts towards Yue Zhong's favour. Of course, it was to be expected from someone who was adept at navigating the line between good and evil, having weaved through various situations.
Chen Ying was an old fox himself, and knew that not all of what Dan Hong said was true, but they had no choice but to bow, and following the flow of the conversation, he laughed and replied: "Our Guilin City is a righteous place of peace and order. We will definitely not let heroes bleed nor cry. Those evildoers with backers are at most a stain on our otherwise decent society. Since those people are facing judgement as we speak, will Yue Zhong be returning us the granary?"
Dan Hong sipped his cup of tea, and calmed down, mulling over the conditions from Yue Zhong and repeated them slowly: "Firstly: The rations in the granary, 200,000 thousand tonnes shall be ours! The rest can be divided according to your own side! We will allow people to transport the rations out, but the granary will be guarded by our people. Secondly: Guilin City has to release all the people who had worked for us, no one is to block them. If anyone had harmed or injured our men, it will be handled according to our rules. Thirdly: We want the heads of all the upper echelons of the Heavenly Dragon Triad and Green Bamboo Triad. Only by satisfying our 3 conditions, Guilin City's rations won't go up in smoke. We won't do anything that lets Guilin City down!"
Chen Ying frowned as he tried to bargain: "The 3rd condition can be settled. However, 200,000 tonnes of rations!! It's too much!! At most, we can give you guys 50,000 tonnes. Furthermore, the granary is a key location, how can we just let you guys expend your forces to keep watch over it alone? We can send some people over. As for the 2nd condition, our Guilin City is a proper city, everyone has to be judged accordingly, we can't let your faction enjoy special treatment!!"
"No way...." Inside his heart, Dan Hong was elated. Yue Zhong had requested for 20,000 tonnes of rations, and just by opening his mouth, he had gained 30,000 tonnes more. This was proof of his efficient and effective handling. However, he maintained a straight face, and directly rejected, before offering a counter-proposal.