The leader was the secretary and mayor of Qinghe Town, as for the leaders of Yantian County, because of communication and traffic difficulties, they were still on the road.
As soon as Li Zheng got off the bus, he saw a familiar face, Chef Liu, the head chef of the guest house. Li Zheng still remembered the green spotted fish he cooked with scallion oil, the taste was amazing.
Li Zheng met Chef Liu’s stunned gaze, then he smiled and nodded, and entered the guest house with Qiu Zhengye and the others, as they talked and laughed.
“The conditions are simple, please bear with us.” Qiu Zhengye said with a smile.
“You’re being too modest, this place is very good.”
David wasn’t being polite. Although Qinghe Town wasn’t rich, the guest house was well built.
There used to be a naval base near Qinghe town. When China and the Soviet Union formed a good relationship, Soviet workers would often come here and stay in the guest house.
They could suffer on their own, but they absolutely couldn’t make the foreign guests suffer. At that time, the people’s conditions were difficult, but the construction of the guest house, even after 30 years didn’t seem shabby.
After the journey, the crowd was really a bit tired. So they each received the key to their rooms and went to rest.
The ordinary employees grouped into two to share a room, Liang Zhe, David and Li Zheng each got a room.
Li Zheng was surprised that he had this treatment, he smiled and thanked Qiu Zhengye.
Qiu Zhengye waved his hand repeatedly, he could see that although Li Zheng came as a member of Roche’s entourage, both David Andorio, Roche’s Executive Vice President of Asia, and Liang Zheng, who was at the helm of the company, were very fond of Li Zheng.
Especially Mr. Liang, Qiu Zhengye observed the interaction between these two, and found that Li Zheng was vaguely dominant.
Therefore, when he contacted the guest house in Qinghe Town, he specially instructed his secretary to ask for a single room for Li Zheng as well.
After Li Zheng and the others went upstairs, the staff members left in the hall started talking.
“Hey, old Liu ah. The young man who just smiled at you, why do I look so much like the Li family’s boy?”
“How is that possible! They are all big people! Can’t you see that Vice Governor Qiu personally accompanied them!”
“Are the foreigners the same ones as last time?”
“I don’t know, they all look the same.”
“By the way, Accountant Xu, is your husband not from the county? Do you have any news?” The receptionist suddenly turned to Xu Fen, who had been silent.
Xu Fen was the accountant in the guest house, she was Wang Aiguo’s wife and Wang Chengcai’s mother.
Everyone said that Zhou Deqing killed Xiao He and Yang Kaijian, but Xu Fen knew that it was Yang Kaijian who killed Xiao He. At night, Yang Sheng exposed Wang Aijuan to the Wang family.
Yang Sheng, who had always treated Wang Aiguo with great respect, was angry with him Aiguo for the first time.
Yang Sheng pointed at Wang Aiguo’s nose and scolded his son for being a pest. Yang Kaijian and Xiao He, one was a student and one was a junior in the guest house, the only intersection between the two was Wang Chengcai.
Because of his relationship with Xu Fen, Xiao He had been Wang Chengcai’s follower, every time Wang Chengcai went to the guest house, Xiao He always followed him, it was well known in the guest house.
Xu Fen snapped back to her senses and faced the strange looks of her colleagues, she smiled a little stiffly, “I didn’t hear him talk about it.”
The purpose of the foreigners’ trip, Xu Fen naturally knew. Not only that, Wang Aiguo also put in all his efforts to get a factory quota. The less people know about this matter, the better, Xu Fen didn’t want to have more competitors.
“What are you doing! Pay attention!” Chef Liu came out of his office and loudly scolded them.
The crowd in the hall scattered, leaving a dumbfounded Chef Liu, “Just now, it really seems like it was the Li kid.”
In the evening, Li Chaoyang went home.
“Dad, I don’t want to go.” Li Chaoyang stood in the living room, his hands clenched into fists.
Father Li fiercely put down the fruit basket he was carrying in his hand, “You don’t want to go? Do you know how many people are competing for this foreign-funded factory spot? If it weren’t for your old man’s connections in the army, you wouldn’t even be qualified to compete!”
“Chaoyang ah, listen to your father. If we don’t settle the matter today, when the firecrackers are set off at the factory completion ceremony tomorrow, it will be even harder to compete for a spot!” Mother Li said bitterly.
Li Chaoyang’s nails were embedded in the flesh of his palm.
He knew the preciousness of the foreign factory quota. Unlike later generations, factory jobs in the 1980s were the iron rice bowls that almost everyone wanted, especially the enterprises with good efficiency, civil servants were cutting their heads to squeeze in. In those days, it was commonplace for civil servants to go to enterprises.
What was more, for foreign-funded enterprises, the treatment was much better than general enterprises. In Yantian County, and even the Shenzhen region and Guangdong province, everyone had began making moves.
Father Li had an advantage, his old leader was assigned as the security captain of the complex foreign-funded factory, in addition to bringing a few of his old men over, there were several vacant spots.
Father Li, while drinking with him, heard him say that foreigners had bought several cars to put in the factory, but couldn’t find anyone to drive them and were asking him to find drivers.
Father Li was immediately attracted to the idea. Being a driver in the eighties was extremely popular, with this skill, they could go anywhere in the world. And in this era, a town that no one owned a car, if his son was a driver, he’d be driving a small car in and out of town every day, wouldn’t everyone be envious?
According to Father Li, if he became a driver, he could even find a good wife.
“But …… but I want to take the college entrance exam!” Li Chaoyang shook his head, his classroom had become empty, many dropped out of school one after another to work.
Originally, they all had to hesitate a long time to buy a popsicle. All of a sudden, they began making and spending money, and even helping their families.
If Li Chaoyang said he wasn’t envious, it’d certainly be a lie.
But those words Li Zheng spoke that afternoon, was like a rope that tied his restless heart.
“This world is big. The surface of the earth is 510 million square kilometers, and the land is about 149 million square kilometers. And when we lie down with our arms outstretched, we can only occupy at most 2 square meters. We live in this corner of Qinghe Town, and the sky we look up at is only as big as a wellhead. Studying and passing the exam is the fastest way to jump out of this well or expand our wellhead. “
Li Zheng said as he tapped his fingers on the table. At that time, the book on his desk happened to be turned on the page of the world map.
He wanted to study! He wanted to try! He wanted to see the big world that Li Zheng talked about!
“High school entrance exams? Li Chaoyang, you’re only in your first year of high school! Two years before your senior year, after two years, other people’s children will be walking! Also, can you guarantee that you’ll get into college? How many people in Qinghe Town get into college every year!” Father Li wanted to throw the fruit basket at his son’s head.
“But Li Zheng ……”
“Li Zheng, Li Zheng, every time you mention Li Zheng. What kind of enchantment has the Li family’s boy put into you. Now we don’t even know where he is. The news in town says he smuggled himself across the border to Hong Kong, he’s smarter than you. How high are the wages in Hong Kong ah! What he earns in a year, you have to work a decade!”
Li Chaoyang tightly pursed his lips, not saying a word.
“You have to go today even if you don’t want to! Otherwise you don’t have to recognize me as your father!” Father Li harshly spoke.
Li Chaoyang looked up in shock, his mother stomped her foot, gently pulled Li Chaoyang to the side and whispered to him, “Chaoyang ah, listen to your father. You know your father’s character, he loves being proud, but this time for your sake, he flattered people, accompanied them to drink for more than a month, you know, since the last time he came back from the hospital, your father hadn’t touched alcohol for two years.”
“Dad ……” Li Chaoyang was moved, he blinked his somewhat wet eyes and took the initiative to go forward and pick up the fruit basket on the coffee table, “Dad, let’s go.”
Father Li sighed and finally showed a smile, he rubbed his son’s head hard, “Later, ah, you will thank me.”
The dim streetlights slowly lit up, a tricycle carrying a teenager and a fruit basket rode through the center of Qinghe town, slowly heading towards the factory not far away.
Little did Li Zheng know that his first real best friend in this life was facing one of the biggest choices of his life’s journey. Not long after he finished washing up, there was a knock at the door.
Opening it, Liang Zhe, dressed in casual clothes, stood at the door.
“This is your hometown, don’t you want to go out for a walk?” Liang Zhe spoke.
Li Zheng touched his nose, “This isn’t Hong Kong, at this point, most people have gone to bed. But …… if you want to see, I can take you to my former house.”
Li Zheng’s feelings about Qinghe Town was very complicated, this was the place where his life here began, but in Li Zheng’s heart, if Hong Kong belonged to him, then Qinghe Town belonged to the original Li Zheng.
He …… was subconsciously avoiding the traces of the original Li Zheng.
“Okay.” The corner of Liang Zhe’s lips rose into a tiny arc.
Li Zheng laughed lightly, as a biologist, how could he be dominated by stressful emotions, subconscious avoidance wasn’t a good thing.
The two didn’t inform anyone and slowly walked towards the Li family house while the night was still young.
As Roche’a factory was built here, the big roads in Qinghe Town were filled with cement, and the small roads originally made of mud were also paved with fine gravel.
There were still not many street lights, but combined with the lights emanating from the townspeople’s homes on both sides of the road, it was enough for them to accurately find their way to the Li’s house.
“Should have brought a flashlight.” Li Zheng shrugged his shoulders.
Liang Zhe smiled, his right hand moved slightly, and then grabbed his hand, he ignored Li Zheng’s astonished expression.
“I’ll lead you.” Liang Zhe said seriously.
The dry and warm heat coming from his palm seemed to make the temperature of the early spring night pick up.
Li Zheng looked up at Liang Zhe, the angular side of his face, his gaze straight ahead, his lips taut and straight, as if noticing Li Zheng’s gaze, Liang Zhe’s expression looked a little stiff, his grip on Li Zheng’s hand also subconsciously tightened.
Li Zheng blinked, he found that he didn’t seem to hate this feeling.
Qinghe Town wasn’t large, and about twenty minutes later, the Li family’s house appeared in front of the two.
“It seems that my family was lucky.” Not far from Li Zheng’s home, a new street lamp had just been erected.
“Help me up.” Li Zheng said, while propping one hand on Liang Zhe’s shoulder, he leaped up onto the cement-poured high platform with a strong leap, and with Liang Zhe’s puzzled gaze on him, he held onto the wall and poked one hand behind the spot under the eaves, and a key soon appeared in his hand.
Getting the key, Li Zheng jumped down from the high platform, because it was dark, he almost fell to the ground, fortunately he was grabbed by Liang Zhe.
“In the future, don’t hide things in such dangerous places.” Liang Zhe said with pursed lips.
Li Zheng waved his hand, “Don’t worry. I always have good luck.”
Opening the door and turning on the lights, it was obvious no one had been here for a long time, the inside of the home had a thick layer of dust, he looked across the familiar and unfamiliar room and spread his hands, “I told you, nothing to see.”
Liang Zhe obviously didn’t think so, his eyes swept over the slightly yellowed walls, the wall calendar with rich background of the times, and the clock that had stopped working.
There was a four-square wooden table, next to it was a bench, Liang Zhe sat on the bench and straightened his back.
“It’s dirty!” Li Zheng dragged him up from the bench, looking at Liang Zhe’s aggrieved expression, he helplessly held his forehead, how was he the helmsman of a luxury family in Hong Kong.
At Liang Zhe’s request, Li Zheng took him on a tour of all the rooms. There were several rooms that even Li Zheng hadn’t checked carefully, but this time, he saw everything.
The Li family wasn’t big, but it happened that they had four rooms, one for Father Li, one for Zhou Sitian, one for Li Zheng, and another … Because Zhou Sitian kept her mouth shut, he didn’t check it carefully.
Compared to the remaining three, the decoration of this room appeared much more literary, the shelves had rows and rows of books, and a set of female professional clothes on the bed. The atmosphere of life was very strong.
Li Zheng’s gaze swept through the entire room, a trace of deep thought flashed in his eyes, it seemed that Zhao Qihua and Li Qiang had been sleeping in separate rooms for a long time.
They suddenly heard the sound of a heavy object hitting the door downstairs.
“Who’s there?! You’d better come down right now, I’ve notified the police station!” A loud male voice came from downstairs.
The voice sounded somewhat familiar, and after thinking, a dazed look appeared on Li Zheng’s face.
“Brother Xiaodong, it’s me.” He walked out of the room and answered at the stairway.
“Snap,” the sound of something heavy falling on the floor.
Zheng Xiaodong jogged to the stairway and looked upwards.
“Li Zheng?! It’s you! You’re back!”
Feelingssssss are blooming 🧚♀️💥
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