Chapter 196 - Chapter 196: Chapter 196: Lixian Earthquake_1

Chapter 196: Chapter 196: Lixian Earthquake_1

Translator: 549690339

Nie Jialeiang looked at his wristwatch. It’s a Vacheron Constantin watch for men made in Switzerland. It had a very classic design. This kind of watch is a favorite among the sons of the well-known families in Jingcheng. Luxurious, yet low-key. To ordinary people, it looks nothing special, but only those who really know watches could see its value.

Then, Nie Jialeiang laughed and said, “Third Brother, you really enjoy your freedom as the county head. It’s only half past ten and you’re already off work. Aren’t you afraid of people gossiping?”

Nie Zhenbang knew Nie Jialeiang was just joking, so he also laughed and said, “Elder Brother, before you came, I was working day and night shifts. No one complained about me working too much at midnight. This time, my family came to visit, so I should have some time off, right?”

The two walked out of the county government compound. Nie Zhenbang drove the car himself and headed towards the Li County Hotel. On the way, Nie Zhenbang contacted Liu Kun and Zhao Xinglong. Nie’s elder brother was here, who was the ‘Big Brother’ among these rascals. When they were still wearing crotchless pants, they were running behind him. Even though Nie Jialeiang gradually distanced himself from this group after growing up, the prestige of Elder Nie still existed.

Nie Zhenbang also called Dong Wan. At this moment, Dong Wan and Li Lixue had become very busy as the Wal-Mart Group’s projects in Li County began. Nie Zhenbang had asked Yang Anbang to send someone over, but these two girls refused, saying they wanted to work with Nie Zhenbang to build Li County together, which would give them a sense of accomplishment.

“Zhenbang, why are you calling me so early today? Li Xue and I won’t be home for lunch today. We’ve made an appointment with Sister Fengjiao to look at some parcels in the city. The project for the Li County Hotel is also set. We’re just waiting for land acquisition and demolition.” Dong Wan now had the demeanor of a strong woman.

Nie Zhenbang laughed, “Wan, I’m afraid you’ll have to come today. My elder brother is here, and I’m on my way to Li County Hotel. Let’s have a meal together. Let Li Xue and Yan Fengjiao handle the land acquisition.”

Under these circumstances, it was not that Nie Zhenbang didn’t want Li Lixue to appear. However, Li Lixue’s identity was different now. Also, this was about the conflicts between the Dong and Yang families. It was better to keep Li Lixue away from this circle. This was Nie Zhenbang’s way of protecting Li Lixue. If it was an ordinary gathering, Nie Zhenbang would definitely have Li Lixue attend.

Hearing this, Dong Wan understood. As a child growing up in the Residence, she had some awareness. Soon, Dong Wan said, “Since that’s the case, all right then. You guys reserve a private room first, I will be there shortly.”

When the car arrived at the hotel, Zhao Xinglong’s Hummer H1 was parked nearby. Such a behemoth, with a Xibei Military Region license plate, was intimidating just by looking at it. It’s a product that Hummer only began to sell for civilian use last year. Zhao Xinglong directly shipped one from the United States. A supercharged diesel engine with a 6.0-liter displacement gave it an imposing presence.

As soon as they saw Nie Jialeiang get out of the car, Liu Kun and Zhao Xinglong went to greet him. Liu Kun even chortled and rushed over, “Big Brother, you finally remember us, the kids who are left in the Northwest. It’s not easy.”

At this moment, Nie Jialeiang was less restrained and serious than he was in Jingcheng. In Jingcheng, he had to behave more maturely as the eldest son and firstborn grandson. Now that he was outside, Nie Jialeiang felt as if he had put down a huge burden, which made him much more cheerful. He shoved Liu Kun away and laughed, “Get lost, I know what sort of person you are. You’re a well-known playboy in Jingcheng. Don’t get me infected with your debauchery!”

Zhao Xinglong also greeted him, “Brother Jialeiang, do you still remember me?”

Nie Jialeiang paused, then said, “You are the one I don’t remember. But I do have a deep memory of your brother Zhao Xinghu. Back in the day, when the kids from your military compound fought with us, I was almost going under his hands. In the end, I was grounded at home for a month, while your brother was directly sent to the army.”

Nie Jialeiang’s knack in this area was truly brilliant. A few words brought them closer. At that moment, Dong Wan’s Land Rover arrived. Seeing Dong Wan, Nie Jialeiang took the initiative and greeted her, “Little Sister Six, you’re finally here. Your matter has caused quite a stir in Jingcheng.”

Dong Wan looked somewhat embarrassed. If she guessed correctly, the ones causing the stir were probably her grandfather and An Na’s grandfather. They were both like mischievous children. When it comes to politics, they were terrifying. However, they were no different from ordinary old men in other aspects.

Nie Zhenbang also felt a little awkward and laughed, “Big Brother, let’s go inside and talk. We can eat and chat. Today is kind of a welcome dinner for you. You were not nice yesterday, sneaking around in disguise.”

The 777 private room in the hotel was something that Nie Zhenbang had specially arranged. In this era, Chinese people all like the number 8, as it’s considered lucky. However, Nie Zhenbang did not like it. Government officials are not businessmen, why would they want to ‘get rich’? According to Nie Zhenbang, ‘seven up, eight down’ is more fitting. The number 888 is not lucky. What government officials fear the most is ‘going down’.

Of course, this also has a hint of superstitious or prankster meaning. However, since Nie Zhenbang suggested it, Liu Zhifang naturally complied. Director Nie’s prestige was incomparable. It was just a number, and since he liked it, Liu Zhifang naturally arranged for it.

Just as everyone had sat down, Liu Zhifang ran in, a smile on her face. “Director Nie, and all the bosses, what would you like to have for lunch? We invited a Guangdong cuisine chef especially for you. How about trying something new?”

Nie Zhenbang had eaten plenty of Cantonese food. He was about to refuse when Nie Jialei smiled and said, “I didn’t expect to find Cantonese cuisine in the Northwest. Let’s have Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, a famous Cantonese dish. We can use it to judge the chef’s skills.”

Barely had he finished speaking when the lights in the room began to flicker, and the crystal chandelier shook violently. Liu Kun and Zhao Xinglong were already on their feet, holding onto the table. Dong Wan, who grew up in Jingcheng, was completely stunned by all this.

Nie Zhenbang, however, was incredibly quick. He rushed over to Dong Wan and caught her. He was all too familiar with this sensation. It was a traumatic memory from his past that he could never quite shake off. More than a decade ago, he instantaneously went from being a child treasured by his grandparents and mother to an orphan. That was his harsh reality.

“Quickly, get up, Kun, Xinglong, Big Brother, let’s evacuate to an open area. This is an earthquake.” Nie Zhenbang almost roared out his words as he simultaneously picked up Dong Wan and ran outside.

This was just a pre-shock. Nobody knew how strong the actual earthquake would be, or if it would continue to shake. All they could do was wait and see. In this situation, erring on the side of caution is the best course. Nobody would dare to take responsibility for any mishap.

Liu Zhifang also ran out after them. As soon as they had evacuated from the banquet hall, the ground started shaking again. This time, it was much stronger than before. The ground felt like it was swaying. Zhao Xinglong and Nie Jialei, who were both experienced and well-trained, immediately crouched to maintain balance. It was too dangerous to stand in an open area at this time, and crouching was the only way to preserve balance.

The shaking had caused tiles from a number of buildings in Li County Hotel to fall. A lot of people had gathered in the open area as the earthquake had driven everyone outside.

After a short respite, the shaking returned twice, each time as strong as the second. Nie Zhenbang’s face had already turned serious at that point.

Liu Zhifang also quickly ran over to Nie Zhenbang, seeing this as an opportunity to display her loyalty. “Director Nie, are you alright? This earthquake doesn’t seem small at all. I’m afraid it’s around magnitude six.”

Magnitude 6? Hearing Liu Zhifang’s words, Nie Zhenbang’s expression turned even more solemn. According to the earthquake scale, anything greater than magnitude 3 but less than 4.5 is considered a noticeable earthquake. Anything equal to or greater than 4.5 but less than 6 is considered a moderate quake. Anything equal to or above 6 but less than 7 is considered a strong quake.

At this moment, the air-raid siren in Li County City had started to sound. At the same time, loudspeakers throughout the city had started to broadcast, “Please follow earthquake safety procedures and stay away from buildings. Prioritize your personal safety.”

“Repeat once, repeat once…”

Nie Zhenbang waited for a while until he was sure that there would be no further immediate danger. He then stood up and said to Dong Wan, “Wan, ask Kun and Xinglong to accompany you and find Li Xue immediately. I’m predicting a lot of work on my end. Please take care of yourself.”

He then turned his attention to Nie Jialei, preparing to talk, but Nie Jialei waved him off, saying: “Zhenbang, you don’t need to say anything. Do what you need to do. Please don’t worry about me. I can handle this and protect myself.”

Nie Zhenbang quickly arrived at his Santana, started the car and drove. The road was already crowded with people. The car soon arrived at Li County Party Committee. By then, Zhang Chubin, Xie Yi, Zhao Kunlun, Sun Kewen, Bekri, and other members of the county party committee had already gathered.

Upon seeing Nie Zhenbang alighting from the car, Chubin and the others came over. Zhang Chubin looked somber. “Director Nie, we just got word from the Li County Seismological Bureau. The earthquake was about a 6.3 magnitude. So far, no reports of casualties. We should probably start a meeting now.”

No one was willing to have the meeting in the office building. Everyone feared aftershocks. Nie Zhenbang looked extremely serious. He knew all too well that many of the buildings in Li County were old constructions, with few new buildings. Plus, with the sudden earthquake affecting construction sites, they were likely going to have to deal with massive consequences.

PS: Last five days, brothers and sisters, now, we have wolves in front and pursuers behind. We have no way to retreat. We are 240 votes away from first place. And the third place contender is only 55 votes away from us. Once again, I call upon the strength of our brothers and sisters for a monthly ticket of support. To secure our position. Thank you all. (To be continued. If you like this novel, please come to Qidian (qidian.com) to vote for recommendations and monthly tickets. Your support is my greatest motivation.)