Chapter 14: Newsworthy Twain Part 2
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"This... I have to ask Mr. Chairman." Just as Tang En had finished speaking, his cellphone rang. He looked at the number and found that it was Chairman Doughty calling.
"Sorry, I have a call..." He pointed to the door, and Constantine nodded.
Tang En pressed the answer button just as he walked out of the door. "Mr. Chairman, what can I do for you?"
Doughty's matured voice came from the phone. "Tony, I haven't congratulated you on yesterday's match. Even though we lost. You and the lads did a good job."
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's just my job."
"You are still so modest. That's right, Tony. Although I feel that you handled yesterday's halftime nicely, I'd still like to remind you that the locker room is a very special place and not to let the fans in as you please. You know, this is a football tradition, and we are the third oldest football club in England. All the more reason we must value this tradition."
"Yes, I know."
Doughty chuckled. "Yesterday's match was really exciting. You know? It's been a long time since I've watched a match like that. You may rest assured that your position is solid before the end of the season. I'm sticking to my word. I will not give you any pressure. You can manage your way. I like you, Tony."
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am flattered." Tang En recalled Constantine's condition, so he spoke to Doughty about it, hoping to seek the Chairman's opinion.
"Tony, you're the team manager. Our Forest club is not that sort of publicly-listed company like Manchester United, although we are also listed... our priority is football. Under me, you are the highest. You have the authority to decide these things. There's no need to ask me. If you think it's appropriate, you can do it."
These words gave Tang En some reassurance. He once again thanked Chairman Doughty and hung up. When he opened the door and found Constantine still holding the cup drinking his coffee, Tang En smiled at him. "All right, I'll agree to your condition, Professor Constantine. VIP box and a season ticket."
The older man showed a bright smile on his face.
"But don't be too happy just yet. I also have my conditions." Tang En extended his right index finger. "Are you the best hospital here?"
Constantine proudly said, "Although we cannot be said to be the best in the United Kingdom, we have no problem being in the top ten."
"That's great. So, it's like this, our club's first team currently only has two professional doctors, and you have no lack of doctors here. I would like you to help me connect with several doctors using your personal contacts."
"This is not a problem, You can choose from our annual pool of interns..."
"No, I don't want any young, inexperienced interns. If I let them mess up my players, who do I go to? I need an experienced veteran doctor, specialized in sports medicine."
Tang En observed the change in his expression, and then said, "If you can't do that, then our previous agreement will be completely invalidated."
"Oh no, no. Wait a minute... I remember a few old men who've just retired. Maybe they can..."
"Are they specialists?"
"Despite the fact that they are not professors, yes... yes, I guarantee their standards are absolutely better than any of your current doctors! They have a wealth of clinical experience. You know, experienced clinicians earn more and have a higher status than a professor such as myself who specializes in academic research," Constantine said with certainty. "I can get in touch with them for you. I'm old friends with them, and I'm sure they would gladly work for their favorite team."
Tang En laughed in delight, "That's fantastic. Pleased to work with you, Professor Constantine." He held out his hand.
Constantine also extended out his hand, muttered with some reluctance, "You're really a devil. Pleased to work with you too!"
Since Doughty said that he could decide on a lot of things for the club, Tang En would freely exercise his authority. He knew well what injuries and illnesses meant to professional players. Having a good physician could minimize this effect. Every game player knew that clubs had a few "miracle doctors" who could help the football players reduce their injury probability. An even if they do get injured, the healing time can be greatly shortened. He intended to do a good job for the Forest team, and therefore would do his best in every aspect and strive to become the club's official manager for the next season. As for the future, he had not had time to plan yet. Anyway, as long as he did good work here, then no matter where he went, it would not be too bad.
Two of them signed a simple agreement, shook hands, and it was done.
Because of their arrangement, Constantine personally walked Tang En downstairs. After all, they would need to work together regularly from now on.
The two chatted while walking toward the gate, but when they came to the hospital gate, they were shocked.
There were a lot of reporters outside the gate, roughly more than a dozen or so people. Most of them were newspaper reporters, but there were television reporters, too.
"This is..." Tang En certainly knew who these reporters came for. It was just he did not think that British reporters had such keen senses, such remarkable ability to sniff out the information.
"Damn it! I swear it wasn't me who called...," Constantine hastened to explain.
The reporters immediately rushed forward when they saw Tang En coming out from the gate. One by one they cried out, "Manager Twain, Manager Twain!" More than a dozen microphones, recorder pens, and even cellphones were thrust at his face, as if they intended to stuff them in his mouth.
Tang En saw their mouths rapidly moving, but he could not hear what they were saying. It was impossible to decipher who was saying what with more than a dozen people speaking at once.
Constantine turned to look for security personnel, "Security?"
A staff member hurriedly ran up from the side, guiltily explained in a low voice, "Professor, they said if we try to stop them, they will sue us for hindering the freedom of the press."
"Really?" Constantine was about to give a sound scolding, but he remembered that there were the reporters' microphones everywhere. By chance if his words were to be recorded, his reputation as a gentleman would be ruined. "You didn't remind them that this is a hospital, and they need to be quiet?"
"But they were very quiet all along before you came out."
At this time Tang En suddenly yelled, "Quiet! Keep quiet all of you!"
This yell gave both the reporters and Constantine a start. It was like he was getting a closeup of a professional manager's ability to loudly direct a match from the sidelines.
"This is a hospital, what are you all doing here, making a racket?" Tang En began to lecture the reporters. "I know you're here for me. Ask your questions one at a time. I don't have much time, and I reserve the right to not answer any sensitive questions." After that, he began to look at his watch. "You have 15 minutes of free questioning time." His behavior was more professional than the press officer at yesterday's press conference.
No one had expected that Tony Twain would hold a press conference at the hospital gate, and go from being passive to taking charge. The BBC reporters responded first and raised their hands. "Mr. Twain, we'd very much like to hear your views about your evaluation of the referees at the press conference yesterday and in regard to the Football Association having a meeting to review your remarks yesterday."
"I'm not going to change my evaluation of the referees in that match." He saw the BBC logo on the microphone. "You're BBC reporters, you can go back and watch the video recording of yesterday's match, and then swear on God's name that there were no problems with the referees' decisions for those two balls. I know, some people want the Premier League team to advance, rather than us with no money nor power!"
These words caused an uproar in the crowd. Didn't Tang En's last remark imply that the Football Association favored the Premier League team? Of course, maybe he did not mean that, but he did not stop anyone from understanding that. This was big news! This would be a lively spectacle for days to come. They did not know whether this Tony Twain was deliberately playing dumb or being so headstrong that he would dare utter these remarks.
Seeing the reporters' reactions, Tang En added, "I do not wish to continue answering this topic. Next."
Tang En had some recollection of the next reporter who came out to ask a question. It was the Evening Post reporter to whom he had made the remark, "We were raped by the referee!" to yesterday. The young man whose name was like the actor that played 007.
"Hello, Mr. Twain. I'm a reporter at the Nottingham Evening Post, Pierce Brosnan. We all know that five days ago on January 1, the 27th round of English League One, at the home match between the Forest team and Walsall, you were knocked down by your player David Johnson and were unconscious for a while."
Tang En interrupted his words. "Can you get to the question, or do you wish to tell us a story here?" Faced with this group of reporters, Tang En's good mood before had gone sour. His words naturally became sharper and abrupt.
Constantine glanced at the poor young man and stole a look at Twain. He had begun his observation work.
Though the young man's face was flushed, he still summoned up his courage to ask, "I... I just wanted to ask you if your being here is related to what happened on the sidelines on that day?"
Tang En pushed forward Constantine who was standing beside him and whispered to him, "Professor, it's your turn to come forward. Just talk a little more nonsense and ten minutes will be over very soon."
Constantine gave a cough, put on a lecturer's expression to face the media and said, "The thing is this ..."
Ten minutes later, just when the originally excited reporters started to yawn, he finally uttered the most important words. "According to our observation and thorough examination, Mr. Twain has no abnormalities in his head. He's no different from a normal person."
Tang En leaned in from the side to the back of Constantine and whispered, "Nicely done, Professor. I look forward to our cooperation!" Then he raised his hands and pointed to his wrist watch. "I'm sorry everyone, time's up, I have to go."
The reporters obviously did not want to let him go. Someone shouted, "Mr. Twain! The West Ham United manager, Glenn Roeder, claimed that you had made a very unfriendly remark about his team after the match. He said that you congratulated him on his team's relegation! Is that true?"
"Nonsense. He must have heard wrong, I congratulated him on his victory and offered best wishes for his team's success in maintaining their level." Tang En saw a taxi coming in through the hospital gate to drop off a passenger. He promptly moved everyone aside and quickly walked out of the hospital entrance. Next, he opened the car door and ducked in.
Afterward, the car drove off.
Constantine considered the entire scene, and a smile emerged on his face. "What an interesting man."
"Sir, what did you say?" The security guard asked beside him.
"Nothing. I told you to drive those reporters away. This is a hospital, not a celebrity mansion." He pointed at the reporters who were still hanging around the entrance.
"If they use the excuse of obstruction of the freedom of the press, you just tell them that the press conference has already ended so they must leave. Or else you will call the police and charge them with interference of the hospital's normal operations. If a person dies here, they will be held responsible." After leaving the mess to the poor person in charge, Constantine turned and walked back.
The taxi had already been on the road for two hundred meters, and the passenger still did not provide a destination. The driver had to ask, "Where are you going, Mr. Twain?"
Still in a daze, Tang En found it odd that a taxi driver knew his name, then he saw the driver pick up a newspaper from the edge of the seat. Tang En had by now seen this newspaper four times today. He suddenly realized who had called those reporters. It must be that Notts County fan, Ms. Lilith!
"Are you a Notts County fan?" he asked in alarm.
The driver pointed to a cuddly toy wearing a red jersey hanging under the rearview mirror. "Starting from my grandfather's grandfather, we are all Forest team fans."
Tang En let out a long exhale. "Sorry. You saw them, just now those people. They were called by a Notts County fan."
The driver chuckled loudly in the front. "That's because our two teams are arch enemies in the same city. Where are you going, sir?"
Tang En initially wanted to go home, but he was worried that the dogged reporters were following the taxi, like with Princess Diana. So, he simply said, "Wherever! I'm not heading home anyway."
"But there's no such place." The driver too was indecisive.
"Er, in that case you take me on a sightseeing tour around Nottingham."
"Very well, sir. Can I ask you something about the Forest team?"
Tang En laid his head on the backrest and turned to look out of the window. "Yes, as long as it doesn't affect your driving. But I reserve the right to not answer." He suddenly found himself very fond of this sentence. When he said this while facing so many reporters, it felt so cool! He was going to say this more often to reporters in the future. He did not care whether they wanted to hear it or not.
When Tang En's taxi was far enough away from the hospital, and he was sure there were no reporters following him, he stopped the car to pay and get out. But the driver did not want to accept. "Sir, if you can get the Forest team to play like they did in the second half of yesterday's match every time, anytime you need a car in the future, just call me. I guarantee not a single penny will be charged!" After that, he firmly stuffed the money and his business card into the hands of a dumbstruck Tang En, closed the window, and drove away.
Looking at the taxi that disappeared into the traffic in a flash, the driver's words still echoed in his ears. Tang En could not make sense of his feelings.
Being appreciated by Mr. Chairman and adored and respected by ordinary fans caused his bad mood from being surrounded by reporters to improve some. Everything he had done had been acknowledged. This was his greatest achievement to date. Formerly, when he was in his home country, because his disposition and bad temper were off-putting, no matter how hard he worked, he was not recognized for it.
There was an old Chinese saying: Women dressed themselves up for those who liked them, and men were willing to sacrifice themselves for those who value them.
He found himself falling in love with the city and fond of the fans.
Just as Tang En was feeling a multitude of emotions, he was suddenly bumped into and almost fell into the fast lane of the road. He managed to grab onto the roadside fire hydrant with some difficulty and pathetically steady himself. But he could only see a black figure hurriedly zip past and into the throngs of passersby on the streets.
"Walk carefully!" He habitually touched his pockets and found that his wallet was gone!
"B*stard! The way he stole money was so cliché!" Tang En stood on the street and cursed. But even such a cliche way of stealing money had also succeeded on him. It seemed like today was still his unlucky day. If he had an ancient almanac, he would look to see whether it was inadvisable to travel.
Historically, Nottingham was the birthplace of the world famous legend, Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. So there had been a tradition of "rob the rich to help the poor" for the last few hundred years, with everyone treating Robin Hood as an idol.
Nottingham had just been "honored" by Britain's famous insurance company, Endsleigh Insurance, and selected as the top "most dangerous city in United Kingdom." The police named it "British Gun Crime Center." His wallet had a few hundred pounds of cash and a credit card, as well as an ID card. Poor Tony Twain.