This chapter opens with a description of a medical examination being conducted by the Board of Trustees to determine whether or not Li-xin is still suitable for the office of president. The examination is being conducted in order to determine if his nephew is still fit to serve as president. When the examination is over, the Board's second-in-command, Ling-ying, enters the room. He is shocked to learn that his nephew has been called for the examination. He rushes out of the room in a panic, but is interrupted by the sound of a thump, followed by the knocking of a door.