Chapter 76 The Secret of Mahjong!
Although confused, Fang Qiu didn’t ask any question.
Following Xu Miaolin’s command, he got to work.
First, he took mahjong tiles out of the chest and looked at them one by one carefully. Then he began to feel them.
Ten minutes later.
Xu Miaolin took a quick glance at the timer on his mobile and pressed Stop at exactly ten minutes as he shouted, “Place all the tiles face down and shuffle them properly.”
Fang Qiu did as asked.
The mahjong tiles were mixed thoroughly.
He still wasn’t sure what Xu Miaolin intended to do.
A test for memory?
It didn’t feel like!
Watching the mahjong tiles being shuffled.
Xu Miaolin signaled Fang Qiu to stop. He drew out one tile casually like an experienced player and felt its front without looking. He then passed it to Fang Qiu and commanded, “Don’t look. Feel it. Tell me what it is.”
“Time, 2 seconds.”
As he said that.
He placed the tile into Fang Qiu’s hand and began counting.
Leaving Fang Qiu no time to think or respond.
Fang Qiu accepted the tile at once.
He felt it with his fingers.
Absolute touch. The tile’s carving appeared in front of his eyes at once.
Xu Miaolin counted down.
“Five of Crack”
Fang Qiu gave his answer before he counted two.
Xu Miaolin was lost for a split second.
Fang Qiu flipped the tile open and the carving on the front read Five Cracks!
“Good! Second one!”
Xu Miaolin nodded as he picked another random tile and passed it to Fang Qiu.
“Eight of Bamboo!”
Fang Qiu answered as soon as he felt the tile.
Xu Miaolin drew again. A faint smile slowly climbed on his lips.
“Seven of Dots!”
“Seven of Crack!”
“Five of Bamboo!”
Xu Miaolin took out over a dozen tiles and Fang Qiu got them all right and never exceeded his two seconds limit.
His speed was faster and faster.
As if he could see the face of the tiles.
Xu Miaolin intended to test how great Fang Qiu’s memory was.
Or to be more specific, how great his memory of the sense of touching was.
To his surprise, the more he tested, the more amazed he felt.
Fang Qiu was even stronger than his expectation!
Actually, he was better than himself!
Back then when his master gave him this same test, he was bewildered and made one mistake. This young man got it all right and got it faster!
What a monster!
Xu Miaolin murmured to himself silently.
He thought his result was already quite impressive, much better than his elder fellow disciple Qi Kaiwen. While he made only one mistake, Qi Kaiwen got two out of three wrong after a whole year of apprenticeship.
Compared to Fang Qiu.
He was just alright and his elder fellow disciple sucked completely!
Looking back, this elder fellow disciple was such a shame!
If his hands became tight in the future, he could write a memoir to blackmail his senior fellow disciple!
No money for me?
Then I would expose all your awkward incidents!
How would you, the head of a college, live on?
Xu Miaolin was finally done with the Mahjong tiles. He nodded his satisfaction. “This is your first lesson. The main purpose of this lesson is to train the feeling of your hands which is very important in taking the pulse.
“Taking the pulse is a very deep branch of knowledge. It requires extremely high feeling of the hands and sharp sense of touch. When there’s no patient for you to see, practicing on mahjong is a pretty good method to train.”
This was the real reason why he asked Fang Qiu to feel the mahjong tiles.
In the form of a test, it was actually a lesson.
However, the lesson wasn’t a successfully since this student had already mastered it before the teaching.
It must be hard for a teacher to have a strangely gifted student.
This is why!
Fang Qiu nodded, benefiting from the lesson. He was still quite confused. “Teacher Xu, aren’t we supposed to have a test today?”
Xu Miaolin replied with a beam, “You passed the test yesterday when you stated that you were here to learn, not to make money. This is our first lesson. The sense of your hands is not bad.”
Fang Qiu smiled.
Absolute touch. Better than just “not bad”!
“Take this set of mahjong back.”
Xu Miaolin continued, “Bring it back for your roommates to play. This is great for training the sense of hands. Don’t get involved in gambling.”
"OK! Thank you, teacher!"
Fang Qiu nodded as he put the mahjong tiles back into the case.
In the meantime.
Xu Miaolin pulled out one tile of paper from the pocket in his pants.
“Go back and read on your own. All the books on this list are to be read 30 times each. Read the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Canon one hundred times.
Xu Miaolin gave the list to Fang Qiu and added, “From now on, if anything confuses you, bring it to me at anytime. I’ll help you when I can. If I can’t, we’ll discuss and work on it together.”
“We’ll come to teaching when you finish these books and have 300,000 ready for me.”
“Yes. Thank you, Teacher Xu!”
Accepting the book list from Xu Miaolin, Fang Qiu expressed his appreciation, respectful and cautious.
He opened the paper to read.
Many books were listed one below another.
Yellow Emperor’s Internal Canon, Shennong’s Materia Medica, Treatise on Febrile Diseases, Classic on Medical Problems, An Outline of the Strongbox, Lakeshore Pulse Formulas, Four Noble Heart Sources, Pulse Sutra, Classics on Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Differences of Acute Communicable Diseases, Must Read in Medical Science, Compendium of Materia Medica, Classic on Cause of Diseases, Four Records of Medical Consultation, Prescriptions Worth A Thousand in Gold for Emergency, Post-Zhou Prescriptions for Emergency, Medical Record for Clinical Diagnose Guide, Medical Recipes in Jingles, and Rhapsody on Property of Medicine.
Twenty books in total!
“Reading is important but don’t miss any class. You must do well in your exams. Understand?”
Xu Miaolin urged in the end.
“Got it. Thank you for your teaching, Teacher Xu!”
Fang Qiu expressed his gratitude with a bow.
He felt very grateful.
Based on the experience today, it was way better than reading on his own though Xu Miaolin didn’t take him by the hand or let him transcribe prescriptions.
Xu Miaolin’s first lesson that day was already very different from other teachers…
No master would teach like this if he wasn’t really capable.
He must hurry up on getting the 300,000.
The sooner he got the money, the sooner he could begin to learn from Xu Miaolin.
Leaving the majhong case on the desk, Fang Qiu entered the reading room without delay. He managed to find all of the twenty books and then bade his farewell to Xu Miaolin before heading out with the books and the majhong.
As soon as he entered the dorm, Fang Qiu’s majhong case drew attention from his roommates.
It seemed that none of them noticed his books. Their eyes were all locked on the huge character Majhong.
Zhou Xiaotian took the case from Fang Qiu’s hand and opened it. He teased, “The youngest, you refused to treat us to a meal but spent money buying a majhong set. What an awful role model!”
Hearing the word “majhong”.
Sun Hao and Zhu Benzheng came over. They looked at Fang Qiu, much astonished.
“This is a gift.”
Fang Qiu felt speechless. “Can’t you see all these books I’m carrying? Are you really my brothers? Could you lend me a hand?”
The trio turned a deaf ear to him, busy fiddling with the majhong tiles.
Fang Qiu had no choice but to put the books down all by himself.
“Should the four of us have a game?”
Flipping the tiles around, Sun Hao asked, “How big should the stake be?”
“Damn you stake!”
Fang Qiu stepped over to explain, “This mahjong is not for you to gamble. It’s to train our sense of hands. We are learning medicine, which has a very high requirement for the sense of hands. It will be useful when it comes to pulse taking. We don’t have patients now. So we practice on this.”
Asked Zhou Xiaotian, looking at the mahjong tile in his hand in disbelief. “To train our sense for taking the pulse on a set of mahjong? You must be kidding me. How exactly can we train with it?”
Sun Hao and Zhu Benzheng turned to Fang Qiu, full of curiosity.
How could mahjong have anything to do with Chinese medicine?
How are they linked together?
“Simple. Feel the tiles.”
Fang Qiu continued to explain, “If you’ve played mahjong before, you can skip this step. If not, take some time to memorize these tiles. Then, flip them over, shuffle them, and begin to feel them.”
The trio seemed to get a sense out of it.
Their interest was ignited.
The trio was not very familiar with mahjong. They’d played before only as the fourth player so the game could start.
They didn’t know how to feel the tiles.
The trio began to pick up mahjong tiles and felt them with their fingers, memorizing them one by one.
Half an hour passed by quickly as they memorized all the tiles.
Half an hour later.
The trio attempted to feel the tiles.
Except for simple ones like Three Bamboos, One Dot, Two Dots, and White, they could hardly get anything right.
Said Zhou Xiaotian with a woebegone look after getting two right out of over a dozen.
“Our medical study journey has a long way to go.”
Remarked Zhu Benzheng.
Sun Hao nodded in agreement solemnly.
Fang Qiu came over and picked a random tile after a laugh. He felt it with his fingers and bragged, “Let me show you the gap between us!”
“Seven of Crack!”
The tile was flipped over and revealed on the table.
It was Seven of Crack indeed!
The trio was shocked.
After the half an hour session of memorizing, the trio had learned that the crack suit and the wind suit were the hardest to feel in the mahjong set.
They could easily tell Dots from Bamboos after a touch.
Because Crack and Wind tiles had more strokes, they felt much more complicated.
Between these two suits, cracks would be the harder ones.
The crack character was written in its traditional form with complex strokes. It felt rather chaotic upon the first touch. Above the character in traditional Chinese was a number also carved in traditional style, which made it even harder.
You might be able to tell it was a crack tile but it would be very difficult to make the number right.
Especially Seven of Crack and Nine of Crack. They felt almost identical with a hook to the right and a very similar middle part. Without some real skill, one wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other.
That was why the trio was stunned.
Fang Qiu was too fast. Within a second, he was certain that was Seven of Crack.
His skill in feeling these mahjong tiles was quite inhuman.
Fang Qiu turned around back to his books after a glance across the trio, very proud of himself.
“I knew the youngest was once big on gambling before university!”
Watching Fang Qiu leaving handsomely from behind, Zhou Xiaotian commented with a sense of envy.
“He must be. For sure!”
Sun Hao and Zhu Benzheng nodded in agreement.
Inspired by Fang Qiu, the trio became more into this game.
“Seven of Bamboo!”
“God damn it. It’s Eight of Bamboo!”
“Five of Crack!”
“It’s Four of Crack…”
The trio played until the light went off.
Fang Qiu, in front of the twenty books he had borrowed, began reading like a madman.
The first book… Yellow Emperor’s Internal Canon. Goal… One hundred times!
Although Xu Miaolin wouldn’t know if he had read it one hundred times considering his super memory.
He would read one hundred times just because he had said he would.
Not one time less!
He believed Xu Miaolin must have his reasons.
A quiet night.
At 3 am, Fang Qiu got up and jumped down from the rooftop to practice at the Central Lake.
He stopped as he passed by Yaowang Mountain to observe Chen Cong’s practice.
The military officer Li Ji had long gone.
It seemed he had really left.
Standing behind a tree, Fang Qiu gazed at Chen Cong’s training, nodding slightly.
Watching from a distance.
Chen Cong appeared quite different.