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Chapter 3

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 3: Saving a Life for the First Time

    Larbre Studio  Larbre Studio

    A check up! Of course it is for a check up! Why in the world would I risk a nightmare to touch your putrid body!

    With a deep sigh, Gu Jun shook his head and carried on examining Li Yuerui's chest and back. After a thorough examination, he declared, "Your torso does not have any obvious and major bruises or cuts. Other than your right arm, the other parts of your body are also mostly unharmed. Thank goodness that this isn't a major injury."

    Hearing the affirmation from Gu Jun, everyone immediately heaved a deep sigh of relief. Right at that moment, the submarine rumbled heavily again which sent millions of needles piercing straight up Li Yuerui's injured right arm. He broke out into cold sweat and screamed in pain, "I think I'm dying!"

    Taking a closer look, Gu Jun found the patient's face to be white as snow which highlighted the crimson drops of blood trickling down without any sign of stopping from his right sleeve. While it was not a major injury, it was also not a light one either. If this man was to survive, there was no room allowing for complacency. He quickly resumed, "Continue telling me about your favourite foods. Do not stop." This way, Gu Jun could monitor and tell if the patient remained clear-headed.

    11

    "Pheasant, rabbit, vegetable rolls, steamed fish…" Between his grimace, Li Yuerui squeezed out more food items. He chanted non-stop.

    2

    As seconds melted into minutes, the submarine finally regained its stability. Without delay, Gu Jun lept into action, tending to the broken limb. First, he carefully rolled up the sleeves.

    Seeing how the storm had calmed for now, the old captain also seized the opportunity and grabbed the emergency medical kit that had been conveniently placed beside the control panel.

    

    As the sleeves were slowly peeled off his right arm, a harsh half-stifled yell escaped from Li Yuerui's clenched jaws. Thankfully, his eyes were shut tight, avoiding any glances at his burning arm. Otherwise, the glistening beads of tears would have been for all to see. Despite him being on the brink of tears, no one blamed him for being emotionally weak. After all, his right arm was entirely destroyed by the impact. A lengthy cut sliced across his right arm, approximately 10cm long. An endless stream of crimson blood burst forth from within, accentuating the exposed flesh. In some areas, there were even hints of bones showing.

    7

    From his diagnosis, Gu Jun could tell that this was not a capitellum fracture or a distal fracture of the radius. It was a mid-fracture. Looking at the severe fracture, Gu Jun was perplexed. According to his medical knowledge, it takes a large force to cause fractures like this. Only impacts, such as that of a car accident, could damage a bone to this extent. How did the turbulence have sufficient power to cause Li Yuerui to sustain this much injury?

    "Based on the preliminary diagnosis, you probably have an open fracture of the forearm." Gu Jun frowned as he looked at the grisly wound. "Brother, I have to do some emergency procedures to fix the bone and stop the bleeding. Otherwise, I am afraid you will experience haemorrhagic shock."

    "Okay." Li Yuerui nodded quickly.

    At this time, the old captain handed the medical box to Gu Jun. "Mr Gu, here you go."

    Immediately, Gu Jun opened the emergency kit. Looking at the scissors and gauze within it, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. In truth, this was his first time treating a patient. During the 8 year course at the Eastern University, the students would only be sent for their first internship during the 2nd semester of their 4th Year. This internship would last for 1.5 years, lasting through their 5th year as well. At this moment, Gu Jun wasn't even sure if he would survive the entire programme.

    1

    "What other food do you like? List them!" as he spoke, Gu Jun snipped away the sleeves on Li Yueruis's right arm using the scissors. Right on the upper third of the arm, he lined a layer of gauze before binding it tightly with a tourniquet, blocking off all blood flow within the foreman.

    3

    "ARGH! Fried bean sprout, stewed eel. Argh, Fuck! It's so damn painful!" Endless beads of sweat rolled down profusely from Li Yuerui's forehead. His fist clenched tighter from the searing pain with Gu Jun's every movement. Between his heavy wheezes, he squealed and forced out the names of various dishes, "fried prawns, baked clams…"

    2

    After that, Gu Jun found some plank-like objects to serve as support, setting the fracture in place. With that in place, Gu Jun fixed Li Yuerui's arms' position, then wrapped them up in bandages. Despite the lack of experience and immense pressure, his hands meticulously tended to the wound. The entire process went on without any sense of panic or trembling. Perhaps, due to the Hands of Dexterity.

    "Hmm?" Looking from the sidelines, Lin Xiaotang asked, "Are you not going to attach his arm?"

    "Attach his arm?" Without stopping, Gu Jun answered Lin Xiaotang in all seriousness, "This is an open fracture. Never should anyone attempt to reattach it so mindlessly. Forcing the exposed muscles and bones back without any preparation is asking for trouble. This would risk further damage to the nerves and blood vessels, while also exacerbating a potential viral infection deep within the wound. This is just some common sense within the medical world."

    4

    The professional answer had pulled the zips on Lin Xiaotang's mouth. Blinking several times, she turned to hide her embarrassment. What an idiotic question she asked. Then again, she was no doctor.

    Such a macabre sight. Who in their right mind would watch this? She probably was already the better few within the lot of them.

    On the other hand, Wu Dong did not dare to even make a single glance during the procedure. In his corner, he cupped his face and balled up in his seat. As he saw Lin Xiaotang walking towards him, he turned his pale white face away while muttering softly over and over again, "I have haemophobia. I have haemophobia."

    4

    Thankfully, before Wu Dong passed out and increased the casualty count, Gu Jun had completed his emergency treatments. "Every 40 - 60 minutes, I would have to release the tourniquet for 2 minutes. Preventing your forearm from dying of suffocation. If you feel any discomfort, you have to tell me immediately."

    2

    "Okay..." A warmer colour was slowly returning on Li Yuerui's complexion. The support and rigid bind around his wound had considerably made him more comfortable.

    Gu Jun's professional and steadfast handling of the stressful situation had brought relief to the group. However, they were still frightened; the safety of the surface was still far away. Fortunately, the submarine was no longer experiencing turbulence.

    "Where's my phone?" Li Yuerui's eyes darted around, scanning the entire vessel for his phone. This was the first thing he did after he was reenergized. "Everyone help me find it. I think I captured something..."

    "Here." It was at Gu Jun's feet. Massive cracks sprawled across the screen with the system shut down. He held down the power button, but it did not light up.

    Li Yuerui looked nervously beside him. "Oh. Come on." He had risked his life to capture that footage.

    "Let me try." Lin Xiaotang, who was sitting behind Gu Jun, stretched out her hand. Taking the phone, she tried it to no avail.

    "Did you see anything just now?" Gu Jun asked Li Yuerui. Vaguely, he remembered the spiked peak.

    "Nope." Li Yuerui sighed in dismay. "I was thrown off so suddenly. Where would I have the time to look out?"

    As this phone relied on internal memory space, there was no SD card. Looks like he had to wait for any chances of repair before the footage could be seen.

    40 minutes passed silently. Once again, Gu Jun released the tourniquet for Li Yuerui. During the procedure, Li Yuerui screamed as if a searing hot knife was stabbed deep into his arm. He was gasping frantically as if he was butchered like a pig, almost on the verge of dry vomiting. Throughout, Gu Jun feared for any signs of hemorrhagic shock or vomit. Thankfully, both were just his fears.

    2

    Another 17 minutes passed. With the trickling seconds, the ocean around them brightened up from deep azure blue to light cerulean waters. They were approaching the surface.

    Within an instant, a loud splash lifted the worries off their chest. The submarine had resurfaced.

    From the windows, the majestic cruise ship could be seen. The light blue sky speckled with fluffy white clouds. The skies were peaceful, without a sign of raging storms to be seen. It was almost as if their horrific experience was non-existent.

    "AH!!!!" Bursting out into tears, Wu Dong wailed and laughed maniacally. His euphoria of escaping the clutches of death erupted, "We made it! We are alive!!"

    "Shut your fucking mouth!" Lin Xiaotang snapped furiously. "We aren't out yet! Don't you dare jinx it!"

    Indeed, a deep fear rumbled within everyone's hearts. Immediately, Wu Dong's strong hands cupped over his own mouth in horror.

    Fortunately for them, the submarine leaned steadily beside the cruise ship quickly. Before long, the paramedics arrived since they had been notified early on. Speedily, they mounted Li Yuerui onto a stretcher, which was carefully raised out of the vessel.

    Throughout the evacuation, Gu Jun never stopped his small talk with Li Yuerui. He was keeping an eye on his mental state until the patient was handed over to the ship doctor. After assessing the patient, the ship doctor exclaimed in sincere gratitude, "Mr Gu, you handled it very well! If this injury was not treated in time, I am afraid all I needed to do was to pronounce him dead!"

    To salvage his forearm, Li Yuerui must undergo surgery as soon as possible. However, the medical equipment on the cruise ship was limited. Without delay, the cruise management had prepared a helicopter and transported him directly to Maldives for treatment.

    Accompanying him, Lin Xiaotang and Wu Dong also left. At this time, the trio waved goodbye to Gu Jun on the bottom deck of the cruise ship.

    "Dr. Gu, it is all thanks to you this time." All initial arrogance and roughness had disappeared from Wu Dong's attitude. As he tightly clutched onto Gu Jun's hands, his eyes were overflowing with gratitude. "Otherwise, I fear Ah Rui would be... When we return to home, we need to meet up again! This is a promise!"

    "Indeed." Lying on the stretcher, Li Yuerui solemnly looked at Gu Jun. "You must give me a chance to repay you for saving my life!"

    1

    "Just a meal will do," smiling, Gu Jun said. He did not seek any extravagant thanks, he was just doing his duty as a medical practitioner. "Just make sure that all the dishes you listed are served!" Hearing that, all of them broke into a peal of relieved laughter. Immediately, they exchanged WeChat contacts and phone numbers. With them keeping in touch, he would immediately know if the damaged phone had captured any exciting footage.

    1

    Despite the joyous atmosphere, Lin Xiaotang stood at the side, glaring at him without another word. Her eyes swept across Gu Jun once more before leaving, leaking a hint of provocation.

    8

    What the heck? How did I rub her off badly?

    With the transfer done, the crowd dispersed accordingly.

    DING DONG! "Normal Mission Complete!"

    Gu Jun suddenly heard a cry in his head.

    "The proficiency of Hands of Dexterity has increased. Currently, level 1 (1000/5000 Proficiency)"

    "Mission rewards have been issued: 1 box of human brainstem tumour-targeting drugs. The drug can extend the host's life by 5 days."

    Suddenly, a weight sank in his jacket's pocket. Reaching his hands in, he felt a small box in his pocket.

    Seeing that there was no one around, he fished it out and took a look. He was instantly befuddled.

    What are these prints on the box?

    1