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Chapter 17

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 17: the Twisted Shallow Fascia

    Larbre Studio  Larbre Studio

    Leave it to you?

    Xu Hai was on the verge of bursting out in disbelief. Bro, where did all this baseless confidence come from? Why are you so courageous? Did Fish Leong give them to you? (1)

    Hearing the seemingly senseless confidence from Gu Jun, Cai Zixuan sniggered to himself as an attempt to liven the tense mood. However, he immediately sensed the inappropriateness of his laughter and zipped his mouth tight.

    "Be serious and act properly!" Professor Gu angrily snapped. In his eyes, this rascal was acting out of line again. "The scalpel isn't held this way. You will cut yourself!"

    Hearing that, the crowd's eyes swerved unto Gu Jun's hand, observing his grip. His right hand's thumb and index finger were carelessly gripping the scalpel's body. Obviously, it was highly unprofessional.

    "I know. I'm not using the scalpel."

    Putting it down to the equipment tray, he picked up the surgical scissors.

    

    In dissection, the surgeon used more than just the scalpel. There were all sorts of critical equipment on the tray: dissecting forceps and scissors, vascular forceps, pull hooks, and more. The surgeons adapted their use of equipment accordingly.

    Looking at the cadaver on the operating table, the shadowless lamp had illuminated the insides brightly and clearly. The unknown black substance had mostly trickled away from the skinned back of the left hand. This area under the skin was supposed to be pale yellow in theory, but all they could see was a patch of black. Through observation alone, it was tough to decipher the location of the superficial vein and the cutaneous nerve.

    To split the structural layers even further, surgical scissors were quintessential.

    "This layer should be shallow fascia," looking at the limb, Gu Jun stated his conclusions in a deep undertone. "However, they are stacked together."

    "Stacked together?" Wang Ruoxiang was taken aback, leaning forward to take a closer look.

    Now that he mentioned it, it does indeed…

    In reality, Gu Jun could tell from a while back. In typical structures, humans' superficial fascia was a layer that is structured loosely and tenderly, making it beneficial for movement. However, this hand was malformed. From the looks of it, the superficial fascia was twisted and tangled into a ball, causing large amounts of space for the black substance to be clustered within.

    "Oh?" Hearing the deduction, Professor Gu's eyebrows fidgeted. He leaned forward under the lamp.

    Hmph, looks like this rascal has some ideas. A good doctor must have ideas.

    Wang Ruoxiang leaned forward to look. She closed in tightly till she was almost stuck to Gu Jun. That let him smell the rare sweet scent perfuming from her body. Unexpectedly, she got only 1 cold sentence from him, "Class monitor, can you move back a bit. You're blocking me." Well, she was really blocking. Otherwise, he wouldn't bother.

    4

    "Oh." Wang Ruoxiang made some room for him but did not move too far away. Her jet back eyes were still fixed on the dissecting table, not moving a single bit.

    On the sidelines, Xu Hai and the rest were stunned. The act of a wolf acting like a vegetarian and rejecting the delicious course meals had left them dumbstruck.

    3

    Ignoring either skeptical or surprised expressions of the others, Gu Jun focused on his dissection. With his right thumb and ring finger through each hoop and his middle finger in front of the circle, he controlled and balanced the scissors steadily with his index finger at the hinge and held the surgical scissors in a textbook manner.

    1

    Despite being away from the dissection table for some time, there was not a hint of uncertainty in Gu Jun's actions. Instead, it was firm and calm, swift and dexterous.

    All of his practice on dissection was quickly reawakened, his muscles recalled their past actions and supported his knowledge unceasingly.

    With a deep breath, Gu Jun placed firm control over his breathing and cautiously snipped the ball of shallow fascia from the back of the hand. As he expected, there was a considerable lattice of black substance underneath the shallow fascia drowning the structure of the muscle. Looking at this unusual sight, Gu Jun analysed, "Lots of this substance has accumulated, I don't think its a product of a cyst."

    Combining the vascular forceps and the surgical scissors, Gu Jun continued to precisely separate the shallow fascia from the superficial vein.

    The tissues in this region were very brittle. With intense focus, Gu Jun carefully maneuvered the surgical equipment. He skillfully depressed the scissors. Using the tip to pry open the shallow fascia, he then found his way in with the vascular forceps and gently brought the superficial vein out. Throughout the stressful process, Gu Jun hadn't even blinked once.

    Oh my gods…

    Beside him, the entire research team were on the verge of collapse as their vision almost seemed to blur and their lungs suffocated. Just by the looks of their own hands, they knew how thin and delicate each vein on the back of a human's hands was. For the dissection of an average human, this was already a challenging task. Not to mention, a malformed human with extra complications involved!

    However, in the face of such challenges, Gu Jun's hands were not showing any signs of shakiness. His hands were stable and accurately bringing the veins out. Strand by strand, he carefully separated them and not a single one had snapped or got deformed.

    That massive mess of shallow fascia actually got sorted out bit by bit under Gu Jun's masterful hands.

    What the… Xu Hai's jaws dropped as he watched. Thankfully, the surgical mask hid his awe-inspired expression.

    Zhang Haoran's face froze with every passing second as though he had seen a ghost coming back to life. He knew first hand how difficult and stressful it was to handle the malformed cavader's dissection. How is Gu Jun handling it with such high accuracy?

    As Wang Ruoxiang watched on, questions and thoughts churned unceasingly.

    Did Gu Jun go through a second breakthrough in life?

    "Huh?" Professor Gu's old eyes lit up watching Gu Jun. His heart had leapt with a pleasant surprise as if the warm breeze of first love caressed him. Facing this kind of deformity, this kid is too settled.

    2

    Despite the complicated structure, Gu Jun had conscientiously analysed the muscle and tissues with eagle eyes. As his hands cut downwards, it was steady, precise, and confident. Each of his movements was sharp and decisive. It was as if he had years of experience beaten into him from working in the operating theatre.

    The laboratory was still very quiet. Although everyone was surprised and excited, they didn't let themselves make a single sound for fear of disturbing Gu Jun's rhythm.

    Gu Jun buried his head in dissection. Before long, his gloves were covered with the black substance. He gradually felt that his hands were no longer his hands, but an automatic machine. These blood vessels were no longer blood vessels or a part of the human tissue. In his eyes, they were hidden treasures for him to find.

    Under intense focus, Gu Jun was immune to the burning pain of fatigue in his eyes. His mind was calmer than still water.

    All he had to do was pick vein after vein...

    Some time later, Gu Jun had successfully separated the entire superficial vein system from the back of the hand! Besides Professor Gu, everyone else was stunned speechless. There was no way what Gu Jun did was the work of a student.

    "This left hand of this corpse is no doubt the hand of a human," keeping his calm and focus, Gu Jun analysed critically. "The superficial veins are all present. From the look of the malformation, it seems more plausible that the entire structure was forced together."

    Gu Jun's sentence was very enlightening. Upon hearing his deduction, everyone saw the way to understand the deformed hand.

    It seems that the malformation was a product of the arm's humerus and the radius of the forearm. They were twisted together to form such a weird shape.

    But this bit of correct understanding may also drag them into a deeper abyss of the unknown. Was it really possible that it was a congenital malformation or some kind of acquired distortion? What type of disease in the world would cause such a deformity?

    "Hmm ..." Professor Gu pondered, "Gu Jun, you have a good idea. Anyone else has any ideas. Feel free to voice out."

    Regarding the malformed limb, the rest did not have anything to say. Regarding Gu Jun, they had tons of questions. First and foremost, is this guy tycoon Jun?

    Just as Gu Jun was about to resume the dissection, a new system message popped in his head.

    DING DONG!

    [Current Dissection Progress:1%,Time Remaining:71:02:46 ]

    Looks like this cadaver did meet the mission requirements. As Gu Jun looked at the prompt bar, he thought to himself. Just now, Wang Ruoxiang and Zhang Haoran did separate the skin on the back of the hands. Looks like that did not even contribute 0.1% completion? Seems like other people's operations will not be counted.

    1% just for the separation of the superficial veins? It seems that the task did not have absurd anatomical requirements.

    Lifting his head, he looked at the remaining time. He had spent almost an hour already. Although most of this hour was spent on transportation and preparation work, the 72-hour time limit was still very tight. After all, he was human and needed to eat, drink, and rest.

    This was especially true for dissections. The longer each shift was, the more fatigue accumulated on the mind and body. With that, the surgeon would be slower and more prone to error.

    Alright, time to get to work. What's the worst that can happen? I'm sure a can of red bull can keep me going!

    1

    Pulling his thoughts together, Gu Jun stood up and began to work on the malformed hand. He separates the radial and ulnar nerves.

    Looking at his best friend, Cai Zixuan lamented as he shook his head.

    What a prodigious young man! Tycoon Jun was really a head above the rest in talent. Just that tiny bit of effort and he has surpassed us all!

    Hmph! maybe he's just good with the scissors. Within Xu Hai's heart, he still was unconvinced. Since the start, he had prided himself as the 3rd best in dissection within the team. In the aspects which required muscular strength, like surgical bone sawing, he had even done it better than Wang Ruoxiang. He had believed that when the competition came, he would become an indispensable part of the team.

    Right at that moment, Gu Jun put down the surgical scissors, picked up the scalpel, and held it like a pen. Without delay, he began to remove the residue on the dorsal side of the wrist.

    As the rest of his batch mates watched, they started to question themselves. Gu Jun handled the scalpel with equal ease and technique. He too was under the constant smoking of formalin that his eyes teared uncontrollably. Gu Jun was also breathing heavily, suffering the pressure from fatigue. Yet, regardless of the processes, bone polishing, making incisions or stripping, he was as stable as a veteran surgeon.

    2

    At last, Xu Hai was thoroughly convinced. With a deep sigh, the deepest yet, he lamented.

    I can't compare to him. no, I am not even worthy of being compared to him.

    3

    He Yuhan glanced at Gu Jun again. This time, the profile of that side face. Oops, why? Why did he suddenly become so handsome? If Wang Ruoxiang didn't like him, she certainly did.

    5

    "Good, Good." Professor Gu muttered happily under his breath. His old face was a little red on his cheeks from the surprise and excitement. At long last, he proved that he was not wrong.

    1

    Lil' Gu's hands were worth tons of gold in surgery!

    Courage is a popular song by Fish Leong that took China by storm back in 2012