Chapter 37: Departure, the Start to a New Beginning
Larbre Studio Larbre Studio
By the time Gu Jun arrived at the Fragrance Tower's Exquisite Room, it was already half-past eight. When he entered, he saw Professor Gu waiting with the other five students. Quoting Professor Gu, "Gu Jun is the champion of the entire day. If he has not arrived, not a single one of you will move your chopsticks." After Gu Jun sat down, the dishes were served up quickly and consecutively. Within instants, the delicious mouthwatering scent wafted throughout the entire room, tickling the everyone's taste buds.
"Ah Jun, come have a chicken thigh." With the shared chopstick, Professor Gu picked up the most coveted part of the steamed chicken and passed it to Gu Jun who was on his side.
Finally, Professor Gu called him Ah Jun again, and not Little Jun.
Smiling lightly, Cai Zixuan and the others watched on. Today, none of them had the right to fight for the coveted piece of meat. Sniggling, Wang Ruoxiang said, "Eat more. The steamed chicken here is exceptionally tender and juicy."
"Thank you." Gu Jun took a huge bite. He was starving. Chewing a few times, the sumptuous juices of the chicken burst and enveloped his taste buds. "Delicious!"
The more he chewed, the warmer he felt in his heart, and the dull gloom dissipated. When all of the professors had given up on him, Professor Gu stood firmly by his side, and had even given him this opportunity.
"Professor, thank you." With the shared chopstick, Gu Jun served Professor Gu a big piece of chicken.
"Good, good." A warm emotion flushed Professor Gu's face as Gu Jun softened his expression. "As long as you continue to grow and develop."
Then, Professor Gu's eyes swept by the students beside him, lamenting. "The things that happened today were shocking. However, I am very heartened to see your outstanding performances." In the standard clinical skills test, Xu Hai, Zhang Haoran, and He Yuhan had impressive results, clinching a better future for themselves. However, the competition was not over yet. Some events were to be held tomorrow.
"Professor Qin also said that everyone must be psychologically prepared. The world may become very strange."
Professor Gu got up and served some dishes for every student. From his warm gesture, everyone could feel their teacher's well wishes.
"No matter where, medical practitioners, especially clinical practitioners, will be very tired as a doctor." Professor Gu broadened his face and solemnly advised, "There will be no personal time, and high pressure despite the little pay. Sometimes, the family of the patient would also not be understanding. If you choose to be a doctor, you have to endure these hardships. When you are a doctor, you cannot be afraid of getting dirty or tired. You don't need to be a saviour to anyone, but you must live in a way that allows you to hold your head high. Ah Jun, Ruoxiang, Zixuan, especially the three of you. You... you may be facing a challenging future."
Professor Gu being old-fashioned had already been said repetitively. Usually, when everyone hears it, they would brush it off as some overly-said chicken soup for the soul, but at the moment, it touched their hearts exceedingly.
After today's roller-coaster of events, the young excitement and dreams of these aspiring doctors were trampled upon, be it by far or by little.
"I'm not afraid of adversities. Otherwise, I wouldn't have chosen to study medicine." Wang Ruoxiang shrugged slightly. "I chose this because I like this." There was no trace of doubt on anyone's faces. With her exceptional appearance, there was no reason for her to do so if she is not of this personality and did not really like medicine. After all, medicine was a dirty, bitter, and tiring journey. How surprising. There were actually people who liked medicine.
"Professor Gu, rest assured," Cai Zixuan's eyes sparkled with tears, "just like what Shakespeare said, ‘Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.'"
"Isn't that Lu Xun's saying?" Wang Ruoxiang interjected. Everyone burst out in a peal of sudden laughter, filling the room full with cheerful air.
"It's not! Really!" Cai Zixuan's aged face also lit up with elation. "But Lu Xun did say something similar..."
"Alright." Professor Gu smiled and gave Cai Zixuan a light tap on his shoulder, halting the upcoming brandishing of knowledge. Quickly, he resumed his lecture, "Regardless of how difficult the days will be, you have to remember that a day with these white robes is a day of duty and responsibilities. Ah Jun, Ruoxiang, Zixuan, the days awaiting you may be tough and tumultuous."
"Yes, Professor. You have already said so already," Gu Jun interjected this time, chiming along and poking fun at his teacher. Following his lead, everyone sniggered. "Indeed, you have said it."
"Yes, yes, it will be tough."
"Hmph, only you are this cheeky." Smiling, Professor Gu gave Gu Jun's shoulders a firm pat and looked at Wang Ruoxiang and Cai Zixuan. "From tomorrow onwards, I cannot watch over the three of you anymore. You must take care of yourself, and if you can, support each other."
The trio nodded solemnly and looked into each other's eyes. Wasn't that the unspoken plan?
"You have to work hard, alright?" Xu Hai earnestly said, "Be on the frontlines, eradicate that weird Banyan Malformation Disease." Contrary, He Yuhan on the side interrupted, "Don't listen to him. Safety comes first. If you need to run, make that tactical retreat." As usual, Zhang Haoran was still full of confidence and was smiling. "If I can qualify into this mysterious department in the future, remember to take me along."
In the face of sincere support, Gu Jun did not respond, Wang Ruoxiang sniggered and chimed an occasional reply, while the ever talkative Cai Zixuan gave his affirmations.
The well-wishes of everyone had warmed their hearts, yet no words could adequately describe the fuzziness within their hearts.
Throughout the meal, the atmosphere of an imminent departure lingered. As it was still a long day for everyone the next morning, Professor Gu settled the bill when everyone was almost done. Leaving the Fragrance Tower, they leapt onto several taxis and headed back to Eastern University.
Back in the dormitory, Gu Jun immediately washed up and laid onto his bed, all ready to end this eventful day.
Alas, many thoughts swirled unceasingly in his mind. Despite his heavy fatigue, he rolled around, unable to fall asleep.
On the opposite side, Cai Zixuan was knocked out the moment his head touched the pillows. Soon after, light snoozes echoed throughout the room. His fatigue had even left him oblivious to how his beloved electronic rice cooker had been left unwashed.
Staring at the ceiling, Gu Jun's tired eyelids slowly closed and finally drifted into dreamland some time later.
Early the next morning, Gu Jun was rudely jolted awake by Cai Zixuan's scream. "My rice cooker! Someone used it! What's going on? Who broke in?"
"What's this fuss about? Don't overreact! What you are going to join is the medical department, not the secret service department," Gu Jun muttered as he flipped around. He hadn't slept enough. "I used it. I cooked something. Don't let it bother you and just wash it. Alright?"
"Oh." Cai Zixuan scratched his semi-bald head while looking at the greasy pot. "Okay. What were you cooking? Why did you put so much oil in?"
Although Gu Jun's heart was still overly attached to his warm bed, he soon got up. The staff said yesterday that the special car will pick them up at 7:30 this morning. Gu Jun quickly tidied himself up and took Li Yuerui's phone, leaving the SD card tucked into a very hidden crack at the corner of the dormitory.
When the two reached the back entrance of the dormitory area, Wang Ruoxiang was already standing there. After a while, Brother Ma Jiahua also arrived.
At half-past seven, a black 8-seater MPV drove in. Their special ride was right on time. The four of them got in the car. The car started and took them to a mysterious destination.
It was not an army camp or restricted military area as they had suspected. It was an old, worn-out office building in the suburbs. It was more than 10 storeys high with an inconspicuous appearance. Evidently, this was just a reception area and not the actual headquarters of the "department".
At the concierge of the office building, the 4 of them were gathered together with Sun Yuheng and the others. Of the 9 chosen nominees, everyone had gathered; none of them decided to decline the offer.
Then, familiar faces appeared. Professor Qin and his panel of judges walked out and described the schedule that was planned for them. They were to sit for a series of interviews and tests. It would not be conducted by Professor Qin or his panel, but specialised department's staff.
While everyone had remained unshaken, a certain discomfort churned within Gu Jun.
Damn, looks like I can't escape this.
"Just cooperate well with the interviewers, and you should be fine," said Professor Qin. "It's a routine procedure. Don't be stressed. Gu Jun, you come with me for a while."
Gu Jun's heart skipped a beat subconsciously as he followed Professor Qin. In the eyes of the other students, they thought that Professor Qin had attached great importance to him, and he wanted to give some individual advice to him. Howeverm Gu Jun noticed that Professor Qin's gaze seemed a bit different from yesterday.
"Gu Jun." Professor Qin's aged face was calm and serious. "Remember to answer the questions honestly during the interview. The country knows more than you think, understand?"