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Chapter 51

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 51: Six Hundred and Twenty Four New Patients

    "Argh! 2nd assistant it is then!" After long consideration, Team Leader Qiu steeled his resolve. "He will follow Ruiwen." Hearing the final decision, the expressions on the new primary surgeons took a drastic change. Other than Zhu Ruiwen, the faces on the others curled up in anxiety. "Ruiwen and his team are all very experienced. The others, your 1st assistants are slightly weaker, they need a more experienced 2nd assistant. So that's final."

    With the superior setting an ultimatum, they could not fight over it any further. All the other newly appointed primary surgeons could do was to stare with envy at Zhu Ruiwen and pick up the leftovers.

    Observing for another 10 minutes or so, they have chosen their 3rd assistants and left swiftly with Team Leader Qiu. They still had to rush back to the clinical block and make final arrangements for their operating procedures before lunchtime.

    Zhou Jiaqiang knew this was the part that differentiated the newbies like Gu Jun from the experienced veterans. Before the skills of surgeons were tested during the procedures, their expertise was put to trial. Just like a war, "fail to plan, plan to fail." The primary surgeon had to choose his operating procedure and methods, and also consider all the different issues that may occur along the way. The operating theater was not a venue for him to try out new techniques.

    As Team Leader Qiu left with the others, Gu Jun had just completed stitching up the deeper cavity of the jinmenken. Then, he left the more shallow areas for Wang Ruoxiang to complete.

    Recently, Wang Ruoxiang had also been refining her technique every day. While she did not have bewildering improvement like Gu Jun did, her suturing on the more shallow areas were not a problem.

    While he had left the final procedures to Wang Ruoxiang, Gu Jun did not leave the operating table. He stood by the side, watching Wang Ruoxiang's every stitch. If she was about to make an error, he could still remind her before it happened. Until she reached the last layer of skin, Wang Ruoxiang did not stumble even once. Once she tied the sailor's knot, she snipped off the excess thread and cleaned up the edges of the wound. Before she put on the dressing and bandages, she covered the wound in iodine tincture and tightened the bandages. Finally, they were done.

    "Phoo…" Gu Jun heaved a sigh of relief. His first-ever operation in his life was completed without a hitch. "Operation complete! Zixuan, settle the injections and the additional anaesthesia please."

    

    Finally, he snapped out of his intense focus and had time to notice the things around him. For example, how Wang Ruoxiang's pretty forehead and sparkling eyes were at least 1 hundred times more beautiful than the jinmenken.

    "Alright, leave it to me." Cai Zixuan ended his duty and obligation to keep everything sterile as a scrub nurse and began to clear up post-operation.

    As Gu Jun turned and left the operating theatre, a familiar ring echoed in his mind. The system menu popped up and displayed a congratulatory statement.

    [NORMAL mission - Mission Completed!]

    [The proficiency of the Hands of Dexterity has risen! The current level is second-tier(5000/30000 proficiency)]

    [Mission rewards are waiting to be collected: 1 box of Human Anti-inflammatory Medicine. Click to receive your rewards.]

    Click to receive your rewards?

    Gu Jun was taken aback, it seemed like the system was really affected by his consciousness. It could tell that this was not an appropriate place to reward him.

    An operation on the jinmenken had raised his proficiency by 2000; not a bad result. However, it was probably due to this being his debut operation and first time taking the role of primary surgeon.

    Deep in thought, Gu Jun walked to the sink in the corridor outside the operating theater. As he removed the bloodied gloves under the tap, the cool water automatically gushed out and cleansed his hands bit by bit.

    "Gu Jun, you are really not bad at all." By his side, Wang Ruoxiang also took off her gloves for a wash. While her mask covered her face, the admiration in her eyes was unmistakable.

    "HAHA, because my assistant was fantastic!" Gu Jun laughed.

    Hearing the mutual praise, a laugh burst out of Wang Ruoxiang. "HAHA. If you continue to be so cheeky, I will really hit you next time."

    Having cleaned their hands, the duo laughed and chatted as they headed to change. The immense pressure of the operation still lingered in their hearts. They had to joke and laugh to relieve the tension.

    The operation of their group was completed. However, the other two groups were still grappling with bloodshed. After another half an hour, the other two operations were completed. The two circulating nurses took responsibility for the aftercare. They will then proceed to perform another operation later.

    Owing to their lacklustre qualifications in this selection, Zhou Jiaqiang did not arrange for them to appear first. Even so, not everybody from the first nine who operated were selected.

    Only five people were called by Zhou Jiaqiang to the resting room. They were Gu Jun, Wang Ruoxiang, Sun Yuheng, and two other male students from a different batch; Tian Zelun and Liu Hong.

    "There are 624 patients with Banyan Malformation Disease this time." Zhou Jiaqiang's face was solemn. "They are doing pre-operative diagnosis in the Clinical Building right now. The first amputation operation is scheduled at 1 pm. Not only that, but all the operations also need to be completed within three days. We are very tight on time. Even so, we must race against the clock because once the patient's condition reaches the bereavement stage, there is no cure."

    Hearing the grave news from the usually cheerful brother who was so awe-inspiring, naturally set a massive tension in the hearts of the five trainees.

    In Gu Jun's mind, the video he watched at the competition stadium resurfaced. The man lying on the prison cell painfully shrieking in opisthotonus. That was the tragedy that would happen to a patient in the bereavement stage.

    "Lack of manpower; we severely lack manpower," Zhou Jiaqiang sighed in distress. "At this moment, the training for the 5 of you has been halted. You are all 3rd assistants now. Except you, Gu Jun. You are a 2nd assistant."

    "Alright…" Gu Jun's eyes narrowed as he dived deep in thought.

    624 patients… That's easily an entire village's population. All of them are waiting for life-saving surgery.

    The more he thought about it, the heavier his heart felt. Uncontrollably, the hoarse pained cries of help from the call in Gurong Village looped in his ears.

    Save… me… Please…. Save me…

    With a deep breath, Gu Jun hesitated.

    Could we even save all 624 patients?

    To be frank, he had always been stumped by a question and could not resist but ask, "Brother Qiang, I'm perplexed. Since time is so tight, why are we the only ones used?"

    "Cai Zixuan and the others aren't quite ready yet," Zhou Jiaqiang answered. "This was not my decision."

    "That is not what I meant. I'm thinking of experts like Professor Yu from Eastern University. There are also other veteran doctors and even graduates who would definitely know more than us," confused, Gu Jun continued. "Why doesn't the Phecda Department look for them instead?"

    While he had earned the chance to be a 2nd assistant himself, he still believed that even Brother Zhang Lin was more qualified than him.

    Hearing Gu Jun's question, Wang Ruoxiang, Sun Yuheng, and the others also nodded in agreement and chimed along, "Brother Qiang, can you explain to us?"

    "Indeed, how questionable."

    At the competition site, Professor Qin only hinted slightly and claimed that what they were looking for was the malleability of the young talents. Professor Qin had also stated that they would be trained upon admittance. Yet, they were now contradictorily chased and rushed onto the operating theater. Wouldn't it have been more efficient to hire already trained experts?

    "At your level of authority, you are not allowed to know the admittance criterion of Phecda. To be honest, I am not allowed too." Zhou Jiaqiang waved his hands. As their trainer, he had an obligation to calm their nerves and worries. He patiently replied, "When I first came here, I was on my way to my internship at the hospital. Somehow, I was sent here instead. I can understand why Ah Jun would think that way. Indeed, experts and graduates are better trained. However, that is precisely the reason that we cannot use them. They know too much."

    "Huh? This…" Sun Yuheng didn't understand. Where's the problem?

    "Oh." Wang Ruoxiang had some hazy understanding.

    This also sparked some ideas within Gu Jun. "Too much to learn. Learning too much." Just like a tall skyscraper, should such a building collapse…

    "You can guess what this means now." Zhou Jiaqiang's tone gradually became more serious. "Once you are at the clinical building, you might understand it. Well, let's go!"

    Brother Qiang left the operating room to a fellow trainer who came to take over. Then, he took the five of them to the Clinical building.