Chapter 350: Master and Studen
Flanders looked like a normal middle-aged man, and his complexion was a bit pale due to whatever illness he had contracted. He looked like he was recovering well and in good spirits though. This wasn’t something that could be faked.
According to the information he got from Shi Huajing, Flanders used to be a pharmaceutical trader. Born in a middle-sized family, he had studied in a prestigious school and inherited his company from the family. The company mainly sold medicine to middle-to-lower class consumer groups, but the fact that they managed to keep themselves from being devoured by bigger families showed that they were fairly capable.
Unlike the people in power in the Mist Bodhisattva Empire, the people in charge of big companies and/or major industries in GAL all had genuine ability and learning. They might not be the most talented persons, but they certainly weren’t nobles with absolute privileges like Gen Xingming.
After GAL had descended into chaos, Shi Huajing and Flanders had come to a cooperative relationship. A different person might disregard Flanders’ family because it was just a middling, negligible force, but Shi Huajing had good reason to not just become partners with Flanders, but also afford him his absolute trust.
A couple of holographic newspapers with running images that Shusag didn’t understand one bit were placed next to Flanders. It was because they were either the molecular graphs of some medicine or the principles of action of some newly developed drug. Even the ads were pharmaceutical ads. The mere sight of them made Shusag dizzy.
Flanders was reading about today’s news in his sick bed when Cillin, Shusag and Wheeze came in. His gaze paused at the cat that was sitting obediently on Cillin’s arm but was looking left and right with shifty eyes before he smiled at his guests. “You guys came at just the right time. I was planning to leave in two days or so.”
Cillin didn’t know if Flanders was serious when he said “you guys came at just the right time”, but he definitely was a trusted person of Shi Huajing. He wouldn’t have known that Wheeze was special or stared at it as a way to verify his identity otherwise.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Flanders, and sorry for troubling you with our business,” Cillin started.
Flanders waved good-naturedly. “Please, there’s no need to act so polite. You’re someone the fourth young master has entrusted to me, so of course I’m going to everything I can to help you.”
The fact that Flanders had dared to use the term “fourth young master” proved that the recovery room had been spy-proofed. At the very least, no one should be able to eavesdrop on a conversation inside this recovery room. And even if this wasn’t the case, Wheeze and Czedow were here. Controlling streams of outflowing data was child’s play to them.
Flanders took a moment to explain to Cillin about his plan. He wouldn’t be leaving immediately because there was someone he wished to meet after applying for discharge. However, the visit must be made discreetly, so he would only be bringing two or three bodyguards that he trusted explicitly. If he couldn’t find this person or persuade them to help him during the next two days, he would leave as per his original plan.
Shi Huajing had told Cillin a couple of things after they caught up with each other. If possible, he wanted Cillin to assist Flanders in whatever way he could because this person Flanders was planning to meet was very important to both Flanders and him.
Naturally, Cillin had no reason to turn down a request from a good friend.
An hour later, another three people entered the recovery room. Their appearance was unremarkable, but Cillin knew that the truth was the complete opposite. The trio obviously weren’t expecting Cillin, but they quickly regained their calm and reported to Flanders that they had completed his discharge procedure. After that, one of them pushed Flanders out of the sanatorium on a wheelchair and into a fairly huge flying car. Cillin, Czedow and Wheeze followed them inside.
“How is the situation over there?” Flanders asked the man who pushed his wheelchair.
“No one has harassed the old sir after we took care of things. The old sir has also been keeping himself busy,” the man replied.
“Good, good.” Flanders sighed once before explaining to Cillin, “Mr. Jiu Xun is the fourth young master’s and my teacher.”
Flanders was looking for an old man called Jiu Xun, his teacher when he was still studying at a high level school. A long time ago, Jiu Xun had been driven out of the high level school and even stripped of his chance to become an academician of the GAL Research Institute. He had been a hot candidate until he was set up and stripped of much of his academia rights. After that, Jiu Xun vanished from the people’s sights and couldn’t be found. Because Flanders had graduated at the time, he had learned of the tragedy only after it was too late to change anything.
The world wasn’t without blessings in disguise, however. Not long after Jiu Xun left the school, he encountered the boy who ran away from home, Shi Huajing. That was how the fourth young master came to become Jiu Xun’s student.
Cillin didn’t need to investigate Mr. Jiu Xun to be impressed by him. His student, Shi Huajing possessed incredible medical knowledge and the uncanny ability to solve a problem through unconventional—but sometimes even more effective—ways.
Now he understood how Flanders, the business owner of a middle-sized pharmaceutical company became the acquaintance of Shi Huajing, the fourth young master of an influential family. It was because they were both students of Jiu Xun.
“I only knew that teacher had taken in a new student after the fourth young master sought me out himself,” Flanders said smilingly. “In fact, it was the first time I heard anything about teacher after his departure. After that, we worked together on various things and searched high and low for teacher until finally, we found out that he was living in this area. It so happened that I had taken some injuries during this time, so I thought that I might as well receive my treatment here.”
It made sense. He was the boss of a pharmaceutical company. If it wasn’t for Jiu Xun, why wouldn’t he complete his treatment at his own medical facilities?
“Teacher is a bit stubborn, and he dislikes currying favor with anyone. His less-than-ideal ability to socially interact with another person also made him a lot of enemies, especially when he was still teaching in the school. Otherwise, he would’ve become a GAL Research Institute academician a long time ago.”
The flying car kept flying deeper into the suburbs, so it wasn’t long until they left the big sanatoriums behind completely and entered the area of small hospitals, pharmacies, recovery centers and more. Before the chaos, the center area was obviously more crowded than the suburbs. Now though, much of these customers had turned to the suburbs for their needs instead. Some long-time brands even had queues outside their buildings.
They still weren’t at their destination, however. They were traveling farther still to more secluded areas.
Just like most planets, there was a clear divide between the rich and the poor, although to be fair this planet’s slum looked slightly better than all the other ones Cillin had seen up until this point. The signature building of the slum was a massive waste treatment plant. All the waste treatment facilities on this planet were concentrated at the slums and away from the center area. A huge amount of waste was transported from all kinds of places such as the center area or the small sanatoriums and pharmacies they passed by everyday.
There were a lot of slum people standing around the waste treatment plant. They were all wearing multi-layered gloves of the metal and non-metal kind, carrying large bags, tools and more. It almost looked like they were preparing for war, although of a different sort. There were adults, kids, and even a good number of old people among the group, and they were all staring at the transporters with spirit in their eyes.
This was a medical planet, so of course there were more medical-related wastes than not. This was true for sanatoriums, hospitals, pharmacies, other types of medical facilities and even domestic premises.
Among them were partially used or fully used drugs, discarded supplements, broken medical instruments and more. Speaking of drugs, there were chemicals of the strong oxidizing type, strong corrosive type, high performance type, light degradable type, temperature sensitive type and more. Usually, these types of drugs would be kept in some sort of special container, and these special boxes, bottles and more were usually made up of valuable materials, and that was exactly what the slum people were hoping to get.
Had they waited until the wastes were transported into the waste treatment plant, they wouldn’t be able to sell them for profits as a matter of course. Therefore, they camped and searched the landfills outside the waste treatment plant before the wastes were carried into the processing warehouses.
The slum people didn’t need to purchase medicine because they could just take them from the landfills. Although there were many types of brands, the composition of a certain type of medicine was mostly the same. An experienced waste picker would know how to categorize the medicine they found and hoard them bit by bit for a time of need.
The kids who lived here acquired some medical knowledge at a very young age. Even if they didn’t understand the underlying principles—for example, they might not know the name of the substances that gave the medicine its effect, or the molecular formula of a certain medicine—but they at least knew what a certain medicine was for, what they should eat when they had a fever, what they should apply when they were bruised, how much dosage of a lethal drug was lethal and more.
Survival was a person’s a best teacher. If they didn’t pick up even such basic knowledge, they could accidentally kill themselves at any moment. For the children who live here, the medicinal bottles, packages and drugs of the landfill were their childhood toys. It wasn’t dissimilar to how guns were as common as food to Tang Qiuqiu and her peers back at her home planet.