Chapter 49: Vicissitudes of Life
Zheng Ren hurried back to the emergency department and saw Old Chief Physician Pan chatting with someone in the hall. They seemed very happy and laughed heartily from time to time.
That person looked familiar, but who was it?
It was practically impossible for Zheng Ren, who had late-stage face blindness cancer, to remember anyone unless he met that person every day.
This was a fact even if he had an IQ of over 150 or a photographic memory.
It was undoubtedly a SS difficulty rank to ask someone with face blindness to posthumously identify a stranger with whom he had met only a few times.
“Chief Physician Pan, I’ve returned,” said Zheng Ren as he approached them.
“Old San was looking for you and said that he wanted to thank you, so get off work, have your dinner and rest up at home,” replied Old Chief Physician Pan.
Zheng Ren finally got a clearer look at the visitor and Old Chief Physician Pan’s words reminded him of the man’s identity. He was the butler of the richest man in Sea City—Elder San.
Why would Chief Physician Pan address Elder San as Old San? Zheng Ren could not figure out their relationship.
“Elder San, we meet again.” The corners of Zheng Ren’s lips curled up gently and elegantly.
“Doctor Zheng, you’ve done extraordinary work despite your young age. Very impressive indeed,” Elder San complimented.
“Let’s not stand on ceremony here.” Old Chief Physician Pan waved his hand and stopped their small talk authoritatively. “The hallway is full of hospital beds, so I’m not going to invite both of you to my office. I heard Zheng Ren was unconscious due to hypoglycemia just now. Old San, take him to dinner quickly. I’m warning you, if anyone dares to force him to drink, I’ll trouble you tomorrow.”
Elder San smiled and waved his hand to assure Old Chief Physician Pan that this would not happen.
“Chief Physician Pan, how about the patients…” Zheng Ren was worried about any unforeseen event that could happen to the hundreds of patients with nitrite poisoning.
That was usually the case for anyone working in the medical field. Even the most skilled doctors could not prevent an accident from happening.
They were saved, but who could guarantee that there would not be any liver or kidney failure? Who could ensure that the profound circulatory shock secondary to nitrite poisoning would not cause any complications?
“Do you think that the hospital will stop operating in your absence?” Despite the rebuke, Old Chief Physician Pan’s gaze was full of kindness as if he was staring at his youngest and most beloved son. “I permit you to shut down and sleep tonight. I won’t look for you even if the sky collapses.”
Zheng Ren nodded in response.
Every doctor—be they junior doctor, experienced senior attending doctor, and those who did not have the luxury to return home such as chief residents, deputy chief consultants and senior consultants—would have their cell phones on all the time.
If their phone rang in the middle of the night and the call was from the hospital, their adrenaline would soar immediately before the call was even answered. Having a lie-in and waking up on the wrong side of the bed were atypical of them.
It was just like how Sea City General Hospital mobilized every single person it could to join the huge rescue operation today. Hundreds of patients were waiting to be saved, and a lot of medical staff had to work together to achieve that goal.
If they were relying on Zheng Ren alone… Most of the patients would have gone cold.
Zheng Ren smiled and nodded.
“Doctor Zheng, this way, please.” Elder San’s words and mannerisms were tailor-made to make others comfortable and warm.
After bidding farewell to Old Chief Physician Pan, Zheng Ren and Elder San left the emergency department.
There was a black limousine parked in front at the main entrance. However, Zheng Ren had not studied luxury vehicles before, so its manufacturer and degree of grandeur remained a mystery to him.
An honest-looking chauffeur in a suit and bow tie opened the car door and invited them into the car with a slight bow.
Zheng Ren noticed that the doors were hinged at the rear and opened outwards in opposite directions, unlike ordinary family cars or SUVs that had conventional doors which opened in the same direction.
After Zheng Ren entered the car and spoke with Elder San for a while, an overwhelming fatigue consumed his body.
The human body was not made of steel after all.
His body had automatically secreted adrenaline during the resuscitation process, which made him forget his exhaustion and hunger, but all of them came back with greater intensity once everything had been resolved. The only thing Zheng Ren wanted to do right now was to lie in bed and get a good night’s sleep.
Even a luxury vehicle could not escape traffic congestion when night fell.
Almost half an hour later, the black limousine finally reached the entrance of an simple, plain-looking and small courtyard.
There was a black, sumptuous signboard on the lintel with four quaint and unsophisticated words written on it—Red Clay Small Pavilion.
Two servants at the entrance opened the car door and escorted both Zheng Ren and Elder San into the courtyard in silence.
The soft susurration of a stream flowed through a rock garden of a small courtyard, creating an illusion of a corner of paradise in the bustling city.
However, Zheng Ren showed no interest in these unique designs as he lacked a single artistic cell in his body.
What a joke. Those who could afford these splendid decorations had no financial difficulty, but Zheng Ren had endured countless hardships just to survive. How could he possibly have the luxury to appreciate these impractical items?
A lady in a red trench coat and sporting black shoulder-length hair welcomed them as they entered the courtyard.
“Doctor Zheng, it’s nice to finally meet you,” the lady… or perhaps the girl greeted politely.
Her pastel-white skin glistened as if she was a fairy carved from solid, pure jade. She was stunningly gorgeous.
She had lovely eyebrows and beautiful hair that danced with the wind. Her eyes shone brightly like dazzling stars as though her gaze held the power to see through Zheng Ren’s heart.
Zheng Ren actually found it difficult to estimate her age.
Judging by the open-mindedness and a good sense of judgment in her gestures, she was perhaps in her late thirties or early forties, as those were the temperaments of a successful career woman who had been working for more than ten years.
However, from her eyes and brows that had a slight hint of youth, she appeared to only be in her twenties.
Zheng Ren was momentarily stunned. Smiling gently, he walked forward and extended his hand.
Her cold fingers brushed lightly against Zheng Ren’s palm like a dragonfly skimming the surface of the water. It gave him the impression that she was unconcerned with material values or ordinary life.
“I’m Bu Li, Bu Yunge’s daughter. Doctor Zheng, this way, please.” The woman called Bu Li courteously gestured to invite Zheng Ren into the house.
He was able to recall the identity of Sea CIty’s richest man with the surname Bu. Moreover, Bu Yunge had had at least ten multidisciplinary consultations before his surgery, so it was natural that his name was still fresh in Zheng Ren’s memory.
However, he felt the name Bu Li sounded strikingly old-fashioned for Bu Yunge’s daughter.
After they entered the house and sat down, some chefs with white toques so tall they almost touched the ceiling brought cooking utensils to the dining table and started cooking various delectable dishes on the spot.
Zheng Ren had never seen such a scene before, but he was not interested in or impressed by the spectacular view.
In his opinion, they were just escargots and undercooked steaks.
Zheng Ren’s calmness piqued Elder San’s curiosity. The atmosphere was lively, especially as the various anecdotes he shared whetted Zheng Ren’s interest as well.
Bu Li would join the conversation from time to time and comment on the dishes or national goings-on. Although she was not very chatty, her words enriched Elder San’s jokes and stories.
Zheng Ren’s appetite was not satisfied as the food tasted bland and the steak was undercooked, which made him miss the food skewer stall in front of his house.
If he could simply indulge in some barbequed meat and a cold bottle of cola, he would be content.
The lethargy on Zheng Ren’s expression was getting worse. Elder San and Bu Li, both smart and savvy, met each other’s gaze before Bu Li said, “Doctor Zheng, regarding my father’s surgery, I would like to thank you for doing the right thing.”
“You’re welcome. That’s what doctors are supposed to do,” replied Zheng Ren with a smile.
“There’s no such thing as supposed. If my understanding is correct, you had to take the fall no matter how well your performance was.” Bu Li understood the trouble Zheng Ren had faced.
All worldly affairs were similar.
Zheng Ren kept quiet and smiled.
“It was actually a blessing in disguise. Doctor Zheng, Old Pan actually thinks highly of you after you were transferred to the emergency department. You have a promising future ahead of you,” replied Elder San.
“Haha, I’m used to it by now.” Zheng Ren then added calmly, “You’ll meet all kinds of people in the hospital, so you’ll learn to take everything easily after a while.
“For example, the caregivers for most vegetative patients are usually their mothers.
“Spouses normally prefer to give up on treatment.
“The child who cares for their parents was not the most favored one at home.
“If any woman comes for treatment of ectopic pregnancy, you have to first catch the man who sent her to the hospital and not let him escape. Otherwise, no one will pay for her medical expenses.”
Zheng Ren’s voice was calm and dull as if he was an elderly man who had understood the world thoroughly, sitting alone in front of the fireplace with a blanket on his knees and recalling the past while cold wind rampaged outside the house.
The vicissitudes of life turned the atmosphere gloomy there and then.
Elder San nodded as he had already experienced these matters.
Bu Li’s gaze was dull as she replied, “Doctor Zheng understands worldly affairs well. Every family has its own issues, but they’re similar to the problems frequently encountered in society. That’s just not worth it.”
After letting out a heavy sigh, she smiled warmly and lifted the gloomy mood as if spring had fallen. “Let’s not discuss this any further. Doctor Zheng, I’ve something that requires your assistance.”