Seeing into the Belly
A man touching the stomach of a woman he’d just met was an extremely awkward affair but this was a special circumstance. Xia Lei could not bear to see her suffer any longer and wanted to do what little he could to ease her pain.
Ning Jing’s stomach was very soft. Beneath a thin layer of fabric was soft, delicate skin that gave off a faint heat and subtle scent, making Xia Lei nervous. The hand froze on her tummy upon contact. He’d thought of this matter too simply and only found out about its complications when he touched her tummy.
“You…” Ning Jing also froze and stared at Xia Lei, flabbergasted.
“Uh. Just think of me as your mum,” said Xia Lei, as he leapt into the breach and massaged her stomach gently.
Ning Jing did not refuse him but she looked even more nervous than Xia Lei. His hand seemed to have a magical power – it had not only chased the pain away but also brought a miraculous feeling. That miraculous feeling made her feel excited and bashful all at once inside. Strange sounds came from her throat, low and vague. Her expression turned strange too; her face displayed both pain and delight at the same time.
“Do you still feel pain?” asked Xia Lei in concern.
“Mm, no.” Ning Jing’s answer was ambiguous. It was all the fault of Xia Lei’s hands! His care and concern for her also made her feel all messed up.
Ning Jing’s ambiguous answer deepened Xia Lei’s worry. A thought suddenly came to him ‘Maybe my left eye can see the situation in her stomach and find the root of her illness. If her condition is serious I must send her to the hospital whether she agrees to it or not.’
Looking into the body of a person was way more difficult than looking through clothing. Seeing through clothing was like running on a running track with appropriate footwear, letting him easily and quickly get to the finishing line. Looking into the body was like trekking through a muddy marshland – more strenuous in every aspect. That was why he needed to maintain the highest level of concentration. It wouldn’t work if his mind was full of flowery, snowy images.
Having made his decision, Xia Lei called forth the power of his left eye without a second thought. The clothing on Ning Jing’s body disappeared quickly, no longer able to hide her body. Though he was playing the role of doctor, the sight before his eyes still set his heart aflutter.
“Steady, steady… I’m looking for her illness. Nothing else.” It was a critical moment. Xia Lei shook his head hard to clear it of jumbled thoughts. He had one goal – look into her stomach to see the situation within. With this goal in mind, his left eye drew strength from his body and increased its X-ray power.
He was soon rewarded for his efforts. The skin on Ning Jing’s belly slowly turned translucent before disappearing and the situation in her stomach was clearly visible to Xia Lei’s eye. He could see her small intestine, large intestine, kidneys, liver, spleen and other innards. Xia Lei was thunderstruck. He had never imagined that his eye could look into the human body like a medical device.
His gaze quickly stopped on Ning Jing’s gallbladder. The small gallbladder was filled with several little stones and its walls were red. It looked inflamed but not particularly serious.
This looked to be the cause of Ning Jing’s pains. Xia Lei stopped using his eye and his body sagged, as though drained of energy, and he collapsed on Ning Jing. His face also coincidentally buried itself in her softest spot.
“You…” Suddenly being crushed by Xia Lei and having the smell of a man in her nostrils made Ning Jing so nervous she felt she could die. “Wh,What are you doing?”
“I’m sorry, that wasn’t on purpose.” Xia Lei hurriedly pushed himself away from her body and tried his best to look normal. Unfortunately, the nice feeling from earlier made his face and ears turn red and he was short of breath.
Ning Jing’s face was even redder. She wanted to condemn Xia Lei but could not find the words. Additionally, the sudden body-crush by Xia Lei made her pain go away. She thought it fairly strange but couldn’t figure out why.
The air was filled with embarrassment and uncertainty. Silence ruled supreme.
At this moment, hallucinations appeared in Xia Lei’s eye. The sweet and gentle Doctor Ning rose from the sofa, swaying softly and dancing a pleasing dance.
Xia Lei shook his head to clear it but this time, the hallucination did not disappear as he’d expected. It became more vivid and even started to interact.
“Don’t touch there,” said Xia Lei, pained.
“Don’t touch where?” Ning Jing looked at Xia Lei curiously, her face getting redder, “I didn’t… Didn’t even move!”
Ning Jing’s voice brought him back to reality in the midst of his hallucination. He pinched himself hard on his thigh and the pain chased the hallucination away.
“Are you all right?” This time it was Ning Jing showing concern for Xia Lei.
Xia Lei took a deep breath to calm himself before replying, “I’m fine. I didn’t have any ill intentions earlier. I mean…” He had no idea how to explain why he said that so he changed the topic. “Doctor Ning, you really have to go to the hospital for treatment. There are stones in your gallbladder and it is inflamed. If you leave it like that, it will get worse.”
“How do you know I have gallbladder stones?” Ning Jing was shocked.
Xia Lei paused. Yeah, how did he know she had gallbladder stones? He obviously couldn’t tell Ning Jing he saw through her abdomen and saw the gallbladder stones. He thought for a bit, then smiled as he said, “I have a friend who also had gallbladder stones. Your symptoms are similar to his so I think you have gallbladder stones. Doctor Ning, this is serious. You must hurry to the hospital for treatment.”
“Do I really have gallbladder stones?” Ning Jing was still disbelieving.
Xia Lei could not say it outright, so he said, “Eighty to ninety percent, probably. Trust me, go to the hospital.”
“Okay. I’ll go to the hospital for a check-up after you repair the compass.” She smiled, “You looked and sounded like a doctor just now.”
‘I don’t think there’s any other doctor out there who can use his eyes to look directly for the root of his patient’s illness. If I could prescribe medicine as well, I’d be an excellent doctor’ thought Xia Lei.
Just then, Long Bing and Huang Wei-Guo walked into the room, followed by a archaeological staff member who wheeled in a miniature precision welding machine. A bag and a very precise electronic scale sat on the machine. The three of them looked at Ning Jing and Xia Lei once they entered the room.
“What are the two of you doing?” asked Huang Wei-Guo.
Ning Jing got up from the sofa awkwardly and nervously, “N,Nothing.”
Even if there really was nothing, her reaction made it seem like something happened. Xia Lei was embarrassed and he stood up, saying, “Doctor Ning’s stomach was hurting just now so I helped her to the sofa for a bit of a lie-down.”
Long Bing looked at Xia Lei and Ning Jing with her special gaze.
Huang Wei-Guo, however, was not interested in what they were doing on the sofa and was just asking. He gestured at Xia Lei, “Master Xia, I’ve brought the things you need. Please come and try your hand.”
Xia Lei nodded and walked over.
The archaeological staff member connected the precision welding machine to a power source and opened the bag. He took out several small parts and other things like welding tongs and electrodes, which he placed on the floor.
Xia Lei looked at the parts on the floor. They were made of pig iron and there were gears, connecting rods and shafts that looked like rough workmanship, seemingly parts taken from a water meter tap. The pieces all had signs of damage – some had cracks while others were broken in two or three.
“Just these?” Xia Lei was a little disbelieving. He’d thought that it would be a very difficult test but this was easy. Welding these parts was as easy as pie to him.
“Just these,” said Huang Wei-Guo, “but don’t take it too lightly, Master Xia. I have measured all these parts. I would like you to weld them together without exceeding two grams of their original weight.”
Xia Lei’s brow wrinkled. Welding would definitely add weight to an item. Huang Wei-Guo’s request to weld them together within a weight limit of two grams added some difficulty to his task.
“Master Xia, can you do it?” Huang Wei-Guo looked straight at Xia Lei as if he could get an answer through his eyes.
“It’s all right, Master Xia. These are the parts for the test. I believe you can do it,” said Ning Jing.
Huang Wei-Guo looked at Ning Jing, astonished. That was weird… Wasn’t she doubtful of his ability earlier? Why is she now encouraging him?
Xia Lei said nothing but he squatted and picked up the welding tongs and goggles with practised ease. He first tested the welding tongs on a piece of iron, then inspected the thickness of the welding-scar on the iron piece. He picked up two halves of a gear next, and laid them flat on the floor while he welded them with a welding clamp.
Blinding arc light lit the display room. Long Bing, Huang Wei-Guo, Ning Jing and the staff member turned away, unable to look at Xia Lei welding. Unbeknownst to them, Xia Lei’s left eye looked through the goggles and arc light, to the heart of his welding!
No words could describe the miracle. The goggles blocked light that was harmful to the eyes but Xia Lei’s eye saw right through them to see the gear and electrode contact point with no obstruction!
The difficulty in welding lay in not being able to see the contact point of the electrode and item to be welded – when one could see it all, and even zoom-in on top of that, what difficulty was there in welding?