Chapter 19: Why didn’t you run faster then?
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
“It was a mistake,” Ren Xiaosu explained with a smile. “This is the first day of work for our nurse, so she doesn’t know the exact procedures yet. Come, let’s continue suturing. Big Sister Xiaoyu, treat it as sewing clothes.”
Xiaoyu was not afraid of blood. Frankly, everyone in town was used to seeing people die all the time, so it wasn’t such a big deal when they had to face minor injuries like these. Besides, she really enjoyed her current job. It wasn’t that she liked seeing blood, but that she liked being a “useful” person.
It was common knowledge in town that everyone had to be useful in the current environment as it was full of hardship and difficulties. Useless people would get abandoned sooner or later. This was the simplest logic for deciding who to live around.
Xiaoyu was unsure if Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan would abandon her due to her uselessness, but she knew that she couldn’t just do nothing and leach off of them.
When she heard Ren Xiaosu tell her to stitch up the wound like she was sewing clothes, her confidence grew and her stitching motions became much more consistent.
Furthermore, Ren Xiaosu was still holding down that man by his arm, so it made it easier for her to put her sewing skills to good use.
When the suturing was almost finished, Xiaoyu said to Ren Xiaosu, “There’s still some difference between stitching up a wound and sewing clothes. When sewing clothes, the thread should stay hidden in the clothes as far as possible so that it won’t be visible. But for the suturing of a wound, the thread should not be left inside and has to be reverse stitched. However, that makes it look quite ugly.”
The three patients became incredibly uncomfortable. The more Xiaoyu said, the more flustered they became.
When Xiaoyu finished suturing, Ren Xiaosu took out a small porcelain vial and applied the medicine onto the first patient’s wound. “My medicine is very precious, but I will not overcharge you for it. I’ll just charge you the same fee as the clinic does, 600 yuan. I believe all of you should be able to afford it.”
The price of a cotton-padded jacket was around 600 yuan. However, these workers’ salaries per month were probably at around 2200 to 2800 yuan. This made the price of the goods sold relatively expensive to their salaries earned. But all of this was due to a supply and demand issue. The aristocracy in the stronghold could not wish more for these people to earn as little as possible for the rest of their lives. In that way, they would have to keep working earnestly for the aristocrats.
Besides, these workers could not just drop everything and leave since they would not be able to survive in the wilderness. The aristocracy relied on this to exploit the refugees.
In the opinion of the aristocracy, it was already nice that they did not make the refugees pay protection money to them when they were living under the protection of the stronghold. But that was only because they felt that protection racketeering was below them.
The reason Ren Xiaosu could get by in the past without needing to go to work at the coal mine was because he only needed to hunt three sparrows a month to earn more than the majority of workers. Even if he did not manage to hunt three sparrows, he could scrimp and save and still be able to lead a normal life.
These were abnormal times, and people tried resisting it at the beginning. However, they all failed.
Ren Xiaosu was right that the three men could afford the fees. After the black medicine was applied to the wound of the first patient, his pain immediately stopped. He paid up very willingly as the fee would have been the same if he went to the clinic to treat his injury.
When the patient who had just been treated was about to leave, Ren Xiaosu said amiably, “Shouldn’t you be saying thanks now that you’ve been treated?”
The man shuddered and quickly turned his head back and said, “Thank you!”
Ren Xiaosu nodded in satisfaction. However, when he had a look in the palace, he was startled to find that he did not gain any additional gratitude tokens!
Ren Xiaosu thought, ‘Are patient-doctor relationships these days all as tense as that?! I’ve treated your wound, yet you won’t even give me a sincere thank you?!’
Immediately, Ren Xiaosu heard the voice from the palace informing him that he had completed the quest. “Quest complete. Awarded 1.0 Strength.”
The quest to successfully treat one patient was finally complete. He did not expect the palace to award him with another 1.0 Strength increase. It was also one of the things that Ren Xiaosu desired most at this moment. After all, whoever had the bigger fist won.
The voice from the palace intoned again, “Quest: Successfully treat two patients.”
Eh, so this was a repeatable quest? When the first quest was completed, another quest of a higher difficulty would appear.
Weren’t there two patients in front of him right now?
Would he be awarded another 1.0 Strength increase after completing this quest? In that case, wouldn’t he end up looking like a beefcake?
Actually, that wouldn’t be good because he would be sacrificing his speed for more strength. With greater muscle mass, it would lower the speed at which he could put them to use.
The fastest runner should be someone with the most balanced muscular build, not a bodybuilder with the most chiseled physique.
As of now, Ren Xiaosu’s strength was much stronger than the average adult’s. He deliberately made an observation and realized that no one had noticed that his muscles had swelled up this time. As it was late autumn, the clothes that he wore concealed his build quite well.
But right at this moment, one of the patients took the opportunity to get up and run out of the clinic while Ren Xiaosu was distracted. Xiaoyu called out to him, “The patient is escaping.”
Ren Xiaosu smiled and said, “It’s okay. He won’t get far since he’s still injured. I’ll go and bring him back.”
Xiaoyu and the remaining patient were speechless.
While Ren Xiaosu went out to catch the patient, Xiaoyu looked at the remaining patient and gently said, “Are you going to run away too? If you’re also thinking of doing so, I’ll suture you up afterwards.”
“No, I’m not gonna run away.” That patient closed his eyes and put a determined expression on his face. “Go ahead and stitch me up.”
When Ren Xiaosu carried the patient back again, he didn’t find it as strenuous as before and could carry him with just one hand. However, this made the patient despair.
The following treatments for the patients were much easier to do. Ren Xiaosu used one hand for each person and held them down so no one could move.
The two men who were being held down at this moment were rather astonished because they never expected to not be able to fight back against Ren Xiaosu. It was as though they were being dominated by him.
Just how much strength would he need to achieve this? Even if they were injured, they shouldn’t be that weak, right? They were still able to struggle a little a bit ago!
What was most important here was, would anyone still be able to escape from Ren Xiaosu if he ever decided that he wanted to treat their wounds in the future.
“Quest complete. Awarded 1.0 Dexterity.
“Quest: Successfully treat 10 patients.”
When Ren Xiaosu heard this voice again, he froze, because he could feel his muscles that had swelled up earlier had now started to deflate by quite a bit.
Dexterity was a way to increase the strength of the muscle fibers. Upon reaching the same level of power, it would help to lower the muscle mass. In this way, Ren Xiaosu would not need to worry about looking like a beefcake.
If Ren Xiaosu’s muscle fibers in the past were as strong as a wooden staff, then the muscle fibers were now comparable to the strength of an iron rod.
Right, this was more logical. The correct way would be to increase the quality, not purely build on the quantity.
Moreover, his resistance to attacks would increase accordingly, right?
Ren Xiaosu looked at the patient who had just attempted to run away. “Do you understand now the benefits of the black medicine that I applied on you? It can stop your pain immediately, and the wound won’t get inflamed afterwards either. I can’t understand why you’d run away.”
The patient hemmed and hawed for a long time before finally saying, “I don’t have enough money…”
Ren Xiaosu was pained. He said resentfully, “Why didn’t you run faster then!”