Chapter 26: Save the mother or the baby?
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
Early in the morning, Ren Xiaosu opened the clinic’s door and observed the surroundings. This was probably the first time in many years that he found the morning air in town refreshing.
After The Cataclysm, the sky was covered with a strange haze most of the time. The schoolteacher, Mr. Zhang Jinglin, said that a huge amount of dust particles were blasted into the sky during The Cataclysm. It not only blocked sunlight for photosynthesis, but the climate also became extremely cold, and acid rains were a frequent phenomenon as well.
The situation had gradually improved in recent decades, with the sun being visible for most of the year now.
Ren Xiaosu’s clinic was across from the grocery store. The moment he opened his door, he saw Wang Fugui coming out of his store with two freshly baked sweet potatoes in his hands. “Xiaosu, come, have some sweet potatoes!”
Ren Xiaosu couldn’t help but sigh. Before this, he found it difficult to even ask for a free needle to sew his clothes with from Old Wang. Even free thread for sewing clothes was impossible to get, let alone a needle.
But now this scrooge took the initiative to offer him sweet potatoes…
Ren Xiaosu looked at how cheerful Wang Fugui was. Since someone gave him a gift, he should probably give something back to reciprocate, right? He smacked his lips and said, “I don’t have much to give in return, but I’ve got plenty of anesthetics to go around. Why don’t I give you a free shot of it?”
“How can you offer to give me a shot of something like that?” Wang Fugui’s expression darkened. He asked, “Say, you haven’t been out to gather any medicinal herbs for the past few days. Would you happen to still have any of that medicine left?”
“Yes, I’ve got anti-inflammatory pills, anesthetics, and cough and mucus medicine,” Ren Xiaosu said with a smile.
“I mean, do you still have that black medicine available?” Wang Fugui was slightly embarrassed.
“Didn’t you just buy some not long ago?” Ren Xiaosu asked knowingly.
“That was for the big shots in the stronghold, so stop acting dumb. If I didn’t send the medicine in, do you think you would have taken over this clinic so easily?” Wang Fugui complained. “To tell you the truth, I was only planning to give it to Chen Haidong at the beginning. I don’t understand how it made its way into Boss Luo’s hands in the end….”
Wang Fugui did not really understand how the black medicine made its way up the ranks. He wondered how many more dosages were left by the time it got delivered into Boss Luo’s hands.
“Here.” Ren Xiaosu took out two small porcelain vials. Yesterday, he bought a small vial of black medicine to treat Yan Liuyuan’s fever. There were still two dosages left, so he separated them into different packaging a while ago. “1200 yuan, and not a single yuan less.”
“I’ll be sending one of these vials into the stronghold.” Wang Fugui stared. “Don’t you feel embarrassed about how much you’re charging me?”
“Take it or leave it.” Ren Xiaosu prepared to put the black medicine back into his pocket.
In the end, Wang Fugui did not hesitate. He decisively held Ren Xiaosu’s arm and completed the transaction with cash. After that, Wang Fugui even thanked him!
“Gratitude received from Wang Fugui, +1!”
Eh? Ren Xiaosu felt that Wang Fugui was quite an interesting person. His two “thank yous” so far had earned Ren Xiaosu two gratitude tokens!
However, Ren Xiaosu found it a little pitiful to give away the medicine just like that. Also, why were his gratitude tokens dwindling? He only had four tokens left.
But he weighed the pros and cons. As he wanted Yan Liuyuan and Big Sister Xiaoyu to have a better life in town, it was essential to foster ties with people in the stronghold.
Besides, the black medicine was not exactly given away for nothing, so why not?
Thinking this, Ren Xiaosu sighed. He would have to see if he could gain more gratitude from the people now that he had been appointed as the clinic’s doctor.
Ren Xiaosu’s top priority was to go out to gather more medicinal herbs. As he was a cautious person, he had to pull out all the stops. It would be bad if he aroused the suspicion of others.
Otherwise, when people talked about him in the future, they might just go, “So-and-so’s superpower is to make an iceberg appear out of thin air and drop it on a city, while so-and-so has a power that can cut through mountains.” Meanwhile, when they talked about Ren Xiaosu, they would say, “His superpower is to create that kind of medicine.” That would be too damn embarrassing.
After Ren Xiaosu reached the wilderness, he couldn’t help but look for where he buried the pistol. He had to be sure that no one else found it before he could feel at ease. The handgun was now the greatest reliance he had. He couldn’t let any of his plan go wrong.
Even though he possessed a Strength of 4.5 and Dexterity of 4.1 now, humans still couldn’t outrun or win against a gun.
When Ren Xiaosu returned to the clinic carrying a bamboo basket on his back, he saw Xiaoyu looking uncomfortable trying to help a couple who had come to the clinic for a consultation.
The moment she saw that Ren Xiaosu had returned, she turned her eyes to him, signaling for help. “Xiaosu, attend to the patients quickly.”
Ren Xiaosu placed the bamboo basket on the ground and asked, “What injuries do the two of you have? I’ll have you know you’ve come to the right place.”
“That’s great.” The man said, “We aren’t injured, but my wife, who’s four months pregnant, suddenly got some pain in her stomach this morning. I was afraid that something might have happened, so we came to see if you could treat her.”
Ren Xiaosu froze. Although he was a doctor, he had no idea how to treat something like this!
In these current times, there was no such thing as andrology and gynecology. The mindset of the refugees in town was to go to the clinic whenever they felt ill.
This put Ren Xiaosu in a difficult position. He had said those boastful words and was now faced with the expectations of the couple, so surely he could not disgrace himself, right?
Ren Xiaosu tried hard to remember the lessons that Mr. Zhang had taught in school and the books that he had read there to think of a way to deal with this problem he was facing. What would doctors commonly say to expectant mothers and their family members?
Ren Xiaosu gave it some thought. “Do you want to save the mother or the baby?”
The couple was confused.
The man grew furious. “You’re a quack, right? My wife is only experiencing some stomach pain and you asking me whether I want to save the mother or the baby? The problem is, my wife is only four months pregnant! Where would I put the baby if I chose to save it?!”
Ren Xiaosu thought it sounded quite logical.
This time he said with a sigh, “I’m really sorry to the two of you. I was in the wrong. To be honest, I don’t know a thing about gynecology. If I continued fooling you, that would be unforgivable. The previous doctor also wouldn’t know how to treat her since he really was a quack.”
It had to be said that Ren Xiaosu could easily kill someone without blinking his eyes if they deserved to die, but he couldn’t do something against his conscience like lying to an expectant mother.
Ren Xiaosu continued, “My suggestion is that you go to school and borrow some books from Mr. Zhang to read and let your wife eat and drink well most days. Then it will depend on fate for whether she gives birth smoothly or not. I won’t con any money from you two. On top of that, don’t go around buying random medicine from other people. I know that you shouldn’t take any medicine when you’re pregnant. There’s a high probability that it will lead to malformation of the child in the womb. If you don’t believe me, you can check with Mr. Zhang or borrow some books from him on how to prevent a miscarriage.”
The couple looked at each other as they did not expect Ren Xiaosu to say something like that. The man thought for a while. “I feel that you’re a little better than the previous doctor. The last time I got sick, he was so afraid that I wouldn’t buy his medicine. However, my health did not improve even after taking his medicine. I had to pull through and recover by myself.”
The pregnant woman stood up and said with a smile, “Thank you, doctor.”
“Gratitude received from Qin Jiajia, +1!”
Ren Xiaosu was taken aback. He did almost nothing this time, but he still gained a gratitude out of the blue.