196 Chapter 196 Head Imperial Doctor
Entering the familiar structure of the two-storey hospital she once owned and managed, Lin Xulian was hit with nostalgia. The place was considered her second home and a place where she could be herself. At least, on her own perspective. After all, being a doctor is her passion above anything else.
On the first floor, just by the entrance, there is a long table with a thick record book and brush neatly laid at the center. Behind the table, a thin yet tall middle-aged man has an exhausted expression. His eyes has dark circles and his back is slightly but visibly hunched forward. He is obviously malnourished and has a bone defect.
Seeing Lin Xulian and Gu Kei coming over, he tried hard to look as energetic as possible. "Welcome. Please write the name of the patient." He said as he courteously opened the thick book on the next clean page.
Behind her mask, Lin Xulian's brows are tightly knitted as she stares at the man in confusion and disbelief. She found him familiar earlier but after seeing him up close and hearing his voice, she recognized him as one of the hospital's previous account staff. They called him Uncle Wen.
Although he didn't come from a noble or rich family, he knew how to count and calculate. And above all, he is upright and honest. Perfect for someone who handles the hospital's finances. But now, he is reduced to a small receptionists who welcomes and records patients and visitor's name.
But despite her discontentment, not only to Uncle Wen's situation but also about the exuberant entrance fee at the gate, Lin Xulian has a more pressing matter to handle. She is there to apply as a doctor and gain fame and reputation in order to enter the palace rightfully. To do that, she needs to cure a lot of patients. And the best place to find patients is in the hospital.
Suppressing her anger and irritation, Lin Xulian gave a polite smile to Uncle Wen. "I am Gu Lian. This one is here because I heard that the hospital is in need of doctors. I and my helper here are travellers previously. But after staying at Gonglu country for quite some time, we decided to settle down."
Hearing that the visitors were not patients but actually a doctor and her helper, Uncle Wen was startled. Although she is wearing a mask, he can tell that she is still young in her early twenties. Unlike the current doctors in the hospital, the youngest is already more than forty years old.
"Then, Miss Gu, do you have a letter of recommendation?" Uncle Wen tentatively asked.
"Letter of recommendation? From whom?" Lin Xulian was baffled. During her time as the owner of the hospital, anyone could apply and they will be personally tested by her based on knowledge, ability and character. There is no such thing as recommendation letter or patron.
Uncle Wen sigh helplessly then leaned closer towards them and whispered. "You both are not from Gonglu so you probably don't know. Right now, the fifth prince is sitting on the throne while his majesty the emperor is still unwell. On the surface, this arrangement seemed peaceful. But the truth is far from it. The hospital is one of the proof.
After his majesty fell ill, the fifth prince's faction took over the management of the hospital under his approval of course. Before, anyone could ask for treatment and the fees are reasonable. But now, it is all about who you know and where you stand.
You already met the two guards who collects silver taels at the gates. Actually, there is another way to enter without paying. All you need to do is chose a side and get a token from any ministers under the fifth prince faction. It is a proof that you are one of their people and will be treated well." Uncle Wen said bitterly.
"How about those who paid silver and are lining up? I guess they don't have a token. Would they still be treated?" Gu Kei asked curiously after hearing Uncle Wen. She honestly cannot understand the power struggle in an empire. After all, in Qiangdu strength is mostly the basis of power. If you want to be the head of the clan, although the concept of heir is also considered, you have to be the strongest since you will have to protect them.
"They can be treated. but of course the doctor will still ask them which side they are and who is their family head. Once the patients are from the emperor's faction, they will be denied. Unless they can manage to convince their patriarch to switch sides." Uncle Wen patiently explained.
"That's an absurd method. The citizens fell for that obvious scheme?" Gu Kei couldn't help knitting her brows.
"It could if the patient has an important position in the family." Lin Xulian interjected, giving her own conclusion.
"Miss Gu is right. Although this method is a little absurd, it managed to tip off the balance of power inside the court. After all, no matter who you are or how powerful you are, you will get sick at some point in your life. They even used the lives of the people in order to gain power." Uncle Wen said with a sorrowful look.
"Knowing all this, why are you still working here sir? And why tell us?" Out of either curiosity or confusion, Gu Kei asked. This kinds of thing couldn't be shared to a stranger, right? Or the man will be punished.
"It's not like I still want to stay. I had no choice. I knew too much for them to allow me to leave. Working here, they could at least watch my every move. Also, I feel bad for the late Empress Lin. This hospital is like her child. I cannot abandon it and let them do anything as they please. Although I am just a servant now, I could at least gather enough evidence until his majesty awaken. I still strongly believe that his majesty will wake up someday. And he will bring down justice to these vile people." Uncle Wen said bitterly. "I told you because I can tell that you are good people. I just wish you won't be tainted with evil from this place."
Lin Xulian's gaze soften hearing Uncle Wen's kind intentions. He really didn't disappoint her. He remain honest despite all the chances he had. He could just easily switch sides and gain benefits, but he chose to remain loyal to her.
Just as Lin Xulian was about to continue conversing with Uncle Wen, Gu Kei suddenly grabbed her elbow and tapped it twice. Lin Xulian's expression changed in an instant. That is the signal they agreed if ever Gu Kei sense a possible member of the Liu clan. She can guess it base on the innate internal energy that a person can emit.
After cultivating one's own internal energy, they can sense other person's too. And since most of the remaining Liu clan members are still able to cultivate in Qiangdu, they are still stronger than average warriors outside Qiangdu. Unfortunately, Lin Xulian is still not adept to this so she still needs Gu Kei to watch her back.
Not long later, a man wearing a striking white robes with embroidered intricate patterns using silver threads entered the hospital. He looks gentle and amiable with a small smile on his face. But looking carefully, his eyes remain cold and emotionless. He looks like he is in his late twenties. But Lin Xulian assumed that he is either in his thirties or early forties. Reasonable age for the level of his energy considering that he came from Qiangdu as well.
Uncle Wen immediately straightened his posture and bowed deeply in front of the man. "Greetings Head Imperial Doctor Yi." The man is no other than Yi Rong who discovered the emperor's poison. After that time, he was offered the position as the Head Imperial Doctor. And became Feng Jun Yi's personal physician who take care of him and makes sure that the emperor still lives another day despite of his slumber.
Hearing how Uncle Wen addressed the man, Lin Xulian's eyes flashed with an idea. But she manage to hide it under her mask.