Chapter 1 - The Flirting Storyteller
Ten years, there weren’t many changes in the arrangement of the pharmacy, the layout was still the same. There was a long herbal cabinet inside, emitting a medicinal fragrance. On the tall desk was a measuring steelyard and kraft paper for wrapping drugs.
At two sides of the lobby, one was a resting room and the other was the consultation room used for treatment. Further inside would be the drugs warehouse and medicinal brewing room.
A man strode into the resting room, put down the fire pan and took out around ten badly-damaged ancient books from an old medicinal box. He kneeled down on one knee before the portrait of an elder and softly said, “Grandfather, I have retrieved all the Imperial Physician Scriptures that have been passed down from our ancestors. I will be burning them for you now.”
Swiping the match on the coarse striking surface of the matchbox, a red spark of flames sipped up the paper, turning them to dust after a short time.
He left this place when he was ten and now, he had returned.
Sitting before Su Tao was the daughter of Boss Cai, the owner of the neighbouring Antique Store.
She was twenty-six, with an appearance like a flower. She didn’t have a boyfriend, a rare species for the Sanxian City, which was enveloped in the atmosphere of early marriage and birth.
Cai Yan belonged to those open and well-ripened types. Her pair of peach blossom round eyes were looking at Su Tao. Her gaze was like a wave that spoke for itself. She pursed her lips with a ‘smile-yet-not-a-smile’ expression. Facing such a beauty, how could his heart not be in disorder?
“Physician Su, what jokes are you telling me today?” Cai Yan looked at Su Tao as she retracted her hands after having her pulse taken and spoke with somewhat expectation.
“I’ll tell you about a character from the Three Kingdoms. His name is Lu Bu, known as having three families with the surname of slaves, the classical story of shooting the prostitute at the gate.” Su Tao blurt out. After coming in contact with Cai Yan for some time, both of them were extremely familiar with each other. Therefore, she wouldn’t feel disgusted, even when he told her some obscene stories.
“Pfft!” Cai Yan laughed and her ample bosom danced. “You’re too nonsensical. Lu Bu is obviously a slave with three surnames and it’s shooting the halberd at the gate. It’s the third tone, how is it shooting prostitutes.”
Seeing Cai Yan’s brows smoothing out, Su Tao faintly smiled. “A mistake, a mistake. Let’s change to a brain-twister, then. A Martial Competition hosted in the army, the last section is to compete by holding one’s breath. The first person lasted five minutes under water, the second person lasted eight minutes. Lastly, the third person lasted for half an hour and could still keep his face in the water, why did you think he’s so awesome?”
Cai Yan furrowed her brows as she pondered for a long time, “Half an hour? Could he have cheated and secretly ventilated air? Or was he suffocated to death?”
Su Tao shook his head and sighed with sorrow, “The judge took a glance over and cursed ‘WTF’. So it turns out that fellow drank all the water in the washbowl.”
Cai Yan’s chuckles sounded like silver bells again as she wiped the tears off the corner of her eyes, “You should go on television and make some programs of your own. You’ll definitely be a storytelling expert!”
“Laugh a little and ten years younger. The recent symptoms of chest pain, troubled and frequent urine have been relieved, right?” Different patients required different tactics. Cai Yan’s illness required her to maintain a joyful state of mind, so Su Tao would tell her a few stories daily.
But Cai Yan might misunderstand that he was teasing her on purpose by telling her stories every day; the best storyteller was also the best flirter.
“Physician Su, your medical skills surpasses that of the older generation. In the past, Old Physician Su would constantly prescribe medicine for me. And right now, you’re able to make me better with just acupuncture. I hate those traditional chinese medicines.” Cai Yan rather admired Su Tao.
Su Tao’s gaze fell onto Cai Yan’s slender fingers, the five jade scallions that seemed like a work of art. Thinking in his heart that if Cai Yan was willing, she could be an excellent moulder. He faintly replied, “Then, I’ll need you to help me advertise. As you can see, ever since I’ve taken over the Three Flavour Hall, business has been dropping.”
Realising that her hair was a little messy, Cai Yan gently stroked it while changing her posture, revealing the snow skin on her waistline. She brushed her hair in the midst of talking.
She wore a thin low-collared bottoming blouse. She placed her arm on the desk, which squeezed out the deep ravine from her ample chest, and rested her cheek on her hand. A charm hung on the corner of her lips as she made a little sexy posture, which would give others an impulse to look at her.
Su Tao couldn’t help taking two more glances at her snow-white neck, while suppressing the stirring in his heart. “Miss, please restrain your actions a little. Are you trying to tempt others into committing a crime?”
Cai Yan spat in contempt as her face flushed red, “Dream on! I’ve been sitting in this posture for too long, so I’m just changing it.”
Cai Yan’s rather charming appearance made Su Tao’s imagination roam. For some reason, he felt that the reason why Cai Yan came to seek medical help so often wasn’t purely because of her illness, but him.
Tall, skinny and donning a white coat did have a hint of being dashing. He had a fair face, bright eyes and the gentle smile, which he revealed out of habit, black hair, which was curled, and a feminine bearing; he’s the type that girls would tend to be fond of.
Ever since his grandfather passed away, he had taken over as the main physician in the Three Flavours Hall, business had also been much slower. Being a physician but not depending on his skills but his face, was that considered a blessing or sorrowful?
“This is today’s treatment fee.” Cai Yan threw $100 on the table.
Su Tao cast a glance at it and reminded, “The treatment fee is only $50, you’ve overpaid.”
Cai Yan spoke out, not minding it, “Treat it as the next treatment fee, then.”
Cai Yan stood up. She wore some cowboy shorts, which revealed ninety percent of her long, slender legs. Her legs, which seemed like jade, were smooth and fair like cleanly washed lotus segments. Vaguely, the curves of the intersection on her butt could be seen.
Su Tao absent-mindedly swept his gaze over. The reason for men becoming molesters from lecher was more or less incited by the clothes worn by women. He helplessly said, “Let me remind you, you cannot catch a cold with your illness. It’s best for you to wear trousers next time.”
Cai Yan’s cheeks turned red and her smooth, round bosom jumped a couple of times. She cast a glare at Su Tao, before waving her fist and threatened, “You’re not allowed to look.”
Su Tao looked at Cai Yan’s fair cheeks, which had a smear of redness on them, looking extremely cute and helplessly sighed, “Aren’t guys meant to see that when you girls wear something so skimpy?”
Cai Yan snorted while turning around and smiled. “Wrong. Girls wear this for other girls to see. Do you men know how to appreciate that? Do you know what’s fashionable and trendy?”
Su Tao was speechlessly stunned as Cai Yan moved closer and purposely blew a breath by his ears and said in a soft voice, “I have to get going now. Dad’s gone to clean out the stocks and the door’s still open.”
A sweet fragrance blew over and Su Tao couldn’t help taking a breath in. Cai Yan wiped the pink lipstick off the corner of her lips that flashed before his eyes. Su Tao nearly lost control and had the impulse to grab her soft waist.
Seeming to have noticed her daring actions were a little too improper, Cai Yan took two steps back, before fanning herself with the fan in her hand in an attempt to conceal her shyness and changed the topic. “Though I’m not sure how long can I be neighbours with you!”
“This Old Street of ours is situated in the downtown area. Many years ago, the government already had thoughts of demolishing this place. There was also a powerful developer that came and wanted to build a large-scaled commerce centre. In the past, Old Physician Su had prestige around here, so everyone paid no attention to that developer when he disagreed to the demolition… Now that Old Physician Su has passed away, I’m afraid that the developer will come very soon to talk about demolishing again.”
Su Tao frowned his brows, “The Old Street is filled with cultural foundation, why did the government not want to protect this place?”
Cai Yan helplessly shrugged her shoulders then gracefully turned around, revealing her seductive waistline and said, “Compared to a commence centre, cultural inheritance is too weak.”
Finishing her words, Cai Yan swayed her graceful figure while walking towards the door.
This Hanzhou Old Street is only 30 meters in length, but it was an extremely famous treasure street. The businesses of the antique stores here were pretty good, there were many people that knew the ropes would come here to look around.
Rain came as they wished in the summer. Thunder roared as violent gales raged. Not long after Cai Yan left, rain frantically poured down. The rain was extremely huge and did not become weaker even after thirty minutes. A speeding black Toyota car suddenly skidded to a halt at the door.
Right now, Su Tao was studying a green pill with a magnifying glass. As the skidding wheels resounded, he directed his gaze towards the door and was a little unexpected. That’s because, being such a horrible weather, it must’ve been something urgent for someone to be coming here.
“May I ask where Physician Su is at?” A horse-faced youth, wearing a white long-sleeved shirt, black trousers and brown leather shoes respectfully said.
Su Tao shook his head and sighed, “No longer here.” Although he had the surname of Su and was a physician, he knew that the other party was here looking for his grandfather.
“Not here? Did he go somewhere far?” The youth urgently asked.
“He died.” Su Tao helplessly said.
“He died?” The youth’s mouth was wide open, his horse face was pulled especially long and he was stunned for a long time, before verifying, “You’re not joking, right?”
Su Tao placed the magnifying glass down as he unhappily said, “Why would I joke around with the death of my grandfather?”
“What should I do now?” The youth was at the end of his wits as he said, “President Di asked us to invite him to treat an illness, it was a death order as well. But he has died, how should we report this back?”
Thinking of President Di’s fiery temper, the youth shivered, then pulled up his courage and gave Di Shiyuan a call. “President, the person that you wanted to invite is dead!”
“What nonsense, how can he be dead?! Did you go there?! Even if he’s dead, bring his corpse back!” Di Shiyuan immediately ended the call.
Suddenly, the youth slapped his head as he sighed, “Sigh, I can only do this, then.” He then turned towards Su Tao and asked, “Can you make a trip with me back to the Jianghuai Hospital and tell our President about the passing of Physician Su?”
Since that President Di came to invite his grandfather to treat an illness, he must be an old friend. Furthermore, judging from the looks of that youth, it must not be fake.
Seeing such the terrible weather and there being no business in the pharmacy at the moment, he might as well make a trip with that youth. Su Tao faintly said, “Alright, I’ll make a trip with you, then.”
The youth felt relieved. Even though the person he wanted to invite had passed away, at least he could barely finish his task if he could get a living person back.
“It’s an emergency situation, I want everyone to think of a solution. This concerns the honour of our Jianghuai Hospital.”
The President of Jianghuai Hospital, Di Shiyuan, was heavily knocking his fingers on the conference table as he swept his gaze on the faces of everyone before him. Everyone had their heads lowered at this moment and did not dare to look at him.
Di Shiyuan was different from the presidents of the other hospitals. He had a fiery temper and made swift and decisive actions. After decades of effort under his hand, the unremarkable Jianghuai Hospital had successfully become a third-class hospital.
The hospital’s Second-in-Command, Committee Secretary, Qiao Dehao, received a call and a smear of joy flashed in his eyes, then said in a low voice, “Rest assured everyone, I have already managed to get in contact with Professor Tang Ming.”
The Jianghuai Hospital was an institution with Di Shiyuan in-charge of the hospital’s daily operation and Qiao Dehao in-charge of the administrative and customer service.
Di Shiyuan cast a glance a Qiao Dehao, knowing that this person was currently competing with himself. If Qiao Dehao had successfully managed to invite a professional and solved the problem, then he would have a reason to interfere with the Jianghuai Hospital’s operations in the future.
There wasn’t a change in Di Shiyuan’s expression, since he was more concerned about whether that Zhao Ming he had sent out was able to invite Su Guangsheng.
Everyone came to the door and await the arrival of Tang Ming. A car stopped, and a person stepped out of the front passenger seat. Di Shiyuan recognised the person that he had sent out as he approached. “Xiao Zhao, did you manage to invite the person?”
Zhao Ming’s face was unsightly as he sighed, “I did not manage to do so, but I’ve invited his grandson over.”
Di Shiyuan did not react, but waited for Zhao Ming to repeat himself again before seeing a young man walking out of the car.
Su Tao calmly introduced, “Nice to meet you, President Di. My name is Su Tao, and my grandfather, Su Guangsheng has recently passed away.”
“Ahh…” Di Shiyuan lamented in disappointment as he waved his hand with a complicated feeling. “Although Physician Su was in the mortal world, his medical skills were extraordinary. He could be considered one of the godly doctors that I have rarely seen in my entire life.”
If he managed to invite Su Guangsheng over, then the issue today could definitely be resolved. It was too much of a pity. At this moment, another car drove into the hospital under the stormy rain.
Di Shiyuan had guessed that it must’ve been Tang Ming that had arrived, so he bitterly smiled. “Little Su, we’ll talk later. I still have some matters to attend to.”
When he finished his words, he turned around and walked towards the newly arrived car with a big group.
Su Tao did not mind getting such a cold treatment. He was a little curious about the problem that Jianghuai Hospital had encountered!Next Chapter
A little explaining here by Thyaeria~
So, Lu Bu's alias "A slave of three surnames" refers to his father and 2 foster father. An insult by an enemy of his, Zhang Fei which later became a famous title for Lu Bu.
Lu Bu is also a master marksman, so in order to save his friend, he took part in a negotiation to have both sides to withdraw their troops if he managed to shoot an arrow through the small gap between the halberd.
Halberd - Jǐ (3rd tone)
Slang term for a prostitute - Jī (1st tone)
As you can see, they are very similar in pronunciation with just a difference in tone, so this is a play on words to make it sound comical.