The old man looked at the chessboard for a long time with his brows knitted before he raised his head at Su Tao and smiled. “You lied to me, you’re clearly an expert in this.”
Su Tao chuckled, “Deception is all part of the warfare. I purposely made myself look weak just so that I can defeat you.”
When Sire Shui saw how cunning Su Tao was, he wasn’t furious, but felt fresh. If it was someone trying to curry favor with him, then it’s meaningless even if he could win.
Sire Shui’s skill in chess was much better than those old folks in the Old Street, and Su Tao had relied on the fact that his opponent had underestimated him to catch his opponent by surprise. Thus, this game did not last for long before Sire Shui conceded. Because of this, the latter felt unhappy and he had brought out his skills in the second game. In contrast to his fiery temper, Sire Shui was calm in the game, and every move was as firm as a mountain. Although Su Tao was proficient in chaotic and hard battles, he got himself surrounded and lost by two pieces.
In the third game, Su Tao had completely changed his style, and used the same style as Sire Shui, to consolidate at every step. The old man also knew what Su Tao was thinking, so he changed from being defensive to offensive, permeating killing aura. However, Su Tao had displayed extraordinary toughness. Even if Sire Shui’s moves were hard to defend, Su Tao was able to defend himself well. In the end, he had only lost by one piece.
Although the two of them only played three games, they had already spent three hours by the time they finished the third game.
“Again!” Sire Shui smiled. He still wanted to continue. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had such fun!”
What he said was the truth. Although he would occasionally play with those around him, their standards weren’t high, so it’s hard for his interest to pique in those games. On the contrary, Su Tao had excellent skills, and the latter wasn’t much inferior to him. He even realised that Su Tao had purposely held back.
“Grandfather, it’s getting late now, and you’ve just recovered. Sitting outside for so long isn’t good for your body, not to mention that we have to get the discharge procedures done to go home.” Shui Junzhuo had been standing beside the two of them, quietly watching their match.
Su Tao stood up and nodded his head. “Sitting for a long time is harmful to your body. I’ve lost two games today, but I will certainly win them back in the future, if the opportunity allows.”
Sire Shui laughed, “Sure, you’re able to put down what you’ve picked up, your mentality is better than mine. We’ll end the game today, but you must remember that you’ve already made me lose once, so you can’t hold back next time.”
Su Tao immediately modestly smiled. “I really did not hold back, but your chess skills are excellent.”
Sire Shui stood up and smiled. “Your skill is pretty good as well, and your standard is on par with those professional players. I’m now seeing you in a new light.”
Hearing such high praises from her grandfather to Su Tao, Shui Junzhuo’s eyes rippled with splendor. From her impression, her grandfather rarely praised anyone, especially those of the young generation. In her memory, Su Tao might be the only one around his age that received her grandfather’s praise.
When Sire Shui returned to his ward, someone had already packed everything up. Sire Shui then entered the black car’s backseat, with Shui Junzhuo sitting beside him. She stretched her head out of the window and waved her hand towards Su Tao.
When the vehicle left, Jin Guoxiang, who was standing beside Su Tao, smiled. “The old man seems to have a good impression of you, I’ve hardly seen him so happy these years.”
Su Tao did not bring out his full strength in chess, since he took priority on taking care of the old man’s heart, so he smiled. “The old man’s heart has opened up. After this incident and some nourishing, reaching a hundred years old won’t be an issue for him.”
Jin Guoxiang was briefly stunned before he sighed, “I’ve heard that you didn’t ask anything of the old man? You’re pretty good at holding back.”
Su Tao knew that Jin Guoxiang’s attitude had changed. His words were much friendlier and closer without any barrier. It felt as if the latter had brought his heart out when conversing with him, so he faintly smiled. “I really don’t have anything I want. Why don’t you help me think?”
Jin Guoxiang shook his head. He knew that favors were the hardest to return in the world. He owed Su Tao more and more favors, and there were still many things he might have to rely on the latter for in the future. With a faint smile, he responded, “I can’t think of one either; let’s just leave it for now, then.”
Whether it was Jin Guoxiang or Sire Shui, they’re both people that valued relationships, and for them, it wasn’t something that would disappear along with time.
“Junzhuo, what do you think of Little Su’s character?” Sire Shui sighed with a smile in the vehicle.
“Based on his medical skills alone, he’s a rare talent.” Shui Junzhuo was curious by her grandfather’s question, so she answered with her face blushing a little.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the conviction in him. He might seem gentle and warm, but there’s a sharpness in his person and action.” Sire Shui smiled in gratification as he continued, “It’s rare for young people to be so outstanding in the current society. If you’re free, help me investigate what he is trying to do. As my life savior, I will do my best to help him.”
Shui Junzhuo looked at her grandfather with a complicated expression and smiled. “Grandfather, I’ve noticed that you’ve changed.”
“Oh?” Sire Shui’s eyes flickered in surprise and asked, “Go on, continue.”
Shui Junzhuo sighed, “In the past, you would always throw your temper. But ever since you’ve recovered, you’ve never scolded anyone.”
Sire Shui laughed, “I’ve been reading the Buddhism Scripture recently, and it says that everything in life is linked by karma. When I couldn’t speak earlier, it’s probably because I’ve scolded too many people, and my ability to speak was taken away from me. I’ve decided not to scold anymore in the future out of fear that I might turn mute.”
“I’m really not used to you being this way!” Shui Junzhuo sighed. She felt that Su Tao was genuinely formidable. Not only did he treat her grandfather’s illness, he even treated his temper.
Treating Sire Shui was akin to opening a mysterious and powerful network for himself. Although he couldn’t see it right now, one must have visions for the future. It’s hard to imagine that a figure like Sire Shui would owe him a favor, and it was also due to this matter that Jin Guoxiang had more confidence in him.
After he separated from Jin Guoxiang, Su Tao did not head back to Hanzhou, but headed towards Qiongjin Medical University to pay a visit to his ‘teacher’. To nurture him, Di Shiyuan had used his resources to gold plate Su Tao’s résumé. Furthermore, Su Tao had also been thinking about obtaining human resources from this ‘teacher’ of his to expand the Three Flavour Hall. Previously when he met Cai Yan, they had discussed about expanding the Three Flavour Hall, which not only did he need the capital to achieve it, he even needed an ample amount of qualified Physicians.
Establishing a school to nurture talent has always been part of his plan, but a distant water source couldn’t quench thirst. So he still needed to borrow the resources of those famous schools. Although Hanzhou had a TCM University, he had still chosen to find an alternative source. After all, the moment the Three Flavour Hall started to expand, it would be swift, and he needed enough talents to supplement his entire plan.
Jin Guoxiang had gotten someone to send Su Tao to the entrance of the university, and he dialed the phone of his ‘teacher’ the moment he got out. After hearing Su Tao’s purpose, He Deqiu smiled. “Old Di was full of praises for you, and I’ve wanted to meet you. I’m currently at the university right now, so you can come and look for me.”
Su Tao responded, “Please wait while I come.”
He stopped a pair of couples who were walking and asked for directions to the School of TCM. The undergraduates here were rather innocent. They passionately guided Su Tao. Moving according to their instructions, Su Tao managed to find the School of TCM. The School of TCM was located pretty remotely. After all, western medicine took the dominant position in modern society, while TCM supplemented it. Thus, the appearance of the School of TCM was more crude and simple.
The Traditional Chinese Medical Study, Traditional Chinese Medicine Study, and the Traditional Chinese-Western Union Studies were three First-Tiered Degrees in the School of TCM. He Deqiu was the representative of the School of TCM, mainly to research in the direction of union between the two studies, and he also had the qualification to take in doctorate disciples. Not only was he the Vice-President of the School of TCM, but he also held the title of a National Physician Master with the ability to back up his title. Thus, Di Shiyuan was considerate when he recommended this teacher for Su Ta, hoping that Su Tao could learn something from He Deqiu.
He Deqiu’s stature wasn’t tall. He had a rosy complexion and thin hair. He’s currently 55, and he was stunned when he saw how young Su Tao was. Shaking his hands with Su Tao, He Deqiu smiled. “Me and Old Di are old friends, and he had once helped me when I was down, so I’ve owed him a favor.”
He Deqiu had a family issue back then when his father suddenly passed away. He was shouldered with debts and was so poor that he couldn’t even afford to eat. Back then, it was Di Shiyuan who secretly helped him, and his career had been going smoothly in recent years.
Su Tao could sense that He Deqiu belonged to the same category as Di Shiyuan and nodded his head with a smile. “Please forgive me for paying a visit only now.”
He Deqiu waved his hand and smiled. “Honestly speaking, I don’t accept a disciple so easily, and I’ve also looked into you before promising Di Shiyuan. Your medical skills are superb and even exceed me in some fields. So although we’re Master and Disciple in name, we can interact as friends.”
Hearing He Deqiu’s words, Su Tao instantly felt respect for the former in his heart. After all, people nowadays liked to put on airs, so it’s rare to have someone like He Deqiu, who interacted sincerely. From a specific aspect, He Deqiu belonged to those that didn’t pursue glories. Su Tao smiled. “Teacher He, please don’t put it that way. Just as you have looked into me, I’m not unfamiliar with you, either. You have a high status in the union of Traditional Chinese-Western Medicine, and there aren’t many like you in the country, who is proficient with both TCM and western medicine. Therefore, I sincerely hope to learn from you, and please treat me equally as everyone.”
When He Deqiu heard Su Tao being modest, he nodded his head in satisfaction. Despite Su Tao’s young age, he was already the Vice-President of the Jianghuai Hospital. Recently, he even raised a heated debate, like how he defeated Wang Guofeng in the Physician King Tournament, and how he retained the reputation of TCM in Yuhang City. Thus, He Deqiu couldn't treat him equally like all his students and smiled. “You’re currently pursuing your academics for your employment. If you encounter any difficult problems, you can talk to me, and we can discuss them together.”
After a brief exchange between Su Tao and He Deqiu, a delicate woman knocked on the door before she entered. She first swept a glance at Su Tao before she said, “Teacher He, President Cao’s vehicle has already arrived.”
Bitterly shaking his head, He Deqiu smiled. “Why is he so early?” He was initially intending on dragging it out before finding an excuse to skip the meal.
The woman smiled. “It’s mainly to thank you for treating his stomach illness.”
He Deqiu clearly had no intention to keep the appointment. His phone suddenly rang, and Cao Bin’s voice resounded, “These days, it’s really easy to arrange a meal but hard to invite. Physician He, my vehicle is already below, you must give me this face. Otherwise, I’ll just get someone to tie you up and send you to the restaurant.”
He Deqiu bitterly smiled. “President Cao, you’re too passionate.”
“Oh right, bring your students along so our meal won’t be boring.” Cao Bin laughed as he continued, “That lady, Ning Ru, left me a pretty good impression.”
The reason why He Deqiu didn’t want to keep the appointment was mainly because this Cao Bin was born rich, so it wasn’t good for him to tangle up with such a person. But since he had already arranged a vehicle over, he would be offending the other party if he refused.
Thus, he gave up and treated this as an ordinary meeting to allow Cao Bin to return the favor so the latter wouldn’t pester him in the future. With a bitter smile, he responded, “I’ll come down shortly, then!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter