This Medical Assistance Mission was fully sponsored by the Qihuang Charity Funds, including travelling and lodging expenses.
The hotel was booked by the Qihuang Charity Funds, a five-starred hotel. The reason why they booked such a luxurious hotel was to provide the best service for members of this mission. After all, no one knew what challenges awaited them in the Seven Mountain Village.
Judging from the information gathered, the Seven Mountain Village was located in a remote area, and a hundred kilometers to the southwest was the famous Golden Triangle.
The Seven Mountain Village was the largest village in the area, with a population of about three hundred. Every single one of them was elderly, women, and children. Due to the inconvenience of transportation, they’re pretty much secluded from any information, so the outside world only knew about the situation after a week.
Su Tao received about a dozen young physicians in the hotel. All of their ages were under thirty-five, and they could be considered the pillars of TCM.
Liao Huashi was the most outstanding amongst them, and he’s twenty-nine this year. He did not learn his medical skills from Dou Fanggang or Song Sichen, but his father and grandfather were famous physicians in Jiangzhou Province. Due to the fact that their family had an inheritance of acupuncture, he had quite the prestige amongst everyone.
Compared to Wang Guofeng, Liao Huashi was more low-profiled and was courteous when he met Su Tao. As for the other members, all of them had a good impression of Liao Huashi as well.
90% of everyone who came were males, and the only female was a disciple under Dou Fanggang’s lineage, Kong Siyu. She’s twenty-eight this year, and her master was Dou Fanggang’s eldest disciple, Tao Xihua. So according to seniority, she should call Su Tao, Martial Uncle.
And since the moment they met, Kong Siyu had been constantly calling Su Tao, Little Martial Uncle.
Everyone who volunteered was familiar with Su Tao. All of them knew that this young leader has achieved many unimaginable feats, so all of them had respect for him.
When everyone finally arrived, Su Tao set up a banquet in the hotel’s restaurant.
“Little Martial Uncle, the food here is so sumptuous. Why do I feel like you’re trying to buy people’s hearts?” Kong Siyu smiled.
Listening to her teases, everyone laughed along.
Su Tao also wore a smile on his lips as he settled everyone down before he said, “What beauty Siyu said earlier makes some sense. The sumptuous meal today is to encourage everyone here. We will be facing challenges and difficulties. As for the exact information? I understood from Mr. Tu that the trip from Kunzhou City to Seven Mountain Village will take about four hours. But because it has been raining recently, we will have to walk roughly five kilometers before we can arrive to our destination.”
“President Su, please be reassured. All of us here volunteered, and we’re all young. If we can’t take any difficulties, how can we do something big?” Liao Huashi smiled.
“That’s right! President Su, please be reassured. Many of us here have gone into the mountains for investigations and picking herbs. We’re not those good-for-nothing children who were born with a golden spoon.” The rest echoed along.
Seeing that everyone was so confident, Su Tao was pretty excited. Despite the haste, Dou Fanggang and Song Sichen had done their best and recruited a batch of elites for him.
Furthermore, he could also tell that everyone might be courteous to him, but many of them had their doubts. In comparison, Liao Huashi had won more trust than him with his personal charm.
There were two reasons for this factor; Su Tao was too young and none of them had witnessed Su Tao’s ability. All they knew about Su Tao was what they heard.
As the group chatted, they happily ate before everyone separated.
Despite the fact that Liao Huashi drank quite a bit, he was still pretty sober. After the meal, he followed behind Su Tao to the room, waiting for Su Tao to brew a cup of tea.
After taking a sip of the tea, Liao Huashi asked, “President Su, how confident are you to bring us back?”
“What makes you ask that?” Su Tao asked.
“We both know that there’s a high possibility that the Seven Mountain Village has a virus. The reason why it isn’t known to the public is because of their remote location and the government trying to suppress the news to prevent panic.” Liao Huashi’s eyes lit up. He was no longer under the intoxication of alcohol.
Looking at Liao Huashi, Su Tao asked, “You’re afraid?”
“Afraid?” Liao Huashi smiled as he continued, “All of us volunteered for this mission, and none of us are afraid of death. At the very least, we must die worthily. According to logic, it has been two weeks since the outbreak. If someone manages to find the cause, it would have already been resolved by now. Now that they’re requesting medical assistance and even invited International SOS, that only means that this is a new form of virus.”
“What you said makes sense, and it’s the same as what I’ve thought.” Su Tao smiled before he asked, “So what if it’s a new form of virus?”
“If it’s a new form of virus, there will definitely be many deaths, especially from the first batch of people who investigate the cause. Calling it a certain death isn’t an understatement.” Liao Huashi seriously answered before he added, “All of us can give our lives for our dreams, but we’re not willing to be cannon fodder.”
“I understand what you mean, and you can feel free to leave if you’re afraid.” Su Tao solemnly replied before he continued, “Even without you guys, I will still go to the village and investigate.”
Letting out a sigh, Liao Huashi bitterly smiled. “You’re more firm than I’ve thought!”
Taking a deep breath, Su Tao patiently explained, “Let me share with you a story. In the beginning, my master, Mr. Song Sichen, had rejected my request to lead the team. It’s because I’m too young, and he had also stated that he’s willing to lead the team. He knows that he’s getting on with his age, and even if he dies of the disease, there’s nothing to take pity about. I told him that every single life is priceless, and you can’t value life in this manner, especially as a physician. When facing diseases, we should treat everyone equally. Furthermore, we’re not cannon fodder; all of us came with the intention to treat those patients.”
“You’re making it sound too sanctimonious.” Liao Huashi bitterly smiled.
“Don’t tell me that you’re someone with no conviction. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be sitting here with me.” Su Tao solemnly responded.
His reply made Liao Huashi briefly stunned before he noticed that Su Tao had become solemn at this moment with a pressure permeating from his body.
“That’s right. I naturally have my own ideas. I love TCM, and I hope to make a contribution to TCM.” Liao Huashi’s eyes flickered.
“Facing viruses, if youngsters like us don’t have the courage to face it, how can we lead TCM to merge with modern medical studies? How can we promote TCM?” Su Tao questioned.
Hearing those words, Liao Huashi sighed with a wry smile, “What you said makes sense.”
Su Tao spoke from the bottom of his heart.
The greatest enemy of humanity wasn’t a heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, or any of the chronic diseases, but infectious diseases such as plagues, cholera, leprosy, and schistosomiasis. Every single large-scale outbreak would reap tens of millions of lives.
“We’re already nocked on the bow, and it’s impossible to give up now. Right now, it’s not the time to consider safety, but how to control the situation and find the cause at the shortest time possible.” Su Tao solemnly said before he continued, “The lives of those people in the Seven Mountain Village are as equally important as our own.”
Cupping his hands at Su Tao, Liao Huashi sighed, “I’m reassured with your words.”
Listening to those words, Su Tao briefly froze before he asked with a smile, “Reassured?”
Nodding his head, Liao Huashi revealed, “Truth be told, I had some prejudice against you in the beginning, but I have gained a deeper understanding about you through our conversation. Your achievements weren’t mere luck, but had something to do with your personality and breadth of mind.”
Letting out a sigh, Su Tao realised that Liao Huashi was trying to probe him and smiled. “Then, should I thank you for that?”
Shaking his head, Liao Huashi bitterly smiled. “All the members that came are young, and truth be told, I’m pretty confident in our trip to the epidemic center. Please be reassured, I will definitely not be a deserter in this mission.”
Patting Liao Huashi’s shoulder, Su Tao smiled. “That’s what a physician’s responsibility ought to be.”
In the Shangri-La hotel, a white-haired western old man held onto a glass of red wine. He would have to drink a cup of red wine every day before he sleeps. Sitting behind him was a tall Chinese woman holding onto a laptop, reporting the situation in Seven Mountain Village in English, “Right now, there’s a total of 98 cases in Seven Mountain Village. Of which, there’s a total of 5 deaths, 56 in serious condition, and 37 others infected. Their symptoms are the same: vomiting and diarrhea, high fever, and inflammation of the bronchus. For the time being, we’re still unable to investigate the source.”
The old man was Andrewson, a professor from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. He specialised in virology and epidemiology. He was nominated for the Nobel prize numerous times, and he was known as a candidate with the highest potential of obtaining it.
The one who was reporting to him was his Ph.D. student, Qiao Xue. Due to the fact that they required a Mandarin-speaking member in this medical assistance, he chose her to accompany him to act as his translator.
Qiao Xue was meticulous and smart. The information that she had gathered made Andrewson satisfied.
“Professor, we will be heading for Seven Mountain Village tomorrow at 8 a.m., and aside from us, a charitable organisation from China will also be coming along with us.” Qiao Xue reported.
“Ridiculous!” Andrewson suddenly stood up as he continued, “This mission is extremely serious, and not only will their charitable organisation be nothing of help to us, they might even bring us trouble. Tell them to refuse anyone from entering with us. Otherwise, we will give up on this international assistance!”
Andrewson was experienced, and he had participated in numerous medical assistances. Those from charitable organisations were all people who couldn’t bring any help to them, not to mention that they couldn’t take any difficulty.
Seeing that Andrewson was being so serious in this matter, Qiao Xue inwardly sighed. “I will immediately contact the government and let them know of our opinion.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter