'I just can't seem to get accustomed to these bell sounds.'
He was irritated by the constant bell sounds arising early in the morning. He felt just like hearing alarms from when he was under military training.
An amazing thing was that Dolseok always stood in front of the door when he opened his eyes. And to his surprise, he always held a basin with warm water.
"Sir, did you get up?"
"Yes, leave the basin there. I will wash later."
"Yes, sir. I will get your breakfast."
Ganghyuk smiled with satisfaction and sat up. He then looked at the pouch that he left at his bedside last night.
'Well, there is nothing there.'
All the disappeared medicines were found back in the bag.
'How come this can happen?' Ganghyuk came out of the room, tilting his head. There were many things in the world that did not have clear answers. And, he did not like wasting time on them.
He felt that his skin was very good even though he did not use soap.
'Twenty four years old My skin is really good.'
It was soft just like when he was a student. He had many affairs with seniors back then
"Sir, I will get the breakfast."
"No, I would like to see Okseok first.
"Ah! Thank you, sir."
"Did you visit him in the morning? How did he look?"
Ganghyuk seemed not really curious about the result. It was nothing but appendicitis. Even though the environment was not really good, his skills could cover those disadvantages.
And, the medicine would also work well.
"Huu All of the other medicines were useless But, he is really good now. He wanted to resume work, but I told him to take rest for a few more days."
"Is that so? It is far too early for him to start work."
"Yes, please tell him so."
Dolseok made a great fuss after pointing at Okseok, who was cleaning the ground with a brush. Although his complexion was a little bit pale, he looked good.
When Okseok saw Ganghyuk, he dropped the brush hastily.
"You look good. Let's see your abdomen."
Ganghyuk rolled up the jacket and looked at the incision. 'It is well stitched. It will leave a scar, but that cannot be avoided.'
Even without a proper light, the operation was a success.
"Very good. Yes, you can do this as an exercise. But, do not forget to take the medicine."
Ganghyuk put the medicine on his palm.
"Two tablets in the morning and in the evening. Swallow them with water."
"Yes, sir. Thank you."
"Please sir, have breakfast now."
"Okay. Thank you."
Ganghyuk went back to his room, leaving Dolseok and Okseok there. There were no side dishes on the table.
Compared to this, the food that he had in the salon was like a king's table.
'But, this boiled water is good.'
Perhaps, they knew that their master had a drink last night, and Ganghyuk was impressed by their consideration.
Other side dishes were same as yesterday: Salted crab, radish Kimchi, and soy sauce.
"Are you there?"
While he was eating, a familiar voice came from outside the gate.
'It is a very familiar voice' Ganghyuk stopped eating and thought. He had met not many people in this world. Therefore, there were not many people whose voice he knew.
'Ah! It is Makbong.'
The stout and tough guy with temper!
He was frank and candid, as much as he had a temper. It seemed that he had great affection for Pyeonsu. Coming to the house in this early morning clearly showed his affection for Pyeonsu.
Dolseok was not a slave, but a layman who served Ganghyuk, so he had a rank. Therefore, another servant rushed to the gate to open it.
"Who are you?"
"Ah, can I see Mr. Baik No no Please, call Dolseok."
"Dolseok? Why? He is having breakfast."
"Please tell him Mackbong is here."
"Okay. Wait there."
Although he was impetuous, he could not directly call for a nobleman. If he did, he could even be punished.
The big gate and high wall made Makbong feel greatly daunted. He had heard of Baik Family of Suwon many times, but he did not know the reality. It was only now that he saw their house and realized the family was really great.
As a matter of fact, Dolseok was ranked quite high among the servants. He served for the family with fame.
While Makbong was waiting without promise, Ganghyuk went to the door. It was etiquette to open the door when a guest came.
He had already prepared the medicines to give him. So, Ganghyuk told the servant who held the doorknob. "I know him. Open the gate."
"Sir. I did not know he was your acquaintance." He felt sorry and scared because he made the master come to the gate, so he apologized by bowing many times.
Ganghyuk shook his hands, since he was still not accustomed to these things.
"It is alright. Open the gate."
"Yes, sir." The servant moved quickly, and the heavy gate opened.
There was not only Makbong, but also Yeoni, who was wearing male clothes and had tied her hair. But still, her beauty was a constant.
"Oh, you two are coming together? Is Pyeonsu alright?"
Hearing Ganghyuk's question, Yeoni bowed.
"Yes, sir. He is feeling better now."
"Do you expect any problems with the performance?"
This time, it was Makbong who bowed. He showed an extra submissive attitude because of the misbehavior last night.
"Yes, sir. I will assist him."
"Good. It is good to hear that he is well recovered. Here are the medicines."
Yeoni received the medicines while being overly subservient to Ganghyuk. "Thank you, sir."
At this moment, Makbong showed an awkward face and asked gingerly, "Can we get some more?"
It was an expected question, and Ganghyuk had already prepared an answer, so he answered without changing a single facial expression.
"That is difficult. It is all that I can make in a day."
"Is that so?"
"Yes, it is very rare. It is the only one in the world."
It was a very common medicine in the other world, so much so that it was there in a home visitation bag. But, in this world, saying this was not a lie at all.
Hearing this remark of his, Yeoni and Makbong showed even more gratitude on their faces. They thanked by bending their body even more.
"Yes, yes. Thank you, sir."
"If you are not busy today, could you be generous enough to come to the performance today?" Yeoni invited him carefully.
Ganghyuk answered while rubbing his chin; he was not familiar with the feeling of having a beard at all. "But the invitation should be made by the governor."
"Yes, sir. But, nobody will stop you if you come." Yeoni said while looking around the house which had a large yard and tens of servants.
"Yes, my father will go." There was nothing bad if he made friends with some high-ranking officials.
"That will be great for us, sir. We hope to see you later."
"Yes, sir. We will go now. Thank you."
They bowed and retreated while taking backward steps. But, Gagnhyuk had turned his head before they were out of his sight.
It was because Seungmun had called him from behind.
"Who are they? They don't look like ordinary men." From their clothes and other appearances, they indeed looked very shabby.
But, Ganghyuk had prepared the answer for it as well. He was a good speaker, and had given lectures in that world; so, there was nothing that could easily make him stutter.
"They are the family of the patient that I cured in the market yesterday."
"Yes, I did Are you going to the governor's place today?"
"Yes. You persisted not to go, so I will go alone."
"I will go with you too."
Seungmun was ready to leave. He had already tied a hat string under his chin. The hat was made of horse's mane, and the string was made of jade, looking very luxurious.
It was gifted by the king when he served as a Daesaheon (1), and he valued it very much.
"Then, be prepared quickly. Not only the governor of Suwon, a Grade 3 official, but also governor general of Gyeonggi, a Grade 2 official, will be there today. Your hair is not tidy. Get yourself together."
"Ganghyuk will come with me, so we need one more horse. Go and get it." As Ganghyuk went to get ready, he ordered the servant standing nearby.
Ganghyuk returned to his room and looked at himself in the mirror, finding that his hair were like a bush.
"En Can I brush them up?"
He then remembered the tightly tied hair of Seungmun. There was not a string of hair being in disorder.
As he had quick eyes for learning things, he could imitate the hairstyle of Seungmun. After tying up his hair, he wore the hat. Although he was not married yet, he must behave as an adult, as he was already old enough.
Seeing his tidy look, Seungmun was satisfied. "You look better. Let's go. Governor general might be waiting for us."
The horses were ready. Seungmun got onto the horse without hesitation, and it was now Ganghyuk's turn.
Of course, he had not ridden a horse before.
'Ah, I rode the horse once in Jeju Island.' Fortunately, the horse was of the same size as the one he had ridden in Jeju Island.
Dolseok assisted him, so that he could ride it easily.
"You are welcome, sir."
"Let's go." With Seungmun's remark, Dolseok and the other servants guided them out on their ride.
"Shee Go away."
It was very early in the morning, and Seungmun's house was located in some odd corner. So, there were no one on the road. But, the servants still led the horses while shouting 'Go away!'
Ganghyuk looked around for something while he was riding the horse. Dolseok had repeatedly mentioned 'Baik Family in Suwon', so he already knew that it was Suwon.
'No, there is no Hwaseong.'
He could not find Hwaseong anywhere, which meant that this was the time before the sovereignty of King Jeongjo.
'Is it the 16th or the 17th century?'
While he was concentrating on thinking, Dolseok was diligently leading the horse.
"Here we are."
There were already a swing and a tightrope in the yard. Seungmun went to the seats next to Governor of Suwon and Governor General of Gyeonggi, which Ganghyuk headed to the much lower seats.
But still, even the lower seats had local government officials and other noblemen seated there. It was clearly a bigger event than what he had expected.
Gisaeng, or escort ladies, were seen waiting on guests.
Ganghyuk sat on his seat and looked at the performance group. Pyeonsu arrived soon, and he looked very healthy, just as Yeoni had mentioned.
"Sir, we would like to start."
"We will do our best today."
With the greetings from Pyeonsu, the performance started. It was not much different from the performance of the day before. Actually, it was a bit less interesting, because they omitted the bad swears.
But, it seemed that Seungmun and the other officials really enjoyed the performance. They sat in the best place and had drinks while they watched the performance.
'Is it finished now?' Pyeonsu did not participate in the performance till the end, and he came out to the stage only at the end of the performance.
When he bowed politely, the Governor of Suwon asked. "I heard that you had an accident. They said you had almost died. Are you alright now?"
Maybe it was the Gisaeng who waited on him who told him the story, given that he knew the details of the story.
"Yes, I have recovered completely."
"Who cured you? It seems he had great skills."
Pyeonsu looked up to Ganghyuk, feeling intensely anxious.
"I am afraid to say this, but Scholar Baik, who is sitting there, saved me."
It was the moment that Baik Ganghyuk, who was notorious as an offensive scum, showed his other side to the world.
(1)Daesaheon a high-ranking official.