Dolseok slapped the floor after stopping fanning.
"Dolseok, your turn has not ended yet."
With that, Dolseok started fanning again.
"When does your turn come, sir?"
"I need to finish the examination first."
"But, patients are coming constantly. Then, you will examine them alone."
"If you want, you can examine them."
The summer of Joseon was a hell in itself. It was really hot, and to make matters worse, there was no electric fan or air conditioner.
They could not live without opening the window.
'Flynet is a really precious invention.'
Ganghyuk looked at the dead mosquito on the wall and then the bite on his hand, which was very itchy at this moment. 'Goodness!'
If he had a steroidal ointment, that would have been useful for this. But, in the bag was only an antibiotic ointment, which was totally useless for an insect bite.
It might be able to prevent the secondary infection though.
"I would like to have a cold Americano." Ganghyuk talked to himself while watching the queue.
Right beside him, Dolseok was staring at him with a frown.
'He talked strangely again. Is he ill from the heat?' He liked his master a lot, as the latter was all good except when he talked strangely.
He then saw a chicken tied at the corner of the yard.
'We have received some chickens today. I will cook one for him later on.'
There were many good things for people to endure hot summer, but from Dolseok's point of view, a chicken was the best. So, he spoke to Ganghyuk after finding time when he was not really busy, "Sir, would you like to have some chicken?"
"Yes, the nobleman likes chicken as well." By 'nobelman', he was referring to Sunshin.
Ganghyuk felt that it was rude to address him as that, but there was no other name to call him with.
He could not make Sunshin stay in his clinic all the time, so the latter was in his house right now. Therefore, Seungmun had an additional person to take care of, but he did not care too much about that.
Instead, he actually liked this situation.
Sushin was actually good at subjects other than martial arts and military strategy, so Seungmun felt that he had found a companion to talk with.
"Good. Let's have it with father and all the servants in the house."
"Ah, that is a good idea!"
Dolseok thought of the hen house which was full of chickens. After Ganghyuk started the clinic, he had started receiving several chickens a day.
"Yes, they are too loud in the morning. Take all of them."
"Yes, sir. I will tell the servants in the house to take care of it."
"Send some to the inn. We need to feed the fellows in Aeogae as well."
"Yes, sir." Dolseok looked around before opening the clinic door.
As Ganghyuk was making serious money, he had recruited some more servants. So, it was natural that Dolseok was the first in the hierarchy, and even had a few assistants.
Dolseok called one of them who was roaming around, "Tell them to get some chickens... about ten."
Dolseok watched the scene of the servant running with a satisfied face, then looked at Ganghyuk while maintaining the smile on his face. "Sir, would you like to close the clinic and go home?"
"Yes. But before going, let's drop by the professor's house."
"Goodness! Sir, you did not do anything bad, right?"
"No! Would you like to be rolled in the straw mat?"
Hearing the words 'straw mat', the slaves near them shuddered while Dolseok raised and shook his hands. "No, no. I believe you, sir."
"Why are you calling Yeoni?"
"I cannot enter the room. I need a person who will go inside and see the wound."
"Ah, yes! I see."
Dolseok then went to the inn which was just opposite to the clinic, but not forgetting to tell something to the slaves in the clinic.
"You must take care of the master. Let the things be transported to the house and clean the clinic!"
Even though Ganghyuk mentioned 'straw mat' quite often, it was clear that Dolseok was his most trusted servant. Therefore, the other slaves in the clinic followed the latter's orders very well.
"It is very convenient now that I do not need to give out trivial orders."
Ganghyuk walked slowly while thinking when a slave came to him with a horse.
"Won't you ride a horse, sir?"
"No. I am fine walking. You don't need to follow."
Although he could ride a horse, he would rather walk the short distance. He did not like to go around in groups; it was a hot summer, and many people together might heighten the perception of heat.
'I don't like the odor either.'
Dolseok washed often because Ganghyuk urged him to do so, but the others did not do that. They had an odor somewhat like in the military during a hot summer.
It almost smothering to stay out for even a second. But thanks to that, the frequency of being bitten by mosquitoes had been reduced remarkably.
Ganghyuk held the heavy home visitation bag in one hand as he came out of the clinic. But, nobody tried to hold the bag for him. They already knew that he would not give it to anyone.
While they were walking slowly, Dolseok came back alone.
"Where is Yeoni?"
"Ah! She said she must need some time to dress up like a woman."
"She is a woman, so why does she need to wear women's clothes?"
"Yeoni is almost a man." Dolseok answered while shuddering. He still remembered what she did when she caught the thief last time.
"A woman should have some flesh. She is too slim." Ganghyuk nodded his head. Yeoni was not a beauty from the perspective of Joseon people. Even Pyeonsu would not give a good grade to his daughter's appearance.
'Although she has a dark complexion, she has pretty face and slim body.' Compared to her, Dolseok could not even be called a human, not to mention Makbong.
"There she comes! Makbong is coming with her. He seems not to be working at all."
"Don't say that. He might be the busiest man among us."
"Is he? I don't think so. He is always sleeping in the afternoon."
"There is a reason, I think."
Ganghyuk remembered the part-time job of Makbong and laughed as Yeoni arrived and greeted him. With a feminine hairstyle, she certainly looked like a girl.
"Sir, sorry for being late."
"No, it is alright. But, why is Makbong here?"
"No special reason, sir."
He did not talk about the reason, but it was certain that he came here to protect Pyeonsu's daughter.
'He will protect me as well in an emergency, I guess.' Ganghyuk was a savior, so he would not leave him hurt.
Ganghyuk had taken care of the fellows after he saved Pyeonsu. Even today, he actually sent a chicken for them. If he were a man of loyalty, he would surely repay that.
"Okay. Let's go."
The professor's house was not far from the market; so, it did not take long this time, as they did not need to hide from patrol.
The tallest man in the group, Ganghyuk, had already recognized the house. "We are nearly there."
"The professor must be at home now, right?" Yeoni complained with an uncomfortable face. In response, Ganghyuk looked around the house by standing on his toes.
"I don't know. The horse is tied."
"Then, he must be at home."
"Yes. Now, you need to play the role of the medicine girl."
"Goodness! I am doing many strange things because of you, sir." Yeoni sighed.
Medicine girl in Joseon was a kind of 'professional' who learned medicine and got certification to work as a medical professional. As all the books were written in Chinese characters, medicine girls know basic Chinese characters.
Therefore, Yeoni had to pretend being knowledgeable.
It was too much for her, who had learned tightrope walking and martial arts only. Fortunately, the professor's attitude had turned by 180 degrees.
"Oh, Ganghyuk! You are here." He greeted the latter so gladly that people might even think that he was his son. It was totally different from the first time.
'Yes Treating their children is the best way to make friends.'
Ganghyuk bent his head with a smile. "Yes, sir."
"Yes, you did a good job!"
"How is she now?"
He had already known her name. But, he pretended that he did not know that. There was no reason to give any hint that he had come to the house without permission.
"She is much better. You are really a good doctor."
"I need to check the status. So, I have brought a medicine girl here."
"Good! Please go ahead. Thank you."
"It's okay, sir."
"I have to go now as the governor wants to see me. Take your time"
Changgweon then went out of the house, riding away on the horse. He even brought a servant with him, seeming to trust Ganghyuk completely. He had actually left his daughter in the house alone.
As Ganghyuk had guessed, he was very poor.
Yeoni said with a light heart. "Then, we have the patient and her handmaid only."
"Yes, right. It's good. Let's go in together."
Yeoni opened the door and went into the room. Yeoju greeted them with gladness as she had already known her.
Ganghyuk looked back and said, "Makbong and Dolseok, keep surveillance."
"Yes, sir." Makbong answered quickly but Dolseok tilted his head sideways. "Sir, please don't do any strange things."
"Makbong, hit him once."
While Dolseok screamed as he wrapped his head with his hands, Ganghyuk went into the room.
"Good morning, Sir Baik Ganghyuk." Yeoju had a face as white as snow, voluptuous hair without any false hair, red lips, and well-arranged, white teeth.
A typical beauty she was indeed, sitting up straight on her bed.
"How are you now?"
"I am much better."
"Good! Yeoni, please look at her."
Yeoni took off the Beoseon (1) from Yeoju's feet. The red swollen foot had turned into a white and fragile foot.
"It looks good."
"Yes, good! We do not need to come here anymore. Congratulations! You are already good." Ganghyuk laughed and was about to leave. But, when he was almost about to leave the room, Yeoju called him in a low voice.
"Yes? Do you need something?"
"I heard a rumor."
"There is a doctor who cures people in a strange way."
It was clearly about him, so he smiled.
Yeoju then added, "I would like to see why such a rumor was created. What method are you using?"
"Would you like to see? Your father will not like it."
"Do you know why the governor called him today?"
"No." He had no interest in it after all, so he looked at Yeoju with an indifferent face.
"He will teach in Hyanggyo. He will have to stay there for months."
It was tempting, as there would be no risk then. But, there was another big problem.
Ganghyuk shook his head and asked Yeoju, "Even then Why should I let you be in my examination room?"
(1) Beoseon - Korean style socks