Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The courtyard of the Centurial Beach Sanatorium was its most lively place.
The Level 3 healthcare target group members who would leave after staying for half a month often stayed in the small buildings around the courtyard. They were energetic, had large lung capacities, and their average ages were low. They may not have even reached seventy years of age, but when they sunbathed in the evenings, the area was often as noisy as a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.
The courtyard was even livelier today. Senior citizens on wheelchairs could be seen everywhere. There were so many wheelchairs to the point that when these senior citizens sat on the benches in the courtyard, their family members had to park their wheelchairs at the open space beside the courtyard, or else, the courtyard would become a parking lot instead of a place of relaxation.
The box of mahjong tiles brought over in the morning was running out, and a staff member went to retrieve another box. He managed to find time to talk to Ling Ran.
“Doctor Ling, there is already almost a hundred people queueing up. Do you want to stop adding to the queue, or reduce the massage time of each person?”
‘Stop adding to the queue? Reduce the massage time?’
Ling Ran used the kind of gaze one used to look at an enemy to stare at the staff member, and asked, “Why?”
“Why?” The staff was stunned by the question, and only after a while, said, “If the queue continues to grow and you can’t finish massaging everyone, the people who start queueing up now would definitely be unhappy. Wouldn’t that turn something good into something bad?”
Ling Ran snorted internally and thought, ‘The eighty-six bottles of Energy Serum I went to great lengths to collect are reserved for such occasions!’ He contemplated, ‘If I don’t sleep for three days and only eat a minimal amount of food, I should have no problem massaging everyone in the sanatorium thrice. And I would only need two bottles of Energy Serum for that.
‘It would also be extremely worth it to acquire a new skill in exchange for this.’
“Let them queue up without worries. There would be no problem for me to massage them even until three in the morning. If there’s a need to, I can stay up overnight,” Ling Ran answered steadily. He did not slow down in his massaging at all when he answered.
He planned to massage people without stopping for three days, but he could not tell the staff about this right now as it would be too shocking.
The staff person was astounded by this. “You plan to stay up all night to massage people?”
“You’re saying I won’t be able to finish massaging everyone even if I stay up all night?” There was obvious excitement in Ling Ran’s voice. He did not know exactly how many people there were in the sanatorium, and the degree of their cervical vertebrae diseases. However, if he could not finish massaging them even if he stayed up all night, it meant that he would have just enough time to massage everyone twice in three days. This allowed him to ensure maximum productivity.
The staff member chuckled a few times and said, “Do you plan to drag eighty-five-year-old senior citizens out of their beds at three in the morning for you to massage them?”
When Ling Ran was reminded of this, he realized his error. “Three o’clock is indeed too early.”
“But senior citizens are light sleepers, and some of them wake up at four or five in the morning.”
“They sleep at eight!” The staff person could not bring himself to be angry as he stared at Ling Ran’s face. He went straight to the point and said, “Whatever it is, the latest you can massage them is until dinnertime. It can’t be any later than that. The senior citizens have to move around after they eat so they can sleep well.”
At least eight or nine hours would be wasted if Ling Ran were to take a break from eight at night to four or five in the morning. How could Ling Ran tolerate this?
He soon had an idea and said, “We can arrange to massage the staff and family members of the residents after eight, right?”
Since the average ages of residents in the sanatorium were around seventy or eighty years old, many of their family members were already around fifty to sixty years old. The cervical vertebrae of their grandchildren who were younger did not seem to be in perfect condition, either.
In conclusion, diseases related to the cervical vertebrae were common among modern city-dwellers. If you judged it using the curvature of the cervical vertebrae as the standard, then there would be more people with injuries caused by industrial work compared to those among the staff of various large companies who are healthy.
Besides, even if one did not suffer from any diseases related to the cervical vertebrae, they would feel comfortable for an hour or two after receiving a massage from someone with Master Level skills.
Even small mosquitoes had meat on their bones, and Ling Ran had never been a picky eater.
The staff was touched by Ling Ran’s words. He asked, “Is it for free?” If it was free, the staff member was willing to get a massage, too.
Ling Ran nodded. “It’s for free.”
He already had so much money that he could not finish spending it. He had already earned more than a hundred thousand RMB courtesy of surgery fees. If he were to take all of it out, it would not even fit into all his pockets. If he were to use all that money to purchase bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, he would be able to massage an entire colony of whales.
The staff member flashed him another smile. “Thank you, then. Oh yeah, I’ll give you a volunteer certificate after this. You can carry it around. It’s not really useful, but it still serves as proof that you helped out here.”
Ling Ran nodded nonchalantly. The staff member eagerly rushed to make arrangements.
The family members and staff including those whose turns were coming up soon, upon being convinced by the staff member, they agreed to receive their massages after eight at night.
Since the sanatorium was not a large-scale one to begin with, and the order of the massage was based on the order of the mahjong tiles, it did not matter even if they received their massages a little earlier or later. Moreover, the staff member gave sufficient explanation and could be said to have tried his best.
When the family members of the residents served tea to their parents, they also served tea and refreshments to Ling Ran. Although Ling Ran thanked them with a smile, he carried on with his strategy of enduring the torment of hunger to carry out the mission.
The mission completion status of the system also surged up from 1050/10000, and the numbers continued increase non-stop.
The mission completion status rose by around 1,000 almost every hour. This meant that, for every three minutes of massaging Ling Ran performed, he could relieve fifty hours of pain on average, which also meant that those patients would be pain-free for two days. At this rate, Ling Ran would be able to accumulate ten thousand hours within a day.
However, from Ling Ran’s perspective, the system’s judgement was strict. It was very possible that the system predicted the time the patients would begin to feel pain again, and stopped the calculation of the pain relief time at that point.
As Ling Ran massaged the patients, he also kept thinking of ways to try his best to extend the effect of the massage.
“Make way, make way. Professor Wang, can you let our Red Army veteran cut the queue?” A nurse from the sanatorium pushed a wheelchair and arrived in front of Ling Ran.
Liu Sishan, the Red Army veteran, was ninety-two years old, and the person currently sitting in the wheelchair. The young Professor Wang, who was sixty-eight years old, made way with a smile.
Liu Sishan’s original name was Liu Si Shan. His elders gave him this name because his childhood home was surrounded by tall mountains. He only changed his name after he entered the military, and had used it ever since.
A person who was ninety-two years old was considered to be of advanced age even in the sanatorium. There was a saying that people at seventy-three and eighty-four years old had the worst luck because they could easily die while at this age. There were relatively few senior citizens who could survive until the age of eighty-five.
Liu Sishan already had difficulties with mobility since a few years ago and needed regular fluid transfusions to survive. You could say that he came out together with the sanatorium’s nurse to catch some sunlight instead of receive a massage.
Ling Ran exercised his wrists. After making some slight adjustments and preparation, he rested his hands gently on Liu Sishan’s neck.
There was not a lot of bone hyperplasia on his cervical vertebrae, but the condition of the tubercle on his cervical vertebrae was rather complicated; for someone at the advanced age of ninety-two, his cervical vertebrae were considered to be in a good condition, but there was a certain amount of risk when it came to adjusting a ninety-two-year-old senior citizen’s tubular joint.
‘Is there a need to take such a risk?’ Instead of getting to work immediately, Ling Ran quietly contemplated.
The old man mumbled something incoherent, and the nurse bent down to listen with both her ears. She said, “Doctor Ling, what he meant was that you don’t have to massage him if you’re unable to, since he’s not feeling any particular discomfort in his neck.”
“No particular discomfort?” Ling Ran thought about it for a while and immediately understood; this was because his cervical vertebrae was pressing on his nerves, and after the while he did not feel much pain or discomfort because the nerves had become entirely dislocated. Patients with spinal disc herniation often exhibit this very obvious sign. They would feel extreme pain in the beginning, but after the disc was completely herniated, they would not feel that much pain anymore.
Without the need to think too much, Ling Ran concluded that he could not completely reposition Liu Sishan’s spinal disc.
Instead of completely repositioning his spinal disc, it was better to reduce the pain in his cervical vertebrae based on the position his disc was at right now.
After he set up his plan, Ling Ran first exerted slight force with his fingers to loosen Liu Sishan’s muscles, he then straightaway used massage techniques to tug at his ligaments.
The old man who was sitting on the wheelchair soon shut his eyes because of the comfort. Ling Ran’s movements were extremely gentle. He did not use any pulling, turning, or twisting techniques. Instead, he only used rubbing methods to loosen the muscles on the old man’s neck and remodel his strength and balance.
The old man had always been lethargic in his old age. After Ling Ran massaged him for two minutes, he actually fell asleep.
Ling Ran silently looked at the mission completion status of the system. It rose quickly from 1125/10000 to 1502/10000, which meant that he had relieved the pain in the old man’s cervical vertebrae for as long as half a month.
Ling Ran gently loosened his hand. At this moment, the old man’s eyes flew open, and he roared, “Charge!”
Ling Ran was shocked. The senior citizens around them also went silent. But they soon started chatting again as though there was no one around them.
With his eyes wide open, the old man slowly leaned against the chair and panted softly.