In the afternoon.
Light drizzle visited Centurial Beach and chased away quite a bit of the scorching summer heat.
The banner with the words [health inspection] hung on the bus that Yun Hua Hospital had rented. It looked rather disheveled; there were some mud splashes on the vehicle, and it stained the bus when the wheels moved. Naturally, it made the people inside the bus unhappy.
Three old men held large gongs and knocked on them with force. Right after that, melodious music rang out, and a group of old women clad in colorful and fancy dresses waved their fans and sang as they danced,
"A league of Red Army soldiers are sent down the mountains, the autumn breeze and rain linger in the air, the deer on the mountains cry endlessly..."
There were rarely any major changes to the sanatorium's theatrical performances. There would be similar performances every time there was a festival, or when they were welcoming guests or sending them off. However, there were slightly more people in the audience today.
Even Red Army veterans who did not usually leave the building sat in their wheelchairs and came to the courtyard. They basked comfortably in the sunlight and flashed reminiscing smiles.
Many people sang with the music, "While thousands of soldiers stand along the Jinsha riverbank, ten thousand commoners are teary-eyed. The Red Army's loving kindness shan't be forgotten. The revolution is successful, the Red Army return to their homes..."
At this moment, the Red Army Veterans sang along with clear voices, even though they had not been able to form coherent sentences for years.
"Return to their homes…
"Return to their homes…"
After the song ended, the whining sound of a solo erhu performance rang out. After only a few moments, it was drowned out by intense guitar music.
"Mister Liu, are you trying to pick a fight with me again?" The old man who played the erhu was hot-tempered. He shot up from his seat and his whole body shook.
The old man who played the guitar was clad in a leather jacket and leather pants. He chuckled a few times. "What? You were plucking the erhu, and I was plucking the guitar. The others can choose whichever they want to listen to. Do you know what democracy is?"
"You play the erhu by drawing a bow across its strings."
"Go on and play it with your bow, then. I have paper, you want some?"
"As sweet as honey, your smile is so sweet as honey… just like the way flowers bloom in the spring breeze… in the spring breeze…"
A few old women clad in cheongsams eagerly went forward and started singing, drowning out the music from the guitar and the erhu.
The director of the sanatorium who was originally talking to the group from Yun Hua Hospital slapped his thigh and said in exasperation, "Damn, they're trying to outdo one another again. I'm sorry, everyone, I need to go and persuade them so that no one faints from anger."
The directly ran over at lightning speed, and instructed the workers to remove the obstacles blocking the road while persuading the performance team—whose turn had not arrived yet—to leave.
Yun Hua Hospital's managers and doctors remained smiling as they stood in front of the large bus. They waved their arms continuously to thank and bid farewell to the senior citizens around them.
The group from Yun Hua Hospital only boarded the large bus one by one under the arrangement of the sanatorium when the melody of the erhu sounded again. The bus slowly drove off.
The singing and dancing continued in the sanatorium. The group sending off the people from Yun Hua Hospital performed whole-heartedly. Apart from the fact that their range of movement was smaller, their actions were milder and their clothes were more pompous. They looked like they were performing in a school's new year performance. They felt extremely happy as they entertained themselves.
Ling Ran sat in the back the bus with a box of gifts on his lap. He took the time to arrange them one by one. Doctor Zhou and the resident doctor helped him while they sat next to him. They also recorded the gifts for him.
"One bottle of cod-liver oil… Another ginseng..."
"One bottle of grape-seed oil…"
"One more ginseng..."
Doctor Zhou could not help but say in envy, "Isn't it amazing to be good-looking? Both of us were treating patients, but why are you the only one who received gifts? Wow, such a large ginseng."
This time, even the resident doctor could not help but give Doctor Zhou a sideward glance. He said in a soft voice, "Ling Ran was really treating patients, you know?"
Doctor Zhou's face froze, as if salt was sprinkled on his face. He said in a jealous tone, "I took the patients' blood pressure a couple dozen times yesterday, didn't I?"
"I was the one who did that on your behalf," the resident doctor retorted meekly.
"Oh… right, I forgot." Doctor Zhou made light of the comment and said to Ling Ran, "Your massaging skills are pretty good. If you were to work in a traditional Chinese medicine hospital, you can charge 100 RMB for each massage, and you'll be able to get a share of 10 or 20 RMB. It would amount to quite a lot by the end of the day."
Ling Ran hummed nonchalantly. Doctor Zhou's gaze froze. "Ling Ran, don't listen to that talent scout. Life as a celebrity isn't that easy."
"Okay." Ling Ran's gaze swept over neck after neck. He was forcibly holding back his urge to go to those people and massage their necks.
The duration of the mission was three days, and he had only done it for one day and one night. There was still room to do more. The journey back to Yun Hua Hospital was almost three hours, and it was such a waste to just sit in the bus like this.
"Ling Ran? What are you thinking?" Doctor Zhou could not help but feel rather resigned because he did not get a response after talking so much. If another resident doctor were to say that he wanted to become a celebrity, Doctor Zhou would definitely send him off and let that doctor struggle to achieve his dreams of stardom. But it was different for Ling Ran; there was a real possibility of him succeeding at becoming a celebrity.
"You look very tired. Let me give you a massage." Ling Ran could not hold it in anymore. He concocted an excuse on a whim, took out a white towel, and rested his hand on Doctor Zhou's neck.
Doctor Zhou wanted to ask another question, but the moment he opened his mouth, he began to moan, and his whole body fell slack.
Throughout the journey, Ling Ran massaged neck after neck. Doctor Zhou also felt at ease when he saw that.
It was evident from this fact that Ling Ran liked to work with his hands so much that it was not possible for him to become a celebrity. Celebrities could not just grab their fans' necks and massage them every day, right?
However, he must be wary of the old people from the traditional Chinese medicine hospitals. Even though massages were not favored in traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, there was not even a Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Department in Yun Hua Hospital. If the other party were to lure Ling Ran over with a high pay, there was a danger that Yun Hua Hospital might lose Ling Ran to those traditional Chinese medicine hospitals.
After returning to the hospital, Ling Ran registered his attendance and made ward rounds. He then went straight back home.
There was still a shortage of beds in the Emergency Department. Although eight beds were vacated over the past three days, those were beds that were added as extras before the M-Tang technique project. Although the patients had been discharged, the M-Tang technique project team still did not have enough beds.
When Ling Ran remembered that he had concert tickets for the night, he was no longer in a hurry to fill up those extra empty beds.
When he got home, Ling Ran passed the two tickets for Meng Xue's concert to Madam Tao Ping who was drinking tea. After he turned and went down the stairs, he heard an explosive screech from behind him, just as he expected. "Brother Shanyu! Brother Shanyu!"
"What did Meng Xue do this time?" A little baffled, Ling Jiezhou whipped out his phone and opened the Baidu Search engine. He tapped on the 'trending topics' button and started reading. "Meng Xue sneezed? What's so special about sneezing? This is really baffling. Do celebrities also appear in the trending topics when they dig their ears…?"
As Ling Jiezhou spoke, he stopped in a self-aware manner.
As expected, when he raised his head, he saw his wife looking at him with a piercing gaze.
"Ping…" Ling Jiezhou chuckled guiltily.
"Brother Shanyu might have been sneezing because she caught a cold. It might also be because her immune system went down due to stress from work. It might also be because she had an allergic reaction due to how dirty the stadium is. How can we make nothing of it?!" Tao Ping first corrected Ling Jiezhou. She then paused for a moment before she said, emphasizing each word, "Brother Shanyu doesn't have ear wax."
Ling Jiezhou raised his thumb to show his support to Tao Ping, who was an avid fan of Meng Xue.
Tao Ping glared at her husband and snorted a few times. "I wanted to invite you to attend the concert with me, but forget it. I'll bring our son."
Ling Jiezhou could not help but flash the ghost of a smile. He then immediately hid the smile and slapped his thigh hard. "Oh dear, what a pity!"
"You're just pretending. Nevermind, I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'll go and get changed. Young Ran, go and start my car." Tao Ping turned and went upstairs. She could not help but start humming.
The 'submissive' Ling Jiezhou breathed a sigh of relief and asked Ling Ran, "Did you buy the tickets from scalpers? How much did you pay? I went to check, the scalpers actually had the gall to charge a few hundred RMB for seats where you can't even see the performer."
"Someone gave it to me," Ling Ran said.
Ling Jiezhou's face immediately lit up. He screamed in a voice eight octaves higher than usual, "What?! Your patients gifted you with tickets to Meng Xue's concert to thank you? Does something so good actually exist in this world? You must treat the patient well, then…"