The waiting room of Yun Hua Hospital's Emergency Department was approximately one hundred and thirty square feet big.
A few old office tables had been casually pieced together to form an uneven pattern in the middle of the waiting room. Everyone usually sat by those tables to eat from their lunch boxes or takeouts.
A few green plants were placed in the middle of those office tables and around the waiting room.
Over ten chairs were scattered around the waiting room. There was also a stool in the corner, standing there like that of a barbeque stand on the sidewalk.
The waiting room faced south. It allowed a sufficient amount of sunlight to enter the room, but it was not too glaring to the eyes either.
Two resident doctors opened the door and chatted and laughed as they entered. What first entered their eyes was the sunlight that had reflected off the tables, and Ling Ran who was sitting in the corner and earnestly playing a game.
The two chatting resident doctors stopped talking in unison.
They quietly went to sit in another corner that was far away from Ling Ran. They suddenly felt a strange sense of uneasiness.
"Hey, why don't we go outside and eat?" When Lu Wenbin, the muscular resident doctor looked at Ling Ran, he felt as if he was looking at a senior doctor.
The resident doctor who had followed Lu Wenbin had just settled down to unwind. But when he raised his gaze to look at Ling Ran, he felt an enormous pressure pressing down on his shoulders. He could not help but nod and said, "Sure, let's eat outside."
Both of them rose in unison. As they were about to exit the waiting room, Lu Wenbin subconsciously excused himself.
"Doctor Ling, we're leaving first."
"Sure thing," Ling Ran replied, still focused on his mobile phone screen.
The two resident doctors left the waiting room. After walking for a distance, Lu Wenbin suddenly stopped in his tracks and asked, "Why did I have to tell him that we're leaving first?"
More than one young doctor had asked this question as the waiting room was the young doctors' refuge.
The attending physicians, associate chief physicians, and chief physicians either stayed in the office or the operating theater. As a matter of fact, given a choice, most surgeons preferred to stay in the operating theater as they found the environment more comfortable. The act of slicing, cutting and saving other people's life filled their bodies with purpose.
The young doctors and medical interns liked the operating theater, but they did not have many opportunities of entering it. As for the office Well, ever since the hospital started using the Electronic Medical Record System, the young doctors derived no pleasure at all from sitting in front of the computers. Electronic medical records needed to be ten thousand words long in average. Even with the ever-reliable copy and paste method, twenty to thirty patients a week on average turned the task of writing medical records nauseating. Apart from writing medical records, young doctors also had other important tasks such as prescribing medicine, giving medical advice, making daily ward rounds, assisting in surgeries, while continuously learning and preparing for exams. They also had to maintain smiles to please the chief physicians, associate chief physicians and attending physicians.
Hence, the young doctors in the hospital enjoyed the waiting room the most, since middle-aged doctors rarely set foot in it.
That was until Ling Ran started bringing pressure on all the young doctors.
Surgeries performed using the M-Tang technique were Level 4 surgeries. Of course, surgeries were not classified purely according to their levels of difficulty. However, those who could perform Level 4 surgeries were still almost certainly elites among doctors.
Such a surgery was actually a young doctors' dream surgery.
Theoretically, a surgery performed using the M-Tang technique could involve one experienced attending physician as the first assistant, and two more resident doctors as helpers
Once they thought about this, any resident doctor or medical intern would go to the balcony for fresh air, rather than sit in the waiting room. Adding on to the pressure was Ling Ran's earnest expression as he gazed upon his screen, reminding others of stern senior doctors.
Ling Ran was not aware of this at all, and stuck to happily playing his game.
Dong Zhizhuan's coach recovered very well indeed. Even though he was already transferred to another department, he was still very grateful towards Ling Ran. He specially let Ling Ran add a few of the club members' secondary characters' accounts so that whenever their gaming interns were practicing, they could invite Ling Ran to join in and help him level up.
Even though they always said things like "we lost the gamble" and "raise the difficulty" in the voice chat, Ling Ran never took it to heart.
"Ling Ran." Someone pushed the waiting room door open, producing a loud creak.
Wang Zhuangyong, the medical intern from the Medical Laboratory Department entered the waiting room.
Wang Zhuangyong's large white coat was sparkly clean from washing. It was incredibly smooth from ironing. He looked squeaky clean. Instead of a doctor, he looked more like a car or property salesman.
"Can you get off work on time today?" Wang Zhuangyong asked.
"Yeah. You asked me on WeChat just now, right?" Ling Ran's expression was serious. His Cheng Yaojin was trying hard to escape the enemies' pursuit. He slid the left side of the screen nonstop with his right hand's index finger to provide assistance to his left hand's thumb. As an excellent surgeon, he had perfect control over every single finger of his.
"You were working overtime whenever I asked you before this."
Wang Zhuangyong urged him to hurry up.
"Let's head out, Chen Wanhao is waiting for us outside."
"I'll go out after I die in-game" Ling Ran suddenly stopped talking. He stood up quietly and slid his mobile phone into his pocket.
Ling Ran took the bus home only after eating outside with his roommates.
His mother, Tao Ping rarely cooked. She would not cook more than once a week, even when she was in a good mood.
On the other hand, Ling Jiezhou was very hardworking. But there really was no correlation between how hardworking someone was and how delicious his or her cooking was. Despite studying in the same city where his parents lived, Ling Ran did not often go home to eat.
Ling Ran alighted from the bus at the alley's entrance. The alley grew darker and darker as he walked down it.
The street lights installed a few years ago were starting to flicker and buzz. The workers from the city council came to fix them at regular intervals, carrying out maintenance work such as the changing of light bulbs. During the time in between maintenance, stretches of the street would be bright, only to be separated by equally darkened stretches.
Fortunately, the lightboxes on both sides of the alley were lit up well enough. Red, yellow and green lights weaved together to form the skyline. It was rather magical, rather modern and looked just like how night in the city would look like.
When people gathered during the day, Lower Groove was actually a very busy place. The young white-collar workers in the office building nearby also had their meals here. They would occasionally buy small trinkets or get minor injections in this part of the city.
The atmosphere quickly became eerie after the crowd dispersed, and only the light from street lights and LED signboards were left. It would get even more unsettling after all the small shops in the alley were closed.
Ling Ran padded through the alley, his hands in his pockets. Soon, he saw the red and yellow light of his family's clinic.
The clinic's main door was already closed, and there was a small door at the side for people to enter and exit.
The clinic stopped providing fluid transfusion services after evening. There were also fewer and fewer people buying medicine from them, and they had basically stopped offering that service. This was because there was a twenty-four hours pharmacy a hundred something meters away from their alley, which had a complete stock of medicine and a membership bonus points system. The clinic could not compete with that.
There was a faint aroma in the courtyard.
Ling Ran wrinkled his nose a little. He was certain that this was the smell of his mother's cooking.
Ling Ran could not help but feel surprised. He took a few quick steps forward and opened the door on the northern side of the house. As expected, the table was full of food.
"Why are you back?"
Tao Ping was rather surprised to see her son.
Ling Ran remained silent for two seconds. "Nothing much went on today."
"Have you eaten?"
"That's good, then."
Tao Ping heaved a sigh of relief and started setting the table again. "I made vegetarian food. You can sit down and have some soup. Dong Sheng just came down from the mountain and has not eaten anything."
As she spoke, a young novice monk who was about ten years old entered, bringing a gush of steam in with him. When he saw Ling Ran, he saluted Ling Ran and said earnestly, "Young patron, how are you?"
He then saluted Tao Ping and said, "Thank you, lay Buddhist. The bath water was very comfortable."
The young novice monk looked strong and honest. His head was smooth shaven and looked almost like a small football.
His gray robe was clean, and it looked like the proper attire for ceremonies.
Tao Ping was very happy when she saw the young and honest novice monk. She pulled him over, rubbed his head and said with a smile, "Dong Sheng is so polite."
Dong Sheng, the young novice monk's face stiffened, and he said softly, "Lay Buddhist please don't touch my face. I just put moisturizer on it."
"Alright, alright, alright. You do need to take care of your face well to look cute for a few more years, just like our Ling Ran." Tao Ping sighed as she spoke. She tiptoed to touch her son's head and said, "It's not as fun anymore after he grew up too much."
Ling Ran quietly sat down and took the opportunity to rescue the young novice monk from his mother, touching the young novice monk's bald and smooth head while he was at it. He asked, "Are you here to get medicine for your master?"
The young novice monk came down from the mountain at set intervals to buy medicine. Someone else would come along with him in the beginning, but he had been coming back and forth by himself these days. He weighed the pros and cons between having his face or his head rubbed in his mind for a while, then sat obediently beside Ling Ran and said, "When master was making pills for the lay Buddhists this morning, he suddenly felt an ache in his stomach and suffered an indigestion. He asked me to buy a couple boxes of antacids to standby for emergencies."
"Ah, the abbot is having stomach aches?" Tao Ping asked in surprise, "I ate the pills the abbot made when I had stomach aches in the past. Doesn't he take his own pills?"
"Master said that his pills only solves the root of the problems and cannot meet urgent needs."
The young novice monk bowed slightly.
"Makes sense. Oh, yeah. I took an excellent Tibetan medicine two years ago. It solves the roots of the problem and also meets urgent needs. I'll go and look for it. You can bring it to your master later." As Tao Ping spoke, she went back to her room to search through her stock.
The young novice monk hesitated for a few seconds before chanting the name of the Buddha once. As he looked at the back of Tao Ping's figure, he said, "Thank you, lay Buddhist."
 A Chinese general in the early Tang dynasty. Also a character in 'King of Glory'.