Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 111
Sister Yi’s body began to convulse and writhe. If someone who didn’t know what was going on saw this scene, they might have assumed she was suffering from an epileptic seizure—that was how bad her convulsions were.
However, Kang Jin-Ho’s palm remained glued to her abdomen. His expression remained stoic and unmoving as he observed her thrashing figure, but his mind was filled with anxiety.
‘This is dangerous…’
The dense poisonous energy filled Sister Yi’s insides to the brim. Kang Jin-Ho was a martial artist and a cultivator, so he didn’t know how medical science would analyze and treat her condition. As such, he could only analyze her condition with his knowledge base and… He thought it was a miracle that she was still alive.
‘No, calm down, Kang Jin-Ho.’
He took his hand away and stepped back.
“Haaah…” A deep sigh escaped from Sister Yi’s lips even though she was in a state of deep slumber.
‘Her condition is worse than I thought.’
Kang Jin-Ho gritted his teeth. However, he never thought it would be easy, to begin with. In all honesty, he even feared that this task might be impossible. After taking a peek into Sister Yi’s condition… He couldn’t help but let despair grow in his heart for a moment there.
Unless a medical sage capable of brewing heaven-defying elixirs who had mastered both medicine and cultivation showed up, it would be practically impossible to do anything to save her. Unfortunately, such sages weren’t here with Kang Jin-Ho. There was no one else aside from Kang Jin-Ho who could even attempt to treat Sister Yi.
‘Besides… Even if a Sage of Medicine showed up, will they be able to do anything when modern medical science has already given up?’
A quandary that couldn’t be solved? It sure seemed that way. Besides, he didn’t have the time to wonder about people who weren’t even here, anyway. Only Kang Jin-Ho could do this. He simply had to do it.
He sucked in a deep breath.
‘I should’ve improved my cultivation realm.’
Kang Jin-Ho suddenly regretted being so lackadaisical about regaining his former cultivation realm. He didn’t think he would need a lot of strength in the modern era, and that attitude had screwed him over this time. Even though it was unknown just how much of a difference a higher cultivation realm could have made in this situation, one thing was for certain—he would have been in a better position, at the very least.
Something else bugged him, too. He was standing around like this and thinking about useless stuff because he was scared—scared that he would fail to heal Sister Yi—scared that he might have to confront his powerlessness once more.
Truth be told, Kang Jin-Ho’s life was a constant battle against his fears. While chasing away the familiar fears he had never gotten used to, Kang Jin-Ho pressed his palm on Sister Yi’s abdomen.
A tingling sensation enveloped his hand again. That was his body warning him to take his hand away after detecting the lump of ominous energy. However, he gritted his teeth and began to slowly send his qi inside her body.
Sister Yi’s figure began to thrash about again. His qi intruding from the outside was colliding with the turbid, corrupted energy inside her, sending ripples of shockwave throughout her body, causing her convulsions.
‘Please endure it, ma’am!’
This might be his battle, but she was also fighting alongside him. Kang Jin-Ho closed his eyes to avoid getting sucked into the scene playing out in front of him and concentrated solely on the task at hand.
The qi he had injected into her body coagulated into one lump and approached the large mass of turbid energy. That was when he sensed that it was actually in two parts—one in the center, which was a dense lump of dark, morbid energy, and a thinner layer of it spreading all around her abdominal area. Her cancer was supposed to have spread all over her abdominal area, which explained what he was currently sensing within her body.
‘Start from the surroundings first…’
The turbid energy lump in the center wasn’t something Kang Jin-Ho could touch. Maybe, it was possible to purify it, but Sister Yi’s body wouldn’t be able to withstand the process. He had no desire to do something as foolish as killing the patient to cure her of her tumorous growth.
He shifted his focus to the turbid energy that had spread all around her abdominal area. Modern medical science wouldn’t be precise enough to eliminate these minute strands of poisonous energy, but Kang Jin-Ho was different.
His qi extended from his palm and coursed through Sister Yi’s meridians before rushing toward her abdominal area.
Kang Jin-Ho’s hearing registered the sounds of qi pathways unclogging and opening up. His qi eventually got close enough to its destination, so he slowed down and began exerting the maximum level of control to carefully devour the individual strands of turbid, poisonous energy.
If the energy had a physical form, each strand wouldn’t even be 0.01mm in diameter. However, eliminating even just one of them proved to be no cakewalk. First of all, there was no place for energy like this to escape within a person’s body.
A human body was similar to a large container of energy. Push the poisonous energy away, and it would simply shift to a different location. That was why Kang Jin-Ho chose to locate each energy strand and individually burn them down through fire qi. Sister Yi’s condition was too terrible to simply neutralize the ‘toxins,’ and even worse, Kang Jin-Ho didn’t know how.
‘Focus and be meticulous…’
Kang Jin-Ho knew he had to absolutely minimize the area affected by fire qi. Fire qi could burn the toxin away, but it also burned the host’s body at the same time. To avoid weakening the patient from the side effects, Kang Jin-Ho simply had no choice but to minimize the burn area to the absolute smallest possible size.
Beaded sweat traveled from Kang Jin-Ho’s forehead to his chin before dripping to the floor. Such exact and minute utilization of qi could only be attempted after a cultivator had reached the peak realm. Had Kang Jin-Ho not attained such a realm in his previous life, he probably wouldn’t even have the guts to attempt this treatment. This process was different from Hwang Jeong-Hu’s treatment, as that only needed the unclogging of a few blocked meridians.
The advantage of Kang Jin-Ho’s qi was that it could slip into spaces too small for a catheter or an endoscope. That gave him a powerful weapon against diseases related to, say, cerebral infarction or brain hemorrhage. However, it was basically useless in a situation where a patient had to be operated on, such as Sister Yi requiring open abdominal surgery.
For now, all he could rely on were his finely-honed-to-extremes control over his qi and his incredible concentration.
‘Do not rush it, Kang Jin-Ho…!’
Continuous, intense usage of qi required an extreme level of stamina. However, Kang Jin-Ho couldn’t rush himself. One rash action could invite a lifetime of regret. He ever so carefully enveloped each turbid energy strand with his qi, then slowly injected fire qi into it.
The fire qi proceeded to burn down the body part where the turbid energy strand resided. Not just the toxin, but even the body part itself was being damaged. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a choice in this matter. If only his cultivation realm were a little higher, he might have found another way to eliminate just the tumors and nothing else. Sadly, this was his current best.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly and systematically eliminated each strand with which he had come in contact. However, there were simply too many of them around Sister Yi’s abdomen. Despite giving his all, and his entire body being soaked in seemingly a bucket of cold sweat, Kang Jin-Ho felt like he hadn’t made much of a headway at all. Still, he didn’t allow himself to get impatient.
‘Her life is on the line here, after all.’
Kang Jin-Ho wouldn’t have minded pushing a bit harder if his patient’s body had been in better shape, but Sister Yi was extremely weak right now. She wouldn’t even be able to survive the aftershocks.
He had to be patient and do it slowly but surely.
Patiently and gradually… Locate every single little toxic strand throughout her abdomen and eliminate them one by one. This was his task.
Modern medical science could also do this, but no doctor would dare to try this method as the patient would definitely die from the burden of open abdominal surgery. Not to forget, regular doctors simply didn’t have the requisite level of concentration and stamina. Only Kang Jin-Ho could attempt this method, as he didn’t need to open up his patient’s abdomen to perform the treatment.
Kang Jin-Ho swiftly discarded any and all distracting thoughts in his head. Right now, he had to concentrate his entire being on eliminating the toxins in Sister Yi’s body. Soon, Kang Jin-Ho entered a trance-like state and focused solely on burning away the toxic strands.
He found one, then eliminated it. When he found another one, he also eliminated it. This task was definitely not glamorous, just simple repetition. Yet, it also required extreme concentration and a delicate touch.
And so… how much time had passed by?
Kang Jin-Ho’s face was soaked in sweat as if he had splashed water on his face. It wasn’t only a few strands of sweat dripping down his face, either. Rather, it was as if someone had forgotten to close the tap properly and, as a result, water was freely trickling down Kang Jin-Ho’s body.
“…Keu-heuk!” Kang Jin-Ho withdrew his qi and pulled it back. Then, he removed his hand from Sister Yi’s abdomen and put the patient gown back on her exposed skin. Just as he silently took a step back, dizziness quickly overtook the relief of knowing he had pulled it off. Unable to maintain his balance, Kang Jin-Ho plopped down on his butt. “Fuu-huuuuuk…!”
His heavy panting echoed within the hospital room. Kang Jin-Ho wasn’t sure how much time had passed by. It didn’t matter, however, as he knew he was done for today. He couldn’t continue even if he wanted to as his dantian felt completely drained. However, the mental exhaustion was far worse than his qi depletion.
He looked down and noticed how drenched his clothes were in sweat. The total exhaustion was the only thing he felt, and a very strong desire to just lie down on the floor and rest tried to dominate his body. He noticed his trembling hands next. It seemed he wasn’t imagining things about wanting to pass out right there and then.
“Haaa, huff… Fuu-woo, fuu-woo...” Kang Jin-Ho stabilized his heavy panting through the breathing technique. After wiping the sweat off his face with his sleeve, he pushed his tired body off the floor.
‘This will take some time.’
Kang Jin-Ho managed to eliminate most of the toxic strands near the upper part of Sister Yi’s abdomen. However, there were still many more strands in her.
‘Still, it can be done!’
Kang Jin-Ho clenched his fists tightly. He had been worried if it was doable, but now, he had proof that his treatment method was effective. He knew that eliminating all the toxic energy in Sister Yi was unrealistic. However, if he could eliminate the tumorous cells in other parts of her body except the one in her stomach, then… Modern medical science should be able to take care of the rest.
Now that he knew tumorous cells could be burned away, this task had transformed into a battle against time. A faint grin crept up on Kang Jin-Ho’s lips without him being aware of it as the mental image of an insurmountable wall surrounding Sister Yi began to crumble.
Her complexion had gotten a little paler now, but she didn’t seem to be in any particular discomfort. The turbulent energy in her seemed to have greatly stabilized as well. She might feel exhausted after waking up in a few hours, but her condition shouldn’t deteriorate any further.
Beep, beep, beep!
Kang Jin-Ho’s hearing suddenly caught the sound of someone typing in the passcode for the door. He quickly melted into the shadows in the corner of the room.
The door slid open, and a nurse stepped inside. Kang Jin-Ho’s figure silently emerged from the darkness and slipped out in the blink of an eye before the door could close.
Before the door slid shut, Kang Jin-Ho heard the nurse’s confused voice. “Ng? What’s wrong with her vitals? Ma’am! Can you hear me?”
The nurse seemed to be panicking from the momentary spike in Sister Yi’s blood pressure. However, the nurse’s voice was silenced as the door slid shut behind Kang Jin-Ho.
“Whew...” A sigh leaked out of Kang Jin-Ho’s lips all by itself.
Had he ever spent this much of his qi reserves after returning to the modern era? He didn’t think so. At least, not until he had utterly exhausted himself like this. With a lethargic trudging gait, Kang Jin-Ho headed back to the stairwell. He managed to slip in unnoticed and went to the rooftop.
The chilly night air did wonders in refreshing his tired mind. He pulled out a cigarette from his pocket and lit it. The acrid and unhealthy cigarette smoke entered his lungs, causing a bout of slight lightheadedness to assault him.
Kang Jin-Ho searched for a suitable spot to sit down, then continued to smoke away as an unreadable smile formed on his lips. “…Right. We’re still not out of the woods yet.”
He had only confirmed that treatment was possible. Sister Yi’s treatment was far from over. From now on, Kang Jin-Ho had to work hard and persevere. He should continue doing his absolute best to eliminate the tumorous cells in the surroundings of her abdominal area before his leave was up. Then, he would let modern medical science take over from there. By doing so, Sister Yi should make a full recovery.
It should be possible to treat the tumor in a person’s stomach that hadn’t metastasized just yet by severing the tumorous growth. At least, that was what Kang Jin-Ho thought. Sister Yi might never regain her prior level of stamina or health, but she should still be able to live out the rest of her natural lifespan as long as she paced herself.
Now that Kang Jin-Ho had found a ray of hope, a smile tried to break out on his lips despite his attempts to conceal it.
‘Yes. My past… hadn’t been a waste of time.’
Kang Jin-Ho often thought about the time he had spent in Zhongyuan mastering martial arts to survive and what it had to do with his current life. It seemed like it had been a waste of his time, but now? He felt relieved, gratified even, at the fact that all the things he had learned back then weren’t useless after all in the modern era. He had found a way to be helpful to others without resorting to violence.
What a strange feeling this was. He was definitely the person treating Sister Yi, and she was the patient in need, yet Kang Jin-Ho was the one at peace after all was said and done.
‘Co-existing and helping each other, is it…’
Concepts that seemed so vague and distant, like floating clouds, suddenly seemed so relatable now. Kang Jin-Ho flicked his finger to stub the cigarette out, then shoved it inside his pocket. He got up and dragged his legs down the stairwell.
It had been a very tiring yet quite rewarding night.