Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 117
Chapter 117. Establishing (5)
“Good to see you again, Mister Jin-Ho,” said Jo Gyu-Min.
“Hello to you, too.” Kang Jin-Ho greeted him back.
Their current meeting place was in front of Jaegyeong’s hospital. Jo Gyu-Min arrived first and waited since they had already discussed what was about to happen beforehand.
Kang Jin-Ho asked in a serious tone, “The thing we discussed, will it be possible?”
“Of course,” Jo Gyu-Min replied with a cool nod.
“Jin-Ho, what’s going on?” Park Yu-Min asked while looking puzzled. He got a call from Kang Jin-Ho early in the morning, telling him to come to the hospital. He assumed they were simply going to pay a visit to Sister Yi today, but that didn’t seem to be the case since Jo Gyu-Min was waiting for them like this. “Uhm, it’s nice to see you again, Chief Director.”
“Ah, hello, Yu-Min. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m just the acting chief director, though.”
“Actually, you should call me the former acting chief director.”
Kang Jin-Ho waited until the pleasantries were finished, then addressed Jo Gyu-Min, “In that case, I’ll leave it up to you.”
“Understood. We’ll get on it right away.”
Kang Jin-Ho then glanced at Park Yu-Min. “Let’s go.”
When Kang Jin-Ho left behind Jo Gyu-Min and walked with purpose toward the hospital entrance, the still-confused Park Yu-Min hurriedly followed him. “Are we going to see Sister Yi now?”
“Yeah,” Kang Jin-Ho replied without looking back.
Park Yu-Min didn’t ask any further and followed his friend. Kang Jin-Ho would have said something by now if he believed it was necessary. That was his style, after all.
They soon entered the room where Sister Yi was staying, then bowed their heads in her direction. “Good day, ma’am.”
“Good to see you two,” Sister Yi smiled brightly at them.
Park Yu-Min smiled back at her. “You look so much better than before, ma’am.”
“Jin-Ho worked hard to get me transferred here, you know. Looking better is the least I can do.”
Park Yu-Min wasn’t paying lip service just now, though. Sister Yi’s complexion was indeed markedly better.
She tilted her head slightly. “What brings you two here so early in the day?”
Park Yu-Min chuckled apologetically. “Jin-Ho was raising a fuss about coming to see you. That’s why.”
“Jin-Ho did?” Sister Yi stared at Kang Jin-Ho with a slight question mark on her face. She knew all too well that he wasn’t the type to do things without a good reason. If he insisted on visiting her so early in the day, then he had to be thinking of something.
Kang Jin-Ho nodded slightly. “Ma’am, the hospital will perform tests on you today.”
“Yes. They’ll be redoing the full-body scan, biopsy, and MRI.”
“Jin-Ho…” Sister Yi sighed, her expression displaying her unwillingness. “It’s not good to try and stop something that cannot be stopped.”
“It can be stopped, ma’am,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a firm voice.
“What do you mean, Jin-Ho?”
“Trust me, and go through with the tests, please.”
Sister Yi quietly studied Kang Jin-Ho’s face before nodding away. His tone and attitude were too confident for her to say no. Even if tests were meaningless, she was willing to go through with them as long as they could put this young man’s mind at ease. Especially when he had been trying so hard for her until now.
“However, don’t we have to book the test beforehand?”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded. “I’ve already taken care of that.”
“I see. So, is this why you brought me to this hospital?”
Sister Yi gently chuckled. Maybe because her complexion had become better? Her smile came across as a little warmer than a few days ago. “Very well. Let’s go get those tests, then. I’m sure Jin-Ho will be able to end his army vacation without worry if I do.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Kang Jin-Ho bowed deeply. Almost at the same time, the door opened to let the doctors and nurses enter the room.
The doctor looked at the nurses and issued a new order. “Alright, everyone. Prep the patient.”
The nurses prepared a wheelchair and got ready to transfer Sister Yi.
The doctor walked up to the bed and spoke to her in a friendly voice, “Ma’am, we’ll run a few tests on you today. It might get tiring, but please be patient with us as the tests themselves are necessary.”
“I understand, Doc. Thank you for your hard work.”
The doctor, Department Head Kang Chun-Sik, surreptitiously glanced in Kang Jin-Ho’s direction.
‘Anyway… Just who is this young man?’
Today’s event was the very first time a Jaegyeong’s messenger showed up to request a ‘special treatment’ for the patient in one of the VIP rooms. Hwang Jeong-Hu was well-known for his distaste of such things, yet this still happened. Moreover, the messenger wasn’t from some random department in Jaegyeong, either, but from the Office of Secretaries, no less. It was even more concerning how the messenger mentioned that the chairman had personally made the request. No wonder Kang Chun-Sik felt his butthole pucker up from tension.
‘Doesn’t matter who he is; I better make sure I don’t get on his bad books!’
When Hwang Jeong-Hu’s child was admitted to this hospital, Hwang Jeong-Hu didn’t even ask for any special treatment. Not even once. In that case, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that this young man wielded even greater influence than Hwang Jeong-Hu’s children in Jaegyeong?
Kang Chun-Sik’s mind was currently occupied by two disparate thoughts of doing his best to leave a favorable impression on this young man and that this was just a massive waste of time for everyone.
‘I mean, I heard the patient had already got tested a few days ago…’
Even if the patient’s condition was poor and her cancer could spread quickly to the rest of her body, demanding a new MRI scan only a few days after the previous one was a bit too nonsensical. If the chairman hadn’t ordered it, Kang Chun-Sik’s belief as a doctor would have never allowed it to happen.
He was worried about the off-chance of the tests worsening the patient’s condition, but he was a member of the organization called Jaegyeong. There were some things he could oppose and some that he could not.
‘This is why those who don’t know jack shouldn’t even…’
Kang Chun-Sik tutted inwardly while ordering the tests to be performed. But then…
“W-what the…?!” While holding a medical chart, Kang Chun-Sik rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Some priority had been given to Sister Yi’s tests, so her results had come out faster than usual. And he was currently looking at those results right now. “Did the patient’s chart get swapped or something?!”
Kang Chun-Sik picked up the phone and made several calls, but he got the same replies from all of them—that the chart hadn’t been swapped or altered in any shape or form.
“Then, how the heck…”
These results implied that something utterly unimaginable had transpired. The patient had Stage 4 gastric cancer just a few days ago. In other words, she was a terminal patient. The tumors had spread to her abdominal walls, and there was no hope of recovery. Yet, in a span of a few days, her condition had improved to around Stage 3.
“The cancerous growths are…?!”
What seemed even more unbelievable was that the tumorous growths spreading beyond the stomach and into other organs had all disappeared without a trace. As a doctor, Kang Chun-Sik saw many, many instances of spreading tumors. But the tumors naturally contracting like this? Never!
The patient’s condition was beyond the effectiveness of the currently-available cancer treatments, and that was why the hospital didn’t even bother to offer one and put her through more unnecessary pain. But now, her cancer… had naturally gotten better?
“This is unbelievable…” Kang Chun-Sik muttered.
Quietly sitting across from the stunned doctor in the department head’s office, Kang Jin-Ho finally broke his silence. “Doc, is it possible to start her treatment?”
Kang Chun-Sik nodded without even realizing it. “Y-yes, it is. It should’ve been a no, but with this sort of improvement? Yes, it’s doable. As long as, uh, the patient’s chart didn’t get swapped.”
He was a doctor, but Kang Chun-Sik was still repeating to himself that the medical chart must have gotten swapped with someone else’s chart. That was how unbelievable this situation was to him.
Kang Jin-Ho ignored that and asked once more, “What will be her treatment method?”
“A gastrectomy is the method we’ll have to go with. We’ll remove her stomach in its totality. The operation might leave behind a few smaller tumor cells, but those can be dealt with chemotherapy.”
“In that case, please proceed. Schedule the operation as soon as possible.”
“S-sorry? Ah, yes, of course,” Kang Chun-Sik replied while still thumbing through the patient’s chart in disbelief. If the result of the MRI was to be believed, he had to report this to his fellow academics.
When Jo Gyu-Min called out to him, Kang Chun-Sik finally snapped awake and remembered what he had been told earlier. Not a single detail of this patient must be leaked to the outside, said Jo Gyu-Min. Hell, even the sharing of information within the hospital was prohibited.
‘Does that mean… Did Jo Gyu-Min already know this would happen? Even before the tests were run?’
Kang Chun-Sik’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.
‘Could it be… a new type of drug?’
This situation could be explained if Jaegyeong had indeed developed a new anti-cancer drug and had secretly used it on this patient. If so, the young man before his eyes could very well be the leader of the team behind the drug’s research and development. They must have found a suitable patient, transferred her to this hospital’s VIP room, and ran a clinical experiment on her.
Since randomly picking out a patient and running experiments without consent would be legally and ethically wrong, the higher-ups must have thought of gagging everyone for the time being.
Kang Jin-Ho quietly said, “Please inform the patient appropriately, Doc.”
“Ah, yes. Of course.” Kang Chun-Sik nodded, having already jumped to his own conclusions. As a doctor, he wasn’t happy about participating in things like this, but the patient’s improved condition suppressed his unwillingness. After all, being able to save someone previously thought to be beyond saving was worthy of celebration.
The office door opened, and Park Yu-Min entered while pushing a wheelchair forward. In the wheelchair, Sister Yi bowed her head at the doctor.
“Please come in, ma’am.”
Kang Jin-Ho got up and made room, allowing Park Yu-Min to place the wheelchair directly opposite Kang Chun-Sik. He then waited nervously for the doctor’s opinion.
Kang Chun-Sik cleared his throat and spoke in a reassuring tone, “First of all, it’s good news. The patient’s condition has improved dramatically.”
“R-really?” Park Yu-Min’s eyes opened wide. Wasn’t he told that Sister Yi’s condition was hopeless not too long ago? Yet, she had improved in such a short time?
“Yes. The patient’s illness has improved by a great deal. We believe we can even operate on her with her current condition.”
“O-operate?” Park Yu-Min was left speechless and urgently stared back and forth between Kang Chun-Sik and Sister Yi.
An operation? They could operate on her now? Less than a month ago, the doctors in the other hospital said her cancer had advanced too much to operate. But now, her condition had improved to the point where an operation had become a viable option?
Obviously, Park Yu-Min had asked around as much as he could, hoping to find more information. However, most doctors or specialists he had talked to had all said the same thing—a patient in such an advanced stage of cancer would be better served by allowing them to die peacefully. As for those who had claimed there was hope? They were either scammers or peddlers of alternative medicine.
But now, Sister Yi could be operated on?
Park Yu-Min gulped a mouthful of his saliva and asked once again to make sure, “A-are you being serious, Doc?”
“Yes. We can do this.”
“Did you hear that, Director?” Tears began flooding out of Park Yu-Min’s eyes as he tightly held Sister Yi’s hand.
Strangely, the person in question remained rather composed despite the revelation of there being hope for her. She slowly turned her head and looked at Kang Jin-Ho for a moment or two, then gently smiled at him. “Jin-Ho, so this was it?”
“I see. You must’ve gone through a lot of trouble for me, Jin-Ho.”
Park Yu-Min also turned his head and belatedly stared at his friend. He was too overjoyed and ended up overlooking it, but now that Sister Yi had mentioned it, Kang Jin-Ho must have done something for this situation to happen.
Kang Jin-Ho unhurriedly nodded. “For the time being, let’s continue listening to the doctor.”
Sister Yi also nodded and turned her attention back to Kang Chun-Sik. “Indeed, let us.”
Kang Chun-Sik coughed to clear his throat before continuing. The proposed plan was to completely remove Sister Yi’s stomach, directly connect her esophagus to the small intestine, then extinguish the remaining tumorous growths. Once Park Yu-Min heard that Sister Yi could lead a relatively normal life without a stomach as long as she paid attention to her diet, he nearly fainted on the spot. “H-how can this be…”
When Kang Jin-Ho said Sister Yi had to transfer to another hospital, Park Yu-Min had a feeling that something was afoot. However, he had figured it was simply a gesture to help Sister Yi’s final days be more comfortable. After learning about this miraculous change in the situation, though? Park Yu-Min couldn’t even think of anything anymore. It felt like his mind was blank.
Kang Chun-Sik continued, “We shall schedule an operation right away. The patient’s condition might suddenly deteriorate, after all. Unfortunately, our schedule is fully booked until next month, so operating on her immediately is not feasible, but—”
This was when Jo Gyu-Min silently shot a sharp glare in Kang Chun-Sik’s way. The latter chuckled awkwardly. “But, as the patient’s case is just too urgent, we shall proceed with her operation even if it means we’ll have to do it outside of regular operating hours. As such, the operation might occur within the next few days, so we ask you to mentally prepare in the meantime.”
“Thank you so much. Thank you, Doc.” Park Yu-Min bowed his head repeatedly, tears still streaming out of his eyes.
Sister Yi, quietly listening to the doctor’s explanation until then, smiled gently and bowed her head as well. “Thank you, Doctor.”
“No need to mention it, ma’am. I haven’t done much, anyway. And you can thank me after the operation.”
“Then, we’ll leave it in your hands, Doctor.”
“Of course. Thank you for coming by, ma’am. If you have any questions, please ask them when I do my rounds tomorrow.”
“I see. Thank you,” said Sister Yi.
The group left the department head’s office and stood in the corridor.
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at Park Yu-Min. “Let’s take the director back to her room.”
Park Yu-Min hurriedly nodded and began pushing the wheelchair forward. “Jin-Ho, I… I can’t think straight right now.”
“Looks that way.”
Park Yu-Min’s face was a mess of tears and snot, but his hands resolutely held onto the wheelchair. He was so elated that he looked like he would pass out, but he somehow managed to hold on.
They soon reached the VIP room. After carefully laying Sister Yi on the bed, Park Yu-Min seemed to have finally gotten a hold of himself. He gently grasped her hand and murmured happily, “Director, it’s great news, isn’t it?”
“Indeed, Yu-Min. It seems so. By the way…” Sister Yi turned her gaze to Kang Jin-Ho and muttered, “Yu-Min, can you leave us for a minute? I’d like to have a chat with Jin-Ho.”