The Emperor's Runaway Lover - Chapter 4
TW for mild gore, surgery.
The boy knew very well that the person in front of him was bleeding a lot. He’d lost no less than 800ml of blood. His skin was clammy, and his body temperature was significantly low, while his breathing and heartbeat were at least 30% faster than normal. His condition was very dangerous.
Back then, when the man noticed the sandworm, he could have left it behind and run away. In a situation like that, the sandworm will only attack the weaker creature first.
Why did he do that? Why did he take the initiative to provoke that terrible monster?
To save him?
But, what benefit would there be for him? He doesn’t seem to be actually interested in catching him to exchange him for a reward from the laboratory.
The boy couldn’t understand. He felt very confused.
This man, was he going to die?
When that thought appeared in his head, the boy suddenly felt a slight discomfort. He had a weird feeling in his chest, like something light and strange was stuck inside. He had never experienced anything like it before.
However, it was just a minor, insignificant feeling.
The boy lowered his gaze in silence. In any case, he had already gotten inside the vehicle. If the man died, he’d just drive the off-road vehicle himself and leave this cursed place.
Fu Yucheng leaned on the sofa and rested. After a while, he barely managed to regain his breath. He gestured towards the window,1 “Hey, kid, help me drag that workbench over.”
The metal workbench wasn’t big and it had pulleys underneath, so the boy easily dragged it over to the sofa.
Fu Yucheng dragged his body and stretched out a hand to open the drawer below the workbench.
The drawer was deep, and had two stainless steel trays inside. In one tray were piles of simple surgical instruments, several rolls of yellowed gauze, and a large box of medical cotton. In the other were various medicine bottles, syringes, saline and alcohol.
Fu Yucheng rummaged through it for a long time, and finally picked up a pair of small surgical scissors.
Carefully, he cut off the hem of the bloody T-shirt. The dried blood had made sections of it stick to the flesh. He didn’t dare to pull hard, instead slowly tearing it apart after it was moistened with saline.
After a few minutes, the wound on the bottom right section of his abdomen was completely exposed at last. The wound was seven or eight centimeters long. The scarlet flesh was split open and blood oozed continuously from it.
It looked pretty serious.
The boy pursed his lips unconsciously.
“This wound is really not a simple matter,” Fu Yucheng muttered. “Bah, it’s no use. Just as old people say, you gotta be able to manage on your own.”
He thought for a while, then grabbed a roll of gauze and stuck it in his mouth to prevent accidentally biting down on his tongue. Afterwards he soaked a large cotton ball with alcohol to absorb the blood and clean around the wound, and gave himself a shot of modified lidocaine. This anesthetic had been expired for a long time, so its effect would not be great, but at this point in time, who gives a damn?
After doing all this, Fu Yucheng coughed a few times, then raised his head and glanced at the boy, “Brat, come here and help me take out the hook.”
The boy hesitated for a moment before walking over. “How do I do that?”
“Just do as I say.” Fu Yucheng rummaged in the drawer, and finally picked out two slender surgical retractors.2
The boy took the retractors and, following the other’s instructions, placed them on either side of the wound, using them to slowly pry it open.
Fortunately, the local anesthetic had started to kick in and the pain gradually subsided, the area around the wound becoming a little numb. Fu Yucheng clenched his teeth. Holding the cotton with tweezers, he tried to clean the inside of the wound, absorbing the blood and looking for broken vessels.
The ceiling lamp in the rear compartment and the wall lamp next to the sofa have been automatically turned on just now following Xiao Bai’s command. However, the abdominal wound was very deep, and the visuals Fu Yucheng had to work with were really poor. He searched for a long time, but he still couldn’t find any bleeding points.
Suddenly, his dim visual field brightened up.
Fu Yucheng looked up, stunned.
The boy had hooked the retractor’s handle in his right hand to a handle on the side of the workbench, and then used the now free hand to grab a miniature searchlight from the workbench.
He carefully adjusted the angle of the searchlight, holding it as high as possible in order to let the sharp beam of light cover the entire wound.
Fu Yucheng couldn’t help raising his eyebrows. The kid was clever.
He nodded at the boy and stopped wasting his precious time, instead lowering his head to carefully examine the wound.
After a quarter of an hour, he finally figured out the situation.
A vein branching from the inferior vena cava was damaged. Fortunately, the nearby organs, including the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and spleen, were untouched. If an organ were damaged, it would be easy to cause diffuse peritonitis due to the infection. It’d be almost equivalent to a death sentence.3
After confirming that there was no organ damage, Fu Yucheng finally breathed a sigh of relief. This was far better than what he had feared before.
But suturing a blood vessel was still extremely troublesome.
“Oh, it would be great if there was a treatment chamber here,” he murmured.
The AI treatment chambers in the Imperial ecoregions can cure practically any ailment or injury. But in this barren Earth there isn’t even a reputable surgeon, let alone an AI treatment chamber.
Fortunately, it was only a damaged secondary vein. He could, just barely, handle it.
Because of his frequent injuries, Fu Yucheng ended up learning some common surgical techniques, and he was pretty good with his hands. He had saved many lives on the battlefield, including the one currently residing in the White Rose Palace.
At this point, after thinking for a moment, he took two hemostats4 and respectively clamped the left and right ends of the damaged vein, temporarily blocking the blood flow.
Next came the stitching.
Fu Yucheng, holding a delicate needle driver,5 could barely sew two stitches. He felt his vision darken for a moment. In addition to the blood loss, he was exhausted physically from fighting against the sandworm. He couldn’t perform such a laborious, time-consuming and delicate operation at this point.
Fu Yucheng was at loss for a while, then told himself, “Let’s just give it a try, what do I have to lose?”6
“What do you want to do?” The boy looked at the man, puzzled.
Fu Yucheng didn’t have the time to pay attention to him. He rummaged through the drawer for a while until finally picking out an odd-shaped metal “screwdriver”.
“Let’s make do with this shit.” He stared at the “screwdriver” for a moment, curling his lips in disgust, “Brat, move that thing over.”
“This one?” The boy followed his gaze and dragged a crude machine onto the workbench.
Fu Yucheng slightly leaned up and started working to open the rusty casing of the machine. Inside was a dazzling pile of chips and circuits.
He squinted and carefully looked through the complicated circuits. Quickly, he pulled out a red and a blue wire from the inside, carefully peeled off the rubber coating with a scalpel, and connected the naked wire to the bottom of the screwdriver.
After pondering for a moment, he adjusted the knobs on the back of the machine.
The boy silently stared at the other’s actions, watching him quickly fix the AC current to an output frequency of 30,000 Hz.
“Let’s make do with it.” Fu Yucheng held the screwdriver tight in his hand and shook his head, displeased.
After some tinkering, the screwdriver in his hand has become an extremely basic, high-frequency electrosurgical knife.
“With the blessings of Hua Tuo7, Bian Que8, God, Buddha and Hippocrates9” he muttered to himself. Taking a deep breath, he brought the front end of the electric scalpel close to the damaged vein extremely slowly.
He heard just a very slight “sizzle” sound, accompanied by an indescribable burnt smell, and the damaged blood vessel quickly turned into a scorched dry scab.
“Huh, it’s done.” He let out a long sigh of relief.
For some reason, the boy also felt a weight lift off his chest. “That’s good.”
“Something like that, yes.” After taking a small rest, Fu Yucheng also cut off the appendix that stood out near the opening. “Anyway, since my abdomen is all open and the anesthetic has kicked in, I might as well cut it off too. No point on wasting the chance”
The boy watched him questioningly. “What are you doing?”
“Brat, you don’t understand. In the past there were many jobs where people got their appendix removed in advance. For example, seafaring sailors, interstellar astronauts, and so on. Just think about it. If you get acute appendicitis during a long voyage, you’re in big trouble.” Fu Yucheng took a low breath and used the electric knife to stop the bleeding from the appendectomy. “See, I cut it out easily, and it caused no issues.
“Hey, why does it suddenly hurt? This anesthetic sucks. Even if it has been expired for ages, the anesthesia duration shouldn’t be this short, right? Did I buy a fake?”
While muttering, he started the preparations to suture the peritoneum. Due to the blood loss and pain, his face had become paler, but his nonchalant energy didn’t make him seem like an injured patient at all.
Isn’t he afraid of death?
The boy frowned, not knowing what to say for a while.
“Brat, don’t be so uptight. It’s no big deal.” Fu Yucheng glanced at the boy and smiled with some effort. “Pay attention, can’t you smell it? Doesn’t the burn from the electric knife smell just like a barbecue? Delicious.”
The boy: “…”
What software is this man’s brain running?
After half an hour, the wound was finally stitched up from the inside out. Fu Yucheng was exhausted, as well.
Fortunately, there was a growth factor gel in the drawer for healing injuries. The man squeezed the gel out onto the wound, making a bit of a mess. He covered the wound with a clean cotton dressing pad, took a large roll of gauze, and wrapped it around his waist several times to avoid opening the wound.
“Is it really okay to bandage it like this?” The boy frowned. “Wait, let me help you redress it.”
“Come on, don’t worry about it.” Fu Yucheng was already half-dead, and didn’t try to argue with him. “The only goal here is to not die.”
Such a rushed and crude treatment would leave an ugly scar, like a centipede. However, at this time, Fu Yucheng didn’t care about how pretty the wound would look after healing.
He rummaged in the drawer, picked up a small white bottle, poured out a few tablets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication, and swallowed them without even looking.
“Brat, you’re gonna have to wait for a…” Fu Yucheng was feeling exhausted and in pain, and his eyelids felt terribly heavy. Although he still wanted to say a few words, his brain and body didn’t listen to him. “Wait for a…”
The superimposed effects of blood loss, fatigue, and the drugs were predictable. At this moment, he just wanted to sleep.
He leaned on the armrest of the sofa and was asleep before he could finish a sentence.
The boy stood by the sofa, looking down at the other.
The man on the sofa had his eyes closed tight, a few strands of wet black hair clinging to his smooth forehead. The eyelashes looked almost like crow feathers, long and thick; the curve of his jaw was sharp and beautiful, and his face so pale that it seemed translucent.
The boy stared at him for a while. He placed two fingers on the tip of the other’s nose gently, checking his breath. It was faint and warm.
He pondered for a while, then pulled up an old blanket from the back of the sofa and used it to cover the sleeping man up.
Fu Yucheng slept for five hours.
When he opened his eyes, the burning sensation in his throat was even more uncomfortable than the painful and itchy abdominal wound.
The boy was sitting on the arm of the sofa, looking out the window with a blank expression.
On the remote desert horizon, the huge blood-colored sunset was like an undying temple flame, burning magnificent in silence until eternity.
Hearing the rustling noise from the sofa, he turned his head abruptly, his dark eyes looking straight at the other. “You are still alive.”
“Ahem, it’s just a small injury. Who dies so easily? You brat, do you have to say such unpleasant things?” Fu Yucheng complained weakly. He pointed a finger to the glass cup on the table, “Go, go, get me a glass of water.”
The boy hesitated, got up, poured a large glass, and brought it over carefully.
Fu Yucheng sat halfway up carefully and drank the sweet water, holding directly onto the other’s hand.
It wasn’t until reaching the bottom of the glass that he let out a long sigh of relief, “Hah, that was great.”
He licked his lips and looked up at the old wall clock that marked four o’clock in the afternoon.
“I have to go back.” Fu Yucheng paused, remembering something, and turned to look at the boy, “Brat, what about you? Got any plans?”
Fu Yucheng you absolute mad man.
Shootout to my editor Wintery once again! look at me, sticking to my schedule whoa
- Technically what he does is 努努嘴 which is like pointing with his mouth.
- For those, like me, who disappointed their parents by not going to med school, retractors are a simple handheld steel tool possessing a curved, hooked, or angled blade that when in place maintains the desired position of a given region of tissue. Source.
- Inflammation of the peritoneum, you can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peritonitis
- Although perhaps self explanatory with the context, they’re like a pair of scissors with flat ends that lock shut. Source.
- It’s med class here today at foxaholic! This one is similar to the hemostat, but it’s used to hold the needle for suturing. Source.
- 死马当活马医的意思, “let the dead horse be a live horse doctor”, keep trying even the worst outcome can be expected, exhausting every option possible.
- Historical Chinese physician https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hua_Tuo
- Legendary Chinese physician https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bian_Que
- Father of medicine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocrates
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