How scary will a man who used to save lives become if he starts bearing animosity?
The prime example of this is the Poison Demon.
The Poison Demon grew stronger through his knowledge of anatomy and medicine and began studying poisons when that wasn’t enough. The feet that had been busy scurrying around his clinic while trying to save his suffering patients transformed into ones that searched for poisons growing in hazardous terrains.
The Poison Demon even tested poison on his body as he was unsatisfied in his preparations to take down Dae Na-Chal alone. After persevering through a constant cycle of poisoning and treatment, he eventually killed Dae Na-chal.
Would a person seeking vengeance be satisfied?
By the time of our first encounter, the Poison Demon had already killed Dae Na-chal. However, the Poison Demon did not go easy on Dae Na-chal’s disciples either. He killed them by pursuing them and tracking them down. Even former disciples who had abandoned their life as the Twelve Generals and were living their lives as ordinary people were caught and slaughtered.
When I met him, the Poison Demon not only resented Kangho warriors but also loathed humans in general. He had cured and treated countless patients. Afraid of Dae Na-chal and his wrath, no one stepped up to help him as he fell into a delirium.
That was how Moyong Baek slowly immersed himself into the world of Kangho in another lifetime.
I learned the details about his hatred during a drinking session with the Poison Demon.
During his time as an ordinary practitioner, he once treated Dae Na-chal when he was seriously injured. He also saved the Twelve Generals from the verge of death on multiple occasions.
Eventually, Moyong Baek killed all of his ungrateful patients with poison.
When I met the Poison Demon, the expression on his face was always bleak.
When burning vengeance died after getting rid of all his hated enemies.
What would he live for?
His loved ones were no longer by his side, and all the bastards he had to kill were gone for good.
The Poison Demon continued to study poison and cultivated martial arts without finding a proper answer. He spent his days imagining that someone would come to avenge Dae Na-chal.
And I was grateful for that Poison Demon.
Swearing not to save another life again, Poison Demon broke his oath to save me from Qi Deviation with his past medical knowledge.
The man who had been slowly losing reason may have sympathized with me, who had already gone crazy long ago. This must be the empathy that is shared between lunatics.
I can’t help but recall the old days as I sit alone in the waiting area.
Moyong Baek, who reappears after looking after his patients, sits down again and explains the patient’s condition.
“Don’t worry, neither of them have any serious injuries.”
I’m not worried, but I still nod solemnly. Apparently, Moyong Baek thinks that I am the guardian of the two patients.
Moyong Baek continues.
“To my surprise, their injuries are mild, but they displayed symptoms of being mentally disturbed as well as anxiety. Especially General Hong-shin, she looks like she hasn’t slept for a few days. She also kept badgering around about what someone was doing, as well as complaining that she was suffering from diarrhea. In her half-asleep state, her words become honest.”
Moyong Baek stares at me as if he wants an explanation of how they ended up in that state.
“Is diarrhea a serious disease?”
“In which aspect?”
“You’re in Kangho. Diarrhea might cause one to lose against an enemy. It’s life-threatening, so it’s considered a serious illness.”
I never thought I’d return to the past and have such a deep conversation about diarrhea with the once terrifying Poison Demon.
As I know Moyong Baek’s character, I resolve his curiosity.
“The truth is, I told her it was poison and gave her laxatives. I then ordered her to promptly kill one of the Twelve Generals — Green Dog, Yellow Horse, or White Rat. If Hong-shin had continued to defy me, I would have had no choice but to kill her like the Black Rabbit Union Leader. Thus, the laxatives I gave her saved her life!”
I retort using my Introduction to Diarrhea Studies (泄瀉學槪論).
Once he figures out what is going on, Moyong Baek tries to hold back his laughter and flares his nostrils.
“I see. Then I will prescribe medicine to stop diarrhea.”
I snap my fingers and say.
“You will soon gain a reputation for treating poison. That will be formidable.”
“Thank you, but I will have to refuse.”
“Anyway, I promised to treat her since she got rid of Green Dog. She’ll be in your care, Doctor Moyong.”
“I see. It’s not difficult, so leave it to me.”
How did the atmosphere turn solemn on the topic of stopping diarrhea? Exchanging glances with Moyong Baek for a moment, I give him a nod.
“Let’s move on from the diarrhea topic.”
“Of course. Also, it appears that General Geum-hae is suffering from psychological shock.”
I throw a question over to Moyong Baek.
“Do you know what he likes the most?”
“I don’t mean any offense, but they would be money, drugs, and gluttony.”
“Good catch. During the fight, he’d lost a considerable amount of internal Qi, and I also stole his money.”
“Right. Those who are successful tend to take failure more personally.”
I nod and point to the patients room.
“Let me go save Hong-shin from the depths of despair.”
“I’ll be back.”
As I stare at Moyong Baek’s back, I think.
The saying that successful people tend to take failures more personally also applies to him.
But it doesn’t apply to me.
I have few memories of gaining success.
The guest inn was destroyed, I was kicked out by my employer when I worked as a cemetery caretaker, and I had lost all my bets on sparring gambles. I strayed off the path while learning martial arts and plagued myself in Qi Deviation, and the Low-Down Sect was terminated as soon as it was built. Whether it was learning martial arts or taking panaceas, nothing went smoothly.
A life marked with failure; that was my past life.
Because I’d lived such a ruined life, I ended up being chased down by both the Murim Alliance and the Demon Cult.
In the end, I swallowed the Heavenly Pearl…
Failure is just a process.
What matters most is to make it out without getting hurt.
I can suddenly hear Hong-shin’s voice from within the patient’s room.
That’s right. You have to live with gratitude.
The hope that diarrhea will stop and the expectation that one thick shit will come out instead. The word ‘doctor’ seems to naturally come out of Hong-shin’s mouth now.
How can a respectable doctor such as Moyong Baek be so horribly betrayed by his patients?
The nickname ‘Great Doctor’ vanished, and the Poison Demon was born.
Therefore, Dae Na-chal must die in my hands before Moyong Baek goes feral.
My flow of consciousness seems to flow back to shit as I sit alone, engrossed in my thoughts, so I try to calm my mind.
Whenever the nurses walk by, I lower my head slightly.
My face is pale, my outfit is pure white, and yet my head is full of poop, so I feel sorry for the nurses.
Having briefed the nurses about the precautions and treatments, Moyong Baek strides back out.
“Leader, I’m afraid General Hong-shin needs to have some rest. The waiting time will be delayed as General Geum-hae’s treatment will also be prolonged. You can come back tomorrow.”
“Doctor, are you busy?”
“Not at all.”
I point to the chair across from me.
After I watch Moyong Baek take a seat, I push the box of gold to him. Moyong Baek looks at the box and asks.
“What is this?”
“Can I open it?”
As soon as he opens the box, Moyong Baek confirms that it is full of gold currency.
“This is too much. How many are there in total?”
“50 gold pieces.”
“Why are you giving me so much?”
“Actually, it’s time for me to do some cultivation. While I wait for them to get treated, please prepare a quiet place for me to rest.”
“That won’t be a problem, so…”
Moyong Baek takes three gold pieces out of the box and pushes the box back to me.
“Even this is too much.”
A quarrel breaks out.
“Please, accept it.”
I am quickly reminded that Poison Demon was extremely stubborn in the past. Moyong Baek says with a relaxed expression.
“Leader, I treat my patients regardless of who they are because I am a medical practitioner. However, I am also human with likes and dislikes. Use this money for what you have planned. I have received 50 of them, but I will return 47 to fund your agenda.”
I earn money so I can make it rain.
And Mo Yong-baek is gathering the money back in his hands and throwing it back at my face.
Moreover, if you look closely at his words’ meaning, it contains hints that I should use the money to kill Dae Na-chal.
“If you insist, I will take them back.”
“But you must accept these.”
Round Two has begun.
I hold out a box of four-rooted White Flame Herbs to Moyong Baek. I preemptively say something in case he brings up whatever reason he has to refuse.
“A doctor needs to be healthy to help save more lives.”
Moyong Baek laughs without opening the box of White Flame Herbs.“
“For me to completely absorb these White Flame Herbs, it would take more than 10 days for me to cultivate. Patients come every day. I can’t possibly leave my position to ingest these. Rather, aren’t these essential to you? I am grateful you regard this shabby clinic so highly. Please eat these right now and begin your cultivation, and I will prepare a remedy to help your body regain its balance.”
This is the kind of guy I am facing.
I’ve lost a quarrel.
While contemplating what to say after running out of cool words, Moyong Baek calls out to the nurses and gives several orders.
“Take the leader to the room in the far end. He will start cultivating once he takes the herbs, so be mindful.”
“And put up a sign saying I will be out until tomorrow morning and close the clinic early today. I have something to do.”
While the nurses and the clinic are now moving in sync, I wait patiently.
“Leader? You can go in now.”
“Gosh. This makes me wonder if I can do this for only 3 gold pieces.”
Moyong Baek says with a smile.
“Getting to know a master more skilled than the Black Rabbit Union Leader is good for us. I’m looking forward to working with you, Leader.”
Eventually, the man whose head is filled with thoughts about shit follows the nurses inside.
Moyong Baek, who is left alone, looks at the busy nurses walking around and enters his office with his hands behind his back.
Taking off his sweaty headband, Moyong Baek washes his hands and face and wears a new headband on his forehead.
Subsequently, he retrieves ingredients one by one from the drawer where drugs and herbs are stored and places them on the table. In the meantime, he recalls the clan leader’s mannerisms, gaze, complexion, and breathing, while thinking about materials that could neutralize the energy of the White Flame Herb. He then mumbles.
“…I think he has basic anger issues.”
Moyong Baek thinks that he shouldn’t believe everything a patient says.
Some ingredients have to be finely ground into powder, so Moyong Baek sits at his desk, takes the utensils in his hand, and begins preparing the ingredients himself.
It’s also a very long process.
However, the drug’s efficacy can be increased according to these trivial actions and sincerity.
The nurses usually do this, but today, he is preparing medicinal herbs on his own.
Naturally, he has no choice but to reflect on the patient’s condition while making the medicine.
In Moyong Baek’s eyes, the leader of the Low-Down Sect is an impressive man that shows very few emotions. He often makes jokes, but it’s just a facade.
His nature is that of a level-headed person who never rejoices nor gets angry.
Based on research and books he has read on human personalities and personal thoughts, he interprets the Low-Down Sect Leader in this way.
A man who will fight wars and turn the world into his enemy if things don’t work out.
A man who will lead and protect many people if things work out well.
The point is, whether it’s going to war or protecting people, he is definitely not an ordinary man who can spend his days peacefully.
To classify him as a personality type, he is a man of war, a Colonel (將帥) type.
No matter how things progress, he will be the leader of an army.
That’s why Moyong Baek works harder to prepare the medicine.
He hopes that the leader of the Low-Down Sect will spend more money on something more meaningful, overcome his anger issues, get over his Internal Demons (心魔) that might develop in the future, win against Dae Na-chal, and also hopes that the clan leader will soar in his career and protect Moyong Clinic….
He collects herbs and ingredients and carefully grinds them into powder.
As he immerses himself in the preparation process, the corners of Moyong Baek’s mouth go up slightly. Having burst into laughter alone, Moyong Baek has no choice but to take a small break.
“Ugh, I can’t stop thinking about his diarrhea story.”
The man who was once the Poison Demon laughs with a bright expression.
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