Doctor goes back to Joseon 60 Geoncheondong 1
"It was the first time for me to have a funeral for dogs." Makbong, who had caused so many dogs to die, murmured to himself. He had just finished bowing to the tombs of dogs.
Ganghyup petted his back. "You don't need to bow."
"I just paid a minute's silent tribute."
Ganghyuk looked around at the tombs with an apology. On the tombstones were the names of the dogs that didn't make it through the experimentation. Although their names did not have any special meanings, he wrote them on the tombstones nevertheless.
"Your calligraphy is getting better and better." Yeoju praised.
Ganghyuk used to be in the calligraphy club in that world. And now that he had to come in contact with Chinese characters every day and had more opportunities to write, his skills were bound to improve.
"Is that so? Thank you! I wrote this with all my heart because I felt sorry for them."
"Did you finish making the medicine?"
"Yes. It owes much to these dogs."
He could finally discover the dose which made a person unconscious but did not inhibit breathing. The surviving dogs were anesthetized successfully using the dose. Some of them were given stitches in order to find if they were really anesthetized.
The results were very satisfactory indeed!
"If I follow this, it works very well. Please write it down in the book."
Yeoju received the note that Ganghyuk wrote. It was basically a scribble because he wrote quickly during the experiment. As Arabic numbers and English characters were mixed in it, it was hard for Yeoju to understand.
"You want me to arrange it, right?"
"Yes! Please use some drawings as well. You saw how I separated the poison sac from the toad, right."
"Yes, I have already painted it."
"Good! You are a genius!"
She had a passion for drawing and painting by nature, but after her father's death, she showed the passion outwardly more. She told him that she would like to help save people who might die of injuries like her father.
No matter what reason she had, it was a good thing for Ganghyuk. With that, a good quality medical book was in the process of being made.
"Did you find a place to have performances in Hanyang?"
"Yes, we did… But, we have some conflicts with the fellows who reside there."
"Don't worry! We will sort it out."
If they fought physically, Yeoni's group would not lose. He did not know about others, but Yeoni and Makbong were good fighters.
After all, many Japanese bandits were killed by them, to the point where even the governor envied Ganghyuk.
'Heo, your fellows are excellent! One can match a 100 soldiers.' He could not forget how the governor laughed while saying that.
But one could not do everything with physical power alone.
"If you need some help, tell me." Ganghyuk had a decent background. Furthermore, if the governor became the minister, he would be a great influencer in Hanyang.
Ganghyuk did not know when it would happen though.
"No, sir. I will do it by myself."
"Don't hesitate to let me know if you need my help. I am willing to help you."
"By the way, when will you leave?"
He could leave at any time. There was nothing tying him to Suwon anyway.
'Because of the governor, the old man pushes me hard as well.'
Seungmun wanted him to go to Hanyang as soon as possible. The governor had already told the former that Ganghyuk had rejected a government office in Hanyang. So, Seungmun thought that he could change his mind once he was in Hanyang, and hence pushed him constantly to go.
However, Seungmun already knew that he could not force him to do something.
"I can leave at any time. The problem is about your fellows."
"We can leave soon. Our performance is being closed soon."
"Have you finished the performance?"
Makbong was a man who rode a swing. But Yeoni? She was the Eoreumsani who could not be substituted. How could they have a performance without her?
"Ah… We did. Except Makbong and myself, they are all actors."
"Do they premier a play?"
"Yes, we play drama."
It seemed that they earned little money from the drama performance. Actually, they did not have financial difficulties even though they did not perform at all. Ganghyuk supported the fellows with food and products, so that they could live alright nevertheless.
The treasure from Chiljangsa, where Ganghyuk became the 'Divine Doctor', were bountiful. Furthermore, he did not spare materials for the group, so their loyalty toward him was increased even more.
"Then, when shall we go? I would like to go together. It is not next door, you know?"
"Of course, sir. We will escort you. There are bad rumors about that place indeed."
Joseon did not have a big war for 200 years. There was the Eulmyowaeran some time ago, but it was a local battle rather than a national war. In terms of the nationwide situation, the peaceful time had continued over the years. Therefore, people should have enjoyed their life; however, that was not the case.
Nobility enjoyed their lives, but the commoners could not. Therefore, there were thieves everywhere.
'Im Ggeokjeong should have been active around this time as well.'
And not just those famous thieves, some small and large bandits appeared throughout the nation during these times. The way from Suwon to Hanyang was not an exception. There was a rumor that a nobleman who tried to pay a visit to the governor was robbed by the thieves on the way.
"Yes, I heard about it. I would be endangered if I encountered them." He was a nobleman, and the things he had were very expensive. Even Dolseok used a fan at this point.
"Don't worry. We will escort you." Yeoni laughed while showing the sword that she received in the last war. The governor gave the sword to her as a praise for her achievements.
She had killed the masked man, so she deserved to get rewarded.
"Ok, then. We will leave as soon as you are ready."
After that conversation, Yeoni and Makbong went back to the marketplace, while Ganghyuk, Dolseok, and Yeoju remained at the dog cemetery. There was nothing much for them to do there. Three people in a dog cemetery…
"Let's go. Why is it so cold here?" With the remark of Ganghyuk, they went back home promptly.
Going to Hanyang was different from going to Mt. Gwanggyo. It might take very long, and they might stay there for a while. Therefore, there were many things for them to bring.
"Dolseok, we need rice and herbs."
"Ah, fans too. I will give them to Sunshin and Dr. Heo as presents."
Ganghyuk sat there and ordered this and that to Dolseok while Yeoju was busy packing her painting tools. Yeoni and Makbong had also packed their bags by now.
"We have a lot to carry."
They carried a bag each, but the cart carried by cows was still full of things: rice, herbs, fans, leather, and dried meat…
Although there were just four cows to pull the cart, they seemed enough to do the task.
"Sir, we will be good, right?" Dolseok was afraid of going Hanyang. When he told a lie in front of soldiers, he was like Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. But right now, he was showing his true nature as a coward.
"Yes, we will be fine. You know Yeoni and Makbong, don't you?"
"Yes, I trust them, but…"
"Then, let's go. There is nothing around here. It's so quiet. Why do you have a chicken heart?"
"Thieves come when it is very quiet, sir."
Actually, that made sense indeed. It was a remote mountain, and there were no other people. Hence, there was a dreary feeling that something might come.
At that moment, Yeoni stopped all of a sudden. "It is strange. There is no sound of insects."
"Yes, it is strange indeed." Makbong picked up his sword.
When the mood became darker, Ganghyuk scolded Dolseok.
"Fellow, don't chatter your teeth."
"It has nothing to do with me, sir."
"Do you want to be rolled in a straw mat?"
"No, sir. I am sorry."
While they quarreled, some shadows blocked them. They were armed with rods and metal flails, not really looking like professionals.
"Fellow! Leave what you have there and go!" The voice of the fellow with the metal flail trembled. But when he threateningly swayed his metal flail, the colleague beside him was hit instead.
All of these antics encouraged Ganghyuk's group; heck, even Dolseok was encouraged at this point!
"It is quite funny."
"Yes, it is."
The bandits came out to snatch their carriage, although they were a bit afraid of the owners. If Ganghyuk's group were not prepared, they would have lost their carriage indeed. But unfortunately for the former, Ganghyuk and his fellows were pretty well prepared.
"What should we do with them?"
All the thieves were kneeling down a few minutes later, bruised here and there.
"Forgive me, please!"
The thieves were rubbing their hands while asking for forgiveness.
Actually, they won the battle because of the leader. They took his flail at the beginning of the combat, and used it to take all them down.
Ganghyuk laughed as he looked at him.
"Is it your first time?"
"Yes, sir. I have sinned to deserve death. Forgive me, sir! Please pardon my life!"
If he wanted to live, he should not be saying that he had committed deadly sin. But, he said precisely that and then asked Ganghyuk to pardon his life.
Ganghyuk found it very funny, so he ended up laughing out loud. However, it made him look even more fearful.
"I will not kill you. You cannot die before you pay off the medical fee."
With that, a clinic opened in the mountains, and most of the bandits got some first aid style treatment. Afterward, Ganghyuk took everything that they had as a fee.
Literally, all they had…
While the thieves went on their way after departing from them, they ended up following Ganghyuk ultimately, looking desperate.
"What should we do?"
"Get a new rod and other weapons to rob the passengers. Why?"
Hearing the remark, the bandits trembled. It was not a metaphor, as they had actually trembled.
"With our naked bodies, sir?"
"You deserve it. You must choose your match." Ganghyuk laughed and turned away his head.
The bandits were pathetic; at least Dolseok and Yeoju thought so.
"Sir, they look like beginners. Could you show them mercy?"
"I agree, sir."
"No, they are bandits anyway." Ganghyuk took a firm attitude. However, Dolseok knew that his master was not very cruel.
"We need some servants on the way to Hangyang, sir."
"Servants? Do you think I will use bandits as servants?"
"There are no people born as bandits. I think we can teach them."
"Then, who will train them?"
"They will do." Dolseok pointed at Yeoni and Makbong.
The bandits shrank their bodies when they saw those two. It seemed that they were reminded of the terrible combat a few minutes before.
"Yes, we did not get sufficient medical fees."
"Then, we will take them as servants. If they don't do the duty, we can give them punishments."
"Yes, that's good."
They probably did not want this kind of a result. But, it was decided, so they followed the group after taking back their clothes. As the size of the group became larger, no more bandits dared to attack them, and they could arrive at Hanyang without difficulties.
"He said it would be near here." Ganghyuk roamed around the entry of Geoncheondong when someone approached with a big smile.
It was Sunshin.
"Thank you, brother."
"There are more people than I expected."
"We have a lot of stories to tell you."
"That's good…Come in. I told you before that I had someone to show you. He might need your treatment."
"Yes, I remember."
"He will be here soon."