Chapter 108 – Duty (3)
It was a hospital not too far away from the Sahdahng station.
The roads weren’t fixed yet, so it was probably faster to run there than to ride a car. When Woojin opened the door to enter the hospital, the inside of the hospital was filled with people. It was so packed, there wasn’t a place for his feet.
There were several times more injured people than casualties.
The elevator was pretty much paralyzed by the number of people trying to use it. He bypassed them and ascended using the emergency stairway. He walked past the corridor filled with patients, then headed towards the isolation ward.
“You can’t come in here.”
Woojin had suddenly entered the ward, and the nurses were surprised by his appearance. They tried to stop him.
“It’s all right. I’ll just go in for a brief amount of time.”
“No. You might become infected.”
“I’m a Roused, so I’ll be fine.”
Being a Roused didn’t mean his body was invulnerable. She was busy, so why was he being so obstinate?
Woojin pushed forward his Roused Card. When the nurse saw it, her eyes became round.
Rank A was printed on the card, but this was merely the Rank that was registered with the Roused Association. Kahng-woojin of Korea was known to the world as a Rank AA Roused. There were those who considered his rank to be as high as Rank S.
“Still, you might get infected….”
Now that she knew who this person was, his words didn’t sound like a tantrum anymore. The nurse was struggling with her decision when she decided to make a call. It wasn’t within her power to make this decision.
“Yes, director. The Roused Kahng-woojin is here, and he wants to go into the isolation ward…”
After a long talk, the nurse ended the call and spoke to Woojin.
“We won’t mind if you enter there, but you’ll have to be checked when you come back out. That is a must.”
“Who are you here to visit?”
“I’m looking for Do-jiwon and Do-jaemin.”
“They are in room 3. Professor Lee-soomin should be evaluating and speaking to them right now.”
Woojin opened several doors and arrived at a small corridor. He saw 4 hospital rooms. There was transparent windows that allowed one to look into the rooms. At a glance, Woojin could tell there were more people inside than the rooms could accommodate.
Woojin’s appearance surprised Professor Lee-soomin and the two residents.
“Are you Mr. Kahng-woojin? I’m Lee-soomin. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Open the door to the 3rd room.”
Woojin gave a half-hearted handshake and pointed towards the locked door.
Instead of an isolation ward, it looked like a detention room… Lee-soomin and the doctors shook their heads from side to side.
“We can’t allow you to come in contact with them. You’ll have to talk to them from here. We are still identifying the symptoms of these patients.”
One of the resident brought him a mic. It’s purpose was to allow him to hold a conversation through the speaker installed inside the 3rd room. Woojin let out a short sigh.
He didn’t know what they were doing. This was incarceration instead of isolation.
They weren’t actually treating the patients, they were just observing the patients.
They were wasting time without making anything better.
“Uh-huh! It is an unknown virus. After the quarantine, we have to observe the progress of the disease.”
Woojin stared intently at Lee-soomin.
“We aren’t even sure of the route of infection yet….”
Woojin smirked. The fact that the professor was grasping at straws was laughable.
Woojin’s arm wrapped around Lee-soomin’s shoulders. Woojin’s thick hands grabbed Lee-soomin’s shoulder.
“Ooh ooh ooh.”
The pain caused Lee-soomin to let out a moan. The residents let out a shout.
“Uh-huh. What are you doing!?”
“Let go of him! He’s going to get injured.”
The residents didn’t dare charge forward. They could only talk to Woojin in a rush of words. Woojin grabbed the doorknob with his other hand.
“If you are a doctor, you should watch this.”
Woojin opened the door easily, without a change in expression. He carried Lee-soomin into the room.
When the door opened, Lee-soomin used his free hand to cover his mouth with his sleeve.
Woojin smirked when he saw Lee-soomin panic.
Jiwon called for Woojin who had just entered the hospital room. Woojin greet her discreetly with his eyes, then spoke into Lee-soomin’s ear.
“It isn’t an airborne disease. Put down your hand before I crush your chin.”
Lee-soomin quickly lowered his hand.
At a glance, there were 14 people gathered inside the room.
“No one here is diseased.”
“H…however, the people who had direct contact with the infected….”
“Nothing will happen. You can let them out of the isolation ward.”
Woojin led everyone out to the corridor. The residents had already run away; they were nowhere in sight. Lee-soohmin couldn’t do anything right now. It were as if he was stuck between the jaws of a lion. He hated the situation he was in.
Woojin grabbed the door of the 1st room.
There were 5 people moaning and they seemed to be in a critical state.
“They are poisoned by the Ghoul’s corpse poison. I guess Ghouls haven’t shown up on earth before, so this should be the first time you guys have seen this type of poison. You can only get it if you touch them. Don’t worry about it.”
“D…don’t open it.”
“You are a fucking doctor, yet you value your life so much. It is unsightly to see you shake like this from fear.”
“… A doctor’s life is more precious. I have to live, so I can save numerous lives of patients….”
Woojin put strength into the arm he had over the doctor.
“The soldiers going out to a battlefield, do they not put their own lives on the line?”
One went out to battle with one’s life on mortgage.
Woojin never avoided death. Not even once. No, he always lived with death close by his side.
“I wanted to live, but it isn’t as if I disliked the idea of dying.”
He didn’t want to become a monster. He didn’t want to become like Trahnet’s commanders…
That was why he persevered as he thought about his family. He tried hard to consciously think of himself as a human.
What bullshit was he spouting again? Lee-soomin frowned in worry.
Woojin sent his stored souls into the moaning patients, after which they were immediately healed. When the patients became relaxed, the sight made Lee-soomin’s eyes open wide.
All large hospitals possessed Roused with healing type abilities, while others selected highly qualified professionals. All the patients here were quarantined, because neither the current medical science or any of the Roused abilities could discern the root cause of the sick patients.
Woojin had cured them so easily that Lee-soomin was dumbfounded.
It wasn’t as if he didn’t know, who Kahng-woojin was.
He was a Rank AA Necromancer.
He was a Necromancer, who controlled corpses, yet he was using healing magic right now. Wasn’t that a bit strange?
Woojin looked into the transparent window of room two.
“Do you know what those three have?”
“I have no idea.”
“It isn’t poison or a disease. It’s a curse.”
Kahng-woojin said it with so much confidence that Lee-soomin wondered if he should believe those words or not.
However, since he was amazed by Kahng-woojin’s confidence, Lee-soomin couldn’t help but ask the question.
“Can you treat them?”
“It’s too late to treat them. There is no way to reverse the curse now.”
It basically meant that the golden time had passed.
Woojin looked at the people who were shaking like they had a chill. It seemed they had gone into a frenzy. They had to be tied to the bed. Unfortunately, Jaemin was one of them.
Jaemin’s eyes were rolling back and forth. When he caught sight of Woojin from across the transparent window, tears began to fall from his eyes.
If he hadn’t been cursed in the first place, he might have been able to do something. However, Jaemin already had it, so there were no cure.
“Then those people….”
“They’ll shake like that for a day, then curse will activate.”
The doctor’s face fell into despair at Woojin’s declaration. Jiwon heard him from the back and asked with a shaking voice.
“S…so what will happen to him?”
“He’ll become a servant of the Night Nobles.”
“W…what is that?”
“He’ll become a monster.”
He would become a mindless servant of a vampire. He’ll be a monster who only longed for blood. Jiwon crumpled to the floor as strength left her legs.
Jiwon sobbed her heart out. Woojin looked down at Jiwon. He couldn’t comfort her right now. Woojin’s arm, which had been around the doctor, was released. He grabbed the door to the 2nd room and opened it.
He easily broke off the door and walked into the room.
Three sets of eyes landed on Woojin. They were tied to the bed.
Jaemin’s round eyes looked at Woojin.
“Do you want to live?”
“Yes… I want to live.”
Jaemin nodded vigorously with his pale face.
“You were bitten?”
“Yes. My shoulder….”
Woojin ripped open Jaemin’s clothes and saw the clear bite mark on his shoulder. The mark had already turned from red to purple.
“Hoo-oohk. What’s going to happen to me, hyung?”
“Do you know what a bloodsucker is?”
How could he not know? A vampire-like being had bitten him.
“You are going to be like that.”
“Then I’ll never be able to see the light of day anymore?”
Jaemin was looking at the situation too optimistically.
“No. You will be able to see the sun. Instead, you will die tomorrow, and only your body will live to become a bloodsucker. You will cease to exist starting from tomorrow. The being you described are the true Vampire Race. You will just become their servant, a bloodsucker. Basically, you’ll be a monster.”
If his body wasn’t tied down, he would have run to Woojin wanting to cry. He grabbed onto Woojin’s pants leg.
Woojin looked down at Jaemin with a serious face.
“Do you want to live as a vampire? As you said before, you won’t be able to see the sun ever again.”
“Hook. Yes. I still have a lot of things I want to do. I’ve only studied up until now… Please save me, hyung.”
“All right. I’ll save you.”
The two patients who had heard Woojin’s answer yelled out.
“Please save me! Please I beg of you.”
“Ahjuhshi. Please save me too.”
Woojin shook his head as he looked at them.
“I can’t save you.”
“What! Why can you save him but not us?”
“Aren’t you Kahng-woojin? Can a public figure act this way?”
“Please save us too!”
Woojin didn’t respond to their outcries. He silently released the binding mechanism holding down Jaemin.
“Hey, fucker! Save us too!”
“If you leave, I’ll blab to everyone. I’ll tell them Kahng-woojin isn’t a hero. I’ll tell everyone you are a fake!”
Woojin smirked as he brought Professor Lee-soomin into the room by his arm. He had been vacantly standing in the corridor. Professor Lee-soomin was brought into the 2nd room in a moment of confusion. He looked at the two patients who were struggling at death’s doorstep.
“Who said I’m a hero? If you want to beg for your life, you shouldn’t do it to me. You should do it to the doctor.”
Woojin patted professor Lee-soomin’s shoulder, and he exited the room with Jaemin.
“W…what do you want me to do? Please tell us the method we have to use to dispel this curse.”
Lee-soohmin followed Woojin out and asked Woojin in a sincere manner. It was a problem of whether he knew how to treat it or not. Of course, he would save his patients if he knew how.
“I need to take out the heart of the vampire who bit them. If I can perform the Ceremony of Blood, Jaemin will succeed its power.”
The method was grotesque for this unknown curse.
“I can perform the ceremony for only one person. Unfortunately, it seems all three of them were bitten by the same batard.”
“I’m going to save my dongsaeng.”
Jaemin was touched by the words, ‘my dongsaeng’, so he started to tear up. Woojin spoke to the doctor who had fallen into a state of panic.
“They’ll become bloodsuckers after one night. You’ll regret it if you tie them up that loosely.”
“…What…what should we do?”
“You take care of it. Either you can try to save two monsters or administer euthanasia to save countless people inside this hospital.”
The professor had no words.
How could this man speak so irresponsibly?
Lee-soomin looked with pleading eyes, but Woojin looked back with indifferent eyes. Woojin didn’t have any other methods. He had a choice and he made it.
If he was to tell the absolute truth, he wasn’t saving Jaemin. He was just making human Do-jaemin into a vampire Do-jaemin.
“I’m not a doctor. You are. You deal with it.”
Woojin put out his hand towards Jiwon who was still sitting on the floor.
“I have to go save Jaemin.”
“Thank you. Thank you, Woojin.”
“If I don’t find the culprit within the day, he’ll die anyways.”
Didn’t he just say Jaemin was his dongsaeng… When he spoke about Jaemin’s death in such a calm manner, Jaemin’s heart sank.
Woojin exited the isolation ward with Jiwon and Jaemin. Lee-soomin flopped down to the floor.
“What should I do….”
The room was still chaotic.
The two patients tied down on the beds were letting out swear words and curses like crazy people.
“Professor. Are you ok?”
The residents who ran away had returned to help the professor back to his feet. They had run away at the sight of danger, yet when Kahng-woojin disappeared, they immediately showed up again. He was disgusted by their behavior, but it wasn’t a good time to talk about the loyalty a pupil should have towards his teacher.
“Go acquire some information on the curse of a vampire.”
Lee-soomin hadn’t incarcerated these people. They had been showing symptoms of unknown cause, so he had been approaching these cases with caution.
Since they were still alive, shouldn’t he do his best to save them?
“Request data from the Roused Association, and even the Roused organizations around the world.”
If he didn’t know the cause, then he could plead ignorance. Now that he knew the cause, he had to do his best to find the cure. He didn’t want to shame the profession of a doctor with his actions.
The hospital was his battlefield.