“Take him down and have his blood drawn.”
When Duan Chen’s words came out, Yan Rui’s heart ached so much that he could barely breathe.
The doctor stepped forward: “Mr. Yan, this way please.”
Yan Rui lowered his head. Enduring the cold, he followed the doctor out. The coat he wore was drenched in melted snow and it dragged down heavily on his body. It had long lost its ability to keep him warm.
“You’re soaked through, do you want a change of clothes?” The only spare clothing available in the hospital were the staff’s white coats. Sure, they were thin, but it was a better alternative to wet clothes.
Yan Rui shook his head and responded: “There is no need, Doctor. Let’s proceed.” Yan Rui had to leave right after the procedure. No matter how warm the clothing may be, it would eventually get wet in the snow. There was just no point in changing now. It was indeed freezing …… but this would pass in awhile. Hadn’t he already endured much on his own for all these years?
When the doctor saw his insistence, he did not persuade him any further. He brought him to the next room and pointed to a reclining chair: “Sit here for a while.”
The equipment for the procedure had already been prepared. Yan Rui took off his coat and rolled up his sleeves to reveal his delicate arm. His hands were small. Without having to clench his fist tightly, his veins were clearly visible as the light shone on the cold fair skin.
The doctor handed the medical consent form to Duan Chen for his signature.
Zhou Ran was suffering from acute sepsis and required 1000ml of blood transfusion. For any normal person it would have been extremely dangerous to have so much blood drawn. Any slip-up would have resulted in death from blood loss. So each time before obtaining blood from Yan Rui, a consent form and even a notice of critical condition had to be signed.
“Mr. Duan, these two forms are for you to sign.”
Duan Chen looked at the consent form and the notice handed over to him. Both clearly stating that the procedure was highly risky and dangerous in nature. Duan Chen had long been accustomed to signing these. Apart from the consent forms, he had even signed the notice of critical condition twice. This time was no different. Without the slightest change in expression on his face, he signed and tossed the documents over to the doctor.
Seeing that he had signed them so quickly without reading, the doctor couldn’t help but remind him: “Mr. Yan came here covered in snow. His body is weaker than usual, I’m afraid we won’t be able to draw as much blood this time.”
Duan Chen’s eyes darkened and spoke with a tone of indifference: “You must draw as much as Zhou Ran needs.” In his eyes, what matters most is Zhou Ran’s health, as for Yan Rui …… he is nothing.
“But if anything happens……”
“I will bear all responsibility.”
Duan Chen was not bothered in the slightest by the doctor’s advice. To him, getting some blood can’t be that big of a deal. It surely wouldn’t kill him. Duan Chen couldn’t help but scoff in his heart that Yan Rui was a snake demon in human form. How could he die so easily after living for tens of thousands of years. Compared to the dispensable Yan Rui, he was much more worried about Zhou Ran, who was lying on the hospital bed and in pain.
Duan Chen suddenly remembered something and asked: “You said that Yan Rui’s body was cold, would there be any problems to transfuse his blood to Ran Ran?”
The doctor froze, then shook his head: “No.”
As an onlooker, he was unsure whether to feel grief or sympathy for the frail man lying inside, waiting for his blood to be drawn.
Duan Chen’s eyes turned icy cold once more and instructed: “Hurry up with the procedure.”
Yan Rui laid on the reclining chair. His gaze was dull as he stared at the light above his head. A few moments later, the doctor returned with the consent form. After placing it aside, the doctor walked towards Yan Rui and gave him a gentle smile, reassuring him: “It will be over before you know it, don’t be afraid.”
Yan Rui stared at the syringe in his hand, gulping involuntarily. His eyes darted side to side and his body shuddered with fear. Despite this, he continued: “Go ahead Doctor, I’m not afraid of the pain.”
But how could he not fear the pain? Although Yan Rui was already an adult, his natural snake instincts were deep rooted in his bones. He feared the cold and was even more fearful of pain. He would cry because of the pain every time.
Yan Rui shivered as the needle pierced his fair soft skin. He clenched his teeth to reduce the trembling in his arm. He must not move, or the doctor would not be able to insert the needle.
Yan Rui repeated this reminder to himself. Once he saw that the blood filled up the syringe, he was relieved.
By the time it got to 400ml, Yan Rui was already feeling light-headed. His already pale complexion now turned as white as the wall when hit by the light.
When Yan Rui was in pain, he would grit his teeth and endure it. Today, he didn’t even have the strength to do that. His eyes gradually became dim. He knew how much blood had to be drawn each time. Looking at the blood bag now flooded up to 500ml, there was still halfway left to go. It will be over soon.
“Are you okay?”
Yan Rui wanted to tell the doctor that he was fine, but his body was so cold and in pain that he could no longer speak. Looking at the doctor’s worried expression, he stiffened up and shook his head, proving that he was just fine.
Yan Rui endured it all with his eyes shut. As blood in his body was drained, he too became colder. His fingertips had lost all sensation by now. His body was small and lean to begin with and now with 1,000ml of blood removed, his whole body laid limp and lifeless on the recliner like a rag doll.
The doctor removed the blood bag out in a hurry and handed it to another doctor when he reached the door. He then returned to Yan Rui’s side.
“Mr. Yan.” The man still had a pulse and was breathing. He appeared to have temporarily passed out.
Yan Rui could hear muffled voices but his body could not respond in any way. When Yan Rui finally opened his eyes, he was unaware of how much time had passed. Zhou Ran was already done with the blood transfusion. He was the only one left in the empty room and the smell of hospital disinfectant filled his nose.
Yan Rui shakily stood up and went to the next ward. He wanted to reach out and push the door open, but then he thought of what Duan Chen had scolded him the other day.
Yan Rui stopped moving and knocked gently on the door twice. With his hoarse voice which was now weak and feeble, he called out: “Ah Chen, may I come in?”
There was no response so he waited. The corridor was much colder than inside the room as there were air vents and occasional gusts of icy winds which caused his eyes to turn red. He stood outside shivering, and only when he had the permission did he twist the door handle and entered.
There was only one lamp in the room and it’s warm orange light illuminated the man’s face, slightly softening his icy and hard features. His thin lips curved slightly upwards into a smile, and his gloomy gaze eased when looking at Zhou Ran.
That heart of stone had just one soft spot reserved only for Zhou Ran. He would only smile at that one person and reveal his tenderness and joy.
Yan Rui was not exactly smart but could sense it, and his eyes couldn’t help but reveal the envy as he walked over. He did not dare to get too close and stopped a meter away from Duan Chen.
“He’s still in pain. You know what to do.” Duan Chen frowned and tilted his head towards him.
Yan Rui paused. He knew that Duan Chen was asking him to remove scales from his own body.