The Friendly Sun
HANYANG CAPITAL, MAKDONG CLINIC
Hanyang, the capital of the Joseon kingdom.
It is said to be the main land of Joseon that symbolizes growth, productivity and the future, or does it? A lot of controversies have been rising for the past few months now and it didn’t help the Lord that was assign by the King himself, have done nothing but lie to the ruler of the nation and covered problems with sweet words like sweet brown syrup on some shave ice that is served only to the rich.
One of the problems Hanyang is currently facing, is the fact that a lot of medical attention needed by the commoners are not being attended unless you are a dedicated public doctor or nurse, or…you have a lot of money.
Makdong clinic is one of them, it is said to be the most pitiful clinic in Hanyang and even in whole Joseon, ironic that it was established as the biggest clinic for the poor in the capital but it is not being well maintain by officials who only want to corrupt the money sent by the royal government.
Understaff, overwork and underpaid, it’s not really the most ideal workplace for a doctor or a nurse who have trained themselves as young as 14 to 15 years old to become healers of the nation.
But here we are, an old man opens his throat as the doctor checks on his mouth.
“Okay you can close it now, sir.” The doctor tells him.
“So, you see! There’s a bug inside me! That’s why I have to drink wine in order to calm it down!” The old man suddenly spoke.
He made the tall doctor smile and now shakes his head.
“Halbeoji (grandpa), that’s not a bug, you just have tonsillitis, and that’s why you have been feeling a lump on your throat, you need to wash your mouth with salt and stop drinking before you sleep, don’t eat anything raw for a while too!” He advises the old man.
A scratch on the head was made by the old man as he didn’t realize that it was actually what he has been experiencing.
“Excuse me sir! But when can my daughter have her check up! She’s been crying about her fever for 30 minutes now.” A middle age woman who had her daughter by her side now interrupts.
“Ah, ma’am just a sec-“
“Hey, don’t cut in my line, I have a finger that’s dying because I almost cut myself while repairing a roof, and I have been waiting for an hour now!” The tall carpenter interrupts with his bloody hand he wrapped in a dirty cloth.
“Eyyy, I was here for 2 hours and my dog needs medical attention!” An old lady cuts them.
“S-Sir, ma’am, grandma, can we please hold on? There’s no one in this clinic but me and my two nurses who are doing their best so-“
“Hey! I have been here for 2 and a HALF hours! Help me first!”
“It’s not fair you have to let old people go in first!”
“If you can still breathe old hag, then shut up!”
The crowd was estimated to be a hundred, and there were a lot of people outside too, when a small handsome man with a big sack on his back interrupts the crowd as he slaps the big brown sack on the floor of the clinic.
“Hey Chanyeol, you didn’t tell me how hard it was to get to Makdong, and now my back is aching~” The handsome small man now stretches his back.
“Seungwan-ah!” The tall doctor named Chanyeol runs to one of his best classmates in medical school.
He hugs the small handsome man and began weeping.
“H-Hey! Stop hugging me!” Seungwan, who Chanyeol didn’t know was a woman, now gently pushes the tall doctor.
“Seungwan-ah, you really did come, I thought you won’t even consider nor reply to my letter.” He, the tall the doctor, named Chanyeol keeps crying.
“Let’s talk later, but for now….” Seungwan turns around and now puts his doctor cap as he smiled at the huge crowd that was about to fight who will get medical attention first.
“Alright! Those who are bleeding fall in line here, those who feel hot another one line, those who don’t know their sickness one line, those who have animals like cats, chickens, dogs, and whatnots, please do know we will attend to you, but you are the least of our priorities-“
“But my dog has not been eating for the past few hours-“
“Ma’am you’re overeating your dog, if you want help from us, as I said humans are our priority, so you need to wait! Anyways, those who are bleeding enter the clinic, nurse!” Seungwan points at the in awe nurse who was so shock at how the small handsome doctor was able to control the crowd in one go.
“Guide these people, where’s the operating room! I will be with you in a sec!” The handsome doctor claps her hands as she tells the nurse to be fast.
“Doctor Chanyeol I’ll be leaving the kids and old people to you, the rest are mine!” Seungwan now tells his colleague, Chanyeol.
‘Y-Yes doctor!” The tall doctor saluted.
HANYANG CAPITAL, MAKDONG CLINIC
The morning has turn to a late orange afternoon, Seungwan was now wrapping the wound she stich with some bandages on the woman who had an incident with her cow who went on a rampage in the fields.
“Okay, ma’am don’t be running around your cows and farm for a while okay? Let your children do the job for you, you’re still young and should be enjoying life, if you come back here with another similar wound I will be personally coming down your house to lecture your lazy children understand!?” Seungwan now pouts.
Mothers have been always her weakness, and even now as the middle age woman was smiling at the care of the handsome small doctor, she can’t help but feel so worried.
“Aigoo, the rumors are really true, doctor you really know you’re way with women of all ages, you know I have young daughter who is at the marrying age, she’s beautiful! I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother, but you know men who wanted to have her hand even begged and was trying to give me 10 of their cows just for me to allow her to marry one of them.” She giggled.
“Yah, ahjumma! I’m not- Well- I-….anyways! Don’t speak about cows for a while, just concentrate on your recovery, also let your daughter marry who ever she loves as long they take care, respect and love your daughter that should be your measurement for your daughter, not cows!” The flustered doctor now lectured the middle aged woman.
“Such a sweet young handsome man, I’ll tell my friends that Doctor Shon, is really such a sweetheart~” She pinches the doctor.
“Ma’am…stop that, you’re embarrassing me.” Seungwan covered her smile.
As the middle aged woman now exits with her son, the doctor plops on the bench of her “makeshift” office, and yawns.
“Doctor Shon?” The nurse knocks.
“Um…that’s the last of them, you can rest now, thank you so much for helping us today.” She bowed to Seungwan.
“Thank you for assisting me too, you’re awesome.” “He” smiled at the nurse.
“I- I- have to…floor the sweep, I mean! The floor sweep, I mean sweep the floor! Bye doctor!” She runs away from the makeshift office.
Seungwan just smiles to herself, and now yawns on the bench she was sitting, a knock on the door by the tall doctor made her stop her yawning.
“Hey, um…Seungwan-ah, what do you want for dinner?” He smiled.
“Hmmm….can you tell me why the biggest clinic for the poor in Hanyang has only one doctor and two nurses?” She now investigates.
“Well….our head is out right now, and we are actually two doctors here, but Doctor Park hurt his back from lifting one of our heavy patients…and now he is also recovering from that….” Chanyeol now sighs and sat on the opposite part of the table.
The small handsome doctor is just nodding but he was obviously so concerned of the state of the hospital.
“But everything will change now! Since you promised you will take over this hospital right!?” The tall doctor now excitedly asks.
“Um…well about that….” Seungwan now scratches her head.
“Doctor Shon! The sack you told us to keep on the back area is being stolen by a thief!” The young nurse who got flustered by the young small hansome doctor, runs back to the office.
HANYANG CAPITAL, MAKDONG CLINIC, BACK AREA
The other nurse was an old lady who had a lot of strength and speed, and now she is holding the thief by the collar, who was stealing a gold hairclip from the sack Seungwan was carrying back from the The House of Pink Blossoms.
“Let me go ahjumma!” The little thief shouted.
“You really thought you can get away you smelly small thief don’t you! You’re even becoming braver, and now you’re not just going to the kitchen to steal, even the back area!” The old nurse shouted at the little thief.
“Hey, what’s going on here!?” Seungwan now rushes to the back area.
She realizes the thief the young nurse was talking about is a just a small boy in raggy dirty clothes, he keeps on holding on to the gold hairclip in his little hand as he glared like an angry and “scary” puppy at Seungwan who was just staring at him.
“Eysh, it’s the stinky thief again.” Chanyeol whined, since he was very familiar with the dirty raggedy looking boy.
“Yah, you know…if you are going to steal next time, make sure you don’t steal those gold hair clips, steal those jade rings, they are pricier! Plus those clothes you think they are just clothes right? But they are the priciest out of the items here, since the thread that was used to make them were even imported from China.” Seungwan now smiled the little ragged wearing kid.
The little kid just kept staring at the weird doctor who was even giving him advice on what to steal next time, Seungwan signals the old nurse to stop holding the child’s collar and she lets go.
“Ahjussi you’re weird.” The little child now tells him.
“What? Me? I’m just giving you tips! What’s weird with that?” She now giggled.
He, the little child, was supposed to answer but now his stomach was rumbling crazy and got so red as he realized that the four adults looking at him heard how loud his stomach grumbled.
“Kid, do you wanna eat? You can take the gold hairclip if you want, but you can’t leave this clinic without eating.” Seungwan now opens her hands and pretends to stop the kid if he made a run for it.
“I have a name!” The unlearned boy shouts.
That earns a pinch on the ear by the old nurse.
“Yah, don’t shout on the kind doctor! Be respectful.” She lectures the child who can only nurse his own red ear with his little hand.
“Okay, what’s your name then kid?” Seungwan now smiled at him again.
“S-Seunghoon…my name is Seunghoon…ahjussi.” The small thief with raggedy clothes and dirty face tells his name.
HANYANG CAPITAL, MAKDONG CLINIC, KITCHEN
It irritated Seungwan at how even the kitchen was so dilapidated, the only ingredients that was in the impoverished kitchen was eggs, rice, and a few of onion leeks.
The nurses was supposed to cook for the doctors, but Seungwan herself took the job, so the 3 overworked unappreciated staff can rest while she was with them.
Eggs ala Seungwan.
As Seungwan places the food on the table, one dirty small boy now was about to pounce on the food even before the adults, when Seungwan herself took the chopstick she was using to block the little thief.
“Ah-Ah! You’ll get your share Seunghoon don’t worry, but until then wait for the adults, be respectful!” The kind doctor was now asserting discipline that made the little thief realize that he should follow the rules of this Ahjussi.
“I’m sorry….” He pouted.
It earned a quick rub on his head from the disciplinarian himself, Seungwan, and broke her own rules, as she gave the cute little thief his share.
“Yahhh, Seungwan I thought it was going to be us first!” Chanyeol who was salivating at the hot rice and eggs complained.
“He’s so cute, I can’t help it.” Seungwan now pouted at the little boy who was blowing his hot bowl of rice.
“Thank you…ahjussi.” Seunghoon was now becoming more polite at the kind doctor who gave him food.
“I think I might be in love with Doctor Shon.” The young nurse now whispers to the older nurse, as she was in awe of seeing the handsome doctor acted with the little boy thief.
The older nurse only rolled her eyes as she gets her cup of rice.
Seungwan now sat next to Seunghoon, and the rest, while she lets her cup of rice cool down too.
“Chanyeol, can you tell me if your head is doing his job or not?” She now goes back to business.
The three overwork staff looks at each other, finally Chanyeol gains his courage and speaks.
“Well I think…it’s obvious he’s not…doing his job…he’s currently out for vacation with his mistress, we have been complaining about our understaffing and equipment too but he ignores it, we can’t also get him to do his job since he is close friends with the Lord of the Hanyang…”
Chanyeol leans in closer to Seungwan, and now whispered.
“Did you know they said years ago someone attempted to cross the Lord, and that man was never heard from again….”Chanyeol now frowns while the two terrified nurses nod.
“Tsk.” Seungwan was getting angrier now, she always hated corrupt officials and now learning the state of the biggest clinic for the poor, it was now making her want to show her aggressive side, just like what she has done in the past with other provinces she has travelled.
It didn’t help that she didn’t really had any plans to stay here in Hanyang, she was just going to take the rights of this clinic pass it down to Chanyeol but seeing how worse the situation is, she can only think about the top gisaeng who is making her life harder, and kept frowning.
“Ahjussi are you not going to eat your egg and rice? Can I have it?” The little thief name Seunghoon who had a lot of rice on his face asks the doctor.
“Yah stinky thief! First of all address Seungwan, as doctor, secondly, you already had 3 bowls of rice kid, and even took half of my egg you stole in plain sight, now you even want to take Seungwan’s share? Tsk.” Chanyeol lectures the child.
“How about we share Seunghoon?” The kind handsome doctor asks.
“N-No thanks…doctor I’m so sorry…”Seunghoon now felt so embarrassed of himself.
“Yah, look what you did to Seunghoon, stop shouting at him Chanyeol, tsk, go ahead, Seunghoon I won’t eat if you don’t share it with me.” The doctor now insisted.
“You have to eat!” Cute Seunghoon now shouts in concern.
“Then go eat half of my share, or else I won’t eat too.” He now wipes the rice grains that was on the innocent small thief next to him.
“Aish Seungwan, don’t be so pitiful of that stinky child, he crashes our clinic almost five times a week just to steal our eggs, or anything he can sell to the market, tsk.” He, the taller doctor, now glared at the little boy as the two nurses nodded in agreement.
“Tall Ahjussi I didn’t even find anything worth to sell from your things! It’s all those dirty books you have with dirty illustrations!” Seunghoon now argues as he ate.
Giggles were made by Seungwan and the two nurses, as the flustered tall doctor now twitches.
“Yah stinky kid! Don’t you have a family? Are you that neglected that you can’t even change your clothes or bath? Huh?” Chanyeol now argues with the small child.
It made Seunghoon stop eating again, and became very silent, the kind doctor who he was about to steal from a while ago, now noticed this and changes the mood.
“Stop that Chanyeolllll!!! Seunghoon eat! Anyways, don’t worry about the clinic, I’m doing my best! And I will make sure to fix this mismanagement, and make Makdong the best clinic ever! Cheer for me!” Seungwan now shouts.
The tall doctor and two nurses that accompanied him now claps their hands, but the little thief still was not moving nor responding.
“Seunghoon, cheer for doctor Shon please!” She now pleads with her two hands.
He throws a fist to cheer but didn’t speak.
“Aw…come on…I know you can do better than that please!”
“I have to go doctor, thanks for the meal.” Seunghoon now bowed and left the four.
“Finally the stinky kid left, I can enjoy my meal better~” A comment was made by the tall doctor.
As he left, the three continued to eat their dinner, but Seungwan notices that the little thief left the gold hairclip he gave to him.
HANYANG CAPITAL, STREETS
It was night already, and no one was walking in the streets but the little thief in his raggedy clothes, he notices that a figure was forming behind him, he turns around to see it’s the kind handsome doctor who fed him and didn’t even punish him for stealing a while ago.
Seungwan sees that there were tears on the little boy’s eyes, who quickly wipes his own face as he pretended that he wasn’t crying just now.
“Doctor!” The kid can only shout in his shock.
He hands the gold hair clip to Seunghoon that made the little thief express puzzlement in his eyes.
“You forgot this Seunghoon.” He tells him.
“I…I left that there…doctor, I’m sorry for stealing, and…making you catch up here when you must be tired from the work you have done the whole day.” The little boy apologizes and can’t even meet the serious doctor’s eyes.
A realization was made by Seungwan since she realizes that the boy was really just misunderstood, and must have a reason on why he was stealing from the clinic, since he was even considerate of the doctor’s emotions and now was feeling so apologetic at the crime he committed at such a young age, even when the doctor has finally let him have the gold hair clip.
The doctor didn’t even respond to the little kid’s apology and just kept handing the gold hair clip, until he finally asks Seunghoon a question, as he realizes that it might rain tonight with how empty the dark sky was.
“Where do you live? I will take you home.” Seungwan asks.
It made the little boy’s eyes widen at the question that was posed to him.
“Ahjussi! Stop asking me! Stop following me you’re so weird!” Offended Seunghoon shouts suddenly.
“I won’t ask you anymore nor follow you, if you tell me you have family or a roof you will sleep for tonight.” The persistent worried doctor now tells the boy.
The little boy looked so scared, as he plays with his fingers, he didn’t know to answer this question, and it even made him more afraid since he can’t come up with any lies.
“Seunghoon, you can tell me, I won’t judge you-“
“I don’t have a family nor a home! Are you happy!” He shouted at the doctor who was just staring at him.
Seunghoon now bites his lip as he finally admits to the caring worried doctor his real identity.
“I used to have a home….and a family…but…my parents….got sick…and they weren’t able to get…any treatments…since the clinic was too far, and it was expensive too….”
“I used…to have…a hyung…too…but he…too….got sick…since…we…were force…to live…in the streets….now….I’m just all alone…” Little Seunghoon’s can’t no longer stop his tears and even made the soil on his feet wet from the pouring of the endless tears.
“Seunghoon is all alone! That’s why I can’t bath, I can’t change my clothes, that’s why I’m so hungry! Since I don’t have a home nor a family, are you happy!” He kept wiping his endless tears with his little hands as he kept shouting at the empty streets he and Seungwan only were in.
Seungwan’s parental instincts can’t help but kneel on the ground and embrace the little boy in her arms and now went for a gentle hug, as she kept tapping the little orphan boy’s back to comfort as he kept crying on the first person to treat him as a human being, in a long while.
If only Seungwan met this child sooner, if only she answered that letter sooner, if only she came here sooner, then maybe…maybe this child would have a brother, a father…and a mother…She wondered how many more families have been victimized by the poor medical treatment in Hanyang have been, and now was sighing to herself.
There were still a lot of things going on her mind, but right now she can only tap the little boy’s back as she comforted him, and was thinking how strong this skinny small boy to have been all alone after all he has been through and was surviving on his own, but now Seungwan’s parental nature didn’t want to leave the boy alone ever again.
“Doctor my stinky odor will stick on you.” Worried little Seunghoon now tried telling the person who lets him cry on his shoulder.
“It’s fine, they’re just clothes Seunghoon.” She taps the back of the little boy who was now calming down.
“I’m fine now doctor…you can let go now.” The little boy sniffs his tears and snot away.
She let go from the hug, but was just staring at little Seunghoon, like she was planning something.
“Seunghoon…do you want to be my apprentice?” Seungwan now took out a white handkerchief from her pocket and began wiping the little boy’s full of tears and snot face.
It was quite funny to see, that the boy’s face was becoming cleaner with the continuous wipe Seungwan was doing on his dirt covered face.
“Huh?” The little boy now asks, as he didn’t realize the older person he was speaking with was still wiping his face with so much affection.
“I’ll pay you don’t worry, but you need to save them for wise spending, also shelter, clothes and food will be provided for you too by me so no more stealing, you just need to help me gather some herbs, clean the clinic we stay in, and help around the other staff while being kind and respectful to them…how about that?” Seungwan now smiled at the boy she was offering a paying job.
“Really!?” The boy pouted with affection since he didn’t expect the person who was treating him a human being, was now even trusting him with such a big opportunity.
“Yes! But you have to stop stealing, and being disrespectful with people, okay?” The kind doctor now asks.
Seunghoon seems to be still fidgeting, since it seems like he wanted to say something, he finally gains the courage and spoke.
“Okay…but can I call you Seungwan hyung?” He nervously asks.
“Of course!” Seungwan nodded and giggled.
The little boy, former thief and now apprentice to the kind doctor, suddenly widen his eyes in disbelief and adoration, he suddenly jumps to hug the doctor who was still kneeling in front of him.
“Thank you, hyung…thank you for being kind and trusting to a nobody like me.” He tightens his embrace with his little hands on the doctor who can only tap his back.
“You’re not a nobody Seunghoon, you’re Seungwan’s dongsaeng now.” Answered by Seungwan.
The doctor and her little apprentice, walk hand in hand, as they spent the walk back to clinic to get to know more of each other, assuring the little boy that Chanyeol, and the nurses will accept Seunghoon because if they don’t Seungwan will make them do so, discussing more of duties the little apprentice will be having and of course…if there was still dinner left little Seunghoon can eat, to which Seungwan replies that if he wanted to eat the whole kitchen, the boy can do so, which earned a cute giggle from the boy who called him greasy that made the doctor laugh with her little apprentice.
The moon in the cold dark sky.
A man carrying his little girl, was running in the bamboo forest, the father kept looking at his back to check if anyone was following them. They finally reach a part of the bamboo forest that had a huge stone, and now he goes behind it to make his daughter sit behind it.
“Daddy.” She cried.
“Joohyun….stay here, okay?”
“Where are you going?”
He looked so terrified and heartbroken at the same time, his lips touches his daughter’s forehead, and now look so shaken as he uttered the words he will leave his daughter with.
“You need to stay strong for daddy, right now, all I can do is leave you, so you won’t be harmed by them too….keep this for daddy okay?” He hands a scroll to his daughter and embraces her one last time.
“Daddy.” She cried as she held on the big scroll with her little hands.
“Where is he! I know he’s just here somewhere!” A soldier along with the others runs around the same bamboo forest.
“I love you Joohyun.” He taps her back one last time.
The father stood and finally started running.
“There he is!” The soldiers started chasing him.
The child, named Joohyun, can only cover her eyes as she promised her father she would never let go of the white scroll he handed to her.
THE HOUSE OF PINK BLOSSOMS, TOP GISAENG’S BEDROOM
Joohyun was sitting on her bed, as her loyal servant / hypegirl, Miyeon hands her a bowl of warm ginger tea.
“Unnie, did you had that dream again?” She asks.
It was always like this, Joohyun would dream the same thing…and then she wakes up in the middle of the night, for the past few years it stopped, but it seems like it has been a recurring dream for the beautiful young woman in the past few weeks now, that Miyeon has been preparing the tea every night just to make sure she was ready when Joohyun wakes up in the middle of the night.
Joohyun nodded as she drank the tea.
“I’m sorry, I woke you up again in the middle of the night.” The always caring top gisaeng apologized.
“It’s fine, unnie…by the way don’t you want to visit a doctor for that?...You know….they said, even with the rumors of Doctor Shon’s dalliances with women…he’s actually a great doctor, that one hopeless village that was outcast from Joseon because of an unknown disease to the point that it’s people became subject of horror stories for children, was cured by the doctor himself, after finding out that they had a severe case of odd smallpox…”
“Yah, do I look like I have an odd smallpox Miyeon?” She raises her eyebrow.
The servant can’t help but giggle at her beautiful miss, since she always seems to lose her elegance and poise at the mere mention of the doctor.
“Unnie you gotta admit he’s kinda cute right? He even fixed that back ache you have been having, you mention to me before.” Teaser Miyeon now giggled again.
“Thank you for the tea, now go back to your room please.” She rolled her eyes at her loyal servant.
“Unnie, by the way…I heard from the other servants…Captain Kim…is back in town.”
Joohyun who was about to give her bowl to Miyeon now stopped, she paused for a second and smiled.
“And why should it concern me?” She asks with a grin.
Her grin although was friendly even alluring made the younger girl terrified as she stared at her miss.
“N-Nothing..unnie I just-“
“Go sleep now Miyeon, thank you for the tea.”
HANYANG CAPITAL, MAKDONG CLINIC
It was the morning after, and the four adults were now staring at the freshly bathe little apprentice of the doctor, Seunghoon, who was finally wearing a new set of clothes.
“Omo, look at you! You look so handsome!” The young nurse, who conveniently had a spare of small clothes she was about to send to her little brother, but now made the handsome doctor she had a crush on borrow, praises the boy who bathe.
“Yah, stinky kid, I didn’t know you actually look like an angel when dip yourself in clean water!” Chanyeol, doctor/ frenemy, of Seunghoon now praises the boy who sat by the wooden bench, with Seungwan who was combing his hair.
“Stop calling me a stinky kid, dirty book collector doctor!” Seunghoon retaliates.
“Yah, the two of you stop that.” Seungwan now is just laughing at them.
“Doctor, here’s the basket you ask for.” The older nurse enters with a medium size basket she hands to Seungwan.
“What’s that for?” A question asked by the tall doctor.
“Oh, I’m going to the market, to replace the clothes our young kind beautiful nurse here, let Seunghoon borrow, and also buy some meat and vegetables so our staff can eat something good before we start our day.” She winked at the flustered young kind nurse who can only giggle and made the old nurse roll her eyes again.
“Can I help you in the market, hyung?” Former little thief now little apprentice, Seunghoon asks.
“Woah, my little apprentice is proving to be the eager beaver now aren’t we?” The impressed handsome small doctor now claps his hands.
THE HOUSE OF PINK BLOSSOMS
*Traditional Giseang Music*
It was a new day too for one top gisaeng, named Bae Joohyun, who was just sitting comfy at her pillow on the floor while she had her head leaning on her arm.
The morning was proving to be a difficult time not just for the beautiful young top gisaeng but her hypegirls that has been playing their instruments for the whole morning now without stopping. Joohyun was in a bad mood today, she has not told anyone the root cause of her ruined morning mood, but the hypegirls…and even the other people within the gisaeng house just knew.
Maybe it was the nightmare terrors she has been having… or maybe…
It was all because of the small handsome young doctor, named Shon Seungwan.
Joohyun can’t believe someone like him easily disregarded her rule, and even called her rude and selfish, she hates him, she hates him so muccccch, that she wished she slapped the doctor’s cheek with her fan instead of his hand. Nonetheless, her mind might