More and more contestants were arriving in Bainbridge, and so were the medical experts. The crowd of onlookers increased at the two places where the contestants were staying, especially at Bainbridge Hotel.
Most contestants stayed there since they came from big families. They picked the hotel, not for its decadence, but because they were used to the more modern lifestyle.
Being able to have a good rest meant that they would be in a better place to face the competition. Renew Pharmaceuticals was a lot quieter than the hotel. Contestants who picked this place were used to living in quiet places.
A purple silhouette came in, and Morine stood up. “Hi… Morine Larson, representative of the South. Pleasure to meet you.”
The woman in purple smiled sweetly and introduced herself. “Hello, Mr. Larson. Lola Crichton of Meteora. Pleasure to meet you.”
She had a clean, silvery voice. Just listening to her cheered Morine up.
Morine was surprised to hear her name. “lt’s an honor meeting you, Goddess of Meteora. Your reputation precedes you.”
The Goddess of Meteora was called a genius doctor, one that only showed up once in a century. She seldom showed her face in public, but her reputation was known to all.
“Oh, you’re too kind, Mr. Larson.” She extended her hand.
The moment they shook hands, Morine felt Bloodreaper shiver, and a pure, kind thought shot up into his head. This was the first time Morine felt Bloodreaper resonate with someone else other than him.
‘This woman has a pure, clean heart. I can see why she’s called the Goddess of Meteora…’
Just when they were about to take their seats, another contestant came in.
“May peace be with you. I am Paintaker from Southcloud Temple. Pleasure to meet you.”
Morine and Lola both looked surprised. All the contestants were either talented doctors from powerful families or medical experts, but one thing they had in common was that they were rich or powerful. Yet this monk looked worse for wear.
If they didn’t know he was a contestant, Morine and Lola would have thought he was a monk in training.
After the introductions, Morine couldn’t help but ask, “Did you walk all the way here, sir?”
The monk panicked a little. “Sir? Oh, no. Please, call me Paintaker, Mr. Larson. I’m not worthy of the title ‘sir’…”
He then explained, “Three years ago, my master told me that despite my decent medical skills, I still needed to train my heart. Thus, I was ordered to walk the earth and experience the hardships of the people who dwell in this land. A few days ago, my master sent me a letter, telling me to take part in this competition. He said if I were to compete with fellow doctors, I can improve my medical skills even more. Since I was near Bainbridge anyway, I came.”
He put his hands in prayer and bowed.
Morine had nothing but respect for him.
‘He walked this land for three years, foraged for herbs himself, and treated people who needed to be treated… The land is his bed. I can imagine how hard it must have been, and yet he seems so calm like his hardship is nothing…’
Morine wasn’t sure about anyone else, but he knew he couldn’t do it.
The monk saved all the people that needed him on his pilgrimage and asked for nothing in return. That was the spirit of a true doctor.
Morine straightened his clothes out and put his hands in prayer. “Thank you for the lesson, Dr. Paintaker…”
Equally in awe, Lola bowed at Paintaker as well.
“Prithee, what are you doing?” Paintaker looked like he was at a loss, and his face turned red.
He looked adorable when he was embarrassed.