5 – Understated Dominance

This entry is part 5 of 259 in the series 1st
Chapter 5

An Understated Dominance 

by Marina Vittori
Chapter 5

“How did you know that?” 

Ruth’s eyes almost bulged out of her head. She was more shocked than embarrassed that Dustin could tell so much about her health just by looking at her tongue. Everything from the migraines to diarrhea was spot on. Was he really that good, or did he just make a lucky guess? 

“There’s a lot you can tell about a person just by looking at them,” Dustin said nonchalantly. 

“Do you believe him now, Ruth?” Natasha smiled. At the same time, she also heaved a silent sigh of relief. Thank goodness Dustin knew what he was doing. 

“He just got lucky!” Ruth refused to admit defeat. 

“I’m sorry, Mr. Rhys, she’s just too stubborn for her own good. Please ignore her,” Natasha told Dustin apologetically. 

“It’s fine. Shall we begin?” 

Dustin didn’t take Ruth’s attitude to heart. He walked over to Andrew and gave him a thorough check-up. It didn’t take long for him to find out what was going on. It was obvious to him that the old man had been poisoned. The poison was pretty potent too. Thankfully, it was discovered early on, so he could still be saved. Another day or two, and he would have been lying in the morgue! 

“Ms. Harmon, can you get me some silver acupuncture needles?” Dustin asked. 

“No problem.” 

Natasha waved a hand. Immediately, one of her bodyguards went out. Five minutes later, he returned with a set of acupuncture needles. 

“Thank you.” 

Dustin nodded his thanks, then began to take off the old man’s shirt. First, he tapped his knuckles against the old man’s stomach to make sure he was hitting the correct positions, then began to place the needles in the correct pressure points. His actions were light but firm as his hands flew deftly. With his skill, his patient would not feel any pain from the needles. Seeing this, Natasha was surprised. 

“He’s good!” 

She didn’t know much about acupuncture as a medical practice, but she knew some experts in the field. From what she could see, those old experts had nothing on Dustin. His actions were one of an experienced and talented healer who had spent years in practice. She was curious about this man. Once all 16 needles were in place, Dustin breathed a sigh of relief. It had been some time since he last performed acupuncture, but thankfully he was still familiar. 

“Is that all? Nothing changed!” Ruth looked confused. 

“Your grandfather has been poisoned. It’ll take about two hours to drain the toxin from his body; you shouldn’t remove the needles before the two hours are up, or there might be serious side effects!” 

Ruth pouted. 

“Why should I believe you?” 


Natasha glared at her sister. 

“I need to go to the bathroom. Please watch over him while I’m gone,” Dustin told the occupants of the room before leaving. 

Not long after he left, a group of doctors barged in. These were some of the most skilled doctors in the hospital. A balding man led the troupe. 

“Hey! Who are you guys?” Ruth crossed her arms. 

“My name is Jansen. I’m the executive director of the hospital, and also the dean of the medical school. I’m here on orders to treat Old Mr. Harmon,” the balding man introduced. 

“Ah, you’re that famous Dr. Jansen! The best doctor in Swinton!” Ruth was ecstatic. 

“More like one of the best,” Dr. Jansen said proudly, “but yes, I am.” 

“It’s great to meet you, Dr. Jansen. Please help my grandfather.” 

Ruth immediately moved out of his way. Clearly, she trusted Dr. Jansen more than she trusted a youngster like Dustin. 

“I will.” Dr. Jansen nodded. When he got nearer to the bed, he frowned. “What’s with the needles? What nonsense is this?” 

As he spoke, he made to remove the needles. 

“Wait!” Seeing this, Natasha stopped him. 

“What’s wrong?” Dr. Jansen asked, annoyed. 

“Dr. Jansen, I’ve already hired another healer. He said that my grandfather has been poisoned. We cannot remove these needles as there might be serious side effects.” 

“What a bunch of bullshit!” Dr. Jansen snorted derisively. “If these needles can cure ailments, then what are doctors for?” 

“That’s right!” Ruth agreed. “Natasha, that Dustin barely looks a day over 20. How could he be a skilled healer? Please don’t tell me you believe the shit he spewed.” 

“Then how would you explain the way he could tell that you’re having diarrhea just by looking at you?” Natasha asked. 

“He… he made a lucky guess!” Ruth said. 

“Ms. Harmon, all of the best doctors in Swinton are here. I don’t know who you hired just now, but I believe he’s just conning you. Do you really think our professionally trained doctors are not as good as a random guy on the street?” Dr. Jansen asked. “I know you’re worried about Old Mr. Harmon, but please, don’t believe in these superstitions. It would just make things worse!” 

“That’s right! Dr. Jansen has saved a lot of people. Don’t worry, Old Mr. Harmon will be safe in his hands!” the other doctors behind him chimed in. 

Their confidence weakened Natasha’s resolve. However, she insisted, “We should wait for Mr. Rhys to come back.” 

“Why should we?” Ruth said. “Maybe he’s already gone, Natasha!” 

“Ms. Harmon, I’m a busy man. I’m not going to waste any more time here. If I pull out these needles and anything happens to Old Mr. Harmon, it’ll be on me.” With that, Dr. Jansen pulled out all of the needles. 

As soon as the needles were removed, something strange happened. 

Andrew’s body began convulsing. His face began to turn black, and blood gushed out from his nose and mouth. The machines on either side of the bed began beeping. 

“What’s going on?” Dr. Jansen was surprised by the turn of events. 

“What’s this, Dr. Jansen?” Natasha frowned. 

“That’s strange, he was fine earlier…” Dr. Jansen felt uneasy. 

“Sir, the patient is coding!” 

“Quick, get the machines!” 

Without delay, Dr. Jansen began emergency resuscitation. Even after a lot of effort, Andrew did not seem to get better at all. In fact, his stats were declining uncontrollably. Dr. Jansen was panicking. 

“Ms. Harmon, I think… I think Old Mr. Harmon is… dying…” 

“What?” Both Natasha and Ruth were shocked.

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