Chapter 50: The Dilemma of Medical Gauze
Chengqian Palace, located on the east side of Kunning Palace, south of Zhongcui Palace, and north of Jingren Palace, was originally the foremost palace among the six eastern palaces. However, at this time, all the belongings inside have been emptied and replaced with twelve sets of textile equipment.
Ma Enhui’s idea is simple. Chengqian Palace is adjacent to the residence of Consort Xian and Consort Ning, and not far from her own place. It is convenient for management. Once there is progress in the research on medical gauze, she can have immediate access to it.
The value and significance of medical gauze are clear to all participants involved.
These selected textile experts come from various bureaus and departments within the palace, primarily from the Needlework Bureau, Inner Weaving and Dyeing Bureau, and the Directorate of Royal Clothing, with auxiliary support from the Laundry Bureau and Cap Needlework Bureau.
Once this matter is successful, Ma Enhui will receive generous rewards. For the harem, it will provide an additional livelihood. For the country, it will benefit the military and the people, bringing blessings to the nation.
Even the proud Consort Ning personally participates. Consort Xian, unwilling to fall behind, enters Chengqian Palace every morning to discuss and improve techniques with a palace maid. There have even been a few nights where they research tirelessly until dawn.
For the harem, producing ordinary gauze does not pose any technical issues. However, Zhu Yunwen desires medical gauze, which needs to be thin, breathable, moderately soft, and without shedding cotton.
Softness, thinness, and breathability make it prone to shedding cotton. To prevent shedding, the warp and weft density needs to be increased. However, increasing the density will result in inadequate breathability…
This is almost an unsolvable dilemma.
Ma Enhui is also very anxious. She has been researching since mid-November last year, and now the reign has changed to Jianwen, but there hasn’t been any progress.
Hearing that Zhu Yunwen wants to take a look, Ma Enhui smiles bitterly and says, “I’m afraid Your Majesty will be disappointed.”
Zhu Yunwen holds Ma Enhui’s hand and walks out of Kunning Palace towards Chengqian Palace, saying, “Doing something new is never easy. Give them some time, and they will find a solution.”
Ma Enhui tries to let go of Zhu Yunwen’s hand, but he holds it tightly. She looks at him with a blush and whispers, “There are palace maids and eunuchs around.”
Zhu Yunwen says confidently.
Unable to break free, Ma Enhui can only blush and ask, “Your Majesty seems so sure, saying it will definitely work. But when I searched the literature and asked the imperial physicians, I have never heard of medical gauze. Why are you so convinced?”
Zhu Yunwen looks up at the sky, his lips curling slightly. He says, “You know that wrapping a wound with a cloth helps stop bleeding. But if the cloth itself is not clean, it can cause the wound to become infected. Even if the cloth is clean, it can adhere to the scar when removed, causing a secondary wound or remaining in the flesh, causing persistent pain. The wound needs to be reopened to remove the foreign material.”
“If we change our approach and weave gauze that is clean, breathable, and does not shed cotton, it naturally helps wounds heal. When the gauze is removed, it won’t cause any harm. What’s so strange about this simple logic?”
Ma Enhui furrows her brow and asks, “I just doubt whether it can be woven.”
Zhu Yunwen smiles and asks in return, “Then, Empress, tell me first, is my idea correct?”
“Of course, it is correct,” Ma Enhui replies affirmatively.
Zhu Yunwen nods and says, “Since it is correct, then let go and do it. There shouldn’t be any mistakes, right? I believe we will definitely succeed, and you should have confidence in this.”
Ma Enhui ponders for a moment and nods in agreement.
Zhu Yunwen and Ma Enhui enter Chengqian Palace. All the palace maids put down their work and kneel on the ground. Consort Ning and Consort Xian, hearing the commotion, quickly walk out of the hall and approach them, bowing and greeting.
“Please rise, Consort Ning, Consort Xian. Give us an update on the situation,” Zhu Yunwen raises his hand and says, looking at the tired faces of the two, he sighs, “You’ve worked hard.”
Consort Ning smiles and says, “It’s not hard. I just feel that if this matter succeeds, it will be more interesting than wasting time.”
This Consort Ning is interesting. She’s blaming me for not going to Zhongcui Palace all this time.
Zhu Yunwen pretends not to notice and looks at Consort Xian. Consort Xian takes the lead and says, “Your Majesty, although we have been weaving day and night, we still can’t meet Your Majesty’s standards. Take a look at this piece of fabric.”
An attendant hands Consort Ning a piece of fabric, and she passes it to Zhu Yunwen, saying, “This fabric was woven early this morning. It is thin and breathable, but it lacks cotton and the warp and weft are not dense enough. If you exert a little force, it will tear. I plan to overlay a layer of fine gauze on it and see how it goes.”
Zhu Yunwen looks at the fabric that’s torn in half, hands one half to Ma Enhui, nods slightly, and says, “We can try different methods. This matter is not urgent. How about this, you rest for two days and then resume your research.”
“Rest? Your Majesty, we’re not tired.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we can continue.”
Consort Ning, Consort Xian, and the others speak up one after another.
Zhu Yunwen smiles and says, “Success comes from a combination of work and rest. Rest for two days to rejuvenate and approach this task with full energy. Besides, tomorrow is the national celebration, and the palace will also be in a festive mood. Those who want to go out for palace shopping can go, and those who want to sunbathe in the Imperial Garden can do so. In short, for these two days, no one is allowed to enter Chengqian Palace.”
After hearing this, everyone bows again and reluctantly leaves.
Consort Ning and Consort Xian watch Zhu Yunwen, who is gently caressing the weaving machine and then look at Empress Ma. They are unsure of Zhu Yunwen’s thoughts.
Wouldn’t it be better if it was developed a day earlier?
At this moment, wasting time means wasting lives.
“Success will definitely come. I absolutely believe in all of you. However, we are all human beings and cannot exhaust ourselves too much. Consort Ning, consort Xian, have you both had a good rest in the past few days? If we continue like this and the medical gauze is not successful, and you both fall ill, what will we do?”
Zhu Yunwen pats the wooden frame as he explains.
Consort Ning and Consort Xian feel an inexplicable warmth in their hearts.
The Emperor cares about them.
After returning to Kunning Palace, Zhu Yunwen suggests to Ma Enhui, “I observed that there are still some vacant rooms in Chengqian Palace. Why don’t we recruit more people to participate? If there are skilled weavers in the performing arts troupe, they can also join.”
Seeking ideas from the masses, and drawing wisdom from the people, is the thinking of Marxist-Leninist philosophy.
One must believe in the inventiveness and creativity of the masses, and believe in their boundless wisdom. This historical heavy vehicle is driven by their efforts, gradually leaving behind tracks and countless civilizations.
Zhu Yunwen cannot promote Marxism and Leninism, but he can use their ideology as guidance. Didn’t the ancients also advocate that when many people gather firewood, the flame will burn higher? Since this fire needs to be larger, it naturally requires more manpower to gather firewood together.
Ma Enhui fully agrees with this and immediately orders people to select thirty-six skilled weavers from the laundry bureau, performing arts troupe, and other places. They are to report to Chengqian Palace in six days.
On the fourth day of the first lunar month.
The Ming Dynasty celebrates its first National Day, and the capital is filled with joy.
Zhu Yunwen and Ma Enhui leave the imperial palace and enjoy the festivities with the people, celebrating National Day and welcoming the new year together. At that moment, scholars write about it, citizens drum to it, and merchants toast to it. The capital is adorned with splendor, never resting day or night.
Dear Readers, Sproutling here translating Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen, If you have enjoyed my translation and would like to show your support. Please consider donate to my Ko-Fi (Click here) page. Your help mean so much to me, Thank you in advance!