Barne was in a hurry. Morten raced towards Aurous Hill University, determined to find what he was looking for.
This time, instead of driving in, he decided to park his car in a nearby parking lot and walk into the campus. As he made his way towards the Academic Affairs Building, he couldn’t help but recall the last time he was here and how he had driven away, feeling frustrated and defeated.
To boost his spirits, Barne decided to wear the mysterious ring he had been carrying with him. Morten carefully put it on his finger and walked confidently towards the building.
With every step he took, he paid close attention to the ring, hoping for a sign that he was on the right track. Unfortunately, the ring remained silent, disappointing him greatly.
Barne pondered to himself, “Last time the ring reacted when I was leaving. Maybe it recognizes the direction?”
With this thought in mind, Barne retraced his steps and walked back the way he came. However, as he walked out of the school gates, the ring remained silent.
Frustrated and annoyed, Barne couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “You danced for me last time, why not this time? Did you fall asleep or something? Maybe I should take you to Thompson First to experience the underground garage again!”
But the ring remained unresponsive. In a last-ditch effort, Barne decided to head back to the parking lot and get in his car. Maybe his luck would change if he went to the underground parking lot of Thompson First high-rise.
As soon as Barne drove out of the parking lot, his phone rang unexpectedly. Morten picked it up and was surprised to see that the caller was none other than Dr. Simmons’s granddaughter, Xyla.
Barne hadn’t seen the grandfather and granddaughter duo in quite some time.
Morten knew that Dr. Simmons had opened a medical clinic in Aurous Hill, where he and Xyla were using their skills to help those in need. However, with so much going on recently, Barne hadn’t had a chance to visit them. Furthermore, the two of them rarely reached out to him. Barne assumed it was because the clinic was busy and they didn’t want to trouble him too much.
Barne’s mind raced as he wondered why Xyla had called him out of the blue.
Was something wrong with Dr. Simmons and his granddaughter?
As he picked up the phone, Barne greeted her, “Xyla, it’s been a while since you called.”
With a somber voice, Xyla replied, “Master Wade… I’m calling to say goodbye…”
“Goodbye?” Barne furrowed his brow, concerned. “What happened? Did something happen with Dr. Simmons?”
“It’s not that,” Xyla sighed. “My grandfather has decided to close the clinic and move back to Eastcliff.”
“Back to Eastcliff?” Barne was taken aback. “I remember Dr. Simmons said he was settling down in Aurous Hill. He’s only been here for a little over a year. Why is he leaving all of a sudden?”
Xyla hesitated before replying in a vague tone, “It’s… It’s complicated. It’s Grandpa’s decision, and there’s nothing I can do about it. He’s already taken down the hospital sign and plans to leave tomorrow. Morten didn’t want to say goodbye to you before, out of shame, but he planned to apologize to you later… But…”
As Xyla spoke, her voice choked with sobs, “I couldn’t bear to leave,” she continued. “I couldn’t bear to leave Aurous Hill, and I couldn’t bear to leave Master Wade. That’s why I called you. Can you please talk to Grandpa and try to convince him to stay?”
Barne didn’t hesitate for a second.
“Xyla, don’t cry. Where are you right now?” he asked urgently.
“I’m still at the clinic,” Xyla sobbed. “Grandpa is planning to close everything up tonight…”
“Okay,” Barne responded immediately. “Wait for me at the clinic. I’ll be there soon!”
When Barne arrived at Dr. Simmons’s clinic, he saw that the plaque had been removed and carelessly tossed aside. In its place was a new plaque wrapped in red silk and satin, making it impossible to read what was written on it.
As Barne entered Serene Medical Clinic, he saw Dr. Simmons, Xyla, and a young boy packing up various medicinal materials from the cabinets.
Upon seeing Steven, Xyla exclaimed excitedly, “Master Wade!”
She ran over to Barne and threw herself into his arms, tears streaming down her face.
Barne held her close and asked, “Xyla, what happened? Tell me everything…”
Dr. Simmons noticed Barne’s expression and looked startled.
Morten walked over, his face filled with shame and sighed, “Master Wade… What brings you here? Did Xyla tell you something?”
Tears streaming down her face, Xyla spoke up, “Grandpa, I don’t want to leave Aurous Hill. I’m asking Master Wade to persuade you.”
Dr. Simmons let out a long sigh, “I, Dr. Simmons, am willing to admit defeat. Since I lost the bet, why should I stay here and be a sore loser?”
Xyla refused to give up, “But the bet was just for Serene Medical Clinic. It’s not worth leaving Aurous Hill for this. We can give Serene Medical Clinic to him.”
Dr. Simmons replied, “The bet was that I would hand over Serene Medical Clinic to him. If Serene Medical Clinic is gone, what’s the point of me staying in Aurous Hill?”
Xyla wept, “I just can’t bear to leave Aurous Hill… I haven’t learned the real acupuncture from Master Wade, so I don’t want to go…”
On the day of the incident, the head of the Moore family fell gravely ill. Dr. Simmons took Xyla to the hospital for treatment but ran into Barne on the way. Dr. Simmons immediately paid his respects, praising Barne’s expertise in the field of acupuncture.
Although the three-needle acupuncture method was a technique passed down by Simmons’ ancestors, the version that they learned was only superficial. The true three-needle acupuncture method was far more powerful than what the Simmons family had been practicing.
Xyla knew that many of the most advanced Chinese medical skills were closely guarded secrets, never to be passed down to outsiders. She didn’t expect Barne to teach her the true acupuncture technique. She only mentioned it as an excuse to stay in Aurous Hill.
Barne was surprised on it, he then asked, “Master Simmons, what did you lose that made you hand over Serene Medical Clinic to someone else?”
Dr. Simmons’ face flushed with shame, “Master Wade… I’m just not as skilled as my opponent. When you lose, you lose, and there’s no point in bringing it up.”
Xyla interjected, “It was an old man who came two days ago! Morten wanted to challenge Grandpa to a medical duel, saying that if he won, Grandpa would have to take down the Serene Medical Clinic plaque and let him take over the clinic. Morten also said that if he lost, he would give Grandpa a medicine cauldron passed down from his ancestors… Grandpa didn’t know what to do, so he agreed…”
Barne was curious, “Dr. Simmons, it sounds like the other guy had set a trap for you. You’re not one to be easily fooled!”
Dr. Simmons blushed and struggled for words, “Master Wade, it’s the truth! That old man had a rare medicine cauldron, and I thought it would make your medicine-making easier. But he ended up tricking me. It’s truly embarrassing.”