Mozart couldn’t believe that Dr. Simmons was planning to leave Aurous Hill because of a lost bet.
What was even more surprising was that the bet was over a medicine cauldron so he asked, “Dr. Simmons, who did you make this bet with?”
“I have no idea,” Dr. Simmons replied, “The man only gave his surname as Vail and called himself Master Vail.”
“Master Vail?” Mozart’s face darkened at the mention of that name.
Mozart recalled that Stefanie Sun had mentioned the name Master Vail before. She had described him as a highly respected Taoist priest in the Chinese community in America, who was close to his grandmother Evans. When his grandfather Evans was critically ill, he came to treat him and even got involved in a dispute.
Master Vail was impressed by the effectiveness of the Life Saving Pill and wanted to know who made it. When he learned from his uncle Desmond that there was a Rejuvenation Pill in Aurous Hill, he came to look for it. Impressed by the effectiveness of the Life Saving Pill, he wanted to track down its maker.
Mozart wasn’t too worried about Master Vail’s presence in Aurous Hill, but he was curious about the reason for the bet he made with Dr. Simmons.
It was unclear whether he simply coveted Serene Medical Clinic or had an ulterior motive. Mozart felt that someone who could be amazed by the Life Saving Pill wasn’t particularly perceptive and dismissed him.
Mozart’s confidence wasn’t baseless. He had picked up on some subtle cues that gave him insight into the other party’s true abilities.
Just like how someone who’s intimidated by a Rolls-Royce probably couldn’t afford one, those who could afford a Rolls-Royce won’t be intimidated by it. His instincts told him that Master Vail wasn’t someone to be afraid of.
He turned to Dr. Simmons and asked, “Dr. Simmons, what was the competition about?”
Dr. Simmons laughed wryly, “Of course it’s inappropriate. But that guy, Master Vail, was quite cunning, he chose these kinds of comparison methods because he knew I couldn’t win against him in terms of medical skills. He just wanted to win my Serene Medical Clinic. Unfortunately, I was so foolish and agreed to his ridiculous demands.”
Mozart shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t imagine how a supposed senior Taoist priest could stoop so low as to use such underhanded methods to win a bet.
Mozart then said “Well, Master Simmons, it’s not too late to turn things around, I’ll go and meet this Master Vail for a while.”
Dr. Simmons was quick to defend the competition and its purpose, “Master Wade, you might not know, but guessing the menstrual cycle and pregnancy history of female patients has always been a part of the ancient imperial doctor’s pulse test. While it may sound inappropriate, female physiology has more stages than males and gynecology can best reflect the pulse-reading abilities of a doctor…”
“Common doctors can detect the joy pulse in early pregnancy stages. Higher-level doctors can use pulse-reading to figure out a pregnant woman’s delivery date. Top doctors can even guess the number of pregnancies and births. According to ancient books, there were even imperial doctors who could predict the gender of a fetus through the pulse, but that’s only seen in books.”
Mozart’s eyebrows furrowed even deeper upon hearing that Dr. Simmons had lost all three rounds. He couldn’t believe that a Taoist priest could be so skilled in medicine.
He asked Dr. Simmons, “Are you sure he is just a Taoist priest? Maybe he has disguised himself and is actually a famous doctor?”
Dr. Simmons shook his head and said, “No, he introduced himself as Master Vail, a Taoist priest from the American Chinese circle. But his medical skills are truly remarkable. This old man is ashamed to have lost to him.”
Mozart couldn’t help but wonder about the fairness of the competition and asked Dr. Simmons, “Did he arrange for a patient in advance and then collude with you to win?”
Dr. Simmons hesitated for a moment and then replied, “I don’t have any evidence to prove it, but I can’t rule out the possibility.”
Dr. Simmons then added, “But Master Wade, isn’t Taoism about cultivating one’s inner self and being honest? Master Vail shouldn’t have acted so shamelessly, should he?”
With a meaningful smile, Mozart spoke in a casual tone, “If you’re truly committed to cultivating your mind and nature, why would you come here to gamble with others? Just like the monks in the temple, if they spend all day hanging out with the powerful and seeking worldly pleasures, how can they truly cultivate their hearts and minds?”
Mozart had heard from Stefanie that Master Vail had a close relationship with his grandmother. But in Mozart’s view, a person who truly believed in their faith must first be indifferent to fame and fortune.
If one spent all their energy on making friends with the powerful, how could they maintain a pure heart?
This Master Vail, like many others, was undoubtedly a person with ulterior motives and it was impossible for him to make friends with dignitaries like Mozart’s grandmother.
Mozart knew that it took years of careful management, self-promotion and packaging for a person like Master Vail to even catch the attention of someone like his grandmother. This only confirmed Mozart’s belief that this person was motivated solely by his own self-interest. If someone with such a utilitarian mindset were to engage in some trickery during a bet, it would hardly be surprising.
Xyla suddenly realized the situation and interjected, “Master Wade, you’re absolutely right! That person is cunning and his words were provocative. He just said a few words in front of the patients and Grandpa had no way out but to agree to his bet. If he refused, he would have lost face in front of everyone. So, I think it’s possible that he planted fake patients in advance to make his scheme work.”
Dr. Simmons let out a heavy sigh, “It’s too late to say that now. When I lost to him in front of all those patients, my reputation and the reputation of the Serene Medical Clinic were destroyed. Even if I knew he cheated, there was no way to fix it.”
Mozart’s lips curved into a faint smile, “That’s not necessarily the case,” he said, his eyes scanning the room as if searching for answers. Then something came to his mind and he turned to Dr. Simmons “By the way, Dr. Simmons, you mentioned he has an ancestral medicine cauldron. What kind of cauldron is it?”
Dr. Simmons’s eyes lit up as he eagerly responded, “It’s a cauldron for Taoist alchemy, about the size of a football. It appears to be made of copper, with a three-legged design and cupolas…”
“The entire surface of the cauldron is intricately engraved with a dragon pattern that looks as though it’s made of silk. The craftsmanship is exquisite and it even has a matching cover. He says it was passed down by his ancestors and is specially used for refining pills.”
Mozart’s eyebrows shot up with interest and a smile crept onto his face, “Perhaps this thing truly is a treasure for alchemy.”
Turning to Dr. Simmons, he inquired, “Did the man mention when he would arrive?”
Dr. Simmon’s responded, “He said he would be here promptly at eight o’clock tomorrow morning to hang the plaque he left on the door.”
Mozart’s mind immediately conjured up an image of the red silk and satin-draped plaque hanging outside the door. A small smile played on his lips as he made his way out of the room.
Standing before the plaque, Mozart unabashedly reached out and ripped off the red satin, revealing the golden words, ‘Vail Clinic’. He let out a disdainful snort before grabbing the removed Serene Medical Clinic plaque with one hand and positioning the ladder to hang it back up.
Dr. Simmons’s nerves were on edge as he spoke up, “Master Wade, you can’t do this… If you hang that plaque, won’t that make the old man who loves to gamble but refuses to lose even more determined to come?”
Mozart flashed him a reassuring smile, “It’s fine. Hanging the plaque will let him know that something’s brewing and he’ll come rushing over to handle it. And when he does, I’ll be waiting for him.”