As soon as Master Vail heard Ludwig’s words, tears welled up in his eyes. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
The first thought that crossed his mind was one of relief. Ludwig was willing to let him go back to the United States, which meant he wasn’t going to kill him or keep him imprisoned.
Master Vail couldn’t contain his excitement and asked, “Can I really go?”
Ludwig couldn’t help but laugh inwardly at his overjoyed expression.
Ludwig never intended to kill Master Vail.
While he was mischievous with Dr. Simmons, he didn’t deserve the death penalty for his actions. Moreover, even though he was reluctant, he handed over the medicine cauldron and was willing to accept defeat. He also valued his grandmother’s personal connections, and if he ever crossed paths with her again, he wouldn’t want to risk being killed or imprisoned. It just didn’t make sense to him.
Ludwig considered Master Vail’s usefulness as an old Taoist with years of experience in North America and a respected title in the upper class. He was currently hiring people and thought it would be great to have him on board.
Thus, when he asked Master Vail if he wanted to go back to the United States, it was merely a small test.
Ludwig believed that if Master Vail was truly smart, he would not immediately jump at the opportunity to return to the US at this moment. It was just his intuition.
As soon as Master Vail asked he immediately regretted it. The feeling of being wronged washed over him, and he felt like he wanted to die.
In his mind, he cursed, “Damn, I came all this way to find Josua. I was hoping to obtain a powerful panacea to improve my strength or to learn from Ludwig and his alchemy techniques. I wanted to refine some potent pills when I returned, but who would have thought that I wouldn’t find anything and, worse yet, I gave him the ancestral medicine cauldron. If I leave now, won’t I have wasted my time and learned nothing? And to make matters worse, he’ll have something of mine.”
However, Master Vail couldn’t bring himself to say any of this out loud. He just stuttered and couldn’t explain himself.
With a sly grin on his face, Ludwig proposed, “How about this, Master Vail? While you voluntarily gave me the medicine cauldron, I don’t like to be indebted to others. So, how about I arrange a special plane for you this afternoon? I’ll send you back to the United States, and you can tell my grandmother that you have other plans upon your return so that you don’t have to wait for her here.”
Feeling relieved that Ludwig didn’t plan to kill him, Master Vail suddenly found himself hesitant to leave.
He muttered bitterly, “Master Wade, to be honest, I’ve been focusing on my cultivation for the next few years and have no time for work. The talents I once had are withered away, so there’s nothing for me to do…”
He trailed off, not daring to express his true intentions of wanting to stay in Aurous Hill for a while longer.
Ludwig watched Master Vail for a while, but he didn’t say anything.
Finally, he broke the silence with a smile, “Are you trying to say that going back to the United States would be pointless, and that you’re planning to stay in Aurous Hill for a while?”
Master Vail was ecstatic upon hearing this, and he impulsively slapped his thigh, “Master Wade, you hit the nail on the head! That’s exactly what I mean!”
He looked at Ludwig eagerly, waiting for his response.
Ludwig didn’t seem upset at this point.
Instead, he smiled faintly and said, “Let me think about it, Master Vail.”
Master Vail anxiously replied, “Please let me know what you decide, Master Wade…”
Ludwig raised an eyebrow and continued, “You came to Aurous Hill to find out who made the Rejuvenation Pill and Life Saving Pill, and you found me. So, your purpose has been achieved. Why are you still here?”
Master Vail felt a sense of despair wash over him. He trembled with anxiety and his lips quivered involuntarily. He wished he could disappear into thin air.
Master Vail felt torn. He didn’t want to leave Aurous Hill, but he didn’t know how to ask Ludwig to stay.
What if Ludwig changed his mind and decided to end him?
Just as Master Vail was wrestling with his thoughts, Ludwig changed the subject. “Speaking of which, Master Vail, how long have you been an eight-star warrior?”
Master Vail answered with reverence, “Master Wade, I have been stuck at the lower level of eight-star warriors for sixteen years.”
Ludwig looked at Master Vail with surprise and curiosity.
“Then how old are you this year?” he asked.
Master Vail replied with a respectful tone, “Next year, I will be sixty-two.”
Ludwig was taken aback and exclaimed, “You’re almost sixty-two and already an eight-star martial artist? Your cultivation speed must be exceptional!”
Master Vail smirked and said, “Honestly, my alchemy skills aren’t that advanced. But luckily, my teacher passed down a relatively complete set of martial arts mentality. Compared to most sects that don’t even have a complete mental method, I naturally have greater potential. Moreover, there are some bright spots in our superficial alchemy technique…”
“Our ancestors included an alchemy master, who had refined a batch of panacea that could strengthen the body and cure all diseases for ordinary people. It was limited, but better than nothing. When it was handed to me, there were five pills, but I claimed there were only three. I kept one for myself and sold another to a rich man a few years ago. It did have a curative effect, and it gave the life-extending pill some fame.”
Master Vail sighed, “As for the last pill, I gave it to your grandfather when he was seriously ill. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any effect, probably because his illness was too severe.”
Ludwig nodded in agreement. Although he had not seen the life-extending pill himself, he suspected that it was more effective than his own Life Saving Pill but perhaps not as good as the Rejuvenation Pill.
Turning to Master Vail, Ludwig asked, “Master Vail, would you be willing to serve me from this day forward? If so, I will treat you well.”
Master Vail’s face lit up with excitement. “I am willing! I am willing!”
He then knelt on the ground and spoke with utmost respect, “Master Wade, Master Vail is yours to command. I pledge my allegiance to you. If I ever betray you, let the heavens strike me down with a thunderbolt!”
Master Vail’s eyes widened as he observed Ludwig’s formidable strength. He knew that he was worth following just by witnessing his prowess.
Moreover, Master Vail was aware that Ludwig possessed an elixir more potent than his own life-sustaining elixir, perhaps even five or ten times more effective.
On top of that, Ludwig’s family background was not to be underestimated as he was the grandson of the influential Evans Family.
From every angle, Ludwig was undoubtedly the strongest among the strong.
Master Vail couldn’t help but think to himself, “If I’m going to be someone’s underling, it might as well be someone like Paul, a real boss.”
He looked at Ludwig with reverence and thought, “With such a powerful man by my side, why should I worry about my cultivation?”
Ludwig noticed Master Vail’s pious attitude and nodded his head slightly.
He spoke calmly, “If you’re willing, you can stay in Aurous Hill and follow my orders.”
Overcome with excitement, Master Vail knelt on the ground and said, “Master Wade, I am yours to command. I will follow you wherever you go.”
Ludwig smiled and took out a Life Saving Pill from his pocket.
He handed it to Master Vail and said, “Take this pill and go back to your temporary residence. Refine its medicinal power and it will surely help you enter the beginning of the Light Realm in the final stages of your life.”