Zhang Tie was always broad-minded; because he could not understand it, he would stop thinking about it for now. What counted at the moment was that Zhang Tie had found a powerful ally, which Zhang Tie had dreamed about having even in his dreams.
"Master, although we've known each other so long, I still don't know about your name." As they walked through the underground gloomy karst cave, Zhang Tie asked out of curiosity. Now that he had become his apprentice, it would be improper if he didn't know his master's real name.
"My family name is Zhao; my given name is Yuan!" The strange old man walked as he explained. After telling Zhang Tie that, he sighed, "I can't remember how many years it's been since I last used that name. As they all call me alchemist lord, few people know my real name..."
Hearing his sigh, Zhang Tie felt a bit distressed and depressed. Looking at the old man's weak frame and his messy hair, Zhang Tie then remembered how the old man strayed in Hidden Dragon Island alone before; not knowing why, he instantly felt pitiful about the old man.
Although walking in darkness and Zhang Tie didn't utter any voice, Zhao Yuan seemed knowing what Zhang Tie was thinking about; therefore, he turned around and glanced at Zhang Tie with depreciative eyes, "This master was always living a cool and splendid life. The alleged power and wealth pursued by everybody was nothing but dung and weeds. Other people would either fear me or flatter me. You're the first person who's thought I was pitiful, he...he..."
With a bashful smile, Zhang Tie immediately recalled something, "Master, are you really from Zhao Mansion of White Dragon Town?"
As Zhang Tie remembered that his master was thrown onto the street by the servants of Zhao Mansion, he then asked to verify it. Given this old man's performance and power, he should not have been thrown out by common servants. Therefore, Zhang Tie felt weird about that.
"Although this master's family name is Zhao, I'm not from Zhao Mansion of White Dragon Town..." The old man's shoulders slightly collapsed while his eyes turned depressed, "This master might be delirious sometimes and would take other's home as mine; previously, this master's home in Eastern Continent was also called Zhao Mansion; but now, I have no home anymore..."
Zhang Tie became silent. From the old man's words, he could feel many sad things. Although Zhang Tie wanted to ask, at the sight of the old man's desolate wrinkles when he mentioned Zhao Mansion and his family, Zhang Tie swallowed his words back.
The old man's words reminded Zhang Tie that the old man didn't pretend to test him before; instead, the old man was truly delirious at that time. In this way, Zhang Tie became the old man's apprentice. Although the old man was almost like a lunatic when he lost his mind; when he recovered his consciousness, he seemed to be able to remember everything that had happened to him. The old man was really sharp with irregular mixed moods.
"Master, why...why do you want me as your apprentice? Have you've long considered it before?"
"Ha...ha...if I want to do something, I would do it right away. If I want you as my apprentice, I would not have waited until now! It would not be that troublesome even if I wanted to destroy a country or a city!" The old man smiled , "Brat, I found you somewhat smart and innocent just now and had some potential to be a talent. Additionally, I owe you for the these past few days; therefore, I will take you as my apprentice as a payment..."
"You mean that you were not waiting to save me there?" Zhang Tie widened his eyes.
"Waiting to save you?"
"I thought that you know fortune-telling skills like those people on the Eastern Continent and knew that your apprentice is in trouble; therefore, you were here to save me!" Zhang Tie smirked.
"If I knew fortune-telling skills and wanted to save you, I'd only have to find who wanted to harm you and directly kill him along with his organization and clan. Why do I need to wait here for them to kill you!" The old man threw contemptuous eyes towards Zhang Tie, "When you reach my level, one day, you will know that the most direct and simplest way is the most effective. Everything is determined on life and death situations and your wits, no need to care about the superfluous things!"
"Everything is determined on life and death situation and your mind?" Zhang Tie was a bit startled by this answer.
"As life and death situations are big events in this world, you have to pay attention to them; as one's mind is the source of free will, when you even ignore a life and death situation, you should question your own mind instead trusting everything." the old man replied.
"Master, your opinion is really good!" Zhang Tie applauded and burst out laughing, feeling pretty cool.
"If you want to consider things in this way, you have to be powerful!" The old man glanced at Zhang Tie, "If you love an emperor's wife and want her to warm your bed and give birth to a baby for you, you have to be able to be the enemy of the country and defeat that emperor; otherwise, the rude guy would definitely have his head chopped off instead of having a baby if he shouted before the gate of the imperial palace that he loves the empress"
"Master, you mean I have to improve my fighting skills?"
"Among the fighters, although you're only LV 7, you are already excellent; but in the eyes of real powerhouses, fighters are as weak as ants. Although you are a relatively powerful ant with sharp teeth, you are still an ant. If real powerhouses want to kill you, it would be as easy as stomping an ant to death. Take this time as an example, your opponent assigned a soldier ant who's more powerful than you; as a result, they almost kill you! You are in danger at any time, that's why you need to improve your fighting skills. " After saying this, the old man glared at Zhang Tie.
"Master, who's qualified as a real powerhouse? Do you mean those fighters above LV 15?"
"You know fighters?"
Zhang Tie then scratched his head bashfully, "Previously, I didn't know it as I thought a LV 9 fighter was already a powerhouse; when I came to Hidden Dragon Island, I knew that there's a long way to go and there's a new world after LV 15!"
"That's true. The alleged powerhouses are relative. In commoners' eyes, a LV 9 fighter might be a powerhouse; however, in a LV 9 fighter's eyes, fighting masters and great fighting masters could be powerhouses; the qualifications of powerhouses are different in each one's eyes. It's okay for you to take knights as powerhouses, but in my opinion, only those who have mastered the 3-in-1 power are qualified to be called powerhouses! "The old man replied arrogantly.
"3-in-1 power?" Hearing this mysterious term, Zhang Tie's curiosity was piqued once again, "What's that power? How powerful is it?"
"The 3-in-1 power forms together with the source of human beings and the source of universe. Some knights can master this power, but not every knight can master it. 3-in-1 power is the most mysterious and supreme domain. Oh, you have to remember that you should not expose the message that you're my apprentice to the public before you become a knight!" The old man warned Zhang Tie solemnly.
"As I can't protect you all the time, as long as the public know that you're my apprentice, in only a few days, you will definitely be killed even if Huaiyuan Palace tries to protect you..." With his shrewd eyes fixed onto Zhang Tie, the old man explained, "If my opponents know that this master has an apprentice, they would at least assign a LV 15 knight who excels at assassinations to kill you!"
'A LV 15 knight who excels at assassinations?' Zhang Tie felt as if he'd been struck by a lightning bolt. A LV 10 fighter had almost forced him to use his trump card — the Castle of Black Iron; if it was a LV 15 guy, Zhang Tie was concerned that he might not even know how he was killed.
"Master, who are your opponents?" Zhang Tie forcefully swallowed his saliva. The word "opponents" really shocked Zhang Tie as he thought inside that those who were qualified to be the old man's opponents were definitely not commoners.
"Besides numerous trivial people whom I can't remember..." The old man shook his hand casually, "There are 2 or 3 sharp figures whom could not harm me; instead, sometimes, they make plans to find trouble from me. You don't need to know who they are for now, as it might intensify your tension if you knew who they were. If so, your cultivation and mental state would be influenced. I should tell you that if they know the relationship between you and me, they would never let you live!"
After thinking awhile, Zhang Tie asked, "Master, because of the events today, including the betrayal, when I get back, I will definitely have to explain the details of the matter to Hidden Dragon Palace and Long Wind Business Group. They will definitely assign people here for a thorough investigation. But I can't explain how that guy was killed and the explosion you killed his lackeys with. What if they asked about it?"
"It doesn't matter. Except for the thing that I have you as my apprentice, you just explain all the details to them. I was just walking out of the magma and disliked them, so I killed them!"
"But, if I do that, you'll be involved in it!"
"No problem, I will be leaving Hidden Dragon Island soon, as your level is too low, I cannot pass on my fighting skills to you. I will come back for you when you reach LV 9!" Saying this, the old man pulled out a diamond-shaped, dark-red stone which looked like a crystal and handed it to Zhang Tie, "This is a soul crystal. It contains a bit of my aura; as long as you take it, I will be able to sense your location, wherever you are!"
Zhang Tie then put it in his pocket carefully.
"Are you using night viewing medicament?"
"Yes, if not, I wouldn't see things clearly!" Zhang Tie replied honestly.
"Because I've been in the cave for several days, I found this. It seems to be something that has been disposed of by the God. As this master doesn't always carry money around with him, I will gift this thing to you!"
The old man took out of a purse-sized, silk container and threw it to Zhang Tie.
The moment Zhang Tie touched that thing, he felt ice cold. The material of the bulging silk container was a bit special. Zhang Tie wondered, "Master, what's inside?"
"It's a lotus seedpod of a fiery-flame red lotus that I picked up in the magma..."
"Fiery-flame red lotus? It sounds great," Zhang Tie mumbled.