The group was taken to the top of the apprentice building, where the exam was going to be held.
There was nothing other than them and the subtle sounds of gears turning around them, nonetheless the cage took them to their destination without a hitch.
Every time Emery went to the Golden City, he couldn\'t help but feel utter amazement.
It must have taken a significant amount of effort to create such marvels with machines.
For most of his life, Emery was always interested in crafts.
He always wanted to take the things he saw here apart and saw firsthand how each component interacted with the others to create the results he currently saw.
On one hand, Emery did realize he really needed to get used to the wonders he saw here quickly to not embarrass the other lower world acolytes every time he came.
However, as if fate itself wanted to give an answer to his decision, Emery ended up gasping again when he arrived at the top floor of the building.
The top of the building contained a magnificent garden in the form of a huge, circular room.
Windows formed from clusters of glass sheets could be seen throughout the ceiling, some of them were opened, while some others closed in order to regulate the light of the area.
The place was so huge; Emery was unable to spot the corner of the room.
He was sure the place was much bigger than the ground floor area of the apprentice building.
His mind scrambled to think of ways to achieve this feat.
Did he and everyone else get transported here without any of them realizing
The room was divided into several different biomes, each with different climates.
From here, Emery was able to see the entrance to the tundra, forest, grassland and desert.
The diversity was enough to give Emery the impression of the room being a way to create a miniature planet within an enclosed space.
One hundred participants were all gathered in a small hall standing right in front of the entrance to each biome.
When they arrived, there were already some senior apprentices, people with artisan uniforms and one person wearing a master\'s clothing waiting for them.
After everyone gathered, the person wearing the master\'s clothing finally introduced himself.
I am Master Anmir, I will be your lead examiner today.
For this session\'s rank 2 exam, there will be 105 participants.
From the information given to them, it seemed all the participants were either already members of apothecary institutes, or they at least had a master or sponsor supporting them.
The first exam will involve identification.
From this test, we will see how much each of you know about herbs, their uses and how they interact in a concoction.
Emery frowned upon hearing the explanation of the exam.
He was confident of his abilities, but knowledge of herbs clearly was not his strong suit.
Do not worry, for the exam will be easy and simple, relatively speaking. Anmir waved his hand and within moments, a table with a hundred storage rings appeared right in front of them.
Each ring looked identical, without any distinguishing features separating one ring from the other.
In this exam, each of you will take one ring and examine the kind of items put in there.
Each ring has several items and your task is to find all the necessary plants required to create the items you have.
You will be required to find about 20 different plants and your passing grade for this exam will be 90%.
Do you all understand
Ninety percent grade.
In other words, those who wanted to pass the exam were required to find at least 18 out of the 20 different ingredients used to create the item.
The number sounded high for Emery, but it seemed all of the apprentices within the group found it easy, as they sighed in relief.
Among those relieved at the requirement, Emery saw Sabil, the young acolyte that helped him before.
Emery, I know you are stronger, and you are a much more talented fighter than me.
However, remember I was born for this.
I will never, ever admit defeat to the likes of you.
In face of competition, Sabil appears to change completely.
Before Emery was able to utter a retort, the head examiner shouted.
The participants who manage to find all 20 required items will be given rewards! Your time is three hours, if there are no further questions, the exam starts… now!
Right as the words left Master Anmir\'s lips, the surroundings instantly became much noisier.
Like rabid dogs released right in a field full of meat, every participant rushed forward, grabbed one ring and jumped inside one of the four biomes without stopping let alone considering their next move.
The situation seemed to affect Emery, as he found himself rushing to grab one of the rings.
However, unlike them, he took the time to examine the ring carefully and took out its contents.
From inside the ring, Emery was able to retrieve five items, with three in the form of potions, and the remaining two in the form of pills.
Each and every rank one apprentice was given the spell [Analyze] and [Universal Flora Knowledge] right as they joined the institute.
With the help of those two skills, the exam would be a bit easier.
The first potion took the form of white liquid, with a surface that bubbled and exploded without a pattern, similar to boiled water, though not quite as fast.
[Babbling Beverage – Tier 1]
[When imbibed, this potion causes an uncontrollable urge to speak nonsense.]
In contrast to the first potion, the second potion was black with a consistency similar to melted rubber or even tar.
When Emery tried to tilt the bottle, the liquid inside took some time to tilt along, as if the laws of physics did not affect it at all.
[Dogbreath Potion – Tier 2]
[When imbibed, this potion would give the drinker a fiery breath.]
The third potion seemed to gleam under the light, reflecting brilliant gold into the room.
However, under closer scrutiny, the liquid seemed to be transparent even though it was able to reflect light with such intensity.
[Wideye Potion – Tier 2]
[When imbibed, Prevents the drinker from falling asleep.
Also awakens from drugging or concussion.]
Emery glanced at the last two items.
They were a pair of differently colored pills, each a stark contrast from the other.
As with the potions, he used his [Analyze] skill on the two pills as well.
[Memory Pill – Tier 2]
[When imbibed enhance the drinker\'s memory.]
Emery tried to analyze the last one, but then he glanced at the notification from his mind in slight shock.
[ – Tier ]
[No information received.
To receive information, you require rank 2 [Analyze] skill along with rank 2 [Universal Flora Knowledge].
Emery furrowed his brows, worry crept into his thoughts.
Was he supposed to buy those two aforementioned items before he came for the exam
From how a similar unreadable text would appear when Emery tried to use his skill for analyzing the tier 3 plant before, Emery was able to conclude the item ingredients must be a tier-3 one.
The realization, if anything, made him even more anxious.
He was unable to analyze any part of the ingredients required to create the fifth item.
Meanwhile, even among the four lower tier items he could use his Analyze skill on, he found out that two ingredients were also listed as \'unknown\'.
Not all was lost, for luckily Emery knew [Fragmentation], a powerful and rare plant element spell.