The day for the second rank apothecary apprentice exam had come.
Emery walked to one of the portal gates and was transported in an instant.
Upon arriving, he took the time to admire the flying boats dashing across the city.
Though he had visited the city several times, the sight was still as wondrous to him as the first time he came here with Master Grom.
He walked towards the iconic triple tower of the apothecary institute and went straight towards the building to meet with the dwarf receptionist.
He received the benefit of being in the elite class (free examination fee).
Emery was relieved, as the second exam cost was 20,000 spirit stones.
Being an elite acolyte really had quite a lot of advantages.
After completing his registration, Emery went towards the examination hall.
Just like last time, more than a hundred people had gathered, all of them were rank 2 apprentices just like him.
Among the crowd, Emery spotted Sabil, the acolyte from class 92 and Karin, the little girl who helped him before.
Brother Emery! Come here!
The little girl saw him looking and waved her hand.
Hey, Karin! How are you
The little girl gave a gleeful smile and answered.
I am good, brother Emery… Ah, by the way…
What is it Karin Emery asked.
I saw the Magus Games! Brother, I didn\'t realize you were a finalist… You were so cool! So, are you in the privileged class now
On one hand, Emery felt much better after hearing the compliment, but he was also reminded once again of his failure of entering the privileged class due to something he could not change.
In addition, he still had his progression problem.
Each second he spent not training was a second another acolyte could use to surpass him.
It was already clear the elite class had tough and competitive standards, so he definitely could not fall behind.
Despite all the mixed feelings, Emery smiled and answered.
Thank you, Karin… I think I am doing okay so far.
The little girl in ponytails raised her eyebrows, surprised with Emery\'s answer.
No, brother, that\'s not it… You\'re more than okay.
Look, you\'re great at fighting, you\'re good at apothecary and most importantly… You are still a good person despite how skilled you are. The little girl gave Emery a sincere smile.
Never underestimate yourself brother, never.
The little girl\'s words made Emery feel much better about himself.
He could not deny he had his own problems, from his dark core, to his pack and even his progression in the elite class… However, he should really be more grateful for what he had, rather than sulking because of his problems.
Thank you, Karin. Emery answered.
The weight crushing his heart didn\'t feel as heavy anymore.
In the middle of their conversation, Sabil suddenly approached them and said.
Emery, This time I will not lose to you, nor will I ever lose to you again.
Emery could only sigh in his heart before mustering the patience to at least give a cordial smile.
Let\'s try our best, Sabil.
Nothing is set in stone at this point, you too Karin.
I wish you all the best.
Sabil gripped his knuckles, I have studied hard for this.
I will obtain success with my own hands. Though it was admirable, Emery found himself staring at Sabil.
Studied… He muttered under his breath.
Emery realized he had no idea what the exam would entail.
He was about to approach them and ask when suddenly Master Aemir walked up onto the stage.
It was the same examiner who gave out the previous instructions.
Here, we will hold the second rank exam.
The announcement was made with an ordinary, if rather loud voice, but everyone immediately turned around to look at him.
In a moment the chatter they each had with their respective groups quietened down, all eyes focused on the examiner.
As first-rank apprentices you are required to understand about ingredients, but for the next step you need to show your understanding in concocting recipes.
Master Aemir clapped his hands and a group of people walked in, pushing a dozen carts in the middle of the room.
From a quick glance, Emery saw there were around half a dozen different ingredients shared across the dozen of carts.
Master Aemir gestured at the carts and continued.
These carts contain affordable tier-one ingredients, which you will use for concocting today.
Right as the words left Master Aemir\'s mouth, a new notification was sent into his mind by the symbol on his palm.
[You received Freezing Potion recipe – Tier 1]
[The freezing potion can freeze an object, a person or a creature when it hits.]
For this exam, everyone has to use the same ingredients we provided.
You are not allowed to add any other ingredients.
If you get caught doing it, you will be disqualified.
Master Aemir took out a glowing blue-colored bottle from his own storage ring.
Right as he took the potion out, everyone saw a flash of light.
When the light subsided a wooden puppet stood in the middle of the room.
Master Aemir took the bottle and threw it towards the puppet instantly freezing it.
Right as frost covered the puppet the master told all the apprentices to focus on the screen that appeared behind him.
[Freezing Potion – Tier 1]
[Potency strength: 100% - Masterpiece]
Emery had heard about this system before.
Not all potions were made equal and there was a sorting method to determine the quality of a potion.
The distinctions were:
[100% = masterpiece]
[90% = excellent quality]
[80% = great quality]
[70% = fine quality]
[60% = standard quality]
[50% = low quality]
[Under 50 = failed product]
Here is a chart to show you what the percentages mean.
If you want to pass, you have to get at least excellent quality.
Moreover, just like the last time, the first 5 acolytes who manage to create a product with 95% or more potency, will receive a special reward.
At the mention of a special reward, everyone instantly started murmuring and talking with each other.
However, unlike the acolytes, Master Aemir remained calm.
You have 8 hours and if you can\'t make any potions with the required potency by then, you will have failed.
Choose any table you like from the ones available in this room.
The exam begins… Now! Good luck apprentices!
Emery looked around for a table and right as he was about to search for the best position, he overheard someone talking to his friends.
Ah, this year is the freezing potion This is easy, far too easy… He said with a smug expression.
Are you crazy! One of his friends screamed.
I\'ve practiced making one for a few years now, but I\'ve never reached an excellent grade, Not even once!
Emery was confused and anxious.
There was mixed information all around him, some claimed it was easy, while others claimed it would be difficult.
Though the name implied it was a simple potion, Emery had no experience creating this kind of potion at all.