Emery set up his table with the [Beginner Cauldron] and the [Beginner Mortar and Pestle] placed upon it, in orderly fashion.
He then took a small portion from each of the five ingredients that he had and spread them across the table for easier access and differentiation.
[Asphodel Flower - Tier 1]
[Valerian Root - Tier 2]
[Mallowseet - Tier 1]
[Saltpetre dust - Tier 1]
[Kelp - Tier 1]
With the limited amount of time he had and no guarantee of success, Emery could only try to be smart about it.
Therefore, the first thing that he did was study the characteristics of each of the ingredients with the help of his [Fragmentation] skill.
After the ingredients were being \'handled\' by the [Fragmentation] skill, Emery then continued the process by comparing the texture, smell, and colour of the ingredients with those that were contained inside the [Universal Flora Database].
In short, he was doing a cross examination with each and every ingredient.
It was indeed a longer way to solve the problem, however he understood it was the right way nonetheless.
At the moment, Emery did not dare to dream about becoming the fastest among the 100 apprentices that were currently taking the same exam as him, it was too unrealistic.
With his current amount of accumulated knowledge, which was ordinary at best, it would be great for Emery if he managed to pass the test.
Hence, he wished that he could pass the exam, and just attain Rank 3 today.
Emery quickly removed the random thoughts inside his mind as he began to study the provided recipe carefully.
The last thing he wanted to do was make a mistake he couldn\'t fix afterall.
As he read through the recipe, the contents were quite similar to what he had thought.
The recipe had only shown the specific amount of each ingredient that was required and how to process it through either boiling, burning, simmering, and so on.
It did not provide any further information.
Fortunately, Emery had some experience in concocting before, courtesy to Granny.
Therefore, he was able to quickly think of a few dozen ways before immediately diving into action.
The first step, preparation.
By studying the ingredients, he could tell that the white plant that looked like a lily flower from Earth named Asphodel, showed an increased intensity in its unique smell after being turned into a powder.
Even though it may have looked insignificant, this unique change could cause a world of difference upon the end result.
The same could be said for the other ingredients.
The Valerian Root for example, had a very weak structure where it would crumble incredibly fast and lose its effectiveness.
This fact made Emery believe that the root should be included towards the very end of the process.
The next step, the concoction.
Concoction was mainly about how to use the correct amount of liquid to mix the ingredients and how to control the heat throughout the concoction process.
As for this, it was mostly about trial and error, there were no shortcuts.
Therefore, as he had to adhere to the essence of concoction, Emery quickly created a dozen combinations from what he thought would maximize the ingredients\' potency.
After doing so, he immediately dived into action, cutting, boiling, grating the ingredients that would be concocted into the final result.
Not even half an hour passed, Emery could see several apprentices had begun to bring their finished product to the appraiser of the exam.
The next thing heard from that direction was the harsh words from the Master Apothecary.
Do it again!
This one is good, 88%.
But not quite enough.
You dare show this trash to me! 45%!
And so on.
All the apprentices who joined the Apothecary Institute were definitely talented or had a certain background related to apothecary.
Hence, it was normal for them to be able to quickly make a successful product.
But none of them had made one that had satisfied the appraisers, yet.
Emery returned his attention to his stuff as he made his way to his first one, but halfway through, he realised that the end result would be a failure.
Thus, he quickly set that aside and prepared another one.
Congratulations! You are our first successful apprentice to reach a 91% result!
The words containing commendation caught the attention of everyone in the room, including Emery.
When he looked over, he realized that he knew who the apprentice was, Sabil.
The appraiser looked at Sabil and asked, Are you finished or do you want to give it another try
Without hesitation, Sabil answered, I will do it again, master.
It was obvious that Sabil wasn\'t satisfied with his 91% result.
He must be attempting for the position of the first five to make a potion with the 95% result.
After an hour, Emery finally managed to finish his first completed potion.
He knew that it wasn\'t perfect, however he still went ahead to get the potion tested.
Mediocre, go and try again!
Emery could clearly see several apprentices laughing at him when the result was announced by the appraiser.
But he didn\'t really care for their reaction.
In fact, he was quite satisfied with his first try.
An hour later, Emery once again saw Sabil approach the appraiser with his second potion, the result was far better than his previous one.
96%! Congratulations, you did it.
Sabil appeared to be extremely happy that he managed to reach 96%.
However, his happiness was cut short when a little girl managed to get 98%, exceeding even him.
That little girl was Karin.
Emery wished to celebrate with her, but he wasn\'t in the position to do so as he still had a lot on his plate currently.
He quickly returned to his business, trying multiple different combinations.
Emery then realized he was quite proficient when proceeding through trial and error.
When he pondered it more deeply, it seemed to be the case because he had been rather used to doing meticulous work like this since he was small.
The next hour, Emery created his second potion and tested it.
It\'s fine quality, but not enough.
And the next one, 82%.
You have improved but not enough.
From this point on, Emery began to have a headache.
Beyond great quality was excellent quality, and making an excellent quality was no walk in the park.
However, giving up was not in Emery\'s vocabulary.
Emery could feel his brain and arms working even more efficiently with every attempt, and finally he managed to complete his potion, just before the exam time ended.
Congratulations! You finally pass.
In the end, only 43 apprentices had passed the second year exam and became a Rank 3 Apprentice.
[Congratulations! You are now Rank 3 Apothecary Apprentice]
Emery did not get the reward, but he wasn\'t too sad.
In fact, he had managed to keep a dozen of great quality freezing potions from the exam.
It appeared because there was actually a fee for the exam, they didn\'t really care if the examinee brought their completed potions out.
Even though Emery entered the exam for free...
Still who doesn\'t like free stuff
At the end of the exam, before the apprentices had dispersed.
Master Aemir delivered the final speech, congratulating those who passed the exam while encouraging those who had failed to do so.
Unexpectedly, the little girl that had become known as the genius apothecary apprentice, Karin, congratulated Emery before they separated.
Emery let out a faint smile as he saw the little girl walk away.
When Emery walked out of the exam room, there was already someone waiting for him.
It was Cedric, the senior apprentice that had helped him in the past.