A hundred and twenty breath counts had pa.s.sed. The crowd looked at the table. Most candidates had only drawn a couple of crooked strokes with the powder. At least that beat other candidates who did not even manage to leave a mark. Some could not even concentrate their Celestial Chi on their hands. Certain pictures looked intricate though no one could tell what they were.The crowd turned to look at Li Xu, hoping that at least one or two candidates would have met Li Xu's expectation. Alas, he shook his head and the crowd was disappointed. It was not easy to be Master Xuanyi's disciple.
Very quickly, the first batch of candidates stepped down and the second batch went up. Mo Teng happened to be a.s.signed to the second group. He and the rest took their positions as the test was about to begin.
As Li Xu strolled past the tables, he briefly stopped at Mo Teng and gave him an approving look. Mo Teng had drawn the image of a bunny. Although the picture was far from good and the outlines were a little off, it was comparatively decent to the rest.
Mo Feng, who was standing behind Mo Teng the entire time, felt moved when he caught a glimpse of Li Xu's expression. He was elated.
"Not bad. Keep at it and he'll eventually be a mid-ranking apothecary." Li Xu smiled.
To the Mo Clan, a mid-ranking apothecary was something worth being proud of. Mo Feng's rather shriveled hands would not stop shaking.
The crowd looked at Mo Feng with envy. Some of the lords and elder chiefs went over to congratulate them. The Mo Clan was such lucky b*stards. About hundreds of years ago, they managed to produce a mid-ranking apothecary. Are they going to produce another mid-ranking apothecary soon? Whatever it was, they had better be on good terms with the Mo Clan.
"Congratulations, Lord Mo."
"Thank you, thank you!" replied Mo Feng cordially. Mo Teng had brought him so much pride.
Mo Teng was the only one from the second group to ace the test. Neither candidates from the third, fourth, and fifth groups pa.s.sed the hurdle. Soon, the sixth group came forward. When Ye Chen stepped up, all eyes were on him. Everyone wanted to find out if his control over his Celestial Chi would impress Master Li and if it were as awe-inspiring as cultivation talents.
Together with the rest of the youngsters, Ye Chen took his place at his designated table and held his right hand two inches above the powder.
The youngsters began channeling their Celestial Chi hastily.
This was the first time Ye Chen had to undergo such a unique test. He shut his eyes and channeled his Celestial Chi. In a split-second, the Celestial Chi flowed toward his right hand. He concentrated his Celestial Chi into a single spot but it would not stop swirling.
Ye Chen had displayed a higher concentration of Celestial Chi compared to an average folk but that meant that his Celestial Chi was as unstable as the tides, which also meant that it was more difficult for him to tame it. Ye Chen tried numerous times to gain control of his Celestial Chi but to no avail. Attempting to concentrate one's Celestial Chi at a single spot was tough enough, what more drawing with powder.
The crowd fixed their gaze on Ye Chen's table. Time was slowly ticking but there were no movements. Meanwhile, the youngsters by the side had at the very least, managed to produce a couple of distorted strokes.
"Could Ye Chen be having a difficult time controlling his Celestial Chi after so long?"
"It's a given. With a higher concentration of Celestial Chi comes a greater need for control."
"It looks like Ye Chen doesn't possess the talent for Alchemy."
As the crowd discussed, Ye Changxuan had decided that it was not a big deal if Ye Chen lacked the talent for Alchemy. At most, that just meant that they could not secure the second Earth Quintessence Pill. Of course, Ye Changxuan was slightly disappointed too, seeing that the Ye Clan had never had an apothecary for hundreds of years. Ye Changxuan had thought perhaps Ye Chen's talents could finally break the clan's curse once and for all but that did not seem like the case.
Li Xu had high hopes for Ye Chen but all of that hope was dashed by now. Ye Chen had displayed such an amazing talent for Cultivation and was extremely suitable to cultivate fire elemental systems. Sadly, it looked like Ye Chen did not have the same luck with Alchemy. Li Xu was rather excited initially, thinking he had finally found the right man for Alchemy. Now, he had realized there was still a long way to go!
There was not much time left. A hundred breath counts had pa.s.sed in the blink of an eye. Ye Chen's eyes remained shut but there was not a single movement on the powder.
The time was almost up. The crowd was eager to see the results. There were one or two candidates in Ye Chen's group who had shown promising results though they were far from Mo Teng's level.
Mo Teng smirked as he looked at Ye Chen. At least now he had regained some confidence after realizing he was not that all useless. Mo Teng may have lacked Ye Chen's talents for cultivating Celestial Chi but the former had certainly outshone the latter in other areas.
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While the crowd looked elsewhere, Ye Chen stilled himself and tap into the Nine Astra within his meridian channels, which spun in a captivating manner. As if heeding Ye Chen's command, all nine types of residual Celestial Chi began to move in an orderly fashion. There was a trick to controlling one's Celestial Chi after all!
The quicker the powder spun, the higher it lifted off the table. It rose to the air briefly, then settled down again. The powder had been shaped into a circle on the table. It was a unique circle with a curve in between that split the image into half with both sides adorned with the image of two tadpole-like figures.
What an interesting drawing!
The crowd had never seen the likes of Yin Yang fishes, Taiji-Bagua and the likes. So, this was rather new to them.
The lines to the circle were smooth and even. There was a distinct yet indescribable scent to it. Compared to the other candidates including Mo Teng, the lines had a perfect finish. Only, the image was a tad bit too simplistic.
The crowd looked at the remaining time. A hundred and fifteen breath counts! Ye Chen had drawn a picture at the eleventh hour. How astonishing.
"I wonder if Ye Chen's circle or Mo Teng's image will win."
"The circle looks beautiful but Mo Teng's bunny has an intricacy to it. It'll be difficult to judge."
"Does that make Ye Chen a suitable talent for Alchemy then?"
"That's up to Master Li to say."
As the crowd mused on, the circle spun once more. It had settled into a pile of powder again.
"Is Ye Chen calling it quits?"
"That was a beautiful image, why destroy it?"
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