Chapter 95: Dragon Scale Grass
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
Sun Tao clenched his fists delightfully. Turning around, he looked at Zhang Xuan and the other candidate. His neck was tilted upwards as he emanated an aura of superiority.
After getting through the first two examinations, his identity as an apprentice was already confirmed.
Ignoring the incomparably narcissistic Sun Tao, upon hearing his name wasn't announced, Zhang Xuan frowned.
That shouldn't be.
He had double checked all of his answers with the Library of Heaven's Path, so it was impossible for him to have committed an error. Why did he fail?
"Master Apothecaries, may I know where did I go wrong?"
Unable to contain his doubts, Zhang Xuan stepped forward.
"Why? Are you going to challenge the two masters' evaluation? A mistake is a mistake. You must have identified a certain medicinal herb inaccurately or made a mistake while writing your answer down!"
Sun Tao stepped before him, flung his sleeve and lectured him as though an earnest teacher, "Study hard after you return. Theoretical knowledge are different from the practical knowledge after all. Your theoretical answers are not bad, but if you are unable to recognize the medicinal herbs, you are still unable to become an apprentice apothecary!"
His voice was deep and his actions were refined.
[Lad, weren't you gleeful just now?
It is shocking that you are able to achieve a perfect score in the written examination, but it is useless!]
"You have identified the Fish Scale Grass erroneously, stating it as Dragon Scale Grass instead!" Seeing his doubtful expression, Ouyang Cheng explained. "However, don't be disheartened. Just the very fact that you were able to achieve perfect accuracy in your written examination shows that you have reached an acceptable level of understanding towards medicinal herbs. As long as you observe and study medicinal herbs properly from now on and integrate your knowledge together, you will surely pass the examination the next time around!"
"Indeed, you are still young. There is no need to hurry. As long as you continue to learn humbly and integrate your theoretical knowledge with your technical skills, you should be able to become a true apprentice apothecary very soon!" Apothecary Du Man also chipped in.
If it was anyone else, the two would be less than bothered to explain. However, the person before them had just achieved a perfect score, even the two of them felt that it was a pity for him to fail this round.
"You mean this?"
Zhang Xuan finally understood why he failed the second round of examination. He headed to the table and picked up the stalk of medicinal herb. Studying it carefully once more, he asked, "Are you sure that this is Fish Scale Grass?"
"Of course, its stem is similar to that of fish scale and its leaves are gray color. What else could it be if not Fish Scale Grass?"
Before Ouyang Cheng and Du Man could answer, Sun Tao quickly spoke out proudly.
Fish Scale Grass was an extremely rare herb and its traits were as what Sun Tao said, fish scale-like stem and gray leaves.
Even though it was rare, information on the herb was recorded in the books.
The one that Zhang Xuan identified inaccurately previously was also this herb.
"Could it be that it isn't?"
Ouyang Cheng clearly agreed with Sun Tao's judgement, and he stared at Zhang Xuan with a doubtful expression.
"Of course not!" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "Aren't the two apothecaries a little too rash to use a herb which you both aren't sure of in an examination and conclude that I have failed the test?"
"Audacious!" Thinking that the young man before him was trying to win praises by starting a commotion, he quickly interjected. "How could the questions come up by the master apothecaries be wrong? Stop spouting nonsense here..."
After passing the examination, it was highly likely that he would become the apprentice of one of the two apothecaries here, so he had to fawn on them in advance.
"It is easy to tell whether it is nonsense or not! There are books in the room outside the examination hall. May I busy someone to fetch a book on the bottommost of the seventh shelf here!" Couldn't be bothered to argue with this fellow, Zhang Xuan calmly said so.
"Hua Hua, fetch the book here!"
Ouyang Cheng and Du Man traded gazes for a moment before the latter ordered his apprentice to fetch the book.
The apprentice apothecary who brought the candidates into the room nodded his head before walking out. In a moment's time, he returned with a book on unique medicinal herbs, the one that Zhang Xuan had described previously.
"Flip to the 17th page, there is a detailed description on Fish Scale Grass there!"
Zhang Xuan said.
The apprentice Zhu Hua Hua couldn't resist the urge to flip the book and in the next instant, information on Fish Scale Grass appeared before him.
"He can even remember this?"
The two apothecaries, Ouyang Cheng and Du Man, glanced over and their bodies shuddered, revealing their incredulity.
Fish Scale Grass was an ingredient that they took randomly, and no one knew about it beforehand. As such, it was impossible for anyone to cheat!
[To be able to remember which book holds the description of the medicinal herb, which page the description is on and where the book was placed... His memory is nothing short of incredible.]
"May I trouble you to recite the introduction on Fish Scale Grass!" Ignoring their shock, Zhang Xuan carried on.
"Fish Scale Grass usually grows in marshlands. It is named as such due to its unique fish scale-like stem. Its entire body is gray and there are slight white spots on top of the leaves. The scales on mature Fish Scale Grasses are around the size of a soybean..."
The voice of the apprentice apothecary, Hua Hua, gradually faded away as he recited the introduction. Because, even him, had realized that there were many differences between the 'Fish Scale Grass' on the table and what was described in the book.
"There are faint white spots on the top of the leaves of Fish Scale Grass, but this herb doesn't have any of it! The scales of a mature Fish Scale Grass should be around the size of a soybean, but the scales on this herb are around the size of a fingernail. It is clear that it is significantly larger than what is being described!" Zhang Xuan carried the herb up and explained the traits one by one.
Ouyang Cheng and Du Man hurriedly grabbed the book from Zhu Hua Hua's hands and browsed through it. They discovered many differences between what was being described in the book and the herb in Zhang Xuan's hands.
"Since it isn't Fish Scale Grass, it should be something that is similar to it. Of the numerous medicinal herbs, the only thing that resembles it is the Dragon Scale Grass that I had written down in my script! If you all doubt the existence of this medicinal herb, you all can send someone to the room again and on the right upper corner of the fourth shelf, there should be a famous work by Senior Liu Da Xian. The herb is described in detail on the 54th page!"
Liu Da Xian was an extremely famous apothecary thirty years ago. He had entered many barren and treacherous lands to discover new herbs and he had contributed much to the apothecary society.
"Of course, if you still doubt that the herb is Dragon Scale Grass, I have a way to discern it for sure!" Zhang Xuan smiled. "Fish Scale Grass is a warm medicinal herb. A milky-white liquid will flow out if its stem is broken. On the other hand, this herb is a cold medicinal herb. If it is cut apart, a pale yellow liquid that emanates cold moist air will flow out! The two apothecaries are expert at using herbs, so you should be able to discern it easily!"
Du Man shot a gaze at Zhu Hua Hua to get him to look for the book once more. At the same time, he exerted a force on his hands and lightly tore the plant apart.
The stem of the 'Fish Scale Grass' in his hands was torn apart and a pale yellow liquid flowed out slowly, emitting frigidity into its surroundings.
"It is as he says!"
The duo staggered.
[It is exactly as what the other party said!
To think that this medicinal herb isn't Fish Scale Grass!]
At this moment, Zhu Hua Hua returned with a book in his hand. At the 54th page, records on the Dragon Scale Grass could be found and the traits stated in the book tallied perfectly with this medicinal herb.
Despite being an examiner, to think that a candidate would end up correcting their mistake...
Ouyang Cheng and Du Man felt a fiery sensation on their face.
The room went deathly silent.
Everyone stared at the young man before them as though they were staring at a monster.
[The heck, remembering the difference between Dragon Scale Grass and Fish Scale Grass can still be considered minor, but to remember the exact book and page, as well as where it is placed on the shelves...
You are about to break through the heavens!
Are you sure you are still human?]
Sun Tao, who had just mocked Zhang Xuan in an attempt to perform before the apothecaries, stood rooted to the spot in a daze and his body trembled uncontrollably. An urge to cry overwhelmed him.
[Damn it, if only I knew that the other party had such outstanding memorization ability, I wouldn't have tried to look knowledgeable even if I was beaten to death!]
This time, not only did he fail to look knowledgeable, he looked like a fool!
If there was a burrow in the ground at this moment, he surely would have dived in at this very instant...
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 95
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