Chapter 1554 - Hierarchical Gap

In the crowded Special Alchemy Room, every player turned towards Melancholic Smile as soon as she spoke, eager to learn the competition's results.

Any alchemist would even envy the benefits for the tenth place, let alone the benefits the top three would enjoy.

With the help of the awarded alchemy tools, these alchemists would have a smoother path to becoming Master Alchemists. Once they became Master Alchemists, they'd reach the apex of the alchemy industry, becoming a target for superpowers' recruitment.

"A total of 324 people have participated in the competition this time. Among them, 244 are Intermediate Alchemists, and 80 are Advanced Alchemists. Overall, I would say that everyone has scored fairly well. However, the final results are clear," Melancholic Smile said, smiling as she glanced at the alchemists present. "I'll now announce the top ten rankings.

"Tenth place: Floating Cloud, Intermediate Alchemist. Materials used: 59 sets. Produced 19 Fire Potions. Practical success rate is 32.2%."

"Ninth place: Smiling Heaven, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 49 sets. Produced 16 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 32.65%."

"Eighth place: Tainted Maple, Intermediate Alchemist. Materials used: 58 sets. Produced 19 Fire Potions. Practical success rate is 32.75%."



As Melancholic Smile reported the results, the crowd gasped in shock.

"What?! Even Intermediate Alchemists have ranked among the top ten?!"

"Crap! What kind of speed and success rate is that?! I went all-out for the whole hour, yet I only used 52 sets of materials and made 16 Fire Potions. Are they even human?"

All of these alchemists were very familiar with the Fire Potion and Frozen Soul Potion's production specifications. If an alchemist of the same rank tried to craft them without the aid of any external items, the system would set their base success rate at 35%. However, it was extremely difficult for an alchemist's practical success rate to reach this theoretical success rate. If an alchemist only crafted a small number of potions, they might be lucky enough to achieve a practical success rate that was higher than the theoretical success rate, but that was nearly impossible when mass-producing potions. Moreover, the likelihood of such a situation would only decrease as players crafted more potions.

Hence, when competing in a competition that required 50 to 100 sets of materials, one had to rely on their actual capabilities. Luck had very little impact in such competitions.

Moreover, it was extremely difficult to maintain a high production speed if one wanted to maintain a high success rate. After all, the hastier one was, the more likely they were to make mistakes. This, in turn, resulted in a lower success rate.

In this competition, players were first judged based on the number of potions they crafted. Their success rate was secondary. If two players produced the same number of potions, their ranks would then be determined by their success rate. This made it impossible for players to gain an advantage with trickery. Of course, this judging method was only effective among alchemists of the same rank.


At the end of the day, the Fire Potion was much easier to produce compared to the Frozen Soul Potion. It didn't require as much time to craft, either. As a result, it was natural that the players crafting Fire Potions would produce more than those crafting Frozen Soul Potions. Hence, when comparing alchemists of different ranks, for fairness's sake, Advanced Alchemists would have a modifier of +3 potions added to their tallies.

Just who are these people? Youlan was astounded as she watched the alchemists walk up to the stage Melancholic Smile occupied.

When Shi Feng had stated that the practical success rate of Candlelight's core members was around 30%, she had assumed the man had exaggerated. Looking at it now, however, it would seem that Shi Feng had told her the truth. In fact, he had understated the firm's alchemists.

There were likely only two alchemists in Underworld who could achieve such a high production speed and success rate. Ordinary Advanced Alchemists would be fortunate to achieve two-thirds of the production speed of Zero Wing's Advanced Alchemists. They'd thank the heavens if they could reach even 20% of these alchemists' practical success rate.

As Melancholic Smile continued to announce the top-ten ranks, Silent Aspiration and Silent Wonder, who stood below the stage, were flabbergasted. They had never thought that the other alchemists in the trading firm would achieve such excellent results, only slightly inferior to theirs.

Zero Wing sure has a lot of alchemy experts. But this old man will still take first place. Silent Aspiration hadn't lost any of his confidence. He had nearly achieved perfection with his performance.

While he was surprised that so many of Candlelight's Advanced Alchemists had produced 16 Frozen Soul Potions in one hour, they still couldn't compare to him. After all, he had crafted a total of 18 Frozen Soul Potions. Though part of the reason for his result had been his luck with his final attempt, luck was also a component of an alchemist's strength.

"Alright, next up is fifth place: Silent Aspiration, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 53 sets. Produced 18 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 33.96%!"

Everyone gasped when they heard Silent Aspiration's results.

The Advanced Alchemist that scored sixth place had only produced 16 Frozen Soul Potions, yet his score had increased by two. The result was frightening.

Fifth?! How is this possible? Silent Aspiration turned to look at Melancholic Smile, suspicious.

Even Youlan, who stood beside Shi Feng, could not believe this.

Silent Aspiration had successfully crafted 18 Frozen Soul Potions in one hour, yet he only ranked fifth.

However, before Silent Aspiration and Youlan could question the results, Melancholic Smile announced the fourth place winner.

"Fourth place: Silent Wonder, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 52 sets. Produced 18 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 34.61%!"

Hearing this result, Silent Aspiration, who had intended to question the results, was at a loss for words.

Someone was actually capable of producing 18 Frozen Soul Potions with a near-perfect success rate.

"Next, in third place: Rain Walker, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 59 sets. Produced 20 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 33.89%!"

"Second place: Gentle Stab, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 61 sets. Produced 21 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 34.42%!"

"First place: Dormant Twilight, Advanced Alchemist. Materials used: 62 sets. Produced 22 Frozen Soul Potions. Practical success rate is 35.48%."

When Melancholic Smile finished announcing the competition's results, silence descended on the venue. Everyone turned towards the top three alchemists on the stage, skepticism filling their eyes.

Were the results manipulated? Silent Wonder was confused as she read the results.

Her production speed in this competition had been the best she had ever achieved, completing 52 attempts in one hour. That was basically one attempt every minute or so. Her success rate was even close to perfection.

Yet, of the three alchemists who ranked above her, two had spent less than a minute on each attempt. One had even achieved a success rate that exceeded the system's theoretical success rate. She found it hard to imagine how these people could have possibly achieved such results.

The only possibility she could think of was that they had cheated and used alchemy tools that increased their production speed and success rate.

Silent Wonder wasn't the only one with such thoughts. Silent Aspiration and Youlan had reached the same conclusion.

The report had even surprised Melancholic Smile.

"I know that some of you will refuse to believe these results and suspect that the top three alchemists have cheated in some way. However, I guarantee you that that is not the case. This is their own strength. Do not think that the top three positions of the Candlelight Trading Firm are so easy to obtain. If you do not work hard, the gap between you will only grow," Shi Feng stated as he glanced at everyone present. "To maintain fairness, I'll show you these top three alchemists' refining process."

After Shi Feng said so, Melancholic Smile displayed the recording of the top three alchemists' refining process on the magic water ball in the center of the room.

As this was a competition, everyone's work had been recorded to avoid any cheating. Others would also be able to use the recordings of the high-achievers as reference.

As the videos played, the crowd noticed that the top three alchemists' production speeds weren't particularly fast. In fact, they were slower than most of the participating Advanced Alchemists. However, while these three were refining their potions, they'd occasionally give up halfway through and concoct a new potion as if they knew that their attempt wouldn't succeed…

By giving up halfway, these three alchemists saved a lot of time. As a result, they went through far more materials during the limited amount of time.

When the videos ended, every alchemist in the room turned as one towards the top three alchemists, realizing where the difference lay.

How is that possible? Silent Wonder and Silent Aspiration were dumbfounded.

It was impossible to know how a potion would turn out before it was refined. They couldn't fathom why these three had decided to give up on certain attempts midway, yet it was precisely the reason they had achieved far better results.

Could this be some kind of alchemy technique? Silent Wonder and Silent Aspiration considered the thought at practically the same time. This was especially true for Silent Wonder.

She was no stranger to the top three alchemists, but when it came to alchemy standards, she had no doubt that she was superior. The only way the trio could surpass her was with alchemy techniques. The trio must've learned a technique that she didn't know, which was why there was such a massive difference between them. Based on the fact that all three alchemists had learned the same technique at the same time, she guessed that it must have something to do with the Candlelight's internal member training program.

"Alright, now that you've seen their refining processes, I'm sure you've realized where the difference lies. The promised benefits for the top ten winners will be delivered to your respective Alchemy Rooms. I want you three to stay behind. Everyone else, you may leave if you have nothing else to say," Shi Feng announced, chuckling as he noticed Silent Wonder and Silent Aspiration, who appeared to be deep in thought.

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