Suddenly Grand Elder Cormyth got up, slowly floating down to the arena.
Everyone looked at him with surprise. Grand Elder Cormyth had no obligation to be the first to challenge Dyon. In fact, he could have sent every expert in the guild at Dyon before he himself decided to go. The fact that he stood was a sign of respect for Dyon. This was even more blatantly obvious by the fact Dyon had just now been so disrespectful.
For the first time in a long time, Dyon's face flashed with an unknown emotion, then he said something no one understood but he, Cormyth and a few elders, "I'll accept that you weren't involved then."
A look of appreciation crossed Grand Elder Cormyth's face as he nodded, looking towards his daughters, "I'll handle this, your old man won't lose so easily."
"But dad, we wanted to go," the twins spoke together in adorable fashion.
They had wanted to see if they could beat Dyon themselves, but Grand Elder Cormyth simply shook his head, "you two aren't a match for him. Not now. Go on, be obedient."
With that, Erlan and Luvon followed the twins off of the stage.
In a flash, practitioner level guild members wiped all evidence of the previous battle from the arena as Dyon and Cormyth sized each other up.
Grand Elder Cormyth wore green robes with intricate purple patterns, which was strikingly different from the formation guild's plain grey robes. Although he was less sharp than Kroak, he still exuded the faint pressure of a true expert. He was not to be underestimated.
Cormyth began to speak after preparations are complete, "out of the interest of time and respect for your level, your one battle will be with me. Although I cannot speak for the formation guild, I'm sure that old bastard Kroak agrees as well."
Grand Elder Kroak nodded in acknowledgment. Although he and Cormyth butt heads, if they weren't good friends, organizing competitions like this wouldn't be on such a casual and small scale. It was clear that their relationship was deep, despite their disagreements.
Continuing, "we'll let this be a simple competition then. Right to the essence of alchemy. I won't go easy on you with the topics. 3 parts. Grafting theory. Pill recognition. Pill formation."
The crowd began to murmur. Even just grafting theory required years of experience. Understanding plants, their properties and how those properties changed in response to being melded together was a large part of alchemy, but it was also much of the reason why many didn't advance despite being able to form higher level pills.
The second, pill recognition, was equally as difficult. It was almost impossible for an alchemist to memorize the pill recipe and unique formation requirements of every pill, especially when one considers how many pills are tailor made for a given situation on a whim. So, the ability to analyze a pill down to its most important components, and describe it, was another outrageously difficult, but wholly necessary talent.
The last, pill formation, was probably the most straight forward. However, it was also among the most important for obvious reasons.
"Winning two of the three will gain you victory. Since you're the challenger, and I've set the parameters of the challenge, it would be appropriate for you to choose what we do first. What do you choose?"
Up in the stands, Elder Flyleaf sat beside Elder Erunonidan, watching everything unfold intently. They were both a part of sub-families within the alchemy division, so, this could be considered their expertise. As such, they were very interested in how their chosen genius would do.
Dyon nodded, "let's just begin with grafting theory."
Theory based challenges would probably be the easiest for Dyon. Why? Because of his master's memories.
This was cheating, in a way, but also not at the same time. All of the unlocked memories on array alchemy his master had left in his mind, Dyon had long since imprinted as his own. The memories that couldn't be considered his own were ones he hadn't gone through with the objective of learning yet. Think of the 25th White Mother's memories as books that Dyon had read and memorized. And these books, were simply things Cormyth didn't have access to.
However, this wasn't an open and close case. Much like pill recognition, grafting theory had endless possibilities. Without the ability to reason, deduce and conclude on the most likely occurrence in the combination of certain plants, knowledge would mean nothing. As such, Dyon's master only left the base plants in Dyon's memories because that was all she had in her own. She never bothered to memorize grafted plants because it was a waste of effort.
Grand Elder Cormyth nodded at Dyon's direct answer before looking up into the crowd, "we need an unbiased moderator to provide the questions. I believe test questions from a 5th master level alchemy test would be appropriate here. I am only at the 3rd master level, and Dyon has yet to reveal his true level. So, picking one above mine would be most appropriate. I would have no chance at answering any questions at a higher level, so even should Dyon be a 5th master level alchemist, the result would be sealed regardless, correct?"
The crowd nodded. Although they found it ridiculous that Dyon's understanding of grafting could ever reach that level, they had to admit that Cormyth's logic was sound. Even Dyon had no objection.
In response to Cormyth's ask for a moderator, Elder Flyleaf stood, walking to the arena.
With what seemed like a thought, a glass tube Dyon hadn't noticed on the ceiling appeared. Within it, a cylinder containing scroll sped towards them.
Falling out of the web of glass, the cylinder fell gently into Flyleaf's hand.
Taking the scroll out and unrolling it, a white array appeared, slowly expanding before them.
Soon, the array was already 3 meters in diameter before it started to glow fiercely.
Elder Flyleaf muttered something before stacks of papers began flying out and neatly arrange themselves. After about half a minute, the process was over.