Li Yao made a "bring it on" gesture; his confidence knew no bounds.
Jiang Shaoyang was also confident; he laid his chin on the table, puffed his cheeks with air, and slowly blew air towards Li Yao's toothpick tower.
For the first three seconds, the toothpick tower didn't move the slightest bit.
After three seconds, Jiang Shaoyang's blow became stronger and stronger, however, only the upper portion of Li Yao's toothpick tower shook and that too ever so slightly.
However, the lower portion, the octagonal structure remained extremely stable, due to the extended toothpicks in all directions which acted as "stable supports".
The toothpick tower, with a solid structure, didn't show the slightest sign of collapsing.
Looking at Jiang Shoayang's face flushed red to ears from blowing, Li Yao slightly smiled and said, "My toothpick tower not only takes the structural stability into account but also some principles of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics.
"The toothpicks aren't arbitrarily arranged. The gap between the toothpicks is precisely calculated to ensure that 90% of the airflow will be diverted outside through the hundreds of gaps no matter from which direction you blow the air.
"Only about 10% of the actual force is acting on the toothpick tower. Considering the lung capacity of a normal person, it is simply impossible for you to destroy it.
"Therefore, you should just give up!"
Jiang Shaoyang's pupils constricted as he carefully observed Li Yao's toothpick tower, in particular, the gaps between the toothpicks.
After ten seconds, he nodded and said, "You are right, the lung capacity of an ordinary person is insufficient to destroy this tower. I give up.
"Now, it's your turn to blow."
Li Yao was surprised for a moment, was it necessary?
His toothpick tower was indestructible and higher than Jiang Shaoyang's as well; wasn't the outcome pretty obvious?
However, Jiang Shaoyang's gaze remained firm and also appeared slightly confident which piqued Li Yao's curiosity.
Li Yao similarly laid his chin on the table, took a deep breath and slowly blew towards Jiang Shaoyang's toothpick tower.
A strange thing happened!
Jiang Shaoyang's toothpick tower seemed damaged and ready to collapse at any moment.
However, along with Li Yao's puff of air, in the blink of an eye, became 'alert and energetic' like a patient who was about to die had just been infused with lifesaving immortal qi!
"Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!"
A couple of toothpicks in the middle of Jiang Shaoyang's toothpick tower madly started rotating.
The external structure, on the other hand, remained firm, it was incomparably stable, solid, and unshakable.
In a trance, the toothpick tower now seemed a lofty, high tower standing on a boundless plain to Li Yao.
No matter how fierce the winds were, they were unable to shake the tower the slightest bit.
Now, it was Li Yao's turn to had his face flushed red to ears.
With his chest raised high, his lungs inflated to the limit, Li Yao ruthlessly blew.
However, the toothpick tower remained motionless, and the toothpicks inside started rotating more madly.
The very same words that Li Yao had spoken a while ago were thrown right back at him by Jiang Shaoyang, "I also designed the toothpick tower while taking fluid dynamics and aerodynamics into account, however, you only thought of diverting the airflow but I thought of using the airflow to strengthen the stability of the tower.
"As you can see, I have designed a unique guiding structure inside the tower, and after precise calculation, the hundreds of gaps in the toothpicks in the tower create a wind guiding band.
"When the air enters the tower, 85% of the power will be converted to create a downward pressure no matter which direction you blow from.
"The pressure acts as an invisible hand which helps me hold the tower more closely and firmly, from top to bottom.
"Therefore, the stronger air you blow, the more stable my tower becomes.
"There is no way to topple my toothpick tower unless you use more power than the average person and air flows from top to bottom."
Jiang Shaoyang's explanation rendered Li Yao speechless. After carefully observing for a while, Li Yao gave a long sigh and said in a reluctant tone which seemed he still wished to continue, "Both games are tied, shall we go for another?"
"But of course, but we don't have much time left, how about the most simple finger-guessing game?"
"Okay, what are the rules?"
"After ten seconds from the start, a round every second, and the hundredth round will be the end?"
"Alright, let's go!"
The game Li Yao and Jiang Shaoyang were playing was a very popular competing method between the refiners.
This game is called "Rock! Paper! Scissors!"
The common people who play rock, paper, scissors relied on luck, cheating, psychology, and perhaps a little bit of probability.
However, when it was between refiners, the contest was all about "who had quick eyes and deft hands!"
The two stretched their right hands simultaneously and, ignoring the other party's scrutinizing gaze, both silently counted in their heart!
The right hands of the two remained stable and unmoved, yet their fingers started beating like crazy; the ten fingers seemed to have turned into ten flood dragons.
No matter what hand is played, the fingers and the muscles are bound to have subtle changes.
Whoever could capture the changes of his opponent in advance, predict his opponent's hand, and subsequently react in the blink of an eye, would be victorious!
The grand and quick showdown of rock, paper, scissors, began!
Li Yao's gaze was completely transfixed upon Jiang Shaoyang's right hand!
However, in the blink of an eye, Li Yao had captured Jiang Shaoyang's intentions from the subtle movements in the ring finger of Jiang Shaoyang.
Jiang Shaoyang was going to play the scissors!
Li Yao sneered in his heart, as though it was just a matter of course!
And it was indeed true as in the last moment, Li Yao had subtly controlled the muscles of his hand and gave the impression that he was going to play the "paper".
Sure enough, Jiang Shaoyang was hooked!
Li Yao's right hand turned into a blurry shadow and, in an instant, became a fist or to say "rock" which heavily smashed upon Jiang Shaoyang's...fist!"
"How's that possible?"
At the same time, the smile of victory that was lingering upon both of their lips dissipated.
"He can actually control his muscles to such an extent; he even can make fake movements and set a trap!"
Jiang Shaoyang's heart was in a turmoil.
"He actually saw through my trap at very last moment, and though it was too late to change the scissors into paper, he replaced it with a rock just in time!"
Li Yao too was incessantly surprised.
"Let's go again!"
The two were like two very sophisticated machines whose hands would change every second, and every time just before the transformation, there would be a large number of observations, fakes, and counter-fakes happening.
In just a short while, the foreheads of the two were drenched in sweat, and from the fingertips to the shoulder blade, everything was faintly aching as if they were on fire.
"Draw! Draw! Another Draw!"
"Both of us had won eleven times and the remaining 78 games are draws!"
"Heh, want to continue? From your panting, forehead drenched in sweat, and the slight twitching right-hand, you must have reached your limit? If you can't continue, we will stop here."
"Are you kidding, I've only used 50% of my energy, I was just warming up, that's all! From the way I see it, you must be exhausted, you have already exceeded your limit? If you can't do it, there is no need to force yourself. Let's just sit down and have a cup of tea, we can chat as well; it's nothing to be embarrassed about!"
"Bullshit, I have only used 40% of my energy, I was tired of doing nothing and was just playing with you; that's all! Do you want to take it seriously? Then, I will let you see how frightening my 120% is!"
"Alright, we can go for another three-hundred rounds!"
Once again, Li Yao extended his right hand as well as his left hand. Spreading his ten fingers apart, Li Yao very provocatively looked at Jiang Shaoyang.
"Forming just one shape per second isn't that much exciting, how about three shapes per second. And let's do it with both our hands, what do you think?'
"That's exactly what I was thinking!"
Jiang Shaoyang slowly exercised his shoulder; suddenly, his bones made a series of "crackling" sounds. His long hair, even in the absence of the wind fluttered; he had a fiery look in his eyes!
The two were sitting the depth of the waiting area which was a dead end for the cameras.
Therefore, all the cameras or the invigilators were focused in the examination hall. Not a single person noticed such a soul-stirring contest between the two.
Inside the control room, the master crystal processor had just completed correcting the papers of the two.
A glittering figure suddenly appeared on the hologram.
"Jiang Shaoyang scored 931 points!"
Dong Liuqi's voice was filled with a bit of surprise. He took a glance at Zhu Yueqin with envy and jealousy.
Zhu Yueqin faintly smiled. The look on her face was rather calm, but her slightly elevated breath failed to conceal the excitement in her heart.
The written test of Refiner's Registration Examination was out of 1,000 points. As long as anyone scored more than 600, they would pass and could enter the second round.
Generally, even if someone passed the written test, quite often they scored very close to the passing marks. And if someone scored over 700, he or she could be considered as quite outstanding, anyone who could score higher than 800 points would be like feathers of a phoenix and horns of a unicorn.
As for more than 900 points?
In a span of three to five years, it would rather be quite hard to even find one such monstrous candidate!
Not to mention that the difficulty of this year's examination was quite high.
Dong Liuqi reckoned that if it was him who was giving the paper, he would have to wrack his brain and had to be extra careful while answering, and even a bit of luck would also be needed if he wanted to score over 900 points within four hours.
Dong Liuqi took a long, deep breath. He could only accept defeat in regards to the unfathomable strength of Deep Sea University.
"Jiang Shaoyang is truly worthy of the name Tenth Star. Professor Zhu, congratulation to your Deep Sea University's Refining Department for finding such a monster!"
Zhu Yueqin smiled in a reserved manner, "Where"
Even before she could finish her sentence, her throat seemed to have been ruthlessly slashed by a knife and her final words have been stuck in her throat.
Similarly, the look on her face was as ugly as someone who had been cut by a knife.
All because the results of the second candidate had also appeared on the hologram:
"Grand Desolate War Institution, Li Yao, 901 points!"
Dong Liuqi and Yan Tianhe sat down at once. They both gawked at each other and respectively saw a look of disbelief and shock in the other party's eyes. They furtively sneaked a peek at Zhu Yueqin and discovered that the beautiful woman was completely dumbfounded and didn't know what to do.
Immediately, both pulled up Li Yao's answer sheet and manually started reviewing.
"There is no problem with the first question."
"The answer to the second question is also complete. Every single detail is taken into account; even the trap set up in the subject had failed to fool him. It is simply perfect."
"Correct, correct, and correct!"
"It's really is 901 points, there is no problem with the crystal processor!"
Only at this instance did Yan Tianhe finally feel relieved. He was grinning to his ears, and his eyes were glittering.
Over the years, the number of people who had scored over 900 points could be counted on one's fingers.
Meanwhile, the questions where Li Yao lost points were related to the refining ideologies of the elite faction and those were related to most uncommon and unpopular topics at that.
In Yang Tianhe's opinion, being able to score 901 points in a test which was based on the refining ideologies of the elites faction even while being a grassroots refiner, he was far more valuable than Jiang Shoayang!
"First round, the written test is finished!"
Dong Liuqi looked at the pale Zhu Yueqin and said with a slight smile plastered on his face, "I can not wait for the second round to start. I hope that the second round could begin immediately; it would definitely a fight between a dragon and a tiger!"
Sorry for the delayed release. On another note, another chapter is bound to be released sometime later.