After checking her natural talent, Su'en had accepted Chen Ziling as a Daoist disciple. She and her father had left promptly, careful not to intrude on Su'en's time.
Now, Su'en sat alone in the courtyard, studying the box containing the Divine Spirit Fruit. A while later, he closed the box, stood up, and flew to Ye Lingyun's courtyard.
Ye Lingyun was in the midst of her cultivation when she saw Su'en arrive. She opened her eyes and looked over in confusion as he placed the box containing the Divine Spirit Fruit in her hand. Ye Lingyun's courtyard was very close to Su'en's, so she had overheard his conversation with the Chens. It also meant she knew what was inside the box.
"This is a thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit gifted to me by the Chen family. Its medicinal effect is equivalent to that of a Divine Spirit Pill. Make sure to absorb it quickly. Valuable things shouldn't be wasted," Su'en said slowly.
However, Ye Lingyun felt bashful; her senior had been plying her with plenty of gifts lately. "But the Chens gave the fruit to you, not me."
"You and I have the same master. Isn't it normal for a senior to look out for their junior?" Su'en asked, smiling. "There's still a month to go before the duel between the two cities. You're already at the late-stage Foundation Establishment Realm. After consuming this Divine Spirit Fruit, you should be able to break through to the Crystallization Realm before the competition."
"The Crystallization Realm?" Ye Lingyun was a little stunned, but she was quick to understand. The contest between Guanyu City and Black Cloud City was clearly an extension of the rivalry between the sects. The Dao Sect only had herself and her senior to defend its name, whereas the Nether Saber Sect had five disciples, all of whom were in the Crystallization Realm. If she was still at the perfected late-stage Foundation Establishment Realm when the contest commenced, it would be a disgrace to the Dao Sect.
And it wouldn't do to have her senior fight for the Dao Sect from the outset, would it? Their sect would be a laughingstock for its dearth of strong disciples.
"Don't worry, Senior. I'll definitely break through to the Crystallization Realm within a month!" Ye Lingyun answered earnestly.
"Excellent. Go back to your cultivation. I won't impose on you any longer." Su'en nodded and turned to leave. He had given her the fruit, so his business here was done.
Plus, he was confident his junior would be able to break through to the Crystallization Realm. Ye Lingyun's talent was exceptional, and she was already at the perfected late-stage Foundation Establishment Realm. With this thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit, it should be a breeze for her to advance to the Crystallization Realm.
He had also given the contest some thought: If his junior was still at the Foundation Establishment Realm before the duel, he wouldn't allow her to represent the Dao Sect. However, that would also hurt the Dao Sect's reputation. Before receiving the Divine Spirit Fruit, he had planned to use the next month to search for opportunities which might help his junior accelerate her cultivation growth rate.
Su'en had just returned to his courtyard when a notification from the system rang out.
[The transfer has succeeded!]
[Triggered Hundredfold Critical Compensation!]
[Ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit successfully obtained!]
"Another hundredfold Critical Compensation?"
Su'en's calm gave way to renewed excitement. This system was truly a marvel! Although, in fairness, his luck had been rather good recently. The more the Critical Compensations were worth, the rarer they would be.
He had expected the Critical Compensation to be multiplied tenfold, not a hundred!
With a thought, the ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit appeared in Su'en's palm. Its spiritual energy and appearance was clearly different from that of a mere thousand-year-old fruit, which was white with a hint of red. However, the Divine Spirit Fruit in his hand was bright red with golden patterns, making it look extremely precious.
On top of that, the sheer quantity of spiritual energy it contained was nothing like it had been before. The moment the ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit appeared, Su'en enveloped it with his plentiful True Qi, which proved to be an arduous task. But if he didn't do this, the spiritual energy of the ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit would surge out, and the whole of Guanyu City would sense the change in the spiritual energy of the Chen family.
The difference in the spiritual energy of the two fruits wasn't as simple as mere multiplication–a Divine Spirit Fruit's spiritual energy increased exponentially with age. The spiritual energy of a ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit was equivalent to the total amount of spiritual energy contained in a hundred thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruits. In fact, if he bargained with the high-level sects in the Heavenly Domain, he might be able to exchange this ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit for a massive amount of cultivation resources.
"So much spiritual energy. After consuming it, one shouldn't have to break a sweat to advance to the Golden Core Realm!"
Su'en's eyes brimmed with confidence. He was currently at the late-stage Crystallization Realm. Not its perfected stages, but he had a rock-solid foundation to work upon. With the abundance of spiritual energy at his disposal, the Golden Core Realm seemed within reach.
After a moment's thought, Su'en went into his quarters and took out an Energy Suppression Disc. Apart from being able to block the aura of cultivators, the disc could also prevent the leakage of spiritual energy when cultivators broke through to a higher realm, which risked causing damage to the surrounding buildings.
Su'en readied himself for the cultivation process, before awakening all the True Qi in his body. Then, he consumed the ten-thousand-year-old Divine Spirit Fruit.
The fruit transformed into an enormous stream of spiritual energy that surged into Su'en's body.
The realm above the Crystallization Realm was the Golden Core Realm. Nothing unusual about it, except that cultivators had to compress the spiritual energy in their bodies into spiritual juice through their daily cultivation. After cultivators reached the late-stage Crystallization Realm, they would have accumulated ample spiritual juice in their bodies.
The spiritual juice in Su'en's body condensed into crystals, from which the Crystallization Realm derived its name. When the Crystallization process was perfected, the crystals in the cultivator's body would gradually fuse together into the shape of a ball. After which, the cultivator would successfully break through to the Golden Core Realm.
One's spiritual energy would no longer be referred to as 'True Qi' then, but 'Vital Energy', or 'True Essence'.
In other words, if spiritual juice was the condensation of spiritual energy, then True Essence was the condensation of True Qi.
True Essence was unlike True Qi in many ways–it was stronger, more powerful. It was partially why there existed a chasm between the perfected late-stages of the Crystallization Realm and the early-stages of the Golden Core Realm. True Qi was no match for True Essence, provided the cultivation techniques used by both combatants was similar.
Otherwise, a Crystallization Realm cultivator couldn't hope to go head-to-head with a Golden Core Realm cultivator!