The heavenly domain of Jingzhou was the center of Daoism. Paintings covered the walls of the enormous hallway, illuminated by flickering candlelight. The old man sitting at the head of the table exuded an aura of death, as if it were about to take him.
He was the present master of the Dao Sect.
In front of him stood a fresh-faced pair: a man and a woman. Only, the woman was a little younger, around fifteen or sixteen.
"Lingyun, you're a talented prodigy. By right, this Foundation Establishment Pill should be yours. But talent doesn't determine everything. Although your senior, Su'en, is not as talented as you, he has been working hard for the Dao Sect all these years. Ten years ago, I agreed to give him this Foundation Establishment Pill. So, I'm sorry, but I can't give it to you."
The old man's gaze shifted slowly to the girl, who looked disappointed. The Foundation Establishment Pill was a sixth-grade medicinal pill. If she could consume it, she could shorten her cultivation time by at least three or four years! But her master had already made a decision, and there was no point arguing.
She turned to face the young man in the white robe beside her: slender, fair-skinned, and refined in appearance.
Her senior, Su'en.
*Ten years before she had joined the Way of Daoism*:
Su'en heaved a sigh of relief.
Being honest, he'd thought that he hadn't a single chance of obtaining the Foundation Establishment Pill.
After all, his junior, Ye Lingyun, was far more talented than him. She was practically a prodigy. If she just sharpened her abilities, her aptitude would surpass that of most people. It wasn't hard to imagine that she might reach the highest Immortal Ascension Realm in the future! When his junior had joined the Dao Sect, he had resigned himself to being overshadowed and overlooked from then on.
Who would have thought that his master would gift him this precious Foundation Establishment Pill? It was amazing! He had made the right call in joining this sect all those years ago.
However, a pair of eyes was burning into him with resentment. Su'en sighed inwardly.
It was true. On the basis of aptitude, this Foundation Establishment Pill was Ye Lingyun's by right. But he, who was merely average, needed it more! Without the pill, it would take him at least decades to break through his current realm. And who had that much time in one lifespan?
While Su'en was lost in thought, the old man took out a jade vase. Although it was covered, he could still smell the medicinal fragrance wafting from it. A simple breath was all it took for Su'en to feel his realm expand.
"Take it," the old man told Su'en with a smile. Although his disciple wasn't naturally gifted, he was hardworking and never complained. He just needed a little push to grant his abilities an extra edge. That way, when he died in the future, there would be people in the Dao Sect who could support him, and he wouldn't be rendered unable to face his ancestors.
"Thank you, Master!" Su'en reached out and took the jade vase. It sent a thrill of excitement through him.
An emotionless, mechanical voice rang out in his mind.
[The Fortuitous Opportunity Compensation System is online!]
Su'en's eyes widened. He had called out to the system many times after arriving in this world, but had never received a response. After countless failed attempts, he had given up.
Only for it to finally answer his call now!
Su'en took in a deep, steadying breath and carefully examined the functions of the system. They were written behind the system rules.
[If the host passes this opportunity to another, they can receive Critical Compensation!]
Such a simple, straightforward statement.
"Pass on this opportunity? In exchange for Critical Compensation?"
Su'en was mildly stunned. This system was rather strange! Surely more opportunities only meant greater benefits? Why was the system asking him to pass it on to someone else? The only redeeming factor was the Critical Compensation. However, he didn't know what this compensation entailed.
Suddenly, a caption appeared on the system panel.
[Host, please give the opportunity to someone else, and receive Critical Compensation!]
"Pass the opportunity to someone else?"
Su'en's gaze flickered around, landing on the jade vase in his hand. This was a priceless Foundation Establishment Pill. In the Heavenly Domain, only a high-level sect could refine it–and he had waited ten years for this!
"Fine. I'll give it away!"
After a moment of hesitation, Su'en chose to trust the system. He calmed himself and rationalized the situation in his head, then looked at Ye Lingyun. His sudden attention caused Ye Lingyun's beautiful face to twist in confusion. Why was her senior staring at her?
While she was absorbed in her own thoughts, Su'en grabbed Ye Lingyun's hand and placed the vase containing the Foundation Establishment Pill in her palm.
"Senior, what are you doing?" Ye Lingyun asked, puzzled at his intentions.
So was the old man beside them. "Su'en, what is this about?" he asked.
"Master, I've thought about it. I want to give this Foundation Establishment Pill to Junior Lingyun!" Su'en gave a violent cough, but his tone was serious when he responded. "Junior Lingyun's potential is far greater than mine. She can completely absorb the effects of this Foundation Establishment Pill. If I use the pill, I'll only be able to absorb half of its effects. It's too much of a waste!"
"Even that half would be invaluable aid to you," the old man urged, frowning.
"Master, I understand your concerns, but my abilities are too mediocre. They won't improve much. But Junior Lingyun is different–she'll achieve things I'll only ever be able to dream of! And," Su'en said with a smile, "the Way needs her more than it needs me."
"Well. If you say so!" Seeing that Su'en's mind was made up, the old man said no more.
Ye Lingyun looked at the jade vase in her hand, her face filled with surprise and disbelief. She couldn't believe that anybody would be willing to give up this Foundation Establishment Pill. How was that possible? It was a Foundation Establishment Pill–some sects in the outside world would go to battle over it!
But now, her senior had chosen to give it up–along with his future–giving her the pill without hesitation.
Ye Lingyun was stunned by this unexpected turn of events.
"Why are you just standing there? Take it!" Su'en patted Ye Lingyun on the shoulder.
"Thank you, Senior." Ye Lingyun blushed, unable to meet his gaze. Not out of bashfulness, but shame. When she hadn't been the one to receive the Foundation Establishment Pill earlier, she had felt ill at ease, thinking she deserved it more. But now, her senior had taken the initiative to give her the pill. A tinge of guilt pricked at her.
At that moment, Su'en received a system alert.
[The transfer has succeeded!]
[Triggered Hundredfold Critical Compensation!]
[Obtained: Foundation Establishment Pill*100]