there's a talented girl he wants to recruit as a hand maiden. On first encounter, he talks down to everyone then s*xually harasses her. A while later he meets her and does the same. The third time he makes mysterious allusions to her powers/natures and how he might know something that could help her, etc. He doesn't actually get her to join him until several encounters later. If he wanted to recruit her and wasn't an arrogant idiot he'd just walk up to her, show her his martial arts, then concisely say why he's vastly superior to her, how he can help her and why she should join him. Boom he wouldnt' had her in the first encounter.
At some point in the story, one of the masters of the cultivator chat group tells the MC about a thread specifically created to help cultivators adapt to the modern world, since many of them would have been in closed door cultivation for centuries or decades -- suddenly coming out and finding technology and culture drastically changed. One part of the thread gives a cautionary tale of an unfortunate master cultivator, and proscribes a safety checklist in order to avoid facing a similar dilemma. Said cultivator apparently went into extended closed door cultivation, only to have the deserted area he sealed himself off in coincidentally become a nuclear testing site decades later. Even with with the ridiculous number of grandmaster-level defensive formations he had set, he barely escaped with his life -- sustaining severe injuries that required decades to recover from, and psychologically traumatizing him.
The novel is littered with well-thought little details such as the one described in the spoiler, which really attempts to answer questions as to what sorts of challenges and scenarios cultivators might face in the modern world. They also help to give us a realistic idea of how the cultivators' abilities might stack up against modern technology.
Unlike most cultivation novels, there is a is a good deal of light-hearted humor that does not rely on slapstick. Neither is there any harem building, or unrealistic ero / romance. Morover -- and this is the best part IMO -- it eschews the idea that becoming a cultivator somehow necessarily turns people into rutheless, sociopathic/psychopathic assholes. The MC is good-natured, and though they each have their own quirks, all of seniors in the cultivation chat group are good-natured as well. That's not to say the MC is a d*ckless coward or a loser. Nor is he some self-righteous a holier-than-thou crusader. Rather, this goes back to how well-written he is as a character. He's a good-natured, modern university student, and acts the way a REAL ACTUAL PERSON with decent morals might act. As a complementary feature, the author seems to reject the notion that only ruthless pricks can get ahead. The MC is a decent person that will help out passers by if the opportunity presents itself. And he is often actually rewarded for it either by the recipient of his assistance, or by serendipity.
In the most recent arc, the MC is searching for the injured leader of a group that tried to kill him and steal his stuff. The leader is currently in hiding, and the MC is worried that he if gives the leader too much time to heal-up and regroup, they'll come back and harm him or his family. He's is on the subway en route to investigate a lead that one of his friends dug up for him. A little girl on a trip with her parents ends up getting attached to him and refuses to let him go -- much to the apologetic embarassment of the parents. So being the good Samaritan he is, the MC decides to stay with them until their stop instead of ripping the kid off himself and leaving. He ends up missing his station by 3 or 4 stops. As a result, he bumps into the quarry he's looking for, who actually set up the lead his friend found as a decoy, and would've actually gotten away if the MC had gotten off when he intended. At this point, the narrator all but straight up says that the idea that nice-guys don't have good things happen to them is bullsh*t. Amen brother, amen.
Villain A: Was MC's boot camp chief instructor and direct superior. He is antagonistic because he's worried that the MC is too talented, and will end up getting his position after graduating. He also does not like the MC's aloofness and insubordination. He prohibits students from killing each other during a long, unsupervised training period (at the conclusion of which, a death-match selection tournament will take place where only 10 of the students will ultimately be allowed to live and advance). MC kills other the boot camp members (Villain B and his bros) because they were trying to him (and others) in order to reduce the number of competitors and increase their chance of surviving the impending selection tournament. Villain A tries to use the fact that the MC violated a direct order not to kill other students in order to have him killed. He is foiled by a combination of factors, including his own subordinate instructors who are gunning for his position.
Villain B: On paper, he is the most talented in the MC's cohort of boot camp students. Leverages his overwhelming talent and the vague promise to assist others in surviving the tournament (ostensibly by killing other students that would've otherwise have gained a spot in one of the 10) in order to get subordinates and s*xual favors from female students. Died because the MC employed superior tactics and strategies in tandem with a strong pet (who's true strength he's wisely concealed up to that point).
Villain (?) C: High ranking member and assassin of Nightmare Palace. Kidnaps the MC at the behest of an the Yang family, who are antagonistic to the MC's family. Yang family fails to pay Villain (?) C. So Villain (?) C instead acknowledges the MC's talent and takes the MC under his wing. Promises MC the opportunity to become OP and take revenge on the evil family for ordering his kidnapping. Is not an outright antagonist at this point, and it is Villain? C's aegis that gives the MC status and resources while ensuring that a stronger member of the older generation doesn't just come and squish him.
Villain D: High ranking member of nightmare palace and rival of Villain? C. Is antagonistic to MC because MC gained instant fame and standing by taking out a couple high-level redshirts in the same generation as the MC. Since the MC is part of Villain? C's faction, the MC's reputation significantly bolsters Villain? C's
Villain D initially does not even want to kill the MC, and explicitly says so. He simply wants someone in the same generation as the MC (Villain E) to win in a match against him in order to halt the meteoric rise of the MC's reputation. When MC kills Villain E, Villain D reassesses his position and decides to take steps towards employing a lethal measures against the MC instead.
Villain E: Distantly related to the Yang family. Initially doesn't have a personal beef with MC, and was merely asked by Villain D to beat the MC up and hinder the development of the MC's reputation. MC, however, begins engaging in a guerilla war against Yang family, in order to save his own family, and to avenge their attempted assassination plot against him. During a subsequent tournament that was supposed to be non-lethal, MC openly tries to kill Villain E's younger brother as well as every other Yang family contestant he faces. Villain E doesn't really care about the rest of the Yang family all that much, but does care about his brother. So he intervenes in an attempt to stop the MC. He loses to the MC, and the MC tries to kill him. But old servant (mentioned above) interferes and negotiates Villain E's safe passage away from the vicinity of tournament. Villain E and old servant later ambushes MC and tries to kill him because MC killed Villain E's
brother, killed and his strongest soul pets, and tried to kill him. MC survives ambush and kills Villain E.
These aren't all of the villains in the story so far only some of them. But already, it's fairly clear that all of the villains mentioned above have fleshed out motivations and backstories. Moreover, said motivations are significantly different from each other, as are the subsequent actions each villain undertakes against the MC.
He has people using bows to shoot hundreds or thousands of kilometers... WITHOUT propelling the arrow with their cultivation energy/qi/mana/divine sense. In fact, the protagonist's first archery instructor is an archery "genius" who focused on archery specifically because his cultivation was crippled. Like WTF? Even the world famus english longbow only has an effective range of 100-200 yards. Any bow capable or generating the force to launch an arrow that far would be larger than a person.
This world has COUNTRIES with a surface areas LARGER THAN ALL OF EARTH. Dude... for one, the gravity of such a land mass would literally kill humans. And it can't be saved with "well they're cultivators" because most humans in this world aren't cultivators. These people would need to be an alien race and would need to be shaped far different than us to survive there. Furthermore, There's no way to govern a territory like that, espcially with communication and information technology vastly inferior to earth. Cultivation doesn't help with state governance. And furthermore, in a territory that large there's no way that social cultures would be anywhere near as homogenous as in the novel. Look at how many cultures exist on earth.. and you'd realize how ridiculous it is to have a homogenous culture across a low-tech territory larger than earth.
The most recent test involves zero combat and zero death. The MC comments on how peaceful it was and than that the examiners were probably compensating him for his suffering from the previous exam