This novel is one of those rare ones that the author has their three views straight and the character is one of the most rational logical female character I know.
Ning shu is not like other mainstream FL that either have their heads over clouds (or love) or
'ruthless' revenge-y type.
She is very pragmatic and focus on her missions to satisfy her clients' wishes (the cannon fodders). She is the kind of person who would rather stack her wisdom points than her charm points.
There are few reoccurring male characters but there's no real romance, yet. Only hints (?) I'm not really sure tbh.
Ning shu takes a very cynical view of love. I mean, who wouldn't after going through what she's been through? Those missions with the 'only live for love' female protagonist types might traumatised her for life.
What I really like about the story itself :
Although he's not the most handsome or popular or the one that knows her the longest, he almost sacrifice his life and maybe he doesn't even know that he already liked her at that time? He's the only male lead that truly prioritise her. The others have some kind of burden or complexes.
The first ML, the ex-husband, he's been traumatised since he was almost/ maybe raped twice. He has a mysterious background (bloodline), a true prodigy, and has that ML halo. He's the kind of ML that usually get healed by the FL and be together but I guess he's too traumatised to be with any female. He's an enigma, he just suddenly pops up and gone in a sec.
The second ML, the tsundere, he's the first one that helped and almost sacrifice his life for our MC. And our MC is still in her 70 years old form. He always mocks our MC but he always helped her (he said that she is his lackey and no one can bully her except for him) and kinda taught her alchemy (he just throws the book and flew away). I thought he was the ONE, but he takes too long to realise (?) or idk. It's bit complicated since Li XinMei has a 'thing' with him at the start before she 'died' and he had a crush with our MC (but he didn't realise) and our MC is just being a granny for both. But it's so funny that he keeps denying and get confused about his feelings, like 'do I really like that granny? that 70 yo with vicious eyes and creaking bones? no way, my taste is not that heavy, probably'. Also, he got an inferiority complex around or MC since he used to be the stronger one but since our MC has MC halo ofc her cultivation will soar like no other. He keeps chasing alas he has missed the right timing.
The third ML, the true ML, he was searching for his family's spirit guardian, yes it's Dabai and Xiaobai. He is from the upper world and respectable family. Also, he's very good building arrays, cooking, combing hair, packing, just a house wife material (?). He's very cute when he tries to bond with Dabai, he tries so hard to get close to Dabai but when our MC send a small gift, Dabai will immediately run to our MC. He looks cold and distant but actually very caring. I suddenly remember when his family were trying to get Dabai and they take all the handsome guys for our MC to select for marriage since Dabai is not willing to separate with our MC. That was so funny when the handsome uncles were trying to flirt but our MC were calling them ancestors. He confessed in the most perfect timing when our MC love index is at its highest. He's very lucky or maybe it was fate since our MC fell in to that abyss and met Dabai?
The fourth ML, little teacher/uncle, he's a swordsman and is our MC's teacher. He's mysterious and only cares for training but sometimes he would help our MC. Our MC had some 'thing' for him but idk since I mostly MTL-ed so sometimes it's not very clear. Anyway his cultivation somehow backlashed and became a demon lord, I still don't understand how it came to be. He's the final boss and I think he likes our MC as well (?) or was it just an obsession of becoming stronger than our MC? Why does he want to destroy the 3, 000 worlds? why does he so obsessed of being stronger? Am I lost in the translation? so many question unanswered. Btw, he died in a anti climatic way, the ending was a bit rushed, I think the last arcs after the 'time continent' arc were all a bit rushed.
The first group that she met before cultivating, all the members will betray her in the end. Yes, even Li XinMei! That's why I was so shocked.
When she's sober and realised that she has lost everything, I got teary. Especially when the true male lead was being true to her but she had already developed an inferiority complex and felt that there's no way he would liked her. It just pains me every time she reminds herself that she is not worth to be loved.
Usually in novels, male leads would just fell in love with a silly cheerful female lead upon first meeting with no reason other than 'you intrigued me... you're not like other girls... etc etc'. But have you thought whether there is a different motive of wanting to get close to the girl. After all, a pie won't just fall of the sky with no reason or a handsome perfect powerful male god in real life.
There is 6 volumes and each have their own focus of struggle. First volume is about his early life (15-24 ish) as zhuangyuan (rank number one in the imperial examination) in the Southern Chu Kingdom. Funny story is that he actually took the test because he was robbed along the way and he needed the money reward from the exam not because he want to serve the country or anything like that (he is quite low key or just too lazy). Second Volume is when thing got heated up as he was held captive in Great Yong and many people wanted his loyalty or his life. Third volume is about the power struggle between princes factions, this is one of my favourite arc, Jiang Zhe finally fully unleashed his talents while sowing discord here and there, trapping those poor souls into his web and slowly suffocated them. Muahahahahhh... anyway it was quite a long arc and just so beautifully done, I don't have any complains.
While the focus of the previous arcs are more on on Jiang Zhe's life and also Prince Yong's faction. The next two volume were about war between the Great Yong and Northern Han. Jiang Zhe was dragged out of his seclusion but he was more mature at that time (about 30 ish). This arc was very heavy on the battle strategy and focus less on Jiang zhe but more on the development other characters. Compared to the previous arcs where the enemies were hateful and evil, these arc were more heartbreaking since the war, the killings and the betrayal were not actually their 'fault'. I could not hate them because they did what they had to do to protect their countries. Their story, loyalty and valiance made me think about why do people go to war and hurt each other? On the other hand, Jiang zhe was amazing and savage as usual.
The last arc and the last volume which is volume 6. Since it has not completed yet, I am not sure but I think the focus would be more on the next generation as in the kids on the main and side characters. Also, the conclusion of uniting the world.