A Step into the Past


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A lecherous army special task force soldier from 21st-century Hong Kong is selected to travel back in time, choosing to go to the Chinese Warring States Period. Unfortunately, the time machine runs into an error during the experiment. With no foreseeable way to return to the present, he must use his combat skills and knowledge of history to thrive in his new life in the year 251 BC.

A Step into the Past average rating 4.1/5 - 370 user ratings
Associated Names
One entry per line
Searching for the Qin
Tầm Tần Ký
尋秦記 ,寻秦记
Related Series
The Grandmaster Strategist (3)
Chronicles of Primordial Wars (2)
Pivot of the Sky (2)
Bu Bu Jing Xin (1)
Nirvana In Fire (1)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (1)

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44 Reviews sorted by

New Zeinfier rated it
November 6, 2017
Status: v24c9
This is a beautiful story that perfectly mixed fiction and real life events

There's no clear recounting of the story that unfolds during the Warring States Period and this is a good way to visualize what might happened based on the perspective of fiction and "what if"

For the NTR events. It's just really what happens at reality during the ancient times as it's survival of the fittest and you gotta do what you gotta do. The NTR events was crucial to the story for the espionage and schemes between allies and... more>> enemies so don't take it to heart too much since it's not that too much of a heartbreaking events.

To conclude this review. It's a must read for Wuxia fans.

Disregard the review below saying Shan Rou is a slut. In fact she's not a slut and she didn't even slept with anybody aside from our MC and her future husband to be (which is a really really good guy). Shan Rou is a great character as well. <<less
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kedar080340119014 rated it
May 7, 2016
Status: --
The story is quite epic in nature. Rather than going in to long review I will give my likes and dislikes.


1) Epic story which progresses over a time of 10 or so years with amazing scope and mix of history and fiction (one of the trademarks of Huang Yi)

2) Dynamic character and environment development. As the novel progresses, with passage of time you can see a change in personality, behavior, attitudes and goals of MC and various support casts and villians. Friends do not remain friends and enemies may... more>> become allies. The MC becomes more mature, cautious, cunning and intelligent as the time passes. From naive and horny young inexperienced soldier who was transported and permanently stuck in 248 BC he becomes a cunning, fearless and powerful adviser of the first emperor of the unified China. Cool sh*t. Most importantly, this change in personality is subtle not abrupt like ur usual xianxia or wuxia novels. The personality of MC and characters change with their experience which is flawlessly displayed in amazing manner. There are also some subtle deeper psychological and philosophical themes within the story. For instance the MC as a person from future knows the events that will happen from 248 BC onwards. So in a sense, he knows fate and end results of all people EXCEPT himself. In a sense, he also initially suffers from identity crisis struggling to find a place for himself in this ancient chaotic times with vastly different culture. There are also some philosophical debates here and there about ideologies and real world appropriateness of certain Confucian and Mohist principles.

3) Some of the most tragic moments I have read in a novel. For ex:

When Zhao Ya after years of yearning for MC finally come to Qin to MCs house. The MC is away at some campaign. When he finally returns, Zhao Ya is weak and ill and finally dies in the arms of MC. The scene described in that chapter is seriously heart wrenching. I personally felt some very complex emotions at that point. And so will u if u read the novel to that point.

4) Lots and lots of political struggle, espionage and sh*t like that.

5) Finally, one of the best melancholic and satisfying endings (atleast of all the LNs I have read listed on novel updates).

If u like the author’s writing style but did not like some of the themes in this novel then I advise you to try out Da Tang Shuang Long Zhuan. One of the longest LNs I have ever seen. It has more than 50 volumes and over 8000 pages long. Till now I believe 11 volumes have been translated on spcnet. Tv. Try it out.

As for dislikes, I think initially there are frequent NTR scenes. I personally do not have any strong dislikes but I can understand how some may find it annoying. Additionally, towards the end the novel does seem like it has been stretched for slightly longer than it needed, especially in book 4. And apart from some minor plot holes here and there no real strong dislikes. <<less
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Frozen Cloud
Frozen Cloud rated it
April 21, 2016
Status: --
I just couldn’t stand some reviews bashing this novel just because the reviewer couldn’t bear a certain character, characters dying, or deemed the MC to be too stupid.

And so here I just registered for this reason... (well, I planned to register someday anyway)

This is a great novel I’ve read more than a year ago. I even dare say it’s one of the best light novel I’ve read.

Don’t pass the chance to read this novel! I even regretted not been able to read this earlier since it was fully... more>> translated.

The MC’s evolution! The emotions and the personality of each character! The vivid descriptions! The absolutely awesome storylines! Those breathtaking moments!

I can’t describe all the qualities of the novel in details but it kept me awake for nights! The urge to read more and more each day! And then... finally, the melancholy you feel when you realize that you finished the last lines of the novel.

Some say the MC’s stupid. What? [insert sneers of contempt here] You do it!

Some reviews complain about the MC’s harem dying, but so what? If you absolutely don’t want to read anything other than fairy tales then you’ve missed a great opportunity to such an awesome novel.

Just want to say, the story happens in a warring era and with the numerous dark plots in politics and whatnot, you seriously expect the story to be happy-go-lucky?

Some of the reviews mention NTR because of a certain character, I say, although it’s unpleasant that her personality has been made like this, it’s still true to her character. What’s more when reading you don’t really feel like she’s one of the protagonist “main” girls (I felt pretty sad for her. I won’t spoil the story. You, find out by yourself.)

Also, rape is mentioned in this novel but it doesn’t happen to the MC’s girls (maybe except the one above). Some people just want to shout “rape!” everytime they encounter a novel that writes rape.

So, although tragedies happen in this novel, but I can assure you that it has a good ending!

Read other positives reviews that are more detailled than mine and don’t let those negative ones affect you from starting to read this. Or you may regret it later...

Edit: If you are still biased like some people then just don't read. Why am I even wasting words for some kids... <<less
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Brat Peed
Brat Peed rated it
March 12, 2016
Status: --
Story starts good but then becomes too stupid. Queens become plain s*x addict, MC extremely dumb. I mean he has so much advantage in terms of history knowledge and technology but let's tragedy after tragedy occur. That MC knows that the Queen is going to be seduced and used against him (future knowledge), but does NOTHING which later will explode like hbomb. Overall intrigues are completely unrealistic and reminds those ntr hentai manga where couple of aphrodisiacs can turn noble women naive little girls. If you are m and like... more>> torturing yourself with unrealistic tragedy ntr stuff you may like it.

Edit: for those who say that you can't change the history, well you are plain wrong. Technologies like metallurgy, gunpowder, printing press, fertilization, banking, math and physics changed civilizations. He doesn't want to affect the future too much? Why? Who cares about the future. Live your current life.

If you say these will take a lot of time, fine, then you must have heard of the butterfly effect? If he had the courage to act, then he definitely would have affected the future. For the good or for the worse, but it's still better than watching everything go down the drain. Was he able to kill the minister? Yes. But he chose not to. Could he manipulate the queen? Yes. But he thought it was not moral. Lol. Thousands of people will die because of it and you still think it's immoral.

Between even though I won't pretend to be very educated literally, but I still read a lot of books from world literature. And many tragic ones too. But this one isn't realistic at all. To be fair it is an interesting read, epic story that keeps you engaged. But the MC's action puts you off. <<less
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FAiri110 rated it
December 14, 2015
Status: epilogue
This novel is a whole new level of wuxia! Clever, cunning MC with lots of suspense and surprises. Definitely a must-read novel.

The story depicts how a talented, young elite special force member travel into the past. With little knowledge about the warring states events, he carves his way into others' fate to ensure the history does not change.

It is a super fun journey as MC tries hard to accept the ancient China way-of-life full of blood, death and wifeys ;) The MC started as a lecherous, super magnificent figure... more>> - tall and handsome - who gets all the girls. WARNING: To those who hate harem, the MC may sounds like a mindless stupid husband who keeps on falling in love and have a mindset of 'since this is okay in ancient society, I'll be like them as well' at the beginning, but his mind-set changes later on (especially in the last volume).

He then mature over the years of countless deceits and lies and begins to think of his own destiny which does not ever been mention even a single time in history (which becomes a big deal since he literally goes back to past of the real world China). Whether the history of ancient China is true or not is questionable, but the fact that the MC remain as a civilized, down-to-earth figure until the end is very refreshing than typical wuxia/xianxia - Overpowered single-sided revenge plot.

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Animester rated it
November 8, 2015
Status: --
I super duper highly recommend this novel... Just I was despairing not finding good read, I finally found this which is even fully translated... This is best novel I have read... which is mixed with joy, sadness and different emotions and story is beautifully written

... Characters are just too awesome.. At the end of novel, I didnt want to part with it.I felt so bad that novel ended...

... But Warning:You may be sleep deprived..
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Smooth Che
Smooth Che rated it
May 12, 2016
Status: --
Not recommended for people with a weak heart, there IS tragedy and there IS Ntr, and if you can't handle neither of them don't read it. I see people below me saying that it's "not so bad" or "you can still read it even if you dislike tragedy/ntr" -> Not true.
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makenai89 rated it
November 20, 2015
Status: --
The book that hooked me up on wuxia and xianxia. At first, I was interested in looking up this novel because of the mainland drama a few years ago. It turned out that the book is 10000 times better than the drama; the best wuxia/xianxia I've read so far. No plot hole anywhere, and characters are very well-developed. Furthermore, the author expertly drove reader's emotion in a way that every reader will be able to closely identify themselves with the characters all along the MC's journey. From beginning till the... more>> end, the pace is very balanced too; no dragged out arc or unsatisfactory conclusion, even the ending is perfect. If there's 10 stars here, then I'll definitely give it all of them. <<less
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rdawv rated it
February 22, 2016
Status: --
This is a very popular Chinese novel, adapted into a Hong Kong manhua and a live action TV series. Some readers are unaware about this and thought it’s “just another web novel”. Those who looked at the sidebar would note that this was published way back in 1994, well before we’re all drowning in reincarnation/time-traveling/cheat-item xianxia type stories today.

That is why you have to forgive the tropes of women falling in love with the MC, the MC using modern knowledge, the MC having great luck, the drastic twists and turns... more>> of relationships and such, because it is quite safe to say that he’s the one who has inspired new authors today to follow in his footsteps. Huang Yi in turn was inspired by authors like Louis Cha (Condor Heroes etc) who all but established the genre.

Now, on to the story. It is a romantic dream for Eastern authors to set their stories in the heroic ages of the Three Kingdoms and in this case, the Warring States period. There are hundreds and hundreds of famous personages and reading a story where a MC is bumping into these historical figures can be quite alluring, and I have to say that the author has pulled this off quite well. So well indeed that it’s quite difficult to find another published novel to have incorporated historical figures in a wuxia story. One can say “A Step Into The Past” set the standard, and many of his tropes can be found influencing the works of others, eg TVB’s “Three Kingdom RPG”.

This is not to say the story is without flaws. Obviously there are some parts of the story which can be deemed unnecessary or superfluous (otherwise how else can a 25 volume work be adapted to television), but any enthusiast of Chinese history would be delighted to find nuggets of historical aspects while reading this.

The prose can be unrestrained as well, there are many instances of s*xual relationships and the MC isn’t one to deny his desires, which can be a refreshing change from those reading novels with herbivore-MCs. What you’re going to get is a hot-blooded, well-trained modern age man being thrown back into the past, and he has absolutely no qualms in using his knowledge to get an advantage.

I have seen the complaints from other reviewers about the depiction of relationships and abrupt turns and resolutions of them, but I chalk them up to either the author wanting to write the less used characters out (remember, he published directly in print and no on the web), or making them stay true to their nature. Of note is the apparently liberal and wantonness of some women, but it was mentioned several times that it was also an era where a man would have multiple wives and concubines at the same time.

Some readers especially dislike one character in particular who kept betraying the MC because she couldn't keep her legs closed, but I actually felt it's a nice change from other traditional wuxia stories where the harem were harmonious and loyal to the MC which is a grandiose fantasy to say the least. Having one love interest who turned cold later on after joining the harem isn't quite seen in other novels since. Of course, the entire relationship could have been written better.

Personally I consider this novel to be a pioneer of wuxia historical science-fiction, it built my interest for many similar stories that are listed here. <<less
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Tian Long
Tian Long rated it
May 3, 2016
Status: --
For all of you who hate NTR and sh*t, (I DESPISE IT VERY MUCH), do not be discouraged to read this novel!

Back then, when I encountered the first NTR, my thought was like “sh*t, this has NTR? DROP DROP DROP!” but then a few days later I just can’t resist it and continued on with the story. Another NTR with Zhao Ya happens again, drops for awhile, reads it again. Its just addicting. And by the end of the story, did you know who I hated the most? Zhao... more>> Ya? No! She stayed true to her character, and even though she was a slut, there was a reason behind it. She deeply regretted hurting the MC the 2nd time (With the Qin guy) and when she was sent to Wei, she always though about him, yearning to return to his’ side but to not let others be suspicious she had no choice but to act like a slut again (which she did not like in the slightest) but thankfully she was able to fend off that Prince guy because of her sickness *cue crying* dem feels when she died. She’s my second most fav character, with Ji Yanran *best waifu* as first.

The woman I really hated and despised the most was... SHAN ROU THAT BITCH! I won’t explain but I hated her the most. If you really hate it when a woman obviously likes/loves a man but still marries off another man claiming she also loves him and sleeps with other men just for helping her, then you’ll know why I DESPISE HER THE MOST.


She even proposed to XSL to cheat with him on her husband because she thought that he was fooling around (which he wasn’t doing) but gladly our MC rejected her and clarified her. f**king bitch

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FantasyAura rated it
July 21, 2016
Status: --
I've personally read this story 5 times. Yes, 5 times, and I managed to cry every single time. There is no OP MC in this story, so if you're looking for one-punch man, you're in the wrong place. The story and plots are just so well built that I don't even know where and how to describe it, so I won't. Just go read it.

And to Mr/Miss. Brat Peed who chose to gave a one-star rating for this story:

Knowing an apple is red, does not mean you can change it... more>> to blue. Knowing the future does not mean having the means to change it. This story isn't some powerful MC who went back in time to save the world. It's about a guy who's suddenly thrown into an era where life is cheaper than a dime. Unlike other novels you've presumably read where MCs are know-it-all and they are able to change the future. This story follows the concept where time/fate is a constant. No matter what the MC does, history will always repeat itself. (Which is why he chose not to involve himself with the empress) So before you rate something, try to understand the concepts and laws that the story uses. Hopefully after reading this you'll get a better understanding of what you read next time. <<less
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Scaethys rated it
July 12, 2016
Status: Completed
Definitely well-written and riveting. Translator and staff did a fabulous job. First time I read this it gave me a huge shock. The action may be lacking compared to the political plays and wooing women, but it definitely was well thought out and realistic.
... more>>

Just to warn you, the MC will do nothing to change history. In fact it is specifically emphasized that the MC is unable to change history no matter how much he interferes. It will end up exactly as the history books say in the 21st century, its just the author took liberties while filling in details in between major events. So don't get too angry over the fact that the MC is NTR'd over the empress, Zhao Ya, Zhao Ni, Mei Canning, and Shan Rou (in fact Zhao Ya's death was probably was the most emotional event other than the ending) Do remember that this is set in an era where if people don't have power, they will be trampled straightforwardly by people who are powerful. Women are livestock to be traded, virginity means nothing really, lives are treated like sh*t, people can and will die, and you are guaranteed to feel constant angst over a lot of events in the story.

Once you reach the ending, you will realize how masterfully the author maneuvered all of his extra details and events so that it would fit perfectly with the timeline. It's a good read, but be warned there will be constant feelings of angst and frustration. <<less
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Szatan0 rated it
May 20, 2016
Status: --
I deeply regret reading that novel. It some good had points but clueless MC and sh*tload of NTR made it unreadable and unfavorable memory. I cannot agree with comment that novel is like LuBu since it... isn't I guess? (Read both btw, and liked second one with minor 'buts')
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sleib rated it
March 24, 2016
Status: --
Awesome novel!!! Very entertaining to read. It has one of the most badass and my favorite MC. It has action, strategy, romance, political intrigues, cunning villains and many of its characters are historical figures. I do not know how accurate historical facts are in this novel (but from what I compared to wikipedia they are pretty accurate) but I immensely enjoyed it.
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GeraldoAGP rated it
July 8, 2016
Status: Completed
A Step Into The Past was the one which made me so addicted to wuxia, in which later would be an addiction to xianxia ;3. So I will try to keep my review to be not biased. In a brief way, I'll give a review by answering the question of 'why must I read "A Step into the Past"?' from any of you who wants to read it.

The answer is because,
It gives you Overwhelming Feels (be it angst, happiness, or even sense of fulfillment)
It got One... more>> of the best character development I'd seen
It contains A perfect blend of history and fiction
It has many great and fascinating fights and wars (yes, true war with strategy and troops, unlike those one man kills everyone kind of war)

And the most important reason of them all, after you reach the end, you would feel the sense of fulfillment, as if you could die peacefully then and there, this sense of fulfillment, I think, is one of the sign of a masterpiece work. Only a really great novel would give you a sense of fulfillment + nostalgia so much that you would feel as if the years spent in the story actually spent too in the real life. It would give you the feel of walking on a road for years and years then before closing your eyes, you would glance behind, to the long road you have come, then facing forward and walks again.

The point is, Just Read It, and there is a chance your view of life would change.

(below is SPOILER) or not really, it's a summary of the plot for those who are curious ;P


It tells you about "Human", a creature in which is truly filled with flaws, yet with those flaw it would learn to be a better person. ≪-summary of the story

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Overgod rated it
January 8, 2016
Status: --
its my 2nd web novel I've ever read and its very awesome !!!

at first glance this novel seems boring but if you keep read it you’ll find yourself drowning in it

i really hope Huang Yi make a squel of it
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Balrogx rated it
June 23, 2016
Status: Completed
Its really a good novel with an interesting plot and well written characters. Its worth reading but if you can't stand something like NTR or betrayal don't ever try to read it. I read this novel when I was still second year in middle high school and you should know how fragile my heart back then. Its leave some scar to me that time, but I keep reading it until finish and this novel become my number 1 novel that I ever read. Its been 3 years right now and... more>> I still love to read this novel.

If you have a strong heart or you were an 'M' I recommend this novel for you. Why I wrote my review now because that time I don't know how to write something in English I just know how read. Even right now I doubt I can write this review right so don't mind the details guys. <<less
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Demonic Reader lv 451F
Demonic Reader lv 451F rated it
June 21, 2016
Status: Completed
NOT for everyone. The story is fast pacing. Thick & heavy. History, politics, wuxia, war, bloody scene, s*x scene, philosophy, etc, etc.

5/5 stars if you are real mature.
0/5 stars if you are still in fanciful age.

Drop all your ethics, thought, idea, norm of TODAY before starting reading. Author did some history research before writing this novel.

In that time of human history, rape is norm, able to kill is toted. Low class life has no meaning at all. Not worth even being slave. If noble hits commoner and his... more>> hand pains, commoner will be killed. General woman is just the s*x asset. There's no word of rape. If you have power, you can openly rape and kill. Power is everything.

Keep the above paragraph in your mind before start. You've been warned. <<less
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AnarchyDev rated it
April 17, 2016
Status: --

Truth hurts. This is just the way history had happened. Lots of tragedy with death of MC's love interests and war. Lots of war.


Read this story only if you want the front seat to the brutality of the war.
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ZhaWarudo rated it
March 30, 2016
Status: --
Starts kinda bad so the usual advice from a fan – endure first few pages (’till MC goes back in time).

Then begins the awesomeness with some light action at first, then playboy acts and most importantly plots within a plots within a plot literally. Spying, brain games = mind f**k, betrayals, ninja stuff, battles, romance, real harem, you have it all. Not really my best review since it’s been a while I’ve had read it, but definitely the best novel for me. In case you’re wondering about my taste, second... more>> best would be Millennium trilogy and then hmm Terror Infinity? Oh and I see someone complains about waifus dying, yeah it's kinda like GoT, your favorite characters might die (though Starks are definitely not mine) but it's a part of the story and realism? So it's not too bad (and there are plenty of waifus). <<less
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Fanya rated it
February 19, 2017
Status: Completed
So, if you hate women being treated like objects and throwing themselves wailing into arms of the MC, who has no choice but to make love to all of them, some at same time.... the first 10 volumes will be very difficult to read. It was pretty much survival and make love, that's it. However, the plot was so good with actual progression (instead of same set up repeating) and it's so well written that I can't drop it. After a dozen wives/maids and having some of them die later,... more>> the MC settles down a bit and start to get more involved in court schemes, politics and fights which I think is the more interesting part. The characters are all very well rounded with their own thoughts and motives, it's interesting (and in some cases sad) to see how people changes and matures. The writing/translation is wonderful as we get more absorbed in the plot and character, the last 5 volumes were particularly nerve-wrecking and exciting.

Basically the the first 10 volume are kind of 3/5, volume 10-20 is where the plot/character develops and everything gets interesting so it's not just women&s*x 24/7, then the last 5 volume makes it all worth it and is a 5 out of 5. <<less
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