I Shall Seal the Heavens

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“What I want, the Heavens shall not lack! ”

“What I don’t want, had better not exist in the Heavens!”

This is a story which originates between the Eighth and Ninth Mountains, the world in which the strong prey upon the weak.

“My Name is Meng Hao! The Ninth Generation Demon Sealer, I shall seal the Heavens!“

Associated Names
One entry per line
Demon Sealer
ISSTH
Ngã Dục Phong Thiên
Wo Yu Feng Tian
我欲封天
Related Series
Renegade Immortal (Shared Universe)
Pursuit of the Truth (Shared Universe)
Against Heaven (Shared Universe)
A Will Eternal (Shared Universe)
Recommendations
A Will Eternal (75)
World of Cultivation (48)
Renegade Immortal (40)
Transcending the Nine Heavens (29)
The Desolate Era (24)
Coiling Dragon (17)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld afterword
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 3
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 2
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld side story 1
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1614
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1613
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1612
07/02/17 Wuxiaworld c1611
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1610
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1609
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1608
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1607
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1606
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1605
07/01/17 Wuxiaworld c1604
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weirdfishes
weirdfishes rated it
July 31, 2017
Status: --
The score I gave is actually a bit biased for 2 reasons:

  1. My first xianxia (actually first chinese ln as a whole)
  2. I liked the story as a whole.
If I'm not biased i'd actually give it 3/3.5 because many of its glaring inconsistencies&annoyances.

  • Pros:
  1. Pretty expansive universe (if you liked that feeling when the world "suddenly" expand like the first revelation of the dark continent from HunterXHunter for example, you'll like this.)
  2. Great companion (the parrot& meat jelly are so well written that will keep you amused when they started joining the MC.)
  3. MC is pretty shameless and likes to con people (pretty hilarious although some of his 'conning' ended being just plain cringe, not many times though so don't worry.)
  4. Lots of the comedic scene throughout the story managed to hit the nail.
  5. MC's realitionship with his foster father are pretty touching for me.
  6. Story-wise I actually enjoyed the 33 heavens descension through the end. Although the war scene itself are pretty taxating to read and pretty dragging. I also really liked the story& twist with Allheaven (although the battle itself are pretty boring).
  7. It has quite a satisfying ending with 3 extra stories chapter explaining some events. Despite a few loose end here and there, I'm satisfied with the ending.
  • Neutral:
  1. Astronomically large number starting around the second half of the story.
  2. Not really any harem since MC will choose only one girl, BUT:
    Spoiler

    he'll end up with 2 girl due to circumstances, The personality of the 2 heroine are quite opposite and people who likes the other usually hates the other one. Now I still won't call it a harem since his realitionship with the 2nd heroine are actually pretty well done, and MC is actually declining any other girl except these 2.

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  3. Everything is due to "fate" or "destiny"
    Spoiler

    not as straightforward as it sounds, since all of the "destiny" source are actually main part of the story, you'll see through the last 2 books.

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  • Cons:
Author tends to forget things or hype a certain ability only to simply shruggs it off because he can't pace MC's power level with his abilites through the story, i'll just list some:
Spoiler

a. MC is a grandmaster in alchemy which could make a pill that could wipe an entire sect, yet after achieving this status the only time MC utilizee his ability in a great war are at Black Lands and Western Desert arcs, in any great war after that point author just completely "forgot" it and MC never use his abilty in alchemy to wipe enemy troops anymore (most likely author are just too lazy to make an interesting skirmish with pill after this point of the story, since war arc are also one of the weakest point of the author.)

b. Again author completely forgot what he wrote. When MC went on mental journey through M&S realm he saw Lord Li's legacy on patriarch reliance back, and we see MC's surprised expression and the turtle reaction too in this part of the story, yet later when MC got this legacy info from Patriach Fang's clone, MC still needs to connect the dot and he's still surprised as if it's his first time knowing it.

b. Last three sentences of blood immortal ability, now like most of his old ability MC just got stronger and don't need these "weak" abilites anymore. But this last 3 sentences are quite a waste that we never see them to be used, first he got to the point where he could utilize up to 6 sentences by damaging his life force, then after powering up a little he could utilize 6 sentences normally, at this point author should've made MC able to use up to 9 sentences, yet again he simply "forgot" that MC could and he still only use 6 sentences, after that MC powers up again in which he didn't need this ability anymore at this point it's fine to not use this ability anymore just why didn't he used it fully before MC jumps to this realm. *Sigh*

c. Core qi, before MC reached core formation stage author really made a big deal of core qi, yet after MC achieved his, we only see it so much then everything just moves on, just hoping that his core qi would actually be developed continually in later stage (nascent soul, so on) since it's pretty hyped up with other character just to see it forgotten from the story in the end.

d. Another hyped up plot just to be forgotten in the end, the Immortal Murdering Sword. When its origin starting to get revealed by the bat, we clearly see how author tried to explore this sword more being it part of the ancient war and all. But then MC rarely used it. Even after its refined by Greed MC just forgot about it again, until he's in coma for a thousand year with his bag of holding punctured just so author could erase it from the story.

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  1. Chase scene and power up are pretty slow and obnoxious to read, author tend to drag these 2 type of scenes just to get his minimum words/chapter.
  2. War scene are one of the author weak points. He usually fails to portray an epic colossal battle, although there are some of my favorite moments (Lord Fifth and his armies arrival in Black Lands-Western Desert last battle for example.)
  3. MC's demon sealing hexes feels pretty underplayed, each separate hexes are pretty unique and powerful, we get to see the 8th hex to get its special sealing ability in the end, and 7th hex to be used a lot, however it's pretty dissappointing the other hexes never really get the same "upgrade" like the 8th hex individually. I think this also due to the author fails to pace when the MC got the hexes.
  4. Some abilty sizes are just logically imposible to imagine, I mean 300m long dragon in a small meeting room?
  5. Romance with the main heroine are pretty bad. I'm fine with her personalty which is simple, cold, not intelligent (at first) and whatnot. But author just failed big time on her interaction with MC. The last of her romantic scene which I enjoyed was their first reunion at Black Sieve's Blessed Land. After that (starting from their 2nd reunion at Black Sieve) everything just feels artificial and forced. On the other hand MC's realitionship with the 2nd heroine are much better, she got more interaction to with MC compared to the main heroine, hence why I prefered the 2nd heroine. I'm not hating on the main heroine or anything, it's just that author failed to wrote an enjoyable interaction with the MC for her.
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Soren59
Soren59 rated it
February 1, 2017
Status: c1248
Very very good novel. Don't be put off by the slow start, it's one of those novels that only really comes into its own if you have the patience to get past the first couple hundred chapters. If you don't, well it's probably not for you then.

Both the writing are absolutely top quality, and the author knows how to play your emotions like a piano when he wants to. I don't consider myself a particularly emotional person but I remember 2 scenes where I was practically bawling.

Er Gen doesn't just... more>> know how to write tearjerk scenes, he's great with comedy too. It might not be obvious at first but there are some great characters which only show up later in the novel, and I can't remember how many times I've laughed my ass off (Praise Lord Fifth!).

Don't think that means it's all drama and no action, there's definitely plenty of that as well for those who enjoy it. It packs everything together.

The reason I gave it 4/5 and not 5/5:

Spoiler

is because the MC, Meng Hao, can sometimes be insufferably obnoxious. One of his defining traits is that he craves money. I don't have any issue with selfish/greedy MCs in general, what I do have issue with is the way he goes about it. He develops a hobby of getting people to owe him money when he beats them, and even goes as far as to create a unique skill which forces people to owe him money. If he only used that on "bad guys" I wouldn't complain. The problem is he uses it on EVERYONE. At one point he literally uses it on every "genius" of his generation in his realm (there are a total of 9 realms in his native world), turning everyone who could have been a potential friend into an enemy for in order to satisfy his obsessive desire to make them owe him money.

And the crux of why this frustrates me is, he doesn't even need to do that to make a fortune, because guess what he's a master alchemist. He could make 100 x as much money by just selling pills without making everyone around him despise him.

This is my only real criticism of the novel, and if that kind of character doesn't bother you then you can treat my review as being 5/5. After all, I'm still eagerly reading it despite that.

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Either way I still absolutely recommend ISSTH as long as you have the patience to get through the slow start. <<less
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Katra1212
Katra1212 rated it
October 23, 2016
Status: c1027
Don't let the serous and dark prologue fool you. The story will progress to become one of the most moving story you'll ever read. You will experience all elements of surprise and emotion. Man, this novel FEELS!

Spoiler

I laughed- cried at the Father Arc! So blissfully painful.

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Beware: Meng Hao's bashful smile was one of the most dreaded expression to watch our for. Especially when he's holding a promissory notes. Lol.
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kidopitz27
kidopitz27
September 9, 2016
Status: --
1st half is good where he duped the tortoise after that it's like this -

Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! Pills! I can add more "Pills" but I just stopped because... more>> you get what I mean. This is the only novel that I read that eating pills will not hinder your cultivation foundation he just eat and eat and eat.

Also I like the MC at first a Confucian scholar that got kidnapped and practically a pacifist then when he became strong and OP he just throw his morals and values that he learned from being a scholar to the dumpster. <<less
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mechafanboy
mechafanboy rated it
June 15, 2017
Status: Completed
Been binge reading this one for a while since it looks pretty close to completion.

I think this novel excels in characterization, the main characters that appear on a regular basis all have very easy to remember personalities and are in general quite likeable. Unfortunately, as with all Xianxia novels, having any of them appear on a regular basis is next to impossible (and some are even red herrings who appear one every........ 2-3 hundred chapters.) That said, the characters who are developed are developed very very well.

The usual power curve... more>> for xianxia novels apply, but tends to be kind of silly in this one, especially when the level of escalation and how the author slots in several more levels between established levels is handled. They're basically done as is, where is and randomly just give additional levels to a demarcation that is already basically pointless, why? because the next realm is "infinitely stronger" at any given time. The novel rectifies this by adding more levels between the MC and his sparring partner, but for the most part, it feels very forced.

That said, the overall plot and the tying together of various plot elements as well as reveals is honestly pretty good. There's a LOT of hidden references and plot points that are laid out early on in the novel and some of them can take 800 chapters or so before they're fully realized. That said, the ball also seems to be dropped on a fair number of minor plot points, specifically when it comes to magical items/legacies and the various subplots around them, most of them stop playing a role within 100 chapters or so, with some of the lengthier ones perhaps surviving for 500 chapters. Edit: the plot finally explodes properly around the last 15% of the novel or so and heavily references everything prior. I'm still not entirely sure if that means every prior plot point will get raised (seems doubtful at this point), but I'll say that most of the more interesting questions are answered by that point.

I think the overall novel is decent, but I think it's missing a lot of polish that would make it better. That said, I also think this is a very normal issue with xianxia web novels. Like one of the other reviewers said, it feels rushed because it IS rushed, trying to type out a chapter a day leads to a less cohesive plot overall.

Minor spoiler warning: This seems to be the 5th in a series of novels written by the same person, there's no prior information strictly REQUIRED to understand what's going on, but the very last segment of the novel seems to imply that a lot of references to the other novels will show up in increasing quantity.

Minor revision as of the end. There's still a lot left unexplained by the end of the novel and this is very much of those novels where "the journey is much much greater than the ending" applies. Personally, given everything that's left unexplained, I think it's worth about 2 stars rather than the initial 4 that I gave. Primarily because with how the last arc was handled and how little anything mattered in the end, I can't give it more than that. It built up a brilliant world and used up maybe. 0.1% of it in the ending. *shakes head* to say I am truly disappointed would be a lie because the signs have been there all along with how each successive arc uses less and less materials from the past. At the same time, I personally feel it's a sign of poor writing to write up a whole bunch of good characters and leave them by the wayside for no discernible reason. <<less
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mrezman
mrezman rated it
December 24, 2016
Status: c550
I think this is an okay/decent novel (at least so far). The first 100 chapters imo were really really good (I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this) but then it kind of got repetitive and ran into some problems with combat and overloading the MC with abilities.

As I said, I think that the first 100 chapters were really really good. It had a very clever MC that gets out of some tough situations with fast intellect and thinking on his toes (for example, gifting the... more>> pill he had received to Xu Xing so that he wouldn't get lynched) and I thought it was pretty awesome and great that he set up his own store and everything (this was a while back back in Zhou sect. With so many chapters it kind of gets hard to remember everything, lol). Also, the twist that happens was really awesome too and really pulled the rug from underneath me. Also, the combat was pretty cool and the fight with Wang Tenfei was sick as crud.

After that, however, although the story is still decent, I think it greatly decreases in quality and gets repetitive (this is only up to around 550, so maybe it gets way better from there, and also I know that a lot of people will disagree with me when I say this).

First, I'll talk about what I liked (after chap 100). There are some pretty epic moments, I'll give it that. The novel is pretty funny as well, and Lord Fifth and the meat jelly are pretty awesome characters. Sometimes you're really drawn into the novel (although oftentimes I wasn't, often keeping on reading in the hopes that it gets to Fang clan stuff, which I'm really curious about (as I heard some spoilers about it)). The novel may forget some characters, but it mostly remembers them, and it's nowhere like IET novels where characters are forgotten left and right. It has a pretty good immersive world, and the author does a good job in creating really sick fantastical environments and creating creating stuff in the world around the characters. The story is kind of beautifully poetic in some parts, which kind of works (although it pales in comparison to something like Ze Tian Ji). Also, the current arc with the apocalypse of the western lands was pretty awesome and I felt engaged and excited reading it for the first time in a while.

Now, I'll get to the stuff I didn't like and my pet peeves (after chap 100).

First of all, the combat became boring and just annoying to read. Basically, fights are just two people standing across from each other throwing whatever they have at each other until one guy has a stronger thingy. There's no strategy, no nothing, and it's just really boring. For example, I remember reading this one fight a while back with I forget whose name which was supposed to be sort of a boss fight, but literally they just take turns throwing their legacies/abilities/items at each other until one guy is defeated. (this improves later on in the western lands part though)

Secondly, I really hate all the repetitive stuff with the "beautiful snow-white skin" girls that the MC always meets every arc. Here's how it always plays out: 1. MC meets dao child peerless beauty "snow-white skin" girl who's at first opposed to him. 2. Some stuff happens and the two end up having to work together. 3. The girl falls for him but he rejects her. 4. The girl is later mentioned in passing as having a "complicated expression" when someone mentions meng hao. It's really dumb and I wish the author would just write an ordinary female character that isn't a tsundere peerless beauty that later falls for him. Like it's so dumb, whenever I see the obligatory "peerless beauty" each arc I know she isn't going to die because of hot girl plot armor and it's just so dull. For example, that one girl that went into the bridge competition thingy with Meng Hao is a perfect example: she's at first against him as kind of an enemy, Meng Hao fails to kill her b/c hot girl plot armor, they are forced to work together in the bridge competition thing, then she later has a "complicated expression" when Meng Hao is mentioned.

Thirdly, there are way too many legacies/abilities the MC receives. It gets worse the more the story goes on, as the author is not hesitant at all to stack ability after ability onto the MC. The MC often uses some of them once and then never again, and it's hard for the reader to keep track of even half of them, and it's even hard for the author, as many of them are mentioned once then forgotten. For example, the legacies Meng Hao got from the frigid snowclan thingy are like used three times and then pretty much never again. The freezing ability thing he got from the bridge world place is used once directly coming out of it and then never again. The dragon legacy that I thought was super important that Meng Hao first receives in the beginning is not mentioned very often after a while. The powerful items he gets from the Ji clan guy he [spoilers] kills[/spoilers] are never used at least to my knowledge. There are almost certainly tons others that I've already forgotten about, but you get the idea. Although I will give credit where credit is due, the wooden swords are still important.

Fourthly, the story kind of feels like pokemon, if you know what I mean (not in the way you're thinking). In the pokemon games, you start out in a town with like a level 5 pokemon or whatever and miraculously, all the enemy trainers in your town has around the same level pokemon. Then you, move on to the next town when your pokemon is level 20 or something, and miraculously, all the enemy trainers again have like level 18 pokemon. So on and so forth. It feels fake, and you can't help but thinking like wow: what are the chances that these people that are challenging him are the perfect power level for him to barely win over them and gain more power? And sure, you can make the argument that before, people didn't really bother with him because he was weaker, but it's like miraculously more powerful people are there where they weren't before that were "in seclusion" or something, and it works up a gradual ladder. Like for example, you rarely ever saw Nascent soul cultivators in the beginning and they were "lofty" when he was in the southern lands or whatever, but like later on they're a dime a dozen. I know this is a problem that pretty much all authors in this kind of story suffer with, so I won't give Er Gen too much grief, and actually didn't mind it too much.

Finally, I feel like the author keeps on backtracking on the MC's power. Like, they show the MC fighting evenly with people of the late nascent stage, for example, and then he undergoes a huge powerup where he gets a super powerful pure core or whatever, and then the author's like "now he can contend with people of the late nascent stage" and I'm like wtf, wasn't he just able to do that? Was this huge powerup that was hyped like crazy worth nothing? It feels like the author was like "shoot, I made him too strong before, hopefully the audience doesn't notice, " and gives the MC a really minimal powerup for how much effort he had to go through to achieve it.

Finally, here's some pet peeves of mine (so don't take this personally, just some little things that I find kind of annoying) :
1. I don't like the dumb "all eyes were on Meng Hao" stuff that the author keeps on doing. I get it, everyone's looking at Meng Hao. The author repetitively, repetitively, says: "this image was branded in their minds, and they would never forget it." After you say that literally 3 times every chapter for 30 chapters the phrase kind of loses effect, and it feels kind of contrived.
2. I hate the "light coughing" that Meng Hao does when people are like talking about how awesome/notorious this mysterious masked guy is, not knowing that Meng Hao's the person they are talking about. Like I get it Mr Awesome, you're all iNcOnSpIcUoUs badass over here. You don't have to "lightly cough" literally every time, just keep your face neutral... Idk, maybe this is a stupid complaint, but this is my review, so yeah.

Anyway, to wrap this up, I think it's decent. The first 100 chapters were my favorite part (fight me about this), and there is a lull up until recently when it started to pick up (around 500). It suffers from some issues, but overall is definitely worth the read. I wouldn't read this first if it's your first xianxia however, as it has SO MUCH STUFF in it that may be confusing to reader that is new to the genre. <<less
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bushwhacker2k
bushwhacker2k rated it
January 3, 2019
Status: c700
It starts off so well. The main character is interesting and fairly unique, and the progression happens at a pretty good rate. He seems intelligent and I like how he specifically doesn't talk during combat.

The only significant problem through the early part is the lack of romance, even when he's surrounded by obvious love interests. Even when he's basically devoted himself to a girl he loves, they never really spend any time together and they're constantly pulled apart, to the point that their relationship has no real depth to it.... more>> It gets to the point that they've been alive for literal centuries and have only even LOOKED at each other a handful of times yet they're both convinced the other is the love of their life (which I wouldn't have a problem with if they'd actually properly spend time together instead of just paying lip service).

For the rest of the story, chapter 518 is when everything goes downhill.

The author abandons most of what makes the story good and instead just uses cheap narrative tricks for emotional manipulation, like forcing drama and tension constantly.

Spoiler

Meng Hao 'dies' repeatedly, for over a hundred years each time, making the time he's spent outside of these timeskip segments seem so minor as to be pointless.

He constantly has to rush around to save someone or something important to him which is in immediate threat of death.

His parents show up then make excuses as to why they won't help him when someone way more powerful than him is actively hunting him.

Even before all this, he never spends time with his friends/loved ones anymore. Even the comedy relief characters who are technically always with him NEVER show up. It's so desolate, lonely and boring that it raises the question of what he's even trying to do by cultivating? Does he want to just spend eternity alone, as an immortal virgin?

At the chapter I stopped reading, 700, it's been literal centuries since he's seen numerous significant people who are important to him or at least consider him important to them. For cultivators who are already hundreds or thousands of years old, this isn't as big of a deal, but many of those people were under one hundred years old when he last saw them, would they even have strong memories regarding him considering the minor amount of time they have spent together?

Long, hundred, or even thousand year timeskips can be acceptable in the right context, but he's so isolated from everyone else that it's just become boring.

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dahlys
dahlys rated it
August 20, 2018
Status: Completed
ISSTH had a really promising plot setup, but poor execution and bad writing left me disappointed by the end of the story. Over a hundred mysteries that were hinted at time and time again were never resolved, especially the secrets of South Heaven, the Ji Clan, and Mountain Sea Realm. The Violet Fate Sect and South Heaven War arcs are really good but the other arcs are boring. The author builds up tension and then fails to deliver. We thus end up with a "weekly antagonist" cycle. The only things... more>> that kept me reading were the emotional scenes that sometimes made me tear up, the laugh out loud interaction between Ultimate Vexation and Lord Fifth, and the slight hope that at least the biggest mysteries get resolved (but in the end they are not resolved or the answer is downright pathetic). The final arc "I watch blue seas become lush fields" is a waste of time, the story should have ended with the final battle of the previous arc "The demon sovereign returns" or "My mountain sea realm".

I read the original version in Chinese and the writing is absolutely PAINFUL to read. Er Gen uses the same words and phrases over and over again, often multiple times in one chapter. 20+ instances of "suddenly" in one chapter, seriously? Ouch. I started ISSTH because I liked Er Gen's previous novel Renegade Immortal, but I feel that the quality of the writing has actually worsened.

Character development in ISSTH is nonexistent and character personalities tend to be cliched. The MC Meng Hao is a hypocrite, he thinks of himself as a good guy but ironically
Spoiler

he is the worst money grubbing thief ever, scamming people, forcing people to owe him money and torturing them if they refuse.

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Chu Yuyan is not the female lead, but has so much more personality and presence, too bad she never gets what she wants since I was supporting her all the way. And that's all the characters I can remember as the rest might as well be Passerby A and B.

All in all, I am disappointed in ISSTH since I was setup for a good ride but left hanging in the air. <<less
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Dark_Messiah
Dark_Messiah rated it
December 4, 2017
Status: afterword
I have mixed feelings about this novel. So this novel can be split into 2 parts. Before and after the war.

So, let's start with the first part, before the war. This is the best part of the novel. The story is great, the sructure of said story is great, the plot is followed, and Meng Hao makes steady progress in his cultivation.

Now for the second part, after the war. I was seriously tempted to rate the novel as 1 star after reading through this until the end, and here is... more>> why. Meng Hao's cultivation gets screwed over, along with steady progression. Plots get anandoned leading to never finished plotholes (wooden time swords, mirror background etc.). Author starts utilising time skips far more then before. All the well estabilished characters just get forgotten for countless chapters, then they either get killed off at the end only to be reincanated and forgotten or leave to parts unknown long before that. The story feels rushed as if the author had enough and just wanted to rush to the end. And the ending... whooo boy... he actually ended the whole thing on a cliffhanger...

In the end after calming myself i'll give this 3 stars, because the part that was good was bigger then the part that wasn't. <<less
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Seregosa
Seregosa rated it
November 12, 2017
Status: Completed
Well, after reading a long time, it's finally over and I don't have to see this novel again. 3.5/5 is about what this novel is worth, pretty good but not great. c 1-670 was pretty good, c 670-800 sucked, then it became good for a few hundred chapters before everything turning pretty bad the last few hundred chapters. A lot of people have mentioned things they like, so I'm going to focus on things I dislike, this does not mean I dislike everything, quite a lot of things are good.

This... more>> author is pretty good at many things, but he's got some fatal flaws that drags the quality and enjoyment down A LOT. The worst part is the romance, it's utterly horrible, everything about it sucks and this author should never write romance, bad female characters and no gradual process whatsoever, it just turned from "hey, I barely know you" to "I love you more than anyone and can't live without you" in one meeting, not to mention that he breaks hearts everywhere. Then there's the wars, they also suck really bad, never interesting. I also dislike how the author tries to make the MC look so good despite doing horrible things, just accept that it's not justifiable... There's also a lot of plot holes and stuff we never see again even though they should be relevant to the plot, even things he promised to do something with in the future are just never mentioned again.
Spoiler

The ending was so-so, I would've preferred a normal happy ending where everyone he knows are cultivators and interact with the MC instead of one where everyone reincarnate here and there and he doesn't speak with them anymore, just watches over them.

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Oh, and the cultivation when getting to dao seeking (around chapter 800+) and up became really wishy-washy and there was no proper system anymore, stuff just happened and the cultivation wasn't really a thing anymore, he just got more power and didn't have to care about the rules. Often as long as he entered a realm, he was already at the peak... Well, the writing just got really lazy when it came to realms. It was very uninteresting to read about.

The author should just keep to writing the MC as a lone wolf and should stop making him turn serious sometimes where his personality changes, that's what he's best at. Oh well. I kind of look forward to more chapters of his next novel, A will eternal, I've read 220 chapters of that novel and it's funnier and way better than ISSTH, though the romance is as bad as ever. ISSTH is worth reading (unlike this authors previous works) but if you feel like you don't like a certain arc, I really recommend you don't force yourself to read it and go for half-skipping or skimming through all those chapters. In this novel, it's really hard to miss anything that matters, especially in wars or long fights. I was about to blow my top especially during the last fight, it was ridiculous...
Spoiler

Imagine two children fighting with words and you get the idea of that fight... holy sh*t... "I hit you" "no, you can't hit me, I have a shield" "I hit you with a hit that can penetrate shields" "I have a shield that can resist such hits" "Well, my hit can penetrate shields like that", well, you get the idea

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I'm really happy that I'm finally done with this novel and got some closure on it, now I never have to read this thing again and it won't bother me. Oh, and the translations were great. <<less
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Short_Biscuit
Short_Biscuit rated it
October 21, 2017
Status: afterword
So, I've finally completed ISSTH. This massive webnovel was a monstrosity, and I can clearly state that I have a love-hate relationship with it.

Translator:

Right at the outset, I want to point out that one of the many reasons for ISSTH's massive popularity is its translator. Deathblade is one of the most dedicated and thorough translators I've ever seen. Not only are all his chapters rigorously proofread and corrected, there have been several instances where mistakes in interpretation in later chapters have all been corrected in the earlier chapters, leading to... more>> a quality of writing that brings you closer to the original Chinese novel than any other Xianxia novel I've ever read. In addition, the footnotes are also some of the most detailed and thorough explanations I've ever seen, ranging from notes that explain the correct pronunciation of characters' names, to notes that explain aspects of Chinese culture and mythology that are difficult to translate, to even notes that link back to previous chapters whenever a reference is made to previous incidents. On top of this, Deathblade has managed to keep translating at an average of almost 3 chapters a day, a speed and dedication unheard of among other translators. Irrespective of any of the pros and cons of the story, I recommend reading this just to witness the amazing skills of a translator who truly cares about his readers' experiences.

Setting:

On to the story itself. Unlike a lot of the Xianxia I've read, ISSTH has taken a path that is much closer to the original concept of the Chinese mythology. Rather than a webnovel, it feels far more like you are reading one of there traditional mythological epics. It clearly focuses on the mythological aspects of the immortals as enshrined in ancient Chinese culture. However, it also tends to get lost in the abstract nature of a lot of the mythos, ending up in situations or scenarios that do not make sense or are impossible to visualize.

Characters:

The greatest strength of ISSTH is, without a doubt, the characterization. The main character Meng Hao, as well as each of the various immortals he meets along his path to cultivation, are all driven by different and interesting goals and dreams. In addition, none of these characters ever remain static, as each of their personalities and even their objectives change as they progress through the story, slowly becoming vastly more complex characters than you could have imagined. Meng Hao himself starts off as nothing more than a lowly mortal orphaned scholar, struggling to make ends meet, with dreams of joining the Imperial palace and paying off his debts. As he gains strength as an immortal, that obsession with paying his debts becomes so large as to become the main aspect of his personality, turning him into a cunning, greedy money-hoarder. Unlike other Xianxia where the main characters are driven by the desire for power, immortality or strength to protect someone, Meng Hao very simply wants to survive, and make enough money to live comfortably. This in itself is unique among MCs, and makes him a very enjoyable character to follow as he grows up. A common joke among the reading community is that the story had been wrongly named, as a better fitting name would be "I Shall Steal The Heavens".

Aside from Meng Hao himself, we see a number of side characters throughout the 1600 chapters of the story. They include such characters as ever-hungry Fatty, the quiet beauty Xu Qing, the rage-driven Wang Tengfei, the over-protective Fang Yu, the masochistic Sun Hai, and the mysterious Shui Dongliu. Every character has a unique interaction with Meng Hao, with different reasons that they are drawn to him, and unique ways in which Meng Hao treats them. Among the best characters are undoubtedly the ridiculously perverted Lord Fifth and the ever-talkative Lord Third, both of whom have hilarious interactions that never get old. The strength of this characterization is best at the beginning of the story though.

However, as we get to the later chapters, it becomes increasingly dark and lonely, and the story begins to revolve entirely around Meng Hao and his own personal growth. The characters around Meng Hao become less relevant, and even Lord Fifth and Lord Third, who are perpetually by his side, no longer appear and make contributions.

Story:

Apart from the characters, the plot of ISSTH is the next best thing to introduce. Er Gen has created a beautifully intricate world complete with its own rich history and setting. Each character that is introduced fits into the story perfectly, and at several points we can see foreshadowing of future events hundreds of chapters before the event actually occurs.

The story begins in a small country on the planet of South Heaven, but rapidly grows into a storm that encompasses the entirety of the planet. Soon, even the planet itself is no longer big enough to contain our hero, and we see him going into the stars in an epic voyage of discovery and adventure. Along the way, we see each of the side characters as their pasts are revealed and they open up to the hero about their own adventures and the hardships they have all individually faced.

The sheer grandness and scope of ISSTH perhaps set it apart from a lot of the other Xianxia out there. It possesses a sense of ambition and adventure that quickly grips the reader and forces them to keep reading to find out more. The scale of this adventure often leads to slightly slower chapters the author slows to a crawl to set up the necessary world-building that is necessary in the later chapters. However, none of the chapters can ever be called a filler, as every single sub-story ends up fitting into the grander scale of things by the end.

Another beautiful aspect of the story is how the universe of ISSTH seamlessly fits into the same universe as Er Gen's other novels, Beseech the Devil and Renegade Immortal. As you progress through the story, you start to see more links between the novels, and even a few cameos, until finally you can see the entire legacies left behind by the protagonists from these other stories. While the universes connect in such a grand scale, at the same time, ISSTH is a completely independent story, and does not require any knowledge of those other two stories to understand what's going on here.

Plot Armour:

I feel that plot armour deserves a whole new section for this story. The scale of the plot armour in ISSTH is through the roof. Not only is the main character himself protected by plot armour, but so are his enemies. First of all, there is no longer a concept of a final strike. No matter how much damage any character receives, all characters have an infinite number of plot armour artifacts or skills that allow them to escape death and keep fighting. No fight ever ends unless it is convenient for the author. Although none of the fights ever drag on at a snail's pace, with enough happening at every single moment, yet every single fight can and will keep on going until the author has milked it for all it's got. It eventually becomes so severe that it becomes common for any fight between high-powered individuals that does not involve the main character to drag on for months or even years, with neither side able to suitably damage the other.

Apart from the plot-armour for the fights, the main character also has the uncanny plot-armour of supreme luck. He continuously finds himself in fights and situations that would have been completely impossible for him to survive if it weren't for the incredible world-breaking power-up that he luckily found just five minutes prior. In fact, the enemies that he finds himself fighting are all perfectly scaled so that they are always exactly at the correct level to give him a challenge. And this brings us to the fights.

Fighting:

The fighting in ISSTH is varied and multifaceted. We often see the various immortals using various strategies to fight. In fact, they use so many strategies that they sometimes stop making sense. In the beginning chapters, most of the fights are balanced and well thought out, with fights involving flying swords and elemental spells. However, as the story progresses, the level of abstraction of the abilities and skills gradually stop making sense, becoming abilities that are almost impossible to visualize. At one point, the hero masters an ability that allows him to summon mountains, and summons hundreds of mountains to simultaneously strike an enemy, something that physically makes no sense. At other points, he uses the same skill to create an image of a holy mountain, or a bridge the size of a planet, and somehow uses these images to block incoming attacks and strike back with just pressure.

In addition, the story revolves around him finding the legacy techniques of 8 Demon Sealers before him, each of which has a unique overpowered effect, such as restricting the motion of a character, severing the karma of a target, or even affecting reality and time. And yet, he uses the actual effect of these overpowered abilities no more than a handful of times, where it is convenient for the story. At all other times, the main character uses all of the seals collected upto this point simultaneously, and somehow they only deal a minor amount of damage instead of exhibiting their individual effects.

Another point to note, related to the plot-armour, is the obvious lack of restraints or limits for any character. In other xianxia novels, it is common to see something like the essence or core power, which the character possesses in small amounts, and which can be used for a final super-powerful attack in exchange for permanently harming the cultivation base of the user. However, there is no such limiting concept in this novel. Each character can unleash an unlimited amount of things similar to this essence, that drastically power them up for short periods of time, but at none of the side-effects or disadvantages. At one point, the main character learns a series of three powerful punches, called the "Life-Extermination Fist", the "Self-Immolation Fist" and the "God Slaying Fist", all of which are supposed to bring out ultimate power at the cost of dealing damage to the user, and yet, for no reason at all, they're completely benign to the main character.

Cultivation:

The cultivation system is once again at the heart of this story. There are many different cultivation stages, each of which brings the cultivator to a new level of power, but involves a similar level of hardship and tribulation to cross. However, this cultivation system is one of the most badly explained systems in the entire novel. The first few cultivation stages are fairly normal, just being simple increases in spiritual power gained by collecting spiritual power. However, we then start to see situations that start to defy logic in terms of the requirements for cultivation, where cultivators have to split apart their soul or battle lightning tribulation in order to proceed.

There is also a mysterious obsession about reaching the peak of any cultivation stage. Somehow, people at the peak of a stage are an entire order of magnitude of power above someone who is almost at the peak, but not quite. This is somehow such an important difference that at one point in the story, a whole new pseudo-cultivation stage called the Imperial Lord level is created just to differentiate between them and other cultivators at that level.

Spoiler

At the point at which the cultivator becomes an immortal, they start creating numerous "souls". However, the number of souls is limited to 33, because there are only 33 "heavens" in the sky above their realm. However, we later find out that this makes no sense, as the "heavens" above their realm are just a number of arbitary landmasses, and can increase or decrease in number depending on various events, and as such should have no connection at all to the cultivation of the immortals.
In addition, there is a complete lack of information about progression once a cultivator reaches the Immortal stage. There is some information about how each cultivator unlocks a certain number of "souls" and "immortal meridians" at the moment of becoming an Immortal, this unlocked number is then fixed at that constant value and can no longer be changed. Hence, it should technically be impossible for any progression in strength once someone has reached the Immortal stage.

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We also see the gradual accumulation of power creep. The enemies are always at exactly the level of power for the main character to suitably be able to challenge them. Every time the main character powers up, we suddenly see ten new enemies of the same level coming to challenge him. While this provides for constant tension in the story, the background and setting of the story starts to break down as we start to consider what such an accumulation of powerful characters would mean if such characters had existed at earlier points in the story.

Romance:

While the concept of romance exists within the story, it is really not Er Gen's strong point. Characters often fall in love at the drop of a hat, for the smallest conceivable actions. This leads to several different women falling in love with the main character simultaneously, while the main character himself believes in a monogamous relationship. This easily leads to an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction among the readers, as we see women who fall in love with him but are doomed to never have their affection returned, and end up dying alone.

The two main romantic interests in the story both fall in love with the main character for unexplainable reasons. The first love interest is the very one who kidnaps the main character and forces him into slavery at the cultivation school, while the second one is perpetually hostile to him from the moment she meets him. At no point in the story can we point to any action taken by either the main character or the two women that indicates a shift in their feelings, and yet they suddenly find themselves completely smitten. While the feelings of love in the story feel "pure", they are like the imagined love stories of adolescent boys who dream of women falling in love with them as they blaze through their heroic actions. In fact, except at a single instance where the main love interest makes a significant sacrifice for the hero, she is nothing more than a trophy wife who contributes nothing to the story.

Overall, it may seem like I've pointed out more negatives than positives for this story. However, I want to stress that the positives far outweigh the negatives. The sheer strength of the plot as well as the amazing characters all ensure than you'll never be bored as you make your way through the story. <<less
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NightmareMBD
NightmareMBD
July 6, 2017
Status: Completed
The Dao is not a goal but a path one must walk.

ISSTH walks that path and you fall in love with the world this story creates. Revisiting places hundreds of chapters old and fulfilling promises made centuries ago.

ISSTH is not perfect, it is not complete, for it is a path one must walk and every reader will come out of this story with with unique experience.

This is not just a story, It is the life of Meng Hao put on paper.
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Kergonan
Kergonan rated it
July 2, 2017
Status: Completed
I Shall Seal the Heavens is, to put it simply, one of the best chinese novel there is. Well, this one sentence sums it up, if you haven't read it yet, do it now...

Alright, I'll try to detail why I have such an opinion about it, but be warned, my skills are insufficient to give you an appropriate impression of this masterpiece.

Er Gen is one of the best chinese novelist there is. His previous stories are amazingly well written, and the one I'm criticizing now is no exception.... more>> The plot is extremely well done, its pacing neither too fast or too slow and with no filler chapter which are usually expected in this sort of novel. Not only that, the author disseminates numerous details (more or less mysterious), even close to the ending, which at first may seem trivial or meaningless, but at one moment or another, they connect and shed light on a significant plot point. Add to that multiple twists, turns, comebacks, revelations and a oftentimes comedic style, and you'll get a story with a coherent whole, that will never bore you and keep you on edge till the (fitting) end. On a side note, there are plenty of evocations and connections to the writer previous works Beseech the Devil and Renegade Immortal (especially in the latter chapters), but you will lose nothing if you haven't read them yet (as a matter of fact, unless you can read Chinese, you can't have read these novel now, since they haven't been fully translated yet).

For the characters, if you're tired of the classic macho, egomaniac, shallow, sociopaths, don't worry you won't find them with this author. Also, don't expect handkerchief characters, Er Gen never forgets his core cast and makes sure to remember them until the end of the story. Each of them has a well defined personnality, with its unique merits, flaws and quirks, some of them which will give you great moments of comedy (often) or sadness (not as often, but they make you cry, I can testify of this). Their relation with the main character can be simple or complex, constant or changing, obscure until a given plot point, but they never feel like they're mere extras.

And what a main character he is! Meng Hao is a truly multifarious character. While his core remains the same through the whole story in its integrity, this clever and adaptative "hero" takes on numerous aspects in order to, first survive, then prosper and finally reach the pinacle of the merciless cultivation world. He will be, in random order, a con-man, a leader, a scholar, a demon, a warrior, an immortal, a devoted husband, a genocider, a carpenter, a son, a rogue, a savior... But whatever the role he takes, his wits and persistence remain his forte.

Beside Meng Hao, the author also puts a serious work into the romance aspect of the novel. As a result, what is usually a weak spot in this genre is here a strength. While the romance-building is a slow process and meets numerous obstacles, it never feels cheap or artificial. Meng Hao's love interest is not the most outstanding character around, but she is well- rounded, sympathetic and a great person in her own right.

Finally, the last reason why this novel is so exceptionnal is the quality of the translation. Deathblade, with the help of his wife, provides a truly top notch quality translation, in which he preserves the spirit and the emotions of Er Gen's work. That he was able to maintain such a high rate and level of translation is worthy of praise, especially that he did so, at one time while having a full time job, before moving fully to professionnal. He was later able to gain access to the author himself and his approval for the translation, which only improved the finest points. (On a side note, Deathblade also got Er Gen's approval to translate his novels after I Shall Seal the Heavens, which is definitely a good thing.)

So, I hope you understand why I love this novel so much. Now, go to Wuxiaworld and read I Shall Seal the Heavens (you'll also find Renegade Immortal and A Will Eternal, by the same author, there).

P.S: Many thanks to Er Gen, Deathblade and Madam Deathblade. <<less
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ordinaryface
ordinaryface rated it
January 23, 2017
Status: c1229
Of this type of Chinese xianxia novel, ISSTH is perhaps one of the finest in its execution. While it's true that if you've read one of them, you've read all of them, ISSTH is a fantastic implementation of the tried and true principle. The quality of language is above average, and the translator has done a truly excellent job. To me, while the novel rates only 4* by itself, the translator's diligence clearly shows, prompting me to rate 5*.

This novel isn't suitable for people who don't enjoy the typical Chinese... more>> xianxia formula, as it truly is just more of the same. However, if you enjoy or don't mind the type of novel, I'd encourage you to give this one a try. <<less
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Hantosh
Hantosh rated it
January 7, 2017
Status: c1183
A story about an unassuming, mild-mannered scholar who stumbles onto the path of becoming a Chosen of Khorne. Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Also animal rape jokes. 5 stars.

Edit: Dammit, up to the space arc and I'm already regretting the 5 stars. Pretty much every bad trope you've read in every other Chinese WN. Back to 3 stars in the space arc.

- Repetitive writing; lots of recaps and explaining the obvious. As soon as a large unit of measurement comes up expect 2+ chapters of... more>> pointless cultivation contests and crowd reactions ("OMG! He's at 18, 000m!" "OMFG! He's at 20, 000m!" Bitch, how are you even measuring?). As a result I skim read the text nowadays.
- Nonsensical & inconsistent power system. Soul lamps, wtf? Summoning a bridge isn't a deep or impressive attack skill no matter how you try to dress it up (how do you even use it to block experts, can't they fly around it?). Trying to visualize 2 people throwing illusionary rivers and mountains (the amount of which keeps growing; I think the highest count so far has been 100, 000) at each other is ridiculous. MC gains a growing collection of OP skills, eg: instant kill Midas Touch, which he never uses again. Oh, he can transform into a planet? Sure why not. Fights feel kinda meh as the rules of the universe feel vague and unadhered to.
- Faulty understanding of basic physics (shattering liquids, punching lightning/liquids to powder, air in space, the entire structure of the dimension they live in, etc). It's tolerable before the space arc then it gets really noticeable.
- Lack of visual descriptions. Herbalism profession also has a lot of interesting descriptions, but when it comes to alchemy (actual pills & recipes) it's strangely lacking in comparison (generally pills consumed are referenced in general terms, whereas recipes aren't even mentioned).
- Story feels like it revolves more around avenging slights and d*ck measuring contests than adventuring (so much disdain).
- Dictating morals through narration ("no right or wrong in war" and other spoon-fed crap).
- Inconsistent MC and Peter Pan syndrome. I liked the character development he had up until his Spirit Severing; you could feel that his character was maturing. Then he reverted back into a teenager to fight with other centuries-old teenagers.
- One dimensional side characters that don't get much screen time or development. Chen Fan is a weird exception where he got a 1 chapter info dump of a background story change. <<less
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phreeonix
phreeonix rated it
December 22, 2016
Status: c1168
Great novel. A gem among its class. Theres still a bit flaw here and there but definitely not as exaggerated by some people down here. A guy skimmed half of the chapters and told how boring it is. Some have even read just for 300 chaps and already made a review like he has already read all 1613 chapters. It is like watching (or skim *cough cough*) a 2hour movie only to stop at ~20mins mark because the intro is too deep for you to understand.

Theres a merit to some... more>> negative review tho ; side characters tossed aside etc but pretty sure most of the xianxia do this. Personally I think er gen did his best to bring the relevant side characters from early chapters (shui, guyiding, pill demon etc) but one can only bring so much before people start complaining 'too many side characters bs' and the vicious cycle continues.

I have been following most of the current novels here in novelupdates which have 50 chaps or more (means I read them everytime a chapter is out) and personally imo nothing beats issth in term of intricacy or planning. Everyone has their own taste but to review a novel as bad based on skimming and half ass reading is just idiocy. This novel is meant for patient people. If you just want action straight from the beginning, go read.. Idk whatever else.. For the one leaving 0 star as review, do tell me which novel is better than this cause I havent found one yet and I dont mind adding one or a hundred more. <<less
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chekanalia
chekanalia rated it
July 17, 2016
Status: c801
This is beyond amazing!! I have gone back and re-read some parts because the execution of this novel is amazing!! If you haven't read this then you are doing something wrong! This is everything xianxia and xuanhuan authors need to take a page out of....I'd love to wipe my mind just so I could read it again and experience this mind-blowing journey all over again!! Have faith in Lord fifth!!
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yonna
yonna rated it
June 25, 2016
Status: c748
I didnt read this novel because I thought it wos too slow but mann was I blind.

THIS IS MY TOP NOVEL BECAUSE:

1. It has lots of comedy
2. It has action
3. Its written beautifully
4. The MC is badass
5..... lots of other qualities but its definetly the KING OF ALL NOVELS :P
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Delroy
Delroy rated it
June 11, 2016
Status: c717
I honestly don't know what to say. ISSTH is just one of those gems that can make you read it through and forget about your responsibilities (in a good way). I would have gone over this in a deep review but since I'm not good at that Ill just tell you that while this book may seem overhyped, it is not. Read it, you won't regret one bit.
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Rreelentless
Rreelentless rated it
May 15, 2016
Status: c657
Okay, I'm writing this now after looking at the insane amount of people who kind of ignore anything about this novel that isn't awesome.

I won't describe what's good about it simply because you have A LOT of other reviewers who have done all I could say and more. So as someone reading it and hasn't dropped it I will some of the problems with this series. Firstly if you have read any of er gens previous works you will notice how he straight up copy pastes ENTIRE SETTINGS AND ARCS... more>> into this story. The next complaint? Get ready for a lot of snorting. The fights have two modes. Either the MC can completely dominate the opponent/s blow for blow or the exact opposite and he can barely survive the encounter. This is not as bad early on but really shows its head in the fights past a certain level in his cultivation. <<less
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