Imperial Zenith: The Twenty-One Regalia

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Wind and clouds bid the rising storm, raging seas flood the crimson dust. The four major clans of the capital city, each a titan in their realm. Wandering bards put the names of the four major clans of the Nap-Lan Empire into a simple poem, a poem which spread far and wide amongst the common folk. Here in Heaven’s Martial World, martial artists are the most important figures of all. That is because influence, status and wealth are all dependent on martial power. The four major clans are famous for their numerous powerful martial artists and possessed immense influence because of it as well.

Martial artists use their souls as a catalyst to draw in aether and generate soul energy. In combination with their martial soul, they can then unleash devastating martial techniques. These so-called martial souls can take on countless different forms, from swords and knives, to fire and water, beasts and insects and even abstract, formless shapes.

The inheritor of the Accident Makers was a young orphan who lost his parents at a young age. Fortunately, he was picked up by his adoptive father, who taught him everything he knew. The boy became proficient at creating accidents, but one day, an accident beyond his control finally occurred. He is now stranded in a foreign world. It is often said that the conclusion of a story is the beginning of a new one. Here in this world of martial arts, where life is worth little more than pennies, fate is as wild as it is unpredictable. The curtains draw and a monumental secret rises above the waters.

The path of the gods and the path of the demons, which is real and which is false? Where lies the end of the martial path? Rumours claim that one must gather the twenty-one Imperial Zenith regalias to ascend to the peak of martial might!

Justice may rest in the hearts of people, but it is power that decides everything!

Everything is now changing because of a young boy’s arrival in Heaven’s Martial World.

Associated Names
One entry per line
皇極廿一器
Related Series
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Recommendations
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Recommendation Lists
  1. Action - Cultivation - Adventure (CN On-going)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/15/24 Verdant Lore c118
04/13/24 Verdant Lore c117
04/11/24 Verdant Lore c116
04/10/24 Verdant Lore c115
04/04/24 Verdant Lore c114
04/03/24 Verdant Lore c113
04/01/24 Verdant Lore c112
03/27/24 Verdant Lore c111
03/11/24 Verdant Lore c110
03/07/24 Verdant Lore c109
02/29/24 Verdant Lore c108
02/28/24 Verdant Lore c107
02/21/24 Verdant Lore c106
02/15/24 Verdant Lore c105
02/14/24 Verdant Lore c104
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Dreyerboys
Dreyerboys rated it
April 20, 2024
Status: c120
This novel can be described in one word: Slow.

Everything about it is slow. The World Building. The Character Development. The Plot. Even the chapters themselves feel slow.

There's so much exposition that sometimes, it almost feels like I'm reading a generic cultivation wiki instead of a novel. At first, I started reading every word, but after around 80 chapters or so, I found myself skipping past a lot of parts and found that I could keep up with what was going on without much issue.

However, that's not to say it isn't... more>> good. As far as cultivation novels goes, it hits all the marks. If you enjoy the genre, give it a try. If not, I'd say move on.

tl;dr

Overall Rating: ~3.5/5


From here, I'll give a more comprehensive review.

Writing Quality/Translation: 4.25/5

If we were to compare this novel to other cultivation stories, I'd say this one is a step above the rest. Yes, there are tons of exposition, info-dumps, and information that may not seem useful, but I find that the world is generally very interesting. It feels fleshed out and alive.

Despite all the information, the story flows naturally. It's not like the author just dumps a bunch of information on you for no reason. Anything that's brought up is for a reason and is brought up later in the chapter, or in the next chapter. For example, say the author brings up a city. He'll talk about all the powers, families, struggles, etc. to set the stage and then a mini-arc (5-10 chapters) will follow in that direction. It won't just be "Here's the DingDing Clan, ChingChong Clan, BingBong Clan... Blah, blah, blah..." and then move on to something else entirely.

Actually, after reading so many Korean novels lately, where it feels like the authors are doing their best to give as little information as possible, this is kind of a breath of fresh air. We get to really delve into the world and its intricacies, the characters and their emotions/thoughts, the plot, and the MC's backstory.

You get the feeling that the author put genuine thought and care into his novel. Sure, it's very cliche. It's filled with cliches, but it's written very well.

There are a few parts that feel forced, like the MC's devotion toward his Clan and chapters 98+ (ugh), but in terms of pure writing quality, it's above average.

Lastly, I also enjoy all the poems, and poetic messages interwoven within the story. To that extent, I actually find most of the dialogue to be beautifully written, probably some of the best I've read in a while. It's not just, "Scoundrel, you don't know the immensity of Heaven and Earth! Die!" The MC gives eloquent answers, is sharp and witty, and is a joy to listen to.

Overall, I have few bad things to say in this regard.

Story Development: 3/5

SLOW!

The story is so freaking slow!

Don't believe me? Let me put it this way: It takes ~6 chapters for him to reincarnate. And it doesn't get any better in this regard. In fact, up to chapter 120, those first 5 chapters (except anything about the MC's past life) aren't all that relevant.

However, you should still read them, as there are hints and throwbacks to what happens in those first few chapters scattered throughout the novel. It's just, I think it could be condensed into 1-2 chapters as it feels like a lot is being said, with little substance. This isn't unique to the beginning, either.

Clan Banquet? 10 chapters

Curing his "cripple" status? Another ~10 chapters

Even his tribulation is almost 10 chapters long.

Basically, once new information starts to roll in, don't expect that arc, no matter how small, to end in anything less than 7-8 chapters. Even if it's just resting at a simple village that the MC is passing through. He might be stuck there for 10+ chapters for a somewhat arbitrary reason.

Thinking about it more, I almost want to lower my score to 2.5/5.

At some point, it's a little frustrating. You just want the MC to get to where he needs to be, but he's always caught up in something useless. I get that it's actually pretty realistic, but as a reader, I just want things to get moving. As much as I enjoy reading about all these different characters, their backgrounds, and these towns/cities, it'd be a bit more enjoyable for me if it didn't take so long to get anything done.

I know it sounds a bit contradictory compared to what I said about the writing quality, but you'll have to read it to understand. I don't exactly enjoy reading a 6 chapter long prologue. Nor do I enjoy reading 25+ chapters of "traveling" just to get to where he's going to start training. All of this could be condensed. Way too much information. Too many annoyances. Too many distractions.

Character Design/Development: 2/5 (4/5)

I'm conflicted here. On the one hand, all the characters are fairly unique. They all have their peculiarities. Their good and bad points. However, on the other hand, it feels like the world is full of geniuses, or at least, above average intelligence. Somehow, the female leads just know what the MC is thinking without him having to say anything. New characters are wary of everyone and everything. Everyone talks in riddles. All words seem to have a hidden meaning.

We only really see "idiots" a few times, but it kind of feels weird to see in a world full of smart people.

In terms of the uniqueness and enjoyability of the dialogue, I'm almost inclined to give this section a 5/5. I'm sure some of you would even do that, but there are a few points that bother me.

That is, EVERYONE is interested in the MC. Sometimes, for literally no reason, either. He'll just open his mouth and everyone turns their heads. No, sometimes, he doesn't even need to open his mouth. He could have on a cloak with his head down, but everyone's eyes are still like hawks, watching his every move. It's actually insane.

I know this isn't new for these kinds of novels, but it's particularly strange here. If the MC were placed in any other cultivation world, full of arrogant idiots, it'd make sense. He's a very refined and well-spoken man. If he were a real person, I wouldn't doubt he could charm most women, even men, with his words. He's very likable.

But here, where everyone seems smart and can talk in circles, it's not as amazing. Yes, he can pump out Buddhist quotes like it's nothing, but others aren't exactly s*upid.

Second, it also feels like there's something seriously wrong with the FLs. Like, they all have some sort of mental illness or something. That may or may not be a bad thing, but let's just say, the most recent female character is a HUGE pain. She, by herself, drops my score a whole point. Every chapter she's in feels like a waste.

This is just my opinion, but her presence (for me) kills the story. As soon as she popped up, I wanted to drop the novel but kept reading to see if things got better. They don't (for now).

On the other hand, the growth and devotion of the characters around the MC are quite remarkable.

It's a bit hard to get a read on the MC, but it's fun to read the thoughts of the FLs and how they're growing, trying to get closer to the MC.

However, what brings down my score in this regard is that, the MC IS STILL 11! Why?!

No matter what his relationship is with the heroines, they're weird. Either he's a pedo, or they are.

Again, this goes back to the slow pacing.

In 100+ chapters, only ~2 weeks go by.

My complaints would drop in half, if he was just an adult, but it's way to freaking slow.

World Background: 3/5

Lots of information about the world. Most of it is either not important or could be condensed. For example, during the Lightning Tribulation, it'll explain the reason behind why the lightning strike is named that way, it's history, strength, properties, and all sorts of things.

Yeah, it's a bit interesting, but is it really that important? Do we need to know the history behind the name of a lightning strike? So much so, that it'll take up 1/4 to 1/2 of a chapter, each?

This is what most of the novel is like.

Bring up an auction house? We need to know who owns it, their background, the personalities of those in charge, their servants, their reputation, their conflicts, upcoming events, past events, how they got famous/in decline, why the shop is set up so well, the layout, and all sorts of random things.

It's a little interesting, but it's really too much information. Like I said, sometimes, it feels like I'm reading a wiki or the author's notes, rather than a story. There's just way too much exposition.

The world is great and feels alive, but it's really boring to read lines of text that bring almost 0 meaning to the plot. I can look past it, to an extent, if the information is used to get closer to a character, but it's still way too much. We might just get walls of dialogue, with the MC explaining his head off about manipulative modern selling tactics.

Overall:

It's good. If you can look past the walls of text, intermittent with useful information, then you can enjoy a beautifully written novel. The characters are generally fun (except Hung Yu Fei), the plot is cliche but interesting, and the MC is extremely well-spoken but also a good fighter. He's not OP right off the bat, and the author does a good job of making the cultivation world feel realistic without it being dull or outrageous.

Give it a try.

Thanks for reading! <<less
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Lil K.O
Lil K.O rated it
November 6, 2023
Status: c40
IZ feels more like a test on your knowledge of tropes and story beats in cultivation novels than an actual novel itself. It’s very cliche but it isn’t written badly like the very cliched other cultivation novel, instead it’s more like if you have read those than you have read IZ.

Like in the beginning it’s very standard, MC from china gets reincarnated into martial world but it doesn’t stop there, MC is not only a genius but get stuck at the same realm for 3 years and gets called a... more>> cripple and the cliche and story beat doesn’t stop there can you also guess there’s a fodder villain who bullies him cause his a cripple ? Oh wait the reason why he was stuck is cause of his cheat and his cheat comes with a grand pa to guide him, who could have ever guessed that.

Its like filled with these cliches and story beats in every single nook and cranny that you can reliably predict what’s gonna happen next and how characters are going to react if you’ve read enough novels in this genre. It’s a shame too cause it isn’t written badly and I think it would be quite good if it had its own identity but unfortunately it doesn’t.

if you new to this genre then you’ll probably find it interesting but for everyone else that’s read a lot of these then it’s going to be a boring tedious read. <<less
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Qib
Qib rated it
August 4, 2023
Status: c27
So for the available chapters it doesn't do too anything new with its general setting its what many have seen within many novels. However, it does something different with its characters and their interactions. The dialoge is some of the best within its genre. Its a low bar but it jumps beyond it and I will give major props to the translator. It's one of the first where the main character maturity actually matches his age and his first life experience carries over.

Its intertwines poetry alot and... more>> it usually brings enlightenment to a few characters so far. There is alot about destiny and fate. Plus the story looks like I will be philosophical in nature.

Spoiler

It is pretty open sexuality wise. Its the third novel I have seen where a gay peraon is mentioned within this genre and in this their actually a character interaction. She might be invovle in future plot lines. Surprised honestly

[collapse]

My only issue is the pacing is abit fast but understandable for what type of novel it is. And some tropes are subverted but their tropes for a reason. It's good but not 10/10. I will edit this if my thoughts change <<less
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