Joy of Life


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That lonesome night as he lays dying in the hospital, fearing of death and desiring the taste of life, his mind became unprecedentedly complex with mixed emotions.

Myasthenia gravis — an incurable disease where one’s muscle slowly degenerated until the day when one can no longer move and only tears may flow.

“Is this… dying?”

When he opened his eyes again, he had crossed over into the body of a two months old infant, right in the middle of an assassination attempt.

He was born as the illegitimate son of a noble. His name was Fan Xian; and with that name came the burden of deep political secrets and the legacy of his mother.

He understood; to survive, he needed unparalleled strength, money and political power.

To a new world with the luxury of a new life, so named; Celebrating the Remaining Life.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Qing Yu Nian
Related Series
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Legend of Ling Tian (1)
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08/18/19 Translate Addict c81
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28 Reviews sorted by

New DNH2020 rated it
August 26, 2019
Status: Completed
This is among the most morally ambiguous stories I've ever read.

I love it. Mao Ni, you savage.

... more>>

The novel reads like what Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major" sounds like.

Almost from the beginning, you have a rough idea of what happened and who the primary actors are in this play. You have an idea of "where" things are going, just not "why". And the "why"...woof, what a "why". At the end of the day, you can't really hate the antagonist anymore than you love the protagonist. You can only really bemoan the seeds of karma the antagonist had sown in that one event and how he reaped it. You know he'll die for what he did and what he's doing, and that he should die for it, but you can't help but wish deep down that he wouldn't.

Still, he did die in a satisfying manner. There was no random xianxia-style plot armor, no "protagonist achieves his final form" event, or deus-ex-machinas. He died from being meticulously outplayed at his own game in a fitting, albeit eventually hilarious, manner.

Suffice to say, Fan Xian was right, there really are three genders of people: Men, Women, and Emperors.

Also, I'd like to imagine Asimov would stroke his beard if he read this novel to the end.


A finely crafted masterpiece of a novel. <<less
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New tamix
August 20, 2019
Status: c101
The characters are a complete mess, they do whatever the author wants them to do at that particular point in time.

Translation is atrocious, even for webnovel. Com standards. When the translator can't make sense of what's happening, you're in for a bad time.
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Keimichi rated it
August 7, 2016
Status: Completed
So I've read the raws. (Warning: Spoilers tags here might have spoilers from the raws)

If you're looking for a story of cultivation and fighting scenes, then this is not it. The main character actually only fights occasionally. Yes, we also get some grand battle scenes, but those only take a small percentage of the story. The focus and the charm of the story isn't about the fighting, but much more about the atmosphere, about the characters and their choices. There's always more secrets to be revealed. The character development... more>> is FANTASTIC. Each of the "villains" are so three dimensional that, even until the end, you aren't always sure what to feel about them (the same way the MC also have mixed feelings about them). It's not at all about the power of friendship, or about the "you insulted my face so I will kill your whole family!!" you see in a lot of CN's, it's all about the political balance that the MC has to juggle with... And his choices regarding what to do with his identity. His identities.

Like the description says, the MC's main goal is to survive, so he will do many things to acquire great political power in order to survive on his own terms... It's one of the rare reincarnation/transmigration novels that actually talk about the different moral values between a modern earth person and a society that resembles ancient China. Especially since...


He discovers that his deceased mother was also a person from modern Earth like him. And since that's secret that only he knows and understands, it will affect a lot of his actions, without others being aware of the motivations. (The MC is cunning enough to use their lack of knowledge and their wrong expectations to camouflage his true thoughts).

It's an extremely interesting idea that we see the aftermath of a character that could have been an MC. Fan Xian's mother COULD have been the perfect strong female time-travelling/transmigration MC that is so typical of online Chinese romance novels... In fact, she does everything that MC in those novels do. And yet she's isn't the MC of the story. We are left with only afterimages of a world travelling shoujo romance gone wrong. We only see the subtle yet powerful influences in a world in which she no longer exist; how she influences a world and its characters --- and how she impacts the life of our MC.


I'm saying this because the whole transmigration will actually play a big part in the plot, as well as the MC's character development.

I just have to say, our MC Fan Xian is a very interesting character. He's not the cookie cutter hot blooded vengeful prodigy, nor is he a Gary Stu in the making. He has his own way of acting that makes him very human and still very logical. He doesn't treat women like trash. (This is despite the polygamy and the small "harem". His women are able to exist and thrive on their own ideals rather than serve as his attendants, and their attraction to the MC will not stop them from going against the MC if they need to. Their value is not based on their appearance, but on their individual strength, intelligence, etc.) He is able to play with his wits and pull onto his connections when needed. He is able to act as it benefits him.


He even acknowledges that he is two-faced and and his whole life is an act: from the moment he was born he has to put on a show. He had to play the part of the baby, of the boy growing up, the young man that went into the city, of the young noble climbing up the ranks, of the illegitimate child...

Because no one knows about the fact that he was born twice, that he had a previous life, no one is able to understand his motivation and his life values.

Fan Xian is extremely well aware of that, and thus he knows he must plays his part in order to protect himself and survive. (I won't explain these in details, please check out the novel~)


Mao Ni's novels just has that very weird charm to it. Yes, it's slow, it might be hard to wait for chapter-by-chapter updates, but then when you in one go you feel so deeply charmed by the atmosphere it gives.

Once again, it's not a cultivation novel, not a "level-up" novel. So don't rate it less stars simply because it lacks cultivation and fighting the same way you wouldn't rate a really good slice-of-life romance movie 1/10 simply because you were expecting to watch a horror movie but walked into the wrong room at the movie theater. <<less
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jsant rated it
February 10, 2018
Status: --
Had a nice start, gets boring later. MC is pretty bland. He''s also bordeline cuck

He let's a girl he likes become a concubine to one of his enemies and makes jokes after watching her get fondled by the enemy WTF


In the beginning the MC seemed to have some promise however he gets a lot of stuff/power on a silver platter.

Cliche romance. Cuck MC. Lack of tension. Subpar story. Boring MC.

Joy of Life? More like "Bore of Life"
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mikaelhg rated it
October 10, 2017
Status: c81
Starts as a promising reincarnation xianxia story with more character depth than is typical.

After c70 or so, it turns into a cheap misunderstanding romcom Romeo and Juliet clone, like the classical story was reimagined by a mentally retarded teenage virgin.

Filler chapter after filler chapter. Oh, traveling between two houses, with no significant events or interactions? Let's spend a chapter on that.
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ieatp-ssy rated it
March 6, 2018
Status: c205
There's generally two ways to write a novel:

  1. IMPROV: this is the usual way of writing a CN webnovel, where the author starts out with a premise, and then the story would go all over the place, and where the author's inspiration for new plotlines end, s/he would let other factors dictate where the story goes. Factors like reader-feedback, plagiarised content from other novels or simply filler contents.
  2. OUTLINED: this is the conventional way of writing a (print) novel. The author considers an outline for the entire novel, and then only had to do some fleshing-out, as the actual chapters get written.
Usually, within a few chapters, one could infer which of these methods was being employed during the writing of a novel. Typically, with a CN webnovel, a reader would notice pattern... more>> no. 1 showing, but very rarely, a delightful novel comes along where the pattern no. 2 emerges.

As of chapter 205, I can't tell you which method was used to write this novel.

This is certainly a 'different' kind of novel. This is a novel featuring a boy/man as protagonist, but the story itself was written more like a shoujo novel, rather than a typical shounen novel. The arcs so far focused on scheming, plotting, backstabbing, etc., which are usually associated with a shoujo novel. There are snippets here and there with action, but they usually pass very quickly, and then back we are to the scheming, et al.

In short, this should be classified more as a 'drama' rather than what most people would expect it to be.

Sometimes the story feels like it's going somewhere, and other times it meanders all over the place, and cleverly written arcs interweave with utter drivel. Chapter 140-ish brings an unexpected surprise, since now there's an element of a 'secret' within the story, and in doing so, attempts to wrap everything up into an over-arc, though I'm not sure the story is doing that successfully.

Is it worth reading? If you're expecting drama, and don't mind the occasionally slow-moving plotlines, yes. If you read the re-incarnation beginning of this story and expect a bloody, mindless killfest, then no.

So far, this could either be a brilliant novel with an unnecessarily long first act needing desperately an editor to cut the drivel down, or it could simply be a novel that tries to be clever but failing miserably. I do sense the palpable attempt to make the novel 'clever, ' though missing the mark -- by quite a bit -- most of the time.

I'll try to write a better review when I read more. Hopefully by chapter 500 or so there's a clear indication of where this is going. Else, this would be like getting a bad massage at a legitimate parlour -- the massage is bad, and you know there's no happy ending coming. <<less
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Sdadragons rated it
February 12, 2018
Status: c158
So I read it up to here and if I’m being completely honest, I regret it. Started out slow and if you think it speeds up, it doesn’t. It’s at a constant pace all throughout and although there are time skips it’s still slow af. Main character is kinda boring, nothing about him stands out to me and nothing I’m particularly fond about but nothing I hate in particular and although I do love a mysterious background, I hate when it is hinted throughout a hundred or so chapters and... more>> I hate when it’s flaunted in my face just raising my frustrations, keeping in mind I’m already frustrated from the slow pace of the story. I’ve continued to read only due to the commitment and my curiosity but it’s become bland with certain enemies that seemed like a tough one for the MC to overcome just being solved with one simple move, two in particular so far that I’ve read. I read a review below and it said something about something the MC did with a girl he liked, I hate when the MC doesn’t get the best girls in the novel so when he doesn’t I usually drop, which is what I’m doing now and I just wanted people to here my thoughts before going into this, he cultivates only to fight 2-4 times throughout the novel and he has so many trumps but doesn’t seem to want to use them, he’s afraid of the emperor and sweats when he meets him but he could easily kill the emperor so idk why he is. His mum leaves him a trump he could use to rule the world and he’s afraid of a little prince smh <<less
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kagi rated it
October 4, 2017
Status: c35
I enjoy the story enough to keep reading, but wonder at some of the writing.

The MC is a 'wino' at 5 years old!

While still a child, he writes pornography stories and sends them to his younger sister. She's a noble living in the Capital, and she does have enemies, who could possibly use the porn to make trouble for her, and hurt her reputation. I shouldn't expect good judgement from an alcoholic pervert. :-) He wants to have many children, to spread the human genes from Earth. Author, does this... more>> make sense? On Earth, the MC died, and as a spiritual being went to a different world and reincarnated into a young body on the new world. So how is it possible to bring human-body genes from Earth? <<less
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WinByDying rated it
December 20, 2018
Status: c536
First a rant. Real review under the equality signs below.

Joy of Life is "slow". For a webnovel, not compared to books in general. It meanders just like a river flowing along the mountainside, like this unnecessarily long sentence. It may be a webnovel, but the inconsistent pacing is unlike one. And it's better for it. This is a novel about someone's life so it's only natural.

You think meandering is a bad thing? It is, but only for impatient readers. Look at The Name of the Wind. One of the best... more>> fantasy books out there, it's slow early on meanders like no tomorrow. Its reviews on Goodreads are generally divided into two categories: those loving the series, and those who didn't even get past half and disliked it. And it's widely regarded as well written, despite what the second category may say. Great prose.

There's a difference between "filler" and good writing. If you want to read a well-regarded fantasy book to experience what some here want to call filler, try Tigana. A travesty, that's what some of the reviews here are.

To a certain reviewer: Fan Xian is no "borderline cuck". If he really loves someone, he won't see them marry someone else, as he later in the novel shows with another female character. By the way, that reviewer should've read on. Because the situation is actually completely different from what he thinks. He'd have known, if only he read attentively, picked up on what's implied repeatedly. See, this is what I mean with impatience, readers not recognizing good writing. They don't pick up on the layering, their loss. And then they have the audacity to write a review...

Another reviewer used the word "xianxia" and compared it in some way to that infamous genre. Can't take someone like that serious, because that's not what this novel is at all and he would've know if he either read on or looked at the genres and tags.

On to the real review.


This novel has characterization in spades. You know a novel is well written if you feel excited about reading dialogue. Probably the only harem that I ever liked for the romance. Why? The characters feel alive. The villains have feelings and ambitions too. Characters can be hypocritical, but realistically so, like actual human beings.

It's more of a political drama rather than a cultivation novel or a romance novel. This part isn't pronounced at the start, but it only gets better the further in the novel you get. Right now, the translation is arriving at a plot climax! A culmination of built-up world, story and characterization, and I can't wait to see it all go BOOM. Such a satisfying, glorious feeling, the best reading sensation there is. Suck it, impatient readers.

The reincarnation gets a pass. It's not glaring despite its unrealistic aspects, because he doesn't constantly use "knowledge" from before his reincarnation or anything. The few elements related to reincarnation are all sort of limited. No, it's about something way more interesting: cultural differences between modern societies and ancient ones, as Fan Xian experiences first-hand. Luckily he's a man, but he does for example influence his sister and eventually supports her, gives her the power to be a modern woman in an ancient society. That's just one example, it pops up now and then, and plays a big role in one of Fan Xian's ambitions.

Joy of Life has three flaws in my eyes. First and foremost, it's a translation and that's criminal on its own. As with any Mao Ni novel, it is probably better in Chinese. Man, I wish I could read Mandarin. Second, it meanders a tad little too much. It could've been shortened by a little bit without endangering setup and characterization. This is about the start of the story though, no complaints about the middle and probably end. Third, the main character. Fan Xian is well characterized, isn't an emotionless robot, and is awesome to read about. But there's still a little bit of a sterile feeling, he doesn't often show extreme emotion. As with any of Mao Ni's characters. He's better than Ning Que in Nightfall though. <<less
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shirotan rated it
April 28, 2017
Status: v2c6
It's slow but I enjoy it a lot as I feel the author is building out the character development and the situation that the ML is in.

The ML has to adapt to his current situation. He may be older than his body but he has to adapt to his role or otherwise he arouses suspicion.

I look forward to reading the rest of the story.
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JetonS rated it
December 15, 2016
Status: --
As someone who have read at lot of western fantasy books, this story setting is quite similar to "Royal Assassin" from Robbin Hobb. This is the story of an illegitimate son who will temper himself through training and will learn poison from a certain master. Of course, since it's a Light Novel, it adds all this "reincarnation" stuff along with a lighter writing style. Some will say it's too slow, but I don't feel this way. In fact, the descriptive scenes are more or less overlooked, and the world building... more>> is told through the MC's POV. Just give it a try, it's neither boring nor too cliché. Personnally, I spent quite a good time reading this stuff <<less
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Fulminata rated it
July 18, 2019
Status: Completed
What a satisfying read.

This is, hands-down, one of the best.

600+ chapters without a drop in quality? Check.

Excellent translation? Check.

Convoluted court politics with no clear distinction between 'good' and 'evil', and a deliciously selfish yet likable, morally grey MC? Check.

Surprisingly varied and 3d-ish side characters with backstories and importance? Check.

heart-pounding, shriek-inducing political drama? Check.

Mao Ni destroyed me.
I love it.
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ipapotihus rated it
February 8, 2018
Status: c100
half-way to the translated chapter and wow. The story go as a slow pace, and not.... Various time skip. No normal clicher. At least not that feel like one to me.

I'm happy to have found it. Now I'm gonna read it to the end!
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AonDuine rated it
January 9, 2018
Status: c125
Honestly, I think the story telling is excellent. The characters all have depth and the romance is sweet whilst the politics and mysteries are both well thought out intriguing. However, it severely lacks the action that I expect from the genre. Personally, while it was well written and translated, I felt as though the story progressively lost momentum due to the absence of much action worth mentioning. My four star rating is born out of the respect I have for the story; the detraction of a star is simply as... more>> it didn't fit my tastes and expectations.

If you are looking for an excellent story, then I suggest it. However, if you are looking for a Xianxia and everything that tends to go with it, you may wish to pass on this one. <<less
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izznis rated it
November 28, 2017
Status: c116
Well... lets just say that this isn't your average reincarnated ML type of novel.. if you're just looking for a light read, then this isn't te right novel for you.

In this novel, EVERY chapter is important.. the MC grows along with the time. There are some time skips, but so far only during his childhood. He's not overly OP - sure he got one of the most powerful cultivation manuals but he still needs to do helluva hard work to reach his goals. So, yes his growth is slow but... more>> steady. But he got some powerful people behind him and his luck is high, hence he'll survive -, -

I love his character too. Not the type to irrationally kill everyone and destroys everything. Calm, looks gentle and wicked aka. Black-bellied. Knows how to act depends on situation. An actual smart thinker. Plus with a bit of cheekiness and understandable greed.

Plots are quite complicated... but none are left behind. The mysteries intensifies as the chapters grew. Skip one chapter and you'll be lost.

So.. yeah. Definitely not for light reading. But I recommend this for those who are tired of typical xianxia novels with overly OP MLs and their similarly stereotypical harems. <<less
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ptbptb rated it
September 29, 2017
Status: c70
This is the first novel on this site I've given a five star rating to!

Although there is a little of the standard 'reincarnator with strong skillz' theme, this story is really well written and suprisingly deep. Often in these types of stories the MC's original life is either swiftly forgotten, or they keep whining about how they wants to go back. In this one it is treated well and you really get to see how his past life shapes his current one.
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zaim9999 rated it
October 16, 2018
Status: c452
Yeah sure, it's slow. Yeah sure, there's no epic incident every time the MC steps out of his house. But I thinks that's exactly what makes this novel so realistic. Then there's the character development which is just so relatable... or at least understandable. The interactions are so natural that you can easily imagine it happening.

One thing I'm really sensitive to, is bullsh*t from authors. This usually comes in the form constant deus ex Machina, consistent inconsistencies and half baked one line explanations for people's motives. So far I'm still... more>> really into it.

Even at chapter 452, I'm still not sure who is definitely evil (maybe cause no one is?) At times I got so confused and frustrated that I wish the MC would just kill them all and be done with it..... <<less
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Vanshearphin rated it
September 28, 2018
Status: c422
This novel is so good. A litle slow place, but overall is good.

This is not Face-slapping novel, or another IMBA MC, or madman or rapist MC. This stuff morelike a drama.

The character is solid, the background is very good. AND its not some illogical non sense bullsh*t xianxia/wuxia whre you can slay a god.
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Rack33rat rated it
October 11, 2017
Status: c81
This is my first review, so first sorry for my bad anglish (I am really bad at it).

It's a bit slow at the start but I really enjoy the first couple of chapter, so I thought I finally found the perfect xianxia but no, it become (Filler after filler) like your typical CN novel with filler in every chapter to increase the life of the novel but meh, I will continue to read it to see what happen next.
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Llamia rated it
April 5, 2016
Status: --
It is a bit slow, but it only slightly. All the time spent on the Volume 1 seems only slightly overdrawn. I like the MC. He acts his age and people respond appropriately to his "too mature for his age" disposition.
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RabiezMonkey rated it
June 13, 2019
Status: c145

this is beyond excellent. most readers will say that this is very boring to read. but again, people taste can't be always the same...

i found this LN very deep. brilliantly written. common LN written in easy to understand style. but this one, is so deep that I have to carefully read every sentence to feel the character's mood. very tiring, but also very satisfying. too bad, I loathe the romance part here. TT__TT blame my dull without spring life here in reality.

... more>> girls need romance...!!! give us pink bubbles, hic hic...

nope. there's no pink bubbles... this work literally shattered my beautiful dream.

yet, I really enjoy the other parts here... action, slice of life, palace intrigue, and etc. again shall I say, very satisfying reading material.

such a long way for our translator to finish this one. but indeed worth the effort.

full stars for this awesome (...) <<less
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4ratu rated it
September 2, 2017
Status: c26
First I just read because bored. N I think this is nice story about reincarnation. The plot, character, and point view from the author nicely write. Not hard to understand.

And now I'm always wait for the new chapter ^^
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