Liu Yao: The Revitalization of Fuyao Sect


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A cultivation story about how a declining sect is restored by a narcissist, troublemaker, meanie, idiot, and wimpy kid.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Coins of Destiny
Lục hào
Льов Яо: Відродження спілки Фуяо
Лю Яо: Возрождение клана Фуяо
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Recommendation Lists
  1. danmei novel i finished reading part 1
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05/22/21 Chichi c109
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05/20/21 Chichi c107
05/18/21 Chichi c106
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Attica rated it
September 21, 2018
Status: Completed
First and foremost, Liu Yao is a heartwarming story of found family and blossoming romance. Despite everything I'm going to say below, it has a genuinely happy ending.

But beneath that surface layer, Liu Yao is also a wonderful deconstruction/exploration of the usual themes and messages in the extremely popular cultivation/Xianxia genre.

What does it mean to pursue immortality? Why does one walk down the path of a cultivator? What makes a "good" cultivator? What makes a "good" person?

What happens when we--we utterly foolish, puny, insignificant humans--attempt to defy the will of... more>> the heavens? What happens when you attempt to push the limits of what should be possible?

What does it mean to be only human, yet yearn to become something beyond humanity?

Liu Yao forces us to ask ourselves these ephemeral yet timeless questions. Its characters represent humanity's possible answers to these questions.

Some of these answers have better intentions than others, some have better outcomes than others. An answer can be foolish from one perspective, wise from another. Each person who has ever existed will answer them differently. But there is one common thread--in the end, what could be more human than trying to transcend one's own powerlessness?

1) Plot

At its most basic level, Liu Yao is about a ragtag group of kids who are brought together by their seemingly silly master to join the run-down and ramshackle Fu Yao sect. These disciples share a hilarious childhood filled with trouble-making and mutual complaining/teasing. However, good things can never last. A horrible disaster strikes, and this group of disciples ends up separated and away from home for many many years. As they struggle to return home and rebuild that family, the disciples begin to uncover long-buried secrets of the past: conspiracies, magical corruption, evil plots, and... the dark history of their very own Fu Yao sect.

I will say first and foremost that the pacing of Liu Yao is perfect. The author does a superb job building up the sweetness of a familial daily routine, the dread of incoming calamity, the tearjerking grief of having to bid a permanent farewell, the shock and horror of a plot twist... Each arc is the perfect length and tone.

And yes, despite lots of adorable humor and the relief from relationship development... the overall tone is somewhat dark. If you couldn't tell from my opening monologue, Liu Yao is not what I'd call a super optimistic story haha. While the main five disciples earn a happy ending for themselves, the story is always on the bittersweet side. Liu Yao's most prominent themes are the inevitability of death, the futility of trying to avert one's fate, and the impossibility of returning to one's nostalgic happy past. All in all, how being human sucks.

Hey, at least it's realistic! :P... :/... : (

Still, if there's one thing this novel argues, it's that while we appear to be stuck in despair and grief and hopelessness, we can always do our best within those circumstances. We may never be able to go back to our loving past, but we can try to make our future full of love. Things aren't truly as dire as they seem--we always have a thread of hope. Where the previous generations made mistakes and failed, the bonds of friendship and love between the current disciples give them the strength to successfully earn their happy ending.

2) Characters

Priest does an excellent job writing multidimensional characters who behave in startlingly realistic fashions for their fantastical circumstances. Each of the main five disciples has their own cute quirks, badass moments, and crippling weaknesses.

Our main character is Cheng Qian, the most hard-working and serious disciple of the five, who often plays the straight man to the rest of the group. His wonderful sarcastic tongue makes all his interactions with the sillier characters absolutely hilarious, and I admire his sheer willpower at trying to take all the burdens of the other disciples onto himself. He also has really well-written "obliviousness"--he acknowledges he's not the smartest person in the room, and it makes sense for him to always tackle serious business first. At the same time, Priest deftly explores how these unique characteristics can be turned against him, and how he eventually grows to achieve balance and reclaim his warm dynamic with the other disciples.

The main love interest is Yan Zhengming, who is an absolute joy of a character. He starts off as a complete and utter spoiled narcissist rich kid, pretty much a laugh-out-loud caricature of a lazy dandy. But as the Fu Yao disciples undergo more trials and tribulations, his true core emerges: a real leader who is determined to watch over his younger disciples, who is willing to take on any hardship for the sake of the Fu Yao sect. I also love how he is actually self-aware: he develops an inferiority complex over not being worthy of inheriting the Fu Yao sect and not deserving Cheng Qian's love, which he grows to overcome.

Of course, great character development isn't limited to those two alone. Literally every single character in this novel goes through a complete arc that makes perfect sense for their personality and role in the story!! There are way too many for me to count!


... Unfortunately, for almost every single side character, that complete character arc ends in their tragic death~ Again, "bittersweet".


The villains are also handled with immense skill, whether it's the plot twists they're involved in or their actual character. While some were straight-up more evil than others, their initial motivations and how they became the way they are today all made perfect sense. Every villain character advances the themes of the story, which is exactly what all great villains should do!!

3) Overall Thoughts:

Liu Yao is an extremely captivating novel--to be specific, it is the best Danmei that I will only read once.

Everyone in this book suffers--but to be fair, life is literally us suffering in confused futility. Liu Yao just has a more realistic take on the Xianxia genre through this lens of suffering. (Even now, my heart aches at the very thought of the fate of the story's side couple.)

However, at its core, Liu Yao isn't truly a story of suffering. It's a story of love.

Love in all its beauty and ugliness. Love as it drives us to attempt the impossible. To climb the eternal stairway to the heavens, to push our limits to protect our children, to sacrifice everything to resurrect the love of our life.

Because even if we end up falling and screwing up... we can look back and say: "I don't regret a single thing." <<less
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yuukine rated it
April 11, 2020
Status: c80
Rating 5/5

I haven't expected to love a Priest book as much as I love this one. Not because of the main couple romance! But for the fact that this is one of the rare books where found family makes a difference.

A bunch of misfits, that are adopted by a sect master trying to revive his sect, learn how to live together and take care of each other through turbulent world and devastating events that bring them closer and separate them with blink of an eye.

A story of 5 disciples who... more>> after all, take on the legacy and strive to make a difference. To make the world see that they are not a sect to be underestimated and trampled, but rather that their bond is so strong that they will never ever abandon any one of them.

And while they journey through years, they discover everything their sect was involved with. Including births of powerful demonic cultivators.

Sect is made of following members:

Sect master - Muchun Zhenren - is an old man whose best interest in heart is to give these children a home and place to be safe in, as well as pass on the legacy.

First disciple - Yan ZhengMing - is narcissistic, rich teenager who is there after an extreme frightful situation situation he found himself in and therefore owes Muchun Zhenren a debt for saving him. He's very self centered, arrogant and extremely lazy person who loves to tease. (He gets better).

Second disciple - Li Yun - is a person who loves experimenting more than anything, especially turning wild animals and even subjects of interest into frogs or other things. He's caring but he has low self esteem that he hides well.

Third disciple - Cheng Qian - is a child who was bought by Muchun Zhenren from his parents, as they needed money and couldn't support him along with his siblings. This, as well as many things, made him distant, but in truth he's very caring and selfless person who would protect everyone he loves.

Fourth disciple - Han Yuan is a beggar and orphan who was picked up by Muchun at the same time as CQ, so together they made their way to home. He's lively, he's full of energy, and he's the one making most problems, whether he wants it or not. He has low self esteem as well, but hides it under a lot of smiles and mischief.

Fifth disciple - Han Tan or Puddle - is a half heavenly monster, half human, and at the start of the story, she's just a newborn baby and sister they all have to take care of! She never lost her adorable and gentle nature, and is also mischiefull like her senior brother Han Yuan.

And finally, this story takes place over so many years, you read them going through so much and so many things.

And finally, the romance is slow burn and very satisfying.


Characters: 5 - considering there are FIVE main characters, all of them are extremely well developed.

Side characters: 4 - okayish, depends on who they are and what the situation they are in. But you get a lot already just with 5 main characters.

Story: 5 - logical, easy to follow. Wonderful

emotional impact: 5 - At end of book 2 you will cry a river

humor: 4.5 - wonderful <<less
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Nemone rated it
February 23, 2018
Status: v1c18
I wasn't expecting much from this at first but it's actually off to quite a good start. I really didn't know what to expect at first and the narrator (MC) also seems to not quite understand everything that's going on around him. That doesn't take away from the story at all though. When he meets his fellow apprentices, I have to say, the story just gets better and better. They all have very "unique" personalities.

Each of the apprentices, including the MC, has distinct flaws and these flaws lead them... more>> into conflicts with each other but not something like an undying hatred. It feels like real siblings to some extent, like if you had a brother who played with frogs or slugs but you yourself were a clean freak you'd find it absolutely intolerable, or if you had a brother that refuses to bathe for weeks you might feel disdain and tell him that he's a dirty scrub. Reading about these guys and their antics so far is just really enjoyable.

I can't tell how the story will go in the future but it's worth giving it a try at the beginning. I like the way cultivation is introduced in this story with the MC having some doubts about his master's legitimacy, wondering if he's just a con artist that's going to teach him how to fool people. It seems very realistic considering common people might not have any contact with real cultivation. The MC is the diligent type but he's not a genius and reading from his point of view it feels like he acts his age rather than acting like an adult in a child's body. <<less
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December 27, 2019
Status: c49

If there are any readers out there (like me) who couldn't bear the massive cliffhanger that was chapter 48, aka the end of season 1, I tried my hand at translating chapter 49 for anyone who may see this (I left some things in parentheses cause I really didn't know how to translate them or for clarification). Seems like some mystery is shining through... *wink* and yes, this is the same novel. And if you're just looking for something to read, I highly recommend Fu Yao. It has wonderful themes,... more>> think that one inspirational quote that's like friends are the family you choose. And at times season 1 just feels like one huge existential crisis, as Cheng Qian reaches some pretty powerful truths about humanity. Though there are some things I disagree with him on, I believe that you don't have to always agree with others to understand where they're coming from. Everyone's point of view is bound to differ along with their identity, but that doesn't prevent me from sitting back to watch the main character's growth, and progress throughout his journey of gradually making sense of his reality.


As wind and rains sweep across a gloomy sky, a small path winds through the midst of a dense thicket of waving trees, unable to see the end of at first glance.

This place has long been left untouched by the presence of humans, made all the more uncrossable by thick mires of mud caused by flooding from the violent rains.

A youth supports an elderly man, making slow progress. The clothes made from pine (raws 蓑衣) on their bodies can only be said as to be better than nothing, and after walking for a good part of the night, they were utterly drenched. The old man probably had some problems with his legs and feet. When he got cold, he often stopped and rubbed his sore knees.

He squinted his muddled old eyes, trying his best to peer into the distance, and couldn't help but release a sigh.

From the side, the youth grumbles, "What tr*sh deity (immortal being), always eating our offerings, yet if we want to even meet them once, we have to suffer through countless trials, what's the use of our fellow villagers saving money from their everyday necessities?"

The old man was startled, and he hurriedly said, "Don't dare to talk nonsense!"

The youth's eyes went round, resembling a little tiger, and he brusquely blurted, "Unless what I said was wrong? They protect us, but only in name only, have they ever blessed us with good weather? Even in the event of a severe drought and flood, they still expect us to pay the same tribute in offerings."

In the year when Anping Wang (some title dunno) led an armed rebellion, all three counties and fifteen cities suffered great disasters, thieves ran rampant everywhere, and the common people were forced to flee and wander about, did they ever show up? Well, even if these are human affairs, the immortals don't care. Then what about when malevolent ghosts terrorized the village, devouring people and spreading fear, they still pretend to know nothing about it, and they want us to hurry and ask?"

The old man's legs were so painful that he couldn't straighten his waist, as he reprimanded, "The immortals above do not care for the affairs of the world, if we have any requests, we would naturally come to report them ourselves, what words are you spouting!"

The youth replied, full of anger, "Exactly, this is the only road to bright valley and is filled with hardships and obstacles, and those without a sincere heart cannot reach it! When they send people to receive the offerings, why don't they reciprocate by also coming down step by step, it would be more sincere... "

"六郎 (Liu Lang; sixth son), shut your mouth!" the old man forcefully emphasizes, jabbing his cane into the ground, "If you continue to run your mouth like this, you can go back where you came from (he says "滚" which is like roll but in this context it's like "scram") ! Don't drag our fellow villagers from the fifteen cities down in front of the heavenly immortals."

When the boy saw that he really was angry, his face turned dark, and he didn't dare to speak. Only when his grandpa had turned away, did he smirk in disdain, and mutter, "aren't the immortal beings great?" (T/N: sarcasm)

Just then, an extremely violent thunderbolt suddenly fell from the sky. It had struck down almost a hair's breadth from him. The youth was taken by surprise, and his face turned white with fright on the spot. He immediately put aside his intolerance (text uses 小心眼) from the moment before and waited for the ear splitting roar to fade, and hurriedly asked, "Grandpa, why is this thunder being so unreasonable (he uses 邪门) today ?"

Before the old man had time to answer, thunder and lightning had hailed down from above one after the other like rain, lighting up the entire night sky into a shocking paleness. The old man was shocked, and scrambled to pull the youth to prostrate on the earth, kneeling under the might of heaven as he prayed and muttered incantations, not even daring to move an inch. All the birds and beasts in the forest were so scared that they didn't dare to show their heads, and even the trees and plants trembled along with them.

After who knows how long, did the sound thunder gradually subside, but there was still a lingering charge and rumble in the ground.

After the youth ascertained that he did not hear a peep, his heart was left full of shock, he didn't dare to speak out rashly again.

It was only when the thick clouds dispersed slightly, the first time they had done so since the storm had started, and dim and sparse trickles of moonlight streaked down from the sky, did the youth gingerly help the elder up with trepidation, and they continued on their way.

The youth, Liu Lang asked: "Grandpa, just then there were probably around a few dozens of strikes of thunder, then... this... this valley won't be blasted flat (炸平), right?"

"Talk less, " the old man chastised him in a low voice, legs sinking deep and shallow (? Phrase used is 深一脚浅一脚) trekking forward on the narrow path heaped with turbid muddy water, deliberately lowering his voice to say, "I fear that there is an immortal crossing over/undergoing a tribulation (word used is 渡劫)."


"The path of cultivating to become an immortal is not an easy one. They must undergo thousands of calamities. I've heard that among all these tribulations, the heavenly calamities are the most dangerous, countless immortals have perished (text uses 陨落) due to this very trial, but those that endure it will see their cultivation increase in leaps and bounds, and become even closer to becoming true immortals." Speaking to this point, his face showed a trace of doubt, "I once heard my grandfather claim he had seen an immortal undergoing a tribulation himself, but at the time, it was only around nine strikes of divine lightning, however, why was this one so much worse... could it be that the immortal undergoing this tribulation is a great power similar to the owner of this valley (words used was 谷主) ?"

In the time it took for their conversation to conclude, the narrow twisting path suddenly took a turn, and the space ahead of them swiftly broadened, revealing the entirety of bright valley (明明谷) stretching before them.

The valley is clear and distant, rain-washed mountain flowers are blooming all over the wilderness, and the soft moonlight peeking through adorns the scene like silky smoke, appearing like the land of the immortals on earth.

The youth excitedly shouted, "Grandpa, look, we're he-"

Before the rest of the sentence could leave his mouth, he was shocked into stillness.

At the sight of large patch of flat ground next to the bright slope of flowers, in the four directions, a circle of charms ordinary people could not decipher were carved there, at this time, that large plot of flat land had already been scorched by the lightning into a burnt black, that charm circle sat in stark contrast to its surroundings- the outside is filled with hundreds of flowers blooming fragrantly, yet the in the inside not a blade of grass dared to grow (phrase used was 寸草不生).

Yet on the scorched earth, a person stood upright.

That person's long robe had become rags, and the entire sleeve was scorched into slag. From the back, the person was of a tall stature and appeared to be a man.

Even though they were separated by roughly a hundred zhang (each 丈 is around 10 feet), that man seemed to hear what Liu Lang had uttered, and shifted his head to glance at the grandfather and son pair (T/N: why doesn't English have a phrase such as "爷孙"? To clear possible confusions, this alludes to the grandfather and grandson), although this person was currently in torn rags, his appearance was clear and handsome, out of the ordinary, like a pale jade under the moon. Only, his eyes seemed to hold years upon years of hoarfrost. When Liu Lang's gaze connected with his, he inadvertently felt a chill so cold it ran down to his very bones, frozen to the spot.

In the next moment, Liu Lang felt himself being tugged to the ground by his grandfather, the two kneeling on the ground (T/N: oof they're doing an awful amount of kneeling aren't they?) and the old man started repeatedly kowtowing towards the figure, speaking, "paying respects to immortal, this humble one is from the fifteen cities outside the valley, coming here to beg something of respected immortal, and didn't intend to disturb, asking for respected immortal to not take offense."

The man froze, and then waved his hands in a casual manner. Liu Lang felt that a portion of that coldness, as if originating from the late autumn, was gradually seeping through his body and dispersing. It was cold, but not necessarily enough to freeze, then, immediately following, his entire body went light, and together with his grandpa, was tugged along by that coolness.

The immortal spoke with unexpected courtesy. Not only did he not make things difficult for them, but he also said quite politely, "It's alright, no need to do so- the matters outside the valley are not under my jurisdiction, wait for me to bring a person over."

With that, he raised a finger to shoot out a ray of bright light, that beam of light headed straight for the sky. A split second later, a small glowing light spot appeared in the distance. Only when it came within his sight, did Liu Lang realize that it was a Taoist child approaching on an imperial sword (T/N: royal sword?)

The Taoist child sheaved his sword as he landed, respectfully saluting the ragged man, "Elder Cheng, congratulations to elder for passing the heavenly calamity and cultivation rising to a higher level."

"It's nothing to be pleased with, was nearly burnt to a crisp, " the man replied lightly (lit. "not salty not light" 不咸不淡), then pointing back at the battered and exhausted pair behind him. "They're from the outside, probably for something, you can handle it."

After briefly explaining with these words, he then proceeded to nod in the direction of the pair, his figure flickered and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

This ability to fly to the heavens and evade the earth (raws 飞天遁地之) left Liu Lang staring in stunned shock, even until the Taoist child came up to invite them to enter the valley, his mind was still filled with images of the appearance of that man standing on the burnt earth, glancing nonchalantly back at them.

Liu Lang thought absent-mindedly, he didn't seem to be that much older than himself, yet is already the "elder" of this bright valley? He could not help but feel a little envious, but upon remembering the frosty eyes of the man, he quickly pushed that scrap of envy down, which soon gave birth to awe, and no longer dared to rashly criticize.

That Taoist child fished out a leaf from his possession, taking it by his lips, long and short notes disorderly stacked on top of each other, puffing out a segment of a small tune, only hearing the peals of an answering neigh resounding in the air. Then, a white horse pulling a carriage (word used here is 车, could be anything from car to a chariot) descended from the sky, snorting loudly with majesty, landing firmly and steadily on the ground.

That Taoist child said in an amiable manner, "If it weren't for you two, I might not have even been able to reach him, please [get on]."

The two mortals uneasily settled down into the flying horse's carriage, Liu Lang was young, bound to have loose lips, and said, "Immortal gege (T/N: Means elder brother, doesn't have to be related by blood, shame on you, shame on your cow if you didn't know that already) was that [one we just met] the elder of the valley?"

The old man was afraid that he would blab and speak wrongly, hurriedly pulled [on Liu Lang], and said, full of fear and trepidation, "immortal, please forgive, this child..."

"It's alright, sir (he uses 老丈), " The Taoist child hurries the flying horse along, and says, quite lively, "Our bright valley has an ice pond (or lake) in the center, extremely cold, and even I don't dare to go, I've heard that even the water suspending on the pond will freeze, but the spirit (sacred?) iced water in the pond still circulates ceaselessly. And no one knows when that person (referring to the "Cheng" elder probably) moved in there. A cave (dwelling) had opened up by the side of the pond, and the coldness of the entire pond was trapped in that cave. And by himself, he cultivated day after day in that extremely cold place.

You see, this valley is vibrant with life is all thanks to him for suppressing that ice lake. He doesn't usually show up, but we all secretly call him in private, Elder You Mo ('幽潭长老' lit. Secluded/serene pit/pond to give you all a sense)

Hearing this, Liu Lang was shocked into stillness, and couldn't help but ask, "How cold would that be? Wasn't he scared?"

The Taoist child laughs, "Those who cultivate ought to refine their spirit and endure, how else will they ascend to the Great Path ("大道"), if their will is not resolute?"

In the span of their conversation, the carriage had already risen as many times as it had fallen (phrase is "几起几落") arriving at the hinterland of the valley, landing unhurriedly.

Liu Lang got out of the carriage and was met with the sight of pavilions and kiosks, streams upon streams of clear water, untainted with any trace of humans, only a few cranes flying as they took off and landed. Entering in the midst of it all, Liu Lang only felt his whole body lighten, he looked down in shock, only to see that the muddy water that had stayed plastered on him in all nights and weathers had disappeared, leaving his whole body feeling warm and comfortable.

The Taoist child led them to a small pavilion, only when the Taoist child had poured the two a cup of hot tea amidst their fervored gratitudes did he proceed to ask them the reason behind their arrival.

The old man sighingly speaks, "This... ah, it's a long story, trivial matters of commoners, we originally didn't want to bother immortal lords, but only recently, we don't know what kind of evildoer arrived unknowingly from outside the valley. But as such is the misfortune in my hometown, it specifically selects babes to target, and in the short span of ten or so days, four or five boys have disappeared from the surrounding villages of Chengguo (really don't know how to translate this, original text: 周遭城郭村落), but in a few days, their corpses will be found in the wilderness, already pretty much eaten to the bone by scavengers and wild beasts. The matter was also reported to the officials. A few official coroners came, who proclaimed that those babes all had had their blood let dry before they breathed their last."

Upon hearing this, the Taoist child's playful countenance turned serious, "What? Drained of blood? What were the ages of these boys?"

The old man says in a low tone (The text literally says "作孽" here, which means to sin, but it's in quotation marks, so Idk), "They all had not yet reached the age of ten, when this happened, the most able bodied chaps banded together and spent several nights in the wilderness to keep watch, and then... and then that day, we all saw a flash of a white shadow, from the distance, it appeared to be a white chain (白练?) hanging in the wind, but in the blink of an eye, it had approached. At that time, no one had managed to react in time, but we heard a someone let out a blood curdling shriek, and in the next instant, someone's chest had pierced through with a gaping hole, in this time it took to blink an eye, that person's heart had been taken out by that thing. The government officials were also scared out of their wits, saying it was a malevolent ghost causing trouble, the government can't control it, and it is only then that this old one ("老朽") was sent to plead immortals to lend a hand."

The Taoist child listened and followed up by asking a few more detailed questions, and only then said, "I roughly have an idea now, senior has no need to worry about it, I will first take my younger disciple brothers to rest in the valley a night, allow me to report to the senior in the valley. Naturally I will give you a reply. "

That night, the old man and grandson Liu Lang settled down uneasily in bright valley. The wind in the valley was very clean and crisp, and there was a faint floral scent everywhere. It was a great place, but Liu Lang couldn't sleep no matter what, his mind was turning back and forth, thinking about the young elder who had experienced the thunderstorms, and spent a good portion of the night in this muddle stupor. In the latter half of the night, he suddenly heard someone talking outside, separated by a long distance, Liu Lang only listened vaguely and intermittently.

But could only catch a male voice saying, "yes, I've already heard about it on the way, however, it's not necessarily a tricky role to cause trouble in a mortal village... Well, why not ask Cheng Qian to go check it out along with them."

Another older male voice said, "Either way, his seven days of calamity have already ended, now that it could be considered that he has already passed the calamity, he originally should have left anyway."

Liu Lang already couldn't sleep at all. But after hearing this speech, for some reason, he suddenly felt a bout of sleepiness, in the blink of an eye, he lost consciousness, and soon couldn't hear anything.

Two people, one in front, one trailing behind walked past his window, headed towards the ice pond in the middle of the valley. The first old man sported white hair; a ruddy complexion, hale and hearty ("鹤发童颜"), was fat like a ball, when he smiled, you could see the teeth but not the eyes, dressed in a set of rich, and almost aggressively so, satin robes. On his belt, among those hanging in a pack of loose bits and bobs were an embroidered pouch, jade pendant, and so on all arranged in a row, so rich it would make people cry (富贵逼人), appearing like one of those the landlords of common people- this was exactly the lord of bright valley, Nian Mingming.

Following behind Nian Mingming was a scholarly dressed middle-aged man, but looking closely, this middle aged man's appearance and features were immensely mild and gentle, and upon closer inspection, he was dimly revealed to be precisely that of the primordial spirit Tan Zhen (I think that's his name) that had escaped from the soul devouring lamp that year.

Tang Zhen did not know what method was used upon him, he had a flesh body again, but it seemed that the physical body was not very good, vaguely carrying an aura of death and a sickly look about it. He also did not know whether it was obtained through possession or some dishonest (lit. Side door) magic.

Tang Zhen held a white lantern in his hand, who knew what kind of magic weapon it was, there was no candlestick inside the lantern, but a luminous halo emanated from the inside the paper paste, he said, "Originally I thought these matters to be of my wildest dreams, virtually unheard of, even I didn't expect him to succeed. "

Nian Mingming laughingly says, "The premature death of his corporeal body was due to a human calamity, and at death's door, he suddenly had an awakening, allowing his soul to enter the spirit condensing jade, however it just so happened that the spirit condensing jade had an innate spirit, able to gather the essence of the mountains and rivers, originally its soul cannot be fooled and rashly entered, but this youngster still not even up in years, was able to maintain the three immortal souls and seven mortal forms without dispersing, consciousness not exterminated."

After suffering in that spirit condensing jade for 49 years (text uses 七七四十九年, lit. 7 7 49 years), without even a physical body to support him, he unexpectedly sharpened that jade into a primordial spirit compulsorily, and this counted as passing his earthly calamity. 49 years ago, you sent that spirit condensing jade containing his spirit to my bright valley, with the spirit condensing jade as a foundation, and even after 49 years of forging in the ice pool, he bore the extreme cold without a word, and even passed in Seven Heavenly Calamities in quick succession- ai, he couldn't have been over a mere hundred years, yet he has already experienced three calamities of the heavens and earth, this son [youngster] has a firm and unyielding will, this one (when he says this one, or I, he is using "老朽") has lived for so long, yet has never before encountered someone of the likes of him." (T/N: Phew that was hard, I'm having suspicions on who the spirit in the jade is...)

As he spoke, Nian Mingming patted his belly, expression complex, "If I was even half of him, I would probably be an old man with a waist by now."

Tang Zhen, "..... "

This elderly one of such rank with all his might, had long since started fasting to cope with a ravenous appetite (嘴馋), but consequentially this body of streaky pork lard (五花膘 lol) could be said to have a long history (源远流长, lit. source is distant and the flow is long) and then some (text uses "经年日久" another way to say long history).

Tang Zhen hesitated for a split second, then with a serious face, "I haven't yet thanked valley lord for lending the use of the ice pool."

Nian Mingming waved his hand and said, "What are you talking about, he suppressed the ice pool, it can be said that my group of unwieldly disciples had the good fortune to be protected from the cold. What's more, when it comes to these sorts of figures (人物), residing here in my insignificant bright valley hanging the title of "elder" on me, we don't even have the ability to accept (he actually says "我们沾光还来不及呢", 沾光 is like benefiting off the association of someone, lit. dabbling in light and he's saying even hosting someone like Cheng Qian is enough, not to mention, benefiting off the prestige of being called elder by him)

"This small brother has grace (恩) towards me, in those years, fellow cultivator Wen had come to find me, bearing this very jade, I knew no matter what it took, I had to find a way to help him anyway, " Tan Yan says, "it's just that although he happened to achieve the formation of a primordial spirit in the spirit condensing jade, there has been no precedent for forging the jade into flesh. I did not know if it was possible, I fear that because the process had been too prolonged, his heart might have formed lingering connections becoming excessively impetuous, causing him to drag out memories from the past. Now that he has passed the Seven Heavenly Calamities, and now that he has successfully refined a body in the spirit condensing jade, I should also return it to its rightful owner."

As they spoke, the two arrived at the ice pool, as soon as he got closer, Tan Zhen couldn't bear the cold, quickly forming a hand seal, the aura of death on him becoming even thicker.

Walking further along, they could only hear the sound of the rushing water, the owner of the place had just finished bathing, and was coming out of the pool whose waters were dripping into ice, right at that moment. Nian Mingming clearly intoned, "Young friend Cheng Qian, have we intruded upon your peace?"

This wasn't the first or even the second time the fat man (T/N: 胖子) had disturbed other people's peace, no one knows what kind of tradition the people of bright valley had, but from top to bottom there would be people gossiping to death, so Cheng Qian was already used to the ruckus (this was a weird sentence).

He was not uncomfortable in the slightest, a layer of white mist emerged from the ice pool, as he picked up a set of clothes by the pool, that had been frozen stiff, draping them across his body. In the time it took for him to walk two or three steps, that head of hair which had been glazed with ice was now completely dry, as the long robe also relaxed and draped down flowingly, this body which had cultivated through the vicissitudes of life had transformed into something sleek and tranquil (T/N: the text uses: 润物无声which literally translates to silent lubricant. I know what you're thinking, get your mind out of the gutter, it's from a poem)

Cheng Qian nodded in their direction, and spoke, "valley lord- Tang xiong (T/N: 兄, like saying bro) I was just going to find you, would you like come in a sit? It's just that my place is a little cold here."

It just so happened to be midsummer, however there was not a trace of arid air in the cave, at first glance when walking inside, it seemed to be an icy field of barren ice and snow, even the chairs on the ground were frozen in place, a layer of frost had collected on them. Chen Qing lightly snapped his fingers, and a ball of warm and rosy fire materialized at his fingertips, falling below one of the chairs, and instantaneously melted and dried the icy frost on it, but the chair was not damaged in the slightest.

Cheng Qian said, "Tang xiong's health is not well, find a warm place to sit."

As for valley lord Nian Mingming, he didn't care, that old fat man had thick skin anyway, could bear a freezing.

The water in the teapot sitting on the table had long been frozen into a pile of hard ice, Cheng Qian holds it in his hand, waving it in a circle a few times, only then did the big ice cubes, under his urging (words used are 真元催动) begin to melt, and in no time, they released threads of hot steam. He served the two each a cup of hot water.

Tang Zhen received it, warming his hands, and only then did he place that lantern in front of Cheng Qian, saying, "This object is thus returned to you, young friend, your path has been full of narrow escapes (九死一生, lit. Nine deaths one life) and will only become more difficult, so from here on out you must take extra care of yourself.

Cheng Qian was not surprised in the least, he apparently knew of how Tang Zhen had taken away his past memories, and nodded, and with a wave of his hand, that small group of lights within the lantern was tucked away into his sleeve, as he resolutely responded, "Regarding Tang xiong's favor of life and death (生死肉骨之恩), in the future, if you have any need of me, I, Cheng Qian will certainly risk life and limb to help."


Haha translating is fun *hasn't slept for two days* I did it guys, chapter 50 here you go, by the way, I know what you're thinking, how am I so amazing??? I know right, you're welcome and enjoy! I'm off to translate chapter 51...


Early in the morning, a commercial road in the south of the Yangtze River (江南) was fogged by the scorching heat, and a caravan on the way was intercepted by officials.

"Halt! What do you sell? Come down for an inspection."

The officials that had stopped them appeared all worn out, evidently, they had been staying on this road for a long time. But strangely enough, following behind this group of officials were two middle-aged men in taoist robes. The two did not mingle with other people, they only meditated far behind, sitting there, impervious to the affairs of the world.

The head of the caravan promptly dismounted his horse, bowing and scraping on the ground, "head official, we hale from north of the yangtze river to buy skins and furs to resell, our business is a proper one, please can you (respectful 您) do us a favor..."

With this, he skillfully takes out an embroidered pouch from his sleeve, intending to bribe his way through.

The face of that official flickered with a flash of greed, he was just about to reach out, but seeming to remember something, hesitated for a split second. He turned surreptitiously to glance at those two taoists who weren't far off. Gritting his teeth, he pushed that purse back, at the same time, raising his eyebrows, "What are you doing? You bunch of dishonest businessmen, not doing honest business under the light of day, where did you learn these methods of bribery, scram!"

After saying so, he reached out and directed with his hand, "Go search!"

The head of the caravan could only look on with a bitter face behind the official's back, "Ai, head official, slow down... it would be hard to sell if you tear it..."

A long line of carts trailed behind the caravan. And it was exactly as they had said, the officials could not search out anything but leather, and through it all, the head official's face became more and more stinky. He turned his gaze and pointed to the last ostentatiously huge carriage of the caravan, "What's inside that carriage?"

The head of the caravan responded, "replying to head official, that's the carriage of our young master..."

"Young master?" He sneered coldly, "What kind of young master rides in such a big carriage alone? Even when the grandsons of the dragon emperors (龙子皇孙 nobility?) go out, they wouldn't arrange such a big show of extravagance, get out of my way!"

The head of the caravan couldn't hold him back, a group of officials had already surrounded that ridiculously large carriage.

But only to see the head of the caravan pull out a wooden sword about the length of a palm from his person, making movements in all directions in a manner like the wind, mumbling words like some kind of great deity- after all, ordinary people are unlike cultivators, if one wanted to procure a spell themselves, they had to completely utter the runes (符咒) of the spell. Some spells are carved out, and as they are not intended for mortals, there won't be any runes left behind, thus could only be circulated among cultivators.

Only after a good period of time did he finally get a response from the runes on the sword, and onlookers only saw a green light flashing on the tip of the sword, headed straight for the carriage.

The head official immediately became excited and shouted, "Surely there is a contraband! Open the door!"

These so-called "forbidden goods" were magic charms sold on the private black market without permission.

This dynasty stipulated that all magic charms that the common people came into possession of must first be reviewed and stamped by the Tianyan Office. Otherwise, wouldn't it be a disaster if there were people harboring unfathomable intentions and bought charms for killing and arson?

Of course, the regulations are implemented for a reason, but because of this, when things entered the Tianyan Office, not only was there unspoken bribery running rampant, but things could drag on upward to a year, and even then, the result was that most were not allowed to pass. Only a few of them were able to leak out, but they were basically divided up almost exclusively by those noble officials and relatives of the imperial family and relatives, so a genuine artifact could be sold at a price equivalent to heaven.

For those that illicitly sell contraband, the court cannot control every little up and down (高来高去) from cultivators, but they could control the common people, and set a death penalty. If so much as one person dared to resell or buy these illicit goods or spiritual devices in private, then it would be considered the same as open rebellion, and they will be treated as such, with the death of the entire family until the third generation, and slaughtering of the descendants of anyone involved (so basically a severe penalty, words used were "满门抄斩" and "株连九族").

But even so, on the black market, there will never be an end to those that will take the risk to buy and sell spiritual devices, crazy people who throw away their lives in order to gain profit. Especially in recent years a figure has emerged by the name of, "Laoqian gongzi (fishing for money master) " he has a reputation of "no money no life" (lit. want money, don't want life) and is a mysterious and elusive (lit. Gods appear, and ghosts vanish) boss of the business of reselling contraband goods on the black market (tried my best T~T raws: "黑市禁品倒卖").

Some claim that this person has the background of an official, and is in collusion with officials and bandits, while others say that he's simply a cultivator.

In the recent years and years following, things have been tough. The rebels had brought quite a few black-market contrabands, making the job of the court officials very hard. Nowadays, their hatred of these desperate people who die for money has only increased, along with the stringency of the inspections. Pretty much on every road of commerce, there will be people intercepting from time to time, while dispatching a group of masters from the Tianyan Office to set traps (撒网) everywhere.

Upon the orders of the head official, the two Taoists behind him exchanged a glance, walked up- only to see that the carriage really was unreasonably (uses 邪门) big, taking up almost half of the official road. The head of the caravan could not obstruct them in time. The head official had already lifted up the edge of the curtain with a lift of his hand, and the person inside just so happened to glance up.

The person inside looked to be a young man roughly in his twenties, lazily leaning in the car, clothed luxuriously, holding a book in his hands, his pair of eyes peering out in a half-lidded gaze, looking like the fox fairy of legends (T/N: a type of demon known to be seductively attractive), the head official could only gape on dumbly.

This carriage was even more extravagant on the inside, the summer sun was at the height of its zenith, yet there was ice inside, cooling a sparkling and translucent, pure and limpid pot of plum wine.

When the attractive (T/N: the author likens him to a fox fairy again) young man noticed this head official, his brow immediately wrinkled into a frown, and abruptly used the book to cover his face, angrily shouting, "Where did this thing come from, kick it out, it's so ugly I could die!"

This line snapped the head official, still holding onto the curtain, back to his senses, as he struggled to gathering up his faltering confidence, "The, the audacity of you! You are carrying contraband, this is a matter of rebellion, still not promptly surrendering ('速速束手就擒") ?"

"Contraband?" the young man raised a brow, "You're talking about this?"

Only to see between his slender fingers was a peculiar ring. The ring face was carved to resemble the shape of a copper coin. Before the head official could clearly deduce the material of which it was made, a white shadow had suddenly emerged from the square hole in the center of the coin and became the bust of a teenager in the air. This kind of thing was unheard of, the head official was so shocked that his mouth was left hanging wide open...

The boy then raised his hand expressionlessly and gave him a slap, and only after this did it dissipate in the air with satisfaction.

The young man looked down loftily, saying without much sincerity, "Yo (哟, kind of like saying tch), head official, I'm sorry (对不住) you (您) were standing too close, this is not some sort of contraband, it's a handmade plaything. Without you saying, I just so happened to be in a dilemma; I don't know what I did, (? Raws: 不知怎么添上几刀好) but I wanted to at least have this treasure talk to me- but now whenever he comes out, he'll slap people (T/N: that was so tough, I probably got some nuances wrong)

The two Taoists who had been trailing behind the official finally spoke up, looking coldly at the young man, "You are also a cultivator?"

It seemed as if the young man in the carriage had not heard them at all, with a proud look, he leaned on the soft couch (榻) and didn't even bother to sit up straight.

The official who had been slapped covered his face jumped up and down (一蹦三尺高), "Immortal cultivators (addressing the Taoists), this person seems very suspicious, no doubt he's that... that whatever they call it "Laoqian gongzi"!"

The Taoists from Tianyan Office asked, "If we may inquire of this fellow cultivator, for what reason do you not dismiss the toils of the earth, and take part in colluding with the lot of mortals?"

The young man said in a very self-confident manner, "I want to, and to show off (he says 呗 at the end here which is like 'duh')."

The Taoist choked, and had to take a deep breath before he could continue, "Then if we may ask this fellow cultivator of your origins and whom your teacher (he asks for 师承何处 which is like teacher I guess) is?"

The young man laughed, "why would I tell you- are you done inspecting? Make way!"

Just as these two words fell from his lips, he suddenly patted the small table, in the center of his brows flashed a small sword (T/N: idk I'm translating this literally), and immediately there was a sword with an indomitable spirit rushing up to greet the two Taoists.

The person in question seemed so lazy it was like he didn't even have bones, but who knew that he was a hidden talent (term used 深藏不露), and seemed to have at least reached the point of a primordial spirit (Yuan Shen 元神) with the sword, at a level where he could freely sheathe and draw it.

The two people acting as road blockers were not prepared in the slightest, and scrambled to rush out of the way, not daring to meet its sharp edge, and that talkative head official had long since fainted, eyes rolling back.

Although the two Taoists had cultivated for a few centuries, even they did not dare be so ill fortuned as to brush against the embellished sword of this cultivator (idk: 不敢触这剑修的霉头) the two exchanged a look, and retreated, "Offended senior, please."

To be able to refine a sword to this degree, even the top powers would yield to him somewhat, and it is essential for that person to have a resolution as firm and unyielding as steel and stone. Take them to any sect, and they would surely become an elder respected and worshipped by the tens of thousands, how could anyone like this do something so shameless as to buy and sell on the black market?

The immortal lords (Taoists) had spoken, so even if they were unwilling, the lower-ranked still had to obey, and in no time, the official investigation had completely withdrawn, they even neatly and efficiently packed the assorted skins, furs, and cloths back where they belonged, and sent them on their way.

Only after creating some distance between them, did the head of the caravan release a sigh, carefully sidling up before the carriage window, and said, somewhat flatteringly, "I was told that there would be less investigations on this road, didn't think our luck would be so bad... thankfully we had young master (公子) today to personally deliver us to safety."

A sentence drifted out from the carriage, "Mister (老板) Li, no need for thanks, it was on the way for me (racked my brains for this one, 顺路), I really appreciate it, in the future, just grant me some discounts (he literally says be considerate of the prices for me)."

Mister Li hurriedly said, "I don't dare to, it is our honor to be looked after by young master."

Just then, a shrill whistle suddenly rended through the air, a sphere of fire landing on the roof of the carriage, and with a loud "bang", a girl burst forth from the flames.

She had light, sweeping brows, almonds eyes and a slight slender face (瓜子脸 lit. melon seed face), appearing extremely charming and intelligent. Only, her style of dress was a bit out of the ordinary, feathers of beautiful purples and brilliant reds (姹紫嫣红) were inserted behind her head, front view was that of a beauty, but from behind, it really looked like pheasant with a tail c*cked straight up!

She swept her gaze around the circle of dumbstruck mortals, clapped her hands as she flipped down from the roof, and without any warning, tumbled into the carriage, calling out, "Da shixiong, I'm here!"

That person in the car, who could split apart heaven and earth, unrivalled and peerless, consorted with mortals to do shady business with the buying and selling of goods, person who cultivated the sword, was precisely Yan Zhengming (T/N: things are heating up!!!).

In a flash, it had been a hundred years since he had taken a Shidi, a Shimei, and a Taoist youth to cross the East Sea, traversing thousands of miles before arriving at the Yan family home, only to witness a scene full of utter desolation- it had already been 8 years since the Yan family had been convicted of crimes and had all their possessions and properties forcefully confiscated. In their prime, they had been able to call the wind and summon the rain, rich and abundant with resources, but now could only discuss the length of the withered grass on the graves.

Without a better alternative, they could only roam about the four corners of world (四海为家) to begin the journey of bitterly cultivating, invading the cultivation caves of yao (妖, which could be monsters etc.), entered uninhabited secret territories, loitering through the black market of forbidden goods, left to claw their own way from the stifling abyss for a century.

It could be said, that it had only been a few years since Sect leader Yan had regained this feeling of having a place to be sheltered and cared for, as the period in his life when he was still a young master.

Right as Shui keng flipped into the car, before she got the chance to settle down, Yan Zhengming reached out a hand, scattered her hair through the air, causing her head of chicken feathers to all flutter down, flying everywhere. Shui Keng shrieked, "Ah! My feathers! I don't have the face to see anyone anymore!"

Yan Zhengming, "that person should be me- what did you come here for, to blind my eyes?"

Shui Keng aggrievedly retrieved her chicken feathers, blowing softly on them, recovering her precious treasures back in her arms, and said, "recently, there have been many rumors circulating in Shu Zhong, at first they were saying some demon lord had left behind some artifact, and just now I heard that some ghost cultivator had popped up there, and now because Er shixiong can't sit still and left first, he sent me on an errand to tell you."

When he heard this Yan Zhengming's brows wrinkled, they had continuously been looking for the Han Yuan that had plunged into the sea without a trace or further news that year, but any new information had eluded them. Every time they so much as caught a wisp of a rumor of demonic happenings, some of them would have to rush and take a look... even if they themselves felt that hope was very slim.

In his heart of hearts, Yang Zhengming knew that the trip would probably turn out to be futile, but still had no choice. He sighed, and downed the plum wine in the glass in one go, "Come on, let's bid farewell to mister Li."

In Shu (蜀 a region), bright valley.

Daybreak was on the horizon, only then did Cheng Qian use the excuse of Tan Zheng's being unwell to shoo away the Nian Mingming who had been discussing swordplay with him animatedly.

Nian Mingming did not wield a sword, generally, people like him who could not even see the tips of their toes upon looking down, tended towards devices of shorter lengths, because it was safer. So, it was unknown as to why he was so passionate on the path of the sword.

Cheng Qian felt valley lord Nian was probably a handsome youth with billowing white clothes at heart, which would explain why he always yearned for the things that could never seek to obtain like night and day.

Such as a sword... and a waist (T/N: Lol NMM wants a clearly defined waist).

He promised to talk a look around the village who had sent offerings on behalf of the valley lord, only after Cheng Qian sent Nian Mingming and Tang Zhen off did he return alone to the extremely cold place he had been in seclusion for fifty years, retrieving from his possession that small lump of memories that Tang Zhen had returned to him.

He knew that his physical body was already dead, he also knew that his soul had, miraculously, by some twist of fate entered the soul condensing jade and was thus trapped in the jade for many decades before being recovered by Taoist Wen Ya.

Tang Zhen conducted himself with honesty, that year, when he entered the spirit condensing jade in the form of a Yuan Shen (元神) he had took away his numerous decades of life and death memories right in front Cheng Qian, and now that he had broken through, he had been eager to recover those memories from his past life into his hands, but for a while he had been struck with apprehensive nostalgia.

And in the years that followed, some sporadic fragments would emerge from his brain, like inexplicably feeling how he should be wielding a sword that seemed as if made for him, how there should be a grove of bamboo by where he lives, or how his bedding should be imbued with the soothing fragrance of orchids and so on...

The light emanating from the small lump of returned memories was dim, but did not seem bleak, Cheng Qian fiddled with it, repeatedly tossing into the air only to catch it again, but no cracks were seen.

The faint white light looked chilly, but holding it in his hand, it felt very warm, made all the more obvious in this landscape of snow and frost.

Cheng Qian took a sharp and deep intake of air, blinked his eyes to flick off that frost that had condensed upon his lashes while he momentarily was lost in thought. Only then his fingers slightly loosen, and those lingering memories of the past returned like weary birds alighting home, more eager than their owner to immerse themselves into the center of his brows.

In an instant, that young man's years (光阴) flooded into him at long last, surmounting a century long struggle that had resisted death itself, it was as if he had been violently shaken awake from a deep dream. Every inch of his heart, thoughts, and mind, every blankness that had been forgotten without a trace, seemed to have been slathered with vibrant and heavy colors, present without a slightest difference. Just like yesterday.

Getting onto the roc (扶摇), jumping from the azure dragon, grasping the frost blade (霜刃), the downward arc of the silver knife, epiphany on the barren island, the orchids on shixiong's collar, and the suffering in the spirit condensing jade...

All kinds of ordeals, not of the past.

When Cheng Qian opened his eyes once more, the sky was already bright. His eyes were extremely sore; the ice pool had firmly honed his heart that was as calm as standing water. But it could not dam the centuries of longings and yearning attachments that had now coalesced into a desire to return home with haste.

No wonder Tang Zhen and Nian Mingming determined that once he broke through and retrieved his memories, would promptly depart.

Cheng Qian stood up and walk to the edge of the ice pool, grabbing in one fell swoop, the originally polished surface of the pool suddenly surged. An ice sword condensed in the air, falling into his hands. The ice that made up the foundation of the cave had been frozen for no less than thousands of years, impossibly hard, but could not withstand the peerless sharpness of this icy sword.

Cheng Qian smoothly drew an extremely complicated charm circle by the ice pool. When the charms were completed, the ice sword finally couldn't withstand it any longer, it was stirred up by his true Yuan (真元 true spirit?), shattering into numerous fragments, which were scattered to one side, beginning to slowly melt- and the chill of the ice pool was sealed.

In order to prevent the ice pool left unguarded after he left, this spell of Cheng Qian could seal the chill air of the pool for around a decade or two. And by the time it was up, if that old fatty still could not attempt to copy the spell ("依样画葫芦" lit. draw a gourd from the model), he could always come back in person.

After all, he was unwilling to forsake anyone who treated him with kindness and grace.

When Cheng Qian headed to the valley lord's pavilion to bid his farewells, that grandfather and grandson pair who had come the other day asking for help had already been seen off to ahead of time. There was only a Nian Mingming who was looking at him, all sorts of feelings welling up in his heart, with a complicated expression, like that of marrying off one's daughter, in his eyes. Lifting up the corners of his sleeves, he dabbled at his eye corners, hummingly said, "with this parting, who knows when we'll be able to meet again."

Looking on, Cheng Qian's eyes hurt, he thought it would be better if they didn't have the fortune of meeting again.

Nian Mingming continued, "In the future, if you ever find things unsatisfactory outside the valley, even if you come back, you don't have to live in the ice pool anymore, I'll let someone tidy up a cave for you."

Cheng Qian's heart unexpectedly softened, but before it could soften to the core, the old fatty added, "I already told the disciples in the valley, if they're ever bullied while traveling in the future, they need only to mention your name. Young friend, the responsibilities are all yours!"

Cheng Qian, "..."

He swiftly turned heel to leave, intending to resolve all ties to this place straightaway. Nian Mingming hurriedly cried out for him to halt, "Wait a moment, young friend, I have also prepared a fitted (趁手) sword for you!"

Cheng Qian glanced back, and only felt that he was dangerously close to being blinded on the spot- lying in valley lord Nian Mingming's hands was a pearly sword that emitted an ostentatious aura. The scabbard was densely covered by jades inlaid with gold, and had that been the end of the story, he could just never mind it. But to top it all off, even that gold inlaid jade was inlaid with depictions of four noblemen of plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo, and chrysanthemum (梅兰竹菊四君子), whose appearances only became increasingly rich and imposing as one looked on. And when they were crudely and simply stacked together, it really was the splitting image of the four rich men who bestowed prosperity and wealth.

The corners of Cheng Qian's mouth twitched, feigning courtesy, "valley lord should keep it for himself."

Nian Mingming sighed, shaking his head, "Ai, that's right, young friend has already experienced seven heavenly calamities and made up his mind to leave the valley, and it was only a matter of time before you would inevitably rise up with might, we are but a small sect, and really don't have anything presentable to give..."

Before he even finished his words, his hands suddenly emptied, in the next moment, that rich man's sword had already been taken away by Cheng Qian, who uttered a "many thanks", and left wielding that sword, his whole body revolving. Upon leaving, he left a cluster of dazzling golden-brightness in his wake, the afterglow illuminated the sun resplendent bright valley (T/N: Wow what a scene)

The small taoist child peeped out from the doorway, and said to the Nian Mingming who was currently grinning from ear to ear, "valley lord, elder You tan left?"

"He already left, " said cheerfully, then suddenly said with heartfelt sorrow, "Ai, those capable bodied people can go out and call the wind and summon rain, while us people, born with good lives yet no abilities, can only stay back and benefit, living in ease and comfort- Tong-er, do you have anything to report?"

"Oh", the taoist child flatly said, "I'm just here to tell you, little Shishu ran off again!"

Nian Mingming, "..."


Now I understand the true pain of translators, to go the liberal side or the literal side of things. Took me a good day, back is sore, wrist hurts like hell, and mind is swimming but no regrets! Any mistakes or typos are on me (first time translating, please go easy), not the author.

I've reached the word limit for this comment... so yeah. That's it folks. I'm going to keep translating for fun mostly... and posting chapters under "kiwipanini" in wattpad. I'M STRICTLY TRANSLATING FOR KICKS AND BECAUSE I'M IMPATIENT AS IMPATIENT CAN BE. Please continue to follow the current translator though, I don't want to take this story from them, and my updates are not going to be consistent. <<less
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rakuu-en rated it
January 26, 2019
Status: Completed
I read the first half of this in the translated English (which I must say is excellent- undoubtedly the best translating work I've seen in the Cnovel fandom thus far). Then I continued on and completed the raws in their original native Chinese.

First things first, I have to say- Priest's command of the Chinese language is really a cut above that of many danmei authors. Danmei generally being a genre that takes itself less seriously tends to be written in more casual language with a lot of colloquial terms mixed... more>> in for easy consumption. Not so for any of Priest's works. As someone who really only has a middling grasp of Mandarin, Liu Yao was a struggle to read. I can't say I've taken away nearly as much from this novel as someone else with a higher standard of proficiency in this language, who would probably be much better at appreciating the ornate descriptions and subtle nuances than I.

Secondly, Liu Yao stands out because it places its plot on the same level as the BL relationship it portrays or perhaps even higher- this makes for very heavy reading. There have been comments before mine singing praises about the depth Liu Yao goes into when exploring its admittedly depressing themes. All of this is true. The result of this is that we aren't given nearly as much detail about the central love story as one might expect. However, I will say here that Priest's strength lies in how she has successfully maintained the delicate balance between advancing the story's plot and advancing the main character's relationship, such that both grew side by side in a very organic manner. Though slow moving on a whole, the pace felt very natural and didn't skew too heavily towards the plot (ahem, I'm looking at you, White Lotus Halo). THAT BEING SAID, if you read danmei primarily for the gay relationships the genre promises, then this is one novel you might want to pass on. There really aren't many romantic moments between the lead characters at all, and those that exist are quite fleeting. I might even go so far to say that this is an Wuxia novel which just happens to have a gay couple as its protagonists. This is in contrast to other Priest works- for example Guardian, where plot developments and revelations are driven by the

thousand year long

relationship between the two mains, and where romance is pretty much a driving force of the whole novel.

I'm normally impatient with my novels. I like instant gratification. I like grand romantic gestures and earth-shattering love confessions that make my blood boil. Liu Yao did none of that, so I can't put a finger on exactly what I loved about this novel, but it moved my heart anyways. That was enough for me to give it 5/5 stars. If you gave it a chance, it might do the same for you too. <<less
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flopyxing rated it
July 4, 2018
Status: v2c1
The translation really brings out the wittiness of this novel! I adore this story and its characters ? BUT MOST OF ALL IM IN AWE OF THE TRANSLATOR WOW I CANNOT EVEN FIND THE WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW INVESTED I AM IN THIS STORY BECAUSE OF THE WAY ITS TRANSLATED ilu nanming thank you for gifting us with your words ?
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narinim rated it
January 28, 2022
Status: extra 3
this isn't the first novel by this author that I am reading and I must admit the author has a very good imagination. She is very good at creating unique and interesting characters but she isn't good at depicting the relationship between them. They say that she doesn't write smut, but the reality is she doesn't write romance at all. She has trouble writing non romantic relationship as well. In all her books everybody are bickering with each other as if she doesn't know how to write characters that can... more>> express their feeling without fighting.

it says bickering couple in the tags, but annoying couple would have been a better tag, there is absolutely no creativity in their chats or bickering. It's the same subject being repeated over and over again. And now that I think about it other priest novels that I have read are exactly like this in this regard. Same things are brought up over and over again.


in this book,

either MC has put himself in danger, and ML is mad at him, and MC doesn't change his ways and acts stubbornly till the end

or ML is saying something romantic or asks for attention and MC tells him to shut up


the first half of the book is great and very promising, and as story goes forward the expectations go higher as well but the second half is a complete disappointment. And there is no character development none whatsoever, they only get older and stronger. They are still the same people. For example MC is still very stubborn and makes rash decisions endangering himself as if he is suicidal, and ML is still attention seeking and tries his best to protect MC which MC never appreciates, MC doesn't care if ML gets worried or not, he just prefers that ML wouldn't get mad at him. ML and MC are both powerful cultivators, ML is always trying to protect MC, but MC never tries to protect ML.

It says devoted couple in the tags but ML is the only devoted one, he only sees MC. But except for a part in the middle MC doesn't do anything for ML, and to be honest after that part in the middle I was hoping for MC's character to have some development, seeing that how far ML has gone for him, and become cautious so that kind of scenarios won't happen in the future. But absolutely nothing changes in his behavior, he doesn't even pities the poor ML.

I liked ML's character in the beginning and I thought he would remain a fun character till the end, but as story goes forward all the fun things about him go away, and the story depicts him as annoying, clingy and strong. Which is supposed to be fun but it is not my cup of tea. But since I hated MC's character, I pitied ML's character for his love.

If there is another book you have on your list I suggest you read something else, but if there isn't something else, you can still entertain yourself with this book, at least you will enjoy the first volumes. <<less
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BlackLoveInSpace rated it
November 30, 2021
Status: Completed
I love the way Priest writes teens, and this book is the best example. There is also a lovely contrast between the two main characters, they are like yin and yang. Yan Zhengming is strong willed and extremely badass when he wants to (ch 72, wow), but bratty on the outside. Cheng Qian is introverted, cold and sensitive, getting the job done without a fuss. And yes, they bicker very often.

The atmosphere of this world makes one's mind fly away. Reading from Cheng Qian's perspective, you can feel the cold... more>> of the mountain, the frost and the loneliness in his heart. All paired with poetic descriptions and philosophical thoughts that the author sometimes ponders on, it's like reading an ancient story. Mortality. The passage of time. Those are the themes that fill one with faint sadness, as they are so relatable, so unavoidable.

Each character finds their path in their own way; through swords or through soul, everybody's character shines in different ways. Yan Zhengming is the most powerful type of cultivator, he is basically a weapon in human form, but since his cultivation focuses on his body, he is prone to heart demons. He has also rejected his sect's traditional wooden swords

only to get a wooden sword infused with his bf's soul as his personal weapon in the end lmao

. Cheng Qian is an obedient bookworm who trained with wooden swords only to get a particularly vicious frost blade as his personal weapon. The irony is strong.

I liked how the rest of their brothers are less gifted in fighting but good in their own ways; Li Yun is not much of a fighter but his cunning level is 99 and his creativity comes in handy. Han Yuan is only good at finding trouble but he is one of them and they love him. Puddle is supposed to become some great powerful being in a few hundred years but for now yeah... They are very diverse, which makes them credible and interesting. I like the message that even the ones who don't fight as much can shine. Something we need to see more often in the genre of fantasy.

There are several awesome elements that I find exclusive to this story. Heart demons, that may possess only a certain category of people. If one keeps them too much, they blend with the soul, and their host has to learn how to live with them forever. Wooden swords, that become deadly in the hands of Fuyao disciples. People casually ripping their souls apart and infusing objects with them.

However, there are other things I didn't understand completely haha. There are so many magical devices in this story. Maybe you can understand them if you are a native speaker and very familiar with xianxia. Although I love it, this story let me confused in some parts. Also, expect the usual priest elements; characters appearing and dissapearing into thin air, story snowballing into a very confusing result, with several plotlines and names you won't bother to remember, no bl until two thirds into the story etc.

The summary makes you expect a light read, but it's not. And yet I can't get enough of it and it's philosophy; is there really a difference between ascending and dying?

Finishing this book is also a journey in itself; as of now, you have to get through 5 different translations. Each picks up where then the other left. Terms may change, writing styles may change, the story remains just as awesome. Good luck. <<less
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glitteryjoon rated it
June 2, 2021
Status: Completed

I initially wasn’t going to post a review of this because I wasn’t sure what to write, however the longer I waited for my mind to clear over this novel the more unsatisfied I was.

Don’t get me wrong, this novel was really good, in fact, I’d rate it 4.5. (The lower end of 4.5 hence the 4 stars, but 4.5 nonetheless)

When I first started it, it bored me half to death, I kept pushing and pushing trying to squeeze out 10 chapters before seeing how I truly felt.... more>> I think it was mostly due to me trying to start this late at night. So after that, I dropped it and didn’t come back to it until I was well and truly bored of not having anything good to read. So, with that, I came back to it picked it up.

I’m truly glad I came back to it, and managed to read it. The story definitely picks up and ended up being extremely interesting. It felt like I was at the edge of my seat, unable cgi do nothing more but want to read more and more.

The problem I ran into, however, was that the translations after the 69th/70th chapter (??) went down hill for me and made it super hard to comprehend what was happening. It became more of summarizing than anything and I just ended up skimming through them trying to get through it.

Then by the third translations, I was somewhat exhausted but it picked up and I still enjoyed it once again but the ending felt unsatisfying. I’m not sure if it’s just me or something, but I felt like the sub romantic plot just wasn’t that interesting.

The ML was more in love than the MC who mostly seemed to be stagnant. He liked him sure but he wasn’t really in love. Idk. Anyway it just didn’t do it for me. <<less
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Chi rated it
April 26, 2018
Status: v1c30
Oh gods!

This novel is so good! And I'm not talking because I'm a BL fan (actually it seems like it won't actually even have much), but because of how it was well written and how the plot is fascinating with characters alive with their own personalities and quirks! Truly a jewel!

Man, when you think of a cultivation novel one always think of lots of people in a sect, all working their all to achieve great prowess and ascend even if they have to kill/scheme against each other, with awe-inspiring master/elders............ more>> but when we see this novel's Fuyao sect we are like ".......... this is a charlatan sect, right?"

A weasel quack like master, a niangniang 1º disciple, a naughty 2º disciple, a sharp tonged 3º disciple, an idiot beggar 4º disciple and a kid who can't even talk as the 5º disciple, in a declining sect that can only hold on because of the god of fortune lol

Quite the ragtag group, right?

This can be said to be one the few novels (and I'm not talk just of BL, but general) where we can see a character's growth (not only MC, but the side characters too) not only as cultivator but also as a person, and it's actually done well!

It's quite slow paced, but without that feeling of dragging and describing things over and over again that we get from other novels, but a rather slice of life kind of feeling.... that is, until sh*t hits the fan, because when that happens things happen in succession, fast but without skipping details and leaving mysteries around to be solved/explained later.

Quite peaceful, but the undercurrents are still going, the inevitable is still going to happen. So many twists and turns. Things aren't as they seem. The mysteries of Fuyao sect and the world of cultivators!


In a way, it actually made me remember Mao Ni and Er Gen.....

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Boundlessstars rated it
June 3, 2023
Status: Completed
"Under the eternal rains and winds, even mountains become seas. That is how the world is. The only unchanging truth is the relentless cycle of life and death, glory and decline"

A book that questions the ways of cultivation, concluding in a peaceful way. Constantly questioning morality, humanity and immortality, Liu Yao is not only a fantasy story of romance and overpowering force - it is a lesson, a form of knowledge that can be applied in any circumstance. The question left ingrained in my brain is one that all promising... more>> talents of generations of characters asked: What difference is there between ascension and death? The question is answered both fantastically and literally. In the first sense, Hear the Universe easily solves the question for the main character, Cheng Qian. In the second sense, it is actually not that hard to grasp for those who are not blessed by it. Yan Zhengming flawlessly finds the answer after only a bit of thought. The answer? There is no difference. "If an individual truly became formless, emotionless, and nameless, their consciousness merging into the Heavens and the Earth, were they still a person?". Ascension and death are by definition the same exact aspect. Both of the words represent the same - turning to dust. We come from the Earth, we return to the Earth. "Ascension" is a term gauzed by mystic muslin, an optimistic approach to death, a promise to enter the heavens - or a cruel bait. Baiting humans to do their best to attain the impossible, to "become immortal". Yet, no one ever does. There is no record of its happening. And even so, people keep trying to obtain it. Why? Humans are simple minded creatures, despite our fearsomely capable brains. Akin to herding livestock, we want one singular thing. In this case, the "thing" being ascension to immortality. Several times throughout the story, this idea is contoured, slightly guiding you to the answer. Masked as a rhetoric, or rather ironic response, it is actually revealed without qualms. "For uncountable generations of cultivators, ‘eternal life’ was akin to a carrot on a string leading them on, binding them in endless, lonely, bitter cultivation, disallowing them from being productive and fighting over things with mortals". Led by phantasm-food on a rod, humans press on to attain it. Is there a difference between lowly humans and cultivators? Inherently, no. The chasm of power aside, cultivators are humans. "What’s the point of trying to reach ascension and become immortal, when one has to put away all human feelings?". The only slightly "successful" ones are those who managed to rid themselves of emotions, becoming rigid mountains by any means. A divine lotus leaf, a deeply traumatic loss - could cause one to be stone-like. Yet none ascended, because cultivators are humans and none can wholely rid themselves of innate emotions. Don't be led that this is the only thing this story is about! It's only a small, philosophical fraction. The battles are well envisioned, actions well thought. By the time you read it, you'll forget why I heeded so much attention to immortality. In truth, Liu Yao reserves loss and sadness as much as it resorts to happiness and victory, envisioning both faces of a coin - the good, and the bad. Because there is no definition of good without the existence of bad, and vice versa.

I've come across people who disliked the lack of romance in this novel. I've personally deemed it to be perfect in amount to the story. Even though it isn't predominantly present, it is fated from the start, from the monologues each of the two characters have about each other, from their actions and sentiments. It doesn't need to be dominant in action to be visible, as this isn't a romcom. I find it to be the perfect amount of romantic, comedic, philosophic and fantastical. While the translations lack in certain areas, it is a fine read, I can only imagine how much more depth-full it is in its original language. I greatly recommend it! <<less
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hoatzin rated it
November 7, 2021
Status: Completed
Priest is a popular author, but this novel seems to slip under the radar a little. It makes sense, the sword/cultivation genre is pretty packed as it is, and this book does very little to deliberately stand out among the bigger names. Priest is also better known for either Qī Yé levels of light reading or Mò Dú levels of plot density, and this work would probably be considered "middling." A good amount of the plot is mystery, a good amount is fighting, a good amount is found-family. Each part... more>> never really interfered with another. As mentioned by others, the second half of the novel did have a few more issues, but I would chalk that up to the raised stakes in a lot of cases.

However, out of all of this author's books, I would say this is one of the best among them. All of the characters were genuinely enjoyable to read, and Puddle especially was a breath of fresh air. None of the main cast felt particularly flat, and neither did any of their relationships with one-another. Every character's development seemed well-done in the long term, though obviously the bulk of the narrative's attention goes to the main character in the end. (The third extra is also a must-read for anyone interested in... The history of the sect leaders.)

For me, the romance aspect pales a bit, not in comparison to the plot, but in comparison to the sheer density of "Found Family" -feelings. That said, if you are here for the main couple, get ready for a really decent slow-burn. The ML has really reasonable concerns with his position of power, which means that MC does a significant amount of the actual pursuing. A pleasant surprise, given a lot of BL tropes. Their relationship also feels genuinely natural in a true-to-life way that I did not expect. They bicker and have secrets from one another, or get jealous, but I never feel on-edge reading their interactions. In the end, they end up being achingly romantic in a way I still found incredibly human.

At the end of the day, this story probably warrants 4/5 stars in terms of substance, but it is 5/5 in terms of enjoyment. I can and will re-read this someday.

(One VERY petty gripe I have is that there are, what? Four separate translations to go between? I am desperately thankful to each and every one of them, but I hope that someday we get an official release, if only for the sake of a cohesive experience for future readers.) <<less
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Ashlex rated it
August 26, 2021
Status: Completed
"If ascendance means parting from the ones that you love, what difference then is there between ascending and death?"

In essence, Liu Yao is a story of the meaning of love, life, and familial bonds. To what extent would you go to, to protect your family, your loved ones? Even if it means going through a thousand hardships, wouldn't it all be worth it if it meant that you would be able to be together with the people that you cared about?

Like another reviewer said, the synopsis does not do this... more>> story justice. Put simply, this is a story of five disciples coming to terms with their own struggles in an attempt to revitalize their sect. These five cultivators are extremely flawed, but that is precisely what makes them human.

This is a story of how five individuals support each other through their own trials and tribulations, struggling endlessly and making morally grey decisions that ultimately are very human.

To summarize, this is a story of what it means to be human, told beautifully through the eyes of five very different but complementary individuals... The peacock, the jack-of-all-trades, the cold one, the troublesome little brother, and the naïve little sister. <<less
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lemontart rated it
May 26, 2021
Status: c109
This is a good novel, dare I say a great one. If you want to read a story that makes you take a step back from typical wuxia/xianxia adventure and really think, you need to read this. How are the common people affected by what happens in the cultivation world? What does it mean to ascend to immortality? Is living a longer life a blessing or a curse? These are just some of the questions Priest explores within Liu Yao.

If you are looking for strict romance novel or dogblood/face-slapping tale,... more>> this probably isn't the novel for you.

While there is a main pairing, this is more-so a story about growing up. It's about a boy who is given up and sold by his poor family to join what he believes is a scam sect, the troubles they face, how they all get along despite their strong personalities, about what it really means to be a cultivator, about learning to forgive and move on, about the dangers the quest for power can bring. There's certainly quite a bit of humor in this, but there's also pain and tragedy, friendship and found family.

I don't think any danmei I've read so far, aside perhaps one, has made me feel as much as Liu Yao did. The main character starts out as a child, and he's written as one in a way that isn't too overly childish or annoying. I've found writing children in a believable way is very difficult for most writers, but Priest did it quite well.

The translators swapped numerous times throughout the story, some translated some terms one way while others did another, but it's easy enough to figure out what name used in one translation correlates to the one used in another. I want to note that a drama is supposed to start filming this year for it and the donghua is coming out next year--now is the time to read this! Highly recommend. <<less
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Lunaix rated it
February 21, 2020
Status: v1c1
Thank the Gods that this is being translated. But also f*ck the younger me that was so s*upid that I could barely even learn Chinese--

I'm not someone who's very good with words, but I love this novel. I love it as much as I love MDZS/GDC, SVSSS, Husky and His White Cat Shizun, and TGCF/HOB. That's how much I love it.

And if it gets a manhua, donghua, drama cd, or live action, I will scream.
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darcyreads rated it
May 31, 2021
Status: Completed
Not going to lie, I went into this with low expectations, kind of expecting a lot of plot, but I have to say... this is the probably one of my favorite reads ever.

The character development is off the charts, avoiding so many typical tropes and really bringing a lot of interesting questions to the table.

The romance is probably one of the best developed romance I've read since TGCF, and an action filled plot that is a great time. The cast of characters are all so solid and real.

I'm going to... more>> edit this later to gush more, but if you're hesitating picking this up, don't. This is one of Priest best. It's so romantic, fun and unexpected. <<less
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sbob rated it
April 27, 2023
Status: Completed
The best part of this for me was the interactions & jibes between the disciple siblings but that was pretty much it. The characters had depth, and showed growth throughout the novel but it was a bit confusing to read.

The problem I have with Priest’s novels is that there aren’t enough butterflies in stomach tingly moments for me to classify them as romance (and I predominantly like reading romance led novels). Think the most romance one I’ve read was Lord Seventh but eh.

I found myself constantly getting distracted and struggling... more>> to complete the novel at some points. The underlying plot points were nicely woven and paced with decent build up and a few twists, but I just couldn’t get engaged with it. I’m not sure if it’s the style of writing (too detail heavy on points that are hard to absorb for me) or things just happen and are covered over very quickly without a proper climax. So not really feeling the action drama bits. The face slapping wasn’t even that satisfying.

Also, the ever important bits of fluff were few & between and over so soon before I could even properly enjoy it.

Unfortunately, it seems like Priest novels aren’t my style. <<less
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ScarlettOhara rated it
April 12, 2023
Status: Completed

Priest’s books are known to be plot heavy with little to no romance. I was aware of her style going into Liu Yao and had no qualms about the lack of a romantic plot. What intrigued me most about Liu Yao was the ‘found family’ concept and the humour. Liu Yao is funny and a master class on characterisation at least for the first 60% of the book. I especially liked Yan Zengming’s development arc.

However, Liu Yao loses the plot after a certain point. The last 15 or so chapters... more>> are very absurd and feel rushed and mindless. After being so invested in the lives of the five disciples of Fu Yao, I began to find my interest waning as I reached the 80th chapter.

It almost feels as if Priest got bored writing this novel. Li Yun, Shuikeng and Han Yuan were wasted potential. After crafting them beautifully, Priest doesn’t quite do justice to them as the plot progresses.

Overall a nice book but not the best in the genre. <<less
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ricoerrr rated it
March 31, 2022
Status: Completed

mc: cheng qian

ml: yan zhengming

summary: ... more>>

MC is taken into a cultivation sect as a child, where he finds family in his new master and the four other kids who becomes his martial siblings. their days of peace ends once their master dies and leadership passes onto ml. but theyre locked out of the sect and left to their own devices in a dog eat dog world with little to no cultivation of their own. MC dies in a conspiracy scheme but his soul lives on in a piece of jade. 100 years pass and he finishes cultivating a new body.

MC reunites with ML and the rest of his sect members and together they travel around the world finding a way to unseal their sect so they can go home. they come to realize how many of the recent disasters were all orchastrated by the imperial court to counterbalance powerful cultivators who have the means to shift world order. they also discover how millenia ago, their own sect fell to ruin as a result of this plot. under the influence of the court, their sect grandmaster jeopardized countless lives for a selfish wish, thereby making him the target of a coordinated attack. other similar world powers died one after the other, leaving the court the strongest one standing. MC and ML defeat the emperor behind the conspiracy, only to reveal a hidden enemy - mc's trusted friend who muddled the waters amidst the chaos to bring about more chaos. in a grand final battle, MC become victorious, and the wrongs of the past rights itself once more. they unseal their sect, go home, and leave the affairs of the world behind them.



this is, without a doubt, my most favourite priest novel as of yet. the worldbuilding is incredibly ambitious, well thought-out, and beautifully executed. I am absolutely in awe with priest's depiction of a hero's journey and how themes of home and family are made so poignant throughout the whole novel that it invokes such a strong sense of satisfaction and catharsis once our heroes finally achieve what they've been fighting ceaselessly for.

the concept of home is so integral to the story. home was the guiding light in their misfortune and becomes their sanctuary. its literally a barrier from the hubbub of the outside world where the members can find respite at the end of a long journey. and when the kids unsealed mt fuyao it was such an emotional moment. mt fuyao is a timepiece of their past and a reminder of how much theyve changed. reconnecting with it 100 years later is a humbling experience, in a way; these kids have achieved so much greatness and power in the outside world but home still brings them humility and yearning in a way nothing else can. priest's description of fuyao frozen in time only to thaw and flow once again is simply stunning and so apt.

regarding the cps:

mingqian is like watching a chuck of rock being seduced by a narcissist. its frustrating but it somehow works. in their childhood they were the closest (in actions) despite words saying otherwise. but the real paradigm shift was after the 100 separation when yan zhengmin developed his heart demons after cheng qian's death. its incredible how much this man yearns but doesnt even realize the extent of his affections. I mean, to make an imitation to cheng qian's likeliness, just to have someone keep you company at night, is totally not gay. nope. not at all. not to mention is own heart demons playing out a seductive cheng qian like a wet dream as if thats not what he wants the most. and the whole 'id pursue him if he were older than me' excuse was kinda bull. I get that he doesnt want power imbalance in the relationship but mingqian's dynamic never once points to that direction. cheng qian is just as strong and powerful as yan zhengming and his position as a shidi doesnt negate that. neither is cheng qian someone that'll be coerced into a relationship because his dashixiong forced it on him. but whatever. their romantic pursuits werent earth shattering but it was sweet, especially when they finally got together. its like a slow simmering type of romance, no noticeable turning points, sometimes overshadowed by the story, but its undeniable that they love each other deeply.

the most tragic thing in this novel is ruchun, and arguably my favourite thing simply because of how heartbreaking their story is. despite being a side cp and BE, they were more impactful than the main cp. theres actually not a lot of scenes with these two but the essence of their relationship (or more accurately, tong ru's yearning) is scattered throughout the novel as readers discover how the events unfolded hundred of years ago that shaped the current world, and tong ru's motives behind it. tong ru challenged the heavens for the person he loves and failed terribly, and he lived with the consequences of his actions even after death. for hundred of years he watched han muchun suffer in the body of weasel, unable to share joys or sorrows together, but he would continue to watch over the sect and muchun, ensuring their safety with his own souls. the most painful thing to read is how they both could no longer reincarnate. when they die, they die resolutely without a second chance at life. for cheng qian to call it ascending is just so so tragic.

and on that note - I really do like how priest tackled the topic of ascension. very early in the novel, it was argued that ascension is unreachable as no one has ever done it. and this question was always put under scrutiny as our main characters realize just how hard it is to ascend - even the thousand year old great powers are unable to reach the conditions for it. but what are the conditions exactly? to be formless, emotionless, nameless - isnt that to cease to exist? cheng qian learns that everything is simply a scam to keep cultivators in check because the sheer inbalance of power they have over mortals can easily lead to unbridled abuse. yet when humans set rules to balance it out, it naturally leads to corruption (ie: imperial bureau). so as a necessary leverage, its been lauded far and wide that good deeds and good morals grants a person immortality, as to have everyone practice self restraint.


and of course, my favorite parts of the book:

1. the entire ending of book 1 in the valley of no sorrows but especially the part where han muchun was teaching the five forms but cheng qian couldnt accept the fact his master was leaving him

2. cheng qian carried off high in the sky by shuikeng and seeing the vastness of fuyao mountain and becoming enlightened to the dao. the incredible imagery is just *mwah*

3. this passage that showcases han yuans humanity: "han yuan had secretly come to the foot of the mountain that day, and aggressively laid down a dangerous-looking array... just to hear the sounds of fuyao?"

4. when the kids unsealed fuyao mt and were overwhelmed by the familiarity of home but also the ruthless passage of time, and han yuan breaking down far in the distance :' (

5. "the man's penance term had probably been fulfilled, his heavy sin redeemed, and he had finally gone to be one with the land and its greenery" referring to tong ru finding peace and ruchun ascending together :'')


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lizbestraume rated it
November 3, 2021
Status: Completed
Now that I finally have free time to write a review, here are my thoughts about this novel.

Simply one of the best danmeis I've ever read. The #1 danmei in my list. If you're looking for romance, this might not be for you. ML and MC's relationship takes a really long time to build, and ML falls for MC first.

MC is independent, strong, and dare I say, an overall gong material. Meanwhile, our ML used to be a spoiled, narcissistic prick, but he finally grows into a less narcissistic powerful... more>> sword cultivator - even much more powerful than MC.

What I love the most about this danmei, however, is it realistically represents that to be a great cultivator, like every other normal person, you have to dedicate yourself to learn and practice hard. You don't get to suddenly become unbelievably powerful just because you're part of the main characters. Other than MC, the disciples in Fuyao Sect used to be simply... hopeless. MC was the only disciple who seriously wanted to learn cultivation, while the rest was mostly slacking off. The first disciple was very obsessed with his own beauty and dedicated his time to combing his hair/bathing; the second was always racking his brain to invent weird and absolutely useless pranks; the fourth was too absorbed in eating and stealing food; while the last was a child who was actually descendant of a powerful yao. Seriously, except for MC, it had seemed like most of them wouldn't have a bright future.

But, BOOM.

(Please don't read if you want to avoid a major spoiler.)


Each becomes a legend in their respective field. Plot twist! The laziest and seemingly less talented disciple in Fuyao Sect became a demon cultivator! It was kinda unexpected since MC had the potential to choose that path.


This novel will make you experience how it feels to eventually find the perfect family who's willing to fight with you. MC comes from a very poor family and has been pressured to be independent, so joining the Fuyao squad has been a blessing for him, even if he hated everyone at first, especially ML (LOL).

You'll witness a series of tragedies that these characters have to go through despite their young age and cry with them. You'll watch them grow up, facing many cultivators who deliberately mocked their lack of talents. But none of them gives up; they only thrives to be better and eventually become the legends that people will talk about. UGH, I'm so so proud of my boys and girl. [crap, here I go again, being unreasonably emotional about fictional characters, RIP.]

There are a lot of heartwrenching and sorrowful scenes, but it balances well with the amount of beautiful and hilarious moments that the author has written to make up for the angst. I lost count how many times I've laughed, cried, gasped, and yelled - I've never experienced this drastic roller coaster of emotions while reading a novel.

I'm sure all of you knows how brilliant Priest is. She only writes masterpieces and every single one of her novels is always on the next level. But still, I feel like Liu Yao is relatively underrated compared to her other works. Hopefully, after the donghua is released, more people will join our fandom. There's 0 news about the manhua, and we're seriously lacking fan works. I rarely find Liu Yao arts on Twitter, and I have read (literally) every Liu Yao fic on AO3. I'm desperate for more...

If you're reading my review, I hope this convinces you to finally add this to your reading list... Please. <<less
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