Lord of the Mysteries

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With the rising tide of steam power and machinery, who can come close to being a Beyonder? Shrouded in the fog of history and darkness, who or what is the lurking evil that murmurs into our ears?

Waking up to be faced with a string of mysteries, Zhou Mingrui finds himself reincarnated as Klein Moretti in an alternate Victorian era world where he sees a world filled with machinery, cannons, dreadnoughts, airships, difference machines, as well as Potions, Divination, Hexes, Tarot Cards, Sealed Artifacts…

The Light continues to shine but mystery has never gone far. Follow Klein as he finds himself entangled with the Churches of the world—both orthodox and unorthodox—while he slowly develops newfound powers thanks to the Beyonder potions.

Like the corresponding tarot card, The Fool, which is numbered 0—a number of unlimited potential—this is the legend of “The Fool”.

Associated Names
One entry per line
LotM
Quỷ bí chi chủ
序列的戰爭 (old)
诡秘之主 (new)
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
My House of Horrors (8)
Throne of Magical Arcana (4)
Release that Witch (4)
Warlock of the Magus World (4)
Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint (4)
Mystical Journey (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Plan to read
  2. reading/planning to/read
  3. Shayat's Solemn Selects
  4. Horror(tragedy)
  5. S class novels

Latest Release

Date Group Release
02/06/19 Webnovel c99
02/05/19 Webnovel c98
02/04/19 Webnovel c97
02/04/19 Webnovel c96
02/03/19 Webnovel c95
02/03/19 Webnovel c94
02/02/19 Webnovel c93
02/02/19 Webnovel c92
02/01/19 Webnovel c91
02/01/19 Webnovel c90
02/01/19 Webnovel c89
02/01/19 Webnovel c88
01/31/19 Webnovel c87
01/31/19 Webnovel c86
01/30/19 Webnovel c85
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135 Reviews sorted by


koukana
New koukana
August 8, 2020
Status: c855
Alright, lets begin with saying I started this story with almost no hope of it being good, however the world building and systems changed my mind in less than 100 chapters, it's very thorough and enjoyable, the only problem for me is that the longer the story goes, and the more I read, the more hate I get for the main character, it's to the point where I'm constantly cheering for him to fail just once, so that any of this makes sense....

I'll keep on reading anyways because the other... more>> characters are very interesting, and I can just skip most of the cheat protagonist bullsh*t that happens every chapter for the main character, like seriously, the stuff the author pulls off to make the main character literally never lose or get setback in any way shape or form is the most ridiculous stuff i've ever read. Noone <<less
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oer
New oer rated it
August 7, 2020
Status: c1311
Binged the whole thing in less than a week, it’s great. Heavily recommend. Unlike 99% of the garbage on this website stuff actually connects to things from earlier in the story and characters are fleshed out. It’s a good read. Slow to start, but it gets there.
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Aoto
Aoto rated it
May 26, 2018
Status: c119
WHAT THE FCKING HELL,

I'm utterly shocked at how a good novel like this has such a low rating, even more so, because this novel is from the same author who wrote novels like Throne of Magical Aracania and Martial Arts Master. This novel is about abut a guy who reincarnates in a world that is similar to Britain in the 19. Century. The protagonist reincarnated into someone who died under extremely weird circumstances and is trying to find out what exactly happened. Upon investigating he stumbles across extraordinary and... more>> magical forces that have only been heard about in legends and faces many dangers, yet he still keeps going to chase after the truth and learn more about those extraordinary powers.

That is more or less a reaaaaaaaaaaaaally basic introduction of the novel, if you enjoy novels like "Release that Witch" or "Warlock of the Magus World" you will with a veeery high probability enjoy this one as well. My review might be a bit biased because no novel of Cuttlefish That Loves Diving has disappointed me so far, but I seriously love this novel. The world is highly realistic the characters are unique, all those weird powers are extremely interesting and the story has a good management about pacing and keeping the story interesting. I highly recommend this novel to every western fantasy fan and give it 5/5 stars (more 4.5, but the rating is already so bad, so I have to boost it a little) and please don't let the rating scare you away (of course the rating could also be there because the translation isn't good, have only read the raws so I can't judge that) <<less
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Night Ghost
Night Ghost rated it
February 3, 2019
Status: Completed
Before I start my review, I'll have you know that this review of mine is heavily influenced by my preference and taste. and it appears many people misunderstood this novel as a mystery detective novel. but that's not the case. this is not a mystery detective novel with murder cases to solve, but a novel about some people from secret organization that discover the truths in histories, fabricated histories, myths, conspiracies and hidden plots but decide to keep those knowledge to themselves and act behind the shadow. In other word,... more>> this is an adventure novel, just because the title is "Lord of the Mysteries" doesn't mean it's a detective novel with tons of murder cases. so if you are expecting to read a mystery novel with murder cases to solve, please turn back.

Lord of the Mysteries is a webnovel that have a very good storyline, suspense and worldbuilding unlike any other novels in this site, the storyline and suspense alone make other famous novel such as mahouka, mushoku tensei, and other novels look like garbage. and what piqued my interest the most is the fact that history is a very important part of the plot and story, in fact there wouldn't be a storyline without history. and I really love this kind of story because I love the story about some people from hidden organization go to find the secrets of the world that only a handful of people know about them and keep them to themselves, this novel reminds me of kuujou spin flower. but sadly I have to stop reading this amazing novel because of hypocrite main protagonist, a marie sue side character, a lie and a s*upid rule.

STORYTELLING
the storytelling is one of the best here. author did a good job at doing "show readers" instead of "tell readers". for example, the author shows readers that Melissa noticed the transmigrator klein behaves differently than the original klein through slice of life interaction in chapter 98 instead of pulling the usual "melissa noticed that klein behaved differently than usual, but klein managed to fool her" like most CN authors do and I like that because the latter storytelling feels so bland. but sadly some people call this type of storytelling "fillers" which is dumb and ridiculous, seriously they need to read btth and tmw to know what filler is! I still remember in btth how author describes MC walking through the mountain when he was heading to the place he was suppossed to duel someone in 1 full chapter or in tmw where it took 1 chapter for MC to take a step forward. and this novel is one of few novels that have the least fillers in it. do you know how many chapters it takes MC to finish enemies ? 1-3 chapters. that's pretty short isn't it considering most CN MC takes tens of chapters to finish their opponent. of course this novel is not without flaws, there are some useless infodumbs in some chapters.

A LIE
there is a very big lie that author made, that is "one has to pay the price for what fate has bestowed upon him". I will explain about this lie along with other things below.

Klein Moretti : A Hypocrite
Klein Moretti is the main protagonist of this novel, he is a happy go lucky guy that have a very strong sense of justice. he is kind and always help those in need. so what makes me think this kindhearted character as a hypocrite ? he claimed himself as Evil Hunter, judges other people for doing bad things such as murder and hunts them. but at the same time he
Spoiler

serves and worships a goddess that destroyed a country and exterminated a clan/big family. I understand why he serves the goddess, it's because she holds his pathway and klein needs her knowledge to know the materials used to create potion. and yes author made it clear that klein is using goddess as much as as goddess is using him. but I see it as nothing but an excuse to justify his action

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Audrey Hall : The Laziest Marie Sue
I'm not particularly fond of marie sue character, and it didn't take a long time for me to dislike her. Audrey Hall is a spoiled kindhearted rich noble lady whose hobby is flaunting her money while the poor is dying because of poverty and has never accomplished anything on her own. honestly she's the laziest marie sue character I've ever come across. she can get everything and anything without any EFFORT, SWEAT AND PAIN. I can't recall she has ever put any effort to accomplish anything, oh wait I forgot that audrey has never accomplished anything on her own. she never pays price for everything she does and never receives setbacks. trust me, if she wanted a lizard turned into a chicken, that would definitely happen. and the storyline is actually heading that way!
Spoiler

the ability of sequence 0 of her pathway is to make her imagination into reality. so if one day she runs out of money, she can just imagine a mountain of money and a mountain of money she gets. damn I envy her so much. if I had that ability, I would imagine ps4 and ps4 I got without spending any money

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. the thing like "no pain no gain" doesn't apply to her. and where in the world did "one has to pay the price for what fate has bestowed upon him/her" go ? what's the price she pays for what fate has bestowed upon her ? Nothing. hell, she never even receives setback, let alone to pay the price. So if you like a character that never has any difficulties, never has trouble, never has hardship, always gets whatever she wants, has unlimited money, never put any effort to accomplish anything, doesn't know what EFFORT, PAIN, SWEAT, and HARDWORKING are, you will definitely love audrey hall.

A s*upid Rule
There is a very s*upid and ridiculous rule in this novel that prevents any character development that you can see in some anime/game/movie/manga. that rule is "one is not allowed to do things againts his moral codes or one will lose control" which means bad people are not allowed to become better and good people are not allowed to become worse. one's personality and moral value based on what one has experienced in life. look at HxH's chimera arc, it is regarded as the best arc among all shounen manga anime by many. why ? because of the character development. you will see how a easygoing and kind character like Gon (Main protaginist) became a beast, threw away his moral and vented his anger to his closest friend. and meruem (Main Antagonist in Chimera Arc) , who was an evil character who killed people for his own amusement became a very wise and kind person. and this was done in a very believable way and that it's just amazing how the mangaka made gon very humane with many flaws, he drown himself in revenge and vented his anger to his closest friend. but sadly you won't get to see this kind of amazing character development because of this s*upid rule. and you also won't get to see character like skyrim's paarthurnax or LOTR's Legolas (Legolas was an arrogant elf in the hobbit before he changed into a better person). in case you don't know, tarot card corresponding to number 1-21 is the fool's life experience. so klein, as the fool, should experience the bad tarot like the devil (ens*avement, temptation, unhealthy relationship, materialism, bondage) but this would never happen ever because of this very rule.

Grey Fog
Spoiler

at first, grey frog may not seem do much to klein, but it changes later on. Grey fog makes Klein's life very very very easy, grey fog provides him anything. ANYTHING. Starting from providing klein Godlike spell that has nothing to do with his pathway (the ability to change one's fate. Very overpowered), angel, purifying corrupted artifact, unlimited storage, but the most ridiculous thing the grey fog provides to klein is to allow him to reach sequence 3 without ritual, and probably grey fog will allow klein to reach next sequences without ritual. Why ? Because he is FATED to be The Fool. Absolutely ridiculous. So what's the price klein has to pay for this conveniences ? NOTHING!! So where in oblivion did "One has to pay the price for what fate has bestowed upon him" go ? Nearby tr*shcan ?

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Amazing Storyline, Suspense & Worldbuilding
as I've said before, the storyline and suspense are so amazing that it made most of novels here even the famous ones look like garbage. if people tell you how amazing the story of this novel, they are not exagerating at all because it really is amazing. I undestand why some people complain about the "filler" and "plothole" in the beginning. but trust me those are not fillers at all and those "fillers" are made on purpose and will be explained near the and of vol.1 (chap 1-213). and the thing that I like so much is the great suspense near the end of every volumes, trust me, you'll get your blood pumped so hard and can't wait to read the next chapter because every 10 last chapters of every volume is so damn exciting. Every volume has ending and all the endings are very touching (my favourite is vol. 4)
Spoiler

daly's death was so beautiful. I'm not gonna spill anything to you, it's just beautiful. You gotta see it

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Don't Get Attached To Any Characters
Just don't.
Spoiler

somehow author has become a sadist. Unlike in his previous works, cuttlefish-sama doesn't mind to kill ANY character. And I love it. And there's a ritual where 1 or more important character die near the end of each volume in the most beautiful way with vol.4 as an exception. What amazed me so much is that the death of some important characters doesn't affect the storyline, this shows how good his writing skill is. Most authors would avoid to kill off important characters that they have spent tons of chapters to develop because it's not an easy thing to develop a character, that's why many ln/wn, especially jp, always have a scenario where MC would spare the life of characters with name who comitted a grave crime but killed off some unnamed character who comitted far smaller crime. But in this novel... Well, prepare for the ride. Old cohler's death hit me so hard, the build up for his death was just... Brutal. And that's why there are a lot of slice of life chapters at the beginning so reader will get attached to the characters. But sadly some readers see those important chapters as nothing but filler

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Overall, this novel is a must if you seek novels with good worldbuilding, story, and amazing suspense. although I've dropped this novel (perhaps I'll read it again in the future. there's no novel I've read here which quality is as good as this one so far), I'll keep recommending this novel to those who seek a good read and don't let this review of mine to discourage you from reading this novel. I rated this novel 3 stars before but I decided to change it to 4 because of the amazing vol 1, 2 and 4. this novel is clearly made not for me. I might change my rating in the future if I decided to read this novel again and came to love it. that's all and thank you author-sama cuttlefish that loves diving for writing this amazing novel, well you always writes amazing novels and translator Cktalon who trasnlates this novel so we can read and enjoy this amazing novel. <<less
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kkgoh
kkgoh rated it
August 31, 2019
Status: c105
An ok CN isekai-Dickensian novel written in 2018 that you should just speed read through, otherwise it's quite unreadable. It's basically Steampunk meets "The Witcher" meets "Jack Ryan".
Concept of mystery is ok. But world building and plot development / structure is painful. Poorly disguised filler in the form of ridiculous expository and realism writing. Long chapters 2000+ words, tons of unnecessary lore, plot devices, characters. Translation can be iffy at times.

Just because it's complicated doesn't mean it's cool.
Not sure why it's rated so highly, but I... more>> can respect what the author was trying to create.

PREMISE
An average Chinese Joe gets isekai'd to a 19th century steampunk / paranormal world through the accidental use of a magic ritual. He's immediately knee-deep into a murder mystery and caught up in political/factional machinations. MC figuratively becomes Geralt of Rivia /Jack Ryan.

COMMENTS
(1) A genuinely interesting mystery novel... but too-much-too-soon all the time
The initial murder mystery when MC isekai'd was a clever plot device, especially since it was enacted against the MC himself. It led to the logical introduction of paranormal powers (despite the steampunk era).

But before we can take a breather and figure things out, MC suddenly encounters ANOTHER mystery through his reuse of the SAME magic ritual when trying to go back to his homeworld. He enacts powers of a Grey Fog (OP dimensional realm), accidentally connects to two strangers, which eventually forms the Tarot Club.
These strangers are given paragraphs of backstories, and 10-15 different named characters associated with them (everything from scullery maids to random crew members) are thrown at us. Then MC joins a special-ops team (Nighthawks) that investigates paranormal incidents while protecting their own church believers. All this in just the first 30 chapters. HUH?

Maybe just kick the Grey Fog mystery till later? The first 30+ chapters had NOTHING to do with the side characters. It was literally character introductions to tell readers that they exist. What's the point of fronting multiple mysteries / scenarios at once when it's so easy to connect side characters later when it's more logical?

Also maybe just lay off on the use of naming characters? Bestowing a name assigns a degree of importance. Too many, esp on random people, makes it unnecessarily distracting. Imagine every NPC and monster in an RPG having a name! Holy cow!

This kind of distracting development happens throughout the novel. You can see that author's ideas are all over the place. Before we figure out how deep the 1st rabbit hole is, we reach a junction with 10 different rabbit holes. That's not mystery writing, that's just sheer nonsense. Several reviewers have claimed that the first dozen chapters are ALL NECESSARY FILLER, which is absurd. The need for character introduction doesn't excuse poor structure and development.

Take a page from "Overlord". Whole chapters are written about side characters and their adventures, and they eventually link up with the MC Ainz in a logical, appropriate timeline.

Author doesn't understand pacing and the basic concept of "Do readers really need to know this NOW?".

(2) Filler filler filler
You know how horror movies have the camera pan away or pauses, and you're expecting a monster to pop up, but nothing happens? This novel has it in spades, to the point that it's just distracting and ruins the mood. Here's just a few examples.
Spoiler

-- Unstable bread prices, economic and political turmoil that are repeatedly mentioned. You would expect that to become an issue later or be part of a bigger plot, but it never does.
-- Captain Dunn is listed as a forgetful man. There are paragraphs of him repeating himself or dragging out conversations as if that's of plot significance, but has no bearing on the plot.
-- Long descriptions of currency. Who the kings embellished on the notes were, blah blah blah. No bearing on the plot.
-- Half a chapter (think it was Ch 20-21) with MC and his sister squabbling about money, and randomly mentioning named friends who squandered money, the pros and cons of spending/saving money, etc. No bearing on plot.
-- It was randomly mentioned that since MC has a job and money, they can move out of their sh*tty apartment. So now they have to break their 1 yr lease (which we just found out). So now his brother has to go visit the landlord to renegotiate. You'd think such hyper detail would have significance. But it doesn't.
-- There's excessively LONG exposition about skill Pathways (basically RPG promotion trees) as a Beyonder, some Sequences/branches are incomplete, and the dangers/side effects of pursuing them.
Then, MC just picks the "Seer" branch, because of plot armor guidance from his predecessor isekai-er.
-- Even a random advertisement seen in a newspaper has a named character "Mr Gusev". And never mentioned again. This happens throughout the novel. WTF?
-- An entire chapter devoted to MC's brother complaining about the hypocrisy of certain affordable housing projects and the strings attached. Some reviewers actually said author had a good grasp of Victorian England! Are you kidding me?! There were no "affordable housing projects" in Victorian England, social classes were strongly held. This is just a thinly concealed way for the author to write filler and make allegories about Chinese housing affordability, or complain that "education" is not the solution to poverty.

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There were comments that the slow pace/fillers are "just" a translation issue. I disagree:
-- NU IS A DIRECTORY OF ASIAN TRANSLATED NOVELS. All reviews on NU are based on translated novels, not their raws. It doesn't matter how amazing the raw version is. You have to take both the novel and its translation into account.
-- I'll partially defend the translator. While the translation quality admittedly isn't great, there are little/no liberties taken with punctuations, sentence structures, etc. A simple example.
Spoiler

Ch 36: 奥黛丽边回想父亲和哥哥讨论局势时的话语,边自行发挥道:"他们认为现在政府的结构太过混乱,每次选举完毕,只要出现党派的更替,都会从上到下换一批人,让事情变得一团糟,效率极其低下,这不仅造成了战争的失利,还给民众们带来了极大不便。"
克莱恩很清楚,因为没有参照对象,此时的鲁恩王国还没有进化出公务员考试制度,政党执政形式依旧处于初级阶段,所以,在选举胜利后,不少所谓的事务性位置也会奖励给成员和支持者。
While Audrey recalled the conversation between her father and elder brother about the situation, she put in her own words, "They believe that the government's structure is too chaotic. Every election, if there is a change of the ruling party, there will be a change of personnel from top to bottom. It makes things a mess and lowers efficiency tremendously. Not only does it cause the battle loss, it also brings great inconvenience to the civilians."
Klein knew very well that as there was no example to reference, the Loen Kingdom had yet to evolve into a system that examined public servants. The political situation was still in its preliminary stages; therefore, after every election victory, many so-called positions would be awarded to members and supporters.

Could translation have less words / more appropriate words?
Yes.
Is this faithfully translated with the author's original sentence structure, punctuations, etc?
Almost. The translator actually made it better by breaking up entire long expositions into proper sentences.
Is there filler?
Yes. The first paragraph is Audrey recalling a conversation and talking. Why describe it as a "self narration / put in her own words"?
The second paragraph is the MC mulling over on Audrey's comments.
How does MC "know very well that there is no example to reference"?
Why do you even need a "reference" to form a better system of government?
Why does the reference use China's regulation that requires civil servants to be frequently re-examed (think of it as continuing education to update/keep your license) ? Almost all forms of modern govt/public entities keep base civil servants in place, with annual reviews to weed out underperforming people.
The whole point of MC's paragraph is just to conclude that the system of govt is immature and inefficient! What do all of MC's nonsensical examples have anything to do with Audrey's statement?? It's just pointless words/lore (from China) being thrown in.
And the worst part is that a few paragraphs later, he regurgitates what he just thought of, except this time he "says" it out loud. HOW IS THAT NOT FILLER?


There's nothing wrong with throwing in Chinese lexicon since the target audience is for China, but it has to make sense and not be irrelevant! Sure a reader from China could instantly grasp the meaning, easily gloss over it, but how are regular readers supposed to do that?

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-- This is a big issue with the novel. It feels like you're not reading the MC's thoughts. You're reading the author's viewpoint (who is omniscient). The author has 100 different nuggets of lore/info that he probably wrote on scraps of paper. Then he tried to forcefully combine it into chapters. The sheer mental gymnastics you need to read a chapter carefully is exhausting, especially after you realize it's just filler.
I get the sense a lot of reviewers have read the Chinese raws and can easily gloss over the problems, but it's precisely because it was translated into English that all of the problematic content and sentence structures start becoming obvious.

(3) Pointlessly complicated world building / more filler
It's one thing to have filler, it's another thing to try to disguise it with lousy Dickensian-style. Author tried to hid filler under nonsensical verbosity, lore and hyper realism.
Lore/backstory isn't meant to be storytelling. It's to provide info that will entertain and enlighten a reader. It's meant to connect the dots. There's something very wrong when the first 30 chapters has an info-dump on things that hardly matter. If you want to know how pointlessly complex it gets, google the Lord of the Mysteries wiki page.
Descriptive realism is just meant to convey the mood and atmosphere to readers. It's utter s*upidity when it gets verbose.

Spoiler

Ch 10: The incumbent Prime Minister, Lord Aguesid Negan, went up to the front. He was a member of the Conservative Party and the second non-aristocrat to become the Prime Minister till this very day. He was given the title of a Lord for his great contributions..... The main supporter of the Conservative Party was the present Duke of Negan, Pallas Negan, who was the brother of Aguesid!

Why would you bother introducing a Duke of Negan (never mentioned before) ? Why does it matter that he's the second non-aristocrat? Who gives a sh*t at this point in the story? That's how all characters are introduced. Comes with their friends, family, dog, servant, father's-mother's-friend's-wife's-niece's-uncle's-nextdoor neighbor's childhood friend.

Ch 10: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe you have witnessed this history-making ironclad warship. It has dimensions of 101 by 21 meters. It has an amazing port and starboard design. The armor belt is 457 millimeters thick. The displacement is 10060 tonnes. There are four 305 millimeter main cannons, six rapid fire cannons, 12 six pound cannons, 18 six barrel machine guns, and four torpedo launchers. It can reach a speed of 16 knot!....
Building out ironclad warship required three big coal and steel amalgamators, a scale of more than twenty steel factories, 60 scientists and senior engineers from the Backlund Cannon Academy and Pritze Nautical Academy, two royal shipyards, almost hundred factories for spare parts, an Admiralty, a ship-building committee, a Cabinet, a determined king with excellent foresight, a great country with an annual steel production of 12 million tonnes!"


I don't even know where to begin on how ridiculous this nonsense is....

Ch 14: Welch's place in Tingen was a detached house with a garden. The road outside the hollowed metal gates allowed four carriages to pass through at once. Street lamps lined the sides of the road every fifty meters. They looked different from the ones Klein had seen in his previous life. They were gas lamps and the heights of every lamp was about that of an adult male so that it was convenient to light the lamps. The black metal was closely oppressed to the glass, forming a checkered pattern, casting out classical paper lantern-like 'artworks'. Coldness and warmth were intertwined while darkness and light coexisted.
Walking along the pathway blanketed by rays from the sunset, Klein and Dunn Smith entered Welch's rented place through the ajar metal gate.

In case it's not obvious, those are just wrought iron gates. I don't know why lantern gas lamps at the height of an adult male are supposedly that unique. They do exist on Earth. Does Welch's place need to be mentioned twice? Or was there confusion earlier when only 1 damn building was mentioned? Does it matter whether it's ajar?
The whole point is just to convey a foreboding atmosphere. What's with all this nonsense?

Ch 18: "First, mental death... Second, their personality will be changed... Third. Well..." Dunn put down his pipe and picked up a porcelain cup and took a sip.
"Fermo coffee from the Paz River Valley is bitter... do you want one?"
"I prefer coffee from the Feynapotter plateau... what's the third outcome?"
-- conversation between MC and secret agent Captain Dunn's when discussing possible side effects of Beyonders who awakened.


It's pretty obvious there's no purpose to the random discussion of coffee, doesn't affect the atmosphere or lead the conversation in a different direction. Just nonsense filler. Even if this info about coffee was somehow useful hundreds of chapters later, what's the point of mentioning it NOW?

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These are just a few examples. EVERY CHAPTER IS LIKE THIS.

(4) Tons of sesquipedalia spouted by all characters / even more filler
This isn't just adopting archaic speech/lexicon, it's annoying name dropping and quotes of fictional gods/beliefs/philosophies that nobody knows about. And you just KNOW it's the author trying to slip in word count. Nothing beats an example.

Spoiler

Ch 15: "... Second, you're a graduate of the history department from Khoy University, this is something we urgently need. Although a believer of the Lord of the Storms, Leumi, perceives women in a way that is loathsome, his views regarding society, humanities, economics and politics remain incisive. He said before that talents are key to maintaining a competitive advantage and positive development, a point that I very much agree with." --- spoken by Captain Dunn, an investigative agent, to the MC.


Are you f***ing kidding me? Here's EVERYTHING that's wrong is just one short paragraph.
(1) Dunn was NOT being sarcastic.
(2) Dunn is NOT a follower of the Church of Storms (he's with the Church of Evernight). Dunn made ONE off-hand comment in the previous chapter that they would not employ torturous techniques when interrogating MC, unlike the Church of Storms (under the assumption that MC / readers know what the hell he is talking about). No further discussion.
(3) The MC is also NOT a follower of the Church of Storms or any organization and everyone know that.
So why the hell would ANYBODY start discussing philosophies about an entity that isn't related to the situation?
(4) If author just wanted to introduce readers to the characteristics of Church of Storms followers (which is clearly what he is doing) , then DO IT IN A LOGICAL APPROPRIATE MANNER. Have the MC visit the various churches, or meet various believers and let a short exposition or natural dialogue happen. Instead we're constantly treated to random insertions in random conversations, and readers are expected to join all the pieces together to understand the world. That's NOT IMMERSION. That's pointless complication to add word count.
Go read any of the classic Dickensian novels (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities) or Lord of the Rings and see the difference.

It's as if you were having a conversation with someone and then started randomly quoting maxims from Kant out of the blue. We've seen that happen in other novels and it's PAINFUL.

Again, this nonsense exists throughout the novel.

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(5) Illogical plot development / Retcon
-- MC's powers make no sense. He supposedly stockpiles over 40+ skills by Vol 5 (FYI that c105 is still just halfway through Vol 1....)
Author frequently has to pile on layer after layer of explanations (retcon) to cover it up.
Spoiler

First involves MC using a ritualistic circle (to isekai). Then using the same ritualistic circle to summon the Grey Fog and create a virtual communication platform (no longer isekai). Then because the ritualistic circle is obviously too clunky for MC to use in the novel, author decides to have it magically etched onto his hand. No explanation how that happened. So his superpower only does everything.

MC realizes his life MIGHT still be threatened after escaping death the first time. DESPITE the fact that joining the Nighthawks as a regular civilian offers MC some measure of protection, MC still wants to become a Beyonder (gain random special powers through consumption of magic potions, basically "The Witcher" or the Grey Wardens in DragonAge). Even though he is repeatedly told a significant portion (20+%) of Beyonders go berserk once awakened.
HUH?? So he's taking on MORE risk to avoid the LOW possibility of assassination? Where's the logic in this?

And so author pulls out the magical card called "MC just discovered the original emperor with super Beyonder powers was also an isekai'er, from CHINA! So his ridiculous decision making earlier is negated! MC just needs to follow emperor's footsteps and have MORE reason to become a Beyonder!".

[collapse]

-- MC was going to take a job as a university lecturer. Basically an Indiana Jones copy. There were long chapters devoted to his upcoming interview. MC then suddenly decided not to go, even though it was repeatedly mentioned he could juggle being a secret agent and a lecturer at the same time (plenty of hours). No reason given. Author probably realized having a side job as a lecturer was pointless.
MC then justifies to his family that he'll be rich with just his secret agent job.
Afterwards (in about... 3 chapters?), MC starts complaining that his single secret agent job salary actually isn't all that much.
I won't even bother hiding this as a spoiler, it's just that s*upid.

-- Plot development (at least the first arc/vol) comes in the form of 3 strangers (including MC) sitting together in a virtual environment (Grey Fog) after MC called on them by accident. Literally, sitting around exchanging ideas and chatting about what's going on in their part of the world.

Too much to write, I'm giving up. Am tired of constantly having to refer back to the novel to point out problems. Feels like I'm reading SAO all over again. <<less
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Tsukkin
Tsukkin rated it
November 12, 2018
Status: v4c82
This novel is probably one of the best fantasy mistery novel that i've ever read (well im a scaredy cat so I dont really read mistery/horror/thriller novel lol). The MC is quite shameless, witty, and not OP. The worldbuilding is very detailed. The side characters arent just an empty follower of MC. The enemies arent too s*upid like typical CN novel (which is very nice~ so tired of faceslapping plot -_-).

And the best part of the novel is..... theres no romance!.... yet... maybe... hopefully haha. Will wait for the next... more>> chapter~

P.s Bless u google translate for making it easy to mtl this wuwuwu :'D <<less
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ZKatty
ZKatty rated it
April 18, 2019
Status: --
I am a Chinese American, I thought it did be fun to read this great book again in English, but then I saw some people in the comments saying this novel is very draggy, slow-paced, and not focused on development. And it's the author's fault because he focuses on word count, blah blah blah.

Let's keep something in mind here: Chinese and English are two entirely different languages!

If you ever translated English into Chinese accurately, you will find that the same sentence in Chinese is at most half of the... more>> length of the original sentence in English. This is because of one to two characters in Chinese represents one word and Chinese don't need spaces. There is even a type of word called "ChenYu" that is all 4 characters long but their representation could vary from a vivid description to a fable. These differences turned a good dose of engaging imagery for Chinese speakers into long, boring, and unnecessary description to English speakers.

In conclusion, it's not the author's fault. If you want to read a good Chinese novel you either get used to the pace or learn Chinese.

Here are some proves to my point:

  • A ChenYu used in the 1st sentence of the 1st actual paragraph of c1 is "guang guai lu li". The translator translated it to bizarre but it is actually ment strange and colorful lights like those you see when you are very dizzy. So the translation is actually shorter then it should be. (Not saying the translator did a bad job. The translator did a great job here because this is an unnecessary description when translated to English. But just to prove my point here.)
  • A comparison of a "paragraph" in Chinese to its translation:
    Spoiler
    • The 1st actual paragraph in c1: The bizarre dreamland full of whispers quickly shattered. Zhou Mingrui, who was asleep, felt that his head had a painful ache as if he had been slammed with a pole. No, it was more like a sharp object piercing through his temple with a stirring action!
    • Link to c1 in Chinese: (It won't let me type in Chinese : ()
      https://read. Qidian. Com/chapter/3Q__bQt6cZEVDwQbBL_r1g2/GSlTBhSdiqP4p8iEw--PPw2

      • You may find out by the punctuations that a paragraph in English is only a sentence in Chinese! It would be considered a run-on-sentence in English grammar but still much shorter.
        [collapse]
  • I timed myself reading c1 in both languages:
    • Chinese: 8: 25.84 min
    • English: 14:29.31 min
  • In the original novel's comments, no one complained about the novel being filled with fillers. Not even in c1, which is probably the most descriptive chapter.
Just a side note:

You guys have not seen a true master of fillers. I recently started this novel where the author literally repeats an entire sentence word by word to fill up the word count. But he did it in a way that is so fitting to the plot and setting that it won't kill the interest of a reader (at least not the majority of us, judging from the comments). He is literally a mastermind in filling. <<less
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Digix
Digix rated it
February 3, 2019
Status: c23
The problem with this novel is the author, is focused on word count and not actual development. While actual development does happen, it comes at a uncomfortable pace after a lull in chapters where we as the reader are dragged through detailed explanations for 10+ chapters before seeing an actual advancement in the story which takes away from the story itself.
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Promethean
Promethean rated it
April 9, 2019
Status: c1221
This is pretty much, what I consider the best Chinese webnovel to date. Why?

Well, no typical chinese cliches (at least not much).

No padding. It's slow, but most of the writing doesn't feel like it's there to fill word count. There is no repetition and no peanut gallery of in important or random people.

... more>> A very unique and well thought out world.

Plot events aren't convenient power ups for the MC. The plot of the story seems like its well thought out. It doesn't feel like things just happen because the author needs to fill space. It feels like there's been what I call "foundation building" where things don't come out of nowhere like a mystical artifact that makes you a god... or OP anyways.

His power doesn't come from lucky. Yes. He isn't lucky. Even if he is, it doesn't feel like anything the MC gains comes out of pure luck or the plot armor.

He has a unique special power, but it isn't all powerful. And it grows as the MC grows. Yes, this is important. His power doesn't make him a god. It doesn't let him train 100000000 years in one day. It doesn't make him all powerful. But it allows him to pretend to be.

The writing style is great. Man, it feels great to not see many cliche writing styles. There's no terrible grammar, no repetition of events.

The things that happen to him, don't feel like a waste of time. You know that one arc where it takes 100 chapters to finish, and in the end, nothing changes as if it was filler? Well this one doesn't have that. Every chapter builds upon the plot, and doesn't feel like it will happen.

We already know the end game power level, so there is no endless powercreep.

Comedy, its actually pretty good. Misunderstandings? Well, its practically on Overlord level of misunderstandings, except a bit more scheming than Ainz.

The characters feel real, and flesh out. They feel like people you know, like people you can believe exist in this world. They aren't 1 dimensional characters that exist just for cliches. Even minor characters that don't show up much feel more real than important side characters in other novels.

There is no harem. That's an automatic +1 star. There is no romance either, no romance is better than a shallow one.

Don't believe those people giving the series low ratings because of the slowness. The slow pace of this novel works because the world is so well developed. That action matters when it happens, because they are all part of world building and character's growth. Unlike other badly written ones, the world is thought out, unique, and actually matters. It's called building a foundation for the novel.

This isn't a self insert story where the MC is blood thirsty, a stud horse, OP, lucky, action packed with bland and dumb villains, paper thing side characters, and poor and generic plot.

This story is exactly as the title says. It's a mystery with a dash of Cthulhu.

Summary:

If you like real characters, no cliches, no harem, action and events/arcs that matter and aid in building the character and the world, a world that feels developed ahead of the plot, excellent writing with no repetition to fill word count, no plot armor, with foreshadowing and things presented beforehand, a unique and well thought out ability/power system (and how to train it), with a dash of Cthulhu influence, then this novel is for you.

If you like tons of dumb action, super fast plot where nothing matters, endless power creep, no world building, cliche events and characters, terrible writing, short chapters, characters with no depth, self insert harem story, then this isn't for you. Because it is none of that. <<less
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Fulminata
Fulminata rated it
February 23, 2019
Status: c135
Opinions might change as I progress further into the story.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm shocked to find a webnovel of this quality. Truly, a rare gem. The worldbuilding is detailed. The writer's (and the translator's) depiction of each situations left me with a very vivid image of each of the scenes and leave me wanting for more!—something I mostly only expected in paperback novels.

This novel is an isekai. An isekai with a very strong gothic and steampunk theme, with mists and guns and clockwork machines and curses and secret occult societies mingled... more>> together in all of its glory. Imagine the somber vibe of Europe in the heights of 18th to early 20th century.

Right off the bat, our suddenly-transmigated protagonist were immediately thrust into a mysterious condition
Spoiler

with blood oozing from an apparently self-inflicted headshot wound.

[collapse]
There's a reason of why our MC is transmigrated, one that's going to be answered as we dwelve further and further into the story.

Granted, from @Night Ghost's review, the first 60 chapters of the story is merely an "introduction" to help us to get attached to the characters and familiarized ourselves with the world; A groundwork for the upcoming actions. Some people feel that it's a filler.... But actually, it's a necessary building blocks to established the stories. It's acceptable, it's normal, it's common sense. Most detective novels have these agonizingly slow "fillers" to establish a sense of urgency and mysteries.

The translation quality is definitely an A++. The words flow smoothly, and coupled with the mysterious situation that surrounded the protganist, keeps me scrolling. Definitely a page-turner! <<less
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Krist
Krist rated it
January 12, 2020
Status: c849
I'm writing this review to address some of the points brought up by those who have rated this novel poorly. Some of these points are just personal disagreements where you might be able to agree to disagree but others are just straight up dumb. I'll start with the point which I think there is merit in;

1. "Pointless exposition and filler" Now I disagree with this, but I could see how one might think this way. To me - it is not so much filler as it a great way to... more>> make the world feel real and alive. A good example can be found in the beginning of the third volume. Klein is about to set out to sea, a place he is wholly unfamiliar with. While he is about to get in line to tickets for ferries, he starts a conversation with one of the guards there, one of the topics Klein brings up to the guard is that of 'canned wolf-fish' - and how they are not permitted to be opened there. The guard tells Klein that this food item smells terrible and that in the past one of the customers there - in hopes that he could skip the line - had opened this biological food weapon. The story has a humorous twist as even those selling tickets had run away due to the terrible smell. All this has no relevance at all to the plot, but to me, not only are the stories funny but they build the world in an excellent way.

In later chapters, Klein actually has an encounter with the infamous canned wolf-fish as he stumbles upon two opposing gangs fighting - with a member of one of the gangs deciding to open and throw the food in the middle of the fight - probably with the intention of making the fight stop, which it does. Klein also has to run away to a nearby alley to puke. Again, this has nothing to do with the plot, but it makes it seem that outside of all the superpowers and the main plot, there are real people living their lives.

2. "Audrey is a Mary Sue." No, she isn't. She has plenty of flaws and is not at all better than she should be at what she is good at. In fact, the person that made this claim ironically brings up a flaw of hers, that she rarely receives setbacks. Now this might seem 'mary suey', but it's not and I'll explain why. The reason she doesn't receive many setbacks is not because she breezes through all of her challenges, rather it is because she doesn't experience many dangerous things. Why she doesn't have many such experiences is completely explained by her setting as she is the daughter of a very powerful nobleman and is restricted severely in terms of movement. As a result of this, it is true that she doesn't go through many hardships but it is also true that she has very little of the experience other beyonders of her level have. Would you look at that, a flaw. She has more, for example, the naivety she displays in the earlier chapters of the novel. She still is naive compared to the battle-hardened beyonder at this point in the novel, but she has progressed by a lot since the beginning of the novel - which leads in to the next criticism, which is probably the most serious criticism as well as the dumbest.

3. "Character development is not possible because of the rules the author has set up" More specifically, the criticism is framed as this "the rule that is "one is not allowed to do things against his moral codes or one will lose control" which means bad people are not allowed to become better and good people are not allowed to become worse".

This is obviously flawed. Just because acting like someone you're not isn't good - does not mean that who you are cannot change. If someone who is considered good goes through a bunch of horrendous shit, that could potentially change the way they view life and the world and make them someone who'd be considered evil - and vice versa. In no way would the rule the author has set up interfere with this change. This is such a serious criticism - because a novel that inherently does not allow character development is probably not going to be an amazing novel. Character development is very important, without it, characters wouldn't feel real. Btw, there is plenty of character development in the novel, don't worry. <<less
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xchronicles
xchronicles rated it
July 11, 2019
Status: c1075
[DON'T TRUSH THOSE WHO POSTED A REVIEW BUT HAVEN'T FINISHED VOLUME 1 (213ch) ]

One of the most well-received book here in NU, so I'm always curious about it.

Gave it a try once, didn't get past chapter 3, too detailed, slow paced and confusing for me.

... more>> Tried it again for the second time, didn't get past chapter 6, for the same reason above.

Tried for the third time, beginning are not so confusing and boring anymore and once I reached the 12th chapter... HOLLYYYYYY!!! CAN'T STOP READING!!! LITERALLY!!!

Some people may dropped the novel at first for the same reason as I had please NOOOO! You'll miss god-tier story!

IT'S NO WONDER HOW THE REVIEWS HERE ARE ALMOST PERFECT.

• You may feel uncomfortable on how Klein is so adaptable despite being a transmigrator but you'll get past that.

•I LOVE THIS NOVEL VERY MUCH.

• WORLD BUILDING: absolutely! addicting! and! well written!!!!! from the currenies to history and mysteries about the Gods! Oh Myyyyyy! can't get enough.

•PROTAGONIST: Rational, Calm, Humorous, Logical and Kind Hearted. Not a Hero yet not cold blooded too. Knows when to help and to stop. What I like the most is Klein is not overpowered. He's weak so he runs and he seeks help from his comrades and the church. And yet he doesn't feel down because he KNOWS his capability well- if he could beat the enemy on his own or not.

Overpowered in terms of thinking and laying traps for enemies but I LOVE IT.

•OTHER CHARACTERS AND VILLAINS: everyone has their own personalities AND Everyone has brains!!!! They all think rationally and logically!!! Especially the enemies and villains! They're not just no brainer but smart too but too bad Klein is smarter.

• MAGIC SYSTEM: Very unique and interesting! And every sequence has it's own logical explanation and origin. LIKEEE! 💓

• MYSTERY: You got questions? Here is the answer but you get 3-5 more questions...

•OVERALL: CAN'T GET ENOUGH!

Note: Some of the scene will really get to your heart, let you think deeply about life. <<less
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Peixotto
Peixotto rated it
February 16, 2019
Status: c117
I don't know what some of you are on about. It's not filler, it's detail. Books aren't just beginning middle end bam done. It builds. It's a mystery/detective novel. It's slow, but that's a good thing.
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Eric Du
Eric Du rated it
February 1, 2019
Status: c91
this is one of the best novel I've read till now. The author combined elements like steampunk, scp, Cthulhu together using a ease tone (comparing to many other cthulhu novels).

Most importantly, the most interesting of the novel is its unique power level

... more>>
Spoiler

from a profane stone, human beings found ways to create potions made from other mysterious creatures' body parts to make themselves evolve into stronger and incredible creatures, however the side effects of the potions make people keep hearing noise and sound from the mystery and would corrupt and turn into monsters.

[collapse]
By this unique level system, the MC gradually explores the world and explores the mysteries of the history, the gods and evil gods, and the world <<less
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wait321
wait321 rated it
February 1, 2019
Status: c43
This is one of the most slow-paced and boring novels I've read. The atmosphere is casual and entire chapters are spent on trivial things like looking for an apartment. The main character doesn't seem to be in any danger and it's like he's taking a stroll in the park.
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MissZer0q
MissZer0q rated it
May 9, 2019
Status: 1000 +
This is actually a very good novel. The MC is really relatable and he's not op but not some kind of an idiot either. What made me want to read it was due to its lack of romance but now I'm eagerly waiting for the next chapter this sh*t is hella addicting. I really really really love the ending of the Volume 2 where ... more>>
Spoiler

the MC pretends to be a clown, smiling as he came face-to-face with his siblings

[collapse]
trust me that was so sad yet sweet it's just ughhhhh now I can't even look at a clown the same ever again without remembering that heartbreaking moment. This. Is. Such. A. Gem. <<less
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ResidentialPsycho
ResidentialPsycho rated it
August 4, 2018
Status: c20
This is a thrilling supernatural steampunk mystery that starts a bit slow wit the world-building but then really spins it's story well. Although I'm still in the beginning of the story, the suspense has built up enough to put me on the edge of my seat. I am looking forward to the cases the MC will be investigating.
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Guru Dubey
Guru Dubey rated it
March 18, 2019
Status: v3c217
Best novel I ever read.

Story outline is quiet fantastic you read story and fill you become part of story.

This novel lakes useless tragedy and harem where every chick fall in love with MC for no reason.

Concept of potion makes this story easily conjure to real world.

Story plot is filled with mystery that arouse your curiosity
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Zefelina
Zefelina rated it
March 20, 2019
Status: c128
It is one of the most interesting (and, sadly, most underrated) novels out there. I started reading it because of the multiple great reviews and I am not disappointed.

It's true that the pace is slow in the beginning, but the author is setting the world and it is done very masterfully. I admit that I skipped some unimportant bits related to the world's history, however, that didn't impact my reading experience much as I still gradually immersed myself into the world. Those who read those bits, I suspect will gain... more>> some clues into the future developments.

The characters have their own personalities and are not there just to cheer MC on, like in many of other novels. The style reminds me a bit of Release that witch, because one in 20 chapters will have other peoples perspectives (but they don't get annoying and are very brief).

The MC is not op from the beginning but he does have a special power which helps him stay ahead of others. The enemies that he faces are realistic for a fantasy world. What I like in this novel is that even though MC is not from a wealthy family, there's no such things as "offending unreasonable ppl who constantly seek revenge and their whole familys get involved" trope. The world that we see is similar to the modern world - there exist normal jobs, education gets encouraged, universities, police, inventions, etc. Only with horse drawn carriages, maidservants, tophats and canes...

What I want to say is that people should try this novel if they want to read how one would live in a fantasy world, where fantasy is hidden from the general public. The novel sometimes describes everyday life and other times mysterious adventures, that gradually unravel the world for the readers too. <<less
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GreyPancake
GreyPancake rated it
March 17, 2019
Status: c702
Caught up with the latest MTL, this novel is just amazing at how it molds the MC character, from someone that just wants to return to earth and not feel attached to this current world to someone that grows with the knowledge he acquires. The potions the MC acquire plus the acting method forces him to change his viewpoints slowly about the world and his personality changes along with the digestion of these potions. Its not a bad thing though seeing him grow and face situations realistically like a god... more>> is amazing. The only disappointing thing or maybe a good thing about this novel is that the MC digestion of potions is just to fast. Maybe the author just wants to speeds up the novel with is good for us readers but its just reduces the thrill for us as well. <<less
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eceo
eceo rated it
May 13, 2020
Status: c1200
This is one of the most amazing novels that I have ever read, and I’m eagerly waiting for the author to release the sequel.

World Building: 10/10

  • Solid history
  • Good range of culture
  • Unique power system
  • Clear social division
Characters: 10/10

... more>>
  • Protagonist isn’t too overpowered in comparison to his enemies, and can make the most of what he has
  • Antagonists aren’t disadvantaged again the main character and actually pose a threat
  • Supporting characters, especially the key supporting characters, look like they have their own thoughts and goals
  • There’s character growth. There is. Stop saying there isn’t.
Plot: 9/10

  • A big part of it was like an investigation of what happened in history, and the truths that were revealed did not disappoint
  • The main character advanced in his sequence at a record breaking speed, but it’s acceptable considering the dangers lurking around him
  • The flow of events was great, and the story progression was really shocking at timeS
  • Sadly it was a bit of a rushed ending, but I still enjoyed it
Additional Comments:

The world building is top notch. I don’t know why people are accusing this story of having too many fillers. For every new arc, the story has to slowly build itself up. There are details that help shape the plot and set the tone. You think this is filler? You haven’t seen real filler before. I question whether you want to read a good quality novel, or if you got lost trying to find a story summary on sparknotes.

The protagonist, supporting characters, and antagonists can all grow on you. Most of the characters were designed very well. I don’t know why some people accuse this story of having no character developement. No character development? I can definitely write an essay on the main character’s character development, and I am confident that some supporting characters can get their own essays on their character development. <<less
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chronoata
chronoata rated it
February 13, 2020
Status: c950
this is the BEST novel I've ever read, story-wise and premise-wise! There's literally no filler arc nor any arc without development. The buildups and climaxes are similarly breathtaking to say the least. This is also the first and only novel that gives me the urge to recommend it to people who doesn't even read webnovel (just so I have someone to get hyped up together whenever there's something awesome happening)

If you're someone who's considering this and are currently weighing the opinions between the 5 stars and the 1 stars.... more>> Do this, read the first volume! Just read Volume 1 to the end (this is because this is a novel that has clear milestones between its volumes, so you can only truly judge a story arc after the end of each volume). After that, just keep in mind that, it's only getting better from there! <<less
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