Pursuing Immortality


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Meet Gu Yu—a college dropout and a talented incense maker, and at the same time, the rather stoic protagonist of this story. Despite his somewhat introverted manner, he has a tendency to make sarcastic remarks in his thoughts. One day, after saving a squirrel, a windfall (metaphorically and literally) dropped into his lap. Stumbling into the cultivation world with little help, he was not turned into Superman overnight (as he would like). Apparently, becoming a cultivator would not make your life easier, at least in the beginning.

Somewhere along the road, he ran into Jiang Xiaozhai, a young woman who’s got the brains, the beauty, and maybe one or two secrets of her own. As it turned out, the two made a perfect team—Mulder-and-Scully style. Motivated by many unanswered questions, they had been running up and down the country, getting into all kinds of trouble, and learning more of the modern cultivation world, which is by no means the same as in the ages long past…

Associated Names
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Related Series
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Immortal Becomes a Stay-at-home Dad After Return (1)
Cultivation Chat Group (1)
The Sacred Ruins (1)
Hunting for a Delicious Wife (After) (1)
Major General Spoils his Soul-guiding Wife (1)
Recommendation Lists
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  4. CN, KR & JP Novel without Harem
  5. Chinese Novel Interesting to Read

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01/15/19 Webnovel c410
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01/13/19 Webnovel c407
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20 Reviews sorted by

ender556 rated it
February 6, 2018
Status: c460

In the genre of modern cultivation novels, there are novels with better comedy aspects than this novel, but this one has much better world building than any other novel I have read. You actually get a full picture of the world (specially, China) in a modern setting where aura (spiritual energy, etc.) returns to the world. This with all the good and bad things that gradually become possible - you can get a pill that cures cancer but you can also get a ghost attached to you. Anyway, this novel has done this spectacularly so far.

The chatacters are done well, and so far I didn't have to think too much in order to recognize different characters - they are mostly well drawn out. Of course, the main characters are the most developed. When things start to get big in the story, some characters inevitably get pushed to their stereotypical role, like general daoist A or government official B, but there are still core characters that aren't forgotten, and overall most characters do remain in the story and aren't thrown aside.

This novel is one of the most realistic modern cultivation novels out there. You follow Gu Yu and his partners, colleagues, enemies and friends as they adapt to the new reality of the world. There is no System, no hidden chat groups, no Grandpa, no heavenly luck- only some ancient books, some relics and a new environment. Of course, the starting process involve some luck, but what drives the story forward is the MCs' effort to seek that luck. There is the normal killing style from xianxia novels, but even after becoming Immortal (which actually happens here for a change...), the MC still has to work with the government - our world cannot get so lawless even in such circumstances. Another nice thing is that in the story's world, other countries aside from China actually exist - and they have their own heritage of magic, alchemy, shamanism etc.

I tried to give a general review of the story without spoiling too much. I warmly recommend you to read this, it is truly a great novel.

The awful English name and picture truly do not do justice to this novel. In every xianxia novel out there people pursue immortality so it really doesn't represent anything special and became a general title you skip after reading. And regarding the picture, after 460 chapters I can tell you certainly that there are no such characters in the story. And if you want to show a couple of male and female in a picture, there is not much point - even though there is romance in the story it is only on the sidelines and not the main thing there. Xiaozhai's character doesn't speak much about herself (and her development takes a lot of time, for a long time she is simply there, without much about what she thinks about) so most of the time they simply move as a couple (of friends). The main thing in the story is the process of learning about the world, not about each other... Though that happens too, of course.

15 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
May 21, 2018
Status: c167
4/5, or 4.5/5 if you can ignore the info dumps.

The cultivation era has returned and the MC is just a regular citizen who is now paced to become one of the influential and top cultivators of China with an outstanding technique, location, friends, and an early start over almost everyone else.

The pacing is not rushed, but not too slow. While the changes to the world and society are becoming more apparent, the plot line is almost a slice of life of the MC without too much drama. He does get... more>> in fights and the Gary Stu action boner is achieved, but things are progressing steadily and he isn’t setting out to save the world or being forced to right away in most novels.

As as some have said the MC is a bit bland, but the love interest and some of his friends are interesting characters. At this point the character development isn’t really deep, but it’s not shallow either. It’s not really a character driven story.

The story and general plot is interesting. It’s a different take on the ‘normal person thrust into the cultivating world’ trope. The MC is a good natured person and makes smart decisions. While there is action, it’s a much more peaceful and relaxing read than most xianxia. There no severe tragedy or violent emotion seething from the MC.

There are however many cultivating info dumps of Taoist techniques and the Taoist organization hierarchies and characters. It makes no difference to your understanding of the story if you skip them, so I highly recommend doing so it the novel will seem to drag and be boring.

Overall a pleasant read with a good translation. The only detriment is that it is hosted by the villainous qidian. <<less
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ninthlite rated it
April 12, 2018
Status: c100
The main character is seriously bland, he has no personality at all. Once I found out that the writer was a woman, everything is clicked into place for me. The female love interest is a boringly perfect mary sue, while the main character is obviously a bland cut out that just exists to be a platform for the love interest.

Not a terrible story once you get past the fact that the girlfriend is really the main character, but thats really because my expectations for every wuxia/xianxia story on this website... more>> is low. The story lacks tension, as its really more a slow power wank. The personality lacking main character is an incredibly powerful cultivator in the modern world as normal cultivating has died, he goes around smacking a bit of faces, and looks for mysertious artifacts around china which are making local stuff weird.

A good point is that this novel avoids most of the cliche guidelines that xianxia/wuxia novels follow, but sadly just replaced it with lastluster writing. Props for that though. 3/5 <<less
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MangoGuy rated it
February 27, 2018
Status: c85
Tough I have rated 5 for now, this more of a 4.5

I guess the 5 is for over all.

This series is terrifying good at parts and excruciatingly... boring at parts. Fair warning, in the name of works building, you will get hide and confusing infodumps.

... more>> A modern cultivation novel, this is a second generation novel. As in, the MC doesn't freak out about cultivation and knows stuff from his own reading. And the MC is a really interesting guy.

The attraction of this story is not the cultivation; it is the characters, and their interactions. Crazy right?

I ship the main couple too much. Like just too much. And their relation is also very mature. And equal. FINALLY.

While this is all good, the cultivation thingy is a bit iffy. You either love it or hate it. For the first time, I understood the relation between body and universe. Good? Not necessarily.. Cuz I feel that that is too much context.

Either way, this is Mango approved, but at the sane, time, I can see a lot of people not liking it for the uniqueness the author has brought to this genre. <<less
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Kefi rated it
October 1, 2018
Status: c100
The story of a normal guy who gets to discover the world of cultivation as spiritual energy is coming back to the modern world.

I liked the beginning, the pace was slow but with some good world-building (with the occasional useless info dumps), the characters were relatable and likeable, with a romance slowly introduced into the mix.

Well, I can't relate or like the characters anymore so I quit here.

... more>>

I mean, the MC is a regular guy, with relations, a job, then he eats a magic fruit and slowly discover cultivation, so far so good.

Then he goes on a journey with his love interest and after a while come across a cultivator who stole a corpse, raised it as a zombie and used it to murder some guys who tore down his monastery, and then murdered the policemen who bizarrely wanted to arrest him.

At which point our regular guy MC and his girlfriend who had never shown signs of being a sociopath so far naturally agreed (without so much as a discussion) that it wasn't their place to judge the murderer, because they think that he had his reasons.

They then neutralize the zombie amongst the bloody dismenbered corpses of more than 20 policemen and civilians, without any indication of an emotion, despite not having been part of such a butchery before... And still not any inkling of a moral judgement toward the cultivator responsible for it.


Well this is a major break in character not justified in any way, which is a shame because the writer wasn't so bad before. <<less
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Timid rated it
July 3, 2018
Status: c80
This is all pretty horrible, although it starts off quite good. A loner type of guy working at a stall on a mountain tourist attraction in the modern world, stumbles into cultivation after saving a strange squirrel from a snake. Then it sets up some interesting world building.

  • A mysterious mountain valley.
  • Established sects that have lost their inheritance.
  • Animals and insects that are growing bigger and stronger as the worlds atmosphere changes
  • Incense that the MC creates starts to have mystic effects
All plot points that either get forgotten about, or ended in the... more>> most anticlimactic way possible. While the MC (semi) dates some random woman in some of the most boring scenes I've ever read. At this point you couldn't pay me to read this. <<less
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January 15, 2018
Status: c40
This is probably a premature review (What, another one? You have to stop that, me.) but I really like this novel. The main character is just your typical chinese MC nowadays. Cool-headed, he-who-sees-all-knows-all, walking wikipedia, calculating, self-proclaimed introvet, and all sorts of those typical and extremely overused bullsh*ts. But he is different from others (at least for now I guess), he doesn't go around and piss everyone off, or slaughter upto someone's 18th generation just because they look at him wrong. He cares for others, and prefers words over getting... more>> physical.

But there is just something that rubs me the wrong way.

Why the flying furnace all the girls he is close to are either beauties or bishoujos?!

Are normal looking ones not girls as well?! <<less
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Rheinstahl rated it
April 28, 2019
Status: c410
Maybe one of the best or the best CH novel ive ever read. The most positive part is that its not condescending in any way, they go abroad and no chinese racism. The description are great, the information presented is so detailed and recherched... you simply feel the authors love for the history of cultivation and the occult.

On to the Bad.

Its hosted by the worst and most disgusting novel hoster out there, dont trust Quidian ort Webnovel ort however they rebrand to for PR reasons ever.

What I heard is that... more>> [allegedly] this was dropped cause they [allegedly] force multi translators on Storys and [allegedly] drop any story with a single translator. Also they [allegedly] shun any translator that tries to interact with the community, probably to [allegedly] not share the [allegedly] bad pay conditions and other [allegedly] bad stuff etc.

Dont trust Quidian, dont trust Webnovel, dont give them money, let them bleed dry

The novels must flow free <<less
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Magicia rated it
June 6, 2018
Status: c184
I have read quite a few 'Spiritual Energy Returning to the World' type novels, and I can honestly say: this novel beats them all. I can't do reviews properly and I will not try to do it now. All I can say is, if you're a fan of Carefree Path of Dreams, Martial Arts Master, Monster Paradise, Seeking the Flying Sword Path and Way of the Devil, you'll most likely become a fan of this novel, Pursuing Immortality, as well. Although these novels aren't of the same theme, each of... more>> them has something in common, I can't quite say what, however, it is that thing that makes these novels more realistic and intriguing. Have a good read! <<less
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nikomaru rated it
January 14, 2018
Status: c105
Alongside the declining of the world's Spiritual Qi, the great way of magic declined into a mere cheap trick.
Now thousands years later, what have been long forgotten will rise once again alongside the rising of the Spiritual Energy of the world!
As the old will wept for they are born too early too witness a new legend, the young shall welcome a new era!
A young man who discovered a remnant legacy of illusion.
A young woman who succeeded a remnant legacy of beast taming.
Follow the adventure of... more>> Gu Yu and Jiang Xiaozhai solving mystery all around China to complete their legacy!

tech tree
1. Illusion
2. Spiritual Beast
3. Talisman/Fu
4. Chinese Zombie/Jiangshi
5. Pleasure Technique

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mrttao rated it
March 16, 2018
Status: c101
Pretty good so far. When the description talked about exploring "modern cultivation world" I had expected there to actually exist a modern cultivation world. Something like cultivation chat group, where there are high tier immortal masters secretly living in society.

But no, turns out that with the decline of spiritual energy thousands of years ago cultivation became near extinct, magical arts ceased working except for the lowest tier ones that can genuinely be confused for con artists. This story's premise is that at current times spiritual energy is suddenly coming back... more>> to the world, and thus mystical occurrences begin to crop up all across china. Worth noting that the government does actually notice.

The author seems to have seriously done their research about daoism in china, and the history of its various temples and sects, as well as their beliefs in regards to cultivation. So it comes off very different to your typical xianxia/xuanhuan story. <<less
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pirateking rated it
November 18, 2018
Status: c330
I don't understand why some good novels go unnoticed with good reviews and bad novels receive more popularity with bad reviews. This is an excellent Modern day Xianxia novel with one of the best world building I have ever seen in a web novel.

The author did a lot of research about the ancient Chinese culture and you can see it in almost every chapter. Info dumps is a double-edged sword and this novel tackled that problem pretty well.

The main and side characters building is given a lot of importance, unlike... more>> many Xianxia novels. The main couple got together early in the story and remain together till now (No long separations as of yet). Though there are a lot of women around Male MC it is not a harem story.

So don't waste time reading these comments and start reading the novel. You will not get disappointed <<less
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Kaikatana rated it
September 8, 2018
Status: c265
Phenomenal story so far!!

How can there only be 9 reviews on this?

When it comes to world-building or conflict development there are only a couple of stories to match it especially if you restrict it to modern ones.

Acknowledged it is sometimes a bit difficult to read through some parts as I am a foreigner who doesn't know all the intricate chinese culture and references mentioned but on the other side I learned so much about it just from reading from this. (I'll definitely read "A Journey to the West" in the... more>> future...)

Translation-quality is supreme as well so just hop in and get reading..... <<less
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shuiko rated it
January 27, 2019
Status: c410
Truly a properly well written Book like story about cultivation, with a proper romance, that helps build the characters and the plot. Good relationship, no bullshit, no random forced problems.

Fights are interesting, power levels are cool, and the worlds building is unique and pretty amazing.
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Ruthless rated it
December 31, 2018
Status: c393
Great novel. It kicks off after he reveals his feelings at chapter 100 something, everything before that is kind of to give you a generic feel for what you're getting yourself into.
He's the most powerful cultivator ever since he started cultivating, but hes not THAT ahead.
Also, since cultivation became available not too long ago, as the most powerful cultivator he has to figure spells and sh*t out himself.

Ok now for my pros and cons :
Pros :

  1. Unlike other xianxia bimbos, his girlfriend is actually a person and not a dumb brainless naive weak piece of sh*t of a person that happens to be a woman. You'll see what I mean if you pick this up.
  2. The MCs and his girlfriends life are not in danger 24/7 like some other ridiculous novels, its more relaxed, but there are still dangerous moments, especially pre chapter 300.
3. Him and his girlfriend have similar thought processes, they're very Neutral to Neutral-Evil, which are my hopes for them in the future.

... more>> 4. Cultivation realms actually mater, you can't fight above realms with some bullsh*t cheat treasure, and you don't level up in 1 day, or even month.

5. They're both smart, not 300 IQ, but smart. Example : they knew about 3-4 areas that have the highest energy for cultivation, and they picked one whole region for them that was the second best, but not that far off from number one. As they didn't want problems with the government at that time and #2 is close to their homes.

Cons :

1. (I guess i'll put this in here) I didn't like 1 scenario where the MC didn't have to help but he felt like he should because he owed it to the people, his girlfriend told him to do what he wants to do, but pointed out that this is out of character for him, since he'd never do this.
While it was only because of him being in a cultivation bottleneck that this happened, I don't like it non the less.

2. After he became _____ in chapter 340 +, he still hasn't become Neutral twords the government. Not that he's not neutral already, but for example - He's doing a speech in a couple of days, and government ask if they can hop on, he says yes. After he became _____, he can dodge Nukes, and if not dodge, resist them, so without killing millions civils, they can't kill him or do shit, but he still doesn't declare his stance so they can stop annoying him, and he also doesn't claim 50% of their spiritual stone mine that he found and gave them but only received less that 1% because he wasn't a threat at the time.

Other than that, definitely in my top 2 novels ever read in my 3 years of reading. <<less
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drollawake rated it
December 27, 2018
Status: c827
One of those spiritual energy returns to the modern world novels. Excellent worldbuilding but occasionally lapses into eye-glazing infodumps on historical texts. The X-files analogy is accurate in the sense that they are trying to piece together clues about the supernatural i.e. Cultivation. If you don't mind the occasional infodumps (or skip them since they're obvious), the pacing is generally good.

For a novel that advertises a main couple, it is more cultivation novel than romance novel in that you don't see chapter after chapter of tropes (e.g. Pining, miscommunications, worrying... more>> about feelings, teasing) that would usually slow down the plot progression. That's not to say that the novel is bad at portraying the romance. Unlike Spare Me Great Lord, another novel in the same subgenre, it doesn't rely on a pseudo-incestual premise to get the MC a girl and it also doesn't feel like the female lead is getting infantilized by the MC. <<less
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SCDarkSoul rated it
December 9, 2018
Status: c369
I think this might actually be my favourite story.

This is modern day cultivation, in a world where the natural energy has thinned over many years and is only now resurging. The numberous practitioners and sects over the year tried to adapt to the changes in the world but lost much of their heritage over time and have grown incredibly weak. The MC and female lead manage to step back on the path a little earlier than most and are now rebuilding what they can, a step ahead of everyone else.... more>> This means the MC is in fact the most powerful character seen thus far period, the most powerful modern cultivator. It remains to be seen if those that achieved immortality in earlier eras will make a reappearance.

The most enjoyable thing for me here is that none of this is happening in a microcosm. The changes are happening on a wide scale. The government catches onto things early on, and even approach the MC. The MC is too free spirited to work directly for the government but does act as a contractor, while the government tries to rush to build up their own powers. Overtime the changes begin leaking into the public, the government allowing hints to dribble out more and more as they can no longer control it. Even more, this is a global change, we do in fact get to see other countries and their native magic systems make an appearance.

As other reviews have mentioned, slight problem with infodumps, though if you like that sort of thing it's fine, or if you're binging rather than going new chapter by new chapter you can skim over those.

Some have called the MC bland, but I actually rather like him. He does as he wants, being a cultivator does change you, but he isn't completely amoral. He will help people out if he is able, but he is not a superhero rushing to every crisis or working for free. If somebody tries to kill him or his, he will retaliate lethally as well. His interaction with the government is also one I find generally believable. He doesn't want to be a government dog, but he does still realize that this is affecting everyone else in the country and the government is the best entity capable of controlling things on a larger scale, and is able to have relatively fair dealings with the government. Sometimes they push him a bit, and he pushes back, but both are far too indispensable to each other to take it too far. <<less
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daoistfellow rated it
December 8, 2019
Status: c410
As of now, there are four protagonists, who are each well defined (at least as far as the genre is concerned) with interesting and engaging personalities.

There is one major downside: Most reviews state that the novel is exempt from Chinese racism, but it's not really true. The author seems to be a crypto-Han supremacist. Characters from other ethnic groups in the novel who cultivate are typically followers of Shamanism, which isn't particularly well defined by the author, who basically groups all non Buddhist/Daoist beliefs into one and marks them as... more>> death or bestial based magic. These people are basically all close-minded and immoral, with the exception of Long Qiu (not her village though, people there are also bad). What's the author's verdict? The government ought to suppress them. Too bad it cares too much about human rights to do so. With what's happening in Xinjiang at the moment, this is pretty laughable.

On the international front, the most questionable thing is the exclusion of India as a world power. African and South American countries are mentioned but so far have no appeared. Only Western powers such as Britain, Europe, the US, and Japan appear. Of course, they are much weaker than the protagonist. This makes sense, since the power of cultivators should depend on two things: 1. The population of superstitious residents as a proxy for the number of low level cultivators; 2. The effectiveness of the state as a means to gather resources and information and maintain order, providing a stable environment for high level cultivators to appear. African countries fail on the second criteria, so they should have many weak cultivators but few strong ones. European countries fail on the former. But where is India? Their superstitious population is doubtless much higher than China at the moment, and although the country is less well developed it is still to a reasonable level. They should be very powerful but are entirely absent. Buddhism in the novel is basically nothing, looked down upon as being foreign and devoid of any useful inheritance. It somehow survived numerous purges in ancient history and gained influence equal or greater to Daoism but let's ignore that, ok?

That's not to say that the novel is bad. Actually it is very good, hence the four stars. Just don't think about it too much.

Edit: I feel like I should iterate the good points of this novel, since I went into such depth into its single major flaw

  1. Excellent humor in writing, with unique style juxtaposing both historical and internet references, along with skillful translation of it
  2. Insightful portrayal into modern Chinese feudalism system, regarding the lesser nobility (that is, descendants of rich tycoons. I say lesser because the novel scrupulously avoids mentioning the second-generation party cadres), and of the luxury provisioning system. This goes far beyond the typical feel-good face slapping of most novels.
  3. Pretty good depiction of how the state imposes "soft-power" in both internal and external strategy
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IMakeCopperMirrors rated it
September 12, 2019
Status: c300
Rating: 7.5/10

The premise and initial world building is golden -it really gave me the vibe and excitement of cultivation starting to appear in our modern world. The author researched very well many occult old religion sects and practices and that adds to the spiritual feel. This almost makes the novel worth it for the first 100 chapters or so. But the rest is average and spoils the good part.

MC is quite cool-headed in the beginning, calm mindset and cares for his close ones (personally I prefer goal-driven almost ruthless... more>> for their goal bastards but I don't dislike the caring MCs). But as other comments mentioned, the MC's girlfriend is very cocky, almost obnoxious and some could say it even takes the role of MC herself. Their interaction with the government is also totally childish and unrealistic in approach and even more in consequences

especially the totalitarian Chinese gov would give them zero face and 100% imprison them and all their potential friends to prevent spreading information and certainly not gift them a mountain not wanting to get more information out of them


I dropped the novel at the point when:

the couple of MC and gf begin teaching precious cultivation resources that require discipline and a steady focused mind to the cousin/sister of MC's gf, a kind of wastrel that only knows how to party and hook up guys and can't get anything done + she is even more obnoxious than MC's gf


In summary, this novel mixes the very good with the bad so it is kind of a torture to read. I dropped it but I remember the plot was starting to wear off by then, but maybe it would get better in the latter half of this novel (not optimistic about that). <<less
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Gsichtselfmeter rated it
August 22, 2019
Status: c410
Imagine this: All the old magic, wizardry and cultivation powers are real, just temporarily asleep. And now they awaken and form the lands again. But we are in the modern times. How do the people react to the resurgence of immortals. What will the gouvernment do? How will they try and keep their power? This is exactly what this novel is about: The mix of modern times and old magic. The MC and his companion are lucky youngsters that find themselves at the lead of the times, grasping the stars... more>> whilst everyone runs behind. The novel is slow-paced and witty, describing the transformation of the MC and the world, where each come to terms with the new times. As the MC strives for immortality he slowly begins to stand above the common folk, experiencing time in years, shedding his human self.

Of course this goes not without flaws. What bothered me are that things that are foreshadowed or even very much in the focus of the novel

Essence making, the fat squirrel, the tree fruits, the peach essence

are just forgotten and get mentioned hundreds of chapters later. This can be explained by the transformation from human to immortal, but I think those things deserve a real end. Also the MC is described as detached, selfish and willful, and he really actually acts that way;, but sometimes he also acts as a chinese nationalist without any reason and this doesnt fit his description as "standing above the world and detached from human emotions". Furthermore the novel is full of mentions of ancient chinese people, places and sagas and it is very hard to follow them. (Obviously I am a western reader, and the novel was not written for the western market)

Despite the flaws I had a blast reading this and give it 5*. I especially liked the authors witty style, adding some sexual innuendos here and there. Very refreshing and fun to read. <<less
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