Zhanxian

Martial Arts Novels Journalism
2022 Jun 02

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Gripes have their origins and debts have their debtors. We havent crossed each other in days past or present, nor formed any grudges. I am but duty-bound to carry this out, so apologies in advance!

In his past life, Yang Chen was a gentle person who was oppressed for his whole life.

Now that hes reborn, he chose to become an executioner and severs ties and grudges with his executioners blade, killing all that climb onto the Immortal Executioners Platform!

Heads will roll! Humans in the human realm, demons in the demon realm, devils in the devil realm and immortals in the immortal realm!

Related SeriesN/ARecommendationsTales of Demons and Gods(10)

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The Greatest of All Time [Male Protag]

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It is in serious need of editing. To be fair, the translator did acknowledge he needed an editor and could not find one. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, but as a reader what ultimately matters to me is that the reading experience was not consistent.

The story could go many chapters without dialogue, it made the story feel so dry and slow at times.

- MC is (mostly) not ret*rded. It pains me to list this as a pro, but the fact is that most xianxia MCs are pretty ret*rded. They act on anger and rush in to kill an enemy without thinking things through. They react to events rather than proactively making things happen. They dont plan things out. The MC in this story is mostly not like that. When possible, he tries to find excuses for knowing things he should not know, and if he cannot find excuses then he simply doesnt let other people find out about his knowledge.

- MC is not perverted. Again I hate to list this a a pro but in a lot of stories the MC is perverted. At least for the first 100 chapters he didnt even have a single lewd thought or comment. None of his actions are ever motivated by lust, at least not initially. Case in point: In chapter 125 an angry female cultivator was chasing him to cripple his cultivation because he accidentally offended her (by unintentionally releasing some killing intent at the entrance of her sect). She wouldnt let him go so he made her fall unconscious with his killing intent. At this point he could easily have r*ped her or done something to her, but the thought didnt even cross his mind. Instead he just lets her go because he doesnt want trouble. Again with the female cultivators whose minds he broke because they tried to kill him. He turned them into puppets but didnt r*pe them or anything. Just ordered them to cultivate instead.

- MC has actual reasons for cultivation i.e not just becoming strong for the sake of becoming strong. Again, this shouldnt be a pro, but the fact that so many xianxia novels have MCs whose entire motivation is just to get strong for the sake of getting strong is quite depressing, though usually this isnt an issue with reincarnation novels. Id say MCs reason is fairly decent, but the execution is poor.

- Few coincidences. Treasures generally dont fall into his lap, he obtains most of them logically (e.g from his past memories or from the gods he executed). Few if any deus ex machinas (his teacher was saved because one of the goons chasing her was actually a spy and didnt want her to get captured).

- The MCs enemies have actual reasons to oppose the MC and are not just because theyre sadistic rapists or something. Their motivations are well explained and make sense, ranging from greed to loyalty to a hostile organization. This is fairly well done.

- Cultivation scenes are too f*cking long. Early on there was something like 20 chapters describing the refining of the heaven seizing pill. There are cultivation scenes later on as well, which are just as long. These cultivation scenes COMPLETELY POINTLESS AND BORING, describing the control of fire and circulation of spirit power and all the other boring stuff. And this gets repeated over and over. Every time the MC needs to add a flame to his furnace (and he adds a lot of different flames to his furnace) or refines his flying swords (and he has to refine these a lot) you get a multi-chapter long description of how he adds the flame to the furnace or refines the sword (the MC mainly increases his cultivation level by refining pills or treasures so these are equivalent to the cultivation scenes in other cultivation novels). You can skip them without missing anything in the way of plot as none of it is relevant to later developments. Its like reading about someone grinding in a shitty RPG or reading about some kid doing his homework as a reviewer once aptly put it. It is a pretty serious downside because the novel could be maybe 50% shorter without missing anything important or interesting. You could probably fit everything that happens in the first 100 chapters into 40 chapters once you cut away all the pointless cultivation.

- The timeline is f*cked up mostly due to the cultivation scenes taking f*cking years. Refining a pill or furnace takes years at a time. Absorbing a single flame takes years and MC has to absorb hundreds or thousands of flames. Once a Da Cheng cultivator chased him 5 years into the sea literally flying non stop until MC luckily found an even stronger monster to eat that guy. This is pretty f*cking ridiculous. The timeline is messed up due to all of these little events that take months and years adding up without the author keeping track of the time for the audience.

- Lots of random slice-of-life-y moments like brewing alcohol and taking pointless bets and going shopping with his harem. Just as boring if not more so than cultivation scenes. This is actually the reason that I dropped this.

- A lot of major world-shaking events happen without any hints beforehand so makes you think it just came out of the blue. This is because the author didnt ever explain the previous timeline at all so you have no idea what to expect even though the MC knew about it. I dont think this is particularly good writing. Its not like Reincarnator where the MC clearly explains what happened in the previous timeline and how they f*cked up and how hes going to fix it.

- It was mentioned that Sun QingXue had spent 34 YEARS cultivating after being rescued from execution but she still acts like a kid sister in front of him and not at all like a mature adult.

- He lets Sun QingXue enter an unexplored area of an abandoned sect that he knew was going to be dangerous without exploring it himself first, with the result that she was immediately attacked and almost killed by the monsters inside. Her protective treasure was destroyed in 3 hits and one more hit would have killed her. His justification? I knew there were monsters but didnt think they would attack without asking first. F*cking s*upid.

- Members of the MCs harem appear to have no motivation other than to serve and protect him even though they had other motivations and interests before.

- MC has lived for 10 thousand years and yet acts like a dense harem protag to the extent that he keeps his arms straight down when a girl hugs him. He says Ive lived for 10 thousand years but Ive never experienced romance so I dont know what to do when a girl proposes to me. Bull f*cking shit. He has read literally millions of random books and none of them talked about romance? F*ck you for thinking readers are that dumb.

- MC acts irrationally whenever someone badmouths his teacher, going to the extent of killing them (he says in the story that he will not allow anyone who verbally insults his teacher to live). Whenever someone tells him that his teacher got injured, he releases his killing aura regardless of the fact that no enemies are present and he is only hurting his allies. Yet he allowed his teacher to go to the ten-thousand mountains alone to buy ingredients for his flying sword without sending anyone to protect her nor give her any protective treasures, with the result that she got seriously injured. What does he do after he finds her seriously injured and unconscious? He gives her some pills and allows her teacher to take her back, and instead of accompanying them he goes off to avenge her, with the result that by the time he finished his revenge and he gets back his teacher is still unconscious and is almost braindead and would have permanently lost her mind if he didnt come back in time to save her. This is illogical and doesnt make sense. If the MC loves his teacher so much why would he prioritize avenging her over making sure she is recovered first? Secondly why did he even allow her to go out alone in the first place. I just cannot believe someone who has cultivated for 10 thousand years would act like this.

- Unimaginative setting. Most of the treasures seem to be based on Journey to the West. Majority of treasures used are of the physical variety: flying swords and protective treasures that function essentially like armor. Cultivators fight by throwing their flying swords at each other. Up to the chapter 266 the most interesting power described so far was turning braindead people into living puppets, and I dont think even thats particularly interesting. Its very much a vanilla xianxia setting with the typical powerlevels Yuanying, Da Cheng and so on. Nothing new or interesting compared to the powers described in say Reincarnator, or even f*cking Elf Tensei. Hell I think even LSG had more interesting powers than this.

The most important thing was that Yang Chen wouldnt even have been able to comprehend this method, if he hadnt cultivated to the third layer of layer of Three Purities Secrets, let alone cultivating the method. But fortunately Yang Chen had received the cultivation method of the Three Purities Secrets from the Greatest Supreme Elder, and he had also already cultivated it to the third layer.

The second sentence could be cut down to just the first 5 words. The story is full of this kind of repetition. It is not unusual to find the same thing repeated 5 or even 10 times even within the same chapter. Very annoying.

- The crucial plot point of WHY Li QingChen wanted Yang Chen dead was only revealed in chapter 126, when his attempt to kill Yang Chen had started at the very beginning of the story. It would have been nice to know that from the start since the attempts to kill him had covered most of those first 126 chapters. The fact that he did not discover the reason behind it for like 10 years makes me think hes incompetent. Youd think someone who lived for 10 thousand years would probably be able to find out the reason behind all the attempts on his own life right? Nope, it was merely revealed to the MC by accident. If not for that then he might have never found out. F*cking useless.

- Multiple minor plot holes. For example in chapter 171, where the corpse of the cultivator that Yang Chen just killed (by cutting in half with his sword) has no blood in it and nobody bothers asking why. Im pretty sure Yang Chen couldnt have came up with a good excuse for that. And high level cultivators were looking at the corpse so they would have definitely noticed it, but they didnt ask why it was sucked dry nor get suspicious about it. I think that counts as a plot hole as they definitely should have gotten suspicious and asked about it. There are other places in the story where you would think the other characters must be completely ret*rded to think that he discovered the locations of ancient treasures from browsing the library.

- The achievement roll integer overflow. Apparently even magical tools use bounded integer types. F*cking s*upid.

- The writing isnt great. Entire paragraphs are made out of a single sentence. They dont flow particularly well and arent sharp or biting. You get the gist of what hes trying to say, but theres not anything memorable or quotable. It just barely passes as functional.

==============================================================================================Spoiler

Some reviewers have said that they are confused about what happened in the first chapter so here I will clarify what exactly happened:

So, when the chapter began, Yang Chen was in the devil punishing battlefield in the immortal world (I believe it was during the battle between the hundreds of thousands of celestial soldiers and the devil Yi. It was not clear whether Yang Chen was fighting for or against the devil Yi or if he was just passing by or whatever), and was dying (it was not explained why Yang Chen was dying). The Greater Demonic Body Exploding Technique was devil Yis final suicidal technique that took out hundreds of thousands of celestial troops and also Yang Chen apparently. Before devil Yi exploded himself, the dying Yi told the dying Yang Chen some cultivation techniques. As Yang was dying, he recalled 4 events in his past life (he apparently lived for over ten thousand years), which were Yang Xis speech, his masters death, being locked up by the sect master for thousands of years, and finally his master giving him the sword (the events are clearly not in chronological order). While recalling the fourth memory, which was his master giving him the sword, he was presumably hit by the explosion and suddenly woke up and found himself in the past, standing before the spiritual root test which was probably thousands of years if not over ten thousand years before. It was not explained why exactly Yang Chen was on the battlefield, nor how he got reincarnated thousands of years into the past, neither of these were explained in the first chapter (nor in the first 200 chapters as it happens).

I want to recommend the translation by Blue Silver Translations over the one by LordOfScrubs, at least for chapter 1. LordOfScrubs described the young master as female when he was actually male (Blue Silver Translations got that part correct. Well, sometimes the original text will get the character wrong too. Lots of same-pinyin but wrong character typos. For example sometimes Yang Chen is referred to as a she. But in this instance theres no reason to believe the young master was a female). In another passage where Yang Xi explained that it was him who accused Yang Chen of coveting the fruit, the LordOfScrubs translation got that part completely mangled whereas the Blue Silver Translations got that part correct.

I have a minor issue with how Blue Silver Translations translated that particular sentence though. Whereas they translated it as:

I accused you before the Greatest Heaven Sect, said you coveted the young masters Vermillion Fruit, and assassinated him.

This sentence is ambiguous. One interpretation is that Yang Xi first accused Yang Chen before the sect, and then Yang Xi assassinated the young master after making the accusation. Obviously this is not logical but it is a bit confusing.

I accused you before the Greatest Heaven Sect. I said that you coveted the young masters Vermillion Fruit, and that you assassinated him [for it].

A minor nitpick perhaps but Id support any change that reduces the scope for confusion.

Anyways, between the LordOfScrubs translation and the Blue Silver Translations version I would definitely go with Blue Silver Translations. It is much more accurate and faithful to the original text (though a bit too literal in some places leading to the kind of confusion I described above).

The weletransations translation is also a bit too literal in places (e.g one of the lines was translated as something like if three people say tiger - the translators wrote that they didnt know what this meant. Its a well known Chinese idiom Wikipedia. Org/wiki/Three_men_make_a_tiger). If you had no knowledge of Chinese idioms you might get confused at a lot of the lines since few of them are explained. Otherwise its a competent translation. Youll just have to live with the unnatural phrases such as This! This! which abound in the translation. Im not sure how best to translate it but it doesnt sound like the kind of thing a native English speaker would say. It does sound a bit s*upid and its one of the reasons I dont think highly of the writing.

Rather nice. I love the long chapters and the development of our main character. The slow backstory is also very nice. Glimpses instead of s*upidly long, 10+ chapters of pure backstory.

Especially nice was our MC on the Immortal Executioner Stage. Very unique when I read it and slowly made me love the development...

Heres hoping our MC manages to become his masters disciple again...

Warning: This is based mostly on the MTL version, because I got to impatient waiting for an update for one of my favorite stories. So there are walls of text incoming. I tried to break it up, but it is a really long text, so please be patient.

There are a lot of things that I like about this novel. Be it the fact that there are reasons for every OP thing the MC or his harem get. The fact that he doesnt just breakthrough at lighting speed, but is rather

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as fast as any other more genius cultivator. In fact his wives are even faster. Of course he can still kill people above his level, but there are scenes, where he has to run for his life. He doesnt get a powerful backer for no reason until near the end of the novel. He isnt offending everyone left and right, rather he has ties to every major sect in the novel through his harem. He is more of a political animal rather than a brute savage despite being an executioner. He has such a big reputation for being polite and forgiving and being weaker than his wives (because he usually has a lower cultivation level and keeps his strength hidden), that he keeps attracting troublemakers, who he usually has to kill. That something that you dont find in your usual xanxia/wuxia story.

There are negatives as well. Like his harem members listening to his every word. Be it demon cultivators or from the more traditional sects. They never disobey him, not even once, partly because his foreknowledge from traveling back in time allows him to know things they could never imagine, but also because he is their lord husband. That was a minor problem that I had, as it forced them to be somewhat one dimensional imo.

It is so bad that I didnt even remember the first names of the quintuplets he was married to, partly because they were always described as one group and also because they never separated in the novel and so their always referred to as the murong sisters.

Positives: MC doesnt return to superweak after having to lose his cultivation in order to save his wifes life. It rather becomes a way to consolidate his knowledge and cultivate from the beginning, and it still takes him 300 years to return to his previous cultivation level. Speaking of his wives, I liked that MCs spend a lot of time and effort on having them keep up with him and have their own individual and special weapon, that fit them. He also spend a lot of time just being with them, rather than retreating into solo cultivation like a lot of other xanxias.

MC is also rather smart about his revenge and rather than trying to 1v1 an entire sect, who chased him down for millennia in his previous life, he went for the sneaky route and made them in the 1st realm, public enemy Nr.1, and in the second realm he infiltrated them and absorbed them into his own sect. In the 3rd realm, the immortal realm, he continued with his hidden spy persona and managed to kill the leader of that sect as well. Of course there isnt just personal revenge at stake for him, but another enemy as well, that could cost the lives of millions of mortals and cultivators as well as the control of all 3 realms. The zhao family is the unaccountable factor, that he never knew about in his previous life and so they provide for some unexpected events, from the MCs perspective.

Another great thing is that his sect, that was only a mere mortal realm only, 2nd rate sect, isnt forgotten but with the MCs help gets to grow to become a powerhouse in all 3 realms. Which reminds me of another good thing, that other usual xanxias dont have. A sect can be in multiple realms. What a welcome surprise to see that people dont become part of another sect, somehow after ascending.

But there is also some things that I didnt like. The small amount of screen time for his disciples. He spends centuries with his harem, just cultivating but doesnt do anything for his disciples beyond just recruiting them and making their cultivation process smoother than in his previous life. They were all famous in his previous life but there is barely any indication of this being the case in this life.

The end felt forced, with the random guy (demon Yi) coming out of nowhere helping him take down the profound sect (personal enemy) and the zhao family at the same time. He has several superstrong backers out of nowhere as well, and his wives who usually got a lot of screentime were almost forgotten if not for the supermap that wasnt MCs but rather gongsun lings. Speaking of the map, it went from getting all those anti realms and building them up into the map to control all three realms rather quick.[collapse]

While the last 150 chapters or so dropped in quality to the point where I could take a break without feeling the need to continue reading, it still ended on an ok ending. It wasnt great but which xanxia has a great ending?

Overall I would recommed the novel to anyone who likes timetravel, and mastermind rather than goon MC in their story. An MC devoted to his harem as they are to him is also a great bonus.

Typical xianxia fare, though at least it avoids the pattern of ad infinitum arrogant opponents. There are plenty of development directions the MC can take, so theres always something to look forward to.

Would like to change my review to 5 stars if I could. This novel is an absolute gem! Especially when compared to most of the webnovels currently available,the story is refreshing even until the much later chapters. A must read IMO.

The beginning of story started out well enough, but as it moves further and further, it falls apart, but I suppose most of you wont need to worry about that until like chapter 700 or so.

Minus the ones that were kind of thrown in, most of the love interests were well done. I like how the MC actually marries his love interest, with a ceremony and all that. Thats kind of rare with these kind of story. There are a lot of big moments here and there. If you like seeing an MC who consistently find extraordinary treasures and expand his immense wealth with the spoils of his fallen enemy, then youll like this one. However, that said, theres very little excitement in the story.

After the first few hundred or so chapters, youll realize that theres very little in the world that can actually threaten MC. In fact, most villains are either terrible with their jobs or have been schemed into destruction by our MC. Later, youll find out that he was never in any danger in the first place cause theres a certain desu-ex character whos literally behind most of MCs success and prevents him from actually dying before hes supposed to. So, even when MC destroys his greatest foes or finding an incredible bank of treasure, it doesnt feel very satisfying.

After a while, I started to become jaded cause the story was no longer fun to read. By 1, 100 chapters, I personally found it hard root for the MC at all so I dropped it there.

Also, let me name off a couple of deal breakers that the story has that very few people have mentioned.

MC has to destroy his power and restart his cultivation from the start around chapter 900 so take note of that.

Yang Xi, the man who destroyed his MCs first life, doesnt die until near the end of the story. So a sin for stretching out a plot point that shouldve been solved in the first three hundred chapters. Yang Xi is a very annoying character.

The Mortal Realm and the Spirit Realm takes up about 90% of the story, which I assume leaves about 10% to the Immortal Realm. When I stopped reading (1100/1300), MC was still pretty low in the official power heirarchy, as in hes still at least five level of reaching the end. So Im going to assume he never reach the final ranks.

Also, MC becomes quite an ass later on.

Ive read the entire story and its pretty good. It has a lot of flaws that are common in the Xianxia genre, but it avoids the really major ones. Most importantly, the story doesnt go to sh*t halfway through because the author is forcing himself to drag it out, which is unfortunately common in a lot of CN novels. It also isnt one of those stories where the setting just gets broader and broader to accommodate for the main characters limitless power level growth. There were some twists in the story that were blatantly obvious hundreds of chapters before they end up being revealed canonically. Along with that, the ending felt uninspired.

Im not going to give details, but it was the ultra-standard I am the strongest evar ending. Where our MC flies majestically into the sunset, with his harem and buckets of loot. This is in spoiler tags for people who dont read a lot of CN novels, since this is a painfully typical conclusion. Its better to judge them by the journey and not the destination if you dont want this to drive you nuts.

I also didnt like how the fight scenes were written, but thats not what Zhanxian is about so it can be overlooked. Although Ive just been naming flaws, theres a lot of good stuff about Zhanxian that I cant be bothered to go into detail about. Anyone who enjoys the Xianxia genre should give it a try.

Picked this up after seeing that it was one of the top recommendations for something similar to ED & what with there only being around 250 chapters released, I figured itd be a good novel to pass the time with. Now during the initial stages it was rather enjoyable considering the summary of the story with MC actually being an executioner...

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as a mortal, yet executing a bunch of immortals in the heavenly court execution grounds, which made for an interesting & unique plot device, but as soon as the MC ends up joining the sect from his previous life, thats when this story goes downhill & pretty much completely moves away from the execution aspect of the story, what with the MC getting bogged down in all of the sect politics & what not.

1 major problem I have with this novel is people easily accepting his unheard of reasoning without any relative proof, other than claiming hes a mere bookworm, which stops any further questioning from literally every other character, which in turn doesnt make for any interesting interactions, so it becomes very stale when this is a very regular occurrence in the novel.

Romance/harem is very lazily done with all female characters feeling umcomfortable about MCs interaction with other female characters other than themselves & not being able to explain it... & in all of this MC is like hes only got the utmost love for 1 person, yet very wishy washy (indecisive) with the other female characters, which I simply cant stand from supposed confident MC archetypes.

Also action wise this isnt very engaging when most engagements end within 1-2 moves (seems author doesnt have much knowledge how to write these as evidenced by the long ass chapters spent on cultivation/pill concocting/verbal warfare).

Only good thing about this is when MC is travelling on his own & his interactions with the outside world, which is very few & far between what with all the Sect Politics which this novel is plagued by.

For a generic xianxia, its pretty enjoyable, except that the romance is a big fail for me, and the MC is just so psychotic it becomes very creepy sometimes.

The karma bit is very interesting and fun (with the MC always communicating certain facts before he murders), and I liked how the MC has at least *some* moral bearing in life.

Or rather, since karma does allow one to answer harm with harm (ie: when someone seeks to harm you, the best strategy is not to just flee and be a passive

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victim, but rather typically involves some form of poetic justice, or harm being done to the abuser), the MC has some merit in following a part of the idea, but in practice he seems to be abusing this angle too much (ie: he is min/maxing this idea to get the best loot from the most reverse-victims possible).

Or rather, it just seems like his plan is lacking in obvious depth: he wishes to have power to defeat some grand future enemy - FOR WHAT, after he wins? As always, his goals past winning at all costs are NIL.

Anyhow, the battles are usually well set up, but then they fail visually: most of the time, I cant visualize how