Molting the Mortal Coil

by JustinAnkar

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Male Lead Reincarnation Slice of Life Wuxia Xianxia

Reincarnated as a child in a new world a mild mannered programmer, named Sage, finds himself struggling to survive. The road to immortality is paved with danger, treasure, and conflict. This mystical eastern world is filled with Demonic Beasts, Treacherous Cultivators, and Extraordinary Legacies. Follow Sage on his journey to adapt to this new world, and find out if he can overcome the limitations of body, mind, and soul. Will he rise to the occaision and become a hero? Or maybe he'll turn to the dark side and end up a villain?  



Molting the Mortal Coil is more of a slower paced journey. It's not about endless battles and conquering the next bad guy who spits on the main characters shoes or sends him a funny look. There's also not a treadmill of tournaments or love interests. It's more of a slower burn with lots of, and hopefully not too much, world building. It's still supposed to be stuffed with action, but that won't pick up for a while since we start with a weakling. The first 30 chapters have a lot of time-skipping, so stay with me.

Updates will be weekly. If you want to see more chapters, check out my Patreon(button at the bottom of every chapter)! Thanks everyone!

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  • Grammar Score
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1 - New Life ago
Chapter 2 - Cultivation ago
Chapter 3 - No Luck ago
Chapter 4 - Mantis ago
Chapter 5 - Danger ago
Chapter 6 - Beetles ago
Chapter 7 - Darkness ago
Chapter 8 - Trapped ago
Chapter 9 - Exploration ago
Chapter 10 - Getting Out ago
Chapter 11 - Daylight ago
Chapter 12 - Destruction ago
Chapter 13 - Secrets ago
Chapter 14 - Inheritance ago
Chapter 15 - Lionheart Town ago
Chapter 16 - Black Dog Company ago
Chapter 17 - Ambushed ago
Chapter 18 - Tragedy ago
Chapter 19 - Dilemma ago
Chapter 20 - Silver Leaf Honeybee Hive ago
Chapter 21 - The Broken Body ago
Chapter 22 - Thousand Treasures ago
Chapter 23 - The Mysterious Hand ago
Chapter 24 - The Old Man’s Mercy ago
Chapter 25 - The Emerald Grove ago
Chapter 26 - Wandering ago
Chapter 27 - Searching ago
Chapter 28 - Holy Flame Sect ago
Chapter 29 - Dormitory ago
Chapter 30 - Stock Boy ago
Chapter 31 - Assistant ago
Chapter 32 - Middle Aged ago
Chapter 33 - Expedition ago
Chapter 34 - Hidden Grounds ago
Chapter 35 - Meditation Chamber ago
Chapter 36 - Lake of Souls ago
Chapter 37 - Twin Ringed Soul Serpent ago
Chapter 38 - Soul Battle ago
Chapter 39 - Aftermath ago
Chapter 40 - Subduing Souls ago
Chapter 41 - Dawning Light ago
Chapter 42 - Soul Magnifying Wheel ago
Chapter 43 - The Center ago
Chapter 44 - Mysterious Well ago
Chapter 45 - Heavenly Treasures ago
Chapter 46 - Spiritual Sea Storm ago
Chapter 47 - Serpent Transformation ago
Chapter 48 - Shocking Appearance ago
Chapter 49 - Two Locked Doors ago
Chapter 50 - Soul Taming Abode ago
Chapter 51 - Library ago
Chapter 52 - Ancient Maps ago
Chapter 53 - Knowledge of the Soul ago
Chapter 54 - Seal Master ago
Chapter 55 - Treasure Hunting ago
Chapter 56 - Center of the Lake ago
Chapter 57 - Beast Spirits ago
Chapter 58 - Return to the Sect ago
Chapter 59 - Standout ago
Chapter 60 - Four Brothers ago
Chapter 61 - Storage Ring ago
Chapter 62 - Antique Dealer ago
Chapter 63 - Unusual Object ago
Chapter 64 - Million Skill Library ago
Chapter 65 - Restricted Area ago
Chapter 66 - Techniques ago
Chapter 67 - Formation Plate ago
Chapter 68 - Insect Shed ago
Chapter 69 - Training ago
Chapter 70 - Divine Breath ago
Chapter 71 - One Year Deadline ago
Chapter 72 - Wonderful Trio ago
Chapter 73 - Departure ago
Chapter 74 - Demonic Plant ago
Chapter 75 - Gardening ago
Chapter 76 - The End ago
Chapter 77 - Round Two ago
Chapter 78 - Demon Seed ago
Chapter 79 - Arrogant Young Master ago
Chapter 80 - Battle! ago
Chapter 81 - Lamp of Passion ago
Chapter 82 - Reverse Landslide ago
Chapter 83 - The Journey Continues ago
Chapter 84 - Lone Hero ago
Chapter 85 - Victory ago
Chapter 86 - Moving On ago
Chapter 87 - Cave Entrance ago
Chapter 88 - Crux ago
Chapter 89 - Cracking the Seal ago
Chapter 90 - Seal Master’s Dwelling ago
Chapter 91 - Rips in Space ago
Chapter 92 - Judgement ago
Chapter 93 - Aura Exhibition ago
Chapter 94 - Bronze Soldier ago
Chapter 95 - The Second Gift ago
Chapter 96 - True Immortal ago
Chapter 97 - Timeless Eyes ago
Chapter 98 - Return to the Sect ago
Chapter 99 - Five Wood Art Sets ago
Chapter 100 - Stone Tablet Techniques ago
Chapter 101 - Connecting Heaven and Earth ago
Chapter 102 - Blacksmithy ago
Chapter 103 - Research ago
Chapter 104 - Prototypes ago
Chapter 105 - Business Plan ago
Chapter 106 - Grand Opening ago
Chapter 107 - Seeking Assistance ago
Chapter 108 - Summoned ago
Chapter 109 - Peak Master Zhen ago
Chapter 110 - The Hidden Domain ago
Chapter 111 - Rocky ago
Chapter 112 - The Next Site ago
Chapter 113 - Crystal Spider Forest ago
Chapter 114 - To catch a Spider ago
Chapter 115 - Spider Hunt ago
Chapter 116 - Extermination ago
Chapter 117 - The Banyan ago
Chapter 118 - Spider Melee ago
Chapter 119 - Reinforcements ago
Chapter 120 - Purple Forest Cleanup ago
Chapter 121 - Seals ago
Chapter 122 - Released ago
Chapter 123 - Doors ago
Chapter 124 - An Introduction ago
Chapter 125 - Leaving the Hidden Domain ago
Chapter 126 - Remodeled ago
Chapter 127 - Loose Ends ago
Chapter 128 - Window Shopper ago
Chapter 129 - Strange Creatures ago
Chapter 130 - Special Showroom ago
Chapter 131 - Hindsight ago
Chapter 132 - Mountain Treasure ago
Chapter 133 - Too Late ago
Chapter 134 - Yellow Gemstone ago
Chapter 135 - Marked? ago
Chapter 136 - Expelled ago
Chapter 137 - Rewards ago
Chapter 138 - Identity ago
Chapter 139 - Company ago
Chapter 140 - Movie Troupe ago
Chapter 141 - Knowledge ago
Chapter 142 - Sunfire Pagoda ago
Chapter 143 - Foundation Building ago
Chapter 144 - Seed of Life ago
Chapter 145 - Equipment ago
Chapter 146 - Research ago
Chapter 147 - Tempering ago
Chapter 148 - A Plan ago
Chapter 149 - The Beast ago
Chapter 150 - Defeated ago
Chapter 151 - Gone ago
Chapter 152 - Metamorphosis ago
Chapter 153 - Reflection ago
Chapter 154 - Unfolding ago
Chapter 155 - New Body ago
Chapter 156 - Schooling ago
Chapter 157 - Blood Refining ago
Chapter 158 - Time ago
Chapter 159 - Zhu Clan ago
Chapter 160 - Usual Encounter ago
Chapter 161 - New Inn ago
Chapter 162 - Second Meeting ago
Chapter 163 - Song Lu Tian ago
Chapter 164 - The Demands ago
Chapter 165 - Thousand Treasures ago
Chapter 166 - Forging ago
Chapter 167 - Swords ago
Chapter 168 - The Tournament Begins ago
Chapter 169 - Round One ago
Chapter 170 - Rising Stars ago
Chapter 171 - The Final Round ago
Chapter 172 - Formation Swords ago
Chapter 173 - Home ago
Chapter 174 - Payment ago
Chapter 175 - Thunder Mountain Bridge ago
Chapter 176 - The Mountain ago
Chapter 177 - Double Flowered Ice Camellia ago
Chapter 178 - Metal Jungle ago
Chapter 179 - Destructive Search ago
Chapter 180 - Mountain Defense ago
Chapter 181 - Drinking ago
Chapter 182 - Hangover ago
Chapter 183 - Pursuit ago
Chapter 184 - Caught ago
Chapter 185 - Stand ago
Chapter 186 - Escape ago
Chapter 187 - Hiding ago
Chapter 188 - Back to Thunder Mountain Bridge ago
Chapter 189 - Chong Xiezi ago
Chapter 190 - Trading ago
Chapter 191 - Dealing ago
Chapter 192 - Leaving the Zhu Clan ago
Chapter 193 - Disappearing ago
Chapter 194 - Dead ago
Chapter 195 - Growing Pains ago
Chapter 196 - Taking Stock ago
Chapter 197 - The Seed of Life ago
Chapter 198 - Talent ago
Chapter 199 - Cultivation ago
Chapter 200 - Return to the Sect ago
Chapter 201 - Taking Stock ago
Chapter 202 - Research ago
Chapter 203 - Tea ago
Chapter 204 - Manufacture ago
Chapter 205 - Information ago
Chapter 206 - Departure ago
Chapter 207 - Daggerguard City ago

Leave a review

  • Overall Score

The divine luck cultivator

I'm a bit split about this story. On one hand it really goes out of its way to avoid some of the more infamous stupidities of Xian'xia, on the other hand there's very little tension in this story and the MC feels incredibly bland. There's nothing really driving him.

I really like the way the MC is an average or even below average cultivator. He takes 30 years to reach the third sphere unlike the average MC who'd surpass that in his early teens. How he actually tries to avoid unnecessary conflict, but still runs into the nastyness of an average xian'xia setting.

But overall he's still a typical xian'xia protagonist. Instead of the typical divine talent this MC got divine luck. He gets reincarnated with his memories intact (not that he uses them much) - luck - he survives a spoilerific event - luck - he finds an advanced cultivation technique - luck - he runs into some heavenly treasure - luck - this very heavenly treasure allows him into a sect while he's too old to actually qualify under normal means (more luck!). He's amongst a group who finds the site of an extinct sect...

And so on and so forth. Basically all progress in the character and his cultivation comes from sheer dumb luck. He works hard, but it's essentially pointless since he doesn't innovate. His progress comes almost entirely from lucky encounters. So much it actually becomes a plotpoint.

Overall it would have been nice if the MC had a bit more agency/genius and a lot less luck. This way it feels almost like crack on ocassion.

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Story Score:

It's nice to see the character's training and ascension through the ranks be a little slower than other xianxia. A powerful MC is fun to read about, but seeing him gradually growing more powerful over time feels more satisfying. If he's already winning and trouncing more powerful people right off the bat there's no suspense. 





I felt a little iffy on this at first. The MC's reaction to realizing he's reincarnated into a cultivation world (Oh cool this is like a video game!) just gives you the impression he takes nothing seriously. It also seems incongruous considering the fact that he was a middle-aged man when he died in his previous life. Fortunately, some recent developments which have exposed him to the brutality of the cultivation world seem to be sobering him up and making him less naive. I also sincerely hope that any antagonists the MC faces aren't all stereotypical young masters/haughty geniuses. I urge that you don't make all powerful cultivators and young masters evil, mean and ruthless people. I see too many xianxia where everyone who meets the MC goes "Oh who's this piece of trash let's sneer and look at him with disdain". 

Moist Nugget
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Slow and Steady wins the race!

Grammar wise this is above average. Apart from the usual non-english speaker mistakes (using 'was' instead of 'were') it's solid.

This story has a plot. We know who his enemies are, we know what his motivations and character is like, now we just have to WAIT in big bold letters because the Author doesn't rush through like almost every other Chinese novel.

The MC actually builds up his strength over time, not just getting some random power up or magical item letting him slay his enemies.

He's not some talented young master that everybody fawns over, he's just a guy trying to get stronger.


This story in general is a nice new perspective on Xianxia novels. Instead of seeing the disgraced young master or the random nobody, we get a normal dude with basic talent in a generally strong sect trying to make his way to the top. It'll take him some time, and others will pass him by, but he'll make it up there someday. 

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Excessive exposition and shallow characters

While I rate this a 2 that doesn't mean that there isn't potential to fix much of what's wrong here with a rewrite.  The bones of the story are alright for the most part, it's the execution that's lacking.

Anyway if you enjoy reading most Xianxia’s then you may also enjoy this one as well.  As as for what makes this one stand out, that would be the novelty of Sage’s insect cultivation and his eventual transformation into a snakeman.  As far as storytelling, character or style goes there isn’t much to recommend here apart from the usual random encounter Xianxia setup. 

As a main character Sage is sadly quite bland and his origins as a reincarnator don't help with that.  Early on he’s forced to wander the world for many years and during this time he experiences hardships and meets a variety of people.  This period could've been used to establish a robust personality for him but unfortunately those events are just summed up in brief instead.  This approach is also used once he joins a sect and as a result there's a lack of character development despite his multi decade stay there.  Thus we're given a shell of a character that feels as if he's being piloted around by the author to do various things at times. 

Once the story is allowed to progress, Sage through a series of events ends up being mutated by a technique and this is rather ham-fistedly used as an excuse to give him some minor personality traits.  But as he was more or less a blank slate prior to the transformation the attempt comes off as somewhat silly. As far as his radical change of race and appearance goes, well what of it?  Sage doesn’t care about it at all and neither did anyone else for that matter which was highly underwhelming.  As a result nothing actually changes beyond Sage gaining the desire to do the usual sorts of things that all Xianxia characters do anyway.

To be fair, once the character is allowed to explore the world outside of long winded exposition then the Xianxia premise is finally able to shine through at times.  He goes places, he loots things, he fights and that standard formula works but outside of that (& sometimes during) the previously listed problems arise. 

The bottom line is that the story is still readable if also somewhat bland.  This is due to a lack of character development, a virtually irrelevant side cast and an overabundance of dry, over the top analysis and forced exposition.

  • Overall Score

Best xianxia on Royal Road

I love the story, it is just a start but the ground of the story is solid.

There is many way to gain power body, qi, skill, formation + more

Plant, insect, animal and human don't cultivate the same.

No deus ex machina or power up of last second to win, if there is a power up there is hint 10 chapters before.

No marie sue, mc train hard and has below average result.

Multiple dimentional character

No chinese(repeat the same info, harem, vengeance)

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interesting world, bad writing

the world is fun and the MC's abilities are interesting, but unfortunately, the writing style is very similar to how one might write out a shopping list

MC did this, MC did that the whole time

everything is just flat

let this review stand as a warning for prospective readers since every other review seems to think this is the "Best Xianxia" or something

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The story over all is fun to read.  Sage has the easy job of being more interesting then the average Xianxia MC, and he succeeds(mostly). The pacing of the story could be more consistent, and  time-skip transition made all the previous chapters kinda feel like an extended prologue...?. But like a cold glass of water in the desert we call Xianxia, its refreshing.

Currently at chapter 34, and i'm looking forward to more.

  • Overall Score

This novel is so very unique and is a refreshing take on an eastren fantasy novella. Keep up the work you are on an interesting path, i look forward to where you are going with this.

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Realistic and not Over Powered

I have been following this novel since I first joined royalroad, and while it does have its quirks it is still a novel I would recommend purely based on how much one can relate to the Main Character.


The story follows the typical reincarnation trope common to RR, but the way that Molting the Mortal Coil differs is that the character isnt some master of tech, or a blessed hero destined to become an all powerful sorcerer, but rather someone who has to work to achieve his goals. Now don’t get me wrong, he still does get lucky on occasion, (else it would get rather boring) but it’s the fact that he has to slowly figure out how to take advantage of such occurrences that makes it realistic.


The other aspect of the story that I like is that Sage (the MC) has interesting powers which don’t make him an invincible monster, but instead allow him to be able to leverage his situation to a better extent. He also isn’t purely focused on cultivation, or any one thing, but rather is more of a generalist with only some things he can claim to be quite good at. This creates a situation where Sage is not some dominating god at his level, but rather a smart person with some strokes of luck, who needs to be crafty with how he uses what he has to win.


Now I won’t claim that this is a perfect story, there are several flaws which could detract from its reading. Most glaring are two things: there is no real plot beyond just get better at life, and the MC is humble to the extent of annoyance. By the story not having a real plot I mean that there is no goal; Sage isn’t aiming to become immortal, be an invincible bug master or anything, he just sort of aims at growing his business and following his interests/hobbies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it does follow the theme of realism but it still is kind of annoying. The humble part is merely that Sage is fine with accepting most any form of insult, which while smart can start grinding on the readers nerves after a while.


Thus overall I believe it is worth the read, especially if you are like me with an odd fascination of how you would react to all of the situations that such novels always portray

Quantum qwazi
  • Overall Score

I'll explain charecter develooment

 Your charecter dies and is said to reincarnate  but based on your writing this frist event could not be any more pointless what changes about your charecter if he is just the person before the reincarnation I'll wait... nothing the answer is nothing he uses a generic saying work smart not hard which could come from anywhere I leared it from a construction worker talking about pulleys  when I was 6 then you give lip service to him being better at math but never use it 

He gets trapped in a cave  but doesn't change at all for having done that. The psycological effects of this should be huge ptsd is pretty much certain just only question that remains is how severe and how long itll last of course no change in his thinking occus because he just a robot you have things happen to because this is not a person 

Now next scenes are atrocious you once again give lip service to emotion but that emotion is gone and he is laghin a few paragraphs later this is so tone deaf  there are plenty of selfish reasons to be afraid of what haopened instead you rationalize something no one thought would have lasting effects on him mabey if he was from this world it might need the ratinaliztion you put forth but he's not so it's pointless just like every event in your story to this point 

None of this is said out of malice but what event in these chapters draws you in what is the hookit won't draw you in without a charecter to care about  why do I care about your made up world that more I read is just a generic xabxia world.

One more thing going a charecters power in response to events is not developing a charecter in a literary sence a misconception xabxia tend to make and I kinda wonder if you are too because each event did have an increase in power in response to each event