Empire of Salt

Empire of Salt

by Irrelevant

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

I just wanted to live my second life like I remembered my first, unbothered by the petty squabbles of the rich and powerful.

Sadly life, and other humans don't care about one's dreams, so I'll have to make due.

How do I plan to get back at them?

Well, it all starts with a bucket of saltwater.

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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I have rather mixed feelings about this story. I guess I'll start off with the easiest thing to say about it. If you're looking for a sort of remotely traditional cultivation novel, don't even bother trying this one.

This novel alternates between a lot of weird places and just handles things... oddly. I've read up to the latest (chapter 33) trying to figure out what I think and I've not had a lot of luck. So I'm just going to throw out a bunch of unconnected thoughts and hope somebody finds them useful.

I guess I'll start with the cultivation system. I think the intended system is probably quite good and more interesting than most that I've seen. However this comes the cost of a bit of complexity, probably, which would be fine except... the story also is about the MC going it alone via experimentation. So there are periods where the MC is doing a lot of trying and guessing and coming up with vague and/or questionable answers. These sections I think cause the author to shy away from diving deep into the system. I mean, who wants to read chapter after chapter of the MC musing about fairly abstract concepts? This is fine, except when you combine it with the unusually deep system the whole thing ends up being a lot less clear than you might expect. Sooner or later you kinda start glossing over the cultivation details because of this. It's basically a situation where the whole is worth less than the sum of the parts. They're two good parts, so the result isn't so bad but still.

Next up is the underutilization of what I'd expected to be the most interesting character. They show up for a little briefly, then get forgotten about for long lengths of time and generally not used for... anything. Details are rather spoilerific so... 

Spoiler: Spoiler

The MC also seems to have really weird responses to things. She hides her power and goes around constantly saying she has no interest in fighting anybody, but she's also regularly incredibly rude and dismissive of people who are supposed to be more powerful than she is. It's not that these people don't have it coming, but she's basically asking for a fight one of these days - and she knows it. And she does it anyway. Her private thoughts also skew in this direction when she's not being provoked in any way first too. She goes and sees a tournament and is remarkably critical of fighting techniques while constantly admitting she knows nothing about fighting. She's just a bundle of hipocracy and idiocy. That's far from inhuman, but she's a reincarnator acting very much like the teenage girl her body is and it makes it hard to care about her too much.

Spoiler: Spoiler

She's also got a weird focus on just wanting to sit around making clothes. She started out wanting to have modern ammenities which makes sense. At some point she seems to have forgotten about that and instead focused on clothes. She is only doing clothes because it's what her mother happened to do, and it's not some kind of emotional connection either. She has no real motivations or anything. It's just... odd. The whole damn book is odd.

Also after a few chapters the editing goes to hell. Incorrect words mainly, but some missing words and misplaced punctuation and all that.

There's also occasional large sections focused on weird things for no particular reason. A random section with a random person doing their random things that's never relevent to anything. A couple chapters that suddenly change PoV to a random person in a tournament in misguided attempt to make a tournament interesting. Sometimes you get a whole section on how a house is built. Just... weird stuff you suddenly get a bunch of.

So yeah. I don't know. Do I like this book, do I not? I don't know. Many portions of this story seem to have some potential, but every time the author seems to shy away from exploiting it. We get some cool characters that could drive things and then they get mostly forgotten. We get a cool system that combined with cool self-guided experimentation works against itself. We get some drastic life-events that could push the story in a more traditional direction that end up being naught but a small blip. Then the character aggressively settles down to not do anything even when opportunities present themselves. So. Yeah. Hell if I know.


On of the best Stories

Reviewed at: Chapter 49

I realy like this story^^ not the standart cultivation bullshit and some interesting juse of QI


Slice of life, cultivation story

Reviewed at: Chapter 43

MC is kind of op. The story starts from birth and is a slow burner. Some parts of it feel a bit forced but not as much that it ruins my immersion. I am pretty sure we still don't know how our mc looks as of chapter 43 so the author could really work a bit on his descriptions of people and nature.

It is still better than some of the wuxia I read recently. Give it a try. 


Worth reading but needs edited

Reviewed at: Chapter 39

I am enjoying the story quite a bit, but struggle due to grammatical errors that do need addressed.  It says something that I still am reading the book DESPITE those issues. I understand the author is working on correcting the issues which is great, as I look forward to reading more as time progresses.  Thank you for writing your story!



I'm confused, this story is weird.

Reviewed at: Chapter 35

Let me start by saying, I DO NOT KNOW WHY I LIKE THIS STORY. 

Like, by all means its not a great story, its messy and rough around the edges, grammar is hit and miss, and characters are not the most interesting either, but I'm still reading it and waiting for chapters.

This is an odd Xianxia story, it doesn't deviate too much from the formula except for the MC, which is a "I'll just do things my way and It'll work out" character. And thats what the story is mostly about, the MC just messing around with Qi and figuring stuff out for herself.

The cultivation system in place seens interesting, much more open-ended than most others, and much 'simpler", although I think the simpler part is kinda of a problem the author has to fix.

To put things into to perspective I thought the MC was in a tottaly different cultivation realm than she actually was for a few chaps, mostly due to the messy rambly explanations and a really complex Qi system (basycally everything has a Qi Intent, and you can Cultivate anything, like you could probably cultivate Duck Qi Intent)

Couple that with the MC mostly finguring out stuff for herself and an Intentionally skewed view of the world (She rejects the typical Xianxia culture) and its rather confusing at times. 

BUT I STILL LIKE IT. If I had to compare it another story I probably would be comparing it to Delve, it kinda has the same appeal (no the number crunching, the discovering a hidden system), minus Delve's quality and editing of course. 

Overall I reccomend you read it, give it a try, maybe it'll hook you like it did to me, maybe it wont.


A very enjoyable read.


Tress adventures as she learns the 'secrets' of cultivation and creating her business are a nice and entertaining tale. There are quite a few typos and grammar mistakes sprinkled through it unfortunatly, but nothing that would really stop the experience.


All in all, a very solid story.


I greatly enjoy this work. It is a nonstandard take on a xianxia. Praise to the Author!


Excellent, but Misleading Title

Reviewed at: Chapter 49

The story seems to be set in the early stages of one of the dime a dozen cultivation style worlds.

People don't really know how to cultivate but have 1-2 ways that sort of work, allowing the MC to be self taught.

So far the premise of taking down a trade empire via salt harvesting is at best a minor footnote we get reminded of every dozen chapters but is almost totally ignored. The MC actually harms them more by just beating up their assassins.


Refreshing cultivation

Reviewed at: Chapter 25

A rather refreshing cultivation story where the focus is on discovery rather than fighting and politics. It is currently more of a slice of life story, but may change at any time.

The mechanics are interesting, and the world has been given ample room to expand. 


Good attempt at exploring the essence of cultivation and Qi.