The Essence of Cultivation

by Agranulocytosis

After experiencing five years of an adventurer's life, Arcanist Sylar Wershin now spends his days catching up on developments in Essence Studies and teasing apart the functions of arcane trinkets and artifacts discovered by him and his companions throughout their time travelling the realms of Resham. An unexpected accident during the study of his latest subject of intrigue, however, displaces him across the Planes beyond what any known spell is capable of achieving.

Now finding himself lost in a realm rich in previously-limited Transcendental Essences, however, does he truly even want to return back to his old world? If nothing else, plagiarising - ahem, learning new spell structures by observing the local Mages should prove entertaining. Sure, there were new dangers in this foreign world, but they wouldn't be anything a fancy bit of spellwork couldn't solve.

Though, he would appreciate it greatly if someone could explain to him just what this 'cultivation' business was, why the local Mages were all muscle-brained freaks obsessed with immortality, and why they all seemed to lack any appreciation for the finer details of Essence manipulation. That would be nice.

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Agranulocytosis

Agranulocytosis

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whistler
Overall

A great deconstruction of cultivation & wizardry

Reviewed at: 10. Sure as Fate (3)

The author has done a good job of creating a world where cultivation and D&D magic could be invented independently of each other but be based on the same fundamentals.h

Characters are good, and the plot is believable. Though there isn't much going on plot-wise other than "some evil guys exist somewhere and are probably plotting something", just joining the main character in exploring this world & it's foreign magic from a unique perspective is already lots of fun. 

shacro
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The Essence Of a Good Story.

Reviewed at: 10. Sure as Fate (3)

The story is an amazing work of art that unfortunatly might never see mainstream attention, because of the main plot point of the story focusing on magic that functions on relatively unique principles and asian style magic system. The thing that makes it, also breaks it.

Dont get me wrong, Those two things are what make the story great. Beyond that point, people might notice the extreme popularity of this story compared to similiar webnovels that have almost the exact same plot. The diffrence is that this author is competent and uses a suprising amount of subtle techniques to flesh out the world and give his characters... Well character.

He likely doesnt even notice using any techniques, for most experienced people of any trade would make these choices out of instinct.

There are two things that i might have problems with. First the general trend of the plot seems unfocused, the protagonist is in a fish out of water situation which is a common method to instill conflict. Knowing this, we might assume the protagonist might attempt to learn his enviroment and then make a choice between staying or trying to get back home. Some authors purposefuly make the protagonist show conflicted thoughts, another method to instill conflict.

The author here choose to address this topic vaguely, the protagonist showing wonder to this new enviroment's natural resources and making frequent comparisons. It is his choice, but i think this was a missed opportunity.

My second problem is that the protagonist doesnt seem to get that he is in a foreign land and is not in any particular advantage compared to the natives. I understand that this is also very common in real life, but i get annoyed with those people too.

I mostly wrote about the things that are bad about this story, but that is becuase it is very diffcult to find the words to explain why i liked something and labeled it as good. i just read and enjoy, i dont think about it beyond the memory that i liked it.

DippydotXL
Overall
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    lomie0
    Overall

    Great story that takes an aspect of magic that has existed unquestioned for forever as just the way it is. And atom smashes that hubris into CONVINCINGLY bridging what has always looked to be antithetical methodologies. I long ago became desensitized to the nonsense of regular cultivation stories and have only been able to squeeze out a bit of joy from satire making fun of the genre. But you have transcended the drivel that is cultivation and made something truly interesting.

    van
    Overall

    I've read some cross-genre fiction and I really enjoy this balanced approach! The author is respectful to both genre and the original world was just as fleshed out as the new one. The MC, being a scholar and a teacher, makes all his discoveries and conjectures believable! He is humble but not to the point of self-deprecating. I like how he wasn't supposed to be a glass cannon, but the new genre makes him so. The merging of both systems also makes sense! Thank you, author! Would definitely look forward to more!

    Keifru
    Overall

    First couple chapters lay it on a bit thick with jargon but once those are out of the way, its a pretty interesting story. The conceit is solid- no magical game interface, no suddenly-different physics. Just knowledge and a different environment/culture where its been applied. I hope the author can stick with it

    Aritz Murueta
    Overall

    An original and well planned magic/essence system; believable interactions, logical emotional reactions, a really interesting setting, etc...

    Impressive. I encourage you to keep this story up. Even if the quality (which is amazing) goes down by a lot, It would still be better than the majority of other published works. Goog work; and thank you :)

    3BlindMice
    Overall

    Interesting magic system and a fun read

    Reviewed at: 10. Sure as Fate (3)

    So far, this story is very interesting, and I hope to see how this somewhat unique combination of magic systems plays out. The combination of the analytical and scientific application of essence with the mystical cultivation should lead to some very interesting in universe applications for our MC. So far we don't have too much knowledge about what either of the two universes is like other than what little has been explicitly stated and what the reader can infer from prior knowledge of what a cultivation universe should be like and what a magic/D&D style universe should be like. So far, our character is pretty plain and has no standout qualities but I'm sure that'll change as the story progresses. Right now, he's like a slice of toast that's been cooked on one side: not done yet. I look forward to what the whole sandwich looks like and what the author chooses to fill it with. We don't know what his goal is yet, other than to gain more knowledge and (to a lesser degree) power. 

    I'll be updating this review to an advanced review around chapter 50 if the author continues to write. Until then, good luck, and thank you for the interesting read. 

    sandro530
    Overall

    A master and his apprentice

    Reviewed at: 9. Sure as Fate (2)

    It has been quite a few monthss since 'arrogant master variaton 4' came and went. Finally, I think a contender has arrived. While I doubt this story will make it very far, I still hope it will. 

    The few chapter which are out, were quite promising after all. Characters with good interactions, a budding master-disciple relationship and a new form of magic-cultivation to explore, just a few things this novel presents to us.

    I like it, my problem though is with the release date and possible hiatus. The first chapter came out months ago, while I hope that kind of hiatus will remain as a sole example, I fear it won't. Still I hope the author will continue this story, it has got plenty potential, especially with Qici and the MCs relationship.

    octonus
    Overall

    It's good. I normally don't go for these types of stories, but the MC and setting are interesting.

    Only 4 stars because it is basically an intro, and the author has admitted that he has a terrible track record with finishing stories. I don't think something without a single completed plot arc should be compared to strong works with lots of plot.

    I will check back in a few months, and if the story is still alive, I will update this review.