Web of Secrets [Modern Cultivation]

Web of Secrets [Modern Cultivation]

by David Musk

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

Mana Artists rule the world, and the path to power is a well-kept secret, restricted to state-approved programs and universities.

Akari Zeller will never be a Mana Artist. Not if society has its way. She's a Bronze with no money, no family, and no connections. But technology is advancing too. And to a skilled hacker like Akari, no secret is safe forever. The dark web holds the keys to true power, advancement, and her only chance of survival.

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David Musk

David Musk


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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Map and Characters ago
Chapter 1: Mana Arts ago
Chapter 2: Life as a Bronze ago
Chapter 3: Elegan High ago
Chapter 4: Secret Meetings ago
Chapter 5: The Reign of Golds ago
Chapter 6: The Outside World ago
Chapter 7: Space and Time ago
Chapter 8: Cerulean Beach ago
Chapter 9: The Dark Web ago
Chapter 10: Out of Mana ago
Chapter 11: Staying Alive ago
Chapter 12: A Proper Missile ago
Chapter 13: The Sight of Blood ago
Chapter 14: Into the Tunnels ago
Chapter 15: Battle Tactics ago
Chapter 16: No Middle Ground ago
Chapter 17: The Aftermath ago
Chapter 18: Midwinter Break ago
Chapter 19: Deception ago
Chapter 20: Apprentice ago
Chapter 21: A Safe City ago
Chapter 22: White Vale ago
Chapter 23: Beyond Gold ago
Chapter 24: A Flock of Birds ago
Chapter 25: Bounties ago
Chapter 26: The Contested Area ago
Chapter 27: Target Practice ago
Chapter 28: Life and Death ago
Chapter 29: Martial Interrogation ago
Chapter 30: Risks ago
Chapter 31: A Dying Flame ago
Chapter 32: Back to Elegan ago
Chapter 33: A Gold's Demand ago
Chapter 34: Something Greater ago
Chapter 35: Unbreakable ago
Chapter 36: Choices ago
Chapter 37: Beneath the Ice ago
Chapter 38: A Perfect Nightmare ago
Chapter 39: Bloodline ago
Chapter 40: Graduation ago
Chapter 41: Escape ago
Chapter 42: Fugitives ago
Chapter 43: Rebel Base ago
Chapter 44: The Peak of Bronze ago
Chapter 45: Into the Prison ago
Chapter 46: Cell Thirteen ago
Chapter 47: Pinned Down ago
Chapter 48: The Grandmaster ago
Chapter 49: To the Sky ago
Chapter 50: Keylas ago
Chapter 51: Silver ago
Chapter 52: Never Hesitate ago
Epilogue: Family ago
Book 2 - Chapter 1: Castaways ago
Book 2 - Chapter 2: Costa Liberta ago
Book 2 - Chapter 3: Grevandi ago
Book 2 - Chapter 4: Falling Leaves ago
Book 2 - Chapter 5: Civil War ago
Book 2 - Chapter 6: The Nature of Dreams ago
Book 2 - Chapter 7: Last Haven ago
Book 2 - Chapter 8: Synthesis ago
Book 2 - Chapter 9: Left Behind ago
Book 2 - Chapter 10: Survival Instincts ago
Book 2 - Chapter 11: Catacombs ago
Book 2 - Chapter 12: The Dragonlord ago
Book 2 - Chapter 13: The Unmarked ago
Book 2 - Chapter 14: Blade Arts ago

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One Mage

Seems pretty interesting and engaging so far and the characters are mostly rational which is a plus for me. I'm intrigued to see more of the magic system as we go. The writing is well structured and mostly flows well.

It's a slow start getting into the actual magic system with some governmental/societal worldbuilding. The hyper-jaded, low class drone trope is a little heavy-handed but if things progress at the same speed I don't think it will be too bad.



Ridiculously well written (& a note to the author)

Reviewed at: Chapter 7: Space and Time

It's written better than the vast majority of works on this site; a quality I've only seen (consistently) in works such as mol, and the author FortySixtyFour. Imo the main thing holding this story back from a greater number of RR readers is simply the target audience of royal road itself (shamefully, this includes me) the extremely blatant political implications consistently insinuated right off the bat and throughout the rest of the story (the setting itself) is a HUGE turn off, of course, if you are looking to publish, having a narrow and faithful audience is definitely a route to take; but if you are looking to reach a large audience on RR, these methods are questionable to say the least.

A really good example of this is Thedude3445. This person has their own site, a faithful audience, and a better quality of prose than almost all the writers here on RR, but you don't see the person's works ever stay on the charts. 

Basically, if RR really is just a stepping stone for you; I'd try not to worry about topping the charts here. Objectively (and imo) this is a good story.

Mind you, I've only read up to chapter 7; for slogging through such propaganda is something I'd just go to a news site for. The quality of the writing itself is what's barely kept me hooked, simply because the rarity of said quality is a much appreciated breath of fresh air.


I wish you could leave a review without any rating attached, particularly in this case. On the whole the book is decent, but I don't think it's for everyone. 

The grammar is fine, no complaints there. The style is... unremarkable? There isn't anything particularly notable about it for better or worse, which to my mind is detrimental. It's better to stand out for your failings than to be unremarkable in mediocrity. 

The characters are fine, they're a little too trope-y for my tastes though. They aren't totally bland, which is better than a lot of stories on here, but you also know exactly who they are as soon as you meet them. Which makes the time spent developing their character feel like filler since you already knew it all if not in exactly those words. 

I haven't really enjoyed the story. Again, it's fine, but there are just a lot of things that stack up in a manner that I don't appreciate. The world building seems to fall in line with the characters, the author has clearly spent time fleshing things out, but there's nothing novel going on. The central mystery of the story starts out intriguing, but grows significantly less so over time. And then we have the magic system. It feels like a bad mashup of magic and cultivation. The cultivation side of it is touched on, but not deeply enough to be interesting and the magic side doesn't have sufficient diversity to be interesting on its own. 

If your magic can only do three things then it's silly to restrict the main cast to just one of the three for a significant length of time, i.e. still a problem in book two. Not only that but then you have diverse effects which get lumped under one of those three things with a lot of hand waving. That's when you know your simplification has overshot in my opinion.  I understand what the author was going for with regards to a more limited scope of power being available on an individual basis with the intention of that driving ingenuity, but that's not what we see. What we get is people shooting magic missle at each other, but oh! Some of them are blue and others are red! Blah. 

On the whole, for me it was a decent time filler, but I'm probably not going to be picking it back up again. This is definitely a personal taste thing though, I never really got sucked into the similar stories that this draws inspiration from, e.g. Steeet Cultivation or Cradle. All well and good, but not at all enthralling to me.