Fates Parallel (A Xianxia/Wuxia Inspired Cultivation Story)

Fates Parallel (A Xianxia/Wuxia Inspired Cultivation Story)

by DarkTechnomancer

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

Volume 1 is scheduled to release on Kindle Unlimited on October 25th. All chapters before 34 will be removed when the book launches.

After centuries of endless wars, the three greatest nations of the continent have come together in peace. As a symbol of their cooperation, they have worked together to establish the Grand Academy of Spiritual, Martial, and Arcane Arts, a place where the best and brightest of each nation can gather on neutral ground and share knowledge, techniques, and cultures. Can the peace truly last, or is the academy just another proxy for the constant conflicts the three nations face?

None of that matters to Lee Jia, a homeless young girl who's biggest concern is surviving the winter. But when she accidentally stumbles into the academy in search of a new place to stay, her destiny is changed forever. Determined to carve out a new place for herself and make the most of her good fortune, Lee Jia dives head first into the world of magic and martial arts.


Fates Parallel is my first serious attempt at writing a story, and a personal love letter to Eastern fantasy and xianxia stories. It's heavily inspired by East Asian culture, folklore, and mythology, with what is likely going to be a decidedly Western artistic license. I try to write every day, with a goal of about 45,000 words per month (~1500 per day). Chapter lengths are around 3000 words on average, releasing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Cover art drawn by the incredibly talented Tsuu (TsurotArtistry).

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DarkTechnomancer

DarkTechnomancer

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. Academy ago
2. Roommate ago
3. Initiation ago
4. Friends ago
5. Awakening ago
6. Training ago
7. Bonding ago
8. Lesson ago
9. Breathing ago
10. Encounter ago
11. Challenge ago
12. Preparation ago
13. Affinity ago
14. Sparring ago
15. Meditation ago
16. Gifts ago
17. Duel ago
18. Spoils ago
19. Soul ago
20. Emotion ago
21. Partner ago
22. Routine ago
23. Techniques ago
24. Shopping ago
25. Balance ago
26. Mission ago
27. Conflict ago
28. Broken ago
29. Deviant ago
30. Truce ago
31. Elemental ago
32. Soul Sisters ago
33. Conclusion ago
Interlude - The Dragon Wakes ago
Interlude - A Snake In the Grass ago
Interlude - Inner Demons ago
34. Presentation ago
35. Fate ago
36. Confessions ago
37. Problems ago
38. Consequences ago
39. Conspiracy ago
40. Terms ago
41. Trust ago
42. Past ago
43. Plan ago
44. Investment ago
45. Making ago
46. Negotiation ago
47. Power ago
48. Betrayal ago
49. Meeting ago
50. Suspicion ago
51. Compromise ago
52. Changes ago
53. Tension ago
54. Introspection ago
55. Expression ago
56. Creation ago
57. Memory ago
58. Effort ago
59. Questions ago
60. Communion ago
61. Rumors ago
62. Progress ago
63. Observation ago
64. Test ago
65. Exploration ago
66. Spirit ago
67. Shadow ago
68. Proving ago
69. Vanish ago
70. Familiar ago
71. Confrontation ago
72. Sacrifice ago
73. Reunited ago
74. Intervention ago
75. Punishment ago
76. Resolution ago
Interlude - The Lost Legacy ago
Interlude - Grim Tidings ago
Interlude - The Princess and the Fox ago
77. Disharmony ago
78. Path ago
79. Unity ago
80. Regrets ago
81. Evaluation ago
82. Concern ago
83. Cooperation ago
84. Lecture ago
85. Difficulty ago
86. Strategy ago
87. Problem ago
88. Theory ago
89. Breakthrough ago
90. Formations ago
91. Trap ago
92. Counterattack ago
93. Closure ago
94. Control ago
95. History ago
96. Introduction ago
97. Priorities ago
98. Resolve ago
99. Confidence ago
100. Warmth ago
101. Demon ago
102. Acceptance ago
103. Demonstration ago
104. Burden ago
105. Secrets ago
106. Ultimatum ago
107. Uncertainty ago
108. Anniversary ago
109. Tribulation ago
110. Survival ago
111. Bonds ago
112. Tournament ago
113. Qualifier ago
114. Elimination ago
115. Hunt ago
116. Barrier ago
117. Family ago
118. Sisters ago
119. Magma ago
120. Spider ago
121. Rivals ago
122. Talent ago
123. Competition ago
124. Defeat ago
125. Semifinal ago
126. Predator ago
127. Final ago
128. Dream ago
129. Embodiment ago

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Soeir
Overall

So, first off, Fates Parallel is very well written. Very few errors, fluid prose, and no inconcistencies as far as I was able to read.

But I can't continue reading it.

Not because of plot armor or something like that. The coincidences happening to Lee Jia can easily be explained by the story, so that's a non-issue.

Not because it follows cliches. It's actually quite ingenious in its use of the regular xianxia tropes and offer a slightly different, and enjoyable, take on the genre.

Not because of the yuri direction it seems to take. I'm fine with that.

But I have BIG trouble staying invested in the main character. For spoiler reasons.

Lee Jia is pitiful. I don't see any other way to put it.

She's not only pitiful, she's fun and bright and interesting to read about at the start, but her reaction to Yan Yue's betrayal is... impossible for me to read.

I understand that there's something wrong with her psyche, that the author made her too nice on purpose. But it's just not fun to read. The 3 last chapters have been a slog for me.

It is absolutely not the fault of the author, I understand what they want to write, and I'm guessing this "nice" phase won't last, but I just can't keep going when Lee Jia repeatedly feels empathy for someone that shows very clearly she's in it for herself and is willing, and has done already, major harm to her and An Eui.

God damn, she even felt sorry for the girl that caused An Eui's exile and lied about it to get into her pants !

I'm not about to tell the author what to do with their own story, but it's too much for me.

In a way, congratulations, author, you made me care for your story. It's just going in a direction I physically can't enjoy.

 

In the end, it's a personnal shortcomming that is stopping me from reading this fiction, but it is a good story nonetheless.

Read it and make your own opinion.

Serve
Overall

A really great story, but just not for me.

Reviewed at: 80. Regrets

I've really enjoyed the author's writing and how they've overall pieced together the story.  The world that this story builds is fascinating and I really do enjoy the various factions and how they interact with each other.  And, the reason that I read up to this point, the author really has a way with words that keeps you invested and strikes a good balance between dialogue and narration while having a good sense of when to create action and when to let the pace slow.  And they write a great action scene as well when the pace picks up.

Unfortunately, I'm dropping this because i primarily get invested into a story for the characters and the continued actions of some of the main character's just have gradually turned me off this story.  Primarily, I just really don't enjoy reading about the main supporting character and the way she interacts with the other members of the cast. And the continued rash actions of the protagonist and general suddenness have also been small contributing factors as well.

Ultimately though, like I said earlier, I think this is a great story that deserves at least your consideration and that the author is really fantastic with their prose.  But it just became not for me.

Jotun R
Overall

Sone of the best xianxia i've read

Reviewed at: 118. Sisters

I started quite sceptical after reading the mixed reviews, but after getting to chapter 118 i have to say that most of the flak thrown at this webnobel is very misguided.

Fates Parallel is excelent, it has an ok start, but after the first arc, it starts to get steam and the writing improves a lot, the author has made an interesting universe of mixed power fantasy elements into a great whole that has a distinct far east aestethic, it has a lot of promise and potential, i'm glued to more updates.

Keep up the ancestors work DarkTechnomancer!

Hiskaya
Overall

As of this moment, I've read all 123 chapters (besides the interludes), which brings me to around half of volume 3.

A good story with an interesting plot and some innovative ideas on the cultivation settings. However, that is not to say the story is without flaws. On the contrary, there were several moments in which I got visibly angry at some of the character's decision, specially Jia's. Most of the story's flaws revolve around Jia. It was mostly her dumb decisions and her immature attitude that even let those problems escalate or become a problem at all. Still, I like Jia and I like where the story is going. Although volume 2 was rather... strange, the author realized that though, and already addressed some issues in the following chapters.

If you find the beginning of the story interesting, I ask you to keep reading, even when you find the story has been going downhill. Volume 3 (the most recent for me) is definitely better than the first two, and I am sure it will not be the best when future volumes come into play, the author is still improving, given Fates Parallel is their first serious attempt at writing.

It should also be noted that Jia is currently in a relationship with another woman. The story may also shift to a poly relationship in the future (due to Jia's and the other's MC cultivation technique). However, romance is not the focus of the story, at least not at first. Still, even if you're not comfortable with that, I would recommend you to at least give this story a try. The chapters are long and the grammar is great. The author also excels at writing dialogue, and the characters in general are more mature than what you may find in other cultivation novels.

chay
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story is good, 

The story following Jia and Eui is cool, it's well structured and while we can be confused on the mc, it's because the mc themselves are confused. We can follow how they grow and it's pretty fun. The systems of cultivations are pretty good, and their interaction is pretty fun.

Compared to other pure wuxia story this one is more low high level. The author takes its time to properly "level up" it's characters and is not blindly rushing to have an op mc. 

The interpersonal relationship are well done, there is friendshiph, envy, hate and a lot of other emotions. It's not just the classic friend vs enemy.

If you see comments or reviews talking about the cover it's because the first one was reaaaally bad, however as you can see right now the cover changed and is now pretty good. Thanks the author for taking our feedback, it's appreciated.

 

In spoilers the "old" review, which was essentially talking about the cover.

The story is good, the cover is pretty bad.

The story following Jia and Eui is cool, it's well structured and while we can be confused on the mc, it's because the mc themselves are confused. We can follow how they grow and it's pretty fun. The systems of cultivations are pretty good, and their interaction is pretty fun.

However the style of the image on the cover is creepy, I'm sorry to say this, but seeing this image really destroy the image of the mc i have. While reading the story i imagine those "cute" girls and then i remember the creepy eyes and fingers of the cover.

It ruins my imersion of the story, i can understand some creative freedom for the artist, but at least respect some basic human proportion. I know the girls are half spirit, but those look like some insect fae-guys with the proportion of the face all wrong, it's too alien for me.

I know it's a pretty long rant for just a cover but it's the first thing someone see of your story, and you want your main characters to be "human" so that the reader can empathise easily with them, this cover make this pretty difficult. Moreover if you want readers the cover is a pretty important selling point, and if another author did not advertise your story, i would probably not have read it (because of the cover).

 

FlavorTown
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great plot, but as a whole is a slog.

Reviewed at: 96. Introduction

(I know this is a mostly negative and harsh review, but when you told your readers In an author's note mid way through the story that that chapter had almost all negative comments on it and cause many people to drop you should REALLY consider a rewrite or rollback...)

I had great hopes for the story, it has great reviews and was even recommended by a friend.

Now don't get me wrong, the plot is good and very interesting, and the allied character's were all great (except Xin). it's why I've read up to chapter 94 after all! 

But the kicker is that our (main) MC Jia is such a forgiving, trusting and generous saint of stupidity that I considered dropping about 20-30 chapters in. Her personality is a MAJOR mismatch to her background, and it comes off quite rough and jarring at times. But like I said, I really toughed it out for the story and allied character's.

Speaking of other characters, let me explain. Firstly, the rivals/enemies are, with one exception, 100% the  usual insane, self centered, revenge hungry and completely delusional cultivation story enemies. And the one that wasn't (the singing girl to avoid spoilers) was real close and also cause me to put this down and barely come back latter. The friends on the other hand were enjoyable and with good humor, though some were diminished by their acquisition with how damn trusting and forgiving Jia is.

And to wrap it all up up, the author REAL likes to shit on our poor MCs. Like come on man give the poor girls a damn break. It just sad defeat and hollow victories.

Loaka Of The Wind
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Edit: It's been a little while since this review! I thought I better update it.

Fates Parallel is one of my favourite pieces of writing. Admittedly, I don't read as much as I used to, but FP has so much thought and detail in every character, in the setting and execution. The worldbuilding is really interesting and gets more love as the story goes on. Each character has flesh to them, even the 'background' characters. Xianxia tropes are used and subverted in fun ways.

Lee Jia, the protagonist of our story, starts with nothing but a hunger to survive. As she grows stronger and grows as a person, she makes lots of discoveries about herself, changing her attitude to one of not just mere survival, but of thriving. Jia goes from a lonely, miserable kitten to a tiger in her own right, who knows the importance of striving for success and caring for her friends. She experiences set-backs, some her own fault, but works tirelessly to overcome them. Does she always make the right choices? No! But that's what makes her human. For every failure, she dusts herself off and comes back twice as hard. Also she has a girlfriend and that's great. Good for Jia! Good for me!

If you like xianxia/wuxia stories, if you like girls who take a long time to realise they're in love, if you like sick fight scenes and careful introspection, you'll like Fates Parallel! I hope you enjoy this story even slightly as much as I do.

Coincidentally, I am the writer of the first (and, at time of writing, only-- greatest!) Fates Parallel fanfiction ... is that an indicator that it's well loved!? Only you can be the judge!

Emilin
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Fates Parallel is a great addition to the western xianxia genre by a promising first time author who really did their groundwork. It's obvious from the very beginning that this work is a product of love and passion. It's very amateur at the beginning but the author really gets better. It's obvious that he has written works of fiction before publishing here. 

But before we get into the advanced review. There is a section in arc 2 that was very controversial among readers. I personally felt that the situation was done well and was a realistic response from the MC. This story isn't a power fantasy. Its an character focused story that explores trauma and friendship in a Xianxia setting. Don't expect an badass MC thats always stone cold and calm under pressure.

Style

Dialogue is a very clear strength in this story. The author gives each character a unique voice that makes every scene readable and flow well even without excessive dialogue discriptors. The banter between characters is great, it really gives the story an attitude that pulls the me into the world. I'm always a sucker for wisecracks and quips. 

The action scenes are done well. Quick, clear, and punchy, each battle is well choreographed to show off the characters. The author has done well and kept the battles fairly low power. Be careful not to fall into the trap of xianxia genre and start making high end conflicts purely metaphorical and conceptual. 

As for improvement, please pay close attention to the pacing and plot threads. Arc 1 was done really well, just enough different plot hooks and progression that the story moved along while we were introduced to the school and the world around it. Arc 2 however starts to become overbearing in the amount of different plot threads to keep track of. Not only is there a inter and intra personal conflicts, a mysterious past,  a young master type, and a hidden expert, there is also a spirit ancestor plotline. It really drags the plot down when the MC needs to take care of so many issues she's never really progressing enough on one plot to keep it satisfying. Xianxia relies on progression to keep it moving.

Story

The story starts of with our MC, a street urchin who gets into cultivator school due to a stroke of good fortune and high latent talent. She adapts well to this new place and quickly makes friends that introduce her to the cultivator world. Sounds familiar? Yeah it's very close to Ling Qi from Forge of Destiny, a top novel on this site. I have to admit that this kind of set up is almost a trope at this point but the author manages to pull it off without it feeling too repetitive. Lee Jia has her own unique internal voice that sets her apart from most other xianxia MCs. Aside from FOD, this is the second xianxia that actually does trauma and PTSD well. 

The main plot of this story however is the relationship between Lee Jia and An Eui, two girls bond through shared traumas and develop and warm hearted friendship as they journey through the cultivation world together. Yes it looks like this story is going in a Yuri direction but it's done tastefully. In fact it's done really well. Seeing how two broken girls grow and face their own internal traumas while battling through a xianxia world really is the main attraction in this story. I love reading about internal growth in xianxia because it really shows off the strength of the genre. People gain superhuman powers but it's always the internal demons that keep the characters human enough to relate and empathise with. As of arc 2 this main plotline is shaping up nicely. Some progress, some setbacks, past rivals, new friends. It's honestly shaping up to be a great character centered story. 

The world is great, nothing new, really plays on the traditional cultivation setting. We have 3 types of cultivation: mana, soul, and body. All are separated by 3 different political entities and now are now coming together to train a generation of talents to do all three. It's a good set up, it's obvious that these world so far is only a small backwater compared to the real world. While the cultures of the different countries are shown, most of the story so far revolves around this cultivation school. No greater worldbuilding has been really done yet but some interesting seeds have been planted and hinted towards.

Grammer

It's top tier. Readable, clear and doesn't break any immersion as far I can tell. Great stuff. 

Character

The story is carried by a good cast of interesting but somewhat cliche cast. There's the noble, the jock, the nerd, the young master, the emo girl. The author uses these tropes to introduce these characters but brings them to life slowly as the plot allows. Each side chracter has their own unique voice and interests that keeps them easy to keep track of. It's not brilliant but the dialogue and banter between the cast keeps things fresh and fun.

An Eui is the main character's roommate (oh god they were roommates). She's an interesting girl but the only thing I would complain about is that her backstory was revealed a bit too quickly and comprehensivly. I would of liked her backstory to be fleshed out a but more. Who was she before the sect really. What was she like before she was all dark and murdery. Her parents, siblings, friends. All that kind of stuff. There's a lot to be told there and I want to see more of that.

Lee Jia, the MC is someone I wanted to hit last. She's a conundrum, a paradox. She's this happy go lucky girl that's suprisingly bold and naive for a street urchin. At times the mask slips and we are the person underneath and it's awesome. She has a lot of interesting peculiarities and contradictions about her that makes her a really interesting character. As a street urchin, she's a bit too good at some things she does. Many other commenters have noted that she always seems to have skills that's incongruous with her identity and personality. While I don't want to go too much into spoilers in a review, let's just say I hope the author makes her more than she appears. I have theories and if the author manages to pull at least some of that off I think that this story can go from good to great. 

Final words

This story has honestly been a great piece of work. It deserves all the love it can get and more. As a reader I'm a sucker for female MCs especially in the xianxia genre. The dialogue is excellently done, the setting is well thought out, the magic system is an interesting twist on the tropes that most veteran readers would appreciate, and finally the MC is a great exploration of trauma bonding and psychology. Did I even mention the fast update rates and meaty chapters?  It's a really great work and has the potential it be top 25 on this site. Keep on writing author you got a gem on your hands. 

 

Henriku
Overall

Mental trauma and Mind control of a nasty type plays a relevant role in parts of this Story.  Otherwise a good, (apart from the occasional trauma) surprisingly lighthearted Western xianxia with some compelling mystery and worldbuilding. Characters are fine if a bit overly friendly to the mc. Rushed beginnings that you will have to look past but it improves quickly towards the end of the first arc. 

xam54321
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Falls apart the more you think about it...

Reviewed at: 120. Spider

Sidenote: Most of the problems that I describe don't dramatically affect the first 50 chapters due to the lack of length for them all to matter, so the first half I would rate as 4.5/5 and the second half as the current rating.

Overall I found that I enjoyed reading this, but some minor and major moments really bothered me.

I didn't notice any errors.

While overall everything was written well, I feel as though most fights are missing some element that makes them exciting. I probably would not have even noticed this if all the fights were missing this, but some of them had it and it made all the fights without that element stand out as kind of boring and unexciting.

With characters, it is difficult to measure progress and growth, so maybe others will see this differently. I will try to talk about them without spoiling anything.

First, there is a way too long "will they/won't they" plot that fails to resolve properly... In hindsight, it feels like a giant useless filler plotline that gets brought up when there needs to be some kind of internal conflict in the character, but the author can't think of anything meaningful.

To describe the situation using a metaphor, it feels like playing golf in a giant sand-trap, you can clearly see where everything is going but you just have to keep moving that ball one painful meter at a time, and once you get to the hole, watching it fall in just as you foresaw it 2 hours ago doesn't feel fulfilling.

Secondly, it feels as though there is almost no growth from most characters, instead of growing and learning from each conflict that they go through, they get bent out of shape and for a time have some reaction about said event, and then just return to being exactly the same way that they have always been.

Now usually I wouldn't think of this as an issue on the time scale of what we see, about a year, as in most writing in this genre character development is not a priority and if anything noticeable changes within 100 chapters then it would be a miracle, but unlike in most stories here, the two MCs do intense soul searching every 20 chapters that supposedly results in major trauma and problem resolution with almost no noticeable character growth.

I think that it has one major problem that has a ripple effect over everything story related, the characters have "almost" no goal, almost because they do establish very early on "that they want to be strong enough to be free", but then it just never gets brought up again.

Additionally, even if that is their real goal and the author just doesn't feel the need to bring it up again then it has two problems: first, there is no one keeping them down, so they have no opposition but time and any enemies that they stupidly make on their path to acquiring their goal, and secondly the lack of a solid finishing point in their goal, due to that them literally doing anything would be advancing towards their goal and this results in them not needing to ever consider if a decision is detrimental towards their goal.

And so without a goal, the characters are just existing aimlessly and getting pushed around by the world.

This is the part that bothers me the most, the longer the story goes on the less the world makes sense, and not in a good way.

First, let us take a look at the academy and why does it exist? The academy's main purpose is to see, for the first time, what happens when a person learns all 3 of the different arts at the same time. The first problem is here, in the story it is never established why no one has ever, in the entire history of the world, tried to learn or make a person learn all 3 at the same time.

The author does try to offhandedly explain that the 3 nations have been at war for a long time, but then later undermines this by saying that all the techniques have long been leaked from each of the nations, and this results in a situation where you have to ask yourself why hasn't anybody tried to get a person to learn all 3 of the arts, because judging by the difficulty that the characters we see go through to learn all 3, it isn't that hard.

Secondly, the major element that bothers me greatly is that the overall power system isn't established well. Now there is the elemental side of the power system that is done amazingly, truly the best thought out complicated concept that I have read in this genre, but everything around it is lacking.

Currently, in the story, we have not yet had a "demonstration of power", a moment where the MC gets to compare their current power level with someone who is multiple stages above him in such a way that we the readers get to understand how much each step that the MC takes brings them closer to that level.

Usually in this genre, this is done via pure strength, for example, the MC starts out being able to lift 50kg with one hand and we know that that number doubles every time that the MC breaks through to the next realm, so when the MC sees the instructor casually carrying 1000kg, not only does the MC understand the magnitude of the strength difference but we the readers also get to. But in this story, nothing resembling this ever happens, leaving the gap between realms nebulas and not very clear.

Thirdly, there are a couple of minor elements, knowledge-wise like point one, that when our MCs stumble upon and everyone is surprised, it doesn't make sense that it hasn't been discovered already.

Fourthly, time. It seems that the author doesn't have a firm grasp on how long a character has to work to attain each achievement. For example, we have characters that claim that it would take too long for them to restart their cultivation from the second stage, because it took them their whole life of ~15 years to get there, which makes sense, but then we have characters who restart and get to the second stage in 3 months, and that really bothers me.