The Path of Ascension

The Path of Ascension

by C_Mantis

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

The story follows Matt, a young man planning to delve the rifts responsible for the monsters that destroyed his city and killed his parents. His dreams are crushed when his Tier 1 Talent is rated as detrimental, and no guild or group will take him.

Working at a nearby inn, he meets a mysterious and powerful couple. They give him a chance to join The Path of Ascension, an empire wide race to ascend the Tiers and become living legends.

With their recommendation and a stolen skill, Matt begins his journey to the peak of power.


Chapters will now be MONDAY and FRIDAY AT 4:00pm EST.

This is a mix between LitRPG and Xianxia. It's like a car that looks like a LitRPG with dungeons and skills, but the interior and engine are all Xianxia. 

So no blue boxes and clicking +’s to get stronger.


What you won't see in this novel:

Bland protagonists.

Bland love interests that immediately fall in love with the MC.

Murder hobos who kill entire families and clans for looking the wrong way at somebody.

Pacifist MC’s who wouldn't kill a single person to save millions.

Cartoonish villains who are bad just to be bad.


What to expect:

A MC who acts rationally.

World building that has more depth than ‘strong people 'stronk'. There will be no rules only benefiting the strong and no rule changes as they see fit. 

An empire that actually cares for its citizens.

People who act and talk like real people.

A magic system and progression system that are logically and internally consistent.

Realistic fight scenes.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
The Path of Ascension Chapter 1 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 2 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 3 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 4 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 5 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 6 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 7 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 8 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 9 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 10 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 11 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 12 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 13 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 14 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 15 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 16 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 17 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 18 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 19 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 20 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 21 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 22 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 23 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 24 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 25 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 26 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 27 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 28 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 29 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 30 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 31 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 32 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 33 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 34 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 35 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 36 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 37 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 38 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 39 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 40 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 41 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 42 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 43 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 44 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 45 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 46 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 47 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 48 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 49 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 50 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 51 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 52 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 53 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 54 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 55 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 56 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 57 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 58 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 59 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 60 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 61 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 62 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 63 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 64 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 65 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 66 ago
PoA The Concept of Death Chapter 1 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 67 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 68 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 69 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 70 ago
PoA The Concept of Death Chapter 2 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 71 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 72 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 73 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 74 ago
PoA The Concept of Death Chapter 3 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 75 ago
The Path of Ascension Chapter 76 ago

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I'm righting this review near the end of book 1 (read up to chapter 40 on patreon), and if I continue the story I might change it depending on future chapters, but so far this is my opinion.

All the other reviews give this novel a stellar rating, and rightfully so. However, there is one bad stain in the story, and depending on your preferences you might not even consider this a bad thing. I would've probably given this a lower rating if the author didn't do everything else so damn well.

Minor spoilers ahead

The story starts with the MC getting a power that the system deems weak, he struggles to get stronger and gets scouted to join the path (problem 1). People on the path are protected by the empire, so guess what, no1 dares to cause trouble to mc and all who do suffered greatly for it, not by MC ofc. 

Higher tiered ppl cannot attack lower tier ppl (problem 2). As usual, MCs skill is actually OP af, meaning he can obliterate most ppl in his tier of power, and since higher tiers of power can not attack him, he doesn't have to fear attacks from ppl stronger than him.

Major spoilers

The heroine of the story is the daughter of one of the strongest ppl in the empire (problem 3). If no1 could fuck with him before, then it is even doubly true now. And holy shit did het get handed a lot of great stuff on a gold platter just by using connections.

If we get all the problems together you'll realise that there is no tension, other than the first few chapters. So far the story has locked itself, I can not imagine a scenario where the MC actually struggles. Is he a hard worker? Yes, but that's it. He gets everything. If you're looking for a story with real action and tension where the MC struggles, then turn away because this isnt it. If you are looking for a slice of life where the MC studies his power, slowly becomes stronger, meets new, well developed characters, goes on small adventures and

Explores his emotions and mental trauma (yes, mc goes to therapy later)

then this is a perfect read for you.

I first rated this story a 5*, but I did not like the path the author is taking so I set it to 4* and decided to write this review to set expectations for future readers.

I would like to end by saying that whilst I only mentioned negative stuff, this story is great and the author is a great writer. If you exclude my issue, this story has perfect grammar, well defined characters, great world building, and an exciting writing style and I would still recommend reading it.


wasted potential. too much retcons and bad choices

Reviewed at: The Path of Ascension Chapter 45

This story desperately needed more planning and fewer retcons and off the cuff changes that completely break previous lore and decisions (both author's and MC's). I dropped it by chapter 45

Spoiler :

The author started out with a decent idea for a xuanhuan story (xianxia with western influences). Of an MC with a "detrimental" inborn trait that turns out to be hilariously overpowered. Author keeps on going back on decisions he made prior.

To prevent collateral damage and flipping the board by higher levels, you are forbidden to initiate hostilities against someone lower level than you (hiring an assassin the same level as them is fine though. and its easily circumvented when the conflict is local rather than international). There is a level cap of 50 and starting from level 45 you can ascend to a higher plane of existence. And people after level 30ish can't even fight at all without destroying entire planets with the aftershocks. So the core combat ability of empires is determined by people being "strong for their level".

To that effect every single empire has a "Path of Ascension". A set of rules and systems in place to discover talent. People get on the path and are forbidden outside aid (other than basic education) and must thrive through their talent. They also are backed by the emperor himself to avoid them being preyed upon. They are forbidden to party with people from outside the path when delving dungeons.

The MC is on the path of the ascension in his empire. He goes to a Creech, a basic education for newbies on the path that sets them up for it. Then the issues start cropping up

Issue 1:
Solo leveling. Author had the explanation from the start that solo vs group leveling is a tradeoff. Dungeons are in limited supply, by grouping up you are safer but you are forced to split the gained XP. Solo levelers also develop rounded skills that let them take care of anything themselves. As such solo levelers are considered to be utter beasts.

Fastest growth and strongest individuals. MC decides to be a solo leveler based on that info he recieved in the creech. Then author decides to start adding party members. first a waifu-pet, then a waifu, then a second waifu. First the author retconnec it that pets, being nonhuman, eat a different form of XP (sorry, essence) than humans. Then he retconned it a second time to be that each monster is like a pile of XP and you got a shovel to collect it before it dissipates, so so long as the party is under 5 people you do not lose any XP....

This means that the instructors in the Creech have been lying to the MC about the benefits of solo leveling. That solo leveling is cripplingly bad and that everyone should be partying it up into groups of 4 humans and 4 pets. Also later on the distinction between human and pet was lost as well due to the whole "animals are people too!" thing

Issue 2:
MC gets a pet egg as a drop. The pet is extremely expensive due to purely aesthetic reasons (it is an ultra rare fox variant called arctic fox that will evolve into an extremely beautiful and rare arctic foxgirl/boy). For some reason MC who is extremely hard up for cash and on the path and on a solo build decides to not sell it, but keep it and hatch it. This is despite the fact he is warned that:
a. pets are pretty much guaranteed mutual attraction to the point that if he is strait and a male pet hatches he will become gay or at least bi. (something he very much does not want and breathes a sigh of relief when it turns out to be a female)
b. his money situation
c. his solo build. The pet is extremely incompatible with his build. It eventually works out but for a while he not only has to carry the pet but also is weakened by the pet as it limits his mobility.
d. the pet will be a huge drain on his limited XP income
e. the pet will be a huge drain on his limited money income
f. it will take a while before it can contribute in combat.

ignoring all that he decides to hatch it. Later we find out that the monster nation would be pretty upset if he sold it because getting a pet drop is considered "fate" and thus you should always hatch it and not sell it.

Then some people started screeching that this is "grooming" despite the fact that the actual relationship thus far was nothing of the sort. So the author panicked and replied with retconning the destined relationship thing into a joke, haha. Oh it is still destined but just not necessarily be sexual (just almost always). He also retconned the XP thing to be that pets consume a different wavelength of XP than humans and as such there is no XP loss. Which raises the question of why doesn't everyone keep a pet if there is no XP loss.

A few people kept on screeching about grooming so he then responded with an entire chapter dedicated to lecturing the READERS that grooming is bad, followed by a retcon that states that on the day the pet assumes human form (and attains eternal youth, that is level 15. expected to be done at about age 100 for someone on the path), the govt will seperate them and keep the pet in a special boarding school for half the time it was with its master to ensure it can be deprogrammed to avoid grooming. During this time she will be pushed to whore it up with a bunch of casual sex and dating flings, which somehow won't work out because of fate and she will still fall in love with the MC properly in the end.

The fact that the path lasts until level 25 and taking someone's pet away at level 15 will utterly cripple both of their growth and is liable to get both of them killed (since they specifically adjusted their build to work together), and that the govt is especially building up the entire path of ascension thing as their primary means of waging war is just left as a plot hole.

Issue 3:
MC meets Liz, initially fights her, out of nowhere gives her utterly priceless gifts because he somehow just knows she is going to be waifu. Not just any gifts but stuff so utterly ridiculously expensive that it boggles the mind. Although to be fair he also had them both bind a pair of growth type rings, priceless artifact that would be useless if they ever seperated. So there is incentive for her to stay with him and thus let her eat the dragon heart. But it was still a big bet. Anyways she does become waifu, especially since the pet waifu idea was completely nuked due to the grooming panic.

The XP split thing is at first not mentioned before author retcons it into just not being a thing. The creech lied, XP splitting only happens on large parties and so long as party quantity is not more than 5 people there is no loss of XP. (gains in fact since you can kill more things per hour as a team).

Well Liz turns out to be a double princess, with some extra royal "uncles" of sorts (such as the emperor himself). All tention goes away as now there is a literal god trailing them 24/7 to rescue them in case of death (which will disqualify them from the path mind you). While they are also heaped with nepotism that is extremely valuable to their build but is stated to be merely skirting the rules instead of breaking them. So there is no more risk and tension in the story. Oh that nepotism includes information... oh surely not retcons / new ideas the author had, but the Creech just forgot to teach a bunch of utterly critical information to students... the creech sure is utterly useless.

Anyways all those old immortals are totally shipping MC and liz, and also all are certain they are going to get married. But... they are also all repeatedly and very strongly telling them to NOT have relationship with party members because of party drama... that they should both instead just have casual sex 1 night stands with strangers for the next 100 years or so as their relationship sours. Incidentally both of them DO in fact engage in such casual sex with other people and do feel really awful at seeing their crush sleeping around with people that are not them. Both of them chant cuck mantras such as "I do not own her/him" to try to get over it. It is disgusting and degenerate. And he later retcons it with "oh they didn't really cheated on each other. some convoluted thing happened and they each ended up not fucking the person they were seen leaving the party with to fuck... they still have been having casual sex with randos for years though before that"

Issue 4:
Excessive amounts of luck. This is just typical xianxia plot armor thicker than the earth's crust.

Issue 5:
Story was slightly SJW from the begining but was initially ok and did not go overboard. But has been getting progressively more and more cringe with each chapter, with retcons and new content that just gets ever more cringy.

Issue 6:
By chapter 44ish author decided to expand the party yet again. So he introduces raped girl, raped girl is extremely mentally unstable and has loads of truama from being raped and tortured by some rich guy who vaguely resembles the MC. She is now an utter misandrist (despite the fact she was being tortured by a married couple of husband and wife and the wife is the one who really got under her skin by first gaining her trust specifically for the enjoyment of the reveal of how she has been betrayed)

One of the immortal movers and shakers of the empire sent raped girl to the party because he believed they could solve her mental issues. The introduction is that she tries to entrap the MC with a rape accuastion by seducing him and then saying no, when that fails she tries harder with mixed signals including physically touching him while demanding he does not reciprocate. MC being the consumate simp passes the test, he lets her touch him without touching her, nor does he walk out on her, nor does he call her out with words...

so she is then "forced" to join them by her promise to the immortal to do so. Mind you her build is not very compatible with theirs either. So she is just there for the free mental counciling. Also she is explicitly still holding to her belief that all men are rapist scum and that MC is just biding his time rather than her being wrong about him.

Liz is of course utterly furious at what she attempted. Moreover Liz correctly points out that in the dungeon they require perfect cooperation and trusting each other with their very lives. Having someone who actively hates the MC is going to be extremely risky to all their lives... but that is overruled by the MC just being that much of a simp. Not even due to the pressure of not disappointing the immortal that sent her over mind you (shame on him btw), but just out of sheer simpness.

To help readers get into the mindset of simping for raped girl we went through an utterly brutal backstory chapter for her before her introduction which caused major tonal whiplash. And of course as always this entire thing is a retcon on the MC being a solo delver and later on the MC having one true wife/soulmate. As author cannot decide if he wants a harem or monogamy. (monogamy is the setting norm mind you and so far there were strong indications for MC being a monogamist).

Also to force the story of raped girl author completely broke some of the rules he introduced. For example she had an AI chip brain implant at level 1, when the rule is that AI chip brain implant is impossible before level 3. Incidentally, the fact that AI is critical and must be gotten as soon as it is possible, and yet the empire does not provide a free AI to anyone on the Path once they reach level 3 is also a plot hole. As some people on the path need to wait until higher level to get it or get a sub par AI that drastically reduces their growth.


It's nice. I can't stand the illogical decisions.

Reviewed at: The Path of Ascension Chapter 16

It's a good story. Story-wise, character-wise, pacing-wise, there is nothing bad I can say.

But when the MC does something illogical, I just can't stand it... It's not the MC's fault, it's the author preparing for the future, but doing it not in a way that makes any sense. It's ALMOST as bad as any generic Xianxia fiction.


When the MC managed to get a rare pet egg as a reward for completing a rift (rift is what dungeon is in this story), he decided to keep the egg. The thing is, it was a very expensive egg, where he can get a lot of money if he sells it.

The egg is expensive not because it contains a strong pet, it's expensive because it contains an "aesthetically pleasing" pet. "aesthetically pleasing", you can read that as it would grow to be a beautiful woman that MC can fuck.

The author has always described the MC as always needing more money. He often has to make decisions to get only one item he needed because he doesn't have enough money for the rest. But the MC decides to keep the egg, not selling it just feels VERY illogical.

As a solo delver (what an adventurer is called,) the MC has to share any EXP he got with said pet. Now I'm sure the pet would grow to be very strong in the future, but for now, it is nothing but a leech. The MC himself is still in a low tier (tier is what a level is.)

So, the MC decides to pass on a chance of getting a load of money, so he can get less exp for foreseeable future, so he can get a beautiful fuck buddy?

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not against getting a pet. I'm against getting a pet when he's that low tier. Any sensible person would decide to get a pet at a higher tier, so they can level up easier in a lower level. And at a higher level, they can just power level their pet easier.

It might be different if the MC has unique builds. For example, if he is a tank specialist that needs extra damage, or a mage build that needs extra defense. The MC is none of those. The MC has high defense and high offense thanks to his talents and skills.

I'd like to point out that in a later chapter, the author reveals that the pet can get unique kinds of essences (what exp is) that MC can't get. So the exp that the MC has to share is less. But it's still less exp for the MC, and it doesn't address other problems.


The MC is now in a training world and he chances upon a great treasure, a monster's heart that contains blood of a dragon.

The MC was informed that if he leaves the training world and sells the heart, he can get a lot of money. Like, LOTS, the kind that makes you a billionaire in the real world. He can even get an earldom. So that means LOADS of money and territory to rule if he wants it.

Of course, leaving the training world would mean that he would miss training chances in that world. But the worst thing that can happen is that he got delayed for six months (that's how long the world is open.) And with the kind of money he would get, he could EASILY buy access to any kind of rift for his tier.

So with that kind of opportunity what do you think the MC did? He decides he doesn't want to because he enjoys traversing The Path. Well, of course, nobody told him that he has to give up on the path if he decides to sell it.

So the MC gives the heart to a girl he just met. He literally goes "Nahhhh, I'll pass on that MASSIVE money, because I'm a masochist that enjoys being a poor fuck. Instead, I'll give you this heart, o stranger that I just met today, that just a few minutes ago is fighting me, because I'm pretty sure you would be one of my fuck buddy candidates, or at least a future trusted ally."

The fuck... I'm out, I don't even read the chapter until finish.

That's it, I'm done. I'm probably too picky or sensitive about this. But if you can put your common sense away, then, by all means, this is a good story.


There are a few things that really mess with flushing out the story. Spoilers no point in claiming otherwise. I have read all the released chapters over the last couple days and these are my main takeaways. 

Early on the main character has supurb motivations and backstory. The drive to overcome his powerlessness and poverty are relatable, understandable and well done. I think it could have benefited from a chapter showing the parents and loving caring people before going to the orphanage but thats just me. 

It quickly deviates from that excellent foundation first by having the object of his anger and cause of powerlessness solved for him with literally zero effort. So other than "I need to get stronger to prevent this in the future" vague direction it looses a lot of its oomph. This easily could have been a constant source of struggle to obtain and how the character handles the aftermath of his revenge or falls short and never realizes his goal because the villain is untouchable or ascends. So many better ways to handle this character motivation.

The main character takes a calculated risk when many in his position would be desperate. He manages to pull through is unjustifiably berated for it and does not take the amazing opportunity to get out of poverty which he is extremely obsessed with (rightfully so). To make the decision worse his reward is flat out stated to be an aesthetically pleasing pet. This EASILY could be justified if the MC is forced into a tank roll and needs some dps but as a do anything character the pet is pointless. Sadly this decision gets worse because he is alone with no backing and it's immediately established that pets are crazy expensive to nurture when he needs all the funds he can get to make do already. With proper setup this could have made sense why the MC would risk death to get a pet (chance drop) and chose to keep the pet that fit with established character motivations. 

The power creep in this story is going reach such insane proportions for the MC it will have to become a slice of life because combat will have zero suspense and any that is there will feel forced because of the established infinite resources that surprises even immortals. This could have been somewhat mitigated if the character could only use defensive spells to prevent complete overpowered toolset with zero reliance on others.

The last thing that bothers me the most even more than keep the pet is The Path is constantly held up to be this sacred protected hardship that you earn your way though this super difficult challenge and literally every step of the way the MC is handed everything. No joke everything. He was going to work for years to buy a rift slot, nope jumps the line and gets an elite privileged island for free where he can level all he wants. Steals when later in the the story actions like that are punished by death. Characters in the background constantly orchestrating resources to fall in the MCs lap, once in a lifetime opportunity to help for essential powers rather then struggle. Essentially at every turn there is zero setup and payoff the MC gets everything handed to him. If you were to compare this to a game of say Diablo he gets a full legendary set every single run vs hundreds/thousands to get that one piece you have been searching for. One is obviously more emotionally satisfying than the other. You always expect a certain amount of luck for a MC to experience above what a normal person might but the character has literal gods paving the road every step of the way removing all suspense, tension and emotional payoff.


Fun progression, stretches suspension of disbelief

Reviewed at: The Path of Ascension Chapter 19

The progression of the mc is very fun while the story is focused on it. The cultivation system is interesting as talent in cultivation is not a factor, and anyone can do it, presumably infinitely. There also isn’t conservation of mass or energy laws in this universe, unless there is a supermassive universe core powering everything. The cosmic and intergalactic space empire is also pretty rare in the cultivation stories, and is a great premise.

The setting is the best part of this story. 

The problem is that the mc ate the luck luck devil fruit or something and everything goes his way, although he is usually unaware of it. The mc’s story is pretty much what happens when you get a perfect run in a rogue-like game, and find a broken setup that you can only get one in 10,000 attempts. 

The other problem is that it always feels like the universe revolves around the mc. Special characters are always there when he needs them, and everyone wants to help him out from the goodness of their hearts. He also meets several god tier talent that only exist once a generation in a backwater region of planets. 

Basically, this story is fun as long as you embrace how convenient everything is for the characters. Hopefully things become a challenge for the mc soon. The fights are criminally boring as well. The explanations of stats are the most exciting parts of this.


I'm having a lot of fun reading this story. The author does a good job of writing the characters in a way that makes me care about them. They also don't come across as cliché or stereotypical. While there are thematic elements that you have come across before in other stories, the author does a good job of putting a unique twist on them so that they aren't just carbon copies of what has been done before.

Story wise its got many of my favorite things but with a nice twist. The rational MC who is hard working, but gets a trash ability is twisted up nicely by not having a cheat system that nobody else has, but by getting for himself complementary skills that work with his precieved defect. Companions that are awsome, both artificial and animal, where usually it is one of the other. It's nice that the fights between people don't devolve into all humans being massacred on the losing side and that there are checks and balances that don't allow the powerful to indescrimately massacre the weak. I like that the "leveling" shows concrete progress with high risk and high reward and has a well thought out roadmap to power that everyone can follow. There are some appropriate time skips to fast forward through some of the grind. Overall a positive outlook and environment in what could be a very dark universe.

The story synopsis does a good job of accurately preparing you for what to expect in this story. 

I read through all the chapters available so far, 39, and now want to go back and read them all again.


Let me start off by saying that I have very much enjoyed the story so far. However, there have been some glaring issues that have prevented me from fully enjoying this creative delve into science fantasy.


Alright, let's get the worst of my criticism out of the way. The style is amateurish, which isn't a bad thing by any means. The author's inexperience shines through a lot is all. Author, if you are reading this, you're doing alright so far, and I would encourage you to continue learning and growing as you post more chapters. 

Unfortunately, the style suffers more than anything else. Characters pop in and out of nowhere like nobody's business. Dialogue is choppy and long at times. The action scenes are written exactly like the character interactions, which drags down the pacing. Skimming over large swaths of action didn't affect my understanding of the plot at all. These are all things that can be improved over time with experience. It's okay to make these mistakes in writing and grow from them.

What I do like about the style is that the story doesn't bog itself down with a whole lot of unnecessary side stuff. It reads fairly smooth outside of action scenes. Anyway, onwards.


Let me just say, the worldbuilding is quite creative. The amount of thought put into how the world functions is passable. Conflicts are understandable to an extent, though sometimes a bit forced with a lack of foreshadowing.

The plot is simple, which is perfectly fine. There are enough sprinkles of something bigger to make readers curious about what lies beyond the Protagonist's homework. 

Unfortunately, the overall plot doesn't have a clear direction and is in a weird state of limbo where it could really go anywhere while not giving much indication of not going nowhere. 

In other words, there I a lot of good worldbuilding, but the plot suffers from a lack of direction given in the story up to now.


Good. Not amazing, but it isn't going to affect the reader's experience unless they are English majors with a screw up their a-


Moving on.


Okay, now we get to what I feel is the intended meat and potatoes of this story. The character interactions occasionally feel stretched out for the sake of that oh-so-dreaded Exposition, but otherwise fit well enough. Perhaps something that could improve the dialog is giving characters speaking quirks, things that make them more unique. It takes practice to figure out how to make not all characters sound similar, though.

The protagonist's motivations are passable. Nothing new, but it works. Simple is often best, anyway. Most of the time, he acts consistently with his history, but there are ments where he breaks character to an extent. 

Now, let me mention what spurred me to write this review. Partial Spoiler ahead. In Chapter 9... the character that is added out of nowhere into an important role and then subsequently removed while not making sense with the previous worldbuilding (I'm referring to the part about avoiding relationships for people on the path) pulls you right out of the story. It is jarring, has zero foreshadowing, and doesn't leave any impact aside from ripping a reader out of the story to ask themselves what is going on.

While the characters are generally passable as pieces in the story, there are moments that stall their conversations.


All in all, a fairly solid and acceptable read for passing time. Nothing groundbreaking, but creative.


from classic chineese cultivation story to litrpg

Reviewed at: The Path of Ascension Chapter 26

This story is based on a lot of the cliche of  xanxia novels.

And it's not bringing anything new to the genre except it does:

instead of the middle-age setup it's more of a sci-fi one

instead of having sects, the factions are corporate capitalist within kingdoms. Rather nice worldbuilding.

and the biggest change is probably the game-like rpg status and experience gain by killing monsters instead of amassing energy in the core throught cultivation, pills, etc...


The MC start a cripple but quickly find himself having an edge over the other cultivators. classic.

The MC suffer injustice and is enraged, he want revenge in blood. Classic.

While heavily inspired by xanxia, there are hints that it will not develop the usual xanxia way with a conceited, cold and murderous MC that get worse as time pass. good but there are hints that the story won't solve the usual weakness of the genre, characters development is slow. antagonists are shallow "please humiliate me, i'm an asshole"-type, disposable and forgetable. The MC get stronger, then get stronger, stronger... It feels like this type of cheap story that will reach chapter 2 000 without anything ever breaking the flow of the novel.


The author manage to make it fairly interesting yet there is a lot of rince and repeat, and grinding. The thrill of the fights is never very high. There is little other plots than planning for more grinding.

And of course there are the lucky events. Supposedly Rare occurences are happening non stop to the MC. Classic in Xanxia, the MC ascent is more due to insane luck than actual skill. The Mc get stronger because all his weaknesses are adressed one after the others with lucky events.


Also the story is clearly going for harem. Right from the start we got the ultra classic legendary-level beautiful maiden who don't talk much and have ice related powers that will way later become a sexual partner. then a second girl. soon a third for what i read in the comments.


Grammar is good enought. No problem on that part.


Overall, a nicely done variant  of a xanxia. If xanxia and litRPG are your thing, give it a try.


Started Okay And Improved Significantly

Reviewed at: The Path of Ascension Chapter 44

I'm updating my review because it's been a while and the author has improved significantly. Overall, the rating has been bumped up to a 3.5/5 because of many improvements. The original review is still down below for those interested in seeing the changes over time. 

Style: 3.5/5 (+ 0.5)

Powerscaling and 'realistic' fights are hard to maintain and keep interesing, but C_Mantis manages to do so as the story progresses. They make the higher tiers feel relatable and that there are still relevant stakes, and it's nicely done. That being said, some conversations feel stilted and character expression can be hampered at times, which also hurts the character score. 

Story: 3/5 (- 0.5)

The story has become increasingly slice-of-life, and while I love the genre, it's not one that really speaks towards high scory ratings. This may be a low rating, but don't let it stop you from reading if you don't mind slice-of-life. It's not stopping me :D

Grammar: 3.5/5 (+ 1.5)

Massive improvements from the start. The first 10 chapters were pretty rough, the next 10 were okay-ish, and after that the grammar is pretty solid. Still some occasional mistakes, but the later chapters would rate a 4/5 on their own. Props to the author for taking feedback and getting proofreading.

Character: 4/5 (+ 1.0)

The characters really shine in this story. Every character is nuanced and has depth, and very little feels forced about them. The only thing currently hampering the last star is the writing - sometimes it feels like the quality of writing is holding back some character expression, and some developments feel a little forced at times. Still, the time since the original review has allowed a larger cast to be introduced and developed, and it really helps transform the story into what it has become now. 


Original Review

A lot of the reviews have over-hyped this story. The most accurate reviews are the ones that say it improves over time. I like the society/world, and that's really what's kept me interested in this story. The first ~10 chapters are really hard to read, but the writing quality does show consistent signs of improvement, so I won't drop this story just yet. 

Style: 3/5

There's nothing particularly good or bad about the author's style. Solidly fine.

Story: 3.5/5

I appreciate that while the plot isn't terribly unique, the elements of the story keep it form getting stale. not amazing, but a little bit above average.

Grammar: 2.5/5

It starts out really badly, and that's after the author and editor have done reviews/edits. It's pretty hard to get through until after maybe chapter 10, at which point it starts to become palatable. There are a lot of issues with homophones, misplaced punctuation of various types, and sentences that just don't make sense. By chapter 10 though, most of the glaring flaws are gone. Still not great, but at least average.

Character: 3/5

Meh. I don't like that the story focuses on a solo delver for so much of its content. It prevents a lot of character growth because the MC is starved of interaction with others. The group of friends was alright, but they weren't around long enough to really develop. I liked that the MC was willing to learn and temper his greed, and it really does show as the story progresses, but there isn't enough character interaction for more development. 

Dark Jester

Before I launch into this, the TL:DR is that it's an ok book if you can stomach a power fantasy.

Starting off with the positive the system in this book sounds genuinely interesting, even if there is too much exposition explaining it.The world it is set in is also interesting, though a bit overwhelming in scale, its mentioned a few times that the 'empire' has thousands of worlds in it.

My issue is the main character, who mostly lacks any kind of personality and is entirely driven by the urge to get more power. This is explained by him being an orphan and wanting revenge on the rifts but for me it falls a bit flat.

This is a guy who at 13 years old started working 12 hour shifts and practising swordplay in his spare time. For me he just doesnt really feel like a real person. He gets told at age 13 that he is going to go no-where in life and the next thing he does is look for a shitty job so that he can work himself to death for the next few years. All because he wants 'power'. I think that it would have been good to take a bit more time to show his motivations, as well as let him be sad. 

Spoilers follow for the first few chapters :

Luckily for the character by the time he is 15 in chapter 2 he gets a "rubbish" skill variant that just so happens to perfectly match with his "rubbish" innate talent. This just falls literally into his hands. We are told that getting skill variants is rare but he gets one that is obviously overpowered as hell literally just appear in front of him. I feel like this should have been a bigger deal. Like rather than having it appear literally where he works he could have sought out an ability like this on his own, having it dropped in his lap is just too convenient.

From there the impossible lucky streak just continues, he gets sponsored an absurd amount of money by two random people staying in the inn, who also arrange for him to go to an elite training facility that we were told in chapter one was basically impossible to get into. Once in that facility it isnt long before he makes friends with an OP healer who then gets him a meeting with the emperor of the universe, and then the next chapter he gets a rare event in the rift that gets him a new broken reward that is also clearly overpowered. 

For me I like to read about smart MCs who struggle a bit and this just reads like wish fulfillment. Especially because there are time skips the story seems to go from one lucky event to the other.