Retribution Engine [Martial Arts Progression Fantasy]

Retribution Engine [Martial Arts Progression Fantasy]

by Akaso

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content

Arcane machinery built to birth an army instead gives form to a singular paragon of violence - a creature of pure instinct is born and steps foot into a world at war.

Egotistical. Violent. Righteous to a fault.

Bringer of change, destroyer of tyrants.

Awaken, Conquering One, the Wanderer Unchained.


NOTE: Retribution Engine is the title for the first four books, which cover the Blue Moon War Saga. Afterwards the volumes are titled Sturmblitz Kunst, but I'm not including that in the title to help avoid confusion.

Disclaimer: Retribution Engine and its sequel, Sturmblitz Kunst, are original works and are in no way associated with, to, or sourced from existing copyrighted material. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious.

Copyright: This fiction and all derived works, artwork, fanfiction, derivative fiction, world building, assets, and anything that could conceivably be considered sourced from or created as a result of this fiction are the sole intellectual property of the author, herein known as Akaso. This work and all above terms are © Akaso 2022.


Illustrations by Bradley Burke, David Haire, Nikolai Gorishnii, Albani Rianto, Kuromoro, Seraziel, ValnikR

Further credit to Dream Troll for inspiration and numerous references to their music. Go listen to their stuff.

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Table of Contents
517 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
0.01 - The New Man, Born of Glass ago
0.02 - Dogs of War ago
0.03 - Beast Slays Beast ago
0.04 - New Identities, Old Prejudices ago
0.05 - Codex ago
0.06 - Necrobeast Interdiction ago
0.07 - Escape From the Zone ago
0.08 - The Tavern, The Truth, The Arrogant Young Master ago
0.09 - Beast-slayer Wanted, Beast-slayer Desired ago
0.10 - The Womaneater, The Maneater ago
0.11 - To Put Down a Vengeance Demon ago
0.12 - To Dress Both One's Wounds and Oneself ago
0.13 - The Governor, The Gunsmith, The Pentacle ago
0.14 - The Brass-Eyed Singer, The Tests, The Locust Highwaymen ago
0.15 - Code-speak, Breathing Method Training, The Memory of the Victory Demon ago
0.16 - Promenade Date, Rebound Pulse, Unforeseen Consequences ago
0.17 - The Extermination Job and The Old Battlefield ago
0.18 - The Man of Stone, The Living Storm, and Stormtrance ago
0.19 - The Power of the Storm, The Wrath of the Red Mantis ago
0.20 - The Hundred-Locust Slayer ago
0.21 - She Who Stands In Defiance of Death Itself ago
0.22 - The Extermination Begins ago
0.23 - Mind for Alchemy, Soul for the Sword ago
0.24 - More Than a Soldier ago
0.25 - Slayer's Instinct ago
0.26 - The Uncompressed Thunderous Fury of a Raging Lightning-Splitter ago
0.27 - Spiteful Revelator, Sonic Exterminator ago
0.28 - To Be More Than a Soldier ago
0.29 - The Subcore, The Swordsman ago
0.30 - An Existence Worse Than Death, Rendezvous Between Floors ago
0.31 - The Philter And The Serum ago
0.32 - A Soldier's Demand, An Alchemist's Labors, A Sleazebag's Gambit ago
0.33 - Engine of Retribution ago
0.34 - Subcore Delta, The Philosopher's Eye, And The Storm Engine ago
0.35 - The Third King's Oracle And The Meaning of Cultivation ago
0.36 - Into the Mouth of Hell ago
0.37 - Antepenultimate Extermination: First Strike at the Heart of Infestation ago
0.38 - Penultimate Extermination: The Hellborne Fury of an Unleashed Victory Demon ago
0.39 - Ultimate Extermination: Dance of the Fireflies, the Burial Rite by Ball Lightning ago
0.40 - Post-Extermination: Those Who Stand in Defiance of a Living God ago
ARC 1 FINALE - It Has to Be This Way ago
ARC 2 PROLOGUE - An Ikesian Folk Myth ago
1 - Victory Lap ago
2 - Out of Desolation ago
3 - Violence of the Skies ago
4 - Cogs in Motion ago
5 - Arnys Krishorn ago
6 - Dossier ago
7 - Panzermensch ago
8 - Re:Willowdale ago
9 - Re:Poppies ago
10 - Pierogi ago
11 - Kanbu ago
12 - Introspect ago
13 - A Loyal Customer ago
14 - True Return ago
15 - Caution ago
16 - Voltage ago
17 - Electroinduction ago
18 - Short Circuit ago
19 - Sensory Overload ago
20 - Drawn Conclusion ago
21 - March to Opus ago
22 - Traits ago
23 - Understatement ago
24 - Citronade ago
25 - Strolvath's Caution ago
26 - Old Quarter ago
27 - Speakeasy ago
28 - Mine's Bigger ago
29 - Drunken Folklore ago
30 - Homunculus ago
31 - Karga ago
32 - The One-week War ago
33 - Resentment for Complacency ago
34 - Serpent's Head ago
35 - Make it So ago
36 - Re:Cogs in Motion ago
37 - Bherad ago
38 - Soapboxing ago
39 - Emperor's Mercy ago
40 - Just an Errand ago
41 - Accustomed to Violence ago
42 - Proof of a Craftsman ago
43 - Breath of Change/Prisoner ago
44 - Call me Strake ago
45 - Dawn of Another Fateful Day ago
46 - Re: Opus ago
47 - Necrobeast Elixir ago
48 - Impurities ago
49 - Re: Book of Secrets ago
50 - Old World Philosophy ago
51 - Breakfast and Pulps ago
52 - Restlessness ago
53 - Relics of History ago
54 - Air Like Gunpowder ago
55 - Re: Draw Against the Reaper ago
56 - Anima/Animus ago
57 - In the Hall of the God-King ago
58 - Tapestry Unraveling ago
59 - Awake ago
60 - Judged in the Name of the Omniudex ago
61 - Metamorphosis ago
62 - Grievous Miracle ago
63 - The Fiery Eye of Judgment ago
64 - Emberthorn ago
65 - The Red-shingle Path ago
66 - Fruit Right Hook ago
67 - How to Get a Homunculus Drunk ago
68 - Descendant of the Tundra-Striders ago
69 - Warrior-to-Warrior Discourse ago
70 - Revelry in Combat ago
71 - An Offer Too Good to Refuse ago
72 - Lightning Strikes the Glacier ago
73 - Underplanned to Face the Beast of the Storm ago
74 - Too Smug to Die ago
75 - Not Quite Reeling ago
76 - Ancient Truths ago
77 - Judgment Justice ago
78 - The Charred Judge ago
79 - Eternal Beast ago
80 - A Casual Breakfast Before Limb Reattachment ago
81 - Left Arm of the Engine Beast ago
82 - A Promise Upheld ago
83 - To Set Loose the Violent Will ago
84 - Speak of the Blue Moon ago
85 - Lighting the Inner Crucible ago
86 - Impending Unknown ago
87 - The Payment for a City Saved ago
88 - Oblique Maneuvering ago
89 - The Pot Boiling Over ago
90 - Mangy Dogs and Stone Soldiers ago
91 - Stars of Calamity ago
92 - A Hallway of Dead Men ago
93 - Innocence and Wretchedness ago
94 - Slayer's Mercy ago
95 - Paint it Red ago
96 - Hunted ago
97 - The Wannabe Sleazebag's Gambit ago
98 - Sheng and Zhuo ago
99 - New Ammunition, Blue Meat, and a Swordsman's Struggle ago
100 - Foster the Flame ago
101 - Morning News ago
102 - Pieces Falling Into Place ago
103 - To Plan For The Future ago
104 - The Sect Compound ago
105 - Deal With The Merchant Matriarch ago
106 - Training Grounds ago
107 - Rising Heat ago
108 - Shameless Infatuation ago
109 - Sparks and Ball Lightning ago
110 - Caught You ago
111 - Entanglement ago
112 - Entanglement Continued/Metamophosis ago
113 - Metamorphosis Continued/Morning of the Serpent's Day ago
114 - Honest Ping's ago
115 - Decision/Distortion ago
116 - The Caravan Arrives ago
117 - Exotic Influx ago
118 - Strake Departing ago
119 - Merchant of Menace ago
120 - Dog of War ago
121 - Smoking in the Rain ago
122 - Cry For Retribution ago
123 - Teeth of the War-Dog; First Arm of the Fierce Deity ago
124 - Lottery/Nobles as Stage Musicians ago
125 - Face the Music ago
126 - We Fight the Night ago
127 - Formless Butchery ago
128 - Flying Thundersaw ago
129 - Dutybound ago
130 - Enigmatic Gale ago
131 - The Bickering Immortals ago
132 - Monumentality ago
133 - Uni ago
134 - The Markets ago
135 - Ironclad Truth ago
136 - Speak of Iron ago
137 - The Moneychanger ago
138 - Immortal Beast ago
139 - Tremor ago
140 - Snake-oil ago
141 - On the Health Risks of Business Negotiations ago
142 - Of Three Manly Smiths ago
143 - Steel Steed ago
144 - Gunshot to the Head of Subservience ago
145 - Guerilla Warfare ago
146 - The Recluse ago
147 - Brass-eyed Drunkard ago
148 - Steel Commander ago
149 - Burgess ago
150 - Bloody Zero ago
151 - Plan of Attack ago
152 - Before the Execution ago
153 - Big Shot ago
154 - Back in Red ago
155 - Memory of Change ago
156 - Remake Thyself ago
157 - Scrying ago
158 - Re: Bloody Zero ago
159 - Man and Machine ago
160 - Steel Winged Warrior ago
161 - Take Up the Sword, Common Man ago
162 - Visage of the Fierce Deity ago
163 - Second Arm of the Fierce Deity ago
164 - The Lighthouse ago
165 - Tian Meng ago
166 - Cao Hu ago
167 - Flying Sword ago
168 - Heartless Madness ago
169 - Give Me Your Head ago
170 - Armor of Curses ago
171 - A Long Fall ago
172 - Horizonward ago
173 - To Walk Ever Onward ago
174 - Chipping Away ago
175 - Reaching Into Ages Past ago
176 - Break the Seal ago
177 - Ozmir ago
178 - Unearthed ago
179 - Flagrant Lack of Caution ago
180 - Breaching the Eternal Vault ago
181 - Leather ago
182 - Cheesecake ago
183 - Translation ago
184 - The Walking Way of the Despot of Self ago
185 - On the Operation of a Sect ago
186 - Training/Sparring ago
187 - Polishing/Breaking-in ago
188 - Breaking-in Pt. 2 ago
189 - Breaking-in Pt. 3 ago
190 - KGF/Dealmaker ago
191 - Rule Thyself, Despot of Self ago
192 - Power Struggle ago
193 - A Common Foe ago
194 - Empire of Mind ago
195 - Subtle Metamorphosis ago
196 - Stonecrackers ago
197 - Spiritual Cleansing ago
198 - Evolution ago
199 - Thundercharger ago
200 - Bayonets and Heraldry ago
201 - Sturmblitz Kunst ago
202 - Change of Clothes ago
203 - Fresh Fit/Reactor Concerns ago
204 - Believe in the Forgemother ago
205 - Hammerforged ago
206 - Specifications ago
207 - The Impelling Arm ago
208 - Of Arms Encased in Steel ago
209 - Iron Philosophy ago
210 - High-intensity Training ago
211 - Newman Alchemicals and Jorfr's Return ago
212 - Draw Upon the Land ago
213 - Beneath the Sect ago
214 - The Leyline Well ago
215 - Penultimate Day ago
216 - Re: Sturmblitz Kunst ago
217 - Tactical Supremacy Asset ago
218 - Pre-Match Tension ago
219 - Awaken, Unholy One, the Wanderer, Unchained ago
220 - Play to the Crowd ago
221 - Combat Chess ago
222 - Combat Chess Pt. 2 ago
223 - Uragánrana ago
224 - A True Martial Artist ago
225 - Exceeding Expectations ago
226 - Not an Ounce of Strength Unaccounted For ago
227 - The Stubborn Refusal to Admit One's Inferiority ago
228 - Penultimate Clash ago
229 - Thundering Engine Beast ago
230 - Out on Her Feet ago
231 - Not Quite Smelling Salts ago
232 - The Truth of Storm-soul Cultivation ago
233 - The Truth of Storm-soul Cultivation Pt. 2 ago
234 - Ritualism ago
235 - Ritualism Pt. 2 ago
236 - Ritualism Pt. 3 ago
237 - Tribulation ago
238 - Superbia ago
239 - Cleanse ago
240 - Re: Thunderclap Sting ago
241 - Further Observations ago
242 - The Balances of History ago
243 - Yet Another Breath of Change ago
244 - Re: Collier's ago
245 - Re: Collier's Pt. 2 ago
246 - Tyrant Muncher ago
247 - Tyrant Muncher Pt. 2 ago
248 - Tempesta ago
249 - Tempesta Pt. 2 ago
250 - Incandescing Demon ago
251 - The Candidates ago
252 - Vaceran ago
253 - Vaceran Pt. 2 ago
254 - Re: Tyrant Muncher ago
255 - Things to Discuss ago
256 - Options ago
257 - Ballistics Testing ago
258 - As Good an Excuse as Any ago
259 - Visage ago
260 - The Reaper's Visage, Panzerpope, Re: Bickering Immortals ago
261 - The Stones Will Walk Again ago
262 - Alternate Mysticism ago
263 - The Stones Walk ago
264 - Magnetic Choke, Idola Custos ago
265 - Idola Custos Pt. 2 ago
266 - Skin of Bronze ago
267 - Calm Before the Storm ago
268 - Calm Before the Storm Pt. 2 ago
269 - Calm Before the Storm Pt. 3 ago
270 - Calm Before the Storm Pt. 4 ago
271 - Calm Before the Storm Pt. 5 ago
272 - Rising Thunder ago
273 - Rising Thunder Pt. 2 ago
274 - Rising Thunder Pt. 3 ago
275 - Rising Thunder Pt. 4 ago
276 - Defense of Willowdale ago
277 - Re: Soul For the Sword ago
278 - Panzermensch Hatsudo ago
279 - Heartbreaker Thundercannon ago
280 - Victory, Insofar as Survival Can be Considered Such ago
281 - Perilous March ago
282 - Blue Moon ago
283 - Blue Moon Pt. 2 ago
284 - Blue Moon Pt. 3 ago
285 - Mantle of the Incandescent ago
286 - Heaven-piercing Comet ago
287 - The Fire of Heaven Remade Through Man ago
288 - Reignition ago
289 - Toppled ago
290 - Re: Ubul ago
291 - Firefly Thundercannon ago
292/293 - Severance Pt. 1+2 ago
294 - I am Panzermensch ago
295 - I am Panzermensch Pt. 2 ago
296 - Embodiment of Snow Devil ago
297 - Fragment of Lost Hyperborea ago
298 - AbsoЯute Zero ago
299 - Ubul, the Beast Reborn in Stone ago
300 - Iron Rider, Fleshly Crawler ago
301 - Reach for the Moon, Eternal Beast ago
302 - The New Man, Reborn of Lightning ago
303 - One stands arrogantly in defiance of death, usurping the unfettered might of the heavens! ago
304 - Tactical Supremacy Asset ago
305 - Storm Conqueror's Mantle ago
306 - Re: Lightning Strikes the Mountain ago
307 - Atavism ago
308 - Dharma ago
309 - How the Mighty Have Fallen ago
310 - The Black Judge Has a Sense of Humor ago
311 - Swift Recovery ago
312 - Storm Reactor ago
ARC 2 FINAL - Breath of Change ago
Artwork Gallery/Announcement ago
ARC 3 Prologue Pt. 1 - Zelsys Newman, Sect Elder ago
ARC 3 Prologue Pt. 2 - Manifesting Utterly Boundless Force ago
ARC 3 Prologue Pt. FINAL - Borea Awaits ago
1/2 - Town Inside a Titan's Ribcage ago
3/4 - Reality Check Through the Skull ago
5/6 - Crimson and Scarlet ago
7/8 - Sanger Family Rules ago
9/10 - Von Wickten ago
11/12 - A Beast on Two Legs ago
13/14 - Wrathful Epiphany ago
15/16 - Dragonslaying by Any Other Name ago
17/18 - Re: Karmesin ago
19/20 - New Skin ago
21/22 - Red Sun Beneath the Eastern Horizon ago
23/24 - Von Burgghusen ago
25/26 - The Serpent Squirming in the Trap ago
27/28 - Ghost Battalion ago
29/30 - Stolen Steel ago
31/32 - Death of the Dragon ago
33/34 - Promise of Murder ago
35/36 - The Meat Market ago
37/38 - Sin-soaked Entomodragon ago
39/40 - Seven Steps to Petrichor ago
41/42 - Heaven Pierce Her ago
43/44 - Do not make peace with evil, destroy it. ago
45/46 - Heretic's Daughter ago
47/48 - The Ones That Got Away ago
49/50 - Lake of Blood ago
51/52 - The Seed of Legend Taking Root ago
53/54 - The New Era of Cultivation Begins ago
55/56 - Limited Blade Works ago
57 - Doppelsoldat ago
58 - Into the Gaullam ago
59 - Another White-robed Stranger ago
60 - Antediluvian ago
61 - Wodan and Hedan ago
62 - Erased ago
63 - Re: Arches/Going Easy ago
64 - "Light" Sparring ago
65 - Bioarboribous ago
66 - The Smoke Witch ago
67 - The Smoke Witch Pt. 2 ago
68 - The Smoke Witch Pt. 3 ago
69 - The Smoke Witch Pt. 4 ago
70 - The Smoke Witch Pt. 5 ago
71 - Bargaining Chip ago
72 - The Armor of Pure Purpose ago
73 - Devil in the Shell ago
74 - Devil in the Shell Pt. 2 ago
75 - Devil in the Shell Pt. 3 ago
76 - Titan's Bane ago
77 - Deterrence Fields Pt. 1 ago
78 - Deterrence Fields Pt. 2 ago
79 - Deterrence Fields Pt. 3 ago
80 - Deterrence Fields Pt. 4 ago
81 - Deterrence Fields Pt. 5 ago
82 - Agartha Pt. 1 ago
83 - Agartha Pt. 2 - Borean Politics ago
84 - Agartha Pt. 3 - Seventeen Tons ago
85 - Agartha Pt. 4 - Deep Dwellers ago
86 - Agartha Pt. 5 - Duplex ago
87 - Agartha Pt. 6 - Shifting Labyrinth ago
Flu ago
88 - Agartha Pt. 7 - Avatar of Sacrifice ago
89 - Agartha Pt. 8 - Gatemaker ago
90 - Agartha Pt. 9 - Godchild Infanticide ago
91 - Purity of Hatred ago
92 - Purity of Hatred Pt. 2 ago
93 - Burning Fuse ago
94 - Burning Fuse Pt. 2 ago
95 - Hate Beyond Hate ago
96 - Hate Beyond Hate Pt. 2 ago
97 - Midnight Wolf, the Hellhound Fury ago
98 - Re: Storm-conqueror's Mantle [+Announcement] ago
99 - Spindle Release ago
100 - Second King's Mystic Wisdom ago
101 - Comet Plan ago
102 - The Wingless Dragon's Flight ago
103 - On the Precipice ago
104 - The Rainbow Passage ago
105 - Arrival [+New Art] ago
106 - Arrival Pt. 2 ago
107 - Arrival Pt. 3 ago
108 - Arrival Pt. 4 ago
109 - Gymnasium/Family Dirt ago
110 - Gymnasium/Family Dirt Pt. 2 ago
111 - Lifting Heavy ago
112 - Lifting Heavy Pt. 2 ago
113 - Wolfblade ago
114 - Wolfblade Pt. 2 ago
115 - Wolfblade Pt. 3 ago
116 - Severance Preparation ago
117 - Severance Preparation Pt. 2 ago
118 - Severance ago
119 - Tensions ago
120 - Cultural Tour ago
121 - Ingvald the Forgehand ago
122 - Logic Automaton Assisted Design ago
123 - Logic Automaton Assisted Design Pt. 2 ago
124 - Cultivation Pills (At Last) ago
125 - Discourse Between Bullheaded Fools ago
126 - Silverhand ago
127 - Meeting Jorfr's Parents ago
128 - Eisengeist ago
129 - Holmgang Intel ago
130 - Innocent Sin ago
131 - To Give a Thundergod a Body ago
132 - Simultaneous Cultivation ago
133 - Primary Spring [+Announcement] ago
134 - Re: Ingvald ago
135 - Re: Ingvald Pt. 2 ago
136 - Victor's Breakthrough ago
137 - Wargames ago
138 - To Know One's Place ago
139 - Prostrate Yourself ago
140 - Koschei the Undying ago
141 - Koschei the Undying Pt. 2 ago
142 - Koschei the Undying Pt. 3 ago
143 - Boneyard Mantle Prelude ago
144 - Citadel of the Self ago
145 - Get in the Titan, Khestun ago
146 - Jungle Expedition ago
147 - Jungle Expedition Pt. 2 ago
148 - Jungle Expedition Pt. 3 ago
149 - Red's Dungeon ago
150 - ☼Strange Mood☼ ago
151 - ☼Strange Mood☼ Pt. 2 ago
152 - Nailbreaking ago
153 - Enantiomorph Pt. 1 ago
154 - Enantiomorph Pt. 2 ago
155 - Damascened ago
156 - Damascened Pt. 2 ago
157 - Sagaborne ago
158 - VS. Rikke Pt. 1 ago
159 - VS. Rikke Pt. 2 ago
160 - VS. Rikke Pt. 3 ago
161 - VS. Rikke Pt. 4 - The First Beast Wakes ago
162 - VS. Rikke Pt. 5 - True Love ago
163 - VS. Rikke Pt. Final - Thundergods Unleashed ago
164 - Victorious and Vindicated ago
165 - Victorious and Vindicated Pt. 2 ago
166 - Re: Sagaborne ago
167 - VS. Svend Pt. 1 ago
168 - Runar's Astral Hammer ago
169 - Wide-wuth's Dragonpiercer ago
170 - Re: Victorious and Vindicated ago
171 - Re: Victorious and Vindicated Pt. 2 ago
172 - A Great Deal of Many Smaller Events ago
173 - Teutobochus ago
174 - Teutobochus Pt. 2 ago
175 - A Long Way Up ago
176 - The Immortal Throne ago
177 - The Revenant King ago
178 - The Revenant King Pt. 2 ago
179 - The Scales ago
180 - Darkness Falls ago
181 - Roar of the Jungle Dragon ago
182 - Into the Starlit Night ago
183 - Memory Restored/Clash of Titan and Dragon ago
184 - Clash of Titan and Dragon Pt. 2 ago
185 - Blood Feud ago
186 - Blood Feud Pt. 2 ago

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Five-star world, characters, and scenes but...

Reviewed at: 68 - Descendant of the Tundra-Striders

This is a fascinating story with some things that could be improved.

The setting - a mashup of magitech/mad science post-WWI intrigue, cultivation, and fantasy litRPG - is the glory of this work, interesting both for its own details and mystery and for the new light in which we see the tropes of its constituent genres.

Characters are distinct and well done, and Zelsys, with her self-possessed directness and slowly-filling-in ignorance of the world, is a central figure who perfectly sets off all the complicated stuff around her.

Finally, the first part (the numbering is confusing but 0._ is part one and ARC 2 is part two, directly picking up) shows the author's ability to write great fight scenes and confrontations.

What's the issue, then? Well, first, updating both the revised first part and the current second part makes it a pain to read the whole thing through, as you currently have to go back to the deprecated initial version of the first part to read the part where it leads into the second part. This will fix itself soon enough, though.

The major issue is that the author can't ever skip to the next important thing. If there are five floors to a dungeon with multiple paths, we're going to see every single one. Perhaps the author saw that the first part got really unbalanced by the sheer length of the dungeon crawl - some of which had key powerups and world revelations, but not nearly all - and is revising to cut some of that, but even in the current part he is unable/unwilling to skip anything (or any amount of time). If a character talks about doing something, we will not only (eventually) see that but also the leadup, some incident in between, often the literal walk to the thing, and sometimes an alternate character's perspective on the same as well. This worked at the world and characters were coming into focus, but is becoming more of a liability as more characters and plot threads come into play.


Biggus Dickus

Quite like it's name the novel story goes like an engine. The world, it's events and characters are there for a reason and they work. The litrpg is there but it's not that blue screen that keeps popping up and eventually gets to big/full with things most won't remember or care. Love the combat aways exciting. Can't say I've seen anything bad with the grammar. There's no pointless filler drama. The characters are more than interesting enough for me to want to see their journey to the end.


Certainly one of my favorite stories here. Very enjoyable blend of action, romance and THE SMUG. Only complaint would be the downtime and setup, which can get kinda long, but honestly I don't mind that either. So I'm not complaining. It's like an old unboosted diesel, slow but it'll get you to the action guaranteed. And when it gets there, it really gets there. The action is superb, really well detailed and immersive. 

The story itself is great, it had me hooked from the beginning. Progresses along nicely, again, sometimes slows down, but you never get the feeling that it's spinning in place. 

I'm really bad at reviews so bear with me...

The grammar is good. A typo here and there, but sentence structure and tenses are usually on point. My brain kinda glosses over the typos anyway. 

The characters? Well, they're probably my favorite part of the story. All of them have their own roles and never feel redundant. Zelsys, the main character, is amazing, headstrong and SMUG, very confident and capable. None of that "your average Japanese highschool boy/girl" bs, there's nothing average about her, and she's not letting the uncertainty of her origin mess with her confidence. I won't go too in-depth with the rest of the cast. I'll just say they're all well thought out and incorporated into the story. They all have agency and never feel like dead weight. 

That's about it, I highly recommend giving it a try. Note that as of writing this the prequel is being added to this entry, but isn't all there yet, so I recommend reading "Rising from the war of Fog" first. All the chapters of that will find their way here eventually, of course. 


I haven't been reading this for long, but so far the development is very organic, the characters are very fleshed out, and the worldbuilding is quite detailed. The magic system has a lot of thought behind it and is internally consistent, which is always a plus. I haven't gotten far in but due to the length I figured I would go ahead and give a review now and just edit it later once I finish the book.


Great Story and Worldbuiding

Reviewed at: 207 - The Impelling Arm

I enjoy both the story and world it is set in. The Worldbuilding is coherent and beautiful. Both the fights and the downtime as well as training are well described. The Characters have depth and motivations that drive them and cause conflict to occur naturally and organically. I look forward to seeing this story continue.


Incredibly slow-burn but rich and detailed

Reviewed at: 40 - Just an Errand

This is apparently a sequel to previous works I have not read, so take that into consideration.

Style: Akaso is a very effective writer, I read about 20 chapters in before I felt the need to look at the glossary. The world itself is incredibly detailed, I don't think i've seen this much worldbuilding effort on RR before. If you want a rich, lore-heavy story, this is definitely for you.

Story: My main criticism with this story is the pace. 40 chapters in and the plot has only inched forward, its just a whole lot of setup for what I assume to be the action packed back half of the story. I can't give less than three stars for this because its a sequel and I'm guessing the idea is that readers will already be invested in the story, world and characters. That's perfectly reasonable imo so I can't really penalise it too hard but new readers should know what they're getting into and ideally read the first installment before this one.

Grammar: The grammar is polished to a degree that implies professional work, I wouldn't be surprised if Akaso hired an editor or is one themselves. Easy 5 stars

Character: The characters are another strong point. You don't often see fics on RR that really delve into political and ideological tensions and I love the fact that each character has a distinct set of beliefs and ideas about the world, and they make congruent sense when you take into account their backgrounds. An example of stellar characterisation imo

Tl;dr - This is worth a read. If you can handle the slow burn pace of the story, read it now, if not, read the first, then read this one


A story mainly following the travels of two women in love, one being a hulking mass akin to Guts with lightning powers and the other a more dainty, though not much, shooter. Not entirely my preferred genre, being that it holds written-out sexual scenes, but the rest does well at holding my interest.

Style: Rather than reading like a chapter-by-chapter release, each part feels more like a page in a book. This has its pros and cons, the most notable downside for me is that 3 segments make up an entire scene at times, creating a weird disjointed feel as it progresses. I end one page with dialogue, for the next to continue it. Since I can binge tons of pages at a time it isn't as bad, though I can see faint memories creating some issues here going between releases.

Story: Since each release is shorter than most, around 1000 or so words, the story goes along slower than usual. Even more so when just like in Style, a scene can take over 3 releases to complete. This isn't a bad thing though, some like slower-burn stories and it just appeals to them more.

However, the constant jumping between the views of several characters is a bit jarring, from the main party, a scientist in his lab, talks between military folk, to a shopkeeper Zel and Zef just met. Without reading the previous story it can be hard to feel anything for these "random" people we are learning about. For the most part, you don't need to read the prequel story, however, it feels like I have missed out on a lot of lore and backstory. My personal preference for this would be that it is clearly stated when a change of view is made, since one of these happened and I didn't know who it was until 3 paragraphs in.

The author has written up a key as it were for major names, but without living a story with those in it, the key does only so much to help. The repeated references to Elixirs or Vitamax and the like have me at a loss too, as I was unsure at the beginning if they were just snake oil or true magical potions that helped bodily functions. There is also little to tell me of what has happened or the current goals, until several chapters into the story, I was just following some adventurers in a Metro 2033 style traversal back to town.

My cons of this are more on me not reading the prequel, though the note in the blurb does state this is intended to be read without a need of the previous story. Some refresher text spread about would be needed to make that a solid point of the design, but right now it takes quite a few chapters to learn about the referenced items/terms.

Grammar: I found very few issues with the grammar, I pointed out at least one, though other readers found more before I got to the story. Some of the sentence structures also made it hard to read at times, though wasn't a major hurdle.

Character: There's a whole lot of characters to go through, we learn about 4 in the beginning parts with Zel and Zef the duo-leads taking a major part of that time. Without a full of description of their looks, simple notes about hair and such, it is hard to get a clear visual of the characters aside from their art. Again, I feel like the prequel story may have filled me in on more of these details. Thankfully, their aesthetics are referred to later on, both the duo leads and side characters, but it often feels a bit late.


When a cultivation world goes Dieselpunk

Reviewed at: 131 - To Give a Thundergod a Body

This is honestly one of the best stories on the site. 

it functions initially as a deconstruction of what cultivation novels are, then moves on to what feels like an off the wall hybrid of traditional sword and sorcery, cultivation, and industrial revolution fantasy. 

the setting is post-War of Fog, a WWI equivalent where the Sage of Fog sparked a technological revolution in some podunk country, which allowed it to fight on close to equal footing with a massive empire. They lost, but it was damm close. 

Now, thanks to the fact that ancient magic was used to isolate said country, cultivation has mostly disappeared.

Enter Zelyes, a homunculus created as a living weapon by the mysterious Sage of Fog. 

Do you think that this is going to be a tragic gritty hero story where the protagonist has to find themselves? Nope. Zelyes is a 6.5 foot battle maniac Amazon barbarian with an aversion to wearing shirts and a cheerful mindset. She doesn't give a damm about the method of her creation, or particularly about the Sage of Fog. She's not stupid (far from it) but she preferres to live in the moment. 

Zelyes is to normal cultivation what Krav Magav is to martial arts: stripped down, brutal, and highly effective. 

This isn't a one note story either. You've got multiple perspectives and points of view from Zelyes to an actually decent Gekurian governor to an ex war criminal piloting a semi-sentient mech that sustains itself upon the blood of its enemies. 

the only problem is a tendency to get bogged down in the details a bit (the author seems to be allergic to timeskips) but to their credit, info dumping is minimal. You instead learn about the world in a steady trickle (for the most part. 

all in all, a well thought out, well written story about a combination of mysticism and practicality at a time of upheaval. 

Seriously, top teir work. 


I think the system is original

Reviewed at: 16 - Voltage

Honestly, just who comes up with this stuff? This might just be a genre I haven't delved into ever before, but just where did the idea of Fog come from? Seriously. It's some cool stuff, even if I didn't understand half of it(purely my fault. No shame to the author for my own incompetence).

To sum up that point, I like the system laid out for the magic, or whatever you can call it. It's cool. Love it. And there are other aspects that I should mention as well. The characters, as an example, are great additions to the story. Especially the descriptions, though that might be due to my love for tattoos. Love the art for it(except the one with the homunculus eye or however you spell it. That one creeped me out).

Nothing else to say. Style? Great. Grammar? Couldnt find any mistakes. Pace? Pretty fast, compared to the other stuff that I read. Overall some nice stuff. 5/5


A lot of good... But with a few bad.

Reviewed at: 160 - Steel Winged Warrior

I want to preface all of what I'm about to say with this is MY opinion, my opinion doesn't have to be your opinion. With that being said in the effort to be as honest and as forthright as possible I'm going to be extremely blunt on what I want to say to the point of an unpleasant degree.

The overall writing and world building of the story is extremely amazing, with industrial/magitech fantasy vibes it's extremely interesting seeing and hearing about all the technology the author comes up with along with new abilities. The abilities put in place and used in the series are extremely original from what I've come across in any writing or show so far and is definitely a nice breath of fresh air in that regards. None of it feels like particular plothole developments although some things within it could stand to be explained in more depth, although this is probably leaning into the fact that the main character doesn't know what she doesn't know and is still trying to figure out along what lines of knowledge she has hidden away.

The grammar is as should be, there are some typo's here and there and some sentence structure is a bit strange, but nothing that will make you hang up on and bother you in any capacity.

Characters are relatively detailed although sometimes a bit too unrealstic, I only found this to be the case with a couple of the characters of the main cast and not a problem that related to the authors designing of characters as a whole, maybe it stemmed more from an issue of trying to progress the story in a natural way, but this problem hasn't bled over to other characters at this point  of around chapter 160 so I look at that as an outlier.

The story... This is where I have the most negative things to say and probably the harshest ones, a reminder this is an opinion. Take it with a grain of salt. The story pacing is completely out of whack at points. The author feels the need to explain everything, especially things that wouldn't necessarily needed to be detailed. Characters go into a dungeon and we have to know every small detail that happened to every single person that goes through. Leading on into volume 3 only serves to exacerbate this issue to the maximum.

After Alcerys becomes a renegade we see have chapters 144 through the rest of volume 3 detailing her/sodan going about doing their thing, meanwhile the author leaves what is in my opinion the more exciting thing of Zel finally getting to explore the Black Horse Manor completely untouched.

Instead of alternating chapters as had been up to this point on supporting cast to main cast, as had been done up to this point, the author completely drops the main story as if it's an afterthought and spends 27 chapters straight on the supporting casts escapades. I very quickly found myself just starting to skim until I was just blatantly skipping whole chapters, reading the important stuff, and then moving on because I wanted to see more Zel. Alcerys is an extremely cool and interesting character and I would definitely have been interested in seeing more development of her character, but I'd prefer that to be the secondary objective of the story. Not the primary one. Outside of instances like this however there's not terribly much more to say, most of what I say on the pacing is my personal tastes, a lot of people may enjoy learning more about the support character than the main character and if that's the case who am I to judge.