Shadow of the Soul King (A Cultivation LitRPG)

Shadow of the Soul King (A Cultivation LitRPG)

by Thirteen Life Legion

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

Earth was ending. He tried to save it with science. She betrayed him. Together they almost started World War III.

Now their home is facing an invasion of monsters and extraterrestrial forces, but it's no longer their problem.

They're dead and soon to be reborn as monsters. Instead of saving their world, their job will be to destroy another one through science and guile.

Oh, and the universe also seems to function like a litrpg.

Current schedule:

5 Chapters a week; Mon-Fri, 7:07 am US Eastern Standard Time, i.e. seven minutes past noon Greenwhich Mean Time.

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Table of Contents
125 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Mentor Prologue ago
Chapter 2: Protagonist Prologue ago
Chapter 3: Deuteragonist Prologue ago
Chapter 4: RPG-Mechanics Verse ago
Chapter 5: Definitions ago
Chapter 6: Abilities ago
Chapter 7: Whisper ago
Chapter 8: Oath ago
Chapter 9: Twelve Elements ago
Chapter 10: Battle Royale ago
Chapter 11: Auction House ago
Chapter 12: Home ago
Chapter 13: Stunned ago
Chapter 14: Cool Old Lady ago
Chapter 15: Shadow Line ago
Chapter 16: Id ago
Chapter 17: Story of an Archlich ago
Chapter 18: Rolling Death ago
Chapter 19: Creeping Death ago
Chapter 20: Calm ago
Chapter 21: Rage ago
Chapter 22: Aalam and the Sage ago
Chapter 23: Future Class ago
Chapter 24: Multi-Mind ago
Chapter 25: New Skills ago
Chapter 26: Bonds and Severing ago
Chapter 27: Twin Dragons ago
Chapter 28: Death to the Settlement ago
Chapter 29: Devil ago
Chapter 30: Contract ago
Chapter 31: Reaper ago
Chapter 32: Rewards ago
Chapter 33: Second Uniquenesses ago
Chapter 34: Races and Bloodlines ago
Chapter 35: The Knight and the Princeling ago
Chapter 36: Succubus ago
Chapter 37: The Way Things Are ago
Chapter 38: Prince ago
Chapter 39: Hira ago
Chapter 40: Runes ago
Chapter 41: Arrogance ago
Chapter 42: Souls ago
Chapter 43: Genetic Thief ago
Chapter 44: Race Evolution ago
Chapter 45: Soul Collector ago
Chapter 46: Classes ago
Chapter 47: The Benefits of Having a Master ago
Chapter 48: Heavenly Spark Soul King ago
Chapter 49: Levels and Morals ago
Chapter 50: F Rank ago
Chapter 51: Berserking’s End ago
Chapter 52: Acceptable Targets ago
Chapter 53: Aura and Contracts ago
Chapter 54: New Subordinates ago
Chapter 55: Level 5 ago
Chapter 56: Humans ago
Chapter 57: Bavarian Fire Drill ago
Chapter 58: A Special Kind of Suicide ago
Chapter 59: Surrounded Inheritance ago
Chapter 60: The Feeding Habit of Bear Things ago
Chapter 61: Mila vs Isaiah ago
Chapter 62: Rapid Spear Guardian ago
Chapter 63: Infiltration ago
Chapter 64: Kidnapping ago
Chapter 65: Omalia Gale ago
Chapter 66: Coming to Terms with Death ago
Chapter 67: Phantasmic Doppelgängers ago
Chapter 68: Cultivation Technique ago
Chapter 69: Amorac’s Servant ago
Chapter 70: War ago
Chapter 71: Preparation ago
Chapter 72: Isaiah ago
Chapter 73: Dragon Drive ago
Chapter 74: War and the Sea ago
Chapter 75: The Start of the Long Game ago
Chapter 76: Awake ago
Chapter 77: Confession ago
Chapter 78: Plan to Get Back to Earth ago
Chapter 79: Purpose ago
Chapter 80: How to Proceed ago
Chapter 81: The Terrifying Witch ago
Chapter 82: A Good Lesson ago
Chapter 83: Nana Xara’s Apocalypse Style Integration ago
Chapter 84: 12 Elements Bastard Sword ago
Chapter 85: Law Advancement and Cultivation ago
Chapter 86: Territory Growth ago
Chapter 87: Isaiah and the Sea ago
Chapter 88: Recruitment Offer ago
Chapter 89: Prove Your Worth I ago
Chapter 90: Prove Your Worth II ago
Chapter 91: Kindar Raiders ago
Chapter 92: Battle at the Center of the Soul ago
Chapter 93: Treasure ago
Chapter 94: Contamination Core ago
Chapter 95: Better Treasures ago
Chapter 96: Shadow Stride, Danger Sense, and Knight ago
Chapter 97: The Ring’s Contents ago
Chapter 98: Dragon Heart ago
Chapter 99: A Run and a Killing ago
Chapter 100: Agonizing Enhancement ago
Chapter 101: Change in the Relationship ago
Chapter 102: Sovereign ago
Chapter 103: Ready ago
Chapter 104: Trial Tower ago
Chapter 105: The Planning of the Yin Yang Sage ago
Chapter 106: Destroying an Undead Empire ago
Chapter 107: Battle Royale ago
Chapter 108: Paths of Law Advancement ago
Chapter 109: Krysta La’Vordi ago
Chapter 110: Trial Tower Third Section ago
Chapter 111: Reginald Vin ago
Chapter 112: Brom Karendesh ago
Chapter 113: Trial Tower End ago
Chapter 114: Stolen Reward ago
Chapter 115: Diana Alvaro ago
Chapter 116: Honest Answers ago
Chapter 117: Li Dai-Zhao ago
Chapter 118: Siblings Reunited ago
Chapter 119: Honest Conversation ago
Chapter 120: End of the Ice Giants ago
Chapter 121: Chaos Human ago
Chapter 122: A lot of Work in the Future ago
Chapter 123: Irena Krol ago
Chapter 124: Announcement ago
Chapter 125: Listening in on Conversations ago

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GJameson
Overall

Know what to expect and this is great

Reviewed at: Chapter 75: The Start of the Long Game

Okay. Here is what you can expect from this story.

1) The main character of this story, Mila, is a former spy and she acts like it. Throughout most of the story at the point I'm writing this her enemies have been humans and humanoids, not monsters, and she infiltrates, disguises herself, and lies to get what she wants. She's not necessarily a bad person, but she's an antihero at best.

2) The secondary main character, Aalam, is a somewhat overpowered super scientist, breaking records left and right, but his overpoweredness doesn't really detract from the story as he can't make use of his power all that well as he's not that much of a combatant. He generally makes as many problems for Mila as he solves and, in a lot of ways, he functions like a warlock's patron from D&D. He's the source of some of Mila's power, so she has more than just personal reasons to make him stronger, yet the type of things he requires force Mila to accomplish ridiculous feats.

3) During the first arc, the main characters win a lot. This arc can be seen as basically the story of how the main characters get their cheat, like Jason's bloodline from Primal Hunter or Zac's constitution from Defiance of the Fall, only they earn their bloodlines and bodies. They both do have powerful unique abilities in the form of what the story calls uniquenesses, but for both characters their uniquenesses are come with quite a few detriments. They lose quite a bit more often in the second arc.

4) This story has a romantic subplot between Mila and Aalam, with the two having dated for years before the story but Aalam having found out Mila was spying on him the entire time, and the story seems to be aiming for a reconciliation between the two. Personally, I like how their skillsets compliment each other and, like another review said, I'm looking forward to them becoming a true battle couple, as it is kind of sweet how they keep empowering each other.

5) The story can be dark, with some dark themes, evil villains, and a main character whose powerset is kind of scary, but the interactions with the characters are quite fun, especially whenever the mentor character shows up, who Mila affectionally calls Nana.

I hope this was helpful. Personally, I really like this story.

LordOfTheSaberDao
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A Wild Ride That Keeps Getting Better

Reviewed at: Chapter 111: Reginald Vin

The top review for this story is one by and that review should be the top review as it is very good at explaining what to expect from this novel and why people should read it.

That review, however, is 36 chapters old at the time of my writing this, so I thought I would copy that review here and add some extra information in itallics, but my review where I did that violated the rules of not copying and pasting others reviews (a good ruling) so I'm changing what I post here.

Below is information I think shoul be added to that review based on later chapters.
---------------------------------------

After section 1:

Mila's build is one of the more unique ones I've seen in a litrpg story, focused on utility skills, not fighting, and it is awesome.

After section 2:

Aalam also sometimes acts as the cavalry and it is fun.

After section 3:

Starting from the second arc, a lot more worldbuilding is added and it is a very interesting world/universe.

After section 4: 

One of the best things about this story is that it's not a power progression fantasy for one person like most of these types of stories, but a power progression fantasy for two people. The romantic subplot is also pretty well balanced. I myself am not that interested in romance, but the chapters focusing on the tension between the two main characters also generally have some of the best worldbuilding and game mechanics sections, so they are often some of my favorites.

After section 5: 

As the main characters get more used to their new normal, the amount of joking between characters also goes up and it is fun.

----------------------------

Hope this made you want to read this story! We could use some more people in the comments section.

Also, as this story is getting more popular, there are quite a few obvious review bombs. No matter what anyone says, this story is a high quality one. It might not be for you, like is the case with DeathlyOreo's review, but it definitely deserves 3 stars at least and any review below 2 stars is almost certainly a troll.

DarkLordBen
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Duo in a Litrpg Apocalypse

Reviewed at: Chapter 50: F Rank

Game of Gods: Tales of the Celibate Incubus is one of the first stories I started reading here on RoyalRoad and, at this point, it is probably my favorite.

It is quite obviously heavily inspired by some of the more popular litrpg stories on this site and doesn't shy away from that fact. (Both main characters, despite being a James Bond style super spy and a Bruce Banner style multidisciplinary scientist, are quite obviously fans of the genre) But it has several unique aspects which make it stand out.

1) There are two main characters instead of one.

They have an inricate backstory with each other, making them both excellent teammates and providing the story a lot of emotional weight.

They also seem intentionally designed for form a power duo in the future. I've seen comments in the story complaining how one of the characters gets too much power from the other and that it is not her power, but the same thing happens the other way pretty soon after.

I personally am looking forward to them becoming an awesome battle couple in the future.

2) The cheat of the two main characters is information and pre-apocalypse skills, rather than something which takes away from their own effort.

This is not an 'your average joe is pulled into a litrpg' story. This is a 'professional spy and a professional biologist/physicist get pulled into a litrpg' story. At the start of the story, this gives them advantages.

They also quickly get information on how the universe works, rather than getting it in bits and pieces. And this allows the main characters to be very active. Every cool artifact, skill, or class they receive is through their own effort and planning, not just because it dropped into their lap from the sky.

3) The builds of the main characters are rather unique.

I won't go into much detail so as to not spoil the experience for future readers, but neither character is a true combatant. Both of their skillsets are based more around utility powers and it affects how they solve problems in interesting and ridiculous ways.

One character is a crafter with telekinetic powers while the other is a shadowy assassin type with control over illusions and the ability to make devil style magically enforced contracts.

 

Now, I feel I should address some of the things other reviews have said.

First, unlike what one reviewer said, the powerscaling of the world in this novel is done really well. It isn't obvious during the tutorial chapters as neither of the main characters reach level 1 until chapter 46 and there aren't many other characters introduced, but it seems it will be very difficult to jump ranks to fight and things like that.

Like I said earlier, though, the characters come with preexisting knowledgesets from their lives before the apocalypse, so, under certain circumstances, they can very much break the balance and that is very much intended by the author.

If you don't like characters who are conditionally overpowered, this is probably not the story for you.

As of chapter 64, however, there have been no deus ex machinas and the difference between a true genius combatant and the main characters has been shown.

Some of the previous reviews have mentioned having trouble with perspective changing in the novel, but that should no longer be an issue. The author made a poll to ask us readers if we'd prefer to have the POV character added explicitly at the beginning of a chapter or section change and, when we said yes, he did so.

Finally, the author is very professional. Even when he or she finally got the chance to see his or her family after two years, instead of pausing the story, he or she just lowered the weekly chapter count from 5 to 3, informing us all a week in advance.

VoricKiller
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Fun story with emotional depth

Reviewed at: Chapter 76: Awake

This is a fun story, but the author is a bit of a troll. God that chapter 51.

Still though, the fact I felt so angry at that point means I'm invested and I like the characters.

BUT AUTHOR YOU BETTER LET THEM TALK AT SOME POINT!

I'm really liking this second arc, though. Mila's so unpredictable, making it fun to read.

Now for the actual review, though with me trying not to spoil anything:

The first three chapters are three prologues, introducing the three main characters of this story, a really, really old badass godslayer grandmother, a scientist from earth whose girlfriend of 5 years was a spy sent to seduce him, and then the girlfriend.

Despite what the author says in the titles of these chapters, the girlfriend, Mila, is the main character of this story, at least so far.

A Litrpg apocalypse tutorial with some cool variations occurs and that's the first arc until chapter 34. There is some cool action, some cool worldbuilding, some cool insane science, and some good hints this story might have a nice romance sideplot.

Mainly, though, this section is to set up the two main cheats for the two main characters. They are competent in what they did on earth before the apocalypse and they gain the godkiller grandmother as a spiritual advisor allowing them to understand how the universe's System works.

After chapter 34, the story reads kind of like a spy thriller.

The story can get pretty dark, but more in a fun action movie way--there is very little angst that isn't wholely justified. The characters are the ruthlessly practical sort, though. None of the main characters would kick a dog for no reason, but I'm pretty sure all of them would kick a dog if the reward was high enough. Kiling a dog, however, probably not.

Edit: Chapter 76! The author only trolled for 25 chapters!

Lazerus56
Overall

One of my favorite cultivation/system apocolypse

Reviewed at: Chapter 117: Li Dai-Zhao

Came for the well reasoned and interesting system that allows for brokenness that give that sweet progression fantasy goodness without taking all the tension away.

Stayed for the messy and fun characters.

If you like system/cultivation/progression stories at all you have to give this a go, and if your not a fan normally still give this a try since its dodges most of the bad cliches in the genre.

NightmareForceThree
Overall

My favorite part of this story is the worldbuilding. It has a similar world type to most xianxia stories, but is basically what you would get if all the most powerful people in one of those stories created a giant universal computer program to limit the way they could compete with each other, resulting in a System like most litrpgs.

This giant magical program has deliberate loopholes built in and the ones presented so far just make a lot of sense.

Add to that a main character who is very much practical with a relatively low moral line compared to most fantasy protaginists and some fun relationship and family drama and you get a really good story.

dany
Overall

A different take on LitRPG Apocalypse.

Reviewed at: Chapter 34: Races and Bloodlines

34 chapters in and the story is progressing healthily 

A LitRPG Apocalypse with the main protagonists being put into monster tutorial 

Male lead is a genius while female lead was a spy 

Writing is good , could use some improvements in perspective Changing 

Otherwise a 5/5

No problem with grammar whatsoever .

I hope the author continues as this is a rewrite

CaptainAwesome
Overall

It's like James Bond, but with reversed genders

Reviewed at: Chapter 60: The Feeding Habit of Bear Things

60 chapters in and this story is still fun

The latest section is like James Bond, but with the genders reversed

The characters are smart. Luck is a thing in world, but not an excuse for story developments. And, as the characters move away from dealing with the uncontrolled nature of the start of the story and their deaths, the story is becoming funnier.

 

GilliganHolmes
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

59 chapters and the story is still fun

The first arc is a tutorial to decide what monsters the main characters will become

The second arc is all about taking over a planet so they can potentially get back home

The characters are competant and so far there have been no deus ex machina

Main character is a genius scientist who might be suicidal, secondary main character is basically a female James Bond

Very little plot armor

Grammar is good

5/5 story

It posts every weekday, which is nice, and the author rewards finding typos and the like

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JimmyJamesOlsen
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

So far, the story has four main characters.

There is the obvious main character, Mila, a super spy who is intelligent, crafty, and sometimes scarily pragmatic, yet doesn't know how to fix a relationship her actions and lies kind of ruined.

Then there is Aalam, a Smart Guy and Big Guy mixed into one. He's an absolute genius in a litrpg, where smarts lead to mastering Laws, and mastering Laws leads to power. He also might be a little insane and potentially suicidal.

Wrapping out the main trio is Xara Valin, AKA Nana Xara, the spirit of a deceased universal powerhouse who later becomes Mila's master. She likes to troll, seems to enjoy nothing more than her student's discomfort, and occasionally, only when it is absolutely needed, is the voice of sage wisdom. There is almost certainly something fishy about her. My current guess is she wants help getting revenge of some kind once the main characters eventually become powerhouses themselves. But her main goal just seems to be having fun and she always brightens the chapters she's in with humor.

Finally, there is Isaiah Gale. A bit of a spoiler for non-Patreon readers, he's a character given enough backstory and talent it seems he might eventually join the group. Unlike the main characters, he's an actual fighting specialist and the chapters he's in generally involve Mila trying to get away from him as fast as possible as he tries to kill her, but the more we learn about him the more tragic his life seems. Basically, he's an abused child in the body of a 30-year-old powerhouse (Though, depending on how fast dragons age, he might kind of be a child?).

There is quite a lot of depth in these characters, with some interesting conflicts, and the powersets are fun.

The world feels inspired by Defiance of the Fall, which is awesome as that world makes the most sense out of most litrpg universes, but it has enough differences to make things its own. The power system especially is quite interesting.

Anyone who likes characters getting more powerful due to their own hard work and rule twisting will probably enjoy this story.

Now, I really want to know what the tree in the cover image means. It took 34 chapters for the title to make sense. So, when will the author bring in the tree?