There are some books that stay in your heart. I have a bad memory and tend to forget details from almost all the stories I read. But each story becomes part of me in some way. The especially great ones come back to remind me and excite me again and again.

Zé tiān jì or Way of Choices or 择天记 is a masterpiece that sadly ended too abruptly. If you can prepare yourself for rushed ending, then you must read this book.

I struggled throughout my second read wondering if I should give it 5 stars or 4. There were many quotes, short parts of some arcs which made it deserve a 5 but overall it seems to be lacking.

Spoiler free review

I consider myself as someone who treasures time. I find it maddening to do nothing, I am always occupied and trying to multitask so as to extract the maximum amount of value from the limited time I have left.

Anyone who confronts his own mortality will be the same. I have limited time and so much I wish to do. I grow weaker with age and my senses fade, of course I understand how Chang feels. Our dear protagonist is someone who lives seriously. This is refreshing character who I enjoyed getting to know through these pages.

The protagonist of this novel gets many possible love interests the reader might feel interested in shipping. Chang himself is the furthest thing from a player but there are many attractive unique girls in his life - Mo Yu, the dragon, Luo Luo, his fiance, etc. I remember I liked Luo Luo a lot on my first read.

In my second read I changed my mind, about 300 chapters in when the book presented me with one of the most engaging romance arcs of all time. So you get a beautiful romance in this book, don't you worry.

It is a love story of geniuses who find it hard to find intellectual equals. How external pressure and threats provide fertile ground to quickly build trust. Lots of misunderstandings which are sweet to watch. It is lovely.

I believe art or fiction plays an important role in shaping your values, your ideals. What type of unrealistic romance do you want to pine for? What type of relationship do you want to work towards? I feel this book paints one which really touched me. Since it's about shared goals, a partner in cultivation - someone who also has a Dao they want to pursue to the end. Someone who is capable enough that you can trust they that can grow with you. Someone who was intrinsically a good person, kind, trustworthy, reliable. If you had to pick an ideal to carry around with you as you age. This isn't a bad one to use to personalize your fantasies.

You need to wait till chapter 520 or so to really see the love blossom. It made me tear up - some of the plot twists.

But this story is not really about romance. It's strong suit is philosophy. The idea of how you become used to death when it's a constant companion. How even a perfect guy (ahem, this book has one) won't necessarily "move your heart", there is no checklist for who you fall for, you can't choose who you feel attraction towards.

How you need to follow your heart in order to feel free. The conflict between the orthodox view of working within the established system and a person who wants to carve a new path. It tries to tackle fate but just ends up being very abtruse.

It also highlights how munade worldly desires become if death is a constant companion. If people couldn't avoid thinking about the fact they would die one day, they would have much clearer priorities. It talks about what the difference between the young and old are. The kind of choices the world forces you to make, how you watch yourself turn into the kind of jaded, practical old men you swore you would never become.

This novel does have the popcorn that we have come to love and expect from most Chinese web novels, which has face slapping, the trope of the unexpected unset - the underdog winning, the extreme genius etc.

You can meet very vibrant characters in this novel. The father and his heroic son. The torturer who takes his work quite seriously. The lonely wolf. The extremely rich Tang 36. The relationships between the characters are well developed and usually make you feel really invested.

Lots of the puns and other worldplay is lost because of the English translation but it's a nice read. I highly recommend this to anyone who feels chinese novels do not have much to offer in terms of quality literature. Even experienced daoists can try this slow refreshing read.

Do be warned the ending may not be satisfactory. Most of the threads are tied up, but you might feel some foreshadowed developments never happened. It is a sort of open ending which I do not like so yeah. If you can't deal with that then it is better to stop reading sometime after 90% of the book.

Now let me rant with spoilers...

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SPOILERS BELOW

Whenever I see a conflict between progressive ideals and conservative values. I think about how being young means being in control of the future. The oldies have to give way and leave us in charge. So we are right. Some of my favorite exchanges,

Wang Zhice also admired Wang Po, so he was even more confused.
He asked, “Why?”
Wang Po replied, “Because he is younger than you.”
Wang Zhice arched his brows. “Younger?”
“To be young is to be correct.”
Wang Po added, “To put it another way, when people get old, they’re liable to become senile.”
Wang Zhice said, “Excessive thought truly does make one lose some edge, but one must be cautious when considering the overarching situation.”
Wang Po said, “When my clan was being eradicated under Emperor Taizong’s decree, you said nothing. Was this also for the overarching situation?”

In a different part of the book,

Wang Zhice heard a sentence.
This sentence was a response to his explanation.
It was unyielding and straightforward.
“Since this world is destined to be ours, why do none of you retreat? Why must the young wait?
“If we wait too long, we will also become uninteresting elders like you.
“Then wouldn’t that mean that the world will always be yours?”
It was not Chen Changsheng, and it was not Tang Thirty-Six.
The speaker was Linghai Zhiwang.
With a glance, Wang Zhice recognized that he was an archbishop.
A so-called Prefect of the Orthodoxy was not even worth his gaze.
But one matter did catch his gaze and became very difficult to ignore.
Linghai Zhiwang was very young.
Of the Prefects of the Orthodoxy, he was the youngest.
Tang Thirty-Six had said something like this before.
‘To be young is to be correct.’
Wang Zhice pondered these words and said, “This is reasonable.”

One part of the book that I can never forget is when Qiushan Jun's father the clan head plans a coup to set him as the sect master. Quishan is lying sick in his room and the sect is divided. I will need to share multiple chapters to capture the intense tension, foreshadowing and all the super cool movements but let me show just the important parts.

The Longevity Sect elder asked, “Then the position of Sect Master…who should it go to?”
Xiao Songgong silently pondered this for a few moments, “My senior and junior brothers imprisoned in the sword array will have their own opinions, but if you ask me, it’s still…Qiushan.”
The Longevity Sect elder smiled. “He’s too young, isn’t he?”
Xiao Songgong said no more.
The Qiushan clan head also said nothing, only indifferently smiled.
The several dozen disciples in front of the dwelling looked at each other in dismay.
Bai Cai walked up to the Sect Master’s side, carrying his sword. He felt very dejected, but he didn’t know what he should say.
This proposal was seemingly the only resolution that everyone in Mount Li, from top to bottom, was willing to accept.
At the very least, it could avert that final stage of Mount Li’s internal strife which, once reached, would be unmanageable.
Why would Xiao Songgong be willing to pay such a great price? The Sect Master calmly looked at Xiao Songgong and noticed that Xiao Songgong and the Qiushan clan head briefly glanced at each other, and then he understood everything clearly. To see the position of Sect Master of the Mount Li Sword Sect that he had long yearned for but then be forced to submit and give way, and in addition seclude himself in the back mountains in bitter cultivation to atone for his crimes—presumably, the Qiushan clan and the Longevity Sect would have to pay a suitable compensation in the aftermath.
But was this really a resolution that all of Mount Li was willing to accept?
The peaks of Mount Li were all silent. Everyone was waiting for the Sect Master’s final decision.
At this moment, a voice came out of the dwelling.
This voice was very weak, yet it was still bright.
It was just like the sky that had been obscured by dark clouds for a very long time: as long as the clouds dispersed, the skies would be as clear and blue as ever.
“I do not accept.”
That figure said these four words to all of Mount Li, then he walked out of the dwelling. Hearing his voice, the entirety of Mount Li grew silent. The Sect Master quietly looked at Xiao Songgong, the corners of his mouth perking, revealing a smile. That smile contained many meanings, but there was no sign of any of that previous bitterness.
The door of the dwelling was pushed open, and that figure emerged under the crystal-clear blue sky under the watch of several hundred gazes. It was a young man, his body tall and straight, his Mount Li sword uniform slightly flapping in the breeze. It was obvious that he was not fully recovered from his heavy injuries. His face was pale, but it didn’t in the least detract from the heroic spirit about his face, or that free uninhibited intent about him.
The young man walked out under these countless gazes, and countless cries of elation and surprise rose up from the main peak of Mount Li.
“Eldest Brother!”
“Eldest Brother is awake!”
“Eldest Brother woke up!”
These cries of surprise quickly spread to the other peaks of Mount Li. In a moment, the tension in the mountains, the extreme pressure and chill felt by these disciples from the old secrets caused by Martial Granduncle, was, for the most part, wiped away.
This young man was naturally Mount Li Sword Sect’s Eldest Brother, the head of the Divine Kingdom’s Seven Laws: Qiushan Jun.
One by one, the several dozen Mount Li disciples rushed up. Qiushan Jun shook his head, indicating that there was no need to support him. He slowly made his way over to the steps and then paid his respects to the Sect Master. Then he turned to those people on the other side of the sword glows, his gaze tranquil and serene. Even when he saw his own father, he did not show any signs of being moved.
When they saw that Qiushan Jun had awakened, everyone in the crowd had different emotions, but the majority of them were primarily happily surprised. Even Xiao Songgong and the two Discipline Hall elders were not too wary. Upon seeing this scene, the Qiushan clan head confirmed the prestige his son had in the hearts of Mount Li’s young generation of disciples. His eyes grew even brighter and he lightly stroked his short beard.
Not waiting for Qiushan Jun to speak, Xiao Songgong took the initiative and said, “Martial Nephew Qiushan, you’ve been in a coma for several weeks and probably do not know what has occurred. Please wait for a few moments so that there are no misunderstandings.”
At the moment, the scene in front of this dwelling at the peak of Mount Li was littered with broken swords and spilt blood and the scene was abnormally bloody. Anyone could imagine that after Qiushan Jun woke up and saw this sort of scene, it was only right for him to believe that Xiao Songgong and the rest were forcing an abdication, resulting in his previous four words. Xiao Songgong and the others thought that as long as they could explain the situation, Qiushan Jun would naturally understand what to choose.
No matter how, Xiao Songgong and his group wanted to obtain Qiushan Jun’s support. This was because in this internal conflict in Mount Li, the Qiushan clan was one of two backers of their factions, and the status that Qiushan Jun had in the hearts of the young disciples would let them conclude this conflict and then completely grasp the most vital aspect of this situation.
Qiushan Jun was silent for a few moments, then said, “Martial Uncle may explain.”
Bai Cai couldn’t help but be anxious, wanting to say something to his senior brother. Unexpectedly, the Sect Master stopped him. The Sect Master even returned the sword he was holding back into the sword glows in front of the dwelling.
The elated cries of surprise from seeing Eldest Brother wake up gradually faded and the peaks became silent once more. Everyone once again listened to Xiao Songgong describe what had happened in the Garden of Zhou and Su Li’s past deeds.
Elder Xiao Songgong’s voice resounded in front of the dwelling. Qiushan Jun remained silent, his pale face revealing no emotion, yet the right hand hanging at his side began to tremble.
This signified his anger, anger that could not be restrained.
Many people noticed this detail and their emotions grew increasingly tense. Bai Cai was even more at wit’s end, thinking to himself, just what do I do next? How can I possibly treat Eldest Brother as an enemy?
Xiao Songgong had finished with his explanation.
After a few moments of silence, Qiushan Jun asked, “Martial Uncle, in your view, how should this matter be handled?”
With these words, the final remnants of unease in the hearts of Xiao Songgong and the rest were completely dispelled. The Discipline Hall elder said harmoniously, “Previously there was already a resolution: Qi Jian will be handed over to the Discipline Hall for questioning, the Sect Master will temporarily abdicate, and since you are already awake, you will, of course, stand as Sect Master.”
That elder surnamed Jiang from the Longevity Sect added, “As for Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu who colluded with Qi Jian, the Longevity Sect and Holy Maiden Peak will send a joint letter to the Li Palace. The Pope must also give an explanation.”
Xiao Songgong looked at him and said, “Martial Nephew previously did not know the specifics of the situation, and so there were some misunderstandings and you said those four words in the dwelling. Now that everything has presumably been made clear, you should know what to do.”
Countless gazes rested on Qiushan Jun’s body and the crowd could only guess at how he would choose. This was because the accusations made by Xiao Songgong and the rest were true—Qi Jian really was the daughter of Su Li and a Demon Princess. In order to avoid the continued shedding of blood in this internal conflict, Qiushan Jun would most likely bitterly struggle, but he would assuredly speedily reach a decision. This was the imposing air required of people who did great things, and the entire continent knew that even when he was a child, Qiushan Jun had always conducted himself with such an imposing air, imposingly majestic.
He would definitely choose that which was most conforming to Mount Li’s interest, which was most in accordance with the correct path of humanity. Humans and demons could not coexist. In the face of this, what did the so-called ‘compassion of the teacher’ or ‘the kindness of instructing’ matter!?
The Qiushan clan head calmly looked at his son, his heart bursting with pride. It was pride for the youngest Star Condensation cultivator in history, the youngest Sect Master of the Mount Li Sword Sect in history, and in a few years, the youngest Sect Master of the Longevity Sect in history. Then, in the next few years after that, he would naturally become the youngest Saint in history. Surveying the long river of history, who could be more outstanding than his son? His pride did not merely originate from this, it also came from Qiushan Jun’s appearance in this matter—he believed it to be just like Liang Xiaoxiao’s death. Qiushan Jun’s coma and awakening had both been perfectly arranged.
Qiushan Jun’s coma had been very timely, and his awakening even more so. When he fell into a coma, he avoided the internal strife of Mount Li. When he awoke from his coma, the dispute had already reached its end and only he could bring it to a close. He was the only and naturally the finest candidate. He did not need to bear the evil reputation of Xiao Songgong and his group intruding upon the main peak and forcing abdication. He only needed to sleep to grasp all the benefits. In a little while, if he could shed a few tears, he could have his devotion and benevolence be even more praised in the world…

This is how well his father planned the situation, everything was set up. Then stuff happens and this guy is like just so cool...

As the Qiushan clan head looked at the scene playing out in front of the dwelling, he suddenly felt that there was something off. Yes, both the Sect Master and Qiushan Jun seemed far too calm.
“Just what are you still doing here?”
Qiushan Jun calmly said to Bai Cai, “Quickly help the Sect Master back in so he can rest.”
The mountains were completely silent. Everyone was rather perplexed, not understanding what Qiushan Jun was doing.
Even Bai Cai was stunned, and then he sobered up and began to help the Sect Master walk towards the dwelling.
Before he entered the dwelling, the Sect Master said, “Take care of everything properly.”
Qiushan Jun replied, “Be at ease, Master.”
With these words, he extended his arm into the several dozen sword glows in front of the dwelling and took down the sword that was his.
This was the sword called Dragonscale.
With this scene, everyone realized that at some point, the Sect Master had turned Mount Li’s Myriad Sword Array over to him!
Elder Xiao Songgong watched Qiushan Jun, his expression gradually growing more solemn. “You’ve finished your questions.”
Qiushan Jun answered, “Yes, I’ve finished with my questions.”
Xiao Songgong took a deep, deep breath, then asked, “And then?”
Qiushan Jun looked at the mountains and casually said, “And then…naturally, the disciples of Mount Li raise their swords to confront the enemy.”
Xiao Songgong’s complexion grew abnormally unsightly. He coldly shouted, “Just what are you doing! Did you not hear your master admit that Qi Jian’s mother is a Demon Princess!?”
Qiushan Jun raised his sword and looked at Xiao Songgong and those powerful enemies. He asked, “And so what?”
With Qiushan Jun’s words, all the peaks of Mount Li were silenced.
Qiushan Jun said to everyone, “What sort of person is Martial Granduncle? Let alone him having a romantic affair with that Demon Princess, even if he married her and brought her into Mount Li, so what?”
Xiao Songgong was enraged, thinking to himself, just what sort of absurd words are these? Even those Mount Li disciples also felt that their most dearly beloved Eldest Brother’s words were completely lacking in logic.
Qiushan Jun could naturally sense the mood in front of the dwelling. He explained, “Could Martial Granduncle marrying a Demon Princess possibly impair the well-being of humanity? If it doesn’t have the slightest effect, what sort of sin can it be? In my view, it is on the contrary extremely convenient for the humans.”

So this is out perfect human, the guy is decisive to the extreme. Look at how he handled it,

Qiushan Jun took one step forward and clearly cried out, “Xiao Songgong and these two elders trespassed upon the main peak, conspiring against the life of the Sect Master, colluding with outsiders. They are all marked as traitors. I accepted the Sect Master’s orders, grasping the Myriad Sword Array and temporarily holding the authority of the Sect Master. In accordance with the laws of Mount Li Sword Sect, I will expel these three people from Mount Li. I have sent a notice to Holy Maiden Peak, the Longevity Sect, and the Li Palace, asking them to notify the entire world of today’s matter!”
Everyone was struck speechless by these words. How could they possibly imagine that Qiushan Jun would be able to act so coldly and decisively, not giving the other side even the tiniest chance for negotiation, and directly expelling the three elders from Mount Li! The Mount Li Sect Master’s Order Sword was already flying towards those three holy grounds. There was no more possibility to change this matter, and any chance at compromise seemed to have been cut off.
The Qiushan clan head’s complexion grew abnormally unsightly. Up until now, he still had not known what his son was planning to do, but Qiushan Jun had on two occasions used the word ‘outsiders’. The meaning within this word was plainly obvious—no matter if they were from the nominally ancestral temple that was the Longevity Sect or his true birth place of the Qiushan clan, when on Mount Li, they were all outsiders, and possibly enemies as well!
Qiushan Jun swept his gaze around to the surrounding mountains and asked, “Where are the disciples of Mount Li? Follow me and expel these traitors and outsiders from Mount Li!”
This was still a sword, a thoroughly piercing sword! Qiushan Jun did not need his fellow disciples to think, only to decide! And this happened to luckily coincide with the sword hearts of these Mount Li disciples. How could his fellow disciples not respond? Even those hundred-odd disciples that had followed Xiao Songgong and the two other elders in intruding upon the main peak couldn’t help reveal expressions of hesitation and even shame on their faces.
Where were the disciples of Mount Li? From all the peaks of Mount Li came the sound of reply! It was the sound of swords!
Countless swords flew out of their sheaths, and sword Qi exploded outwards, rushing straight upwards towards the vault of heaven!

Now when his dad sees that his son is such a honourable person, he plays his last card.

“When you were four, you encountered a dragon snake on Mount Nanling. All of your servants were killed—only you survived. You did not attack it, but let it take you away to its cave to use as a future morsel. Even today, nobody, including your master within, knows how you managed to survive, just how you managed to kill that dragon snake. But I believe that back then, what you relied on was not your will and courage, but your intelligence.”
The person speaking was the Qiushan clan head. He emotionlessly looked at Qiushan Jun and said, “I did not think that the current you would actually have been molded by your master and Su Li into an ordinary man that believes in bravery. This truly makes me very disappointed, even somewhat remorseful that I sent you to Mount Li back then.”
Qiushan Jun said nothing, only calmly looked at him.
The Qiushan clan head shook his head and said, “Your awakening was originally supposed to be an enormously good thing, both for you and for the Mount Li Sword Sect, because presently, only you can help Mount Li prevent this catastrophe. In the end, what did you do? If you are thinking about the gratitude and loyalty between you and your master, I can assure you with absolute confidence that no one, not the Longevity Sect, not the Qiushan clan, or even the Divine Empress, intends for your master to die. We simply believe that because of Qi Jian and Su Li, he is no longer fit to hold the position of Sect Master of the Mount Li Sword Sect, but there will inevitably be a role for him in the Longevity Sect’s Congregation of Elders. Mount Li only needs to recognize Su Li’s crimes, and then it can welcome a brand-new and beautiful future. What is there to object to?”
The Qiushan clan head’s voice gradually grew more tough and cold. “I am your father. The entire continent is well aware that all I have done has been for your sake. Could it be that you fail to understand? No matter how much of a genius you are, even reaching Star Condensation before twenty, today you have involved yourself in an extremely far-reaching matter. How could you possibly resolve it?”
Qiushan Jun quietly looked at him, then suddenly asked, “Father, just what do you want me to do?”
The Qiushan clan head answered, “We want to sweep away Su Li and Su Li’s shadow from Mount Li.”
Qiushan Jun asked, “Why must you do it in this way?”
The Qiushan clan head expressionlessly replied, “Only this way can we ensure that when Mount Li is passed into your hands, it is clean.”
Qiushan Jun was silent for a few moments, then said, “Father, you know I am not this kind of person.”
The Qiushan clan head acknowledged, “Yes, if you are not willing, let alone Mount Li, even if it was the world, you still would not want it. But you must be clear on one point. Su Li…will inevitably die in Xunyang City. If you want Mount Li to remain as strong as it was in the past, you should take hold of true courage and face this reality head-on!”
Qiushan Jun calmly replied, “So I should hand over Junior Brother, ask the Sect Master to abdicate and take up the position myself, and only this way prevent Mount Li’s internal strife, preserve its strength, plotting its future and for all ages?”
The Qiushan clan head said with gravity, “Could this not be right?”
“If ignoring facts is required to face reality head-on, then this reality is inferior to ignorance. Because in the following days, who could ignore every decision they made? They would definitely regret it in their hearts.” He looked at his own father as well as the four elders and said, “You are already old and can live on this reality for a little while longer, but we are still young. If we live, there will inevitably be many long years waiting for us. In the future years, I don’t want to think about today and be filled with regret and pain, so I will not act according to your way of doing things.”
You are already old, but we are still young.
Their hearts were incapable of communicating, so their way of doing things would naturally be different.
Hearing Eldest Brother’s calm and resolute voice, many Mount Li disciples suddenly felt like clear spring water was descending from the heavens. Their eyes grew moist and their sword hearts were washed until they shone clear and bright.
The Qiushan clan head looked at his own son, his emotions abnormally complex, so complex that it was hard to imagine. He was proud, yet sad. Proud of himself, and yet angry. For this day of chaos in Mount Li, the Qiushan clan and the Longevity Sect, as well as many powerful experts of the south, had planned for many days. How could they permit a single young man to cause its failure? Qiushan Jun was the son that he was the proudest of, the future of the Qiushan clan. But it must be known that this was not a matter solely involving Qiushan Jun. This was a matter that the Qiushan clan had been working at for one thousand years!
Ultimately, he made a decision.
He looked at Qiushan Jun and impassively said, “Heaven and Earth.”
These were two very commonly seen words, but with the appearance of these words, the mountains all went silent. Even the sword glows seemed to dim by several degrees.
Because everyone already guessed at which classic these two words said by the Qiushan clan head originated from.
It was the extremely famous opening to one of the scriptures of the Daoist Canon of the Orthodoxy.
‘Heaven and Earth’, and then ‘Father and Son’.
This was a principle of nature, the natural relationship between humans.
No person could resist.
Everyone looked at Qiushan Jun, waiting for his answer.
Would he reply with ‘Father and Son’, or would he remain silent?
If he chose not to respond, then he would become an unfilial son committing a monstrous crime.
Bai Cai held his breath until his face was red. He knew how much suffering his Eldest Brother must necessarily be in.
Xiao Songgong looked at Qiushan Jun and coldly said, “Don’t tell me you would actually dare to strike your own father?”
That Longevity Sect elder showed ridicule and pity in his eyes. Yes, even if Qiushan Jun was completely without a plan and had resolved to battle, even if he could take up the Myriad Sword Array and would even dare to destroy precious jade with it, could he possibly dare to commit patricide?
Qiushan Jun was very quiet, gazing at the distant mountains.
After a very long time, he drew back his gaze and turned to his father. He very properly clasped his hands and bowed.
Then he said those two words, “Father and Son.”
A breeze blew through the mountains, seeming just like a helpless sigh.
By cutting the robe, you could sever friendships. By cutting the mat, you could sever relationships. Yet even if you cut off all the flesh on your body, you would still find it impossible to cut off the world’s most powerful association, the blood.
Qiushan Jun was perfect, endowed with both great wisdom and great courage, always acting in the most humane way. How could he perform such an unfilial action? How could he possibly attack his own father?
The Qiushan clan head looked at Qiushan Jun, his emotions rather complex. “Everyone says that you have true dragon blood that is rarely seen once in a thousand years, but is there anyone that remembers that within your body flows the blood of my Qiushan clan? Fortunately, you did not forget.”
Qiushan Jun said nothing, only calmly looked back at him. For some reason, the expression in his eyes made the heart beat faster.
For some reason, the Qiushan clan head had an extremely unpleasant sensation. Attempting to head off further conflict, he promptly said, “Since you don’t want to be unfilial, quickly remove the Myriad Sword Array.”
Qiushan Jun was quiet for a time, then said, “Father, you might have misunderstood my meaning.”
Everyone was rather astonished. They thought to themselves, the Qiushan clan head said the words ‘Heaven and Earth, and you responded ‘Father and Son’. You should know that this is a human relationship that is impossible to go against. Could it be that you have some other method?
Qiushan Jun asked the Qiushan clan head, “The father is benevolent, the son is filial. I must respect my father, but Father, shouldn’t you also love and protect your son?”
The Qiushan clan head had an ugly expression. He yelled, “Just where did this nonsense come from?”
Everyone knew that although Qiushan Jun grew up in Mount Li learning the sword, the Qiushan clan head looked upon him like a precious treasure. No matter what Qiushan Jun requested, the Qiushan clan head would completely comply. It was even such that the Qiushan clan had also been caring for the disciples of Mount Li over the past few years. On the subject of love and protection, this father, the Qiushan clan head, could be said to have done an extraordinarily fine job.
Qiushan Jun gazed at his father and continued to speak. “Yes, in these past few years, Father has taken care of many things for me and arranged for me many roads, whether it was sending me to Mount Li back then or letting me accidentally encounter Martial Granduncle by that mountain stream. If everything were to develop as Father planned, then in the future, the Mount Li Sword Sect would inevitably be mine, and even the Longevity Sect might be mine. I would become the youngest Saint. If I were to marry Junior Sister Xu, then we would become the new generation of the White Emperor couple, and the human world of the united north and south would also perhaps be ours. For this reason, you availed yourself of the opportunity while I was gone on my mission to seize the key to the Garden of Zhou and persuaded the various elders of the south to travel to the capital and propose. And you clearly knew that Junior Sister Xu still had not made the preparations to marry me. Even more excessively, you used some method to convince the Holy Maiden to transfer Junior Sister Xu out of South Stream Temple. Yes! Father has done many things for me. How could you not love me?”
After this long monologue was completed, the peak of Mount Li was once more silent.
These words of Qiushan Jun’s were very unyielding, very straightforward, very radiant, but the matters he spoke of were of the exact opposite nature.
The expression on the Qiushan clan head’s face grew even more unsightly. “Just what are you thinking about?”
Qiushan Jun said, “What I want to say is, Father, the more you love me, the more you are willing to pay for me, the more you will find it impossible to achieve success today. On the contrary, I must thank Father for coming today to Mount Li and helping me to suppress this rebellion, because soon after, perhaps Father will begin to follow my plans.”
The Qiushan clan was so angry that his entire body was shaking. “Unfilial son! Could it be that you would actually dare to attack me!”
“Your son would not dare,” Qiushan Jun calmly replied, and then he pulled the Dragonscale Sword out of its sheath.
A bright sword glow illuminated the peak, as if a real dragon had peeked its head out of the clouds and bathed the place in light.
The Qiushan clan head abruptly guessed at something and his expression suddenly changed. With a trembling voice, he yelled, “Quickly stop him! Restrain his sword!”
Hearing this shout, the Qiushan clan Guardian’s expression suddenly turned cold. The Qi he was emitting suddenly shot up to a terrifying level.
Only now did everyone finally confirm that this Guardian with an unfathomable cultivation was really incomparably strong. As long as he had the time, perhaps he really could break through this remainder of the Myriad Sword Array!
Bai Cai and the other Mount Li disciples did not know what Eldest Brother was prepared to do next. Hearing the Qiushan clan head’s order, they subconsciously grasped their swords and moved forward, spreading out in front of the dwelling.
Sword glows were everywhere as the Mount Li disciples arranged themselves in a sword array, protecting Qiushan Jun behind them.
That Qiushan clan Guardian could not block Qiushan Jun.
It wasn’t because of that hastily arranged sword array formed by those Mount Li disciples, nor was it because the Myriad Sword Array in front of the dwelling was still operational. It was simply because Qiushan Jun was too fast.
Before Qiushan Jun used his sword, it seemed like he had not done any pondering, not considered any of his own interests, and not caused his sword heart to ring out. He was just like somebody that saw a child playing by the well almost about to fall in, naturally reaching out his hand to catch the child. This sort of attack didn’t give the sensation of being fast, but it was very resolute, very right and proper, something that no one could block.
There was a soft squelch.
The Dragonscale Sword…had pierced into his abdomen and exited through the other side.
The body of the sword was covered in dark red blood. It was no longer as bright as before, but rather seemed especially gaudy, like a just-bloomed flower.
A deathly stillness hung over the peak of Mount Li.
Everyone was dumbstruck.
There was not a single voice, only the sound of the wind gently blowing through the mountains.
It was then that people understood that this mountain breeze was not a helpless sigh, but boundless gasps of admiration.
Bai Cai let out a huge cry and rushed back to Qiushan Jun’s side, supporting him as he was about to collapse.
Qiushan Jun’s face was pale but his expression was still calm. Blood had drenched half of his body and the sword was still within.
His sword was very fast, very steady, and very accurate. It had pierced completely through his body, but it had not damaged any internal organs.
His sword only needed to budge a little and he would die.
The Qiushan clan head also finally understood. His face became even paler, paler even than Qiushan Jun’s.
For Qiushan Jun, the Qiushan clan had paid far too much, done far too many things, and had prepared for far too long.
If this was an investment, then it was absolutely not permitted to fail, but if Qiushan Jun were to die, all of it would go up in smoke.
If this was not an investment, but love, just how could he possibly bear seeing his own son die?
‘Heaven and Earth’, and then ‘Father and Son’.
This was a principle of nature, the natural relationship between humans.
No person could resist.
Yes, it was just like this.
But Qiushan Jun had previously said the words ‘Father and Son’ not to be imprisoned by the bonds of blood, but rather to use them to counter his own father.
If the Qiushan clan head could use his status as the father to require him to give up on something, then he could naturally use his life as the son to require his father to give up on something.
The benevolent father, the filial son.
The son is the very image of his father.
So it was like this.
Yes.

This is the best example of how parent - child bonds are two way. Many kids misunderstand them to be one way and often break up without realizing that they can control us and we can control them. The respect and love we give them is not because we carry their genes but because of how they treat us, cherish us, love us. Who ever loves more is at a disadvantage.

To use one’s own life to threaten one’s father, regardless of how one looked at it, was very desperate.
Just like how the Qiushan clan head had at the very beginning been prepared to use the words ‘Father and Son’ to suppress Qiushan Jun, it was all very desperate.
However, the son had been even more desperate than the father.
“He was even more heartless than me, so I could not force him to help me. So naturally, it’s only right that I help him.”
“But it’s unknown when Qiushan will understand this point.”
“He doesn’t need to understand. It’s fine to just do it, just like how his willingness to go to such extremes is a necessary temperament for someone who can succeed at accomplishing great things. Although, this has inevitably revealed to me a fact that makes me rather unhappy.”
“What fact?”
“My love for him is greater than his love for me.”
After saying these words, the Qiushan clan head went quiet for a few moments. Then he smiled and shook his head. “….but between a father and son, hasn’t it always been this way?”


Let me show you an excerpt of some parts that pissed me off -

In Chapter 289 - If Life Could Be Like the Moment When We First Met (Part Two)
This was the first time that Chen Changsheng would meet Nanke, and this was also the first time Nanke would meet Chen Changsheng. In the future, they would represent the humans and demons and meet many times on the battlefield, engaging in hand-to-hand combat and creating a not at all interesting story that would only cause one to feel exhausted. More than once, Nanke would think back to that morning they first met and would often feel a faint sense of remorse. She would think to herself, if I had been a bit more decisive that day and not listened to any of his nonsense, then maybe I really could have killed him there, and then there would be none of these troubles or stories.

Ok now let me tell you. They never had those "many" meetings and hand to hand conflicts on the battlefield!

This was my main grievance since I spent a lot of time looking forward to it happening. It also proves the author had plans to really flesh out the story. There was also the Grand Liberation Realm they talked about but nothing happened in that cultivation level. The protagonist fails to break into any new level. There is a God that threatens them who is not dealt with. Only one of the girls I mentioned above get closure, it seems implied the other two will keep trying. There are unresolved grudges with the nearby continent. They hint the Black Phoenix (wink) did not actually die! Like sure phoenix.... but what?! is it the squirrel or the goat? I really wonder what kind of ending Mao had actually planned, considering the kind of character he made the young Demon Lord, the way he ended it was sad. Sure Qiu Shan Jun was really made too perfect but he should be given more words!

Overall I wanted more.

I am not going to bother pointing out all the other flaws but for anyone who wants to know why he might have ended it so abruptly below is the best lead I have -

You know about the boycott against Korean products/services/stars, caused by deployment of THAAD system a while ago. Maoni happens to love few Korean stars, nobody cared in the beginning though, cuz it had nothing to do with his writing skills. But then he updated his weibo, the Chinese tweet, said that "I don't give a fuck about your poor country, even she was a Nazi, I will still love her." This message is considered very inappropriate among reader groups, huge amount of readers dropped ZTJ, he had no choice but to end it.

He also had family issues - it turns out his mother was in poor health. So I can forgive the dude. But it still hurts. There was a lot of potential.