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Birth of the Demonic Sword

“‘I already had a family, and it didn’t go so well.  This time I don’t have to go through various experiences to understand the kind of person I am so I can always choose the things that suit me the most.  If life in the inner circle is too hard for the sole reason of being a bastard, I won’t mind abandoning the mansion.  Plus, I have twenty-five years of experience in advance and the knowledge of a more advanced world, my possibilities should be plenty.’” (Birth of the Demonic Sword, Chapter Two)

“‘The road of cultivation is a personal road, people with the best techniques might not reach the level of the patriarch in their entire life, while people with just a simple respiration technique might cleave the sky in two.  I won’t hide it from you: I can’t teach you the best techniques the Balvan family has, but I surely will put you on the road of cultivation.  Honestly speaking, this is the best bet you will be asked to take considering your position…” (Birth of the Demonic Sword, Chapter Six)

Though just shot, Noah Balvan is excited about his future.  He hopes that his injury will make his parents get off his back, though he acknowledges that he should not spend so much of his time drunk or buried in a book. However, he realizes that he was not injured by the shot, but killed, and has now been reborn into the body of an infant. He does not recognize the language spoken around him, though he is determined to learn what he can of his new life as he ages.

This is a world of magic, dragons, and cultivators and Noah is determined to grow as quickly as possible.  He wants to study the art of cultivation, though his birth may preclude him from the powers that cultivation offers.  Noah is a bastard, and though his father is a great lord, he is only expected to become a guard, living an average life beside his fellow men-in-arms. With the instruction of William Challi, a local guard, Noah will work hard to gain incredible powers and amazing abilities in this novel of transmigration and cultivation.

In his past life, Noah was often entitled and unwilling to participate in life outside of his room.  Noah spent his time alone, reading or drinking, despite the begging of his parents to make something of himself in school. He found all other activities to be “boring” and felt that he was different than his friends.  Unlike his peers, he found no interest in love or society, despite the fact that those around him were entering relationships with pretty girls.  Noah was apathetic towards the world around him, though he believed that he had a right to ignore the rules of society because he was a man. His new life is a second chance, and he seems to be working hard to create a better life with his second chance.

This is a novel that is not afraid to position itself as wish fulfillment for its audience.  Noah had a disappointingly average experience in his previous life, choosing to ignore the outside world in favor of books, booze, and video games.  After being reborn, he does not return to his former bad habits, instead throwing himself into his studies of cultivation and his growing power. Doesn’t everyone want a second chance? I’m sure that the majority of Birth of the Demonic Sword’s audience would jump at the opportunity to enter a world of magic and dragons, especially if they were given a second chance at life after a short life. Noah chooses to make something of himself, a desire that many can connect with.

This novel follows a pattern of transmigration that I prefer. I find a story more realistic when the transmigrated protagonist enters the body of a young child.  This allows them to adapt to a world so different than the one they left, learning the language and customs of those around them. Though there are many different kinds of transmigration stories, Noah’s early entrance into his new world allows the reader to learn about his surroundings as the protagonist does.

Though I like this style, it can also produce a very slow story.  We follow Noah from the day of his birth into manhood, a life that unfolds over more than seven hundred chapters.  A reader needs to invest time in order to experience heart pounding action and intricate world building. Noah will have to learn a great deal before he can participate in glorious battles and fearsome combat.

I liked that Noah was born into a life of both struggle and privilege.  Because of his father’s status, Noah is well treated and cared for in his youth.  His mother dotes on him and their home is filled with luxuries and servants.  However, the circumstances of his birth limit his opportunities; Noah was born into a society that does not allow bastards to rise to prominence.  Noah vows to fight this classification, working hard to achieve that others would think impossible.  Having never had to struggle in his past life, it is refreshing to see Noah work hard for something that he desires.

This is a very average story of transmigration and cultivation.  The reader can expect a slow accumulation of power and talent.  While interesting and well-translated, the work did not immediately grab this reader.  However, Birth of the Demonic Sword is a solid story of cultivation that accompanies intricately crafted world building.