“After the ceremony was over, Li Qiye stared at the Heaven Protector Palace in front of him. The scene was still the same, but the people were no longer there; everything had become foreign. He reminisced about the old days with the Little Black Dragon, the memory of them building this city from the ground up through their efforts was fresh in his mind. Unfortunately, after thirty thousand years, not many remembered the Dark Crow hiding behind the curtains.” (Emperor’s Domination, Chapter One)
“Li Qiye did everything in a systematic and neat manner, slow but steady. If any accidental passersby were to witness his cleaning actions, they wouldn’t believe that he was only thirteen years old.” (Emperor’s Domination, Chapter Two)
Li Qiye has been waiting a long time to be back in his body. After visiting the Immortal Demon Grotto, he was imprisoned in the body of the Dark Crow for ten million years, doomed to fly across the skies in a futile attempt to escape the forces that trapped him. When he is finally fished out of a river by an old man, who is called Old Devil, Li Qiye is surprised to find out that nothing is the same as when he left his body, but he is not nearly as shocked as a normal person would be. Even coming back in a 13-year-old’s body, though he is millions of years old, seems normal to him. This is because during his previous life and his time as the Dark Crow, he has been in far worse situations.
Feeling confident in his ability to handle anything that comes his way, Li Qiye returns to his old sect, the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, only to find that the group no longer dominates the world as it once did. Rather, it has become a sad shell of its past self and is still on a steady decline. Of course, Li Qiye believes he can turn things around for the sect, but his story is not a conventional one, and that isn’t helped in the slightest by his association with Old Devil, who is a useless cultivator and barely a real member of the sect.
The Cleansing Incense Ancient sect must decide whether they trust Li Qiye or not before he can make any moves. Even if they do accept him, it is a different world—will Li Qiye be able to achieve what he thinks he can?
This novel has a standard plot for a story in the cultivation genre. Since Li Qiye has basically been reincarnated with the knowledge of his past, he knows how to deal with any situation that is thrown at him in a calm manner. The main difference between this novel and others is the fact that the main character doesn’t need to cultivate himself any further. Li Qiye is already at the top of his game, so more cultivation would be useless. Instead, he cultivates the world and people around him. He considers the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect a project for him to work on, and of course, with all of his past experience, he knows exactly the right away to achieve this goal. Almost every obstacle in this story seems like a trivial matter to Li Qiye, who always has the upper hand. This plot is fun for a while, but the more that he wins, the less suspense there is. While reading, I found myself less invested in Li Qiye’s fate by the end, since there was no way he would ever really die.
Regarding the characters, Li Qiye remains the same throughout Emperor’s Domination. It makes sense that it would be hard for him to develop much more considering he has supposedly been alive for millions of years, but he seems to gain nothing from his existence in this new time. From the first chapter to the last, he remains just as confident and composed. I think the story could have benefitted from seeing Li Qiye lose his poise, as the readers would know that it was rare and signaled a real threat. It also would have proved that Li Qiye has emotions that are beyond surface-level. However, even this unshakeable front shows personality, and that is something that all of the characters in this story have. The background characters, too, each have distinct attitudes and ways of speaking that are different. This makes it easier to believe the events of the story and also provided a contrast to Li Qiye’s actions, as not every character is as strong or collected as him.
The writing in this story is pretty good for a web novel. While there are some errors and awkward sentences, I was able to read it without interruption. Some of the dialogue is a bit stilted, with the characters saying strangely old-fashioned phrases, but this can be chalked up to the novel taking place in ancient times. Even taking the unusual dialogue into account, this novel is easy to read, since there are no glaring grammatical errors that force the reader to figure out what the author meant.
This novel is worth giving a try, even if some readers won’t make it to the last chapter, because honestly, reading about a string of Li Qiye’s victories is only fun for so long. The writing is fairly good quality, and the plot is exciting enough to keep readers engaged.