In case you haven’t read yet, you may want to check out the previous post about Heroic Death System here where I talked about my general thoughts about the novel. Meanwhile, this post contains my thoughts about the individual worlds in the series.
Heroic Death System has 16 worlds (17 if you include the last known reincarnation cycle), 10 of which have redo arcs. Redo arcs have a chapter showing what happened once Shang Ke died and the rest is when he has a second chance to do the world.
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
Here are the summaries and highlights in each world. This has gotten so long so I add this list so that you can page jump to certain arcs.
I based the arc titles from Snowy Codex’s translations.
Some abbreviations that I would mention:
MC – Main Character (will use this as an alternative to SK every now and then)
SK – Shang Ke
HDS – Heroic Death System
ML – Male Lead
✭ Arcs ✭
Arc 1: I Only Need 72 Hours to Fall in Love with You
Shang Ke reincarnates as a tortured spy who uplifts the morale of his people to spark the rebellion.
When I picked up HDS, I was wary of the tragedy tag because I’m not really into sad stuff. Yet surprisingly, this world has just the right amount of romance and angst.
This is one of my favorite arcs, mainly because I loved how well-behaved ML is. He is so caring towards our dear MC. Like, despite being the rebellion leader with all of his responsibilities, ML still manages to find time to personally feed and bathe MC.
So when Shang Ke died, I felt really bad for him and looked forward to the redo arc.
But unlike most redo arc where ML redeems himself, redo ML reverts to his usual pushy self. That sort of ruined whatever good feelings I have at the start of this arc.
Arc 2: My Heart Beats for You
Shang Ke reincarnates as Jiang Yumo, a second generation slag who stalks the female lead. Basically, a villain cannon fodder to forge the relationship of the female lead and the protagonist.
This is a very soap opera-ish story family drama. And I actually love this to the point where I legit cried at the end. My heart broke a thousand pieces for ML. At this point, I read on the internet that ML tends to be kind of forceful and I was afraid of that. I don’t his rapey self to destroy the good impressions Arc 1 left.
While he acts quite forceful here, he never really crosses my borderline. I can understand his actions and frustrations. He used his feelings to put pressure to Shang Ke to take care of himself. He’s trying to shield MC while also battling for his heart against his own younger sister. He’s got so much to do because SK is a handful so his actions pretty much sum up his frustrations.
This is also the 1st redo arc in the series. I was so ecstatic when I read it because fave arc yo~. The best part is it did not disappoint. But dang, it still made me cry in its bittersweet ending.
Though the whole heart drama reminds me so much of Quickly Wear the Face of the Devil Arc 14 lol.
Arc 3: You are My Faith
Shang Ke becomes a villain! But he’s such a sweetheart so of course, he turns good. At the same time, he has an adopted daughter named Pupu.
I loved this arc for having Pupu! She’s such a cutie!
I have mixed feelings about ML in this one. I was rooting for another guy because the build-up seemed like he could be the ML. But ML turned out to be another guy. The thing is, I can’t really see the connection between ML and MC. The real ML falls too quick that the supposed ML have more time to develop a connection to Shang Ke. Like ML just drops off in the middle of things.
As usual, the redo is still bittersweet. Mainly because the supposed ML is still very much in love with Shang Ke lol.
Arc 4: Let Me Protect You
This time, Shang Ke plays the role of a kidnapped child who needs to protect his fellow kidnapped child until 21 years old.
Because of the longer time Shang Ke has to do his mission, there’s also a lot of time for them to cultivate feelings.
ML here, after being thirsty and frustrated in the last arcs, has been set loose. He is particularly forceful and wilful, thinking he could get away with just about anything. As described by Shang Ke, the best words to define ML is young, impulsive, and passionate.
Shang Ke, while already decided to cherish ML, still has apprehensions about their relationship and there’s always a danger of heartbreaks because of separation and his death.
I also have mixed feelings about this arc. For one, this isn’t my favorite because of ML. But at the same time, I feel bad for what happened in the end. Like this is the most unfortunate reincarnation ML has ever been.
Arc 5: Everyone Loves Little Immortal Mushroom
Shang Ke’s a mushroom! A freaking evil mushroom!
I cannot take this arc seriously without bursting with laughter. 😂😂😂 Shang Ke is too cute as a frail mushroom. I’m having so much fun in this chapter compared to the previous one.
Little Mushroom makes a good lackey as he is willing to go to the ends of the world to help the protagonist.
Meanwhile, ML needs a lot of beating. I couldn’t help but keep on facepalming with Shang Ke. But sometimes he is too clueless about human interactions, to the point that he’s like a naive kid acting based on impulse.
My favorite part is when ML is injured and alone and Shang Ke takes care of him, ML starts being nice to SK. Nice as in, ML starts considering SK’s needs and feelings first. It’s like, finally, he’s having human emotions for the first time — from the unfeeling and uncaring prick to a caring one.
He tries to change his ways and curb his murderous urges for Little Mushroom and that’s freaking sweet. I loved seeing him change for the better for Shang Ke (though I kinda suspect that he’s also doing it so SK will allow dual cultivation😏).
Also, this is a pretty hard world but I’m proud of Shang Ke for making a big turn for the ML.
I swear dual cultivation is the best excuse ML use to do that lol.
There’s this line where they have to help the cultivation realm. These two want to end the mission as soon as possible so that they’ll be left alone… and return to “cultivate”.
But of course. 😏😏😏
Ugh, the villains here though. I wish this story is a revenge plot so Shang Ke can take revenge in all of them. They don’t deserve pity. They deserved ruthless downfall.
Arc 6: A+A
This world is an ABO one. I’m not really a fan of these stories because they’re either too much angst or too really rapey for me. Unless done right, I have trouble getting into the story.
But what is interesting here is that it is alpha and alpha! This pairing is very uncommon. ABO is like a hierarchy. Those who are at the top doesn’t really pair with other tops. So I was really surprised to know that both ML and Shang Ke are Alphas.
ML dips into dubcon which made me scratch my head in frustration. I loved their initial interactions. I’m all for tension and they have it at the beginning.
But then ML decides to act on his D and that’s just frustrating. What’s even more frustrating is that he is able to justify his action because of how he was brought up. The people in this kind of world often act on instinct, and ML is just being a “normal” person in this world. With ML’s superiority in everything, he is used on using force to be with Shang Ke.
But the good and redeemable factor is that Shang Ke is no pushover. He reprimands ML and stands his ground. Sure, he’s willing to compromise for ML but when ML is in the wrong, Shang Ke won’t tolerate it.
ML though, despite his arrogance and forcefulness, listens to Shang Ke. And I legit cried in the last chapter of this arc. ML proves that I judged him too early while reading. This ML is a work-in-progress. It takes time for him to learn how to tune in to the feelings of other people.
Besides, I’m bound to think that after so many reincarnations and after so many times seeing Shang Ke sacrificed himself in a lot of ways, ML is still deep in grief.
I suddenly have this deep love for this couple for growing steadily together. Despite Shang Ke’s worries of dating a guy, he wants to love ML and live with him. MC is patient enough to guide ML too.
As for the redo, I never expected to love it — which makes me love the entire arc.
As I mentioned above, ML is overbearing and plunges into things head first. I’d like thinking of him as Rin from season 1 Free. They’re both hot-tempered. Just because ML is an alpha everyone is bound to be with him with just the flick of the finger.
With this redo, he’s like the season 2 Rin – mellow and a lot wiser. And I love him for that. He finally learned the words love and respect. Compromise became part of his vocabulary. And that make things a lot better in this arc.
Arc 7: I Am Not a Merman
Another non-human reincarnation. Shang Ke is a dolphin! 😂
But he is still cute and adorable. He acts like an innocent and pure sea creature.
Also, Shang Ke is getting quite bold and daring, innocently touching and feeling ML’s body 😂😂😂. There’s this scene where ML is swimming with him for the first time and Shang Ke subtly checks him out down there… by casually flipping and swiping his fins on that part. 😂
While in dolphin form, Shang Ke tries hard and does everything get ML’s attention. For example, he does tricks or acts bubbly and cute when ML’s around. It’s just so cute, the way he makes ML look at him.
When Shang Ke turns into a human, he innocently stares at the half-naked body of ML…pfft. Shang Ke you two-face MC. Acting like a white lotus while at the same time thinking of when and how to mate with ML. Shang Ke, ML’s raging hormones is rubbing off you. But! SK turning into a power uke is gold. I love it!
Another reason to love this arc is ML. I love him right off the bat. I love when he puts extra attention and TLC towards Shang Ke… while still hinting at his raging boner. 😏
In the dolphin redo, it’s super fun because dolphin Shang Ke is super fun. It’s just not fun for ML because among all the reincarnations of him, this is the arc where he’s the least overbearing. He’s actually really sensitive and an emotional guy.
There’s a side pairing with ML’s secretary and Shang Ke’s dolphin son, Waves. I love Waves! He’s a cute guy who turns into a cutie little devil gong. lol
Arc 8: Covenantor
Shang Ke is a covenantor who works for ML.
Covenantors are individuals who suffered from a brain illness. To save them from dying, their families consented them to have a part of their brains to be removed. They can live like normal people again. But there’s just one side-effect — they won’t have any more feelings.
Meaning, Shang Ke has facial paralysis!
I love this world because I love the development of the relationship between the two. They don’t just act on their impulses, instead, they have enough time and pacing to cultivate their feelings.
Besides, I love this world because it’s like the standard revenge world. Shang Ke turning to a covenantor is planned. His entire family is rotten. I’d loved to see the family’s downfall.
Arc 9: Becoming Your God
Shang Ke is a god! An evil god. 😁
God Shang Ke is an evil god who wears a mask. Instead of hiding his feelings, his mask exposes his real thoughts through emojis. Shang Ke’s reactions are (⊙口⊙) ！, (ˊДˋ), (ˋ︿ˊ), <(╯︶╰)╭. It never fails to amuse me. 😂
Also, I had a hard time guessing the ML. There are a couple of guys in the story that expresses their interest to Shang Ke. There’s the prince, the love god, and the war god… and I’d love all of them to be the ML lol.
This is the first world where it’s a happy end so there’s no redo for this one.
Arc 10: Sentinel & Guide
This sentinel & guide story is so chaotic to MTL. OTL There are so many things to take in.
Basically, Sentinels are high-powered individuals and need Guides to help them, uh, spiritually. So both the Sentinel and the Guide should have compatible spirits to work well. Shang Ke is a traitor to a terrorist group and sends out his spirit animal (dolphin lol) to get help. ML gets his message and is surprised to find a compatible spirit for his own (lion).
Somehow, this kind of story reminds me of ABO worlds. They are essentially the same, aside from the spirit animal thing.
I kind of zoned out in this world, honestly. There’s just so much going on than my brain could handle lol. Despite that, there’s nothing that really stood out to me.
At least for the main story. Because the redo arc is told in the point of view of their son and that’s something new again!
Arc 11: Spring Comes Upon a Withered Tree
Shang Ke is an elf who needs to save the elf race. Still the Holy Mother self-sacrificing thing. And like in the ABO world, ML just a little over my borderline.
I find this story kinda boring? I didn’t like it as much because they already like each other and that’s just that. There’s not much progress in their relationship. The villains are, well, being villains.
But just as I thought that things are not going well, the ending happened and BAM. I can’t get over it because I did not expect Shang Ke’s sacrifice and how it would affect ML. It’s also nice to have a disfigured ML for a change.
I’ve grown to love the elves Shang Ke left so I’m sad at the treatment they received after SK’s sacrifice. But! With Shang Ke’s power when he revives, all the bullies know that they should be treated as treasures and I love that sort of in-your-face comeback.
Arc 12: I Am an Evil Pen
Another fave arc! Mainly because Shang Ke is a pen. LOL
MTL goes wonkers at this arc so from what I understood, Shang Ke is a magical pen which consumes bad auras. So whenever he transforms as a human, he can’t stay near ML who has lots of good luck.
But ML being ML, he did Shang Ke after only a few times of meeting inside a DREAM. Kind of a bummer, actually. They got together too early.
Then again, ML can get rapey at times but when I think about it, their souls are already like an old couple so they skip all the courting part. Besides, they still have missions and all the other things that Shang Ke has to do.
The way it ends though. Shang Ke breaks my heart every single time he dies. No wonder why ML gets so possessive the more they reincarnate. Shang Ke seems to slip in his hands every time.
But like in Arc 6, in the redo arc, ML changes for the better as he tries to understand SK. He stops being impulsive and controls himself instead. Good job ML!
Arc 13: Ghost Assistant
In this world, Shang Ke is a ghost! The best part of this entire series is how the author comes up to the different worlds and scenarios, making this refreshing to read. The stories transcend time, space, and entity.
In this world, instead of dying, Shang Ke has to be resurrected. On top of his personal mission to find ML. ML has mild autism, can see ghosts, chaebol, and a world-renowned pianist. But he is being taken for advantage by the people surrounding him. Even his father abandoned him. Plus, since he can see ghosts, they want to possess his body.
This ML is the best ML for me, in all of his reincarnations in the series. Unlike all the other ML who thinks that Shang Ke is theirs and theirs alone, this ML is very mild and gentle. Given his circumstances, he’s timid and innocent. Well, he is still the cute wolf with his insatiable sexual drive but he’s very gentle and innocent in a lot of areas. And his wolf side only appears in the later part of their relationship.
Besides he isn’t domineering, overbearing. He’s like a cute puppy who follows behind Shang Ke. I love how Shang Ke is like a mother hen to him as he guides and takes care of ML. like they have a very equal relationship with each other. Another thing is that he is slowly trying out and improving himself especially through communication to be with Shang Ke and that’s just so sweet.
Arc 14: Let’s Run, Fox
Shang Ke is a beastman and ML is the leader of the lion pack.
I hate to say this but this part really falls flat. I still do love Shang Ke but by this time I’m done with the overbearing seme. Not after the doting and babylike ML from the 13th world. Besides, there’s nothing worth noting about in this world.
I’ll still read this when the translation reaches this part. My impressions about this world might change so who knows.
Arc 15: Death Cycle
In this world, Shang Ke drops in the zombie world.
Not a fan of Zombie arcs so I was ready to dislike this world but after a couple of chapters in and I love it? We’re almost at the climax of this series. And this world gives glimpses of what really happened to Shang Ke’s soul.
The world itself is fascinating to read. The three powerful characters are all tangled up together. But this is a pretty complicated world to explain. So I’ll just leave it up to you to read 😋 lest I might end up spoiling the entire arc.
Arc 16: This Life — Starting
Now we’re back to the world where Shang Ke first died, before he starts the whole world-hopping thing.
It wraps up all the plot points and questions I had in the last 15 arcs. Not gonna lie, I was prepared to be disappointed. I even asked my friend if this is really going to a happy end lol. I had to be sure because the ending earned a lot of mixed reviews.
But then I read this,
When he saw the young boy who smiled at him on the playground, there is a wonderful premonition. They will never be separated again this time… — edited from MTL
I think this last reincarnation is enough to be considered a happy end. It’s not even an open ending since the last chapter clearly said that this will be a normal reincarnation, no more missions, and tragic dying. So I’m very very satisfied with the ending.