Series: Thousand Autumns (Qian Qiu)
Written by: Meng Xi Shi (梦溪石)
Cover and Interior Art: Me.Mimo
Interior Color Illustration: Furifuricchin
Available at: JJWXC (Chinese), Seven Seas Danmei (English)
What makes a man strong?
That was a question I saw in the comments on Novel Updates when I was searching about this series. And this question stuck with me throughout the book.
Meng Xi Shi (MXS) sets the world by letting Yan Wushi’s (the one in deep blue robes on the cover) disciple update his master to the happenings of the world after Yan Wushi’s 10-year seclusion ended. It was a great way to keep the readers up-to-date since Qian Qiu’s world had a lot of moving parts. Understandably, it would take more than just a couple of paragraphs to describe the whole setting. But, that was also the quickest way to overwhelm the reader with the info dump. I didn’t really care about all these sects, high-ranking martial artists, and politicians. Not yet, at least.
I loved how MXS painted QQ’s world with words as they described the breathtaking scenery in contrast with the dire situation of the people living within the warring countries. But my favorite part was the main characters. Shen Qiao and Yan Wushi were polar opposites, and under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t even say a word to each other.
Shen Qiao was at the pinnacle — the protégé of the world’s grandmaster, a strong martial artist, and a sect leader of the number one Daoist sect. He had everything… until he had nothing.
But then the wind really did grow stronger, whipping at his robes until they rustled and flapped, and he simply stood there, firmly rooted. As if even a hundred calamities wouldn’t be enough to break him.
Shen Qiao was resilient. He was patient and kind, but he was not naive and had lines that could not be crossed. I just couldn’t help but root for him and admire him for his strength. Sure, he had strong physical foundations, but it was his mental fortitude and moral compass that made him unbreakable. He reminded me of this article.
The philosophy of Seijaku reminds us that we have an inexhaustible spirit; that the tempests around us cannot overpower us. Rather than reacting hastily or getting caught up in emotions, Seijaku encourages people to take a step back, create inner stillness and peace, and move forward with rationality and inner strength.
Then, there was Yan Wushi. Head of one of the demonic sects, both feared and loathed by others. He believed that every person hides a wicked heart, and he is determined to show that example by using Shen Qiao. Yan Wushi was such an enigma. It’s like he’s born to irritate people and test their limits. And he’s certainly testing Shen Qiao’s. That makes their on-page interactions interesting to read. They’re like exchanging moves without actually physically hurting each other.
His white robe, long and loosed, flapped and rustled in the blustering wind, but he remained as stalwart and unmoving as ever. He simply stood there with his hands behind his back, but radiating from him was an invisible aura of all-encompassing disdain, both intimidating and crushing.
The last part is win!
Yan Wushi clicked his tongue. “I’m feeding and housing you, and I’m even bringing you all this news, but you’re so stingy! You won’t even let me touch your hand!”
I live for scenes like this. This may seem like they were flirting or just a harmless banter, but it’s just one of their many forms of ‘fighting.’ And I couldn’t wait for more of these.
Have you read this book? If not, do you plan on reading this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!