Immortal Executioner

Immortal Executioner is a xianxia web novel by 任怨, or Ren Yuan. The original title is 斩仙, or Zhan’Xian, which is more directly translated as “Beheading Immortal”, which can be interpreted variously. I’m calling it Immortal Executioner here.

(Summary from Qidian)

In his previous life, Yang Chen was benevolent, but he was bullied all his life.

Reborn, Yang Chen chose to become an Executioner, settling all gratitude and grudges with the executioner’s blade, beheading the common people on the Immortal Executioner Stage.

Behead men in the world of men!

Behead demons in the world of demons!

Behead devils in the world of devils!

Behead immortals in the world of immortals!

In essence, a Xianxia with a timeslip protagonist bent on revenge.

I will not be translating more of this, but just as I was working on it, weletranslations decided to pick it up, so go look there.

 

On Setting and Terminology

Immortal Executioner is not exactly Baby’s First Xianxia. It frequently expects foreknowledge about xianxia tropes or at least Daoist concepts to some extent, and really dislikes explaining things clearly.

Many of the terms you encounter can simply be accepted as they stand and forgotten, while many others you can Google – in particular the huge batch of namedropped deities from Daoism and various classical novels. Some require a bit of explanation.

As a xianxia-novel (or xiuzhen), the plot mainly concerns itself with cultivating oneself to immortality. In order to do so, the mortals in this novel’s setting will go through several stages, qi gathering, foundation building, jindanyuanying, and dacheng (wat? Buddhism? inorite), before ascending to the spiritual world. After that there are more stages before ascending to the immortal world, after which there are even more stages, ultimately ending with great principal golden immortal. For a talented individual, this process should take a few thousand years.

In order to do this, the cultivator must gather the spiritual force of the world and internalize it as qi. There are a total of ten flavors of spiritual force, and which suits the cultivator  is decided by which spiritual roots they are born with. A cultivator can further refine the qi they cultivate by transforming it with a naturally occurring force with the same spiritual force aspect.

The ten types of qi are divided according to five phases theory into wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, in that order, each of which has a yin and a yang phase. In the RAW these are named according to the ten heavenly stems, with one yang-yin pair for each element in order. The heavenly stems are, however, pretty much untranslateable, so since they are also sometimes used as enumerators, in these chapters they get replaced with A, B, C, etc. So the positive wood aspect is “A Wood” instead of “Jia Wood”, the negative wood aspect is “B Wood”, the positive fire aspect is “C Fire”, and so on.

7 thoughts on “Immortal Executioner

  1. Hey bagelson, I’m the editor of weletranslations. At the moment we’re moving from wordpress to our own website, would you mind changing the link in this post to our new table of contents? The link is:

    http://weletranslation.com/zhan_xian.html

    That would be really nice!
    We’ve also put multiple announcement posts on our wordpress, but if people find the story through your teaser, we think it would be better if they landed on our new site directly, instead of going through a dead wordpress.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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