In the modern world, qi is money.
The days of traveling martial artists and mountaintop masters are over. Power is controlled by corporations, modernized martial arts sects, and governments. Those at the bottom of society struggle as second class citizens in a world in which power is a commodity.
Rick is a young fighter in this world. He doesn't dream of immortality or becoming the strongest, just of building a better life for himself and his sister, who suffers from a spiritual illness. Unfortunately, life isn't that easy...
My Opinion: 607 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
From the author of the New Game Minus series comes something the author describes as 80% cultivation and 20% LitRPG. I think her proportions are pretty spot on. The majority of the story is a cultivation set in a modern world where a person’s power, position, and status are tied to how much lucrium, the author’s alternative to Qi, a person can make. The plot is pretty slice of life with several conflicts but is mostly about the main character (MC) trying to make a living in life while his cultivation attempts are being siphoned off by his sister, who has a unique ailment. It transitions into tournament fighting and class warfare to a degree plus quite a bit of personal training and development.
The game mechanics in the story are fairly regularly seen, though they mostly appear as status notifications of characters showing their rankings and lucrium generation levels. It’s a custom system of progression that uses the same lucrium for cultivation, as a currency, and a source of energy. Honestly, I was frustrated sometimes by the lack of a foundational explanation of how the cultivation worked. The story kind of explains as needed which left the progression system feeling ungrounded sometimes. Though I'll also point out the author explains all the terms and ideas in an appendix in the back.
Outside of that bit of slight frustration, the story was pretty fine. It's a slice of life story with some good martial arts fights and cultivation set in a modern setting. It is stretched out a little but it also has a good satisfying ending.
Good, not as good as New Game Minus for me, but nice if you like cultivation stories.
Score: 7.1 out of 10