Yu Shou Yi Shi (ysys) is a labor of love.
I began reading Chinese historical fiction and fantasy a few years ago, working my way through what was available of Feng Yu Jiu Tian (凤于九天) until the translator changed and I no longer found it as enjoyable to read. Not long after that, the Nitroplus and Pili-produced series Thunderbolt Fantasy (東離劍遊紀) began to air. I was drawn even further into the world of Chinese fantasy when translations of Moxiang Tongxiu’s (MXTX) work were popularized on my Twitter feed. I read translations of Mo Dao Zu Shi (魔道祖师, mdzs) and Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (人渣反派自救系统, Scum Villain).
Each world I encountered had new heroes, new villains, and new relationships to explore. With Scum Villain, for the first time I found myself wanting to make original characters and play in this fantasy world. But I was also very attached to the characters Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe—and I didn’t want to take away from their story at all, because I love them a lot.
So I began to create my own version of a xianxia world. I did a ton of research, developed the plot, made characters, wrote histories. I learned (some of) the rules of the genre by reading, and saw the places I wanted to ignore them and develop my own rules. But I can’t change who it is that is writing this; no amount of research can replace immersion. Some of the failings of this story will doubtless come from me being who and what I am. I can only hope you will forgive me for the places in this novel where my own selfish desires eclipse the well-established tropes.
With that said, please enjoy this story, told from one friend to another.