☯ ISSTH – An Afterword ☯

Dear Fellow Daoists,

I thought long and hard about what to say when we finally reached the end of I Shall Seal the Heavens. I think the obvious place to start is with you, the readers. Without you, none of this would have been possible. Although I didn’t create this story, it has been a huge honor to be able to translate it into English so that so many people outside China could enjoy it. I have to especially thank those of you who took the time to express your own thanks within the comments section of the chapters, and those of you who shared speculations, theories, and even criticisms. For me, seeing all those comments was a big motivating factor to keep cranking out the chapters. Of course, there are also many, many, many of you who supported me via the sponsored chapter system and also Patreon. That extra support proved invaluable, and was the main factor which played into my decision to start translating full time.

There are so many other people to thank it’s hard to start a list. At the very top would be Madam Deathblade, and of course RWX. I also had a great team who helped out in terms of editing, proofreading, translation checking, memes, etc., all of whom have been credited in the various chapter release posts over the years. Of course, there are silent heroes too. For one, the many fellow Wuxiaworld translators and staff members who have provided invaluable assistance, camaraderie, and support over the past two years. In addition, a sizeable group of readers consistently communicated with me via email or private message to report typos or mistakes that made it into the live chapters. There are also many readers who took the time to report mistakes in the thread in the Wuxiaworld forum. To them, I offer profound thanks. For those of you who plan to re-read the story on Wuxiaworld before the fully edited version is available in ebook format, please feel free to report any mistakes or inconsistencies you see.

For me, translating ISSTH has been a life-changing experience. Back when I started, a little over two years ago, Madam Deathblade and I had a relatively slow-paced life. I was teaching full time at a school, managing a staff of about 15-20 other teachers, and translating about 5 chapters per week in my spare time. Then, one thing led to another. I increased the number of chapters to 7 and then 10 and then 12, and at almost the same time, Baby Deathblade came along. It didn’t take long before we were taking care of a new baby, while at the same time, I was still working full time at my other job, and also translating about 14 chapters per week. Now that I look back, I find it hard to believe that I managed to do all of those things at the same time and not collapse from exhaustion. Gradually, I handed over my responsibilities at my old job and focused full time on translating.

People often ask how long it takes to translate a chapter. For me, the answer is a bit complicated. When you add in the time it takes to read the chapter ahead of time, do the actual translating, review proofreading changes, do a final edit, then actually upload and release the chapter, it could be anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours or more per chapter. In terms of raising and caring for Baby Deathblade, we don’t have any family in the city to help, so for the most part, Madam Deathblade and I do it all. With that in the equation, I can honestly say that I’ve worked harder in the past two years than ever before in my life. I’ve been completely immersed within the world of ISSTH, and within the process of translating; it’s hard to believe it’s finally over.

Every translator has their own theory, or maybe you could even say their own Dao of translation. When I had a chance to sit down and talk in person with the author, Er Gen, I was pleasantly surprised to find that his ideas about what is important in translation coincided perfectly with my own. To him, the feeling is what counts. He wants English readers to experience the same feelings that the Chinese readers do, whether it’s the humor, the profundity, or the “feels” that everyone talks about. The nuances of language are a tricky thing, and it can be easy for a translator to focus on speed and accuracy to the detriment of the emotions that can be evoked by the writing itself. I’ve worked hard throughout the translation to provide you readers with an experience as close as possible to that of someone reading it in Chinese, and I hope that effort has shone through.

As far as my thoughts about the story, how it ended, and such things, I’ll save that for another occasion. By the way, I wrote my own “Other Tale” regarding the fates of some of the other minor characters; maybe I’ll share that later on.

After two intense years of translating, and seven straight years of life in China, the time has finally come for me to make a trip back to the United States. When I return from vacation, I’ll be focusing on A Will Eternal as my translation project. That story is bound to be a fun and enjoyable ride. While I’m on break, I’ll still be working a bit. I’ll be reading ahead in the story of AWE, which will be of immense help once I focus on translating it full time. Another thing I will be working on is my original comic book Cultivation Blues.

Don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter, and BDB on Instagram. I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks, if you’re interested in coming to a meetup, please let me know here. If enough people are in town around that time, I’ll try to coordinate something.

Contest winners will be posted in an announcement sometime in the next few days.

As of this moment, I’ve been up for almost 30 hours straight, so in a few minutes I will crash. I’ll try to respond to comments in this thread when I wake up, but the first leg of our trip to the U.S. starts tomorrow, and I’m already way behind on sleep.

I did my face reveal a few weeks back on the video with RWX and Er Gen, but there is one last person who you have never seen, and that is Madam Deathblade, so I’ll finish off with a picture of the two of us that you might find… interesting.

Thank you again for your support!

(clasps hands and bows deeply)



658 thoughts on “☯ ISSTH – An Afterword ☯” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Thank you and Madame Deathblade soo much for all the hard work, and thank you for translating it as ‘feeling’ rather than a direct translation so that it flows better to read and understand.

    Thanks to all the editors, background persons and donators as well. ^^

    Have a good rest and I’ll see you on your next project when you return! 🙂

  2. Many thanks for your hard work.. opened wuixa to read ISSTH then realized/remembered it had ended.. Many thanks Deathblade & Madam Deathblade .. :,)

  3. Thank you guys so much for all the work you’ve done these past few years. We couldn’t have had such an amazing experience without you. Honestly, after finishing this book a little part of me died a little just knowing that it was over. At least I’ve got your next project to look forwards to! Anyways, thanks a bunch again and you two look so cute together! <3

  4. Thank you for doing wonderful job of translating this piece of art!
    It has given me many emotions over the years, and it was unforgettable experience, reading this story. I shall seal it in my memory as on of my all time favorites.
    I wish Er Gen, Deathblade & hes family and last but not least – the team who helped with translations, health, success with future projects and eternal happiness!
    *bows down*

  5. Owh shit ISSTH end already and im still wondering why no new chapter been released….
    Anyway thx for sharing us ur awesome work/translation and have fun with ur vacation..

    1. Lol don’t tell me you read the story to the end without even knowing that it ended and was waiting for a new chapter….

      Also wuwu…… Thanks for all the blood and effort you put in order to translate ISSTH…

      Bows deeply

  6. Thank you!
    Thanks for a really great job translating this amazing story.
    Thanks for all your time put in to this.
    Thanks for sharing some parts of your life.
    Thanks for your care for the story.
    Thanks for you patience and putting through with us greedy readers.
    Thanks for your family for letting you do this.
    Wish a long and happy life fellow daoist ! 😄😄😄

  7. Thank you so much for your amazing work. (Deeply bow).

    I felt this isnot the end of ISSTH. I hope there will be ISSTH2 coming out soon. One selfish reason of mine was because I want Menghao end up with Chuyuyen too, and the end story kind of unfinished.

  8. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication over the translating of ISSTH its incredible and the translation did really speak to me emotionally. I read alot of your next project elsewhere but i will be starting over from the beginning with your translation. Hopefully this give a small inkling of how much respect i hold for you and your family. May you reach the Dao. (Clasped hands and bows)

  9. ผมอ่านจากเมืองไทยน่ะครับ ผมขอบคุณมากที่แปลให้อ่านจนจบ เพราะเมืองไทยถึงเล่มที่5เอง
    อีกอย่างเว็ปที่ได้ลิขสิทธิไปก็เอาเปรียบเกินไปสำหรับผม ขอคารวะผู้แปล และ ท่าน er gen

  10. Just made an account to thank you DB for all the hard work done translating this great story. Also thank you Er Gen for the story.
    Thanks to everyone who contributed to give us all the chance to read I Shall Seal The Heavens.


  11. thank you very so much for translating.
    at first reading those firset 60 chapters felt like hell whats so good about it but as i read
    some coment saying it gets beyound awsome when it pases 100 chapter or so,
    at that time around 250 chapters were translated so read straight up to it and it felt like need more need more and hoped that tommaro we can get two chapters.
    journy from ther to now it was fantastic
    so again realy thank you for such hard work.

  12. Hey deathblade! Just wanted to tell you how amazing you are and how much we appreciate the translation for the past few years. The part where you said that you translate it in a way that us English readers can feel the same as when Chinese readers read this in Chinese is truly the most amazing part as it must have required so much effort and time. Thank you so much deathblade for being such a great translator and a great patriarch! Will always support you 👍 Take care and hope madam deathblade and baby deathblade will always stay happy too ❤️

  13. I know this will probably never get read. I’ve been using and enjoying this site for over a year now. I loved finishing Coiling Dragon and Stellar Transformations. Reading ATG, Emperor’s Domaine, Rebirth of the Thief, Path to the Heavens, etc. I’ve never got around to making an account here though. How much work you put into all of this made me compelled to do so simply to say thank you for giving me (a 25 y/o dyslexic who could never get myself to finish any book) my main employable past time.

  14. One heck of a ride! Thank you for your effort, enthusiasm and work ethic!!! I’ve used many a quotes for my own life! This has truly been a wonderful story! Thank you!

  15. Congratulation for finishing this progect and many thanks for sharing with us all the fun!

    Has been a great traslation, i’m sure 200% efforts were made in traslating the caracters while retainig the soul within, many times i felt deeply touched while reading, fun, joy, anger, sadnes to the point of making my nose sour.

    Deep bow to Deathblade & Madam Deathblade.

  16. Thank you for your hard work! ISSTH and Blue Phoenix are the works that introduced me to webnovels! You have done a superb job of translating and on top of that, extremely consistent, more so than in any other novel I’m reading(or read).

  17. *kowtows*. This was a loooong loong damn journey. And i loved everysingle bit of it. This feels like an end of a long and tiring adventure. And now it is time to seek for new adventures. I only wish that er gen would continue issth because i believe it can become greater and better with that op authors skillz. And i also wish to see a full ending of this story. Although this also a great place to leave off. I just dont want to let it go. *cries*

  18. Thank you for fantasticly translatic this beautiful story. The music you reccomended is being played everytime i read a xuanwu story and thank you as well for that. I hope that your trip to the US was fun and best wishes to you, your wife and your child!
    *bows deeply*

  19. Thanks so much, Senior Deathblade, for all the hard work and time you’ve put into translating this wonderful story. I loved every bit of the ride, and I can really appreciate a lot of the times you’ve struggled to translate concepts from the Chinese culture and language into terms understandable for a western audience. I especially loved the effort you put into adding references and footnotes throughout the chapters that linked back to all the main occurrences of those characters and events previously in the story.

    I have to admit that one part that’s always cracked me up is your decision to use the term “fleshly body” instead of “physical body”. I cringed the first hundred times I saw that phrase, though I slowly got used to it later. I’ve always regretted that I was always several hundred chapters behind the latest translated chapter, so I didn’t feel comfortable messaging you about it. If you do read this comment, I would love to know why you chose the “fleshly body” term instead of “physical body”, just to satisfy my lingering curiosity. 😀

    Cheers, and thanks for a great ride!

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