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The Realms ◆ 三界与六界

May 5, 2019

In Xuanhuan or Xianxia novels, the world is usually sorted into various realms, with three or six realms being the most common. This glossary only lists the realms that appear in the series being translated on Jade-Rabbit.NET.

NOTE: The terms used in the translations might alternate between those listed. e.g. Realm of Gods may also be referred to as the Divine Realm. Please refer below for the list.


The Three Realms ◆ 三界
Realms here apply to Nan Chan 《南禅》
* to be updated.

CNTermAlt TermDescription
天界Heavenly RealmDivine RealmGods, deities, immortals
人界Mortal RealmHuman RealmMankind
冥界
(地)
NetherworldUnderworldWandering souls and spirits, usually humans


The Six Realms ◆ 六界
Realms here
apply to Fox Demon Cultivation Manual 《狐妖修炼指南》

CNTermAlt TermDescription
神界Realm of Deities
Realm of Gods
Divine RealmGods, deities, omnipotent supernatural beings
仙界Realm of ImmortalsImmortal RealmHuman cultivators who ascended into immortality
人界Realm of MortalsHuman RealmMankind
妖界Realm of DemonsDemon RealmAnimals, plants or objects who have cultivated enough to take on a higher spiritual form, usually human (e.g. Fox Demon​)
魔界Realm of DevilsDevil RealmInherently evil beings who could be natural born, resentful human souls, fallen immortals or cultivators who have chosen to walk the evil path (also known as Demonic Cultivators)
冥界
鬼界
Realm of the Dead
Realm of Souls
Ghost Realm
Netherworld
Underworld
Wandering souls and spirits, usually humans


* The term ‘Demon’ is sometimes used to describe both 妖 Yao​ and ​魔 Mo, although there are some differences between them. To keep things consistent​​ and clearer in “Fox Demon Cultivation Manual”, I’ll be calling the ​妖​​界​​ Demon Realm and ​魔​​界​ Devil Realm, while 妖​王 will be called Demon King/Lord​ ​​​and ​​​​​魔​​王 Devil King/Lord.

Here’s a general progression chart from one source to tell the difference between 妖 Yao​ and ​魔 Mo.

起:动植物——精——妖——妖王
Origin: Plant/Animal/Object ​​→ Spirit ​​→ Demon ​→ Demon King

​起:魂魄——邪魄——魔——魔王
​​Origin: Soul ​→ Evil Spirit ​→ Devil → Devil King