Plot: A scholar who calls himself Xia Ke stumbles upon a mysterious masked woman known as ‘Miss Ugly’. She is set to be a local village’s sacrifice to the Huang deity, and she’s accepting her fate with open arms since it’s the least she can do for the family who was nice enough to adopt her…..even though they only adopted her for the pure reason of sacrificing her in order to protect their blood daughter from being the sacrifice. However, her situation is not quite what it seems, and it’s up to Xia ke to save her.
Breakdown: Xia Ke Xing is alright, but it never really wowed me. I feel almost like this manhwa should’ve been a short story instead of continuing on past when the initial plotline is resolved.
After it is resolved, Miss Ugly, actually named Liu Yan, joins Xia Ke on his journeys since there’s really no place for her anymore and she’s lost her memories of everything from before when she was adopted. The actual circumstances surrounding her previous life are somewhat vague. A bandit that they meet seems to believe that she’s the lone survivor of some prestigious family that he used to help protect, but her illusions in the latest chapter seem to lean on the side of her being some assassin.
They also meet a bandit named Li Fung who also kinda joins them on their journeys. He’s not on very friendly terms with either Liu Yan (whom he calls ‘stupid girl’) and Xia Ke (whom he calls “Xu Xia Ke” or fake Xia Ke since Xia Ke is the name of a character in a legendary story.) His focus is that he wants to be a government official I guess for the benefit of his mother and younger sister.
After the thing with Miss Ugly, the series kind of strays off and has no real focus beyond finding out who Liu Yan really is. It feels somewhat set up like Inuyasha in that regard since we have a clear goal, yet there’s a lot of side-tracking going on during the journey. Since the manhwa’s not too far along it seems, I can’t know for sure.
Art: The art’s pretty nice when both being artistic and when being cartoonish-ly funny. The eye designs bothered me a bit, but everything else is very nice.
Bottomline: It’s a pretty good read. Nothing fantastic, but still enough to keep you interested. The characters are likable and have pretty good chemistry. The story kinda tapers off after the Miss Ugly arc, but that might get more interesting as time goes on.
Additional Information and Notes: Xia Ke Xing was written and illustrated by Jun Xiao and it was published by Star Girls.
Volumes: ??? There was been nine chapters released publicly, but it hasn’t been updated in over ten years. Safe to assume it’s canceled, sadly.
Recommended Audience: Nothing really offensive. No real nudity, no serious violence….there is one scene that is pretty hard to read considering a child ends up dying quite horribly, but it’s not really graphic, it’s mostly your mind’s eye visualizing what’s happening after. 10+