In Xuanhuan or Xianxia novels, the world is usually sorted into various realms, with three or six realms being the most common.
THE SIX REALMS
|Realm of Deities|
Realm of Gods
|Divine Realm||Gods, deities, omnipotent supernatural beings|
|Realm of Immortals||Immortal Realm||Human cultivators who ascended into immortality|
|Realm of Mortals||Human Realm||Mankind|
|Realm of Demons||Demon Realm||Animals, plants or objects who have cultivated enough to take on a higher spiritual form, usually human (e.g. Fox Demon)|
|Realm of Devils||Devil Realm||Inherently 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)|
|Realm of the Dead|
Realm of Souls
|Wandering souls and spirits (ghosts), 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.
Origin: Plant/Animal/Object → Spirit → Demon → Demon King
E.g. Fox Demon (Song Ci), Mirror Demon (Feng Zhuojun)
Origin: Soul (Human) → Evil Spirit → Devil → Devil King
*It’s also possible for an immortal to descend into evil and turn into a devil.