Until it stabbed you in the gut with a plot twist that re-evaluated everything that you have been cheering on from the start!
It just feels so poetic.
It's like they're back at the start in that garden for the first time.
But, by the end of it, a lot of things have happened and many secrets were uncovered that the readers know and feel that everything has fundamentally changed.
You would visually see the same scene where the Emperor stands from afar in awe of Mu Yan who wouldn't even know he was even there. But now, the readers have the unfortunate pleasure of knowing all the hurt, betrayal, and complicated feelings that run beneath the serene surface.
It shows the relationship between a reader and the story: how different your perception is at the end of it all.
And it's beautifully merciless to end it just there. Because now you're in a high where you can't get down from. There's still a lot of questions and unsolved feelings towards the characters but you're not allowed to descend into an ending and move on.
And I think that's beautiful.
According to the novel: Americans are apparently shallow, petty, and perverted who are "bad at math compared to the Chinese". African-Americans (called simply "black man” here) deal drugs and are thug-like. Filipinos are mentioned as maids. The mixed-race uncle is the villain. Be ready for people be described as yellow, white, or black.
Also poor people are ALWAYS uncultured moneygrubbers without morals.
The sheer ignorance turned me off.
I like that the MC has such high potential to be OP with experience. Also, I find it funny and awesome that he can talk to God.
Only one hand has a red string, doesn't it?
Also, I love that he conquered the sensei out of all the others Hahahaha
Despite all Shu Ning's success and capability to stand on his own and amaze the world with his power, he was still relegated with the task of maintaining the ancestral home and taking care of the children (not that it was ever described because of the lazy ending) merely because he is a bottom and should thusly be a good wife. He's also so easily bullied and scared by Shu Heng into anything that it's honestly kinda toxic. He's so scared of offending Shu Heng at his supposed age that it's not healthy???
This honestly lead me to a realization how a lot of danmei with a cool domineering ML and sweet MC is still so very sexist and internally homophobic that it imposes an idea that one should act like a man while the other a woman. This story did a double on me not only with the shitty ending but turning me off from this type of danmei.
I'm not asking for a clean and sanitized politically correct story. But is equality, balance, and mutual respect for each other's boundaries and achievements between BL couples that hard to ask?
But that hasn't even happened again so far