The ML seems like trash because it is soon revealed that MC is just being used as a replacement, but, MC also was not looking for lingering affections and was only interested in s*x at the start. Both parties had to come around and should be regarded as two humans that have a hard time sorting out lingering feelings and coming to terms with their new emotions.
I have to admit, my favorite part is still the first half of the novel, where no matter what ML did, MC was like "This was supposed to be a one night stand..." in his head. Thoroughly eating snacks while other people baffle that he ignored the insults they spouted.
In the end, ML is magical guy with all beast line blood, MC is special magical mage guy with special soul, both of lost bloodlines. Very cliche, does not need 600 chapters to reveal that they are OP, I could guess it from the start.
C) MC actually leaves inner palace when offered in last chapter!! Then prolly dies on the street cause' he's been raised as royalty his whole life.
This isn't really a spoiler but a train of thought;
In fact, I don't even know for certain if Chen He (MC) is the shou, and if ML is the gong, or... some other arrangement. And this is because MC seems more interested/attached to 'ML' sort of like puppy love at times, while ML seems rather reserved, even shy, and not likely to start any relationship. Oppositely, MC is sort of naive and cute, and ML is the older more experienced one. For an actual BL relationship, it wouldn't be uncommon for a couple to switch roles, but in nearly every of these novels it's painfully obvious who's who. It's only ch 19 but I hold some expectations (perhaps false hopes) for this one!
As of now, MC still has little feelings for ML. For example, he gets sleep deprivation when forced to lie in the same bed as ML. I'm kind of rooting for TY to hold out much longer until ML really proves himself. It might even be in the second half of the novel where he becomes a man again.
The thing I like that most is that, normally in this setting, the ML would force himself upon the MC sooner rather than later, but it actually hasn't happened yet! I am sort of on the edge of my seat here and there though, as I don't prefer the rapey type ML.
So what if ML gave him half his powers in book 4, MC can't use it for sh*t.
Also great how ML keeps the whole 'bring you back to my world and share half my powers' sh*t under wraps every time Ling Xia asks. After all, it would be horrible if LX knew ML decided to have his memory wiped, and also forced MC back into his world instead of trying to join him in the modern world...
I will not spoil too much. But BOTH ML and MC literally and metaphorically were living to suffer. Their existences were fated to end horribly. For one, you know from the start MC was born and raised to die, causing him inner grief and near insanity at times, a careless attitude where he doesn't even care for his own health. ML finds the love of his life but cannot help the MC as it would mean betraying his entire sect, leading to his companion's demise, oh, and also his purpose for existing also would have disappeared.
I was terrified and charmed by the MC's inner mind, both happy (in a twisted way) that ML would suffer like he while also doing so that he could have a taste of happiness before his death, feeling guilt weighing upon his shoulders like a mountain.
And I cringed when the fox got lost and found himself at a brothel.