Chang’an’s First Beauty

Description

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The Marquis Yunyang was deposed by the Emperor and his family ended up in dire straits overnight. As such, the Third Miss of the Shen Household, her family’s most precious jewel, found herself abandoned by all with a sick brother on her hands. Having no other choice, she set up a cosmetics shop in Chang’an.

But to the eyes of all, especially her relatives’, she had become nothing but an alluring flower any man could pick at will.

Passing by her Baixiang Pavilion, the heir to the Grand Duchy of Zhen, Lu Yan, witnessed her being harassed by the idle sons of Chang’an’s leading class. Her appearance reminded him of dreams that had been plaguing him lately, revealing to him a past with her and the sultry love affair they had shared in a previous life.

With shaking fingers, he also remembered the bitter taste of heartbreak when she left him to marry another man.

Thus, in this life, he decided to save her once more, lure her into an affair, install her as his mistress and never let her escape his sphere of influence again.

However, to keep Shen Zhen by his side, finding her a place to stay and caring for her brother was not enough. Little did Lu Yan know he would be pulled into the darkest corners of Chang’an and take part in games of power that at times implicated the Main Gentleman of the Empire, the Emperor himself. Selling what he held dearest in the process: his integrity as an official.

All for the sake of Chang’an’s First Beauty.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Chang An Di Yi Mei Ren
Yong An Dream (Drama)
หญิงงามอันดับหนึ่งแห่งฉางอัน
长安第一美人
Related Series
Pampered Consort’s Acting Awards (Same Franchise)
Recommendations
Counterattack of the Cannon Fodder Chambermaid (3)
Pampered Consort’s Acting Awards (3)
Pampered Into Being The Empress (3)
Mei Gongqing (2)
The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (2)
Reborn to Love Lord Qiansui (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. books i enjoyed
  2. My favorite Chinese novels
  3. My favorite 10/10
  4. Love at the time of dinasties
  5. tending to my garden

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/09/24 KnoxT c54 part1
04/02/24 KnoxT c53 part2
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03/19/24 KnoxT c52 part2
03/12/24 KnoxT c52 part1
03/05/24 KnoxT c51 part2
02/27/24 KnoxT c51 part1
02/24/24 KnoxT c50 part2
02/24/24 KnoxT c50 part1
02/24/24 KnoxT c49
02/23/24 KnoxT c48 part2
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Review
34 Reviews


marchmallow
marchmallow
Jul 07, 2020
Status: --
The first few chapters got me hooked so I decided to MTL the rest.

I have to say, as an avid reader of historical c-novels, you really have to set aside your modern ideologies. This is set in an imperialist era that follows a strict hierarchy with values and rules based on Confucian ethics. You also really have to read the tags. And if you're expecting a lot of doting and pampering, you're bound to be disappointed.

A lot of this story is told from the ML's perspective. He's a man who... more>> belongs to the upper echelons of society, and his uncle is the emperor. He has status and good looks, and has been pampered and arrogant since young, so he's used to always getting his way. And his character stays consistent throughout the story. Even as he acknowledges his feelings for the FL, he still finds it hard to shed his cold and commanding personality when dealing with her. He isn't instantly soft once he realizes he's in love.

As snippets of his past life unravel throughout the story, however, he changes very slowly and becomes more self-aware about how he treats her. Knowing that FL married someone else in the past, the anxiety, insecurity and regret (for such a confident and arrogant man) he feels in his present life is very realistic.

The power gap between the leads is particularly prominent. As a sheltered young miss from a fallen noble family, of course FL is unreconciled to be someone's mistress, but her circumstances really leave her no choice. She's a woman from the ancient times and was born and raised in her boudoir, what does she know about protecting herself from dangers outside? I feel that her personality, as well as her mental struggles are quite realistic.

Spoiler

She ends up in a really tough situation that the ML resolves for her in exchange for her dignity. In that, he can keep her and her family safe as long as she becomes his mistress. She's forced to learn intimate matters between men and women against her will to ask him for favors. These favors mostly involve her family... like meeting them, etc.

She broods over this quite often. Back when she was still a noble, her peers were respectful to her. But after her father was convicted, some of the rich young masters pestered her frequently and one even straight out asked her to be his concubine. Imagine the impact of this on her self-confidence... it's heartbreaking to read.

[collapse]

The stuff ML does to avoid the past from repeating itself gets him roped into a struggle for power between the princes. So it's quite plot-driven, and the romance and political intrigue is very well-balanced. There are little details that may seem insignificant but are actually quite important.

And the side characters! They're fleshed out and written so well that you really sympathize with them. As said by the translator and by one of the reviews, it really delves deep into certain themes and struggles ancient women experience that other novels don't touch.

Spoiler

Her eldest sister contributes a lot to the plot. And she's probably my favorite in this story... as well as her romance with the ML's colleague.

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As a huge fan of rebirth stories, especially ones written this well, I'm giving this a 5/5. If you're looking for fluff, this ain't for you. <<less
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luvies26
luvies26
Apr 11, 2022
Status: Completed
This novel is indeed intriguing on how the ML changes himself as he realizes that he loves the FL............ but the major problem I have with this is I just could not like the ML after all that he made the FL do for getting basic human rights. I know this is ancient setting and so women are inferior.......... but this is fiction after all and the ML, I dont think he should have ended up with FL cuz he made her suffer so much.

He literally baited her into being... more>> his mistress in both his lives so that she could save her father, u think a person with high education and wealth in any era doing this is a good person? He gaslighted her into having s3x with him cuz even though he said its her choice to sleep or not to sleep with him.... then tell me why did he make her his mistress if he eventually wanted to give that choice to her, bcuz he never considered her feelings as he thinks she is obligated to sleep with him as he is doing her such a great favour.

He doesnt respect women and we can see that with the way he treats the FL, like a pretty plaything. Do u think guys like these change their perspective on women in real life? even more so not in ancient times. Do u find it ok for ML to force the FL to sell herself for her family? And do not even mention the amount of times he gets unnecessarily angry at her for trivial stuff as if she is his emotional punching bag. Many of u in the comments say that FL took the initiative to sleep with ML.... but thats actually him gaslighting her. If she didnt do it he would never treat her well or even like a human... he would constantly remind her of how ungrateful she is to ask him for help to set her father free and not even providing services in return, he would always give her a difficult time if she ever asked to meet her family or go out of the house.

In this situation, do u think she has power to resist? no... so he gaslighted her to sleep with him. Also if he really wanted to help her he could have just let her be and help her regardless. Also I hate that one chapter after their marriage where she asks him which pr0s3itu3e was he with half a year ago from pingkangfang and he says it was her and he lied to his family in this way... He literally told his family she was a pr0s3itu3e to hide her. Ya'll just admit it that he has no morals and he doesnt respect women. And all that merit, education, wealth, fame, good looks and so called 'character growth' of his cannot convince me otherwise bcuz his starting actions in itself are not indicating of a well educated, high ranking person to me.

And pls stop with the argument that he is arrogant and unloving and accustomed to being held high and also really smart so he treats all ppl shit. No he doesnt treat all ppl shit... its only FL cuz he thinks she is low moral person as she is ok with selling herself for her family while forgetting that he pushed her to this dead end so ACTUALLY he is the low moral person here. He could've stayed out of this matter if he wished to or he could've helped her father if he wanted to.... both of these situations do not require him to force her to commit to himself with no certainty in the future and no promise of marriage. <<less
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Mimmers
Mimmers
Jul 04, 2020
Status: --
For whatever reason... The first chapter to this story just s**ked me in. Maybe it is the translation (I just want to say the translator blew me off - commitment to excellency, anyone?!), maybe it is the sort of simple realism that seems to exude from the story, I don't know. What I do know is that I MTLed the whole story in about 48 hours. I am taking a break before starting on the epilogue.

First of all, the things NOT to expect from this story? Fluff. There isn't really... more>> any fluff to it, as the translator said him/herself on the host site. The ML is an adult who feels lust for the FL. He is not a man of feelings, but a man who has been granted everything he ever wanted in his life. He has been accustomed to care for no one but himself. Thus, expecting empathy from him from the get-go is a bit unrealistic. However, as more and more memories of his past life resurface, his feelings and behavior towards the FL change as well. And when he DOES do something out of empathy and care, it is generally truly meaningful.

Spoiler

At the beginning of their relationship, though he is cold and seems to only be interested in the physical aspect of their relationship, the ML sneaks the FL out of Chang'an and takes her on a trip. By doing so, he permits her to reunite with her younger brother - whom the ML had pulled out of Chang'an when the family was in a dire situation.

Somewhere in the middle of the story, once he is very clear about his feelings for the FL, he once again arranges for her to see her sister who is suffering from abuse at her husband's and MIL's hands, though the FL is reputed to be somewhere far away. And there is this one sentence that really shows he has grown: He is not arrogant enough to believe himself to be the most important person in her life.

[collapse]

Someone suggested "Counterattack of the Cannon Fodder Chambermaid" as a similar work and I really feel the dynamic between the couple in "Chang'an's First Beauty" and "Attack" is similar. It takes a while for the MLs to come to term and understand what they are feeling for the females. Just that the MC of "Chang'an's First Beauty" actively takes responsibility for his former misdeeds.
Spoiler

When she eats things she cannot stand out out of fear he will lash out at her, when she refuses to cry in front of him, when she lies to him - he knows it is his fault. And he regrets, not like a caricature of feelings, but true, human feelings of regret.

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And what to say about the secondary characters? They are not pawns or plot-pushers. They have LIVES and PERSONALITIES and at times, we get s**ked into their hardships and really relate to them. As the translator mentioned, many themes other Chinese novels do not touch get really studied in this work. Women desiring divorce, not fearing it, though they might end up in the streets with no protection. Married women having lovers. The difficult situation mistresses, as opposed to wives or concubines, find themselves in.

Is this the best novel I have read? No. In the list of suggestions that I saw, I have read all the novels and all were better than this (besides "Counterattack of the Cannon Fodder Chambermaid" - I would say they are on the same level, with "Chang'an' First Beauty" being more serious and "Counterattack" being a bit more lighthearted). However, it might still be my favorite novel in the sense that the development of the love story between the ML and FL and the fear the ML feels that this life would be just a repeat of his past life are so realistically rendered. <<less
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shooting_star
shooting_sta
Aug 08, 2021
Status: --
Okay.... so this story was well written, had excellent pace, had a nice plot.... But I still dropped. Why??? I could not bear to read that the protagonist was only 14 years old. No matter what direction the story went in... No matter her choices, no matter why male lead created that suppressing atmosphere for her having spent that much money, she was just a child. I find it inhumane to imagine that when a 14 years old girl was down and out with her brother, all people could think... more>> of her in s*xual ways. She was beautiful, yes. She had no support, yes. But this story just led all of it in the most inhumane direction possible. People can be not good but can't they just ignore a child who is in those conditions already. This story explored dark sides of humans. Not only supporting characters, but also the male lead. I don't condone that and I have read my fair share of dark plots. But I find it particularly distressing that she was just a 14 year old child at the end of day. The male lead was cold, yes. But when he felt lust towards a child, was he less than a beast??? I think I can still give him the excuse that he had those dreams, that's why he felt lust. But... why ??? Why he just chose to take opportunity to corner a child who was already desperate and strike the iron. I find it hard to anyhow picture him as a decent human being. I would have found him humane if he just advised her to find some means to make money honestly selling her shop or selling her paintings as she was a student of some great painter. Again this story is dark and characters are not good. But it's still very distressing to see all this exposing the spear-head to a 14 year old. She was just a child, with her personality not set in stone, still dependent on her parents till few days ago. Even her aunt was just thinking of selling her. I would have found it much better if such a child would have been just advised what to do in her life from that point on... Even the money repayment thing, it's as if all things in the story were there just to force her helpless to just sell herself at last..... And in fact, I think it would have been much better if male lead felt lust towards her at first, but entangling the feelings of past life made it much more complex. It made me a lot judgemental of male lead. On one hand, he felt that way towards a child, and on other hand, he made it much more suppressing for her to bear. Was it her fault he was dreaming all that??? I can even say that he was just being awkward, not accepting abrupt feelings, in denial, in disbelief...... But all this just made a direct impact on fl. It just aggravated her situation. She was suffering emotionally and then the extra burden came crashing..... She was just a child. He was an adult.... <<less
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Lanecleaver
Lanecleaver
Aug 22, 2020
Status: c22
This is a rather unique novel. It follows the ML primarily, but still manages to be a josei, and a well written one at that. I cannot think of another novel that has put as much detail into the ML's life and thoughts off the top of my head.

The characters are distinct, the plot is intriguing, and the author's approach to the plight of women in this time period makes for compelling and sympathetic characters. The ML's actions so far aren't brushed over by the author, and it's quite a... more>> punch in the gut to see how the FL views them when interacting with another character in the story.

I would also like to mention that the translator is an absolute gem, and I appreciate their timely releases, consistent quality, and thoughts on the story/characters immensely. Their insights into the characters have made me think deeper about their motivations and thoughts on several occasions.

The ML so far is a bastard, but I'm looking forward to his internal turmoil when he begins to change for the better and repent for his actions. As other reviewers have stated, no fluff to be found here, and be prepared to potentially pop a blood vessel from the ML. If you prefer more realistic romances, especially for this time period, then this is more up that alley. <<less
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Shinygold13
Shinygold13
Jan 31, 2021
Status: Completed
This is really really really good! The novel’s perspective errs more on the side of the male lead but that’s what made this novel uniquely endearing. We get to see the classic cold-hearted ML rationalize his feelings then finally gave up and just let himself go. The FL isn’t weak as well, she is emotionally strong, able to protect her heart even when she scarifices her body to protect her loved ones. Her situation is somewhat grim and if the man she is with is other than the ML you’d... more>> say it would be a hopeless case. Alas, regardless of the previous life or the current life, FL is the only one who lived a life she chose in the end, it wasn’t the best scenario (the last life) but what mattered is that she chose it herself.

And that’s refreshing to read. A woman can be physically weak, be naive, be ruthless and that’s alright because these are facets of humanity. She doesn’t have to be a saint to have a happily-ever-after, a woman only needs to know what truly matters to her and hold on to it.

And the rest would just follow. <<less
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darkelf01
darkelf01
Jul 15, 2022
Status: c24
I like the plot, the intrigue, the characters are layered and dynamic as the story went on, the proses and the way the author wrote was charming. The author is a rare master who can outline each character's thoughts, motives and viewpoints in a neutral tone. You could've hate one character, but you'd know why they did what they did. I even found myself understanding the ML and even the villains, because the author lets readers wear their shoes. Everyone is helplessly and selfishly human.

But ermmmm I'm sorry but I... more>> have to say that I don't like how the translator kept pushing their own interpretation and biased thought about the characters in Each. Friggin. Chapter. It was quite long, too. Almost one-fourth of the early chapters' length. If they wanted to talk about moral lessons and the importance of feminism in historical novels, they should've just discussed it in the comment area, with readers who are also wrathfully indignant about how unfair patriarchy is during ancient China.

I'm okay with explanation about the plot's era but please, just let the readers read in peace and form their own judgment of the plot 😬

Edit (ch 24) : it... got more long-winded and more biased. I've tried ignoring the chapter end notes but it's quite a challenge for mobile readers since it took up quite a length if you want to find the 'next chapter' button. I'm gonna head off to mtl the raw since the notes kept spoiling my reading experience. Heck, even the author themselves didn't put any long-winded notes in the original raw. <<less
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Gushishi
Gushishi
Dec 30, 2020
Status: Completed
The author is superb! 5 stars!

The story is engaging, I need to know the mystery and the closure.

Really recommended! Mostly for the translation and the TL's notes!

*This is not that fluffy but monogamy.
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CaptainxCres
CaptainxCres
Mar 18, 2023
Status: dropped at 26
I hate to admit that I don't like the damsel in distress trope. But there's nothing our FL could do in her situation. The plot is nice if only ML didn't lay hands on her that quick. Nevermind about the age, I just think in the era where women's chastity and fame can kill, the situation our FL have to go through is horrible, I've never read novel and feel so terrified from being a woman as this novel. ML did bare minimum and expected FL to feel grateful for... more>> him even though he's already taken advantage of her body. The more I read into the story, the more distress I feel for the woman in this fiction. The patriarchy is so strong and I hate it. I feel they never cherish woman as a person but love it as a lovely doll and I can't stand it. So I dropped (⁠˘⁠・⁠_⁠・⁠˘⁠) <<less
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Lucy Er
Lucy Er
Sep 08, 2021
Status: Completed
The ML, Lu Yan, is a disgusting man at the first few chapters but, as the translator said, he slowly begins to change by chapter 33 and so. I am still young and yet to completely understand how disgusting his actions towards Shen Zhen were, however I must say that the way he treated her isn't right and shouldn't be tolerated by any person in the world. As a reader, I enjoyed the story and how the characters grow and develop. I laughed at the Lu Yan who kept Shen... more>> Zhen as an outside woman; the one who forced and humilited her (honestly it was more than these but my vocab is weak, forgive me) ; because I had read all of his thoughts and it was really jdhdjsksnxkdkf*ckhimjdjdjdbdbhowdarehimkdndndndn. I mean, he was so fuxxing frustrating like dude, make up your mind! No no no, let's change your mindset first. But then, as the chapters go on, I laughed at him thinking, "Yes, all for the Chang'an's first beauty". So for all the readers who thinks that they shouldn't read this because of what the Lu Yan had done to Shen Zhen, well I must agree because I can't stomach him either. But I decided to continue reading,
Spoiler

and I almost cried when he asked her first and didn't force her like before. And I was like, "oh my god, it's consent!".

[collapse]

As for our FL, Shen Zhen, well I couldn't say anything about her. She's weak, yes, but what would you expect to a fifteen-years-old girl who is still not out of boudoir? She was spoiled by her family, by her sisters, and then all of a sudden, she has nowhere to run. If I were here, I couldn't do any better either, or maybe worse than her. But let's think of her circumstances and understand. Anyway, my heart ached for her coz she didn't deserve the treatment she got from Lu Yan at the start, plus the situation her family was in.

Now let me react to other things. The s*xual tension is reAL! Like wth. I'm not gonna talk about Lu Yan and Shen Zhen's from the first few chapters. The one I'm talking about is between the other characters *cough*. But well, the situation was really bad. The s*xual tension and passion is there but the love is not, or to say the word "one-sided". But fortunately, and the sweetest thing in this story is in the extras, where there is full of love and the main ships sailed succesfully a happy ending.

This is my reaction to this story and I really love and enjoyed reading this. And oh, I also like the translator, kudos to them! I like their thoughts and analysis by the end of the chapters. And I'm gonna read their recommendations too, nlw I'm on my way to read Feng Xing. Ciao! <<less
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rakusu
rakusu
Sep 21, 2020
Status: c127
Very well written. No annoying super shameless characters. I like the plot and the way it was written the ML's perspective. It kinda reminded me of Tyrannical Wang's Beloved Wife in a way that the ML is the one reincarnated. The conflict are mostly politically driven which is breath of fresh air. Most of the historical novels I've read are mostly internal household struggle with political conflict barely touched on. ML went through a lot just to make sure the past where FL married someone else won't happen again. FL... more>> has very strong and smart character at first but it can faded in the last third of the novel, maybe because it's mostly focused on ML. And the FL is really powerless with no backing and status but, still good novel. 127 chapter is nice. The recent one I've read span 2200+ but all characters are shallow. This one is still on the "one of the good ones" list. Looking forward to read the epilogues. The eldest sisters story needs a conclusion, too. <<less
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Mehmeh713
Mehmeh713
Feb 05, 2022
Status: Completed
Pretty heartbreaking read even though it’s a happy ending. It gets much better in the 2nd half.

regarding the FL, while I personally prefer capable female characters, the FL was written in a way where it’s impossible not to sympathize with her and hope for her to be happy. I mean she was a beautiful helpless girl surrounded by enemies everywhere with a sickly little brother to take care of. So despite my dislike for the ML, I was happy for her when she achieved her happiness. She’s kind of like... more>> a cute little sister character where you just want her to be safe and happy and taken care of. If you’ve noticed how many times I’ve repeated the word happy in this paragraph, it’s because her experiences were so miserable.

ML is a real a**hole. Very much aware of his privilege and of the thoughts of those around him and very very hypocritical. The author really portrays and explains his thought process so while I dislike him, his behavior is also understandable. He really really deserved the hurt and heartbreak he suffered as he fell for her and realized she didn’t care for him. To be honest, I would’ve rated this book a 5 if he had suffered more and she didn’t fall for him so damn quickly after he started to improve his shitty behavior. Tsk. Not blaming the FL at all since she’s a pitiful baby but damn the ML should’ve suffered more. Like I guess his biggest redeeming quality is that if he hadn’t captured her, her life would’ve been so much worse. His behavior at the end and what he did for her was also a plus point but if the author didn’t put in all those hints that her attempted escape could’ve ended much worse, I really don’t think I would be able to ever ‘accept’ this ML.

my favorite character and romance was FL’s oldest sister. It was nice after the horrible things she also suffered from her own awful husband and in laws.

all in all, a pretty well written story. I think it’s pretty impressive that the author managed to make the FL so sympathetic and the ML somewhat acceptable given that both of their behaviors (her falling for him and him being such a bully) would normally make me drop the book with rage. But the author did and the tension and heart break that comes reading this book was super real. The heart aching feeling this book gives me is kind of similar to the main couple in the drama ‘goodbye my princess’. It’s not as sad, but it’s close. Read it and weep. <<less
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duxy
duxy
Sep 21, 2021
Status: c49
Actually I’ve never written a review before, but the combination of fantastic writing and tl-ing that merged to form the Chang’an’s first beauty we get to read is great enough to get me typing.

5 stars for the plot, which tastefully handles the societal issues of Ancient China from an empathetic perspective. Not to say the author simpers with pity, or anything—instead, we get to see the role of power imbalance in a relationship, the author inviting us to question the health of that romance; the politics and the risks embroiled... more>> in alliances formed by blood or chance; the utter powerlessness yet the comparative strength of females suppressed by Neo-Confucianism compared to the self-righteous males. It’s uncomfortable, yes, but isn’t that the point?

5 stars for the translation, which is superb. It’s not just easy to read; it’s engaging. I also adore the comments the tl-er leaves at the end of each chapter: well informed and thought provoking, they’ve made me appreciate the writing much more.

5 stars for the characters, who we aren’t necessarily meant to like. The ML is a product of his society, just as much as the FL and any of the other characters. The author does not let this be an excuse to be a tr*sh human being, however. That’s right—there’s character development! Handled realistically! The FL (who is suffering and yet skilfully opportunistic) does not magically forgive the ML—in fact, at this stage she feels guilt for the situational attraction she has towards him.

This one’s worth reading! Go ahead and start! <<less
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harne_sudutt11
harne_sudutt
Apr 18, 2021
Status: c37
This is a novel, ladies & gentlemen. Plot, intrigue & complex relationships that accurately depict ancient China, power struggles & nobility.

There is angst but not the one where you'd want to cry over. You'd just lean back, think and sigh in thoughts whether it was correct or inevitable, whether it was growth or merely fate that taught him some lessons.
Spoiler

Well, more like he was lucky enough to know the consequences of his incorrect actions beforehand through the dreams and hence was able to avoid those regrets

[collapse]

Shen Zhen is a chess piece who had been moved by others but has knowledge about it and tries to adapt her way to get what she wants, even if she has to go through anything.
Spoiler

The chapter where Lu Yan realises why she's obedient (like he broke her pride on the first night) just breaks my heart for her

[collapse]

The most important part about this novel is that as other reviewers have mentioned, all characters are people with their lives. This is NOT a Qidian webnovel with 2D characters. I like them, I don't deny that but this novel is way deeper.

It might be a bit difficult to wait for updates (I can feel it after binging up to this point), but the story is really really good. The drama aspect is just perfect, not too much but still keeps you hooked. Would definitely recommend
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Milliane
Milliane
Mar 24, 2021
Status: c28
They weren't kidding when they said this has drama. I feel like my heart is being gutted out and wrenched from my chest every freaking chapter. The story gives a a very realistic depiction on how women had such a hard time during ancient times and you kind of understand why some women would resort to underhanded methods to get what they want - because that's the only way they'll get anything.

... more>>
Spoiler

I feel like crying everytime she has s*x with him. I'm just amazed that she is still standing strong for her brother who she loves so much. I guess what hurts me so much is that the ML doesn't think he's doing anything wrong and the FL knows that she can't do anything but offer herself up to him to ensure the safety of her brother. She has nothing left to offer but herself and it's very sad.

I know the story still has a long way to go and the ML will develop into a self-aware person in the future but I don't think my heart can take it any more. I'll probably wait until the translations are done because this just hurts my heart. :' (

[collapse]

I keep telling myself I should drop this but the story is just so good and the characterization is amazing. This is probably one of the most realistic ancient rebirth stories I have ever read. It's a different take since this is from the ML's perspective and since his memories come in bits and pieces he doesn't love the FL yet. He is the poster boy for ancient men with power: misogynistic and arrogant. I look forward to his character development as the story progresses. <<less
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chocolateiscream
chocolateisc
Oct 10, 2020
Status: c25
A MUST READ FOR HISTORICAL REBIRTH SUCKERS OUT THERE.

The transalation is superb, which makes the story so much better.

The story is intriguing enough to keep you hooked! The story is told with mostly with ML's POV but we get to see how different his POV is from the MC's. He can read her intentions easily, but not her emotions. He treated her unfairly and is now beginning to feel sorry for his actions.

Im really bad at giving reviews but this one is one of the best and novel stories out... more>> there I swear. <<less
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peppertrail
peppertrail
May 21, 2021
Status: --
I found this on novelupdates and I saw there were only 41 chapters translated as of today, so I was trying to hold back and not read it. But I just couldn't. The plot alone haunted me and I knew I wouldn't be able to read anything unless I read this one.

I was compelled to read the translated chapters, and I just had to MTL the rest. The translation is excellent. The story is realistic. The characters are real.

This one is very different from the usual historical C-novels. It's a... more>> bit sad and heart-wrenching, but there is redemption. I'm just not sure if it's enough redemption, or if a lot was just lost in machine translation. <<less
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D_darkness
D_darkness
Mar 17, 2024
Status: Completed
If you like novels setting in ancient Chinese types don’t skip this novel
if you come for fluff or the like then don’t come here.

I don’t agree with some reviewers saying that ML was not given FL human rights, excuse me? If you say so then you don’t understand story themes well enough.

ML was not your type of Prince Charming who save damsel in distress, he’s a mature politician who has everything on fingertips.

In beginning of story he’s already got particular high level in officialdom (and his uncle was the emperor, his mother was the emperor’s favorite sister, so you can roughly tell he was an arrogant man with high self esteem). And first of all, ML didn’t have anything to do with FL at all, they’re not even acquainted and he doesn’t have any reason to help FL if it’s not for preconceived dream and empathy with FL (heartache whenever she cry). So you tell me why do he needs to help stranger? Of course not. But then after the dream he decides to help FL pay off her debt in exchange she will be his mistress. Even I don’t agree with the idea of s*avery and body transactions but don’t forget it’s ancient era while s*avering exist, so it’s not ML entire fault. Another point is that ML gaslighting FL to sleep with him was distaste for other readers, but from his pov there nothing wrong with it. He did not help without asking anything return. If not for ml, FL ending maybe worse or if ML didn’t have dreams and empathy (heartache when FL cry lol) FL ending was just like the first timeline (their previous life) or might be worse. Both in previous life and current life ML didn’t love FL from first sight it’s more like love that derived from lust. The difference is that the last life he did not have empathy, didn’t understand her feelings and didn’t know how to express his feelings so the tragedy happened. The current life, he still did not fall in love with FL from the first sight but having heart attack whenever she cry so he did keep FL to his side. Then after realizing that he love her he started to restrain himself (learned to respect her coaxing her and arranging things to make FL his legitimate wife). All in all, author did a good job in making every character look more 3 dimensional. So pls do this novel justice and give it a try
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sunrisespooky
sunrisespook
Oct 14, 2023
Status: Completed
Completed this novel with a half-and-half translated and MTL version.

I wanna say that this novel lived up to my expectations, fortunately. I love the way the writer "talks" about feeling, the monologues of the protagonists, the intricacies and dramas, the plots, everything is perfect.

I just wanna say something though, as someone with daddy issue, I really saw my father in ML's behavior. I laughed at myself, thinking how can I find someone like him attractive? But then, thanks to the translator's note explaining things like trauma bonding, etc. I suddenly... more>> was enlightened, lmao.

Meanwhile, ML is manipulative (he's UP IN THE SKY, almost an immortal), toxic. One thing that differentiates him from my father is his character development, which I really appreciate A LOT.

I had a really pleasant experience reading this novel (well, after all this time I have a high endurance for Chinese MTL-ed novels, so hahahha). If you like a story with a balanced narrative and dialogue, then you can consider this. You also can witness, with your own eyes, every characters' thoughts and how they can 'change' through their monologues and the story.

Once more, I usually dropped a novel based on the first chapters of the translations. But I was helped a LOT by the translator's notes because I sometimes just 'read' but not 'process' what I just read, thus sometimes I forgot little details. Shout out to ya, translator-Nim🫶 <<less
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reia.krr
reia.krr
Sep 01, 2023
Status: Completed
I've read all the translated chapters so far and wanted to drop a review before going to MTL the rest. This story is so well written, with unique characters who are actually human.

... more>>
Spoiler

One of the first love rivals introduced is Meng Suxi, the ML's cousin. This girl has such a miserable life and her father wants to use her marriage to a 50year old emperor for his benefit and to protect his beloved daughters, that she really has no choice other than finding a good marriage for herself. She did nothing wrong, considering many marriages in those times wren's based on love. Due to her experiences of how she and her mother were treated due to her father's affairs, she sent a spy to investigate the ML when she smelled the scent of a woman on him. And he really did have a mistress true to her suspicions, although the ML twisted her actions saying that he would have marrried her had she not overstepped her boundaries.

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Spoiler

Another girl was introduced to ML as a concubine when he was undercover. The girl had no choice but to sell herself in order to protect her brother, which was quite similar to our FL. Both girls are talented, but the difference is that Bai Daonian is actually skilled in medicine and his talent can help protect his sister, while FL's brother is just a burden for her. And what I loved is both the girls were courteous to each other, and Bai girl even helped treat the FL when they first met. I do hope she has a good life with the guy that is waiting to marry her back home and she gets over her love for the ML.

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Although the ML is a complete d*****bag in the beginning, he slowly starts changing as he understands his behavior and why the FL acts the way she does. At one point he wonders why she rejects himself so much when he helped her brother and settles her down, and then he recalls how he threatened her the night she tried to escape, and how miserable she was when he slept with her for the first time. The way he dreams about the choices he made in his past life and how it affected their future, plays such a key role into changing the way he treats the FL. He's desperate for her love and he doesn't know what to do, but he tries his best to change his behavior and treat her well.

ML's family is very unique and so loving, that it is a bit surprising how twisted he turned out. Even his mother wonders who he inherited such behavior from. Since I've yet to finish reading, I don't know how FL will get along with his family in the future, but I do have high expectations! I'll be coming back to update my review after completing it.

***Edit***

Ok so I finished it and I can't lie but I was kind of disappointed with how Meng Suxi turned out because I thought she had potential. But I really like the sisters' stories in both lives. They were strong and knew that they had no support except for themselves, and so they did their best to make use of what they had to protect themselves. ML's mom is def one of my fave characters because she genuinely loves her son and she chooses to believe what she sees over rumors. <<less
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