Every Romance Leaves Its Trace

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“In chapter 107 of the Romance White Paper, it says that every romance leaves its trace.”

Height 183, weight 72, CSAT score 485, ability 0.

Those were the familiar, adequate, and ordinary numbers that described me, who had just turned twenty.

I was accepted into a university well above my grade level as an extra. However, when I went to the bank to pay my tuition, I met a man who called me an ability user. An ability user on whom abilities do not work. I scored 0% in every category of the ability test, can’t even bend a spoon, and have no combat skills whatsoever, though?

I didn’t know what use my ability would be in the military, but I became affiliated with the ability user group, S.E. Jung Haekyung, the one who dragged me into S.E., was the only one who reached out their hand to me, someone who was suddenly dragged to an unfamiliar place and treated unfairly.

Haekyung was as beautiful, strong, and kind as ever, but… the more time we spent together, the more something seemed off…

Associated Names
One entry per line
모든 연애는 흔적을 남긴다
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
I Confessed To You By Mistake (1)
Turns Out I’m Crazy (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. BLs that suit my taste
  2. list pt 4
  3. KR BL, pt2
  4. 2024 reading list
  5. BL Novel | Will Read

Latest Release

Date Group Release
02/22/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c14 part3
02/18/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c14 part2
02/15/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c14 part1
02/12/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c13
02/05/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c12 part2
01/22/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c12 part1
01/15/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c11
01/07/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c10
01/01/24 Chrysanthemum Garden c9
12/24/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c8
12/18/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c7
12/10/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c6 part2
12/02/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c6 part1
11/24/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c5
11/24/23 Chrysanthemum Garden c4
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2 Reviews sorted by


orcinuss
orcinuss rated it
August 2, 2023
Status: Completed
Translator here ^^

Honestly, I don't really know what to say about this novel. Is it my favourite story? Far from it. Is it something I would actively recommend to others? It's... definitely an acquired taste. Nonetheless, as the title suggests, it did leave its trace on me. It's the opposite of romances where the two leads find each other and save each other from their misery. JHK (Jung Haekyung, the gong) and KEJ (Kim Euijin, the shou) only seem to destroy each other the longer they're together.

Everything that happened to... more>> KEJ was just the result of him being unlucky, there's nothing more to it. He's not evil or bad, he was just some guy who wanted to go to university. Unfortunately, he met JHK, who proceeded to make his life hell out of his love for KEJ. You could argue that JHK never loved KEJ because of everything he's done, but I personally think that he loved him, but didn't know the proper methods to show it. He ruined KEJ's life. There is no apologising or forgiving or defending him for his behaviour. JHK is the villain in this story.

Instead of appreciating it as a love story, I think it's best to view it as a psychological. In fact, the reason I find this novel so interesting is because of KEJ's view on everything. The story is not as heavily narrated as it could've been because KEJ thinks in a... strange way (eg: admiring a man's ankles during a bank robbery, worrying about his tuition fees after getting kidnapped), but it just makes the moments where he thinks honestly about his feelings even more intense.

Spoiler

KEJ will always remind us that every single smut scene in this story is r*pe. He may have given up on fighting back, but that is in no way consent to JHK's assault on him. He will remind us again and again, and he doesn't succumb to stockholm. In a way, at least. I don't think he ever fell for JHK, even if he says he loves at him at the end of the story, because it feels more like an obsession as he tries to get back at JHK and tries to kill either him or himself several times.

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JHK doesn't understand what he's doing to KEJ is bad. I don't pity him at all, but reading this novel made me feel a sense of hopelessness. They should've never met at all. Also, JHK is scary as hell 😭😭

Spoiler

He's not as extreme as some other yandere gongs and it's not the most intense story out there, but damn was this guy creepy 😭 Especially when he starts repeating his words over and over again, it gave me the chills. He's not exactly super violent towards KEJ either, and he acts like a normal person most of the time, which is what makes me feel so creeped out. He doesn't think he's doing anything wrong at all.

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All in all, it's an interesting read, and not very long. An iconic BL novel in the knovel community, especially because of the author's famous line:

Spoiler

Isn't it a happy ending as long as both leads live?

No, it would've been a happy ending if either or both of them died ma'am 😭😭😭

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karwasama
karwasama rated it
December 3, 2023
Status: Completed
Well. This certainly was a story, yeah?

In essence, this is a novel about an abusive relationship, where one person is a legitimate psychopath (no, not the fictitious psychopaths you see in most web novels - there is something seriously so wrong with the ML) and the other is trying desperately not to lose themselves in this relationship. The focus is primarily on the two of them, but it has the added benefit of an interesting setting; in this universe, certain people have “abilities” and those with “abilities” are often forced... more>> to join the military. Which is what happens to the MC.

I keep rewriting this review, trying to find the right words to describe how I felt about this novel. I feel like I’m failing miserably, but I’ll have at it anyway.

The emotional manipulation and abuse was portrayed so strongly and accurately it made me sick at times. I hated the ML and how in his brain, all of his actions are reasonable, and worst of all, loving. Because yes, I also am a firm believer that despite everything, the ML truly does love the MC (in his own, f*cked up way).

The MC is such a strong character - if he was portrayed any differently, I don’t think I would have finished the novel. Despite staying in this abusive relationship, he never truly “submits” to the ML. He’s doing what he can to survive, but he knows deep down how wrong all of this is, and how much he hates the ML. His inner dialogue was written so well - his nervous breakdowns as a result of being gaslighted and manipulated was really palpable to me, as the reader, and I was sweating along with him when he was doing something the ML would perceive as “ bad”.

The ending was the best part of the novel and something that will probably stick with me for a long, long time:

Spoiler

One day, the MC decides he’s had enough and tries to kill the ML. He escapes to South America, where he tries to evade the military and the ML, but he’s haunted by their relationship. He questions if he loves the ML, has nightmares of actually becoming the ML’s dog (throughout the novel, the ML treats him like one (and I mean that literally)), and it all comes to a head when the ML finds him to take him back. There’s this moment of intense catharsis where the MC decides he does “love” the ML, but not the way the ML “loves” him. Their “loves” are mutually destructive, a situation where neither can live while the other survives, and the MC wants to kill the ML so that his “love” prevails (at least, that’s how I interpreted it).

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I have more thoughts but not enough skill to write it in the review (rip). A really enjoyable, unique novel though, 4.5/5.0 stars. <<less
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