Flying Gulls Never Land

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“I went to prison for ten years for him, and not once did he come to see me.”

While he was explaining the questions to me, I always admired the view of his side profile, seeing how the sunlight would hit his fluttering eyelashes, casting faint shadows just beneath his irises.

Every time I was entranced by his good looks, I would marvel at whether his biological parents were fools, because how could a normal person abandon such a handsome and healthy boy.

From then on, I believed the deep affection I couldn’t push aside for him was just the attachment I felt for an older brother, a dependency born from the lack of a father figure in my life.

Until the appearance of Qi Yang.

“The only difference between me and Sheng Min Ou’s harasser, is probably the fact that I call Sheng Min Ou ‘Older brother’”

Associated Names
One entry per line
Eternal Flight of the Gull
แล้วนางนวลก็ไม่หวนกลับมา
飞鸥不下
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Can’t Be Left Behind (2)
Lovely Allergen (2)
A Certain Someone (2)
Muted (1)
Green Plum Island (1)
The Heart of a Smith (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. reading list !!!
  2. BL manhua worth reading
  3. solid!!
  4. Danmei Manhua Adaptions (with links to the origina...
  5. Reasons to Love BL part 2

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/18/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c76
09/05/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c75
08/21/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c74
08/06/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c73
07/21/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c72
07/04/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c71
06/11/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c70
05/28/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c69
05/15/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c68
04/24/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c67
04/03/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c66
03/19/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c65
02/19/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c64
01/26/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c63
01/15/22 Chrysanthemum Garden c62
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30 Reviews sorted by


jiang ying yue
jiang ying yue rated it
November 7, 2020
Status: Completed
(PLEASE READ TAGS BEFORE READING, THIS NOVEL IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY)

This story, is amazing.

I would give this a good 4.5 rating, rounding it to 5 stars. I am a big lover of angst and things that make me suffer.

I love each character, you may hate the ML at first due to how he treats the MC, but later you would come to understand his character. To be honest, I enjoyed the ML's character very much, he felt complicated to deal with, his character could've became wayward if he... more>> wasn't took care of. I honestly would really like his POV but sadly the author didn't write one. I would love to see how his mind works and thinks. (Both characters are twisted in their own ways, the ML is clearly not normal. Don't judge his character if you haven't finished the novel, there are worse out there)

Spoiler

he has antisocial disorder

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Now the MC, he was quite cute. He's stubborn, but in a good way. I can't really say much about his character but his character wasn't hate able. He's kind, but he's more morally gray more than good. I really liked his character too.

The plot was amazing! I love the court scenes and cases, it was very interesting. Qi yang too, so glad he's dead! I'm so grateful to the author who started the story after he was dead.

Especially the side characters, Wei Shi, Shen Xiao Shi, Yi Da Zhuang, Wu Yi, etc, they were endearing, I loved the relationship between the four of them.

Spoiler

wei shi ends up with shen xiaoshi, noice

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Honestly, it was quite realistic some parts (of course, mostly very over the top, dog bloody and angsty). It felt quite sombre and solemn. I would definitely recommend this to people. Overall, it's a great story, it didn't feel cliché, it of course was a bit heavy, but enjoyable. The author wrapped and weaved the plot beautifully. Even after days I can't help but think about this novel, it's one of my favorites.

It may not be for everyone as this story has many triggering themes, but the author wrote everything so cleverly. It feels original, a breath of fresh air from many novels with recycled tropes.

Please read it! It's amazing.

edit: to toleroid's review
Spoiler

MC did not kill Qi yang unlike what toleroid's reviews says!

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karwasama
karwasama rated it
June 17, 2021
Status: Completed
This novel made me realize that I'm probably a bit of a masochist, because the beginning is very, very painful, but I kept going. And I'm glad I did, because the growth of the characters and the development of the romance was fantastic. (You're going to need to hold out until like Chapter 45 for any hint of sweetness, so brace yourself my dear readers T.T)

The ML seemingly hates the MC at first. He's cruel, heartless, and it's made all the worse because the MC is infatuated with him.... more>> He tells the MC over and over again to leave him alone, that he doesn't care about him in the slightest, but the MC keeps coming back because, well, the boy's in love (and also.... well the yandere tag is partly there because of him lol). It really hurt to read, but what kept me around were the slight inconsistencies in the narrative.

Our MC is obsessed with the ML, right? But he's also, to his core, convinced that the ML loathes him. It's very subtle, but if you read in between the lines you realize his description of events may not paint the entire picture - for example, it's established early on that our ML hates Qi Yang (a side character, and for good reason too). Yet, in almost every subsequent flashback we see, the MC describes the ML treating Qing Ling well (and in turn, himself not well), assuming it's because the latter can really "understand" his brother. I found it so strange, but this novel is entirely in the MC's first person perspective. He's an unreliable, biased narrator, and he's so convinced that the ML hates him that I wouldn't trust everything he says about the ML.

I think this is backed up by future chapters too.

Spoiler

So the moment he finds out that the ML isn't totally indifferent toward him (Chapter 45), his view on how the ML is behaving changes. Before it was like "oh, the ML doesn't even care that I'm here, his expression hasn't changed the slightest, he must be so revolted talking to me" and now the MC starts to pick up on the strange inconsistencies, like "huh, he should at least be surprised that I show up on this occasion that I had no right to be in, is his faking it?". Another example is that there's one time they meet in the bathroom and the ML leaves his watch behind, making the MC (who up to this point was doing exactly what the ML ""wanted"" him to do and ignoring him) have to catch up and give it to him. It's up to interpretation but I would think that this genius, calculating ML would never do something as foolish as leave his luxury watch on the sink counter of a public bathroom.

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This aspect of the novel was super interesting and well done. I was thrown off a little by the first person and the fact that we never got to see things from the ML's POV, but now I think I know why the author chose to do so.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this novel deals with a lot of heavy topics. Suicide, self harm, abuse, r*pe, gore, you name it. Only the abuse and r*pe are discussed super in-depth in regard to the MC -

Spoiler

- both of which are done by the ML. MC gets drugged and the ML takes advantage of him, and in general the ML is pretty physically abusive/violent with the MC (lots and lots of choking here, "beating" him up during a sparring session, etc.) but the MC doesn't seem to mind....

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The MC and ML's relationship is pretty f*cked up but it's also so captivating, kind of like watching a train wreck in real time. They're both "abnormal" people who are obsessed with each other (the MC is just way more obvious about it). I don't like the ML, even knowing all of his backstory and how he does actually care for the MC, but I respect the fact that the MC adores him. He's an interesting character regardless of how dislikable he is, and if their relationship, while dysfunctional and unhealthy, works for them, then hey! I'm happy for them.

A segment of the novel that I think describes them well (Chapter 66) :

Spoiler

"You asked me before if I would be sad if you died. I won't. Everyone is going to die someday, there is nothing to be sad about." His breath gently blew across my neck. "But I will be angry."

"While I'm still alive, how dare you die?"

"I have been enduring this boring world, so you must endure it with me."

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Overall, I rate this a 4.5/5.0 stars. I think this novel is for a specific type of people who are looking for a specific type of story, so make sure you really read all the tags and the reviews and you keep in mind that the ML is seemingly cruel bastard for a majority of the chapters. <<less
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toleroid
toleroid rated it
April 3, 2021
Status: c28
This book is truly dumb. Also, the MC is so ridiculously s*upid, even for a yandere character type.

I don't understand why everyone is hating all the ML for being cold to the MC. It's possible that he's done a lot of things wrong, but let's just look at the relationship between the MC and the ML.

The MC is no different from a crazy stalker. There's literally no reason for the ML to treat him well or even talk to him. If someone you didn't like repeatedly showed up to your... more>> workplace to harass you, literally killed someone to try to get your attention, and also isn't capable of controlling their emotions, then it would be normal to get a restraining order against them!

Why does everyone think the MC "deserves" the ML's attention? Even if they were brothers, clearly the MC wasn't a good brother to the ML and sided with their mom in abusing him. <<less
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lufengs
lufengs rated it
July 19, 2021
Status: Completed
this is one of my favorite novels, but as another review said, it is definitely not for everyone.

i really really enjoyed this story. one of my favorite things about it was the first person pov. at first it threw me off but as you keep reading, it really gives you a feeling of heaviness and deepness of emotion coming from the MC.

not everyone will like the MC. he chases after things he knows is bad for him. he is the type of person to love with his whole heart... more>> and it can cause him to be somewhat obsessive at times. he really is an amazing character and as you keep reading, you get to see the layers of his personality, what motivates him, and he is just... him. definitely on the morally grey side of things but he leans towards helping others esp when it's his friends.

I'm not going to lie I hated the ML for a long, extremely long time. at the end, do I love him? yes. do I condone some of the things he's done? definitely no.

the plot moves on and we discover so many twist and turns. not everyone is as it seems. the build up to reveal the past *chef's kiss*.

the translation is really beautiful, i'll definitely reread when I get the chance. I would recommend to people who like angsty books, psychological, and is fine after seeing the tw/cws. please read it and listen to the ad <33 <<less
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periperi
periperi rated it
December 13, 2020
Status: Completed
4.5 stars rounded up to 5

I wasn't sure what to expect in this story, it wasn't one of the usual stories that's for sure. Both MC and ML are definitely not very normal but they are suited for each other, almost like ... more>>
Spoiler

their psych are not normal? I'm even inclined to say they have psychological issues hahaha but the story and how the two are intertwined is exhilarating. The summary ain't wrong, MC is obsessed and so is ML. And they are both utterly devoted.

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Plot wise, it's just a series of events leading to how they get together and an unravelling of their past and I'm a bit mind blown at what happened. It's not a long read but it's one rollercoaster ride. I wasn't expecting that mystery. It's an uncommon first perspective read as well from MC's POV.

Just want to add in that I don't like
Spoiler

MC's mother who, to a certain extent, was super biased against ML. She loved MC for sure but she saw ML as an unwanted burden. Poor thing. And I really liked MC's father who was like the good side that prevented ML from spiraling downwards.

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I liked the side characters too, it's a plot driven story so they were intertwined to the plot and cases. And as mentioned for the main couple, as the past gets more unraveled, it can be seen that
Spoiler

MC genuinely understands ML and is probably the only one that can see and accept him so they are probably a match made in heaven.

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Why the minus 0.5:
Spoiler

For all the good things, the sudden jump in getting together and the fluff felt a tad abrupt at the end. It went from negative 50 to 180. Under the circumstances, in life and death, it was probably understandable but I still felt it to be a little too abrupt since for 90% of the time, ML was actively pushing MC away.

[collapse]

Overall, a unique read in the genre that's a good HE! <<less
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txjbaby
txjbaby rated it
June 3, 2021
Status: Completed
Just dropping by to support the book and the translator!

I suggest reading the tags before reading, as the other reviews suggested, because the book touches very, very dark topics.I read around 45 chapters from the original tl (which is great!) and later switched to mtl.

The MC and ML have their own good and bad sides, and although I thought Lu Feng was a little immature, I later felt that it might not be the case.

... more>>
Spoiler

He was just that way when it came to SMO, and I started finding it cute. Especially the tiny version of Lu Feng peeling an orange for SMO.

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I also liked the side characters for being very supportive and helping each other out. SMO behaving the way he did was for a reason, and it's revealed in the later half. Yes, I hated him for the way he treated Lu Feng, but my opinion changed later on.

Most importantly, the court scenes were GREAT. Overall, I really enjoyed it. <<less
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Animelover0897
Animelover0897 rated it
January 29, 2021
Status: Completed
Great novel, very psychological tho and can kinda get suuuuuppper dark but its like poison, once u start reading u can't stop torturing yourself to see if their relationship gets better
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pHantomRJ
pHantomRJ rated it
July 10, 2021
Status: c38
This hits right at the heart, my goodness! I fell in love with this. This will hurt you but at the same time, you'll hope that if there is a little bit of relief ahead of you.

I will not say anything about the MC & ML what they are doing is not something pleasant but both of them are fighting but exactly what for I'm clueless. Though ML is cunning and ruthless and I've not read that for so there might be clues why he is like this.

MC is totally... more>> a... my gosh. I love him at the same time I feel oh my dear, give up, okay? You must be very tired. Give some rest to your soul.

If you want something like psychological and at the same time what??Why??? question yourself and want to see what is act with abandon then go right away... this is for you.

Translator, Kudos!!!!!!!!!! Jiraya translator-sama doing an amazing job. Thank you so much.

I want to read it till the end but can't waiting is like torture to me right now. I have no other choice. <<less
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Feiyiguo
Feiyiguo rated it
February 17, 2021
Status: Completed
Woah if you are looking for a real deal psychological novel then please read this!!!

Sheng minou ah... I still cant understand whyyyyy??? Omg this novel isnt THAT angsty but Im crying reading this!!! Both of them (MC and ML) suffered a lot but also why need to be like that 💔

... more>>
Spoiler

Dont trust anyone even if its the MC or the ML. Both of them hold something in them, if you are used to think novel MC must be a "good" person, nah not here, honey

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Spoiler

side couple: wei shi x shen xiaoshi has their own story in the extras!

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Remember to read the cws tho (I read it in the carrd flyinggulls. carrd. co) cz this novel contains so much dark themes and you may be uncomfortable with it.

Oh right, I highly recommend to listen to the audio drama! They have so many nice songs

Kudos to the translator!!!

Spoiler

Despite so many bad vibes in the story, it has HAPPY ENDING!

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Thischic007
Thischic007 rated it
February 1, 2021
Status: c28
Ya'll there is a radio drama of this novel available. I am so grateful for coming across it and finally using my Chinese skills to listen. Let's just say that the drama enhanced the amazingness of this novel and enriched my experience. Upon finishing the completed radio drama, I had to come here and read it. I am also grateful for the translators <3 Will be sending kofi soon!

It was a very difficult read due to the dark themes and non-consensual/dub-consensual s*x scenes. I really applaud the author pursuing themes... more>> that are not often highlighted and addressed such as r*pe, suicide, mental health, legal processing, grief and loss, and conflicts within family. At first, I was about to drop the novel because I was not too excited about the whole brother falling in love with his adoptive brother plot; and I was not happy about the non-consensual sex/r*pe scenes between characters. It really pissed me off. But I was so intrigued by the fact that the author directed the story into finding justice and unveiling many truths... layer by layer. It did not fall into the stereotypical tropes of BL novels. It took some time for me to warm up to this.

I'll just bullet point some things I enjoyed as a reader:
- The plot is great. It doesn't focus on just the romance, angst... you can tell there is meaning behind everything and every character.

  • The mystery and secret behind the family and their relationship is such a thriller. I can't wait for readers to finally know what it is all about.
  • Characters are relatable. Thankful that the protagonists and most of the characters aren't such annoying and naive idiots. I mean no one is perfect but that is what you love about them (except for the evil ones.... like I am glad they got what they deserved). SMO can come off as a tsundere but he really has his reasoning for doing what he is doing and yeah... we all just hate him until more is revealed towards the end. Everything is such a mystery! We get to put all these missing pieces together. You get to play detective.
  • You actually care about the side characters. They don't play a huge part of the story but they add meaning to it and it really fosters the development of the main characters which I love. Additionally, they add this human element to the story and the transformations that happen.
  • Theres a lot that humans can relate to in this story. The case about the r*pe and suicide was so relevant. I appreciate stories that give light to such hard topics and don't sugar coat it. The r*pe case was intense. I was not expecting for the ending that happened.
I would encourage folks to go listen to the radio drama as it will really heighten and enrich your reading experience. The soundtrack is f*cking amazing and the voice actors are phenomenal. <<less
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Raven Tan
Raven Tan rated it
February 9, 2021
Status: Completed
It's good and creative. But I will advise you to strengthen your heart. Quite painful to read. And ML, hehe sorry I cant empathize with him despite his so called childhood suffering. Did his foster mother torture him? Did MC torture him? NO! MC was annoying and bratty but he didnt deserve what ML did to him. And will ML get his karma? Hehe noppe... dont expect that. most comments said that we all have to understand that he's literally sick and no empathy. so basically this is one sided... more>> abuse. I dont like this, but this is great, especially the court story. <<less
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anzhes
anzhes rated it
December 31, 2021
Status: Completed
First of all, while I understand that this book is definitely not for everyone, it is extremely unfair to judge it without finishing most of the novel. A lot of important information is revealed later, and while I do not agree with all their actions, it is important to understand the characters and their personal situations.

Personally, I think the novel is beautifully written (the author's language is so pretty T_T) and the characters are so complex. As the novel continues, only then can you fully see everything unravel.

... more>>
Spoiler

I don't think that any of the characters in this novel are morally good, they're all gray areas, and that's why I think it's so beautiful. Lu Feng isn't a stalker and he isn't a yandere. He killed Qi Yang when he was merely a kid, which could also be seen as self-defense. In addition to this, Qi Yang himself was egging Lu Feng along and he was jealous. Again, I am not fully justifying Lu Feng's actions, because in no aspect do I think Lu Feng is all good, however, the entire blame cannot be put on his shoulders.

Furthermore, in one of the arcs, Lu Feng purposely goes out of his way to save a classmate he barely knew and put himself in danger in order to help the other. You can see that he is clearly someone with a good heart.

Lu Feng's love itself also goes a lot deeper than just looking for attention. Originally, it starts as jealousy, then Lu Feng sticks onto someone older than him. However, as he progresses his love slowly starts to delve into the want to help Sheng Min Ou with his ASPD and feeling empathetic. He recognizes Sheng Min Ou beyond just his disorder.

Sheng Min Ou is a bit more complicated in terms of his actions. It is important to note that Sheng Min Ou has always loved Lu Feng. He pushed away Lu Feng because he believed himself to be a "monster" due to his disorder. Sheng Min Ou didn't want to involve himself with Lu Feng because he didn't want to ruin him.

I do not agree with his actions, and I absolutely hated the non-con scenes. Again, this is what puts him in the gray area. Some of these actions are also due to his ASPD. However, he genuinely does care for Lu Feng, even if he cannot express in what is the "normal" way.

Personally, I loved the author's way of depicting mental illness. Despite all of the issues and unfortunate things, they were still able to find love. Sheng Min Ou, who always believed he deserved to be alone, found someone that understood and accepted him.


Her pacing is also very good, and the way she gradually reveals everything only makes it more painful and more addicting to read.
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If Sheng Min Ou makes you mad, that is exactly how the author probably intended you to react. At the start, there is no information that could possibly make you like him. He is shitty because the author intended him to be shitty. Only as the novel continues will you be able to understand him more, and start to feel sympathetic towards him.

Please be patient when reading :3 <<less
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Yume8018
Yume8018 rated it
October 17, 2021
Status: Completed
I've been thinking about writing a review about this novel for quite some time, and now after finishing the last chapter, I decided to put some of my thoughts on paper.

For once I can say for sure that this novel might not be enjoyable for everyone. If you can't handle toxic relationships, then I'd advise you to stay away from reading. Personally, I have nothing against it and if I'm being completely honest, I'd have to say that it is one of my biggest (and most liked) guilty pleasures. But... more>> only taking into account that there will be development and growth. Even though the development at the beginning is slow and almost soundless, it progresses inexorably, leaving you completely stunned after having reached its peak. I don't want to get too much into detail, but it surely made the initially torturous journey worth it towards the end.

One of the reasons why I love this novel a lot is the MC. At first he seems to be uncomprehendable, mostly his feelings for ML were a mystery to me. How could anyone continue to love someone so much after all they have done to you? Recounting everything ML has done to make him look like the most unlikeable character throughout the first half of the novel, made it very hard for me to understand and sympathize MC's actions and decisions. But screw that! MC surely knows what he's doing, he knows why he loves ML and even though he knows his chances are as low as they can get, he obviously doesn't care about any of it. I love his personality. He is real, he is tough and he knows his worth. All I can see is that he fits ML very well. It's like they were made for each other. MC is probably the only person on this entire planet that is capable of understanding and sincerely loving ML.

Same thing can be said about ML. At first glance he looks like any other cold and aloof "mind-your-own-business" gong, but evidently that is not the case after getting to know him better. It's very hard for me to explain his character. There is a reason why he's treating MC the way he treats him, but still, his treatment is not reasonable in any way. ML is trying to do the "right" thing, but doesn't really know what right or wrong is, which is why he's having a hard time opening up. He's different, far from what's considered normal, far from what's considered boyfriend material. But there's a discreet loving/doting side of him that only shines through his secretive affections and care towards MC which makes him appear human, showing his capability to cherish and to love. I seriously enjoyed every interaction between MC and ML, even the wicked and hard to swallow ones. This is a slow burn through and through, but their relationship flourishes just at the right time. It evolves steadily and naturally with a lot of little sparks here and there to keep the tension going. All in all this novel was a blast to read. I love dark and twisted stories, but underneath all the pain and bitterness, there is a slight taste of honey melting your heart in the most satisfying fashion. FGNL is a quick read but every chapter leaves you with an aftertaste of wanting more. Be sure to read the tags before starting, it might not be an easy read for some, but for me it was definitely worthwhile. <<less
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Kassandra
Kassandra rated it
August 6, 2021
Status: Completed
I think the story is good. It was a 5/5 for me. Some people may rated it low but I think it's just a matter of perspective. Also, give the story a chance. You won't regret it.

I won't spoil much but this is angst, okay? So, just be patient and the rainbow will come.

The gist of the story is Lu Feng, the MC, was jailed in prison for 10 years. The reason was connected to his adopted older brother, Sheng Min Ou, also the ML. But not directly the cause,... more>> okay?

Lu Feng was then released with the friends he made in jail. The side couple is really cute. And then, the angst between the two slowly intensified.

Don't worry, this story is HE. And they definitely love each other. You'll slowly see Sheng Min Ou's side of the story.

Overall, the ending is really good, it's perfect for it. It was not too rush, I love it. Waiting for the rest of the chapters to be translated, so that I'll reread it again. <<less
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PeonyDancer
PeonyDancer rated it
April 23, 2022
Status: --
It can be so easy to drop this novel, because it just seems like a story about an idiot MC who's colour-blind and can't see red flags. And I guess you could read it like that. MAJOR SPOILERS UP AHEAD CUZ ITS AN ANALYSIS OF THE ML!!!!!!!

The biggest source of debate is the ML; this is for people who're considering reading the book, but are put off because other reviews say he's a monster. And that's the point. There are many psychological conditions in this world - you could say... more>> the ML is a calm sociopath. At face value, he cares nothing for anyone, experiences no emotions and
Spoiler

enjoys gore and abuse, both self-inflicted, and inflicted on others.

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He's a 'monster'.

But reading onwards, and once the truth starts to clear up and you re back on previous chapters in a new light, you realise that
Spoiler

ML absolutely hates himself. He longs to be 'normal'. He hates that he is the way he is, and spends every day trying to suppress himself and fit into society. He sees himself as inhuman, and hence never considers himself a part of society.

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Honestly, this makes me have so much more empathy for people with mental health issues. We're easy to love people when their issues end up in self-inflicted harm, but quickly turn against them when their unique conditions hurt others, forgetting that most people don't WANT to hurt others and be seen as monsters.

And that explains so much of why ML, to MC's face, is so horrible to him. Because to him, the MC
Spoiler

is the one thing he can actually feel something about. The one thing that makes the 'human mask' he wears, crack. Empathy, sadness, jealousy, happiness, amusement, pride... and he's so damn afraid that he'll destroy his one precious thing because of his own 'abnormality.' And so, he does everything to try and push MC away. Anything, anything to make sure he doesn't destroy the one thing he loves with his own 'depraved' hands.

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As ML says; "once you've truly experienced fear, you won't want to get close to the abyss again."

I'll leave you to figure out what or who the 'abyss' is supposed to be, according to ML. <<less
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jedden12
jedden12 rated it
February 2, 2022
Status: Completed
4.5/5. Lu Feng and Sheng min out are two mentally unstable guys that fall in love. Lu Feng (MC) is normal and friendly until it comes to Sheng, then he becomes extremely obsessive. Sheng (ML) is mentally unstable in all aspects, he's a bit psychotic. They're perfect for each other.
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FrostyDragon
FrostyDragon rated it
January 28, 2022
Status: Completed
*Read the main story but not the extras*

TWs: Mentions of: domestic abuse, cruelty to children, drug r*pe, blackmail, coerced sexual relationship. Depictions of: drug r*pe, r*pe (and victim blaming), violence, psychological cruelty, stalker behavior, psychotic characters, murder, HE between rapist and victim (it's complicated but that's still what happens).

In short: Don't read if any of the above makes you too uncomfortable.

... more>> Actual review: 4.5 of out 5 stars

I feel conflicted about this novel. Decided to give it 5 stars because the writing is really good, and I lost sleep because I was so gripped by the story that I had to keep reading until the end. Did feel that the story lost a bit of steam in the last 10 chapters though. The last plot point didn't add much to the story except some emotional drama that to me felt a bit cliché:

Spoiler

The whole 'MC almost dies and his lover finally shows how much he cares' is a bit overused. It wasn't badly written here, I just felt it didn't add much to the story since the main conflict had already been resolved and the MC already knew that the ML cared. Also the incident didn't really make the ML open up (which would have been nice, since he's such a block of ice/wood), although he did become more indulgent towards the MC afterwards. But maybe he would have anyway since he had already given in to the MC?

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Characters: The MC is a compelling character, although I sometimes got a tiny bit impatient with his undying love for the ML. Somehow I just wasn't 100% convinced and didn't get why he was so love struck and obsessed, although the author did try to show it through childhood flashbacks. The MC is shameless, but also kindhearted and righteous, he's someone who stands up for the weak. He's also an incredible biased narrator, although I can't fault him for misunderstanding the ML, since the ML did everything he possibly could to push the MC away and make him think that the ML hated him. Gotta give him credit for being super pushy and persistent in chasing the ML, but at some point I just wanted him to give up, since the ML treated him so appallingly that nothing could justify his continued pursuit of the ML. It's made pretty clear that he has a very unhealthy obsession with the ML, so he's not a 'normal' person.

His insistence that only the ML mattered in the whole world and that only his 'brother' was someone he could rely on annoyed me a bit, since he was surrounded by good and caring friends.

The friends from prison were the best - I enjoyed the side CP - they got their happy ending, but didn't take too much focus away from the main characters. Lawyer Wu was also a cute character.

The ML: He actually disappointed me towards the end. Mainly because he was such an intriguing character for the first 2/3 of the story. I really wanted to know what exactly was wrong with him - there were hints of him having some very, very dark urges that he kept trying to suppress. As another reviewer mentioned, it seemed in the beginning that he would be a Dexter-like character who was suppressing the urge to kill and shed blood. The author hinted at this several times, but in the end

Spoiler

that never happened. His big, dark secret that he kept locked in a separate room was just kind of ban*l and slightly clichéd. Turned out that he was as obsessively in love with the MC as the MC was with him, but unlike the MC he was apparently ashamed/scared of his desires/feelings and kept them locked away. It was just kind of predictable and could not compare to the flashback reveals where he seemingly almost killed a cat, kept photos of dismembered bodies and was attracted to blood. It was honestly pretty tame.

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Reminds me of 'Additional Inheritance' (another dark romance BL), where the ML also has a secret, locked room in his house. But in that novel

Spoiler

It really is a dark secret that shows how much of a psychopath mastermind the ML is. Maybe that's why the 'secret room' in this novel was a bit of a letdown for me.

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The ML thought of himself as a 'monster' and consequently stayed away from the MC and repeatedly pushed him away, resorting to extremely cruel methods to do so. In the end it was unclear to me exactly why the ML felt justified to do so, especially since

Spoiler

He gave in relatively quickly as soon as the MC exposed his lies and proved that the ML couldn't control himself around the MC. I get that he partly pushed the MC away because the MC made him lose control and stray from his orderly, uptight lifestyle, but it was never revealed exactly why it was so important for the ML to have this kind of control. In the past it seems like he wanted to protect the MC, since he wanted to go so far as letting the MC witness him murder Qi Yang just to scare the MC away from himself for good, but why did he think the MC needed to be protected from him?

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It feels like the author originally intended for the ML to be a much darker, twisted character, but maybe had problems justifying a happy ending in that case, so in the end left the ML's twisted character deliberately vague. Which is just frustrating to the reader.

I didn't much care for the ML after his repeated cruel treatment of the MC. I'm generally fine with cruel main characters and dark romance, and I could accept the outcome of this novel because the MC was also a twisted character (although much milder than the ML). Since all the MC cared for was whether the ML returned his feelings or not, I could forgive the ML

Spoiler

raping the drugged MC. But this was one time I felt iffy about it because of how he did it (blindfolding and tying up the MC, and how he handled it afterwards (trying to keep the MC in the dark about it).

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I generally don't mind noncon in fiction, depending on what purpose it serves in the story and how it's done. But in this case I didn't like

Spoiler

how the author first spent a lot of time on the case of the rapist actor and how a romantic connection between two people doesn't excuse one person raping/coercing their partner. By first pointing out how traumatizing it is to be forced by someone you love, and then in the next second showing the ML forcing the unconscious MC, who's clearly not okay with the situation - but later on sweeps the whole r*pe under the rug as soon as he finds out that the perpetrator was the ML - this just undermines the whole point about the problem with r*pe/noncon. Just because the MC loves the ML, it doesn't make it okay for the ML to literally tie up and unconscious MC, thereby completely robbing him of consent and raping him.

What made me lose all respect for the ML was when afterwards he 1) concealed the fact that he was the rapist - since he knew about the MC's feelings he would have known that the MC would have accepted having interc**rse with the ML if only he knew that the ML was the one 'doing' him when he woke up - getting r*ped and not even knowing who did it is hugely traumatizing, 2) outright lying about his own desire/love for the MC and instead victim blaming the MC for the r*pe. That's such a horrible behavior that it felt worse to me that the actual r*pe. The fact that the MC just accepts it and can deal with it, because all he cares about is getting close to the ML, doesn't make it okay. I wish the author had bothered to properly explore what it means to be r*ped by a love interest and the psychological consequences of this.

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I wished the author had tried to expand on the ML's condition - he clearly lacked empathy, but he clearly also wasn't as detached and unfeeling as the MC thought. There are plenty of clues from the past and present to show that the ML was very perceptive, knew that he wasn't normal and also that the way the 3 members of his adopted family treated him made a difference to him

Spoiler

the fact that the dad and the MC clearly cared for him and treated him with affection, while the mom was antagonistic and downright cruel to him sometimes. The scene with the dad's death also shows that the ML is severely affected by his own internal struggles (that sadly are never made clear to the reader) as well as the dad dying.

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About the murder of Qi Yang and the aftermath:

Spoiler

The reveal about the ML standing outside the prison for years was heart wrenching. Besides this, I understand why the mom blamed the ML for the murder. While he miscalculated and couldn't have known the extent of Qi Yang's insanity, he did put the MC in harm's way since he knew that QY was a pure psychopath.

I suspect (but this is never confirmed) that the ML partly became a court lawyer because of the MC's prison sentence. The MC's incident is later mirrored in Sheng Xiao Shi's mother's trial, which is why the ML gets upset and walks out when SXS makes a comparison between his mom's case and the MC. It's pretty clear that the MC would have walked free if he had had a better lawyer, since it was a case of self defense.

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All in all a good story, although with some flaws and parts that could have been developed better. Can't deny the quality of the writing though, and the translation is excellent. There's also an ongoing manhua on Bilibili that's really good - I read that before the novel and it helped me cope with the vile behavior of the ML in the novel. The manhua reveals a bit more than the novel about the ML and shows the reader some scenes from his point of view. I can really recommend it. <<less
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Azul_UwU_
Azul_UwU_ rated it
September 19, 2021
Status: c54
This is... very interesting. I do admit that at first I was put off by the ML's indifference and ruthlessness... more>>
Spoiler

specially the hitting scenes, ughhh... those scared me for a while

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Do read this if you're into the really dark and psychological romances where you want to tear apart the main couple for their own sake but then want them to achieve their happily ever after, in the best way they can.
Spoiler

Another paticular thing I liked about this was that they didn't change. I mean they did, their characters progressed and developed but like they didn't have this major character upheavel when they got together. No rainbows and sunshines. Just them expressing their love in their own way.

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Oh and, props to the translator. They're doing a really good job. :)

Not related to the story but damn. The minute repeater watches are sooo beautiful and interesting! I found a watch online that nearly looks the same as the one which MC was wearing and wow. It's just so beautiful. 😔👌 *sighs* and so damn expensive. <<less
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wistful
wistful rated it
September 12, 2021
Status: Completed
I went in thinking this was going to be a story about a twisted relationship between two extremely disturbed individuals. An obsessive stalker in love with his adopted evil psychopathic brother. Something like Killing Stalking crossed with Dexter, and that this story was going to be a dark psychological dive from the perspective of an obsessive stalker. The setup was all there, all the signs seemed to be indicating that this was going to turn into a deliciously dark and twisted story filled with murder, gore, abuse, and manipulation.

And... more>> then the author completely swerved halfway and turned it into a pure love story of a devoted brother in love with his misunderstood but still psychopathic adopted brother. And that the MC's obsession with his brother was inverted so it just became a sign that he knew all along his brother wasn't all that bad.

It's still a good story, it just wasn't what I was expecting. The way the author added flashbacks and gradually revealed the whole situtation was skillfully done, and the development is excellent. So maybe this review is a good sign for everyone who didn't want a dark, borderline horror-romance story. <<less
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Queen121
Queen121 rated it
October 27, 2021
Status: c57
I dropped it first at chapter 10 or 11

I was so turned off by MC's lack of self respect, his stalkrish tendencies and ML's over the top rude, insulting behaviour.

Then I came back again with more patience, and I was hooked, so you have to hang in there so it starts making sense and it gets better later on, I haven't completed it yet, will wait for the translations. Translation are good👍

Also read the tags before reading the story, it's not a typical story both the characters have their own... more>> flaws, these flaws are also not normal lol.

Over all a good read. <<less
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