Gold Class Fighter


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Yang Lei turned around. The moment he turned, with the sound of the wind, a brick smashed onto Yang Lei’s head. Yang Lei wasn’t even aware of when someone had gotten close from behind.

Fresh blood flowed down from his forehead, blurring his eyes. Through the spray of blood, Yang Lei saw a person. A tall and thin, clean man, expressionlessly smashing a second brick onto Yang Lei’s face.

A long time later Yang Lei recalled, what had left the deepest impression in his mind was that white dress shirt on the other person’s body. That white dress shirt was dazzling, white as snow, spotlessly clean; very few fighters dressed so cleanly. That white dress shirt was quickly dyed red with blood, Yang Lei’s blood.

They were gold class fighters, number one warriors of two crime bosses. They had experienced countless fierce battles, establishing their status in Jianghu. From rivals to friends, to brothers who would live together and die together.

What was a brother? Many years later, you say the word, my life, I give to you.

A man’s friendship, a man’s love.

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35 Reviews sorted by

New damnmei rated it
September 7, 2023
Status: Completed
This story is equal parts passion and pain. I swear I have never cried this much in my LIFE. I literally can barely breathe my nose is so blocked. What the f*ck man. What the f*ck.

The fact that there's a full translation of this. I'm so grateful. Truly a beautiful novel, and it definitely deserves so much more love. The amount of heartbreak and hopelessness I felt reading this story is unmatched.

Both of the main characters are so compelling. They're both so self sacrificing, and the love they have for... more>> each other... literally just thinking about it is making me cry again. The depth of their feelings for each other is something truly special. They go through hell together, they support each other, and they would both willingly give their lives for each other.

I also love how there's no power imbalance between them. They're both powerful in their own ways, and they fight to stand on equal ground with one another. The bond they have is undeniable, which makes it even more heartbreaking when their reality is so bleak.

I felt myself just holding back dread the entire time, as the author likes to sprinkle in little moments of foreshadowing throughout the novel, something that I probably could have done without. Honestly the constant foreshadowing one liners were the only issue I had with this novel, but I'll definitely be rereading for all the sweet moments. Because trust me, there's plenty of beautiful scenes between the two leads amidst the despair that the novel eventually leads you to.

This novel made me care about literally every side character too. The mob bosses in particular had a special place in my heart. Also the women in this story were mildly annoying at times but also strangely sensible— they knew when to finally back off and actually acted in emotionally mature ways.

Also just in case you're worried this is a HE!! No tragedy tag over here! <<less
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Yume8018 rated it
August 31, 2021
Status: c54
  1. One word: Underrated. Gold Class Fighter is a story about two (very "straight") men falling in love with each other, not knowing why and how to deal with it. Their love is unconditional, filled with passion and uncertainty. It is a story about learning to grow, to understand and to accept things that aren't easy to accept. The author does a really good job of depicting their emotions and inner conflicts. Reading this novel makes you feel like you're the one falling in love, feeling the heartbreak, feeling the happiness and therefore leaving you with unrestrained tears falling down. I laughed, I cried, I blushed and I felt alive. Currently I'm reading the still on-going translation, so I won't be able to write about the whole experience, but what I can say for now is that it is going to be worth waiting for.

    This is a hidden gem. You don't really get to read something like this in the vast ocean of BL novels very often. There are no clich

    s. The MC and ML are superb. Their love towards each other is beautiful. It is realistic and rich in detail. MC and ML yearn for each other and they complete each other. Let's just say that their chemistry is beyond flawless.

    This is a novel written 10 years ago, but every sentence explaining their hardships and the issues regarding homosexuality back in the days can still be applied to today's norms. Nothing is easy, nothing is smooth sailing. GCF exceeds in showing the struggles of feeling completely lost and the struggles of learning to accept one's true self.

    I love this story so so much. There's everything, from action scenes and badass characters to laughs, s*x and romance. AND YES, every NSFW scene was written with a lot of bold, raw and uncensored emotions. It made my heart race and my face red. If you are looking for a heart wrecker, then you should definitely read it.

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Suibian_bc rated it
March 22, 2021
Status: Completed
I'd be willing to stay awake and lose any sleep for this kind of novel. Yeah.. Got me hooked up right from the start. It has it all, foolishness, laughters, tears, fears, lusts, faith, love, miracles which is wrapped so beautifully by the author. It makes me laugh, cry, angry and happy at the same time. I wont be giving any spoiler, it is enough to say that I really love this story. Thanks author for writing this beautiful story and for creating Fang Yu and Yang Lei. Love you... more>> 💋💋 <<less
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sjoohhhy09 rated it
April 6, 2022
Status: Completed
This story takes place in China during the late 80s and early 90s, when gangs and crime were still prevalent. Many naive and stubborn teenagers rebelled and joined gangs in hopes of seeing the vast world, finding a leader to follow, or perhaps discovering their life's purpose. Their bones were shattered and knuckles bloodied as they fought with knives, bayonets, and fists. But this is what makes this novel so beautiful: a strong brotherhood is formed through the thick and thins of life.

This isn't your typical fluff or no-brainer BL... more>> novel, so it might not be for everyone. This is gory, bloody, and heart-wrenching, but also— sweet.

We follow Yang Lei, our main character, through his adolescence. He's the right hand of one of Jianghai's most powerful gangs; he's obstinate, easygoing, and friendly, and he exudes a bright youthful energy. He is, on the other side, cruel, bold, and brave. He deeply cares for his brothers and enjoys having a good time. We watch as the MC gets into conflicts, make reckless decisions, form new bonds, fall in love, and gradually mature.

The ML also arrives early and makes quite the memorable entry. Fang Yu is the right hand of another powerful gang in Jianghai. The ML has a personality that is comparable to the MC's; he is responsible and sensible. He can keep his composure and lead his friends and brothers in fights.

Their love story begins with rivalry, then brothers, and eventually a complicated relationship. As the MC is confronted with his desires and the conflicting unspoken rules of society, he finds himself in a dilemma. He wants to embrace the ML, but it feels wrong. He wants to love and adore him, but it just feels so wrong.

"What exactly is love? Is it the emotion, intimacy and passion between a man and a woman? Or is it something more than that?"

We feel these feelings as if they were our own. With the characters, we cry, smile, and laugh. They get closer and closer as the story goes. Their relationship is riddled with problems, and they can't help but feel insecure, hesitant, and even wronged. They do, however, always find a way to communicate and clear any misunderstandings. Their love is unconditional, their love is something that no one else has, it's their own love in their own little world.

The author goes into depth about each character to help us gain a better knowledge of each individual character. Each character receives a significant development as we discover more about each character's inner thoughts and deeds. Their relationships were built and woven beautifully. Each of them are realistic, very much like us, with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

This work evokes intense feelings of nostalgia, especially for those who grew up in China or in a Chinese household. Taiwanese and Hong Kong songs were popular back then, and everyone sang and enjoyed them. Many people began walking through the streets with Cantonese accents. Artists like Jack Cheung, Coco Lee, and Aaron Kwok's popularity were soaring through the skies.

This is a story about maturing, self-discovery, and acceptance. As a young teen, you rebel, you push yourself out of your comfort zone in search of self-discovery, you experience puppy love, you make good friends along the way, and you blithely enjoy your youth together. As days pass, you lose touch with your former friends, brothers, and comrades in arms. You grow up, mature and move on with your life. You get a job, marry, have children, and before you know it, you're too preoccupied to think about anything else. The days you shared with your friends becomes a memory, while the hands of time continue to turn and run. You're no longer the silly, naive and obstinate teen you once were. But that's the beauty of life; you can't turn back the clock or freeze time, cherish your life and enjoy every moment of it.

This story is one of my personal favorites; it's a breath of fresh air in comparison to other novels. Consider reading this if you're searching for something heartbreaking, intense, sweet, but also memorable.

Thank you for reading! <<less
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October 4, 2020
Status: c4
This novel has a lot of blood in it because of all the street fights and such but our MC although he's so tough and a great fighter he's also so soft uwu. Haven't learnt much about the ML as yet but I'm looking forward to how they get together!
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Witchgap rated it
October 2, 2021
Status: c57
I’ve been a silent reader here on NU for 3 yrs but this is the only novel that made me register an account just to express my appreciation of this novel.

if you are wondering if you should read this please do yourself a favour and indulge on this journey and experience how to fall in love.

The quality of this novel makes me think I’m reading a published novel and not a web novel. Thank you to the author and CG for bringing this masterpiece to life
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moon-bunnies rated it
June 9, 2022
Status: c92
Another instance of a novel that I've no idea why it isn't more popular. Maybe it'll pop off in the future.

Anyways, Gold Class Fighter begins by wrapping itself with 90's nostalgia. The protagonists are exactly like those leads you see in older action/gangster movies or comics, the word 'brotherhood' always on the tip of their tongues. But this isn't simply some romantic story about street factions clashing with one another (a mildly dark portrayal of the emptiness of gang life, really). The narrative is aware of the trappings of reality,... more>> and depicts the difficulty of accepting homosexuality in a society that has yet to understand it.

It's not quite a dynamic of two "straight" guys magically falling in love with each other as BLs often have it. Maybe more like bisexuality in a hostile and ignorant environment. Either way, it's a melancholic story that follows the complex journey of Yang Lei & Fang Yu through ten years.

Got a pretty similar angst tone to Priest's Guomen actually. <<less
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moodles rated it
April 30, 2023
Status: c133
This is definitely a masterpiece. If you are thinking of reading this, do yourself a favor and start reading this. You're in for a treat.

I love how realistic every scenes are, especially the feelings of each characters. I was just completely absorbed in their world and couldn't help but read continuously (finished reading within two days). It felt like I've witnessed a very pure and precious love.

I've been reading various BL novels for the past four years, and this is the first time I am writing a review. That's how impactful this novel is for me. Really really loved this novel. I hope more and more people get to read and appreciate this masterpiece. This novel deserves higher rating! :))
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Elviri rated it
March 14, 2021
Status: c29
Honestly really great so far. Every week I'm looking forward to the update. You can tell it's an older story, but if you like BL about gangsters, while still being not too heavy, and some angst, this is the story for you!

The main characters are also still young, which results in more hotbloodedness...
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September 3, 2021
Status: Completed
What an amazing read. Their characterizations are sublime.



... more>> I waited until I finished this to do a more detailed review, because there's a lot to take in. There's an almost overwhelming melancholy that sets the tone for the novel and it purveys throughout. But it's beautiful. Strikingly, masculinely, beautiful, and I do not say that easily. It was written ten years ago.

It shows to a certain degree, but for a novel written in that time period, the novelist does a beautiful job evoking the sights, tastes and sounds of that era. *sigh* As a writer, this makes me mad as hell that I didn't think of it first, lol! #

Yang Lei is a teenager who is the right-hand man of one of the top gangs. He is intelligent, swift and deadly. I would not want to be on the bad side of him.

One day, during a fight, a cement brick hits his head, courtesy of another gold-class fighter named Fang Yu (ah, my beloved Fang Yu! My favorite character throughout.)

This is their introduction. Head bashing? Yup, love at first fight. Soon enough, they are drawn together. Yang Lei plays guitar and goes to a certain spot frequently, where there is another guitar player. They go back and forth, learning things from each other and becoming friends/acquaintances along the way. They become frenemies, friends, brothers in arms later, and finally, home. They become the only home the other needs, wants, desires. Through many battles, many tragedies, so much happens that it can be slightly overwhelming, okay, really freaking overwhelming, but they have each other and that's what ultimately means the most in the end. Fang Yu. OMG, I love you. This is one of the most aggravatingly amazing characters I have read. He is relatively sane and when it comes to Yang Lei, his sanity borders on obsessive, who shares the same type of love for Fang Yu. Both understand what they understand about their culture, families etc, and try to accommodate, but ultimately, love wins over filial piety. Thank god. Yang Lei has a few family members who try to involve themselves more into his life than he'd like, but he honors them the best way he knows how, and this puts them into more drama than I would have liked, but oh well, because it's a decidedly good outcome. These two are very much the opposite side of the same coin, and yet very different. That's ultimately what made me stick with it, despite it being so beautifully written and translated.


On the other hand, is Hua Mao, who sticks like glue to Fang Yu, his older gang brother, and harbors more than a passing crush on him, and pretty much dislikes Yang Lei. This guy is a wildcat, openly gay and effeminate (at first). He has a heartbreaking, heart-rending upbringing and his introduction to s*x made me pissed and kind of ill. Yeah, r*pe. Eventually, he meets Gu Fei, a policeman who treats Hua Mao with more kindness and decency than he has known in his entire life. Can he tame the wildcat? Such an amazing read. <<less
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Soganji74 rated it
June 20, 2021
Status: c35
Not really a review per se as much as just a random comment. I love love love this novel. The plot, the characters everything is just right. So upset with myself for not realizing (I was quite new to Novel Updates and how it works lol) that it is still being translated. Now sitting here every week greedily watching updates till I collect a large amount of chapters to binge read. Ahhh life is hard ;-) Thank you translator for your hard work!!
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Celissiye rated it
November 21, 2022
Status: c115
Rating: 4.8 What can I say, this novel impressed me. I'm happy that it's being translated at such a high-quality level.

These two protags are men amongst men, gangsters -- who become deeply gay for each other, in the manliest way possible.

Neither MC or ML are weak nor girly in the slightest. They start out by 'fooling around' a lot. The novel contains graphic descriptions of fights, s*x, and bloodshed. It isn't a flimsy story with repeated face-slapping mechanisms etc., but there is enough detail put into each character, interaction, and... more>> scene to have a clear picture of what's happening. The writing style is simple, never confusing, yet entertaining. The MCs and side characters characters have distinguishable personalities from each other. The plot is 100% over-the-top and dramatic, and that's part of the charm. If you don't like it after the first chapters, the story probably isn't for you. Drama and some angst continues to unfold at a steady pace throughout the novel - I never felt like it was dragging.

If you want to read about some manly gangsters getting hot and lustful over each other and also stabbing people at times, look no further! (also I enjoyed the smut... it felt nice and intense from both sides... hehe). There many call backs to historic events from the 1990s and the gangdom, and some of the comments made on homos*xual interc**rse are nice and realistic (for example using lube/the poor outlook on gays at the time).

My only complaint is that the author doesn't need to keep dropping foreshadowing of events (ie, writing that 'this event would cause great trouble later...') so often. It's better to let the story and consequences unfold without stating the end result most of the time, rather than state end then go through the details. Still, it almost feels like someone is recalling a story, perhaps the MC or ML, as they reach the end of their life (though based on the ending at ch 115, this doesn't seem to be the case).

The ending is satisfying and only slightly bittersweet; and yes it's HE.


And like I said, although the story and characters seems a bit simplistic, it's also nostalgic, like I'm reading Dororo from 1969. It is strangely satisfying and a breath of fresh air compared to all these world-hopping, idol-dom, person-transmigrating-into-a-pretty boy BLs of late.

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pHantomRJ rated it
August 10, 2021
Status: c50
Enjoyed it, I liked this story. It has been written quite beautifully. I like both ML & MC.
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Cribbycrab rated it
March 11, 2023
Status: Completed
I have read many danmei novels over the last few years & this is the first time I am writing a review because I am so annoyed that nobody ever mentions this phenomenal story. I have seen some very mediocre to almost terrible novels being recommended over and over again, but I never saw this novel mentioned. It was just by chance I happened to come across it and decided to give it a try. Let me just set expectations before you try to read it — this is not... more>> a stereotypical c-novel, it is gritted in reality with all the minutia of the human experience, the good, the bad and the ugly but mainly it is about love. <<less
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AX-Skye rated it
October 27, 2022
Status: Completed
I spent 2 days binge reading this.. All I can say.. What a breath of fresh air, and oh all the hell these 2 boys went through!

At first this seem like a normal BL with little angst, but soon, you'll feel some foreshadowing.. The angst. And lets just say, when you get a breather, the storm comes back even quicker and harsher. Ahh!~ I cried quite abit, especially in the later chaps!

But between the MC and Ml's relationship, it's really too good!! They are really equal! They both want the... more>> best for eachother, they will do no matter what it takes, even giving up their life, and love for the other, just of the other to be happier than them, end up better than them. It's really emotionally touching, yet harsh, because reality hits them hard, and they are forced to mature.. Especially the MC..

Anyways, Gold Class Fighter, is truly a hidden gem! Even if it is written more than 10 years ago, the feelings and emotions, and characters feels so new! I truly recommend this!! <<less
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Michelle-08 rated it
August 21, 2023
Status: Completed
Excellent storytelling and the translation is superb! I am so in love with this story and this will forever stay in my heart!♡٩ (^▿^) ۶♡ Beautiful, poignant, angsty, warm and a good amount of smut in between. And yes, a HE!❤❤❤

Yang Lei and Fang Yu will forever be one of my favorite BL couple! They were realistically portrayed by the author. Their journey to being enemies at first, then becoming gangdom 'brother's' to slowly realising their feelings, their growth from teenage years to adulthood, their struggles and dreams, it all... more>> beautifully unfold before our eyes, it's like living in that exact moment with them. You feel the pain, the joy, the longing, just about everything!

Hua Mao, my heart hurts for him!

Good thing Gu Fei came to his life and he finally has his own happy ending which he truly deserves!

Special shoutout to the whole gang! I feel sad when one dies, but it's the reality of gang life during that era, and glad that the evil ones all get their retribution.

This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! If you don't mind vivid description of gore, then you can skip them but please don't pass on this novel just because of that! 4.6 rating is no joke and I believe it deserves higher than that! <<less
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Airplane_bro rated it
July 2, 2023
Status: Completed
One of the most well written novels out there. The emotions depicted are so real and complex that I could feel them as I am reading. The characters are so dynamic that growth and development can be seen as the story progresses. This book is a hidden gem and I am so grateful that the translator took the time to share this masterpiece with everyone.
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Geozah rated it
June 16, 2023
Status: Completed
I really didn't expect everything I felt and experienced reading this novel, I didn't think I would fall so much in love with history, with them, with the brotherhood of all of them. This novel has become my favorite, I even get a little emotional talking about it. As I read it, I felt like I was there with them and was a close friend. It's all very real, every feeling experienced, how they feel about the events, and especially the way their love grows and matures together is very... more>> beautiful. I definitely recommend it, I guarantee you will have a lot of fun (even with some sad moments lol) <<less
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dee_ism rated it
February 16, 2023
Status: --
It's a HE.
While reading this story I keep reminding myself that it's a HE, because the journey to the sweet ending was full of thorn, bloody (quite literally), continuous dull pain, heartbreakingly painful, emotionally draining overall, but the writer keep it addicting and I manage to finish it within 2 days (with lot of tears, hahaa).

I love both MC and ML. Such a quality men. The plot is good, paced right, and written beautifully. The writer managed to put the mood of 90s and early 2000s melancholy.

Oh lord, how... more>> my heart bleed towards the end. But I ended reading this story with contended feeling knowing they're now happy and have each other for a lifetime. <<less
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Corazon_Salvaje rated it
January 15, 2023
Status: Completed
**Main story completed.

This is what I call a gem!!

Honestly, I have no idea why it is not more popular. Good story, well-balanced, great character development and relationship building. A lot of action scenes, and also the romance written beautifully. The main CP interaction and connection is shown so wonderfully. 💕 The effective storytelling kept me engaged from start to finish. The writing style is really outstanding, it gives off that unique, dreamy, nostalgic, back-in-90s feel.

... more>> Back then, they were still young.

Back then, they walked to each other's side.

Gold Class Novel!! Also, the TL is very well-done, HQ. <<less
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vicky12 rated it
January 5, 2023
Status: Completed
I spent a long time looking for a novel worth the time, and I feel very lucky to have found this gem. What's more surprising is that it's a novel from 2011, but it feels so current. A story that I will definitely reread in the future!!!
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