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The Special Investigations Unit is a covert organisation that no-one in the city knows about, dedicated to investigating bizarre occurrences beyond the comprehension of the living. The Chief Zhao Yunlan isn’t a simple guy either, being the inheritor of the Guardian Order, he has always been a righteous conformist, excelling between realms of the living and the dead. While investigating a school suicide case, Zhao is attracted to the calm and reserved Professor Shen Wei, but the Professor seems to be rather fickle towards him…

Associated Names
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Requiem​ of Souls
Zhen Hun
Related Series
Heaven Official’s Blessing (2)
Kill the Lights (2)
True Star (1)
A Slight Smile is Very Charming (1)
Ghosts Know What I Experienced (1)
Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits (1)
Recommendation Lists
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  3. goodie BL
  4. Adaptation Dramas Manhua Anime BL
  5. My Best Horror Story List BL.

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03/14/20 ineffablebfs c106 (end)
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01/08/20 ineffablebfs c96
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35 Reviews sorted by

New nazgul8126 rated it
June 18, 2020
Status: c36

I had high expectations after finishing Sha Po Lang also written by Priest (and imo one of the holy trinity for danmei) but Guardian just fell flat: story and characters never caught my interest, and I thought about dropping the novel by chapter 20 before finally doing so at chapter 36. And in reading the other reviews, it sounds like the novel just goes downhill after chapter 50.

MC is funny/witty enough at first. But the repeat put downs on a secondary character was off-putting from the get go and didn't... more>> get any better. If it was supposed to be comedic relief, it wasn't funny and instead just felt mean.

Also, this is the first time I've had to comment on the translation aspect. The lack of capitalization at the beginning of speech was annoying, and some of the sentences felt incomplete so that I wonder if the translator oversimplified them. Surely, the quality of Priest's writing between Sha Po Lang and Guardian can't be that extreme. <<less
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New izayaYY rated it
June 16, 2020
Status: Completed
I have long waited for the translation of this novel, after watching the drama series (which I loved, despite some crappy scenes and CGI). Now I know why it took so long and so many different translator groups to finish off this novel. There is just too much complicated and convoluted chinese mythology descriptions and explanations that contributes nothing to the main plot, or the romance. I would have preferred that the author emphasise more on the uneventful daily interactions between the 2 protags, and more mystery-solving episodes by the... more>> SIU team, and even a side romance between little Guo and zombie king Chu. I loved Guo's character so much, maybe even more than the 2 protags.

Being a fan of chinese myths and supernatural, I did enjoy reading this novel, but it is certain to be long-winded and boring for some readers. <<less
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June 14, 2019
Status: c7
It is really hard for me to get into this novel because the first character the novel introduces and follows is the new recruit... meanwhile he is just a side character? A third wheel??

Me: completely rooting for this little wimpy kid and his new Partner in business, Then suddenly this teacher comes in and steals his love? WTF?

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Who is this guy? Wait??? who is the MC and ML? I have been tricked I tell you! who is this little wimpy kid? Not the MC?? what? why... more>> introduce him first... why lead me on like this.. *cries*.. <<less
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max2payne0 rated it
July 17, 2018
Status: c29
I watched the drama before I found the novel was being translated, and the only thing I can say is I love it. The relationship between the two leads was turned into a bromance in the drama (of course, because it's content in China) but the dynamic between the characters in the novel is so much better. I'm taking both as different stories with points of intersections, and similarities, because they do have a lot of differences, but I definitely love both.

I'd give a more in-depth, detailed review, but I... more>> don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't started on either the drama or the novel, but I definitely recommend it. (It does have some horror elements, though so far it's minor, at least I can put up with it, and I scare easily.) <<less
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BillionJellyfish rated it
October 23, 2018
Status: Completed
First off, I actually watched the drama before reading the novel in Chinese, so I didn't really know that this was suppose to be bl till I got to the novel. The drama is more about bromance and the crime cases that our MC and ML solves since China kinda censored all the bl scenes that should have been included in the drama, but oh whelp. At least we get to read about all the sweet and fluffy bl scenes in the novel!

The plot is basically summarized above, so I'll... more>> just get into some small spoilers~

1. The MC is Zhao Yunlan, who is surprisingly, the uke! While Professor Shen Wei is the seme so... huehuehue~ There are plenty of sweet and intimate moments between our MC and ML with little to no misunderstandings (no angst), which is always a pro.

2. The MC eventually regains the memories of his past life.

3. The ending is kinda anti-climatic/a cliff-hanger, but the extra side stories definitely help find a closure on the open ending. So no worries my fellow fujoshis, the ending is definitely a HE.

And from here on, the plot thickens~ <<less
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zsanyka rated it
August 11, 2018
Status: c45
Beautifully written, intelligent, daring and well researched story with a true happy ending. Ah, and it's funny, too!

Like most, I stumbled accross the novel after watching the web series, but have to say the two does not compare nor in quality nor in storytelling. The series is cute in its goofyness and I love the lead actors to death, but it way off with the censorship and plot changes. It is understandable though being produced in mainland China. If you liked the characters in the series, and want to have... more>> the real deal or just wish to read a great fantasy/supernatural BL, I highly recommend the novel. It quicky became one of my favourite BL novel of all times.

What especially appreaciated about this novel is effort and the level of research the author put into all the little details about Chinese and Buddhist mythology, down to folklore and popular beliefs. I love the supernatural/fantasy genre and it great to read a BL novel where the story and world building not secondary to the romance.

Speaking of romance, the love between the two leads is really touching. Sometimes stuble and heartbreaking, sometimes goofy and hilarious, sometimes downright erotic, but always beautifully portaited and fits their character perfectly. The author is master at crafting compelling, complex backstories that arches through centuries, involving cycles of rebirth, devotion, love, longing, intrigue, sacrifice. I highly recommend her other stories as well.

Huge plus are the characters. Not only the main characters, but also the supporting characters are extremly well written and unique. Two of my favourite characters are Lin Jing, and Da Qing, the black cat. Both are really funny on their own way and add so much to the story.

For the ones who are coming from the series:

  • expect BL not bromance (loads of it)
  • way more religious/mystical stuff based on Taoism/Buddhism (sometimes wandering into horror territory)
  • characters are slightly different: more otherwordly e.g. Hu Zhong is an actual nāgini who changes into a snake oncea month (I don't know what the chinese term for a nāgini, sorry), or just different like Lin Jing who not a scientist, but a fake monk, and let's not forget about Shen Wei... but I think that would be a spoiler :P
  • more flashed out backstory and context (no "we met for 1 day and searched for you for 10000 years" nonsense)
  • happy ending
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PotatoCakes rated it
January 20, 2019
Status: c95
The novel is a Chinese BL version of Dresden files - a nice mix of supernatural, mystery, and adventure. It's well written and the pacing is good. The plot is intricate and suspenseful. You follow along with the MC (who is constantly lied to) as events unfold, so you can follow along in the mystery and come up with fan theories.

The MC and ML are probably some of the best characters I've seen in BL novels. They're truly partners and accept each other's flaws despite the circumstances. I especially enjoy... more>> the MC since his personality is extremely "manly" even though he's the uke.

This sounds good until the plot devolves into metaphysical bullsh*t around part 4 (lantern arc). As more of the story unfolds, you come to realize that the entire novel is just fueled with the smelliest Chinese mythological cow dung imaginable. Not does the story delve way too deep into Chinese creationism, the historical relationship between the MC and ML is not all that it's cracked to be (is there anything cheesier than love at first sight?).

If you're really into Chinese lore, this book might be for you. Otherwise, you better be a fan of the drama or else this novel is going to be a chore (especially considering the translation is not very good). <<less
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shairiru rated it
October 6, 2018
Status: c66
I read Guardian after I watched the drama. The novel continues to go beyond my expectations. The worldbuilding is fantastic. Each character is well-developed. The scenes develop naturally and the humor is not forced. Even the way of writing is amazing, it must be even more beautiful in its original language.
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AnnaChoi rated it
July 31, 2018
Status: c10
When I read on MDL site about Guardian was based from novel I search it and found~~

Despite being different when they put it on silver screen, it's well written both of them (ignore the loopholes everywhere in drama). Mixed the fantasy, action and Yaoi sure grab my attention most of Yaoi story have a garbage plot but this still grab your attention for next chapter. Thank you for the translator team.

90'degree bow
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Indelible Faith
Indelible Faith rated it
May 7, 2020
Status: Completed
A God who defied his destined path, a Ghost who desired to be more than what he was...

The beauty of this story is how it weaves together mythology with fiction with the modern world as a backdrop.

Zhao Yunlan is the Chief of the Guardian Order - a taskforce designed purely to manage the supernatural crimes on the mortal plane. His clients range from ghosts to demons to Hell's habitants, and his comrades include a startlingly competent dynamic of a talking cat, a monk, a snake demon and a zombie.

The addition... more>> of a well-mannered, polite and gentlemanly Chinese Linguistics Teacher to this bunch seems absurd at first, but of course, all is not as it seems. With Shen Wei's entrance into Zhao Yunlan's life, strange occurrences related to Zhao's past lives begin to unearth. Old Gods and new, Hell's rulers and Ghost Kings, the Four Mystical Artifacts... with everyone emerging out of the woodwork, this year is the most chaotic Zhao has had to endure. And also the most fulfilling.

Beautifully written arcs with a mystery tied into each instance, I loved Detective Zhao's quick witted and practical approach to them. He is not the perfect boss, or the most compassionate comrade, but he certainly has his team's back. Even when they don't expect it of him.

Charming and laid-back, this character is hilarious and uninhibited, and for once I have so completely enjoyed reading from the detective's point of view!

While all the chinese mythology references do seem to be slightly too convoluted - but which mythology isn't? - it is definitely a fascinating read! All characters have their purpose, are intelligently written and having satisfying closing arcs.
Priest totally deserves all the praise heaped upon them! <<less
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Youkonos rated it
April 11, 2020
Status: Completed
The first 2-3/4 of the novel are great, but the last arc suffers from a bad case of poor exposition dump. It throws far too much information at you far too quickly for it to have any impact.

I suspect it may be stomach-able by someone already familiar with chinese mythology, but if you know close to nothing, even when you're more or less comprehending the course of events, it more often than not rings hallow. This is also true for characters and motivations beyond the MC, ML, and a few... more>> members of the SIU. Everything gets increasingly muddled between the buddhism references and attempts at being mysterious to the point it all starts to read like gibberish or a list of events that are happening instead of the interconnected, epic character drama and dive into mysticism it tries to be. It's rather disappointing considering the careful structure of the first two and a half arcs.

That said, the novel is still pretty good for what it is. If you're willing to devote the brain power to trucking through the long expositions dumps, it's worth looking at. <<less
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BaiYihan rated it
April 6, 2020
Status: c22
I had high hopes for this one. The plot looked like it'd be interesting and when I started reading it I loved the characters. But the POV of it is really weird. I couldn't figure out who was the MC and when I finally thought I had it, the POV switched and I was confused all over again. It wouldn't be so bad if that was all but the characters all have secret pasts that im sure will be shown later and be awesome, but right now they just make... more>> it feel wrong. <<less
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mahikokatoru rated it
March 5, 2020
Status: c104
Recommended? Of course, if you love eternal romance, loyalty, shamelessness, and light fantasy horror, then yes!

Some people may judge this story by its semi-crappy drama or by the poor English translation, but those things should not be taken into account when rating the story itself. Therefore, if you are someone who gets turned off by a novel because of its poor translation and bad English, please understand that the translators did only their best and most, if not all, of them are doing this for free. Please don't rate that... more>> against the novel. Same goes towards crappy adaptations, such as the drama.

With that said, I'd definitely recommend this novel! If everyone knew Chinese and read this novel in its original format, then this is a very good novel. There are holes, most definitely, but overall it is very good. It details themes such as love, lost, loneliness, desire, betrayal, friendship, rivalry, family, having a place (and people) to call home... honestly, it's super good.

Do give it a try... and while you're reading, imagine Bai Yu and Zhu Yilong's faces acting out the MLs, kekeke. <<less
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rainandgingko rated it
December 28, 2018
Status: c71
this is my first time writing a review but I really have the need to write one about this novel. Actually I just read guardian last week (i didnt really have high expectations bc I was not that fond of modern setting) BUT WOW I really love everything about this novel. The plot is quite fast, the flashback, and the dynamic between the MC and ML is what im living for. The most memorable thing about this novel is really the story between the MC and ML. It's so beautiful... more>> and so touching omg. Basically, this novel is like you know, solving problems / mysteries with some romantic scene. In short, this kind of story is my cup of tea. And what I like more is they dont have any unnecessary dramas to be together or even after they get together, for me they resolve everything well.

this novel is so funny omg I can laugh until crying. AND GUARDIAN IS ABLE TO SNACTH THE NUMBER ONE OF MY FAVE DANMEI. Most of my friends dont pick this novel bc of the "modern setting" but believe me, you should try to read this one. For me the characteristic of the MC and ML are quite different from the ones I usually read, they are so well-written and it's so nice to see something new. And priest will never disappoint you. /And guess what, ive been rereading this novel for countless times/ <<less
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ezis rated it
April 29, 2020
Status: Completed
It is a long read and filled with world building and fantasy, so be warned if that is not your thing. The story happens predominantly in modern times but a lot of the time it reverts to some ancient storytelling and almost fables and legends. Honestly, it is well thought through and intricate, lending a lot for imagination of modern day mystery fantasy. Throughout, the story does not take itself overly seriously, so (subtle) jokes are a relatively frequent occurrence as are swearwords. The translation at this point, up until... more>> the few last chapters when it was switched is pretty good, only at the end you get a translator with less of a feeling or English.

The MC and the ML have depth. MC is a relaxed type, who does what he pleases but is reliable and caring when it matters, not getting bogged down on details. He is very clever but not OP. The ML is a quirky contrast, a man with a very keen sense of propriety and overall a very serious guy, quite the opposite to the MC in that sense. Together they fit wonderfully, lending so much to teasing.

The team of the SIU are a fun, down to earth bunch, who respect their boss but express this respect in a manner that seamlessly mingles with the general outlook of the MC himself, I really liked this team too.

The pacing of the story was eventually a little cumbersome to me (but really, that happened at like chapter 90 or so) but I was never going to not finish this story, the characters all lend themselves easily to the reader as objects of care and affection. Overall a refreshing story with extensive references to Chinese mythology/ origin of the world and human kind stories. <<less
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April 12, 2020
Status: Completed
It was quite good, bit a little too much sometimes. But It is truly a great read. I recommend.
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rhea.army49 rated it
March 15, 2020
Status: Completed
This was really fun and impressive in the beginning.

I read it after watching the drama.

The characters are better potrayed here as compared to the drama. Also the drama has more cases and a faster pace as compared to the novel.

... more>> But the relationship between Zhao YunLan and Shen Wei is obviously potrayed better and in depth here.

I find Zhao Yunlan's character much better and fleshed out in the novel. His persistence in persuing Shen Wei without crossing any limits and how he took care to SIU members impressed me.

But the last arc about the lamp where the past came into play was bit underwhelming for me.

There were so many events just mentioned repeatedly some of which had nothing to do with the plot making it really tedious to continue. Then you find out that was not the whole truth and you get this plot dump again when it begins to become difficult to keep a track of things. <<less
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nikitty rated it
March 3, 2020
Status: Completed
Before anything else, let me tell you the novel has nothing to do with the sorry excuse of the drama. Where there was s*upid aliens in the drama, in the novel you'll find ghosts, magic and mythology, which are much better.

Shen Wei... ah Shen Wei, he really broke and then mended my heart. Believe me when I say you won't find any other plot like this ever again imo. MC, ML, side characters, "every" one of them have their own detailed" stories and past. The mystery is great, you learn... more>> lots of things about Chinese mythology! I didn't know what to do with my life when it ended! (I ended up stanned the actor who played Shen Wei.)

MC is soooo shameless and funny. ML is mysterious but such a softie plssssss I'll cry! He made himself into my heart and will stay there for years to come I swear. (shut up he's a cinnamon roll)

Please give this a chance. Especially if you like detailed plot, mysterious characters, action and magic. And fluff and comedy! <<less
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Yaoisensei rated it
February 15, 2020
Status: c95
This I actually gave a 3 star but somehow my laptop rounded it off to a 4. (Typical) The story line was so good (at first) The romance was sweet and fluffy, it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. But then I got to chapter 80 and the translations got mixed up and the chapters were all over the place and I just couldn't be bothered to see it through to the end.

Which I guess says a lot about the book, if it left a lasting impression then I... more>> definitely would have done my best to follow up with the mixed up chapters till the end.

Did I like it? Yes, Would I recommend it? No, not really. <<less
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Ezralva rated it
January 10, 2019
Status: c60
Not gonna be the review you're looking for... actually till chapter 50-ish or so, it was quite a read. The suspense of the plot, rare theme for BL novel, not so much of human conflict drama between the characters which are all good points. I am not a fan of modern setting BL, but this one had engaged me for a while... The characters all had unique traits and their comedic tones in conversations really freshen things up.

But after that it turns south for me, just after more and more... more>> secrets being unraveled about the past. It is very plot heavy, and it concentrated starting halfway thru the novel. For people who aren't familiar with Buddhism mythologies and legends, all of these things I read here are brand new and with the pace set on this novel, there are a lot to take in one go... so yeah, after that I found myself ambling thru the chapters and quickly lost interest. I usually like a powerful couple, but here I can't seem to like MC no matter what eventhough he is the key of this story and the most powerful character in the end. Thus, it is hard for me to enjoy the romance.

I decided to drop this now, not sure if I'll ever pick it up again. Maybe I will if there's nothing else to read <<less
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__elineem rated it
December 13, 2018
Status: c70
This is my first time writing a review here on Novel Updates! I got into Guardian after watching the drama version! I fell in love with it (especially the actors). So I decided to read the novel as well, and dang it is completely different from the drama which I LOVED IT! I love the drama version just for the cast and the main actors Zhu YiLong and Bai Yu~ but the novel is AMAZING!! This is highly recommended, it has good amount of humor in it, the characters are... more>> funny~ the story is written well, and the chemistry between the main characters is just too HOT!! Don’t hesitate! Just start reading if you are iffy about this novel, don’t be! <<less
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AlexiaMaria rated it
November 30, 2018
Status: c70
This novel is one where the past plays such an important role that if you skip the parts with the past you will get so counfused.I love the romance between the leads since the drama didn't really make it obvious but the novel shows such a well placed and mature romance story between the MC and ML that you can't hate it even if you don't like the plot.


I love that the MC is the uke since his personality gives you the idea that he is seme.

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