Legend of Fu Yao


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The archaeologist “red-haired witch” made too big of a disturbance while excavating tombs, gloriously becoming a martyr in the midst of the grave chamber’s collapse. Seventeen years later, she had transmigrated into the Five Regions Continent. The delinquent Meng Fuyao who struggled to survive in the lowest rungs of society, cast aside her boyfriend who was about to marry another person with a slice of his five fingers.

“Believe me, she will be an absolutely perfect wife. With her by your side, you will be like an aristocrat and her luxury poodle – no matter where you go, your status will increase by a hundred-fold and complement each other perfectly.”

Forsaken love, abandoned like dog shit. From then on it was a boundless sky and open sea, a trek of ten thousand li. To obtain the Seven States seals, fight against the world first. For the hope of return in her heart, brazenly collide with the Machiavellian royalty of the seven states, uniting the outstanding and talented under the heavens through fortuitous meetings.

And so, will this road of chanced affection go through the peak of heavenly mountains and the warmth of bonfires; the glint of sword shadows and the coldness of the glance backwards; the autumn sun’s golden wind and the flying sweep of the robe sleeve; or that chilly moonlit forest and that sprint like an arrow’s? Once love and that chosen, narrow path cross each other, which will prevail?

She said, I can dedicate myself to you, but if you do not want my body of hot blood, then I must draw your blood. She said, the efforts of my entire life have run in the opposite direction of true love, so are the heavens laughing at me? Then I guess I can only laugh at the heavens.

Three chi of torn silk, one zhang of spilt blood. A thousand li of expanded territory, ten thousand fallen corpses. One day the Luan and Phoenix will soar up with the winds, and Fuyao will rise straight up, ninety thousand li.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Empress Fuyao
Phù diêu hoàng hậu
The Rising Empress
Related Series
The Rise of Phoenixes (Shared Universe)
Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan (1)
The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (1)
Feng Yin Tian Xia (1)
Miniature Medical Goddess (1)
Unscrupulous Enchantress: The Young Miss Has Arrived! (1)
Hunting for a Delicious Wife (After) (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Novel with Drama Adaptation
  2. My.romance
  3. To Be Read
  4. Books Adapted to Drama
  5. Novels Adapted to Drama - Part 1

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15 Reviews sorted by

11thAgent rated it
August 15, 2017
Status: Completed
I read this novel quite a few years ago. At first, it starts out slow, but once it gets going, it really runs. I've read many novels, and this one left a permanent mark in my memory and heart. The novel is really worth the read and is much better than many that are out there right now.
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insteadofdeath rated it
August 31, 2017
Status: v1c33
One of my current favorites.

First of all, the translation is exquisite. The original Chinese must be absolutely beautiful if the exquisite descriptions in English represent even 10% of the original language. The sentences flow smoothly; the imagery is vivid; the action jumps right off the page. This is probably the only novel on NU I would recommend for the prose alone.

Second. The story. The story! On its surface this is a story built out of cliches: A woman transmigrates. She meets hot men. There are shenanigans, scheming white lotus females,... more>> and plenty of politics and intrigues. Yet the author manages to take all these cliches and turn them into something amazing. The protagonist, Meng Fuyao, manages to fall into a string of ridiculous situations, each more hilarious than the last like a comedy of errors. She jumps out of the frying pan, into the fire, and then right under the butcher's knife. Each escape is narrow, unexpected, and probably funny as hell.

She is surrounded by a cast of refreshingly distinct, unique characters, each of which have their own personality and motivations. The plot starts out slow, but once it gets rolling, it just keeps going and going and going. It took me some re-reading to keep track of the cast and plot, but I mean that in a good way: The story manages to be straightforward and complex somehow at the same time. You don't need to re-read in order to appreciate its depth, but you will absolutely be rewarded if you do.

Overall, I highly, highly recommend this novel. It's an absolute gem. <<less
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August 10, 2017
Status: v1c12
I've taken a liking to this one. Why are there no reviews yet?

It's a good novel with the MC pretending to be weak and ugly though we knew from the start that she's beautiful because she was talking with her lover who knows her true face. She's actually beautiful and strong, however, she had to hide this fact because her martial arts is actually a legendary technique and there would be people after her if they knew it. MC also made a promise to her shifu to not reveal it.... more>> This caused people to not pay attention to her (it's not shown whether she got bullied or not) and...


her lover to break up with her. Saying that she would have been perfect if not for her lack of martial talent. He went to marry another woman who is of noble blood and his partner in martial arts. Of course, it's all well and good because she would meet with a much better male lead later anyway.


It's not exactly unique, but it's decent in writing. Cliche is only bad if used wrongly, but this one used it straightforwardly and not awkward or sickening like some other novels. The MC is op, but it's not that evident considering that there are also others stronger than her (well, she's only level 3 in cultivation for 10 years) and she can get caught in traps, scheming, and such. She also had to run away when a female rival was ready to fight with her to the death (but not before giving a satisfying wound as revenge).

Overall, it's a good novel to read. I haven't picked it up earlier because there are no reviews, so I'm putting one for the others wanting to find out what this novel is like. <<less
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dramamonster rated it
June 16, 2018
Status: 341
2020 Review for the web novel paywalled translation (2018 Review on older free translation is now deleted) :

Fuyao is a modern archaeologist who transmigrates into an ancient Chinese fantasy world, the Five Regions Continent. There are 7 countries, and she romps through each country in each of the 7 volumes of the novel, entangling imperial families, changing emperors, and happily scheming or fighting her way through every situation. Her goal is to travel to the highest country and return to modern times to take care of her sick mother. She... more>> soon becomes notorious for overthrowing Emperors and dynasties in her schemes. As she progresses through the Continent, she encounters each of the Top Ten warriors, Mystery, Holy Spirit, Thunder, Epsilon, Gale, Cloud Soul, Moon Soul, Fog, Splendor of Stars, and Mist and battles them. Fuyao is increasingly bold, brazen, and shameless. In each country, she slowly becomes more powerful as her martial arts/cultivation advances. (This is in contrast to the timid/shy, increasingly weak/poisoned/tired Fuyao in the chinese drama series) She often disguises her face, her gender, and her identity, and almost never flirts. Her personality is very fierce and valiant, especially as she trains hard and levels up. She is an OP Mary Sue character, but I didn't find her annoying or unrealistic.

The ML is master black-bellied schemer, Zhangsun Wuji, a brilliant Crown Prince of the ruling Empire. There is also domineering and straightforward Zhan Beiye, mysterious poisonous doctor Zong Yue, assassin Shadow Blade, Scarless Sword Yun Hen, weird Emperor Xuanyuan, first love Yan Jincheng, etc., who each have their own tragic backgrounds. Although the other men admire/love her for her fierce and valiant character, other than the ML, she treats them all as her loyal friends and doesn't flirt or encourage them. Fuyao has no memory before age 5 in this new world. Around Chapter 318 in Xuanji/Polaris Nation, we learn about her super-tragic past, and the huge debt that

Zhangsun Wuji and Zong Yue owe her from then. Unlike Fuyao, Zhangsun Wuji remembers their past, and when he first shows up in the novel and starts flirting heavily with her, he already recognizes her as his long lost fiancee.


Essentially, this is an adventure novel. Fuyao gets into all sorts of schemes and adventures, makes close friends, and somehow overturns the entire Continent with her crazy antics. The first volume is a bit cliche, as there is a sect, an older sect brother disciple who dumps her for a higher status princess/disciple sister, etc. After that, it's onwards and upwards.

Unlike the chinese drama, which is heavily focused on Deep Water Nation/Tai Yuan, Fuyao spends about an even amount of time in each country:

Volume 1: Deep Water/Tai Yuan Nation (Fuyao trains at the sect; also, in the drama, the Xuanyuan nation concubine story arc takes place in Deep Water nation instead)

Volume 2: Megrez Imperial City/Tianqian/Infinite Heart Nation (Zhangsun Wuji's country)

Volume 3: Heavenly Fiend/Tiansha Nation (Zhan Beiye's country)

Volume 4: Xuanyuan Nation

(Zhong Yue's country, this is the story arc where Fuyao joins the harem as a fake concubine, but it gets integrated into Deep Water nation in the c-drama)


Volume 5: Plough/Xuanji/Polaris Nation

(Fuyao's birthplace)


Volume 6: Fufeng/Lifting Wind Nation (Ya Lanzhu's country)

Volume 7: Ancient Firmament/Heaven's Court/Evergreen Nation (Zhangsun Wuji's sect, and where Fuyao wants to leave the Continent)

The current translation at webnovel is paused at Chapter 341, which is also Volume 6, Chapter 1, when Fuyao first enters Fufeng/Lifting Wind Nation. There are 547 chapters (according to NU), or 7 Volumes, in total. The novel ending is entirely different from the chinese drama ending, and Ninja Reflection's site has a good description of the novel ending if you want to look it up. It's a

happy ending, Fuyao travels back to modern times to say goodbye to her mother, travels back to the Five Regions Continent, Wuji and Fuyao get married and have triplets, and combine their countries into one big country. I'm not clear on what happens to the other characters, who each get their own thrones but don't get the love of their lives.


I'd recommend this novel for the adventure aspect. Fuyao is very dedicated to levelling and leaving the Continent, so she tries to ignore any romance, so romance isn't the main focus here (until the end, I think). I liked the chinese drama for the actors, sets, music, and world building, but the pacing was slow, the side stories were expanded, and the ending was questionable. Fortunately, the novel really is great at filling out the rest of the adventure story, giving us a powerful and strong Fuyao, and a happy ending. The translation is very good. <<less
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Liyu rated it
March 9, 2020
Status: --
To be honest, I didn't even make it past the few first chapters, I will explain why.

There are people who say that you just have to stick for it past the first volume and you will like it, I guess I don't have that much patience. So you may try and see. If you are the kind who have resistance for this kind of thing, take my comment with a pinch of salt and try your chances.

Spoiler alert ! (only the first chapters)

Actually, the first chapter was very good,... more>> it started with a good and reasonable background story; even though realistically her age was too young for her to be an archeologist, much less a team leader.

Then we have the transmission to the cultivation world, and a realistical beginning in the novel. A good building for her counterattack. She actually pretends to be a waste because she cultivates a secret art and she suffered all this while from the tauntings of her sect members to keep it a secret. She could have just waited for the competition to make a good come back. BUT no no no! she couldn't bear the taunt of her love rival, ended up exposing her hand and got thrown in jail by the sect master to get the art from her and lost half of her cultivation...

Mmmm... this kind of MC, I don't like.

Actually, the author really paid attention to the story and wanted to write it pretty well BUT he just ended up sugar-coating things and doing useless descriptions. Although it may seem like a good way to make characters more 3D but instead of focusing on description, he should have focused on reactions. The end result was ridiculous interactions between characters plus annoying descriptions. What he needed to describe, he didn't and what he didn't need to describe, he did.

Soon after her escape from prison, she met with a man who started teasing her and flirting with her; I didn't even concentrate when reading it. It was BORING.

This is it, boring, boring, boooooriiiing.

BORING <<less
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gottafly rated it
January 20, 2019
Status: c65
hmm.... what can I say as I've tried to read as much as I can endure till chapter 65?

It's an ok story. If anything, it's more of a chic-flick story than anything.

There are many skipped/confusing parts that were either unexplained, skipped, ignored, and/or forgotten.

... more>> The author tends to over-reiterate/over-describe things. Ok we get it-she was pretty-that was a nice scenery--no need to beat a dead horse over it again and again.

I can understand romance stories and the such but some stuff in here are like a bit forced. I guess its typical chinese sexual assault/mol*station of virgin writers or something of the sort.

Besides some of the negative stuff-there plenty of twists-plots-conspiracy that was quite intriguing. Though it did get ruin when cultivation crap just got thrown in to make things overpowering and too convenient. The start of the story was the most confusing of all as things were just switching all over the place. It was like poor execution of staging the story into sequence. The translation is also like a C in spelling/grammar.

There are also many force jokes to make it comical. I wouldn't recommend letting your kids under 16 read this. So many vulgar/cussing and sexual (*assault*) takes place in here. Is like a teaching your kids into bad society to become a rapist or bully. <<less
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Lilpriestess rated it
January 26, 2018
Status: v2c8
This story and writing and translation are all LOVE!!! From all the Swoon worthy possible ML’s. All just top notch. I can’t even begin to describe how much I’m enjoying the “exquisitely” translated writing, another reviewer already stated. I definitely wish I could read in chinese so that I could fully immerse myself in the wondrously wonderful writing that I’m sure it is in the original text

female lead- awesome kick a** but not so OP - still room to grow and oh so humorous!!! Love her

ML - if I think... more>> I’m right— super dreamy!! Like all ML’s should be— giving the FL opportunities to shine and yet still be supportive (no block of ice super mean treatment- although I do like our ice men too)

story— love the transmigration aspect and how the skills she has in her old life translate well in her new life— well crafted storyline — the end point of the story is given— now we get to enjoy the adventures and how she achieves her goals so far, will update when finished.

Crossing my fingers that the translations for this will finish because I will definitely be saddened that I won’t be able to read the rest of Fu Yao’s story

I know it’s going to be adapted into a drama but I always love the novels more <<less
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darkclouds rated it
December 30, 2017
Status: v2c6

The description above is lengthy, unremarkable and stale. Ignore it.

If you're wavering, stop, and begin reading this novel at once; this is a well-written story. It's been a while since I've read it so I cannot recall much of the plot and the finer details. The plot is quite complex, even though it is not apparent at the start. The characters are intriguing, the dialogue is entertaining. The political machinations seem to flow easily enough.

Read this novel, or fear retribution from Master Yuanbao.

The adorable, revengeful pet in the story.


I plan to read from the start again, when there are more updates. I'll add a more comprehensive review then.

The drama adaptation is being processed with Yang Mi as Fu Yao. I hope this encourages more people to give this a try.
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haruhi91 rated it
September 5, 2017
Status: v1c39
This novel surprised me, I started it with low expectations, but I have to admit it is good and I keep waiting for new chapters. I really like the protagonist: she is strong, shameless and quite unlucky in a sense. She keeps encountering people that drags her unwillingly into a series of unfortunate and challenging situations. It is quite funny as she comes out with crazy ideas to escape difficult events, it almost seems as the more she tries to run away from danger, the more she becomes unavoidably entangled.

Altough... more>> we have the usual stereotypes of chinese novels such as jealous females, arrogant and cold warriors, aloof male lead and so on, they are well portrayed with interesting interactions with Meng Fuyao.

The main drawback that may keep away readers is probably the "everyone love me" syndrome as every beautiful guy falls easily for her, which I don't mind as long as it is funny.

The only detrimental point for me, is how often the writer enriches action scenes with pointless, over-wordly cheesy description. I took two examples from two random chapters:

The breath of the man behind her was warm and enthralling, as if it was a beautiful dream that would make one lose themselves; or as if a fresh breeze drifting from the state of Xuanyuan where the four seasons were like spring; or as if a pool of rippling fragrant jade water in Tai Yuan’s most beautiful lotus pond, soft, enchanting, ever-present.

Her eyes were clear like the moonlight above the Nine Heavens that had not yet been hidden by the fogged clouds; his eyes were deep like the vast rivers in between the eight wastelands, that tumbled and flowed without rest.

So, should you read it? I'd say yes, if you want a charismatic and amusing female lead dealing with adventures and politics in unexpected ways. <<less
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Ecirteab rated it
August 9, 2018
Status: v2c19
Very well written and translated novel. An extremely descriptive novel that knows when to show an intense focus of the scene, to show the unrestrained violence and cruelty but also to show the beauty of feelings, it knows when to zoom out, to show a broader picture after the first intensity and show the effects of the actions. The balance between comedy and genuine seriousness is delicate but well done

Fuyao is an extremely likable heroine who can be a little brash and a little hot tempered but also knows when... more>> to get serious and has genuine compassion for lives. She takes a while to grow on you but when she does, you'll really feel for her. Her compassion may be a weakness at times but she knows when killing is necessary and doesn't hold back. At the end of the day, she has a good heart and surprisingly complex issues it seems she repressed

The male lead is straightforward in his affection for her, in all his actions and plans, he truly cares for her. He's mysterious and basically omniscient but never too aloof and his interactions with fuyao and yuanbao make him far more human than god. As one of the main mysteries so far, He's done well.

The other men in the 'reverse harem (although fuyao obviously only has the male lead in her eyes) are also done well with distinct characterisation.

the prince/general is my least favorite due to his personality and I actually like the two more restrained males (The doctor and swordsman) who're clearly filled with emotion. With the doctor being more prominent in the later chapters, there's a sense of longing but never able to attain it

in the end, they're distinct people sliding in and out of fuyao's life.

Thanks to the translator for an amazing translation that encapsulates the emotions. I highly recommend the novel. <<less
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lkimi rated it
August 14, 2021
Status: v2c19
i liked the novel a lot and the plot was really interesting. What annoyed me the most was the way the author wrote alot of unnecessary descriptions. It feels as though shes trying to hit the word count required for her essay. I think this is one of the reasons why the novel is so damn long, its full of redundant descriptions. Plus the author kept describing ML and MC appearances sooo many times its annoying. An example of what I meant, "it seemed as if the sky exploded with ten thousand streaks of light without warning! Magnificent and scintillating, the streaks rose up from the distant heavens, then rushed towards the boundless shattered void like eternal flames, parting the darkness like breaking waves. Faster than the eye could see, in a blink crossing sky and covering sea – filled with the primitive aura of the universe!" what the fk is up with this? U can get the gist of what the author is trying to say smth about how it was magnificent but was this description needed??? NO!! Infact it felt too far-fetched imo LOL
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Valentine3201 rated it
May 19, 2020
Status: --
To be very honest,

The novel is pretty decent. If you’d like to read cultivation, political catastrophe, love triangles, traditional setting — this one is for you.

However, the writing is not at par with many other stories. We have a MARY-SUE protagonist. Which means no matter what she does, no matter what she looks like — everyone loves her. Which can get (to me) annoying pretty fast. All of the guys you meet inevitably fall in love with, which neglects the other side female characters — that also helps out... more>> along with the story. Which is kind of sad, when you look into 1 particular female side character (which I personally like). However, Fuyao is not all Mary-sue like. She does have faults and whatnot, but those “faults” aren’t really faults. They’re just quirky points out in to make you like her.

Another thing is, the ending. The ending is sort of an unsatisfactory ending for me (personally). Just because there are many loose ends for me to fully understand and grasp their decisions (not Fuyao’s but everyone else’s). Then again, you can say the ending fits for our two main leads but does injustice for everyone else involved.

I do believe that the novel’s main setback is their side characters. You get introduced to so many in such short amount of time and they all have one basic personality. It’s called the, “I love Fuyao and would do anything for her” personality. Which is nice, but as stated before — it neglects good character development and neglects other female characters introduced. I do understand it’s called “Empress Fuyao” or “Legend of Fuyao.” But why introduce GOOD side characters who eventually become canon fodders?

All in all, this novel is a good read and it’s drama is good as well (the drama strays a bit away from the whole reverse-harem stuff). The novel is still a good read, if you like a strong female lead and martial arts + cultivation. <<less
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hybridiris rated it
November 3, 2019
Status: c341
Before around chapter 70 or so, I had my doubts about this story. The author spent a lot of time obscuring the main character's reasoning for her actions and that made it hard for me to understand her. Around the second volume is when we really get to know her and the story really starts growing on me. With what I know now about her, going back to read the earlier chapters take on a new light. I am absolutely in love with this story. The prose is beautifully translated... more>> and the plot can be very surprising at times. Stick with it past the first volume. You'll definitely be rewarded. While I disagree with the author's choice of leaving the impression that the main character is flighty and well kinda crazy until you really get to know her, I still enjoy so much about the following volumes, that I have to give this a high score. It's one of the most beautiful novels I've read and even in translation, I can sense the beauty of the prose. I hope you all enjoy it. Good things come for those who read past the first volume :P <<less
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saphire8626 rated it
March 27, 2022
Status: Completed
This is the very loose prequel of her other book, 皇权, and this book was adapted into the TV drama, Legend of Fuyao. I didn't watch it coz I didn't like the cast.

Plot: this is a sprawling and absolutely mammoth book. Meng Fuyao, the main character, is an archaeologist. During a dig, she was transported to another world. This world is like a xianxia world - there are cultivation masters, magical creatures/monsters, and the usual stuff you expect from a xianxia/wuxia story. The world is split into seven kingdoms, each... more>> with its own cast of characters. Some of the kingdoms are distinctly different from the others.

Fuyao retains her memories of her past life and she grew up aiming to collect an item from each of the kingdoms because that will allow her passage into the last kingdom, Qiong Cang, where it is said that the powerful, almost god-like ruler will grant a wish to anyone who passes his tests. Fuyao wants to use the wish to go home. She has a sick and ailing mother who depended on her, and she and her mother were very very close.

So the novel is split into seven books or seven arcs chronically her adventures in each kingdom. What happens in each country is very predictable: she goes to the kingdom, gets embroiled in brutal and bloodthirsty politics, dig up old and horrible secrets, bring them to justice through a coup, and either becomes the Empress or helps someone become the Emperor. Usually, the guy becomes the Emperor is in love with her, so she ends up being the love interest of like, the Emperors of at least four kingdoms, lol.

This is largely a quest/adventure story with a heavy dose of romance. There are SO many love interests. It's almost a harem novel. Every man is extremely beautiful, skilled, powerful and falls in love with Fuyao lmao. I loved Fuyao and Zhangsun Wuji.

What I didn't like: subtle thread of misogyny. Like the author's other novels, most women are really unlikeable but the men are very very complex. Each of the male characters has compelling arcs, and even male villains are quite easy to sympathize with, even if their actions are awful. Not so for most of the women. They're just awful. I was so glad when they died.

Also, some of the arcs were long af and some of the side characters were boring to read about. It feels like the author took her time developing and writing the first 2-3 arcs, so that they were a bit draggy, but then kind of ran out of steam near the end. The last few arcs were rushed with a lot of stuff happening in a very short span of pages.

The ending was so bad lol. It was just really melodramatic.

I do think this author is really good at writing very moving moments. Fuyao underwent transformational changes throughout the book. I loved watching her evolve. A lot of the side characters had very poignant scenes that I still remember even after finishing the book. <<less
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tholovar rated it
October 10, 2021
Status: c25
First Impressions of the opening 20 chapters

This is a frustrating read and I have only read the first 20 chapters. You are introduced to the female lead and you think, "ok, she is going to be a kickass protagonist". However by chapter 5, things reverse and for the next 15 chapters she is constantly being rescued by the male lead who falls in love with her at first sight. FFS at one point, even she notes that he has rescued her twice in 2 hours.

Now not only is she constantly... more>> being rescued, looking dazedly at the beauty of the male lead, falling into traps & generally being as ditzy as she can be; she seems to constantly farewelling the male lead only to be back with him again in the next chapter.

As an example of how s*upid she is;


she is distracted (this is not uncommon for her) and does not notice a horse almost riding her down, when she does, she is so smitten by the "beauty" of the horse that she immediately & impulsively jumps on its back (wtf), whilst the horseman is also still on the bloody horse (double wtf). Then it turns out that the horseman is her ex (triple wtf). Seriously the story constantly tells us she wants to keep a low profile yet nothing she actually does is a bout keeping a low profile.


I might continue reading a bit more, hoping it improves and that the female lead improves. But the first 20 chapters are not promising. And as this has a "reverse harem" tag whilst the female lead is a dunce damsel in distress, this has the potential to get exhausting fast. <<less
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