Spring Trees and Sunset Clouds

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An average, normal university student transmigrates into the royal family in another world, where he becomes one of the successors of the throne. Life in the palace is inevitably difficult though, what with all the scheming enemies around him. This man’s only wish in this world is to be able to protect his “younger brother,” and for that, he’ll do anything–whether by hook or by crook–to ensure his brother’s safety and have him succeed the throne.

The man never once expected, though, that the person whom he swears to protect would be the one to stab him in the back. He got locked in a dungeon where he was tortured for three years. And when he was on the brink of death, his body was thrown away into the river.

When he wakes up, he finds himself in an eccentric and peaceful place, where everyone is suspiciously more than what they seem…

[This is a story about recovery from trauma and finding happiness.]
Associated Names
One entry per line
春树暮云
Related Series
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Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/20/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c54 (end)
09/16/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c53
09/11/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c52
09/08/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c51
09/04/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c50
08/31/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c49
08/28/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c48
08/24/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c47
08/21/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c46
08/17/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c45
08/15/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c44
08/10/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c43
08/08/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c42
08/04/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c41
08/01/18 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c40
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51 Reviews sorted by


Tearlesereph
New Tearlesereph
January 21, 2020
Status: Completed
4.5 stars if I could give halves.

I adored this novel. It was a quick read with great translations and nothing felt dragging. The MC went through a few years of horrible torture but there aren't gruesome details that would give anyone nightmares, just mentions of some pretty famous torture devices like the bronze toaster etc by name and it's up to the reader if they want to look up how these torture devices work. Either way, he's scarred physically and emotionally and the story is really about him coming to... more>> terms with his third chance at life. The people around the MC are honestly amazing for seeing him beyond his physical body and accepting him the way he is.

The romance is really soft and builds slowly in the background. One thing I really enjoyed about the romance was that it wasn't built on any physical attraction at all. ML has no interest whatsoever on how MC looks, he could be scarred, he could be pretty or he could look like a female and it didn't matter.
Spoiler

Like, actually didn't matter. When MC asked if there was a way to "polish off" his scars, ML thought he was asking for a new face and straightforwardly stated what kind of options he had - which was anything, and it really didn't seem to matter to ML.

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ML also was not pushy, his feelings were just there and open for the MC to take. He didn't kiss MC until MC invited him.. with honestly the cutest and purest way ever, I won't spoil so the readers can find out on their own.

The only reason I'm taking off half a star is because
Spoiler

I felt a bit jipped by the whole 'mystery' behind Guang Tian. I honestly thought it would be supernatural, like the world was in limbo and only accepted certain souls and maybe the ML himself was a supernatural being or something. All the hints seemed to lead up to that! The mythical beasts that are hunted and found in Guang Tian and seen nowhere outside that world for hundreds of years. The fact that the river washes up outsiders and then they go and 'decide' whether to send the people out or accept them into the city... like how did they 'see' that MC wasn't a soul with harmful intentions as opposed to another one?

I also don't understand ML's background... like his mother saw his ruthlessness (from his training...!) and wanted to drink the amnesia potion to forget about him... and forgot about him and managed to remarry and have another family and son... and the second son is only a few years younger than ML. Like, isn't that way too young to decide right away? I feel like that part and the part about ML's father dying of heartbreak later was just there to get pity points from the MC.

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aas9999
New aas9999
January 16, 2020
Status: Completed
It's slice of life romance, yes. The MC's gradual change from living like a corpse, having no expectation to live, yet doesn't matter if he died, really touched my soft spot. And I cried with all the warmth the people around MC gives him the care, love and space he needed to heal in his own pace. The flow captivates me. The romance is good, albeit not that much. Although I do agree that the mystery/world-building is not quite complete, but I believe the story is more on the life... more>> of MC and his healing process, so it doesn't really matter much. I'm still 100% satisfied with it. I hope it'll be longer but I know I'm just inviting sorrow unto myself with it haha. READ IT PLEASE <<less
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turelight
turelight rated it
October 22, 2017
Status: c35
For me, I really love this novel.

I don't know how to describe it in words, but it is kind of a 'rest your exhausted heart here, and immersed in warm light shining through tree branches in spring day' story.

Instead of showering you with cute, fluffy or sweet feeling, it warms your heart with silly yet deep interaction between the characters, and gives you various views of life (like Barakamon or Natsume Yuujinchou without Ayakashi).

... more>> "Seek for the place that you can belong. Not just exist, but live.

Learn to trust, to love, to accept and be yourself again."

- This is Spring Trees and Sunset Clouds from my point of view. <<less
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Legend
Legend rated it
July 28, 2018
Status: c38
So I found Spring Trees and Sunset Clouds to be a little different from the average romance/bl novel found on NU. For one thing, the novel is more on slice of life side, it doesn't have very much action or intrigue and isn't very fast pace. There is a little bit of mystery regarding the town, but that's resolved fairly quickly (and I wouldn't say that it's a real mystery seeing as the townsfolk don't really try to hide it). For another, although STSC comes off as a sweet and... more>> slow romance novel with lots of fluff, for me the true story here is about the slow road to recovery for a broken man, the people who didn't give up on him, and the man who loved him for who he is. The story is really heart warming, but it also doesn't just skip over the fact that the MC was traumatized because the mc's growth plays a very big role.

STSC begins with our MC washing up in a strange place even though, logically, he should have died. At this point in time he's already been living in this new world for quite some time, and what he's been through has already sort of broken him. The first half of the novel is very much about the MC integrating into his new life and slowly gaining back a little bit of that will to live that he originally lost. The MC and ML begin basically as employee and boss but their relationship quickly turns to friendship which slowly turns to love. There are a lot of sweet moments (and some funny ones too), and it's nice to see how gentle and patient the ML is.

All in all it's a great read and definitely worth a shot.

I've added an excerpt below that was taken from the translated work. Gives you a good idea about the MC and ml's relationship. Includes some light spoilers.

Spoiler

This is the MC (Nan Ge Er) 's thoughts. The person mentioned below is the ml.

He, from Bei Jun, drifted through the river. With his body filled with rounds and his heart packed with despair, he arrived at Guang Tian while nearing death. He initially thought the entire world had abandoned him, or that he was hated by everyone. However, unexpectedly, he met a world, completely different from what he knew, here with his own eyes.

A different life, scenery, and people. Bit by bit, his broken spirit was melted by the warmth. After that, it congealed into a new shape and colour gradually. It wasn’t intentional, nor was it unnatural. He was, truthfully, noisily, then gently, integrated here after starting afresh. And then, presently, a certain person said, it was worth it no matter how long it takes.

Regardless the substantial amount of time needed to heal those previous wounds, the person still thought it was worth it. The person stated, even if others threw him away like a used rag, he is still a treasure in the person’s eyes. Although he was an untrustworthy fellow and had problems with his personally, he still said that seriously.

Nan Ge Er just felt- joyful. yet, he felt like crying for a bit.

I don't know if I like him or not, but, I just felt delighted. There's a person who treasures me as such. He protects me, mindfully in places I'm unaware of, as he is fearful might suffer any bit of wound again. He treats me as though I'm a rare treasure, guarding me carefully since he doesn't have the heart to let me encounter any difficulties. And then, people around me look at such a cherishment innocently; they smile while considering it natural.

I... I don’t know

But, I think, maybe I will try to protect my body even harder, and live on.

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nixxara
nixxara rated it
December 15, 2017
Status: c9
I don't know how to describe this book and I also don't know what direction the story is going in since the MC doesn't need really have a goal. At first, I was a little bored but getting further into the story, I found that the story may seem simple but many deep thoughts are expressed through their actions.

The life of the MC after being washed shore to an unknown land is monotonous but he finds that there's more to the people living there than what meets the eye. The... more>> MC himself isn't ambitious due to all the bad things that happened to him after reincarnation. He just wants to live in this new place where everyone seems friendly and kind. It's a new environment for the him who's always lived in a toxic environment where it's kill or be killed after reincarnating. This new way of life reminds of him of his life before reincarnating. Everything is super peaceful, but there's always a feeling of some hidden danger... Like the people living there are hiding their strength/abilities in order to live a normal life.

This isn't really a spoiler but: A cool thing is that only those who have no where to go are allowed there. It's hard to have people with bad intentions enter (since there are hidden people regulating it in the dark) <<less
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PotatoCakes
PotatoCakes rated it
January 15, 2019
Status: Completed
I generally enjoyed the story until it got a bit too ridiculous. Personally, I like to pretend the last 1/3 of the novel doesn't exist. It's a slow paced slice of life novel that delves into what it means to be happy & fulfilled. The premise of the story is interesting and a breath of fresh air. There's not much plot, but that's okay since the story is mostly about character progression. Too bad the characters are one-dimensional and the world building is abysmal. MC lives in a Chinese version... more>> of Stardew Valley. He spends most of his time farming, raising livestock, and interacting with townsfolk. He's escaping from his traumatic past and is trying to find a reason for living. Nothing he does is particularly noteworthy, but everyone loves him for no good reason.

The characters are a very typical for BL novels. MC is whiny, annoying, and constantly throws tantrums when the ML is around (think throwing rocks, salting his food, and other childish things). I can't imagine how anyone would think this is cute. ML is the typical perfect, powerful, and respected figure who is lord of this Chinese Stardew Valley with a dark side, which he holds back because of MC.
Spoiler

The latter 1/3 of the story is utter bullshit. The whole entire backstory for Mo Shu is inconsistent. It's best summarized by "why did you save me when you kill all other outsiders indiscriminately?" "Dunno, just felt like it". It's lazy and inconsistent - a hallmark of a poorly written story.

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Overall, the story is short enough to be acceptable since the beginning 2/3 was okay. I would recommend reading on a rainy day when you have nothing better to do. <<less
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puffiness123
puffiness123 rated it
July 10, 2018
Status: c31
This story is beautiful. It is a gentle love story.

Spoiler

MC's face was destroyed so he has become unattractive. ML loves him regardless. ML is also very patient and kind.

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IceLight303
IceLight303 rated it
September 21, 2018
Status: c54
This is a story that is very fluffy. The summary is kind of misleading it has almost nothing with to do with his life in the royal palace. There is very little angst in this story. I found the story engaging and the ending was satisfactory. I a going to miss the characters in this story. I would definitely recommend this story to others and may reread it in the future.
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itikky
itikky rated it
March 10, 2018
Status: c17
Slow romance, but it's a wholesome slice of life with a bit of mystery for the backgrounds of the townspeople! Refreshing that the MC isn't a pretty-boy! Although, he is still delicate...
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
February 2, 2019
Status: Completed
This isn't a novel to be taken literally; it's more of a spiritual journey told through the magical realism genre. Things don't make too much sense, even when explained (in the later third of the story), but the crux of the story is not about finding answers to the mysteries surrounding the island.

It's about a person's journey towards healing after hardship, enduring, surviving through deep emotional hurts, and understanding what it means to be human. Told in a very surreal, yet humorous fashion, the overarching theme is subtly expressed through... more>> the still moments between the characters. The author is able to skillfully take such a heavy topic and turn it into something very natural and paced in-between moments of daily life.

Don't expect any strong action or complex plot; it's sweet and funny and very very fluffy. Overall, this is a very different breath of fresh air and something I would recommend to people who've also struggled with certain things in their life. <<less
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Chi
Chi rated it
September 21, 2018
Status: Completed
As a slice of life novel it is really good. It's unique on it's own way, differing from others reincarnation in another world in the aspect that MC doesn't want to use his past knowledge to strike rich but just to pass by (have enough money just for their necessity).

The characters have their own stories, personality, quirks, defects and traumas.

In general it's an enjoyable read, mostly light and funny.

H just a bit on the end..... nothing detailed though......
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RAGA
RAGA rated it
September 19, 2018
Status: c53
Spoiler

Uuuhwa~ This story hits me right in the feels. The narrative of the MC's struggles to overcome his traumas (he experiences things like depression, severe PTSD, existential crises, suicidal tendencies) after being burned to death, reborn, betrayed, tortured, and left for dead is exceptionally well-crafted. I'm actually a bit surprised that I haven't come across any other stories that take a deeper look into the existential side of finding yourself alive again after death. The MC's despair over the value of existence after living two extremely different lives and the pain of living even after essentially dying twice really struck a cord with me over the contradiction of a person's coexisting fragility and strength.

Luckily, there's a lot of fluffy moments and some comedy to balance things out. The ML is so wonderfully loving and doting, to the point where I can see why the MC turns into a tsundere around him. All that sweetness being tossed around, someone needs to rein it in. The ML is sooo sappy, he was probably a tree in his last lifetime.

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The summary might be a bit misleading. If any new reader is expecting a grand scheme/fight for the throne, this really isn't that type of story. This is a story about a man's struggle in finding meaning to live. TRIGGER WARNING: emphasis on the Trauma tag. Discussed more under my Spoilers above.
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emiliers
emiliers rated it
January 1, 2020
Status: Completed
I really, really enjoyed the beginning of this, enough to bump my score up to a 4/5, but I have mixed feelings about where it ended up going (as someone else mentioned, the last third of this novel is kind of... Not Great). The last bit isn't awful enough that I regret reading this, but it did bring my enjoyment of this story down a notch.

But, as a story about a man recovering from trauma and learning how to live and be happy again, this story starts out very, very... more>> good. The early slice-of-life portions where the main character is adjusting to life in Guang Tian are probably the best parts of this novel. And even when very little exciting things happen, the narrative flows smoothly and even the little things feel fun to read about. (I really liked learning snippets about Nan Ge Er's storytelling for the kids in the village--I definitely wish we got more about that!)

I think the story really falters when it decides to explain the "mystery" of Guang Tian (and consequently Mo Shu, the magistrate) in the last third. Before that, I was perfectly happy accepting Guang Tian as a magical realism-esque utopic society where people lost in life go to heal and make a new one. The last third of this novel completely shattered a lot of my expectations, and some of the sentiments espoused by the characters were very... yikes to me.

Spoiler

Mostly, I just really didn't like the implication that everyone in the outside world is naturally inferior to those born in Guang Tian. Like, I thought the novel was lowkey about overcoming fate (e.g. the main character's "fate" as a transmigrator, as a prince, etc.), but those last few chapters seemed to imply that, just by virtue of being born outside of Guang Tian, certain people aren't worthy of the same considerations/respect as those born on the "inside". The author tries to offset this by having orphans be adopted from the outside in Guang Tian, but it doesn't really fix the base issue.

There's also some really bad implications with the idea that "Guang Tian was made by the only true descendant of this mystical emperor who united the continent" and so "the rest of the continent is Guang Tian's playground to use and rule over". Like... 1) the idea that "blood" rather than "upbringing" is more important (e.g. the emperor's "bloodline" made the utopic Guang Tian, while his adopted children brought the world into chaos) and 2) the idea that there are just people who are naturally superior and so should rule over inferiors (ala, those who don't conform to their standards of living) is just... yikes yikes yikes.

All of this honestly just seemed to contradict a lot of what I got from the earlier parts of the novel. Which might be that I've just been misinterpreting the actual thematic weight behind this story. Though I'd rather believe it's an issue of the author accidentally contradicting themselves rather than my misinterpretation of previous themes, because otherwise all my love for this story would be gone.

I mean, I did enjoy the closure that Nan Ge Er got from going to Bei Jun and realizing he didn't actually need (or want) to be there, and that he'd rather be home with Mo Shu. I felt that this realization was good, and necessary, for the story and their relationship. But, again, I feel like the author overexplains herself here when she reveals that Nan Ge Er's brother hangs himself. Just... just let the ambiguity sit, OK? Much more poignant that way, instead of attempting to explain everything and explaining yourself into a mess.

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This is definitely an instance where I felt the author could've been better served to let the mystery hold, and just allowed the readers themselves to draw their own conclusions. It's a novel about Nan Ge Er's healing and recovery, after all, and as long as that aspect of the story has a beginning, middle, and end (which it does!), nothing else really needed to be explained.

TLDR; beginning bits about Nan Ge Er's healing/recovery from trauma is really, really good, the remainder bits overexplain the "mystery" of the setting and love interest and is not. <<less
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mariaflora1208
mariaflora1208
November 14, 2019
Status: Completed
What a wonderful, laid-back-paced story. Not entirely fluffy, but heartwarming is what best describes this novel. The story is all about redemption and acceptance, and finding happiness after all the traumatic experience MC had. Truly wonderful.
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Chan2
Chan2
November 14, 2019
Status: Completed
A very sentimental short novel about a prince (MC) who was betrayed by his younger brother after the MC got him the throne. The MC has no ambition to become the emperor and he whole heartedly supports his younger brother. When his brother was enthroned, the first thing he did was imprisoned the MC. MC was tortured and left to die flooding along the river. He ended up thousands of li away in a valley full of top notch martial artists. He was saved and nursed back to health. If... more>> you are looking for revenge plots, you will be disappointed. It has none of it. The novel is about the MC's journey towards recovery from a traumatic experience, betrayal by a loved ones, injuries to the body, mind and soul. The story ends well with him finding a soul mate and regaining his trust in human race <<less
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Chuyin
Chuyin rated it
August 28, 2019
Status: Completed
So, I rarely write detailed reviews of works, and I do it only when I think that there is something in the book that can be truly appreciated.

I read this short story at the beginning of the summer, feeling the fatigue coming up after hard student days. And you know what? It really helped me relax and find inner harmony. Someone from the commentators before me compared this work with the "Natsume's Book of Friends", only without spirits, and I will join in such an assessment.

Have you ever felt how... more>> the whole burden of the world rests on your shoulders? How does the external environment poison your very existence? Oh, believe me, the main character experienced this in full. His exhausted soul and half-dead body thrown into the river, like garbage, could only disappear, it would seem. But fate gave him a second chance, which was not wasted.
In this book you will not find dizzying adventures, incredible fairy-tale heroes, meaningless pa-pa-pa and dubcon. Perhaps the maximum of mystery that you will meet here is the name of the village, haha. The story stretches through the years, like delicate silky honey, filled with the aroma of summer. This life-battered boy who has lost everything learns to do what he never did before: plant vegetables, raise livestock, save money from selling in a shop. And here you will have the opportunity to observe his interesting and in his own way very competent, respectable philosophy, his attitude to life. The biggest and most painful-happy miracle that he met in his life was... the village. It is not known which, it is unknown where - eccentric, but sweet in its own way. It does not store the elixir of immortality and does not live Taoists, but these wooden houses and a dry plum tree outside the window become the embodiment of "The Peach Blossom Spring", the Chinese "heaven on earth." About this place, remembering with tenderness, I want to say: "home, sweet home."

Perhaps this is not the most terrific novel of those that I read, but I give her 4.5 with a deduction of 0.5 only for a slightly specific incident at the end, and for me this story will be the one that I still want to re-read time from time. <<less
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izayaYY
izayaYY rated it
August 17, 2019
Status: --
One of the best! A story about a traumatised and disfigured character, who finds love, acceptance and a new peaceful life in a quiet mysterious village. Relationship with ML is so sweet and fluffy. No angst and drama, just a lovely, beautiful and heartwarming read. No complex plot or exciting action sequences. This is really all about how MC finds a new lease in life, trying hard to find a reason to keep living, slowly (very slowly) healing by doing mundane routine tasks like gardening, cooking and raising chickens. Slow... more>> pacing is coherent because how in hell does one get over such a torturous past? Re-reading this, I always ask myself if I can be as strong as this MC 🤔 <<less
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FattyTabby
FattyTabby
July 15, 2019
Status: c35
I lost my interest halfway through the novel.

I like the MC and the ML is somewhat tolerable. But to me, there's just too many fillers just to show how unmotivated the MC is, it's just not what I want to read.

Too many names to know and to remember.
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max2payne0
max2payne0 rated it
July 11, 2019
Status: Completed
Its a slow, slice of life story where the MC gets to heal himself after what happens with his brother in his second life. I would have given it a perfect 5 just because I love how the ML treats the MC. Someone mentions the MC doing childish things like overly salting the ML's snacks, but he only does that because he always gets teased by the ML.

I only have one issue with this book.

... more>>
Spoiler

The ML's disregard for the lives of people outside this little town, and how everyone there couldn't care less about an outsider, besides the MC since they figured he wouldn't want to go back to where he was from after being tortured, bothered me. I was okay with the idea of other people that weren't in quite a hopeless state being killed or being tossed back into the river that brought them to the town so they don't spread stories. But from the scene where the ML and MC go back to the MC's old country, my like for the story dropped a bit. I also didn't like that the MC feared the ML after seeing him randomly cut people down because they were in his way, regardless of age or gender, which makes me wonder if he could have killed a child without a thought, since they weren't from his town.

I draw a line there. I also thought the MC should have talked to him about his fear and why indiscriminately killing is bad. Even after getting the warning in the spoilers, it still shocked me.

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That was my big issue with the story. Other than that, its great <<less
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zombiedudette
zombiedudette rated it
June 11, 2019
Status: Completed
This was such a bittersweet (emphasis on sweet) read. The MC had a very traumatic past, which isn't focused on much, and learns to overcome it through settling down in a mysterious village and learning to love. The romance was slow but so heartwarming, eliciting many tears and laughs. The ML has a bit of a darker side, but is very caring towards the MC. I could have done without the last 1/4, but I would highly recommend this novel nonetheless.
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BillionJellyfish
BillionJellyfish rated it
March 1, 2019
Status: Completed
A hidden gem!

This novel is beautifully written! A mix of philosophy and surrealism perfectly blend together this bittersweet bl novel and present a different perspective of transmigration/revenge novels!

A more in-depth summary:

The MC, who used to be a university student, has already died twice. The first death was when he was burned alive in the modern world and transmigrated into an ancient world. The second death was when he was tortured and thrown into the ocean by his younger brother in the ancient world. Even though the MC technically drowned in... more>> the ocean, the MC was somehow saved and rescued by a godly doctor, which is where the story begins. After going through a series of death, torture, heartbreak, and betrayal, the MC ends up in a city full of OP MCs. Every person in the city can be considered to be an OP MC in their own right, a "chosen one of heaven" or a "born once every hundred year talent" cliché protagonist that is in every cultivation novel. Simply put, the MC landed in a peaceful city loaded with OP MCs that can dominate the world, but instead of choosing to showoff to the world, the OP MCs choose to live a peaceful retiree lifestyle in a city full of other OP MCs. In this way, the MC starts a process of healing his past traumas/wounds while living among powerful martial artists.

MC+ML Intro/Romance Plot:

MC: an average college student, a little tsundere, heavily traumatized by his past

ML: a powerful martial artist, lack common sense/morals, foolish at times, doting and loving towards the MC and kind towards the citizens of his city (city is called Guang Tian)

The romance is neither slow or fast even though the ML falls in love first. Instead of the usual romance clichés, the love built by the MC and ML is based on healing and understanding. Healing past traumas while understanding that love needs compromise and sincerity. The love between the MC and ML is natural and sweet.

Overall:

Instead of a block bluster novel full of adventure and actions, this story is more focused on the turmoil of an average person transmigrating, then meeting with betrayal and death. Unlike the novels where the protagonists can easily accept the fact they had transmigrated and easily start building up power or those protagonists that have a second chance at life for revenge, this novel present a realistic transmigrated protagonist that has lived two lifetimes and is tired of living. Some may say this novel is depressing/gloomy or has too many fillers with no plot, which is true to a certain extent since this novel is a slice of life genre. The only plot is the journey of the MC's spiritual healing, which provides a very therapeutic sensation. I highly recommend this novel to those who want a break from all those high-strung novels with swords and bullets flying everywhere. <<less
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vinzha
vinzha rated it
February 21, 2019
Status: c54
I finished this book in a day, just what I wanted and needed.

Much of this book hits my sweet spots. Concise but still with a bit of mystery surrounding the characters and places. It's focused, and in its shortness achieves much with little. Its exposition is a mix of show and tell, which while I prefer showing more, its not extremely detrimental to the story, and in fact can be considered a part of the theme itself: the past is like a story, another world that exists without you. What's... more>> more important is now, the present. Even though the beginning was a bit of an information dump without any actual exploring, it makes sense. The entire point was that it has passed, and is over. A new life in a new place with a new identity. Even if it haunts Nan Ge Er, he has to slowly accept it's not part of him anymore.

The Slice of Life genre is a (one of the many) soft spot of mine, especially if it has a twist, like, y'know, performing mundane tasks and daily activities in a strange unknown environment.

Spoiler

The fact the people of the town are all extraordinary is showed through hints and protagonist observations, with the ultimate secret being that the people are essentially chosen ones, special ones.

I consider that place to be literally Paradise for Nan Ge Er, as he died twice already. Paradise in the way that the place, as the last few lines of the book say, is untouched even as the rest of the world is in chaos. Paradise in how the people are chosen, and outsider mortals are considered beneath them, ants beneath Mo Shu's feet. Its a bit of a twisted paradise but the point stands, and its not like the book ever tried to convince you otherwise. From the beginning to the realization of Mo Shu's complete disregard of human life, and own trained inability to understand why he should care, brought up as a beast since birth, hidden behind a smile, Nan Ge Er notes how terrifying and unnatural it is, but accepts it eventually. Because he is finally in Paradise.

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In this place, he finds the will to continue living, and accepts the good and the bad equally. Lucky with how he washed up still barely alive, given the freedom of living in Guang Tian, and well deserved with how he desperately, without neither a clear goal nor concrete ambition, still desired to survive. I think overall, this story is a great example of showing what it wants to say in the most balanced way possible, with acknowledgement to the downfalls of life and treating oneself and one's loved ones above all else. A story of healing, if you may. Of forgetting and rebuilding. Now, that comes down to the characters. Who I'm regretful to say, didn't quite stick with me as much as other novels. The main character is fine, but not incredibly new or memorable, and I have personal morally ambiguous feelings about Mo Shu. The characters overall weren't my favorites, but I personally didn't find them painful either.

Spoiler

I will say though, that the surrealist aspect is a bit of a double edged sword. It creates a weird environment for the main character to fufill basic slice of life activities in, which is a plus for me. But can be considered a bit dissonant with the overall theme of the story. I think that Mo Shu's backstory is almost satirical? The intentions of the author is a little unclear on that point, though I personally interpreted it as a sick twist and acknowledgement on selfishness of hapiness and being ignorant to a world that wouldn't be able to understand you either. A lot of moral ambiguities in this, and I'm not sure if it's done intentionally or not. But I still did enjoy the story overall.

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Slice of life or a slice of lung.

3.8/5.0 <<less
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