The Rental Shop Owner


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I think that was the moment when everything started to change.

I don’t know why but I had never liked anyone in all those years. Even though I liked men, I had never taken a liking to any.

I thought it was out of sympathy and pity at that time.

But someone once said that love stemming from sympathy and pity is actually more down-to-earth. I think it was Zheng Zhihua talking about his wife.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Lawless Gangster (2)
Epiphanies of Rebirth (2)
Rebirth of a Movie Star (1)
The Ugly Prince (1)
Tattoo (1)
Slow-Witted (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. The Era of Chinese Economic Reform (1970/90)
  2. BL/Yaoi novels that caught my eye
  3. Short BL Novel
  4. BL - Top Rated 'Completely' Translated on NU
  5. Best BL Reads

Latest Release

Date Group Release
06/21/15 Chinese BL Translations epilogue
06/21/15 Chinese BL Translations extra
06/19/15 Chinese BL Translations c16-17
06/14/15 Chinese BL Translations c15
06/07/15 Chinese BL Translations c14
06/03/15 Chinese BL Translations c11,12,13
05/24/15 Chinese BL Translations c8,9,10
05/17/15 Chinese BL Translations c5,6,7
05/10/15 Chinese BL Translations c2,3,4
05/09/15 Chinese BL Translations c1 + prologue
Write a Review
16 Reviews sorted by

New LeynA rated it
August 9, 2020
Status: Completed
the novel was quite interesting.. its sad that people experience traumatic events such as what happened with Shen Bin but for him to be able to turn the tables around, it was amazing... im happy for the MC and ML to find love like them..

thank you to the translator. you did a very good job!!!!more novels please...
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erikvio rated it
March 6, 2018
Status: epilogue
Short and sweet, with a little bit of angst mixed in. A recipe for success.

The story is written as if the MC is recounting his past to you, which made the prose quite interesting. It follows the burgeoning romance between an underachieving college graduate and a younger street thug over the years; set in China at the turn of the millenia.

Outside of the dramatized plot points (since it is a story, of course!), the novel is quite realistic. Since it's set in near-modern day, readers will probably recognize the pop... more>> culture references and events the author mentions. It pokes fun at the BL-obsessed subculture that a sizable portion of its reader base likely consists of, and I found it so spot on I couldn't help but smile. I found the couple's realistic relationship incredibly refreshing and relatively true-to-life. The author never goes into detail during the R-rated scenes, and I've seen complaints over this in the other reviews, but those sexy times aren't the be-all-end-all of their relationship. <<less
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AddictedHeroin rated it
June 11, 2017
Status: c1
As I tried to give this short novel a chance, I didn't have much expectations. But I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it and finished it in one go. The story between the characters becomes more clear after a few chapters. It was really cute, and has a happy ending which is a plus for me.
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ninish rated it
October 25, 2016
Status: epilogue
This story is good, don't mind the 1 ratings, those are the yaoi-hating trolls messing around with things. The first chapters didn't catch my attention too much at first, mainly cause I'm a fantasy fanatic (oh, I'm a fan-fan) an this is set in the real world, with real situations, but by the end of it I was praying for it not to end, i'd have liked to read more. As the translation is complete, if you like BL I recommend you to give it a try, it will be... more>> worth your time. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
December 12, 2015
Status: --
A down-to-earth but really nice story about two men with large gaps between them. One is in his twenties, the other's still wet behind his ears. One is a university graduate, the other is a high school dropout. One is a respectable member of society, while the other is a thug. How will they reach out to each other?
Plot-wise, there are many things that the author could have dig out but didn't. However, the way the story told gives feel-good vibe that we can't complaint it's bad. A must... more>> read for people who likes boys love romances with setting in modern era. <<less
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earlgreyt rated it
February 21, 2019
Status: Completed
Wow, despite this being a short read, this story can pull the emotions out of you. This is a very good, realistic modern romance that doesn't try to fetishize the male characters as much as in many other BLs.

The MC is an average but college-educated guy with a loving family. He opens a multimedia rental shop ends up with someone in completely different circumstances (street gang/criminal). This story is about their unconventional getting together. It's fluffy but very touching and deep at the same time. The hurdles the modern couple... more>> went through were very down-to-earth and pretty grounded in the political/social culture at the time. It feels like you're hearing about a 'real' couple working down the street.

The author is an excellent writer who doesn't need to over-explain or info-dump the details. The layers of the characters get peeled back one by one as their relationship progresses. Translation is fantastic as well. Highly recommend. <<less
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ahxin rated it
July 1, 2019
Status: epilogue
Ah ah ah ah!!!! A definite favorite, must-read ah!!! The atmosphere that was given by this novel is truly nostalgic~ The author did a very good job ah!!! The same feeling as I was reading Eleanor and Park... as if I was being transported to a very familiar place. This is my cup of tea. The narration technique of blending in the past, the present and their hopeful future. ... more>>

As how MC would retort from time to time, how a certain behavior or action he did in the past would still be laughed at by ML


I like the arrangement of the events ah. The author did not make me feel confused as there was always a reason why they had to jump or go back, or suddenly bask in a short memory. This way of writing is somehow nearer to the English novels I have read... I can't seem to pinpoint why. My cup of tea, in specifics, is a novel that I can read in a warm, cozy place, without fear of crying, tearing up, etc. Well, that's because the place I chose is a safe place. And unlike humorous, lighter novels which I can read easily in the public transport, this one is something I'd love to share all my feelings to, and therefore would love to keep it all for myself, all in private. Ah, in addition, this kind of setting and way of storytelling also reminded me of the older Studio Ghibli works ah~~
This would be my after-reading review, and I may edit to add more about the specifics of the story or the characters, but I may also not. All I can say is I thank you author, and I thank you Shen Bin and Qian Jiyang for sharing your story with us~~ <<less
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Passerby Soysauce-sama
Passerby Soysauce-sama rated it
May 25, 2019
Status: Completed
I was shouting in my mind slag! slag! Ah please don't misunderstand. This was brought by circumstances in the novel... Rating this 4.8

Definitely a must-read! I was pulled into a late 80's and early 90's ambience while reading this. There was still the taboo for love between men. This is very realistic and a love beyond physical ties.

Very emotional and dramatically heavy, at the same time, gives the feeling of nostalgia. This broke my heart, healed it and broke it again and again!!! SLAG right?!

But this went BEYOOOOND my expectations!... more>> It left a sweet and warm aftertaste; which is rare in my BL adventures. Please read it to the end! <<less
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Arenaphrodite rated it
January 15, 2020
Status: epilogue
After reading the first few chapters I didn't like it that much but still gave it a go and boy did it turn out to be good! So don't mind the low ratings. Trust me, this story is great. I loved it.
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shad1234go rated it
January 23, 2019
Status: Completed
This was truly amazing. The story is so much more than a slice of life. It felt real and made me almost cry but I was very happy with the ending... Amazing piece of work and amazing translation.
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hiharu rated it
June 18, 2020
Status: Completed
My eyes were swollen after I finished this story. I feel like I've been crying from the beginning until the ending (tears of joy). I loved how realistic the story is (which is more heartbreaking to know that somebody might have really experienced it in real life). It made me want to hide them in my pocket. Amazing translation and thank you author for the happy ending ㅠㅠ 💙
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pinkumilkuu rated it
March 24, 2020
Status: Completed
I read this way back 2018 but I forgot to rate it. : ( Good:

  • Flow of the story: despite being a short novel, the details and phasing was very satisfying.
  • MC: He's a coolheaded guy and I'm glad he met ML.
  • ML: I'm sad just thinking about his story, I'm glad he's happy now and has learned his lesson ; ((
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March 20, 2020
Status: Completed
Omg it was pretty good and well translated. Kudos to author and the translator for their hard work 👏🏻 Generally I'm not fond of this bl's but must say it was written well. I was close to taking my eyes out because of bawling when reading but really got satisfied in the end after reading epilogue and extra 😍

Also author hinted, it was based on real story. Omg how sweet it is ? ☺️ Anyway, you must read if you are a gang of rotten girls squad
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tahneenee rated it
November 2, 2019
Status: epilogue
What a gem!!!!!! I love this story so much. I need a new folder for books I plan to re-read many times.

Now I'm off to find everything else by this author.
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scrapsd rated it
August 2, 2019
Status: --
Nothing much to hate. It’s a good mellow type of story. Mainly drama, not much comedy. If you like a good story, this one’s good for you. I really like the style of writing. It’s a flashback diary style of writing of the MC. The dynamics between the 2 are great, the drama in between them is well developed and it ends nicely too. It is romance, but if you want something fluffy (which I thought it was from the title), it’s not really gushingly fluffy type, but whatever, the... more>> good plot made me read this all in one shot. A nice short read and I recommend! <<less
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izayaYY rated it
July 2, 2019
Status: --
This novel is full of nostalgia for me, a 90s kid. The atmosphere, the details of the 80s/90s, the VCR, the animes, the old computers, the rental video shops, they are all authentic and contribute to the realism.

This novel has a similar setting and vibe as "The Beijing Story" but I prefer this book... at least this one has a happy ending lol. "Beijing Story" was tragic and sad and broke my heart. I was afraid that this one would be the same since the narration is so serious and... more>> heavy, especially when you have gangsters involved. But it's surprisingly sweet and romantic. I love the extra about their love, 10yrs after. Sooooo goood! <<less
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