The Ugly Empress

Description

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After ten years on the battlefield, Teng Yun sees Xue Junliang protecting his country and conquering new territory, while he himself ends up with an arrow through his heart. When he wakes up, he becomes that man’s Ugly Empress.

This is about a Prince who is captured as prisoner and killed, then he is reborn as his enemy country’s ugly empress. With his black-bellied King of a husband, they love and hate each other. They use every possible method. Chickens fly and dogs jump, from imperial harem to imperial court there is no peace. In the end, they bring peace and stability to the country.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Chǒu Niáng Niáng [Chóngshēng]
Sửu Nương Nương
丑娘娘 [重生]
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Reborn as My Love Rival’s Wife (3)
The Demon King Always Thinks I’m Secretly In Love With Him (2)
Ban Lu Qin Jun (1)
Don’t You Like Me (1)
The Life After Marrying My Sworn Enemy (1)
The People Who’re Supposed To Kill Me Fell For Me Instead (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Revenge/ face slapping/ 2nd chance novels
  2. Those Book Who Made Me Love Bl 2
  3. Good reads ( Riberth BL)
  4. Best Danmei I Ever Read I
  5. Novelas ligeras bl

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/12/20 HillOH v2c5
03/25/20 HillOH v2c4
03/22/20 Nastriumden c84
03/22/20 Nastriumden c83
03/22/20 Nastriumden c82
03/22/20 Nastriumden c81
03/22/20 Nastriumden c80
03/22/20 Nastriumden c79
03/22/20 Nastriumden c78
03/22/20 Nastriumden c77
03/22/20 Nastriumden c76
03/22/20 Nastriumden c75
03/22/20 Nastriumden c74
03/22/20 Nastriumden c73
03/22/20 Nastriumden c72
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25 Reviews sorted by


Shadowdrop
New Shadowdrop rated it
May 13, 2020
Status: Completed
Spoiler

Low-key disappointed that emperor wasn't on the bottom even once (at least in the text), even though he said he is willing

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Good novel, though everything feels kind of small. The countries feel small, the wars were short, the ministers in the palace (that have a name, at least) were few, the imperial harem was practically non-existent.

Perhaps because this novel includes many things, it does not really develop them to a realistic scale. Maybe I'm just used to palace drama stories where the court is portrayed realistically, but the lack of ministers (and concubines) bugged me. And, the crown prince... who was his biological mother and why didn't she try to use him to gain power? It feels like the emperor just popped him out on his own.

Also, there was no real 'nobility' - as in non-royal families that had money and status. And any aspects of ruling a country apart from gaining new territories and suppressing rebellions are basically skipped. Agriculture? Pass. Trade? Nope. Passing new laws? Nah. If it's not related to military, then please stand by while the main characters build up the sexual tension. (To be fair, this novel is focused on the war time, so military matters were the most urgent ones. That's why I gave 4 star rating despite the little rant.)
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Giinza_
New Giinza_ rated it
May 7, 2020
Status: v2c10
So I had to stop midway.

the characters are amazing and the emperor is an actual emperor and not an “emperor just to make my character more powerful”. He thinks like an emperor and acts like one.

In the second volume everything seems rushed and the new translator is tr*sh. Maybe they are using TL or idk, but it’s not coherent at all and you have to guess what is happening. This is a the reason why I had to stop. I hope the first translator keeps translating this story.
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Harrr
Harrr
November 27, 2018
Status: --
So for anyone who feels not sure because of the Gender Bender's tag, don't be worry. I repeat. Don't be worry! There is really gay couple! And more than one! And doing more than kissing too! I repeat! The MC himself even still maintain his pride as a male even after he became the queen empress! I repeat! You should read it! You should support the translator!

The star will be given after I finish the story. Not because this is bad. This is a gem! A really good one for... more>> "male-to-female" trope! It's just my habit.

Throw love for this story! Translator-sama, update more fassssstttt!!!! /slapped

Spoiler

update: the MC jumping to a new body (male) after the queen body died! And there is papapa between him and the ML! Hehehehehehehe....

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NoRestraint
NoRestraint rated it
March 23, 2020
Status: v2c18
I was reading this novel on Wattpad. After the first book, the translator has suddenly gone mute. So when I found out that this novel was picked up by another translator, I was really happy. And a fast updater too. But the thing is I can't understand the translation at all. I tried to keep up until chapter 63 but I just couldn't understand what was going on with the story. Some phrases are weird. Sentences are complex. In fact, the whole translation is not stable. Like when we are... more>> reading as a third person POV, it suddenly has gone off trails and become I/We which greatly confuses me. I really tried hard to keep reading since I loved the story. But my head aches just by trying to comprehend what is happening. I know translator had put a lot of effort in the story. It's amazing to finish the whole story in barely one month. By saying this, I'm not trying to be rude. I just had to get it out of my chest. Haha. Well, if anyone can put up with this translation, go ahead. But I just can't. I really really love this novel. But I had to drop it because of translation. Maybe I'll re-read this novel if the previous translator becomes active again. For now, it's goodbye. <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
October 7, 2019
Status: Completed
Update (response) to one of the reviewers: Did we even read the same book!? This novel is BL/yaoi, so please do not spread false information. Thanks.

... more>>
Spoiler

FYI, there are 6 couples, not 2. "Harem intrigue" also doesn't remotely come close to being the plot. Seriously sounds like the reviewer posted about the wrong book.

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I definitely recommend this if you like a strong/independent MC who isn't feminized the usual way CN writers like to feminize BL protags (ironic since the MC is in a female body the first half of the story).

The MC is a very intelligent and incredibly capable general/strategist, so there are many scenes where the MC shines and successfully wins the battle or provides the winning battle strategy.

Despite the first half of the book being him transmigrated into the body of a woman, he doesn't act like one at all. It's quite easy to forget the MC's gender (kudos to the author for that) and readers get to see him as an individual instead.

Spoiler

The second half, the MC is in a male body, which is why this is tagged BL/yaoi. The romance only really begins when he is in a male body. The ML really does fall for the MC regardless of his gender, which is a very interesting plot point!

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The romance is enemies-to-lovers and slow burn (which I love!). There's a lot of mutual manipulation and bantering back-and-forth which make for great character development as feelings deepen. It also doesn't take center-stage of the plot.

The plot is like a simplified version of Three Kingdoms. There are essentially 3 major countries (a 4th one does show up as a small side plot) in conflict with each other, featuring 3 main couples (+3 minor couples, 6 total).

The war/politics are pretty simple but still done well and it's entertaining to see the MC out-wit the other side. The interwoven country politics and battles make the moments of humor/banter and romance more enjoyable.

Spoiler

The ML is portrayed very similar to how you'd expect strong emperors to act: fairly ruthless yet pretending to be noble, speaking half-truths-half-lies, difficult to guess, never showing his true thoughts, good at manipulating the masses etc., which was something I enjoyed a great deal, but may not be for everyone.

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The side characters are well-fleshed out, as well as their romances and motivations. There aren't a lot of cliche'd tropes here and people don't just exist to be faceslapped.

There's a lot about honor between gentleman, a kind of old-school historical feeling, so fallen enemies are more likely to be converted than straight-up killed, which is my jam.

PS. MC really isn't some heaven defying beauty (actually scarred/ugly) and characters aren't introduced with lengthy repetitive descriptions on how beautiful they are, so it's their actions that make them awesome, not their looks, which is absolutely a gem in CN ok?! <<less
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sindea
sindea rated it
April 22, 2020
Status: v2c5
Ok, this is my 1st review, but I really felt the need to write this.

The story is great, I usually dont like yaoi/bl thats pure fluff and no story/sustenance. And this is definitely not that, this has a very interesting story!

BUT, as previous comments have mention, I dont want to be rude, but the Nastrumden translations are WAY sub-par.

... more>> Honestly, his translations feel like a 100% mtl translation straight from google Translate or something.

I understand ancient Chinese is incredibly hard to translate, which is why mtl translation DOES NOT work for this style. The moment I switched over to Nastrumden, I was completely at a loss for what is going.

The sentence structures and everything are SO INCOHERENT you have no idea who its talking about who and even what they are talking about.

The pronouns are in such a way that it makes no sense, and overall you just cant follow the story what so ever with his translations.

This literally went from reading a story I loved so much (with HillOH translations), to completely loosing immersion (Nastriumden), and I couldnt even read Nastrumden's translations.

To be honest, thats how bad it is. It is LITERALLY INCOHERENT.

He is of course free to translate and upload whatever he wishes as long at it does not hurt anyone.

However, it is just really saddening that because of his translations, other translators are discouraged to translate this (as it is already "translated"?), hence we may not get a version thats actually readable; which makes me incredibly sad, since this is such a good story. <<less
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Tiga
Tiga
March 21, 2020
Status: --
I'm going to be brutally honest here. There's a lot of speculation about the gender bender: it's a gender bender. It's historical shoujo. The MC won't magically grow a D again. With this you know that you're about to read.

I'm really not personally a fan of the harem intrigue shoujo stories that even make the modern high school girls seem moderate and well behaved. Unfortunately, it's like this. Very cliché.

The yaoi tag for this story is because of the 2 side couples which appear on few chapters, nothing extensive. The... more>> main couple is typical molesting tyrant king with 3000 concubines and a weak empress unable to escape yada yada. The only real kick is that the empress used to be a man. However, his character development leaves much to desire because he starts to remind a high school girl as well.

If you like historical shoujo and harem intrigue then YES!! This is great read for you with the added knick knack of MC being a man in her head (doesn't actually differ significantly from the typical 'modern woman reborn into feudal time' thrope).

If you want to read yaoi then no no. Actually, please add the shoujo tag. I've dropped the story, but that's just my personal preference. <<less
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softmatcha
softmatcha rated it
July 26, 2019
Status: v2c2
03/25/20 Update: Thank you so much HillOH for continuing your quality translation into Vol. 2! I almost shed a tear when I saw a recent update for this story - it's too good to not continue!

My review will probably change once Volume 2 is complete, but I will say this now: even after several weeks of finishing Volume 1 and twiddling my thumbs in wait, I still found The Ugly Empress very memorable. It stands out in its own right because, while following some very conventional tropes of its genre,... more>> it has a unique flair.

I enjoy the tense exchanges between the two main characters as they engage in a war of nerves. I really enjoy how compelling of a character Teng Yun is since he maintains a strong sense of self, even in the troubling circumstances he finds himself in. He's introverted and introspective, and very importantly the author makes it clear that despite his new body and identity, he is the man that he is. Alongside the complexity and depth of the minor and supporting characters - there is a lot of good to enjoy in this gem that prevents it from getting trite. Especially with that insane plot twist at the start of Volume 2. <<less
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Elizalovesbooks
Elizalovesbooks rated it
April 21, 2020
Status: v1
Thank god almighty that HillOH picked up the volume 2!!

This book was so good! Really loved it. Ther was good story building and the MC did not loose the characteristics of a male just because he was in a body of opposite sex. It is a bit of gender bender but from what I heard it is BL later on.. But I had to stop in between!

Going on a rant about the translator so people who don't want that please skip.

The other translator before HillOH has ruined so many, SO... more>> MANY books for me! I mean I get it that you are trying your level best and I know I might come out as rude, but this dude has ruined so many books! I mean you need to realize your translations aren't good and actual you need to edit or ask someone to edit for you or join another group where people would edit. This translator picked so many books and now no other group picks them up so they are essentially gone for English readers.. Uggghhh sorry I am on a rant but I have reached a limit. This translator is translating around 20-25 books which are ruined now! Dude just get an editor!! <<less
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Munya
Munya rated it
November 28, 2018
Status: c25
After 20 chapters, I found that this is a great story.

The tag is "yaoi" but, our MC was reborn into a body of an empress a.k.a a woman and it keeps like that till chapter 25.

I don't know about chapter 26++... Maybe he will become a man?? Dunno...

Why I like this story is because how smart our MC is. He is the 6th prince of Teng kingdom. His father, the king, is a paranoid who never believe anyone. All his brothers and also sister is full of schemes. He himself... more>> guarded the border for 10 years, sacrificed his blood and flesh, but in the end he fell and killed by his enemy, our ML...

Personally, I don't like our ML at all. He too is a guy that full of schemes. But what can I say, he is an emperor after all... Maybe that's only natural??

And about translating quality, the translator does his/her job well. Deserve of 3 or 4 stars. I hope he/she won't stop midway...

Overall, great story and good quality translating. So 5 stars! <<less
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Celissiye
Celissiye rated it
February 12, 2019
Status: c29
This is an enjoyable read. Not too complicated plot wise or with characters, but just enough is going on and the lack of the most irritating stereotypes of characters makes it worth if you enjoy this kind of setting. Minus the cringey, greedy concubines that somehow always appear without fail in this imperial court setting.

The gender-bender is refreshing and adds another layer to the story, the translation makes it so you scarcely notice and MC still feels like a man through and through. It makes sense, as the ML would... more>> never fall for the MC if he remained the enemy general and vice versa.

It sort of has a balance of Teng Yun (MC) worrying about guarding his chastity, a bit of petty concubine drama (but not too much), and a dash of fairly simple politics/war tactics (which I enjoy the most). The MC doesn't seem to be doing much at times, but that's because he's literally been trapped in the body of a empress without any connections and zilch physical strength. As for the MC, a little too much of the chastity protection scenes and inner monologue, but at times he gives advice and impresses the ML (Xue Wang, the emperor). Just reading TY think along the lines of 'fk this petty concubine scheme bs' and refusing to participate makes me happy.

Spoiler

As of now, MC still has little feelings for ML. For example, he gets sleep deprivation when forced to lie in the same bed as ML. I'm kind of rooting for TY to hold out much longer until ML really proves himself. It might even be in the second half of the novel where he becomes a man again.

The thing I like that most is that, normally in this setting, the ML would force himself upon the MC sooner rather than later, but it actually hasn't happened yet! I am sort of on the edge of my seat here and there though, as I don't prefer the rapey type ML.

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There are two side story couples, one of which may or may not end tragically, and another where the shou is crafty, so they are somewhat entertaining, but I do think I'd prefer to see more scenes of MC Teng Yun actually doing something instead. The story flips back and forth between these plot lines. Supposedly, TY wants to escape so he won't have to live as a restrained empress in the inner palace (phew can't blame him), but he doesn't really have much chance to other than one random opportunity that he botched horribly, so this point is kinda stalled. <<less
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Kaylee
Kaylee
February 19, 2019
Status: c30
Total enjoy!!

I love how the author makes the MC to not be 'adaptable' to his second gender so fast or write his mind in woman pov, and as a person with no recollection of memories MC doesnt try to medle too much and stay on the silent side.

I also love how we get to read more ML pov than MC. It's good coz we are presented with man's pov more, so MC pov isnt that needed. It's refreshing way to paw more interest to this story. The polictics and kingdom's... more>> situation arent something I can comment. As long as it serves its purpose XD <<less
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RabiezMonkey
RabiezMonkey rated it
March 4, 2019
Status: Completed
No chickens fly and dogs jump...!

So disapointed... both MC and ML are doing just fine. Even when the ML finally clear about our MC's identity as the former prince and general who had rebirth. MC will be a lot help for ML, I guess.

But overall, I enjoyed this story so much.
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REIchan
REIchan rated it
April 27, 2020
Status: v2c5
I love this novel. But this is the one of the few bl that I wish weren't bl because I wish that the characters could kill each other to take their revenge, not get together lol. I hope Zhao Lu and Xue Junliang dies, especially Zhao Lu (I love to hate this character). :) Overall a very good story, other novel hasn't made me feel so much for their characters <3
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otpsfloat
otpsfloat rated it
February 17, 2020
Status: Completed
If you like stories like "To Be A Virtuous Wife" (BG not BL btw), or "Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes" - historical settings with MC strong and independent and not vying for ML's love or affections at all, you'll like this one.

MC never once thinks of himself as a woman or a person of lower status than the ML. He's also never cowed by ML's position of power.

... more>>
Spoiler

It's BL because... at first MC (a guy) transmigrates into a woman. He never acts like a woman or is referred to as one by the author if I remember correctly.

Anyways, if that leaves you skeptical: after lots of chapters and ML falls for MC, MC dies and transmigrates into a man's body. ML eventually finds out and the story ends (HE) with MC (in the guy body) and ML together so it does end on a male x male note both from the soul and body lol

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MC is also useful!! He isn't whiny or a crybaby. ML is domineering gong through and through. The side characters are, for the most part, well-developed.
Spoiler

There was one side pairing that really irked me because it felt like they didn't add value to the plot other than more romance and made the story unrealistic - but it's very easy to ignore because you can just skip the chapters with them in it (it's the spy x prince/emperor of another country).

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Otherwise, the plot was full of development and action and schemes (as historical novels often are). A satisfying read and one that I also MTLed past the chapters that weren't translated already. MTL is ok after you read the already translated chapters & have a good grasp of who is who. It does take some time for MC and ML to develop feelings for each other but it's pretty entertaining. <<less
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ylial
ylial rated it
April 17, 2019
Status: Completed
I wanted to rate 4 but rated 5 to balance the overall rating. I initially thought that the story is heavy but it isn't.

I really enjoy the story, though there are flaws. Overall I recommend this novel. Took a long time for the MC to develop feelings for the ML, and the ML is very patient with it. The ML really treasure the MC not forcing himself to him (since he's the ruler, he could be the typical overbearing emperor but instead he waits for the MC). 💕
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AnonymousWildAster
AnonymousWildAster rated it
February 29, 2020
Status: c29
This is a really bad review since I already forgot most of what I read. I actually stopped reading when hilloh stopped updating this on watty where I first read this, so it's been a year since I stopped. TBH this book has that intriguing vibe in it, which is why I continued on tho I find the ML pissing me off lol. I must say I like the side characters more than the main, coz they have this against all odds kind of love thingy. I gave this a... more>> five since I enjoyed book 1. <<less
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Tamarrion
Tamarrion
February 14, 2020
Status: v2c2
Quite a good story, but there is untagged r*pe in it (ML rapes unconscious and sick MC). Also MC is called genius war leader, but behaves like an hapless idiot. I don't know if it counts as misogyny (because in male body he seemed all right, but in female body he became that typical foolish shou who can only sigh and do nothing or do something really, really s*upid) or as situation where shou can't be better than gong in anything (only more beautiful... which is also misogynistic if you... more>> think about it).

But I like the plot with political side of it, and the translator does her job really well. Still, it would be much better without rape.

Upd. The wonderful translator seems to be busy and not able to continue her work on this novel. Second translator just copy pasted google translated garbage. Sigh... Well, maybe this novel will be adopted by someone else. <<less
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Adagio
Adagio
January 29, 2020
Status: Completed
Edit: 4.2 stars. I finished the (better) translated version.

I first MTL'd the novel myself due to slow updates and was surprised how much I liked it. Book 1 was nice, but book 2 really got me hooked.

The synopsis basically say it all: Our MC dies at the hand of the enemy and wakes up in the body of the enemy's empress. He hides his true identity and tries to influence the political scene from the background.

The MC is a genius military leader and quite goal-oriented and reasonable. He has opinions... more>> but plays his role (s) very well. I love how maturely he handles his transmigration: He makes no fuss about changing gender (or possibly straight up doesn't care) and focusses on the matter at hand.

The ML is the enemy emperor. He is a skilled but also volatile ruler who plans to expand his empire. To achieve his goal, he manipulates and pressures others as he sees fit. Still, he honors talented and intelligent minds not unlike his own, and he clearly appreciates his loved ones.

The novel feels down-to-earth and mature. The drama, while adding nothing new, isn't too shallow or annoying at all in my opinion. The main romance develops quietly on the sidelines and picks up as the story progesses. The best part is the character development of the ML, but the development of their love is good as well. There's a lot of politics, though. Previously I gave it a 4.5 stars, but after reading the corrected MTL version, I noticed a few more issues. I dislike how the author portrays imperialism:

Spoiler

Imperialism is good because the ruler is supposedly just and fair? No chance, my dear. Never. The emperor is still a war criminal.

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Don't read the extras if you want the characters to stay in character:

Spoiler

Suddenly, everybody is gay. Age gaps don't matter. Platonic relationships between non-related people? Never heard of it.

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While I find their love believable enough to be not-Stockholm syndrome - which is are given the emperor status of the ML - he abuses his position a little too often and later often bullies the MC to be with him, and MC's resolve isn't consistent throughout the story, especially towards the end. However, I'm sort of pacified by the fact the ML really becomes a better person thanks to MC challenging him on many levels.

A really bad point: Women are a rare species in his universe. You get the strong impression the author straight up hates them. Also the MC's military prowess is too great and things are always too convenient.

Still, it's worth a shot. <<less
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yuukine
yuukine rated it
April 11, 2020
Status: c84
At this point, I have completed the novel.

I might change the rating once finishes translating the second book!

At the beginning, the book was fantastic, intriguing and satisfying. did fantastic job on giving us the proper understanding of situations, along with the notes.

... more>> The story was up to the point of first book ending highly interesting and wonderful.

But after the second book started, the translator changed and it was very hard to follow. Till the end of the book I have no idea what I have read anymore and the story was a mess. Which is a shame since I loved all the couples and all the ideas.

But then again, I started having issues with second book too. Mostly because emperor went on my nerves. He did some things I couldn't get over, and he just continued irritating me and making some decisions that made me just... want to combust.

Teng Yun is a very interesting character. Even in female body, he never stopped thinking as a man. To be honest, I loved the concept, because even if it's danmei, I loved to see

representation of actual character being a man stuck in female body. This is so rare and this author had fantastic chance to pull it off.

Spoilers for early plot of book 2:

Spoiler

I understand emperor loves talented people, but to spare the murderer of his wife (that is also now the MC that transmigrated from empress to his own murderer) and let him live because he was useful and then forcing himself on him for NO APPARENT reason was somehow... weird. First, he says how much he loved empress and then he wants to

literally r*pe a person because his eyes give the same fire as his empress? what?

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I was like no. You don't do that.

Overall, a solid three so far, but i'll keep following it again since is still not yet done!

Warnings for this book:

Spoiler

Rape. That should have been tagged from the beginning. Torture.

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So far, the ratings:

✭ Characters: 3 - the only one I loved is teng yun. the end. Xue Junliang irritated me from beginning to the end.

✭ Side characters: 4 - detailed, especially Teng Shang and Xue Houyang and little prince.

✭ Story: 3 - first book 4, second book 2

✭ emotional impact: 3 - not really invested enough to be hit

✭ Humor: / - almost nonexistent <<less
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sakurahime
sakurahime rated it
February 3, 2020
Status: v2c3
I have this MTL before book 1 ends because it's SO GOOD. Translator for book 1 did a great job and now gone awol.

Thank you for Nastriumden for continue translating this gem
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