Winner Takes All


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A fickle, decadent, wilful person going through life like it’s a game.

An experienced, logical mind that’s above feelings.

This was a relationship that had started off with “Carpe Diem”, but slowly turned into a bloodless, psychological battle. They shared a mutual distrust, but also mutual attraction. As they suspected and tested each other, challenging each other’s limits, they both fell into the enemy’s hands with their eyes wide open. Sentiments growing amidst ignorance, they finally, were caught in their own traps.

Winner takes all,

Loser stands small.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Shéi Bǎ Shéi Dàng Zhēn
Who cares
Who Takes Who Seriously
Related Series
Years of Intoxication (Shared Universe)
In Love with an Idiot (Shared Universe)
Professional Body Double (Shared Universe)
Beloved Enemy (Shared Universe)
My Little Poplar (Shared Universe)
Sissy (Shared Universe)
Additional Inheritance (Shared Universe)
Blazing Armour (Shared Universe)
Alpha Predator (Shared Universe)
Grey Uncle and the Mixed-blood Prince (Shared Universe)
Intoxication (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Arctic in the Wonderland
  2. donee
  3. Reader-Abusive Novels
  4. Watering crops with tears and a sprinkle of dogblo...
  5. I like it

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/13/23 KnoxT c110
08/12/23 KnoxT c109
08/11/23 KnoxT c108
08/10/23 KnoxT c107
08/03/23 KnoxT c106
07/27/23 KnoxT c105
07/20/23 KnoxT c104
07/13/23 KnoxT c103
07/06/23 KnoxT c102
06/29/23 KnoxT c101
06/29/23 KnoxT c100
06/22/23 KnoxT c99
06/15/23 KnoxT c98
09/25/22 BlackBoxTL c19
05/18/22 BlackBoxTL c18
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26 Reviews sorted by

Acidelia rated it
April 25, 2020
Status: Completed
Short summary of the novel: Turbulent. But absolutely worth the read.

I like the MC, he's mature and principled, tolerant and kind - and those strengths of his also appears as his glaring weakness, but still he learns and actually reflects from his mistakes and actions. I think his character was well written. And I actually really like how author writes about other aspects of his life, beyond his relationship with the ML, in the text.

The ML, on the other hand, has got me sooo conflicted. He's a thrilling character in... more>> MC's life, one that certainly tests his boundaries - both in a good and bad way. Good, in that MC's controlled character can finally express what he's always repressed and never dared to do. Bad, in that his later actions in the text is sooooo scum-like I hoped that he'd be more emotionally punished (though I might also be influenced by all the scum-abusing novels I've read lately). I mean he protects the MC, but also low key takes advantage of his kindness.

Like author's other works, the question of whether the MC should forgive the ML for what he does is certainly gonna be a point of conflict for readers. Most will definitely get mad, but some may also forgive him. If you can ship author's previous pairings in her old works, you can probably tolerate this one. I personally wouldn't but I'm not the MC. Still, he's not intolerable and definitely should not the reason you avoid this novel. Please read it, I want to discuss it with others too.

Whether love and relationships, should really entail losing your mind over someone depends on your views and I think that's something the author also highlights through the difference in views and behaviours of the MC and ML, and their ability to compromise and be together despite that.

Also I have to call out that the side characters actually have purpose in the text. It rarely happens so I feel the need to point it out T-T. Like, for all the various characters that are introduced, they all add to the text and are not merely passerby who are later forgotten. MC is so lucky to be surrounded by good friends and a supportive family, and he knows and appreciates that.

Overall, I can see the author's experience writing dogblood novels here, it is well-written with well-fleshed out characters and a frustrating drama and relationship that compels you to continue. I personally think this was better compared to author's previous works because it had a less scummy ML and a more rational MC, making their HE more acceptable. <<less
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Psychoutre rated it
May 30, 2021
Status: c52
I've made an account solely to leave a review on this novel.

Feeling pretty let down seeing that I enjoyed the initial premise of the story, the characters were fleshed out well and I liked the whole chase and run, but wow. I should've seen the signs that this author really loves their male leads that hold no respect towards their partners and had never heard of the word "consent". I've just about had it when the male lead wouldn't stop at 'no'... but to take advantage of the MC in... more>> his drunken state not once but freakin twice!?!? Goodbye.

It was a good read in the beginning but I can't force myself reading all toxic levels of red flags anymore. All the male leads from their own respective novels mentioned here can only be described as crazy, controlling and creepy. All the shous including the MC were losing brain cells by the minute by continuing their association with these men. What they need aren't prayers but restraining orders. Honestly is everything okay at home author?? <<less
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January 27, 2022
Status: c96
I love Li Shuo, so I was delighted he got his own romance story. As someone already states, it has less angst than the other 188 novels, which is great, although I do love angst. I also think it has a very happy ending.

Since no one has mentioned this, I'll say so. There are a few instances in this book where the author uses racial stereotypes that can be a bit...offputting to some readers...I'm talking about portraying the few black people who appear as criminals or mindless antagonists. As a... more>> matter of fact, while I've never experienced racism in person, based on the region of the world in which I live, it was very triggering for me and some of the other readers, especially those of us who are black from different parts of the world.

I'm not telling anyone to boycott the book or Shui Qiang Cheng. I've seen quite a few of these portrayals in even some KDramas, and I understand that a lot of this is heavily based on ignorance in Asia about how certain groups are portrayed in Western, particularly American media. I've quite literally had people surprised over how 'posh' I've sounded because they clearly expected something a bit more unrefined because of my race.

However, I mentioned this because I think people deserve to know and be aware of something that might have a negative impact on them mentally. I love her books, yet it mentally affected me to the point where I had to put this one down for a few weeks before I could continue with it. I know I wasn't the only one. <<less
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KaliBones rated it
April 19, 2022
Status: c92
This is probably the only SQC novel that I genuinely dislike, borderline hate. Only reason I give 3 stars is because I read the tags and knew what I was in for given how SQC writes.

The tag "Character Growth" is 100% false.

... more>>

ZJ is absolutely irredeemable. He approached LS under false pretenses and colluded with his cousin to ruin LS business causing him to lose millions and eventually he had to leave the company he built. All so ZJ could help his cousin take back LS boyfriend who he was abusive to.



ZJ stalks LS by tracking his whereabouts, makes a copy of his house key and follows him everywhere to embarrass and humiliate him if he thinks LS is with another man.

When LS over hears ZJ telling his cousin he is using LS and basically just wants to f*ck him and making sure LS wont take revenge but will throw him away when he gets tired.

ZJ has the nerve to be upset that LS doesn't want him anymore and acts like a victim while also blackmailing LS into being with him by threatening to send LS Dad to jail.

ZJ lies continually, so LS never knows when he is telling the truth.


LS IQ just reduces as the novel goes on. There is no character growth of ZJ, zero, zilch, nada.


ZJ never once apologized for the horrific things he's done which included raping LS while he was drunk.

By the end of the novel LS just became s*upid and knows he shouldn't be in this relationship but he "loves" him even though ZJ told him that he would ruin his families life and even lock him away just to have him.

ZJ never learned his lesson At all. He wasn't remorseful until he knew LS would fold and come back to him just because he got stabbed.


The story boils down to someone putting up with a narcissist emotionally abusive partner just because the D is good.

If there was character growth I would feel better about this novel but there isn't.


This one of the few novels where I wish the characters did not end up together.

If this was real life ZJ would probably end up mu*dering LS because if he cant have him no one can. The rest of us would be listening to his mu*der case on a podcast talking about how sad and horrible this person is.


I love novels with scum gong, angsty etc.. But this just made me want to scream. The best part was when I was done reading.

My Little Poplar has one the best character growths she ever wrote. So I'm actually surprised this story has zero. <<less
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FrostyDragon rated it
January 2, 2022
Status: Completed
4 stars because Shui Qian Cheng's writing is impeccable.

One of my least favorite 188 books (probably because it has less angst), but still good. Li Shuo doesn't take sh*t from the ML, and Zhao Jinxin knows that he had better behave in the future.

Li Shuo is the second ML in both Sissy and Additional Inheritance, and the MCs and MLs from both those novels are supporting characters in this book. Shao Qun is still a scum, Luo Yi is still a psycho (but Xiaohui has him on a... more>> leash). Xiaohui plays a big role and is still adorable. In this book Li Shou finally gets his own romance, and he's close to the perfect love interest. Calm, collected (well, most of the time, since the ML does manage to rile him up), mature, successful, kind and considerate to lovers, friends and family.

Zhao Jinxin is one of the least scummy MLs in the 188 series, and like all the MLs, he's mostly an idiot in love whose actions hurt himself as much (if not more) than they hurt the MC.

Personally I wasn't as engaged in the MC and ML in this novel compared to most of the other books in the series, but one scene did stand out to me:


When Li Shuo tr*shes the hotel suite he has previously lovingly decorated for Jinxin's birthday, and has a rare emotional breakdown, it hits so much harder because of how he's normally such a calm and collected character. Later on, when Jinxin accidentally sees the hotel room with the destroyed decorations, he finally realizes just how much Li Shuo loves him and exactly what he's lost due to his own spoiled, malicious actions. It's truly heartbreaking.


Winner Takes All contains some spoilers for Sissy and Additional Inheritance, so if you're already a fan of the author and can stomach lots of angst and very scummy gongs, I recommend reading those two first - they're relatively easy to MTL. Otherwise, this novel might be a good place to start if you want to try the series and the 'wife chasing crematoriums' trope, but aren't used to stories that are heavy on dubcon/noncon and abuse. This book is definitely one of the milder ones, although there is some dubcon (I slightly disagree with the 'rape' tag, but I get why at least one or two scenes can be interpreted that way).

For readers who can't stomach lack of consent - don't read this book, and stay away from all the other books in the 188 series. The author doesn't glorify dubcon, noncon and emotional or physical abuse, but it features heavily in a lot of her stories, and while this is milder, it's no exception.

About 'wife chasing the crematorium and 188 series: the books usually have this structure (sligth plot structure spoiler:

  • Nice and kind (often slightly older/mature) MC shou meets villainous ML gong
  • ML and MC get together and the MC pours all his love and care on the ML
  • ML turns out to be scum and does something unforgivable to the ML and betrays his trust
  • MC finally has enough and leaves
  • ML realizes he can't live without the MC
  • ML chases the MC, sometimes going full yandere and doing crazy things to win his lover back
  • ML finally persuades the MC that he truly loves him and regrets his past bad behavior, often through an act of putting himself in danger for the MC's sake
  • MC and ML get back together and have a more balanced relationship. Happy end.

Lots of angst, emotional suffering and dogblood tropes.

9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
May 9, 2020
Status: --
I'm currently on CH 25 with Eng translation, and I love it. The story is intriguing, exciting, and interesting. I love how MC is so filial piety towards his parents, and how he has a good head on his shoulder. I like how our ML is so forward, blunt and feisty. At this point, it seems like ML is scheming with his cousin, maybe the ex-bf of MC's lover??? But we shall see who's going to be the winner in the end! Thank You for your wonderful translation, and I... more>> hope we will get to read all and finish this novel together^^. <<less
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orztodaempress rated it
February 17, 2022
Status: c5
YESSSSS!!! I can't believe how well-written this novel is!! I've been sleeping on this gem for so long~! T^T

I always used to look for novels with the tag "manly gay couple" and have yet to come across a novel which actually kept up the pretense of the tag after the MC and ML met, so I gave up... Until this novel!! Wow, I was actually genuinely confused who the gong and shou would be. And even when the shou was revealed, I honestly would've been genuinely surprised (along with the... more>> shou himself) if not for the translator spoiling the tidbit about the gong and shou's age gap.

Li Shuo's entire body stiffened. Staring at Zhao Jinxin in disbelief, he felt as though he had been struck by a bolt out of the blue.

He had never expected that Zhao Jinxin, actually, wanted to f*ck him?!


Pfft- I love the revelations that happen in BLs that foreshadow their s*xual awakenings (✧≖ ͜ʖ≖)

And the translation is impeccable. Fluid, no obvious grammar errors. I even feel like this novel was originally written in English, I'm learning so much from this as a writer. Even though I'm only on the 5th chapter, I can tell this will be amazing. <<less
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Staringatastar rated it
April 23, 2022
Status: Completed
My fat fingers! I meant to give this a 5 stars, 5/5, great read! Instead I cl**ked 3 and can't seem to change the rating now 😭

I loved this story. I thought I would only read a couple of chapters since I got to a boring part in another novel, but then the s*xual tension and drama and characters just kept me going.

I agree with the translator, this author writes wonderful novels about relationships that real people should use as templates for what not to do. However, the misunderstandings and... more>> conflicts sure make for great tension and engaging story.

I agree with the translator - while the ML does some things with bad intentions initially, he's not that bad compared to some of the other ml's this author dreams up. I honestly thought it was intriguing how he had so many sides and behaviors depending on the situation. <<less
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King of No Killing
King of No Killing rated it
December 8, 2021
Status: Completed
What can I say? I'm really bias when it comes to Shui Qian Cheng's novel. I love how dog-bloody it is and how the MLs would grovel before the MC with their pathetic and crazy self. This one (Winner Takes All) is just like that. But well the a**holeness is a bit lighter compared to SJH from Years of Intoxication. So here the ML thought he has the upperhand in playing hearts but damn was he wrong. And so the chasing began.
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nyxzane rated it
July 20, 2021
Status: --
i m die hard fan of shui qian cheng and have read all the novels. its true ML is always black belly and MC suffer but despite being a black belly when turned love sick ML is then the most loving caring just like a golden retriever following his master (MC) around.... and yes that golden retriever is a jealous type always eating vinegar 😊
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urmigg rated it
October 11, 2023
Status: Completed
From now on I will try to not be negatively influenced by the reviews and I suggest you do that too. Influenced by some of the reviews I hesitated reading this but thank god I read it eventually. This is my favourite work of the author, after reading this, I beacame fan of her works. Many reviews said about many negative characteristics of both the ML and MC which (some of those traits) are big turn offs for me but after finishing the novel, I could not relate to those... more>> reviews, like how is li shuo always guilty and self blaming? I don’t see it. So everyone's way of thinking is different, so don’t get influenced by the negative reviews and give this a try.

One thing for sure this novel will not bore you, this was a rollercoaster of emotions. ML was an a$sh0le to MC and he regreted, the regret arc is one of my favourites. Well, MLs are all a$sh0les in 188 universe. Toxic? Yes but we are immune to toxins <<less
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Onelazygirl rated it
October 9, 2022
Status: Completed
I am really curious that how can the ML be so coldblooded and sees feelings as game

Like since he was doted on and pampered. His parents are so good to him, so how can he be this heartless???

I quite like this novel, I will not comment on the dogblood as the author has a certain reputation of writing particular type of scum gongs

... more>> I read this willingly have no complains, then why didn't I give 5 star rating you ask??

Because one thing that really pissed me off was that

When the MC can't even bring himself to kiss someone ML is full on banging different people every single day since they separated.

If anyone still have doubt about the ML's character then let me tell you he is a motherfu*ker.

He is such a bastard that if I will meet him in real life I will beat him black and blue

He obviously long overdue a good beating

I really agree with what the MC said that the ML came for him because he could not let go of such a gentle and meticulous partner, he did not necessarily came for love

He didn't want to let go of the gentleness the MC had the pure pampering

He knew no one will treat him as well as the MC does so he traps the MC by his side

One thing that is actually so funny is that the villain saved the CP's relationship from further worsening. Like literally villain saved the day 😂😂 <<less
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rimirinrin rated it
February 16, 2022
Status: Completed
I've read this after reading Sissy and Additional Inheritance because I NEED to see Li Shuo's HE. He's such a charismatic and gentle character and I really love him.

I like the interaction between Li Shuo and Zhao Jin Xin as they're very raw and flirty. Both are not afraid to voice out their likes and dislikes. No awkwardness or anything.

... more>>

However, some of Jin Xin's actions mirrored Shao Qun's actions from Sissy so much that I really hated him at a point. After all his redemption period I really felt his emotions and love that I began to forgive his character. After all, he's also a spoilt kid as mentioned - his father had him late and overprotected and doted on him too much. Also, I like how the book ended well with marriage and happily ever after. I shed tears of happiness at the proposal and marriage "ceremony".


Great book! <<less
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DaraLyne rated it
December 21, 2022
Status: Completed
I'm gonna say this, you can either like this or straight up hate it, there's no in-between. There is no true Villain in this book, every character is written with a story, course of action and principle, which allows readers to understand their actions. It is a heartbreaking book. But I will still recommend reading it. There's so much that you can think about whilst reading this book. Especially, if ZJXs actions towards LS is really love and if anyone will appreciate being 'loved' that way. Also there's the question... more>> of of ZJXs inability to recognise his emotions really an excuse for him to treat LS how he did. Mind you I went into this book totally blindsided! I was 20 percent into it when I realised ZJX had 2 different personalities but ultimately I got to understand why. But sis, if you meet a man like ZJX irl, please run... unless you can in LS's terms, "tame him" <<less
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January 11, 2023
Status: Completed
This one I liked the most, and so far I read Sissy, Beloved Enemy, and this novel. I wish I knew that some novels in 188 series we’re connected in ways like for example Sissy and Winner Takes All. While reading this Novel I was so glued to it, and I really did not want it to end, definitely gave me a teary eyes at the end from happiness. I do wish that s*x scenes were more in details, because I felt that they were lacking in that area. Overall... more>> great story, excellent structure, and beautiful ending. <<less
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Winterrz rated it
October 7, 2022
Status: --
OMG it was so good at first that I thought the negative reviews were baseless. But sweet Jesus does it get terrible!!!

Basically the ML is in a relationship with an unwilling older man still in love with his exes. Base.

So yeah, it's good the first few chapters, but don't let that fool you. The chapters after are so full of drama you'll think you're reading a highschool romance.

MC is too obsessed with his ex's. OMG he's like their little guardian and knight in shining armor, move on already!! MC ignores... more>> ML too much. And this, to me, makes the underhanded efforts of the ML to get the MC justified. Otherwise we wouldn't have a novel to begin with; MC is just too obsessed with his ex's and would rather be with them. So many times I just wish for the ML to move on, but no; the whole point of this novel is him forcing a relationship.

It gets really cringe. I wish I had the power to choose my own mains when reading novels. Such a waste of time!! <<less
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Po Yun
Po Yun rated it
September 24, 2022
Status: c19
The translator did an amazing job and the low rating has absolutely nothing to do with them.

I like this author's other work "Beloved Enemy" besides all the questionable things in there. I've read it over three times and can still find things to enjoy. Unfortunately, this is not the case for "Winner Takes All". To say I hate this novel is an understatement.

I was told times and times (keyword TOLD) that the MC was smart, and that he's a person equipped with tons of life experiences and it was... more>> bullshit, utter complete bullshit. He failed to see every single red flag about the ML, no matter how obvious and major they were. And this isn't even a big problem, so long as you don't try to push the narrative that he's oh-so intelligent, I can get over this part and I did get over it for the novel's sake. I know he needs to become a bit s*upid for the plot to go on. The major problem I have with this character is that he is soooooo uninteresting. I don't hate him, but I don't like him. My enthusiasm toward his story is about as much as watching paint dry, therefore reading 100 chapters of this novel would just be straight up tormenting myself. He's not like "Gu Qingpei (of Beloved Enemy) " where for the entire story, you know what he wants, you know his purpose and it's very interesting to see him wavering between what he's always believed in and the male lead. Gu Qingpei has a very stable character foundation and he'd never once strayed away from his initial established personality. Everything he did was in line with him as a person and that makes the whole story believable whereas for this MC, I've only read 19 chapters and I feel like I've read three different people for the plot conveniences. And for the male lead, I normally have no problem with the scumbag male lead so long as it's reasonably written. Yuan Yang of Beloved Enemy is also very insufferable, but in terms of being a fictional character, he still has redeemable qualities. There's at least something about Yuan Yang that makes me go "Oh! I kind of understand why he's the male lead". But, for this male lead, it's non existence. To begin with, just like the other guy, he's extremely uninteresting and the author tried so hard to inject him with the artificial charm, which not only failed miserably but also kind of made me hate him even more.
He also has no desirable quality besides the fact that he's handsome and maybe good in bed? But that standard is pretty damn low if the other male lead is an older experienced intelligent being. What has he done for the main character who, as mentioned above, to be interested in him when he could have anyone in the world? Looks? Money? Or let's be real, the inevitable power of scriptwriting?

And again this novel emphasizes the 11 years of age difference between the two leads. But seriously when I read it, if the author didn't dump this info every now and then, I would have forgotten about it entirely. It plays no role in this novel whatsoever because the MC who is supposed to have 11 more years of life experience still plays right into the ML's hands, alas, you'd think he'd at least be a bit smarter than this.
Oh, and the chemistry is also very much nonexistent. The way they met, and how they came about is just unbelievably bland. I truly don't get their relationships or the appeal of it.

This novel is basically about 2 uninteresting people, being in an uninteresting drama that realistically would get one party jailed by the time episode 20th takes place.

Alright, I know I sound angry which honestly I am, but this is still just based on the first 19 chapters I've read which might not represent the entire story. I really am not above any shitty content, I've read and enjoyed more questionable and shittier stuff, this novel just happens to unfortunately press all my wrong buttons.

So, If you like "Winner Takes All", I'm glad that you have a great time with it! (Although, I suggest you read a far superior one, from the same author, Beloved Enemy :P). <<less
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Rimamr rated it
August 18, 2022
Status: --
When I read the others reviews I was disappointed because I was really excited to read this novel but some reviews make me wonder if I should read it or not

I'm very happy that I read it because for me this novel is gem I love every part of it and the MC and ML both soooo lovable I didn't hate Jin Xin charactor even he have his mistake he still young after all the must important that he learned from his mistakes

And Li Shou on of the must lovable... more>> Mc

Love it Love it Love it worth all the time and I will definitely re read it again ❤️❤️❤️ <<less
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Lea168 rated it
April 30, 2022
Status: Completed

I love the author and have read almost all the 188 series.

This novel is in same universe as Sissy and Additional Heritance. Sissy was written first and they share a parallel timeline, but the world building feels different because this story background is partly in the US. There are some changes to events what happened in Sissy but didnt happen here. Also the MC now has a different personality than the minor role he played in Sissy. It is not bad, but if you read this story directly after Sissy... more>> you might need to adjust a little bit.

I cant really explain why, but maybe this story was not as tragic as Sissy was, this story left less of an impact than the other SQC stories in this 188 series did. Though the MC here is definitely one I like a lot. He is smart and rich too. So, the power balance is somewhat equal. ML could only be a relatively normal scum.

Both MC and ML had much experience when it came to past relationships. Its a mature story and very much this authors style, which I love. <<less
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March 14, 2022
Status: --
Bro this ML does not know to back up. There's something wrong with his head. I swear I cused him so many times in chinese while I was reading this

Alright now I feel bad for the ml, he liked MC so much and tried so hard to make MC happy and was so excited to do anything with MC. However, every single time he's met with cold ruthlessness. Although ngl he deserves it lol
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