By Mo Xiang Tong Xiu and Xiao Tong Kong (Velinxi). Released in China as “Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong” on the JJWXC website. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Faelicy & Lily.
There is a 4th and final volume in this series, but it consists of prequel and sequel short stories, from what I hear, so for all intents and purposes this is the final volume. It’s a good volume, though has even less humor than the previous book, as the author is forced to actually take this world seriously given that the demon world is literally trying to imprint itself on the human world. Shen Qingqiu has a particularly rough time of it, ending up in a coffin early on and with things only getting worse from there. It doesn’t help that Luo Binghe is proving to be one of the most annoying stalkers ever, and his affection for Shen Qingqiu is something so obvious that literally everyone in the world sees it and is vaguely offended by it. Even Shen Qingqiu, who finally gives in near the end of the book. Unfortunately, if you want a tender mutual love scene, you may have to wait for Book 4. Sexual assault warning for what comes next.
As noted above, Shen Qingqiu finds himself in a coffin within a cursed mausoleum, and has to deal with both Luo Binghe’s demon father and also Zhuzhi-Lang, one of the weirder henchmen I’ve ever read about. That said, he’s actually doing pretty well at dealing with both of them. Luo Binghe, not so much. Things aren’t helped by the fact that he keeps getting into what looks like sexual situations with Luo Binghe… including feeling him up. Indeed, by now everyone assumes the two of them are already gay lovers. Unfortunately, world saving comes first, as Luo Binghe’s father is bitter and wants to unite the demon world and the human world… physically, by having one overlay the other. Which will, um, kill the humans. But so goes life. Can Shen Qingqiu solve this set of problems while still reminding the system messages that he’s not gay? Signs point to no.
First of all, gotta give some praise. Wu Chen is awesome. Yue Qingyuan is even more awesome. And the backstory for the original Shen Qingqiu is both realistic and also reminds you of something this book hammers home, which is that usually webnovel readers don’t want depth and character development, they want violence and sex, and lots of it. Living in a book like that can be terrible. As Shen Qingqiu finds when he is raped by Luo Binghe at the end of the book. It is theoretically a “I have to do this to save the world” sort of thing, but is thankfully not remotely portrayed as erotic or fulfilling, but as incredibly painful. That said, the tortured relationship between the two leads is at last ironed out, even if it means Shen Qingqiu leaving everyone else in his life to go off with Lup Binghe, who has, well, managed to offend everyone in Shen Qingqiu’s life.
As noted, this is not usually my genre, and I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the epilogue book. But for what it was this was pretty good, and I can see why it has its followers.