The Best Novels to read on Webnovel
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But here, I will only be covering translated novels.
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The chapters in this post are posted with the permission of Webnovel.
Let’s get into the list. The novels are sorted in random order.
1. Lord of the Mysteries
Lord of the Mysteries is my number one novel, and I recommend it to everyone, every time.
The plot is full of fantasy and supernatural elements. Set in the Victorian era, this steampunk novel has great world-building, smart characters, great fight scenes and many mysteries to be uncovered. The author slowly releases more and more secrets as the story goes on in a wonderful way.
The magic system is awesome. I have never seen such a great and logical power system anywhere else, as no system is overpowered and each has its limitations.
You can read my full-length review on this novel Lord of Mysteries Review, and you can read Lord of the Mysteries on Webnovel. It is a completed novel with 1394 chapters, and also has a comic with the same name, also on Webnovel.
Also Read: Top Novels similar to Lord of the Mysteries
My head hurts so badly!
A gaudy and dazzling dreamworld filled with murmurs instantly shattered. The sound asleep Zhou Mingrui felt an abnormal throbbing pain in his head as though someone had ruthlessly lashed at him with a pole again and again. No, it was more like a sharp object pierced right through his temples followed by a twist!
Ouch… In his stupor, Zhou Mingrui attempted to turn around, look up, and sit up; however, he was completely unable to move his limbs as though he had lost control over his body.
From the looks of it, I’m still not awake. I’m still in a dream… Who knows, perhaps the next scene will be of me thinking I’m already awake, but in fact, am actually still sleeping…
Zhou Mingrui, who was not unfamiliar with similar encounters, tried his best to focus in order to escape the shackles placed upon him by the darkness and confusion.
However, while still in his reverie, whatever will he could summon was ethereal like a fleeting fog. He found his thoughts difficult to control and introspect. No matter how much he tried, he still lost his focus as random thoughts surfaced in his mind.
Why would I suddenly have such an excruciating headache in the middle of the night?
And it’s really painful!
Could it be something like a cerebral hemorrhage?
F**k, don’t tell me I’m going to die young?
I need to wake up! Now!
Eh? Why doesn’t it seem to hurt as much as before? But why does it still feel like a blunt knife is slicing through my brains…
From the looks of it, I won’t be able to continue sleeping anymore. How am I to show up for work tomorrow?
Why am I still thinking about work? This is some authentic headache. Of course I have to take time off! I don’t have to worry about my manager’s grumblings!
Hey, putting it that way, it doesn’t seem too bad. Hehe, I can end up getting some spare time for myself!
Throbbing pain inundated Zhou Mingrui, allowing him to slowly accumulate immaterial strength until he was finally able to move his back and open his eyes. He finally broke free from his reverie.
His vision first blurred before it was screened by a faint crimson red. All he could see was a study desk made of burly wood in front of him. Right in the middle was an opened notebook with coarse, yellow pages. The title was eye-catchingly written with strange, deep black lettering.
To the left of the notebook was a stack of neatly arranged books, numbering about eight. The wall on their right was inset with grayish-white pipes with wall lamps connected to them.
The lamp had a classical Western style to it. It was about half the size of an adult’s head with an inner layer of transparent glass and an exterior gridded with black metal.
Diagonally beneath the lamp was a black ink bottle shrouded in a pale red glow. Its embossed surface formed a blurry angel pattern.
In front of the ink bottle and to the right of the notebook sat a dark-colored pen with a fully circular body. Its tip shimmered with a faint glint while its cap rested right beside a brass revolver.
A gun? A revolver? Zhou Mingrui was completely taken aback. The things laid before him were alien to him. It looked nothing like his room!
While feeling shocked and confused, he discovered that the desk, notebook, ink bottle, and revolver were covered in a layer of crimson ‘veil,’ a result of the light shining from the window.
Subconsciously, he looked up and shifted his gaze up bit by bit.
In midair, a crimson moon hung high above the backdrop of a ‘black velvet curtain,’ glowing in silence.
This… Zhou Mingrui felt inexplicably horrified as he stood up abruptly. However, before his feet fully straightened, his brain protested with throbbing pain. It made him temporarily lose his strength as he fell uncontrollably. His buttocks slammed heavily onto the burly wood chair.
The pain did little. Zhou Mingrui stood up again by propping himself up. He turned around in a fluster as he began to size up the environment he was in.
The room was not very large, with a brown door on each side of the room. Close to an opposite wall was a low wooden bed.
Between the bed and the left door was a cabinet. Its two doors were swung open and beneath it were five drawers.
To the side of the cabinet, there was the same grayish-white pipe on the wall at the height of a person. However, it was connected to a strange mechanical device with exposed gears and bearings in several spots.
Items resembling coal stoves sat in the right corner of the room near the table, along with soup pots, iron pots, and other kitchen utensils.
Across the right door was a dressing mirror with two cracks. Its bottom was made of wood and the patterns were simple and plain.
With a sweep of his gaze, Zhou Mingrui noticed himself in the mirror—the present him.
Black hair, brown eyes, a linen shirt, thinly built, average-looking features and a rather deep outline…
This… Zhou Mingrui immediately drew a gasp as many helpless and confused guesses surfaced in his mind.
The revolver in ancient European style and the crimson moon that looked different from Earth’s moon could only mean one thing!
C-could I have transmigrated? Zhou Mingrui widened his mouth slightly.
He had grown up reading web novels and had often fantasized over such scenes. However, he momentarily found it hard to accept the situation when he found himself in one.
This was probably what it means to love a fantasy1? In a minute, Zhou Mingrui had already cursed himself while trying to make the best out of his adverse situation.
If not for the still throbbing headache that made his thoughts high strung but clear, he would have definitely suspected that he was dreaming.
Calm down, calm down, calm down… After taking a few deep breaths, Zhou Mingrui worked hard to stop panicking.
At that moment, as his mind and body calmed down, memories began flooding him as they slowly appeared in his mind!
Klein Moretti, a citizen of the Northern Continent’s Loen Kingdom, Awwa County, City of Tingen. He is also a recent graduate from the Department of History at Khoy University…
His father was a sergeant of the Imperial Army who had sacrificed himself during a colonial conflict with the Southern Continent. The bereavement allowance gave Klein the opportunity to study at a private language school and laid the foundation for his admission into university…
His mother was a devotee of the Evernight Goddess. She passed away the year Klein passed the entrance examinations to Khoy University…
He also had an elder brother and a younger sister. They stayed in a two bedroom apartment together…
Their family was not wealthy and its situation could even be described as somewhat wanting. At present, the family was supported solely by the elder brother who worked at an import and export company as a clerk…
As a history graduate, Klein grasped knowledge of the ancient Feysac language—deemed the origin of all languages in the Northern Continent—as well as the Hermes language which often appeared in ancient mausoleums as well as text regarding sacrificial and praying rituals…
Hermes language? Zhou Mingrui’s mind stirred as he reached out to rub his throbbing temples. He cast his gaze toward the table at the opened notebook. He noticed that the text on the yellowed paper turned from strange to alien, before turning from alien to something familiar. It then turned into something readable.
It was text written in Hermes language!
The dark ink wrote the following:
“Everyone will die, including me.”
Hiss! Zhou Mingrui felt inexplicably horrified. He instinctively leaned back in an attempt to widen the distance between him and the notebook, as well as the text on it.
Being very weak, he nearly fell down but managed to extend his hands in a fluster to hold onto the edge of the table. He felt that the surrounding air was turbulent as though there were faint murmurings resounding in it. The feeling was akin to hearing horror stories being recounted by elders when he was young.
He shook his head, believing that everything was an illusion. Zhou Mingrui found his balance and shifted his gaze from the notebook as he heaved for breath.
This time, his gaze landed on the shimmering brass revolver. He suddenly had a question arise in him.
With Klein’s family situation, how can they have the money or means to buy a revolver?
Zhou Mingrui could not help but frown.
While in deep thought, he suddenly discovered a red handprint to the side of the table. Its color was deeper than the moonlight and much thicker than the ‘veil.’
It was a bloody handprint!
A bloody handprint? Zhou Mingrui subconsciously flipped his right hand that had been holding the edge of the table. Looking down, he saw that his palm and fingers were covered in blood.
At the same time, the throbbing pain in his head continued. Although it had weakened a little, it continued incessantly.
Did I smash my head open?
Zhou Mingrui guessed as he turned around and walked towards the cracked dressing mirror.
A few steps later, a black-haired figure of medium build and brown eyes appeared clearly in front of him. The person had a distinct scholarly air to him.
Is this the present me? Klein Moretti?
Zhou Mingrui was stunned momentarily. Since there was insufficient lighting at night, he failed to see something clearly. He continued forward until he was just a step short from colliding with the mirror.
Using the crimson veil-like moonlight as illumination, he turned his head and examined the corner of his forehead.
A clear reflection appeared in the mirror. His temple had a grotesque wound with burn marks along its periphery. Blood stained the wound’s surroundings and there were grayish-white brain juices squirming slowly within.
2. Cultivation Chat Group
Get ready to ROFL. This novel is hilarious. There is cultivation, fights, adventures, and so on, but this novel focuses solely on making us laugh.
A college student is accidentally invited into a chat group full of cultivating individuals, from a simple loose cultivator to sect leaders. What would a normal person think? Our MC thought the same: these people are mentally ill.
From there starts a great comedy adventure following our MC to the world of cultivation to achieve immortality.
The comic adaptation is also quite hilarious.
2019, May 20th, Monday.
The end of spring and the start of summer.
During this period, the day and night temperature in Jiangnan District fluctuated drastically. During the day, one would sweat buckets in thin clothing, but during the night, one would tremble under even a thick blanket.
Jiangnan College Town.
At 2:30 pm in the afternoon, students should attend classes, and yet Song Shuhang was alone in the dormitory with his laptop set on the desk next to him, allowing him to watch movies while in bed.
Song Shuhang wasn’t someone fond of skipping lessons. The weather yesterday during the first half of the night was extremely hot and stuffy, resulting in him executing a ‘Dragon Roaring Kick’ and making the quilt fly away; in the latter half of the night, the temperature dropped sharply, and Shuhang who only had small underpants on him had suffered. During his sleep, both his hands were strenuously groping about in search for his blanket, but alas, he was unable to find it, shrinking like a shrimp and trembling under the tyrannical cold night wind.
When the sun rose, he had already become a member of the seasonal flu army. His roommate had helped him apply for leave for the day’s lessons; afterwards, he took some cold medicine before sleeping until now.
Although his fever had subsided, his body still felt weak and he was not in a proper state to attend lessons. Therefore, he could only stay in the dormitory alone and watch movies.
On the screen, the movie slowly played on, but Song Shuhang could not focus well on its contents.
“Hasn’t the medicine’s effect faded yet? I’m tired…” he yawned and felt his eyelids getting heavier.
“Beep Beep Beep~” Just then, the chat software on tray on his laptop screen came alive.
This sound was a notification that someone added him as friend or invited him to a group chat.
“Who added me?” Song Shuhang muttered while reaching out and touching the lower right corner of his screen gently. Immediately after, a message prompt popped out.
[True Monarch Yellow Mountain (*****) sends you a friend request.] Additional message: None.
True Monarch Yellow Mountain? Who used such a strange nickname?
‘A classmate I guess?’ Song Shuhang quietly thought and couldn’t help but recall a few of his classmates that were obviously already in university, but seemed to still be in their youth fantasy period. Guessing from their behavior, they would definitely be capable of coming up with such strange nicknames.
After reasoning with himself, he then pressed “Accept”.
Shortly after, another notification popped out.
[True Monarch Yellow Mountain has invited you to join the group ‘Nine Provinces Number One Group, do you accept?]
Song Shuhang accepted once more.
‘Stressed by a Mountain of Books has agreed to join the ‘Nine Provinces Number One Group’.
[You have joined the group chat, do say hello to the other group members! ????] A smiley face was even attached by the system.
Nowadays, chat software was definitely getting more and more human-like.
After a series of notifications, Song Shuhang decided to turn off the notifications and the group chat window— with a sudden surge of drowsiness washing over him, where would he have the strength to care about the chat group he was invited to?
In any case, his default group settings had been set up as [Don’t display notifications, only show group chat message number]. This meant that there would not be any notification prompts disturbing him and only the number of unread messages would be displayed beside the chat.
When he was more clear-headed, he could scroll the chat history to find out what type of chat group he was invited to. Also, the chat history of the members in the group would not disappear.
He felt his eyelids getting heavier…
Despite the movie streaming continuously, Song Shuhang’s consciousness was getting more and more fuzzy.
Noticing a new member has been added to the Nine Provinces Number One Group, the lurking members emerged.
Northern River’s Loose Cultivator: “Did True Monarch Yellow Mountain invite a new fellow friend? Hasn’t it been a year since a new member joined us?”
Another member with the ID of ‘Su Clan’s Seven’ quickly replied, “There’s a new fellow daoist? Is he from Mt Hua? Where’s the immortal cave he’s cultivating in? What’s his dao name? Which stage of cultivation is he at?”
Why did this series of questions sound fishy?
Simultaneously, a user with the ID ‘Thrice Reckless Mad Saber wrote’, “What’s the gender of our new fellow daoist? Are you a fairy? If so, please announce your three sizes and upload a photo!”
Looking at Su Clan’s Seven and Thrice Reckless Mad Saber’s messages, many of the lurking members within the group felt their mouths twitch.
“Brother Thrice Reckless, do you belong to a goldfish species or something?” Northern River’s Loose Cultivator sighed. “What if True Monarch Yellow Mountain had invited another senior? You may bring disaster upon yourself once again!”
Thrice Reckless… this fella was good in every aspect, being a loyal person and eager to help others, thus his relations with others were pretty good—it was just that his uncouth tongue would pack him into life and death situations.
Unfortunately, this fella was so unlucky that it made one have goosebumps. The timing didn’t matter—whenever he was reckless, he had always offended powerful seniors. These seniors who were all lacking in entertainment would naturally be happy to kill some time by torturing Thrice Reckless Mad Saber who sent himself right to their doorstep.
“I beg you, do not to mention the word ‘powerful senior’… it is a traumatic experience that still haunts me,” Thrice Reckless Mad Saber sent a row of ????????????.
Four years ago, he had offended a beautiful ‘powerful senior’ with his stupid mouth and got tortured really badly… that senior had tormented him non-stop for one year and four months. Yes, that’s right, a total of one year and four months! Thinking back to his extremely inhumane years, his eyes started to tear up.
Just when Thrice Reckless finished talking, the group members all sent a ???? one by one—not at all concealing, but instead openly rejoicing at his misfortune.
There were eight members whose status was ‘online’ within the chat, and six of them had sent a sent a row of smiley faces.
“You bunch of schadenfreude as*holes, this lord has remembered every one of you. Don’t even let me meet you, or else I shall let you to have a taste of my Seventy-Two Swift Saber Strikes!” Thrice Reckless Mad Saber grudgingly replied. He was confident in his swift saber and the six fellas who were laughing weren’t his opponents in a one-on-one fight.
Just when Thrice Reckless Mad Saber finished talking, another ???? appeared within the group. It was Su Clan’s Seven who sent it.
Shortly after, Su Clan’s Seven excitedly said, “When are we having the duel?”
Evidently, Su Clan’s Seven hadn’t actually wanted to rejoice at his misfortune—he’d just wanted an opponent for a fight.
“…” Thrice Reckless Mad Saber instantly lost his spirit.
Why? Because he couldn’t win against Seven!
He had a profound cultivation base, having reached the late stage of Fifth Stage Spiritual Emperor Realm, just two steps away from becoming a Sixth Stage True Monarch. However, he was unable to defeat Seven.
Despite having his fast and fierce Seventy-Two Swift Saber Strikes, along with a lightning fast footwork , he was still unable to win against him.
He was called mad saber, and even he himself was afraid of his angry self. But even then, he was really no match for Seven!
After seeing Thrice Reckless losing his momentum, the members within the group sent another wave of ????????????
“…” This time, Thrice Reckless Mad Saber could only depressingly send an ellipsis.
The group was puzzled—despite them making a din for half a day, the newcomer had yet to appear.
“Our new dao friend isn’t speaking?” Northern River Loose Cultivator asked.
Unfortunately, due to the medicine’s effect, Song Shuhang had once again entered a state of being half-sleep .
Just then, Su Clan’s Seven happily sent a message. “I just took a look, our new dao friend is named ‘Stressed by a Mountain of Books’. Has anyone heard of an expert with this dao name? His name seems as if he’s a member of the scholarly faction? It sure makes me look forward to it! After all, the location of that sect is hidden quite well. It has been a few hundred years since I’ve last had a fight with them! Thinking back, fighting them is more pleasurable than dueling buddhist monks. Not only do they have a glib tongue, their punches are powerful too! When they are in the mood, they would also heroically start reciting poems to liven things up, making it multiple times more fun! I love fighting with them the most.”
“Seven, are your expectations towards new dao friends only limited to having fun fighting with them?” Reckless Mad Saber sent a ????. This was basically an evil tyrant’s way of doing things!
“Erm.” Su Clan seven was slightly embarrassed.
Northern River’s Loose Cultivator said, “Could it be another ‘powerful senior’ that is unacquainted with such chat software?????”
Having said that, apparently several people found this scene familiar?
That’s right, about four years ago there was another senior that came out after hundreds years of closed-door cultivation and only managed to open the messaging application with great difficulty. Then, she was invited by True Monarch Yellow Mountain into the group. However, she did not send any messages as she didn’t know how to type.
Afterwards, a fella named Thrice Reckless Mad Saber happily teased this powerful senior and requested for her three sizes, photos, voice chat, and such.
Subsequently.. a few days later, Thrice Reckless Mad Saber personally met this senior. She was very beautiful, as dazzling as the bright moon in the night sky.
Then, this alluring senior had tortured Thrice Reckless Mad Saber for one year and four months before she was perfectly satisfied and left.
Thrice Reckless Mad Saber was instantly overwhelmed and fell silent.
“Yellow Mountain?” Just then, someone with the ID ‘Medicine Master’ sent a message.
An unfathomable short message.
Luckily, everyone in the chat had long become accustomed to Medicine Master sending short messages—he was asking where True Monarch Yellow Mountain was.
The reason Medicine Master sent short messages wasn’t due to his lofty personality, but because he used only two fingers and handwriting pad to type, therefore his speed was extremely slow. Also, there was a higher chance of making typos in a long text, plus deleting and writing anew was simply painful. Therefore, Medicine Master had a habit of only sending short messages. Over time, Medicinal Master was then labeled as someone whose words were as rare as gold when he communicated with the rest.
“He went offline immediately after sending the invitation. Apparently, his darling monster dog had angrily ran away from his house again and True Monarch Yellow Mountain went to chase him. Taking care of that precious monster dog and coming online to add him to the group sure isn’t an easy task for True Monarch, he’s definitely super busy right now,” Northern River’s Loose Cultivator replied.
Medicine Master: ”…”
“We can only wait for the new dao friend to learn to use the chat software,” Su Clan’s seven sighed . They were all biased, thinking the new member was one of them.
The few members online weren’t entertained looking at how unresponsive the new dao friend was and went offline one after another.
Around an hour later, Song Shuhang gradually woke up.
“I think someone had invited me to a group earlier on, the chat room’s name was… Nine Provinces Group?” He muttered quietly while opening the chat software; a window containing the chat room of Nine Provinces group popped up.
What exactly was this group?
Quickly, the chat history from an hour ago appeared before him.
Song Shuhang briefly skimmed through the messages.
Dao friend? Cave dwelling? Which stage of cultivation is he at?
There’s also seniors, True Monarch, this lord? Chasing after huge monster dog?
Different kinds of vocabulary coming out straight from Xianxia novels were used.
The way they spoke was also interesting—half ancient half modern, half plain and half serpentine. It gave the feeling of modern people attempting to converse using ancient dialects but their fundamentals in old language falling short, making it awkward while communicating.
“Pu~~” Song Shuhang laughed.
Looks like this was a group created for Xianxia enthusiasts?
Oh wait, this was absolutely not a normal Xianxia fan group!
Everyone within the group had picked a dao name for themselves and their dwelling was called a cultivation cave, while the administrator’s missing house pet had to be described as a huge monster dog that ran away from home. Not only that, some even professed to have not fought a member of scholarly faction for more than a century. In other words, those people were claiming that they’ve lived several hundred years or so?
Just by looking at this chat log brought about a feeling of shame and embarrassment.
‘This degree of infatuation has already reached the degree of suffering from chuunibyou . Ah, right, they’re a group specific to traditional Chinese xianxia,’ Song Shuhang secretly concluded.
It seemed that it was probably a gathering of chuunibyou fellas.
This was the first impression he had of the members in ‘Nine Provinces Number One Group’.
However, why would he be invited by them?
Song Shuhang was certain that True Monarch Yellow Mountain was not a classmate he knew and neither did he recognize him after looking at his profile.
Was he added by mistake?
3. Release that Witch
Release that Witch offers easy reading, amazing world-building, kingdom building, and military building.
Cheng Yan felt as if someone was calling him.
“Your Highness, wake up…”
He turned his head away, but the sounds he had heard did not disappear, instead they became even louder. Then, he felt someone gently tug on his sleeve.
“Your Highness, my Royal Prince!”
Cheng Yan opened his eyes immediately. He did not see any of the things he had grown familiar with—the screen was gone, the desk was gone, and so too, was the wall which he had plastered with Post-its. They were replaced by a strange scene—rows of small brick houses, a round public square that was crowded with people, and a door-shaped gallows that was erected in the middle of the public square. He was seated on an elevated platform from across the square. The chair he sat on was not his usual soft swivel chair, but instead, a cold and hard iron chair. Sitting alongside him was a group of people whose gazes were fixated upon him. Among them were a few young women who were dressed as medieval ladies like what he had seen in Western movies, and they were busy giggling among themselves.
“Where on Earth is this? Wasn’t I working urgently on my blueprints?” Cheng Yan’s mind was vacant, perhaps caused by three consecutive days of working overtime that had pushed him to the limit mentally and physically. All he could remember was when he finally broke down, his heartbeat began to palpitate unsteadily, and he wanted nothing but to lie on the office table for a brief rest…
“Your Highness, please announce your verdict soon.”
The speaker was the person that had quietly tugged on his sleeve. His face was old, seemingly in his fifties or sixties, and he wore a white robe. At first glance, had a little resemblance to Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings.
“Am I dreaming?” Cheng Yan thought as he licked his dry lips. “Verdict, what verdict?”
He soon knew. The people in the public square were all looking in the direction of the gallows, while waving their fists and yelling as loud as they could. Some even threw stones at the gallows.
Cheng Yan had only ever seen such an ancient instrument of death in movies. The gallows of two pillars extending upwards about four meters from a raised base. The top ends of the two pillars were connected by a crossbeam, which was embedded with rusty metal rings for a thick yellow hemp rope to travel through. One end of the rope was tied to the frame of the gallows, and the other end was tied around the felon’s neck.
In this strange dream, he discovered that his eyesight was extraordinarily good. He would usually require glasses to read the words on a computer screen, but now, he could clearly see every detail of the gallows, which was fifty meters away, without his glasses.
The felon was hooded and her hands were tied behind her back. Her shabby gray garment was akin to a piece of rag. Her body was so emaciated that her ankles—the only part of her body which was exposed—seemed like they could be broken by pinching them. It was her faintly bulging chest which gave away that she was a female. She shivered terribly in the cold wind, yet she was observably trying hard to maintain her straight posture.
“Alright then,” Cheng Yan thought to himself, “exactly what crime did this woman commit that so many people are waiting with indignation for her to be executed?”
As he pondered, memories suddenly came flooding back to him, and the answer to his question abruptly appeared in front of him. Cheng Yan’s memories appeared, almost as if they’d suddenly been turned on and he realized the cause of the situation, and the answer to his question, at almost the same time.
She was a ’witch’.
Witches had degenerated after falling to the temptation of the Devil and are now the incarnation of impurity.
“Your Highness?” ‘Gandalf’ urged cautiously.
Cheng Yan glanced at the old man. Ohhh, actually, he’s called Barov and not Gandalf. He’s the Assistant Minister of Finance, and was sent here to assist me with government affairs.
As for myself, I’m the Fourth Prince of the Kingdom of Graycastle, named Roland, and I’m in charge of this place called Border Town. It was residents who caught and arrested the witch, and immediately brought her to the police station—no, it was the court of justice. The warrant to execute the witch would typically have been issued by the local lord or bishop, which, in this case, would mean me.
His memory answered every question he had indiscriminately. It was as though this bout of memories was derived from his personal experiences, rather than knowledge he had gained from his extensive reading. This confused him. A dream can never be as detailed as this, therefore is this not a dream? Could it be that I have travelled back in time to the dark ages of medieval Europe and became Roland? Have I transformed from an ignoble draftsman to a dignified prince?
Albeit this piece of territory seems barren and backward, and I’ve never seen the name ‘Kingdom of Graycastle’ in any history book.
Well, what should I do next?
I shall leave aside the question of how something scientifically impossible like time travel happened. Right now, I need to end this circus. Before civilization, it was common to assign the blame for disasters and misfortune to these pitiful witches, but Cheng Yan could not accept that they had to be executed as well to satisfy the dark desires of the audience.
He snatched the formal written orders from Barov’s hands, tossed them on the ground, stretched his arms and said languidly, “I’m tired. The judgement shall be postponed to another day. Court’s dismissed!”
Cheng Yan did not act recklessly or without thought. Instead, this was in accordance with his memory’s detailed recollection of the way that the prince behaved, and all he did was reenacting their willful manner. The Fourth Prince, Roland, was indeed this screwed up and abominable, and did whatever he wanted. Certainly, it was impossible for a twenty-something unruly prince to be well-cultivated.
The members of the noble who sat with him seemed unsurprised, but a tall man wearing a suit of armor stood up and argued. “Your Highness, this isn’t a joke! All witches should be put to death immediately upon being identified, or else, what can we do if other witches attempt to save her? The Church will get involved if they know of this.”
“Carter Lannis. This handsome man is my Chief Knight.” Cheng Yan frowned and replied, “Why? Are you scared?” His voice, which was full of blatant mockery, sounded natural. “How could a man, whose arms were thicker than a normal person’s body, be worried about witches breaking into our prison? Does he really think that witches are the mouthpiece of the Devil?” “Won’t it be better to catch a few more witches?”
As Carter remained silent, Cheng Yan signaled to his personal guards and left. Carter pondered for a moment before he decided to catchup with the guards and walked beside Prince Roland. The other nobles stood up and paid their respects to the prince, but Cheng Yan could see the disdain and contempt in their eyes.
Back in the keep, which was considered to be the castle in the south of Border Town, he ordered his guards to deny entry to the anxious Assistant Minister so that he himself could finally catch a brief respite.
As a person who had usually spent 90 percent of his time sitting in front of a computer, he had outdone himself by speaking in front of such an audience. Using his newly-gained memories, Cheng Yan located his bedroom, and then sat on the bed for a long rest which allowed his heartbeat to regain normalcy. At the moment, the most important matter was to clarify his situation. “Why is the prince not residing comfortably in King’s City, but instead sent to this desolate land?”
The answer popped up spontaneously and left him a bit flabbergasted.
Roland Wimbledon was sent here to contend for the throne.
It all started when the King of Graycastle, Wimbledon III, quizzically proclaimed, “The heirship of this kingdom will not be based on age, but instead, the capability to govern.” He then dispatched his grown-up sons and daughters to govern different territories, and after five years, he would decide his successor based on their level of governance.
Although the ideas of meritocracy and gender equality sounded progressive and futuristic, it was difficult to implement in reality. Who could guarantee that each of the five children faced the same initial conditions? After all, this was not a real-time strategy game. According to his new knowledge, the Second Prince was given a much better territory than Border Town. In fact, among the five of them, none had a place as bad as Border Town, and thus he had a huge disadvantage.
Furthermore, he wondered how the level of governance would be assessed. By population? Military power? Economic standing? Wimbledon III did not mentioned his criteria, nor did he put the slightest restriction on their methods of competition. In case someone secretly assassinated the other candidates, what would he do? Would the queen stand by and watch as her children kill one another? “Wait…” He carefully recalled another memory. “That’s right, another piece of bad news is that the Queen died five years ago.”
Cheng Yan sighed. This was obviously a barbaric and dark time during the feudal era. The way that people wanted to kill witches recklessly was enough to give him a few hints. Yet, even if he did not attain heirship, he would forever be a blood prince of Graycastle, and would be the Lord of a Realm for as long as he lived.
Furthermore… so what if I become the king? There isn’t Internet or other comforts of modern civilization. Like the locals, the only fun thing I’ve to do is burning witches. And living in a city where shit is excreted and dumped anywhere and everywhere, won’t I eventually die of the Black Death?
Cheng Yan suppressed his chaotic thoughts and walked up to his bedroom mirror. The man looking back at him in the mirror had light gray hair, which was the royal family’s most distinctive feature. Although his facial features were regular, his face lacked a proper shape and seemed devoid of royal disposition. His pale face gave away his lack of physical exercise. He recalled from his new memories that he did not indulge much in wine or women. He did have several sexual relationships while in King’s City, and all of them were consensual. He had never forced anyone into an affair with him.
He also discovered a probable reason for his time travel. Because of his company’s urgency to make progress on a project, his boss had arranged consecutive nights of overtime work for him that caused him to die of exhaustion. The victims of such a case were usually coders, mechanical engineers, and programmers.
“Forget it, no matter what, at least I got the equivalent of an extra life, and therefore I really shouldn’t complain too much.” He began to wise up to the fact that he would probably adjust to this life in the days to come, but that for now, the most important mission was to act well as the Prince Roland and not let anyone find out. Or else, they may believe that the Devil had possessed the real Prince Roland, and immediately burnt him at the stake. “So, most importantly, live well. ” Cheng Yan took a deep breath, and whispered towards the mirror, “From now on, I’m Roland.”
4. My House of Horrors
Yes, it’s a horror novel and probably the single best horror novel on Webnovel. This novel is well thought out, amazingly written, and beautifully translated. Warning! This novel can give you chills.
The storytelling is very detailed. Every character has a depth to them and feels realistic. We can feel their pain and struggles. You will even feel the emotions of the ghost when reading. There are many mysteries and the main character slowly uncovers them, one by one. The main character of this novel is calm and steady, making rational decisions in complex situations and analyzing individual clues.
What more do you need! You should definitely check this novel out. It is ongoing with around 1000 chapters translated out of 1200. Find it on Webnovel.
“This is the first time I’ve visited such an un-scary Haunted House.”
“The props are too fake; I didn’t feel scared. If anything, it all felt like a joke to me.”
“Materialists like ourselves naturally have nothing to be afraid of! Ghosts aren’t real!”
“I hate to say it, but I told you so. We should have stayed at the dorm; I was so close to gaining another level on my online game.”
A group of students grumbled with disappointment in front of Western Jiujiang City’s House of Horrors before they left on their motorbikes. Chen Ge, who held a stack of advertisement flyers for the Haunted House, shook his head despondently when he saw this.
The art of scaring was a skill, but with the introduction of scary movies, many modern-day citizens’ threshold for scares had been increased. A visit to the Haunted House was no different from a stroll in one’s own backyard.
A clear female voice erupted from behind him. Chen Ge turned around and saw a slender ‘zombie’ in a nurse outfit running out of the Haunted House in a fit of anger.
“What’s wrong, Xiao Wan?” The zombie’s name was Xu Wan; she was one of the temporary actors hired by the Haunted House.
“Those few ruffians earlier, they tried to take advantage of me!” the girl hissed through gritted teeth, her fists gripped tight.
So, it is merely to complain…
“That’s horrible; they wouldn’t even leave a zombie in peace.” As the boss, naturally Chen Ge was on Xiao Wan’s side. “Later, I’ll have the amusement park manager to pull up the surveillance footage.”
“There’s no need for that. When I realized their intentions, my punch went flying straight at the boy’s face.” Xu Wan pointed at the bloodstain at the edge of her outfit and exclaimed rather proudly, “See, this isn’t fake blood.”
“Good, good, a girl should learn how to protect herself.” Chen Ge wiped the cold sweat from his forehead. As he turned to look at the setting sun, he said, “I suppose it’s time to call it a day. We probably won’t have any more visitors, so help me go and tell everyone that we can get off work early today.”
However, he realized the girl in zombie make-up didn’t make an attempt to move away.
“Is there anything else?”
“Boss…” Xu Wan hesitated before pulling two letters out from her pocket slowly. “These are the resignation letters from Tao Ming and Xiao Wei. You’ve been a great boss to them, so they didn’t have the face to give these to you in person and had me pass them to you.”
“They’re quitting?” Chen Ge asked the obvious question as he accepted the letters, then he added, “Everyone has their own dream to chase, so be it. Xiao Wan, you can leave now if there’s nothing else.”
“Okay, I’ll go remove the make-up.”
After the cute little zombie left, Chen Ge lit a cigarette silently. Half a year ago, when his parents mysteriously disappeared, the only thing they left him was this Haunted House. To keep their memory alive, Chen Ge had resigned from his day-job to focus on managing this Haunted House.
Alas, times were changing. Despite the niche genre, there was huge competition among Haunted Houses, and there were plenty of limitations as well. A scary scenario would lose its scare factor after the initial experience, but a constant update would require plenty of resources and money.
Starting from a few weeks ago, the Haunted House had been in the red; the income from the daily ticket sales barely covered the electricity and water expenses.
“I wonder how long I can hold on.”
After extinguishing the cigarette, when Chen Ge was prepared to return to the Haunted House, a middle-aged man wearing the uniform for New Century Park walked toward him. When he saw him, Chen Ge increased his pace like a mouse spotting a cat.
“You think you can pretend to have not seen me?” The middle-aged man clamped his hands on Chen Ge’s shoulders. “Today, we definitely need to talk it out. You’ve owed the rent and utilities for two months already. The top brass are breathing down my neck to pursue it, so pay up!”
“Uncle Xu, it’s not that I don’t want to pay you, but I really have nothing to pay you with. Can you please give me another month?”
“That’s what you told me last month!”
“I promise, this is definitely the last time!” Chen Ge patted his chest as he promised with sincerity.
“People have already moved on from Haunted Houses. Listen to me, it’s no use being this stubborn.” When the middle-aged man named Uncle Xu saw the letters in Chen Ge’s hand, the force on Chen Ge’s shoulders gradually lightened. “You’re so young; you can still begin anew with a different career, so why are you doing this to yourself?”
“Uncle Xu, I know you’re just looking out for me, but this Haunted House carries a different meaning for me. I guess I’m still unwilling to let the last memory of my parents go,” Chen Ge uttered in a lowered voice as if he was afraid that other people might hear him.
As the amusement park manager, the middle-aged man knew about the disappearance of Chen Ge’s parents. He didn’t answer immediately. After a few seconds, he sighed and said, “Fine, I can understand how you feel. I’ll try my best to talk to management for you and see if they can give you a few more weeks.”
“Thank you, Uncle Xu!”
“Don’t thank me so soon, you’d better make sure you can increase the ticket sales or the ending will just be the same.”
After sending the amusement park manager off, Chen Ge returned to the Haunted House and started his daily routine of checking the equipment, maintaining the items, and cleaning.
“The fake blood in the maintenance room is almost empty; I have to buy a new batch.
“If this corridor could be made slightly more slanted to the side, it’ll create a better blind spot to scare the visitors.
“Oh no, this puppet is broken already; I’ll have to repair it later.
“F*ck! What happened to the lightbulb I installed here last week? Who has stolen it‽”
In the eyes of an outsider, he was the owner of a Haunted House, a young entrepreneur in a way, but only Chen Ge himself could understand the difficulty behind maintaining a Haunted House. Haunted Houses were a kind of entertainment. Caught within a scary environment, one’s physical and mental situation would be maintained at a heightened state, but when the stress was released, it would lead to a sense of relief and satisfaction; it was not unlike a massage in a way.
At the same time, most Haunted Houses were one-trick ponies. The most effective business method for a Haunted House was to have it be mobile so that it would constantly attract fresh batches of visitors. A Haunted House that was stuck at a certain location like Chen Ge’s had to have immense popularity to lure in the crowds, or else they wouldn’t be able to survive for long. The fact that he had managed to hold on for so long was already, in a way, a miracle.
Dragging the puppet that was ruined, Chen Ge entered the maintenance room. He had studied Toy Design in college, and the machinery and traps used in the Haunted House had all been personally designed and built by him. The maintenance process, which included sewing and repainting, was dry and repetitive.
“Still missing some fake blood. If I remember correctly, there’s still some stock in the attic.” The Haunted House was separated into three floors; the first and second floors were for haunted scenarios while the third was a storeroom.
After pushing open the wooden door, behind the haze of wood chips and dust, there were various kinds of materials and unwanted ingredients left behind by Chen Ge’s parents from when they had managed the Haunted House.
Unwilling to face the past, Chen Ge rarely came up to this place.
“Now that I think about it, it has almost been half a year already.”
Looking at the various equipment, Chen Ge was reminded of his childhood. At the time, his family had managed a mobile Haunted House, so he had gotten the chance to travel the country with his parents. When the two adults were busy, they would leave Chen Ge alone backstage to accompany the various ghosts, so Chen Ge’s unnatural guts had been trained since he was young.
After all, when his friends of the same age were playing with blocks and puzzles, he was running around with a fake human head.
“These are all precious memories.”
Chen Ge wandered aimlessly before finding himself back at the wooden box that kept the few things that remained of his parents. Inside sat a black cell phone and a rough-looking doll. The doll was the first toy Chen Ge made when he was a child, but he had zero recollection of the phone. Both of these items had been found in an abandoned hospital in the countryside, and regarding why Chen Ge’s parents would go there in the middle of the night, even the police couldn’t give him an answer.
“Where are the two of you?” Chen Ge picked up the doll and pinched its chubby face. Then, with a sigh, he told himself, “I’d better go find that fake blood. If I cannot survive this off season, I really will have to bid this Haunted House farewell.”
Chen Ge was talking to himself, but when he said so, the black phone, which had been silent in the box, suddenly lit up with a dim, cold light.
“What’s going on? Dark technology or supernatural phenomenon?” If this happened to someone else, that person probably would have raced out screaming bloody murder already, but in comparison, Chen Ge’s reaction was much calmer. He picked up the phone and inspected it closer.
“This is weird. I’ve tried opening this phone more than a hundred times before, but it wouldn’t work, so why did it open by itself today? This phone was found where my parents disappeared, so could it be that they know I’m in trouble and are contacting me to help?”
Chen Ge swiped the phone open, and on the front page with a black background, there was only one available app. It had the shape of a Haunted House as an icon.
“Wait… This looks so familiar, just like the front entrance of my own Haunted House!”
With a frown, Chen Ge clicked the app open, and a row of letters written in what appeared to be blood appeared on screen—Do you believe there are ghosts in this world?
Objectively speaking, this was a metaphysical philosophical question; for an engineering student like Chen Ge, it was practically unanswerable.
“There should be,” Chen Ge mumbled to himself, and a few seconds later, a new sentence appeared on screen.
“What you believe is the answer. From this moment on, you will officially take over as the new owner of the Haunted House. Of course, this is not something worth celebrating. Before the end of the tutorials, please heed my last advice: suicide is the most cowardice of behavior, and try your best to survive!”
“What and what? But this pompous way of speech does resemble that father of mine.”
Chen Ge clicked on the app again, and a new window appeared.
Western Jiujiang Haunted House
Status: Almost Closing
Good Reputation: Zero
Daily Visitor Number: Four
Monthly Visitor Number: Ten
My Team of Ghosts and Ghouls: None
My Item Storage: None
Unlocked Achievement: None
Current Available Scenarios [Set Pieces]:
– Night of the Living Dead – Horrible prop, untrained actors, the plot has no readable storyline or logic. Scream Factor: 0 Star
– Minghun [Nether World Marriage] – Couple torn apart in the living world, bound together forever in the nether world; sharing the same grave, pursuing happiness in death. Scream Factor: 0.5 Stars
– Murder by Midnight – A dangerous psychotic patient wandered about a fallen apartment. Scissors and mallets as hands, he is just wandering outside of your room. Scream Factor: 1 Star
– The Third Sick Hall – There are unexplainable noises coming out from this abandoned hospital building every night. As a newspaper reporter, you’re tasked with getting to the bottom of this dark mystery. Scream Factor: 3 Stars
– The Haunted Hearse – Leaving with the hearse carrying the coffin, if you cannot escape within an hour, you’ll stay forever inside the hearse. Scream Factor: 2 Stars
Daily Mission: Complete Daily Missions provided by the Haunted House to unlock more scary scenarios. The rewards correspond to the difficulty of the mission.
Haunted House Expansion Conditions: Monthly Visitor Numbers over 100. Good Reputation over 60 percent. (After 3 expansions, the Haunted House will upgrade to The Shivering Maze.)
Haunted Wheel of Misfortune (Expend Fright Points generated by visitors of the Haunted House to spin the Wheel): The Decree of Life and Death is never the decision of man; fortune and misfortune are only an inch apart. We have both Spirit Fruits to increase your life span as well as hatred-filled Baleful Specters!
Other functions: Yet to be unlocked
5. Superstars of Tomorrow
Superstar of Tomorrow is a brilliant SciFi Novel. The main character focuses on music, so if you are a music fan this might be for you.
The story centers on Fang Zhao, a composer, who fought in the apocalypse, only to die right before it finally ended, and then reawakens years later in a body with the same name. In these relatively peaceful times, he gets the chance to use his musical talent again.
We explore the new world after the apocalypse together with the main character. It’s a vast new world, yet the author presents it in a simple way. There are no bad-ass villains, no romance, and few fight scenes. The novel is fun and very relaxing to read. It also has a great sense of humor and character development.
The novel is complete in raws with 507 chapters, of which 482 are translated so far. Find the story on Webnovel.
After a devastating meteor shower, the apocalypse beckoned as foreign elements sparked deadly mutations in animals, and micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye unleashed countless epidemics.
On top of their own diseases, mankind had to deal with mutated beasts. Threats loomed everywhere and a torrent of microbiological mutations lurked as illness and disaster halted progress and curbed productivity.
Bustling cities were reduced to ruins and vast plots of fertile land turned to hellish wastelands.
Fang Zhao couldn’t remember how long he lingered in that apocalyptic world, how long he fought.
Ninety-odd years? Or perhaps 100 years?
He could no longer remember.
Before the apocalypse, he was a somewhat well-known composer whose career was on the rise. Just as he was about to release what he considered his best work, the mother of all wars arrived. He fled for survival and led troops into battle.
When conquered lands were recovered one after another, people thought the war would end soon and prosperous times would emerge. Yet this was when he collapsed, in the darkness before the dawn.
“If you don’t have the determination to fight to the death, then this war will certainly be lost.”
“That’s why earth’s population has dwindled from 8 billion to 80 million.”
“Old Zhao, say, do you think we will win?”
“I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of a Pyrrhic victory.”
“We will win.”
“That’s good. When we win, I’m going to find a place and start herding again. Boy, how I loved the ranch where we lived when I was a kid—the blue skies and the green pastures. What about you, Old Zhao? Are you going to relaunch your career as a composer?”
“Relaunch? I never stopped in the first place.”
In Fang Zhao’s head, a conversation he once had with his comrade Su Mu suddenly popped up.
The cries of his men facing imminent death and the howls of the mutated animals began to fade. The extreme pain from decades of illnesses and deadly wounds had been wiped from his memory as his body began to recover its senses.
The vitality of a withered tree that meets the spring was confusing to Fang Zhao. After all, he was more than 100 years old, an emaciated old man with damaged fingers. Even though his body had mutated and strengthened as a function of his immune system, he was still bogged down by injury and illness. He was also an old man. He felt like an overheated engine all the time and could no longer relax at will.
Just when Fang Zhao was about to carefully feel out his body, his brain was assaulted by a pain resembling pricking needles and barraged with images he couldn’t recognize, crowding his head to its breaking point.
As he gradually gained control of his body, Fang Zhao’s eyelids spasmed and he sat up to take deep breaths. The overloading of his brain blurred his vision, but as his headache faded, his vision resumed too, and Fang Zhao took in his unusual surroundings acutely.
With instincts and sensitivity honed from countless battles, Fang Zhao could tell without looking that he was in a foreign location.
It wasn’t an unknown location.
A scene appeared in his mind, a seemingly very familiar scene.
This is where he used to live.
He was Fang Zhao and not Fang Zhao at the same time.
He died in that end-of-days war, but now he was reborn into the body of another person also called Fang Zhao. He survived.
Fang Zhao raised his hands and examined his 10 young, intact fingers. He dangled his legs, which were weak but felt no pain.
This was a young and healthy body.
Fang Zhao’s brain contained his own memories—the battles that led to his death were crystal clear, as were his nearly 100 years of fighting and being on the run. But at the same time, he was also equipped with the memories of his new host body.
This young man also named Fang Zhao was merely 23 years old and was about to complete his tertiary studies.
He was a young composer.
He was dumped after graduation and cheated just when he started his new job. A friend he considered a blood brother betrayed him and stole three months’ worth of his work. Succumbing to the blows, this man chose the final resolution—suicide.
Fang Zhao was puzzled. Apocalypse had been avoided. Why would anyone give up on life in such a beautiful world?
After all, it was merely a case of heartbreak, piracy, and betrayal.
Did the world fall apart?
People who lived during the end of days tried so hard to survive, and this boy took his life over such petty matters. People from the end of days wouldn’t get it.
But after all, these were peaceful times after what was thought to be the end of days. People thought differently in times of peace. Fang Zhao also lived during peacetime, but it was too long ago and such good memories had already blurred by a giant sea of bloodshed.
How did people from peacetime think?
Never mind. What has happened has happened.
As Fang Zhao canvassed the memories of his host body, exasperation mixed with pity. Someone who chose to resolve things like this was too cowardly. It was a form of avoidance. The host was dead, and yet the person who poached his work was living happily and enjoying greater status. Was his death worth it?
In any case, Fang Zhao felt it wasn’t. Current grievances were best avenged in the present—who knew if there was an afterlife.
The original owner of his body was afraid to confront his circumstances, but Fang Zhao was different.
Someone who had endured the end of days naturally had a different temperament than people from peacetime.
The more memories he uncovered, the more amazed Fang Zhao was.
There really was a new world.
All those years of battle and all those of years of hellish living were worth it. While searching the memories of his new body, Fang Zhao remained vigilant toward his surroundings as well. Even when he was in a safe environment, Fang Zhao couldn’t relax. It was an old habit cultivated during the end of days, which was also why he was able to survive for so many years.
As a whining sound from nearby grew, Fang Zhao stopped searching his new memory and looked over.
He had already sensed another life form in this narrow room, but it posed no threat and didn’t signal the intent to attack. Drawing from his experience from the end of days, beasts like this weren’t of the violent, mutated variety, so he didn’t pay much attention. Fang Zhao only shifted his focus as the noise grew.
It was only a small dog with tangled, finger-long fur. Its coat was stained with an unknown substance. It was very skinny. Remove its fur and all that was left was a veiled skeleton.
The stray dog the original owner of his body had adopted before committing suicide.
After adopting the dog last night, he fed it a spiked dinner. He ate half and fed the remaining half to the dog – both portions were mixed with poison he bought from a drug store.
An empty bowl lay on a table nearby. Its drugged contents were gone, but the plate next to the dog was left untouched.
Fang Zhao knew from his new memories that the dog was in poor health last night. He could barely stand. A day later it seemed in better shape, but it still had trouble getting up. It lay there with its head titled slightly, his neck twisted in Fang Zhao’s direction. Tail wagging, its black eyes started at Fang Zhao.
Fang Zhao dangled his legs. Even though they were weak, he could walk.
He planted his feet on the ground. The wholesome feeling that traveled from the soles of his feet to his brain made his heart race.
Fang Zhao walked carefully and deliberately, as if verifying the reality before him.
One step, two steps…
Soon the probing steps became confident moves, as every cell in his body came alive with his heightened mood.
How lucky he was to return from the dead.
Fang Zhao walked toward the dog, knelt, picked up the plate of unknown material carrying the muck that was the poisoned food and tossed it into the garbage can.
As he bore witness to Fang Zhao’s actions, the dog’s spirits appeared to be lifted and his eyes became more expressive.
There was no more food in the apartment. Drawing from his new memory, Fang Zhao took a bowl from the cupboard. He felt the surface of the bowl and determined it wasn’t a material he knew. It looked ceramic, but it felt like some sort of plastic composite. It was very light.
His brain contained vague memories about the new material, but Fang Zhao could only gather from these fragments that it was a material that dissolves quickly in certain conditions without releasing any pollutants.
Fang Zhao dropped the matter and fetched half a bowl from the pool, which he knew about his new memory, and placed it in front of the dog.
The dog got up with a swagger, looking like it would collapse at any moment. But it stood stiffly and lapped up the bowl of water, its tail wagging slightly.
Even though it was a stray dog, it was still doing its best to survive.
Fang Zhao looked at that dog, then focused his attention on the small apartment.
It was about 20 square meters, crowded and messy. One corner was a total disaster. But his new memory told Fang Zhao that the same corner was the tidiest part of the room before yesterday.
That small corner taking up about four square meters was where the previous owner of his body worked. All the songs he composed in the past two months were completed in that cramped corner.
Many of the tools and appliances in the apartment were alien to Fang Zhou. He had never seen home appliances before. But he could decipher everything with his new memory. As long as his new memory was fully integrated, he could navigate his new world easily.
Fang Zhou walked toward a spot and pressed a small button on the wall. A waist-high cabinet thrust forward. A mirror was placed on top of the cabinet.
Ignoring the mirror itself and the material of the cabinet, Fang Zhao carefully examined the man in the mirror.
The original owner of his new body looked somewhat like Fang Zhao, even though Fang Zhao couldn’t remember what he looked like when he was a young man. Still, the face in the mirror looked a bit familiar, based on Fang Zhao’s own memories instead of his new ones.
The two Fang Zhao were cosmically linked after all.
Even though he didn’t know how he obtained a healthy new body, Fang Zhao disagreed with what its original owner did. But now that he inherited his body and memories, Fang Zhao had to take stock.
Staring at the eyes in the mirror, he said in a serious tone,
“I’m taking over the life you abandoned.”
“I will exact revenge for you.”
“I will repay your debts.”
“So your dream is to become a world-famous composer? It just so happens I used to be one.”
Fang Zhao was actually quite ambitious, but he had landed in a new world that he didn’t know, after all. As grand as his ambitions were, they had to be grounded in reality and competence. Maybe he could fulfill the dreams that he couldn’t during the end of days.
Anyone can talk big, but before adapting to his new surroundings and figuring out his skillset, talk was just talk.
Fang Zhao shoved the cabinet back into the wall, walked toward the window and opened it.
It was nearly noon and the weather was great. The curtains had been drawn already, but the apartment was still dim, because this was a “black” street, a slum-like neighborhood.
6. Joy of Life
To describe Joy of Life in a single phrase: scheme after scheme and twist after twist.
Joy of Life is a politically intrigued novel with well-balanced humor, romance, and action. Rich in its writing and translation quality, the world and character development are simply great.
You can’t help but love the characters even if they are evil, as they feel very realistic. The main strength of this novel is its focus on politics. Here, rather than people with supernatural strengths, people with better strategies win.
Fan Shen struggled to keep his eyes open. He looked at his fingers, counting off all the worthwhile things he’d done in his life, but the slender fingers on his right hand, thin as chopsticks, didn’t get past five. With a sigh, he gave up trying.
The smell of hospital medicine was always so pungent. The other day, the old fellow in the next bed had passed away, and in a few days, he’d probably be next.
He’d contracted some sort of strange disease, and there was no strength left in his muscles. It seemed like the kind of sickness some hero in a romance novel would get, one where if you didn’t get to a hospital, you’d eventually end up unable to even fart or burp, only being able to produce tears.
“But I’m not a romantic hero,” Fan Shen mumbled. Unfortunately, the muscles in his jaw had wasted away to such an extent that this came out as a vague string of nonsense.
He stared at his middle finger, filled with self-pity. “I’m still a virgin.”
He’d done nothing worthwhile his entire life apart from helping old ladies cross the street, giving up his seat on the bus, being a good neighbor, letting his classmates copy his test answers…
Fan Shen was the classically useless nice guy.
His parents had died a while back, and so it was just him at the hospital, waiting for his life to come to an end.
“Nice guys finish last.”
One quiet and lonely night, Fan Shen felt as though his throat muscles were losing strength, as they were no longer able to tighten or loosen up, and his breathing muscles gradually lost their strength, like a rubber band losing its elasticity.
He had no idea where that neat young nurse had gone. By his side was an old lady, her eyes filled with pity as she rambled on.
“Am I going to die?”
His fear of death and thirst for life had stirred up complex feelings he’d never known before, and the fact that the last moments of his life would be spent with this old lady instead of that cute nurse he’d been waiting so long to see no doubt added to his sorrows.
Feeling miserable, his eyelids drooped, and he cast his hazy eyes toward the black curtain hung over the hospital ward window blocking out the sunshine. Life is lonely as hell, he thought.
Feeling miserable, a single drop of liquid fell from the corner of his eye.
Fan Shen felt rather miserable, licking away the tear that had found its way to the corner of his mouth. To his surprise, he found that his tears were not only salty, but also slightly fishy. The hospital bathed him so rarely – could it be that even his own tears had started to stink?
In his thoughts, he couldn’t help but curse. Look at you! You have tears streaming down your face! Do you really still think you’re some kind of hero?
But he soon realized something wasn’t quite right. How come he could still stick his tongue out to lap up the tears? The doctor said he’d lost the ability to move his tongue a while ago. Now the only use for it was letting it slide easily down his esophagus, blocking his respiratory tract; he’d become one of the few geniuses to commit suicide by swallowed tongue.
Later he found that it was becoming easier to open his eyes. His line of vision opened up, his eyesight becoming sharper than it had been even before he had contracted this disease. The view before his eyes was bright and clear, and he saw something made of bamboo right in front of him.
Fan Shen, dumbfounded, separated the bamboo rods, and found himself facing an astonishing sight: A dozen or so figures stood, menacing and clothed in black from head to toe. Each of them held something sharp in their hands, and raising it in the air, they hacked away at themselves!
For a moment, he couldn’t be sure if this was a dream or some strange near-death experience. Instinctively, he drew his head back and threw his hands in front of his face, acting as any normal person would in such a situation, like an ostrich burying its head in the sand.
Hahahaha… the sound of endless tittering filled the air.
It was followed by a great chorus of melancholy groans, and finally, silence. After a moment, Fan Shen felt a sense of unease. He cautiously separated two of the fingers on the hand he was hiding behind, covertly looking through the gap.
A bamboo basket lay in front of him, dividing the space before his eyes into strips, and through the holes, he could clearly see a dozen or so corpses lying on the ground, blood pouring onto the floor, the stench of it filling the air. He saw it all too clearly, and the terror rendered him temporarily unable to move.
But soon after, he suddenly thought about his own hands. Could they move now? Had he really recovered? What the hell had he just seen? Was it a dream? If he awoke, would he find himself lying in his bed, unable to move, awaiting death once more? If that were the case, he might as well never wake up. At least his hands could move; at least his eyes could blink.
The thought saddened him, and he wiped his wet face with his hand.
He took his hand away and looked at it.
It was covered in blood.
The liquid that had dripped from the corner of his eye had been someone else’s blood splashing onto his face.
Fan Shen stared blankly at his hands, his heart pounding.
These aren’t my hands!
In front of him was a pair of delicate and beautiful hands, covered in blood. They looked like flowers blooming in a slaughterhouse. They certainly weren’t the hands of an adult.
He was overwhelmed by the shock of it. His consciousness adrift in crashing waves, he could only stare blankly, filled with endless doubt as terror gripped his entire being.
It was the Qing Kingdom’s 57th year, and there was still no end to the emperor’s battle campaign against the western barbarians. Count Sinan rode alongside the army, while the empress dowager and the council of elders governed in the capital.
On this day, there had been a fire at the Taiping Courtyard, located on the outskirts of the capital, on the banks of the Liujing River. A group of killers prowled the night, taking advantage of the blaze and rushing into homes, slaughtering everyone in sight in a horrific massacre.
A young servant in the courtyard fought back while carrying his young master as he was chased by a group of killers in dark clothing. The two sides fought by the southern gate of the city walls.
The ambushing warriors had not expected this physically disadvantaged youth to possess such unfathomable strength, and after reaching a hill, they came across reinforcements – reinforcements whose identity made their blood run cold.
“The Black Knights!” the fearsome killers cried out as they fell in their own blood, pierced through by crossbow arrows.
The reinforcements rode on horseback, clad in black armor and enshrouded in moonlight, as if emitting the faint glow of soul eaters.
Each of them had only their standard military-issue crossbow, but in a volley of shots, they had taken down most of the killers.
Shielded in the midst of the cavalry was a middle-aged man sitting in a carriage. His complexion was pale, and a sparse beard grew upon his chin. He looked at the young man carrying the child upon his back, nodded, then clapped his hands gently.
That clap was the signal to attack!
A squad split off from the cavalry, and like a reaper’s scythe in the night, they charged relentlessly into the bloody fray, laying waste to the rank of killers.
Suddenly, a sorcerer emerged from amongst the killers. Lifting his staff, he began to chant an incantation. They all felt the rumbling of some unspeakable force gathering on the hills.
The man in the carriage frowned slightly, but he did not move. From his side, a shadow leapt out into the night sky, soaring upward like an eagle.
With a crunching sound, the sorcerer’s chanting stopped, and his head was wrenched violently upward from off his shoulders, his blood spilling like a shower of rain.
The man in the carriage shook his head. “These sorcerers from the west just don’t understand,” he said. “In the face of true strength, magic is about as useful as a minister’s writing brush.”
Dozens of cold-as-steel riders made sure the perimeter was clear, clenching their right fists in a gesture to signal to the others that the killers had been completely vanquished.
The ranks of the cavalry split, and the carriage slowly rolled forward, coming face to face with the young servant. With the aid of his subordinates, the man moved from the carriage into a wheelchair, his legs too damaged to walk. He pushed himself along, unhurriedly approaching the epicenter of the battleground, while the young servant remained straight as a ramrod.
Looking at the bamboo basket on the young man’s back, the wheelchair-bound man’s pale face turned red, finally betraying some hint of color. “At last, you’ve made it,” he said.
The face of the young man, carrying the basket on his back, was covered by a strip of black cloth. In his hand he held a black iron, dagger-like chisel, the blood dripping slowly from its point. He was surrounded by the corpses of his ambushers, their throats covered in blood in what seemed to have been the deadly blow.
“I need you to give me an explanation for this. “His eyes covered with black cloth, he spoke coldly, his voice untrembling and without a trace of emotion.
The wheelchair-bound man’s pitying look at once turned conspiratorial. “Naturally, I’ll give you an explanation,” he said, “but I also need to give one to your master.”
The young servant nodded, and got ready to leave.
“Where are you taking this child?” the middle-aged man said coldly, sitting on the wheelchair. “You’re blind, mind you; don’t tell me you’re making Young Master wander the world with you?”
“This is the young lady’s flesh and blood.”
“That’s the master’s flesh and blood too!” the middle-aged man in the wheelchair continued coldly. “I guarantee that I’ll find a very safe place for Young Master here in the capital.”
The other man shook his head and stretched the black strip of cloth on his face. The middle-aged man in the wheelchair knew this boy would listen to no one but that young lady; he couldn’t be given orders, not even by his own master. Sighing, the man reasoned, “Everything going on in the capital will be taken care of once the master comes back, so why must you take him away?”
“I do not trust your master.”
The middle-aged man furrowed his eyebrows slightly, as if disgusted by what he just heard. He paused for a brief moment, then said, “A young child has to nurse, to learn words; can you provide those things?” He laughed mockingly. “You, blind man? What can you do other than murder?”
The other man didn’t get angry, merely nudging the bamboo basket on his back. “You too seem only capable of slaughter, cripple.”
The middle-aged man let out a chilling laugh. “This time it was only those high-class noblemen in the capital. After the master comes back, I will naturally start cleaning them up.”
The blind youth shook his head.
The middle-aged man lightly massaged his wheelchair with his hand, as if guessing what it was the other feared. A moment later, he frowned. “I know what you’re afraid of, but in this earthly world, only the child’s father can protect him. Is there anyone else with the power to help him escape such a nameless danger?”
The blind youth suddenly spoke, his voice still emotionless. “A new identity, a new life left in peace.”
The middle-aged man thought for a moment, then nodded with a smile.
“Where’s the place?”
“Danzhou Port. The master’s mother is currently living there.”
After some silence, the blind youth finally accepted this arrangement.
The middle-aged man, smiling, rolled his wheelchair around and behind the blind youth. He then reached out and picked up the child in the bamboo basket. Looking at the child’s cute face, which was delicate and snow-white, he sighed.
“He really does take after his mother. So beautiful.” He suddenly laughed out loud. “This little thing is sure to grow up and make a name for himself.”
His subordinates, who had been standing far away in silence, suddenly heard their superior let out such joyous laughter. While their expression remained unchanged, deep down, it shook them to their core; they had no idea how important this child was.
“Huh?” the blind youth tilted his head and took the child back. Although he was more innocent than regular humans, he still didn’t want the baby’s face getting too close to the hands of this venomous serpent, while at the same time using one syllable to express his question out of polite courtesy.
The middle-aged man smiled, looking at the child’s face. There was something indescribable and terrifying in that smile.
“He is only two months old, and yet he wiped away the blood on his face. Having experienced tonight’s scary events, he is sound asleep. Just goes to show…”
Suddenly he lowered his voice, making sure not even his subordinates could hear what he said next, “… he is the child of the Tianmai.”
That middle-aged man held tremendous power in the capital, his methods cruel and without equal. Any law-breaking official who ended up in his hands would spit out the truth in no more than two days. His gaze was even more sinister, but as extraordinary as he was, not even he realized that the child wasn’t soundly asleep, but had instead fainted from fright.
Tianmai: “Tian” refers to the heavens, whereas “Mai” refers to the bloodline.
“Tianmai,” then, describes the heavenly bloodline left in the human world, a bloodline which, according to the legends of this world, awakened in the human world every few hundred years.
This bloodline could manifest through unyielding and overpowering combative strength, such as that belonging to The General from the distant ancient country of Nas. During a historically critical moment, one in which his country was on the verge of perishing at the hands of barbarians, he assassinated much of the original barbarian congress using his courage and vigorous combat capabilities.
Then there were those Tianmai who showed exceptional talent in areas like art or wisdom, such as a couple from west, Boer the Scholar and his playwright wife, Fubo, both of whom died 300 years ago.
Of course, nobody could prove that the reason the bloodline remained in the human world was because of Heaven’s concern for the suffering and pain of humans, though in truth, these beings brought much more than peace to the human world.
Furthermore, all Tianmai vanished without a trace; neither a person nor country could find a clue as to their whereabouts. They disappeared as suddenly as they came, leaving only obscure records, though nothing that could prove their existence.
Coincidently, the middle-aged man in the wheelchair was one of the very few people who knew that this rare phenomenon truly existed.
For some unknown reason, after Fan Shen died, his soul came to this world … and remarkably into the body of a baby, whose father or mother turned out to be Tianmai who surfaced on the mainland.
By dawn, the battlefield had been cleared, and the carriage slowly moved along the stone road towards the east. Behind the carriage was the bizarre scene of a team of cavalry clad in black and a sickly pale middle-aged man in a wheelchair.
The carriage went over a rock, the sudden motion awakening the sleeping baby, who had been lying on the silk cushion. The baby’s eyes soullessly looked away from his savior’s face and towards the front of the carriage, his line of vision unlike that of any other baby; it was crystal clear but unable to focus, and there was a strange and indescribable to it feeling as well.
Not one person knew that the soft and fragile body of the baby accommodated a soul from a different world.
Eyes were on the scenery when the curtains of the carriage lifted, a breeze passing by and revealing a corner view of green mountains and the retreating stone path in the distance, like an endless display that kept on rewinding.
7. Solo Leveling
The Solo Leveling web novel is an amazing and captivating read, filled with supernatural and fantasy elements. The setting is simple. One day “Gates” starts appearing all over the world out of nowhere and people start awakening magic abilities in order to close these gates.
It is such a popular novel that there’s a manhwa adaptation. You can find the Solo Leveling Light Novel on Amazon. Solo Leveling has also been adapted into a manhua with amazing art.
Our main character starts the story from zero. He is called “The World’s Weakest Hunter”, and is doing many missions in order to pay for his comatose mother’s treatment and his younger sister’s education. After a mission goes wrong, the main character, Sung Jin-Woo awakens an unprecedented ability that enables him to level up his abilities. The story follows Sung Jin-Woo’s growth from Zero to Hero.
Solo Leveling is a Korean translated novel, highly praised for the art of its comic adaptation. You can try both the novel and the comic out on Webnovel. The novel is complete with 270 chapters.
I still remember this panel literally gave me chills
Part 0: Prologue
[Daily Quest is now available.]
An articulate voice of a young female.
This was definitely not a game. Of course, it wasn’t a dream, either.
But, her voice definitely resounded within my head. Hell, I could even see the quest window floating in mid-air, too.
‘Could it be… Even today?”
While fervently praying in my head, I cautiously opened the information window.
[Daily Quest: Preparations to become strong]
Press-up, 100 times: Incomplete (0/100)
Sit-up, 100 times: Incomplete (0/100)
Squat, 100 times: Incomplete (0/100)
Running, 10 km: Incomplete (0/10)
※Warning: Incompletion of Daily Quests will result in appropriate levels of punishment.
As soon as I got to confirm the contents of the Daily Quest, I began cussing out reflexively.
“Awww… Just how many days has it been already?!”
Part 1: Rank E Hunter
Rank E Hunter, Seong Jin-Woo.
No matter where he went, this title always followed him around.
Jin-Woo’s overall strength was almost the same as a regular human being. With the exception of being a bit stronger and his wounds healing slightly faster, Jin-Woo was about the same as regular people in every other aspect.
It was par for the course then, that he’d always end up getting injured. He nearly died several times, too.
Of course, it wasn’t as if Seong Jin-Woo liked being a Hunter.
The work was dangerous, others made fun of him, and to confound the matters even further, the pay was pretty pathetic, as well.
If it weren’t for the medical aid paid out by the Hunter Association to the Hunters in their “payroll”, he’d have turned in his hunter licence and quit by now, and live his life like a regular person.
Unfortunately, someone like Seong Jin-Woo, in his mid-twenties and lacking in any tangible job skills, there was no other way but to remain as a Hunter if he wanted to pay for his mother’s hospital fee of millions of won every month.
Should one say that he had no choice in the matter?
That was why, even though he didn’t want to, he simply had to participate in the raid supervised by the Association.
Hunters operating within the same area tended to know each other pretty well. In the event of a Gate opening up, all the Hunters in that district would be asked to come, that’s why.
The Hunters who had arrived early sipped on the cups of coffee handed out by the Association’s employee and shared cordial greetings with each other.
“Oh, hey. Mister Kim, Over here. Here.”
“Oh? Mister Park, what are you doing here? I thought you were giving up on being a Hunter?”
“Well, that… My wife is pregnant with our second child.”
“Hahahaha, is that so. Yeah, for a Hunter to earn big in one go, participating in a raid is the best, isn’t it.”
Mister Kim jovially burst out in laughter. Mister Park followed suit with a sheepish chuckle, before asking Kim.
“By the way, why do I feel like that the Association is calling on us less and less nowadays? Did the number of Gates decrease or something?”
“Eii, of course not. That’s only because the Guilds are getting all worked up over clearing the Gates; it’s got nothing to do with the Association. I hear that various Guilds are jumping in with both feet since there is big profit involved in this whole thing.”
“Well, in that case, since this raid is being supervised by the Association, it should be safe, no?”
Mister Park took a glance around as if he was getting nervous.
If a Guild was not involved today, that meant there wasn’t enough profit to be had, and if there wasn’t enough profit to be had, then that could only mean that this particular Gate’s difficulty would be low.
Of course, nothing in this world was 100% absolute.
It wasn’t just Mister Park; other Hunters were nervously glancing around as well.
“Hmm. I wonder….”
Mister Kim finished the rest of his coffee while avoiding answering his friend, before spotting a certain someone and raised his hand in happiness.
“Uh! He’s here. Hey, Mister Seong!! Mister Seong!”
Other Hunters also displayed joy at discovering that young man.
It was none other than Seong Jin-Woo.
Jin-Woo performed a simple nod of the head at the joyous Mister Kim and walked by.
After making sure Jin-Woo was well out of earshot, Mister Kim began sniggering while confidently speaking up.
“So, Jin-Woo showed up. Then it’s going to okay today, too.”
Mister Park’s eyes widened up and he hurriedly asked Kim.
“What was that? Is that Hunter Seong Jin-Woo really strong?”
“Ahh. Right, of course, you wouldn’t know who he is. He’s a Hunter who started working shortly after you left, you see. However, every Hunter here knows who that kid is by now.”
“He’s really that strong? Wait, why is he working for the Association, then? Why not for a Guild or as a freelancer?”
Kim sniggered some more before narrowing his eyes.
“You know what that guy’s nickname is?”
“How should I know that? C’mon, man. Just tell me already.”
“Humanity’s weakest weapon.”
“….Weakest? Not something like, the ultimate weapon?”
“Dude, that’s the nickname for the rank S Hunter Choi Jong-In. That kid is the ‘weakest weapon’. I’m pretty sure he’s the weakest Hunter in the Republic of Korea.”
Park began frowning deeply.
Why would other Hunters greet this Seong Jin-Woo if he was really that weak? After all, didn’t they need someone to trust their backs if things went south?
Park couldn’t really understand the reactions of other Hunters.
When Park’s head tilted this way and that, Kim chuckled and poked the side of Park with his elbow.
“Eii! The raids Seong Jin-Woo participates in will only have low difficulty because he’s so weak. The Association would never entrust him with a tough job, don’t you get that? They don’t want to see him get killed, right?”
Only then did Park’s expression brightened up.
His wife was deeply worried about him since this would be his first raid in quite a while. Honestly, even he himself was worried, too. However, now that he listened to Kim’s words, he felt like a weight was lifted off his mind.
Kim continued on.
“That guy, there was a rumour not too long ago that said, he got injured participating in a raid of a rank E Gate and spent a week in the hospital.”
“A Hunter got injured by a rank E Gate?”
“That’s right. No one expected to see a Hunter getting injured during a rank E Gate raid, so they didn’t even bring along a Healer, apparently!”
“That’s why he spent a week in a hospital?! Pu-hahaha!”
When Park began guffawing too loudly, Kim hurriedly hushed him.
“Stop it, man. Mister Seong might hear you.”
“Aigoo. I didn’t think of that.”
Park cautiously checked Jin-Woo’s reactions as he continued to giggle.
Thankfully, the distance was far enough and the youth didn’t seem to have heard them.
Of course, they were mistaken.
‘I can hear everything, you geezers.’
A bitter smile formed on Jin-Woo as he tried hard to ignore them. At times like today, he couldn’t help but blame his unusually-acute sense of hearing.
It seemed that he arrived too early and the raid was yet to commence.
‘Did I arrive too early?’
Jin-Woo looked around to while away the waiting time, spotted the Association employee handing out warm coffee, and walked closer.
“Can I get a cup of coffee as well?”
“Oh. Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim… I’m really sorry, but we ran out of coffee just now.”
The cold Winter breeze brushed past the tip of his nose.
Jin-Woo quietly wiped his nose with his index finger.
What a sad day it was, for the coffee to run out as soon as it was his turn to get one.
“Why do you persist on being a Hunter, Mister Seong Jin-Woo?”
Jin-Woo lowered his head and apologised.
The young, beautiful girl using healing magic in front of Jin-Woo, Yi Ju-Hui showed how unhappy she was with a pouting expression.
“I’m not trying to get you to apologise, you know? I’m only worried about you. If you continue fighting this way, sooner or later you’ll be faced with a truly dangerous situation.”
Jin-Woo glanced past Yi Ju-Hui’s shoulders and took a look at other Hunters fighting over yonder.
When one entered through the Gate, one would arrive at a place called ‘dungeon’. The rank of this particular dungeon should be around D.
A dozen-plus Hunters were taking care of the monsters inside this dungeon without so much as breaking a sweat.
Unfortunately, for a rank E, such a feat was nearly impossible.
Normally, the job of healing the injured Hunters from the back fell on the Healers. Since he always got injured during raids, Jin-Woo was rather well-known among the Healers.
Yi Ju-Hui cautiously asked him.
“Perchance, is there a reason why you can’t give up being a Hunter?”
Jin-Woo resolutely shook his head.
He didn’t want to reveal anything personal to other people.
“I’m only doing this as a hobby. If I don’t do this, I’ll probably die of boredom, actually.”
Yi Ju-Hui pouted even more.
“If you continue on with this hobby of yours, soon you’d be raiding a dungeon in the netherworld, you know?”
Jin-Woo was taken off-guard from her remark and ended up chuckling out loudly.
Thanks to that, Yi Ju-Hui’s nagging intensified.
“Ah, ahh!! Don’t laugh! Don’t! Your injuries might get worse!!”
Jin-Woo giggled before asking her.
“Where did you even learn to say stuff like that?”
“What do you mean, where? It’s from Mister Kim waaay over there.”
“Aigoo, that ahjussi really went and did it, didn’t he….”
As they chatted and laughed, his treatment was almost over.
It was already too late by then, though. It seemed that the raid was pretty much over now.
Jin-Woo’s expression hardened.
‘I only killed a single monster today.’
A rank E creature, no less. Seong Jin-Woo began fidgeting with the rank E magic crystal in his hand.
The lowest grade magic crystal from a rank E monster fetched less than hundred thousand won. For something he bet his life to earn, it was a pathetically small amount. (TL: Just over $88.)
‘A magic crystal from a rank C monster can sell for over ten million won, though….’ (TL: $8830+)
Too bad, a rank E Hunter such as himself couldn’t even attempt to kill a monster with a rank as high as C.
Out of the blue, someone shouted out.
“Uh? Hey, there’s another entrance over here.”
The nearby Hunters rushed over there.
“Huh, it’s true.”
“There really is another path?”
Just as that Hunter said, there was an entrance hidden within the dungeon itself.
“A dual dungeon, is it… So, such a thing actually exists for real….”
Mister Song, possessing over ten years’ experience as a Hunter, looked into the hidden entrance and displayed how surprised he was.
The interior of the hidden, cave-like passage was dark and nothing could be seen. Mister Song activated his speciality, flame magic, and tossed it further forward into the passage.
The flame flew forward and illuminated the interior. The passageway seemed to go on forever. Soon enough, the flame lost its forward momentum, fell to the ground and smouldered for a bit before flickering out of existence.
The passage was shrouded in darkness once more.
“Hmm….. Everyone, gather around. Let’s have a meeting.”
The unspoken leader of this raid, Mister Song, called for other Hunters to gather around. Jin-Woo’s treatment was over by then, so he and Yi Ju-Hui also joined in.
Song spoke up while sweeping his gaze over the gathered Hunters.
“As you know very well, a Gate will not close unless the dungeon’s boss is killed. Since the Gate itself is still intact even though we took care of all the monsters here, that can only mean that the boss is beyond that passageway.”
Song pointed towards the hidden entrance.
Hunters exchanged meaningful glances and nodded their heads. No one could disagree with that notion.
Song continued on.
“Now normally, we’re supposed to relay this information back to the Association and wait for their decision first, but… But, if we do that, we might end up handing over the task of killing the boss to other Hunters, and our takings for today’s raid would decrease by a lot.”
The expressions of the Hunters crumpled.
Park’s face hardened more than anyone else since he needed a lot of cash for his wife’s pregnancy.
‘Postnatal care eats up so much cash nowadays, you know…’
At this rate, there’d be no meaning behind him risking his life to participate in this raid.
“That’s why I’d prefer if we took care of the boss before leaving this dungeon… So, what do you all think?”
Hunters fell into a deep contemplation.
The truth was, no one here could figure out the current situation and so, their safety could not be guaranteed. However, the difficulty of this particular dungeon proved to be very low.
So, the hidden dungeon within it couldn’t have been that difficult, either.
Song coughed to draw everyone’s attention to himself.
“Since we have seventeen people here, let’s put this to a vote, shall we? Once the decision has been made, no one complains. So? How about it?”
Others nodded their heads after hearing Song’s suggestion. No one was disagreeing with him.
“I vote for going ahead.”
Song raised his hand.
And then, other Hunters began raising their hands one by one.
“Count me in as well.”
Park was the first to raise his hand, followed shortly after by Kim and a few other Hunters.
Of course, those disagreeing were plentiful, too.
“Let’s go back.”
“I feel that it’d be better to wait for the Association’s decision.”
The two opposing camps were neck and neck and eventually, the final votes came down to Jin-Woo and Yi Ju-Hui.
Yi Ju-Hui bowed to Song and added her vote to ‘retreat’ camp.
And so, the vote count for ‘go ahead’ and ‘retreat’ was at 8:8.
Song asked the hesitant Seong Jin-Woo next.
“And you, Mister Seong?”
< Chapter 1 > Fin.
8. Night Ranger
I found this novel very underrated. Few people paid attention to it in spite of its great rating on the site.
Legendary player Marvin gets transmigrated to this game world, which he played before, in the eve of the Great Calamity. In order to protect his loved ones, Marvin has no other choice but to become stronger, for which he chooses to delve into the shadows. This is the story of a young ranger growing into the Ruler of the Night during the Chaos Era.
This novel has a complex plot presented in a simplistic way, a rich power system, awesome fights, and amazing character development. It also delves into many mysteries one by one to form larger arcs.
The novel is complete at 735 chapters. You can find the story on Webnovel.
The third day after crossing over.
Marvin stood by the window, watching the people coming and going on the street during the evening. There was a curvy woman throwing flirtatious glances at him from the adjacent alley.
This was Fierce Horse Inn’s best room; from here you could see the iconic landmark of River Shore City, the Silver Hourglass, which was the Silver Church’s headquarters.
Not far away, a youth was secretly stealing a rich man’s purse, his movements very nimble. He had at least three levels in the Thief class.
Everything was the same as the real world.
The only thing different was Marvin himself.
“Stats window,” he said in his mind. A series of information appeared before his eyes.
Strength – 11
Dexterity – 16
Constitution – 9
Intelligence – 14
Wisdom – 14
Charisma – 13(+1)
Class: Noble Rank 3 (150/200)
Adventurer Class: None
Health Points: 10/26 (Fever)
[Weakness Penalty: Attributes Reduction – 70%]
Exp (Experience Points): 40 (Noble) [Unused]
SP (Skill Points): None
AP (Ability Points): None
– Noble (Baron):
Dignity – 25
Management – 31
Perception – 16
Diplomacy – 19
Accounting – 28
Horsemanship – 30
Aside from these pieces of information, which were the same as in the video games from his previous life, the world Marvin had woken up in was no different from a real world.
He was quite bewildered, but after three days of asking around and adapting, he mainly confirmed three things:
First, he had crossed over to another world and arrived in the game he had been infatuated with back on Earth, “Feinan Continent”.
Second, besides not knowing why he could see the same interface from the game, this was a real world! Every person was a living being and on top of that, he was well acquainted with some of them.
Third, he was in trouble, very big trouble.
If his memory wasn’t wrong, he must have arrived on the eve of the “Great Calamity.” Very soon, the peaceful world in front of him would be subjected to earth-shattering changes. The history of Feinan’s Wizards’ Reign of the Fourth Era was about to end. All the gods would work together to destroy the Universe Magic Pool and would take advantage of this fertile land.
As for that thing…
“The Fourth Fate Tablet. Oh god…” Marvin massaged his temples, trying to organize his thoughts.
In fact, for the moment this wasn’t the biggest issue. The Great Calamity would only happen in half a year, followed by an era of chaos, but he still had time.
As a Legend level player who was very familiar with this world’s situation, even though half a year was somewhat tight, it was still enough for him to gain enough power to defend himself.
The most important issue was his immediate situation.
His high fever coupled with his own terrible physique meant that he could die at any moment just because he had caught a common cold.
This made Marvin speechless. While spending the past three days assimilating the fourteen year old youth’s memories, Marvin had sadly found out that his body wasn’t his only problem; he was in dire straits as he had recently lost his land. A month ago, a group of gnolls attacked his territory and occupied his castle and his mines, leaving him no choice but to rely on the River Shore City Lord; he hoped that the City Lord would send him troops to clean up the pack of gnolls.
While fleeing his territory for River Shore City, the pitiful kid caught a cold and ultimately died, granting Marvin his opportunity to transmigrate. Whether or not it was a coincidence, the youth whose memories he fused with was also named Marvin.
The birth of a new soul was very painful. Marvin had used a lot of effort to persuade the host’s soul remnant to let go, and it came at a cost. He had to promise to protect what that the pitiful youth wanted to protect:
His territory, his younger brother, and a woman.
This was what he cherished the most and protected with his life. The two memories fused together, including their feelings. Even if Marvin wanted to break his promise, he probably wouldn’t be able to.
So although the Great Calamity was quite dreadful, for Marvin the first priority was to regain his territory within a month.
Otherwise, the youth’s soul remnant would curse him, and his already awful good-for-nothing attributes would be weakened even more. This was something Marvin would be very reluctant to see.
It should be known that back in the game, when his Thief had finally advanced to [Ruler of The Night], his base attributes combined exceeded 100!
His dexterity was well over 20!
This meant that when he was a level 1 Thief, he had an extra dexterity passive, [Anti-Gravity Steps].
[Anti-Gravity Steps]: Special skill reward due to Dexterity exceeding one’s limit. For a short duration, you can walk on an upright wall while ignoring gravity. Cannot be more than 6 meters.
It was this overpowered dexterity passive that made him the [Ruler of the Night]. At the time of Marvin’s transmigration, there were a total of 11 players in the game who had successfully become gods, and Marvin was one of them.
But now, this body…
Marvin couldn’t bear to look at it. Forget about gnolls; a mere goblin could probably kill him in a one on one, right?
How could he not have a single fighting class? He was simply a good for nothing rich pampered brat. He would open his arms to be clothed, and open his mouth to be fed. Besides Diplomacy and Horsemanship being slightly useful, the rest of his skills had nothing to do with the adventurer path!
However, Marvin was relieved that the brat hadn’t randomly picked a class. If by any chance he had crossed over and found himself with a trashy wizard build, it would have been even worse.
Particularly because the Universe Magic Pool would be destroyed in half a year. Apart from the legendary ones, every wizard would drop one rank (5 levels). The rule of the wizards in Feinan would be over. The rest of the classes would begin to rise, all kinds of Gods would spread their own religion and bit by bit, their religions would become widespread. The fires of war would be lit and every living being would suffer.
And the wizards would be the most pitiful group. They lost their qualifications before the war even started.
“Knock, knock, knock!”
“Come in.” Marvin walked back to his bed.
A young lady with brown hair entered. She seemed to be around twenty years old. She appeared somewhat tired, and her cleanly washed leather armor had some fresh blade cuts. Her ears were somewhat pointy, but not enough to suggest that she was a pure elf.
This was Marvin’s butler and bodyguard, and the only person who had stayed by his side so far. He still remembered that night where the fire burned the barn down. It was this woman who, without a thought for her personal safety, pulled him out of the fire and slaughtered their way out, saving his life from the hands of the gnolls. She had walked from White River Valley to River Shore City, almost 5 kilometers, while carrying him.
Her name was Anna and she was a half-elf. Limited by his abilities, Marvin couldn’t see her attributes. However, based on these three days of observation, Anna should have a rank 1 adventurer class with 4 or 5 levels. She was probably either a Fighter or a Ranger, mostly likely the former. At least in his memories, Anna rarely used a bow and arrow, traps and the like.
Her weapon was a sword, and like her leather armor, it was in poor shape because there had been no maintenance for a long time.
“Master, I went to the City Hall today and asked but the officials still gave me the same answer…”
Anna set her sword down to the side, her pretty face still looking a little tired. “But fortunately, I earned 20 silvers today. At least we won’t have to worry about next week’s rent. And you can get soup at night.”
“Big Sis Anna, how much do we have?” Marvin suddenly asked.
Anna’s face showed a hint of surprise. Since Marvin woke up from his serious fever, this was the first time he spoke with her.
She didn’t ponder and quickly answered, “29 silvers.”
“29 silvers aren’t enough,” Marvin muttered while frowning. “Did my mother leave the jewelry box?”
Anna was startled at first before becoming angry. “Master Marvin?! Do you want to sell your mother’s relics?!”
Marvin nodded, his eyes very calm. “I remember a necklace being inside; it should be worth some money.”
Anna was looking at Marvin in disbelief, her eyes showing her disappointment. “Don’t tell me that you want to go to the casino?”
Marvin froze for a moment, as he hadn’t expected Anna to misunderstand him. He searched his again memories and found out that when the original owner of the body had first arrived in River Shore City, he had some money on him, but a malicious “friend” tricked him into going to the casino.
The outcome was naturally losing a lot of money. Ever since then, his health which had slightly improved began to slowly take a turn for the worse as the sickness began to grow stronger.
Obviously, that so-called friend was a shill for the casino. He was specialized in tricking people like Marvin who had little money and no powerful backer.
“I can’t give it to you Master Marvin. If you need money, I’ll earn it,” Anna said stubbornly. “But I won’t allow you mess around. You should know that Young Master Wayne already owes the wizard alliance two months of tuition. If we don’t continue to pay the tuition, he will be forced to drop out from the Magore.”
“We don’t have much money left and we can’t afford to squander it again!”
Marvin couldn’t help but chuckle, saying softly, “Big Sister Anna, I asked you for the necklace not for gambling, but to use it to cure my body.”
“Cure?” Anna stared blankly for a moment.
“My bodily health hasn’t improved all this time and I can’t keep going like this. I know of a priest of the Silver God. As long as we pay him, he will cast a low level [Remove Disease] and [Cure Light Wounds] on me. That way, my body will heal back to normal,” Marvin explained. “I can’t remain a weak noble.”
“I need to train and fight so that I can retake our territory. I also want to protect a few cherished people.”
He stood up from the bed, changed his clothes and looked a little more spirited.
“Trust me, Big Sis Anna.” He looked at the half-elf butler.
Anna gritted her teeth, but in the end took the jewelry box from the bottom of the luggage. As expected, there was a pearl necklace inside.
“I’ll go with you, to stop you from being tricked again…”
“No need.” Marvin took the jewelry box, with a somewhat serious expression.
“Anna, you have been busy the whole day so you should have some rest. I might not come back tonight. You have to be careful. I heard two hooligans in the alley today who seemed to be talking about you.”
“I don’t think they have good intentions. Even though you are a rank 1 adventurer, some gangs are very powerful. We still have to be careful.”
Up until Marvin left the room, Anna was still sitting there, staring blankly.
Oddly, today’s Marvin seemed a bit different. Very different from the kind and weak youth from the past. He even looked somewhat… domineering, just like his father. The kind of dignity unique to nobles.
And outside the door, Marvin was looking at the system log, and he could only shake his head.
“I feel a bit guilty using a skill on Anna… Whatever, it’ll be the last time I guess.”
[Dignity (25) cast…]
[Skill successfully activated…]
9. Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint
The premise of the novel is simple.
One day the MC finds himself stuck in the world of his favorite webnovel. What does he do to survive? It is a world struck by catastrophe and danger all around!
His edge? He knows the plot of the story to the end, because he was the sole reader that stuck with it. Read his story to see how he survives!
Hence the title, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint. You would think since the MC already knows what’s gonna happen, he will be OP and boring. NO! The MC gets stronger gradually, along with others. The story is incredible, becoming increasingly complicated as things progress into higher stakes. You will only get what I’m saying once you read past the first 30 chapters, as the story is kinda slow at first.
There’s adventure, action, and friendship, with survival the only goal in this novel. The novel is complete with 551 chapters, which you can read on Webnovel.
Chapter 1: Prologue – Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World.
[There are three ways to survive in a ruined world. Now, I have forgotten a few, but one thing is certain. The fact that you who are reading this now will survive.
-Three ways to survive in a ruined world]
A web novel platform filled the screen of my old smartphone. I scrolled down and then up again. How many times have I been doing this?
“Really? This is the end?”
I looked again, and the ‘complete’ was unmistakable. The story was over.
[Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World]
‘Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World’ was a feature-length fantasy novel with 3,149 chapters. Its shortened name was ‘Ways of Survival.’
I have been steadily reading this novel since the third year of middle school. I read it during the time when I was bullied by iljins , when I ruined my entrance examinations and had to enter a local university, when the damned random draw went wrong and I was placed in the military unit at the forefront, when I repeatedly switched jobs and am now working as a contractor for an affiliate of a large company… Damn, let’s stop talking about this. Anyway…
「Author’s words: Thank you so much for reading ‘Ways of Survival’ up to here. I will come back to you with an epilogue!]
“Ah… The epilogue still remains. Then the next chapter is really the last one.”
From the end of childhood to adulthood, it had been written over a huge period of 10 years. There was a mixture of despondency that a world was coming to an end along with a sense of satisfaction. I opened the comment box of the last message and rewrote the sentence several times.
-Kim Dokja: Writer, thank you for everything in the meantime. I am looking forward to the epilogue.
They were sincere sentences. Ways of Survival was my life’s novel. It wasn’t the most popular, but it was the best novel for me. There were many words I wanted to say but I couldn’t write them. I was afraid that my careless words would hurt the writer.
-An average of 1.9 hits per chapter.
-An average of 1.08 comments.
This was the average popularity index of ‘Ways of Survival.’ The number of views for the first chapter was 1,2000, but it fell to 120 for the 10th chapter, and then 12 for the 50th chapter. By the time it was the 100th chapter, it was only 1.
I was overwhelmed by the feeling I got when I saw the numerous ‘1’ that appeared next to the list of chapters. In some cases, there was a ‘2’, but it was likely someone pressing the wrong button.
The author published a novel with more than 3,000 chapters with just 1 hit per chapter over a period of 10 years. It was truly a story just for me. I pressed on the ‘Recommendation Board’ and immediately started tapping on the keyboard,
-I am recommending a super fun novel.
The author wrote me a free completed novel, so I should give him a recommendation. I clicked on the completed button, and comments quickly appeared.
-It looks like a new anti. I searched for this person’s ID, and they recommended the same novel several times.
-Isn’t his recommendation banned? The author shouldn’t do this here.
It occurred to me that I had written a recommendation several months ago. In an instant, there were dozens of comments asking for investigation by ‘spectators’. My face flushed with embarrassment. I was sure that the author would read this. I hurriedly tried to delete the message, but it was already reported that the message couldn’t be removed.
It was upsetting to think that the recommendation written with all my sincerity turned out like this. If they even looked a little bit, why didn’t anyone try reading the interesting novel? I wanted to give a donation to the writer, but I couldn’t afford it because I was a salary worker barely able to make a living. Then I received a notification that a ‘message has arrived.’
-tls123: Thank you.
A message flew in from out of nowhere. It took me a while to grasp the situation.
-Kim Dokja: The author?
tls123—it was the author of ‘Ways of Survival.’
-tls123: I was able to complete it to the end thanks to you. I also won the competition.
I couldn’t believe it. Ways of Survival won a competition?
-Kim Dokja: Congratulations! What is the competition?
tls123: You won’t know it because it is an unknown competition.
I wondered if he lied because he was ashamed, but I wanted it to be true. Perhaps I really didn’t know. It might be a bit hit on other platforms. I was a little sad, but it was good to have an excellent story spreading.
-tls123: I would like to send a special gift to you as a thank you.
-Kim Dokja: Gift?
-tls123: It is thanks to my dear reader that this story has come into the world.
I gave the writer my email address as he asked.
-tls123: Ah, right. I got the monetization schedule.
-Kim Dokja: Wow, really? When will it start? This masterpiece should’ve been paid from the beginning…
It was a lie. The Ways of Survival was a daily series, so I would’ve had to spend 3,000 won a month. 3,000 won was one convenience-store lunch for me.
-tls123: The monetization starts tomorrow.
-Kim Dokja: Then the epilogue coming tomorrow will be paid?
-tls123: Yes, I’m afraid you need to pay for it.
-Kim Dokja: Of course, I have to pay! I will buy the last one!
There was no reply from the author afterward. I logged out of the site. Then I felt the pessimism sink in later. The author left without a reply after he succeeded…? My admiration turned into petty jealousy. What was I so excited for? In any case, it wasn’t my novel.
“Will he give a cultural gift certificate? It would be good if it’s for 50,000 won.”
At that time, I was thinking naively. I didn’t know anything about what would happen to the world the next day.
 Iljins= It used to be used exclusively for gangsters mobsters and meant “first team” aka the gang’s best fighter. Now, it is used more frequently to refer to a school’s “bad” kids — the ones that are constantly disrupting class, getting in trouble, ditching school, smoking, drinking, etc. Source.
10. Our Glamorous Time
Finally, a romance novel is on the list! But this is not your typical romance novel. There’s much more to see here.
Why is this romance novel good? The answer is simple: no cliches, no misunderstandings, no love triangles; just a power couple and a sweet romance.
Besides the romance, the focus of this novel is business. Fighting to boost market share, competing to win the tender, industrial espionage, and such are plugged into the novel. You can tell the author has done his research in the business world from how well the story is written.
The main character of this novel is the female lead, who is fairly strong-head, charming, and intelligent. The male lead jumps to the business world from the military. He is smart and cunning, and slowly but perfectly adapts to the business world, and weaves various schemes to win business wars. Along with this business aspect, the novel shows the romance and character development between the leads in a slow but sweet manner.
The novel is complete with 82 Chapters. You can read the novel on Webnovel.
The train was rumbling along, traveling from deep in the snow-capped mountains to the endless horizon.
The scenery outside the window was like a movie, jumping from one frame to another; towering mountains, drifting clouds, sparkling lakes, and herds of cattle and sheep hidden in the grassland that was troubled by the wind.
All the colors in the landscape of Tibet appeared pure and tranquil. Every glance of them seemed to touch the deepest parts of the heart.
Lin Qian sat by the window.
The entire carriage was filled with people except for the space around her, which was deserted. Everybody seemed to be very careful in keeping a polite distance from the young woman.
Lin Qian was somewhat embarrassed but thought it kind of funny at the same time. She held her forehead in one hand and distractedly read a book in the other. Whenever she looked up, she saw a crowd of army green. She could feel the men’s gazes fall upon her from time to time, making her blush slightly.
Indeed, it was unusual for a young woman with just a backpack to find herself in a carriage packed with soldiers and then traveling eight hours with them.
It was only two days ago that Lin Qian had been in an accident in the snowy mountains.
Because of her new job, she had allowed herself to take a vacation before starting. She had gone hiking in Tibet, a trip that she had been dreaming of for a long time.
Hiking shouldn’t have been that difficult considering her physical state and experience with outdoor activities. But on her way back, her rented pickup truck had stopped working halfway down the mountain. An unexpected change in the weather had brought overnight snow, which added to her anxiety.
Luckily, at dawn the next day, a group of passing soldiers rescued her. The border guards were so friendly that they had offered to put her on a special train that transported veterans newly-retired from their service. The train could take her all the way to Lhasa.
A soldier sitting on the other side of the aisle took the initiative to ask, “Miss, where are you from?”
All of the soldiers had likely heard about her situation, so they were being particularly nice to her. Lin Qian smiled. “I’m from Lin City.”
Upon hearing that, a soldier down the aisle said cheerfully, “I’m from Lin City too, so we’re from the same area!”
Lin Qian looked up and smiled at him as well. She had a sweet face. Even though she was bundled in a jacket and wore no makeup, she still looked pretty and neat. Her smile made the soldiers’ hearts skip a beat.
The soldier laughed and asked again, “So I’m guessing you’re a university student?”
“No, I’ve actually been working for a few years,” she answered politely. Her soft, gentle voice seemed to carry a kind of unhurried natural ease, which made the soldiers feel comfortable. They again said she looked like a young student.
“What company do you work for in Lin City?”
Lin Qin replied, “Um, Aida Group.”
“Impressive!” The fellow-townsman gave her a thumbs up. “That’s the top enterprise in our city. It’s said it has billions in assets…”
Lin Qian acted natural, but in between the conversations she occasionally stole glances at the man sitting in front of her at an angle.
This man was the most silent yet conspicuous person in the entire carriage. It was hard for her not to notice him.
He wore a woolen military coat and, even though he sat with his back to her, appeared very tall and stood out from the general height of the soldiers around him. The wide-brimmed army cap was pulled so far down that most of his face was covered, leaving his clean-cut profile to be barely visible. His skin looked lighter than the others.
No matter how heated the yells, conversations, and singing were in the carriage, he remained motionless, as if he had fallen into a deep sleep.
It was a long journey, and it was beginning to get dark.
The soldiers were getting tired too, and most of them were snoozing in their seats. The carriage became cold and quiet. Lin Qian leaned against the cool windowpane and closed her eyes. Now, she could only hear the rumbling of the train against the tracks.
When they arrived back in Lin City, she would be busy again. Vacations always flew by and she felt reluctant to go back.
Gradually, the sound faded and Lin Qian found herself opening her eyes.
The windowpane was still cold. Outside, it was dark and silent. The silhouettes of mountains and lakes were barely visible. Up in the sky, bright stars twinkled softly.
The train stopped.
They were in the middle of nowhere. There was no platform either. Apparently, it was only a temporary stop. More attentive than Lin Qian, the soldiers were already all awake. Most of them stretched their necks and looked out of the window.
“It’s all right,” the soldier sitting opposite comforted her. “The road isn’t in a very good condition around here, so there might be some temporary issues that can be handled quickly.”
“Okay.” Lin Qian glanced back outside and caught a glimpse of the vacant seat in front of her. The man who had been sitting there sleeping was gone.
It wasn’t long until somebody came. It was a young officer standing tall in the carriage doorway, loudly giving a string of orders.
“Squad 2 and Squad 4, report to the front immediately. Squad 5, stay in charge of the security in this carriage before the train restarts; everyone else, stay where you are on standby.”
His voice had hardly died away when the soldiers all stood. “Yes!”
Lin Qian watched them all closely until the soldiers got to work. She then took a cap out of her backpack and got ready to fall back asleep. Just as she was about to curl up in her seat, she suddenly felt the eyes of all the soldiers resting on her.
She sat up straight again.
The officer had walked up to her side, with no expression on his face but a serious look in his eyes.
“Miss, please grab your luggage and follow me.”
With the soldiers still watching, Lin Qian stared up at him squarely. “Sorry, what seems to be the issue?”
The officer didn’t reply. He simply waved his hand and had another soldier put her luggage on his shoulder. Then they strode towards the carriage door.
The space between the carriages was dimly lit and the night air was cold.
Lin Qian hurried to follow the two tall military men, walking through one carriage after another, each one full of soldiers. She drew curious looks all throughout the train.
Finally, they reached the door of a soft sleeper carriage, far from the soldiers. The officer gestured to the soldier to lay down the luggage and leave, and then looked at Lin Qian.
She looked back at him. Her white face grew paler in the darkness and her eyes were sharp with tension.
Probably uncomfortable from being stared at for so long, the young officer moved his eyes away with a bit of uneasiness and explained flatly, “There is a small landslide out front. Soldiers have been sent to clear the tracks. There will be frequent staff activity in the train tonight, and there are wolves in this area too. It’s not convenient for you, a girl, to stay in that carriage, so our major ordered me to bring you to this sleeper for the night. There’s no one here and it’s safe and quiet. We’ll see you off at dawn.”
Lin Qian continued to stare at him.
So, he’d acted in such a menacing manner but was actually helping her?
She burst into laughter and immediately gave him a bow. “Thank you, thank you very much.”
Somewhat embarrassed, the officer quickly said, “No problem,” and left.
The corridor was empty with only two soldiers standing guard at the carriage door. It was indeed quite safe and quiet here.
Lin Qian lowered her head, breathed warm air onto her cold hands, and reached for the compartment door.
Before her hands reached the handle, she heard a click come from the door.
She was startled. Is there someone inside?
Before she could react, she heard a clatter and the door opened from the inside.
Lin Qian quickly backed away and leaned against the windowpane.
A man appeared at the door.
With no light in the compartment, the man’s face was hard to make out. Dressed in uniform, he was very tall, a head taller than the officer she’d just met. His cap brim was so low that it covered his eyes. She could only tell that he had a straight nose and a neat, clean chin.
Is it him? The man who was sleeping in the carriage?
Though she could not see his face clearly, his figure and presence told her that he was the same man.
Well, why he is here?
Lin Qian smiled at him. “Sorry, I didn’t know you were inside. The officer told me there was nobody here.”
“Mmm.” With a sound seemingly forced out of his throat, he quickly moved his long legs and strode through the compartment without further delay, passing by her.
Lin Qian stayed where she was but turned her head to look at him. Suddenly, she realized who he was.
“Are you the major?”
“Mmm.” He had already opened the carriage door.
Lin Qian was surprised. She had been thinking that the major who dispatched his officer to bring her here must have been a strong and swarthy military man. She hadn’t expected it to be someone like him at all. She hurried over without thinking and said, “Thank you.”
He had already slammed the door behind him without paying any attention to her. His tall and straight figure quickly hurried away.
It was bright and warm in her new carriage. Lin Qian sat by the window, looking around one more time.
The four bunks all looked tidy, with quilts that were folded in neat squares. On the wall by one of the upper bunks, a military coat was hung up. There was also a stainless steel mug on the small table in front of her.
It looked as if this was the carriage where officers stayed. This must be his bunk, which he had lent to her.
What a nice man. But why had he avoided her like the plague? Was there something scary about her?
Lin Qian couldn’t help but smile.
Sleeping until midnight, Lin Qian opened her eyes and found the train still hadn’t moved. She wasn’t sleepy anymore. Putting on a coat, she got up and looked outside.
She was stunned when she opened the door.
The corridor was quiet outside and the two guards were still standing not far off. But on the bench a dozen feet away from her, an officer sat quietly, dressed in a woolen coat and a pair of black army boots. Wasn’t he the major who had ignored her?
Unlike the cold and straight figure from a short while ago, his whole body leaned against the seat with his head drooped down, cap pulled low, and face covered by his coat collar. His posture reminded her of a lounging boy. Or a snoozing cat.
There was no doubt that the sound of the door opening alarmed him. His head lifted an inch but was still buried by the collar. It seemed like he was too lazy to look up at her; he was just waiting for her to speak up.
Lin Qian walked out and spoke to him a few steps away: “I’m not so tired anymore. You can go ahead and sleep inside.”
He was motionless for a few seconds.
Lin Qian thought he was about to speak up, so she waited quietly. However, gradually, he lowered his head until his original posture was resumed. And then there was no more movement from him.
“Okay then… Goodnight.” The only thing she could do was retreat back to the compartment and gently close the door.
At dawn, the train finally arrived in Lhasa.
Lin Qian got up, washed her face, and packed up. Outside was the bright and narrow corridor with the soldiers standing at the end. Where was the major?
She thought for a moment, took a pen and a piece of paper out of her bag, and wrote down her cell phone number and a quick note: I don’t think we will meet again. But if you have a chance to come to Lin City, please call me. I’ll be a good tour guide and a friend. Lin Qian.
Lin Qian bought a ticket for the first flight home. In the evening, she arrived in Lin City and took a taxi to her destination.
At the far end of the straight highway, she could see a vast industrial zone, in which stood several tall, white buildings that were neat and stylish. The large gilded letters Aida Group were particularly eye-catching.
Lin Qian asked the driver to stop in front of a residential building, almost a thousand feet away from Aida Group.
She had started renting an apartment here a month ago. After entering the room, she put her suitcase away and threw herself onto the bed.
Lying down for a while, she felt better. She looked at her cell phone; as expected, there were no new text messages or unanswered phone calls.
In all honesty, it was the first time that she had voluntarily given her phone number to a man. She was such a loser!
She stood up smiling and pulled open the curtains.
The golden light of the sunset flooded in, and Aida Group’s buildings, plants, and the green field behind them were bathed in the endless sunshine.
Lin Qian took a deep breath and felt surprisingly happy.
She decided that it had been a pretty good start: The warm encounter with thousands of people, the beautiful and flourishing city, and the new career she was about to take on.
Back at the expressway entrance to Lin City, a troop of military trucks was parked and ready to transport veterans back to their hometowns.
After talking in hushed tones, a few officers were about to get into a jeep. At that moment, a soldier ran up, running out of breath. He ran to the officer in the middle, stopped and neatly saluted. Then he said, “Major Li, I’ve finally found you. I found this when I cleaned your train compartment earlier.” He handed the man a note with a phone number and a few lines of writing on it.
The man, “Major Li,” took the note and looked it over; his face remained expressionless.
“You didn’t need to give this to me,” he said in cool and calm voice.
He hadn’t tried to cover the note at all. The two officers to his left and right, though standing straight, couldn’t help peeking at it too.
Hearing this, one of them couldn’t help saying, “Lin Qian… Isn’t she the girl who had an accident and rode with us? I saw her this morning. She’s pretty. Don’t you live in Lin City too? Why don’t you keep her number?”
The people around Major Li stared at him expectantly.
He lowered his brim again, straightened his collar, and stepped into the jeep.
“No need,” he said lightly, “she and I will see each other again very soon.”
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These are my Top 10 novels from Webnovel. These are the novels that I have read and liked, and while there are definitely other great novels, these stood out as unique and well written, so I have to recommend them specifically.
What did you think about the list? Which novel would you like to recommend? Feel free to share your thoughts, and thanks for reading.