It's a truth universally acknowledged that if you're a man named Shen in a danmei novel, you are a devastating beauty
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Beautiful reunion with beautiful sunset
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QJJ [ 将进酒 ] audio drama s3 ep 8 cover
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Hey hamliet I want to read QJJ but it’s a little intimidating...could you tell me a bit what it’s like? CP dynamic and what kinda story it is (tragedy, hopeful, plot-heavy or romance-heavy?) thank you! I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.
Hi! Yeah, it's definitely plot-heavy and... complex. I feel you! It's also romance heavy, though. They're really well intertwined.
The main pairing is enemies to lovers, and it's told equally from both of their points of view. As for their dynamic:
Shen Zechuan is the youngest son of an accused traitor who barely survives a massacre of a battle thanks to his elder sworn brother saving him at the cost of his own life. Because Shen Zechuan is the only survivor of the battle and of the Shen family, he's arrested and tortured as a scapegoat. Shen Zechuan’s father was a “prince” (think governor more so than a blood prince) and his mother was a courtesan concubine (plus he was the 8th son), so his status even in his home was pretty low and his blood brothers weren’t really part of his life.
Meanwhile, after Xiao Chiye’s elder brother wins a decisive battle, Xiao Chiye is sent to the capitol city as a sort of hostage to prevent any thoughts of rebellion in his elder brother’s mind (because the kingdom is reeling from the Shen incident). Xiao Chiye is the youngest son of another “prince” (governor) who is also a renowned general. He’s the second son, though, and his father, despite being a tough general, is a romantic who never remarried after his wife’s death. Xiao Chiye is very much like his father, but his elder brother is rather like his mother, yet still a formidable military strategist. You can see the parallels and contrasts.
Anyways, Xiao Chiye hates being a glorified hostage and leaving his home, so when he sees Shen Zechuan, he blames him for his circumstances and kicks him hard enough to kill him. He survives, barely, but is left with lingering health issues from the kick and the torture.
Five years pass, and then Shen Zechuan is finally freed from the temple he’s been confined in and ends up reluctantly working with Xiao Chiye to uncover several political plots. They have a one night stand, and then... feelings start developing even as the political situation gets more and more unstable. Xiao Chiye pretty quickly realizes Shen Zechuan is actually after 1) revenge, 2) proving his father was not a traitor, and 3) plans to rebel himself...
It’s pretty antagonistic early on, but there’s a fascination between them and really good foiling (they’re opposites, yet similar; they’re yin and yang). Xiao Chiye is the more sentimental despite being the more traditionally “manly” one, and is the heart to Shen Zechuan’s mind. Shen Zechuan thinks all he has left is hatred, but Xiao Chiye reminds him that he’s human and that humanity comes with a full spectrum beyond just ‘hatred.’ Xiao Chiye likes challenges and taming wild animals, but he needs to actually tame himself. Shen Zechuan is, in meme-terms, dead inside, yet his greatest desire is to live. Xiao Chiye is full of life and vigor, yet he is much more cavalier about his life. Their dynamic is pretty great, going from tension and what’s basically hate sex to “oh how I love you so” and “he did not want this person to hurt anymore, ever again” in a way that feels more than natural.
Thus far only about 2/3 are translated, but a new chapter is translated every 3 days, so you don't have to wait long. I also got spoilers from some very very helpful people who are able to read it in Chinese and took pity on me.
It's both tragic and a happy ending. The main pairing gets a happy ending, as does one of two side pairings (the wlw one--yes, there’s canon lesbians--gets a happy ending; the secondary mlm one sadly does not). Shen Zechuan and Xiao Chiye get a happy ending not just through life, but through accomplishing a lot of goals, family, etc. So it's happy.
Don't get attached to most other characters though, because the author is pretty brutal. And yet the characters are so likable it's hard not to. There's also an issue with... there are no real "enemies." Even most of the antagonists are genuinely not bad people, and there are two perpetual themes that come up: what is the cost of victory? and the idea of scapegoating. Sooo a lot of the antagonists are scapegoats and what happens to them isn’t “fair” even in a poetic sense. From what I've heard what happens to one of said antagonists at the end will Make Me Unhappy, but I've also heard it is indeed framed as tragic.
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I found! I found qiang jin jiu extra chapters! There are 11! The 10 one is cezhou wedding! I will put the link below! Someone can send it to novel updates translators? Because this isnt in mtl and such, and is very hard to find.
Edit: already send to novel updates. They will translate after they finish all the chapters😍🙏.
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▪︎Please like and reblog if you use!
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OMG OMG Qiang Jin Jiu will be adapted to a drama..OMG I’m screaming!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe it!!!
I love the novel and the characters. It has a very heavy Storyline ( if you do not like Empires/politics/wars/ or power schemes , you probably won’t like this book.) Personally when I started reading, i was bored and confused but by chapter 20 i was suck in it, i couldn’t let go; it’s so good (for me anyway)!
The plot is amazing with many twists and mysteries. And the main characters are *the cerises on top of the cream *! They are so complex and NOT your loving loving usual BL couple. They were ennemies at first , As a matter of fact, they were always trying to put little traps for each other and sometimes the way they communicate is so funny, they back stabbing each other with words🤣 ( reminds me of that couple in Peerless which i love by the way as well). But they protect each other as well and are cute in their own way ❤️
Protagonist: Shen Zechuan also called Lanzhou
Yooo he is a piece of work okay? He is soo ruthless, cunning, scheming and almost indecipherable. Sometimes he is killing and you will be: “like what???like how can he do that? no wait did he just do that?”🤣🤣like damn I love him. In the beginning everyone is seeing him like a beauty (which he is, he’s the most prettiest man described in the whole novel and he got the Gong/Seme so much in love with him) incapable of doing nothing even to a fly and then he turns around and BOOM he kills hahahaha. OMG i love him so much, he fits right in the bill of my favorite type of protagonists which is scheming and strong Ukes.
ML: Xiao Chiye (Ce’an)
How can you not like Xiao Chiye? He is badass, wild and ALWAYS horny/ in heat (estrus whatever, i mean who bangs on a horse?tsk tsk anyway..)! He is so intelligent and moves like no other. In the beginning, he acts as a fool or more a wasteful rich young master BUT he is just as scheming as Shen Zechuan if not more. Everything he does has a reason and he understands and see through mostly every schemes around him except understanding sometimes what Shen does ( even i as a reader i have a hard time to decipher Shen’ moves).anyway....
I can’t wait to see the cast especially of the main characters cause they’re so complex, i wonder who will fits the bell! I’m so excited already.!!!!
If you’re interested and would like to read it. Here is the link: https://www.novelupdates.com/series/qiang-jin-jiu/
Artist of the arts/illustrations: @夏之杪 (weibo) ; however she also has an account on GRACG with many beautiful arts. here is link to her profile https://openid.gracg.com/user/p5087RilH86
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QIANG JIN JIU (QJJ) BIOS
# SHEN ZECHUAN
⠀ ❄️ ⠀沈 𝑳𝒂𝒏𝒛𝒉𝒐𝒖⠀𓍼⠀𝑚𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑙
𓍢 ✉️ 𓂃 to:: 𝑺𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝑳𝘢𝘯𝘻𝘩𝘰𝘶⠀— 我的心是你的⠀ 🖋
沈 𝘇𝗲𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗮𝗻⠀ ࣪𑁍 ⠀𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴⠀ 🎐
# XIAO CHIYE
萧𝒄𝒆’𝒂𝒏 ⠀ 𓏲ꪆ ⠀𝑚𝑦 𝑠𝑢𝑛, 𝑚𝑦 𝑚𝑜𝑜𝑛, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠
𝐱𝐢𝐚𝐨 策安 ⠀ ➷ ⠀𝐦𝐲 𝐛𝐨𝐲⠀ 𓊿
𝐗𝐈𝐀𝐎 𝐂𝐄’𝐀𝐍⠀:: ⠀你永远在我心中⠀ 🐺
𝐗.𝘾𝙝𝙞𝙮𝙚 ⠀𖥻♥︎ ⠀𝑺.𝙇𝙖𝙣𝙯𝙝𝙤𝙪⠀ ˒˒ ⠀永远
𝐂𝐞’𝐚𝐧 愛 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐳𝐡𝐨𝐮⠀ 🍁 ⠀𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠⠀ ◑
# 萧策安 to # 沈兰舟 :: — 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦, 𝘟𝘪𝘢𝘰 𝘊𝘦’𝘢𝘯, 𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘵.
𝗫𝗶𝗮𝗼 𝗰𝗲’𝗮𝗻: 𝗀𝗈 𝖿𝗎𝖼𝗄 𝗒𝗈𝗎𝗋𝗌𝖾𝗅𝖿
𝗦𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗟𝗮𝗻𝘇𝗵𝗼𝘂: 𝖿𝗎𝖼𝗄 𝗆𝖾 𝗒𝗈𝗎𝗋𝗌𝖾𝗅𝖿, 𝗒𝗈𝗎 𝖼𝗈𝗐𝖺𝗋𝖽 !
like or reblog if you save/use :)
⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
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„I love you“
„You smell nice” 💕
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xiao chiye commissioning and carrying around an earring for shen zechuan is the height of romance.
hes like, both of us are in constant political upheaval and possibly mortal peril, but you should look as pretty as possible while stepping on people and i'll help you with both.
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CeZhou [ 策舟 ]
qjj audio drama season 3 cover
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[ He hated this empire to death. He also loathed these faces to death. ]
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A Game of Thrones: Ming Dynasty Edition
Or, Hamliet received a recommendation for Qiang Jin Jiu (thanks @khunsimp) saw the premise of enemies-to-lovers, disgraced sons, and sins of the father themes, was like “that’s my jam,” and read 164 chapters in a single weekend. (There’s still like. ~120 to go that aren’t yet translated #fun).
It is indeed my jam and is essentially the love story of Mulan’s Shang and 2ha’s Shi Mei. I’m kidding, the leads are their own characters (very much so!) but that’s whom I kept comparing them to in my mind.
Shen Zechuan is a particularly compelling character. He’s introduced as a somewhat pathetic figure, a PTSD-stricken teenager who’s lost everyone he ever loved, was never really treated as a son by his father, and yet is being tortured and sentenced to die for the sheer fact that he is his father’s only surviving son. His father supposedly committed treason, for which Shen Zechuan pays the price. But then the story switches, and you see Shen Zechuan’s cunning nature, which is in many senses just as pitiful but dangerous. I mean the guy’s skinning people alive by chapter 30 so.
Xiao Chiye at first was, to me, likely to be less interesting as a character because I’m not usually into the physically driven characters--but I was wrong. He’s equally as well-developed and complex as Shen Zechuan, and his continual struggles with duty, his love for his family, and his internal struggles are compelling. His relationships with his family is particularly heartwarming. The scene where he tells his father he’s fallen in love with a man, essentially coming out to him, was deeply touching and wholesome--which stands out all the more because of the story’s extremely dark tone (which I’ll talk about later).
The plot is highly complex. It's also very political, which I enjoy, although I will admit that not having the conclusions yet definitely means some parts feel fragmented at this stage--but they probably won’t feel this way by the end. I’m highly intrigued by the mysteries surrounding Bai Cha, Shen Zechuan’s mother, and by the premise of Qi Zhuyin and Hua Xiangyi’s relationship (also, canon lesbian couple! Who are complex characters! It’s like the characters from Female General and Eldest Princess ended up in a good story!)
The story’s tone is quite dark--I literally have no expectations for any character besides, I’m told, the main pairing and the lesbians to get a happy ending. It’s very tragic and violent, dark and exploring the worst of humanity more so than the best. Hence, why I compare it tonally to A Song of Ice and Fire. However, that doesn’t mean the story is nihilistic--for the most part, it’s really not. That dark tone is its strength as much as it is also my largest critique.
For the latter element, there are chapters where the story can almost feel as if it is wallowing in that darkness--I’m not sure, for example, I needed the scene of a pregnant concubine being drowned, nor the told-to-us backstory of Mu Ru if she was never going to be properly explored before dying. Nor Li Jianheng’s tragic childhood, which was almost too much to bear especially with the ending he got. A lot of the unnecessary elements also seem to concern violence against women, and while it does have really nice female characters with arcs, this was... a lot.
However, as hinted above, the darkness does make the beautiful, loving, heartwarming, and yes, funny (the novel has a great sense of humor) moments shine more brightly. The way Xiao Chiye is clearly light to Shen Zechuan, and his own redemption might pave the way for Shen Zechuan’s growth. The story hinted early on that Shen Zechuan might have to choose between his hatred and his will to live, and recently picked up those threads again with Xiao Chiye’s father’s wariness of Shen Zechuan’s demeanor. I think this is a worthy theme and really hope it’s further developed through his character.
But this idea--that hatred helps him live--ties into two other strong themes of the novel: wanting to live no matter what it costs, and the cost of victory/defeat. Whether on a physical battlefield or a political chess game, trade negotiations, torturing a prisoner, a marriage, the story is constantly asking the characters what the cost of victory is, and when it is worth it and when it is not--when a defeat can truly be a victory in some sense. I’m very interested to see how these ideas continue to develop.
Anyways, I quite enjoy this novel, especially the main characters, and am interested to see where it goes! Personally, the writing is less my taste than MXTX’s works (which are very, very character driven in a personal way, and have a distinct kindness to their tone), but it is extremely well written and the two leads are excellent characters. The themes are worthy questions, and it’s truly moving and enjoyable. I definitely recommend it!
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I wish qiang jin jiu could get a thai drama, not a c-drama(Hell, even a occident country adaptation or a japonese yaoi anime studio would do) because the sexual tension is too important to they relationship, and, cenzhou started with hate sex/ pure desire. How the hell they will do a drama without that? I wish that, at least, qjj could receive a manhua( they can put more content in that. But a japonese yaoi manga with everything would be great ;-;. But this would be too good to be true) . Qjj isnt the most explicit, but have one of the most passionate and sensual couples in danmei, no, in all kind of romance books. Isnt just chapters with sex or kiss. Its passion, in all the ways, more and more complex per chapter. Its something constant and intrinsic to the plot and character. Mdzs and 2ha have more explicit content, but the quantity and raw passion is waay bigger in qjj in all aspects and in importance to the history. The passion is important to the plot, to their characters. U can truly feel it in your bones when u read this amazing novel. I am afraid of the C-drama. For real. (Also, its almost 300 chapters. If they even try to put this in 30 episodes... gosh).
(NOT SAYING THAT IS BETTER than wangxian(i am wuxian biased for life) or 2ha, just saying that about this element. Its a fact. )
Also, probably, the best adaptation will be Heavens official blessing, because dianxia isnt just hua cheng lover , he is his god. So, they will just put all the obsession and care in this aspect to pass censorship. It is, maybe, the easier danmei to be more truthful to the story with the danm censorship.
Qiang jin jiu(also, for some reason, i read and wrote it as qiang jiU jiu for a loooooong time. Why? Who knows) deserves better! Cezhou huge passion and love deserves better! Fuck china censorship, hate u
(My english is shit, sorry (not really) for that).
Also: a group for qjj fandom! We need to, u know, prove that we exist?
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Wear it for my eyes.
I’ve been reading Qiang Jin Jiu and I’m absolutely losing my mind over it so. Here’s an experimentation with Shen Zechuan. It’s hard to convey his beauty but I tried...
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“Regardless of who my parents are,” Shen Zechuan turned his head to the side and whispered into his ear, “I am Shen Zechuan. Whether your word is the truth or a lie is of no significance to me at all. I am my own nightmare.”
The land under his feet?
Zhongbo could not tie down Shen Zechuan at all. He was not as attached to his native land as Xiao Chiye was. On the day he fell into the Chashi Sinkhole, he became a man without a hometown. Ever since then, he severed all attachment he held towards the land. He could never gallop in the grasslands; his wings were born out of the darkness of the night. If Xiao Chiye was Hongyan Mountains, then Shen Zechuan was the frigid wind coursing through the territories of Zhongbo.
Shen Wei, Bai Cha.
He did not care for them at all.
This chapter once again showed how cold and ruthless SZC can be in pursuit of his goal, and also how his past has severed his attachment to the land. His only attachments are to the few people he cares about, like Xiao Chiye, his husband. And yes, he did call Ce’an ”husband” earlier. His parents aren’t important to him and can’t be used to affect his actions.
It was here Shen Zechuan stood, yet he remembered the abyss in his dream. He had always stood at the brink of the abyss without taking that one step forward, because he did not know what kind of change that one step would usher in. But then, he heard the sound of horses’ hooves.
That was the wind that came from Libei.
Shen Zechuan released his hand. At that very instant the eaves collapsed, Shen Zechuan strode a step out. His white robe went fluttering in the wind as he plunged down like a bird with its wings folded. The wind swept past his ears. He felt as if he had experienced a dream.
Still, stagnant waters lay at the bottom of the abyss, and it was here Shen Zechuan fell and stirred up waves of ripples. But the breathing in his ear was so, so intense. A vibrant life force brimming with vitality dispelled the darkness as strong arms held Shen Zechuan tight. In that split second, the lifeless waters seemed to have brushed off its extraneous dust to metamorphose into Xiao Chiye’s chest.
Xiao Chiye had caught hold of him.
Insert obligatory moment of swooning at these two…
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