YASSSSS so I finally found an official-ish image for this novel hahahaha I read a lot and I wanna rec a lot but it’s hard to do one of these banner ones when I need an image, one that’s not solely fanart hahaha anyway I finally found this one that was officially given to the bookstores ;-;
I did a brief rec in one of my older recs, way before I started this banner collection style, but here’s this one in full:
Xing Ye, a wealthy and intelligent businessman, is still grieving over his younger brother - Xing Shuo - who died suddenly without any rhyme or reason, as he wonders what could have happened at his funeral; Xing Shuo was young and at the peak of health, so Xing Ye doesn’t believe that his brother could have died of a heart attack. As he recalls the last time he saw his brother, Xing Ye, who has photographic memory, remembers that his brother was holding out his phone which had this QR code on it, and that he looked like he wanted to say something to him right before Xing Ye left.
Curious, Xing Ye draws the QR code out from memory and scans it - he’s immediately transported into this game world where he basically has to go through levels and missions. His ‘special skills’ and ‘power’s can be found and earned by the way of scanning QR codes basically, and his special skill is similar to his own specialty - that is he is given the ‘power’ of being able to copy other people’s QR codes for use.
And in this game world, he’s presented with two choices - He can either be from the ‘lucky’ team and become a player that basically has like 95% luck (I can’t remember the exact stats) but basically as a lucky player things will go your way like most of the time in games - the goal is to complete the missions as set out by the game that can sometimes include defeating the unlucky camp players - they don’t have much luck within each game but they get some added benefits to even it out - Xing Ye is not a person who believes in a free lunch and picks to become an unlucky camp player.
In his very first game that follows the Snow White storyline, he’s first transported inside the game as a GIRL (snow white). And then he picks up this mirror, which is forbidden in the current game storyline - and true to him being an ‘unlucky’ player - he’s faced with three opponents from the lucky camp immediately, all who are required to basically take him out (according to the storyline set in the game round).
The mirror can talk, and Xing Ye realizes the mirror could possibly be a player who has turned into a prop in this game. He’s not allowed to ask many questions with his prop yet as they have to build up more points and trusts throughout multiple games in order to ‘unlock’ certain features, which includes the mirror being able to answer his more sensitive questions like what the game is exactly, what’s going on, who is he etc.
He finds out that the mirror’s name is Lu Mingze, and that he is actually a lucky camp player that has been turned into a prop. In order for him to get his body back, Xing Ye has to basically clear all the levels, find out the secret behind his brother’s death and also what this entire game system is about. As he clears the games quicker, faster and more efficiently than any other player has done before, the system continues to increase the difficulty level, hoping to stop him.
Along the way he falls in love with Lu Mingze, who he met once before when they were much younger, and Xing Ye promises to help LMZ return to his own body and for them to meet back in the real world. (They also spend like 200 chapters without even like skin to skin contact cuz?!?!?!?! Xing Ye = human, LMZ = mirror LMAOOOO)
Basically if you wanna see an extremely smart CEO slap a game system in the face repeatedly this is the novel to read XD
1. 邢烨 Xing Ye - A wealthy businessman who’s really, really smart and has photographic memory. Powers through his first game like no one’s business, threatening his opponents into submission and failure basically - as a businessman who had to fight his way to success and went through hardship when they were younger after their parents passed away, he doesn’t believe in ‘luck’ or ‘destiny’ or ‘fate’ - doesn’t believe that there are free lunches in the world and is confident immediately that he can basically clear anything that comes his way, which he does!
Realizes that he schemed against LMZ when he was younger to get LMZ’s parents’ attention (a fake kidnapping, where XY would end up half saving LMZ so his parents could be indebted to him, but he changed his mind after) - he was in a bit of a rough patch then. LMZ wasn’t hurt, and LMZ as a mirror refuses to talk to him for days after he finds out, but forgives him after hahaha.
Sticks to his own morals and principles firmly - realizes that the game is trying to test if the players can be morally upright to some extent in the face of challenges (i.e. no killing or taking someone else’s lives) and if they can turn away from the temptation of being handed everything on a platter. This is because he finds out through LMZ that all ‘lucky camp’ players end up being a prop at the end, because they have to pay for all the good luck they had throughout the game. To pass the game, it has to be an ‘unlucky camp’ player who works hand in hand with a ‘lucky player’ turned prop, but obviously, as the system tempts each player to turn against each other for their own greed, no one has been able to pass.
After accepting that his brother was faced with a choice - to become a prop whose fate lies in the hands of whatever player picks him up or pass away in real life - and chose to die, that there’s no coming back for him, Xing Ye resolves to not let LMZ fall to the same fate.
He’s allowed to head back into the real world after every game, and he goes to see LMZ, whose body is lying comatose in the hospital, and then takes care/looks out for LMZ’s parents on his behalf.
2. 陆明泽 Lu Mingze - A sulky, narcissistic younger man who thinks he’s the most beautiful/handsome person ever HAHAHAHA. Is smart to a certain extent, but was unable to help Xing Ye in the beginning due to the restrictions set on him. The system has also set up this rule/benefit where players can basically claim the props’ skills/powers if they choose to erase the prop-player’s consciousness, killing them in the process.
This is why players haven’t been able to clear the game - because there are more selfish players who would choose to kill their partners who’ve become props, or just treat them as props rather than actual human beings. He’s unable to trust Xing Ye at first, but considering that the man is so handsome (not as handsome as him tho) and is smart, and nice to him, he opens up to Xing Ye.
If other players knew that Xing Ye had a prop with him, they would try to snatch it away from him or destroy it, so he’s kept a secret for a long while, and in the first game, he has to be hidden in Xing Ye-turned-snow-white’s boobs? And he’s super unhappy about it, especially because XY can’t shower for a few days and smells? HAHAHAHAHA
3. 邢烁 Xing Shuo - Almost as smart as Xing Ye, and would have cleared the game if not for him choosing the wrong camp when he first started out - Chooses to die rather than be subject to another player’s will, and actually he had a choice to drag a person into the game to be his partner. The last time he saw his brother, he wanted to ask Xing Ye to go in with him, knowing that he would be safe with his brother, but was unable to ask him, realizing that the game was dangerous and not wanting to put his brother in the situation.
He has a epilogue at the end, where his consciousness is given a second chance - and he chooses the ‘unlucky camp’ this time, laughing when he hears from the system how his brother basically destroyed the game.
Other Things I Liked in the Novel:
Okay I can’t say I like this because I truly was suffering - Like I’m not the type to look out for skinship or shit in any romance novel, but at the end of 200 chapters and they hadn’t even like touched each other because they couldn’t, I swear I felt so touch-starved?! It was damn bad like I was like GIVE ME A HAND I CAN HOLD WHY CAN’T THEY EVEN HOLD HANDS?!
LMZ migrates from like a huge mirror to like a small mirror to a compact mirror and everything HAHAHAHA but they can’t touch!!!! ARGH I wanted to scratch at my hands
Xing Ye gathers a trustworthy team and he teaches all of them how to think for themselves, how not to always trust others but still be kind - And they all really look up to him! When they get back to the real world, some of them are actually hired by Xing Ye
At the end kind of after he passes the game and they return back to the real world, only Xing Ye has any memory of the game - everyone else does not, but the game gave him a benefit at the end, which sends everyone back into a ‘simplified-walkthrough’ version of the game and all the rounds they played, whereupon if they complete each game successfully, they get their memories back at the end as a reward
Honestly it’s a pretty much feel good novel! Badassery and intelligent minds, nothing too angsty, just enough mystery and the games are incredibly well-woven and designed
Also a random add-on, if you buy the actual copies the freebies include a handheld mirror HAHAHAHA