Panguan is a modern cultivation!AU featuring thousand-year pining and soul-ferrying supernatural shenanigans, topped off with a dash of horror/mystery and master/disciple dynamics.
The story follows Wen Shi – a 1000+ year old panguan specializing in puppetry who also happens to be missing his soul/some memories and is stuck in a cycle of rebirth for ~reasons~ – and his cowardly great-nth-disciple Xia Qiao as they help resolve ‘cages’ (aka people’s lingering attachments that don’t allow them to pass on) while looking for Wen Shi’s soul.
Somehow they end up summoning this ‘sickly tenant’ to their house named Xie Wen who has the most poisoned soul Wen Shi has ever seen. Xie Wen is all around just kind of weird and Bad News in modern panguan circles, but Wen Shi lets him tag along on their cage-breaking adventures bc Wen Shi doesn’t fit in either and he generally just doesn’t really care. Xie Wen is also not totally incompetent, which is a plus.
(Xie Wen also may or may not be the founder of panguan named Chen Budao, who is 1000++ years old and was once Wen Shi’s omnipotent shizun who saved him when he was a kid. I swear these are not spoilers, the author gives it to you very early on)
Eventually their pasts unravel and we get some delicious mmm top-tier angst and pining, you know the deal. Also prepare to get spooked. (Cages feature: dolls, creepy smiling ladies, hyper-realistic escape rooms, rain zombies/cult rituals, and more!)
Recommended for those who enjoy:
– brutally savage but stone-faced tsun MCs (gap moe anyone?)
– gentle/would do anything for my love/godly MLs
– mutual self-sacrifice
– 1000 YEAR P I N I N G
– hidden identities (and the exposing thereof)
– OP!!! MC/ML (more OP in past than present, but still OP compared to those modern noob disciples; okay ML is just still extremely OP)
– mystery cases cuz we’re in scooby doo
– a refreshing take on Chinese mythology / supernatural / modern cultivation
– feeling a thrill and instant regret for reading this novel at night (I’m half-joking, it’s not thaaat scary)