Da Ge (Big Brother) – Chapter 1-10 Recap


It’s been far too long since my last post. That was in 2021 so almost three years ago. Damn! So much has happened to the world and so much has happened to me too. However, that would be a story for another day and time.

Today I am beyond excited to share my latest addiction… a Chinese web novel by Priest titled Da Ge. Long story short, I recently got sucked into the world of BL dramas and came across this new series called “Unknown”. The first two episodes left such a strong impression on me that I began to dig up everything I could about it (think obsessed). A quick research told me that this Taiwanese BL was adapted from a web novel and after some more digging around, I found a translated English version on Wattpad.

Shout out to kipziart for the hard work, THANK YOU!

I finished reading the whole novel within three days and I loved it! Of course, there are some key differences from the live series Unknown (currently ongoing), but the novel stands out strong on its own. I am so glad they decided to adapt this book. As a result, I get to enjoy both masterpieces to my heart’s content!

Due to the agonizing weekly wait for the new episodes to air, I’ve decided to re-read the book, but this time more intentionally. I began by just writing my impressions and thoughts at the end of each chapter. I wrote about what was memorable to me… a few relatable lines, and maybe some summary and reflections here and there. Before long I realized I had written so many words and thoughts but no one to share them with. This blog popped into my mind, so I guess now is the perfect time to remove all those cobwebs and let the words find their masters again.

So to anyone out there who somehow found their way to my blog and this post, I wholeheartedly welcome you aboard! Come and join me on this delightful journey 🙂

Disclaimer: As this is a recap, there will be spoilers and personal opinions, so please read at your own discretion. I would love to know what you guys think as well, so as long as we can keep it at a healthy, respectful, and civil discussion, then by all means, fire away! 🙂

Chapter 1

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”

Wei Qian had an age difference of about 7 and a half years from his little sister Xiao Bao – they were half-siblings.
Wei Qian had always been intuitive and street-smart from a young age.
He existed in a hateful co-dependence with his prostitute mother – both yearning for her warmth and affection and hating her guts, often thinking of ending her miserable life himself.

Chapter 2

“In the end, you pay for your deeds”

Wei Qian’s mom died when he was about 12, Xiao Bao was 5 years old.
He first met Zhi Yuan at about 13-14 years old, on his way home after his middle school exam. He locked eyes with the boy who was in the middle of a stand-off with a stray dog over a can of spilled beef. And history began for both of them.

Chapter 3

Wei Qian started to note the existence of little Zhi Yuan. He recognized from the start, how Zhi Yuan was intelligent and struggling just like him, trying to escape a harsh environment.
That same night, he was feeling so burdened and had ended up exploding on an old neighbor who had been bullying him for a while.
Zhi Yuan saw what happened, yet he was not scared of him and started attaching himself slowly.

Chapter 4

This chapter is about Zhi Yuan and his perseverance once he decided Wei Qian was a good man. Slowly, but surely, with Xiao Bao’s innocence to help him, these two kids slowly melted Wei Qian’s icy heart.

Chapter 5

First introduction to Le Ge. A thug with ulterior motives, but at 14-15 years old Wei Qian was too young to understand this yet. He thought highly of him and accepted his help to register Zhi Yuan into the household system, but didn’t ask for his help for money yet, because he also had his pride.
His desperation for money was truly his driving force in life.

Chapter 6

“People can’t live too comfortably”

This chapter gives a bit more insight into Zhi Yuan’s character. Even as a child, he had this “murderous” tendency when provoked, or towards those he deemed as enemies. Overly protective of his Ge, I think the description of a wild dog/puppy is accurate for him. He loved hard, tried hard to please Wei Qian, was acutely aware of Wei Qian’s emotions and was fiercely protective of him too. Just like a dog to his owner.

Wei Qian was so heavily burdened by poverty and the lack of money, that he considered either Le Ge’s help or quitting high school. He was about 15 at this point. Xiao Bao was 7. Yet Wei Qian could not bring himself to ask for help/money, because he knew nothing was ever free, just like those fatty kids who ended up being eaten by the river monster.

I like the tender scene they shared in this chapter, under that blanket, with Zhi Yuan doing his best to warm up his Ge, and begging him not to abandon him. And Wei Qian, despite being so troubled and tired, despite wanting to give up (the thought of abandoning him, another mouth to feed, did occur to him but he never went through with it), Wei Qian’s heart had softened. They had already shared and developed that emotional connection, and we know that for them, there was no turning back.
Also, Wei Qian started smoking at this age.

Chapter 7

Wei Qian steeled his heart and officially dropped out of school. No frills, no nothing. Just quietly leaving behind a carnation for his homeroom teacher Ms Li. I love the scene where upon returning home from school that day, Mazi cried and wailed for him when he learned the truth. To have a friend who would cry for you, despite his difficulty communicating, with the stutter and all, even this boy understood the magnitude of the sacrifice that Wei Qian had to make for his family. Wei Qian couldn’t cry, or rather, he didn’t allow himself to because of his pride, so Mazi cried for him.

Wei Qian became a “thug” at the age of 14-15, under the wings of Le Ge. Within a year, he made a name for himself as a ruthless thug, beating and slashing a dozen gangsters who caused trouble at his workplace. A scene straight out of a typical Chinese kungfu drama.

Chapter 8

For a year, Wei Qian lived as a thug, slowly becoming insensitive to the pain, and slowly losing himself and his aspirations. His only source of joy and distraction was his two siblings. Zhi Yuan at that time, struggled with falling teeth and thought that he was about to die. The poor kid got it so wrong, but so right too. Motivated by an intense need to write a farewell letter, he studied super hard, finally managed to write one, and gave it to his Ge. We only got to know the content of that letter much later in the novel, but I had wished whatever was written would touch Wei Qian’s heart. He evidently cherished that letter.
Now his life was slowly turning around, once Le Ge realized Wei Qian’s worth, and got greedy again.

Chapter 9

We learned that Zhi Yuan was a very perceptive kid. Once he discovered that his Ge enjoyed watching him and Xiao Bao bicker, he didn’t hesitate to “lower his IQ” and match with Xiao Bao, pretending naivety and childhood innocence. This spoke volumes of how much more mature Zhi Yuan was than he let on. He was willing to do anything basically, to stay in this family. In a way, it was absolutely understandable. When Wei Qian adopted him, it was nothing short of a miracle for him, a stroke of luck in finding a good family. As he rightly said, what came naturally to others (having a family) was never the same for him, so he had to do whatever it took to preserve this, even if it meant acting a fool. My heart breaks for him.

We also get more insight into Wei Qian’s dream. He wanted to be a scientist, studying and researching, being consumed by knowledge, without a care for food and clothes. Wei Qian was quite a natural academic, given the right chance he would surely flourish. Plus he enjoyed reading and we love people who love books, don’t we? 🙂

San Ge, as we learn, was a few years older than Wei Qian (16), about 20 years old. I’m so thankful for him, being Wei Qian’s support in managing the household, and also when he acted as a voice of reason for Wei Qian. Despite being the head of the family, Wei Qian was technically still just a teenager himself. He still needed caring and nurturing. He knew better now that Le Ge was a shady individual, but he had strong pride and was not yet willing to let go of that work, which allowed him a sense of control and not feel inferior to others. I can understand that… humans do crave a feeling of control, even if sometimes it can be detrimental to them, all just so that they can survive and live with themselves. Ahh humans, we are such complex animals.

Chapter 10

More evidence of the fierce love and care these two brothers have for each other and their small family. Xiao Bao being herself, was never actively involved in doing anything substantial for the family, at least not in her younger years. Mainly being there, existing and carefree, oblivious to how hard things were for her brother. Zhi Yuan though, as expected, understood and was more than willing to go above and beyond to play his part and contribute.

He saw how hard it was for Wei Qian to escort them to and from school every day (because of the rape incident in their neighborhood). Zhi Yuan was desperate, despite his own physical body not growing quickly enough to match his heart and desire to protect. He wanted to be big and strong so that he could be reliable and useful. But what matters most are actions, and Zhi Yuan did not disappoint. With that old steel pipe, he did his best with his escort duty every day, until Wei Qian felt more comfortable letting them go home from school by themselves.

Worth noting, in this chapter was the first mention of anything remotely homosexual. When San Pang tried to explain to a clueless Wei Qian why child predators were the way they were (because Wei Qian only knows money and fighting LOL), he got uncomfortable at the mention of “men liking men”, which is interesting. I don’t know if it serves as a precursor to his preference or simply that he was uncomfortable in general. Homosexuality is still a very heavy topic even for me, who is currently reading a BL with a passion. I don’t understand it well, I am often confused, but reading seems to help in understanding them a bit more. However, to consider this book as simply “just another BL” doesn’t sit right with me. This book has been so much more than that. We will see.

Okay, we are done for now. I will give further updates as we move along. In the meantime, do enjoy this long trailer version from Unknown The Series, and do let me know if you end up shamelessly repeating it countless times as I did 😉

Till then, cheers!

“The trajectory of my life can be summed up by just his name, Wei Qian” – Zhi Yuan

P/s: You will notice how my recaps differ from chapter to chapter, some more heavily discussed than others. There is no obvious format to it as I intend to just let the thoughts flow naturally every time I dissect a chapter.


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