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Two days later, Uncle Long finally finished drawing up Lian Jun’s preliminary treatment plan.

Shi Jin looked through the stack of nutritional plans and exercise programs divided into stages that the old doctor brought over, and asked, “That’s it? No medication, no supplements, he just has to nurse his body?”

“This is just the preliminary stage.
When the real treatment begins, his body will become a battleground between the toxin and the drugs, so it has to be strong enough,” Uncle Long explained.
He turned to Lian Jun.
“I sent a copy of the nutrition plan to the kitchen—from today on, your meals will be done strictly according to that.
As for exercise, since you don’t like to have outsiders present during treatment, I’ll act as your therapist myself.
Jun-shao, you’d better prepare your mind in advance—the exercises will definitely be uncomfortable, but if you want to be healthy, you must move your body, there’s no room for bargaining.”

Contrary to the doctor’s expectations, Lian Jun did not resist this time, but met his words with an obedient nod, only adding, “Let the kitchen prepare separate meals for Shi Jin.
He’s in good health and doesn’t need to follow my diet.”

Uncle Long glanced at the teenager.
“Yes, I’ll tell the staff.
Also, there’s one more thing I must urge you to do.”

His sudden drop into such a solemn tone made Shi Jin instantly nervous.
“What is it?” he blurted.

The old doctor’s eyes swept back and forth between the two younger men.
“Indulging in carnal desires during recuperation is a major taboo.
I know that you’re both still young, and often can’t resist it, but you need to endure for now.
Once a week, no more.
If you can’t help it, I suggest you sleep in separate rooms.”


Shi Jin inadvertently tore off a corner of the treatment plan.

Lian Jun wheeled himself over, blocking Shi Jin behind him, then said to Uncle Long, “We don’t have to sleep in different rooms.
You have worked hard these past few days, Uncle Long, you should go back to your room and get some rest.”

In other words, Go away, right now.

Uncle Long let out a cold snort.
Glancing at the stiff Shi Jin hidden behind Lian Jun’s back, he said, unwilling to give up, “It’s no good being so thin-skinned, lad.
Studying medicine is the perfect way to get more guts and toughen your mind—why do some people refuse to understand what’s best for them?”

Shi Jin, who didn’t understand what was best for him, unfroze.
He looked at Uncle Long and said seriously, “I don’t know if you have heard this adage?”

Uncle Long knew it was a trap but still stepped into it.
“What adage?” he asked.

Enunciating each word, the teenager said, “Don’t force people to study medicine or heaven’s wrath will strike you down.”

Uncle Long: “……”


The doctor left in fury, slamming the door behind him.

Frowning, Shi Jin looked at Lian Jun and asked, uncertain, “Everyone seems to be against me going to a police academy.
Is my choice really so bad, after all?”

Although he would like to stick to his dream and continue his previous career, if it would cause trouble for everyone, then he would grit his teeth and go to an ordinary university.

…Anyway, after he graduated, he could still take a public servant exam.

“It’s fine.” Lian Jun touched the wrinkle between the teenager’s eyebrows, voice gentle as he soothed, “There really is no problem.
Uncle Long wants you to study medicine because he’d like you to take care of me in the future, but that’s too unfair on you.
Just study whatever you like and don’t worry about the opinions of others.”

Shi Jin pulled his hand down.
He wanted to ask, And you, do you mind me going to a police school?, but swallowed his words—he knew that Lian Jun would only say, Do what makes you happy; as long as you’re happy, everything is fine.

As he met Lian Jun’s eyes, filled with tolerance, his heart melted, and he couldn’t resist leaning over and hugging him.
“Let me stay with you during physical therapy, please? I want to watch you get better.”

Lian Jun returned the hug.
Stroking his back, he nodded and said, “All right.” Inwardly, though, he thought he’d rather Shi Jin didn’t see how unsightly and embarrassed he looked when exercising.

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Uncle Long was as efficient as always—before the day ended, he’d finished preparing a special training room for Lian Jun.
It was also that evening that Shi Jin and Lian Jun, despite sitting at the same table, began eating different dishes.

“It feels like living together just before the divorce,” Shi Jin muttered as he ate, his forehead wrinkled so much his brows nearly touched.

Lian Jun gave him a warning glance.
“Don’t talk nonsense.”

So Shi Jin shut up.
He looked at the delicious dishes in front of himself, then at the medicinal soup in front of Lian Jun, and felt his chest tighten.
He lowered his head and focused on shoveling the food in his mouth so that the dinner would finish as soon as possible.

The next morning, Shi Jin pushed Lian Jun to the training room and stayed inside to accompany him.

The exercise was in fact just walking around the room.
However, while it was easy for ordinary people, it was tantamount to torture for Lian Jun, for whom every step taken caused pain.

Uncle Long had already been waiting.
When Lian Jun arrived, he first made him lie on a massage table on one side and gave him a careful massage to warm his legs, then helped him to put on special physiotherapy equipment.
After shooing Shi Jin away, he helped Lian Jun to the handrail mounted on the wall and said, “Walk as long as you can, do your best to bear the pain.
You have to exercise your leg muscles—this is very important, we can’t be sloppy  with it.”

Lian Jun nodded and held onto the railing, then was unable to resist glancing back in Shi Jin’s direction.

Noticing Lian Jun’s glance, Shi Jin adjusted his expression and waved at him with the tablet.
“I’m going to play mahjong, just call me after you’re done exercising.” Suppressing the worry in his heart, he walked to the chairs at the other end of the room, sat down with his side to Lian Jun, and pretended to concentrate on playing mahjong.

At this, Lian Jun’s expression relaxed a little.
He looked back at Uncle Long and gave him a nod, then tried to take a step.

Shi Jin immediately turned his head to watch him, his expression tense and full of worry.

None of this escaped Uncle Long’s notice.
He let out a quiet snort, but this time, there wasn’t much annoyance in it.

First, it was walking, then standing and moving in place, and finally stretching the whole body.
One and a half hours later, Lian Jun, soaked with sweat, finally finished the day’s exercise and returned to his wheelchair with Uncle Long’s help.

“This went better than I expected—though there were several times you almost fell, in the end you managed to steady yourself,” Uncle Long said, a rare smile on his face.
“I thought you would be stuck in the first stage for a long time, but you actually reached our goal on the very first day.
This is very good.”

Shi Jin’s ears were perked up to listen.
He let out a sigh of relief at Uncle Long’s words, but his eyes were still glued to the tablet, pretending that he was engaged in playing mahjong, rather than taking secret peeks at Lian Jun the whole time.

Lian Jun wiped his sweat with a towel and said, “It’s all thanks to Shi Jin.”

This was complete truth—if it wasn’t for Shi Jin keeping an eye on him through the past year, making sure he ate properly, and later massaging his legs every evening and helping him walk around the room for a while every so often, there would have been no way he could have kept up with today’s exercises.

Shi Jin couldn’t hold on anymore.
Pretending that he’d just emerged from being absorbed in the game, he looked up and asked, “Is somebody calling me? Oh, you’ve finished exercising, Jun-shao? I was engrossed in playing so I didn’t notice.
Wait, let me finish this game first.” As he spoke this nonsense, he switched off the autoplay on his account and stood up with feigned indifference.

Uncle Long looked at the teenager, speechless—during all the years he spent in the underworld, he had never seen such bad acting.

Lian Jun, however, only laughed.
Beckoning to Shi Jin, he said, “Come here, I want to take a shower.”

“I’ll help you!” Shi Jin quickly put the tablet down and ran up to Lian Jun.
First, he smoothed his sweaty hair, then took the handles of his wheelchair and pushed him towards the built-in bathroom in the training room, saying bye to Uncle Long.

Uncle Long watched them leave, helpless to resist another smile.
“Two stinky brats,” he humph-ed.

If you’re seeing this notice, you’re reading this chapter on pirate site – the original translator of Death Progress Bar is Betwixted Translations.

After this workout, Lian Jun’s legs were wracked with uncontrollable tremors for a long time.
Shi Jin stood by, full of anxiety as he watched Lian Jun calmly reading the documents, so worried that he dragged Xiao Si to chat with him in his mind to distract himself.
He didn’t really calm down until the shaking disappeared.

After dinner, Uncle Long sought out Shi Jin, dragged him to the side, and had a long, whispered talk with him.

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In the middle of the night, Lian Jun was awakened by sudden pain in his legs.
He reached out and felt them, suspecting that he had cramps.
After glancing at Shi Jin, who was sleeping peacefully by his side, he carefully propped himself up, wanting to get out of bed and knead them to relieve the pain.
However, the moment he moved, there was a movement from Shi Jin as well.

“What’s wrong?” The teenager opened his eyes in confusion, putting an arm around his waist.

Lian Jun paused mid-move.
He looked at Shi Jin’s face, muddled with sleep, smoothed his hair, and replied, “Nothing, I just want to go to the bathroom.
Go back to sleep.”

“Oh…” Shi Jin’s consciousness faded once more under his caress and his arm slowly loosened.

Enduring the pain, Lian Jun waited for a while.
When he was sure the younger man was asleep again, he carefully withdrew his hand, gently removed the arm on his waist, and, frowning, tried to move his legs.

Shi Jin’s eyes flicked open again as if startled by something.
He sat up, wiped his face, and lifted the comforter to look at Lian Jun’s legs.
Touching them gently, he asked, “Is it pain or cramping? Which leg?”

“I’m fine,” Lian Jun said, trying to hide it from him.

Shi Jin was not fooled.
“That means both pain and cramping, and both legs.” He rubbed his face again to wake up completely, then crawled back to his side of the bed, turned on the lamp, and took a medical spray out from the nightstand’s drawer.
“Bear with it for a little longer, I’ll massage it right away.”

Seeing Shi Jin so well-prepared, Lian Jun remembered Uncle Long calling him aside earlier.
His gaze turned a little helpless, but he stopped trying to deceive him anymore and said, “It’s my right leg that feels uncomfortable.”

Shi Jin decisively moved to the right side and pulled open Lian Jun’s night robe.
He was about to begin when all of a sudden, he paused and pointed to his face.
“I think I need a reward for the massage—here.”

His words dispelled Lian Jun’s guilt over waking him in an instant.
Looking at Shi Jin’s expression which seemed to say he was the one taking advantage of his lover, he couldn’t help but kiss the teenager on the cheek.
“Thank you,” he breathed into his ear.

Shi Jin covered his itching ear and grinned, then lowered his head and focused on the massage.

After half an hour, the pain in Lian Jun’s legs eased at last.
Shi Jin put the spray away, lay down, and took Lian Jun into his arms.
“Sleep,” he whispered.

Lian Jun returned the hug and, stroking his back, murmured, “Good night.”

In the days that followed, Lian Jun’s legs would always tremble for a while after exercising and he would always be awakened by pain at night.
Shi Jin became more and more perceptive and would wake up at the slightest hint of movement from the other side of the bed.

Lian Jun was distressed to see it.
When he judged the atmosphere was right, he raised the matter of sleeping in separate rooms in an indirect way.

Shi Jin’s face changed at once.
“First you wanted me to move over, and now you want to throw me out?” he growled.
“Say, does this mean you got tired of me and want to break up with me?”

Lian Jun looked at his fierce expression, and although he knew the younger man was just acting, he still couldn’t bear to say anything that might hurt him.
“It would be only temporary,” he promised, trying to pacify him.
“You need to be able to rest properly.”

“Rest? I rest very well, I sleep in every day—I’m the last person to get up in the whole club.” After saying this, Shi Jin’s face returned to looking silly.
He took out a book of dessert recipes and went to Lian Jun’s side, bubbling with excitement.
“Uncle Long said the workouts you’ve been doing are very effective and that your diet might have to be adjusted to keep your nutrition up with your consumption.
When I asked, he said that you could have some dessert once in a while.
He went through this recipe book and marked what you can eat.
If something catches your eye, tell me, I’ll try to make it for you—I’m free anyway these days.”

Lian Jun’s heart flooded with both warmth and guilt.
“I’m sorry, I said that we would go on a date when we returned to B city, but…”

“Do you want a date? Okay, then let’s go on a date!” Shi Jin seemed to have been reminded of something as he dropped the book and stood up.
“You keep on working, I’m going out to buy something.”

This dumbfounded Lian Jun, a rare occurrence.
He reached out, trying to catch Shi Jin’s hand.
“What do you want to buy, I’ll…”

“I’ll be back soon, don’t miss me too much.” Shi Jin, who had reached the door, smiled, dropped a line in farewell, and ran away.

The room fell into quiet in an instant.
Lian Jun slowly took back his empty hand.
He glanced at the dessert recipe book Shi Jin left at the coffee table, then looked around the study.
Suddenly, he felt a little lonely.

He’d gotten used to Shi Jin always being within sight when he looked up, refusing to go away no matter how he was coaxed.
Now that Shi Jin had thrown a curveball and taken the initiative to leave on his own, he really couldn’t get used to it.

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His heart felt empty.

He went back to his desk and picked up a file, trying to distract himself with work, but he couldn’t concentrate on reading.
In the end, he took out his phone and dialed Shi Jin’s number.

The call connected almost immediately and Shi Jin’s vibrant voice came from the speaker: {Gua Nine will come to accompany you in my place.
If your legs hurt, please don’t endure in silence, tell Gua Nine to call Uncle Long}.

“Where are you?” he asked in a low voice.

{In the garage… Gua Two, here… Is there anything you want? I’ll buy it for you.}

Gua Two’s complaints were faint noise in the background: {You sure know how to order people around… I swear I’m going to make you get your driving license as soon as possible so you’ll stop dragging me out to be your chauffeur… Hurry up and get in, the earlier we go, the earlier we’ll be back.}

{Alright, alright, I’m coming,} came Shi Jin’s indistinct reply, then his voice became clear again: {I need to get in the car, Jun-shao, I’ll call you later.} With that, the call disconnected.

Lian Jun listened to the busy tone.
A long moment later, he put the phone down, looked at his useless legs, and raised a hand to press the bridge of his nose.

After all, Shi Jin wasn’t even nineteen yet—being locked in the club every day, it was only natural he would be bored.

In the car, Shi Jin put away his phone and started to rifle through his pockets.

Gua Two tossed out a casual question as he drove, “What do you want to buy? Do you want to go to the nearest mall or somewhere else?”

“Actually, I don’t want to go shopping,” Shi Jin replied.
He took out two bank cards and held them out.
“This is my salary card and the card with the bonus money Jun-shao gave me for completing the mission; altogether, there should be about one million yuan there.
I want to use that money to book a place in B city that’s one-hundred-percent safe and take Jun-shao there for a date.
Where do you think would be best?”

Gua Two stomped on the brakes and turned to look at Shi Jin, surprised.
“Date? What kind of date?”

“Just a normal date—you know, a meal, a movie, going to an amusement park or game arcade, something like that,” Shi Jin explained, obviously having already made plans.
Waving the hand holding the cards, he pressed, “Is this enough money? If not, lend me some.”

Gua Two stared at him with a strange expression.
At last, he rolled his eyes and slapped his hand down, then restarted the car.
“You really are full of schemes, kid… Dating, you say? All right, today, let me take you around the town.
Annihilation has plenty more businesses in B city than just a club and a clinic—get ready, you’ll be spoilt for choice!”

Shi Jin was away for a whole day.
Lian Jun exercised alone, ate lunch alone, took a nap alone, approved documents in the study alone, and played two mahjong games alone.
It was only when it was nearing dinner time that he saw Shi Jin come back, loaded with shopping bags.

“Where did you go to play?” he asked as he quit the game, putting a stop to his losing streak, and set the tablet down.

Shi Jin didn’t seem to notice the downcast note in his voice.
Digging through the bags, he replied happily, “I went to the mall.
Look, I bought you something, do you like it?”

Lian Jun looked at the white T-shirt he took out.
His hand, lying on his lap, twisted his robe without realizing it.
He nodded, and said, “I like it.”

Shi Jin looked at him.
Suddenly, he put down the clothes, rushed over to hug him, and kissed him full on the mouth.

Lian Jun froze for a second, then returned the embrace and deepened the kiss, his actions a bit more urgent and intense than usual.

Shi Jin gave him a light bite all of a sudden, forcing him to pull back a little.
Resting their foreheads against each other, he said, “Wait, don’t… Uncle Long said we can only do it once a week, didn’t he?”

“So?” Lian Jun held him tight, refusing to let him leave his side.
His heart, that had been empty the whole day, finally felt as if it had come back to life.

Shi Jin didn’t answer, just kissed him again, only retreating after a long time had passed.
Lazily leaning on Lian Jun, he signed in contentment.
“Being by your side is the best after all.”

The chaotic emotions that had accumulated in Lian Jun’s heart throughout the day were blown away with that one sentence like they were nothing.
He rubbed his lips that were a little swollen, sighed with a touch of resignation, and hugged the young man tighter.

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That evening, they indulged a little, falling asleep in each other’s arms.

Miraculously, Lian Jun had not been woken by leg pain, but slept through the whole night.
His body seemed to have finally gotten used to the current intensity of his exercises and no longer protested all the time.

When Shi Jin opened his eyes in the morning, it took him a while to shake off the confusion of sleep and wake up.
When he turned to look at Lian Jun, he found that the other man seemed to have been awake for a while already and was leaning against the headboard, looking at him.
Unable to stifle a smile, he said, “I changed my mind, can we sleep in separate rooms after all?”

Lian Jun leaned in, kissed his eyes and replied, “The only place you can sleep is by my side.”

A few days later, the officials sent a message: all the arrangements had been made and it was possible to visit Xu Chuan at any time.
Lian Jun told Shi Jin the news.
After considering for a while, Shi Jin decided not to meet with the former lawyer for the time being.

“Why not? Is it because you’re worried about me?” Lian Jun asked.

After being convicted, the government covertly sent Xu Chuan to an isolated prison in M province.
Lian Jun was in the middle of trying to strengthen his body and neither his nutrition plan nor exercise could be interrupted.
If Shi Jin went to M province, they would have to be separated for a few days.

Shi Jin shook his head.
“It’s not because of you—I want to wait until the results of my mother and Jian Jinwen’s investigation come in.
I will only go talk to him after I have more information.
Xu Chuan is an old fox, I have to be careful.”

Lian Jun took his hand.
“Okay, then I’ll urge the investigation team to hurry up.”

Shi Jin nodded.
Seeing that he didn’t mean to continue working for the time being, he thought for a moment, then took out the dessert recipe book once more.

On a sunny morning late in June, the results of the college entrance examination… came out.

Everyone gathered in the small living room, surrounding the sofa Shi Jin sat on, waiting with baited breath.

Shi Jin felt he was about to collapse.
Opening the site and entering the exam ticket number with shaking hands, he forced himself to speak through his dry mouth, and said, “Isn’t it that nowadays, the results don’t need to be checked, and are just sent straight to the guardian’s mobile phone?” Why was it different for him? This was the same as a public execution!

“But you don’t have a guardian—you’re the only person left in your household register,” Lian Jun explained, adding in consideration, “Do you need me to help you?”

Well, that was the brutal truth.

Shi Jin took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and decisively pressed Enter.
“No, I’ll do it myself!”


The sound of the key being pressed was magnified infinitely in the quiet living room.
All the people present stared at the page that jumped out on the laptop screen, not even daring to breathe too loud.

The query system seemed to lag a little; the page took a long moment to load, leaving everyone on tenterhooks.

Chinese 130, mathematics 110, foreign language 140, elective subjects 220—a total score of 600… As Gua Two silently read Shi Jin’s scores, the tension on his face was gradually replaced by excitement.
Slapping the teenager’s shoulder, he exclaimed, “You can do it when you want, Little JinJin! This is a great result, and you even managed such a round number.”

Xiao Si couldn’t help going crazy.
it screamed in excitement. 

His body askew due to Gua Two’s hearty slap, Shi Jin listened to the commotion; guessing that he didn’t do badly, he found the courage to open his eyes and look at the screen.
After seeing his scores, his mouth dropped open in shock.
“Oh my God, are these really my results? I actually didn’t flunk Chinese? And I got so many points on elective subjects?”

His disbelief could perhaps be explained by the fact that when he was still a student, his Chinese scores were often on the verge of failing—his essay-writing skills were so abysmal that Mr.
Feng was often yelling in fury and scolding him for ‘not using his brain at all’.

And yet, he actually got so many points in Chinese! Did a miracle happen?

Translator: Eques
Editor: Con

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