Acceptance Letter

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Shi Jin spent half an hour outside calming down before he entered the visitation room again.
Gua Two was worried about him, so he went inside as well, dragging in a chair and sitting by the door.

Xu Chuan had also calmed down.
When Shi Jin came in, he glanced at him, then at Gua Two, who was following him.
“I have to say, you are pretty lucky.
Before, there was Shi Xingrui to protect you, and no one dared to touch you.
Now Shi Xingrui is dead, but Lian Jun took his place, and still no one dares to touch you.”

“You summed it up pretty well—a pity you failed to consider that before you and Xu Jie tried,” Shi Jin stabbed right back.

Xu Chuan was stunned, then laughed all of a sudden, his laughter growing louder and louder.
Finally, he said, “You really are interesting.
Shi Xingrui wanted to raise a second Jinwen, but while he succeeded in appearance, it turns out that your character isn’t at all similar. Hah, what poetic justice—it’s probably his retribution.
Serves him right.”

“Then perhaps your retribution is that you didn’t get to see Mr.
Jian for the last time.
And you indirectly killed his sister, so even if you meet in the afterlife, you’ll probably be too ashamed to even dare to face him.
Serves you right,” Shi Jin replied, expressionless.

Xu Chuan’s smile froze.
As he looked at Shi Jin’s cold, indifferent face, his eyes widened little by little; suddenly, he struggled to stand again, trying to pounce at the teenager.

Gua Two got up in a flash.
He pushed Xu Chuan back into the chair, then grabbed the lawyer by the hair and yanked his head back, growling coldly, “Don’t look at Shi Jin with those despicable eyes, you disgusting piece of shit, or I’ll make you wish you were dead.”

The momentum of someone who has been stained with blood and someone who hasn’t was totally different when threatening people.
Frightened by Gua Two’s murderous air, Xu Chuan’s fevered brain cooled a little.
He leaned back to ease up the pull and demanded somewhat timidly, “Let go.”

Instead of loosening his grip, Gua Two looked at Shi Jin.

“I’m fine.” Shi Jin motioned to Gua Two to let Xu Chuan go, then looked at the lawyer and asked, “After so many years, why does Xu Jie still want to kill me? And if you hate her and her family so much, why would you help her?”

At that point, Xu Chuan no longer had anything to hide.
Reclining back into his chair, he answered, “Why? Because you were special in Shi Xingrui’s eyes, and Xu Jie hates you for it.
After Yun Jin died, Shi Xingrui was depressed for a while, but he was probably used to loss, so it didn’t take him long to cheer up and shift the focus of his life to you.”

Shi Jin frowned, realizing that Xu Chuan had misunderstood the cause—it wasn’t that Shi Xingrui got over Yun Jin’s death so fast because he was used to loss, but because he’d already gotten his hands on the perfect replica he’d wanted; losing Yun Jin was no longer important to him.

The lawyer continued, “Xu Jie thought that now that Yun Jin was dead, she’d have another chance.
However, she found that instead, Shi Xingrui stopped looking for lovers and focused solely on raising you.
He even announced that he’d never give you a stepmother… She’s wanted to kill you ever since.
You and your mother destroyed her chances of getting back together with Shi Xingrui—she dreams of eating your meat and drinking your blood.”

Shi Jin faced his malice with cool detachment and kept silent.

Since his words elicited no reaction, Xu Chuan felt bored.
Taking back his gaze, he said, “Xu Jie has wanted to kill you for a long time, but with Shi Xingrui protecting you so carefully, she never had any opportunity.
And since Yun Jin’s death, he showed almost cruel indifference and lack of concern to everyone except you.
Xu Jie was apprehensive; she knew that if she provoked Shi Xingrui, he would abandon her and Shi Weichong without an ounce of hesitation.
Since there was no possibility of her getting back with him anymore, she asked me for help again.”

“What did you do this time?” Shi Jin asked.

“I told Shi Xingrui that Jinwen had wanted many brothers and sisters, so that after his death, there would be someone else to take care of his adoptive father.” Xu Chuan’s mind seemed to wander far away for a moment, but soon, his eyes regained clarity.
“I also said that blood relationships were the strongest kind.
Jinwen had been very lonely growing up, and you were so similar to him.
This time round, you should be given a lot of love.”

Shi Jin’s brows furrowed.
He hadn’t expected that there was even a shadow of Xu Chuan behind The Deal.

“Shi Xingrui was shaken.
He reconnected with his other children that he’d pretty much abandoned and began to use a lot of resources to cultivate them.
Xu Jie took this as an opportunity to try to pull the other mothers to her side, to help her get rid of you, but none of them were so foolish.
Fei Yujing’s mother only wanted benefits for her son and Rong Zhouzhong’s mother benefits for herself; although they acquiesced to their children approaching you, that was all—they refused to become Xu Jie’s knife.
Xiang Aoting’s mother’s attitude was unknown, and she was too hard a nut for Xu Jie to crack.
No need to mention Li Jiuzheng’s mother, she was just a poor woman driven mad by Shi Xingrui and of no use at all.
“No one was willing to cooperate with Xu Jie, they just used the chance to gain benefits.
Xu Xie was furious, but there was nothing she could do, so things continued like that until Shi Xingrui died.”

Xu Chuan looked up at Shi Jin again.
“As for me helping Xu Jie… I have to admit that Xu Jie gave birth to a good son—among all of Shi Xingrui’s other sons, only Fei Yujing had the strength to compete with Shi Weichong.
Unfortunately Fei Yujing was not interested in the company, so Ruixing would have eventually fallen to Shi Weichong anyway.
“My parents are dead, Shi Xingrui is dead, it’s impossible to suppress Xu Jie and Shi Weichong; everything is meaningless… But you’re still alive.
How can that be? Do you know why Shi Xingrui let me announce his will? Because he thought I was the same as him—that I would protect you with all my might because you look like Jinwen.
But a fake is just a fake; I’m not him and I didn’t want to let him have his way, and I’ve never planned to help you take over Ruixing.
How could I push you into the limelight and let everyone see that disgusting fat face, that abomination!”

Sneering, Shi Jin ridiculed him: “So in the end, it’s because you were too weak, but resentful of your lack of strength—you helped Xu Jie just because that was the only thing you were capable of, despicably taking out your resentment on the innocent! Even after being arrested, you refused to spit out Xu Jie’s name—were you still hoping that she could kill me, the imitation? Xu Chuan, oh Xu Chuan, it’s no wonder Xu Jie always outplayed you—once she had a grasp on your character, it was so easy to manipulate you.
Did your parents know that you were such a useless good-for-nothing?”

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Xu Chuan froze, then growled through clenched teeth, “You’re not allowed to mention them!”

“Why? Is it because you know that neither you nor your parents would’ve ever been able to beat Xu Jie and her parents in this lifetime? Xu Chuan, you’ve lost.
You’ve completely lost.”

“No! I haven’t! I beat Shi Xingrui, at least I beat him!” Xu Chuan began to struggle again.

“But your position in Mr.
Jian’s heart would never match his.” Shi Jin watched Xu Chuan go crazy at the opposite side of the table with indifference, then stood up, gathered all the photos, and turned towards the door.

He’d already gotten all the answers he wanted, so it was not necessary to continue the conversation.

When Xu Chuan noticed that he was going to leave, he struggled harder, shouting almost hysterically, “The photo! You promised to give me Jinwen’s photo! Shi Jin! Shi Jin, you can’t leave yet, you have to give me the photo!”

Shi Jin’s steps paused.
He took a picture out of his pocket and glanced back, asking, “Did  you tell Xu Jie about Jian Jinwen?”

Xu Chuan’s gaze was fixed on his hand.
With an expression like he was grabbing at the last life-saving straw, he shook his head and said, “No, that woman is not worthy of knowing about him.  To make sure that no malicious people would drag Jinwen’s affairs out into the open and disturb his rest, Shi Xingrui erased all traces of his contact with him, and I always kept silent about it as well.
Nobody knows, nobody knows… Photo, give me the photo!”

That was to say, Xu Jie only knew that Shi Xingrui had a “white moonlight” that nobody could replace, but didn’t know that white moonlight was Jian Jinwen? No wonder she directed all her jealousy and hatred towards the original ‘Shi Jin’ and ‘his’ mother, and never disturbed Jian Jinwen’s adoptive father.

This was probably the only good thing Shi Xingrui and Xu Chuan had done.

His face looking a bit better, Shi Jin put the picture back in his pocket.
Ignoring Xu Chuan’s frantic shouts, he walked out of the visitation room, letting the door close shut on the darkness of the past, leaving it all behind.

Leaving the prison, the bright sunshine dazzled Shi Jin.
He stood still for a moment, dazed, then turned to Gua Two and said, “I want to go back, I want Lian Jun.”

Gua Two took in the teenager’s lost expression, frowned, and pulled out his phone to call the hotel.
After asking the people over there to pack their luggage and bring it to the airport, he opened the car’s door and motioned inside.
“Get in, we’re going straight to the airport.”

Shi Jin gave him a grateful look and got into the car.

During the journey back to B City, Shi Jin’s thoughts were always in chaos.
Xu Jie, Xu Chuan, and Shi Xingrui, the names of these three people spun around his head, disturbing him again and again and again.
He was unable to calm down.

Jian Jinwen was dead, Yun Jin was dead, the original ‘Shi Jin’… The original ‘Shi Jin’ must be dead as well, otherwise it shouldn’t have been possible for Shi Jin to be reborn in ‘his’ body.

They were the most innocent people in the plot, and they were all dead, killed by a bunch of warped, egocentric scumbags.

“Is the hatred that arises from unfulfilled desires so hard to overcome?” he muttered to himself.
From the beginning to the end, he was never able to figure out the source of all the hatred and malice that filled Xu Jie and Xu Chuan to the point of spilling all over.

Gua Two, who sat next to him, happened to hear his whisper and gave him a sideways glance.
“Jun-shao once said, ‘Don’t attempt to understand your enemies or villains’ way of thinking—you just need to know what they have done, and make them pay for it a thousandfold.’”

Shi Jin froze.
A moment later, he took out his phone and opened the gallery, pulling up the photo he took at the cinema.
Looking at the relaxed and carefree Lian Jun in the picture, who was holding popcorn and giving the camera a helpless smile, he finally felt a little better.

There were people in this world whose minds and hearts were always filled with light, even if they were forced to live amid the darkness.

I miss him, I want to see him.

All of a sudden, time seemed to be moving particularly slowly.
They had an in-flight meal, but Shi Jin found he couldn’t swallow, and put down his chopsticks after only a few bites.
When the plane landed, he was the first to rush off.
Helpless, Gua Two hurried to chase after him, pulling out his phone to make a call.

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He caught the teenager at the gates, gripped his shoulder to keep him from running around, then dragged him to the exit of the airport.
Gesturing towards a low-key business MPV parked not far away, he said, “Jun-shao knew when our flight would come in, and came to pick us up.
Go ahead.”

The car window lowered just at that moment, revealing Lian Jun’s face.

At the sight of Lian Jun, Shi Jin’s heart, which was still restless and unable to calm down a moment ago, settled down at once.
He hurried to the car, pulled the door open and got in.
First, he scrupulously rolled up the window, then hugged Lian Jun tight, letting out a satisfied sigh.
“Give me ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, I’ll be a tough guy again, so let me just stay like this for a moment, okay?”

Lian Jun had gotten the gist of the conversation with Xu Chuan from Gua Two, and knew that Shi Jin must be very upset at the moment.
Not asking anything, he hugged him in return, soothingly stroking his back.
“If you’re tired, just rest for a while.
I’m here.”

Shi Jin nodded, then relaxed against him, breathing in the light scent of the shower gel on his body.

By the time they arrived at the club, Shi Jin had already been revitalized. As he pushed Lian Jun’s wheelchair inside, he complained dramatically, “The meal on the plane was so bad that I couldn’t even eat a few bites.
I’m about to starve to death.”

Lian Jun looked over his shoulder at him with a smile.
“The kitchen has prepared lunch for you.
May I accompany you to eat it?”

Happy, Shi Jin pushed him into the elevator, then leaned down to kiss him.
“You may, you can accompany me to drink soup.”

Lian Jun reached for his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

After lunch, they retired to take a nap.
Because there were things on his mind, Shi Jin wasn’t able to sleep peacefully.
Lian Jun noticed, and once he’d decided the teenager had rested enough, he woke him up to play mahjong together.

Shi Jin knew his lover was busy, so he only played a few hands and stopped, with the excuse of wanting to continue watching a movie he hadn’t finished earlier.
He pushed Lian Jun to the study so that he could  continue dealing with his documents, then dropped down on the sofa, plugged some earphones into the tablet, and turned on the movie.

Lian Jun made sure that the teenager had settled in comfortably, then picked up a file to read.

Outwardly, Shi Jin was watching a movie, but in actuality, he was talking with Xiao Si.

“Xu Jie is definitely a lethal factor, and accounts for a large part of my progress bar,” he said with a tone of certainty.

Worried, Xiao Si asked, < JinJin, are you okay? >

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Shi Jin turned his head slightly to glance at Lian Jun behind the desk, focused on the documents.
“Lian Jun’s progress bar is stuck at 500, but the treatment has already begun, so it’s only a matter of time before it starts to go down.
Although my progress bar rose to 850, it should drop a lot after Xu Jie is dealt with, or maybe even disappear completely.
In short, things are going in the right direction, so everything is fine.”

For some reason, listening to him saying so, Xiao Si felt a little sympathetic all of a sudden.
However, it knew Shi Jin didn’t want to hear some useless comforting words, so it asked instead, < How are you going to deal with Xu Jie, JinJin? She’s always been hiding behind the scenes, and there’s still Shi Weichong… >

At Shi Weichong’s name, Shi Jin frowned.
“First, let’s see if we can find evidence that Xu Jie had been looking for someone to kill Yun Jin and the original ‘Shi Jin’.
Also, let’s get Xu Chuan to retract his testimony about Xu Tianhua and denounce Xu Jie instead—though I doubt he has any evidence that would be enough to take her down or he wouldn’t have been so passive.
As for Shi Weichong… He has the right to know the truth.
If he chooses to help his mother even after he knows everything, then we can only become enemies.”

< JinJin… >

“I’m fine.” Shi Jin shook his head and glanced at the progress bar in his mind, a rare cold look appearing in his eyes.
“If I can’t find any evidence that Xu Jie is the real culprit behind everything, then I’ll bait her to make a move again and catch her in the act.
No matter what, I won’t let her continue lurking in the shadows and making trouble!”

It was the first time that Xiao Si had seen such an expression on Shi Jin’s face.
Knowing that he was really angry, it said promptly, < Okay, then I’ll do my best to help you! >

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After they left M Province, Gua Two arranged for someone to interrogate Xu Chuan again, hoping to find out more useful information, but the lawyer refused to cooperate and just clamored to see Shi Jin.
In view of Xu Chuan’s emotional instability and occasional acts of madness, the prison authorities isolated him.

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Upon learning this, Shi Jin thought for some time, then called the prison and talked with Xu Chuan for a while.
After the conversation, Shi Jin determined that the man indeed had no evidence to convict Xu Jie, but did have a way to contact her.

“I refuse to give you the picture,” Shi Jin said at the end of the phone call, ruthless.
“But there’s one thing I need you to do.”

Xu Chuan almost hated him.
He wanted to slam the receiver down but endured, reluctant to give up his last glimmer of hope.
{If you give me the picture, I’ll help you.}

“If you don’t help me, I’ll tell Jian Chenghua everything you have done,” Shi Jin countered.

Xu Chuan’s breathing became heavy.
Obviously losing his temper, he growled, {Shi Jin, don’t think I’m afraid of your threats!}

“If you aren’t, then just hang up.” Shi Jin put the phone on speaker, put it aside, picked up the tablet, and began playing mahjong.

After more than ten minutes had passed, Xu Chuan’s voice sounded again.
{What is it that you want me to do?} he asked, compromising.

Shi Jin switched out the tablet for his phone once more.
“I want a list of people who helped Xu Jie harm my mother.
I also need you to contact Xu Jie and tell her that I’ve visited you.”

Xu Chuan’s voice dropped: {What are you planning?}

“What you most want to see: I’m going to let Xu Jie kill me,” Shi Jin replied.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that Lian Jun raised his head and looked over with a frown, and quickly mimed that he’d spoken wrong and pleaded for mercy.

Lian Jun’s frown loosened a little; he gave Shi Jin a last warning look, then busied himself with the documents again.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Shi Jin turned his attention back to the conversation with Xu Chuan.

The phone was quiet for a while; when Xu Chuan finally spoke, he was calm again.
I think I know what you want to do.
Alright, I’ll help you—let’s treat it as the last thing I can do for Jinwen.} With these words, he hung up.

Shi Jin lowered the phone.
He kept silent for a while, then asked, “Am I inciting her to commit a crime?”

Lian Jun was aware of Shi Jin’s plan.
He looked up at him, put the file down, and wheeled himself out from behind the desk.
Once he came to Shi Jin’s side, he took his hand, pulled the phone out of it, and kissed the younger man’s fingers.
“No, you aren’t.
Even if you don’t use Xu Chuan to stimulate Xu Jie, she’ll strike at you sooner or later.
I’ve sent people to keep an eye on her movements—they found that she’s covertly contacting underworld organizations, both in China and abroad.”

Underworld organizations?

Shi Jin frowned.
“Does she want to hire someone to kidnap me again?”

“Probably, but this time she’s not likely to get anywhere.
Hardly any organization in China would dare to provoke Annihilation by aiming at you, and while there are organizations abroad that can compete with us, she could never afford their price,” Lian Jun said, squeezing his hand.
“Are you afraid?”

Shi Jin smiled and replied, “I’m not—my boyfriend is so powerful that Xu Jie couldn’t hurt me even if she hired a group of immortals.” And with the progress bar, he would know as soon as danger was near, so he was doubly safe.

Lian Jun kissed the back of Shi Jin’s hand again, then returned to his desk.
After taking a look at the teenager who was sprawled on the sofa anew, he took out his phone and sent a message to Lu Shan.

That evening, Shi Jin’s progress bar rose to 900.
Shi Jin, brushing his teeth at the time, guessed that Xu Chuan must have contacted Xu Jie.
He bent down to spit out the foam, rinsed his mouth and washed his face, then walked out of the bathroom and flung himself on the bed.
Once there, his hand sneaked to the side and stealthily pulled the belt of Lian Jun’s night robe loose.

Lian Jun was leaning against the headboard reading a file.
The  corners of his mouth pulled up at Shi Jin’s action; putting the documents on the bedside table, he turned off the lamp, then twisted and pressed Shi Jin down on the mattress.

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Shi Jin didn’t mean to resist—on the contrary, he hugged his lover, using the opportunity to touch his chest and torso all over, pretending to salivate: “All this exercising really didn’t go to waste, just look at these lean little muscles…”

Lian Jun chuckled at this play-pretend rogue, and bowed his head to block that naughty mouth.

When he woke up, Shi Jin found that his progress bar had risen again, to 920.
However, he was very calm; as he sent a message to his five brothers inviting them to dinner, his mood could even be called good.

Shi Weichong answered first, saying that he was available at any time, and also actively asked Shi Jin what kind of food he wanted to eat, proposing to locate a good restaurant; Fei Yujing, who had already returned to L country, seemed to be very busy as he only replied after 10 p.m.—unfortunately, he wouldn’t have time to come back to China within the next month, and as an apology, he ordered Shi Jin a super-fancy seafood takeout for lunch the next day; while Rong Zhouzhong’s reply came very quickly, he said that he would only be available after two weeks because his schedule was packed and he couldn’t get away; Xiang Aoting’s message was quite concise—he was doing a task and should be free about a week later; Li Jiuzheng only returned one word: OK.

After analyzing the information, Shi Jin set the time for the dinner to a week later, giving up on Fei Yujing and Rong Zhouzhong.

Fei Yujing would be busy for a long time, so he didn’t mind.
Rong Zhouzhong, however, threw a fit—after asking in the brothers’ small chat group, he found he was the only one that Shi Jin had directly abandoned, and straight away he sent countless ‘You little bastard’ messages to Shi Jin.

Shi Jin only replied with ‘Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha’, almost succeeding in making Rong Zhouzhong faint from anger, then picked up his tablet and continued to play mahjong.

Lian Jun kept a weather eye on him; seeing the unhappy expression on his face, he moved the wheelchair to his side and stroked his hair.

Shi Jin stopped arranging the tiles on the tablet and looked up at his lover.

“Do you want me to go with you?” Lian Jun asked.

Shi Jin shook his head.
He turned his gaze back to the tablet and tapped a tile, replying, “This time, I’m mostly meeting with them to stimulate Xu Jie, so there’s no need for you to come.
Your health is the most important—the food outside certainly wouldn’t be as good for you as what’s here in the club.”

Lian Jun didn’t insist, only stroked his head again.
“Then I’ll ask Gua One and Gua Two to accompany you,” he said.

This time, Shi Jin didn’t refuse, but smiled and nodded.

However, before the date of the dinner arrived, the reply from the school Shi Jin had applied to arrived first.

Yet again, everyone gathered in the small living room to watch Shi Jin open it.

“How come I feel as if my daughter is suddenly all grown-up and about to get married?” Gua Two exclaimed, sighing theatrically.

Shi Jin gave him the middle finger.
He took the admission letter out of the envelope, glanced at it, and handed it to Lian Jun.

Lian Jun took it and read it carefully, then touched Shi Jin’s name on the letter.
“Let’s ask the kitchen to prepare you something delicious for dinner,” he said, a hint of pride visible in his smile.

“Then I’d like roasted lamb chops,” Shi Jin placed an order with cheer, not bothering to be polite.
In addition to the acceptance letter, there were several other papers in the envelope; Shi Jin checked them, but put them back once he found they were nothing special, then shooed away the busybodies.

Reluctant to be driven away, Gua Two gave a cold snort and said, “The military training in police academies is carried out in accordance with military standards.
Right, Gua One?”

Gua One threw him a slightly exasperated glance, but still cooperated: “Shi Jin, it’s time to pick up your physical training—you’ve abandoned it for too long.”

Shi Jin’s expression stiffened.
He pinched the muscles on his arm, which were ever-so-slightly too soft, thought of Lian Jun’s figure that no longer looked almost gaunt, and nodded guiltily—indeed, he seemed to have been a little too indolent recently.
Lian Jun was diligently exercising every day, so he had to work harder as well.

Translator: Eques
Editor: Con

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