Three Days

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Once he got into the car, the complex expression Shi Jin had worn in front of Shi Weichong was soon suppressed.
Looking at Gua One, who was sitting in the passenger seat, he asked, “How is it?”

Gua One nodded and gestured towards the door of a convenience store diagonally across the road, “The car with the license plate ending in ‘99’ is Xu Jie’s.”

As expected, she really came.
Shi Jin’s dangling heart settled down a little.

Earlier, when he had asked Xu Chuan to contact Xu Jie, he had him tell her that Shi Jin might’ve discovered some things about the past and was planning to tell ‘the truth’ to his brothers.

At the moment, Xu Jie’s biggest support, and the person she relied on most, was Shi Weichong.
With the knowledge that Shi Jin could contact him at any time, she would definitely keep an eye on Shi Weichong’s movements; once Shi Weichong did anything to suggest he might be meeting with Shi Jin, without a doubt, she wouldn’t be able to sit still.
As long as she followed her son, Shi Jin would be able to find a way to provoke her.

< JinJin, your progress bar went up to 930 right after you hugged Shi Weichong, > Xiao Si informed him with perfect timing.

Shi Jin looked at his progress bar with satisfaction.
It seemed like his provocation was extremely effective—Xu Jie probably snapped when she saw the person she wanted to kill hugging her precious son.

He asked Gua Two to drive.
After waiting for the car to leave the sight of the restaurant and convenience store, he continued, “How long has Xu Jie been there?”

“For more than twenty minutes,” Gua One replied.
“She wanted to enter the restaurant after she arrived but wasn’t allowed inside.
She didn’t try again afterwards, just waited without making any other movements.”

If Xu Jie sat stewing in anxiety and anger for more than twenty minutes and then saw that hug, she probably did more than snap—she must’ve gone completely crazy.

Shi Jin hummed in acknowledgement and leaned back against his seat, watching the progress bar.
He let out a quiet sigh—after he left, Xu Jie probably stopped Shi Weichong and questioned him, asking what they talked about during dinner.
And when Shi Weichong saw his mother, he would definitely show a doubtful and bitter attitude towards her, because of her “stalking” and what he had learned earlier.
With one of them about to explode with rage and the other reaching the limit of what they could tolerate, a dispute was inevitable.

Yes, argue—the fiercer you fight, the better.

He slowed his breathing and closed his eyes.

After Xu Jie had a falling-out with Shi Weichong, her only powerful backer and support, Shi Jin would be able to deal with her without any further worries.

Shi Weichong stood in front of the restaurant, watching the car that Shi Jin was in leave his sight.
As it disappeared, he raised a hand and pressed it against his chest, his eyes dimming.

Shi Jin would wait for his call, but how could he call him? After all, it was his own…

“Weichong!” Xu Jie, smartly dressed in a long, pastel skirt, hurried over the road.
The mask of kindness and gentleness she’d worn for many years showed signs of cracking, and her eyes were blazing with fury.
As soon as she got close, she grabbed Shi Weichong’s arm and demanded, “I just saw Shi Jin talking to you.
Why have you come out to eat with him again? What did he tell you?!”

Although Xu Jie wasn’t young anymore, she was still good-looking—her skin and figure were both well maintained, her hair was carefully styled, her makeup was flawless, and her pearl jewelry and outfit were perfectly coordinated; even now, angry and confrontational, she was still beautiful.
But for Shi Weichong, who knew her well, it was easy to see that under her anger there was actually a trace of fear.

Fear? What is she afraid of?

Shi Weichong looked at Xu Jie’s anger-filled eyes, and his heart sank little by little.
This reaction—wasn’t it practically confirming his suspicions?

He didn’t break out of her grip, but met her seriously, with a rare, hard look in his eyes, and asked, “Mom, what have you done?”

Xu Jie looked at the resistance and distrust on Shi Weichong’s face, a face that was so similar to Shi Xingrui’s.
Before she could even think, her hand moved.


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Shi Weichong’s head snapped to the side with the force of the blow; it took him several seconds to turn it back.
He glanced at Xu Jie, then asked abruptly, “Mom, how did you know I was here? You bought off my assistant?”

Xu Jie’s hand shook.
Forcing herself not to look at the red mark beginning to appear on her son’s face, she hardened her expression and said, “Never look at me like that again.
Weichong, remember—everything I do is for you.” With that, she let go of his arm, turned around, and strode back to her car, her face grim and her eyes ruthless.

Shi Jin, Shi Jin again.
Every time he met with him, Weichong would act like he was bewitched, either giving him money or benefits or quarreling with her.
She couldn’t let that mongrel approach Weichong anymore—she had to get rid of him as soon as possible! Yun Jin had stolen Shi Xingrui from her, but she would never allow Yun Jin’s son to snatch her son from her as well!

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

Barely a few minutes after Shi Jin closed his eyes, Xiao Si’s mechanical voice sounded again: < JinJin, the progress bar has risen again, to 950.

950? He was getting pretty close to death.

Shi Jin took out his phone and found Shi Weichong’s number.
However, after a moment of hesitation, he put the phone away and closed his eyes again.

Three days—he could afford to wait that long.

By the time Shi Jin returned to the club, it was quite late.
He quietly opened the bedroom door and peeked in.
Seeing that Lian Jun had already washed and was now reading in bed, he smiled, tiptoed inside, and snatched the file out of his lover’s hand.

Lian Jun blinked, only now noticing he wasn’t alone.
He took a look at the time.
“Why are you coming back so late? Were you stuck in traffic?” he asked.

“Yeah, for a while,” Shi Jin replied, disappointed that he didn’t manage to scare him.
He sat on the bed and thumbed through the document, but it was full of data he couldn’t understand.
The numbers were making him dizzy, so he promptly put the file back in Lian Jun’s hand and commanded, “You can finish reading this one, but when I come out after washing up, I’d better see you lying down, ready to sleep.”

“Okay, then this is the last one for today,” Lian Jun complied, then reached out and caressed the teenager’s cheek.
“How was your talk with your brothers? Did it go well?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Shi Jin grabbed his hand and gave it a kiss.
Without trying to make light of it, he sighed and continued, “Shi Weichong should’ve realized who I meant.
I really didn’t want to play the emotion card with him, but he’s just too powerful—I don’t want him to become an enemy, so yet again, I chose to hurt him.
As for whether or not he’ll choose my side—to be honest, I’m not sure.
In fact, I’d rather he didn’t ask me for information.
I still haven’t completely forgiven him for what he did, and he probably won’t be able to treat someone who’s brought harm to his mother with a normal attitude either.
It would probably be best, for the both of us, if we ended up severing relations with each other.”

“Whatever you do, it’s fine as long as you have no regrets,” Lian Jun said, pinching his cheek.
“What about your other brothers?”

Shi Jin’s expression relaxed a little.
“Their attitude was quite clear: they won’t interfere in the fight between Xu Jie and me.
I just hope she lives up to expectations and tries something big—I want her to give me an opportunity to deal with her once and for all.”

“Yes,” Lian Jun agreed.
He leaned over and kissed him, then said, “Go wash, it’s late.”

Shi Jin hugged his lover and returned the kiss, then stood up and stretched.
Pushing aside all his worries for now, he picked up his pajamas and headed to the bathroom.

Lian Jun watched him leave.
After the bathroom door closed, the tenderness in his eyes faded away.
He picked up his phone from the night table and called Lu Shan.

The call was picked up quickly, and a slightly annoyed female voice asked, {Really, at this hour? Don’t you know women need their beauty sleep, kid?}

“In my eyes, you’re a man,” Lian Jun said, ice-cold.

{Fuck you, you stinky brat,} Lu Shan ‘sent her respects’ in reply.
As this elicited no reaction from Lian Jun, she lost interest in bickering.
{The woman you mentioned did indeed send someone to contact the person in charge of Tarantula’s B city branch, asking to hire Tarantula to get rid of Shi Jin,} she said with a frown.
{But do you really want us to accept the hit?You should be aware that even if it’s fake, once we make a move against Shi Jin, it means Tarantula and Annihilation openly becoming hostile? With the current situation, once the stalemate in the underworld is broken, the pressure on Annihilation will be enormous.
Can’t you just endure?}

“It’s not that I can’t endure, this is simply a matter of choice.
The person targeting Shi Jin didn’t only contact organizations inside the country, but reached out to foreign groups as well.
For Annihilation, it’s better to deal with Tarantula than with foreign forces.
Considering the domestic situation, it’s also more convenient to fight it out with you than to allow outsiders to come in,” Lian Jun explained with complete honesty.
However, this honesty made Lu Shan angry.

{I’m speechless.
Your little lover looks so honest, so how come he causes so much trouble for you? You should ditch him and find one that’s less troublesome,} she gave her sincere advice.

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“Impossible,” Lian Jun replied coldly.
“And he hasn’t caused me any trouble—you and I would have to face each other sooner or later.
In fact, he’s helped me by giving me such a good pretext.”

Lu Shan rolled her eyes.
{I think your little boy toy has you thinking with something other than your head, but whatever—you’re right when you say we’ll have to fight sooner or later.
Perhaps beginning a little earlier, when the situation isn’t too unstable and the rest of the underworld is still hesitating to make trouble, will avoid a bigger mess down the road.
All right, I’ll tell them to accept the hit.
Wait for my call.}

Lian Jun’s expression eased.
“Thank you, Auntie Lu.
You should drag out negotiations with Xu Jie for a few days: a week, let’s say.
I’ll need about that long to make preparations.”

{Huh, so now you know to call me ‘Auntie’… I’m hanging up.
Don’t disturb me so late again,} Lu Shan said gruffly and ended the call.

Lian Jun exited the call interface and looked at the photo of himself and Shi Jin in front of the Ferris wheel that he’d set as his wallpaper.
He couldn’t resist brushing his fingers over it.

Lu Shan still didn’t understand—he would never find a lover that could make him feel more at ease than Shi Jin, not even if he searched through the whole world.

Upon waking up in the morning, Shi Jin found that his progress bar had risen by 3 points to 953—really, just 3 points.
It was somehow irritating; Shi Jin’s OCD would rather it had increased to a round number.

< Your progress bar is rising at a constant rate.
It shouldn’t be long before it becomes a round number,> Xiao Si said, not panicking for once.
Probably, it was because Shi Jin was so calm about the increasing progress bar that the system also didn’t get nervous.
Usually, when it saw a number like this, it would absolutely scream in terror, but this time, it somehow felt that Shi Jin wouldn’t be in danger at all.

Probably because there’s Darling, it thought.

Shi Jin forced himself to stop paying attention to the progress bar and looked to the side at Lian Jun; his lover had slept in today, which was quite rare.
Ever-so-careful, he leaned over and touched the long leg under the quilt.

As soon as he did, Lian Jun rolled over on top of him and pressed him into the mattress.
He opened his eyes and gently pulled at Shi Jin’s cheek, asking, “Isn’t your hand quite the naughty one, hmm?”

“What, am I not allowed to do something naughty to my boyfriend?” Shi Jin replied righteously.

Lian Jun lowered his head and kissed him while sneaking his hand into the younger man’s pajamas to touch his waist, answering with his actions.

Once he finished his morning exercise, Shi Jin sent text messages to Fei Yujing, Rong Zhouzhong, and Li Jiuzheng’s usual email accounts.
It contained the previously prepared compressed files with investigation reports and recordings.

All the data had been processed, and the mentions of Jian Jinwen were either censored or edited out.
Shi Jin’s intention was to let everyone know the truth, not to expose innocent Jian Jinwen to more people’s eyes.
Anyway, they only needed to know that Shi Xingrui had kept having children in order to reproduce his “white moonlight”—it didn’t really matter who that “white moonlight” was.

Shi Jin didn’t get a reply from his brothers that day, but he’d already expected that.
The information contained in the files he sent them was so shocking that they’d need time to digest it, and to confirm it with their respective mothers.

What was unexpected was that Xiang Aoting didn’t contact Shi Jin to ask for the data yet.
Shi Jin was a little puzzled but he wasn’t worried.
His intuition was telling him that neither Xiang Aoting nor his mother wanted to hurt him; Xiang Aoting would call him sooner or later.

In the afternoon of the second day, Fei Yujing, Rong Zhouzhong, and Li Jiuzheng finally contacted him again.
Fei Yujing made a direct phone call, in which he bluntly stated that he would not get involved in whatever happened between Shi Jin and Shi Weichong and Shi Weichong’s mother.
However, if Shi Jin wanted to get back the inheritance he’d given away, he could lend him a hand.

Shi Jin was quite surprised that Fei Yujing was taking such a definite position—he had thought that while his second brother would choose his side, he would just indifferently stand by and watch.

{I’m not helping you,} Fei Yujing explained in response to Shi Jin’s surprise.
{I just think that the inheritance should rightfully belong to you.
In addition, if possible, my mother would like to talk to you in person.}

Shi Jin frowned.
“Your mother? You told her everything?”

{Yes,} Fei Yujing said, then abruptly changed the subject.
{Shi Jin, I’ve never regretted anything I did or any choices I’ve made—until now.
Agreeing to that deal was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I’m sorry.}

Not knowing how to reply, Shi Jin kept silent.
He wasn’t the original ‘Shi Jin’ and wasn’t in any position to express an opinion.
Besides, what was that old adage? If apologies worked, we wouldn’t need the police.

Fei Yujing understood his attitude from his silence and didn’t continue this topic.
He’d apologized because he wanted to.
If the other person forgave him, that was their kindness, and if the other person didn’t want to forgive him, that was naturally their right and he deserved to be treated coldly and retaliated against.
He could accept the outcome no matter what it was.

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{Feel free to contact me if you’re in any difficulty,} he said, then hung up.

Shi Jin put down his phone and fell back onto the sofa, sighing.

Fei Yujing was actually surprisingly easy to understand.
When he was not familiar with someone, his relationship with that person depended on his interests; once he accepted someone, he would treat them well regardless of their response… He was an extremely self-willed person—if he decided to do a bad thing, he could do it without a guilty conscience, and when admitting making a mistake and apologizing, he didn’t ask the other person to respond to it.
He truly left people at a loss for words.

After that, so close it was as if they had made an appointment, Rong Zhouzhong and Li Jiuzheng sent Shi Jin text messages expressing their attitude.
Rong Zhouzhong’s message was full of fury as he cursed Shi Xingrui to hell and back.
At the end, he added: Little bastard, when my job ends, I’d like to talk with you face to face.
Shi Jin texted back that it was fine, they could meet, but it would have to be in the club because he didn’t want to go outside.

Li Jiuzheng’s reply was much milder.
He actually sent several text messages, their content rather fragmented, which could be summarized as follows: In the end it turns out your mother and my mother were the same, they were both deceived by Shi Xingrui.
We’re also the only ones who have lost our mothers, and our ages are so close, with me being the fifth brother and you being the sixth.
It’s like destiny! I apologize for all the things I did, I’ll make up for it.
Do you think we should try to cultivate feelings?

Shi Jin stared at his mobile phone, dumbfounded.
He couldn’t understand this person’s brain circuit at all.
Had Li Jiuzheng’s mother bullied him so much when he was a child that his mental development was stunted? He even felt that inside, this brother was the same as he looked: a melancholy, sensitive adolescent girl… oops, adolescent boy.

Shi Jin agonized over this for quite a while.
In the end, he replied with an irrelevant, Remember not to stay up late, confusing the issue.

By that time, it was already the evening of the second day, and only one day was left before the deadline.
Shi Jin’s progress bar was sitting stable at 960.

On the morning of the third day, Shi Jin finally received the long-awaited call from Xiang Aoting.
Xiang Aoting’s voice sounded tired, and his first sentence was, {I have talked with my mother.
She said that I should have had an older sister, but Shi Xingrui forced her to have an abortion.}

Shi Jin didn’t expect that the reason Xiang Aoting got in contact with him so much later than the others was because he’d gone to find out the truth from his mother first.
“Fourth Brother…”

{I’m sorry for waiting so long before calling you,} Xiang Aoting said after adjusting his emotions.
{I just felt that since this concerns my mother’s privacy, I should’ve learned this from her rather than from the data… Xiao Jin, I’m sorry.}

Shi Jin had heard too many apologies in recent days, but even so, he still didn’t know how he should respond.

{Anyway, can you give me a copy of the information? My mother knows some things, but not everything.
I want to know the whole truth.}

“Give me your email address and I’ll send it to you,” Shi Jin said promptly.


Shi Jin noted down the email address Xiang Aoting reported.
Then, neither of them seemed to know what to say, and they both fell silent.

In the end, it was Xiang Aoting who spoke first.
{Xiao Jin, I want to see you again.}

How come everyone wanted to see him?

Shi Jin let out a sigh.
“I’ll stay in the club until school starts.
If you want to see me, just come there,” he replied.

Xiang Aoting was silent for a long time.
{Thank you,} he finally said.
{Xiao Jin, if I could turn back time… No, never mind.
I’ll call you again.} After that, he hung up.

The sadness heard in his words made Shi Jin feel a dull pain in his chest.
Who wouldn’t want to turn back time if they could—

His eyes fell on Lian Jun sitting behind the desk and all at once, he denied his last thought.

No, he didn’t want to turn back time.
Lian Jun was here and now, and all Shi Jin wished for was to spend his whole life with him.

Sensing his gaze, Lian Jun looked up.
“Come here,” he said.

Shi Jin gathered his wandering thoughts, adjusted his mood, and eagerly went over to his lover.

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After dinner, Shi Jin couldn’t help but focus on his phone, absent-minded.

Lian Jun, who’d finished his work early to accompany him, asked, “Why are you making that face? Didn’t you say that you’d rather Shi Weichong didn’t call?”

“I did say that, but…” Shi Jin frowned; he himself didn’t know what he actually wanted.
He sighed and collapsed on top of Lian Jun, just watching his handsome face in a daze.

Lian Jun was a little amused by his look.
“Should we play mahjong?” he proposed, reaching for a tablet.

Shi Jin’s gaze moved to the tablet.
After a moment of consideration, he agreed: “Yes, let’s have some fun!”

They played mahjong until 10 p.m., but the phone had been quiet the whole time.
Withering again, Shi Jin pushed Lian Jun back to their room.
Once they’d both washed up and gotten into bed, he stared at the ceiling, counting the lines carved into it.

“Sleep.” Lian Jun pulled him into his arms and gently stroked his back.

Shi Jin hugged him close and closed his eyes, trying to force himself to fall asleep.

Ten minutes later, a ringtone disturbed the silence.

In a flash, Shi Jin was up and throwing himself towards the phone lying on the bedside table.
Seeing the words Shi Weichong on the call screen, he took a deep breath and answered the call.

{The information… Send it to me,} Shi Weichong said.
His voice was low and hoarse, barely recognizable.

Shi Jin was startled by the sound.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked, frowning.

{No, it’s nothing… Xiao Jin, I don’t want to go through life with blinkers on anymore.
I used to listen to my mother.
I believed everything she said.
Too many people were influenced by her and me, from Yujing to Jiuzheng… I’m a terrible big brother, aren’t I?}

The longer he listened to Shi Weichong’s chaotic speech, the more Shi Jin frowned.
That last question was too hard for him to answer, so he changed the subject and said, “Give me your email address and I’ll send you the data.”

Shi Weichong hung up without warning.

Did he change his mind?

Shi Jin put down the phone in a complicated mood.
He wanted to sigh—so in the end, Shi Weichong chose not to accept the information…

“Sleep.” Lian Jun rose up to touch his head.

Shi Jin turned to him, managing a wan smile.
“I’m sorry, the noise disturbed you.”

Lian Jun shook his head and gently tugged him back to bed, urging him to lie down again.

However, before they settled themselves, Shi Jin’s phone rang once more.
Shi Jin hurried to grab it and saw that Shi Weichong had sent a text message with an email address.
His breath caught, then his body suddenly relaxed and collapsed back onto the bed.

Lian Jun leaned over to take a look at him.

Shi Jin reached up to touch his face and asked, “Would you hate me if I gave you an enemy as powerful as Shi Weichong?”

“No.” Lian Jun lowered his head and kissed the corner of his mouth.
“I could never hate you, no matter what.
We are one, Shi Jin.”


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