Lian Jun looked up at Shi Jin without saying a word.
Shi Jin quickly covered his mouth, feeling very embarrassed. "I'm sorry, it wasn't intentional. Shall we change to another table of dishes?"
"No need." Lian Jun moved his soup slightly and said calmly, "Whoever pollutes, should clean up. Don't waste it."
This meal which was neither a lunch nor a dinner continued. Shi Jin remained uneasy throughout the meal, and occasionally glanced at Lian Jun's tablet. He finally couldn't resist the temptation to secretly take out his phone and open the Weibo app.
With the popularity of Rong Zhouzhong, Shi Jin didn't need to search hard. He randomly clicked on a page and saw the most prominent topic: "Rong Zhouzhong Looking For A Young Dancer".
His heart was pounding as he asked Xiao Si in his mind, "Do you think Rong Zhouzhong recognized me?"
Xiao Si hadn't expected Rong Zhouzhong to show up like this and hesitated before replying, "Probably not, you've changed too much and the progress bar hasn't increased, it's still at 770."
Shi Jin felt a little relieved - the progress bar never lied, so if it hadn't gone up, then nothing had gone wrong. If Rong Zhouzhong didn't recognize him, then why did he post that Weibo? Was it just to help Long Shi vent his anger? Or was he trying to incite online violence?
Shi Jin turned off his phone and put it away, feeling like a student who had been caught playing with their phone in class. Instinctively, he looked up at "Teacher" Lian Jun.
Lian Jun was staring at him with a straight face.
Shi Jin's body stiffened. "Uh..."
"Let's talk about Rong Zhouzhong," said Lian Jun, putting down his spoon and assuming a serious tone. "When you said you wanted to stay by my side, I agreed. But since you haven't completely settled down yet, I haven't asked too much about your personal life. Now that you're following me closely, I think it's necessary for us to exchange some information. Number Two said you were clearly avoiding Long Shi yesterday. Why?"
Shi Jin was taken aback for a moment, quickly putting down his chopsticks.
He had actually wanted to reveal his background to Lian Jun for a long time, so he honestly replied, "Because I know Long Shi's employer, Rong Zhouzhong. He's my third brother. Besides him, I have four other brothers. You already know my eldest brother, Shi Weichong. The other three brothers are my second brother Fei Yujing, fourth brother Xiang Aoting, and fifth brother Li Jiuzheng. I'm hiding from them."
Lian Jun sat up straight and asked, "Fei Yujing, is that the lawyer Fei Yujing?"
Shi Jin nodded.
"Li Jiuzheng, if I remember correctly, is the closed-door disciple of Elder Sun from Rong City. He's a very powerful doctor."
Shi Jin nodded again.
"As for Xiang Aoting..." Lian Jun tapped the table, furrowing his brows as he tried to recall all the important figures in China with that name.
Shi Jin nervously added, "He's a pilot...a fighter pilot, and he's in the military."
Lian Jun's hand stopped tapping the table as he looked deeply at Shi Jin.
Shi Jin lowered his head in silence.
"Those brothers of yours..."
"Each one is more troublesome than the last," Shi Jin added tactfully.
"Are your brothers really all out to get you?" Lian Jun asked.
Shi Jin nodded vigorously and even touched the self-harm scars on his wrist.
They fell silent for a while. Eventually, Lian Jun reached out and pressed the call button on the table, signaling for the cucumber feast to be removed and a bowl of clear soup noodles to be served to Shi Jin.
"Go ahead and eat," Lian Jun said.
Shi Jin couldn't quite read his thoughts, but obediently picked up his chopsticks and whispered, "Young Master Jun, I know my family background is complicated, but don't worry, I'll handle it carefully and try not to cause you any trouble..."
"Your mere existence is already a trouble," Lian Jun interrupted him, giving him a glance before having someone serve him two more poached eggs. "I'll take care of the Weibo issue. You should stay home more often... Did Rong Zhouzhong recognize you?"
Shi Jin shook his head, touched to the point that his eyes were practically turning into soft poached eggs, as he looked at Lian Jun with tears welling up. "Young Master Jun, you're so good to me..."
Lian Jun moved his gaze away, showing no mercy: "Don't make that kind of expression with this messed-up hair, it's ugly."
Shi Jin: "..."
The Weibo post continued to ferment, as Rong Zhouzhong's popularity was too high. After he posted on Weibo, his fans actively responded to his call. Within a few hours, more than ten videos taken from different angles by different people were dug up on the internet.
Some were clear and some were blurry, but the clear ones were enough to capture Shi Jin's entire face, allowing people to see his facial features.
Shi Jin wished he could go back to last night and beat himself up for going on stage to dance.
"I feel like it's only a matter of time before Rong Zhouzhong recognizes me if this keeps up." Shi Jin felt extremely depressed.
Xiao Si wanted to comfort him, but it couldn't deceive itself. Although weight can affect a person's appearance, losing weight is not plastic surgery, and facial features will not change significantly. Moreover, before entering puberty, he was only slightly overweight. Comparing current photos with old ones, it wouldn't be too difficult to recognize him.
"No, I have to change my image, otherwise I won't be able to go out in the future!" Shi Jin suddenly stood up and walked outside in big strides.
Xiao Si was startled and asked, "Jin Jin, how do you want to change your image, plastic surgery?"
"No, plastic surgery is too painful." Shi Jin shook his head and grabbed his hair, irrationally blaming it, "It's all because of this coquettish hair, I'm going to shave it off!"
Xiao Si: "...Ah?"
At dinner time, when Lian Jun saw Shi Jin again, there wasn't a single hair left on his head.
Lian Jun put down his chopsticks, expressionless. "What happened?" he asked.
"You didn't like my hair before, so I shaved it off, hehe," Shi Jin said, grinning foolishly and rubbing his bald head.
It turned out that good-looking people still looked good even with a shaved head, but without the adornment of hair, Shi Jin looked even younger than before. Especially when he smiled, his silliness and childishness were off the charts.
Lian Jun stared at his bald head for a few seconds, then rubbed his forehead with his hand.
"What's wrong with you?" Shi Jin asked, looking clueless.
Lian Jun glanced at him and gestured for him to eat. He picked up his chopsticks and said, "Rong Zhouzhong has already deleted his Weibo and stated that he was just joking with everyone. The person dancing in the video is actually someone he knows."
Shi Jin's voice cracked, "What?! He recognized me?"
"He doesn't know. That's just the official statement. I had Number Two notify the authorities and they contacted Rong Zhouzhong on their behalf, telling him that you were an undercover agent sent by the authorities to get close to the criminal Xu Huai. They hoped he wouldn't publicize the photos of the undercover agent, so he cooperated with the official statement and deleted his Weibo," Lian Jun explained.
"Oh, I see..." Shi Jin calmed down and noticed that there was another bowl of soup on Lian Jun's side. He immediately praised him, "Young Master Jun, you're drinking soup again. You haven't been picky with your food lately, that's great."
Upon hearing this, Lian Jun rang the bell and had someone bring up a hard-boiled egg, which he cruelly chopped up in front of Shi Jin*.
*T/N: Because the hard-boiled egg is like Shi Jin's bald head.
Feeling a chill on his head, Shi Jin knew he had flattered Lian Jun in vain and obediently ate his meal in silence.
In the blink of an eye, half a month had passed. Through Lian Jun's manipulation behind the scenes, Shi Jin's dancing video quickly lost its popularity and disappeared from the internet without a trace. Shi Jin's tense nerves finally relaxed, no longer living in fear of being recognized by his older brothers.
During this time, Xu Huai had already been officially identified by the authorities as the person making the transaction. However, not long after, he was suddenly beaten up and stripped naked, then left outside the Zero Degree Bar, causing a big scene.
After that, Xu Huai disappeared completely while on a trip to another city to recover from his injuries. Meanwhile, a certain cruise ship in Linhai had an accident, resulting in the deaths of several domestic and foreign tourists. Although it caused a small stir at first, it was quickly forgotten.
The first snow of early winter fell silently, and Shi Jin wrapped himself tightly in a hat and scarf as he went out with Number Two to buy things.
"Are we really going to spend the winter in B City?" Shi Jin asked, his voice muffled by the scarf.
Number Two gave him a disdainful glance, then twisted his bare neck and replied, "Originally, the plan was to spend the winter on an island in M Country, but there was some trouble on the government's side. They asked Young Master Jun to stay a little longer, so we had to stay here."
Shi Jin nodded in understanding and asked, "So what are we buying on this trip? Doesn't the club have someone in charge of procurement?"
"You'll find out when we get there," Number Two deliberately teased.
Shi Jin snorted discontentedly and got into the car with him.
As the car headed towards the nearest shopping mall, Shi Jin was bored and played with the fog on the car window.
When the car was close to the mall, Xiao Si suddenly screamed in Shi Jin's mind.
Shi Jin was startled, his fingers slipped, and his body leaned towards the car door. He quickly steadied himself and asked in his mind, "What's going on?"
"Jin Jin, your progress bar suddenly jumped to 870! There was no warning, it just suddenly jumped!" Xiao Si's voice trembled with panic.
Shi Jin's body trembled as he quickly checked the progress bar's value. After confirming that he wasn't seeing things, he was dumbfounded. "What's going on? How could it suddenly jump so much?!"
Xiao Si was also at a loss and replied in a high-pitched voice, "I don't know!"
Shi Jin quickly looked around - he was in the car and hadn't done anything, yet the progress bar suddenly skyrocketed. There must be a danger source nearby! In B City, besides his brothers, there was no one else who could pose a threat to him!
"What are you doing?" Number Two asked, puzzled by his fidgeting and looking out the window. He smiled and stopped the car, saying, "Alright, let's get off. We need to act fast. Young Master Jun is waiting for us to come back."
Shi Jin didn't see anything except the nearby shopping mall. After hesitating for a moment, he firmly grasped the car door handle and said, "I won't, Number Two. Let's go back now. I need to use the bathroom."
Number Two paused as he got out of the car and turned to look at him. He reached up and took off Shi Jin's hat, revealing his slightly prickly hair. He laughed and scolded, "I don't think you need the bathroom. You're just asking for trouble. Get off the car."
But Shi Jin still refused to budge.
The two of them had a heated argument about whether or not to get off the car. Shi Jin insisted on staying put, but couldn't come up with a reasonable excuse. Number Two insisted that they had to shop for at least two hours, and before the time was up, no one was allowed to go back.
Just as the argument was getting intense, a figure suddenly appeared outside the car. He reached out and grabbed the handle of the passenger door, gently pulled it open, and said in a familiar voice, "Will you guys ever park the car? I-"
Xiao Si screamed frantically, Shi Jin's body stiffened, and Number Two frowned as he looked over.
Outside the car, Shi Weichong's words suddenly stopped as his gaze slowly fell upon Shi Jin, who was being twisted by Number Two. His eyes scanned over his face and finally stopped at the mole on his nose. A storm began to brew in his eyes as he coldly spoke, "Shi Jin, you really know how to hide."
Shi Jin: "........." Damn it!