Shi Jin had a colorful ribbon on his head and hadn't spoken for a long time.
Lian Jun was by his side, also silent.
Xiao Si was originally screaming with excitement, but upon seeing the situation, its voice gradually weakened. Worried, it asked, "Jin Jin, what's wrong?" As far as it knew, Shi Jin and the original owner shared the same birthday, so this should have been a really happy surprise.
"It's nothing." Shi Jin came back to his senses, replied to Xiao Si in his mind, and wiped his face with his hand. He smiled and shook his head, causing all the ribbons on his head to fall off. He turned to Lian Jun, pinched the red envelope in his hand, and deliberately asked, "Young Master Jun, what did you give me? Why does it feel like a card?"
Lian Jun glanced at him and ignored him, sliding his wheelchair towards the living room.
Shi Jin, with his boldness, grabbed the wheelchair's armrest and pulled it back, leaning in close to Lian Jun. Though he appeared calm, he was actually quite nervous as he reached out his hand and asked, "Um... Young Master Jun, can I hug you?"
Lian Jun furrowed his brows and looked at him, clearly unhappy.
"Can I, please? It's my birthday today," Shi Jin shamelessly played his trump card as the birthday boy.
Lian Jun stared at him for a while, seeming to have no way to refuse him. He lifted his hand and placed it on Shi Jin's shoulder, leaned forward slightly, and then immediately retreated, saying, "Go cut the cake, Number One and the others have prepared gifts for you."
The hug was perfunctory and incomplete, but it was enough for Shi Jin. He smiled and turned to support Lian Jun's wheelchair. His tone unconsciously rose with happiness as he took advantage of the situation and acted cute, "Young Master Jun, I'll allow you to have a piece of cake today, and you don't have to drink soup tonight!"
Lian Jun frowned and reprimanded, "Don't go too far."
"Hehe." Shi Jin chuckled foolishly and accelerated, pushing him to the cake.
When others pushed Lian Jun in his wheelchair, they were always very cautious. They maintained a comfortable speed, not too fast or too slow, and never made any sudden movements. However, when it was Shi Jin's turn, he suddenly accelerated, causing Lian Jun to instinctively grab onto the wheelchair's armrest.
After realizing what had happened, he relaxed and felt the sweet aroma of cake blowing in his face. He couldn't help but smile and scold Shi Jin at the same time, "What are you doing? You're already an adult, you need to be more responsible in the future."
Shi Jin casually responded and began to insert birthday candles into the cake. As soon as the candles were lit, Number One and the rest arrived, each pushing a small cart filled with all kinds of food. The carts were even decorated with small colorful lights, which was probably the most exquisite thing they could come up with according to their rough taste.
Shi Jin didn't mind at all and happily helped everyone set up the food. Then he brought a chair over to the coffee table, climbed up to a position far higher than the cake, made a wish, and cut the cake.
The first piece of cake was definitely for Lian Jun, and Shi Jin took the second piece. Then he swung the knife and let Number One and the rest have at it.
Number One scolded him for being heartless, but Shi Jin didn't care. He snuggled up next to Lian Jun and happily opened his gifts.
Taking advantage of his status as the birthday boy, Shi Jin waved his hand after opening gifts and finishing cake, asking the club's staff to bring over a mahjong set. They cleared a table in the living room and set up the game.
Upon seeing the set-up, Number One couldn't help but shudder, remembering how Shi Jin was a natural at gambling when he used to go to the mahjong hall. Without waiting for an invitation, Number One immediately declined to participate in this kind of activity.
Shi Jin choked and sneakily glanced at Lian Jun, hoping for some support.
However, Lian Jun responded with a cold, deathly glare.
Shi Jin had to abandon his idea of sharing the joy with his big thigh* and instead grabbed Number Two, calling out for Number Three and Number Five. Number Nine, who was newly assigned to Lian Jun's side, was a young man with a baby face who always seemed to be sleepy. He was currently napping on the couch, so Shi Jin didn't bother him.
*T/N: Referring to Lian Jun as the powerful big thigh he's clinging onto for protection.
At a table with four people, Number Two was the king of bluffing, with terrible mahjong skills and a tendency to cheat. Number Three didn't talk much, but had some skills and always quietly won big hands. Number Five's playing style matched his simple and honest face, not caring about winning or losing and always looking happy.
Everyone was focused on Shi Jin, who was winning so much money that his smile never left his face.
After playing late into the night and satisfying his mahjong cravings, Shi Jin was thrown back to his room by Number One to sleep. Even in his dreams, he was still playing mahjong and forgot all about the dangerous encounter with his older brother earlier that day.
But when he woke up, the cruel reality hit him hard - after their fight last night, Shi Weichong didn't leave as expected. Instead, he had his assistant bring a car and camped outside the club all night, repeatedly demanding to see Shi Jin.
Shi Jin was crouched by the window on the second floor of the club, looking at the black business car parked outside the entrance. His heart was pounding: "What does he mean by this? Does he want to confront me face to face?"
Xiao Si was also nervous, but tried to comfort him: "Don't be afraid, this is our turf. Your brothers won't do anything to you."
"But I can't stick to your baby's side forever, not even taking a step away. I'm willing to do it, but your baby will get annoyed," Shi Jin said bitterly, feeling regretful. "Impulsiveness is the devil. I shouldn't have torn my face off last night. Survival is one thing, but our main task is to reduce the progress bar. With this torn face status, how can we reduce the progress bar?"
Xiao Si couldn't offer any good advice and was also worried.
"No, I have to find a way to smooth things over with these brothers. At least I need to bring the progress bar back to the safety line."
Shi Jin clenched the window frame and glanced at the business car downstairs before turning and running towards Lian Jun's study.
Shi Weichong had been standing outside Nightfall for several days, showing great persistence. Even if he occasionally had to leave for work or personal reasons, he would come back within a few hours, looking like he wouldn't give up until he saw Shi Jin.
After six days of waiting, Shi Weichong was finally invited back into Nightfall.
Shi Jin met him in the reception room, where several documents were laid out in front of him.
"Xiao Jin, I need to talk to you." Shi Weichong opened his mouth as soon as he entered, his brow furrowed and his emotions clearly not good.
"Wait a minute, big brother, let me finish what I have to say," Shi Jin interrupted him, gesturing for him to sit down.
He then opened several files and placed them in front of him, explaining one by one, "This is a bidding case in the western district of Y city. I suggest you give up, it's a big trap; this is a development plan in K district of J country, I suggest you follow up, it's good for Ruihang's development; this is the three-line transfer plan that dad had planned before he passed away, you can refer to it...
"Finally, this is dad's list of trusted people. If you want to move Ruihang's business focus back to China, I suggest you not use them, they will hinder you."
As Shi Weichong listened, his expression grew more serious. He picked up the files and flipped through them one by one, then looked up at Shi Jin as if he didn't recognize him anymore. "Where did you get these?" he asked. There were even cases in here that he was currently planning.
"I've been following my dad around. If he knows something, of course I can know too," Shi Jin replied, pouring him a cup of tea. "I've said what I needed to say. Big brother, what do you want to talk about?"
Xiao Si was feeling hopeless. "The progress bar is still at 900. We gave him such a big piece of candy, why isn't Shi Weichong reacting at all?"
Shi Jin was also a little discouraged, but he still tried to reassure him. "Don't worry, let's hear what Shi Weichong wants to talk about. At least for now, our positions aren't completely opposed. His attitude will loosen up eventually."
Shi Weichong listened as Shi Jin explained how all the information came from Shi Xingrui. His expression became unreadable as he carefully examined the documents. He unconsciously restrained his aura and spoke calmly, "Why are you telling me this?"
"The reason is the same as when I chose to give up the inheritance," Shi Jin met his gaze with honesty and asked, "Big brother, what do you want to talk to me about?"
Shi Weichong answered quickly this time, "I want you to come back with me."
Shi Jin refused firmly, "I don't want to."
The conversation quickly reached a deadlock.
Shi Weichong remained silent with a stern face.
Shi Jin sat up straight. Though he was reluctant to do so, he had mentally prepared himself to completely break ties with Shi Weichong. He couldn't help but thank his lucky stars for his golden big thigh's existence. It was thanks to him that Shi Jin had the chance to confront the Shi brothers.
The air seemed to freeze as Shi Weichong finally spoke again after a long silence. "Have you been well during this time?" he asked.
Shi Jin replied, "Uh...what?" Something about this script didn't seem right.
"You've changed so much. You've lost weight, grown taller, and you don't even care about your clothes anymore..." Shi Weichong's eyes softened, and his expression became tinged with helplessness and exhaustion. He sighed and continued, "After you disappeared, I worried about you every day. You were always pampered, and I couldn't imagine how you would survive on your own."
As the plot developed, Shi Jin began to feel uneasy and had no idea what was going on. He looked silly and turned to Xiao Si for answers, "What is he doing? Is he trying to use emotions to deceive me into leaving?"
Xiao Si stuttered, "M-maybe? Or perhaps he knows that Baby's influence is too strong and he can't force it?"
"He's such a scheming boy," Shi Jin exclaimed.
Xiao Si nodded frantically in agreement.
"You still look so foolish, just like when you were a kid. You haven't changed at all," Shi Weichong looked at Shi Jin's dumbfounded expression and suddenly smiled, but the smile quickly faded and was replaced by a sigh. "Xiao Jin, I won't force you to come with me if you don't want to. I just want you to understand that you have a misunderstanding about your brothers. If you're willing, your brothers will always welcome you back home."
Returning home, would you pinch me to death in your hands and mold me into any shape you desire? Shi Jin smiled dryly and politely declined, "I really enjoy my current life and being by Young Master Jun's side."
Shi Weichong fell silent and asked in a low voice, "Is Young Master Jun really more important than your brothers?"
Of course, a life-saving straw is more important than a murderer!
Shi Jin couldn't handle Shi Weichong's emotional attack and shifted uncomfortably, choosing not to respond.
"I understand," Shi Weichong sighed, hesitating before speaking with a heavy heart, "Xiao Jin, you're still young and don't understand many things. Lian Jun isn't as good as you imagine him to be. His rise to power...is somewhat murky."
Shocked and angry, Shi Jin bristled, "Wow, he's actually speaking ill of my baby! He's trying to sow discord! Don't believe him, Jin Jin!"
Shi Jin was also furious - this Shi Weichong was truly a scheming boy! He couldn't win by force, so he resorted to underhanded tactics and slandered Lian Jun. How despicable!