Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 22 - Survival Factors

Although his body was suffering, Shi Jin was still satisfied with the results of today's experiment.

Firstly, he confirmed that there were loopholes in the plot. Not all five brothers necessarily wanted to kill him. At least Rong Zhouzhong didn't want to, and even if he did, he wouldn't actually do it.

Secondly, the increase in the progress bar was problematic. The correlations affecting it needed further analysis.

Lastly, the increase and decrease of the progress bar may not only be related to the cause of death. Or rather, his previous understanding of the cause of death was too narrow.

Xiao Si didn't quite understand what he meant. 

Shi Jin explained, "The factors that lead to death can be divided into subjective and objective factors. For the most part, the factors that led to Lian Jun's death were objective, such as his physical condition and the presence of dangerous elements in his surroundings. However, in my case, the progress bar fluctuates unpredictably, like a roller coaster. 

"This is because a large part of the factors that lead to my death are subjective, such as the intentions of my five older brothers or the unknown person who wants to kill me. This can be seen from the difference in the way my death-causing factors are judged, compared to your baby's. Lian Jun's progress bar reaches 100% and he dies, but for me, even after my progress bar reaches 100%, I still have to passively follow the plot before I can die."

Xiao Si pondered over Shi Jin's words. 

"In addition, there is a big difference between my progress bar and Lian Jun's - his progress bar only fluctuates based on whether his own or surrounding lethal factors increase, while mine may also be related to survival factors." 

Xiao Si was puzzled, "Survival factors?" 

"Yes, this is my new speculation. Do you remember when Lian Jun allowed me to stay by his side, and there was a big drop in my progress bar? At that time, I only thought that Lian Jun's presence threatened those who wanted to kill me, causing my lethal factors to decrease, so the progress bar also dropped. 

"But if we think about it from a different perspective, it's not so much that Lian Jun scared away the lethal factors, but rather that he increased my chances of survival, increasing my survival factors. Doesn't this explanation make more sense?" 

Xiao Si still didn't quite understand the difference. It was already severely damaged and its abilities were limited due to being bound with Shi Jin. Its mind wasn't very sharp either.

Seeing this, Shi Jin scratched his head in slight distress. He didn't know how to explain it in detail, so he simply said, "Just think of my progress bar as being influenced by both factors of death and survival. Before, I thought the Shi family was a factor of death, but now I think they might be a factor of survival. Of course, it's not impossible that there are people among them who want to kill me, but at least Rong Zhouzhong and Shi Weichong are not factors of death." 

Xiao Si finally understood and said, "So what you mean is that some of the five brothers from the Shi family may not be bad people. Avoiding them won't reduce your chances of dying, but building a good relationship with them can increase your chances of survival and lower the progress bar?" 

"Yes yes yes, that's what I mean, setting aside any subjective views, aren't all five brothers of the Shi family impressive? Forming a good relationship with them, isn't that like having a lot more big thighs to hug?" 

Shi Jin tasted some sweet hope, and even highlighted a recent example: "For example, after today's fight with Rong Zhouzhong, he would now proactively message and call me, when he wouldn't in the past. What does this prove? It proves that for bonds between men, a fight could strengthen them!"


Xiao Si had no words to refute his blind optimism and had to pour cold water on him: "But Jin Jin, even if they don't want to kill you, your death is very likely to be because of them. Getting close to them is almost equivalent to getting close to the murderer. Have you forgotten the progress bar that skyrocketed before you arrived in B City and met Shi Weichong and the others?"

With a crash, Jin Jin's daydream only lasted for a second before being cruelly shattered by reality - Xiao Si was right. Given the pitifully small circle of relationships that the original owner had, the original owner's death could only be related to the five brothers. The person who killed the original owner, even if not one of the five brothers, should still be someone related to them. 

Otherwise, there was no way to explain the crazy and irregular increase in the progress bar when encountering something related to the five brothers. After analyzing and analyzing, even if the reasons for every increase and decrease in the progress bar were identified, the fundamental problem still remained unsolved. 

Instead, the situation became even more confusing as suspects like Shi Weichong were ruled out.

Before, Shi Jin only needed to focus on the five brothers as the potential murderers and go after them. But now, the murderer was unknown, and every move was like walking on a tightrope, with the risk of stepping on the real murderer's trap.

It was a bit hopeless just thinking about it. 

"But there has been some progress, at least we can narrow down the suspects for the murderer," said Shi Jin, feeling a bit better. He grabbed a pen and paper, quickly wrote down the names of his five brothers, and circled the names of Shi Weichong and Rong Zhouzhong. 

Muttering to himself, he said, "The suspicion of the eldest and third brother has been ruled out, leaving three brothers to be contacted. And those related to them include family members, subordinates, partners, and competitors..."

Xiao Si continued to pour cold water, "With the connections of the five Shi brothers, there must be over ten thousand people on that list."

Shi Jin: "..."

He tried to narrow down the list, "Let's just focus on those who have a direct interest..."

Xiao Si interrupted, "That's still over a million people."

Shi Jin was shocked, "Why did the number increase?" 

"Fans who have spent money on Rong Zhouzhong should all be considered people with vested interests. Strictly speaking, this is just a conservative estimate," Xiao Si replied.

Shi Jin remained silent, feeling like he had hit a dead end in his analysis. He slumped on the couch, his mind blank and feeling hopeless.

Xiao Si sat with him in silence for a few minutes.

Suddenly, Shi Jin bounced up from the couch, his eyes shining with excitement like a detective who had just discovered a crucial clue. "Xiao Si, we overlooked a very important question - the motive for the murder. The original owner was a high school student who was not yet of legal age. Why would someone want to kill him? What makes him so special?"

Xiao Si hesitated for a moment, following his train of thought. "Is it because he's particularly wealthy? Or because he was favored by Shi Xingrui?" 

Other than that, there didn't seem to be anything special about him. 

Shi Jin nodded vigorously and skillfully coaxed, "Now let's screen those tens of thousands of people based on these two limiting conditions. Therefore, those who had originally intended to kill may have been influenced by money or Shi Xingrui's favoritism..."

Xiao Si connected the dots and shouted, "The five brothers of the Shi family!"

Shi Jin almost choked on his breath.

"...and also their mother and relatives!" Xiao Si paused for a moment before continuing excitedly, "They also have a motive for murder!" 

Shi Jin finally calmed down a bit and felt a little comforted. He thought his "golden finger" could still be of some help and added, "There is another group of people we cannot ignore, and that is the confidants cultivated by Shi Xingrui. I suspect that there may be traitors among them who have colluded with outsiders. 

"In the original plot, the original owner contacted Shi Xingrui's confidants not long before he had a car accident. The timing was just too coincidental. We just don't know which side the traitors are colluding with."

Xiao Si was a bit worried, "Why does it still feel like there are so many..."

"It's okay, we'll eliminate them one by one, and we'll eventually find the real culprit behind the scenes," Shi Jin comforted. He glanced at the time and saw that it was already dinner time. 

He let out a sigh, sat up, and said, "Don't think too much for now. Let's eat first! We'll have the energy to investigate after dinner!" 

Xiao Si was infected by his words and echoed, "Eat first! Jin Jin, eat more!" 

After a moment, it added in a low voice, "Jin Jin, I'm so useless, I'm sorry..." 

"It's okay." Jin Jin smiled and waved his hand, opening the door towards the dining room. He comforted in a gentle voice, "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have survived. You're already amazing, and you'll only get better in the future. I believe in you." 

Xiao Si was deeply moved, wanting to cry but afraid of disturbing Jin Jin. It held back and only let out a burp. 

Shi Jin: "..." 


When they arrived at the dining room, Lian Jun was already sitting inside. There were seven or eight dishes on the table, and Shi Jin quickly glanced at them, realizing that most of them were his favorite. 

"Sit down." Lian Jun saw Shi Jin come in and put down his tablet. Shi Jin immediately sat down obediently and flashed a standard smile at Lian Jun, clumsily complimenting him, "You look so energetic today, Young Master Jun." 

Lian Jun gave him a faint glance and picked up his chopsticks, "Stop smiling, your face is too swollen and ugly." 

Shi Jin: "..." 

The two ate quietly, and the atmosphere was relatively harmonious. When they finished their meal, Shi Jin prepared to leave, but Lian Jun called him back again. 

"There's something I need to tell you." 

Shi Jin immediately sat back down and put on a focused listening expression. 

Lian Jun had someone bring him a drink and said, "Normally, when I'm on a mission with my men, I give orders directly without asking for their opinions beforehand. But your situation is a bit special, so I'll ask you this time. We've received a message from the authorities, and they want to collaborate with us on a mission. I want you to go." 

Shi Jin was taken aback, but then nodded to show that he understood. Just because he was following Lian Jun didn't mean he could just coast along. He had already mentally prepared himself for any tasks that may come his way.

"Don't be too quick to agree," Lian Jun waved his hand and explained, "This mission requires you to go alone. Number Two won't be there to assist you, and you'll be working with official personnel. Plus, there is a certain level of danger involved. You can take some time to think about it before giving me your answer. I won't force you to take on this mission."

An independent mission? And they want this rookie to do it alone?

Shi Jin was surprised and asked, "Why do you want me to go, Young Master Jun? Aren't you afraid I'll mess it up?" 

"It's okay if you mess up, I can cover for you this time," replied Lian Jun, as he twirled his slender fingers around his water glass. "As for why I want you to go... objectively speaking, your age and qualifications make you the best choice." 

Shi Jin probed further, "But is there also a subjective reason?"


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