Illness comes like a collapsing mountain, and goes like pulling a thread.
This time, Shi Jin's high fever was fierce and persistent. Every time Uncle Long used medicine to bring down his fever, it would rise again only a few hours later, repeatedly and without improvement.
Lian Jun was worried and had Uncle Long give Shi Jin a detailed full-body examination. The result was that nothing was found wrong with Shi Jin's body. He was healthy, with no major problems, just a high fever.
In the end, Uncle Long could only take a conservative approach to Shi Jin's treatment, afraid that giving him more injections would make him go crazy.
For several days, Shi Jin had been drinking water and taking medicine. His complexion had become pale and he had lost his appetite. He felt dizzy after just a few steps and spoke with a weak voice. He looked more like a seriously ill patient than even Lian Jun.
Xiao Si felt extremely guilty and heartbroken watching him. It blamed itself for not thinking things through and regretted not screening the list first before sending all the information to Shi Jin.
However, Shi Jin was surprisingly optimistic and tried to comfort it instead. He said that he had actually benefited from this misfortune and had gained a free vacation.
After lying in bed for several days, he finally woke up one morning feeling less headache and dizziness. He estimated that the after-effects of receiving the information should be subsiding soon. Immediately, he did a quick sit-up and got out of bed, wrapped himself in thick clothes, and headed to Lian Jun's study.
During his illness, Lian Jun visited him every day, but he was always in and out of consciousness, so he didn't have many chances to see him. Every time he woke up, Xiao Si would tell him that Lian Jun had come to see him, and only then did he know that Lian Jun had been there.
Now that his illness was improving, he couldn't resist the urge to flatter Lian Jun and see if he was still angry. He also wanted to ask for a day off to go talk to Shi Weichong about Xu Chuan's matter and see if he could get any information from him in person.
When he arrived at the study, Lian Jun was in conversation with Number One and the others. The atmosphere in the room was heavy, as if the topic they were discussing was not a pleasant one.
Seeing the situation, Shi Jin tactfully refrained from interrupting and greeted Number Two, who had opened the door, before preparing to leave and come back later.
However, Lian Jun had already noticed him and waved to signal Number One to pause the conversation. He called out from the doorway, "Shi Jin?"
Shi Jin stopped in his tracks, realizing he had been spotted. He turned back and stood at the door, smiling at Lian Jun. "I just came to take a look. You guys are busy, I'll come back later."
"No need, come in," Lian Jun said, gesturing for Number One to let him in and indicating the sofa. "Sit down and listen for a while."
Shi Jin obediently sat down and listened attentively.
Lian Jun had Number Two get Shi Jin a cup of water to drink, and even gave his own blanket to Shi Jin, before continuing to discuss matters with Number One.
The others in the room saw everything and exchanged knowing glances, silently pretending not to notice.
They were discussing Chen Qing's situation. After several days of investigation, Number One had basically determined the whereabouts of Chen Qing's family and they could rescue them at any time. However, a new problem arose - it was easy to rescue the children, but rescuing the controlled Chen Qing was a bit difficult.
Currently, Chen Qing's children were being held separately outside with few guards, making it relatively easy to rescue them. However, Chen Qing himself was being held in the enemy's lair, and if they wanted to rescue him, they would have to infiltrate the enemy camp, which was quite dangerous.
It had been confirmed that the mastermind behind Chen Qing's downfall was the once-powerful but now-defunct legal violent organization, Black Rose. In the past, Black Rose was a formidable force, on par with the likes of the notorious Annihilation.
They had official support and backing, but a few years ago, their support crumbled as they continued to engage in some shady dealings after gaining legitimacy from the government. They were reprimanded by the authorities several times, which hindered their growth and ultimately led to their decline.
Black Rose was a peculiar organization indeed. Instead of focusing on picking up the pieces and recuperating after their downfall, they blamed Lian Jun for their demise. They believed that he had colluded with the authorities to bring down their support and ruin their business. They were obsessed with seeking revenge against him.
Over the years, Lian Jun had been targeted by the Black Rose numerous times, but they never succeeded. In fact, Lian Jun always found a way to retaliate. However, this time with Chen Qing's situation, the Black Rose had finally succeeded in targeting Lian Jun.
"Arrange our people and prepare to rescue the child. As for Chen Qing's side, we will come up with another plan." Lian Jun quickly ended the conversation and signaled for Number One and the others to disperse. He then slid his wheelchair over to Shi Jin and reached out to touch his forehead.
Shi Jin was lost in thought about how to save Chen Qing and didn't even notice that everyone had already left. He had unknowingly slumped onto the couch. It wasn't until Lian Jun touched his forehead that he snapped out of his thoughts and turned to look at him.
Lian Jun withdrew his hand and glanced at Shi Jin's pale face before asking, "How are you today?"
"I'm okay, there's no fever anymore, and my head doesn't feel as dizzy," replied Shi Jin as he sat up. He first picked up a blanket and covered Lian Jun's legs before asking, "Have you been eating well these past few days?"
Lian Jun glanced at the blanket on his legs and his voice softened as he asked, "Is that why you came here?"
"Not entirely...it's almost lunchtime, so I came to eat with you," Shi Jin replied. He felt that Lian Jun's tone today was particularly gentle, but he didn't think too much of it and assumed that Lian Jun was just being considerate of him as a patient. He then asked, "Did Chen Qing encounter any trouble?"
"It's not a big problem," Lian Jun answered. He then reached out to touch Shi Jin's forehead to make sure he wasn't running a fever anymore. After confirming that he wasn't, Lian Jun pulled back his hand and turned his wheelchair to the side, saying, "Let's go to the dining hall. It's time to eat."
Shi Jin was a bit stunned by Lian Jun's touch and it took him a moment to stand up. He took the initiative to hold onto Lian Jun's wheelchair and in his heart, he asked Xiao Si with great satisfaction, "Does Lian Jun's concern for me mean that he's no longer angry with me? Has my big brother's misunderstanding been resolved?"
Xiao Si didn't say anything, only making an ambiguous "um" sound.
But Shi Jin felt that it was an agreement with his words, and he became even more pleased. He couldn't help but chatter on about Uncle Long's various misdeeds during his illness, and he seemed to be in much better spirits.
The lunch spread was rich and the flavors were slightly heavier than usual. Shi Jin ate happily - he had been forced to eat bland hospital food by Uncle Long for the past few days and was feeling miserable. Finally, he was able to eat something different and wash away the bitter taste of the medicine in his mouth.
After stuffing the last piece of cumin lamb into his mouth, Shi Jin patted his satisfied belly and exclaimed, "Meat is still the best! It's been so long since I've had lamb. Oh, by the way, Young Master Jun, didn't you promise to treat me to a whole roasted lamb when I come back from my mission? You're not going back on your word, are you?"
Lian Jun paused in his drinking and looked up at him. He saw Shi Jin's righteous and accusing expression and slowly put down his glass, replying, "I don't owe you any lamb."
Shi Jin sensed something was off in his tone and his courage, which had been buoyed by the meat, plummeted back to reality. He sat up straight and stiffly changed the subject, asking, "Young Master Jun, what are your plans for Chen Qing? Are you really going to the enemy's lair to rescue him?"
"...I'm not going," Lian Jun said, avoiding eye contact as he picked up a tissue to wipe his mouth. "The new leader of the Black Rose is cruel and hates being suppressed. If we attack their headquarters directly, we might end up with nothing. There are two safe ways to rescue Chen Qing: either have the Black Rose release him again or to negotiate directly with them. Which method do you think is more appropriate?"
Shi Jin furrowed his brows and replied without hesitation, "It would be better to make Black Rose release Chen Qing again. Given Black Rose's current situation, negotiating with them could lead to them making unreasonable demands and ultimately they may betray us by taking the benefits but not releasing Chen Qing."
Lian Jun nodded in agreement and slid his wheelchair, saying, "Go rest, let them handle Chen Qing's situation. You should just take care of yourself."
Seeing him leave, Shi Jin hurriedly went forward to help support the wheelchair, trying to please him by saying, "Young Master Jun, now that I'm almost recovered, can I go out for a bit?"
Lian Jun frowned, "Where do you want to go?"
"To find my eldest brother," Shi Jin replied, adding, "I have something important to discuss with him... family matters, the kind that's quite important."
Lian Jun stopped the wheelchair and turned it sideways to look at Shi Jin.
Shi Jin quickly crouched down and took Lian Jun's hand, touching his own forehead and assuring him, "I really don't have a fever anymore, and my headache is gone. Can you let me go? I'll try to come back as soon as possible, okay?"
Lian Jun's arm stiffened, but he didn't pull his hand back. Instead, he followed Shi Jin's movements and gently touched his forehead. He had intended to refuse, but seeing Shi Jin's pleading eyes, he finally relented and said, "Let Number Two take you there. You must be back before dinner."
"Young Master Jun, you're too kind!" Shi Jin quickly flattered, even leaning in to hug Lian Jun. After realizing what he had done, he noticed Lian Jun stiffen and cleared his throat, awkwardly laughing and stepping back. He couldn't bear to look at Lian Jun and muttered, "I'll go find Number Two," before turning and running away without looking back.
Number Two had to put aside his work and become Shi Jin's driver.
"You, you're really something..." Number Two started the car and glanced at Shi Jin several times, muttering under his breath, "What kind of love potion did you give Young Master Jun..."
Shi Jin was fastening his seatbelt and didn't hear what Number Two said. He turned to ask, "What did you say?"
"Nothing." Number Two sighed and shook his head, looking at Shi Jin's wan face due to his illness. "Maybe this is just a case of fools being lucky."
Shi Jin glared at him angrily, "You're the stupid one! Why are you cursing me out of nowhere?!"
Number Two: "..." Suddenly he felt so tired.
On a weekday afternoon, Shi Weichong was definitely not at home. Shi Jin called him to confirm that he was at the office, then had Number Two take him directly to the building and called Shi Weichong again once they arrived at the entrance.
A few minutes later, Shi Weichong hurriedly walked out of the company and saw Shi Jin and Number Two waiting outside the gate. He quickly approached them, pulled Shi Jin into the lobby, and examined his face before furrowing his brows and asking, "Why did you suddenly come over? What are you waiting for outside? Why didn't you come in? And why do you look so pale, you fell sick?"
"Two days ago, I had a bit of a fever, but it's all better now," Shi Jin replied with a smile.
He carefully observed Shi Weichong's expression and was relieved to see that his older brother was not angry about his uninvited visit, but rather showed genuine concern. From Shi Weichong's behavior, it seemed that he truly cared about his younger brother and wasn't just pretending.
"Why are you grinning like a fool? Your face is already turning red the cold," Shi Weichong said, unable to stay mad at his brother's antics. He nodded at Number Two, acknowledging his presence, and led the two of them towards the elevator. "Have you had lunch yet? How long have you been sick?"
"Not long. I ate before coming here. What about you? Have you had lunch?" Shi Jin asked as they walked.
Shi Weichong didn't answer. Instead, he led his brother into the elevator and suddenly reached up to touch his forehead.
Shi Jin had already gotten used to Lian Jun's touch, so he quickly regained his senses after a moment of hesitation.
Seeing Shi Weichong's furrowed brows almost forming a knot, Shi Jin felt a warm feeling in his heart and couldn't help but smile. He asked, "Is my forehead nice to touch?"
"Not really. You got sick and still ran around, not knowing how to take care of yourself." Shi Weichong withdrew his hand and disapproved, saying, "If you want to see me, just give me a call. I can come to you. Why bother coming all the way here?"
Shi Jin smiled, "I'm quite free anyway."
Shi Weichong still didn't seem to approve, and after the elevator opened, he led Shi Jin out with a stride. They passed through the office area and entered his own office, bringing Shi Jin and Number Two with him. He had his assistant bring in two cups of hot drinks.
Number Two knew he had some "family matters" to discuss with Shi Weichong. After sitting for a while, he tactfully mentioned going outside for a walk, leaving the space for the two of them.
Once he left, Shi Weichong sat back down across from Shi Jin and asked, "Xiao Jin, what brings you here this time?"
Without beating around the bush, Shi Jin replied, "Big Brother, do you remember the mission I went on with Fourth Brother a while back? After we returned, I carefully reviewed the mission information and discovered something."
"What did you discover?" Shi Weichong asked, not forgetting to offer Shi Jin some snacks. Shi Jin observed his actions and expressions, organized his words, and briefly explained the general content of the mission and the background of the Werewolf gang.
Then he said, "The mission target Yuan Ma-zi mentioned something. He said that a few months ago, the Werewolf group took on a kidnapping job overseas, but the job fell through. When I came back to look through the information, I accidentally discovered that the job they were talking about seemed to be me."
Shi Weichong's actions of dismantling the snack suddenly stopped, and his expression became ugly. He asked, "Are you sure?"
"It's just a guess, but when I looked through the Werewolf's client list, I found a very familiar name on it, Xu Chuan," Shi Jin replied, carefully observing Shi Weichong's expression.
Upon hearing Xu Chuan's name, Shi Weichong was visibly stunned for a moment. Then, as if he had remembered something, his face turned dark and he pulled out his phone to search for a number. He started dialing, but then stopped halfway and instead called Xiang Aoting's phone.
Xiang Aoting answered the call quickly and asked in confusion, "Big brother, what's up?"
Shi Weichong explained what Shi Jin had told him and asked Xiang Aoting to find a way to confirm if the list mentioned by Yuan Ma-zi referred to Shi Jin.
Upon hearing this, Xiang Aoting's relaxed tone disappeared and he replied seriously, "I'll take care of it right away." He then hung up the phone.
Shi Jin listened to their conversation and finally felt completely relieved. It turned out that Shi Weichong really had no knowledge of the kidnapping case, and there was someone else behind the scenes. His brother was a good brother, and he had not misjudged him.
After hanging up the phone, Shi Weichong looked at Shi Jin and the first thing he said was to reassure him: "Don't be afraid, Xiao Jin. Big brother will definitely help you investigate this matter thoroughly and clearly. No one will harm you."
Shi Jin nodded and smiled at him, saying, "I'm not afraid. Anyway, if something happens, big brother will help me take care of it."
Shi Weichong was relieved by his smile and couldn't help but stand up and pat his head.
Two days later, Shi Jin's illness was finally completely cured. Shi Weichong and Xiang Aoting also passed on the news that Xu Chuan had indeed ordered the kidnapping of Shi Jin through the werewolf. Yuan Ma-zi confessed to it himself. Now the authorities are sending people to arrest Xu Chuan for questioning.
Shi Jin never expected things to go so smoothly. He couldn't believe that the actions of Xiang Aoting and Shi Weichong were so efficient that they were able to confirm the truth with Yuan Ma-zi and have the authorities arrest Xu Chuan directly.
"This is what it feels like to be protected by my brothers..." Shi Jin murmured to himself, even pinching himself a couple of times to see if he was dreaming.
Xiao Si was also in a daze, saying, "Shi Weichong is really a good big brother..."
Both of them were lost in their own thoughts, feeling a surreal sense of floating. They had forgotten one thing - Yuan Ma-zi's mission was a joint operation between the authorities and Annihilation. The information from the authorities would be fed back to Annihilation.
Lian Jun hung up the phone from the authorities with a stern face and called Number Two, ordering him to bring Shi Jin to him. It had been a long time since Number Two had seen Lian Jun with such an unpleasant expression on his face. He couldn't help but wonder what had happened.
When he arrived at the room and found Shi Jin, he lowered his voice and asked, "Did you do something to make Young Master Jun angry? He doesn't look right."
Shi Jin was taken aback by the question and remembered the inappropriate hug he had given Lian Jun two days ago when he went to see Shi Weichong. Feeling guilty, he replied, "No, during meals these past two days, Young Master Jun seemed fine. He didn't look like he was angry."
Not only did he not seem angry, but his attitude had become even more gentle than before, often chatting with him about trivial matters. With just one glance, Number Two saw through his guilty conscience. He lifted his hand and hooked it around the man's shoulder, threatening him, "Tell me the truth, or I won't be able to help you. It's been a long time since I've seen Young Master Jun with such an ugly expression. The last time he had that look was when Number One found out that Number Four was a traitor."
Upon hearing this, Shi Jin became a little flustered. After hesitating for a moment, he finally told the truth, "It's nothing, really. Just the other day before I left, I acted on impulse and hugged Young Master Jun... I swear, it was just a quick hug and I let go right away!"
Number Two couldn't believe what he was hearing. He slowly let go of the man's neck and took two steps back, keeping his distance. "Little Two, you have to help me!"
Shi Jin rushed over and clung to him. Number Two cruelly tore him apart, with a face that was unbearable to look at: "You asked for it... Xiao Jin, I see you clearly now, you're like a toad, bold and shameless."
Shi Jin's heart sank halfway, and he asked in pain, "Is there really no hope?"
"No," Number Two shook his head. Seeing his bitter expression, he remembered the strange attitude that Lian Jun had towards him recently, and added, "Of course, you know that Young Master Jun is a bit soft-hearted. If you apologize, admit your mistake, say something nice, maybe you can get a lighter punishment."
Shi Jin's heart was completely cold.
When he arrived at the study, Lian Jun was not sitting behind the desk reading documents, but sitting on the sofa facing the study door, with nothing in his hands, a document on his knee, looking like he was waiting specifically for Shi Jin to come in.
Shi Jin almost wanted to turn around and run away because the expression on Lian Jun's face was exactly as described by Number Two, very heavy, with no expression, and no warmth in his eyes, as if he had returned to the lifeless and expressionless state when they first met.
"Shi Jin, stay here. Number Two, you go outside and stand guard," Lian Jun ordered, even his tone was cold.
Number Two gave Shi Jin a look of good luck and turned to leave the study.
Shi Jin nervously walked up to Lian Jun, forcing a smile and asking, "Young Master, why were you looking for me?"
"Sit down," Lian Jun ordered.
Shi Jin obediently sat down across from Lian Jun, thought for a moment, and then honestly apologized, saying, "Young Master, I was wrong, I'm sorry."
The expression on Lian Jun's face was still unpleasant as he asked, "What did you do wrong?"
"I shouldn't have hugged you..." Shi Jin lowered his head.
Lian Jun's expression became even more unpleasant. He was so angry that he sat up straight and threw the file on his knee in front of Shi Jin. He forcefully suppressed his temper and said, "This is something that just came from the authorities. Take a look for yourself and then tell me where you went wrong."
From the authorities?
Shi Jin finally understood that Lian Jun wasn't angry about the hug two days ago. He picked up the file and opened it, his eyes widening in shock - it was actually a confession from Yuan Ma-zi about Xu Chuan and a complete list of Werewolf's clients that had been deciphered!
"Explain." Seeing his expression change, Lian Jun knew that he had recognized something in the documents. He tried to suppress the disappointment of not being trusted and said, "I remember the day you returned after completing the mission, I asked you about the specifics of the mission. Why didn't you mention anything about being on the Werewolf's hitlist? Instead, you went to find Shi Weichong and asked Xiang Aoting to help you investigate before you even recovered from your illness. If it weren't for the official information that came, how long were you planning to keep this from me?"