The atmosphere was a bit awkward. Shi Jin lowered his head to organize his scattered thoughts, as if nothing had happened, and turned to face the massage bed, looking at Lian Jun's legs.
Lian Jun was very thin, there was no doubt about that. Shi Jin had already prepared himself mentally to see a pair of skinny, not-so-pretty legs before deciding to give Lian Jun a massage.
But when he actually saw Lian Jun's legs, he was still stunned. Lian Jun's legs were indeed thin, which made them look especially long when he lay down. However, his legs were not at all unattractive. They were straight and even had some meat in the calves. The proportions of his legs were also very good, and his skin was flawless.
Perhaps due to his poor health, his hair was also very light. Apart from being a little thin and having overly pale skin that revealed some veins, there was nothing wrong with his legs.
Contrary to what one might expect, his proportions and length made his legs quite attractive, especially if one didn't subscribe to the idea that "men should have muscular legs." In fact, one might even find Lian Jun's legs a bit too good-looking.
"Are they really ugly?" Lian Jun asked in a low voice, staring intently at Shi Jin's expression. Shi Jin snapped out of his daze and shook his head. He couldn't resist reaching out to touch it, and even pinched the flesh on Lian Jun's calf to confirm if it was real. As it turned out, it was real. Lian Jun's legs were truly beautiful.
Lian Jun was quite sensitive to touch, and when Shi Jin pinched his leg so suddenly and heavily, he reflexively bent his leg and furrowed his brows. Shi Jin quickly came to his senses and lightly touched his calf again, worriedly asking, "Did I hurt you? Sorry, I didn't control my strength just now."
"It's okay." Lian Jun relaxed his brows and moved his leg slightly, avoiding his warm and dry hand. He wasn't used to direct skin contact with others. Shi Jin misunderstood his actions, thinking that his legs would only hurt if touched lightly. He furrowed his eyebrows and asked Xiao Si in his mind, "Is Lian Jun's legs more sensitive than expected? Can he handle the massage?"
"He can handle it. Just use a lighter touch. Massages are good for my baby," Xiao Si replied confidently, even with a hint of excitement. "Don't be afraid, go ahead! I'll keep an eye on it. Lian Jun's body belongs to you!"
Shi Jin sighed. It seemed that this "golden finger" had been blinded by beauty and was not reliable for the time being.
He looked back at Lian Jun's legs, hesitated for a moment, and decided to try massaging them first. Although there seemed to be no visible after-effects on the surface of Lian Jun's legs, prolonged inactivity would have caused his muscles to stiffen. A massage would help to relax them.
With that in mind, he turned around and grabbed a towel, folding it neatly and placing it over Lian Jun's waist to cover his private parts. Then he placed his hands on the robe that was spread out on the massage bed and said to Lian Jun, "I'll start now. If it hurts, just let me know and I'll ease up on the pressure."
Lian Jun wasn't used to being in such a vulnerable position, lying down and exposing his body to someone else, but he didn't show it on his face. He nodded and even closed his eyes, making it seem like he was ready to enjoy the massage.
It was quite a cooperative sight to see.
Shi Jin felt relieved and quickly pulled up Lian Jun's robe to expose his legs. Then he turned around and picked up the ointment provided by Uncle Long, pouring a little into his palm and rubbing it gently before placing his hand on Lian Jun's calf.
The palms that had been rubbed were hotter than usual. Lian Jun's legs were particularly sensitive, and when Shi Jin placed his hands on them, it felt like two warm, soft towels were covering his skin. At first, it was a bit uncomfortable, but after two seconds, it became snug and comfortable, as if the temperature had opened up all his pores.
Then the warmth began to move, slowly up his calves, skin rubbing against skin, leaving a smooth sensation where the ointment had been applied. The sea breeze blew in through the window, brushing against his body and bringing a coolness to the ointment's warmth. The combination of heat and coolness was even more comfortable than just feeling the coolness alone.
Lian Jun's eyelashes fluttered as he slowly exhaled, feeling Shi Jin's hand glide over his calf, knead his knee, and then briefly leave. After the sound of pouring medicine and rubbing palms, his knee grew warm again, and the warmth gradually spread up his thigh, gliding over the surface, circling around the side, and sliding towards the inner thigh...
Lian Jun suddenly opened his eyes and half-sat up, bending his leg to block Shi Jin's hand. His Adam's apple bobbed as he said, "I want to drink water, cold water."
Shi Jin had just finished applying the ointment to his entire leg, and seeing him suddenly sit up, he withdrew his hand and looked at him disapprovingly. "Cold water is not good for your stomach. Let me pour you a cup of warm water instead."
Warm water wouldn't have much of a cooling effect.
"...Never mind then." Lian Jun casually crossed his legs and lay back on the massage bed, gesturing towards the nearby window. "Open it a bit wider, the sea breeze today feels really nice."
Shi Jin looked towards the partially open floor-to-ceiling window and felt the strength of the sea breeze. It was indeed quite pleasant, so he picked up a towel and wiped off the ointment on his hands before walking over to open the window a bit more.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Lian Jun pulled down the towel covering his waist a bit, exposing more of his leg skin.
The massage continued and Lian Jun closed his eyes once again, but this time he turned his head towards the window, facing the gentle sea breeze. His semi-dry hair swayed softly, brushing past his eyebrows, eyes, and ears, creating a beautiful scene that looked like a painting. Shi Jin frowned as he put down the bottle of oil he had just picked up and turned to grab a hair dryer. He walked around the bed and stood at the head, helping Lian Jun dry his hair.
Lian Jun opened his eyes and looked at him, but didn't say anything.
"Although the temperature on the island is high, it's better to dry your hair quickly after a shower," Shi Jin said as he ran his fingers through Lian Jun's hair, blowing the wet parts with the hair dryer. He looked focused and serious.
Looking up at him from below, Lian Jun felt his heart gradually calm down as he felt the touch of Shi Jin's fingers on his scalp and the gentle warmth of the blowing air. He couldn't help but reach up and loosely grip the cord of the hair dryer, feeling the movement caused by Shi Jin's actions. It felt like he was holding his hand.
"Shi Jin, your hair has grown long," he spoke, his voice no longer crisp but rather husky.
"Really?" Shi Jin withdrew his hand from grabbing Lian Jun's hair and instead reached up to touch his own, saying, "It does seem a bit long. Is there a place on the island to get a haircut? I'll go tomorrow and get it trimmed."
Lian Jun watched his hand, remembering how it had just slid through his hair. His lips curved slightly as he murmured in agreement and closed his eyes contentedly.
After finishing with Lian Jun's hair, Shi Jin returned to the massage bed and noticed that the ointment on Lian Jun's leg had dried up. He promptly poured some more and reapplied it before letting Xiao Si partially take over his body and begin massaging Lian Jun.
Massaging the front of the legs is simpler than the back, focusing on kneading pressure points. Shi Jin and Xiao Si worked together, carefully controlling the strength and asking Lian Jun for feedback. Only when they find a level of pressure that Lian Jun can tolerate do they confidently begin massaging.
Lian Jun's leg muscles are indeed somewhat stiff, and upon closer examination, there is slight muscle atrophy. Shi Jin furrows his brow and massages with even more care, while asking, "Young Master Jun, do you take care of your legs?"
If he didn't take care of them, his legs wouldn't be in this condition. Lian Jun seemed to be less self-destructive than Shi Jin initially thought. His eyebrows were furrowed, and he appeared visibly uncomfortable.
Although Shi Jin tried to use less force, the pain from his sensitive legs couldn't be reduced by simply easing up. Fortunately, the pain was still within a tolerable range, and perhaps it was because Shi Jin's massage technique was really on point, after the initial sharp pain, the blood circulation in his legs improved and the pain became dull and dense, slightly hot and sour, and even had a strange sense of self-torture-like comfort.
"Mmm." Lian Jun responded softly, not sure if it was an answer or just a groan of discomfort. He felt Shi Jin's movements stop instantly and quickly relaxed his forehead, opening his eyes to glance at Shi Jin before saying, "My legs are different from ordinary disabilities. It's not completely paralyzed and without sensation. If I can maintain a daily walking routine, I don't need special care. Uncle Long is just overly concerned."
Maintain a daily walking routine?
Shi Jin furrowed his brows and asked, "How can you maintain a walking routine? Have you secretly been walking on your own?" It would be too painful to walk without any regular rehabilitation or preparation.
Lian Jun closed his eyes and replied, "It's not a secret... I can't rely on others to assist me with every movement, especially when standing and walking are necessary. Sometimes, after taking a shower, I will walk on my own for a while."
Shi Jin sighed helplessly, "It's good to move your legs, but it's better to let Uncle Long help you relax your leg muscles before walking. He can also watch over you, so you can take it easy."
"But it's too ugly." Li Jian still had his eyes closed, his expression calm and his tone indifferent as he spoke about the things he had never expressed before, "I have to rest every two steps, I'm covered in sweat, and sometimes I even fall... Annihilation doesn't need a useless and pathetic leader. I am the spiritual pillar of Uncle Long, Number One and the rest. I can't let them worry about me instead."
Shi Jin was speechless. He wanted to say that Number One and the others probably didn't care if he looked pathetic while treating his illness, but the words died on his lips. Being the leader of a violent organization is different from running a regular company.
As the boss of "Annihilation," Lian Jun has no advantage in terms of physical strength or convincing power. If he were to show a particularly helpless and useless side, people might still respect him and even care for him, but subconsciously, their trust, conviction, dependence, and sense of security towards Lian Jun and "Annihilation" would be somewhat discounted.
This is truly a helpless situation because the human heart and subconscious are not controlled by reason.
Lian Jun is doing his best to use his mental strength to establish a firm anchor in everyone's hearts. The cost is that he cannot show any weakness or helplessness in any aspect. His poor physical condition seemed to be just an external label and had not affected his life.
As Shi Jin carefully thought back, he realized that Lian Jun had never shown any signs of weakness in front of others. He didn't need anyone to serve him in his daily life, and every time he appeared in public, he was already well-groomed and calmly strategizing. He even rarely asked others to push his wheelchair, preferring to move himself whenever possible.
He didn't seem like a sick person at all. Aside from using a wheelchair, he had never caused any trouble or inconvenience for others, unlike many other patients who could be a burden.
"Let me help you. If you want to exercise, just call me over and I'll give you a massage to help you relax. And I promise not to tell anyone that you're walking on your own. I can keep a secret," said Shi Jin, swallowing his comforting words and instead offering his own help. He spoke with enthusiasm, looking towards the future for Lian Jun. "When you can walk on your own again, we'll go scare Number Two and the others together and give them a big surprise!"
Lian Jun listened to his lively and energetic voice, and as he opened his eyes to look at him, a small smile formed on his lips.
"Okay," he replied. This person never failed to impress him in certain things.
With a satisfied smile, Shi Jin clapped his hands and stood up, excitedly saying, "Alright, we're done with the front. Now for the main event. Young Master Jun, turn over." He reached out and lifted the silk bathrobe tied around Lian Jun's waist.
The bathrobe was light and smooth, while the towel was made of cotton and had a strong friction. With one forceful tug, Shi Jin pulled the towel off, causing the fabric of the bathrobe underneath to shift and revealing parts of Lian Jun that should not have been exposed.
"Wow, it's black..." Shi Jin was stunned, his gaze involuntarily shifting towards a certain unsavory area beneath the small piece of cloth at the corner of the bathrobe.
Xiao Si excitedly controlled his body and reached out, slapping Lian Jun's thigh with a loud smack... dangerously close to a certain sensitive area.
Lian Jun frowned, and snatched away the towel in Shi Jin's hand and threw it over his head.
Shi Jin was completely covered by the towel and was shocked when he regained his senses. He couldn't believe it and asked in his heart, "What are you doing? Are you crazy?" His voice was a bit shaky due to his agitation.
Xiao Si was quite satisfied with itself and replied nonchalantly, "Oops, my hand slipped... By the way, Jin Jin, this towel was covering his precious parts. Are you sure you want to keep it on your head?"
Shi Jin was so agitated by Xiao Si's tone that his hair stood on end. He quickly pulled off the towel and looked at Lian Jun, who was sitting up and adjusting his clothes with a blank expression. Shi Jin forced a smile and awkwardly explained, "I... my hand slipped, it was just a mistake."
Lian Jun gave him a cold glance, turned over, and lay down on the massage bed. With a sigh of relief, Shi Jin quickly covered him with a towel. The rest of the massage went smoothly without any more mishaps, and Lian Jun remained silent throughout. After washing his hands, Shi Jin escorted Lian Jun to the bathroom and suggested he take a hot bath before blow-drying his hair. With a simple "goodnight," Shi Jin grabbed his tools and left.
The room fell silent, leaving Lian Jun alone. He sat back on the bed and stretched his muscles, feeling much more relaxed. Looking at the massage table by the window, he suddenly chuckled to himself before gazing out at the gentle night view of the island. His eyes gradually deepened.
"You were the one who approached first...so don't blame me."
The vacation days were carefree, except for the fact that he still had to attend classes.
On the third day of their trip to the island, the teachers that Lian Jun had arranged for Shi Jin finally arrived. There were three teachers in total, all of whom were said to have taught the top students like Lian Jun and Number One, and they held a high position in "Annihilation".
The leading teacher was a small, white-haired old man with a bad temper. He looked down on poor study progress, but when he saw Shi Jin, he strangely didn't say anything negative. Instead, he carefully examined him and advised him with a serious tone, "This won't do. The knowledge you learn goes into your own brain, and it enhances your own abilities. You need to take the initiative, work harder, and not waste the hard work of Young Master Jun."
Shi Jin, who had lived two lifetimes and was an 'old-time' student, quickly nodded in agreement upon hearing this.
"Hmm, not bad attitude," said the teacher whose surname was 'Feng', and everyone called him Mr. Feng. Upon seeing that Shi Jin was listening to his advice, Mr. Feng was reluctantly satisfied. He quickly pulled out a schedule and said, "Let's follow this schedule for our classes. We'll have seven classes every day from Monday to Friday, with four in the morning and three in the afternoon. Weekends are off. Any objections? Since there are none, let's stick to this schedule and start our classes."
Shi Jin remained silent, thinking to himself that the teacher spoke too fast and didn't give him a chance to voice his opinions or objections. However, seeing how serious and responsible the teacher was, he decided to keep his mouth shut and opened his textbook.
Shi Jin felt bitter inside.
While everyone else on the island ran around and played, occasionally going out on boats for fishing and diving, he was the only one who had to stay inside and attend classes. It was truly miserable.
Oh, it's not just him who's miserable, poor Lian Jun was also suffering. As the leader of "Annihilation", his daily routine was just work, work, work, with no weekends off.
One worked in the big study, the other was taught in the small study, like a pair of unfortunate mandarin ducks, as Xiao Si put it.
Shi Jin ignored his unreliable "golden finger" and, seeing how hard Lian Jun worked, felt sorry for him. So during every break, he would sneak into Lian Jun's study to chat and tease him a bit, helping him relax before going back to his own small study.
Time flies when you're having fun, and before they knew it, a week had passed. It was the weekend and Shi Jin had no classes, so he put on a loose tank top and shorts, knocked on Lian Jun's door with a big smile, and prepared to take him out for some fresh air and fun.
Without saying a word, Lian Jun opened the door and gestured for Shi Jin to come in. Shi Jin couldn't help but notice Lian Jun's loose tank top that revealed his collarbone and a hint of chest. Inside, Lian Jun handed Shi Jin a bottle of juice and a tablet, saying, "I've got the information you wanted. It just arrived. Take a look."
Shi Jin nodded and followed Lian Jun to the balcony where they sat on wicker chairs. Lian Jun handed Shi Jin the tablet and said, "It's all in there. Take your time."
Shi Jin thanked him and opened the encrypted file, which was divided into six parts. He started with the first part. As soon as the information appeared, two photos jumped out together. One was of Shi Weichong, and the other was of a woman with beautiful features and a serious expression.
Both photos had dates written in the corners, indicating when they were taken. Judging from the dates, the woman's photo was taken a long time ago, and she must be quite old now.
Shi Jin immediately realized that this woman must be Shi Weichong's mother, the first woman that Shi Xingrui had provoked.
He carefully examined the woman's appearance, and his brow slowly furrowed. It was strange that Shi Weichong's mother had no similarities whatsoever with Li Jiuzheng's mother as well as the original owner's mother, whether in appearance or temperament. They belonged to different styles. Shi Weichong's mother had beautiful features and a serious expression, clearly not an easy person to get along with, while Li Jiuzheng and the original owner's mother were both gentle and delicate.
He had previously suspected that Shi Xingrui's choice of women was all of a certain style, but now it seemed that it was not the case.
Could he have been wrong?
He shook his head and continued flipping through the information.
Shi Weichong's mother's name was Xu Jie, born in B city. She was a top student with a wealthy family background. Her parents were both in stable positions, one in a state-owned enterprise and the other a university professor, both with iron rice bowls. Xu Jie graduated from a top university in China and then studied abroad in Country Y for two years before returning to China and joining Ruihang as an assistant to Shi Xingrui.
When Shi Jin saw this, he was stunned and double-checked the information, feeling somewhat surprised. Shi Weichong's mother had actually been an assistant to Shi Xingrui at Ruihang? So Shi Xingrui had gotten together with an employee? This was completely unexpected.
After digesting this information, he continued to flip through the documents. Xu Jie had been an assistant to Shi Xingrui for several years, and was considered one of the founding members who witnessed Ruihang's initial takeoff. She only left her position unexpectedly after becoming pregnant and moving in with Shi Xingrui.
However, a few months after giving birth to Shi Weichong, she suddenly moved out of Shi Xingrui's residence and cut off contact with him. From that moment on, Xu Jie's father suddenly resigned and started his own business, establishing a family company. Xu Jie returned home with Shi Weichong and became the vice president of the family company.
From then on, Xu Jie focused on the family business and no longer talked about love. She didn't get married again or fall in love again, becoming a powerful businesswoman. It wasn't until Shi Weichong was able to take the lead that she stepped back and began to travel the world, enjoying retirement.
Shi Jin opened a photo of Xu Jie now and looked at the woman who had shed her youthful seriousness and difficult personality, appearing warm and friendly. He couldn't help but feel a sense of admiration.
If he set aside the complicated interests behind the scenes and simply looked at the story between Shi Xinghui and Xu Jie from the perspective of a spectator, Xu Jie was simply a woman who had dumped a irresponsible man, lived her life freely, and became a model of an excellent woman who raised her son well.
It's no wonder that Shi Weichong is so good at doing business. With a father like his and a mother like Xu Jie, if he were a useless person, it would be a disservice to the genes inherited from his parents.