Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 48 - The Original

The atmosphere at the dinner table became heavy. Number One and his companions no longer concealed their emotions, staring straight at Old Ghost with unfriendly eyes.

"Lian Jun, whether you believe it or not, when I wanted to intercept someone back then, it wasn't to use him against you or to do anything bad," Old Ghost explained in a sincere tone. 

However, Lian Jun was not easily fooled and said, "But if you only want to bring the person back and use him to show your goodwill towards me, then the best thing for you to do is to inform me immediately after obtaining any information about him. This way, not only do you not have to face Nine Eagles directly, but you can also earn my favor. It's such a profitable deal that you shouldn't miss. Instead, you choose to take risks and confront Nine Eagles. To be frank, I don't see any goodwill towards me in your choice." 

Old Ghost was choked up, knowing that he couldn't hide anything from Lian Jun anymore. He thought of his brothers whose fate was still uncertain, and his once straight back suddenly bent down. He wiped his face and said, "Yes, I admit it. I wanted to intercept someone and use him for something. I even wanted to get the origin of the toxin that you were poisoned with from him. I know you need it."

Upon hearing the words "origin", the emotions of Number One and the others immediately stirred up.

Lord Lian waved his hand to calm them down and looked at Old Ghost, asking, "You know I need this, so what do you want to do with it?" 

The despondent Old Ghost replied, "I'll trade it for your resources. The government may not be making any moves on the surface, but they're constantly making small moves behind the scenes. I have a rough idea of what they're up to, so I want you to take me with you to find a way out. What I need is not something that can be obtained with a small favor from an information provider. In order to get a bargaining chip that's strong enough for you to help me with all your might, I have to take a risk and confront Nine Eagles."

Lian Jun had to admit that Old Ghost was indeed very clever. He was able to deduce the government's intentions based solely on their small actions behind the scenes, and immediately locked onto himself as a lifeline. However, sometimes smart people tend to do foolish things. 

The conversation had come to an end. 

With a slight movement of his wheelchair, Lian Jun faced Old Ghost and said, "I appreciate your willingness to provide information today. I will try my best to rescue the people detained in the southeast region. I will also help you establish a connection with the authorities. However, I will not speak on your behalf. Whether or not you can obtain official assistance depends on your own abilities." 

After speaking, he glanced at Number One, who immediately stood up and helped him with his wheelchair.

Number Two and the others also stood up in unison, no longer looking at Old Ghost, and followed Lian Jun out of the private room.

Shi Jin and Number Nine were the last to leave. Just as Shi Jin was about to step out of the room, they heard Fei Yujing's voice from inside.

"Shi Jin, you shouldn't be here." 

Shi Jin stopped in his tracks and said without looking back, "No, you shouldn't be here." And with that, he walked away.

Xiao Si was a bit confused and said, "Jin Jin, your progress bar has gone back to 500." 

"That's to be expected," replied Shi Jin, who had already figured out Fei Yujing's way of thinking. "Fei Yujing is someone who prioritizes his own interests. He was good to me before because I could provide him with benefits. But when I lost my usefulness to him, he quickly withdrew. When we met this morning, I showed hostility towards him as a member of another criminal organization, which could have been a destabilizing factor for his business. So naturally, he became wary of me. Now that I am confirmed to be under the person who wants to please him this time, I am someone who can provide him with benefits. What do you think he will do to me?"

Xiao Si hesitated before asking, "Will he try to please you?" 

"He's already started doing this. That last sentence was just his test," Shi Jin said, feeling bored. He remembered how Fei Yujing treated the original host in the original plot and made up his mind. No matter what Fei Yujing planned to do next, he wouldn't follow the other's script.

As soon as Lian Jun left the private room, he called Zhang Zhuoyuan and told him about the incident with the Phantom. Then he sent a text message to Old Ghost, asking him to go directly to Zhang Zhuoyuan.

Number One was a little puzzled and asked, "Young Master Jun, why are you helping Old Ghost? I can understand us saving people, but why help him connect with the authorities...?" 

Lian Jun put away the satellite phone and said, "Old Ghost is a smart man and would make a good ally, but he needs a little push. Helping him connect with the authorities is not only doing him a favor, but also distancing ourselves from him. The authorities wouldn't want me suddenly gaining a new helper. Let's not forget that we are living on their ship. Our contact with Old Ghost will surely be known to the authorities. To avoid suspicion, we must actively involve the authorities in this contact and give them the control they want."

Upon hearing this, Number One seemed to understand Lian Jun's meaning. In short, when on the authorities' ship, it's best to always have their approval and support in whatever they do. They should butter them up to avoid unnecessary trouble. 

The two continued walking for a while until Lian Jun suddenly turned his head back and looked at Shi Jin, who was at the very end of the group. He said, "Be more careful of Fei Yujing."

Number One also turned his head to look at Shi Jin and nodded in response.

Not long after the dinner party ended, Old Ghost was invited to Zhang Zhuoyuan's office. He didn't come out until the afternoon meeting was about to start. His expression was serious, with a slight frown on his forehead, but the urgency on his face had diminished, and his steps were much lighter.

Lian Jun hung up the phone call from Zhang Zhuoyuan and said, "The government has accepted the surrender of Phantom and expressed their willingness to cooperate with their operations, helping them to catch their enemies. However, they did not agree to help Phantom wash their hands clean and transform, and ensure the safety of their entire organization." 

The faces of Number One and his companions relaxed a bit upon hearing the news - the authorities were at least not foolish. After accepting the face they had given, they also showed some sincerity and trust in return.

"It seems that Phantom wants to break free from this chaotic situation now, and it will require a big sacrifice," Number One said, his tone serious but with a hint of schadenfreude in his eyes.

He held grudges, and Old Ghost had once tried to plot against them, but he had not yet turned the page on this incident.

Shi Jin sat next to Lian Jun, holding an orange that was half-peeled. Seeing that they had no intention of continuing the topic, he tried to change the subject and asked, "What about the doctor who was taken away by Nine Eagles and the toxin's origin that may be in his hands?" 

As soon as these words were spoken, the previously relaxed atmosphere in the room immediately became tense again.

In fact, Number One and the others also wanted to bring up this topic, but they had been hesitant because of Lian Jun. So when he spoke up, they quickly shifted their gaze to him.

Lian Jun glanced at them and said, "Let's discuss this after the afternoon meeting. The leader of the Nine Eagles, Zhuo Yang, will definitely come to the meeting this afternoon. Knowing his personality, if he really has something in his hands, he won't be able to resist coming to test me. Let's see how he reacts first."

Upon hearing this, Number One and the others breathed a sigh of relief. They realized that Lian Jun wasn't avoiding the topic, but had already thought about it.

Only Shi Jin still looked confused and worried. Upon seeing the situation, Lian Jun asked Number One and the others to leave first, leaving only Shi Jin behind.

Shi Jin immediately offered the peeled orange to Lian Jun, saying, "Try it, it's very sweet. I heard that people who stay at sea for a long time lack a lot of vitamins, so you should pay more attention."

To be honest, the hand-peeled orange was quite ugly, but Lian Jun thought the one Shi Jin peeled was particularly cute. It was perfectly round like a ball and had a sweet fragrance.

"Lack of vitamins is due to an unbalanced diet. The supply on official ships is sufficient, so this kind of problem won't occur," Lian Jun explained. 

He ate a slice of orange, praised its sweetness, and then took a tissue to wipe the orange juice off Shi Jin's hands, saying, "Ask me anything you want to know, and I'll tell you." 

When Shi Jin heard this, he forgot about the hand that was holding him and leaned in closer, asking, "The doctor who betrayed you... was it the one who caused your legs to become like this?" 

Lian Jun nodded and replied, "Yes, his name is Long Shi. He is the adopted son of Uncle Long and has great talent, but unfortunately, he turned against us." 

Uncle Long's adopted son? 

Shi Jin furrowed his brows and continued to ask, "And the origin..." 

"Both Long Shi and Uncle Long specialize in nutrition and body maintenance. Uncle Long originally intended for Long Shi to inherit his position and continue taking care of me, but Long Shi doesn't like those gentle subjects. He prefers to see blood and enjoys researching various poisons. The poison in my body was extracted and formulated from the toxins of various creatures. The known ingredients include snake venom and a certain highly toxic seaweed, all of which are psychotropic toxins. The poison in my body was not completely cured back then. To completely remove it, we need to obtain the origin of the toxin and conduct targeted research. However, Long Shi took the origin toxin away."

As Shi Jin listened, his brow furrowed tighter and his expression even became a bit solemn. When Lian Jun saw him like this, his heart softened. 

He reached out and pressed his forehead, saying, "Don't worry, it doesn't matter if there's no origin. There are only so many neurotoxins in the world, and with the simple method of permutation and combination, I will eventually be able to piece together the components of the mixed poison I was exposed to back then. It will just take a little more time."

"I'm not stupid," Shi Jin pulled his hand away, still frowning. "Although I don't understand medical things, I know that drugs can react with each other and produce new elements. This is not a simple permutation and combination, it's like finding a needle in a haystack."

"The sea also has its limits, and the needle will eventually be found," Lian Jun was still trying to reassure him. 

Shi Jin looked at him with dissatisfaction and said, "Yes, the ocean does have boundaries, but your lifespan also has its limits. If we just wait, who knows when we'll get results. We must find a way to retrieve Long Shi from Nine Eagles's hands and question him thoroughly."

"We will definitely retrieve him," reassured Lian Jun. After some thought, he decided to give him a warning, "But you shouldn't have too much hope for the origin. Long Shi is a cunning person, and any clues we get from him may be false or used to set another trap. Shi Jin, don't worry too much."

Shi Jin fell silent and secretly refuted in his heart: No, as long as we retrieve the person, with Xiao Si's help, he will be able to extract the true origin from Long Shi. 

The afternoon meeting started on time. Shi Jin and Number Nine stood in their usual spot from the morning, but this time they didn't look out at the sea. Instead, they both looked towards the direction of the Nine Eagles' ships.

Their actions didn't attract too much attention because most of the people on deck were staring in the direction of the Nine Eagles' ships, hoping to see if Zhuo Yang would skip the afternoon meeting as well.

However, to everyone's disappointment, at 1:50, Zhuo Yang appeared on the deck of the Nine Eagles' ship, lazily walking towards the official ship's side.

The crowd lost interest and withdrew their gaze - it seemed like they wouldn't be able to witness the showdown between the big organization and the officials. 

What a pity. 

Three minutes later, Zhuo Yang jumped onto the officials' deck and met the gaze of Lian Jun in the middle of the deck. He smiled and waved at Lian Jun, greeting him, "Hey, Lian Jun, long time no see. You seem even more beautiful than last year. Sickly beauties are truly more endearing." 

Shi Jin's face turned black as he was infuriated by Zhuo Yang's joke about the appearance and body of a leader. Zhuo Yang was truly despicable. 

Lian Jun was clearly not someone who could be joked around with without consequences. He reached back and took the gun that Number One handed him, loaded a bullet, and without hesitation, aimed it directly at Zhuo Yang and fired. 


This shot was extremely precise, aimed at Zhuo Yang's three-inch navel. It was not easy to dodge, and even if he did, it would not be a pretty sight. Lian Jun's original intention was to make Zhuo Yang look bad, but Zhuo Yang went too far in order to save face and pulled one of his subordinates to block the bullet.

The subordinate was quite tall, and the bullet hit him in the thigh near the groin. The moment he was shot, his leg went weak and he almost fell down, blood gushing out.

The expressions of the people on the deck became very ugly.

It's one thing to have a conflict and use a gun, but as the leader of an organization, Zhuo Yang could have easily dodged the bullet himself. Instead, he chose to pull his subordinate in front of him to block it for the sake of his own face. This behavior was really heartless.

"Zhuo Yang, your posture for dodging bullets is really too pitiful." Lian Jun coldly retorted, returning the gun to Number One and looking at Zhang Zhuoyuan beside him, saying, "Sorry, my hand slipped." 

Zhang Zhuoyuan reassured, "It's okay. As long as we don't enter the conference room, we won't interfere with the private friction between the organizations." 

This was clearly a show of support for Lian Jun. 

Lian Jun thanked him and looked at Zhuo Yang with concern, saying, "The doctors I have with me are top-notch. Your subordinate doesn't look too good. Do you need any help?" 

Zhuo Yang was clearly angered, but he forced a smile and replied, "No need. Go ahead and take him back to the ship." He was speaking to another subordinate behind him. 

The subordinate responded with a grunt and roughly dragged away the injured subordinate, who was already pale. 

Everyone's expressions immediately became even uglier. Zhuo Yang's attitude towards his subordinates was simply too terrible, as if he didn't even consider them human. Lian Jun stopped looking at Zhuo Yang and turned to Zhang Zhuoyuan, saying, "Director Zhang, the meeting is about to begin."

Zhang Zhuoyuan nodded and began to call in the organization leaders who were still outside. Lian Jun was pushed by Number One and turned to head towards the meeting room.

After this interruption, the atmosphere on the deck became somewhat heavy. Everyone stopped talking to each other and intentionally or unintentionally kept their distance from the Nine Eagles' people.

Shi Jin didn't dare to distract himself by looking at the scenery anymore. His gaze was fixed on Lian Jun in the meeting room, worried that Zhuo Yang would cause trouble again. 

The atmosphere of the afternoon meeting was noticeably less relaxed than that of the morning. Zhang Zhuoyuan had been speaking the whole time, holding a document and seemingly pointing out certain organizations by name. Every organization that was mentioned had an unpleasant expression on their face, and some even argued with Zhang Zhuoyuan.

The most intense reaction came from Lu Shan, who even slammed the table and stood up to curse at Zhang Zhuoyuan. Despite his unremarkable appearance, Zhang Zhuoyuan had a slick and confident demeanor. He remained resolute and serious, no matter what Lu Shan said. In the end, it was Lu Shan who compromised, muttering under her breath before sitting back down with a stern expression and refusing to speak.

As the tension in the meeting room grew increasingly palpable, the crew on deck also became more and more on edge. This was Shi Jin's first time here, and he was slightly affected by the atmosphere, his nerves taut. After about two hours of the meeting, a tall figure suddenly blocked Shi Jin's view intentionally. Without hesitation, Shi Jin reached out and pulled the person aside, saying, "Don't block the view, thank you."

Only after pulling him aside did Shi Jin realize that the person was Fei Yujing. He frowned and asked, "What are you here for?"

"I came to talk," Fei Yujing replied, patting the sleeve that Shi Jin had just pulled. 

Shi Jin noticed his actions and rolled his eyes inwardly. He shifted his gaze back to Lian Jun in the conference room and spoke frankly, "There's nothing for us to talk about. I won't deliberately instigate Young Master Jun to harm your employer, nor will I help you just because you acted well as a big brother. If you want to distance yourself from me and be strangers who don't bother each other, that's fine with me. I hope we can have some understanding in this matter. Right now, I am 'Number Four' and you are Lawyer Fei. We have no personal relationship, understand?"

Fei Yujing leaned against the railing next to him and replied, "I don't understand. Shi Jin, you've changed too much."

Shi Jin ignored him. He had said what he needed to say and didn't want to waste any more words with Fei Yujing. Due to their positioning, Fei Yujing was facing the side of Shi Jin's face. He listened to Shi Jin's words and observed the curve of his profile, squinting his eyes slightly before saying, "Shi Jin, I don't like your current attitude."

Shi Jin was a bit annoyed by his words and turned his head to look at him, coldly asking, "Then have you ever asked me if I like being used by you as a good brother in front of me for your own benefit? Fei Yujing, don't be so hypocritical. I don't like it."

Fei Yujing met his gaze and remained calm in the face of his accusations, saying, "Hypocrisy is inherent in people like me. Shi Jin, I don't like the current you. You've become smarter and harder to deceive." 

"Tch." Shi Jin really didn't like people like Fei Yujing who were self-aware 'bad guys'. 

Even if you accused him and he was in the wrong, he wouldn't get angry or argue back. Instead, he could easily accept all the accusations without being affected. If you tried to reason with him, he wouldn't listen. He had his own set of rules and wouldn't easily be swayed. If you played the emotional card, sorry to say, he had no emotions. Congratulations, you just fell into his trap.

Fei Yujing seemed oblivious to Shi Jin's disapproval and continued, "Shi Jin, you're good at finding backers. It used to be Shi Xingrui, now it's Lian Jun. Maybe I don't know you as well as I thought." 

"No need to guess, you just don't understand me," said Shi Jin as he turned to look at him. He pulled out the gun he always carried with him and aimed it at his heart. He spoke coldly, "Either leave immediately and never bother me again, or I'll shoot you right now and put an end to any thoughts of using me. Fei Yujing, I hate being used and I hate people who wear the mask of family to deceive me. Don't waste your breath coming to me again, I have no patience left."

Fei Yujing's expression remained unchanged as he said, "You won't shoot."

Shi Jin was also quite calm and replied, "To avoid causing trouble for my boss, I will try my best not to use my gun. But if you continue to bother me, I may be able to resist using it today. But your mother's side may not be so lucky to avoid a bullet." 

Finally, Fei Yujing's expression changed. He reached out and grabbed Shi Jin's hand that was holding the gun, and said in a deep voice, "Shi Jin, how dare you."

"You can see if I dare, Fei Yujing. Let me warn you, as long as you have a weakness, don't do things that hurt others without reason. Otherwise, those injuries will eventually come back to haunt the people you care about." Shi Jin tapped Fei Yujing's chest with the gun, then broke free from his grip, sneered, and turned to the side without looking at him.

Number Nine, who had been watching the whole time, stepped in between Shi Jin and Fei Yujing at the right moment.

Fei Yujing's eyes were heavy as he touched his chest that had been tapped. He glanced at Shi Jin, who was half-blocked by Number Nine, and finally turned and walked away.

In the conference room, Lian Jun withdrew his gaze from outside and shifted his attention back to the documents in front of him. Across from him, Zhuo Yang watched his every move and asked the same question Lu Shan had asked yesterday, but with a much more hostile tone: "Lian Jun, is that your new subordinate over there?"

The people in the conference room were all checking the new information issued by Zhang Zhuoyuan and no one had spoken. When Zhuo Yang suddenly spoke up, he immediately drew everyone's attention and many people turned to look out the window that Zhuo Yang was gesturing towards.

Lian Jun calmly put down the papers and looked at Zhuo Yang, not answering his question but instead asking one of his own: "Zhuo Yang, you still haven't settled the score for the Heavenly Horse leader taking my people from me last year. Now you're eyeing another one of my subordinates. What's the matter? Has the Nine Eagles gang run out of capable people?"


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