Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 49 - Hatred Born from Love

As soon as the words "Heavenly Horse" were uttered, the atmosphere in the conference room immediately changed. All eyes turned from the window to gaze suspiciously and warily at Zhuo Yang.

It's no wonder they reacted so strongly. Heavenly Horse had done some truly despicable things over the past few years.

Heavenly Horse was a medium-sized, legal violent organization that has been around for a long time. They used to be pretty average and didn't attract much attention in the underworld. But about four or five years ago, their methods suddenly changed. They started swallowing up smaller organizations, assassinating medium-sized organizations at the same level, crazily poaching members from other organizations, and planting spies among their short, they became more and more disgusting and despicable in their tactics.

They're like a stinky bug that follows you wherever you go, even trying to leave some poop in your home. It was extremely cunning, and when faced with opponents weaker than itself, it will relentlessly stomp on them. When faced with opponents of similar strength, it will only harass and cause trouble for them. When faced with opponents stronger than itself, it won't do anything overtly, but will secretly dig at them. It jumps around from one place to another, making people annoyed and frustrated. 

The worst part is that it can't be eliminated. 

Many organizations have targeted it, both openly and covertly, but it's like a cockroach that can't be killed. It continued to exist and make their lives miserable, jumping around and preventing them from developing peacefully. It's enough to make one grit their teeth. 

This year, the leader of the Heavenly Horse gang didn't show up for the meeting. Everyone was happy about it because a violent organization not attending could only mean two things - they were either finished or they were shut down by the authorities. Either way, everyone was pleased to hear it.

In fact, since the middle of last year, people had heard very little about the Heavenly Horse gang. The smart ones were guessing that they had done something despicable and were taken care of by a larger organization that didn't approve of their actions.

Now, when Lian Jun suddenly pointed out a connection between the Nine Eagles and the Heavenly Horse gang, everyone's minds became lively in an instant. According to Lian Jun's words, it seemed that Heavenly Horse had been taken down by him, and he had also discovered some connection between Heavenly Horse and Nine Eagles. 

In fact, everyone had been guessing for a long time whether Heavenly Horse had a big organization supporting him to act so recklessly. Now, with Lian Jun's suggestion, everyone immediately realized that Heavenly Horse's style had changed rapidly since the year when Nine Eagles started to develop wildly...

Zhuo Yang endured the gaze of the crowd and almost couldn't resist cursing Lian Jun opposite him. Others may not know, but he was very clear about what was going on with Heavenly Horse's leader now. This useful pawn had been taken down by Lian Jun in Y province last year, and there had been no news since then. 

It was said that he had been sent to prison by the authorities. At first, he was worried that Lian Jun might pry open the mouth of the leader of Heavenly Horse and discover that he was behind it all. He waited and probed, but he never saw any follow-up action from Lian Jun. He thought that the leader of Heavenly Horse had kept his promise and didn't reveal his identity after being caught, and Lian Jun didn't suspect him of being a traitor.

Little did he know, Lian Jun knew everything and had been holding onto the information for almost a year. And not only did Lian Jun know, but he also revealed it in front of everyone, fueling Nine Eagles' hatred. 

How cunning and despicable! How shameless! What a bastard!

His heart sank as he realized the depth of Lian Jun's cunning. He had underestimated the man's deviousness and was now paying the price for it. 

Zhuo Yang's satisfaction with finding Lian Jun's weaknesses was diluted, and his face trembled as he forced out a nonchalant smile. He looked at Lian Jun and asked in return, "I was just curious and asked a question, but your reaction was so big. It's inexplicable that you're trying to pin the blame on me. Do I have reason to suspect that your new subordinate is very special?" 

"He is certainly special, but every one of my subordinates is special," said Lian Jun, putting down the documents in his hand. His expression remained unchanged as he continued, "Zhuo Yang, your level of probing with words is still too inexperienced in my opinion. The fact that I took care of Heavenly Horse is something I don't believe you are unaware of, but you still dare to provoke me. 

"In my eyes, you are simply brainless. If you don't fear me exposing all of your other 'pawns' to the public, then you can continue to harass me. I don't mind letting everyone know more about the internal information of the Nine Eagles. Don't forget, if it comes to manipulating people, you can do it, and so can I."

Zhuo Yang's expression finally changed, but he still stubbornly denied knowing about Heavenly Horse and the 'pawns', saying, "Lian Jun, your skill at distorting the truth is still so masterful." 

"I am not distorting the truth. Everyone has their own judgment." With that, Lian Jun picked up the documents, looking as though he didn't want to say anything more to him. "Zhuo Yang, stop dreaming about being the emperor of the underworld. We're not fools here."

The emperor of the underworld? Zhang Zhuoyuan turned his head to look at Zhuo Yang and said, "Zhuo Yang, we may need to have a private talk after the meeting."

Zhuo Yang's face turned sour, as if he had eaten shit. He finally stopped pretending to smile and shut his mouth.

Seeing Zhuo Yang's defeat, Lu Shan laughed outright, twirling a pen between her fingers. "It's the modern age, and yet there are still children who haven't been weaned off their dreams of being the emperor of the underworlds. Lian Jun, I suddenly don't find you so annoying anymore." 

"If the price of not being hated by you is to become shorter and be one of the 'children' you're talking about, then it's not necessary. Please continue to hate me." Lian Jun coldly replied, maintaining his hostile attitude towards Lu Shan.

Lu Shan's expression stiffened and she looked at him with great dissatisfaction. She threw her pen down, sneered, and cursed, "You ungrateful brat." She didn't say anything else.

And so, the power struggle between the top leaders of the first-tier organizations came to an end. The meeting room returned to silence, but the atmosphere inside was very different from before.

Previously, everyone had intentionally or unintentionally excluded Lian Jun, but after he exposed the connection between Nine Eagles and Heavenly Horse, the focus shifted to Zhuo Yang one by one. Although Lian Jun was hated by many for his close ties with the authorities, he never cultivated 'pawns' to harm other organizations, making him much less dangerous. 

It was different for Zhuo Yang, who had great ambitions and no scruples. He was even caught secretly supporting other organizations and stirring up trouble on the streets, making him a walking source of danger.

Between someone who wanted to be the emperor of the underworld and someone who was a low-key powerhouse who never suppressed other organizations without reason, it was clear which side was more worthy of fear. There was no need to think twice.

The meeting lasted until just before dinner, and when the leaders of the major organizations emerged, their expressions were not good. Zhuo Yang's face was particularly bad, and he was unlucky enough to be 'invited' away by Zhang Zhuoyuan and Liu Zhenjun as soon as the meeting ended. 

As usual, Shi Jin squeezed Number One to the side, taking over the job of pushing Lian Jun's wheelchair. He asked with concern, "I saw that Zhuo Yang talking to you. Did he give you a hard time?"

"It wasn't too bad. He's just as brainless as ever," Lian Jun replied simply. After Shi Jin pushed him to the next level of the ship and the people around them thinned out, he continued, "But he did have something in his hand. He dared to provoke me face-to-face, not even considering the fact that he might have given me some leverage. He must have some chips in his hand."

Shi Jin frowned. "So Long Shi is really in his hands?"

"Not just that. The person should be on his ship," Lian Jun replied, guessing, "Zhuo Yang was suppressed by me today, so he will definitely come to me sooner or later. We'll wait for him to come to us." Upon hearing this, Shi Jin glanced at Lian Jun, whose progress bar was still stuck at 900, and nodded in agreement.

As expected, later that day, someone from Zhuo Yang's team came looking for Lian Jun, inviting him to a meeting on the Nine Eagles' ship and leaving behind a card with the word "Long" on it.

In front of Zhuo Yang's subordinates, Lian Jun threw the card into the trash and retorted, "Tell Zhuo Yang that I'm not as foolish as he thinks." He then had Number One sweep Zhuo Yang's subordinates out the door.

Shi Jin couldn't help but take notice of the card in the trash.

Lian Jun thought that Shi Jin didn't understand why he had kicked out Zhuo Yang's men and explained, "We can't follow Zhuo Yang's rhythm. Don't worry, he'll come back." 

Shi Jin shook his head and turned to hold Lian Jun's hand, frowning. Suddenly, he went around and supported the wheelchair, pushing him towards the restroom. He picked up the soap and vigorously washed Lian Jun's hands.

Lian Jun, being the intelligent man he was, immediately caught on and asked, "Is there something wrong with the card?"

"I'm not sure, but it's better if you don't touch anything that Zhou Yang sends in the future. Who knows what might be on it?" Shi Jin replied, his attention fixed on the progress bar that had suddenly increased after Lian Jun touched the card. He repeatedly washed Lian Jun's hands several times until the progress bar went down before turning off the tap and helping Lian Jun dry his hands.

Lian Jun allowed him to do so and then called Number Two, instructing him to seal the card and send it back to the ship for Uncle Long to examine. Upon hearing this, Number Two's face turned black and he cursed Zhuo Yang for playing so dirty. He fetched a sealed bag and tweezers, carefully collected the card, and took the trash can out to destroy the evidence.

Number One's face also turned black upon learning of the situation. He was very regretful, saying, "It was my negligence. I saw the card being held by that subordinate with bare hands and didn't inspect it carefully."

"It's not your fault," Lian Jun squeezed his fingers, feeling the intimacy of being washed by Shi Jin's hands just now. He said, "Who could have thought that Zhuo Yang would be so brainless as to make a move on me on the officials' ship? He really doesn't take the authorities seriously. Besides, that card may not necessarily have a problem. Everything is just a precaution." 

Although he had said so, Lian Jun still ordered everyone who had come into close contact with the card to wash their hands and faces thoroughly, including Shi Jin.

While hiding in the bathroom washing his hands, Shi Jin poked Xiao Si in his mind and asked, "Can you help me locate Long Shi's position? It would be best if you could confirm whether he is on the Nine Eagles' ship."

Xiao Si was a bit hesitant and replied, "Locating someone requires a medium that is closely connected to the person being located, otherwise it's difficult to operate. Other than you and my baby, I can't locate anyone directly."

Upon hearing this, Shi Jin frowned and thought for a moment before saying, "I'll figure out the medium, but can you scan the interior of the Nine Eagles' ship for me first? Like the distribution of personnel and such." 

"I can do that," Xiao Si's voice was full of enthusiasm, happy to be able to help. "I can start scanning tonight. The Nine Eagles' ship is quite large, but if I work quickly, you'll have detailed results by tomorrow morning."

Shi Jin was pleased and praised Xiao Si before turning his thoughts to finding objects related to Long Shi from elsewhere.

After some consideration, Shi Jin focused his attention on Number Two.

He took out a Monopoly game board and pretended to want to play and have fun with Number Two. Sneaking into Number Two's room, he smoothly steered the conversation towards Long Shi without leaving any trace. 

Number Two looked at the Monopoly chips with disgust and replied, "It's not that we didn't go after Long Shi back then, it's that he was too cunning. He betrayed Young Master Jun and burned all traces of himself in Annihilation. He disappeared quickly. At that time, everyone was busy trying to save Young Master Jun, and amidst the chaos, he managed to escape. Over the years, we never gave up on searching for Long Shi, but there were no leads. Long Shi knows too well how to evade our search in Annihilation." 

Shi Jin, unwilling to give up, asked, "Did he really leave no trace at all?" 

"No, he even burned the adoption certificate that Uncle Long carefully kept. He's truly a heartless person. This time, he was caught by the Nine Eagles, and I'm actually grateful to them. This traitor should have been destroyed long ago." 

Number Two spoke, but eventually couldn't convince himself to continue playing such a childish game. He pushed the Monopoly chips away and waved his hand in disgust, "What's the point of playing games? Go to bed and get some rest, it's getting late."

Shi Jin refuted Number Two's claim that it was getting late, but he still collected the Monopoly game pieces and stood up to leave. 

Number Two stopped him again and said, "Don't ask Uncle Long about this. He may seem tough, but he's actually very soft-hearted. Long Shi's betrayal is a sore spot for him, and every time it's mentioned, he feels sad for a long time. Don't worry, Long Shi will be caught, and Young Master Jun's health will improve. Just trust me."

Shi Jin paused and looked back at him. Number Two took out a lollipop from his pocket and casually threw it in his direction before leaving.

After Shi Jin walked out of Number Two's room, he saw Lian Jun standing outside his own room. He was surprised and quickly walked over, asking, "Young Master Jun, why haven't you gone to bed? Do you need something?"

Lian Jun glanced at the Monopoly game in his hand and the door to Number Two's room nearby before replying, "No, I don't need anything. Did you go see Number Two?" 

Shi Jin replied, "Yes, I wanted to go play games with him, but he wanted to sleep early, so I came out." 

Lian Jun asked, "Why didn't you just come find me?" 

"Um..." Shi Jin was momentarily dumbfounded, but quickly thought of a reason and said, "I didn't want to disturb your rest. A game of Monopoly takes a long time." 

Lian Jun looked deeply at him and took the Monopoly game from his hands, placing it on his own lap. As he slid his wheelchair, he said, "I'm not that fragile. It's okay to stay up a little later. Come on, I'll play with you." 

Shi Jin looked at his empty hands and then at Lian Jun's back, which brooked no refusal. He realized he had dug himself a hole and resignedly followed Lian Jun back to the room. At first, Shi Jin was planning to just go through the motions of playing the game. 

But once the game started, he found that tonight's game of Monopoly was strangely slow and unexciting. It was so boring that he was getting sleepy and wanted to just lay his head on the table before the game was even over.

"Feeling tired?" Lian Jun put down his own chips and asked in a low voice.

Shi Jin rubbed his face vigorously and replied, "It's nothing, let's just finish this game."

"We're not playing anymore." Lian Jun directly scattered the chips on the table and rolled his wheelchair over to Shi Jin's side. He reached out and touched his hair, asking, "Shi Jin, is life on the ship particularly dull?" 

Shi Jin felt comfortable as he was being touched, lazily leaning back on the sofa chair. Seeing that the chips were all mixed up, his nerves, which had been tense from the game, completely relaxed. He yawned and shook his head, saying, "It was good. I learned a lot and it was very interesting."

Lian Jun didn't say anything, but wiped away the tears that had welled up in Shi Jin's eyes from yawning.

Shi Jin's eyes itched from being touched, so he turned his head to avoid Lian Jun's hand. Perhaps influenced by the warm atmosphere or perhaps tormented by sleepiness, he suddenly took the initiative to hold Lian Jun's hand and said, "Lian Jun, I want to save you. I want to catch Long Shi and extract the toxin's origin, so that you can become healthy again."

"I know," Lian Jun replied, holding his hand back and looking at his face. He repeated, "I know... your intentions are very precious." 

Shi Jin felt a sudden urge to sigh and asked Lian Jun, "Do you have any plans or preparations to bring back Long Shi?"

Lian Jun leaned in closer and replied, "Yes, Nine Eagles's growth cannot be separated from my and the government's tacit approval and support. I have people on the inside, but Zhuo Yang is very cautious about Long Shi. My people have not found any clues before."

"After all, Long Shi is big leverage over you," Shi Jin interjected, turning his head to look at Lian Jun's face. His gaze slowly settled on Lian Jun's beautiful eyes, feeling as if they contained a magical power that made him feel at ease. He continued, "Today, Zhuo Yang did not get the response he wanted from you. I don't know what he will do next..." 

"Most likely, he will give me more detailed information or evidence to make me believe that Long Shi is really in his hands, and then when I am confused, he will make demands of me," replied Lian Jun. He looked at Shi Jin, who was staring straight at him, and with a slight change in his tone and a twinkle in his eye, he asked, "Shi Jin, do looking at me like this?"

Shi Jin didn't answer. His body slid down on the sofa, and his eyes, which had been open the whole time, suddenly closed without warning, falling asleep in seconds.

Lian Jun: "..."

Xiao Si: "..." 


When he woke up in his own bed, after a dreamless night, Shi Jin saw sunlight streaming into the room and couldn't help but feel satisfied. "Ah, I slept so well. I must have had a beautiful dream. In the dream, a stunning beauty looked at me with deep affection, holding my hand and covering me with a blanket. How considerate!" 

But then, the mechanical voice of Xiao Si interrupted his thoughts. "Oh, the scan of the internal situation of the Nine Eagles' ship is out. Do you want to accept it?" 

Shi Jin sat up abruptly, about to say yes, but then hesitated. "Will I get a high fever like last time if I accept it?" This was a critical moment, and he couldn't afford to get sick. 

Xiao Si was silent for a moment before replying, "No, you won't. You might feel a little dizzy, but there isn't much data this time." 

"Then you send the information, and I'll take it from there," said Shi Jin, satisfied, as he lay back on the bed and closed his eyes.

Ten minutes later, Shi Jin stumbled into the bathroom, feeling dizzy and disoriented. He splashed cold water on his face to try and regain his senses, but still felt weak and breathless. "This doesn't feel right," he muttered.

"The symptoms will gradually subside, and should disappear within two hours. Please persevere," replied Xiao Si in a mechanical voice.

Finally realizing something was wrong, Shi Jin asked in confusion, "What's going on with you? You seem strange."

Xiao Si fell silent, then suddenly burst into tears, deeply saddened. Shi Jin was taken aback and called out in concern, "Xiao Si?" 

"Don't worry about me..." Xiao Si started hiccupping, clearly upset but still trying to be strong. "I'm fine, I'm used to it. I'm strong, just like my precious. Waaah...and you're so stupid, Jin Jin."

Shi Jin: "..."

During breakfast, Shi Jin noticed that Lian Jun seemed to have a poor appetite and was eating less than usual, which worried him greatly.

Lian Jun insisted that it was nothing, just that the food on the ship was getting repetitive.

Shi Jin fell silent, looking at the menu with over ten pages in front of him, thinking that Lian Jun might just be picky with his food again.

The meeting started promptly at 9am, an hour earlier than the previous day.

Today's meeting was focused on all non-legal criminal organisations within the country, which didn't have a direct impact on the attendees. As a result, everyone's attitude was much more relaxed than the day before. Zhuo Yang arrived on the official ship as usual today, but he didn't try to provoke Lian Jun. Instead, he glanced in the direction of Shi Jin and entered the meeting room with a strange smile on his face.

Shi Jin was puzzled and responded with a middle finger in his mind.

The morning meeting ended smoothly. As everyone was dispersing, Zhuo Yang, who had been well-behaved all morning, suddenly approached Lian Jun and looked at Shi Jin who was pushing his wheelchair. 

He said to Lian Jun, "Lian Jun, Long Shi said that the first time he checked your body was when he was nineteen years old, and he was already interested in you... Now that you have a young subordinate with you, aren't you afraid of history repeating itself? Young people can be very dangerous when it comes to love and hate."

Lian Jun's face turned black as he pulled out his gun and aimed it at Zhuo Yang's heart. Zhuo Yang's subordinates saw this and aimed their guns at Lian Jun.

Shi Jin furrowed his brow, stepped to the side, and stood in front of Lian Jun, giving Zhuo Yang a menacing look.

Zhuo Yang raised an eyebrow at Shi Jin's actions and wore a smug expression that said 'I already know everything'. 

He spoke in a strange tone, "Wow, it seems like I asked a stupid question. Some people are repeating history. Lian Jun, I advise you to quickly send this little guy away, or he'll be the next Long Shi."


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