Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 51 - Clearing the Field

After being indirectly insulted as stupid, Shi Jin felt a bit down and dissatisfied. He asked Xiao Si in his heart, "Am I really not smart?"

Xiao Si's tone was full of detachment from the world, and replied, "It's okay. You can ask my baby to buy you more walnuts to eat later."

Shi Jin fell silent and decided to temporarily lock Xiao Si in the small black room.

The deck was quiet, and everyone was nervously watching the situation in the conference room. No one spoke.

Today's meeting was about re-registering the information of all legal criminal organisations and collecting a new list of candidates for legal criminal organisations. Re-registering the organizational information was an easy process, and with the cooperation of all the leaders, it was completed within an hour. 

To everyone's surprise, Heavenly Horse was not on the new registration list for the new year. The group looked at the unusually quiet Zhuo Yang, who was flipping through a document without lifting his head, seemingly unaware of their gaze. They eventually lost interest and looked away.

After the information registration was completed, it was time for the most important part - the recruitment list. Zhang Zhuoyuan gave all the eligible organization leaders a blank piece of paper and announced a half-hour break before opening the doors to the meeting room.

Lian Jun tore up the paper as soon as he received it and wheeled his chair to the door of the meeting room. Shi Jin rushed over to see what was going on. 

"Do you want some fruit juice if you're thirsty?" Shi Jin got a bottle of juice and offered it to Lian Jun.

"I'm not thirsty, there's water in the conference room." Lian Jun replied, but still took the juice from Shi Jin and took a sip. He gestured for Shi Jin to move to a less crowded corner and asked, "Is it boring waiting outside?"

"No, I have Number Nine and Uncle Long to talk to." Shi Jin replied, glancing at Zhuo Yang who had also left the conference room. He leaned in closer to Lian Jun and asked in a low voice, "Did Zhuo Yang bother you today?"

Lian Jun shook his head and replied, "No, today's meeting is important. If he wants to cause trouble for me, he'll wait until after the meeting is over." Upon hearing this, Shi Jin furrowed his brows and couldn't help but glance in the direction of the Nine Eagles' ships.

Today was the last day of the meeting. If they were to make a move after the meeting ended, wouldn't that mean waiting until everyone had dispersed and the officials had left, leaving them to fight one-on-one without interference from the authorities or other organizations? By then, wouldn't the Nine Eagles become even more arrogant?

Lian Jun noticed his reaction and said, "Don't worry, I have a plan."

Shi Jin withdrew his gaze and looked at Lian Jun's confident and calm demeanor, feeling a little more at ease. Seeing that several minutes had already passed during their break, he stopped talking about these unpleasant topics and started chatting about other things.

Half an hour later, the break was over and the leaders of each organization returned to the meeting room, submitting their respective name lists. After collecting the name lists, Zhang Zhuoyuan instructed his assistant to sort out the list of names on them. He took advantage of this time to announce the results of last year's audit and asked for recommendations for the leaders of these organizations. He urged them to quickly notify the organizations that had already passed the audit to go to the official registration and complete the formalities.

As soon as the results were announced, some were happy while others were sad. Zhou Yang's face looked a bit ugly, clearly indicating that the organization he recommended last year did not pass the official audit. On the other hand, Lu Shan had a big smile on her face, presumably having received good news. 

After finishing up, Zhang Zhuoyuan took the list for this year that his assistant had prepared. Following the procedure, he read the list out loud in front of everyone, made copies, and handed them out for everyone to discuss. He informed them that if anyone found any organizations on the list that did not meet the recommended criteria, they were welcome to bring it up at the afternoon meeting.

With that, the morning meeting officially ended.

Upon leaving, Lian Jun handed the list directly to Number One, gesturing for him to return to the cabin first.

Shi Jin pushed Lian Jun's wheelchair and curiously glanced at the list. He saw that there were only strange names listed without any annotations. He asked in confusion, "I noticed that everyone was excited after receiving this list. Why is that?" 

"At the afternoon meeting, some organizations on this list will be removed because it's not the final draft. They will all decide together which ones to remove, so everyone is excited," Number Two leaned in to answer, glancing at the list in Number One's hand and raising an eyebrow. "Yang Dao? Isn't that... ahem, Senior Lu Shan is still so interesting this year."

Shi Jin was skeptical, "How do you know that this organization recommended by Senior Lu Shan? There's nothing marked on the list."

"I guessed," Number Two replied nonchalantly. Seeing that Shi Jin wanted to ask more, he quickly turned to Number One and changed the subject, "Can you confirm which organization Nine Eagles recommended?" 

Number One looked at the list of various organizations on the list with a serious expression, furrowing his brows and shaking his head. "Not sure... Young Master Jun, Zhuo Yang must have changed the recommended organization at the last minute. The 'Fugitives' we previously investigated are not on the list."

"As expected," Lian Jun replied, soothingly. "Don't worry, someone will send us the real name of the organization that Nine Eagles recommended."

Upon hearing this, Number One seemed to have thought of something. He raised his hand and tapped his forehead, relaxing his expression and posture. He folded the list and stuffed it into his pocket, no longer pondering over it. Number Two and the others all understood the meaning behind Lian Jun's words and began discussing other topics in unison. As the only one still clueless, Shi Jin looked around at everyone's expressions, wanting to ask but holding back. He furrowed his brow and began to seriously consider whether his IQ was really a bit low.

Half an hour later, Lian Jun received a call from Zhang Zhuoyuan at the dinner table. After a brief conversation, he reported a name to Number One. Number One immediately took out a list from his pocket, quickly found the name he reported, circled it, and handed the list to Number Nine.

Number Nine took the list and skillfully took out his computer. He found a plug in the private room, plugged in the computer and connected it to the port, and began typing on the keyboard.

Shi Jin watched everything and silently ate his food - so it turned out that the officials would come in through the back door... How could he forget that Lian Jun was a man with close ties to the authorities? 

"How come you keep eating plain rice? Don't the dishes suit your taste?" Lian Jun suddenly leaned over and asked, even kindly picking up a piece of vegetable for him.

Shi Jin glanced at the extra beef in his bowl, picked it up with his chopsticks, chewed and swallowed it, and finally made a decision. He turned to Lian Jun and said seriously, "Young Master Jun, could you buy me some walnuts?"

Lian Jun looked at him quietly for two seconds, then reached out and affectionately ruffled his hair, nodding in agreement. "Sure."

He didn't even ask why and just agreed.

Suddenly, Shi Jin felt a little sad. He shook his head, pushed Lian Jun's hand away, and buried his head to take another big bite of rice.


Before the afternoon meeting, Lian Jun received the materials that Number Nine had organized. The organization recommended by Nine Eagles this year is called Rattlesnake, a very new and fresh group. If it weren't for the obligation of the recommender to provide detailed information about the recommended organization to the authorities, Number Nine might not have been able to find out the origin of Rattlesnake in such a short time with just this name, without official help.

"Based on the information provided by the authorities, I followed the trail and found that Rattlesnake has some connection with an organization called 'Python' in the southeast region. And Python is owned by 'Gunfire', which is in cooperation with Nine Eagles in the southeast region," Number Nine explained, succinctly pointing out the relationship chain. 

Number Two couldn't help but sneer and said, "What is Nine Eagles trying to do by recommending a small branch of a foreign organization for official review? Are they trying to help foreign organizations infiltrate and disrupt the domestic situation?" 

It's bad enough when family members fight amongst themselves, but inviting wolves into the house? And they still think the domestic situation isn't chaotic enough? 

"No wonder Zhuo Yang is so confident, turns out he has a big backer and has sold out his ancestors." Number One coldly continued the conversation, his expression also unpleasant. 

Lian Jun closed the file, tapped the armrest of his wheelchair, and said, "Nine Eagles cannot be allowed to stay." 

As soon as these words were spoken, everyone's expressions became serious. Number One and Number Two exchanged a glance, and Number One asked, "What do you want to do, Young Master Jun?" 

Lian Jun nodded and ordered, "Number Nine, take this information and give it to Zhang Zhuoyuan. He will know what to do." Number Nine responded with a quick "got it" and immediately returned to his computer to continue typing away after receiving the information.

Shi Jin sat quietly on the side, listening to the conversation of the group. He thought about Long Shi, who was still on the Nine Eagles ship, and furrowed his brows.

The afternoon meeting started on time, and Shi Jin once again stood in the corner of the deck. As soon as the meeting began, the atmosphere between the leaders exploded. Some wanted to remove a certain organization from the list, while others wanted to protect their own recommended organization. Some were determined to stir up trouble with the principle of 'if others benefit, then I lose.' There were even two organizations that had cooperated to recommend a spot, but due to the issue with the list, they ended up having a heated argument on the spot. 

The situation quickly became chaotic, and the atmosphere on the deck became restless. The leaders were all arguing with flushed faces, and Lian Jian, who had been quietly observing, looked out of place.

Shi Jin watched as the names of various organizations scrolled across the projection in the conference room. His gaze occasionally shifted towards Zhuo Yang, and as time passed, his nerves grew increasingly tense.

After about two hours, the words "Rattlesnake" finally appeared on the projection. Zhuo Yang, who had been lazily slouching in his chair, unconsciously twirled his pen. His expression remained unchanged, and he didn't even glance at the projection, as if Rattlesnake had nothing to do with him and he had no interest in the small organization. 

As usual, Zhang Zhuoyuan first posted the specific information provided by the recommender. After a brief explanation, he announced that everyone could openly discuss and submit their opinions on whether the organization should enter the official review process.

The previously noisy crowd briefly quieted down, and everyone looked at each other, obviously not knowing much about the small organization called "Rattlesnake". After a whispered conversation, the leader of a small group spoke up first and said, "I have no objections."

Lian Jun's gaze shifted over and he noted the name of this small organization's leader. One person started speaking and soon others joined in. Most of them expressed no objections. After all, their power to veto was limited. Many didn't want to waste their chance on an unfamiliar and relatively non-threatening group. They preferred to focus their efforts on pushing out some of the more threatening medium-sized organizations.

The fifteen-minute discussion quickly passed, and Zhang Zhuoyuan tallied everyone's opinions. Finally, he asked, "Does anyone have any objections? If not, this organization will be approved and officially enter the review process from today onwards."

At this point, it seemed that the outcome was already set in stone. Zhuo Yang still looked bored, but the movement of his pen spinning in his hand became much faster. 

"I have an objection," said Lian Jun, finally breaking his silence since the meeting began that afternoon. This was also the first time he had voiced his opinion on the list.

Zhuo Yang's pen stopped mid-air, his brow furrowed as he instinctively asked, "What's your objection?"

Lian Jun looked over and instead of answering, he asked a question of his own, "Nine Eagles seems to be particularly interested in this organization. I haven't seen you speak up for any other organization before."

The implication in his words was clear, and Zhuo Yang was caught off guard. He quickly tried to remedy the situation, "I just find it strange. If anyone is interested, it seems to be you. After all, you haven't spoken up until now."

"Of course, I'm interested," Lian Jun replied, his expression calm and collected, "I hate snakes, so I have an objection. Your reaction just now, does that mean you like snakes?" 

Zhuo Yang's face trembled as he was so angry that he almost threw his pen. Even though Lian Jun had explained everything vaguely, everyone understood what was going on with this "Rattlesnake". Looking at the data on the projection, all of their expressions changed. They realized that this "Rattlesnake" was most likely recommended by Nine Eagles.

Old Ghost was the first to regain his composure and raised his voice, saying, "Director Zhang, I am changing my neutral stance. This 'Rattlesnake' has only been established for a short time, and its qualifications and personnel are abnormal. It is not suitable to be listed so early. I think it should be removed."

The leaders of other organizations also regained their senses and changed their previous opinions. They found various reasons to express that "Rattlesnake" was not good or suitable and should be taken down. Zhang Zhuoyuan, who was very easy to talk to, collected everyone's opinions again and initiated a controversial vote. In the end, based on the reasonable results of the vote, Rattlesnake was removed from the list.

Zhuo Yang was so angry that he slammed the table and stopped pretending to be bored. He looked at Lian Jun with a sinister expression, but Lian Jun continued to ignore him and returned to his quiet background.

The list was very long, and the afternoon meeting inevitably extended. By the time everything was settled, it was already sunset.

The sunset's afterglow spilled onto the deck, enveloping everyone's bodies, and unexpectedly added a touch of warmth to this underworld meeting. Liu Zhenjun stepped down from the cockpit and stood next to Zhang Zhuoyuan. He called for all the leaders of the organizations to gather on the deck and gave a speech thanking everyone for their cooperation and expressing his hope for continued collaboration in the future. He then officially announced the successful conclusion of the meeting.

In fact, aside from the turbulent undercurrents, this year's meeting was relatively peaceful. There were no open conflicts, no verbal sparring between organizations, and no one foolishly attempted to challenge the authority of the officials or Lian Jun. Everyone showed rare restraint.

The raised deck railing was lowered, and everyone could leave the ship directly. The leaders of each organization didn't bother with any fake politeness or sentimental goodbyes with the officials. Without a word, they turned and left. Within a short time, half of the people on the deck had disappeared. As usual, Lian Jun sat next to Zhang Zhuoyuan, giving him the final support. 

At some point, Zhuo Yang stood next to him, ignoring the presence of Zhang Zhuoyuan and Liu Zhenjun, and asked coldly, "Lian Jun, are you really trying to get yourself killed by targeting me everywhere?" 

Lian Jun didn't even look at him, gazing at the setting sun in front of him and replied leisurely, "I don't have many demands for my own life, I just need to live longer than you." 

Zhuo Yang's face turned black, and he suddenly took his subordinate's gun, quickly loading a bullet. 

Everyone's expressions changed, with Number One standing behind Lian Jun and Liu Zhenjun next to him, both with sharp eyes. One tried to block, while the other directly pulled out his gun. Shi Jin happened to be approaching, and seeing this his expression also changed drastically, and he quickly ran over. 

"It's okay." Lian Jun stopped Number One with one hand. In the next second, Zhuo Yang raised his gun towards the sky, pulled the trigger, and then threw the gun back into his subordinate's arms. With a disdainful look, he glanced at Number One and turned to Liu Zhenjun, saying, "Admiral, can you move your gun a little? The rules state that you cannot use force against conference attendees. I hope you haven't forgotten that."

Liu Zhenjun took back his gun and warned, "Don't mess around, or I'll make sure your Nine Eagles ship never returns."

This threat was not polite at all, and Zhuo Yang's face became even uglier. However, he didn't explode. Instead, he turned to Lian Jun and said, "You've done so much just to force me to reveal my cards to you, right? I'll give you what you want. Watch closely." 

After speaking, he gave Lian Jun a malicious look and stepped onto the bridge, leaving. As Shi Jin approached, he overheard the conversation and instinctively stepped in front of Lian Jun, scanning the surroundings for any traps that Zhuo Yang might have set up elsewhere.

Suddenly, Uncle Long, who had been silent until now, spoke up with a hint of excitement in his voice: "Young Master Jun, look at the deck of Nine Eagles."

Everyone turned to look.

On the spacious deck of Nine Eagles, a thin man was suddenly dragged out by the crew and roughly pulled to face their direction.

Xiao Si became excited and exclaimed, "It's Long Shi! Zhuo Yang must have released him!"

Shi Jin's heart skipped a beat and he took a step forward instinctively, but upon seeing the surrounding water, he quickly retreated. It was not a good idea to directly rescue Long Shi in the current situation, even though he had been taken out of Zhuo Yang's room. Number Two couldn't help but look down at Lian Jun and said, "Young Master, it's Long Shi."

Compared to everyone's excitement, Lian Jun appeared much calmer. He only glanced in the direction of Long Shi before shifting his gaze away and turning to Number Three, instructing, "Go pack our things and prepare to move back to our own ship." His words completely ignored Long Shi's presence.

"Young Master," Number One couldn't help but call out to him. Right now, Long Shi was being taken to the deck by Zhuo Yang in a fit of anger. The Nine Eagles' ship was also very close to theirs. All they needed to do was inform Number Five, who was left behind, and they could start their operation directly. The chances of successfully snatching Long Shi were very high.

Lian Jun waved his hand and said, "It's a trap, don't fall for it." After speaking, he looked at Shi Jin, who was still staring intently at the Nine Eagles' deck, and leaned over to grab his hand that was hanging by his side, pulling him closer. 

Shi Jin snapped out of his daze and looked at Lian Jun. "Young Master Jun, maybe I could--"

"You're not allowed to think or do anything," Lian Jun interrupted, gesturing for Shi Jin to push the wheelchair. He then turned to Zhang Zhuoyuan and bid him farewell.

Zhang Zhuoyuan also noticed the commotion on the deck of the Nine Eagles and asked, "Do you need any help?"

"No, it's not good for the authorities to directly confront the Nine Eagles right now. It wouldn't look good. I'll handle this myself," Lian Jun shook his head.

Zhang Zhuoyuan frowned but didn't want to force the issue. He offered to send a team to escort Lian Jun and his group back to the ship and told them to speak up if they needed anything.

Shi Jin wasn't used to the swaying of the gangway and handed off the task of pushing the wheelchair to Number One. He walked at the back, his attention still on the deck of the Nine Eagles. 

Zhuo Yang had already brought his men back to his own ship, but instead of going into the cabin, he stood by Long Shi's side with a gleaming cold knife in his hand, tracing it over Long Shi's body and occasionally glancing towards Lian Jun. 

Long Shi was probably under the influence of drugs, his eyes half-open and his consciousness clearly not very clear. 

Lian Jun and his group were the last to return to their own ship. By the time they landed on their own deck, the official ships and the spiderweb-like bridges were already almost empty. 

After returning to their own ship, the distance between the crowd and the Nine Eagles ships became closer, and they could finally see Long Shi's appearance more clearly. It was a standard handsome face, covered in obvious signs of artificial sculpting, looking very unnatural. Number One frowned at the sight, while Uncle Long suppressed some emotion, his expression heavy and his hands tightly clenched into fists.

Lian Jun still treated Zhuo Yang as if he were invisible, or rather, he treated the entire Nine Eagles ship as if it were invisible. After the official order to clear the area was given, he called in Number Five, who was left behind, to start dismantling the gangway and the bridge, preparing to return home.

Number Five immediately sent people to arrange it.

After the signal to clear the area was given, all the organizations took action. The spiderweb-like channels that had been maintained on the sea surface for three days gradually disappeared. First, the outermost small boats released their connections and scattered in different directions. Then, the middle-level ships released their connections and turned around to leave one by one. 

In less than half an hour, only the boats of the inner circle organizations and the official boat remained on the sea. 

During this time, Lian Jun stayed on the deck, keeping an eye on the departure of other organizations for the officials. Zhuo Yang also stayed on the deck, watching Lian Jun strangely and occasionally using a knife to cut Long Shi's body, like a lunatic. 

Shi Jin's nerves were stretched to the limit by Zhuo Yang's actions, and his frown became tighter and tighter. The wounds Zhuo Yang inflicted were not deep, but Long Shi was clearly in bad shape. If this continued, it was uncertain when Long Shi would be tortured to death. 

And if Long Shi died, they would never have any clues on the source of the toxin. After about ten minutes, only Annihilation, Nine Eagles, Phantom, and the officials' ship remained on the sea, and the gangplanks and bridges were all removed. 

Lian Jun withdrew his gaze from the sea and announced their departure.

The group, including Number One and Shi Jin, who had been holding back, couldn't help but feel anxious - if they left like this, what would happen to the information on the toxin's source?

Just as they were about to break the silence, Zhuo Yang couldn't hold back any longer. He saw Lian Jun about to leave and directly stabbed Long Shi's arm with a dagger.

This was too cruel. Long Shi screamed in pain, and his consciousness seemed to have recovered slightly from the chaos. He opened his eyes in a daze and saw Lian Jun sitting on a wheelchair on this side of the deck. 

A kind of fanatic emotion surged in his eyes, and he shouted, "Young Master Jun! Young Master Jun, save me! Please save me for the years I have served you!"

Served? What an ambiguous word!

Number One and the others' faces turned black. Xiao Si suddenly panicked and exclaimed, "Jin Jin! The progress bar for the treasure has started to increase. It's moving so fast, it's already at 950 after Long Shi's plea for help!"

Jin Jin was taken aback and quickly looked at the progress bar in his mind that belonged to Lian Jun. As expected, Lian Jun's progress bar, which had been decreasing slightly as the other large organizations' ships left, was now rapidly increasing along with Long Shi's cries for help. 

In the blink of an eye, it had already reached 980. 

Shi Jin's mind snapped, and he immediately pulled out his gun and aimed it at Long Shi, annoyed as he said, "Shut up! If you scream again, I'll kill you right now."


The group of people, including Number One, all looked at Shi Jin with a certain inappropriate surprise on their faces. Could it be that Shi Jin had finally come to his senses?


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