Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 54 - Pink Bubbles

When Shi Jin woke up in a dark room, he struggled to open his eyes and found them sore. He tried to move his body, but his limbs were weak and powerless.

There was no smell of disinfectant in the air, but instead, a faint scent of shower gel.

He blinked his eyes and tried to adjust to the darkness, turning his head to survey his surroundings and figure out where he was. As he did so, a familiar face appeared before him.

Lian Jun?! His eyes widened in shock, and he froze in place as he processed the fact that he and Lian Jun were currently lying on the same bed. 

He kept his neck twisted and awkwardly stared at Lian Jun, frantically poking at Xiao Si in his mind: "What's going on? How did I end up in bed with Lian Jun? Where are we?"

Xiao Si's voice was light and sweet, its tone affectionate as it happily replied, "You're on the ship! This is Baby's bedroom, didn't you recognize it? You've been sleeping for half a day and a whole night, and Baby has been taking care of you the whole time. You need to get better soon, Baby is so worried about you~" 

As Xiao Si's coquettish tone stimulated Shi Jin, he felt a surge of energy. He looked carefully at Lian Jun's face and vaguely saw a shallow shadow under his eyes. Remembering how Lian Jun had insisted on personally picking him up despite being in pain and sweating profusely before passing out, Shi Jin's heart softened. 

He couldn't help but shift his soft body slightly and turn to lie on his side, watching Lian Jun. His gaze slid from Lian Jun's hair to his chin, and he felt strangely satisfied.

"Your baby is really beautiful..." he couldn't help but exclaim in his heart.

Xiao Si corrected him seriously yet sweetly, "He's not my baby, he's our baby."

"Ours..." As Shi Jin chewed on the word, a smile unconsciously spread across his face. But halfway through, the smile froze and he lifted a hand to touch his upturned lips. 

He stared blankly for a moment, his expression becoming complicated as he looked at Lian Jun's sleeping face. He closed his eyes and rubbed his face with the blanket.

"Jin Jin, what's wrong? Are you feeling unwell?" Xiao Si's soaring emotions immediately plummeted as it expressed its concern.

Shi Jin shook his head and pulled the blanket down, remaining silent for a while before finally saying, "If I hadn't saved Long Shi yesterday and left him to die in the sea, wouldn't I have become a murderer, who provoked Zhuo Yang's actions?" 

Xiao Si was stuck for a moment, whimpering before finally responding with a lack of confidence, "But didn't you save Long Shi? Don't think too much about it, you did great. Long Shi being in the hands of Zhuo Yang is definitely more bad than good."

"But Long Shi dying in the hands of Zhuo Yang and dying under my instigation are not the same thing." Shi Jin sighed heavily, looking at his own hands as he continued, "Yesterday, I almost didn't think about it and impulsively made Zhuo Yang throw Long Shi into the sea. At that time, I didn't have a hundred percent certainty that I could save Long Shi, but I still did it without hesitation. My instincts told me that if we had just left at that time, we might never have been able to extract the information on the toxin's base again."

"Jin Jin..." Xiao Si couldn't help but call out to him, wanting to stop him from continuing. 

Shi Jin didn't want to brush off the matter. His clear and introspective eyes were lowered as he thought back to his time in police school. His instructor had told him that although he had the ability, he lacked stability and wasn't suited for the job. Shi Jin had confidently argued back, saying that police officers were just ordinary people and not all students could be expected to be stable. 

But now, as he looked back on his career, he realized that he was still the least like a police officer in his entire district. His colleagues and superiors all thought he had chosen the wrong profession, but he didn't believe that. He thought he had done a pretty good job as a police officer... until now. 

He had to admit that he had chosen the wrong path and had betrayed his oath. Long Shi was indeed a bad person, but he shouldn't have gambled with his life for a plan that wasn't guaranteed to succeed. Taking a life was the last thing a police officer should do. 

"Disregarding life is the bottom line, something that cannot be touched. I have made a grave mistake this time," he thought to himself. 

Xiao Si felt like crying after hearing what Shi Jin said. It consoled, "Jin Jin, it's not your fault..." 

"How could it not be my fault? I can't even imagine what my mental state would be like if Long Shi didn't make it back. To be honest, I don't regret what I did yesterday, but now I feel like I was crazy at the time... 

"Xiao Si, I'm not saying all this to dwell on the past and make you worry with me, nor is it to avoid admitting my mistakes... I just suddenly realized that in my heart, Long Jun's life and death has become more important than my principles and bottom line... Xiao Si, is this world really just a book?" 

Xiao Si remained silent, not giving an answer. 

Shi Jin let out a bitter laugh as he looked at Lian Jun's sleeping face. He couldn't resist leaning closer to him and even reached out to touch his face. After confirming that there was indeed a warm, living person lying in front of him, he asked in a different way, "Xiao Si, tell me, is Lian Jun really real? Is he just a few lines of ink on a book? No, that's not right. In the original plot, Lian Jun doesn't even exist... Xiao Si, is he real?"

"He is real," Xiao Si answered firmly. "Jin Jin, you and Baby will live well together, I promise."

"Well, that's enough then," Shi Jin sighed, and touched Lian Jun's face again. 

Just as he was about to retract his hand, the person who had been sleeping with his eyes closed suddenly opened them. 

In just a few seconds, Lian Jun's eyes went from hazy to clear. He blinked, and his long eyelashes formed a beautiful curve. His voice was lazy and hoarse as he softly called out, "Shi Jin?"

Shi Jin froze. All the melancholic emotions that rarely surfaced in his mind disappeared in an instant. 

He looked at his hand still resting on Lian Jun's face, then at the distance between them. He remembered his obvious movement towards Lian Jun's side and his mind went blank.

There was nothing more embarrassing than being caught taking advantage of someone. 

"Um, well..." he tried to explain, but found that speaking out loud was different from talking in his head. In reality, his throat was extremely dry and his voice sounded like stones scraping against cement, not only unpleasant but also piercing. He was so scared that he immediately shut his mouth and withdrew the hand he had placed on Lian Jun's face.

However, Lian Jun quickly reached out and held onto the hand that was placed on his face, then leaned in naturally and pressed his forehead against the man's forehead.

Shi Jin froze, unconsciously holding his breath as he looked at Lian Jun's face, which was now so close. He could smell Lian Jun's scent and the conclusion he had just made came to his mind again. 

This person's life and death had become more important than his own principles and bottom line. 

For this person, he did something he would never have done before. Even though he realized this and felt self-reflection and self-blame, he didn't regret it too much.

If he had another chance, he would probably still choose to gamble Long Shi's life for a chance at Lian Jun's recovery.

"I am a selfish and despicable person..." he thought, but his other hand couldn't help but reach out and embrace the person in front of him, tightly holding onto his waist. His head lowered and he buried himself in the other's chest.

Something was definitely wrong. Yesterday, after listening to Long Shi's story, even though his body was in pain and cold, all he could think about was how much he felt for the past Lian Jun and wanted to comfort the present Lian Jun with a hug. But something had changed, and it could never go back. 

As soon as Lian Jun was hugged, he instinctively hugged back and patted the man's back, asking, "Are you feeling uncomfortable? Uncle Long said that although your fever has subsided, your muscles are all strained to varying degrees. You need to rest well for a while."

How gentle he was, not pushing away this opportunistic rogue.

Shi Jin felt like he was done for, shook his head, and hugged him even tighter, forcing himself to fall asleep in his arms again.

Just treat it as a dream.

"Goodnight," he whispered, with a hint of self-deception.

Lian Jun paused his hand on his back, lowered his head to look at the head buried in his arms, and gently rubbed his chin against the top of his head, saying in a warm voice, "Goodnight...get well soon." 


After waking up from a nap, the cruel reality hit him hard. Shi Jin was lying on the bed, feeling thirsty, hungry, and needing to use the bathroom. His whole body was in pain, and he felt like life was not worth living.

"Your darling has a heart of stone, leaving me alone in the room as a patient," he complained with tears in his eyes.

Xiao Si defended, "Darling just went out to talk to Uncle Long for less than a minute."

Shi Jin hit his pillow with the back of his head, feeling uncomfortable and said, "I need to use the bathroom!"

Xiao Si felt like crying, "Then go ahead and use it."

"I can't get up! I'm paralyzed!" Shi Jin continued hitting his pillow with the back of his head.

Xiao Si suggested, "Why don't you call for Darling and ask for help?" 

"In that case, how can I face myself!" Shi Jin screamed in his mind, his voice sounding like a chicken with its neck squeezed by someone. "You talk about how beautiful your baby's face, hands, and eyes are! Can you bear to let him help me go to the bathroom? Can you bear it? Can you bear to let his beautiful eyes see private parts?!"

Xiao Si felt both a headache and happiness, its emotions were very complicated. It followed Shi Jin's broken voice and shouted back, "I can bear it! You call for darling! He loves you so much, he won't mind helping you!"

"I can't bear it!" Shi Jin shouted back, but his spirit quickly faded when he heard the sound of the door closing and the wheelchair sliding. He looked at the ceiling with a calm expression that said, "I don't have to pee at all." 

Lian Jun rolled his wheelchair to the bedside and looked at Shi Jin without saying a word.

Shi Jin's eyes began to roll as he wanted to look at Lian Jun, but he felt a little embarrassed for no reason. Plus, he was desperate to pee, so his face slowly twisted into a very distorted expression.

It was especially ugly.

Lian Jun admired Shi Jin's current extremely unique and ugly face for a while, then stood up, holding onto the wheelchair handle and approached Shi Jin's bed. 

He lifted Shi Jin's blanket, bent down, and reached his hand into the gap between Shi Jin's neck and pillow to embrace his shoulders, while placing his other hand under Shi Jin's knees.

Shi Jin was startled and quickly reached out to stop him: "No, I don't want to be carried like a princess!" 

That would be too embarrassing!

"You're too heavy, I can't carry you," Lian Jun spoke honestly, lifting Shi Jin's body slightly and helping him sit up. Then he gestured towards the wheelchair, "Let's use that." 

When Shi Jin saw the expression on Lian Jun's face, he realized that he had been honest - he was in a wheelchair. Suddenly, Shi Jin felt a little disappointed.

Lian Jun pushed Shi Jin into the bathroom and lifted him up to face the toilet. Shi Jin was holding his urine so hard that he was weak, but he stubbornly refused to move.

Lian Jun gently touched his lower back and coaxed him, "Don't hold it in, just pee. I won't look at you." After speaking, he turned his head to look at the bathroom door, really not looking at Shi Jin.

Shi Jin never expected to hear the words "just pee" from Lian Jun's mouth one day. He felt a mix of emotions and knew that he had lost all dignity. He struggled to say, "Can you leave? I can do it myself."

"You can't stand on your own," Lian Jun heartlessly refused. As Shi Jin felt his soft body, he sadly realized that what Lian Jun said was true. He raised his hand to his waistband and struggled to resist, but couldn't help but ask, "Can you cover your ears?"

"I changed your pajamas, including your underwear," Lian Jun heartlessly exposed a fact that Shi Jin had been suspecting.

Oh my god.

Shi Jin couldn't hold it in any longer. He gritted his teeth, undid his waistband, and pulled down!


Time seemed to slow down. When it was all over and Lian Jun pushed Shi Jin out of the bathroom after washing his hands, Shi Jin was dazed. All he could think about was ending it all. 

"Uncle Long will come to give you a check-up soon. You have to wait until it's done before you can eat. Just hold on a little longer," Lian Jun helped Shi Jin lie back on the bed, not in the wheelchair, but sitting on the edge of the bed. 

He reached out and smoothed Shi Jin's hair, "The ship will dock tonight. Your condition is too strange. It's best to go to a big hospital for a detailed check-up. The landing point is still in Country M. If you want, I can accompany you to your hometown when you're feeling better."

Shi Jin felt so comfortable with Lian Jun's gentle touch on his hair. He turned his head to look at him and saw his warm and gentle eyes. His heart itched and he couldn't help but ask, "Why are you so good to me?"

Lian Jun met his gaze and replied, "Because you treat me better than I treat you." 

He then withdrew his hand that was smoothing Shi Jin's hair. Shi Jin felt like he had received a "good person card," his heart sour and tired. Weakly, he said, "Young Master Jun, where's my tablet? I want to play mahjong..." 

At this moment, only mahjong could soothe his soul, which had been struck by reality.

Xiao Si moaned in pain, feeling suddenly hopeless. Some people may seem smarter, but in reality, they're not at all!

Lian Jun looked at his pale and pitiful face, his lips pulling down. He remained silent for a moment before saying, "You can play, but not for too long. You need to rest."

Shi Jin quickly nodded, his thoughts already consumed by mahjong. He couldn't care about anything else.


Mahjong was especially fun, and Shi Jin became addicted to it. He briefly forgot about the pain in his body and the instability in his mind, and successfully endured until the ship docked. 

He was pushed off the ship while lying on a mobile bed, and was immediately taken to the ambulance upon disembarking. After a detailed examination at the hospital, when all the fuss was over and he was safely settled into the ward, it was already midnight.

Lian Jun had been staying by his side the whole time, enduring without sleep. After settling in, Lian Jun went to the bathroom near the ward to freshen up before coming directly to the bedside of the accompanying bed not far from the patient's bed, where he lay down and propped himself up against the bed rail.

Shi Jin was already almost asleep, but upon seeing this, he suddenly woke up and frowned, saying, "Young Master Jun, go rest at the hotel. I'm fine, there's no need for someone to watch over me."

"Go to sleep," Lian Jun didn't respond, turning to face him and speaking in a voice that sounded particularly gentle in the night's reflection, "If you need anything, call me. Goodnight." 

With that, he closed his eyes. 

Upon seeing the situation, Shi Jin closed his mouth and looked at Lian Jun's face, which had become a little pale after all the commotion. He couldn't help but sigh deeply in his heart and resignedly said, "Xiao Si, your Baby is really good."

Xiao Si replied with a stiff tone, "Oh."

Lost in his own thoughts, Shi Jin didn't notice anything wrong with Xiao Si's response. He felt a bit embarrassed, uneasy, and even a little self-doubtful and uncertain as he continued, "I seem to have some feelings for your Baby..."

Xiao Si, who never seemed to learn its lesson, couldn't help but interject with anticipation, "Feelings for what?"

As Shi Jin struggled with his thoughts, Xiao Si's eagerness only added to the complexity of the situation. "Ah, it's just, it's just..." 

Shi Jin had different thoughts about someone for the first time. His emotions were all over the place. One moment he thought, "So what if I have some improper thoughts about someone? As a grown man, I should just say it out loud. What's there to be afraid of?" But the next moment, he became timid and worried that saying it out loud would ruin something. In the end, he kept saying "it's just" for a while, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

Xiao Si: "..."

Ahhhhhhhh! Xiao Si thought to itself.


After the check-up, the doctor gave the same conclusion as Uncle Long - Shi Jin's muscles throughout his body had varying degrees of strain, likely caused by over-exercising and improper movements. He needed to rest well for a while.

Lian Jun frowned as he listened, and after seeing the doctor off, he came to Shi Jin's bedside. As soon as Shi Jin saw him coming, his nerves tightened, afraid that he would ask about the muscle strain. He had made up his mind that if Lian Jun really asked, he would adopt an attitude of not knowing anything, hoping to get away with it.

"It should be due to improper swimming posture and sudden high-intensity exercise," Lian Jun suddenly spoke up, providing Shi Jin with a good excuse. He approached and pinched Shi Jin's arm outside the blanket, asking, "Does it hurt?"

Of course, it hurt, especially his waist and legs, which were twisted the most severely by the buff, making him want to cry. 

But facing Lian Jun's concerned gaze, Shi Jin suddenly felt that it didn't hurt anymore. Instead, his whole body felt sore and itchy, and he wanted to snuggle into the other's arms. 

Lost in thought, he reflexively held onto the hand that Lian Jun had on his arm. It wasn't until after he had done so that he realized he had entertained the thought of being a "pervert", causing his body to stiffen up again.

"The doctor said to wrap your arm for two days and see how it goes. You'll also need to use hot compresses and massage therapy, which might be a bit uncomfortable," Lian Jun allowed him to hold onto his hand while using his other hand to adjust the blanket. He then asked, "Do you still want to play mahjong? I brought the tablet over and it's fully charged."

Feeling comforted by Lian Jun's gentle treatment, Shi Jin's mind became active again. He glanced at their hands holding onto each other and leaned slightly towards Lian Jun, asking, "Um, Young Master Jun, do you have someone you like?"

Lian Jun paused in his action of pulling up the blanket, meeting Shi Jin's gaze for a long moment before nodding gently. Shi Jin's lively heart was thrown into an ice cellar at the mention of it. 

He looked at him in disbelief and stuttered, "Y-you do? You mean there is someone? Who is it? Is it Long Shi?!" His voice changed pitch towards the end.

"Nonsense," Lian Jun frowned, pulling his hand away from Shi Jin's grip and tapping his forehead. "Think again."

Think my ass!

Shi Jin felt bitter in his heart and reluctantly forced himself to think. He asked with difficulty, "Is it Number Two? He looks good, has a good personality, and is even humorous..." 

As he spoke, he felt that Lian Jun must like Number Two, and he suddenly felt deflated.

Number Two was so outstanding that he probably had no hope. As Lian Jun watched the changes in his expression, the slight discomfort that arose from his wild guesses and praises faded away. 

"Shi Jin, you really are stupid," he said.

"Yes, yes, I'm naturally not as good as the excellent Number Two..." Shi Jin thought to himself in self-abandonment.

Lian Jun finally couldn't bear to see his foolish and pitiful appearance any longer. He stood up, bent down, held his face, turned his head, and kissed his lips directly, even biting him in frustration.

"Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah! Baby, I love you!" Xiao Si exclaimed.

Shi Jin's eyes widened suddenly, and he reflexively grabbed Lian Jun's clothes.

After Lian Jun finished kissing him, he stepped back and gently pinched his stiff face, coldly saying, "Shi Jin, if you still want to fool around, we'll go back to our country tomorrow." 

Shi Jin was in a daze, his gaze fixated on Lian Jun's lips as he asked, "What are you going back to our country for?"

"To register at the Civil Affairs Bureau," Lian Jun replied, rubbing his lips and sitting back down on the bed, slowly peeling an apple.

Shi Jin's powerful brain circuits once again led him astray from the topic at hand. He covered his kissed lips and furrowed his brow, asking, "Same-sex registration is allowed now?"

Xiao Si: "..."

Happiness is always so fleeting, and some people's brain waves never stay on track.

Lian Jun paused his apple-peeling motion, looked up at Shi Jin's bewildered and foolish expression, and replied, "It's been allowed for a long time in our country."

Same-sex registration has been allowed all this time? 

As Shi Jin spoke, a pink bubble of excitement rose in his heart, but his rational mind quickly brought him back to reality. "But it's not possible. I haven't even turned 19 yet. Even if you take me back to register, I'm not of legal age to get married. We can't register." 


Lian Jun's knife pierced through the apple, and he took his time to precisely cut out a small piece of fruit before stuffing it into Shi Jin's mouth. He spoke expressionlessly, "Shut up and eat. Rest when you're done." 

"But..." Shi Jin tried to speak with the apple still in his mouth. 

Lian Jun reached out and covered his mouth, kissing him again. 

And so, the world fell silent, and the pink bubbles in the air were finally free to dance.


A little frog who likes reading. Hope you liked this chapter, and thank you for your support! Coffee fuels my midnight translation binges.

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