Death Progress Bar

Death Progress Bar

Chapter 67 - The Big Fish

Over the next two days, with Annihilation's support, Phantom became even more ruthless in targeting Nine Eagles. On the other side, Number One and his team began sweeping through all the small organizations in L country that were involved with Gunfire at a rapid pace.

On the first day, there was still no movement from Zhuo Yang's side. But on the second day, Zhuo Yang suddenly seemed to lose his mind and started frantically sending messages, trying to talk to Lian Jun again.

Lian Jun maintained his image as a man crazy for love and cruelly rejected all of Zhuo Yang's requests for contact. He also mobilized his forces within the country and began openly targeting Nine Eagles.

After years of keeping a low profile, despite their strong capabilities and official support, Annihilation had never actively caused trouble in the industry. However, this time Annihilation suddenly made a high-profile move against Nine Eagles, immediately attracting the attention of various organizations in China. The leader of the Tarantula, Lu Shan, even called directly to inquire about the situation.

Faced with Lu Shan's inquiries, which were filled with elder-style gossip, Lian Jun's response was brief and to the point: "Zhuo Yang targeted my lover."

"What did you say?" Lu Shan's voice immediately rose in shock and inquiry. "Your lover? Who? When did you find a partner? Why didn't I hear any news about it? You didn't mention it during the meeting...wait, is it that new subordinate you just recruited?"

"It's him," Lian Jun answered, both as a reminder and a warning. "You can fight for interests, but if you touch my people, it's not acceptable."

Lu Shan immediately understood his meaning. She quieted down for a moment and then snorted, saying, "You're quite protective of your little boyfriend. I find tactics like harming family members despicable. You've caused quite a stir on the streets, so you better give them a reason or everyone will be after you again."

"I understand, thanks for the reminder," Lian Jun's tone softened. He gave Lu Shan a bit of information about Gunfire and then hung up the phone.

Shi Jin was introduced to the outside world by him and felt very pleased. He leaned over and asked, "It seems like you have a good relationship with the leader of the Tarantula group?"

Lian Jun replied, "Aunt Lu is a friend of my father's and considered my elder. Due to the current situation, we can only maintain a hostile relationship in public. Once everything settles down, I will formally introduce you to her."

Would that count as meeting the parents?

Shi Jin was taken aback, realizing that this was the first time Lian Jun had mentioned his family in front of him.

Shi Jin glanced at Lian Jun, then hesitated before speaking up.

"If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Don't worry about anything." Lian Jun's relaxed demeanor made Shi Jin feel at ease, and he reached out to hug him, only to be blocked by the wheelchair. So he settled for holding Lian Jun's hand instead.

Since he had said this, Shi Jin thought that they would eventually need to understand each other on these matters, so he carefully asked, "I heard that you grew up in the Annihilation organisation, but no one seems to mention your family much..."

"That's because I no longer have any family. Everyone is considerate and never brings it up," Lian Jun replied calmly, having already come to terms with these things. "My father was the previous leader of Annihilation. He took the position from the old leader after my mother died."

Hearing this, Shi Jin felt conflicted. He wanted to know more about Lian Jun's past, but from the little he had said, it seemed like it wasn't a particularly happy one. Bringing it up could potentially upset Lian Jun.

He didn't want to make Lian Jun unhappy.

Lian Jun could see his inner turmoil and softened his tone to comfort him, "It's okay, it's just some old stories. It's good for you to know."

Lian Jun's story was actually quite simple. In summary, his father grew up in the organization and worked his way up to become the right-hand man of the organization's old leader. Then, during a mission, he accidentally met Lian Jun's mother, who was just an ordinary person. He had the idea of retiring and living an ordinary life.

The old leader pretended to understand and helped Lian Jun's father change his identity to live an ordinary life. However, he secretly revealed Lian Jun's father's whereabouts to their old rival, causing Lian Jun's pregnant mother to be seriously injured and die shortly after giving birth to Lian Jun.

Lian Jun's father was filled with hatred and pain, seeking revenge. Just then, the old leader stepped forward and offered to help him. Lian Jun's father was grateful and returned to the organization with Lian Jun, becoming the old leader's sharpest weapon. Together, they not only defeated their old enemy but also established a new territory.

However, once the new territory was secured, the old leader became paranoid and revealed his true nature. To maintain his power, he tried to force Lian Jun's father to commit suicide by threatening Lian Jun's life. Lian Jun's father finally learned the truth and was consumed with anger and hatred.

Knowing the old leader's character, he realized that even if he obeyed and took his own life, Lian Jun would not survive. So, he took matters into his own hands and with his followers, eliminated the old leader and took his place.

"...That's basically the story. My father once hesitated about whether to send me to an ordinary family to live an ordinary life. Now I am very grateful that he did everything he could to push me into this position because he was afraid that our enemies would find and kill me. If it weren't for this position, I might never have met you."

Shi Jin leaned in and hugged Lian Jun, saying seriously, "From now on, we are a family."

Lian Jun's eyes softened, and he hugged him back, gently patting his back and responding, "Mm."

......

After the open targeting of Nine Eagles within China, the movements of the three organizations, Nine Eagles, Phantom, and Annihilation, in the southeast region finally spread to the various organizations in the country.

The detailed reason for the three-way struggle was not disclosed to the public, but everyone knew it was a dispute over interests in the southeast region.

Upon hearing this news, the leaders of various organizations in the country felt slightly relieved - it turned out to be a dispute over interests, not a sudden and inexplicable outbreak of violence.

After putting their minds at ease, everyone remembered the arrogant attitude Nine Eagles had displayed at the meeting, and suddenly understood why Meie had started the fire - if Zhuo Yang had provoked him like that, it seemed normal for Lian Jun to want to deal with him.

Since it didn't concern them, everyone began to watch the excitement, and some organizations even took advantage of the chaos to kick Nine Eagles while it was down, making their situation even worse.

......

"Damn it!" Zhuo Yang slammed the table and asked his deputy, "Still no news from the Gunfire side?" The deputy looked serious and shook his head, "No."

"Damn it! Meng La is really despicable!" Zhuo Yang cursed under his breath, his expression changing constantly. Suddenly, he gritted his teeth and said, "Pass a message to the Old Ghost, tell him I'm willing to split up with Gunfire and help them rescue their people. The condition is to let Lian Jun answer my call!"

The deputy opened his mouth to say something, but in the end, he closed it and just murmured a low response.

......

On the third day of 'hospitalization', Zhuo Yang finally showed his sincerity - he sent a list of possible locations where the Old Ghost's subordinates might be detained, along with some information on Gunfire's underground organizations.

Lian Jun was finally satisfied and mercifully accepted Zhuo Yang's video call.

"Your sincerity is not enough," said Lian Jun, getting straight to the point. "I want the head of the Gunfire's leader and medicine that can save my beloved."

Zhuo Yang was pushed to the brink of collapse and said, "This is impossible! Meng La is even more cunning than you. He's never contacted me face to face. Where can I get you his head? Lian Jun, you need to stop this!" He refused to mention the medicine.

"He will contact you soon," Lian Jun cut him off and ended the call. He then turned to Number Three, who was guarding him, and gestured towards the list and information provided by Zhuo Yang.

"Go and eliminate the undercover organizations of these Gunfire groups, and investigate them in parallel with Hydra. Tell Old Ghost to temporarily stop suppressing Nine Eagles and start investigating these addresses to confirm if the people are being held there."

Number Three nodded and made a copy of the list and information before leaving.

Shi Jin watched with regret as he missed the opportunity to go and broaden his horizons with Number Three and the others. It was all because of his impulsive act of putting on a show, and now he could only obediently 'rest and recover' and couldn't go anywhere.

"I have other tasks for you that don't require you to leave home," Lian Jun suddenly spoke as if he could see through Shi Jin's desire.

Shi Jin's eyes lit up and he turned to look at him.

Lian Jun handed him a tablet and said, "Your studies have fallen behind again, Mr. Feng has developed a new study plan for you. During your free time, you can attend Mr. Feng's classes remotely."

Shi Jin: "..."

"Young Master Jun..." he stuttered, not really wanting to study hard every day.

Lian Jun shot him a deadly glare.

Shi Jin quickly shut his mouth and obediently opened his tablet, starting the remote classroom session with Mr. Feng with a sense of despair.

Time always seemed to fly by when he was studying.

Before he knew it, over a week had passed. Their mission to clear out Gunfire's underground organizations in L country was coming to an end. During this time, Gunfire had attempted to launch counterattacks in various areas outside of L country, but they were all blocked by the prepared team.

The investigation into Gunfire's underground organizations by Number Three was progressing smoothly, especially after receiving new leads from Zhuo Yang. They were able to follow the trail and uncover several other secret Gunfire organizations based on their geographical locations and business dealings, and began to systematically eliminate them one by one.

Meanwhile, progress on Phantom's side was also promising. They had confirmed that the addresses Zhuo Yang had provided were indeed secret Gunfire hideouts, but they still needed to investigate further to determine if anyone was being held captive inside.

Three days later, the Gunfire network in L country was completely disrupted. The leader of the organization, Meng La, finally emerged and contacted Zhuo Yang directly. In order to show his sincerity in switching sides and to avoid any potential outbursts from Phantom, Zhuo Yang even broadcasted a video conversation between himself and Meng La to Old Ghost, who immediately shared it with Lian Jun.

Meng La was from T country in the southeast region, with a high nose, deep-set eyes, and slightly dark skin. He had a thick beard that made it hard to discern his specific features. When the call connected, he got straight to the point and asked, "Why aren't Annihilation and Phantom targeting you anymore?"

Zhuo Yang was not one to hide his emotions. Upon hearing this, he coldly chuckled and said, "Why? Of course, it's because I found a way to save myself. Meng La, our alliance has broken down. From now on, in the southeast region, only one of us can exist. Even if I have to die, I'll drag you down to hell with me!"

This threat carried a lot of weight. Gunfire's business chain had been broken, and many of its covert operations had been exposed, weakening their strength. If they were targeted by Nine Eagles again, their days would definitely be difficult.

"Zhuo Yang, you've misunderstood me. As you can see, I have also been in a difficult situation lately. I sincerely want to form an alliance with you and hope that you won't say anything that could harm our cooperation because of a momentary impulse," Meng La tried to smooth things over.

Zhuo Yang still sneered, "Meng La, I received some information that Hydra is your undercover organization. You talking about sincerity to me now is an insult to my intelligence. I even suspect that you wanted to trick me from the beginning."

Lian Jun sent a message to Old Ghost, who raised an eyebrow after reading it and then forwarded it to Zhuo Yang.

During the video call, Zhuo Yang's deputy suddenly appeared on the screen and whispered something in Zhuo Yang's ear. Zhuo Yang's expression changed and he nodded in understanding. He looked at Meng La on the other end of the call with a smirk and hung up directly.

After hanging up, Zhuo Yang immediately dialed Lian Jun's number and said, "You made me bait Meng La, and now I've done it. What's the next step?"

Lian Jun replied, "Now there's a win-win opportunity in front of us. You show sincerity, and I'll show my cards. Zhuo Yang, you better have really turned against Meng La, otherwise what I said before still stands."

After a few days of relaxation, Zhuo Yang was worried that Lian Jun might change his mind again. Swallowing his pride, he said, "I can assure you of my sincerity. After all, Gunfire is just an 'outsider'. Between you and Gunfire, I will definitely choose to help you."

This was just a bunch of nonsense, but Lian Jun's words were also only said as an act. He then revealed his trump card and said, "Long Shi is not dead. He is in my hands."

Zhuo Yang was shocked and sat up abruptly, exclaiming, "What did you say?! He's not dead?"

Lian Jun slammed the table and said, "I only want to talk to a rational collaborator. I hope you won't disappoint me."

Upon hearing this, Zhuo Yang's heart skipped a beat, but he forced himself to calm down and sat back down. He looked at Lian Jun as if he were a monster and asked, "What do you want to do?"

Lian Jun didn't answer, but instead asked, "Zhuo Yang, let me confirm again, you really don't have any samples of Long Shi's drugs in your hands?"

Zhuo Yang's eyes flickered, then replied, "Of course not. There were four vials of the drug in total. Two were used on your little lover, and the other two were left on the boat. They should have been fed to the sea by now. I don't have a single vial left."

"Are you sure there's none left?" Lian Jun confirmed again.

Zhuo Yang replied with certainty, "There really isn't any left."

"Okay, I'll trust you this once." Lian Jun pretended not to notice the change in his expression and continued, "You don't have the antidote, but Meng La definitely has it. Hydra is a secret organization of Gunfire, and Long Shi's medicine is all in Meng La's hands. He definitely has a sample. Now that Long Shi is stubbornly refusing to give out the formula for the antidote, I've come up with a plan that requires your help."

Upon hearing this, Zhuo Yang's eyes lit up, but he remained calm and asked, "How do I help?"

Lian Jun gave him a glance and roughly explained the plan. The medicine was made by Long Shi, and he definitely could make an antidote, but he refused to. Now, Lian Jun has come up with a cruel method to force Long Shi to comply, which is to give him the same medicine that Shi Jin had been 'hurt' by, and then lock Long Shi in the laboratory, forcing him to make the antidote.

To carry out this plan, Lian Jun is missing an important prop, which is the medicine. Only the leader of the Gunfire, Meng La, has it.

So Lian Jun came up with a plan to hand Long Shi over to Zhuo Yang, let Zhuo Yang tell Meng La about Shi Jin's poisoning, and propose a cooperation where one provides the person and the other provides the medicine, forcing Long Shi to make the antidote. Then, using the excuse of threatening Lian Jun with the antidote, they trick Meng La into coming to pick up Long Shi and seize the opportunity to take Meng La's head.

"If the plan is completed, I don't need any of the benefits left behind in the Southeast after Meng La's death. I only want the medicine in Long Shi and Meng La's hands, and I can also stop targeting Nine Eagles," declared Lian Jun, expressing his attitude. "If you agree, I can send someone to deliver Long Shi to you right now."

Upon hearing this plan, Zhuo Yang was both impressed and delighted, but also thought to himself that Lian Jun was truly blinded by love. Nevertheless, he sincerely replied, "This plan is completely in my favor, so I definitely agree. Lian Jun, I owe you a favor this time. Once I take down Meng La, I will definitely help you force out the antidote!"

Lian Jun appeared to have some hope of saving people and relaxed his expression slightly, nodding and saying, "Then I'll wait for your good news." He then hung up the phone directly.

Shi Jin had been hiding in the corner of the room, watching Lian Jun trick Zhuo Yang. When he saw Lian Jun hang up the phone, he quickly put down his tablet, which was covered in practice problems, and poured a glass of water to bring over to Lian Jun. He asked, "It's done?"

"Done," Lian Jun took the water and said, "Thanks to your acting this time, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to catch Meng La's tail."

"It's clearly because you're smart and were able to come up with a way to trap two people at once," Shi Jin quickly flattered, then asked, "Does Uncle Long know about you handing over Long Shi?"

When Lian Jun heard this, his brows furrowed and he fiddled with his water glass before replying, "Uncle Long knows, but he has already decided not to intervene. After the plan was set, Number Nine immediately informed Long Shi about your injury caused by his medicine, forcing Long Shi to provide the antidote's formula. However, after hearing this, Long Shi became very excited and began making some unreasonable demands. When Uncle Long learned of this, he only said one thing - getting rid of this kind of troublemaker is a good thing for everyone."

Shi Jin fell silent upon hearing this, thinking about Uncle Long's temper and sighing heavily in his heart. He changed the subject and asked, "By the way, what if Zhuo Yang gets his wits back after being handed Long Shi and doesn't follow your plan? Do we have a backup plan?"

"There are alternative plans, of course," said Lian Jun, setting down his glass and responding confidently. "But this time, Zhuo Yang will definitely follow my plan. With his personality, he won't let Gunfire get away with it without a fight. Neither Zhuo Yang nor Meng La will be able to escape this time."

That night, Number Nine personally delivered Long Shi to the Old Ghost, who then passed him on to Zhuo Yang.

Long Shi kept shouting and making demands, taking advantage of his injury and trying to negotiate his way out. But no one paid him any attention, and eventually Number Nine got fed up and even covered his mouth.

The next day, Meng La, who was made suspicious by Zhuo Yang's attitude, contacted him again. With Long Shi in his hands, Zhuo Yang felt much more at ease and obediently followed Lian Jun's orders, ignoring Meng La's messages. He even stepped on Gunfire during the chaos, as if nothing had happened.

In the following days, after successfully clearing out Gunfire's forces in L country, they began to investigate Gunfire network that Number Three was responsible for. They quickly uncovered several hidden Gunfire organisations.

The supply chain was broken, and the underground business was destroyed. Who knew what leverage Nine Eagles had over their Annihilation, but miraculously, the two sides stopped fighting. There were even signs that Nine Eagles might betray their own side.

After enduring passive attacks for so long, Meng La finally couldn't take it anymore. He bled to compensate for Nine Eagles' major losses and used this gesture to knock on the door of Zhuo Yang once again.

Zhuo Yang was secretly pleased with the advantage he gained, but he didn't show it on his face. After receiving Meng La's communication, he coldly said, "How does it feel to be chased and bitten by the one you tried to destroy?"

Meng La spoke with sincerity and earnestness, appearing as if he had Zhuo Yang's best interests at heart. "Zhuo Yang, I truly want to form an alliance with you. I have shown my sincerity, and I hope you can understand that if we end up on opposite sides, your old rival will be the only one to benefit. Don't let him manipulate you."

Zhuo Yang pretended to waver, but said, "There is no trust between us. You don't need to waste your breath."

Meng La was a shrewd person and could easily see through Zhuo Yang's facade. He struck while the iron was hot, playing emotional cards and promising benefits, all in an attempt to extract the secret of how Nine Eagles had stopped Annihilation from continuing their attacks.

Zhuo Yang also played mind games with him. The two of them went back and forth for several rounds until Meng La promised some benefits. Zhuo Yang pretended to be convinced and said, "Meng La, to be honest with you, the leverage I have in my hand is not complete, but Lian Jun doesn't know that. I don't really want to break ties with you because I still need your help to perfect this leverage. However, I can no longer trust you. I don't know if I should continue this partnership with you."

Meng La's mind immediately started working when he heard that the leverage was still related to him. He naturally tried to persuade Zhuo Yang with sincerity.

In the end, Zhuo Yang appeared completely softened by his persistence. He revealed that only Long Shi could make the medicine to heal Shi Jin's injuries and that Long Shi was in his possession. He also asked Meng La if Hydra was part of his secret organization and if he still had a sample of Long Shi's medicine. If he did, they could continue to work together.

Meng La was surprised by Zhuo Yang's unexpected move, but quickly thought it over and decided that the deal was worth making. He admitted to the involvement of Hydra with the medicine, and expressed his willingness to cooperate with Zhuo Yang.

Zhuo Yang took the opportunity to make a request and asked Meng La to send over the medicine. Meng La politely declined, feeling that this was not how their cooperation should be discussed. The two of them argued back and forth, and in the end, Zhuo Yang threatened to either meet face to face and work together to create a laboratory to trap Long Shi and find a cure, or suffer the consequences together.

After much consideration, Meng La agreed to his proposal, but requested that he choose the meeting place. Zhuo Yang pretended to be angry and hung up the phone.

The stalemate continued for three more days. Nine Eagles had temporarily been spared by Annihilation and Phantom, and they could afford to continue the standoff. However, Gunfire was still being fiercely attacked, and the longer they waited, the greater the potential losses.

Finally, Meng La compromised and sent a message saying that they could agree on a central location to discuss their cooperation.

Zhuo Yang immediately passed on the message to Lian Jun. After considering for a moment, Lian Jun borrowed his voice to tell Meng La that setting a central location was acceptable, but he required Meng La to bring all of Phantom's people who were detained by them when they met.

Zhuo Yang had already been burned by Gunfire once, so in order to prevent another sudden change of plans or Gunfire from snatching away the pawn Long Shi again, Nine Eagles needed to have a bargaining chip that could threaten the destruction of both the Phantom and Annihilation. This way, even if Long Shi was really taken away by Gunfire, they still had a chance to turn the tables.

Meng La agreed to Zhuo Yang's request without hesitation. At this point, he had no choice but to agree. They were the ones who couldn't afford to waste time now, not Nine Eagles.

Upon receiving the news, the Old Ghost let out an excited shout. Even Lian Jun relaxed his expression and looked towards Shi Jin, who was buried in his studies in the corner, with a warm gaze. The big fish had taken the bait, and finally, this matter could come to a close.

He could finally take Shi Jin and leave this terrible place.


Ribbit
Ribbit

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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