Death Progress Bar

Chapter 12 - “Nightlight”

Chapter 12: “Nightlight”

After running around for most of the night and morning, it was not surprising Shi Jin nodded off. He thought he would be able to sleep until the plane landed, but while he was halfway through a dream, Xiao Si suddenly screamed and woke him up.

“What’s wrong?” He asked drowsily, opening his eyes with some difficulty.

Xiao Si was panicking: <JinJin, your progress bar suddenly rose by 100 points, and now it’s 750.>

That made Shi Jin pay attention. He sat up and exclaimed, “What?!”

He was so agitated that he shouted this out loud. Lian Jun, sitting next to him, put down the magazine and turned his head, “Did you have a nightmare?”

“Er… Yes. ” Shi Jin snapped out of it and gave Lian Jun an awkward smile. He leaned back in his seat, suppressing his emotions, and asked in his head, “Why did it suddenly rise? Is Lian Jun in danger again and it’s affecting me?”

<No, Darling’s progress bar is still at 500,> replied Xiao Si.

Shi Jin frowned, his eyes carefully sweeping around, trying to find the reason for the sudden increase in the progress bar. As he kept watching, something occurred to him—after he ran away from home, he fled to China because he had speculated that the distance from his brothers was also one of the lethal factors, and later this guess was proved correct. B City, as the capital of China, was obviously one of the usual places of residence of the five men though.

So much for keeping away from them.

He looked at Gua Two, who was sitting across the aisle, asking gloomily: “Little Number Two, are we going to land in B City soon?”

Gua Two bared his teeth and said, “Not for another fifteen minutes. You were sleeping like a dead pig for the entire flight, Little JinJin.”

Shi Jin rolled his eyes and showed him a middle finger, then looked away, saying to Xiao Si with a sigh, “My progress bar has risen by 100 points as soon as we got near—I should conservatively estimate that at least three of my brothers will be in B City.”

Xia Si shivered. <Then what are we going to do?>

“What can we do?” Shi Jin slumped in his seat. He turned his head slightly to the side and looked at Lian Jun’s beautiful profile, softened by the dim light from an airplane window, then said calmly: “Of course, we are going to stick to our golden thigh and silently pray that B City will be big enough for us not to run into those vicious guys.”

Xiao Si: <Waah, waah…>

Despite his defeatist words, after the plane landed and everyone settled down in a high-end club called “Nightlight”, Shi Jin began actively gathering information about his brothers through various channels, trying to find out which of them were currently staying in B City.

It was possible to get news about the three brothers who were keeping a high profile. One of them was Shi Weichong, a newly successful businessman who often appeared in the financial news. For him, a simple online search was enough.

The next one was the second brother Fei Yujing, a lawyer who specializes in economics, a real heavyweight in his field—he was willing to undertake only truly major cases, and would be out working almost three hundred days out of a year. Shi Jin searched for the cases he’s been handling recently and was able to more or less guess his whereabouts.

The last was Rong Zhouzong, the third oldest brother. He was called “The Demon King of the Showbiz World” and his popularity was so high he was constantly in the headlines. It was easy to track his movements because his fans were keeping a detailed itinerary of his activities at least one month ahead.

Shi Jin kept searching like crazy, even pretending to be a devoted fan of Rong Zhouzhong to sneak into one of the private chat rooms. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, he managed to confirm his brothers’ whereabouts—Shi Weichong was in B City and was going to stay here for a long time because of a planned merger of his old company and the Ruixing Corporation; Feng Yujing’s absence was confirmed, since he was on the other side of the world dealing with a lawsuit brought against a certain financial mogul and definitely didn’t have time to run around; as for Rong Zhouzhong, he may or may not be here, because he recently announced he will need to travel back and forth between B and S Cities.

Having excluded Fei Yujing, and, to be safe, having assumed the two low-key brothers were also in B City, Shi Jin determined that at present it was possible to encounter four of his brothers, and he needed to take care and avoid them.

“Almost all of them are here.” Shi Jin put down his cell phone and looked at the progress bar filled to 750, sighing. “Fortunately, we’ve got the progress bar down enough to have a little room for maneuver, so the situation is not that bad.”

<Mm.> Xiao Si was feeling sorry for Shi Jin, so it tried to comfort him: <JinJin, you don’t have to feel as if you’re under pressure, there’s no time limit to empty the progress bar. Actually… actually, if you feel too tired, we can just go on like this and not do anything—you’ve already found Darling, things will gradually get better.>

Shi Jin’s eyes softened. “But if the progress bar doesn’t disappear, it won’t be good for you, right? After all, when you got forcefully bound to me, your power also became limited.”

Xiao Si did not speak.

“You silly thing.” Shi Jin sighed and smiled. He put his hands behind his head and deliberately said, “I don’t want to hear you wailing in my head for my whole life, you’re way too noisy.”

Xiao Si was teary-eyed, saying pitifully: <JinJin…>

“Fine, I’ll stop teasing you,” Shi Jin soothed it, then his tone became serious. “Xiao Si, I’m not going to spend my days in hiding, always worrying about merely keeping my life—the second chance you gave me is too precious to waste like that. Moreover, I’ve always felt that the death of the original ‘Shi Jin’ was rather strange. Even if the five brothers truly hated him, after growing up they could’ve just kept slowly torturing him, without dirtying their hands by killing him. After all, they’re all young and talented, pretty much guaranteed to achieve success and fame; it simply wasn’t worth trading all this for a lifetime in jail once the murder was discovered. Also, don’t forget who I used to be in my previous life. Now that there’s a murder case in front of me, I’ll never be able to sleep peacefully unless I get to the bottom of it.”

Xiao Si was extremely moved. <JinJin… Waah, uh, uh… hiccup.>

Shi Jin was stunned for a moment, then laughed. “Xiao Si, don’t tell me your true identity is a crying doll.”

Xiao Si hiccuped a few more times, then burst out crying, saying <JinJin, you’re great> one moment, then <JinJin, you’re so mean> the next, sounding like a broken record.

Shi Jin felt the system was both pitiful and funny, so he kept cajoling it gently, imperceptibly falling asleep some time later.

And so began the days of ‘sitting around waiting to die’. Because he needed to accompany Lian Jun, Shi Jin couldn’t go anywhere, he could only stay by Lian Jun’s side and watch him approve the seemingly never-ending piles of documents. Every day was full of monotony and excruciating boredom.

Gua One and others appeared to be very busy, though. They started to run around since the second day after arriving in B City and often stayed out for a night.

“How come there’s no one to talk to?” Shi Jin lamented in his mind, feeling as if he was going to suffocate soon. “If I knew I would be imprisoned after coming to B City, I wouldn’t have worried about running into my brothers at all. I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to meet anyone, never mind them.”

<You aren’t imprisoned, this is an opportunity for you to get closer to Darling,> protested Xiao Si.

“Do you think he wants to let me get closer?” Shi Jin glanced towards Lian Jun, who was sitting behind a desk, with eyes full of resentment.

Xiao Si had nothing to say in reply.

“Are you bored?” Lian Jun suddenly raised his head.

Shi Jin was startled. He froze for a moment, then decided he didn’t want to be bored any longer and answered with a straightforward nod.

Translator’s Notes:

“Nightlight” [夜色] – I could’ve translated it as simply “Night”, but, well, it’s a club—not a night club though. You can see the possible confusion. FYI, it’s this kind of club:

What exactly happened and what was the cause of ‘Shi Jin’s’ death… you will get to know later. I feel like I’m writing this a lot, but this novel simply won’t give you all the information at once—so be patient, guys, all will be explained in due time.

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