Death Progress Bar

Chapter 6 - Staying

Chapter 6: Staying

Later that day, a doctor suddenly rushed into the master suite, which was separated from the guest room by a small courtyard. It was suspected that the frail Lian Jun was suffering from indigestion after eating too much at dinner.

Shi Jin peeked through the door and whispered, “How long will the ‘It’s Yummy!’ buff last?”

Xiao Si’s voice was feeble: <I don’t know.>

“How can you not know?” Shi Jin couldn’t believe it.

Xiao Si felt more and more awkward: <Because I’ve never used this buff before. Besides, the duration varies from person to person.>

“…” Shi Jin had no choice but to change his question: “Then, what’s its longest possible duration?”

<About, uh, one year?> Xiao Si said uncertainly.

Shi Jin’s face became expresionless. “…you really are very ‘impressive’.”

Xiao Shi blushed. <You are too kind, this was but a low-level skill.>

Shi Jin: “…”

The movement in the master suite did not subside until the early hours of the morning. Shi Jin saw in his mind that the progress bar belonging to Lian Jun stopped at 620, and sighed sadly.

Emptying Lian Jun’s progress bar was really going to be difficult. In five days it increased by 100, after one meal it increased by 20—in no time, the safety margin of 500 points was reduced by more than one-fifth. With this terrible constitution, Shi Jin had no idea how Lian Jun has even survived to the present day, never mind became the (supposed) underworld boss.

“Xiao Si, we have to think of a way to stay here.” Shi Jin said, his voice muffled by the blanket. “With Lian Jun’s situation, I feel as if he’ll die if I stop paying attention to him.”

Xiao Si also became serious. It agreed with a quiet “Mm”, adding: <It’s hard on you, JinJin. Thank you.>

“We are in this together, why are you thanking me?” Shi Jin turned over and looked at the ornate sliding door not far away. He was quiet for a moment, then suddenly asked, “If Lian Jun dies…”

<Then it’s highly likely that ‘this world’ will become unbalanced,> the system replied.

Shi Jin was clear what ‘this world’ referred to, but even now, he still couldn’t believe he was actually reborn inside a book.

Ah, forget it, even if you keep thinking about it, nothing is going to change. Let’s take it one day at a time.He pulled up the blanket and closed his eyes.

The next morning, Shi Jin was brimming with energy again. In high spirits, he dashed to the dining room, pulled open the sliding door and shouted, “Lian Jun, I want to join your gang!”

Patter. The pill Lian Jun has just picked up dropped on the table.

The doctor standing by his side was unmoved. He took out a few more pills and put them in Lian Jun’s hand, saying, “Jun-shao, you can continue to throw away your medicine, I still have a lot.”

Shi Jin decisively stepped back and closed the door, saying through the door panel: “I’m sorry, I didn’t see anything just now.” At the same time, he sighed with feeling and thought to himself: Who would have thought? Lian Jun’s appearance is very serious, but like a child, he’s afraid of taking medicine. Sure enough, everyone has a weakness.

Lian Jun’s eyebrows twitched. He closed his eyes and dry swallowed the medicine, then looked at the doctor. “Is this fine?”

Knowing that he was about to lose his temper, the doctor sensibly ignored this question. Changing the topic, he motioned towards the door and asked, “Jun-shao, how are you going to deal with him?”

Lian Jun answered, “Of course, I’m going to sent him back to his brother—”

“No!!!” Shi Jin flung the door open and rushed in. He darted to Lian Jun’s side and hugged his thighs. “Jun-shao, you must take me in. My brother wants me dead, you can’t send me back to him! To repay my saving your life, please let me stay!” Tightening his grip, he looked up at Lian Jun with teary eyes.

“Whoa.” The doctor took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, intending to watch the fun.

For a moment, Lian Jun was frozen with shock, then his face sank. “Let go!”

“No! It’s easier to invite the devil in than to send him away—you caught me, you have to be responsible for me!” Shi Jin abandoned his dignity. He was a teenager right now, he could throw a tantrum and make a scene without batting an eye—and Xiao Si gave him the ‘Twice the result with half the effort’ buff just now. He estimated that if he wanted to stay, the success rate of this method was the highest, so he would never let go!

Lian Jun’s legs lacked strength and he wasn’t able to kick Shi Jin away. Perhaps because of anger, his pale face reddened slightly and his lips closed, pressing tightly together. Suddenly, he pulled out a dagger from his waistband and held it to Shi Jin’s throat, threatening, “Let go or I will kill you.”

Shi Jin stiffened. Xiao Si noticed his hesitation and reminded him loudly, <Darling is bluffing, he won’t kill you! Look at your progress bar, it hasn’t risen at all! JinJin, don’t be scared. Come on, take him down!>

How come these words sound a little weird?

Shi Jin was somewhat dubious, but he calmed down and kept clinging to Lian Jun’s legs. He quickly explained his situation, then gave Lian Jun a pleading gaze, trying to look pitiful: “Jun-shao, you’re an honorable man, you definitely wouldn’t let me go back to die, right? And I’m not yet an adult. Are you really heartless enough to force me to try to make a living on my own? In case I run into a real criminal syndicate, it’s almost certain I will end up dead.”

The expression in Lian Jun’s eyes changed, but not because of Shi Jin’s sob story. He moved the dagger away and asked: “You have four older brothers besides Shi Weichong?”

“Yeah, they’re all ruthless.” Shi Jin answered, showing him the scar on his wrist. “Do you see this? In order not to die at my brothers’ hands, I had to fake a suicide attempt to get some breathing space and find a chance to escape, so don’t send me back or I will die, really.”

Lian Jun fell into deep thought. He lightly moved his weak legs and his tone of voice relaxed a little: “Let go or I will really send you back.”

Seeing him soften, Shi Jin slowly loosened his hands, feeling nervous.

Lian Jun did not look at him. He straightened his clothes and waved the rubber-necking doctor away. After there was no one else in the room, Lian Jun asked again, “Are you telling the truth?”

“Truer than real gold,” Shi Jin promised. He tried to make his story more convincing. “Remember the cucumber pillow I brought with me? There’s my blood on it, from the time I pretended to commit suicide; I used it to hide my documents and cash from my eldest brother, to be ready for when I found a chance to slip away.”

Lian Jun fell silent and started to ponder. Shi Jin did not dare to disturb his thinking, looking at him with eager eyes.

“You can stay here.” A few minutes later, Lian Jun finally relented.

Xiao Si screamed in surprise: <Wah, JinJin, your progress bar suddenly dropped to 780!>

Shi Jin was stunned and then overjoyed—Lian Jun simply agreed for him to remain here and his points dropped by 100. Did it mean that as long as he stayed with Lian Jun, even if his whereabouts were exposed, his brothers wouldn’t dare to act rashly because they would have to be wary of Lian Jun? The progress bar fell because of that?

What a pleasant surprise! I didn’t expect that ‘Darling’ was so powerful!

Shi Jin’s happiness was too obvious. Lian Jun glanced at the silly, sweet-looking smile on his face once, then again and suddenly, he felt… hungry.

He looked at the breakfast before him, which seemed to have no taste a moment ago and wondered about his increasing appetite. He frowned slightly, continuing, “But I will never let useless people stay by my side. Shi Jin, your background is rather troublesome. Because you’ve saved me before I can allow you to stay with me, but understand this: here, you won’t be the young master of Shi family, but simply someone listening to orders.”

Shi Jin replied without the slightest hesitation, “I don’t want to be treated as a young master. Jun-shao, I will try to be useful to you so that you won’t regret today’s decision.” With these words, he tried to convey that he didn’t simply seek protection but truly wanted to follow Lian Jun.

Lian Jun understood what he meant. His slender fingers tapped on the table and his eyes swept across Shi Jin’s face. He said meaningfully: “If this is the case, then prove it to me.”

Xiao Si cheered and began to ramble, its words becoming incoherent again: <700! JinJin, your progress bar has dropped to 700! Wah, I am so touched, Darling is really great, JinJin is also great, nest love, nest to see how many monkeys you have…>

Shi Jin, who was very happy at first: “…Shut up if you can’t speak, thank you.”

Shi Jin, who was allowed to stay, has to move out of the guest bedroom in Lian Jun’s courtyard building. Gua Three has shown him to the single room in the dormitory where Gua One and others lived, and he received several sets of work clothes with the Flowery Orchard logo, formally becoming a member of the Flowery Orchard.

“Our Flowery Orchard is one of the major orchards in Y Province. Our main products are mangoes, black and red grapes, pomegranates, pears and so on. The total area of the orchard covers several thousand acres and includes three hilltops, two artificial lakes, four small-scale gardens, and some other infrastructure. You’re new here, so for the time being, just go to the mango orchard with Gua Two—there’s not much work to do there, you should be able to slowly familiarize yourself with how things work. Regarding your salary: because you got in through the back door, so out of respect for Jun-shao we will directly give you the salary of a regular worker, including accommodation and board, 6,000 a month.”

Shi Jin listened to Gua Three’s explanation. The excitement he felt because of joining the criminal organization was replaced by bewilderment. He couldn’t help but ask, “That, ah, aren’t you gangsters?” Are they really growing fruit?

Gua Three corrected him with a solemn face: “We aren’t gangsters, we are honest businessmen.”

Shi Jin’s gaze fell on the holster at his waist, but he kept his mouth shut.

“This should cover more or less everything. Okay, get to work, there’s a batch of mangoes to be shipped out today. Gua Two is at the second gate, hurry up and find him, then take care of that.” After saying this, Gua Three gave Shi Jin an orchard map and a new cell phone, refusing to return his old phone that had been confiscated earlier, and then simply walked away.

Shi Jin watched him leave and the corner of his mouth twitched. He put his cell phone in the pocket and following the map, he went to find the second gate.

Translator’s Notes:

‘Twice the result with half the effort’ buff – 事半功倍buff, basically the multiplier buff.

“Truer than real gold,” – 比真金还真. I couldn’t remember if there’s an English equivalent of this expression.

Things are gonna get interesting from now on.

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