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When Shi Jin opened his eyes, he found himself lying on a soft, wide, wooden bed, wearing cotton pajamas and holding a cucumber pillow in his arms.
Where is this? It doesn’t look like a hospital and certainly not like hell either. He blinked in confusion, raising a hand to rub his forehead.
Wasn’t he hit by a truck that ran a red light while he was pursuing a thief? With speed of the truck, there was almost no possibility of survival, so what was going on?
<You were reborn.>
A crisp mechanical voice suddenly sounded inside his head, making Shi Jin sit up in alarm. He looked around vigilantly: “Who said that?”
<Me, your golden finger and saviour. You can call me Xiao Si.>
“Meaning ‘death by laughter’?”
<…Meaning ‘Little Death’. My Mandarin is quite standard, thank you.>
Shi Jin stopped looking around and finally decided that the voice was really speaking directly in his brain. He tried to knock on his head.
<Stop it, it’s like calling and hanging up.>
Shi Jin: “…”
At this point, Shi Jin determined that he really was reborn and definitely not in his own body. He used to be a handsome, long-legged man with eight-pack abs, but this body was “round as pearls and smooth as jade”—white, fat and round, with the mass of flesh instead of arms and legs. When he breathed, his pajamas almost burst, when he sat down, pants tightly clung to his legs.
…In his whole life, he was never so “magnificent”!
He might as well have died.
Xiao Si clearly perceived what he was thinking and asked without any pity: <What’s more important, your life or your weight?>
Shi Jin lay back on the bed and closed his eyes with a serene expression. “…Weight can be lost, but if you lose your life, it’s the end. You wouldn’t be able to eat delicious food or enjoy playing mahjong.”
Shi Jin exhaled, thinking about the feeling of smooth mahjong tiles under his fingers. Then he opened his eyes, got out of bed and finished dressing. “Tell me then, what is happening?”
His words were followed by silence. Just as Shi Jin started to suspect that all this was a hallucination that appeared before death, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his brain, and a lot of confused memories and pictures poured in.
After half an hour, Shi Jin lay back on the bed once again and calmly closed his eyes.
Xiao Si: <…You can’t do this! You are a public servant, you should be full of righteousness and fervor!>
Shi Jin began to snore.
<Waah, police uncle, you can’t do this, waah waah…>
Shi Jin endured.
<Waah waah waah, waah waah waah… Pung (碰)! Hand (胡了)! Final Draw (海底捞月)! Rinshan kaihou (杠上开花 )!>
Shi Jin couldn’t tolerate it any longer. He once again got out of bed and dressed, asking with an unfriendly expression: “So the novel I read before my death is the origin of your existence? You transported me into a world inside a book?”
Xiao Si stopped crying and replied obediently. <Yeah.>
“Am I really inside a book right now?”
Xiao Si was silent.
“Then can I get out of here?”
<If you go out, you’ll never come back alive.>
This time Shi Jin fell silent. After some time, he continued asking: “Why me?”
<Because…> This time, Xiao Shi hesitated for two seconds, then enunciated clearly: <When you are in trouble, you should find the police uncle!>
“…” Actually, what you said makes perfect sense.
Shi Jin, having nothing to say in reply, walked into the bathroom connected to his bedroom and stood in front of the mirror.
His appearance was both familiar and strange. Familiar, because the face closely resembled his own, strange because of the body shape—he looked exactly as he did when he was younger, there was even an identical little mole on his nose; it just felt weird because his body was several times larger.
Fortunately, my appearance hasn’t changed. It feels less disturbing this way. Shi Jin sighed deeply, then washed his face and brushed his teeth.
According to the memory provided by Xiao Si, he was also called Shi Jin now and was about to turn eighteen. ‘He’ was the protagonist of a novel that should make the readers feel good by taking rightful revenge, called “Death Progress Bar”. Unfortunately, its plot was mostly depressing and just when the protagonist was about to begin his revenge, it was dropped.
‘Shi Jin’ had a harem-novel-protagonist-like father and five older half-brothers. When his father was still alive, ‘Shi Jin’ was cherished and spoiled, but after his death, he became like a bug that anybody can stomp on. His brothers tore down their affectionate masks and tortured him to death.
And the time of Shi Jin’s rebirth coincided with the death of ‘his’ father, that is, with the beginning of the book.
After finishing his morning routine, Shi Jin did not go out, but sat back on the bed and continued his internal talk with Xiao Si.
“What do you need me to do?”
There is no such thing as a free lunch in this world. Xiao Si took a lot of trouble to let him be reborn, it definitely had something it needed his help with.
Xiao Si displayed two things resembling progress bars inside his mind, one active and one grayed out. <These are called ‘death progress bars’, the one above showing ‘998’ is yours. Once it hits 999, it will be filled up, then your current body will face death and even I wouldn’t be able to save you—I’m bound to you and I would disappear together with you. What you need to do is to empty it and let us keep on living.>
Shi Jin, who had a slight OCD, hadn’t shown immediate interest in the connection between this progress bar and his own life, but instead asked with an extremely disgusted expression: “999? Can’t you round it up to 1000, like the one below?”
Xiao Si voice, which had been somewhat serious, suddenly become heated: <You devil! That progress bar belongs to my Darling, I wouldn’t give it to you!>
Shi Jin’s mind was shaken by the force of this passionate cry. “Stop fooling around and focus on what matters!”
<…Before the progress bar below yours reaches 1000 points, I need you to find its owner and help him to save his life by emptying his progress bar while keeping your own life.> Xiao Xi’s tone became serious again. It begged earnestly in a pitiful voice: <Will you help me? I, I can reward you, and ensure your safety.>
With all this said, what was Shi Jin supposed to do? Of course, he could only endure his obsessive-compulsive disorder and nod seriously.
He got a brand-new life. Even though he may still lose it at any time, there was also a crybaby self-proclaimed ‘golden finger’ in his mind and a matter of finding the other person with a progress bar, but it was a life anyway. He could still touch the mahjong tiles many more times.
It was his gain anyway.
Xiao Si cheered: <Wow, I knew that my family’s JinJin is the best.>
Shi Jin, who was mistaken for a girl countless times because of this nickname: “…Shut up.”
After finishing exchanging information and sorting out the memory in his brain, Shi Jin finally stepped out of the door.
‘Shi Jin’s’ stallion father, called Shi Xingrui, was a business genius who built a huge business empire from scratch. After ‘Shi Jin’ was born, he moved overseas with him and focused on expanding his company.
His funeral ended yesterday, and today his lawyer was going to announce his last will. The only person who was going to be present during the reading of the will was Shi Jin, his five brothers weren’t invited. This is what Shi Xingrui wished for because he hadn’t intended to leave even a cent for his other sons.
While they were all his children, Shi Xingrui treated his sons in quite a different way. He was partial towards Shi Jin, his youngest son, and Shi Jin’s existence had never been revealed to the public. The other five sons all lived with their mothers, gathering together only on New Year’s Eve. Even though the outside world has heard of the five outstanding young men, their family relationship with Shi Xingrui wasn’t known.
“They were all his sons. How could Shi Xingrui be so biased?” Shi Jin flipped through the memory of the original ‘Shi Jin’ and the information given by Xiao Si, completely unable to understand Shi Xingrui’s behavior.
<Probably because your appearance is the best?> Xiao Si flattered him shamelessly.
Shi Jin: “…” He looked at his pig-like stomach and pig-like legs, deciding to end this topic and stop looking for abuse.
While they chatted, Shi Xingrui’s lawyer had arrived. After a brief greeting, he began to read the long list of Shi Xingrui’s possessions and businesses that Shi Jin inherited.
It went in one ear and out the other—Shi Jin used this time to discuss the progress bar in his mind with Xiao Si.
“How can I empty it?” Shi Jin asked.
<If the lethal factors disappear, the progress bar will decrease by itself.>
Shi Jin fell into deep thought.
In the plot of the novel, the original ‘Shi Jin’ was tortured by his brothers, which means the danger of death came from all five of them. As for the reason why they weren’t willing to meet with ‘Shi Jin’… His eyes moved to the documents in lawyer’s hands and he cursed Shi Xingrui in his heart.
How could the children who were treated indifferently or even outright ignored by their father like their brother who was favored? Furthermore, the circumstances were much more complex, as the money interests were involved.
Shi Xingrui’s decision to snub his elder sons and leave all his inheritance to the youngest… Did he feel that Shi Jin wasn’t hated enough and wanted to make him die faster!?
“…With Maria Cordero Manor, this is all of the real estates. In addition, Mr. Shi decided that you will inherit all the shares of the Ruixing Corporation. Since you haven’t graduated from the university yet, the company will be managed by the Deputy Chairman of the Board, Xu Tianhua, with your supervision. This is the entire content of the will. If there are no problems, please sign here.” At last, the lawyer finished reading the will and put several documents in front of Shi Jin.
Shi Jin returned to reality. Glancing at the progress bar that had reached 998, he decisively pushed the document back and said firmly, “I don’t want these things.” If he takes it, the progress bar will be filled completely and he will die.
The lawyer raised his hand and rubbed his ears, suspecting that he had misheard.
“I don’t want anything that my brothers haven’t gotten.” Shi Jin got up, his childish face full of stubbornness. His expression became tense and full of grief. “What dad did was wrong, I don’t want those things. Divide it into five parts and give them to my brothers.”
The lawyer was clearly stunned. “However, Young Master Shi, your brothers already have their own successful careers. Getting the inheritance wouldn’t make a difference for them, but you still haven’t come of age, that’s…”
How can it make no difference, it makes a big difference!
Shi Jin’s acting skills suddendly awakened. He shouted loudly: “Enough!”
The lawyer was so surprised that he shut up and gave him a funny look.
“My brothers could struggle by themselves, I can do it as well.” Shi Jin slumped, uttering sadly, “Dad always said that my brothers are his pride, and I want my father and brothers to be proud of me too… Please go back, I’m tired.”
Following that, he turned around and hauled his fat body back to the room on the second floor. After slamming the door shut he stopped his act and asked with a nervous feeling in the pit of the stomach: “Xiao Si, how was my performance?”
Clap, clap, clap. Xiao Si expressed its approval with applause.
“Thank you for your support, thank you for your support.” Shi Jin thanked him with a bashful expression. Then he rubbed his hands expectantly. “I rejected the inheritance, my progress bar should have decreased a little, right?”
Xiao Si also felt some expectations. <Definitely.> They looked at the progress bar.
Shi Jin paled. “What’s going on? Why hasn’t it decreased?” It even rose a little, from 998 to 998.5!
Xiao Si screamed, <I don’t know!>
<Waah waah waah, waah waah waah… Pung (碰)! Hand (胡了)! Final Draw (海底捞月)! Rinshan kaihou (杠上开花 )!> – this whole paragraph was a nightmare. Waah waah is the sound of crying Xiao Si (if anyone has a better idea of how should it sound, please share (;﹏;)). As for the rest of it… As far as I can tell, these are mahjong terms. I think.
Shi Jin, who was mistaken for a girl countless times because of this nickname – that’s not a literal translation, but it should illustrate Shi Jin’s displeasure at his nickname. Here’s the original sentence: 因为进进这个小名而无数次被人误以为是叫静静的时进.
How was it, did you like it? If you spotted any mistakes or weird sentences, leave a comment please Ｏ(≧▽≦)Ｏ
Edit: Oops, forgot to turn on comments -_-‘ Thank you, Zo Arai~
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