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Death Progress Bar (Web Novel) - Chapter 20: Fight

Chapter 20: Fight

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Shi Jin had been trying to contact his third brother for a while, but he wasn’t answering his phone or returning the text messages. Since the security measures in the gated villa community where Rong Zhouzhong lived were very tight, not allowing visitors to enter without permission, Shi Jin hadn’t even bothered going to the main entrance—he and Gua Two simply climbed over the wall.

“How did you know this is the monitoring dead zone?” Gua Two asked, dumbfounded.

“I’ve checked this place out before,” lied Shi Jin without batting an eye while brushing the dust off his clothes. He took a moment to orient himself, then led Gua Two towards the farthest corner of the villa community.

Gua Two didn’t doubt his words. He followed him and asked, “Rong Zhouzhong is not answering his phone. Are you sure he’s here?”

“If he isn’t, we’ll come back later,” answered Shi Jin, sounding like a thug debt collector.

Gua Two raised an eyebrow. “And climb over the wall again?”

“If he still doesn’t answer his phone, then we will have to, won’t we?” Replied Shi Jin matter-of-factly.

Gua Two gave him a thumbs up.

When they arrived at the quietest and most remote area in the community, Shi Jin stopped in front of a villa with a small courtyard and rang the doorbell next to the courtyard door.

After a long moment, the video door entry screen lit up and Rong Zhouzhong’s voice came out of the speaker: {Who is it?}

Shi Jin moved his face closer to the camera.

The door-phone was silent for a few seconds, then it disconnected and the courtyard door unlocked with a soft click. Shi Jin pushed it open, but before he could step inside, Gua Two stopped him, allowing him to enter only after a quick look around.

The door of the villa was also unlocked. Rong Zhouzhong was sitting on a sofa facing the entrance in his night robe with a lazy expression, and his hair was a little messy as if he had just got out of bed. Seeing Shi Jin coming in, he asked in an annoyed tone, “Why are you here?”

Shi Jin had long expected this attitude from him, so he ignored it and sat down opposite him. Putting the cucumber pillow on the coffee table, he said, “I’m returning this to you.”

In the book, Rong Zhouzhong was the brother whose attitude change towards Shi Jin was the most obvious. Although he would show concern for the original ‘Shi Jin’ while their father was still alive, he actually didn’t care for him too much. Usually, he only threw him some money as a gift and did not even bother to answer his calls most of the time. After Shi Xingrui’s death though, he was the first brother to stop pretending. He no longer concealed his impatience and dislike of ‘Shi Jin’, and he used every opportunity to put the knife in by saying something hurtful—and Rong Zhouzhong’s mouth was extremely poisonous.

Rong Zhouzhong glanced at the pillow and asked, “What do you mean?”

“When you gave it to me, you said you wanted it to remind me I should eat more vegetables and not be picky because I wouldn’t look handsome if I got fat.” Both Shi Jin’s face and voice were void of emotions. “But now that I’ve thought things through, I’ve realized it was a lie—you gave it to me to spite me.”

Rong Zhouzhong raised his eyebrows and looked Shi Jin up and down. Suddenly he smiled, but this smile was not pleasant: “I’ve never thought this pig would have a day he would use his brain. Eldest Brother was right, you really are different now.”

When Shi Jin heard this, his heart missed a beat—these words let him know that Shi Weichong and Rong Zhouzhong have talked about him.

“Yeah, I really was as stupid as a pig. You and big brother were so superficial and fake, yet I’ve never suspected a thing.” Shi Jin flashed a self-mocking smile, but his face quickly turned expressionless again and he continued in a hard tone, “Fortunately, I wasn’t too late to realize the truth.”

Rong Zhouzhong made a ‘So what, what are you gonna do about this?’ face and motioned for Shi Jin to hurry up and finish what he wanted to say. The look in his eyes was condescending and full of disgust, with just a little bit of pity mixed in.

Shi Jin looked up at him and watched him for a moment, then asked seriously, “You really never thought of me as your brother?”

Rong Zhouzhong laughed out loud as if he heard a great joke.

Shi Jin frowned and continued to ask, “Then all the presents you gave me in the past…”

“Eldest Brother made someone help pick them.” Rong Zhouzhong frank words were intended to stab Shi Jin’s heart. “There’s only one present I chose, the pillow, and you already know the reason for that.”

Shi Jin: “…” How come I suddenly think Rong Zhouzhong really needs a beating?

“Are you done? If that’s all you’ve wanted to talk about, then get lost, I don’t have time or interest to play twenty questions with you.” Rong Zhouzhong got up and walked towards the door, not forgetting to throw the cucumber pillow in a trash can next to the sofa.

Gua Two had been listening quietly, but witnessing this, his expression sank and he stepped forward, feeling Shi Jin did not deserve this kind of treatment. Unexpectedly, at that moment, Shi Jin took out his gun and aimed it at Rong Zhouzhong. “Sit down, I haven’t finished yet,” he said in a cold voice.

Gua Two halted his steps and looked at Shi Jin. Seeing his tense expression, he frowned and retreated in silence, conveniently pulling the curtains together and locking the front door as he passed them.

Rong Zhouzhong paused, then moved back. He glanced at the gun in Shi Jin’s hand and said with a derisive smile, “Are you serious? Who do you want to scare with this toy?”

Bang.

Before he could blink, Shi Jin shot the trash can next to the sofa, making it burst.

“It is a little interesting.” Rong Zhouzhong sat down again with a smile on his face, but the expression in his eyes was icy. He raised his chin and said, “Now I really want to know just how much you’ve changed.”

“I haven’t changed much, I just became another person.” Shi Jin put the gun away, asking Xiao Si at the same time, “Has my progress bar risen?”

<No, it’s still at 900,> replied Xiao Si.

No change?

Shi Jin felt it was a little surprising. Rong Zhouzhong was well-know for being vindictive and petty, and yet he wasn’t full of killing intent after being threatened with a gun? Or perhaps the deterring effect of Shi Jin’s ‘golden thigh’ was too strong?

He wasn’t able to figure it out, so he decided to take things a little further.

He stared at Rong Zhouzhong and continued his questioning. “Did you post the dance video intentionally? Have you recognized me by then?”

Rong Zhouzhong hadn’t expected to be asked this. He glanced at Shi Jin’s face and felt it was boring. “Just suspected. The post was to help me collect more videos.”

“How did you recognize me?” This was what baffled Shi Jin the most.

Rong Zhouzhong sneered. “Just when I thought you were smart. Shi Jin, don’t you realize how much you and your mother look alike?”

The original ‘Shi Jin’s’ mother? The reason turned out to be this?

Shi Jin was shocked and frowned slightly. The original novel said very little about the previous generation. Shi Xingrui died at the very beginning; as for the mothers of the five brothers, they practically hadn’t appeared at all. ‘Shi Jin’s’ mother died soon after she gave birth to him and there were no pictures of her at home, so he didn’t even know what she looked like. Shi Jin, who inherited his memory, naturally wouldn’t know either.

Yet Rong Zhouzhong claimed ‘Shi Jin’ looked very similar to his mother. Did it mean he met her?

Shi Jin was almost sure he did, so he asked this.

Rong Zhouzhong’s expression eased up a little. He answered, appearing somewhat melancholic: “Of course I had. In fact, everyone had met her, except for you. Shi Xingrui was so self-satisfied that when he liked some woman, he would make everyone come and see her… Have you finally finished with your questions? Then beat it, I still need to catch up on my sleep.”

Shi Jin’s instinct told him that this wasn’t all and that Rong Zhouzhong seemed to avoid something. He wanted to inquire further, but judging from the other party’s impatient look, he wouldn’t get anything out of him, so he suppressed this thought for now and decided to follow the original plan. “Third Brother, you envy me.”

“What?” Rong Zhouzhong looked as though he heard something completely ludicrous, his melancholy disappearing without a trace. Frowning, he stared at Shi Jin as if he was insane.

“You were jealous of Dad’s love for me and him keeping me by his side. I heard the old housekeeper say that before I was born, you were the father’s favorite child. Third Brother, had it felt good to be robbed of everything by me? It had felt even worse you had to fawn over me to get Dad’s favor, hadn’t it? I was being spoiled by Dad, but you still needed to struggle in the entertainment industry, and even though you finally became so famous, you never even got a look from Dad. Whether the media talk about your past, they always say your father is unknown… Have you no idea how much your enemies laugh at you because of this?”

This clearly made Rong Zhouzhong angry. He shot up from the sofa and cried out, “Shi Jin, you better shut up!”

“Why should I shut up? You’ve been playing my loving brother for more than ten years and yet you have no qualms at all to stomp on my heart, and now you tell me to shut up?!” Shi Jin stood up, leaned forward to grab Rong Zhouzhong’s collar, then looked into his eyes and said with a voice full of loathing: “Were you ridiculing me every time I called you because I was worried about you? Every year I tried my best to give you a great birthday present—did you throw them in the garbage can just like that pillow? I used to look forward to your visits, your phone calls, getting a kind word or two from you, but all of you were scheming behind my back, deceiving me, laughing at me, plotting against me. Rong Zhouzhong, humans have beating hearts inside them, but you guys are different—what you have in your chests are knives filled with murderous hatred, and yet you don’t have the guts to stab the man who had failed you but aim at me again and again! You are nothing but worthless cowards!”

“What do you know!” Rong Zhouzhong was furious. He grabbed Shi Jin’s hand holding his collar and forced him to let go, pushing him back. “Stop pretending you’re all innocent here, you fucking pig! I’m not a good brother, but you are? You talk as if you’re so pitiful and noble, do you think we don’t know what that old bastard had been teaching you? ‘Those five people are not your brothers, but the servants your daddy trained for you. You don’t have to truly care about them, just pretend to treat them nicely,’ are those words familiar? You answered ‘I know, Daddy’—can you still remember that?”

Shi Jin, who had just analyzed the plot and scoured the memory of the original ‘Shi Jin’, immediately remembered when that conversation took place. He asked incredulously, “Did you take that seriously? I was nine! Have you really been holding a grudge about this?”

“So you do remember!” Rong Zhouzhong seemed to think this was enough evidence to invalidate all of Shi Jin’s words, yelling, “Get out of my sight right now! I must’ve been out of my mind today to let you come in!”

Shi Jin hadn’t yet reached the purpose he came here for, so of course, he wouldn’t let himself be thrown out. Seeing his progress bar still wasn’t rising, he decided to go for broke and threw a punch at Rong Zhouzhong’s handsome face, roaring, “And when did I ever treat you as a servant, you asshole! It was always you acting high and mighty, and treating me like dirt!”

After being hit, Rong Zhouzhong was stupefied for a moment, then he flew into a rage and hit him back. “It seems you have a death wish!”

Then, the two of them started to slug it out, but even though the fight looked really fierce, they weren’t using any fighting skills at all, just venting their emotions like children. Gua Two looked on from distance, feeling speechless, and leaned against the wall, deciding to simply watch the play.

The scuffle lasted for ten minutes. Even though Rong Zhouzhong was furious, he wasn’t able to defeat Shi Jin, who has been trained in fighting. In the end, Shi Jin managed to pin him face down on the floor, making him lose whatever dignity he had left. “Shi Jin, I will kill you!” He uttered angrily.

“Then do it!” Shi Jin turned him over, pulled out his gun and put it in Rong Zhouzhong’s hand, then stretched his neck out and said, “Here is my heart, here’s the trachea, come on, do it, kill me now!”

Forced to grab the gun, Rong Zhouzhong stared daggers at Shi Jin, his jaw tightly clenched. Abruptly, his hand loosened its grip on the gun, making it drop to the ground. He shoved Shi Jin hard, pushing him off, and said, gritting his teeth, “You are completely insane! Now get lost, and don’t ever appear in front of me again!”

Shi Jin let himself fall to the floor and stopped moving, silently asking Xiao Si, “How’s the progress bar?”

Xiao Si had been scared almost to death by Shi Jin’s suicidal actions, but a trace of confusion and incredulity could be heard in its trembling voice: <JinJin, your progress bar has fallen to 890.>

Shi Jin: “Eh?”

Translator’s Notes:

“It seems you have a death wish” – what Rong Zhouzhong said here is literally ‘you’re courting/seeking death’, but I decided not to, uh, offend your sensibilities with this phrase. (^ω^;)

Does the cucumber pillow count as a Chekhov’s Gun?

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