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Death Progress Bar (Web Novel) - Chapter 84 - Origins

Chapter 84 - Origins

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog


A few days after their date, the investigation team sent over their findings on Jian Jinwen and Yun Jin’s origins. Once he received the information, Lian Jun rolled his wheelchair to Shi Jin’s side and touched the teenager’s head, which was resting against the armrest of the sofa.

Shi Jin was lying down, wearing headphones and watching a movie on a tablet. At the touch, he looked up; seeing it was Lian Jun, he promptly took off the headphones and sat up, asking, “What’s up? Do you want some water?

Lian Jun shook his head and pointed to the laptop on his lap. “The results of the investigation came in. Do you want to see them?”

Shi Jin froze, the relaxed expression on his face slowly fading away, then nodded and put aside his tablet.

The two sat down on the sofa side by side. Shi Jin set the laptop on the coffee table and opened the file.

The data was divided into three parts: the first part pertained to Jian Jinwen, the second to Yun Jin, and the third part was some miscellaneous pieces of information. Shi Jin clicked on Jian Jinwen’s section first.

Once again, it began with photos—two popped up together this time. The pictures showed a man and a woman. Both of them were about the same age, in their twenties; the man looked refined and elegant, the woman beautiful and proper. Their clothes showed that their families should have been quite well-off.

Shi Jin was somewhat taken aback. Examining the two’s features, he quickly determined they should be Jian Jinwen’s parents. At the same time, he was confused—judging from the way they were dressed, it was unlikely they would abandon their child because of financial reasons.

And despite his later illness, Jian Jinwen was perfectly healthy when he was abandoned, so he certainly wasn’t abandoned because of some physical defect. If it wasn’t because of poverty or a disability, why would these two people abandon their child?

With such doubts, he scrolled down to the next page and soon discovered the reason.

The name of Jian Jinwen’s biological father was Wei Ming, and his biological mother was called Guan Jiajia; they were childhood friends. However, though their relationship was very good, their families’ relationship was the opposite, as they were business rivals. At sixteen, the two teenagers couldn’t resist tasting the forbidden fruit, the result of which was Jian Jinwen.

Shi Jin: “……”

Teenage pregnancy—the truth was more clichéd than he expected.

According to the information, because of her lack of sexual education, Guan Jiajia only found out she was pregnant six months later. She was scared, but she also knew this wasn’t something she could take care of herself, so she told her parents. When they learned about the matter, her parents rushed straight to the Wei family’s house and beat Wei Ming half to death.

It was inevitable that the relationship between the two families would deteriorate even more. Wei Ming’s parents firmly refused to allow the two youths to be together, and neither did they want Wei Ming to come forward and apologize or take responsibility. They sent Wei Ming away, to a place where the Guan family wouldn’t be able to find him, and spread rumors that Guan Jiajia had been fooling around and ended up pregnant with a gangster’s child, leaving Wei Ming completely out of the matter.

Guan Jiajia’s parents nearly went mad with fury. They spent a lot of money to find people to interfere with the Wei family’s business and hit them as hard as possible, then moved to another city.

After all that turbulence, Guan Jiajia’s pregnancy had already reached the seventh month. Considering that induced miscarriage harmed the pregnant woman’s body, Guan Jiajia’s parents finally decided to let her carry the child till the end.

Two months later, Guan Jiajia gave birth to Jian Jinwen. Her mother stayed behind to take care of her, and her father drove to another city with the baby boy and left him at the orphanage’s doors.

Guan Jiajia took a year’s leave of absence from school to recuperate. In the middle of her second year of high school, her parents sent her abroad.

Wei Ming’s parents threw him into a strictly managed all-boys boarding school. He only gained a bit of freedom after he entered university.

This concluded the first part of the data that clarified Jian Jinwen’s family history.

Shi Jin took another look at the photos of Wei Ming and Guan Jiajia and found that Jian Jinwen didn’t particularly resemble either his mother or his father, but rather, his appearance was a combination of both of their best features. Considering that the original ‘Shi Jin’ and Jian Jinwen looked very similar, the unpleasant suspicion in Shi Jin’s mind grew stronger and stronger—was ‘Shi Jin’s’ mother Wei Ming and Guan Jiajia’s child too?

But with all that happened when they were young, was it really possible for those two people to get together again once they’d grown up, and have another child?

Frowning, he clicked on the second part of the document.

This time, there were no photos. Shi Jin’s heart skipped a beat—no new pictures meant that there were no other people involved other than those who had already appeared. His guess was very likely correct.

According to the investigation report, Yun Jin was also an abandoned baby. She had been left in a dumpster in N province and found by garbage collectors on duty, who called the police. After the local orphanage that she was sent to closed down, she was transferred to an orphanage in a town in another province. There she grew up until she reached adulthood and, as she was preparing to leave and live on her own, met Shi Xingrui.

Wait, a transfer between orphanages? From a medium-sized orphanage in a big city to a small orphanage in an unknown town? This was strange—reasonably, when an orphanage closed, children should be transferred to the nearest available orphanages in the same province.

A certain thought appeared in his mind, and Shi Jin carefully read the rest of the information. He found that the transfer happened when Yun Jin was eight years old, and that it was only after entering the new orphanage that she was renamed ‘Yun Jin’. Before that, her name was quite slapdash—it was the name of the street she was found at plus the surname of the director of her former orphanage.

…Eight years old? Looking at the dates, wasn’t it right around then that Shi Xingrui abandoned Li Jiuzheng’s mother? Shi Jin recalled that from then on, Shi Xingrui had stopped looking for women to have children with and began to focus on his career.

The transfer, the name change, and Shi Xingrui no longer searching for a stand-in to birth his child all of a sudden… Sure enough, just as Shi Jin had speculated after his talk with Jian Chenghua, Yun Jin was the perfect substitute Shi Xingrui had discovered back then.

He actually secretly raised her in the orphanage for ten years, patiently waiting for her to grow up. Once she became an adult, he appeared in front of her, a ‘rich president’ from a romance drama, pursuing her with a frantic fervour, as though he were madly in love, convincing her to give him a child and wanting to marry her, and trap her at his side forever.

Crazy—Shi Xingrui had already gone completely crazy by then.

Shi Jin couldn’t speak. It took him a long time to digest the information, then he raised his hands and gave his face a hard rub. He scrolled down to read the rest with a strained expression, wanting to know what the relationship between Jian Jinwen and Yun Jin was, in the end—half-siblings? Cousins? Distant relatives? Or maybe… real siblings?

He went through the second part of the file quickly, soon reaching the bottom. By the time he finished reading, he had no idea what kind of reaction he was supposed to have.

Yun Jin really was Wei Ming and Guan Jiajia’s daughter, but the circumstances of her birth were far more tragic. She was the result of Guan Jiajia’s kidnapping and long-term imprisonment.

According to the data, after going abroad, Guan Jiajia soon got over the shadow of her underage pregnancy. She grew into an excellent, successful woman, married a classmate from university, and settled in a foreign country.

Wei Ming was not so lucky. After the Guan family took their revenge, it was as if the Wei family’s business was cursed—it was on a downhill slope for years. Wei Ming’s parents blamed his son for all their troubles, believing that if it wasn’t for him taking up with Guan Jiajia, the family business wouldn’t have declined.

Under the triple blow of his lover leaving, his parents’ verbal humiliation, and the boarding school’s hard-line management, Wei Ming’s mind became distorted little by little; he grew into someone who was normal on the surface, but completely warped on the inside. After graduating from university, he cut off all contact with his family and chose to work in the city where Guan Jiajia’s parents were living. Like a crazed stalker, he settled close to them and monitored them, trying to find Guan Jiajia.

Oblivious to the situation, Mr. and Mrs. Guan lived under his surveillance for more than 20 years. Fortunately, because Guan Jiajia had unhappy memories of her life in China, it was always her parents visiting her abroad. She had never returned home and so was not found by Wei Ming.

A turning point came when Wei Ming and Guan Jiajia were 41 years old. That year, Guan Jiajia’s mother fell seriously ill; the worry in Guan Jiajia’s heart overcame her reluctance and she bought a plane ticket to return to China at last.

Time had already blurred her memories of her teenage years, and Wei Ming’s temperament and appearance had gone through a great change. When he stopped her in an alley while she was on her way back to her parents home from the hospital, she didn’t recognize him. Mistaking him for a robber, she called the police straight off instead.

That event obviously stimulated Wei Ming. The next time Guan Jiajia was on her way back from the hospital, he kidnapped her and imprisoned her in a cave on an isolated mountain.

No one knew what Guan Jiajia went through during that period of time. According to the police’s case files, a year passed before she found an opportunity to escape. As for Wei Ming—he was dead, and died on that mountain.

Guan Jiajia refused to talk about what happened during that one year, but she was diagnosed with severe psychological trauma. The doctor who examined her found that she had given birth to a child not long before, but when asked about the child, she only shook her head and didn’t speak.

Later, her husband took her abroad on grounds of seeking treatment, and the Guan couple followed them. In the absence of valid witnesses and witness testimonies, the case was finally closed with the conclusion that Guan Jiajia had acted in justified self-defense, resulting in Wei Ming’s death. Of the child that no one had ever seen, there was barely any mention.

The police speculated that the baby had been taken away by Wei Ming, but they never found out what exactly happened to the child.

If you’re seeing this notice, you’re reading this chapter on pirate site – the original translator of Death Progress Bar is Betwixted Translations. Read on Betwixted to get the fastest updates!

Annihilation’s investigation team was also stumped when they reached this point. Finally, they decided to tackle it from a new direction—they acted by taking the information that Yun Jin might have some connection with Jian Jinwen’s biological parents, provided by Shi Jin, as a basis. It turned out to be the correct decision because, after some backtracking, they discovered where Wei Ming had taken the child, who was indeed Yun Jin: to his parents.

Wei Ming’s parents probably noticed his abnormality and had some suspicions about the child, so after he left, they secretly put the baby in a dumpster. Later, when the police visited them during the investigation, they simply said that Wei Ming broke off all relations with them years ago and they didn’t know anything.

Thus concluded the second part of the investigation report. It was confirmed that Jian Jinwen and Yun Jin were brother and sister, and that the original ‘Shi Jin’ should call Jian Jinwen uncle.

Shi Jin’s mood was extremely complicated. He hadn’t thought that the truth of Jian Jinwen and Yun Jin’s origins would be like that; not even the screenwriter of a third-rate TV drama would dare to write such a plot.

“Would you like to drink something?” Lian Jun asked in a timely interruption.

Shi Jin cast him a sideways glance and shook his head. He exhaled, opened his mouth to speak but closed it again and, having adjusted his mood, moved on to the last part of the file.

It was some very miscellaneous material: there was some information about the non-profit organization ‘Hope’ that funded Jian Jinwen’s treatment in the hospital overseas, some details about Xu Chuan, and there were also short investigation reports on the two orphanages Yun Jin lived in… In short, this was where the investigation team had included all the other information that they could find out that Shi Jin might want to know.

Shi Jin skimmed through it, and found that the non-profit organization really did have something to do with Shi Xingrui, just as he had guessed. Even the “good person”, the orphan who Jian Jinwen had helped and who applied for a patient assistance fund in Jian Jinwen’s name to help him in turn, was someone Shi Xingrui arranged.

Not only that—even the hospital in the foreign country that Jian Jinwen was transferred to could be considered Shi Xingrui’s. Xu Chuan, the organization’s “representative”, had already been working for Shi Xingrui for a long time by that point.

Jian Chenghua believed that after Jian Jinwen moved to the new hospital, Shi Xingrui had no way to see him, but that was a big mistake—that hospital was a “golden house” Shi Xingrui had set up specially for Jian Jinwen. As long as Jian Jinwen was living there, Shi Xingrui would know everything he did and every detail of his condition.

Not surprisingly, the small-town orphanage that Yun Jin was transferred to had also been funded by Shi Xingrui. Without knowing it, both the brother and the sister were kept in Shi Xingrui’s “golden houses”.

What a perverted desire to control.

Shi Jin frowned deeply. Pressing down the urge to shout abuse at Shi Xingrui, he moved on to the last page of the file.

Here, the report mentioned a very surprising thing: Xu Jie and Xu Chuan were actually relatives. Though their relationship wasn’t close and the elders of their family did not maintain any contact, the two were blood relatives.

Shi Jin was shocked when he saw this.

Xu Chuan and Xu Jie are relatives? This… Did Shi Xingrui know about this? Xu Chuan was Shi Xingrui’s confidant, and even participated in Shi Xingrui’s secret plan to help Jian Jinwen. If Xu Chuan and Xu Jie are relatives—if, perhaps, they have always been in contact—then it was possible for Xu Jie to know everything Shi Xingrui did, wasn’t it? Did Xu Jie know Shi Xingrui through Xu Chuan, and come to work in Ruixing Corporation thanks to his help?

Not only that—he remembered that Xu Chuan had been bought by Xu Tianhua before. Xu Tianhua used to be Ruixing’s deputy chairman and Shi Weichong’s opponent, contending for the control of Ruixing. Xu Jie was Shi Weichong’s mother…

His heart suddenly sinking, he thought of a possibility—maybe Xu Chuan was never bought by Xu Tianhua but under Xu Jie’s suggestion, he pretended to join Xu Tianhua? And then, he took the opportunity to covertly work against Xu Tianhua, helping Xu Jie to secure Shi Weichong’s position as Ruixing’s chairman?

If that was the case, then when Xu Chuan hired Werewolf to try to kidnap the original ‘Shi Jin’, was it on Xu Jie’s instructions, not Xu Tianhua’s? And Xu Tianhua really didn’t know about the kidnapping, but was just used as a fall guy?

He recalled that in fact, during the whole investigation and trial, Xu Tianhua never admitted to hiring anyone to kidnap and hurt ‘Shi Jin’. Everyone was certain that he was the behind-the-scenes mastermind because the money Xu Chuan used to pay the deposit to Werewolf came from Xu Tianhua’s secret account. However, if one thought about it, Xu Chuan was a renowned lawyer with many years of experience; if he wanted to tamper with Xu Tianhua’s secret account, it would be as easy as pie.

Lian Jun saw Shi Jin’s expression getting worse and worse, and couldn’t hold back from reaching out to touch him. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Shi Jin emerged from the quagmire of his various more or less plausible speculations, and said, his mouth as dry as paper, “I suspect… Xu Chuan and Xu Jie have always been colluding. The person who wanted Werewolf to kidnap me may not have been Xu Tianhua at all, but Xu Jie. Do you remember? The request was for them to disfigure me and cut off my fingers; to kill me, but only after I’ve been tortured for long enough time. These demands clearly indicate a personal grudge and profound hatred, but there was no deep enmity between me and Xu Tianhua. If he wanted to get rid of me for the sake of his interests, the best way was to ask Werewolf to kill me right after kidnapping me—after all, the longer things dragged on, the greater the risk for him, and yet the request was to ‘torture me’… Why didn’t I notice that something about it wasn’t right?”

Lian Jun, whose face looked progressively colder the longer Shi Jin spoke, soon regained control over his expression and patted the teenager’s back to soothe him. “I’ve sent people to watch Xu Jie a long time ago. They will notify me the moment she makes any strange moves, so don’t be afraid.”

“I’m not afraid of her, I’m just trying to figure something out,” Shi Jin replied. As he recalled Xu Chuan’s strange attitude when they met after the lawyer was arrested, and the man silently mouthing a warning to him to run, the questions in his heart multiplied. He turned to look at Lian Jun and said solemnly, “I want to meet with Xu Chuan as soon as possible.”

Lian Jun met his gaze and nodded, though inwardly he was somewhat reluctant. “Okay, I will get someone to arrange it.”

Lian Jun was extremely efficient—he arranged for Shi Jin to fly to M province later that same day.

“I’ll let Gua Two and Gua Five go with you,” Lian Jun said, helping Shi Jin pack his luggage. “The temperature in M province is hotter than that in B City. When you get there, take care of yourself, don’t get heatstroke.”

Shi Jin, who was immersed in analyzing the plot of the original novel, returned to himself. Seeing his boyfriend acting like a “virtuous wife”, he blinked, then leaned over and hugged him from behind. “I’ll come back as soon as possible. Remember to eat properly while I’m not here.”

“I know.” Lian Jun put down his clothes and gave him a sideways glance. “Can’t bear to part with me?” he couldn’t resist asking.

“Of course I can’t bear it,” the younger man answered, not hiding his emotions at all. Relaxing his body, he hung onto him, saying, “We just had our first official date, now it’s obviously supposed to be our honeymoon period…”

Lian Jun reached out to turn Shi Jin’s face towards him and kissed him.

The two let the pink bubbles fly for a while. Eventually, Lian Jun calmed down first. After helping Shi Jin finish packing up, he personally sent him out on the road.

“Call me if there are any problems,” Lian Jun said when Shi Jin got in the car.

Shi Jin nodded through the open window, then urged, “Hurry up and go back in. It’s too hot outside, you shouldn’t stay in the sun for too long.”

Lian Jun moved his wheelchair back a little, retreating into the shadow by the door. There he stopped again, making it clear that he was going to watch him leave.

Sighing inwardly, Shi Jin waved farewell at him again, then raised the window. “Let’s go,” he said to Gua Five, who was driving.

The car started and slowly drove away from the club. Lian Jun watched it leave, only looking away when it could no longer be seen. His expression turning cold, he commanded Gua One standing next to him, “Keep an eye on Xu Jie and investigate her personal relationships in detail, don’t let go of anyone suspicious.”

Gua One acknowledged the order and pushed him back into the club.

If you’re seeing this notice, you’re reading this chapter on pirate site – the original translator of Death Progress Bar is Betwixted Translations. Read on Betwixted to get the fastest updates!

While the car was on the way to the airport, Shi Jin took out his tablet. However, this time he didn’t play mahjong but pulled up all the investigation reports, shrunk the windows down, and lined them up on the screen.

Gua Two’s gaze swept over the tablet but seeing the densely packed words, he hurriedly looked away. “What are you doing, trying to hurt your eyes? The police academy has requirements for eyesight, you know.”

“I know, I’m not going to hurt my eyes.” Shi Jin tapped on one of the opened files to enlarge it, highlighted one of the paragraphs, and took a pen and a notebook from his bag.

Gua Two raised his eyebrows. “Are you doing homework? Here?”

“No, I want to work out the timeline,” the teenager replied, writing down the date when Xu Jie and Shi Xingrui first met.

When he saw Shi Xingrui’s name in Shi Jin’s notebook, Gua Two shut up, putting away all thoughts of teasing him. He moved further to the side, leaned back in the seat, and closed his eyes to rest them.

However, Shi Jin’s whole attention was focused on the information in front of him, and he hadn’t noticed his thoughtfulness at all.

After discovering that Xu Chuan and Xu Jie might be working together, he went over the original plot again with a fine-toothed comb. He found that if he put Xu Jie in the identity of the unknown mastermind, then all the things that had puzzled him about what happened to the original ‘Shi Jin’, as well as the inexplicable rise and fall of the progress bar, could be reasonably explained.

If the two really colluded, then in order to be able to pry open Xu Chuan’s mouth, Shi Jin had to be fully prepared. He had to grasp the information completely, learn even the tiniest details by heart, so he could catch the man off guard and get the whole truth out of him.

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