Death Progress Bar - Chapter 119
After pondering for a moment, Shi Jin looked at the delivery brother cheerfully filling in the package delivery receipt. “Can I refuse to accept the packages?” he asked.
The deliveryman paused, then pressed a hand against his forehead and sighed dolefully.
Shi Jin: “…Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing,” the man replied, sighing again. “Of course you can refuse the delivery, but the thing is, these are international packages. In general, rejected international packages are returned to the sender, do you understand?”
Shi Jin looked at him in incomprehension. “Then what’s the problem? Do I need to pay the return shipping charges or something?”
“Well, take a look at the pickup address of some of these packages,” the deliveryman said, beckoning to Shi Jin.
Baffled, Shi Jin leaned over to glance at the courier receipts. Slowly, his expression turned unsightly.
“Now you see? Most of these packages were sent from different places. I take my hat off to the sender—despite the varying delivery speed in each region, he managed to perfectly calculate the international delivery time so that all the packages would arrive on the same day. Just, if they’re returned, will someone sign for them at the return addresses? The sender seems to be, uh… running around all over the globe.”
Shi Jin didn’t reply. Thinking about Fei Yujing, who had indeed started to fly all over the world after Phantom’s matter was finished, he let out a resigned sigh. “I’ll accept them,” he said, stretching out a hand. “Where should I sign?”
Liu Yong and Luo Donghao, dragooned by Shi Jin into helping, came to the school gate. After Shi Jin filled them in on his tragic situation, Liu Yong went to get a cart for transporting sports equipment from the school gym storage room.
Huffing and puffing, the three heaved the packages on the cart, then pushed the cart past the sports ground, cafeteria, and school building, braving the curious gazes of passing-by cadets all the way to the dormitory building.
Shi Jin’s roommates were all in the room. After entering the room, Shi Jin greeted them a little sheepishly, maneuvering the cart against the wall: “Sorry for this. I know it occupies the shared area, but it won’t be here for long—I just need to sort through this stuff and I’ll put it away in the school storage area.”
His roommates said it was fine. Their gazes swept over the cart behind Shi Jin, filled with curiosity and a bit of ambivalent feeling.
They all knew that Shi Jin’s birthday was coming up; when they returned to school on Sunday, Shi Jin shared with them the cake he brought. While it had been delicious, the heap of presents lying on Shi Jin’s bed was even better—with just a cursory glance, they saw a lot of things that caught their interest, like game consoles, console games, limited edition albums, and so on. At that time, Shi Jin was “sharing the spoils” with Liu Yong and Luo Donghao, but never showed any intention of inviting them to join in. It wasn’t that they particularly wanted Shi Jin to give them those things, but seeing this difference in treatment, there was an odd feeling in their hearts.
Then, at noon today, Shi Jin got a package with several super cool gun models. It seemed to be a birthday gift from his older brother, who was one of their instructors during the military training. What boy didn’t like gun models? They sneaked longing glances at them but were too embarrassed to ask Shi Jin to let them take a look. Finally, they just watched enviously as Liu Yong and Luo Donghao, whom Shi Jin called over, played with the gun models.
Now, Shi Jin had been called over to receive another courier delivery—and more than one, from the looks of it.
They were probably birthday gifts too… Sure enough, people were not equal. A young master born with a silver spoon was completely different from ordinary people like them—it was hard for Shi Jin’s roommates to avoid having thoughts like that.
The atmosphere in the dorm room was a little awkward. Liu Yong and Luo Donghao exchanged glances, then decided to ignore Shi Jin’s roommates and offered to lend him a hand. Shi Jin wanted to be done as soon as possible, so he accepted their help.
With three people working together, more than a dozen packages were opened in no time. The largest box really was filled with books. They weren’t some abstruse, profound tomes Shi Jin had imagined, though, but picture books. The books from every country and region had a different, unique painting style; the only thing they had in common was that each of them was beautifully made.
“Wow, these are works of art,” Liu Yong exclaimed, carefully opening a big, A3-size picture book. “I don’t understand the words—what language is this?—but I can roughly guess the story from the pictures… Hm, it seems to be describing some small tribe’s traditional custom of ancestor or gods worship.”
Shi Jin touched a few of the picture books, surprised as well. Remembering that in the original story, Fei Yujing also gave ‘Shi Jin’ famous regional specialties and souvenirs from the places he traveled to, Shi Jin’s feelings were a bit complicated.
But it wasn’t quite the same—this time, Fei Yujing’s present was clearly chosen much more carefully. In the past life, Fei Yujing didn’t collect picture books from different countries and didn’t bother to calculate the delivery times so the packages would all arrive on the same day.
In a strange flash of insight, he understood the idea behind Fei Yujing’s gift choice. The thing that best showed the local culture was the art: books, music, stories passed down through generations, and so on. With picture books, which combine visual and verbal narratives, you could more or less understand the story even if you didn’t know the local language. They were very useful as a cultural communication medium.
Was it like that? Would Fei Yujing be so thoughtful?
“Such a big packaging box and there’s only this inside?” Luo Donghao said suddenly. From a box filled with foam peanuts, he fished out a small colored glass lamp, tightly wrapped in cotton balls and newspapers.
Liu Yong glanced over at him. Seeing the lantern, he let out a small gasp. “It’s the lamp drawn in this picture book!” he said, pleasantly surprised. “This is a prayer lamp. According to the book, if you sleep under this lamp for seven days, the lantern’s deity will realize your wish.”
“Huh? Is it really the same?” Luo Donghao peered at the picture book.
“Yeah. Look, there’s a gemstone beads casing covering the lightbulb, the lampshade is seven-colored and has seven sides, and there are flowers symbolizing fate carved around the base… This here seems to be the switch to turn it on.” Liu Yong pointed to a flower bud on the lamp base.
Luo Donghao looked at Shi Jin. “Can we?”
Shi Jin regarded the exquisite antique lamp, then got up, went over to his friend, and twisted the bud on the lamp base.
With a soft sound, the lamp lit up, and the gemstone casing inside began to rotate. The light passed through the glass lampshade, illuminating indistinct, symbolic pictures on its seven sides, and there was quiet music coming from the lamp, matching the casing’s gentle rotation. Combined all together, it was as if it was narrating a faraway story.
“…This is gorgeous! This gift is absolutely amazing—it’s like telling you a legend and making it become real in front of you. Who sent you this, Shi Jin? That person is really ingenious!” Liu Yong gushed, excited.
Luo Donhao eyed the rest of the packages, a growing suspicion in his mind. “Hey, do you think… Would what’s in these boxes all be the stuff drawn in the picture books?”
Liu Yong froze for a moment, then squatted down and began to rummage through the other boxes.
An hour later, all the people in the dormitory stared dumbly at the array of exotic items laid out on the table, lost for words.
“Unbelievably, they’re really a set. Each picture book also has a CD attached to the back cover. This totally is making the legends feel real,” Liu Yong muttered. Looking at Shi Jin, he asked, “Who gave you these? That person… really has a romantic soul.”
There actually came a day when Fei Yujing, the man who considered everything in terms of advantages and losses, was called a romantic.
Shi Jin’s mind blanked out for a moment. Gazing at the beautiful picture books and the gifts corresponding to each of them, he replied, “My second brother send them. He… because of his occupation, he often has to travel around the world, so it’s easy for him to buy unusual souvenirs.”
“The things here aren’t something you can buy just popping in a souvenir shop,” Luo Donghao disagreed, coming back to himself. “They are pretty much works of art. You can’t find things like those without spending some effort. The colored glass lamp in particular—all the gemstones are real and it looks very old. I think it’s a real antique, the kind that would be in a collection somewhere.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Shi Jin replied distractedly. Some things in his mind began to stir, making him a little absent-minded. When he noticed his state, he was startled and immediately pinched himself to snap out of it. He shook his head, pushing down the emotions and memories that wanted to flood his mind, and said with a smile, “The stuff my second brother gave me is completely impractical. Won’t I have to get a special display cabinet for it or something? What a hassle.”
Unable to endure, Liu Yong rushed over to mock-strangle him. “You ungrateful bastard, you live a blessed life and not know it!” he hissed, seething with envy. “Other people can’t get this kind of birthday present even if they would love to! That aside, just how many older brothers do you have?!”
Shi Jin hurriedly begged for mercy. “Not many, only five… Okay, okay, let go, I’ll be properly appreciative. Now help me put them away, I need to take them to the storage area.”
Liu Yong let out an exaggerated cry of outrage. Muttering that objets d’art shouldn’t be thrown into a storage area, he released Shi Jin from the chokehold and started to carefully put the things on the table back in the packaging boxes.
If you’re seeing this notice, you’re reading this chapter on pirate site – the original translator of Death Progress Bar is Betwixted Translations.
That night, Shi Jin didn’t sleep well as he dreamt. In the dream, he slept under the colored glass lamp for seven days, successfully summoning the lamp deity, and reverently made a wish:
‘I want to be with my brothers and dad forever.’
A child’s sincere voice still ringing in his mind, Shi Jin opened his eyes. For a moment, he stared blankly at the ceiling, then sat up and reached for his phone. Seeing that it was almost the time to get up for the morning training, he wiped his face with his hands, threw open the comforter, and got out of bed.
At noon, Shi Jin was called out by the entrance guard again.
“Here, there’s a courier delivery for you. You were in class and wasn’t answering your phone, so I signed for it for you.”
The entrance guard was kind and helpful, but Shi Jin felt like screaming a little bit.
There were several packages again, and the sender was Shi Weichong. Shi Jin was puzzled—how did Shi Weichong manage to prepare a gift while semi-isolated in the psychiatric hospital? And several boxes at that!
At that moment, Liu Yong appeared, pulling a cart behind him. He said, grinning at Shi Jin, “When you were called to the school entrance, I knew you got a courier delivery again. Here, I got the cart for you.”
Thank you, you’re such a thoughtful and caring friend.
Shi Jin silently started loading the boxes on the cart.
Death Progress Bar is translated by Betwixted Translations. Read on the original translator’s site to get the fastest updates!
After they returned to the dorm, Liu Yong rubbed his hands excitedly. “Okay, let’s see what birthday present Shi Jin received today! Come on, birthday boy, open the first box!” he said, holding out a utility knife.
Shi Jin’s eyebrows twitched, but he took the knife and dragged the nearest box closer.
“This is… a notebook?” Liu Yong said uncertainly.
“It’s clearly a notebook,” confirmed Luo Donghao, who came over to help.
Surprised, Shi Jin picked up the leather notebook and opened it to take a look.
Liu Yong cautiously leaned over. Since Shi Jin didn’t stop him, he glanced down at the inside cover, where there was a sentence written: “‘A birthday gift for my younger brother—from Shi Weichong’... Wait, how come do I think the name ‘Shi Weichong’ feels a little familiar?”
Luo Donghao also frowned, then his eyes opened wide. Staring at Shi Jin in disbelief, he began, “You, are you Rui—”
Shi Jin already noticed that the situation was not good. He quickly closed the notebook and put a hand on Luo Donghao’s shoulder, squeezing hard. “There are several boxes left, please help me unpack them.”
Taking the hint, Luo Donghao shut up. Glancing towards the other side of the room to see if any of Shi Jin’s roommates heard, he swallowed the words rushing to his mouth. He patted Liu Yong, who was still pondering the name ‘Shi Weichong,’ and started another topic, diverting his attention.
The boxes were quickly unpacked. After checking the contents, Shi Jin found that Shi Weichong’s gifts roughly fell into three categories: knowledge, wealth, and connections.
Shi Weichong probably heard from Lian Jun that Shi Jin was studying business management, so he sent him some useful books, textbooks, and handwritten notes describing his experiences. He also recommended a few good management courses, attaching detailed introductions and lecturers’ information, silently indicating that if Shi Jin was interested, he was free to contact them at any time as the arrangements had already been made.
In addition, Shi Weichong sent a report on the trust fund set up for Shi Jin by the five brothers. He sent a part of the trust fund’s income with it as the “birthday red envelope.”
Shi Jin also found a thick stack of files in the box containing the report. It was Shi Weichong’s reliable subordinates’ information. They were scattered through various branches and departments of Ruixing, acting according to Shi Weichong’s commands—and now, Shi Weichong sent their information to him.
A thought crossing his mind, Shi Jin picked up the leather notebook again and turned to the first page.
【To manage a company, besides the basic skills, the most important thing is to learn how to manage people’s hearts.】
Liu Yong was flipping through a book that at a glance looked difficult to read. Dumbfounded, he said, “Oh my gosh, these books are full of notes highlighting and explaining the key points. Someone worked very hard… Shi Jin, are you going to take over the family company after graduation or something? They’re all business management books…”
Shi Jin’s roommates also had foolish expressions on their faces. Looking at the pile of things on the table, they realized for the first time how fundamentally different Shi Jin was from them. What Shi Jin had now and what he was destined to have in the future, they might not obtain even after a lifetime of struggles. Those rumors steaming from jealousy were too stupid—Shi Jin’s situation was so completely above what they said that it was laughable. Furthermore, Shi Jin himself was already outstanding, but there were still many people helping and guiding him to become even better… He was out of their reach, too far away to be an object of their jealousy.
Shi Jin closed the notebook with a thump. Looking at the things in front of him, he slowly clenched his fists. Knowledge, wealth, contacts, and even his own hard-won experience—bit by bit, Shi Weichong was passing the results of his long and painstaking efforts to him. What birthday present—this was literally offering up his life! Shi Weichong was staying in the hospital to rest and straighten out his thinking, but despite several months of recuperation, this was what he came up with?
He suddenly felt angry, angry at Shi Weichong and angry at himself. A moment later, he frowned, noticing that his state of mind was not quite right. Taking a deep breath, he began to pack everything back in the boxes to take it to the storage area.
Liu Yong and Luo Donghao soon recovered from the shock caused by this “high-level, powerful, and profound” birthday present. Realizing Shi Jin’s intentions, they hurriedly stepped closer to him, each grabbing one of his arms.
“Wait, don’t put them all in the storage area,” Liu Yong said, looking at the books filled with notes. “Some of what’s in there is a bit too weighty, it would be better to keep it close. Sort them out and lock them in your cabinet.”
Luo Donghao nodded, agreeing with Liu Yong. “Yeah, there’s some important stuff there. It would be bad if it got lost or damaged, you should keep it with you.”
Forced to stop, Shi Jin frowned. Glancing at the handwritten notebooks in the box, he forced his emotions under control and loosened his grip. “…Okay, if you say so.”
That evening, Shi Jin went to sleep with apprehension. When he woke up the next morning, he was confused for a moment, then let out a sigh of relief—good, there had been no dreams last night, nor messy memories.
During the morning training, Shi Jin noticed that the surrounding cadets were often glancing at him and talking in low voices. He frowned but pushed down his suspicions. When the training was over, he found Liu Yong and Luo Donghao and went to the cafeteria with them.
“Why do I feel that everyone is looking at me? Did some stupid rumors appear again because of the courier deliveries?” Shi Jin asked Liu Yong while stirring his congee.
Liu Yong snorted coldly. “Blame your roommates and their big mouths. Now all the students in Class 2 and 3 know that you received a lot of expensive gifts for your birthday. Well, don’t mind them—they just found that you’re Golden Young Master for real, and they feel quite uncomfortable.”
Shi Jin kicked him under the table. “Shaddup, what the hell is ‘Golden Young Master.’” As expected, it was because of the courier deliveries, he thought, feeling pained again.
“Hey, your birthday is actually today. Do you think you’ll get another courier delivery?” Luo Donghao asked casually.
Shi Jin’s expression stiffened. He calculated quickly: Rong Zhouzhong gave him a birthday present in advance, and Shi Weichong, Fei Yujing, and Xiang Aoting’s gifts had already arrived. Now, there was only Li Jiuzheng left.
But Li Jiuzheng probably wouldn’t give him a birthday present? After all, that guy had once really tried to kill him. Although he gave up in the end and his attitude changed diametrically, expressing nothing but goodwill towards Shi Jin…
“I don’t think there will be more,” he replied, but his voice lacked conviction.
Liu Yong and Luo Donghao took a look at him and suddenly were certain—yeah, there would probably be more.
Death Progress Bar is translated by Betwixted Translations. Read on the original translator’s site to get the fastest updates!
Liu Yong and Luo Donghao looked at Shi Jin with expectation when his phone rang after the morning class.
“Delivery?” Luo Donghao asked.
“Should I get the cart?” Liu Yong added eagerly.
Shi Jin stared at the caller’s name displayed on the screen, stunned. Looking up at them, he shook his head. “No, it’s not a delivery, it’s my fifth brother.”
Shi Jin jogged to the school entrance, immediately catching sight of Li Jiuzheng standing outside. Frowning, he quickened his steps and hurried to him. “Why are you here?”
Li Jiuzheng was dressed as an ordinary, fresh and neat college student again. Wearing a dark coffee-colored coat and black jeans, with a black bag slung across his back, and half of his face buried in a scarf, he looked gentle and harmless. When he saw Shi Jin coming, he first looked him up and down, taking in his appearance in the uniform, then smiled and said, “Happy birthday, Xiao Jin.”
Instead of smiling back, Shi Jin frowned. “When did you come to B City? Have you had lunch?”
“Your school doctor is a relative of my master,” Li Jiuzheng said earnestly.
“What?” Shi Jin was confused.
“I talked with him, and he said your class is free in the first period after the lunch break, and that the lunch break is quite long… So, can you go out for a while? Big Brother and the others asked me to wish you a happy birthday in person and to at least take you out for a big meal,” Li Jiuzheng explained. Because his inborn appearance looked gentle and non-aggressive, when he spoke in a soft tone like just now, it almost felt as if he was putting on a coy act.
It made Shi Jin break out in goosebumps. “They said that?”
“Yes. They’re all busy and come back to B City right now, so they asked me to do it in their stead,” Li Jiuzhend replied. Noticing Shi Jin’s bare neck, he hurriedly took his sling bag off and pulled out a scarf. He carefully wrapped it around Shi Jin’s neck. “Here, your birthday present,” he said, smiling.
The scarf was very soft. Liu Jiuzheng must’ve bought it a while ago and packed it together with his clothes because it carried a hint of his smell. Stunned, Shi Jin raised a hand and stroked the scarf, then found it had the same striped pattern as the one Li Jiuzheng was wearing.
“I’m not very good at choosing gifts. You don’t like it?” Li Jiuzheng asked nervously when he saw that Shi Jin’s expression was not right.
“…No, it’s nice, I like it,” Shi Jin replied. He really did like the scarf. After being bombarded with all manner of expensive and weighty gifts from other brothers, this scarf was refreshingly normal.
“Are you going out with me to eat?” Li Jiuzheng asked, motioning towards the school gate.
Shi Jin thought it over. Finally, taking into account the scarf and the fact that Li Jiuzheng had been waiting outside for a while and his ears were red from cold, he agreed. However, he didn’t let down his guard—after accepting the invitation, he immediately asked Xiao Si to keep an eye on him the whole time. If there were any signs of Shi Jin’s memory or emotions being stimulated by Li Jiuzheng, the system was to start wailing or gwack-ing, whatever.
Xiao Si: < …… >
Not only that, but he also called Lian Jun and let him know he was going out to have a meal with Li Jiuzheng.
Done making the arrangements, he found the counselor to get the leave permit, and followed Li Jiuzheng out of the school.
Li Jiuzheng led Shi Jin to an unostentatious black car. “Do you like it?” he asked.
Afraid that his brother would hand the keys over to him, he said hurriedly, “I don’t have a driver’s license and I can’t drive, so I don’t know much about cars. I can’t tell if this car is good or bad, and I neither like it nor hate it.”
Li Jiuzheng glanced at him sideways and took the keys from his pocket. He unlocked the car and got in first, muttering, “Oh.”
Shi Jin: “……” He seemed to have heard the sound of a young man’s heart shattering.
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