Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
These types of scenes, like encountering true love in the vast sea of people, or cutting the correct wire out of many, were only scenes in a movie.
While movie stars played the superhero role, Huang Zhe knew that the one who would choose the correct wire wouldn’t be him. He wasn’t so lucky.
Earlier, after driving Lin Chen away, he fell into an unspeakable emotion again.
He didn’t regret it, even when he was squatting in front of the time bomb and was forced to face the death that may be coming. After all, as Lin Chen said, the occurrence of established facts wasn’t based on personal will. The reason why he felt inexplicable was because he discovered that he would really become a different person because of Lin Chen; emotional, irrational, and even his way of thinking became ugly. This was completely contrary to the elite education he had received, and all of this was because of Lin Chen.
So now, when Lin Chen asked him to do something irrational again, what should he do?
Nearly a hundred kilometers away, in the surveillance hall, Lin Chen stood quietly in front of the big screen, as if waiting for the result of Huang Ze’s thinking.
“You should know that this is very dangerous. It’s also possible that when he cuts off the wire, the bomb could detonate instantly,” Xing Conglian tilted his head slightly, leaned towards Lin Chen’s ear, and whispered.
“I know, but with only ten minutes left, it’s also equally as dangerous to let him discharge the detonator.” Lin Chen blocked the microphone as if he didn’t want Huang Ze to hear his next words. “And I suspect that the driver is lying.”
“There are three issues. First, when people lie, they will inadvertently remove the subject ‘I’, meaning themselves. He said, ‘while taking a smoke break’, instead of ‘I was taking a smoke break’, ‘the man stop halfway’ instead of ‘the man told me to stop halfway’… Because these events were not personally experienced by him, these sentences have lost the subject ‘I’ when he’s making up lies.”
“That’s too farfetched. He has used ‘I’ in his testimony.” Before Xing Conglian could speak, the chairman, who had been paying attention, interrupted.
Lin Chen nodded, then wandered around the room. His gaze fell on the technical geek who was desperately tapping on the keyboard and said, “Wang Chao, tell me your age. Lie the first time, then tell me the truth the second time.”
“What?” The addressed technician raised his head and gave a confused look.
“How old are you this year?”
The question came so quickly that Wang Chao had no time to react.
“16, ah!” Wang Chao held his head high and replied confidently.
“Let me ask you again, how old are you this year?” Lin Chen aggravated his tone and repeated it.
“Uh… I’m 18 this year.”
Hearing this answer, Lin Chen turned his head and gave Xing Conglian an incredulous look. “Child labor?”
Xing Conglian felt slightly embarrassed but had to say, “He’s an adult.”
The chairman still wanted to refute him, but Xing Conglian glanced at him and motioned for him to be silent.
“Continue,” Xing Conglian said to Lin Chen.
“Second, lies are different from memories of real events. Lies often have more details and are very clear. When I asked him how the suspect hijacked the bus, his answer was very clear, and he could quickly recall the place named ‘Yinchuan’. On the other hand, when I asked the Fengjing school teachers, I had to use some methods in order to get them to recall the specific name of the place.”
“But we can’t rule out the possibility that the gentleman specifically remembered the location of where he parked the bus!”
“Indeed.” Lin Chen nodded, then said, “Which brings us to the third point. When people finish telling a lie, they tend to think that they have gotten away with it, so when I ask him again after a period of time, he will react in two ways, angry or accidently spilling the truth.”
“But in such a stressful situation, shouldn’t he be angry if you ask him the question he already answered?!”
This time, the person who questioned Lin Chen was replaced by the manager of the transportation company who had been watching the big screen in the back. Yang Dianfeng questioned angrily as many staff members looked at Lin Chen with the same implications in their eyes. It was a bus driver who was strapped to a bus seat and had a time bomb attached to him. He just wanted to go home and have a hot meal, yet he was questioned obnoxiously when he was the victim.
Lin Chen wasn’t moved at all. He seemed to agree with the views of these people, so he just looked at Xing Conglian and spoke in a very soft and flat voice. “Even if the results of the polygraph can’t be used as evidence in court, as all assertions of lies cannot be 100% correct.”
“Why didn’t you tell Huang Ze?” Xing Conglian noticed that Lin Chen was blocking the mic with his hand and suddenly asked a question that didn’t have anything to do with what they were talking about.
“Look, as I say these things here, there are many people who already disagree with my assertion. How do you think Huang Ze will react?” Lin Chen raised his head slightly and looked at the man in the police uniform on the screen.
“So… I’m pretty sure that if Huang Ze doesn’t know that the driver is lying, he will do as I say, but if he has listened to this analysis, I can’t predict what he will do next.”
Xing Conglian frowned slightly. He thought about what Lin Chen had said seriously, and then looked at Lin Chen with the same serious eyes. “But if I were Huang Ze, no matter what, I would want to know this information.”
“Even if you make the wrong choice?”
“Yes, in the face of life and death, I hope to be able to make my own choices, rather than letting others help me make the most reasonable decision.”
Lin Chen looked back at Xing Conglian. In fact, he didn’t quite understand the meaning of this sentence, but the eyes of the captain of the police criminal division were too firm, so he nodded and said, “I understand.”
Inside the bus, Huang Ze was squatting beside the driver’s lap, carefully studying the structure of the bomb.
At this time, a staff member has sent a signal. The cleaned tools had been sent to the bus.
When Huang Ze turned around and stepped out of the bus, Lin Chen let go of the hand holding the microphone, and then said, “Huang Ze, keep walking. Don’t look back. I want to tell you something.”
“Lin Chen, is your line open to the public?” Huang Ze asked as he walked to the pliers and cutting tools placed on the ground and squatted down.
“Turn off the public feed. I have something to say to you.”
“Nn.” Lin Chen looked back at Xing Conglian, then in full view of the crowd. He switched the call to an earpiece, and said, “It’s off.”
“You asked me to cut the red wire, right?” Huang Ze raised his eyebrows slightly as he asked softly.
“Yes, listen to me. I am very suspicious…”
On screen, Huang Ze smiled softly. He faced the parking lot surveillance camera and seemed to say something. The next moment, he took off his headphones and put them in his pocket, then bent over and picked up the scissors.
In the surveillance hall, all the staff members sucked in a breath of cold air.
Huang Ze’s figure soon reappeared. He was carrying a simple pair of scissors in his left hand. The red number on the timer was still ticking down with only nearly 9 minutes left.
“Don’t let him cut it! There’s still time. Why do it now?!”
Someone in the crowd of the surveillance hall shouted, which was followed by people around responding one after another.
“Yes, yes. There’s still time!”
The private whispers gradually gathered into a torrent.
However, Xing Conglian didn’t move. He pressed one hand on Lin Chen’s shoulder.
In the screen, naturally, Huang Ze couldn’t hear those words, nor could he see such a scene. He didn’t look at the camera. He was very calm. His face and clothes were still meticulous. He picked up the scissors and stuck them into the complicated wires without hesitation.
Some of the more timid girls in the surveillance hall covered their faces with their hands and didn’t dare to look.
A soft click sounded, and the red wire broke in response.
In fact, everyone in the surveillance hall didn’t hear this small sound. Their eyes were glued to the dry and steady hands on the huge screen.
The copper wire was cut in half with its insides exposed. There was no spark or skyrocketing smoke and dust, and the bomb didn’t explode, but before people could relax, in the next second, Huang Ze took a step back, and a loud noise broke out in everyone’s mind.
It was as if water was entering the sea after being released from a dam; the numbers on the timer were rapidly decreasing. The time was quickly reduced from nine minutes to seven, and the red dot on the countdown was flashing frantically.
Before Huang Ze could even take another look at the camera, he returned to the door and shouted at the reporters and a few staff who were waiting outside the isolation line.
His mouth was wide open, and his hands waved very hard. In the blurred surveillance footage, everyone in the distance could be seen lying down. One after another, they dropped to the ground while holding their heads tightly with both hands.
But there was no sound. Huang Ze had turned off the only communication device, so everything they saw happening in the parking lot seemed to be a silent film.
In the surveillance hall, some people closed their eyes tightly and some began to cry.
Time flew by quickly, yet also slowly.
Huang Ze reappeared within the scope of the high-definition camera. He slowly approached it. In the picture, the texture of his clothing gradually became clear, but because he was too close, his face was never in the frame.
Suddenly, Huang Ze raised his dry and steady hand, and the next moment, the picture turned into still darkness.
He had turned off the camera.
There was a faint cry in the room. Lin Chen stood quietly; his breathing was calm without any changes.
“Wang Chao, bring up the last picture on the camera.” Xing Conglian’s voice was still so stable that it seemed inhumane given the current atmosphere.
On the screen, the upright corner of Huang Ze’s clothes appeared. Through the gap between his hand and his body, they could see that the time bomb on the driver had been completed to zero.
Some people in the hall noticed this. Their conversation gradually became louder, beginning as quietly as a silkworm nibbling on leaves, and as the voices grew louder, doubt gave way to joy, and many people began to applaud, while others cheered.
At the same time, the originally all-black screen suddenly lit up.
Huang Ze turned on the camera and angrily waved the scissors in his hand. In three strokes, he removed the bomb tied to the driver.
At the moment when the timer was powered off, the shining LCD screen suddenly popped open with a bang. Huang Ze was so scared that he almost fell to the ground. Many colorful ribbons sputtered out. In the ribbons, a clown, who had just popped out, was dangling, and its finger almost poked Huang Ze in the face. Huang Ze’s face was livid. He stood up and held the clown’s hand.
There… in the clown’s hand… was a lemon-colored candy wrapper.
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