Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
The kidnapper tried his best to hijack a bus and take hostages for one result. What could it be if it wasn’t smart?
However, the key question was, what was the result that he wanted?
Seeing Lin Chen and Xing Conglian in contemplation, Mr. Chairman of the Hongjing Highway couldn’t help but ask, “Lin… Mr. Lin, what does the kidnapper mean?”
“He probably wanted to say that he’ll give us an hour to find out what he wants. Otherwise, he’s going to kill someone after 90 minutes.” Lin Chen wanted to pick up his cup of tea, but his hand was held down by Xing Conglian.
“What?! Kill the hostage?!” In an instant, the chairman felt cold sweat flow down his back. “This is simply too vicious and heartless! Didn’t you say he wouldn’t hurt those children!”
Lin Chen shook his head slightly, avoiding the question as he dialed Huang Ze’s number.
“How’s it going?” Huang Ze’s voice was slightly tense.
“The kidnapper took the initiative to expose his location. Wang Chao will send you the specific location later.”
“What do you mean by taking the initiative to expose his location?”
“He took the initiative to expose it because he’s asking reporters to accompany you to be present. And he also called me Teacher Jiang.”
“Why would he call you Teacher Jiang?” Huang Ze turned his head and looked at Jiang Zhe, who was sulking in the car. While his mind was spinning, he understood what Lin Chen meant. In fact, earlier today, when many reporters invariably asked to go on the highway to cover the Candy Bandit case, he already felt something was off. Although the case had attracted much attention, it seemed too trivial for dozens of TV reporters to arrive all at the same time.
“My guess is that the kidnapper is using Jiang Zhe to lure these reporters onto the highway for a very simple reason. When things reach their climax, he wants reporters to be present. As for how he’s using Jiang Zhe, I think it’s best for you to interview Teacher Jiang about this matter.”
Lin Chen’s words made Huang Ze speechless.
“Did the kidnappers make any demands?” Huang Ze walked towards the police car as he kept talking on the phone.
“He wants answers.”
“He didn’t say.”
“So from beginning to end, you still haven’t figured out what the kidnapper’s demands are?”
Lin Chen replied, “But I guess with that young man’s ability to plan, he probably has all the clues laid out in front of us.”
However, regarding the clues and answers, these weren’t issues that Huang Ze cared about. All he cared about was how the case would be resolved and whether the results after the settlement were within a controllable range. He had already reached the side of the police car when he responded back to Lin Chen. “Tell Xing Conglian that the Hongjing Special Police Force is already halfway there. Send me the specific location of the kidnapper and send a copy to the captain of the special forces.”
When Huang Ze finished speaking, he hung up.
He looked at Jiang Zhe, who was sitting in the back, bent down, and knocked on the car window.
In the car, Jiang Zhe reluctantly turned his head. Seeing that it was Huang Ze, Jiang Zhe’s eyes gleamed with expectations again.
Huang Ze took the initiative to open the door and got in.
Inside the office.
When Huang Ze’s voice cut off, Lin Chen held the phone and slightly lowered his eyes.
Xing Conglian was keenly aware that Lin Chen was worried. “What did Inspector Huang say?”
“He asked us to send him and the captain of the special forces the coordinates of the kidnapper.”
The conversation between the two was short. Having a tacit understanding, they no longer continued.
Xing Conglian understood. He tapped Wang Chao’s head lightly. “Send the location to Inspector Huang and then go to the scene and assist him in handling the case.”
“Fuck!” Wang Chao dropped the pen he was holding in his mouth. “I’ve made great contributions for the force. The force can’t treat me like this!”
At this time, Xing Conglian wasn’t in the mood to joke with Wang Chao. He said seriously, “After you processed the tracking system, did you confirm where the Fengjing school bus was parked?”
“Oh, wait,” Wang Chao responded. He switched to another window and compared the results of the phone tracking to the vehicle tracking results, then said to Xing Conglian, “Hey Captain, didn’t A’Chen say the old bus driver said that they got out of the car after the north exit of Yinchuan? Sure enough, he’s lying.” Wang Chao bit the pen back into his mouth as he started typing furiously on his keyboard. On the screen, it showed the school bus route, but when he switched to the highway surveillance camera, the bus no longer appeared.
Upon seeing this, Wang Chao glanced at the coordinate parameters between the two surveillance cameras and moved his mouse to a point on the map. “It’s 30 kilometers north of Meicun, which is far from Yinchuan.”
“Good. Send Huang Ze the location where the missing bus may have stopped as well as the specific location of the suspect, then ask Lao Peng from the special forces to send someone to pick you up.” Xing Conglian rubbed his temples.
“Is the driver an accomplice of the kidnapper… Mr. Jiang too?” At this moment, the manager of the transportation company, who had been following Xing Conglian all this time, couldn’t help but raise this question.
Xing Conglian didn’t answer. Only now did he realize that there was another person in the room who had been following him all this time. “Manager Yang, I’m really sorry. I have to trouble you to go back by yourself.”
After he finished speaking, he picked up the car keys.
At this time, Lin Chen also happened to stand up. Without any verbal communication, they made eye contact, and he walked out of the room together with Xing Conglian, leaving the group of people in the office giving each other perplexed looks.
Truth be told, Jiang Zhe never thought that things would become like this.
He admitted that he was a greedy person and coveted money and fame, but he never thought he was a bad person. He didn’t think he would become a so-called accomplice.
However, when Huang Ze opened the car door with a livid face and sat down beside him, Jiang Zhe realized that things were really out of his control.
“Jiang Zhe, did you know that it’s illegal to forge a resume, but I assure you, what’s definitely a crime is colluding with kidnappers.” For a person like Huang Ze, he didn’t need to carry a pair of handcuffs with him to look intimidating. By just cocking his legs and staring down the other while addressing them in a heavy tone, it was enough to scare the shit out of them.
“Huang… Inspector Huang…” When Jiang Zhe spoke, he found that his voice was trembling slightly. “What did the kidnapper say to Lin Chen?”
“The kidnapper said, ‘I hope you, Teacher Jiang, will take the reporters to come meet him.’ Now the problem is, the caller was Lin Chen, so why would the kidnapper identify him as you?”
Hearing these words, Jiang Zhe finally understood what he was most afraid of had, in fact, happened. From the first time he saw Lin Chen, he had a bad premonition in his heart. It was precisely because of this that he kept preventing Lin Chen from participating in this case, because it was a simple matter and behind it was an innocuous agreement. He would help a nameless organization complete a certain behavioral performance. The kidnapper would make a declaration in front of the reporters he brought during the negotiation after the timebomb incident, and he would then persuade the kidnapper to release the hostages.
What a happy ending to the story. He never thought there would be any other variables along the way. Although he had never met the other side, they were good at keeping promises, and everything went exactly according to their predetermined script, except the person who called the kidnapper just now was changed from him to Lin Chen. Everything had been going fine and smoothly until then…
Therefore, the problem was all with Lin Chen! Jiang Zhe thought so, as he still had a faint delusion in his heart. He said to Huang Ze, “Do you know where the kidnapper took the children? You can take me there and I can really convince him!”
Huang Ze looked at him coldly and didn’t say anything more.
Xing Conglian didn’t immediately get the car after going downstairs. He stood still under a camphor tree outside the building and leaned against it, preparing for a smoke.
“If there’s anything you can’t say in front of others, you can say it now.” Lin Chen heard Xing Conglian say to him.
“Has anyone told you that being too smart isn’t a good thing?” Lin Chen was taken aback before he answered rhetorically.
Hearing Lin Chen’s response, Xing Conglian laughed, which made the corner of his eyes give off a wanton feeling, making him look quite dashing. “Just now, the chairman asked you if the kidnapper would hurt those children. You didn’t answer, but this question is also important to me, so I hope to hear your answer.”
Lin Chen’s voice wasn’t loud, but he said very confidently, “No.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Have you ever heard of Stockholm syndrome*?”
*A theorized condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity. It is supposed to result from a rather specific set of circumstances, namely the power imbalances contained in hostage-taking, kidnapping, and abusive relationships.
“Some kind of psychological effect where the hostage becomes emotionally attached or even dependent on the kidnapper?” Xing Conglian’s thoughts turned. “Is that what the lying old bus driver has?”
“I asked Huang Ze to test him just now. Huang Ze deliberately told the driver that the special forces had found the kidnapper and would quickly kill him to rescue the hostages. At that time, the driver panicked. He asked Huang Ze not to hurt the kidnapper. If this isn’t Stockholm syndrome, then what is?”
“That little brat is too powerful. In such a short period of time, he can take hostages and make them fully trust and obey him?”
“That’s why he’s too smart.” Lin Chen almost sighed. “In fact, if the bus driver hadn’t lied, I might not have guessed why he was hijacking buses and robbing them only for candy.”
Xing Conglian didn’t answer but just looked at Lin Chen with burning eyes.
“Actually, he’s doing a normal model*.”
*Norms are used to compare individual tests with the designated population in order to assess the exceptionality of the result.
“Norms is a concept in psychometrics. You can understand it as an average standard. That is, what is the general reaction of most people when facing a certain test…”
Xing Conglian frowned slightly. “The reason why he keeps hijacking buses is because he has to evaluate how most people will react when facing a hijacker? So, he’s regarding this robbery as a psychological test?”
“It’s very important to test, then evaluate, then test again, and he has to do it in such a way that the hijacker isn’t hated but people can actually trust him and even help him.”
“This is a bit crazy…” Xing Conglian opened the cigarette pack and found that it was empty, so he stuffed the pack back into his pocket. “I admit, he does have a certain appeal. He’s humorous and well-behaved, and most people don’t think a candy-robbing teenager will do any real harm, but instead find it endearing… But just because of that, the driver was willing to lie for him, and the children would willingly run along with him?”
“To complete this operation, charisma and force are certainly indispensable, but the most important thing is to convince the hostages of the reason.” Lin Chen lowered his head, seeing the soil underneath the roots of the tree was slightly damp. “I guess the result he wants is his reason for persuading all the hostages, and this reason must be very heavy—so heavy that everyone was willing to help him.”
Lin Chen took a deep breath. The more he thought about it, the more he felt a heavy fog that was wet and cold surrounding it.
“Huang Ze absolutely can’t know about this matter.” Suddenly, Xing Conglian’s decisive voice interrupted Lin Chen’s thoughts.
The wind blew past the dense camphor leaves, causing Lin Chen to raise his head to give Xing Conglian an incredulous look.
“Right now, there’s a delicate balance between that teenager, us, and Huang Ze.” Xing Conglian took a long stride forward. “The teenager knows that we’re looking for answers. Huang Ze knows that he needs to detain the criminal, and we know that no one between those two parties will dare act rashly. This is the best balance, but the time left for us to find answers will be very short.”
Such a summary was very concise and clear; truly worth a thousand words.
Lin Chen looked at the tall back of the captain of the police criminal division and was very surprised. He also wanted to ask Xing Conglian, ‘Where exactly did you learn these techniques of constraints and trade-off?’
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