Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
It had been a year since the September 11th car accident. One year wasn’t long, but it was enough to erase many traces.
If time permitted, what they should do now was go back and investigate the incident again, whether it was investigating passing vehicles or reviewing the investigation report. They could even check the accounts of the rescuers on the scene, but how could time allow this?
In front of the crowd, vague figures of the heavily armed special forces were directing traffic.
A person like Huang Ze may still allow some negotiation with the kidnapper when the situation was unknown, but if he was really in control of the situation, he would definitely implement iron-fisted methods with no room for negotiation, disagreement, or compromise.
Such a principle was quite unreasonable, but it was a kind of truth in itself.
No matter what kind of appeal it was based on, hostage-taking was a crime. Because the law had been broken, one must be prepared to point the gun at others and know that others would do the same.
This was the reason why Xing Conglian wanted to maintain this delicate balance, because he had to ensure that such a deterrent existed.
Lin Chen couldn’t help but think, ‘You’re making things really difficult for me, son.’
The car stopped on the side of the road.
The slender captain of the police criminal division stepped out first. The special forces officer who knew Xing Conglian walked towards him to talk. In the reed field in the distance, a small path loomed.
Lin Chen was sitting in the car, stroking the screen lightly.
After a while, Xing Conglian came over and knocked on the window. “Let’s go.”
“How far will it take to walk?”
“About 15 minutes.”
Lin Chen looked at the time. There were just 15 minutes left of the agreed 90 minutes.
The vast reed field was like a wonderful world.
The surroundings were silent, with green leaf spikes floating overhead. There was birdsong, flowing water, and fresh grass holding the aroma of wildflowers, but such silence and serenity were the most hypocritical illusion, because somewhere in this reed field, guns were hidden everywhere. Perhaps in the next moment, a bullet would pierce the kidnapper’s head, and he would slump to the ground bleeding on such a scene.
Time was so tight that Xing Conglian didn’t even have time to smoke another cigarette. He pushed aside the reeds that kept falling in the way while also carefully reading the accident investigation report.
“Captain Xing, why do you think that there’s something wrong with this accident? The report you’re looking at now has been through layers of review before it was approved to be released.” The small-time traffic cop trekked along the mud as he followed them. The implication was that there were many experts who had reviewed it and they all found it was purely an accident, so was Xing Conglian insinuating he was more of an expert than they were?
Lin Chen stepped across a puddle. He let go of Xing Conglian’s hand and stood still while he answered the cop’s question. “Because in the depths of this reed field, a child is pointing a gun at other children and threatening us to find out the truth about his father’s death.”
“This kid has issues, no?” The traffic cop swatted away the annoying leaves. “Every year, so many people die on the highway. Life and death are purely fate. Why is he so paranoid?”
“His father is a drug enforcement officer.” Xing Conglian turned his head and said coldly.
“Eh?” The traffic cop raised his volume. “You’re not suspecting that someone wanted to kill that police officer, so they killed everyone else in the bus as well?”
“We suspect so,” Xing Conglian replied.
“When you put it like that, I have heard that some drug enforcement officers were exposed and their entire family was hunted down by the drug cartels…” The traffic cop shuddered.
Hearing this, Xing Conglian suddenly turned his head.
“We probably overlooked one thing. I’m afraid there are other more important reasons why he wants those reporters there,” Lin Chen said.
Xing Conglian nodded. He opened a browser window on his phone and entered the words “Fang Zhiming” in the search box.
As the scroll bar slowly advanced, the answer appeared.
It was some old news. The search date showed that the news was published between March and April of 2014. The headlines in the news were all roughly the same.
“Yongchuan police successfully solved a drug case of a large-scale cartel. The news channel had interviewed drug enforcement officer, Fang Zhiming.”
Xing Conglian picked one of them and clicked on it. The first thing that appeared was a photo. The man in the photo was smiling. He was dressed in a police uniform and looked honest and upright. No one could have thought that just one month after this news was published, this officer died in the Yongchuan River, along with 22 other innocent lives.
Lin Chen retracted his gaze and sharply looked at Xing Conglian’s face. He only felt his throat close, making it difficult to speak.
“This isn’t an accident. It’s revenge.” Xing Conglian handed the phone to the traffic cop who was following at the end and continued, “There’s still ten minutes left. Please read the accident report carefully.”
The path soon came to an end, and they came across a lake. The ducks were waddling in the lake as the spring breeze blew through, swaying the grass.
On the edge of the lake was a white-washed hut, which looked like it had been left by a fisherman who took care of this lake in the early years. Because it had been abandoned for so long, the hut looked dirty and dilapidated. Although the conditions were poor, the hut was better than nothing, as there were unobstructed views all around. It would be difficult for them to storm in without alerting the people inside.
Lin Chen had to admit that the hiding place chosen by the kid was very appropriate.
Wang Chao was lying on the ground, immersed in the struggle with the ‘Highway Safety Classification Warning System’ when he suddenly felt a heavy weight on his shoulder. Someone had sat down on his shoulder, frightening him so much that he almost screamed, until he saw the solemn face of Xing Conglian.
“Progress?” Xing Conglian got straight to the point.
“Damn, Captain, can you stop scaring me so much? I’m still young.”
“Answer my question.”
Xing Conglian’s voice was low and solemn, shocking Wang Chao. He hurriedly scooted towards Lin Chen, who had squatted down beside him and asked, “What’s wrong with the Captain?”
“Fang Zhiming’s cause of death is strange. Most likely because of the photo leaks, he was deliberately retaliated against by the drug cartels.”
“Holy shit. There were 23 lives in that bus. Ah, but there wasn’t a problem with the traffic police investigation report. How’s this possible?”
Hearing this question, Xing Conglian patted the small-time traffic cop on the head and said, “He’s asking you.”
“I… how would I know?!” The small-time traffic cop felt very wronged.
“You’re the person among us who’s most familiar with traffic accidents. You have read the investigation report just now. Tell me, if you were a murderer, how would you go about committing it?”
Xing Conglian’s gaze was so deep that the poor traffic cop couldn’t give birth to even the slightest resistance. The traffic cop opened his mouth, as if he wanted to complain, but swallowed his words and said, “I remember that the accident report said the vehicle fell into the river because of the driver’s error and the brake system. Regarding these two points, we now have no way to go back and verify, but these two points are the causes of the bus sinking into the river… So…”
“So, it’s also possible that the driver didn’t make an operational error. If I were a murderer and I wanted to create a seamless accident, I would force the driver to drive the bus into the river… In other words, I would need a heavy truck going at high speed to force the driver to the outermost lane and then brake suddenly in front of the bus. If the vehicle was carrying dangerous products, that’s even better. Under the pressure of the two cars colliding, the driver will subconsciously slam on the brakes and swerve. The bus wouldn’t have too many signs of impact as it would fly over the guardrail and overturn in the river…” The traffic cop closed his eyes, desperately scratching his head, and even looked a little pained. “But to complete this, I must make sure that all the passengers on the bus… The passenger…”
“There can be no survivors.” Lin Chen looked cold as he finished for him.
Wang Chao reacted quickly. “Oh! So that’s why, A’Chen, you asked me to check if anyone had tampered with the background data because the bus was equipped with an autonomous call for help system. Even if the bus fell into the river, the passengers would think that someone was coming to rescue them soon, but that black-hearted bastard directly tampered with the alarm time. They wanted to drown everyone in the bus!” Wang Chao got excited and hurriedly moved the laptop to Lin Chen. “A’Chen, look. In the morning, I felt that there was a problem with the GPS used by Yang Dianfeng and their system. Because there’s no time-location tracking, it was difficult for me to calculate the specific time when the bus that Officer Fang was riding fell into the river, but I checked the system’s log, and the alarm time recorded in the background was indeed artificially modified!”
“Can you find out who did it?” Lin Chen’s gaze was fixed on the time in the lower right corner of the screen as he asked the question.
“This is very difficult to check, but I know people who have written the program for this system. I have never seen such a game. They must have a big heart. The administrator who has obtained permission can not only modify the time but can also modify the driving record. Rather than a sieve, it’s more like a grandma’s footwrap, okay!”
“You’re using the metaphor incorrectly*.” Xing Conglian smacked Wang Chao’s head, then asked Lin Chen, “What do you think?”
*See Kinky Thoughts. Too long to explain in a footnote.
Lin Chen knew very well that when Xing Conglian asked for his thoughts, he was actually asking him, ‘What do you want to do, or what are you going to do?’
The case wasn’t yet clear, so everything stopped at speculation. He pondered for a moment before finally speaking. “Of all the people present, there are two who may know the truth of the matter.”
Not far away in the reeds, the beautifully dressed manager of the transport company had already noticed the arrival of the three of them. At that moment, he was bending over and cautiously moving towards them.
The kidnapper who committed the heinous crime may be waiting for his final moments in the hut by the lake, behind the gray dilapidated curtains.
“Then, let’s talk face-to-face and make things clear.”
Xing Conglian raised his head, and Lin Chen looked at him with tacit understanding. Without even saying anything, the two shifted their gaze, knowing what was in each other’s minds.
Xing Conglian handed his gun to Lin Chen. Lin Chen was about to stand up when Xing Conglian took out his Bluetooth and put the headset in Lin Chen’s ears, stroking it with his rough fingers. Lin Chen could feel a little heat radiating from where he was touched.
“Please be careful,” Xing Conglian said.
At that moment, more than a dozen radio reporters were crawling through the grass. Their cameras were focused firmly in place on the lakeside hut.
Dozens of heavily armed special forces in tactical camouflage outfits and the firepower of the snipers were already hidden among the reeds.
At the same time, somewhere in the reed thicket, the strait-laced police inspector, who was well-dressed, was making a final decision before the assault.
The current situation was like a pile of dry straw, and a little spark could turn it into a prairie fire.
Under such a situation, the only way to resolve it was to cut through the mess quickly.
“Are you really not negotiating?” The captain of the special forces was Peng Ran. He held down his headset and asked this question to the person in front of him.
“Anyone can express their demands through legitimate means, so there is no compromise or negotiation.” Huang Ze raised his wrist and looked at his watch. “According to the original plan, countdown begins in 30 seconds.”
As soon as his voice fell, a clear figure slowly stood up in the reeds in the distance. Huang Ze didn’t need to look closely to know that it was Lin Chen.
Wang Chao didn’t know what was going on. He wanted to hold Lin Chen back, but then heard a soft click. Lin Chen had decisively loaded the gun. He took a step, then two, and quickly raised his hand. The cold muzzle of the gun was pointed at Yang Dianfeng’s forehead.
Before Yang Dianfeng could call for help, Lin Chen activated the trigger and adjusted the gun, preparing to shoot.
As if to show a decisive attitude, Lin Chen pulled Yang Dianfeng up from the ground and said slowly, “Relax, I’ll kill you with one shot at most.”
His pace wasn’t fast, and his demeanor wasn’t hostile, as if it was a long breeze blowing through a pine forest; light and leisure, like he wasn’t holding a human life in the palm of his hand.
In an instant, everyone in the field was horrified.
Yang Dianfeng’s face turned pale. His neat and beautiful suit was a dirty mess because he had been squatting in the reed fields for so long. He only felt that his forehead was cold and that the thing he had been afraid of finally happened. He shivered but couldn’t say a word.
Lin Chen half dragged Yang Dianfeng along, pulling him out of the hidden reed thicket.
“Don’t bother looking at the system. Just check Yang Dianfeng’s bank account for me.” Seeing Lin Chen taking Yang Dianfeng hostage, Xing Conglian ordered Wang Chao decisively.
Since there was a huge problem with the program, how could Yang Dianfeng, the person in charge of introducing this entire system, not know about it?
After Xing Conglian ordered this, along with Lin Chen, he stepped out of the thickets and indifferently walked in the direction of Huang Ze.
The special forces officers who were creeping in the reeds suddenly saw the appearance of two men at the lake and became momentarily confused, so they didn’t dare take any half-hearted actions.
Huang Ze’s eyes almost narrowed into a thin line. He looked at Lin Chen and was just about to make trouble when another person stood up.
The long windbreaker brushed through the lime green reeds as a dashing mixed-raced young man with a fearless attitude stood tall, spreading his compelling aura all around.
Xing Conglian didn’t speak until he approached Huang Ze. He first titled his head and lit a cigarette, then took out another and handed it to Captain Peng, who was standing frozen on the side.
“Captain Xing, what’s the meaning of this?”
Xing Conglian raised his eyes and smiled, as if to say, ‘Inspector Huang, you’re so boring, always asking the same question.’
“Where did the gun in Lin Chen’s hand come from?”
“I gave it to him.”
“First, Captain Xing, you arrived late. Then you loaned out your gun without authorization to sabotage our rescue operation. If there are any casualties among the students, can you bear the responsibility, Captain Xing?!” Huang Ze spoke fiercely, and his tone became higher. He said a lot, but the meaning was simple, ‘You’re just a small-time police captain from the criminal division, yet you dare not take me seriously!’
When Huang Ze finished speaking, Xing Conglian took a puff before slowly responding, “I can bear the responsibility Inspector Huang spoke of.” His voice was light, and he didn’t lift his gaze. The meaning of this response was even simpler, ‘Of course not. I don’t even put you in my eyes.’
Peng Ran looked back and forth between the two men. He and Xing Conglian were old acquaintances. Although Huang Ze, given his rank, could be considered partially their superior, they weren’t close colleagues. Seeing Xing Conglian’s attitude and that he was originally opposed to the assault, naturally, he was happy to slow things down again. He waved his hand and motioned to his subordinates to not act rashly.
Xing Conglian and Lin Chen cooperated in tacit understanding. While Xing Conglian stalled Huang Ze, over on Lin Chen’s side, he had already taken Yang Dianfeng to the door of the hut.
The 90-minute deadline had just ended.
Lin Chen kicked Yang Dianfeng’s behind the knee, forcing him to kneel on the ground.
“The answer that you want,” Lin Chen said calmly but in a loud voice.
“The so-called autonomous call-for-help system and Highway Safety Classification Warning System have a huge loophole in them. First, if the vehicle itself is not seriously damaged, but encountered a serious problem—this special case situation often delays rescue, such as an entire vehicle falling into a river, or what you are doing now, am I right?” Lin Chen spoke to the people inside the hut. His voice was neither light nor heavy, but it radiated to every corner of the lake.
“What are you talking about?” Yang Dianfeng suddenly started struggling.
“Don’t move. My hands aren’t very stable.” Lin Chen held the gun firmly, but he didn’t bother to look at Yang Dianfeng when he said this. “Second, the GPS tracking of the MEMS system has never recorded the important ‘time-location’. No system can be perfect, so loopholes are inevitable, but people with system authority can take advantage of this defect to change a vehicle’s request for help time to fill in this loophole on the surface, right?”
As his voice fell, the field remained silent, and even the wild birds in the brush had stopped their calls.
The door of the hut was pushed open with a squeak.
The light from the sky outside followed the gaps and poured into the house like a tide.
A young man walked out slowly under the bright light.
He was still covered by a smoky gray cashmere scarf and wore a pair of light blue jeans. On his feet were bright yellow Nike sneakers that were hooked in such a way as to resemble a brilliant smile.
The young man pulled the door open, and several red dots were instantly aimed at his chest. He was magnanimous and fearless, even without a gun in his hand.
In the reeds, a special force officer’s finger lightly touched the trigger.
Seeing this, Lin Chen suddenly flashed away and stood in front of the young man.
“Is he looking for death? Don’t think I dare not kill him!” Even though he was far away, Lin Chen could hear Huang Ze shouting angrily at Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian was holding a phone, as if he was communicating with someone on the other end of the line. His face became colder, as if he hadn’t heard Huang Ze’s angry shouts.
Lin Chen blocked the young man and saw him take out two lemon candies from his pocket. He threw one in his mouth and handed the other to him. “Thank you for saving me. Is the person who called me also you? I see, I was deceived by you.” He smiled and didn’t seem to mind that his script was disrupted.
Lin Chen shook his head and didn’t speak.
Seeing the situation, the young man asked, “Is there a third point?”
Lin Chen said, “The third point is also the most terrifying point. Because the system records can be artificially modified, it means that someone can use this loophole to create an almost perfect murder.”
The young man seemed very satisfied with the answer. “So, is he the one who killed my dad?” The young man pointed to Yang Dianfeng calmly.
“I don’t know, so I brought him to you. I think you should be happy to ask him in person.”
“You’re so kind.” The young man smiled as he squatted down. His gaze was focused on Yang Dianfeng, who was kneeling on the ground. He said to the manager of the transportation company, “You heard what he said. Did you change the automatic alarm time of the vehicle and let my dad drown alive in the bus?”
Yang Dianfeng’s face was like the palest snow paper—it broke as soon as someone poked it. His lips trembled, and he had to gather all his strength to speak. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Lin Chen pressed the headset tightly. The voice of Xing Conglian came from the other end. It was low and calm, giving him inexplicable reassurance.
“Wang Chao has already checked Yang Dianfeng’s account just now. Before and after the May 11th accident, Yang Dianfeng’s mother received two remittances totaling 1 million in her account. Wang Chao is still checking on the remitter…”
Lin Chen sighed slightly. His heart had sketched out the original picture of the entire incident. He poked Yang Dianfeng’s head lightly with the muzzle and then said, “Mr. Yang, on the night of the May 11th accident, you were entrusted by the drug cartels. In order to retaliate against the drug enforcement officer, Fang Zhiming, you modified the automatic alarm time for the bus Fang Zhiming was on, resulting in the drowning of 23 innocent lives. You need to give proper explanations to the family and children of those people.”
“It’s none of my business. I’m innocent!” Yang Dianfeng shouted. “Don’t slander me!*”
*Spray blood with your mouth (血口喷人) Idiom referring to making unfounded attacks on someone.
“You think I would dare point a gun at you without evidence?” Lin Chen paused, then said, “At least you know Wang Chao. Do you think that at his level he won’t be able to find out who left the back door to the system open?”
The blood from Yang Dianfeng’s face drained.
“Well, you can at least deny that you don’t know anything about the system tampering, but the bank transfers are true. In fact, electronic transfers are generally used by the underground world for transactions now. Those who accept cash transfer directly like you are quite daring.”
What he said was actually vague, but in this case, Yang Dianfeng could only think about what went wrong. His hesitation showed nothing but a guilty conscience.
“Is what he said true?” The young man’s eyes seemed to be lacquered. It was so dark that he couldn’t see the bottom. Suddenly, the young man took out a gun and pressed it firmly to the center of Yang Dianfeng’s forehead. “Speak!”
Seeing this scene, Huang Ze couldn’t calm down any longer. He shouted at Lin Chen’s straight back, “Lin Chen, if you don’t get out of the way, I’ll kill you both.”
“You can order the shooting, provided you think that the life of a criminal is more important than the life of a martyr’s orphaned child.” Lin Chen’s hand holding the gun was steady. After he finished speaking, he took a sidestep, revealing the person behind him to the entire firepower of the police force.
“What the fuck! A girl?” Huang Ze shouted in disbelief. He suddenly recollected himself from his stupor and said, “Is that a girl?”
Lin Chen bent down.
He untied the scarf around the child’s face, circle by circle, gradually revealing the girl’s small ears and fair neck. “Fang Zhiming, the drug enforcement officer, who died in the May 11th accident, left behind his only 16-year-old daughter, Aizi.”
Everyone fell into a complete silence that resembled shock and grief.
An orphaned daughter of a martyr trying to avenge her father…
Peng Ran only felt cold sweat all over his body. If Xing Conglian hadn’t stopped him and he listened to Huang Ze’s order and killed the suspect, then not only would the officer who did the shooting but even he would have lifelong guilt. Thinking of this, Peng Ran felt grateful for Xing Conglian’s arrival.
Xing Conglian’s gaze was firmly fixed on the three of them.
The girl said, “Bingo. Look… I have lots of chips in my hand. Even if I kill someone here now, no one will dare lay a finger on me. What are you going to do?” She looked at Yang Dianfeng with a smile, but there was no smile in her eyes.
“I… I was forced too. I didn’t want to do it! Your dad offended all the drug lords, so they asked me to do it!” Yang Dianfeng felt sick. Fang Aizi’s identity was the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing him to burst into tears. “Even they were willing to kill a policeman at will, compared to a small citizen like me, that would be even easier to do!”
Lin Chen looked at Yang Dianfeng coldly.
At this moment, Fang Aizi stood up. She patted her knees and smiled sweetly at him. “Kill him and I will let everyone in the house go.”
“Lin Chen, you know the law. Don’t break it!” Huang Ze shouted again.
Lin Chen didn’t move.
Fang Aizi moved first.
The young girl raised the gun in her hand, as she had done so many times without hesitation, and put the nuzzle on her temple. “I’ll count from three. Either he dies, or I do.”
The girl’s voice wasn’t loud, but her gaze was deep. Her movements were serious and solemn as she started counting down. “Three…”
The situation suddenly changed and sharply went downhill. This act was too cruel, too extreme, and too ruthless. Everyone on the scene was stunned.
Peng Ran was most anxious. If Lin Chen really killed Yang Dianfeng as she ordered, would he order Lin Chen to be shot?
Xing Conglian stood straight, like a cypress tree—his gaze not once faltering.
Then, Lin Chen began to speak. “You will commit suicide anyway, so such a threat makes no sense to me.”
His voice rode along with the wind, blowing through the reeds and spreading out like waves in the water.
Fang Aizi took a bite of the hard candy but smiled calmly. “What are you talking about? I’m very trustworthy.”
“Consultant Lin, Mr. Lin… You can’t become an accomplice. You will pay with your life for killing someone!” Yang Dianfeng threw himself at Lin Chen’s feet and cried bitterly, fearing that he would listen to Fang Zhiming’s daughter and shoot him.
However, Lin Chen just held his gun firmly against Yang Dianfeng’s head and didn’t care for the man’s sobs. He looked at the girl in front of him steadily and asked, “I’ve been thinking about one thing. How is it that you know very clearly about a seemingly car accident that it wasn’t one?”
After his voice fell, the girl’s gaze subconsciously looked at the gun in her hand.
Lin Chen suddenly understood. He stared at the girl in front of him calmly. “Did your father give you this gun?”
“This was left to me by my father before he left.”
This was the parting gift he left as he saw the approaching end of his life. As a drug enforcement officer, if it this wasn’t a last resort, how could Fang Zhiming privately get a gun to defend himself and his daughter.
“Is it because of the leak?” Lin Chen slowly uncovered the deepest scar in Fang Aizi’s heart.
The girl’s hand immediately trembled. Lin Chen saw it in her eyes, but the words in his mouth didn’t stop. “The identity of Officer Fang was widely leaked by the news media. He had offended too many people in his life. He knew very well that he would encounter an accident and was afraid that it would involve you, so he left you the gun?”
The special forces officers didn’t dare act rashly, but the eyes they looked at the news reporters seemed to be spitting fire. The identity of a drug enforcement officer was leaked, which meant he was pushed unobstructed right in front of the muzzles of the drug cartels.
“How can it be enough to kill only one Yang Dianfeng? You have to use this gun to complete the most perfect revenge, right?” Lin Chen continued.
Fang Aizi finally started to panic a little, but Lin Chen didn’t give her any chance to speak. His tone was cold.
“You know very well who killed your father. The drug cartels are the direct murderers, and the reporters who leaked the information were indirectly involved. You’re the daughter of a martyr. You can’t take a gun to kill all these people like a daughter of a drug lord. Think about it. Only suicide is the perfect solution. The blood of the martyr’s lone daughter, blessed by Xuan Yuan*. The sword of public opinion will directly fall on the reporters who leaked your father’s information and those who put your father’s picture, due to their negligence or indifference, just for the sake of getting on the front page. While they can escape legal sanctions, they won’t be able to escape moral sanctions. No revenge will be more tragic and more enjoyable than this, right?”
*One of the names given to the Yellow Emperor. Basically, he is worshipped as a great deity, so in this context, think of it as “Blessed by God”.
Her deepest thoughts were easily broken by words. Fang Aizi’s lips trembled slightly. She tried her best to control her emotions and asked him rhetorically, “Do you think I shouldn’t let you kill Yang Dianfeng, or that I shouldn’t get payback from those who wronged me?”
“I think neither.” Lin Chen answered bluntly without thinking.
His words seemed to ignore the long-buried anger in the girl’s heart. The girl yelled at him, “Why can’t I hate him? Why can’t I hate those people? Why can’t I take revenge?! They killed my father. I will never have a father in this life anymore!”
The girl’s eyes were full of tears, but she refused to shed them. “My dad is dead. I used to think that my dad had bad ears, but I later found out that during one of his drug raids, his auditory nerve was injured by a drug dealer’s shrapnel. But even so, he didn’t retreat from the front lines. He was a good person. What did he do wrong to be drowned like that? He didn’t even die on the battlefield. He didn’t deserve to die because of those people!”
The girl was crying; crying blood in each of her words. Everyone present was moved, except for one person.
Lin Chen stared at the girl quietly. “The truth is simple. Your father is a martyr, and you are his daughter. You are born to live a more dignified and upright life than others. Others can hate, you can’t. Others can ask for death, you can’t. Because from the day your father died, you have lived in the glory he brought you, and you must carry on his glory and pride.”
“Do you think I can still live when something like this happens?” Fang Aizi suddenly laughed. She pointed to Yang Dianfeng. “Why don’t you ask him how big is the power that’s behind him? They can quietly erase 23 lives. Do you think those people will let me go?”
Fang Aizi’s previous crying didn’t move Lin Chen, but her understated rhetorical question made him feel sad.
This was a 16-year-old girl who had lost her father. She had seen the ruthless methods of the drug cartels, and she had to live in fear all day long.
In the dark world, she couldn’t believe in anyone. She could only rely on hatred to hold up a small light and walk alone in this world of wind and storms.
But in the end, she is, after all, only a scared little girl.
“Kill Yang Dianfeng, or I will commit suicide.” Fang Aizi’s voice was calm, almost cold.
The situation suddenly changed and there was chaos from behind. The snipers picked up their guns and pointed them towards Lin Chen without exception.
At that moment, Lin Chen heard Xing Conglian’s voice coming from the headset. “I have already contacted Fang Zhiming’s friends who are still alive. They have something to say.”
Lin Chen looked at the gun in Fang Aizi’s hand as he calmly listened to Xing Conglian tell the words of Fang Zhiming’s friends and relayed them back to Fang Aizi. “Your mother passed away very early, but you have a good father. Your father would take you to the shooting range and practice martial arts. He said that girls must be self-reliant and independent. If one day he’s gone, you can live well without being bullied—this is why you have such great skills, right?”
“What nonsense are you talking about!”
“Your father hopes to have a daughter who will stand on top of the world. Maybe he was wrong, because such an adjective isn’t suitable for girls, but I think he’s right. You have done something that no girl can do. You dare not act rashly in face of the drug cartels. If you make a mistake, you’ll be killed. In this case, you actually risked your life to hijack a bus. You used a real crisis to tell everyone that there’s a problem with that bullshit system, and you used us to find out who the real criminals are behind the scene. These are all great feats, aren’t they?”
“But my father is dead.” The light from the brilliant sky fell on the young girl’s eyes, as if tears were falling. “I don’t want to die at their hands!”
“In this world, there will never be a second girl like you, your father’s daughter. He has never compromised with those vicious criminals, even when facing death. So please, don’t be afraid and don’t give into fate.”
Lin Chen smiled. He looked back at the boundless reeds and finally said to the girl, “Your father’s colleagues are on the scene over there. Do you want to chat with them after this is over?”
It was almost evening, and the sky was full of red hues. An egret flew across the sky and finally disappeared into the night.
When the police entered the hut, the children were playing with a pile of candy on the floor. The room was filled with a sweet and delicious smell. A few little boys were tired of playing and were lying asleep under the table. The police carefully wrapped the children in blankets and picked them up.
The children walked out of the hut, chattering among themselves, as if they had just had a fun adventure.
In a police car by the lake, Fang Zhiming’s colleagues were talking to Fang Aizi. The little girl had shiny handcuffs on her hands and her soft and silken hair was pressed against her moist cheeks. Finally, she showed a side that matched her age and gender.
Inspector Huang was naturally responsible for the follow-up work. Yang Dianfeng had been escorted back to the city first, while Lin Chen and Xing Conglian were walking by the lake.
While it was noisy with the police handling the scene, Lin Chen seemed to hear the sound of water birds spreading their wings.
After recovering his gun, Xing Conglian hadn’t spoken since. Lin Chen always thought he would crack a joke or say some harsh words, but Xing Conglian remained silent.
Lin Chen was actually very grateful for his trust. He blocked Huang Ze from controlling the situation as well as providing the right intelligence for support.
Lin Chen thought that perhaps he should say, ‘Thank you’?
However, the first to speak was still Xing Conglian.
“Do you think it was worth it?” Xing Conglian had shaved, and the lines on his face no longer looked so cold against the backdrop of the light on the lake.
The so-called worthiness, of course, referred to all the things the little girl had done, the things she had changed or would change, including the consequences she would have to bear. Were these worth it?
In the face of such a girl, they weren’t qualified to judge right or wrong, so in the end, they could only ask, was it worth it?
“This isn’t a question of evaluating the value. This is a question of probability. We don’t know how many lives will be saved after catching Yang Dianfeng and plugging up this loophole, but I hope the number is everyone.”
After hearing these words, Xing Conglian looked at Lin Chen and suddenly laughed. He hooked an arm around his neck. “You must be exhausted from thinking so much today, right? Come back with me and I’ll treat you to some skewers.”
Xing Conglian was smiling grimly, as if he was an ordinary office worker that had just gotten off of overtime.
However, when it was time to enjoy the view, Xing Conglian’s phone untimely rang.
This time, it only took a few seconds between Xing Conglian answering the phone and hanging up. He looked over at Lin Chen again and his eyes were freezing cold.
“Yang Dianfeng is dead,” he said.
Lin Chen frowned, as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Sucker bombs. They tampered with the surveillance video and tailed the police car on motorcycles. When the police car was stopped at a traffic light, they sneakily stuck them on the car, then detonated it ten seconds later. There were three of my colleagues in there.”
The reeds swayed lightly as they were dyed red, like blood, by the setting sun.
Young people always thought that life was a fantastical journey, but in fact, everyone’s life was nothing more than a two-way trip.
The author has something to say:
“Two-way” is over.
Rather than a sieve, it’s more like a grandma’s footwrap.*
Basically, Wang Chao is saying whoever has access to this program can not only modify the times but a whole bunch of other things too. So his reference to a sieve (which sifts and allows small things to go through, aka loopholes) is saying this guy has access to a shit load of permissions rather than just one (modifying the time), so rather than a sieve, it’s more like grandma’s footwrap (referencing the foot binding that used to be popular in China’s customs); his intention (I think) is to mean the hole is so big (in the sieve) that even a small bound foot could fit through.
He used this metaphor wrongly because the saying “grandma’s foot binding is long and smelly” is used to satirize long and boring articles that someone speaks or writes, and if the idea is boring and stagnant, they’re stinky (referencing how stinky foot binds could get, especially those used by grandmas).
This arc is over. Wow, where to begin? I honestly was feeling a bit lukewarm at the beginning, but holy shit, this was an amazing arc, especially this chapter. The chapter was so long that I think it was split into 2 parts + an epilogue.
For those who want to discuss the cases, feel free to join my Discord. See everyone in the next arc.
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2 thoughts on “Criminal Psychology Ch37”
Incredible arc. Thanks for your hard work Kynki ❤
Man…that was deep…can’t wait for more