Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Since he didn’t find the third body under the tree, it indicated that he didn’t know about the matter, so the suspicion on him had naturally eased.
It was just that, although this may be the case, the worries in Lin Chen’s heart weren’t even half alleviated.
Under the banyan tree, the scene of busy work stagnated again.
Not only Jiang Chao, who was captain of the team, but every officer present felt their scalp go numb. Three corpses were found under one tree at the same time. What did this mean?
This showed that they most likely encountered a major criminal case.
Two police officers squatted down and began to assist the forensic pathologist in cleaning up the soil layer covering the third body. Jiang Chao ordered the rest to start a carpet search of the woods around the lake. If there were any traces of soil being loosened, excavation would begin immediately.
After arranging the task, he looked at Lin Chen again. His eyes turned slightly, and then he gulped. “I say, Lao Xing, you’re not in a hurry to go home today, right? Why not stay for a few more days?” He took Xing Conglian’s hand and handed him a cigarette. He suddenly felt that it was a blessing that the old man had filed the complaint just now. Otherwise, how could he get the opportunity to ask these two to go back with him and assist with the investigation?
The news of a major case on the campus of Yongchuan University quickly spread back to the police force like wings.
Therefore, when Lin Chen was “brought back” to the police station, he found that the entire office was looking at him strangely. If he could describe what this “strange” feeling was, it probably resembled enthusiasm or eagerness?
Lin Chen suddenly couldn’t figure out the situation.
His hand was tightly held by Vice Captain Jiang, while Vice Captain Jiang’s other hand was hooked on the shoulder of Xing Conglian. It felt like Vice Captain Jiang’s entire being didn’t want to let either of them go.
There were signs that Jiang Chao’s office had obviously been tidied up. There was a new trash bag in the trash can, and there were still some water stains left over on the floor.
In front of the desk, two seats, the kind with soft brackets, were specially placed. On the table were two cups of freshly brewed tea. The tea leaves looked new and green, and the water was clear and had a pleasant aroma.
Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian, trying to get some hints from the other party, but Xing Conglian didn’t seem to care. He sat down at the desk in a big way, grabbed the teacup, and took a sip.
“Consultant Lin, please sit down. Please sit down.”
Lin Chen was hesitant, but Jiang Chao hurriedly pressed him to the other chair and stuffed the hot teacup into his hand.
They were obviously brought back to the police station as “suspects” to assist in the investigation, but now they were treated as guests. Wasn’t this kind of treatment a bit wrong?
At this moment, there was a knock on the office door.
A little policeman that looked dignified and strong poked his head in and said to Jiang Chao, “Deputy Jiang, Deputy Jiang, the Boss let you go!”
“Let me go where!” Jiang Chao slammed the table fiercely. “Didn’t you see Captain Xing and Consultant Lin here?”
Before Jiang Chao could finish speaking, a deep voice came from outside the door. “Deputy Jiang, you seem to have a lot of authority recently.”
During the conversation, a middle-aged man pushed the door in. The visitor was a burly man with silver stars shining on his shoulders. He was of the same rank as Inspector Huang. In other words, the visitor was the Director of Yongchuan Police Second Division, Jiang Chao’s immediate boss, and the Boss that the little policeman was referring to.
“Boss Zheng, Boss Zheng. Sorry, sorry, sorry. You see, I’m really too busy!” As soon as he saw his boss, Jiang Chao hurriedly nodded his head, admitting his mistake and apologizing. However, the middle-aged man didn’t look at him, and instead his gaze fell on Xing Conglian.
Following the middle-aged man’s gaze, Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian again, only to see that Xing Conglian was still sitting upright and didn’t even bother to look back, as if he was unaware of the middle-aged man’s arrival, or perhaps he was deliberately ignoring him?
Lin Chen’s doubts started to deepen.
Seeing this situation, the middle-aged man gritted his teeth and pretended to look at Xing Conglian in surprise before shouting loudly, “Isn’t this Captain Xing? Why are you here?”
It wasn’t until this moment that Xing Conglian finally reacted. He stood up, turned his head, and saluted the middle-aged man expressionlessly, then said, “Hello, Boss Zheng.”
“Xiao Jiang, how come you didn’t tell me that Captain Xing is here!” The middle-aged man took a step forward and shook Xing Conglian’s hand exaggeratedly. “It’s been so long since I last saw you. Too long, Lao Xing!” As he spoke, he turned his head and said to Jiang Chao, “Hurry up. Go to the cafeteria and order a few good dishes so we can treat Captain Xing at noon!”
“No need.” Xing Conglian spoke faintly. As he spoke, he took his hand back and presented a document folder with both hands. “I’m just here to hand over some documents in Yang Dianfeng’s case. The relevant information about the case is here. Also, it is requested that Director Zheng check it.”
Lin Chen turned his head.
Xing Conglian’s attitude was too businesslike. Not only did he not mention the Yongchuan University case, he also urged the Yongchuan police to hand over the case as soon as possible, which didn’t seem to fit his usual style.
Sure enough, after hearing what Xing Conglian said, Director Zheng was so embarrassed that he couldn’t speak. Jiang Chao hurriedly saved the scene. “Eh, Lao Xing, what’s the rush? Don’t you think something big just happened? I really don’t have spare hands!” Jiang Chao said, but he didn’t take the documents from Xing Conglian’s hands.
“Then please send one of your subordinates?” Xing Conglian raised his eyes and looked at the director, who was rather calm, collected, and uncondescending.
The attitude was obvious at this point. Director Zheng, of course, understood very well why Xing Conglian was angry. However, it was under his orders to have Hongjing’s psychology consultant brought back, so he couldn’t apologize.
In fact, when Jiang Chao quietly called him and told him that the suspect who was asked to be brought back to the police station by the Chen family’s butler was the one who rescued Fang Zhiming’s daughter in the Hongjing Highway case, he had long wanted to drag that old man Chen Ping out and beat him to a pulp. What a fucking joke! To take Lin Chen back to the police station as a suspect—even if he wasn’t afraid of quarrelling with Lao Xing, he was certainly afraid that Fang Zhiming’s ghost in heaven would come and haunt him.
“Lao Xing, as you can see, this is a really big case that just happened. We really can’t spare the manpower. Just take consultant Lin to the cafeteria and eat at ease!” Director Zheng said, while shaking Xing Conglian’s hand again.
“Please take it as soon as possible so that Consultant Lin and I can leave.” Xing Conglian emphasized again.
“Hey, Lao Xing, don’t be like this!”
“Sorry. After all, Consultant Lin didn’t come to Yongchuan for business. We were just wandering around, yet we were brought into the police station as suspects. If we stay for too long, I’m afraid it would be easy to provoke criticism, right?”
Hearing what Xing Conglian said, Lin Chen realized that the real reason Xing Conglian was being uncharacteristically tough was because he was standing up for him.
However, he had experienced too many trivial things like this and felt they didn’t really matter, so why should Xing Conglian care so much?
As Lin Chen was puzzled, Director Zheng finally realized from the solemn expression on Xing Conglian’s face was due to today’s matter. If he didn’t make a definite statement regarding today’s event, things wouldn’t be good.
So Director Zheng let go of the hand that was shaking Xing Conglian’s hand and turned to face Lin Chen.
Lin Chen was surprised by this.
“Consultant Lin, I’m really sorry. Today is indeed a misunderstanding. I hope you don’t take it personally!”
The middle-aged man’s tone was sincere, and after he spoke, he bowed slightly to Lin Chen and apologized.
Seeing as this was the director apologizing, Lin Chen felt a bit awkward. He wanted to turn around and return the sincerity, but Xing Conglian’s hand pressed on his shoulder.
From the force of the hand, Lin Chen understood what Xing Conglian meant. He shouldn’t give way. This was what it was supposed to be, and he could afford it.
Now that the other party had apologized, naturally, Xing Conglian let go of his cold shoulder.
When Director Zheng stood upright again, Xing Conglian retracted the document folder and said to Jiang Chao, “Since Captain Jiang is busy, Consultant Lin and I haven’t slept all night. I want to take a break first. When you’re free, come and call us?”
“Eh, why are you leaving?!” When Jian Chao heard this, his face instantly became aggrieved.
“We’re not leaving. If it’s convenient, we’ll rest in the duty room.” After Xing Conglian finished speaking, he looked at Lin Chen.
Looking at Xing Conglian’s deep eyes, Lin Chen had no choice but to nod. He felt that the atmosphere of the entire Yongchuan Branch was a bit strange.
For example, the director personally apologized to him, and on the way to the duty room, someone stuffed some candies in his hand.
The light in the duty room was dim. In the small room, there were two simple bunk beds.
Only when Lin Chen saw the bed did he feel sleepy. He wasn’t a neat freak, so since he was sleepy, he should sleep. He put the candies on the bedside table, took off his shoes, and climbed into bed.
Xing Conglian didn’t get on the bed. He sat in a chair with his feet on another chair, looking very casual.
“Yongchuan police seem reluctant to hand over Yang Dianfeng’s case to you. Why?” Thinking about what happened in the office just now, Xing Conglian only used the document folder to force Director Zheng to bow his head. Lin Chen thought about it for a while and then asked this question.
“Actually, it has nothing to do with the files.” Xing Conglian took off his police uniform, covered his body with it, and then turned his head to look at Lin Chen. “It’s just about you.”
“Huh?” Lin Chen was slightly surprised to hear this answer.
“What do you think about the Yongchuan University case?” Xing Conglian ignored Lin Chen’s response.
“It’s complicated,” Lin Chen replied.
“Can you be specific?”
“Do you think it’s shocking to find three overlapping courses under a banyan tree?” Lin Chen asked.
“Then what was your first reaction when you saw the body buried on campus?”
“Ordinary homicide.” Xing Conglian spoke truthfully.
“What does it mean when a shocking story begins with a bland narrative?”
“Someone wants the effect of twists and turns?” Xing Conglian suddenly understood what Lin Chen was going for. Even if three people under that tree were willing to be buried alive, there must have been someone to personally cover them with the last handful of soil.
“They did do it,” Lin Chen said quietly, but when he was finished, he also understood what Xing Conglian meant. “You mean Captain Jiang and the others?”
“They probably really want to keep you to help with the investigation.” Xing Conglian spoke helplessly.
“I don’t understand. I don’t seem to be that important.” Truth be told, the director had apologized to Lin Chen personally because he wanted him to assist in the investigation. Even if Holmes* were here, it would be difficult for him to enjoy this kind of treatment.
*Sherlock Holmes, a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a “consulting detective” in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, deduction, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.
After hearing Lin Chen’s words, Xing Conglian’s gaze suddenly softened. He looked at the candies that Lin Chen had set aside and said softly, “Because Fang Zhiming worked here for ten years before he was transferred to the narcotics department. The people here, including Director Zheng himself, were all his colleagues.”
“You uncovered the corner of a dark truth. You saved their colleague from dying in vain, and also saved his daughter. This is why you’re important to them.”
The Chen family may be able to put pressure on the police, but no matter how much pressure they put on them, it couldn’t beat what Lin Chen had done.
In this world, money could buy countless submissive eyes and hypocritical flattery, but it would never buy true respect.
Lin Chen finally understood. “You know about this, so… you asked Director Zheng to apologize?”
“How can I ask such a thing?” Xing Conglian laughed dumbfoundedly. “You think Director Zheng went downstairs in person just to scold Captain Jiang? He knew he had ordered you to be arrested and came to make amends with you, but he just didn’t have the opportunity.”
“So, just now, it was all acting?”
“Yes, it’s a characteristic of Yongchuan’s Second Division.”
Lin Chen leaned on the bed and felt that the atmosphere of this police station was indeed a bit bizarre.
“Not used to it?” Looking at the person leaning on the bed in contemplation, Xing Conglian suddenly spoke.
Lin Chen thought for a while and nodded.
“Just get used to it slowly in the future.” After he finished speaking, he turned off the micro-light at the bedside. “Take a good rest. They won’t go easy on us later.”
The heavy curtains were carefully drawn up, and there was almost no light in the room.
The sound of even breathing soon came to his ears. Lin Chen stretched out his hand, picked up a candy from the bedside table, and peeled off the wrapper.
The sound of Xing Conglian’s breathing gradually became long.
Lin Chen put the candy in his mouth and sucked on it.
Truthfully, you didn’t have to do this, but still… Thank you very much…
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You can only love those two …