Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Jiang Chao’s voice echoed in the car through the stereo. His face was solemn and cold. Lin Chen could feel his anger, his suffocation, and all his resentment.
However, without the need for verbal communication, he looked at the reflection in the mirror and saw Xing Conglian looking at him.
In the next moment, Xing Conglian switched the car button and threw the Bluetooth headset to Lin Chen. Beside him, Wang Chao quickly understood and, at the same time, blocked off Jiang Chao’s communication system from his team.
Just before he opened the door and got out of the car, he heard Xing Conglian order the rest of the police force as he was facing the live broadcast, “I am Xing Conglian, and I am now in charge of this operation. Please quickly cover your mouth and nose and evacuate the factory in an orderly manner.”
Lin Chen slammed the car door and put on the headset. Jiang Chao’s wireless communication equipment had been isolated and was connected to him.
Jiang Chao’s angry voice came from the headset. “Fuck, Lao Xing. What the hell are you doing?!”
“Captain Jiang, please forgive me for the urgent matter.” Lin Chen pressed on the mic as he spoke.
“Consultant Lin… What do you mean… That Lao Xing!”
Probably hearing that it was Lin Chen on the line, Jiang Chao’s voice softened significantly.
Lin Chen leaned against the door of the car, remembering the dark eyes of Xing Conglian just now, and said, “He’s probably afraid of wasting time scolding you to death, so he directly handed the task of communicating with you to me.”
“Did Lao Xing cut off my authority again and then ask you to persuade me?” Jiang Chao huffed twice on the other end. Seeing that there was no response, he laughed at himself. “It’s really hard for him to take my feelings into account.”
When Lin Chen heard this, he looked inside the car and saw Xing Conglian’s eyes moving quickly, with his lips opening and closing, as if he were directing the police officers to avoid the cameras and evacuate in an orderly manner.
“No, I’m not advising you. I’m just asking for your understanding.”
Lin Chen lowered his head, looked at his feet, and then at the gray road.
He certainly had many truths to say, but it didn’t matter if it was worth speaking them or not. It was hard for him to say these truths to Jiang Chao because he knew very well why Jiang Chao didn’t leave.
In the headset, Jiang Chao’s suppressed voice came through. “Consultant Lin, I’m quite sober in my thinking. First of all, if there is a bomb, I’ll stay here and buy them time so they can evacuate. Secondly, now that the dark webcast is online, those dirty bedbugs are watching us. If we were to retreat now, what will those bedbugs think of the Yongchuan police?”
The reason Jiang Chao didn’t leave was because he couldn’t compromise.
This made Lin Chen feel sad.
Front-line police officers faced pressure not only from superiors and criminals, but also from social pressure. No matter when, where, or why, they must never show any signs of compromise to criminals.
In front of them were those criminals, and behind them were countless ordinary people.
Not only that, once they made any mistakes, like, for example, today’s video being edited by someone with ulterior motives and uploaded again, showing the police force fleeing after being intimidated by criminals, the people in front of them would reign triumphant, while the people behind them wouldn’t be able to understand. This was the greatest sorrow.
“I understand how you feel.” Lin Chen raised his head and looked at the sky, burned red by the sunset. “But in our profession, courage refers not only to throwing your head in and spilling blood, but it also refers to the timely retreat and preservation of strength in the face of criminals. In the eyes of me and most of the people you protect, your life is 10,000 times more precious than the lives of garbage, bedbugs, and social scum, so please cherish it.”
Jiang Chao didn’t answer.
Lin Chen thought for a while and said, “Although I can’t solve those contradictory social problems, I can still do my best for the current situation, so I assure you that the video broadcast today will never appear on any social network in the world.” Lin Chen recovered, looked at the teenager with a tense face, and said, “Because Wang Chao is really capable.”
Jiang Chao was still silent. Lin Chen felt that in his life so far, he had rarely encountered such a stubborn person.
After a while, Jiang Chao spoke again. “Well, my face has already been revealed. Isn’t it meaningless to go or not? Whether it blows up or not, you still need someone to dismantle all these cameras. Let me do it.”
Just then, the car window lowered.
He saw Xing Conglian poke out his head and asked, “Why isn’t Jiang Chao out yet?!”
In a rare instance, Xing Conglian had raised his voice at him.
From the headset, Lin Chen could hear Jiang Chao whisper, “I’m being capricious, right?”
Looking at Xing Conglian’s frigid face, Lin Chen lowered his head and said to the person on the other end of the line, “No, your choice is ultimately made from your own heart, not for others. I choose to respect it.”
If this were a sad story, the next shot would be fire and smoke, and the last persistence and broken faces of their comrades-in-arms.
But in this world, things were not always tragic. Occasionally, there would be some good luck.
In the end, there weren’t any bombs. Some of the shots closed with Jiang Chao’s outstretched black gloves and the final picture of darkness.
Without saying a word, Xing Conglian stepped on the gas. When his face was ugly, it made everyone present involuntarily silent.
In the car, Wang Chao instructed Jiang Chao to remove the cameras. “Boss Jiang, camera No. 2 should be on a tower crane. You can see it when you look up. The camera can’t capture you. You should go to the third floor and dismantle it.”
As he spoke, he probed through the mirror to observe Xing Conglian’s expression, as if he were afraid of saying something wrong. As for comrade Ma Han, after the Jeep started again, he didn’t dare say a word or even let out a cry.
Naturally, Lin Chen knew that Xing Conglian was angry because he didn’t approve of his final compromise with Jiang Chao, but because he made the decision, Xing Conglian couldn’t refute him on the spot. In short, this was Mr. Xing giving him some face.
When they waited in front of the abandoned factory, Jiang Chao had just pushed the door open.
The police officers outside the factory looked at each other, not knowing what was going on.
Xing Conglian slammed on the brakes. After he got out of the car, he glanced at Jiang Chao from a distance, then turned around without saying a word and walked around the corner between the factory building and the factory room.
Jiang Chao swallowed and followed suit.
Lin Chen looked at the disappearing figures of the two of them and heard the teenager next to him secretly ask, “Is he dead?”
He turned his head and glanced at Wang Chao, thinking to himself, ‘Don’t you have more experience in judging this kind of thing?’
“Have you ever lost your life?” Lin Chen thought for a bit but was still a little worried.
“To be specific, no, but broken hands and feet are a possibility.”
“You can’t say that. Sometimes it’s hard to lead a big team. It’s a big issue when you accidentally make a fool of yourself, so everything has to be controlled and balanced.” Wang Chao rubbed against Lin Chen with an expression of pull your ear closer for some juicy gossip. Lin Chen lowered his head and listened. “Let me tell you. Our captain may seem indifferent to many things, but he’s actually pretending. I have never seen a man with a stronger desire for control than him in my life.” As the teenager spoke, he slowly clenched his palms. “It’s scary. Be careful.”
After the teenager finished speaking, he patted Lin Chen on the shoulder and quickly jumped away.
Lin Chen looked at the corner in the distance. There didn’t seem to be any particularly fierce quarrel. When he turned his head again, Wang Chao had already changed his expression into “I didn’t say anything” again.
Previously, Xing Conglian had told him about Wang Chao’s life experience, and now Wang Chao was telling him about Xing Conglian’s.
Are these two dating?
Lin Chen thought helplessly.
And the desire for control?
Lin Chen didn’t care too much about this matter before, but now it seemed that there have indeed been clues in the past. Xing Conglian…
Lin Chen sighed and finally got out of the car.
He walked slowly in the direction of where Xing Conglian and Jiang Chao had vanished. When he rounded the corner, he found Xing Conglian and Jiang Chao were standing at the end of the alley, whispering something.
“I feel fucking suffocated. Why can’t you let me have a good time!”
Jiang Chao lowered his head. His face looked flushed, and he couldn’t help but refute.
“Cool, so cool. You think getting fucking blown up is cool? Do you know that in the case of Fang Zhiming’s daughter, our Hongjing police force sacrificed three people in the end. Three people. Three lives!” With one hand in his pocket, Xing Conglian reprimanded Jiang Chao extremely forcefully. “You can still stand here and talk to me now purely because of your good fate!”
Standing in front of Jiang Chao, Xing Conglian gave Lin Chen the illusion of leading and educating his subordinate.
In terms of level, although Jiang Chao was the vice captain, Yongchuan was the provincial capital. Jiang Chao’s actual administrative level was slightly higher than that of Xing Conglian’s. What was more, they were assisting in handling the case on the site of the Yongchuan police’s jurisdiction. For Xing Conglian to reprimand other people’s bosses in their own territory, it meant that he was truly furious.
Lin Chen stood still behind them. Intellectually speaking, Jiang Chao had reasons why he couldn’t leave and had to stay. Those reasons convinced him, but perhaps the same reason, in the eyes of Xing Conglian, was utter stupidity.
He took a step forward and wanted to say something but heard Jiang Chao say, “This case, from beginning to end, was solved by you and Consultant Lin. What did I do? Would it mean that if it weren’t for you, there would be a shocking tragedy in my jurisdiction, in a place where I swore to protect, and I would have no way to prevent it because of my lack of ability? Why am I so useless?” Jiang Chao held his head high, and his voice was uncontrollably agitated. “The only thing I can do is stand there and tell them that we’re not afraid and we won’t take a step back even if we die. Can’t I even do this?”
Lin Chen stopped. He looked at Jiang Chao’s flushed eyes and found that he was too sad to say anything.
Indeed, if it were not for those who were always in the front lines protecting their lives, they would probably never be able to experience the fear caused by powerlessness. It was like a doctor who couldn’t treat a patient, or a mother who couldn’t hold her child’s hand. No matter how much life and death they were used to seeing, no matter how numb they thought they had become, they would always tremble at such a certain moment because of self-blame.
He raised his head and looked at Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian was as calm as ever—or rather, he was calmer than before.
“Do you have a misunderstanding about our profession?” Xing Conglian stood there, like a mountain, like the sea, and said, “We never do these things for fun. Even when you bring those criminals to justice and watch them face the guillotine, you won’t always be happy, because only you know how difficult the process is and how much you paid for it. And the most expensive cost of all is to endure all of this—to endure their dirty sins as well as our powerlessness many times, and then preserve and endure even more.”
“This is our profession.” Xing Conglian ended.
Lin Chen looked at him, feeling that all words had lost their effectiveness. He couldn’t help but bow to him earnestly.
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