Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
For a long time after that, the three of them didn’t speak. Lin Chen knew well that Wang Chao had nothing to say, while Xing Conglian’s ugly expression and silence revealed his dissatisfaction with the investigation procedures.
Naturally, he himself didn’t know what he could say.
Now that he thought about it, the reason Li Jingtian’s fans squeezed into Ansheng International Mall like crazy was simply because they wanted to support their wronged idol. The subsequent throat-slitting case was something no one expected. From this point of view, the stampede didn’t seem like an arrangement but more like an accident.
In fact, when Li Jingtian’s throat was cut, Lin Chen thought it was a relatively straightforward murder case. With the appearance of what was hidden under the bouquet of roses, he would think that it was an emotionally cruel murder case. However, with the appearance of Li Jingtian’s manager in front of the emergency room and Li Jingtian subsequently walking out, the case had become more complicated and confusing. If a rape case was added to this wounding case, then it would gradually slip into a weird abyss.
Finally, it was the waitress at the bar who broke the tranquility of the store.
Lively dance music suddenly sounded. The waitress didn’t expect her phone to ring as she frantically connected the call, then suddenly squatted in the bar and tried her best to lower her voice. “Lingling, I’m doing a live broadcast for you. Why are you calling?”
At the same time, Xing Conglian’s phone rang.
Lin Chen looked up.
Xing Conglian showed him the word “Zhang Xiaolong” in the caller ID, then pressed the answer button.
The voice of the policewoman came out slowly.
“Captain Xing, I have already checked what you asked me to investigate. My classmate’s husband helped with the investigation. Li Jingtian was cut in the neck. While the wound looked very long, it was actually pretty shallow. It didn’t penetrate the artery. After a few dozen stitches, he’ll be fine.”
Sure enough, the cruel throat-slitting that caused the riots in the audience just now was nothing more than a stage effect.
“I see. Thank you very much,” Xing Conglian said. He was about to hang up when suddenly Zhang Xiaolong, like the waitress in the ice cream shop, lowered her voice and said cautiously, “Captain Xing, please don’t hang up. When I was squatting at the door to the emergency room just now, I heard fans say that Li Jingtian seemed to have posted a new Weibo post, and the fans had blown it up. Hurry and take a look at it.”
At this moment, the waitress behind the bar, who had been live broadcasting, suddenly shouted, “Is Li Jingtian an idiot? What is he doing posting that kind of Weibo?”
Before Xing Conglian could speak, Wang Chao had already sent him Li Jingtian’s Weibo post.
Li Jingtian had tens of millions of followers, but the number of posts wasn’t large. After sorting through chronological order, Li Jingtian’s last Weibo post showed: [My account was hacked just now. The post sent isn’t mine. Please be careful.]
Wang Chao patted his forehead remorsefully. “Ah, I forgot to monitor Li Jingtian’s Weibo!”
“Li Jingtian’s Weibo account was stolen?” Xing Conglian asked incredulously. “What stupid post did he post on Weibo?”
“It’s not easy to know what he just posted. Captain, let me show my power to climb backstage of Weibo and show you the records!” Wang Chao took a sip of cold water as he spoke and looked at Xing Conglian, like a pet waiting for a compliment with shining eyes.
Naturally, he was greeted with a “violent beating”. “Do you think I don’t know? What background records do you need to dig through Weibo? People have already taken screenshots.”
Wang Chao smiled. “Captain, don’t be angry. I didn’t think of it.”
He immediately started entering the keywords in the search box. After entering “Li Jingtian”, countless results poured in.
At this moment, the words Li Jingtian occupied the top position in the popular searches, and its popularity kept rising, which showed that at this moment, countless people were searching for news about him.
Soon, they saw the screenshot of the deleted post.
After clicking on the big picture, they discovered that the Weibo screenshot was actually pretty simple and bloody. It was a selfie of Li Jingtian after his wound was sutured in the emergency room.
In the photo, the singer raised his head slightly, like a mourning white swan. The stitches on his neck were thin, like a red centipede lying on his neck. There were blood marks everywhere, so it looked terrifying.
The matching words for the photo were simple: [Don’t resent.]
Although Li Jingtian’s selfie looked scary, overall, this was a pretty concise post.
After the star was injured, he informed the fans of his injuries and hoped they wouldn’t resent. Although this attitude seemed too soft and deceptive, if a star posted this kind of thing in order to maintain his personal image and during a PR crisis, it would look harmless.
The Weibo post itself wasn’t surprising. What was strange was that it was deleted by Li Jingtian, and he also made a special announcement claiming that the selfie just now was the result of his account being hacked.
Lin Chen couldn’t figure out why someone would post such a normal-looking post after hacking someone else’s Weibo account.
Not only that, but in the deleted post, there was a more important issue, which was discovered by “enthusiastic netizens”.
@MeatMeatMeatChowder: What bullshit! This is your own selfie in the emergency room. Who would hack an account and post this kind of thing!
@LittleTomatoSlicedNoodles: Fuck me, Li Jingtian. You really treat onlookers like they are mentally retarded, huh?
@LongLongDuck: As expected from a blooming white lotus*. The persona never collapses!
*Describes a person who is pure in appearance but is the exact opposite on the inside.
Lin Chen’s gaze swept over the retweets. Across from him, Wang Chao dragged the scroll bar irritably. He then heard the boy say something similar. “How fucking embarrassing. Does Li Jingtian have a problem with his brain? He posted a selfie of himself in the emergency room, then deleted it saying his account was hacked?”
Wang Chao smacked his lips as he scrolled through the retweets. He quickly found the name of Li Jingtian’s manager.
A minute ago, Liu Ying retweeted Li Jingtian’s post about “his account being hacked”.
@LiuYing: What exactly do you want to do to Jingtian? Jingtian has been injured like this. Don’t you think it’s enough?
Under Liu Ying’s Weibo, fans of Li Jingtian who didn’t know what happened were asking about it.
Wang Chao flipped through the comments over several pages as Lin Chen took a closer look. Except for people asking what happened, the rest of the replies or retweets were all along the lines of: “Believe in Jingtian” and “Fans unite”. There were some “Bow to Queen Liu” comments, but they were quickly brushed down by Li Jingtian’s fans.
Looking at the constantly refreshing comments on Weibo, Lin Chen could fully feel how excited Li Jingtian’s fans were.
They first experienced the incident of their idol’s throat being slit. At that time, they didn’t know what to do except pray, but news probably hadn’t had time to spread widely among the “Tian Fans”. The news that Li Jingtian had walked out of the emergency room quickly followed. It was supposed to be a moment where they could let out a breath of relief as they had enough ups and downs for the day, but at such a moment, Li Jingtian posted a selfie of himself in the emergency room. Seeing the terrible wound on the idol’s neck, they couldn’t help but comfort each other, but before some of them could write their words of hope and comfort, the post was deleted, and their idol said that he didn’t post the tweet just now and that his Weibo account was hacked…
No matter how simple-minded the fans were, after encountering these things, they would start to doubt.
Although it seemed that the things that happened to Li Jingtian, whether it was him getting his throat slit on stage or his Weibo account being stolen, weren’t really breaking news, how could a fan accept these kinds of things that kept happening to their idol?
What was more, all this looked as if there was some kind of huge conspiracy brewing behind it.
The fan base was truly a strange group. They lacked cooperation on a regular basis, but if they really met someone who wanted to hurt their idol, they could quickly organize their extraordinary fighting force. This was the case when they clarified the rape case against him last time, and it would be the same this time.
Lin Chen rubbed his forehead. In fact, when the matter came to this point, he couldn’t clearly see what it was about. Sure enough, the intrigue of the entertainment industry didn’t seem to be his strong point.
Fortunately, Xing Conglian seemed to have a natural, keen sense of these things.
After thinking for a while, he quickly grasped the most critical point of the matter and asked, “Is it possible that this situation can occur? Did someone really hack Li Jingtian’s phone photo and his Weibo account and post his selfie in the emergency room?”
Hearing this, Wang Chao replied, “Captain, you have to understand that this situation is certainly possible, but the premise is that the person has to be a master of current communication technologies, such as Bluetooth and password cracking technology. Although I’m not sure what system Li Jingtian’s phone uses, in order to steal a phone and send photos, they must also be masters of programming that phone system. People who know so many things are working for the computer industry giants. How could the streets be full of people like that? It’s hard to find that kind of talent, okay?” When Wang Chao said this, he seemed to have thought of something and patted his head. “Captain, I didn’t do this, okay?”
From the beginning, Xing Conglian was listening seriously until he heard the last sentence. He glared at Wang Chao as if he was going to get angry.
It seemed that the dog blood story just now gave the teenager some excitement, and he lost his fear. Lin Chen sighed helplessly.
As if hearing his sigh, Xing Conglian suddenly asked him, “You’ve said very little. Do you want to eat ice cream? I’ll buy you some?”
Lin Chen suddenly raised his head and was speechless for a while. He frowned, thinking that these two were far too out of the ordinary.
“I feel as if I can’t keep up with your rhythm,” he admitted frankly. “To be honest, this matter is getting weirder, but I can’t find any clues or foresee the direction of its development.”
“I can’t find any clues either,” Xing Conglian replied. “However, I believe in one thing.”
“There’s strength in numbers.”
As Xing Conglian said this, he turned his head and looked at the waitress who had been eavesdropping behind the bar. “Do you have matcha-flavored ice cream?” After he asked, he turned his head back to Lin Chen. “What flavor do you like?”
Seeing Xing Conglian’s smiling expression, Lin Chen had no choice but to reluctantly reply, “Vanilla.”
“Vanilla isn’t delicious.” Xing Conglian turned his head and forcefully said to the waitress, “Another matcha.”
Lin Chen was speechless. He thought to himself, ‘If you’ve already decided, why even ask me?’
He couldn’t help turning his gaze, but he saw that Wang Chao had buried his face in the screen and was winking at him. While Xing Conglian went to pay, Wang Chao quickly raised his head and mouthed speechlessly to him.
Lin Chen thought about it for a moment and then realized Wang Chao seemed to be saying, “He, ge, mo, no, ism!”
‘Quite apt,’ Lin Chen thought and nodded to Wang Chao.
Xing Conglian quickly paid and came back.
He sat down again and said to Wang Chao, “Find the Weibo post that Li Jingtian posted about being hacked.”
Wang Chao let out an inexplicable “oh”, and quickly brought it up. The number of retweets and comments on the official post was growing exponentially.
“Click to the comments,” Xing Conglian continued.
Wang Chao did as he said.
The waitress quickly brought the matcha ice cream.
Xing Conglian didn’t read the Weibo comments but moved to the back of the booth and said to Wang Chao, “Get out.”
Lin Chen looked up inexplicably and saw Wang Chao walk out of the booth with a confused expression on his face.
Xing Conglian moved to the inside seat, patted the seat beside him, and said to Lin Chen, “Sit over here.”
Hearing him say that, Lin Chen found that the person who was truly lost had become himself.
At this moment, the expression on Wang Chao’s face changed from dumbfounded to ‘What the fuck?’.
When Xing Conglian moved over to the laptop and started to read the comments while eating his ice cream, Lin Chen realized that Xing Conglian wanted him to come over so they could read the comments together.
It was rare that he and Wang Chao would give each other a relieved look.
Lin Chen stood up and sat down beside Xing Conglian. Xing Conglian pushed over the other serving of matcha-flavored ice cream, so naturally he started to eat it.
Looking at the replies from fans on Li Jingtian’s Weibo, Lin Chen quickly understood what Xing Conglian meant by strength in numbers.
All the popular retweets or replies were roughly divided into two groups. One was from Li Jingtian’s fans, supporting their idol, and the other was scolding him. Compared with the blindly retweets by his fans, those who scolded Li Jingtian were more justified.
@GeniusBakedPotato: [I can’t stand Li fans’ IQ. No one can match his ability to speak a hundred words with an empty mouth. Dad can only give a good analysis of why this is a self-directed and self-acted whitewashing incident. (1) Suppose that the person who slit Li’s throat hates him. They had such a good opportunity to directly kill him, but instead they just gave him a minor scratch. Are you kidding me? (Let me tell you some news. I received a report from my friends at the scene. It’s said that the blood Li Jingtian shed wasn’t blood at all, but artificial blood.) So everyone, after making a small cut, he fell on stage as if he were about to die. Is he an actor? (2) It’s even more ridiculous to claim your account was hacked. You can refer to a certain Weibo post Li made two weeks ago in the exact same pathetic tone. Oh, after all, Li Jingtian is famous for pretending to be pitiful. The reason why he deleted the Weibo post just now is simply because it was sprayed badly as soon as he posted it. He realized the taste was too heavy, so he could only delete it. (I have screenshots to prove it). (3) In summary, Li Jingtian is deliberately creating the illusion that he’s being smeared. This is all an act he put on himself, pretending to be hurt so he could divert the attention away from his rape case!]
This Weibo comment was long. Lin Chen read it word by word and only felt that this analysis seemed reasonable and well-founded, but in fact there were still many problems.
He looked around, only to notice Xing Conglian’s reading speed seemed faster than his. After reading the full comment, Xing Conglian’s face turned ugly again. Thinking about it, Xing Conglian was probably displeased that the details of the case were leaked.
“It has nothing to do with you. There are so many people talking at the scene that it’s hard to tell who was peeping and eavesdropping,” Lin Chen said.
“This isn’t a matter of peeping and eavesdropping. Someone within our ranks leaked out the information on the case.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Well, if you look at the comment, all the information this commenter received was live news revealed by onlookers, then why didn’t they mention the bouquet of roses at the scene? After all, that bouquet of roses was the most terrifying aspect of the scene. The owner of the comment has no reason to omit it. Think about it. The biggest possibility is that the person who leaked the news knows what to say and what not to say. Maybe he found some less important details and leaked them to make his little girlfriend happy.”
After listening to this, Lin Chen was once again speechless. It seemed that Xing Conglian could no longer be described as simple-minded.
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