Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Lin Chen didn’t know how effective Xing Conglian’s guarantee was. Under the circumstances at the time, after hearing those words, he was simply enjoying Xing Conglian’s hug.
Being held by the object of his love, even the roots that were frozen to the point of withering would slowly recover. He gradually felt the numbness leave him, and his thinking returned to its normal sequence.
Then, he noticed that he could smell the scent of clear mint smoke from Xing Conglian’s uniform. The atmosphere was touching. Before he had a chance to finish his cocoa, it was taken from his hand and exuded its sweet scent in the air.
He leaned on Xing Conglian’s neck, and only when he was close did Lin Chen realize that though Xing Conglian looked cynical, he was actually extremely calm, deep to his bones. Like now, he stood firmly, and the hand that was holding his shoulder was also stable. Lin Chen really couldn’t see through Xing Conglian.
Finally, he patted Xing Conglian on the back and retreated from his embrace. “Xing Conglian.”
It seems, I really love you.
When Wang Chao came back, there were no signs of their closeness. They were sitting on a bench outside the ward. The teenager’s eyes bounced between them, before he said, “A’Chen, you’re crying.”
Lin Chen covered his eyes and looked at Xing Conglian sadly. “What’s with this kid’s emotional intelligence?”
Xing Conglian let out a small cough and said, “You really can’t blame me.”
“Blame you for what? Captain, did you scold A’Chen?” Wang Chao squatted down in front of Lin Chen with the laptop in his arms and said with righteous indignation, “A’Chen, if the captain scolds you, just ignore him. He’s just a naturally grumpy maniac who has been single for dozens of years. You have to forgive him.”
Probably, compared to the embrace of one he loved; this cute teenager’s smile could also alleviate the frost-like pain.
Lin Chen stretched out his hand and rubbed the top of the teenager’s head. It was shaggy to the touch, and Wang Chao smiled awkwardly, as if he didn’t know why Lin Chen was patting him on the head. “A’Chen?”
“Yes, I cried,” he replied honestly.
“For many reasons. First, I think I made mistakes in this matter. Second, I have encountered similar things several times. For a while, many traumatic scenes flashed back, and it overwhelmed me. Lastly, for someone like me, shedding tears to vent my emotions at certain times help make me less psychotic.”
After he finished speaking, Wang Chao looked at him blankly. After digesting what he said for a long time, he suddenly asked, “A’Chen, are you feeling better now?”
“That’s good that you’re better.”
Wang Chao was a typical example of a sunny person who could brighten anyone’s day. He jumped up excitedly and said, “Let’s catch Li Jingtian together, okay?”
Lin Chen shook his head and remained silent.
Wang Chao started to get confused again. When he saw that Lin Chen was responding, he looked at Xing Conglian, who simply just leaned back on the bench and also remained silent.
“Captain, what’s going on here?”
“Officer Xiao Wang,” Xing Conglian said.
“I want to ask you; in what name do you want to bring Li Jingtian to justice?”
“In the name of the law?”
“Speak properly,” Xing Conglian said coldly.
Wang Chao winced, and only then did he get serious. “Captain, are you asking me on what charge I want to use to arrest Li Jingtian, right?”
Xing Conglian didn’t answer and maintained his previous posture and expression.
Wang Chao hurriedly continued. “The crime of assault?” He thought for a while, and then backtracked. “The crime of assault doesn’t seem to work. Li Jingtian was the victim. Then, the crime of endangering the public?” Then added, “But we have no evidence of this.”
“I… This isn’t my area of expertise!” Wang Chao finally relented.
“The existing evidence proves that, whether it was assault or endangering the public, our biggest suspect is the girl in the ward. How do you want to prove that Li Jingtian is behind all this?”
“I don’t know, Captain…” Wang Chao put his laptop aside, squatted on the ground, and began to scratch his head.
“Although Xu Ran is suspicious, we haven’t found the assault weapon yet. The first thing we need to do is find it?” Wang Chao sat down crossed legged and continued, “Then, Xu Ran is wearing that red dress. We have to see if it’s been stained with Li Jingtian’s blood. Captain, I really don’t think it’s Xu Ran, but it’s really weird. Why is she wearing the same exact outfit as the fan who slit his throat on stage? If she has the ability to escape from the scene and dispose of the murder weapon, shouldn’t she also change her clothes as well? Why is she still wearing the clothes at the time she committed the crime?”
“Mr. Xiao Wang, do you have any explanation?”
“I think Li Jingtian arranged this matter!”
“But you have no evidence.”
“Actually, I do have a little evidence!” Wang Chao said as he turned the laptop around. “Didn’t you just give me Xu Ran’s phone? I checked her call history and found someone suspicious had called her using a disposable phone. The first call was at 15:13 yesterday afternoon, and the second call was at 12:13 today…”
Hearing this, Xing Conglian frowned and asked, “Can you track who made the call?”
Wang Chao shook his head. “This kind of disposable phone doesn’t even have the location of the base station. It’s used by criminals, okay?”
“12:13?” Xing Conglian asked.
“About. It happened when we were on our way to Li Jingtian’s ward,” Wang Chao said mysteriously. “Captain, this is really not my conspiracy theory anymore… Do you think it was Li Jingtian who called and asked Xu Ran to meet in Hongjing?”
“Whether it was Li Jingtian or not, you can’t prove this,” Xing Conglian said.
Lin Chen suddenly remembered that if the call had been made by Li Jingtian, then when they met with him in the hospital just now, the phone was most likely on him. If they had searched his luggage at that time, the truth might have been revealed.
However, they let the evidence slip away right from under their noses, making this even more unbearable.
Hearing what Xing Conglian said, Wang Chao was close to collapsing again. “Ahhh, what should I do!”
“Is there any evidence in Xu Ran’s phone that can prove she stole Li Jingtian’s Weibo account?”
Hearing this, Wang Chao looked depressed again. “Captain, have you seen Xu Ran’s phone? It’s no different from those old phones. It doesn’t even have Weibo on it. The highest technology on it is the snake game. Do you think this kind of outdated machine can scan for loopholes and transmit viruses?”
“In other words, we have no clues, right?”
“I can try to identify Xu Ran’s face in the surveillance video of the mall to see if she has been there, but that’s no different than finding a needle in a haystack. If you’re conscious of it, it’s not difficult to avoid the cameras.”
The assault case at Ansheng International Mall had almost reached a dead end, so Xing Conglian asked him, “Consultant Lin, do you have any ideas?”
Lin Chen closed his eyes and recalled the sidewalk and the scene at that time again. Many times he guided witnesses to recall the situation of what they saw, but when it was his turn, he realized that this matter was more difficult than he thought.
He tried his best to calm down, and the scene that had happened reappeared again.
The small shop on the street, the flashing signal lights, and the girl running in front of him.
“Xu Ran saw those people chasing her and ran away in a panic. Even regardless of the danger to her life, she rushed into traffic to avoid them.” Lin Chen suddenly opened his eyes. “Why was she trying to avoid Li Jingtian’s fans?”
“She knows that those people are Li Jingtian’s fans and was afraid of being chased by them. Then, if Xu Ran was truly afraid of seeing Li Jingtian’s fans, why would she be seen walking around the city in broad daylight? Moreover, there’s also another question. How is it that Li Jingtian’s fans are so powerful that they were able to find her faster than the police?”
“A’Chen, you have a point. It’s very likely there’s a problem with the first Weibo post that located Xu Ran. Let me check into it!”
As he spoke, he was about to turn the laptop around, but Xing Conglian held his hand down to stop him. “Let’s go back to the police station first. You can check it later when we get in the car,” he said to Wang Chao.
It was around noon when they entered the hospital. When they walked out, it was already completely dark.
Lin Chen glanced at the flowing lights of the city and felt a sense of desolation.
It was rare that the police station at night was this lively. After all, there were a lot of parents.
After Xu Ran’s accident, the girl fans who had chased her were brought back to the police station to assist in the investigation.
Under normal circumstances, when encountering a similar accident, the police would only take back the main perpetrators to the station to deal with them, while they would take statements from the rest and release them. Only Xing Conglian would dare to suddenly detain over seven girls at once.
The girls’ parents came from all directions with their inquiries. Middle-aged men and women surrounded the police station, adamant that they would not leave without their child.
“My daughter didn’t do anything. Hurry up and let her out!”
“What is with this attitude? Don’t you dare think I wouldn’t complain to your city leaders!”
The parents were on the verge of irritation. Any child who had been detained for more than four hours would be exhausted, and such girls that could chase stars generally had good family conditions, so when the parents threatened to call the city leaders, it wasn’t an empty threat.
Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian and saw him walk through the corridor as if nothing were wrong and walk right past the parents.
It seemed that Xing Conglian had no plans to release these children in advance. After all, he was a man who dared to directly beat up an embassy military attaché. Locking up a few girls for a few hours was something he would do without even blinking.
Comrade Zhang Xiaolong stood in front of the parents, trying to dissuade them. The police officer seemed quite annoyed by this group of parents. She was rarely tough, but she knew what had happened. “Our leader hasn’t come back yet. There’s been a big incident today, and there’s not enough manpower at the station right now. Your children need to be interrogated one by one. After all, this is a murder case, and the victim is in the hospital with an unknown fate. This matter must be investigated clearly.”
Hearing this, some parents suddenly became nervous, but they refused to relent.
A middle-aged woman with wavy curls and fine eyeliner suddenly sat on the ground and cried. “What kind of murder! Don’t think we don’t know. It was a car accident. That person ran across the road by herself. The police are now blaming it on my girl. You’re bullying people!”
Zhang Xiaolong raised her eyes. She saw Xing Conglian come from behind the crowd and immediately grew some backbone. She said to the parents righteously, “This is normal investigation procedure. We are following what needs to be done. Please wait patiently.”
“What procedures? Is there a reason? The police are just helping that woman. Don’t think we don’t know. It’s been reported in the news. Bah, it was just a prostitute who was hit and killed. This is called divine punishment, don’t you understand? Just some son of a bitch.”
The middle-aged woman cursed and crawled on the ground, grabbing Zhang Xiaolong’s pant leg, refusing to let go. The female officer staggered and almost lost her balance.
“Zhang Xiaolong,” Xing Conglian suddenly said.
The police officer seemed to be waiting for this moment. She quickly stood at attention and saluted. “Captain Xing.”
“How do we deal with those who are obstructing the normal work order of the police station?”
“Lightly, they will be punished with detention for more than 3 days and less than 5. If it’s serious, criminal charges.”
“Oh, you know well…”
The middle-aged woman on the ground was stunned and even forgot she was crawling. Another middle-aged man beside her hurriedly said, “We’re just here to ask for an explanation. Why are the police going around arresting people casually?!”
As he spoke, he wanted to reach out and point his fingers. Lin Chen saw this and took a step forward. Just as the man was about to point at Xing Conglian, Lin Chen stepped out in front.
The middle-aged man’s finger jabbed heavily into his shoulder. Lin Chen covered his shoulder and let out a muffled groan.
“You will be held criminally responsible for assaulting a police officer!” Wang Chao excitedly shouted from behind.
When the middle-aged man heard this, he immediately panicked. “Don’t blame me. He stepped forward by himself. It’s not my fault!”
Naturally, because they had a tacit understanding from being partners, Xing Conglian knew what Lin Chen’s intentions were.
With a cold face, he pretended that he couldn’t be bothered to deal with these parents anymore and waved his hand. He pointed to the visitor chairs on the side and said lightly, “Alright, go and wait. Stop talking. We’ll let your daughter out later.”
One after another, the parents fell silent. Seeing Xing Conglian’s face, they felt that he was being serious and that he would really act on what he said. The crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble would depend on how the police characterized them, so they all went to the corner and sat down anxiously.
Lin Chen felt Xing Conglian’s eyes fall on him.
“Consultant Lin, let’s go,” he said.
Lin Chen followed Xing Conglian to the office, where the parents couldn’t see them when Xing Conglian suddenly stopped.
“Consultant Lin’s position was very accurate just now,” Xing Conglian said to him.
“Thank you, Captain Xing, for the rescue.” Lin Chen saluted him.
“No, I have to thank you for the rescue. Is this a new type of porcelain* rescue…”
*Reference to scams in the old days where gangsters would bump into people while holding fragile porcelain in their hands, then drop it and blackmail the pedestrian to pay up.
Xing Conglian had a playful look in his eyes.
Under that gaze, Lin Chen had no choice but to rub his shoulders and say, “It still hurts a bit.”
Lin Chen is now picking up bad habits from Xing Conglian and Wang Chao.
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