Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
When Fu Hao arrived, he saw Lin Chen sitting in the dorm drinking tea. He was covered by a blanket, and his hair was still damp.
As soon as Professor Fu stepped into the cold room and saw the four white walls and lone wooden table, he couldn’t help but run to Lin Chen’s bedside and say, “Shixiong, this isn’t a place where you should stay.”
Lin Chen glanced at him and said nothing.
“You should move in and live with me!”
This time, it was Captain Xing who glared at him.
Although Fu Hao didn’t quite understand why Xing Conglian gave him that look, he clearly sensed impatience in that gaze.
Putting it into more understandable terms: What the hell are you talking about?!
Fu Hao mistook it as Xian Conglian blaming him for disturbing Lin Chen’s thinking, so he immediately shut up. Undisturbed by the cold ground, he sat on the floor in front of Lin Chen very obediently.
Lin Chen didn’t speak. Fu Hao contemplated for a bit before he tentatively tried to say something.
“Maybe it’s not a serial killer?”
Lin Chen nodded. “There’s no evidence that these people died of murder.”
He used his words carefully. Xing Conglian, who was sitting beside him, suddenly said, “This morning, forensics issued a report that the rings in the park were artificially damaged.”
Fu Hao responded to Xing Conglian with a look that says, “Why didn’t you say so earlier”, while the police captain gave an innocent look that says, “I didn’t have time to say it”.
“Murder and non-murder cases are mixed together. This is more complicated than just a simple serial murder, right?” Professor Fu said angrily. “Has white sand been detected near the sand of the park? If it appears, then these cases can be put together for a joint investigation.”
“Actually, there’s no need.” Lin Chen suddenly spoke, interrupting the argument between the two.
“There’s no need to go to great lengths to find something small in a larger concept.”
“You mean the sand?”
Lin Chen nodded. “This is the only clue that links all these cases together, isn’t it? Let’s assume for a moment that such a connection does exist. Then the question arises…” Lin Chen lowered his head and asked, “Why sand?”
Hearing Lin Chen ask, “Why sand?”, Fu Hao couldn’t help but think, ‘If I fucking knew, I would’ve solved this case long ago.’
But in front of Lin Chen, he couldn’t curse, so he could only search for possible answers. “Sand. Perhaps it’s something with special intentions?”
“Nn”. Lin Chen nodded and encouraged him to continue.
“In Buddhism, there are phrases like ‘the sand of the Ganges1’, or ‘one sand, one world, one leaf, one Bodhi’2, but you said that the sand used by the criminal is very special. It’s the sand from a sandbox. This means…”
1Referring to the Ganges River, where Buddha lived. He would often use the Ganges as a metaphor for his teachings. He wanted to give the idea of an incalculable amount of something, so he would say that it was as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges. This relates to the ‘one sand, one world’ part explained next.
2This is from a longer verse. In Buddhism, they believe that a single grain of sand can see three thousand worlds, which science calls cosmic holography. The verse itself has a lot of philosophical and religious views that I won’t go into detail with. The ‘one sand, one world’ is basically a metaphor Buddha uses to say that the world is immeasurable and boundless.
“Therefore, it is difficult for us to analyze. What exactly do these sands represent?” Lin Chen seemed to sense what Fu Hao was thinking as he replied.
“Then, let’s just talk about sandplay. Didn’t teacher briefly go over this before? Sandplay therapy is to freely place characters on the sand to reflect the subconscious mental state… Is it possible that the murderer is playing a game?” Fu Hao asked.
Lin Chen looked at Fu Hao with a touch of admiration in his eyes. He got up from the bed and pushed open a door.
Behind the slowly moving wooden door, a huge sky-blue sand table was slowly revealed.
The vast sea of sand seemed to have opened up a new world within the entire space. Those delicate, white sand piled high and low, giving people a vast, boundless feeling.
On the wooden shelf on the side were small toys that took up the entire wall. There were all kinds of villains, miniature daily necessities, gleaming toy cars, and even some architectural models…
Fu Hao and Xing Conglian stood next to each other and suddenly felt small.
“Do you remember the sand that the murderer put next to the body?” Lin Chen asked.
“Yes, of course.”
“We speculate on the purpose of why the murderer put the sand there, but in fact, we can also speculate on their psychological state based on their behavior.”
Lin Chen took a villain from the wooden shelf and placed it on the sand table. “What if, imagine, he was using the entire city as his sandbox game and inadvertently put down their toys. Then, based on sandbox therapy theory, we can infer his own psychological state in reverse.”
“So the more he acts, the more he’ll expose himself?”
Lin Chen didn’t answer but used his hand to push the white sand on the sand table away, creating a huge void in the base of the sand. “First, the distance of the crime scenes, regardless of their time, were far apart and there didn’t seem to be a pattern. The information he gave me is ‘empty’.”
As he spoke, he placed two other dolls far apart on the sand table. “Second, since his behavior is disordered, he must have lost his support. This means his heart is in chaos.”
Lin Chen didn’t care about the expressions of the two people behind him. He grabbed a handful of sand, causing the fine grains to sprinkle out and some floated over the toy. “Finally…” Lin Chen said slowly, “Death.”
“Death?” Xing Conglian and Fu Hao asked in unison.
Lin Chen didn’t answer the question right away. He stared at the vast sand table in front of him and said, “Death is both a narrow and broad concept, but there’s no doubt that whether it was under the hospital bed, on Chunshui Street, or in the park, there is an atmosphere of death that the murderer deliberately create. He wants people to fear and tremble in the face of death. This fear of death is gradually increasing, becoming stronger… Because of this, we can speculate that…”
“If I were to analyze his sand table, I would speculate that he should be subconsciously extremely afraid of death. Perhaps a relative of his died, or maybe he experienced some kind of trauma related to it. In short, death has brought him extreme pain…” As Lin Chen finished, he narrowed his eyes.
Quite amazing. It’s weird; bizarre…
This was what Xing Conglian felt after listening to Lin Chen’s explanation. While Lin Chen fiddled with the sand, he made a series of inferences. Rationally, every word Lin Chen said was too esoteric and didn’t have any direct contribution to solving the case.
But from an irrational point of view, he seemed to think that every word Lin Chen said was reasonable.
The key issue was whether he actually believed it.
It was approaching evening. It was about 48 hours after the chaos of the market.
Because he hadn’t slept all night and had spent too much energy today, Lin Chen felt extremely tired. He changed into dry clothes and fell asleep on the bed.
Professor Fu still wanted to say something but was dragged away by Xing Conglian.
Truthfully, Xing Conglian didn’t want to leave either, but he had already resisted the serial calls from the director all afternoon. He was about to get off work and had no desire to go back to the police station—ever, really if he could.
The old director was still in his office drinking tea.
Seeing his subordinate rushing in, he signaled for him to close the door properly and asked him to take a seat.
As soon as Xing Conglian returned, he didn’t have time to inquire about the situation from his subordinates, but instead had to stare at the director, trying to find any clues from that wrinkled face and smooth head.
“I heard you took Lin Chen to the hospital?” The old director took a sip of his tea.
“Yes, did,” Xing Conglian stated casually.
The director glanced at his subordinate, who was sitting on the sofa nonchalantly, looking completely unrepentant.
“What did I tell you this morning?!”
“You said not to let him participate in the investigation of the case.”
“Then why didn’t you listen?”
“Because your reasoning couldn’t convince me. Is it just because you’re afraid of others reporting it?” Xing Conglian snorted and took out a cigarette pack from his pocket. Due to the heavy rain, the cigarettes were completely soaked, which made him annoyed. “I receive this kind of report every day. Because someone told us not to let Lin Chen participate in the investigation, we have to listen? What kind of evil force is behind this?”
“Evil force my ass!”
“Then tell me who’s behind it and I’ll write a letter of denouncement to expose him.”
“Are you questioning our integrity?”
“Who is it? What kind of big boss could be this domineering?” Xing Conglian asked mockingly as he rubbed his stubbles.
The director seemed to have lost all his patience as he slammed his fist on the table. “Do you know who it is? You know nothing at all!”
Xing Conglian was speechless, not knowing how to respond to being suddenly yelled at.
Indeed, he and Lin Chen had only known each other for a little more than a day. Lin Chen was also the silent type, so they probably exchanged less than a hundred sentences. Even Fu Hao knew more about Lin Chen than he did. In Lin Chen’s eyes, he was at most an acquaintance.
When he thought of this, Xing Conglian became serious. He looked at the director and asked, “Then can you tell me more about him?”
The director was stunned.
Looking at his subordinate’s sincerity and a face full of expectation that even had sad, pleading eyes, he picked up the cup of tea and gulped it down, trying his best to keep everything under wraps.
“Aren’t you very close to Lin Chen?” The director huffed. “Ask him yourself.”
It was almost the most frustrating thing when you desperately wanted to know something and everyone was secretive about it.
Xing Conglian scratched his head and stood up angrily, ready to leave.
As his hand touched the doorknob, the old director’s voice suddenly came from behind. “Ever heard of the Chen’s Consortium?”
“The one that deals with real estate? They seem to be rich.”
“Not rich. Filthy rich.”
“Is it great to be rich? My family’s rich too.” The young policeman with messy hair spat out disdainfully as he rubbed his stubble.
Just a note, when referring to the murderer/criminal, I try to use genderless pronouns when they aren’t revealed yet, but sometimes it can make the translation awkward, so there will be places where he/she would be used. However, this does not mean that the criminal is a man or woman. It’s a placeholder until the criminal’s sex is actually revealed.
In the case of this chapter, while Lin Chen is talking about the culprit and uses “he”, he’s not referring to the fact that it’s a man. Please keep this in mind when speculating on who the murderer is.
Also, to prevent any potential spoilers, please keep your theories from the comments until the arc is over. Then you can rehash what you thought, or you can join my discord to discuss.
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>
One thought on “Criminal Psychology Ch8”
I love you. Thanks for the big update ❤