Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Reporters were the most well-informed people in the world. Therefore, the first person to learn about the disappearance of the Fengjing School bus wasn’t Huang Ze, but a female reporter from the Provincial Daily News.
At that time, they had just finished their interview at the scene of the bus hijacking and were about to call it a day.
The female reporter quietly took out her cellphone and walked to Huang Ze’s side and said, “Inspector Huang, my friend in the municipal bureau said something happened on Qiong Mountain. If you give me this exclusive, I won’t tell others.”
Huang Ze looked at the woman’s exquisite makeup, and his first reaction wasn’t shock but sourness.
Sure enough, this was the case, so since it was like this, what else could he do?
Just like ants transmitting information or a swarm of bees dancing to communicate with each other, the news of the disappearance of an entire class of students in the first grade of Fengjing School quickly spread like wildfire among the reporters.
For reporters, what could be more exciting than encountering a big event again during an interview?
Huang Ze was besieged as he was surrounded by microphones and cameras. He could only answer in a business-like tone. “The police are still investigating this case. All relevant details aren’t convenient to be disclosed.”
However, how could a human block a reporter’s pervasive tentacle? Instead of letting these tentacles stretch indiscriminately, it was better to contain them within a controllable range.
So Huang Ze took these reporters to Qiong Mountain together.
At that time, they were almost at the Langchuan Rest Stop.
Many cars were swarming out of the Langchuan Rest Stop. The rest stop managers were solemn and diverted passing vehicles at the intersections. Obviously, something had happened.
Before Huang Ze could react, the news vans behind him had swept forward and rushed in before him. When he got out of the car, the cameramen already had their cameras out and had started shooting.
Huang Ze took a deep breath. The air was mixed with strange smells; the aroma of dumplings, the smell of oden, and the soft scent of babies drinking milk. All these smells were wrapped in the strong smell of gasoline. Around him, more and more vehicles were beginning to evacuate. He raised his eyes and looked around. The exhaust had covered the rest stop in smoke and dust. The staff wearing badges were running towards him with faces full of panic.
He knew that something had happened here.
He also knew that Lin Chen and that policeman had guessed right again.
Coincidentally, when Huang Ze was thinking of the other party, the other party seemed to be thinking of him as well.
The cellphone in Huang Ze’s pocket began to vibrate. He took out his phone and looked down. It was an unknown number with an area code of Hongjing.
There were indeed very few people who knew his private number.
In the Hongjing highway surveillance hall, Inspector Huang’s indifferent voice came from the other line. Wang Chao held up the phone, somewhat deflated.
Xing Conglian glanced at him and took the phone.
On the LED screen, Huang Ze, who was in a police uniform, tilted his head slightly and asked in a low voice, “Where are you?”
This question was too familiar, and there was an indescribable twisted emotion in the tone.
The corners of Xing Conglian’s lips slightly raised as he looked at the big screen and said, “Hello, Inspector Huang.”
A low and slightly hoarse voice reached Huang Ze’s ears. He suddenly had a bad feeling in his heart, so the frown on his brow became slightly more obvious.
“First of all, I sincerely thank Inspector Huang and your media friends that are behind you for your arrival. There is a small matter that I need your help with.” Xing Conglian moved his gaze from the display screen and then to the school bus in the corner of the parking lot as he continued, “I think you should already know about the missing school bus full of children. Then, if you look in the direction of nine o’clock, you should see a school bus painted with blue clouds. That is the bus that’s missing. The problem is, the bus driver is being tied to his seat with a time bomb…”
Hearing this, Huang Ze raised his head and looked in the direction of nine o’clock. Then he stepped away and started to run. As he ran extremely fast, he asked an irrelevant question, “Xing Conglian, why do you have my private number?”
Hearing this, Xing Conglian glanced at Lin Chen and said, “Due to the special circumstances, special means were used.”
“Heh. Time bomb? Special means?” Huang Ze had a mocking smile at the corner of his mouth. He seemed to perceive something and looked at the camera in the corner of the parking lot. “Give Lin Chen the phone.”
In the monitoring hall, Lin Chen stood aside. He noticed the sudden glance from Xing Conglian. He looked back at the police captain, who was giving him a strange look, and stretched out his hand to him.
Huang Ze was standing in front of the school bus. In the car, the driver’s face was like gold foil; he was sweating profusely as he was struggling desperately in his seat. On the driver’s chest, a red timer was ticking down every second. Seeing this scene, an inexplicable anger surged in Huang Ze’s heart. “Xing Conglian, are you proud?”
However, the response from there was no longer low and hoarse, but clear and tranquil. “Huang Ze…”
Huang Ze felt ridiculous. “Lin Chen, you said something would happen on the highway, and now something really did. I even have to suspect that you arranged all this.”
Lin Chen’s face was dyed an extremely bright bluish-green in front of the large LED screen. Hearing this, he raised his head slightly. His eyes weren’t angry, but full of deep disappointment. “Shut up Huang Ze. I don’t have time to discuss conspiracy theories with you.” His voice was extremely cold. “Look at the bus driver in front of you. If you don’t want to save him, turn around and leave immediately.”
“What is this? An ethical question you’re giving me? Let me dismantle the bomb without any protective gear and see if I’m willing to bet my life on the lives of me and the driver?”
“No. This isn’t an ethical issue.” Lin Chen paused before continuing, “Saving people is your duty.”
It must be said that in terms of convincing others, Lin Chen had an absolute special advantage.
“In other words, if I don’t save him, I’ll be considered a derelict coward.” Inspector Huang sneered at the other end of the line. “Say it, what do you want me to do?”
Lin Chen didn’t say anything but returned the phone to Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian connected to the phone and stabilized his breathing. “Inspector Huang, the location of the bus happens to be a blind spot for surveillance. Among the reporters you brought, someone must be carrying a camera with a wireless transmission function. Please connect the camera to the WiFi network of the rest stop. We need to see real-time images of the scene.”
“Oh, and then.”
“Then…” Xing Conglian felt a little embarrassed. “Then please point the camera at the time bomb. We need you to disarm the bomb yourself…”
On the screen, the reporters in the parking lot were running towards Huang Ze’s location.
Huang Ze was surrounded by the crowd. He didn’t know what to say. Some reporters turned around and ran away in fright, while those who were bolder remained at the scene. Some ran to get a wireless camera for Huang Ze, while others directly pointed the camera lens to record him.
Suddenly, the crowd didn’t know what had broken out, and things became more chaotic.
Xing Conglian held the speakers closely to his ears and vaguely heard what Huang Ze was saying.
After that, another voice loudly interrupted.
“Young Master Huang, you can’t take this risk!”
The speaker was Jiang Zhe, the psychology expert who had earlier believed that the hijacking was nothing more than a prank by a rebellious teenager.
Jiang Zhe held Huang Ze’s sleeve tightly. He knew very well that if Huang Ze really risked dismantling the time bomb, in case danger did occur, he would certainly bear the Huang family’s anger a thousand times over, since he was the one who brought Huang Ze to such a dangerous place.
“Didn’t you say that this was all just a prank? Then I shouldn’t be in any real danger, right?” Huang Ze looked at the psychology expert next to him with a slightly sarcastic smile.
“Yes, yes. Mr. Jiang, is the time bomb in the bus also a means the “Candy Bandit” is using to attract attention? Can you analyze and tell us where the children on the bus have gone?”
The reporters’ cameras quickly moved from Huang Ze’s face to Jiang Zhe’s mouth.
“No, no. The behavior of the hijacker has escalated. This is no longer a simple teenager in his rebellious phase. I suspect that this teenager is likely a patient with antisocial personality disorder*! His violence and aggressiveness are rooted in his genes. He does all this to satisfy his criminal pleasure. He may be watching us through surveillance right now. The more people die, the greater his pleasure. So you see, Young Master Huang, why did he park the bus near the gas station? It’s because he wants to blow up everything here. He wants to cause mass casualties. Even if you disarm the time bomb, you will not succeed because he has definitely tampered with it!”
*A personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of disregard of, or violation of, the rights of others as well as a difficulty sustaining long-term relationships. Lack of empathy is often apparent, as well as a history of rule-breaking that can sometimes include law-breaking, a tendency towards substance abuse, and impulsive and aggressive behavior.
Jiang Zhe spoke very quickly. Because of his words, some reporters who were originally going to stick around started to panic.
However, Huang Ze still continued to look unconcerned.
Seeing this situation, Jiang Zhe realized that it must be something Lin Chen said to Huang Ze just now on the phone.
He suddenly became energetic. He grabbed Huang Ze’s phone and yelled at the other end, “Lin Chen, if you really want to retaliate against the Huang family, come at me. Don’t let innocent people die because of this!”
On the other end of the phone in the surveillance hall, Jiang Zhe’s impassioned voice was heard by everyone, spreading throughout the entire hall.
All eyes in the hall suddenly shot at Lin Chen in unison. Those eyes were like knives.
Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian, who also looked at him.
Finding the other end of the line silent, Jiang Zhe was about to take advantage of it when he suddenly heard a question.
“Jiang Zhe, can you recite it?”
As if he was punching cotton or a spark that fell into water, Jiang Zhe could only feel the heaving of his chest. “Recite what?”
“The DSM-IV-TR criteria for personality disorder. Can you recite it?”
“What is that thing?” Jiang Zhe blurted out. “Lin Chen, stop playing tricks!”
“The DSM-IV-TR is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revised by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000. It is one of the most authoritative diagnostic manuals for mental illness in the world. Since you think the suspect is a patient with antisocial personality disorder, please recite the diagnostic criteria.”
Jiang Zhe’s face flushed. “Who would endorse a book in this situation? Is it that remarkable that you can recite it?”
“Yes, do you want to hear it?”
Well, like him or hate him, at least Huang Zhe has balls.