Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
“Hey, Lin Chen, what’s the matter?!”
Lin Chen was stunned for a moment until the anxious shout of Xing Conglian on the other end brought him back.
“Nothing. I just saw an acquaintance,” he replied as he looked at the straight and meticulous figure in the lobby.
“Who?” After asking this question, Xing Conglian paused.
Judging from Xing Conglian’s reaction, Lin Chen probably knew who Xing Conglian had guessed, but he still answered, “Huang Ze.”
“Who?” Xing Conglian raised his voice.
It was the grand opening of his family’s landmark building, so it was reasonable for Inspector Huang to be present.
On the other end of the phone, Wang Chao hurriedly shouted, “Damn it, A’Chen don’t greet that dumbass Huang Ze. His stupidity is contagious!”
But Lin Chen didn’t have time to reply.
On the stage below, the general manager of Ansheng International put down his phone and walked on stage. The man had the iconic look of a typical middle-aged man, with a beer belly and signs of balding. Lin Chen wasn’t sure if this was the manager the director of the police station in the CBD area communicated with, but judging by how the other party was acting, he was obviously obsessed with completing the opening ceremony.
Huang Ze sat at the bottom of the stage with his usual arrogant and indifferent face, seemingly like he was reluctant to be here. Of course, it was also possible that the surroundings were too noisy and the air too dirty, which displeased the young master.
“Welcome to the opening ceremony for Ansheng International Mall. I am Huang Wei. Today, we are extremely honored that our special guests and fans have attended. Please allow me to express my warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to everyone!”
Mr. Manager’s lines were truly short, which was followed by a round of loud applause from the audience. He subconsciously glanced in the direction where Huang Ze was sitting and then made a quiet gesture and said, “In order to repay you for your love, our shopping mall will strengthen management, standardize operations, and strive to make Ansheng International Mall a world-class, influential, elegant, and of course affordable shopping mall. I hope our service will satisfy everyone!”
The applause from the audience became sparse. Although his speech was short, it was so terribly cliché that the onlookers didn’t buy into it.
Seeing this, Mr. Manager looked around and suddenly smiled. Seeing his smile, the surrounding teenage fans seemed to realize something.
He paused again, then suddenly raised his voice. “Finally, once again, thank you all for coming. Let us welcome our Ansheng International Ambassador, Mr. Li Jingtian!”
The lingering sound was still there, echoing through the four walls as it rippled throughout the building.
But in an instant, the scene calmed down.
The girls around the stage seemed to sense something as they all took a nervous breath. Some even closed their eyes, leaving only the sound of electric waves in the air.
A deep male voice emerged from the silence, as if he were singing a song that sounded like black velvet rubbing against the rim of a glass. The sound was moist, and the air was damp and cold, wrapped around a soundtrack that was thin, sounding like hoarse whispers, as if they were in a dark bar and everyone was whispering to each other with wine glasses in their hands, but they were all strangers.
The pushing pressure behind Lin Chen suddenly became lighter, allowing him to stand up straight and listen carefully.
Suddenly, it seemed as if a window was gently pushed open and the sound of singing poured into the room like the tide, soaking every pore in moist sea water. The light shone down from the surface of the water, swelling everything as the sea reflected endless clouds and tree branches shot frantically out of it towards the sky. Everyone was so immersed in the song that suddenly came on that no one noticed someone was slowly stepping onto the stage.
It was an extremely thin-looking man. He was wearing a wide white t-shirt and simple light blue jeans, which was a stark contrast to his harsh and chilling singing just now. His face was soft to the extreme, and his body carried an aura of modesty and calmness, like a sparse wind or gurgling water, or rather, it was apt to describe him as a spring breeze.
Unconsciously, with the singing, Lin Chen felt his mood, which had become irritable due to the surrounding environment, gradually calm down. He looked at the singer, who was controlling the audience on stage and the people mesmerized by him and felt faintly uneasy again.
This was a very strange feeling.
It seemed that there was a dark tide hidden under the calm sea or hail in the spring breeze. Taking advantage of everyone calming down, he took a few steps back and squeezed out from the railing.
“Lin Chen, are you still there?” When he left the crowd, he heard Xing Conglian’s voice again.
“I’m here,” he replied.
“What happened just now. Has Li Jingitan started singing?”
“Seems like he’s singing well. Has the crowd calmed down?”
“It’s not good, but also very good…” Lin Chen gripped the toothbrush in his pocket. There was no noise around him as all the fans seemed appeased, like a herd that was peacefully dormant.
He didn’t know how to describe his feelings. If it was like usual, he would be silent and observe for a while, but the other party was Xing Conglian, who had told him he could tell him anything and he would always be happy to listen.
“Do you believe in a sixth sense?” Lin Chen turned around and continued looking around at the railings on the fourth floor to find a location with a better perspective.
“Don’t you psychologists say that the sixth sense is the instinctive response of humans when they encounter danger since ancient times? It sounds reasonable…”
“Well, there’s no solid scientific basis to prove this, but my current sixth sense is telling me something will happen.” He thought for a while, then spoke truthfully. “I’m not sure what will go wrong. I don’t have any evidence. This is purely a sixth sense. The only thing I’m sure of is that this sixth sense started when I heard Li Jingtian sing.”
“Speaking of which, it wasn’t this that made you worried about the opening ceremony, so you used the pretext of buying Wang Chao his toothbrush to go to the mall and have a look, right?” Xing Conglian pointed this out mercilessly.
Lin Chen had no choice but to find an excuse. “Well, a more scientific way of putting it would be that my subconsciousness prompted me to come back here again.”
“Then going by what you said, A’Chen, my sixth sense started when I saw that poster?” Wang Chao suddenly inserted himself into their conversation.
“Then my uneasiness…” Xing Conglian suddenly stopped.
“Then, my uneasiness started from knowing that you were in the mall.”
His voice was so gentle that it caused Lin Chen’s heart to skip a beat.
It was quite ill-timed.
Xing Conglian was sitting in front of the computer and found that Lin Chen hadn’t replied. He swept his gaze over the dense flow of people in the mall. Although the mall was crowded, because of the excellent performance of the singer on stage, the crowd had become much quieter.
His gaze then turned to the surveillance video of key passages outside the mall.
It could be seen that the traffic police around the CBD had to rush in for support, and they were able to ease the pressure outside the mall.
The crowd that had encircled the mall was gradually dispersing. Except for some girls in red shirts who still insisted on entering, the situation inside and outside the mall seemed to be moving in a good direction.
Thinking of Lin Chen’s words, he said to the teenager beside him, “Wang Chao, check on this guy, Li Jingtian. Why did the opening ceremony of the mall suddenly flood with so many of his fans?”
After a moment of silence, Lin Chen asked, “Do you have any explanations from Director Zheng?”
Although Lin Chen’s tone was calm, Xing Conglian could sense hesitation in his words.
The maintenance of order in public places was obviously not within the purview of the police criminal division. Furthermore, the situation on the scene didn’t show any signs of deterioration. That meant they weren’t in a position to speak, which was why Lin Chen phrased it like so.
“His phone is still busy.” Xing Conglian thought for a moment and then asked Lin Chen, “If there was a problem in this mall, where do you think it will be?”
“In densely populated places, whether it’s a sudden fire or any emergency, the highest fatality rate will be from a stampede…”
“Make an emergency response plan.”
Hearing what Xing Conglian said, Lin Chen suddenly stopped in his tracks. He never expected that Xing Conglian would propose such an emergency plan so simply.
It wouldn’t be out of place if the situation was urgent, but since Li Jingtian appeared on the stage, it seemed as though water had flowed into the magma, and the boiling scene became much calmer. Lin Chen believed that the CBD precinct police wouldn’t make such a judgment given the current situation.
At this time, if a criminal division police captain from a different precinct suddenly ordered an emergency response plan, not only would it look arrogant, but it would also seem superfluous and stupid.
Fortunately, only the three of them knew about this stupidity.
At this moment, Xing Conglian’s phone rang.
“It’s Lao Zheng. Wait a minute,” he said to Lin Chen.
Lin Chen took two steps back and walked to a relatively quiet place. He didn’t know what Director Zheng said to Xing Conglian and only heard Xing Conglian reply, “I suggest you evacuate the crowd as soon as possible, Lao Zheng. In case there’s a stampede, it’s you who will be held responsible. You don’t want to carry this pot for those businessmen, right?”
“How’s the situation now?” Xing Conglian’s voice was a little cold. “It’s okay now, but if it suddenly turns bad, can you control it? Ansheng International Mall has just opened. Have you organized emergency evacuation training for the employees there?”
Anyone who was questioned this way would be angry. Lin Chen guessed that Director Zheng probably hung up quickly after being questioned by Xing Conglian. Soon, Xing Conglian’s voice returned to their line.
No longer seeking his opinion, Xing Conglian said to Wang Chao, “Start estimating the flow of people and the overall load of the mall.”
“Fuck Captain, how can you be so rude? Aren’t you being a little too nosy?” Wang Chao interjected.
This time, Lin Chen didn’t hear any wailing coming from Wang Chao, who quickly silenced himself. Lin Chen thought most likely that his captain’s serious expression must be terrible right now.
“Consultant Lin, I have to trouble you to stay longer until the pressure from the crowd drops to 60%, then I’ll let you know when to leave.”
“No problem.” Lin Chen paused, then said, “Can you have Wang Chao tell me where the best view is or where the blind spots are? I’ll go and fill in that position.”
“Oh, I found a spot A’Chen!”
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>