Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Lin Chen recalled the last time he saw Wang Chao this emotional, it was probably when he was tracing the Dark Web.
Lin Chen thought children like Wang Chao were in fact not afraid of vicious villains but rather the dark side of the world—or, more precisely, the dark side of the human heart.
He knew the world was filled with goodness and kindness, but he was also clear that there were bad people as well, but they were convinced that justice and conscience would always overcome malice, which constituted their basic judgment of the world.
However, sometimes, whenever there were scenes or events that would make Wang Chao lower his expectation of the world or human nature, he would find them unacceptable, such as when there was a person who loved to kill and the victim was a bird.
Lin Chen had also dragged Wang Chao out, and before he knew it, they were walking out of the mall.
The teenager looked sad as he squatted down directly under the sun.
Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian, who shook his head at him, meaning that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to persuade.
Lin Chen sighed, squatted down, and continued patting the teenager’s head silently. He then took out a toothbrush from his pocket and handed it over.
“A’Chen…” Wang Chao raised his head and called to him softly in an extremely sad tone.
In fact, at times like this, many adults would say to their children: “You always think the world is too beautiful, so I must show you how bad the world really is and how truly evil people are. What’s there to be sad about? It’s just a bird.”
But whenever he saw those sincere eyes, Lin Chen couldn’t say that kind of thing.
“You seem really miserable following us,” he said with a smile. “In fact, these things aren’t really suitable for you to see or experience. After all, you’re still too young, and you’re really too kindhearted…”
Thinking of Wang Chao’s parents, who died to protect citizens of another country, he thought Wang Chao really inherited this extreme kindness from them.
“No… I don’t think so. It’s just…” The teenager was flustered for an instant. The excessive sunlight shone on his face, forcing him to cover it with his hands.
“I’m not trying to find any reason for you to persevere and say how great and amazing our work is. After all, the bad guys in this world are inexhaustible, and human nature is always worse than you think. I hope you have a deep understanding of this.”
When Lin Chen finished saying this, he felt the obviousness of Xing Conglian’s giving him a deep look. Perhaps he was blaming him for speaking too directly, or maybe he thought it was too reasonable. In fact, Xing Conglian’s interaction with Wang Chao was quite interesting. He usually beat up the kid for nothing, but when it was critical, he was always soft-hearted. By the side of such a powerful person like Xing Conglian, Wang Chao would always be well protected.
But this was black and white, and the world was never that clear. Any deliberate beautification or protection wouldn’t seem sincere. Perhaps only Xing Conglian could raise someone like Wang Chao, or someone who was as strong-willed as him. If he wanted, he could make Wang Chao the happiest little prince in the world.
Wang Chao said in confusion, “What you’re saying is, if we catch one person, there’ll be another. If we catch a group, there’ll be another group, because the speed at which we catch people will never keep up with the speed of their growth?”
“Growth… may not be the right word, but this is true.”
“You’re not even comforting me!” Wang Chao suddenly said. “Last time you said that as long as I have light in my heart, the world won’t be dark.”
“Oh, those words are just made-up chicken soup for the soul1. In fact, there’s another saying, which is roughly like this—just as malice will not disappear, kind and beautiful hearts will always be there.” Lin Chen paused, then said, “But chicken soup2 tastes good, right?”
1Refers to things, normally writings or articles, which affect motivation and make you feel good reading it.
2Clarity: Double entendre. He’s referring to the metaphor, but also to actual chicken soup. The metaphor arises from the fact that eating chicken soup soothes the soul (makes you feel good). He’s now using it with both meanings.
“Hey!” It seemed he didn’t expect Lin Chen to be so straightforward. “In this case, shouldn’t you hug and pat me? Why are you feeding me chicken soup?”
Lin Chen raised his head and patted the boy’s head. “However, although these words are chicken soup, they must be made up by people who experienced those things. For those who haven’t experienced them…”
“But even if there are indeed a lot of good people in the world, what’s the use of doing these things? If we catch one, we can’t catch the remaining 999. Although this killing and bird abuse are already seriously messed up, there must be worse people, right?”
Hearing this question, Xing Conglian had already helplessly reached into his pocket and taken out a pack of cigarettes. After all, the biggest headache for all adults was the continuous problems of children.
“Yes, you understand it well.”
“A’Chen…” Hearing this, Wang Chao was plaintive.
Lin Chen interrupted him and continued, “On the topic of what’s the use… I can give you a lot of reasons, but I won’t.”
“Do you still love me or not? Don’t you love me?”
In fact, Wang Chao just wanted to be comforted by him. After hearing such an accurate answer of “I do”, he suddenly became more energetic.
“But my answer must not be your answer. I hope you can find your answer by yourself,” Lin Chen concluded.
“So philosophical, A’Chen! Why is it that the Captain talks bullshit when he speaks?” Wang Chao shouted.
Before his voice fell, Xing Conglian had smacked him on the forehead. “Is your sadness gone? Get back to work if it is!”
“Ah, it’s illegal to abuse child labor!” Wang Chao stood up on the ground. The teenager’s face was so bright in the sun that it seemed to be burning. “Come on, let’s find the culprit and get the victims justice!”
Lin Chen propped up his legs, stood up, and looked at Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian looked like he was about to die of anger at this rebellious son. After taking a deep breath, he kicked Wang Chao’s ass and said, “Did you check on what I ask you to check?”
“Ah, what is it?” Wang Chao turned back and asked confidently.
“Mr. Xiao Wang, I find that you’re slacking off in your work…”
“A’Chen, what do you want me to check now?”
Lin Chen watched from the side. When he was suddenly asked, he felt like he had been shot inexplicably. The saying was true that children would start to rebel against their parents when they grow up.
He subconsciously looked at Xing Conglian, but saw that he was simply smoking his cigarette while listening attentively. “Tell him. It’s fine. I’ll listen,” Xing Conglian said.
When Xing Conglian said this, his tone was sincere. Most leaders didn’t like someone rushing in to express their opinions before them, but Xing Conglian was different.
Lin Chen thought for a moment, then said, “First, no matter how tragically the little bird in the bouquet died, the case we’re going to solve now is still the case of Li Jingtian’s assault, so the key problems still return to him. Now, there are three problems…”
“First, we really don’t know much about the entertainment industry, so we still need to figure out Li Jingtian’s identity and background.”
“It depends on his coffee position*, right?” Wang Chao answered.
*(咖位) Refers to the status of a star in the entertainment industry. A celebrity with status is called a big coffee. The higher the coffee position, the greater the influence and the higher the salary. Therefore, the coffee position is also a title that stars are keen to compete for.
Lin Chen nodded reluctantly and continued. “Second, no matter how big Li Jingitan’s… ‘coffee position’ is, the number of fans on the scene today seems far too excessive. This is too abnormal, so the second question is, why were there so many people here today. The few words he said on stage were also quite profound. I think there must be more to the story behind this, so we must investigate it.”
“No problem. I’ll check on these two things. What about the third?” Wang Chao said.
“Third…” Lin Chen addressed this to Xing Conglian. “Third, and most importantly, is Li Jingtian’s condition right now.”
“Speaking of which, my phone hasn’t rung yet.” Xing Conglian suddenly took out his phone and glanced at it.
“This is a good thing.”
“Consultant Lin, don’t jinx it.” Xing Conglian looked at him as he called the number to a colleague who was at the hospital.
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