Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Lin Chen felt he was about to lose control. This didn’t mean he would do something violent or strange. He just felt like he was going crazy.
His eardrums hurt, as if someone had whacked him in the head with a shovel, giving him tinnitus that was so painful it was impossible for him to think. Although he could see Xing Conglian’s face, Wang Chao’s pale face, and everything in the recording studio, when he lost control, these things seemed to lose any meaning; even if it was Xing Conglian, whom he liked so much. Nothing was making sense.
It was like something had drained all the happiness and joy from the world, so that even the air that people breathed freely had turned into thick malice like ink, and there was a fishy smell in the air…
No. There was no air. Where was he smelling these smells?
So, the luckiest thing about this was that he knew he was losing control, just like if he were sober and knew that he was mentally ill.
Lin Chen recovered quickly. He used all his strength to restrain these emotions. Although no psychologist would agree with the view of suppressing emotions, he didn’t have the time to think about such things now.
The original faded picture was gradually stained with some colors. What caught his eyes were the straight bridge of Xing Conglian’s nose and his handsome face because he had shaved. Xing Conglian’s hand covered his cheek, and his thumb was pressed tightly behind Lin Chen’s ear. He was so close to him that Lin Chen suspected Xing Conglian had been calling his name for a while, and when that didn’t work, he took a slightly ambiguous posture to try and wake him up.
Lin Chen stepped back a little, wiped away his tears, and said, “Sorry.”
Xing Conglian frowned, but he didn’t let go.
“What’s wrong?” Lin Chen felt the rough calluses on Xing Conglian’s finger and the heat of his palm, but he couldn’t understand Xing Conglian. Frankly, if there were people in this world who sometimes couldn’t understand, one of them would be Xing Conglian.
Sure enough, as soon as he opened his mouth, Xing Conglian’s face became as gloomy as dripping water. Xing Conglian let go and returned to the stereo to turn off the music. He then turned around to the other two people in the recording studio and said, “Get out.”
Wang Chao was exceptionally resourceful this time. The teenager didn’t say a word as he dragged Lu Xu out without looking back, and also remembered to close the door on his way out.
The noise of a door slamming sounded.
Xing Conglian pointed to the sofa next to the stereo and said to Lin Chen, “Come here. Sit down.”
Lin Chen looked at the dusty sofa and hesitated. “I’m not that fragile.”
Xing Conglian stood there, ignoring him. He gave Lin Chen a gloomy look as if he were saying, “Come here and don’t make me repeat it a second time.”
Lin Chen thought about the possibility of Xing Conglian saying this next, so he walked over obediently. He moved to the side and took just half a seat. However, Xing Conglian didn’t intend to let him just sit. He looked down at him and asked, “What’s wrong with you just now?”
Xing Conglian also asked him this in front of the ICU after he witnessed Xu Ran’s accident, but his tone this time was much worse than before.
After asking, Xing Conglian added, “I don’t want to hear you say you need to take it easy or use any scientific name to prevaricate me. You’re in a very bad state right now.”
Lin Chen bowed his head slightly, feeling ashamed. Xing Conglian was sharp and more like a psychologist than himself at this time.
Lin Chen replied calmly, “It may be a panic attack. It should be the sequelae from witnessing Xu Ran’s accident. It was triggered after suffering moderate emotional trauma.”
But Xing Conglian’s gaze didn’t soften because of his answer, as if he were judging Lin Chen’s situation and whether he was concealing anything from him. After a while, Xing Conglian squatted down and was at eye level with Lin Chen. He stared at him with a cold face and a worried expression.
“Captain Xing,” Lin Chen leaned forward and whispered.
“Consultant Lin.” Xing Conglian showed no signs of softening. “You have suffered too many traumas recently. No matter how healthy a person is, it’s easy to develop problems in your situation. So now, please use your absolute professional ability to do the most objective self-evaluation and tell me, are you still able to continue and persist?”
Lin Chen was grateful for such a tough and merciless tone, which made him understand that Xing Conglian regarded him as a comrade-in-arms rather than a pitiful object that needed protection because of his psychological fragility. If Xing Conglian comforted him with soft words at this time, it would only embarrass him.
Lin Chen asked, “What if I can’t?”
“Then I’ll handle it.”
When Xing Conglian said, “I’ll handle it”, his eyes were cold, as if there was no emotion involved. Lin Chen didn’t even have any doubt that if he had said “No”, Xing Conglian wouldn’t hesitate to take out his phone and send out some kind of death star and directly eliminate Li Jingtian. Of course, this would be a plot that Wang Chao would make up, but Xing Conglian’s expression made it clear to Lin Chen that he would really do something similar.
“The situation may be worse than I estimated. Psychological trauma is indeed different from the trauma of a stab wound, but as long as the police reimburse me for the cost of counseling after closing this case, there shouldn’t be a big problem,” Lin Chen said.
Xing Conglian still stared at him, trying to see if he was lying from his expression. Lin Chen didn’t dare look away. In fact, he certainly didn’t dare tell Xing Conglian that one-third of patients with panic disorder* often suffered from severe depression. Although it wasn’t that serious, human understanding of mental diseases was far less than that of obvious physical diseases. Even he couldn’t judge how his own problem would develop.
*Mental and behavioral disorder, specifically an anxiety disorder characterized by reoccurring panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something terrible is going to happen.
Xing Conglian nodded, as if he approved of his explanation, and finally stood up and sat down next to him on the sofa.
Lin Chen felt the depression of the sofa.
If this were normal, Xing Conglian would light a cigarette now, but since this was a crime scene, he obviously couldn’t. “Now tell me, why did you make that inference, and what do you need me to do.”
Lin Chen leaned on the sofa. Every trace of the air here made him uncomfortable. He stabilized his breath, pointed to the musical instruments that Wang Chao had knocked down, and said, “First of all, I have seen the guitar in Song Shengsheng’s room. It’s in a completely different state from the pile of garbage in the recording studio. With Song Shengsheng’s serious attitude towards musical instruments, it doesn’t look like those were used by him.”
“So you suspected it was used by Li Jingtian. He came and used Song Shengsheng’s recording studio?”
“It’s just a suspicion, but even if we find Li Jingtian’s fingerprints or DNA on it, it’s not enough, and I really hope we don’t detect Song Shengsheng’s blood on it.”
Xing Conglian nodded and said, “Go on.”
“With Li Jingtian’s extremely distorted attitude towards Song Shengsheng, he must do everything he can to humiliate him. What could be more exciting than humiliating Song Shengsheng in his most private and proudest place?”
“Yes.” Lin Chen looked at the clean and tidy recording studio, feeling a bit unbearable. He hoped that the inferences he made were all delusions and that Song Shengsheng had never experienced what he was thinking. “The control room is a mess, but the recording studio is clean and tidy. All the microphones and instrument stands have been moved aside. If I’m not mistaken…”
“The inside is clean and tidy because Li Jingtian often tortures Song Shengsheng inside.” Xing Conglian had a rare tremor in his voice.
Lin Chen looked away but couldn’t help wondering what Song Shengsheng had experienced in that small room. “I know that such inferences are wild, but I have seen the photos of the scene. The brackets were placed like this before the police did their search. Of course, it may also be that Song Shengsheng had cleaned it the day before…”
When Lin Chen said this, he couldn’t continue.
How he wished it was because Song Shengsheng had cleaned the recording studio on a whim the day before.
Xing Conglian said, “Li Jingtian recorded the whole process while torturing Song Shengsheng, and he also intercepted Song Shengsheng’s screams and mixed them into his own song. When CA Entertainment realized this afterwards, but couldn’t find the master tape or were afraid there was a copy, they sent Lu Xu and his brother to Song Shengsheng’s home to take away all the tapes during that time?’
“I’m afraid so.” Lin Chen felt his eardrums tingle again. The entire recording studio seemed to be surrounded by Song Shengsheng’s heart-wrenching cries for help. Although it was extremely uncomfortable, he had to finish. “Song Shengsheng has a habit of recording music tapes at home. He may be alone when recording, so he wouldn’t press pause in time. Perhaps occasionally Li Jingtian would come and find that Song Shengsheng was recording his songs, so he raped him on a whim, and those voices happened to be recorded. Li Jingtian left the tape, or…” Lin Chen took a deep breath. “Li Jingtian specially dragged Song Shengsheng by the hair into the recording room and tortured him over and over again. He forced Song Shengsheng to scream in the bleakest voice and then recorded it. He would play those screams of Song Shengsheng to him over and over again… and even… put those screams and begs for mercy in his album to play to Song Shengsheng again and again.”
“Okay, I understand.” Xing Conglian quickly interrupted him. “Stop thinking about those things just to explain them to me.”
Lin Chen knew his concern, but he still said, “It’s not like if I don’t think about it, they would never appear again.” He looked at the cold floor. “If they happened and really existed, they would always be there.”
“Until justice is sought,” Xing Conglian stated.
“Yes, until justice is sought,” Lin Chen said calmly. “But I have no evidence. Even if the screams in Li Jingtian’s song are really mixed with Song Shengsheng’s screams, as I guessed, those sounds may have been processed by tuning or other mixing methods, so it’s difficult to identify them as Song Shengsheng’s voice. Even if the identification is successful, Li Jingtian can easily say he didn’t know the source of those materials.”
“So the only evidence that Li Jingtian cannot turn over is the complete original tape he recorded when he raped Song Shengsheng.” Xing Conglian said, “And Mu Zhuo is worried that Li Jingtian didn’t destroy that original tape.”
Finally, Lin Chen showed a very cold smile. “Yes, I suspect it’s very likely that CA Entertainment didn’t find the original tape in the end, and even if they did, Li Jingtian must have a copy in his hand.”
Xing Conglian looked at his watch and said, “Then, Consultant Lin, we need to get it out of Li Jingtian’s hands within three and a half hours.”
Lin Chen nodded. “Now we first need a voiceprint identification expert to confirm that there is indeed Song Shengsheng’s voice in Li Jingtian’s album, but…” Lin Chen was a little worried. “The time is too short. Voiceprint identification is a very complicated process, and we may not even be able to find such an expert in time.”
“Coincidentally, I know such a person, and he must have time,” Xing Conglian said.
Lin Chen wanted to ask who it was, but before he could speak, there was a knock on the door.
Wang Chao didn’t push the door directly in, but said anxiously through the door panel, “Captain, Li Jingtian is holding a press conference at the entrance of the embassy. Come out and watch!”
“I see,” Xing Conglian said.
Lin Chen was startled and couldn’t help standing up and walking to the door. The moment he put his hand on the doorknob, he felt his other hand being grabbed suddenly. His figure swayed as Xing Conglian pulled him into his arms and hugged him tightly.
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