Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
A pure black car with an embassy license plate drove out of the main gate of the embassy right on time. The moment the car drove out of the iron gate, flashes of cloud-like lights lit up. All the cameras were running, and reporters were taking pictures non-stop, but other than that, no one spoke.
The street in front of the embassy was deathly silent. The fans in red clothes were like crushed petals falling all over the ground. They sadly helped each other up. Some had covered their mouths and turned around, still immersed in extreme sadness and shock.
Of all the people present, no one dared take a step closer to the black car. It seemed like it was the shadow of death in motion. Everywhere it passed, it left behind ultimate malice in the world.
Under the blue sky, under the piled-up cotton-white clouds, a whistling siren broke the tranquility of the entire embassy street.
A team of mounted police officers came from a distance. They were wearing navy blue uniforms and driving snow-white motorcycles with red and blue police lights flashing.
The car stopped slowly, and the captain of the mounted police just parked his vehicle next to the car window as it was lowered.
The captain saluted earnestly and said in a businesslike tone, “The Yongchuan Traffic Police received a call from the Hongjing Police for help to specially escort Mr. Li Jingtian to the airport.”
The driver didn’t know whether to salute or nod. In short, there was no conversation between them. The captain of the mounted police turned the car around. Then, four motorcycles escorted the black car with extreme understanding and dedication.
The car drove toward the end of the street.
Xing Conglian walked into the attic.
The live broadcast had long since ended. The embassy staff had begun dismantling the cameras installed in the four corners. The black curtains covering the window were removed, allowing the bright sky to illuminate everything in the small room.
Lin Chen was still sitting at the table, looking at the drawing Li Jingtian had made.
The cards on the table were a mess. Seeing him enter, Lin Chen suddenly raised his head. His eyes suddenly flickered, like those of a child who had done something wrong and was now facing the dean. “Why are you here? Are we going to the cultural center to find the evidence now?’
Lin Chen casually opened up a topic.
Xing Conglian didn’t answer him. His gaze fell on Lin Chen’s arm. Lin Chen had pressed one of the wounds with his hand, so his fingers were covered with reddish-brown, dry blood.
The real scene was always more shocking than live TV.
“Take the drawing and follow me,” Xing Conglian said to Lin Chen.
Lin Chen didn’t know why, but he was taken aback for a moment. He bid goodbye to the operators who were dismantling the equipment and walked out of the bloody and murderous room calmly and firmly, just as he did when he first entered.
Even though such a big event happened, it was still difficult to see any staff coming and going in the embassy. The corridors here were long and covered with vines that wrapped around the upper end of the corridor, enveloping the large area in dark, green shadows.
Lin Chen followed Xing Conglian from behind. Along the way, Xing Conglian didn’t say anything to him, but judging by the direction they were heading, he guessed that Xing Conglian wasn’t taking him to the scene, as they were heading deeper into the complex.
Just when Lin Chen thought Xing Conglian would take him to appreciate the magic of this land again, Xing Conglian had brought him into the infirmary at the end of the corridor.
There was no one in the infirmary. Wang Chao wasn’t there either.
The small room was filled with all kinds of medicines, and there was even a simple operating room. The air was filled with a strong smell of disinfectant. Here…
How could he describe it? Except for a simple hospital bed by the window, which was fairly clean, the rest of the place looked like it had been severely ruined by someone. Most likely, the people who came and went in this infirmary were in a hurry and didn’t care too much about the cleanliness of the medical facility.
“Sit down first.” Xing Conglian pointed to the hospital bed as he said this to him.
After saying this, Xing Conglian turned around and found iodine, alcohol, gauze, tweezers, slotted needles, and silk threads for suturing among the chaotic pile of medical supplies. Lin Chen’s eyes straightened.
“I think I still need to go to a professional hospital in this situation.” Lin Chen loosened the fingers and pressed on the wound, and some blood seeped out. The knife wound looked bad, but in fact, it wasn’t that serious.
Xing Conglian took apart a pack of gauze and walked up to him with the medical tape. Lin Chen hadn’t reacted yet, and the wound was already covered by the gauze.
The next moment, Xing Conglian took his hand and pulled him to the edge of the sink.
Lin Chen felt the cold and powerful palm of Xing Conglian’s hand, and he felt that he should find something to talk about. “Where is the military attaché Shen? When are we going to the cultural center? If Li Jingtian is allowed to leave the country, it’ll be very difficult to arrest him.” Lin Chen looked at the sink and frowned. When he was speaking, Xing Conglian had just opened a bottle of iodine and poured it down his arm.
Lin Chen woke up from all the pain, but he didn’t dare scream. He shouted in a low voice, “Captain Xing, it hurts a little.”
“Bear with it.” Xing Conglian picked up the soft brush on the side, dipped it in the sterile, soapy water carefully, and began to clean the skin around the wound.
The feeling of the brush cleaning his wound was both painful and itchy. Lin Chen was surprised by Xing Conglian’s professional actions but seeing that he still had a cold face and was silent, it made him a little uneasy.
Finally, Xing Conglian finished cleaning his wound. Lin Chen subconsciously held Xing Conglian’s arm for a moment before the other party picked up the saline water again.
The other party glanced at him and then said, “Consultant Lin, I’m also a professional, so please, don’t doubt my professionalism.”
Lin Chen felt that what Xing Conglian said sounded very familiar.
14:20, Yongchuan Airport Expressway.
Two live news broadcast vehicles were flanking the embassy convoy heading to the airport.
Inside the Yongchuan Satellite TV live broadcast car, the reporter was narrating in a solemn tone. “Now, an escort team composed of Yongchuan traffic police is escorting the embassy vehicle that Li Jingtian is in to the airport. Please understand that this is an escort operation. Now, there is still one hour and fifteen minutes before the plane takes off, which means the police in our country need to find the key evidence that can detain Li Jingtian in time. Time is running out. Let us quickly connect with our reporters who are rushing to the Yongchuan Christine Cultural Center…”
In the back seat of the black car.
The singer in a light gray suit was also watching the live broadcast at the same time. He held his phone tightly and turned to look at the mounted police outside the window with a neurotic smile on his face.
“Drive faster. I’m running for my life,” he said to the driver.
14:25, Xinni Embassy Infirmary.
The cold hydrogen peroxide was poured down again, washing away the fine floating foam and residual blood clots. Strands of blood flowed into the drain.
Lin Chen pursed his lips, not daring to raise his head.
Xing Conglian looked at the person in front of him, who seemed to swallow the pain for fear of his anger. Looking at the other party’s supple black hair and pale face, he felt the irritability in his heart when he saw Lin Chen hurt, and the tension he had when he saw Li Jingtian draw the knife suddenly disappeared.
He suddenly realized that all his emotions now were because he was blaming himself.
To be honest, he rarely blamed himself. Since he was young, his family taught him that men should not blame themselves or feel sorry for themselves. If they had time, it was better to use that time to think about how to remedy it or what they can do if the situation ever arises again. In short, when one gradually handled many things properly, they gradually moved away from self-blame because they knew well that the choices they made were the only, necessary, and the best. But Lin Chen—he didn’t belong to those things, so he couldn’t handle it well, because Lin Chen could handle everything by himself. He was smart, wise, courageous, and strong. He was simply so good that there was no one better. Such a teammate, colleague, and friend should be what everyone dreams of, but when he was sitting in front of the monitor and thinking over and over again about whether he could make a better choice so that Lin Chen wouldn’t have to injure himself or be put in a dangerous situation, he found he had no way to do it.
Of course, if Lin Chen heard what he was thinking now, he would say that necessary sacrifices were okay, and he was sure that Li Jingtian wouldn’t really use the knife on him. The scene was just a little tense, that was all.
However, multiple-choice questions were always the most difficult propositions in the world.
Xing Conglian thought for a while, dried his hands, rubbed the tips of Lin Chen’s hair, and sincerely said, “Sorry, it’s my fault.”
Lin Chen’s gaze was hesitant, but it contained a kind of tenderness, as if he had guessed what Xing Conglian was thinking, but he didn’t say anything.
14:30, Yongchuan Airport.
Li Jingtian got out of the car and entered the VIP counter to go through the check-in procedures.
There were many reporters around him, taking pictures. Everyone passing him seemed to be pointing at him, as if they were conjuring up a scourge or a virus that would kill him as soon as it touched him.
But so what?
As long as he could get on the plane, get out of customs, and see his family, those damn Chinese police couldn’t do anything to him. Grandpa had promised him repeatedly on the phone just now.
Moreover, the cultural center was enormous. Even if those stupid policemen were looking for it, it would take them a very long time.
He raised his head and saw that the TV in the airport lobby was also repeatedly showing the picture of him pointing the knife at Lin Chen. His face looked so hideous that everyone looked at him.
Lin Chen was right. Now, everyone was watching him. The feeling of being feared by the world was even better than being worshiped.
“Mr. Li Jingtian.”
The voice of the staff brought his thoughts back.
The little girl standing at the check-in counter looked crisp and delicious. When she looked at him, her body seemed to tremble uncontrollably.
Li Jingtian took the boarding pass, pulled down his sunglasses, and smiled at the little girl. “Don’t be nervous. All that on TV are all lies.”
14:35, Yongchuan Christine Cultural Center.
Wang Chao finally arrived here with Shen Chenggong. The Yongchuan police had already removed everyone from the vicinity and blocked off the scene in advance, but there were still many staff members who were watching and taking pictures.
He and Shen Chenggong successfully raised the cordon and took the elevator to the highest point of the stage.
Early on, the police had started searching from the top floor to the bottom. Standing in the auditorium on the top floor, Wang Chao looked around and could feel what A’Chen had said.
Indeed, Li Jingtian was here to show off his evil deeds to all of Song Shengsheng’s fans.
14:40, the infirmary of the Xinni Embassy.
Warm sunlight poured on the hospital bed through the window edges. The interior was bright.
The suture work had come to an end. Xing Conglian had spent a long time with his head lowered, meticulously stitching Lin Chen’s wounds.
Lin Chen looked at the person sitting in front of him. Maybe it was because of the lush and fresh vegetation outside the window, or because he felt good about being treated carefully but he wasn’t thinking about Li Jingtian or Song Shengsheng. He was just thinking about Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian’s fingers pressed on his skin. His eyelashes were thin and curled, and he had an extremely serious expression when he lowered his head. Looking at Xing Conglian, Lin Chen always felt that the other party did have rich experience in wound suturing, but this experience shouldn’t have come from a hospital internship, but more like the skill was naturally acquired after experiencing hardships like going through blood and fire.
Lin Chen’s thoughts drifted further.
Outside the window, there were a few but clearly audible cicadas chirping.
Sometimes, Xing Conglian was really kind to him, so kind that it was easy to misunderstand.
Like now, in this tense moment of chasing a suspect, the first thing Xing Conglian thought of was to disinfect and treat his wound. Although he could guess that this probably had nothing to do with Xing Conglian’s worry that he wouldn’t be able to use antibiotics after the wound was infected, no matter what he thought, they were just framed by Li Jingtian in front of the entire country as an adulterous couple, and now they were sitting intimately in an infirmary, which didn’t seem appropriate.
But when he thought of this, Lin Chen felt aggrieved. If something really happened between him and Xing Conglian, it would be fine, but right now he didn’t have the guts, afraid it could make things worse.
At this moment, Xing Conglian’s phone suddenly rang.
As soon as Xing Conglian finished disinfecting Lin Chen’s arm, he suddenly stopped impatiently, stood up, and turned his left side trouser pocket to face him.
Lin Chen felt embarrassed that someone had broken his obscenity. He looked at Xing Conglian’s lower body and then saw him reach his hand in.
“Captain, Captain, can you give A’Chen Gege the phone for a bit? We can’t find the master tape. Ahhh, begging here!”
Lin Chen held the phone and put it close to Xing Conglian’s ear. Xing Conglian was holding tweezers and was about to tie the final knot of the suture wound when Wang Chao’s excited voice came out ahead of time.
“I’m here. Tell me.” Lin Chen didn’t ask Xing Conglian; he simply put the phone to his ear.
“A’Chen Gege, you said the master tape is in a high spot at the cultural center, but the staff here said that if there’s such a thing, they would have found it a long time ago. It’s impossible for Li Jingtian to hide a CD here quietly for so long without it being discovered!”
“Wait a moment.” Lin Chen turned the phone over and put it on his lap. Then he took out Li Jingtian’s drawing from his pocket. The blood on the drawing had already dried. He looked at the painting for a while, frowning. It was impossible that the object wasn’t in a high spot at the cultural center.
Thinking of this, he looked at the time on the phone. It was getting closer to boarding time…
Suddenly, he felt Xing Conglian squeezing his hand.
“Don’t worry,” Xing Conglian simply said.
Lin Chen glanced at the painting again, then suddenly said to Wang Chao, “Go to the lighting area above the stage and look for it.”
“According to Li Jingtian’s anxious state of mind when he drew this, those clouds should be blackened or accentuated, but they are white and clear. The master tape should be…”
“But there are many places with bright white lights!” Wang Chao shouted loudly before hanging up.
Lin Chen picked up the phone and also hung up helplessly.
When he recovered, Xing Conglian was still holding his hand.
14:50, Yongchuan Airport, VIP waiting room.
As the boarding time approached, Li Jingtian gradually became nervous. He felt he was about to get away with his crimes, but was afraid of the sudden drop of the guillotine, which made his muscles tremble uncontrollably.
He would be able to enter the passage and board the return flight in ten minutes. There were no annoying Chinese police around him. The embassy staff also left after sending him out of customs. The elites dressed in suits and ties in the VIP waiting room didn’t care who he was.
He was about to be free soon, but as the minutes and seconds passed, as Lin Chen’s bright red blood dripped on the table, he felt the steel wire that was wrapped around his neck get tighter, that he could hardly breathe, but he couldn’t see the shadow of the steel wire…
He would be exonerated, and no one could stop him.
At least, that was what Li Jingtian thought.
15:20, Yongchuan Christine Cultural Center.
Wang Chao commanded a group of police officers to carefully search all the light stands.
A lighting engineer who was in charge of Li Jingtian’s concert at the time stood next to him with a tangled expression. “I seem to remember that Li Jingtian rehearsed very late the day before the concert. He seemed to have told us he wasn’t satisfied with the lighting on the stage. I don’t remember if he put anything in the light stands because we had left work and he was still here rehearsing…”
Dense police boots stepped on the high-altitude steel plate, making clacking sounds.
“Found it!” Someone shouted, and everyone stopped their work.
At the moment the flight took off, Li Jingtian breathed a sigh of relief. This was simply the most thrilling, turbid breath he had ever exhaled in his life. He shouted with all his strength.
He had never experienced this kind of refreshing feeling in his life—more refreshing than when he entered Song Shengsheng’s body over and over again.
Lin Chen, no matter how awesome you are, you still can’t catch me.
He pounded on the armrest of the first-class seat and laughed maniacally.
At 18:00 in the evening, it was a beautiful time for all families to happily have dinner together.
Mu Wenhua put her little daughter in the dining chair and served a bowl of simple vegetable noodles, but she forgot to put in a fork.
The girl simply grabbed the noodles with her bare hands and stuffed them into her mouth. The soup dripped down, but Mu Wenhua didn’t seem to notice.
On the TV in the living room, the live broadcast of Yongchuan Satellite TV wasn’t over yet.
The tarmac of Xinni International Airport.
Li Jingtian walked out of the plane and down the gangway.
Except for the busy airport staff and shuttle buses, there was no one else around. Even the expected flashing lights weren’t there.
The sky was full of deep indigo, and the city lights were faintly visible in the distance.
There were no police, no reporters. He was really free…
Li Jingtian took a deep breath of the fresh air. There was nothing more pleasant than freedom.
He put on his sunglasses, followed the passengers, and slowly walked out of the checkpoint.
He had already seen the old housekeeper waiting outside the crowd not far away, and he waved his hand to him.
Li Jingtian wanted to rush to him, but suddenly, just as he was about to walk out the passage, someone kicked him hard in the knee and he fell to the ground; his face smashing into the marbled floor.
His face was in severe pain, and warm liquid oozed from his mouth and nose. He looked at the old housekeeper running from afar. It was as if someone had smashed his head with a heavy hammer. He struggled violently. “Let me go. Who are you? Why are you arresting me? This is Xinni! This is Xinni!”
The person who pressed on him said in a very businesslike tone, “Mr. Li Jingtian, you have been arrested in accordance with the law for committing a number of serial rape crimes in China with conclusive evidence.” After saying this, the man added, “Uh, the police from China also asked me to tell you this, although it’s secondary, but… Li Jingtian, game over.”
Mu Wenhua was fixed in front of the TV with tears rolling down her cheeks.
In a school cafeteria, in a commercial center square, and on countless big screens, everyone stopped and watched as Li Jingtian was pressed to the marble floor.
The once famous singer was now disheveled and blood-stained. His eyes were crazy as he spat out all kinds of dehumanizing words, no longer having any dignity as a human.
Truly like a lunatic.
The picture gradually darkened.
The anchor recited in an unprecedented, excited tone, “The master tape hidden by Li Jingtian was in the ceiling of the lighting area of the Yongchuan Christine Cultural Center. It was then identified by Mr. Shen Chenggong, a famous sound pattern expert from Xinni. It is indeed the audio file recorded by Li Jingtian during the violent assault against victim Song Shengsheng. The Xinni police have arrested the suspect Li Jingtian in accordance with the law and will extradite Li Jingtian back to our country at a later date. Let us thank the Xinni government for its profound sense of justice and for the justice that came late but finally arrived.”
The TV turned off.
“Did you make arrangements early on?” Lin Chen looked at the table full of takeout, and finally understood why Xing Conglian would calmly let Li Jingtian leave. The despair of “rebirth and death” would drive people crazy.
“After all, it’s an allied country, so we have to give Xinni a chance to regain face.” Xing Conglian rolled up his cuffs and began to serve the porridge.
“It’s still Captain Xing who has such foresight.”
“Same to you.”
Lin Chen put down his chopsticks, looked at the blood-replenishing flood in front of him, and fell into contemplation.
“It’s fine to detain Su Fengzi at the embassy for another hour.” Xing Conglian put down his porridge bowl and said with relief.
Lin Chen raised his head as he asked, “No, I was thinking, where is Song Shengsheng?”
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