Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
At least this was what it looked like.
For example, that person looked like Song Shengsheng. For example, he looked as if his personal safety wasn’t restricted. For example, Xiang Ye seemed like a kind person.
Xiang Ye’s hand was placed on Song Shengsheng’s back to protect him. The picture of the two in front of the camera flashed away, and all that remained were their backs crossing the field into the police station. Finally, the door opened, and Xiang Ye put his hand down from Song Shengsheng. It didn’t look like Song Shengsheng was being coerced. Lin Chen breathed a sigh of relief.
This was the end.
It was only a short-lived broadcast, but even the police officers in front of the TV had a nervous feeling of witnessing a major event.
Lin Chen stood by the window and looked out.
He felt he had no reason to doubt Song Shengsheng’s personal safety. After all, Xiang Ye dared to take Song Shengsheng to the police station openly, which meant that Song Shengsheng should be free and safe. After all, if Song Shengsheng was really being controlled by others, he could ask the police for help when he walked into the station, let alone in those three months that he was working in that bakery full of oily smoke, where he could have asked any passersby for help.
Or maybe Song Shengsheng didn’t dare ask for help because he was being coerced, but he was alone and didn’t have any family or a lover. The previous information didn’t show he didn’t have any serious relationships with anyone, so what could Xiang Ye use to threaten Song Shengsheng?
Besides, what reason did Xiang Ye have to control Song Shengsheng? So he could return to the music scene and earn high profits?
If this was the case, it would go back to the original point. Unless Xiang Ye used something to coerce Song Shengsheng, why would he cooperate?
There was also a possibility the person wasn’t Song Shengsheng at all, but since Song Shengsheng had been in jail, his fingerprints were in the database. It was impossible for Xiang Ye to not know this. It would make no sense to find a substitute.
Lin Chen’s thoughts were running wild. In the distance were stretches of blue roofs. The river was glowing with the clear and quiet colors of the early summer light. Lin Chen looked at the city where he lived, and in the distance was a peaceful life within his reach. Everything looked fine.
He felt the worries in his heart could only be chalked up to suspicion and should be stopped. The world wasn’t always full of conspiracy, and this was simply an occupational disease…
At least he persuaded him so, until the faint smell of tobacco suddenly wrapped around him.
Lin Chen turned around and saw Xing Conglian standing beside him.
“Worried about Song Shengsheng?” Xing Conglian asked.
“How can I not?” Lin Chen said with a wry smile. “This is really the first time I have encountered a situation. In fact, I can understand why Song Shengsheng would rather return to the Fengchun police station than see me. If someone forcibly revealed my unspeakable tragic past, I would also be angry.”
“Don’t think like that.” Xing Conglian took a deep breath. “It’s too pessimistic.”
Xing Conglian took a puff of his cigarette. The blue-gray smoke billowed up. “You have to believe that Song Shengsheng isn’t that kind of person. Maybe he has a knot in his heart now, maybe he has a hard time saying something, maybe what he needs now is your seemingly meaningless but never giving up effort.”
Lin Chen felt that Xing Conglian seemed particularly handsome right now.
“Xing Conglian,” he called out his name.
“But I don’t have any ideas now.”
“Fortunately, I still do.”
As Xing Conglian spoke, he held up a statement, shaking it at him.
Apparently meaningless effort, in other words, meant that some things would not necessarily bear fruit no matter how much effort was put into them.
The statement that Xing Conglian brought was something similar.
It was a statement that Xing Conglian instructed the other police officers to make to the planner of Ansheng International Mall and the person in charge of Li Jingtian’s fan club. The core question was: Who arranged Li Jingtian’s assailant at that time?
Unfortunately, when Lin Chen read the statement, he found it was still a dead end.
The planner said that the assailant was arranged by the fan club, but the person in charge of the fan club denied this. After the planner showed the text messages to prove their innocence, facing the text message marked with her own number, the person in charge of the fan club denied she ever sent those texts. In short, it was unclear who was responsible.
“Do you remember Li Jingtian’s Weibo post?” Xing Conglian asked.
Lin Chen nodded. “Are you saying that someone hacked into the phone of the person in charge of the fan club, just like they did with Li Jingtian’s Weibo account?”
Xing Conglian didn’t answer but instead dialed Wang Chao’s number.
“Sir, I’m just downstairs. Why are you calling me specifically?” Wang Chao’s tone was brisk.
“Your sentence isn’t good. Change it,” Xing Conglian said.
“Sir, your assistant, Xiao Wang, will serve you wholeheartedly!” Wang Chao doggedly said.
Lin Chen raised his brows and glanced at Xing Conglian.
Xing Conglian said to the person on the other end of the line with satisfaction, “How can the text message I send to you display your A’Chen Gege’s number?”
“My lord, you can do it with any dumb software that can be casually downloaded online, over.” When Wang Chao finished speaking, he added, “Honestly, you have to learn advanced scientific and cultural knowledge well…”
Before the teenager finished talking, Xing Conglian had mercilessly hung up. He put the phone on the table and fell into contemplation.
Lin Chen looked at the dim screen on the table. Li Jingtian said his photo was posted after his Weibo was hacked. “So, what if Li Jingtian didn’t lie?”
“This is a conspiracy theory, and similar conjectures have approached the direction of thrillers.” Xing Conglian changed the subject. “But we can still check this thread.”
“Yes. It’s impossible for a big star like Li Jingtian to do these things by himself, so there must be a specific person in charge.”
“So, where is Liu Ying?” Lin Chen asked.
“Consultant Lin, as a citizen of our country who is not under diplomatic protection, Liu Ying is also a suspect in this criminal case, so she’s…”
Lin Chen opened his eyes wide. “Here? Downstairs?”
Lin Chen didn’t know when Xing Conglian had arranged this matter, but Xing Conglian always had the ability to consider all details thoroughly.
That night, they had interrogated Li Jingtian’s fans in the basement detention room, and now it was Li Jingtian’s manager’s turn.
Ms. Liu Ying no longer had the aura she had previously. Her hair was messy, and her face was haggard. On the small bed in the detention room, she only sat at a small corner since she disliked the bedding.
Hearing the sound of the door opening, Liu Ying rushed to it excitedly.
Xing Conglian walked in first. Liu Ying grabbed his cuffs and said forcefully, “Captain Xing, when can I leave? I really can’t stay anymore!”
“I know… I know…” Xing Conglian looked at her kindly. He patted Liu Ying’s hand and found a chair. “Do you want to be released on bail?”
Lin Chen entered behind Xing Conglian. The moment she saw him, Liu Ying’s face turned pale. Seeing this, Lin Chen finally knew who the stick and who the carrot should be.
“Not possible.” Lin Chen sat down in the chair and said to Xing Conglian. “If she doesn’t explain clearly, I won’t agree to bail.” He looked at her coldly.
Xing Conglian said, “Ms. Liu, you see, your current problem is really serious. Li Jingtian fled back to Xinni by himself, completely pinning the blame on you. You also know how serious the Ansheng International Mall incident is. Throat-slitting is a trivial matter. The key is the accidents caused by the stampede. This is something that isn’t just punishable for three to five years, but on the scale of ten to twenty. What else can you explain?”
“I already talked!” Liu Ying looked like she wanted to spill everything. “All this was planned by Li Jingtian and has nothing to do with me!”
Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian and said to Liu Ying, “Li Jingtian will be escorted back to China soon. Don’t think you can just push it all on him.”
“It’s really him. I didn’t know he was so crazy.” Liu Ying gritted her teeth. “Before the fan meeting at the mall, he told me that it was because of the influence of the rape case. In order to eliminate the influence, it was good to abuse the fans.”
“Abuse the fans?”
“It’s like making something happen so the fans can feel sorry for you. As long as they’re abused, the cohesion of the fan group will rise… Besides, fans are braindead. They will defend you indiscriminately. As for the public, with a new event, it would attract their attention, and no one would be paying attention to the rape case anymore.”
“Good method.” Lin Chen sneered. “Was this Li Jingtian’s idea?”
“Yes, he asked me to arrange for a girl to go on stage and pretend to slit his throat, and he said that in order to clear the suspicion, he would put the blame on the person who framed him…”
“So the text message received by the mall planner?”
“It was sent by me,” Liu Ying whispered.
Sure enough, his suspicions were still wrong. Li Jingtian did lie.
Lin Chen only felt shocked when he recalled the chaos from a few days ago. A huge poster suddenly appeared in his mind with Li Jingtian’s hideous smile on it.
“So, that huge poster in the mall was also Li Jingtian’s idea?”
“Our company posters are all that size, but Jingtian did say that his picture must be hung at the highest point, so I emphasized this to the mall manager.”
After listening to Liu Ying’s statement, Lin Chen didn’t feel relieved.
The story was consistent with his reasoning, and there was no problem, so he decided to go in a different direction. “So, what about Xu Ran? Did you call her to come to Hongjing?”
At the moment he asked this question, the woman who was still holding on suddenly looked miserable, and her face finally showed a desperate expression. “Consultant Lin, I’m going to jail, right?”
Lin Chen nodded.
“I think so too.” Liu Ying’s eyes turned red. “That incident is true. I should pay for her life.” Liu Ying covered her eyes with her hands and lowered her head deeply. “But I didn’t know… I, like everyone else, didn’t think how Li Jingtian could possibly touch a dirty chicken…”
Lin Chen took out a tissue from his pocket and handed it over.
Liu Ying took the tissue, endured the pain, and narrated in a whisper. “Jingtian asked me to call Xu Ran and let her come to Hongjing so they could meet. So I lied to Xu Ran and said that I had been raped and defiled by Li Jingtian. I wanted to help her and asked her to put on the outfit of the fan club and said I would take her to the fan meeting to reveal Li Jingtian’s true face…” At this point, Liu Ying started crying. “I pretended to go to the bathroom and threw her at a McDonald’s. I told her not to be seen by anyone, and then I went to the hospital. She must have waited for me for a long, long time before she went out. She believed in me so much. She called me sister and treated me as a good person, but I lied to her. I killed her…”
But I lied to her. I killed her…
Liu Ying repeated this sentence over and over again. Lin Chen walked out of the detention room with her words of sorrow and self-blame echoing in his ears.
Behind the iron gate, the lady who always held her head high looked empty as she sat on the bed and cried tearfully.
Lin Chen and Xing Conglian walked upstairs again from the dim, damp underground. The sunlight coming from the windows made him uncomfortable.
He lowered his head and stretched out his hands to block his eyes.
“I’ll try and get Li Jingtian extradited as soon as possible.” Xing Conglian stopped him by the shoulder and was about to say something more when his phone rang.
Xing Conglian signaled to wait a moment, then picked up the phone. “Hello, Captain Liu.”
Lin Chen didn’t know what the person on the other end said, but Xing Conglian was silent the entire time. He finally spoke up, only saying, “I understand. Thank you.”
He hung up the phone and only said, “Captain Liu of the Fengchun police force said that he has checked the fingerprints. It is Song Shengsheng.”
Lin Chen once again had a nervous feeling, as if his heart was being tugged.
Perhaps it was because his gaze was too eager that before he could ask, Xing Conglian said, “He made his statement. There are no problems with Xiang Ye. The story is roughly consistent with what we inferred.”
“Song Shengsheng… Why did he work there?”
Xing Conglian said, “He said the reason he went to work at the bakery was because the psychiatrist Xiang Ye found for him advised him to slowly get in touch with society.”
Lin Chen thought that if he gave Song Shengsheng psychological treatment, then in the middle to late stages of the treatment, he would also encourage Song Shengsheng to try to re-connect with society and live a normal life. This was the normal treatment process carried out by every psychiatrist.
It was just that the worries in his heart didn’t dissipate. “Can you find out what kind of psychological treatment that psychiatrist did with Song Shengsheng?”
He regretted it after asking this question. Although he really wanted to see the psychiatrist’s treatment records, knowing he would be truly relieved if he saw them, he was clear that this was something he shouldn’t read, because one of the first rules of counseling was: Psychological counselors are responsible for keeping the privacy of their clients and shall not disclose it unless the person agrees or has special needs.
This was the moral bottom line of psychotherapy.
Finally, he held back the impulse in his heart and said to Xing Conglian, “Please pretend I didn’t ask that question just now.”
Xing Conglian glanced at him deeply and said, “They should be out soon. Let’s go watch.”
They stood in front of the TV again.
In these two short days, they had watched too many live TV broadcasts and experienced too many moments of seeing others from afar.
On the TV screen, the Fengchun police station stood majestically with lush green grass under the blazing sun.
A reporter was standing in front of the camera with his phone. While looking down at something, he broadcast the report excitedly. “Dear audience, just now, the media have received a letter signed by Mr. Song Shengsheng. Right now, the electronic file of this letter is on my phone.”
A moment later, the reporter read the full text, then suddenly raised his head and said, in an uplifting tone, “Mr. Song Shengsheng said that he has been actively receiving psychological treatment since he was released from prison and has been doing restorative training with the goal of being able to return to the stage. Even in the darkest time of his life, he has never given up. Today, since the truth has come out, he sincerely thanks the many fans who have always trusted him and supported him wholeheartedly. At the same time, he hopes everyone will not care too much about his private life, but instead pay attention to his next activities. The darkness of the past has passed, and he will continue to work hard for a bright future. He will not succumb to bad luck. Fans and friends, please wait patiently!”
Before the reporter’s voice fell, a flash of light lit up.
The camera suddenly shifted as the gate of the Fengchun police station suddenly opened. Facing the bright lights, Song Shengsheng and Xiang Ye walked out of the police station.
Reporters flocked to the front and spat out all kinds of crazy questions to Song Shengsheng.
“Shengsheng, Shengsheng, will you file a claim against the police?”
“Did the police reveal when Li Jingtian will be extradited back to China for trial?”
“Shengsheng, how do you feel after going through so many things?’
“Shengsheng, is there anything you want to say to your fans?”
At that moment, Song Shengsheng stopped.
Xiang Ye put his hand on his back, as if he wanted to say something as well.
Lin Chen looked at the slim figure wearing a white t-shirt on TV.
Song Shengsheng looked at the camera.
He took off the mask that had been covering his face. His eyes were resolute, like fire. He looked deeply at the camera, then bent over and bowed.
But he didn’t say a word.
Lin Chen stared at Song Shengsheng’s bent back. Time seemed to have frozen at that moment. He said to Xing Conglian, “No matter what, I still want to see him.”
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>