Criminal Psychology Ch31

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 31

“What is that?”

“If I’m not mistaken, it seems to be sugus candy, lemon flavor.”

Simple dialogue questions and answers could be heard not only on the big screen, but also inside and outside the outer cordon, hundreds of kilometers away at the rest stop.

After a short period of doubt, there was celebration. Some people began to cheer, some began to applaud, and some even whistled. Huang Ze was a well-deserved hero.

Some excited reporters and on-site staff couldn’t wait to rush onto the bus to interview the heroic and fearless inspector. The TV station that previously provided the camera and wireless transmission equipment was surrounded by peers asking for first-hand insight.

The atmosphere after a catastrophe was always infectious. Even the chairman himself was like a child. He excitedly patted the shoulders of the captain of the police criminal division, who was beside him, as if everything had concluded with a happy ending.

However, the man who was patted on the back by many hands still had a grave look.

Lin Chen’s eyes were on the lemon-yellow candy in the clown’s hand. The edge of the wrapper was cocked up, and there seemed to be characters written in black inside.

Lin Chen noticed Xing Conglian’s expression and handed the cellphone to the other party. The phone case was a little wet from sweat, but Xing Conglian simply nodded, then dialed Huang Ze’s number.

On the screen, Huang Ze, who was the bomb disposal hero, was surrounded by microphones and cameras. The flashes of light were non-stop, and the scene became chaotic. It took him a long time before he realized his phone was vibrating.

He glanced at the number, and for a moment, he felt reluctant to answer.

“Inspector Huang, I still have to trouble you to take out the candy in the clown’s hand and open the wrapper. There seems to be something written in it.”

Xing Conglian’s voice was still as annoying as ever, causing Huang Ze to frown. He turned around and took out the lemon candy as instructed and moved it to the camera that had long been moved since the aftermath.

A line of handwritten numbers appeared on the wrapper.

“13952401976.”

Huang Ze read it again, and instantly realized that this was a phone number.

“Wang Chao.”

At the same time, the moment the numbers appeared on the screen, Xing Conglian raised his voice and called out to the young technician.

Wang Chao almost turned into an octopus with eight tentacles. He glanced up at the screen, then quickly opened a new window and began to search for the owner of the number.

“Is this asking us to call him?” Huang Ze looked at the number with a grimace. Anyone who had just been frightened by a timebomb wouldn’t be in such a good mood.

The moment they saw the number, some reporters took out their phones and subconsciously prepared to dial.

“Huang Ze, tell them not to call!”

Seeing this, Xing Conglian was about to get angry.

When Huang Ze heard this, he looked around. “What’s the matter with you? Put your phones down.”

The excited reporters put down their phones in disappointment. Among them, a bold reporter asked tentatively, “Inspector Huang, can we record you when you call the kidnapper?”

It seemed that when he heard the two keywords “kidnapper” and “phone”, Jiang Zhe, who had shrunk outside the crowd, suddenly turned away from the people in front of him and stood opposite of Huang Ze. “Inspector Huang, this is most likely a message left by the kidnapper. He will ask us for a ransom over the phone. We must be cautious.”

Naturally, when Xing Conglian heard this, he also understood the meaning of what Jiang Zhe was saying.

Since this was the kidnapper’s number, someone must be responsible for the negotiation. If the person in charge of the negotiation was a psychology expert, it would be even better.

Several media reporters who were close to Jiang Zhe also came to their senses and hurriedly said, “Yes, Mr. Jiang has rich experience. Fortunately, he’s here!”

The scene was a bit chaotic. Jiang Zhe seemed as if he was going to give a long speech, while Huang Zhe slightly lowered his head, wondering what he was thinking.

Seeing this scene, Xing Conglian looked at Lin Chen and aggravated his tone as he called to the person on the other line. “Huang Ze!”

“Captain Xing, I know what you mean, but this is at odds with regulations,” Huang Ze said slowly. He wasn’t as tough as before, but he was still unshakable.

“I understand, but before negotiating with the kidnapper, I still have to make some preparations here, so please wait for my signal.”

Unexpectedly, Xing Conglian didn’t argue much. After he finished speaking, he hung up the phone and turned and asked, “Wang Chao, how’s it going?”

“I found that the phone number belongs to the Hongjing area, but the phone card was probably purchased online. It’s currently registered to an 80-year-old lady. Do I have to continue checking it?”

“No need for the time being. How’s the positioning of the missing vehicle?”

“Just after changing the code, there should be no problem when I test it again, so the path can be generated.”

“How long will the test take?”

“Ten minutes…”

“Do you need to be here during the test?”

“Give me a network cable. It’s the same wherever I go.” Wang Chao patted his chest and spoke confidently.

“So, can you build a phone tracking system now, and when you negotiate with the kidnapper, find his location?”

“Theoretically, but I’m not there yet. If they call later and I’m tracking from here, there’ll be a time difference which could be troublesome…”

Xing Conglian didn’t respond. He just glanced at Wang Chao, who immediately understood and quickly shut his mouth.

Xing Conglian looked at the president of the Highway Company. “Sir, please lend us a quiet room.”

“My office is fine.”

When Wang Chao heard this, he immediately jumped from his seat. “Alright!”

The so-called regulations roughly refer to those things that constrain and regulate the behavior of law enforcers. Huang Ze’s meaning was simple. The decision he made may not be justified, but it was in line with the statute.

So to convince such a stubborn person, it wasn’t much use trying to be reasonable.

A group of people left the surveillance hall and rushed upstairs. After leaving the hall, Xing Conglian took out his phone and made a call. He said to the person on the other end of the line, “I want to check on a person named Jiang Zhe.”

The answer he got back was along the lines of wait.

“Give it to me in ten minutes, on the double.”

After Xing Conglian finished speaking, he hung up. He raised his head and saw Lin Chen, who happened to be waiting for him above the steps.

“Let’s talk for a bit.” Xing Conglian took out a cigarette, waved his hand, and motioned to find a place to rest. Then he called to Lin Chen.

“What are you going to do?” Lin Chen leaned against the window as he asked lightly.

“What do you think of Jiang Zhe?” Xing Conglian asked rhetorically.

“Strange.” Lin Chen thought for a while, but he didn’t seem to be able to find a positive description.

“Then are you comfortable leaving him to negotiate?”

Lin Chen thought for a moment again and shook his head.

“Well, I’ll solve this matter.” Xing Conglian took out a lighter and turned it around in his hand, but he didn’t light his cigarette.

“What are you planning?” Lin Chen noticed this meaningful pause. He was called out by Xing Conglian alone, so they were most likely going to talk about a more personal topic.

Xing Conglian flipped the lighter, creating a spark that reflected on his face. He took a deep breath, and then said, “I can understand that everyone has their own past and privacy, but I hope you won’t hide anything from me when it comes to this case.”

Because he was smoking a cigarette, Xing Conglian’s voice was a little hoarse, but his meaning was clear.

Naturally, Lin Chen understood that Xing Conglian was referring to Feng Peilin’s case. He deliberately misled the police, and then went to the bridge alone to lure Feng Peilin out. He had also been thinking about when and how Xing Conglian would bring up this matter. After all, this was a knot in their hearts. He didn’t expect Xing Conglian would address that issue here and now.

Very perceptive, very sincere, very appropriate, really good.

“Do you think that in this kidnapping case, I’m deliberately concealing something from you?”

“Before you analyze the case, you would definitely start by analyzing the motivation and purpose of the suspect. This is your strong point, but this time, apart from thinking that something big would happen on the highway, I never heard you analyze the motives of the criminal from beginning to end, which is a bit strange.”

Lin Chen gave a wry smile. Being friends with people who were too smart could sometimes make one helpless. “What would you think of this view if I were to say, when I found out that the bomb would not explode, I suddenly thought that the kid might not really be a bad person, “

“Because what popped out wasn’t an explosion but a clown?” Xing Conglian said with a smirk. “I can’t agree with that for the time being because he has 28 lives in his hands and it’s obvious he’s going to use these children to coerce us.”

Lin Chen shook his head slowly and said, “I had a close encounter with him. He wore a long scarf when he got into the bus and sat down in the first row and fell asleep. His behavior caught my attention. At that time, I thought, he’s probably doing this to avoid the surveillance cameras, so I pondered, why didn’t he want to be recorded?” Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian with soothing eyes as he continued, “At that time, I could only see his legs and hands from where I was, but I found him trembling. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to ask when he suddenly raised the gun and held the driver at gunpoint. Do you get where I’m going with this? In fact, he had been waiting for the opportunity for a long time, and he had many opportunities to do it, but before he shot, he was trembling. Trembling because of tension, which I find unreasonable. Since he could hijack a bus so calmly, why would he be trembling from nervousness? I find this very strange.”

Xing Conglian laughed. “After listening to you, I don’t think that’s at all like the unscrupulous Candy Bandit.”

“If I were to analyze his emotions before committing the crime, I can only say that he was very anxious.” Lin Chen gave a slight pause. “Anxiety is a person’s emotional response to real threats and challenges… He was very nervous, as if he had no intention of doing it but was forced to do it.”

Xing Conglian frowned and said, “If I continue to think about it according to your thoughts… I would think that that young man is just part of something bigger. He was threatened by some people to play the role of the Candy Bandit in order to create a bigger incident?”

“Yes, I was afraid he might be coerced, and the hijacking was just acting.” Lin Chen steadied his breathing and spoke calmly. “If that’s the case, the risk and price he would pay is way too high for him to rob a bus for a few pieces of candy. I felt at the time that the purpose behind him wasn’t so simple…”

“What about now?”

“Now, I feel as if I was overly concerned. No one coerced him. He’s in charge of all this.”

“We’ve now circled back to where we started. Since you think he’s in charge of all this, why do you suddenly think that this criminal who installed a time bomb and took hostages isn’t a bad person?”

“Since no one is coerced, then he has a reason to be doing all this as a last resort, and, so far, he hasn’t harmed anyone…”

“Why didn’t you tell me about these things before?”

“It was just a suspicion before without any basis. I didn’t know what to say. Besides, the inference that criminals aren’t bad by nature isn’t suitable to be said in front of so many people,” Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian slowly as he answered. “Anyway, I hope that when you face him, try not to hurt him. You can take all this as part of my selfishness, since I hope for a happy ending.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch30

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 30

These types of scenes, like encountering true love in the vast sea of people, or cutting the correct wire out of many, were only scenes in a movie.

While movie stars played the superhero role, Huang Zhe knew that the one who would choose the correct wire wouldn’t be him. He wasn’t so lucky.

Earlier, after driving Lin Chen away, he fell into an unspeakable emotion again.

He didn’t regret it, even when he was squatting in front of the time bomb and was forced to face the death that may be coming. After all, as Lin Chen said, the occurrence of established facts wasn’t based on personal will. The reason why he felt inexplicable was because he discovered that he would really become a different person because of Lin Chen; emotional, irrational, and even his way of thinking became ugly. This was completely contrary to the elite education he had received, and all of this was because of Lin Chen.

So now, when Lin Chen asked him to do something irrational again, what should he do?

Nearly a hundred kilometers away, in the surveillance hall, Lin Chen stood quietly in front of the big screen, as if waiting for the result of Huang Ze’s thinking.

“You should know that this is very dangerous. It’s also possible that when he cuts off the wire, the bomb could detonate instantly,” Xing Conglian tilted his head slightly, leaned towards Lin Chen’s ear, and whispered.

“I know, but with only ten minutes left, it’s also equally as dangerous to let him discharge the detonator.” Lin Chen blocked the microphone as if he didn’t want Huang Ze to hear his next words. “And I suspect that the driver is lying.”

“How so?”

“There are three issues. First, when people lie, they will inadvertently remove the subject ‘I’, meaning themselves. He said, ‘while taking a smoke break’, instead of ‘I was taking a smoke break’, ‘the man stop halfway’ instead of ‘the man told me to stop halfway’… Because these events were not personally experienced by him, these sentences have lost the subject ‘I’ when he’s making up lies.”

“That’s too farfetched. He has used ‘I’ in his testimony.” Before Xing Conglian could speak, the chairman, who had been paying attention, interrupted.

Lin Chen nodded, then wandered around the room. His gaze fell on the technical geek who was desperately tapping on the keyboard and said, “Wang Chao, tell me your age. Lie the first time, then tell me the truth the second time.”

“What?” The addressed technician raised his head and gave a confused look.

“How old are you this year?”

The question came so quickly that Wang Chao had no time to react.

“16, ah!” Wang Chao held his head high and replied confidently.

“Let me ask you again, how old are you this year?” Lin Chen aggravated his tone and repeated it.

“Uh… I’m 18 this year.”

Hearing this answer, Lin Chen turned his head and gave Xing Conglian an incredulous look. “Child labor?”

Xing Conglian felt slightly embarrassed but had to say, “He’s an adult.”

The chairman still wanted to refute him, but Xing Conglian glanced at him and motioned for him to be silent.

“Continue,” Xing Conglian said to Lin Chen.

“Second, lies are different from memories of real events. Lies often have more details and are very clear. When I asked him how the suspect hijacked the bus, his answer was very clear, and he could quickly recall the place named ‘Yinchuan’. On the other hand, when I asked the Fengjing school teachers, I had to use some methods in order to get them to recall the specific name of the place.”

“But we can’t rule out the possibility that the gentleman specifically remembered the location of where he parked the bus!”

“Indeed.” Lin Chen nodded, then said, “Which brings us to the third point. When people finish telling a lie, they tend to think that they have gotten away with it, so when I ask him again after a period of time, he will react in two ways, angry or accidently spilling the truth.”

“But in such a stressful situation, shouldn’t he be angry if you ask him the question he already answered?!”

This time, the person who questioned Lin Chen was replaced by the manager of the transportation company who had been watching the big screen in the back. Yang Dianfeng questioned angrily as many staff members looked at Lin Chen with the same implications in their eyes. It was a bus driver who was strapped to a bus seat and had a time bomb attached to him. He just wanted to go home and have a hot meal, yet he was questioned obnoxiously when he was the victim.

Lin Chen wasn’t moved at all. He seemed to agree with the views of these people, so he just looked at Xing Conglian and spoke in a very soft and flat voice. “Even if the results of the polygraph can’t be used as evidence in court, as all assertions of lies cannot be 100% correct.”

“Why didn’t you tell Huang Ze?” Xing Conglian noticed that Lin Chen was blocking the mic with his hand and suddenly asked a question that didn’t have anything to do with what they were talking about.

“Look, as I say these things here, there are many people who already disagree with my assertion. How do you think Huang Ze will react?” Lin Chen raised his head slightly and looked at the man in the police uniform on the screen.

“So?”

“So… I’m pretty sure that if Huang Ze doesn’t know that the driver is lying, he will do as I say, but if he has listened to this analysis, I can’t predict what he will do next.”

Xing Conglian frowned slightly. He thought about what Lin Chen had said seriously, and then looked at Lin Chen with the same serious eyes. “But if I were Huang Ze, no matter what, I would want to know this information.”

“Even if you make the wrong choice?”

“Yes, in the face of life and death, I hope to be able to make my own choices, rather than letting others help me make the most reasonable decision.”

Lin Chen looked back at Xing Conglian. In fact, he didn’t quite understand the meaning of this sentence, but the eyes of the captain of the police criminal division were too firm, so he nodded and said, “I understand.”

——

Inside the bus, Huang Ze was squatting beside the driver’s lap, carefully studying the structure of the bomb.

At this time, a staff member has sent a signal. The cleaned tools had been sent to the bus.

When Huang Ze turned around and stepped out of the bus, Lin Chen let go of the hand holding the microphone, and then said, “Huang Ze, keep walking. Don’t look back. I want to tell you something.”

“Lin Chen, is your line open to the public?” Huang Ze asked as he walked to the pliers and cutting tools placed on the ground and squatted down.

“Yes.”

“Turn off the public feed. I have something to say to you.”

“Nn.” Lin Chen looked back at Xing Conglian, then in full view of the crowd. He switched the call to an earpiece, and said, “It’s off.”

“You asked me to cut the red wire, right?” Huang Ze raised his eyebrows slightly as he asked softly.

“Yes, listen to me. I am very suspicious…”

On screen, Huang Ze smiled softly. He faced the parking lot surveillance camera and seemed to say something. The next moment, he took off his headphones and put them in his pocket, then bent over and picked up the scissors.

In the surveillance hall, all the staff members sucked in a breath of cold air.

Huang Ze’s figure soon reappeared. He was carrying a simple pair of scissors in his left hand. The red number on the timer was still ticking down with only nearly 9 minutes left.

“Don’t let him cut it! There’s still time. Why do it now?!”

Someone in the crowd of the surveillance hall shouted, which was followed by people around responding one after another.

“Yes, yes. There’s still time!”

The private whispers gradually gathered into a torrent.

However, Xing Conglian didn’t move. He pressed one hand on Lin Chen’s shoulder.

In the screen, naturally, Huang Ze couldn’t hear those words, nor could he see such a scene. He didn’t look at the camera. He was very calm. His face and clothes were still meticulous. He picked up the scissors and stuck them into the complicated wires without hesitation.

Some of the more timid girls in the surveillance hall covered their faces with their hands and didn’t dare to look.

A soft click sounded, and the red wire broke in response.

In fact, everyone in the surveillance hall didn’t hear this small sound. Their eyes were glued to the dry and steady hands on the huge screen.

The copper wire was cut in half with its insides exposed. There was no spark or skyrocketing smoke and dust, and the bomb didn’t explode, but before people could relax, in the next second, Huang Ze took a step back, and a loud noise broke out in everyone’s mind.

It was as if water was entering the sea after being released from a dam; the numbers on the timer were rapidly decreasing. The time was quickly reduced from nine minutes to seven, and the red dot on the countdown was flashing frantically.

Before Huang Ze could even take another look at the camera, he returned to the door and shouted at the reporters and a few staff who were waiting outside the isolation line.

His mouth was wide open, and his hands waved very hard. In the blurred surveillance footage, everyone in the distance could be seen lying down. One after another, they dropped to the ground while holding their heads tightly with both hands.

But there was no sound. Huang Ze had turned off the only communication device, so everything they saw happening in the parking lot seemed to be a silent film.

In the surveillance hall, some people closed their eyes tightly and some began to cry.

Time flew by quickly, yet also slowly.

Huang Ze reappeared within the scope of the high-definition camera. He slowly approached it. In the picture, the texture of his clothing gradually became clear, but because he was too close, his face was never in the frame.

Suddenly, Huang Ze raised his dry and steady hand, and the next moment, the picture turned into still darkness.

He had turned off the camera.

There was a faint cry in the room. Lin Chen stood quietly; his breathing was calm without any changes.

“Wang Chao, bring up the last picture on the camera.” Xing Conglian’s voice was still so stable that it seemed inhumane given the current atmosphere.

On the screen, the upright corner of Huang Ze’s clothes appeared. Through the gap between his hand and his body, they could see that the time bomb on the driver had been completed to zero.

Some people in the hall noticed this. Their conversation gradually became louder, beginning as quietly as a silkworm nibbling on leaves, and as the voices grew louder, doubt gave way to joy, and many people began to applaud, while others cheered.

At the same time, the originally all-black screen suddenly lit up.

Huang Ze turned on the camera and angrily waved the scissors in his hand. In three strokes, he removed the bomb tied to the driver.

At the moment when the timer was powered off, the shining LCD screen suddenly popped open with a bang. Huang Ze was so scared that he almost fell to the ground. Many colorful ribbons sputtered out. In the ribbons, a clown, who had just popped out, was dangling, and its finger almost poked Huang Ze in the face. Huang Ze’s face was livid. He stood up and held the clown’s hand.

There… in the clown’s hand… was a lemon-colored candy wrapper.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch29

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 29

Jiang Zhe’s angry roar no longer came from the phone. Lin Chen handed it back to Xing Conglian.

On the monitoring screen, Huang Ze put a Bluetooth headset on, then carried a high-definition camera and approached the bus in the corner of the parking lot.

“Everyone, back off.”

Huang Ze’s voice came through from the other end of the phone as he drove the reporters behind him away.

Xing Conglian leaned closer to the microphone. “Inspector Huang, please be careful when opening the door. The suspect is very likely to have connected the lead that started the timer to the door, so…”

“So it doesn’t rule out the possibility that the bomb might explode suddenly if I pull the door again?”

“Yes…”

Before Xing Conglian could speak, Huang Ze was already carrying the camera towards the open door.

Everyone’s hearts tightened abruptly.

The high-definition camera sent back a clear image of the scene. From the image, it was clear that there was a thin line connecting the time bomb to the door, which was hanging softly.

Facing the sudden policeman, the bus driver opened his mouth and began to struggle frantically.

Huang Ze put the camera on the front seat, adjusted it, and then asked, “How’s the picture?”

The camera was aimed at the driver’s chest. On the left side of the driver’s heart, the line of the time bomb and the detonator were fully visible.

The timer was transformed from the simplest electronic clock. The bright red numbers were constantly flashing. It currently showed 19 minutes and 58 seconds.

Xing Conglian pondered for a moment, covered the phone’s microphone, and said to the staff around him, “There should be an auto repair warehouse at the highway rest stop. Go and find all types of pliers, wrenches, and cutting tools. Wash them with water and deliver them within ten minutes.”

Hearing this, Lin Chen suddenly grabbed Xing Conglian. “Didn’t you say this bomb isn’t complicated as long as the fuse is removed?”

“That’s a type 101 detonator. Removing the fuse is like cutting the fire wire. It’s not completely safe. If Huang Ze has been professionally trained, we have a safer way, which is to directly remove the safety gasket and install the ignition pole.”

In the picture, Huang Ze squatted on the ground and patted the back of the driver’s hand. Then he leaned close to the bomb, looked at it for a while, then suddenly turned his head and stared at the camera lens, asking, “Captain Xing, what do you have in mind?”

“Plan L or Plan L.”

“Life or luck, desperate or desperate.” Huang Ze laughed. In the camera, the tips of his hair were wet with sweat, but he was still smiling. “It seems that I have underestimated you, Captain Xing. Which unit are you from?”

Xing Conglian’s face was solemn. He felt a sense of sympathy for Huang Ze as they shared those code words. “I would like to ask Inspector Huang what’s the fastest time you can remove a detonator?”

“Probably a little faster than Captain Xing.” Huang Ze looked at the numbers ticking on the driver’s chest and said, “I need to have a set of No. 3 pliers and cutting tools. If not, I can make do with a utility knife and screwdriver.”

“It’s already being prepared.”

After Xing Conglian finished speaking, Huang Ze gave a light “Nn”, and said nothing else. The two fell into an unbearable silence.

At this moment, Lin Chen, who had been staring at the big screen, suddenly said, “Huang Ze, give your Bluetooth headset to the driver.”

“What do you want to do?” Huang Ze suddenly turned his head and gave a deadly look to the camera.

“Ask for a testimony.” Lin Chen glanced at Huang Ze’s angry gaze on the big screen before moving his face to the bus driver again. His tone was calm and monotonous, as if he didn’t seem affected by the life and death situation on the screen.

Huang Ze turned his head and glanced at the driver, then lowered his voice. “This man is scared to death. At this time, you want to interrogate him?”

“He has all the clues about the missing twenty-six children and two teachers.” Perhaps it was due to the screen light being too bright, but Lin Chen slightly narrowed his eyes. “But, it may already be too late.”

After Lin Chen finished speaking, Xing Conglian gave him a deep look, thinking that his words at this moment weren’t very appropriate.

Huang Ze rushed out of the bus and lowered his voice, as if he didn’t want the driver to hear the conversation. “What you mean is, if I fail and both of us are blown up, you won’t have the chance to ask for his testimony, right?” He took a deep breath and continued, “Lin Chen, you’re really cold-blooded.”

In the monitoring hall, Huang Ze’s scolding was once again broadcast through the phone and accurately transmitted to everyone’s ears.

Lin Chen didn’t seem to be aware of the questioning glances. His lips opened lightly, and he only said one thing, “Yes.”

Huang Ze sneered. He tore off his Bluetooth angrily and rushed back to the bus, patted the driver on the shoulder, lowered his head and reassured him, then hung the Bluetooth to the driver’s ear.

The bus driver seemed to be still in extreme panic and didn’t know what was going on. He shook his head desperately.

“Sir, I hope you can calm down and answer a few questions.” Hearing a rapid gasping sound coming from the earpiece, Lin Chen took the phone from Xing Conglian’s hand and started speaking.

Hearing this, the driver subconsciously looked at the camera and tried to open his mouth. His limbs were shaking so badly that he couldn’t form a coherent sentence.

“The police officer in front of you is risking his life to save you, but we have not yet located the remaining twenty-eight lives in the bus. If you can’t calm down, I’ll ask the staff on the scene to give you an injection of chlorpromazine*, which is a commonly known tranquilizer, to help you calm down so you can answer my questions.”

*It is primarily used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Other uses include the treatment of bipolar disorder, severe behavioral problems in children, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, nausea and vomiting, anxiety before surgery, and hiccups that do not improve following other measures.

While Lin Chen was talking, there were whispers around the hall. Xing Conglian frowned slightly but stopped looking at Lin Chen. Out of everyone’s gaze, Lin Chen was quietly holding his hands and gently squeezing them.

It was obvious there was no chlorpromazine at the scene, but the bus driver didn’t know this.

Lin Chen’s words miraculously calmed the driver down. He gasped and spoke intermittently. “Help me. Please help me! I have children… My wife is waiting for me to go home and have dinner with her…”

The driver’s crying voice moved everyone present. Some of the young girls couldn’t help but shed tears.

“I would like to ask you if you still remember the events of how the bus got hijacked?”

“At the rest stop in Meicun. While taking a smoke break, someone put a pistol to my back and asked me to get in the car, so I did what he said.”

Hearing this, Huang Ze took out his phone and brought up a blurred surveillance photo and asked the driver, “Is it this person?”

The driver glanced at the photo and nodded hurriedly. “Yes, that person was a bit short and wore a gray scarf, so I couldn’t see his face clearly!”

Lin Chen frowned slightly. Before Huang Ze spoke again, Lin Chen continued, “Then do you remember how he controlled the entire bus?”

“He asked me to sit down and pretend to be driving. He sat on the dashboard. When the children came, he took out a pile of candy and distributed it to them. When the teacher came, he quietly jabbed his gun at the teacher’s waist.”

“Where did the children and teachers go?”

“The man stop halfway and put the bomb on me. He told me to park the bus in the parking lot of Langchuan Rest Station. He also said that I needed to park in space No. 27, saying that if the bus was parked in the wrong space, the bus would explode.”

Minutes and seconds passed as Lin Chen continued to question the bus driver.

“Where is the halfway you’re talking about?”

“The place where you pass the North Sichuan exit.”

“How far is it from here?”

“About ten minutes.”

“Do you remember the exact time they got off the bus?”

“I don’t. I don’t have time to remember this. Mr. Police, why haven’t you acted yet? It’s almost too late!” The driver said while looking down at his chest and seeing there were less than fourteen minutes left.

Huang Ze heard this and went to get the Bluetooth.

“I have one last question. Can you repeat, how did he control the entire bus?”

Lin Chen once again asked the same question he asked earlier, causing the whispered conversation in the surveillance hall to turn into an uproar.

“I have already answered this question. Didn’t I make it clear just now? Why are you still asking me about it?!” The driver suddenly raised his voice, looking frantic and agitated. He struggled desperately, and the situation in the bus suddenly became uncontrollable.

“Lin Chen, what the hell do you want to do!” Huang Ze suddenly retrieved the Bluetooth and yelled into the microphone.

“Huang Ze, please put on the Bluetooth and answer a few questions.”

In the picture, Huang Ze complied and put on the headset. Lin Chen spoke again, “Can you really disarm this bomb within thirteen minutes?”

“Do you want to hear the truth?”

“How sure are you that when you defuse the bomb, you won’t detonate the explosive due to an accidental spark or a slight vibration?”

“In the case of ample time, the success rate is between 75% and 80%.”

“In other words, if there’s not enough time, like now, your success rate will be greatly reduced and it’s also possible that you will detonate it during disarming it.”

“You’re quite direct.”

“Huang Ze, do you trust me?” Lin Chen’s expression was quiet. His face had a serene expression as he asked a question that was seemingly unrelated.

A few months ago, he asked the same question to Xing Conglian. Now, the person who was answering the question had changed. Because the other party was Huang Ze, he couldn’t guarantee to get the expected answer.

“Trust you? After you killed Xiao* Wei, how can you make me trust you?” Huang Ze turned his face towards the camera. The black-haired young man was full of sweat. He tugged at the corners of his mouth to emphasize each word he just spoke.

*Little/small () When used in front of a name, it’s an affectionate/friendly way to call someone who’s usually younger than you.

Xing Conglian could clearly see that when Huang Ze mentioned the name of a certain girl, a strange expression appeared on Lin Chen’s face. The look wasn’t remorse or reminiscence, but pain as if a steel nail had pierced one’s bones or a heavy hammer had slammed into their back; no matter how deep and restrained people were, they would be unable to control their emotions in an instant because of the sudden appearance of a certain name. This was why many people called this kind of emotion heartache.

It was just that Lin Chen was still Lin Chen. The painful expression on his face quickly disappeared, and his voice was still as clean and calm as ever, without the slightest choking. “Do you see the red wire that’s fixed to the driver? After the tools are delivered, please cut that wire.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch28

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 28

Reporters were the most well-informed people in the world. Therefore, the first person to learn about the disappearance of the Fengjing School bus wasn’t Huang Ze, but a female reporter from the Provincial Daily News.

At that time, they had just finished their interview at the scene of the bus hijacking and were about to call it a day.

The female reporter quietly took out her cellphone and walked to Huang Ze’s side and said, “Inspector Huang, my friend in the municipal bureau said something happened on Qiong Mountain. If you give me this exclusive, I won’t tell others.”

Huang Ze looked at the woman’s exquisite makeup, and his first reaction wasn’t shock but sourness.

Lin Chen…

Sure enough, this was the case, so since it was like this, what else could he do?

Just like ants transmitting information or a swarm of bees dancing to communicate with each other, the news of the disappearance of an entire class of students in the first grade of Fengjing School quickly spread like wildfire among the reporters.

For reporters, what could be more exciting than encountering a big event again during an interview?

Huang Ze was besieged as he was surrounded by microphones and cameras. He could only answer in a business-like tone. “The police are still investigating this case. All relevant details aren’t convenient to be disclosed.”

However, how could a human block a reporter’s pervasive tentacle? Instead of letting these tentacles stretch indiscriminately, it was better to contain them within a controllable range.

So Huang Ze took these reporters to Qiong Mountain together.

At that time, they were almost at the Langchuan Rest Stop.

Many cars were swarming out of the Langchuan Rest Stop. The rest stop managers were solemn and diverted passing vehicles at the intersections. Obviously, something had happened.

Before Huang Ze could react, the news vans behind him had swept forward and rushed in before him. When he got out of the car, the cameramen already had their cameras out and had started shooting.

Huang Ze took a deep breath. The air was mixed with strange smells; the aroma of dumplings, the smell of oden, and the soft scent of babies drinking milk. All these smells were wrapped in the strong smell of gasoline. Around him, more and more vehicles were beginning to evacuate. He raised his eyes and looked around. The exhaust had covered the rest stop in smoke and dust. The staff wearing badges were running towards him with faces full of panic.

He knew that something had happened here.

He also knew that Lin Chen and that policeman had guessed right again.

Coincidentally, when Huang Ze was thinking of the other party, the other party seemed to be thinking of him as well.

The cellphone in Huang Ze’s pocket began to vibrate. He took out his phone and looked down. It was an unknown number with an area code of Hongjing.

There were indeed very few people who knew his private number.

“Hello.”

In the Hongjing highway surveillance hall, Inspector Huang’s indifferent voice came from the other line. Wang Chao held up the phone, somewhat deflated.

Xing Conglian glanced at him and took the phone.

On the LED screen, Huang Ze, who was in a police uniform, tilted his head slightly and asked in a low voice, “Where are you?”

This question was too familiar, and there was an indescribable twisted emotion in the tone.

The corners of Xing Conglian’s lips slightly raised as he looked at the big screen and said, “Hello, Inspector Huang.”

A low and slightly hoarse voice reached Huang Ze’s ears. He suddenly had a bad feeling in his heart, so the frown on his brow became slightly more obvious.

“First of all, I sincerely thank Inspector Huang and your media friends that are behind you for your arrival. There is a small matter that I need your help with.” Xing Conglian moved his gaze from the display screen and then to the school bus in the corner of the parking lot as he continued, “I think you should already know about the missing school bus full of children. Then, if you look in the direction of nine o’clock, you should see a school bus painted with blue clouds. That is the bus that’s missing. The problem is, the bus driver is being tied to his seat with a time bomb…”

Hearing this, Huang Ze raised his head and looked in the direction of nine o’clock. Then he stepped away and started to run. As he ran extremely fast, he asked an irrelevant question, “Xing Conglian, why do you have my private number?”

Hearing this, Xing Conglian glanced at Lin Chen and said, “Due to the special circumstances, special means were used.”

“Heh. Time bomb? Special means?” Huang Ze had a mocking smile at the corner of his mouth. He seemed to perceive something and looked at the camera in the corner of the parking lot. “Give Lin Chen the phone.”

In the monitoring hall, Lin Chen stood aside. He noticed the sudden glance from Xing Conglian. He looked back at the police captain, who was giving him a strange look, and stretched out his hand to him.

Huang Ze was standing in front of the school bus. In the car, the driver’s face was like gold foil; he was sweating profusely as he was struggling desperately in his seat. On the driver’s chest, a red timer was ticking down every second. Seeing this scene, an inexplicable anger surged in Huang Ze’s heart. “Xing Conglian, are you proud?”

However, the response from there was no longer low and hoarse, but clear and tranquil. “Huang Ze…”

Huang Ze felt ridiculous. “Lin Chen, you said something would happen on the highway, and now something really did. I even have to suspect that you arranged all this.”

Lin Chen’s face was dyed an extremely bright bluish-green in front of the large LED screen. Hearing this, he raised his head slightly. His eyes weren’t angry, but full of deep disappointment. “Shut up Huang Ze. I don’t have time to discuss conspiracy theories with you.” His voice was extremely cold. “Look at the bus driver in front of you. If you don’t want to save him, turn around and leave immediately.”

“What is this? An ethical question you’re giving me? Let me dismantle the bomb without any protective gear and see if I’m willing to bet my life on the lives of me and the driver?”

“No. This isn’t an ethical issue.” Lin Chen paused before continuing, “Saving people is your duty.”

It must be said that in terms of convincing others, Lin Chen had an absolute special advantage.

“In other words, if I don’t save him, I’ll be considered a derelict coward.” Inspector Huang sneered at the other end of the line. “Say it, what do you want me to do?”

Lin Chen didn’t say anything but returned the phone to Xing Conglian.

Xing Conglian connected to the phone and stabilized his breathing. “Inspector Huang, the location of the bus happens to be a blind spot for surveillance. Among the reporters you brought, someone must be carrying a camera with a wireless transmission function. Please connect the camera to the WiFi network of the rest stop. We need to see real-time images of the scene.”

“Oh, and then.”

“Then…” Xing Conglian felt a little embarrassed. “Then please point the camera at the time bomb. We need you to disarm the bomb yourself…”

“Alright.”

On the screen, the reporters in the parking lot were running towards Huang Ze’s location.

Huang Ze was surrounded by the crowd. He didn’t know what to say. Some reporters turned around and ran away in fright, while those who were bolder remained at the scene. Some ran to get a wireless camera for Huang Ze, while others directly pointed the camera lens to record him.

Suddenly, the crowd didn’t know what had broken out, and things became more chaotic.

Xing Conglian held the speakers closely to his ears and vaguely heard what Huang Ze was saying.

After that, another voice loudly interrupted.

“Young Master Huang, you can’t take this risk!”

The speaker was Jiang Zhe, the psychology expert who had earlier believed that the hijacking was nothing more than a prank by a rebellious teenager.

Jiang Zhe held Huang Ze’s sleeve tightly. He knew very well that if Huang Ze really risked dismantling the time bomb, in case danger did occur, he would certainly bear the Huang family’s anger a thousand times over, since he was the one who brought Huang Ze to such a dangerous place.

“Didn’t you say that this was all just a prank? Then I shouldn’t be in any real danger, right?” Huang Ze looked at the psychology expert next to him with a slightly sarcastic smile.

“Yes, yes. Mr. Jiang, is the time bomb in the bus also a means the “Candy Bandit” is using to attract attention? Can you analyze and tell us where the children on the bus have gone?”

The reporters’ cameras quickly moved from Huang Ze’s face to Jiang Zhe’s mouth.

“No, no. The behavior of the hijacker has escalated. This is no longer a simple teenager in his rebellious phase. I suspect that this teenager is likely a patient with antisocial personality disorder*! His violence and aggressiveness are rooted in his genes. He does all this to satisfy his criminal pleasure. He may be watching us through surveillance right now. The more people die, the greater his pleasure. So you see, Young Master Huang, why did he park the bus near the gas station? It’s because he wants to blow up everything here. He wants to cause mass casualties. Even if you disarm the time bomb, you will not succeed because he has definitely tampered with it!”

*A personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of disregard of, or violation of, the rights of others as well as a difficulty sustaining long-term relationships. Lack of empathy is often apparent, as well as a history of rule-breaking that can sometimes include law-breaking, a tendency towards substance abuse, and impulsive and aggressive behavior.

Jiang Zhe spoke very quickly. Because of his words, some reporters who were originally going to stick around started to panic.

However, Huang Ze still continued to look unconcerned.

Seeing this situation, Jiang Zhe realized that it must be something Lin Chen said to Huang Ze just now on the phone.

He suddenly became energetic. He grabbed Huang Ze’s phone and yelled at the other end, “Lin Chen, if you really want to retaliate against the Huang family, come at me. Don’t let innocent people die because of this!”

On the other end of the phone in the surveillance hall, Jiang Zhe’s impassioned voice was heard by everyone, spreading throughout the entire hall.

All eyes in the hall suddenly shot at Lin Chen in unison. Those eyes were like knives.

Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian, who also looked at him.

Finding the other end of the line silent, Jiang Zhe was about to take advantage of it when he suddenly heard a question.

“Jiang Zhe, can you recite it?”

As if he was punching cotton or a spark that fell into water, Jiang Zhe could only feel the heaving of his chest. “Recite what?”

“The DSM-IV-TR criteria for personality disorder. Can you recite it?”

“What is that thing?” Jiang Zhe blurted out. “Lin Chen, stop playing tricks!”

“The DSM-IV-TR is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revised by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000. It is one of the most authoritative diagnostic manuals for mental illness in the world. Since you think the suspect is a patient with antisocial personality disorder, please recite the diagnostic criteria.”

Jiang Zhe’s face flushed. “Who would endorse a book in this situation? Is it that remarkable that you can recite it?”

“Yes, do you want to hear it?”


Kinky Thoughts:

Well, like him or hate him, at least Huang Zhe has balls.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch27

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 27

How long had it been since something this big happened on this highway?

Liu Xing didn’t remember anymore. As a senior employee of Hongjing Highway Company, he came to work here as soon as he graduated. He had seen too many traffic jams and a series of accidents, from crashes to rollovers.

But a time bomb?

That was truly a novelty.

However, five minutes ago, in the parking lot of the Hongjing Highway Langchuan Rest Stop, they found a time bomb tied to a bus driver.

The numbers on the bomb were still flashing and jumping, indicating that time was passing by minute by minute. The entire staff in the hall was terrified, as if the debris from the explosion of the bomb hundreds of kilometers away would also hurt them.

Liu Xing stood in front of the monitor desk and didn’t move, not because he didn’t want to leave this terrifying place, but because someone was looking at him with extreme calmness that prevented him from moving.

“Liu Xing, right? How many years have you been working here?”

“Six.”

“Then you should be familiar with the highway evacuation plan, right?”

Liu Xing saw the captain of the police criminal division hold down his mic and spoke to him.

He didn’t know why the person he had looked down on before suddenly became a different person. The policeman’s eyes were deep and beautiful, but what made him unable to move was that he saw trust in those eyes, which made him nod involuntarily.

“Arrange for the staff to evacuate the rest station in an orderly manner, and do not divulge the news of the time bomb to prevent panic.”

After Xing Conglian finished speaking, he released the mic and continued to speak at the other end of the phone. “Hello, sir. I am the Captain of the Hongjing Police Criminal Division. My name is Xing Conglian. Can you tell me how many people are on the bus right now?”

“Just one!” The security guard was anxious. “When can we leave? The bomb will explode in twenty-nine minutes! When will the police come?!”

Everyone in the know was taken aback when they heard this. The bus had twenty-six children and two chaperoned teachers. Where did those people go?!

Xing Conglian pressed Lin Chen’s hand and continued, “Now, please take out your phone and take two photos for me.” He paused and looked at the security guard on the screen, then said, “In the first picture, please aim it at the time bomb on the driver. The clearer you can capture the bomb, the better. In the second photo, please capture the bus and take several pictures of the environment around the bus.”

Soon, a response came from the other end. “It’s done. A lot of pictures have been taken!”

“Do you have WeChat? Please send it to me on WeChat.” Xing Conglian gave Wang Chao a wink. The technician quickly opened the WeChat interface on the laptop, ready to receive the photos.

“No, no. Don’t open the door.” On the other end of the line, he didn’t know who suggested the proposal, but Xing Conglian increased his volume to stop them.

Wang Chao was anxiously waiting for the photos on his laptop screen. Seeing that Xing Conglian was still talking on the phone, Lin Chen mumbled to himself in a low voice, “Twenty-nine minutes? Could it be there was a fuse on the time bomb that led from the door of the bus, and it was activated when the door was open?”

“I’m afraid that’s the case. Jiang Zhe was right about one thing. He wants to attract attention, but why not just blow up the bus in a parking lot and instead use a time bomb?” Lin Chen looked at the captain of the police criminal division, who had requisitioned two phones and was still on call non-stop, and continued, “He must ensure that when we find this bus, it won’t explode. Then installing a fuse on the lock was the easiest and most direct way. Once someone opens the door, the timer starts.”

“What about the children? Where have the children gone?”

“There are twenty-six children. He wouldn’t be stupid enough to hide them at the rest stop. It’s too conspicuous. Then the biggest possibility is that they got off the bus between Meicun and Langchuan.” Lin Chen leaned over slightly and said to Wang Chao, “Can you adjust the highway surveillance to check the trajectory of this bus?”

“A’Chen, I have to teach some science. Most surveillance cameras on highways are used to calculate the traffic flow and photograph illegal vehicles. Unless that bus happens to be photographed for illegal parking, the system will extract and filter out its license plate information. It’s going to take too much time and manpower to track it, and what we lack right now is both of that…”

“I’m asking you, can you or can’t you?” Lin Chen looked at Wang Chao, patted him on the head, and spoke very gently.

Wang Chao jolted and hurriedly said, “In theory, we can still use the OCR technology, which is the technology that scans paper documents and then recognizes them as text, to identify all the surveillance photos taken from Meicun to the Langchuan, within these four hours, and then retrieve the license plate of the bus, but…”

Lin Chen looked into Wang Chao’s eyes as if waiting for him to continue.

Wang Chao could only bite the bullet and say, “But, the module for filtering highway surveillance photos isn’t embedded with OCR technology…”

“So?”

“So… I will need to upgrade the system slightly…” Wang Chao gulped and looked at his captain and the chairman.

“Are you kidding me?! In case something happens to this system, can you afford to replace it?!”

“He doesn’t need to bear it. I will.” Xing Conglian pressed the chairman’s shoulder and said to Wang Chao, “Get started.”

The technician seemed to have been given a booster shot. He took two deep breaths and then said, “Alright, I just killed two Trojan horses for this system, so there won’t be any major problems. You can look at the photos on the computer at table 2. Finally, the girl who is playing poker at table 35, can we please use your phone number.”

After he finished speaking, the entire surveillance hall was so quiet that only the sound of electric current and heating remained.

Finally, Lin Chen sighed and asked Xing Conglian, “Where did you find this guy?”

“He owes me some money.”

“Must be a lot.”

“Yeah.”

At the same time, the pictures quickly came through. They walked to table 2 and looked at the photos.

In the photo, only the driver was tied to the cab. Other than that, the bus was empty inside. The twenty-six children and two teachers who were supposed to be sitting in their seats had disappeared out of thin air.

In the next photo, it could be clearly seen that the driver tied to the cab had struggled desperately. There was a simple time bomb tied to him.

The bomb had a simple structure. Above the detonator, lines of wires were exposed and intertwined, as if they were the terrifying blood vessels of a patient.

More importantly, there were only 27 minutes left on the countdown on the time bomb.

“You have to send a bomb disposal expert quickly!” Xing Conglian heard someone shout at him, but he ignored it and leaned down to look at the screen, constantly adjusting the photo position and angle.

“The bus is parked next to a gas station. In case the bomb goes off, the consequences will be unimaginable!”

“Captain Xing, you must think of a way.” Yang Dianfeng, who had been standing near Xing Conglian, finally spoke.

“It’s an isolated area.” Lin Chen looked at the man silently while he spoke slowly. “All the bomb disposal experts are in the city. Even if the lanes are cleared, it will take them at least an hour to make it to that rest stop.”

“Then what to do?!” Yang Dianfeng added, “Find someone to disarm the bomb at the scene? I have watched some movies. Can’t you tell them which wire to cut?”

“Real bomb disposal is very complicated.” Lin Chen looked at the time bomb on the screen. “It’s no different from suicide if you haven’t received professional training.”

“Then what do we do?!” The technician, who had his hands flying around as he wrote code, couldn’t help but interject.

“Continue to take chances.” Xing Conglian suddenly turned his head and said to Wang Chao, “Check if the rest station staff, the nearby traffic police, or any of the security guards have been in the army!”

Hearing what he said, Lin Chen suddenly looked at Xing Conglian and said, “How sure are you?”

“The time bomb’s structure isn’t very complicated. We just need to dismantle the ignition device between the detonator and the fuse. Therefore, I need someone with very stable hands who can handle the pressure of disarming a bomb.”

Lin Chen was silent for a moment. He raised his head and stared at the huge LED screen in front of him again. The left half of the screen had been switched to live surveillance by Wang Chao. The sea of people was vast. Where could he find such a person?

“You need a person with very good psychological quality, which means he has a strong resistance to stress, can abide by traffic rules even in chaos, keep vehicles moving in a straight line, and will even give way for traffic jams…” Lin Chen’s gaze quickly swept back and forth.

“Captain, our luck doesn’t seem to be very good. Among all the staff, there doesn’t seem to be any veterans… The security guards are all temporary workers, and I can’t transfer the information… The traffic police system isn’t connected to us. Should I hack it?”

“No need.” Lin Chen suddenly spoke. On the big screen, a white police car was driving into the rest stop against the flow of traffic. After that car, there were more than a dozen news cars of all shapes and sizes.

The white police car was as efficient as ever. It quickly drove into the parking space, and a young man in a police uniform opened the door and walked out.

Looking at the person on the screen, Lin Chen said lightly, “Huang Ze was a Special Ops. I’m pretty sure he has received professional bomb disposal training.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch26

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 26

Luck was both the most reliable and unreliable thing in the world. When it was good, it could make one feel omnipotent, but when it was bad, it could make one feel as if they were never going to get back on their feet.

So, if possible, people rarely took chances.

Lin Chen also thought that if they were lucky, the teenager was just playing a prank on the police, and they might encounter a crisis like a false alarm, maliciously causing car accidents, chemical leaks, or other such crises.

However, they now had a carload of children.

This was truly bad luck.

“Captain, two hours. It’s been two hours since the bus has been missing!” Wang Chao had seen many things and dealt with a lot of crises, but a bus carrying twenty-six children that had just gone missing still made him panic. “Within these two hours, if the bus was hijacked, it could be anywhere in the world!”

Xing Conglian finally managed to break free from all the continuous phone calls. When he hung up, his eyes were cold and his tone raw. “Talk properly. Think carefully before you tell me the exact radius,” he said to the technician.

Wang Chao sprang up in fright, snatched the white paper from Lin Chen’s hand, and continued to calculate.

“At an average speed of 80 kilometers an hour, the two-hour drive should be an area within a radius of about 160 kilometers,” Wang Chao said as he ran to the laptop and quickly typed up a piece of code. “Excluding the reed fields and traffic jam roads, the area they might reach is…”

The enter key was tapped softly. The center of the green topographic map was slowly covered by a red fan-shaped area.

“Take us to the surveillance center and line up all vehicles passing through the toll booths from within this radius.” Xing Conglian spoke to the chairman while turning the display screen towards him.

The chairman felt depressed. He had been in office for three years, but never had there been a large-scale incident. Suddenly, the police came to tell him he needed to shut down the highway for no precise reason. While he thought it was an exaggeration, with a school bus gone, could there really be such a coincidence in this world?

He still had some hope in his heart. “Captain Xing, no need to get excited. Every vehicle is equipped with GPS. You’ll know where the bus is if you just check it. How could it be lost…”

“GPS?” Xing Conglian looked at the chairman coldly. “Just now, my colleague told me that the GPS shows the bus should be in a reed field!”

“That’s impossible. The bus can’t drive into the reed field.”

Hearing this, Wang Chao stared wide-eyed and looked at Xing Conglian in disbelief. “Fuck, we were fooled by the GPS this morning. Captain, it’s not really that kid!”

“Even if the GPS fails, each bus is equipped with an autonomous call for help system. If something happens, our management center will automatically receive an alarm. There hasn’t been an alarm now. The bus should be fine. It may have broken down halfway and couldn’t be contacted. Maybe they’re in a blind spot where mobile signals can’t reach!”

Xing Conglian stared straight at the middle-aged man sitting on the sofa. He emphasized his tone as he spoke. “Take, me, to, the, surveillance, center.”

The Hongjing Highway surveillance center was on the first floor of the administration building. There were nearly a hundred staff stationed year-round there. As far as the eye could see, dense display screens stretched dizzyingly, and in the middle of the hall was a huge LED screen half the size of a basketball court, covering the entire area.

On the screen was a huge amount of information about traffic flow that it was impossible to search for one thing with the naked eye alone.

Assistant Liu Xing took out the keycard and opened the glass door.

The sound of an electronic beep was followed by the blowing of warm air.

The footsteps of six people were noisy and chaotic, smashing the quiet atmosphere of the space as if a rainstorm came hurling in. All the staff looked at them.

“Where is the main surveillance console?” Xing Conglian scanned the surroundings.

“There.” The chairman pointed to the location closest to the big screen.

Xing Conglian gave Wang Chao a wink. The technician pressed the brim of his hat down and ran towards the very front.

The chief technician sat in front of the main surveillance console. He suddenly felt a tap on his shoulder and looked up to see a very young boy.

“Excuse me, please.” Wang Chao grinned, bowed politely, and then squeezed past the chief technician.

After the middle-aged man was pushed away, he shouted unhappily. “Who are you?!”

“The police are here to handle a case. We’re from the police.” Wang Chao murmured to himself as he hit enter and said to Xing Conglian, “Captain, I’m in.”

“This is a staff-only area. Unrelated personnel aren’t allowed inside!” Watching the display screen quickly jump to another interface, the middle-aged man hurriedly rushed over to grab Wang Chao’s mouse.

At this moment, Xing Conglian stepped closer and said lightly, “Trust me, he’s more exposed to surveillance systems than you.”

“Rules are rules!” The middle-aged man said loudly when he saw the chairman walking up to them.

“What I am discussing with you now is the safety of twenty-six children, so shut it about rules!”

The captain of the police criminal division had a cold expression on his face. He stood still for a long time, exuding a compulsive aura.

The middle-aged man immediately fell silent, not daring to speak up again.

“Don’t worry. The core module for this system is the Infinova system. I used it when I hacked into Country X’s system. Don’t be nervous,” Wang Chao reassured.

“Exaggerating much?” Xing Conglian kicked Wang Chao’s chair. “Pull up records of toll stations around 8:30. Check the license plate.”

“Okay!” Wang Chao’s hands were flying while his mouth kept talking. “To check the license plate, you only need access to the toll station VLPR* system. Thanks to VLPR, we can automatically extract the detection video and grab the license plate number from the data it generates. In other words, the time to witness a miracle is coming. Five, four, three…”

*Vehicle License Plate Recognition. They have various names and acronyms, but it’s basically technology that automatically recognizes a car’s license plate and records them.

Before the countdown was over, Wang Chao’s hands stopped in the air. His entire body froze like a sculpture.

“What’s the matter?” Xing Conglian asked hurriedly.

“No…” He turned the screen to the side and pointed to the empty search results. “I set the time value after 8:30, but there’s no records showing the bus entering or leaving the toll station…” He subconsciously touched a pen and started to turn around. “This is impossible. The Hongjing Highway has a total length of 317 kilometers. It’s already 12:30. Almost 6 hours have passed. This is completely unscientific!”

As soon as the chairman heard this, he suddenly became energetic. “I told you that it could be that the bus had broken down and was probably parked on the side of the road. I’ll send a highway maintenance team to check on it.”

“Someone is already doing this.” Xing Conglian pondered for a moment. “We can think of the highway as a closed system. If the bus didn’t leave the highway, it means that it’s still somewhere on it. It can’t just disappear out of thin air. Except for temporary parking on the side of the road, the only possibility is a rest stop in the middle.

“From Meicun to Qiong Mountain, there are only two rest stops in the middle.” Wang Chao quickly checked the information. “There are a total of 270 parking spaces for large vehicles!”

“I’ll find a staff member to check on it right away,” the chairman said positively.

“Er! Can you wait a bit…”

While Wang Chao was talking, the surveillance video of the parking lot at the rest stop was brought up on screen. As the camera turned, the screen moved and switched rapidly, capturing various buses, vans, trucks, and a slew of other vehicles that quickly flashed by…

However, among all the various vehicles of all shapes, sizes, and colors, there was no figure of the bus with blue clouds on a white background.

“It seems that it is not at the Anting rest stop,” Wang Chao said, continuing to retrieve surveillance for the other rest stop.

The number of frames was flowing rapidly when suddenly Wang Chao stopped the camera.

“Here it is!”

He paused the video and pointed to the lower right corner of the screen.

On the edge of the parking lot, near the hidden corner of the trees, a white bus with blue clouds that were vaguely visible was parked.

“Notify the security guard at the rest stop to check on it. Be careful,” Xing Conglian said to the chairman, then he turned to look at Wang Chao again. “Zoom in.”

“Look!” Wang Chao expanded the image while he kept on chattering. “The surveillance system is relatively old, so the clarity isn’t that good. Don’t be too surprised if all you can see is mosaic people.”

“Stop!” Xing Conglian shouted.

Like Wang Chao said, the quality of the pixels on the surveillance camera at the highway rest station was too low. After zooming in a few times, the image became too blurred. Despite that, it could be seen from the image of the cloud pattern above the rear wheel that it was indeed the missing bus with twenty-six children.

The chairman breathed a sigh of relief while Lin Chen took a step forward and stood beside Xing Conglian. “There’s a problem. The curtains are drawn.”

Although the video was blurred, it could still be vaguely seen that the bus windows were completely blocked off by curtains, and everything inside the car wasn’t visible.

At this time, the notified security personnel had begun to rush into the parking lot.

“If it was you who tried to hijack a bus, would you make it this easy for others to find it?”

“Tell the security guards not to open the door!” As if realizing something, Xing Conglian shouted to the chairman, who had just hung up the phone.

“Why are you making such a fuss?!” The chairman muttered and unlocked his phone screen again. Before the call was connected, the security guards at the rest station had already reached the side of the bus.

The two security guards stood in front of the door, subconsciously reaching out to pull on the door handle.

The danger didn’t happen.

Everyone present seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Connect to the security guard’s walkie-talkie and tell them to record everything with their phones,” Xing Conglian ordered while grabbing his phone.

The security guard in the camera seemed to feel something and picked up the walkie-talkie.

“Hello, hello.” The hissing static of the walkie-talkie came into the earpiece.

“Sir, I need you to enter the bus carefully, while leaving the door open, and walk to the front of the bus to see what’s going on inside. If you hear anything, please aim the camera at the southwest corner, make an M sign, and nod.” Xing Conglian instructed clearly, speaking each syllable carefully.

After a while, the security guard on camera nodded. They bypassed the front door and walked to the front of the vehicle.

On the surveillance, the two of them could no longer be seen.

The surveillance hall suddenly became quiet. There was only a slight rustle that came from the cellphone. If they listened carefully, they could hear a vague conversation between the two security guards.

“There’s only the driver.”

“What is that?”

“Why is it blinking?”

“Is that a bomb?”

The entire room was silent. A second later, a panicked and hesitant voice rang from the headset.

“Mr. Police… We seemed to have seen a time bomb…”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch25

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 25

Just when there was a not-too-serious dispute in the office of the chairman of the Hongjing Highway, something also happened in a mountain range southwest of the Hongjing Highway.

Qiong Mountain was southwest of Hongjing. It was nearly a kilometer above sea level and was surrounded by clouds and fog all year round.

When the weather turned rainy, the scenery here was the best. The wet water vapor condensed on the rock wall, rubbing over the moss, and finally merged into a gurgling stream along the crevices.

At the edge of the stream between the valleys was the Qiong Mountain scenic campground. From a distance, the entire campsite was colorful, full of various tents that were set up by campers.

More importantly, among those people, there were many children.

Cao Qianzhi was an ordinary elementary school teacher at Fengjing. Today was a field trip day for the first graders at Fengjing. The place was set in Qiong Mountain.

He stood at the edge of the camp and watched the staff pretending to be mountain people, bringing a goat to the children. The children seemed to have never seen a live goat before as they gathered around it to point and poke, looking excited.

Cao Qianzhi’s gaze moved from the goat to the water’s edge. There were still some children watching fish by the stream. They huddled together and seemed to be discussing how to fish. As a teacher, he didn’t walk over to stop them as the stream was very shallow. It was a specially created artificial landscape. He also trusted his students not to get their shoes and socks wet since it was still cold in early spring.

Everything looked very peaceful and harmonious, but the uneasiness in Cao Qianzhi’s heart became heavier.

There was a sound of rapid footsteps in the distance, making Cao Qianzhi hurriedly follow to look for its source.

The dean and another teacher who led the team with him were quickly running towards him. Both of them looked solemn and shook their heads at him.

“Haven’t you made contact yet?” Although he knew the answer, he still subconsciously asked.

“No. We can’t get through to Master Xu’s phone, and Teacher An’s phone is also turned off. The car should’ve arrived half an hour ago!” The dean whispered.

Cao Qianzhi looked at his watch. Time had long passed since their scheduled meeting time.

Today, for the school’s spring field trip, the school rented six buses to send children to Qiong Mountain. They gathered at the entrance of the school early in the morning. It took more than four hours to drive from the school to the mountain. When they set off, they spent a lot of time on the road because of the traffic jam. It was also because the order of the buses was disrupted, several buses were separated by ten minutes before they arrived at Qiong Mountain, one after another.

If that was the case, it was just a trivial matter of a delayed trip. However, after the five buses arrived at the meeting point, the last bus, No. 3, didn’t. On the bus were twenty-six students from class three, the school’s first grade, and two leading teachers.

They always thought that Bus No. 3 was left behind because of the traffic jam. They tried contacting the driver and the two teachers earlier, but they couldn’t get through to their phones.

At first, they thought it was because of the poor signal in the mountains, but just now, the dean and another teacher went to the campground visitor center to try to call them again. They were only met with the same mechanical and monotonous female voice at the other end of the line. Only then did they realize that Bus No. 3 could have been involved in an accident.

“Even if there was an accident, their phones wouldn’t just fail to connect!” The female teacher on the side said worriedly.

“Did you call the highway side?” Cao Qianzhi continued to ask.

“Yes. They said they are investigating but haven’t found them yet.”

Cao Qianzhi was silent for a moment before he finally said, “Let’s call the police.”

——

In the office of the chairman of the Hongjing Highway Company, three phones rang almost simultaneously.

Xing Conglian took half a step back in front of the chairman and took out his cellphone. The Chairman breathed a sigh of relief and picked up the landline impatiently. Liu Xing heard the phone for the assistant’s office ringing, got up, and ran out.

After a while, Xing Conglian looked at Lin Chen. The chairman’s expression stiffened while Liu Xing rushed back to the room.

The other end of the line had delivered terrible news.

“The City Bureau just received a report that a school bus from Fengjing disappeared on the highway.” Xing Conglian pressed mute as he spoke to Lin Chen.

“How could it be missing? The highway exits are monitored!” Before Lin Chen could speak, Yang Dianfeng exclaimed.

Xing Conglian frowned, only to see Lin Chen’s thin lips pursed lightly. He sat upright on the sofa and didn’t speak.

He was still on the call, so he didn’t have time to answer Yang Dianfeng’s question. After a while, he suddenly raised his head, held down the phone with one hand and pointed to it with the other hand, looking at Wang Chao.

Wang Chao reacted quickly. He took out his cellphone and was about to hand it over to Xing Conglian. However, Xing Conglian motioned him to give it to Lin Chen instead.

“The schoolteacher will call soon. You answer it,” Xing Conglian said to Lin Chen and quoted a series of numbers to the other end of the line.

Soon, Wang Chao’s cellphone rang.

Qiong Mountain Scenic Area, Campsite.

Cao Qianzhi’s palms were sweating. The female teacher who was with him had already burst into tears. Various terrifying pictures continued to appear in his mind, making him even more flustered.

The moment the phone was connected, he couldn’t help but shout at the person who answered it. “Have you found the bus yet? If not, what can I do?”

After he finished speaking, the other end of the line was quiet for about three seconds before a voice came through.

It was a calm and tranquil male voice, like the flowing water of a stream or the breeze in the mountains, slowly trickling into his ears.

“Hello. I understand you are currently anxious, but I need you to calm down. Take a deep breath with me and answer my questions.”

Of course, Cao Qianzhi knew how to take a deep breath, but things were urgent right now. How could there be time to take deep breaths! While he thought so, his body involuntarily followed the calm instructions at the other end of the line, and he began to inhale deeply, then exhale.

“What time did the bus depart from the school?”

“6:30 AM.”

“Okay, I need you to recall carefully now. When was the last time you saw that school bus?”

The voice was still calm and mellow, but this question made Cao Qianzhi panic again. “I don’t remember!” His mind was in chaos, so he subconsciously blurted out, “Every bus was the same. I can’t tell the difference.”

On the other end of the line, the young man holding the cell phone seemed to have expected this. He put down his pen, flipped the white paper in front of him, and faced the person opposite him.

Opposite him was a young man wearing a cap. The young man glanced at the white paper, which had “bus, recent photos, bring up” written on it. He nodded and began to tap the keyboard.

The voice on the other end of the line disappeared for a few seconds. Cao Qianzhi felt that the wind in the mountains was getting colder. He panted twice, and the voice on the other end of the line immediately responded.

“Hello, I’m here.”

Words like clear water flowed out again, causing Cao Qianzhi to relax a little. Then he heard the man say, “Perhaps you’re just not clear. In fact, human memory doesn’t completely subside because of the passage of time. They have another system that stores implicit memories, so for things you forget or don’t remember, in fact, your brain preserves them in another form. What I need you to do is to calm down and recall. At the same time, you need to do your best when recalling. This can help us determine the time cut-off point, which is very important.”

——

The same clear voice as flowing water also sounded in Wang Chao’s ears, but he obviously didn’t have the chance to close his eyes. He was very nervous.

After hearing Lin Chen speak, he quickly connected to the SkyEye system and brought up the surveillance of the field trip gathering at the entrance of Fengjing at around 6:20 AM.

Six buses were lined up one after another on the road. Their bodies were pure white with colorful cloud patterns painted on them. The words “Hongjing Foreign Affairs Vehicles Management Co.” were vaguely distinguishable.

Judging from the appearance of several buses, there was no difference. Wang Chao looked up anxiously, but the person opposite was gone. When he looked to his right, Lin Chen was already beside him.

On the screen, fair and delicate fingers crossed and stopped on the body of the third bus.

“Enlarge.”

Wang Chao zoomed into the picture and the words “Foreign Affairs” on the bus’s body became bigger and the rest of the words became more blurred.

“Here.”

He tapped his finger on a spot above the rear wheel, and then quickly pulled away.

Wang Chao took a closer look. Behind the body, where the huge blue clouds were originally painted, there seemed to be something missing, as if it looked incomplete. Most likely, this Bus No. 3 had just come out of a repair shop, and the missing piece had been repaired, but the spray paint wasn’t done yet.

Wang Chao subconsciously looked at Lin Chen. Lin Chen had already walked to the window as he spoke slowly. “There’s a blue cloud above the rear wheel of Bus No. 3, but the cloud is half gone. Although you won’t notice this, your brain definitely recorded it. Now, I need you to close your eyes and start recalling…”

“It was on a busy highway. There were a lot of cars around, and the children on the bus were laughing. Because it was a bit noisy and you had to get up early, you felt a little sleepy. You got distracted and looked out the window. The scenery outside was beautiful. There were reeds that stretched to the sky, and you saw cars passing by from time to time. Suddenly, you see a bus. It’s very strange. The pattern near the wheel seemed to be missing something. You may have watched it for less than a second, but because it was so odd, you remembered it…”

Following the soft voice, Cao Qianzhi seemed to have really returned to that noisy bus. He looked around the window, and a bus happened to pass by.

“I remember!” He suddenly raised his voice. “There was such a bus, but I don’t know when this was!”

“Please work hard to recall. Were there any iconic buildings in that scene? Perhaps a green road sign on the side of the road that looked very conscious…”

“No, no. There were just reeds all around.” Cao Qianzhi frowned, as if desperately grasping the image that was about to flash away. “Wait a minute. I remember! A child told me that he wanted to go to the toilet, so the driver said he would stop at a rest stop in Meicun right away!” Cao Qianzhi opened his eyes abruptly.

Lin Chen quickly returned to his desk, picked up a pen, and wrote the word “Meicun” on the paper.

“You or the teacher next to you, do you remember what time you stopped at the rest stop in Meicun?”

“Wait a minute. Let me ask.”

In front of the laptop, Wang Chao had already brought up a map of the entire Hongjing Highway. While looking at the map, he calculated on the paper. “Meicun’s service station is about 130 kilometers from Honjing to Qiong Mountain. The traffic jam occurred after 7:00. If they left at 6:30, taking into account the distance and the traffic jam, they would arrive at Meicun’s service station around 8:30.”

As soon as Wang Chao dropped his pen, an eager male voice came from the phone. “Our director said that it was around 8:30 when we entered Meicun’s service station! I really can’t remember the rest!”

The male teacher sounded extremely apologetic.

“That’s fine. Thank you very much. It was very helpful.”

Seeing Lin Chen hang up the phone, Wang Chao breathed a sigh of relief and felt strange in his heart. “How did you know that there would be a difference in Bus No. 3?!”

“I didn’t.” Lin Chen picked up the calculation paper and then said, “But at that time, I could only hope for luck.”

“What if your luck is bad?”

“Then you keep on taking chances.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch24

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 24

People were different from each other.

This was bullshit, but this bullshit told us not to have preconceptions about anyone or anything.

Of course, Xing Conglian didn’t like Huang Ze, but he wasn’t prejudiced against him. For Xing Conglian, for those who weren’t dandies, they at least deserved a little respect, and that was why he was still willing to work with Huang Ze.

Huang Ze was contemplating it seriously. He didn’t give a quick answer, and his gaze wandered past Lin Chen’s face as he asked, “What do you mean?”

“This is a dangerous matter.” Lin Chen didn’t say anything more.

“It’s impossible for me to close the highway because of your opinion.” Huang Ze looked at Jiang Zhe, who was still being interviewed. “That is our real psychology expert, and I can only listen to the opinions of experts.”

Huang Ze always stuck to the rules, meticulously. This was the reason why he was well respected and was able to defeat all his competitors and step into the position of Inspector of the Provincial Office. This kind of personality wasn’t bad, but sometimes wasn’t necessarily good either.

Xing Conglian sighed.

Huang Ze apologized politely to the reporter and brought Jiang Zhe to Lin Chen.

When Jiang Zhe heard the reason, he exploded in an instant. “This is a prank by a teenager in his rebellious phase, and you expect to close off an entire highway for that? Are you kidding me?” Jiang Zhe lowered his voice, as if unwilling to let reporters from a distance notice what was happening. He sneered at Lin Chen. “I know, in fact, you just want to make things big so you can make a name for yourself again. Do you think you can go back to those flowery days?”

After he finished speaking, he threw his hands in the air and started to leave, but Lin Chen stopped him. “Jiang Zhe, can you be responsible for every analysis you make?”

“Lin Chen, what are you still doing? Trying to scare others?” Jiang Zhe turned his head and gave Lin Chen a look as if he was looking at a ghost. “I can’t be responsible, can you?”

“I can.”

It was obvious sarcasm, but Lin Chen answered very seriously. His voice wasn’t loud, but it held a seriousness that left people speechless.

Jiang Zhe couldn’t retort. “Psychopath!” He held back for a long time but could only come up with this as a response.

After he spat out his insult, the psychology expert with messy, curly hair didn’t look back.

Huang Ze shrugged and said to Lin Chen and Xing Conglian, “I’m sorry. Our expert told me that your idea is nonsense.”

“Huang Ze, if something happens, please let me know.” Lin Chen looked at Huang Ze.

“Why are you so desperate for something to happen?”

“It’s not that I’m hoping something will happen, but something will happen. The occurrence of things isn’t based on my will.”

When Lin Chen finished speaking, Xing Conglian patted him on the shoulder and said, “Let’s go.”

When pressed against time and one wanted to close off a highway, the fastest way was to directly go to the Highway Transportation Administration Office.

Xing Conglian sat in his jeep, and as soon as he got in, he stepped on the gas, and the jeep sped away.

The atmosphere inside the car was depressing and no one spoke. Lin Chen sat in the front passenger seat, while Wang Chao and Yang Dianfeng were in the back.

The manager of the transportation company seemed to be holding back for a long time and could no longer contain it. He burst out, saying to Xing Conglian, “Young Master Huang is like this. You didn’t need to talk to him at all!”

Lin Chen noticed that he was still staring at him when Yang Dianfeng spoke, as if he was very dissatisfied with his proposal.

“It’s my duty. If I don’t say anything, it’s my problem. It’s his problem if he doesn’t listen. Forget about it.” Xing Conglian clenched the steering wheel with both hands and acted unconcerned.

Lin Chen glanced at him, and then was poked by the other party. Xing Conglian said to him, “Get me a cigarette.”

Lin Chen looked around in the car but didn’t see a cigarette pack.

“It’s in my pocket.” Xing Conglian motioned slightly sideways.

In the back seat, Yang Dianfeng was watching their every move. He felt as if he was being ignored again.

“How can you leave it like this? It’s obvious that Young Master Huang has a personal grudge against you. You should appeal to your superiors!” Yang Dianfeng increased his volume slightly as he spoke again.

“Why bother?” Xing Conglian didn’t even seem to register Huang Ze in his mind from the start. He stepped on the gas and quickly passed the vehicle in front of him. “It’s a waste of time and energy to be angry.”

If Huang Ze was present, he would probably want to vomit blood again if he heard this.

The Hongjing Highway Transportation Administration Office was about 50 kilometers away from the scene of the hijacking. Even if Xing Conglian drove at full speed, it would take nearly half an hour to reach it.

While in the car, Xing Conglian had already called the old director to report the latest progress of the case, hoping to get his help. Therefore, when they arrived at the transportation office, there were already people waiting for them in the parking lot.

“Hello, Captain Xing. I am Liu Xing, Assistant Chairman of the Hongjing Highway Company.”

After the group got out of the car, a young man wearing gold-rimmed glasses greeted them.

“Where is your chairman?” Xing Conglian asked as he walked briskly.

“The chairman is in a meeting.”

Liu Xing sized up Xing Conglian and his party. Although he had a good attitude, there was still a hint of disapproval in his tone.

Just now, he received a phone call and heard that Captain Xing wanted to meet with the company’s management and asked them to block off the highway. He felt it was all too ridiculous. What kind of rank does a municipal captain of the police criminal division have to dare make such a ludicrous request?

Now that he saw the person in the flesh and saw the dilapidated jeep he was driving and the simple clothing he was wearing, Liu Xing was even more certain that this captain had no background. Since he had no background, he was just an ordinary public servant, so he could send him off casually.

He had dealt with this kind of prevarication from many people before. Some got angry, while others could only swallow their anger. Of course, some would try and beg, but what he didn’t expect was the reaction of the captain to be so different from those types of people.

“Things are urgent. Even if the chairman is on the toilet, we have to force our way in.” Xing Conglian stopped and threatened Liu Xing with a tone that was saying “I’ll be reasonable with you”.

Liu Xing winced. As an assistant, he couldn’t embarrass his boss, so he invited Xing Conglian and his party into the chairman’s office and then made a phone call.

When Liu Xing put down the phone, he saw the four people who had entered the room standing at the door, showing a very surprised look at the furnishings inside.

The Hongjing Highway traversed two provinces and was extremely profitable. It shouldn’t be a wonder why the office of the chairman of the company would be luxurious.

The four pieces that made up a local tyrant were extremely eye-catching: oak floors, mahogany furniture, leather sofas, and jade ornaments. The only difference was that behind the chairman’s leather chair, instead of an imitation of a famous foreign painting or pictures of tigers descending the mountain, there was a huge photo.

The photo was extremely old in every sense. The corners were yellowed. The people in the photo were all wearing outfits from the late 1980’s, and they were laying the foundation for the highway. Looking closely, they found several people in the photo had retired from high positions, meaning the people in this photo were also old.

In the entire photo, the only thing that looked relatively new was the beautiful lady in the lower right corner. The lady was wearing a simple silk cheongsam. Her long hair was coiled with an ebony hairpin, and a few strands of black hair hung down the side of her face. Her ears were like jade, her face was pure, and she wasn’t wearing any jewelry. She stood there quietly, but her temperament was mighty, as if she had descended from heaven.

And because of her existence, it made the huge photo seem to glow.

Liu Xing retracted his gaze and looked at the visitors again.

“The chairman said he’ll be here soon.” He coughed lightly, interrupting the four people who were studying the photo carefully. “Ah, is Captain Xing interested in this photo?” There was silence in the room, so Liu Xing reluctantly found a topic to break it. “This is a photo of when the foundation of our Hongjing Highway was laid. The groundbreaking ceremony wasn’t very grand. Several senior executives were present. More importantly, an important investor was also at the scene.”

Liu Xing had recited this sentence many times. After all, this was the most glorious history of the Hongjing Highway. Whenever visitors came, he was always responsible for explaining it.

He looked up at the beautiful lady in the photo and began to speak eloquently.

As one of the first batches of highways constructed in China, the Hongjing Highway once had trouble raising funds at the beginning of its construction. At that time, private capital was just emerging, and the so-called North-South families were just emerging.

In order to prepare for the construction of the highway, the then mayor of Hongjing went around begging for alms, and finally came to the door of the legendary first elite Chinese family.

It was said that on that day, the mayor arrived at the door of the family, knocked on it, and went in for a cup of tea. When he came out, he was holding all the funds that could complete the highway.

“This beautiful lady, isn’t it Miss Xing?” When Yang Dianfeng said this, he glanced at Xing Conglian meaningfully.

“No, that’s not Miss Xing but Mrs. Xing.” As Liu Xing spoke, he also looked at the poor Captain Xing and said with a smile, “Speaking of which, Captain Xing is also surnamed Xing.”

“No, our Captain’s Xing is punishment, which has sword as it radical*. He just has the same pronunciation.” When Wang Chao heard this, he patted Xing Conglian on the shoulder. “Captain, you have the same surname Xing, yet why are you so poor?”

*Clarity: The Xing in Xing Conglian’s name is () which means punishment. The Xing in Mrs. Xing is (). What Wang Chao is saying is that the first radical of the Chinese character is the same, but the second radical is different. Xing Conglian’s second radical is part of sword (). Thus, the Xing are homonyms but different Chinese characters, so they are not related.

Xing Conglian staggered a bit when he was patted. He looked at the lady in the photo and fell unexpectedly silent.

Wang Chao was certainly joking, but it showed that the first elite family in China was still rich in people’s hearts, as well as probably still rich in the physical sense.

The Xing family had been doing business since the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, spanning hundreds of years. Its tentacles had spread to almost every corner of the world. The Xing family managed everything, from gas and minerals, to mining and tobacco, to forestry and rice, but even so, they were only just a rich family.

However, legends hold that wherever there were Chinese people, the Xing family would always be held in high regard.

That was because, since the war hundreds of years ago, the Xing family had provided shelter for countless overseas Chinese, and to this day, ran the largest overseas Chinese charity organization, providing all kinds of assistance to countless overseas Chinese who were scattered in foreign countries.

All their praise boiled down to one sentence: The Xing family are truly remarkable.

In silence, the door suddenly opened. The chairman of the Hongjing Highway Company strode in.

Mr. Chairman ignored the people waiting in the office and sat down in his seat, then began to answer the phone.

The content of the phone call was about some insignificant content about a trip abroad. He chatted with the person on the other end of the line and seemed to have no intention of hanging up.

At this moment, Xing Conglian got up, walked over, and disconnected the call.

“Who are you? Who let you into my office?” The chairman scolded.

“Xing Conglian, Captain of the Hongjing Police Criminal Division.”

Perhaps it was due to Xing Conglian’s eyes being too cold that, after a short stalemate, the chairman’s tone finally softened. “Oh, Captain Xing, please sit down.” The chairman waved his hand and said, “I heard that you came to me, so you can ask that I shut down the highway.”

“We judge that the teenage hijacker will probably make a big move today. For the safety of the citizens, I hope you can agree to temporarily close it off.”

“Just because of your judgment, we have to close off the highway? Do you know how much loss the shareholders have to bear?!”

“I don’t.”

“What do you know?!” The chairman almost poked his finger at Xing Conglian’s face.

“I don’t know much, but I do know that if you’re not willing to take responsibility at this moment, you’ll have to bear the consequences for the next moment.” Xing Conglian’s eyes were full of frost.

“Consequences?” The Chairman sneered. “Captain Xing, you don’t think this highway is run by your family, do you?”

Hearing this, Xing Conglian had an odd expression on his face.


The author has something to say:

In fact, my country has been vigorously promoting the introduction of private capital to participate in highway construction. Many roads have private capital participating in investment and construction. This is true…

This is just slightly exaggerated, a bit modern…


Kinky Thoughts:

Well, obviously the Xing is the same Xing. Given that Lin Chen has four elite families after his ass, he needs the backing of a gong with an elite family that rules them all.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch23

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 23

After Xing Conglian finished surveying the outside of the bus, he bypassed the ground full of debris and walked inside. Yang Dianfeng followed behind him.

Lin Chen stood outside the bus and talked with Wang Chao.

“You’re saying the tablet he took appeared in the city?”

“Yeah, strange, right? And the route was weird. It looked like the GPS was broken.” Wang Chao looked at the man who was following the back of Xing Conglian’s ass and poked Lin Chen. “I suspect there’s a problem with that one.”

After listening to Wang Chao’s words, Lin Chen frowned lightly. “On what basis?”

“Ah, haven’t found it yet. It’s just that his appearance is too flattering, so there must be something wrong.”

Looking at the police officers investigating the scene in the bus, Lin Chen only felt that this case was very strange and dangerous.

A teenager who could hijack a bus yet only took candy led the police to track him for ten kilometers and then completed an impossible smuggling mission. These actions were pretty great, but though great, they were meaningless.

No one would spend such a high price doing something so meaningless, which, in and of itself, was the strangest part about this case. This was worthy of being vigilant.

Suddenly, the roar of an engine came from a distance, interrupting Lin Chen’s thoughts.

Lin Chen turned his head and found that the other lane was unusually empty, and dozens of cars were coming from the distance at a high speed in the opposite direction.

The leader was a white police car, followed by some large and small commercial vehicles. Without exception, those commercial vehicles were sprayed with the logos of major television stations. It was obvious they were from the news network. At the end of the convoy, there was a highway clearance vehicle.

In the blink of an eye, the convoy arrived in front of Lin Chen. The white police car slammed on the brakes, screeching over the white divider, making a sharp sound. After that, more than a dozen cars stopped one after another, spilling out countless smoke and dust, but no one got out of the car.

At that moment, several workers jumped off the clearance vehicle. They moved in a uniformed manner and quickly removed the section of the guardrail. Dozens of cars passed through it, and finally they all stopped outside the yellow cordon.

Looking at the pure white police car nearby, Lin Chen had a bad feeling in his heart.

With a click, the door opened, and someone stepped out. The leather boots were shiny, and the pants were straight. It was Huang Ze.

If Lin Chen saw Huang Ze, then obviously Huang Ze also saw him. It seemed as if he was being closely followed.

However, Huang Ze ignored him.

It seemed that Inspector Huang had more important things to do. He turned around, walked to the rear of the police car, and opened the door. He behaved upright and gentlemanly, attracting a series of flashes from the cameras.

Then, Jiang Zhe got out.

Lin Chen was stunned, but what surprised him even more was that just after Jiang Zhe got out of the car, all the spotlights and microphones were quickly pulled away from Huang Ze’s side and focused in front of the young man with messy, curly hair.

“Mr. Jiang, what’s your analysis of the scene?”

“Mr. Jiang, do you think another hijacking will happen again?”

“Mr. Jiang, can you analyze the psychological condition of the teenage hijacker?”

“Mr. Jiang…”

The reporters asked many questions and spoke very quickly.

Jiang Zhe had just returned from abroad and served as the host of an emotional talk show on a famous TV station. He was known for his sharp and merciless style. This was the first time he had taken over a case after becoming a consultant for the police force. All reporters received the news in advance. Teacher Jiang would first go to the rest stop and interview the victims. Then he would do an on-site inspection, and he welcomed the media to follow him throughout the process. Naturally, the reporters were extremely excited.

What was more, the case of the Candy Bandit was very interesting. The hijacker was just a cute boy who was stealing candy. He acted decisively and was humorous. He was playing the police like a fiddle. He could be chewing bubblegum at one moment and maybe mixed in with the passengers at the rest stop the next.

The Candy Bandit, coupled with Jiang Zhe, who was popular himself, made the media love this combination.

“According to the age analysis of the teenage hijacker, he should be in a rebellious period of his youth, and this rebellious behavior is to attract attention, similar to an exhibitionist who takes off his pants and orgasms when someone looks at him.” Jiang Zhe was as sharp as ever. With his own explosive points, the atmosphere of the scene became more enthusiastic. The sound of shutters followed one after another as every reporter’s face was full of excitement.

“Is that so?” Seeing a large number of people arriving, Xing Conglian stepped off the bus and stood beside Lin Chen.

“He’s quite right.” Looking at the interview scene, Lin Chen said, “Because he’s right, it’s scary.”

“Indeed,” Xing Conglian said.

Wang Chao was confused. “Huh? What are you talking about?”

“You see, if he did all this to attract attention, he undoubtedly succeeded.” The reporter’s solemn broadcast and the sound of the interview drifted in the wind. Jiang Zhe was in high spirits, amusing the reporters. Lin Chen paused, then glanced at Xing Conglian. “Then, this begs the question, why does he want to attract attention?”  

“Adolescent second-year teenagers are like this,” Wang Chao replied disapprovingly.

“That’s right. The onset of puberty will cause young people to urgently need social attention. There’s no problem with this. But young people with this kind of problem are bound to be unbalanced. They have extreme paranoia in their hearts and their reactions would match the state of their behavior. However, that teenager behaved decisively, gracefully, and spoke in a funny way…”

“If you talk about it, you will think the persona is a bit cute!”

“Yes, he gives off the feeling of being cute and cool. He’s an armed robber, yet you have this idea. Isn’t this the scariest thing?”

“He’s not right in the head. Don’t pay attention to him.” Xing Conglian grabbed the technician by the collar and dragged him back.

“How was it?” Lin Chen asked.

“The bus is clean.” Xing Conglian took off his gloves and stuffed them in his pocket.

The so-called cleanliness that the police captain spoke of, naturally, didn’t refer to the hygienic state of the bus, but to the fact that the teenager didn’t leave any clues that could be used for tracking.

“There are no fingerprints, no hair. He even took the candy wrappers with him.”

“Bold, cautious, and deliberate,” Lin Chen said.

“His purpose must not be as simple as just wanting attention.” Xing Conglian looked at Jiang Zhe and Huang Ze, who were isolated outside the interview site as he spoke coldly.

Lin Chen looked at the reed field that stretched out endlessly and finally spoke, “Xing Conglian, close off this entire area.”

Before his words fell, the first reaction of the transportation manager, who had been quietly listening, was, “Are you kidding me?!” The Hongjing Highway had a total length of 317 kilometers, starting from Qiong Mountain in the west to the Yongchuan River in the east. It was a transportation hub connecting two provinces. The average daily traffic flow was more than 30,000 a day. Even if it were closed for only half an hour, there would be a long line at the highway entrance stretching endlessly. What was more, it was unheard of to close the entire highway for the sake of a highway robbery that had already occurred.

Xing Conglian looked at Lin Chen’s face as if he was joking. In fact, he, like Lin Chen, had a very bad feeling in his heart.

In his experience, whether it was the tablet running around the city or the women’s perfume in the reed field, it was all a distraction for the police. Now that the police forces were dispersed, it meant the teenager who kept hijacking buses was about to take his final action.

However, this was purely conjecture, without any substantial evidence, so they could only watch the danger come.

“I don’t have the power to do that,” he said very sincerely.

Lin Chen seemed to see the unease in his heart. He pointed to the upright inspector in the distance and asked, “Then can he call the shots?”

“Captain Xing, the superior who kicked you off the investigation, is it Young Master Huang?” Yang Dianfeng suddenly made the connection.

“Yes, that’s him,” Xing Conglian answered casually and continued to talk to Lin Chen. “Want to try?” he asked.

“Young Master Huang is a well-known hardliner, and he already has preconceived notions about you. Why do you want to make a fool of yourself?” Yang Dianfeng persuaded anxiously.

Xing Conglian glanced at him and said indifferently, “Persuading Huang Ze is a shortcut, and if there’s a shortcut, we have to try it.”

Lin Chen nodded, obviously having the same attitude as him.

At this time, Huang Ze had already walked in front of them. He didn’t look at Lin Chen but said to Xing Conglian, “Captain Xing, this case doesn’t seem to be under your jurisdiction anymore. Please take the unrelated people and leave immediately.”

Naturally, the unrelated person Huang Ze was referring to was Lin Chen.

“Huang Ze, this is all so meaningless.” Xing Conglian lowered his head slightly and looked at Huang Ze as he spoke calmly.

“Captain Xing, don’t you have other cases to investigate? Why are you still here? Taxpayers don’t pay you so you can go sightseeing.”

“I have no cases at the moment that are more important than this one.”

“Oh, important? You really think this case is important? Then why has there been no progress in the investigation for months? Now you come to talk to me about importance, don’t you think it’s a bit late…”

“There’s no point in quarreling. If I want to quarrel, I can quarrel with you for three days and nights, but you’ll definitely lose. Now listen to me carefully.” Xing Conglian interrupted Huang Ze. “We suspect the criminal is likely to make a big move. I hope you can contribute to a higher level of reaction by closing down the highway, just in case.”


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Criminal Psychology Ch22

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 22

Xing Conglian felt that this matter was starting to get interesting.

He wanted to let Lin Chen stay for a while in order to punish him for silently and ruthlessly cheating death, but he didn’t expect that along the way, the person who experienced the torment became himself.

He had imagined several situations when he saw Lin Chen again, but when he waited downstairs, he heard Jiang Zhe’s words, and all the countermeasures that he thought of weren’t enough.

He held onto the stair handle as he walked up, feeling how fate was always so interesting.

The stairway on the second floor was occupied by the angry Huang Ze and Jiang Zhe, who seemed even angrier than the former.

Across from them, Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian at the same time Xing Conglian looked at him. When he saw Lin Chen, all the scripts that Xing Conglian prepared seemed to have lost their effectiveness in an instant. It was like as if water would always flow to the sea, and spring would always come after winter.

It seemed that reuniting was a very common thing, and since it was so common, there was no need to get too excited.

Lin Chen wiped the corner of his mouth, only to see Xing Conglian ignoring Huang Ze and Jiang Zhe. He passed by them as if they weren’t there and stood in front of Lin Chen.

“He hit you?” The captain of the police force was tall and wearing a police windbreaker. He had the cold air of the spring breeze on his body, mixed with the smell of mint tobacco. It tasted cold yet sweet.

“Yes.”

“Does it hurt?”

“It hurts.”

Lin Chen finished answering, but he didn’t hear a response. He raised his head and happened to look into Xing Conglian’s eyes. Those eyes were green with hints of blue that were as deep as the ocean.

Only then did Lin Chen realize that Xing Conglian had cut his hair to no longer than an inch, which only accentuated his mixed-race appearance, making him look extremely handsome.

He rarely paid attention to the appearance of others. He normally looked at things that had nothing to do with appearances, such as emotions or attitudes, but today, he was purely looking at the face of Xing Conglian.

Xing Conglian probably didn’t even know that he was being admired for his appearance, because when he saw Lin Chen staring at him, he thought for a while and then said, “It’s okay.”

For more than half a years, 180 days, Lin Chen occasionally thought in his free time, if Xing Conglian knew he wasn’t dead, what would he say? Based on that person’s lineage, he expected Xing Conglian to utter something strange, but he didn’t expect that he would say something as light as this.

It’s okay…

No sentence was lighter than this. No sentence was heavier than this.

Lin Chen felt moved.

After Xing Conglian finished speaking, seeing that Lin Chen hadn’t moved, he felt he hadn’t done enough, so he took half a step forward and stretched out his hand and hugged him. Xing Conglian’s hug was very shallow, lasting no longer than at most three seconds.

Lin Chen seemed to smell the scent of incense on Xing Conglian’s body and let out an inaudible sigh.

From their conversation to the end of their hug, it took no more than a minute, but in the eyes of Huang Ze, it was blindingly excessive.

As Huang Ze watched Xing Conglian and Lin Chen hug, his gaze fell on Lin Chen’s cheek. It was badly bruised, and the corner of his mouth was cracked with blood oozing out. Huang Ze realized that he had been too rough. At that moment, he saw Xing Conglian turn his head and glare at him.

Xing Conglian’s eyes were cold, as if he was saying, “If you want to pick a fight, come at me. What qualifications do you have?”

The gaze was the kind of indifference mixed with contempt and ridicule.

Being despised by others was something Huang Ze had never experienced since he was a child. With only one look, Xing Conglian successfully ignited all his anger.

Huang Ze held back Jiang Zhe, who wanted to retaliate, and said coldly to Xing Conglian, “It’s been nearly two hours since the incident. It’s only now that Captain Xing arrived?” Before Xing Conglian could answer, he spoke again. “If it weren’t for knowing that Lin Chen is here, how much longer is Captain Xing going to make the passenger wait?”

As the Police Inspector*, Huang Ze’s words were relentless. He ignored the police who had arrived earlier at the scene to first appease the passengers.

*Note: Depending on which country, the “inspector” position varies. Since the setting of this novel is in China, the Police Inspector is basically the supervisor of the police department. An American equivalent would probably be like the superintendent or chief of police.

There was a slight commotion among the passengers, who seemed to be in agreement.

Xing Conglian had many reasons he could use to justify his tardiness; the emergence of new clues or the traffic jam, but if he said this at this time and place, it would sound inappropriate, as if he was shirking from his responsibilities.

In that case, not defending himself was the best defense.

He patted Lin Chen on the shoulder and then nodded to the passengers. “When the bus comes to the bus terminal, you can leave. Thank you everyone for your time and patience.”

“Captain Xing, you’re just going to let the passengers leave like this? Have you finished interviewing everyone? Can you afford to miss a major clue?” Huang Ze sneered.

“Are you in a hurry to go?” Xing Conglian asked Lin Chen.

“Nothing major right now.”

Xing Conglian nodded, then pointed to Lin Chen and said to Huang Ze, “The clue says he’s not leaving for now.”

Huang Ze was so angry that he was momentarily speechless.

“The clue? Is Captain Xing referring to the criminal suspect of a major homicide?”

It seemed that Jiang Zhe couldn’t help speaking up, trying to curry favor when he saw Huang Ze gradually becoming disadvantaged.

“Consultant Jiang.” Xing Conglian stopped him sharply.

Jiang Zhe was taken aback.

Xing Conglian smiled slightly and said, “We’re a country under the rule of law. We should pay attention to the evidence before we act and speak.”

“What do you want to know? I can tell you.”

“Jiang Zhe!”

Huang Ze suddenly spoke up and interrupted Jiang Zhe. “With the rank of Captain Xing, it’s unsuitable for him to access this top-secret information.”

After hearing this, Jiang Zhe stared coldly at Lin Chen and stopped talking.

“Is Captain Xing not going to follow regulations?” Huang Ze’s words turned his words around and his tone became austere.

The attitude of these two people was so boring. Xing Conglian replied, “Certainly not. I’m going to the crime scene to inspect it right now. Does Inspector Huang want to join?”

“In that case, Captain Xing can have a good time catching up with Mr. Lin. This case is now in the hands of the City’s Provincial Police. Captain Xing can have a good rest.” Huang Ze took a few steps forward and patted him lightly on the shoulder.

It had been more than a month since Xing Conglian started investigating the series of highway carjacking, yet Huang Ze had now kicked him off the case with just a word, without even giving a reason.

Anyone who heard this would be angry or make noise, but Xing Conglian didn’t react. After all, he really scorned Huang Ze.

“Fine. You’re the highest rank here, so you’re in charge.” He nodded to Lin Chen, put his hands in his pockets, turned around, and walked away.

Lin Chen naturally followed him. As they walked, they talked in low voices.

“How did you find me?”

“Before that kid made his move, you glanced at him.”

Inspector Huang, who was standing aside, heard the scattered questions and answers floating in the air and became even more angry.

——

When Lin Chen reached the side of Xing Conglian’s jeep, he realized there was a person sitting in the front passenger seat.

“Yang Dianfeng, the manager of the transportation company where the incident occurred,” Xing Conglian said, pretending to be causal about it.

Lin Chen nodded and sat in the backseat.

“Well?”

Seeing Xing Conglian getting into the car, Yang Dianfeng asked him with concern.

“It’s fine. My superior won’t let me investigate.”

“How could this be?!”

Xing Conglian didn’t care. He closed the car door and looked at the backseat. “It has nothing to do with you. Huang Ze is just targeting me…”

“I know, but in accordance with the regulations on Inter-Provincial Collaborative Case Handling, Chapter III, Article 4, in the event of a major case, in order to ensure the reasonable allocation of police resources, the local criminal police should obey the unified deployment of their superiors, but under the premise of not affecting the investigation, the local criminal police of the case also has the right to independently investigate.”

“It’s really familiar having you back.” Xing Conglian lit a cigarette and put it in his mouth. Like a long-awaited plan, he quickly started the jeep. “Investigate together?”

“Nn.”

Hearing his answer, a smile rippled across Xing Conglian’s face.

Ten minutes later, they came to the real crime scene.

There was a bright yellow cordon outside the bus, and two Belgian Shepherds with bright coats happened to be returning. One of them had a bright yellow sneaker in its mouth and refused to let go.

“What’s the matter?” Xing Conglian asked as he got out of the jeep.

“They said after tracking for more than ten kilometers, only one shoe was found.” Wang Chao, who came to the scene ahead of time, crouched down and petted the search dog.

The trainer was trying to wrangle the shoe out of the search dog’s mouth as Lin Chen silently came to Xing Conglian’s side. When Wang Chao looked up and saw Lin Chen’s face, he couldn’t help but punch Xing Conglian’s back. “Captain, how can you be so heavy-handed? My A’Chen is a scholar!”

When he was attacked, Xing Conglian was wearing gloves and was examining the sneaker. He staggered, almost slamming his face into the sneaker. He was just about to shout his grievances when he noticed something strange.

Following Xing Conglian’s movement, Lin Chen also sniffed. In addition to the soft smell of vegetation like green bamboo shoots, there was a faint aroma in the air.

“This smells like perfume?” Yang Dianfeng suddenly appeared and squatted beside Xing Conglian, also sniffing.

“Hmm?”

“It smells very much like LANCOME MIRACLE, but I can’t be sure.”

“What is that?”

“It’s a women’s perfume. Many girls like it.” Yang Dianfeng was familiar with it. “However, according to the degree of fragrance retention, it’s very likely that he sprinkled the perfume on his shoes purposefully?”

“In order to disturb the line of sight,” Xing Conglian said.

“Is that so?” Yang Dianfeng looked at Xing Conglian and smiled, his gaze full of respect. “Fortunately, you are willing to continue investigating this case.”


Kinky Thoughts:

Based on this, it seems like Huang Ze is probably Lin Chen’s ex, because homeboy is so jelly that I need some peanut butter and toast to go with it.


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