Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
“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.
Huang Ze read it again, and instantly realized that this was a phone number.
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?”
“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.”