A World of Sand 5
Lin Chen always felt that people who did things anonymously were a problem.
And for Xing Cong Lian, he felt that Lin Chen was in trouble.
The next morning, Xing Cong Lian sat at his desk after arriving at the station and read a new report.
His steam bun from the cafeteria was only half-eaten when a subordinate told him the director invited him to his office for tea.
The old director brewed non-authentic Longjing tea leaves and sat opposite Cong Lian, holding the cup.
He seemed to be bracing himself for a long discussion.
“Cong Lian, how’s your progress” The director set down his cup.
Staring at the director’s shiny bald head, Cong Lian sat straighter and answered, “The investigation is still underway.
I just got the report from the forensic team.
They found traces of deliberate damage to the bars in the park.
This should be a murder case.”
At the word “murder,” the director’s expression became grave.
“Cong Lian, ah, I’m old already, my heart is not that good.
Can you say such exciting words with a lower voice, please”
“The motive and MO are still unclear at the moment, and they might be connected to the recent White Sand corpses from the hospital and Chun Shui Street…”
“Quiet!” The director laid his hand over his chest.
“Don’t say this kind of thing so casually!”
“But, Professor Fu said…”
“Nonsense!” The old director slapped the table.
“For Fu Hao to be at this level, his teacher must have laughed himself awake!”
“Professor Fu is our external expert.”
“Bull**, what Fu Hao learned was psychological assessment.
He has never been into the field, and you’re telling me he can analyze cases now”
“You mean someone is guiding Professor Fu behind our back” Xing Cong Lian rhetorically asked in a puzzled tone.
“Xing Cong Lian!” The old director was too angry to play along any further.
“Yesterday, someone reported to our superiors that we, Hong Jing Municipal Bureau, had a non-staff assist us on a case.
It affects the fairness in our procedure and jeopardizes the purity of the police force!”
Cong Lian frowned, thinking this was strange.
Someone actually paid so much attention to Lin Chen that just bringing him to the police station yesterday was reported to his superiors
What was this
“Was Professor Fu not hired formally” Cong Lian continued to play dumb.
“Idiot, it’s obviously not Fu Hao!” The director barked, “The one you caught yesterday, that Lin Chen!”
“Lin Chen” Cong Lian looked at the director and asked, “Who exactly is Lin Chen”
The old director noticed Cong Lian’s serious gaze and only then realized he’d fallen victim to his subordinate’s counter-interrogation.
“You young people shouldn’t gossip so much!” The director calmed himself and sipped his tea.
“People reported to our superiors because of Lin Chen” When Cong Lian spoke, he used an unsure tone, “I just brought him in for a report.
If no one in our station recognized Lin Chen, then they must have gotten the news from our system.
His name is blacklisted, or they wouldn’t react so quickly…” He looked at his superior’s expression that was growing darker and mused, “Was he an officer before Or a former expert hired by our force”
Cong Lian hoped he could get a clue from the old man’s reaction but, unfortunately, the old man refused to show anything except for an ugly expression.
The old director finished his tea, set down his cup, and asked, “Are you eighty this year”
“A little away.”
“Then shoo! Don’t gossip like an old lady!”
In the end, Xing Cong Lian chose to not ask anything further.
He straightened his clothes and stood.
“So what you mean is, I can’t include Lin Chen in our investigation” This sentence was posed like a question, but when Cong Lian spoke, it was apathetic, even his tone was flat.
With that, he turned to leave.
“Stop.” The old director said suddenly and looked at his subordinate’s stiff back, “Hey, what did I just say”
This old man would never reveal his thoughts, even when he was in trouble, let alone reveal someone’s background
Xing Cong Lian returned to his chair and sat.
Meanwhile, the rain continued to pour outside.
It was sprinkling yet somewhat impetuous.
The manic wind blew the umbrellas back and forth, even people couldn’t stand firm in this wind.
Cong Lian leisurely read the site investigation report placed on his desk.
He understood the words but couldn’t grasp the hint behind it.
The corpses at the hospital were dressed up, the fruit vendor mania, the dead old man, the broken pole at the park…
All of it seemed unrelated; the cases were tied together by the sand yet not at the same time.
He couldn’t stop thinking about that dorm manager.
The man’s peaceful eyes and calm demeanor.
He very much so, wanted to stand, rush into this rain, run to the man and ask, “What do you know”
He stood, grabbed his keys, put on his coat, then walked out of the station.
Just as he was about to brave the rain, suddenly, amidst the water vapor, he saw a figure coming from afar.
The man was thin and held an umbrella.
One side of the umbrella had broken, and the entire thing shook in the wind.
But the hand holding it was steady, and the man’s pace was stable, even the sound of rain hitting the umbrella was static.
Looking at this person in the rain, Cong Lian had the urge to smoke.
Lin Chen stepped up the stairs, closed his umbrella, and shook off the water.
He was soaked as if he was just fished out of the water.
But his expression didn’t fluctuate.
He ave neither greetings nor small talk.
Instead, he looked up and asked straightforwardly, “Do you want to solve the case”
“Yes.” Xing Cong Lian answered perfunctorily.
“Do you trust me” Lin Chen asked.
“Are you afraid of retaliation”
“Afraid.” Xing Cong Lian answered truthfully.
He remembered Director Fang Cai’s warning, and Cong Lian more or less understood why Lin Chen asked this.
He thought his answer would disappoint the other man, but Lin Chen smiled openly.
So Cong Lian laughed and said, “But I’m even more afraid of not getting that bonus if I don’t solve it.
After all, it’s the season for crayfish…”
Lin Chen nodded as if agreeing with him.
“So, for your bonus and crayfish, please let me help with the investigation.”
Lin Chen’s voice wasn’t loud, and in this heavy rain, it was even more inconspicuous.
However, upon hearing this, Cong Lian was somewhat stunned.
In those short moments after deciding to ask Lin Chen for help, he thought of going about it without being too abrupt.
He also considered there was a high chance Lin Chen would refuse.
But he had never thought Lin Chen would say:
“Please let me help with the investigation.”
If it weren’t for those five minutes in the Director’s office, he would have thought Lin Chen had always been thinking of getting involved.
But when Lin Chen asked, “Are you afraid of retaliation,” he realized Lin Chen knew just how much pressure they would both be under.
Yet he still came here, braving the rain with only an umbrella to say, “Please let me help with the investigation.”
Cong Lian took a puff of his cigarette and asked, “Why, are there many people who won’t let you join”
“Do you mind” Lin Chen smiled, “I don’t.”
Xing Cong Lian was of Russian descent.
It was a strong bloodline, and it meant when he wanted something, he wouldn’t stop half-way.
Strangely enough, Lin Chen, who preferred peace and stability, was also such a person.
Cong Lian suddenly laughed.
Even after choking on the smoke, he still laughed.
“Welcome to the team.” His hand reached out, tossing aside the cigarette.
Although he didn’t care about being complained about, or being warned off, Xing Cong Lian still took the old man’s mood and the fact he suffered from heart disease into account.
Instead of taking Lin Chen to the station, he directly brought the man to his house at No.
6, Yan Jia Street.
The house was quiet, and the storm firmly kept away.
The same place, but a different time.
As he watched Lin Chen sit on the wooden bed facing the river, Xing Cong Lian felt somewhat guilty.
He took out a towel and made a cup of ginger tea.
Lin Chen seemed to be unbothered by the rain and being soaked.
He took the towel and the cup of tea Cong Lian offered but placed them aside casually.
“Actually, I came here this time because I received a letter with the sand inside.” Lin Chen took out a pink letter sealed in a bag.
Cong Lian could feel his scalp numb when he saw the letter and the white sand.
Without gloves, he could only flatten the letter and read it without taking it out.
“Do you know who sent it”
There was a pause this time.
Because the person who wrote the letter left little to no impression with Lin Chen.
It should be a quiet young woman.
If he hadn’t taken a look at the registration list of those going in and out of the dormitory, he could say he wouldn’t know her name at all.
He had noticed the woman sneaking glances at him and knew she placed letters on his desk many times.
The envelopes were always varied in color, sky blue, beige, pink, and the writing was quite elegant.
On it were always the words, “To Lin Chen,” but he never opened them.
“The sender is Yu Yan Qing, a gardener who prunes the flowers and trees at our school.”
“Are gardeners nowadays so cultured” Cong Lian read the letter several times before he could understand the verses and what they were trying to convey.
“She’s not old, between 25 and 28 years old, and had a good education.”
“Why did she send this to you”
“She’s been sending me letters.
I thought she had a crush on me and that they were all love letters.” Lin Chen said the word “crush” calmly.
He didn’t blush or appear shy at all so even Cong Lian couldn’t joke about him being crushed on by the gardener.
“She has a crush on you, and this sand could be stolen from your room, right”
“I don’t know,” Lin Chen replied frankly.
“Then why did she write about white sand, which happens to be related to the recent cases”
“I don’t know,” Lin Chen repeated, but after a slight pause, he continued, “But I do think there is a connection.”
Xing Cong Lian suddenly had an epiphany, “You suspect this might have something to do with you, which is why you decided to help, right”
Instead of answering him, Lin Chen said, “In any case, I can still help you, can’t I”
Xing Cong Lian could only nod helplessly.
Then, Lin Chen said, “If you trust me, please send someone to look for Yan Qing.
She is probably dead already.”