A World of Sand 10
Cong Lian was messy-haired and had a beard to begin with.
Coupled with his plain white T-shirt stained with mud, and his beach pants and flip-flops, he looked even more disorderly and poor.
Even if he showed his ID, the principal saw him as only a small policeman.
He was, indeed, just a cop.
“This officer, things happening in our school, has nothing to do with you, doesn’t it” The principal said, chest sticking out proudly.
Xing Cong Lian stepped out from behind Lin Chen and came to stand beside him.
He pulled out a cigarette and set it between his lips.
“Then why are you not on site”
Although Cong Lian’s expression seemed to read, “Wherever this Laozi wants to go has fart all to do with you,” he still replied earnestly, “Collecting evidence.” He forced down his discomfort and stuck the cigarette in his mouth back into the carton.
“What do you mean by that”
“I heard you just now, Principal.
You seem dissatisfied with our work, so I came to ask.”
Xing Cong Lian was tall and stood close to Lin Chen.
It looked like an older brother trying to protect his younger brother.
“I’m sorry, officer.
I thought you were trying to get involved with the dismissal of our employee,” the principal said in a strange tone then pointed at Lin Chen, “This dormitory warden is a temporary worker, but I will pay the dismissal fee, so I hope you won’t mind.”
Xing Cong Lian didn’t utter a response, because he was thinking of a more serious matter.
As an officer, he had many ways to make things difficult for the school and make them keep Lin Chen.
In fact, even before coming over, he had already thought of ways to help Lin Chen.
However, once Lin Chen really did get into trouble, only then did he remember that he was just a police officer.
Because he was an officer, he couldn’t use the methods he wanted.
This was very depressing.
He thought for a long time and finally, glanced at Lin Chen and grumbled in annoyance, “I really can’t get involved.”
Lin Chen seemed to understand Cong Lian’s mood well and nodded, looking relieved, “I understand.”
“Then, let’s pack up”
The conversation was so dull it embarrassed the three men in suits standing in front of the door.
Then, Xing Cong Lian embarrassed the three even more.
He raised a hand, waved his palm, and said, “Well, may we trouble you to make way for us”
Chen Ping didn’t budge.
He had been studying Cong Lian from the beginning.
In a report he received, it was mentioned that there was an officer on Lin Chen’s side, the captain of the Hong Jing Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Lin Chen was picky with his friends, so Chen Ping observed Cong Lian carefully.
Ignoring his attire that lacked thought and bearded face, it was the man’s eyes that caught Chen Ping’s attention.
A pair of beautiful, cunning, intelligent eyes.
The key, though, was that those eyes were impeccably clean.
There were many ways to describe cleanliness.
For example, Lin Chen’s eyes were crisp like fresh snow on a cliff, or melting icicles, so cold it was hard to even look at him.
This officer’s eyes were vast and deep, and it was precisely because of this that after “clean” one had to add “unfathomable” to their description.
Although he couldn’t get a clear read on the man, as the butler of a top-ranking wealthy family, Chen Ping realized one fact.
In front of money, hard bones will soften.
So Chen Ping took out a business card from a beautiful metal case and said, “Captain Xing.”
Cong Lian had already entered the room with Lin Chen, but when he heard someone call his name, he didn’t turn around.
Instead, he asked Lin Chen, “Is it okay if I don’t answer that”
“Doesn’t look that way.”
“Damn etiquette,” Xing Cong Lian muttered, turned, then said with a forced smile, “This gentleman, how can I help you”
“I’m the butler of Chen Jia.
I’ve heard of Captain Xing before, and I have something to talk to you about.
This is my business card.”
Chen Ping held out a dark, gold-embossed card.
But the other party was too slow in taking it.
Xing Cong Lian rubbed his beard and asked Lin Chen, “Is he bribing me”
“You said that out loud.”
“Of course, I need to say it out loud, or everyone will misunderstand,” Xing Cong Lian said in distress, “We grass-roots public servants are most terrified of this kind of misunderstanding, you know”
Xing Cong Lian looked earnest.
Lin Chen continued to nod understandingly and went to the door.
He bowed to the three people outside and, outside everyone’s expectations, closed the door in their faces.
“Problem solved,” he said to Cong Lian.
This time, it was Cong Lian who was stunned.
A moment later, boisterous laughter rang out, making the three people outside look at each other in embarrassment.
This was Cong Lian’s second time in Lin Chen’s dorm and, of course, his last.
He crawled under the bed and, under Lin Chen’s guidance, brought out a large cardboard box.
“You can come live at my place.
It’s a large house.” The policeman brushed off the thin layer of dust from the box, feigning a casual glance at Lin Chen.
“Aren’t you here to take the letters What’s going on”
Cong Lian sighed.
It really was troublesome to be just an acquaintance.
“One, Yu Yan Qing should have committed suicide.
Two, we found syringes in the room just now.”
“A stimulant” Lin Chen frowned.
His expression was difficult to read.
“Large doses of stimulants can cause disruption in behavior.
The fruit vendor at the riot could have taken a similar drug.
Makes sense, but it’s very strange.
“It’s peculiar that a clue appeared right when we needed one,” Xing Cong Lian said in disbelief as he sat down.
Talking to smart people gave flashes of inspiration sometimes.
Lin Chen also sat beside him.
Instead of talking, he opened the box.
Cong Lian knew there would be a lot of letters in the box, but he didn’t expect this many.
They filled the box so high that letters immediately fell from the top the minute it was open.
He was startled.
Lin Chen didn’t pay him any attention and quickly sorted out the letters.
He picked out some and set them on the floor then stuffed the rest back into the box.
He re-sealed the box, and now, there were ten or so neatly sealed letters on the floor.
From start to finish, his movements were like clouds floating on the breeze or the river current, smooth and effortless.
“The ones inside” Xing Cong Lian asked tentatively.
“From other people.”
“You haven’t read them”
“Who sent you so many letters” Xing Cong Lian asked then immediately felt the question was too nosy.
“Are we familiar with each other”
“Seems not,” Cong Lian said bitterly.
“Then why should I tell you”
The officer didn’t even know how to reply to that.
Recalling Professor Fu’s kiss-up behavior when he first met Lin Chen, he felt there was nothing to lose and copied Fu Hao.
Chin resting on top of the box, he stared at Lin Chen with wide, puppy-like eyes.
Lin Chen looked away but added, “Same with these letters.
I’m not familiar with the people who sent them, so why should I read them”
“Makes sense,” Cong Lian replied.
The room was quiet, and the rain outside had already stopped.
Lin Chen opened a letter and began to read.
Likewise, Cong Lian followed suit.
Cong Lian read faster than Lin Chen, and in a short while, he had read all the letters.
He felt goosebumps all over his body and a chill on his back.
“This is terrible.” He pushed some of the letters to Lin Chen.
“They’re all about the pain of death.” He picked up one and shook it, “Who would say, ‘Give me a dozen babies, and I will shape them into whatever you want’”
Lin Chen set down the letter and looked at Cong Lian.
“It’s a Quote from Watson, the founder of the behaviorism school of psychology.”
“So Yu Yan Qing was a psychology student” The captain rubbed his beard and asked, “She put the sand beside the deceased because you have the same sand in your room, and she had gone to study the sand table, maybe”
Lin Chen’s eyelids hung low.
“If she really regarded the whole thing as a sand table, then she obviously did this to present death, telling us to face it directly, but this also projects.
“Her subconscious is extremely afraid of death,” Lin Chen stated word-by-word.
Cong Lian raised his head, noticing the critical issue, “And there’s still that problem!”
“How could she have committed suicide if she was afraid of death” Lin Chen asked rhetorically.