Two Way Trip 13 Choices Meeting the love of your life in the midst of a crowd or being able to cut the right wire when disarming a bomb were only tropes seen in movies.
Movie leads always had their protagonist's halo, and Huang Ze was left with his thoughts that that was definitely not him; he wasn't that lucky.
After driving Lin Chen away, he fell into an indescribable mood once again.
Huang Ze didn't regret it. Even as he was squatting in front of a time bomb, facing what might be certain death, he didn't regret it. It was as Lin Chen said. Whether or not some things happened didn't depend on a single individual's will. The reason for his strange emotion was caused by the realization of his tendency to become someone emotional, irrational and spiteful whenever Lin Chen was involved. It went against the elite education he received since childhood and all of this was because of Lin Chen.
Now, when Lin Chen was asking him to do something irrational again, what should he do?
Nearly 100 km away, Lin Chen stood in front of the screen at the monitoring hall, appearing to be waiting for Huang Ze's decision.
"You should know how dangerous this is. There's a high possibility that when Huang Ze cuts that live wire, the bomb will detonate in an instant." Turning his head, Xing Cong Lian leaned in to whisper into Lin Chen's ear.
"I know. But with 10 minutes left, letting him remove the detonator is just as dangerous." Lin Chen covered the receiver, as if he didn't want Huang Ze to hear his next words. "And I highly suspect the driver is lying."
"Why do you think so?"
"Three things. First, when a person lies, they will unconsciously remove the subject "I" from their statements. For example, they would say "when smoking" instead of "when I was smoking" or "instructed to stop midway" instead of "told me to stop midway"… Because these events were not something they experienced, their sentences lose the subject "I" when fabricating lies."
"Don't you think that's too far fetched? He did use "I" once or twice." The chairman, who had been paying close attention to the development of the situation, commented before Xing Cong Lian could say anything.
Lin Chen nodded, then surveyed the hall before his gaze fell on the tech geek who was tapping madly on the keyboard. "w.a.n.g Chao, tell me your age. Lie for the first one and tell the truth the second time."
"Ah?" The young man who was named looked up without a clue of what had just been discussed.
"How old are you this year?"
The question came so suddenly, w.a.n.g Chao had no time to think before he reacted.
"16!" w.a.n.g Chao held his head up high and replied with full confidence.
"I asked, how old are you this year?" Lin Chen repeated, this time with a heavier tone.
"Okay then… I'm 18 this year."
As soon as w.a.n.g Chao finished speaking, he fell silent, realizing that he had used a subject word.
Hearing his answer, Lin Chen turned to Xing Cong Lian with an incredulous look on his face. "You employ the use of child labor?"
The captain seemed a little embarra.s.sed, simply responding with, "He's an adult now."
The chairman wanted to continue refuting Lin Chen's claims, but Xing Cong Lian shot him a look and motioned for him to stay silent.
"Go on," he said to Lin Chen.
"Second, recollections of lies and real events differ. When someone is retelling a lie, it will be much more detailed. When I asked the driver how the hijacker took control of the bus, he answered confidently and recalled the name "Yin Chuan" with no problem. Meanwhile, when I asked the Feng Jing teacher, I had to try several methods to get him to remember the specific place."
"You can't just rule out the possibility that the driver might have gone out of his way to remember where they got off!"
"Of course." Nodding, Lin Chen continued to speak, "So we come to the third point. When people finish telling a lie, they tend to think that they've muddled through to safety, so when you ask them the same question again after some time, there are two ways in which they might respond: either they will get angry or they will accidentally tell the truth."
"But in such a tense situation, wouldn't you get angry if someone kept repeating a question you've already answered?"
This time, the person questioning Lin Chen was the manager of the transportation company who had been watching from the back. Yang Dian Feng asked his question with hostility, and many staff members who had the same thing in mind turned towards Lin Chen. The driver had been strapped to his seat with a bomb, only wanting to go home to have a warm meal with his family. Questioning a victim in such an indifferent way was disgusting.
Lin Chen wasn't moved by the hostile gazes in the slightest, even appearing to agree with their opinion. He just looked at Xing Cong Lian, saying in a light tone, "Even the results from a lie detector can not be used in the court. Not all judgements on lies can be 100% correct."
"a.s.suming that the driver is lying would also be a.s.suming he's an accomplice. He won't let himself be killed, so it'll be safer to cut the live wire than to remove the detonator."
"I'm of the same opinion."
"Why didn't you tell Huang Ze all this?" Noticing that Lin Chen still covered the receiver, Xing Cong Lian asked an unrelated question out of nowhere.
"As you saw here, when I said the driver might be lying, many people disagreed. Let alone Huang Ze." Lin Chen raised his gaze to the man on the screen.
"And… I'm certain that if I try to have a serious conversation with him, he won't listen. But if I ask him to risk his life, he will be more than happy to do so because it might make me feel regret and suffer for the rest of my life. He won't miss that opportunity."
Xing Cong Lian frowned as he contemplated Lin Chen's words. He turned to Lin Chen with a gaze that was just as serious. "If I was Huang Ze, I would have liked to know all the information you had just divulged."
"Even if it could lead you to make the wrong choice?"
"Yes. When it comes to a matter of life and death, I hope I can make that decision on my own and not be forced to make the reasonable decision by someone else."
Lin Chen looked back at Xing Cong Lian. In all honesty, he didn't understand why Xing Cong Lian would say this, but the man's gaze was too firm, so Lin Chen nodded. "Understood."
On the screen, Huang Ze was squatting near the driver's legs, studying the bomb's structure.
At this time, the staff sent the message saying that the cleaned tools had been delivered.
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When Huang Ze turned around and stepped out of the bus, Lin Chen took his hand off the receiver and said, "Huang Ze, keep moving, don't look back. I have something to tell you."
Cut into two, the copper threads within were now exposed. No fire or smoke rushed to the sky and the bomb didn't explode. But before anyone could sigh in relief, Huang Ze stepped back and a boom rang out in everyone's mind.
Like a river flowing into the sea or a dam breaking in a flood, the number on the timer seemed to jump from 9 minutes straight to 7. The red dots denoting seconds started to blink out of control.
Huang Ze didn't have the time to glance at the camera as he rushed out to shout at the reporters and a few staff standing beyond the barricade line.
With his mouth wide open, he waved his hands down hard. In the fuzzy monitoring lens, people dropped to the ground one after another, their arms covering their heads.
There was no sound as this all happened. Huang Ze had turned off the only communication device. Everything happening right now was like a silent movie, playing out on a large screen hundreds of kilometers away.
In the hall, some people shut their eyes and began to cry.
Time pa.s.sed by in a flash, yet also crawled into a halt.
Huang Ze reappeared on the screen. As he slowly approached the camera, the texture of his clothes came into sharp focus, but because he was too close to the lens, his face wasn't captured.
Suddenly, Huang Ze raised his still steady hand. The next moment, the screen plunged into a still darkness.
He had turned off the camera.
There was a faint cry in the room. Lin Chen still stood quietly and peacefully. His breathing didn't fluctuate, nor did his face. And the hand Xing Cong Lian had placed on Lin Chen's shoulder did not clench.
"w.a.n.g Chao, pull out the last picture captured." Xing Cong Lian's voice was very stable. It sounded too detached in the solemn atmosphere.
Huang Ze's neat clothes appeared on the screen again. In the gap between his hand and body, the timer was visible. The countdown was over.
It seemed that people on the scene had also realized what this meant. Their conversations grew louder from the small sounds akin to a silkworm gnawing on a leaf. From doubt to happiness, some people began to applaud while others cheered.
At the same time, the darkened screen suddenly lit up. The lens was clear. Huang Ze threw away the scissors in anger, then began dismantling the bomb from the driver in a rush.
The moment its power supply was cut off, the glittering LCD display snapped open, surprising Huang Ze so much that he almost fell to the ground. Colorful ribbons sprang out, and in the confetti showers, a clown jumped out, its fingers almost poking him in the face. Huang Ze's countenance was ashen, yet he reached out to the clown's other hand. There was candy in it, with lemon yellow packaging.
TL Checker(s): Zryuu
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