Chapter 31: The Twentieth Cycle of Time (II)
Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.
Taking Li Shiqing off the bus was actually a desperate move.
Neither of them could drive, and they needed help to subdue an older woman with a murder weapon and a bomb, and a bus driver in the middle of a journey who could not do anything to stop the driver from overreacting.
Not to mention the fact that both Li Shiqing and he were getting a little bored after the loss of the effort, and as the saying goes, "One drum, one failure, three failures", and if we kept going, we might both go crazy in the car.
What do you think, you've done everything you can on the bus, and now you've found a new obstacle that you can't remove, so it's a dead end.
After getting off the bus, the two men stared at the fading bus, not feeling relieved at all, but on the contrary, their hearts were too heavy for words.
"Calling the police?"
As she watched the bus depart, Li Shiqing chose to communicate with her companion first.
"You're already tired, let's cut loose."
Boy patted Li Shiqing on the shoulder, "When the car is out of order, the police will probably call us and we'll just cooperate with the investigation then."
He is always worried about Li Shiqing's psychological state, especially after the 'betrayal' of the older man.
"Let's go then."
After discussing this, the two chose to go to the park where they had been last time.
When they found a gazebo and sat down, Li Shiqing and Boy took out their mobile phones in unison, without discussing it.
The two smiled at each other when they realised that the other was thinking the same thing as they were.
"You check what happened on the bridge at 13:45, I'll check if there was any accident on the 45 bus?"
Boy asked his companion, "A middle-aged housewife who wants to take revenge on society, either her children are in trouble or she is probably emotionally entangled, let's check in that direction. If the older man was coerced, he and the older woman should have crossed paths in reality as well."
Li Shiqing opens the search engine in her phone.
For the rest of the day, neither of them exchanged much, just quietly looking up news and information and occasionally discussing a few things.
"Look at this, this 45 bus route is considered by locals to be the 'most conflict-prone' route and there have been quite a few incidents because of a bridge across the river ......"
Boy showed Li Shiqing one of the local forum's trolls, "Once you get over the station, it can take up to 40 minutes for a round trip, and often people get off the station themselves and argue about it."
Li Shiqing has been sitting on this line for a few years, so of course she knows the situation and nods, "Indeed, that's true, then it would be difficult to check from route 45."
If there had been a number of people online who had become disgruntled with this thread, there would have been as much useless information as an explosion.
"Could it be this, a theft on the 45 bus?"
Boy looks at his phone and talks to himself.
But soon, he dismissed his suspicions.
"Oh, so it's a stolen phone, this is common, it shouldn't be ......"
On the other hand, Li Shiqing's search for "13.45" has not made much progress either.
The 45 bus route connects two important areas of the city with the river bridge, so there is a huge amount of traffic coming and going, so there are a lot of accidents every year, both big and small, which add up to a horrible amount of information, and even fewer mention the exact time.
On a larger scale, there are serial car accidents, trucks hitting cars and catching fire, and on a smaller scale, there are simple cuts and scrapes that lead to fights and breakdowns that block traffic ......
Even if you just search for buses and times, you will find people who have rear-ended others, been hit by others, had to turn around temporarily when a patient was sick in the bus, and the list goes on and on, filling up the whole page.
The two men saw double vision, but the result was like looking for a needle in a haystack, unable to find any useful information.
While modern, highly developed society has made it easier to find information, finding exactly what they need in the vast amount of information available has become the biggest problem for them.
"Look at this, someone had got out of their car and was involved in a car accident at around 1pm, could it be ......"
Li Shiqing suddenly turned up one that seemed useful and was just about to show it to Boy when he heard a muffled thud in his ear.
Boy, who had just come together, shuddered and both of them looked involuntarily in the direction of the river-crossing bridge.
To the northeast, a rolling plume of smoke rushed out into the sky, rising into the air, the thick black smoke like a hideous demon, tearing through the clear, washed-out sky with its teeth and claws.
"Is that the direction of the ...... bridge?"
Boy shivered a little and asked Li Shiqing uncertainly.
He glanced down at the time on his phone, which was exactly 13:45.
"It's the bridge."
Li Shiqing visually measured the distance, and his heart fell like a heavy stone.
"It looks like this one blew up on the bridge."
The rolling smoke was reminding them that countless lives had been lost from this world for good.
"Don't think too much about it."
Boy took Li Shiqing by the shoulders to stop her from looking at the smoke, looked her in the eyes and said seriously, "Just remember, we are resting now 'to go further'."
Li Shiqing nodded bleary-eyed, but her grip on the phone grew harder and harder.
"Why did the driver's uncle have to drive to the bridge before detonating? Was that 13:45 explosion time predicted in advance by the culprits to drive onto the bridge, or was it simply a ritualistic pursuit? Or maybe it was a moment of some great importance to them?"
This time it wasn't a tanker crash, but the end was even more uncertain, and Li Shiqing's doubts grew deeper.
"The bridge ride, the bus, the explosion, so much information strung together, it doesn't even look like an ordinary revenge against society, but rather like ......"
"...... is like a sacrifice."
Boy was stunned, ironically, and took the words on.
The bus that takes everyone to the netherworld is really reminiscent of the most sinister scenarios in fantasy, where the passengers are too much like some kind of 'sacrifice' to evil spirits or demons.
With this association, the two men were in an even worse mood.
The atmosphere is even more stagnant with the smoke rolling in the distance.
"Don't think about it so much, in fact, think about it another way, the bus exploding on the bridge might be more beneficial to us!"
Boy stroked his chin and suddenly said, "The first few times the police couldn't find clues, it was because the bus hit the tanker and the explosion site was so damaged that they couldn't find any useful clues and had to rely on cross-examining us to make progress ......"
"But this time it's different."
He frowned, "This time the car was blown up on a bridge, it should be easier for the police to check out certain clues, maybe we just have to wait a while and we'll get crucial information ......"
"No, that's too slow. ......"
A glint of hope slowly appeared in Li Shiqing's eyes, "Maybe we should try to come forward to the police?"
Boy feels a bit muddled in the head.
"Why can't we find much useful information online? Because the way we're looking is so inefficient! What if we could borrow from the police?"
With Boy's earlier 'brickbats', Li Shiqing struggled to clarify the glimmer of light in her own head.
"We now know the older woman was the culprit, carrying a pressure cooker with a bomb in it; the driver's uncle was an accomplice, or at least an accessory, and never tried to open the door to allow an escape from the start ......"
Boy with glasses also reacted and came to his senses as if he had been hit on the head.
"You mean, we can't find out and the police can?!"
"An old driver like Uncle should have a full personnel file at the bus company, right? It should be easy for the police to find out about the driver's uncle. Knowing that the older lady is suspicious, they might be able to find out her real information through the surveillance footage of the bus?"
Li Shiqing is not quite sure, but he is still thinking along these lines.
"Just like the police investigated us before, if we can interrogate them about their social connections, their interpersonal relationships, what happened in the past, we might be able to find out the motives of the older woman and why the older man is helping her!"
"We got off the bus normally this time, there was nothing to be suspicious about and we didn't even have to worry about the police questioning us as they had done on previous occasions."
She was so excited that even her voice trembled, "Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack like we are, we should honestly cooperate with the police in their case, be a 'good citizen' and provide useful clues and directions to the police! !"
"That's a good one!"
Even Boy had to admit that this was a useful suggestion in the current impasse.
"Then next, we just have to sit back and wait for the police to summon us!"
They had been off the train several times before and the first thing the police did when they knew about the case was to collect useful information from passengers who had been off the train before, by phone and by visiting them.
As the two passengers who got off at the nearest stop, the police will find them sooner or later to find out what happened, and at that point, just provide as many clues as possible based on the police's questions.
"Come on, let's organize our thoughts and summarize what information is key ......"
With a direction, Boy's mind started to spin again, pulling out the pen and paper he carried with him.
"This time, we absolutely cannot 'return without success'!"
The bombing took place at 13:45, and as this time it was directly on the bridge, unlike the previous times when it hit the tanker truck, it caused a much worse and more unacceptable impact.
After Li Shiqing and Boy discussed their strategy for dealing with the police, they waited for an imminent phone call from the police while they poured over various information that appeared on the internet with faces as heavy as water.
Although they knew that just looking at the news was futile, as two young people, it was difficult to control their desire to check the internet for information.
After almost an hour of this, the first call came in on Boy's mobile phone.
"It's the police, isn't it?"
Li Shiqing looked at Boy nervously and expectantly.
"I think it's ......?"
Boy took a deep breath, adjusted his thoughts and picked up the phone.
But the next moment, that breath of his deflated.
"Huh? What courier? I'm not in the dorm, you can just leave it in the security room."
Boy glanced sheepishly at his companion, trying to get the call over with, "What? On delivery? Is it okay if you deliver it tomorrow then? Or I'll paypal you at ......"
"Master courier, I'm really busy now, why don't you settle for another courier first, no I'll contact you later and go to the courier point to get it myself, okay?"
There was obviously something else to say, but Boy was worried that the police would not be able to get through if the line was busy, so he ended the call in a hurry.
The atmosphere was a little awkward and a little funny after the call hung up.
"I used salted fish to buy digital products, the seller is too stingy, actually pay on delivery ......"
Boy explains dryly.
The previous times he had either switched off or blocked calls, this was the first time he had received this call.
"Let's hope you do get this delivery tomorrow."
Li Shiqing sends her best wishes in a double entendre.
"I hope so."
Boy smiled bitterly, not daring to hold out much hope that he could get out of this time loop tomorrow.
With this oops episode, the two men's hearts, which had been on edge, relaxed a little and they both tried to wait in a more positive frame of mind for the police to initiate contact.
After another ten minutes of time, the police did come calling to summon them.
"You're in the same piece? Great, please come to the W City Criminal Police Detachment immediately, we will send someone to meet you at the door, the address is on XX Road, please assist us in our investigation as soon as possible!"
The other man was even more delighted when he was told that the two passengers who had got off the bus at the time were together, and even his tone of voice rose higher.
This time Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun chose to respond to the summons voluntarily and went out to catch a taxi to the criminal police station.
The address was not unfamiliar, they had been there before, but they had been escorted there by a police car, and this time they went there on their own, with increasingly mixed feelings.
On the way to the CID, the taxi driver had been listening to a traffic broadcast about the bombing in his car, and the radio's description of the bombing scene in all its detail had caused both men physical and psychological discomfort.
The small space of the taxi and the frequent mention of words like "explosion" and "bus" on the radio made them feel suffocated, and Li Shiqing felt the urge to vomit, and could only cheer each other up by holding on to each other's hands. The only way to cheer each other up was to hold on to each other's hands.
The distance to the police station was getting closer and closer, and it brought back bad memories of the previous times when the two men had gotten out of the car, and the calmness and bravery they had felt when discussing "countermeasures" were gone.
"You don't know yet, but there's a bus explosion over the river bridge!"
The taxi driver, who could not keep his mouth shut, was always finding things to say to them.
"I heard that the scene was so tragic that even the corpses could not be recognized, the doors of the bus were all blown out of shape, and when they went to rescue people they all climbed in through the windows! Hey, you say there are bombs, where there are still living people can save!"
"That's why it's safer to take a taxi. Who knows when a crazy person will get on a bus? There's always one or two lunatics in the world, and what if you happen to run into one?"
The taxi driver was still rambling on, "What do you think?"
"Driver, this is where we get off!"
Li Shiqing suddenly turned pale and asked to get out of the car a little way from the CID.
When Boy paid the fare and hurriedly followed his companion out of the car, he saw Li Shiqing hugging a rubbish bin on the side of the road and throwing up.
As the person who makes the 'offer' each time, she is under too much psychological pressure.
"Are you okay?"
Boy rushed forward and patted her back a little distressingly.
"Don't you come over here, dirty ......"
Li Shiqing waved his hand behind his back, signalling that he did not need to come over.
"Sorry for the delay again ......"
As she bent over to suppress the nausea in her throat, "Let me blow, just for a moment."
Boy sighed and went to the roadside to buy a bottle of water and a packet of tissues, which he handed to her from behind.
When Li Shiqing got up again, her eyes were slightly swollen and even her nose was red, whether the vomiting had triggered physical tears or whether she had cried from the heart.
Boy thoughtfully pretended not to see anything, turned on the navigation to see where the CID was, and patiently held Li Shiqing's hand as he walked towards his destination.
When we arrived at the door of the criminal investigation team, there was indeed a uniformed officer looking anxiously at the door.
Seeing the young pair walking towards the door, his eyes lit up and he walked up to them with great speed.
When they got a good look at the officer's face, Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun's steps slowed down.
The next moment, even Boy's nose tingled for no apparent reason.
"You're Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun, right?"
The officer's tone was unprecedentedly warm, and after receiving an affirmative reply, he introduced himself while extending his hand.
"We called you earlier, introduce myself, I'm one of the officers in charge of this case, you can call me Officer Zhang or, as with everyone else, ......"
He tightened his grip on Xiao Heyun's hand.
" Mr. Zhang ."