Novel Wars

Psychological Control Chapter 4- I Encountered a Mouse Caught by a Cat, He’s a World Famous Swindler

"Brian, why do you want to be on America’s Next Top Model?” Tyra asked the same question after I walked the runway.

When Tyra asked this question, my eyes were empty for a moment, and then I made my smile disappear perfectly. "For life, ma'am. When I was four years old, my mother was the victim of a vicious case, and my younger brother and I witnessed it. My mother was my only relative. Because of the mental stimulation I received back then, I was sent to a mental health center. Since then, I have lost news of my brother who was only three years old back then…”

I didn't try to hide my personal information because it was not difficult to find out my past. On the contrary, my extremely tragic story will certainly bring a sensational effect after it is broadcast. The best thing is, it is all true.

"I'd like to know if he's ok...But I'm afraid he'll remember what happened back then…” I frowned and looked worried, "so I'm just saying it here that I’m only doing it to fulfill an obsession of mine.“

I knew that the story worked after I saw Tyra gasp and put her hand over her mouth, and the originally piercing eyes of the other waiting models in the room began to waver.

The story would not only impress the audience, but it would also have a profound effect on the judges. It would also help the other models who were competitors to reduce their hostility towards me. After all, a gentle boy who always has a smile on his face doesn’t seem to be difficult to get along with, right? Even if I looked like a formidable opponent, there was no need to target me.

I know all the models have to live under the same roof for nearly a month after the semi-finals of America’s Next Top Model begins. And the cameras will also film an episode on the life of the models in the villa. For me to continue the attitude of standing aloof from worldly affairs and not seem cowardly, I need to make my roommates leave me out of the war before it begins.

"Of course, that's what my psychiatrist told me. After years of information, I don't remember much of the scene back then. But after the therapy ended, I was over the age of adoption.” My stance was very relaxed, my hands were folded between my legs, and I looked directly at the floor in front of the judges' table. "After I was 18, I needed a job to support myself. And my mother left me this."

I raised my finger and pointed to my face. I raised my face slightly to let the shadow on my face go away and gave a simple smile. Some witty jokes broke the original heaviness and made my optimism seem even more apparent. Repeating a tragic story over and over may make people have a deep impression of the story but at the same time, you will be labeled as that story.

To take advantage of a story, rather than just being remembered for one story, you also need to show your personality when it's right. It's useless to only emphasize how strong you are and how you walked out of the shadow. It's not as impressive as a well-timed joke. After all, in addition to looking at faces, men with a sense of humor are popular these days, aren't they?

Tyra originally had tears in her eyes. After hearing this, her tears turned into laughter. Rob and Johnny also took a deep breath and relaxed their shoulders. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see the models waiting at the side of the room, looking at me with gentle eyes.

"After I became independent, I worked several jobs every day and spent two years studying on my own. This year, I was finally admitted to the psychology department of Stanford University." I added an inspirational story when my tragic story came to an abrupt end. "I was really excited when I got the notice. But I know that my savings are not enough to cover my college tuition for several years. School starts in a month, so I want to try to fight for this opportunity in the last month.”

At the end of the story, a few seconds of narration will make people wish it to continue. The inspirational story seemed to impress the judges and the waiting models began to whisper. Obviously, the models with high education were rare, let alone students from world-famous universities.

I could feel that two cameras were focused on me and one camera was aimed at the judges' panel. My eyes began to redden and fell right into the close range of a camera. It is my eternal task to have a smile with tears and move people’s hearts.

After the audition, I was certain I would be in the top thirty-five semifinalists. Because as I was about to leave, Johnny specifically came to me and let me do an interview alone.

It was the kind of interview where the person spoke while facing the camera in a quiet background. This method of personal narration will also be used repeatedly in subsequent shoots. After all, apart from the models’ shooting process of still photos and the challenge competitions, the shooting focus of America’s Next Top Model is filming the details of life and personal narrations in the models’ villa.

Each contestant's personality will be reflected in their narration. The contestants will be asked to state their evaluation of some conflicts in the villa, their feelings of a still photo shooting, etc. This was one of my main focuses, as each personal narrative was a small test. The content is very important in terms of how to make the audience remember what you said in a short minute or even a few seconds.

At the end of the personal interviews, although the uniform reply to the models was to go home and wait for a notice after a week, I knew that several models had been selected secretly and had been notified in advance, and I was lucky enough to be in the ranks.

Because I stayed at a hotel, I didn’t go home. The so-called models who received a personal notice call from Tyra, I tactfully declined to have a surprised response. To achieve their so-called surprised response, the photographer will ask you to excitedly jump and scream in front of the camera. Flashy acting is not suitable for the character I want to create.

"Hi, Mike." I walked out of the film studio and called Mike.

"The audition is over? How do you feel?" Mike's voice was somewhat distorted in the noisy streets of New York.

"Not bad. I already finished and came out.“ I carried my half-read book in the crook of my arm. I held a phone in my hand as I walked to the nearest fast-food restaurant. "They told me to go back and wait for a notice after a week. In reality, several pre-determined models had been informed in advance, and fortunately, I was among them.“

"Haha, then I'll be waiting for your photo online." I had a strange feeling that Mike didn't want to talk more on the phone right now just like back when I said the audition was in New York.

"Then you'll have to get me more votes.” I laughed and joked, “Don't forget, if I live in that villa, I have to be isolated from the world. Phone calls are limited to a few minutes a week, remember to have your cell phone on you!”

New York is a modern metropolis, but it’s not as antique as I like it to be. So the first stop of my 7-day tour of New York was to New York Times Square. It’s the favorite location among tourists.

At dusk, Times Square already had beautiful night scenery. All the screens and neon lights on the high-rise buildings were flashing. I held a mocha bought from a roadside coffee shop in my hands, looking at the busy street.

"If you want to walk around and shop, that building over there is a shopping mall.” I met a female student in the coffee shop. She blushed, pointing to the building to introduce it.

I put up a proper smile and said, “Thank you very much. I'll go take a look at it myself. If you need to go to class, don't worry about me."

"Yes…Of course..." The female student nervously pushed the glasses on her face and said, “Then…Then I'll leave first! Goodbye, Mr. Brian…" Her face flashed with death, and she lowered her head and ran away in a panic in the eyes of passers-by. Not far away were two friends who were excitedly waiting for her.

Before I became Brian, even though I was able to make women scream during stage performances, I was just an unremarkable Asian student in my daily life. But Brian's charm knew no bounds, whether it's profane sex appeal in jazz dance or being bright as a flame underneath the sun.

I walked through the bustling crowd into the mall. Wandering in the shopping mall, I finally chose a book bar with a function of a coffee shop and went in. I planned to spend the afternoon here. The book bar was very quiet. There were many students and office workers that had just gotten off work seated in it. I scanned rows and rows of bookshelves to find a book to read.


Oh, this word has been constantly following me ever since I became Brian. But according to my unfortunate younger brother's situation, maybe I would need to understand this kind of knowledge in the future? Dexter had the careful guidance of his adoptive father Harry, but I didn't know anything about systematic criminology except that I had previously studied criminal psychology on my own and studied it a little.

I found a corner seat to sit down. This should be an unremarkable corner where I could clearly see the whole book bar, but wouldn’t be noticed. But strangely, after I sat down, several girls around me frequently looked in this direction and whispered to each other.

I didn’t think that I caused it. Even if Brian looked even more remarkable, he won't randomly attract such massive attention. I turned my face and looked to my left. Oh, it seems that I had found the source. No wonder there were so many women sitting around this unremarkable corner.

It was a handsome man, I should say that he was too perfect. I unobtrusively sized up this man who was like a peacock that spread his tail to display his charm under the gazes of the men and women around him.

A few strands of his not-too-long, not-too-short black hair fell on his forehead, while the rest was combed back in an orderly fashion. The thing that made him out of place in this warm and idyllic little book bar was his expensive and decent suit that had no wrinkles as if he was a dandy of a prestigious family.

However, his indescribably refined facial features and careless smile made people's first impression of him be of a yuppie and a rich family’s son. He could easily socialize with women, his biggest weakness was also women.

I was surprised to find that I could not profile his mentality and past from his behavior and appearance. This man must be a master of deception.

My examination also attracted his attention. He glanced up and down at me as if he were examining something, and then he noticed the book on criminology that I had put on the table. If I didn’t guess wrong, his purpose of coming here wasn’t to pass the time like me. But it's none of my business.

At this time, a middle-aged man wearing the same working clothes as the other staff in the book bar came over with a cup of coffee and a pot of black tea in his hands. The black tea and a small teacup were placed in front of me, and the black coffee was placed in front of the man.

"Anssi’s painting, The Whistleblower, was stolen by Gerald Brown in 1993. It was two weeks before the owner of the oil painting found that it had been stolen because Brown exchanged the original with a very fine reproduction.” The man who attracted the eyes of all the women around him suddenly opened his mouth to speak when the black coffee was just placed in front of him. (1)

Oh, was I so lucky that I could see a big show?

The man put down his old newspaper, which was dated 1993. The headline of the first page was about the aforementioned crime of art theft and counterfeiting. I propped my chin in my hand, bored. I squinted at the picture of the priceless art piece in the newspaper he put on the table. This store had a good collection.

Then I glanced down and saw an ankle monitor on the man's left ankle. Ah, it's really a big show!

A person with an ankle monitor on his foot, you could guess what happened just by using your brain. He was either a potential criminal under surveillance or a criminal caught by the FBI to be specially commandeered as an FBI special advisor because of his superb professional strength.

So, the peacock, who sends out hormones anytime and anywhere, should be a swindler and thief with great mastery in counterfeiting? It's really pitiful. Being caught by a police cat, he had to sell his labor to catch mice of their kind to be free.

Spacing out, I couldn't help laughing silently. This made the peacock next to me give me a sidelong glance.

When he saw me, he only looked curious. He turned to continue looking at the stiff middle-aged man who had just put down his coffee and said, "Brown avoided all the alarms by dropping onto the roof of Sabid Castle from the sky. Some people call it a perfect crime."

Perfect crime? There is no so-called perfect in this world because as long as it is done by people, there will always be mistakes due to people's negligence. Even if it was a small mistake...Sure enough, the peacock spoke again soon after.

"But I don't think that can be considered perfect, Brown." He stood up and put his hand on the motionless man's shoulder. "You misjudged the landing site. As far as I know, you landed on the tiles and slipped, but you grabbed the railing on the top of the castle and saved your life. That’s really lackluster.”

The man who I gave the code name of Peacock, under the eyes of all the surrounding people, his expression naturally showed a smirk and spread his hands. Unfortunately, because I was sitting too close to him, people saw me from the periphery of their eyes. From this angle, I could even clearly see the curious look in the eyes of those people.

“Sorry about disturbing you because of personal reasons, customers.” The middle-aged man called Brown came to his senses and squinted at Peacock. I noticed that at the moment when this man came to his senses, his right hand beside his body played a subtle rhythm on his thigh bit by bit with his fingers. Although his expression did not change a bit, I still noticed his subtle move.

He's sending Morse code! To whom?

Translator’s Note:

1. I believe that this painting is fictional.