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307 Evidence

 "Huo Jialan, why should Bai Jinyi take your father's phone away only six years after he passed on? Are you sure it wasn't given to Bai Jinyi by your mother?" Gu Nianzhi asked after observing the heated accusations and fighting between Huo Jialan and Bai Jinyi.

"Precisely! Your father would have given it to me anytime if I had wanted it!" Bai Jinyi retorted. She had not expected Gu Nianzhi to speak up for her.

"Oh please." Huo Jialan rolled her eyes. "Stop putting feathers in your own cap. You have been carrying a torch for my father your entire life, but he never looked you in the eye. Not even once," Huo Jialan spat out, her voice filled with hate. "My father would not have given the phone to you even if you had knelt down and begged for it. Moreover, the person he truly loved had gifted the battery in his phone to him. He would have never..."

Huo Jialan gasped, her hands flying to her mouth. She fell silent and lowered her head in guilt. She knew that she was truly done for this time.

"The person your father truly loved? Wasn't it your mother?" Gu Nianzhi lowered her voice and asked.

The corners of her mouth sagging, Huo Jialan closed her eyes, refusing to speak anymore.

A flicker of light flashed in Bai Jinyi's eyes. Her gaze fell upon a lady who was sitting amongst the audience on Gu Nianzhi's side.

She was dressed in a light purple Chanel checkered dress and, draped around her neck, was an intricately patterned apricot scarf. Her skin was smooth like porcelain, and her beauty was enhanced by her elegant posture.

Even though she was sitting beside the ever-imposing Huo Shaoheng, one still wasn't able to take their eyes off her, this refined and lovely woman: Song Jinning, the real and conscious woman of that name. She was no longer the pitiful and sad figure who had existed in the reality of her split mind. She was as youthful as ever, though she was already 50 years old.

This was the exact woman whom Huo Guanyuan had given his heart and soul to.

Bai Jinyi's hands began to tremble uncontrollably. She heard herself snort as she said, "When did Huo Guanyuan ever loveLuo Xinxue? Stop trying to claim credit for your mother, Huo Jialan!"

"It wouldn't have been a slut like you even if my father didn't my mother!" Huo Jialan shouted. "You seduced my second uncle just because you couldn't get my father. Do you even have a sense of shame? Wait, that's right. A shameless and pathetic woman like you who had nothing else to offer would have wanted all other women out of the way. You murdered my mother, and you didn't want to let my second aunt off. Did you think that people wouldn't be able to tell what disgusting thoughts you have in your head?!"

"Shut up!" Bai Jinyi screamed. She felt her deepest scars sting painfullyas they were exposed openly by Huo Jialan. She was seeing red. She'd had everything she wanted her entire life, until she met Song Jinning and Huo Guanyuan.

The former had made her doubt her capabilities, while the latter had made her doubt her own position as a woman. Bai Jinyi had realized long ago that if Huo Guanyuan hadn't died, if the accident had never come to pass, then the inferiority of her existence in competition with Song Jinning would have driven her mad with jealousy.

"Why should I shut up?! The fact was that you hated my mother. That was why you stole my father's phone and murdered my mother!" Huo Jialan did not want to beat about the bush anymore; she blatantly accused Bai Jinyi as the culprit of her mother's murder.

All these accusations, on top of the fact that Bai Jinyi had Huo Guanyuan's phone in her possession, were not in her favor.

However, Jin Dazhuang remained calm and composed. He didn't seem to mind, since what Huo Jialan was saying was all just words. There was no solid evidence to prove that Bai Jinyi was the culprit.

Right at that moment, Gu Nianzhi resumed her interrogation of Bai Jinyi. "Physicist Bai, may I know the reason why you went to look for Luo Xinxue on the night she passed?"

"Lawyer Gu, I think you're mistaken. I did not go to Luo Xinxue's room that night," Bai Jinyi insisted.

"Huo Jialan had said she saw you coming out of Luo Xinxue's room and that in your possession was Guanyuan's phone, which had belonged to him while he was still alive." Gu Nianzhi raised her eyebrows at Bai Jinyi.

Bai Jinyi's lawyer, Jin Dazhuang, stood up suddenly. "Objection! The plaintiff's lawyer is using claims without supporting evidence just to attack my client." Facing the judge, he continued, "Even though we don't have the required evidence, we do have enough reason to believe that Huo Jialan had the intention to murder her mother as well. It works similarly with the accusation by Lawyer Gu: it's because they do not have any evidence as well."

With a smile on her lips, Gu Nianzhi asked Bai Jinyi again, "Let me ask you again: what were you doing in Luo Xinxue's room on the day she passed away?"

Bai Jinyi could feel tears welling up in her eyes. These people would never understand why she had taken the phone. What was the need though, for all this fanfare? She felt humiliated and sorry for herself. Bai Jinyi shook her head again. "Luo Xinxue gave me the phone a long time ago." She gritted her teeth as she said, "I did not go to Luo Xinxue's room that night."

"Now, that's awkward." Gu Nianzhi smirked. She turned to face the people in court - making eye contact with each and every one of them-before facing the judge. "Sir, I have a copy of call records belonging to Luo Xinxue's number. This document came from the telecommunications company. There's a number amongst the records. This number had been constantly contacting Luo Xinxue even a few days leading up to her death. The last time they spoke to each other was exactly six hours before the death of Luo Xinxue, which occurred the next morning."

Bai Jinyi closed her eyes and ignored Gu Nianzhi.

"What number is that?" Jin Dazhuang felt uneasy. He looked at Bai Jinyi and then back at Gu Nianzhi. "Can you show it to me please?"

"Of course." Gu Nianzhi passed the document to Jin Dazhuang. "Does this number look familiar to you, Lawyer Jin?"

Jin Dazhuang went pale after looking at the document.

This number was none other than Bai Jinyi's personal contact number. Of course Jin Dazhuang would be familiar with it.

He turned to face Bai Jinyi. After realizing that she wasn't going to even open her eyes, his jaw tightened and he asked, "May I know what exactly this proves? My client had been on great terms with the Huo family. What was there to be suspicious of just because they called each other a couple of times?"

"Well, it's true that the calls themselves weren't suspicious. What about this though? Would this be suspicious?" The lights in the courtroom dimmed when Gu Nianzhi clapped her hands twice.

Immediately, a screen appeared and a clip began playing.

The clip looked like it was from some time ago; it's video quality wasn't the sharpest. It seemed like it had been retrieved using some old techniques.

However, the camera was great: it shower the clear image of a woman walking to the door of a bedroom and knocking a few of times. Another woman opened the door from inside, nodded at her, made space for her to enter, and closed the door. Gu Nianzhi smiled and stared at Bai Jinyi and Jin Dazhuang. "You all saw it, didn't you? This clip came from the security camera at the Huo's family home 10 years ago. This clip was intentionally damaged and thought to be destroyed, but the perpetrator greatly underestimated the importance our army gives to security footage. We found the damaged master tape, used digital technology to repair the damage, and retrieved the clip which was recorded then."

In actuality, Huo Shaoheng had found this footage after almost exhausting all his attempts. Upon its discovery, he had instructed Zhao Liangze to repair it.

The woman who had entered the house in the video was indeed Bai Jinyi. The woman who opened the door had been none other than Luo Xinxue.

Gu Nianzhi continued. "The time of the recording for this footage was on the night of the crime, i.e the day that Luo Xinxue passed away."

Fixing her gaze on Bai Jinyi, Gu Nianzhi steadily asked, "Physicist Bai, why would you lie? You went to Luo Xinxue's room that night. Why did you deny this? Was it because you were guilty of murder? You snatched Huo Guanyuan's phone six years after he had passed away. His phone had received a string of numbers via text message. Were those messages the reason why you murdered Luo Xinxue?"

Bai Jinyi's eyes shot open and glared at Gu Nianzhi. She almost couldn't bring herself to believe that this little girl, who had just graduated from University six months ago, had noticed the numbers from the text messages.