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601 Becoming the Prosecutor

 He Zhichu remained silent and didn't look at the reporters chasing him as he went to his luxury business car like nothing was amiss. The reporters crowding around him were confused by his aura and instinctively parted to make a path as they watched the six-lawyer team from America's largest law firm walk out and get into their car. It sped away, and the reporters finally snapped out of their daze to begin frantically reporting the results of the day's trial. Unfortunately, the court didn't allow audio or video recording, so they could only use several official photos of the trial from the court to accompany their articles.

When Gu Nianzhi and the others returned to their hotel, the German media had already published overwhelming coverage of the case's second day of trial. Gu Nianzhi and the four American assistants sat in He Zhichu's hotel suite to watch TV as well as discuss the next steps in the case. Watching He Zhichu's handsome figure making long strides towards the car on the TV screen, Gu Nianzhi cupped her cheeks as she sat on the sofa and smiled. "Professor He is famous in Germany now."

He Zhichu was indeed famous in Germany now, but the Germans were more interested in the largest American law firm he was part of. Law firms typically didn't use advertisements, but He Zhichu's high-profile exposure could be considered a free, large scale ad for his law firm. The law firm originally had European branches in England and France but not Germany. After the case appeared, the Germans became very familiar with this law firm, and the business-savvy Americans immediately decided to open a branch in Germany.

Because He Zhichu was a law firm partner and also the symbolic figure that made the Germans familiar with the firm, he was then appointed the task of overseeing the establishment of the German branch. He Zhichu didn't have to do much of the transactional and trivial tasks, he just needed to control the general direction and also sign all the important legal documents. As for anything related to the case they were representing, He Zhichu made Gu Nianzhi the team leader and had the other four assistants become her subordinates.

After the two previous sessions, the four American assistants had completely reassessed Gu Nianzhi's abilities. Because the victim in the case was a Hua Xia female exchange student, Gu Nianzhi was more realistic and impactful as the legal representative, since she was also a fellow Hua Xia national. She could better evoke the sympathy of the judge and German citizens, so the assistants all supported Gu Nianzhi as the leader to take them to victory on the case.

When the German citizens looked at Gu Nianzhi, they would think of the pitiful victim who died for nothing, and thus garner more sympathy and support. Although the law had its own logic, public pressure was also very important, and the judge had no way of completely ignoring public opinion because he was only human, too.

As for the four American assistants, they would receive the same benefits as Gu Nianzhi if they won the case, because they were all theoretically He Zhichu's assistants. He Zhichu was the true person in charge of the case. By making Gu Nianzhi the team leader, it was just a matter of different delegation with their internal work, and this wouldn't affect the four assistants' future resumes. With everyone's full support, Gu Nianzhi became the main force to battle against the defense lawyer in court.

...

When Gu Nianzhi appeared in court the next day, she had arranged her long hair into a bun behind her head with a hairpin and wore light makeup. She appeared more mature than when she didn't wear makeup and seemed extremely confident. No longer looking like a young college girl, her cool expression was nearly a mirror of He Zhichu's as she stood by his side.

"It's obvious you're Mr. He's student." One of the assistants teased her. "Gu, you've learned too well. You're even a mirror image of Mr. He's mannerisms."

Gu Nianzhi touched her face with a smile. "Smith, there's something wrong with your eyesight. You're saying I look like him, so am I not a woman, or is Professor He not a man? Hmm?"

The assistant named Smith stiffened and finally realized what was happening. He was instantly stunned speechless by Gu Nianzhi's sharp tongue, and his face turned ashen as he quickly glanced at He Zhichu. He didn't think He Zhichu had been regarding them coolly all this time. "Oh my God! Gu, what have you done to me! Can't I even make a joke?!" Smith inched towards Gu Nianzhi and gritted his teeth while pointing his finger.

He Zhichu's expression darkened when he finally spoke. "Smith, you don't need to appear in court today. Go check on how the branch expansion is going and report to me in the evening." He kicked Smith out of the trial with one comment. Smith almost wanted to cry but also knew it was his fault for having a big mouth. Sheepishly packing up his briefcase, he left the Munich District Court and went to check on the progress of their new German branch set to open soon. How could such a dull task even compare to the excitement of the trial? He wasn't wrong; the day's trial was indeed exciting.

It was the third day, and after experiencing swapping out the defense lawyer and court concluding whether the defendants should be tried as juveniles or adults, Gu Nianzhi and the prosecutor joined forces to not only damage the defense's arrogance but also smoothly block off the defense's loophole of using "mental retardation" as a loophole defense.

For today's third session, they would finally be proceeding to the actual case itself. However, it was only when they stepped inside the courtroom that they realized there was a new judge. The new judge had an even higher rank than the previous one and treated the case with a completely different attitude. The male defendant, Seth, had an aloof expression, and his chilling eyes kept glaring at Gu Nianzhi. In face of the prosecutor's questioning, his new defense lawyer kept denying, "My client didn't see the deceased on the day she died. My client last saw her the day before she died, and they also had sexual relations on the day before she died."

Gu Nianzhi couldn't help sneering at the ridiculous answer. Although Seth kept trying to pretend to look innocent, his filthy eyes betrayed his evil nature. The prosecutor confirmed again and again, but the defense lawyer kept insisting that his client was innocent, and that the victim, Li Haiqing, had been killed by someone else. The prosecutor pressed his lips together and glanced at the information he had before coolly assessing the judge as well as several high-ranking police officers sitting behind the bench. He appeared deflated.

The case wasn't complicated at all, but the problem was finding someone brave enough to stand up for a powerless foreigner and confront the entire police district and judicial system. The police officer who had performed the DNA test previously had already been charged by the procuratorate because of procedural misconduct, but the real reason was that he had interfered with the plans of certain high-ranking police officers and stopped them from getting their child out of being charged...

Gu Nianzhi saw the prosecutor fail to refute the defense lawyer's ridiculous answers all this time and actually deflate. She was very confused. This case wasn't complicated at all! According to the information they could see right now, it was obvious the defendant and his lawyer were lying. Why wasn't the prosecutor arguing back?!

After some time, the much relieved looking judge announced a 15 minute recess. If the prosecutor and the defense lawyer didn't present any new evidence after 15 minutes, then he would be making a preliminary verdict. In other words, the defendant was likely to be acquitted due to lack of evidence! Gu Nianzhi didn't understand. She straightened her back and asked He Zhichu quietly, "Professor He, what's going on?"

He Zhichu knew better than Gu Nianzhi about the world beyond laws. He replied icily, "These people probably control the entire judicial system. The prosecutor doesn't dare to fight against them anymore."

Gu Nianzhi's lucid eyes widened in shock, devoid of any traces of impurity. She asked blankly, "What? How dare they?!" This was a matter of life and death!

"The victim was just a foreigner. Why wouldn't they dare? They would even do it to a German citizen, though it would cost more." The corners of He Zhichu's mouth turned down. "But this time, they've hit a brick wall."

Gu Nianzhi took a deep breath and patted her vest. "Thank you for the support, Professor He. I'll ask the prosecutor if I can take over."

He Zhichu regarded her quietly for some time. "Aren't you afraid?"

"Afraid? Why would I be afraid of spineless criminals like them? I believe that righteousness will prevail. I don't think they can truly control the whole world! I believe there will be justice in the end. They will pay for all the things they did!"

"Yeah, you can try, then." He Zhichu looked down. "The key to this case is the all the secret exchanges. Though there is ample evidence in the forefront, it can't withstand the ridiculous collusion within the local judicial system."

"Ha," Gu Nianzhi replied curtly and got up to look for the prosecutor. In just a short time, he had somehow disappeared. Gu Nianzhi asked several people and finally found him on the courthouse rooftop. Seeing his lone figure on the rooftop, Gu Nianzhi suddenly understood what He Zhichu meant. This prosecutor must be facing a huge amount of stress. He was probably afraid of internal revenge from the judicial system once the case concluded. After all, the murderer was the son of their department's direct superior.

He had lost the edge and ruthlessness from the last two days and had deflated under the arrogance of the defense. He didn't dare argue back anymore. Gu Nianzhi no longer wanted to ask him the reason. He had already tried his best, so why make things even harder for him? Gu Nianzhi was never one to allow another to sacrifice themselves for her interests or those of others. Slowly walking over, she coughed quietly.

The prosecutor turned around to see Gu Nianzhi and smiled bitterly at her. He whispered, "Sorry."

Eyes watering a bit, Gu Nianzhi looked up and inhaled deeply. She forced the tears back down and said quietly, "If you don't mind, can you give me all your information, and I'll continue as the primary prosecutor?"

"Are you sure?" The prosecutor exhaled sharply. "You're still young, and I understand how you feel. When I was as young as you all those years ago, I was also that righteous. But I'm already 50 this year and will be retiring soon. If I... give this a gamble, I might permanently lose my professional qualifications and pension. Also, the rest of my life might go to hell." As expected, they were the reasons He Zhichu had given.