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822 Argue

 The female police officer's face flushed under Gu Nianzhi's sharp questioning. Balling her hands into fists, she said, "I didn't sentence him. I was speaking about a possible truth!"

"Unfortunately, there are no ambiguous facts in court. There is also no irresponsible conjecture." Gu Nianzhi's voice became icy. "Since you have spoken, I'll be able to question you now."

"Go ahead." The policewoman who cried out looked up. "I didn't lie. I'm not scared of your questioning."

Gu Nianzhi nodded and invited her to sit down in the witness stand to begin the cross examination. Gu Nianzhi looked down at her information about the policewoman. "Officer Tao, did you go to Hepingli Hospital eight days ago to provide the defendant, Gu Yanran, with legal aid?"

"Yes." Officer Tao was very emotional. "She was extremely traumatized at the time but still refused to call the police, so Officer Qiu and I tried to persuade her."

Gu Nianzhi asked again, "You said she was extremely frightened, so may I ask if you conducted a psychological assessment of her at the time?"

Officer Tao was stunned for a second. "...No."

Gu Nianzhi's expression was calm and quiet as she asked in an even tone, "Since there was no psychological assessment, then how did you determine that she was extremely traumatized?" Her questions were becoming sharper and sharper, making it difficult for Officer Tao to even breathe.

Officer Tao's face was a bit red. "She had already ended up in the hospital from the beating and cried whenever she saw other people. She was afraid of light and people, so we thought..."

"You thought? May I ask if you are professional psychologists? Or psychiatrists?" Gu Nianzhi interrupted her bluntly and pointed to Gu Yanran, who happened to be covering herself with her arms. "You see, she's still crying whenever she sees people and is still afraid of light. If those things alone mean she's very traumatized, then her psyche should've collapsed a long time ago if it's already been going on for so long. I think she should be going to a mental hospital instead of sitting here and logically debating an estate dispute in court with me."

Just as Gu Yanran was about to pretend to be even more jittery, the entire courtroom looked right at her as Gu Nianzhi said this. Instead, Gu Yanran froze, and her expression was very unnatural for a moment. Jin Wanyi quickly blocked her from the view of others and coughed quietly. Gu Yanran took the opportunity to look down and pretend to be very speechless.

Gu Nianzhi's lips began to form a smirk. Averting her gaze, she looked at Officer Tao with a severe expression. "I thought that as police officers, you would act according to law when coming across such situations by first examining the injury and then proceeding with legal aid."

Officer Tao began to grow anxious when she saw Gu Nianzhi question her actions, so she quickly said, "No, we actually did act according to law. But domestic violence cases are different from others, so we cannot press charges on her behalf. She must be fully willing to press charges herself." So the only thing the police officers could do was to dispel the victim's concerns and help them stand up to bravely testify against those accustomed to inflicting domestic violence.

Gu Nianzhi snorted. Closing the file, she put it behind her back and stood ramrod straight in front of the witness stand to look at Officer Tao with a half smile. "If that's the case, how can you be so sure that Gu Yanran was beaten by Ye Xuan? Did you personally witness him beating her or was there video evidence?"

Officer Tao closed her eyes. Although her expression was indignant, she stopped speaking.

"Since there was no evidence at all, how can you conclude that these were Ye Xuan's actions based on only Gu Yanran's one-sided accusations? What about evidence? Witnesses, evidence, as well as logic-where are they?" Gu Nianzhi pressed even further and made Officer Tao's face and ears flush deep red from the questioning. She looked helplessly at her colleague, Officer Qiu.

Officer Qiu obviously appeared more calm and stayed quiet the entire time. She appeared composed but was so angry when Gu Nianzhi latched onto the logic loophole in Officer Tao's testimony and frequently questioned their professional conduct as police officers. Walking out from her position, Officer Qiu stood next to Officer Tao and said calmly, "Miss Gu Nianzhi, there is factual evidence behind my colleague's explanation just now. According to statistics, the rate of domestic violence in our nation is 30 to 35 percent. In other words, out of every ten families there are three families experiencing domestic violence. And within the 30 to 35 percent experiencing domestic violence, 90 percent are women who are suffering violence inflicted by men. Also, 99 percent of women experiencing domestic violence are unwilling to seek legal aid. In other words, they may even willingly lie to the police when the law intervenes in order to conceal the man's violent behavior. My colleague's explanation is a logical inference based on this statistical data."

Gu Nianzhi was shocked by Officer Qiu's words. Although she had a way to overturn Officer Qiu's explanation, any logic-based rebuttal would be futile in the face of this shocking statistical data. It would probably make Gu Nianzhi appear very cold blooded, and this was likely why Gu Yanran used this kind of method as her starting point. It was not by random chance that the person directing her from the background chose to frame Ye Xuan from this angle. What kind of person would be so familiar with domestic violence statistics and could also immediately use them to support Gu Yanran's case? It must be someone related to the field of law or maybe law enforcement such as police or lawyers from legal aid agencies. Gu Nianzhi's eyes flashed quickly before she said with all seriousness, "Thank you, Officer Qiu, for providing the data. I retract my question." As she spoke, she also bowed to both Officer Tao and Officer Qiu to express her sincere apologies.

Officer Tao saw that her attitude was humble, and she wasn't attempting to argue aggressively, so her view of Gu Nianzhi greatly improved. After a bit of hesitation, she recalled what she had said and knew there had been mistakes in her testimony as well. "There were also areas where I made mistakes, too. I really shouldn't have said it like that just now. We don't know who was the one to actually physically abuse Miss Gu Yanran, and we certainly can't conclude it was Ye Xuan from her one-sided accusations. I also retract what I said." She then added, "We didn't write who the abuser was on the report, either."

Gu Nianzhi was secretly very happy and gained even more respect for the two female police officers. She quickly said, "Thank you for the recommendation.Then can I conclude that you confirmed injuries of abuse on Gu Yanran's body but didn't know who abused her? Is that right?"

"That's perfectly correct." Officer Tao was also completely convinced by Gu Nianzhi's conclusion at this time, so she decided to reveal what happened before as well. "Miss Gu Nianzhi is very correct. We only saw the injuries, and because Miss Gu Yanran also pinched herself again the next day, it covered the previous injuries, so we were unable to conduct a medical analysis. As a result, we couldn't check for finger markings."

"Oh..." Gu Nianzhi turned around to give Gu Yanran a suggestive look, then walked over to say, "Looks like you really fabricated the injuries on your body. In order to frame Ye Xuan, you first injured your entire body and then deliberately allowed the doctor and nurse to discover the injuries. And when the police arrived, you were worried they would analyze the finger markings, so you pinched yourself once again and claimed you did it yourself. That way, you could both frame Ye Xuan for the crime while erasing evidence of your fabrication. Isn't that right?"

The corners of Gu Yanran's lips witched. She didn't think that Gu Nianzhi would accurately guess what she had done and what her motive was, despite not personally witnessing it. Gu Yanran's expression grew even darker. She made up her mind and muffled her face as she sobbed, "...I already said I did it to myself, but they didn't believe it. So what could I do? I was too ashamed to tell anyone what Ye Xuan did to me. It's all because I have an unlucky fate. I can't blame anyone..." As soon as she cried, everyone fell into silence once again. After all, everyone would typically rather believe this sort of thing instead of doubting it.

The two female police officers on the other side pitied Gu Yanran even more because they came across far too many unfortunate women like her, so they hated their misfortune and were angered by their helplessness. Gu Nianzhi understood how the two female police officers felt, and honestly, she might have even been fooled herself if she hadn't known about the tricks Gu Yanran played while she was missing in Germany. She couldn't blame the two female police officers who specialized in domestic violence cases. Pursing her lips, Gu Nianzhi silently passed a tissue to Gu Yanran. As she continued to sob quietly, Gu Nianzhi's voice softened gradually. "Gu Yanran, I read the report of your injuries and have a few questions. Do you think you can answer them for me?"

Alarms blared in Gu Yanran's head as soon as Gu Nianzhi's attitude suddenly drastically improved, so Gu Yanran didn't look up or speak at all.

Gu Nianzhi looked at Jin Wanyi helplessly. "Lawyer Jin, does your client plan to not speak in court again? If that's the case, do you want to speak on her behalf instead?"

Jin Wanyi glanced at Gu Yanran and was about to open her mouth when Gu Yanran looked up and used a tissue to wipe her nose. She choked out, "You only want to see my embarrassment. Fine, I've already been embarrassed enough anyway, so I don't care about being humiliated even more. Go ahead and ask."

Gu Nianzhi spread her arms helplessly. "I only want to figure out the truth. After all, you are claiming that my important witness is the person who inflicted domestic violence on you. It makes things difficult for me, too."

Gu Yanran chuckled internally but still put up a grievous face. "I know this makes things very difficult for you, but Ye Xuan was never a good person in the first place. Sister, I don't want him to fool you."

"Really?"

Jin Wanyi took the opportunity to reconcile and persuade Gu Nianzhi to settle the matter outside of court. "Yes, you see? Didn't he convince you to sue my client? In fact, why would two sisters hate each other? You two can sit down and slowly discuss the family estate. Why must it be taken to court?"

Gu Nianzhi didn't take the bait. Opening her court file, she said nonchalantly, "Lawyer Jin, I had just asked if you were speaking on behalf of Gu Yanran, and you didn't say anything. So what's the meaning of you interrupting me while I'm questioning Gu Yanran right now?"

Jin Wanyi was sheepish from Gu Nianzhi's berating, so she sat back down next to Gu Yanran. Gu Nianzhi finally opened her file to the first page and said, "Gu Yanran, can you recount the abuse incident again right now?"

Gu Yanran composed herself and planned the script out in her head before slowly narrating the event. "That night, Ye Xuan came to find me and asked me to sign an agreement to transfer assets. I refused, so he... so he..." Gu Yanran bit her lip and appeared humiliated, like it was something she couldn't speak about.

Gu Nianzhi quickly stopped her. "Please stick to the point-at what time, location, and with what methods did he physically abuse you?"

Gu Yanran frowned. "I don't remember what day it was."

Gu Nianzhi countered, "Did he hit you on the head, and it confused your memories?"

"No."

"Then why can't you remember which day it was?"

"It was so long ago, how could I remember properly?" Gu Yanran rebuked her. "I'm not like you, having a good memory and vindictive heart. I've always forgotten things once they've happened and never take them to heart."

Gu Nianzhi looked at everyone in the courtroom with amusement. "It only happened ten days ago, and Miss Gu Yanran has already forgotten everything. Looks like you need to evaluate your intelligence, not your psychiatric state. If your intelligence is below a certain level, you are considered disabled and treated as a mental patient, so you have no legal capacity."

Gu Yanran glared at Gu Nianzhi. "What do you mean?! You're calling me mentally challenged?!"

"I didn't. That was your own inference." Gu Nianzhi looked down to flip to the second page of the file. "If you can't remember the time, then can you remember the location?"

Gu Yanran stiffened, then spat out vehemently, "It was at my house, on my bed."

"Ok, and then? In what way did he physically abuse you?"

Gu Yanran massaged her temples. "He used his fingernails to pinch me, his fists to beat me, and he also tried to hit me where other people couldn't see it. He never hit my face."

Gu Nianzhi replied, "You claimed just now that these injuries were self-inflicted, so why are you suddenly changing your tune and saying it was physical abuse by Ye Xuan now?" Gu Nianzhi closed her file and rubbed her chin as she fiercely steered the topic back to the original point. "Gu Yanran, what is true and what is false in what you're saying? Do you need to take a lie detector test?"

"Objection. According to laws, lie detectors cannot be used in general civil cases." Jin Wanyi immediately stood up to rebut Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Yanran panicked when she heard the words "lie detector." She finally calmed down after listening to Jin Wanyi and smiled wryly. "I actually wanted to let him off easy, but I can't compete when Lawyer Gu latches onto this and refuses to let go." She composed herself, then continued to speak. "Although Ye Xuan wasn't too great to me, he is in fact completely devoted to you. He doesn't even want the Gu estate anymore and is offering it up to you."

Gu Nianzhi chuckled. "Gu Yanran, you had just said that Ye Xuan's inventory of assets was fake. So now why are you saying that he's 'offering up' the Gu estate? Then are you admitting that the inventory of the Gu family's assets provided by Ye Xuan is indeed complete and correct?!"

Gu Yanran didn't expect Gu Nianzhi to be so keen-minded and analyze the psyche behind any casual sentence she blurted out. She was secretly chilled to the bone and discreetly balled her hands into fists to warn herself to not lose her composure. If she lost this case, then she wouldn't have anything anymore...

Jin Wanyi filled in the gap at the opportune time and quickly said, "My client means that Ye Xuan gave up his demands for the Gu family's assets. She didn't say that the inventory of the Gu family's assets provided by Ye Xuan was correct. Plaintiff, please do not distort the original intention of my client."

"I didn't distort anything. Lawyer Jin knows that the best." Gu Nianzhi stared back without an ounce of fear.

Jin Wanyi stared back at her for a while before averting her gaze nonchalantly. "May I ask if the plaintiff has anything else to ask?"

Gu Nianzhi raised a brow. "Of course I do." She turned to Gu Yanran. "I'll ask you again, was Ye Xuan the one who inflicted physical abuse on you? The injuries shown on the photos issued by the hospital were caused by Ye Xuan?"

Gu Yanran nodded and answered blankly, "Of course they were. You can summon Ye Xuan if you don't believe me."

Gu Nianzhi had waited a long time for Gu Yanran to say that. She immediately asked the judge, "Your Honor, I wish to summon Ye Xuan to testify. Regardless if it's for the defendant, Gu Yanran's accusations of his physical abuse or to testify about the inventory of the Gu family's assets he provided as an important witness, both are pertinent to the case."

The judge nodded. "I agree to summoning him."

Jin Wanyi could finally sigh in relief. She stood up with a beaming smile. "What a coincidence, Your Honor. Ye Xuan just went to the United States and has already been arrested by the American police because he is suspected of murdering the family of Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Gu Xiangwen's lawyer." She looked at Gu Nianzhi and mimicked how she often spread her palms. "You see, Ye Xuan is a horrible person who not only physically abused my client but also committed heinous crimes like arson and murder. How could someone like that testify as a witness? How can anyone believe the evidence provided by a person like that?!"

The judge froze. Soon after, court staff presented information compiled about Ye Xuan's case in the United States to the judge. He read the related reports expressionlessly before asking Gu Nianzhi, "Plaintiff, are you sure you still want Ye Xuan to be your important witness?"

"I'm certain," Gu Nianzhi said without hesitation. "I request that Ye Xuan be extradited back to the Hua Xia Empire for trial."

"Extradition?!" Jin Wanyi nearly laughed out loud. "Lawyer Gu, oh Lawyer Gu. Could you possibly not know that our nation has not signed extradition agreements with the United States, so we cannot extradite criminals from there? Otherwise, why do you think those corrupt officials seek refuge there?!"

Gu Nianzhi also laughed. "Extradition does not apply to economic cases or civil cases, but Ye Xuan is being charged with a criminal offense. According to usual practice, the Hua Xia Empire and the United States police once signed a memorandum to cooperate on criminal cases and extradite the criminal back to the Hua Xia Empire."

"...But an estate dispute is an economic case." Jin Wanyi latched onto the loophole in what Gu Nianzhi said. "You said it yourself just now, that the possibility of extradition only exists with criminal cases."

"Right, but Ye Xuan being suspected of physically abusing Miss Gu Yanran is a criminal case, not an economic case." Gu Nianzhi suddenly changed the topic and somehow ended up on Gu Yanran's accusations of "domestic violence."

Jin Wanyi was even more amused. "Lawyer Gu, I'll remind you again that domestic violence cases are not tried without accusations. My client has repeatedly stated that she will not pursue legal responsibility from Ye Xuan, so may I ask why you think this is a criminal case?!"

Gu Nianzhi remained very calm and said clearly, "Lawyer Jin, I think you've also forgotten what is legally defined as 'domestic violence.'"

Jin Wanyi's laughter had not even yet subsided but was abruptly cut off as soon as she heard Gu Nianzhi's words. She seemed to recall something, and like a swan that stretched its long neck to sing loudly but was suddenly grabbed by the throat, she couldn't catch her breath and nearly injured her internal organs. Gu Yanran's heart dropped as soon as she saw Jin Wanyi's expression and could vaguely sense something was amiss. But she carefully thought about their responses from beginning to end and thought, there shouldn't have been any mistakes? That person had provided her with a plan that was linked step by step and was incomparably well thought out. She really couldn't see how Gu Nianzhi could turn the tables on it.

Suddenly, Gu Nianzhi threw out her trump card. She looked at the two female police officers and said, "I think you two may have misunderstood. Ye Xuan and Gu Yanran are not husband and wife, nor do they have a typical familial relationship. They are not a family. Hence, Ye Xuan being accused by Gu Yanran of physical abuse is no longer within the scope of domestic violence but is considered a criminal injury case. According to law, the police have the right and must also press charges for criminal injury cases with no need for consent from the victim. Since the criminal injury case has been established, there is concrete evidence, and Ye Xuan's case in the United States is significantly linked to my estate dispute with Gu Yanran, I urge the police to quickly file the case and also request that the American police cooperate by extraditing Ye Xuan back to the Hua Xia Empire!"

Gu Yanran's expression instantly darkened. What were her chances of winning if Ye Xuan came back to the Hua Xia Empire?! There's no way she could allow him to come back!