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827 Leave With Me

 The Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon didn't know about He Zhichu's fame but understood he was a rather powerful person. However, the judge from the Utah State Supreme Court knew He Zhichu's powerful background was not merely due to him "being famous." In the past year's time, He Zhichu had provided a staggering and shocking amount in political donations to all the elections for councilors and public servants. Also, he had an esteemed position in both political and military circles, so it made all the people in the field of law feel even more impressed by him. When the judge from the Utah State Supreme Court received the call from He Zhichu, he instantly expressed that he would set an earlier court date for Ye Xuan's case. At the same time, he didn't say anything more before also instantly agreeing to allow He Zhichu to bail out Ye Xuan. Half an hour later, the Utah State Supreme Court judge's personally-signed order was sent to the office of Little Rock Canyon's sheriff.

"What?! Agree to bail?!" The sheriff was enraged. "I never agreed to this! How dare he..."

"Mr. Sheriff, I'd advise you to not say anything more. If you do, your pension will be gone." He Zhichu coldly interrupted the sheriff's rant. What kind of public servant would not have a pension after retirement? A public servant who was convicted.

"Are you threatening me? I didn't break the law?!" The Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon became nervous again, his ruddy, bulbous nose shining with oily beads of sweat.

"The judge will provide a fair ruling on your usage of illegal methods to obstruct my client from obtaining justice." He Zhichu didn't waste another breath on him and motioned for Smith to show the sheriff the Supreme Court's order to release Ye Xuan on bail. "Very well, then. I'll be leaving with my client now."

The sheriff glared at the piece of paper and suddenly said, "This says a bail of one million US dollars is required! Where's your money?"

"I already submitted it to the court." The corners of He Zhichu's mouth lifted up. "Otherwise, do you think the court would sign a bail order for free?"

He Zhichu's tenacity made the Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon feel that for the first time, his ample years of experience didn't seem to be enough. He began to miss Ye Xuan's previous lawyer. That lawyer was easy to speak with and listened to whatever he said, so he never spoke in defense of the suspect. The Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon had a terrible impression of He Zhichu and felt he was the greedy and blood sucking type of lawyer. He'd defend anyone who would pay him. His conscience had been eaten by dogs!

...

The iron gates of the detainment center opened, and Ye Xuan got up from the single bed. He instinctively blocked his eyes with his arms. The light coming in from outside the door was too dazzling. Ye Xuan had been in the dark room for a few days already, so he was very unaccustomed to bright light.

He Zhichu put a hand in his trouser pocket as he stood at the doorway but didn't walk inside. He said dryly, "Let's go. You've been bailed out."

Ye Xuan suddenly dropped his arms. "Really?!"

He Zhichu turned to leave without wasting a single breath.

Ye Xuan saw that the iron gate of the detainment center hadn't closed again, so he quickly ran out. The police officer at the door nodded to him without stopping him. Ye Xuan sighed in relief. It looked like he had really been released on bail. He followed He Zhichu out of the police station and returned to the hotel without saying anything the entire time. It wasn't until he entered the room that Ye Xuan finally said, "Thank you, Mr. He. May I ask how much the bail was? I can pay you back."

He Zhichu glanced at his watch nonchalantly. "Your case is already scheduled for trial. If there are no incidentals, you'll be going on trial tomorrow. Prepare well, and go eat and shower first before telling me the entire situation."

Ye Xuan quickly agreed. Twenty minutes later, Ye Xuan came to He Zhichu's door and knocked on it. The door opened, and Smith's face peered outside from it. "Come on in." Ye Xuan nodded to Smith. "I'm Lawyer He's assistant. You can call me Smith." Smith reached out his hand to him and smiled in a friendly manner.

Ye Xuan shook hands with him before sitting down in front of He Zhichu. He Zhichu asked Smith to sit down as well and turned on the audio recording function on his phone. Nodding to Ye Xuan, he stated simply, "Speak."

Ye Xuan suddenly felt his mouth go dry as soon as he recalled the events from the past few days. Licking his lips, he carefully recalled the entire course of events from beginning to end and told He Zhichu and Smith everything in chronological order. "...I got Mr. Vanderbilt's address from Gu Yanran, so I wanted to come find him and ask if Uncle Gu had left a will here with him. After observing him for a few days, I only probed him after thinking it was about the right time. I didn't think he would be so vigilant and not reveal anything at all. I tried for a few days, and when he was finally about to tell me something, the accident happened." Ye Xuan's fingers felt a bit itchy, so he looked up at He Zhichu. "You have a cigarette?"

He Zhichu didn't used to smoke, but he gradually began to smoke when he had to look for Gu Nianzhi. He took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and threw it to Ye Xuan.

Ye Xuan accepted it and took a look; it made his heart jump. That kind of cigarette was a bit longer than normal ones. The entire thing was pure white, and the tobacco had a faint fragrance to it, so his lips and teeth smelled fresh after he smoked it, unlike other cigarettes which would be a bit stinky after smoking them. This type of special cigarette also had a name, and it was only after Ye Xuan had come to the Hua Xia Empire that he learned it was called specially provided cigarettes...

After Gu Yanran got in close with Prime Minister Tan, she had once gotten a pack of specially provided cigarettes for Ye Xuan and even smugly told him that this kind of cigarette couldn't even be bought with money. He had smoked them once. Ye Xuan quietly took out a cigarette from the pack and threw the pack back to He Zhichu. Lighting it up and inhaling deeply, the flavor also carried an indescribable kick. It was even better than the specially provided cigarettes Gu Yanran had given him.

He Zhichu also took out a cigarette from the pack and looked down to light it and inhale deeply. He indicated to Ye Xuan to continue speaking.

Smith didn't smoke and was a bit exasperated by these two men. He pointed to the smoke alarm on the ceiling. "You two, please be careful..." As soon as he spoke, the smoke alarm began beeping like crazy.

He Zhichu stood up and said to Ye Xuan, "Let's talk outside." Ye Xuan quickly followed him out to the balcony. The two men stood under the November sun in Utah as they began talking about the Vanderbilt case. "You were saying you left the neighborhood Vanderbilt lived in that day, but then your car broke down halfway way back to the hotel. You spent several hours fixing it and didn't get back to the hotel until late at night?" He Zhichu said thoughtfully, "Then you mean that you have no witnesses to prove you were fixing your car on the road during that period of time?"

Ye Xuan shook his head with a wry smile. "They plotted all this to frame me. Of course they considered all these things."

"Ok, and then? You only went back to the hotel late at night to sleep, and it was in that period of time that the Vanderbilt family was attacked?"

"It should be said that his family had already been attacked before I even returned to the hotel. But no one knew immediately, and it was afterwards when the criminal started the fire and it got out of control that other people noticed." Because Ye Xuan had investigated Vanderbilt's neighborhood for several days, he was very familiar with that area.

"Vanderbilt's house is very remote?" He Zhichu turned on the tablet he was holding to check the location.

"Yes, their mansion is by the lake and is a certain distance from the other houses in the neighborhood." Ye Xuan gestured to He Zhichu. "If the fire started in the early morning, most people would still be asleep, so it's true that there wouldn't have been many people who would've noticed it."

He Zhichu nodded. The timeline all matched up, but the only problem was that Ye Xuan didn't have any eyewitnesses during those few hours on that day. But that shouldn't be the biggest point of suspicion. As long as Ye Xuan didn't actually do it, then the enemy wouldn't have any direct evidence of Ye Xuan appearing at the scene of the fire. It was very difficult to convict someone without direct evidence in the United States, where the judicial system was based on a jury. Inferences had their function in court, but they were not used as a direct basis for conviction. They were used to provide logical clues in the chain of evidence. And with Ye Xuan's case, there were serious gaps in the chain of evidence, so it was completely insufficient for the Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon to use this point to convict Ye Xuan.

Gu Nianzhi had probably also thought of this point, but in order to guarantee Ye Xuan's safe return to the Hua Xia Empire, she'd rather use the solution of extradition instead of having him acquitted of charges. Although the latter solution was simpler, it was also the more dangerous option. He Zhichu knew that if the masterminds behind this were who he suspected they were, then their methods could not be handled by the Special Police from the Hua Xia Empire. He was afraid that only normal armies could compete with those people.

He Zhichu's cigarette hung from his mouth as he stared blankly at the red mountain ranges in front of the hotel. His expression resembled that of an ice sculpture. It was at that moment that his phone suddenly rang. He Zhichu saw it was Gu Nianzhi's number, so he picked up on his Bluetooth headset. As soon as the call connected, she quickly asked him how he was doing and also inquired about the progress on his end. After He Zhichu replied to all her questions, Gu Nianzhi mumbled for a long time before finally getting to the main topic. "Professor He, Ye Xuan's case has gone viral on social media right now. They are even saying that our nation plans to extradite him." Gu Nianzhi paused, then continued, "I got curious and went to investigate who started this topic, and... after I tracked a few bought-and-paid-for accounts, I found the person footing the bill from the background is Gu Yanran."