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831 Bad-Tempered Little Girl

 "Objection! The defendant's lawyer is making unreasonable inferences to slander the prosecution's witness!" The prosecutor quickly stood up to stop He Zhichu from saying anything more. "These two situations cannot be compared. Mr. Housekeeper has served the Vanderbilt's family for over 20 years but never made any mistakes. But this Mr. Ye Xuan had just been here for a few days before having a dispute with Mr. Vanderbilt, and then soon after that Mr. Vanderbilt's entire family was murdered. I'll have to ask this Mr. Ye Xuan, what on earth did you argue with Mr. Vanderbilt about?!"

Ye Xuan sat in the dock without saying anything or answering the prosecutor's questions. He Zhichu also didn't want Gu Xiangwen's business to be public knowledge, so he spoke out to interrupt the prosecutor's questioning. "The prosecutor's question is beyond the scope of this case. Moreover, was the so-called dispute a statement from the housekeeper alone, or were there any witnesses that could prove that they argued on the street?" He Zhichu looked towards the people who lived in the same neighborhood as Mr. Vanderbilt's family. These people appeared a bit hesitant in the face of He Zhichu's solemn expression. If this was an online argument that carried no legal consequences, then they would not hesitate to say, "We saw it!" They would also spice up the storytelling to create sensationalist content and capture more hits online. But they were now in court, so everything they said would carry legal consequences. Also, lying during testimony was a crime in itself, so they hesitated for a moment and all shook their heads. It was true that they had only seen Ye Xuan speak with Mr. Vanderbilt, and they appeared somewhat agitated, but not a single person personally heard what the two men discussed. As to what they were talking about, only the heavens, earth, and Ye Xuan knew. Ye Xuan sighed discreetly. He also didn't want the issue of Gu Xiangwen's will to be known by everyone.

He Zhichu calmly made a "sadly helpless" gesture at the prosecutor. "What my client spoke to Mr. Vanderbilt about isn't important. The important thing is that he has no ability or motive to commit the crime. If he had a motive, then I ask the prosecutor to prove it. If you cannot provide the evidence, then stop detaining my client." According to the principle of "presumption of innocence" in the US judicial system, if the prosecution had no evidence to prove that the defendant was guilty, then the defendant was innocent and should be acquitted.

The prosecutor was bitter as he glared at the sheriff. Collection of evidence should be the police's duty, but this chief was clearly satisfied with detaining Ye Xuan, so he hadn't collected any further evidence. This caused him to be extremely passive in court. The sheriff's face was alternately turning ruddy and pale. He was feeling some regret now. Deep down, he knew the difficulty of this case was not something a sheriff of a tiny town like him could handle. The correct approach would have been to immediately contact the FBI to have them take over the investigation. But the sheriff's greed went to his head, and he wanted to use the opportunity to increase his fame by leaving a grand accomplishment in the span of his professional career. As a result, he became selfish and stubborn about detaining Ye Xuan in hopes of gleaning important evidence from him. He didn't expect Ye Xuan to be able to hire He Zhichu as his defense lawyer, and He Zhichu also seemed to have "introduced" a new key suspect to them. The sheriff's gaze fell on the housekeeper as he snickered without saying anything.

The prosecutor knew he already had no more cards to play when he saw things going like that. He snapped fiercely, "God only knows if he did something or not! He knows it, too!"

He Zhichu declined to comment on the prosecutor's harsh words. He turned to face the judge and made a closing statement. "Your Honor, my client has no motive or ability to commit the murders and arson. The truth is, he never even stepped inside Mr. Vanderbilt's home. It is horrendous that the prosecutor and the sheriff are disregarding the law and breaking the law knowingly by accusing him of the crimes of murder and arson just because he spoke with Mr. Vanderbilt on the street briefly. I represent my client and solemnly file a request for acquittal from the court, and hope that the police of Little Rock Canyon can quickly cooperate with the FBI to find the true murderer and bring belated justice to the entire Vanderbilt family!" He Zhichu's words greatly shocked the jury.

After deliberating behind closed doors for half an hour, they came to the conclusion that Ye Xuan was not guilty of murder and arson. The members of the jury walked out of the conference room and submitted the jury's decision to the judge. The judge looked at it and saw it was similar to what he was thinking. Although it was very suspicious that Ye Xuan suddenly appeared in Little Rock Canyon and then Mr. Vanderbilt's entire family met with such misfortune, there wasn't any direct or indirect evidence to link Ye Xuan to his case. The hearsay of passersby and the housekeeper's one-sided testimony was not enough for the jury to find Ye Xuan guilty.

Also, the judge of the Supreme Court looked into the files and discovered that there was a cold case within Mr. Vanderbilt's family. When Mr. Vanderbilt was in New York state over a decade ago, his eldest son went out to sea and suddenly drowned. The eldest son's wife maintained that he was murdered, but the local police insisted he had committed suicide, so Mr. Vanderbilt had very tense relations with the local police for a period of time. Afterwards, they moved away from New York and went to settle permanently in Little Rock Canyon, Utah-a tiny place where even the birds didn't come to lay their eggs. Ever since then, Mr. Vanderbilt had paid a lot of money to equip his entire family with bodyguards, but he didn't expect even that to not be enough to protect the lives of his entire family. Ye Xuan was not even ten years old a decade ago, so this couldn't have anything to do with him. And it was also because of this that the judge didn't insist on detaining Ye Xuan. Not only that, but He Zhichu was a very respected person, so the judge declared in court that Ye Xuan was not guilty of murder and arson, so he was to be acquitted.

As soon as the judge's verdict was announced, the people He Zhichu brought began to cheer. Ye Xuan also appeared relieved of a great burden, however, He Zhichu's expression didn't relax at all. He still kept an aloof face as he watched Smith go up to pass the paperwork to the bailiff.

The Sheriff of Little Rock Canyon turned around to glare at He Zhichu and Ye Xuan before quickly running out to find the Vanderbilt's housekeeper to "assist in the investigation."

The prosecutor tidied up his things and considered something before finally walking over to He Zhichu. He extended his hand and said sincerely, "Lawyer He, I've offended you today."

"Mr. Prosecutor is too humble. That is your job." He Zhichu politely bowed to him and shook hands before taking Ye Xuan away.

Walking outside of the courthouse, Ye Xuan squinted at the brilliant blue sky and sighed deeply. One would only cherish the feeling of freedom after losing it. Ye Xuan sincerely thanked He Zhichu. "Thank you for helping me, Mr. He. If it wasn't for you this time, I wouldn't be out of danger so quickly."

He Zhichu glanced at him before snickering. He folded his hands behind his back and said, "You think you're already out of danger? No, your danger has just begun."

Ye Xuan was speechless. What did He Zhichu mean? Why couldn't he understand him?

He Zhichu quickly walked down the steps and said, "We cannot afford any delay. We must leave this place at once."

Ye Xuan followed behind him and ran down the steps. He was extremely shocked. "Mr. He, what do you mean? Could there still be danger?!" But the entire Vanderbilt family was already dead! Ye Xuan had even planned on staying a few days more to investigate who would be inheriting the fortune now that the entire Vanderbilt family was dead. In modern society, the estate of these rich people wouldn't be reduced to nothing when the house burned down... Bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, trust funds, documents, external companies... There were all too many places to hide a will. Ye Xuan didn't want to leave Little Rock Canyon at all.

He Zhichu stopped in front of his car and stated simply, "The Vanderbilt family is dead, so now their target is you."

"Me?!" Ye Xuan was even more perplexed. "But I don't know anything about Uncle Gu's business..."

Hearing Ye Xuan refer to Gu Xiangwen as "Uncle Gu, " the corners of He Zhichu's eyes twitched imperceptibly. "Get in the car."

Ye Xuan followed him into the car, and they headed down the interstate from Little Rock Canyon to Salt Lake City International Airport. He Zhichu and Ye Xuan both sat in the back of the car. This was a luxury version of the bulletproof Cadillac sedan. The interior was very spacious with a soundproof and bulletproof pane of glass between the driver and front passenger's seats and the back seats. The pane of glass could be raised to ensure the rear passengers' safety and privacy.

He Zhichu studied Ye Xuan carefully with his shimmery, sultry eyes. The corners of his eyes lifted slightly to make the judgement and suspicion very obvious. Ye Xuan was a bit uncomfortable as he shifted in order to distance himself from He Zhichu as much as possible. "You call Gu Xiangwen, 'Uncle Gu?'" He Zhichu seemed to be suddenly interested in his relationship with Gu Xiangwen.

Ye Xuan didn't hide it from him either, so he nodded. "Uncle Gu sponsored me to study in the US, and I'm very grateful to him." So when Gu Xiangwen perished, Ye Xuan had to help him guard the Gu household.

He Zhichu snorted quietly and said with indifference, "Sponsoring an orphan is far too easy for someone like him. He could make someone extremely rich by just giving them some scraps from his table, so do you need to be that grateful?" Ye Xuan was completely loyal and willing to give his life.

Ye Xuan pressed his lips together and tuned to glance at He Zhichu. "Mr. He, I don't take good deeds by others for granted. Especially since Uncle Gu is not related to me in any way, yet was willing to do so many things for me and change my life. Of course I'm grateful to him and am willing to do anything for him."

He Zhichu didn't respond but stared coldly at Ye Xuan. "So that's it? As far as I know, Gu Xiangwen didn't care that much about you. He tossed you to the US for so many years without asking about you, so what has he done for you aside from sending money?"

Ye Xuan didn't like listening to such words and stiffed his neck as he replied angrily, "Uncle Gu did it for my own good. Although he didn't let me go back to Barbados for so many years, I always kept contact with him online!" Not only did he keep in contact with Gu Xiangwen, but that mischievous little girl as well... But when he thought about how the person who chatted with him anonymously was actually Gu Nianzhi and not Gu Yanran, Ye Xuan felt very conflicted and his anger also ebbed. "I saw her a few times when were both young. She was proud, aggressive, and a bad-tempered little girl who didn't like to talk much. But when I fell into the ocean, she didn't hesitate to rescue me. I already knew that there was no way Uncle Gu's daughter would be that kind of person. Gu Yanran spoke about her, and I actually believed it all." Ye Xuan laughed mirthlessly and balled his hands into fists, hating himself so much for it.

He Zhichu froze and his heart wrenched. "Bad-tempered little girl? You're talking about Nianzhi?"