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862 Making Them Your Own

 Gu Yanran looked at the handsome man with exquisite features on the screen, astounded. He managed to bypass her personal protection order just like that?!

Why didn't this guy just die overseas?!

She was extremely regretful that she did not just get rid of him when they were in Barbados.

However, she truly had not expected that this man, who had been so loyal to her in the past, would be her greatest enemy now.

It would actually be easier to strike when he was in America.

Unfortunately, she had not expected He Zhichu to stick his nose into this business.

Had it not been for that wretched He Zhichu who had butted in, Ye Xuan would have already died without anyone knowing over in America.

Gu Yanran thought about it silently, and she looked around the courtroom.

She finally managed to realize that other than Huo Shaoheng, He Zhichu was absent as well!

It seemed like Gu Nianzhi had really broken up with Huo Shaoheng.

However, even though Huo Shaoheng did not attend the hearing personally, he had sent one of his most trusted secretaries, Yin Shixiong, to attend the hearing.

As for He Zhichu, he did not send anyone on his side.

Gu Nianzhi only had a small number of people on her side, and Gu Yanran could identify most of them by name.

General Ji's personal secretary, Secretary Cao; Senior Speaker Long's subordinate, Assistant Yang; Gu Nianzhi's roommate, Ma Qiqi; and Yin Shixiong. She only had these people attending the hearing and no one else.

On Gu Yanran's side, however, there was an entire group of people.

It seemed like Gu Nianzhi's position was not all that stable after all.

Gu Yanran's lips curled into a smile. She could not help herself and giggled.

After the judge confirmed Ye Xuan's identity, he turned to Gu Nianzhi. "Plaintiff, you are now able to question your witness."

Gu Nianzhi bowed slightly and thanked the judge before putting on the Bluetooth earpiece that the police officer handed over to her. After she was done, she began talking to Ye Xuan.

"Can you hear me, Ye Xuan?"

"Yes I can, Lawyer Gu. How do you do?" Ye Xuan had a classic baritone voice. He'd grown up overseas and learned his Mandarin in a Chinese school there. Although he was fluent in the language, he could not grasp the pronunciation perfectly. He had a foreign kind of accent to his oral Mandarin.

"How do you do." Gu Nianzhi picked up her list of questions and began her first round of questioning. "Ye Xuan, please let us know about your relationship with the Gu's."

Gu Yanran's heart sank all of a sudden.

She had thought that Gu Nianzhi would be asking Ye Xuan about how he had gotten his hands on the list of inheritance immediately. She was already prepared to scream at Ye Xuan for being a traitor and someone who had no professional work ethic as he had revealed his employer's financial information to someone other than his employee.

However, Gu Nianzhi did not take the mainstream method. She had not asked about the list of inheritance, but seemingly trying to pull people to her side, began attempting to tell stories.

Jin Wanyi understood where Gu Yanran was coming from. She smiled and raised her hand. "Objection. The plaintiff's question is by no means related to the case. Please do not beat about the bush and waste everyone's precious time."

Gu Nianzhi turned to the judge immediately. "Your honor, I will prove that my question is totally relevant to this case in no time."

The judge contemplated for a while and made a note. "Please prove that your question is relevant to the case as soon as possible."

Gu Nianzhi nodded and signaled for Ye Xuan from the screen to answer her question.

Ye Xuan coughed softly and looked at the camera. He looked slightly sad as he began thinking about the past.

After a while, a clear male baritone voice sounded from the sound system in the courtroom. It had high quality, and it felt like Ye Xuan was actually in the courtroom itself, testifying for the case.

"...I was an orphan in Barbados. I was growing up in an orphanage in Barbados ever since I can remember. The year I turned seven, Mr. Gu Xiangwen selected me from the rest of the orphans and engaged a home teacher to teach me all kinds of knowledge and skills. Three years later, he sent me to a boarding school in America to continue my studies for eight years. After that, when I got to know that Mr. Gu Xiangwen had been in an accident, I returned from America to help Miss Gu Yanran in managing the household assets."

Ye Xuan had been vague about the entire incident. He had left out all the details.

Gu Yanran breathed a sigh of relief. She had hoped that Ye Xuan would be nice based on their relationship in the past.

Unfortunately, even if Ye Xuan did not say it, Gu Nianzhi would never let go of this opportunity.

She had made up her mind not to even try to protect Gu Yanran's reputation, so why would she care if anything were to damage it?!

When Ye Xuan had finished speaking, Gu Nianzhi stood in front of the screen and continued asking, "You said that Gu Xiangwen had selected you from the orphanage when you were seven. May I know why he had selected you instead of other orphans please?"

This question was rather sensitive and sharp.

Gu Yanran clenched her fists as she felt her palms turn sweaty.

Ye Xuan fell silent for a while, then he looked at the webcam and smiled. "You might not believe it, but Mr. Gu Xiangwen did not select me because I was special. He had selected me because of you, Miss Gu Nianzhi."

"Oh," said Gu Nianzhi as her eyes sparkled. "Why was this so? I was only four years old when you were seven; what decisions could I have made?"

No one would take the words of a four-year-old seriously.

Ye Xuan smiled. His deep-set features were gentle and soft, making him look extremely attractive. His tone was gentle, making him look like a perfect person to fall in love with. "...Mr. Gu was different. To him, no matter how young Miss Gu Nianzhi was, he would listen carefully to her and make everything she requested come true. When I was selected that time, it was purely because Miss Gu Nianzhi had seen me amongst all the other orphans and pointed at me from where she was at."

Gu Nianzhi was taken aback.

She did not expect this to be the reason.

The set of materials that Ye Xuan had given her did not have this part of the past in them.

Gu Yanran was trembling with anger on her defendant stand. Her lips trembling, she blurted, "Shameless! That was me!"

Jin Wanyi had an idea all of a sudden. She moved towards Gu Yanran and whispered: "...You mean that the person who saw Ye Xuan in the past was you? Not Gu Nianzhi?"

"Of course it is not her." Gu Yanran suppressed her panic and nervousness. "I am my father's biological daughter. Why on earth would he listen to an adoptive one?"

"Are you sure? Do you have evidence to prove it?" Jin Wanyi continued asking.

Gu Yanran thought about it for a while before whispering back: "Ask Ye Xuan what that girl's name was."

Jin Wanyi was stunned for a while, and Gu Yanran moved to her side and whispered something else into her ear.

Jin Wanyi's face lit up. She looked like she had just discovered a treasure. She totally forgot to raise her hand for permission; she simply stood up and asked: "Mr. Ye Xuan, may I know what the girl's name was?"

Ye Xuan, taken aback, kept quiet for a while before replying: "...Gu Nianzhi."

"How did you know? Did Mr. Gu Xiangwen tell you personally that that girl was called Gu Nianzhi?" Jin Wanyi asked the strange question all of a sudden.

Gu Nianzhi had initially wanted to stop Jin Wanyi from talking because it was still the plaintiff's turn in questioning the witness.

However, Jin Wanyi was extremely aggressive. Her question had also sparked a sense of curiosity in Gu Nianzhi. Therefore, she decided not to stop Jin Wanyi from questioning Ye Xuan.

Ye Xuan looked at Gu Yanran, who was beside Jin Wanyi.

His gaze contained no emotions whatsoever. He looked at Gu Yanran that way for a while before he said slowly, "...No."

"Then may I know how you know that that girl was Gu Nianzhi and not someone else?" Jin Wanyi was getting excited. "Moreover, the girl at that time- How did you know that she was four years old and not of some other age?"

Ye Xuan pursed his lips and did not speak.

"Therefore, I may assume that you actually did not know the name of the girl at that time. You also did not know about her age. This was information that you were fed with by someone- am I right?" Jin Wanyi put her questions this way, and it clearly hinted to everyone in court that Gu Nianzhi was in cahoots with Ye Xuan to fabricate false statements to be used in court.

However, the fact remained that whatever Ye Xuan had said was purely based on his side of the story.

Gu Nianzhi continued, "Lawyer Jin made sense. Ye Xuan, how did you know the name of the girl if it wasn't Mr. Gu Xiangwen who told you personally?"

The same question, when it came from Jin Wanyi, sounded like she was trying to pick on him.

However, when it came from Gu Nianzhi, it sounded gentle, like she was sincerely trying to find out the missing information to solve the case.

Different emotions could be evoked when different people used different tones.

Ye Xian finally managed to pull himself together. He recalled for a while before answering, "...Even though Mr. Gu Xiangwen did not tell me personally that the girl was named Gu Nianzhi, he did tell me that her name was Cereus. After that, I learned that this was Miss Gu Nianzhi's Christian name. Therefore, a logical assumption would be that that girl was Miss Gu Nianzhi. The age would tally as well."

"Which means, you actually didn't know who that little girl was. You were merely guessing, am I right?" Jin Wanyi was trying to force a favorable answer from Ye Xuan. Her questions were as sharp as needles.

Although ye Xuan did not want to admit it, it was the truth- he had only managed to come to a deduction that that little girl was Gu Nianzhi and not Gu Yanran.

Seeing that Ye Xuan was not talking anymore, Jin Wanyi turned to the judge, looking triumphant, and proclaimed loudly, "Your Honor, the truth was that the girl who was with Mr. Gu Xiangwen at the orphanage who selected Ye Xuan was not Gu Nianzhi, but my client, Gu Yanran. Cereus was actually my client, Miss Gu Yanran's, Christian name. However, my client did not like the name. Therefore, she had it changed to Jasmine at a later date. Eventually, the name Cereus was given to the daughter, Gu Nianzhi, that Mr. Gu Xiangwen had adopted afterward. That had led to the misunderstanding from Ye Xuan."

Her tone was sharp and firm, and it caused a moment of shock in the entire courtroom.

Had Ye Xuan unintentionally recognized the wrong person, or did Gu Nianzhi intentionally mislead everyone in the hearing?!

Even the judge's expression turned sour.

He looked coldly at Ye Xuan, who was still on the screen and said, "Mr. Ye, as a witness, you have to ensure that whatever you had said must be nothing but the truth. If you are unable to do that, other than not being able to testify, you will also be charged with providing false statements and interfering with our ongoing investigations. I have to inform you that that is a major crime."

Gu Yanran breathed a sigh of relief. She straightened her back, which was initially hunching due to nervousness.

She smiled as she looked at Gu Nianzhi, and her tightly gripped fists relaxed.

Let's see how she would handle this now.

Gu Nianzhi's attention was occupied by the words from Ye Xuan just now.

Why did she forget about such an amazing father?

Gu Nianzhi had never hated her loss of memory as much as now.

She focused and snapped back to reality. After nodding to Ye Xuan on the screen, she said calmly, "Thank you, Ye Xuan. I believe that your statement contains nothing but the truth, but..."

She changed the direction of her speech as she turned to face Gu Yanran and Jin Wanyi on the defendant's stand. "Lawyer Jin's suspicions are valid as well. However, as a lawyer, I am unable to see eye-to-eye with the explanation or assumptions that lawyer Jin has provided."

"Of course you would not admit to it." Jin Wanyi was smiling widely by now. "You got a witness after putting in so much effort; why wouldn't you want to make full use of him to get yourself the most benefit? However, it is unfortunate that not all things in life go your way."

Gu Nianzhi walked to Jin Wanyi. She folded her arms and stood straight, her black eyes sparkling. Everyone that looked at her could not help but be mesmerized.

She began asking, "Lawyer Jin, you said that Gu Yanran had changed her Christian name before. May I ask if you have evidence to support that claim please?"

Jin Wanyi's smile stiffened. She turned to look swiftly at Gu Yanran.

This was what Gu Yanran had told her just now. So where was the evidence?

Gu Yanran replied immediately, "I was still young then; Christian names were used as nicknames. I do not know what evidence you are looking for."

Well, that was true as well. Gu Yanran's name on the passport was Yanran-Ku and not Jasmine-Ku.

Moreover, everyone from the Gu's was dead. No one would know about the past anymore.

"Oh, so it was a nickname that had no records. Miss Gu Yanran is really such a capable woman, who is very used to claiming the things of others as her own. Now you are even not letting my name off." Gu Nianzhi snickered and continued, "Fine. Let's just say that Cereus was initially your Christian name. Then can you please tell me when you decided to change your name to Jasmine?"

Gu Yanran's brows furrowed, thinking quickly on her feet. She was worried that her words would be picked on if she said something wrong. Therefore, she tried to be as vague as possible. "...It had been so many years; how would I remember?"

"Oh? So now you do not remember when you had decided to change your name, but remember that you went to the orphanage when you were four and selected Ye Xuan? Miss Gu Yanran, do you happen to have selective memory loss?" Gu Nianzhi continued, "Moreover, when you were four, Ye Xuan was only one, wasn't he? Gu Yanran, did you forget that you are three years older than Ye Xuan, and not younger?"

Gu Yanran's face flushed. She gripped the sides of the table tightly and said through gritted teeth, "When I first saw Ye Xuan, I was not four! I was seven! I was small in size, and therefore he thought that I was four. However, I was already seven!"

"Haha, the difference between a seven-year-old child and a four-year-old is still quite big. May I ask, Miss Gu Yanran, would you really look like a four-year-old when you were seven? Was it due to malnutrition? You had no money for food nor clothes, and could not afford to see a doctor when you were ill?" Gu Nianzhi was so good with words that she did not give Gu Yanran even a moment to think.

Gu Yanran could only think of trying to cover the lie that she had told, and since it was true that she was malnourished when she was young, she was way smaller in size as compared to other children. Therefore, she blurted without giving it a second thought: "...Of course. Who wouldn't be when you could only get a meal a day? You wouldn't be able to grow well if you were under that kind of situation as well!"

The moment she had said that, she knew that she was in trouble. Her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped.

Gu Nianzhi focused her attention and said sternly: "A seven-year-old who only gets one meal per day? Defendant Miss Gu Yanran, I remember that you had insisted to be Mr. Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter and had emphasized time and again that Mr. Gu Xiangwen had doted on this daughter the most. Based on Mr. Gu Xiangwen's wealth, he only gave you one meal per day?! Are you trying to imply that he was, in fact, abusing you?! Or have you been lying all along?! Trying to insult the intelligence of everyone here at the hearing and not respecting the court!"

Gu Yanran flushed, turned pale, and flushed again. She was so angry that she felt her eyes almost bursting out from their sockets.