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863 A Changed Identity

 Jin Wanyi was also taken aback by the words that were blurted from Gu Yanran. However, she still rationally remembered that Gu Yanran was her client. Therefore, she would have to defend Gu Yanran no matter what. They were akin to people on the same boat.

Seeing that Gu Yanran had gotten into trouble, Jin Wanyi attempted to stop Gu Nianzhi from questioning Gu Yanran. "Objection! This question is in no way related to this case."

"We are fighting an inheritance lawsuit now, Miss Jin Wanyi. This question is in all ways related to Mr. Gu Xiangwen himself. May I ask why you would refer to this question as being not related to the case please? Then what kind of questions would be related, may I ask?"

The judge looked at Jin Wanyi and raised his hand towards Gu Nianzhi: "Plaintiff, please continue."

He was acknowledging the validity of Gu Nianzhi's question.

Gu Nianzhi nodded towards the judge in acknowledgment and turned back to Gu Yanran to continue her questioning. "Defendant Gu Yanran, please answer my question: When did Mr. Gu Xiangwen give you only one meal per day? He was ranked the wealthiest man in the whole world, although he was an extremely low profile one, so why did he only give you one meal per day?!"

Gu Yanran instinctively massaged her temples. She thought for a long time before she could manage to come up with an excuse, and so she said weakly, "...I was being picky about food. I did not like eating. It wasn't because my father did not give me food. What are you thinking?"

"You were picky about food when you were seven, which led to you only having one meal per day. Therefore, you looked like a four-year-old child?" Gu Nianzhi slammed both hands onto the defendant's stand and looked at Gu Yanran, smiling. "With such malnourishment, why didn't your pediatrician report Mr. Gu Xiangwen to the authorities? This would be a totally valid case of child abuse."

Every Western child would have to go to the pediatrician for health checks on a regular basis. The pediatricians would be calling them to make appointments even if they did not wish to go.

Therefore, if what Gu Yanran said was true and she only had a meal per day because she was being picky about food which led to severe malnourishment and a delay in development, the pediatricians who were giving the children their annual check-ups would lever let their parents off.

They would definitely be reported to the police, and then social workers would intervene to investigate.

For the cases that were more severe, custody of the underaged children would be taken away from the parents.

Gu Nianzhi briefed everyone about the rules and regulations about raising a child in a Western country, and looked at Gu Yanran like she was a joke: "Who was your pediatrician? Can you let me know his or her name? If you were on that level of malnourishment, your pediatrician would definitely have some impression of you."

Gu Yanran did not expect Gu Nianzhi to be digging so deeply into the past.

It felt like no matter what she said, Gu Nianzhi was able to find loopholes in her words and torture her to the brink of death.

Gu Yanran stood up shakily and pointed at Gu Nianzhi in the face. "Gu Nianzhi, why are you still unsatisfied? My family, The Gu's, how have they not been good to you? Which way did my father not do good enough for you that you have to go against me like this? Actually, my father was always very good to you. Although you are the adoptive daughter, Father never treated you like one. He had always loved you more than he loved me, his biological daughter!"

Gu Nianzhi shifted Gu Yanran's finger calmly. Then, she said coldly, "You have been emphasizing that I am not the biological daughter. However, father was way nicer to me compared to, who happens to be the biological daughter. If this was true, then either your character or your moral values must have been so bad that even your biological father did not like you very much and had to place all his love on someone adopted like me."

Gu Yanran's face twitched, and she replied, frustrated, "Are you stupid? I was being nice and you took my word for it?"

However, Gu Nianzhi had no intention of letting her off. With her left arm folded, she took the inheritance list that Ye Xuan had provided her with her right arm and waved it in front of Gu Yanran, her fingers soft, fair, and slender. She gazed fixedly at Gu Yanran, snickering: "So you are trying to say that you were lying just now again? From this, I am able to confidently say that you are a pretentious person through and through. What was the use of saying pretentious things at all? Do you want me to sympathize with you? Are you trying to get people to swoon over how 'clever' you are for being taken advantage of? Why are we not seeing that you admitted that this list of inheritance is the real thing?"

Gu Yanran's face flushed.

Jin Wanyi rubbed her hands in a state of panic beside her.

However, Gu Nianzhi was standing right in front of them, so it would not be wise for Jin Wanyi to stop Gu Yanran from talking.

When in front of Gu Nianzhi, it would be better to talk as little as possible.

You could make more mistakes if you spoke more, and Gu Yanran was a living example.

"What's wrong now? Why are you keeping quiet? You still have not explained all the areas that contradicted with each other." Gu Nianzhi leaned forward slowly. Her face was almost touching Gu Yanran's. "Gu Yanran. There is still one more thing. When Ye Xuan first saw the girl, he was seven years old. You are older than Ye Xuan by three years. If that girl was you, then you should be ten years old instead of seven. Did you learn math from the security guards in your school or something? I think even if a physical education teacher was to teach math, the standard would not be this bad."

Gu Yanran's heart skipped a beat. Even her eyelids stopped twitching for a bit.

She turned around and saw Jin Wanyi's nervous expression from the corners of her eyes. Then, she understood all of a sudden and shut her mouth, took her seat, and stopped answering Gu Nianzhi's questions.

Gu Nianzhi placed one hand on her back, and the other one on the front of Gu Yanran's defendant stand. She smiled as she said, "...Or you actually looked like a four-year-old when you were ten? Haha, then that would not be malnourishment. It would be an illness you must have been born with... being a midget..."

She looked Gu Yanran up and down. "Looking at you, even though you are not tall, you're definitely not short either. Therefore, you would never be a midget. Since we have struck all the unlikely possibilities out, then there will be no way that you would look like a four-year-old when you were ten!"

With that, Gu Nianzhi turned to look a the screen and asked Ye Xuan, who had been listening quietly to Gu Nianzhi and Gu Yanran talk all along, "Ye Xuan, can you please describe how Gu Nianzhi looked when she was young at that time, and as for her age, how did you know about it?"

Ye Xuan had this memory etched deeply into his heart and had reminisced it countless of times.

He could answer anyone even with his eyes closed. "That little girl was fair and plump, with a head of hair with natural curls. She was wearing a hat. Her arms were fair, just like the roots of the lotus. Uncle Gu carried her in his arms and looked across the entire orphanage. As for her age, I was only guessing as well. I only remembered her height and compared it to a girl in my orphanage. It was similar to a girl who was four at that time as well."

He was also of a smaller build at that time and hiding in a corner. Due to his small frame, he dared not squeeze to the front like the others.

That child who was protected by her father saw him, who was all alone and hiding in a corner of the room.

She merely pointed her finger at him, and Ye Xuan's life had been turned around just like that.

Gu Nianzhi's lips curled into a smile. She walked to the defendant's stand in front of Gu Yanran and Jin Wanyi and tapped on it. "Hear that? That four-year-old girl was fair and plump, with plump arms like the roots of a lotus. There was no way she would be suffering from malnutrition. Therefore, Gu Yanran, you are lying. I have enough evidence to believe that the list of inheritance that you have produced is fake as well!"

Gu Yanran's heart was thumping. She nudged Jin Wanyi and wanted her to say something to save her.

Jin Wanyi snapped back to her senses, coughed, and said: "Gu Nianzhi, whatever Ye Xuan has said also has no evidence to back it up. It can also be considered as a one-sided story. On top of that, he is also a witness whose statement cannot be considered seriously. Don't you think you are merely trying to pick on my client?"

Gu Nianzhi shrugged. "Gu Yanran's words do not add up. I caught her lying and you are trying to stand up for her. Lawyer Jin, if we were to use professional terms for this, please do not interfere with my time to question the witness and the defendant."

Jin Wanyi laughed coldly and threw a file on the plaintiff stand. "Sure. Go ahead and question. When you are done, it will be my turn."

"Sure. Please hold on." Gu Nianzhi raised her hand politely and turned back to signal at Ye Xuan to continue her round of questioning. "And then? Why were you sent to a boarding school in America?"

Ye Xuan looked quietly at Gu Nianzhi and said honestly, "Uncle Gu engaged many tutors for me to learn some foundation of knowledge and skills. I worked extremely hard for three years, and it was almost like I just studied and did nothing else. Every year, that girl would visit the orphanage once to see me. Whenever she went there, I felt like I was celebrating some sort of festival. I felt happy to see her."

Tears welled up in Gu Nianzhi's eyes. She pursed her lips, looked up, took a deep breath, and said, "Please continue."

"Three years later, I had completed junior and high school lessons with flying colors. In order to reward me, Uncle Gu brought me and that little girl on a holiday." Ye Xuan lowered his head as he said that. "That little girl's temper went from bad to worse. She seemed depressed and did not talk much. She was slightly different as compared to how she was three years ago. However, Uncle Gu was still extremely doting towards her. He always asked me to be more understanding of her, as her health was not good, so we had to give in to her. Actually, even if Uncle Gu did not ask me to do that, even if that girl was in the pink of health but had a horrible temper, I would still stand by her and would never ignore her."

Gu Nianzhi's heart skipped a beat. She looked at Ye Xuan nervously: "And then?"

"Then...then I fell into the water by accident. That girl was extremely good at swimming. Although she looked only about seven or eight years old, she was fast and stable. Miraculously, she saved me from the water."

"However, after saving me, she fell ill. Although Uncle Gu did not blame me openly, I knew that he felt bad about it. After that incident, he sent me to a boarding school in America. That girl was still in the hospital recuperating at that time, so I could not even bid goodbye to her before leaving."

Gu Nianzhi realized that Ye Xuan and herself when she was young had such history.

"...What a waste. That little girl was so nice to you, but you recognized the wrong person." Gu Nianzhi shook her head sadly.

Ye Xuan looked at her and did not know how to respond.

'Little girl'...wasn't it her?

"Yes, I recognized the wrong person. However, it happened because I was intentionally misled." Ye Xuan sat up straight, looked at Gu Yanran from the webcam, and said clearly, "When I was in the boarding school in America, an online friend chatted with me anonymously all along. After that, I checked her IP address and realized that it had come from Uncle Gu's home. I instantly knew that the person was you, that little girl."

He had been extremely lonely for the eight years in America, as he had no close friends in the boarding school.

It was because there were more than a thousand people in that school. There were not many students there who were born into a normal family like Ye Xuan, and they were all not in the same class.

"However, one day seven years ago, that friend stopped coming online. I wasted many days before calling the Gu's home number. A helper in the house answered my call. After that, the 'online friend' came online again that night." Ye Xuan finished talking and looked at Gu Yanran's direction solemnly: "Therefore, from that time onward, the little girl had a changed identity. Am I right? Gu Yanran?"

"How did you know it was that day?" Gu Nianzhi asked curiously. She had no recollection of that part of her memory and had absolutely no idea that she was a little girl with a horrible temper.

However, thankfully, she was still kind at heart.

Ye Xuan answered, "Four years ago, I finally got to know that Uncle Gu had been involved in an accident. Therefore, I rushed back to help the Gu's. It was only then that I realized that Uncle Gu had actually had the accident seven years ago. On the day that he had the accident, Gu Nianzhi also had an accident when she had decided to go out to sea. She disappeared. My online friend also stopped coming online for a good while since that day."

"If you had realized that the girl had gone missing since then, why didn't you look for her?" Gu Nianzhi could not help but ask.

Ye Xuan lowered his head in guilt. "I really had no idea that she was missing at that time. Gu Yanran had said that she was the one who had been talking to me all along, and for the days that she wasn't online, she said it was because she went to handle the airplane crash that her parents were involved in. She had also gone to look for her sister, Gu Nianzhi, who had gone missing. It was then that I realized that Uncle Gu had adopted another daughter when I wasn't around, and that daughter was named Gu Nianzhi."

This reason sounded believable.

How could anyone still chat with an online friend as though nothing had happened when their family had met with such a thing?

He had talked about many things involving Gu Yanran when they were younger, and Gu Yanran knew all about them. He had initially suspected she was the same person that he had been talking to but brushed the thought away after seeing that Gu Yanran knew almost everything about what they had chatted about in the past.

Gu Nianzhi finally felt that there were some parts of the story that she could not understand at this point.

If both Ye Xuan and Gu Yanran were telling the truth, then Gu Nianzhi went missing when she decided to go out to sea.

However, how on earth did she eventually appear in the rowdiest area in C Capital in Hua Xia Empire in a car?!