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865 Hiding the Pas

 Gu Nianzhi's heart skipped a beat. This was the first time that Gu Yanran had mentioned her mother...

"Are you trying to say that you were living with your mother before you turned seven and not your father Gu Xiangwen?" Gu Nianzhi asked immediately. "And your mother only gave you one meal a day? Why did your mother not live with your father?!"

Gu Yanran held her breath at the questions.

She massaged her temples and finally asked, annoyed, "...Is this related to our case?"

"Of course," Gu Nianzhi answered her enthusiastically. Gu Xiangwen would give his biological daughter a grand pink diamond tiara when she turned one. How on earth would he allow his daughter to leave his side?

This definitely did not add up.

Jin Wanyi furrowed her brows and stood up. "Please explain the correlation, Plaintiff. I feel that this is getting too far away from the case."

The judge nodded. "I agree with the defense lawyer's request. Plaintiff, please explain the reason why you would need the answer to this question."

Of course, this question was to prove Gu Yanran's real identity. Her identity would directly affect how much of the assets would be given to her.

However, she did not have solid evidence to prove that Gu Yanran was not Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter. Moreover, that fake 'Gu Xiangwen' was still unconscious in the hospital at the headquarters of the Special Forces. If she had thrown this doubt out, Gu Yanran would definitely take advantage of it.

Therefore, she would never say this out of her own accord. She would beat about the bush until Gu Yanran had enough of it before she decided to reveal her true colors unintentionally.

As for her, she was waiting for a more important witness.

Gu Nianzhi was extremely patient the moment she went in court.

She thought quickly and immediately managed to think of a reason to replace her real intention. Turning to face the judge, she answered, "Your honor, just now Gu Yanran mentioned that she had gone to the orphanage with Gu Xiangwen when she was seven years old. She saw Ye Xuan, who was four years old at that time. However, now she said that she had been with her mother before she had turned seven years old, and not with her father. I feel that these two speeches contradict each other."

Gu Yanran interrupted Gu Nianzhi and said angrily, "When I was seven years old, my mother brought me back to Barbados to be with my father. It was also that year that my father brought me to the orphanage, and I saw Ye Xuan, who was four years old at that time. Is there a problem with this?"

Gu Nianzhi smiled. "Now that sounds more convincing."

She was trying to push Gu Yanran bit by bit to divulge the truth from the past, just like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.

Gu Yanran furrowed her brows. "Are you trying to kid me?"

"Why would I? A court is a solemn place. Please, defendant, I hope that you do not imagine as much," Gu Nianzhi told Gu Yanran sternly. She then began questioning again. "What is the name of your mother? Where did you and her live seven years ago? Why did your mother not live with your father?"

"...Must I say that as well?" Gu Yanran was even more displeased. "This is the privacy of my family..."

Gu Nianzhi straightened her expression and walked to the defendant stand where Gu Yanran was standing. She tapped on the stand and said, "Defendant, you already made the decision to come to court, and it is regarding a family inheritance lawsuit. Your so-called privacy is no longer being protected here. If you do not wish to share all this information, whatever you had said before will not have evidence to back it up, so it will not be able to be used as evidence."

"What did you say?! What I said just now was all true! Why would it not be able to be used as evidence?!" Gu Yanran was enraged.

"Whatever you said were merely one-sided. If you are unable to provide evidence to back it up, I can easily come up with such stories on my own. Not one, not two, but many of them- and all of them could sound more convincing than the one you just said. However, can you believe them? Therefore, when the court decides on a sentence, they will require not only witnesses but evidence as well. Only when both are present will they be able to decide on a fair judgment." Gu Nianzhi raised an eyebrow and looked at Gu Yanran as though challenging her to come up with more stories on her end.

Gu Yanran did not expect that even after talking so much, Gu Nianzhi still had not bought her side of the story. She could not help but feel nervous. "It is up to you whether you choose to believe it or not. I have said whatever I can."

Gu Nianzhi took out her pen and paper and pretended to take notes. She asked without looking up, "Tell us the name of your mother and the place where you were staying. If you are unwilling to tell us why your mother was separated from your father for seven years, it is up to you as well."

Gu Yanran shut her mouth like a clam and refused to talk anymore.

"You do not wish to?" Gu Nianzhi put down her pen. "Gu Yanran, do you think I am unable to get all this information?"

Jin Wanyi sighed and raised her hand. "Objection. The plaintiff's questions are drifting too far away from the case."

The judge contemplated for a while before nodding. "Agreed. Plaintiff, please turn the direction of your questions back to the case."

Gu Nianzhi felt a sense of pity. She was so close to getting the name of Gu Yanran's mother, but sadly, the judge did not allow it anymore.

Jin Wanyi wasn't so useless after all...

Gu Nianzhi kept her pen and paper and said, "Gu Yanran, I am sorry to hear that you have been mistreated by your mother. I hope that you will not..."

Gu Yanran interrupted her and said flatly, "My mother did not mistreat me. Please do not overthink."

"Oh? Giving only one meal a day to a seven-year-old child, and you think that wasn't mistreating?" Gu Nianzhi shook her head. "Forget it. I am just being a busybody anyway, it will be fine as long as you are happy."

Gu Yanran clenched her fists and tried extremely hard to control herself. However, she thought of herself before she had turned seven years old and still could not contain her anger. She glared fiercely at Gu Nianzhi's back and said, "Of course you would not understand what it is like to be poor. We did not have any money at that time. We only had one meal a day because that was all we could afford!"

Gu Nianzhi spun around. Gu Yanran's vicious glare was still there. She did not stop in time, and Gu Nianzhi saw all of it.

She walked back to the front of Gu Yanran and asked, "Gu Yanran, you are the illegitimate daughter of Gu Xiangwen? Your mother is Gu Xiangwen's mistress?"

"Nonsense!" Gu Yanran seemed shocked. Her face flushed a deep crimson red, and she slammed the defendant stand and stood up. "Don't you dare spout nonsense! My mother... My mother...is the wife of my father!"

"Oh is she really? Do they have a marriage certificate?" Gu Nianzhi smiled at Gu Yanran and clapped. "A wife? That is great! Where did they get married at? It is easy to check marriage records. Gu Yanran, finally you are able to produce something decent to prove your identity!"

Gu Yanran was at a loss for words. She supported herself on the defendant's stand and felt faint. She felt her vision turning blurry.

"...Say it! Is this considered private as well?!" Gu Nianzhi shrugged and looked around the court. "Your honor and honorary judges, am I invading privacy by requesting a marriage certificate?"

Of course, she wasn't invading privacy. A marriage certificate was a type of important official document.

Gu Yanran was stunned for a while before stammering, "...This... I wasn't even born when they were married. How would I know where they registered their marriage at? Moreover, who would allow a younger generation to see their marriage certificate?"

"...Other than not knowing where they registered their marriage, you have also never seen their marriage certificate. Your parents had been separated all along. On what basis could you say that they were officially married?" Gu Nianzhi really attacked any loopholes that she produced and attempted to widen it.

However, saying such a claim but being unable to produce any form of evidence was already a huge suspicious point.

Gu Nianzhi did not repeat this and only stared at Gu Yanran quietly.

Her gaze was akin to a fierce interrogation, and it suffocated Gu Yanran greatly.

Jin Wanyi glared at Gu Nianzhi. She did not expect that Gu Nianzhi would be able to turn Gu Yanran from a biological daughter into an illegitimate daughter, just like that!

"Objection. The plaintiff assumed my client's identity without any form of evidence. This is a kind of slander." Jin Wanyi stood up to object again.

Gu Nianzhi retorted, "Your client used a story that she had made up on her own to create an identity of herself that is totally untrue. She has the tendency and intention to lie and cheat."

"...What right do you have to say that it was a story?!" Jin Wanyi was seeing red. "Do you have proof?"

"Then did Gu Yanran have proof for all the things that she said just now?" Gu Nianzhi snorted. "We can send people to the orphanage in Barbados to check; then we will know what happened then."

Right at that moment, Ye Xuan, who had remained quiet all this while, said with a weird expression. "...That orphanage in Barbados was met with a huge fire a few years ago. It killed many people inside and all the information from the past."

Gu Nianzhi turned to look at Gu Yanran and laughed coldly. "What a coincidence, Gu Yanran. Whatever was related to our past...you really had all of it destroyed, didn't you?"

"What are you talking about? I felt really sorry about that incident in Barbados. What are you trying to hint at?" Gu Yanran felt relieved and some form of gracefulness returned.

She sat down slowly and leaned back on the chair. "Since we are at this juncture, Gu Yanran, let me tell you why I wanted to know about your past and your mother."

Gu Nianzhi returned to her plaintiff stand and produced a form that she had created on her own, then showed everyone the reason. "Please take a look, everyone. Number one. About a year ago, Gu Yanran found out that I was the sister that she had lost. After that, all the servants who were serving the family were murdered in a case of kidnapping. According to what I know, those servants had been there for a decade or two."

"Number two. Now, Ye Xuan also told us that that orphanage was also burned down. Therefore, no one would know about whatever happened to 'Sister Ranran' in that orphanage anymore."

"Number three. Gu Yanran refused to tell us the name of her mother and refused to tell us where she was staying before they went to Barbados. On top of that, she could not produce the marriage certificate of her mother and Gu Xiangwen."

"Finally, according to Gu Yanran's academic records, other than being able to find out that she had attended a housekeeper college in England before, we were not able to check the rest of her records. All these points indicate to us that Gu Yanran is intentionally attempting to hide her true identity!"

Gu Yanran's pupils constricted.

How on earth did Gu Nianzhi find out that she had attended a housekeeper college in England before?!