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146 Battle of Words

 Inside the magnificent courtroom that was filled with a dignified air, all the people present were very solemn. The presiding judge and two other judges were sitting up high, followed by the clerk and assistant to the judge, and finally the cold and serious bailiff.

The plaintiff and the defendant were set up at both sides of the room, their positioning making it clear to everyone in the room that they were in opposition. This hearing would play a pivotal role in determining which way the scales of justice would tip.

Zhang Dashan, Li Zimeng and another female assistant sat at the plaintiff's table...

It was the first time he was in a courtroom, and now he was taking up the role of a legal counsel, so there was no way he would not be nervous. However, he could hear Xiao Luo's voice in his ear which helped to steady his emotions, and he was taking deep breaths, making an effort to calm himself.

Fu Heyu was a lawyer with clear fair skin, and he wore a thin, straight suit over his tall and slender figure. The spacing between his eyes was wider than that of the average person, which gave him a dishonest and slippery look. He sat self-assuredly at the defendant's table, his eyes looking straight ahead, and radiating a natural confidence.

Chen Jianbai sat next to him, not looking at all like someone who was being sued. He had a flippant attitude and was still casually humming a tune. When Zhang Dashan looked over at him, he dragged a finger across his throat in a provocative gesture.

"Damn it..."

The number one thing Zhang Dashan could not tolerate was taunts like these, and if not for Xiao Luo telling him to stop, he would have stood up to fight back against Chen Jianbai.

Though, the silver lining was that Chen Jianbai's provocations had erased all the nervousness he felt.

...

Inside the café, Gu Qianlin was sizing up Xiao Luo in surprise as she asked, "What are you up to?"

She realised that Xiao Luo seemed to be talking to someone in the courtroom through a long distance call.

Xiao Luo took down his headset, raising his head to look at her, and rebutting, "Officer Gu, am I breaking the law now?"

"No."

"Since I'm not, please stop bothering me, okay? Thank you!" Xiao Luo replied impassively.

"You..."

As an elite member of the police force, Gu Qianlin had some measure of pride, and she felt extremely indignant at Xiao Luo's aloof attitude towards her. However, she managed to suppress her emotions in the end and waved him off, indicating that he did not need to pay attention to her, but she also had no intention of leaving.

Ordering a cup of coffee, she took out her handphone and connected to the café's WiFi, then entered the page with the live broadcast of the public trial. She wanted to see what Xiao Luo was doing after all.

...

"This court will now begin to hear the case of Luo's Workshop suing Chen Jianbai for publishing false news to tarnish the reputation of the company. If the plaintiff and the defendant have any additional statements to make, you can do so now." The presiding judge's ceremonious voice boomed out in the spacious courtroom, as the curtains rose on the court trial.

Fu Heyu was the first to stand up and speak. "Presiding judge, judges, at the first trial, our stance is that the plaintiff has threatened my client, and made a fake recording in an attempt to deceive the general public and gain back the company's reputation. This is a frame-up, it is defamation, and it shows a flagrant disregard for the laws of our Hua Nation."

He said it as though he was standing firm for a just cause.

Zhang Dashan received the signal from Xiao Luo, and rebutted loudly, "You cannot distort the truth with your unfounded accusations. If you claim that we got the recording through intimidating the defendant, then let me ask you this. What evidence do you have that we threatened him, or is it all based on your own assumptions?"

Huh?!

Xu Guansong, Lin Chongdong, Zhang Yong and the others unwittingly let out a cry of surprise. They thought to themselves that this Zhang Dashan was fairly capable, to kick off this fierce tug-of-war with such a direct battle of words.

Fu Heyu snorted softly, "Of course it isn't my own assumption. During the first trial, we have already submitted an autopsy report to the presiding judge. It proves that on the 20th of March, the cause of death of the old man who died in the Luo's Workshop store was the ingestion of excessive amounts of preservatives, which led to sudden death due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular occlusion. This is indisputable fact.

"Therefore, the news that my client reported is the truth, and not an empty fabrication, and is most definitely not written to defame the plaintiff's reputation, as they claim. He is simply performing his duties as a reporter, reporting the truth to the wider public, and is worthy of our respect.

"Furthermore, my client has also said that the recording was made based on the script provided by Luo's Workshop after they threatened him. Let me ask, can such a recording really be considered as evidence?"

Hearing this, the presiding judge and the other judges nodded their heads in agreement.

"You're talking out of your damn ass!"

Zhang Dashan shot to his feet, expletives bursting out from his mouth. Obviously, this was not what Xiao Luo wanted him to say, but he was just too aggravated by Fu Heyu's irrational arguments.

"Dong dong dong~"

The presiding judge hammered his gavel down three times, barking a warning at Zhang Dashan, "Will the plaintiff please watch his language!"

"Hahaha... He's such a yokel, and he dares to be a legal counsel in court? Ridiculous!" Fang Changlei sat with his legs crossed and an expression of contempt, as he laughed until his eyes almost watered.

The audience was starting to get rowdy, and the presiding judge had to call for 'order' three times before they went silent again.

"Bastard, don't swear like that!"

In the café, Xiao Luo reprimanded Zhang Dashan through the headset.

Zhang Dashan took more deep breaths to calm down.

"Idiot!"

Fu Heyu quietly criticised Zhang Dashan, not taking him seriously at all. In the whole of Jiangcheng, only Ge Zhongtian was a suitable opponent for him. Against a nameless nobody like this, he did not even have the motivation to exert his full effort in defending his client.

Zhang Dashan regained his composure, then let out a few dry coughs before he continued in a gentle tone, "Presiding judge, I apologise for my earlier indiscretion. Now, I would like to request that the contents of the defendant's recording be replayed here in court."

The presiding judge nodded in acknowledgement, indicating to the staff in the courtroom that they were to carry out Zhang Dashan's request.

Not long after, the large courtroom was filled with the sound of Chen Jianbai's arrogant words from that day.

"I'll write whatever I want to write. If I say that your bread poisoned someone to death, then it means your bread poisoned someone to death... I don't give a shit about Luo's Workshop, and I don't give a shit about you. Although, if the pretty Department Head Li agrees to spend a night with me, I may consider giving you a way out. Hahaha..."

Hearing this, Chen Jianbai's face drained of colour. If he knew this day would come he would not have been so conceited. To leave behind such a troublesome piece of evidence, he was too damn unlucky.

"Presiding judge, judges, his tone of voice is arrogant, and he's making extremely presumptuous statements," Zhang Dashan said persuasively. "He even made sexual remarks about our beautiful Department Head Li here at Luo's Workshop. The defendant's counsel claims that he made this recording while under threats, but can this bullshit really stand up in court? Oh, sorry, I accidentally used some dirty language again."

It was certainly true that the tone of voice in Chen Jianbai's recording was exceedingly arrogant, and if it the statement was made under duress, it definitely would not sound like that.

The presiding judge and the others nodded in acceptance, seeing the logic behind Zhang Dashan's words. The audience watching in the courtroom were also in full agreement with his theory.

"Lawyer Fu, do you have anything to say about this?" the presiding judge asked, looking towards the defendant's table.

"My client's tone of voice should not be described as arrogant or presumptuous, but angry. In a fit of rage, a person's words are unreliable. For instance, if someone insulted me, and I countered with something about his mother, does that mean I really had illicit relations with his mother? No, this is clearly not the case, right?" Fu Heyu raised his slender eyebrows, as his gaze settled on Zhang Dashan, and his lips curled into a mocking sneer.