Chapter 144: Court Session Around the Corner
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hearing Xiao Luo’s command, a touch of panic appeared in Zhang Donghai’s eyes. His body trembled involuntarily, and he asked in an unsteady voice, “What do you want to do?”
Xiao Luo looked at him calmly and said, “I just told you. There isn’t absolute black and white in this world. Black and white are nothing but a state of mind. I bet my entire future on Luo’s Workshop, so whoever impedes its development is my enemy. I will never be soft-hearted or merciful toward my enemies. Unfortunately, you, Zhang Donghai, are my enemy right now.”
He delivered these remarks in a soft and gentle voice. Yet Zhang Donghai, Zhang Dashan, and others all felt a sense of pure terror that sent chills up the spine.
Zhang Donghai’s eyes widened. He was scared into a cold sweat and said, “You’re a devil!”
His voice was hoarse. He knew that Xiao Luo was threatening him using his family.
With his eyes cold and frosty, Xiao Luo smiled and demanded again, “Will you agree to help me to testify against Fang Changlei?”
Zhang Donghai forced a bitter smile and replied, “I can’t. If I testify against Fang Changlei, the Dragon Gang will never let me go. Let alone my family…”
This was the thing he dreaded most. Since he’d been caught red-handed by Zhang Dashan, there was nothing to explain. But if he testified against Fang Changlei, he and his family would undoubtedly suffer retaliation.
“You don’t need to worry about that. Your family will be well protected!” Xiao Luo said. Then, he added softly, “After everything is over, I will give you two million dollars and let you and your family flee to a faraway place. As powerful as the Dragon Gang may be, they can only operate within Jiangcheng. You don’t need to fear them once you leave the area.”
“You can promise that?” Zhang Donghai felt that he’d been handed a straw to clutch at in this desperate situation.
“I promise!” said Xiao Luo.
Zhang Donghai was astonished for a moment. Then, the radiance that had shown on his just face seconds ago dimmed again. He said, “I don’t believe you have that kind of strength. The Dragon Gang is the most powerful underground force in Jiangcheng. How can you fight them?”
“I’m not fighting them. I’m fighting Fang Changlei.”
“That’s the same thing,” replied Zhang Donghai, feeling hopeless and depressed.
Xiao Luo stared at him for a while and said, “Life is a game of chance. You have to gamble this time!”
“I have no other choice?” Zhang Donghai smiled with deep sorrow.
Xiao Luo nodded gravely and replied in an irrefutable tone, “You have no other choice!”
Zhang Donghai hung his head like a rooster that had lost a cockfight, then raised it once more and asked again, “President Xiao, are you part of a mob or not?”
Xiao Luo had ‘handled’ the reporters’ turmoil and threatened his family. This conduct made Zhang Donghai believe Xiao Luo was an underworld figure.
“Whether something is black or white depends on the opponent I’m facing,” Xiao Luo answered in a quiet voice.
Zhang Donghai gave up resisting and chose to get on board Xiao Luo’s boat.
Back at the residence, Xiao Luo and Zhang Dashan stood on the penthouse’s balcony. Facing the wind, they overlooked the nighttime scene of this remote area of Jiangcheng. A train thundered and pulled into the station. In the darkness of night, the long train looked like a giant python glowing brightly as it slithered down the railway.
Zhang Dashan lit up a cigarette and said, “You’ve really helped me gain an intimate understanding of the first stage of being a businessman.”
Xiao Luo, self-possessed, chuckled lightly but didn’t respond.
He knew that Zhang Dashan was saying that he might have gone too far by threatening people using their families. This tactic was as unscrupulous as those of the mob. But he’d had no choice. He wanted to succeed. It was necessary to use some unorthodox methods when his very existence was at stake.
Zhang Dashan saw Xiao Luo’s indifferent expression and changed the subject. He said, “By the way, the court session is going to open in two days. Have you discussed things with Ge Zhongtian and asked him to be Luo’s Workshop’s counsel?”
“It’s not necessary.”
Xiao Luo shook his head, said, “You will defend our case in court.”
What the f*ck!
Astounded, Zhang Dashan dropped his cigarette on the ground. His eyes widened, and he said, “Have you lost your mind? Asking me to face off with those top attorneys! I’m in no way cut out to do that.”
“What are you panicking about?”
“Motherf*cker, how can I not panic? I may have my ways around the ladies, but defending Luo’s Workshop in court like a real lawyer? I’ve not that kind of attorney material.”
“Don’t worry. It’s me who will do the real work,” Xiao Luo answered with a smile.
Xiao Luo’s words befuddled Zhang Dashan.
“What do you mean, brother? Can you explain it to me?” Zhang Dashan couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
“Have you ever watched the animated show, ‘Detective Conan’?”
“I watched some episodes when I was bored. I’m not interested in it. It’s always the same story: Mouri Kogorou is drugged unconscious. Then, Conan solves the crime on Mouri’s behalf. A couple of times, when the girl started getting suspicious, I was hoping Conan’s trick would be discovered, but nothing happened. Then the same plot structure just restarts. Watching it makes me annoyed.”
“It’s easier to explain it since you’ve watched it,” Xiao Luo said with a serious expression. “When our court session opens, you will play Mouri Kogorou’s character. And I will be Conan.”
Zhang Dashan’s face was filled with apprehension after hearing this. He asked, “Brother, what on earth do you plan on doing?”
“I mean, you will wear an earpiece on the day of the trial. I will tell you whatever you need to say from a distance so that you can defend Luo’s Workshop on my behalf,” answered Xiao Luo.
Zhang Dashan stared at Xiao Luo like an alien and said, “Are you looking for trouble? Are you going to be the attorney? Have you learned how to defend yourself in court?”
“I haven’t. But I’m confident I can do it.”
Xiao Luo gazed into the distance, saying, “Well, we still need to gather some important files and evidence. You should do it together with me so that you won’t completely blank out in court.”
“Are you serious?”
“Do I look like I’m joking to you?”
“Then why can’t you appear before the court yourself?”
“I have done things that are both legal and illegal. This kind of public appearance doesn’t suit me. You’re different. You have a clean record.”
Xiao Luo looked at him with a meaningful smile. Then, he turned around and went inside the room.
Two days passed by swiftly. Then, at Jiangcheng People’s Court, there was another hearing in the defamation case of Luo’s Workshop vs. Chen Jianbai.
The trial was open and accessible to the general public!
The public gallery was filled, not only with Fang Changlei and Taste Buds executives, but also Xu Guansong, Lin Chongdong, Luo Qi, and other employees from Luo’s Workshop. It was packed to capacity.
“Vice President Xu, why hasn’t your President Xiao come today? Is he already recoiling in fear? Haha!” Fang Changlei taunted.
Even though he didn’t know how Xiao Luo had made the disruptive reporters go away last time, he was confident and determined to win this time in court. From what he could see, Luo’s Workshop had gone out for wool but came home shorn.
Xu Guansong’s expression was complicated. He refrained from talking. Nonetheless, he was also curious why Xiao Luo would hide. Why would he let Zhang Dashan play the role of the defender in a court hearing vital to the life and death of Luo’s Workshop? In his opinion, even a random lawyer on the street would be better than Zhang Dashan. How could they win this case?
Zhang Yong, the head of Luo’s Workshop’s legal department, was also in the gallery. Although he was also perplexed by Xiao Luo’s scheme, he felt quite relieved. This would no longer be his job anymore, no matter the outcome of the trial.