Chapter 149: Witness
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
Fu Heyu had been chased out of the courtroom. Now the scales of victory were tipping in Luo’s Workshop’s direction.
Fang Changlei stood up and shouted, “I strongly object!” while pointing at Zhang Dashan. “It’s reasonable for the frenzied Fu Heyu to be driven out. But as the plaintiff’s representative, this man, who spouts nothing but vulgarities, has been an even bigger insult to the sanctity and majesty of the court. Shouldn’t he be removed from the room as well?”
“As an observer, you’re not supposed to speak or ask questions. President Fang, aren’t you aware of this simple rule?” Zhang Dashan quickly interjected with his questioning. “As the boss of a formidable company like Taste Buds, it would be surprising if you were so ignorant of the law.”
Fang Changlei felt the flames of rage surge within him, and he glared viciously at Zhang Dashan like he wanted to swallow him alive.
Bang, bang, bang!
The presiding judge banged the gavel hard a couple of times then said thoughtfully, “Please sit down, Mr. Observer. And, please, remain silent.” Then he turned to Zhang Dashan and said, “Representative of the plaintiff, this is your last warning. Cursing and swearing are prohibited in court.”
Zhang Dashan bowed slightly. “Yes, Your Honor!”
Now that he had driven Fu Heyu out, of course, he wouldn’t curse anymore.
“Do you have anything else to add?” asked the presiding judge.
“Yes, I still have a witness to call,” he replied.
Zhang Dashan turned to the main door of the court and shouted, “I call as a witness the widow of the old gentleman who passed away at Luo’s Workshop that day!”
Xu Guansong and the rest were stunned. They thought: how had the old man’s wife suddenly shown up?
It didn’t take long before the courtroom door slowly opened, and a skinny, white-haired old lady walked in with Feng Wuhen supporting her by the arm. As Feng Wuhen had no right to enter the courtroom, she had to walk the rest of the way alone after she opened the door.
The old woman was hunched over. She wore a floral blouse with many patches on it. Time had left its traces on her face and hands.
Despite having lived a long life, this was her first time walking into a courtroom. Judges were seated far above her, and there were well-dressed observers all around. Everything here seemed so unfamiliar. Like a baby who had just come into contact with the world, she acted rather timid. Her steps faltered as if a gust of wind could make her fall.
She was an elderly woman who couldn’t have been any more ordinary!
Zhang Dashan hurried over and slowly guided her to the witness stand.
“What’s the name of the witness?” inquired the presiding judge.
The old woman wore a blank expression, until Zhang Dashan explained to her, “Gram, the judge is asking for your name.”
“Your Just and Incorruptible Lordship, my name is Gao Qingfeng,” the old woman answered weakly. Her voice was very soft, but with the microphone, everyone in the courtroom could hear her.
Just and Incorruptible Lordship?
There was a small commotion amid the observers. Addressing the presiding judge as ‘his lordship’—was she still living in a feudal society?
The presiding judge exchanged a look with his fellow judges and then continued asking the old woman, “Gao Qingfeng, who are you testifying for?”
The old woman suddenly lost control of her emotions and shouted in a high voice, “Your Just and Incorruptible Lordship, I want to sue my unfilial son and daughter-in-law. It was they who killed my late husband. They killed my late husband…”
Her murky eyes turned red.
She was suing her son and daughter-in-law—what was happening?
Everyone was perplexed. Wasn’t the old lady here to testify? Why had she suddenly become another plaintiff?
The presiding judge also didn’t understand.
Zhang Dashan heard Xiao Luo’s message, and hurriedly explained, “Your Honors, please continue listening. This grievance concerns an incident that could clear Luo’s Workshop of the charge of selling poisonous bread.” He smiled at the old woman and said, “Gram, do continue. His lordship is listening.”
The old woman nodded, and her aged face was full of sadness and pain. She choked on her sobs as she stated, “My unfilial son, Wang Decai, and daughter-in-law, Tian Guihua, heartlessly kicked my late husband and me out of our home. My late husband had always had a weak heart, and his illness relapsed after our son insulted him that day.
“But he said to me, ‘My old woman, I’m fine. You are probably hungry. There is a bakery nearby, let me go and buy you your favorite Songhua cake.’ I didn’t expect that he would leave me behind and then leave this world on his own. It was my son and daughter-in-law who killed him. It was they who killed him…”
She wiped her tears, and her hoarse voice was extremely infectious with emotion, affecting everyone present sincerely. They could profoundly feel the old woman’s sorrow. How much determination did it take to bring one’s son and daughter-in-law to court? The backstory was even more heart-wrenching.
Even the presiding judge and the other judges furrowed their brows after listening to her tale. “Gao Qingfeng, why did your son and daughter-in-law kick you and your late husband out from your home?”
The old woman let out a long sigh, indescribably forlorn. “When I was cooking, I accidentally knocked the rice cooker onto the floor. My daughter-in-law scolded me loudly, and my late husband answered back in my defense. My daughter-in-law then yelled loudly, claiming that my late husband had hit her. After my son came back and heard my daughter-in-law’s complaints, he didn’t say anything. He simply pushed and dragged my late husband and me out of our home and even told us to die outside.”
How could such an unfilial son exist in the world?
The people in the courtroom were filled with righteous anger. Without needing to see them in person, they could already imagine how unfilial the son and how mean his wife must be.
The comments from netizens online also all condemned the old woman’s son and daughter-in-law.
“There are all sorts of trashy sons and daughters-in-law in this world. If my son behaves like this in the future, I will slap him across the face.”
“How detestable. I support the old lady’s decision to sue her son!”
“Filial piety is the virtue held above all else. Trash like him, who are cruel enough to kick their parents out and tell them to die outside, must be losers in life.”
The presiding judge and the other judges looked sad and contemplative, and they seemed to be thinking about these hopeless phenomena in today’s society.
Zhang Dashan shifted the topic back to the case. Luo’s Workshop was suing Chen Jianbai, after all.
“Your Honor, the old lady’s testimony should be enough to prove that the old gentleman didn’t die from consuming bread sold by Luo’s Workshop that day. Think about it. The old gentleman went to buy Songhua cake for his wife, so why would he have eaten it by himself without her? So, there is only one possibility. The old gentleman died of a heart attack, and his passing has nothing to do with Luo’s Workshop.”
His words were undoubtedly persuasive, and the old woman’s story supported his main point.
“But the autopsy report showed that the old gentleman died after consuming excessive amounts of preservatives, which caused him to die of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular blockages. How can this be explained?” the presiding judge asked, his brow furrowed.
Zhang Dashan laughed, pointed at Fang Changlei sitting in the audience, and said, “You need to ask Fang Changlei, President Fang of Taste Buds, for that.”
Fang Changlei’s expression was alarmingly dark, and the muscle at the corner of his mouth couldn’t help but twitch. He hadn’t expected Fu Heyu to be kicked out of the courtroom, and he certainly hadn’t expected to get involved in the case.
He couldn’t fathom where this b*stard with a big round face had come from. How had this kid managed to control the direction of public opinion in court to the extent that even Fu Heyu had been forced to leave in the middle of the trial?