Tan Dongbang's expression changed instantly, and his hands balled into fists. If she wasn't standing on stage, and he wasn't in front of the stage, then it would have appeared as if he were about to throw a punch…
Since Gu Nianzhi could make someone who proclaimed himself to be "gentle and elegant" actually want to swing his fist, it was obvious how badly she had riled Tan Dongbang up.
Cai Songyin and Tan Guiren were both floored as they sat in the audience. "Mommy, what's going on with Daddy? Can't he allow Speaker Long to finish speaking?" Tan Guiren was totally lost and helpless, but she still thought what her Daddy said made sense. How could he have cheated just because someone said so? Shouldn't they at least give a reason to explain it?
However, Cai Songyin was feeling guilty. She knew that they had cheated in the first election, but she still thought the numbers were about the same. After all, she had ample experience from creating publicity in the media. She hadn't been called "the female devil" by the media for so many years for nothing.
"Right, this is so embarrassing." Cai Songyin pursed her lips and genuinely planned to divorce Tan Dongbang once this drama was over and she confirmed he would never rise again. They had grown up together and loved each other for years, but it all completely evaporated when she saw the video of Tan Dongbang fooling around with Gu Yanran.
Cai Songyin watched Tan Dongbang's back in front of the stage and was feeling very impatient. She couldn't understand why Tan Dongbang still refused to give up. However, Tan Dongbang glared at Gu Nianzhi, who was standing on the podium next to Speaker Long. He deeply regretted the verbal mistakes he had made earlier.
Luckily, he hadn't said it out loud, so although Gu Nianzhi took advantage of the situation, Tan Dongbang continued to vehemently deny it and also seized the loophole in Gu Nianzhi's own words. "Haha, Miss Gu, you're a lawyer, too? At school, didn't you learn to not put words in people's mouths when they didn't actually say them?"
Tan Dongbang was being sly since he hadn't even said the last statement. Gu Nianzhi had said it all. "Don't you understand that there are ample claims to make when you intend on giving someone false charges?" He was essentially saying that Gu Nianzhi was purposely fabricating a reason in order to frame him.
Gu Nianzhi had originally intended to fight back against Tan Dongbang and make him stay as quiet as a mouse so he wouldn't publicly argue with Speaker Long anymore. This would also save the nation some embarrassment in front of all the world's citizens.
Tan Dongbang was probably taking advantage of the live broadcast and felt certain that the Senate and Speaker Long would want to save face by not using violence to shut him up before a world-wide audience. Thus, he became increasingly fearless.
Gu Nianzhi was pent up with anger at the thought of this. She had already curbed her tongue but didn't think Tan Dongbang would still be relentless and even pick a fight with her. Since that was the case, he shouldn't blame her for taking drastic measures.
All Senate personnel wore Bluetooth headsets during major events for ease of communication. Gu Nianzhi adjusted the Bluetooth speaker in her ear. Putting her hand down, her eyes quickly darted. "When did I ever frame you? You've already forgotten what I've said. I said, 'Then those must be the results of our manipulation from behind the scenes.' Isn't that right? So from the way Mr. Tan sees it, it's only considered fair, open, and just if you're the one to win election. Otherwise, it's all manipulation from behind the scenes, right?
"Every statement was posed as a question, so you were able to answer yes or no. In that case, how was I framing you? Mr. Tan, you also studied law yourself and even worked as the Minister of Justice for so many years. With your legal competency, how did you ever end up in the position of Minister of Justice?"
Gu Nianzhi's tone was subtly mocking, yet the expression on her face was incredibly sweet and natural. People were unable to feel malice just by looking at her face alone, but Tan Dongbang truly thought it was too ridiculous to be reprimanded by a little girl who was even younger than his own daughter.
The corners of Tan Dongbang's lips twitched. He then recalled that Gu Nianzhi was someone with courtroom experience—the lawsuit against Bai Jinyi regarding Song Jinning's incident, going to the German courts for the lawsuit of the German female exchange student, the estate dispute against Gu Yanran—and she had never lost a case. In the face of someone like that, he truly couldn't underestimate her because of her young age.
Tan Dongbang composed himself and began to truly pay attention to Gu Nianzhi. Straightening his necktie, his expression became much more natural as he immediately returned to the topic Gu Nianzhi had diverged from. He said sternly, "Since Miss Gu has made things clear, then I'll do so as well. Earlier, I meant to say that if Speaker Long stated that there was an issue with the voting in the last election, then he should present evidence. If there is no evidence, he shouldn't say there was fraudulent activity in the last election!"
Tan Dongbang needed to clarify the so-called previous "fraudulent activity," because he was already feeling a bit uneasy. Although according to the information he gleaned and the results "the expert" told him about, he should've won the second interim general election. But why would Speaker Long mention the previous "fraudulent activity?" This was truly perplexing.
Tan Dongbang didn't want to be a sitting duck, so he chose to stand up and fight back. Unfortunately, Speaker Long didn't take his bait, and the person arguing with him right now was a mere Senate staff member. Even if he won the argument, it wasn't much to be proud of.
Tan Dongbang watched Gu Nianzhi grimly and had already secretly made up his mind that she would be the first person he would squash once the drama was over and he returned to the position of prime minister! By removing her, he would not only create an opening for his daughter but also show others the consequences of going against him!
Gu Nianzhi rushed up on stage so she could choose to verbally quell Tan Dongbang's aggression. However, she really didn't know much about the actual situation of "election fraud." She only knew that Hong Kangquan had inserted four lines of extremely advanced and difficult to detect AI programming code into the central control room's system. These four lines of AI programming code had meddled in the system program and had hidden certain important information.
However, she wasn't completely clueless, either. If the fraudulent activity in the last election was only detected after they extracted the four lines of AI programming code, then couldn't she infer that the evidence of fraud was inside the central control system's surveillance software?
Gu Nianzhi began to ponder this.
Yin Shixiong sat in the temporary surveillance room inside the Senate building, and his eyes didn't blink as he watched Gu Nianzhi's tall, slim back on the surveillance monitor. He couldn't help but want to give her a hand. First, he contacted Huo Shaoheng. "Huo Shao, do we need to give Nianzhi a hint? She's unaware of some situations."
Huo Shaoheng sat in the audience and nodded subtly as he gave quiet agreement. Yin Shixiong received authorization and immediately connected to Gu Nianzhi's Bluetooth headset. "Nianzhi, the evidence is inside the central control system."
Gu Nianzhi was currently thinking about how she would answer Tan Dongbang's incredibly sharp question. The Bluetooth speaker in her ear suddenly connected, and Yin Shixiong's voice spoke to her. Although the statement was short, it happened to confirm Gu Nianzhi's inference.
When Gu Nianzhi heard Yin Shixiong's words, she slowly looked up, and her eyes glittered like stars as she looked at Tan Dongbang. Her plump, curvy lips curled into a happy arc, and she appeared even more alluring. She smiled at Tan Dongbang and asked once again, "Mr. Tan, you insist on seeing evidence? Right now? Immediately?"
"Right, I need to see evidence. Right now! Immediately!" Tan Dongbang insisted vehemently and appeared as if he was aggrieved and adamant about "clearing his name."
Gu Nianzhi looked at Speaker Long and asked quietly, "Speaker Long, what do you think?"
Speaker Long nodded expressionlessly. "You can show him the evidence, since he wants to see it." He then opened the multimedia system on the podium and gestured for Gu Nianzhi to step in.
Gu Nianzhi felt very calm after receiving Speaker Long's authorization. She typed on the keyboard and entered the Senate's computer systems to connect with Yin Shixiong's surveillance system. Then a huge, white monitor slowly lowered from the wall behind their backs. The entire conference hall appeared like a screening room in a movie theater. Gu Nianzhi found the computer program evidence Yin Shixiong had sent to her, and it displayed on the monitor.
"Everyone, this is the evidence of fraudulent activity that we discovered from the last election. Please look. After conducting a system search, the entire situation of the last systematic vote is displayed here. Everyone can see the raw data from all the voting provinces, then look at the original vote count data. Obviously, there were issues with the data from two provinces. A portion of the data was lost. Under such circumstances, the surveillance system would typically issue an early warning and have everyone recount the votes.
"But last time, someone planted AI programming code in the surveillance system and caused the early warning mechanism to be disabled. This resulted in the error in the results.
"This time, we removed the AI code from the surveillance system and discovered that the same error was also appearing in this election. But because the planted AI code was removed, the system successfully warned us early enough, and the surveillance personnel took notice. This has also caused the surveillance personnel to have reasonable doubts about the results of the last election."
Gu Nianzhi held a laser pointer in her hand as she pointed at the screen and eloquently explained, "After a recount, we discovered that the winner of the last election should have been Mr. Bai Jiancheng, not Mr. Tan Dongbang—who received a freebie from the system." As soon as she said this, everyone burst into laughter.
The tense atmosphere in the conference hall gradually relaxed, but many others didn't agree with what she said. Tan Dongbang was the first person to cross his arms in disdain. "Haha, that's it? That's your evidence? How dare you say it's not a case of 'ample claims can be made when you intend on giving someone false charges?!' This was clearly a system error! How can that be considered my fault?! Also, how could you say the early warning mechanism was disabled by that whatever code?! Are you taking advantage of us not understanding, so you have the final say on everything?!"
"So Mr. Tan means that this was merely a system error that had nothing to do with you?" Gu Nianzhi easily rebuked him. "But why did both system errors only hide Mr. Bai's votes and only count your votes? Are you saying there's nothing wrong with such an intelligent system? Are you assuming that we have no common sense or that we have no intelligence?"
"How would I know? That's why it's called a system error." Tan Dongbang smiled gleefully at Gu Nianzhi, his eyes reminiscent of a cat catching a mouse.
Gu Nianzhi's eyes dimmed as she looked at Tan Dongbang, and she couldn't help but be impressed by him. Tan Dongbang's simple statement of "system error" had easily wiped out the evidence they worked so hard to unearth. That was because everyone really didn't understand that kind of thing. They would have doubts if they didn't understand something and could be led by the nose by Tan Dongbang.
Gu Nianzhi was a bit frantic, so tiny beads of sweat began to form on her delicate and tiny nose. Such fraud was truly considered a system error, so even Gu Nianzhi couldn't deny this point. It had to be said, the enemy had laid a huge trap for them. If they weren't careful, they would fall into that trap, and that was probably the reason why Tan Dongbang dared to stand up and openly fight with Speaker Long. He seemed to be certain that Speaker Long would be unable to present evidence that convinced everyone, so he put on a pitiful face of, "being framed and being manipulated behind the scenes."
But how could Tan Dongbang be so certain?! Gu Nianzhi's mind quickly worked. Hong Kangquan was obviously the one who inserted the four lines of AI programming code, so why did Tan Dongbang seem to know about it as well?! Could Hong Kangquan have also colluded with Tan Dongbang?! Gu Nianzhi suddenly felt blessed to the soul when she thought of this.
There must be collusion!
Hong Kangquan had direct contact with Cai Songyin, and Tan Dongbang was Cai Songyin's husband. This connection all made sense now. She had it! Evidence, which was an actual witness!
She didn't need to ramble on about high tech AI programming code with these people. They clearly had a great piece of evidence in their hands. Not only could they prove that Tan Dongbang cheated in the last election, but it would also kill him in one shot!
A smile slowly appeared on Gu Nianzhi's face, and she was now completely relaxed. She cocked her head at Tan Dongbang with a smile. "Mr. Tan, this was indeed a system error. However, this system error was not created by the system, it was man-made. We have tangible evidence indicating that this last system error was due to meddling by the wanted Director of the Secret Service, Hong Kangquan."
The audience inside the conference hall and the tens of thousands of people watching on TV were all in an uproar as soon as Hong Kanquan's name was mentioned. They really didn't understand the "high tech evidence" Gu Nianzhi presented earlier and were slightly siding with Tan Dongbang, since everyone had pity in their hearts and would side with the weaker party.
However, Hong Kangquan was different. Huo Shaoheng and his men had issued a nationwide arrest warrant in order to arrest Hong Kangquan and that Japanese spy! Nearly every Huaxia citizen sitting in front of the TV knew that Hong Kangquan had escaped with a Japanese spy.
"So Mr. Tan, why would a traitor like Hong Kangquan meddle in the system for your sake? Did you collude with a Japanese spy and order Hong Kangquan to meddle because you want to be prime minister?!" Gu Nianzhi finished it off and directly linked Tan Dongbang and Hong Kangquan together. With the accusation of "traitor" over his head, how could he ever run for prime minister!?
Tan Dongbang was shocked as soon as he heard the name, "Hong Kangquan." Hadn't Hong Kangquan escaped successfully? He then thought about how Huo Shaoheng had walked in unscathed earlier. A rush of cold air rose up his back, and he shivered. His entire body was about to collapse, and his face was eerily pale. He still wanted to deny it, but no sound came out when he opened his mouth. An overwhelming fear of the looming enemy made him unable to speak or deny this.
Huo Shaoheng saw this and immediately commanded a Special Operations Forces soldier to walk over and display his identification. He said to Speaker Long, "Speaker Long, due to the close ties between Tan Dongbang and the Hong Kangquan case, as well as the serious threat to national security, we must take him away for investigation. Please give us the authorization."
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