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Turnabout Storyteller
Transcript
Turnabouttheatre


Episode 4
Turnabout Storyteller




???:
Sh-Shisho's dead...? No... D-Do you think... HE did it?

???:
Oh, no! I-If he did... then wh-what do we do?!

???:
Hey, pull yourself together!

???:
Don't worry. I have an idea...




May 13, 9:45 AM
Disctrict Court- Defendant Lobby No. 6




Athena:
(What the heck! Who brings a defendant to his own trial late?! Plus, the request was so last-minute, I didn't even have a chance to talk with my client!)

Widget:
He's late, he's late, for a very important date!

Athena:
My name is Athena Cykes. Armed with analytical psychology, and a full arsenal of legal know-how... I'm a fully-competent defender of the Wright Anything Agency! Though I wish my client would show up already -- the trial's about to start...

???:
Heh. It appears we made it just in time.

Athena:
Where have you BEEN?! The trial's about to start, Simon!

Blackquill:
You needn't get so worked up, Athena. His Baldness can wait.

Athena:
There's no way he'd wait for me! And besides, why would I want to start off on the wrong foot with him right out of the gate?!

Blackquill:
Dealing with such matters is part of being a lawyer, if I'm not mistaken.

Athena:
Yeah, well, covering for your lateness is not!

Blackquill:
Hmph. Still but a rank amateur, I see...

Athena:
This is Simon Blackquill. He might not look it, but he's actually a prosecutor, and a psychology specialist. He and I go way back... As for our shared specialization in psychology... ...we're both disciples of the same person so to speak, but he's kinda my senior, I guess. But twisted sense of humor or no, I wish he'd stop treating me like a child all the time.

Blackquill:
So, where are Wright-dono and Justice-dono?

Athena:
Mr. Wright is abroad, and Apollo is helping Trucy with her magic show. Didn't I tell you?

Blackquill:
They're what? So neither one of them are here? ...Leaving you to take this on alone?

Athena:
Yep!

Blackquill:
Ye gods... Call Wright-dono back. It's not too late.

Athena:
Oh no, not too late at all! He would only need to know how to teleport.

Blackquill:
Tsk. Very well...

Blackquill:
Then I will settle for Justice-dono. Go grab him by the horns and drag him here!

Athena:
Apollo is literally in the middle of a show, Simon! You may not want to admit it, but I've got what it takes to take on this case! Just leave this to me and go watch from the gallery!

Blackquill:
...As your defense derails in a spectacular fashion?

Athena:
No... As I win the heck out of this trial!

Blackquill:
..........

Athena:
I'll be okay -- promise! So wipe that look off your face already, will you? Anyway, I take it the guy behind you is...?

Blackquill:
Yes, he's your... ......Tsk, he's asleep again. Hoy, Bucky! Wake up!

???:
Giyaaaaaaaaaaah!

Bucky:
Owwwww... Whadja do DAT for, Simey...? *hic* ..........Hrrnhhh...? Who's dis yeller chickadee?

Blackquill:
She is your lawyer, such as it were. I'd say she's more "green" than "yellow" however.

Bucky:
Lawyer? She sure duzen't look it, dush she...? Is she, like, yer fellow apprentice or sumfin'...?

Blackquill:
...Heh, something like that. I've known her longer than I've known you. You could say we're bound to one another.

Bucky:
Ohhhh, m'kay... Well den. Geussh I better call 'er MIZ chickadee, den.

Athena:
Simon... This guy's not only rude, but he's three sheets to the wind at his own trial...

Bucky:
Eh heh heh, heh... *hic*

Athena:
I know we just met, but... I'm about ready to give him a piece of my mind!

Blackquill:
Do as you will. Just save it for after the trial.

Bucky:
Miz Chickadee...

Athena:
(Don't call me that!)

Bucky:
How'd y'da...? Simey here'sh an old frienda mine... I'm the fourth-generation head chef o'"Whet Soba." "Whet Noodle No. 4," Bucky Whet! Nice to meetcha!

Athena:
I-It's... nice to meet you, too, Mr. Whet. (So he CAN pull himself together when he wants to! Grr... If only the trial wasn't starting in a few minutes...)

Blackquill:
Having been accused of a murder that only occurred yesterday... ...I'm afraid it's taken a toll on the poor boy.

Athena:
And you happened to be there at the theater where it all happened, too, right? They said they found a rakugo storyteller murdered in his dressing room.

Blackquill:
Indeed. The victim, master storyteller Taifu Toneido, was a long time patron of Whet Soba. Master Toneido had been looking after Bucky ever since Whet Noodle No. 3 passed away.

Athena:
I see. So the victim was kind of like a father to the defendant, huh.

Bucky:
Dat shtupid ol' fart... Like a father...?! Naw way! He was alwaysh disshing my soba...

Blackquill:
How dare you speak ill of him? Running your mouth like that is why they suspected you of his murder in the first place! Now, pull yourself together. No. 3 must be rolling in his grave.

Bucky:
...B-B-But Siiiiimey... *hic* Da police... None o' dem believesh me... Dey won' lishen t'me *sniffle*

Athena:
(It looks like he's still in shock from the whole ordeal) Don't worry, Mr. Whet. Everything's gonna be all right! I'm going to defend you with everything I've got. You're in good hands now!

Bucky:
Y'mean... you believe me, ma'am...?

Athena:
Of course! No matter what I'll believe in you to the very end!

Bucky:
Gee whiz, Miz Chickadee...

Athena:
Now c'mon, I need you to shape up -- just like those al dente noodles of yours!

Bucky:
Yesh, ma'am...! My soba ish the freshesht... *urp*

Athena:
M-Mr. Whet!

Blackquill:
*sigh* Bucky, you great, big pillock.

Athena:
So, uh, how exactly do you know this guy?

Blackquill:
I used to frequent Whet Soba -- and still do, in fact -- so I've known him since he was a lad. That's why his father and Master Toneido were always so good to me.

Athena:
...I didn't know you liked soba so much, Simon.

Blackquill:
I wouldn't expect one such as you, who eats meat slapped between slabs of bread... ...to understand the delicate taste, and the subtle textures imparted by buckwheat flour.

Athena:
Hey, that's just rude!

Blackquill:
But I digress.

Athena:
(Hmph! I'm all about flavor and subtlety and stuff!)

Blackquill:
If I let Whet Soba end like this... ...I'll never be able to face No. 3 or Master Toneido in the next life.

Athena:
Ah, I see... And that's why you came to me! You wanted someone you could trust!

Blackquill:
It was never my intention to ask YOU.

Athena:
Grrrrr... (I'll show him! I'll show him I can handle it just fine!)

Blackquill:
Well, I believe it's about time.

Athena:
What?! But we haven't even properly discussed the case yet!

Blackquill:
What's the matter? You look nervous, Athena. Don't tell me you're "chickadee"-ing out.

Athena:
I-I'm just trembling with the excitement of battle -- that's all!

Athena:
Auf geht's! Let's do this! Come on, Mr. Whet! Get up off the floor -- we've got a case to win!

Bucky:
Yesh, Miz Chickadee... I'm gonna do my besht... *hic*

Whet Soba! Whet Soba!
Whet Soba! Whet Soba! Whet Soba!

Bucky:
Yello! Two bowls of noodles...? Sorry sir, no can do... Kinda busy at the courthouse... Huh? Dey, dey hung up... Eh heh. Okay! Let'sh do dish... *hic*

Athena:
...He's not going to do himself or his case any favors like this, Simon. Maybe we should let him go get some rest somewhere...?

Bucky:
Lemme resht? Hah! Mehbee if I were a lump o' regular flour dough fer udon noodles! But I'm fresh, like my soba! 'N y'don't let soba dough resht... 'S all about the "three freshes"! Grind da buckwheat seeds fresh, cut da dough fresh, and boil da noodles fre-- *urp*

Blackquill:
H-He's blacked out!

Athena:
(Oh, boy. I just KNEW something like this would happen) Simon, what are these "three freshes" of soba he was talking about?

Blackquill:
First, buckwheat seeds, or "groats," are ground to make buckwheat flour. Then dough made with the flour is cute with a large, rectangular knife into noodles. And, finally, the buckwheat noodles are boiled. Each step is done immediately, one after the other, so that the soba is fresh when eaten.

Athena:
Oh, so that's what he meant. (I wouldn't want him to make me any soba right now, though, that's for sure.)

Blackquill:
Athena, this is no time for idle chatter. You need to get into the courtroom, now. Just remember: as a prosecutor, I will be unable to lend you a hand. So don't expect any help from my quarter.

Athena:
There you go, treating me like I'm incompetent again! For your information, I wasn't planning on asking you for help anyway! (Grrr! Just you wait, Simon! I'll show you! Mr. Wright and Apollo may not be here... ...but that's all right. I can do this on my own!)




May 13, 9:50 AM
District Court - Courtroom No. 4

Day 1
Court Is Now In Session
All Rise






Judge:
Court is now in session for the trial of Bucky Whet.

Athena:
The defense is ready, Your Honor!

Nahyuta:
The prosecution is fully prepared, Your Honor.

Judge:
What's this? No prayer this time, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?

Nahyuta:
That is correct, Your Honor. To expedite these proceedings, I completed them beforehand in the lobby.

Judge:
How very thoughtful of you. By the way, what brings you back to this country?

Nahyuta:
Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth himself called on me to handle this case. Besides, I have a debt to repay. And though my opponent is yet a callow thing... I have no qualms with sending her down to hell.

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
If you have a score to settle, it's with Apollo, not me! But more importantly... I am not a "callow thing." I'm a qualified and capable attorney!

Nahyuta:
Then what is that yellow attire, if not proof of your immaturity, you small, spring chick? Now, cease your shrill chirping.

Judge:
Now, now, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. She is still only a teenager. Please go easy on her.

Athena:
(Great! Now even the judge is giving me the kid treatment!)

Nahyuta:
Very well. Shall we begin, Your Honor?

Judge:
Hmm, I suppose we should. Now then, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, please give your opening statement.

Athena:
(I'll show them what I can do! They'll be sorry they underestimated me!)

Nahyuta:
Certainly. Let the last rites of the victim commence. The incident is believed to have occurred at around 4 PM yesterday, May 12... at a storytellers' theater called "Kurukuru Tei." The victim was a great master of the Toneido school of "rakugo," or "comedic storytelling." His name was Taifu Toneido. The scene of the murder was the theater's dressing room. It is accessible via the stall entrance hallway, and has an inner and outer sliding door.

Backstage Diagram added to the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
The estimated time of death is between 2 PM and 5 PM. The cause of death is suffocation, though how the victim suffocated is yet to be determined. The autopsy report found nothing unusual in his lungs or stomach, and there is no murder weapon. I will now submit the incident report to the court.

Crime Scene Report added to the Court Record.

Taifu's Autopsy Report added to the Court Record.

Athena:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! How can you name Mr. Whet as the culprit... when you don't know how the victim was killed -- or even with what?!

Nahyuta:
While it is true that the weapon and precise method are, as yet, unknown... the accused is the only one who had the opportunity to commit the murder. I will explain this assertion in further detail as we continue.

Athena:
(Ugh. I guess this means he has some kind of evidence to present...)

Nahyuta:
Now, would the accused care to plead his case?

Judge:
Come to think of it, where IS the defendant, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
S-Sorry, Your Honor. But I'm afraid Mr. Whet isn't feeling very well, and is resting in the infirmary.

Nahyuta:
Surely it is the lack of a clear conscience that impedes him from facing this court.

Athena:
(Great. Starting off on the wrong foot already...)

Nahyuta:
Mr. Whet is the head chef of a soba shop frequented by the victim. On the day of the incident, Mr. Whet went to the theater at the victim's request. Taifu Toneido was a connoisseur of soba. As you can see in these photographs... he was apparently making soba himself in his dressing room that very day. The soba found at the scene is likely the soba he himself made there.

Athena:
(Liking soba is one thing, but making it in a theater dressing room's a bit much, non?)

Judge:
Master Toneido truly had a passion for soba, didn't he? For a man like that to be murder by a soba chef is simply unthinkable.

Nahyuta:
And yet, the accused had ample motive. For in the victim's safe, we discovered the deed to the accused's shop. Mr. Whet was to inherit Whet Soba when he lost his father recently. However, it's believed the victim stole the shop's deed during the transfer process. The prosecution believes the accused killed the victim in order to get the deed back.

Whet Soba Deed added to the Court Record.

Judge:
Hmm... A murder over the deed to a shop... That does sound like a plausible motive.

Athena:
(So THAT'S what this case is about... I wish Simon had filled me in a little better... I could've contributed more than just a thousand buckets of cold sweat if he had...)

Nahyuta:
Defense. From your demeanor, I gather you know very little about the details of this case.

Athena:
W-Well, you see...

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
You are dishonoring the soul of the victim by appearing in the courtroom unprepared. You are an embarrassment to your profession, you putrid egg yolk!

Athena:
Eeeeeek! I-I'm sorry! (Apollo's a "red pepper," and now, I'm an "egg yolk"?! We've only just started and I've already been demoted from "spring chick"...)

Nahyuta:
I am ready to call my witness, Your Honor. Let us listen to the words of one who was present when the crime was discovered.

Athena:
(Someone who was there when the victim's body was found?)

Judge:
Very well. Witness, please take the stand.




Nahyuta:
Witness, please state your name and occupation.

Blackquill:
Simon Blackquill... Prosecutor.

Athena:
P-Prosecutor Blackquill! You didn't tell me you were going to take the stand!

Blackquill:
There simply wasn't time.

Nahyuta:
What a shame, Prosecutor Blackquill. Had you shared the damning scene you witnessed beforehand with the defense... we could've moved this trial along, and saved the victim's soul that much faster.

Athena:
("D-Damning scene"...? What in the world did Simon see?)

Blackquill:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, was it? Before I give my testimony, there's something I'd like to confirm.

Nahyuta:
By all means.

Blackquill:
This case involves "rakugo," a very traditional form of Japanese comedic storytelling. Do you have enough knowledge of this art form to handle the case competently?

Nahyuta:
Are you implying that I am not qualified for this case?

Blackquill:
Not yet -- I am simply trying to ascertain your familiarity with the topic... for now.

Nahyuta:
It is the prosecutor's duty to learn the background of any case he takes on. I did some rakugo last night, and have grasped the overall idea of it.

Blackquill:
Hmph. How much could you possibly grasp in a single night?

Nahyuta:
Rakugo is a form of entertaining storytelling that originated in the land of Japan. In it, the storyteller sits alone on the stage, with only a fan and a towel as... and the rakugo artist tells long, whimsical stories, giving each character a distinct voice. This traditional art was originally invented by monks to make sermons more interesting. Are you satisfied? If not, I could explain the twelve types of endings to such stories... or shall I perform the famous story of Jugemu instead?

Blackquill:
Augh! I-It appears you have put in a bit of study...

Nahyuta:
Your acknowledgement is most welcome, Prosecutor Blackquill.

Judge:
I can see why you are know for being quite thorough in your research, prosecutor. Now, I would love to see you perform that story you mentioned, if you don't mind.

Nahyuta:
If that is Your Honor's request... Jugemu, Jugemu--

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
Your Honor! Could we please get back to the trial?!

Judge:
Oh, right! Of course. I nearly forgot!

Athena:
Seriously? Of all the things for you to forget...

Judge:
Ahem! Now then, back to the case. Prosecutor Blackquill. Please tell the court what you witnessed.




Witness Testimony

-- What Simon Saw --



Blackquill:
I went to the theater yesterday, and arrived at... approximately 4 PM.
I went straight to Master Tonedio's dressing room to say hello.
Bucky went into the dressing room thereafter, only to come storming out a while later.
Master Toneido's junior disciple, Uendo, apparently then entered the room soon after.
That's when Unedo discovered Master Toniedo's body.




Athena:
N-Now, wait just a minute here, Prosecutor Blackquill! W-With a testimony like that... you're practically accusing Mr. Whet of the crime!

Blackquill:
All I can do is state what I saw. I can't help how it appears. But a "qualified and capable attorney" such as you should be able to dispatch with it, right?

Athena:
W-Well, yeah, duh! (A-All right. I guess I'd better start by getting all the info out of him that I can.)




Cross-Examination

-- What Simon Saw --



Blackquill:
I went to the theater yesterday, and arrived at... approximately 4 PM.


Blackquill:
I went straight to Master Toneido's dressing room to say hello.


Blackquill:
Bucky went into the dressing room thereafter, only to come storming out a while later.


Blackquill:
Master Toneido's junior disciple, Uendo, apparently then entered the room soon after.


Blackquill:
That's when Uendo discovered Master Toneido's body.


Athena:
(Simon has no reason to lie, but I also don't have much to go on. I'd better ask all the questions I can.)




After pressing all statements

Judge:
Hmm... Well done, Prosecutor Blackquill. Your testimony has given us quite a glimpse into the sequence of events.

Nahyuta:
Thank you, Prosecutor Blackquill. And now, please allow me to summairze your testimony. While Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru were in the hallway waiting for Master Toneido... the accused came along and entered the dressing room with some items in tow. He was heard shouting for a time inside the dressing room. About ten minutes later, he came back out of the room, seeming rather angry. A short time after the accused had come and gone, Uendo Toneido went into the room. A few minutes later, after having discovered the victim's body, Uendo gave a scream... and came running out into the hallway from within. Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru then ran into the room and saw the body for themselves. From the circumstances, it is quite clear that the accused murdered the victim.

Judge:
Hmm... This is crucial testimony indeed.

Simon's Statement added to the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
Defense. An eyewitness has given conclusive testimony. Why not let it all go now, and allow the victim his last rites?

Athena:
Not on your life! If Uendo went into the dressing, too, and was the first to discover the body... then who's to say HE didn't commit the crime!

Nahyuta:
Uendo was in the dressing room for a mere two, perhaps three minutes. He could not have possibly committed the murder in that time, nor without making any noise.

Athena:
(Ooh, Simon! Why did you have to give that awful testimony!) Prosecutor Blackquill! Can't you give me something a little better to work with here?!

Blackquill:
Isn't it up to you to ask the right questions? I am certainly willing to tell you all that I know. So, if you are truly capable as you claim, then draw out what you need yourself!

Athena:
This is no time for your twisted games, Prosecutor Blackquill! Just admit that you don't remember it all that well!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
SoJ-chant

Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill... Watching you collude with the defense like this, I see that you are no prosecutor. Be gone, witness! You shall haunt this sacred hall no more!

Blackquill:
Hmph. How dare you treat me like some evil spirit to be exorcised. I'll remember this, you blackguard...

Athena:
Don't worry, Prosecutor Blackquill. I've got this!

Nahyuta:
Would I have my way, he would not be the only one here to step down... you half-boiled, putrid egg yolk!

Athena:
(Eww... I object to the notion that I'm a gooey, smelly mess!)

Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill's testimony was like the lowly opening act of a rakugo show. He may hold the title "prosecutor," but this time, he stood on the side of the defense. To restore balance to this trial, I would like to present an actual witness for the prosecution.

Judge:
And who is this witness?

Nahyuta:
The person who was with Prosecutor Blackquill when the body was discovered. She is another entertainer of the Toneido School: Ms. Geiru Toneido.




Judge:
Please state your name and occupation, witness.

Geiru:
Hello, everyone! I'm here to represent the Toneido School with a twisty, twist, twiist! And BLOOOON! There you have it! A stunning balloon hat! It's me! The balloon artist you all know and love, Geeeiru Toneidoooo! Just call me Geiru, sweetie! One, two... BLOOOON!

Judge:
Wh-What a way to capture your audience's attention! I daresay I can't take my eyes off those balloons.

Athena:
Please tell me you're talking about the hat, Your Honor...

Geiru:
Oh Mister Judgey! I'm so glad you liked my performance! Would you consider joining my fan club, pwetty pwease?

Judge:
Oh, absolutely!

Athena:
And please save your fanboying for after the trial, Your Honor... Anyway, Geiru... I can't help but notice, you seem awfully cheerful for having just lost your master.

Geiru:
Of course I'm sad... But Shisho would scold me if I didn't put on a big smile. Never show sadness! Smile, smile, smile! With a twisty, twist, twiiist! And BLOOOON! There you have it! One gorgeous cake!

Athena:
I-I see. I guess an entertainer's gotta do what an entertain's gotta do... (Her balloon art's worse than a Rorschach test. All I saw was a severed monster head...) Geiru, you're obvious a balloon artist. So how did you come to be a member of a rakugo school?

Geiru:
Well, my father -- my late father, that is -- was a rakugo artist, you see... So I joined the Toneido School to be just like my daddy someday!

Athena:
I see.

Geiru:
My father and I owe so much to Shisho, our master! But that Bucky Whet... Oooooh, how could he?! I want to see him pay for what he's done as quickly as possible!

Judge:
Your distress is entirely understandable. And my condolences for your loss.

Geiru:
And, and, not only that, but he...

Athena:
Y-You have more to say about Mr. Whet?

Geiru:
Every time he comes to deliver soba to us, he yells at me! He always tells me to "get away!"

Athena:
Is there any reason why he would say such a thing to you?

Geiru:
He says the smell of my perfume will get into his soba and ruin it! Like, how can he say that?! This is a greaaaat scent!

Judge:
Hmph! How very rude of him. I don't blame you for being upset.

Athena:
Excuse me, Your Honor! But please don't let Geiru's "balloons" bias your judgement! Mr. Whet hasn't been proven guilty yet, remember?!

Nahyuta:
Hmph. It will be interesting to see how long that fire of yours will last, defense. Now then Geiru. Please share the truth with this court.

Judge:
Yes Geiru. Your testimony please.




Witness Testimony

-- Before the Murder was discovered --


Geiru:
From 4 PM to a little after 4:20 PM, when Shisho's body was found...
...Simon and I were standing in the hallway in front of the dressing room.
Before Uendo discovered the body, the only person who had gone in there was Bucky.
Come to think of it, a little while before Bucky showed up, Jugemu was barking like mad!




Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill, do you have any objections to this witnesses's testimony?

Blackquill:
........No. Tsk! Make up your bloody mind, Sad Monk Sahdmadhi. First you exorcise me, now this.

Nahyuta:
Hmph. You only do as you are instructed by this humble servant of the Holy Mother. As there are no objections, Your Honor, let us move on to the salvation of the victim's soul.

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
Hey! I'M the defense attorney here, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! And I might have an objection or two once I ACTUALLY cross-examine the witness! So what are you asking Prosecutor Blackquill for?! I'M the one you should be checking with!

Nahyuta:
There is a passage in the sacred scriptures of Khura'inism. "To stir the wind is beyond the power of a spring chick." In other words, the inexperienced are useless. With that in mind, it seemed more judicious to consult with Prosecutor Blackquill.

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha! He doesn't even see you as an adversary Cykes-dono!

Athena:
Well, I won't let either one of you insult me! I'll show you I'm no inexperienced "spring chick"! Your Honor! I'm ready to cross-examine the witness!

Judge:
Hmm... I hope you can make Prosecutor Sahdmadhi see you as a worthy adversary, Ms. Cykes. I'll allow your cross-examination, so you'd better strike while the iron is hot!




Cross-Examination

-- Before the Murder Was Discovered --


Geiru:
From 4PM to a little after 4:20 PM, when Shisho's body was found...

Geiru:
Simon and I were standing in the hallway in front of the dressing room.

Geiru:
Before Uendo discovered the body, the only person who had gone in there was Bucky.

Geiru:
Come to think of it, a little while before Bucky showed up, Jugemu was barking like mad!

Geiru:
I was in the yard, but the door was wide open, so I could keep watch on the dressing room.

Athena:
(Okay, so, around the time of the murder... Geiru and Simon were hanging out just outside the dressing room. Guess I'm going to have to find a flaw in there somehow if I want to get anywhere.)




Athena:
So, you were able to keep an eye on the dressing room while you were out in the yard. Is that correct?

Geiru:
That's right. The door out into the yard was wide open.

Athena:
Sorry, but that makes zero sense. Take a look at this diagram of the backstage area. There is a clear contradiction between this diagram and the witnesses's testimony!

Judge:
Oh...? I'm afraid I don't understand, Ms. Cykes. Please point out what contradicts the witness's testimony.



Athena:
Geiru was in the yard near the doghouse. Prosecutor Blackquill even saw her there. And while she was there, the door to the yard had been left open.

Judge:
Ah! I see!

Athena:
Yes, if the door to the yard was "wide open," as Geiru said... it would've blocked her view, making it impossible for her to see the dressing room!

Geiru:
What?! No waaay!

Nahyuta:
But even if there were admittedly a few moments Geiru was not keeping watch... how much would that really affect this case?

Athena:
It would greatly affect the case! From the spot Prosecutor Blackquill stood, he couldn't see the dressing room door, either. Anyone could have entered the dressing room during that time without being seen!

Geiru:
Eeeeeek!

Athena:
Geiru, why did you try to hide the fact that you weren't watching the dressing room?

Geiru:
What? I-I-I...

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
"Hide the fact"? You speak as though you think she had something to do with the murder. Rather than a deliberate deception, it was more likely a simple oversight. Right witness?

Geiru:
Well... I... I was so shocked by what happened I was just confused, that's all.

Nahyuta:
Even though she is trying to keep up a brave front as an entertainer... the truth is that she is being torn apart by grief. For her mind to be in turmoil is hardly unexpected.

Judge:
Yes, it must be very difficult, indeed.

Nahyuta:
To a disciple, one's master is akin to a real parent. Surely, her shock is immense. The way this lawyer tries to pin the blame on this poor soul at first opportunity... All I can say is... defense attorneys are heartless creatures indeed.

Athena:
But I wasn't...! That was't what I was trying to do...!

Nahyuta:
Is it beyond your comprehension, defense? Your unskilled argument is scarring this witness even further. And is we ask the people of this courtroom, I am sure they would agree.

Athena:
What?! The gallery doesn't get a say in this!

Nahyuta:
Are you afraid to find out that they think ill of you? Or perhaps you are in the wrong? Listen to them now with that keen sense of hearing you are so proud of.

Gallery:
He's right. That was harsh. She didn't have to go that far! I feel kind of sorry for the witness... And why is the lawyer's outfit so yellow?

Athena:
N-No... I was just trying... to find the truth... (Why is the whole gallery siding with Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?)

Nahyuta:
The people understand... They know what is right, and what is wrong.

Gallery:
That lawyer's still in training, isn't she? Why is she all by herself?

Athena:
(I hear the voices of the gallery... I can hear the voices of their hearts...! It's so intense... I feel so alone up here, fighting by myself...)

Nahyuta:
Are you afraid, child? It is ludicrous to come to a trial with such paltry preparation of the soul! I command you to leave this courtroom at once!

Athena:
(B-But I can't give up... I have to... I have to... keep pressing on...) As long as there was a moment when nobody was watching the dressing room door... the defendant can't be convicted solely on Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru's testimonies!

Nahyuta:
Hmph. Even now, you would continue to resist? You are childish in defeat as well, I see.

Athena:
I'm not out for the count yet, buster! I'm just getting started!

Nahyuta:
Despite your posturing, is it not true that your resolve could crumble at any moment? With a little push, you would surely succumb to despair. A little push such as with this piece of conclusive evidence.

Athena:
"C-conclusive evidence," huh?

Nahyuta:
That is correct. We found a critical piece of evidence at the scene of the crime: The victim's dying message, which clearly implicates the accused, Bucky Whet! Look at these Japanese playing cards -- known as "karuta" -- lined up on the table. These special English-version karuta cards spell out a message. That message: "WHET NO 4."

Athena:
"WHET NO 4" ...? Y-You mean, "Whet Noodle No. 4"?!

Nahyuta:
Yes, "Whet Noodle No. 4," as the fourth head chef of Whet Soba is also known. The message points to none other than the accused, Bucky Whet!

Athena:
Noooooooooooo!

Judge:
Th-That makes perfect sense, doesn't it!

Geiru:
Wow! Great job, Mr. Prosecutor!

Athena:
(Oh, no! This is really, really bad! What do I do, what do I do?!)

Crime Scene Report updated in the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
Would you still carry on your futile fight in the face of this irrefutable evidence?

Athena:
Y-You can say whatever you want, but we won't know until we--

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
It is cruel to give the accused false hope. You will only compound his suffering. Wise people of the courtroom, do you not agree?

Gallery:
He's right. It's cruel to make him suffer when there's conclusive evidence. What an incompetent newb! I feel bad for the victim AND the defendant!

Athena:
(Wh-What?! But I'm trying to prove Mr. Wher's innocence here!)

Nahyuta:
I know you can hear them, defense. Their voice implore you to save the accused's soul. It is time for you to let it go, and move on, you inexperienced lawyer. You lack the competence with which to accomplish anything meaningful here!

Athena:
(I-Is he right? Is this too much for me to handle on my own?)

Gallery:
What good is she doing anybody? She should just quit right now!

Athena:
(Grrnngh...)

Nahyuta:
Now, defense. Leave everything to this humble servant of the Holy Mother.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
He's trying to use your keen sense of hearing against you to manipulate the trial, Athena. What a cheap trick for a supposedly holy man.

Athena:
S-Simon...!

Blackquill:
And you fopdoodles in the gallery! Can't a man watch a trial in peace?! This inexperienced amateur is about to turn the trial around!

Gallery:
Does that prosecutor really think she can turn things around...?

Athena:
(The mood in this courtroom is starting to change!)

Judge:
Prosecutor Blackquill! What are you doing at the defense's bench?!

Blackquill:
Hmph. I grew bored of watching from the gallery. Besides, if I were to leave this trial to this spring chick... and lose my favorite soba shop in the process, I will be quite cross.

Nahyuta:
You voluntarily stand on the side of impurity and sin? Truly, what a fool you are.

Blackquill:
To think, you were so easily manipulated by his parlor tricks... What happened to "qualified and capable," Athena?

Athena:
I-I just let my guard down a little bit! But it won't happen again!

Blackquill:
Hmph. Then gird up your loins, and steel yourself for battle!

Athena:
I'm not girding up anything in this skirt! But I AM ready to get serious!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
It seems there is now yet another soul I must cast down into hell...

Blackquill:
I was in prison for a long time. And "hell" sounds no worse than "cell," to be honest.

Nahyuta:
Ah, but the fires of hell will not be the end of your suffering. For the sin you have just committed, you shall surely be reborn as a panda in your next life. A white and black, black panda, that is. And you shall be put in a zoo, to be exposed to public ridicule.

Athena:
A threat like that won't work on Prosecutor Blackquill! After all, he's already used to looking like a panda in THIS life!

Blackquill:
Who are you calling a panda?!

Athena:
S-Sorry!

Nahyuta:
I see that you are both prepared to face the fires of damnation. Geiru, thank you for your service. You may step down now.

Geiru:
Okey-dokey! Bye-bye-ballooooon!

Athena:
(Does EVERYTHING have to be about balloons with her...?)

Nahyuta:
Now, then. I have a witness prepared to testify about the karuta cards.

Judge:
And who is the witness this time?

Nahyuta:
The first to discover the body, and someone who witnessed the crime scene firsthand. Mr. Uendo Toneido. The time has come for that ponytailed pair over there to finally let it go, and move on.

Judge:
Very well. Let's bring in this witness, then.




Judge:
Witness, please state your name and occupation.

Uendo:
I am the rakugo storyteller Uendo Toneido. Even if my performance isn't worth watching, I will certainly watch my words. I wouldn't want to say anything thoughtless and get arrested. After all, that'd be... a "raku-no-no"! Hee hee! Thank you, everybody! Good night!

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
You can't leave yet! You've only just introduced yourself!

Uendo:
Oh, my, my! Are you a fan of mine, miss? Would you like my autograph? One moment...

Athena:
Ow! What do you think you're doing?!

Uendo:
No need to stand on ceremony! My fan deserves a fan, after all. A "fan" for a "fan"! Nice one! Hee hee! Oh, why if it isn't Simon! How are you on this fine day, sir? Quite a dilly of a pickle we've found ourselves in, wouldn't you say?

Blackquill:
I don't believe I've ever seen you talk quite so much, Uendo.

Uendo:
Never performed in a place like this, y'know. I got butterflies here, can't you see? Hee hee!

Athena:
(Why do I always get the weird ones?)

Judge:
Pardon me, witness. As much as I enjoy your banter, I believe we had better return to the case at hand.

Uendo:
Ah, I suppose you're right. In that "case"... I was promoted to "futatsume" yesterday, and received the stage name "Uendo." The show was our way of celebrating my new name and "middle rank" standing! Hee! And then THAT happened... Haah... I never dreamed something like that'd happen, not in a million years. And just as I got my chance to start repaying my debt to Shisho, too... Yeah... Plus, I'm worried about Geiru... The way she clung to Shisho... Poor thing. I told her to keep a stiff upper lip... Stiff like rigor mortis... Keep telling those lame jokes, and Shisho'll come scold you from the grave! I wouldn't mind getting yelled at, you know, if it meant seeing him again.

Athena:
Uendo, please... As charming as your various characters are, this isn't a rakugo stage.

Nahyuta:
Let us hear your testimony now, witness. Tell the court about the evidence left at the scene -- the proof of the accused's guilt.




Witness Testimony

-- Shisho's Dying Message --


Uendo:
I noticed Shisho's dying message right away.
The stiff cards were right next to the stiff, you see.
Hey now, enough with the silly puns already! Hee hee!
Anyway, I got the meaning right away. I knew it must've been talking about Bucky!
That was the master's final message, left as he was drowning in soba broth.
It's so like Shisho not to write Bucky's name outright. "Plain and simple" wasn't his style.




Judge:
Well! That was certainly a more entertaining testimony than usual. The variety of characters performed by the witness was absolutely splendid!

Athena:
But he shouldn't be performing any characters in the first place, Your Honor! And, Uendo! The murder weapon hasn't been determined yet! So how can you say that the victim was drowned in soba broth?!

Uendo:
It's obvious. All you have to do is look at the crime scene. He was found with his face shoved in a bowl. It's only natural to assume he was drowned in the broth for noodles!

Athena:
Except we're not here to assume things, Uendo, so please stick to just the facts!

Uendo:
My, my! It's so like a soba chef to kill someone this way, wouldn't you say? And with the karuta message he left behind, it's clear Bucky Whet did it!

Judge:
Hmm... Setting aside the issue of the murder weapon for now... that dying message certainly does seem to be irrefutable evidence.

Nahyuta:
Indeed. It proves the absolute guilt of the accused.

Athena:
Urgh... Even I've gotta admit that I can't see how that message could mean anything else...

Uendo:
Bucky used soba for the deed, all to get back the soba shop deed.

Athena:
Nngh! (This testimony makes Mr. Whet look super guilty. I have to do something!)

Blackquill:
Hmph. That's his "conclusive evidence"? What a farce!

Athena:
What do you mean, Simon?

Blackquill:
What's this? I thought you said you weren't planning on asking me for help?

Athena:
Arngh...! I did, and I won't!, thank you very much!

Athena:
(Simon must've found an inconsistency in the testimony. I'd better listen carefully, and try to see what he found!)




Cross-Examination

-- Shisho's Dying Message --

-


Uendo:
I noticed Shisho's dying message right away.

Uendo:
The stiff cards were right next to the stiff, you see?

Uendo:
Hey now, enough with the silly puns already! Hee hee!

Uendo:
Anyway, I got the meaning right away. I knew it must've been talking about Bucky!

Uendo:
That was the master's final message, left as he was drowning in soba broth.

Uendo:
It's so like Shisho not to write Bucky's name outright. "Plain and simple" wasn't his style.

Athena:
S-Simon, are all rakugo artists like this?

Blackquill:
Hmph. It's hard to say. It could simply be the eccentricity of an entertainer, or perhaps he's hiding something.

Athena:
(Well, he doesn't have to entertain people in a court of law. And if he IS trying to hide something, maybe it'll show up as a contradiction or something.)




Athena:
There's a contradiction in Uendo's testimony!

Judge:
And would you care to explain where, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Certainly, Your Honor. According to the autopsy report, nothing unusual was found in the victim's lungs.

Judge:
Ah, yes. It does say that, doesn't it?

Uendo:
.........

Athena:
If he HAD drowned in a bowl of soba, then there should've been soba broth in his lungs! But since there wasn't any... it means the victim was suffocated with something other soba broth!

Uendo:
Pyoooooo!

Judge:
Wh-What?!

Athena:
This is the contradiction you noticed, isn't it, Simon?

Blackquill:
Heh. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Athena:
Heh heh heh. I guess I showed you!

Judge:
Hmm... But if drowning in the soba broth WASN'T the cause of death... then when was the victim's face thrust into that bowl?

Athena:
Taifu Toneido's face was thrust into the bowl...

Athena:
Because no soba broth was discovered in the victim's lungs... his head would've been placed into the bowl AFTER he was killed! And that's when the soba broth must've been spilled onto the karuta cards. In other words, the victim could NOT have lined up the cards as he was drowning!

Judge:
Hmm... I see. So it was done AFTER he was already dead... But why would the culprit do such a thing?

Athena:
Umm... I'm afraid I don't know yet.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Heh... You boast of psychological expertise, yet you cannot determine such a simple motive? My sides are liable to split at the absurdity.

Athena:
What, and I supposed YOU know why?!

Nahyuta:
Of course. Desecrating the body in that manner... indicates a strong sense of enmity on the part of the perpetrator.

Judge:
Yes, that does make sense... It certainly paints a clear picture of the culprits intense feelings toward the victim.

Nahyuta:
Feelings of resentment over the theft of the soba shop deed, no doubt.

Athena:
(Just great. Now the judge has an even more unfavorable impression of Bucky!)

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Must you come undone at every juncture? If the culprit had time enough to set up Master Toneido's body... do you think they would've honestly failed to notice the dying message?

Athena:
Good point... The cards WERE right in front of his body, after all... Rationally speaking, there's no way the culprit could've missed that, huh.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Ah, but was the accused rational at the time, given the way he stormed out of that room?

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Never mind that. I have something more important to ask Uendo.

Uendo:
M-Me?!

Blackquill:
You saw the karuta cards firsthand, did you not? Would you care to tell us about them in a bit more detail? Those tiny crime scene photos show us precious little of what I wish to know.

Uendo:
Well, those cards are from Shisho's special "Soba Scenes of Tokyo Past" set. Each card is related in some way to soba.

Blackquill:
Spare me the history lesson! Just tell me how the cards looked at the scene, and no more!

Uendo:
Well, uh, there was soba broth spilled all over them...

Judge:
Hmm... That's not much help, I'm afraid. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, do you have a photo that shows the cards more clearly?

Nahyuta:
............I do. Please accept this meager offering, Your Honor.

Judge:
Oh, my. What delightful-looking cards!

Blackquill:
......Well, well. Tearing Prosecutor Sad Monk's "conclusive evidence" apart should be a breeze with this.

Athena:
Huh?

Blackquill:
Don't tell me you haven't noticed.

Athena:
D-Don't be silly! Of course I have! (...Not noticed anything. But I can't exactly say that now, can I...?)

Karuta Cards added to the Court Record.

Judge:
Ms. Cykes, do you really see a problem with the prosecution's claim about these cards?

Blackquill:
Well, go on, then.

Athena:
A-All right... (It's do or die...! All I have to do is study the picture and...)

Athena:
These cards...



Athena:
These cards were rearranged!

Judge:
But how can you tell?

Athena:
Please take a good look at these cards, Your Honor. The answer is right in front of us.

Judge:
Where exactly should we be looking, Ms. Cykes?



Athena:
Please focus your attention on the soba broth stains on these cards. The outline of these stains don't match up with the larger stain on the table.

Judge:
Oh, would you look at that! You're absolutely right! And...?

Athena:
Please recall that the soba broth was spilled and got on the cards AFTER the murder... when the victim's face was placed in the bowl.

Judge:
Yes, go on.

Athena:
By the stains, we can see that the culprit deliberately rearranged the cards after that. In other words... this message was altered in order to pin the crime on my client!

Judge:
Wh-What?! Th-Then, if we put the cards back in their original positions...?

Athena:
We can restore the evidence, and see who the cards were really pointing toward!

Judge:
Th-That's true!

Nahyuta:
...Pohlkun--!

Athena:
Then what are we waiting for?! Let's do this! (All I have to do is rearrange the cards so that the stains match up!) Let's see. Where was this "W" card originally?


Athena:
Perfect! Okay. The "H" card is next. Let's see. Where was this "H" card originally?


Athena:
Yes! Now the "E" card! Let's see. Where was this "E" card originally?


Athena:
A perfect match! Next up is the "T" card. Let's see. Where was this "T" card originally?


Athena:
Great! That fits right in there! Now the "N" card. Let's see. Where was this "N" card originally?


Athena:
There! That looks good. Now "O"! Let's see. Where was this "O" card originally?


Athena:
Nice! Almost done now! The last card is "4." Let's see. Where was this "4" card originally?



Athena:
So the message "WHET NO 4"... was originally supposed to say "OWEN 4TH"! And this original message is our clue to the identity of the true culprit!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Blackquill:
Heh! That indignant look on Prosecutor Sad Monk's face is positively priceless!

Nahyuta:
This is absurd!

Gallery:
It wasn't "WHET NO 4"? Maybe the lawyer is smarter than we thought!

Judge:
Order! Order in the court! Well! I never would've imagined that there was more to these cards than meets the eye!

Karuta Cards updated in the Court Record.

Judge:
So now that that's settled... what does this "OWEN 4TH" mean?!

Athena:
............Wait. Am I...?

Blackquill:
Who else do you suppose is to provide an explanation?! Of course it's you!

Athena:
B-But I hadn't thought that far yet...

Nahyuta:
Change the cards around all you'd like, but if you cannot explain what the message means... then it is as worthless as you are, defense!

Athena:
N-Nooooooooooooooo!

Nahyuta:
And so the spring chick that fancies itself as a graceful swan is brought back down to Earth.

Athena:
(I have to do something! But what?!)

Blackquill:
Still your thoughts for a second. There's a perfectly good witness to question over there.

Athena:
Oh! Right! That's a good idea! (Come on, Athena! Get ahold of yourself!) Uendo, does the phrase "OWEN 4TH" mean anything to you?

Uendo:
No. There's no one named "Owen" in the Toneido family, or our circle of friends. Go ahead, ask anybody you'd like!

Athena:
You can't be serious...

Nahyuta:
Having rummaged through you empty mind, I see you have, as expected, turned up nothing.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill
Hmph. I'm afraid I have no idea who the devil who this "OWEN 4TH" is, either. But the fact remains that the cards were rearranged to pin the blame on Mr.Whet. That in itself proves that the defendant isn't the real culprit.

Athena:
Prosecutor Blackquill is right! Besides, the important question here is not..." Who does the message point to?" but rather..."Who rearranged the cards?"

Blackquil:
Tsk. Why didn't you point that out eariler if you already knew?

Athena:
S-Sorry. In any case, there were two opportunities for someone to rearrange the cards. The first was when Mr. Whet entered the dressing room...and the second was when Uendo discovered the body.

Uendo:
Are you accusing me of rearranging the cards? ME, who came to testify out of the goodness of my heart?!

Blackquill:
Well, you didn't exactly come running out screaming straight away, did you? Even a mere two to three minutes is more than enough time to get up to some devilry. So what exactly were you doing in there, Uendo?

Uendo:
*sip* *sip*

Blackquill:
Put down the tea, and spit out your answer!

Uendo:
Eep! M-Mr. Prosecutor! What's a guy supposed to do at a time like this?

Nahyuta:
"Silence is more precious than diamonds," witness. Therefore, you need only remain silent. The defense is devious. They are waiting for you to make a slip of the tongue.

Uendo:
Oh, I see. So that's what you're after, is it? In that case...Your Honor, I've decided not to say another word.

Nahyuta:
Very good. After all, your right to remain silent is protected by law.

Athena:
Well, Prosecutor Blackquill? Any other brilliant ideas you'd like to share?

Blackquill:
Heh heh heh... Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you hear that, Cykes-dono? A rakugo artist who's afraid to speak! Who's ever heard of such a thing!

Nahyuta:
Are you trying to taunt him into talking? Such a petty trick will never work.

Uendo:
That's right. I'm not going to fall for it.

Blackquill:
I'm only asking to hear your story. Besides, is it not your job to tell tales if there is an audience to listen?

Uendo:
E-Even so, I have a right to refuse to answer.

Blackquill
The more you keep quiet, the more we want you to talk. That's simply human nature. Isn't that right, people of the gallery?!

Uendo:
...........

Blackquil:
Even with this wonderful audience in front of you, you still refuse to talk? If so, then perhaps you chose the wrong line of work, my friend!

Uendo:
Are you saying I should quit?! Because I'm not afraid to speak my mind, I'm have you know. Oh, no! Never mind what I just said! It IS scary to talk! It's absolutely terrifying! But, no! As a rakugo artist, I must talk! If I don't, how can I ever show my face on stage again?! Your Honor, I'm ready to testify!

Athena:
(H-He did it! He managed to convince Uendo with the power of suggestion technique!)

Blackquill
Bully for you, Uendo! That's as a REAL rakugo artist should be!

Judge:
A-All right... If the witness wishes to testify, then by all means, please do.

Nahyuta:
To be turned by such an obvious ploy... What a man of weak spirit.




Witness Testimony

f-- In The Dressing Room --

Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.
I called to him outside the room... but he didn't reply.
When I entered the dressing room, I saw Shisho slumped over the table, motionless!




Nahyuta:
From what I can tell, there do not appear to be any inconsistencies in the testimony.

Uendo:
Of course there aren't any. Because I'm not trying to hide anything.

Athena:
(Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's right. I don't see anything inconsistent, either. But I did pick up on some faint discord in Uendo's Heart)

Nahyuta:
Hmph. Ponder all you would like, defense, but it is pointless. Your Honor. I belive there is no need for further deliberation...

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
I disagree, Your Honor! I detected discord in the voice of the witness's heart! That's a clear indication that Uendo is facing some sort of inner turmoil!

Judge:
Hmm... Are you saying... what I think you're saying, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Yes, Your Honor! The defense would like to conduct a quick therapy session on this witness!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Uendo, there is no need for you to submit to this so-called "therapy".

Uendo:
It's fine by me! I have nothing to hide. Bring it on!

Nahyuta:
Impetuous fool! Why will you not listen to the guidance of this humble servant of the Holy Mother?!

Judge:
If the witness wishes to proceed, I see no problem, Prosecutor.

Blackquill:
Heh heh heh. In one ear and out the other. It seems this performer has no need for you so-called "guidance," Prosecutor Sad Monk.

Nahyuta:
Just know this Uendo: your folly will surely earn you divine retribution.

Athena:
Thanks, Simon! I'm going to make the most of this opportunity you created for me!

Blackquill:
Heh. Just keep your wits about you.

Athena:
I will! Uendo, could you tell us again about what happened in the dressing room?




Uendo:
After my performance,I went to visit Shisho
I called to him from outside the room...
...but he didn't reply.
When I entered the dressing room, I saw Shisho slumped over the table, motionless!


Athena:
Hmm... I didn't really notice any unexpected emotions in that testimony...

Blackquill:
But it isn't always a question of the presence of an emotional response, but the absence.

Athena:
You know... You're right. It's not always the emotions I do see. Sometimes, It's a matter of what I don't, but would expect so see...) I'd better carefully compare Uendo's statements to his emotions again!)




Athena:
Uendo, I'm noticing something strange with these emotions.

Uendo:
"Some thin stranger with cheesy toe skin," you say?

Athena
No! "Something strange with these emotions"! How could you have heard "some thin stranger with cheesy toe skin"?!

Uendo:
I don't know. Maybe it's me who's got some cheese in my ears...

Athena:
(Did he will the floor to open up and swallow his cushions out of shame for that bad joke?) The point I'm trying to make is that I noticed something unexpected in your emotions! Now stop hiding and come out where we can see you!

Judge:
Ballif, please bring the witness a few replacment cushions.

Uendo:
So what was this unexpected thing you noticed?

Athena:
Oh, come on! His Honor said a few cushions -- not a few dozen!

Judge:
Now that we've all had a good laugh, please continue, Ms.Cykes.

Athena:
(Who's laughing?! Argh! Focus, Athena! Don't let yourself get rattled!) When you entered the room and saw your master slumped motionless over the table... you weren't the least bit shocked, Uendo. Don't you think that's a little odd?

Uendo:
I-Is it, though?

Athena:
The lack of surprise means you were prepared for what you saw. (And I think I know why... The reason Uendo wasn't shaken when he saw his masters dead body is because...)




Athena:
Uendo, I think maybe the reason you weren't shaken was because... you already knew you would find your master dead!

Uendo:
Pyooooooooooo! Wh-Whaaat?! What kind of a thing is that to say?! You've got it all wrong...! O-Oh right! I just remembered something! I thought Shisho was just sleeping when I first saw him! Hee hee!

NOISE LEVEL
50%

Athena:
You thought he was sleeping? (It sounds plausible, but...) What made you think he was asleep?

Uendo:
Well, he had his head and arms up on the table, as if he were taking a nap. Oh, and one other thing! There was that note, too!

Athena:
A note? What note?

Nahyuta:
Ah, he must be talking about this. It appears to have been written by the victim. Allow me to read it. "Resting. Do not disturb."

Uendo:
Yes! That's the note I saw! After reading that, who wouldn't think Shisho was napping?!

Judge:
Hmm... That is a pretty reasonable assumption.

Athena:
(Y-You've gotta be kidding me...)

Taifu's Note added to the Court Record.

Uendo:
That's right. I saw this note, so that's why I thought Shisho was asleep. I want to change my testimony to include that statement!

Athena:
All right. I'll run an update.




Uendo:
After my performance,I went to visit Shisho
I called to him from outside the room...
...but he didn't reply.
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.
But something seemed off, so I rushed over to him.

I was shocked to find him dead! I couldn't believe my eyes!


Athena:
(There was one emotion that seemed out of place given Uendo's action's and statments. I wonder why he felt that particuar emotion then?)

Blackquill:
If you've noticed something, then hurry up and point it out already.

Athena:
I know! I'm just trying to be thorough, that's all!

Blackquill:
Hmph. It looked to me like you were being timid.

Athena:
I was not! You just watch me pinpoint the heck out of his emotions!




Atheba:
Uendo, I noticed something funny in your emotions again.

Uendo:
"Funny," you say?! I guess an entertainer of my caliber can make people laugh, even with my emotions!

Athena:
I didn't mean that kind of "funny"! Quite the oppiste, actually! When you entered the dressing room, I see that you suddenly felt anger. What I want to know is, what made you feel angry all of a sudden?

Uendo:
What? Hmm... Let's see... Oh yeah! Now I remember! As I was going in, I whacked my little piggy on something. I was annoyed at my own clumsiness! Hee hee!

Athena:
Wait, you mean you stubbed your pinky toe?

Uendo:
J-Just a little bumb on my little piggy. N-N-No big deal... I-It's embarrassing, really...

Athena
(Sounds more like he's hiding something. I'd better dig a bit deeper.) No need to be embarrassed, Uendo, but I'm afraid it's something we need to look into. Hmm... I don't really see anything you could've stubbed your toe on... in the area around the dressing room door in this picture. (But maybe there WAS something there at the time...?) Uendo, what exactly did you stub your toe on?

Nahyuta:

SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
What an irrelevant question. You dishonor the soul of the victim with these unnecassary delays.

Uendo:
You tell her. Really, who doesn't stub their toe every once in a while? You really gotta fuss over every small detail like this?

Athena:
Um, well... The thing is...

Blackquill
............

Athena:
E-Even the most subtle of fluctuations in a person's psyche can clue us in to the truth. That's why it's important to get to the bottom of this question! (Plus, if we back down now, who knows what new insult Simon will hurl my way...Is there really no trace of what Uendo stubbed his toe on by the door? What in the world might've been there then, but is not there now?)



Athena:
Please take a good look at this photo of the crime scene. Do you see it? This long track that goes from the door, all the way across the room?

Judge:
Hmm... Now that you mention it, I DO see traces of something getting dragged.

Athena:
And the drag mark ends... there at the TV. This implies that the TV was originally by the door. I'm convinced that this TV is the object the witness stubbed his toe on. Well, Uendo! How about it?!

Uendo:
Y-Yes you're right... It was the TV!

NOISE LEVEL
10%

Athena:
(There! The noise level dropped again!)

Uendo:
Y-Yes, I stubbed my pinky toe on the TV. B-B-But what of it? Why is this so important to you?

Athena:
(So the nosie went down, but it hasn't completely dissapeared yet. Which means he's still hiding something... Okay, let's try this tactic instead.) Uendo, why was the TV moved there?

Uendo:
Shisho must've moved it so he could watch my routine. But what a place to put it! Right in the middle of the doorway like that! I didn't want to bump into it again, so I put it back where it belonged.

Athena:
Performances onstage can be viewed in the dressing room using that TV?

Uendo:
That's right. It's a closed-circuit monitor that shows the stage.

Crime Scene Report updated in the Court Record.

Athena:
I-I see. (Now what? I can't find anything else out of place. And I still haven't gotten the noise level down to zero yet...) Simon... I'm stil getting noise here, but... I don't see anything else fishy.

Blackquill:
Hmph. This is precisely why amateurs are such a bother.

Atheba:
S-Sorry...

Blackquill
I'm in no mood to play nursemaid here, but if that's what it takes to save the soba shop... Hoy, Uendo. Here's a curiosity for you. This table master Toneido is slumped over looks like it was moved. Did you happen to bump into it while you were moving the TV back?

Uendo:
O-Oh my! Yes, you're right! The TV hit the table, and Shisho's body moved with a jolt... That's when I first realized that Shisho was dead! Oh! But how scared I was!

Blackquill:
I see. Thank you. We're finally getting a more precise picture of how the body was discovered. But I'd wager you need to put the spurs to Uendo just a trifle longer.

Athena:
R-Right! (I can't keep asking Simon to bail me out like this! It's time for me to regain my footing and really stand on my own!) Uendo, what you said now about discovering you master's death... Could you please describe all of that again for the court in detail?

Uendo"
A-All right.

Athena:
But, before you do, let me plug in the latest information...



Uendo:
After my performance,I went to visit Shisho
I called to him from outside the room...
...but he didn't reply.
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh Shisho...


Athena:
Hmm... I'm not really seeing any emotions I'd consider out of place. How about you, Simon?

Blackquill:
How many times are you going to come running to me?

Athena
No, um... I was just looking for... a second opinion!

Blackquill:
Isk. Well, take another good look at the flow of emotions. Don't just look for simple inconsistencies. Look at the intensity of his emotion, too.

Athena:
I see... Thanks, Simon!





Athena:
That's odd... After the initial shock of finding the victim dead, toy reacted with surprise again! What was it that surprised you, Uendo, besides your master's death?

Uendo:
Wh-What do you mean?

Athena:
What's more, you were even MORE surprised the second time than the first! WHat could've surprised you more than finding your late master?!

Uendo:
S-Search me. Your little thingy must've made a mistake!

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
The girl is as sharp as a trout to be sure... but her ability to hear people's emotions is absolute. Now, get to remembering, Uendo! What was it that surprised you?!

Athena:
(That... was a compliment, right...?)

Uendo:
Well, I... Er...

NOISE LEVEL
100%

Athena:
No! We've pushed him too hard, and he's mentally all over the place! His emotions are completely out of control!

Blackquill:
"Out of control"? Care to explain how that's relevant?

Athena:
You know how normally, I listen for the hidden emotions in a witness's voice, right? From there, I look for inconsistencies between their testimony and these emotions. But sometimes a person's feelings can run too high, making it hard to get a proper reading.

Blackquill:
So that's how your matrix program works. Fascinating!

Athena:
Ordinarily, it's just one emotion that runs out of control... But it seems there's nothing ordinary about this time!

Uendo:
Nnnngh... I... I-I...!

Uendo:
After my performance,I went to visit Shisho
I called to him from outside the room...
...but he didn't reply.
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh Shisho...

Athena:
I knew it...!

Blackquill:
Hmph. What;s got your knickers all in a bunch now?

Athena:
Uendo has multiple emotions running out of control at the same time! I've never seen anything like this! Ever!

Blackuill:
So how does one bring a situation like this under control?

Athena:
I'll have to find the root cause of this tangled mess before I can treat him. If I can identify what is causing this emotional rampage... then I can touch "Probe"(L) to dive in further I'll need to point to what I think is the root cause, and tough "Probe" (X) again. Through this process, I can identify exactly what's causing Uendo so much distress!

Blackquill:
And that will help bring his emotions back under control? In that case, Let's get started, shall we?

Athena:
All right! I can't guarantee a success, but it's definitely worth a shot! (Time to look for the root cause of Uendo's rampaging emotions!)



Uendo:
After my performance,I went to visit Shisho
I called to him from outside the room...
...but he didn't reply.
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh Shisho...



Athena:
(What could be the root cause of his out-of-control emotions...?)

Blackquill:
Hmph. Having trouble, are we?

Athena:
Duh! I can't find the casue of his distress!

Blackquill:
Isn't it obvious?! It's that bloody question you asked -- that's what pushed him over the edge, remember?

Athena:
Hey, you're right...!




Athena:
That's odd... After the initial shock of finding the victim dead, toy reacted with surprise again! What was it that surprised you, Uendo, besides your master's death?

Uendo:
Wh-What do you mean?




Athena:
(Simon's right. The answer to my question is what sparked this madness!)



Athena:
I get it now... The cards were the root of it all

Uendo:
I, er...

Athena:
Don't try to deny it! You can't hide your feelings from me! The dying message that was left at the scene of the crime...is what is causing your distress!

Uendo:
............

Athena:
And if the dying message was the cause of all those feelings... that means the phrase "OWEN 4TH" must mean something to you!

Uendo:
Nnngh!

NOISE LEVEL
0%

Athena:
There! Noise level, zero! Finally!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
The dying message consists of two words: "OWEN" and "4TH." But neither of these two words have anything to do with this witness. This topic warrants no further argument.

Athena:
Sure, there may not seem to be any direct connection... between Uendo and the message... for now. But why don't you wait and decide what's necessary AFTER you hear my theory?

Blackquill:
Heh. I trust you've hit upon something, Athena?

Athena:
Yup! If my theory is right... we can finally solve te case of "Uendo and the Mysterious OWEN 4TH"!

Blackquill:
Heh. Well, go on, then!

Judge:
I can already tell this promises to be interesting. Now, please share your theory with the court, Ms. Cykes.

Athena:
There was something puzzling to me about Uendo's out-of-control emotions just now. Namley, that there are three distinct reactions present. I had never seen that before, and i wondered how it could be possible.

Nahyuta:
...Is there a conclusion to this meandering musing of yours?

Athena:
Hold your horses, I'm getting there. So, could a person flip between three distinct emotions of such intensity like a switch? In the end, I concluded that it just wasn't possible.

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha! So that's it, is it?! A bit unconventional, but I'll grant that it's possible within the realm of psychology.

Judge:
Within the realm of psycology...? I'm afraid you'll have to explain it for the old man up here on the bench.

Athena:
Your Honor, my theory is that Uendo...




Athean:
With so many distinct personas, it's clear to me that... Uendo has dissociative identity disorder!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Judge:
Wh-Wh-Wh-What does that even mean?!

Nahyuta:
............ Your Honor, the defense would treat this trial as a child's jest. Multiple personality disorder? A preposterous proposition indeed. Would you not agree, witness?

Uendo:
H-H-How did she know? How did she figure it out?!

Nahyuta:
P-P-Pohlkunkaaaa!

Athena:
I can't believe it... I-I did it! I did it, Simon! I've read papers on it before... but to think I'd see a case of it for myself...!

Blackquill:
Blimey. Rakugo artists tell stories as different characters, but as different personalities?

Uendo:
Hey, you! Lawyer girl! You got a problem with us?! Huh?!

Athena:
N-No... No problem at all...

Judge:
This is all very hard to believe...but now that we've established that the witness has multiple personalities...could each of them please introduce themselves to this court?

Uendo:
Uendo Toeido. I'm a rakugo storyteller, as you know.

Uendo(Patches):
Hello everybody! Patches, the friendly jester here! Hee hee!

Uendo(Kisegawa):
Hmph. Kisegawa. Courtesan.

Athena:
And is that all of you?

Uendo:
Yes, that's all of us.

Athena:
So there are three personalities in total: Uendo, Patches, and Kisegawa, huh. ell, Simon! What do you think now?!

Blackquill:
Hmph. That you're one lucky duck. Just be glad they were dense enough to help you out.

Athena:
Argh! Can't you straight up say I did great for a change?

Blackquill:
Heh.

Nahyuta:
You appear to be quite proud of yourself, defense...but all you have done is infringe upon the privacy of the witness.

Athena:
I couldn't disagree more, Prosecutor! Now that we know there are three personalities...a new way for us to interpret the meaning of a certain piece of evidence has arisen.

Nahyuta:
A new interpretation?

Judge:
Ooh, now I'm very curious. What is this piece of evidence you're talking about, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Knowing what we know about Uendo and his personalities, this now makes perfect sense.



Judge:
The karuta cards?

Athena:
That's right, Your Honor. Recall the original dying message left at the scene. We didn't have a clue as to what "OWEN 4TH" could've possibly meant. But now, with this new information about Uendo and his personalities...isn't it possible that "OWEN 4TH" actually means... a secret fourth personality of Uendo's -- a personality named "Owen"?!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Nahyuta"
Pohlkunka!

Athena:
Uendo must have kept his dissociative identity disorder from us because... he didn't want to be associated in any way with that dying message!

Uendo:
N-No! That's not why! We kept our disorder a secret for a diffrent reason altogether.

Uendo(Patches):
We've been taking advantage of our affliction to act out various rakugo characters. If word of this got out, well...

Uendo(Kisegawa):
...our reputation as a rakugo artist would be tarnished, as would he Toneido name.

Uendo:
That's why we kept it a secret from evreyone except members of the Toneido School. But really, there is no "fourth personality." It's just the three of us in here.

Blackquill:
A plausible-enough sounding story...but it doesn't prove you didn't rearrange the cards, does it?

Uendo:
B-But...!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
I will concede that it is highly likely that the witness rearranged the cards.

Athena:
(Is Prosecutor Sahdmadhi... actually agreeing with us...?)

Nahyuta:
However, is it not also possible...that the accused killed Master Toneido...and hen left that message in order to frame the witness?

Athena:
Urngh!

Nahyuta:
And upon noticing the cards when he found the victims body, Uendo rearranged them.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
A fantastic tale, but a tale none the less. No one outside the Toneido School knew about Uendo's multiple personalities. Uendo just finished saying so himself.

Nahyuta:
Ah, that is a true, but ultimately meaningless point. The witness was only in he dressing room for two to three minutes. That for too little time to commit murder, wouldn't you say?

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
Then who's to say he couldn't have done it before his "discovery"?

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Ah, that spring chick memory of yours. have you already forgotten Prosecutor Blackquill's testimony?

Athena:
(Simon's testimony? ............Oh!)


Blackquill:
Geiru escorted me to the dressing room...but we heard the sound of rakugo being performed from within. Thinking the master was rehearsing, we decided to wait in the hall until he was done.


Nahyuta:
That's right. Until a few moments before Uendo entered the dressing room... Taifu Toneido was confirmed to still be alive!

Blackquill:
Arnngh!

Athean:
Nooooooooooooooooon!

Nahyuta:
Not only that, but Uendo was on stage until just before he discovered the body A bulletproof alibi that I have already confirmed with several audience members.

Athena:
Oh, noooooooooooo...!

Nahyuta:
I also heard that his rakugo performance that day was "a steaming pile of"... Well, you get the picture.

Uendo(Patches:
Y-Yes, I'm afraid so! Really stunk up the stage, I did! Hee hee!

Uendo:
And yet, I have a perfect alibi!

Nahyuta:
Indeed. Why not land the coup de grâce on the defense by describing your alibi, witness?

Uendo(Patches):
Pkey-dokey-smokey!




Witness Testimony

-- Uendo's Alibi --

Uendo:
I was onstage until just moments before I went into the dressing room.

Uendo(Kisegawa):
The entire audience was my witness.

Uendo(Patches):
But my performance was a huge bust. Not a single soul laughed!

Uendo:
I'll never be able to live down how terribly I bombed during that very important show.




Nahyuta:
Uendo was onstage before he found the body, so he could not have committed this crime. It is time to let it all go defense, and move on.

Athena:
Ngrrr...! Well, get this, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! The Wright Anything Agency NEVER gives up! WE fight to the bitter end!

Nahyuta:
Feh! Allow me to say this once more... Let it go, and move on.

Athena:
And allow ME to say once more, I'm never giving up!

Nahyuta:
Let it go, and...

Athena;
Never!

Nahyuta:
............... This is pointless. You should have taken advantage of this opportunity while you could, you foolish child! Your worthless convictions only serve to prolong the accused's suffering. If words will not sway you, then perhaps pain will.

Athena:
Oh, no! A-Anything but this!

Nahyuta:
SoJ-chant

Nahyuta:
Hrnh!

Athena:
Eeeeeeek! Nnnngyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! What's the big idea, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?!

Nahyuta:
That was but a small dose of punishment for your misguided convictions. Are you now a bit more inclined to give up, as instructed?

Athena:
As if!

Nahyuta:
In that case, you must require another dose!

Blackquill:
Not bloody likely!

Nahyuta:
Nrgh!

Blackquill:
I don't give two flips about your beliefs. But if Cykes-dono were to submit to you here, I won't be able to eat good soba anymore.

Athena:
Th-That's right! For Mr. Whet's furure, and Prosecutor Blackquill's stomach...I will NEVER give up!

Nahyuta:
You will rue those words, defense. Of that, I can assure you.




Cross-Examination

-- Uendo's Alibi --



Uendo:
I was onstage until just moments before I went into the dressing room.


Uendo:
The entire audience was my witness.


Uendo(Patches):
But my performance was a huge bust. Not a single soul laughed!

Uendo:
I'll never be able to live down how terribly I bombed during that very important show.


I think there must have been fifty, maybe sixty people in the audience.


Uendo:
The story I performed is called "Tokisoba" -- otherwise known as "Time Soba."


Blackquill:
You're not giving up, are you? Where's that "never-say-die" spirit you displayed earlier?

Athena:
Of course I'm not giving up, Simon! I just KNOW Uendo has something to do with this case!

Blackquill:
But how will you connect him to the crime when he has an alibi as strong as that?

Athena:
I-I don't know just yet... But I'm going to press his testimony and keep an eye out for contradictions!




Athena:
Uendo, isn't there something odd about the routine you performed?

Uendo:
Odd? N-No, I don't thnk there's anything odd about it.

Athena:
But that's exactly what I find odd -- the fact that you don't think it's odd.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
We are discussing the witness's alibi at the moment, defense. The show's program is completely irrelevant.

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
That's where you're wrong, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! The reason being, it contradicts the statement the witness just made! Uendo, do you know what this is?

Uendo:
N-No. Wh-What is it...?

Athena:
This is an invitation to the show, sent from Master Toneido to Prosecutor Blackquill. Included in the invitation is a rundown of the show's program, which clearly states...that "Time Soba" was to be performed by Master Toneido himself!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOOOOOO!

Nahyuta:
No!

Athena:
Uendo! Why did you perform the routine your master was scheduled to do?!

Uendo(Kisegawa):
Well... You see... The reason for that is...

Uendo:
How do I say this... You see... Um, let's say it was a, uh... a prank...

Uendo(Patches):
Th-That's right! It was just a little joke, you see! H-Hee hee! I was trying to surprise Shisho by performing his routine before he did!

Athena:
(I don't know if I buy that. Was doing the victim's routine just for laughs, or...? Hey... Didn't Simon happen to hear "Time Soba" coming from the dressing room...during Uendo's performance onstage? It seems like too much of a coincidence... Wait, can it be...?!)

Blackquill:
What's the matter? You look like a hen with a dozen eggs to lay.

Athena:
S-Stop comparing me to birds!

Blackquill:
Then cease this birdbrained timidity. If something has occured to you, then lay it out for us already! Don't breed resentment in those watching your performance!

Athena:
O-Okay, okay! I don't have a ton of confidence in this theory, but... here goes! It looks like Uendo's alibi checks out, Your Honor, but...even though he was onstage at the time...he may have been trying to obfuscate a crucial detail about this case!

Judge:
Are you referring to... the soba bill the man tried to skimp on in the witness's story?

Athena:
I'm not talking about the rakugo story, Your Honor!

Judge:
Oh! I-I'm sorry! But then, what are you talking about, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
What uendo may have been trying to deceive us about was...




Athena:
Uendo tried to deceive us about the time of the victim's death!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Uendo(Patches):
Eeeeeeeeeeek!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
What gibberish! Prosecutor Blackquill even testified to the time of the victim's death!

Athena:
I know. But he only testified that way because he and Geiru had been completely taken in!

Judge:
You mean... by the soba bill thing?

Athena:
Would you please forget about the story for a second, Your Honor?!

Blackquill:
I was deceived..?

Nahyuta:
Pray tell, how did Uendo manage to deceive two people while he was performing onstage?

Athena:
That's easy. All he had to do was use a certain "prop" in the dressing room.

Judge:
Oh?! And what might that be?

Athena:
The prop Uendo used was...



Athena:
SoJ Take that!

Athena:
This TV was used to view what was happening on the stage. Prosecutor Blakcquill, when you came to the dressing room, what was Uendo doing?

Blackquill:
He was... performing "Time Soba"! Blast! Could it be...?!

Athena:
Yes. It could, and it was! What you and Geiru heard was NOT Master Toneido practicing his routine. It was Uendo's performance, as heard through the TV speakers!

Uendo:
Pyoooooooo!

Nahyuta:
!

Judge:
WH-WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Athena:
With the TV just inside the inner door of the dressing room...it could easily be heard from the hallway outside.

Blackquill:
And becasue we knew that master Toneido was scheduled to perform "Time Soba"...we were easily manipulated into thinking he was still alive at the time, rehearsing!

Athena:
Yes. Your knowledge of the day's program is why the two of you could be fooled this way. Simon, did the voice you hear belong to Master Toneido?

Blakquill:
Hmph. With the doors in the ay, I couldn't tell exactly who the voice belonged to. But becasaue I heard "Time Soba", I just assumed it was Master Toneido. I can't belive I was taken in by such a simple mind game.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
All of that is mere conjecture! Where is your proof, defense?!

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
Uendo moved the TV back when he "discovered" the body. After all, he couldn't very well leave it by the door...becasue then someone might figure out the trick he'd been playing!

Nahyuta:
Ngh!

Athena:
And there's one more thing about Uendo's actions that's suspicious.

Judge:
And that is...?

Athena:
The fact that he flopped so badly on such an important occasion.

Judge:
What's so suspicious about that? Even pros slip up once in a while, you know?

Athena:
But I believe that this time, it was intentional. Because Uendo knew it'd be strange to hear laughter coming from the dressing room!

Judge:
Oh, my!

Uendo:
Yipes!

Athena:
It's all just a bit too perfect to be sheer coincidence! Plus, if the voice Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru heard was due to Uendo's scheming...then the victim's time of death could have been earlier than 4 PM! In other words, Uendo could have killed Master Toneido himself!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOOO

Blackquill
We've got you by the stones now, Uendo! So you'd better confess everything!

Uendo:
Ngh...

Nahyuta:
............

Judge:
Well, witness? What do you have to say for yourself?

Athena:
We demand an explanation!

Uendo:
............

Athena:
Uendo!

Uendo:
Nnngh...I-I confess. I-I tampered with the crime scene.




Nahyuta:
...Is it the defense's claim that Uendo Toneido is the true murderer in this case?

Athena:
If he tampered with the crime scene, then we have to at least consider him a suspect!

Uendo:
SoJ Hold it!

Kisegawa:,br /> Now wait just one minute! Yes, I admit to messing with the dressing room, but I didn't kill Shisho!

Athena:
Then why did you tamper with the crime scene?!

Kisegawa:
I... I refuse to answer that question!

Athena:
What?!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
If you suspect this witness, then I have a question for you.

Athena:
(What could it be this time?)

Nahyuta:
Uendo had absolutely no reason to murder Taifu Toneido. After all, why would Uendo kill the man who recognized his skills and promoted him?

Athena:
OH! W-Well... His motive... was, um...(I can't think of a single thing!)

Nahyuta:
It appears you are also not aware of one other fact.

Athena:
A-And that is?

Nahyuta:
That the accused visited the dressing room before 4 PM as well. Is it not natural, then, to suppose that the accused killed the victim at that time?

Athena:
WHAT? Nobody told me Mr. Whet had also gone there BEFORE 4 PM!

Nahyuta:
We were only discussing the time frame after 4 PM, so I didn't think to mention it. But now that you have made the time period before 4 PM relevant...

Athena:
(Uh-oh. I don't like where this is going...)

Nahyuta:
So, you really do not know what our client was doing during that time frame, do you?

Athena:
Wel, it was all very sudden, and, uh... (Why did you wait untill the very last second to contact me, Simon?!)

Blackuill:
Don't you give me that look! And just so you know, Bucky never told me he had visited the master before 4 PM, either.

Athena:
Argh! This sort of thing is exactly why that prosecutor keeps calling us "unprepared"!

Judge:
The defense will stop squabbling this instant!

Athena:
S-Sorry, Your Honor.

Judge:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, please continue.

Nahyuta:
Thank you, Your Honor. Defense. You know of the soba-making implements in the dressing room, correct?

Athen:
(Is he talking about the equipment for making soba noodles?)

Blackquill:
You speak of the large bowl that is used to mix buckwheat flour and water...the long rolling pin, and the special knife that is used to cut the dough into noodles?

Nahyuta:
Precisely. These tools all came from the accused's soba shop.

Athena:
You mean, they didn't belong to Master Toneido?

Nahyuta:
Mr. Whet had visited the dressing room to give the victim a soba-making lesson. And that visit was before 4 PM. I'm afraid that after the accused kneaded the dough and made those noodles...he committed the act of murder.

Athena:
B-But wait! That doesn't add up!If Mr. Whet killed the victim before 4 PM, why would he return to that room at a later time?!

???:
SoJ Hold it!

Bucky:
Whet Soba! Your kit and caboodle when it comes to noodles!

Judge:
Oh, my!

Bucky:
Hiya, Miz Chickadee... Heya, Simey! The reashon I went is 'cause Master Toneido ordered uncooked noodle. *ulp*

Athena:
M-Mr. Whet...

Bucky:
Yeshterday, I brought noodle-making toolsh to the dresshing room at around 2 PM. Dat'sh when Master Toneido ordered uncooked soba noodlesh t' shtock up on.

Athena:
Uncooked noodles to stock up on?

Bucky:
Yesh, ma'am. Master Toneido kept a supply of soba noodles from my shop in hish fridge. He only had one sherving left, so I went back t' my shop t' get some more. *hic*

Athena:
(One serving of nooles in the fridge? But I thought the fridge was practically empty...? Hmm... Anyway, the whereabouts of the missing noodles isn't all that important now.)

Blackquill:
You ran into me and Geiru when you came back to deliver the uncooked soba, correct?

Bucky:
Dat'sh right, Simey! I maded time outta my bust day to deliver him the noodlesh! And ya know what? He ignored me when I called to him from th' inner doorway! He just kept mumbling rakugo lines fer ages! So I got mad and went back to my soba shop!

Athena:
Ah, so that's why you got mad. (If what he's saying is true, then there's no way he could be the murderer!)

Bucky:
I shwear I'm telling the truth, Miz Chicka--- *urp*

Judge:
B-Bailiff, quick! Get this man to the infirmary!




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