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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?

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