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Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2016-09-09 11:00 pm

Chapter 1: A job at Pegasus Town (Japanese terminology)

[June 18, 12:15 PM: Pegasus Town]

The sky above was perfectly serene, a sight for sore eyes.
The kind of sky that is treasured right before the rainy season. Today is Sunday. Pegasus Town was crowded with families.
This is a new shopping mall that opened only last year. The sizable premises include a wide shopping area and a food court as well as an event stage and movie theatre.
On both sides of the brick paved path, there were boutiques and other stores, various places that girls typically enjoy.
Kokone-chan had been looking around for a while. She may be a genius who became a qualified lawyer at the age of 18, but she was still just an ordinary girl at heart. She had a clear interest in shopping...
“There's so much to choose from, Naruhodo-san! Ice cream over there, chocolate over here, it all looks delicious!”
... She prefers food to sex appeal.
“That line is huge. You'd have to wait... about an hour to reach the front!”
“I hate to tell you this, Kokone-chan. But we don't have time to be lining up for an hour.”
“I know that.”
Despite saying that, Kokone-chan still wished she could have ice cream.
Minuki, who was walking a few steps ahead, turned around and spoke.
“We can line up after the event is over, Kokone-san. I'd like to have some too.”
“Yeah, let's do it!”
“You want some too, right Daddy?”
With Minuki looking up at me, I was lost for an answer. I mean, I like ice cream, but not enough to spend an hour lined up waiting for it.
Odoroki-kun offered a helping hand.
“While you girls get some ice cream, we'll just wander around a bit. There's some large book stores and CD shops here, so we can kill time there.”
Whew. I'm glad Odoroki-kun was here. If I was on my own, I'd have been stuck in line for an hour.
Minuki and Kokone-chan replied with resignation.
“Despite coming all the way to Pegasus Town, Daddy and Odoroki-san only care about killing time...”
“It's such a waste!”
Good grief. I'd say waiting in line a whole hour just for ice cream is a bigger waste of time.

I'm Ryuuichi Naruhodou. I work as a defence attorney.
The title on my business card says “Naruhodou Anything Agency – Chief”. It used to be called “Naruhodou & Co. Law Offices”, but as a result of certain circumstances... the name became what it is today.
It may lack the dignity of the old name, but it doesn't really bother me. In the harsh world of the law, what matters isn't your title, but your track record.
Today, the members of the office and I have come to Pegasus Town together. Although it's not just for fun. This is business, not pleasure.
Pegasus Town has a large outdoor stage where they hold weekly events. Minuki is performing in today's event, and as the chief I'm here with her.
Minuki is a magician working for the “Naruhodou Anything Agency” and also my daughter. That said, we're not related by blood. A number of years ago, there was a certain incident and I ended up adopting her.
The one currently having a cheerful conversation with Minuki is Kokone Kizuki. I took her on as my assistant about a year ago. Through America's advanced placement system (a system where you study at higher grades than your age level), this unique genius girl became a lawyer at the young age of 18. Normally she's just the cheerful and slightly airheaded Kokone-chan, but she has a real presence when put into a courtroom. She's an ever reliable assistant.
And walking next to me is Odoroki-kun, Housuke Odoroki. As a lawyer he's still a little lacking in experience, but won't lose to anyone when it comes to enthusiasm. His bright demeanour and his uncrushable will are always helping me out.
These three are my trusted companions. Together with Kokone-chan and Odoroki-kun, we're always taking on breathtaking court cases, but...
Today is an easy day. I said we're here for work, but not as attorneys, as chief of the “Naruhodou Anything Agency”, I'm just here to see Minuki perform a magic show.
The event should last about an hour. After that, while Minuki and Kokone-chan get ice cream, Odoroki-kun and I can visit some book stores and CD shops, perhaps even leisurely drink some tea at a cafe.
Then, we can all have a nice dinner and head home. Everything is set up for us to have a great day.

– Or so I thought.

However, in the end, Minuki and Kokone-chan never got the chance to line up for their ice cream.

[June 18, 12:30 PM: Pegasus Town – Staff Area]

Minuki and I went our separate way from Odoroki-kun and Kokone-chan, and headed for the waiting room for performers. I would have been fine going with the others to find seats among the audience, but Minuki insisted “You're the boss Daddy, you have to meet the event staff!” to me.
The waiting room was in the staff area. Using a card key that had been provided to us in advance, we entered the staff door and went down the hallway.
Compared to the bright and heavily decorated shopping mall, the staff area could be described as “the other side”. It's only natural, but there were no decorations whatsoever, it was downright dreary.
On the right hand side of the corridor, iron doors were lined along the wall. I think they're the back entrances to shops. I'm sure it's busy back here in the early morning before business hours, bringing in new stock and such, but right now the corridor contained no signs of life. There's also two performances other than Minuki's today. An idol singer and a comedian, I heard.
When we enter the waiting room, there are three other people already inside. A chubby man and a girl who was looking down at the wall. As well as a young man chewing on some gum.
The first one to speak to us was the chubby man. He was probably somewhere around my age.
“Ah, ah, you must be Minuki Naruhodou-san! Hello, a pleasure to meet you! I am the manager of Sumomo Momogaya, who you'll be performing alongside today, you may call me Sasae. I am looking forward to today's performance!”
He spoke in an excited manner and presented his business card. I offered my business card in return.
“Ryuuichi Naruhodou of the Naruhodou Anything Agency. Nice to meet you.”
“Anything... Agency?”
Sasae-san's eyes widened. I'm used to this reaction now. I usually just let it slide, but...
Minuki followed up speaking in a cheerful tone.
“We're both a talent agency and a law office! No, in fact we're more than that. Finding lost items, walking dogs, we do it all!”
“Hu... Huh...?”
“If anything ever troubles you, come straight to us! The Naruhodou Anything Agency will handle anything that comes!”
... Good grief.
Minuki would make a much better chief than I do.
Sasae-san looked around awkwardly, before forcing a polite smile.
“That's... Huh, well... I'm embarrassed to admit that I only work managing talent...”
No. That's perfectly normal.
Sasae-san had the girl who was looking down turn around so he could introduce her to us.

“This is our agency's top idol, Sumomo Momogaya.”
The girl lifted her head.
She had long chestnut hair, slightly wavy.
Her calm face was quite pretty. Of course, to become an idol singer at all, being cute is a necessity... But that's not all there is to it, there was some kind of shadow within her large eyes. She was an incredible beauty.
“... Pleased to meet you.”
Momogaya-san spoke in a fading voice, before looking down again.
The outfit she wore was a bright orange sleeveless dress. Despite this, the girl herself left a dark impression.
... She's such a cute girl, but... I suppose an idol singer's life must be harder than I thought... I instinctively felt sympathy for her.
And then, the man chewing the gum cut in with his own voice.
He wore a green shirt and a yellow parka, as well as a pair of jeans with a number of tears. He was tall, somewhat handsome and the kind of guy who tends to rub people the wrong way...
He spoke in a peculiar manner, like he was wrapping his tongue around something.
“I'm Nadare Chokkakkou. But I'm sure you knew that. I'm a super popular comedy artist!”
“... Huh.”
That's a hard to say name...
Chokkakkou-san brushed aside his long fringe and continued in a haughty tone.
“Ah, I don't do autographs. I suppose I can just this once, since you insist. Only one per person. But since you're cute, I'm willing to let you have three instead.”
The man shamelessly put an arm around Minuki's shoulder.
I was about to go off on this guy – But before I could, Minuki shook his arm off and moved to the other side of the room.
She then removed the blue silk hat she always wore and bowed politely as she spoke.
“I'm Minuki Naruhodou, a magician. A pleasure to work with you.”
She may be my daughter, but I'm impressed by her professionalism. She really doesn't need me here to look after her at all...
Then something happened.
The door opened and a short man entered.
He wore a well tailored suit, an elegant fellow. I'd guess his age was probably around 50. He had well combed hair with grey streaks, a man with no chinks in his armour.
The man looked at us with a gentle smile.
“I apologise for my lateness, everyone. I'm the owner of this shopping mall, Amamiya.”
I was somewhat surprised. I never thought the owner himself would be the one to greet us.
Amamiya-san pulled his business card from his suit pocket with his left hand. It was this moment that I realised that his right hand was covered in bandages.
It looked worse than just a light injury. The bandages covered right from his wrist up to the palm of his hand.
Amamiya-san spoke up, having noticed my line of sight.
“Ah, this? I was using the kitchen knife while cooking last night and cut myself.”
“Looks nasty.”
“I cut the base of my thumb. I think it may have reached the bone, quite nasty indeed...”
... It's painful just hearing about it.
Amamiya-san awkwardly exchanged business cards with his left hand as he spoke.
“Thank you for participating in today's event here at Pegasus Town. I'm a huge fan of all three of you. I've been wanting to have you appear here for a long time now. Having you all is like a wish come true.”
Amamiya-san first turned to Minuki.
“Minuki Naruhodou-san. Your magic is truly astounding. I especially like the magic panties trick where you pull all manner of things out of your underwear! I love that one.”
“Thank you very much.”
Minuki's face immediately brightened. The magic (or as Odoroki-kun would say “panties trick”) where she made various items appear and disappear from a giant pair of panties, was the greatest skill in her repertoire.
If you ask me, I'd say that Minuki is at an age where she probably shouldn't be flashing her panties in public. But Minuki holds such pride in this magic that I feel I can't really ask her to stop.
Amamiya-san returned to speaking in a formal manner as he continued.
“In fact, Minuki-san. Next month we're planning a full scale magic show. I was hoping to perhaps invite you back for that event as well.”
“We've also invited famous magicians from overseas, it should be a magnificent show. What do you say, Minuki-san?”
“Sounds great!”
Minuki was totally on board. I was naturally in complete agreement. Increasing Minuki's profile was always something to be glad about.
Amamiya-san gave her the date and Minuki immediately pulled out her schedule book. However upon reaching that page, she sighed.
“Ah... I can't do that day. I'm already booked for an event in the shopping district...”
“I see... What a shame.”
Pegasus Town's event would be much bigger than the small one in the local shopping district, but... She's already made a promise, so she can't back out. Minuki and Amamiya-san promised “Next time, definitely.” with each other.
Next up, Amamiya-san looked to Momogaya-san.
“Sumomo Momogaya-san, I was astounded the first time I saw you on stage. Cutting fruit into decorative shapes while you sing, a truly unique performance! It must take a lot of practice?”
Momogaya-san looked down without answering. Her manager Sasae-san answered in her place.
“Of course. After all, she has to wield such a large knife on stage!”
He picked up a knife lying on the dressing table. It was a large knife kept in a nice sheath. The blade was at least 20 centimetres long... If you include the handle, it'd easily be 30 centimetres. It was certainly flashy for a stage prop.
Amamiya-san's eyes widened.
“Wow... Incredible. The knife is even more impressive when seen up close.”
“Even the slightest mistake could lead to disaster. That's why she always practices at least three hours a day.”
“Three hours! That's incredible.”
“Sumomo is an incredibly hard worker. I'm sure you're aware, but Sumomo's father is the legendary pro boxer Momota Momogaya. I'm sure she takes a lot after her father...”
Momogaya-san interrupted her manager with a soft voice. It seemed this was a topic she didn't want to be discussed.
Sasae-san wiped some sweat from his brow with a handkerchief and placed the knife back where he got it from.
Next, Amamiya-san spread his arms as he turned to Chokkakkou-san.
“Nadare Chokkakkou-san! I love your jokes! The first time I saw you I burst out laughing! I've never laughed as hard in my life as I have at your material.”
Chokkakkou-san looked full of himself, “Heh.” he laughed scornfully.
“I know, pops. My material isn't something you just laugh at though. My performances aren't just comedy, they're art. I'm no mere performer, I'm a comedy artist.”

He's certainly rude for someone who just received a compliment.
I haven't liked this comedian from the start, but my opinion of him just got even worse.
But Amamiya-san maintained his unfaltering smile as he nodded without even a hint of distaste.
“Indeed, right you are. The ability to turn comedy into an art! You're leading us into a new era of comedy.”
“I'll be sure to captivate the entire audience today. You should look forward to seeing it.”
“I'd love to... But unfortunately, I'm afraid I won't be watching today...”
Amamiya-san's expression suddenly clouded.
“Some urgent work has come up. I'll have to be heading back to my office soon.”
“Eh? You mean you won't be seeing my comedy art then?”
“Indeed. I was looking forward to seeing the three of you on stage more than anyone else too... Quite disappointing.”
Amamiya-san frowned.
“Unfortunately I can't put off the work, but as long as the customers enjoy themselves, I'll be satisfied. I heard from the staff earlier that we've apparently already got a full house.”
“Of course. Who wouldn't want to see me?”
“... Of all the days to be buried in work.”
Amamiya-san slumped his shoulders in disappointment.
“Anyway, I won't be there to see the performances, but I wish you all the best. We have two waiting rooms prepared. Room A, the room we're in now, is here for Minuki-san and Sumomo-san. Chokkakkou-san has Room B, right next to this one. Bathrooms are just across the hallway. Since the general public are unable to access the staff area here, feel free to relax. Now, if you'll excuse me...”
Amamiya-san bowed his head.
I spoke up.
“I'll be going too. I was planning to watch the show from the audience.”
“I see. Well then...”
Amamiya-san opened the door and Chokkakkou-san and I stepped into the hallway with him. Chokkakkou-san whistled terribly as he went to the waiting room next door and slammed the door as he went in.
He didn't even bother saying goodbye. He really is an arrogant jerk...
Amamiya-san wasn't bothered at all and spoke up with his usual cheerful smile.
“Naruhodou-san, you must be Minuki-san's father. I envy you for having such a fine daughter.”
“You flatter me... Haha.”
I'd been trying to avoid smiling too much, but hearing such praise for Minuki, I broke into a large grin. She was an incredibly capable 16 year old, intelligent and a successful magician. I'm proud to call Minuki my daughter.
Amamiya-san then looked down sadly.
“I lost my own family last year... Ever since then, I've been on my own...”
I was shocked to hear that.
Now that I think about it, he did mention that he “cut myself with a kitchen knife while cooking” earlier.
So his wife has passed away. And he has to cook for himself since he lives on his own.
Amamiya-san lifted his head and attempted to disarm the solemn atmosphere.
“Ah... I'm sorry! I shouldn't be boring you with such details...”
“It's fine...”
“Thank you so much for today. As a result, we've got a full house. I'm glad all these arrangements have paid off.”
“You planned today's event personally, Amamiya-san?”
I spoke without thinking. These kinds of events usually have a dedicated planner, it's rare for the owner themselves to be directly involved.
Amamiya-san nodded with a smile.
“I was once a performer in my youth.”
“A performer...?”
“Indeed. I never had any luck though, so I gave up fairly quickly...”
Amamiya-san covered his eyes in embarrassment.
“But even now, I have the desire to cheer on the next generation. Here at Pegasus Town we plan to showcase many young artists in our events. Sumomo-san, Minuki-san, Chokkakkou-san... I wish to make this a place where young people like them from all fields of entertainment are able to showcase themselves.”
Amamiya-san spoke with great passion.
I nodded with a smile. It's nice to know that Minuki and the others have people like him supporting them.
“I'd better be going now. The elevator is undergoing maintenance from one o'clock, so I better get back to the office before they start. Oh, I better rush...”
Amamiya-san and I both checked our watches. 12:55.
“If you'll excuse me.”
I turned my back on Amamiya-san and walked off.