thewrightway: (Default)
Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2016-10-02 11:27 am

Chapter 6: A coincidental encounter (Japanese terminology)

[June 21, 10:00 AM: Detention Center]

I spoke, feeling incredibly worn out, to the person on the other side of the glass.
“Did you get any sleep last night, Momogaya-san?”
“... Of course not. Not after how the trial went.”
The first day of the trial was a complete disaster. It wouldn't have been a surprise if we'd gotten a guilty verdict already. But somehow, we'd managed to hold out for a second day...
“You lied about having never met Chokkakkou-san. He's been blackmailing you for a while.”
“... I'm sorry.”
“What's the cause of that? What was he blackmailing you with?”
There was no answer.
“Momogaya-san. You'll be declared guilty at this rate.”
“I want to know everything, no secrets held. Believe in me. I want to help you.”
Momogaya-san shook her head and stood up.
No good, huh... Her heart is locked behind chains. How can I get her to open up... I've no idea.

[June 21, 10:20 AM: Outside the Prosecutor's Office]

I'm cornered. No way out.
To begin with, my client doesn't even trust me. There's no way I can successfully defend a client who lies and hides things from me.
I was down in the dumps. I was looking down with my shoulders slumped, walking at a quick pace–
Suddenly, I was called upon. I stopped walking and turned around.
“What's wrong? That's quite a gloomy expression.”
It was an irritating voice... Well no, not the voice itself. In fact, it's quite a smooth voice... However.
I turned with a slight sigh.
Standing right in my line of sight was Reiji Mitsurugi. My childhood friend and current Chief Prosecutor – In other words, the top dog at the prosecutor's office.
Throughout all our years, Mitsurugi has always been my exact opposite. Refined, successful and confident. Which means... when I'm in this kind of mood is exactly when I want to see him the least.
“... Why are you in a place like this?”
I muttered, to which Mitsurugi smirked slightly and shrugged his shoulders.
“A place like this? Do you even know where you are right now?”
I looked up and examined my surroundings.
I saw the words 'Prosecutor's Office' written in bold letters...
Without realising where I was going, I'd somehow ended up at the prosecutor's office. It's quite obvious that Chief Prosecutor Mitsurugi would be here at the prosecutor's office.
I was quite embarrassed and attempted a quiet apology before slipping away.
“Wait, Naruhodou.”
Mitsurugi spoke in his usual calm manner.
“You didn't do too well in court yesterday. I heard all about it. Apparently you were helpless going up against Yuugami.”
He's deliberately stopped me just to rub salt in the wound. I looked away.
Mitsurugi spoke again.

“Struggle as much as you can. We will bring the truth to light.”
“For that is our duty.”
“... Mitsurugi...”
Mitsurugi turned his back and walked back to the prosecutor's office.
... Duty, huh? That's typical Mitsurugi.
But what is my duty?
I don't even need to think about it. The answer is clear.
My duty is the same as Mitsurugi's. To bring the truth to light. Our positions may be opposed, but Mitsurugi and I both have the same goal.
Right. There's no time for me to worry about something like not having any trust from my client.
No matter what the handicap is, I can't give in. I have to do everything I can to find the truth. That's the only way I have of saving Momogaya-san.
I felt my strength returning. I'm embarrassed to have let myself get down so easily.
– I'll struggle as much as I can.

It's an incredibly roundabout way of doing it, but I'd say that was Mitsurugi's way of cheering me on.
I walked onwards, my head held high.
I can't let myself feel down. I'm going to struggle along all the way to the truth!

[June 21, 11:07 AM: Pegasus Town]

I've returned to the crime scene. Maybe there's some clue that's been overlooked.
Pegasus Town was practically deserted. There were only a few customers scattered about, making Sunday's crowds seem like a dream.
I know it's probably due to it being a weekday, but it's still slightly depressing. It wouldn't surprise me if the incident had cast a shadow over the place. The sooner this is resolved the better, then it'll return to business as usual...
As I was walking – I suddenly heard a cell phone ringtone.
It wasn't mine. A woman passing by took her phone from her small bag and answered with a “Hello.”
If that was all, I wouldn't take any further notice. But at the same moment she took out her phone, a pink pass case fell out.
The woman kept walking on without noticing. I picked up the pass case.
It had a black cat design. Could this be...
I called out to the woman “You dropped this.” as I went after her. The woman turned around and her eyes widened as I handed the pass case to her.
Just as I thought. It's the woman I was in the elevator with on the day of the incident.
“Sorry, I'll call you back!”
The woman ended her call and bowed profusely as she accepted her pass case.
“Thank you! Oh man, when did I drop it...”
“Just then. When you took your phone out.”
“No way, I did it again...”
The woman gave an embarrassed laugh before taking another look at me and saying “Ah” in recognition.
“Are you the guy I saw in the elevator the other day...? The one who wanted to meet the owner and got off at the wrong floor!”
“That's me.”
“No way, what a coincidence! I was also worried about having lost my pass case at the time too!”
A coincidence... or you just lose it way too often.
“I guess someone else picked it up last time too?”
I asked without thinking. The woman nodded with a smile.
“That's right! It turns out I did drop it in the elevator. The elevator maintenance guy found it an left it with management!”
“That's good to hear.”
“A total relief. I'm really attached to this pass case!”
It seems to become detached quite frequently though.
As I was about to leave, she asked me another question.
“Are you here to see the owner again?”

“No, today I'm here to investigate the incident...”
“Eh!? By incident, you mean that comedian who was murdered!? Does that mean you're a police detective!?”
Her eyes widened.
“No, I'm not with the police...”
“A private eye then!? Amazing! I've never met a real live P.I. Before!”
“N-no, I'm not any kind of detective, I'm a lawyer...”
“A lawyer!? That's so amazing–! I've never met a real live lawyer before–!”
Lawyers aren't that unusual, are they?
“Was Sumomo Momogaya-chan really the culprit!? Or is the true culprit someone else!?”
“Well... Uh... That's what I'm here to determine...”
The woman's eyes sparkled as she puffed out her chest.
“Alright, ask me anything you like about the incident! Although I don't really know anything!”
... That would be kinda pointless.
“Sorry, I haven't introduced myself yet, I'm Masue Isogi. I'm part of Pegasus Town's management team, third branch!”
... Is it really safe to leave management to a person like this?
“At the time of the incident I was busy working. In a room with twenty other people. My alibi is airtight!”
“No, I don't doubt your claim one bit...”
“Of course, I'd have rather been ditching work and watching that live event.”
Isogi-san said somewhat disappointed, totally ignoring what I had to say.
“Sumomo-chan and Minuki-chan are both so cute! I love them both.”
... Oh. She's complimenting Minuki. She's somewhat careless, but I like her already.
“But that comedian, Chokkakkou-san... That was a mistake. The folks in the event planning department sure screwed up there. Why anyone would book such a boring performer is beyond... me... Ah.”
Isogi-san shut her mouth.
“I shouldn't be saying that. Dead men tell no tales and all!”
... I think what she meant was 'never speak ill of the dead'...
“The owner was the one who chose the acts. The owner is a nice guy and all, he's good to his employees and is highly capable, but his sense of humour is hopeless... He's hopeless with good jokes!”
Come to think of it, Amamiya-san did say he 'burst out laughing' the first time he saw Chokkakkou-san perform... It seems his sense of humour really is somewhat askew.
“He's a bit of an oddball. I mean... He's rich, kind, not too bad on the eyes, I'm surprised he's remained single all this time... Ah!”
Isogi-san shut her mouth again.
“I shouldn't have let that slip. Please don't tell the owner I said any of that!”
“I won't breathe a word of it.”
... Hm? Hold it. Something about that... bothers me...
Isogi-san spoke with a sudden realisation.
“Oh no, I'm supposed to be working. I need to get back already! Was my testimony of any use? If there's anything else you want to know, just call for me!”
“Thank you.”
I thanked her and began waking. Isogi-san ran off. Hopefully she doesn't drop anything else...
Ten footsteps later, it hit me. The reason why Isogi-san's statement bothered me.
(Remained single all this time...)
Single? All this time?
I'm certain that Amamiya-san told he he 'lost his family a year ago'. I'd just jumped to the conclusion that he'd had a wife, but perhaps he didn't.
It could've been his parents or siblings who passed away... Either way, I feel bad for the guy.
While I had my mind on such things, I went towards the staff area. My card key for the door had already been returned. But if I explain that I'm the attorney handling the case, they can't just turn me away.

As I passed near the outdoor stage, a voice called to me.
It was Amamiya-san. He was wearing his usual sharp suit.
“I knew I'd find you here. Knowing you, I just figured you'd be back to examine the scene of the crime again.”
Amamiya-san spoke with a smile before changing his expression.
“I saw the trial yesterday.”
“... You did?”
“You were truly magnificent. The way you fought tooth and claw for the defendant was truly inspiring... but...”
Amamiya-san's expression clouded.
“Even so, it doesn't seem like your efforts are going to pay off this time.”
“I'm sorry. But after seeing yesterday's trial, I can't come to any other conclusion than Momogaya-san being guilty. It's hard to believe... that such a cute idol could kill a man.”
“I believe in Momogaya-san. No matter what odds are against me, I'll bring the truth to light.”
I stated clearly. Amamiya-san looked at me in surprise.
“The... truth?”
“Yes. Because that's my job.”
“... Magnificent.”
Amamiya-san mumbled, looking away.
“I often think about it. All the injustice in the world... When the truth is buried in darkness and evil people slip through the law's net, living carefree lives... It's quite unforgivable... I feel.”
I didn't expect that. For the kindly Amamiya-san to speak with such anger in his voice.
“No matter how much they ignore it, the wicked never truly escape their deeds. Evil will always receive its punishment... Always...”
Noticing my taken aback state, Amamiya-san came to his senses. His spiky attitude vanished, returning to his usual gentlemanly demeanor.
“Ah, I apologise. I got a little fired up there... Anyway, the sooner this is resolved the better. The longer it drags on, the more customers we'll lose!”
Amamiya-san said with a smile.

After going our separate ways, I returned to the crime scene.
Detectives and investigators came and went from waiting room B as the investigation continued. I was let in as the attorney handling the case.
The body had obviously been removed and the blood on the floor wiped up. However the positions of the chairs and tables and the open doors of the lockers were just as they were when the corpse was discovered.
I took a look inside the locker. Of course, there were no clues left inside. Even when the body was discovered, this locker had been empty. It's just that the victim's blood splatter had gotten in there too.
... Hold it. If the inside of the locker was empty...
Then he wasn't using it? No, but then there would be no reason for the door to be open. Something must have been taken out of it. But what...?
I called out to the detective examining the dressing table.
“Did you get any fingerprints off the locker door?”
The young detective looked at me indifferently as he answered.
“Yeah, Sumomo Momogaya's fingerprints. There were perfectly clear on the locker's handle.”
Momogaya-san's fingerprints... Does that mean she used the locker? But this is Chokkakkou-san's room, so why...?
“That locker is broken, by the way.”
The detective told me as I was lost in thought.
“It won't lock. Owner Amamiya says it was working the day before the incident. We're assuming the culprit damaged it. We're unsure as to the reason though.”
Someone broke the locker... I'm assuming they wanted something from inside it? Did Momogaya-san break it?
Momogaya-san's fingerprints... The open door... The blood splatter inside. It all has to mean something.
Either way, the presence of Momogaya-san's fingerprints... is totally detrimental to my case.