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Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2016-10-20 08:08 pm

Chapter 9: Truth of the incident (English terminology)

[June 23, 11:00 AM: Prosecutor's Office]

The next day, I went to the prosecutor's office.
The case has been resolved, but there's still a few missing details. Like the motive.
Why would Mr. Owens, the owner of a shopping mall living a comfortable life, feel the need to kill Mr. Ukulfaskul? What connects the two of them?
The Chief Prosecutor is a busy man. I was expecting a long wait, but surprisingly it didn't take long for Edgeworth to let me into his office.
“–Mr. Owens confessed everything. His motive and method.”
Edgeworth began speaking the moment I sat down on the sofa. He sat at his desk, continuing to sign official documents as he spoke.
... I felt like I was being told to hurry up and leave already. I felt quite unwelcome. Well, not that I'd expect Edgeworth's office to be a welcoming place anyway.
“What was his motive?”
Edgeworth stated bluntly as he flipped through documents, not even glancing at me.
“About a year ago, Mr. Owens's dog was killed by a motorbike while he was on a walk. It was a hit and run, but Mr. Owens hired a detective, handed out fliers and did various other things to track down the culprit.”
“... So the culprit...?”
“Yes. It was Ukulfaskul.”
I recall Mr. Owens saying he 'lost his family a year ago'. So he was talking about his pet dog...
“Living on his own, the dog was an irreplaceable family member to Mr. Owens. However, even when he reported it to the police, there was no serious charge placed for an accident involving a pet. This was unacceptable to Mr. Owens. Which lead to him planning out his murder scheme.”
“... And the reason Ms. Cutter was framed...”
“Undue resentment due to a misunderstanding.”
Edgeworth knit his brow slightly.
“At the same time the dog was hit, a single car was passing by. It immediately stopped, but as soon as they realised there were no human casualties, they sped off. The concerned passer-by who looked out of the window...”
“It wasn't...?”
“It was. Melody Cutter.”
Good grief. So Ms. Cutter was a witness to the accident.
“We spoke with Melody Cutter about this, but she doesn't recall the incident. We got a statement from her manager, Mr. Porter, though. 'We passed by immediately following the accident, we never saw the accident itself though. It was clear the owner was shouting something, but we were in a hurry so we didn't bother stopping.'”
“... So Mr. Owens recognised the idol singer Melody Cutter inside the car.”
“That's right. She has quite a distinctive look. Owens contacted Melody Cutter's agency countless times seeking a witness statement, but was continually refused. The agency considered the constant calls to be a prank caller. After all, Melody Cutter had not actually witnessed an accident.”
“... I see.”
“However, Owens believed she was deliberately avoiding providing a statement. That a dog's life was far too trivial and bothersome to involve herself with... He simply made these assumptions about Melody Cutter's character.”
“That's quite a baseless grudge.”
“Mm. It was quite convenient to Owens that she used a knife in her performance. He could kill Ukulfaskul and frame Cutter for it... He planned the live event specifically to kill both birds with one stone.”
“... How terrible.”
“Then it turned out that Ms. Cutter was actually being blackmailed by Ukulfaskul. Hearing this from inside the locker, Owens practically jumped for joy. Everything was going his way, as if a divine force were supporting him.”
“–Divine punishment, huh?”
I recalled the position Mr. Ukulfaskul's corpse was posed in. Owens had put the body into that pose after committing the murder.
I remembered what he said to me.
(... When the truth is buried in darkness and evil people slip through the law's net, living carefree lives... It's quite unforgivable...)
“Owens was unable to overlook it. He rendered punishment in place of the gods upon the man who killed his dog and ran...”
Edgeworth gave a surprisingly quick response to my mumbling.
“Punishment rendered by humans can never be considered divine.”
“It's still a heinous crime. No matter what his reasons were.”
“Criminals should receive their judgement in the hands of the law, not through personal vengeance.”
“... Yeah.”
His phrasing was somewhat stiff, but Edgeworth's words embedded themselves deeply.
Despite being in a dark age of the law... Or rather, because of this era, I have to keep pressing onwards.
I need to use the official laws – to ensure fair judgements.

[June 23, 12:20 PM: Burger Shop]

Upon my return to the office, we all went out to the local burger shop.
“The burger after solving a case! Nothing beats it!”
Athena's voice boomed.
“Agreed. It really is the best.”
Apollo had quite an appetite worked up. Trucy made her order first.
“Cheeseburger, with extra cheese!”
“I'll have a bacon burger then.”
While we waited for the burgers, Trucy addressed me in an unusually formal manner.
“Nice work, daddy. Thank you so much. You saved Melody.”
“I was just doing my job as an attorney. Anyway...”
I momentarily found myself lost for words.
The case has been resolved, but Ms. Cutter's real trials are only beginning. With her father's cheating brought to light, society may start looking down on her. She may not be able to maintain her image as a bright and cheerful idol.
Trucy picked up on my concern. Her expression became somewhat melancholy.
– But then it happened.
Some incredibly bubbly music began to play. It was coming from the TV mounted under the store's ceiling.
On the screen was a close up of Ms. Cutter with a great smile.
She had her knife in one hand and a melon in the other. Next to her was a dressed up table. As she sang, Ms. Cutter tossed the melon up in the air.
The next moment she brandished her knife in the blink of an eye.
She sliced the melon to pieces in mid air...?
No, that's not right. The melon was on a plate on the table, carved into the shape of a beautiful flower.
Ms. Cutter flashed a smile and took a pose.
Apollo murmured in a daze.
I was shocked too. It was my first time seeing it, her technique was even more incredible than I'd imagined... I guess that's the result of three hours practice every day.
“Melody seems to be in top form! What a relief!”
Athena boomed.
“Seems we don't have to worry.”
Trucy was pleased.
I was more overwhelmed than relieved. That's a top idol for you... No ordinary person would have the inner strength to smile like that after everything.
The order arrived.
“Here, thanks for waiting.”
The store's owner said, placing our burgers in front of us.
“Thank you. Time to eat!”
I was about to dig in...
But I stopped.
“... Wh-what is this!?”
Trucy, Athena and Apollo also paused.
The owner spoke looking at the TV.
“Melody sure is impressive... Fightin' against a blackmailin' demon to cover for her old man... Seein' her smile with such strength... It's a real inspiration...”
The owner wiped his tears.
... I see. Ms. Cutter's courage had grabbed him by the heart. It seems the match fixing scandal may have actually increased her fanbase.
As I opened my mouth, he quickly cut me off.
“Oh, but her old man on the other hand. To discover that big match was actually fixed, I can't forgive him for that. I'd like to give him a taste o' my own uppercut finisher!”
N-no, don't. He'd probably kick your ass.
“But his daughter is innocent. It just makes me wanna cheer Melody on... So I decided to put some practice into my fruit cuttin'...”
“Uh, well... About... that...”
My bacon burger has a rabbit shaped apple as a topping!
“My burger has a kiwi rose in it...” Trucy said.
“I've got a heart shaped strawberry!” Athena added.
“I've got a baby chick made of... pineapple.” Apollo responded.
“... Heheh.”

The owner puffed up with pride.
“I ain't as good as Melody... but I put my heart into those. Consider those toppings on the house, enjoy your meal.”
... Maybe I'd be happy if he'd carved a pickle instead.
The four of us glared at the owner with sullen eyes.
“What's with that look? If you wanna say something, then say it.”
The four of us shouted together.