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

Chapter 9: Truth of the incident (Japanese 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 Amamiya-san, the owner of a shopping mall living a comfortable life, feel the need to kill Chokkakkou-san? 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 Mitsurugi to let me into his office.
“–Amamiya-san confessed everything. His motive and method.”
Mitsurugi 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 Mitsurugi's office to be a welcoming place anyway.
“What was his motive?”
Mitsurugi stated bluntly as he flipped through documents, not even glancing at me.
“About a year ago, Amamiya-san's dog was killed by a motorbike while he was on a walk. It was a hit and run, but Amamiya-san hired a detective, handed out fliers and did various other things to track down the culprit.”
“... So the culprit...?”
“Yes. It was Chokkakkou.”
I recall Amamiya-san 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 Amamiya-san. 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 Amamiya-san. Which lead to him planning out his murder scheme.”
“... And the reason Momogaya-san was framed...”
“Undue resentment due to a misunderstanding.”
Mitsurugi 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. Sumomo Momogaya.”
Good grief. So Momogaya-san was a witness to the accident.
“We spoke with Sumomo Momogaya about this, but she doesn't recall the incident. We got a statement from her manager, Sasae-san, 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 Amamiya-san recognised the idol singer Sumomo Momogaya inside the car.”
“That's right. She has quite a distinctive look. Amamiya contacted Sumomo Momogaya'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, Sumomo Momogaya had not actually witnessed an accident.”
“... I see.”
“However, Amamiya 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 Sumomo Momogaya's character.”
“That's quite a baseless grudge.”
“Mm. It was quite convenient to Amamiya that she used a knife in her performance. He could kill Chokkakkou and frame Momogaya for it... He planned the live event specifically to kill both birds with one stone.”
“... How terrible.”
“Then it turned out that Momogaya-san was actually being blackmailed by Chokkakkou. Hearing this from inside the locker, Amamiya practically jumped for joy. Everything was going his way, as if a divine force were supporting him.”
“–Divine punishment, huh?”
I recalled the position Chokkakkou-san's corpse was posed in. Amamiya 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...)
“Amamiya was unable to overlook it. He rendered punishment in place of the gods upon the man who killed his dog and ran...”
Mitsurugi 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 Mitsurugi'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: Ramen Shop]

Upon my return to the office, we all went out to the local ramen shop.
“The ramen after solving a case! Nothing beats it!”
Kokone-chan's voice boomed.
“Agreed. It really is the best.”
Odoroki-kun had quite an appetite worked up. Minuki made her order first.
“Miso ramen, with extra pork!”
“I'll have tonkotsu then.”
While we waited for the ramen, Minuki addressed me in an unusually formal manner.
“Nice work, daddy. Thank you so much. You saved Sumomo-chan.”
“I was just doing my job as an attorney. Anyway...”
I momentarily found myself lost for words.
The case has been resolved, but Momogaya-san'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.
Minuki 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 Momogaya-san 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, Momogaya-san 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.
Momogaya-san flashed a smile and took a pose.
Odoroki-kun 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.
“Sumomo-chan seems to be in top form! What a relief!”
Kokone-chan boomed.
“Seems we don't have to worry.”
Minuki 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 bowls of ramen in front of us.
“Thank you. Time to eat!”
I split my chopsticks and was about to dig in...
But I stopped.
“... Wh-what is this!?”
Minuki, Kokone-chan and Odoroki-kun also paused.
The owner spoke looking at the TV.
“Sumomo-chan 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. Momogaya-san'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 Sumomo-chan on... So I decided to put some practice into my fruit cuttin'...”
“Uh, well... About... that...”
My tonkotsu ramen has a rabbit shaped apple as a topping!
“My ramen has a kiwi rose in it...” Minuki said.
“I've got a heart shaped strawberry!” Kokone-chan added.
“I've got a baby chick made of... pineapple.” Odoroki-kun responded.
“... Heheh.”

The owner puffed up with pride.
“I ain't as good as Sumomo-chan... 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 boiled egg 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.