thewrightway: (Default)
Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2017-03-10 08:41 pm

Chapter 3: Seeking Further Evidence (English terminology)

“I ate too much menma, I don't feel good.”
Athena complained rubbing her stomach as we left the store. I feel the same. The Flying Spaghetti Master's menma is great, but eating too much of it has given me heartburn.
“We haven't got our hands on anything other than menma. Ramon seemed like he was hiding something though...”
“Did your ears pick anything up from him?”
“Hmm, he seems to be afraid of something... I think. I could feel some kind of unease in the tone of his voice.”
I felt that too. He seemed to become unnaturally fidgety when I brought up the topic of Mr. Goodwin.
Was there some kind of trouble between Ramon and Mr. Goodwin? I'll need to uncover the details.
“We should head to Mr. Goodwin's office next. I'd like to hear from his secretary and office staff.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“The location of the office... is...”
I'd drawn a map with the address. I opened my bag to pull out the piece of paper out when something occurred.
I heard a lively voice.
“It's true! It was a totally awesome plane. You've never seen anything like it. It was like, a hundred times cooler than grandpa's plane!”
There were three young boys with backpacks talking as they walked. They were probably in... third or fourth grade. The boy in the middle was talking with great excitement.
The other two boys responded.
“No way~! Your grandpa's plane is awesome, Armen.”
“That's right. There's no way there's a plane cooler than his.”
“I thought so too until I saw it. It was pure black, super fast... I used to think grandpa's plane was the best in the whole world, but it couldn't stack up against that.”
The boy noticed us in front of the store and stopped talking to smile at us.
“Are you customers, pops? Thanks for your patronage~ Our ramen is great, right?”
“Eh...? Ah, you live here?”
“Yeah! Come again soon, we'll be sure to serve up plenty of our special menma!”
The boy gave us a wink. It was practised like a pop idol's wink.
His two friends said “Bye, Armen” and “See ya tomorrow” as they walked away while waving. Armen opened the door to the shop with vigour and called out “I'm back~” as he went inside.
Athena whispered to me after the door closed.
“Do you think... Ramon has a son... Or his little brother, perhaps?”
“Yeah, Apollo told me Ramon has a little brother. If I recall, their parents passed away and they live together with their grandfather.”
“Their grandfather... That's the 'predecessor' Ramon mentioned.”
We left the store and and followed the map I had drawn. The wind was strong as always.
“He said his grandpa has a plane. I was surprised to hear that.”
“Yeah, me too. I didn't think anyone could buy their own airplane unless they're ridiculously wealthy...”
I hate to say it, but 'The Flying Spaghetti Master' didn't really look like it was that popular. That it made enough to buy a plane was beyond my expectations.
Athena seemed to have the same opinion.
“There's people out there who sink everything they have into their hobbies. Like audiophiles who go into debt just to buy super high fidelity stereos and stuff...”
“I suppose so.”
“Or swimming maniacs who build a pool at home and don't even swim in it...”
“... I don't think that happens much.”
“Ramon's grandfather is probably that type of guy. The store is falling apart, but he has the plane of his dreams... a real romanticist!”
Athena held her hands together with a big smile.
Come to think of it, there were a lot of pictures of aircraft inside the shop. I suppose he's an aviation maniac through and through. I mean, he even called the shop 'The Flying Spaghetti Master'.
“I'd like to meet this grandfather if possible. Ramon told us that he's an old friend of Mr. Goodwin after all.”
“I wonder if he's out today? We should've asked Ramon more about his grandpa.”
“I'm not sure he was really in the mood to talk about it though...”
Anyway, our next destination was Mr. Goodwin's office. I looked at the sheet of paper with the map to check the location one more time.
“Hmm... So we turn left at the traffic lights up here...”
Then it happened.
A particularly fierce gust of wind took the paper from my hands.
“Ah, crap!”
The paper fluttered in the wind. Athena and I chased it in a panic.
“Hold iiiit.”
Athena raised her voice, but the paper didn't listen. The wind carried it at tremendous speed. There's no way we can...
Suddenly, the paper vanished from view.
“... Eh?”
We stopped in our tracks.
The paper had been caught by a thin old man. He gripped a butterfly net with both hands. He swung his katana... I mean, butterfly net, as if he were a samurai in a period drama, splendidly catching the paper.
The old man slowly lifted the net from the ground and removed the sheet of paper from it.

We ran over to thank him.
“Thank you so much. That memo is ours. The wind took it out of my hands...”
The old man suddenly let out a strange yell. Athena and I were taken aback.
For a small thin old man... that's quite a noise...
“Why you darn litterbugs! In the name of the sky, I will punish you!”
The old man swung his butterfly net with a dangerous look in his eye. Despite the fact that a net is unlikely to give you lasting injuries even if you are hit with it... his intensity was intimidating.
“I-I'm sorry. We didn't actually mean to drop it...”
“Whether you meant to or not, littering is littering! Litterbugs like yourselves just toss your trash anywhere and it gets blown into the sea! Which means it's scoundrels like who perform the heinous crime of polluting our beautiful oceans!”
It wasn't on purpose, but I can't deny that it was my fault. I lowered my head in apology.
– However, the absolutely fearless Athena spoke up with a bright curiosity on her face.
“Are there bugs around here?”
“... What?”
“You've got a really nice butterfly net, so I was wondering if there were any rare specimens of butterfly or grasshopper around here...”
That fierce noise once again. We were taken aback.
“This net ain't for catching bugs! It's to nicely catch the litter scattered about by dirty litterbugs like yourselves!”
“No matter how much trash you scoundrels toss, I'll nicely catch it all! You won't escape the judgement of my net!”
I guess this city has a litter problem. Well, I suppose with such strong winds all kinds of things blow about. I've got to commend this old guy for catching everything that flies by in his net...
The old man thrust the paper back at me.
“It's downright deplorable. As long as I, Alden Berger, am still alive and kicking, you litterbugs won't get away with your deeds!”
“... Berger?”
So this old man is...
But before I could confirm it with him, the old man noticed something. He saw the address I had written down.
“What? Goodwin's office? You're in cahoots with that corrupt politician then!”
“Eh? Corrupt, you say...”
“The man is a fraud preying on this town! Hmph, so you're his underlings, eh? It figures you'd be tossing your trash about the place!”
This is a huge misunderstanding.
But we've finally found someone willing to talk about Mr. Goodwin. And one who completely turns his good image on its head. This is potentially controversial testimony. It could be really helpful to our case.
“Are you by any chance the former proprietor of The Flying Spaghetti Master?”
The old man gave me a sharp glare as I made my enquiry.
“So what if I am!? I may have handed the business over to my grandson, but The Flying Spaghetti Master is my castle! We ain't serving our menma to underlings of that Goodwin fella!”
“You're mistaken. We're here to investigate yesterday's incident.”
“Police? I ain't got anything to say to you. Goodwin got what was coming to him!”
“I'd like to hear more about that. What I've heard indicates the public opinion on Mr. Goodwin was fairly positive and he was a respectable politician working for the people...”
“Nothing is respectable about his politics! I've known him since we were in grade school! The world wouldn't be able to stand having another filthy cheat like him. He's the king of cheaters!”
“Could we have some specifics...”
“It's a long story. In first grade he won a prize by submitting an essay written by his tutor. In second grade, he knocked over the fish tank in our classroom and blamed me for it. In third grade, on the day of our big clean up he feigned illness to take the day off. Then in fourth grade...”
“Ah... Um... I'm more interested in his political career than his childhood misdeeds...”
“There's plenty more! There's no end to that man's misdeeds!”
Suddenly a loud voice echoed and the old man cut himself off.
It was Ramon Berger. He was out of breath having run all the way here.
“Hm? Ramon? You've abandoned the shop...”
“There's no customers anyway. I heard from the neighbours that you were rampaging in the middle of the road shouting.”
“That's total codswallop! I ain't rampaging! In the name of the sky, I'm dishing out punishment...!”
“Stop shouting! It's because of your behaviour that we don't get any customers...”
Ramon grabbed his grandfather's hand and bowed his head to us.
“Sorry, Mr. Wright. It seems my predecessor has been causing you trouble.”
“He was no trouble at all. In fact, Alden had some interesting things to say...”
“... I'm sorry. We're leaving.”
Ramon pulled his grandfather along by the hand. Alden was oddly compliant with his grandson's actions.
“... There he goes. Our valuable source of information.”
Athena lamented as she watched the two of them depart.
“Seems like a cranky old coot. I'm not sure I'd feel safe flying with such a short tempered pilot.”
That's right, Armen had mentioned his grandpa's plane. Which means that Alden has his own personal aircraft.
“I wouldn't want to ride a plane with him... That aside, he really seems to hate Mr. Goodwin.”
“Sounds like Mr. Goodwin was a real problem child in school. Do you think he turned over a new leaf and became a respectable adult?”
“I don't know. Alden seems to believe his political career was built on fraud and deceit...”
“But he's the only one who seems to be of that opinion. Everyone else is singing his praises.”
“... Well, maybe we should just head to his office.”
I held on to the paper tight to make sure we didn't lose it a second time as we went to Goodwin's office.

[Same Day, 4:00 PM: Truman Goodwin's office]

Mr. Goodwin's office was on the main street not far from the station. It was the heart of this city.
The building his office was in was old fashioned and made of stone. The elevator was also old style.
“Pretty simple for a politician's office.”
Athena murmured. It wasn't what I was expecting either. He'd been a politician for many years, I was expecting something a little more grandiose.
When I knocked the door the response “Come in.” came from inside.
“Excuse us.”
I opened the door. The room wasn't particularly vast and there were desks and cabinets lined up neatly. Beyond that was a simple lounge suite.
There was a single man in the room. He was sat at a desk doing some kind of work, but stood up when he saw us.
He was wearing a sharp looking suit and metal framed glasses. His age was probably somewhere around 30. He seemed like a highly capable intellectual.

“Who might you be? I'm sure you've heard, but Mr. Goodwin is...”
“I hate to suddenly intrude. My name is Phoenix Wright, I'm a defence attorney.”
“Attorney...? Regarding the incident then...”
“That's right. I'm representing the suspect, Apollo Justice.”
The man nodded and offered his business card.
“I'm Terry Secker, I served as Mr. Goodwin's secretary. I'm still in shock that such an unbelievable incident happened. I've been so busy with the news coverage and people phoning in their sympathies... I haven't had a moment to pause.”
“Sorry to interrupt while you're busy. We were hoping we could get some details about the incident from you.”
“Of course.”
Mr. Secker guided us to the sofa.
As he served us tea, I nonchalantly surveyed the office.
The desks and cabinets were incredibly tidy. It's a far cry from out office which has stuff all over the place, magic props, a piano, fake food, etcetera.
On the wall was one of Mr. Goodwin's posters and a schedule. Most of the schedule was packed to the brim, but the rest was all blank after the words 'Business Trip' written for yesterday.
The photo on the poster showed him in the peak of health. He was apparently 67 when he died, but he looks a lot younger. The slogan 'Bringing a dazzling white shine to all!' was written beneath his smiling face.
“Sounds more like a slogan for a washing detergent than a politician.”
Athena whispered. She only meant for me to hear, but unfortunately Mr. Secker overheard her as he brought the tea.
“Washing detergent, eh? How interesting.”
Mr. Secker spoke with a smile as Athena blushed in embarrassment.
“No, not at all. I'm sure the boss would be overjoyed to hear such a comparison. A politician as clean as washing detergent – That was the boss's style.”
“I've heard he spent many years devoting himself to this city.”
Mr. Secker lowered his head in a deep nod in response to me.
“Indeed... It's such a shame. He was a great politician adored by the entire public... Why did he have to go like this...?”
“The entire public? I've heard evidence to the contrary though.”
I shot straight on the offensive. Mr. Secker made a doubtful enquiry.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I met someone who hates Mr. Goodwin with a passion. He made Mr. Goodwin out to be some kind of heartless monster.”
“Who was it? Who would take such a ridiculously unfounded...”
I naturally didn't want to give away his name, but Mr. Secker seemed to clue in immediately.
“Ah, right. The old man from The Flying Spaghetti Master, Mr. Alden Berger, isn't it?”
“That's just Mr. Berger's idea of a joke. Try not to take him too seriously.”
“A joke...?”
“He's got a sharp tongue. Despite what he says, Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Berger got along well. They've been best friends since before they even started school.”
Best friends...? That's not the impression I got.
“When Mr. Berger's ramen shop was going through a rough patch, Mr. Goodwin lent a hand to help out. I'm sure he's mourning Mr. Goodwin's death in his own way. He's known to be quite the contrarian though, so he's not willing to be honest with himself.”
“I see.”
I nodded.
“Why is it you think that Mr. Goodwin was killed? What motive did the killer have?”
“I'd like to know the answer myself.”
Mr. Secker looked straight at me.
“I have no idea why that young man – the suspect Mr. Justice, would hold murderous intent towards a fine politician like Mr. Goodwin. I was hoping you could explain it to me, Mr. Wright.”
“Apollo didn't do...”
Athena burst out unable to contain herself, but I stopped her.
At this point, there was no denying that Apollo was the prime suspect. Nothing we say here will clear his suspicion.
This isn't the place to prove Apollo's innocence. The courtroom is.
Mr. Secker spoke with a polite smile.
“I'm afraid I've nothing else I can say. Apologies I couldn't be of assistance.”
His phrasing was polite, but it was clear that 'I'm busy, so get lost.' was the true meaning behind his words. As expected of a politician's secretary, he was quite good at conveying his intent without any words... I felt an odd kind of admiration for this skill.
“Sorry to intrude without any warning.”
“Not at all. I hope the details come to light in court. When I visit his grave, I'd like for the boss to pass on with satisfaction.”
I signalled Athena with my eyes to keep her from saying anything and bowed.

In the end, we got nothing of any use in the vicinity of Seafield Airport.
Though a number of things still bug me. Mr. Goodwin's reputation is unnaturally clean. Yet nobody was willing to say anything about his death. The only person who seems to know about Mr. Goodwin's dark side is Alden. And perhaps Edgeworth, based on his attitude.
This case seems like it's going to be complicated.