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Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2017-03-25 04:48 pm

Chapter 4: The Trial Finally Begins! (Japanese terminology)

[March 14, 9:37 AM: District Court – Defendant Lobby No. 3]

Minuki shouted right in my face. I instinctively took a step back.
Minuki flipped her cape and spoke holding her silk hat.
“Vocal training, daddy. That's the first thing you say in a trial, right? 'The defence is ready, Your Honor.'”
“Yeah... Your point being...?”
“First impressions are important. Like with a magic act, you need a good trick to hook the audience in right at the start. Which is why you should do some vocal training.”
“I'm fine, I don't need to do that.”
Come to think of it, Odoroki-kun did 'vocal training' every day. His natural speaking voice was loud enough that I don't really think it's necessary, but Odoroki-kun always did his vocal training with vigour.
“Let's do it, Naruhodo-san! It's Odoroki-senpai's trial, so we should do things Odoroki-senpai's way!”
Kokone-chan shouted with a pumped up expression.
“Th-that's a little too loud, Kokone-chan.”
“Come on, do it with me, Naruhodo-san!”
“I'll do it too! Here we go!”
... Good grief.
Their loud voices were giving me a headache, but their passion got through to me. They were also desperate to win an aquittal for Odoroki-kun.
“Join us, Naruhodo-san...”
“No, I'll be fine without it. I'm ready to go without practice.”
I stated matter of factly as Minuki stared at me blankly.
“It's gives us hope, daddy. I feel like at this rate we'll get the aquittal we deserve!”
Hope...? About 90% of my hopes are all held together by bluffs...
I'll be fine. I've gotten out of tighter spots than this before.
I just need to believe in my client to the bitter end and go in all guns blazing.

[Same Day, 10:00 AM: District Court – Courtroom No. 3]

The trial is finally beginning.
Naturally, the judge is sitting at the highest point in the courtroom. The prosecution and defence take up positions on opposite sides of the courtroom.
The prosecution tries to prove the defendant's guilt. While the defence pleads for the defendant's innocence. Both parties present evidence and witnesses and point out contradictions in each other's arguments in order to reach the truth. Then the final verdict is handed down by the judge.
Normally the judge would go straight into the court proceedings, but today he made a small preface with an odd expression.
“Oh my, what a surprise. I never thought that the attorney Odoroki would be on trial...”
I spoke with my chest puffed.
“It is possible for anyone to become a suspect in a crime. Even the innocent. That is why we have trials to determine the truth.”
I thought I'd made a pretty cool statement there – But an even cooler line came from the prosecution.
“Right on. Only the sweet melody known as truth can produce a clear sound without any distortion.”
The judge widened his eyes as he looked as the prosecution.
“A clear... sound, you say? You speak as if it were a piece of music.”
“Of course. I can't imagine having a trial with no music.”
The prosecutor closed his eyes as he played some riffs on an air guitar.
No, I don't think a trial requires music... is the response I'd like to give right now, if not for all the swooning in the gallery. By the way, the viewing gallery is completely filled with women today.
The prosecution is being represented by Prosecutor Kyouya Garyuu today. He's a tough opponent.
At first glance, you'd think Prosecutor Garyuu was a rock star rather than a prosecutor. Anyway, he's showy, flashy and good looking. In fact until recently he was both a prosecutor and musician as the head of the band 'Garyuu Wave', but due to certain circumstances the band has since been disbanded. Now he's a full time prosecutor. However his love and passion for music still seems to be going strong.

When he's prosecuting a case, his female fans turn up in droves. While the gallery's reactions have no influence on the verdict, it does make things harder.
“Don't let the fangirls bother you, Naruhodo-san!”
Kokone-chan encouraged me with clenched fists. Kokone-chan was at the defence bench with me as my assistant.
“Your looks don't matter in court. Neither does your musical ability. It's the thought that counts!”
... Yeah, I'm not sure that's quite right.
The judge was slightly taken aback having little familiarity with rock, but he regained his composure and solemnly banged his gavel.
“Court is now in session for the trial of Housuke Odoroki.”
“The defence is ready, Your Honor.”
“The prosecution is okay.”
“Prosecutor Garyuu, you may give your opening statement.”
Prosecutor Garyuu nodded and snapped his fingers.
“Okay, time to play the intro to this trial. The stage of the incident is the hand luggage checking area at Umibeno Airport. The only ones lined up for inspection were the victim, Masamichi Uranashi, and the defendant, Housuke Odoroki. The defendant stabbed the victim with an ice pick and the victim shouted as he collapsed. The tip of the ice pick used as the weapon was covered in a lethal dose of poison.”
The judge gave a deep nod.
“Hmm... Sounds like a simple case.”
“That's right. And a simple melody needs a strong beat.”
“Beat... I see... What... do you mean by that?”
The judge didn't really have any understanding of musical terminology.
Prosecutor Garyuu spoke.
“And so, I'll summon my first witness to provide the hot beat of testimony!”
... Just say that from the beginning. The judge finally regained his understanding.
“Ah, I see. Then summon the witness to the stand.”
The one who took the witness stand was the baggage inspection officer.

“My name is Shuuto Naisu. I work as a hand luggage inspection officer at Umibeno Airport.”
The inspection officer began his testimony in the same apathetic lifeless way as anything else.

The judge made an enquiry.
“So, an inspection officer. That means you're the person who does a body check whenever the metal detector goes off... I always get caught up in those.”
... It seems the judge always forgets to remove his belongings.
“There's a number of positions among inspection officers. Like being in charge of the metal detector or looking at the contents of people's bags on the x-ray machine. My role is direct inspection.”
“Direct... inspection?”
“I open the passengers bags and confirm the contents with my own eyes.”
Prosecutor Garyuu made his own elaboration.
“There were a number of inspection officers in the area, but Naisu-san was the only one with sufficient proximity to witness the event. The other officers were all at their own posts and didn't get caught up in the incident. Which is why we have Naisu-san as our witness.”
“I see. Please tell us about what you saw.”
At the judge's encouragement, Naisu-san began to speak.
“I was behind the inspection counter like always, inspecting people's baggage. The only people on the other side of the counter were Uranashi-san and the defendant. All the other passengers had finished their inspection and were in the departure lobby. There were no issues with Uranashi-san's luggage, so I let him on ahead. The next moment, the defendant rushed in on Uranashi-san. Uranashi-san shouted 'Waah, stop!' and suddenly collapsed. I was surprised, so I came around the counter to assist Uranashi-san. The passengers in the lobby rushed over to help him too... But Uranashi-san had been stabbed in the side and was bleeding. He'd passed out and was convulsing... We were too late.”
The judge let out a deep sigh.
“For a politician who dedicated his life to the betterment of his city to meet such an end. It's such a shame.”
“Indeed. For such a man of the people to have been killed... I'll never forgive the defendant.”
The was Naisu-san spoke sounded somewhat forced. It may just be my imagination though...
No, my imagination isn't going to break his testimony. I need to gently press him in order to find some contradictions.
I went straight into the cross examination.
“My client told me that right after picking up the ice pick that had fallen at his feet, Uranashi-san collapsed and he tried to support him. Though your testimony paints a different picture.”
“That's obviously because the defendant was lying.”
“Did you see when the defendant picked up the ice pick?”
“I didn't. Which means it never happened.”
... Hmm.
I believe that Odoroki-kun wouldn't lie to me about this. Which means... there's got to be something fishy about Naisu-san's testimony.
“Perhaps you were looking the other way or distracted by something else? As such, you missed the moment when he picked the ice pick up?”
“Absolutely not.”
Naisu-san denied it with a sneer.
“If I zoned out like that, I wouldn't be fit for the role of inspection officer. If I overlooked anything dangerous, it'd be a disaster. I have all five senses going at all times during my work. I wouldn't miss anything that happened right in front of me.”
... Well, I can't begrudge his work ethic... But if he's telling the truth, it's downright unnatural that he didn't see Odoroki-kun pick up the ice pick...
Kokone-chan whispered to me.
“Naruhodo-san, isn't there something odd about his testimony there? There's just one thing that doesn't add up...”
“Yeah, I noticed too.”
I nodded and looked to Naisu-san.
“Naisu-san, may you describe what you saw in detail once again?”
“Again? Why? No matter how many times I say it, my story won't change.”
“Indulge me.”
Naisu-san begrudgingly went over his testimony again.
“I clearly saw the defendant attack Uranashi-san. Uranashi-san shouted 'Woah, that hurt!' and collapsed...”
I cut the testimony off. Naisu-san clammed up in shock.
“You previously stated that Uranashi-san shouted 'Waah, stop!'. But this time you claimed he shouted 'Woah, that hurt!'. So which one is it?”
“Eh... Uh... W-well... That's...”
Naisu-san was beginning to lose his cool. Alright, I've got a reaction.
“I made a mistake earlier. That's right, I remember clearly now. Uranashi-san shouted 'Woah, that hurt!' before he fell.”
“Is that so? According to the defendant, 'Woah, what are you doing?' is what Uranashi-san shouted.”
“... Eh...”
Naisu-san's demeanour changed completely from his previous lifelessness. He had lost his cool and his gestures became exaggerated.
“That's right. Yeah, that was it. I just didn't remember it clearly.”
“Naisu-san. You told us with great confidence earlier that 'I have all five senses going at all times during my work'. If that is truly the case, why is your memory on what the victim shouted so vague? Could it be you really were zoned out at the time...”
“Ri-ridiculous! That's pure slandeeer!”
Naisu-san shouted completely losing his composure as he pulled something yellow from his pocket.
“Yellow card! I-I'm penalising you for doubting my work ethic.”
“But your memories are clearly a jumble.”
“N-no. It's just that... Oh yeah, at the time Uranashi-san shouted, there was also a loud voice coming from the lobby. So I didn't hear him clearly.”
“A loud voice in the lobby...?” Whose voice was it?”
“It wasn't one person. It was a bunch of people raising their voice at once. It was those voices that drowned out Uranashi-san's scream. That's why my memory of it is vague!”
“Why were people shouting in the lobby?”
“Because the shot went in obviously!”
Naisu-san shouted, unable to contain himself. His eyes began to shine...
“The TV in the lobby was airing a soccer match! Neither team had made any progress and the game went into overtime at nil all. The opposing team were launching a fierce attack when they countered! Using short passes, they overcame the enemy's powerful defence! Just when it seemed all hope was lost, they went in with a miraculous long shoot!”
As he shouted, Naisu-san was kicking his feet up in the air. It was like he was playing soccer right there.
“The moment after the ball entered the goal, the whistle signalling the end of the match rang out! Who wouldn't shout at the conclusion of such an intense match? Even I almost forgot I was supposed to be working and wanted to let out... a... shout...”
Naisu-san realised his fatal mistake. He went pale and huddled up.
I spoke nice and slow.
“It sounds like you were quite absorbed in watching the game.”
“Eh... Ah... Uuugh...”
“From the way you were speaking, it sounds like you didn't only see the goal, you were watching the whole match.”
“Ugh... Oof... Oooogh...”
“Which means you were blowing off your work to watch the TV in the lobby? It seems the only thing your five senses were focused on... were the soccer match!”
Naisu-san clutched his head and fell to his knees. He whispered his excuses in a frail voice.
“Soccer is my whole life... I've gotten caught up in matches and screwed up my job several times already... They said if I screwed up again I'd be fired... So I couldn't tell the truth...”
I turned to Prosecutor Garyuu. I could practically hear his teeth grinding as he glared at me in frustration.
“It's quite clear that Naisu-san's testimony cannot be taken at face value. Which means we have to re-examine this case from scratch. Let's say that the defendant picked up an ice pick that had fallen on the floor, just as he claims. Let's see how the story changes.”
I carefully built my provisional scenario.
“The true culprit approached the victim and swiftly stabbed him, dropping the ice pick used as the weapon on the floor. The defendant then innocently picked it up. At which point, the victim collapsed...”
Prosecutor Garyuu shouted sharply, having regained his composure.
“That's odd though. The victim screams and collapses several seconds after he was stabbed. Isn't that unlikely?”
True, that point is a mystery.
First the victim was stabbed, then Odoroki-kun picked up the weapon, then immediately after that the victim collapsed... The order of events seems off.
Why is that? After thinking it through, I settled on a theory.
“The ice pick was coated in poison. The poison caused numbness at the moment the victim was stabbed, meaning he didn't feel anything at the time. But a few seconds later he finally realised that he had been stabbed...”
An incredibly loud voice echoed through the courtroom. But what surprised me wasn't just how loud the voice was. But it came from an unexpected source.
“O... Odoroki-kun...!?”
Odoroki-kun's usual lively voice came from the defendant's seat.
I wasn't the only one dumbfounded.
The judge spoke with his eyes wide.
“Odoroki-kun. You're the defendant in this trial. Not an attorney.”
“Of course, I know that. But Naruhodou-san's theory is wrong.”
Odoroki-kun spoke clearly as he stood up.
... Odoroki-kun... What are you doing...?
The judge shook his head with a fierce expression.
“The defendant isn't permitted to outbursts like this. If you have something to say then you should consult your attorney first.”
“I don't mind.”
The one who said this was Prosecutor Garyuu.
He continued, looking at Odoroki-kun with an amused expression.
“The only thing we're after here is the truth. I think we should be willing to hear Forehead-kun out.”
Forehead-kun is Prosecutor Garyuu's nickname for Odoroki-kun. Odoroki-kun does have quite a forehead, so it's fitting.
“... I suppose so. If the prosecutor has no objections... then I'll let it slide.”
The judge had a blank stare as he granted Odoroki-kun permission to speak.
Unlike other prosecutors, Prosecutor Garyuu puts great importance on 'uncovering the truth'.
For many prosecutors, the truth is merely a secondary concern to getting a guilty verdict.
Their main concern is improving their reputation at the prosecutor's office.
But Prosecutor Garyuu is different. He has a pure and simple desire to uncover the truth. I admire the way he clings to having justice served, even when it involves testimony detrimental to the prosecution's case.
But that's precisely what makes him a fierce opponent... His single minded desire for the truth, while admirable, means that he never lets up in his pursuit.
Odoroki-kun confidently took the witness stand.
“Naruhodou-san's theory is wrong. After all, I was standing right behind the victim the whole time. I can confirm that nobody else came near him at that time.”
The judge spoke with a look of disbelief.
“So basically, no one other than yourself had an opportunity to commit the crime... Are you admitting your guilt?”
Odoroki-kun have his head a big shake.
“I'm not the culprit. I can attest to that. However, no other people approached the victim. I can attest to that as well.”
“But that... sounds like a contradiction...”
The judge spoke to Prosecutor Garyuu with bewilderment.
“Anyway, I think we should hear Forehead-kun's testimony in full. If he tells any lies to hide his guilt, I'll uncover them no matter what.”
“Alright, understood. If you could give us your testimony, Forehead-kun.”
The name caught on with the judge.
After requesting “Please don't call me Forehead-kun.”, Odoroki-kun began his testimony.
“I was lined up behind Uranashi-san so I could have my hand luggage checked. Just as I placed the bag I was taking on board on the counter, something fell down by my feet. I picked it up without thinking. I thought the man in front of me – Uranashi-shi had dropped it. The next moment, Uranashi-shi turned around and shouted 'Woah! What are you doing!?' before collapsing. I was shocked and tried to support his fall, but I underestimated his force and fell on my butt. The inspection officer behind the counter and people from the departure lobby ran over to help Uranashi-shi. People started to look at me and shout 'He's the culprit, apprehend him' and so I was arrested.”
... The same story I heard at the detention center.
The judge spoke.
“No matter how I look at it, you seem to be the culprit.”
“I'm not. All I did was pick up a fallen ice pick and try to support Uranashi-shi.”
“However... There's no-one else other than yourself who could have stabbed him, is there...?”
The judge cocked his head.
... There's just one suspect. One person who could've gotten close enough to touch the victim.
He could've stabbed the victim at that specific time...
It would allow me to confirm the theory 'the poison caused numbness at the moment the victim was stabbed, meaning he didn't feel anything at the time' which I suggested earlier.
Despite Odoroki-kun's claim that 'nobody else came near him at that time', it's only natural he wouldn't be willing to suspect a friend.
If I cast suspicion on him, I may trample over Odoroki-kun's friendship.
But – My only option is to seek out the truth.
“Your Honor. Before the defendant picked up the ice pick, there was one person who had opportunity to stab the victim.”
Odoroki-kun's expression stiffened as I spoke.
The judge enquired.
“Oho? And who might that be?”
“There was someone who spoke to the victim before he went to the hand luggage inspection station. That person may have used a hidden weapon to stab the victim.”
Prosecutor Garyuu responded.
“So the victim just kept walking oblivious and happened to collapse while his bag was being examined? Nobody could be that oblivious to such an injury.”
“It's possible.”
The judge stated.
“Why, just exercising has me feeling muscle cramps three days later.”
... Well, the judge is getting pretty old...
I shook my head.
“This isn't like a muscle cramp. Under normal circumstances, anyone would immediately realise when they've been stabbed. But Uranashi-san's case is special.”
“Special... How so?”
“The tip of the weapon was coated with poison!”
I stated forcefully.
“The poison may have numbed Uranashi-san's sense of pain. Meaning he wouldn't have noticed that he had been stabbed. He went to the hand luggage inspection station as if nothing had happened, and when he finally noticed he shouted 'What are you doing?' and collapsed!”
“In... Incredible!”
The judge raised his voice. It seemed as if the judge accepted my theory, but...
Prosecutor Garyuu shut me down immediately.
“Ain't possible, dude.”
“Why not? If the poison acted upon his nerves, it's entirely possible that...”
“Just look at the results of the poison's analysis. It's the kind of deadly poison that would kill a man before he even has the chance to go numb!”
... Huh.
Nobody filled me in on that...
“The victim would be dead within a few seconds of the poison entering the body. It takes one second to begin entering fits and lose the ability to speak. It takes two seconds to stop breathing. Three seconds and their heart stops. That's the kind of poison we're dealing with.”
The judge trembled.
“How horrifying!”
“Yeah, that's right. The suggestion that after being stabbed with the ice pick, Uranashi-shi was able to walk several steps to the hand luggage examination before collapsing... It's an impossible scenario!”
“Wh... Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa...aat!?”
I let out a pathetic scream.
What a predicament.
My theory that Meguru-san could have been the culprit crumbled immediately.
The theory I had put all my deduction into was worthless...

Prosecutor Garyuu closed his eyes as he spoke.
“I was planning to tell you earlier when you first offered the theory that 'the poison numbed his sense of pain'. But Forehead-kun cut in with his 'Objection', robbing me of the chance. I apologise for the wasted time.”
He coolly played his air guitar... Ugh... He pisses me off.
Kokone-chan whispered to me as I wallowed.
“Naruhodo-san. I just remembered something.”
Still reeling from the shock, I looked to Kokone-chan with hollow eyes.
“... You remembered something? What is it...”
“The counter is to the right of the passengers.”
Yeah... That's true.
“That's right. So what?”
“Odoroki-senpai was placing his bag on the counter to his right. Which means he was most likely holding the bag with his right hand. So when he picked up the fallen item...”
“... Ah, I get it!”
I felt like a ray of sunshine had broken through the clouds in my heart.
That's our Kokone-chan. She picks up on the fine details.
I raised my hand and sought permission to make a statement.
“Defendant. Which hand did you pick up the ice pick with?”
“... Eh?”
Odoroki-kun gave a clear answer, despite his bewildered expression.
“My left hand. I had my bag in my right hand, so I used my left hand to pick it up.”
“I suggest we take a look at the autopsy report.”
I looked at the document in my hand.
“It says the victim was 'stabbed on his left side'. But if the victim was stabbed the moment he turned around, then this doesn't make any sense!”
The defendant – Odoroki-kun, had picked up the ice pick with his left hand.
If he were to stab the victim from his position, the wound would be on the right side.
“We only have the defendant's claim that the ice pick was in his left hand. Is there any proof it was in his left hand?”
“Prosecutor Garyuu, take a look at the analysis on the weapon.”
I spoke quietly.
“The only fingerprints found on the ice pick were from the defendant's left hand.”
“... Eh... Ah!”
Prosecutor Garyuu's calm expression twisted.
... Alright.
Thanks to Kokone-chan's nice assist, we've won back a few points.
However, Prosecutor Garyuu immediately began his rebuttal.
“A trivial matter. It would indeed be strange for the wound to be on his left side if stabbed head on, but it was all quite sudden. It's possible the victim was stabbed before he fully turned around. Which means there's nothing strange about his wound being on the left.”
I gave a composed nod.
“I'll concede that's possible. But there's also another possibility in the mix.”
“... Another possibility? And what might that be?”
“Nobody witnessed the victim's position the moment he was stabbed. Therefore–”
I paused before continuing.
“It's possible that at the time the victim had not yet been stabbed!”
My words caused a great commotion in the courtroom.
The judge, Prosecutor Garyuu and even Odoroki-kun looked dumbfounded.
But I had confidence.
When the victim shouted and collapsed, only Odoroki-kun was beside him. And I know Odoroki-kun isn't the killer.
Meguru-san seemed the most suspicious, but with the effects of the poison known, he's not a viable suspect.
Which means – this is the only path that makes sense. Despite how ridiculous it may seem.
The judge spoke.
“The victim wasn't stabbed, you say? But he was found dead from a stab wound!”
“The ice pick the defendant picked up isn't the real murder weapon. It was a dummy prepared by the culprit. The real stabbing occurred afterwards. When the other people came running over to try and wake him!”
Silence suddenly enveloped the court.
A silence which was broken by the judge's voice.
“... What is the meaning of this?”
“Please look at the autopsy report. The wound wasn't very deep, not something that would typically be fatal. What killed the victim was a poison that acts within a matter of seconds. Which means...”
I slammed the defence bench as I raised my voice.
“There was no need to seriously wound the victim to kill him. The slightest scratch... even from something as small as a needle, would kill him if the tip was covered in poison. A weapon that small could easily be hidden within someone's sleeve. So while they were pretending to try and rouse the victim, it would've been possible to stab him with a poisoned needle...”
“Come on, you're not serious are you!?”
Prosecutor Garyuu laughed.
“Isn't that just a little far fetched? Listen up, the victim shouted and collapsed. That was before anyone ran over to him. Isn't it obvious to think he's already been stabbed?”
“Not at all.”
I shook my head.
“Recall Naisu-san's testimony, a spectacular goal had just been scored in the soccer match being broadcast on TV. Uranashi-san shouting 'What are you doing?' wasn't related to him being stabbed. He instinctively shouted in response to the match ending goal. It's quite likely that...”
I extended my hand out in front of myself, pointing at the prosecution.
“He was a fan of the losing team!”
The gallery erupted. I puffed up with pride.
... I've got great confidence in my ability to bluff my way through a trial.
If I show any nervousness, I'm sunk.
“Ridiculous. Then how do you explain how he collapsed?”
“His favourite team just suffered a horrible loss. The sheer shock made him feel faint.”
“Good grief, are you actually serious?”
Prosecutor Garyuu shook his head.
“Then tell me. What was Uranashi-shi's catch phrase?”
“... Catch phrase...?”
Kokone-chan whispered to me as I was thinking.
“You know, Naruhodo-san. That detergent slogan!”
“Ah, yeah. I believe it was 'Bringing a dazzling white shine to all!'...”
“Yeah, that's true. But there's a second one as well. 'Great health for a long life!'”
... Eh. What the heck?
Prosecutor Garyuu laughed triumphantly.
“It's a phrase well known by the people of Umibeno city. The victim Uranashi-shi was the picture of great health. The fact he didn't have any health issues despite being 67 years old was one of his appealing points. Image is very important for politicians. It's ridiculous to suggest that a man in such peak condition would collapse over the result of a soccer match!”
... It was a solid statement... But I couldn't afford to back down.
“The victim was in good health... I'll acknowledge that. But even healthy people can feel run down if they're short on sleep or something. The shock of his favourite team losing may have hit Uranashi-san when he wasn't feeling his best leading to his collapse!”
“Objection! So on the day that Uranashi-shi just happens to collapse due to feeling under the weather, a person who runs over to assist him just happens to stab him with a preprepared poison needle? Sheer nonsense!”
Prosecutor Garyuu made a glamorous gesture with one hand. His fangirls in the gallery all sighed.
“Are you forgetting the rules of the airport?”
“... Eh?”
“Don't get it? All the people who came running over after noticing something was wrong were in the departure lobby. Which means that all of them had gone through the metal detector.”
“Eh.... Ah!”
I turned pale as I realised my oversight.
“The killer hid a needle up their sleeve? Impossible. No matter how small a metallic object is, the metal detector would pick it up. In other words – it's quite clear the people in the departure lobby could not have concealed weapons. It was impossible for them to commit the crime!”
Ugh... Uwaaargh...
I screwed up. I can't believe I missed something so obvious.
It's just as Prosecutor Garyuu said. All the people in the lobby had already gone through the metal detector. No matter how small the needle, the metal detector would have reacted.
Which means they couldn't have had a concealed weapon. This could be decisive.
Nobody other than Odoroki-kun could have possessed a weapon...
N-No. I can't give up yet. Think... I have to think. Is there any way to have carried the weapon without setting off the metal detector?
Maybe it was hidden inside the cloth... Or the power to the metal detector was cut...
No, that doesn't work. The machine wouldn't be tricked by having it concealed that way. And they'd notice immediately if the power had been cut.
The judge cut in on my silence.
“... Have you no rebuttal? Then it seems we have reached our conclusion. All the passengers in the lobby had been checked by the metal detector and had no hidden weapons. Which means only the defendant was capable of committing this crime...”
“Hold it!”
I squeezed out my voice. I can't end it here. Odoroki-kun couldn't possibly be guilty. Prosecutor Garyuu stared at me intently.
His eyes seemed as if they wanted me to come up with a counterargument.
But no matter how hard I think, I can't come up with a way to carry metal through the metal detector without it being discovered.
It's times like these... I need to turn my thinking around. I'm not trying to think of how to fool the metal detector. I'm thinking of a way to pass through the metal detector without giving up the weapon...!
At that moment I had an idea strike like lightning.
I turned and shouted at the judge about to bring down his gavel.
“The real weapon wasn't metallic. A sharp item made of plastic or wood dipped in the poison could have been the weapon!”
Prosecutor Garyuu looked at me with amusement.
“Well, you're still clinging on. As far as my investigation went, there didn't seem to be anyone with suspicious objects like that.”
“Not quite.”
A certain person's appearance came to mind. I leant forward as I spoke.
“There was someone among the passengers who had something that could be used as a weapon!”
“... What? Who is it?”
Prosecutor Garyuu furrowed his brow.
Kokone-chan seemed to recall as well. “Ah, her...!” she whispered as she looked at me.
I stood proudly.
“A woman named Jinguuji-san. The defence requests her testimony!”