I moved myself a bit, and looked at Claudia head-on. There, I finally found the identity of what had been rattling all this time.
To the point, I had been convinced she was trying to break the cuffs on her hands, but that was wrong. While it’s true there was a red line around her wrists showing that she had tried to break her handcuffs a number of times, what stood out most was the unconscious tapping of her feet.
“A sudden irregular movement of the body is called a tic. I’m sure everyone’s seen it at least once in their lives. But perhaps you won’t have an opportunity in your everyday life to see it break out so incessantly.”
“Break out, you say?”
Come to think of, since the start of this trial, I’d heard Claudia’s voice leak out a number of times.
So those… weren’t her trying to threaten anyone.
“But to contain her safety blanket syndrome, she’ll need her plushy or blanket, right?”
“To be more precise, it will return her sense of security. To a child, it doesn’t matter what their symbol of peace is. For every child tormented by anxiety in the absence of their plushy, there’s one that can never part from his mother. Both stuffed animals and mothers become symbols of security to the child.”
“The defendant, this girl doesn’t have anything of the sort.”
“No, she does. Though she doesn’t have it at this moment, she never let it leave her side as she assisted the investigation, and she held it so dearly she’d put up a desperate resistance whenever it was force out of her hands.”
What’s that. No, I realized it a while back.
“The defendant has lived her whole life in a forest where exceedingly dangerous monsters loiter about. Naturally, her mental strain and insecurities can’t be compared to any normal human. To her, the symbol that can restore her sense of security, that is…”
… Give it back, she had sincerely pleaded in the visiting room.
“Her weapon. To her, while being something to attack with, her sword was also the plushy and blanket of her childhood. Meaning it’s an existence like that of a mother.”
Prosecutor Schaefer exchanged a look with the prosecutorial assistant beside her. And with movements as if they had discussed it beforehand, the assistant took out the holy sword Blutgang from under the desk.
Just as I had seen in the documents, no to an even greater extent, it was a sloppy sword. There were conspicuous black smudges scattered over the scabbard, and a portion of the guard had chipped away. The grip was covered in deep fingerprints, and without the sublimity one would expect from a holy sword, it looked more accurate to call it junk or trash.
From the eyes of a normal person, it looked plain dull. But to Claudia, that was the holy sword more important than anything in the world.
Prosecutor Schaefer carefully placed the sword atop the desk. Conveying just right the vestiges it was the stuffed animal that had spent many a year beside her.