“It’s simply the security blanket syndrome common to children. There are some people troubled by its symptoms even later in life. Even an adult who’s usually extremely calm and level-headed can find difficulty sleeping if their favorite stuffed animal, blanket or pillow isn’t beside them. That is a minor case. Of course, if it’s kept at that level, it won’t pose a problem to one’s everyday life, but if the condition is more severe, it may become impossible for one to even attempt to function normally without it.”
… Just like our defendant right now, or so Prosecutor Schaefer added on.
“If that’s the case,” I objected. “If that’s the case, then there’s even less a reason to seek legal responsibility from her. How does a person incapable of leading a regular everyday life draft up a levelheaded plan to kill another!? Even if this incident was something brought about by her, it couldn’t have been premeditated. It would have to be an accident.”
“Even if? There is no doubt the defendant attacked someone with this very sword. You’ve already seen the evidence.”
Erk, t-that is…
That previous footage revived in my head. Claudia raising her sword, tearing across the victim’s back, that form wasn’t one I could possibly forget.
I couldn’t’ say anything back.
“And one more thing. It’s true she suffers from a severe degree of safety blanket syndrome, but this condition only becomes a problem when the plushy, blanket, or in the defendant’s case, her sword isn’t on her person. You understand what I’m trying to say, right Mr. Lawyer?”
I chewed over Prosecutor Schaefer’s words in my head.
The defendant has severe safety blanket syndrome. She’s mentally unstable when she doesn’t have the sword. But…
“As long as she has the sword, she’s decent?”
“Splendid. Work. Sherlock. It’s just as you say.
The prosecutor held up the sword so the whole court could see it well.
“The defendant becomes mentally unstable if and only if she doesn’t have this sword. To speak to the contrary, as long as she has it, she is able to logically think over matters with extreme composure. Meaning she has the capacity to take legal responsibility. At the time of the crime, the defendant constantly carried this dangerous weapon on her person. And you say she was she of unsound mind?”
Recklessly slamming the sword down on the table, the prosecutor spoke while repeatedly prodding her head with her index finger.
“Nonsense. At the time of the crime, the defendant’s head should have been crystal clear.”
Prosecutor Schaefer lifted up a document, and continued on from there.
“We had a psychiatric expert evaluate the extent to which she could logically deliberate matters in a calm state. Surprisingly enough, it has come to light that the defendant has an exceedingly high aptitude for calculations. In a forest plagued by monsters, she had constantly lived with her head running in full throttle. The defendant is no fool, and neither is she dull. Looking at her thought capabilities alone, she’s a sage compared to those of her age. Right, right, there’s another interesting piece of data here. She even has savant syndrome.”
Another unfamiliar word. During this trial, I had gradually altered my image of her from a murderer, to someone who was possibly a normal person, but come so far, I was beginning to question just what this girl was supposed to be again.
“Savant syndrome. When a subject exhibits aptitudes far above the average human restricted to a specific field, it is often seen as a case of the condition.”
“Meaning she is a genius?”
“Interpret it as you will. She can keep track of the current time and date with extreme accuracy.”
“To what level of accuracy would that be?”
The prosecutor flipped through the pages.
“For starters, she knows the current date. Regardless of the special environment without calendars or clocks she was raised in, she can tell the date by instinct. On to the time, in this test, there was a discrepancy of a few seconds, but if it’s on the minute scale, she can hit the time accurately almost every time.”
That’s amazing. But so what? It’s amazing, but to me, it was nothing but disadvantageous data.
Hearing that exchange, the judge frowned as a ruckus and unrest drifted through the air of the courtroom.
I’m sure in this court, there was no longer anyone seeing the accused as a pitiful little girl. Now, she was a rational woman with high calculative capabilities. She had become a simple sly and cruel murderer.
There was no place for compassion.
Finally, I finally understood. It was set to come down to this.
That one… Cate knew this would happen from the moment I met her in the courthouse.
She knew it all. What would happen if you took the sword from the defendant, and what would happen if I tried visiting her while she was in that state, and what plea I would make seeing the disheveled girl, every little piece of it, the trial had started with her knowledge of everything.
I… couldn’t defend anymore.
I’ve no cards in my hand. I surrender. But as if to find fault in me, Prosecutor Schaefer continued pressing me.
“Oh what’s this? Where did that force you had at the start dissapear to? But since you accompanied me all the way here, you might as well accompany me to the end.”
Unlike the tidy copy paper she had been using, the prosecutor pulled out an especially dirty sheet.
And she spoke. “This is the journal the accused wrote while in her cell. Here, we have a passage confessing to the crime.”
“This journal was written before she lashed out, when her head was still clear, lending it validity as evidence. It’s written firmly right here. I murdered… it says.”
“W-what? Is that true?”
As the judge leaned forward and asked, Prosecutor Schaefer spoke with a smile full of self-confidence. “Of course, m’lud. I’d like to submit it as evidence.”
The prosecutor put the journal entry, or rather, the dirty sheet into a clear vinyl bad, and handed it to the judge.
The judge groaned, “Muh…” in a grim face as he red through the entry.
“W-what’s written on it!?”
“Mr. Lawyer, even if you don’t get worked up, I’ll still give you a copy.”
As Prosecutor Schaefer said that, assistant Eugine jogged over and handed me a copied page. I snatched it form his hands.
I read the journal from beginning to end.
It was written in especially small letters, and quite hard to read. But around the end, it definitely did say she murdered the demon lord.
Demon lord, meaning the victim? Did Claudia kill him thinking he was the reincarnation of the demon lord?
I thought the contents were ridiculously foolish. But there was only one passage I couldn’t overlook.
… What’s this? Why did she write something like that?
I couldn’t help but let the words out. “Objection.”
I continued on.
“This piece of evidence… is contradictory.”