Opening Statements (4)

Just how much time had passed?

The shocking contents had caused the court to fall silent momentarily. The only sound was the clatter of the struggling Claudia’s shackles, and the “Mmmhm, mhm, mmmm…” Groan she gave off.

As she was blindfolded, I’m she still didn’t know what was shown in the video, but from the conversation that led up to it, I’m sure she understood to an extent.

… I’ll be golly. That’s a decisive scene, isn’t it.

I couldn’t find an objection to that.

It was all so fresh. But because of that, it contrarily distanced my sense of reality. Surprisingly, perhaps the scene of a person’s murder was something like this most of the time.

In that courtroom of silence, the passage of time felt exceedingly long, but the display informed all that one minute had yet to pass from that point.

In the monochrome footage, there was only Claudia on the viewing platform. She was expressionless, but from the rise and drop of her shoulders in breath, perhaps she wasn’t so serene beneath.

… What were you thinking when you cut down the person before your eyes?

Hatred, or rage? Grief, or joy…if you put them to words, they were simple feelings, and ones everyone carried in their chests as if it were natural. But a normal person could forget it all come the next day. So even if the normal person held negative feelings towards their foe, it wouldn’t usually reach as far as murder.

But she had reached it. Where had she come to hold feelings great enough to kill a man?

I wanted to make it that none of this happened. I wanted to forget what I had just seen. But the evidence before us clearly informed me that the murder was something that happened in reality.

The viewing platform was the hotel’s rooftop. There was no cover above it, the sky still clad in the sporadic lights of stars.

At a glance it could look like a gentle scene, but with how vehemently Claudia’s black hair swayed, perhaps a considerably strong wind was blowing.

Whether the November wind was biting, or it was too cold outside, she sheathed her sword, and pulled up her hood again, holding her chest tightly. And as if to say she had no further business here, she turned to leave.

Perhaps there was nothing left to see, as Prosecutor Schaefer gripped the black rectangular remote.

That remote had a laser-pointed function as well, and it was often the case it would be used to point out specific points of video footage.

Of course, as the second disc was already in her opposite hand, I doubt she’d be replaying that one to point anything out.

The gallery and judge read that from her, the silence finally broken, and the clamor starting up once more.

So maybe I was the only one who had noticed it.

As Claudia sheathed away her sword, she continued gripping its hilt in her left hand as she turned away. At that moment, the tip of the sheath hit against the guard regulation cap the victim had dropped, and picked up by the wind, it fell off of the platform.

The moment I confirmed it, the footage returned to its original sandstorm state. When I thought I saw the word ‘Pause’ pop up, it immediately changed to the word, ‘no disk’.

Prosecutor Schaefer spoke. “Then let’s move on to the second one.”

Just in case, I took note of that final scene, and wrote it down.

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