“Now we move on to establishing the defendant, but she can’t even speak in that state in the first place.”
Splendid deduction. In what world will you find a lifeform that can talk while biting into a gag?
But raising an objection here wasn’t the best plan.
With definite evidence, and a failure to apply international treaty… there was only one means that remained for me to get the accused not guilty.
I really was hating myself. If I didn’t rely on this method, I would be unable to help anyone.
“Really, what shall we do, Mr. Lawyer?”
Prosecutor Schaefer forcefully invited me in. I guess I’ll jump into her trap again.
“The defendant is under intense psychological stress. We can’t ask any unnecessary questions, and if it were only simple questions, there would be no need to seek an explanation from the one in question.”
On my words, Prosecutor Schaefer grinned. The judge closed both his eyes, deep in thought.
“Hmm, that does seem to be the case. Prosecutor Schaefer, make sure to keep your questions to only the essential points. Make sure to refrain from any conduct that would make ill of the defendant’s standing.”
Prosecutor Schaefer made a face as if she didn’t have any ulterior motives, but she instantly returned to her former cold expression, turning to the accused.
“Well then, defendant. There is no mistaking that you are Claudia Rheinland? Nod once for yes.”
Personally, if she didn’t nod and simply continued rattling her chains, it would be something I would be thankful for given my future strategy, but in opposition to my intent, Claudia gave a single nod.
“There is no mistaking that you are 18 years of age, no nationality?”
There was a bit of space after that that question. Claudia simply growled “Uuuuuuu!” like a stray dog, but after Prosecutor Schaefer insisted, “I don’t mind removing your blindfold if you answer the question,” she gave another nod.
From the moment I first met her in the visiting room, I had thought that perhaps human interaction was impossible with this girl, but it does seem words were getting through, and a level of exchange was possible.
“Very well. Eugine, take off her blindfold.”
Prosecutorial assistant Eugine stood from his seat, and approached this side. He stood behind Claudia, removing the blindfold with timid movements.
Once the cloth covering the upper half of her face was removed, Claudia took a large swing of her head, and with that moment, her black, flowing hair swung through the air.
Claudia’s true face had finally been revealed to the court. Albeit, she was still gagged, but seeing her pale, translucent skin, and moist blue eyes, I could tell that not only the people of the gallery, even the presiding judge swallowed his spit.
It’s true they had seen her face on the security camera, but an image and reality were different. There was a completely different person from the one they were painting in their minds before them, and I’m sure it was confusing them.
They were imagining someone more atrocious.
She was a criminal who attacked someone, so they had been expecting a wilder expression.
She was a murdering fiend, so they were thinking of her as a devil of a woman.
It was only natural to think it from the flow of the trial. But a wielder of looks to betray such expectations was sitting in the defendant’s seat.
The gallery was astir, the courtroom sketch artist forgetting himself momentarily in a daze, but he immediately dispatched his brush.
She was a beautiful girl unworthy of the label of criminal.
“Claudia Rheinland. You have been indicted under the charge of first degree murder. Make sure you take that to heart. You are of no nationality, but just as a citizen of Grimbeld, you have been granted the right to assert your innocence, the right to an attorney, the right to deny disadvantageous testimony, and the obligation to submit yourself to punishment in the case you are declared guilty. Well then, Mr. Lawyer, let us hear what you have to say. Of course, if you find no fault in the prosecution’s indictment, she will receive a guilty verdict. What will you do?
I prepared for the worst.
“The defense pleads not guilty.”