Day Before (1)

I’d always had a habit of losing sight of what was around me when I concentrated on one thing.

While I engrossed myself in play, it was often the case the day would be over before I realized it, and when I started studying to become a lawyer, I’d often spend whole nights grappling with my textbooks.

The good part of this personality was that once I concentrated on something, I could devote myself to it without giving the slightest care to anything else. I became a lawyer because of that, so I’m most satisfied.

The bad part of this personality is that, once I concentrate on something, I find myself unable to keep up with the flow of time, eating it way. Today, that had backfired.

After investigating the scene from start to finish, I had a meal at the restaurant in the hotel’s basement.

Savoring an extravagant lunch worthy of a first-rate hotel, being the only customer in shop let me calmly sort through the incident.

Caring not for the restaurant chef’s unpleasant face, I fished through documents until shop closed, finally finding myself driven away. Of course, after that, I continued grappling with papers at a café near the station, looking at the incident form various angles.

Whether there was any information I was lacking, whether there was anything I had to look into, whether I was overlooking something…

Was I really approaching the truth?

There was definitely worth in going to the crime scene. Because of this time’s investigation, I was able to resolve various questions.

But new ones were born in their place.

The probability the victim was murdered on the 11th was high. But why? Why did Claudia come on the 10th? The letter that came to her house said the demon lord would be there on the 10th, and even went on to specify a time.

… What meaning did that letter hold?

Claudia wrote in her diary she didn’t know the intent behind the letter.

But to say the least, if that letter hadn’t come, this incident would never have happened.

It was the start of it all. If the true culprit wasn’t Claudia cut someone else, the sender of that letter was definitely suspicious.

But I didn’t have the means to identify who it was.

If I had to say another thing I didn’t get, it was the end of last time’s trial. Cate said she was going to call a witness in the next trial.

She intended to call him in the first place, but he refused so she found herself unable.

The difference between requesting testimony, and summoning a witness, was the presence of legal force.

When requesting testimony, you were only hearing out their opinions on the case, and they were able to decline.

But summoning someone as a witness was different. The summons was made in order to receive crucial testimony towards the resolution of a case, and it held the binding force of the law.

Of course, with such potency behind it, you needed an appropriate basis to summon a witness.

… Wanted to call them. But could not.

That meant they had advantageous testimony for the prosecution, but the individual had declined, so they wouldn’t be coming to the stand.

There’s no way that Cate would hide a witness with inconvenient testimony. Even if they were family, she was the type of person who’d gleefully search out their faults and crudeness.

Who did she plan on calling in the trial the day after tomorrow?

No matter how hard I thought, I couldn’t come to an answer. More than that, it only increased my questions.

Eventually, time passed, and I missed the last tram. The café wasn’t operational at night, making it physically impossible to go home that night.

… There was no helping it. If it’s come to this, I’ll do it to the end.

I relied on the light over a park bench, reading over the case’s material time and again after that, searching for what I could do.

Eventually, night closed, and I got on the first tram bound home.

Jessica Belliquese’s call came the moment I stepped off, right as I was thinking to return home and take a nap.

‘I-I’m back in Grimbeld. I took some photos, so please look at them.’

Could it be she’s going to fall dead just like that? Her feeble breath and tone was enough for me to have such suspicions.

I promised to meet her at the café we met before, and went home. Throwing everything beside, I collapsed on top of the bed.

I was terribly tired. My sweat-stained shirt was leagues away from what you could call clean, but paying it no mind, I wanted nothing but sleep.

… When I next opened my eyes, a bright light streamed in diagonally form the window.

Looking at the clock, it was 8:45, fifteen minutes to my meeting with Jessica. Perhaps I was suffering from muscle pain, as I felt the pain of bones grating here and there.

I forced myself up, and took a shower. The hot water woke up my mind.

After that, I changed, took up my bag, and went out. The promised time had long since passed, but without any impatience, I headed for the appointed café.

… I should get her a cake.

I took a detour along the way, and a whole hour later than promised, I arrived at the café. Regardless of it being early morning, the shop was surprisingly crowded, but Jessica had yet to come.

… She’s late, I put myself aside, and muttered in my heart.

 

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