“She is the culprit, there is no doubt about it.”
For a moment, the court was wrapped in silence. No one let out a word, attention merely gathering at the defendant on the witness stand, and Claudia who he called out.
“Is there any mistake?”
Prosecutor Schaefer emphasized. There, Hal Anderson declared, “I definitely saw her with these eyes of mine. There is no mistake.”
“I can still remember it clearly. When I went to look around the roof, the one who suddenly slashed me from behind was undoubtedly that woman.”
“W-wait a second.”
I tried to object. What words would come out next? The gallery without saying, the defendant Claudia, the prosecution, the victim and the judge were eagerly waiting.
“T-the defendant… defendant… testified she headed to the scene not on the 11th, but the 10th.”
The female prosecutor was awfully calm.
“What of it? If that’s the case, it’s already been resolved, hasn’t it? That defendant gave false testimony. Or perhaps she’s just mistaken? At this point, the 10th and 11th are already a month passed. There’s nothing strange with making an error of a day.”
“H-however! You haven’t explained any of the contradictions in the security camera footage!”
I desperately refuted. But some part of my heart had noticed it was futile resistance.
“There was a contradiction between the footage of the defendant attacking the victim, and the footage of the park that was supposedly shot simultaneously!”
“Ah, you mean the snow. If that’s the case, I said it at the start. The snow piled on the roof was removed by the victim. How about it, witness?”
On Prosecutor Schaefer’s urging, Hal Anderson answered.
“You mean the snow built up on the roof? If that’s what it is, I went and cleaned it. Even it the hotel was on break, the viewing platform was open to the public. It would be dangerous If I just left it like that.”
Prosecutor Schaefer looked at me. Her look without any emotion in it was inorganic, yet condescending.
“But, but that’s…”
… What’s this?
I can’t object at all.
I investigated all I could about the case. I learned so much. I unearthed so many new truths. But each and every one of them didn’t constitute evidence capable of breaking these deadlocks.
A single one. A single witness came out. That’s all it was, yet everything had completely turned around.
Claudia appeared on the hotel roof on November 10th, tempted by someone of identity unknown, believing some stranger she’s never met in her life to be the demon lord, and attacked him.
Every part of that was definitely something you had to blame her for. While she may have had circumstance, if you sin you have to receive the appropriate punishment.
But with the lid held open, nothing meshed anymore. It was simply too absurd for me to say anything. When he was attacked on the 10th, before I knew it, it was being made out he was murdered on the 11th, and evidence to support it was popping out one after the next.
On top of all that, the friggin’ victim even came out.
Death’s Jewel, and reviving people and magic, at this point such things were reduced to trivial matters.
I believe the defendant. I do, but before this overwhelming logic, there was nothing to be done.
“… Mr. Lawyer.”
I heard Claudia’s voice. Perhaps she had been calling me a number of times.
“What’s going to happen to me now?”
“Did I kill someone after all?”
“You don’t know?”
But she continued.
“If I really did kill, I’ll make up for my sins. At that time, could you be there to defend me?”
After saying only that, her blue eyes were cast down, and she would say no more.
… If she really killed someone.
“Defense? What seems to be the matter?”
The judge was waiting. Was I going to object, or accept this testimony, it was the judge’s job to hear out my choice.
But I couldn’t find the next words.
“If you don’t have any objections, the witness’ testimony shall be accepted. Is that acceptable?”
Object. Object. Object. Object. This is the important part.
Should I accept it?
This girl doesn’t know anything. Raised not knowing anything. No one taught her the world’s common sense, with nothing but biased knowledge pushed onto her, she was taught that was the absolute one and only truth, and she lived by it.
And she put it to practice.
Claudia attacked someone. Whatever motives she had, it was a crime.
There’s no doubt she attacked him. The security camera feed proves it.
Right. That’s right, why had I overlooked such a simple thing?
“I was mistaken.”
“Claudia. You definitely did attack someone. Attacking some random stranger from behind is definitely not the actions of a hero. Isn’t that a bit cowardly?”
“W-what’s this, all of a sudden?”
Claudia looked at me with deep concern. It seems she thought I had finally lost it.
… I’m not joking.
“M’lud, the defense objects to that current testimony.”
“Oh. You do? Truly, the testimony up to now has been nothing but incomprehensible things, but I do think it follows a certain thread of logic.”
I shook my head, and denied it.
“That isn’t true. Regardless of whether the victim had something like Death Jewel, regardless of whether or not the dead can come back to life, regardless of what weirdos show up in court, the impossible remains impossible, and that which won’t happen simply won’t happen.”
“Then let’s hear it.”
She had been so quiet up to now I was getting suspicious. Prosecutor Schaefer finally opener her mouth, and scowled at me.
“What are you basing that objection of yours on?”
I resolved myself. And after taking a momentary glance at Claudia, I opened my mouth.