The preparations were ready.
I learned a variety of truths.
There was still a lot I didn’t now, but I could see the general path.
Then what was it I could do?
Believe in the defendant. That was about it. All an attorney could do was believe in their client, and protect them.
I left the room. My heart was strangely calm down the path to the district court. Before long, I passed through the court gates and their bold sense of presence.
There were guards to the sides of the gate. For some reason, they looked more psyched up than usual.
… Come to think of it, I couldn’t go visit her.
I didn’t have the time. And once the trial began, I’d see her whether I wanted to or not.
Passing through the court lobby, while I headed for the defense’s waiting room, I heard the scraping sound of high heels from behind.
Prosecutor Caitlin Schaefer.
She was making an especially sullen face as she walked my way. When she finally noticed my existence, her mouth formed a wicked smile.
“Oh my, you’re here early. Are you sure you’re ready?”
I took a step forward. Cate’s sharp eyes shined down on me. If I let myself be overpowered for a moment, I felt I’d be atomized in the blink of an eye.
“What are you hiding?”
On my question, Cate went expressionless for a second. Thinking over those words, she narrowed her eyes, and sent me an appraising look.
“Hiding? What? You want my three sizes?”
“Answer me seriously!”
I unintentionally shouted out.
“You’ve already noticed, haven’t you?”
“That Claudia isn’t the culprit.”
“There’s no evidence.”
“There’s no evidence she is, either.”
Cate let out a deep sigh, before shrugging her shoulders.
“Innocent until proven guilty, that’s the judge’s motto, right? I’m a prosecutor. The proving part is my job.”
“So you’re fine with false charges?”
“Aren’t you misunderstanding something?”
Cate spoke as she poked her right hand’s index finger into my chest.
“That’s your job, right? Us prosecutors, you see, we use whatever little evidence we have to indict those society’s nicknamed criminals. There’s no way you can know if the charges are false, and there’s no way of knowing about the culprit. Especially in the case of magicians, we’re forced to prosecute with no leads at all. We have to fight crime in a state with absolutely nothing behind us.”
… That’s the world we live in, said Cate.
“If I lower my hand in doubt that my charges are false, letting the true big bad slip through my fingers, how do you expect me to apologize to the virtuous citizens of our society? Don’t kid around with me. I’ll perform to the best of my abilities as a prosecutor. If you’ve got any complaints, then defend for your life, and come out on top.”
… Isn’t that all there is to it? Cate thrust me away, and left with an air of composure.
I couldn’t say anything back. Neither did I plan to.
It’s just as she said. I’ll prove it to her.
I turned back, and headed for the defense’s waiting room.