Witness Stand (3) Death’s Jewels

“It was one of the charms passed down in my house for generations.”

For a moment, I wondered who had spoken. There was a ruckus breaking out in the gallery, as I looked left and right.

But one person, Claudia alone was looking straight at the prosecution seats. As I followed her blue eyes to look that way, I found the victim in the witness-dedicated seat had moved to stand over by the prosecution.

… What’s this?

Prosecutor Schaefer who’d just been loitering around with composure looked like she couldn’t calm down. Her forehead furrowed, and the sent a frustrated sidelong glance at the witness.

Caring not for that female prosecutor, the victim Hal Anderson continued in courteous and slow words.

“I do not know how or when that jewel came into our household. But it was something precious, so I always had to carry it on my person. That’s what I was taught as a child, and that was how I was raised.”

… I would never have imagined it was something stolen by the demon lord, said Hal Anderson with a bearing as if he was surprised from the depths of his heart.

He hadn’t said anything strange. He was a magi, and so was the demon lord.
That’s how the story goes. Either his distant relative just happened to be the demon lord, or someone close to him, and from that flow, the jewel stolen in the Great War just so happened to come into Hal Anderson’s hands.

That’s how you should take it. That was the conclusion I could feel his words were implying.

… What’s that, how shameless.

It’s not logically wrong. But for some reason, this man’s words held something, some inconsistency.

And I recalled the crystal ball tucked away in my bag.

This morning, I had looked up Death’s Jewel again. And I had noticed.

The orbs obtained in the Dark Forest were, no matter how you looked at them, Death’s Jewels themselves.

… What on earth did it mean?

At first, I thought it a coincidence. But when the dead pop up, the story changes.

I couldn’t hold down the feeling it was all too well put together. The crystal balls we just happened to find in those black woods were one of the national treasures lost in the world, and a person who used it to revive was right now the victim standing by the prosecution’s side.

Just what sort of connection would lead to this result?

… Coincidence, there’s no way. Did everything happen because it was supposed to happen?

“Is that everything you have to say?”

I didn’t say anything. So Prosecutor Schaefer’s words were likely intended for Hal Anderson standing beside her.

“Yes, because of you, I got to say everything I wanted to.”

“Oh, then that’s nice. Then could you quietly return to the witness seats?”

Her words were polite, but her phrasing had thorns. Hal formed a smile on his lips, “Oh, my apologies. I’ll step down at once,” he said as he moved to the witness seat with especially comfortable movements.

It wasn’t just a smile I could see on his mouth. In its corner, his sharp canine felt a little menacing.

Samantha was currently on the witness stand. But even if she wasn’t there, would this man have simply said those words on the stand?

… I get the feeling that’s wrong. That guy wanted to give testimony while standing on the prosecution’s side.

I don’t have a basis, but for some reason, that felt like an absolute truth to me.

“Death’s Jewels…”

A hoarse voice broke through the tense air wrapping around the court. Samantha continued her testimony through the speaker.

“There are said to be three in total. Each one lets you revive one dead person one.”

“Oh? Wait a second.”

I posed her a question.

“Why do you know that? If I may be so rude, Death’s Jewels are an article close to a legend, are they not? Even if such a thing existed, you cannot expect us to simply nod and agree with it.”

Samantha touched the touch panel display on top of the stand. When I wondered what she was operating, the defense side’s display system started up, and a single screen depicted an old-fashioned text.

“What’s being displayed at present was preserved in Sadom’s national library, an official and original text detailing Death’s Jewels.”

I looked at the bottom of the text. It was definitely the lettering system of the Commonwealth of Sadom.

“The text says this. Deaths Jewel activates the moment its user dies, reviving them as they were born.”

… As they were born? Ah, you mean naked…

No, that’s not it, I thought as I looked over the victim’s body.

In that last trial, Prosecutor Schaefer stated they found a portion of the corpse.
Thinking back on it now, she was likely referring to this situation. Not the whole corpse, but a portion of it. Meaning the individual was not at the scene.

But part of his was. A single arm remained.

And right now, Hal Anderson was sitting contently with all his limbs intact.

… Perhaps as he was born meant it fully restored his body.

On a different tangent from my thoughts, Samantha went on.

“In order to demonstrate its effect, a jewel must be on the subject’s body at the time of death. You cannot just possess it, it must be in direct contact with the body.”

Then when the victim died, he had Death’s Jewel on him?

“And this is the most important part, once Death’s Jewel is used, it will be destroyed, and can never be used again.”

“What sort of state would destroyed imply?”

“The literal state.”
Samantha turned my way. But because of her mask, I couldn’t really determine if she was looking at me.

“As stated in these texts, Death’s Jewel has the effect of reviving dead lifeforms.”

… And, continued the fully armored magic theory lab researcher.

“Remnants of the destroyed Death’s Jewel were found on the scene. As a result of analyzing the magic particle pattern it gave off, we concluded that jewel had an effect of bringing people back from the dead.”

“Is there any doubt about it?”

Prosecutor Schaefer asked in a cool voice.

“There is no doubt.”

Samantha replied without a point of hesitation, making the gallery’s ruckus reach its peak.

… Whap! The judge’s gavel ended the noise, letting a brief silence take over.

“It can revive the dead. To think such a thing was possible… the world of magic is a deep one indeed.”

The judge raised a moving voice. “However,” he added on.

“This is a court, and not a laboratory. Exactly what happened on the day of the incident, this is a place to pursue that truth. Witness, please continue your testimony.”

“I see. But… I’ve already said everything I wanted to say…”

“That’s not true, right?”

The one to interrupt Samantha’s words was Prosecutor Schaefer.

“There’s still more .If you don’t say the important things, it’ll never get across.”

“O-oh, right. Let me tell you the results of our magic parsing. There was a remnant of magic left on the Death’s Jewel found at the scene, and from analyzing the magic particle pattern it gave of and comparing it to the unknown magic particle pattern we extracted from the victim’s bloodstream…”

… The patterns matched. There is no doubt this subject used Death’s Jewel to come back to life. She said it clearly for every person in court to hear.

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