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|Kazuma... The truth is shrouded in darkness. A darkness only our clan's great sword can pierce.|
A duel to the death
- Main article: Professor Killings
Genshin Asogi was studying abroad in London with Yujin Mikotoba and Seishiro Jigoku, aiming to become a detective. During his stay, he became good friends with the Van Zieks family, in particular Klint van Zieks and Barok van Zieks. One day Asogi discovered that Klint was living a double life. He was secretly the capital's notorious serial killer, known as the Professor, and was responsible for the deaths of four of Great Britain's nobles. Appalled by his friend's crimes, Asogi brought his findings to prosecutor Mael Stronghart, pleading for him to investigate Klint and find evidence of his crimes. However, Asogi's pleas went ignored: Stronghart claimed that there was insufficient evidence to even consider investigating Klint. Unbeknownst to Asogi, Stronghart had been blackmailing Klint, forcing him to do his bidding.
Unable to resolve the problem via legal routes, Asogi took matters into his own hands and directly confronted Klint over his crimes. This confrontation pushed Klint to confess to Asogi that he was indeed the Professor. With this confession heard, Asogi made a proposal to Klint to allow his friend to experience an honorable death: that they duel to death with swords. Klint accepted Asogi's proposal with two conditions: that he be allowed to write a last will and testament confessing his crimes, and that Asogi would ensure protection for Klint’s pregnant wife as well as his unborn child. Upon mutual agreement of these conditions Asogi and Klint dueled, with Asogi reigning supreme. Afterwards, Asogi fled from the scene and was witnessed by a number of servants working for Klint, but there was not enough evidence to prove that he was responsible for Klint's death.
Tragically, Asogi's decision to give Klint an honorable death would prove fatal for himself. Klint's blackmailer, Stronghart, wanted to avoid people discovering the identity of the Professor (and subsequently, his own role in The Professor's murders) at all costs. Having become privy to the identity of The Professor, Asogi became a threat to Stronghart. To this end, Stronghart orchestrated a devious plan. Stronghart coerced several people into helping him frame Asogi and make him appear to be The Professor. Tobias Gregson was coerced into ordering thugs to attack Asogi. These thugs attacked Asogi while he was outside with Barok van Zieks. Concealing that their true target was Asogi by pretending that their target was Barok, the thugs stole Asogi's trademark ring from him.
Under the guise of seeking justice for Klint, Gregson convinced authorities to perform an autopsy on Klint. This was highly unusual for the time, as not only autopsies were seen as appalling, but it was considered especially appalling to perform autopsies on nobles. After gaining approval for an autopsy, Gregson passed the ring onto John Wilson, the coroner authorized to perform an autopsy on Klint. Wilson used the ring as fabricated evidence. He deceived his two assistants at the time - Courtney Stevens and Yujin Mikotoba - by distracting them during a crucial part of the autopsy. As they were distracted, Wilson pretended to extract the ring from Klint's stomach. Following the commands of Stronghart, Wilson instructed Mikotoba to write on the autopsy report that Klint had swallowed the ring, despite Mikotoba's misgivings regarding Klint's internal conditions not reflecting the trauma that would accompany swallowing a roughly shaped ring. This fabricated evidence was used to make the plausible claim that Klint had swallowed the ring in order to indicate who had murdered him - the owner of the ring, Asogi.
With this fabricated evidence, along with the previous witness testimonies, Stronghart managed to convince all relevant authorities that not only was Asogi responsible for the death of Klint, but was in actuality the notorious serial killer "The Professor" responsible for the deaths of four other nobles before Klint. In spite of Asogi not possessing The Professor's trademark weapon, he was arrested and detained as a prime suspect for The Professor.
A fatal deal
At the time Asogi was arrested, his home country of Japan and his study country of Great Britain were in the middle of negotiating an alliance treaty. In light of the delicate political situation between the countries, Asogi's trial was processed abnormally. Nobody wanted the scandal of a visiting Japanese student being a depraved serial killer to sour relations between the two countries, so measures were taken in order to keep the scandal under wraps. Asogi's trial was processed incredibly quickly, was kept secret from the public, and during the events of the trial Asogi was forced to wear a metal mask to conceal his identity as a Japanese national.
During the proceedings of his trial Asogi was kept in Barclay Prison. During his stay at the prison, Asogi was visited by Stronghart, who made him a deal. Asogi would have to falsely admit that he was The Professor, concealing the fact that it was actually Klint. In exchange, Asogi would be allowed to live and return to his son in Japan. Asogi took this deal, as he longed to see his son again, and also believed that he had a strong bargaining card in the form of Klint van Zieks' last will and testament, which he concealed inside his clan's beloved sword Karuma. While masquerading for this deal Asogi wrote a last will and testament, in which he included a back-up plan for in case things went wrong: he left a cryptic riddle in the third page of his will, hinting that he hid Klint van Zieks' will inside Karuma's hilt. This proved to be a wise decision, as Stronghart realized at some point that Asogi may have possessed Klint van Zieks' will, but was unable to find it despite numerous investigations of Asogi's prison cell.
The day before Asogi's execution, he was visited by his friend Yujin Mikotoba. Mikotoba questioned Asogi's choice to not deny the charges laid against him, as well as his rejection of any attempt to petition the government and help his case. Asogi rebuked the idea of trying to improve his case, telling Mikotoba that he would be fine. However, although Asogi believed that he would be fine, he still asked Mikotoba for a favour in case things went wrong. Asogi asked his friend for one final favour, giving him instructions to follow: Mikotoba was to head to head to a specific address, where a noblewoman was in hiding, and help her give birth. He was to also keep his actions secret, and tell nobody about what he did. Mikotoba reluctantly accepted the favour, which lead to him delivering Iris Wilson.
On the day of Asogi's execution, Stronghart partially fulfilled his end of the deal by breaking Asogi out of jail. With the assistance of the governor of Barclay Prison Barry Caidin and coroner Courtney Stevens, Stronghart faked Asogi's execution. Stevens falsified an autopsy report, claiming that Asogi was hanged at midnight. Meanwhile, Caidin distracted the chief prison warden overseeing the execution, Daley Vigil, so that Asogi could be smuggled out of the prison inside a coffin and buried alive.
|Genshin Asogi's Will|
|Pg. 1 |
I, Genshin Asogi, hereby request that upon my death, any and all material possessions and wealth belonging to me in London be delivered to my son, Kazuma Asogi, in the Empire of Japan.
It is with deep sadness that I accept my fate in this foreign land, in the knowledge that I will never see my homeland or family again. But I regret nothing about my chosen path.
Kazuma... The truth is shrouded in darkness. A darkness only our clan's great sword can pierce.
Twist thy head and watch them fall,
All thy mortal foes!
After smuggling Asogi out of prison, initially the plan was to secretly retrieve Asogi from his "grave" in Lowgate Cemetery. Stronghart recruited Asogi's fellow student, Seishiro Jigoku, for the task by promising to help Jigoku secure the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs back in Japan. However, catastrophe would strike following an unforeseen event. Enoch Drebber, a local university student studying science, came to Lowgate Cemetry seeking fresh corpses to study. Drebber selected the plot in which Asogi was located, unearthing him. He then witnessed Asogi "rising" from his grave. Soon thereafter, Stronghart and Jigoku showed up to the grave, having discovered the fact that Drebber had seen Asogi alive.
Upon this discovery, Stronghart and Jigoku were seized with terror. They realized that Drebber would more than likely tell others that he had seen the Professor seemingly rise from the dead. This would in turn uncover the plot to break Asogi out of jail, and subsequently would reveal other related plots - such as the plot to conceal Klint van Zieks' identity as the Professor. Unable to allow his plan to be ruined, Stronghart chose murder: he convinced Jigoku to murder Asogi by shooting him in the chest with a gun. The gunshot wound instantly killed Asogi, causing him to fall back into his now-real grave. The resulting blood splatter from the gunshot covered Drebber and his camera, leading to Drebber fleeing from the scene in terror. With Drebber gone, Stronghart and Jigoku reburied the now-dead Asogi in his grave.
After the two left, French sculptor Esmeralda Tusspells unearthed Asogi's corpse with the help of a gravekeeper, having waited in the cemetery for the perfect opportunity to capture Asogi's visage for her wax museum. As he had been freshly killed, his body wasn't in rigor mortis, causing her to have some difficulties with manipulating Asogi's jaw. Stronghart would later catch wind of the fact that Tusspells had made an accurate recreation of Asogi, pressuring her to remain silent about what she had seen as well as ordering her to keep the metal helmet that hid his face on at all times.
Some point during Kazuma's life, Kazuma received a letter from one of the family members of the nobles killed by the Professor. The letter revealed to him the grim circumstances of his father's death: rather than dying from illness in Great Britain, his father had been tried and executed for being a serial killer of several nobles, the Professor. Kazuma refused to accept that his father could have committed such horrifying crimes, as he had only ever seen his father's noble and loving heart. Resolving to investigate and unearth the truth behind the circumstances of his father's death, Kazuma dedicated himself to becoming a lawyer, with the ultimate goal to study abroad in Great Britain to investigate what had happened for his own eyes. Though he wouldn't know it at the time, Kazuma's actions were the first step toward clearing his father's name.
The waxwork theft
- Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul
Ten years after witnessing Asogi's death in Lowgate Cemetry, Enoch Drebber planned to murder Odie Asman for ruining his life. Drebber planned to cover up the murder as an accidental death. In order to do so, Drebber broke into Madame Tusspells Museum of Waxworks to steal a specific wax statue: the wax statue depicting Asogi. In order for Drebber's plan to succeed, he needed his victim's corpse to appear to instantaneously switch locations, which required the assistance of an insider working for the police. Drebber used the statue in order to coerce Courtney Sithe (née Stevens), who was the coroner tasked with dealing with the murder, by sticking the wax statue in a wooden cage alongside a blackmail note and leaving it at the Crystal Tower. The blackmail note, which was discovered by Sithe upon her arrival to the crime scene, instructed Sithe on how to conceal the crime. She was to move the wooden cage at the bottom of the experiment platform to where the wooden cage containing the wax statue was. Then, after the move, she was to remove the wax statue and the second cage from the scene and place the wax statue in a place where Drebber could return the statue to the museum. Sithe was forced to comply, as the blackmail note threatened to reveal the truth of ten years ago: that Sithe had participated in faking Asogi's execution and allowing him to escape prison. However, an unexpected complication arose in this plan: Odie Asman, the victim, had been injured in the "accident" but had not actually died. In order to make sure that her secret involvement remained secret, Sithe stabbed Asman to death.
This attempted deception was uncovered by lawyer Ryunosuke Naruhodo during the trial of Albert Harebrayne, who revealed Drebber's plot and Sithe's involvement in the case, after discovering the head of Asogi's wax statue in Drebber's factory. Naruhodo proved that Drebber had faked the kinesis machine working with the help of Sithe, and also proved that Sithe was the true murderer of Asman. This led to the acquittal of Harebrayne and the arrests of Sithe and Asman.
Following the conclusion of Harebrayne's trial, Naruhodo and his judicial assistant Susato Mikotoba were invited into the courtroom after it was emptied, by Barok van Zieks and his masked apprentice. In the middle of the courtroom was the wax statue of The Professor. Van Zieks explained to the pair the truth behind The Professor case. Taking off the helmet off of the wax statue of The Professor, van Zieks revealed that the face beneath belonged to a Japanese man. The Professor's nationality was why his trial was kept secret: had the trial gone public, it could have greatly soured international relations between Great Britain and Japan, as the very idea that a Japanese serial killer had been operating in Great Britain was highly scandalous. The reveal of the statue's face caused van Ziek's masked apprentice, the then-amnesiac Kazuma Asogi, to regain his memories and unmask himself. Kazuma revealed that the man called The Professor was his father, Genshin Asogi.
The truth brought to light
- Main article: The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
Ten years after his plot to conceal the truth behind The Professor and the murder of Genshin Asogi, Mael Stronghart grew paranoid that his actions would see the light of day. In order to avoid the truth coming out, Stronghart decided that it was necessary to silence all parties involved. He was unconcerned with Barry Caidin, Courtney Sithe, and Seishiro Jigoku, as he believed that he had them under control. Conversely, he perceived John. H Wilson and Tobias Gregson as being threats, as neither were sufficiently controlled with his power. Behind the scenes, he orchestrated an assassin exchange with Seishiro Jigoku. Stronghart sent the assassin Asa Shinn to Japan in order to murder Wilson, while Jigoku sent Kazuma Asogi to Great Britain in order to murder Gregson. This plot would partially succeed as Shinn managed to kill Wilson. However, it failed as Kazuma disappeared during the voyage to Great Britain, and also did not plan on heeding the command to assassinate Gregson. With his side of the assassin exchange left unfulfilled, Jigoku was forced to go to Great Britain himself and murder Gregson. After murdering Gregson, Jigoku obfuscated the true time of death and attempted to frame Barok van Zieks as the murderer of Gregson.
During the trial of Barok van Zieks, Ryunosuke Naruhodo and Kazuma Asogi completely unveiled the truth behind the murder of Gregson, as well as the connected case of The Professor: that both were plots masterminded by Stronghart. Naruhodo revealed that Gregson and John Wilson secretly planted Asogi's ring in his stomach to give the impression that Klint swallowed his ring to expose Asogi as his killer. The lack of internal trauma in Klint's body proved that Klint couldn't have swallowed the ring: if he did, then the ring would have certainly left wounds in Klint's throat. Meanwhile, Naruhodo explained how the ring came into Gregson and Wilson's possession: a supposed assault against Barok van Zieks when he was being accompanied by Genshin Asogi, was organized by Gregson as a front to steal Asogi's ring. Daley Vigil and Barry Caidin's testimonies led Ryunosuke to find that Asogi hid Klint's will inside Karuma's hilt. After submitting it to court, and having Barok van Zieks confirm that the writing was his brother's, Naruhodo had his theory proven. Klint confessed in his will that he was the Professor, that Stronghart had blackmailed him into continuing his crime spree, and that Genshin Asogi had given him mercy by allowing him to redeem himself in an honorable duel to the death. This proved that while Genshin Asogi was responsible for Klint's death, he was not responsible for the serial killings of multiple nobles.
No longer able to hide the truth, Stronghart admitted to his crimes — telling the court that he had also been responsible for convincing Jigoku to kill Genshin Asogi at Lowgate Cemetery, having had to murder Genshin Asogi due to Enoch Drebber witnessing the ordeal. Despite making an incredibly damning confession, Stronghart remained arrogant that he would see no retribution for his crimes. This was because he had technically never committed them; instead, every single crime he was involved with was completed by a third party - and due to the trial being closed to the public, the outside world would never learn of his actions. Unbeknownst to Stronghart, Sholmes had a trump card: using a hologram device of his and Iris' creation, he had secretly broadcasted the entirety of the closed trial's proceedings to Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria used her power to strip Stronghart of all of his power, and convicted him for his role in instigating his crimes. As a result, the lies surrounding Genshin Asogi were finally laid to rest.
- He shares the character "truth" (真) with his son. The character gen (玄) can mean "dark", or "unclear", so perhaps his name points to the "unclear truth", as opposed to Kazuma's "one truth".
- The "truth" (真) in his name is pronounced shin, making it a homophone of Gregory Edgeworth's Japanese given name, shin (信).