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Turnabout Storyteller
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Turnabouttheatre
Episode 4
Turnabout Storyteller

Anime cutscene
"Shisho":
...three, four, five, six, seven, eight... What time is it? It's nine! Ten, eleven...


???:
Sh-Shisho's dead...? No... D-Do you think... HE did it?

???:
Oh, no! I-If he did... then wh-what do we do?!

???:
Hey, pull yourself together!

???:
Don't worry. I have an idea...


May 13, 9:45 AM
District Court- Defendant Lobby No. 6

Athena:
(What the heck! Who brings a defendant to his own trial late?! Plus, the request was so last-minute, I didn't even have a chance to talk with my client!)

Widget:
He's late, he's late, for a very important date!

Athena:
My name is Athena Cykes. Armed with analytical psychology, and a full arsenal of legal know-how... I'm a fully-competent defender of the Wright Anything Agency! Though I wish my client would show up already -- the trial's about to start...

???:
Heh. It appears we made it just in time.

Athena:
Where have you BEEN?! The trial's about to start, Simon!

Blackquill:
You needn't get so worked up, Athena. His Baldness can wait.

Athena:
There's no way he'd wait for me! And besides, why would I want to start off on the wrong foot with him right out of the gate?!

Blackquill:
Dealing with such matters is part of being a lawyer, if I'm not mistaken.

Athena:
Yeah, well, covering for your lateness is not!

Blackquill:
Hmph. Still but a rank amateur, I see...

Athena:
This is Simon Blackquill. He might not look it, but he's actually a prosecutor, and a psychology specialist. He and I go way back... As for our shared specialization in psychology... ...we're both disciples of the same person so to speak, but he's kinda my senior, I guess. But twisted sense of humor or no, I wish he'd stop treating me like a child all the time.

Blackquill:
So, where are Wright-dono and Justice-dono?

Athena:
Mr. Wright is abroad, and Apollo is helping Trucy with her magic show. Didn't I tell you?

Blackquill:
They're what? So neither one of them are here? ...Leaving you to take this on alone?

Athena:
Yep!

Blackquill:
Ye gods... Call Wright-dono back. It's not too late.

Athena:
Oh no, not too late at all! He would only need to know how to teleport.

Blackquill:
Tsk. Very well... Then I will settle for Justice-dono. Go grab him by the horns and drag him here!

Athena:
Apollo is literally in the middle of a show, Simon! You may not want to admit it, but I've got what it takes to take on this case! Just leave this to me and go watch from the gallery!

Blackquill:
...As your defense derails in a spectacular fashion?

Athena:
No... As I win the heck out of this trial!

Blackquill:
..........

Athena:
I'll be okay -- promise! So wipe that look off your face already, will you? Anyway, I take it the guy behind you is...?

Blackquill:
Yes, he's your... ......Tsk, he's asleep again. Hoy, Bucky! Wake up!

???:
Giyaaaaaaaaaaah!

Bucky:
Owwwww... Whadja do DAT for, Simey...? *hic* ..........Hrrnhhh...? Who's dis yeller chickadee?

Blackquill:
She is your lawyer, such as it were. I'd say she's more "green" than "yellow" however.

Bucky:
Lawyer? She sure duzen't look it, dush she...? Is she, like, yer fellow apprentice or sumfin'...?

Blackquill:
...Heh, something like that. I've known her longer than I've known you. You could say we're bound to one another.

Bucky:
Ohhhh, m'kay... Well den. Geussh I better call 'er MIZ chickadee, den.

Athena:
Simon... This guy's not only rude, but he's three sheets to the wind at his own trial...

Bucky:
Eh heh heh, heh... *hic*

Athena:
I know we just met, but... I'm about ready to give him a piece of my mind!

Blackquill:
Do as you will. Just save it for after the trial.

Bucky:
Miz Chickadee...

Athena:
(Don't call me that!)

Bucky:
How'd y'da...? Simey here'sh an old frienda mine... I'm the fourth-generation head chef o'"Whet Soba." "Whet Noodle No. 4," Bucky Whet! Nice to meetcha!

Athena:
I-It's... nice to meet you, too, Mr. Whet. (So he CAN pull himself together when he wants to! Grr... If only the trial wasn't starting in a few minutes...)

Blackquill:
Having been accused of a murder that only occurred yesterday... ...I'm afraid it's taken a toll on the poor boy.

Athena:
And you happened to be there at the theater where it all happened, too, right? They said they found a rakugo storyteller murdered in his dressing room.

Blackquill:
Indeed. The victim, master storyteller Taifu Toneido, was a long time patron of Whet Soba. Master Toneido had been looking after Bucky ever since Whet Noodle No. 3 passed away.

Athena:
I see. So the victim was kind of like a father to the defendant, huh.

Bucky:
Dat shtupid ol' fart... Like a father...?! Naw way! He was alwaysh disshing my soba...

Blackquill:
How dare you speak ill of him? Running your mouth like that is why they suspected you of his murder in the first place! Now, pull yourself together. No. 3 must be rolling in his grave.

Bucky:
...B-B-But Siiiiimey... *hic* Da police... None o' dem believesh me... Dey won' lishen t'me *sniffle*

Athena:
(It looks like he's still in shock from the whole ordeal) Don't worry, Mr. Whet. Everything's gonna be all right! I'm going to defend you with everything I've got. You're in good hands now!

Bucky:
Y'mean... you believe me, ma'am...?

Athena:
Of course! No matter what I'll believe in you to the very end!

Bucky:
Gee whiz, Miz Chickadee...

Athena:
Now c'mon, I need you to shape up -- just like those al dente noodles of yours!

Bucky:
Yesh, ma'am...! My soba ish the freshesht... *urp*

Athena:
M-Mr. Whet!

Blackquill:
*sigh* Bucky, you great, big pillock.

Athena:
So, uh, how exactly do you know this guy?

Blackquill:
I used to frequent Whet Soba -- and still do, in fact -- so I've known him since he was a lad. That's why his father and Master Toneido were always so good to me.

Athena:
...I didn't know you liked soba so much, Simon.

Blackquill:
I wouldn't expect one such as you, who eats meat slapped between slabs of bread... ...to understand the delicate taste, and the subtle textures imparted by buckwheat flour.

Athena:
Hey, that's just rude!

Blackquill:
But I digress.

Athena:
(Hmph! I'm all about flavor and subtlety and stuff!)

Blackquill:
If I let Whet Soba end like this... ...I'll never be able to face No. 3 or Master Toneido in the next life.

Athena:
Ah, I see... And that's why you came to me! You wanted someone you could trust!

Blackquill:
It was never my intention to ask YOU.

Athena:
Grrrrr... (I'll show him! I'll show him I can handle it just fine!)

Blackquill:
Well, I believe it's about time.

Athena:
What?! But we haven't even properly discussed the case yet!

Blackquill:
What's the matter? You look nervous, Athena. Don't tell me you're "chickadee"-ing out.

Athena:
I-I'm just trembling with the excitement of battle -- that's all!

Athena:
Auf geht's! Let's do this! Come on, Mr. Whet! Get up off the floor -- we've got a case to win!

Bucky:
Yesh, Miz Chickadee... I'm gonna do my besht... *hic*

Whet Soba! Whet Soba!
Whet Soba! Whet Soba! Whet Soba!

Bucky:
Yello! Two bowls of noodles...? Sorry sir, no can do... Kinda busy at the courthouse... Huh? Dey, dey hung up... Eh heh. Okay! Let'sh do dish... *hic*

Athena:
...He's not going to do himself or his case any favors like this, Simon. Maybe we should let him go get some rest somewhere...?

Bucky:
Lemme resht? Hah! Mehbee if I were a lump o' regular flour dough fer udon noodles! But I'm fresh, like my soba! 'N y'don't let soba dough resht... 'S all about the "three freshes"! Grind da buckwheat seeds fresh, cut da dough fresh, and boil da noodles fre-- *urp*

Blackquill:
H-He's blacked out!

Athena:
(Oh, boy. I just KNEW something like this would happen) Simon, what are these "three freshes" of soba he was talking about?

Blackquill:
First, buckwheat seeds, or "groats," are ground to make buckwheat flour. Then dough made with the flour is cute with a large, rectangular knife into noodles. And, finally, the buckwheat noodles are boiled. Each step is done immediately, one after the other, so that the soba is fresh when eaten.

Athena:
Oh, so that's what he meant. (I wouldn't want him to make me any soba right now, though, that's for sure.)

Blackquill:
Athena, this is no time for idle chatter. You need to get into the courtroom, now. Just remember: as a prosecutor, I will be unable to lend you a hand. So don't expect any help from my quarter.

Athena:
There you go, treating me like I'm incompetent again! For your information, I wasn't planning on asking you for help anyway! (Grrr! Just you wait, Simon! I'll show you! Mr. Wright and Apollo may not be here... ...but that's all right. I can do this on my own!)


May 13, 9:50 AM
District Court - Courtroom No. 4
Day 1
Court Is Now In Session
All Rise

Judge:
Court is now in session for the trial of Bucky Whet.

Athena:
The defense is ready, Your Honor!

Nahyuta:
The prosecution is fully prepared, Your Honor.

Judge:
What's this? No prayer this time, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?

Nahyuta:
That is correct, Your Honor. To expedite these proceedings, I completed them beforehand in the lobby.

Judge:
How very thoughtful of you. By the way, what brings you back to this country?

Nahyuta:
Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth himself called on me to handle this case. Besides, I have a debt to repay. And though my opponent is yet a callow thing... I have no qualms with sending her down to hell.

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
If you have a score to settle, it's with Apollo, not me! But more importantly... I am not a "callow thing." I'm a qualified and capable attorney!

Nahyuta:
Then what is that yellow attire, if not proof of your immaturity, you small, spring chick? Now, cease your shrill chirping.

Judge:
Now, now, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. She is still only a teenager. Please go easy on her.

Athena:
(Great! Now even the judge is giving me the kid treatment!)

Nahyuta:
Very well. Shall we begin, Your Honor?

Judge:
Hmm, I suppose we should. Now then, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, please give your opening statement.

Athena:
(I'll show them what I can do! They'll be sorry they underestimated me!)

Nahyuta:
Certainly. Let the last rites of the victim commence. The incident is believed to have occurred at around 4 PM yesterday, May 12... at a storytellers' theater called "Kurukuru Tei." The victim was a great master of the Toneido school of "rakugo," or "comedic storytelling." His name was Taifu Toneido. The scene of the murder was the theater's dressing room. It is accessible via the stall entrance hallway, and has an inner and outer sliding door.

Backstage Diagram added to the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
The estimated time of death is between 2 PM and 5 PM. The cause of death is suffocation, though how the victim suffocated is yet to be determined. The autopsy report found nothing unusual in his lungs or stomach, and there is no murder weapon. I will now submit the incident report to the court.

Crime Scene Report added to the Court Record.

Taifu's Autopsy Report added to the Court Record.

Athena:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! How can you name Mr. Whet as the culprit... when you don't know how the victim was killed -- or even with what?!

Nahyuta:
While it is true that the weapon and precise method are, as yet, unknown... the accused is the only one who had the opportunity to commit the murder. I will explain this assertion in further detail as we continue.

Athena:
(Ugh. I guess this means he has some kind of evidence to present...)

Nahyuta:
Now, would the accused care to plead his case?

Judge:
Come to think of it, where IS the defendant, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
S-Sorry, Your Honor. But I'm afraid Mr. Whet isn't feeling very well, and is resting in the infirmary.

Nahyuta:
Surely it is the lack of a clear conscience that impedes him from facing this court.

Athena:
(Great. Starting off on the wrong foot already...)

Nahyuta:
Mr. Whet is the head chef of a soba shop frequented by the victim. On the day of the incident, Mr. Whet went to the theater at the victim's request. Taifu Toneido was a connoisseur of soba. As you can see in these photographs... he was apparently making soba himself in his dressing room that very day. The soba found at the scene is likely the soba he himself made there.

Athena:
(Liking soba is one thing, but making it in a theater dressing room's a bit much, non?)

Judge:
Master Toneido truly had a passion for soba, didn't he? For a man like that to be murder by a soba chef is simply unthinkable.

Nahyuta:
And yet, the accused had ample motive. For in the victim's safe, we discovered the deed to the accused's shop. Mr. Whet was to inherit Whet Soba when he lost his father recently. However, it's believed the victim stole the shop's deed during the transfer process. The prosecution believes the accused killed the victim in order to get the deed back.

Whet Soba Deed added to the Court Record.

Judge:
Hmm... A murder over the deed to a shop... That does sound like a plausible motive.

Athena:
(So THAT'S what this case is about... I wish Simon had filled me in a little better... I could've contributed more than just a thousand buckets of cold sweat if he had...)

Nahyuta:
Defense. From your demeanor, I gather you know very little about the details of this case.

Athena:
W-Well, you see...

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
You are dishonoring the soul of the victim by appearing in the courtroom unprepared. You are an embarrassment to your profession, you putrid egg yolk!

Athena:
Eeeeeek! I-I'm sorry! (Apollo's a "red pepper," and now, I'm an "egg yolk"?! We've only just started and I've already been demoted from "spring chick"...)

Nahyuta:
I am ready to call my witness, Your Honor. Let us listen to the words of one who was present when the crime was discovered.

Athena:
(Someone who was there when the victim's body was found?)

Judge:
Very well. Witness, please take the stand.


Nahyuta:
Witness, please state your name and occupation.

Blackquill:
Simon Blackquill... Prosecutor.

Athena:
P-Prosecutor Blackquill! You didn't tell me you were going to take the stand!

Blackquill:
There simply wasn't time.

Nahyuta:
What a shame, Prosecutor Blackquill. Had you shared the damning scene you witnessed beforehand with the defense... we could've moved this trial along, and saved the victim's soul that much faster.

Athena:
("D-Damning scene"...? What in the world did Simon see?)

Blackquill:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, was it? Before I give my testimony, there's something I'd like to confirm.

Nahyuta:
By all means.

Blackquill:
This case involves "rakugo," a very traditional form of Japanese comedic storytelling. Do you have enough knowledge of this art form to handle the case competently?

Nahyuta:
Are you implying that I am not qualified for this case?

Blackquill:
Not yet -- I am simply trying to ascertain your familiarity with the topic... for now.

Nahyuta:
It is the prosecutor's duty to learn the background of any case he takes on. I did some rakugo last night, and have grasped the overall idea of it.

Blackquill:
Hmph. How much could you possibly grasp in a single night?

Nahyuta:
Rakugo is a form of entertaining storytelling that originated in the land of Japan. In it, the storyteller sits alone on the stage, with only a fan and a towel as... and the rakugo artist tells long, whimsical stories, giving each character a distinct voice. This traditional art was originally invented by monks to make sermons more interesting. Are you satisfied? If not, I could explain the twelve types of endings to such stories... or shall I perform the famous story of Jugemu instead?

Blackquill:
Augh! I-It appears you have put in a bit of study...

Nahyuta:
Your acknowledgement is most welcome, Prosecutor Blackquill.

Judge:
I can see why you are know for being quite thorough in your research, prosecutor. Now, I would love to see you perform that story you mentioned, if you don't mind.

Nahyuta:
If that is Your Honor's request... Jugemu, Jugemu--

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
Your Honor! Could we please get back to the trial?!

Judge:
Oh, right! Of course. I nearly forgot!

Athena:
Seriously? Of all the things for you to forget...

Judge:
Ahem! Now then, back to the case. Prosecutor Blackquill. Please tell the court what you witnessed.


Witness Testimony
-- What Simon Saw --

Blackquill:
I went to the theater yesterday, and arrived at... approximately 4 PM.
I went straight to Master Tonedio's dressing room to say hello.
Bucky went into the dressing room thereafter, only to come storming out a while later.
Master Toneido's junior disciple, Uendo, apparently then entered the room soon after.
That's when Unedo discovered Master Toniedo's body.


Athena:
N-Now, wait just a minute here, Prosecutor Blackquill! W-With a testimony like that... you're practically accusing Mr. Whet of the crime!

Blackquill:
All I can do is state what I saw. I can't help how it appears. But a "qualified and capable attorney" such as you should be able to dispatch with it, right?

Athena:
W-Well, yeah, duh! (A-All right. I guess I'd better start by getting all the info out of him that I can.)


Cross Examination
-- What Simon Saw --

Blackquill:
I went to the theater yesterday, and arrived at... approximately 4 PM.

Blackquill:
I went straight to Master Toneido's dressing room to say hello.

Blackquill:
Bucky went into the dressing room thereafter, only to come storming out a while later.

Blackquill:
Master Toneido's junior disciple, Uendo, apparently then entered the room soon after.

Blackquill:
That's when Uendo discovered Master Toneido's body.

Athena:
(Simon has no reason to lie, but I also don't have much to go on. I'd better ask all the questions I can.)


After pressing all statements:

Judge:
Hmm... Well done, Prosecutor Blackquill. Your testimony has given us quite a glimpse into the sequence of events.

Nahyuta:
Thank you, Prosecutor Blackquill. And now, please allow me to summairze your testimony. While Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru were in the hallway waiting for Master Toneido... the accused came along and entered the dressing room with some items in tow. He was heard shouting for a time inside the dressing room. About ten minutes later, he came back out of the room, seeming rather angry. A short time after the accused had come and gone, Uendo Toneido went into the room. A few minutes later, after having discovered the victim's body, Uendo gave a scream... and came running out into the hallway from within. Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru then ran into the room and saw the body for themselves. From the circumstances, it is quite clear that the accused murdered the victim.

Judge:
Hmm... This is crucial testimony indeed.

Simon's Statement added to the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
Defense. An eyewitness has given conclusive testimony. Why not let it all go now, and allow the victim his last rites?

Athena:
Not on your life! If Uendo went into the dressing, too, and was the first to discover the body... then who's to say HE didn't commit the crime!

Nahyuta:
Uendo was in the dressing room for a mere two, perhaps three minutes. He could not have possibly committed the murder in that time, nor without making any noise.

Athena:
(Ooh, Simon! Why did you have to give that awful testimony!) Prosecutor Blackquill! Can't you give me something a little better to work with here?!

Blackquill:
Isn't it up to you to ask the right questions? I am certainly willing to tell you all that I know. So, if you are truly capable as you claim, then draw out what you need yourself!

Athena:
This is no time for your twisted games, Prosecutor Blackquill! Just admit that you don't remember it all that well!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
SoJ-chant

Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill... Watching you collude with the defense like this, I see that you are no prosecutor. Be gone, witness! You shall haunt this sacred hall no more!

Blackquill:
Hmph. How dare you treat me like some evil spirit to be exorcised. I'll remember this, you blackguard...

Athena:
Don't worry, Prosecutor Blackquill. I've got this!

Nahyuta:
Would I have my way, he would not be the only one here to step down... you half-boiled, putrid egg yolk!

Athena:
(Eww... I object to the notion that I'm a gooey, smelly mess!)

Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill's testimony was like the lowly opening act of a rakugo show. He may hold the title "prosecutor," but this time, he stood on the side of the defense. To restore balance to this trial, I would like to present an actual witness for the prosecution.

Judge:
And who is this witness?

Nahyuta:
The person who was with Prosecutor Blackquill when the body was discovered. She is another entertainer of the Toneido School: Ms. Geiru Toneido.


Judge:
Please state your name and occupation, witness.

Geiru:
Hello, everyone! I'm here to represent the Toneido School with a twisty, twist, twiist! And BLOOOON! There you have it! A stunning balloon hat! It's me! The balloon artist you all know and love, Geeeiru Toneidoooo! Just call me Geiru, sweetie! One, two... BLOOOON!

Judge:
Wh-What a way to capture your audience's attention! I daresay I can't take my eyes off those balloons.

Athena:
Please tell me you're talking about the hat, Your Honor...

Geiru:
Oh Mister Judgey! I'm so glad you liked my performance! Would you consider joining my fan club, pwetty pwease?

Judge:
Oh, absolutely!

Athena:
And please save your fanboying for after the trial, Your Honor... Anyway, Geiru... I can't help but notice, you seem awfully cheerful for having just lost your master.

Geiru:
Of course I'm sad... But Shisho would scold me if I didn't put on a big smile. Never show sadness! Smile, smile, smile! With a twisty, twist, twiiist! And BLOOOON! There you have it! One gorgeous cake!

Athena:
I-I see. I guess an entertainer's gotta do what an entertain's gotta do... (Her balloon art's worse than a Rorschach test. All I saw was a severed monster head...) Geiru, you're obvious a balloon artist. So how did you come to be a member of a rakugo school?

Geiru:
Well, my father -- my late father, that is -- was a rakugo artist, you see... So I joined the Toneido School to be just like my daddy someday!

Athena:
I see.

Geiru:
My father and I owe so much to Shisho, our master! But that Bucky Whet... Oooooh, how could he?! I want to see him pay for what he's done as quickly as possible!

Judge:
Your distress is entirely understandable. And my condolences for your loss.

Geiru:
And, and, not only that, but he...

Athena:
Y-You have more to say about Mr. Whet?

Geiru:
Every time he comes to deliver soba to us, he yells at me! He always tells me to "get away!"

Athena:
Is there any reason why he would say such a thing to you?

Geiru:
He says the smell of my perfume will get into his soba and ruin it! Like, how can he say that?! This is a greaaaat scent!

Judge:
Hmph! How very rude of him. I don't blame you for being upset.

Athena:
Excuse me, Your Honor! But please don't let Geiru's "balloons" bias your judgement! Mr. Whet hasn't been proven guilty yet, remember?!

Nahyuta:
Hmph. It will be interesting to see how long that fire of yours will last, defense. Now then Geiru. Please share the truth with this court.

Judge:
Yes Geiru. Your testimony please.


Witness Testimony
-- Before the Murder Was Discovered --

Geiru:
From 4 PM to a little after 4:20 PM, when Shisho's body was found...
...Simon and I were standing in the hallway in front of the dressing room.
Before Uendo discovered the body, the only person who had gone in there was Bucky.
Come to think of it, a little while before Bucky showed up, Jugemu was barking like mad!


Nahyuta:
Prosecutor Blackquill, do you have any objections to this witnesses's testimony?

Blackquill:
........No. Tsk! Make up your bloody mind, Sad Monk Sahdmadhi. First you exorcise me, now this.

Nahyuta:
Hmph. You only do as you are instructed by this humble servant of the Holy Mother. As there are no objections, Your Honor, let us move on to the salvation of the victim's soul.

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
Hey! I'M the defense attorney here, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! And I might have an objection or two once I ACTUALLY cross-examine the witness! So what are you asking Prosecutor Blackquill for?! I'M the one you should be checking with!

Nahyuta:
There is a passage in the sacred scriptures of Khura'inism. "To stir the wind is beyond the power of a spring chick." In other words, the inexperienced are useless. With that in mind, it seemed more judicious to consult with Prosecutor Blackquill.

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha! He doesn't even see you as an adversary Cykes-dono!

Athena:
Well, I won't let either one of you insult me! I'll show you I'm no inexperienced "spring chick"! Your Honor! I'm ready to cross-examine the witness!

Judge:
Hmm... I hope you can make Prosecutor Sahdmadhi see you as a worthy adversary, Ms. Cykes. I'll allow your cross-examination, so you'd better strike while the iron is hot!


Cross Examination
-- Before the Murder Was Discovered --

Geiru:
From 4PM to a little after 4:20 PM, when Shisho's body was found...

Geiru:
Simon and I were standing in the hallway in front of the dressing room.

Geiru:
Before Uendo discovered the body, the only person who had gone in there was Bucky.

Geiru:
Come to think of it, a little while before Bucky showed up, Jugemu was barking like mad!

Geiru:
I was in the yard, but the door was wide open, so I could keep watch on the dressing room.

Athena:
(Okay, so, around the time of the murder... Geiru and Simon were hanging out just outside the dressing room. Guess I'm going to have to find a flaw in there somehow if I want to get anywhere.)


Athena:
So, you were able to keep an eye on the dressing room while you were out in the yard. Is that correct?

Geiru:
That's right. The door out into the yard was wide open.

Athena:
Sorry, but that makes zero sense. Take a look at this diagram of the backstage area. There is a clear contradiction between this diagram and the witnesses's testimony!

Judge:
Oh...? I'm afraid I don't understand, Ms. Cykes. Please point out what contradicts the witness's testimony.

Athena:
Geiru was in the yard near the doghouse. Prosecutor Blackquill even saw her there. And while she was there, the door to the yard had been left open.

Judge:
Ah! I see!

Athena:
Yes, if the door to the yard was "wide open," as Geiru said... it would've blocked her view, making it impossible for her to see the dressing room!

Geiru:
What?! No waaay!

Nahyuta:
But even if there were admittedly a few moments Geiru was not keeping watch... how much would that really affect this case?

Athena:
It would greatly affect the case! From the spot Prosecutor Blackquill stood, he couldn't see the dressing room door, either. Anyone could have entered the dressing room during that time without being seen!

Geiru:
Eeeeeek!

Athena:
Geiru, why did you try to hide the fact that you weren't watching the dressing room?

Geiru:
What? I-I-I...

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
"Hide the fact"? You speak as though you think she had something to do with the murder. Rather than a deliberate deception, it was more likely a simple oversight. Right witness?

Geiru:
Well... I... I was so shocked by what happened I was just confused, that's all.

Nahyuta:
Even though she is trying to keep up a brave front as an entertainer... the truth is that she is being torn apart by grief. For her mind to be in turmoil is hardly unexpected.

Judge:
Yes, it must be very difficult, indeed.

Nahyuta:
To a disciple, one's master is akin to a real parent. Surely, her shock is immense. The way this lawyer tries to pin the blame on this poor soul at first opportunity... All I can say is... defense attorneys are heartless creatures indeed.

Athena:
But I wasn't...! That was't what I was trying to do...!

Nahyuta:
Is it beyond your comprehension, defense? Your unskilled argument is scarring this witness even further. And is we ask the people of this courtroom, I am sure they would agree.

Athena:
What?! The gallery doesn't get a say in this!

Nahyuta:
Are you afraid to find out that they think ill of you? Or perhaps you are in the wrong? Listen to them now with that keen sense of hearing you are so proud of.

Gallery:
He's right. That was harsh. She didn't have to go that far!
I feel kind of sorry for the witness... And why is the lawyer's outfit so yellow?

Athena:
N-No... I was just trying... to find the truth... (Why is the whole gallery siding with Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?)

Nahyuta:
The people understand... They know what is right, and what is wrong.

Gallery:
That lawyer's still in training, isn't she? Why is she all by herself?

Athena:
(I hear the voices of the gallery... I can hear the voices of their hearts...! It's so intense... I feel so alone up here, fighting by myself...)

Nahyuta:
Are you afraid, child? It is ludicrous to come to a trial with such paltry preparation of the soul! I command you to leave this courtroom at once!

Athena:
(B-But I can't give up... I have to... I have to... keep pressing on...) As long as there was a moment when nobody was watching the dressing room door... the defendant can't be convicted solely on Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru's testimonies!

Nahyuta:
Hmph. Even now, you would continue to resist? You are childish in defeat as well, I see.

Athena:
I'm not out for the count yet, buster! I'm just getting started!

Nahyuta:
Despite your posturing, is it not true that your resolve could crumble at any moment? With a little push, you would surely succumb to despair. A little push such as with this piece of conclusive evidence.

Athena:
"C-conclusive evidence," huh?

Nahyuta:
That is correct. We found a critical piece of evidence at the scene of the crime: The victim's dying message, which clearly implicates the accused, Bucky Whet! Look at these Japanese playing cards -- known as "karuta" -- lined up on the table. These special English-version karuta cards spell out a message. That message: "WHET NO 4."

Athena:
"WHET NO 4" ...? Y-You mean, "Whet Noodle No. 4"?!

Nahyuta:
Yes, "Whet Noodle No. 4," as the fourth head chef of Whet Soba is also known. The message points to none other than the accused, Bucky Whet!

Athena:
Noooooooooooo!

Judge:
Th-That makes perfect sense, doesn't it!

Geiru:
Wow! Great job, Mr. Prosecutor!

Athena:
(Oh, no! This is really, really bad! What do I do, what do I do?!)

Crime Scene Report updated in the Court Record.

Nahyuta:
Would you still carry on your futile fight in the face of this irrefutable evidence?

Athena:
Y-You can say whatever you want, but we won't know until we--

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
It is cruel to give the accused false hope. You will only compound his suffering. Wise people of the courtroom, do you not agree?

Gallery:
He's right. It's cruel to make him suffer when there's conclusive evidence. What an incompetent newb! I feel bad for the victim AND the defendant!

Athena:
(Wh-What?! But I'm trying to prove Mr. Wher's innocence here!)

Nahyuta:
I know you can hear them, defense. Their voice implore you to save the accused's soul. It is time for you to let it go, and move on, you inexperienced lawyer. You lack the competence with which to accomplish anything meaningful here!

Athena:
(I-Is he right? Is this too much for me to handle on my own?)

Gallery:
What good is she doing anybody? She should just quit right now!

Athena:
(Grrnngh...)

Nahyuta:
Now, defense. Leave everything to this humble servant of the Holy Mother.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
He's trying to use your keen sense of hearing against you to manipulate the trial, Athena. What a cheap trick for a supposedly holy man.

Athena:
S-Simon...!

Blackquill:
And you fopdoodles in the gallery! Can't a man watch a trial in peace?! This inexperienced amateur is about to turn the trial around!

Gallery:
Does that prosecutor really think she can turn things around...?

Athena:
(The mood in this courtroom is starting to change!)

Judge:
Prosecutor Blackquill! What are you doing at the defense's bench?!

Blackquill:
Hmph. I grew bored of watching from the gallery. Besides, if I were to leave this trial to this spring chick... and lose my favorite soba shop in the process, I will be quite cross.

Nahyuta:
You voluntarily stand on the side of impurity and sin? Truly, what a fool you are.

Blackquill:
To think, you were so easily manipulated by his parlor tricks... What happened to "qualified and capable," Athena?

Athena:
I-I just let my guard down a little bit! But it won't happen again!

Blackquill:
Hmph. Then gird up your loins, and steel yourself for battle!

Athena:
I'm not girding up anything in this skirt! But I AM ready to get serious!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
It seems there is now yet another soul I must cast down into hell...

Blackquill:
I was in prison for a long time. And "hell" sounds no worse than "cell," to be honest.

Nahyuta:
Ah, but the fires of hell will not be the end of your suffering. For the sin you have just committed, you shall surely be reborn as a panda in your next life. A white and black, reverse panda, that is. And you shall be put in a zoo, to be exposed to public ridicule.

Athena:
A threat like that won't work on Prosecutor Blackquill! After all, he's already used to looking like a panda in THIS life!

Blackquill:
Who are you calling a panda?!

Athena:
S-Sorry!

Nahyuta:
I see that you are both prepared to face the fires of damnation. Geiru, thank you for your service. You may step down now.

Geiru:
Okey-dokey! Bye-bye-ballooooon!

Athena:
(Does EVERYTHING have to be about balloons with her...?)

Nahyuta:
Now, then. I have a witness prepared to testify about the karuta cards.

Judge:
And who is the witness this time?

Nahyuta:
The first to discover the body, and someone who witnessed the crime scene firsthand. Mr. Uendo Toneido. The time has come for that ponytailed pair over there to finally let it go, and move on.

Judge:
Very well. Let's bring in this witness, then.


Judge:
Witness, please state your name and occupation.

Uendo:
I am the rakugo storyteller Uendo Toneido. Even if my performance isn't worth watching, I will certainly watch my words. I wouldn't want to say anything thoughtless and get arrested. After all, that'd be... a "raku-no-no"! Hee hee! Thank you, everybody! Good night!

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
You can't leave yet! You've only just introduced yourself!

Uendo:
Oh, my, my! Are you a fan of mine, miss? Would you like my autograph? One moment...

Athena:
Ow! What do you think you're doing?!

Uendo:
No need to stand on ceremony! My fan deserves a fan, after all. A "fan" for a "fan"! Nice one! Hee hee! Oh, why if it isn't Simon! How are you on this fine day, sir? Quite a dilly of a pickle we've found ourselves in, wouldn't you say?

Blackquill:
I don't believe I've ever seen you talk quite so much, Uendo.

Uendo:
Never performed in a place like this, y'know. I got butterflies here, can't you see? Hee hee!

Athena:
(Why do I always get the weird ones?)

Judge:
Pardon me, witness. As much as I enjoy your banter, I believe we had better return to the case at hand.

Uendo:
Ah, I suppose you're right. In that "case"... I was promoted to "futatsume" yesterday, and received the stage name "Uendo." The show was our way of celebrating my new name and "middle rank" standing! Hee! And then THAT happened... Haah... I never dreamed something like that'd happen, not in a million years. And just as I got my chance to start repaying my debt to Shisho, too... Yeah... Plus, I'm worried about Geiru... The way she clung to Shisho... Poor thing. I told her to keep a stiff upper lip... Stiff like rigor mortis... Keep telling those lame jokes, and Shisho'll come scold you from the grave! I wouldn't mind getting yelled at, you know, if it meant seeing him again.

Athena:
Uendo, please... As charming as your various characters are, this isn't a rakugo stage.

Nahyuta:
Let us hear your testimony now, witness. Tell the court about the evidence left at the scene -- the proof of the accused's guilt.


Witness Testimony
-- Shisho's Dying Message --

Uendo:
I noticed Shisho's dying message right away.
The stiff cards were right next to the stiff, you see.
Hey now, enough with the silly puns already! Hee hee!
Anyway, I got the meaning right away. I knew it must've been talking about Bucky!
That was the master's final message, left as he was drowning in soba broth.
It's so like Shisho not to write Bucky's name outright. "Plain and simple" wasn't his style.


Judge:
Well! That was certainly a more entertaining testimony than usual. The variety of characters performed by the witness was absolutely splendid!

Athena:
But he shouldn't be performing any characters in the first place, Your Honor! And, Uendo! The murder weapon hasn't been determined yet! So how can you say that the victim was drowned in soba broth?!

Uendo:
It's obvious. All you have to do is look at the crime scene. He was found with his face shoved in a bowl. It's only natural to assume he was drowned in the broth for noodles!

Athena:
Except we're not here to assume things, Uendo, so please stick to just the facts!

Uendo:
My, my! It's so like a soba chef to kill someone this way, wouldn't you say? And with the karuta message he left behind, it's clear Bucky Whet did it!

Judge:
Hmm... Setting aside the issue of the murder weapon for now... that dying message certainly does seem to be irrefutable evidence.

Nahyuta:
Indeed. It proves the absolute guilt of the accused.

Athena:
Urgh... Even I've gotta admit that I can't see how that message could mean anything else...

Uendo:
Bucky used soba for the deed, all to get back the soba shop deed.

Athena:
Nngh! (This testimony makes Mr. Whet look super guilty. I have to do something!)

Blackquill:
Hmph. That's his "conclusive evidence"? What a farce!

Athena:
What do you mean, Simon?

Blackquill:
What's this? I thought you said you weren't planning on asking me for help?

Athena:
Arngh...! I did, and I won't, thank you very much!

Athena:
(Simon must've found an inconsistency in the testimony. I'd better listen carefully, and try to see what he found!)


Cross Examination
-- Shisho's Dying Message --

Uendo:
I noticed Shisho's dying message right away.

Uendo:
The stiff cards were right next to the stiff, you see?

Uendo:
Hey now, enough with the silly puns already! Hee hee!

Uendo:
Anyway, I got the meaning right away. I knew it must've been talking about Bucky!

Uendo:
That was the master's final message, left as he was drowning in soba broth.

Uendo:
It's so like Shisho not to write Bucky's name outright. "Plain and simple" wasn't his style.

Athena:
S-Simon, are all rakugo artists like this?

Blackquill:
Hmph. It's hard to say. It could simply be the eccentricity of an entertainer, or perhaps he's hiding something.

Athena:
(Well, he doesn't have to entertain people in a court of law. And if he IS trying to hide something, maybe it'll show up as a contradiction or something.)


Athena:
There's a contradiction in Uendo's testimony!

Judge:
And would you care to explain where, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Certainly, Your Honor. According to the autopsy report, nothing unusual was found in the victim's lungs.

Judge:
Ah, yes. It does say that, doesn't it?

Uendo:
.........

Athena:
If he HAD drowned in a bowl of soba, then there should've been soba broth in his lungs! But since there wasn't any... it means the victim was suffocated with something other than soba broth!

Uendo:
Pyoooooo!

Judge:
Wh-What?!

Athena:
This is the contradiction you noticed, isn't it, Simon?

Blackquill:
Heh. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Athena:
Heh heh heh. I guess I showed you!

Judge:
Hmm... But if drowning in the soba broth WASN'T the cause of death... then when was the victim's face thrust into that bowl?

Athena:
Taifu Toneido's face was thrust into the bowl...

Athena:
Because no soba broth was discovered in the victim's lungs... his head would've been placed into the bowl AFTER he was killed! And that's when the soba broth must've been spilled onto the karuta cards. In other words, the victim could NOT have lined up the cards as he was drowning!

Judge:
Hmm... I see. So it was done AFTER he was already dead... But why would the culprit do such a thing?

Athena:
Umm... I'm afraid I don't know yet.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Heh... You boast of psychological expertise, yet you cannot determine such a simple motive? My sides are liable to split at the absurdity.

Athena:
What, and I supposed YOU know why?!

Nahyuta:
Of course. Desecrating the body in that manner... indicates a strong sense of enmity on the part of the perpetrator.

Judge:
Yes, that does make sense... It certainly paints a clear picture of the culprits intense feelings toward the victim.

Nahyuta:
Feelings of resentment over the theft of the soba shop deed, no doubt.

Athena:
(Just great. Now the judge has an even more unfavorable impression of Bucky!)

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Must you come undone at every juncture? If the culprit had time enough to set up Master Toneido's body... do you think they would've honestly failed to notice the dying message?

Athena:
Good point... The cards WERE right in front of his body, after all... Rationally speaking, there's no way the culprit could've missed that, huh.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Ah, but was the accused rational at the time, given the way he stormed out of that room?

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Never mind that. I have something more important to ask Uendo.

Uendo:
M-Me?!

Blackquill:
You saw the karuta cards firsthand, did you not? Would you care to tell us about them in a bit more detail? Those tiny crime scene photos show us precious little of what I wish to know.

Uendo:
Well, those cards are from Shisho's special "Soba Scenes of Tokyo Past" set. Each card is related in some way to soba.

Blackquill:
Spare me the history lesson! Just tell me how the cards looked at the scene, and no more!

Uendo:
Well, uh, there was soba broth spilled all over them...

Judge:
Hmm... That's not much help, I'm afraid. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, do you have a photo that shows the cards more clearly?

Nahyuta:
............I do. Please accept this meager offering, Your Honor.

Judge:
Oh, my. What delightful-looking cards!

Blackquill:
......Well, well. Tearing Prosecutor Sad Monk's "conclusive evidence" apart should be a breeze with this.

Athena:
Huh?

Blackquill:
Don't tell me you haven't noticed.

Athena:
D-Don't be silly! Of course I have! (...Not noticed anything. But I can't exactly say that now, can I...?)

Karuta Cards added to the Court Record.

Judge:
Ms. Cykes, do you really see a problem with the prosecution's claim about these cards?

Blackquill:
Well, go on, then.

Athena:
A-All right... (It's do or die...! All I have to do is study the picture and...) These cards...

Athena:
These cards were rearranged!

Judge:
But how can you tell?

Athena:
Please take a good look at these cards, Your Honor. The answer is right in front of us.

Judge:
Where exactly should we be looking, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Please focus your attention on the soba broth stains on these cards. The outline of these stains don't match up with the larger stain on the table.

Judge:
Oh, would you look at that! You're absolutely right! And...?

Athena:
Please recall that the soba broth was spilled and got on the cards AFTER the murder... when the victim's face was placed in the bowl.

Judge:
Yes, go on.

Athena:
By the stains, we can see that the culprit deliberately rearranged the cards after that. In other words... this message was altered in order to pin the crime on my client!

Judge:
Wh-What?! Th-Then, if we put the cards back in their original positions...?

Athena:
We can restore the evidence, and see who the cards were really pointing toward!

Judge:
Th-That's true!

Nahyuta:
...Pohlkun--!

Athena:
Then what are we waiting for?! Let's do this! (All I have to do is rearrange the cards so that the stains match up!) Let's see. Where was this "W" card originally?

Athena:
Perfect! Okay. The "H" card is next. Let's see. Where was this "H" card originally?

Athena:
Yes! Now the "E" card! Let's see. Where was this "E" card originally?

Athena:
A perfect match! Next up is the "T" card. Let's see. Where was this "T" card originally?

Athena:
Great! That fits right in there! Now the "N" card. Let's see. Where was this "N" card originally?

Athena:
There! That looks good. Now "O"! Let's see. Where was this "O" card originally?

Athena:
Nice! Almost done now! The last card is "4." Let's see. Where was this "4" card originally?

Athena:
So the message "WHET NO 4"... was originally supposed to say "OWEN 4TH"! And this original message is our clue to the identity of the true culprit!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Blackquill:
Heh! That indignant look on Prosecutor Sad Monk's face is positively priceless!

Nahyuta:
This is absurd!

Gallery:
It wasn't "WHET NO 4"? Maybe the lawyer is smarter than we thought!

Judge:
Order! Order in the court! Well! I never would've imagined that there was more to these cards than meets the eye!

Karuta Cards updated in the Court Record.

Judge:
So now that that's settled... what does this "OWEN 4TH" mean?!

Athena:
............Wait. Am I...?

Blackquill:
Who else do you suppose is to provide an explanation?! Of course it's you!

Athena:
B-But I hadn't thought that far yet...

Nahyuta:
Change the cards around all you'd like, but if you cannot explain what the message means... then it is as worthless as you are, defense!

Athena:
N-Nooooooooooooooo!

Nahyuta:
And so the spring chick that fancies itself as a graceful swan is brought back down to Earth.

Athena:
(I have to do something! But what?!)

Blackquill:
Still your thoughts for a second. There's a perfectly good witness to question over there.

Athena:
Oh! Right! That's a good idea! (Come on, Athena! Get ahold of yourself!) Uendo, does the phrase "OWEN 4TH" mean anything to you?

Uendo:
No. There's no one named "Owen" in the Toneido family, or our circle of friends. Go ahead, ask anybody you'd like!

Athena:
You can't be serious...

Nahyuta:
Having rummaged through you empty mind, I see you have, as expected, turned up nothing.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Hmph. I'm afraid I have no idea who the devil this "OWEN 4TH" is, either. But the fact remains that the cards were rearranged to pin the blame on Mr. Whet. That in itself proves that the defendant isn't the real culprit.

Athena:
Prosecutor Blackquill is right! Besides, the important question here is not..." Who does the message point to?" but rather..."Who rearranged the cards?"

Blackquil:
Tsk. Why didn't you point that out eariler if you already knew?

Athena:
S-Sorry. In any case, there were two opportunities for someone to rearrange the cards. The first was when Mr. Whet entered the dressing room...and the second was when Uendo discovered the body.

Uendo:
Are you accusing me of rearranging the cards? ME, who came to testify out of the goodness of my heart?!

Blackquill:
Well, you didn't exactly come running out screaming straight away, did you? Even a mere two to three minutes is more than enough time to get up to some devilry. So what exactly were you doing in there, Uendo?

Uendo:
*sip* *sip*

Blackquill:
Put down the tea, and spit out your answer!

Uendo:
Eep! M-Mr. Prosecutor! What's a guy supposed to do at a time like this?

Nahyuta:
"Silence is more precious than diamonds," witness. Therefore, you need only remain silent. The defense is devious. They are waiting for you to make a slip of the tongue.

Uendo:
Oh, I see. So that's what you're after, is it? In that case...Your Honor, I've decided not to say another word.

Nahyuta:
Very good. After all, your right to remain silent is protected by law.

Athena:
Well, Prosecutor Blackquill? Any other brilliant ideas you'd like to share?

Blackquill:
Heh heh heh... Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you hear that, Cykes-dono? A rakugo artist who's afraid to speak! Who's ever heard of such a thing!

Nahyuta:
Are you trying to taunt him into talking? Such a petty trick will never work.

Uendo:
That's right. I'm not going to fall for it.

Blackquill:
I'm only asking to hear your story. Besides, is it not your job to tell tales if there is an audience to listen?

Uendo:
E-Even so, I have a right to refuse to answer.

Blackquill:
The more you keep quiet, the more we want you to talk. That's simply human nature. Isn't that right, people of the gallery?!

Uendo:
...........

Blackquil:
Even with this wonderful audience in front of you, you still refuse to talk? If so, then perhaps you chose the wrong line of work, my friend!

Uendo:
Are you saying I should quit?! Because I'm not afraid to speak my mind, I'm have you know. Oh, no! Never mind what I just said! It IS scary to talk! It's absolutely terrifying! But, no! As a rakugo artist, I must talk! If I don't, how can I ever show my face on stage again?! Your Honor, I'm ready to testify!

Athena:
(H-He did it! He managed to convince Uendo with the power of suggestion technique!)

Blackquill:
Bully for you, Uendo! That's as a REAL rakugo artist should be!

Judge:
A-All right... If the witness wishes to testify, then by all means, please do.

Nahyuta:
To be turned by such an obvious ploy... What a man of weak spirit.


Witness Testimony
-- In The Dressing Room --

Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.
I called to him outside the room... but he didn't reply.
When I entered the dressing room, I saw Shisho slumped over the table, motionless!


Nahyuta:
From what I can tell, there do not appear to be any inconsistencies in the testimony.

Uendo:
Of course there aren't any. Because I'm not trying to hide anything.

Athena:
(Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's right. I don't see anything inconsistent, either. But I did pick up on some faint discord in Uendo's heart.)

Nahyuta:
Hmph. Ponder all you would like, defense, but it is pointless. Your Honor. I believe there is no need for further deliberation...

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
I disagree, Your Honor! I detected discord in the voice of the witness's heart! That's a clear indication that Uendo is facing some sort of inner turmoil!

Judge:
Hmm... Are you saying... what I think you're saying, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Yes, Your Honor! The defense would like to conduct a quick therapy session on this witness!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Uendo, there is no need for you to submit to this so-called "therapy".

Uendo:
It's fine by me! I have nothing to hide. Bring it on!

Nahyuta:
Impetuous fool! Why will you not listen to the guidance of this humble servant of the Holy Mother?!

Judge:
If the witness wishes to proceed, I see no problem, Prosecutor.

Blackquill:
Heh heh heh. In one ear and out the other. It seems this performer has no need for your so-called "guidance," Prosecutor Sad Monk.

Nahyuta:
Just know this Uendo: your folly will surely earn you divine retribution.

Athena:
Thanks, Simon! I'm going to make the most of this opportunity you created for me!

Blackquill:
Heh. Just keep your wits about you.

Athena:
I will! Uendo, could you tell us again about what happened in the dressing room?


Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.

Uendo:
I called to him from outside the room...

Uendo:
...but he didn't reply.

Uendo:
When I entered the dressing room, I saw Shisho slumped over the table, motionless!

Athena:
Hmm... I didn't really notice any unexpected emotions in that testimony...

Blackquill:
But it isn't always a question of the presence of an emotional response, but the absence.

Athena:
You know... You're right. (It's not always the emotions I do see. Sometimes, It's a matter of what I don't, but would expect so see... I'd better carefully compare Uendo's statements to his emotions again!)


Athena:
Uendo, I'm noticing something strange with these emotions.

Uendo:
"Some thin stranger with cheesy toe skin," you say?

Athena:
No! "Something strange with these emotions"! How could you have heard "some thin stranger with cheesy toe skin"?!

Uendo:
I don't know. Maybe it's me who's got some cheese in my ears...

Athena:
(Did he will the floor to open up and swallow his cushions out of shame for that bad joke?) The point I'm trying to make is that I noticed something unexpected in your emotions! Now stop hiding and come out where we can see you!

Judge:
Bailiff, please bring the witness a few replacement cushions.

Uendo:
So what was this unexpected thing you noticed?

Athena:
Oh, come on! His Honor said a few cushions -- not a few dozen!

Judge:
Now that we've all had a good laugh, please continue, Ms. Cykes.

Athena:
(Who's laughing?! Argh! Focus, Athena! Don't let yourself get rattled!) When you entered the room and saw your master slumped motionless over the table... you weren't the least bit shocked, Uendo. Don't you think that's a little odd?

Uendo:
I-Is it, though?

Athena:
The lack of surprise means you were prepared for what you saw. (And I think I know why... The reason Uendo wasn't shaken when he saw his masters dead body is because...)

Athena:
Uendo, I think maybe the reason you weren't shaken was because... you already knew you would find your master dead!

Uendo:
Pyooooooooooo! Wh-Whaaat?! What kind of a thing is that to say?! You've got it all wrong...! O-Oh right! I just remembered something! I thought Shisho was just sleeping when I first saw him! Hee hee!

NOISE LEVEL
50%

Athena:
You thought he was sleeping? (It sounds plausible, but...) What made you think he was asleep?

Uendo:
Well, he had his head and arms up on the table, as if he were taking a nap. Oh, and one other thing! There was that note, too!

Athena:
A note? What note?

Nahyuta:
Ah, he must be talking about this. It appears to have been written by the victim. Allow me to read it. "Resting. Do not disturb."

Uendo:
Yes! That's the note I saw! After reading that, who wouldn't think Shisho was napping?!

Judge:
Hmm... That is a pretty reasonable assumption.

Athena:
(Y-You've gotta be kidding me...)

Taifu's Note added to the Court Record.

Uendo:
That's right. I saw this note, so that's why I thought Shisho was asleep. I want to change my testimony to include that statement!

Athena:
All right. I'll run an update.


Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.

Uendo:
I called to him from outside the room...

Uendo:
...but he didn't reply.

Uendo:
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.

Uendo:
But something seemed off, so I rushed over to him.

Uendo:
I was shocked to find him dead! I couldn't believe my eyes!

Athena:
(There was one emotion that seemed out of place given Uendo's action's and statments. I wonder why he felt that particuar emotion then?)

Blackquill:
If you've noticed something, then hurry up and point it out already.

Athena:
I know! I'm just trying to be thorough, that's all!

Blackquill:
Hmph. It looked to me like you were being timid.

Athena:
I was not! You just watch me pinpoint the heck out of his emotions!


Athena:
Uendo, I noticed something funny in your emotions again.

Uendo:
"Funny," you say?! I guess an entertainer of my caliber can make people laugh, even with my emotions!

Athena:
I didn't mean that kind of "funny"! Quite the opposite, actually! When you entered the dressing room, I see that you suddenly felt anger. What I want to know is, what made you feel angry all of a sudden?

Uendo:
What? Hmm... Let's see... Oh yeah! Now I remember! As I was going in, I whacked my little piggy on something. I was annoyed at my own clumsiness! Hee hee!

Athena:
Wait, you mean you stubbed your pinky toe?

Uendo:
J-Just a little bump on my little piggy. N-N-No big deal... I-It's embarrassing, really...

Athena:
(Sounds more like he's hiding something. I'd better dig a bit deeper.) No need to be embarrassed, Uendo, but I'm afraid it's something we need to look into. Hmm... I don't really see anything you could've stubbed your toe on... in the area around the dressing room door in this picture. (But maybe there WAS something there at the time...?) Uendo, what exactly did you stub your toe on?

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
What an irrelevant question. You dishonor the soul of the victim with these unnecassary delays.

Uendo:
You tell her. Really, who doesn't stub their toe every once in a while? You really gotta fuss over every small detail like this?

Athena:
Um, well... The thing is...

Blackquill:
............

Athena:
E-Even the most subtle of fluctuations in a person's psyche can clue us in to the truth. That's why it's important to get to the bottom of this question! (Plus, if we back down now, who knows what new insult Simon will hurl my way... Is there really no trace of what Uendo stubbed his toe on by the door? What in the world might've been there then, but is not there now?)

Athena:
Please take a good look at this photo of the crime scene. Do you see it? This long track that goes from the door, all the way across the room?

Judge:
Hmm... Now that you mention it, I DO see traces of something getting dragged.

Athena:
And the drag mark ends... there at the TV. This implies that the TV was originally by the door. I'm convinced that this TV is the object the witness stubbed his toe on. Well, Uendo! How about it?!

Uendo:
Y-Yes you're right... It was the TV!

NOISE LEVEL
10%

Athena:
(There! The noise level dropped again!)

Uendo:
Y-Yes, I stubbed my pinky toe on the TV. B-B-But what of it? Why is this so important to you?

Athena:
(So the nosie went down, but it hasn't completely dissapeared yet. Which means he's still hiding something... Okay, let's try this tactic instead.) Uendo, why was the TV moved there?

Uendo:
Shisho must've moved it so he could watch my routine. But what a place to put it! Right in the middle of the doorway like that! I didn't want to bump into it again, so I put it back where it belonged.

Athena:
Performances onstage can be viewed in the dressing room using that TV?

Uendo:
That's right. It's a closed-circuit monitor that shows the stage.

Crime Scene Report updated in the Court Record.

Athena:
I-I see. (Now what? I can't find anything else out of place. And I still haven't gotten the noise level down to zero yet...) Simon... I'm still getting noise here, but... I don't see anything else fishy.

Blackquill:
Hmph. This is precisely why amateurs are such a bother.

Athena:
S-Sorry...

Blackquill:
I'm in no mood to play nursemaid here, but if that's what it takes to save the soba shop... Hoy, Uendo. Here's a curiosity for you. This table master Toneido is slumped over looks like it was moved. Did you happen to bump into it while you were moving the TV back?

Uendo:
O-Oh my! Yes, you're right! The TV hit the table, and Shisho's body moved with a jolt... That's when I first realized that Shisho was dead! Oh! But how scared I was!

Blackquill:
I see. Thank you. We're finally getting a more precise picture of how the body was discovered. But I'd wager you need to put the spurs to Uendo just a trifle longer.

Athena:
R-Right! (I can't keep asking Simon to bail me out like this! It's time for me to regain my footing and really stand on my own!) Uendo, what you said now about discovering you master's death... Could you please describe all of that again for the court in detail?

Uendo
A-All right.

Athena:
But, before you do, let me plug in the latest information...


Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.

Uendo:
I called to him from outside the room...

Uendo:
...but he didn't reply.

Uendo:
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.

Uendo:
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.

Uendo:
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!

Uendo:
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh, Shisho...

Athena:
Hmm... I'm not really seeing any emotions I'd consider out of place. How about you, Simon?

Blackquill:
How many times are you going to come running to me?

Athena
No, um... I was just looking for... a second opinion!

Blackquill:
Tsk. Well, take another good look at the flow of emotions. Don't just look for simple inconsistencies. Look at the intensity of his emotion, too.

Athena:
I see... Thanks, Simon!


Athena:
That's odd... After the initial shock of finding the victim dead, you reacted with surprise again! What was it that surprised you, Uendo, besides your master's death?

Uendo:
Wh-What do you mean?

Athena:
What's more, you were even MORE surprised the second time than the first! What could've surprised you more than finding your late master?!

Uendo:
S-Search me. Your little thingy must've made a mistake!

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
The girl is as sharp as a trout to be sure... but her ability to hear people's emotions is absolute. Now, get to remembering, Uendo! What was it that surprised you?!

Athena:
(That... was a compliment, right...?)

Uendo:
Well, I... Er...

NOISE LEVEL
100%

Athena:
No! We've pushed him too hard, and he's mentally all over the place! His emotions are completely out of control!

Blackquill:
"Out of control"? Care to explain how that's relevant?

Athena:
You know how normally, I listen for the hidden emotions in a witness's voice, right? From there, I look for inconsistencies between their testimony and these emotions. But sometimes a person's feelings can run too high, making it hard to get a proper reading.

Blackquill:
So that's how your matrix program works. Fascinating!

Athena:
Ordinarily, it's just one emotion that runs out of control... But it seems there's nothing ordinary about this time!

Uendo:
Nnnngh... I... I-I...!


Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.

Uendo:
I called to him from outside the room...

Uendo:
...but he didn't reply.

Uendo:
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.

Uendo:
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.

Uendo:
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!

Uendo:
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh, Shisho...


Athena:
I knew it...!

Blackquill:
Hmph. What's got your knickers all in a bunch now?

Athena:
Uendo has multiple emotions running out of control at the same time! I've never seen anything like this! Ever!

Blackuill:
So how does one bring a situation like this under control?

Athena:
I'll have to find the root cause of this tangled mess before I can treat him. If I can identify what is causing this emotional rampage... then I can touch "Probe" (L) to dive in further. I'll need to point to what I think is the root cause, and touch "Probe" (X) again. Through this process, I can identify exactly what's causing Uendo so much distress!

Blackquill:
And that will help bring his emotions back under control? In that case, let's get started, shall we?

Athena:
All right! I can't guarantee success, but it's definitely worth a shot! (Time to look for the root cause of Uendo's rampaging emotions!)


Uendo:
After my performance, I went to visit Shisho.

Uendo:
I called to him from outside the room...

Uendo:
...but he didn't reply.

Uendo:
When I opened the door, I thought he was sleeping.

Uendo:
I tried to enter the dressing room, but stubbed my toe on the TV.

Uendo:
When I put the TV back in its normal spot, I realized that Shisho was dead!

Uendo:
Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh, Shisho...

Athena:
(What could be the root cause of his out-of-control emotions...?)

Blackquill:
Hmph. Having trouble, are we?

Athena:
Duh! I can't find the cause of his distress!

Blackquill:
Isn't it obvious?! It's that bloody question you asked -- that's what pushed him over the edge, remember?

Athena:
Hey, you're right...!


Athena:
That's odd... After the initial shock of finding the victim dead, you reacted with surprise again! What was it that surprised you, Uendo, besides your master's death?

Uendo:
Wh-What do you mean?

Athena:
(Simon's right. The answer to my question is what sparked this madness!) I get it now... The cards were the root of it all.

Uendo:
I, er...

Athena:
Don't try to deny it! You can't hide your feelings from me! The dying message that was left at the scene of the crime... is what was causing your distress!

Uendo:
............

Athena:
And if the dying message was the cause of all those feelings... then that means the phrase "OWEN 4TH" must mean something to you!

Uendo:
Nnngh!

NOISE LEVEL
0%

Athena:
There! Noise level, zero! Finally!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
The dying message consists of two words: "OWEN" and "4TH." But neither of these two words have anything to do with this witness. This topic warrants no further argument.

Athena:
Sure, there may not seem to be any direct connection... between Uendo and the message... for now. But why don't you wait and decide what's necessary AFTER you hear my theory?

Blackquill:
Heh. I trust you've hit upon something, Athena?

Athena:
Yup! If my theory is right... we can finally solve te case of "Uendo and the Mysterious OWEN 4TH"!

Blackquill:
Heh. Well, go on, then!

Judge:
I can already tell this promises to be interesting. Now, please share your theory with the court, Ms. Cykes.

Athena:
There was something puzzling to me about Uendo's out-of-control emotions just now. Namely, that there are three distinct reactions present. I had never seen that before, and I wondered how it could be possible.

Nahyuta:
...Is there a conclusion to this meandering musing of yours?

Athena:
Hold your horses, I'm getting there. So, could a person flip between three distinct emotions of such intensity like a switch? In the end, I concluded that it just wasn't possible.

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha! So that's it, is it?! A bit unconventional, but I'll grant that it's possible within the realm of psychology.

Judge:
Within the realm of psycology...? I'm afraid you'll have to explain it for the old man up here on the bench.

Athena:
Your Honor, my theory is that Uendo...

Athena:
With so many distinct personas, it's clear to me that... Uendo has dissociative identity disorder!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Judge:
Wh-Wh-Wh-What does that even mean?!

Nahyuta:
............ Your Honor, the defense would treat this trial as a child's jest. Multiple personality disorder? A preposterous proposition indeed. Would you not agree, witness?

Uendo:
H-H-How did she know? How did she figure it out?!

Nahyuta:
P-P-Pohlkunkaaaa!

Athena:
I can't believe it... I-I did it! I did it, Simon! I've read papers on it before... but to think I'd see a case of it for myself...!

Blackquill:
Blimey. Rakugo artists tell stories as different characters, but as different personalities?

Uendo:
Hey, you! Lawyer girl! You got a problem with us?! Huh?!

Athena:
N-No... No problem at all...

Judge:
This is all very hard to believe... but now that we've established that the witness has multiple personalities... could each of them please introduce themselves to this court?

Uendo:
Uendo Toneido. I'm a rakugo storyteller, as you know.

Patches:
Hello everybody! Patches, the friendly jester here! Hee hee!

Kisegawa:
Hmph. Kisegawa. Courtesan.

Athena:
And is that all of you?

Uendo:
Yes, that's all of us.

Athena:
So there are three personalities in total: Uendo, Patches, and Kisegawa, huh. ell, Simon! What do you think now?!

Blackquill:
Hmph. That you're one lucky duck. Just be glad they were dense enough to help you out.

Athena:
Argh! Can't you straight up say I did great for a change?

Blackquill:
Heh.

Nahyuta:
You appear to be quite proud of yourself, defense...but all you have done is infringe upon the privacy of the witness.

Athena:
I couldn't disagree more, Prosecutor! Now that we know there are three personalities...a new way for us to interpret the meaning of a certain piece of evidence has arisen.

Nahyuta:
A new interpretation?

Judge:
Ooh, now I'm very curious. What is this piece of evidence you're talking about, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
Knowing what we know about Uendo and his personalities, this now makes perfect sense.

Judge:
The karuta cards?

Athena:
That's right, Your Honor. Recall the original dying message left at the scene. We didn't have a clue as to what "OWEN 4TH" could've possibly meant. But now, with this new information about Uendo and his personalities... isn't it possible that "OWEN 4TH" actually means... a secret fourth personality of Uendo's -- a personality named "Owen"?!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Nahyuta:
Pohlkunka!

Athena:
Uendo must have kept his dissociative identity disorder from us because... he didn't want to be associated in any way with that dying message!

Uendo:
N-No! That's not why! We kept our disorder a secret for a diffrent reason altogether.

Patches:
We've been taking advantage of our affliction to act out various rakugo characters. If word of this got out, well...

Kisegawa:
...our reputation as a rakugo artist would be tarnished, as would he Toneido name.

Uendo:
That's why we kept it a secret from evreyone except members of the Toneido School. But really, there is no "fourth personality." It's just the three of us in here.

Blackquill:
A plausible-enough sounding story...but it doesn't prove you didn't rearrange the cards, does it?

Uendo:
B-But...!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
I will concede that it is highly likely that the witness rearranged the cards.

Athena:
(Is Prosecutor Sahdmadhi... actually agreeing with us...?)

Nahyuta:
However, is it not also possible...that the accused killed Master Toneido...and then left that message in order to frame the witness?

Athena:
Urngh!

Nahyuta:
And upon noticing the cards when he found the victim's body, Uendo rearranged them.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
A fantastic tale, but a tale none the less. No one outside the Toneido School knew about Uendo's multiple personalities. Uendo just finished saying so himself.

Nahyuta:
Ah, that is a true, but ultimately meaningless point. The witness was only in the dressing room for two to three minutes. That's far too little time to commit murder, wouldn't you say?

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
Then who's to say he couldn't have done it before his "discovery"?

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Ah, that spring chick memory of yours. Have you already forgotten Prosecutor Blackquill's testimony?

Athena:
(Simon's testimony? ............Oh!)


Blackquill:
Geiru escorted me to the dressing room...but we heard the sound of rakugo being performed from within. Thinking the master was rehearsing, we decided to wait in the hall until he was done.


Nahyuta:
That's right. Until a few moments before Uendo entered the dressing room... Taifu Toneido was confirmed to still be alive!

Blackquill:
Arnngh!

Athena:
Nooooooooooooooooon!

Nahyuta:
Not only that, but Uendo was on stage until just before he discovered the body. A bulletproof alibi that I have already confirmed with several audience members.

Athena:
Oh, noooooooooooo...!

Nahyuta:
I also heard that his rakugo performance that day was "a steaming pile of"... Well, you get the picture.

Patches:
Y-Yes, I'm afraid so! Really stunk up the stage, I did! Hee hee!

Uendo:
And yet, I have a perfect alibi!

Nahyuta:
Indeed. Why not land the coup de grâce on the defense by describing your alibi, witness?

Patches:
Okey-dokey-smokey!


Witness Testimony
-- Uendo's Alibi --

Uendo:
I was onstage until just moments before I went into the dressing room.

Kisegawa:
The entire audience was my witness.

Patches:
But my performance was a huge bust. Not a single soul laughed!

Uendo:
I'll never be able to live down how terribly I bombed during that very important show.


Nahyuta:
Uendo was onstage before he found the body, so he could not have committed this crime. It is time to let it all go, defense, and move on.

Athena:
Ngrrr...! Well, get this, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! The Wright Anything Agency NEVER gives up! We fight to the bitter end!

Nahyuta:
Feh! Allow me to say this once more... Let it go, and move on.

Athena:
And allow ME to say once more, I'm never giving up!

Nahyuta:
Let it go, and...

Athena;
Never!

Nahyuta:
............... This is pointless. You should have taken advantage of this opportunity while you could, you foolish child! Your worthless convictions only serve to prolong the accused's suffering. If words will not sway you, then perhaps pain will.

Athena:
Oh, no! A-Anything but this!

Nahyuta:
SoJ-chant

Nahyuta:
Hrnh!

Athena:
Eeeeeeek! Nnnngyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! What's the big idea, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?!

Nahyuta:
That was but a small dose of punishment for your misguided convictions. Are you now a bit more inclined to give up, as instructed?

Athena:
As if!

Nahyuta:
In that case, you must require another dose!

Blackquill:
Not bloody likely!

Nahyuta:
Nrgh!

Blackquill:
I don't give two flips about your beliefs. But if Cykes-dono were to submit to you here, I won't be able to eat good soba anymore.

Athena:
Th-That's right! For Mr. Whet's future, and Prosecutor Blackquill's stomach...I will NEVER give up!

Nahyuta:
You will rue those words, defense. Of that, I can assure you.


Cross Examination
-- Uendo's Alibi --

Uendo:
I was onstage until just moments before I went into the dressing room.

Kisegawa:
The entire audience was my witness.

Patches:
But my performance was a huge bust. Not a single soul laughed!

Uendo:
I'll never be able to live down how terribly I bombed during that very important show.

Uendo:
I think there must have been fifty, maybe sixty people in the audience.

Uendo:
The story I performed is called "Tokisoba" -- otherwise known as "Time Soba."

Blackquill:
You're not giving up, are you? Where's that "never-say-die" spirit you displayed earlier?

Athena:
Of course I'm not giving up, Simon! I just KNOW Uendo has something to do with this case!

Blackquill:
But how will you connect him to the crime when he has an alibi as strong as that?

Athena:
I-I don't know just yet... But I'm going to press his testimony and keep an eye out for contradictions!


Athena:
Uendo, isn't there something odd about the routine you performed?

Uendo:
Odd? N-No, I don't think there's anything odd about it.

Athena:
But that's exactly what I find odd -- the fact that you don't think it's odd.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
We are discussing the witness's alibi at the moment, defense. The show's program is completely irrelevant.

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
That's where you're wrong, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! The reason being, it contradicts the statement the witness just made! Uendo, do you know what this is?

Uendo:
N-No. Wh-What is it...?

Athena:
This is an invitation to the show, sent from Master Toneido to Prosecutor Blackquill. Included in the invitation is a rundown of the show's program, which clearly states... ...that "Time Soba" was to be performed by Master Toneido himself!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOOOOOO!

Nahyuta:
No!

Athena:
Uendo! Why did you perform the routine your master was scheduled to do?!

Kisegawa:
Well... You see... The reason for that is...

Uendo:
How do I say this... You see... Um, let's say it was a, uh... a prank...

Patches:
Th-That's right! It was just a little joke, you see! H-Hee hee! I was trying to surprise Shisho by performing his routine before he did!

Athena:
(I don't know if I buy that. Was doing the victim's routine just for laughs, or...? Hey... Didn't Simon happen to hear "Time Soba" coming from the dressing room...during Uendo's performance onstage? It seems like too much of a coincidence... Wait, can it be...?!)

Blackquill:
What's the matter? You look like a hen with a dozen eggs to lay.

Athena:
S-Stop comparing me to birds!

Blackquill:
Then cease this birdbrained timidity. If something has occured to you, then lay it out for us already! Don't breed resentment in those watching your performance!

Athena:
O-Okay, okay! I don't have a ton of confidence in this theory, but... here goes! It looks like Uendo's alibi checks out, Your Honor, but...even though he was onstage at the time...he may have been trying to obfuscate a crucial detail about this case!

Judge:
Are you referring to... the soba bill the man tried to skimp on in the witness's story?

Athena:
I'm not talking about the rakugo story, Your Honor!

Judge:
Oh! I-I'm sorry! But then, what are you talking about, Ms. Cykes?

Athena:
What Uendo may have been trying to deceive us about was...

Athena:
Uendo tried to deceive us about the time of the victim's death!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Patches:
Eeeeeeeeeeek!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
What gibberish! Prosecutor Blackquill even testified to the time of the victim's death!

Athena:
I know. But he only testified that way because he and Geiru had been completely taken in!

Judge:
You mean... by the soba bill thing?

Athena:
Would you please forget about the story for a second, Your Honor?!

Blackquill:
I was deceived...?

Nahyuta:
Pray tell, how did Uendo manage to deceive two people while he was performing onstage?

Athena:
That's easy. All he had to do was use a certain "prop" in the dressing room.

Judge:
Oh?! And what might that be?

Athena:
The prop Uendo used was...

Athena:
This TV was used to view what was happening on the stage. Prosecutor Blackquill, when you came to the dressing room, what was Uendo doing?

Blackquill:
He was... performing "Time Soba"! Blast! Could it be...?!

Athena:
Yes. It could, and it was! What you and Geiru heard was NOT Master Toneido practicing his routine. It was Uendo's performance, as heard through this TV monitor's speakers!

Uendo:
Pyoooooooo!

Nahyuta:
!

Judge:
WH-WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Athena:
With the TV just inside the inner door of the dressing room...it could easily be heard from the hallway outside.

Blackquill:
And because we knew that Master Toneido was scheduled to perform "Time Soba"... ...we were easily manipulated into thinking he was still alive at the time, rehearsing!

Athena:
Yes. Your knowledge of the day's program is why the two of you could be fooled this way. Simon, did the voice you hear belong to Master Toneido?

Blakquill:
Hmph. With the doors in the way, I couldn't tell exactly who the voice belonged to. But because I heard "Time Soba", I just assumed it was Master Toneido. I can't believe I was taken in by such a simple mind game.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
All of that is mere conjecture! Where is your proof, defense?!

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
Uendo moved the TV back when he "discovered" the body. After all, he couldn't very well leave it by the door... ...because then someone might figure out the trick he'd been playing!

Nahyuta:
Ngh!

Athena:
And there's one more thing about Uendo's actions that's suspicious.

Judge:
And that is...?

Athena:
The fact that he flopped so badly on such an important occasion.

Judge:
What's so suspicious about that? Even pros slip up once in a while, you know.

Athena:
But I believe that this time, it was intentional. Because Uendo knew it'd be strange to hear laughter coming from the dressing room!

Judge:
Oh, my!

Patches:
Yipes!

Athena:
It's all just a bit too perfect to be sheer coincidence! Plus, if the voice Prosecutor Blackquill and Geiru heard was due to Uendo's scheming... then the victim's time of death could have been earlier than 4 PM! In other words, Uendo could have killed Master Toneido himself!

Uendo:
PWOOOOOOOO!

Blackquill:
We've got you by the stones now, Uendo! So you'd better confess everything!

Uendo:
Ngh...

Nahyuta:
............

Judge:
Well, witness? What do you have to say for yourself?

Athena:
We demand an explanation!

Uendo:
............

Athena:
Uendo!

Uendo:
Nnngh... I-I confess. I-I tampered with the crime scene.


Nahyuta:
...Is it the defense's claim that Uendo Toneido is the true murderer in this case?

Athena:
If he tampered with the crime scene, then we have to at least consider him a suspect!

Kisegawa:
SoJ Hold it!

Kisegawa:
Now wait just one minute! Yes, I admit to messing with the dressing room, but I didn't kill Shisho!

Athena:
Then why did you tamper with the crime scene?!

Kisegawa:
I... I refuse to answer that question!

Athena:
What?!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
If you suspect this witness, then I have a question for you.

Athena:
(What could it be this time?)

Nahyuta:
Uendo had absolutely no reason to murder Taifu Toneido. After all, why would Uendo kill the man who recognized his skills and promoted him?

Athena:
OH! W-Well... His motive... was, um... (I can't think of a single thing!)

Nahyuta:
It appears you are also not aware of one other fact.

Athena:
A-And that is?

Nahyuta:
That the accused visited the dressing room before 4 PM as well. Is it not natural, then, to suppose that the accused killed the victim at that time?

Athena:
WHAT? Nobody told me Mr. Whet had also gone there BEFORE 4 PM!

Nahyuta:
We were only discussing the time frame after 4 PM, so I didn't think to mention it. But now that you have made the time period before 4 PM relevant...

Athena:
(Uh-oh. I don't like where this is going...)

Nahyuta:
So, you really do not know what our client was doing during that time frame, do you?

Athena:
Well, it was all very sudden, and, uh... (Why did you wait until the very last second to contact me, Simon?!)

Blackquill:
Don't you give me that look! And just so you know, Bucky never told me he had visited the master before 4 PM, either.

Athena:
Argh! This sort of thing is exactly why that prosecutor keeps calling us "unprepared"!

Judge:
The defense will stop squabbling this instant!

Athena:
S-Sorry, Your Honor.

Judge:
Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, please continue.

Nahyuta:
Thank you, Your Honor. Defense. You know of the soba-making implements in the dressing room, correct?

Athen:
(Is he talking about the equipment for making soba noodles?)

Blackquill:
You speak of the large bowl that is used to mix buckwheat flour and water... the long rolling pin, and the special knife that is used to cut the dough into noodles?

Nahyuta:
Precisely. These tools all came from the accused's soba shop.

Athena:
You mean, they didn't belong to Master Toneido?

Nahyuta:
Mr. Whet had visited the dressing room to give the victim a soba-making lesson. And that visit was before 4 PM. I'm afraid that after the accused kneaded the dough and made those noodles... he committed the act of murder.

Athena:
B-But wait! That doesn't add up! If Mr. Whet killed the victim before 4 PM, why would he return to that room at a later time?!

???:
SoJ Hold it!

Bucky:
Whet Soba! Your kit and caboodle when it comes to noodles!

Judge:
Oh, my!

Bucky:
Hiya, Miz Chickadee... Heya, Simey! The reashon I went is 'cause Master Toneido ordered uncooked noodles. *ulp*

Athena:
M-Mr. Whet...

Bucky:
Yeshterday, I brought noodle-making toolsh to the dresshing room at around 2 PM. Dat'sh when Master Toneido ordered uncooked soba noodlesh t' shtock up on.

Athena:
Uncooked noodles to stock up on?

Bucky:
Yesh, ma'am. Master Toneido kept a supply of soba noodles from my shop in hish fridge. He only had one sherving left, so I went back t' my shop t' get some more. *hic*

Athena:
(One serving of noodles in the fridge? But I thought the fridge was practically empty...? Hmm... Anyway, the whereabouts of the missing noodles isn't all that important now.)

Blackquill:
You ran into me and Geiru when you came back to deliver the uncooked soba, correct?

Bucky:
Dat'sh right, Simey! I made time outta my bust day to deliver him the noodlesh! And ya know what? He ignored me when I called to him from th' inner doorway! He just kept mumbling rakugo lines fer ages! So I got mad and went back to my soba shop!

Athena:
Ah, so that's why you got mad. (If what he's saying is true, then there's no way he could be the murderer!)

Bucky:
I shwear I'm telling the truth, Miz Chicka--- *urp*

Judge:
B-Bailiff, quick! Get this man to the infirmary!


Judge:
Well. I daresay he's quite a handful!

Athena:
Your Honor, please accept the statements Mr. Whet made just now into evidence!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
I believe the accused's statement about going to the room at around 2 PM is true. For it falls within the the victim's estimated time of death.

Judge:
Hmm... That opens up the possibility that the crime was committed between 2 and 4 PM. That's some critical information!

Nahyuta:
Yes, Your Honor. But other than that one point, Mr. Whet's statements are dubious and without proof.

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
But they are the words of the defendant himself! Simon, back me up, here!

Blackquill:
Hmph. He has a point. If I were the prosecutor, I wouldn't accept them, either.

Judge:
While I understand the defense's feelings on the matter... this court is unable to accept anything other than the time the defendant made his visit.

Athena:
(N-Now what do I do...!)

Nahyuta:
I trust you have no further objections, defense. At last, the time has come to send the soul of the victim onward to the Twilight Realm.

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
What are you yammering on about, Prosecutor Sad Monk? We still have something we need to question Uendo about!

Athena:
(We do? Like what?)

Blackquill:
Well, don't just stand there!

Athena:
B-But we don't have any evidence left to present!

Blackquill:
Have you forgotten already? Isn't there still a hidden witness you have yet to question?

Athena:
(A hidden witness...? Oh! That's right!) Your Honor! There's still one more issue we haven't finished discussing yet!

Judge:
Oh? And what is this bit of unfinished business?

Athena:
We haven't finished discussing this issue related to Uendo...!

Athena:
We still have to discuss the possibility of a fourth personality -- the one named "Owen"!

Judge:
Are you suggesting that this fourth personality of Uendo's might be the true culprit?

Uendo:
...Geez. Not that again. I told you we don't know anything about this "Owen"!

Athena:
Look. Uendo. I know you don't have any motive to kill your master, but... this "Owen" may have one for all we know!

Blackquill:
Come clean now, Uendo. You've got another personality stashed away, haven't you?!

Athena:
Please tell us everything you know about Owen!

Nahyuta:
That's enough! The witness has already stated that he knows not of any "Owen" character!

Patches:
Bravo! You tell 'em, Mr. Prosecutor! Hee hee!

Blackquill:
Hey, Patches. If you claim you don't know Owen when you really do, that's tantamount to perjury. If you want to exercise your right to remain silent, however... well, that's a different story.

Nahyuta:
Do not listen to the depraved prosecutor, witness. You will be tainted with his evil.

Blackquill:
Do you have nay idea how dark and cold a prison cell is? Heh heh heh.

Patches:
I-I exercise my right to remain silent!

Blackquill:
What's this, now? Changing horses in midstream, are you?

Patches:
Sh-Shut up! I will remain silent, and that's it!

Kisegawa:
Patches, you fool! You stay out of this!

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha! Patches is not the brightest bulb in that box you call a noggin, is he? The fact that he switched from "I don't know any Owen" to "I will remain silent"... is proof that he DOES know about Owen!

Athena:
(Th-There it is again -- Simon's formidable psychological manipulation tactic. I'm sure glad he's on MY side today...)

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
You dirty, despicable, depraved prosecutor! You were leading the witness! Witness! There is no need for you to submit yourself to the defense's questioning!

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
Your Honor! Uendo is definitely hiding something! Please allow me to question the witness about the existence of Owen!

Judge:
Hmm... I suppose only this witness can confirm or deny the existence of Owen for us... Very well. I will allow the defense to proceed.

Nahyuta:
Grrngh... Pohlkunka...!


Witness Testimony
-- About Owen --

Uendo:
I've never met any personality named "Owen."

Kisegawa:
Patches was just blurting out nonsense in a panic.

Patches:
We're always aware, so we'd definitely notice if a personality like that showed up!

Kisegawa:
How dare you treat me like a criminal based on mere conjecture?!


Athena:
(Wow. How am I supposed to deal with the testimony of three personalities...?)

Blackquill:
Unless you can prove the existence of Owen here, it's all over. You'd best screw your courage to the sticking place and attack their testimony head-on!

Athena:
A-All right. I will! Just stop piling the pressure on me! (I have to draw out some info -- anything to drag Owen out into the open!)


Cross Examination
-- About Owen --

Uendo:
I've never met any personality named "Owen."

Kisegawa:
Patches was just blurting out nonsense in a panic.

Patches:
We're always aware, so we'd definitely notice if a personality like that showed up!

Kisegawa:
How dare you treat me like a criminal based on mere conjecture?!

Uendo:
I had a sweet manju bun, but I didn't drink any saké.



Athena:
This shows what, most likely, made Uendo lose consciousness!

Nahyuta:
That note...? Are you feeling lightheaded, child? Or perhaps a bit peckish?

Athena:
I'm not hungry, and my head feels just fine, thank you very much! Look at the paper this note is written on. Isn't there something familiar about it?

Nahyuta:
What exactly is your point, defense?

Judge:
Hmm... This faint design here reminds me of the paper from...

Athena:
Yup! It's a piece of the wrapping paper on the box of manju buns by the victim on the floor! Uendo, you may not have drunk any saké... but you did eat a sweet red-bean bun, right?

Uendo:
Well, yes... That's right.

Athena:
I don't know if you are aware of it or not, Uendo... but I believe the manju you ate caused you to fall unconscious!

Judge:
Th-The bean bun? But how?

Athena:
Because those buns contained a secret ingredient! A very "punchy" secret ingredient, at that!

Judge:
A "punchy secret ingredient"?

Athena:
Yes. The design on the wrapping paper matches that of something else in the room.

Judge:
I-it does?

Athena:
The design on this object matches that of the manju box's wrapping paper!

Judge:
The camel pattern... It's the same as the one for "Camel" brand saké!

Blackquill:
So, just as Uendo said, he didn't drink any saké, per se...

Athena:
...but he DID eat some.

Nahyuta:
I-Impossible...

Athena:
Uendo had a "Camel" brand red-bean bun... which boasts a nice shot of saké as one of its ingredients!

Judge:
So the defense is claiming that Uendo passed out after consuming a "Camel" sweet bun... which allowed a fourth personality named "Owen" to emerge. Is that correct?!

Athena:
Yes, Your Honor! That's exactly what I'm claiming!

Uendo:
PYOOOOOOO!

Judge:
But there's one thing that bothers me. Wouldn't the alcoholic content of the buns evaporate as they are steamed?

Blackquill:
In order to give them a stronger flavor... some manju are specially made to retain as much of their alcoholic content as possible.

Kisegawa:
H-Hmph! What kind of lightweight do you think I am?! Even I wouldn't pass out from eating a simple manju!

Athena:
Then how about we test that theory? What do you say, Your Honor?

Judge:
Hmm... "Seeing is believing," as they say. ...Very well, I will allow a test.

Athena:
Thanks, Your Honor! Simon! Go buy us some "Camel" manju, on the double! And don't forget to get me one, too, okay?

Blackquill:
Wh-Why must I--?

Judge:
And while you're at it, Prosecutor Blackquill... you will get one for me as well!

Blackquill:
Tsk! I'm not the courthouse stable boy, you know. But just this once, I'll acquiesce. Taka, I'm counting on you. ...And all of you had better pay me back!

Judge:
Aww... But I thought it would be your treat, Prosecutor Blackquill... What a shame... Now then, let us adjourn until the manju arrive by carrier hawk. Court will reconvene as soon as Taka returns.


To Be Continued

May 13
District Court - Courtroom No. 4

Judge:
Now that the sweet buns have arrived, this court is back in session!

Athena:
Go on, Uendo! Eat up!

Uendo:
............Ngh...

Judge:
*chomp* *chew* Mmm. Nice flavor... You can really taste the saké... *munch* *gulp* That was delicious!

Nahyuta:
Yes, a unique sweetness and the faint aroma of saké... Yet, I hardly think that anyone could pass out from eating something like this.

Blackquill:
What's the matter, Uendo? You're not afraid of a tiny manju, are you?

Judge:
Or are you scared of how many calories it has?!

Uendo:
D-don't be ridiculous! A sweet little snack like this couldn't possibly... I-I mean, it could never...

Blackquill:
Less bleating, more eating, witness!

Uendo:
Ngh... F-Fine! Whatever!


Uendo:
*chomp* *chomp*... *gulp*


Uendo:
See? I told you... It don-- don't affect me in th suh-- slightess! *hic*

Patches:
We might be a liiightweight, but c'mooon, nnnobody's THAAAAT l-light. Hee hee!

Kisegawa:
Hmph. Sh-Sheriouslyyy... Nobody ge's drunk offa wuh, wuh, one lil' bun... *hic*

Athena:
I-It looks like it worked!

Judge:
Oh, my! W-Witness! Please tell the court your name and occupation.

???:
Oooooh... *sniffle*...

Judge:
...?

Athena:
...?

Nahyuta:
...?

Owen:
Oooh... *sniffle*... M-My name is Owen... I'm...five.

Athena:
Y-You're five years old?

Owen:
A-Am I in trouble...? Please don't yell at me... Oooh...

Judge:
So HE'S Uendo's fourth personality?!

Nahyuta:
I'd hardly think a child like him could have a motive to murder the victim. And even if he had a motive, could he have actually committed the murder?

Judge:
Hmm... That's a very good point. Owen does appear to be very timid and weak.

Athena:
Oooooh...

Nahyuta:
It seems the defense was hoping this hidden personality would be the real killer. But now that he is standing here before us... it is clear that none of Uendo's personalities can be the killer!

Athena:
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! (Wh-Where can I even go from here!)

Owen:
Shisho... Shisho...! *sniffle*

Athena:
Owen...? Do you know something about what happened to your master?

Owen:
Uwahhhhh!

Athena:
...C'mon, buddy. Won't you tell Auntie Athena what happened?

Owen:
Uwahhh! Whatta scary lady!

Athena:
I-I'm not scary! Look! Look at auntie's biiiig, biiiig smile! Tell me about your master, please? Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Owen:
O-okay... Shisho was... super nice... He always played with me... Just like.. Just like a real grandpa. I loved Shisho... *sniffle*

Blackquill:
Athena, do you sense anything behind his words?

Athena:
I sense his sadness -- sadness so pure it's heartrending -- but no discord. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi is right. Owen isn't the killer.

Blackquill:
But then, don't you find it odd?

Athena:
Find what odd?

Blackquill:
Let's review what we've learned so far. Uendo rearranged the karuta cards to pin the blame on Bucky.

Athena:
Well, that's because the original message implicated Owen. But Owen is only five years old, and absolutely adores Master Toneido.

Blackquill:
Exactly. The other three personalities also have no motive for murder. If Owen isn't the true culprit, then the person who first laid out the cards...

Athena:
...Probably wouldn't have been Master Toneido! So then, who did it?

Judge:
Defense? Did the appearance of Owen help you figure anything out?

Athena:
Yes, Your Honor. I now know who it was that first laid out the cards.

Judge:
B-But I thought it was the victim! ...Right?

Athena:
No, Your Honor. I don't believe it was. The one who first arranged the karuta cards on the table was none other than...

Athena:
I believe the person who laid the cards out is the very person who killed Taifu Toneido!

Nahyuta:
How quickly you move on to a new target when your Owen theory proves false! You pohlkunan!

Athena:
I don't know what a "pohlkunan" is, but I know I am definitely not one! And before you start with the sermons, why don't you hear me out?!

Judge:
Yes, let's hear the defense's reasoning. Please proceed, Ms. Cykes. But if you are bluffing, I won't go easy on you!

Athena:
I understand, Your Honor. Now, then. Please recall the original crime scene. Who did the karuta cards name when the scene was discovered?

Judge:
Let's see... I believe they implicated the defendant, Bucky Whet.

Athena:
That's right. But we then found out that the message originally read "OWEN 4TH."

Judge:
Hmm... Which implicated the young boy, Owen.

Athena:
Exactly. And the person who rearranged the cards was undoubtedly Uendo.

Blackquill:
Uendo may have kept silent, but we can be sure he already knew his master was dead. His tampering with the crime scene using the TV all but proves it.


Uendo:
Nnngh... ...I-I confess. I-I tampered with the crime scene.


Blackquill:
The reason Uendo rearranged the karuta cards and moved the TV was because... ...he saw the "OWEN 4TH" message, and was convinced Owen had committed the crime.

Athena:
Right on, Prosecutor Blackquill! It would seem that Owen and the other three personalities don't share the same memories.


Uendo:
But really, there is no "fourth personality." It's just the three of us in here.


Athena:
Uendo feared that Owen had killed Master Toneido, so he tried to hide Owen from us.

Owen:
Ooohhh... *sniffle*

Blackquill:
But it turns out, Owen is but a five-year-old child, incapable of hurting a fly... ...let alone his beloved master.

Athena:
So naturally, the culprit must be somebody else. And this somebody else -- the true killer -- tried to pin the crime on Owen!

Judge:
Hmm... I see. That does make sense.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
This is naught but conjecture, composed of half-truths and fantasy! Who, then, do you maintain murdered the victim?!

Athena:
I believe Owen might know something about that.

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
I refuse to allow such impromptu testimony. And from a five-year-old, no less. Such a young child is incapable of producing anything coherent!

Athena:
SoJ Objection!

Athena:
B-But...!

Nahyuta:
Your desperation is disgraceful! You should realize when it is time to let it go, and--

???:
I-I saw it...

Owen:
I saw Shisho getting...

Athena:
Owen! You DO know something, don't you!

Owen:
Y-Yeah...

Judge:
Oh, my! Is this true? If so, we must have Owen testify immediately! Don't you agree, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?

Nahyuta:
Nnrrgh...

Judge:
It's all right, Owen. Go ahead and tell us what you know.


Witness Testimony
-- I Saw It --

Owen:
Shisho was standing with a knife in his hand...
Blood was dripping onto Shisho's face, getting it all red...
I couldn't move at all!
I was so scared... I passed out.


Athena:
(Th-This is eyewitness testimony from the moment of the murder!) Owen! Can you tell us anything else about what you saw?!

Owen:
I... Ooooooh... I was so scared...! *sniffle* Oooooooh... So... So scared...! *sniffle*

Athena:
O-Owen! (His emotions are spiraling out of control! Something must've really frightened him!)

Judge:
I-Is he all right?!

Athena:
His emotions are running wild because he's trying to recall something frightening to him. I recommend a therapy session right away!

Judge:
I-I see. Yes, please do whatever you can to help the poor boy!

Athena:
Will do, Your Honor! (I'd better find the cause of these out-of-control emotions, pronto!)


Owen:
Shisho was standing with a knife in his hand...

Owen:
Blood was dripping onto Shisho's face, getting it all red...

Owen:
I couldn't move at all!

Owen:
I was so scared... I passed out.

Blackquill:
Poor kid. He's absolutely terrified of something.

Athena:
Whatever it is, it might be the root cause of his out-of-control emotions. (I'd better take another careful look at the images...)


Owen:
Yeah... Blood was dripping down onto Shisho's face...

Athena:
(Blood...? I don't remember seeing any blood in the crime scene photos... Besides, if the victim was standing upright, how could blood drip down onto his face?)

Nahyuta:
As I expected, all we managed to obtain from this child is a tale he dreamt up.

Athena:
Urngk...! I guess it's a little weird for blood to drip onto the victim's face if he was standing up... Unless it dripped down from the ceiling or something? What do you think, Simon?

Blackquill:
I don't know. Owen's one confused and upset kid right now, so who knows how accurate his memory is. Maybe it's time for that thing instead.

Athena:
Huh? What thing?

Blackquill:
That thing that you and your cohorts do. What do you call it? "Rotate your thinking about"...?

Athena:
Oh! You mean "turn your thinking around"!

Blackquill:
Yes, whatever. It's the same thing, either way.

Athena:
No, it isn't! Who's ever heard of "rotating" your thinking? I mean, "rotate" is-- Hey, wait a minute...

Blackquill:
What?

Athena:
You know what, Simon? In this case, I think "rotate" just might work perfectly after all!

Blackquill:
Come again?

Athena:
All I have to do is rotate things by ninety degrees!

Athena:
When he saw his master, Owen must've been...

Athena:
Owen must've been lying on the floor when he witnessed his master's murder.

Judge:
What?!

Athena:
That's the conclusion I arrived at when I rotated my thinking by ninety degrees. Which means that all of the visuals in my matrix were off by ninety degrees.

Judge:
And...?

Athena:
This means Master Toneido was also lying on the floor, which solves another mystery!

Judge:
And which mystery is that?

Athena:
The mystery of how blood could've been dripping onto the victim's face. It becomes much easier to imagine how that could happen if he was lying down. Like, someone bleeding onto Master Toneido from somewhere up above him!

Owen:
I-I remember now! Somebody was sitting up on top of Shisho!

NOISE LEVEL
70%

Athena:
(So trying to recall his master's bloody killer is what spooked Owen originally.) The blood that stained the victim's face red came from the person sitting on top of him. The victim was holding a knife, so he likely nicked his attacker as he was fighting back!

Nahyuta:
This means his assailant was injured on their face somewhere, like the forehead, perhaps?

Athena:
Assuming the victim and his attacker were face-to-face, then, yes.

Nahyuta:
I see. So that is what happened. But if I recall correctly, the accused has a fresh bandage on his forehead, does he not? That injury of Mr. Whet's... ...is conclusive evidence that he committed this murder!

Athena:
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!

Nahyuta:
It seems you have dug yourself into a pit you cannot crawl out of.

Athena:
Nooo!

Athena:
(Even though I figured out the reason for Owen's out-of-control emotions... ...all I did was raise further suspicion against my own client... What do I do now...?!)

Blackquill:
What's the matter? You aren't thinking of throwing in the towel, are you?

Athena:
But it looks so bad for Bucky! I mean, he had both motive and opportunity... Plus, he has that injury on his forehead!

Nahyuta:
Your Honor. I sense that the defense is finally ready to let it go, and move on.

Judge:
Well, Ms. Cykes? I understand that you don't want to give up on your client... ...but I won't allow you to prolong this trial without a good reason.

Gallery:

Well, that lawyer did her best, but all the signs point to the defendant's guilt.
Maybe it's time she gave up? She tried everything she could...

Athena:
(I really, REALLY don't wanna back down, but...)

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Athena. Are you having doubts about Bucky's innocence?

Athena:
I-I wouldn't say THAT... It's just...

Blackquill:
Do you remember what you said to Bucky earlier this morning?


Bucky:
Y'mean... you believe me, ma'am...?

Athena:
Of course! No matter what, I'll believe in you to the very end!


Blackquill:
Were those just empty words?

Athena:
O-Of course not! It's just that all the cards are stacked against us...

Blackquill:
Are you still stuck on that line of thinking? Motive, opportunity, and an injury to his forehead -- Is that all it takes to make you stop believing in your client?! Tell me again, who are you to Bucky?!

Athena:
Uh... I'm... I'm his "Miz Chickadee" lawyer!

Blackquill:
Then do your duty, and believe in him until the very end!

Athena:
I... I will! (Simon's absolutely right. I'm Bucky's lawyer. And he's depending on me!)

Judge:
Defense team, please! No fighting in my courtroom!

Athena:
The defense is ready to resume, Your Honor! Prosecutor Blackquill was just giving me a pep talk, that's all. Thank you, Prosecutor!

Blackquill:
Hmph. I didn't do it for your sake. I did it for the future of Whet Soba.

Athena:
Yeah, yeah! I got it! The defense would like to now continue with Owen's therapy session!

Judge:
Hmm... Owen, would you be all right with that?

Owen:
O-Okay... Um... So... somebody was sitting up on top of Shisho, bleeding from their head... ...and smooshing something into Shisho's face!

Athena:
That's funny...

Blackquill:
What is it?

Athena:
I still hear discord in Owen's voice... ...but I don't sense any inconsistencies between his statements and his emotions. And there don't seem to be any contradictions in his testimony itself, either.

Blackquill:
Ahh, so that's it, huh?

Athena:
Did you figure something out?

Blackquill:
Your ability to sense emotions is making you focus too much on his feelings, Athena. But there's actually something he's being very vague about in his testimony. If you can clarify what he's feeling uncertain about with some evidence... ...you should be able to move forward from there.

Athena:
O-Okay, that makes sense. I'll give it a try! I'll just update the Mood Matrix with the new information, and then we'll be ready to go! (So I just need to present some evidence on what Owen is being vague about, huh...?)


Owen:
Shisho had blood on his face and a knife in his hand...

Owen:
He was on the floor, and somebody was smooshing something into his face...

Owen:
I couldn't move at all! I was so scared... I passed out.

Athena:
(So now, let's see what Owen is feeling uncertain about. It should manifest as something Owen isn't being specific about.)

Blackquill:
What's the matter? Is this too tough for you?

Athena:
No, I'm thinking! So stop distracting me! (I think I can guess what Owen is uncertain about... I just don't know which piece of evidence will pull the info I need to the surface...)

Blackquill:
You can't solve this with a rigid thought process. Try kneading your mind as well!

Athena:
Kneading my mind?! It's not soba dough, you know!

Blackquill:
Heh. Looks like you've learned a thing or two about making soba, at least.

Athena:
You think?! I've only been hearing about it all day today!

Blackquill:
Well, even with that tiny bit of knowledge, you ought to be able to find your answer.

Athena:
(That Simon! He's figured something out again, hasn't he...? And what does the soba-making process have to do with what Owen is unsure about?)


Athena:
Let's put a name to the thing Owen's uncertain of, shall we... ...by identifying the murder weapon that was used to suffocate the victim. Fortunately for us, I spy the murder weapon right here in this crime scene photo!

Nahyuta:
Unfortunately for you, I spy nothing of the sort. And the police... ...did not spy anything of the sort during their investigation, either. Pray tell, where is this "murder weapon" you see?

Athena:
You don't see it because it no longer looks the way it did when it was used as a weapon. This is what the killer pressed into Master Toneido's face!

Athena:
The mystery person that Owen saw pressed soba into the victim's face... ...thereby suffocating him!

Nahyuta:
I grow weary of your tasteless jokes! How could anyone commit murder with soft, delicate soba?! The noodles would instantly fall apart if they were pressed into someone's face!

Judge:
Yes, I agree.

Athena:
Well, I disagree. There is a way the soba could've been used to suffocate the victim.

Judge:
Wh-What? You will explain your theory at once, Ms. Cykes.

Athena:
To kill Master Toneido, the culprit must have smothered him with...

Athena:
The culprit must've used the soba before it was cut into noodles! In other words, the murder weapon was raw soba dough!

Judge:
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Order! Order in the court! Yes, soba dough could definitely be used to suffocate someone, couldn't it!

Nahyuta:
............

Athena:
A-Are you all right, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi?

Nahyuta:
I was just letting the soul of the victim know... ...that the accused will finally face justice, thanks to the foolish lawyer before me.

Athena:
Huh? What are you talking about?

Nahyuta:
Allow me to summarize your statements. As the accused was killing the victim, he was slashed in the face by the victim's knife. The weapon he used to suffocate the victim with was the dough in the dressing room. He then disposed of the murder weapon by cutting the soba dough into noodles.

Blackquill:
Agnrk! Why, you smarmy...!

Nahyuta:
Afterwards, the accused put the victim's face into the bowl of soba noodles and broth... ...to wash off the blood that had dripped onto the victim's face from his own. And there you have it: the true sequence of events behind this foul affair.

Athena:
N-Now, wait just a minute! I never once said that Mr. Whet was the culprit!

Nahyuta:
Who but the accused knows how to cut dough into noodles, defense?

Athena:
Gurk!

Judge:
Hmm... That's a very good point, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. I heard that cutting soba dough into uniform noodles requires considerable training. But then, what about the dying message? How do you explain that? The defendant wouldn't have known about Uendo's "Owen" personality.

Nahyuta:
Perhaps the victim was simply playing with the cards, and they hold no other meaning. Perhaps he spelled out Owen's name in jest, sometime before his murder.

Judge:
That's true. From Owen's testimony, it's clear that Master Toneido cared for the boy. Hmm... It appears we've arrived at a compelling conclusion. Taken together, all of these points paint a convincing picture of the defendant's guilt.

Athena:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
Owen! Is there anything else you can tell us? It doesn't matter how small of a detail -- anything will do!

Owen:
Oooooh... Y-You're scaaaring me...!

Athena:
Oh! I'm sorry, Owen! Auntie Athena didn't mean to raise her voice. (I have to be gentler with him! I can't forget he's only five years old.) No need to be scared, okay, sweetie? Just tell us anything you can remember.

Owen:
Well... Wh-When I woke up... the person who killed Shisho... was standing over me... ...bleeding from their head...

Athena:
Owen! You saw the killer's face?! (Oops, I did it again...) S-So who was it, Owen? Do you remember?

Owen:
Oooooh... I... I don't know who it was...

Athena:
(I'm picking up some noise...! That means there's still something to uncover in Owen's testimony...)

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
I don't know what Owen saw, but suffice it to say, we are analyzing the dreams of a child. You've wasted enough of our time, defense. Let it go, and move on!

Athena:
No! There's still discord in Owen's heart that needs to be addressed! Therefore... I can't give in here! Owen, do you think you can continue your testimony for us?

Owen:
*sniffle* Okay...

Athena:
I'll enter the new info, and run an update, then!


Owen:
Shisho had blood on his face and a knife in his hand...

Owen:
He was on the floor and somebody was smooshing dough into his face!

Owen:
I couldn't move at all!

Owen:
I was so scared... I passed out.

Owen:
And when I woke up...

Owen:
...the person who killed Shisho was standing over me...

Athena:
(Owen saw the real killer's face! This is ultra-critical, eyewitness testimony! He must've been so scared... ...Wait a minute. What's that one emotion doing in there...?)


Athena:
Despite witnessing the culprit's terrible crime first-hand... ...Owen experienced a positive feeling -- one of... relief?

Nahyuta:
The person the witness saw was no stranger. Rather, it was the accused. Therefore, it is only natural that he felt some level of relief when he saw a familiar face. Defense, end this madness and sully your soul no more.

Athena:
Owen... Who did you see?

Owen:
That nice smell... I love the smell... of that perfume...

NOISE LEVEL
0%

Owen:
I-It's the smell of... of... Ungh...

Athena:
You can do it! Try to remember, Owen!

Owen:
Ooooooh... Th-The smell of... of... Ooooooohhhhnnnnngh...!

Athena:
O-Owen!


Judge:
It seems Owen is now resting in the infirmary. They certainly have their hands full today down there. Let's continue with the trial.

Nahyuta:
Despite Owen's testimony, it is the opinion of this humble servant of the Holy Mother... ...that the child's words were insufficient to clear the accused of suspicion.

Athena:
B-But what about the scent of perfume Owen mentioned?! I believe it's a clue that will lead us to the true culprit!

Judge:
Hmm... But there are thousands of perfumes in the world.

Nahyuta:
It could even be the scent of the hair product the accused uses.

Judge:
He does have one amazing hairstyle, so that's certainly possible.

Nahyuta:
The witness is a five-year-old boy. He cannot tell the difference between conventional perfumes and hair products.

Athena:
(Argh... Why couldn't you have gone for a crew cut or something, Bucky?)

Nahyuta:
What's more, the only person who can cut soba noodles with such precision... ...is the accused, and no other.

Athena:
(Oh man... How am I supposed to argue with that...?)

Nahyuta:
And so, the person Owen saw at the scene of the crime can only be... ...the accused, Bucky Whet!

???:
SoJ Hold it!

Athena:
?

Nahyuta:
............

Judge:
?

Blackquill:
What the--?!

Bucky:
Hey, hey, hey! I never use hair productsh or anyding with a shmell! *hic* If I wore someding like dat, th' shmell'd get into th' soba! Boom! Check it!

Athena:
Uh... Mr. Whet? Aren't you supposed to be resting in the infirmary...?

Bucky:
Whaaaatever! You dink I'd let my soba shtink o' perfume?! Try dat chillled soba fer yershelf and see!

Judge:
I believe we have no choice but to try it... Strictly for examination purposes, of course. Now then, let's dig in, shall we?


*sluuuuurp* *slurp* *slurp* sluuurp*

Judge:
Mmm... That was delightful. *Ahem!* Well, I'm satisfied that there are no traces of hair products or perfumes in Mr. Whet's soba. First, sweet bean buns, and now, savory soba! What a delectable trial this has been!

Nahyuta:
This texture is different from the soba I had the other day. It reminds me of a dish we have in Khura'in called "banu'puun."

Bucky:
Whatcha dink, Miz Chickadee? My soba'sh pretty good, ishn't it?! *hic*

Athena:
Mmm-MMM! It's delicious! Don't you think so, Simon?

Blackquill:
Heh. It still pales in comparison to his late father's cuisine.

Bucky:
S-Simey! Why you alwaysh gotta be so hard on me?! *urp*

Judge:
Bailiff! Take the defendant back to the infirmary at once for some rest!

Bucky:
Resht?! Hey, I ain't a lump o' plain ol' wheaty udon dough, y'know! I'm fresh like my soba! Y'don't let soba dough resht... It's about the "three freshes" of soba! Grind the seeds fresh, cut the dough fresh, and boil the noodles fre-- *urp*

Judge:
Good grief. What a defendant...

Athena:
(At least Bucky wasn't the source of the perfume smell... Wait. Smelly perfume...)

Blackquill:
It looks like you remembered something.

Athena:
The phrase "smelly perfume"... reminded me of a certain somebody!

Judge:
Oh? And who might that be?

Athena:
(There's only one person that comes to mind!) The phrase "smelly perfume" reminded me of this person!

Judge:
Geiru Toneido? Hmm... Yes, she DID smell very nice, didn't she?

Nahyuta:
Just a moment, defense. You would throw suspicion on Geiru now because of a scent? Your Honor, there is no need to go along with these ever-changing claims of the defense.

Judge:
Hmm... I suppose their claims have been awfully inconsistent...

Athena:
But Geiru could've been at the crime scene!

Judge:
Yes, but...

Athena:
You'll get to see those "balloons" of hers if we call her back to the witness stand!

Nahyuta:
How vulgar! His Honor is not interested in such things!

Judge:
............Ahem! Setting the matter of her "balloons" aside entirely... ...I do believe it's appropriate to ask Geiru some questions, given the circumstances. This has nothing to do with her "balloons"... of course.

Athena:
Thank you, Your Honor!

Nahyuta:
Pohlkunkaaa!


Geiru:
Thank you for calling this disciple of the Toneido School of rakugo back for an encore! It's me! The balloon artist you all know and love, Geeeiru Toneidooo! Onnne, twooo... BLOOOON!

Judge:
What wonderful balloon artistry!

Athena:
Y-Your Honor... Please.

Geiru:
Now, then! What would you like me to make for you this time?

Athena:
Um, actually, I called you back for more testimony.

Geiru:
But I'm all talked out! This case has left me completely deflated.

Athena:
............

Geiru:
What? You didn't find that funny? A-Anyway, what exactly is going on, Simon?

Blackquill:
It seems the person who murdered Master Toneido was wearing perfume.

Athena:
And you were the only person I could think of who wears perfume.

Geiru:
Wait... you mean I'm a suspect now?

Athena:
Geiru, you knew about Owen, right?

Geiru:
W-Well, yes. I often played with him at Shisho's request.

Athena:
So that means you could've left that fake "dying message," right?

Geiru:
Wh-What? Just because I wear perfume and know Owen... ...you think I'm a murderer? Oh, how could youuu?!

Nahyuta:
The witness is absolutely right. With no evidence but the distorted memories of a small child... ...it is outrageous of the defense to accuse this woman!

Geiru:
Th-Th-That's right! You don't even have any proooof...!

Nahyuta:
You may step down from the stand, Geiru. The defense does not have one scrap of evidence that connects you to the crime.

Athena:
Wait just one minute! I may not have proof, but Owen's testimony is still--!

Nahyuta:
Enough! Please feel free to leave, Geiru.

Athena:
(B-But I'm so close! There must be something I can do!)

Geiru:
Well, if the prosecutor says it's okay, then I guess I'll be going now...

Blackquill:
SoJ Silence!

Blackquill:
Hoy, Geiru. You're an entertainer, aren't you? Once you go onstage, it's your duty to complete your performance, is it not? So what are you doing, leaving halfway through!

Geiru:
Eeeeeeek!

Athena:
Th-There's a bandage on Geiru's forehead...! And since we know that Master Toneido's killer has a cut on their face somewhere...!

Nahyuta:
I-Impossible...!

Athena:
How did you know, Simon?

Blackquill:
Hmph. I didn't. But I had to take a chance and see for myself. Otherwise, your theory would remain a groundless accusation.

Athena:
Your Honor! Prosecutor Sahdmadhi! The scent of perfume, an injury on the forehead... These things are completely consistent with Owen's testimony! In short... ...the mysterious individual Owen saw in the dressing room... could have been Geiru!

Judge:
Ms. Cykes... ...does this mean you are formally indicting this witness for the murder of Taifu Toneido?!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Satorha!

Nahyuta:
Should your accusation prove to be false... I hope you are prepared to pay the price in full.

Athena:
S-Simon, what "price" is he talking about?

Blackquill:
Hmph. I thought that should be obvious. Prosecutor Sad Monk is saying he'll see to it you never stand in a court of law again! I must say, though, he knows how to make a trial interesting.

Athena:
(Just whose side are you on, Simon?!)

Blackquill:
Go on, then. Into the deep end with you. You really have but one choice anyway.

Judge:
Well, Ms. Cykes? I'm waiting.

Athena:
W-With regards to the witness, Geiru Toneido, the defense wishes to...

Athena:
(There's no reason for me to hold back! Not if I really believe in my client!) The defense wishes to formally indict Geiru Toneido for the murder of Taifu Toneido!

Nahyuta:
I have tried to be merciful, but now, not even your pleas will reach the Holy Mother's ears! You will have plenty of time to regret your decision... in the pit of hell!

Athena:
Except I won't need to! The person who murdered the victim was NOT Mr. Whet. It was Geiru Toneido!

Geiru:
That bandage is... It's just from a silly slipup I made while cooking yesterday, that's all!

Athena:
What kind of "extreme cooking" were you doing to cut yourself on the forehead?!

Geiru:
Well, what can I say? That's what happened!

Athena:
You also don't have an alibi for the period before 4 PM, do you, Geiru?

Geiru:
But... But... I really didn't know anything was wrong until Shisho was found dead! If you don't believe me, then, with a twisty, twist, twiiist! And BLOOOON! There you have it, an adorable little kitty! How could you suspect a cutesy widdle balloon artist like me, hmmmm?

Athena:
Geiru, I've been meaning to say this for a while now, but... ...could it be that you don't have an eye for balloon art?!

Geiru:
D-Don't you think I know that?! You didn't have to come out and say it! I'm the daughter of a great rakugo artist! I never wanted to do stupid balloon art! I was supposed to be a rakugo storyteller, too, just like my late daddy. B-But Shisho told me to do balloon art instead... *sniffle*

Athena:
(I guess the victim thought she had no talent as a rakugo artist, either...)

Geiru:
So you're still gonna suspect a poor, lil' thing like me?

Athena:
P-Please stop trying to skirt the issue! It all comes down to the scent of perfume, and the cut on your forehead! You and the culprit in Owen's testimony share these two traits!

Geiru:
You're dead set on accusing me, aren't you?! Well, here's what I have for naughty little girls like you! With a twisty, twist, twiiist! I'ma cut ya, witch! Go ahead, make me testify all ya want! When the truth's revealed... ...it'll be yer balloon or mine that goes POP! Got it?!

Judge:
Oh, my! Is this yet another hidden personality?!

Athena:
Simon, is everybody in the Toneido School like this?

Blackquill:
H-How should I know?!


Witness Testimony
-- What I Did Before the Murder --

Geiru:
Yeah, I visited the dressing room during that time to make a courtesy call after my act.
Shisho and Owen were in there, but they were both snoring up a storm.
I saw the note Shisho left, so I just left. Didn't wanna disturb 'em, ya know.
The perfume Owen smelled musta been left over from when I visited.


Athena:
So Geiru's saying she went into the dressing room, but then left right away.

Blackquill:
Hmph. Don't take her at her word.

Athena:
Come on, do you really think I would? I'm just trying to figure out how to get her to talk about what really happened.

Judge:
Now, then, Ms. Cykes. You may proceed with your cross-examination.


Cross Examination
-- What I Did Before the Murder --

Geiru:
Yeah, I visited the dressing room during that time to make a courtesy call after my act.

Geiru:
Shisho and Owen were in there, but they were both snoring up a storm.

Geiru:
I saw the note Shisho left, so I just left. Didn't wanna disturb 'em, ya know.

Geiru:
The perfume Owen smelled musta been left over from when I visited.

Geiru:
I didn't see anything funny near Shisho, and I didn't touch anything in the room.



Athena:
Geiru, you said that you didn't notice anything odd or unusual near your master. You also said you didn't touch anything in the dressing room.

Geiru:
That's right! What about it?!

Athena:
Then, I wonder who left that "dying message" with the karuta cards?

Geiru:
What're ya going on about?! It hadta been that Bucky!

Athena:
Sorry, but that's not possible. Because only three people knew of Uendo's personalities: Uendo, your master, and you!

Blackquill:
If Bucky had left that karuta message... ...he wouldn't have spelled out "Owen." He would've spelled out "Uendo."

Athena:
What it boils down to is this: As a member of the Toneido School, you, Geiru Toneido... ...are the only one who could've left that "dying message"! And as the person who left that message... ...it's clear that you are Master Toneido's killer!

Geiru:
Grrrrragh! Will ya EVER quit yer yappin'?!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
You are like wretches clinging to the spider thread of salvation. Allow me... to cut that holy thread from the heavens, and bring you back down to Earth.

Athena:
Would you quit butting in whenever things start to go my way!

Nahyuta:
Silence, child. Playtime is over.

Athena:
Wh-What did you just say?!

Nahyuta:
As the witness stated, she went into the dressing room and soon came back out again. But the victim's note was not the only reason she left with such haste. There was another reason that compelled Geiru to leave at once. Geiru, would you please relate said reason to the court?

Athena:
There was a reason why Geiru had to leave the dressing room...?

Geiru:
Well, I didn't wanna show ya this, but I guess I got no choice. Keep yer eyes peeled! 'Cause here it comes!

Athena:
Your hand is all swollen and red...! What happened, Geiru?

Geiru:
If ya must know... I'm allergic to buckwheat!

Athena:
WH-WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Nahyuta:
Allergic reactions to buckwheat can vary, though they're usually on the severe side. With Taifu Toneido making soba noodles in his dressing room... ...Geiru is lucky to still be alive, considering all the soba flour that was swirling in the air.

Geiru:
Good thing I left pretty quick! I managed to escape with just a mild reaction. But I touched Shisho as he was being carried away, and look what it did to my poor hands! There musta been soba broth on his clothes or something. If I'd inhaled any of that soba flour, I'da had a seizure, and it'd been "Good night, Geiru!" I never coulda stayed in that dressing room for very long!

Judge:
A person allergic to buckwheat couldn't be in a room with soba flour in the air... ...and certainly couldn't use soba dough as a murder weapon, either.

Athena:
Th-This isn't good...

Blackquill:
You knew it would come to this, didn't you?! That's why you never mentioned her allergy!

Nahyuta:
Hmph. As if I would do anything so underhanded. I was simply trying to protect the privacy of this witness.

Geiru:
I'm sick of all these accusations! Why don't I just testify and get it all out in the open, yeah?


Witness Testimony
-- Geiru's Buckwheat Allergy --

Geiru:
If I come into the slightest contact with buckwheat, I get an allergic reaction.
And with that much soba flour in the air, that room coulda literally killed me!
Look at my hand! Just touchin' Shisho's body caused this much damage.
There musta been soba broth on his clothes.
So I never coulda committed that murder in the dressing room!


Athena:
I still can't believe it. Nobody told me she had a soba allergy... Did you know, Simon?

Blackquill:
Hmph. Does it look like I knew? "Protect the privacy of the witness," my foot! What a dirty trick!

Athena:
N-Now what do we do...?

Blackquill:
There's only one thing TO do. Put Prosecutor Sad Monk to shame with your cross-examination!

Athena:
Right! No matter how small, I'll find us an opening, and break her testimony down!


Cross Examination
-- Geiru's Buckwheat Allergy --

Geiru:
If I come into the slightest contact with buckwheat, I get an allergic reaction.

Geiru:
And with that much soba flour in the air, that room coulda literally killed me!

Geiru:
Look at my hand! Just touchin' Shisho's body caused this much damage.

Geiru:
There musta been soba broth on his clothes.

Geiru:
So I never coulda committed that murder in the dressing room!

Athena:
I-I don't see any particular inconsistencies in her testimony. And she seems to be telling the truth about her buckwheat allergy.

Blackquill:
Hmph. What is your point?

Athena:
My point is, I can't find a single foothold!

Blackquill:
Well, if you can't find one, make one!

Athena:
Y-You want me to just make up some baseless accusation?!

Blackquill:
When will you stop behaving like such an amateur? If you don't do something fast, the trial will end here.

Athena:
I know, I know...! (I can't let that happen! I-I have to do something -- anything!)


Pressing all statements leads to:

Nahyuta:
Geiru could not have possibly committed this crime in a room where soba was being made. Finally, the time has come for the last rites of the victim to begin.

Athena:
Nrrgh...!

Blackquill:
Hmph!

Athena:
(Wh What would Mr. Wright do at a time like this?) Auf geht's! There's only one thing TO do!

Blackquill:
What are you smiling about? Has the pressure overwhelmed you?

Athena:
Nope! It's just, the worst of times are when lawyers have to force their biggest smiles!

Nahyuta:
I see. You have no rebuttal, and so the only thing left to you is to smile.

Athena:
Ohhhhhh, ho ho ho ho ho! That's where you're wrong! I DO have a rebuttal! (Turn your thinking around, Athena! Don't try to figure out how Geiru, who is allergic to soba, could commit the crime. Figure out how Geiru could be in that room and not have an allergic reaction instead!)


Bucky:
Lemme resht? Hah! Mehbee if I were a lump o' regular flour dough fer udon noodles! But I'm fresh, like my soba! 'N y'don't let soba dough resht... 'S all about the "three freshes"! Grind da buckwheat seeds fresh, cut da dough fresh, and boil da noodles fre-- *urp*

Blackquill:
H-He's blacked out!


Nahyuta:
It appears to have been written by the victim. Allow me to read it. "Resting. Do not disturb."

Uendo:
Yes! That's the note I saw! After reading that, who wouldn't think Shisho was napping?!


Geiru:
If ya must know... I'm allergic to buckwheat!


Athena:
...Mon dieu! (What if... that certain piece of evidence doesn't mean what we think it means? If that's the case, I might be able to prove that Geiru could have committed this crime!)

Nahyuta:
No matter how hard you search your mind, you cannot overturn facts.

Judge:
Well, Ms. Cykes? If you have no further objections, I'll hand down my ruling...

Athena:
True, I can't overturn facts, but what if we got our "facts" about a piece of evidence wrong?

Nahyuta:
"Got our facts wrong"? What are you talking about now?

Judge:
And which piece of evidence do you mean, Ms. Cykes? Please point it out to this court!

Athena:
This evidence proves that Geiru could've killed her master, even with her soba allergy!

Athena:
It's Master Toneido's note!

Judge:
Th-The note?

Nahyuta:
Preposterous! What possible connection could there be between the witness's allergy and that note?

Athena:
The answer lies in the true meaning of this note.

Judge:
Its true meaning?

Athena:
This note does not mean "I am resting. Do not disturb," as we had assumed. But rather, it actually means "This dough is resting. Do not disturb it"!

Blackquill:
Wait a minute, Athena. That doesn't make any sense.

Athena:
You're right. It doesn't. After all, as Bucky told us many a time: "You don't let soba dough rest"!

Geiru:
Wh-What's all this jibber-jabber got to do with anything?!

Athena:
(This is it! The home stretch!) This note and Mr. Whet's words have led me to the conclusion that Master Toneido was...

Athena:
The victim, Taifu Toneido, was not making buckwheat noodles. He was making ordinary udon noodles instead!

Nahyuta:
Pohlkunkaaa!

Athena:
That layer of flour in the dressing room wasn't soba flour, but plain old wheat flour for udon! So, actually, it was totally possible for Geiru to be in that room and kill her master!

Geiru:
Nnngang ngang ngaaaaang!

Judge:
What! But if that's true, it changes everything!

Athena:
Your Honor, the defense requests that the flour in the room be tested immediately!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
But soba noodles were found in the bowl, and Geiru did have a reaction on her hand! How do you explain those things?!

Athena:
Um! Well...

Nahyuta:
Even were it udon flour instead of soba, you still cannot prove Geiru committed the crime!

Athena:
B-But...

Blackquill:
Don't lose your nerve now! Keep charging forward or you'll feel my blade at your back.

Athena:
E-Enough with the threats already! I got it! (Talk about pressure! All right, Athena. Take a deep breath and go over everything again!)


Athena:
I'm going to revisualize the case from start to finish! I have to find conclusive evidence that Geiru committed this murder! What was Master Toneido making in his dressing room?

Master Toneido was making udon

Athena:
By my logic, Master Toneido must've been making udon noodles in his dressing room. But something at the crime scene indicates otherwise. What was found in the bowl on the table?

There was soba in the bowl

Athena:
Even though the master wasn't making soba, soba noodles were found at the scene. So that means the noodles had to have come from somewhere. Wait a minute. One mysterious serving of soba noodles...? Hmm... That sounds familiar... Where did the soba in the bowl on the table come from?

The soba was from the master's soba stock

Athena:
The soba noodles found at the scene were from the master's stock of uncooked noodles! But then, why would the culprit go out of her way to cook that soba and put it in the bowl? Why did the culprit cook the soba noodles and put them in the bowl?

The culprit wanted to hide the udon dough

Athena:
Soba was found at the scene... ...so that means the culprit must've taken the udon with her to hide it. But why did the culprit take the udon away and hide it? It must've been because she...

THE MURDER WEAPON WAS UDON DOUGH

Athena:
That's it! The udon dough was the real weapon used to kill Taifu Toneido! And the reason why no weapon was found is because Geiru got rid of the dough somehow!


Athena:
The real murder weapon was the udon dough the victim made! If we can find this dough, that'll prove my theory correct! And undeniably prove Geiru's guilt!

Nahyuta:
SoJ Objection!

Nahyuta:
Even if we could find this dough, what makes you think that it would prove she is the one?

Athena:
Please recall Owen's eyewitness testimony, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. If the injury on Geiru's forehead was caused by the victim's knife... ...then Geiru's blood must've dripped down onto the dough used as the murder weapon! That would make the dough pretty conclusive evidence, wouldn't you agree?!

Nahyuta:
Ahh, but where IS this "conclusive evidence"? Let us hear your theory on where this "murder weapon" is!

Athena:
W-Well, it's... (If I can't find the answer in the evidence I have on hand, we'll lose this trial! So how did Geiru get rid of the udon dough? Think, Athena! What do I have that points to suspicious behavior on Geiru's part?)

Judge:
Now, then, Ms. Cykes. Let's hear your answer. Where is the "real murder weapon" hidden?

Blackquill:
Nice barking you did there. I assume you have the bite to back it up?

Athena:
Stop distracting me! Especially not right now! This piece of evidence can point us to the location of the hidden murder weapon!

Athena:
Geiru!

Geiru:
Huuuh? What is it? I'm just an innocent girl. I don't know aaanything about a muuuuurder!

Athena:
Stuff that cute act in your balloon hat!

Geiru:
Kuh!

Athena:
Geiru got rid of the dough she used to kill Master Toneido in a bold and daring way. She did it right in front of Prosecutor Blackquill's nose by feeding it to her dog!

Geiru:
N-No! I-I...!

Blackquill:
Ha ha ha ha ha! Of course! Now it all makes sense. I was puzzled as to why Geiru, who should know her own dog's eating habits... ...would feed Jugemu more than he could possibly finish!

Athena:
Your Honor! Please order an investigation of the yard right now!

Judge:
And what should the police at the theater be looking for, exactly?

Athena:
Jugemu must've buried his leftover dumplings somewhere around his doghouse. Dumplings that Geiru made out of the udon dough with her blood in it!

Geiru:
Graaagh! Ngaaagh!

Nahyuta:
Th-This is preposterous!

Athena:
I want to thank you, Simon. If you hadn't kept me going, I might've given up along the way.

Blackquill:
Hmph. What are you blathering on about? You still have work to do! Now, by your hand... finish this wretched case off, Athena!

Athena:
You got it! Geiru, do you remember what you said would happen when the truth is finally revealed?


Geiru:
When the truth's revealed... ...it'll be yer balloon or mine that goes POP! Got it?!


Athena:
Well, now the truth is out, and it looks to me like... ...it's YOUR balloon that goes POP!

Geiru:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Nahyuta:
Pohlkunkaaaaa!

Geiru:
I... I... I'm... a rakugo artist... I was the one... who was supposed to... inherit that name...! But then... ...then... Shisho... Why are my balloons burstin'...? Daddy... are ya mad at me...? I... I've been a bad girl... I... I... AAAAAIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!


Geiru:
*sniffle* Ooooh...

Athena:
Are you ready to tell us everything now, Geiru?

Geiru:
The whole reason... I entered the world of rakugo in the first place... ...was to follow in my father's wonderful footsteps, and inherit his stage name.

Athena:
His stage name...? You don't mean...

Blackquill:
"Uendo Toneido"...

Geiru:
I knew I wasn't very good at storytelling, but I thought that... ...if I did the stupid balloon thing like Shisho wanted, I'd inherit the name someday. But Master Toneido gave the name to his junior disciple... Yeah... That's why I took my revenge on Shisho during the show celebrating the name succession.

Athena:
So that... was your entire motive...?

Geiru:
I doubt anybody else could understand, but... ...inheriting my father's name was everything to me. It was my whole reason for living.

Blackquill:
Of all the days you could have taken your revenge... ...why did you choose the day of the show?

Geiru:
Because I wanted to pay Uendo back for stealing what was rightfully mine... I wanted to pin the blame on him at the show where all the Toneido fans were gathered...

Athena:
But then, Uendo tried to shift the blame onto Bucky Whet... And now we know the whole story...

Blackquill:
There's just one more thing I want to know. Did you know Master Toneido was making udon in his dressing room yesterday?

Geiru:
No, I didn't. When I saw the soba-making tools, I was worried about my allergy... But it was my only chance to get my revenge on the two of 'em, so I went ahead and did it.

Blackquill:
So it was a premeditated crime, but in the end, you only went through with it on impulse. Then, the allergic reaction on your hand... Is it from touching the soba in the refrigerator with your bare hands... ...when you were tampering with the crime scene after your master's death?

Geiru:
Yeah... By that time, I wasn't clearheaded enough to worry about my allergy.

Blackquill:
Geiru... How could you do all this, you idiot...

Athena:
Geiru... ...I get your desire to inherit your father's name. But what you really should've inherited from him wasn't his name... ...but his heart.

Geiru:
H-His... heart...

Judge:
Do you have anything to add, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi? Any objections?

Nahyuta:
...No, Your Honor. ............Ms. Athena Cykes.

Athena:
Y-Yes? (That's the first time he's used my name!)

Nahyuta:
I shall... be sure to remember your name.

Athena:
............Really?

Blackquill:
It seems he finally recognizes you as a proper adversary.

Athena:
Thanks! That's all I ask, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi!

Judge:
It looks like there are no further objections. Bailiff, please bring in the defendant.


Judge:
Ah, good. It seems you have made a full recovery. Now then, this court finds the defendant, Bucky Whet...

Not Guilty

Judge:
This court is adjourned!


May 13, 11:55 AM
District Court - Defendant Lobby No. 6

Athena:
Congratulations, Bucky! I'm so glad you were found innocent!

Bucky:
Thanks for everything, Miz Chickadee!

Athena:
But it still sucks that you were accused of a crime you didn't commit! Did Uendo have it out for you or something?

Bucky:
I don't think so...

Blackquill:
Uendo said it was a spur-of-the-moment idea he got when he saw the soba-themed cards.

Athena:
Simon! Where have you been?

Blackquill:
I stopped in at Uendo's questioning. Only you, Bucky... could get framed for a crime on a whim.

Bucky:
No way... I almost got convicted out of convenience...?

Athena:
Well, at least you've been completely cleared of all charges, so... buck up, Bucky! On a more important note, what I really want to know is... ...why didn't Master Toneido let Geiru inherit her father's name?

Bucky:
Wh-Whattaya mean, "on a more important note," Miz Chickadee?!

Athena:
Aww, don't be such a "Whet" blanket -- just go with the flow! Now, come on! You think the master was trying to encourage her to quit the entertainment business?

Bucky:
Naw, that's not it. He didn't give the name to her because he wanted Geiru to find her own calling in life... ...to perform whatever she wanted without being bound by her father's name or rakugo. Making udon was his way of showing his support for her in her new endeavor.

Athena:
So that's why he called you to the theater, huh? To teach him how to make udon?

Blackquill:
Hmph. A more roundabout way, I've never seen, but that's Master Toneido for you.

Athena:
So this entire incident happened because of a misunderstanding? How sad...

Blackquill:
By the way, Geiru wasn't the only person Master Toneido was trying to cheer on. Even though the person in question still seems unaware of the master's intentions.

Bucky:
What? You talking about me? Come on, no way! All that old man ever did was criticize my soba!

Athena:
That's not true, Bucky... (There must be a way to make Bucky see just how much Master Toneido cared about him.)

Bucky:
I-It's still in my name...

Blackquill:
Master Toneido was just up to one of his tricks when he said he "stole" the shop from you. He was trying to force you to grow into a truly capable owner in your father's stead.

Athena:
He probably used some tough love on you so that the shop wouldn't just go belly up.

Bucky:
...I-I see... I-I never knew... Oh, Master Toneido... I'm so sorry...! *sniffle*

Blackquill:
Keep working hard, Bucky, and pay him back by living up to his expectations.

Bucky:
Thanks, Simey! And you too, Miz Chickadee! One day, my soba's gonna be so good, it'll knock that old man's socks clean off! After all, I'm the fourth-generation owner of Whet Soba, Whet Noodle No. 4! Well, I'd better be getting back to my shop. I gotta get ready for the lunch rush!

Athena:
Hold on! Could I place an order for delivery, Bucky?

Bucky:
Yes, Miz Chickadee?

Athena:
Could you deliver a bowl of udon to Geiru -- on behalf of her master?

Bucky:
...You got it! I'll make sure it's got all the TLC Master Toneido would've packed in it, too!

Athena:
Thank you!

Bucky:
Well, see you! Be sure to drop by the shop sometime!

Athena:
I will! And I'll bring the whole agency with me!

Blackquill:
Do us all proud, Bucky.

Bucky:
I'll have the best soba in town waiting for ya when you come! Peace out!

Athena:
Ahhh... It's nice to see somebody giving it their all, isn't it? I wonder if I leveled up any thanks to this case.

Blackquill:
Don't kid yourself. The trial would've been a spectacle and a half had I not been by your side.

Athena:
Y-You don't know that!

Blackquill:
Hmph. For a lawyer who's versed in psychology, you're too full of weak points. You need to learn to analyze yourself more objectively.

Athena:
Or, you could just teach me your famous mind tricks, Simon!

Blackquill:
No.

Athena:
Way to shut someone down! And why not?!

Blackquill:
Because the more pesky lawyers there are, the harder my job becomes. So it's in my best interest for you to remain green forever!

Athena:
Hey! What about what's in MY best interest, huh?! Besides, weren't YOU the one who had the wool pulled over your eyes by Uendo?!

Blackquill:
Must you remind me?! How could I have known Uendo would do "Time Soba"?!

Athena:
Hey, speaking of "Time Soba," I just thought of something funny!

Blackquill:
Oh, goodie. I can't wait.

Athena:
Okay, here it is. In "Time Soba"... ...why didn't mon number nine get counted? Come on. Do you know, Simon?

Blackquill:
Hmph. How should I know?

Athena:
Because... seven ate nine! Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week!

Widget:
ROTFL!

Blackquill:
Hmph! THAT, I should've known. Come on, let's go get soba or something and go home.

Athena:
Your treat?

Blackquill:
I'll treat you to 50% of the tab! And don't forget -- you still owe me for that manju!

Athena:
Really, Simon? It wouldn't hurt for you to pay for me every once in a while, you know!

Blackquill:
Hmph. Quit squawking and start walking, Athena!

Athena:
H-Hey! Wait for meeeeee!


Athena:
(I may still have a ways to go as a lawyer... ...but just like Mr. Wright, Apollo, and Simon before me... ...I'm going to get there someday! After all, I've inherited their passion for our courts, and the law! Je peux le faire! I can do this!)

End



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