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 Turnabout Knighthood

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SmashBasher123
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PostSubject: Turnabout Knighthood   Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:04 am

October 13, 5:53 PM, about 10 years ago
Knight Academy
Hallway

A young woman walks down the hallway, making her way out of the building and back home. It had been a day like any other in the academy, apart from her best friend taking a leave of absence to care for her sick younger sister. Most of the students had gone home already, almost an hour ago. However, as one of the top students in the graduating class, Katalina had volunteered to help tutor some of the struggling younger students after normal class hours. After she'd finished and those students had left, she spoke with one of the instructors at the academy for a few moments and was officially finished with her class duties for the day. Perhaps she'd cook something to bring over to Vira and Clarisse once she got home. Knowing Vira, she might not have eaten in hours fretting over her sister...

Her thoughts are interrupted as she hears faint sounds coming from around the corner. She initially brushed it off as one of the instructors, as they should be the only ones still around here at this hour besides the students in the detention room. However, the sounds started to turn into those of a scuffle, and a loud crashing noise could be heard. Unable to ignore this, Kat headed around the corner, preparing her sheathed sword in case she needed it. As she bursts through the door of the room the sounds were coming from, she is shocked to discover a gruesome sight... One of her classmates lying on the floor in a growing pool of blood, a sword stabbed right through a chink in his armor. Next to him, another classmate stands, looking quite horrified at the sight before him. Katalina nearly screams out, and she can faintly hear the sounds of footsteps somewhere behind her...
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PostSubject: Re: Turnabout Knighthood   Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:12 pm

October 15, 9:50 AM, about 10 years ago
Friezant Court
Defendant Lobby No. 2

Spoiler:
 

(Hah... Fresh out of school, and I'm already taking on a murder trial... I must be insane. I felt confident when I took this case, but... Now I'm just feeling a bit lightheaded... Ok, Lauren, deep breaths. You're not the one on trial here, after all...)

"You look about ready to hyperventilate, Ren. You feeling alright?"

"Ah, Morty... Yes, I'm fine. Just... Feeling a bit nervous, is all."

"I'm not surprised. Not everyone takes on a murder trial as their first case. Pretty ballsy, if you ask me."

The man standing before me grins. His name was Morty Ryse... My boss. My name is Lauren Order, and I recently passed my test to earn my defense attorney badge. He took me under his wing, for reasons I'm not quite sure of myself... He's only a few years older than I am, but he's already a well-respected attorney... A prodigy, some people call him. I'm not sure I would use that word to describe him, myself, but he is quite good at his job, if a little... dotty at times.

My first trial was beginning soon. In a few minutes, as a matter of fact. If I was a nervous wreck right now, then my client must be...

"..." A man clad in full armor stands near me, completely still and stiff. If one didn't know better, they might mistake him for a decorative suit of armor. At least, not until he snorted nervously through his helmet.

"L-Listen, try to relax a little. Going all stiff like that makes me nervous..." I try my best to sound calm, which was quite difficult, seeing as I really was unnerved by him just standing there.

Another snort. "S-Sorry." The man in the armor untenses a little, but not by much.

Adalbert Shéng. My client. A student at the Knight Academy in Lochmere, accused of committing a murder of a fellow student that occurred a few days ago. I'm not sure exactly what it was that convinced me, but that look in his eyes, his conviction... The fact that no one else who heard his case was willing to take it... They were probably all factors that led me to believe in his innocence. It was my job to discover the truth... Which I believe is that he's not guilty.

"Hey, kid. You're innocent, aren't you?"

"Huh? Y-Yes... I didn't do it, I s-swear...!"

"Then chin up, alright? If you really are innocent, Lauren can prove it... With some assistance from yours truly, of course." He gives him a reassuring sort of smile, and the young knight-to-be relaxes a little more.

Despite his confidence in me, I still have my doubts about this after taking a closer look at the details. It seemed pretty open-and-shut: Viktor Timm, another student at the academy, was found stabbed to death with my client standing in the same room. No one else was present at the scene, and there was, evidently, no way to escape the room without being seen by someone... Proving he didn't do it was going to be tricky, that's for sure.

"Looks like the show's about to start, Ren. You feeling ready?"

"Ready as I'll ever be."

"Don't worry yourself too much. I'll be right there with you. You'll do fine, I'm sure." I start to relax a little too. He did have a way of getting others around him to not be as tense.

"I, um... G-Good luck out there!" Bert speaks up, followed by a third snort.

"Thanks. I'll do my best to prove your innocence, Adelbert." I say with a bit more confidence than before as he's escorted into the courtroom by a guard, before Morty and I do the same.

COURT RECORD
Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Turnabout Knighthood   Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:48 am

October 15, 10:00 AM, about 10 years ago
Friezant Court
Courtroom No. 2

Spoiler:
 

Before I knew it, I was standing in the defense attorney's bench. My mentor standing next to me did little to alleviate my internal panicking. I could hear the murmuring of the audience watching the proceedings, and I saw the bailiff escort my client, Adelbert, to his seat in the defendant's chair. His life was placed in my hands now...

"Ren, you sure you're up to this? You look ready to pass out again." I'm snapped out of my internal panic, and I nod automatically. Truth be told, I was already losing my nerve again. But I could hardly back down at this point. My young client placed his faith in me... I had to show him his faith wasn't in vain.

I look around a little more to see the prosecutor, a balding man with glasses in a traditional Jipangese wear, clearly a native to the country; either that, or a very, very huge fan of its culture. Speaking of fans, he was also carrying a large Jipangese one in one hand, although he had yet to open it. At the sound of a gavel, I turn to see the Judge was also present already, a somewhat intimidating man with a surprisingly pointy black beard.

"Court is now in session for the trial of Adelbert Shéng. Is the defense ready?"

"Huh? Oh, y-yes, Your Honor. The defense is ready."

He nods. "Mm, very well. Is the prosecution ready?"

"The prosecution is ready, Your Honor."

"Alright. Mr. Auchi, your opening statement, if you would."

"Yes, Your Honor. Just two days ago, at 5:50 PM, Viktor Timm, a student at the Knight Academy in Friezant, was impaled by a sword in a classroom. The prosecution claims Adelbert Shéng, a fellow student, as the murderer."

"But... What reason would Mr. Shéng have to kill his fellow student in such a manner?"

"Excellent question, Your Honor. Apparently, the defendant and the victim had a bit of bad blood throughout their time in training. Due to the defendant's... Unique characteristics, he was often a target of bullying and teasing by Mr. Timm and his cohorts. The prosecution would like to present the sword used to impale the victim with."

Preparing gloves, Mr. Auchi presents his first actual piece of evidence... The murder weapon, still with a thin coating of blood. It didn't take a genius to figure out that blood most likely belonged to the victim.

"This sword was found lodged in the body of Mr. Timm. The sword apparently pierced his heart. Only one sword wound was found on his body, so it would seem to indicate a fatal blow. No fingerprints were found, however..."

"W-Wait, you can't tell that sword belonged to the defendant just by looking at it, then! Maybe the sword just happened to-"

"Tsk tsk. This is your first time in this courtroom, isn't it, rookie?"

"H-Huh?" Rookie...?

"I do so hate to stomp so thoroughly on a greenhorn's hopes, but... I'm afraid this sword could only have belonged to the defendant, Mr. Shéng."

"What?!" I respond, trying to ignore the rising hatred I have for this guy's attitude.

"You see... This sword bears the distinguished crest of the noble Shéng family. Swords like this are only crafted for their use, out of very specific materials. An examination reveals this sword to be the genuine article. And the instructors can verify that Mr. Shéng was the only one with a sword like this in the academy that day. It's a pretty distinguishable mark, you see."

"Gck..." Well, there I went, putting my foot in my mouth as I let the prosecution further incriminate my client.

Adelbert's Sword added to Court Record.

Autopsy Report added to Court Record.


"And there's one other thing... There was a witness, as I'm sure you've heard."

Right. I'd almost forgotten about the witness.

"They did not witness the moment of the crime itself, but they can testify as to the state of the defendant and the victim after the fact."

"Very well, Mr. Auchi. You may call in your first witness."

"The prosecution would like to call Ms. Katalina Aryze to the stand."

...

And there she stood, the poor girl who bore witness to one of her classmates murdered in cold blood. She seemed to be holding together fairly well, outside of clutching the empty sheath of her sword in her hands, perhaps as a nervous habit of some kind.

"Your name and occupation please, witness."

"My name is Katalina Aryze. I am a senior student at the Knight Academy in Lochmere." Despite her clear hesitation in body movement, she spoke clearly and dutifully.

"Now, Ms. Aryze. I understand it must be difficult for a young student such as yourself to talk about, but I need you to describe for us the scene you saw when you entered the supposedly empty classroom that day."

"... I understand, Sir. I'll say all I can remember."

"Alright, Ren. It's go time." I hear Morty whisper next to me.

"H-Huh?"

"The most important part of the trial for your client, that's what. First, listen closely to this next testimony."

"R-Right, got it." I turn to face Ms. Aryze again, awaiting her testimony.

--Witness Testimony: What I saw--
Spoiler:
 
"As the prosecutor stated, it was two days ago, about an hour or so after classes ended for the day. I stayed back to help with some extra tasks around the building at the request of one of my instructors, and I was just heading home when I heard what sounded like a scuffle in classroom 104, followed by a loud crashing sound. I rushed to see what was going on, and then I saw... I saw Adelbert standing over Viktor's dead body, blood pooling by his feet... I don't think Adelbert would have planned to kill him, but... I suppose it was spur of the moment..."
---

"... Well, that certainly sounds very incriminating for our defendant, doesn't it?"

"The prosecution would like to note there are no windows in this classroom large enough for one to fit through, and no other doors besides the one Ms. Aryze used to get in. The other end of the hallway the classroom was located in leads to a dead end, as well. In short... As Ms. Aryze was heading towards the exit when she heard the noise, there is no way anyone could have leaved the room and made an escape without her noticing."

Of course, the classic locked-room mystery. If I were the prosecution, it'd be pretty easy for me to say that no one but the defendant could have done it too... Hoo boy.

"Hm... Defense, you may begin your cross-examination."

Right, right, cross-examination... The details were getting fuzzy in my increasingly panicked head, but all I need to do right now is get more info out of the witness...

---Cross-Examination: What I Saw---
"Ms. Aryze, can you describe these sounds of a scuffle more in detail?"
"Well... I don't recall it exactly, but I could hear two voices yelling at each other, followed by the sound of armor hitting armor. If I had to guess, I'd say the two were fighting and one of them tackled the other... It wouldn't be the first time."
"Hm? Have these two fought physically before?"
"Well, they occasionally sparred against each other, of course, but they also occasionally broke out into fights outside of training as well. Usually when Viktor went too far and attacked Adelbert on something too personal..."
"As the court can see, the two clearly had a history of animosity towards each other."
"Very well... Just what was that crashing sound, anyway?"
"It seems that in the middle of their scuffle, one of them hit the desk pretty hard and knocked over... Something. I'm afraid I don't know what it was, exactly."
"The patrol and detectives looked into this matter. It appears that it was simply a glass potion bottle that was placed near the end of the desk. The bump caused it to topple over and shatter. Examining the glass for traces of anything that might have been in it suggests nothing was. In other words, it was an empty bottle."
"Why would there be an empty potion bottle sitting in the classroom?"
"Classroom 104 is typically used to teach basic potions and spells... It's a class for mages and healers, you see."
(Hmm, I guess that makes sense. Still, why would there be just a single potion bottle sitting on the desk, with no traces of anything in it...?)
Bottle Shards added to Court Record.
"Uh... What was the defendant like when you saw him?"
"What was he like? Well... He seemed an odd mixture of horrified and filled with glee..."
"Undoubtedly both due to his sour history with the victim."
"Did the defendant say anything when he saw you?"
"He seemed dazed, and didn't even seem to notice me at first... He kept staring down at where he cut Viktor's arm..."
"That's understandable. Surely one would stand in shock at what they'd just done if they up and killed someone in the heat of a fight."
(I guess that's... Wait... Wait a sec. What was that Katalina said just now...?)
"Well, I suppose if the defense has no-"

Spoiler:
 
"Miss Aryze, one moment please! You just said "where he cut Viktor's arm"...?
"Um, y-yes...?"
"But... That contradicts what the prosecution claimed earlier! Mr. Auchi, did you not say "a single sword wound was found on the victim's body"?
"...! W-Well, yes, I suppose I did say that..."

I could hear the murmurs of the crowd flaring up again. I found one! I found a contradiction in the witness' testimony!

"Hang on, Ren. Looks like it's too early to be celebrating." He points towards the prosecutor's bench, as he went from nervous to the annoyingly smug look on his face in the blink of an eye...

"Heh heh heh... Yes, it's true I did say that there was only one sword wound found on the victim's body. However... that doesn't account for other types of wounds."

"Huh...?"

Spoiler:
 

"See this, rookie?" The prosecutor produces what appeared to be a sharp, bloodied razorlike tool. Already I could tell where this was going. "This tool is used to dice the ingredients used in the potions class. Tests have already confirmed that this is, in fact, the victim's blood... And it was found in a pouch at the defendant's hip."

"W... WHAT?!" (No one told me about this!"

The murmuring continues, but I get the feeling it was entirely different from what it was a moment ago...

"Sneaky sneaky, leading you into that trap just to spring another piece of evidence on you..." Morty states, thinking about what had just occurred.

"The victim was found not wearing any gauntlets. So he clearly did not have them on when he went to this little confrontation. The defendant, however, did have gauntlets on when he was found at the scene; There weren't any fingerprints found on this dicer, so it's only logical to assume that the defendant was the one who used it, given it was on his person and all."

"Nrk...!" This was getting worse and worse. Adelbert, why didn't you tell me about this thing...?

Dicing Tool added to Court Record.

"Er... Forgive me, Your Honor. I just remembered something I forgot to add in my testimony..."

"Hm? What is it, Ms. Aryze? Oh, wait, if this is important enough for you to mention, perhaps you should testify about this as well."

She nods. (What? There's more? I'm in deep enough as it is...)

To be continued

Court Record
Spoiler:
 
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