Date: January 16, 2016
The Trial begins for Sakuya's verdict. Can Jon and Michiko turn it around?
"Integrity Under Question - Objection!"
Hebisuuhai Village, Court Room
It is the 24th of december, high noon. Yet, you wouldn't know it so far underground as it is. It is unfortunate that the time for the trial is Nigh, and that Sakuya would not even be allowed to attend unless she was called for her testimony. The court room is perhaps one of the most ornately designed rooms as of yet. It is solid stone, of course, but the stone is a rather uniquely banded granite pattern. The bands of black and white slither along the walls like the snakes that are housed within this clan's temple. At the head of the podium is a very, very old woman with golden eyes that are slitted like all the rest of the Hebisuuhai. She wore heavy black robes, and was old enough that her hair was grayed out though age. She was the current Clan Head, apparently. "As the defense might not know, and perhaps unlike Kumogakure, there is no group of neutral individuals that might be called a jury. I am the law within these halls, and thus your purpose and the prosecution's purpose is to convince the law that wrong has happened and is in need of punishment." Simple as that. The older Hebisuuhai woman, whose name would be soon revealed, had both a black and a white snake. Both are coiled up upon the desk she sits at. The room has two other tables. One for the prosecution and one for the defense. Both face her. The prosecution, Korose, would attempt to be on friendly speaking terms with the clan elder. At the very least, he was Cordial. "Hebisuuhai Youka, the prosecution is in attendance. It is good to see you, head elder. I apologize that our work has us so very separate as of late… The accused's name is Hebisuuhai Sakuya, my very own daughter in fact. It pains me to say that she was witnessed slaughtering a member of our clan, and taking a sacred object. For that, the prosecution disheartedly requests that she be brought to justice and executed."
So bluntly foreward with his accusation, he almost makes it seem as if he was one hundred percent sure that he had the cards stacked in his favor. He was manipulating the system to his own desires, but as Jon had likely known he was a tad sloppy. The head elder closes her eyes and sighs. "Very well. Saito Jon was it? You will work to prove the accused's innocence. I'm sure you know how this works. You will be cross-examining the testimonies of the witness, and finding the truth…" Korose seems to smile lightly at this.
This is a rather odd situation for Jon. He's accustomed to appearing in court to represent the police, explain to the jury what their investigation turned up, and level accusations against criminals, but to represent an entire side, let alone the defense? Usually a lawyer handles that. e.ea Asking a detective to handle a court battle makes about as much sense as asking a lawyer to handle crime scene investigations — and who ever heard of THAT, right? :P
But, it looks like the Hebisuuhai court system is…condensed. Judge and jury are one, and it looks like so are investigator and defense. And in this case, culprit and prosecution. e.e Jon stands up. "Thank you, Hebisuuhai Youka-dono. The defense is in attendance and is prepared to prove the defendant's innocence in this matter." "Too right! We'll prove it so 'ard 'er grandchicks will be declared innocent before anybody even accuses 'em!" Scruvo, perched on the back of the chair next to Jon's, puffs out his feathers defiantly despite the surroundings still giving him the willies. >.<;
Michiko entered alongside Jon, the girl looking around the room curiously. It was… very fancy… She wondered if it was because the judge had a sense of style or if it just always was. Not really important, sure, but certainly an interesting question to roll in her head. The young Jounin would bow to Youka, then, and her two snakes before inclining her head to Korose. "Scruvo-san, please keep your words at a minimum unless we (meaning herself and Jon) ask you to speak," she quietly requests of the bird.
Then she glances to Jon and pulls out a file that basically had all their findings put together in one place. "Jon-san, here is the information we managed to find. Remember what we're dealing with. Shall I leave you to speak?" she says to the investigator also quietly as she moves to settle down. It seems as if Youka already selected the speaker for her 'team' anyway.
Korose stood with his hands behind his back. This wasn't a battle of ninjutsu, taijutsu, or genjutsu. This was indeed a battle of evidence. "Youka, I would like to get this over with. You are a busy person. So let me call the first witness, Hebisuuhai Roho to the stand." Korose would sit down, all the while Youka was smirking over what the crow said. Those Nin-partners can be quite the comedic relief, cant they? Make a tense situation seem like it's just a roadbump. The witness would stand in the center of the room, before the judge and the two tables. He seemed to like bandages, for he was all wrapped up in them, aside from pants and a vest. "I am Hebisuuhai Roho, vault guardsman and friend to Hebisuuhai Sashitori, the murdered guardsman." Youka would rasp her fingers against the desk. "Very well, Hebisuuhai Roho. Please. Tell us what you saw…"
"Gladly, Head Elder-dono." He clears his throat and begins to speak, "I was on guard duty, as are my usual required duties. I am the guardsman who keeps watch of Kusanagi, while my partner keeps watch over Shinsai. It was late at night, after many of our other clansmen had gone to sleep. I decided to check on my comrade, who often made it clear that he got very lonely on cold nights. That is when I saw it. He was dead on the floor. I saw the life escaping his eyes. He had been struck on the head with such force that I knew he had perished. Then, I saw her. A young female, Hebisuuhai Sakuya I recall, she was standing in the hallway with Shinsai in her hands. She had used the blunt end of the hilt to strike his head. She was covered in blood, after the ordeal, and quickly ran back into the room Shinsai was held. She disappeared somehow when I went to chase her down. It was strange she did not exit through the entrance, personally. Afterwards, I quickly woke up the rest of the guard." That seemed to be it so far… Youka would rub her chin. "Hmm. Solid testimony from a loyal member of our clan. I doubt the defense will have anything to say, but you may begin the cross-examination. Please, go ahead Saito Jon and Iwata Michiko."
Jon listens attentively to the guard giving his testimony. He also watches closely; it would be good to know whether this man is giving an honest account or is somehow in on the conspiracy, or just being leaned upon to testify a particular way. Once the man is finished, Jon decides to start with the most obvious flaw. "Roho-san, you say that the culprit 'disappeared somehow'. That is an extremely odd omission in your account. Forgive me for casting aspersions, but I don't see how this witness account can be considered viable evidence when it contains such an event as the culprit ENTIRELY DISAPPEARING without explanation. Can the witness or the prosecution explain this discrepency?"
Michiko waits for Jon to finish speaking before saying, "I also have a question, Roho-san. You noted that Sakuya-san was covered in blood after the death. Could you please describe where it was she was covered in blood? On her clothes, for example? Or her hands?" After all, being struck with a blunt object wouldn't usually result in blood splatter… Right?
The Head Elder would stop Jon right there. "There's a clear reason, and something we do not necessarily let slip easily. I am sure the guard would like to know that there are secret tunnels that are actually restricted to elders, and kept a secret from the rabble. For the sake of this trial, I will point out that this is likely the most viable escape route… Does that clarify anything for you, Saito Jon?" Seems like something that could be pressed further… Roho would clarify for Michiko in the mean time. "I don't know. All over. It wasn't a lot of blood, but I could taste the blood in the air." Something else that could likely be pressed further…
Jon nods compliantly. "Ah, I see. How closely guarded is this secret, Korose-san? Would you say it's possible that somebody outside of your elders would have known about it before the murder? And if they did, would any usage of these passages by anyone besides the elders be reliably detected?"
"But Roho-san… It doesn't seem possible for Sakuya-san to have so much blood on her. The wound itself was, I should note, caused by something blunt hitting Sashitori-san's head. Unless Sashitori-san's head completely cracked open upon being hit, there should not have been enough blood that Sakuya-San would be covered with it. Could you please elaborate on the blood you smelled, at least? Can you figure out whose blood it is on smell alone, even?
Michiko's attention is on the witness, now, though she does wait for Jon and Korose to finish talking before addressing something that bothered her. "But Roho-san… It doesn't seem possible for Sakuya-san to have so much blood on her. The wound itself was, I should note, caused by something blunt hitting Sashitori-san's head. Unless Sashitori-san's head completely cracked open upon being hit, there should not have been enough blood that Sakuya-San would be covered with it. Could you please elaborate on the blood you smelled, at least? Can you figure out whose blood it is on smell alone, even?"
The Head Elder would wonder. "Truly, it takes advanced senses beyond that of the Hebisuuhai senses. It would be difficult for a commoner to stumble across it. It also requires rudimentary earth affinity to access. Most elders learn basic earth ninjutsu in order to access them." It was suddenly that Korose spoke out. "Of course, that is why Sakuya would likely be able to use said passages. She indeed has been identified as having 'earth affinity'. She clearly used it to access the tunnel to make a get away." Korose would slip his hands behind his back, as he attempted to crush that line of questioning. "Saying that Sakuya could not properly detect a false wall and exploit it when she has thee affinity is difficult. She could have skills that not even you or Iwata-san would know about."
Roho would nod to Michiko. "I am certain that the senses of the Hebisuuhai are enough to discern blood…." Korose would interject and attempt to knock Michiko off balance too. "Your honor, to be perfectly honest I don't see where Iwata-san's line of questioning is going. There was bleeding, and it was the blood of the victim he smelled." Youka would nod her head slightly. "Hmm. This is true. Well, if the defense would like to press the subject with -evidence- about the bleeding, I doubt there are any real inconsistencies that are actually useful as far as blood goes…"
Jon raises his eyebrows. "Earth affinity, you say? That's interesting. So to access these tunnels requires the exertion of some earth ninjutsu?" Jon glances to Michiko. "Michiko-san, why don't you take over pursuing that avenue? It's more your specialty." Jon talks back over to the defense's table and leafs through the folder of evidence. "I have here a copy of the victim's autopsy report, performed by your clan's medics," Jon notes, holding up the official document. "It indicates that the victim died from blunt trauma to the forehead…with minimal bleeding. Certainly, it makes sense that the victim's blood could be smelled, but to see such a quantity as this witness describes…that is a contradiction." Jon presents the autopsy report to the judge. "Would you not agree, Youka-dono?"
"Hai, Jon-san. Korose-san, Youka-san. Could you please inform me what sort of level you might require to detect the tunnels? And what level of ninjutsu in regards to earth release is required to access these tunnels?" she asks. Michiko would pause for a moment, thinking. "Also, Youka-san, who in the Hebisuuhai village prior to today knew of the tunnels? If you have any records on this, I would be pleased to see them."
Youka is convinced. Convinced that Roho was lying. "This is actually very true. Clearly, she couldn't possibly have been covered in blood. This is a clear contradiction. What say you, Roho?" She asks. Roho would close his eyes and nod his head. "Apologies, your honor. I… I didn't actually see blood. I know that I smelled blood, but perhaps it was not actually in an amount that was actually visible." Youka would look at Roho, and sigh. "I'll consider that a correction in your testimony. Don't let me catch you telling a blatant lie, Roho. Next time and you will be on trial for a death penalty." Roho would not her head. "As you wish, Head Elder." As for Michiko, the head elder would sigh. "I'm answering all the questions today, aren't I? Feels like I'm on trial almost… Only the elders, myself included, are openly told of the tunnels. The reason for this is the tunnel's original purpose. Should we be invaded, they would be where we hid. For this reason, only select people knew of it in case there was a traitor in our midst. The walls are rather thick, making it hard to even use earth-related senses to penetrate them. A hebisuuhai on their own couldn't use their senses to find it…" Korose would suddenly object. "I object. Few know those tunnels, I am one of those individuals who knows about them. I wish to… Openly and embarassingly admit that I told my daughter of those tunnels and their history…" To be honest, he was starting to sweat a little. It seems this line of questioning is bothering him. "That is how she would know." Youka was disappointed. "This is against the rules Korose, are you trying to lose your title as elder?" … "Apologies, Youka-dono…" Youka would sigh. "Anyways, to finish answering your question, Iwata Michiko, the technique taught to elders to move the wall equates to a… hmmm… your village uses letters to classify technique levels don't they? Well, I'd say… likely C-rank. Maybe more. It's a large amount of stone one has to move."
"I see. Well, I know that Sakuya-san, as a genin, would not know anything that is above a C rank. At least how she currently stands. As her sensei, I also know that Sakuya-san has focused more on Genjutsu and Taijutsu rather than ninjutsu. Earth release is… Ranked quite low on what she wishes to learn, much to my sadness." Michiko chuckles lightly. "I can't teach her what I know if she shows little interest, after all…" The Iwata would sigh faintly. "But even knowing the tunnels exist does not mean she can access them, Korose-san. It would take a lot longer to move all of this stone at her level, meaning that it would be easier for Sakuya-san to use the main entryways rather than use what little grasp of earth release she has to go through the tunnels.
Scruvo flaps his wings agitatedly. "Oi, y'gonna let 'im off th'hook that easy!? His story's got more holes in it than one o' MINE!" >.<; Jon waves appeasingly. "Calm down, Scruvo. There's a tight order to how you demonstrate that in court." Perhaps it's not a huge amount of progress to make a witness revise their testimony, but a few incidents like that can make it clear that the testimony is unreliable. Plus, Jon's pretty sure now that this Roho is in on the scheme one way or another.
Jon faces Roho again. "There's another point of your testimony that seems odd to me. You say that the victim was killed by a blunt blow from the pommel of the sword. That much is consistent with the autopsy report." Jon pulls out the diagram of Shinsai. "However, it is inconsistent with the identity of the alleged murder weapon. I have here a diagram of Shinsai, which the prosecution claims was used in the attack. Shinsai happens to have a special, difficult-to-notice feature: a cutting edge on the pommel." Jon shows the diagram to the court, pointing out the relevant part. "If Shinsai really were used in the fashion the prosecution supposes, it would have left a cut on the victim. Yet the autopsy found no such cut, only blunt trauma."
Michiko waits for Jon to finish speaking, then would interject. "I see. Well, I know that Sakuya-san, as a genin, would not know anything that is above a C rank. At least how she currently stands. As her sensei, I also know that Sakuya-san has focused more on Genjutsu and Taijutsu rather than ninjutsu. Earth release is… Ranked quite low on what she wishes to learn, much to my sadness." Michiko chuckles lightly. "I can't teach her what I know if she shows little interest, after all…" The Iwata would sigh faintly. "But even knowing the tunnels exist does not mean she can access them, Korose-san. It would take a lot longer to move all of this stone at her level, meaning that it would be easier for Sakuya-san to use the main entryways rather than use what little grasp of earth release she has to go through the tunnels. Youka-san, do I have your permission to use a demonstrative ninjutsu?" If allowed, Michiko then makes a handseal. A rather thick barrier roughly the size of the 'door' would suddenly erupt in the middle of the room. Otherwise she'd use her hands to prove her point, and she'd stretch them out as far as she could. "This is the size of the door," she would note. I would say it takes a C rank ability and Chuunin-level strength in Ninjutsu to accomplish moving this amount of earth all at once."
Korose has a lot of explaining to do. "Objection. While what Saito Jon says is true, there is an ability that we've researched that Sakuya has developed. Possibly as a result of exposure to your own style, Saito Jon. She calls it 'The Serpent Staff' method, in which she turns her own nin-snake into a weapon using henging and chakra hardening methods. Dangerous for the snake, but effective. At the very least, this staff is a blunt instrument. The guard may have mistook the weapon she used, within the darkness of our halls, as the shinsai. This explains why the victim has blunt trauma. The Hebisuuhai have documented Sakuya well enough, given she is an 'honored' member of our clan we have allowed to serve Kumogakure… As for Ms. Iwata, if she managed to hide in the room using… Her specialty… genjutsu. She could have hid from the guard. What say you Roho? Perhaps you are mistaken of the murder weapon?" Youka lets this proceed, but she is about fed up with these contradictions. "Yes, Roho… Would you like to addend your testimoney -ONE- last time?" She asks… Roho would nod. "Yes. It was far too dark to see the weapon very clearly. It was long, however. I was in shock that my dear, dear friend was slaughtered… I do note that it felt like my head was being toyed with, but my genjutsu kai was not strong enough to expel it, so I wrote it off as a part of my training to check for genjutsu. Protocol…" Korose shrugs with a smile. "Just like that. Sakuya is still under incredible suspicion." Korose sends a glare at Jon. "Well, Saito Jon? Iwata Michiko? Unless you can prove that the murderer used the secret tunnels, I'd say that you have no conclusive evidence that points away from eyewitness testimony."
Jon chuckles dryly. "If the perpetrator is capable of fooling the eyes of our noble guardsman here into completely missing their existence, then it hardly matters what he saw, because it could have been simply another illusion. Fortunately, the defense has surer evidence than a single eyewitness account." Jon's eyes harden. "Physical evidence that should not only clear the name of Hebisuuhai Sakuya-san, but point us in the direction of the true culprit. In the Shinsai room, there is a clear blood trail which neither the witness nor the prosecution has made any mention of. We were told by our neutral escort, Muko-san, that the blood was deemed irrelevant to the case at hand, but the defense believes that it is in fact vital — and that is precisely why it has been swept under the rug. It is the blood, we are told, of one of the Hebisuuhai Elders." Jon smiles faintly. "Youka-dono, would it be possible for the court to determine precisely whose blood this is, and where the trail leads?"
Michiko inclines her head slightly. "Perhaps," she acknowledges. Michiko falls silent as Jon brings up his own points, and she would simply wait for Youka to reply. Because she didn't want to turn her hand over until things were certain…. "Hmm…" she says aloud, musing. What else could she mention while this was being investigated…? »;
Youka nods a moment, and looks at Hiso, her black snake. "Go. Transfer the knowledge to me when you reach the area." The snake would poof in smoke, "I will confirm this fact, Saito Jon." Korose would grin widely, because in his mind, he had the best of the best clean that little mess up. To him it was a dead end… Youka steeples her fingers. "If you believe it is vital, then I will allow this. However, if this becomes inconclusive, I will end the trial here…" The Impartial judge awaits, for a few moments. She would close her eyes and flick her tongue. Then, the black snake returns. "My lady, there was blood at the site." The snake would slither back up the desk. Then, Youka raises a hand. "Korose, please cut your hand. Bleed." The prosecutor looks at Jon, and takes a Kunai. He cuts his finger and walks up to the black snake who tastes it. "… As I suspected." The female snake would say. "Nope. This is not the blood that was on the site. The blood was not human anyways." Youka would nod at Korose. "Please sit down, prosecutor. I apologize. I was starting to doubt your own integrity." Korose would nod his head and sit down… Of course, Korose would shrug a moment. "Not my blood. Not the blood of the accused or the one that has died. In fact, not even human blood at all!" Korose slams his hands down upon the table. "The blood is irrelevant! Youka-dono, let us make this official. Hebisuuhai Sakuya is -GUILTY- of murder and stealing a precious blade of our clan!" Youka closed her eyes and sighed. "It does seem that the blood is irrelevant. I don't really think there is any explanation. If the blood is that of a serpent's blood, there is no way that Sakuya used the underground tunnel. The guard must have been seduced by genjutsu…" Youka clasped her hands and rested her elbows on the table. "Defense, Unless you have a good reason why the blood on the floor was that of a snake rather than a human being, I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Korose with some reservation…"
Jon shakes his head mildly. "On the contrary, that ties in with other evidence we have gathered. Michiko-san, perhaps you should handle this part. You were the one who gathered the evidence, after all." ;) Scruvo tilts his head and mutters to himself. "Serpent's blood, eh? Knew it 'ad t'be one o' those slitherin' psychos." -.-
Michiko would wait for the snake to return and tap her chin. "I think… I have a reason for this, Youka-san." Michiko removes something from the folder she brought in earlier. A simple bag with some red scales in it. "When we were looking through the chamber of Shinsai, I discovered these scales in the room. Red scales, very similar in color to Kuru-san's scales. It is my belief that the blood found in the chamber is Kuru-san's blood. Hence… I believe that Kuru-san is our thief. Also, I would like to point out that Jon-san noticed something rather interesting…" she would glance over to the Saito, recalling that he realized someone used genjutsu on him when he was looking at Kusanagi…
Korose would speak up. "Preposterous. There are other elder members with red snakes! That proves n-nothing!" He was cracking. How could he have been so careless! "B-besides, along with red, Kuru also has black and white scales." Kuru was actually in the room, just on the far side of it. Korose would gulp. "As you know, Youka-dono, snakes do not just randomly shed scales. They molt, and leave their shed skin behind." Far more than a few scales, like Michiko found. "Clearly they can't be Kuru's scales! After all, why would -his- scales be there…" Unless… Youka nods and looks to Saito Jon. "I feel this is coming together. Where did you find the scales, specifically? I need evidence that they are Kuru's scales. Korose is correct. Snakes do not shed single scales for no reason… And what else do you have to share with me?"
Jon nods to Michiko. "Thank you, Michiko-san. You see, Youka-dono, Kuru-san took us to view Kusanagi in its room while we were conducting our investigation. While I was inspecting the blade to confirm that it was in fact Kusanagi, someone attempted to use genjutsu on me to cloud my sight. I was able to detect this and dispel the genjutsu, and I determined that the blade currently housed in the Kusanagi room is actually Shinsai. Michiko-san and Kuru-san were the only ones present in the room with me, and Michiko-san determined through her earth-sensing technique that nobody else was nearby in the hidden tunnels. Hence, it must have been Kuru-san trying to cast genjutsu upon me."
Jon holds up a NOT-SO-FAST finger preemptively toward Korose. "Before this devolves once again into he-said/she-said, allow me to point to physical evidence. What you said about how snakes shed is quite helpful, Korose-san. Indeed, we would not expect a snake, whether Kuru-san or some other, to leave a small amount of scales without attached skin — under the ordinary circumstance of shedding, that is. It would take an unusual occurance to force scales off in the manner in which we found them…an occurance such as the wound on top of Kuru-san's head!"
"I found these scales on the ground of Shinsai's chamber," Michiko would inform Youka. Once a few things were clarified by Jon, she would say, "I believe that Korose-san and Kuru-san are the real culprits behind all of this mess. And they are accusing Sakuya-san when she is actually innocent. Though the stars know why they would do such a thing to their own daughter…" She would eye the Hebisuuhai elder for a moment, brown eyes glaring daggers at the man for a moment before she'd turn her attention on Youka and Jon.
Korose froze up, because he saw that look of understanding on Youko's face. The Hebisuuhai woman would lean back in her chair. "Not the first time a parent of the Hebisuuhai clan unwittingly used the laws this way. My grandmother forced my mother out of the clan, Korose-san…" Youka steeples her fingers. "I have enough information to tell the story of the death of a guard. Roho is clearly inept at Genjutsu, so allow me to clarify. It was not Sakuya at all, but Korose who had stolen not Shinsai, but Kusanagi. He used Kusanagi to bash and kill the guard, but not before the guard attacked Kuru, who was running distraction. Then Roho heard the disturbance, just as planned. Before hand, Kusanage and Shinsai were swapped, and genjutsu was used to cover the swap up. The guard, not knowing he was not actually guarding Kusanagi saw not Korose, but, Korose henged or he was so genjutsu driven that he saw Sakuya… Or he was an accomplice. Either way, Korose and Kuru then fled to the secret passages, where a trail of Kuru's blood was left. Given that Korose was the head of prosecution he attempted to clean up all evidence it was him. Yet he wasn't thorough enough. He missed some of Kuru's blood and scales knocked off by the deceased guard… Do you agree with this Saito Jon? Iwata Michiko? … Hebisuuhai Korose…" Korose would pound the table. "Objection! I am an upstanding member of the Hebisuuhai clan! I am not capable of this! NOT CAPABLE! DO YOU HEAR ME!?" Youka would close her eyes and shake her head. "Korose… You were sloppy. Too many eyes on the scene to cover up your crime. A shame we still do not know where Kusanagi is now, but at least we have someone to rot in the dungeons for eternity…" She waits for any retribution before declaring her verdict. Any last words?
Jon rubs his chin thoughtfully. The story does seem to add up, although it's a bit convoluted. Jon doesn't see the point in swapping the two blades, and going back around to the public entrance to attack the guard seems pointless — wouldn't it be easier to sneak up from behind, seeing as Korose already could get in through the hidden passages? e.ea Hard to fathom…and Roho's frequent changes of testimony still seem suspicious too. "Youka-dono, I recommend a thorough search be made of Korose-san's living quarters, and Roho-san's as well. Perhaps Kusanagi may yet be found."
"Well, regardless of what happened, I would like Sakuya-san back. And Zuzu-san. So while Jon-san sorts this out," Michiko would incline her head slightly to the detective and Scruvo, "I would like to go fetch my genin and teammate." With that, Michiko would start moving towards the exit. Unless she was called back, she would just make her way to Sakuya's cell. Somehow she knows how to get there. »;
Well of course, Youka would read her verdict. "Clearly, the accused is not guilty. Furthermore, you and Roho are to be detained so that a new prosecution can find further evidence. I doubt they will need it." She raises a hand. "That is all. Please, Iwata-san, go give the prisoner the good news. I will send someone to release them." As far as searching their quarters? That was on her mind before Jon said anything. "I know that they won't be hidden there, the blade is likely on the black market now. I hope you spent all that money, Korose… You'll never see money again after this…" There was likely a lot of struggling in the next few moments, but that would be handleable.
Sakuya of course would be residing in her cell, making her final piece. She was knelt on the floor, prostrate, as if praying… Won't she like the good news? No one was there to release her quite yet, but Michiko can go wake her from prayer if she wished.
Yeah, likely enough the blade is long gone…although it's certainly worth a check. Pulling off a crime is a complicated business, criminals can slip up in all sorts of ways while juggling the necessary components, including keeping hot merchandise in the most threadbare of hiding places. Anyhow, Jon bows to the judge and makes his way out, following after Michiko. Scruvo takes off and flits around the courtroom a bit, as though flying a victory lap. "I kin see th'headlines now! Justice Prevails, Snake an' Accomplice Sent Downrivah! 'Ey Jonny-boy, we should think about makin' a livin' outta this! Scruvo an' Company, Attorneys-at-Law! We'll pop ya from th'clink an' flush th'baddies down th'sink! Oh, crikey, wait up!"
Michiko taps on the bars of Sakuya's cell when she arrives. "Sakuya-san, I never want to go through this again. But I am very glad that I was of some use for this whole case. Congratulations on being found not-guilty." Michiko would glance back to Scruvo with a faint smirk and just nod lightly to the bird. "I think someone will come around soon to unlock the door, so we can just sit tight here for the time being."
Sakuya would slowly get to her feet, and turn around. Her eyebrow was raised. "S-sorry? W-what did you say?" She asks, approaching the bars. Sakuya placed her hands on the bars and blinks. "Wait… So you're saying… I was declared innocent? But… I was sure that… Everything was stacked against me. That's what Muko told me again and again…" She took a most deep of breaths, and quite literally fell backwards. Backwards right onto the cold concrete floor. "I can't believe it! You and Jon-sensei did it! I'm… I'm not going to die!" Sakuya's next moments were spent making the most relieved squeaking noise possible… "No more dark, damp cages… Where's Zuzu? Did he help? He did right? He obviously cares about me, right!?"
Zuzu? Zuzu was actually tangled up with a few ladies right now. Getting to know them. Sharing a rat with them. Delightful. They let him lay on a warm blanket powered by ninjutsu, and placed him with the best of company! He was indeed expecting a little hanky-panky, when he was unfortunately formed that his partner was innocent. One can imagine that he was the most disappointed snake ever. Oh well.