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1
Pairings YOOOOOO!! / Re: Wada Ayaka and Iikubo Haruna
« Last post by resop2 on Today at 07:58:59 PM »
As reported by Amped on JPLOP:

Quote from: Amped
Today, Wada Ayaka and Iikubo Haruna had an interview with Entame magazine to promote their new singles.



https://ameblo.jp/morningmusume-10ki/entry-12412298766.html
2
Japanese / Re: Non (Rena Nounen) 能年玲奈
« Last post by oaxiac on Today at 06:37:24 PM »
Mirai-San











Line News YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtClOLMrFCeztPBnaaobvvA/videos

Quote
Nounen Rena / Non will be starring in LINE NEWS' first original drama series "Mirai-san", alongside Hongo Kanata, Makita Sports and Horiuchi Keiko.

LINE Corporation launched this "LINE NEWS Experimental Project" to explore mobile-first video content creation and distribution. In other words, the drama will be optimized for smartphone and will be streamed through the News Tab of LINE smartphone app. Each episode will be released at 20:00 starting 8 September 2018.
 
Official Twitter and Instagram accounts have been set up with the handle @line_miraisan. Stay tuned!

https://onehallyu.com/topic/719282-nounen-rena-is-back-to-acting-in-drama-%E2%80%94-after-4-years/

3
Graduate Plaza / Re: The Suzuki Airi Thread (鈴木愛理)
« Last post by oaxiac on Today at 06:03:25 PM »
4
Japanese / Re: Kyoko Fukada
« Last post by fjroev on Today at 05:10:27 PM »
5
Graduate Plaza / Re: The Shimamura Uta Thread (島村嬉唄)
« Last post by oaxiac on Today at 04:45:07 PM »
Uta on Tiktok






6
AKB48 Fanfics / Re: [OneShot] STREET LAWYER WATANABE (HvsV season 3)
« Last post by anzai4648 on Today at 04:34:10 PM »
Hello reader!
This will be the last update from me. I have been discharged from hospital yesterday, so I won't be able to update my fanfics anymore. So please enjoy this. And I must warn you, this update will be pretty boring. I have tried to make it as a legal thriller, but apparently I have failed.  XD


===========================================================================


CHAPTER 6
BEING A LAWYER




October 2017.
First week.

     “Ohayou gozaimasu!”
     “Ohayou gozaimasu!”
     “Ohayou, Watanabe-san!”
     “Ohayou, Tanaka-san!”
     “Ohayou, Watanabe-san! You’re so early today! So full of spirit, I see!”
     “Ohayou, Sakai-san! Thank you!”

     My croissant smile was plastered across my face as I greeted my colleagues along the way to my room at my office. It was still 7.30 AM in the morning but our office was already full with people. Most of the lawyers, either associates or partners, usually like to come very early to our office. While other employees like paralegals, secretaries, IT staff, and others would come later at 9 AM.

     My room was located at 8th floor, along with other junior associates. While the rooms for senior associates, which were slightly biggers than ours, were located on the higher floors. The lowest floors were allocated for meeting rooms, halls, auditoriums, cafeteria, data centers, and libraries. And lastly, the rooms for the partners were located at the highest floors of this building. Their rooms were much bigger than everyone else’s, with a stunning view that can be seen through the large glass door. I had entered some of those rooms and I found myself quite fascinated by their unique style and decoration. It's no wonder though, because partners are the ones who are responsible for generating the firm’s revenue. That's why this firm valued them so much. Most of my colleagues aimed to become a partner like them and work for a long time in this big firm, but I didn't. I wanted to build my own law firm instead. That was my dream. My true calling.

     I continued walking down the hallway until I reached my room. And once I entered, I was welcomed with the messiness that had been left off on the previous Friday night. That is my bad habit actually. I am a messy person. And I wonder myself, why I can still work in a messy room like this. Maybe I just fall into this category of people who can work better in a messy room, instead of a tidy room. Well, what can I say. There is only a thin line separating a genius from a messy one.

     After taking off my coat, I sat on my chair and set everything quickly on the desk. I turned on my computer and checked my inbox again. I had read and replied some emails on my way here in the subway, but I still had a lot more to reply. I spent another hour to read and reply all those emails, and then I went to check my schedule for today. There is an appointment with a new client this morning. My mentor, Takenaka-san, had assigned this client to me, saying that this client is pretty hard to handle and it will be a good experience for me to learn how to deal with them.

     I then read a few documents and legal contracts, and made some summaries of them while waiting for my new client to come. At 10 AM, the client arrived at my office. I welcomed him and asked him to sit down on the sofa across my room. We introduced ourselves to each other. His name is Yamada Satoshi, 18 years old, and he just dropped out from high school last year. And I was wondering for a while, what kind of crimes this young man did. Did he have a fight, or ruin someone’s property, or steal something? I have known some yankiis in the past, and that was what they usually do.

     Letting out a smile, I then began to talk to this young boy.
     “Thank you for coming in, Satoshi-kun. How can I help you?”
     The boy stared at me. His eyes showed a sign of displeasure. “I wasn’t doing anything and the cops came and arrested me,” answered him.
     “That’s horrible. What did they arrest you for?” I said empathetically.
     “Nothing. Just nothing. They arrested me for nothing,” he shrugged.
     I tilted my head and frowned. Why would a police arrest someone for nothing? There must be something wrong with this.
     “Well, what were you doing back then?” I asked. My hands were rested on the desk while I put all my attention to this young man.
     “Just sitting there, smoking,” he said.
     “Just sitting where?” I asked attentively.
     “In this dude’s car.”
     “What dude?”
     “Some dude. I don’t know. I don't really know him.”
     I frowned again. “You were sitting in a car with the guy you don't know?”
     “No. My cousin, Kento, was there.”
     “The three of you?”
     “No. Just me and Kento.”
     “Where was the dude?”
     “What dude?”
     “The dude whose car you were in.” I said impatiently.
     “Why would he be there?” Satoshi frowned and stared at me.
     “Because it was his car.” I stared back at him.
     He then replied calmly. “No. He didn't exactly know we had his car.”
     I frowned even more as I tried to process this information. “Wait. You were sitting with your cousin, Kento, in a car that belongs to someone else, and the owner did not know you were sitting in his car, and you don't really know the owner?” I asked him and stared at him sharply.
     And he answered, “Well, I have seen him before. He used to date my friend’s sister before she had another baby. Now she lives in Yokohama with her baby’s father. And the dude works at a radio station in Tohoku.”
     His expression was so calm as he sat there on the sofa in front of me. I started thinking that maybe he was just retarded or had a mental problem or something.
     After pausing for a moment, I then questioned him again. “So you don't really know the dude, and the dude did not know you had his car, but your cousin and you were in the dude’s car, smoking?”
     “Yeah. Exactly,” replied the boy.
     I faked a smile. “I’m guessing you didn't borrow the car.”
     “No. You’re wrong. We were just borrowing the car,” Satoshi said with an innocent look on his face.
     “Did the dude know you were borrowing the car?”
     “No. Why?”
     I glared at him. “How did you get into his car then? Did you steal the car key?”
     “No, we don’t need to do that. Kento has a master key.”
     “A master key?” I was quite shocked at this point.
     “Yeah. You know, one of those keys that opens everything. Doors, garages, cars. You know, a master key.” Satoshi said. And I mentally facepalmed myself.
     “Did the police arrest you for stealing the dude’s car?”
     “Yeah. Can you believe that shit? It’s unbelievable.”
     “.......”
     I couldn't say anything anymore because I was pretty much dumbfounded.
     Satoshi continued. “Not only that. The police also took all of our weed.”
     “What weed?” I asked.
     “The weed we were smoking.”
     “So they arrested you for stealing the dude’s car, and for having marijuana?”
     “No. Not for the weed. I have a medical certificate for the weed.”
     “Oh, that’s a relief.” I pretended to feel relieved upon hearing that.
     “Yeah. But they did get the coke.”
     “The coke?” My eyes were bulged out again.
     “Yeah. The coke in my backpack. It was with a gun.”
     “You were smoking weed in a stolen car with a cocaine and a gun?”
     “Yeah. That’s what I have been telling you.” Satoshi said while kept staring at me.
     I mentally facepalmed myself again. This kid has been testing my patience ever since he came to my room today.
     “Why did the police pull you over? Is it because they knew you were stealing car and having a coke and a gun?” I questioned the boy again.
     “No. The police did not pull us over because of that.” Satoshi shook his head.
     “They didn't?”
     “No. The police didn't come until after the accident.”
     “What accident?” I glared.
     “The lady pushing the shopping cart.” Satoshi answered.
     “What lady pushing what shopping cart?” I frowned again, for the N-th times today.
     “The one I hit with the dude’s car.”
     “Was she in the street?”
     “Why would the lady be pushing a shopping cart in the street? She was on the sidewalk,” Satoshi said shrugging.
     “You hit a woman on the sidewalk? You were driving on the sidewalk? Why were you driving on the sidewalk?” I raised my voice sharply, and I can feel my patience began to lose it bit by bit.
     “Well, I lost control after I shot Kento.” Satoshi replied.
     “What the fuck are you talking about!?” I shouted and almost jumped from my seat. Really, I can't believe what I heard just now. This kid is unbelievable.
     “Satoshi-kun, please tell me everything about what happened in that car. Everything.” I said with a glare.
     “Okay. Here is what happened. Kento and I was driving in the dude’s car. And Kento was like, hey you wanna hear something funny? And I was like, sure. So he said, this is my impression of your mother. And he did a funny gesture, and we were laughing. And then it was my turn to tell a joke, so then I told him that his mother was so fat she has to walk in her belly button. The thing is, his mother is morbidly obese, like 600 pounds. I thought it was funny, but Kento did not think it was funny, so he punched me. But he punched me in my ear. It was the same ear I just had an infection then, so it hurt.”
     My eyes bulged out upon hearing his explanation. “So, you shot him? You shot him for punching you?”
     “No. I shot him because he said my girlfriend has a smelly snatch. The thing is, she does have a smelly snatch. That thing smell like Tsukiji Fish Market at the middle of the miserable summer season.”
     I sent another glare at him. “So you shot him for telling the truth?”
     “No. I shot him because, how does he know she has a smelly snatch? They must have sex while I was not around.”
     Letting out a deep sigh, I then continued questioning him again while preparing myself for the worst scenario. “I see. So, is your cousin, Kento, dead after you shot him?”
     “No. But he was pissed off. I mean, really pissed off. And so was the lady with the shopping cart. She was also pissed after we hit her with the car. Kento and that lady were now in the hospital for recovery. But the police said they were going to arrest Kento too, after he recovered.” Satoshi explained.
     I then paused for a moment and leaned my back on my chair. I was a bit relieved after knowing he didn't kill anyone. But still, this boy was really screwed. Not only he had stolen a car, he also smoke weed, had a cocaine and a gun, shot his cousin with that gun, and run the car into a woman in a sidewalk. If only I weren't a lawyer, I would’ve asked Yuki or Rena to come and beat this boy up and teach him a lesson.

     I then continued. “Okay, I understand your situation, Satoshi-kun. But now I have to ask you, how did you make bail?”
     “Oh, that… I bailed myself with the money we got.”
     “What money who got?”
     “The money we got from the gambling. Kento’s mom’s boyfriend helped us to win the gambling.”
     “Wait, Kento’s 600-pounds-mom has a boyfriend?”
     “Yes. And he is very rich. He earns a lot of money from gambling.”
     “Okay, and does he know about you borrowing his money to make a bail?”
     “No, he doesn't know. We stole it.”
     I shoot up from my seat and shouted. “You stole his money? Are you fucking retarded?”
     “No. I’m not retarded. If I was retarded, I wouldn't have thought to borrow the car.”
     “But you're going to pay me with a stolen money. It’s Kento’s mom’s boyfriend’s money, not yours.”
     “Yeah but he won the gambling by cheating anyway, so I think it's okay if we stole it from him.”
     I blinked at the boy. “I’m having a hard time believing all of this.” I said with a sigh. My palms were resting on my desk as I tried to keep myself calm.
     “You don't have to believe me. The police have it all on the video.”
     “Of course they do.”
     “So can you defend me or not?”
     “I don't know. You are pretty screwed.”
     “I have ten million yen, cash.” Satoshi opened his suitcase and showed me the money inside it. And I couldn't help but blink again upon seeing them.
     “Errr...did I say screwed? Sorry, I meant, yes, I can defend you.” I took back my words and faked a smile at him.

     I realized, sometimes I cannot avoid defending these kind of people at the court, although I knew they’re very bad and screwed, and what they did was horrible. But then again, I have no right to judge them. Even the most evil warlord in the world who had killed 999 people in her past life still has a good streak in her, and now has redeemed herself and joined the good side too. I'm talking about Gekikara here. So yes, people can change. And I have to give everyone, no matter how bad and evil they are, the benefit of the doubt.



===========================================================================


Second week in October.

     I arrived at my office a bit late than I usually am, around 8 AM. And I still feel a bit dizzy after staying up all night, only spending one hour to sleep. The first hearing for Satoshi was scheduled tomorrow and I’ve been spending my nights almost sleepless, doing some research and reading everything in order to find out what is the best way to defend him in the court. With a rich but troublesome client like him, my bill is surely going to explode this month. Lawyers are paid hourly, and therefore the longer time we spend to work on a case, the more we will get paid.

     I was still on my way towards my room, when I heard a familiar voice greeted me in the hallway.
     “Ohayou, Mayu!”
     I turned my head to see the person.
     “Ohayou, Sawajiri-san!”
     The woman was walking up to me with a smile plastered on her beautiful face, which soon disappeared as she noticed the bags under my eyes and the zombie-state I was currently in.
     “Mayu, you look so beat up today. How many hours did you sleep last night?”
     “One hour.....” I let out a yawn.
     Sawajiri then looked at me with concern. “Look, we know everyone else here aren't getting enough sleep as well. But, Mayu, you’re overdoing it. I checked your bill yesterday, it's too over the top, even by my standard. You have to slow down a bit.”
     “Okay, thank you for your concern, Sawajiri-san.” I nodded, smiling.
     “Anyway, are you free this weekend?” Sawajiri asked me.
     I squinted my eyes a little. “I have a plan with my friend. Why?”
     “A friend? Kashiwagi?”
     “Yes.”
     And I saw her smiling again. “That’s good then. I just received a gift from my client, four tickets for Ayumi Hamasaki concert this weekend. And I want to give two for you. You really need to relax and refresh your mind a bit, after working so hard 90 hours a week.” Sawajiri said as she handed me the tickets.
     I frowned and stared at her. “Two tickets?”
     She winked at me. “Yeah. Ask Kashiwagi to come with you. I’m sure she will like it.”
     I glanced away a bit, feeling hesitant to accept her gift. “I...I don't think I can go. Why don't you give it to someone else?”
     “Well, you’re my first choice and I don't want to give it to someone else. And I’m guessing you and Kashiwagi still haven't decided where to go this weekend, am I right? Just go to the concert, Mayu. I will come too, so consider this as an invitation,” she said.
     I paused for a moment, thinking. And I realized I was not in a position to reject her. I was still a junior in this office, and it was considered impolite to reject an invitation from a senior.
     “...Hm, okay. We will come. Thank you for the tickets, Sawajiri-san.”
     She smiled again. “Your welcome, Mayu. I’m glad you accept that.”
     Her smile made me stunned for a while. Sometimes when she’s not bullying me, she can be so caring and heartwarming like that. I wonder which side of those is her true personality.
     Sawajiri continued. “Anyway, I’m going to have a business trip tomorrow to meet a client abroad, so I guess I won't be seeing you again until we meet at the concert this weekend, Mayu. Don't bail out. You have to come.”
     “Sure, Sawajiri-san. I will come.” I nodded.
     She smiled at me again before walking away and leaving me on the hallway. I scanned the tickets to find information about the date and the venue of concert, before putting them inside my pocket. Upon entering my room, I took my coat off and suited myself and went to the brewing machine to make a coffee. Walking back to my desk, I took the tickets from my pocket and put it inside my organizer.

     And while sipping to my coffee, I started to think about it. Sawajiri was right. I feel really beat up this week and I need something to refresh my mind. And it's been a long time since I last attend a concert. Attending Ayumi’s concert will be quite fun and enjoyable, though I prefer attending anime song concert and convention. Ayumi is a very popular singer here. If America has Madonna, UK has Elton John, then we have Ayumi Hamasaki. She's the legendary diva in Japan, and her tickets concert is always sold out.

     And of course, I couldn't help but also thinking about the woman who had just given me the ticket concerts herself. Sawajiri Erika. What can I say about her. She's quite a mystery. She’s smart, attractive, rich, and single. She has everything that money can buy, and she can have more if she wants. And yet it seems like she’s still searching for something in her life.

     I often wonder what kind of person that is really her type. I heard she had been in several relationships before, either with man and woman. I figure she’s a bi. And I can't deny that she's taken a liking in me too, ever since I joined this firm. Everyone said I’m her most favorite kouhai at the moment. She often comes at me, either to tease/bully/bother me, or showing care and affection to me. There are times when she become such a nuisance for me, like when she comes and asks for my help upon the little things. But there are times when she shows a genuine care and concern over me, just like today, when she's worrying about my health and my excessive working hours. It was really kind of her to give me these two tickets and say I should go there with Yuki. And speaking of Yuki and Erika, my mind wanders to our unexpected meeting at the French restaurant earlier. I wonder what Erika thinks about Yuki now. She had made a perfect guess about Yuki being the most influential person to me. And she might have sensed something between me and Yuki. And now what should I do? Should I just tell her the truth about my relationship with Yuki, so that she would stop bothering me? But that means I will have to expose about Yuki to her, and probably to everyone else at my office. And I knew Yuki wouldn't like that. Just like she said, she preferred to stay in the shadow for the time being, and not to be acknowledged publicly as my girlfriend/lover.

     So with Yuki acting like that, I have to find another way to avoid Sawajiri. The thing is, Sawajiri never exactly told me what her intention is. She never asked me out for a date or asked me to be her girlfriend. All she did was teasing me, bullying me, bothering me, and once in a while showing a genuine care and affection towards me which I deeply appreciated although it made me a bit puzzled.

     Aside from Sawajiri, I also had several people chasing after me. Most of them were my clients. They had asked me out on a date, in a difference occasion. And I turned down all of them, saying I didn't want to be involved in any romantic relationship with anyone at the moment. I didn't say I was taken though, because I'm afraid they will question me further about it. And I don't want to reveal about my private life to them, and I knew Yuki wouldn't like it too.

     Dealing with these suitors is not really hard. After I turned them down, most were backing off eventually. But there’s one who was very, very persistent, and I have to admit I kinda enjoyed my companionship with her. She was a celebrity, a member of an idol group, and a rising star in entertainment industry. A month ago, I represented and defended this young girl in the court, on a charge of an assault against her fans. Her fans accused her for ordering her bodyguards to attack them. It turned out those fans were actually the crazy ones, and they wanted to breach the security and kidnap her. And so after I took over the case and won it for her, I suddenly found myself a new suitor. This idol girl sent me a lot of bouquets, delivered to my office and my home almost everyday. She even invited me for a dinner several times, which I received out of courtesy. She’s six years younger than me, and she reminds me a lot to my juniors in my high school, who always go crazy over me everytime I did a danso in school club events. I can't deny that she kinda brings out the player side in me, and so I decided to play around with her for a little more time and received all the affection she’s giving me while it lasts. And because she was a very famous idol, I ended up getting myself covered in the Bunshun as well. They described me as the “celebrity’s lawyer”.

     The one who was bothered by all this was, of course, my hot-sexy-protective-demanding lover, Kashiwagi Yuki. I could clearly pictured her annoyed expression, everytime she opened the door of our apartment every morning, only to find a delivery boy standing there with a flower bouquets and a letter addressed to me. Yuki was annoyed because I didn't reject this idol girl in the first place and kept playing around with her. While I just laughed it away, since I never think of this as a serious matter.

     Well, what can I say. With a cute and flawless face like this, there’s no way I wouldn't attract attention from everyone. I’ve been used to having lots of admirers and suitors ever since I was in high school, including my crazy English teacher who even went as far as trying to rape me while Yuki was occupying my body in that hilarious body-swap episode. And now after I become a lawyer, of course I must prepare myself for more suitors.

     I can sense that Yuki somehow feels jealous and insecure upon seeing me having so many suitors like this. The first time I realized about it was when she showed her deredere side to me, back then on my graduation day six months ago. It was the only time she ever showed her insecurities in front of me. She  was so insecure and afraid I would leave her someday. And I can sorta understand it, because I once felt that way too, back in our old days. I once felt so jealous over my older brother, and I was afraid that I would never be able to replace him and fill that empty space inside Yuki’s heart. It was only after a lot of struggles and a lot of dramas, that I finally managed to steal her from my brother’s hollow, and took her out from her shadow and dragged her up into the light where she belongs.

     And now after staying together with Yuki for more than six years, I am sure there's nothing can separate us anymore. Our love has been tested and proven over the course of time. The feeling is strong and I’m sure it will only be getting stronger in the future. Just as Yuki has been so faithful to me all this time, I will always stay faithful to her too. She’s the love of my life, the girl of my dream, and I would never ever leave her for anyone else. There is no one can take her place. She’s the one that I adore. And she’s all that I need and more. Those people might be smarter, richer, classier and all, but Yuki has the most beautiful thing in the world that makes me fall in love with her. Her heart. Her courage. Her determination. Her selflessness. Her compassion. Her everything. I am in love with all those things she had in her.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


     So yeah, that was my love life as a lawyer. Most people probably think that lawyers are boring, dull, and hopeless when it comes to their love life. But for me, no. I have quite enough dramas and adventures either as a lawyer and as a lover. People may think lawyers are heartless and uncompassionate, what with what they did in the court and behind the desk. But no. Lawyers have a feeling too, allegedly. Most lawyers are liars, but they can be a pretty sweet lovers, if they want too.

     But yes I must admit that lawyers can be pretty damn annoying too. I heard a funny story about this lawyer and their lover. The lover said, “Hey darling, I love you so much.” And then the lawyer was like, “Hm, thank you but, are you currently under an oath or not?”

     And oh, here’s another joke. When you’re marrying a lawyer, don't expect them to say “I do”. Instead, they will say, “I accept the term and condition.” Haha! Bad joke, I know.

     And lastly, here is my advice to you: Don't ever argue with a lawyer. Arguing with them is like wrestling a pig in a mud. Sooner or later you realize that they like it.

     What? You don't believe me?
     Trust me, I’m a lawyer.



===========================================================================




Third week in October.


     My mentor, Takenaka-san, assigned me to work on another new case. And I was scheduled to meet our client today. Takenaka said this client really needed help but didn't have any money to pay a lawyer and thus I could use this as an opportunity to do a pro bono, which means a legal work that is undertaken without charge, especially for a client with low income. As a good lawyer, I need to do a pro bono at least once or twice a year. And this was the first time I’m doing a pro bono so I feel quite excited. Because really, nothing can beat the contented feeling, when you’re helping people solving their problem, for free. Yeah, I feel like a hero now. Wait, do I sound like Yuki here? You know, cause for all I know, she’s the one who always wanted to help people and save their life, for free. I still remember our silly fight and argument we had back then, when Yuki saved a rich man from being robbed by muggers on the street, and I wanted to take some money from that man as a reward of saving his life, but Yuki opposed to it saying she could never take money from saving people. I figured it was her warrior code or something, and I thought it was ridiculous, and that it only exists in utopia world.

     But now look at me. I’m doing exactly the same thing like her, helping people for free. The difference is, I’m only doing this once or twice a year. Cause if I do this too often, I will find myself financially bankrupt. And nobody would want to see a bankrupt lawyer. That would be a disaster.

     So, back to my pro bono project, my client this time is a single mother. Her name is Tachibana Ayame, a 22-years-old single mother with a baby boy. She had dropped out from high school, and now is working at the convenience store with a very low income.

     Ayame didn't come to my office to meet me today. Instead, I went to visit her in her apartment. She lived in a danchi, that is a public housing provided by the government and usually aimed for people with lower income. My appointment with her was scheduled on the afternoon. After grabbing my lunch, I jumped on the subway heading to her apartment, and continued my trip with a bus. When I arrived at her house, she had just come back from her shopping and was riding a bicycle down the street. Her baby boy was clinging on her back, since he was still too small to be put on the child seat in the bicycle. The boy started to cry when a strong wind blowed at their direction. It was the peak of autumn, and therefore the weather was wet and windy. Upon noticing me standing in front of her door, she then smiled and nodded at me. And I waited for her while she was parking her bicycle in the parking lot.

     “Konnichiwa! You must be Watanabe-san. Sorry to keep you waiting.” Ayame greeted me with a smile.
     “Konnichiwa, Tachibana-san. It's okay, I just arrived too.”
     She then opened the door to her house and invited me in.
     “Come on in, Watanabe-san.”
     I nodded politely as I entered her house and followed her to the living room, which appeared a lot like the traditional Japanese style. She put her son on the tatami floor. And then we sat there face-to-face, while resting our hands on the kotatsu table.
     “Your baby is cute. How old is he?” I asked as I glanced at the baby boy who was crawling on the floor beside us.
     “Six months.”
     “What’s his name?”
     “Hikaru. I named him after Hikaru Genji.”
     “Oh, what a great name it is. Hello, Hikaru-chan. Peekaboo!” I played a peekaboo and made a funny face, causing Hikaru to laugh loudly. Seeing this baby boy somehow made me want one too. I then made a mental note to talk to Yuki about this later. I think adopting a baby from an orphanage would be a good idea. And I’m sure me and Yuki can be a good parent too.

     I then made more funny face causing Hikaru to laugh even louder, until his mother give him a pacifier.
     “Thank you for coming in, Watanabe-san. Takenaka-san said you're going to help me in my case.” Ayame said.
     I nodded. “Yes, that’s right, Mam. I will represent you and defend you at the court. Now please tell me everything about your case so that I can find a way to help you out.” I then turned on my recorder and put it on the table.
     The young woman let out a sigh as she glanced away and looked at her baby boy. This woman was just a year younger than me, but she definitely looked much older.
     “Hm, where do I start. I… You know, I’m a single mother. I have no husband. Last year, when I was walking home alone after working at the convenience store, a drunken man came and assaulted me. He … he raped me, and then Hikaru was born after that incident. I didn't even know his name until he came again a few months ago. He visited me, in this apartment. And he revealed to me that he wasn't human anymore. He was a vampire. And he said he wanted to take my son away, so-”
     “Wait! He was a vampire?” I exclaimed in surprise.
     “Yes.”
     “Then how about your son? Is he…” I frowned and glanced at her baby boy.
     “Hikaru is human. His father was still human when he…impregnated me.”
     “Oh, I see.” I nodded.
     Ayame then continued. “So he tried to take my son away, and I fought him off. We struggled, and I managed to kill him using a knife through his heart. Few weeks later his family came and accused me of killing him. I told them the truth, that he was a vampire and he was trying to attack me and that all I did was just a self-defense. But they didn't believe me. And I couldn't give them the prove. They then reported me to the police and I was arrested for a few weeks. I left my son to my neighbor during those times.”
     At this point, I could see a teardrop falling from the corner of her eyes.
     “Takenaka-san bailed me out later after hearing what was happening to me. The judge said because I have a baby, they lowered my bail amount and allowed me to stay out of jail with my baby, while waiting for my trial. But now I don't know if I can make it through the trial or not. I don't have any evidence to prove he was a vampire. All they think is that he had came and visited me, and that we had a fight and I killed him and disposed his body somewhere.”
     Ayame took a deep breath and stared at me. “I don't know why Takenaka and you are still willing to help me. I don't have enough money to pay you. And this case is hopeless. I'm going to go to jail. And I’m worrying about my son. I don't have a family to take care of him. If they send me to jail, I will have to put my son on the orphanage.” Ayame turned her eyes at Hikaru who was crawling on the floor, playing with himself.

     And I found myself feeling saddened and stunned at the same time. I was saddened by the thought of him getting separated from his mother. And I was stunned because her story felt all too familiar for me. It reminded me to the incident that happened to us five years ago in Shizuoka. Back then, Sayaka-neechan came at us and accused Yuki for killing Sae. And at that time, we also had no evidence to prove that Sae was a vampire. If it wasn't for the help from Miichan, Haruna, Takamina and others, then Sayaka would've sent Yuki to the jail already.

     And so now, upon meeting a woman with a similar case like that, I couldn't help but feel sad but nostalgic. I can still remember how hopeless Yuki was back then, she even wanted to hire a lawyer. If only I had a time machine, I would be more than happy to go back in time and defend Yuki, for free. And the funny thing is, it was because of that incident that I suddenly decided to become a lawyer. And now I realize, God must have sent this woman to me purposely, so that I can help and defend her just like I had always wanted to defend Yuki back then.

     “Tachibana-san, I understand your situation. And I believe you're innocent. Please do not worry, I will try my best to defend you in court. As long as you are honest to me and tell me everything about this case, then I believe there’s a hope for us to win this case. Now please tell me all the details of the events, starting from the first time you met with that man. I need to know everything about him. His name, his physical appearance, his behavior and habits, his job, his daily activity, and everything that you know about him. If you have any photo or memento or any stuff related to him, please hand it to me. And I need you to tell me about yourself too, everything that might be relevant to our case. Can you do that for me, Tachibana-san?” I asked the woman.

     She was startled for a moment. “...Yes. Of course, I will.”

     “Good. Then let's work together, Tachibana-san.” I nodded and smiled at her. And I saw her face brightened up as if she had just found a new light in her life.

     For three hours I then found myself listening to her as she explained the whole things to me. My recorder was on during the whole time. And I also jotted down my notes while listening to her explanation. And by the time she finished, the sun was already sliding down on the horizon. It was almost sunset. After gathering all the stuff and information that I need, I then excused myself and went back to my office.

     I spent the rest of the day at my office, working and trying to figure out how to defend this woman. I browsed and tagged every cases that had a similarity with her case. Of course, I cannot use the same strategy that we used to solve Yuki’s case earlier. Back then, we managed to make Sayaka believe that Yuki was innocent, despite not being able to present an evidence to prove that. It was only because Sayaka was a good person, that she finally decided to let Yuki go. But now with Tachibana’s case, the situation was different in which the family of the murdered man had already filed a charge. What’s left to us now is a battle at the court. And that's where a lawyer is needed to do their job.

     And now, looking back to my journey in the past, I couldn't help but feel grateful. After getting through a lot of hardships and struggles, I finally found my place in this world. And not only I’m able to stand on my own two feet, I also have the power to help others out. This might sound cheesy, but now I feel like I am a heroine in a fan fiction made by my crazy fans. I never felt like this before. For all my life, I’ve been always the weakling. I can't fight, I'm bad at sport, I don't have any physical prowess. I always need Yuki to protect me and save me everytime I’m in danger. But now I realize even without having any physical power, I can help to save people's live and make a change in this world. There are many people out there who are in trouble but cannot speak or fight for themselves. And it's my duty to help them. Just like doctor save lives and police catch bad guys, lawyer can save people's lives too, innocent people's lives. And I don't need to possess any physical power or learn any martial arts to do that. All I need is my brain and my sharp tongue. And with that, I, Watanabe Mayu, vow that I will be the best defender for all those poor, innocent people in the world.



========================



    Days gone by and without I realized, it was already on the last day of October. I was very busy these past few months as I had to handle more than 15 cases at a time. And for a junior lawyer like me, it was a bit too much. After receiving five new clients this month, Takenaka-san reminded me to stop accepting new clients.

     Today I’m attending a trial that was held at the Tokyo District Court, Chiyoda. I’ve been to that place quite often. And this time I was assigned to assist my senior lawyers defending a rich, famous businessman in the country. The defendant was a CEO of a big company, who was charged with a murder of his business rival. This case has attract a lot of attention because both the defendant and the victim were very famous throughout the country, and both were coming from a highly respected family. And therefore every time we had a hearing, the courtroom will be filled with a lot of people and journalists.

     However, despite all the tension and the seriousness, some funny moments managed to occur inside the courtroom.

     First, the judge asked the witness to be presented in the courtroom. The first witness was the victim’s wife, a very beautiful woman around 35 years old, who had found the victim dead inside their house. From the previous hearing, it was revealed that their marriage didn't go very well. And therefore, in order to defend our client, we would attempt to prove that this wife also had a motive to kill that man.

     As the wife walked up and stood at the witness stand, our lawyer stepped up and began to question her.

     “Mrs. Fujimoto-san, we’re going to ask you questions. And please remember that you are currently under an oath, so you have to answer it honestly. If we find you are lying or not telling the truth, your lies can be used against yourself.”
     Mrs. Fujimoto nodded.
     The lawyer then proceeded with the first questions. “What time did you find your husband? And how did he look like?”
     The woman answered, “It was around 8 PM, I was just returned from a dinner with my old friends. He was lying face down on the bed in our bedroom. At that time, he looked like he was sleeping but when I turned his body, I found blood on his mouth. I tried to wake him up but it was to no avail. I quickly called the emergency to come and bring him to the hospital.”
     “Who else was at your home that day?”
     “No one. My step-son Toranosuke were out for a school camp, while my step-daughter Tsubasa had also left for a sleepover at her friend’s house.”
     “Was he already dead when you found him?”
     “I didn't know. I wasn't sure about that. Maybe you should ask the doctor who had examined him.”
     “What time did you leave your home that day?”
     “I left early in the morning, on 9 AM.”
     “And where did you go that day?”
     “I went to the shopping mall and hair salon to get manicure and pedicure, I then went home around noon, my husband was already left for work. On the evening, I went out again to have a dinner with my friends. And when I went home, I found my husband lying on the bed in that position.”
     “Did you notice something strange with your husband that day? Maybe like anxiety or restlessness?”
     “No, not that I remember. But he did say something to me that made me very upset, just after he woke up early in the morning. I ”
     “And what did he say?”
     “He said, ‘Good morning, Kaoru.’”
     “Only that?”
     “Yes.”
     “And why were you upset then?”
     The woman gave the lawyer a cold stare and spoke glaringly. “...Because my name is Miki.”
     Chuckles and laughters erupted immediately throughout the courtroom. Even the judge and the prosecutor were seen to be trying hard to hold back their laugh. While the woman, Fujimoto Miki, just crossed her arms in front of her chest, seemingly annoyed by all of this. And we are left to wonder, what kind of husband could forget his own wife’s name? He must have cheated so many times already, to the point that he mixed up the names of his wife and his mistresses.
     The room was still filled with laughter, until the judge knocked his gavel and put everyone in silence.
     The lawyer then continued his questions, “Mrs. Fujimoto-san, when he said those words to you, was he drunk at that moment?”
     “No.”
     “Do you know who this woman named Kaoru is?”
     “No… I don't know. And I don't care,” she said pouting.
     “Fujimoto-san, do you love your husband?”
     The woman went silent.
     “Let me rephrase that,” the lawyer said. “Fujimoto-san, did you love your husband when you first married to him?”
     “Objection, Your Honour! His question is irrelevant!” The prosecutor let out a protest.
     “Objection is sustained. For the defender, please ask another question,” spoke the judge.
     The defendant’s lawyer nodded. “I’m sorry, Your Honour. I’ll take back my question. Now, Mrs. Fujimoto-san, I’m sure you are an intelligent, wise, and honest woman-”
     “Thank you.” The woman suddenly cut in. “You know, if I weren’t under an oath, I’d return the compliment.”
     The lawyer blinked upon hearing that. He was baffled, as well as everyone else in the courtroom. This woman really has a sharp tongue and sarcastic humour. And I’ve never seen a woman as bold as her in a courtroom before.
     Soon the courtroom was filled once again with suppressed laughters and chuckles. And the judge had to knock on his gavel again in order to put the room in silence.
     The judge then said, “Fujimoto-san, please respect everyone in this courtroom, including the lawyers. We know you're just joking, but by saying that you were implying that our lawyer here is unintelligence, unwise, and dishonest, and it is impolite to say things like that.”
     “Okay. I’m truly sorry, Your Honour. I will not do it again,” the woman said with a sweet smile, which we all suspected to be fake.
     The judge then said to the lawyer. “Please proceed to the next question.”
     Although still a bit baffled after being teased/insulted by this female witness, the lawyer managed to recover quickly and stay calm cool and confident, thanks to his abundance experience as a criminal defense attorneys.
     The lawyer then said. “Thank you, Your Honour. Fujimoto-san, I want to ask you about your relationship with your husband. Your step-daughter said you often had a quarrel with him. I suspect your relationship wasn't going well, am I right?”
     The woman stared at him. “Yes, you're right. But that doesn't mean I will kill him.”
     “Yes, of course, Fujimoto-san. And last questions from me. Do you know how many times your husband had cheated you with another woman? Do you know their names? Is there any of them sitting here inside this room?”
     “Well, no. I don't know any of their names, other than this mysterious woman named Kaoru.”
     “Do you know how is the relationship between your husband, Fujimoto Tsuyoshi, and the defendant, Yoshizawa Shota?”
     “They were best friends since high school, but they also had huge rivalry in business for several years.”
     “What do you think of Mr. Yoshizawa?”
     “He’s very smart and ambitious. He was quite nice, but recently I heard he had a drinking problem.”
     “Did you know if your husband and the defendant had any fight or argument recently before your husband died?”
     “No. Not that I know of. But just like I said, they were in a heated rivalry so I won't be surprised if they had argument at that time.”
     “Okay. That’s our questions for now. Thank you, Fujimoto-san. Thank you, Your Honour.” The lawyer closed their session.


     The judge then dismissed Fujimoto and ordered the next witness to be brought in. This second witness was the doctor who had performed autopsy on the victim.
     Another lawyer stepped up and questioned him.
     “Doctor Hagiwara, how long have you been practicing as a physician?”
     “Thirty years.”
     “Have you been in a court before? And in what occasion?”
     “Yes, I’ve been here five times before, and everytime as a witness.”
     “Do you know Mr. Fujimoto Tsuyoshi personally?”
     “Yes. We’ve met quite often outside our works.”
     “How do you think about him?”
     “He was a good man, a hard worker.”
     “Has he ever been ill before.”
     “No. Not that I remember. He was quite very healthy for a man his age.”
     “Do you remember what time he was admitted to the hospital?”
     “I wasn't at the hospital on that day. But I heard he was admitted around 10 PM.”
     “Was he dead?”
     “Probably no. They said he still had a faint pulse. But his condition keep deteriorating until the next day in the morning.”
     “Do you recall the time that you examined the body and the started the autopsy?”
     “It was around 8:30 AM.”
     “And Mr. Fujimoto was already dead at that time?”
     The witness nodded while frowning. “Yes, he was already dead at that time. If not, he surely was by the time I finished the autopsy.”
     Small chuckles was then heard from the front lines of the audiences. The doctor knew this lawyer was attempting to put the blame of Fujimoto’s death upon him, in order to protect their client (the defendant). However, instead of feeling agitated, it seemed the doctor decided to play along and answered in humorous way. And I must admit this doctor had a quite good humor, although not as sarcastic as the previous witness, Mrs. Fujimoto.
     The lawyer then continued asking questions. “Doctor, how do you know he was already dead at that time?”
     “It was written in his log.”
     “I see. But before you performed the autopsy, did you check again for a pulse?”
     “No.”
     “Did you check for blood pressure?”
     “No.”
     “Did you check for breathing?”
     “No.”
     “So, then it is possible that Mr. Fujimoto was alive when you began the autopsy?”
     “No.”
     “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
     “Because his body was stiff and his temperature was as cold as ice.”
     “I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?” the lawyer kept asking.
     “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere,” the doctor said while chuckling, causing the audience, the judge, and the lawyer himself to burst into laugh.
     The doctor then said with a smile. “Well, Mr. Lawyer, I assure you that Mr. Fujimoto was already dead by the time I began the autopsy on him. Of all my autopsies, I always performed it on dead people. Because you know, the live ones put up too much of a fight.” The doctor said, still with a chuckle.
     The lawyer smiled. “Of course, Doctor. Don't feel offended. We just want to be sure of what’s really happened. Now, can you tell me what did you found after the autopsy?”
     The doctor then began his explanation, which I will not relay here because it was very detailed and highly technical.


     After that, the judge asked the third, fourth, fifth witness, and so on to be brought into the courtroom one by one. During the hearing, I was tasked to question the people who work as employees in Fujimoto’s corporation, as well as in Yoshizawa’s corporation. Most of them were quite cooperative, and some even made funny jokes just like the first two witnesses.
     The hearing session took a whole day to finish. It was quite tiring but thankfully not really stressful, probably because of some hilarious and creepy jokes that were thrown by some people during the trial. And thank god it was Friday, I felt much more relaxed than usual.
     I messaged Yuki and asked her to pick me up so that we can go somewhere nice and have dinner together. She told me to wait and meet her at the parking lot in front of the Tokyo District Court building.
     I spent another minutes talking with my colleagues about the case we’re working on, until finally everyone left the building. I decided to read something on my laptop while waiting for my girlfriend. After some time, a beep was heard from my smartphone indicating a new message had just arrived. I checked the message, it was from Yuki saying she’s already waiting at the parking lot. I then gathered my stuffs and put them into my briefcase before making my exit from the building.
     As I walked to the parking lot, I noticed several cars were still parked there. My eyes quickly caught the sight of our car but I didn't see Yuki inside it. And since I always bring the spare key, I decided to just go inside the car and waited until Yuki showed up.
     I then walked to my car and pressed the remote key to unlock the door. However, when I was about to open the passenger door, I suddenly felt a heavy blow on the back of my head, and the next thing I knew, I was already down on the ground.
     Writhing in pain, I brought my hand to protect my head, and I instinctively crawled away to avoid another attack. A figure of big, tall man came into my view. He was standing just a few steps away from me. First thing that came into my mind was that he was just a random thugs or muggers. But after I get a clearer sight of his face, I realized this man was no stranger to me.
     “Tanaka-san…” I called out and stared at him. My head was still throbbing painfully. I was shocked, but soon I realized the reason of why he was attacking me.
     “You! You messed it up, Watanabe! We paid you to do your job. But look what you’ve done. Twenty five years in prison! You're screwed, Watanabe!” The man stepped closer, his large frame was hovering on top of me.
     He then grabbed me by the collar, and pulled me up quite harshly. His eyes looked so fierce and vengeful.
     I tried to talk and reason with him. “Wait... Tanaka-san, please listen to me, I’ve done my best-”
     THWACK!!!
     My words were cut when a sudden punch landed hard on my face. I fell back down and hit my body against the metallic hood of my car.
     “Ugh…” I groaned painfully. His punch surely hurt. And he didn't seem to be holding back at all.
     Knowing I'm in danger my eyes then roamed around, frantically searching for Yuki. I knew I was no match for this man. I cannot fight him and I cannot outrun him from such a close distance. Only Yuki can save me. But where is she? Yuki, where are you?
     I saw him raising his fist at me, wanting to hit me again.
     “Stop, please, listen to me, Tanaka-san…” I pleaded with a shaky voice. My heart beats rapidly inside my chest.
     My plea was ignored, however, as he just grabbed me again and shoved me against the side of my car. Before I could react, his fist was already raining down upon my face.
     “You son of a b**ch!” Tanaka shouted angrily as he kept pummeling me over and over, not giving me a chance to cry for help or I even speak. And I couldn't do anything to stop him, except raising my arm and trying futilely to protect my face. Soon my suit was tainted with my own blood.
     I was in so much pain. My vision started to blur as I received more and more punches from him. And I wondered just how many more I could endure before collapsing. Not being able to do anything, I roamed my eyes around again, searching for that certain someone.
     Yuki, where are you? Come and save me, hurry, please. I prayed silently in my mind. And under those raining blows, I waited patiently for my guardian angel to come.


     Suddenly a tall female figure caught Tanaka’s fist and twisted it behind his back.
     “Hey, why don't you pick on someone your own size!” the female said before grabbing the man and throwing him over to the empty parking slots.
     I lost my balance as well, and slid down against the metallic body of my car.
     “Yuki!” I looked up and exclaimed in relief upon seeing the person I’ve been waiting for, my knight in shining armor, now is standing there in front of me and saving me from this hoodlum.
     Yuki turned at me, and our eyes met for a second. I let out a smile while she a frown. Without saying anything, Yuki then extended her hand and pulled me up from the ground. She also picked up my briefcase and handed it to me.
     Just then, we noticed Tanaka coming at us again.
     “Get in the car, Mayu.” Yuki said as she pushed me into the car and turned around to face that man.
     I obeyed her and sat on the passenger seat. Blood was still flowing profusely from my mouth and my nose. I grabbed a tissue paper from the dashboard and use it to wipe my blood.
     I then turned my attention to the fight and lowered the window to get a clearer view of the fight.
     Tanaka came and threw his punch, but Yuki moved fast and punched him first. Tanaka was knocked immediately to the ground. He rolled away and quickly stood back up. He dashed again and launched another attack, swinging his arm at Yuki which Yuki dodged it with ease, only tilting her head to the left side. Came another punch, and Yuki tilted her head to the right. And her body wasn't even moving during that scene. Tanaka seemed to be very angered by this as he then attempted to land another punch. This time Yuki caught it with her hand.
     “You know what? I’m not your size either, so you shouldn't pick on me.” Yuki spoke glaringly. She squeezed Tanaka’s fist that was trapped inside her palm, making the man winced in pain. She then grabbed the man by the collar and punched him square on his face. Yuki didn't stop there as she kept holding on him and punching his face repeatedly, just like what he had done to me earlier. The loud sound of thwack and broken bone made me shuddered. Tanaka seemed to be suffering more than I did, his face was covered with blood. And Yuki looked so fierce as if she wanted to kill that man. I almost felt pity for him.
     After giving Tanaka those hard blows, Yuki then lifted him up and threw him flying high across the parking slots. He landed hard on top of a parked car. His body bounced off a few times before falling to the ground. Scrambling onto his feet, he then stared angrily at me and Yuki for a moment.
    “This isn't over, Watanabe!” He shouted mad at me before scurrying away from that place.
     I saw Yuki frowning upon hearing that. She was about to go after that man again, but I stopped her. “Don't! Just let him go, Yuki!”
     She glanced at me, hesitating, but then she complied. And we both watched as Tanaka runaway and disappeared from our sight.


     Yuki then get into the car and sat on the driver seat beside me. She let out a sigh before turning her eyes at me.
     “Are you okay?” Yuki looked at me with concern. “Sorry, I just went to the toilet.”
     I nodded. “It's okay. I’m alright.”
     “You don't look alright to me.” She brought her hand up and hold my face gently, examining my wound.
     She then moved her finger to the bridge on my nose and pressed it softly, but enough to make me yelp in pain.
     “You broke your nose, Mayu.” Yuki said with a sigh.
     She then turned on the engine and started driving. “Forget the dinner. We need to go home now and get you treated. Or do you wanna go to the clinic instead?”
     I shook my head. “No. Just go home now please. And don't forget to buy some takeout food.” I requested, upon which Yuki nodded.
     She then turned on the engine and started driving. After a few minutes, we stopped at a nearby food stall. Yuki told me to wait in the car while she went out to buy takeout food.
    Alone in the car, I looked around at my surrounding, and I found the streets were filled with people. lt was one fine evening, Friday, at the end of October. Autumn was coming to its peak. It’s my favourite season, with my favourite dishes all around. There are a lot of food stalls on the streets offering matsutake mushrooms, chestnuts, sweet potato, nabe and oden, grilled swordfish, and such. My mouth is watering already as I imagine how delicious those dishes are. If only I weren't injured, I would've visited all those stalls and taste all those delicious food. Unfortunately tonight I wasn't in a good condition to do that, what with my chapped lips, bleeding nose, and the long cut near my eye. I'm not even sure I can eat properly with my condition like that.
     After buying what we need, Yuki then returned to the car and started driving again.
     And while driving, Yuki began to ask me questions. “Mayu, that man, who is he? And why did he attack you?”
     I let out a sigh, knowing that sooner or later I would have to tell Yuki about my incident. And somehow I knew she wouldn't like it if I tell her the truth.
     “His name is Tanaka. He is my client’s son.” I replied.
     “Your client’s son?”
     “Yeah.”
     “And he attacked you because?”
     “....Errr….He attacked me because, well, he thought I was messing up with my job and not doing my best to defend his father in the court. His father ended up getting twenty five years in prison as a punishment.”
     Yuki squinted her eyes. “And he thought it was your fault?”
     I nodded. “Yes.”
     “But you’ve been working so hard for your clients. He should've appreciated your work no matter what the result is.”
     “Yeah.” I smiled weakly. “But the thing is, he was right about it. I didn't really do my best to defend them.”
     “Really?”
     I nodded again. “Yes. Even worse, I did something to make them lose in the court.”
     “...Whaat!? But- Why?” Yuki asked in confuse.
     I let out a huff and pouted. “Because they deserve it. They did commit the crime, and they’re not showing any remorse upon doing that.”
     Yuki went silent for a moment. “What was their crime?”
     “Murder. Second degree murder. But I suspect it’s actually first degree murder. Twenty five years sentence is too lenient. He should have received death penalty or at least life imprisonment without a possibility of parole.” I explained in details.
     “Are you sure he was guilty?” Yuki asked.
     “Yes. I overheard him talking quietly to his son while we’re on the courtroom.”
     Yuki went silent again. She probably found this to be quite bizarre and unexpected.
     “So, you intentionally messed with your job and send your client to prison although your job is supposed to defend them?”
     “Yeah. Sort of.” I replied with a nod.
     “And that's why his son came and attacked you?”
     “Yeah.”
     Yuki let out a sigh. “And all of this is because your job. Dammit, Mayu! I thought you said this job isn't dangerous.”
     “It isn't. At least it isn't as dangerous as police job,” I argued.
     “Yeah, right.” Yuki rolled her eyes.
     “Yuki, why are you so mad? It's not like I get beaten up like this everyday. You had it worse than me, you always get into a fight, and I never complain about it!” I exclaimed.
     Yuki took a deep breath. “Look. I don't wanna talk about this now. You're injured and we need to treat you first. After that, you must explain everything to me,” she said while continued driving.


     At our apartment.
     Yuki parked our car and helped me carry my stuffs into our room. I took off my suit and went for a quick shower. And when I finished, Yuki was already waiting in our bedroom with a medical kit in her hand. I changed into my pajama and sat on the bed while Yuki began treating my wound.
     “It's gonna sting a bit. Hold still,” Yuki said with a stern face as she took a gauze and dipped it with alcohol before putting it into my wounds.
     I bit my lips and grimaced a bit as I felt the alcohol substance made contact with my wound. And somehow I felt Yuki was putting an unnecessary amount of strength while she did that.
     I then felt a sudden pressure on my wounded cheek, and I automatically shrieked in pain.
     “Ouch!!!! Yuki, gentle please~” I whined.
     I then turned and glared at my girlfriend. “Yuki, you get injured more often than me, and everytime you get home injured, I always treated you gently. But now look at how you treat me. I'm only injured once in five years, and yet you treat me so roughly. That’s not fair, Yuki.”
     Yuki smirked. “Well, that's what you get for messing up with your job and not telling me anything about it.”
     I opened my mouth but couldn't find anything to say as a retort. Yuki then continued treating my wound, with me hissing in pain every now and then because she did it in a quite rough way.

     “Done.” Yuki said as she put a bandaid on my nose. “Your nose will need a few weeks to recover though.”
     I groaned upon hearing that. My hands were brought up to cover my nose.
     “First time having a broken nose, huh?” Yuki sneered at me.
     I could only give a nod as a response.
     I then tried to twitch my nose a bit. It felt awfully painful. And I’m quite surprised to realize just how strange this stinging sensation is felt to me now. It's been a long time since I get pummeled so badly like this, and I kinda forgot how painful it could be. Not to mention, I’ve been spending the last five years of my life working behind the desk, and absent from any physical activity like this. I really am not prepared to experience a physical confrontation like this.
     While Yuki, in contrast with me, she had never stopped fighting ever since we left Shizuoka and moved to Tokyo. She still continued working in a dojo, teaching children some martial arts, and looking for partners to spar once in a while. She still did her daily routines too, and exercised regularly. And although I’ve never seen her engaging in a mortal-combat type of fights anymore these days, after seeing how effortlessly she beat Tanaka, I’m quite sure her fighting skill is still as good as ever.


     After finishing with the medical treatment, we went to our dining room to have a dinner. We heated our bento box in the microwave and then sat on our dining room and ate silently, with me occasionally grimacing and hissing due to my chapped lips which made me unable to bit and chew properly. And during the whole time, Yuki just stared at me coldly. I knew she was still upset because of my incident.
     Yuki took the last bite of her meal, and put her chopstick and bento box aside. She then waited for me until I finished my dinner, which took me a longer time because of my injured lips.

     After I finished my dinner, Yuki then spoke at me.
     “Mayu, what happened to you today is very serious. It's not just a random people attacking you. You've been attacked by someone because of your job. And he could've done something worse to you. What if that man had a gun? What if he wanted to kill you? What would’ve happened to you if I didn't come in time? Do you ever think about that? You were dealing with murderers, Mayu, you should've been more careful!” Yuki shouted at me, almost scolding me.
     I then stared back at her. “Yuki, please calm down. You're overreacting. No one is going to kill a lawyer. They won't dare to do that.”
     “Oh yeah? Are you sure about that? They are murderers, Mayu! They will come to attack you again if you don't stop messing with them!” Yuki said with a high tone.
     I was silenced for a moment.
     “I’ll figure something to do about it, don't worry,” I tried to reassure her.
     “How?” Yuki asked.
     “I’ll report them to the police if they dare to attack me again.”
     Yuki sneered. “That's great. But then what? The police will arrest them for a while, but after that they will come and attack you again.” Yuki argued.
     I racked my brain again. “I’ll prepare something to protect myself.”
     “Oh, yeah? Like what? Gun? Do you know how to use it?”
     “No. Not gun. Pepper spray.”
     “Pepper spray? Pffft!” Yuki said mockingly.
     “Yes. Pepper spray. It's quite effective actually.” I retorted with a pout.
     Yuki threw her gaze through the glass window before turning back to me. She seemed pretty much annoyed now. “Okay, so you’re a lawyer, and that impressed me much, Mayu. But tell me exactly, what kind of lawyer are you?”
     “I’m a criminal defense lawyer. And I’m specializing myself in criminal cases.” I replied.
     “Tck, that's why you're dealing with criminals and murderers. Of all people in the world, you choose to deal with them. I think you better switch your job, Mayu.”
     I let out a deep breath and stared at her. “No, Yuki, I can't. This is what I always wanted to do. And you will have to beat me up again to make me switch my job. And besides, not all of them are bad. I found some are innocent and I really want   to help and defend them in the courtroom. And this is the only thing I am really good at, just like how you’re good at fighting, Yuki.” I spoke firmly.
     Yuki seemed to be taken aback by my words. She then thought for a moment, trying to comprehend what I had said.
     “Mayu, look, I just don't understand what you're doing here. You have a legal job which you can use to help people, but you also mess it up in order to do what you think is right. It’s kinda contradictory for me. I mean, is it okay for you to do this? Are you not afraid to lose your job because of this? Do you know what you're doing, Mayu?” she questioned me.
     And this time it was my turn to be taken aback. Yuki was right. What I did was contradictory. My job was contradictory, and after working and practicing law for quite some time, I found this to be very true.
     During my apprenticeship, I found a lot of innocent people were sent to prison, while a lot of guilty people managed to get away freely with their crimes. I hate to admit it, but yes I’m quite conflicted by that. And I’ve never told anyone about it. Not even Yuki. But maybe now Maybe now it's time to let her know.
     “Yuki, tell me how do you feel, if you see an innocent woman, a single mother with a six-months-old baby boy, and working in a convenience store, get convicted and charged with a crime she didn't do? If she goes to jail, her baby boy will be taken away from her and will be put in an orphanage. And you know that woman is innocent! How do feel about that, Yuki?” I spoke fervently, almost shouting.
     My eyes met with Yuki’s. And I saw my own reflection in them. Her eyes were beautiful, and deep like an ocean. It made me lost myself. But it also gave me courage that I’ve never had before. A courage not only to do my best in my job, but also to mess up with it.
     Yuki didn't say anything, only staring  back at me with her dark orb eyes. And I didn't need her answer either. My question was fully rhetorical.
     I then continued. “And tell me how do you feel again, Yuki, if you see someone killing another, stealing their money, and leaving their victim’s children orphaned? And you know that they had planned it, and that they didn't regret what they had done. And still, they managed to get away with it because there's not enough evidence to prove them guilty. How do you feel about that, Yuki?”
     Yuki kept silent. But I knew she’s slowly taking my points.
     “Sorry, I didn't know your job is that complicated.” Yuki said with a faint smile.
    “Yeah, my job is complicated, and I messed it up.”
     Yuki stared at me again. The confused look in her eyes had disappeared, and changed into something else. A smirk was formed on her lips as she spoke again. “You know what, for someone who once stole my purse on the first day we met, I never thought you can have a strong sense of justice.”
     I blinked at her. “Do I?”
     She smiled again. “Yes, you do, Mayu, and I’m proud of you.”
     I shifted my gaze from her. My hands were playing with the chopstick on my bento box.
     Yuki then took my hands and stared into my eyes.
     “Mayu, listen, I know how you’re feeling. So many unfortunate people out there, yet we can't do anything to help them. And so many evil people out there, yet we can't do anything to stop them. This world is unfair, and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Yuki said softly.
     “Nothing?”
     “Nothing.” Yuki shook her head.
     I let out a sigh and went back to playing with my chopstick.
     Yuki spoke again. “You're a lawyer, Mayu. Not a cop. You shouldn't endanger yourself just because you want to make those evil people go to jail. That's really not your job.”
     I nodded. “I know, Yuki, I know. I just hate to feel so useless like this.”
     “You're not useless. You're helping people there in the courtroom.”
     “No. It's not enough, Yuki. Courtroom is not enough.”
     I heard Yuki heave a sigh.
     “I hate to see you like this,” she said while puffing her cheek.
     “Do something then,” I challenged her.
     She furrowed her eyebrows and stared at me. “Okay, what do you want me to do? You want me to stalk your clients? You want me to look for evidences? You want me to fight them? Protect them? Is that what you want?” Yuki asked me.
     And I remained silent, not giving her any answer.
     “Mayu, you know I will do anything for you. I’ll even jump and die for you if you ask me to! But I want you to know what you're doing when you’re asking me that.” 
     Yuki stared at me. Her voice softened, but still firm and stern.
     “I want you to be sure of what you're doing, not just acting out on a whim like this. Playing cops and fighting evil is not easy. There’s danger in it. I can do it on my own, and I’m never afraid to do that. But when you get involved, it will be a different story for me. So please, Mayu, make up your mind first before you ask me to do something as important as that.”

     And with that, Yuki closed her words and got up. She then left and walked back into our bedroom.

     While I was left there, sitting alone in the dining room. And once again I realized Yuki was right. She was absolutely right. I’m not ready yet to do that thing that I want to do. I'm not ready yet to be a superhero, or be anyone that I want to be.


     
TO BE CONTINUED…..



     
References:
1. https://www.quora.com/How-do-lawyers-feel-about-defending-clients-they-believe-to-be-guilty
2. http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2013/08/04/Why-defense-lawyers-defend-killers-and-rapists/stories/201308040170
3. https://www.quora.com/Should-you-admit-guilt-to-your-defense-attorney-Will-they-still-be-able-to-defend-you
4.



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