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"This is my judgment. You are black." Shikieiki Yamaxanadu sighed at the recording of her very first real trial in Gensokyo. Since then, she had gone on to judge many other cases, but this was the first where she was not the judge, jury, and executioner. In the defendant's chair, she had been squirming nervously while her fellow Yamas in the jury tried to make eye contact with her. They weren't successful. Currently called to witness was Reimu, being asked questions by the prosecution and then by the defense. The western-styled trial was mainly due in part to the influence of the reigning Yama, who happened to be raised in North America. Shikieiki, along with many other non-western Yama, were very unfamiliar with the process, so it took a little while before the trial actually started. This only served to heighten the formerly stoic Shikieiki's nervousness, as if she already knew what the verdict would be.

"May I call Eiki Shiki to the stand."

Shikieiki cringed at the sound of her almost-forgotten name. It was her turn, her time to speak her mind. It was her chance to show everyone her side of the story.

Excerpt from the Official Transcript of the High Enma's Court, XXXX, Apr XX

Pr (Prosecutor): Please state your name and your occupation.
Sh (Shikieiki): My name is Eiki Shiki, and my job is to weigh the souls that come before me and pronounce judgment on them.

Pr: So, in other words, you are a faithful Yama, correct?
De (Defense Lawyer): Eiki, don't answer that.
Sh: My lawyer has advised me to abstain from answering that question.

Pr: So you will refuse to answer the questions your lawyer doesn't want you to answer?
Sh: That is correct, yes.

Pr: Alright then. How long have you been in your occupation?
Sh: Since I was fourteen years of age.

Pr: I would like to hear the amount of years, Eiki.
De: Objection! She doesn't have to answer that!
Ju (Judge): Prosecution, why is this information necessary?
Pr: This is important; it's a lead-off question.
Ju: Alright. Objection overruled. But there better not be any more of these personal questions.
Pr: Understood, your honor. Eiki, your answer?
Sh: For exactly 1,322 years and 7 months.

Pr: Good. So you were in your occupation for that long. I have to ask, are you familiar with the Yama code of conduct, being in service for as long as you have been?
Sh: In what particular manner do you mean?
Pr: Well, I mean to ask you about the changes to the code. You are, for instance, familiar with the change 450 years ago, otherwise known as the Puril Schodt?
Sh: Yes.
Pr: May I please hear what this change entailed?
Sh: This change to the Yama code of conduct entailed a rule formerly known as the conscientious choice. In it, Yamas were allowed to pardon the soul if one had committed a great atrocity but had a good reason for it. The change essentially reversed this law and made it clear that the act carries as much guilt as one's motive.

Pr: Yes, that's right. You have a good memory, Eiki.
(Court backdoor opens with a bang)
Ko (Komachi Onozuka): Compliments will get you nowhere with her.
Sh: You made it!
Pr: Objection! Disru-
Ju: Order in the court, order in the court. Miss Onozuka, please sit down, you're making a mess of my courthouse.
Ko: Oh, uh, sorry.
Ju: Please continue.

Pr: As I was saying, Eiki, you have a good memory. If you can remember that far back, surely a rule change closer to now would be easier to remember, wouldn't it?
De: Objection! He's trying to bait my client!
Pr: Well, I'm sorry if I need to say it slowly for the benefit of the jury.
Ju: ...
De: ...

Pr: I'm sorry for the interruption, Eiki.
Sh: Not at all. Please continue.
Pr: With pleasure. Now, please tell the court what exactly the change afterwards, the Puril Zun, entails.
De: Do not answer that, Eiki.
Sh: No. I have a right to tell the truth and my story.
Pr: Aha. So you do have a will of your own.
Sh: Would you like me to answer the question or not, Mr. Prosecutor?
Pr: Be my guest.
Sh: The Puril Zun makes an addendum to the previous rule, Puril Schodt, by stating that any knowledge that a Yama might have about an individual's motives is to be thrown out if that soul refuses to state it clearly.

Pr: So, I would like to call into question the very last soul you judged. Someone by the name of-
Sh: I would like her identity to remain anonymous.
Pr: Um, alright then. Well.

Pr: The last piece of evidence I would like to show you are these letters, written to the High Enma herself, by the defendant here. You may take a look for yourselves; these are replicas of the letters, produced by neither the prosecution or the defense but by the judge herself.
Jury: -Murmur-
Pr: Eiki, do you deny that you wrote those letters?
Sh: I do not.
Pr: And is my previous statement about you having a will, however sarcastic it was, true?
Sh: Yes.
Pr: And one last question. Are you a faithful Yama?
Sh: Yes.
Pr: Then here is the point I wish to make. A Yama's code of conduct, spelled out beautifully by the defendant, captures the problem oh so clearly. Members of the jury, based on the testimony of Eiki Shiki, and the two witnesses before her, Reimu and Yukari, I have reached this conclusion. Eiki Shiki has violated the code of the Yama, and as declaring herself as one, has also terminated her right to continue being a Yama. And this is how. Yamas aren't meant to intercede on the behalf of an able-bodied soul who refuses to speak on his or her behalf. Eiki, based on the testimonies, has done that. This, according to the law of the Yamas, is punishable by termination. And let's say I'm wrong about all of this, and Eiki didn't really do that. Then what would be the point of those letters you have in your hand, in which she offers a sincere apology for the act which she is about to do? All of this alone points to her guilt even if you discredit the other three pieces of evidence here today. The prosecution rests.

Ju: Does the defense have anything to say?
De: Nothing, your honor.
Ju: Thank you, Eiki, you may return.

Ju: You'll be permitted to give a short speech before we break for recess and the jury adjourns to find their verdict.
Sh: Thank you, Great Enma.
Ju: For the time being, please call me Your Honor. You may call me that if you are reinstated.
Sh: Alright, Your Honor. I'm sure the members of the jury know of me, or have heard of me. My ability to remove vagueness from my judgment was a highly honored ability within our community. So then, you may ask of me, 'Why?'. 'Why did she break the code of the Yama?' My answer is perfectly simple. Because I feel that the code is stupid.
De: Eiki, that's enough.
Sh: Quiet! If you know the will of a person, and it is the mere pretense of one's being, such as pride, that carries on with them as a soul, then why should I treat that as anything but a handicap? Souls are meant to have pride but not to the point where it clouds one's mind and carries them into oblivion. Yes, I am guilty of breaking the Yama code. But your job, jury, isn't to figure out whether or not I broke the Yama code. Let me ask you one simple question. What determines the worth of our occupation? The people that pass by it, correct? Is it an easy thing to take responsibility for each individual decision you make? No. It's why there are so few of us; the standards are that high. I would like to ask the jury not to reconsider the code, but to reconsider themselves. What if you were the soul that passed by, and were judged by someone lower than you. Would you not hold yourself back, refuse to submit to a weaker authority? That is what I have had to face, and you know of my actions. I pray you will find me guilty of making the right decision in this case, and pronounce my sentence to be community service, as I have done for the folk in Gensokyo.

Sh: I have nothing more to say, your honor.
Ju: Thank you. We will have a 10 minute recess.

Shikieiki sat down onto her chair, mentally exhausted. Her lawyer wasn't even looking at her, mumbling something about a paycheck. To her right, the members of the prosecution packed up their belongings with their heads held high, as if they were assured of their victory. It was at that moment that Shikieiki felt two arms come over her shoulders and start fondling her breasts. She turned around quickly, half-annoyed and half-happy.


The former employee of Shikieiki withdrew her hands, then gave a hearty laugh while putting her right hand on Shikieiki's head. "I made it."

"So you did!" Shikieiki's voice was one of genuine surprise, much different than the official-sounding tone she had used not too long ago. "How did you do it?" The defendant's eyebrows furrowed. "You didn't skip out on actually doing your job, did you?"

Komachi just smiled. "No, it was all done. I know you thought it'd take me all day, but I found someone willing to help. Together, we finished in less than half the time, and from there it was a simple task to arrive here."

The green-haired girl just smiled, relaxed. "Thanks."

Being near Komachi reminded Shikieiki of the relaxing jingle of the coins Komachi always carried with her. It was this pleasant sound that caused her to turn back towards the front and tilt her chair backwards, enough to see her friend, while resting on the guard rail. Komachi, seeing that Shikieiki's face was relaxed, started to gently stroke the former Yama's ears.

The sound of the judge returning brought everyone back to reality.

Excerpt from the Official Transcript of the High Enma's Court, XXXX, Apr XX

Ju: Jury, have you reached a verdict?
Jury: We have.
Ju: Then please write your verdict down and give it to me. Before I reveal what conclusion you have come to, please allow me to share my thoughts on the whole escapade.

Ju: Eiki, I was very confused with your letters. From what little I knew about you, I initially believed that they could not have been written by you. It was only when I met you in person that I concluded they were, in fact, not forgeries. You knew what you were doing. It pains me because I don't know the circumstances of the situation, and worse yet no one knows except you and this person.
Ko: And-
Sh: Shush, you.
Ju: Did you have something to say, miss Onozuka?
Sh: I'm sorry, my associate's always like this. Please carry on, Your Honor.
Ju: Oh. That's surprising. I had no idea Komachi was your associate. Well, that's alright either way. In any case, my role here is to pass judgment, and I have chosen this method of doing so because I do not want to be the one responsible for your innocence or guilt. This is what you would prefer, right Eiki?
Sh: You bet.
Ju: And now, the verdict. 'We the Jury, find Eiki Shiki, guilty-'
Ko: Okay, I've heard enough. Eiki, we're out of here.
Sh: Wha-!?
Ju: Bailiff, stop them!

De: Well, that was quite a commotion.
Pr: Yes. But they gave us the slip, and quite easily, too.
Ju: It's too bad, really. If only that girl wasn't impatient, I could have read the entire verdict. She's not guilty, don't chase after them. Court Adjourned.

Komachi brought Shikieiki to a secluded garden over by the mouth of the Sanzu River. It was Komachi's secret place, and for the ferrywoman, it was a breath of fresh air. Seriously. The courthouse was stuffy.

Shikieiki, however, was furious. "Komachi! You know that was the wrong thing to do! I'm a wanted criminal, I'm guilty! By doing that, you'll be guilty too, and they'll kill you! I-I just...!"

Komachi's kiss shut Shikieiki up. It was one sided at first, but as Shiki relaxed, she returned it with a sense of calm. After breaking away, Komachi picked up Shikieiki and laid her on her own lap. Looking down, Komachi whispered in a soft tone, "I know. I know. But hey, do you regret what you did for her?" The former Yama shook her head. "No."

"Then neither do I. I saw what you did for her, and I think that's when I truly fell for you. You weren't the straight, stiff judge I had always seen, you were a kind, compassionate soul. And if it takes fleeing from authority to make you realize the same towards me, then I'm all for it."

Eiki looked up, in amazement. "Really?" In response, the shinigami nodded. "Really."

Shikieiki and Komachi smiled at each other, knowingly, as they opened their mouths in unison. "I regret nothing."

End of the 1st Half of the Short Stories.
- -Unknown-
- Short #1 >>/youkai/15737
- Short #5 >>/shrine/31706
- Short #3 >>/th/118235
- -Unknown-
- -Unknown-
- Short #4 >>/forest/21222
- -Unknown-
- Short #6 >>/border/22582
- Short #2 >>/border/21958
- -Unknown-
This was really cute, well done.

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