DAISEN REGIONAL COURT
ENKYO CAPITAL DISTRICT
REPUBLIC OF DAISEN
CASE NUMBER 011995.37
DATE OF HEARING: 1995 JANUARY 30
DEFENDANT: NAPFÉNYES LÓRÁNT (DoB 1967 MARCH 4)
BEFORE THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE TADASHI SEIJI
REPUBLIC OF DAISEN SENIOR JUSTICE OFFICER
NO WITNESSES WERE CALLED
Proceedings recorded on camera.
Transcript produced by a team of professional transcribers.
THE COURT: We are here this afternoon on the sentence hearing of Napfényes Lóránt, Guardian Angel, case number 011995.37.
Napfényes Lóránt is being charged with "Gross Incompetence", "Child Neglect" and "Child Endangerment" on accusations brought against them by their employer, the NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION BOARD (NCPB).
Would the defender please confirm their identity?
DEFENDANT: My name is Napfényes Lóránt, born in the Sky City of Fellegvár on the 4th of March in the year 1967.
THE COURT: Are you a Daisenian citizen?
DEFENDANT: Yes. I was relocated to Daisen six months after my birth under the Universal Rights of Albino Angels Act 1848 and given full Daisenian citizenship on my 20th birthday.
THE COURT: If this is the case you must know that lying under oath in court can lead to loss of your Daisenian citizenship and immediate relocation to another country. This does not interfere with your rights as set by the Universal Rights of Albino Angels Act 1848.
Do you swear to say nothing but the truth from here onward?
THE COURT: How do you plea?
DEFENDANT: Not guilty.
THE COURT: Very well. Please give your statement of why you consider yourself not guilty. Your lawyer will then be given a chance to ask further questions and clarifications, and then the court's own lawyer will do the same. The jurors will then retreat to deliberate on their answer. Is the procedure clear?
THE COURT: Then please begin your statement.
DEFENDANT: I have been a Guardian Angel for seven years now. I have always been held in high regard by the NCPB, and have helped over a hundred refugee children in that time. Two years ago I was promoted to specifically take care of children who have become targets of demons and need extra protection in order to lead a normal life.
I was thus in charge of four children who had unfortunately gotten on the wrong side of demons. Lydia Stonehammer, a dwarf, was the oldest. She would soon turn 20 and be required to leave my care, so I was trying to prepare her to take responsibility for her life. She arrived in Daisen as a ten year old who had been cast away for disobeying her elders. She was placed with another foster family not headed by an angel, but the family was attacked by demons and she escaped. For the next few years Lydia was passed from foster family to foster family because whenever she went, demon raids would follow. They did not seem to be particularly interested in her, but this unfortunate coincidence was enough to have her sent to me as my first foster child under my new role.
I was also caring for Unn Sjóveikur, a merperson who made a deal with a demon in order to stop her constant sea-sickness and enjoy life on dry land. She managed to outsmart the demon and walk out on her part of the deal, but that obviously made the demon angry and wanting revenge. Unn had been living with me for a year, but she arrived in Daisen two years before that. Her first foster family was also headed by a guardian angel, but their personalities clashed too much, so she was sent to me.
Then there was Kris Nekovar Tesarik, who came to me half a year ago. He was seventeen years old and a demon refugee. He betrayed his family, his horns were taken away, and he barely managed to escape the ordeal with his life. He told me it all started when he befriended a fairy-giant from among his father's captives and freed her from the mind-control spell. The girl in question was only 12, but they were apparently best friends. They tried to free the other captives and rebel against the demons, but Kris's father found out before they could attempt anything. According to Kris, the girl used her powers to help him escape Skull Island, but she was captured as she did so. Kris believed she was killed, but he could not be sure.
Lastly, I became responsible for Nessa Jacaranda on the 10th of this month. All I knew about her was that she was a fairy who had been attacked by another fairy working with demons and ended up killing said fairy in self-defence, subsequently losing her powers. Demons were after her, but the reason was unclear. I thought they were just obsessing about her because she managed to evade them twice before she got to me, but it turns out I was wrong.
A few days ago, Unn eat a whole tub of ice cream. As you all know, merpeople are lactose intolerant. Unn spent days being sick, and as a result the spell she had negotiated with the demon wore off. I tried everything I could to replace it, but nothing worked. Unn remained sick, unable to do anything and having a miserable life. I consider my job as a Guardian Angel to be not just about protecting children from demons, but also protecting their quality of life. I would be failing at my job if I allowed Unn to remain sick. So, after everything else failed, I called on a favour from Zhofie, a demon who had been allowed to live in Enkyo under strict power-limiters.
I figured the power-limiters would make it safe to have Zhofie at home. I researched her background and saw no relationship between her and the demons who were after my charges. The power-limiter would likely make her persona non grata among demons anyway, as they see it as a badge of dishonour.
I do not believe my actions were made in poor judgement. I took all the care possible for the demon's presence to not affect my charges. However, Zhofie must have found a way to have her power-limiters taken off or to circumvent them. She was able to slip mind-control spells on Nessa and Kris. I did not detect them in time. The spells lured Nessa out of the house, and Kris followed her due to a dream she probably planted on him.
This is when the accusations against me were brought up. I did everything I could to collaborate with the police's investigation into the disappearances, but they unfortunately did not return the favour. When I presented them with information on Nessa and Kris's whereabouts, they laughed in my face and accused me of fabricating the evidence.
Thus my time was running out before this trial, and even though I knew where Nessa and Kris were, I would get no help rescuing them. Under those circumstances, I thought my best chance was to rescue them myself before the trial, and thus get the charges dropped. Lydia and Unn insisted to help their friends. I wasn't going to let them because they were still children and should not be fighting my dangerous battles, but they argued I was going to lose everything if the rescue failed. I didn't have anyone else to ask for help. And they wanted to see their friends safe. I agreed because I saw they understood the risks and wanted to fight anyway, and because I was desperate for any kind of help.
But it turns out we underestimated the demons once again. Nessa and Kris were actually being held as bait for the rest of us. Zhofie wanted me and all my charges in the same place so that she could summon the demon who had hired her under promise of removing her power limiters. This demon was Kris's father, who also turned out to be the same demon who was after Nessa. He found out I had hired a demon to help Unn and made a deal with her that if she gave him his son, Nessa, and other powerful captives, she would have her full powers again.
We only saw the trap when it was too late to avoid falling into it. Zhofie was waiting for us. She knew when and how we were coming to her and had prepared accordingly. I did my best to fight her, but once she summoned Kris's family, I was outnumbered by five against one. They took the four children and only spared my life because they knew killing an angel would send other angels after them.
COURT LAWYER: And you still consider yourself innocent after admitting you let them take away your charges?
DEFENDANT'S LAWYER: It is not your turn to ask questions yet. May I?
THE COURT: Yes, if the defendant has finished their statement.
DEFENDANT: I have.
DEFENDANT'S LAWYER: Then could you please clarify why you are innocent despite the events you just described?
DEFENDANT: I am innocent because I was performing my job to the best of my ability. I am a Guardian Angel. I have to do everything in my power to protect those in my care. The police was negligent in their efforts to rescue Nessa and Kris, so I had to do their job for them.
DEFENDANT'S LAWYER: I have no more questions.
COURT LAWYER: May I ask my questions now?
THE COURT: Yes, your turn has come.
COURT LAWYER: You said the demon knew you were coming and prepared accordingly. How was that possible?
DEFENDANT: The demon was informed of our rescue plans as we made them, however we did not realise it at the time.
COURT LAWYER: Ans how did she get this information?
DEFENDANT: Nessa had a diary that we used for two-way communication. It was able to replicate itself so that Nessa would always have one with her wherever she went. She left her original diary behind when the demon took her, but another one materialised to her while she was in captivity. I used her diary to find out where she had gone, but when I showed it to the police, they said I was making it up because diaries don't behave like that.
COURT LAWYER: They don't, indeed. I'm not aware of any such magical diary. How did you know what it was?
DEFENDANT: I didn't exactly. When Nessa arrived in my house she already had the diary with her. It looked like a normal, private diary, so I saw no reason to examine it closely. I only read its contents when finding Nessa became my main priority. Then Lydia started writing on the diary as a way to register what was happening in the house, intending for Nessa to read it when she returned. We were all equally surprised when a new message written by Nessa appeared. I figured we had some sort of magical diary in hand, but the police were sceptical.
COURT LAWYER: When you realised this diary was magical, did it not occur to you it could belong to a demon? Magic of this sort is their territory, after all.
DEFENDANT: I suspected the diary had some kind of demonic magic in it. However, I do not automatically equate everything demonic with evil. I have been in contact with enough demons to know that there are plenty who find good use for their magic. All I thought was that, whatever that magic was, it was helping us get to Nessa.
COURT LAWYER: But that was not all there was to it, right? What happened to the diary?
DEFENDANT: The diary turned out to have belonged to Kris's father all along. He used it to lure the victims of his raids. We accidentally unlocked the diary's settings while we were on route to rescue Nessa and discovered his real plans. Kris's father had been able to read everything we wrote on the diary too, and passed on the information to Zhofie.
COURT LAWYER: So you made a very poor judgement in relation to an unknown magical artefact that ended up costing you the safety of your charges. That sounds like "gross incompetence" to me. Isn't that so?
DEFENDANT: If it was the other way around, and the diary was harmless, but I insisted Nessa get rid of it, you would be charging me with "gross incompetence" for overreacting to a mundane object. It is easy to attribute blame when we have the benefit of hindsight, but at the time I acted according to the information I had. Nothing in the diary made me suspect Nessa was not its true owner, and the fact that it was helping me get to Nessa and Kris outweighed the risks when it was my only way to get to them before they were taken out of Daisen.
COURT LAWYER: Even if the jury is able to buy this excuse, how can you justify taking your other two charges in your reckless rescue expedition? This shows poor judgement in your part, as well as proof that you willingly put minors in danger. And thanks to this decision, all four of your charges were taken instead of only two.
DEFENDANT: So you are saying it would be fine if they had taken Nessa and Kris away, as long as Unn and Lydia remained with me? I'm sorry, but that's not how this job works. All four of them needed me. Giving up on any of them would mean failing my job in principle. This trial was scheduled to take place even before Unn and Lydia were taken.
COURT LAWYER: But the other children were not at risk until you let them go with you.
DEFENDANT: You don't know Lydia and Unn. They would have followed me no matter what I said. So I thought it would be better to have them with me, where I could watch out for them and protect them, than have them try to come behind my back and put themselves in danger where I could not help them.
COURT LAWYER: You should be able to contain your charges. If they disobeyed your orders, it would be due to your lack of discipline.
DEFENDANT: Unn and Lydia were as angry as I was about the police's lack of response. Lydia and Nessa were dating. The girls were aware of the danger and still decided to fight for their friends. You might want to call that lack of discipline, but for me it proved their bravery and moral character, two qualities I would rather see more of in the world.
COURT LAWYER: I have no more questions.
THE COURT: Then the jury will now deliberate on the verdict. The defendant will be called back once they have made their decision.
[The court adjourned for two hours]
THE COURT: The jury has now made their decision. Will the defendant please stand to hear their sentence?
[The defendant and their lawyer stood]
THE COURT: How do you find the defendant?
JURY REPRESENTATIVE: Guilty on all charges.
THE COURT: Thank you, jury. Napfényes Lóránt, you have been found guilty of "Gross Incompetence", "Child Neglect" and "Child Endangerment". You are hereby removed from your job as Guardian Angel and is forever forbidden to work with vulnerable children again. Your Daisenian citizenship will also be revoked. You have one week to leave Daisen voluntarily. You have the right to appeal to this decision, however you are still subjected to today's sentence until a final decision can be made on such an appeal.
***END OF TRANSCRIPTION***
Author's Note: Thanks for reading!
You may have noticed that the story is now marked "Complete". So is this... the end?
Nessa & Co. have been taken, Lóránt lost everything...
Did the bad guys just win?
That came out of of nowhere...
The good news is this is only the end of Part 1. I'm ending it here because from now on we won't have the Diary to tell the story. It's going to be something different (any guesses what it will be?), and so it made more sense to me to have Part 2 as a different story under the same series.
Watch out for next week Tuesday when Part Two will appear. It'll most likely be called A Fairy Out of Her Tale - Dear Neno, unless I come up with a better title by then.
Or you can head to my Patreon page, where I'll post the first chapter of the new story later today, and you won't have to wait at all! How does that sound?