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Chapter 13 - Vol 4: No Stone Left Unturned

Dissidia Academy: A predigious school for the ambitious and talented, where students strive to accomplish their goals and dreams.

Follow the heroes of Final Fantasy as they tackle the many challenges and tribulations that await them throughout the eventful academic year!

Chapter 13 - Vol 4: No Stone Left Unturned

Chapter 13 - Vol 4: No Stone Left Unturned
Onion Knight stood leant on the wall beside his bedroom window, gazing out towards the darkness of night. His mind was completely elsewhere, the whole of the court trial had completely drained his mental state. After going through a recap of the trial within his head, questions were arising from the depths that kept Onion Knight from getting sleep: What are we still missing? Where do we go now in order to gain stronger leads? And to top it off … Who else is involved in this?
On the windowsill in front of Onion Knight was the flattened slip of paper he was given from Firion. The words played through his mind to the point of knowing it off by heart.
This battle cannot be won so easily…” Onion Knight breathed out silently in echo, sighing out in annoyance. “So this is all just a petty game..? Tch! How repulsive!”
He picked up the piece of paper and moved it over to his desk that stood alongside the window, dropping it with the other pieces of evidence gathered from the case so far. All the evidence had been placed on the mahogany desk surface carefully, labelled up and included his detailed notes from the previous trial. Onion Knight slumped on his desk chair, showing his exhaustion with his body language. His head tilted back and another sigh escaped, trying his best to turn the imaginary cogs that worked his brain.
Holding up his wristwatch lazily, he checked out the time. It was 12:14am; past midnight. Onion Knight had spent around 4 hours connecting the dots and scrambling his mind in hopes of finding any hidden leads not already established … however, this was to no avail. Onion Knight felt as though he had only wasted his time on the matter, leading to nowhere in the conclusion.
With some relief, however, Onion Knight remembered that it had just turned Saturday. The weekend arrived and the idea of free roaming for two days had begun to set it. One of the things that did come out of his 4 hours of head scratching was his upcoming plans, beginning the moment he would wake up the next morning.
I will begin the day with meeting up with Terra and Firion (of course, if he’s up for it) and discuss about the case at hand. Onion Knight recapped in his mind, his eyes closed however still conscious. Depending on the time, we’ll head off into town to see if anyone else we know is about. I guarantee that we’ll at least spot Warrior of Light near the Academy, considering how persistent he normally is. Meeting any of the other students would be a bonus. Our main goal is to find potential witnesses, as that would be the only possible leads as of this moment. Considering what was confirmed during my meeting with Headmistress Cosmos, I cannot allow for any stones to be unturned...
Flashing back to The Headmistress’ Office, 8 hours previous …
“To think that another assault could happen in the Academy … how awful.” Cosmos murmured with sadness, feeling rather down about the recent incident. “Whatever ‘game’ is being played here, I refuse for it to continue.”
She had been sitting behind her desk, books and files stacked on each side as per the norm. In the centre of the desk was the note Onion Knight had found, flat against the surface as the Headmistress crucially examined it. Onion Knight and Firion were placed on chairs opposite to Cosmos, one kept momentarily silent as he took in the situation and the other soothed his head injury with a medical ice pack respectfully.
Not long after Onion Knight and Firion had found the note in the latter’s pocket, the Headmistress had arrived at the top floor, initially oblivious to the situation that had just occurred beforehand. After tending to Firion’s injury, Onion Knight had explained what had happened. Headmistress Cosmos reacted in an understandable yet previously unseen expression; she was horrified beyond belief. Reality had seemed to dawn on the Headmistress in an instant, any enjoyment from the precious court trial battle completely disappeared in a flash. Onion Knight had also shown the note to Cosmos, wondering if she could decipher the hand writing.
“I’m fine, Cosmos, this injury isn’t something I’m majorly concerned with.” Firion politely assured, showing a calm grin. “I like to consider it as a ‘further means to find the truth’.”
“Even so, the safety and wellbeing of my students comes before anything else.” The Headmistress commented back firmly, although appreciative that someone finally acknowledged her preferences in terms of her title. “This is a statement I have carried with me and it is directly applied to both you and Rydia.”
Silence engulfed the room at that moment, a somewhat depressing aura surrounding the three.
“What are your suggestions to the matter, Cosmos?” Onion Knight decided to speak his mind, curious about her approach to the matter.
“Well … I’ve already got the authorities coming back to further investigations tomorrow. It pains me to say this but all we can do is to continue with our own investigations.” The Headmistress glumly admitted, showing hints of irritation. “I will say this though … this ‘second assault’ has given us a shed of light on the matter.”
“You mean about the possible second ‘suspect’?” Onion Knight murmured, having caught the realisation not long after he found Firion earlier.
“That’s exactly correct, Onion Knight.” Cosmos nodded with a firm expression, “It seems your conclusive assumption from the court trial is now closer to confirmation than we initially thought. Although it does not confirm Zidane’s innocence as of yet, it would have been impossible for him to have committed the second assault during the given timeframe. He was either at the court trial or in questioning with Bartz in the instant after the trial concluded. I certainly know the latter considering I was the one questioning them at the time.”
“I thought as much …” Onion Knight’s eyes lowered as he made his comment, unsure whether to feel more triumphant that he was correct on his accusation or frustrated that this ‘suspect’ had made another move. “What would be our next approach?”
Shuffling on her seat, Headmistress Cosmos reached out on her desk and held up the note before Firion and Onion Knight.
“This handwriting doesn’t match any staff or student from this Academy. It may mean it could be purposely forged to throw us off but it may also mean that someone from ‘outside’ could be involved.” Cosmos answered tensely, her grasp firm against the small note.
That was a fear that Onion Knight didn’t want to come across during this investigation, however could only agree to what Cosmos had detailed. If the second ‘suspect’ was from outside the Academy, this would mean that the police would have to take full control of the investigation and Onion Knight give up his involvement even though he reached so far. Although this is only a small possibility, Onion Knight didn’t want to head down the dead path.
I can’t think like that now … Onion Knight thought out as he tensed up, his eyes showing off the flame of his determination. … Not when I still have the lead on this case!
“Right now, what we seemed to lack from the previous trial were solid witnesses.” Cosmos decided to continue, placing the note back down on her desk. “Even if we had Bartz Klauser, that wasn’t enough to warrant any decisive conclusions to this case. In actual fact, it had lead up to more questions and possibilities on the situation at hand. What we need is more witnesses, and one that are fully prepared.”
“But that’s a problem within itself!” Onion Knight hit back abruptly, noticing the flaw to this idea. “The only ones on the 4th floor at the time were Zidane, Bartz, Rydia, and the mysterious second suspect. What, or who, else could there be?”
“That’s … true.” Cosmos murmured hesitantly, disheartened slightly by that fact.
However, Onion Knight and Firion caught sight a small hidden grin, causing them to glace at each other curiously with a raised eyebrow.
“Thankfully … this is where the court trial came in extra handy.” She spoke up with a smile, a spark of confidence in her eyes. “There may be students who were too shy to admit or even unaware that they were witnesses of a crime scene. And so with the court trial’s influence, these witnesses may decide to finally surface.”
Onion Knight leaned back on his seat slightly and took the Headmistress’ self-assured suggestions into consideration. The thought of the idea lifted his hopes up, however in a cautious manner.
“Would these hidden witnesses have a relevant testimony?” Firion decided to asked, seemingly speaking Onion Knight’s mind. “And if so, is what they have seen worth testifying over?”
The Headmistress locked eyes on Firion as curiosity arose in her mind, “Speak your mind, Firion; you seem rather doubtful.”
“Ah! Not in the slightest, Headmistress Cosmos.” Firion denied hastily, taking the ice-pack off of his head momentarily as he explained himself. “I was just thinking that the majority of students were outside at the time of the crime; and so if any did perhaps see anything, what would the court be able to gain from it? All I could think of would be students catching a glimpse of the ‘second’ suspect.”
Cosmos drew in a deep breath, closing her eyes in the process.
“Any witness testimony, both large and small in terms of importance, is still crucial to the court.” Cosmos breathed out in a sophisticated tone, her mind clear and assured. “Every single piece is important, whether it’s a piece of evidence, a witness statement, or even an opinion. If one were to miss any of this, we cannot have complete progression. So to answer your question, Firion; yes, it would certainly be worth it.”
Onion Knight glanced over to Firion at that moment, wondering about his reaction to Headmistress Cosmos’ answer. Firion’s mind was processing, his hands fiddling with the pack of ice. He then glanced back at Onion Knight, and gave a surprisingly determined smile in return.
“Then shall we get back to work, Onion Knight?” He asked with a grin. “Let’s make sure no stones are left unturned!”
Present time …
A small smile crept up of Onion Knights face, amused by how the meeting had turned out back then. Every time he thought back to then, a rise of confidence sparked in both his mind and heart.
“I wonder how much closer to the truth we will be tomorrow.” Onion Knight chuckled quietly, deciding to rise from his seat.
Before heading to bed, Onion Knight took a moment to idle in his room, clearing his mind ready for tomorrow … and mainly so he could get a decent night’s rest.
His room was simple; due to only moving into his student home 2 weeks before, Onion Knight hadn’t had too much of a chance to fully unpack the boxes that scattered his room. Even so, he kept the place a tidy as he needed, with no mess on the floor, and clothes neatly folded and placed in the cupboards and draws that sat against the corner walls of the room. Items such as electronics and books where on the shelf above his single bed, ordered in terms of importance and efficiency. His walls were plain amber colour, giving a warm glow in the evenings however not much else.
After changing into his bed clothes, Onion Knight threw himself onto his bed, feeling as though time itself began to slow down. There was no sound whatsoever, the room completely silent, a perfect atmosphere to drop off in. He coolly reached out to the desk next to him and grasped the slip of paper once again, deciding to hold it up high above in the light of the window from behind. He read the line one more time, and murmured sleepily as a response.
“Whoever you are … I will track you down and bring justice to this case.”
The Next Morning, 9:30am …
Drowsily eating his cereal, Onion Knight sat silently in front of the small dining table within the kitchen of his student home. The Kitchen was fairly cramped, however it had the basic essentials to cook and clean in.
Onion Knight’s eyes were still drooping even though he had showered off and clothed up the moment he woke up half-an-hour ago. Sitting opposite him was a boy around his own age; with light brown hair, hazel eyes and freckles scattered on his face. He seemed to be fully engrossed in one of his books, with this one seemingly titled: ‘Secret of Mana’. To Onion Knight, the boy was a close long-time friend who entered Dissidia Academy during the same time. The boy was rather timid and soft spoken. Even though this was the case however, he closely matched Onion Knight in intelligence and often had friendly debates when discussing about various topics. The boy’s name: Arc.
Onion Knight caught sight of Arc anxiously shuffle on his chair, looking as though something was on his mind.
“Is something troubling you, Arc?” Onion Knight queried curiously, munching away.
Arc lifted his head, acting as though he had just snapped back into reality.
“O-oh, no … I’m fine, thanks.” Arc answered in a kind tone, a wavering smile to show how he felt. “It’s just one of the chapters I’m reading, that’s all.”
“I see …” Onion Knight murmured coolly, brushing the response off as he continued to dig into his breakfast. However, he decided spark up a conversation. “I didn’t realise they made a book of that game as well.”
“Yeah, it recently got adapted.” Arc nodded back, his eyes switching back and forth from the book to Onion Knight. “I never got round to playing the original, so I thought reading up on the story would be the next best thing.”
“Hmph … well, that is always a viable alternative.” Onion Knight grinned, feeling rather reminiscent by the thought of the game. “Thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve played it in years.”
Onion Knight and Arc continued to chatter for a moment longer, discussions ranging around decent fiction, whether it being from books and games. However, it soon dropped back to silence as Onion Knight finished of his cereal bowl and stretched out from his chair, beginning to feel more awake by that point. He decided to strike up one more conversation with his friend, thinking it was appropriate to bring up.
“By the way, how was your first week at the Academy?” Onion Knight questioned curiously, realising he had barely seen Arc during his time at Dissidia Academy.
That was when he noticed Arc giving out a sudden twitch in his body, acting as though the question put him off.
“About that, well …” Arc stuttered, his eyes averting Onion Knight’s.
However, Onion Knight could read his friend like a book, crossing his arms and giving off a serious expression. “… You’re not enjoying it, are you? Are you being bullied again?”
“T-that’s not the reason at all!” Arc raised his voice anxiously, causing Onion Knight to jump slightly in surprise. “I just feel … like I don’t fit in at all with my class.”
Onion Knight gazed towards his friend, giving out a slow quiet sigh, “That’s typical of you … All I’ll say to that is just be patient, it’s only been one week so you have plenty of time to build relationships with your class.”
“Right … says the guy who’s been getting all the attention as of recent.” Arc then pouted, turning his head away.
“Wha…!?” Onion Knight blurted out, feeling taken aback by the comment. “How is that related? You know as well as I do that building friendships and other types of relationships vary with time. And besides … I didn’t exactly choose to take up the role of Defence Attorney in yesterday’s court trail.”
There was a moment where time seemed to freeze, the two gazed at each other as they attempted to read the other’s mind. Eventually, Onion Knight decided to stand up and take his breakfast dish to the kitchen sink, wiping it off clean for later use. In the corner of his eye, Onion Knight caught sight of Arc slouching back on his chair.
“*Sigh*… Maybe it’s best to change subjects.” Onion Knight decided, breaking the tension. “Actually … Where in the world is Refia, I thought she would be down by now.”
Onion Knight glanced over towards the stairs through the open door, wondering where their other housemate/long-term friend was. He then switched his sights back to Arc, wondering why there was no answer. It was then that he gasped; Arc had frozen up completely, the colour of his skin turning white and sweat seeping down his face.
“U-um … you might want to tread carefully around her right now.” Arc murmured in fear, his eyes wide with sudden terror.
“For what reason?” Onion Knight wondered in response, confused about Arc’s sudden reaction. “Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? … or is it ‘that’ time of the month?”
Suddenly, the two felt a sudden impact from directly above, followed by a rumble. Onion Knight lifted his head, terror somewhat building in the back of his mind.
“I’m … guessing it’s the latter option then.” Onion Knight blurted out, his eye twitching as he expected the unexpected.
“No … you don’t understand.” Arc began to warn, leaning forward and placing his hands together on the table. “Refia is furious with you … because you stayed locked up in you room for the entirety of last night.”
“THAT’S THE REASON!?” Onion Knight bellowed out in disbelief, finding it completely absurd.
“Oh … the horror.” Arc then mumbled, beginning to trail off. “How she ranting on through the night, throwing off fits of rage … I could barely sleep a wink.”
“Why couldn’t she have at least knocked on my door!?” Onion Knight complained, finding this somewhat pointless and irrelevant. “In addition to that, surely she knows of the situation I’m currently in! What, is she my mother now!?”
At that moment, quickening steps were heard from above.
“Whatever the case … I suggest you cover your ears.” Arc concluded almost in a whisper, covering his ears with his hands.
Onion Knight stared at his friend with a blank expression, finding the dramatic performance rather outlandish. Taking in a deep breath, he then decided to turn and face what was about to appear. He stepped out through the open door towards the hall where the stair were, and waited. It was at that moment, she appeared …
“WHAT’S WITH YOU!!?!” The young girl roared at Onion Knight as she made her appearance, bearing her teeth with fury. “You lock yourself up in your room the moment you got home from Dissidia yesterday like an antisocial bum, and NOW your complaining about me behind my back!? You have of sense of shame!!!”
Refia, Onion Knight’s other housemate and friend, was a light-ginger haired girl with a slim figure for her age. She mainly wore light based clothing such as a long-sleeve blouse and leggings. She was, what Onion Knight considered, as the boss of the student household, keeping the two boys in check with managing the place and keeping themselves respectable. Anything out of line … and she’ll chew them out like a rabid dog.
“You seem slightly misinformed, Refia.” Onion Knight pointed out, showing off an unimpressed expression. “First of all, I wasn’t complaining behind your back, I knew from the noises you were making upstairs that you were listening and so I decided to express an honest opinion. Second, just because I stayed in my room for the majority of yesterday evening does not instantly class me as an antisocial bum.”
“You could have AT LEAST come down for dinner, though!” Refia argued back, accepting no excuses.
“Refia … missing one meal in the day doesn’t result to the end of the world, at least not that I know of.” Onion Knight sighed out in annoyance, placing a hand on his forehead as he tried to clear out the frustration in his mind. “Anyhow, I have to fulfil a few objectives today so please don’t hassle me.”
“Dearly noted …” Refia huffed, her eyes glaring towards her roommate. “Just be aware, if this happens again … I’ll place you on cleaning duty for a whole week!”
“HUUUHHH!!?!” Onion Knight’s mouth dropped in despair, to be given a warning like that was almost unbearable for him.
“By the way…” Refia decided to add, sighing out after she finally let off steam. “Your performance yesterday during the Academy assembly’s court trial … was quite awesome.”
With that, Refia brushed past him and entered the kitchen, leaving Onion Knight to stand in the hall in awkward silence. After his mind processed the whole ordeal, he looked over towards the clock that hung up high on the wall. It read close to 10am.
The doorbell rang out not long afterwards; Onion Knight had been sitting in the living room waiting for the bell to ring. He was now prepared to begin the day’s main objective, hoping it will give him enough information for when they return for the next court trial. He rushed over to the hall without a moment of hesitation, his hand reaching out to the front door. Arc and Refia were busy in the kitchen and knew Onion Knight would have a visitor, hoping to join them later to hear about their plans. This meant that the visit wasn’t to be unexpected … or so Onion Knight thought.
“Ah, Terra! Good morning!” Onion Knight cheerfully greeted as he opened the door, showing his politeness to his friend.
Terra stood at the door with her usual well-mannered expression, greeting back with a kind smile. However, Onion Knight noticed the smallest of twitches in the corner of her mouth, causing him to become somewhat wary. He gestured to her, in which she accepted and entered the house. It was then that he realised the reason behind Terra’s nervous twitch, as there had been a second visitor both did not expect to turn up at Onion Knight’s door.
“Hey, Onion Knight! Do you mind if I-!”
Onion Knight automatically slammed the door in front of the surprise visitor, his mind unable to process for some reason. Terra squeaked due to the unexpected reaction. Onion Knight glanced over to his friend, his expression seemingly a balanced blend of confusion and annoyance. The surprise visitor was one of the last people he wished to see right now, and the fact that the visitor now knows where he lives infuriates him to no end.
Slowly, Onion Knight opened the door once again, wondering if the surprise visitor had left.
“Now that was rude-!”
He had not.
Onion Knight turned towards Terra, who had been standing beside him nervously. There was a moment of awkward between the two; Terra trying to avert her eyes whilst Onion Knight glared with irritation.
“Terra … why is ‘he’ here?” Onion Knight eerily questioned, his eyes glaring like daggers.
“H-he saw me walking down the street … and decided to follow.” Terra answered anxiously, unsure what to tell him.
“And … you couldn’t shake him off?” Onion Knight murmured in a monotone, crossing his arms in disappointment.
“Well … what else could I do?” Terra complained back shrugging her shoulders.
Onion Knight face-palmed as he sighed out, his frustrations just seemed to keep building. However, he made the ultimate decision and opened the door once again.
“*Sigh* … what do you want, Bartz?” Onion Knight queried to the visitor, his eyes rolling as he found this whole thing a nuisance.
Bartz Klauser, sporting casual clothing just like everyone else, was standing idly at the door. He certainly had his patience considering that he had to wait outside the door; however both Onion Knight and Terra noticed that his patience was beginning to run thin.
“Was there really the need to shut the door on me … twice!?” Bartz began to complain, although giving a light-hearted expression in the process.
“I’ll shut it again if you want …” Onion Knight then murmured blankly, beginning to close his door a third.
“N-NO NO! There’s no need for that! Hehee…” Bartz hastily muttered out, showing his desperation. “Don’t worry, I promise not to be a bother to you!”
Onion Knight and Terra glanced at each other, wondering how to proceed. Bartz fidgeted on the spot, curious as to what they were thinking.
“Bartz, you can come in ... however, just so you know, we need all the help we can get for this investigation.” Onion Knight explained to him, becoming rather serious.
 “That’s the reason why I’m here!” Bartz instantly blurted out, feeling glad it was brought up. “I want to help out! Zidane is my best friend and so I want to do everything I can to help in proving his innocence!"
Onion Knight nodded as he understood Bartz’s reason. He ushered him inside and lead the two into the living room. The three sat on sofa chairs that circled around the room, shuffling on them as they made themselves comfortable. Onion Knight brought out two spare seats for his housemates when they join in for the conversation later on.
“I heard that Firion was injured yesterday, after he left the court trial.” Bartz began the conversation, giving a somewhat worried expression. “Could you tell us what happened?”
Onion Knight sat on his own seat and glanced at both Bartz and Terra, knowing that one of them would ask about it a one point. Onion Knight had received a call from Firion when he woke up earlier. Firion had apologised that he wouldn’t be able to meet up with him and Terra today due to developing a concussion from the recent incident. Saddened by this, Onion Knight wished him well and ultimately decided to carry out the plans without the case detective.
Onion Knight began to explain everything that happened during the aftermath of yesterday’s trial; how he found the collapsed Firion on the top floor of the building, and what the note said. He continued on that he had spoken to Headmistress Cosmos about this issue and what it could possibly mean. Both Bartz and Terra listened in carefully, feeling rather sorry for Firion about becoming a victim in the mess.
“But, if Firion was knocked out during the court trail … then does that mean another person is behind this?” Terra wondered, noticing a contradiction between the second assault and Zidane position during that time. “It’s not possible that Zidane could have attacked him at any point during the trial.”
“That’s more or less correct, during the time Firion had left the court room, Zidane was either present in the court or in further questioning.” Onion Knight nodded it confirm, remembering the discussion he had with the Headmistress yesterday. “I’m sure Bartz would be able to clarify about the ‘further questioning’.”
Both Onion Knight glanced over to Bartz with intense glares, causing him to suddenly feel on the spot.
“Y-yeah, we were both being questioned by Headmistress Cosmos.” Bartz admitted somewhat anxiously. “I told her everything I knew about the situation, and Zidane was almost silent throughout that time.”
“So he’s ‘still’ acting that way.” Onion Knight murmured, hoping Zidane would have become more open about the situation.
“Have you got any ideas about where we should start today?” Terra decided to ask, changing the topic slightly.
“Yes, I’m certainly not progressing with this blind, that is a given.” Onion Knight nodded back, giving a confident expression.
Suddenly, before Onion Knight could continue, there had been a knock on the living room door.
“Hey, Luneth! Is it possible for us to join in?” Refia had asked out densely, her and Arc stepping through to the room.
The room froze by the second Refia had spoken. Both Bartz and Terra reacted in shock within that instant. Refia gasped and covered her mouth, realising what she had just done. Arc also realised and hid back as he caught sight of Onion Knight’s own reaction. Onion Knight’s eyes widened as he could not believe his friend’s mistake. Eventually, he sighed out in anger and pitched the crux of his nose.
“Really …? You just had to give ‘that’ away so carelessly?” He then murmured, finding Refia’s outburst completely careless.
The two sat down in their seats in silence, Refia turning bright red due to her embarrassment. Bartz and Terra’s eyes were locked on Onion Knight, finding this revelation unexpected. Onion Knight was prepared for more outbursts to come.
“W-wait a moment … you’re true name is ‘Luneth’!?” Bartz blurted out in disbelief.
Great, here we go … Onion Knight’s mind thought out in frustration, just before he decided to tell the truth. “Technically, ‘Luneth’ is my middle name, my first being ‘Ingus’. Onion Knight was a title I was bestowed upon by a family member of mine when I was younger, where I was told I had to use it as my official name for the majority of my life.”
“Really? Huh … I always thought your first name was ‘Onion’.” Bartz commented innocently, chuckling away. “That makes a lot more sense!”
…Is this guy serious? Onion Knight felt as though he had lost a few brain cells due to Bartz idiocy.
“Whatever the case, I would prefer it if you would call me by my title. I don’t need people throwing my name about like it has little purpose.” Onion Knight quickly dispelled, wishing that he didn’t need to deal with this at such an important time.
“Aaargh … but it sounds so much simpler to say!” Bartz then moaned out, “Could I at least call you ‘O-Knight’ or something?”
“Would you like me to show you the door, Bartz?” Onion Knight then threatened with a horrid grin, raising his arm towards the front door.
“…Sorry, I’ll stop now.” Bartz quietly sank into his seat, deciding to listen to Onion Knight.
“So then, before the RUDE INTERUPTION…” Onion Knight directed his words towards Refia and Arc, before getting back to the topic. “The plan for today is to meet up with Warrior of Light for an update on the case and hopefully some insight on any new evidence or witnesses. Whatever our ‘stuck-up’ Prosecutor could reveal to us, we’ll be spending a large amount of today finding any of these potential witnesses or evidence. If possible, they should give us some details of the ‘second’ suspect that fled the scene during the incident.”
“How will we know who the witnesses are? It’s likely that Warrior of Light wouldn’t reveal anything to us due to the importance of his role.” Refia questioned in curiosity, placing her foolish mistake behind her and involving herself in the discussion. “At least … that’s what I’ve heard.”
 “All I can say for now is to ask any of the students you might come across when were in town.” Onion Knight shrugged, feeling the pain about the obvious gap in the plans. “During the incident, almost the entirety of the students had been outside of the building or on the ground floor. It’s highly probable that some could have seen our ‘suspect’.”
“That sounds like a drag.” Bartz argued back, straightening back up on his seat. “Are there any other ways we could try?”
“I know it sounds like a mediocre task.” Onion knight admitted back, understanding the complaint. “However, during the day, we will also be checking up on the crime scene and both Zidane and Firion whenever possible. Firion would need to know about any updates on the case, and Zidane … well; I would like to find out what he’s hiding.”
There was a moment of silence throughout the room as this topic was brought. Although Zidane has a stronger possibility of showing his innocence, the fact that he continues to refuse on giving an explanation on his side of the case is problematic.
“What do you think he’s hiding from us?” Terra cautiously asked him; unsure whether it’s right to ask. “Or rather, what could he hide from us? He has said numerous times he’s innocent so why would he refuse to explain his reason?”
“I don’t know …” Onion Knight lowered his head; feeling dragged down by the fact there wasn’t a resolution to this.
“From what I could see, it’s possible that he might be ‘protecting’ someone.” Bartz murmured out unexpectedly, causing all the eyes in the room to dart towards Bartz in surprise.
“What … do you mean by that, Bartz?” Onion Knight hesitantly questioned, finding this possibility rather sudden.
“What I mean is that I’ve known Zidane long enough to know about how he reacts towards various situations.” Bartz explained, standing up from his chair. “In most cases, he would either admit to his guilt if he gets caught during his pranks or try to prove his innocence. Of cause, he normally uses me as his scapegoat in some situations, but that’s just because I assist him in his tricks. With that said … I’ve never seen him act this way before. At first I thought he was acting like that because he knows he could be thrown out of the Academy, but…”
“… You then realised that his reasoning isn’t selfish.” Onion Knight finished Bartz’s sentence, his face lighting up with sudden realisation. “He doesn’t want to get the ‘second’ suspect into trouble!”
Bartz nodded in response, “The person behind the attack on Rydia is someone Zidane knows or even is a friend to! He’s keeping quiet because he doesn’t want to get the ‘culprit’ into trouble!”
“That’s troublesome for him AND for us!” Onion Knight gritted his teeth, noticing the difficulty of proving his innocence. “Damn it, Zidane! Does he not REALISE we’re helping him!?”
“That’s also a problem ...” Bartz then murmured lowly, lowering his eyes towards the floor. “If the true culprit is a friend of Zidane’s … then that person might also be a friend to us!” 


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