When Althea returns from downstairs, she finds Edgeworth still working hard on writing down his thoughts in English; he's even set the helm aside for the moment. She returns to her own research rather than disturbing the prosecutor. Hours go by with lunch eaten in the middle, but Edgeworth still isn't quite finished by the time Nopplebin peeks in through the door to the stairs to the surface...

Nopplebin: Um, excuse me...
Althea looks up.
Edgeworth glances over his shoulder.
Nopplebin: An "Illyvalen Mirilas Forlin" has come asking to visit without an escort. Is that OK with everyone?
Althea: Ah, I thought she might show up. It's all right, I can escort her.
Nopplebin waits for any protests, then nods with a smile. "All right, follow me."
Althea stands, sets down her pen and makes her way over.
Edgeworth hmms, but returns his attention to writing for the moment.

The two ascend to the upper level. A couple minutes later, Althea returns along with Illyvalen, who's already talking energetically, if a bit subdued compared to normal.

Illyvalen: ...sure you don't want to talk about it. You do look a lot better, anyway.
Althea nods. "I'll be okay, you don't need to worry. Anyway, things are coming along reasonably well so far. I don't know how long he'll be busy, but if it'll be a while I'm sure I could make use of a little assistance in the interim."
Althea leads Illyvalen over toward Edgeworth's table.
Edgeworth looks over from his composition to the approaching pair and nods, albeit with a half-frown.
Illyvalen looks down at the unfamiliar script adorning the paper before Edgeworth. "Is that English?"
Edgeworth nods. "Indeed so. Latin and Deutsch use essentially the same alphabet, however."
Illyvalen nods, then looks back and forth between the page and Althea, seeming conflicted.
Edgeworth simply glares at Illyvalen.
Illyvalen recoils slightly, and stammers, "Um, uh, I-I-I'll... just be over helping Althea."
Edgeworth nods and coolly replies, "Very well." He then returns his attention to the paper before him.
Illyvalen retreats a bit hastily, Althea shaking her head slightly and leading her over to the table she's working at.

After about twenty minutes, Edgeworth straightens the small stack of paper that's been building up over the last few hours.

Edgeworth: I find myself missing word processors already.
Edgeworth puts the helm back on since others' conversations would be less of a distraction now, stands, and begins looking for an envelope. He looks over to Althea and Illyvalen as he passes them.
Althea looks up briefly while Illyvalen stays buried in a book.
Edgeworth fetches an envelope from a cabinet, then comments as he passes back by, "You may look now that I'm not busy."
Illyvalen looks up a bit at that, still nervous, but after a bit of prodding from Althea, stands and makes her way over to the general vicinity of Edgeworth's table.
Edgeworth pauses to consider his words before settling for, "So you're aware, I prefer to be left alone while at work."
Edgeworth does, however, lay out a few of the pages from the stack for Illyvalen to examine. Given the crossing-outs and corrections, it's clearly a first draft.
Illyvalen: Uh... I... was wondering if... sometime today... might be good to, um... work on languages...
Edgeworth: It would. ...Er, is something wrong?
Edgeworth: Is she still intimidated even now?
Illyvalen nods nervously and takes a seat at the table.
Edgeworth reseats himself as well while pointing out, "You aren't interrupting now."
Illyvalen: Um, so... Where did you want to begin?
Edgeworth frowns in concern. "Er, we could begin by indulging your own curiosity."
Illyvalen: Right...
Illyvalen gingerly reaches for the pages set aside, and starts looking over the unfamiliar script.
Edgeworth smirks and shakes his head. "I assure you that the writing is entirely nonmagical."
Illyvalen: From the length, organization and repetitions of certain glyphs... I'm guessing these symbols are phonographic rather than ideographic or pictographic?
Edgeworth nods with a grin. "Indeed. The consonants and vowels are seperate as well; written Nihongo differs in that respect."
Edgeworth appears mildly frustrated briefly. A pity that I still lack the vocabulary with which to elaborate.
Illyvalen nods.
Illyvalen: I notice you tend to use a different set of glyphs at the beginning of some groupings...?
Edgeworth: Indeed, sentences and names begin with them in English, while all nouns begin with them in Deutsch.
Illyvalen nods.
Edgeworth begins pointing out some of the letters. "Five of the glyphs are always vowels, while 'y' has the er, strange status of representing both kinds of sounds. In English, the difference must be... er, deduced through context, while certain marks show the difference in Deutsch and some other languages."
Edgeworth: Conveying concepts even of this level of complexity remains a struggle...
Illyvalen: So there are six distinct vowel sounds in those languages?
Edgeworth shakes his head. "No, there are several more. Each of these represents a few alone."
Illyvalen: A pretty highly context-sensitive form of script, then.
Edgeworth: Indeed, though the additional marks used in some languages help somewhat.
Edgeworth reaches over to grab an unused piece of paper, then pulls his pen back out.
Edgeworth writes out the alphabet in slightly larger letters than his usual, first capitals and then lowercase on a pair of lines each, then reproduces each vowel with various diacritics below that.
Illyvalen takes pen to paper and slowly and carefully reproduces the glyphs Edgeworth has written out.
Edgeworth: "A" in particular mainly represents three sounds in English...

Edgeworth spends the next few hours going over the different sounds associated with the letters of the Latin alphabet in English, German, and Latin, including going over various combinations of letters. While he sometimes has to ask Althea to translate words for him in order to fill gaps in his still-limited understanding of Common, he still makes a rather heroic effort of getting his point across.

Illyvalen takes copious notes throughout all this.
Edgeworth looks thoughtful for a moment. "I can think of nothing else to say on the subject of the Latin alphabet as applied to these languages."
Illyvalen nods. "If there's anything more, it'll probably be more obvious after getting further with one of the languages. ...maybe before that, though, we should go over the Common alphabet?"
Edgeworth: Indeed. ...Perhaps I should try removing this for that discussion, given that we've discussed a similar subject for some time now. I believe I've managed to memorize some relevant vocabulary in the process.
Edgeworth indicates the helmet.
Illyvalen: Not only Common but also the Halfling and Gnoll languages use the Common alphabet, probably due to the written form originating with human scholars recording them at a time when they were purely oral... The language and alphabet have ancestry going back to the first human settlers arriving on Khorvaire from Sarlona, though it has developed differently enough here to present a language barrier with modern Sarlonans.
Edgeworth: Er, if I'm to follow you after I remove the helmet, you may need to speak more slowly than that.
Illyvalen nods.
Edgeworth proceeds to take the enchanted item off and set it aside.

Illyvalen proceeds to go through the Common alphabet and the variations in usage between Common and Halfling, making sure to speak slowly and keep her vocabulary choices simple. Edgeworth takes notes on the locally-available paper as she lectures, not wanting to risk his organizer in this place, as well as practicing the vowels and a few of the other sounds more for himself. Compared to his studies of religion and divine magic, Edgeworth has appeared more at ease with the subject of language.

Illyvalen reaches a natural stopping point, and after a moment queries, "Is there anything unclear or that you would like me to elaborate on?"
Edgeworth is actually close to smiling for once. "Not at this time."
Edgeworth: I suspect that many of my questions will be answered in due time.
Illyvalen nods.
Althea: Before you two start off on another subject, I would point out that much time has already passed, and it might be about time to start considering food, if not rest.
Edgeworth looks over to Althea. "I'm far from tired, though I am hungry."
Illyvalen: I guess it is getting kinda late... heh, usually you're the one who has to be reminded.
Edgeworth puts a finger to his temple. "I don't know the word for it in Common, but is any form of shellfish available locally?"
Edgeworth: Or any sort of mollusk, for that matter.
Althea: Several varieties are available, depending on the level of expense and whether you're talking local or imported...
Edgeworth frowns. "Given the emphasis on debt in this culture, it might be best not to maximize expense."
Althea: As far as local seafood, there's a seafood restaurant out near the docks, there should be adequate selection there.
Edgeworth grins. "Excellent. It would be simplest for you to make the suggestion in Common."
Althea: I think we're considering the seafood place out near the docks, are you interested?
Illyvalen: Oh, sure, I guess.
Edgeworth stands. "Shall we be off, then?"
Illyvalen: Okay.

After a quick supper based on a form of periwinkle common on the coast shortly down the river, everyone parts ways to go to their respective sleeping accomodations. Edgeworth goes to bed satisfied, and this time it isn't even undercut by a nightmare.

The following morning, Edgeworth wakes up feeling refreshed and more ready to tackle the greater challenge before him than he was when first confronted with it. Upon his return to the Korranberg Archive, the prosecutor begins browsing the shelves of the first basement again, though rather than actually taking any books, he simply takes note of promising titles while glancing over his shoulder for signs of a certain other face...

Dil comes through the door to the stairs up, then speaks with a couple of others briefly before approaching Edgeworth.
Dil: You're not reading already? There must be a story behind that.
Edgeworth turns. "Ah, good morning, Dil. As it happens, I was waiting for your advice; a, er, rather... unpleasant assertion was made concerning what lies ahead on this path."
Edgeworth: A pity that I don't yet know the word for "disconcerting".
Dil raises an eyebrow. "Oh?"
Edgeworth turns his head away and grips his elbow. In a somewhat lower tone, he explains with an expression of disgust, "Althea claims that... that prayer is involved in a cleric's acquisition of spells."
Dil smirks and shakes his head. "So she did take the blunt route on her own."
Dil: I thought it sounded like she might, but I couldn't think of a way to trick you into your own understanding...
Edgeworth looks part of the way back to Dil with a dour expression. "So that was indeed the truth?" The unvarnished truth, at that.
Dil shrugs apologetically. "I did warn you that you probably wouldn't like the life of a cleric... though that isn't the only way to look at what has to be done, either. Just the most popular."
Edgeworth side-eyes Dil. "As I recall, you said that in the process of tricking me into turning again."
Dil smirks. "That doesn't mean it wasn't true..."
Edgeworth crosses his arms and hrmphs.
Dil: Althea was getting ahead of things by saying that before you had a chance to figure out what your current potential means to you, though.
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. So my suspicions were correct...
Edgeworth: On that subject, at your leader's suggestion, I took the time yesterday to finally write down my experiences thus far.
Dil grins. "And here I thought you were just afraid of what you were learning at first..."
Edgeworth glowers at Dil.
Dil: But if you need more time set aside for writing, that's fine. Actually, it's probably an especially good idea for this stage of your training — you'll have a lot of thoughts to gather.
Edgeworth: If my presumptions are correct, those thoughts will concern effects I could potentially... reproduce in the short term?
Dil looks amused. "You're starting to make me wonder if you even need my help."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Did I not say I was awaiting it? I don't know so much that I can deduce all the rest."
Dil shrugs. "Given where your talents lie, can I really be sure about that?"
Edgeworth glares at Dil.
Dil looks to the ground. "OK, OK... I'm sorry. There are only a handful of orisons, so it shouldn't take long for me to tell you about them. Some are self-contained enough to be easy to cast, while some others rely on the skill and power of the caster and lend themselves to practice."
Dil smirks. "Though one of those that normally falls into that category, you should be able to master almost instantly."
Edgeworth: The one that allows one to seek magical traces that Althea mentioned?
Dil: It lets one perceive active magical effects and stable enchantments as well — actually, that's what it's normally used for, since the remains of auras usually become undetectable by it very quickly.
Edgeworth frowns. "I see..." It will be trying to be limited to only a makeshift forensic procedure for a time.
Dil: As you might expect, it's simply known as Detect Magic. There's also an orison for copying existing nonmagical text without the need for ink...

Over the next several minutes, Dil describes more than a dozen other basic spells...

Dil: ...but it isn't potent enough to be reliable, and since the same magic is used in protective cloaks and vests, there are times when it won't help at all. Kind of like trying to bind a wound that's already bandaged.
Edgeworth: Given that he earlier described a spell that can stanch bleeding, I'm left to wonder how the Archival Foundation's work will ultimately impact the very need for bandages.
Edgeworth frowns. Will Althea find herself caught in the midst of a struggle for control of the organization? Perhaps that is another of the "fading wards" she mentioned...
Dil frowns himself at Edgeworth's expression. "Something about Resistance didn't bother you, did it?"
Edgeworth shakes his head and quickly reins in his concerns. "No, your phrasing simply provoked thought on another matter."
Dil: Hmmm... Well, if you don't want to talk about that, I might as well move on. Not many people succeed at it quickly, but most beginning clerics learn to draw on the simplest spells of their domains long before they can cast other spells of the same power.
Dil glances aside. "Which, if we're right, should mean Detect Secret Doors or Detect Thoughts in your case."
Edgeworth: ...
Edgeworth: The latter name gives form to one of the impressions that previous discussion of these "domains" has stirred up in the past...
Edgeworth: If it does what I suspect it might, it could be highly useful indeed — though also possible to misuse. I wonder what laws govern such capabilities.
Edgeworth suddenly looks uneasy. For that matter, does the Trust have access to such a thing?
Dil waves a hand in front of Edgeworth's face. "Cross-planar sending from Eberron..."
Edgeworth steps backward and waves the hand away, then glares at Dil again. "Will you stop that?!"
Dil: Sorry... I just wanted to know if I should explain those yet.
Edgeworth shakes his head. "That will be unnecessary. I'd rather have time to think and, perhaps, to write now."
Edgeworth: To say nothing of one being self-explanatory in context and the explanation of the other having already imposed itself on me unbidden.
Dil nods. "Then I'll get you some paper."

Edgeworth seats himself, accepts the paper, and proceeds to write down basic information and preliminary thoughts about each spell Dil claimed ought to be within his immediate reach. Rather than further troubling the apparently-uncomfortable prosecutor, Dil simply begins giving some of the books on the shelves quick looks inside and taking notes.

Edgeworth: It's still strange to contemplate that I've found myself in a world so upside-down that such capabilities as these are within my reach, and are so simply because I've pinned down the ideals I can resolutely follow.
Edgeworth shakes his head. Granted, a few of these sound so dubious that I can't help but wonder if they're placebos, but the effects of others should be far more apparent.
Edgeworth shuffles through the notes he's taken, then stops to consider one. Some of them are, of course, relatively simple to place. If the ability to heal wounds sufficiently to rouse someone is also sufficient to obscure or erase the evidence, then a spell that merely stanches the bleeding is the tool necessary to preserve both life and the evidence.
Edgeworth brings another page to the front. Likewise, a spell that specifically mends only objects with a single break in them could be used to supply further proof that any two given parts form a single piece of evidence.
Edgeworth sighs and shakes his head. Listen to me; I sound like some sort of fantasy author.
Edgeworth: Is this really the path to the truth?...
Edgeworth shuffles through the papers further, bringing the one with his notes about Detect Magic on the front — far more notes than about most of the other orisons.
Edgeworth: Barring the existence of chemicals that would react to such things — which would likely also be enchanted in this blasted place — I fail to see another.
Edgeworth: And as implausible as it may seem, I've seen evidence that I'm capable of more here than I am back in the world where I belong.
Edgeworth huffs in amusement and smirks. The "gods' favor", so many here would believe? There are no "gods" to favor me to begin with — merely forces that react in peculiar ways to certain kinds of thoughts.
Edgeworth looks back down at the paper with a grin. That is the truth of this world — that energies exist that can be manipulated by mortals. Whether the people here regard it that way for every kind of magic or not is irrelevant. My world, too, once clung to ideas that seemed true at the time, only to discard them when theories that better fit the evidence emerged.
Edgeworth sets the stack of paper down and pulls out his badge, cupping the lapel pin in his hand. But one thing is fundamentally and demonstrably true: we — I — can make use of these forces. They exist.
Edgeworth: That spell would allow me to glimpse further evidence of that truth...
Edgeworth balls his fist around his badge, looking resolute. And so, forward I march.

With renewed confidence, Edgeworth continues to write and to think, occupying himself for hours until noon finally arrives...

At the usual hour, Althea arrives with a packed lunch for Edgeworth. After the usual brief pleasantries, Edgeworth heads off to a break room with his meal, while Althea seeks out Dil.

Dil is easily found double-checking a series of reading lists he's been working on.
Althea: Any new developments of note? I know Belgiwig got a chance to talk to him briefly the other day, and got him started writing down some of his impressions.
Dil looks up from his work and over. "Ah, hello. I'm just trying to adapt to the circumstances you introduced. As for him, he's written some interesting things..."
Dil smirks in amusement. "It might be necessary to find him some law books just so he can write things like that in Common later."
Althea: Not just for that reason; he has expressed interest in learning things like the Galifar Code of Justice, and certainly even if his people's laws are like ours, he'll still have little to draw on for laws concerning the use of magic.
Althea: Sorry if I've unduly complicated things for you. I do get the sense that confronting these things directly may be better for him in the long run, but I may well be wrong.
Dil shrugs. "Not so much for me as for him, maybe. In a way you saved me some trouble..."
Althea nods. "It's hard to say, but he does seem to do better when confronting the truth proactively rather than trying to come to terms with it once made undeniable."
Althea: At any rate, a colleague of mine is tutoring him in Common as well; I suspect she'll probably be by sometime this afternoon again.
Dil grins. "So that's why his accent was less thick today..."
Althea: Both of them are quite talented with languages, I would imagine it will improve quite a bit in time.
Althea: Though I don't think Illyvalen will derive as much utility from learning English as he does from Common...
Dil smirks, then reaches for an envelope nearby and offers it to Althea. "Here's my translation of what he wrote yesterday. What's going through his mind when he turns is harsh, but not surprising... and I don't think anyone else would have found that view on Cure Light Wounds meaningful enough to cast from."
Dil: What's really interesting is that he never mentions anything about the soul. It's like he's confused whenever it would come up, and tries to describe things in terms of thoughts or emotions.
Althea takes the envelope and nods. "Probably something similar to his argument with Belgiwig over metaphysics."
Dil raises an eyebrow. "Too bad I missed that one!"
Althea: Suffice to say he believes all that implies should be adequately covered by physics.
Dil: Huh...
Althea: I suspect that disagreement is more perception than substance, anyway.
Dil: Or disagreement about perception.
Althea shrugs.
Dil: Anyway, he's still as sharp as ever — he even guessed right as I was about to bring it up that the next thing I wanted him to do was contemplate the meanings of the orisons.
Althea: Given that he had to engage in that once already, it probably seemed natural.
Dil nods.
Dil: I haven't had time to look at those thoughts yet, but something that occurred to him seemed to fire him up.
Althea: Detect Magic?
Dil shrugs. "I was busy working here, so I couldn't say."
Althea: It would make sense; he's particularly concerned with provability, and magic is a possible foreign element for him that could complicate an investigation if he doesn't have the right tools to deal with it.
Dil: Or even complicate his own ability to judge evidence others have found, now that you mention it...
Althea nods.

Althea excuses herself, makes her way to one of the tables, and begins studying Dil's translation of Edgeworth's notes. It's not long after that that Edgeworth returns from his lunch downstairs. He nods to Dil and Althea in turn before returning to his previous seat.

Dil glances up from his own work long enough to nod back before returning to writing.

Althea looks up briefly and nods, then returns to the translated notes. She continues to pour over these for a good half an hour, occasionally nodding or shaking her head at something written, and in one case choking back a reaction that seems somewhere in between a laugh and a sob. This provokes glances from Edgeworth and Dil, but she simply continues on with her reading. Eventually, finishing with the notes, she makes her way over to Edgeworth's table.

Edgeworth looks over from his work, half-frowning in puzzlement given the seer's earlier minor outburst.
Althea: You might wish to give these a look yourself for the sake of your language studies; Dil translated some of your notes about your experiences so far.
Edgeworth: Really? I wonder how accurately, given how quickly he did so. To understand is only half the work, after all.
Edgeworth accepts the translated notes and begins to look them over.
Edgeworth: I presume this is what you were reading earlier?
Althea shrugs. "It is. I certainly cannot speak to every detail, but it made enough sense to me. Especially the part where you communed with the wand; that was beautiful."
Dil chuckles upon overhearing that.
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "I suppose that's one way to look at it." The beauty of functional architecture, perhaps.
Althea: Given how... forceful, independent, and... focused toward the mundane you tend to be, I was kind of surprised to see you speak so openly of being reached out to in that way, over so forthright and straightforward a plea.
Edgeworth blinks partway through Althea's sentence, but glowers at the end. "I'd hardly call it 'pleading'."
Althea: Certainly not in the sense of begging... moreso the purity of straightforward and heartfelt yearning. In the moment, you wished only to see someone able to share their truth with the world, and the magic responded and reached out to help you achieve your desire.
Althea: That... is a very beautiful image. At least I think so.
Edgeworth peers at Althea. "I believe you're overstating the case, but I suppose I understand your point."
Althea shrugs. "Some things are worth overstating, sometimes."

Any further interpretive debate is forestalled by Nopplebin's arrival in the first basement, again inquiring on behalf of Illyvalen.

Althea: Huh. A little bit earlier than I'd have expected. Anyway, I'll go see to that.
Edgeworth nods.
Althea heads upstairs with Nopplebin and returns shortly with Illyvalen.
Althea: ...sure it's nothing more than what he said it was. I did mention he can be kind of temperamental and closed off...
Edgeworth frowns in confusion and concern as he looks over his shoulder. Did a simple glare affect her so deeply?
Illyvalen nods slowly.
Edgeworth stands and bows. "Good afternoon."
Illyvalen: Good afternoon. Um, would this be an, er, appropriate time to consider working on languages?
Edgeworth grins. "This moment would, in fact, be ideal. Dil spent some time this morning translating some of my notes to Common with the help of a spell, though I have little idea how accurate his word choices are."
Edgeworth: Am I already this comfortable with Common?
Illyvalen: Maybe we should examine the connotations and those of possible synonyms?
Edgeworth's grin grows to a near-smile as he puts a finger to his temple. "My thoughts exactly."

Working together, the two go through and clean up the language of the Common translation, even occasionally trading off the helmet so that Illyvalen can try to get a better feel for the intended presentation of the original. While showing some interest in the content as well as the language, she ultimately doesn't comment all that much on the experiences presented beyond clarifying meaning.

Edgeworth seems pleased as he straightens out the stack of papers that constitute the revised translation.
Illyvalen: I'm not all that familiar with the Truth domain, really.
Edgeworth looks over and raises an eyebrow. "And why is that?"
Illyvalen: Not a lot of clerics have that domain. Mostly I've heard of a few Silver Flame clerics possessing it on occasion.
Edgeworth half-frowns. "What little I've heard and read of them makes me cautious."
Edgeworth: Though they clearly mean nothing but the best, perfection is a dangerous thing to believe attainable even on a personal level.
Edgeworth: That any of them possess such a respect for the truth suggests that we'll rarely truly be at odds, however.
Illyvalen: I can understand people thinking of the Silver Flame as dangerous, but what do you mean by 'even on a personal level'?
Edgeworth turns his head aside with a firm expression. "I'd rather not discuss it."
Illyvalen winces slightly. "Right, sorry..."
Edgeworth: Is something the matter?
Illyvalen: I upset you again...
Edgeworth looks genuinely confused. "Have you never known someone for whom the past was an unpleasant topic?"
Illyvalen: Of... of course. I just...
Illyvalen: Well... she doesn't get upset quite so easily...
Illyvalen: I mean, maybe, I guess, when we first met... but I kinda learned to understand her maybe a little, and...
Illyvalen: ...well, I don't feel like I really can tell when something's going to offend you...
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "I hope you aren't expecting me to lay my suffering bare."
Illyvalen: N-n-no, of c-course not. I-I... I mean, I don't really know you all that well, and we're in a kinda public place besides and I'm not trying to pester you or be mean or anything, really!
Illyvalen cowers.
Edgeworth recoils himself. Don't tell me she's going to cry!
Althea looks over toward the pair, frowning slightly.
Edgeworth: Er, um, I didn't mean — that is, er...

After several more seconds of stammering on Edgeworth's part, Althea shakes her head, stands, and moves over to Edgeworth's table.

Althea: Now, now, I don't think Edgeworth is really that upset... why don't you two go back to talking about languages rather than experiences, okay?
Althea gives Edgeworth a warning glance.
Edgeworth looks awkward, even arguably nervous. "Er, right..."
Illyvalen: I-if you're sure...
Edgeworth looks back to Illyvalen uneasily. "It is, er, a highly preferable topic."
Illyvalen: Er, right, of course...

The two move on to more detailed discussions, working particularly on words with subtle distinctions in meaning, until the hour starts to become late; Illyvalen recovers to more or less her usual cheerful self once buried deeply in the discussion of a well-understood subject.

Edgeworth yawns loudly.
Illyvalen: Ah, heh, it's getting late, isn't it...
Edgeworth checks his watch and blinks. "Indeed so."
Althea looks up from her studies and nods. "I was wondering if I'd have to remind you two."
Illyvalen: Oh, um, I kinda forgot before, but, the Korranberg Symphony Orchestra is going to be performing a concert in a few days...
Edgeworth looks to Illyvalen, interest apparent even through his fatigue.
Illyvalen: They're going to be performing symphonies by an Aereni composer, um, Allairyn Serias.
Edgeworth: Those names mean little to me, but I suppose I'll simply have to learn.
Edgeworth smirks.
Illyvalen: So I guess I was wondering if you two wanted to come?
Althea winces slightly.
Edgeworth looks to Althea questioningly at that.
Illyvalen looks over to Althea in response to Edgeworth doing so.
Althea sighs. "I suppose I should have anticipated something like this..."
Edgeworth: What do you mean?
Illyvalen: Uh, if you don't want to go, that's fine...
Althea: Nathaniel asked me to go with him.
Illyvalen: Oh, sure, if you want to go with him, we—
Althea: I turned him down.
Illyvalen just looks kind of confused at this point.
Edgeworth just looks back and forth, trying to piece together what's going on himself.
Illyvalen: Um, so, you do or don't want to go?
Edgeworth: Er, for my own part, I'm interested.
Althea rests her forehead in her hands and her elbows on the table. "...of course I want to go. Serias is a great composer and the Korranberg Symphony Orchestra is one of the more renowned orchestras on Khorvaire."
Illyvalen: Then, uh, why'd you say no?
Althea: Because it'd be awkward going there with him.
Edgeworth appears to realize something, frowns to himself in annoyance, then looks to Althea. "I see."
Illyvalen: You don't like him?
Althea sighs. "It's not that simple..."
Edgeworth now looks puzzled. "What do you mean?"
Illyvalen looks confused as well.
Illyvalen: He obviously likes you and wants to spend time with you... if you like him you should go with him; if you don't like him, you should tell him so.
Illyvalen: If you don't know if you like him... shouldn't you try and find out?
Althea lets go of her head and lightly bangs it on the table a couple of times.
Illyvalen just watches, looking concerned.
Edgeworth: Are you simply concerned that you may be spotted if you go without him?
Althea: Kinda... I did say I didn't think I'd have time...
Illyvalen: I... guess I don't see what the big deal is. I think you should probably just go with him, but if you come with us... just say you decided to come with us. It's not that big a deal, is it?
Illyvalen: Maybe I could invite Nathaniel to come with us. I could invite Berdmol and David too.
Edgeworth: Er, Miss Illyvalen, I believe she's attempting to avoid Nathaniel.
Althea sighs. "I dunno, maybe that would be for the best... Why don't you let me think about it for a bit, Illyvalen, and I'll let you know."
Illyvalen: Um, okay. Just don't wait too long.
Edgeworth nods. "If concerts here are much like those in my own world, tickets will most likely sell out quickly."
Althea: I know. I'll let you know after the meeting tomorrow.
Illyvalen nods.
Illyvalen: I'd better get going, then. See you tomorrow.
Edgeworth stands and bows. "Take care."
Althea: Good night, Illyvalen.
Illyvalen heads back up the stairs to the storefront.
Althea sighs again after Illyvalen leaves. "Well, this is awkward..."
Edgeworth frowns. "I would imagine."
Edgeworth glances to the side. "I know the agony of unwanted admirers myself."
Althea: At least I imagine you can tell them what you think, whether or not they happen to be receptive to it...
Althea: Illyvalen makes the whole thing sound so childishly simple...
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "It sounds to me as though she can't comprehend disinterest in someone's romantic advances, nor the idea that someone might refuse to take no for an answer."
Althea: I don't think it's that bad. Though I'll admit that she doesn't always seem like she appreciates some of the differences between platonic and romantic relationships...
Althea: But maybe she's right, in a way. Maybe I'm just making this more complicated than it needs to be...
Edgeworth: Her understanding of interpersonal relationships does seem unusually... er, binary.
Edgeworth frowns. "After all, she reacts to the slightest push away as though it were an expression of rage and hatred."
Althea: She can be a bit sensitive, though I don't think your mannerisms are subtle enough to call that a 'slightest push.'
Edgeworth winces at that.
Althea: And it's not like I've exactly been avoiding Nathaniel, we see each other every day; kind of hard to avoid one's own teammates on a research project.
Althea: But yeah, if I told him in no uncertain terms that I'm just plain not interested and want him to stop... that probably would be the end of it, really.
Edgeworth: In that case, why haven't you? Would it be more harmful to your professional relationship than his continued advances?
Edgeworth: I dread to think what might happen if she joined the police force...
Edgeworth shudders at the thought.
Althea sighs. "Pragmatically speaking, there is almost no good reason for me not to have. I normally try to just ignore such things, but this has gone on long enough to warrant actual reaction and all..."
Althea: It's not fair to him either, I suppose.
Althea: Just that... had circumstances been different, maybe it would have been interesting to see where things might have gone...
Edgeworth looks bewildered at that.
Althea looks up at Edgeworth and laughs sadly. "Is it really so strange a thing to contemplate?"
Edgeworth: ...Honestly, yes.
Althea shakes her head. "The truth is, I don't really know how I feel about him. But it doesn't really matter how I feel; I can't afford to have someone trying to get that close to me..."
Edgeworth: Indeed, I would think it to be rather inconvenient.
Althea: That's... putting it mildly...
Edgeworth frowns. "I suppose your specific situation does make it considerably more so."
Althea: It doesn't help that he's Zil; the culture here makes me more paranoid than usual. But even if he weren't...
Althea sighs. "There are some things I just can't afford to share with anyone..."
Edgeworth: I see...
Althea: ...sorry, I really shouldn't be burdening you with this. Just that, at the moment, you really are the only other person who can understand... the nature of this dilemma...
Edgeworth's expression firms. "Do you expect him to attempt to force the issue?"
Althea: Honestly, I think he'd lose interest once I went back home. That was basically my plan, more or less, to just kind of pretend not to be fully aware of his interest and run out the clock...
Althea: But Illyvalen's sort of right... in a sense... I've basically decided I can't entertain the notion of such interest, so I really should make that explicit rather than let him chase me in vain. It hardly makes for convincing cover if I feign unawareness in one context and admit it in another...
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Agreed."
Althea sighs. "Though even this means lying to him anyway..."
Edgeworth shakes his head. "I'm not equipped to provide counterarguments in this particular debate."
Althea shakes her head. "It's really an inevitability no matter what approach I take. I just regret the necessity, is all. I can't keep my secrets to myself without misleading him about something. It just... would have been a lot simpler if I really didn't like him."
Edgeworth blinks in surprised realization. "Come again?..."
Althea looks over to Edgeworth and shakes her head slightly. "I thought I'd made it clear... I'm not rejecting him because I necessarily want to... I'm rejecting him because I have to..."
Edgeworth: ...I'm sorry to hear that, though I admit that I find it difficult to relate.
Althea: ...can't say I'm surprised to hear that. Kind of funny, actually, Belgiwig had an interpretation of your view on the proper roles of prosecution and defense that made him wonder if you had a significant other. I really didn't figure you for that type, though...
Edgeworth rubs his temple. Do I even dare ask what sort of logic led to such a question?
Edgeworth: Your supposition is correct.
Althea nods. "I... don't want to pry into the painful parts of your past needlessly, so my awareness is limited, but it does strike me that you are someone who doesn't make emotional connections with people very easily."
Althea: Though this "Phoenix Wright" you've mentioned on occasion does sound like something approaching an exception to that rule, perhaps...
Edgeworth glances aside. "That was no simple matter either."
Althea: We're not the type for simple matters generally, it would seem.
Althea: But he is someone you respect, and I would even dare to suggest trust. Especially in the "proper role of the defense."
Edgeworth looks back to Althea and nods. "Indeed; there's no one I'd rather stand across from."
Edgeworth then frowns...
Althea: ...he was not brought up in that context specifically. But yes, Belgiwig's interpretation was that you saw everyone as being imperfect, but the right two people together being capable of achieving a greater perfection.
Edgeworth: That isn't far from the truth, though it ultimately takes more than the efforts of two people alone if humans... er, sorry, sapient beings are to approach perfection.
Althea: Fair enough. The prosecution and defense do seem to be extremely central figures in how you talk about the pursuit of justice and truth, but obviously there is a lot more to a functioning justice system.
Althea: Still, I suspect you can at least appreciate how the impression would have occurred. Abstracting to the greatest possible degree, two people together being more than the sum of what they are apart is a sentiment which people do tend to apply to... other types of unions...
Edgeworth recoils. "That's the last thing I would ask of anyone!"
Althea: I think I impressed that point on him sufficiently, though I think he interpreted your disinterest more like that of an ascetic.
Edgeworth peers at Althea. "It's hardly a matter of denial, though I would imagine such pursuits to be at odds with my work."
Althea: I wouldn't think so. You don't need to hide what you do from a potential partner, and most people manage to have some kind of life outside their chosen vocation.
Althea: Just because it's not something you want to pursue, doesn't mean you couldn't make it work if you were motivated to try.
Edgeworth hmphs. "Those in the Prosecutor's Office who are so attached typically spend time maintaining such attachments that I would frankly rather continue to spend on my job."
Edgeworth yawns and rubs his eyes...
Althea: ...that's pretty much the sense he had, that it was ultimately a question of devotion to your faith.
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "Perhaps it would be, if I ever felt such an attraction to begin with."
Althea shrugs. "I don't know whether to consider you lucky or unlucky on that front. Though I suppose there is little question that it's a blessing to be at peace with who and what you are."
Edgeworth's eye quirks in annoyance at that word choice, but then the overall sentiment causes him to lapse into thought with a grim expression.
Edgeworth: ...As you may have already deduced, that peace was in some respects hard-earned — and now, it's been thrown into turmoil in an entirely new way.
Althea nods. "Even so, I think you will come to terms with the change, and surprisingly quickly, if your progress thus far is any indication."
Edgeworth: For as long as I can remember, I've yearned to take my place in a courtroom. My understanding of that place has changed wildly over time, but that basic fact remained.
Edgeworth looks down at his hand. "This seemed, at first, to be completely different — a mockery of all that I stand for."
Edgeworth half-frowns. "I certainly would never have freely chosen a pursuit of this sort."
Edgeworth lowers his hand and looks back to Althea, resolute. "But aside from needing control of my own situation, I need to know the truth, and to help others understand it as well."
Althea nods. "Most certainly a suitably worthy calling for one of your faith."
Edgeworth hmphs, looking mildly amused.
Edgeworth: "Calling", huh... I would have characterized prosecution as that. Certainly, I fervently wish to return to that particular pursuit, more so than I wish to go home in any literal sense — even considering that Wright is there.
Edgeworth: I find strength in that position in a way I do nowhere else; there's no role I'd rather play in pursuit of the truth.
Edgeworth: I never imagined that I might one day play the role of evidence by my very existence...
Edgeworth's smirk becomes that of a confident challenger. But to remain that alone isn't enough. Though it would be foolhardy to simply declare war on the established society of this place, once I'm certain of what I'm doing, I should be able to contribute to the erosion of the ignorance and superstition that surrounds this force that responds to me.
Edgeworth: Should I be proven wrong in my beliefs, I'm certain that it would be because the truth turns out to be beyond what either side imagined.
Edgeworth taps his temple. Either way, their guilt will be established.