Pleasant linguistic discussions help Edgeworth further wind down from this mildly trying day.

That night, the prosecutor finds himself dreaming vividly again, though the subject this time is at least agreeable enough — finding himself gazing upon an apparent trial in progress back in his world. While nothing is audible and the picture looks as though it's being viewed through some sort of thick, rounded lens, Edgeworth can see himself obviously arguing with Phoenix Wright. The judge steps in as necessary to keep the trial from going out of control, but as always the level of energy involved defaults to being quite high. Witnesses come, are cross-examined, and go; the Edgeworth in the scene is clearly surprised sometimes by things that occur, while other times he's smug and ready to leave Phoenix shocked or sweating.

Quite suddenly, the scene shifts into a brighter and clearer one, as though what came before was only a vision. Edgeworth, now no longer simply a disembodied observer, finds himself just inside the doors of an entirely different, deserted courtroom with a much different atmosphere. To begin with, the woods used for the walls are pale, and the ceiling is comprised of glass suspended between tall arches, letting in something akin to sunlight yet brighter and colder. At each corner of the courtroom is a white marble pillar covered in intricate carvings, and the round depiction of scales behind the judge's bench isn't a seal, but a larger stained glass window.

Edgeworth blinks. "What the...?"
Edgeworth steps forward as his uncertain gaze roams this courtroom...
Edgeworth's expression shows a growing conflict between being awed and disturbed as he passes the witness stand.
Edgeworth looks up once at the spot directly between the defense and prosecution benches, half-frowning to find that while arches meet the beam above at that spot, only a hook is there.
Edgeworth then looks to the prosecution bench, a small almost-smile appearing on his lips as he does so... but then he frowns and looks over to the defense bench with a lonely unease.
Edgeworth shakes his head. Come now, Miles. Haven't you already determined that you aren't alone?
Edgeworth: At least this dream merely has an air of mockery, as opposed to being a vehicle of attack.
Edgeworth continues forward, though glances over his shoulder to glimpse the prosecution bench again longingly.
Althea: Indeed, I think this dream should be fairly safe at this point.
Edgeworth starts and looks around, spinning on his heel at one point, before realizing what's going on and sighing.
Edgeworth: Althea...
Edgeworth rubs his forehead. Do you have any idea why this keeps occurring?
Althea: No. It's not usual for me to see the same person's dreams with this kind of frequency. I'd thought the fact that the dreams of yours I'd witnessed were all nightmares might be significant, but this would seem to weigh against that...
Edgeworth appears irritated. If I only had an idea of where to begin in finding the truth behind something of this nature...
Althea: Perhaps understanding the significance of this dream in particular might help.
Edgeworth shakes his head. It seems to be little more than a reimagining of the courtroom as some sort of... temple. As I'm presumably alone in causing a magical reaction through convictions like my own, so too is this courtroom empty aside from myself.
Althea: Then the differences may be significant to the way the essence of your faith diverges from the mundane realities of your job...
Edgeworth crosses his arms, his gaze lingering on the prosecution bench. Aside from mere appearance, it seems little different from any other empty courtroom to me.
Althea: I know of few courtrooms that would find themselves lit in such a way. Neither the light of the sun, nor the light of Irian, should be at once so bright and so cold...
Edgeworth: Now that you call attention to it, perhaps it is somewhat... literal.
Althea: Is this the light of your truth?
Edgeworth tics at the 'your', but after a moment's hesitation responds, Indeed.
Althea: It seems to hold no comfort for any, save perhaps the hope that one's oppressors might fall to its harshness before one does oneself...
Edgeworth smirks. You'd be wrong. While certainly its direct touch is rarely a comfortable thing, what it leaves in its wake is the opportunity for everything to fall into its proper place.
Althea: Perhaps I'm merely too sensitive to the idea of being seen as an obstacle to such propriety.
Edgeworth: ...
Edgeworth: At times, dogma can be an obstacle to the truth. You've witnessed this for yourself, have you not?
Edgeworth takes an unconscious step closer to the prosecution bench.
Althea: And at times, truth can be a weapon for upholding dogma and furthering intolerance...
Edgeworth glowers. Any truth misused in such a way would be obscuring a greater one!
Althea: Perhaps... but I cannot shake the fear that the truths relentlessly brought to light in a place like this would be as easily used for good or evil once in the hands of those who bear witness to them...
Edgeworth: Hence the law providing more than simply a vehicle by which truth comes to light. It also constrains how people can act on information and provides an alternative to acts of personal vengeance.
Althea: ...perhaps that is the comfort to be had in such coldness...
Edgeworth smirks, even as he returns to staring at the prosecution bench.
Althea: Much of both this and the earlier vision are unfamiliar as well, though the witness dias in particular looked rather strange in the earlier scene...
Edgeworth frowns in mild confusion. How so?
Althea: The design seemed pretty unusual. This 'temple' version has something simplified, but at least slightly familiar...
Althea: Essentially, there doesn't seem to be an actual Eye of Aureon, just the typical dias construction suggestive of one.
Edgeworth: ...?
Althea: ...right. You recall that I mentioned earlier you were likely to learn things that would provide the ability to detect or avert falsehoods?
Edgeworth: Indeed, it would be difficult to forget.
Althea: The Eye of Aureon is an enchanted item that is a standard part of a courtroom. It bears an enchantment that makes it difficult for one within its field of influence to lie, and particularly to lie convincingly.
Edgeworth stares at, or perhaps through, the witness stand at those words.
Edgeworth: That would render cross-examinations far less recognizable...
Edgeworth: Stranger still, I have the distinct impression that should I remain in this world and pursue this path for very long, the ability to affect an entire room with such an enchantment would come to me.
Althea: That is correct. That's a domain spell for you if we're correct, so it will probably come somewhat easier than many.
Edgeworth: To feel so confident of something without evidence is a rather troubling sensation.
Althea: You will have evidence in due course.
Althea: Moreover, if the sensation stands out, that should make recognizing when a realization is intuitive or divinatory that much easier, should it not?
Edgeworth: Indeed, this has already eased my progress to some extent. I merely don't wish to become reliant on methods that don't involve proof — or worse still, come to trust myself above the evidence.
Edgeworth shudders.
Althea: All the more reason to learn well and understand it for what it is.
Edgeworth nods firmly. Indeed — if I must be touched by such a force, I refuse to let it cloud my judgment!
Edgeworth turns back to the prosecution bench yet again. On the subject of sensations that stand out, the draw of my station is stronger here.
Althea: Unsurprising. And yet, would taking it be wise while the defense's station remains empty?
Edgeworth: Were there anything in the room to be judged, certainly not. As it stands, however, the matter is unclear.
Althea: I suppose I cannot advise you.
Althea: Perhaps you should see what else is a part of this 'temple'.
Edgeworth seems surprised by this suggestion, but nods reluctantly. I suppose you have a point.
Edgeworth heads to the double doors at the entrance and begins to raise his hand to push them open... but hesitates.
Althea: ...if you don't believe you should, then you should try to figure out why.
Edgeworth tries to reach for the doors again, but winces. It feels akin to when Dil claimed that the only way to escape my newfound condition would be to abandon those beliefs I most deeply cherish.
Althea: ...then perhaps beyond these doors is a place where this light does not shine...
Edgeworth glares at the doors. Were that even possible, could I not correct such a thing?
Althea: You can share the truth, but you cannot convert the whole world to your faith...
Edgeworth: Others need not think identically to participate; indeed, if they did, what debate would arise?
Althea: Would they not then come in, and take the other stations?
Edgeworth considers this for a moment, one finger rising to his temple.
Althea: I don't know for certain how best to interpret the imagery here, but there are various ways such symbolism could reflect the underlying realities.
Edgeworth: I've already concluded that while in this world I may be alone in bearing this share of the burden of truth, I'm far from alone in bearing a share of it at all. It's a common thing in the courtroom for us to learn that the full truth of a matter is beyond what either side imagined.
Althea: Still, this is the place where you would see truth coming to light in such debate...
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. A place as yet unknown to most. In such a context, is it so strange that I would be alone here from that perspective as well?
Althea: Not at this time, no. But it does not preclude that it is more proper to wait here for others to discover it. Leaving it could be symbolic of any number of things, from seeking outside voices to expanding the scope of your faith to leaving it behind...
Edgeworth shudders again as the possibility of leaving is brought back up. My impression is that it would entail leaving my "faith" and the vital duties it encompasses behind.
Althea: That did seem likely based on your earlier impression.
Edgeworth turns away from the door. Anything I must do must be centered here.
Althea: Then the meaningful confines of what to explore in this dream are clear.
Edgeworth looks up at the judge's bench with a frown. One station in particular strikes me as having an aspect no one could perform in this context.
Althea: You do not believe anyone could judge your arguments fairly and objectively?
Edgeworth: Certainly people have the capacity to learn. However, could anyone possibly hand down a decisive verdict?
Althea: It would no doubt depend on the scope of the particular matter in question, and whether sufficiently decisive evidence is presented, would it not?
Althea: Surely you would not try to decide the whole truth of all divinity with a single case?
Edgeworth: Heh... Certainly not.
Althea: Though it is true enough that neither I, nor Dil, nor Belgiwig, would be particularly inclined to be decisive in our judgments on such matters...
Althea: Still, would it not be better for such matters for the one with such a role to be difficult to convince, lest something less than the truth suffice?
Edgeworth: Not necessarily. The best judge I've ever known was of such an open mind that he might have appeared dangerously easy to convince.
Althea: Perhaps we will simply have to see who steps forward when the time comes.
Edgeworth takes a step forward, still looking up at the judge's bench. Other aspects of the role are far more easily within a person's reach, however — most notably, that of the mediator.
Edgeworth: Given the strength of the convictions involved, that would be a crucial role.
Althea: Indeed.
Edgeworth's motion begins veering towards the prosecution bench again...
Edgeworth pauses once he reaches the cords dividing its area from the central one. It's strange — here, to do anything less than continue towards that place where my strength emerges feels akin to defying gravity.
Althea: There are times when such defiance may be requisite... but I suspect that this is not such a time.
Edgeworth unhooks one of the lines in order to step past it, then turns to put it back in place. Indeed, such moments are rare.
Edgeworth strides with contained eagerness to a centrally-located spot behind the prosecution bench, then turns to face the center of the room, standing straight with his arms at his sides. One could almost swear that the difference between him and the room vanished in that moment.
Edgeworth takes a deep breath through his nose, exhaling similarly. Though his face is impassive, there's a glint in his steely eyes that Althea might recognize from the moment when he spoke of his place in the world of justice and the reasons why it takes the form it does.
Edgeworth suddenly inhales sharply as his eyes pop wide, then drift closed. He tilts his head back ever so slightly, and his cravat and bangs begin to flutter gently as though caught in a light wind from below...

A pale blue light plays over the cravat; when it fades, it's suddenly possessed of a faint, shifting iridescence despite a lack of glossiness. Next, a set of white beads appears wrapped around his left wrist in a similar blue glow, followed immediately by a large version of his badge appearing between two large beads. Beneath that, a sheathed shortsword then appears at his waist, made of a dark-colored metal if the crossguard and pommel are any indication. Light then travels along the edges of his suit, leaving trails of small golden runes behind; simultaneously, a charcoal grey cape matching his vest "grows" from around his shoulders to a length that would hang down to his knees if it weren't caught in the mysterious breeze. A thin burgundy headband appears around his head in a similar manner, then at last a pair of wireframe glasses appear in place. Once the "wind" dies down, Edgeworth looks forward again with a confident smirk.

Althea: Shall this then be the guise of the divine prosecutor?
Edgeworth: In due time.
Edgeworth's voice, too, rings with confidence.


Suddenly, Edgeworth's awareness snaps to being stretched out on a bed in a dark room with a light gasp.

Edgeworth is briefly disoriented, momentarily unsure whether he just woke up or just passed out...
Edgeworth rolls over and shakes his head. Once more, I find myself astounded that the role of dreams in my life seems to have been turned upside-down.
Edgeworth: How can a place from a dream, one that doesn't literally, physically exist, be so profoundly real?
Edgeworth puts his hand on his chest...
Edgeworth: Is that where I must be each dawn?... No, there must be more to it than that, given the dangers of that "echo" and Dil's insistence that I must venture "beyond myself".
Edgeworth raises his other finger to his temple, even while remaining on his back. Yet even as far as I ventured in my investigation yesterday, there is truth in the notion that I cannot be separated from my ideals so easily — indeed, my mentor tried, yet only managed to mostly bury them.
Edgeworth shifts to a sitting position on the edge of the bed. Perhaps that place could be likened to a tent, brought with me no matter where I might go.
Edgeworth: Given that apparently no one has come to awaken me yet, it will undoubtedly be some time before dawn — yet if yesterday can be taken as an example, it might be more productive to begin my next attempt as soon as possible rather than attempting to return to sleep.
Edgeworth stretches, then begins to dress himself.

Once Edgeworth finishes making himself decent, he fetches a glass of water, then takes advantage of the light in the hallway outside of his room to write in his organizer about his still-vivid dream. Near the end of his efforts at recording his thoughts, the prosecutor shakes his head...

Edgeworth: Certainly I've changed considerably if I can find something true about myself in a mere personal symbol — or indeed, recognize my encounter with such a thing at all.
Edgeworth writes a bit more, then puts his organizer and pen away.
Edgeworth puts his finger to his temple. In any case, I should give due consideration to how precisely I intend to refine my efforts prior to beginning my next effort. After all, in this form of investigation, quiet observation is critical; planning ahead is thus even more important than ever before, and consideration of what I've observed must come only afterward if I'm to retain focus and avoid simply seeing my own expectations.
Edgeworth: Perhaps once I've found a suitably still, unbiased point along the connections that already exist, that symbol properly deployed would serve as a beacon? That would be consistent with the requirement for focus on my beliefs, the need to be acting from "outside", and the need to avoid force.
Edgeworth frowns. However, that approach wouldn't be without risk of simply crashing back down to myself under the force of my own echo.
Edgeworth shakes his head. Listen to yourself, Miles. What have you become?...
Edgeworth: Just two weeks ago, such concepts would have been unthinkable!
Edgeworth holds his forehead in the fingers of one hand. Even if I am applying logic, it's to entirely subjective so-called "evidence".
Edgeworth: And yet... it is objectively true that this power touching me is real. I've channeled energy through myself through mere conviction, drawn unlearned knowledge into my mind that others verified, and wielded a healing device in a way that defies any other explanation.
Edgeworth: Furthermore, I've found myself in a world where what I supposedly have the potential to do has demonstrable reality; in mere hours, it grew obvious that some people here are capable of wielding forces unknown where I'm from...
Edgeworth turns his head aside and grips his elbow. ...or rather, nearly so.
Edgeworth: ...The reward for this would allegedly be the acquisition of further objective proof, would it not? How am I to learn the full extent of the truth if I don't face the possibility that despite how absurd the matter may appear, this may in fact work?
Edgeworth releases his elbow and sighs deeply. Once more into the breach.

After taking a moment to write down his thoughts concerning the methodology he intends to try, Edgeworth returns to his room, locks the door behind him, opens the shades of his window, then stands straight and tall in the middle of his room, allowing his eyes to drift closed...


Three hours later, dawn breaks... and Althea is suddenly struck rather forcefully by the mental image of Edgeworth crying out and staggering, clutching his head as he stumbles to his knees, then finally curling up on the ground.

Althea tumbles out of bed and struggles for a moment to get untangled from bedsheets and get her bearings, before bolting out of the room before Tikra can comment on the manner of her awakening.

A mad dash through the city and a breathless, frantic exchange with the troubled yet confused clerk at the front desk later, Althea makes it to Edgeworth's room with a key to it in hand.

Althea contains her worry sufficiently to at least knock quickly before making use of the key, but hurries to open the door after barely any opportunity for a response.
Edgeworth is huddled on the floor in something very close to the fetal position, save that he's tightly clutching his head as though it would explode were he to release his pressure on it. He doesn't seem cognizant of Althea's arrival, instead simply continuing to whimper.
Althea: Edgeworth? Can you hear me?
Edgeworth winces at Althea's words and whimpers a little louder, as though he'd been shouted at rather than simply spoken to with concern.
Althea kneels and looks over Edgeworth carefully before standing and pulling the window shades closed.
Althea turns back to Edgeworth and speaks much more quietly. "I will be right back, I'm going to get some help."
Althea quickly leaves, closing the door behind her quietly.

After an absence of about five minutes, Althea returns to the room, closing the door again but leaving it unlocked.

Edgeworth's trembling and whimpering have marginally subsided thanks to the room having been mostly dark for a few minutes.
Althea returns to near Edgeworth, keeping an eye on him and speaking very quietly. "Fortunately, it seems my hurried departure worried Tikra enough for her to follow me here; I sent her to get Illyvalen. I'm afraid she has no talents at magical healing, but her expertise at more mundane care exceeds mine."
Edgeworth: Mm-mm-mm...
Edgeworth seems unable to muster any more coherent acknowledgement than that.


After a little over half an hour, Illyvalen and Tikra quietly make their way into the room, the latter wearing a dark hooded cloak.

Illyvalen hurries over to the fallen Edgeworth, examining him carefully.
Edgeworth has settled down by this point, though he's still wide-eyed, curled up on the floor, and clutching his head. His breathing is heavy.
Illyvalen keeps her voice low. "You seem to be unharmed physically... How do you feel?"
Edgeworth: ...too much...
Illyvalen: The first time's usually a bit rough.
Edgeworth nods weakly, still holding his head tightly.
Althea: Mm, you're fortunate to be this aware so soon afterward.
Illyvalen: Do you want help getting to your bed?
Edgeworth looks around with an unfocused gaze as Althea speaks again, but manages to settle his gaze on the up-close-and-personal Illyvalen once she asks her question.
Edgeworth seems to take a moment to process the question, but then nods slightly.
Illyvalen looks over at Althea and Tikra, then back to Edgeworth. "Hmmm. I don't think we can lift you. Do you think you can move a little if I help you to position?"
Edgeworth briefly hesitates, then nods.
Illyvalen starts pulling Edgeworth out of his current position...
Edgeworth struggles not to curl back up, though not with much success...
Illyvalen stops after a moment. "I'm going to need help with this, Althea."
Althea nods and starts to stand up, only to lose her balance, knocking both herself and the chair over. After a moment, she sheepishly responds. "Uh, maybe you'd better ask Tikra right now."
Illyvalen: Um, what?
Tikra steps over to assist Illyvalen.
Illyvalen and Tikra manage to carefully maneuver Edgeworth onto his hands and knees, and begin guiding him toward the bed.

While Edgeworth slowly crawls to the edge of his bed, Althea manages to regain her balance and upright the chair. As Illyvalen and Tikra work to lift the prosecutor enough to get his arms onto the edge, the kobold's strength falters and it's all she can manage to not drop him. Althea quickly responds to the forthcoming call for assistance, and together the three of them manage to finally get both of his arms onto the top of the bed's edge.

Edgeworth manages to pull himself rather clumsily onto the bed, bumping against the wall from the force of his effort. He yelps slightly from that shock, but at least doesn't seem to have hurt himself further.
Edgeworth rolls into the bed's center, shuddering.

The three non-humans simply lean against the edge of the bed for a couple minutes to recover from the exertion, breathing heavily.

Edgeworth is hugging a pillow and huddled again by the time the three diminutive scholars recover, though he at least isn't clutching his head again.
Illyvalen stands and looks over Edgeworth again. "I'm going to see about getting him some soup. At least one of you should get back to the Library and explain what's up."
Althea sighs slightly. "Under the circumstances, perhaps that had best be me, if you don't mind keeping watch here... Really sorry to impose..."
Tikra: You need not concern yourself. You carry great enough burdens already.
Illyvalen: We'll be fine, don't worry.


Tikra stands watch over Edgeworth as Althea heads back to her duties at the Library and Illyvalen seeks out the wait staff to see about preparing some food. After the better part of an otherwise uneventful hour, a table and a hot bowl of soup are delivered to Edgeworth's room.

Edgeworth is somewhat calmer by the time the soup arrives, though still far too brain-broken to even think of voicing gratitude to the staff unprompted.
Edgeworth manages to sit up, then stares at the bowl of soup on the table before him for a moment before taking the spoon and beginning to eat.
Illyvalen returns shortly thereafter, thanking the wait staff before approaching Edgeworth.
Edgeworth swallows a spoonful of soup before looking to the gnome, though any expression he might have conveyed takes a back seat to a haunted look.
Illyvalen: Do not worry about anything for now, we will remain as long as needed.
Edgeworth nods numbly. "...Thank you."
Edgeworth waits for a moment, then returns his attention to eating the soup before him.

Over the course of the next several minutes, the physical nourishment and routine task involved in eating the soup further contribute to Edgeworth's recovery. By the time he finishes, his eyes are noticably starting to clarify.

Illyvalen: Are you feeling better?
Edgeworth rubs his forehead. "No; however, I'm growing coherent."
Edgeworth: Did I... do something wrong?
Illyvalen shakes her head. "No. It's usually like this. What tends to vary is how easily people recover."
Edgeworth musters something vaguely resembling a glare. "Surely you don't expect me to believe that people go through this every day."
Illyvalen: Of course not. It's just people's first time that tends to be like this.
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Then what's the difference?"
Illyvalen: That I cannot say. You might ask Althea or someone at the Archive.
Edgeworth appears irritated, then huffs in frustration.
Edgeworth then thinks to check his watch.
Edgeworth pulls himself to his feet, using the table as leverage. "Dil must be wondering where I am."
Edgeworth finds himself leaning on the table with one hand while he raises his other to his forehead. "Nngh..."
Illyvalen: Do not push yourself too hard. Are you ready to speak Common again?
Edgeworth winces in deepening frustration, then reluctantly seats himself on the edge of the bed.
Edgeworth: I believe so.
Illyvalen: Good. I feel kind of bad about having to exclude Tikra from everything here.
Tikra: You need not worry on my account.
Illyvalen: Althea might have mentioned something, but I don't really know. Do you want me to go find out?
Edgeworth: It would be most appreciated.
Illyvalen nods. "If you need anything, let Tikra know. I'll be back shortly."
Edgeworth nods slowly. "Thank you."
Illyvalen quietly heads out the door.
Edgeworth looks over to the hooded figure with the familiar voice. "A pity that I'm in no condition to challenge you again."
Tikra: There will be time for such things later. Rest and regain your strength.
Edgeworth looks aside sourly. "Why must matters have come to this?"
Edgeworth shakes his head, then takes a moment to untie and remove his shoes.
Tikra: Such a question may have no answers, or at least mostly hollow ones. One can only weather the trials one faces and strive not to lose hope.
Edgeworth lies in the bed, moves the pillow back where it belongs, and pulls up the sheets. "As things stand, all that I hope to gain is evidence."
Tikra shakes her head. "If that is what is valuable to you, you should pursue it."
Edgeworth fixes Tikra with as serious an expression as he can manage through his pain and lingering dizziness. "It most certainly is."
Edgeworth: Yet I'm not certain what this morning's events are evidence of — greatness, or madness.