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Flawless Achievement (Manfred Focus;1-4)[1/19][YIKES!]Topic%20Title
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Hey guys! It’s me again; I know, I just finished a fanfic, but I just couldn’t wait to start another, so here I am again! This one is very, very different from the ones I’ve written before (ie, no shipping). But I hope you guys will like it!

Title: Flawless Achievement
Author: Cae
Rating: I can’t say for sure, but probably more towards PG-13. If you can deal with the language and the violence in-game, than this fanfic is a piece of cake :welly:
Character Focus: Manfred von Karma
Status: Incomplete (this one will be a doozy! Amount of chapters will be in the teens, if not twenty, I’m guessing. I’ll hopefully update regularly)
Summary: This is Manfred’s story: his life; his dreams; and his faults—while trying to achieve perfection

This fanfic will have MAJOR spoilers for 1-4. I also have never read that one booklet that talked about the characters and their families in more detail. The only thing I know about the von Karma family that isn’t presented in-game is the fact that Manfred has another, older daughter who has a (presumably) little girl. So if I’m writing information that is contradictory to facts shown out-of-game, then I don’t know it, and I’m not going to change it (unless it’s for my benefit)

I know my “presentation” of Manfred may not be very well received, but I wanted his story to be as non-cliché as possible, so you’ll have to forgive my, er, different interpretation. I am also not trained in psychology, so some things that I say that happened and caused this effect may be… not so realistic, but I don’t know; you’ll have to see for yourself.

Okay, let’s get going! From the beginning!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter One: Humble Beginnings


“The famous actress, Giselle van Muria, was acquitted of charges of drug abuse, thanks to the efforts of Hansel Gorv, Richard von Kar—” the television was promptly shut off of Anya Hauptonn.
“No need to hear about that,” Manfred Hauptonn’s mother muttered. Fifteen-year-old Manfred sighed and concentrated on his homework instead of trying to tune out by watching TV. Even the at the very mention of my papa, she turns the television off, Manfred thought bitterly. His father, a well-to-do attorney Richard von Karma, had left Manfred and his mother, Anya Hauptonn, when Manfred was only a couple years old. Richard also took along with him Manfred’s only older brother, Johann von Karma, who was only three years older than Manfred. Due to schooling, Manfred was forced to see Johann every day, but they rarely conversed. Manfred had insisted on using his mother’s maiden name as his own in order to prevent peers from bringing up the possibility of him and Johann being related because of similar last names.

Manfred was always fearful of his papa, and was also beginning to feel bitter about Richard leaving his mother and him. Whenever Manfred caught glimpses of his father on the news, there was always a shiver that went up his spine. Something about Richard’s demeanor was very frightening and demanded respect.

As Manfred began to finish his math homework, a question that he had been pondering in his mind for a long time finally came out through words.

“Mama, why did Papa leave us?” Manfred asked. Anya was a professor of law at one of the more prestigious universities around Frankfurt, Germany and apparently fell in love with Richard during their college years. Anya hesitated as she was busy cooking dinner; she was trying to think of the best way to answer her young son’s question.
“Your father… I suppose he couldn’t deal with the notion of “family” and thought that he’d have to leave it all behind. He wasn’t exactly the most “mature” man,” Anya replied. Manfred bit his tongue before asking a more pertinent question. It was going to seem insulting to his mother, but he’d have to ask it.
“But why… did he take Johann with him… and not me?” Manfred finally had the courage to ask. This time, Anya completely took her attention off of her food and faced Manfred.

I don’t want to hurt him with the truth
It’s too painful and unfair…


“I don’t know, dear; your papa was indeed an idiot to have left you behind,” Anya responded sweetly, choosing her words carefully. Manfred narrowed his eyes toward his mother as he saw her quickly go back to her cooking.
“It’s because he thought I was worthless; isn’t that right?” Manfred demanded. Anya dropped her spoon; the clatter it made on the floor seemed louder than usual, due to the dead silence that hung in the air. Anya slowly crouched down to pick up the spoon, not daring to make eye-contact with Manfred.
“Of–of course not, dear. That’s preposterous,” Anya replied with little conviction. The way her soft eyes were darting back and forth anxiously said it all to Manfred; so his hypothesis was correct. Manfred turned back to his homework, not wanting to stress out his mother any further. She already had a lot on her plate; with a middle-school-aged son who didn’t have many promising prospects except reading, writing, and speaking and having to work at a pretentious university with many apathetic students and jeering professors.

Meanwhile, Johann apparently was doing exceptionally well at school. Manfred had eavesdropped on his conversations and time and time again, Johann had said to his cohorts that he might become a writer or a scientist, but Richard was pushing for something with law. However, Manfred had seen him in some of his classes; Johann was nothing but a complaisant robot. While Manfred had gotten in trouble in school plenty of times because of speaking out of turn and picking arguments with students (which Manfred swore to his mother were simply “passionate debates”), Johann never crossed anyone and didn’t have an opinion about anything. However, grades speak louder than personality, and each day, Manfred realized that his father was probably happy that he picked the “right son”, despite the fact that Manfred possibly had more potential at becoming an attorney than Johann did.

But Manfred was still unsure of what he wanted to be. Part of him wanted to prove his worth to his papa; if he could somehow show his potential as a law student to him, then maybe his father would regret in taking Johann. Yet Manfred wasn’t sure if he wanted to follow in the same footsteps his father did.

“Don’t worry, Mama; someday, I’ll make Papa regret in not taking me instead,” Manfred said aloud. “Someday, I’ll make him proud.” Anya mentally sighed and pasted a fake smile on her face.

I wish he wouldn’t worry so much about his father.
I hope Richard will never fully enter into his life


Anya walked over to Manfred and kissed his forehead.
“That doesn’t matter, Manfred; you’ll always make me proud.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, there’s chapter one! Hopefully I introduced the scene well enough. I know it’s slightly obvious what will happen… but there are a few things that will probably surprise you! Don’t know when the next update will be, but I hope in the meantime, you guys enjoy this!
Constructive criticism and comments always appreciated!
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Last edited by Caelestis on Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:14 am, edited 7 times in total.
Re: Flawless Achievement (Manfred Focus; Spoils 1-4)Topic%20Title

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You seem to be off to a good start here. I always found it a shame that the games never really developed Manfred more and that he was just the final boss you were supposed to beat without much explanation for why he did the things he did besides a need for "perfection" which is glossed over rather superficially. I'll be sure to keep an eye on this. :)
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Re: Flawless Achievement (Manfred Focus; Spoils 1-4)Topic%20Title
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Sorry, haven’t posted in forever but too many complications and a dose of writer’s block. Hopefully, I’ll be a little bit more regular with postings…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Two: Extroversion


Conversations about Manfred’s father were never brought up that evening during dinner. Instead, however, Manfred’s troubles at school were.

“Manfred, Herr Khanstein has expressed concern over your difficulties with algebra. He says that you have been arguing with him over the… formulas?” Anya raised an eyebrow as she chewed her dinner. Manfred scowled—not towards his mother, but at the thought of his algebra teacher.

Foolish Herr Khanstein! Worrying my mother with these plights!

“Algebra–psh. When will I be asked to explain the quadratic formula? Or how to solve a parabola? Those skills are useless, Mama,” Manfred grumbled. Anya sighed softly. She supposed her son was never the type that could be that easily passionate about something like ‘math’.
“That may be true, but universities look at your grades in all subjects, dear. Besides, what is this over arguing over formulas? Math is concrete; it’s not as if you can change a repeating pattern,” Anya replied, folding her arms in slight, almost mock, disproval. She wanted Manfred to do well, but she had to admit that it took a very unique person to stand up to a math teacher and argue formulas. An obstinate person, but perhaps a strong-willed person, nevertheless.

Manfred slightly rolled his eyes, hoping his mother wouldn’t reprimand him for the breech of etiquette and respect.

“If that’s true, then those universities should look at what is truly important in life. They shouldn’t only be checking whether a student can input numbers into a formula and get an answer; life isn’t about inputting numbers to see what comes out, and to make sure that answer is what it should be. It’s about inputting a variety of expectations, desires, and preparation for an answer that isn’t absolute and has the power to change from person to person. It’s about living with that answer and to keep on pushing until the desired answer is reached. And besides,” Manfred took a deep breath. His mother was watching him with a mixture of derision, pride, and interest; an interesting combination, nevertheless. “I argue with Herr Khanstein because if life isn’t so concrete and absolute, with things that can easily be manipulated and changed to a completely different resolution, why should algebra be that way?” Manfred finished, catching up on his dinner. Anya shook her head.

“That may be true,” she began, trying to keep herself from laughing aloud. “But let’s try to keep the arguments to a minimum. I’d like you to finish your school year,” Anya ended seriously, showing her more demanding outward demeanor that she could never show in front of the taunting professors that taught at the same university she taught at, lest she be reported and fired. Anya was always a little curious about where her dear son learned to be so… extroverted and opinionated. She never showed her extroverted conduct that often, and Richard wasn’t in his life. Perhaps some things children learned naturally… or they learned out of pure necessity and survival in order to survive a harsh, cruel environment that was not kind to the weak. Anya desperately hoped that Manfred wasn’t hiding a concealed weakness that was covered with his outspoken conduct. Her little Manfred did seem so fragile sometimes, yet as he grew older, he seemed unbreakable. And even though his grades told a different story, he did seem intelligent enough to get through.

“I did hear something good from Frau Lauder; she said your passion with words, whether spoken or written, have brought your into a level entirely different from that of a fifteen-year-old. I have to say that I agree,” Anya complimented, regarding to Manfred’s speech about life not being so concrete. Her son grinned, a rare treat for her.
“I suppose I learn it from the best,” Manfred replied. Anya smiled.

I’ve tried to be a good mother
But I’ll never know whether I should’ve tried harder or not.
I’ve planted the seed—right now, I must step back and watch him grow
Yet it’s so difficult to not step in and trim the branches


~*~*~*~


Manfred tiredly trudged upstairs. A few of his friends were probably out—if not with their newfound girlfriends, then somewhere different. While Manfred thrived on the time-efficient, almost perfect, routine, the thought of excitement still plagued his thoughts. However, he was not amicable enough, nor was he willing, to get a girlfriend, and he didn’t want to cause his mother more unnecessary worry. Although Manfred knew he was far from the “perfect child”, he tried whatever means he could to keep his mother at peace, even if that meant sacrificing some of his wants. The only reason he kept up with his “passionate debates” at school was so he could still have some sanity and show his personality without completely hiding who he was. He was outspoken, opinionated, and apathetic towards what people thought of him—but was that truly him? Manfred swept this concern from his mind.

Of course it is! Would I really disguise my heart like that?
Maybe if you felt threatened…


Manfred shook his head to keep from debating himself.

Life had never been kind to his mother. The love of her life left her for whatever inane reason, and while she was oh-so passionate about law, having to teach it at that crazy University of Frankfurt with the elitist teachers and the students who shouldn’t even be there was putting a toll on his poor Mama. She deserved more respect than she gained; Anya earned a slightly lower paycheck than everyone and she never complained. She also silently put up with the treatment she was given and tried so hard to not get on anyone’s bad side. But this was much easier said than done; it seemed impossible to not offend anyone at that pretentious school. Manfred figured that if you had to put up with such hate, you might as well stand up for yourself. But alas, his mother would never dream of doing something like that. She was far too considerate and complaisant—almost like Johann, Manfred thought disgustedly.

Manfred didn’t know exactly why the professors at the school jeered at his mother so much. He supposed it was because of the prejudice against women whose husbands left them alone and had to raise their child (or children) on their own with seemingly no regrets. But it wasn’t as if it was the 1900’s; and yet, the prejudice lived on. Manfred saw no reason to be sexist; his mother was providing for him as best she could with little reward, was that not good enough? Apparently, some still believed it wasn’t.

He did feel sorry for his mama. It was difficult to see her suffer internally from the pressure and jeering. Manfred knew fully well she had to ability to stand for herself, but it was as if she had no strength or maybe even a desire to do so. He felt that maybe by standing up for himself now, he could make up for his mother’s lack of strength.

But what about his father? Manfred wasn’t sure what to think anymore. Did the man who left him and his mother deserve any respect, whatsoever? Probably not. Yet, he had this feeling that something could be resolved if he proved his father who the better son was. Revenge; that was what he was feeling. He wanted revenge for his father thinking he knew what was best for himself; revenge for his father hurting his mother so much. Revenge.

In the meantime, however, Manfred needed to focus on helping his mother. Anya’s stress was not going to go away anytime soon and Manfred somehow felt responsible for it. As he lay in bed that night, trying to sleep with hopes of a better tomorrow, one thought raced through his mind.

I promise to be a perfect son…
I promise to be perfect for Mama…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Well, hopefully this was worth the wait! I have an idea for next chapter in the making. Basically, I have the whole story already planned out; I just need to flesh out the details. I don’t want this story moving super quickly. Since I seem to be one of the few (if not the only one) who has done something like this, I want to try to leave no stone unturned, if that’s even possible. So criticism (and dare I say compliments? :edgy: ) is welcome. I know my writing style is quite flawed (which is rather ironic, considering who I’m writing about, lol) with grammar mistakes and a confusing mix of symbolism and philosophy, but that’s what you guys can help me with!

Also, before I forget, please, please, please, please, PLEASE forgive my ignorance of German culture. I realized that I know absolutely nothing about their schooling system. I couldn’t remember if they did ‘grades’ (like how the US does first grade, second grade, etc.) more like the French way I learned about (ie counting up and opposite of US) or a completely different way. I’ll research that later. Oh, and I have no idea if there’s a University of Frankfurt. I could’ve sworn I saw someone writing a fic with von Karmas in it use Frankfurt as a city, so I kinda stole that idea, lol. I wasn’t creative enough to make up a German sounding university (and let’s not even go into the fact that I know nothing about the German language) and since they’re living in Frankfurt… I figured having a university named after it would sound more “pretentious” lol.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: Flawless Achievement (Manfred Focus; Spoils 1-4)Topic%20Title
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My son is bored. Care to play with him?

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Boy, I've been away from the Testimony section far too long! I like what you have here. It's always a challenge fleshing out Manfred's character, but so far I think you're doing a good job of it and that's the most important thing. Details about locales are of secondary importance. My next chapter in Treasure in the Abyss attempts to flesh out Manfred a little too, though not on this scale. Please believe me when I say that I have a completed version of it almost ready to post but a factor beyond my control has delayed its release. I promise that I will post it as soon as the delaying factor has spent itself. :nick-sweat: Incidentally, I have yet to find anything to which I object in your portrayal of Germany so far. When you do research the culture and whatnot, it might help to keep in mind that at this point in Manfred's life, we're looking at the 1960s (if memory serves).
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Hey! I did a very minimal amount of “research” about German schooling; I’m not going to totally explain everything that has to happen for German students that are around 8th (or 9th) grade, so I know enough to provide the minimal amount of correct “lingo”. Again, excuse my ignorance.

Gregory Wright wrote:
Boy, I've been away from the Testimony section far too long! I like what you have here. It's always a challenge fleshing out Manfred's character, but so far I think you're doing a good job of it and that's the most important thing. Details about locales are of secondary importance. My next chapter in Treasure in the Abyss attempts to flesh out Manfred a little too, though not on this scale. Please believe me when I say that I have a completed version of it almost ready to post but a factor beyond my control has delayed its release. I promise that I will post it as soon as the delaying factor has spent itself. :nick-sweat: Incidentally, I have yet to find anything to which I object in your portrayal of Germany so far. When you do research the culture and whatnot, it might help to keep in mind that at this point in Manfred's life, we're looking at the 1960s (if memory serves).


Long time no see! :edgy:
I'm glad you think I'm doing well. It is quite a challenge because I'm trying to do something totally unique. I mean, majority believe that Manfred probably had a childhood where his father was a perfectionist and forced him to become one, as well, etc. etc. But I realized that that was Franziska's story, not Manfred's. I also considered him living with his father, who would be a defense attorney, but that was Miles's story. I then realized something about Manfred that I always thought was interesting: even though he did prize Miles as his prodige, he also did it to more of an extent with Franziska. I mean, with some people like Manfred (well, I don't know anyone like Manfred, but you get the point), usually they can be a little sexist when it comes to these things. Manfred didn't seem like he was like that; so I decided to have that part exist with his mother.

I cannot wait for you to put up the next chapter :will: I eagerly await for it!

And now for my next chapter...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Three: Bottled Anger


School was never that exciting for Manfred. The days seemed to just stroll by him; unless of course, someone was idiotic enough to attempt to get into some sort of debate with the passionate boy. However, he hoped for once to have an easier day. His thoughts of last night prevented him from getting a full night’s rest and he hoped to go by today with ease: no fighting, no problems, and no brothers. Even though Johann avoided Manfred at all costs and never even acknowledged his presence, somehow this lack of attention (and perhaps ignorance of Manfred’s presence) angered Manfred. But today, instead of giving him the evil eye whenever Manfred passed by his brother, he was going to politely ignore him.

Johann was in tenth grade at the school; next year, he could move on to an apprenticeship with, predictably, his father. Manfred was always curious about why his brother wasn’t in a more prestigious ‘high school’ where he could apply for a university; if he hadn’t even tried to apply for one now, surely Richard von Karma would be pulling some strings to get his prized son into a university in the future. How that could happen, Manfred wasn’t sure.

“Hey, Manny!” a rough German voice suddenly disturbed Manfred. He turned his head to see a friend: Deter van Koff. The students had about ten minutes before class would officially begin. The tall, buff guy caught up to Manfred as the two walked to their classroom. Deter had a glorious mop of mahogany hair that swept over his brow. His eyes held a sort of charm that could make girls squeal.
“Deter, how many times have I told you? Stop calling me that ridiculous nickname and simply use my Christian name!” Manfred retorted tiredly to the greeting. Deter would do anything to rile Manfred up, but since he was the first to be willing to concede to Manfred in some argument, the two became friends. Deter and Manfred were similar in some ways in that both were exceptionally loud and opinionated (Deter being much less so than Manfred); however, Deter had a girlfriend, was willing to concede in a debate if the situation looked hopeless, and also had a penchant for getting into more trouble than Manfred, but for different reasons. Deter was more into ‘physically’ fighting rather than ‘verbally’. However, Manfred could see that Deter was actually quite brilliant, when he decided to put his mind to the task at hand, and Manfred respected him for it.

“Aw, come on! You need to have a nickname so that if you ever meet a lady friend, you can automatically have a special name she can call you,” Deter winked. Manfred rolled his eyes. Ever since Deter started dating Lacina a week ago, he would not stop bragging. Even though Deter was something of a flirt, he started falling for Lacina, a strong woman who at first waved Deter off until she found his mix of charms, brilliance, and strength likable.
“Where’s Wagner?” Manfred groaned, hoping to shush Deter from speaking about his recent ‘escapades’ with Lacina.
“Over here, Manfred,” a quiet voice floated in the air. A rather short, timid young man walked over towards Deter and Manfred. His hair was short and was a shiny blonde. His mouse-like eyes didn’t miss anything, and could be rather intimidating if you stared too long at him.
“Waggy! Good to see you, again!” Deter exclaimed. Manfred decided to refrain from reminding Deter that the three of them had last seen each other yesterday. Wagner raised an eyebrow.
“I’m sorry Dettie, but I believe you have mispronounced my name. If you need your memory refreshed, it’s Wag-nerr,” Wagner quietly retorted, over-enunciating the ‘g’ and ‘er’. Manfred chuckled. Wagner was a relatively quiet person who was very introverted and only spoke in a more ‘familiar’ and ‘friendly’ setting. Because of his short size, he was also subject to much bullying. Manfred normally wouldn’t give him the time of day, except for the fact that he did usually have something good to say—if you gave him the chance and if you could hear him.

Deter huffed jokingly. “You two just don’t understand that my advice can help you!” he replied.
“Deter, for the last time: we don’t need your girl advice!” Manfred groaned. He was suddenly tired with his friend’s conceitedness and wanted to change subjects.
“Wagner, have you heard anything about Johann?” Manfred asked. A benefit to Wagner’s size was that he was able to get all the juicy information that helped the little trio in the past. Deter was surprisingly quiet at the mention of Manfred’s brother. Both knew that Manfred never usually had anything nice to say about Johann; and Wagner probably wouldn’t be giving any nice news.
“N-no. I haven’t heard anything,” Wagner stammered. Manfred heaved a sigh.
“Could you try to find out about what his father plans to have him do for his future?” Manfred demanded, refusing to tie Richard as his father. Given it was the end of the year, Manfred couldn’t understand why Johann didn’t seem to be applying for a university.
“Have you forgotten that I only learn my information by hearing, not asking? I can’t exactly go up to Johann and inquire him myself!” Wagner complained.
“Fine, just be sure to tell me if you hear any mention of it,” Manfred compromised.
“I know. I always tell you everything I hear; every nauseating detail,” Wagner mumbled. Algebra class started.

For once, Manfred complaisantly listened to Herr Khanstein and didn’t argue the formulas; he seemed to have lost the strength to. However, it was during break time that things went downhill.

“Hey, Manfred! Did you lose your voice or have you admitted defeat to Herr Khanstein?” one of the annoying kids, Konrad, said to Manfred. He gritted his teeth; he never liked having his pride at stake.
“No, I—” Manfred was about to explain. Deter and Wagner watched him carefully.
“Well, it’s obvious that you haven’t lost your voice. Looks like the Great Manfred has admitted defeat!” Konrad began to laugh, hoping for some back-up from others. A few in the class chuckled, but most of the bigwigs in the school seemed to find their never ending snacks and incomprehension of today’s math lesson more important.

“You really are a fool, Konrad,” Manfred replied. He didn’t even want to give this loser the respect of hearing one of his ‘tantrums’. This angered Konrad.
“Oh yeah? You know what I think about—this?” Konrad was reaching for something to rile up the calm Manfred. He found Manfred’s math homework and ripped it to pieces. This annoyed Manfred, but not as much as it could.
“Congratulations, Fool. You ripped up my homework, even though I only did two problems,” Manfred said with monotone. Konrad bit his tongue in anger. He suddenly smiled, though.

“Well… I bet your mom could help you. Oh, wait, she works, doesn’t she? I bet her paycheck is nothing to brag about!” Manfred whirled around, his eyes on fire.
“Don’t you dare…!” he said, his teeth gritting as he spoke each word. Konrad grinned, finally getting the fish at the end of his line.
“I can say whatever the heck I want! I bet she—” Konrad stopped mid-sentence as Manfred suddenly slapped him, even though it was actually lightly. Konrad reeled back in surprise then suddenly punched Manfred in the stomach. Manfred then kicked Konrad where it hurt and the whole class was suddenly cheering. Deter was trying to get Manfred out of the way, however the principal came first. Konrad and Manfred were both at the office.

~*~*~*~


“Manfred, please tell me you have an explanation…” Anya said tiredly, her head in her hands. She had gotten a migraine because of today and it only intensified when she heard about Manfred’s fight. Manfred bit his tongue and found his shoes more interesting. He tried speaking, but ended up sounding incoherent.

“I… was trying… protect you… teasing you… tried to keep calm… couldn’t do it…” Manfred mumbled. Anya closed her eyes.

Oh, what should I do?
What would the good parent do in this situation?


“Manfred, is it true that you hit first?” Anya asked. Silence. She couldn’t take it anymore.

“Manfred, you can’t keep having these fights happen! It will go on your record and… and…” Anya was starting to become exasperated and was fuming. “And what kind of career path could you take!? Are you even thinking about your future, Manfred? I can’t keep bailing you out of these and I can’t keep having stress in these areas!” Manfred stiffened as he took all this in.

I’ve never seen her this angry before…!
I really blew it this time…


“I’m sorry…” Manfred murmured.
“Well…! I hope so! Could you please, for once, remain quiet and complaisant—”
“Like Johann?” Manfred interrupted. Anya was breathing quite hard, trying to calm herself down. She couldn’t remember the last time she had blown her temper like this. But hearing her son’s meek voice…
“No, no. You can be… strong for your mother… just do it in silence. After all, you do have the right to remain silent,” Anya said calmly, rubbing her son’s shoulder affectionately. Manfred nodded, trotting to his room.

Perfect son… Must attain perfection for Mother….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This chapter was going to go in a different direction at first, but I decided that it wouldn’t show Manfred’s growth enough. I wanted readers to see what a more or less average day for Manfred was then see him do something differently. Hopefully I achieved that. So this is an apology for the rather awkward chapter.

Because I rewrote this chapter, I have the next one almost completed, so it should go up soon, as long as I don’t have to worry about double posting. In any case, thanks for the reviews! :karma:
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Re: Flawless Achievement (Manfred Focus; Spoils 1-4)Topic%20Title

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You have a very interesting take on Manfred. I like the way you're building on his character by giving him a logical development into the perfection obsessed psycho we see in 1-4. Keep it up. :)
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Mia_Fey wrote:
You have a very interesting take on Manfred. I like the way you're building on his character by giving him a logical development into the perfection obsessed psycho we see in 1-4. Keep it up. :)


Thanks! It's about to get very crazy, I must warn you. This and the next chapter are probably going to become the last 'normal' chapters for awhile... :karma: Thanks for staying so faithful, by the way. If I had any artistic ability, I'd draw a lovely Iris/Nick or Apollo/Vera (or even Manfred :karma: ) fanart, but I can't. Hopefully this next chapter is worth it. Oh, that and a cookie :cookie:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Four: Silence


The son and mother barely exchanged words during breakfast the next day. Both were trying hard not to irk the other in hopes of maintaining peace; however, it seemed that the effect was simply nothing more than silence. Manfred rubbed his bruised arm that was covered by his longer-sleeved shirt, despite the fact that it was warmer this time of year. He didn’t want to show the others his ‘Badge of Weakness’ as they called it. At least this time he didn’t get a black eye…

I mustn’t get into any fights today… no matter what

Unfortunately, Manfred realized that this would be much easier said than done. Hopefully, no one would attempt to face him off today.

“Have a good day at school, dear,” Anya called as Manfred mumbled good-byes and left to walk to school.

And please, Manfred; stay out of trouble…

~*~*~*~


“Manfred, I heard from Fabio that he’s looking to pick a fight with you,” Wagner mentioned. Manfred inwardly groaned; this was exactly what he was hoping to avoid. It was the first break of the day; he had been able to avoid getting into a fight with Konrad after Algebra class, but now it looked like his peaceful day was about to be ruined.
“What kind of fight? If it’s a fist-fight, I’ll take him on for you, Manfred! I mean, no offense, but you’re not exactly a ‘fist-fighting’ kind of guy, as was proven yesterday,” Deter exclaimed, unaware of Manfred’s evil stare. “I’ll be like Mercutio; fighting in your, Romeo’s, place against Tybalt!” Deter said in mock heroism.

Didn’t Tybalt kill Mercutio?
Only to be slain by Romeo!?
This isn’t a good comparison at all!
Though, it is rather ironic…


“No, Deter, this is a debate, as we all know Manfred loves so much,” Wagner sighed and rolled his eyes. Of course, even most verbal arguments with Manfred inevitably ended up becoming physical, as was seen the day before. And unfortunately, Fabio was a rather large guy. “I think the broad topic is… the ‘s’ word,” Wagner continued uneasily. Manfred stiffened and narrowed his eyes. Even Deter became quiet.

Sexism

“Is Fabio looking for a death sentence…?” Deter surprisingly whispered.
That is a broad topic, Wagner,” Manfred gritted his teeth, his face contorting as he spoke. “What exactly is Fabio focusing on?”
“…Single mothers,” Wagner mumbled. “And I would expect him to mention… you know, your mother,” Manfred clenched his hands into fists.

Idiot! I will not hold back the hell’s fury that Fabio is about to get!
Yet I promised I would get through the end of the year without problems.
But am I not protecting my mother by defending her?
What would the perfect son do?


“I can’t do it,” Manfred suddenly replied. His friends jumped in surprise.
“You must be joking,” Deter gasped. Manfred only shook his head.
“Manfred, in all of the years I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you backing out of a fight,” Wagner responded seriously. Manfred shrugged in reply.
“I don’t want to stress my mother any more than I already have. She wasn’t happy yesterday—at all,” Manfred said emotionlessly, inwardly shivering as he remembered his mother’s tantrum.

“Are you even thinking about your future!?”

“When does Fabio intend to start this ‘argument’?” Manfred choked out his words.
“At the break time after European History,” Wagner informed him. Manfred crinkled his eyebrows together in thought.

That’s right before German class, and towards the end of the day.
I wonder why he chose that time?


“Are we doing something special in German class today?” Manfred asked, trying to remember. Deter raised an eyebrow and looked at him dumbly.
“How could you forget? Today is when our teams present our argument against animal testing!” Deter explained. Manfred wanted to slap himself for his stupidity.

And Fabio is on the opposing team; pro-animal testing. The team who wins the debate gets extra credit.
Of course: he wants me to get into trouble and be in the principal’s office so that our team will lack a strong offense for their argument.
He thinks his team will have a better chance of winning that way!


“Well, I now have another good reason to not engage him,” Manfred mumbled. “It seems that he intends for me to not be able to participate in our class discussion today.”
“Ah, that Fabio; I suppose his size does match his cleverness,” Wagner sighed. “Do you think you’ll be able to calm your temper?” Manfred cast his eyes downward towards his desk.
“For my mother’s sake, I hope so.”

~*~*~*~


The good thing about having Wagner around to get the latest information was that Manfred could be prepared for the worst. During History class, he kept going through his head all of the witty comebacks he could make and try to stay out of trouble. But no matter what scenario he created, he always ended up having he and Fabio engage in a fist-fight. He simply couldn’t devise a way for him to win the argument and remain unscarred. So by the time History class ended, Manfred could feel his heart beating quicker than it usually did when he knew a debate was about to occur. The words of his mother suddenly echoed in his mind.

You can be strong for your mother…
Just do it in silence


“Hello Manfred,” a deep baritone voice growled from behind. Manfred glanced behind him. Fabio was indeed one of the more ‘bigwigs’ at the school. He was loud, obnoxious, and most importantly, prejudiced. The most flawed person at the school, in Manfred’s mind.

“Hello Fabio,” Manfred mumbled and went back to studying his notes for the upcoming debate in his German class. He wasn’t sure why he felt optimistic enough to think that he’d get out of this encounter without missing German class; Manfred felt that Fabio was probably thinking the exact same thing.

“Ready for next class’s debate? It’s going to be a riot, I tell ya,” Fabio said with derision. Manfred bit his tongue. He noticed Deter give some sort of secret communication to Wagner and moved his seat to a table next to Manfred.
“Indeed,” was all he said. Manfred refused to look at the large man, but if he did, he would have seen Fabio smile in such an evil way.
“How’s your mama?” Fabio said, a little awkwardly. Manfred visibly stiffened, but refused to let the sudden anger (and even fear) come into his voice.
“Fine,” he answered. So far, so good…

“How’s her work?” Fabio was stepping into dangerous waters. But that was exactly what he wanted to do.
“Going well. Stressful, but whose work isn’t stressful?” Manfred clipped. He didn’t want to give the bully a reason to mock his mother.
“Pity she can’t see you except during the weekend and evenings,” Fabio answered with mock sincerity. Manfred kept quiet “Those teachers at the university aren’t always so kind to women like her.” Silence. “I wonder how long it will be until the stress just tears her weak will apart?” Manfred’s hand tensed around his pencil. He was gripping it so hard, he thought he’d break it in two. Yet… silence. “I mean, by spending all her days working with no man to guide her… and raise you at the same time? Must be some feat, I tell you.”
“Indeed,” Manfred said, standing up, “my mother has a will of iron. She’s strong enough to go through oppression and it’s obvious that she’s raised me well; calm and sincere.” Instead of facing Fabio, Manfred began to walk to the pencil sharpener. “However, I do feel bad for your mother; I’m sure she’d be willing to have a job of her own, yet having to deal with you must be like having three careers.” Manfred could hear the anger in Fabio’s breathing. He still didn’t look behind him as he patiently sharpened his pencil. Manfred heard steps behind him, then a sudden thump.

He looked behind him to see Fabio on the floor with Deter’s long leg outstretched. Deter gave some sort of a, “See?-I-told-you-I’d-save-you!” look that Mercutio would have had, if Tybalt hadn’t killed him first. Fabio, however, did not look amused, and picked himself off the floor. His eyes looked furious as he began to reel his hand back for a punch in Deter’s direction. However, Frau Lauder’s time couldn’t be more impeccable.

“Fabio, would you kindly walk down to the principal’s office and explain there what you were about to do to poor Deter?” her voice cut through the room like silver; smooth and hard. Fabio seemed to shake under her presence.
“Yes ma’am.” He walked to the office without saying a word; however, Manfred was the only one who caught the look of revenge in his eyes. He only smiled.

I’d like to see you try…

~*~*~*~


“I…” Anya was almost flabbergasted. Her own son resisted fighting today? As Manfred told her about the day’s events, she found herself tongue-tied. “Thank you, Manfred,” was all she was able to say. Manfred grinned proudly. He was happy that he made his mother glad. Happy that she had him instead of Johann. “Just keep this up, and you’ll be able to get through school soon enough!” his mother laughed.

“I hope so,” Manfred mumbled. Anya seemed more optimistic than he felt. There was still his brother to deal with. Even though Johann did nothing wrong except remain silent, Manfred somehow had a feeling that that action deserved some sort of punishment…

Maybe Wagner will have the info I’ll need tomorrow…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All right, hope you enjoyed this chapter! And don’t worry; I’ll have a perfectly good explanation of how Manfred changes from this to the psycho maniac we all know and love (though that last verb may be debatable, lol). Be prepared, though; not necessarily starting next chapter, but definitely the chapter after that will be one heck of a ride! Things will really start to heat up…
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Yay for cookies and updates! It was a good chapter. I really like how you're handling Manfred's background. You're making me feel some sympathy for him and causing me to bond with him which is more difficult to do then it sounds considering how he comes off to me in the game. Keep it up. :edgy:
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I love this! I think I may have an inkling of how things will start heating up, but of course I'm not sure. I look forward to seeing how events unfold here, but in the meantime the suspense is delightful. Take however much time you need, but by all means keep going.
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Edit: comments to people's comments at bottom

This chapter is going to be much shorter than usual. I kind of wanted to get it over with and get on with what I consider more interesting plot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Five: Sometimes the Grass isn’t Greener


It took a couple of weeks for Manfred to hear any news about his brother. Every day, he asked Wagner for information, and everyday Wagner could only shake his head. Inwardly, Manfred believed that Wagner wasn’t trying hard enough; however, he knew the reality of the situation.

Meanwhile, however, something special was happening at his school; for the first time, the school was providing tests for students of any grade to take, to see if the students could go to a more prestigious high school that would allow them to go to universities. Normally, if Manfred graduated from his current high school, he would only be able to become an apprentice to someone; however, by passing this exam and going on to a different high school, he had a chance to get into a university in order to study writing, sciences… even law.

This testing was very new, but all the same, it raised a buzz among the students. Manfred was hoping to prove his worth—to whom, he couldn’t quite name. Therefore, he, Deter, and Wagner all studied very hard every day after school. Usually, the boys would study at Manfred’s home, since it was much quieter and there would be no siblings. However, Wagner and Manfred found it difficult to concentrate whenever Deter van Koff would call Lacina; he wouldn’t stop talking to her in his sweet, cutie-pie voice that was rather embarrassing.

“When something makes you sick, it’s usually the Koff,” Wagner whispered to Manfred during one of their daily studies. Manfred had to clamp his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing. One day, though, Wagner discovered a little bit of information.

“Sounds like Richard already knew about this “testing” that’s going to happen. I guess he has high hopes for Johann to pass the test and get into the high school as an 11th grader, and go one from there. Johann sounds stressed about it. Richard really wants him to study law and inherit his firm for defending,” Wagner informed Manfred. He chewed over this bit of info for a moment.
“Strange. Why didn’t Richard just get Johann into this prestigious high school in the beginning?” Manfred wondered aloud. Wagner thought for a moment.
“My guess is that Johann wasn’t intelligent enough to either get in, or do well in the classes. In order to prevent embarrassment on his name, Richard probably had Johann go to this medium school, have him look like he did well, and get in later,” Wagner explained. Manfred sighed.

Wow… real crafty…

~*~*~*~


The day of testing finally arrived. Manfred was stressed out of his mind. He wanted to do the test perfectly—or at least, pass it. Everyone at school was too preoccupied with testing to try to get into some fight with Manfred. Even Deter was quieter than usual.

Manfred tried to calm his nerves as his pencil wrote on the paper. He made sure to study his math book faithfully to make sure he wouldn’t make any stupid mistakes.

“Universities look at your grades in all subjects, dear.”

Manfred wanted to make his mama proud. Besides being eligible for the high school, students were also given a scholarship to afford going there; Manfred knew his mother would appreciate the money. He even decided that he wanted to do something law—maybe not be a defense attorney, but something along the lines of it. Politics seemed equally pleasing; there were many possibilities. No more was he going to have to prove to his father that he was the better son; it wouldn’t even matter anymore. Manfred Hauptmonn was going to become his own person.

~*~*~*~


The results were finally in: Manfred, Wagner, and Deter all huddled over their letters that dictated whether or not they passed. After reading their letters, the boys met up with each other to discuss their results.

“I-I made it!” Manfred huffed. He had never felt this proud before; he was on his way to accomplishing his dream. Wagner’s eyes lit up.
“Really!? I made it, too!” Wagner said excitedly. He almost never got enthusiastic about anything; however, this was different. Deter’s eyes became downcast.
“Well, you two have fun at that high school… make sure my darling Lacina doesn’t get into trouble… looks like I’m just going to have to stay here… by myself…” he sniffed. Manfred’s heart tore in two—their trio wasn’t complete without Deter.
“Deter… no… are you serious?” Wagner asked in disbelief, his eyes surprisingly sad. He took the letter from Deter’s hands; his face turned from one of melancholy to sudden annoyance. Deter’s face lit up in a cocky grin. “Deter!” Wagner cried in annoyance throwing the letter towards him. Deter chuckled.
“Hah! You guys can’t get rid of me that easily! Looks like we’ll be in this together!” Deter said. Manfred grinned.

Together—always!

~*~*~*~


“Oh, Manfred!” Anya cried in happiness. She hugged her son affectionately as she held onto the letter. “You have no idea how proud you’ve made me!” Manfred was simply glowing.

I guess I’ve done my part as a parent…
I can only hope that he will take these lessons to heart.


“Mama, I hope that you don’t mind that I will probably leer a little farther from the path of law and try to steer towards politics,” Manfred mentioned. Anya smiled.
“Whatever you choose to do, whether it be politician, lawyer, doctor, mathematician, or even artist, I will support you,” Anya replied.

~*~*~*~


“Manfred, have you heard!?” Wagner was shockingly chatting. Manfred raised an eyebrow; even Deter took a pause toward the new, more gossipy Wagner.
“Probably not, since it seems like it’s the first that you’ve heard of it…” Manfred trailed. Wagner’s eyes were impossibly wide.
“Johann didn’t pass!”

Everyone was silent. Manfred’s eyes became buggy.

I-I… What!?

“Man, I wonder what his papa thought…” Deter said quietly. Wagner turned to face him.
“He’s not happy, I can tell you that. Johann had the look of someone before they’re about to be executed. I believe he thought that his papa might kill him,” Wagner continued. Manfred remained silent. Somehow, he almost pitied his brother.
“Does he know that I made it?” Manfred asked quietly.
“Not as far as I know. He didn’t mention you. Then again, he doesn’t have anyone like me to scout out for information, either,” Wagner replied, a smile creeping up to his lips. Manfred remained emotionless.

“Anyway, who’s excited that we have just three more days of school?” Deter asked. It was Friday; next Wednesday, the boys would be free from school for the summer.
“Yeah, but we’re going to have to work extra hard this summer to make sure we’re ready for next year,” Manfred commented. Deter shrugged.
“Aw, come on! Summer’s for relaxing; stop being such a bookworm!” Deter teased. Manfred only rolled his eyes.
“I want to work hard and make sure I do well; that means I’m taking my work seriously and no fooling around,” Manfred answered.
“No fooling around? Okay, what happened to our “Debates-over-formulas” Manfred that I knew?” Deter asked jokingly.
“Ah, lay it off, Deter,” Wagner piped in. “Let’s just get through this weekend and the last three days, and we’ll be all set, all right?” The trio nodded and separated at the end of the day. Manfred walked home; his mother was going to be home a little earlier, apparently, and he wanted to tell her the news about Johann.

However, he never got the chance to.

When he walked through the door, he knew something was wrong. The house was unusually silent and a disturbing odor filled the rooms. Manfred walked slowly, scared.

Something’s not right…

“Mama!” he called. Suddenly, he thought he heard pattering of feet. He dropped his book bag and began to run toward the noise—towards the kitchen. It was there that he saw the most disturbing image that would be burned into his mind for the rest of his life.

Anya was lying on the floor; face down, a gunshot wound visible on her left shoulder—right where the heart would be. Blood had stopped pooling beneath her lifeless figure. And standing over her, holding lightly onto a gun, was a bloody-shirted Johann, who looked just as dumbfounded and confused as Manfred was, if not more. Manfred could see the absolute fear in his eyes.

Anya was dead. And Manfred thought he knew who was responsible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, so I lied about the short part. I wasn’t sure whether to put in that last part, but I didn’t know how to end it, so I decided that it would be a good cliff hanger. This was the crazy part I was talking about. I realized that it’s starting to sound too much like Miles’s story, so I’m sorry for the unoriginality, but I hope that you enjoy it, nevertheless!

Mia_Fey wrote:
Yay for cookies and updates! It was a good chapter. I really like how you're handling Manfred's background. You're making me feel some sympathy for him and causing me to bond with him which is more difficult to do then it sounds considering how he comes off to me in the game. Keep it up. :edgy:


Excellant! That's exactly what I'm aiming for :edgy: I hope you don't mind how slightly... "crazy" things might get. I thought, "Hey, for a crazy maniac, he probably had a crazy life, right?" :karma:

Gregory Wright wrote:
I love this! I think I may have an inkling of how things will start heating up, but of course I'm not sure. I look forward to seeing how events unfold here, but in the meantime the suspense is delightful. Take however much time you need, but by all means keep going.


Yay! I'm glad you're enjoying it and reading! You get a cookie, too :cookie: After this chapter, you'll have to tell me rather you saw it coming or if you were surprised :garyuu: I kinda need to take my time on this one, but hopefully I can plan better. :keiko:
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Here we have another nice chapter. Transitions like this are often hard to cover and you're doing a fine job. I can't say I truly predicted the murder, but it immediately clicked when Manfred noticed something strange at home. "Aha! Anya's dead. He'll find her corpse." I expected something nasty to happen to either Anya or Manfred himself, but Johann's involvement caught me off guard. I was expecting Fabio to strike the blow. He seemed quite bent on revenge and had probably learned how best to hurt Manfred--through his mother. Johann's motives are still a little unclear to me at this point--assuming that he is indeed the one who killed her--but I imagine that will all become clear eventually. It sets Manfred up nicely for the role of vengeful and cynical prosecutor, that's for certain. Witnessing the death of one close relative at the hands of another would definitely push one very hard in a pessimistic, bitter direction. Personally, I see nothing wrong with Manfred having a traumatic story similar to that which afflicts Miles. It would supply a sense of soul kinship which would allow Miles to trust Manfred enough to look up to him as mentor. Such a similarity of past experience might well be necessary early on.
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Gregory Wright wrote:
Here we have another nice chapter. Transitions like this are often hard to cover and you're doing a fine job. I can't say I truly predicted the murder, but it immediately clicked when Manfred noticed something strange at home. "Aha! Anya's dead. He'll find her corpse." I expected something nasty to happen to either Anya or Manfred himself, but Johann's involvement caught me off guard. I was expecting Fabio to strike the blow. He seemed quite bent on revenge and had probably learned how best to hurt Manfred--through his mother. Johann's motives are still a little unclear to me at this point--assuming that he is indeed the one who killed her--but I imagine that will all become clear eventually. It sets Manfred up nicely for the role of vengeful and cynical prosecutor, that's for certain. Witnessing the death of one close relative at the hands of another would definitely push one very hard in a pessimistic, bitter direction. Personally, I see nothing wrong with Manfred having a traumatic story similar to that which afflicts Miles. It would supply a sense of soul kinship which would allow Miles to trust Manfred enough to look up to him as mentor. Such a similarity of past experience might well be necessary early on.


Ah, transitions weren't always my strong point. I'm glad it seems like I'm doing well.
Yes, I knew that it would be an obvious clue when he knew something was wrong.
I think I'm starting to agree with you about Miles and Manfred. I had thought about that, too, when I realized the similar stories I was writing. I think when I write the chapter about Manfred's decision about taking Miles as his own, it's going to be one heck of a ride into Manfred's psyche :karma: ooh, I can't wait!
Don’t worry; I have a good reason for everything. Honestly, I kind of forgot about Fabio :oops: He was one of those useful characters that I needed in the moment, so you might not hear from him again… let’s just say he didn’t pass that test :edgy:
There was a specific reason why I needed Johann for this… all will be revealed soon… :karma:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Six: Conviction and Certainty


“You! You did this!” Manfred shouted. Johann’s frightened eyes met Manfred and he was trying to speak. All that came out was a squeak. Manfred took this chance to dial the police on the home phone.

“Wait! Manfred! I swear, I didn’t do—” Johann found his voice and started to beg. However, Manfred was faster; he was already connected to the police.
“Please state your emergency,” the dispatcher asked. Manfred’s vocal chords seemed constricted for a moment. His brother’s pleading and fearful eyes; his mother on the kitchen floor; the impatient dispatcher who was waiting for an answer…
“M-my mother has been shot by my bro—by Johann von Karma,” Manfred kept his voice steady, refusing to associate this murderer as his brother. Johann, still unknowingly clutching the gun, moved towards Manfred.

“Please, Manfred! Get off the phone! Let me explain…” Johann was getting closer. Manfred, his mind taking this as a threat, backed away, clutching the phone. “I just came in to talk to Mama… I found her like this and I accidentally picked up the gun… I swear!” Johann was slowly trying to grab the phone away from the petrified Manfred.
“She’s not your mother! She was never yours! She was always MY Mama!” Manfred shrieked. “You’ll pay for this, Johann! Were you jealous of me, huh? Realized that maybe he took the wrong son!? And what do you do? In your hatred, you take the only thing closest to me! How dare you! What did I ever do to you? What did she ever do to you!?” Manfred threw the phone towards the floor as the dispatcher cried out, “Is everything all right? Hello?”

Manfred roughly grabbed Johann’s wrist that held the gun and put it to his own head. “Go ahead. Pull it. Isn’t that what you came to do? Make it so Richard couldn’t change his mind? Well, it doesn’t matter! You’re touching the gun—as long as the police see your fingerprints, they’ll think this was all first-degree!” Manfred pushed the barrel closer to his head; Johann looked scared out of his wits. “Do you know what two charges of murder do on your record? Guess not; you were never good with law, were you?” Manfred’s eyes were ablaze, but suddenly, his eyes became duller. He glanced at his mother on the floor and let go of his brother’s wrist. Johann tripped backwards and fell on the floor. Manfred fell on his knees and onto the floor, passing out from shock.

~*~*~*~


Manfred was dreaming—he did not know how he knew this, but somehow he did. He was floating in a strange ethereal world, seeing events with no control over them. He watched Johann see the result of his failure; he saw Richard’s angry words toward his meek son; he saw the mysterious assailant that gave Anya one shot with no mercy. She was clutching something—a small little figurine of an owl that Manfred gave to her as a present a long time ago. Was she holding onto it before she died? It didn’t matter—it was only a dream. But even though Manfred felt that he didn’t have control over the events that were passing, somehow he wasn’t invisible. The mysterious assailant raised the gun, pointing it at him, and pulled the trigger—

Can I really end like this!?

Manfred woke up with a start, trying to catch his breath. He was in a hospital bed. The lights were too bright, the whirring noises of everyday bustle were too loud, and the bed was too hard. For the first time, Manfred realized how… imperfect everything was.

“Ah, Manfred,” a doctor with a chart waltzed up to his bed. “You’ve awoken.”

I must be surrounded by geniuses.
…Wait, Johann!


“Did… did the police catch—”
“Don’t worry; the police have Mr. Johann von Karma in custody. The force is looking at the scene and interrogating as we speak. When you feel better, the police wanted to talk to you. Apparently, the case is in dire need of witnesses…” the chatty doctor interrupted.

There were no witnesses…?
Perhaps I must enact justice under my own terms…
For Mama…


“However, I know it must have been awfully difficult for you, so whenever you are up to it, just let me know. Take all the time you need to recover,” the doctor continued. Manfred nodded; one thing was troubling him, though.
“Who will be my guardian? Is a judge going to decide?” Manfred asked. The doctor looked at him in surprise.
“Well, there really is nothing to debate about. It’s going to be your father,” the doctor answered. Manfred became petrified.

Anyone but him!

“Really?” Manfred asked meekly. The doctor shrugged.
“Well, custody of a minor usually goes to the closest, or nearest, relative. And you can get much closer than your own father, can you?” Manfred didn’t respond.

~*~*~*~


“Hello. My name is Nicholas Farnings. I will be the prosecutor for von Karma vs. State. And this is my right-hand, Detective Ulrich Jhans,” Mr. Farnings introduced himself and the detective curtly.
“Hey there,” the detective greeted. He was quite an imposing individual; not someone Manfred wanted to get on his bad side. Manfred was in an interrogation room, trying to figure out what he was going to say.
“Pleasure,” Manfred responded.

I must be the perfect witness so that I can help create a perfect case…
I know who did it—but I can’t have these flaws ruin my justice.
This will be quick, painless… and perfect.


Manfred wanted the case to be tidy and spotless. He didn’t want an ugly case on his hands. So the night before, he secretly went through all the evidence found on the scene to coincide with his “testimony”.

“According to our sources… you saw the events that transpired on June 5th?” Mr. Farnings asked. Manfred hesitated before answering.

I am certain of what happened…
I must sound that certain


“Yes,” Manfred replied. He explained what he believed—what he knew—happened. “Will this help you make a… perfect case against Johann?” Manfred asked after he finished “testifying”. Detective Jhans was writing in his little notepad.
“Hopefully. But know that cases are never perfect, Manfred,” Mr. Farnings answered him. Manfred smiled—almost evilly, one could say.
“Oh, don’t worry; I know this one will be.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to quickly look at the characteristics of Manfred that we see in the game that I’m trying to explain.

»His extroversion and strong will
»His love of law/debates
»His anti-sexist tendencies
»His desires for revenge
»His need for perfection
»His pride and aspiration for a perfect record

Just to let ya’ll know, the point of this event was to greatly transform Manfred into the absolute perfectionist that we’ve seen. He slowly went through this process in the beginning, but this jumpstarted it. Also, he truly does believe that Johann killed Anya—he’s certain of it, which is why he wants to do everything he can to prove it. I wasn’t sure if I was clear about that. However, it is fair to say that his “desires for revenge” also are blinding his judgment on this case. Basically, he hasn’t quite gotten to his stage of “pride and aspiration for a perfect record” yet. I know I’m probably making more sense to myself than anybody else, but hopefully this little, weird paragraph helped… somehow… :oops:
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Nicely handled. I apologize for not reviewing the last chapter before you updated (I always try to keep up with reviewing the stories that I'm reading), so this review covers both chapters. You are right that in a small way this seems to follow a bit closely to Edgeworth's story, but it has enough differences in it to keep it interesting. I feel bad for both boys and you've set the framework nicely for Manfred's transition into the man he becomes.
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This is most excellent. As a von Karma, I approve of this fanfic! Image

I personally can see how murder of one's family can change someone...of course, it wouldn't just have to be a family member...a loved one would work. Oops...better not let too much out for my own story...eh heh...
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The standard of excellence is once again upheld. I read this chapter a little while ago, but apparently forgot to comment. The explanatory paragraph at the end was nice but unnecessary in my opinion. You tell the story just that well. It's fascinating to watch his more cold, calculating aspects emerge. Feeling he can't trust the authorities to bring justice to the situation...suspecting that he has to take justice into his own hands...I've felt that way myself sometimes, though not toward the police per se. The temptation is indeed strong to frame such a case so as to give yourself unfair leverage, especially if you have talent for that. Good work--keep it up.
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Wow, haven’t responded in forever! Sorry everyone! Replies to comments below!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Seven: A Perfect Trial


Manfred sat on one of the couches in the lobby, waiting impatiently for the trial to begin. He could see his brother across the room with his defense attorney; a middle-aged man with little experience and even littler conviction. He looked like he was simply going through a routine; he didn’t even care about his client. Johann looked frightened out of his mind. He was begging to his attorney and at one point screamed for his father.

Fool. Your “father” isn’t here to help you
He gave up on you a long time ago…


Somehow, Manfred almost pitied the murderer; the man Johann had come to rely on since birth had abandoned him when he needed him most.

Richard is an attorney, isn’t he…?
Why isn’t he defending his son?


Not that Manfred cared… right? He wanted it like this; Johann would be convicted more quickly this way. But each passing moment, Manfred became more uncertain. He hated his uncertainty.

“Hey, Manfred,” a voice called out. Manfred turned to see the tall, lanky man in a classy black suit and some sort of napkin that replaced a tie.
“Good morning, Mr. Farnings,” Manfred greeted the prosecutor. “Um, if I may ask… what is that?” Manfred pointed to the napkin that had a black jewel encrusted into it. Mr. Farnings chuckled.
“Oh, this? It’s called a cravat. It shows classiness and wealth… shows everybody that you mean business,” the good-humored man explained. Manfred nodded and stared at this cravat; he was almost entranced by its certain… what did Mr. Farnings say? Classiness.

“So, do you remember what you’re going to testify? Your testimony is the focal point of our case,” Mr. Farnings asked. Manfred scowled.
“Of course I remember. I won’t make a mistake; I promise,” Manfred replied, a little coldly. Mr. Farnings only chuckled in reply.
“Don’t be so worried; the judge is overall a kind man. He’ll understand,” Mr. Farnings said. Before Manfred could reply, the bailiff began to shout toward the duo.
“Will the prosecutor and witness please report to the courtroom immediately!” the bailiff shouted. Manfred gave the man a scowl and followed Mr. Farnings into the courtroom.

This is it, Johann.
It’s Judgment Time.


~*~*~*~


The judge whacked his gavel three times so that the onlookers would quiet down. Manfred looked up into the balconies and almost gasped—he saw his father. Manfred couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen his father face-to-face; he’d only seen him recently in newspapers or the television. But here he was now, looking as nonchalant and calm as he always had in the pictures…

Maybe he trusts this attorney to give his son an acquittal.

“This is the trial of von Karma vs. State. Since the defendant has pleaded ‘Not Guilty’, we will have this trial here today. Are the respective men of law prepared?” the judge’s booming voice swept over the court room. He had a sort of authoritative air about him that made even Manfred sit up straight to listen. There wasn’t even a single audible intake of air as the judge spoke.

This man speaks with power and authority…
I doubt that there are many judges like him


“The Prosecution is ready, your Honor,” Mr. Farnings spoke in a clear voice that seemed to stab the very air itself. He sounded so confident… so sure of himself. Yet he also seemed to be at peace; there was no hint of nervousness in his voice.

The defense, however, was another story.

“Th-the Defense is ready, your Honor!” the attorney lightly stuttered. His voice fell incredibly flat against the powerful booming of the judge and prosecutor.

“Very well. Will the Prosecution begin with his opening statement?” the judge continued. Mr. Farnings nodded in reply.

“The Prosecution is prepared to prove that on June Eleventh, Johann von Karma had walked into the home of Anya Hauptmonn with the intent of murder. He shot Ms. Hauptmonn once from the back straight to the heart. We have a the victim’s son as a conclusive witness and decisive evidence to back-up this claim,” Mr. Farnings explained with pausing. The judge nodded in acceptance.

“Will the Prosecution please present its first witness?” the judge demanded.
“Of course. I call up the detective who was in charge of the case.” Mr. Jhans carefully made his way through the desks and reached the witness stand. He seemed much more burlier than Manfred remembered. “Your name and occupation, please?” Mr. Farnings continued.
“The name’s Ulrich Jhans. I’m the Chief Detective at the precinct and head of this investigation,” Mr. Jhans answered.
“Your testimony?” Mr. Farnings asked. Mr. Jhans nodded; it seemed to Manfred as if the two men were almost like old friends; it was a relationship that was deeper than the professional “detective and prosecutor” pair.

“We have ample evidence that the defendant committed first-degree murder against the victim. The murder weapon, a pistol, is covered with the defendant’s fingerprints. Also, when he was arrested, his shirt was covered with the victim’s blood. We have a witness who saw the whole thing. Finally, we have a clear motive that inhibits first-degree,” the detective testified. It seemed so… flawless.

“Well, that is a very clear, concise testimony. Would you please give the weapon, the bullet found on the victim, and the defendant’s shirt to the court as evidence?” the judge asked. Mr. Jhans nodded and delivered the evidence. “Will the defense commence the cross-examination?”

I don’t even see a point in conducting such formalities…

However, the attorney only nodded and scanned the court record.

“I assume the bullet found in the victim’s left shoulder underwent testing. What were the results?” the attorney finally pressed. Mr. Jhans only grinned.
“You must be wondering about the ballistic markings, correct? The bullet found matches the ballistic markings on the pistol that has the defendant’s fingerprints,” Mr. Jhans answered. Manfred found himself grinning.

Excellent. Sounds like the police know what they’re doing…

“The pistol—was the owner ever discovered? I can assure you that it doesn’t belong to my client! Guns are rather difficult to obtain here,” the attorney remarked.
“The pistol belongs to Sgt. Burns, who happens to be a good friend of the defendant’s father. His pistol was reported stolen the day before the murder. Interestingly enough, the defendant’s father admitted that he and his son had met with the sergeant that same day,” Mr. Jhans explained.

Ha…! Looks like your “father” just shot your case to bits!

“But… wasn’t the defendant with his father for the whole visit!?” Mr. Gorman asked. Manfred could see Johann squirm, his mouth forming the words, “Actually, I…”
“Well, both the father AND the defendant said that they were apart for most of the visit; the defendant explained that he often grew bored of his father’s meetings. This also proves that Johann had premeditated intentions of murder, your Honor,” Mr. Jhans said proudly. Manfred could only smile. He, of course, had already heard about this; he had a penchant for seeing notes he wasn’t necessarily supposed to see…

The attorney bit his tongue and scanned for more issues. Surprisingly, his face lit up.

“My client admits that he bent over the victim when he found her dead. Why would a murderer bend down over his victim after she’s dead?” the attorney pointed out, feeling mighty proud of himself. Mr. Jhans’s grin did not waver.
“I believe our decisive witness can explain that to you,” he answered. The attorney grunted in reply.
“F-Fine… but what is this motive you speak of? My client had no relations with the victim!” the attorney asked. Manfred’s eyebrows crinkled.

How very low of you, Johann!
First you kill my only family then deny you knew her!?


Mr. Farnings sighed.

“I am sorry, your Honor. I believe it would be best to let our witness take the stand so that the defense can exhaust all of its questions,” Mr. Farnings suggested. The judge banged his gavel.
“I agree. The cross-examination of Mr. Jhans is declared over. Will the prosecution’s witness take the stand?” Mr. Farnings glanced over at Manfred and gave him a wink. Manfred breathed deeply and waltzed up to the stand…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I decided to split up the trial; as I wrote it, it became rather long, so I’ll post the next part up soon.

Mia_Fey wrote:
Nicely handled. I apologize for not reviewing the last chapter before you updated (I always try to keep up with reviewing the stories that I'm reading), so this review covers both chapters. You are right that in a small way this seems to follow a bit closely to Edgeworth's story, but it has enough differences in it to keep it interesting. I feel bad for both boys and you've set the framework nicely for Manfred's transition into the man he becomes.


I'm glad you think so. As I continued writing, I thought, "Shoot! I hope my viewers don't find this unoriginal!" My whole point was to try to create a unique perspective on Manfred's story. Then again, if I try something too different, I'll be like the Americans when they tried to write their first "constitution"; they tried to make as different from Britain as possible to the point that it put the US into ruins at first :payne: ((I'm an American, BTW)) Anyway, thank you for your reviews.

Ghaleon von Karma wrote:
This is most excellent. As a von Karma, I approve of this fanfic! Image

I personally can see how murder of one's family can change someone...of course, it wouldn't just have to be a family member...a loved one would work. Oops...better not let too much out for my own story...eh heh...


Ah, you have read it! I'm very happy that a von Karma fan enjoys it. My, my, murders of loved ones seem to unfortunately pass through the von Karma line... :karma:

Gregory Wright wrote:
The standard of excellence is once again upheld. I read this chapter a little while ago, but apparently forgot to comment. The explanatory paragraph at the end was nice but unnecessary in my opinion. You tell the story just that well. It's fascinating to watch his more cold, calculating aspects emerge. Feeling he can't trust the authorities to bring justice to the situation...suspecting that he has to take justice into his own hands...I've felt that way myself sometimes, though not toward the police per se. The temptation is indeed strong to frame such a case so as to give yourself unfair leverage, especially if you have talent for that. Good work--keep it up.


Thank you! That was touching! I kind of put that 'explanatory' paragraph there to almost help organize my ideas, but I was also afraid that some might have questions. However, thank you for your reassurance; it helps my confidence Something I am unfortunately a little low on right now... it's a long story
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Very nicely done. I think you've chosen an interesting way of handling Manfred's transition to the monster he becomes. The only thing that seems off to me is how little he seems to care for his brother. Yes, he felt competitive with him and, yes, he dearly loved his mother so he is horrified but what has happened, but I have trouble believing that he isn't feeling slightly more conflicted about this. This is his brother after all and I would assume that he felt some sort of emotional tie with him after growing up with him (You don't always have to like someone to still love them). To have so little emotion dehumanizes Manfred a bit which is exactly the opposite of your intent as far as I can tell. You have some in there, but he just seems to get over it so quickly. On a side note, the cravat addition was brilliant. Anyway, very nice work. Keep it up.
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Well, since you looked at my story, I looked at yours...

and I'm very very very glad I did! ^_^

All I can say is 'Wow'.

I never really cared for Manfred. All I remembered and cared for was his demonic 'Objection' and his funny lines (when he controlled the courtroom). But this is really fleshing out his character and taking him to a whole new level! A very unique take on his past, and don't worry--it's definitely original enough.

After analyzing Manfred, you have provided a very good story on how every single little part of his personality came into being, from the lack of sexism to the cravat.

Bravo! I can't wait to see more! Finish up the trial soon! ^_^

Although I hope the trial doesn't go perfectly... just because it would make things more interesting, and would probably push Manfred to that level where he needs a perfect perfection record.

Oh, and after you finish this, you have to make a comedy oneshot where (sometime during PW1 time--before 1-4, or maybe even during, to make it better) Deter comes to visit Manny, and shows all of Manny's unperfect records from middle school. It would be hilarious xDDDD
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Huh, what's so special about July 14th? Oh that's right!
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!
lol, anyway... :yuusaku:

Mia_Fey wrote:
Very nicely done. I think you've chosen an interesting way of handling Manfred's transition to the monster he becomes. The only thing that seems off to me is how little he seems to care for his brother. Yes, he felt competitive with him and, yes, he dearly loved his mother so he is horrified but what has happened, but I have trouble believing that he isn't feeling slightly more conflicted about this. This is his brother after all and I would assume that he felt some sort of emotional tie with him after growing up with him (You don't always have to like someone to still love them). To have so little emotion dehumanizes Manfred a bit which is exactly the opposite of your intent as far as I can tell. You have some in there, but he just seems to get over it so quickly. On a side note, the cravat addition was brilliant. Anyway, very nice work. Keep it up.


I'll keep that in mind; I tried have him show more emotion in this chapter. I think I transitioned it too quickly, but I was trying to have him doubt himself in the beginning, but have him quickly fling out the doubts because the trial is beginning and he doesn't like having things like emotions and doubts prevent him from accomplishing his duties (as kinda seen in earlier chapters)

I'm glad you liked the cravat part :edgy: When I first thought of it, I thought it would be funny. I wasn't sure how people would take it, but it sounds like there has been a positive reaction from the audience.

Bad Player wrote:
Well, since you looked at my story, I looked at yours...

and I'm very very very glad I did! ^_^

All I can say is 'Wow'.

I never really cared for Manfred. All I remembered and cared for was his demonic 'Objection' and his funny lines (when he controlled the courtroom). But this is really fleshing out his character and taking him to a whole new level! A very unique take on his past, and don't worry--it's definitely original enough.

After analyzing Manfred, you have provided a very good story on how every single little part of his personality came into being, from the lack of sexism to the cravat.

Bravo! I can't wait to see more! Finish up the trial soon! ^_^

Although I hope the trial doesn't go perfectly... just because it would make things more interesting, and would probably push Manfred to that level where he needs a perfect perfection record.

Oh, and after you finish this, you have to make a comedy oneshot where (sometime during PW1 time--before 1-4, or maybe even during, to make it better) Deter comes to visit Manny, and shows all of Manny's unperfect records from middle school. It would be hilarious xDDDD


Why, thank you for reading! I appreciate it! I'm glad you think it's original; I was aiming for that.

Indeed; people's personalities and habits change usually because of something in their life. I thought the anti-sexism was an underlooked important aspect of him, and played on it. Also, since normally, if Manfred was born rich, he'd probably have a cravat as part of his dress, well, what to do if he was born poor? Yeah, sure, I could have said that he liked the style when he became richer, but that wouldn't be fun, now, would it? :will:

Well, it has to go somewhat perfectly. I won't give it away, but I hope you're satisfied with the "problems" that happen in between.

Hah! That would be rather funny... though, I'm not sure if it would make sense, considering what I have planned for Manfred's friends... :yuusaku: still, that would be very funny.

Here’s my next part!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 8: No Stone left Unturned


The view was something that Manfred would not forget so soon; the confidence of the prosecution, the worried looks of the defense, Johann’s pain-stricken face, the waiting gazes of the audience, the intent gaze of Richard von Karma…

“Will the witness state its name, occupation, and age?” the judge boomed. He was much louder from the witness stand.

No wonder all those witnesses I’ve seen on TV look so feeble…

“My name is Manfred Hauptmonn. I’m a student and am fifteen,” Manfred declared. There were a couple of murmurs from mothers from the stands; something about how horrible it was to have to testify about your own mother’s death at such a young age…
“Order! Anyone caught interrupting a witness’s answer will be held in contempt of court!” the judge roared. No one made a peep.
“Manfred, could you please testify as to your relationship between your mother and the defendant?” Mr. Farnings asked sincerely. Manfred nodded. He respected Mr. Farnings; he didn’t try to speak to Manfred as if he was ten years old and he wasn’t rude, either.

Manfred hesitated before testifying. He happened to glance at Richard; he couldn’t see his face very well, but it seemed to be unchanged from before.

“You see, the defendant is actually my brother—” There were a few gasps from the crowd as a result from this statement. Another bangs of the gavel quieted everyone; still, Richard’s face was unfazed. “When my mother and father split up, Johann lived with my father while I stayed with my mother. We didn’t contact that much,” Manfred continued. He knew he had to choose his words wisely; the prosecution was hoping for a motive to be slightly uncovered from this. “Even so, it is my belief that Johann was… jealous of me,” Manfred ended. The cross-examination began. The attorney didn’t look particularly frightened, but he wasn’t calm, either.

“So this… motive. You apparently can answer this question for me?” the attorney asked, rather lamely.
“It’s rather simple. He was jealous of me and wanted to take away the one person in my life that I could whole-heartedly rely on!” Manfred unknowingly shouted and pointed at the attorney. The judge banged his gavel.
“Witness, I understand that this is stressful for you, but please remain calm. Mr. Gorman, does that answer your question?” the judge acknowledged the attorney by name. The attorney nodded and glanced at the record. Suddenly, much to Manfred’s chagrin, his face lit up.
“Why did your father choose to have Johann?” the attorney asked. Manfred froze.

How dare he—!

“Objection! That line of questioning is unreasonable and not relevant,” Mr. Farnings called out.
“Your Honor, I have a reason for asking this; it will disprove the Prosecution’s supposed “motive”!” Mr. Gorman begged. The judge thought for a moment.
“Objection overruled. Mr. Gorman, please make your point quickly,” the judge responded. Manfred gritted his teeth. The slightly helpless look on Mr. Farning’s face showed Manfred that he would have to answer the pointed question.
“Apparently, he believed that Johann would be the better son to take over his law firm,” Manfred responded.

Dammit! How am I supposed to get that attorney to listen to me!?

There was a sudden burst of noisy chatter. Mr. Farnings looked almost pathetic, trying to look through his notes to see if he missed something. Manfred felt angry, but he knew he didn’t have time to ponder on the prosecutors apparent ineptitude. He would have to take this into his own hands…
Suddenly, he saw a way out of this. A plan suddenly appeared in his mind; Manfred could perfectly predict what Mr. Gorman’s point would be… and how he could destroy it.

“So, you see, if Johann’s father had kept him in the hopes of having Johann take over the firm, as Manfred described, then Johann would have no reason to be jealous of his brother, and therefore, the prosecution’s claim for a motive is false,” Mr. Gorman sat back, looking pleased. Manfred couldn’t help but grin. This unnerved Mr. Gorman.

“You are forgetting something, Mr. Gorman,” Manfred piped in. “You see, Johann has lost his opportunity to get into a high school that allows you to go to a university. I, however, will be going to such a high school in the next year.” The look on Mr. Gorman’s face was priceless. Manfred could see it now; his prey’s fearful eyes, knowing exactly what is going to happen to him, but not able to do a thing to prevent it. Johann looked even more scared; he was more weak-willed than his good-for-nothing attorney. The terrified look in their eyes gave Manfred a predatory adrenalin rush. “Not only that, but Johann wasn’t put into such a high school in the first place; this proves that his father knew that he will never amount to his expectations and hoped that a late entry into the prestigious school would help. Alas,” Manfred waved his finger at the attorney, “it was never meant to be. Therefore, Johann has much reason to be jealous of me AND therefore kill my mother!” For once, the crowd was too stunned to speak.

“Does the Defense have any objections?” the judge broke the silence. Mr. Gorman shook his head, much to the fear of Johann. “Then I suppose we have established that Johann had a motive. Will the witness please testify on what he saw?” Manfred nodded, remembering his perfectly rehearsed testimony. And since Johann was already looked down upon by everyone, no one would hear his side of the story.

“I was walking home from school. When I entered the door, I heard pattering of feet. As I walked into the kitchen, I saw, from behind, my mother, doing something over the counter, and Johann, raising his gun and taking one single shot at her. She-she crumpled to the floor… And Johann leaned down next to her… I then tried to call the police, but he attempted to stop me,” Manfred finished. Perfect.
“I see; that must have been especially hard for you,” the judge sympathized. Manfred said nothing. “Please commence the cross-examination.” The attorney looked cornered and Johann was wide-eyed; to Manfred’s eyes, it was a confirmation of guilt.

“This was raised before; why on earth would Johann lean next to the victim unless he was checking for life? Not normal behavior for a murderer,” Mr. Gorman asked. Manfred smiled. When he read through the evidence secretly, something interesting came up…
“I cannot predict why Johann would do something like this… but he obviously bent down to retrieve something…” Manfred responded slyly. Mr. Gorman grunted in pain.
“Wh-what is this?” the judge surprisingly stuttered. Mr. Farnings had regained his composure and calmly explained.
“The defendant was found carrying a certain figurine; a crystal carving of an owl; it was a present given from the witness to the victim a couple of years ago,” Mr. Farnings said. “Fingerprints matched Anya’s palm print. She had held onto it when she was shot.” Mr. Gorman crinkled his eyebrows.
“But it was a present! Are you sure that those palm prints aren’t from a previous… er, grabbing?” Mr. Gorman presented awkwardly. Manfred shook his head.

“It was a crystal carving, Mr. Gorman,” Manfred taunted. “My mother would barely touch the figurine; and whenever she did, she always made sure to wash it. It was notorious for showing smears and… fingerprints.” Mr. Gorman made a sound similar to an “Eek!”.
“B-but why would the defendant want such a thing!?” the attorney was obviously grasping. Before Manfred answered, Mr. Farnings spoke.
“As a last act of revenge. He could easily break the figurine to depress the witness even more,” Mr. Farnings raised the idea. Mr. Gorman seemed to have lost hope for his death-marked client. Johann tried to say something to his attorney, but Mr. Gorman refused to listen.

“Does the Defense have anymore questions?” the judge asked, giving Mr. Gorman one last chance. He didn’t take it.
“No, your Honor,” he replied feebly. The judge nodded.
“I see. Well, there’s no need to prolong this any further. It’s obvious enough. I declare the defendant, Johann von Karma—”
“STOP!” Manfred turned his head toward the sound, as did everyone else in the courtroom. Johann, giving up on his attorney, had stood up and shouted. “He-he’s lying! He didn’t see anything!” Johann kept shouting. Manfred could feel his blood boiling. “I didn’t steal the pistol; I didn’t kill Anya; and I picked up that owl because I wanted to know what she was holding onto! Why won’t anyone believe me!?” Johann’s eyes were wide with shock, fear, and adrenaline.
“Mr. Gorman, if you cannot control your defendant, I will,” the judge roared.
“Please, Johann, just—” Mr. Gorman attempted to calm his client, with no success. Johann turned to him.
“Shut up! You haven’t helped me one bit! No one has!” Johann continued to scream.
“Bailiff! Retain the defendant!” the judge called. A screaming Johann was taken away by a surprisingly strong bailiff and the screams slowly became dead air. “Now, I might as well continue; I find Johann von Karma guilty of first degree murder. He shall surrender to the proper authorities and another trial date will be set for his punishment in one day. In the meantime, court is adjourned.” The judge’s final bang with his gavel seemed so definite; like an Armageddon for Johann. Manfred sighed in relief.

This is for you, Mama…

~*~*~*~


Johann was going to receive life in prison; this was mostly influenced by his act in court. The judge believed that this way, if another murderer was found, Johann could be released. In the meantime, however, he was stuck in prison. Manfred went to see him once the day after his sentence because Johann had called for him.

“Manfred, tell me, why did you lie?” Johann asked when Manfred sat down. Manfred didn’t want to be here; he already had to deal with the funeral for his mother that happened during Johann’s sentence and he also had to move in all of his things to his father’s house. None of it he was particularly joyous about.

“I did not lie; I told exactly what happened. I know you killed her, Johann. Nothing is going to change that,” Manfred said bitingly. Johann was playing with his hands as he looked down.

“Please, Manfred. I would never have done this,” Johann pleaded. Manfred was sure to never show it, but he found himself slightly shaking.

You put your own brother in jail…
He deserves to be here! Justice must be served!
But how do you know for sure it was him?
Isn’t that the logical assumption!?
Isn’t it a little too convenient?
It’s simply perfect!


Manfred refused to let his emotions get the better of him. He stood up and began to speak; his voice was mildly shaking as he did.
“This conversation is over, Johann. I hope I shall never see you again.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, I know I added Manfred's "endearing" mannerisms into this chapter. I was hoping for the effect of "the beast within is beginning to come out". He's not necessarily his "monster" self quite yet; this was kind of a "taste" for him of what he'll become later on. No, he's not going to be totally "evil" yet...
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Nicely handled. :) I really like the way you are slipping in Manfred's transition. His first lie paving the road ahead for far worse actions. I also think you handled Manfred's emotions better in this chapter with his mental argument brought on by his brother's conviction. Excellent work.


On an unrelated note, happy birthday! :edgy:
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Again, very impressive. I cannot wait to see how Manfred and Richard start to talk...as it is inevitable at this point. I cannot wait for more.

Also, Happy Birthday!
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Caelestis wrote:
Hah! That would be rather funny... though, I'm not sure if it would make sense, considering what I have planned for Manfred's friends... :yuusaku: still, that would be very funny.


I was afraid you were going to say that :S

Two words: AU it ^_^


Anyway, another good chapter. The only thing I didn't really like was how we never heard Johan's side of the story. It made it seem a bit unrealistic. But then again, if he had had a competent defense attorney who had allowed Johan to testify, or if Johan had been a bit calmer in his outburst, that might have not happened.

A very nice little taste of the beast we have here :) A very smart way to take Johan out of the picture, provide a catalyst for his transition, and get him to live with his father. (Thereby taking the von Karma name)

Can't wait for more ^_^ Oh wait, his friends... I think I can :larry:


Oh, and I got the first trial of my fic planned out. It should be up soon! :edgy:
err.....
:karma:
that smilie fits your fic a bit more ^_^
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Mia_Fey wrote:
Nicely handled. :) I really like the way you are slipping in Manfred's transition. His first lie paving the road ahead for far worse actions. I also think you handled Manfred's emotions better in this chapter with his mental argument brought on by his brother's conviction. Excellent work.


On an unrelated note, happy birthday! :edgy:


Thanks! I had a wonderful b-day!
Ah, I'm glad I satisfied you with the emotions part! I think you may like this chapter; at least I hope so.

Ghaleon von Karma wrote:
Again, very impressive. I cannot wait to see how Manfred and Richard start to talk...as it is inevitable at this point. I cannot wait for more.

Also, Happy Birthday!


Again, thank you!
Indeed, it will be interesting. This chapter will probably be the only chapter where you see Richard and Manfred really have a "chat" but it should prove to be... memorable.

Bad Player wrote:
I was afraid you were going to say that :S
Two words: AU it ^_^
Anyway, another good chapter. The only thing I didn't really like was how we never heard Johan's side of the story. It made it seem a bit unrealistic. But then again, if he had had a competent defense attorney who had allowed Johan to testify, or if Johan had been a bit calmer in his outburst, that might have not happened.
A very nice little taste of the beast we have here :) A very smart way to take Johan out of the picture, provide a catalyst for his transition, and get him to live with his father. (Thereby taking the von Karma name)

Can't wait for more ^_^ Oh wait, his friends... I think I can :larry:

Oh, and I got the first trial of my fic planned out. It should be up soon! :edgy:
err.....
:karma:
that smilie fits your fic a bit more ^_^


lol! Yeah, it does :karma:
Yeah, honestly, it wasn't anything that significant; the only important detail will be revealed in this chapter, aka why he went in the first place.
Oh, I don't really have to AU it; I think it could still work, it just would be a wee bit strange (you'll see why). Still, that is a funny idea.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Nine: The True Darkness of the Heart


Manfred had been blessed with three days of not having to see or talk to his father after he moved in; unfortunately, one of those days he was at his mother’s funeral, and the second day he was listening to his murderer of a brother chatter. The third day of peace wasn’t much better: he had to listen to phone calls from sympathetic friends and obscure family members from his mother’s side of the family whom he never really heard from. Part of him wished that the family members would ask if he would rather stay with them; however, not only did he know that he didn’t want to be far from his closest friends, but none of them offered. Granted, Deter had offered to let Manfred hide at his house for awhile, but even Manfred knew the consequences of those actions would not be pretty.

So when Manfred finally was forced to speak to his father, part of him regretted not taking Deter’s offer. It was dinner time; Richard was home from work and had taken carry-out along the way home. The son and father had begun dinner in silence. However, the silence was starting to gnaw at Manfred’s innards until he could take it no more.

“Mr. von Karma, why didn’t you defend your son?” Manfred finally demanded. Richard raised an eyebrow as he chewed his food.
“I am your father, Manfred. You can call me as such. And Johann is your brother; there is no need for this distance between family members,” Richard answered, ignoring the question. Manfred gulped; could he call this betrayer his father?
“…Papa? Why didn’t you defend… Johann?” Manfred hesitated. The very words seem to make him cringe. Richard finally stopped eating and looked at Manfred right in the eye.
“Simply because I can’t defend a murderer,” Richard replied bluntly and continued to eat his food. Manfred didn’t move; he wasn’t satisfied with this answer.
“But you didn’t even try! He was your own son and you let him be defended by that incompetent lawyer, only to have him be fed to the fires of hell!” Manfred cried out, raising his voice. He stared at Richard—his father—without moving. His eyes were making holes into Richard’s skin, but he refused to share the glare. Richard continued to eat until finally he put his fork down and wiped his mouth before replying.

“And here I thought you truly thought Johann was actually guilty. Are you telling me that you on purposely lied under oath? Perjury is quite a heavy crime, my son,” Richard answered, mocking concern. Manfred’s face contorted in anger.

You have no right to call my your son!
…And I… I didn’t lie! I only said what happened…


Manfred hated this feeling: uncertainty. Had he wrongfully accused his own brother? He never heard his side of the story, after all…

No! There’s no way I’m wrong!
I know what happened!


“How were you so sure that Johann was guilty? I’ve seen you defend clients who have had all sorts of decisive evidence and prove their innocence! What was so different about Johann’s case?” Manfred asked again. Richard shrugged.
“I looked at the evidence and decided that he was guilty. Even though I don't remember him carrying a gun when we left the police station... and I'm pretty sure Anya called the house the day before because she wanted to talk to him..." Richard trailed.

If he's trying to make me feel uncertain...
...It's working.


"Besides, I don’t defend obviously guilty clients; that’s just injustice,” Richard said plainly. Something was lacking in his tone… At first, Manfred couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Finally, he realized what it was: conviction.
“What about that one actress? Giselle van Something… I mean, everyone knew she was taking drugs, but you still proved her innocence!” Manfred argued. He recognized this feeling, this rush… it was how he felt every time he got into a debate with someone, whether in or out of class. His calculating mind began to predict his opponent’s movements faster than ever before. Counter-attacks were beginning to form and so were traps…
However, his father seemed to be used to such methods.

“Law is different from “public knowledge”. Ms. Van Muria happened to be wrongfully accused of drug abuse. The law is meant to separate fact from fiction. The public is simply a bunch of simpleton fools. Are you a simpleton fool, Manfred?” Richard asked, his voice as calm as ever, with a hint of a mocking tone. Manfred began to breathe deeply, trying to calm his rushing mind.
“Of course not. But there was more evidence against her than there was in Johann’s trial,” Manfred replied. He suddenly remembered another important fact about the case that he had read in the newspaper. Something that would break his father’s defense apart…
“Maybe so. But I still saw the truth of the matter in her case. Not so with Johann’s,” Richard replied. Manfred couldn’t help but smile.
“Are you so sure? If memory serves, you were able to prove her innocence by proving that the prosecution’s evidence was illegal! That means there was a chance that she really was guilty!” Manfred shouted; he could feel his blood rushing, a certain adrenaline went through his system. He found himself incredibly tense and zealous while Richard was calmly sitting and eating his dinner.

“It was illegal evidence. Who’s to say that it wasn’t false evidence?” Richard asked. Manfred was suddenly quiet for the moment. He finally decided to risk one more question.
“How much was she willing to pay you?” he asked quietly. Richard shrugged off the question.
“A lot.” Manfred gritted his teeth.
“Did you not take Johann’s case because he wouldn’t be able to pay you?” Manfred continued to ask. Richard raised an eyebrow.
“Do you really think I’m that evil? That I wouldn’t defend my own son because he couldn’t pay me?” Richard asked, a hint of sarcasm seeping into his tone.

“I wouldn’t put it past you,” Manfred answered, glaring at his father. “You only seem to take high-status—and high-paying—clients.”
“Ah, but he’s my own son—”
“Exactly. But you still didn’t take his case,” Manfred interrupted, his death stare not leaving his father’s head.
“Like I told you, because I knew he was guilty. You should be glad I didn’t take his case; he probably would have been off scott free,” Richard looked up to greet his son’s angry eyes. “And I wonder how you would have felt, having your poor mother’s murderer been let go…” Manfred banged the dinner table.

Don’t you EVER say that about my mother!

He couldn’t bring himself to say those words aloud.

“Oh yeah? And would you find another person to pin the blame on, at least?” Manfred asked, wondering if perhaps his father thought of the possibility of a different murderer. Richard only laughed.
“I don’t worry about finding another “murderer”. My job is to prove my client’s innocence; all the rest is the responsibility of the police. The court is only supposed to find justice, not the truth,” Richard explained. Manfred felt his words caught in his throat in shock.
“But yet, you truly believe that your own son committed murder?” Manfred whispered. Richard didn’t look up.
“And you don’t?” Richard asked.
“Of-of course I do!” Manfred stuttered.

Curse this uncertainty!
Curse this weakness!


“Then sound like it. Either way, it’s done and over with…” Richard said as he stood up to wash his dish. “You may want to sleep soon. You passed to exam to go into that high school, yes? Then we must prepare; someone has to take over the firm, and I’ve chosen you as my successor,” Richard turned to face Manfred, who still sat at his chair, petrified. His father was waiting for an answer.
“You… you want me to study to be an attorney?” Manfred asked hesitantly.
“Of course. Johann has proven to be… eh, incompetent and unable. The burden rests on your shoulders, now,” Richard took Manfred’s dish and washed it as well when he realized that his son wasn’t going to move from his seat.
“What if I don’t want to study law?” Manfred asked darkly, furrowing his eyebrows.
His father followed suit, holding onto his gaze.
“You have no choice. No child of mine will disobey me; Johann never did, and neither shall you,” Richard replied, acid seeping into his words. He raised his chin and looked at his son from above. “What is your name, son?”

Manfred looked at him in the eye. “Manfred Hauptmonn.”
Richard shook his head in distaste.
“No. From now on, you shall be known as Manfred von Karma.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was thinking of adding more, but I decided that this would be a good way to end it. Next chapter, I'm going to reveal the insights Manfred suddenly has about his father... interesting indeed.

Also, that extremely anti-PW quote: "The court is only supposed to find justice, not the truth", that is actually from a book I read when I researched the Lindbergh Trials (which actually influenced this story; the man who was convicted had a son named Manfred). The book was actually trying to disprove the conspiracy theories that developed after the result of the trial. And a paraphrase of the quote was in there; the author was serious when he wrote that. I know it's true in our legal system... but somehow I still find it quite sad. I mean, you can't always find the truth of the matter; the real murderer isn't always conveniently one of the witnesses, like in PW, but still... :sadshoe:
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Wow, I've had so much fun reading this story. The way you portray Manfred is so believable, it's scary... and awesome. It makes me pity him, not so much for his bad childhood, but because he only became obsessed with perfection to make his mother happy. It's sweet.

I can't wait to see him when he takes in Miles. But that's probably a while away, huh?
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Wow! That was an excellent chapter. You really captured Manfred's dilemma well and made it feel realistic. The interplay between Manfred and his father was fascinating. I look forward to more. :)
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Nice work. The trial and the confrontation with Richard were both very well done. Here we see the predatory prosecutor beginning to manifest himself in force. I didn't expect Richard to be so apparently laid-back, but it works. If anyone could get under Manfred's skin, it would be a professionally indifferent felllow like Richard. You've presented a good phlegmatic antagonist here, and I suspect that's kind of hard to do. Bravo.
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Hmmm.... "The court is only supposed to find justice, not the truth." You call that sad? That's nothing compared to the anti-PW in my fic :P

Spoiler: My fic! ZOMG!
"People will just lie and lie, covering up the truth until that is a lie, too. In court, the truth is simply the most believable lie." Edgey really got messed up, didn't he... hm...


It was interesting to finally see Richard. I thought he'd be a bit more strict. Although I guess we saw a bit of that with the "j00 will obey me! mwa ha ha ha!" line.

I still want to find out about the murderer. Like, if it was Johann for sure, or if it wasn't him, then who it was. Plus, you just told us that Anya wanted to speak to him. You didn't tell us about what tho! :larry:

Still, can't wait for the next chapter ^_^

btw, like my new sig/avie? Vicki made them for me! She's awesome! ^_^
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Hannah Kerela wrote:
Wow, I've had so much fun reading this story. The way you portray Manfred is so believable, it's scary... and awesome. It makes me pity him, not so much for his bad childhood, but because he only became obsessed with perfection to make his mother happy. It's sweet.

I can't wait to see him when he takes in Miles. But that's probably a while away, huh?


Sweet? I suppose that's one way to think about it :edgy: But I'm glad you like it—and pity him. I'm trying to make him human, after all! Oh, and about the Miles thing... I planned out my chapters (one sentence summaries; that's my planning! lol), and it looks like the DL-6 event is Chapter 15 and Miles's actual adoption is Chapter 16. So, a little bit to go...

Mia_Fey wrote:
Wow! That was an excellent chapter. You really captured Manfred's dilemma well and made it feel realistic. The interplay between Manfred and his father was fascinating. I look forward to more. :)


Aw, thanks! I worked hard on that chapter to make sure it was how I envisioned each character! Thanks for the compliment! :edgy:

Gregory Wright wrote:
Nice work. The trial and the confrontation with Richard were both very well done. Here we see the predatory prosecutor beginning to manifest himself in force. I didn't expect Richard to be so apparently laid-back, but it works. If anyone could get under Manfred's skin, it would be a professionally indifferent felllow like Richard. You've presented a good phlegmatic antagonist here, and I suspect that's kind of hard to do. Bravo.


Spoiler: Could be considered an AJ spoiler
Yeah, I actually based Richard a little bit off of Kristoph with the whole laid back attitude, but still kinda "evil"

Indeed, it's a "perfect" antagonist for Manfred. I think you'll see in this chapter that Manfred hates the fact that while he hates this man called his father... he also fears him

Bad Player wrote:
Hmmm.... "The court is only supposed to find justice, not the truth." You call that sad? That's nothing compared to the anti-PW in my fic :P

Spoiler: My fic! ZOMG!
"People will just lie and lie, covering up the truth until that is a lie, too. In court, the truth is simply the most believable lie." Edgey really got messed up, didn't he... hm...


It was interesting to finally see Richard. I thought he'd be a bit more strict. Although I guess we saw a bit of that with the "j00 will obey me! mwa ha ha ha!" line.

I still want to find out about the murderer. Like, if it was Johann for sure, or if it wasn't him, then who it was. Plus, you just told us that Anya wanted to speak to him. You didn't tell us about what tho! :larry:

Still, can't wait for the next chapter ^_^

btw, like my new sig/avie? Vicki made them for me! She's awesome! ^_^


Ah, that is true, I suppose. Lol, poor Edgeworth.
Oh, Richard is indeed strict, you'll see that in this chapter.

Honestly, I didn't plan for the actual murderer... I have some ideas, but I'd rather keep it unknown for now. If the truth does ever get revealed, I'd present it sometime after Manfred graduates from high school. Oh wait, that's after this chapter. Whoops :edgy:

Yes, Vicki is indeed talented! Oh, and nice 20-second slide show you made for her! That was sweet. I tried to see if I could see the stuff she made for me was in there, but I don't think there is. One was an avatar that wasn't on her front page, and the other was a sig that she PMed me (a very excellant sig; I'm surprised she didn't show it off because she admitted that it was a wee bit difficult. ah well)


I'm not going to lie to you guys: I don't like this chapter. It's far too rushed, the transitions are kinda choppy (not as bad as beta version; holy crap, beta version was realllly choppy!), and I kinda changed where I was originally going with this chapter... so it's also a wee bit OOC :sadshoe: (("How on earth can you get OOC with your original characters, Cae!?" "I don't know, random voice in my head!"))

So please be kind; :larry: it's not a very good chapter, I'm afraid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 10: Secrets of Survival and Perfection


Manfred had expected to study hard that summer—but he wasn’t prepared for what his father would force him to do.

Manfred had to study all of the subjects he was required to take the next year in school. Along with that were little studies of law. He also had to learn by the book; Richard hardly would ever explain confusing subjects and demanded that Manfred learn by the book.

Seeing friends was out of the question, unless it was on weekends. Sleeping in was never an option. And while he was allowed to stay up late, Manfred knew better than to try to squeeze in a couple of hours of free time in the late hours on weekdays because it would make it harder to get up the next day. It was school all over again. Except his father was the only teacher; then it was just hell.

Richard had a strange demeanor about him. He always seemed excruciatingly calm under any circumstances, but his eyes always betrayed his true feelings. Manfred soon learned to fear his father’s eyes more than his words. Manfred didn’t want to make any mistake in his studies. Anything he did wrong was punished by Richard’s dreaded gaze; it was like they had some sort of hypnotizing effect on people that would frighten even the most strong-willed of men. He also barely had any respect for anyone except himself. And the outward scorns he directed toward women were enough to make Manfred’s blood boil in rage and anger. The worst part was that the things Richard said weren’t blunt; they were always careful and subtle so that it showed Manfred just how sensitive he was about his non-sexist views toward women.

Why was he willing to marry Mama, then…?

The more Manfred stayed with his father, the more he realized that he did not want to know the answer.

Manfred also inferred many disturbing things about his father. The question of why, exactly, Richard didn’t try harder to get his son innocent bothered Manfred to no end. The topic of the trial was never brought up again, but the topic of Manfred’s brother was in conversation from time to time. Richard treated him as a fleeting memory, something to be soon forgotten. The horrible part was that Richard seemed to show no emotion about his convict of a son. He just didn’t care.

The most disturbing realization came after another short conversation about Johann, when Manfred went to his room after supper.

The only reason Father wanted Johann dead was because he didn’t want to have to deal with him and his incompetence as a potential heir to the firm!

The very thought made Manfred cringe, but he couldn’t deny it. He wasn’t sure whether to be proud that Richard had discovered that he was the better son… or to be scared that one mistake would throw him out the window…

~*~*~*~


“Hey Manny! You free today?” Deter’s scratchy voice echoed through the telephone. Manfred willed his voice to be quiet; he picked up the phone while his father was in the bathroom, even though Manfred was supposed to be finishing some biology chapter.
“Deter! I’ve told you a thousand times, I’m not available until the weekends!” Manfred whispered.
“Manfred, you know that’s when I see my girl! It’s summer; take a breather every once in awhile! You’ve been studying, like, everyday!”
“It’s my papa; I’m not allowed out of the house unless he dictates so or unless it’s the weekend! I told you that!” Manfred hissed. He could hear his friend audibly sigh on the other line.
“All right, how ‘bout I try to work something out with Wagner, you, and I on Saturday? You free then?” Deter asked, obviously annoyed.
“Yes, that’s fine! I need to hang up before Richard gets suspicious—”
“Are you still calling him by his first name?” Deter enquired.
“Shush! I’ll see you on Saturday at the park, okay?” Manfred ended the conversation and quietly hung up the phone before his friend could reply. He hated having to cut off his best friends like this, but he couldn’t stand the look his father would give him every time he was caught not studying. He diligently went back to his books, willing for Saturday to come soon…

~*~*~*~


The three were sitting down on the grass in the park under a grove of trees; it had been their hiding spot ever since they were friends.

“So, what exactly is your old man making you do?” Deter asked curiously. Manfred sighed, enjoying the time being out of the house. Being stuck inside all day made him be unfortunately quite pale, compared to handsome Deter, who had quite the tan.
“He wants me to study what I’m going to be learning this year so that I can get into the advanced classes. He’s also forcing me to study defense law,” Manfred explained.
“Why law?” Wagner asked, raising an eyebrow. Manfred rolled his eyes.
“Since Johann is… gone… he wants me to take over the family law firm! Can you imagine?” Manfred huffed. “I mean, I guess I don’t mind law… but the fact that he wants me to be studying his line of work…” Manfred trailed with a disgusted look. Deter suddenly chuckled.

“You know what you could do to tick him off? When you go to law school, instead of becoming a defense lawyer, you should become a prosecutor! You know, the opposite side?” Deter suggested, laughing his head off.

The opposite side…?
Hm…


“I-I don’t know. He really wants me to take over the firm…” Manfred said uncertainly.
“Aw, Manfred, are you telling me that you’re listening to your father!? That… that’s just weird,” Deter said, shaking his head.
“You just don’t understand; his eyes! It’s like I’m staring into Lucifer’s face itself!” Manfred cried out. Wagner was being characteristically silent throughout the conversation.
“But this isn’t the Manfred I know! The Manfred I knew would never allow such… treachery! He’d fight for his rights and goshdangit, if it took everything he had, it took everything he had!” Deter exclaimed.

Augh! Why don’t they understand me!

“Manfred… are you… afraid of your father?” Wagner spoke up, quietly. Silence ensued for a moment. Manfred was internally steaming.

No…! This whole time…
I thought I was stronger than that…


Instead of complaisantly agreeing, Manfred exploded.

“You just don’t get it, do you!? You try living in my situation with a man who would try to get you out of the picture if you make some little mistake!” Manfred shouted.
“Whoa, Manfred… let’s remain calm, here…” Deter said with worry.
“Aren’t you being a little paranoid, Manfred?” Wagner pressed on.

Paranoid! Hah!
What do they know?


“You don’t understand! I’ve just had enough of this!” Manfred fumed, his thoughts entirely consumed by his anger. Deter and Wagner watched in horror as their best friend walked away from them. Little did Manfred know that that would be the last he’d see of his friends before school started…

~*~*~*~


For the first time in his life, Manfred felt prepared when school started. He knew what he was going up against and he knew he’d fly through all of his studies. The first week was a test, he knew, of his intellectual abilities; Richard had boasted to the school board that his son should be in all advanced classes. Being in all advanced classes at the grade and school he was in seemed unlikely, but the board said they’d look at his progress in school for the first week or so and decide. Apparently, they could decide how well he’d do in school just by the first week.

Manfred was always confident, but he was never this cocky; his strides through the school made people think he owned it. Deter and Wagner attempted to make amends.

“Hey… Manfred…” Deter called weakly. Manfred turned to face them. For a moment, his confident composure fell through.
“Oh… Hi, Deter,” Manfred surprisingly stuttered.
“Listen, we’re sorry about what happened over the summer. Is there a way we can make it up to you?” Wagner pleaded. Manfred looked down to his shoes.
“I-I don’t know. I don’t seem to have time for anything, anymore… I’ll probably be in the advanced classes,” Manfred explained. Deter slapped him on the back—endearingly.
“Well, time’s running out, I suppose. Let’s try to make all the time we have left, then,” Deter said optimistically. Manfred nodded and walked with his two friends to his classes.

Even though he was soon transferred to the advanced classes, Manfred tried all he could to surreptitiously keep in contact with Deter and Wagner. After awhile, though, the communication between him and his friends seemed more distant. Manfred took to his studies with forced passion but seemingly natural… perfection. However, Deter’s words still plagued his thoughts.

Become a prosecutor…
The opposite side…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heh, I almost kept going, but that would be REALLLY rushed, so I deleted my last couple of sentences. I probably won't be able to get the next chapter until two weeks from now, unless I decide to get another chapter up soon. So, sorry my faithful fans that I had to leave you with such a bad chapter :sadshoe:
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Aw, this was a fine chapter! The only part that really seemed rushed was the conversation in the park. I mean, when Wagner said, “Aren’t you being a little paranoid, Manfred?” Manny should've said, "No, that's what he did to Johann!" Not stormed off. You don't storm off in the middle of an argument when you have a perfect example of your point.



btw, you have to show us who the real murderer was! (Or confirm that it was Johann, if it was.) I mean, Anya humanized Manny in the beginning, and gave him his reason to be perfect--and now that she's dead, we need to know whose picture to put on our targets and punching bags to release our rage over for her death! Also, who actually murdered her seems kind of important. I mean, Manny is going to be this iron-willed guy who doesn't care about if he sends an innocent man to his death. But here, his first time doing it, he's troubled over convicting his possibly innocent brother, so it just seems like it would be nice to see if Johann really was the murderer or not.
Ooo! Good idea! ^_^ When Manny becomes a prosecutor and doesn't about convicting an innocent man or not, just about getting a guilty verdict, you can show that well by having Manny find out that Johann really didn't kill his father, and then having Manny not care and show no remorse about it!


Anywayz, I love how everything is tying together, like him being perfect, and becoming a prosecutor, and all that stuff! :karma:
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This keeps getting better. Manfred was in desperate need of more development which he is finally getting from you.
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Sorry I haven't responded in a while :larry: If I can't respond tonight, I'll try tomorrow. School's starting, so I don't think I'll update as often, but I'm going to try to get a new chapter soon. Sorry for the wait :payne:
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.......And here I am a month later!

Wow, I hope this chapter is good; I'm not sure how well I wrote everything, since it's been awhile. So please give construct criticism, but please be nice :larry:
Also, I still have a few details to work out, but I'll try my best to get these out!

Without further ado for what I hope has been a long-awaited chapter...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chapter Eleven: The Lower-Class will Rise


Everything was orderly and placed perfectly. Manfred huffed in slight desperate satisfaction, an emotion that typically meant “it’s not perfect, but it will have to do”. He looked around his dorm room once more, checking to make sure nothing was out of place.
His bed was made, something that would not be needed or slept in often. The desk was clean and had plenty of paper and writing utensils in the drawers. A large wall bookshelf lined the entire length of one side of the room; the shelves were crammed with books ranging from philosophy to psychology to, of course, law tomes. He somehow found an incredibly tiny stove to fit in his room; the cabinets on top were filled with various kinds of tea and plain water. Richard had made sure the university would let Manfred have his own room; of course, Richard would be keeping tabs on his son until he graduated, but Manfred somehow got the courage to do the two things he thought he’d never do: follow Deter’s advice, and go against his father’s wishes.

Manfred easily explained why he was taking law classes that specialized in prosecuting; he was simply taking a look at the “opposite” side while supposedly majoring in “defense”. In reality, he was majoring in prosecution and simply had a look at “defense”, in order to defeat lawyers easily. Manfred had his reputation and his honor on the line; he would not follow in his father’s footsteps and reputation, and he would not dishonor his and Anya’s name.
Luckily, Richard believed so heavily in independence that communication between he and Manfred was few and far between.

The freshman sat down on his bed, making the first, and mostly likely only, creases on the sheets. He looked through his schedule once more. Manfred was taking more classes than most freshmen at this esteemed university would dream of taking, but Richard always thought Manfred would be perfect for this school and supposed “career” he’d take; why not take a few hard classes?
He scrutinized the list again. There were, of course, the two different law classes. There was also the psychology class, in which he was advanced in; no point in starting off at basics when he wanted to probe in so much deeper.

What makes humans believe that perfection is so unattainable? he thought with a laugh. What was perfection? Manfred’s father showed him; and he was forced to learn.

He also had a social science class, a government class, and a philosophy class for a way to get his “expressive side” to leak through. Classes started tomorrow.
Manfred sighed and took out the two things he hid in his pillowcase from his father: they were two pictures in frames. One was of he, Wagner, and Deter before school ended. The other was he and Anya. Manfred placed the two photos on his desk, staring at them. He blinked, first slowly, then more rapidly. Tears were stinging in his eyes. Part of him cursed himself for his weakness… another part was enjoying it, if that word could be used for this dread-wrought emotion.

What makes humans believe that perfection is so unattainable?
Because they realize that they’re human


~*~*~*~


Manfred awoke to his alarm clock at promptly seven-o-clock. He did his daily hygiene tasks and then dressed himself so he would be presentable. He didn’t worry about looking “trashy”; his father made sure the clothes on his back would look well to the rest of the university… perhaps too well.

The young gentleman cracked open his law textbooks on his desk; he was actually a tad nervous, but he did not dare show it. No signs of weakness; something my father taught me well in.
He wanted to feel prepared for his classes; reading ahead, he knew, would help accomplish this feeling. Richard had warned him that the “defense” class would probably be too easy, considering Manfred was forced to study it during his years at high school. The class would be especially easy since it wasn’t even going to be his minor; however, it was the prosecution class he was more worried about. Manfred learned a few things here and there about prosecution techniques. But he knew that whatever he was given that class, he would have to do the work perfectly and effectively. Perfection wasn’t something he had to learn to attain; it was something he simply had to havenow.

As the time drew closer to his first class, Manfred gathered his books and notebooks and headed down to his first class, which would be his defense law class. Manfred sat in the middle of the room and was the first person there. The professor looked at him quizzically as he observed Manfred carefully taking notes from the book at lightning quick speeds; except he also was taking very few notes.
The class was too easy. Not only did Manfred know already about many of the techniques defense lawyers used (however criminal they are, he thought), but he also was able to rile up his professor like he riled up his math teacher by pointing out the falsities of many techniques. While the professor was obviously annoyed by Manfred’s conclusions, he had to admit that Manfred knew what he was talking about.

The next class was psychology. Manfred, once again, was the first student to arrive. After him, a young woman who looked to be around his age sat down a row below him. Despite himself, Manfred found himself curious: he realized that most of the classes he was taking were classes that most females wouldn’t want to (or were pressured not to) take. She carried herself well, a confidence he recognized and admired.
Psychology was a pretty fascinating subject, and Manfred found it a wee bit easier to talk freely in it. At the end of notes, the class had the opportunity to participate in a class discussion.

“Many humans, especially the introverted and poorer ones, are accused of never taking that extra “step”, measure, or simply just trying something different,” a rather pompous individual stood up to speak. “It is obvious as to why: these creatures that have been so low on the social totem pole for so many years, understand that they either do not have the resources, or that they would simply not succeed,” the man explicated rather grandly. “They understand their limits within not only society, but inside themselves,” he added in an attempt to sound deep and philosophical. To Manfred’s surprise, the woman he noticed earlier (which, to his sadness, realized she was the only one who had spoken so far), stood up to reply.

“Not necessarily, Mr. Khet. Many are not even aware of their own limits; it is not so simple to say that humans do not go the “extra step” because they know they could not do it. It could be for a number of reasons: some believe that it is safer to stay as a recluse in their shell; others, believe it or not, seek attention and reassurance that they can and should; meanwhile, there are those who believe they can predict their own downfall, or have had experience of it, and choose to go with that gut instinct,” the woman finished promptly. There wasn’t a hint of ego; only a colorful and lively voice that sprung intelligence and careful thinking.

The other individual seemed like he’d been scared, but soon he regained composure. “I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Ms. Gorvich. I believe you just prove to the lower class on the totem pole, whether it be in wealth or gender, why they cannot go that extra step,” the man insulted with an icy, yet sarcastic tone. There were shared chuckles across the room; the professor sighed almost inaudibly and was about the end class discussion. Except Manfred stood up.

“Er, yes, Mr. von Karma, is there something else you’d like to add?” the professor called. Manfred glanced at Ms. Gorvich, who seemed very vexed and almost heart-broken; however, she seemed to have developed a shield for these attacks toward her.

“Indeed, Mr. Khet, you have also proven that why these people, which you call ‘low on the totem pole’, have a reason to fight,” Manfred began. Mr. Khet’s eyes bore into his skin. “It also shows the weakness that these seemingly ‘high-class’, yet egotistical, individuals have; they’re scared of these ‘lower-class’ people, for if they start becoming more intelligent, stronger… then what advantage do you have over them?” Mr. Khet looked like he was about to respond, but Manfred interrupted him. “Oh, you have the minds of those who still believe they’re better, but that will change over time. The lower class will rise, and there will be nothing you can do to stop it. Because they aren’t weaker, they just haven’t realized their true strength yet,” Manfred finished. He locked eyes for a moment with a grateful, yet puzzled Ms. Gorvich. He sat down to emphasize his point; nobody stood up again.

~*~*~*~


After Manfred left class, he regarded the stares he was getting from most of the richer men. The few women in the class smiled and left promptly. Only Ms. Gorvich went up to him and called out his name.

“I-I wanted to thank you for standing up for me,” Ms. Gorvich started, rather awkwardly. “I’m so used to having to stand up for myself that I never experienced what it felt like for… someone doing it for me,” she continued, trying to choose her words wisely. Manfred smiled.
“Ms. Gorvich—”
“Please, call me Helena,” she interrupted. His smile broadened.
“Helena, there will be fools in this world that simply need to be reminded of their own weakness. That’s what I did today,” Manfred responded with politeness. “So, what are you majoring in?”
“Well, Mr. von Karma—”
“Just Manfred will do,” Manfred interrupted, intrigued at her response.
“I’m actually going to be majoring in psychology. A little on social sciences, obviously, and some philosophy on the side, but…” Helena laughed a little. “I’ve found that the minds of philosophers are more interesting than their philosophies themselves.” Manfred raised an eyebrow in interest.

She’s so… fascinating.

“I’m majoring in law—prosecution, more specifically,” Manfred explained. “What are you hoping to be?”
“I suppose a Criminal Psychologist. I’m not sure if I’ll make it, due to my… “feminine traits”, but I’m willing to try,” Helena explicated, relaxing a little.
“Very interesting. I do so dearly hope you succeed in that endeavor,” Manfred replied. A sudden gut-wrenching thought popped into his brain. He wasn’t used to these emotions he was having, it was like an unpleasant version of the rush he had whenever he was in a debate. Manfred decided the best course of action would be to remain polite and courteous. He had to clench the sides of his shirt to keep from falling over and possibly vomiting in complete and utter anxiousness. And Deter said he ‘enjoyed’ this feeling?
“Helena, I wondered if you would let me have the honor of eating dinner with you later tonight. A sort of… celebration of getting this far in life,” Manfred managed to say, trying to suppress the quivering in his voice. Helena looked a little surprised, but yet greatly pleased.
“I would be much obliged, Manfred,” Helena agreed. Manfred smiled; his name sounded musical when she said it, he realized suddenly. Her hair was a strange icy blonde color that was almost bluish in nature. Her clothes were simple and elegant at once with a rather tight-fitting business shirt and long, dark slacks. Manfred also noticed the curious locket around her neck.
Asking about that would be for another time. The two exchanged good-byes and went on their separate ways as Manfred traversed to his government class.

As he walked away towards his next class, Manfred heaved a forced sigh. It was a moment of weakness, but was it imperfect? He had to be strong, at least so that his mother would be proud of him. And so that his father would get off his back.
Still, Manfred realized something that was pleasing, yet also disturbing.

… I’ve fallen in love…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ah, have to respond to posts!

Mia_Fey wrote:
This keeps getting better. Manfred was in desperate need of more development which he is finally getting from you.

Thank you Mia! I really appreciate the comment!

Bad Player wrote:
Aw, this was a fine chapter! The only part that really seemed rushed was the conversation in the park. I mean, when Wagner said, “Aren’t you being a little paranoid, Manfred?” Manny should've said, "No, that's what he did to Johann!" Not stormed off. You don't storm off in the middle of an argument when you have a perfect example of your point.



btw, you have to show us who the real murderer was! (Or confirm that it was Johann, if it was.) I mean, Anya humanized Manny in the beginning, and gave him his reason to be perfect--and now that she's dead, we need to know whose picture to put on our targets and punching bags to release our rage over for her death! Also, who actually murdered her seems kind of important. I mean, Manny is going to be this iron-willed guy who doesn't care about if he sends an innocent man to his death. But here, his first time doing it, he's troubled over convicting his possibly innocent brother, so it just seems like it would be nice to see if Johann really was the murderer or not.
Ooo! Good idea! ^_^ When Manny becomes a prosecutor and doesn't about convicting an innocent man or not, just about getting a guilty verdict, you can show that well by having Manny find out that Johann really didn't kill his father, and then having Manny not care and show no remorse about it!


Anywayz, I love how everything is tying together, like him being perfect, and becoming a prosecutor, and all that stuff! :karma:


Actually, that conversation, the reason he stormed off was more because he'd been shown how weak he had become; and instead of relaying this, Manfred simply 'ran away from his problems', so to speak. He becomes stronger, as shown, but at that moment, he couldn't handle the truth. ;)

And I'm forming an idea for Anya's case... you'll have to wait, though :edgy:
But thanks for the comments!
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Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid!


Sorry, couldn't resist :oops:


Anyway, FINALLY. It was nice, seeing Manny in school. And we meet Franny's mommy! I was thinking what occupation Franny's mother should have, and Criminal Investigator does seem like a good choice...

Can't wait for you to update again!

btw, what color is Manny's hair here? o.o
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Updates make me happy. ^_^

Manfred's first love... This should be interesting. Love is so often imperfect. ;)

Anyway, I like how you're developing Manfred. More and more of the pieces slowly begin to fall into place with each chapter as it should be. The pacing of the story is quite believable which is good as I know plenty of writers who get impatient and force things to happen too quickly, so it's nice to see you taking your time to allow the character to develop naturally. I look forward to more. :)
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It's been a long time, but I would like to comment. I am seeing this evolution of MvK in a different way through someone else's eye. It is strange how the way MvK evolves. Right now, it doesn't even look like the demon prosecutor we see later in AA:PW. But he will. There is so much evolution left in his character, but seeing it unfold slowly is quite enjoyable.

I do hope you continue as you have more free time. I am enjoying this immensely.
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Well, I've read through your work up to this point. You're doing quite well, and this story in itself feels much deeper than your previous works. In fact, this is reminding me of a number of mini-biographies I've read about a number of people, many of whom are generally regarded as monsters these days. It's clear from this work and the biographies I've read that no one is born "evil." The events they experience and the people they meet are often the leading factor behind their actions. Would Iosif Dzhugashvili have become the cruel dictator he is known for having been had his beloved Kato lived? Would Tsar Ivan IV have despised the boyars so much had he been raised by his parents rather than them?

Hm... I think I'll invite my friend Dragus over here. Manfred's one of his favorite characters, and I'm sure he'll have a high opinion of your work.

Well... Now, on a side-note, I actually read up a bit on the origin of cravats. Apparently, they became popular in France after they were seen being worn by Croatian mercenaries. "Cravat" is actually a French mispronunciation of the Croatian word for "Croatian": "Hrvat".

Now that I think about it... Given the evidence and potential motives, it seems rather likely that Richard was the killer.
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I'm pleased i finally got round to reading this. It's really good. I love how you've really delved into Manfred'd life and created his entire life for people to read and follow and see how he got to 4-1. Concidering how cold and obsessed with his perfect win record he is by that time it's very interesting to see him caring about people such as Anya and now Helena (Only in quite a different way than Anya).

At the moment I'm working on something simular to you only about Mia Fey starting from when she started off at at Grossberg criminal defense law firm. Maybe you've read some of it? It's no where near as detailed (or as good) as what you're writing though.

I'll keep following this now and look forward to the next installment. :maya:

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Splendid! Playing "catch up" was never more fun. One of my biggest questions about Manfred was how he got himself a wife and you're doing a wonderful job of answering it. I have no corrections to offer at this point. It's all fabulous! :cards:
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Holy crap, sorry for the slow update. I don't really like this chapter because I felt too rushed to get it out there. Which is ironic, because this chapter was actually added and not intentionly part of the my original sequence (except for the end). I know this chapter is very rushed and I profusely apologize about that. I hope you guys enjoy it. Hopefully the next one slows down more (at least, that's the plan). The ones after that, however, will jump years, so I'll try to make sure everyone's on tabs.

All righty, comments to comments (lol) are at the bottom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Twelve: The First Year


After their first dinner, Manfred had, to his shame, nervously asked Helena if they could go out another time. Helena only smiled (her smile so incredibly charming, he realized) back and agreed. After that, it became, surprisingly, a little known fact that the two of them were “going steady,” as the term became among the college students.
Richard had suddenly called a week after this happened. He was curious as to what Manfred was up to. Manfred had decided to not mention his new girlfriend, and simply said he was doing fine. However, Richard seemed suspicious, for after that one phone call, he’d gotten into the annoying habit of calling every evening, usually during an inconvenient time when Manfred happened to be getting dinner with Helena or studying (which would turn into chats) with her in his room. Richard was usually complacent during these phone calls, but once or twice, Richard would yell over the phone to start doing perfect on his grades “or else.” Why Richard had started to become aggressive, Manfred had no idea. And he was honestly a little at his wit’s end over this.

Only a few weeks later, even Helena saw a change in Manfred. He was charming, in his odd sort of way, and constantly caring towards her, but Helena didn’t like the strange turn he’d taken for the worse. He started pouring over every possible detail with his work and refused to do anything, much less eat, until he had finished his papers and readings. The change was peculiarly rapid; Helena couldn’t tell exactly what was wrong with Manfred, for any time she asked, he’d simply smile and assure her that he was fine. Despite this, Helena stayed faithful to him. Her psychology prowess warned her that he was hiding something from her, but it also told her that she should probably tread carefully and perhaps wait to ask. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have problems on her own…

It wasn’t until after a particular disheartening and stressful phone call from his father that Manfred finally decided to have a talk with Helena. He knew he looked like wreck: reading and rereading material that the class hadn’t even gone over yet; barely eating or sleeping for days; always worried about each little mistake he did…

It’s no wonder Helena’s worried.

Manfred, despite the fact that he feared being imperfect in his studies, he also feared pushing Helena away. But he decided it was time to give an explanation as to his behavior. And also give her the chance to change her mind.

On a Friday evening, Manfred invited Helena to a dinner at the restaurant they had eaten at the first time they met. There was little conversation during the meal and it wasn’t until after the meal that Manfred gained the confidence to begin speaking.

“Helena, I wanted to… explain about my behavior over the last month or so,” Manfred began uncomfortably. He did not know why this weak emotion of uncertainty was sweeping over him now, but it came, nevertheless, and he didn’t know what to do with it.
“…I see,” Helena replied, suddenly grasping her locket. Manfred took a deep breath before speaking. Helena knew about his troubles before he came to the university; all she knew was that his brother was in jail for the murder of his mother and that he had a tough father. That was the extent of her knowledge of his father, however.

“You must understand, I am only careful in my work because of my father. He… expects me to succeed in my studies so that one day, I may take over his defense law firm,” Manfred tried to explain. Helena furrowed her eyebrows.
“Yes, I know. But you never told me it was a defense firm. I thought you were studying to be a—“
“A prosecutor, I know; my father and I don’t exactly have the best history together,” Manfred mumbled.
“So, what has he been saying to you?” Helena asked. Manfred was almost taken aback by her quick, yet correct, assumption. He should've be used to this; after all, she had the uncanny ability to sometimes know exactly what he needed, whether it was time with no disturbances, or a simple smile of reassurance.
Manfred mulled his thoughts over for a moment. He was so used to showing no weakness in front of people that he’d forgotten that he could let down his guard in front of Helena.

“He’s been calling me every night, as you’ve no doubt seen; reminding me about my studies and doing things the way he wants things to be done: perfectly.”
“You go against his wishes, yet at the same time, you want to do as he asks?” Helena asked.
“I do as he asks… because I want him to stop bothering me,” Manfred explicated.
“Are you sure you aren’t doing this because you think the notion of being “perfect” could be something… you want?” Helena hesitated to ask. Manfred’s eyes became downcast.
“Perhaps. But… I mostly do it for my mother,” Manfred looked up to meet her eyes. “I wanted to become a prosecutor because I wanted not only to go against my father, but I also wanted to be sure that criminals like my brother would be in jail. I also… just want to make her proud,” Manfred sighed slightly, showing little emotion. Helena glanced away and opened her locket.

“I never did tell you why I wanted to go into psychology, did I?” Helena broke the silence. “I did it for my mother, also.” She took her locket off to show Manfred the picture of who he had to assume was her mother. The lady also had the strange bluish hair that Helena had and their eyes were similar. “She… committed suicide when I was younger.” Manfred’s eyes suddenly widened at this new information. “I felt horrible because I didn’t see the signs in time to help her. So I decided to dedicate my life to helping people understand themselves when they cannot.”
“Why did you choose Criminal Psychology, specifically?” Manfred pondered.
“Because I realized that criminals are the ones that need to most help. I don’t believe that most criminals become the way they are because they want to. I want to help them feel understood,” Helena clarified. Manfred nodded in response.

“You seem to be… handling it well,” Manfred mumbled. Helena rolled her eyes.
“Everyone wears a mask, my dear. Some wear it to hide their true, ugly selves from others while others wear it because they want to simply seem “pretty.” Still, there are others that wear masks without realizing it, just because they want to hide from themselves who they truly are,” she acknowledged. “But, is that all that you wanted to say to me?”
“N-no,” Manfred stuttered, trying to stop himself from being completely tongue-tied. “I wanted to explain why I was so distant as of late. And I wanted to apologize for… well, for being a mess,” he finally admitted, feeling so suddenly insecure with himself, he felt sick. “And I’ll understand if you would rather simply leave me be and just find—“

Manfred was suddenly interrupted when Helena gently grabbed his shirt collar and pulled him in a kiss. He was taken off guard, but before panic could seize him, he relaxed into the feeling of being loved. Of being accepted.

~*~*~*~


Despite the events that happened that evening, Manfred continued to work diligently as ever to prove his worth as a prosecutor and, now, as someone worthy of his love’s attentions. Helena continually expressed her concern over his stressful work, but he only responded with a promise to be perfect to her. Still, Helena and Manfred greatly enjoyed their time together and their conversations (when Helena was able to pull him from his studies); the more intimate matters, such as kissing, were few enough to be cherished, but not few enough to be constantly craved for.

Manfred and Helena’s relationship had become the talk of the campus for awhile. He had even contacted Wagner and Deter to see how their studies were going and even mentioned Helena. Wagner was studying medicine and diagnosis; his social life currently consisted of speaking about the latest diseases with his fellow doctor nerds. Deter had long broken up with Lacina and had gone through two other girls (Manfred retorted to this with a groan and a lecture about respecting women, to which Deter replied that he couldn’t help it if women didn’t like who he was) and was going into business.

Richard’s calls finally became fewer and fewer; although, the downside was that each call he did make would become an instant downer on Manfred’s mood. His father seemed to be going through a rough time himself, though if that were the case, Manfred couldn’t tell what was wrong.
It wasn’t until he read the newspaper one day that he realized what was wrong: Richard’s law firm was in trouble. There were accusations of false evidence, withholding info, and taking bribes. Manfred furrowed his eyebrows; how was he not surprised?

Still, it wasn’t until towards the end of the year that he heard the bittersweet news: Richard had mysteriously passed away only days before he was to be tried for crimes he had been rumored to have committed. Richard’s lawyer had called Manfred personally to invite him to the proceedings of the will.

Manfred found time away from his classes to talk to Richard’s lawyer. He was left with Richard’s entire estate and most of the wealth. Manfred wanted nothing to do with the very nice, but not necessarily the richest, house; it held bad memories for him. Still, the large home held more resources and materials than his own dorm room; Manfred decided that he might as well move into his father’s house and use it as his temporary home.

The first school year had finally ended. Manfred had passed with stellar grades and was the top of his class. His career as a prosecutor was also assured; professors often spoke in soft whispers of the prodigy and his potential. Students loathed him simply because he was perfect and untouchable; there seemed to be no flaws in a single word that escaped his silver tongue. He was destined to attain the career and title that he desired; a flawless achievement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah, ending terribly rushed. Again, sorry 'bout that.

Bad Player wrote:
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid!


Sorry, couldn't resist :oops:


Anyway, FINALLY. It was nice, seeing Manny in school. And we meet Franny's mommy! I was thinking what occupation Franny's mother should have, and Criminal Investigator does seem like a good choice...

Can't wait for you to update again!

btw, what color is Manny's hair here? o.o


Lol, quoting Shakespeare, are we?
Yeah, I was thinking carefully about what Helena's profession would be. I didn't want it to have anything to do with law, but I wanted it to do with criminal justice, so that she could relate somehow. I was tempted to have her be a law professor, like Anya, but I decided against it. Also, because the dynamic that she's a criminal psychologist is going to play later when... well, ya know, when Manfred becomes a sort of "criminal" himself.
Oh, and I pictured Manny's hair to be kinda like Mile's hair, but maybe darker. Helena has Franny's hair, basically :oops:

Mia_Fey wrote:
Updates make me happy. ^_^

Manfred's first love... This should be interesting. Love is so often imperfect. ;)

Anyway, I like how you're developing Manfred. More and more of the pieces slowly begin to fall into place with each chapter as it should be. The pacing of the story is quite believable which is good as I know plenty of writers who get impatient and force things to happen too quickly, so it's nice to see you taking your time to allow the character to develop naturally. I look forward to more. :)


Lol, indeed, but for some reason, that's all right with Manfred... :yuusaku:
Yeah, I'm trying to be as patieint as possible Which is so dang hard. But I really rushed it today, so hopefully that won't happen as much in the future.

Ghaleon von Karma wrote:
It's been a long time, but I would like to comment. I am seeing this evolution of MvK in a different way through someone else's eye. It is strange how the way MvK evolves. Right now, it doesn't even look like the demon prosecutor we see later in AA:PW. But he will. There is so much evolution left in his character, but seeing it unfold slowly is quite enjoyable.

I do hope you continue as you have more free time. I am enjoying this immensely.


Long time no see!
Yes, he has evolved, but hasn't quite become the man we know yet. This chapter jumpstarted the transformation more, however. But I am glad you're enjoying it!

General Luigi wrote:
Well, I've read through your work up to this point. You're doing quite well, and this story in itself feels much deeper than your previous works. In fact, this is reminding me of a number of mini-biographies I've read about a number of people, many of whom are generally regarded as monsters these days. It's clear from this work and the biographies I've read that no one is born "evil." The events they experience and the people they meet are often the leading factor behind their actions. Would Iosif Dzhugashvili have become the cruel dictator he is known for having been had his beloved Kato lived? Would Tsar Ivan IV have despised the boyars so much had he been raised by his parents rather than them?

Hm... I think I'll invite my friend Dragus over here. Manfred's one of his favorite characters, and I'm sure he'll have a high opinion of your work.

Well... Now, on a side-note, I actually read up a bit on the origin of cravats. Apparently, they became popular in France after they were seen being worn by Croatian mercenaries. "Cravat" is actually a French mispronunciation of the Croatian word for "Croatian": "Hrvat".

Now that I think about it... Given the evidence and potential motives, it seems rather likely that Richard was the killer.


Ah! You've reviewed!
I'm glad you like this. I enjoy probing deeper into this, despite it being a just a character; but it's fun, nevertheless. I've never been for one to believe that most people are "born" evil; the circumstances around them and how they handle them shapes who they become. That's true for many people.
I hope your friend enjoyed it :edgy:

The history on the cravat is interesting. What's funny is that in French, the word "la cravat" means a tie; you know, like what men wear with suits.

Oh shoot, you guessed it :oops:

Missile123 wrote:
I'm pleased i finally got round to reading this. It's really good. I love how you've really delved into Manfred'd life and created his entire life for people to read and follow and see how he got to 4-1. Concidering how cold and obsessed with his perfect win record he is by that time it's very interesting to see him caring about people such as Anya and now Helena (Only in quite a different way than Anya).

At the moment I'm working on something simular to you only about Mia Fey starting from when she started off at at Grossberg criminal defense law firm. Maybe you've read some of it? It's no where near as detailed (or as good) as what you're writing though.

I'll keep following this now and look forward to the next installment. :maya:

:phoenix:


Yes, the women in his life seem quite important. Heh, that's on purpose. I always thought it was interesting that Manfred never really outwardly said how he felt about having just daughters. But he seemed to not care either way, so I exploited that fact.
And yes, I highly enjoy your Mia Fey story! The details is honestly all in how you plan, write, and probe with the minds. XD

Gregory Wright wrote:
Splendid! Playing "catch up" was never more fun. One of my biggest questions about Manfred was how he got himself a wife and you're doing a wonderful job of answering it. I have no corrections to offer at this point. It's all fabulous! :cards:


I'm glad you like it. I'm trying my best here. A lot of people thought that his wife must be crazy to ever accept such a "monster" but I disagree. I think she'd have to be patient. And kind. And understanding. Realllllly understanding. XD
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To my knowledge, Dragus hasn't registered here, but he read the story and liked it. I get the impression the plot's picking up speed. I'd recommend being cautious with such a move. At times, it's better to speed up time simply to avoid wasting words on a part of the plot that has already received sufficient attention, but it's also important to avoid moving so quickly that the plot becomes too surface-level. So far, you've done a good job, so I'm not going to complain, but I can see from this last chapter that things are beginning to move along. Given the more recent plot twists, that's probably a good idea. Just make sure you don't go too fast.

Thinking about it, I sometimes draw parallels between the structure of a story and the structure of an opera. Each opera can have its numbers divided into two general categories: recitative and aria. Both categories can be further divided into more specific categories, but as far as this comparison is concerned, it's not necessary. An ideal opera makes good use of both and avoids dependence on one while neglecting the other. A recitative mainly serves to move the plot along, and it's often during recitatives that most of the action occurs. Arias, on the other hand, essentially slow the plot to a stop and take the time to look into it in more detail--a character's mindset, the nature of a major part of the plot, and the like. An opera that relies almost exclusively on recitatives would feel surface-level. In addition, the characters would either seem one-dimensional or appear to go through an abrupt change rather than develop. On the other end of the spectrum, an opera that relies almost exclusively on arias would appear to lack an actual plot and potentially bore the audience by staying on one point for too long. Likewise, a good story does not move the plot along so quickly that it lacks depth, nor does it delve so deeply into it that it moves too slowly.
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