Artem's Sweet Chapter 02-05

From Tears of Themis Wiki


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Case Progress I: Artem's Living Room
Artem's Residence

Artem's Residence - Downstairs (Day).png

The case seems to have attracted huge attention.

A heated discussion over the case between Fiona and Lamont Russo created a huge buzz on the internet.

As the authenticity of Fiona's article is still pending a review, it is banned temporarily, and SCPD has issued a statement.

These actions were interpreted by the public as a cover-up, which only ramped up speculation about the case.

You: This case has generated substantial attention...

You flip through the discussion of the case.

Some believe that Lamont Russo is awful, while others believe Ronan isn't innocent. Some people don't side with either one of them and claim the world is to blame...

What's more, there are long discussions that speculate this is an internal power struggle within Stellis University... however...

You: Many netizens are siding with Ronan...

Artem: Due to the uneven status of mentors and students, public opinion tends to sway in the favor of the disadvantaged side.

Artem: And they prohibited the circulation of the article, which makes it seem like they're protecting the accused.

You: Do you mean the netizens are only supporting Ronan because of their own stereotypes that have nothing to do with the truth?

Artem declines to comment, probably having grown accustomed to this phenomenon.

Artem: Breakfast is ready. Let's eat.

You: Coming!

You sit down at the dining table and receive the utensils Artem passes to you.

The bread is toasted to golden perfection, exuding a creamy scent with bacon and vegetables. It's quite a sight to behold.


You: How... did you make this? It's adorable!

You pick up the carrot pieces cut into the shape of cherry blossoms, looking at Artem with surprise.

Artem: This.. was cut from a mold.

You: I didn't know you would buy those kinds of adorable molds...

Artem inspects the carrot intently.

Artem: I was watching a foodie video earlier and bought it because I thought it was cute.

Artem: I noticed the mold when I was organizing ingredients today, so I thought I'd try using it.

You: What kind of foodie video was it?

Artem: That's not important. If you like it, I can... make more dishes like these in the future.

You immediately shake your head, seeing Artem reach that decision.

You: You don't need to go through the trouble... I do like it, but it seems like a hassle to do it every day...

Artem: It's not a hassle, as long as you like it.

You: How about this... I'll be responsible for making coffee in the morning.

Artem doesn't refuse, nodding at you with a smile.

After eating, you're about to put the empty dishes and chopsticks in the dishwasher. Just then, you notice the mold, which has been cleaned.

Artem was talking vaguely about it earlier, which piqued your interest.

You take a photo of the mold and try to find it online through an image search.

The search results take you by surprise.

You: ("Make these for your girlfriend every day, and she'll love you to death!")

You: ...

At this moment, you suddenly hear Artem's voice behind you, and you scramble to put your phone away.

Artem: Captain Morgan just contacted me. He wants us to go down to the police station.

You: Is there progress on the compliance review of Lamont Russo's cases?

Artem: Yes, he will fill us in when we get to the police station.

You: ...Alright, let's hurry then.

You try very hard to control your expression.

Artem: What's wrong? Are you not feeling well? What's with that expression...

About to be exposed, you pretend to hurry over to the entrance, putting on your shoes.

You: I'm fine, I just really want to know what Captain Morgan found. Let's hurry.

Artem: Sure.

Case Progress II: West Hemingway Heights Street
Stellis City Police Department
Police Station
Stellis Justice Dept - Waiting Room.png

Check the investigation progress at the police station.

Pushing open the doors of the interrogation room, you hear a loud voice reproaching someone.

Lamont Russo: What an absolute disgrace! An absolute disgrace!

You: !?

Captain Morgan sees you and Artem and nods.

Professor Russo glances in your direction, then continues.

Lamont Russo: I have never been subjected to such vile slander in my thirty years in the business!

Lamont Russo: Countless people are on the internet spreading false information about me, which is a considerable violation of my character and reputation!

Lamont Russo: My dignity, both as a professor and an attorney, has been greatly offended in this incident!

Lamont Russo: As a victim, I request the police to investigate as soon as possible, punish the main perpetrator, and restore my reputation.

Darius Morgan: I understand how you feel. We will investigate as soon as possible.

Lamont Russo: Hmph!

Professor Russo is so furious that he loses his usual solemn appearance. When he sees you and Artem, he leaves without saying hello.

You: I didn't expect the strict Professor Russo to have such a temper.

Darius Morgan: Professor Russo has a traditional mindset. He might not be able to face the onslaught of internet rumors and gossip.

Artem looks in the direction where Professor Russo had left and doesn't comment on this subject.

Artem: Captain Morgan, did you call us here because there's been a new discovery in the review of Lamont Russo's cases?

Darius Morgan: The situation may be more complicated than you think.

Captain Morgan waves as he takes a document out of the drawer, placing it in front of you and Artem.

You: This is...?

Darius Morgan: A report by a criminal law expert.

Artem picks up the document and looks over it, his expression unchanging.

Artem: So the cases where Lamont Russo was the criminal defense lawyer had lighter sentences?

Darius Morgan: Yes, Stellis Procuratorate has filed appeals for the controversial cases.

Darius Morgan: But even so, we still can't find evidence to prove that Lamont Russo falsified evidence or accepted bribes.

Darius Morgan: Any progress on your end?

Over the past few days, you and Artem have worked together to investigate the case that has taken the internet by storm.

Artem's focus was on the details of Ronan drinking alcohol, investigating the most conflicting aspect of the case.

And you were responsible for verifying the teacher-student relationship between Lamont Russo and Ronan, described in the article.

Artem: I did a thorough investigation into the inconsistencies in Ronan's statement.

Artem: Unfortunately, there's not enough to tell us what really happened the night Ronan told Fiona everything.

Artem: The incident happened so suddenly that Fiona didn't retain any evidence of the scene. The same goes for Lamont Russo's dinner party.

You: I did a thorough assessment of the chat logs between Lamont Russo and Ronan.

You: Although Ronan often submitted documents to Lamont Russo late at night, there were no signs of coercion.

You: The article alleges that Lamont Russo exploited his student and stole the student's research. There is no evidence in the chat logs to prove that.

You: Only that Lamont Russo applied for Ronan's leave of absence from school without his consent.

You: One more thing... the conversation between the professor and the student feels very unnatural to me.

You: All in all, I still have my doubts, but there's no evidence. Whether they were as close to each other as they claim remains to be seen.

Lamont Russo is slippery as a mudfish. Days of investigation yield no significant progress.

All the clues are pointing back to him, but neither of you can find any concrete evidence.

Artem: I have an idea. Maybe we can get a breakthrough in the case from Ronan.

Artem's words set off ripples like a stone in water, bringing life back into a case that's been stalled.

You and Captain Morgan both look at Artem, waiting to hear his plan.

Artem: Lamont Russo just demanded that the main perpetrator be punished.

You: The main perpetrator... Fiona?

Artem nods, continuing with his idea.

Artem: From Fiona and Lamont Russo's reaction, Ronan must have evidence of Lamont Russo's wrongdoing.

Artem: But Ronan won't cooperate with our investigation. He wants to pretend everything is going well and maintain his fragile relationship with Lamont Russo.

Artem: Now Lamont Russo, angered by public opinion, is intent on punishing Fiona. Will Ronan still remain silent under these circumstances?

Artem analyzes the stakes, and the solution to the dilemma seems obvious.

You: Yes, Fiona is the most obvious contradiction between the professor and the student, and it cannot be resolved.

You: Captain Morgan, let us try to get a breakthrough in the case through Ronan.

Darius Morgan: The police will help you investigate if you need it.

You: Ronan won't be easy to convince without proof...

You: Captain Morgan, can we have a copy of the transcript of Lamont Russo's communication with the police? Just the latest one.

Darius Morgan: No problem.

Continue the Investigation I: Central Business District
Hospital Ward
Hospital - Patient Room (Day).png

Visit Ronan again.

Ronan is looking much more anxious than he was the last time you saw him.

Seeing you and Artem, he lets out a quiet smile that is faintly bitter.

Ronan: Sorry, you won't get much information from me.

Ronan: I already told you everything I know.

Artem: Don't worry. Today we're not here to ask questions.

Artem accepts Ronan's lack of willingness to cooperate and takes control of the conversation.

Artem: We just want to inform you of the latest updates.

Artem: According to our investigation, there is insufficient evidence to prove that Professor Russo falsified evidence and took bribes.

Artem: So you can rest assured that Fiona's claim that Lamont Russo coerced you into committing a crime is not true.

Instead of looking relaxed, Ronan clenches his hands together.

Artem sees Ronan's strained expression and continues speaking.

Artem: On the contrary, Fiona's actions constitute an infringement on Professor Russo's reputation.

Artem: We just came from the police station. Lamont Russo wants to press charges against Fiona.

Artem: He seems very adamant.

Ronan: ...

Artem: As Fiona's attorney, I will do my best to mitigate the punishment she faces based on the facts.

Artem: But if she did something illegal, she will have to pay the price.

Artem calmly looks at Ronan as he speaks.

Ronan avoids Artem's gaze and looks down at the ground as if his soul had left his body.

Artem falls silent and waits for Ronan to sort out his emotions.

Ronan: I...

Ronan opens his mouth to speak, but no words come out. Seeing that he is relenting, you decide to take advantage of the situation.

You: A comprehensive review of Professor Russo's cases by an expert revealed no mistakes, and they have been refiled.

You: The case has gotten too much attention. Fiona has also insinuated allegations of corruption within the Stellis judicial entities.

You: It is easy to predict a judge's ruling, given that the public demands an explanation and the malign influence of the case must be removed.

You: Now that Professor Russo has vowed to severely punish the main perpetrator, Mr. Wing has a tough fight ahead of him.

You shake your head mockingly and let out a huge sigh.

In the twilight, Ronan's hands are still tightly clasped, his knuckles white and bloodless.

Ronan: Enough with the acting. Professor Russo wouldn't do something like that... It's just a misunderstanding...

You: Ronan, do you really believe your own words?

You take out a voice recorder, which recorded Lamont Russo's communication with the police, just before leaving the station.

You: Would you like to hear a recording?

Ronan looks at the voice recorder in your hand, his lips pressed together, saying nothing.

Seeing this, you press the play button.

"...I request the police to investigate as soon as possible, punish the main perpetrator, and restore my reputation!"

Hearing this, Ronan closes his eyes instinctively, showing a look of vulnerability.

When the recording finishes playing, you put the voice recorder away.

You: Ronan, now do you believe us?

Ronan seems unresponsive, standing there like a puppet, completely silent.

Seeing Ronan in this state, Artem pats you on the shoulder, signaling that he'll give Ronan's psychological defenses a final breakthrough.

He walks over to Ronan, his eyes filled with concern.

Artem: Ronan, did Lamont Russo promise you that he won't hold Fiona accountable, as long as you're on his side?

Hearing Artem's speculation, Ronan turns his gaze upon Artem.

Artem: When the time came, none of you would be prosecuted for this. It's a "win-win-win" situation.

Artem: And you chose to believe him because you have evidence that threatens him.

Artem: So you don't believe Lamont Russo would lie to you about that, do you?

Ronan: I...

Ronan's words fail him. He looks nervously at Artem, his pupils quivering, his expression pleading for help.

Artem: However, if Lamont Russo chooses to go back on his word, there's nothing you can do about it.

Ronan: ...

Artem: Ronan, it's Fiona. Can you afford to "bet" on that outcome?

At this point, Ronan's face turns pale, and he closes his eyes in disbelief.

When he opens his eyes again, there is no hint of hesitation in them.

Ronan: I... I have evidence to prove that Lamont Russo engaged in illegal activities.

After saying this, Ronan looked as if the weight of the world has lifted from his shoulders. The tension leaves his body.

Artem looks at Ronan, then speaks in a warm tone.

Artem: Please elaborate.

Ronan: I... have been one of Professor Russo's students for a year and a half.

Ronan: In the beginning, Professor Russo was very kind to me. He took the initiative to involve me in a variety of rare discussions, and that's when I met you, Mr. Wing.

Ronan: Mr. Wing has always been my idol, and I once fantasized about joining Themis after graduation and becoming Mr. Wing's colleague.

Ronan: But a year ago, things quickly took a turn for the worse.

Ronan pauses for a moment, exhaling with a shudder before continuing.

Ronan: A year ago, Professor Russo was defending a murderer.

Ronan: It's extremely difficult to build a misdemeanor defense when the suspect is clearly malicious and aware.

Ronan: Professor Russo asked me to collect all the drugs the suspect had taken and amplify their effects on mental states when used as evidence.

Ronan: He also twisted the fact that the suspect had voluntarily surrendered for a pending arrest warrant instead of being incapacitated after committing the crime.

Ronan: In court, Professor Russo even cited a number of different cases as legal grounds.

Ronan: His defense was extremely successful, and the murderer was sentenced to only nine years in prison.

You: Nine years...

You: (According to law, murderers with ill intent are rarely sentenced to less than ten years in prison.)

You: (Regardless of where he stands, Lamont Russo is very strong in terms of his ability and results...)

Ronan continues.

Ronan: ...As in that case, I had already been unwittingly involved in his illegal activities...

Ronan: By the time I knew something was up, the cases I worked on were...

Ronan's face is stricken with pain, his voice trembling.

Ronan: The realization came too late.

Ronan: To atone for my sins, I started helping people online with their legal questions using the "Ronan's Legal Aid" account.

Ronan: Helping others gave me peace of mind, but the guilt was always there.

Ronan: I thought about turning myself in many times, but Professor Russo stopped me. "Attorneys are not meant to be ambassadors of justice. That's the truth of the profession," he said.

Ronan: Professor Russo's control over me gradually grew stronger...

Ronan: Until three months ago...

At this point, it seems as though Ronan's most painful wound has been pried open, and he shudders.

Ronan: Professor Russo took me to one of the suspect's residences, which the police hadn't found yet...

Ronan: Based on the information the suspect gave him, Professor Russo found the real murder weapon... He then gave it to me and told me to destroy it myself...

Ronan: I did as I was told...

Ronan: The shock was too overwhelming, coupled with the adrenocortical hormones I was taking... My mental state quickly broke down...

Artem: Was this one of the cases that Fiona mentioned in the article?

Ronan: Yes...

You: Fiona claimed that Lamont Russo also forced you to go to that dinner party, is that true?

Ronan: Yes, everything Fiona said about the dinner party is the truth.

Ronan has finally confessed everything.

But you don't feel any sense of relief. Ronan's struggles and frustrations are so vivid that they leave you speechless.

Artem: Ronan, this isn't the second time we've met.

Ronan: Mr. Wing... you still remember me?

Artem: When I met you in the collaborative law enforcement project, you were like a razor-sharp sword... you were outstanding.

Ronan: I... let you down...

Artem: What I'm trying to say is, no one goes through life without making mistakes. The mistake is not having the courage to make amends.

Artem: It will be difficult, but keep your head up and move on.

Artem's words are very moving for Ronan, who is close to tears at this point.

Ronan falls silent, then speaks solemnly.

Ronan: I recorded everything that Professor Russo did in a notebook. It might be useful to you.

You: A notebook?

Ronan: Yes... my electronic devices were being monitored... and my every action was being recorded. That was the only way I could keep evidence...

Ronan: It's on my desk in Dormitory 513. Fiona and I have a photo album... with a black notebook hidden inside.

You: Thank you, Ronan.

Ronan shakes his head, not saying anything else.

Artem: I'll relay everything you said to the officer in charge of the investigation. It won't be long before they get here.

Ronan: ...I will cooperate with the investigation.

Artem: You are kind and brave... Trust that these qualities will lead you out of the darkness.

Artem's words seem to instill Ronan with courage. Unexpectedly, he looks at you and Artem, his eyes brighter than ever.

Ronan: This is the key. Go... quickly. I'll tell the police everything.

You take the key from Ronan.

You: See you later, Ronan.

Continue the Investigation II: West Hemingway Heights Street
Stellis University
Ronan's Residence
Misc Location - Dorm (Day).png

Go to Stellis University and find Ronan's notebook.

On the way over to Ronan's dormitory, you and Artem brief Captain Morgan on the situation.

He says officers in plainclothes will be sent immediately to bring Ronan back for questioning.

You and Artem don't have too much trouble getting inside the dormitory. Only after a simple registration are you allowed access.

You: There is no one... in the dormitory...

Artem: They must still be in class. I remember law students have many classes in the morning.

You: Yes... Ronan should be...

It is easy to spot Ronan's bed. Next to his computer is a photo of him and Fiona.

You: (Ronan and Fiona are pretty close.)

You quickly find the black notebook with Ronan's information.

In it, Ronan recorded everything that happened over the course of committing the crime with Lamont Russo.

You: Look, is this the case where Ronan was forced to destroy the murder weapon?

Artem: Time, place, modus operandi... He was totally...

You: He was totally putting himself on trial in his notes.

Recorded in the notebook was more than what Ronan did for Lamont Russo.

You: It seems like... Ronan couldn't help writing down his feelings in these notes?

"I threw the blade into the middle of a lake. It looked clean, probably because the suspect had already wiped it down."

"But with the sinking shadow of the blade, I can see the rich color of blood flushed before my eyes."

"I was overwhelmed with remorse. My mind went blank and I wanted to jump off the boat toward the murder weapon..."

"Professor Russo held onto me tightly, the boat shaking violently almost as if it could tip over at any time, but I wasn't afraid at all."

"I wanted to drown myself at that moment."

You: ...

Artem: ...

Through his words, you can feel the deep remorse and despair that Ronan felt at that moment.

You: Ronan...

Artem says nothing, reading Ronan's words carefully in silence.

His hand flips through Ronan's notes without shaking, but he straightens his tie at certain parts.

It's a tell for when Artem needs to regulate his emotions.

You: (Artem said... he wanted to be Ronan's guide... He must be emotionally affected...)

You: It must be hard seeing Ronan go through that.

Artem notices the worried expression on your face and closes the notebook. He then comforts you with a nod.

Artem: I'd be lying if I said it wasn't affected... But now that we have this notebook, we're getting very close to the truth.

Artem: We cannot change Ronan's past, but we can help his future.

Artem: So don't worry about me, but...

Artem leans down and holds you tenderly for a while before separating.

Artem: Thanks to you, I'm feeling much better.

You: I didn't do anything, and you were there for me too.

You: We have each other. A hug does wonders for those negative emotions, right?

Artem looks down slightly, his eyes beaming, answering you with a smile.

You: Now that we have the notebook, let's head to the police station immediately and hand it over to Captain Morgan.

You: There are many clues recorded within the notebook. It will provide Captain Morgan with the breakthrough he needs in the stalled investigation.

You: And... that's what Ronan wants.

Artem: Let's go back to the police station.

You and Artem leave with the notebook and head over to the police station to meet with Ronan.

[Obtain evidence: Ronan's Notebook]

Continue the Investigation III: West Hemingway Heights Street
Stellis City Police Department
Meeting Room
Stellis Justice Dept - Interview Room.png

Find Ronan at the police station.

When you and Artem arrive at the police station, Captain Morgan's interrogation of Ronan is nearing its end.

Captain Morgan walks over to greet you and Artem.

Darius Morgan: I understood the situation. Is this the notebook that Ronan was talking about?

Artem: Yes, it contains a detailed record of Lamont Russo coercing Ronan to commit crimes, as well as other valuable clues.

Artem: It will certainly provide a breakthrough in the review of Lamont Russo's cases.

Artem hands Ronan's notebook to Captain Morgan.

Afterward, he nods at Ronan.

Artem: Rest assured, the police investigation will get to the bottom of this.

Ronan: I'm happy that it could help you guys.

Ronan looks calmly at the notebook, as if he has figured something out.

He looks straight at Captain Morgan, and for the first time, you can feel he's calm.

Ronan: Although... I have a final request.

With that said, the three of you look at him.

Ronan: I want... to see Professor Russo one last time.

Darius Morgan: What are you planning to do?

Ronan: I want to atone for my sins.

Ronan takes a deep breath and looks at everyone solemnly.

Ronan: Mr. Wing, Miss [Player], when you went to retrieve the notebook, I told Captain Morgan everything.

Ronan: Confessing everything I did wrong... wasn't as embarrassing as I thought...

Ronan: On the contrary, I felt relieved throughout the whole process.

Ronan: ...I only realized how stupid I've been, and I'm asking for a chance to make things right.

Ronan: It's the only thing I can do.

You: (Ronan has come to this realization...)

You and Artem look at Captain Morgan, as he is the only person capable of making that decision.

Captain Morgan falls silent but doesn't reject Ronan outright.

Darius Morgan: What do you plan on doing?

Ronan: I only just learned... that there isn't any proof of Lamont Russo's illegal activities, so I thought...

Ronan: Maybe I can use myself as bait to get Lamont Russo to confess his crimes.

Ronan: I will make an appointment with Lamont Russo, pretend that I did everything I was told, and beg him to spare Fiona.

Ronan: Lamont Russo thinks he has something on me, so he won't be on guard around me.

Ronan: I will use that opportunity to get him to confess something he did in the past while recording the conversation.

Ronan: The recording may not be admissible in court as valid evidence, but at least... it will help with your investigation.

Ronan waits for Captain Morgan's answer with a sincere expression.

Captain Morgan ponders Ronan's plan for a moment and soon agrees.

Darius Morgan: Okay, get yourself ready. We'll carry out your plan this afternoon. I'll have officers in plainclothes follow you and make sure everything goes well.

Ronan looks surprised and glad.

Ronan: Sure.

Captain Morgan nods, not saying anything else. He turns around to head outside, signaling for you two to follow.

You: (That's it? Given Lamont Russo's impenetrable style, a simple plan like that won't have a high chance of succeeding...)

You: (Captain Morgan knows that for sure...)

You want to say something, but notice Artem shaking his head at you.

You: (...It seems Captain Morgan must have his own reasons for agreeing.)

You keep your mouth shut and follow Artem out of the room.

Stellis City Police Department
Conference Room
Stellis Justice Dept - Waiting Room.png

Outside the meeting room, you can't help but look curiously at Captain Morgan.

You: Captain Morgan, why agree to Ronan's plan when it's clearly full of holes?

Darius Morgan: Ronan's plan will not succeed if carried out by himself.

You: That means...?

Darius Morgan: I'll send someone in to help.

You: Then just now...

You: (Captain Morgan didn't mention this detail to Ronan...)

Artem: That must be part of the plan, right?

Artem: Captain Morgan wants Ronan to meet Lamont Russo without knowing anything about the real plan.

You: Is this to fool Lamont Russo?

Artem: Yes, Lamont Russo has been operating for a long time without being discovered, which speaks to his prudence.

Artem: Lamont Russo will likely discover Ronan's hidden recording device, but if another device is prepared without Ronan's knowledge...

You: While coveting gains ahead, one will be unaware of the danger behind them. With the police assisting, Ronan will succeed in his objective even if his plan fails.

Darius Morgan: Precisely.

Captain Morgan looks at the clock on the wall, his expression softening.

Darius Morgan: It's about time for lunch. If you two don't have plans, the police station can provide lunch.

Artem: Don't trouble yourself, Captain Morgan. [Player] and I already have plans. See you after lunch.

You: Yes, thank you, Captain Morgan. You don't need to worry about us.

You follow Artem out of the police station.



Ronan's Notebook

Ronan's Notebook icon.png

Evidence Description (Spoilers)

A black notebook found in the photo album of Ronan and Fiona. In it, Ronan records everything that happened over the course of committing the crime with Lamont Russo.