When I think of “Edgeworth helping Phoenix studying to get his badge back”, of course it’s really sweet, but I think it can also turn very angsty.
Just hear me out.
For Phoenix, Edgeworth was always a genius. He was so smart as a child, he won awards for all kinds of things, like speech contests, essays, playing flute, golf tournaments. Then he became a prosecutor at an early age and kept winning all his cases. He was fluent at five languages in his mid-twenties, studying international law, and solving international cases with Interpol.
Phoenix always admired Edgeworth for being so talented. This was not a bad thing when they were both lawyers. But after spending seven years as a hobo, losing his pride and wallowing in self-pity, now he felt downright inferior to his perfect friend. Edgeworth was a successful international lawyer and the new Chief Prosecutor, while Phoenix was still playing poker with criminals. He felt like a useless trash compared to this man who used to be his “rival.”
But Phoenix didn’t know that Edgeworth thought of him as a genius too. Edgeworth saw him taking totally hopeless cases with very little time to prepare for it. But somehow he pulled a miracle and discovered the truth every time in the end. Phoenix defeated Edgeworth and both generations of Von Karma, broke the perfect records of all three of them, when he was still only a rookie lawyer. Christ, now THAT should be called the real genius.
Just like Franziska who confessed “I am no genius” in JFA, Edgeworth never actually thought of himself as a genius. Even though he achieved many things in his early age, that’s because he always tried ten times harder than other people under the strict education of Manfred. No, the true genius was Phoenix, not him. Edgeworth thought it was the greatest tragedy that Phoenix didn’t have a chance to practice his God-given talent in court for seven years.
So when Phoenix finally decided to take the Bar again to get his badge back, Edgeworth was thrilled and offered to help his study.
It didn’t go well.
Thanks to Manfred, Edgeworth was quite used to study like crazy every day since childhood. What Miles Edgeworth considered “normal” amount of study was certainly NOT normal in ordinary people’s view. It really didn’t help that Phoenix spent last seven years as a piano-playing-hobo-daddy so didn’t have any habit for sitting at a desk and studying. So when Edgeworth gave Phoenix his first assignments and told him to finish them in a week, he thought it was a bad joke. When it turned out to be real he was shocked and confused. What does Edgeworth expect from me? He must know that I really can’t do this! Is he trying to make fun of me? Torture me? Show off that he can write all of these papers so easily while I can’t?
Phoenix actually tried, but he couldn’t possibly follow the amount of study Edgeworth “normally” expected from him. Edgeworth couldn’t understand. In his point of view, he was going actually SLOW, being extremely generous compared to what Manfred expected from Franziska when she was like nine years old. He was perplexed how could Phoenix be always slacking off when Bar Exam was only few months left. How can Wright be so relaxing and carefree? Is he even worried about his exam like I do for him? Does he think that he can pass without studying? Well, he actually DID won his case without remembering anything thanks to amnesia. Talk about genius…
Then one day, Phoenix didn’t finish his work again, and when Edgeworth visited the Agency to check, he saw Phoenix playing magic tricks with Trucy instead of studying. Edgeworth calmly told Trucy to go outside and help Apollo with his case. As soon as Trucy slowly shut the door from outside, BOTH Phoenix and Edgeworth finally exploded and started yelling at each other. You are too lazy, you are a stuck-up jerk, you are the one who’s taking the exam but you’re not caring about it, who said I don’t care about it? They yelled about many things, including all those mistakes they made and the moments they hurt each other, for last seven years and before. They screamed in unison “Sorry, I’m not a genius like you!” and then “WAIT WHAT?”
So it turned out that they need a lot of talk. When Trucy finally came back, she saw her daddy and Uncle Edgeworth were busy sobbing into each other’s shoulders while blabbering some apologies about the things she couldn’t understand. She thought it would be best not to interrupt them.
After that day, Edgeworth let Phoenix study on his own. He decided that he could trust Phoenix to take his study seriously in his own unique way. Phoenix sent the result of his study to Edgeworth every week, to show that he is actually trying, that he haven’t forgotten his “special request” to put an end to the Dark Age Of Law together as lawyers.
They still thought of each other as geniuses.
And they believed that two genius lawyers could change the history together.