Heart of the Heretic

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Post by Léonce Bonnet on Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:28 am

Léonce did raise his brow at Markus referring to him by that name. Now captured, he didn't bother resisting, instead preferring to conserve his energy on what would otherwise be a futile effort. He knew he was caught. The silver haired youth sighed. Of course he didn't get it. Why would he? Markus was naught but a dog for the church. He was able to think for himself but only when his own agenda was able to be satiated.

"Dear Markus," Léonce began to say when the old hunter began to speak. "The Church collects a massive amount of donations every year. The followers are zealots; I'm sure even you've realized that as wise as you are. However, what I don't think you realize is how the church uses those donations."

"This is one time where I'll spare you the theatrics. I am not the only liar; I did some looking into how the church allocates their funds. Have you a guess how much coin is sent to this island, dear Markus? If not, let me tell you."

"None."

"Absolutely no funding from the church has been sent here. Instead you see the Triumvate here. Using their own resources. Either the church seems to think prayer alone will cure these people, or they've been written off. Far too long have my people been abandoned, left to die. I'll take matters into my own hands, using the funds that should have gone to my people. I stole and schemed the followers in preparation for my arrival here, using funds that should have been sent to help the people here. Yes, I used some coin myself. My clothes, the foods I've had have all been used at the expense of the followers."

At this point, Léonce seemed to get more and more agitated. "And why shouldn't have I?! The church has done nothing for us! So I spoiled myself! I worked hard from the bottom to get to the position I had! I had to show that even someone who had nothing could work his way to the top, I had to give stories to my brothers and sisters! I have to give them a reason to live, to keep fighting! I don't know much about this sickness but I was spared it for a reason! I watched my friends die as I could do nothing! We've recieved no help from the very people who teach and preach about a salvation these people here will never know!"
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Post by DarthChungus on Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:36 am

So that is what it was. Markus now understood Léonce much better as this was real him speaking. Instead of a 'heretic' he held a victim, much like himself.

"I can only say what you are not going to like: Tamanjal is not under church jurisdiction and thus they do not help, in addition of the disease being supposedly uncurable. I know how you were pushing for that and your pleads fell on deaf ears. I would also say that is not reason to steal, but again, I understand why you did this. Which does not mean you should. At the end of the day, church is an organization, using faith and belief to do their work of providing support and furthering their own agenda, similar to Kirin Empire. Church, just like me and you, cannot help every single person. Not everyone can be saved."

Markus pauses. Trying to calm him and telling him those things will make things worse, but sooner or later Léonce will have to realize this, much like himself back in the day. He could only hope Léonce would do it sooner than him.

"That is my belief that is completely meaningless to you at the moment - your tragedy is much more personal for it to apply. The best you can do at this point is to try to prevent more death and think about what you are doing since you also need to think about yourself. Because of what you did we are in this situation."

Another pause. Once again Markus needs to gather thoughts. He never felt comfortable speaking like that. Everyone is different and may understand his words differently, some may get angry, or not understand what he really means in the first place, making them even more angry. But he feels like he has to try so that Léonce may not commit his mistakes. Before he says more, he sighs.

"I also understand your stance about Judecca. I am a non-believer as well. But I still do what I can to make things better for as many innocent people as possible, church or not. Because despite not being able to save everyone, I still try. You on the other hand took money from donations of people who wanted, out of their own will, to support the cause of the church. And if you really wanted to help as many as you could, then you would not think about yourself in the first place. But we are both human. I understand that you wanted to live the life you could not, at least for a bit."
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Post by Léonce Bonnet on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:10 am

Léonce knew that. Of course he knew that. But that didn't make it any easier, as he bit his lip. The Church did help others people; he wouldn't deny that. But the people on Tamanjal needed help far more than any other people. As a small island, they had no means to fend for themself beyond what they already had. They relied heavily on other, more powerful forces in the world.

"I stole because the followers donations weren't going where it really mattered! Take a look around you, Markus. How can anyone here live without any help? Do not misunderstand my sentiment as downplaying the needs of other places; however, you saw the village yourself. People are so badly of they'd seek the help of the Devil himself if it meant being cured! That is how dire the situation is, don't you get it?"

"If the church had acted sooner, perhaps there'd even be a cure now... how many more people on this island will have to die before the church will prioritize Tamanjal? Will the people here all die out and turn this into a ghost island before they open their eyes? The people here need help now."

"I admit, I got caught up in the wealth and power I had accumulated in my time," Léonce said, now calming down from his earlier outburst. He realized just how out of character that was, but it was a topic that hurt his heart. Of course he'd lash out. It was impossible for him not to.

"It is as you say; I wanted to live a life I'd not live otherwise. But it wasn't as if I forgot my people! That boat there is proof of that! It is the most recent thing I purchased, and it was bought purely so I could get the means to arrive here."

"Time and time again I was denied, Markus. The church does not place there care where it is needed most, nor will they listen where it needs to go. Prayer alone won't save these people. I don't expect to save everyone; I just want to save someone, anyone. Because that becomes hope for all the others."
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Post by DarthChungus on Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:38 pm

"Then do so in a way to not hurt others."

Léonce took it much better than he expected, which is a start. Maybe, just maybe, he will be able to point him in the right direction that will lead to him being content with what he is doing without getting himself killed or hunted down by someone. Markus never said it would be easy and Léonce clearly understands that, or at least he seems like he does.

"For now you done yourself a disservice and it seems like I will have to figure out what to do with it since I am not capturing you as ordered. By yourself you will only have a chance of getting infected instead of saving someone. And to save someone you need to find a cure, which at the moment does not exist. You cannot blame yourself for every single person that dies here. If there was a cause for the plague or if someone spread it then you could direct your hate towards that."

Yet again, a pause in his speech. His scrambled thoughts are hard to gather as this is way too reminiscent of what already happened, something that Markus wishes he would not live through again.

"Allying yourself with church did not bring what you wanted and it is something you have to get over. You are now a free, but alone, man with a will to help. I work with church because Arcus has knowledge that I lack and can point me in direction of places where I can save the most lives. I suggest you should join Triumvirate, Tsukuda house in specific, if you want to help people now. Sato house if you want to research cure and make life better for yourself. Or if you still despise the church then join Kirin Empire. They are bound to expand towards Tamanjal and absorb it while also making moves on other church territories. I can help you get a start in one of the houses if you want."

"The other thing I want to know is how much money you stole. Apparently it was enough to send hunters after you with orders to capture you, but not enough to order your death."
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Post by Léonce Bonnet on Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:08 am

Léonce didn't know where to begin with this one. Do so in a way that didn't hurt others? Was he listening to himself? The church had all the means in the world to help the people here. They, who needed it more than others. Some help was better than none. Did the All Mother that they so feverently believe in simply stop her grace "because there were others beyond her salvation"?

There was definitely a means to make it so. Léonce knew it was possible. This world ran on coin; an allocation in one place to protect the weak and feeble in another. Simple donations would have been at least something. Maybe Léonce went too far in what he did. Perhaps he shouldn't have effectively robbed ignorant followers. But, what was their money going to go for, anyways? To feed the homeless? There were quite a few ways to help the homeless, anyways, and they were still capable.

The people here were genuinely dying. And the church did nothing.

"...Even if there's no cure now, Markus, there will be eventually! Doing what we can, when we can, to preserve the lives that are in the here and now is absolutely essential! You preach the high ground here because it's easy. You are a man of experience and I do not doubt you haven't experienced your share of tragedy. But that's all in the past, Markus. This problem is one that's still on going."

"I've already found an ally to associate myself with, though I do hope you understand that I do not intend on sharing that information with you. As for the coin I procured, enough to live comfortably if I was to ever return there. However, you likely are aware that I've already sold the home I stayed in. What I have now is to get by."
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Post by DarthChungus on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:48 pm

"For now focus on your current situation. I need to know who you work with because this will give me basis for an argument to not send more people after you. This way the matter could be solved without your input and handled by whoever you work with since they are responsible for you."

Looking at him and his clothes he could tell the money is gone and there was not much to get out of him by this point. Léonce is quite vain, but to the understandable degree. Enough to not approve, not enough to outright hate. Markus proceeds to sigh and continues speaking.

"It is going to be a dent, but I suppose I could pay for what you stole, at least partially. It is by no means small amount, but I expect at least degree of cooperation from you regarding the matter. I want to solve it in a way that is going to allow us to proceed without hindrances and lets us go back to what is actually important. All I need from you is cooperation and to remember your current situation. You will never solve the problem of this island if you keep bringing trouble upon yourself."

Markus still does not sound threatening. The mask obscures well whatever facial expression he may have and his head looks anywhere to avoid the direct gaze of Léonce.
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Post by Léonce Bonnet on Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:49 am

Léonce couldn't help but sigh. "Does it matter who I'm affiliated with?" he inquired, quite annoyed. "You're looking at this from the wrong point of view. Though I'm grateful you'd be so kind as to let me off the hook, the church may see this as an act of betrayal."

"You would only cause problems between the church and those who I'm affiliated with. I appreciate your earnesty, but the church will not. Ignorance is, sometimes the best way of handling things. And in truth, you're better off apprehending me and taking me to those rotten folk, or lying to them entirely. Those are your best options."

"The church would still want me apprehended for my transgressions. Do not get me wrong--I do not regret what I did, but I have no reason to bother to even try to again. I'm sure the church is already aware of that, and if anything, they're most likely aware of why I did what I did. It'd be hard to keep my past hidden from them, after all, especially considering how much I pushed for help here."

After speaking his bit for quite awhile, Léonce seemed to fall in thought. He needed to think this over. "So, my Dear Markus. Qu'est-ce qu'il serait? Will you lie to protect my plight, or will you turn me in? These are the best possible outcomes for you."
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Post by DarthChungus on Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:13 pm

The tentacle that was holding Léonce begins to retract back into Markus' arm, sneaking its way back under his coat, which should not be possible considering its length and size.

"Getting you to work with me seems ineffective. You are also assuming I need to lie. At worst I will be chewed out. I have been chewed out before. Some hunters may be sent after you still, but I will not be one of them unless you do something that would require my attention, which you will not."

By the tone of his voice he does not mean what he said as a threat - rather that he trusts him to not do anything bad.

"Just remember to keep yourself safe and not do anything stupid. Your heart is in the right place at the end of the day and the rest will come along with time. And if you will succumb to your hatred of church, grief of loss or just plain vanity, then you can count on me to stop you."

Markus proceeds to turn around and leave, but as he walks away he says:

"Someday you will repay me, one way or another."

As Markus makes his way back to where Sato should be, she simply is not. Not surprising all things considered, but slightly problematic nonetheless. And certainly slower. He proceeds to find another boat and starts rowing. It is certainly slower than the way he originally came to the island, but it should still be faster than normally considering that Markus does not need to take breaks.
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