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Private The Honest Truth

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Leonie Pinelli, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
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    Female
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    Mercenary
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    Human
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    26
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    Neutral Good

    November 19th

    Leonie still wasn't sure how to feel about all of this.

    She had been sharing a living space with Edelgard for months now. Everyone had seemingly moved on from the war or at least trying to, so Leonie couldn't help but feel strange for being the only one that was still hung up on it. Maybe she wasn't the only one and the others were just better at hiding it, she wouldn't be surprised by that either. Still, those feelings were starting to die down with time.

    Until the whole situation with Claude happened.

    Edelgard being a second away from killing him, Byleth giving her the command to, it all sent Leonie's emotion into a turmoil. In the end, she decided to comfort Claude instead of being angry at people who weren't there when she found out.

    Now, Edelgard knew of what had happened, having learned it from Claude much sooner than Leonie had expected. He wasn't happy about it, of course, and Leonie did what she could to help him feel better, but now it meant that she could talk to Edelgard freely. It was better to get this over with sooner rather than later, because otherwise things were just going to be very awkward from now on.

    That was what led Leonie to ask Edelgard to meet up with her near that cave around the edge of Hidden Crest, the Garden. She didn't want to risk anyone overhearing their conversation and accidentally revealing Claude's secret to more people, so it was best to take it somewhere with as few people around as possible, specifically the people from Fódlan. This wasn't ideal, but it'd have to do.

    Leonie paced back and forth, eyes looking up at the sky above as she tried to sort out her thoughts before Edelgard arrived



    @Edelgard von Hresvelg
     
    #1 Leonie Pinelli, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  2. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    It'd been a long two days since talking with Claude about...how did she even describe it? His timeline issues? Her alternative self's violent streak? Edelgard wasn't sure what to make of it beyond the realization that she'd somehow damaged another relationship just by Claude ageing up by five years. To be fair, that would have probably happened regardless of her deciding to personally kill him. She'd started a war, after all. And yet he didn't want to bring that hate into Pandora.

    A part of her wished that he'd just do it anyway. Rip the bandage off since he was doomed to die as soon as he disappeared. But she did like being his friend, and that was enough for her to not push his patience. Even if she now had a large amount of introspection to do. That was her own business.

    Leonie's request was...kind of suspicious. Or she was paranoid. Meeting up away from the house, over at the garden seemed like a set up of some sort. Edelgard resisted the instinct to take a weapon with her and just kept her armor on instead. Even if she knew about what happened to Claude, Leonie wasn't impulsive enough to try to fight over it, right? That seemed unnecessary. She took her time getting to the cave entrance, running over potential scenarios in her head. What kind of talk was there to have about this?

    "You picked an interesting spot for a chat," Edelgard said to her, stopping a few feet away. She tried to look as unconcerned as possible, but it was fairly obvious that she was more tired than usual.
     
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  3. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    It didn't take too long for Edelgard to show up, or at least, it didn't feel like it took too long. Leonie's gaze fell from the sky onto the former emperor only to see that... she was wearing her armor? Leonie hadn't taken any of her weapons with her for this meeting, as she wasn't planning to get into a fight with Edelgard. It not only felt unnecessary, but she doubted Claude would be happy with that. Though, at the same time, Edelgard didn't look like she had any weapons on her either, so... what was the deal here?

    "It felt like an isolated enough place that was easy to find," Leonie shrugged, taking notice that Edelgard did look more tired than usual. The people here really needed to sleep properly, though in this case it was hard to blame her for it. "Anyway, Claude told me about the last talk you two had and I thought we might as well get this out of the way now."

     
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  4. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
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    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
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    Human
    Age:
    23
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    Chaotic Good
    Edelgard now wondered what kind of discussion warranted being this far away from the house. She understood not wanting everyone to hear Claude's personal problems, but what else was there to talk about? Leonie didn't have a weapon either, which was a small relief. This probably wasn't going to become a death match then. Edelgard let out slow breath and crossed her arms.

    "What exactly did you have in mind? If you know what he told me, then there isn't much else to say." Did Leonie want her to sign a form promising that she wasn't going to try and finish off Claude in his sleep or something? "I'm not interested in hurting anyone here."
     
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  5. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
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    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
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    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    "I know," Leonie bluntly stated, "but this isn't about Claude, it's about me."

    Now that Edelgard was here, Leonie... still didn't know how to put her thoughts into words. The more she pondered about everything, the more mixed everything seemed to get, so maybe it would be better for her to just say everything that was in her head.

    "You know, until I got to Pandora, I never really thought much about you as a person. It was easier to just think of you as an obstacle and work on bringing you down so we could clean up your mess afterwards," Leonie began, trying not to mince any words, "but now that we've had to spend all this time sharing the same home, I got to know you a little better. See more of the person under the whole emperor thing."

    She felt like she was dragging things a little, but she just needed to get the ball rolling before she could get to her point. Her tone was neutral the entire time she was talking, but the look in her eyes was more unfocused.

    "I try to see the good in other people as much as I can, even though I know some people are just rotten inside. I also know you're not one of those people," she then folded her arms, her expression gaining an edge, but still composed. "But... no matter how much time passes, I still can't find it in me to forgive you for anything you did."

     
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  6. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    For a moment, Edelgard wondered if she somehow personally killed Leonie too. At this point it wouldn't surprise her. But it turned out to be about...forgiveness? Edelgard hadn't really thought that Leonie wanted to try to "be friends" in the first place. She was content enough with their arrangement of not killing one another or starting arguments constantly. That was all she could reasonably ask for as long as they were in contact.

    "...Then don't. You're not obligated to forgive anyone. There's a difference between that and moving on with your life," Edelgard said quietly. She didn't have the energy to sound like she didn't care. She paused for a moment. "But I'll give you a hypothetical, if it's bothering you this much. If I could do anything physically possible in Pandora that would be enough to gain your forgiveness, what would it be?"
     
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  7. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The question Edelgard shot at her really caught Leonie offguard. Was there anything that could be done to make forgiving Edelgard easier? Leonie's gaze fell down as she tried to come up with anything that could do that, but in the end... she drew a complete blank.

    Leonie lifted her head "I don't think there's anything you can do," she shook her head, looking at Edelgard in the eye again. "You caused a war, Edelgard. Countless people died because of it and even those who didn't suffered. It's not something that can be forgiven very easily, and it's not like you can bring people back from the dead."

    Nothing they did in Pandora could have any effect on the Fódlan they knew. None at all. In most of those, at least one of them was long dead and that was being optimistic about it. Pandora was like some kind of weird dream they were all sharing and, when they woke up, they'd forget all about it.

    They all knew that, and all they could really do was try to not turn it into a nightmare. That was what Claude was trying to do, at least.

    "All of us are just trying to make the most out of the time we have here and you're no different. I don't want to make your life here any harder than it needs to be," she sighed, averting her eyes from Edelgard. "but I thought it'd be better to be straight with you about this than leaving it up to interpretation, especially now that you know about Claude."

     
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  8. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    "Alright, then there's nothing to be conflicted about," Edelgard said with a nod. "You believe that the suffering loss of life in the war I started wasn't worth the end results. I believed that fighting was better that taking no direct action and allowing the present suffering and death at a slower rate to continue. We're at an impasse. I'm not going to try and sway you to see my way of thinking."

    She had no desire for a weird pity party either. She was in a bad position for a good amount of her childhood, but her actions were her own. She wasn't just a chess piece being moved by Thales anymore.

    "Anything else you'd like to say to me, then?" Edelgard asked with a slight smile. She wasn't even sure why she was smiling, but there was this tension in the air that she wanted to remove. " Whatever you want. No Dimitri, Claude, or Byleth to change the subject."
     
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  9. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude. They were both pretty set on their ways to the point it felt useless to try to go against their way of thinking. Edelgard just had the most destructive methods, or at least the most widespread ones. Dimitri was much more vicious, but at least his anger was mostly directed at Edelgard, and anyone that got between him and her.

    Then Edelgard gave Leonie the ok to say whatever she wanted and now that she could... it was really hard to decide what she wanted to say. Maybe it would've been easier if it had been earlier in their life in Pandora, but as it was now... there were really just a couple of questions in her mind, all related to what Claude had told both of them.

    "... Are you really the kind of person that kills anyone that might be a threat, without hesitation, even if they surrendered?" Leonie asked directly, her tone lacking in judgement, as she was reserving that for when she heard the answer. "Having to kill people who you went to the academy with, because of a war that you started. Does it not bother you at all? Is your goal that important to you?"

     
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  10. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    There was no easing into these questions. Edelgard had expected more direct insults, but of course Leonie went right for those topics. The things that kept her up at night.

    "...I'd like to think that I'm not right now," she said, adjusting her gauntlets. "If they aren't obviously lying to me. I wanted to keep the deaths as minimal as possible. I never thought it'd drag on for five long years. Maybe it'd have been shorter if everything had gone according to plan. I don't...know why I killed so many people where Claude came from." If Byleth hadn't almost been killed during that siege of Garreg Mach, maybe she could have pushed for a faster victory. Faster than the Kingdom could pull itself together and join forces with the Knights of Seiros. But war was full of unexpected setbacks, and Edelgard should have accounted better for them. If she'd been strong enough to face Rhea herself back then...

    "Every death bothered me. Every single one of them." She buried so many soliders. So many good people that wanted things to change for the better. And she took no joy in killing the opposition either. They fought to the end for their own beliefs, and she would always honor their efforts. They didn't die as victims. "But...that was the cost of removing the Church of Seiros's influence. If they chose to fight against me, I couldn't just give in. I enjoyed my time at the Officers Academy, but putting my own happiness over rebelling would have been selfish. Just another noble letting the system rot Fodlan from the inside because I was too afraid to disrupt it."
     
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  11. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Leonie listened to Edelgard's answer in silence, just letting her explain her thought process. Clearly the version of her that Claude met was baffling even Edelgard herself, which didn't surprise Leonie. Claude had told her as much before, but talking to Edelgard right now made it all the clearer that she really wasn't lying about anything before.

    Still, even after all this, Leonie felt mixed. She could understand Edelgard's motivations, she really did. Captain Jeralt was very suspicious of Rhea the whole time he was in the monastery, although Leonie never got to find out why. Even aside from that, she had experienced a lot of grievances with the way things worked in Fódlan before that kept her in debt for years, but even with all that in mind, starting a war? That felt like too extreme of a measure to take.

    "... I can understand your reasons and, usually, I'd be happy to help you carry out that kind of change in the system but... I can't agree with the cost of your methods," she sighed again in resignation, "Maybe I'm just too soft for that kind of thing, but the amount of blood that got spilled because of you is too much for me."

    She felt like she should've been feeling angry about all this, but in reality Leonie just felt... numb. She was honestly tired of the war, was glad that it was finally over and Pandora was thankfully war-free from what she knew about it. Still, she felt like she had to address all of this, if only for her own peace of mind.

    "But I'll believe you. Cold and distant as you act, I don't think you, or at least this version of you in front of me right now, is the kind of person who would execute Claude in cold blood." Nor did she think the Byleth here would've given the ok for it, but that was a whole other can of worms. "... Anyway, since you let me say whatever I wanted, it's only fair I give you that chance too."

     
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  12. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    There were a lot of things that Edelgard could say about the many costs of the different disputes across Fodlan. The battles between Adrestia, Brigid, and Dagda, the Kingdom's campaign in Streng, the constant Almyran raids from Fodlan's Throat, the Crescent Moon War that created the Leicester Alliance, the original War of Eagle and Lion, and of course, the War of Heroes that lasted for so many years that many soldiers who fought later did not know the original reason behind it. Reading history, the fighting felt constant. The peace between battles were just lulls in the constant rebellion and need for dominance over others in the hearts of the people. Was that why starting another war didn't feel as drastic? Another footnote in the books. Maybe she just thought much further ahead than was normal and her perspective was horribly skewed.

    "Yes, well...I can say that your first impressions of me are entirely my fault." Edelgard never had interest in superficial kindness, and as a result came off as very blunt or uncaring. She could see how that translated to an unfeeling emperor. Thst was the person she always thought she'd turn into without any guidance. She was puzzled by Leonie's return offer. What exactly did she expect to hear?

    "...I didn't have a list of complaints in mind when I agreed to this, so sorry if I disappoint you," Edelgard said. "I guess...just keep in mind that people process emotions in very different ways. And are terrible at figuring out how to express them." Honestly, she was still not that great in that particular area. Her first instinct was always to bury it, but it was easier to release her grip around friends. Even then, she was still somewhat private. "But I do appreciate your kind of criticism. I'd much rather speak directly about issues than walk around them if there's no reason to keep quiet."
     
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  13. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Leonie admittedly hadn't talked to Edelgard at all in the academy, in part because she just came across as very unapproachable and distant, plus they were from different houses. All Leonie really knew was that Edelgard was going to be the next emperor of Adrestia, but that was it. She never expected that one of the people she went to school with would end up starting a war through the entire continent.

    What Edelgard had to say about her was, well, not much. Not that Leonie was really expecting anything. She doubted she was very high on Edelgard's list of priorities and even now they didn't talk very often outside of brief exchanges in the house or whenever was chatting in a group. Still, what she had to say was certainly interesting.

    "I'm guessing that, right now, by 'people' you mean you," she pointed out with a teasing smile, the first time she had ever actually smiled during this entire conversation. "But I get what you mean, a lot of times I just get caught up in the moment and end up saying or doing things I regret later," she winced, thinking back to some of her earlier conversations with Byleth. "I was always taught to speak my mind whenever something bothered me, that otherwise it was just going to keep eating at me and making me feel bad. That's kinda why I'm doing this in the first place."

     
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  14. Edelgard von Hresvelg

    Edelgard von Hresvelg Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    84
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Governor's Assistant
    Location:
    Cascade Bay
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    23
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    "Perhaps I'll begin to work on that..." Edelgard said, opting to look down at her boots in a weak attempt to hide her own more genuine smile. Though she did refrain from speaking about her personal thoughts for a fairly good reason. Some of them weren't exactly easy to move on from, and dumping it on other people felt wrong. She was still guilty over her moment of weakness with Byleth. Her eyes lit up as she recalled something else she had in mind.

    "Oh, and I had another request. Would you be willing to spar with me sometime?" While she didn't take pleasure in hurting or killing people, training was a very centering activity for her. It felt easier to understand people when they fought with her. Words lied, but actions did not.
     
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  15. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    87
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Edelgard's other request was a bit sudden, but it wasn't a bad idea. Leonie was always up to improve her fighting skills and, mixed as she was about Edelgard as a person, she knew the Emperor was far from weak. If there was one thing Leonie could respect about her, it was the fact she didn't just sit in a throne and tell everyone else to fight for her.

    Leonie nodded. "Sure, I'm always down to get some extra training done," she smiled as she raised an arm in front of her and clenched her fist. "Just let me know when and I'll be ready."

     
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