Leo is a character that I’ve used throughout the Merines, and he’s done a lot of controversial stuff (side-switching, the occasional god-moding ect.) and his past has only been slightly hinted at and described. I won’t only be telling his past, but retelling his part in Merines 1 and 2 through his point of view, redefined, giving more information on what was going through his head at the time. For those that have followed the Merines closely, or have been in it, are probably asking, “Why not tell his view on 3?” Well for one, M3 never finished, not to mention it sucked and I didn’t really like Leo throughout the RP. So, let’s turn back the clock, and see what the Gatsu has gone through in his life.
Note: When I get to M1 and M2, it’ll be the new canon. It’s not going to entirely change, but a few details here and there will be changed. There’s a special surprise once I get there as well.
Note 2: You don’t have to have read or been in the Merines RP to read the fic.
Note 3: Yes, Tombi knows about this. This isn’t some cheap rip-off.
He felt the full force of the punch in his gut and fell to the ground. His face was rubbed against the lowly dirt. He felt even lower as his mouth took in little bits of dirt when a foot came to crush his head. His body was broken in all ways imaginable. He tried to spit the blood from his mouth, but only to take in more of the filthy dirt. When he the pressure on his head lifted, he got up, only to feel the full force of brass knuckles against his face. If it wasn’t for Leo’s high tolerance for physical pain, he might have passed out. He was too weak to fight back though. Not to mention outnumbered. Leo was getting pounded away by the other boys in his clan. He was the weakest out of all of the boys in his group, and for that, he had to get beat up. It was the brutal life of the Gatsu clan. It only added insult to injury when his older brother and sister were so great, while Leo was so pathetic. He always got comments like ‘You’re a disgrace to your family’ or ‘You should be disowned’. Leo never cried when he was hit. He just took it and waited for it to stop. It was the least he could do.
Thankfully, the coming rain caused the boys to go run to their own houses. Leo spit the blood out of his mouth. It landed on the ground and mixed with the rain, streaming away. Leo got up and walked away. His cloths were already muddy and the rain made it even worse. He didn’t want to get sick, and get beat up again for making an excuse about how he missed Duel practice. The Gatsu clan was obsessed with fighting. All they did was fight each other, and sometimes to the death. Every fight was a one-on-one duel with either fists, wooden, or metal weapons. It depended on the situation. Kids that were from ages 5 to 8 were always unarmed. Then when they turned 9, they entered wooden combat all the way until they were 12, when they started to use metal weapons, but they were always dull. It wasn’t until you became 16 that most fights were lethal. It was one of the main reasons why Gatsu families always had three to five kids. There was always a chance that some of them would die before ever reached adulthood.
Leo was raised to not have any problem with the system. No one in the Gatsu clan ever believed in morals. It was a survival of the fittest attitude. Leo’s problem was that he was horrible at Dueling. Even though he was seven, he lost to five year olds. He wasn’t physically gifted and he had no brains to even employ any sort of tactics when he fought. His older brother, Garu, had both. He easily dispatched his opponents and his sister Gia, even though not as talented as Garu, was still one of the best Duelers in her group. Leo was the worst, and even kids younger than him, bested him with only a few moves. Leo hardly put up a fight. Many kids considered him as a warm-up, or to stretch since Leo’s offense was just as good as his defense.
Leo walked over to his father who was standing outside of his house. They all lived in a medium-sized concrete house. Almost every house was identical. If there was an abundance of children, they usually would just try and make room. There village was isolated from the capital city of Eternia, Eternia City and they had no access to electricity. They weren’t primitive; they just were too isolated to use it. They had full knowledge of it, but they chose not to get involved with Eternia. The Gatsu clan did have a steady supply of food and cooking methods, and everyone was well fed. The only vice the Gatsus had was there unhealthy obsession with fighting. And maybe a form of child labor, but that could easily be debated.
He walked over to his father and looked up at him in the eyes. His father was just staring into space, out into the air. Leo continued to look up and even shuffled his feet a bit to gain his father’s attention. It was in vain though and his father was clearly ignoring him. Leo guessed he had seen his son getting pummeled in the dirt. He agreed with what everyone else said about Leo. Even though his father didn’t say it directly, he said it in his head. Leo was a disgrace to his family. Leo did a fake cough and then decided to speak up. Maybe if he stood up to his father and acted like he wasn’t a worthless as everyone thought, he’d get a little more respect from his own father.
“Father, why didn’t you protect me back there?! I was outnumbered and getting my ass kicked! Couldn’t you have at least told them to go away!?”
His head slowly turned towards Leo and those empty black eyes store Leo down, invoking a sense of pressure on Leo that changed his face of anger to fear. He stepped back a bit. That glare was one of obvious anger. Leo had made a mistake. His father obviously didn’t even want to speak to his pathetic excuse for a son. Leo knew what was going to come next. His father smacked him in the face, knocking him to the ground, his face in the dirt again. His cheek had a burning sting and the rough ground did nothing to help.
“Leo,” His voice boomed. “You are a poor excuse for my son! No one will ever help you when your in those Duels or out of them! Numbers, skill, none of it matters! When you grow older, and you engage in the most lethal of Duels, and your about to lose no one will come to save you, not even me. Get used to it, you baby. I may be your father, but you are not my son! If you want my respect, then get it by winning and your Duels and becoming an accomplished warrior. Don’t question my motives again, you brat! You belong to the Gatsu clan, but you do not show it! You are stripped of your name until you prove yourself to the clan. Get out of my sight, swine.”
Leo’s fear turned to pain and his pain turned to sadness. And in his sorrow, his anger and determination grew. His eyes, which were normally a light blue, glowed bright red for only a split second before changing back to normal. It was the first step for Leo’s growth, but it would certainly not be the last. He walked into the house, not saying a word. His mother was folding clothes. He couldn’t turn to his mother for help either. That was one of the worst moves a Gatsu could make. She’d agree with his father, but be a bit more gentle. His father would hear about it though, and he’d get a severe beating for whining to his mother about it. It didn’t matter to Leo though. He turned to his left to see Gia on the couch, sharpening her knives. Garu was out at this time, either dueling or spending time with his girlfriend. The strongest Duelers generally had popularity and all the assets that went with it. Fear, respect, and women adored him. The other guys in his group hated, feared, and respected him. Garu wasn’t always the greatest warrior though. He was a lot like Leo hen he was a young child, but he had one friend, and she was ridiculed for being friend’s with someone as weak as Garu. He rose through the ranks though, and as his ability as a warrior grew, his bond with his true friend dwindled.
Garu was at the point, where he usually was out with a different woman almost every day. Leo wasn’t jealous at all, because he was so young he didn’t understand what it was like. He only knew that shortly after he had killed one of his old enemies in a Duel, his friendship had ended with the girl, and Garu’s ability increased 10 fold for some strange reason. It got to the point where he endangered his group so much that his opponents were forced to give up if they didn’t submit. He was even put with kids four years older than him. His parents and other elders talked about it late at night. Leo stood up to listen, but he didn’t understand any of it. Leo went over to his room and fell onto his ‘bed’ which was actually the floor. He was the third child and didn’t get an expansion yet. He’d have to wait another year or two for that. He only had a small pillow and blanket, and a mat that he slept with while Garu and Gia both had beds. It was something else he didn’t mind. He knew he’d get a bed eventually once they had more room.
He heard a slight tap on the door. It was dinner. If Leo didn’t come now, he wouldn’t get anything. He knew he’d get only a small portion of food since his father was already furious with him. Maybe only a piece of steak and a few slices of fruit, and a small cup of water. Garu would find something to eat on his own, so maybe he could get a bit of his portion. He sat up and walked out the door. His father wasn’t in the house yet. He decided to be quick and get some decent portions before heading back to his room. He rarely sat at the table where they had dinner, because of the lack of chairs. He didn’t like listening to their conversations which he couldn’t avoid, even in the bedroom. It didn’t take long for him to finish eating. The food was of a decent quality as always. Most families had the same amount of food and type. Meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy, the usual food groups. He could tell that everyone was eating when he heard Gia start talking. She usually bragged how well she did in her duels to their parents. When you had an older brother like Garu, it was always important to keep your parents impressed.
“I won another Duel today. I won easily too! I started aggressive with my two wooden swords and I landed several hits and she already gave up!”
“That’s news I like to hear. I’m glad I have two competent children that can carry on our family name.”
“Yeah, I’ll make you proud Father, unlike that pathetic Leo!”
Leo couldn’t stand it anymore. He hated hearing his family talk. Every word favored them or scorned him. He decided it was better to fall asleep than be tortured by the words of his family. He closed his eyes and rested his head on the thin pillow given to him. He was perfectly still. The only movement was his breathing. He slowly drifted to sleep, and started to forget about what had happened that day.
I will make you strong.