108 Chapter 97: A man who awoke too early in the darkness, 1502 CE

[Florence, Italy]

The Eternals were now staying in Florence. They had followed a man whom Pluto had met in the evacuation of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci. At first, the others were hesitant, but when they saw what Leonardo was capable of, they relented.

Leonardo was now talking excitedly with Phastos, talking about ideas and things that interest him.

"Are you sure, friend? B-but this is expensive?" questioned Leonardo.

"It's fine, trust me, you don't want to go the weapon design route." spoke Phastos as he gave Leonardo a pouch of gold. "You will not bear the guilt."

"B-But… this is too much!" exclaimed Leonardo. "T-There must be something I could do for you?"

"Just take it." shrugged Phastos.

"No, no, I insist!" exclaimed Leonardo, he thought about it a little, before snapping his fingers. "How about I paint you and your family? As a token of my gratitude?" asked Leonardo excitedly.

Phastos raised his eyebrow, before looking at the others. He threw a questioning look at them, and he saw Ajak nodded, smiling faintly.

"Fine." grumbled Phastos. "Paint all of us at once?"

"Yes, yes, I'm quite good at painting as you can see." nodded Leonardo.

"Alright then, want to start now?"

"Now?" Leonardo asked back. "Okay, okay, I just need to gather the tools for a couple of minutes…"

Leonardo then ran away from the group, towards his belongings that haven't been tidied yet.

Pluto meanwhile, was examining him, or more specifically, his sketchbook. He flipped the pages, drawings of strange things, like a wooden tank, a parachute, a helicopter, and… human anatomy?

"Hey, Leonardo, you drew this?" asked Pluto casually.

"Draw what?" asked him back.

"Human muscles, bones, organs…" added Pluto, which made Leonardo flinch.

Leonardo quickly turned toward Pluto, and grabbed his sketchbook back from him. "P-Please don't report me to the church! They'll burn me at the stake!"

Pluto looked at him in confusion. "Why would I report you?"

Leonardo blushed, but didn't say anything. He quickly turned back, preparing the painting tools.

Pluto then got it.

"Wait, you dissected human beings?" asked Pluto, which made Leonardo flinch again. "Oh, well, don't worry about it, we don't really care."

Leonardo then sighed in relief, before telling them to stand in lines, so he could paint them.

The rest of the day went by, as Leonardo sketched the Eternals on a painting cloth, and started to work. That painting would be his long-term work, just like another painting later on.

A couple months later, Leonardo was busy in his workshop, engineering one of his creations from the money Phastos gave him. It was that wooden tank, it was coming off quickly, but then, a messenger suddenly knocked on his workshop.

"Is this Leonardo da Vinci's workshop?" asked the messenger.

"Err… yes, what brings you here?" asked Leonardo casually.

"A message from the Borgia family," said the messenger, which made Leonardo frown. Leonardo took the letter, and opened it.

It was an invitation to the Borgia territory, to become a weapon engineer.

Leonardo was excited. Finally, a family who would accept him as a weapon engineer instead of a painter. He paid the messenger some gold, before running towards the Eternals's residence, who had become his only friends in these couple of years.

"So you want to accept it?" asked Phastos, frowning as he did that.

"What choice do I have?" said Leonardo in excitement. "Finally, a family will accept me!"

"A weapon Engineer is not the type of job you want Leo, trust me." commented Phastos.

"War is everywhere right now! I could become rich!"

"It's not about the money, Leo," said Phastos calmly. "It's about the guilt."

"What guilt?"

Phastos sighed. "You know what? Do what you want." he said, leaving Leonardo alone, confused at what he's saying.

And so, Leonardo travelled to the territory of the Borgia, hoping to make a name for himself as a weapon engineer.

[1 year later]

Leonardo was not in a good mood. After 1 year of serving the Borgia, he had left them quietly. He did as he wanted, to make a name for himself, but at what cost?

His inventions killed many people, he had been slapped in the face by reality, that war is not glorious, that war is not holy, war is brutal, and war is cruel.

The Borgia hired him so that they could kill as many people as possible, and it pains Leonardo's heart and consciousness to know that many people died because of him, because of his invention.

And so, he ran away, and he travelled back to Florence. Hoping to be a painter once more. As he walked inside the city, he saw a familiar face, it was Phastos, buying things from the marketplace.

"Friend, is that you?!" shouted Leo, and Phastos turned to him, and he was surprised to see Leonardo here.

"Leo, what are you doing here? I thought you became what you wanted?"

"Y-You were right!" shouted Leo. "I- I do not want to become a weapon engineer anymore… all those people…"

Phastos sighed, and patted Leo's shoulder. "No matter, let's go home, Gil is cooking."

Leonardo smiled. "Yes… Yes, I would love to eat his cooking once more…"

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A/N: Leo won't be an apostle, just a warning.

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