|The Goddess's Mercy
Curran: A dangerous heretic who abducts children? I'm dealing with a real piece of work. He's clearly the reason why kids have been disappearing from this town. Time to knock him out and take him in before he can claim any more victims.
Heinwald: Well, if it isn't Curran.
Curran: What are you doing here?!
Heinwald: Work. I've taken on an urgent request.
Curran: You're not sticking your head into trouble again, are you?
Heinwald: I'll not share details of my job with you. I have a duty to protect my clients' privacy.
Curran: (Ugh, he never changes. But this time, I'm gonna REALLY stun him with what I can do.)
Curran: You know, I'm actually working on a case right now as well.
Heinwald: Oh? And what would that be?
Curran: If you're gonna give me the confidentiality excuse, I'll also keep my own counsel.
Heinwald: Then I shall ask no more.
Curran: But on that subject, what do you say we compete to see who can solve their case first? Loser has to do one thing the winner says. Sound good?
Heinwald: I did not come here to compete with you. And yet, I can't say I have no interest in seeing you beg for mercy.
Curran: That's a pretty cocky attitude to be taking before we've even started, bub. You're gonna live to regret it!
Heinwald: I haven't even agreed to this madness. Honestly, you are incorrigible.
Several days later...
Through his investigation, Curran determined the location of one of the kidnapped children.
Curran: Hey! You're safe now. I'm here for yo—
Heinwald: I have come to rescue you, small one. Now let us be off.
Curran: Hey! What are YOU doing here?!
Heinwald: Ah ha ha! It seems our requests were surprisingly similar. But that is not what matters right now. Come with me, young man—you have nothing to fear now.
Child: You're lying! You're one of THEM! Look how weird you're dressed!
Heinwald: You should never judge someone by their appearance, young one.
Curran: You might have smarts when it comes to solving cases, but you're TERRIBLE when it comes to handling kids. Logic's not gonna get you anywhere with them. Allow me.
Heinwald: ...Very well.
Curran: Don't be afraid, kid.
Child: More bad guys?! Go away!
Curran: Hey, I'm no bad guy. I'm with the Church. And unlike Doctor Weirdo over there, I actually dressed the part. See the ring attached to my outfit? It's called the Halo. You've seen priests with it before, right?
Child: Hey, yeah! So you're really with the Church, mister?
Curran: Sure am—and while this guy might have suspicious written all over him, he's actually one of my lackeys.
Heinwald: How dare you.
Curran: So now we're on the same page, I know there are more kidnapping victims. Can you tell us anything about who took you?
Child: I've never seen him before. He said he'd give us food, so we all followed him—then we got locked in here. After a while, he took the other kids out to the edge of town.
Curran: (That area has a bunch of deserted houses, so it would be the perfect stash spot.)
Curran: How come you got left behind?
Child: I'm small, so I hid under the desk. The others didn't tell.
Curran: Thanks for telling me all this. Now hurry home, all right? Leave the rest to us!
Child: Okay. Thanks, mister!
Heinwald: Hmph. I suppose one can't beat a man of the cloth for tasks like these.
Curran: Aw, you're gonna make me blush. Anyway, it's time for the big finale. Gimme a hand, Heinwald!
Heinwald: Very well. This way no one can say I still owe you one.
Heretic: Eee hee hee! I've got everything I need to begin my experiment—it's time to get down to work. You're going to feel like you've all gone to heaven! Eee hee hee!
Curran: You're not gonna be laying a FINGER on those kids, scum!
Curran: I'm with the Ilian Church! Now give up before this gets ugly!
Heretic: How did you find this place?!
Curran: Heinwald, take care of the kids! I'll handle this guy!
Heinwald: Understood. I'll leave the combat to you. Good luck.
Curran: I make my own luck. Now get going!
Curran: Raaaaagh! I've got him, Heinwald!
Heinwald: And I rescued all of the children. It appears our task is complete.
Curran: I'm hoping you remember our little wager. Since I caught the guy I was after, that means I win!
Heinwald: Oh? I believe I finished my task slightly before you completed yours.
Curran: Wait. Was the job you were working on...
Heinwald: Saving one of the abducted children, yes. This girl, in point of fact. She's from a poor family, so no one was ever going to search for her. By coincidence I became acquainted with her parents, and they begged me for help.
Curran: Wait, so I lost? Damn it! Fiiine! Just...tell me what to do.
Heinwald: No. As I was only able to rescue her thanks to your valiant efforts, we shall call this your victory.
Curran: Nope! I'm not going back on my word. You finished your job first—you win.
Heinwald: I never even officially agreed to compete. To be honest, I couldn't care less about this whole absurd contest. ...But very well. There is one thing you could do for me. Unfortunately, these children see me as just another heretic. ...Observe. Come along now, little one.
Girl: Oy! Stay back, you!
Curran: Well, sure, they do seem a little wary. But that's no surprise after all they've been through.
Heinwald: That's why I need you to do what you did earlier and calm them. Just look smug and talk about the goddess's infinite love or...whatever you do.
Curran: I'm not some kind of orphanage helper, you know. I calmed the kid earlier without thinking, but I'm no saint—my hands are stained with the blood of heretics. How's a monster like me supposed to preach about the goddess's infinite love?
Heinwald: Is the goddess you worship so heartless that she can't even save a few children?
Curran: ...You've got me there.
Heinwald: Accept the inevitable: You are the only one who can do the goddess's work here.
Girl: *sniff* *sob*
Curran: ...Bah. I guess sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. Listen up, everyone. My name's Curran, and I'm with the Ilian Church.
Girl: Cor! Yer a liar, so ya is!
Boy: Church people all wear white! You can't fool us!
Curran: Ack... W-well, have a look at this Halo! All of Ilia's followers carry one!
Boy: Never heard of it!
Curran: Same plan won't work twice, huh? All right, just hear me out. My job is beating up bad guys in the goddess's place. That's why my outfit is a different color. That's why I dealt with the nasty guy who kidnapped you. And I won't let anyone else harm you. Will you at least believe that?
Boy: The Church beats up bad people? I thought it was just about praying.
Curran: The Church has all kinds of people in it. Some heal the sick and injured, while some give food to the hungry.
Girl: You mean them nice folks what hand out the soup!
Curran: Exactly. You see, the goddess is always protecting you—sometimes with kindness, and other times with strength. So if you ever find yourself in a scary situation again, just pray. If you do, someone really strong like me will come and save you. On Ilia's orders.
Girl: Blimey! The Goddess would do all that?!
Curran: She sure would. This world is filled with her love—so whenever you need help, just rely on the Church. Then your future will be filled with joy and haminess!
Boy: Ha ha! He talks funny!
Girl: Said it all wrong, 'e did!
Curran: Bah. I had to trip on the last hurdle. All right, that's enough fun for one day. Let's get you all home.
Girl: Bless you, sir. Bless you!
Heinwald: That was quite the speech.
Curran: You don't need to flatter me. I'm not suited to this stuff; I feel all weird now.
Heinwald: There's no harm in you taking some time away from fighting to talk about Ilia's love for children, surely?
Curran: I can decide how to spend my own time, thanks. I'm just better suited to beating up bad guys than praying. Talking about love can wait until all the world's evils are dead. Until then, I've still got work to do.