Zedd honestly couldn't have said what went through his head when he woke up on the couch of Libra headquarters. Perhaps something along the lines of, Master Raju is either the absolute worst or this is a prank of some kind. And yet, here he was.
First step was always to compile knowledge of the situation. Okay, so Libra was an organization that had at least something to do with combating Blood Breeds. One of their members appeared to be another student of Master Raju and Zedd's senior pupil (as well as a complete fuckhead but maybe it was just that he made poor first impressions). The rest of the organization seemed… abbreviated, if that was the right way to phrase it. Select few individuals had been present, and Zedd was pretty sure that had to do with how difficult it was to fight a Blood Breed in the first place.
The most important scrap of data: Libra had the ability to seal Blood Breeds permanently.
Even Master Raju couldn't do that. He could beat them up until they retreated inside their little egg-like monstrosities, sure, but he had to continue to destroy them each time they successfully regenerated, which made the whole thing feel like a dangerous waste of time. Maybe killing them was impossible right now with their limited technologies and techniques, but sealing them away was the next best thing. And the wolfish-looking man in a vest could do it.
Zedd paused for half a second, then recoiled.
"Whoa! Sorry. Didn't mean to sneak up on you or anything." The voice came from some little scrap of a boy behind the couch, back over by a little coffee table. He appeared to be munching on chicken nuggets. At least he hoped those were chicken nuggets. If they were fish sticks Zedd might actually hurl. Come to think of it, the kid looked a little familiar. If he remembered correctly, the boy had also been there, but likely not as a combatant. There was no way a twig like him under five feet tall would be running around fighting Blood Breeds.
"This is… Libra?" he asked.
"Yeah. I've been told to offer you a place to stay here in the building, if you need one. Rent is pretty hard to come up with in this city and it looks kinda like your Master dropped you off with zero warning."
Zedd bristled. True or not, it still stung. "I'm sure this is some kind of misunderstanding. It's very kind of you to offer, but I'm not sure I'm going to need it."
"Hmm," the boy hummed, chewing and looking unimpressed. "Whatever you say. Hey, so I'm Leonardo Watch. Everybody around here calls me Leo. What about you?"
"Shouldn't you already know that?"
"Yeah. Zapp went through your pockets after you had a little swan dive there – don't worry, I'm not going to tell anybody – but I still want to give you the chance to introduce yourself properly."
Huh. Well that was thoughtful.
"…Zedd O'Brien. A pleasure to meet you."
"Likewise." Zedd got a sunny little smile before Leo went right back to his food.
It was no use. His curiosity got the best of him. "If you don't mind my asking, how did someone as… er, young as you get into an organization like this? What is it that you do here?" he asked.
"Eh? Oh, some stuff. Refill the coffee pot. Errands. And I guess just general information-gathering." And with that, Leo opened his and stared directly into Zedd's. The fishman sat on the couch, frozen. They weren't just an eerily vibrant shade of blue, they actually glowed, and spanned so wide that no sclera was visible, if it even existed. He had the distinct feeling that he was being looked through, dissected on a fundamental level. They were beautiful and a little terrifying. "…Your aura really is that weird. I wasn't sure before. Couldn't exactly check thoroughly considering I had a name to produce elsewhere."
A name? Zedd's mind sifted through his limited memory of last night's battle. Sure enough, during the sealing of the Blood Breed, the wolfish man had shouted something that sounded a bit like a name. Now it all made sense. The true names of Blood Breeds were tied to their lives, their very souls. Command of their names could be used to seal their power and even the beings themselves. It was still highly complex and difficult to do, but possible. Zedd didn't have nearly enough expertise to manage it with as much grace as the man from last night had. But that still meant that you had to get the stupid name in the first place. Blood Breeds knew damn well how dangerous it was to have their names floating around out there and so took extreme caution to keep them secret. And yet this child could, in his own words, 'produce' them?
Leo's eyes were closed again as Zedd looked back to him, but the image of them wasn't easily forgotten. That had to be how. He could just… see their names. Just by looking at them.
General information-gathering, his ass.
But on the other fin, that was so fucking useful. No wonder Libra managed things so quickly and efficiently. Maybe there really was merit to sticking around a bit as Master Raju had ordered. Zedd certainly wouldn't say no to learning how to seal away something that nasty, and Libra was the only organization that currently held that ability.
"So… I'm meant to be a member from now on?"
Leo smiled again. He looked downright benign when he did that. "Mister Klaus said you were more than welcome, yeah. Uh, Mister Klaus is the big one with the red hair and glasses." Ah. "Are you okay with coming on board?"
He paused. "I believe so, yes."
Leo's grin turned devious. "In that case, I'll let Zapp know the hazing can commence."
(A/N): If they actually spoke Japanese, Leo would absolutely get a kick out of being called "senpai".