That was, interesting.
It seemed as though it was sometimes possible to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, and as he looked down at the Shamisen and dagger he held in his hands it seemed as though he had managed to pull at least a shred of it free from the darkness.
Though looking at the Spartan Laser that was currently gathering dust in the other room due to his lack of ability with firearms, well. That was another matter entirely, and one he would soon rectify.
First was the plan to get his home set up as his conversation with Noir had made him very much aware of how best to appeal to the harbingers.
They had needs, desires, everything normal people did so he needed a fixed address. Simple enough, rent out a location underneath a name stolen from an exceptionally horny businessman over drinks and file a few documents. Fraud was a simple enough charge to dodge after all when the other person was too drunk to remember if they agreed to go in with you or not, but, what mattered was that the next time he came on a job he'd have all kinds of things to offer the harbingers.
Drinks, food, firearms, and a pawn shop through which everything could be purchased, or if the harbingers were short on the capital he offered pawn services as well.
Though with only a month's time Leon found himself sadly inoperable as the looming feeling of dread he felt whenever a harbinger began to approach welled inside his gut again, so he opted to spend the rest of it practicing with his newfound green flame blade. Figuring that it'd be better to be prepared should some no-good mother Hubbard decide to cause him issues on the next job.
Fucking dicks. Fucking assholes. Torch his fucking hotel room just because he had a claymore set in front of the door for Hasashi?!
He'd fucking show them, but for now, he had work to do. A new life to build, and Leon opted to start with picking a new identity. Spanish Immigrant Joao Jean DeLeon would be a perfect fit, years of preparation were gone in an instant though, and the identity he'd had was destroyed. He couldn't go by Leon any more thanks to this shit, but one thing was for sure.
Gunderson was gonna fucking die for this. He was gonna force-feed that blob a grenade, and laugh as he exploded.
Still, a pawn shop in Palo Alto would do as well for now. Scamming people was his life blood, and tricking every idiot who came in with something worth 10 times the price he'd pay gave Leon the satisfaction he needed to not immediately go on a war path and set every building with the he found that symbol the fucker had been carrying on fire.
Fucking assholes. Mayflies nipping at the heels of their betters without a single ounce of consideration as to how many DECADES of work they were ruining.
Thus, despite his smiles, and despite his jovial outward attitude. Leon's inner kitsune was fuming with absolute fury and his practice was put towards ensuring he'd never deal with that again.
Swordplay and music were unlikely to be observed by any viewers as preparation for war though.
Hate was an EXCELLENT motivator.
You swallowed your pride when you were faced with the chance to remove some yourself.
For instance, if someone gave you a hammer and pointed you at a pile of wood and told you to build a house so that you would have a fortress from which to pursue the thing you hate.
It cost nearly every dime Leon had, and a fair amount of time going out to find migrant workers that were either especially disliked or renowned for their work ethic. Rusalka have to eat after all, but he did it.
A month of hard labor, driving nails into lumber acquired from sources the Leshen approved of, and of having him silently evaluate the men during interviews in which Leon would find a few people worthy of entering his new sanctum, and a few that were not.
He also spent this time educating the Leshen and the Rusalka on the dangers of the SCP foundation. These men with their armor, their tanks, and their inclination towards hunting down the spiritual were not to be trifled with. Helicopters and teams of men with heavy machine guns were after all beyond the ken of even someone as supernaturally powerful as the Leshen.
Thus, the bog was put on alert. To recognize the symbols and methodology of the SCP foundation thanks to the small warning put on display by Dr.Gunderson, but.
Leon did not forget the entire time he was driving nails, and practicing his craft.
This was all for a purpose, and that purpose was to set Dallas on fucking fire and ensure that Mike actually belonged in that asylum by the time he was done with him.
For now though, he had a watermill to build, and electricity to set up...
Didn't he know someone who owned an insane asylum?
Well, someone had to do it after all.
Working hard day in and day out, slaving away chopping wood so that the houses could become something better than the slovenly slapped together shacks of yesteryear. Though, of course. Hydro and solar power also had to be put up because fuck all if he was ever going to create solutions for this village that weren't carbon neutral. The Leshen could kill him before that'd be allowed to happen anywhere near his watch.
Next was getting the Rusalka to set up an agility course for him in the bog. Leaping between logs, dodging too and fro as they'd harry him from the sides. All while doing his best to avoid swinging log traps and then finish it off by sneaking past a Rusalka.
He failed a few times to be sure, I mean, if your legs don't give out once or twice while you try to do it are you even really trying to train?
By the end of the training though, he'd find himself a few steps quicker than before, and that was damn nice. The last thing he did was get in touch with some old contacts, a few political figures from back in the day who he'd helped when things looked a little too dire and he had a little more power at his finger tips. The ability to phone up some friends in the near future was never wasted after all and Leon had found that one needed to be able to pull in some folks when you were a talker rather than a fighter more often than not.
Well, the village had consumed him and his resources for three months.
No buying new cars, no buying fancy dinners for himself that he totally deserved, no starting up MLMs. Just hard, sweaty, construction work, but it was done.
Through the power of illegal labor, a willingness to buy everyone's spare shit and learn how to put it together and a fair bit of insanity he had finished the new houses for all of the villagers. No longer would they live in poorly structured crapshacks, no longer would they live without simple things like electricity (honestly, life was so shit before this), running water, and a single shared town wifi hotspot that was registered to a man in the nearby town.
Heck, he even set up the electric fence around the perimeter of each of the actual houses, and began holding seminars on the foundation and why no one here should tell them anything about the actual circumstances of the town. Fuckers had choppers, tanks, and who knows what else and were clearly very willing to use them even on people without any history of violence and murder and thus. All of them knew the process for the final security measure in place.
When any of the cameras in the bog would spot someone entering with that god damn symbol anywhere on their body, everyone here would show them that they merely hated outsiders and a fog machine, and various monster costumes would be shown as the cover story in order to persaude them that this is merely a scooby doo level of not wanting outsiders in their town, and during that time the supernatural entities within the bog would vanish whether into underground tunnels, or into the aether if they were capable it did not matter.
When the foundation came, they would find an ordinary town without anything more than a proclivity towards using ghost stories to prevent the bog from being used as a natural gas mine.
A month of swindling mooks, and ensuring that not one of them was gonna ever know who did it at a tech conference in Seattle had ensured that Joao Jean had his funds for the month and he was gonna be sipping Mai Thais and lounging on the beach long before they were ever gonna be causing issues for him.
Joao Jean had returned to a strange situation. A man who insisted that he honor their pact as spirits, that statement hurt a bit for reasons he didn't quite understand but he felt like he could trust that the old man wasn't lying about them having a pact, maybe he was just being weird about how he worded it. He didn't know, he didn't care. The folks in the town also seemed to be pretty keen on insisting that their friendly fox help them with all kinds of problems and well. Joao Jean felt compelled to listen for some reason or another and thus he went to work.
All that swindlin' money was put to good use, building up houses and then setting up something he thought no self respecting trickster would be without.
An escape route.
Dug out with a shovel and a few friendly Russian hands the underground tunnel was connected with his pawn shop and being under as it was it'd be perfect if any of them "Foundation" fellas showed up looking to cause trouble as the special folks of the town could dip down there and they'd just be a creepy lookin Russian town. Same as everywhere else in that god forsaken hellhole of a country honestly, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.