"The 'strong' of the Seireitei do nothing more to protect us than what is absolutely necessary. We are but a statistic, something cared for out of duty rather than compassion. Even that might not be so bad, but those outside of their quota are lucky to simply never interact with the Gotei at all, for all the good they do."
Down the rest of the shochu went, though Julian made no gesture to have it refilled. He had, after all, only ordered it as pretense for his being here. Now that conversation had been struck up, there was little need for any further inebriation.
"More than one has the Gotei decided it would be in their best interest to simply relocate catastrophic fights into the Rukongai, fights which cost uncountable lives simply by their scale. We have been invaded many times, and yet despite that all of the greatest defenses go directly to the Seireitei, even when the Shinigami within are surely powerful enough to defend themselves as it stands.
"So tell me, miss. Why would that power, and our lack thereof, make us so much less valuable? For what purpose does the Gotei even continue to lord over us? Simply for the sake of the authority in itself? So far as I can see it, that does no good to us. In fact, it damns us to lives where the only avenue of strength is capitulation, to join the regime and gain power on their terms.
"That, to me, is unacceptable. I will not stand by while the people must simply accept the judgments of those mightier than themselves, when that very same might is forever out of their reach unless the Gotei so allow it. Let the Gotei burn, I say. Let the people of the Rukongai forge their own future. A day will one day come when the Gotei is not so monolithic, when their authority wavers even the slightest bit. And tell me, miss. Do you believe that the people they have left in the dust will let that opportunity pass them by?"
For all he had spoken, Julian's tone was not so different from when they had started. This was not the first time he had had this conversation with someone, but it was a bit more than that. He knew that becoming emotional about this topic was not only needless, but would rather obviously give away the full extent of the passion he held for this cause. As it stood, his tone seemed almost disinterested, as if simply positing a philosophical question. What interested him more than anything was how Elyss would respond.