Daos IV ~ Ch8: Gotta Deal at Some Point

Previously ~ Quid Pro Quo

Chief Bibiana Solís
It was another lazy evening at the Gato Negro.  The dark red walls bloomed in the candlelight.  From the kitchens wafted wave after wave of succulent aromas coupled with smoke.  A mournful guitarist strummed and sang of lost love in Spanish, completing the final layer of romance.

It would have been a perfect scene, if not for the company.

Police Chief Bibiana Solís sat with Mayor Antonello Gomez and the Chief Editor of the Medianoche Herald, Carmen Arellano, wondering why the hell she was wasting a perfect evening with Carmen and Gomez when she could be home racking the up views of Daos on YouTube.

It didn't help that Carmen's cleavage was half out, with one hand constantly reaching out to pet Gomez's arm, while he remained blissfully unaware and a little bit tipsy.

Bibiana mentally rubbed her temples and suddenly longed for the days when corpses seemed to rain from the sky.

"Bibiana, how is Daos?" Carmen suddenly asked, meeting her eyes.  "I've noticed that you two don't spend much time with each other now that the death toll's gone down."

Carmen Arellano
Bibiana started to shake her head.  "Why...would we --"

"That's a very lovely necklace you're wearing," Carmen beamed.  "Don't you think so, Antonello?  You know Daos gave her that necklace."

Antonello nodded slightly, pouring yet another glass of white wine which caused Bibiana to wince.  "It's an agimat," he explained.  "In Filipino lore, it protects the wearer from supernatural evil."

"Such a romantic gift," Carmen purred, "don't you think?"

Gomez, still clueless, shrugged his shoulders.  "More like practical.  As our Chief of Police, she is a logical target."

"Oh please, Antonello," Carmen rolled her eyes.  "Don't act like you don't see what's going on.  Daos likes her.  And to hear on the grapevine, everybody knows it."

This seemed to wake Gomez from his slowly deepening stupor. "Daos likes you?"



Hyun-jun Im
Coming back to work had not nearly been the shock Hyun-jun was expecting. He had expected ridicule from his fellow demons, but instead they were amazed that he was still alive at all. Though it did rankle a bit that he had become a sort of cautionary tale for the Lower Beings, the idea that an Umalagad was running a perfectly "clean" city was doing absolute wonders for business.

"Still wouldn't mind having my powers back," Hyun-jun murmured as he got ready to leave his office for the evening.

Behind him, a familiar voice derisively snorted, "You can let that fantasy go."

Hyun-jun closed his eyes, briefly frozen as he braced himself for a level of unpleasantness he only experienced once every century.

Guess it must be about that time.

"Kyung-min," he murmured.  "What took you so long?"

"Believe it or not, Hyun-jun," came yet another irreverent snort, "you're not my only troublemaker.  Then again, you are one particularly big thorn in my ass.  I mean, look at you...barely fourteen years into a new century and you're already getting a visit from me.  I wasn't expecting to see you for at least another thirty or forty years."

Hyun-jun took a deep breath, steeled himself, and finally turned around.

"Kyung-min," he began steadily.  "I didn't do anything this time."

Peter Jae as
the demon Kyung-min
The towering, muscular dokkaebi guardian remained unyielding.  "Let's a do recap, shall we?  You have this insatiable, inexplicable lust for human currency which considering who we are...what we are...makes no sense.  Money may give you physically comfortable experience in a lowly mortal realm such as this, but even as the humans say, you can't take with you."

"I am human, remember?" Hyun-jun scowled.  "So you may want to revisit your definition of 'we.'"

"Which brings us to Issue #2," Kyung-min raised an eyebrow.  "Despite repeated warnings to stay away from Daos, you went and put yourself on the radar of a particularly ruthless demon-hunter who's also said to be an Umalagad."

Hyun-jun touched his chest, feigning affection.  "Are you saying you worry about me, Guardian?"

Kyung-min snickered.  "Not I, little brother.  Personally, I think the Umagalad should've just roasted you along with the rest of the Horde.  Would've saved me a trip."

"Oh, I think you would've been sent to chastise me for that as well," Hyun-jun chortled.

"Then there's the issue of Yiryeon, of course."

Hyun-jun felt his blood freeze.  "What about him?"

"You should've never made that deal for his skin.  It was an amateur move.  A human can survive without skin, Hyun-jun.  You should've asked for something a bit more precious than that."

"So you've told me over a dozen times," Hyun-jun snapped impatiently.  "What about him?"

"Well, now that you're human, he's asking for his skin back."

Next ~ Dilemmas, Choices...Morals


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