“You will pay for your insolence!” The Shaman says. Borjas moves to strike him, but Salib gets in the way.
“Enough! If you hit him, you will create an incident. Go outside.”
“I’m not going anywhere, and I for damn sure am not leaving him alone with you,” Borjas’s eyes are full of rage.
“Ralph, I am okay. He can’t hurt me in here. His magic is gone, he is cuffed to the table, and you’ll be right outside if anything does go wrong.”
“Not a chance.”
“Listen to that bitch of yours,” The Shaman says, and before Borjas can get to him, Salib puts herself in his way. “We all know who’s really in charge,” He says, followed by a cackle. There is a brief second where Salib loses her will and almost lets Borjas go, but she quickly regains herself and pushes him to the far wall. She places Borjas’s face in her hands and forces him to look her in her ember eyes. Borjas grabs at her hips to push her off, but she steps into it and throws off his balance. Inches apart, she gives him a cold stare.
“I will not have this…,”
“He’s disrespecting you!”
“I’m okay, Ralph.” Her tone is getting softer and softer as she repeats herself. Everything fades away for Borjas except the memories of her following him around as a kid. How tough she’s always been, her resilience close to his. Their whole life, he’d protected her, but sometimes she has to remind him that sometimes she has to defend him.
Borjas takes a deep breath and snaps back to the present.
“Sure,” Salib says, not letting go of his face.
“Yeah, sorry about that. It looks like I owe you ice cream again,” He says with a smile. She laughs and lets him go.
“Make it a cheeseburger, and you have yourself a deal.”
“Aw, look at the cute couple,” The Shaman mocks, then jumps when a knife flies by his head and strikes the wall. Salib looks at him with her – seriously – look.
“You know I could have hit him, right?” Salib lets out a sigh of disgust.
“Go get us coffee. I don’t trust you in here right now.”
“Fine, It’s going to be a while. I need a smoke break anyway.”
“In that case, pick up that burger too,” She says as he grabs his coat and walks out. He waves an affirmation just before he gets to the door.
Now that Borjas and all his testosterone rage has left, she can think clearly, which is a bad thing because she’s not the one who’s good at this sort of thing. Borjas does the interrogations. She uses her powers to see if they are telling the truth or not. Dragons help her. What was she going to do?
She walks across the room and sits across from The Shaman. If she honest with herself, she wants to hurt him too. He had hit her with a boulder in their fight, and she didn’t believe she got enough payback for that. Salib knew that’s why Borjas was so pissed. He doesn’t like anyone hurting her, and she hasn’t exactly been subtle about her side still hurting.
“So detective, are we just going to stare into each other’s eyes?”
“I can get him back in here if you like. You do remember how you got in here, right?”
“That boy used dirty tactics to subdue me,” The Shaman hisses.
“Last I checked, throwing one’s henchmen at a person wasn’t a dirty tactic. Or are you referring to the punch to the jaw that followed?”
“He used my men’s bodies against me.”
“And you had us outnumbered.”
“And you were violating the sanctity of our laws!”
“And you are harboring someone who broke ours!” Salib stands and slams her hands on the table.
“Let me out of these chains, and let’s handle this as they did in the old days.” The Shaman says with a slimly smile. Salib knows that she can’t take him in a magic battle, and now was not the time for Borjas to come back into the room. The door opens, but she doesn’t break eye contact.
“Let’s do that, shall we?” Salib turns her head to see that Rosa enters the room.
“What are you doing here?” Salib asks.
“Solving a problem for you. I don’t work for LMPD. I’m a consultant who can act as I see fit. I may have to follow your guidelines when in the public eye, but I am an independent contractor if I do anything that breaks your ordinances. Now, what was this about handling things the old way?” Rosa says, and her eyes flash to demonic black. For the first time, The Shaman shows fear.
“Get that warlock away from me!” The Shaman says, moving as far as his cuffs will allow.
“What’s going on? Do you know him?”
“I know him very well.” A voice says coming out of Rosa’s body, but this wasn’t her voice. This must be her Patron.
“Let me introduce myself, mortal. I am Walpurga, Demon mistress of blood and sex magic. Lin Fa here and I, we have a bit of history, don’t we, Xiao Lin.” The smile on Rosa’s body is devious and puts the evilness of The Shaman to shame.
“Detective, I will talk to you. Anything you need to know, just get her away from me.”
“Why do you want her away so bad?” Salib asks.
“Because he owes me a debt. One that he didn’t think he would ever have to pay.”
“You tricked me! I will not give you what you want.”
“On the contrary,” Salib interjects,” You may have to. According to our treaty, thanks for making me read it; by the way, you will adhere to all laws of our lands when in our custody. And as it stands, any contracts signed with a Demon lord are admissible in court. Because unlike mortals who have been known to try to get out of deals; Demons, Dragons, Spirits, and Gods always keep their end of the agreement. So if you have not fulfilled your end of the bargain, She is well within her rights to take what is owed.”
“I’m starting to think I was wrong about you, mortal. I’ll have to apologize to Rosa later.” Rosa’s body steps forward, but Salib cuts her off.
“However, if you give me what I want, I can release you, then you can claim sanctuary. I’m sure you’re familiar with the process.” Rosa’s body produces a burst of soul-shaking laughter.
“Oh, I really like you, Mortal.”
The opening of the door to the shrine breaks Dawei from his meditation. He stays kneeling, unsure of the intentions of the small group of Orcs joining him in the small shelter. A few seconds pass, Dawei recognizes this as respect for his time. After a few more words of devotion, he rises and turns to greet them.
“Why have you come here?”
“To ask questions.” Dawei can’t hide the smile for long. It creeps across his face showing his approval.
“Why do you still serve the Gods if they are dead?”
“No one truly dies. They just move along to the spirit realm. The Gods are no different. Only their essence is so strong, they can affect the world still, though, not nearly as much as they used to.”
“So which God do you serve?”
“None,” Dawei says. He always loved this part.
“But, Clerics must serve the Gods… right?” they ask, all confused.
“Or a purpose. I serve the spirit of vengeance. I gain my power from protecting or avenging all who fall prey to the darker things in this world.”
“That’s a thing?” Dawei releases his power, forcing his fear aura over them. Unlike the brute Gen, they were entirely under his spell. They cower before him, unable to move in the presence of his devotion.
“Gaze upon my armor. The crest I bear is not one blessed by the Gods, but earned by an order.” The Orcs are too afraid to look for long. They bow before him and heed his every word. “We serve the people and fight against any that would harm the innocent. In Los Mitichas, they praise the wolf Yabe as a hero, but he is a murderer, and I will see to his destruction.”
“How can we help.” One of them asks. Dawei knew this would happen. He was counting on it.
“Take up arms with me, and pledge yourself to defend those who can’t. Vow to avenge the weak and the oppressed. Seek out and destroy the greater evil, offer no mercy to those who spread their evil into the world, and do so by any mean means.”
“By… by any means?” the youngest says with a tremble.
“By. Any. Means.” Dawei says. Dawei draws his sword and walks to the youngest. The oldest starts to chant those words. Clasping his hands and nudging the youngest, the other two join in. Dawei raises his sword and prepares it for a swing. They continue to chant. He leans into his swipe, and the blade stops at the neck of the youngest. His body is protected by a white glow that forms all around him. The youngest looks down at his hands and back up to Dawei.
“The Spirit of Vengence finds you worthy,” He says with a smile.
- Part 1
- Part 2