[WP] Dragons only kidnap legitimate princesses – as such, to cement their legitimacy, both sides in a civil war seek their daughter to be taken by the local dragon. [Link to post.]
“Thank you for meeting with me,” Sergi Vecchio, a rotund man in well tailored black suit nodded politely at an elderly Asian woman wearing a red dress, and a white ragged kitchen apron. “I know you’re a busy woman, Mrs. Chang.” The woman, Donna Chang, gestured to a well used booth towards the back in the shadowy part of her Chinese restaurant.
“Yes, very busy. Make your point.” She slid into one side of the booth, then looked at the round man
expectantly. “I have another meeting.” Sergi removed his jacket, then slid into the booth holding it over his lap.
“Vittorio’s passing this morning has left an opening. An opening that I can fill quickly, in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. I just need to get a dragon to accept my tribute.” Sergi explained in a hushed voice. Donna smiled at him.
“Show me your tribute,” she demanded. He pulled a picture of a young, beautiful woman with long dark hair from the coat on his lap and handed it to her.
“Pretty girl. Daughter?” Donna asked, Sergi nodded.
“Yes, she’s 21,” he said. Donna handed the picture back.
“What do dragons benefit?” she asked. A confused look overtook Sergi’s face. He looked at her with a half shrug.
“They get to eat my daughter? What more is there?” She smiled at him and tried to calm him with a dismissive wave of her hand.
“Accepting your tribute is the favor,” Donna began to explain, but she looked up from Sergi when the front door chime jingled. Sergi turned to follow Mrs. Chang’s attention and recognized a rival. The short man in a pale blue suit walked in holding the hand of a lovely young blonde woman. He walked towards Donna Chang the moment he walked in, and greeted her when they arrived at the table.
“Mrs. Chang,” he nodded politely at the elderly woman, then turned his attention to Sergi. “Hello, Sergi.” Sergi nodded at him in return.
“Sit, sit!” Donna pointed the two gentlemen at the booth. They begrudgingly sat next to each other.
“You both here for same reason,” Donna said. The two men’s heads turned towards each other, and they stared the other down through slitted eyes. The woman that accompanied Giovanni stood behind him without saying a word. “But one of you more prepared,” she added. Sergi noticed a smirk grow at the edges of Giovanni’s mouth, then he turned to face the young blonde and cursed himself.
“I should have brought her,” he complained inwardly. Mrs. Chang caught his attention.
“What you offer in return?” she repeated her question. Sergi blurted out the first response that popped in his head.
“15%,” he said. Donna nodded, but Giovanni burst into laughter.
“15%?? They won’t even bother to wake up for such a tiny amount!” He continued laughing until Donna Chang held up a hand to calm him.
“Tribute?” she asked Giovanni while pointing at the blonde. He nodded. “What you offer in return?” Giovanni’s chest puffed out, and he turned to stare at Sergi while he answered.
“I offer my seat. I offer to be a puppet for the dragons, and I welcome them to my city,” he said. Mrs. Chang nodded at him, then stood from the booth. She beckoned the woman with a gesture.
“Come see kitchen,” she said. Giovanni swatted the blonde’s behind and encouraged her along.
“Go with the nice lady, kitten. I’ll be seeing you around,” Giovanni said. Then he turned his attention to Sergi. “15%?? This fuckin’ guy!” He punched Sergi in the shoulder.
“They’re dragons, you’ve gotta think,” Giovanni spread his arms wide in front of him. “BIG. They can do anything they want,” he lowered his voice and nudged Sergi in the side. “And they’re gonna be on my team!” he smiled broadly. “You’d do well to stay on my good side.”
“Congratulations,” Sergi said, then he scooted toward Giovanni to hint that he wanted to exit. Giovanni refused to move. “Excuse me,” Sergi said.
“Oh, sorry there pal,” Giovanni’s laughter continued while he slid out of the booth to let Sergi out. As Sergi finished putting his jacket on Donna Chang walked out of the kitchen alone. She noticed Sergi readying himself to leave and walked to him.
“Bring daughter tomorrow,” she handed him a large golden coin with a dragon’s head on one side and a sun etched into the other side. “Your tribute has been accepted.”
“WHAT? What about me??” Giovanna slammed his hand against the table and stood with a ruckus. The ruckus attracted attention from the kitchen; in seconds three burly cooks sporting dragon tattoos and wielding meat cleavers appeared around Donna Chang. Giovanni put his hands up and sat down slowly. “Where’s my tribute?” Donna shrugged.
“On the way home. Not good tribute, so I free her.”
“She’s a perfect tribute! My own daughter!” Giovanni tried pleading his case. The cooks all burst into laughter as they headed back into the kitchen, Mrs. Chang laughed also.
“Pay closer attention to ‘family‘. Your daughter a son,” she continued laughing. “One more thing to remember. They dragons, they do anything they want.” The elderly Asian woman stepped closer to Giovanni and flicked his forehead with her finger. “Don’t want to micro-manage puppet,” she said then lifted a hand to point at Sergi standing in the same spot. “They just want steady income.”