“I know I asked this already, but will you really follow Kahn’s conditions? It’s not as if he can enforce them and he’s a criminal either way…” Karim asked as both partners walked away from the precinct after a short check-up with Louise. “Some free labor is just fair as his sentence.”
Almost four hours had passed since the arrival of the ifrit.
Moving the crate, waiting for him to wake up, and negotiations took a good half of it. Another one went by with Anna and Karim arguing after the whole ordeal. And by then, a call from the DP told them their ‘boss’ had arrived, so they left the apartment and had a talk with her.
It was, as usual, mostly Anna talking there and half of what she was saying wasn't that legal too. Still, the delivery was confirmed and preparations to meet the navy were made.
To be honest, it was a lot of busy work done only because Anna's movement scope was currently limited. Annabeth didn’t like to do things like this, but she didn't have much of an option for now. In fact, she even had to speak about her supply deal and move a small parcel of her goods toward the secret service to keep it all under wraps.
The fact that Karim was following her while being very against the whole situation didn’t make the situation any better too. The redhead could only imagine how much the short girl would complain if her aunt wasn’t involved in it.
“I’ve made a promise, and yer not convincing me otherwise. It’s part of the code, y’know?”
“You should rethink this ‘code’ of yours then… Something that says it’s okay to kill but not okay to punish a criminal shouldn’t be right.” The petite cop went on with her complaints as the two kept on walking. “And the worse of it all is that auntie accepted whatever you were saying without batting an eye…”
“It’s called bribery, by the way. Weirdly not that common ‘round ‘ere…” Annabeth commented without much care about the whole situation. “Should we go eat something? It’s kinda the time fer it already.”
“So you’ll only change subjects like this and leave that ifrit alone in my house for even longer?”
“He can’t even leave Minako’s mansion, so it’s no problem… But yeah, I wanna change subjects very much.”
The seal Annabeth used came as a pair of chains because it had two functions. One was to make the ifrit unable to flee by blocking his wings and the other was to keep him inside the mansion by disabling his access to the door. It was easy to see them as common chains even, one bound around Kahn’s wings and one connected to the house.
All that differed them from actually chaining him to a wall was the fact that he could move around semi-freely in this case. Explaining the whole concept would be a pain, though, so the two other people who saw the pair of chains didn’t know well how they worked.
Either way, back to the current subject, Anna’s straightforward answer seemed to have caught her partner by surprise right now. Still, as it was obvious that she couldn’t go against her aunt’s orders and neither she could change Annabeth’s line of thought, Karim had to concede.
“Sigh… I guess going further will only be me losing my time, right?”
“Now ya got the idea.”
“Fine…” Karim finally conceded as she, indeed, didn’t have much of a way to change anything right now. “I want free food then for leasing my home and you’ll fix that damn door after that.”
“I see yer understandin’ the bribery thingy, ay?”
“Oh no, don’t get me wrong. This won’t be any bribery, my partner...” The blondie continued with some weird statements Anna could only understand as her way to pretend all was under the law. Still, this idea changed when she heard the second half. “This will be the punishment for your crimes.”
Karim seemed angry and her eyes looked very serious, but her words didn’t sound so. Letting a crime go after a meal seemed like nothing less than bribery, without another way to turn it around.
That was, unless Anna would consider this to be the cop's way to say she would be fined for her actions...
It was a ludicrous idea and a warped concept, but Anna could make sense of it, even if only because her ‘sixth sense’ was ringing danger in this situation.
“Can I ask a thing first, shorty…?”
“What is it?”
“Where you holdin’ back whenever we went to eat or that first time was yer best?” The redhead asked over the growing chills she was feeling. “Like, ya could eat more but only went with enough ‘till now…”
“Not really. I’ll get full after eating for a while, something with how much you chew and all…” The compact glutton answered before turning to her scared partner. “It’s more about enjoying the food and using the good prices on Satan’s, you see? He has good portions and very reasonable prices, so I can go all out there without a worry.”
“Is that so?” Anna gave a small sigh of relief on her mind, using the chance to also mark that her new skill wasn’t perfect. “Well, let’s move there then. I’d prefer to leave before the other regulars arrive… They don’t really like me.”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about it. We’re not having lunch at the usual place today…”
“I see… So we goin' to some high-class restaurant today, ay? Fine, I can deal with it too, even if yer bein’ petty now.”
“You’re wrong again,” Karim smirked in answer, seemingly basking on some weird sense of victory. “There are none of these around here. You’ll only find a few of these deeper into the city, maybe because they don’t like the harbor…”
Remembering the places they had passed through and visited during their patrols, it was indeed how the petite enforcer was saying. The reason should be more in line with the fact that so many workers walked around the area filled with eateries close to the harbor, though.
It didn’t explain where they were going still.
“So, where we goin’ then?”
“Yes, we’re going everywhere.” The small judge proclaimed with a victorious tone. “Is there a better way to reinvest your money than spreading it around the whole quarter? It’s not the same as paying a fine, but it should be close enough.”
“Wouldn’t donatin’ it make more sense?”
“Donate? I guess we could give some away if we find a beggar, but I rarely see one of them around... And it seems unfair to tell you to randomly give money to people, so how would it work?”
“Nay, don’t worry ‘bout it. It seems to be other cultural dissonance ‘ere...” Anna answered while setting a mental note to revisit her data about the Archipelago later. “Anyway, I’ll entertain ya this time, so do yer worse, ay?”
“My worse, eh? Fine then…” Karim turned with a smirking answer to the challenge, one the inquisitor would soon regret having called upon herself.
And for the next two hours, the stalls of the Spice Quarter would report a huge spike in profits while the redhead’s spare money would get dangerously low.
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