Zero

Daimon Kiyota is a man of many words and little tact who wears loud suits that are only surpassed by the volume of his voice. He runs a pachinko parlor in the heart of downtown Tokyo. “Let’s laugh in the face of chaos,” he says. His office, in contrast to his sentiments, is nice and orderly; I wouldn’t mind spending time there as long as I didn’t have to listen to him prattle on in his 1920s speakeasy vocabulary that he picked up from his great-great-grandfather who spent time with gangsters in Detroit and brought their smooth moves and fast-talking back to the old country. I could also do without his corny come-on attempts.

The strange thing is, I’ve never actually heard him speak Japanese. (His English is delightfully novel, just not something you want to listen to all the time.) For all I know, that high-pitched, nasal rambling of his might turn into deep-throated baritone power chords when he decides to turn his native language on. I’m guessing not, though, given what I’ve gleaned of his style. If the fabulously dressed women he’s chosen to guard the front of his parlor are any indication, his Japanese must be even more interesting than his English. I’ve no doubt that he could pun a geisha into oblivion.

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There are some people in this world that positively ooze life and vitality, which is why I find it wasteful to have someone like Kiyota running a racket like this. There must be more to it, of course. I’ll find out soon enough – Daimon’s faction, whatever that represents, has thrown in its lot with the Dragon. Sow the seeds of chaos, laugh in the face of certain death, all that nonsense. The Jingu clan, headed by Gozen of Susanoo’s Diner, have sided with the Templars. (Why not? They’re both on an epic quest to rid the world of evil.) Inbeda’s wicked band of naughty, hedonistic demons engage in contract killing for profit, so naturally they’ve turned to the Illuminati.

I’ve never cared much for money despite being raised by parents for whom finances came after health and were on roughly the same level as education. There were no epic quests in our household, however, since I wasn’t doctor or lawyer material and further children were not part of the plan. Hence, you could say that the sum of my ambitions was roughly nil. I just wanted to live a nice quiet, secure, peaceful life in uninteresting times in a place where nothing much ever happened. (I’m not doing very well in the career goals department thus far.)

Which is why I don’t think Daimon and I would ever hit it off. Opposites attract? No. Yin and Yang? Hell no. I’m like water – I fill whatever vessel I’m poured into. Daimon, on the other hand, is snake oil: saccharine, luscious, full-bodied snake oil that slithers its way into your veins and sends you to a poisonous death with a smile on your face. He’s also a very interesting man who attracts all sorts of attention. Boisterous, noisy attention, the type you find downstairs in his pachinko machines.

Oil and water don’t mix, so our chances of getting together are roughly zero.

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