' ... maybe.' You whisper back to Yumemi, who begins to quiver softly with cold sweat. You turn back to the girl in red. 'What does your mom want you to do with Yumemi, exactly? Take her somewhere?'
'Uh ... ' The red sister looks off to the side and sniffs loudly. 'Show her to mom?' She sounds unsure, and then gulps. 'You should ask my sister, she'll be ... you know.'
'No. I don't know, and I'd like a straight answer.' You ask, harsher than before. The red sister shrinks back, pouting and looking at the floor. 'Please.' You add.
'Just ... take her to mom.' The girl in red shrugs. 'Mom knows best.'
Mary clears her throat softly before she interrupts.
'What's your name, sweetie?' She says, exactly as if talking to a child. The red girl looks up, meeting Mary's gaze.
' ... Hourai.' The girl looks uneasy, shifting from one foot to the other.
'Hourai! That's lovely.' Mary claps her hands together. 'Now, what did your mummy tell you to do, exactly?'
'Mom ... ' The girl in red gets a slow frown on her face, directed at Mary. 'Don't talk to me like that.' She complains, petulant teenage girl deep in every syllable.
'I'm sorry, sweetie.' Mary continues without missing a beat, holding her hands up in apology. 'Sorry. What did your mom ask you to do?'
'I dunno.' Hourai sounds more and more grumpy now. 'Just to follow my sister and find the person mom wants to talk to.'
'Okay.' You take a deep breath. 'I guess that makes sense.'
Yoshika lets a low growl leak through her teeth.
'Down, girl.' You mutter. 'Anyway, right, so ... what if we all come with Yumemi, to see your mom?' You ask.
'Uh ... I ... I d-dunno.' Hourai shifts with greater uncertainty now, holding one arm with her other hand across her chest. 'You- you'd have to ask-'
'There you are!'
The voice which rings out from behind you could not be more different to Hourai's; it bounces and flounces and skips, with feminine curls and a rising pitch of excitement at the end. Just like its owner, who you see as soon as you whip your head around.
It's the other sister, the one in blue, rounding the corner and approaching you with a beaming smile on her face.
Physically the two sisters are identical, right down to the total lack of blemishes, moles, or visible pores. But the one in blue is sunlight to Hourai's moon-glow, her hair springing as she walks, her chin high with pride and assertiveness, her chest out and forward. Her eyes flicker with amusement - a bright, cloudless blue to Hourai's boiling midnight sky - jumping between Yumemi and you and Yoshika, taking in the whole group.
Yoshika swings around like a hunting hound, head bobbing low as she steps around Mary to stand as first facing the new arrival. The girl in blue stops several feet away at this, her great big smile faltering slightly at the sight of Yoshika's naked aggression.
'Hello, hello there!' She gives you all a little wave, and then holds out one finger, pretending to be having trouble. 'Ummm, you, maybe?' She grins and settles on Sakuya, and then lets out a bubbly laugh. 'Sorry, I'm looking for somebody! A miss Yumemi?' She raises her eyebrows in question.
Hourai points at Yumemi, without even raising her arm. The blue sister ignores her.
'Yes, we know.' You stare her down, defying her sweet exterior. 'She doesn't go anywhere without us. Understand?'
The girl in blue blinks and rocks back slightly, mouth open in polite shock.
'Oh. Oh, um, I'm terribly sorry!' She looks utterly aghast. 'I only- I'm only following directions, you see. My name is Shanghai, and my mother wants to speak to a miss Yumemi. She sent me - us! -' Her gaze flicks to Hourai. 'To find her. I hope we're not being a bother?' Her eyes linger on Yumemi, but you keep hold of the smaller girl for now.
'She can speak to her in our presence then. All together, or none at all.' You say, a little softer, defeated by this vision of sweetness.
Shanghai hesitates briefly, and then looks at Hourai. The girl in red shrugs softly, and then crosses the space to her sister, giving Yoshika a wide berth.
The sisters touch hands, look into each others' eyes, and lean close, whispering in voices like soft cotton. You almost feel compelled to look away, like you're witnessing a secret exchange between lovers; it's too intimate. They absent-mindedly brush at each others' hair, and the whispers are delivered so close, lips almost touching cheeks and ears.
After a few seconds of this, they break apart again and Shanghai opens her mouth.
'That would be okay!' She smiles wide.
'Right now?' You confirm.
'Of course! It's quite a walk though!' She laughs softly. 'I'm sorry for all the bother. Mother finds it hard to get out much.'
'Really?' Sakuya interrupts. 'So, she won't meet with Yumemi in a public place?'
Trust an assassin to think of that. The sisters share a quick glance, and then Shanghai shakes her head sadly.
'I'm sorry, that would be ... really difficult.' She looks strained.
[ ] Alright. Follow the sisters.
[ ] No. Ask for an address. Somewhere you can go later. Without these two as escorts.