Kiyomi and I looked up at the worn down building in front of us.
The sign board with the word "Inn" etched onto it hung loosely on a single chain by the doorway, swaying slightly from the breeze.
"It's falling apart," Kiyomi pointed out.
Sure enough, just as those words left her mouth, the chain snapped from a sudden gust and the sign clattered noisily onto the ground.
Both of us watched the broken sign for a moment before turning our attention to the doorway.
There was a shout and a curse before the door was flung open by a young man that stank of alcohol and smoke.
"Yeah, yeah! I heard you, damnit! What's the point of fixing the sign if there isn't any" He stopped when he noticed both of us standing by the doorway.
We stared at each other for a moment, my sister and I out of curiosity on what he would do and him obviously not expecting to see anyone outside.
The man was the first to break the silence.
"Well Well, well, well! Two pretty ladies at our inn's doorstep! Umm Would you two by any chance be looking for a room or two?" He asked with a sickeningly sweet, fake smile, both his hands clasped in front of him.
"You're not wrong," Kiyomi answered him monotonously. "We are here to meet a friend."
Almost instantly, the man's smile changed into a frown, "Tch And I thought we'll have business for once Should've known that everybody that comes here is only looking for that guy."
He loses interest in us and proceeds to pick up the sign that had fallen off its hinges, tying one part of the chain to the other in a reef knot.
He turned around to see us still standing behind him.
"Well what are ya still standing out 'ere for?"
I gave him my most pleasant smile, "If you are a staff of the inn, we would greatly appreciate you to guide us to our friend."
He waved his hand dismissively, "Bah! I have better things to do than guide a couple of time wasters! Especially when they're disgusting youkais!"
"Ufufufu~ Would this perhaps change your mind?" I fished out a single silver coin from my sleeve.
His eyes lit up and he moved to swipe the coin away but I moved it out of reach before he could. It's not surprising that he would be so eager. After all, a slum dweller like him might not even be able to earn a single silver after working for a whole year.
Normally, that is.
"Ara, ara? Payment after service, are you not aware of such a rule? Are you truly a staff of this inn?"
He scowled at my words, obviously trying to scheme of a way to trick us for the coin.
"Dear sister, why do we need to negotiate with such a person?" Kiyomi asked, her tail snaking out to wrap around one of the wooden pillars on the building next to us. "It's obvious he is nothing but a nobody, won't even be missed if we just"
Her tail constricted, snapping the pillar in half.
The man took a step back from the display, his brow starting to sweat.
I pretended not to see his panic and turned to 'chastise' Kiyomi, "Oh my cute little sister, we should at least be a little civilized and give these nobodies a chance. They may be useful to us, you know?"
I swiveled back to him, "Now, how about this? There's another coin in it for you if you just answer a few simple questions for us. If you do, we can remain civilized. If not"
He gulped and quickly nodded his head.
"Now, we're looking for our good friend named Finch. We know he's in your inn's last room on the second floor. We just want to know who else has been meeting him?"
The man hesitated, but a twitch of Kiyomi's tail quickly got him talking, "Ok, ok I I'll talk There were a few of 'em who came by... But they left after spending a few 'ere minutes in da room. Aye'm not sure what dey talked about!"
I took out two silver coins to play with my fingers, making sure they were in view, "Mmhmm Names? Looks? Anything else?"
His eyes were now glued to the coins but quickly snapped back to me when I hid it in my fist, "That I don't know, dey were hiding their faces with cloaks and dey didn't even talk to me before dey went 'ere to dat room. That's all I know, I swear on me life!"
"Hmm And when was this? Anyone else before that?"
He paused to think, "About Two days ago. Another group came by but These guys... I don't know when they left since dey came in the middle of the night"
I hummed before turning to my sister "What do you think, Kiyomi?"
"I think this insect knows nothing and is worth even less," my cute sister muttered disinterestedly.
"Ufufufu~ Oh well I suppose you can get at least one silver coin~" I chuckled, tossing one of the coins into the air.
He reached out to try and catch it like an overexcited child, only to have it slip and clink audibly on the ground before rolling away.
We slipped past him towards the door, just as I saw in my peripheral vision the man taking out a knife from under his sleeve.
He flipped the knife around to an underhand grip, his eyes locking on to my cute little sister's back.
Just as his hand was raised into the air, the other coin that I had been holding on to was flicked out from between my fingers.
There was a loud crack as his wrist broke from the impact, forcing him to drop his knife while he clutched at his broken wrist.
"Weak," Kiyomi muttered, disdain evident on her face.
"Ara, ara? I wonder what you were trying to do? Let me guessYou don't happen to be a member of the Dark Sect are you?"
The little insect growled at us, his eyes full of hate, "I know the two of you You're both part of that stupid Church Always meddling with our affairs! This city's slums used to be our haunt but you guys took everyone away and ruined everything! You think I'll let you waltz in here just like that?!"
"Ufufufu~ Finally being honest now are we?" I giggled. "It was honestly painful to watch you fake that accent you know? And you're way too well-dressed to be in the slums."
"The little act of you being desperate for the coin is commendable though," Kiyomi added. "Unless you were actually desperate for it because the Dark Sect pays you nothing?"
"You damn bitch! Just you wait, I'll--"
We didn't get to hear what else he had to say since Kiyomi quickly sliced off his head with a quick wave of her arm.
I watched with slight morbid fascination at how the head spun in the air before hitting the ground with a soft thump, the body following a few moments later.
I reached out and summoned the silver coins I had tossed away back into my hand, pocketing it with the rest in my coin pouch. No reason to let Master's money go to waste, after all.
Snapping my fingers, the corpse began to burn, slowly disintegrating into ashes to leave no trace of whoever this guy used to be.
"Are the Dark Sect people always this pathetic and weak?" Kiyomi asked after the body burnt into nothingness.
"Ufufufu~ Most of them, yes. They're truly detestable stains on Master's world isn't it?"
Kiyomi nodded, a look of disgust materialising on her face.
I gestured towards the open door, "Now, shall we find out who's the trash that dared try and hunt our darling Master?"
Kiyomi stepped through the doorway without another word, obviously as eager as I was.
Waiting inside was a group of ten adult men, all of them obviously hostile towards us. No doubt they are associated with the first guy and already overheard our little scuffle outside.
I chuckled, "Ara? I wonder what these men would like to do with two helpless girls like us?"
"Seems like we have more trash to clear out," Kiyomi sighed, a layer of ice already forming beneath her feet.
Ufufufu~ This sisterly bonding time is so fun!