“You look just like a flower,” Kouyou told Kyouka, petting her hair gently and tucking a blossom behind her ear. “You’re beautiful.”
Kouyou smiled, and for just a moment, Kyouka felt warm in the light of that affection and didn’t think about what she would have to do. Then she remembered.
“Don’t fret, Kyouka-chan,” Kouyou told her and took her fingers lightly to guide her as they walked. “It’s your first job. Everyone’s a little nervous their first time, but I’ll take care of you.” Her fingers squeezed reassuringly.
It felt like a warning, or a promise.
“I’ll help you.”