Posted May.14.17 at 03:00 pm

"They aren't alive, you know," Yoshi pointed out, as Liya handed him the construct. He tucked it into his jacket. "They're, er, machines. They won't know if you apologize to them."

"I know that by now!" Liya admonished him, as they headed for the fence again. "Jus' feels right to do is all."

Yoshi chuckled as he hoisted himself easily up and over the fence. Liya followed, clearing it without catching her skirt this time, and landed on her feet just behind Yoshi.

He was not looking at her, but was instead staring up the street like a deer caught in the headlights. Liya looked past him to see three figures standing in the shadows of an overhang farther up the road.

They were all three of them grey-skinned and dressed in heavily-patterned traditional-looking reds and yellows. Each of them wore their hair spangled with tiny gold beads that were very carefully arranged in straight lines. For an instant they seemed as surprised as Yoshi was, but that didn't last. The middle one--with long, straight hair and a wedge-shaped nose--lowered the clay pipe they'd been smoking, breathing a heavy, ice-blue smoke. They said something in Aetherian, showing long canines as they did. The other two straightened up as well, baring sharp teeth, not in a smile or a snarl especially, but just to display them.

Yoshi turned abruptly. "Let's go," he told Liya in an undertone. Liya didn't argue, and trotted after him as he started back the way they had come. One of the spirits yelled something out after them.