Wei-Ming Cho no longer had any illusions as to what Lady Anita had really meant when she told her to take care of things while she was gone. It had been several months since she and Mahoja had gone to Edo, and even if Wei-Ming had any doubts about their intentions to begin with, she was now certain they were dead. She was just grateful that they seem to have chosen that fate for themselves; many others recently hadn't been so fortunate.
She was now Lady Cho, brothel manager. Managing a brothel that seemed to be dwindling in size recently.
The whole city seemed to be going to hell, truth be told. It had been raining constantly for weeks on end, and business was suffering- probably as a result.
Her girls couldn't go out on the streets anymore. Standing around for a few hours waiting for a customer was fine in fair weather, but three girls had caught pneumonia and two had died from it, cutting off that route of business altogether when it was deemed unsafe for streetwalkers.
Granted, the rain wasn't the only reason for that. There was something of an epidemic going around town, and her brothel seemed to be particularly susceptible to what was being referred to by the townsfolk as 'The Curse-Plague'.
Lady Cho knew better though- Lady Anita had been an avid supporter of the Church, and had made sure to keep those she had influence over very aware of the dangers of their world.
But what she didn't know was why these Akuma creatures had started killing so many people- and what's more, why they seemed to have a particular liking for the girls and patrons of this brothel.
Oh, business was poor. Word around the townsfolk was that the bordello was a breeding ground for this infectious Curse-Plague, so the damned town seems to have gone celibate.
Lady Cho didn't know what to do anymore. She only had four courtesans left and not enough gentlemen to even keep them busy the whole night.
Not just her, but those girls, too... If things didn't change soon, they would be in trouble. When you can't make enough money to live as a whore, the only thing left is death.
Lady Cho took a long, slow drag of her opium pipe, and tried to figure out how to advertise a house of ill-repute. The place pretty much speaks for itself, doesn't it?
That was when she saw what she immediately recognized to be their salvation.
Crowded under one large umbrella, three of the most beautiful girls Lady Cho had ever seen grace a red-light district were coming into her House.
They were all three clearly new to the area. Foreigners, in fact, although the one in the middle was at least from Asia. In fact, she looked like one of the girls from Edo Lady Cho had seen a long time ago, before the borders of that country closed for good. But, while she didn't have the exotic quality the other two had, she certainly had the grace and elegance to draw attention to her.
As they got nearer she got a better look at them. All quite young, and relatively tall from what she could tell. And all three stunning and alluring.
The youngest-looking one was probably the most impressive, though. The bright red ribbons tying her hair were the only color she had, the rest of her was snow white. From her hair, cut tragically short for it's beauty, down to the heels reaching up to her knees (or were those socks?), every inch of her was white.
Though her severe lack of color was the most striking feature, she was also very pretty. Young and innocent-looking, she had a certain air of purity that made Lady Cho wonder what she was doing coming to this place. Well, except for the complete immodesty of her short skirt, that looked pretty in place. She would be very popular- guys like the sweet and innocent type. Oh look, she was even wearing little white lace gloves. How cute.
The last one was the only one Lady Cho could tell was looking for a job just from a glance. Though she wasn't necessarily (or really at all) pretty, she was certainly up for the job. She had a strange allure, something enticing and mysterious, that made you want to get closer to her.
Or maybe Lady Cho just wanted to ask about the eye patch. Well, there was hardly a difference in curious and mysterious, and the red hair was definitely a plus. Not to mention she was the only one of the three with anything remotely similar to a bust, and even if one of them was a bit bigger than the other (or maybe they were just crooked?) they were sizable enough to make up for it.
Either way, they were an impressive bunch, sure to bring in new clientèle- after all, there was really only one reason for three foreign girls to be coming into a brothel.
When they came inside, Lady Cho greeted them without even moving from her seat. Blowing smoke out of her mouth in a slow hiss, she gave them a cunning smile. "Welcome, ladies. Would you be here for business, or pleasure?"