Chapter 5:

Hanako Apologized to Me

Hanako won’t Grant my Wish!

Have you ever had one of those cute, fluffy moments with your friends where you keep apologizing to each other to the point where it becomes a bit of a competition to see who gives up first?

Actually, did that kind of thing even generally happen in real life? I saw it a lot in shoujo manga, but those kinds of scenes always just came off as a bit too gushy and awkward for my taste.

Regardless, this event was a first for me.

"I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry! Uhm, I'll send you back or something! I think you should be with a more proper, respectful person. N-not like me, who asked you such a disrespectful request."

"No, please! I insist, it was me who became upset because of my own presumptions! I ask you to please raise your head, Suzuki!"

"Nonono, you didn't do anything wrong! In fact, you seem really kind, and I was clearly taking advantage of that!"

"No no, I am a succubus after all! In fact, I believe for most succubi, such a request out of the blue is actually seen as a compliment! It's really just my own incompetence as a succubus that made me act so rudely towards you!"

"No, I definitely couldn't imagine a succubus as- as beautiful and kind as you being anything close to inadequate! Please don't say that about yourself! Really, it doesn't matter if you're a human or demon or anything else, I should have shown you proper respect either way!"

I threw in something unnecessary there, between some heavy breaths. Actually, we were both beginning to heave a bit in between our words. It almost felt like this was turning into some weird comedy bit.

But no amount of apologizing would really do much to ease my guilt either. It was even worse that she seemed to be so unbelievably forgiving of my behavior towards her.

"If you really insist, then how about the two of us just agree that we both have things we did that we're sorry for, and call it even?"

"I- I suppose that's fine then."

"Then I accept your apology. And I also would like to apologize for my actions. I really didn't mean to force you to tears..."

"I, uhm, accept your apology as well."

"Great! Then let's shake on it! Humans do that sort of thing upon agreement, correct?"

"I mean, that's really more of a western thing, but it's not like we couldn't…"


"B- but I really can't touch people. Specifically, girls like yourself… Sorry."

"Oh, that's right. My apologies! Well for now, how about a bow then?"

"Sure, yeah. Let's bow then."

Somehow, the situation took on an interview-like atmosphere.

"I'm really sorry, I'm actually really bad with people."

"Well, I could tell that much."

Her hand came up to politely cover her mouth, as she giggled at my overly serious sentiment.

Despite how polite she came off, it didn't sting any less. Actually, her demeanor made such a teasing remark hit a little harder even.

"But that's just fine, isn't it? First introductions are a difficult thing, after all. We both fumbled equally here it seems."

"But it'll be really hard to get along with somebody like me. I have a condition too. Are you sure I can't send you back, so that you can find a more suitable human? I just… I think you're far too kind for somebody like me."


She glanced down at the lock on her choker, once again pondering.

"Even if it were possible, I've already made up my mind. Despite our earlier hiccup, or perhaps precisely because of it, I've already decided."

Her initial, gleaming smile came back to allure me once more. But this time, there was even an added confidence to it.

"There have been no mistakes. You are indeed my perfectly compatible host, chosen by fate itself. Shoutarou Suzuki, I would be honored to serve you from here on out."

What did she mean? Perfectly compatible host?


How could she be so sure? Especially based on the horrible, awkward events that just took place?

"Is- is it really okay? Are you sure it's not a mistake?"

"I believe you misunderstand. From this moment; to learn about you, to grow alongside you, and of course, to fulfill your every wish; that has become my deepest desire. If you'll have me, that is."


Her words and smile were far too powerful.

It was enough to make me doubt that this perfectly beautiful demon was misunderstanding something about me.

Enough to make me want to believe her words; that we really were fated to meet. That I could be the only one who was worthy of standing alongside her.

"If you really mean it, then… I'll do it. I'll form a bond with you."

"I see. Then from now on, I'll be in your care. My master."

It felt so official. Even though the "magical pact" had supposedly already been made, it was this interaction that really-


My what?

"No, please, anything but that."

"What exactly do you mean, Master?"

"Please, stop. That's super embarrassing…"

"Hmm? Could I be doing something wrong, Master?"

Was she doing it on purpose?

"That. M- 'Master'. Why are you calling me that?"

"Ehhhh? Hmmmmm? Well, you are my master after all. It would simply be rude of me, and to my pride as a succubus, to address you as anything less. Master."

Okay, maybe it wasn't on purpose initially. But that one definitely was.

"No- uh, can you call me, like, Suzuki? Or even my given name would be less embarrassing… Anything else! Please?"

"Then, Master Shoutarou."

Her smile had curled up into a mischievous one again. No, devious even.

"Are you still mad at me? I- look, I know I probably deserve this, but cut me some slack…"

She snickered under her breath.

"No, of course I've long forgiven you! But you do happen to be quite cute when you blush."

Her statement had direct intent to both level with me and embarrass me more.

And of course, it worked too. Though she claimed me as her “master”, who was really at the mercy of who here?

"Well, I don't actually mind calling you Suzuki if you wish. When I feel like it."

"Aren't you supposed to be bound by our pact not to disobey me or something? Or at least, that's what the post said."

Well it's not like much else from that accursed Vchan post seemed to be accurate to my experience.

"Post? What do you mean?"

"Oh, uh, nothing!"

Was this breed of teasing going to become commonplace?

No, actually, I should probably get used to being honest with Hanako. She was supposed to be my "servant" after all. To be able to help me, she would have to know my circumstances one way or another.

And besides, she already seemed to see right through me anyway…

"Well, there's this Vchan post… wait, actually, I guess you wouldn't get that? Uhm, there's this thing called 'the internet', and you can talk to people around the world by using it, or post something that anybody else can view and respond to."

"Oh, we have something like that as well."

"Oh wow, Hell has Internet? Actually, I guess I never really confirmed it, but do you come from Hell?"

She winced a bit.

"I do."

"Is- is something wrong?"

"Well… if you're asking, technically 'Hell' is somewhat of a derogatory term. I understand it's commonplace for humans to use it here though, so I've no qualms with you referring to it as such."

"Oh, uhm, I'm sorry! That was rude of me, to speak of your home like that! What- what should I call it, then?"

She only grinned innocently, despite my slip up. For a demon, Hanako had quite the innocent, angelic presence most of the time.

"Well, 'Nether' or 'The Nether' is generally what we say when referring to the entire realm."

Her grin went wide for a moment.

"And thank you for considering me. Though, you don't need to worry about things like that. I'm simply your servant, so you needn't pay any mind to trivial matters like that."

She didn't seem to be forcing herself to be considerate. I wondered if to her, it really must not have mattered.

"Uh, well, even if that is technically true, I still want to be respectful…"

No, maybe she still felt bad about how she acted earlier? I of course still did, so it was only natural that she'd be thinking the same about herself.

"In the future, it'd be nice if you could, you know–tell me if I do anything like that. You know, things that are rude or that you don't like… even if we're something like 'master and servant', I don't think that means I shouldn't be conscious of making you upset like I did last time. I don't really want that sort of relationship."

"I see."

Hanako began to reach her hand out, but pulled it back again quickly, likely upon remembering what had happened earlier. Instead, she just leaned down to meet her eyes right at mine.

I was glad I didn't flinch by accident. Her pupils, as usual, seemed to draw me in with an otherworldly attraction. It almost made me want to reach out on my own.

Though obviously, I didn't.

"Then, likewise."

It seemed the demon was doing her best to be conscious of me as well. Actually, she had been doing so from the start.

It made me worry what other things I might have already done, or may continue to do that troubled her. It would be nice if I could become somebody who wasn't a burden to those around me.

Even if it wasn't much, maybe this could be a step towards that.

A start.

"In that case, I should probably tell you about, well… my condition."

She nodded in response.

"Shall we take a seat on your bed then? I'm sure it'll be more comfortable for you."


And so with a deep, heavy breath, I explained the incident that occurred in my first week of middle school in great detail. As I looked down at my knees, I was deathly afraid that she might reconsider her seemingly high opinion of me after learning the truth.

It was the first time I had properly talked about it with somebody.

But she only listened carefully without a word until I was finished. As I explained, I began to realize more and more that no matter what her reaction was, even if it was positive or fresh, it would likely still sting just a little bit.

Even if she understood my condition, I was afraid she wouldn't understand what I've gone through because of it. I didn't expect her to, and it wasn't why I was willing to open up about it, but I slowly began to realize over the course of my explanation that I desperately wanted her to be able to.

Maybe it was just that up to this point, I felt that we were a bit similar. But that illusion was slowly crumbling as I spoke, surely.

"I see."

Accompanied by a swift nod, That was her entire reaction.

I couldn't read her expression at all. It was the same smile as it has been since the beginning, but I could tell there was something more behind it.

I wanted to know.

"So? Is there… I mean, what do you think?"

"Well if you're asking, I'm especially happy right now; ecstatic, you could say. So much so that I'd like to jump up in excitement. Though I'm enduring it."

Happy? Was this something to feel joy about? What did she mean? And her tone didn’t match the contents of her words at all.

She was looking right at me, with a soft glow in her irises. Surely she must have been serious.

"Happy? Why?"

My tone was a little brash. I didn’t mean for it to be, but that’s how it came out regardless.

And yet there still was not an ounce of wavering emotion in her eyes.

"To be able to be summoned by you, and to be able to be the first one to hear this story. To earn the privilege to learn of your struggle and be proud to have a master that has endured such a hardship, of course I can’t help but be unbelievably happy."

Was that the truth? The secret behind such a mysterious, alluring smile?

"Sorry, I don't get it."

I really couldn't understand. And yet, her words warmed me like a heated blanket; I was all warm and fuzzy inside. So much so that I could cry.

But I didn’t understand it.

"I don't, but… thank you."

She nodded in affirmation.

"Then, would you mind if I told you something as well? About myself. After everything you’ve shared, I feel that I would be a failure of a servant if I wasn't transparent with you as well."


She tilted her head up into the air as if looking for stars in my ceiling. Which was almost ironic, considering I was only able to look down when I talked.

"Well, in actuality, I've never felt any sexual desire once so ever. It's not something I really have much of an understanding of to begin with."

She turned towards me again, with that same casual smile.

"It's a part of myself that I've long since come to terms with, but as far as Nether is concerned, I'm actually a spectacular failure of a succubus."

Hanako chuckled, leaving me as the only one crushed under the massive weight of what she had just said.

"I'm 'defective', you might say."

What did she say earlier? That we were 'even'? I had never felt so lied to.

Naturally, I returned to giving the endless string of apologies I had given up on before.

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