Chapter 9:

Hanako Used Modern Magic

Hanako won’t Grant my Wish!

“So you can really hide your horns and tails in photos? What kind of magic is that?”

“Well, I think it’ll be faster if I just show you.”

After setting some ground rules, Koyuki gave Hanako a cell phone and some clothes that she had gone and purchased on her way home. Unexpectedly, it seemed like she accepted her as an honorary member of the Suzuki family.

Or at least that’s how it seemed on the surface, but to be honest, I had no idea what was running through her head.

But it didn’t really matter. This meant that the issue was closed for the moment, and that was all I needed.

But seeing as a demon would have no clue how a smartphone worked, I was helping her set it up and showing her how to use it.

She leaned in towards me to take a photo, a little too close for comfort. Just enough for a few locks of hair to slip down towards me, but I could tell she was being careful not to let any part of herself touch me either.

I took a deep breath and tried to keep myself calm, but just the scent of flowers radiating from her hair was enough to put me into a trance.

Was this what girls smelled like? Or was it specific to succubi? No no, surely it was just her shampoo. Actually, didn’t she use the same shampoo as my sister? Or was that another amenity that Koyuki had gotten for her? My sister definitely didn’t smell this good…

Actually, what did my sister smell like? I had never really thought about it before.

Never mind. That was a weird thing to be wondering to begin with.

This must have been what it was like to become entranced by a succubus’ allure. But this was Hanako we were talking about. Surely she wasn’t doing it on purpose.

No, actually, this was Hanako we were talking about. Was she?

“You- you’re a little close.”

“Hm? Am I?”

I opened my eyes… which I apparently had closed at some point, and found that she was actually quite far away from me, the photo presumably long since taken.

So I was just overreacting after all…

“Did you take the photo?”

“Yep! Want me to send it to you?”

Oh, I guess we needed to exchange contacts. I had planned to ask, but Hanako was already one step ahead.

“Do you have an app called ‘DINE’ on these?”

“DINE? What’s that?”

“It’s what most demons use to text each other in The Nether. Though I didn’t use it much myself, since I’m not very tech savvy!”

Wait, that’s why she didn’t know how to use a smartphone?

“Obviously there isn’t an app like that!”

“Oh! Master, look! It’s right here!”

“No, you’re definitely seeing-”


It was right there on her screen, listed in the app store.

DINE is transforming the way demons communicate, closing the distance between all members of The Nether—for free…

Photos, description, app ratings and all.

Was this a joke? Was she secretly some netherworld tech genius, playing a prank on me?

Her usual innocent smile seemed to suggest otherwise.

I searched it up on my own phone and got the same result. Over a million downloads even.

By this point, my usual sense of logic and reason was pretty much entirely out the window, so I just shrugged it off and pressed “Download”.

After some setup, I finally received the photo from her and… My eyes were closed, and I was making a really gross face. As if I was about to be preyed upon.

“See? They’ve disappeared!”

Well in any case, she was right. The tail and horn had disappeared entirely.

“Is this some kind of modern demon magic?”

“Nope! I just used the ‘magic eraser’ feature in the photo editor. Technology these days is pretty nifty, isn’t it?”

“So it wasn’t demon magic…”

Don’t give me that innocent smile. You and I both know you’re getting a rise out of this.

And hey, what was the deal with this so-called Nether? Wasn’t it a little too modern?


“T-this is her… My g-girlfriend.”

WOAHH! So you were dating her after all! Is this real?? She’s a bombshell!”

I avoided eye contact with Kobayashi, whose deadpan glare I could feel burning a hole into the side of my skull despite facing away from him. Meanwhile, the hornless picture of Hanako that she sent to me was now being used as false evidence, because I couldn’t just muster up the courage to tell the truth.

Obviously I cropped out everything but her and my face. I’d be damned if I ever let Saito see the succubus in her uniform.

“To be honest I was pretty ready for you to admit you were lying or something. This is pretty unbelievable. You’re crazy, man.”

A sentence that stung.

“Hey Suzuki, why don’t you just call me Noboru? And I’ll call you Shoutarou. Or we could exchange cool nicknames, like ‘Shou’ and ‘Nobu’ or something.”

Woah… Cool nicknames. Was I really worthy of such a cute-girl-slice-of-life troupe? Actually, is showing a picture of me awkwardly posing next to a girl really the thing that made him want to close the distance between us?

I was torn between reveling in my newfound popularity, and drowning in guilt from it.

“Uh, well… Just Shoutarou is fine. I’ll be in your care, N-Noboru.”

Maybe nicknames were a little early. Besides, my sister already called me “Shou”, and I didn’t want to make unnecessary associations.

“So, what’s her figure like? And what’s her name, anyway? I bet she’s gotta have huge tits.”

This kid had a strange obsession with breasts. Not that I didn’t understand at all, but it was a good time to take note that he and Hanako could never ever meet in person.


I put aside my desire to brag. Especially considering Hanako seemed like she didn’t like to be objectified.

“Come on Noboru, that’s no way to talk about Suzuki’s girlfriend.”

It was Kobayashi that came to my defense, surprisingly. I looked towards him, and he only had his usual poker face. I was almost convinced that nothing was wrong.

But surely he was disappointed in me. What a nice guy.

“Oh, okay.”

With a blink and a blank expression, the perky kid quickly changed his tone.

“Hey, you too Hiroshi. Call him Shoutarou. We should all be casual and drop the honorifics, you know?”

“I don’t think you’re supposed to be deciding that for him...”

Though he was the one who said it, both of us were thinking the same thing.

He took another glance at me.

“Well, I don’t mind. If it’s okay with you.”

I nodded, almost a little too enthusiastically. This kind of fluffy atmosphere was really too good to be true. Despite the fact that everything felt good on the surface, I still couldn’t help but be a little tense.

“Then, Hiroshi… It’s nice to meet you.”

Despite my worries, he let out a slight chuckle, and a smile.

“No need for that. We already got acquainted at the nurses office, remember?”

“O-oh! You’re right, sorry!”

He chuckled some more.

“Woah, you’re right! You two already seem kinda close. No fair!”

I could feel it on my face as well. I was smiling, getting swept up in the 4-koma-like exchanges that I was only used to seeing from afar.

It made me laugh a little bit too.

“So what’s she like? Your girlfriend. How’d you two meet?”

“She’s… really nice. And I kind of get the impression that she’s too good for me. Though she can be troublesome sometimes as well…”

I couldn’t help but twirl my hands around and fumble my words a bit. It’s true, Hanako’s presence had been refreshingly reassuring. Even if the events of the last few days had been exhausting due to her appearance.

“Totally! I’d think so too, if I had a girlfriend who was way older. How’d you two meet, anyway? Do you hang around colleges or something?”

“It’s kind of a long story.”

“I bet it would be. Like some kind of crazy romantic encounter. Oh, but you guys started out as, like, sex friends or something, right?”


He was getting a little out of hand again. Though it was hard for me to outright reject them at all, as I did want to talk about Hanako with somebody. And I was riding a little bit of a high from how interested Saito seemed to be, too.

“What’s her name?”

This time, the question came from Kobayashi. Or rather, Hiroshi. It took me a little off guard, but after a little thought I realized that he must have wanted to verify her existence for himself, since I didn’t really say anything about actually knowing a girl.

I wondered what he must have thought of her, since he already knew that I didn’t actually have a girlfriend.


It felt strange to say out loud. As if I was connecting this fantastical part of my life with reality for the first time. Maybe talking about it with these two was so relieving because I could confirm with myself that she was, in fact, a real part of my life.

“Yeah, her name is Hanako. And I like her a lot.”

I was able to confidently say it for the first time. Even though it was something that was hard to admit to her, I felt a lot better about it when talking with other people about her.

It was like I was properly reflecting on the events of the past week and how they really affected me for the first time since it all happened.

I was glad that all of it did happen. For the most part.

I must have had a gross looking grin on my face, as the two in front of me seemed like they wanted to start laughing again.

“So you have other friends after all! We thought you were totally alone!”

“O-of course I do!”

How rude!

Well, it’s not like I really took much offense to the sudden outburst.

It was strange. A comment that would usually make me feel defensive; something that should have been said to ostracize me; when we were circled up like this and laughing about it, suddenly it didn’t seem so ill-intentioned anymore.

Is this what it was like? To be playfully teased as a friend? It was a little bit different from the atmosphere between Hanako and I, but I didn’t dislike it either.

So this was friends”.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon