Chapter 24:

Devils and Computers

Pandora's Box

As I stood in front of my bedroom door, preparing myself mentally to confront Red. I took a deep breath as I turned the knob.


I took a single step into the room, when Red suddenly reacted at lightning speed.

*Click* *Click* *Click*

He quickly exited out of whatever windows he had open on my computer.

"Don't you knock before entering a room?" He said.

"This is my room!... And what the heck were you looking up?"

"Nothing... One sec..."

*Click* *Click* *Click*

"And now you'll never know because I just cleared my search history. I'd appreciate it if you stayed out of my business."

I shook my head.

"Nevermind that. We need to talk."

He smuggly grinned.

"Let me guess, you've come crawling back for my help."

"Listen Red, I really need that dirt you have on President Sato."

"Oh, I'm sure you do, but too bad I'm still not giving to you."

"Come on, it's not like I haven't held up my end of our bargain. You've gotten plenty of content for your manga."

"Yes and that's the thing, It's not like you can get rid of me even if you wanted to. Because of our agreement, I physically can't leave until this election is over. Besides, it's not like I have anything to lose. You're the one who's going to spontaneously combust if you can't find a girlfriend by next week."

Red was stubbornly sticking to his guns and he had all the leverage on his side. I was going to have to swallow my pride if I was going to get him to cooperate.

"I said some things the other day I shouldn't have and I'm sorry."

"Do you honestly think a devil would forgive you so easily? You said I wasn't any help, so you're getting exactly what you asked for."

I didn't think a devil would be so sensitive.

"Well, maybe there's something I can give you to make up for it." I said.

"I'm an immortal being. What could you have that I would want?"

He did have a point, I was just a high schooler. I didn't really have anything of value to give him. I thought for a moment...

"...What if I gave you my soul?"

"Your soul?" He said, confused.


"What the heck would I do with your soul? It's not like I can walk into a pawn shop and exchange it for money."

"Oh... in movies devils always make deals in exchange for people's souls, so I thought maybe that might be an option."

"I doubt there's anything you could offer to persuade me."

"How about apples. Don't your kind like-?"

He threw a mechanical pencil at my head to shut me up.

"Woah woah, I'm stopping you right there. This is the second time you've tried referencing that manga. I honestly think you're intentionally trying to get me sued."

"Well there has to be something you want. Everyone has some sort of desire. I'm sure even you do."

"The only thing I care about is finishing my manga and that's going to happen whether I help you or not."

At that moment I realized Red wasn't as sharp as he made himself out to be. He made an error in his logic, which I could use to my advantage.

"With the way things are going now, isn't the ending going to kind of suck?"

"What about it would suck? Either you'll get your happy romantic ending or you'll comedically explode in front of everyone. I'd say those are pretty good ways to end a story."

"I don’t know about that. You're teasing this big reveal about some dirt you have on Sato, but then you're just not going to let me use it. That seems a bit anticlimactic to me. Won't that be a bit of a let down for readers?"


He paused for a moment as what I said processed in his mind.

"...shoot, you're right..." He muttered under his breath.

"Does that mean you'll forgive me?"

He sighed,

"Fine...Typically devils never forgive, but I'll make an exception this one time."

He suddenly threw a small black plastic object at me. It hit me in the forehead fairly hard.

"Ow!" I said.

"Everything you need is on that flash drive. If I were you, I'd play it live at the debate."

"Thank you, Red. Depending on the contents of this flash drive, you may very well have given me the ultimate revenge against President Sato."

Red and I both got devilish smiles on our faces as we both began to laugh maniacally together.


*Stomp* *Stomp*

"Mom! Kuro's talking to himself again." My sister shouted as she ran downstairs.

"No, I wasn't." I shouted.

Red jumped down from my desk, seeming fired up.

"You only have a couple days until that debate. I guess this means I have no choice, but to help you prep again. Looks like we're about to have a training montage."