Chapter 17:

Hanako Went Too Far

Hanako won’t Grant my Wish!

Schoolwork happens at school, and homework happens at home.

Classmates are seen in class, and coworkers are seen at the office.

The protagonist's childhood friend only raises flags on the walk to school, while the mysterious transfer student raises them at school.

These easy separations that humans make in their brain between all of their personal and professional interactions are what keeps the world organized, and turning at the same speed.

Conflict arises when these things are out of order. The brain simply doesn’t like it. Like, say, when a succubus from mythology appears in your room.

Or when a succubus meets your sister.

Or when a succubus replaces the school nurse.

I didn’t need that kind of over-the-top romcom event.


I wasn’t feeling well in class. I had a horrible stomach ache, and my head was spinning. Sure, the cause was probably just because I was up too late at night browsing forums again, but would it be nice if I had a cold? I would get to go home and cuddle up into a blanket while going down a rabbit hole of youchube videos on my phone.

Colds were the best.

“Shou, you look like shit, man.”

Noboru was the first to point it out. Surprisingly, too. Hiroshi was the one who tended to be more observant. But for some reason, he hadn’t been very talkative for a few days now.

“Right Hiroshi?”

“Yeah, you might want to go see the nurse.”

It wasn’t readily apparent, and I wasn’t even sure if his scruffier friend took notice, but I had been well aware from the moment it started.

Had he finally gotten sick of covering me? Or was he beginning to catch on that I wasn’t actually that fun to talk to? Maybe he regretted making plans with me and was thinking of a way out of it.

Or was I just selfish to think it was anything to do with me?

Could I ask? Would it be okay to do that?

“H-hey Hiroshi. Could you take me to the infirmary? I think Noboru is right. I’m, uhm… not feeling well.”

It was true, right? I really wasn’t feeling well. I really could have been sick. That was definitely all it was.

“Since you already did it last time… and all…”

I was feeling nervous about just asking the question. Maybe it was out of guilt for leaving Noboru out of it even though he was the one who noticed my condition.

But that said, there was no way that Hiroshi hadn’t. He had always been so observant up to this point.

Right? Was I thinking too hard about this?

There were long pauses in between his responses. It was painfully obvious at this point that something was off.

“Sure. Noboru, you come too.”

He knew.

He was definitely avoiding being alone with me.

He was using his friend to keep any kind of personal talk from happening.

Was this it? What had I done wrong?

Soon enough, I would be alone again. Once he stopped talking to me, Noboru would too.

Things had been shaky with Hanako as well.

I was slowly but surely ruining all of the relationships around me. I couldn’t even figure out why. It was pathetic.

I was pathetic.

Blinded by all of the listless fun I was having talking to new people, I had forgotten my own fatal flaw.

I had forgotten that I was defective.

This time, I couldn’t even escape from home. Hanako would be there waiting for me, joyful and carefree as she always was.

For some reason, that idea of seeing her bothered me right now. I hated myself for that too.

Hiroshi didn’t offer me a shoulder this time. Neither did Noboru. We all just humored small, meaningless banter until we made it to the door.

It was awkward.

I stopped in front of the infirmary with the two others lingering far behind. At this point, they were more just tagging along. Which was fine with me. I didn’t want to have to keep up a happy-go-lucky act while walking side-by-side with them.

As I slid open the door-

“Greetings, Master!”

I shut it again.

Maybe I was seeing things. Surely, that was the school nurse at her desk, and she had said something like “Afternoon, Shoutarou” and I misheard it.

Right. We were well acquainted after all. I had come with my sister to talk to her and the principal about my condition at the start of the school year, so it was no surprise that she was going to be on more casual terms with me. I had even seen her before when Hiroshi took me here the last time.

She probably just wanted me to feel more comfortable and addressed me casually, and it caught me by surprise.

I didn’t particularly like Mrs. Ibuki, who acted as the school’s nurse and health counselor, though I didn’t necessarily dislike her either. It wasn’t her fault really, but she knew my condition, and I’m sure she must have pitied me Or at the very least, she thought of me as defective like everybody else did. Special treatment, sometimes, was far worse than being ridiculed.

Though in this situation, seeing her would have been far more easy on my poor developing heart than a certain succubus demon.

No, that’s not really how this cliche goes, is it?


In reality I was just stalling the inevitable.

“I’m…! Uhm! I’m good now, so you guys can go, thanks!”

I opened the door again and shut it behind me immediately in a panic.

“What are you-”

“Afternoon, Master!”

A sigh escaped my lips.

“Oh, you were saying something. My apologies, I was just so excited to see you!”

Before I even thought to respond, I ran to shut the curtains behind her as well. We were on the second floor, but anybody from the track could still have peeked in and saw her. Who knows how long she’d been waiting here to surprise me like this?

“My, aren’t you full of energy? Are you that eager to keep me all to yourself?”

Once were we alone and out of sight from others, my panic seemed to dissolve. It was suddenly the same atmosphere as ever.

With a palm under her chin and an innocent glint in her relaxed eyes, the tension in my mind. She could almost convince me from body language alone that there was nothing to worry about.


I ignored her cheeky comment and checked the resting beds to make sure nobody else was in the room behind closed bed curtains.

Right. Well…


I jumped back. As if by chain reaction, she had jumped back too.

D- did she do this? She must have.

The nurse was lying limp in one of the beds. I couldn’t tell under the blanket, but was she even breathing?

Should I check her pulse?

Was she alive? She was still alive, right?


How could I find out the quickest?

What should I do here? Call 119?

Of course not!

“Hanako, what did you do!?”

“Ahh! It- She’s fine! I only put her to sleep for a while! I didn’t hurt her or anything, promise! I’m not a violent de-”

No no no, this much is already pretty bad, don’t you think!?”

“E- eehhh? Is it…? I- I don-”

“You can’t just go around knocking people unconscious! Does she look like she’s alright to you!? What if it were you lying here!?”

“Uhm, but I’m not a human, so that-“

“It doesn’t matter! It’s not okay!”

Ahhh, I was yelling.

I didn’t know what she did, but hopefully Mrs. Ibuki was okay. Obviously, I didn’t know anything about magic.

This situation was terrifying.

I was terrified of Hanako.

Looking at her again, I noticed the way her horns twisted inwards toward her head; her tail nervously curled up into a spiral.

Humans didn’t have those, right?

“Sh- Shoutarou…?”

Ah, I just yelled at a demon. That was terrifying too.

What kind of face was I making right now, I wonder? Would she be mad at me? If I upset her enough, would she do the same to me?

Or Koyuki?

I couldn’t catch my breath.

My muscles were tense and my chest was tight; I couldn’t move.

She was a succubus; a demon.

I had been dealing with something so dangerous this whole time.

The news report Noboru mentioned me flashed through my mind.

“Ahh, you’re right…”

She was only looking down. She was no longer smiling, either.

“It doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t. Something so obvious, and I- I-”


Big, blobbed tears welled up in her eyes, and before I could process why, she was bawling like a small child while still standing up straight.

“Ai- aib zo zorwy, Zhoudarou, bleaze dond hade me!”



Was this because I yelled at her?

She yelled through curled fingers as she tried to wipe her eyes and nose, which failed to do any more than leave stains of snot on her lab coat and gloves.

I made somebody important to me cry.

“Id wad, I wad jud worreed aboud yoou amd- amd- ”

“It’s okay! It’s fine! Everything is okay! I’m, uh, sorry I yelled at you! You said she’s okay, right? I didn’t mean to get so upset.”

I lied. Though she wasn’t even listening to begin with.

I thought back to a scene from when I was really little. It wasn’t something I ever remembered until just now.

My big sister was crying and I wanted to cheer her up. There were broken plates on the ground, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand anything about the situation, and I didn’t understand why she was crying, but I started to cry too. I wanted to hug her, and hold her, and tell her that everything would be okay.

I wanted to be that kind of reliable character, but I could only curl up into a ball.

It felt similar. Despite the fact that my sister and I haven’t been close in a long time, it did nothing but worsen my feelings of guilt.

Why couldn’t I understand others? Why did I always seem to hurt them?

If not for any other reason, just the overstimulation of the situation and my own thoughts caused me to let tears fall from my own face.

I couldn’t even console the girl I kept proclaiming to myself as important. I didn’t even know what to say.

There was an invisible wall between us; one which I could not cross.

A build up of stress suddenly released from my body all at once as I lost all strength in my knees.

I was afraid of losing Hanako.

But I was afraid of her as she was now, too.

She hated humans.

I was a human.

Why didn’t she hate me? It was all an act, wasn’t it?

And if I really was the exception, didn’t that mean that all of that praise meant nothing?

That she would praise me no matter what? Wasn’t that meaningless?

I was breaking down.

Somewhere along the line, Hanako spoke again. She must have stopped crying at some point. Her voice was a bit muffled through swollen cheeks, but she got the words out nonetheless.

They were words I didn’t want to hear.

“Master- no, Suzuki Shoutarou…”

My full name. My full formal name. It rang in my ears like worms eating at my brain.

Was this it? Was this the end of our blossoming companionship?

Did we have one to begin with? Or was it all a sham?

A fantasy.

I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t, but I forced myself to regardless. Not because I had hope that it would all be okay, but because I knew that it wouldn’t.

I needed to confirm that it was all my fault.

I needed to beat myself up about it.

I needed to re-convince myself that I didn’t deserve her.

“Succubi have a strong sense of smell.”

She cleared her throat, and through a more pronounced voice, I could clearly hear her melancholy words. It was a tone I had never heard her speak in before. There was sorrow, and frustration, and guilt.

“Succubi are known among the demon world for their strong noses. We intake every emotion; every desire of those around us aromatically. Whether it be demons, humans, plants, or insects, I'm able to sense it all.”

I couldn’t look her in the eye. I was frightened by her presence still. Just like the first time I saw her.

The demon’s words were that of Hanako. I could hear them and resonate with them. But despite that, I knew that if I so much as glanced at her then that illusion would shatter.

“Romance is not something that comes naturally to succubi. We have learned it through human media and stories, but truthfully, it isn’t something that we feel natively. To me, such a concept is no more than a fantasy.”

She was talking about herself. Nothing surprising, but at the same time, I couldn’t suppress my immense guilt. I could feel it; the point she was beginning to make.

“Not all demons work for Lucifer. But succubi are born as children; soldiers of The Lord of The Nether. We exist to bring humans closer to his embrace.”

She knew that I was terrified of her. She knew that I had been all along.

“I detest humans. Most demons do. Though truthfully, I detest most demons as well. But despite that, I want to love you. Despite my eternal life and knowledge, I still am unable to understand what that means. I don’t understand it, and yet, I am confident that I want to love you with all of my heart.”


“I have a fixation on romantic stories. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of “love” which could surpass race, species, or even physical bounds. It seemed as if it was this wonderful, all-powerful, unobtainable thing. At least, that’s how I’ve always thought before I met you.

“But now that I’ve finally experienced the human world, I know that it’s naught but an emotion. It’s not a thing which grants any power.

“You’re human. And I’m a demon. And while you’ve been able to enjoy yourself with me while you could pretend that I was just an eccentric member of your species, I knew subconsciously that eventually that facade would come to fade.”

She was tearing up.

In fact, I was looking at her again. Right into her golden eyes. I had been for a while now.

“I- I know I’m not good enough for you, and yet–”

Her face fell hidden into her hands; gloves sparkling from the water which left her eyes.

“I hate humans! I hate sex! I’m- I'm so different from you and yet…!”

I could see her puffy eyes peek out from between her fingers as she lashed out.


I stood up.

I stood up and ran out of the infirmary.

I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know where to go.

A teacher saw me and yelled out to me, but I only sped up.

I left the school and just kept running.

I ran and ran and ran until I tripped over myself and fell.

It hurt.

My phone fell out of my pocket with a brightened screen.

It was ringing.

Was it Hanako? Koyuki?

I couldn’t bear to look.

Instead, I curled into a ball on the ground to escape from everything.

I’m horrible.

I’m the worst.

I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know if it was even true, but I didn’t know how else to feel.

I didn’t know how to not hate my defective self.


Time had passed. I wasn’t sure how much, but a loud call of my name brought me to my senses.

“Shoutarou, are you alright!? What happened!?”

Kobayashi Hiroshi’s voice.


I could hear his footsteps quickly approaching. I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I didn’t want to face anyone.

He stopped and leaned down right behind me.


As I tightly clutched my body, I was forcefully pulled towards his direction. I had no choice but to look the boy right in the eyes as blinding light blasted into my eyes.

“Noboru was kidnapped!”

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