Chapter 20:

Hanako Won't Grant my Request

Hanako won’t Grant my Wish!

“I know it’s a little odd considering the time of year, but we have two new students to this school. The principal gave them special permission, so please treat them with the same respect as your other classmates. Right–now if you two wouldn’t mind introducing yourselves.”

“I’m Suzuki Hanako! I like Shoujo Manga, and my little cousin. I hope I can get along with you all this coming year.”

“I’m Suzuki Novella. I like food, and uhh… cute boys I guess. Nice to meet’cha.”

“That’s not appropriate, Novella.”

“Oop, sorry Teach’.”

Right so… This happened.

After the whole incident, Hanako and I both got a pretty bad scolding from Koyuki. It’s the first real argument we had since Hanako first began living with us. The unfortunate compromise we landed on is that Hanako would be attending school with us to make sure I didn’t play hooky anymore.

And by unfortunate, I mean that it was unfortunate for me. Hanako was one-hundred percent on board of course.

And with the situation being as it was, Novella began living with us as well since apparently Saito’s home situation made things difficult for her to squat there. She agreed to get a part-time job to help with food and living expenses.

When she wasn’t around Noboru, the succubus was surprisingly respectful.

And while I still wasn’t savvy on the details yet, she seemed to look up to Hanako quite a bit. I was deathly curious about it.

The only thing I’d be willing to admit I enjoyed about this situation was that Hanako looked absolutely stunning in a high school uniform.

It wasn’t fair how perfectly it fit her, considering mine was still a size too large.

Though I make a big deal about it all, things didn’t actually change all that much about my school life.

The only real difference was that instead of Noboru, Hiroshi and I, it was now Hanako, Novella, and the three of us.

I also learned that I was wrong about Minami. Despite how much she dedicated herself to pleasing Hiroshi, her attitude towards Noboru changed noticeably after he had another girl he was at odds with all the time.

She was clearly jealous, and the two girls were at constant odds over him. Of course, our local dense pervert didn’t notice even a smidgeon of it.


“So Shou, we’re going to your place again today?”

“Yeah. I guess that’s fine.”

It’s not like we had a choice.

“Hey hey, don’t leave me out! I have work!”

“Too bad for you then! Haha!”

“Master, you’ll come visit me at the convenience store, right? Pretty please?”

“Novella, what did I tell you about calling your master by his formal name while at school?”

“Shit, right. My bad, Senpai.”

“And I’d appreciate it if you could stop calling me that as well. We’re in the same grade after all.”

“Actually, can you explain that already? I’m still curious about your relationship in the Nether.”

“The Nether? What’s that?”

“It’s where we’re from, you dunce! Why can’t this worthless skull of yours absorb anything!?”

Noboru’s succubus lunged at him and stabbed her fake, human-like fingers into his temples.

“Stop stop! I get it! Uncle!”

These two were always all touchy-feely with each other. Although it was more just roughhousing than anything, I would almost call that its own form of PDA.

Hanako was looking at them as well, as she held her hands behind her back. She had been doing it more often since the two succubi had joined in on our group.

“Actually, I’ve got a lot of studying to do tonight. Don’t forget that you two do as well, if we’re all planning to get into the same high school.”

We did promise that, didn’t we?

“Shit, fine. I get it. I’ll go home then.”

“Mast- I mean Saito! Walk me to work!”

“...Fine. You owe me a bun though.”

“What a stingy human.”

And just like that, we all began to part ways.

Hanako and I went back home, with Novella joining us before dinner. Koyuki set a rule that if we were living together, we all had to eat dinner together. Though it was a little awkward sometimes, and her cooking wasn’t the best, I didn’t mind it.

My sister’s dull-tasting dinners were still infinitely better than stale convenience store food.

She even found a drinking friend through Novella, which was a little strange considering the succubus was masquerading as a middle-schooler, but it didn’t really matter, did it? I was pretty sure she was hundreds of years old, or something like that.

With the two of them out cold already, Hanako and I were left alone in my room.

We’ve been a bit awkward since that night, and I wanted to address something.

I turned away from the laptop on my desk towards the succubus who was quietly sitting on my bed reading Novella’s copy of the weekly Jump comics.

“Hanako, do you… want to t-touch me?”


Don’t ‘pardon’ me. I know you heard what I said.

“Y’know… Like, ever since we first met, I’ve noticed that you tend to hold back in many ways. I guess I thought it might have been one of those things. Sorry if I’m wrong.”

“Hmm… You’ve always been very observant of those around you, haven’t you, Master?”

“I- I guess so.”

“To be quite honest, I have fantasized a little bit about your embrace. I- I think that the idea of holding somebody else sounds lovely.”

She was getting nervous again. The blush on her face had been getting more prominent, and more common since we had made up. I’m sure I’ve been the same. I wondered what it was about it that caught her interest, if not for sexual reasons?

Was embracing a romantic partner not an inherently sexual thing?

Maybe it was like siblings. Though I had never hugged Koyuki before either.

“Do–you want to try it? H-holding hands, that is.”

“But your condition. Will you be okay?”

“I… I don’t know. But.”

If it was for Hanako… If it was something that she wanted, then…

“I want to try it.”

“You’re not forcing yourself?”

“I am.”

Of course I was.

“But I want to force myself. You’ve already helped me so much, and yet I haven’t done anything for you.”

“I believe you’ve done more than enough, though.”

“Regardless, I want to try it.”


She thought about it.

What would be her answer? I was wildly nervous.

“Let’s try it then. If you insist.”


Shit. Was I secretly hoping that she would decline?

I was, wasn’t I?

My heart began pounding like a drum the moment she gave a positive answer.

I scooted my chair over while she waited patiently for me to approach. Perhaps if we were both sitting in a comfortable position, it would be fine.

She reached her right arm out in front of me. Her palm was open, as if waiting for me to take hold of her fingers.

Holding hands… Like a couple.

Was this something indecent? Was it sexual? For her at least, surely not.

But how did I feel about it?

We were both painted red like rose petals at this point. My hand was only centimeters away from hers.

I could hear the beat of her demon heart as I leaned in. I wasn’t even that close; it was just that prominent. Mine was similarly loud.

If demons and humans had hearts that could beat in tangent like this, could they really not fall in love?

Did it matter?

I could feel something welling up inside me. It was an indecent feeling. I was getting hote and heavy. But I didn’t want to let that feeling control me. Whatever happened, Hanako would accept it. Not like last time. We didn’t have that kind of shallow relationship.

I was still hesitant. If I touched her in this way, with these feelings, it felt like something would change. Like I wouldn’t be able to go back.

“O-On second thought!”

Hanako pulled away.

“Perhaps I need a little more time as well…”

“Y-yeah! Right, that’s totally cool with me!”

I let myself get swept up into the atmosphere, but the hand pulling away from me brought me back to my senses.

Was I…


It was fine. What we had now was fine.

Our relationship didn’t need to change at all. It didn’t need to become anything else by force.

It would grow on its own, and that was just fine.

We weren’t master and servant, nor human and succubus. We weren’t boyfriend or girlfriend, or even friends.

We were Shoutarou and Hanako. If nothing else, I’ve learned to be proud of that.


“Why don’t you tell them? The way I see it, now’s the perfect time.”

Icarus was pestering me again. Despite how well I could handle myself in most situations, he never failed to pinpoint my exact points of unease with perfect accuracy. It was annoying. Far worse than an adult that refused to take me seriously just because I was still an adolescent.

It’s precisely because he only took me seriously; that he was constantly analyzing me and giving me this unwarranted advice that bothered me the most.

“Don’t you want to feel a kinship with those two? You could talk about all of your silly, happy-go-lucky experiences together as a group of friends that all have demon pals. The only thing isolating you is your own petty hangups. You’re arrogant.

“I didn’t ask.”

“You’ve had a demon servant for a long time now. And to make matters worse, it’s an incubus. Or is it really that you’re afraid of letting Hanako’s boy find out that you parade around all night as a schoolgirl? Do you think he’d make you out as some kind of pervert?”

“Be quiet. I can’t focus.”

“You’re not really studying. I’m not saying anything that you’re not thinking to yourself right now. Give it up, I know you’ve been conflicted about this ever since you saw him confess. Just say the word, and I can tear those two apart. Or at the very least, you could stop lying to your friends. You were finally able to befriend him after all this time. Wouldn’t it be horrible if a lie like this made all of that crumble? Do you really want to go back to exchanging awkward glances with him every day?”

“I’ll tell them. I will eventually, I swear. But there’s no place for me between Hanako and Shoutarou. They’re clearly meant for each other. Don’t give me weird ideas.”

“Succubi don’t feel love. Sex to us isn’t romantic; it’s ritualistic. Something you humans wouldn’t be able to comprehend. The only thing that delusional girl has in common with her master is that she’s just as defective as he is.”

“Don’t talk about them that way. They’re friends.”

“Yeah, idiotic ones. You get it too; I can smell it on you. All of these new-wave demons playing at stupid human concepts like “romance” are all just delusional, brainwashed by all this shitty imported media. That girl Hanako especially; she was a romance counselor in hell. What the hell is with that? A shitty, failure of a succubus consoling other demons on shitty, fantastical concepts like love? It’s hilarious.”

He laughed aloud. I couldn’t sit and take it anymore.

“I said be quiet!”

I was just about done with his blabbering. He had been twice as chatty since I came home that night. If I could send him back, I would.

“Hah! This is how a human-demon relationship should be. I sit on your shoulder and coerce you into following your deepest desires, while you try and reason yourself away. Sometimes giving in, sometimes resisting. It's harmonic.

"Those two didn’t even make a proper blood pact with their masters! They choose to follow them around like worker ants of their own volition! Imagine that! If it were me out there with that kind of freedom, I’d be out causing chaos left and-”

“Shut up! I’m going out!”

“Woah, really? Out out? You’ve been holding back since that last incident.”

“Yes. Turn me already so I can leave and you can get off of your insufferable soap box.”

“Alright Master, if you say so. Don’t come crying to me if you run into Hanako and her kid again while you’re wandering around.”

“I won’t. I definitely won’t.”

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