pika318: We're back again with another Hataraku Maou-sama fic! It's Lucifer related again, as usual. moko-chan wrote this, but she said she didn't have the courage to post it, so I'm doing it for her.
Chapter 1: Investigations
Groan...why am I here again?
Second year Sasazuka high student, Sasaki Chiho, thought this as she dragged her feet, following her best friend, Tokurin Kaori, through the school building.
Normally, Chiho would not complain about being in school since she quite enjoyed it but she was currently there under unusual circumstances.
Firstly, both she and Kaori were not wearing their school uniforms. Instead, they were wearing casual summer clothing. Secondly, it was late at night, when most students have gone home.
Just the day before, Kaori had convinced Chiho (although one could argue that it was almost emotional blackmail) to pay the school a visit at night because she wanted to investigate something. Chiho only agreed because she felt that if she did not follow, her friend might do something completely reckless and get into trouble or worse, get herself hurt.
"You know, I had to lie to my mom and say that I was just staying over at your house because your parents are overseas and you were lonely." Chiho said with a troubled smile.
"You're not lying. Every bit of that was true." Kaori replied cheerfully.
"I didn't tell her we were sneaking into school at night."
"You didn't have to."
"You never told me exactly why you are doing this. ..."Chiho muttered.
"I did. I said I wanted to investigate something." Her friend said cryptically.
"I told you before you know...Our janitor said that a few months ago that he started hearing sounds on the top floor of the school. Weird people talking and everything. He even heard screaming sometimes. It freaked him out so much that he had nightmares."
"And you're only investigating now?" Chiho asked, bewildered.
"Well, it's near the summer holidays meaning we have no club activities so we'll have the time and energy to investigate. And you don't have any night shifts either."
"Ugh..." Chiho groaned again and just wished for the investigation to be quickly over and done with.
Slowly, the two girls made their way near the top of the school building.
"We're here~~~" Kaori said in a sing song voice.
"This...is the attic?"
"Yep. Todoh-san said the sounds were coming from here. The attic used to be a store room but everything got cleared out a few years back and it was never used after that."
Chiho looked surprised. She never knew about such a thing even though she had been in the school for more than a year.
"Oh...and there's rumors that it's haunted. ..."
"Eh...I kind of expected that." Chiho commented.
"Boo... you're no fun. I thought Chi-chan would be terrified." Kaori pouted after hearing the less than energetic response from her friend.
"I've seen...quite a lot of terrifying things lately." Chiho gave a forced smile after saying that.
"And here I thought 'fear of scary things' would be your moe factor."
"Moe? Wait, don't explain, I don't want to know."
Kaori grinned at Chiho's response but decided not to tease her any further.
"Shall we go in?"
"Yes...The faster we go in and investigate...the faster we can leave."
Thus, Kaori pushed open the door. It was unlocked just as the school janitor had told her.
A strong musty smell wafted out of the entrance. Chiho quickly covered her nose and mouth with a handkerchief in an attempt to block out the smell. Kaori just covered her nose and mouth with her arm.
The two girls stepped into the attic leaving the door open. Kaori pulled out a flashlight from her pocket and started pointing it around.
With the limited artificial light, the first thing that Chiho noticed was empty juice and drink containers, empty snack bags and other plastic bags lying around.
I guess that's what caused the stink. Chiho thought to herself. She followed her friend as she walked to the sides of the room, shining the torch at every nook and cranny.
"Woah, the wood at this area looks like it got punched in."Kaori commented, pointing at a certain section of the room. Chiho shifted closer to get a better look. Indeed, there was a hemispherical depression in the wall, about the same diameter as a basketball.
"Chi-chan, take a photo of that." Kaori said, excitedly.
"You're the one with the digital camera."
"Kaori, I'm pretty sure you can take the photo with your phone." Chiho said, slightly irritated.
"Phone cameras don't have good quality."Kaori retorted.
"...fine." Chiho wanted to argue that most smart phones nowadays probably had a quality comparable to her camera but decided against it as it would take up too much time. She pulled out her camera from her waist pouch and took a single picture of the depression.
Kaori continued to happily skip to another part of the room to investigate.
10 minutes later...
"Well, that's all I guess." Chiho said, relieved that it was over.
"Hai. ..I thought we would find more things but the only strange thing was that hole."
"Maybe...it's just a case of homeless people that found their way here and lived here for a while?" Chiho suggested.
"If that was the case, then how would they get food without anyone noticing? There's a guard at the school gate."
"Using the same way as how we got in without anyone noticing. Through the hole in the back fence that no one bothered to fix."
"But that's something that only the students know! "Kaori exclaimed stubbornly. "Maybe they left through that window." She pointed at the single rather large windows directly opposite of the entrance.
"Kaori ... this is the fourth floor. It's not as if they can fly..." Chiho suddenly paused. She did know certain people who could fly.
"Chi-chan? "Kaori asked, frowning at the sudden silence.
"Uh...huh? Nothing, it's nothing. I mean. Humans can't fly, right?" Chiho exclaimed.
"I guess not." Then Kaori clapped her hands together. "I know. Why don't you ask your reliable senpai about this? "
"Reliable...you mean Maou-san?"
"Yeah. You told him about that weird earthquake that only you felt right? I'm sure you can talk to him about this." Kaori said, grinning like a cat.
"I guess ..." Chiho said, laughing bitterly.
Now she thinks Maou-san is some occult pro…well, he is a member of the occult after all...
"Oh. And ask him about this recording too."
"Huh?" Chiho tilted her head in confusion. Kaori had not mentioned anything about any recording since the start of their little adventure.
"Todoh-san sent me a recording of what he heard. I can't understand what the people that were recorded were saying though. "
"Aren't you going to play the recording?"
"No way. It's too creepy to hear it in this atmosphere. I'll just bluetooth it to you." Kaori said while pressing a few buttons on her phone.
"I think…it might be related to Ente Isla." That was what Chiho had said when she let her reliable senpai, also the Demon King, listen to the recording.
"Eh? What makes you say that?" It was quite sudden so Maou did not grasp what was happening.
It was a normal day at work for him. Just the same old getting up in the morning, going to work, Chiho coming in in the afternoon and so on. Then while he was on break, Chiho popped into the break room and told him about her little adventure. Maou had of course chided her for doing something so dangerous, especially since both she and her friend were young girls. Chiho thanked him for his concern and then started fiddling with her phone which started playing a short audio clip.
"Well, it's because the language that was used in this sounds an awful lot like what I heard when Albertio communicated with me by accident." Chiho said.
Maou frowned and suddenly looked very serious.
"Let me hear that again."
Chiho pressed the center button on her phone and held it close to Maou's ear.
As Maou listened, his brows seemed to crease more and more. The sound stopped.
"Is it related?"Chiho asked apprehensively.
"Is there anything else?"
"Oh yeah. I took a picture while I was there. I have the picture in my phone."
Chiho pressed a few more buttons on her phone and then turned the display towards Maou.
Maou stared at the image intently and started muttering something to himself. Then he paused.
"Thanks. Chi-chan. For showing me those things."
"So it's related to Ente Isla?"
"Yeah. But it's not terribly important so don't worry too much about it." Maou said smiling.
"Um ok...then I'm going back to work."
With that, Chiho put her phone in her locker and left the break room.
Meanwhile, Maou rubbed the bridge of his nose and said to himself:
"Guess 'he' has some answering to do."
"Welcome home, Demon King-sama."
Maou opened the door to the demon fortress, also known as apartment 202 of Villa Rosa and was greeted (as usual) by his loyal former demon general Ashiya.
"I'm back. What's for dinner?" Maou asked, out of habit.
"Nothing extravagant, my lord. Just some pickled vegetables, eggs and rice. Oh yes, and miso soup."
"Haha...it's not as though we can afford anything extravagant…hey Ashiya, that was a joke, you know." Maou commented, but quickly added that he meant it as a joke when he noticed Ashiya's depressed expression.
"By the way, is Urushihara still in the cabinet?"
"Where else would he be?" Ashiya rolled his eyes. They knew that if they did not see the fallen angel next to the window on his computer then he would be in the cabinet, still on his computer or sleeping. Maou was about to go towards the cabinet when Ashiya tugged at his arm.
"Ah, I advise you not to open the cabinet for now...he's sleeping." Ashiya warned with a worried look on his face.
Maou's eyes widened. Ashiya was never this concerned about Urushihara and sometimes he even wondered if Ashiya held some contempt against him.
"Ashiya…you're always complaining that he sleeps too much ...and now you're letting him sleep?"
"Yes. My lord, I can explain. .."
It was then when Maou noticed something out of place on Ashiya's hand.
"Ashiya, is that a bruise on your hand?"
"Yes. Lucifer slammed the cabinet door into my hand, so as I was saying..."
"He slammed the door into your hand and you're just letting it go?!" Maou asked, baffled by Ashiya's uncharacteristic behaviour.
"Let...me ...explain...what ...happened!"Ashiya hissed, irritated by quickly softened his tone. "My many apologies for snapping at you, my lord. But before you returned, Lucifer was displaying unusual behaviour."
"Eh...just tell me what happened…" Maou said, getting more and more confused by the minute.
"I heard him groaning in pain so I decided to open the cabinet door to see what's happening. I just saw him sleeping but he was clutching his chest so I thought he was having a nightmare or something. I woke him up and the next moment he shot up and slammed the door into my hand. Then as though he just realised what happened, he apologised and said he was having a nightmare. Then after that, he closed the door again and went back to sleep." Ashiya finished his long story.
Maou's jaw dropped. He still found it hard to believe that Ashiya would forgive Urushihara just like that.
"I still find it hard to believe that you...well...didn't do anything after that."
"My lord. If you saw the expression on his face, you wouldn't dare to do anything else."
"Fear. There was fear on his face as though the worst of Hell 's fury was after him. Basically, he looked even more scared than the time when you punched him."
"So I think we should leave him alone for now."
"Ah...alright. That Urushihara has been hiding a lot of things from us huh?"Maou commented, looking at Ashiya for agreement.
"He's been hiding things from us since we met him and he expects us to trust him...when he doesn't trust us." Ashiya agreed, nodding. Maou noticed that he looked rather sad, probably because of Urushihara's lack of trust in them.
"Ah...I'll ask him about it after he wakes up then. There's a good chance it might be related to what I heard from Chi-chan today." Maou deduced.
Ashiya looked surprised, then the expression turned into confusion.
"What did Sasaki-san tell you today that made you think that?"
"Well…Chi-chan and her friend went to investigate her school yesterday…"
Maou then told Ashiya what Chiho had requested of him and what his deductions were. It's going to be a long talk after all.
pika318: And this is it. For those who read "Research Notes", perhaps you can find some connections between both these fics. Hope all of you enjoyed reading this!