Moko-chan: ANGST I SUMMON THEE. I don't own Hataraku Maou-sama :p Post-vol 4. Basically this takes place after the whole fog, demons, Malabranche thing at Choshi.


One shot: Holding Back


"That was exhausting…" Maou sighed deeply as he trudged along the beach.

The Demon King, his subordinates and the Hero have just made it back from ushering a whole army of demons back to the Demon World. The sun was already high on the horizon and was shining strongly over the group.

"Grr…"

Even though the Hero, Emilia, currently known as Emi, was a few meters behind Maou, Maou could hear her grinding her teeth angrily.

"What's up, Emi? Tired? We're all tired too you know."

"I will…not bear such…humiliation." Emi muttered while gritting her teeth.

"Mama?" Alas=Ramus who was being carried by Emi felt her anger asked, concerned.

"Did Demon King-sama do something to Emilia? I don't recall anything about humiliating the Hero. It would definitely be deeply burned in my memory if it happened." Former demon general Alsiel, that is Ashiya, said, an obvious tone of exhaustion in his voice.

"I think she was referring to the time when Maou put his arm around her shoulder and declared that he has the holy sword or something." Fallen angel Lucifer, that is Urushihara, said casually.

"YES! THAT! How dare…."

"You should watch your tone around Alas=Ramus you know. You're scaring her." Urushihara commented, interrupting her just as she was about to start shouting.

Emi closed her mouth immediately and looked at Alas=Ramus, who fortunately did not look scared, but her eyes were widened in surprise due to Emi's sudden rise in the volume of her voice.

"Ma…Nothing wrong with a husband putting his arms around his wife's shoulder in my book." The owner of the beach house where Maou and group were working at temporarily, Ooguro Amane said, grinning.

"I'm not his wife!" Emi protested for what seemed like the umpteen time since she arrived, but Amane seemed to ignore her.

"Ahahaha…" The only normal Japanese human, Chiho, laughed awkwardly at Ooguro's selective hearing, and patted Emi's shoulder, trying to calm down the agitated Hero.

"It's been a long day. I believe it's better that we stop arguing and go and get some sleep." The inquisitor, Crestia Bell, said softly while trying to stifle a yawn.

Just then, Alas=Ramus let out a squeal of excitement.

"Yee!"

The entire group stopped in their tracks abruptly.

"Eh? What is it? Alas=Ramus?"

"Sea shells! Pretty shells!" The little girl pointed her pudgy finger excitedly at a cluster of shells lying on the sand.

Indeed, under the morning sun, the shells had a colourful sheen to them.

"Do you want one?" Chiho asked while picking up a shell.

Alas=Ramus nodded her head hard and then held her hand out. Chiho put the shell in her hand but Alas=Ramus seemed to be unsatisfied and was eyeing another shell now.

"This little miss really likes pretty stuff huh?" Amane commented, laughing at the girl's simple tastes.

"How about we collect some shells before heading back?" Maou suggested. The rest stared at him as though he was mad because they were all tired. But seeing how excited Alas=Ramus looked, they sighed and gave in. After all, everyone present was soft hearted when it came to the young girl.


"Broken shell, another broken shell. This one's too plain." Emi muttered to herself with her head lowered as she scoured the beach for some nice, or at least, intact sea shells.

"Emilia."

Emi turned and her eyes narrowed immediately as she saw that it was Urushihara who called her and was walking towards her.

"What do you want?" Emi asked. She knows that the current Urushihara rarely has hostile intentions (as he's too lazy) but her voice still held a threatening tone.

"Nothing, just that since Alas=Ramus…and the rest aren't within earshot, I thought I'll just ask you about something." Urushihara turned his head towards the rest of the group as he said that. Alas=Ramus was standing next to Chiho with her hands cupped while Chiho was putting shells in her hands. Maou and Ashiya were just looking at the ground, occasionally bending over when they spotted something. Amane was sitting on the sandy ground and looking in the distance with Suzuno sitting next to her.

Emi tensed up as Urushihara had a serious look on his face. Obviously he wanted to talk about things he did not want the rest to hear.

"So what is it? Shoot." Emi crossed her arms.

"I was just wondering, given how much training you did and how you mercilessly slayed so many demons, why didn't you manage to kill me?"

"Eh?" Emi's jaw dropped. Not the question she was expecting. Then again, she did not know what to expect anyway.

"You said it yesterday right? You wished that you killed me that time. So I've been wondering, why didn't you?" Urushihara continued questioning her.

"Well…" Emi stuttered. She had thought about it before since the day she found out that Lucifer was alive. She had so much confidence in her skills at that time. All the demons she had dealt a fatal blow to were no doubt dead but the fallen angel was not. She was sure she slashed a deep wound across his chest. Even if she missed his heart, she definitely would have broken a few ribs or punctured his lungs.

"How about you?!" Emi argued back. "You're the legendary fallen angel right? I was surprised that I could cut you down so easily? You didn't even block my attack!"

Urushihara was taken aback by the sudden outburst.

"I did fight you properly afterwards you know…with Olba."

"I wasn't referring to that." Emi huffed.

Urushihara scratched his cheek. He seemed to be thinking deeply about something and then he said.

"I admit I hesitated."

Emi's eyes widened in surprise. Was Urushihara actually telling her why he got defeated so easily?

"Fine, so overconfidence played a part there. But if it was someone else lunging at me, I would have killed them."

"You…hesitated because it was me?!"

"Well, yeah. You reminded me of someone I knew so I might have lagged a bit."

"Who?"

"…I can't remember exactly. Must have been someone I knew a long time ago." Urushihara shrugged and shook his head slowly.

Emi frowned at Urushihara's answer. She reminded him of someone?

Emilia, you really look a lot like your mother, I'm glad.

Suddenly, her father's words from many years ago came into her mind. Emi's frown deepened. Could it be that Urushihara was reminded of her mother?

But it didn't make sense. Her mother is an angel, and no matter how Urushihara is now, he was still an angel once, so there wasn't any reason why he couldn't remember her…right?

"Emilia, your face is scary, you know."

Emi broke out of her thoughts at Urushihara's comment. Then again, why was she thinking so hard about it anyway? And just the thought that she could have been saved by someone she had never met irked her so much, so Emi shook her head to get rid of her thoughts.

There was a moment of silence before Emi spoke.

"I think I know why I didn't manage to kill you."

"Oh, why's that?"

"I remember pulling my arm back just before I struck you. I remember how….guilty I felt."

"Guilty? Killing a demon? That's fresh." Urushihara said mockingly.

Emi gripped her right wrist with her left hand tightly. Her hand shook as she remembered the moment she brought her sword down. She remembered that as the demon fell, she saw an expression on his face that made her feel sick to the stomach.

"You looked too much like a human. I thought I was killing a human." Emi finally said, turning her face away to hide her guilty expression.

"Ah, if that's the case, then I guess the Demon Army would have won if we got the most human-looking demons to fight. Or maybe we should have just enslaved a human army and got them to fight in the front lines." Urushihara said with a sinister smile on his face.

"Are you making fun of me?! Besides, why are you asking such a weird thing anyway?" Emi turned back towards Urushihara and shouted, her face bright red as he made light of her feelings of guilt.

"Just wondering what kind of lame reason was behind my suffering."

"Huh?"

"Because you didn't do a proper job of killing me, I got captured by the church, that is, your friends."

Emi gulped and took a step back. Urushihara had a strange expression on his face. An expression he rarely shows. It was anger, quiet seething anger. Despite that, he was smiling.

"Do you know how much pain I had to go through as they tried to get information out of me? They played nice at first but decided that it wasn't helping."

Emi suddenly felt a chill down her spine.

"It hurt so much but they didn't let me die. And because I used up most of my magic fighting you, I didn't even have enough magic to end my own life. Do you want to know what they did?"

The Hero opened her mouth, wanting to protest but no words came out. She was just too shocked. Urushihara continued talking.

"They tore the feathers out of my wings, put needles into my fingers, poured hot oil…"

"Stop!" Emi covered her ears. She could feel warm tears in the corners of her eyes and could feel herself shaking. Urushihara stopped talking, and his smile changed into a mocking smirk.

"First you failed to finish your job, and now you're feeling sorry for me? Just what kind of Hero are you?"

"I…I…" Emi wanted to protest, rebuke his words, anything, but even though her mind was failed with various thoughts, she couldn't vocalize them at all.

Urushihara stared at her for a few seconds.

And just as suddenly, his smirk disappeared, and he stuck out his tongue.

"Heh, I was just messing with you." Urushihara said in a frivolous tone.

"What?" Emi said absentmindedly as her mind tried to comprehend what just happened.

"That's what you get for making me upset. You should see that stupid expression on your face." Urushihara added, grinning mischievously.

Emi just looked at him, now her mouth was open again. The fallen angel shrugged his shoulders and continued,

"As if the idiots from the church will dare to do anything to a high ranking angel. The other angels will have their hides."

Emi's arms dropped to her side and she started gaping like a gold fish. She was just about to find her voice and start screaming at the NEET when Alas=Ramus ran up with a large sea shell in her hand.

"Mama, Lucifer, look, it's Malkuth." She waved a large yellow shell in front of Emi.

"Eh? Uh, that's nice."

"Papa found it."

"Right…remember to thank Papa…." Emi said softly, in a loss for words.

"Ah…I'm tired, I'm going to sit down." Urushihara gave a lazy yawn and turned around, walking away from Emi and her "daughter". The two watched as he retreated to the shade and sat next to Suzuno.

"Mama…" Alas=Ramus tugged at Emi's hands.

"Yes?"

"Did you bully Lucifer again?"

"What? No! It's more like he bullied me." Emi replied angrily.

"Oh. You can't bully Lucifer okay?" Alas=Ramus said while staring with wide innocent eyes.

"You totally ignored the part about him bullying me…." Emi sighed. She can never understand why Alas=Ramus always takes the lazy angel's side. "Whatever….let's head back."

"Ok!" Alas=Ramus clutched the yellow shell with one hand and grabbed Emi's hand with the other and the two walked back to where the rest were.


pika318: And that's it! The conversation between Urushihara and Emi was creepy right? I really enjoyed reading that part. In case some people do not understand, I would like to a note.

Malkuth: It's one of the Sephira from the Tree of Life which represents yellow. Just like how 'Yesod' presents purple. Detailed explanation about these is in Volume 3.