Chapter 1: Waiting for an Invite
The school quietly rumbled and shook from the ringing of voices, cries and shudders. Even the delinquents decided to skip class for today exceeded all homework assignments and homeroom cleaning duties. It was the week before Evil Academy's NetherProm, the diabolical and twisted, black sheep sister of the Human High School Prom. Every demon was thrilled to the bone to attend, no matter background or refusal to admit it.
"Who will you ask my lady?" Kyoko asked, looking down onto her petite, bubbly leader. Raspberyl elegantly shook her held hips, pretending to glaze her eyes over the crowded hallways of students. "Hmm, I don't know," Raspberyl playfully cooed. "There's hardly anyone here badass enough to fit my taste. No one hardcore like me."
"If necessary, I would take you," offered Asuka.
"No thanks. I want a guy." Oddly enough, the blunt coming-out-of-the-closet statement was casually ignored. The trio spent the school day poking their heads into every classroom for a valuable candidate, someone Raspberyl's assistants were positive could take good care of their leader. "Oh, hey Raspberyl," Almaz waved. He had quietly left his class, dirtied by the task Mao had assigned to him.
"Would you like us to wash your clothes for you?" Kyoko offered. "A boy should not ask a lady to the NetherProm without being properly groomed first." He patted the black scratches and deep black soot off his coat before denying the assistance. "It's nothing…really. Mao just ordered me to clean the blackboard of the clubroom with coal. It kinda of made it impossible…"
A grin curled along Raspberyl's lips as she leaned in towards the weary Fake Hero. "So Almaz, who are you taking to the NetherProm?"
"M-my lady, you sincerely intend to ask him out?!" Asuka and Kyoko gasped. The shock was so immense they had to step back. The demon loli shook her head. "No, no, no. I'm simply curious. We all know Almaz belongs to Sapphire. That's how the side characters work, falling in love with other side characters."
Almaz could feel his breath slip away. Was he really a side character? "Well…that's unusually rude but…"
"Almaz," a melodic voice rang. Turning around, the Fake Hero froze instantly. "Pr-princess. Is there a problem?"
"Yep. I don't have a date to the NetherProm yet," Sapphire moaned, grabbing her hips in frustration. "Nobody's asked me out yet."
"Our lady Raspberyl is zoning out the area for potential invites herself," Kyoko informed.
"I see, but Raspberyl, we're ladies. Don't you think we should let the boys ask us? Not the other way around? Or is that a demon world tradition I wonder," Sapphire curiously asked. She knew on a Japanese Valentine's Day the girls gave chocolates to the boys instead but could the Demon World be weirder than that? Through her eyes at least.
"But why wait for something that probably won't happen? Despite their rough and malignant behaviors, a demon boy probably'll be too nervous to ask girls as pretty and intelligent as us. Especially a badass like myself," Raspberyl sighed.
"I was asked out by a zombie," Asuka concurrently sighed.
"I was worried when one of the teachers asked me out," Kyoko reported.
"That's terrible! The teacher part I mean," Almaz declared. "The zombies should at least have an equal chance for dates right?"
"Ask the boy huh?" Sapphire muttered, rubbing her chin. "Okay! Almaz, would you like to go to the NetherProm with me?"
"Pr-princess!! Why…why would you want to go with someone like me? I'm just a Fake Hero." Sapphire shook her head. "If I had poor judgment you'd worry about me a lot more wouldn't you?"
"Princess….alright! I, Almaz von Almadine Adamant promise an extravagant night to you, your majesty." With a hand over his heart and his posture more knightly than his blade, Almaz stood strong as he accepted the invitation. Why was this confidence not present before? "Now that's a man!" Raspberyl cheered. "Someone slap him on the booty. He deserves it!" Instantly, Sapphire wrapped her arm around his and pulled away. Preparations would be essential at this critical time. Rapsberyl had to admit, even she hadn't chosen a dress yet despite her punctual tendency.
"My lady, school is over. We should really head back home," Asuka said, showing the hands on her skeleton clock. "You're right," Raspberyl sighed, disappointed by the fruitless day she wasted away. "Go on without me. I volunteered to clean the Prinny Statue outside the portals today."
"Okay my lady. We would gladly helped but we have to get our dresses. Call us when you want us to help you with yours," Kyoko said before finally departing from the school with Asuka.
Raspberyl miserably marched down the already vacant and darkened hallways of the academy before stepping through the portal. Buckets, mops and rags in hand, she looked up towards the towering Prinny Statue. For once she truly didn't want to volunteer. "But a true badass doesn't go back on her word," she sighed, carrying her tools and placing them against the statue's base. A few demon girls could be seen at the Rosen Queen "Prom Shop Edition", checking out dresses and accessories for the NetherProm, all with their friends and invited boys watching and cheering them on.
She hated to admit it, it went against her morals but she was envious. "Why hasn't he ask me yet?" she quietly muttered as she dipped her rag into the soapy water. "What are you doing this time?" a voice suddenly asked. Leaping an inch off the ground, Rapsberyl looked towards her side to see Mao standing there, almost with a glare as usual when he saw delinquent activity. "Don't tell me you volunteered to clean that stupid Prinny Statue?"
"I'm a badass, Mao," she said, lacking her usual confidence and glee in her words. "This is what we delinquents do."
"Something's up with you," he said. "Well, anyway, I'll get the Prinnies to clean that wasted monument of clay. Just leave the buckets for them."
"Mao, are you offering your slaves to help me volunteer?" she happily asked. Was it finally time for his good side to be revealed.
"What?! No! Don't be so idiotic! A dozen prinnies can clean that statue faster than one girl any day! You should be using your time to study up as an honor student!" he explained. "Or, if you truly don't wish to improve yourself as a demon you can help me in my lab with my new experiments! Muhahahaha! I have such a wonderful import of cadavers to slice and meddle with! It makes me…drool….it makes me want to write so many theoretical alteration reports I can't help myself!"
"Help him with his experiments? Maybe he wants to ask me to the NetherProm then! I knew he was sneaky but this really is too obvious Mao!" Raspberyl happily thought to herself. Tossing her rag to the ground, she ran up to his side as he snapped his fingers to summon his prinny slaves. "Clean your messiah's precious statue!" he ordered. "And if it isn't clean by today I'll throw you all into a gas station!"
"What?! That's sick dood!"
"I'd tell you what I want to do to you but I'm afraid dood!"
"Let's just get to work dood!"
"Stupid birds," Mao muttered as he walked up the stairs to his personal lab. "Here's a lab apron," he said, tossing it to Raspberyl from his crates. "I don't need my valued experiments' blood spilling onto the floor where I can no longer extract them."
"Thanks," she said, wrapping it around her. "He is such a tease! But he's pretty clever with his constant excuses to be nice to me. I bet he'll ask me to the NetherProm by carving the question into a cadaver. That would be so romantic!"
"Chop, chop. This body is in the midst of decomposition," Mao said, grabbing his dissecting knife as he leaned over the body with unbearable excitement. "You really like this stuff huh Mao?" Raspberyl asked.
"Of course!" he drooled. "You can do anything you want and alter anything else! It's wonderful! Bike wheels for hands, dynamite sticks for feet, caterpillars for brains and half a rocket for one shoulder! Anything is possible!"
"So, would you alter anything about me?"
"Hmm? What do you mean?" he asked.
"Anything about my body. Would you change something Mao?" Rapsberyl innocently asked, hiding away her darker intentions.
"Why? Are you interested in some alterations?"
"It doesn't matter if I'm interested. Would you alter anything? Do you want to?"
"Well…it's not like you need to be changed. Your power is completely optimal how everything is," he said, quickly returning to his project. Raspberyl snapped her fingers. She couldn't even fish a compliment put of him! He hid everything so well but…what if he had nothing to hide. What if he truly had no feelings for her? Not even a crush or sweaty hands?!
She then recalled her earlier words. "There's hardly anyone here badass enough to fit my taste. No one hardcore like me." Glancing over, she could see Mao happily picking out a bundle of veins from the corpse before them. Her feelings for Mao were only getting stronger. Deep down he was a good person no matter how much he tried to deny it. He wasn't a badass nor would he ever be. He wouldn't be hardcore like her. But she knew that such things would never, ever matter to her. "I want him to ask me."
"Mao…do you have a date for the NetherProm?" she asked.
"A date for the NetherProm….no….why would I need that anyway?" he asked, focusing more and more on his work. He tried to block out Raspberyl from his sight with his shoulder.
"It's just…the boy I wanted to ask me out hasn't asked me out yet."
"Just ask him yourself. Waiting will get you nowhere," Mao grunted, finding the bone in the experiment's leg to a little hard to break than he predicted. "I would bet if you asked him he'd agreed easily."
"You think so huh? I don't know. The boy I want to take…he seems really self-centered and selfish."
Mao began to cough a little, nearly dropping his screwdriver into the heart. Raspberyl lightly grinned. "But, I know he'd be fun to go with. Lots of fun. I can't really imagine going with someone else."
"Well, instead of wasting time wondering just ask! I can't stand all this whining just for some guy. I can't concentrate!" Mao moaned. "How hard could it be? If he won't give you a direct answer then ask him in an indirect way."
Raspberyl's heart suddenly leapt against its walls. What was he saying? Mao walked over to his bottle cabinet, searching for a bottle of powdered hair. "Is he really that clever?" she wondered. "So, an indirect manner huh? That's what would work? I guess I should have expected this, especially from you Mao."
"So…Mao, since this boy probably won't build up the courage to ask me, could you take me?" Raspberyl smiled, sitting on the side of the table.
"Y-you want me to take you?!" he loudly asked.
"It'd be fun Mao."
"What's in it for me?" he asked.
"What?! In it for you?" Rapsberyl asked, shocked by the very notion. She looked into his eyes. They were shining. That was a bit unusual for him. She then knew. That was excitement. "I can be just as clever Mao."
"Yeah, I need a reason right."
Swinging her legs, she felt her cheeks starting to glow. "Well, I know you must have feelings for me so I'll play along you little tsundere."
"WHAT did you say?! Feelings?! Don't be dumb! I have nothing to do that day anyway! You're just lucky! It's all a coincidence!" Mao explained.
"Okay, okay. I won't bother you about it," she chuckled. "What's your favorite fruit then?"
"What kind of question is that?"
"Just tell me." She leaned back, resting her hands against the corpse on the table.
"Okay Mao," she said. "After the NetherProm I'll give you a Watermelon Prize."
"A watermelon prize? What the hell is that?" he asked.
"I've known you since childhood. I know what kinds of things you like Mao. Believe me, you'll like the Watermelon Prize," she said. "And you'll it get after you take me to the NetherProm."
"Fine. I'll accept your offer," he said. "And I'll keep my end of the bargain and make the night fun for you. In fact, you'll have so much fun you'll drown in it!"
"Great! I'll see you then!" she cheered, tossing her apron aside. She headed towards the door, reaching for the knob. "Where are you going?" he asked.
"I have to get ready for the NetherProm. And as the man you have to pick me up," she said. "You underhanded tsundere."