"Thank you for your patronage!" a brown-haired boy bowed as he handed the customer his order. "Please, come again!"
"That'll be our last walk-in for the day," a middle-aged man called out. "Just close up the front and we'll take care of everything else. Good work today, Hyoudou."
"Thanks, boss!" the boy called back as he walked to the front door and flipped the store's sign from 'open' to 'closed'.
"I'm still amazed that the boss likes you so much, Issei-san," a short, brown-haired girl remarked. She took off the hat of her uniform to fan herself after working the fryers all day. "He's so grumpy and mean to everyone else!"
"I just try my best, Chiho," the boy, Issei, replied with a smile. "I'd better get going. It's getting late and I start at my new school tomorrow."
"Are you?" Chiho asked, her voice brimming with thinly-veiled curiosity. "Which school?"
"A place called Kuoh Academy," Issei replied, as the two began walking towards the employee lockers.
The girl's eyes widened. "Kuoh?" she gasped as the two entered the locker room, where a screen divided the male section from the female section. Issei entered the left side while Chiho entered the right side.
"Yup!" he answered with a smile, though she couldn't see it.
"Wow!" Chiho's voice exclaimed. "I heard the tuition to that place is expensive! If you can afford to go there, why are you working at WcDonalds?"
"Under normal circumstances, it would be," Issei conceded. "But the school just recently became co-ed, so the board of education decided to lower the tuition fees to draw in more students."
A complete lie, of course. He'd instead used a hypnosis spell to get himself enrolled. The poor boy didn't even have enough money to enroll in a public high school.
"Is that so?" the girl hummed, as they finished changing and exited the locker room. "Maybe I'll transfer there. We could hang out every day!"
"We already hang out at work every day, Chiho," Issei chuckled. The two exited the restaurant and Issei began unchaining his bike from the bike rack.
"It's not the same!" Chiho exclaimed, puffing her cheeks in a show of frustration. She turned away from him and began muttering to herself. "How am I supposed to experience my teenage romantic comedy if we're not in the same school?!"
"Did you say something?" Issei questioned, glancing over his shoulder at her.
"Nothing!" the girl squeaked, waving her arms frantically. "A-Anyway, I live in the opposite direction, so I'll see you after school tomorrow!"
"Actually, the boss gave me the next few days off!" Issei told her.
"Yeah, he said it was to give me time to get used to my new school."
"Damn that man!" Chiho muttered.
"Did you say something?"
"Nothing!" the girl shouted nervously. "I-I'll see you when you get back, then! Bye!" With that the girl began sprinting in the opposite direction Issei was going.
"What a strange girl," the brown-haired boy muttered. He shrugged. "Oh, well." And with that he mounted his bike and began the long trek home.
"I'm back!" Issei called as he stepped into his apartment.
"Welcome home, Issei-sama!" a male voice called out to him from inside. The brown-haired boy slipped his shoes off and stepped into the place he'd been calling home since arriving in Japan. The apartment was… cramped, to say the least. His home consisted of a single room that contained a small kitchen, a kotatsu and two futons rolled up in the corner. On the wall nearest the front door was a small closet, in which they kept their belongings. On the far wall was the door to a tiny, but functional bathroom.
Currently standing in the kitchen was a tall, white-haired man that appeared to be in his early twenties. He wore a black sweatshirt and grey trousers. Over his outfit he wore an olive green apron which was currently stained with whatever it was he was cooking.
"What're you making, Ashiya?" Issei asked as he collapsed at the kotatsu. "Smells great."
"I thought we'd eat something special to celebrate your recent enrollment, Issei-sama," the white-haired man said. He grinned as he brought the plates over.
Issei's eyes widened. "That's ka-ka-katsudon!"
"I know!" the man cried. "I've been secretly saving for weeks so we could afford the ingredients! I wanted this to feel special!"
The brown-haired boy placed his hands on Ashiya's shoulder's. "Ashiya…" he cried, tears running down his face. "You truly are my closest friend!"
The two held each other as they sobbed for their broken wallets.
"Oi, white-haired freak," a feminine voice called out. "Hands off my master!"
The two young men turned to see… nothing. "Down here!" They looked down to see a small puppet glaring at them. The puppet had lime-green hair with matching eyes and had two metallic protrusions where her ears should have been. Dressed like a tiny maid, she would have looked cute if it wasn't for the psychotic gleam in her eyes.
"That wretched doll!" Ashiya scowled.
"What the fuck did you call me?!"
"Chachazero," Issei sighed. "Down, girl."
"Yes, Master." the doll's tone suddenly became sweet and innocent. As though she hadn't been two seconds away from slitting Ashiya's throat.
"I don't understand why you insist on keeping that doll, Issei-sama," Ashiya scowled at the puppet. She stuck her tongue out at him in response.
"She's not that bad, Ashiya," the brown-haired boy defended his familiar as he began eating. "She was a gift, remember?"
"Ah, yes," the man muttered as he, too, began to eat. "From that vampire wench, correct? The one that made it her mission in life to bed you?"
Issei coughed. "Er, yes, her," he said with a quick nod.
"I can see why she was so eager to get rid of it," Ashiya remarked dryly.
"Fuck you, too," Chachazero said offhandedly.
"So, why did she give you her familiar?" the white-haired man asked curiously.
"My former master believed that I would drive Issei-sama insane. He would then come crawling back to her in tears, pleading to take me back." Chachazero explained cheerfully. "She would then give him an ultimatum: become her life-mate or suffer for the rest of eternity."
"…" Both men were stunned into silence.
"But my new master is too awesome to fall for such a petty scheme!" the puppet cried, pumping her fist enthusiastically. "Hey, Master, can I feed you?"
Issei blinked at the sudden change in subject. "Er, sure, Zero-chan," The puppet squealed happily. She reached up, grabbing hold of one of her metallic ears and pulled, unsheathing a six-inch knife.
"That never fails to disturb me," Ashiya muttered, staring at the blade as the puppet stabbed some food and fed it to her master. "You realize those same knives have most likely taken the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of people."
"Oh, come on, Ashiya," Issei rolled his eyes.
"Yeah," the puppet agreed. "It was way more than that."
The two men paused.
"Our hands aren't exactly clean either, Alciel."
"…Of course, Maou-sama."
"So this is Kuoh Academy, huh?" Issei muttered as he stood at the front gates in his new uniform. He could see why tuition was so expensive. His wallet felt lighter just looking at the elegant buildings and immaculate school grounds.
A series of muffled noises coming from inside his bag drew the attention of several of his fellow students. He waved at them sheepishly before ducking behind a nearby tree. Kneeling down, he opened his bag and quickly silenced the offender with a flick to the forehead.
"Ow!" Chachazero grunted, rubbing at the afflicted spot.
"Zero-chan, we agreed that if you want to come, you need to be quiet!"
"But why do you have to stuff me in that cramped-ass bag of yours?!"
"What else would you have me do?" Issei sighed. "I can't exactly carry you around without drawing some rather unwanted attention to myself."
"Why not?" the doll asked with a pout. "Don't worry, Master! I'll slice up anyone that gives you trouble!"
"Do you remember why we came to Japan in the first place?" he asked, his voice deadpan. Chachazero averted her eyes. "Zero-chan…"
"It's was that bitch's fault!"
"You provoked her into attacking us!" Issei snapped. "She ended up destroying the city! We had to flee the country!"
"It's not my fault she's a complete klutz!" the puppet snapped in return. "I swear she can't even tie her own shoes without help!"
"Ugh, now I've got a massive headache," the brown-haired boy sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Alright, Zero-chan, if I let you out, you have to stay completely still around other people, okay?"
"Got it, Master," Chachazero saluted him before leaping on top of his head. "Shotgun!"
"… I don't even have the strength to argue with you anymore…" Issei muttered as he began making his way to his new classroom. There was no one in the halls, so he could only assume that he was late.
Finding his class after several minutes of searching, he knocked on the door before sliding it open. As one, the class's eyes turned towards him.
"Ah, you must be the new student," the teacher exclaimed. "Please, come in and introduce yourself."
Doing as instructed, he stepped into the classroom. Immediately whispers began flying throughout the room.
"A new student?"
"He's kinda cute!"
"What's with the doll?"
Issei walked to the chalkboard and wrote his name twice; once in kanji and again in hiragana. He turned towards the class and smiled his best smile, nearly causing several girls to swoon.
"Hello, everyone, my name is Hyoudou Issei," the brown-haired boy introduced himself. "I've only recently returned to Japan after living overseas for most of my life. I hope we can be friends." He finished with a polite bow.
"Does anyone have any questions for Hyoudou-kun?" the teacher asked. Several hands went up.
Issei pointed at a glasses wearing girl. "Yes?"
The brunette girl stood, adjusting her glasses. "Kiriyuu Aika," she introduced herself, staring at the puppet lying prone atop his head. "What's with the doll, Hyoudou-kun?"
"Ah, it was given to me by… a dear friend of mine," Issei answered. Chachazero pulled on his hair for calling her an 'it', but he ignored her. "I carry it with me so I will never forget that person."
The puppet on his head let out a scoff, which was thankfully drowned out by the chorus of 'Aw' by the girls of the class.
Another girl stood, a desperate look on her face. "Was this person a girlfriend?"
Issei coughed. "No, she wasn't."
"She wanted to be much more," Chachazero whispered snidely. Thankfully, her remark was drowned out by sighs of relief from several females. Issei's eye twitched. He would have to discipline her later. Though with how much she seemed to enjoy his punishments, he didn't see much point in it.
A boy stood this time. "Name's Matsuda. My question is this: WHY DID YOU COME HERE?! POPULAR GUYS SHOULD JUST DIE!"
Fortunately, Issei didn't have to answer, as Matsuda was swiftly mauled by half of the females in the room.
After the teacher managed to restore order, he assigned Issei a seat by the window and began class. As Issei sat down he closed his eyes. 'I can sense quite a few devils in this school.'
He knew that the school consisted of three stories. First years on Floor 1, second years on Floor 2 and third years on Floor 3. He was currently in room 2-A. He could sense a devil next door in room 2-B and five more in 2-C.
"Six devils…" he muttered to himself as he stared out the window. The teacher placed him in the back row on the left side of the room, right next to the window. For some reason, this felt cliché to him. "Six devils on this floor alone, but they all seem low-class in terms of power..."
"Well, Hyoudou-kun," the teacher said, returning Issei from his musing. "Since you seem so talkative, why don't you tell me the answer?"
"327.65," the brown-haired boy said after glancing at the problem in question.
"T-That's correct…" the teacher muttered as the class looked at him in astonishment. "Very good, Hyoudou-kun…"
Issei spent the rest of class gazing out the window, answering whatever questions the teacher threw at him. Needless to say, by the end of the day, he had become the talk of the school.
And as he walked off the school grounds towards home, he was well aware that someone was watching him.
Some distance away, two beautiful young women were unaware they had already been detected. One of them, a stunning Caucasian girl with green eyes and crimson-red hair watched the new student with rapt attention. "So, that's the famous Hyoudou Issei-kun…"
"He's only been here for a day, but he's already made quite a name for himself," the other, a black-haired girl said with a serene smile. "The mysterious boy from overseas with genius intellect and a handsome appearance. Kiba-kun's rival for the title of School Prince."
"Mmm, how interesting," the red-haired girl licked her lips and grinned. "I'll be keeping a close eye on you, Hyoudou Issei-kun…"
A/N: For those that don't know, katsudon is a common Japanese dish.