A Tenchi Muyo! story
by D.B. Sommer
All comments and criticisms appreciated. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Tenchi Muyo is copyrighted by AIC/ Pioneer LDC, Hitoshi Okuda, and Viz.
Author’s note: Yes, I’m aware Mihoshi isn’t Mihoshi’s last name, but the title just wouldn’t be the same if I said Miss Kiramitsu (spelling’s off the top of my head, it could be a little off) This is OVA continuity, with one little element from the TV series that could easily fit into the OVA with no real effect.
Brimstone flames full of suffering and misery and woe and despair rose high, instinctively seeking out the respite they knew existed somewhere above, yet could never reach due to the very nature of the abyss they had been cast into. The sound of pain reached his ears, pain in the form of screams and shouts by the eternally damned that had, by their own actions, chosen to be taken into his care to this damnable realm below. There was more suffering and agony in his domain than ever before, and his legions of followers/victims grew by the minute.
Existence was good for the Devil.
But now it was time to engage in a task that he enjoyed more than just about anything, including running the abyss. It was time to collect some non-evil souls. This time, a number of them that lived close together had caught his eye. Basically good people, but all of them with oh-so-horrible flaws that would make them very easy to corrupt and bring into his realm, where he could take a personal hand in their torment.
But which one of the delicious individuals to start with? There were so many to choose from: Demons, Queens, Goddesses. A veritable feast of the powerful. Which one would be the first to fall into his carefully laid traps?
Then it was decided. That one. She would be the easiest to trick and gather into his grasp. She would serve as an appetizer, and then he would move on to another one that was more substantial afterwards. Perhaps the indecisive boy would be next. Or the short scientist who thought she was so clever. He would show her though; no one was more clever than him, as he would delightfully demonstrate to her. Ten thousand years? He had been at the collecting game since the very first soul was created. Even a so-called Goddess wouldn’t stand a chance.
As he considered the most poetic way with which to entrap the self-proclaimed “Smartest Genius in the Galaxy”, all thoughts of his first target were pushed to the back of his mind. He made his way to his dimensional gateway machine. It was true that he could transport both himself and others across immeasurable distances using just his own personal power, but it was annoying. Investing the time to create the machine proved to be much less of a drain on his personal power. Likewise, he could just order his minions to use the machine to go places rather than wasting his time sending them himself. That left him with many more opportunities to make the denizens of his realm suffer. Creating the machine was definitely one of the better choices he had made over the millennia.
Once at the large, black device crafted from pure obsidian, he pushed a button that opened a golden glowing portal to the mortal realm of Earth.
Sunlight seemed to pry Mihoshi’s eyelids open, as the rays poured into her blue-white orbs and caused her to awaken. With the return of consciousness, she was forced to take a moment to remember where she was: outside on the back porch. She lazily sat up, almost catlike, and stretched out, raising her hands to the skies and yawning. As her hands came back down, one of them brushed across the wooden handle of a broom that had been lying next to her. The rest of her memory came back to her. She was supposed to have been sweeping the walkway, but it had been so nice and sunny and she had been so full from the wonderful lunch that Sasami had made that Mihoshi just knew she needed to have a little nap. She had lain down with the mental promise that after she had awakened, she would sweep.
And now she had awakened. Well rested, she cheerily rose to her feet, picked up the broom, and then began to sweep enthusiastically. She hadn’t been sweeping for more than two minutes when something shiny in the distance, somewhere near one of the mountains, caught her eye. She stopped sweeping, now distracted by the flash. A combination of detective skills and her own innate curiosity got the better of her. She dropped the broom and was about to wander off and investigate the flash when a hand tapped lightly upon her shoulder. She turned to see a sharply dressed man in a brown business suit standing casually behind her, as though he had been there the entire time, despite the fact the entire yard was an open area and Mihoshi knew she hadn’t seen him before.
The Galaxy Police officer took a closer look at his face. His features were sharp, almost hawkish, and his deep black eyes seemed to radiate a small red glow from within. “Can I help you?” Mihoshi asked cheerfully.
“Actually, I’m here to help you.” The words seemed to flow from the man’s mouth as naturally as water over falls. “I’m something of a traveling salesman.” He pulled out a set of videotapes contained in an elaborately enameled box with a distinctive white and brown cartoon character on the side. “And I just happen to have a complete set of Moldiver tapes, including a never-seen-before lost episode and interviews with the producers of the series. Certainly a Collector’s set if ever there was one.”
Stars nearly appeared in Mihoshi’s eyes as she clasped her hands together and began jumping up and down. “Wow! Moldiver is my absolutist most favorite television show here on Earth!”
The man’s smile grew wider. “And they can all be yours if you just sign on the dotted line.” He held out the contract plainly before her so that she could read every word, including the fine print towards the bottom that specifically stated that the price of the tapes was Mihoshi’s immortal soul. He would have preferred obscuring the words somehow, but there was a cosmic set of rules even the Devil had to follow.
His eyes twinkled as he watched Mihoshi, still in a joyous delirium, sign the document without bothering to read it; her eyes were for the set of tapes alone. As she ended with the final, sweeping stroke of her last name, the Devil felt the energy from the pact take effect. It had worked. She was his.
“HAHAHAHAHA!” The Devil’s voice boomed throughout the valley the shrine and house was located.
“I’m glad to see you’re so happy with making the sale,” Mihoshi said, smiling the whole time.
“You little fool,” the Devil retorted. “You’ve signed your soul over to me for a handful of measly videotapes. You mortals are so ridiculously easy to ensnare. Hahahaha!”
Mihoshi looked at him, confused. “My soul?”
“Yes.” The Devil continued chuckling.
Mihoshi considered that. “Wow! If it cost that much, they must have been really hard to find.”
“Hahahaha… huh?” It wasn’t often one could surprise the Devil. Usually, he was very much on the ball. Over the millennia, he had heard just about every protest, curse, and attempt to wheedle out of the contract there was from every race there that existed, including his favorites, Shaisterians, a race composed solely of lawyers. But this, this was a tactic he hadn’t seen before. Perhaps the girl thought it was a joke and was just playing along. “I’m quite serious, my dear.” He held the contract out for her to read again, pointing out the fine print.
“No. I believe you.” Mihoshi waved her hand dismissively at the signed document and returned her attention to the tapes.
Now the situation had gone from strange to downright bizarre. There was nothing about Mihoshi that suggested she was depressed and desired being consigned to Hell in any way. On the contrary, she was literally one of the most happy and vivacious beings in existence. Even when she was sad, it wasn’t for very long. It was one of the reasons he desired her soul so badly; beings that happy were an affront to him. “Listen to me, I now have full possession of your soul. Not soul music. Not soul food, but your one and only immortal soul that makes up the unique being that is you.”
Mihoshi said, “Ohh, I like soul food. Tenchi took us to America once and we stopped in Baton Rouge and ate some there at this nice little out of the way restaurant that was owned by the nicest two people. Though personally, I preferred the Cajun style of cooking we had at another restaurant the next day. Sasami did try to make some once, but it just lacked something. I don’t—“
“We’re getting off the subject here,” the Devil interrupted, quite thoroughly irritated that the girl wasn’t more distressed. She was supposed to be in a state of absolute misery by now. That was the way it worked. “I am now in possession of your soul and we’re going straight to hell. You’re going to be damned for eternity. MUHAHAHA—“
“Umm, Mr. Devil,” Mihoshi said tentatively, her somewhat embarrassed demeanor disrupting the Devil’s ability to laugh evilly.
“You should try laughing with a higher pitch if you want to sound evil. Kagato did that and it really scared me. What you’re doing is just mildly annoying.”
The Devil couldn’t respond to that. How dare the little mortal imply his laugh wasn’t evil! She was going to pay. Without another word he hit a button on a small device on his waist and transported them back to the fiery domain of Hell and all of its grandeur.
Cries of hopelessness echoed throughout the realm as various scenes of torture, from the impossibly physical to the deeply emotional, went on about them. Surely the girl would be frightened now as she came to understand that this desolation was all that she had to look forward to from now until the end of eternity.
With a snap of his fingers a number of evil-looking demons suddenly appeared and surrounded Mihoshi, leering at her with no attempt to conceal their anticipation of what was to come. They looked to the Devil, awaiting their orders on what tortures to inflict upon this new soul.
“Wow, it sure is hot in here,” Mihoshi said as she wiped the sweat from her brow. “Have you ever thought of turning on the air-conditioning? I bet it would make things a lot more pleasant.”
“It’s not supposed to be pleasant, you stupid little twit! It’s supposed to be miserable! It’s Hell!” the Devil roared.
“Oh?” Mihoshi said, as though puzzling something out. After a moment, she raised her hand up, as though she was asking a teacher a question in class.
Now as much bewildered as much as enraged, the Devil dared to ask, “What?!”
“If you really want to make people suffer, you should increase the humidity. This is more of a dry heat, and everyone knows that if it’s hot and humid it’s much more miserable than it just being hot.”
“That’s a good point. I’m surprised the boss never thought of that,” one of the demons surrounding Mihoshi said. A moment later, its head was ripped off its shoulders.
“It’s a dry heat because I want it to be a dry heat and not a humid one! Dry heat is better!” the Devil bellowed at the body as it hit the ground. As his temper reached the breaking point, control over his corporeal form was lost. His eyes grew to twice their size and turned red, blood beginning to pour from them in rivulets.
Mihoshi handed him a tissue. “If you get blood on that suit it’s going to stain.”
“ARGHHH!” the Devil raged, turning away from her and to one of the demons at hand. “Enough! Brack’che!”
A four-armed demon, wearing a host of snake-headed whips and incredibly sharp and pointed instruments designed solely of the implementation of pain that hung from his belt, stepped forward. Brackish drool escaped from two of his three mouths as he slavered in anticipation. “Yes, oh great master of misery?”
“Let this fragile soul know the true meaning of the word ‘pain’. Do things to her that cannot to be done to flesh in the mortal world because it would yield to Death before the true suffering could begin.”
The slavering increased threefold. “Yes, your painfully damned unholiness.”
The Devil’s eyes shrank back to the former size as the tears of blood dried up, the epitome of control once again. After all, was not Brack’che one of his best torturers? If ever there was a master artisan at his craft, it was that demon. Truly the Devil had outdone himself when he created that one. Never had a soul failed to shatter under Brack’che’s skillful hands. Only the fact that the Devil wanted the rest of those souls near the Masaki Shrine so badly was why he chose not to stay around and watch the fun. Besides, he didn’t particularly want to be around Mihoshi. She had made him lose control in front of the demons, something the Devil hadn’t done since he had lost that stupid fiddling contest with that boy from Georgia. Worse, that particular little pustule had made an annoying song about it and now everyone knew the Devil had managed to be tricked. Even worse, it had been at the hands of an inbred redneck cracker.
But that too had passed. Now satisfied with the knowledge that things were in good hands (four of them, to be precise), the Devil departed Hell once again.
The Devil walked through the gateway back to Hell, extraordinarily upset. He had failed to get the soul he had so desperately wanted. That stupid Tenchi boy was such a weenie. The Devil had offered to take care of all of his girl problems, and all for the measly cost of his soul. Certainly it was a bargain. Like there was any other way the romance problem would be solved without bloodshed with those four parties involved. “Let me think about it for a couple of weeks,” the boy had said. What a wishy-washy putz.
But at least there was something he could look forward to: the state Mihoshi was in. By now, Brack’che would have her almost in the palm of his hand, if not completely broken outright. It would serve the little annoyance right for daring to upset her new master.
The Devil hummed a little tune to himself as he made his way to Brack’che’s ‘Cavern O’ Fun.’ As the Devil rounded a corner and the cavern came into view, he paused, the last echoes of the tune disappearing several seconds after he had stopped humming. The sight before him was inconceivable.
There was Mihoshi, completely naked and with multiple marks on her body, sitting next to Brack’che and smiling pleasantly. Brack’che was nowhere near as pleased, holding his head in all four of his hands and sobbing.
Yes, just a little something wrong with the picture.
“What’s going on here?! Why isn’t this girl broken yet?!” the Devil roared.
“She,” Brack’che sobbed like a baby. “She… I can’t do it. I can’t torture her, your evil righteousness.”
“Because… because she likes the pain, sir. I mean she really, really enjoys it.”
Mihoshi’s whole body turned a beet red and she squirmed a little. “I’m so embarrassed. Don’t let Tenchi know about it. I would just die if he found out.”
“I’ve never had this happen before. I could break anyone, even the most twisted of masochists,” the demon continued sobbing. “But no matter what I did to her, it just wouldn’t work. I used absolutely every trick I knew, but she’d just happily ask for more. And she was so polite. I can’t inflict pain on them if they enjoy it. It’s just plain wrong. This is Hell, not some S+M country club. I’m a miserable failure, not worthy of any respect. I’m a bad demon.”
Mihoshi picked up a whip. “Want me to punish you? Aeka showed me how to use one of these.” The Galaxy Police officer gave an expert crack of the whip, getting a feel for the weapon.
“It’s what I deserve for being such a failure as a demon.” Brack’che got down on all fours and presented himself for Mihoshi.
As Mihoshi began beating on the demon with a skill that would have made Aeka green with envy, the Devil ripped the weapon out of her hand. Blood once again began pouring out of his eyes, this time joined by green boils forming on his flesh. Somehow, in some way, she had managed to go from tortured to torturer in the blink of an eye. “You ignorant little toad! You think you’re so clever, trying to outmaneuver me? Well I’ll show you! You haven’t seen one one-hundredth of what I can do! Per’vurt Hen’Tai! You and your corps come forth and reveal yourselves to your lord and master!”
In the blink of an eye a dozen huge tentacle demons appeared. Each one had numerous long, ropelike protrusions in the shape of male phalluses whipping around their bodies. Impossibly larger ones protruded from their pelvises. Even their heads had what appeared to be purple helmets on the tops.
The largest (in every way) of the tentacle demons moved forward. A milky white substance spilled from his mouth as he gurgled out, “Yes, your large, stiff, most evilness?”
The Devil simply pointed at Mihoshi and said, “That one. Rape away to your heart’s content.”
Per’vurt Hen’Tai appeared confused. “I don’t have a heart, sir. Just large testicles. Remember? And we don’t have blood either. Just sper—“
“It’s just a saying, you moron!” The Devil tried suppressing his anger. True, he had created the demons to be stupid (especially the tentacle ones, since their balls literally did do all their thinking for them) to keep them from getting any ideas about trying to overthrow him and run everything themselves, but maybe the next generation of tentacle demons should be a wee bit smarter. Still, Per’vurt Hen’Tai and his demons didn’t need brains to do their job. All they needed was to be horny.
Again, the Devil left Mihoshi to the leering demons as he made his way back to the mortal plane. This time the blonde would pay.
The Devil felt like ripping out another patch of his hair in frustration as he went directly to Hell using his inherent powers rather than the dimensional gate machine he usually employed. Before going to the shrine, he had spent a few days in the Mideast, which had cheered him up considerably from the whole Tenchi and Mihoshi fiascoes. The decades of people fanatically hating each other had provided him with a delightful vacation spot to relax and enjoy himself. Once he felt better, he went back to the Masaki shrine to return to the task of collecting the rest of the resident souls. Only things hadn’t worked out the way they were supposed to. Again.
First, he had approached Ryouko, who was somehow able to divine who he really was the instant she saw him. Instead of fighting or just rejecting him out of hand, she had tried to convince him of how nice and desirable it would be to take Aeka’s soul instead of her own. For hours she lauded about how much better it would be to take a “snobby, uptight, prissy, Juraian princess” instead of a “cute, lovable, cuddly demon” like herself.
Deciding Aeka would indeed be the easier target, the Devil approached her. Yet somehow she too was able to determine his true identity and then spent the next several hours trying to convince him how much better it would be to “grab that awful demon woman who’s going to end up in Hell anyway”, instead of a “righteous and noble personage” such as herself. At some point Ryouko phased into the room to see how things were going, overheard Aeka’s description of her, and the two got into a fight. The Devil had ended up getting bounced around the room several times in the melee, and eventually opted to retreat rather than let the corporeal form he was using take any further damage. They’d pay for their treatment of him; it would just be at a later time.
But now he was back in Hell, and with his return, the delightful memory of the position he had left Mihoshi in came back to him. Oh yes, time to see how the little bitch responded to being raped endlessly by tentacle demons.
It didn’t take him long to find out. He walked back to the cavern again, only to see the pack of tentacle demons sitting outside.
“What’s the matter, boys?” the Devil asked. “You look a little… flaccid.”
“It’s unbelievable, sir,” Per’vurt Hen’Tai said in a clear, melodic voice, devoid of any white fluid. “She’s drained every one of us dry.”
The Devil’s mouth nearly hit the floor. “What?”
“It’s true. Look.” Per’vurt Hen’Tai picked off a piece of dried off skin. “See. My usually pretty, well-oiled skin is flaking off.”
“For the first time in my existence, I can’t get it up, sir,” another demon confessed. He tried waving one of his limp tentacles. It moved less than an inch. “My confidence is shot. I just feel so… inadequate.”
“Yeah,” another one piped up. “It’s sort of like being in Hell. I mean a Hell for us instead of the mortals,” the demon clarified.
The sentiment was repeated among the group.
“Well, what shape is she in?” the Devil asked, the disbelief continuing to overwhelm him.
In answer to his question, a seductive voice drifted from the direction of the cavern. “Oh, Hen’Tai-chan. I’m ready for another round. You did say you could get it up again, didn’t you?”
Per’vurt Hen’Tai gave a nervous look at the opening to the cavern, than began to back fearfully away. The rest of the tentacle demons followed suit. The Devil was about to say something when Mihoshi’s head poked from around the opening of the passageway. The demons took one look at her amorous face, then turned and ran as fast as they could, screaming in terror.
Mihoshi pouted, one of the rare times she didn’t appear her usual bubbly, cute self. “Mother always said men were like that. They just want sex for themselves and don’t care about your needs and wants.”
The Devil’s face began twitching madly. “You probably think you’ve won, don’t you? Don’t you?! Well, think again! I have plenty more tortures for you! Including this one!”
It was time to cut loose and really let her have it. Obviously, physical tortures were proving themselves completely ineffective, which meant it was time to go for the mental ones. With a broad sweep of his hand the illusion took shape. Rock melted away to reveal a view in the seeming distance. Several people were bound and gagged with thick metal chains, insidious demons getting ready to fall upon them and engage in unspeakable acts. The people were everyone Mihoshi knew on Earth. From Tenchi to Aeka’s wooden guardians.
The Devil gave a dramatic gesture. “Behold your friends, whose souls now reside in Hell as well.” Of course it was nothing more than an illusion designed to break Mihoshi’s spirit, the real members of the group still eluding his possession, but he was The Lord of Lies, after all. Such actions kept him from losing his unique touch. A rictus of a grin spread across his features as he waited for Mihoshi’s reaction. Would it be a cry of denial and a plea to release them, or would it be a roar of anger as she tried to attack him? There were so many numerous conceivable responses, and the Devil’s mind raced through the possibilities.
“Wow! My friends are all here, too. Yippee!”
Okay. That was a new one.
The Devil grabbed Mihoshi by the neck and began shaking her. “WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, YOU IDIOT?!” he roared, finally losing the last semblance of control he possessed. Not only were his eyes bleeding and skin breaking out with pustules, but his skin began to ripple, as though living things were underneath it, trying to get escape.
“I’m just happy to see my friends,” Mihoshi managed to get out between the shakes. “It’s just like it was back on Earth.”
“It is not! They’re in Hell, you simpleton! Their souls are damned. That’s damned! D… A… M… N… E….”
“I thought there was another ‘N’ in there,” Mihoshi mentioned.
“STOP TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT!” The Devil shook Mihoshi with each word.
“I’m not trying to change the subject,” Mihoshi said sincerely once the shaking stopped. “It’s just that I don’t know what the problem is. I think it’s pretty nice here. So far you’ve treated me pretty well. Quite frankly, I expected Hell to be much worse. I personally think it’s just that you’ve gotten a bum rap about this eternal damnation thing.”
“No! Hell’s a bad place! A bad place!” the Devil insisted, his screams taking on a pleading tone.
“Aside from the heat thing, not really.”
“ARGH!” the Devil roared, releasing his hold on Mihoshi and tossing her to the ground in disgust. She was driving him crazy. He had to get away from her for a while. That was it. Just a little break until he came up with something that would break her for sure.
A much longer vacation had been needed this time for the Devil to rediscover his focus. However, rediscover it he had, but all that did was force him to end up in the process of licking his wounds once again. It was just so… wrong. All he had tried to do was trick that little Sasami girl into giving up her soul. True, she was an exceptionally bright child and tended to be very pure of heart, but she also had a tendency towards pranks and mischief, which was a chink in her armor. Somehow, in some way, he’d find a way in and get it from her.
But just as he approached her, that blasted little cabbit had wandered in, and like its mistress, was able to perceive the Devil for what he was. It sensed what he intended to do with Sasami and promptly reacted violently and effectively, driving him off with an attack of a most unusual nature.
Damnit, carrots weren’t supposed to go in THERE!
The Devil pulled the last one out, with a wince of pain, as he transported himself back to his fiery realm. Choosing to take the scenic route, he approached the gates leading into Hell itself. He hoped a casual stroll through his domain would cheer him up. He was running out of things to do to make himself happy.
As he neared the set of adamantine gates the formed the entryway to his realm, the Devil heard a growling noise and smiled. He hadn’t seen his three-headed pet watchdog, (and Guardian to the entryway of Hell) Cerberus, in quite a while. It would be nice to have the ever-faithful demon hound greet him with a growl and a contemptuous snap of the jaws. And that was the most favorable reaction one could expect from the guardian of the gates during those few times it was in a good mood, which wasn’t very often. Truly the Devil had outdone himself in creating that demon.
As the Devil passed through the gates he shouted out, “Make way, you disgustingly vicious bast—“ the rest of the greeting died on his lips as he watched the impossible scene unfold before him.
“Good boy! Sit! Excellent. Roll Over! Very good. Now Play Dead! No, no, Doggie! I said ‘Play Dead’, not ‘Make Dead’. Leave that poor demon alone. Let’s try it again. Now Play Dead! That’s better. Come here, you.”
The Devil’s jaw had dropped low enough to touch the ground as he watched Mihoshi pet all three of the guardian demon’s heads, one after another. Cerebrus was panting happily and wagging his tail in the throes of obvious happiness. The only time Cerberus ever wagged his tail was when he was killing something.
Slowly, almost as though he was in a dream, the Devil put one foot before the other and ended up next to Mihoshi. Softly, he said, “How can this be? He bites everyone except me. Even the other demons. He hates everything.”
Mihoshi continued petting him happily. “Oh, you’ve got him all wrong. He’s just a big lovable puppy. Shake!” Cerebrus complied and held up a hand, which Mihoshi shook. She then wrapped her arms around the neck of one of the heads, causing the other two to whine in jealousy. Mihoshi quickly hugged both of the others as well, showing that they weren’t going to be left out.
Again, the Devil just stood there in open disbelief, anger eluding him. He tried speaking, but further words wouldn’t seem to come from his mouth.
“I have to be going now. It was nice seeing you again, Mr. Devil. This place isn’t the same without you.” Mihoshi waved politely to the Devil, and then gave Cerebrus one last cuddle before walking off. The guardian hound howled mournfully at her as she headed out of sight.
The Devil just stared at where she had been moments before. “Any minute now I’m going to wake up and realize this is some horrible dream and everything will be back to normal, isn’t that right, Cerberus?” He looked down at his guardian.
The three-headed dog was taking a leak on his leg.
That was it! He was calling it quits! That was the absolute last straw! It was supposed to have been so simple. Even a Goddess couldn’t resist the all-consuming evil that made the Devil what he was. He could have gained her soul. It wasn’t that hard. He had approached Washuu, intent on striking a deal with her for universal knowledge. But instead of dealing with him, she said she was only interested in one precise bit of knowledge: how well her new “Ticklematic 2000” worked. And since the Devil had happened to be in the laboratory at the precise moment she had finished completing it how would he like to be her Guinea pig?
Of course he had tried to resist, but somehow she cut off his ability to dimensionally travel and neutralized the rest of his Hellish powers temporarily. She then suspended him in mid-air with some bizarre restraining device and proceeded to unleash every one of the ten thousand settings the machine had upon him. It was a couple of days later that she finally set him loose, his throat dry and cracked because he had been laughing for two days straight. He’d have her killed, if it wasn’t for the fact she now terrified him more than he hated her.
The gathering of souls business was just becoming too dangerous. Maybe it was time to get into another line of work.
And now he was back in Hell, and he wasn’t very happy about it. The answer was quite simple, really. It was all because SHE was there. He was at an impasse with what to do about her. Nothing worked. Elaborate tortures went over her head. Physical ones didn’t bother her. He couldn’t kill her; it was pointless since she was already in Hell, which was where her soul would end up since she signed the contract. He couldn’t release her from the contract; in all of the millennia he had existed he had never willingly done that.
But he had to do something. She was having a very negative effect on the other denizens of Hell. She recently had a talk with what was once one of the Devil’s favorite evil mortal’s souls. Somehow, in some way, she had had a long discussion with Hitler and had not only convinced him of the evil of his ways and had him repent, but also persuaded him to convert to Judaism and open a synagogue.
Something had to be done with the girl, and soon.
There was, however, still one surefire thing that would cheer him now, something that never failed to please him. In a way, it was what he did best, something only he could do properly, not chancing the work to others, confident in the knowledge that they could not help but be inferior when compared to the master. There was nothing better than torturing those basically good souls he had tricked into coming to Hell. Those were always the best to torment, much better than the evil ones that actually belonged there.
He made his way to the locked magical doors that bound the brightest of the captive souls. It was perhaps the most secure place in his realm, with both physical and metaphysical properties that would keep the souls locked in, never to know the taste of freedom for eternity. Chains, locks, magical glyphs, a moat of acid, each one making the facility all but impregnable.
Which failed to explain why the doors were wide open and the chamber beyond was completely devoid of even the soul of a rat.
Eternity passed as the Devil stood there, open mouthed and motionless, until a quiet voice from off to the side said, “Hi, there.”
The Devil turned his head, mouth still agape the entire time. He knew who was there even before she had spoken. He had come to loathe the voice more than anything in existence, but still he turned to actually see her rather than being content to picture her in his mind’s eye.
Mihoshi stood there, looking somewhat embarrassed with her hand behind her head. Eventually, the Devil forced out a “How?”
“How?” Mihoshi echoed.
“How did you enter the most sealed and secured chamber in Hell? There are over a hundred devices that should have unleashed pain beyond imagining and prevented you from opening it. It should have been impossible for you to get past even the first line of defense I have in warding off intruders, let alone managing to successfully open the doors and release all of the souls within.”
Mihoshi looked stunned. “Wow! Miss Washu says the exact same thing every time I enter her lab.”
“And how do you do that?”
Mihoshi shrugged. “I don’t know, I just do it. I mean, all I was looking for was something to drink since I was thirsty, and I saw the door and tried to see if there was a water fountain in there since it looked like the sort of place where a water fountain might be.”
“You couldn’t possibly have opened that door. It only opens for me,” the Devil pointed out.
“Oh. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know that. If I knew I wasn’t able to open it, I might not have been able to open it.”
The Devil said in a soft voice, “I hate you,” and proceeded to walk away.
Hell just wasn’t as fun as it used to be anymore.
The Devil raged as he stepped through a gateway and back into Hell. What was happening on the Mortal Plane was unbelievable. Politicians were acting in the interest of the people instead of themselves. Lawyers were following the intent of the law rather than the words. Lasting peace had been achieved in the Middle East.
The Cubs had won a pennant!
“HOW CAN THIS BE?!” the Devil raged to the Realm above as he finished stepping through the portal. As he put his foot down, he promptly slipped on a patch of ice and did an acrobatic somersault in midair before landing facefirst in a snowbank.
“Oh, well I guess this explains everything,” he said in a calm voice with his face still buried in the snow.
He remained there for some time before finding the energy to wearily regain his feet. He raised his head up and looked over the land of the Eternally Damned that was his to lord over as he pleased. Now it looked like a winter wonderland, exactly like something out of a Rockwell painting. There were skaters, ice sculptures, and even numerous sleigh bells ringing as demons pulled sleds like teams of reindeer, giving the mortals free rides. So this was what Hell looked like frozen over. At least his minions had the decency to make snow demons instead of snow angels.
The Devil didn’t say a word; there weren’t any that would satisfactorily describe his feelings. He looked around with half-lidded eyes, seeking out the cause of the current condition of his domain. He knew exactly who it was. He just needed to see her one last time. He didn’t have to wait long as the cause of all of his misery skied up to him, coming abruptly to a stop, kicking up a spray of snow that covered him completely in a thick sheath of the white substance.
He felt someone jam a carrot in his mouth.
He shook off the snow, seeing Mihoshi in front of him, two lumps of coal in her hand. She gave a disappointed sigh. “Oh, and I was having fun too. I haven’t made a snowman since I was a little girl.”
Surprisingly, the Devil didn’t feel the least bit of anger. Not one little bit. A sort of calm had fallen over him, like a man diagnosed with a terminal disease, which was sort of what Mihoshi was. He had gone through the other stages earlier. First there had been disbelief, then denial, and finally, acceptance.
“So, how did you do it?” he asked, something deep inside him demanding how the impossible had just happened, despite the fact he knew the answer would bring him nothing but misery.
“Freeze Hell over.”
“Oh, that,” Mihoshi said. “I was really warm so I just turned on the air-conditioning.”
“That’s quite a remarkable feat, especially when one considers that Hell doesn’t have air-conditioning.”
“Sure it does,” Mihoshi said as though talking to a small child. “It’s right over there.”
The Devil looked in the direction that she was pointing. It was at the dimensional gateway device. He walked over to it, examining the controls. “So you permanently opened several gateways to Pluto. Well I guess that explains everything.”
“Want to ski? We can race to the Edge of Tartarus. Last one there has to swim across the River Styx.”
“No, I don’t think so.” A wave of profound relief overcame the Devil. Yes, he was making the right decision. “I’m releasing you from your contract. Your soul is now your own again. You’re free to go.”
“You mean I have to leave?” Mihoshi asked.
“But I like it here,” Mihoshi gave a sniffle.
The Devil raised an eyebrow. “You mean leaving will make you sad?”
“Yes.” Mihoshi sniffled again.
“Good, then I’ve succeeded in making you unhappy at least to some small
“I don’t want to go,” Mihoshi pleaded. “I have lots of friends here. Brack’che, Per’vurt Hen’Tai, Doggie. Even that nice Gengis Kahn person I met a little while ago. Did you know we had a long talk with about the evils of megalomania? Now he’s opened a seminar on why it’s wrong to rape and pillage other lands—“
“OUT! OUT! GET OUT!” The Devil screamed as ripped up Mihoshi’s contract into a million pieces and opened a gateway to Earth. He tried pushing the Galaxy Police officer through, but she held onto the sides of the portal, refusing to budge.
“I want my Moldiver tapes!” She cried a deluge of tears that sprayed everywhere, including the control panel to the gateway.
“Fine! You can take them with you!”
“What about Doggie?”
“You can take him too!” He whistled for Cerberus, who, upon seeing Mihoshi distressed, began biting the Devil’s legs with all three of his heads.
“But what about—“
“I swear to you I’ll leave you and your friends and all of their children and children’s children alone for the next ten generations! Just leave right now!” And with one final shove he pushed Mihoshi through the portal, tossed her the tapes, and then kicked Cerberus through as well. The instant everything was clear of the portal, he mentally shut it, leaving only silence in its wake.
The Devil stopped then, scarcely believing it was over. He had actually succeeded. She was gone. Forever. He was finally free. It was a wonderful feeling, like a tremendous burden had been lifted from his shoulders. In response, he began to dance around in joy. All he needed to do now was shut down the portal to Pluto, and then everything would be back to normal.
Which was, of course, when the control panel to the dimensional gateway began sparking, the water from Mihoshi’s tears finally soaking through the keyboards and reaching the delicate wiring within. The Devil went over to the machine and tried to turn it off, but it was to no avail; the gateway refused to close. But if Mihoshi thought she had pulled one over on him, she was in for a rude awakening. At the last second, he had managed to get the last laugh on her, which she would discover once she arrived back on Earth.
“And at least I know that things can’t get any worse around here anymore.”
Another spark caused the controls to the radio that the Devil had built into the device, the one linked to Hell’s audio system, turn on. The melodic symphony of “I love you. You love me,” began emitting from the machine, carrying to every corner of the land.
The sounds of agony from the denizens of Hell began immediately after, the Devil’s cries the loudest of all.
“…and that was everything that happened to me while I was in Hell,” Mihoshi finished her tale to the others gathered around the table.
“I guess he wasn’t such a bad fellow after all,” Yosho said, wondering why the Devil hadn’t made a play for his soul.
“He was definitely very ticklish,” Washuu confirmed, a bit sad that now her string of unbroken perfect experiments was about to come to an end since Mihoshi was undoubtedly about to become a semi-permanent fixture in her lab once again.
Sasami poked her head in from the kitchen. “Mihoshi, could you get Cerberus-chan to quit chasing Ryo-Ohki around? He’s got her up a tree again.”
“That last cracker is mine!”
“No, it’s mine, Thunderthighs!”
“How dare you refer to me in such terms, you awful demon woman! And my thighs are not big!”
Tenchi winced as the argument over the cracker continued. A pity about the Devil promising never to bother him again. It had gotten to the point were Tenchi was ready to take him up on that offer of saving him from all of his girl problems.
“Actually, I’m afraid the Devil isn’t nice after all,” Mihoshi sniffled.
“What do you mean?” Tenchi asked.
Mihoshi’s eyes welled up with tears. “The Moldiver tapes he gave me are in Beta format! I can’t watch them, and it's all his fault. He tricked me, the big meanie. WAHHHH!”
Author's notes: Hope you enjoyed. Just had to get that little thing out of my system. Might do one more short Utena fic before returning to my work on ‘Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot’ after that, depending on how much time I have.
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