Emiko reflects back how she and Hotaru first met.
Emiko sat up in bed in the early hours of the morning. Hotaru lied asleep next to her. The butch demon remembered how she first met her girlfriend.
October 6th, 1966.
Six whole years. Emiko looked around the wasteland known as Hell. Nothing changed. She reeled back, sneering.
It stinks here, Emiko thought. Six years of breathing clean air will do that to a demon. But, she had work to do. The smell wasn't keeping her out. Emiko took in a breath and walked forward.
Still the same as ever. Nine circles of rotting despair. Now I know why I escaped, she thought. But, why come back? Chivalry.
This is for Sumire-chan, Emiko kept thinking. This is so we can be together! Hell had been corrupt since the Meji Era. The officials took bribes to punish certain souls. As a result, souls with light sins or "innocents" as Emiko called them, ended up here. Her sexuality placed her in Hell.
That ended today.
Emiko looked at the directory guide. Same as ever here. All "sins" present and accounted for. Where to begin? She ran finger up and down the chart. The butch demon settled on the second circle.
Heh. Lust sounds good. Emiko straightened up her uniform. Sumire helped her with this.
"Inspection is today," her friend informed her. "You can get in this way." Emiko said nothing. She secretly enjoyed her angel dressing her. This was as close to intimacy as they would reach.
"What will I do there?" the butch demon asked.
"Just check things out," Sumire said.
"Right," Emiko replied. They paused for a long moment. The women knew this was coming. It hurt to think about this. Sumire fought back her tears. The butch demon tried to smile.
"Aww, what?" she asked. The other woman tried to look away.
"Nothing," she lied. Emiko had her sympathy. This might be the last time they would see each other for a while. The butch demon lifted Sumire's face.
"Come on," she said. "Don't be like that. I'll be back." Sumire looked at her with big, teary eyes.
"Promise me you will!" she pleaded. "Promise me!" Emiko held up her hands.
"Whoa!" she said. "We keep racking up the promises here!" Sumire pouted at her.
"Please!" she pleaded.
"Okay, okay," Emiko said. "I promise. I really do." Sumire calmed herself down a little.
"I love you," she murmured.
"I know," Emiko replied.
"Come back to me!" Sumire cried as her demon started to vanish.
"You have my word!" her love said with a salute. Then, she was gone.
Emiko walked up to the receptionist booth. A tired and bored Kazue was on shift this morning. Emiko smiled and waved at her.
"Good morning," she said. The gate keeper said nothing. Emiko kept her smile.
Not much of a talking mood, huh?
"I'm here for the second circle inspection," Emiko said. Kazue said nothing. She just rolled her eyes and unlocked the gate. The butch demon bowed her head.
"Have a good day," she said.
"Whatever," the gate keeper mumbled. Emiko walked on, shrugging.
So much fog. The butch demon slowly walked in. I can't see anything. Too much. Too dark! Emiko used the moans and cried to guide her further in. A heated wind blasted her in the face.
"Ack," she said, nearly falling backwards. She fought to stay vertical and walk forward. The heat stung at her cheeks like needles.
"Damn it!" she hissed. "I'm not turning back now! You can't make me!" A soft murmur caught her ear. Emiko looked up and followed the sound. She came upon a mossy area. Two men were harassing a woman dressed as sales' clerk. She crouched in the corner trembling.
"No! Get away!" she cried over the hollowing winds. One man grabbed at her perky chest.
"Come on, baby!" he said. "You might as well. We're all going to be stuck here forever!"
"No! No!" the woman screamed. The man ripped open her blouse and forcefully kissed her on the lips.
"Come on," the other man said. "You know you want to!" The woman tried to fight his friend off as he walked over to her with his hand aiming for her breasts.
"No! Get off! Get off!" she screamed over and over again. Emiko couldn't take anymore. She stormed over to the woman and her attackers.
"That's enough!" the butch demon snapped. She pushed away the men in one blow and pulled away the woman to safety. Emiko didn't stop until they reached the border. Both women sat on the dirt ground. The victim breathed out.
"You okay?" Emiko asked. The woman looked up at her. The butch demon paused. There it came again. Soft, round face. Deep, dreamy violet eyes. Rosy, plump cheeks. Full little lips. Even her full breasts flirted with her. Emiko resisted whispering out Sumire's name. The woman nodded.
"Yeah," she said. "Thank you for saving me!" Emiko kind of smiled.
"Heh. I hate pervs like that," she said. But then, the demon paused.
"Say," she said. "Why are you here in Hell?" The woman lowered her head.
"I don't want to say..." she mumbled. Emiko gently rubbed her shoulders.
"Don't worry," she murmured. "Take your time if you need to." The woman nodded.
"It was a man," she whispered.
"Huh?" Emiko asked. The woman looked up at her.
"I fell in love with a man," she explained.
"Okay," her savior said. "So what happened?" The woman's lips trembled as she told her story of betrayal and her murder by the man's wife. Emiko nodded.
"Men suck," she said.
"Yeah!" the woman agreed. Emiko held out her hand.
"I'm Emiko," she said. The woman hesitated at first.
"H-Hotaru," she replied as she lifted her hand. They both shook.
Emiko smiled to herself. Well, damn. That's two people I have a promise to keep to. But yet, she didn't really mind it for love.