1 – Invitation!
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“The demon army, huh…?” the girl asked as she stared at the odd dark creature in front of her.

“That’s right! I sense a lot of potential from you! You could probably eventually be more powerful than even Pretty Flame!” the odd cat-like shadowy creature replied.

“Hmm… stronger than even the strongest magical girl, you say? That sounds cool…” she said with the most disinterested tone possible whilst leaning back on her chair.

Jessica, being a huge fan of magical girls, wasn’t all too thrilled about the offer. Getting magical powers would be amazing but becoming an enemy of her idols in exchange wouldn’t. Not to mention the shadiness of all of this.

“So what exactly would I need to do to join?” she asked anyway.

“Very simple! You only need to set up a contract with me,” the cat assured her.

“A contract?” She narrowed her eyes. “Ah, I know that one. You’re gonna say you are doing me a favor while having me sign a contract to work eighty hours a week with minimum wage, no vacation days, and shitty work conditions, right?” Just like dad always complained about.

“Wha… No, nothing like that!” The cat shook its head. “A demonic contract is different from the human paper contracts.”

Jessica quirked an eyebrow at him, prompting him to continue.

“A demonic contract means that a demonic spirit – that’s me – fuses a part of themselves with your soul, turning you into a demon, granting you powers, and becoming your overseer.”

The whole ‘fuse with your soul’ sounded very suspicious and unsafe. Or maybe it was like becoming a cyborg? Except for the soul?

Jessica decided to focus on something else for the moment. “Overseer, hmm? So you’ll always be watching me or something?”

“That’s right!”

“In other words, whenever I go to the toilet or take a shower, you will be there, staring at me? Staring from inside me?”

“Huh? No, uh… that’s not…” The little shit suddenly looked flustered.

“Ahh, so that’s how it was.” Jessica threw a death glare at the creature whilst crossing her arms, making it flinch. “You aren’t some demonic spirit sent directly by the demon lord. You’re just an opportunistic ghost of some creep.”

“No! That’s not it! I swear! Look I… I’m already watching over hundreds of demons! It’s not like I’ll be watching you all the time! We can arrange something! It will all be a part of the contract!”

“Suuure, like that’s what they all say.” Jessica rolled her eyes, unamused. “One second I agree to a shady contract, and the next, you are lounging in my soul, rent-free, reading my mind, and inviting all your demon cat friends to come dig through as well.”

“Wh- what are you even…? I won’t be reading your mind or anything! And I don’t have any demon cat friends to invite over!”

“Oh…” Jessica’s expression visibly fell and her voice got a lot softer. “Sorry… I didn’t know you had no friends…”

The pure darkness that made the cat spirit up somehow managed to redden. “That’s not what I meant!”

The girl instantly returned to her glare, as if the displayed sympathy had only been an act, and shrugged. “Well, anyway. You aren’t very convincing right now. I mean, it’s a demonic contract. I bet once I sign the papers and find out it’s a shitty deal, there won’t even be any way out.”

“Like I said, there are no papers… And anyway, demons quit all the time! The contract doesn’t need to be permanent! If you decide demon life isn’t for you, I’ll just detach from your soul, erase your memories of the demon army, and you can be on your merry way!”

“Reaaally now…” Her cold judgemental voice stabbed at the cat creature. “You’re not trying to scam me here, are you? I’m not gonna find tiny text at the back of the paper in invisible ink, am I?”

“T-there… is… no… papeeer…”The creature deflated on the floor as it drew out the last syllable with a defeated sigh.

Truth be told, Jessica was a bit surprised she would be allowed to quit in the future. Well, assuming the little shit wasn’t lying, of course. And assuming he wouldn’t mess with her memories beyond the confidential demon stuff if she quit.

She recalled a past memory. A memory of being saved by, and then having a short chat with, Pretty Flame.  An idea began to form in her head. A very dumb and dangerous idea that could have very real consequences. But she couldn’t bring herself to care at the moment.

“Alright then. Before I agree, though, I have a few questions.”

The creature perked up at her words.

“First of all, the whole… surveillance thing. I’m not a big fan of that. How far does it go? You said you won’t be reading my mind. Is that won’t or can’t?” The girl continued to give her best death glare to the shadow cat whilst crossing her arms.

“Uh, well, no. I really can’t read minds, even when part of me has fused with your soul. I can only sort of sense your general feelings. Not much beyond that.”

“Hmm…” the girl hummed whilst keeping her eyes on the little demonic spirit.

Sense general feelings. Not ideal but she could work with that.

“Moreover… I usually only watch over new demons. Just think of me as a tour guide. Once you get familiar with how things work, that part of me in your soul will go dormant. I won’t be watching over you anymore.”

“Is that so…”

She rolled the ideas in her mind for a little bit, letting her little home invader stew for a bit. He looked quite uncomfortable at this point.

“Second thing. As a demon, what would be my obligations and rights?”

The cat sighed in relief internally.

“That… depends on the contract. But in general, you’ll be asked to participate in attacks on humans and you’ll have to report your activities every week. In exchange, you will be free to use the castle’s facilities… like the library, the gym, and so on.”

“And…? That’s it? I get to read books in exchange for having to go on raids all the time?”

“T-there are books about magic! You’ll find much more there than in any human library! A-and it’s not like you will be forced into raids all the time! We can negotiate the number of raids every month too!”

Once again, the poor demonic spirit found itself being scrutinized by the demonic, but still somehow still human, eyes of Jessica.

“Hmm, fine. Lastly, I want to ask, are promotions even possible in the demon army? Or am I going to be a low-level minion forever?”

“Oh! Of course! If you work hard enough, gather reputation, and become powerful, you can climb the ranks and maybe even become one of the demon generals!” The cat was jumping with enthusiasm.

Jessica merely gave an evil grin. “Good.” 

It all still seemed like a terrible idea, but she just didn’t give a damn right now. This would either be amazing, or it would blow up in her face.

“I’ll give this demon thing a try then. Let’s negotiate a contract.”

The demonic spirit in front of her nodded and they began negotiating. Inside his mind, he was thrilled! He had managed to recruit a girl who was basically already a demon in all but physical form! That demeanor, that aura, that darkness emanating from her very being… He couldn’t wait to brag about it to the other demon spirits!

Naturally, he had no idea what he had just unleashed upon the demon army.