71 – The call!
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She let out a little satisfied sigh as she entered the living room, towel wrapped around her damp hair. With how busy everything had been lately, it was the little things that brought her joy.

Snacks, hot baths with lots of bubbles, and of course, flirting with Erika.

All a requirement for a balanced life.


As she was about to open the fridge to search for something to snack on, she noticed a notification on her phone. A missed call from her sister.

Jessica frowned at that. She hadn’t spoken to her in a while. Ever since she’d moved out to live abroad with their grandparents, they had gradually drifted apart. Mom’s funeral was the last time they had seen each other… and talked to each other.

Regardless, she picked up the phone and called her back to see what this was about. Maybe they could try to reconnect again? They used to play together all the time. Heck, Jessica’s acting obsession stemmed from the various make-believe games they used to play when she had been little.

The phone rang two times before someone picked it up.

Hey, Jess! Long time no hear! How are you holding up?

“Hey, sis… I’m doing better, I guess. What’s up? Why are you calling?”

Hmm? Can’t I check up on my cute little sister and hear all about the chaos she had surely been causing in my home city?

Jessica snorted, remembering her last attack as Tepes.

“We have barely talked since you moved out, Ol…” Jessica sighed. “It’s not like I don’t miss you but… My bullshit senses are tingling.”

Her sister returned the sigh. “I’m sorry, Jess. I’ve been really busy and had a lot to deal with… I got overwhelmed and just kind of… blocked out everything else. I know it’s not really an excuse for abandoning you like that, but I do want to try and save our relationship if I can, at least.

Jessica bit her lip as she let a moment of silence pass. Olivia wasn’t like their dad. Sure, she’d left her and stopped talking to her as well, but at least she was apologizing now. At least she clearly regretted it. Her dad had never apologized.

“Alright, then… I do think that would be nice… Going back to being the chaos sisters and all that…” she said as she let the moment go… before returning to the subject at hand. “But anyway. Still waiting for the real reason you are calling me now.”

A groan on the other side of the call. “Dammit, Jess! This was supposed to be a heartwarming reunion of two sisters! Don’t ruin this now!

Jessica snorted. “I’m a professional actress now, you can’t fake me out anymore!” She couldn’t help but grin as she remembered the countless times Olivia had trolled her in the past. “So fess up!”

Olivia let out a long-suffering sigh.

Alright, fine…” She cleared her throat. “Just for the record, I do want to save our relationship, I didn’t say that just to deflect. I really meant it.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. I also really meant it.”

Okay, good… Sooo…” she dragged out the syllable. Jessica already knew this wasn’t something Olivia wanted to talk about. “I got a call from Iris the other day, you see…

Jessica furrowed her brows. “Iris?”

Mhmm. And yes, I do mean that Iris. We used to be teammates, you know?

Jessica’s frown deepened. Teammates? Like on the same sports team? She didn’t remember names of everyone in her sister’s old team.

“What do you mean? Which Iris? Someone from your basketball team?”

Olivia scoffed. “Seriously? C’mon, Jess, you’re smarter than that. Or wait, are you telling me the secret identity magic thing is still working?

Jessica blinked before her eyes went wide.

“Wait! You mean that Iris?! Wait. The team you mean is–”

The magical girls, yeah.” Olivia’s shit-eating grin was somehow audible through the call.  “I was the second generation Pretty Flame. Ta-dah!~ Surprised?

Jessica let her mouth hang open for a good few seconds before she recovered.

“What the fuck?! You absolute bitch! Why didn’t you ever tell me?!” Jessica bellowed. “And wait, when exactly did you stop being a magical girl? Was I flirting with my own fucking sister?!”

Olivia snorted, which turned into a giggle, which turned into a loud guffaw which echoed all throughout the apartment, leaving its occupant stunned save for her twitching eye. For a second, Jessica felt like going back on the whole ‘Let’s be sisters again’ thing.

You were so adorable back then! I couldn’t help but to tease you. And then you started teasing me back! Ahaha! Good times.” That stupid sister let out a satisfied sigh. “Anywho, speaking of magical girls and stuff, Iris also mentioned that a certain Jessica is playing a double agent demon general, while secretly being all mushy with the magical girls and also trying to save the world in her spare time. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?

A small grin found its way onto Jessica’s face. “Ah, sorry. I don’t know a Jessica like that. It’s truly unfortunate, really. I wish a certain sister had told me about her secret identity all those years ago; maybe that would allow me to get to know that Jessica.”

Aw, c’mon, Jess! Secret identities exist for a reason!

“You’re right! They do!” Jessica replied, a bright grin on her face.

“... Alright, you got me there, I suppose.” Olivia let out a theatrical sigh. “Bummer. I was hoping to share some vital information with that certain Jessica about magical girls and attunement to their weapons that could save the world. I suppose I’m gonna have to let the world be destroyed… So unfortunate.

Jessica’s eye twitched again. She was half tempted to let the world be destroyed just so Olivia wouldn’t win this little pissing contest. Luckily, her more rational side eventually won.

“Alright, fine, you sleazy business woman.  I am Tepes, the enchantress, one of the current demon generals. Now hand over that info.”

Aww! My cute little sister is an enemy of humanity! Just like God always intended! Man, they grow up so fast!

Jessica rolled her eyes.

Well, then. I had my fun, I suppose I should get to the point.” Olivia cleared her throat. “It’s about back when all of us in the second gen sans Iris retired as the magical girls.

“Right… About that. I heard that the demon lord talked to you back then?”

He did! He told us all about the major fuck-up he and the first generation had caused and just as we were deciding what to do about all of that, we lost our attunement and stopped being magical girls.

So far, that aligned with what Jessica knew.

“Do you know why you lost the attunement? Or was it just random?”

I don’t know why exactly, but I have a good guess. You see, recently I found out a cool bit of info. Sophia, that is, the second Pretty Spark, was actually a demon minion before she even became a magical girl.” Jessica nodded to herself, since she had already heard about this from Iris. “She was fucking moonlighting us all along. Kind of a shitty thing to do, right?

The image of Max, who was essentially in the same situation, appeared in her mind’s eye. The difference was that everyone knew about Max being a minion.

“Eh, yeah. Totally.”

She recently gathered up all us second gens in a call and fessed up about everything. Iris had forced her to, apparently. And she said that when the demon lord told us the truth back then, she immediately quit as a minion.

“Huh? Why?”

I don’t know, cuz she’s a pussy? Didn’t wanna have the weight of the world on her shoulders? She didn’t give us a straight answer to that. She just said that normally, when a minion quits, their memories get deleted.

Jessica nodded, already knowing as well.

But apparently, she somehow kept her memories through whatever procedure they have. She thinks it was because of her magical girl powers.” Jessica hummed at that revelation. “But then, after losing her demonic powers, her and our attunement began to wane almost immediately and we had to hurry and find successors. Except Iris. We never told Iris… until recently. And it just so happens that Iris lost her attunement shortly afterwards.

“So it really is some kind of infohazard…” Jessica muttered.

That’s what you would think, right? We all thought that too, and that’s why we didn’t say anything to Iris. But no, actually…I have a different theory.” Jessica blinked. “You see, Iris was dating a guy back then and they had broken up only about half a year back from now.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Jessica frowned.

Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. The thing is, that guy she was dating? He was also secretly a minion, as we recently found out.

“Right… and…?”

“And… Iris only started losing her attunement when she found a new boyfriend a couple months back.” Jessica still didn’t quite understand what that had to do with anything. “When she finally let go of the old one. When her connection with someone who was a demon minion ended.

Jessica glared at the table in front of her as she tried to process that.

“Are you saying the attunement has something to do with the demons?”

Yep! Think about it. First gen? Lost it after leaving the demon realm with Flame. Us second gen? Lost it after Sophia stopped being a minion. And Iris lost it after letting go of her demon ex. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it? The current magical girls seem to be hanging out around a demon general all the time!

Jessica hummed. “I guess there’s a bit of a connection… but isn’t that kind of a stretch?”

Maybe. But remember… From what Iris told us, the magical girls’ powers and demonic magic are incredibly compatible, are they not? She said that a certain demon general managed to seal her in ice that even she couldn’t break later. And it wasn’t even intentional!

It did kind of make sense, when she put it that way.


So that’s what I think. The attunement might last on its own for a while, but eventually, it will deteriorate unless the wielders are close to a source of demonic magic.

Jessica mulled it over for a moment. In some ways, this theory made sense, but in others, things weren’t adding up.

“When did you stop being a magical girl, exactly?”

Hmm? About three years ago, why?

“And I only became a demon this June. So for three years, the third generation had not been in contact with any demonic magic, but didn’t lose their attunement.”

Hmm… Maybe someone they know is a demon then? A family member? A classmate? Or maybe that’s just how long the attunement can last before needing a demonic recharge?

It was possible, but it still felt like something was missing.

“Maybe… Well, it’s an idea I suppose. I’ll have to look into it a bit more.” She remembered Max again. “I think I have the perfect opportunity for it even.”

Oh-ho? That’s right, Iris said her successor is also a demon minion, right?

“Yup! And she’s also my minion!” Jessica grinned.

Gahahaha! Of course, she is! Dammit, Jessica! You have your hands in every pie, don’t you?

Jessica put on an evil smirk and performed her best evil villainess three-stage laugh. “But, of course! I’m the master puppeteer behind everything! Nothing escapes my notice!”

Hah. As expected.” Olivia chuckled. Jessica got the impression that her sister was shaking her head. “Anywho, I got fired from my job last week, so I was thinking about coming back for a bit to visit our family’s master puppeteer at some point.

Jessica blinked at the sudden topic change. “Huh? You’re coming back?”

Yep! Probably sometime next month.” There was a momentary pause. When Olivia spoke again, her voice turned cold and cutting. “You see… I’ve heard something else from Iris. Some little tidbits about what our daddy dearest has been up to. Wouldn’t it be great to have a family reunion to remind him of the importance of proper parenting?

Jessica couldn’t help but scowl.

“Ugh… I suppose if you want to…”

Hmm? Something wrong?

“Not really. I just prefer not to think about that guy anymore.”

Ah… I see…” A sigh. “Well, that’s totally reasonable, I guess. But I still think I should try to restore our relationships with him as well.” A pause. “After kicking him in the balls and screaming his ear off, of course.

Jessica snorted.

“Feel free to do that. I can’t be bothered anymore. And I’m also busy with the whole world-saving business, you know? No time to kick anyone’s balls these days.”

A dramatic but soft intake of breath.

What a tragedy! Every young lady should kick someone’s balls at least once a month! Don’t worry! This older sister of yours will barge into your life again and bring you on the most wonderful ball-kicking adventure you’ve ever been on!

At this point Jessica couldn’t help but laugh. It had been so long, but even if they had drifted apart, Olivia was still the same in the end.

“Alright then, looking forward to it, Ol lady!”

Olivia snorted. “Hey, don’t you dare use that nickname again, you little shit!

“Why not? You graduated, moved out, found a job, and are probably happily married and crap now, right?”

Her sister made a gagging sound. “Marriage? Hell no! Who do you take me for? I would rather walk up to every man on the planet and castra– Huh? What? Oh… Ah, sorry sis, I gotta get going now! My train is about to leave!

“Huh? Train? Well alright. See you later–” The demon general smirked. “Ol lady.”

Damn you, foul demon! I’ll get you back for that later! See you!



Jessica lowered the phone in front of her and looked at it with a melancholic smile. Despite everything, she really did miss this. She didn’t care much for trying to restore her relationship with that asshole of a dad, but having Olivia here again for a while sounded nice.

“... ah, right. I should go dry my hair.”