76 – The day before!
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She took a deep breath and then exhaled as she looked at the stage from behind the backstage. “I can’t believe… it’s already happening tomorrow.”

“Hmm? You nervous?” Jessica teased.

“Well… yeah. Kinda,” she admitted. “It’s one thing coming out to all of you, but to actually play a role in front of an audience…?”

Erika gently patted her shoulder in assurance while giving her an empathetic smile.

“What are you talking about? You already do this all the time, don’t you?” Jessica said with a grin, black mist briefly flashing in her palm.

“That… doesn’t count…” she tried to argue while shuffling in place.

“Why wouldn’t it? It’s all an act out there too!” the demon general declared triumphantly.

“She kind of has a point…” Erika agreed.

It felt wrong to compare their actual battles with the demons to a school drama play, but the more she thought about it, the more she found herself agreeing.

“I… well, I guess…?”

“See? No need to be nervous. You’ve already done this many times before. You’re not a newbie anymore! You’re a fully fledged hero who routinely saves the day!” Jessica pumped her fist.

“Uh… right…” Devola frowned, noting her uncharacteristic behavior. “So, what’s up with the good mood?”

“Hmm? Ah… Well, you see…” Jessica grinned again as she looked into the stands. “I think I figured it out.”


“The big bad infohazard problem.”

Both Devola and Erika’s eyes widened.

“You did? That’s great! But… wait… what does that mean exactly? What happens if you resolve it? Will the fighting stop…?” Erika inquired.

Jessica hummed as her expression turned into a frown. “I think it’s the opposite, actually. Sure, once we go through with it, there won’t really be a reason to keep pretending… But that also means the… demons might riot. It’s going to be tricky, to be honest. We’ll need to figure out how to handle everything once the big threat is dealt with.” She let out a sigh. “Fucking politics.”

“Right…” Devola gulped. The anxiety intensified. “So… it might turn into chaos?”

“Well, yeah. Obviously, we’re hoping to prevent that, though.”

“When… are you planning on going through with it?” Erika asked, nervous.

“Sometime after the play, I think. We can’t stall it for too long anymore, but we also can’t rush it too much. I guess we’ll have to see.” Jessica put on a grin. “And if we’re lucky, we can just curbstomp any protests with the power of the fifth weapon afterwards.”

“Uhm… that’s kinda…”

“Cruel? Unfair? Villainous? Well, yeah.” The demonic villainess shrugged. “But how else do you stop a bloody uprising from idiots who are hellbent on revenge?”

“Well… I’m sure there’s other ways to do that…” Devola mumbled as she thought about it.

Another shrug from the rebellion-crushing tyrant. “If you come up with something better, tell me,” she said before turning around and going back behind the curtains.

The two magical girls exchanged a glance. A mixture of worry, fear, and anticipation floated in their expressions.

“There has to be a peaceful way to resolve everything…” Erika murmured. “A way to appease all these angry demons…”

“Maybe… there’s a way to resurrect the demon world somehow…? Revert the apocalypse once the fifth weapon is under control?” Devola grimaced as the queasiness refused to abate. “Probably just wishful thinking…”

“Hey, it might be possible!” the older girl tried. “But I guess that’s up to Jessica and the demon lord… In the meantime, I guess we need to get stronger to be ready for anything, right?”

“Yeah…” Devola once again looked out onto the stage and all the empty seats. “I suppose so.”

She felt strange about it all. Was this really just anxiety about the play? It almost felt like something in the corner of her mind was screaming in alarm. Like a bad omen.

“I still don’t have a good feeling about this for some reason… There’s something wrong…”

“Wrong? What do you mean?”

“I just… I don’t know… It’s like an instinct. It’s telling me that soon… probably tomorrow, something bad will happen.” Devola looked at Erika again. “Is this the magical girl intuition you were talking about?”

Erika furrowed her brows and stayed silent for a second.

“No…? I don’t feel anything myself.”

Devola couldn’t help but mimic her frown.

“Aren’t you just nervous?”

“I… yeah, I’m probably just nervous, I guess.”

“I will be fine… Look, it’s my first time acting on a stage as well. So you won’t be alone in that, at least.” Erika smiled.

Devola couldn’t help but return it.


“Come on, we should get back to practicing.” The older girl turned around, gesturing to Devola to follow her.

“Yeah… alright.” She took one last look at the stalls, making her stomach lurch again. She ignored the feeling and followed Erika. There was no point in getting overwhelmed by anxiety.

She just had to do her best, no matter what happened.

The end is nigh... Well, not really. In-universe, we will reach this story's end in about a day or two. But chapter-wise, we still have quite a ways to go. I'll try to do my best to actually finish writing it all so that I can release the chapters faster and you won't end up with constant cliffhangers. :P