the devil's guide to selling your soul

all we need of hell

"i'm surprised you didn't kill them," yerim comments, "you looked pretty annoyed when they summoned you."

 

the devil shrugs, "didn't feel like it." she lies simply. 

 

they're waiting in the streets for the devil's lovely hellhound to come to pick them up since the journey back down is more painful than the journey up. despite being demons, the hellfire barrier that exists between the underworld and the realm of the living still hurts them — keeps the hellions in and the mortals out. no sane demon would willingly traverse between the two planes if they had a choice. 

 

most mortals would know seungwan's hound as cerberus, but the devil decided to rename him after discovering his love for burgers. not that he really responded to his given name, but seungwan likes seeing his eyes light up at the mention of burgers. burger, along with anyone travelling with him, could easily pass between realms without burning up since he's partially made from hellfire. what started as a premium mode of transportation became a trusted companion for seungwan.

 

seulgi slinks an arm around her shoulders and leans her face close to the devil, "was one of them the one? " the demon probes with a big grin.

 

humans are much easier to deceive than the demons that fell from heaven with her, so seungwan nods a little hesitantly. she's seen her soul come and go over the centuries. now when their paths cross again, seungwan has resigned herself to the fate of watching her pass by.

 

"did you talk to her?" yerim questions just as the ground in front of them breaks and shatters to reveal a large, flaming hound.

 

seungwan greets burger with a big grin, scratching the bottom of his chin with delight. she runs her hand through the glowing orange fur that radiates with a comfortable warmth. the hound is twice her height and made of the purest hellfire but is also the sweetest creature to exist in the depths of the underworld.

 

burger has one head; the whole three heads myth starts from how much fun the demons thought it was to lie to humans. they haven't stopped since then, the mortals' mythology books are filled with nothing but lies that the demons came up with on drunken nights.

 

she clambers on top of the hound with seulgi and yerim following closely behind her.

 

"i did talk to her." seungwan responds when burger begins the descent into the fiery pits of hell. 

 

seulgi croaks from the back. "uh oh."  

 

that’s not a good uh oh. seungwan turns to face her friends, her gaze shifting from yerim to seulgi. whatever it is, it does not bode well from the way they are pursing their lips and avoiding eye contact.

 

"you gotta form a contract with her." yerim explains, "not a soul-binding one but a blood contract."

 

soul-binding contracts last for an eternity, usually when the mortals require demonic blessings for the entirety of their measly lifetime. not a great deal for them but it's an amazing deal for demons, they get to make the world a slightly tier place before adding a shiny new soul to their collection. blood contracts, on the other hand, have a tendency to last for less than a lifetime, and payments come in the form of having their soul sent to hell before they get reincarnated. not the most appealing deal, but it keeps hell a little more populated and lively.

 

“what do you mean i have to form a contract with her?” seungwan exclaims so loudly that burger comes skidding to a halt, sending the demons crashing into one another. grimacing, the devil pats her hound reassuringly, "sorry bud, keep going."

 

with a steamy huff, burger continues and seungwan shifts to face her friends fully.

 

yerim sighs as she clarifies, “you’re not supposed to make contact with the partners, only the one who summoned you.”

 

“who said that?”

 

you, apparently," seulgi interjects, "approximately a millennia ago.”

 

a millennia ago the fates were still busy whooping her into shape, she's nowhere as competent as she is today. past her has done some stupid , it shouldn't be a surprise that the consequences come back to bite her in the now. though, most of the time she is aware of what they are, it's a little more worrying when she doesn't remember.

 

“how did you guys remember this?”

 

“because we had to process your stupid rule…” seulgi grumbles, “you have no idea how many times those angels rejected us because they thought a pact with you seemed too dangerous.”

 

it probably is, how it got passed seems like a god-given miracle at this point. biting the inside of her cheeks, she asks quietly, “so what are the rules?”

 

“it’s not that bad," seulgi reassures with a smile that looks more like a grimace, "it’s just a year-long pact.”

 

just a year-long pact. a year is insanely brief compared to how long they get to live, but a pact also means that there aren't any restrictions on wishes. with contracts, demons help aid humans in ways that the one they call god wouldn't, but certain unreasonable wishes like annihilating the planet are off the list. pacts, essentially, are formed in the favour of mortals and when a demon deems one worthy of serving. nobody likes to be at the beck and call a mortal so pacts are a thing of the past. all of hell is going to flip when they find out their almighty king is serving a human.

 

"..." seungwan mutters under her breath, “why the hell did i write this rule? why did you guys try so hard to get it passed?”

 

“because you were an idiot." yerim deadpans.

 

seulgi lets an unapologetic laugh slip before adding on, "and i’m pretty sure we were drunk and making fun of guardian angels.”

 

“so i made a rule that forces us to be guardian devils?” seungwan sighs in exasperation.

 

yerim pats her on the shoulder lightly, “only you, because it’s not like you’ve been summoned in half a millennia.”

 

the devil pinches the bridge of her nose and shuts her eyes, there has to be a way out. both heaven and hell have their own system of rules and regulations in place, if anyone breaks a rule, the fates would be the ones to dish out their punishment. she's deceived the fates before with a loophole, so she's already on their bad side. there's no way that those old crones would let her weasel out of this one now.

 

“why did you guys let me do that?" seungwan cries as she buries her face in her hands.

 

"fun, probably."

 

"we need to think of a way to help me get out of this mess."

 

"i don't know why you trust us so much, we're equally as dumb as you are."

 


 

red rings. glowing red rings.

 

that's all joohyun sees for a whole week after sooyoung's summoning ritual. from every patch of darkness that exists all the way to the realm of dreams, all she can see are those glowing, red eyes, staring back at her. 

 

the days after her sister's insane ritual are quiet, which only further increases joohyun's paranoia. her fear drives her to the brink of exhaustion, if that thing doesn't get to her first, she's sure the lack of sleep will soon enough.

 

sooyoung chalks it up to her sister being overly imaginative, or perhaps she was lucid dreaming. either way, she remains firm that it's impossible that anyone was with joohyun that night. but she knows what she saw. a demon, no, human? whatever it is, she's adamant that something was with her. joohyun has no evidence, but sooyoung proves her wrong by consulting the wise ones on the internet, nobody mentioned anything about summoning three demons — that's why it's called the three kings ritual, not four kings, unnie.

 

and if it actually convinced her, sooyoung wouldn't be finding their tiny little apartment filled with holy objects ranging from crosses to rosaries to talismans from local temples. heck, she even finds a line of salt on the floor by the kitchen's entrance — which she had the misfortune of stepping into while in search of a midnight snack.

 

there's no way a demon would choose to lurk in their ty apartment. hell, she wouldn’t want to live with her paranoid sister if she had a choice.

 

worse of all, joohyun makes herself comfortable in her sister's bed every time she has a nightmare, and that's every single night for a week now. at the rate they're going, sooyoung is seriously considering doing another ritual, maybe it would send joohyun's supposed demon back home.

 

it's infuriating how calm sooyoung seems — what if the demons are plotting to kill them? besides, she's not the one that supposedly summoned demons in their kitchen, so why is it so hard to get her sister to believe her?

 

it gets a little better by the second week — for sooyoung at least. the younger gets her sister a night light in the shape of jesus christ and locks her bedroom door at night. joohyun gets the hint when she has to trudge back to her bedroom while clutching her blankets tightly. they come to a simple compromise; as long as sooyoung doesn't lock her doors, joohyun wouldn't enter unless it's an emergency.

 

joohyun struggles with her night terrors alone, the jesus lamp only serves to mock her, but it does a good job of lighting her room up.

 

three weeks after the ritual, those red eyes don't scare joohyun as much anymore, but she still keeps a line of salt around all the doors in the house and the jesus lamp stays on while she sleeps. she allows herself to believe in sooyoung's words, that it was just her eyes playing tricks on her and that if there’s a supposed demon in their house, they would’ve been scared away by all her antics.

 


 

it's taken lucifer and her entire ensemble of demon kings three weeks of brainstorming before she decides it's best to get on with the signing of the pact. not one, amongst a dozen kings, had a single good idea, most of them are better at brawling and talking smack about angels.

 

seungwan had requested an audience with the fates to persuade them to let her not sign a pact but they refused — rules are rules. who knows what those old crones are thinking? having the literal king of hell sign a pact with a mortal? it spells nothing but disaster for mankind, not that seungwan could annihilate mankind without consequences, but if the mortal wished for it, she would have no choice but to concede.

 

but on the other hand, if she didn't uphold her end of the pact, seungwan would find herself at further odds with the fates. angels and demons all fall under the jurisdiction of the all-seeing crones, they uphold balance within the universe. that's what they like to say anyway, everyone in hell thinks they're just a bunch of conservative old farts.

 

as disrespectful as she might be, she can't deny that if she is to rebel against them, there's no way she would win. the crones can predict her every move, along with every living being's in the universe. rebel as much as she wants but this higher power is what keeps her from leading a hellion army back to heaven.

 

destroying the world and defying fate boils down to one outcome — having her soul rended into nothingness and it's not a particularly fun way to cease to exist.

 

with a resigned sigh, the devil makes her way up to the mortal realm; what she finds is not what she expects at all.

 

the apartment of bae joohyun and park sooyoung is surrounded by a barrier of salt, purposefully placed to keep demons like her out. standing at the front door, seungwan eyes the shimmering barrier momentarily before attempting to run through it. the force of the barrier sends her crashing into the wall behind, leaving her with an aching back as she scrambles to her feet.

 

salt is generally harmless but if placed with the right intention, is enough to stop even the devil herself. this time, she tosses a ball of hellfire — it's hotter than any flame on earth, so in theory, it should melt through the barrier with ease. but alas, it doesn't. instead, it evaporates into a wispy air of smoke upon meeting the surface of the salt barrier.

 

her teeth, seungwan narrows her eyes.

 

bae joohyun must be terrified of demons to form a barrier this strong.

 


end notes:

mostly worldbuilding in this one. seungwan's hound is literally clifford the big red dog but on fire.
kinda have this insane goal of updating every day so this fic might turn out even jankier than anything i've written. if you see me editing after i post it just look away. there's going to be plotholes and all that fun stuff that makes a fic... ew... but i will do my best to minimize them!!
next chap's going to be... fun? i think. or at least i'm looking forward to writing it ^o^
thanks for reading see u tmr

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ILJIDO
it's been 30 chapters and they haven't kissed, is this counted as slowburn?
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