dinner's on you
because i'm done with finals duh
we should celebrate for me
it's your first year...
are you saying i'm not worth celebrating?
shame on you
we're going to that barbeque place down the street
bring your wallet
you're going to look like an idiot when i don't show up
i'll get so drunk that the staff will have no choice but to call you
you kept me up for nights
see you at eight
invading her home proved to be futile, but seungwan has other tricks up her sleeve to get close. she stalks joohyun — well, not stalk but rather follow her discreetly around for a day. her future charge is... boring. good for the rest of mankind but not for her, they won't be going on a year-long massacre that's for sure.
archives of each and every soul to walk the earth exists, so whatever reconnaissance she's trying to do wouldn't matter. except that it usually takes weeks and loads of administrative work, and the angels up in heaven will find out that she's accidentally entered a pact. what can she say, the devil has no patience and lots of pride.
seungwan decides to casually approach her in her human form — no wings, no horns, and no glowing red eyes. sometimes the simplest solution is the best one, or however that quote goes.
it's a friday evening, the entrance of the train station is filled with commuters rushing to get around the city. joohyun drowns out the noise of the crowds as she pushes past them to get to her destination. rush hour is as unpleasant as it can be, but picturing the sound of sizzling meat and its savoury scent wafting into her nose makes it a tad more bearable.
a small tap on her shoulder catches joohyun by surprise and she swivels around sharply, half expecting it to be sooyoung. she comes face to face with a woman with dark shaggy hair and tattered clothes — a fashion choice clearly. the most unsettling thing about her is her bright crimson eyes. contact lenses probably, maybe she's cosplaying some video game character? joohyun wouldn't be one to judge.
"y-yes?" joohyun barely manages to find her voice. something about this woman feels off, and her gut is usually on point.
her uneasiness skyrockets when the woman grabs her by the shoulders and stares intently into her eyes. "i need you to believe everything i'm about to tell you, just so things are easier." the woman drops her voice and whispers with an intensity that scares joohyun a little.
she gulps and nods because what if this woman has a knife tucked away somewhere? or maybe she needs professional help? the last thing she wants to do is offend her, crazy people don't like hearing people call them crazy.
"oh, that was easy." the woman blinks with surprise plastered on her face. she releases joohyun from her grasp and proceeds to dig her pockets for something. "oh hell, i can't seem to find my business card."
the woman pats all the visible pockets on her jacket, flipping them in and out while joohyun takes a tiny step backwards.
"i-i'm a little busy... ma'am..." she mumbles quietly, "have a good night."
while the crazed woman is distracted, joohyun turns her heel and starts to walk away. thinking she could be on with her night, she whips out her phone to text sooyoung. but her heart drops a little when she hears the woman calling out from behind her.
"wait! you're gonna wanna hear me out!"
maybe if she pretends not to hear, she'll be left alone. joohyun continues to walk, picking up her speed ever so slightly. the urge to get away increases with every step. and then the woman appears in front of her, and joohyun comes to a halt, letting out a sharp squeak of surprise.
she clamps her hand over in surprise, taking a shaky step back until the woman clasps her hands together, pressing them palm to palm.
"c'mon, you said you would listen." she whines, "hear me out for a minute?"
"do you need help? or money?"
"no, i just need you to listen." the woman sighs, "can you do that?"
after getting a meek nod of agreement, she begins blabbering.
"my name is seungwan, but you mortals know me as lucifer, or the devil, the antichrist, satan, judas, you get the idea. anyway, we met once before, the night when your friend accidentally summoned me when she wanted math answers. i spoke to you, but that was my mistake. so now, i'm bound by divine rules to enter a contract with you, if i don't, the fates are going to tear my soul to shreds. i'll explain all the technicalities later. point is, you're getting a guardian devil that grants all your wishes, doesn't that sound amazing?"
joohyun stares blankly at her — yeah, no way she's listening to this psycho. clearing , she nods politely before leaving the dark-haired woman standing in stunned silence.
she has better things to be concerned about, like hoping that sooyoung doesn't break her bank by ordering a ton of wagyu.
seungwan had expected her subsequent visit to hell would be with her charge by her side, but noooo, said charge thinks she's insane. her human form won't work anymore, but neither can she use her demon form, that's way too terrifying for someone who can put up an indestructible salt barrier.
putting one foot in front of the other, she trudges into her usual bar and the cacophony of chattering stills until she waves her hand. the boisterous laughter starts up again and it's comforting to know that at least the other residents of hell are having fun. she plops down on an empty seat at the counter and presses her head to the wooden surface depressingly. a filled glass slides right in front of her and the liquid sloshes violently without spilling; courtesy of hell's best bartender.
seungwan raises her head to take a sip of the drink; the fiery beverage runs down , doing little to cure her distress. a pact with a devil sounds like a sick deal, which mortal would willingly deny that? the most powerful being after god is more than enough to grant anything they could wish for and here she is, her wounds after a mortal rejected her.
seungwan wanted to spend the rest of the night moping but a hand claps down on her shoulder forcefully. seulgi's voice barely cuts through the chaos of the bar. "aren't you supposed to be forming pacts?"
an inhumane noise sounding something between a groan and a whine escapes from . "i approached her and she thought i was crazy," seungwan cries out, "do you guys have this problem too?"
"nope, just show up in your demon form, it solves everything." seulgi shrugs as she settles next to the devil.
"she's terrified of demons, seul. there's an indestructible salt barrier at the entrance of her home." the devil huffs.
"did you try hellfire?"
"evaporated like it was nothing."
seulgi whistles and mutters in awe, "woah... she's still a powerful soul, huh?"
"yeah... and the fates are aware of this potential pact. why the hell would they take such a big risk and allow this to go through?"
seulgi hums as she reaches for a napkin. she begins pulling it from one end to another, tearing the napkin apart and sprinkles it all over the table with a small grin. "maybe they just want to shred your soul into itty bitty pieces."
with a loud thud, seungwan slams her head against the counter. an intense feeling of dread fills her chest, if this is how she'll go, she can't imagine how satisfied the angels would be. ", seul... i'm so ed!"
"calm down," seulgi coos softly, patting her on the back with a large slap, "the seraphim would want you gone but not those crones. they secretly love your unruly little soul."
"what do i do if she doesn't enter a pact with me?"
"we didn't fight god to lose against mortals, figure something out." seulgi tuts, "maybe do what you do best, you know, be a major pain in the ."
help some crazy woman is stalking me
are you hallucinating
no i'm serious help me
i'll wait for you downstairs
can you walk towards the bus stop?
pepper spray the weirdo
she hasn't done anything
that's how innocent people get murdered
pepper-sprayed. she got ing pepper-sprayed. the king of hell got pepper-sprayed, imagine how embarrassing it would be if anyone found out. that's the last straw, seungwan decides she's had enough of her human form, these flesh sacks are just too frail.
by now, all souls in both heaven and hell know that the first angel is about to enter a pact with a mortal. and it all happened because seungwan didn't specify for seulgi to be discreet when she said she needed joohyun's personal file. her two trusted kings decide that it's a great idea to storm the archival offices in the far shore, announcing to everyone that the almighty king of hell is entering a pact and they would need files about her charge.
it causes an uproar, angels and demons squabbling over this piece of news like it's more dooming than the war with heaven. they already fell from heaven once, what's the worse that could happen? many dub it as the apocalypse, they worry that whatever mortal she's contracted with, would wish for the end of all celestial and demonkind. considering seungwan's powers, she would have no problem erasing a considerable amount of souls with a snap of a finger. of course, she has no plans on doing that, did they think she wouldn't have multiple failsafes so the only things that die are mortals? well, screw them for thinking otherwise, she'll let them panic for a little.
is the chaos worth getting her hands on joohyun's records? yes, yes it is. if she continued to do things her own way, the fates would have her soul before she could even make a single wish come true.
so here she is, flicking through a thick stack of papers while she waits for the mortal to be done with classes. school , but what's worse is these files are hanging loosely from a folder. they should really start digitalizing these records instead of having them on loose sheets of paper, it's a miracle she hasn't dropped a paper or two. these files contain all sorts of information about a soul and all of their lifetimes, but most of it is redundant since all she needs to know is what bae joohyun is like in this life.
the doors to the lecture hall swing open and seungwan snaps the file shut, time to sign a pact. she leans against the wall across the door and waits for students to file out, keeping her eye out for the mortal who had the audacity to pepper-spray her at their last encounter.
craning her neck from side to side, joohyun slowly strolls out of the lecture hall. her mind drifts out of focus as her legs move with trained steps towards the exit of the building. maybe she could get tteokbboki for dinner tonight, it would be an extra boost of motivation for her to finally start on her thesis draft. but what if sooyoung wants something else?
joohyun jumps slightly but she hopes that whoever called out to her didn't notice it. one look and she sees the accursed black leather jacket and her heart falls to the depths of her stomach. not again.
joohyun draws a deep breath, "i don't know what you want from me but please leave me alone, i'm begging you."
"i told you, i need to form a pact with you." the woman shrugs innocently.
there's no doubt about it, this woman is some sort of a heretic of the devil. a satanist? the mere thought sends shivers down her spine and joohyun pushes past her easily. but the woman is relentless and continues to chase her down.
"i can prove that i am who i say i am."
"i don't need proof, please just leave me alone."
the woman groans loudly as she presses a piece of paper into joohyun's hand, "here's my name card to prove it."
the card is warm to the touch, almost hot even, and is made of some silky black paper. a big blue seungwan is written across the front in a simple serif font. on the back lies a list of her monikers, but really they're just aliases of the devil. there's a few odd ones that stand out though, like antique soul collector, owner of the cutest hound in hell, and seulgi's bestfriend :D. at the bottom, in a much smaller font — call me if you need to fight god ;)
definitely a heretic, she doesn't have the energy to entertain this crackhead today. or any other day. joohyun pinches the bridge of her nose and exhales sharply, "try harder."
"okay then, watch this."
her gaze follows the oddball of the woman, and joohyun watches her walk in front of a student — only to have them walk through her as if she isn't there, like a hologram or... a ghost. it happens a few more times; it doesn't matter who, everyone walks through her like they can't see her.
"do you believe me now?" she hums, eyes glowing a crimson red.
joohyun rushes — no, sprints home as fast as she can. with whatever that thing is following closely behind. it hasn't harmed her yet, all it has done is smirk cockily while joohyun tries her best to ignore it. she recalls a warning at the back of her head, something like not acknowledging supernatural entities and pretending you don't see them will lead them to believe that you can't see them. but it might already be too late, for god's sake, she even pepper-sprayed it. is it even possible to pepper spray a demon?
the journey home is unsettling, but she tries her best to keep her cool. slamming the door shut upon reaching home, joohyun feels a little relief at the sight of her sister lying across the couch with her laptop on her abdomen and a bag of chips conveniently placed on the floor.
"sooyoung, i need to talk to you." the older heaves while she desperately tries to catch her breath.
"can't, i'm busy." her sister drawls.
"you're browsing netflix." joohyun hisses, "this is important."
she's tried her hardest to ignore the looming presence behind and if sooyoung doesn't see it too, then she'll start to panic. sooyoung cranes her neck lazily and looks pointedly at her sister.
"what's so important that you gotta interrupt my me time?"
"am i alone?"
sooyoung scoffs loudly, tossing a chip into with a laugh. "no, what am i? a ghost?"
"can you see…" joohyun mutters as she subtly tries to jab a finger backwards.
the thing who wouldn't leave her alone sighs loudly and plops down on the couch next to sooyoung. her heart slams against her ribs when her sister doesn't even react in the slightest.
sooyoung grumbles and returns her attention to her laptop, "look, if you're going to act all insane, can you do it another day? i'm busy here."
the thing steeples its fingers as it rests its legs on the coffee table.
"so do you believe me now?"
oh god. oh god. oh good ing god.
"sooyoung, how do you unsummon a demon?"
didn't feel like existing yesterday so there goes my update streak i guess LOL. kinda focusing a little more on worldbuilding in this fic so, if you wanna discuss or if i kinda got things messed up pls tell me! i'm working it all out as i go so it do be kinda messy,, thanks for reading, love to hear what you think about everything so far!
(also ngl i might be a little dramatic abt retiring from writing bc my initial plan was to just stick to posting drabbles on twt. but lately it's been so exhausting to exist there. i'll see how i feel after i finish this i guess, hopefully staying off twt will make things a little better)