A Simple Survey:Volume1 File13

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File 13: How About We Try Taking a Peek?[edit]

We lived in an age where you could take a peek into hell.

The developer of the technology had originally been trying to peek into heaven, but theologians from around the world had vehemently opposed this idea. They claimed only those who had gone through the proper process should be able to see heaven.

Some of them were of the opinion that seeing hell would be okay, and in the end, permission to peek into hell was given on the grounds that seeing how horrible it was would give everyone a change of heart about their lives. Some suggested the technology be officially classified as educational software.

…But it did not exactly turn out that way.

“Hello? Ashtart?”

As I was using a handheld game system in the free LAN corner of a fast food restaurant, a woman’s voice came from the screen.

But it was not a human woman.

“What is it, boy? Having you humans peeking in with your handheld game systems and everything gets exhausting. Intentionally showing and being peeked on are completely different things.”

“Ashtart, I had heard hell was a horrible, painful place of suffering. But from what I can see, everyone looks pretty relaxed.”

“Why do you think hell exists?”

“?”

“Why do you think?”

“To take in all the people who did bad things?”

“That’s right. But that role was decided on by god. There are a lot of different kinds of demons, but my faction was given permission by god to mess with humans. Just read up on the demon named Mastema to learn more about this.”

“But, Ashtart, you’re not doing anything to the humans. With that swimsuit on, it looks more like you’re on vacation.”

She had long red hair and pure white skin. She had what would generally be referred to as a “glamorous body”, but with horns and bat-like wings. The way her tail twitched back and forth kind of made me want to grab it.

“That’s because it’s all such a pain in the ass.”

While lying on a beach chair, Ashtart wiggled her hips back and forth.

“With the image of demons that humans have come up with and the moderate trials and tribulations for humans god has commanded us to carry out, it just feels like so much is expected of us. But we’re demons. Our creed is to go against every single thing we’re told to do.”

“Hm? Hmm???”

As I ate french fries with a puzzled look, Ashtart lightly raised her index finger.

“Hell is only a horrible place if demons carry out their job well. But demons are not the type to work diligently. If you multiply a negative with a negative, what do you get? A positive!! Basically, hell has become an unprecedented beach resort because it is run by demons who have no motivation whatsoever!!”

Ashtart seemed really confident, but what was that about multiplying negatives? If you had four boxes with three apples in each, that was 3 x 4 which was 12. I had learned that in school…but if you lost 4 sets of “three things missing” you got…more???? That had to be something from the world of philosophy. Demons really thought about mysterious things.

“Oh, have you not been taught how to multiply negative numbers yet?”

“So heaven isn’t the good place to go?”

“Angels are quite diligent, so I’m sure they make sure it’s a nice place. After all, a positive number multiplied by a positive number is still positive. But just because heaven is a nice place does not mean hell has to be the exact opposite. This is a pretty nice place, too. But if people knew that, they would not go through all the unpleasantness people go through when they aim for getting into heaven, so we had tried to keep it a secret. But thanks to your technology, you all know now!!”

Ashtart stuck out her tongue and scratched at her horned head while I nodded.

“How strange.”

“It is strange. For some reason, you humans got it into your heads that we demons were after your souls or something, but bad people just automatically come to hell after they die, so we really have no reason to head out into the human world. Also, why do you think we would go along with our reason for existing and be diligently evil? All we demons do is disappoint the god who gave us that reason for existing.”

“So because you’re expected to do bad things, you don’t do bad things?”

“Exactly. And those theologians who just assume we do bad things are the ones whose expectations we want to live up to the least.”

Ashtart sipped a blue drink from a glass using a straw.

“I just want to laze around, so it really doesn’t matter to me, but if I was asked whether you should aim for heaven or hell, I would say hell I suppose. They’re both pleasant enough places, but heaven is strict about honesty and integrity. You can’t live in quite as much luxury. Hell’s easier because you don’t have to worry about that kind of thing. If you feel like you want to do something, you just do it. I honestly don’t understand why that idiot Satan is trying to make a comeback in heaven. What’s wrong with being bound in hell? It’s nice and warm here.”

“That sounds nice, Ashtart.”

“How about you take a 3 day trip to hell to try it out?”

“Can I?”

“Sure, sure. Didn’t I tell you? Things are real casual here. No one has any motivation. Heaven might be all uptight about qualifications and discipline, but we don’t care about all that here in hell. If you want to come, just come. You can find out what this drink tastes like. I’ll give you a ticket to hell.”

Right after Ashtart said that, the light on my handheld game system lit up. It was informing me of an email. It was likely the ticket Ashtart had mentioned.

I moved to touch the screen so I could go and have fun, but…

“Huh?”

“What is it, boy?”

“I have a call coming in.”

“…Game systems sure are convenient these days.”

The second I hit the button, an unfamiliar female voice shouted at me.

“Stoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp!!”

“Nyahh!?”

“Geh. Is that Gabriel’s voice!? It has to be. She’s the only female angel.”

I practically fell backwards in my chair, but the female voice continued shouting over the phone.

“You innocent lamb!! Due to certain reasons, I cannot visit you, but I can give you a lecture. Do not head to hell so casually!!”

“Eh? But Ashtart said…”

“That’s right. That’s right. I sent him a proper invitation, so it isn’t entering illegally or anything. Hurry on over so we can play with the beach ball.”

“Lamb, why do you wish to go to hell?”

“Because the demons have no motivation so it’s like a beach resort. How about you put on a swimsuit too, Gabriel.”

“Heh heh heh. That’s right! That’s right! Put on an I-front micro bikini!!”

“Shut up, you damn whore!! A-ahem. It is true that the technology humans have developed makes hell look like an area with white sand and a blue ocean where the demons laze around doing whatever they want. But…”

“But?”

“But you should know better than to trust a demon! Do you really think that white sand and blue ocean are actually there!?”