Chapter 2:

A Kappa Comes to Call

It’s My First Time Working Late Nights at a Convenience Store, and If I Keep Getting Demon Lords, Kappa and Other Oddballs as Customers, I’m Giving My Two-Weeks’ Notice

It’s 2 AM on my second night working the graveyard shift at my local convenience store.Bookmark here

Standing behind the register, I shudder as I think back on last night’s...special guests.Bookmark here

I didn’t tell anyone what happened.Bookmark here

I mean, how could I? Who’d believe a story like that?Bookmark here

That, while I was working at the convenience store, two people dressed up as a demon lord and an elf/maid came in and tried to make off with a pork cutlet sandwich. Yep. Anyone who heard that tale would call me a crazed lunatic.Bookmark here

And since this all went down in the middle of the night, it has that didn’t-actually-happen vibe to it. Anyone would think that I’d fallen asleep on the job.Bookmark here

You know, maybe I will just take the hit and pretend that the whole thing was a dream. Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...Bookmark here

“Welcome, irassh-...”Bookmark here

This time, I’m not sure if this evening’s customer is a dream or a hallucination. Maybe I should wake up my manager and get their opinion.Bookmark here

No, seriously, I think my heart stopped.Bookmark here

Standing in front of me is a green-skinned creature.Bookmark here

Every inch of this guy’s a sticky, slimy, green. Well, except for his eyes, which are gold.Bookmark here

He’s pretty tiny. Definitely less than five feet tall — and his head makes up most of that. The creature’s golden gaze wanders around the convenience store, soaking in its surroundings.Bookmark here

To top it all off, perched on the top of his head is what most people, I’m pretty sure, would consider to be a “plate.”Bookmark here

Huh. Maybe this guy’s a kappa? Bookmark here

...Whoooooa, nope! No way!! Not a chance!! So, what? Last night wore me out so badly that I’m seeing things today? That’s got to be it. I mean, that can’t be a kappa.Bookmark here

Having a kappa as a customer on my second shift at this store would just be beyond stupid.Bookmark here

I sink down, resting my head on top of the register.Bookmark here

I tell myself that when I look up again, that’ll be a person. There will be a human being standing there. That whole green-skin thing? Just some weird trick of the light. Bookmark here

When I slowly raise my head, the kappa is walking around the store, his feet slap-slap-slapping on the tiles as his ragged, sopping wet knapsack bounces on his back.Bookmark here

This is real? You’ve got to be kidding me.Bookmark here

Oh my god, I can’t even. Someone save me from this convenience store.Bookmark here

Hold on. Couldn’t that possibly, maybe be someone dressed like a kappa? Like last night?Bookmark here

I stare at the kappa as he goes about his business. That slap-slapping of his flipper-like feet is pretty realistic. No human would ever walk like that, that’s for sure. This guy’s got to be the real deal. Either way, I’m convinced that’s not someone in a costume.Bookmark here

I must be beat. I mean, it is two in the morning.Bookmark here

It’s only natural that you’d start seeing things that late at night, right?Bookmark here

The kappa makes his way over to the drink section, grabs a bottle of coke (of all things) from the fridge, then brings it slap-slap-slapping over to the register.Bookmark here

Honestly, I really can’t picture a kappa drinking coke.Bookmark here

Wait, that’s not fair. I’m sure even kappa have times when they want to drink something sweet. I shouldn’t judge.Bookmark here

Especially not after seeing how carefully he’s cradling his precious bottle of coke. It kind of makes you want to cheer the little guy on.Bookmark here

It’s cool, man! You do you!Bookmark here

...Man, I hope he actually pays.Bookmark here

I’m sure it’ll be fine. He won’t be anything like last night’s demon lord. There’s totally a wallet in that beaten-up backpack, right?Bookmark here

The kappa stretches up to place his bottle of coke on the counter, before sliding his knapsack off.Bookmark here

Atta boy! You got this!Bookmark here

But thank god, he’s a genuine customer. Bookmark here

“Welcome, irasshaimase.”Bookmark here

There’s the telltale beep of the scanner as I ring up the item.Bookmark here

“That’ll be one hundred fifty-eight yen, please.” Bookmark here

I wonder what kind of expression I’ve got on my face? I hope it’s some kind of semi-professional smile.Bookmark here

The kappa keeps his saucer-like eyes trained on me, without ever blinking.Bookmark here

Okay, here it comes. Payment in full.Bookmark here

Except that what he pulls out of his knapsack is neither a wallet nor a handful of yen.Bookmark here

...It’s a cucumber.Bookmark here

...What am I supposed to do with that?Bookmark here

I stare long and hard at the cylindrical object. That is a cucumber, right? Like, the vegetable. Not some quirky wallet that’s shaped like a cucumber, but an actual cucumber?Bookmark here

Uh, seriously? No, really — what should I do with this?Bookmark here

Having not missed a moment of my very obvious confusion, the kappa’s face suddenly lights up in understanding.Bookmark here

Oh! Okay, I get it. He just mixed them up, right? His wallet and his, uh, cucumber? An honest mistake. Could’ve happened to anyone. Really, are all kappa this adorably clumsy?Bookmark here

My heart melts a little as I watch the flustered kappa rummage through his knapsack, only to pull out...three more cucumbers.Bookmark here

Dude, the problem wasn’t that you were short a few!!Bookmark here

The little guy glances back up at me with those impossibly round eyes of his, so I try and explain it again.Bookmark here

“It’s, um, it’s one hundred fifty-eight yen. Uh. So...”Bookmark here

The kappa tilts his head to the side, questioningly...Bookmark here

Then goes back to fishing through his bag.Bookmark here

No thanks. I already know where this is going. He’s definitely going to pull out another cucumber. Please dude, anything but that!Bookmark here

“O-okay, you know what? It’s fine! Don’t worry, I’ll cover the cost of the coke!”Bookmark here

It’s now 2:30 AM and I’m on the verge of tears, accepting cucumbers as payment.Bookmark here

The kappa happily collects his beloved drink, then slowly slap-slap-slaps his way out of the convenience store.Bookmark here

Expressionless, I silently make my way over to the break room. There, I pull out one hundred fifty-eight yen from my own wallet and put my new collection of cucumbers (now in a plastic bag) in the satchel sitting in my locker, before quietly zipping it shut.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.