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
Before she left, yesterday’s kuchisake-onna gave me a smooth:
“I’ll see you again, Haru.”
I’m willing to bet she will, too — given that she left her bag of hard candies on the counter.
I’m not entirely sure how I missed that, but maybe it might’ve had something to do with the overwhelming feeling of relief I’d felt at her leaving. Hard to say.
“...What should I even do with these?”
I guess the only thing to do is give them to my manager and let him know what happened (kind of).
“A customer...forgot this? Seriously? Their entire purchase? Honestly, some people...”
Dude, you have no idea.
Tonight’s my fourth shift at the convenience store.
In rushes the kuchisake-onna, dressed in her usual hat-sunglasses-mask combo. What little I can see of her face is tinted the same scarlet as her strapless dress.
“I...um! I think I left something behind yesterday? I bought some, um...”
Extremely embarrassed, her voice trails off to almost nothing. Huh. Today’s version of the kuchisake-onna is a far cry from the woman who jumped on the counter and threatened me with a blade last night.
“Uh, yeah, we’ve still got it. Just hold on a...hehe...”
Whoops, I really shouldn’t be laughing at this. C’mon man, get it together.
I take a deep breath, to try and keep myself from completely losing it.
Shaking for an entirely different reason than the last time she was here — pft! — I hand her a full basket’s worth of hard candies.
“Th-...thanks. So, um, I’ll see you again sometime, and...here!”
Whoa! She just flung a bag of candy at my face!
What the hell was that for?!
Harsh, man. I mean, that’s no way to treat someone who went through the trouble of setting aside the stuff you forgot. (And it hurt!)
Turning on her heel, the kuchisake-onna keeps her back to me as she shuffles out of the store as quickly as she possibly can.
And just like that, the storm passes.
With a long-suffering sigh, I slump down onto the register, glancing at the bag of candies left on the counter.
What are these...lollipops? Huh, I don’t think I’ve had one in years.
A grin creeps across my face, and I straighten up again.
“Alright, let’s do this!”
I murmur the encouragement, trying to psyche myself up.
It doesn’t matter who walks through those doors, I’m ready for ‘em. Bring it on!
“It is I, lad — the Demon Lord.”
“Welcome, irasshaimase. You’ll find the exit right behind you, sir.”
Go on, get lost.
With a curt wave of his hand — as if to say ’sup, Haru — that hulking jerk awkwardly strolls into the store, ruining whatever semblance of normalcy I’d had.
...Great. What is it this time?
The demon lord walks right up to the register, his armor clanking loudly with each step.
“I have depleted my rations. I desire more of those ‘pork cutlet sandwiches’ you so generously provided before.”
“Hold on. Just to be sure, you’ll be paying for this in...?”
He snorts dismissively — but stops to consider the question.
Oh, no. Don’t tell me...
“If gold coins are acceptable, then...”
“They’re not! We don’t take foreign money here! Okay, sure, I say ‘foreign,’ but what else am I supposed to call money from another freaking plane of existence?! We use yen! Japanese money!”
Honestly, nothing surprises me now.
At first, I’d thought this guy was just some weirdo dressed as a demon. That made the whole thing easier to live with, really.
But since then, I’ve had what was obviously a kappa and a kuchisake-onna stop by as well, so he’s probably the real deal.
...The only customers this place attracts are ones with issues.
“There...won’t be any of this ‘yen’ until Sheri has her ‘payday’.”
The demon lord sighs, clearly depressed, and I can’t help but wonder how these guys are even getting by.
“So, uh...what do you do all day?”
“Acquire empty cans from public areas in the company of a group of...‘homeless,’ they called themselves?”
...I think I might start to cry.
This guy’s lifestyle couldn’t be any further from the usual depiction of demon lords in light novels or anime. And I...don’t know what to say to that.
“Demon Lord! Sir, what d’you think you’re doing?!”
The dark-skinned elf-maid who’d dragged the demon lord away the first time comes bursting into the store yet again. Except that tonight, she’s wearing a super skimpy pink dress — you know, the kind of thing you’d see a woman who worked in a hostess club all decked out in.
“C’mon, time to go!”
“...But, I wish to eat another of those delectable sandwiches.”
“How many times do I hafta tell you? We’re broke!”
“Uh...Miss Elf-maid? Ma’am?”
I know I really, really shouldn’t be sticking my nose into this, but I have to know.
“If you don’t mind my asking...what do you do for work?”
The elf-maid glances down at her outfit, before flashing me a quick smile.
“Oh, I’m over at one of those places where human guys just wanna chat over drinks.”
That’s totally a hostess club!!!
“I desire pork cutlet sandwiches! Nay, I require them!”
“Quit bein’ so selfish! I’ll be bringin’ home more of the shop’s leftover snacks tonight!”
“Every day, the only sustenance we consume are those stale potato chips! I hunger for thick, juicy sandwiches!”
I can’t take this anymore.
I abandon the register and dash over to the break room.
Opening my locker, I pull out my wallet and take quick stock of what’s inside.
Okay, I’ve got five thousand yen.
That’s a decent amount, but it’s not quite enough.
“Dammit, if I had a little more, then I could leave myself enough to go out for sushi or something, but nooooo, I’m going to blow it all on those two losers!”
Not that anything’s open at 2 AM, but it’s the principle of it!
I force myself to look up, otherwise I really will start to cry. What the hell is with that dumbass?
That elf-maid deserves to be applauded for putting with all this crap. Society is tough enough as it is.
I toss the store’s stock of pork cutlet sandwiches into a basket, along with a few other bread products, a couple of 2-liter drinks, some sweets, and even one of those manga magazines, to give the poor guy something to do with all his free time.
“...What is your problem?! Seriously, I was workin’, and you just had to go off an’—”
“My problem? ...You there, lad! This is no time to be ignor—!”
I finish ringing up the items for the awkward pair and hand them the neatly packed goods.
“Wh-...what’s all this? Why would’ya...”
“There are...pork cutlet sandwiches.”
They stare at the contents of the bulging plastic bags, then glance back up at me, their eyes widening in disbelief.
“Look, just take it, okay? It’s on me. You don’t even have to eat all of it, just the stuff you like.”
I’m not doing this because I pity them, or anything.
At least, calling it that...strikes me as a really bad idea.
“...I mean, I couldn’t just stand there and watch, so...”
As I trail off, the elf-maid practically pounces on me, wrapping me up in a crushing hug.
“Oh my gosh, thank you so much! Honestly, you have no idea how many times I came close to shoving this selfish so-and-so in the ditch! You got your precious sandwiches, so now will you shaddup about ‘em?”
“Lad, I must voice my appreciation. Frankly, eating nothing but stale snacks was starting to chip away at my very being. While Sheri was free to consume whatever she desired, I was left with the dregs. But this...this I can safely consume.”
Aren’t these thank yous...just more thinly veiled grievances?
C’mon guys, give it up already!!
I grab the bag of lollipops that the kuchisake-onna had chucked at my face and add those to their stash, too.
“Explain those, boy.”
“Isn’t this, um...some kinda candy?”
“They’re magic. Whenever you guys feel like you’re about to blow your top, suck on one of these instead. They’ll perk you right up.”
The demon lord and elf-maid exchange a glance before they each grab a bag, taking care not to disturb the contents.
“Thanks, man. This really means a lot.”
“You have my gratitude, lad.”
My wallet’s completely empty, but my heart couldn’t be any fuller.
Well, I guess I’d better go restock the shelves.
Smiling to myself, I step away from the register and head out onto the floor.