Chapter 5:

The Hero Makes an Entrance

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

This is my fifth night working the register at the convenience store.Bookmark here

In exchange for emptying out my wallet, I can breathe a sigh of relief...knowing that the demon lord shouldn’t be making another appearance for a while.Bookmark here

Unless I’ve just gone and set myself up as a free source of food, dooming me to an eternity of altruism.Bookmark here

Hold on. I’m supposed to be your friendly neighborhood convenience store cashier, but if I’m buying up all of our own stock and passing it off to a demon lord, does that make me his, like, minion?Bookmark here

“Mr. Demon Lord, we’ve arranged the goods you requested.” [Rubs greasy palms together.]Bookmark here

...You know what? I’m just not going to think too much about that. Or anything, really.Bookmark here

Oh, as of today, we’re running one of those spend-seven-hundred-yen-get-a-freebie campaigns. You know, the ones where you pick a raffle ticket and win whatever’s on the card. Usually some kind of snack.  Bookmark here

I mean, did it have to start today? Why not yesterday? I’d have been able to pull so much extra food for those two if...Bookmark here

Whoa, nope. Enough of that. I’ve got to get my mind off of this.Bookmark here

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

“Welcome, irassha-...”Bookmark here

“Yo, check it! Guys, I’m comin’ atcha live from a convenience store! Wild, huh?”Bookmark here

In swaggers this guy, staring straight at his phone, chatting away as he records...well, himself.Bookmark here

...Oh, no. He’s an influencer.Bookmark here

You can just tell.Bookmark here

The blond-haired blue-eyed customer flicks his flowing blue cape behind him, exposing a silver sword. He’s definitely one of those “look-at-me” types, who knows exactly how sexy he is. Bookmark here

“Okay, so, human convenience stores, yeah? They’re like, what the item shop in Hilga is to adventures like yours truly, but with way less stuff. Yo, a shout out to my item shop peeps — that’s where I got this sick sword.”  Bookmark here

He draws the (super basic, more like) sword from the scabbard at his waist and starts to pose with it. Ugh, he’s easily the most annoying customer I’ve had to date. I’d rather not acknowledge this guy at all...but I’m on shift. I take a deep breath, then pipe up to address this loser.  Bookmark here

“Um, excuse me, sir? You, uh, can’t record anything in here.”Bookmark here

“Whaaaat? Why not? I mean, it’s not like I’m getting all up in your business, yeah?”Bookmark here

“Well, no, but... Look, you just can’t.”Bookmark here

He’s even more of a jerk than the demon lord was.Bookmark here

Seriously — he actually makes that horned, hulking devil seem cute.Bookmark here

“C’mon, everyone loves my content! Whoa, hey! Even the cashier’s come over to check me out! Don’t forget to like and subscribe, man!”Bookmark here

May your channel rot in obscurity.Bookmark here

I feel a black rage welling up inside me, simmering just under the surface.Bookmark here

Yep. Such is the true nature of the service industry.Bookmark here

Still, he is a customer. I’ve got to tell him off with a smile. Bookmark here

“I mean, you’re bothering the other customers, for one.”Bookmark here

“Heh. I don’t see anyone else in here, d’you?”Bookmark here

“Either way, recording devices are prohibited here.”  Bookmark here

“And where’s that written, huh?”Bookmark here

“...I’ll be back in just a moment.” Bookmark here

Giving him my best smile, I turn and head off to the break room.Bookmark here

I give up. I can’t handle this guy.Bookmark here

While banishing him to the slums of a completely different realm so that he can never show his face here again is the most appealing option...I don’t know how he even got here in the first place. So, what else is there to do but summon the convenience store’s final boss? (AKA, my manager.)Bookmark here

I carefully open the door, to see my manager still sound asleep on the couch, his hands demurely (?) arranged on his lap.Bookmark here

“Hey, um, Manager?”Bookmark here

“...What’s wrong?” Bookmark here

That’s our manager for you. His voice a low rumble, he gets to the heart of the matter in as few words as possible.Bookmark here

“There’s a really obnoxious customer here. Could you please do something about him?” Bookmark here

“...Hrm.” Bookmark here

My manager heaves himself up with some effort, pausing to roll some of the stiffness out of his neck and shoulders. The popping and cracking of his joints seems to echo throughout the small room. Bookmark here

“Pssshhh...” Bookmark here

With a huge sigh that sounds more like some kind of robot booting up, my manager narrows his eyes. It’s a stare that would bring a raging gorilla to a screeching halt in less than three seconds.Bookmark here

Honestly, he doesn’t look like he’s twenty-eight.Bookmark here

He’s got this battle-weary aura that makes him seem more like a hundred thousand years old. Give or take an extra four hundred years. This is a man who’s seen things.Bookmark here

He’s ripped, too. Like, the kind of ripped you get when you do nothing but fight for five hundred years straight. He’s also got this massive scar that runs from his forehead down to his left cheek, to round out his tough-guy image.Bookmark here

When I came in for my interview, I thought he was going to eat me alive.Bookmark here

I swear, I almost pissed my pants. Bookmark here

Wait, is that normal? Is this the sort of person who’d usually be working at a convenience store? ...Is he a person?Bookmark here

...Let’s just add that to the list of “things not to think about.” Bookmark here

His uniform is pulled taut by his bulging muscles that, I swear, are twitching in anticipation of the kill.Bookmark here

He stalks his way out of the break room and makes a beeline for the troublemaker.Bookmark here

“Man, with just one of these pens, I could totally slay like, a hundred goblins, easy. Pft, no pen? No problem! I’ve still got these jacked up legs! I can kill stuff six different ways without even busting out my sword! Yo, is there anything that needs slaying around here? ‘Cause my skills are slick. I can kick faster than the speed of light! Whoa, did I mention that my moves are so badass, I’ve got two nicknames? First one’s for those formal gigs, but for you guys, I’m ya boy ‘Windbreaker.’ I—" Bookmark here

“Sir.”Bookmark here

My manager clasps the hero by the shoulder, addressing him just as firmly as his grip must be.Bookmark here

The wayward adventurer slowly turns around, and whatever he sees on my manager’s face stops him dead in his tracks.Bookmark here

After what seems like an eternity...Bookmark here

“...Please don’t kill me.”Bookmark here

...Is all the hero can mutter, in a weak voice.Bookmark here

Dude. Dude. After all that showboating, that’s the best you can do? Bookmark here

“Recording video is a nuisance to other customers. Please refrain from such behavior in the store.”  Bookmark here

“...M’sorry.”Bookmark here

Red-faced and looking like he might burst into tears, the hero hastily stuffs his phone into his pocket. I’ve never felt more vindicated.Bookmark here

Yep. My manager’s no ordinary person.Bookmark here

I hadn’t called on him before because he’s...better in small doses.Bookmark here

And, to be honest, I kind of got the feeling that he was the kind of manager who’d resent being roused unless it was a real emergency, so I wasn’t too keen on pushing my luck.  Bookmark here

I guess he really does take his job seriously.Bookmark here

Without a sound, my manager comes to stand in front of the register, resting his hand on my shoulder. Bookmark here

“You do good work here, Haru. If something else comes up, call me.” Bookmark here

“Y-Yessir!” Bookmark here

His stern face relaxes into a warm smile, and he pats me twice on the shoulder in reply.Bookmark here

I feel so appreciated; I could cry.Bookmark here

I keep my head down low in a respectful bow until my manager disappears behind the break room door.Bookmark here

When I look up again, the so-called hero has vanished into the night.Bookmark here

I was so moved that I didn’t even hear the ding-a-ling-a-ling of the automatic doors.Bookmark here

Yeah, you’d better not darken our doors again, you dick.Bookmark here

But, man, the heroes around here have worse manners than the demon lords. I guess you can’t believe everything you see in anime and light novels. Bookmark here

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