Chapter 8:

Third Time's a Charm

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 tenth night at the convenience store. Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...  Bookmark here

“Wel-... Oh, not you again! Didn’t I just give you a bunch of food?!” Bookmark here

I swear, I can hear the ta-daaaah that heralds his entrance. Ugh, now that it’s his third time here, the demon lord’s old news. Bookmark here

“I have come to receive more.”Bookmark here

Does this guy suffer from selective hearing, or what?Bookmark here

The demon lord wanders through the store until he finds the sandwich section, putting three of the pork cutlet ones into his basket before he approaches the register. Bookmark here

“No, seriously, what happened to all that stuff I gave you? You can’t tell me it’s gone already.”Bookmark here

He kind of reminds me of that one song about the cat who kept coming back.Bookmark here

“It is.”Bookmark here

Knowing how proud the demon lord is, he probably wouldn’t lie about something like that. Still, I can’t shake this feeling of doubt. Bookmark here

“That was five thousand yen in food! That’s a lot, you know. And, I’m pretty sure that was less than five days ago!”Bookmark here

“I distributed it among my companions. Yamada, who collects the most cans... Ito, who demonstrated how to do ones’ laundry in the river... Matsumoto, who instructed me on proper tent construction... They all thanked me, moved to tears by how delicious it all was. I told them to take more, to eat their fill. It was rather like a banquet, though the supplies did not last for long.”  Bookmark here

Oh, hell. Everything’s gone blurry. Are there ninjas cutting onions in here, or something?Bookmark here

“Whatever is the matter, lad? Raise your head.”Bookmark here

“I’m just...going to go grab my wallet, okay?”Bookmark here

And fork over...most of all of my paycheck... Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...  Bookmark here

“So, this is where y’were! Demon Lord, sir, you can’t keep comin’ here to beg for food!” Bookmark here

The elf-maid dashes into the store (as usual) and tries to drag the demon lord away by the cape (as usual). Bookmark here

“Sir, it’s time t’go! This ain’t a place that does handouts!”Bookmark here

inserted image Part-Time

See, the elf-maid knows what’s up. At least one of them gets human customs.Bookmark here

And today, she’s wearing a red dress that perfectly highlights her perky chest.Bookmark here

Honestly, after getting to see that view...treating them to a couple of sandwiches is the least I can do. Bookmark here

“B-But I...I vowed to bring them more sustenance. The ‘homeless’ group said they were overjoyed to have experienced a full stomach at least once before the end of their days. I owe them a debt of gratitude for their assistance, so I wished to return the favor.”Bookmark here

“It’s fine, I’ll pay for it! Miss Elf-maid, you can let go!” Bookmark here

“Y’can’t keep coddlin’ him like this! We can’t have a complete stranger payin’ for us all the time! I’ve gotta teach him how to earn his keep, for his sake! Otherwise, he’s gonna turn into a big ol’ spoiled brat!” Bookmark here

The whole scene...Bookmark here

Reminds me of a mother (lovingly) berating her child.Bookmark here

I blink back tears with an audible sniffle, moved by how strong their bond is. Bookmark here

“I’ll have what we owe ya for the last round once I’ve gotten paid, so sit tight, ’kay?” Bookmark here

...She’s too good for this world. Ugh, whenever these two show up at the convenience store, I feel like bursting into tears. Bookmark here

“C’mon, sir. We’re still broke, so you gotta put those sandwiches back from where you got ‘em.” Bookmark here

“But I have money.” Bookmark here

The demon lord’s tone is surprisingly firm as he starts rummaging through his armor, looking for something. Bookmark here

“Really, I don’t mind spotting hi-...”Bookmark here

The elf-maid and I exchange an astonished glance as the demon lord pulls out a threadbare purple wrapping cloth that jingles with the tell-tale rattle of coins.Bookmark here

“Human money, at that.”Bookmark here

Grumbling slightly, the demon lord pulls a hundred yen coin from his makeshift wallet, along with a scattering of ten yen coins, one yen coins...and a rock.Bookmark here

“...Huh. Uh, where did you get this?” Bookmark here

“The proceeds from Yamada’s can collecting. Ito and I found the priceless gem along the riverside. Matsumoto was the one who found the rest beneath a ‘vending machine’.”Bookmark here

The demon lord carefully gathers up his cherished assortment of coins (plus rock), offering the pile to me as, well, an offering.Bookmark here

“However, I do not fully comprehend the value of these bits of metal. Tally it up, lad. Is this sufficient to buy those delectable pork cutlet sandwiches your store produces? If not, then I shall return with more.”Bookmark here

It all adds up to two hundred forty-eight yen.Bookmark here

He’s just a few coins shy of the three hundred he’d need to buy one sandwich.Bookmark here

“Nope, you’re good. This is exactly the right amount.” Bookmark here

I can’t. I don’t have it in me to turn him away. Bookmark here

They’re both just doing their best to get by, so it’d kill me to send them home empty handed.Bookmark here

“Truly?! How wonderful. That...makes this my first ever purchase with human money.”Bookmark here

“You’re sure that’s enough?”Bookmark here

The elf-maid gives me a knowing smile, tears glimmering in the corners of her eyes.Bookmark here

Can’t fool her, huh?Bookmark here

“Yep. Not a single yen short.”Bookmark here

I can hear my own voice choke up with emotion, too.Bookmark here

Guys, seriously. You’ve got to stop tugging on my heartstrings every time you drop by.Bookmark here

This is a complete turn-around from the demon lord’s first visit, when he came barging in, demanding free food. Now he’s brought his own money — all to do something nice for the people he cares about. Bookmark here

“Thank you for your business. We hope to see you again!” Bookmark here

I mean it, too. It’s already 3 AM, and this has been an excellent start to my shift.Bookmark here

The demon lord takes the bag of pork cutlet sandwiches, cradling it in his arms, looking happier than I’ve ever seen him.Bookmark here

“Well, ain’t that great?”Bookmark here

The elf-maid is positively beaming. Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...   Bookmark here

The heartfelt moment is cut short by another customer’s entrance.Bookmark here

The newest arrival is wearing a black hoodie and matching baseball cap with the brim pulled way down low. Even with both hands crammed into his pockets, I know exactly who this guy is. It’s that shitty influencer again. Bookmark here

“Ah.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“Wait, you’re...”Bookmark here

The demon lord, elf-maid and hero all freeze, locked in some kind of startled standoff.Bookmark here

Wait. Aren’t these guys supposed to be...mortal enemies? Bookmark here

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