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
So, it’s the night of my nineteenth sh—
The jerk who has the gall to interrupt my usual opening monologue is none other than the great Oda Nobunaga. He comes barreling into the convenience store, skidding to a halt in front of the register.
“It’s Oichi, she...*huff*... Oichi’s... *cough* *hack*...! She’s...!”
I take a quick glance outside. There’s no horse.
Dude, why wouldn’t you at least ride over?!
I don’t know where he came from, but he’s raced over at top speed to get here. And he’s absolutely drenched in sweat. So much so that it’s dripping down his scraggly goatee.
Today’s frumpy t-shirt reads “LITTLE SISTER LOVE”. I glance down at the phone he’s got clenched in his hand, and sure enough — there’s another gatcha game displayed on the screen.
“Mr. Proprietor, you... *wheeze* *huff* I require...”
Even though he can’t get a single word out, I suspect I know exactly what he’s trying to ask me.
“My beloved little sister is part of a pick-up gatcha! You must win her for me!!”
See? Had to be something like that.
“Yeah, sure. No problem.”
Grinning from ear to ear, Lord Nobunaga gleefully hands me his phone, and I tap on the x10 gatcha button.
Lord Nobunaga can barely contain his excitement, bouncing up and down in an exaggerated bob.
His fighting otaku spirit hasn’t faded since the last gatcha. Even this time, he’s brimming with an absurd amount of confidence.
“What is it?”
“Well, I...didn’t get any of the special event characters. Never mind your sister.”
We both pause for a moment, thinking back.
Sure, I might’ve won the sexy Lord Nobunaga on one pull from the last gatcha, but given the drop rates, that was really just sheer dumb luck.
So, it stands to reason...that there’s absolutely no guarantee that I’d win his sister as easily.
“Could you...try again?”
“Oh, yeah. Sure.”
And after about ten pulls from the 10x gatcha with nothing to show for it, that couldn’t be any more obvious.
“...Also, I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve been neglecting to begin your phrases with ‘Lord Nobunaga, I must inform you’...”
You’re going to harp on that NOW?! What a dick!!
As time passes, Lord Nobunaga goes from an annoyingly enthusiastic “Are you gonna do it? You’re gonna do it, right? C’mon, let’s go!” vibe to a downright dismissive “...Hey. Get your head in the game. Can you win this, or what?” that makes me feel like I’m letting down an entire sports team during the decisive championship ma— Hang on a second. Why should I care? He’s the one who dashed over here at top speed, begging me to win a next-to-impossible prize from a system that he hasn’t had any luck with either!!
You’ve got to be kidding me!!
And thus began “our” descent into gatcha hell.
“You won the previous battle so handily, too. ...I expected better from you.”
“Well, then why don’t you try? It’s not my fault that we haven’t gotten Oichi yet.”
Lord Nobunaga silently shuffles in place, which only adds to my growing — sorry, substantial — irritation.
He’s got some nerve, acting all high-and-mighty like that after he barged in here, begging me to try and win a gatcha draw for him. There’s nothing more irritating than having someone who asked for a favor get all huffy when things don’t go their way.
To be honest, I’d reeeeally like to punch him right now.
Wouldn’t that be something? I’d go down in history as the man who decked Lord Nobunaga, my deeds recorded in textbooks for years to come.
But, is he honestly the real deal? Isn’t this guy just your average middle-aged dude? I mean, he’s the most basic gatcha-obsessed nerd I’ve ever seen.
I feel like Lord Nobunaga should be more...dignified, you know? He’s supposed to be the greatest Sengoku warlord to ever walk the earth. You’d think that he’d carry himself with his head held high, radiating self-confidence, with a whole set of loyal retainers who seriously respect him.
The figure hunched over the top-up card display is none of those things. He grabs about half of our stock, and shuffles back over to the register.
His whole demeanor just screams “Maaan, this is lame. I don’t wanna go to waaaar...” with a battle-weary expression that I’ve only seen on the most hardcore of mobile gamers.
Well, some things just aren’t meant to be — even if you spend millions of yen on them.
“The drop rates are even double what they would normally be, too... Which are stupidly low to begin with, but after scouring data on social media I managed to piece together Oichi’s percentages and cycles...”
Get a life, old man.
...These draws make monsters out of people. Keeping that thought to myself, I let my eyes fall shut as Lord Nobunaga scurries off to blow his money on half our stock of top up cards.
“No, no, no...! Dammit! How dare they keep my own sister away from me!!”
Lord Nobunaga has curled up in his traditional lump of despair.
“I was so certain that you would pull her on the first draw... Purchasing extra top ups never even factored into my calculations...”
Yeah, he had way too much faith in my “skills.”
“Hey, didn’t you offer me your sister’s hand in marriage last time? What would I get for my trouble this time?”
My mockery only earns me a blank stare.
“Huh? I said that? I can’t have been serious. After all, there’s no guarantee of your success. I certainly couldn’t promise you my beloved sister.”
Well, you sure did last time.
“However, should you manage to restore my sister to her rightful place...I suppose that’s only fair. I might be willing to consider it.”
So, in the end he really would sell out his own relatives for (gatcha) results.
Seriously, though — should I be concerned about this guy?
“Still, I could at least reward you with the contents of my wallet.”
“Huh, I didn’t think you’d offer cash. How much is even in there?”
Can’t be more than three hundred yen or so, I’m guessing.
“I’ve got thirty thousand tucked away in my pocket to reward kind souls for their good deeds, then a million yen set aside in my savings account specifically for this gatcha draw. Oh, but there’s only thirty thousand or so left of that.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hang on, you’ve got HOW MUCH?!”
No way!! That’s an insane budget!!
“Okay, I’ve been wondering this for a while now, but...where are you even getting all that cash from?!”
“I’m not entirely sure, but I always seem to have plenty.”
Wait, so all this time, I’ve been toiling away for minimum wage, catering to the needs of all these oddballs that keep wandering into the store in the dead of night, stretching the limits of my sanity to the point where I’ve seriously considered giving my two-weeks’ notice, when I could have been, oh, I don’t know, dicking around on mobile games instead?
No, really — does he know how that sounds to the working people of the world?
I must’ve misheard him. Yeah, that’s got to be it.
“My secretary takes care of everything for me. She sets up my spending money, so I can kick back and spend my days playing games.”
Absorbed in his gatcha pulls, Lord Nobunaga says this like it’s the most normal thing ever. I thought he might’ve been distracted, but he does have the cash to burn, so I guess it has to be true.
...More importantly, what kind of secretary would even want to work for this useless waste of a man?
“Well, time for a break! It’s your turn to tap in.”
I begrudgingly take over from him. Sure, the anticipation of the pull is pretty exciting, but having someone sitting beside you, arms crossed, eyes glued to the screen like it’s a matter of life or death...well, that sucks all the fun out of it. Seriously dude, lay off.
Still, I suppose he can’t help himself. 5-star characters are kind of a big deal. And kind of a given that they’re almost impossible to win.
My shoulders sag as I resign myself to the fact that this is going to be a very long night — until I hear the ding-a-ling-a-ling of the automatic doors.
At the sound that signals the arrival of a new customer, I leap out of my chair with all the explosive flailing of a firework lighting up the night sky.
I was already pretty tense, so the sudden noise caught me completely off-guard.
That, and I’m supposed to be working right now. If another customer catches me gambling while I’m on the clock, there’s no way I won’t get written up for that! Oh man, I’m screwed!!
Except I can’t help but stop and stare, wide-eyed, at the woman who just walked through the doors.
My gaze is instantly drawn to her porcelain skin.
Pointy elf ears peak out from her black hair, which is set in a tidy bob. Her outfit is basically an old-school maid uniform — a floor-length black skirt with a white, long-sleeved shirt tucked into it. The ruffled neck of her collar comes right up to the edge of her chin, leaving precious little skin exposed.
Behind her frameless glasses sit a pair of obsidian eyes. As she glances over at me, I swear they reflect the shadows themselves.
...Which makes my thoughts drift back to the elf-maid’s description of their missing companion.
“She’s got short black hair, and her eyes are even darker. You’ll know her when you see her, ‘cause she ain’t like anyone normal.”
“Chronoa’s favorite kind of guy is someone who’s dripping with self-confidence, and oozes entitlement. Someone who’s got a whole bunch’a faithful followers who genuinely like ‘em — and a fancy title, too. But once she gets her claws into someone, they’re goners. Then, anyone who thought Chronoa was all that and a bag of chips changes their tune reeeeeal quick.”
Her words are ringing in my ears — and they’re quickly followed by the rest of her warning.
“An assassin? Nah, not in that sense. Chronoa’s got skills, sure, but she’s also single handedly responsible for the downfall of more unsuspecting chumps than anyone who ever came before her. Take our Demon Lord here, f’example. Back in the demon realm, he was doin’ whatever he pleased, becomin’ a proper jerk — ‘cause she was more than happy to grant his every wish.”
And I can’t help but be reminded of my own impression, from earlier this evening.
“Still, I feel like Lord Nobunaga should be more...dignified, you know? He’s supposed to be the greatest Sengoku warlord to ever walk the earth. You’d think that he’d carry himself with his head held high, radiating self-confidence, with a whole set of loyal retainers who seriously respect him.”
Then, maybe...when Lord Nobunaga started coming here — no, probably before we even met — he really did used to be the noble historical figure that I’d envisioned?
With a practiced flick of her glasses...
“Your ever-faithful servant has come to pick you up. Lord Nobunaga, let us return home.”
Chronoa, the demon lord’s stunningly beautiful ex-maid, announces her presence.