Chapter 16:

A Werewolf Wanders Over (Part 1)

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


Tonight marks twenty-one evenings on the till.Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...   Bookmark here

Well, so far so good. Today’s guest is someone who at least knows how to use a set of automatic doors. Bookmark here

I mean, we’ve had people come racing in here at top speed, creatures shaking themselves off like dogs, people getting dragged out against their will... So, good door etiquette is usually a good sign.Bookmark here

“...” Bookmark here

I’m too stunned to speak.Bookmark here

“Hey, so, about tomorrow...”Bookmark here

Dressed in a sharp, black suit and stylish shades is a werewolf, chatting away on his phone.Bookmark here

He’s got to be well over six feet tall, since I’ve got to crane my neck waaaay up to get a good look at him.Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah. I know. I won’t forget.” Bookmark here

Whoa! Nope! No way!! Sure, he sounds totally normal, but that thick, black, beastly fuzz on his face definitely isn’t!Bookmark here

The werewolf catches me staring at him and lowers his voice to a rough whisper. Bookmark here

“Sorry, I’m in a store. Don’t want anyone to overhear. I’ll call back.” Bookmark here

Uh, is he some kind of shady dealer?!Bookmark here

He must be here to buy smokes or something. With his deep voice and slight swagger, he seems like the type.Bookmark here

Cramming his hands (paws?) into his suit pockets, the werewolf does a circuit of the store. Bookmark here

“Hey, kid. Could you ring me up?” Bookmark here

Huh. All he’s getting is a pack of wet wipes. Bookmark here

“Oh, right! Uh, welcome, irasshaimase!”Bookmark here

“Heh. Not quite what you were expecting, huh? My partner’s always on my case about keeping things super clean. Seriously, they’re a total neat freak. And you’d better believe smoking was out of the question, so I had to give it up.”Bookmark here

His ability to keep up a regular conversation gives him a kind of suave, sophisticated air.Bookmark here

Actually, something about him reminds me of my manager. Maybe that’s why I’ve warmed up to him so quickly?Bookmark here

The werewolf pulls out a couple of bills from his classy-looking wallet, gives me a “Later, kid,” then turns around and starts to head towards the doors. He only gets about halfway, though, when he suddenly stops.  Bookmark here

Huh? Did he forget to buy something else after all? Bookmark here

“Hey, uh, buddy? If you’ve got a minute, there’s something that I’ve been looking for some advice on.” Bookmark here

The werewolf turns, looking at me with an expression that does not inspire confidence.Bookmark here

“Abooooout...what?”Bookmark here

No, really — what could he possibly have to ask a convenience store clerk that he only just met?Bookmark here

He totters back up to the counter, to ask... Bookmark here

“D’you...have a girlfriend?” Bookmark here

The burly wolf-man poses the question in all seriousness — and I can only stare back in bewilderment.Bookmark here

“A...girlfriend? Uh...” Bookmark here

Ayame quickly comes to mind.Bookmark here

She said she was in love with me, and I didn’t exactly turn her down, so...yeah? I guess we’re going out now? Bookmark here

“Sure, I do.”Bookmark here

“...Then, you gotta help me out!!” Bookmark here

He grabs both my hands, clenching them in his own with a startling intensity. Bookmark here

“Uh...huh?”Bookmark here

“Oh! Right. That. Can’t have you running off and leaving the till all on its own, huh? Okay, so, is there anyone else here besides you?” Bookmark here

Wow, he’s actually thought things that far through. ...You know, he might not be such a bad guy.Bookmark here

“Um, my manager’s here too, but... I doubt anyone else’ll walk in, so...it’s probably fine?”Bookmark here

For the most part, our customers only come in ones and twos — and pretty sparingly. Bookmark here

“Nah, that’s no good. Guess I’d better take it up with your boss. ...HEY, MANAGER!!” Bookmark here

“Wh-... Dude!”Bookmark here

The door to the break room creaks open, and out pops my manager, already in his uniform.Bookmark here

“What seems to be the trouble, sir?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, so, I was wondering — could I maybe borrow your cashier for a sec?”Bookmark here

Whoa, making casual demands from a man as terrifying as my manager? This guy’s got balls!!Bookmark here

My manager looks between myself and the werewolf, then back at me, tilting his head as if to say: “What’ve you gotten yourself into this time?” ...Nothing, I swear! Bookmark here

“Oh! Um, this customer says that he’s got something that he needs my opinion on?”Bookmark here

“Right, that’s it exactly. I won’t drag him any further than those tables over there.”Bookmark here

The werewolf jerks his thumb over at the seating area, and my manager’s brow furrows in concern. Bookmark here

“His...opinion? You don’t seem to be one of Haru’s acquaintances, either... Hmm. In that case, would you mind if I sat in on this discussion?”Bookmark here

I wonder if he thinks that I’m getting myself caught up in some kind of illicit business? Standing in between myself and the werewolf, my manager stares him down.Bookmark here

“Okay, so, this might be kind of forward, but... Do you have any romantic experience?”Bookmark here

The werewolf removes his sunglasses, returning my manager’s glare with unflinching sincerity. That doesn’t soften my manager’s stern gaze, though, as he replies with a firm... Bookmark here

“...None whatsoever.” Bookmark here

C’mon, Manager!! That’s nothing to be proud of!Bookmark here

“Okay. Yeah. Thanks, but no thanks. Cashier kid, you’re up.” Bookmark here

With that blunt refusal, the werewolf reaches around to haul me out from behind the register. Bookmark here

“I really don’t think this is a good idea! And another thing! Sir, that’s blatant romance discrimination!”Bookmark here

The werewolf has his paws wrapped around one of my arms, while my manager grabs hold of the other. They both pull, tugging me this way and that in a game of human tug-of-war. No, seriously, this freaking HURTS! Ow, ow, ow!! Oh my god, my arms!! They’re going to tear them out of their sockets!! A ton of weird stuff has happened here, but none of it’s been painful! OOOUCH!!!  Bookmark here

“He-... Wh-... Wait a second, guys! Okay! This is how it’s gonna go!! If you want my help that badly, then my manager gets to sit in on the conversation, too!! Besides, haven’t you heard that two heads are better than one?!”Bookmark here

My shouted declaration stops them dead in their tracks.Bookmark here

“No, like...it’s not...something I want a whole ton of people to hear about, so...” Bookmark here

The werewolf anxiously scratches the back of his head as he glances away. Bookmark here

Ah. I’ll bet I know exactly what he wants advice on.Bookmark here

“If my manager can’t join us, then I’m out!” Bookmark here

I cross my arms, determined to stick to my guns — which earns me a heartfelt look from my manager.Bookmark here

“Fine, alright, I hear you. I mean, I guess that’s okay. Alright, so, if you guys wouldn’t mind...”Bookmark here

Once the three of us have settled down around a table in the seating area, the werewolf nervously (and very predictably) leads off with... Bookmark here

“So. I’m having a bit of trouble in the love department.” Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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