Chapter 19:

Meeting Mac's Merry Band (Part 2)

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

“Geez, Iris, lay off! I’m just out for a stroll. Besides, what’re you doing out here?” 

“‘Stroll’? Like hell you are! You’d never be caught DEAD in a place like this! C’mon, we’re going home!” 

The tough-talking crimson knight grabs Sacco by the hand and tugs.

Well, I’m guessing the armor-plated one’s Iris.

“I wouldn’t have gone out on my broom if YOUR snoring wasn’t so unbelievably loud!”

“What, you think I’M bad? You’ve gotta be kidding me. You rattle off whole damn monologues in your sleep! Here, lemme give you a taste.” 

Iris pinches her nose, as she launches into a mocking imitation of Sacco sleep talking.   

“Omigosh, a handsome prince has come to take me away with him! It’s totes amazing! He’s gonna kiiiiss me, and then we’ll ride off to his kingdom in a magical carriage, where we’ll live happily ever after! Tee-heh-heh!”

I almost lose it at that last exaggerated laugh, but I manage to keep it together for Sacco’s sake. But Iris isn’t finished yet. She continues, switching back to her own voice.

“...Why would you even bother with all that crap? You’re a witch! Just wave your wand and magic your own damn carriage into existence, dumbass.” 

C’mon, knock it off. I mean, I feel bad for Sacco, but... Pffft...!

“I don’t laugh like THAT! You reeeeally... You know what? Fine! Why don’t I give you a taste of your own medicine? Your snoring goes a little something like this!”

Sacco stops stomping her feet in frustration long enough to take a deep breath, bringing her hands up to her flushed cheeks as she opens her mouth as wide as she can to let out a...


Crash! Rattle! Bang!! I hear a bunch of loud clattering coming from the break room, the door creaking open juuust wide enough for my manager to peer out at me. 

“Haru! What was that noise?! It sounded like a wild animal!”

Oh my god, they’ve even managed to startle the heck out of my manager! C’mon guys, knock it off! His beauty sleep deserves to be uninterrupted! 

“E-Everything’s fine here...! He-...heh... Uh, I mean, I didn’t hear a thing? It was probably just a bad dream, Manager.”

No, seriously — give it a rest, girls. You’re both hilarious...but if I so much as chuckle, I’m doomed. Please stop.

“Hrm...that so? A dream, huh... I must be beat. I’m going back to bed...” 

Once the break room door closes, Iris bursts out into a fit of laughter.

“Heh! Ha ha! What was THAT?! Sacco, you’re too much!! Aha ha ha ha!!”

“Nnnnnnngh!! Shut uuuuup!! Now you’re just being mean, Iris!! That’s TOTALLY what you sound like when you snore!”

Sacco turns a deeper shade of red, angry tears prickling the corners of her eyes — which only makes Iris howl even harder with mirth.

“Pfffft, yeah, right!! You wish! Aha ha ha!! Oh man, and you even woke up that p-p-pffft...! That poor manager!! Bwahahaha!!”

“Wh-...! Th-...! YOU started it! ...And you!  Don’t YOU have anything to say about this?!”

I stutter as Sacco suddenly turns to me for support. 

“Don’t you think that it’s this crude, crabby boiled lobster who ought to be taught a lesson, Mister?” 

“Like you’re one to talk, you puffy pink eyesore!”

The two girls start flinging insults left and right. They’re not even trying to be subtle about it anymore.

Much as I’d rather they took this outside, I don’t really want to try and break up this cat fight, so I keep my mouth shut.

...But, “puffy pink eyesore” WAS a pretty solid comeback. They almost got me with that one.

“Heeey, Mewster? You’re on Sacco’s side, right? Not that meowsy Iris.” 

Sacco strikes a cutesy cat pose (to compliment the pun-infused speech) in a clear effort to try and win my support.

“Yeah, no. I’ve got a younger sister. I’m staying out of this.” 

“Say whaaat?! That didn’t even earn me a smile?! You jerk!”

“Ha! It’s way too late to try and charm the cashier, Sacco. He’s already seen you for who you really are...a girl with the fashion sense of a colorblind gorilla!”

“What did you just call me?! Well, you snort in your sleep just like the sunburnt pig you are!”

“So, THAT’s the thanks I get for freaking out when I saw you weren’t at home? I went out looking for your sorry ass because I was worried about you! I sure won’t make that mistake again!”

Iris scratches her head, downplaying the blunt admission of concern, and Sacco glances away in embarrassment.

“...Huh? Well... I-It’s your own fault for being so dumb! I’ve been wanting to take you out for a spin on my broom, but I’m not good enough at flying. Okay? That’s why I’ve been practicing, so...” 

“O-Oh yeah? Then why the hell wouldn’t you do that during the day?”

“...’Cause I wanted to surprise you with how much better I’ve gotten! But that’s not going so well...”

“Practicing this late at night is dangerous, you nitwit! Especially all on your own! ...And you still don’t even have anything to show for it!”

“I will! Just you wait! I’ll get soooo good at flying, it’ll knock your armor-plated socks off, so there...!”

“...Geez, you’re hopeless.”

The pair exchange a smile and a laugh. I... Wait, what just happened? Because now it feels like I’m intruding on something...special. At least, I would be — if they weren’t off in their own little world.


“My goodness...! Now, what might the two of you be doing out of doors this late at night?” 



The two girls snap to attention the second they hear that delicate voice, a visible shudder running through them.

The newest arrival is a woman wearing a long, light green dressing gown, with her white hair tied back in a braid. Sure, she might not be wearing a habit — but with her one green eye and her one golden one, I’m willing to bet she’s the Odd-Eye nun, Sister Claire.

While she isn’t anything but cordial towards the trembling duo, her grin is so wickedly sharp, I half expect it to draw blood. Well, either that or the literal whip that she’s got in her hands.  

“Well? After all, you must have some sense of what it might feel to wake up and find that your housemates have vanished into the night without a single word of warning.”

“I’m sorry! I swear, I won’t ever snore again!”

“Me too! I promise I won’t talk in my sleep anymore! Or laugh in any weird ways!”

Still quaking in their boots, the pair apologize profusely. ...What’s going on here?

“Now, then... Good sir, did these two ladies cause you any...trouble?”

Suddenly it’s my turn to get caught in Claire’s intense glare, while Iris and Sacco watch in silence, like a couple of abandoned puppies.

“No, not at all. They were fine.”

I say this with a bright smile, which makes the two girls sag in relief.  They gaze at me in gratitude — kind of like those stock pictures you see of nuns praying.  

“Well, that is a relief. Still, you have my apologies for their...intrusion. Now then, if you’ll excuse us...”

Still smiling, Claire grabs Iris and Sacco by the scruff of their necks, dragging them firmly towards the automatic doors.

“Um, wait...!” 

I summon the courage to call out to Claire before she leaves.

“Why, whatever seems to be the problem?”

Claire glances back, her voice still as melodic as before.

“It’s just, uh...well...Mac really wants to meet up with you guys!”

There’s a distinct pause.

...That would make most people happy, right? Getting to see more of your friends, and knowing that they’re missing you, I mean. 

Claire slowly turns away from me, her polite smile never once wavering.  

“Is that so? Well. I wouldn’t much care to rendezvous with him myself. Have a pleasant evening, sir.”

With that, Claire drags the two loudmouths out behind her.

...Man, what did that loser do to be getting the cold shoulder from his entire party? Then again, knowing that failure of a hero, there’s probably a whole list. 

That said, if those two are that afraid of Claire, maybe they feel like they can’t disagree with her? Are they ever going to be able to catch up with him?  

Well, I can at least post a comment on one of his videos saying that they dropped by.

Oh, and the next time Sheri stops in, I’d better tell her that Chronoa was here, too. 

...That reminds me, I haven’t seen the demon lord in a while.

I wonder what he’s up to?