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?” Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

“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.” Bookmark here

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“...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.” Bookmark here

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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...Bookmark here


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. Bookmark here

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

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! Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I stutter as Sacco suddenly turns to me for support. Bookmark here

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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

“...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...” Bookmark here

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

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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

“...Geez, you’re hopeless.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

“Eeeep!”Bookmark here

“Yeeeek!” Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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.  Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

“No, not at all. They were fine.”Bookmark here

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.  Bookmark here

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

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

“Um, wait...!” Bookmark here

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

“Why, whatever seems to be the problem?”Bookmark here

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

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

There’s a distinct pause.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

...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. Bookmark here

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?  Bookmark here

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

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

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

I wonder what he’s up to?Bookmark here

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