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
My manager looks between the mysterious silver-haired woman, myself, and the suspicious sickle-wielding woman I’m barely holding back.
“...Haru, a moment. I need to have a word with you.”
“Y-Yeah? Uh, I’ll be right there! ...Stop struggling, miss. You can’t ju—”
“I told you already. It’s Ayame.”
“Right, sure. Ayame, could you put that rage on pause until I finish talking to my manager? You, too. No fighting.”
I point at the other woman, waving my finger in warning, as my manager beckons me over with a wave. I jog up to him, and he lowers his voice to a rough whisper.
“...Haru. Even for the most cautious of men, balancing a relationship between two women is an impossible challenge.”
“...Um, what’s this about?”
I...don’t think my manager has the right read on this situation.
“Is this not...a tumultuous affair that has ended badly? That’s certainly what it appears to be, in any case.”
“Of course, it’s not!! Manager, I’m not that kind of guy!!”
“...Oh, but we believe you are the ideal ‘kind of guy’.”
While I was busy setting my manager straight, the silver-haired woman slipped up behind me.
“Wh-...?! When did you...?! Haru! You stay away from him, or I’ll...!”
Ayame calls out, but her threat is completely ignored.
“...Hmm? Oooh... Why, young master, your companion... His scent is simply divine.”
Breathing heavily, the other woman wraps her pale, thin arms around my manager’s bulging forearm.
The kuchisake-onna drags me away from the stranger, shoving me behind her.
“That sweet perfume... So, it was yours, good sir? We desire...more. Yes, come closer... Look into our eyes... And become our most loyal servant. Yes, you wish for nothing else...”
The silver-haired seductress gazes up at my manager with a piercing stare.
“No! Manager, don’t look into her eyes! I don’t know how, but she—”
I call out a warning, but it comes too late. He’s a goner.
“Heh heh... We are descended from only the most regal of vampire families. There isn’t a man alive who can resist our charms. Strip, my servant, and subject yourself to your new mistress.”
The vampire pulls out her lace fan with a smug grin, fanning herself as my manager starts to unbutton his shirt.
“Wh-... Manager! C’mon, snap out of it! Manager!!”
Shouting at him doesn’t change a thing. He’s already stripped down to his undershirt. He reaches up, stretching his arms out to...drape his uniform top around the vampire’s shoulders.
“...What are you...?!”
The vampire snaps her fan shut, clearly annoyed.
“...With that much of your chest exposed, you’re sure to catch cold.”
My manager’s face turns bright red as the vampire pulls the shirt tight in a sudden show of modesty. No, seriously — why bother hiding anything now?
“Never mind that! Merely peering into our eyes should have put you into a powerful trance! How have you not fallen under our spell?!”
“...‘Trance’? I don’t know what you mean by that, but I...find it difficult to...talk to women. It’s...embarrassing. Making eye contact only makes it worse.”
My manager buries his face in his hands, overcome by even this level of conversation.
There he is!! The return of our big, blushing wallflower!!
“Why, you insolent...! I say! Good sir! You must look at us! Were you not told that it is rude to ignore the person you are speaking to?! Come now, be quick about it!”
The vampire flips out, pulling on my manager’s thick arms to the point where she’s hopping up and down. But no matter how hard she tries, he stays still as a statue, not budging an inch.
Honestly, the whole thing’s kind of cute.
Stomping her feet in frustration, the vampire lashes out again — but my manager still won’t look her in the eye, sparing him from her inhuman charms.
“We ventured all this way for the express purpose of dining on YOUR blood...!”
“Oh, so...you’re hungry? Still, you really shouldn’t be wandering the streets in an outfit so ill-suited to the evening chill. But...why are you so fixated on me?”
“We haven’t had so much as a single drop since we set foot in this blasted realm! And to make matters worse, most humans’ blood smells so vile! Yours is the first truly delicious scent that we have encountered. ...We can wait no longer! We shall take our fill!”
Without any further ado, the vampire bites down on my manager’s extended arm.
I call out, another cry echoing my own.
“OUCH! Ooooh...! Ow ow ow...”
Odd. The shriek of agony isn’t coming from my manager, but the vampire instead.
She drops to the ground, clutching her mouth as she writhes in pain.
“Sorry, I... I’m not used to having ladies cling to me like that, so I just...tensed up.”
He grins sheepishly as he scratches the back of his head. Oh my god, this overly timid version of my manager is just too freaking adorable.
“Why, you oafish fool! You bumbling imbecile! Our fangs! Our beautiful fangs! You’ve surely bent them! How could any man possibly have arms as impenetrable as stone?!”
The vampire collects herself, her eyes brimming with tears. She staggers upright, then angrily jabs her finger at my manager.
“Tsk! ...I see. So, the most decadent meals come with an equivalent cost. We suppose the risk must justify the reward...”
“I don’t know that I have any soft spots, though. Even my ears are rather...sturdy.”
Wait, not a single one? Okay, that’s a little outrageous.
Still, there’s something kind of funny about how my manager’s bending over backwards to apologize to someone who tried to turn him into a meal.
“You know, I have heard of vampires who drink tomato juice...”
“...What manner of beverage is that?”
We all head back inside the convenience store, where my manager buys a bottle of tomato juice for the vampire. She promptly drains the entire thing in a couple of quick gulps.
“Ah... What a delightful drink this is. Why, it’s even reminiscent of fresh blood. And so nourishing, too. This ought to see us through several days.”
The vampire sits at a table in the seating area, happily slurping up the last drops.
“...So, vampires DO like tomato juice.”
My manager’s relief is short lived, though.
“If you assume that we have lost all interest in sucking your blood, you would be horribly mistaken. Mark our words — one day, when you least suspect it, we will take our due.”
“Miss, I would much rather you didn’t. Drinking my blood couldn’t possibly be good for your health. ...Why don’t I treat you to more tomato juice, instead?”
I watch this conversation play out from behind the register, with the kuchisake-onna leaning up against the counter.
“Oh, right. So... Ayame? Earlier you said that we were, uh, a couple...?”
“I did. But you knew that already, didn’t you?”
She says this like it couldn’t be any more obvious.
“Uh... How long have we been, well, involved?”
“Since you first told me that you thought I was pretty, of course. Didn’t you ramble on about the things you liked about me? Was that not a confession? I told you that I was taken by you, too. And you didn’t dispute my offer to visit you again.”
Oooh...right. That. But...since when has telling a girl that you thought she was pretty been the same as asking her out? ...Maybe my manager knows. I’ll ask him.
“I’ve been watching over you ever since then, Haru. From outside the store, that is. I was too shy to come in and speak with you, though. Being able to have a conversation with you like this is...nice.”
Ayame smiles so brightly, I can see it through her mask.
I feel my heart unconsciously skip a beat, and I have to bite back the urge to call her pretty again.
“I’ll see you again, Haru. If you ever find yourself in trouble, just call. I’ll come rushing to your side, without fail.”
She suddenly leans in, her face only inches away from mine.
“Uh, sure. Gotcha.”
I’ve gotten just as bad as my manager — I can’t seem to look her in the eye.
“One more thing. Don’t act so friendly around other women. You’re such a charmer, they’re bound to get the wrong idea. ...If you cheat on me, I won’t ever forgive you.”
Ayame’s tone drops to a deep, dark rumble and I know that the first time I double-cross her will most certainly be the last.
“Y-Yeah, okay. Thanks, though. For saving me today. You really helped me out back there, Ayame.”
I mean it, too. I flash the kuchisake-onna a smile, and her face flushes crimson.
“...Oh! Um, I... That’s...only natural, isn’t it? To want to save your significant other from harm. (Oh, Haru... You’re so sweet...)”
Ayame mumbles something under her breath that I can’t quite catch. I wonder what that was about?
“So, um! I’m off! Haru, I’ll...see you a-around?”
She gives me a shy wave on her way out through the automatic doors, making the whole situation feel more like a couple parting after their first date.
“...Man, she’s adorable.”
The words slip out of my mouth before I can stop myself, and I bury my face in my hands.