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
“Heh heh heh... When none of you returned in a timely manner, I thought I ought to check in. And what should I see, but my minions...fooling around? Didn’t I make it perfectly clear that unless one of you came back in ten minutes, I’d be going home?”
Princess Kaguya pops open the black lace umbrella she’s brought with her, and holds it above her head. Uh, could you not do that inside?
“Gosh, she’s pretty.”
“The most beautiful maiden by far.”
“Princess Kaguya was worried about US...?”
“But noooo, you’ve left me waiting all alone, for fifteen minutes...!!”
“We’re sorry, Your Highness! We’ve failed you...”
Um, what’s going on here?
You’re telling me this poster child for goth-loli fashion is THE Princess Kaguya?
Seriously? She sure doesn’t look like any version of the legendary beauty that I’ve ever seen.
And she’s acting like a total stuck-up brat! You know, like one of those edgy kids who’re convinced they’re the greatest because they “secretly” have some dark, mystical powers! That’s so freaking far from the source material!! Her own wood-cutter father wouldn’t even recognize her!
“Tomorrow will mark the darkest dawn indeed. Be gone, my minions! Disperse into the shadows!”
“Wh-... But we’re not finished yet.”
“...Spare me your pathetic excuses. I have no use for those who cannot bring me the objects that I request.”
She sighs deeply, her voice weighed down by disappointment.
“...I’m going back to the moon.”
That one, simple statement throws the group into a frenzied panic.
“No, not that! Anything but that!”
“If you would at least permit us to search until dawn!”
“Well, I’ve already found mine! It’s this! This is it, right? Hm. Or is it...this?”
“Princess Kaguya, please don’t go! I would do anything you asked of me, I swear!”
“I’ll surely find it today! I simply need a little more time!”
The five men fling themselves at the feet of their diminutive gothic lolita idol, clinging to her in desperation.
...Yeeeah, no matter how you look at it, they’re just a bunch of perverts.
Still, they’ve definitely got a whole hierarchy going on.
I come out from behind the register, to address the group myself.
“Would you gentlemen mind taking a quick breather? I’d like to have a chat with this Princess Kaguya of yours.”
“...So, you’ve fallen under her spell too, have you? Well, you shall not have her!”
“Look guys, just chill. This’ll go a lot faster if we don’t have to argue about it. Trust me, I won’t lay a finger on her.”
I calmly but firmly look each of them in the eye. One by one, the suitors peel away from the princess.
She seems a little unnerved by the loss of her entourage, but she still manages to maintain her sense of self-righteousness.
“What do you want, normie?”
“At least call me a cashier.”
I look down my nose at the entitled brat — which isn’t hard, since I’m taller than her to begin with.
“Look, it’s not right to tease people like that. If there’s something you want, walk over to a convenience store and get it yourself. Don’t send a bunch of poor saps on a wild goose chase with only some cryptic notes to go by.”
“Wh-...! How DARE you! What gives you the right to lecture ME?!”
I watch, unimpressed, as the pampered princess tosses her umbrella aside and stomps her feet in childish frustration.
“Are you seriously trying to pull rank on me? Because I’m willing to bet I’m a lot older than you, at least.”
“S-Shut up! I don’t need to hear that from you! Those men LIVE to serve me!”
“Yeesh, what a life. Those guys were nervous wrecks. Would it kill you to think about someone other than yourself from time to time? Maybe even do something nice for them, for a change.”
Princess Kaguya screeches wordlessly, her face bright red with rage.
“Growing up, my parents showered me with nothing but praise! How can you, a complete stranger, have the nerve to judge me?! You’ll pay for crossing me... In the name of the moon, I’ll snap your body in two!”
Man, she’s got issues.
Covering her left eye with her left hand, Princess Kaguya strikes an exaggerated pose.
“Cower in fear as you feast your eyes on... My wings of darkest obsidian!”
With her free hand, Princess Kaguya reaches up to grab the big red button stuck to her backpack’s strap. As soon as she pushes it, a pair of black wings pop out from the bag.
“S-Scared witless by that show of power, aren’t you! You’re nowhere near MY level! I’ll obliterate you with just one blast of my magic!”
She throws a few showy practice jabs with her fists, and I just shrug.
“...All I’m asking is that you go easy on those guys, okay?”
“Oh, that is IT! You’re going down!”
Princess Kaguya whirls her arms, intent on pummeling (?) me into submission.
“Thank you so much, sir!”
“You’re a lifesaver!”
I turn at the sound of excited voices, only to see my manager standing behind the register. How long has he been there?
He just gives me a thumbs up in answer. While I was busy sparring with Princess Kaguya, it only took him a few seconds to figure out that...something was going on.
And he’s worked out all of the riddles, too. Each of the five men are smiling from ear to ear, holding a shopping basket filled with whatever it was they were tasked with finding.
“Princess Kaguya! I got it! I bought the ‘sweet, scarred moon’!”
Apparently, his mystery item was...melon bread.
“Me too! I have your ‘crunchy pillars of a thousand flavors’!”
Huh. It’s those potato stick snacks.
“Your Highness! I have obtained several of the ‘clubs made from mythical ice’!”
Ah, he’s got a pile of those ramune ice pops.
“I found it! I found the ‘bubbling beverage of the setting sun’!”
A can of ginger ale? Okay, sure.
“Don’t forget about me! I bought all kinds of texts that have ‘chronicles of wayward youths’!”
The last guy has a stack of those monthly manga magazines.
“Wow, this man sure is something! He figured out every last one of the princess’ riddles!”
Princess Kaguya gazes up at my manager, her mouth curving into a smug grin.
No. Don’t tell me...
“Then that leaves me no choice. HE shall become my main minion. The rest of you are fired.”
“Wh-...?! But, Your Highness! How could you say such a thing?!”
While the ex-minions bemoan their fate, my manager comes out from behind the counter, weaving his way around the wailing men.
He stops in front of Princess Kaguya, setting a heavy hand on top of her head.
“Now, now. You shouldn’t toy with impressionable men like that, miss. And didn’t your parents ever teach you not to open your umbrella indoors...?”
The difference between their sizes is so extreme, my manager looks like a giant about to make a meal out of this munchkin.
Her smile vanishes, and she starts to tremble.
“Please, have mercy...”
Her voice trails off to nothing as thick tears start to roll down her cheeks.
“Remove your hand at once!”
“We won’t forgive you for making our princess cry!”
The group of freelance minions swarm my manager and try to pull him away from their beloved master.
Of course, this is my manager we’re talking about here. Even with all five of them tugging with all of their might, he doesn’t so much as twitch.
“If you must kill someone, take me instead!”
“While we are grateful for your assistance, we cannot overlook your actions thereafter!”
No, seriously — they look like a bunch of gnomes going into battle. They’re going to get squashed.
“You guuuuys... *sniff* ... Even though I said all those awful things, you still...?”
“That doesn’t bother us at all, Your Highness!”
“That’s right! We’ll do whatever it takes to keep you happy, healthy and in high spirits!”
“Precisely! We adore you, Princess! You should never have to shed tears!”
“I would gladly lay down my life for you, Princess!”
“Being your minion has brought nothing but joy into my life! Every day...*sigh*...has been a blessing.”
...Oh my god, these guys are the biggest bunch of masochists I’ve ever seen.
My manager carefully steps away from Princess Kaguya, and the five men quickly form a kind of protective circle around her.
They stare down their supposed foe, but they’re so nervous you can actually hear their teeth chattering. That’s how stupidly determined they are.
Meanwhile, my manager just chuckles softly at the sight.
“What a splendid show of solidarity. Gentlemen, you’ve demonstrated true bravery here today. Bravo.”
He gives the group his highest form of praise — not one, but two big thumbs up.
“We might be her minions, but we still have our pride...!”
The gaggle of gentlemen turns towards the automatic doors, collectively returning the gesture.
And that’s a...good thing? Well, whatever makes them happy, I guess.
My manager and I watch as the group shuffles out, arm in arm, in some odd kind of friendly phalanx.
“Still, I don’t really get fashion nowadays. It’s all over the place...”
Scratching his head in confusion, my manager mutters to himself as he returns to the break room.
Well, if there’s anything that I learnt from this ordeal... It’s that watching my manager shift from good guy to evil villain was beyond cool.