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
This is my twelfth late-night on the till.
Even at this hour, it doesn’t take long for the store’s garbage bins to fill up.
My manager was telling me that it’s thanks to people going out of their way to toss their household trash out here.
Once there’s no room in the bins, then it just starts to pile up in little bags on the pavement.
So, I’ve got no choice but to abandon the register during the slowest parts of my shift to duck outside and check on the trash.
I step out through the automatic doors to see a young woman wearing a white dress crouched down in front of the store. A golden ring of light hovers above her head, illuminating a pair of feathery wings — one white, one black.
“Wh-... But... Are those wings...real?”
“Mister, could you...help me? Pretty please?”
The winged woman’s soft, pink hair flutters as she stands up... Then flies straight into my arms.
“No matter what I do... I always end up being abandoned. I know... *sniff* It’s because I’m a hopeless klutz who... *sniffle* Can’t do anything right... *hic* I didn’t have anywhere else to go, but... *sniff* I was drawn to these lights...”
I guess I’ll be taking in a stray today, instead of the usual plastic bags.
The young woman glances up at me, the tears shimmering in her eyes only making her look even lovelier. And her eyelashes are so long...
I hold my hands up, so that I don’t inadvertently touch this damsel in distress, desperately trying to seem more composed than I actually am.
“W-Whoa, okay, just... You’re okay. Um, why don’t you come on in and you can tell me all about it, once you’ve had a chance to settle down.”
“Thank you, mister... You’re too kind...”
She clenches the back of my shirt in her hands, which is just too precious.
She must be...an angel.
Her wings won’t fit through the automatic doors straight on, though, so she has to sidle through them sideways. I guess she can’t really fold them up or anything.
I set her up at one of the tables in the seating area, for now.
I’ve got some change sitting in my pocket, so I use it to buy her a bottle of milk tea. I mean, I feel like I always see young women drinking the stuff, so it seems like a safe choice.
“...Oh, my. You didn’t have to do that.”
She gives me a brilliant smile and I watch as she delicately sips her beverage, resting my chin in my hand.
Yep. She’s GOT to be an angel.
“Mm, I feel so much calmer now. Thank you very much, mister.”
“...Definitely an angel...”
“Oh! Why, yes. I am an ang-... No, wait. I’m not so sure. I might not be. Not anymore...”
She flashes me another bright smile, her figure framed by very obvious wings.
Seriously, how is she NOT an angel?
“W-Well, I would understand if that all sounds a little crazy...”
“No, trust me. I believe you. I mean, I figured you had to be.”
After getting demon lords and kappa and the like, having an angel stop by isn’t all that shocking.
“You really do, don’t you...? Gosh, you’re being so super nice to me...”
Whoa, geez. I don’t know how many more of these direct compliments my heart can take. I think I might drop dead from a happiness overload.
“So, um, why were you sitting in front of the store? You said something about being abandoned, but...”
A shadow flits across her radiant face.
“Oh! But, um, you don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you!”
“...No, that’s alright. It was my own fault, really... It’s only fair that I should pay the price...”
“I’m sure that’s not true at all! Why don’t you try telling me what happened?”
I mean, how could anyone THIS adorable possibly do anything wrong?
The angel glances away, fidgeting in her seat as she struggles to find the right words.
...Is there any part of her that isn’t absolutely charming?
“...Well, you see... I’ve always had the most awful luck. I was supposed to take my final exam today — to finally become a full-fledged angel. We only start with one wing, you know. We get the other once we pass our last test. I studied my heart out...only to sleep through my alarm this morning. That might not have been so bad, though...if I hadn’t gotten lost. Then, to make matters worse, I stumbled right into the devils’ exams instead. There were so many people there that I just got swept into the thick of it. But, since the written test was multiple choice, and I was already there, I figured...why not?”
Yep. It sounds like this angel’s day has been nothing but chaotic. Still, she’s such a sweet storyteller.
“Since I’d passed the devils’ exam, they just went ahead and slapped another black wing on my back, but... When they actually took a look at my paperwork and saw that I was an angel, they kicked me out of the test site. Then, when I finally made it to the angels’ exams... They turned me away! They said that having the devil wing made me a traitor! The next thing I knew, they’d banished me to this realm.”
You’d think that someone would have noticed when they were doling out the wings. She’s clearly too cuddly to be anything but an angel!
“Then, while I was trying to get my bearings, some strange man calls me over and starts rambling on about how I was the spitting image of his boss’ dead daughter. And that ever since she’d passed away, the boss just hadn’t been himself, and wouldn’t I please consider filling in for the deceased woman? Then he gave me a veeeery deep bow.”
Yeah, that guy definitely sounds like trouble.
...Wait, did she say “boss”? That just makes the whole thing sound even sketchier.
“I already have a family, so I turned him down but... He kept pestering me, so I ran off.”
Hold up. Is she on the run from the mob?
“And then this other woman started following me. She was saying that I’d make the most wonderful dress-up doll, and something else about being her ‘body pillow’...? I shouted at her to leave me alone, then dashed off as fast as I could. I was terrified! I went racing through the streets, getting more and more lost... Until I ended up here.”
Yeesh, that was almost a kidnapping.
The poor girl has spent her evening dodging all kinds of trouble.
Just trying to picture what she’s been through makes a shudder run down my spine. And if my own imagination is scaring me, she must have been terrified.
But, if she’s just been going up to all these people just because they called out to her, well... There’s such a thing as being too trusting.
Either way, she really does have the most horrendous luck. Everything that could possibly go wrong has.
I feel myself break out into an eerily cold sweat.
What am I going to do if the yakuza turn up looking for her? That pervy woman sounded pretty problematic, too.
“Now that I’m half angel and half devil, I can’t go back home. But... I don’t really belong here, either... Well, I’ll manage. Somehow. It was nice of you to offer your assistance, but... I couldn’t possibly accept your help. If I did, I’d only put you in danger, too.”
Her bright, shining aura suddenly fades to a dark, sullen depression.
“Don’t worry, just leave it to me. I’ll think of something.”
There’s no way I could possibly abandon her now.
I mean, how callous would you have to be to hear a story that heart-wrenching and do nothing?
She’s been cast out of TWO realms, and gotten sent to this strange one, where she’s had to run from all kinds of weirdos, only to end up collapsing in front of a convenience store. I know she said she was unlucky, but that’s more hardship than anyone should have to bear in one day.
“Thank you so much, mister... I can’t believe you’d go out of your way for a wishy-washy scatterbrain like me...”
“Oh, don’t cry. I’m sure you’re not all that scatterbrained.”
I wipe away her tears with a handkerchief, letting my hand linger on her cheek. She smiles, and I’m convinced that everything in my life has led up to this one, specific moment.
“Hammuel! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
In rushes a much shorter girl, her tightly curled pigtails bouncing with each quick step. She’s wearing a black tube top, and what I guess counts as a mini skirt — but it’s so short, it barely covers anything. She’s also got a black cape that doesn’t go past her waist...and a proper pair of black wings.
“...Manisha?! What are you doing here?!”
Startled, the angel leaps from her seat with a shout.
“I-It’s not like I raced over here from the demon realm because I was worried about you getting kicked out of yours, or anything!”
Did she just say “demon realm”? Does that make her a devil?
I mean, she’s got one of those traditional (?) pointy tails that she keeps flicking back and forth.
“You were...worried about me?”
“O-Of course not, dummy! I just happened to spot you in a crystal ball I was using. Don’t worry, I’ve already erased the memories of the humans you were fleeing. Honestly, Hammuel, if you could do that much yourself, then I wouldn’t have to keep an eye on you all the time. Really, what would you do without me?”
Her tail curls in what, to me, looks like satisfaction.
For all that she’s claiming this was a coincidence... I’m pretty sure that last half was basically a confession.
“Oh, um... This is Manisha — the demon realm’s star pupil, and my childhood friend. She’s always been there to save me whenever I’m in trouble.”
Ever courteous, the angel introduces our newest arrival. The pint-sized devil stares me down with an adorable glare.
“Uh... Can I help you?”
“Hmph! You’ve got the same derpy look as everyone else who’s fallen for Hammuel’s charms.”
“...What’s that supposed to mean?”
In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t asked.
“Hammuel’s a boy, you know.”
“...Ehe, sorry. I thought you already knew.”
“...Wait, you are?!”
It takes me a little while to process this startling bit of information.
This pure and precious angel is actually a dude...?
So, naturally... My gaze shifts over to the devil’s equally non-existent chest.
“Q-Quit staring, you sleazy pervert! Yes, I’m a girl!”
Her tail is standing on end, just like an angry cat’s. Oh, no. They’re both adorable.
...Well, now I’m not too sure what to believe.
“He’s not a pervert! He’s my savior!”
I watch as Hammuel tugs emphatically on Manisha’s cloak, which is just even more endearing.
The little devil’s gone and said what we both were thinking. ...Yeah, I get you, girl.
“A-Ahem! Anyways, I’ll go ahead and take my Hammuel off your hands. Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of him.”
The way that Manisha casually — but pointedly — calls Hammuel “hers” just goes to show how much she loves him.
“I’m...sorry for being such a bother, mister. Thank you again for all of your help.”
The angel gives me a polite bow, before picking up the empty milk tea bottle from the table.
“Would you mind if I took this home with me? I promise I’ll pay you back later.”
“What, that? Sure, but it’s just trash at this point.”
“Oh, Hammuel. I’ll buy you a new one later, so just give that to me and I’ll take care of it. Okay?”
Huh. Manisha’s awfully interested in that bit of used plastic. She wouldn’t want it because... Nah. ...Would she?
“...No, I can’t do that. What if I forgot about the nice mister who gave it to me?”
Seriously, this angel is just the sweetest...
“Hammuel, all you need is ME. Come on, let’s go.”
With that, Manisha takes Hammuel by the hand and starts to lead him out of the store.
Just before she drags him through the automatic doors, he turns back and calls out:
“Thanks, mister! You’re the nicest person I’ve met so far, so I’ll be sure to visit you again!”
“Hey, feel free to come back whenever you’d like. I’ll treat you to something nice!”
Oh my god, he’s so cute I could die.
But, if Manisha’s going around erasing people’s memories... There’s a couple of things I could stand to forget.