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
“...I’d know that silhouette anywhere. Hey! Long time, no see.”
“Lad, I have arrived.”
The demon lord raises his hand in friendly greeting, and I return the gesture.
“You haven’t stopped by at all, lately.”
“True, I have been rather busy.”
He crosses his arms as he nods to himself. Has he really? Doing what?
“So, what brings you here today?”
“I wished to see you, lad. It has been some time since we last met.”
He did? ...What for? He’s already earning his own money (more or less), so he doesn’t need me to buy things for him anymore, right?
“I simply missed seeing your face. And I wished to purchase some pork cutlet sandwiches.”
Wait, that’s it? Seriously? Huh. That reasoning makes that huge, hulking demon sound more like the heroine of a romance novel.
The sandwiches aren’t so surprising, though. Still, what’s really shocking about this exchange is the genuine currency that he pulls from the purple fabric wrapped around his waist to pay for them. It’s been folded to death, but it’s the real deal.
“Is that a th-th-thousand?! You’ve got a thousand-yen bill?!”
I look between the money and the demon lord in disbelief, and he frowns slightly.
“Wh-... But how?! When did you get your hands on this?”
“At the beginning of June, Sheri received her ‘paycheck.’ From that, I have obtained an allowance.”
“That’s great news! I mean, now you guys don’t have to be homeless anymore!”
I’m grinning like crazy, but the demon lord doesn’t seem all that thrilled.
He takes one look at my expression and shakes his head with a heavy sigh. What’s got him so down in the dumps?
“I preferred our previous situation.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Recently, Sheri and I moved to a nearby apartment. That is why I was unable to visit for such an extended period of time.”
“Seriously?! Why wouldn’t you lead off with news like that?!”
“Ever since then, Sheri has requested that I remain indoors. There was no longer a need for me to collect cans, she said. However, Sheri now works during the afternoons as well. It would be a waste to use any of the precious electricity, so I spend my days gazing up at the ceiling. It is...an indescribably dull existence.”
“Ah, I get it. You got so used to your old habits that without them, you’ve got nothing to do.”
“Today, I expressed my desire to Sheri to return to our previous location. She was furious. She demanded to know why I would say something so horrible after all the sweat, blood and tears she had put into ensuring that we were provided for.”
“The next thing I knew, I found myself walking towards this location.”
Wait, why the convenience store?
“Normally, I would go speak with Yamada, Ito and Matsumoto. However, last time... They shoved me away, tears in their eyes as they told me to never come back again. I had even offered them a place in our apartment, and a share of Sheri’s earnings.”
Well, I can see why they would’ve done that.
I mean, I’m pretty sure that Sheri hasn’t been working long hours at a hostess club so that she could pay for everyone. And I know that the demon lord’s just trying to be nice, but... Yeah, there’s no way this wasn’t going to turn into a fight.
They’re definitely at cross-purposes.
All the demon lord wants to do is go back to his previous homelessness.
Meanwhile, Sheri’s been working her butt off to make sure that he ISN’T homeless. Really, it was only a matter of time before this blew up in their faces.
And I’m sure his homeless friends just want him to live the best life that he can.
“Lad, I am unsure of how to proceed. I would rather spend my days collecting cans among my fellows — but they no longer wish to see me again. Still, neither can I sit at home and do nothing.”
“I guess you could...try doing something about that massive armor of yours? And your overall...look?”
“No, my armor must remain equipped at all times.”
“It’s that important, huh?”
“It happens to be keeping my ultimate, unlimited and utterly unstoppable power contained. If I was to carelessly remove it, this realm would be in grave danger.”
Okay, yeah. Staying at home and quietly staring at the ceiling would be MUCH safer for everyone involved.
“Figures you’d be here!”
And now the elf-maid has made it over too.
“C’mon, we’re goin’ home.”
She tugs at his cape, but the demon lord flicks it out of her hands.
“I desire a return to our previous vagrancy.”
“You’re STILL goin’ on about that?! I told you, we ain’t goin’ back!”
“Then I shan’t go home! I cannot waste another day staring at nothing! It’s dull! Drab! Desolate!”
The demon lord is throwing a tantrum that would make any toddler proud. But, Sheri counters with:
“Y’already know you can’t go anywhere lookin’ like THAT!”
Yep. No arguments there.
“When we resided in the park, I...”
All three of us freeze.
A woman with eyes as dark as the shadows rushes over to the demon lord as soon as she spots him. She latches onto his arm, her chest pressing up against him as she smiles broadly.
“Demon Lord, sir, is that you? I’ve finally managed to get a hold of you.”
That expressionlessness, that perfectly flat tone of voice...
Those tapered elven ears that poke out of her black hair...
The classically styled maid outfit with the long skirt...
And those obsidian eyes that keep her thoughts locked in the dark. This can’t be anyone other than Chronoa.
“Chronoa, is that you?! Where have you been all this time?”
“Wh-...?! But what’re you doin’ here?!”
Sheri takes a step back, her eyes widening in shock.
“So glad to see that you remember me, the dark elf you so callously abandoned. Are you still shuffling around in the shadow of our great Demon Lord? No matter, I’ll look after him from here on out. Go on, run along back to your proper realm.”
“I didn’t go through all that hell for nothin’! Y’can’t have him! You’re just gonna spoil him into uselessness again!!”
Aaaaand they’re fighting.
“C’mon, Demon Lord! Let’s head on back t’our place!”
Not one to lose to Chronoa, Sheri wraps her arms around the demon lord’s free one, creating some kind of sexy elf sandwich.
“Sir, you mustn’t do that. If you come live with me, you’ll be able to spend your days lazing away in the most fabulous penthouse Tokyo has to offer, drinking nothing but the finest sake as I brush your hair.”
...He’s got HAIR?!
Okay, wait. That’s not what’s important here.
“I desire neither scenario! I wish to be homeless once more!”
Dude. That’s all well and good, but don’t you realize you’re wasting two decidedly more appealing options?
“My dear, did you just say ‘homeless’? Sheri, how could you? You forced the Demon Lord to sleep outdoors?”
Chronoa’s dark eyes narrow to thin slits, her hair standing on end as she glares at Sheri with an intensity that would suggest that her father had been murdered.
“What a disgrace...! How dare you debase him so!”
“Pft, like I care what you think. Where’ve YOU been all this time, huh? I’m a hundred times better for him than your neglectful ass.”
Don’t I know it. I’ve heard all the stories, so Sheri’s got my full support.
“Sir, surely you see that you can’t be left with Sheri any longer. You’ll be returning under my wing.”
“Now, now. Big sister knows best, doesn’t she?”
Chronoa stares up at the demon lord, gazing unblinkingly into his eyes.
“Hey, stop that! Hypnotism ain’t fair!”
Seriously, what is WITH all these badass women walking in here who have literal powers of persuasion?
Well, aside from Ayame. She doesn’t have any extra abilities, but she can hold her own just fine.
...Wait, where IS she? The second Chronoa walked in, Ayame should have been right behind her.
I mean, isn’t she out there watching me from the bushes, like usual?
Something doesn’t seem right, so I decide to take a quick look outside.
Huh. That’s odd.
She’s not here. I don’t think she’s ever skipped one of my shifts.
...Did something happen to her?
Now considerably more worried than I was before, I step back into the growing chaos that is the convenience store.
The demon lord is down on the floor, his head resting in Chronoa’s lap. Sheri has sunk to her knees, covering her face with her hands.
“What’re you doin’ to him?!”
“Why, Chronoa, I feel like a child again...”
“Hmmm? I didn’t think infants could speak.”
“Goo goo, gaa gaa...”
“You turn him back!! You’re ruining everything!!”
“Now, doesn’t this feel nice? You’re back to being my darling baby boy.”
“Demon Lord, don’tcha dare start babblin’ like that! You listen t’me! Y’can’t go back to bein’ a kid now! Not after you’d finally grown into a decent person!”
“Gurgle and coo as much as you’d like, sir. Your big sister will take care of everything. Bid farewell to your previous homeless — you won’t ever experience that again.”
“That is absolutely unacceptable.”
The demon lord is back up in a flash, reaffirming his previous statement.
“Above all else, I wish to be homeless again!”
“I already told ya, we ain’t gonna do that!”
“That’s right, he’ll be living with me!”
The demon lord is back in the game, turning this into a three-way showdown.
Most of their shrieking goes in one ear and out the other, though. I’m too worried about Ayame to focus on anything else.
You know what? Maybe I should go take another look.
But, when I step outside...
“Whoa! How long have you been there?!”
I spot the shinigami sitting on the bench.
“Good evening. It is nice to see you again.”
“What brought you out here?”
“This and that. The day’s investigations have worn me out, so I thought I would take a break. By the way, were you aware that the store’s lighting is a tad dim? As you know, your customers are always light.”
“...You guys do that kind of thing?”
I ignore the god-awful pun with every fiber of my being.
“Oh, yes. There have been reports around town of a ‘Jack the Ripper’ roaming the streets.”
“Uh, did you just say... ‘Jack the Ripper’?”
“Indeed. And the fearsome fellow has made a point of targeting women of considerable strength.”
My mind is reeling from all the possible worst-case scenarios. Does he mean that these women are being attacked...?! That’s not... That’s just... Oh, but maybe...
“His first victim was a judo champion. The next, a karate master; then a boxing prodigy. Even more mysteriously, he has since started branching out to the supernatural. His latest mark was a kuchisake-onna, but...”
And the blood rushes out of my face.
“All too recently. Thankfully, she walked away with only a few scratches, but we were concerned that she may still be a target, so we have been keeping her at our office. However, she would not stop asking to go see you. She kept saying that it was her duty to watch over you.”
“...You have to let me go see her!”
“I am afraid I cannot. We currently have her under our protection, but she refuses to listen to reason. Which is why I came t—”
He’s interrupted by an ominous rattling, scraping sound.
And it keeps getting closer.
That’s not...Jack the Ripper, is it?! Wait, no. A mask-less Ayame steps out of the shadows, dragging her sickle behind her.
“I came to see you, Haru...”
She’s grinning, her face covered in some kind of red liquid.
There’s a strangely metallic scent wafting from her red dress, too.
“...Oh thank god, you’re alright. I’ve got like, six different questions I need to ask you, though.”
“But how did you...get out?”
The shinigami mutters the question, clearly in shock. Ayame’s reply is a simple:
“Anyone who gets between Haru and I...will be terminated.”
She swings her sickle at the shinigami with a bright smile, to emphasize her point and he quickly scuttles back against the wall.
“How dare you! You have some nerve to raise your weapon against a god of death!”
“Whoa, wait! Hold on, Ayame!”
“Hm? What’s the matter, Haru?”
“Isn’t it obvious?! What’s all this about you becoming Jack the Ripper’s latest victim?! Aren’t you hurt, or...?!”
“Well, no? He didn’t seem at all interested in harming me.”
“Ah. I see your confusion. True, while ‘Jack the Ripper’ is the name he currently goes by, it is not because he tears his victims to shreds.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“While it has gotten muddled over time, his original name was Jack the Stripper. I should know — I was the first to give it to him. He is a world-renowned scoundrel who enjoys...divesting his female victims of their clothing. While their pride might be injured, they themselves are not.”
“...How is that any different from like, every other pervert out there?!!”