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
There are rumors going around town about a Jack the Ri-... Sorry, “Stripper.”
The pervert gets his kicks from, well, snipping the clothes off of women who could probably kick his ass. It sounds like no one’s actually getting hurt, but...
“Hang on. Isn’t that the sort of thing that you ought to be reporting to the police?”
“If we did, then there is the possibility that they would have the kuchisake-onna brought in for questioning; whereupon her disguise would be exposed. Naturally, that would cause a great deal of trouble for everyone involved.”
“...Fair enough. So, someone asked you to track this guy down, then?”
“Well, it happens to be my business.”
“You mean like, your job?”
“Right. The werewolf and I run an errand service, of sorts, for our otherworldly fellows. Whatever their troubles, we are happy to lend a hand.”
He strikes a practiced pose as he says this. Must be part of their schtick.
“Uh...huh. So, back to this ‘Jack the Stripper.’ If he’s the sort to come out here in the middle of the night, he’s not exactly normal, huh?”
“I should hope not. Surely no sensible person would choose to conduct himself so!”
I’m glad we’re all in agreement here.
“And this errand shop of yours extends to capturing criminals?”
“We certainly cannot let him roam free. Our staff has recently increased, as well. Umibozu is on the hunt, too — though he can only work late nights.”
Wait, he knows Umibouzu, too?!
“If you’re tracking him, then I want to help too. What if I was to act as bait?”
“Haven’t you been through enough this evening? I’m not going to watch you put yourself in danger, Ayame. You’re staying in the store with me tonight, and that’s that.”
I cross my arms, my mind made up.
“Oh, Haru... You’re so cool when you take charge...”
Huh. I thought she’d argue that one. ...She can be really cute when she’s not trying to start a fight.
...Oh, no. The demon trio is still inside. Well, maybe... Nah. That’s a bad idea.
Yep. Going inside is definitely out.
Especially since Chronoa’s there tonight!!
Great. Now what do I do?
“There will not be any need for you to act as a decoy, miss.”
Before the shinigami can elaborate, though, his phone starts to ring. He pulls it out of his pocket, bringing it past his gas mask and up to his ear.
“...Yes, speaking. ...Is that so? ...Right. See you then.”
“Who were you talking to?”
“A rather formidable young woman I recruited this afternoon. When I explained the situation, she immediately agreed to lend a hand. So, we made sure to exchange contact information. It should not take her much longer to get here.”
Honestly, that’s...a pretty vague description.
“Uh, out of curiosity — what makes her so strong?”
“...You will know as soon as you see her.”
Well, that doesn’t sound ominous at all.
More importantly, I’ve got to get the demonic trio to take a hike, ASAP. Especially Chronoa.
“Hey, Ayame? Would you...mind waiting out here for just a minute?”
“Is something wrong?”
“I was in the middle of restocking, sooo... The store’s a mess.”
“Now, why would you lie about a thing like that?”
“I can tell, Haru. After all, I watch you more closely than anyone else.”
She stares at me, wide-eyed and unblinking, her gaze like a steel trap.
“...Someone’s in there, aren’t they?”
Ayame turns on her heel, taking sharp, quick strides towards the convenience store.
“Whoa, Ayame! Wait up!”
I come flying in right behind her, but to my surprise...
...There’s no one here. The store’s just as empty as it (almost) always is.
How’d THAT happen?
Glancing around, I spot a scrap of paper sitting on top of the register.
Chronoa and Sheri insist on being stubborne. We arr going to use Chronoa’s wharp spell to leave four today.
Sea yoo again.
Aw, he’s learning how to write in a human language.
“...I suppose I was mistaken.”
In a flash, I crumple up the demon lord’s note and toss it in the trash.
“See, what did I tell you? Anyways, why don’t you go ahead and make yourself comfortable?”
“...Well, if you insist... It’ll be a nice treat to get to watch you up close.”
Thankfully, the brewing storm seems to have passed us by.
I show Ayame over to the seating area, and help her get settled.
“...This place reeks of other women.”
“Oh, no. Nothing at all.”
Whew, okay. I think I’m in the clear.
The shinigami steps in to proudly announce...
“The volunteer that I was telling you about has arrived. Together, we shall lure Jack the Stripper over to this convenience store and trap him.”
“Do you guys really have to do that here?”
“I think it’s a great idea. Wouldn’t he be more likely to make an appearance if I’m around?”
“Don’t worry, Haru. That pervert told me so himself — he never lets go of a mark. Until he gets me, he won’t target anyone else. I’ll manage. I can hold my own in a fight.”
She brandishes her sickle with a smile, and I slap my hands down on the table.
“You shouldn’t have to! I know you’re strong, but there’s no shame in letting someone else take care of you sometimes! I promise, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”
It’s not right that she feels like she HAS to walk around with wickedly sharp objects.
“Um, H-Haru...? Your hand, i-it’s... Ah...”
I’m holding hers. I mean, as her boyfriend, it’s the least I can do. No, should do.
“Would...you two mind if I brought in our guest? For, um, introductions?”
The shinigami awkwardly interrupts us, glancing away.
“Oh, right. Uh, sorry. Please do.”
“...*sigh*... I’m never going to wash this hand again...”
The shinigami’s “formidable woman” walks in...and you could hear a pin drop.
“I would like you to meet Kintaro.”
She has short blonde hair that falls in soft curls, her lips a provocative shade of red. She’s managed to stuff a very muscular figure into a rather snug dress, complete with diamond-shaped chest window. Like, she’s almost as ripped as my manager is. I glance down, and I can see a rock-solid calf peeking out of the slit that runs up her long skirt.
“The golden girl, at your service! Hmm? I spy with my little eye... An absolutely adorable couple! Tee-hee! Oh, to be that young and carefree again...”
“Uh... You’re not like any version of Kintaro that I’ve ever seen.”
Or like any of our previous clientele, really.
This Kintaro’s definitely a drag queen! Well, I guess if you’re looking for women who could bench press a pervert, she’d count.
“Oooh, you think so too? Aw, honey, that’s so sweet of you to say!”
“Huh? That wasn’t a... No, never mind.”
“Well, now that everyone has assembled, let us set the trap for Jack the Stripper!”
The shinigami holds out his fist, which Kintaro energetically bumps.
“You betcha! I’m not sure how useful I’ll be, but I’ll do my best!”
Ayame and I exchange a look.
...This can only end poorly.
“Alright, what’s all the fuss about...?”
The door to the break room rattles open, and out pops my manager.
He spots Kintaro instantly.
“...And who might this gorgeous young lady be?”
“...Omigosh, I think I’m in love.”
Seriously, this night’s just gone from ridiculous to completely outrageous! Ugh, what’s next?!