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 iteration of the legendary Kintaro is solid muscle all the way up to a very feminine face.
One that my manager, who’s poked his head out from the break room, keeps sneaking peeks at.
Ayame stiffens, shifting in her seat so that her back is to the newly opened door, hiding her mask-less face...
As the shinigami and I bury ours in frustration.
“...Another human? Oh, how are we going to explain a situation like this...?”
“Great. What am I going to tell my manager this time...?”
But if the shinigami thinks that he’s some kind of defenseless bystander, then I have to wonder just how good the visibility is in that gas mask of his.
“Wow, what a hunk. That muscular frame and those big, burly arms...! Ooh, he’s built like a tank.”
Kintaro can’t tear her eyes away.
I’m not too sure what the fascination is, though. I mean, as far as I can tell, the two of them are pretty similarly stacked.
Kintaro sashays right up to my manager. Running her fingers rather suggestively along his arm, she blows him a kiss.
“Sooo... You free tonight?”
“I have to work.”
Hey. Keep your paws off him, hussy. My manager takes everything so seriously, that I’m genuinely worried that he’s going to get taken advantage of. Still, he did turn her down surprisingly quickly.
Lost in thought, I’m called back by an urgent tug on my sleeve.
“Do you...sell face masks here?”
Ayame’s gaze flits over to my manager, as she keeps her hands clamped over her mouth.
“Of course, we do. Hang on, I’ll go get you one.”
I guess she’s still uncomfortable without one around other humans.
I hurry and grab one off the shelves, scanning it and paying for it with the change I now consistently keep in my pocket.
“Here you go. And don’t worry — it’s on me.”
“No, I can pay for it.”
“Seriously, it’s fine. You’re always looking out for me, so let me take care of this one.”
“...Thank you. Oh, but it seems like a waste to wear it, since it’s the first present you’ve ever given me...”
Out of everyone I’ve treated to something here, I don’t think anyone’s given me a smile as adorably delighted as this.
Ayame really is special.
“Haru... A little help here?”
At his strained plea, I whip around to see that Kintaro’s backed him right up against the wall, boxing him in seductively.
“What’s going on over there?!”
“Well, aren’t you precious. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so squeaky clean. Oooh, don’t tell me... You’ve never even been on a date with anyone before, have you?”
“Th-That is correct.”
I can see my manager trembling from here. Don’t worry, I’m coming to the rescue!!
“Whoa! Hang on, I’ll be right there!”
“Hm? What’s all the fuss about? Did I do something wrong?”
Kintaro freezes up, her head tilting in confusion as she looks back at the rest of us.
Uh, yeah! You’ve stuck the poor guy between your rock-solid body and a pretty hard wall!
“...My apologies. I didn’t mean any offence, it’s just, I...get so nervous around women that I...can barely speak. The closer they get the worse it... Hm? Come to think of it, I don’t feel as embarrassed as usual. My heart isn’t pounding like mad, either. ...I wonder why?”
My manager timidly glances up to get a better look at Kintaro, managing a few seconds of actual eye contact.
Huh. I guess drag queens are exceptions to the rule?
“It must be due to the shock. ...Getting dragged off by such a queen would be a royal pain in the... Heh heh.”
...Of course, the shinigami just HAD to butt in with an awful pun. I swear, he never seems to know when to let something die.
I can practically hear the creaking of Kintaro’s neck as she slowly turns to glare daggers at him.
“...Didn’t I ask you ever so nicely to NEVER call me that? I am a delicate flower. If you so much as suggest that I’m NOT, I’ll make sure that you spend the rest of the evening prying what’s left of your face from your mask.”
Um, most “delicate flowers” — self-proclaimed or otherwise — wouldn’t threaten to bash people’s heads in with a rumbling voice like that.
The shinigami lets out a whimper as Kintaro cracks her knuckles in preparation for a beatdown.
“It’s so strange. I’ve never been able to look a woman in the eye before. Normally, I wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation at this distance, either. Then, why...?”
Kintaro places a supporting hand on my manager’s shoulder, giving him a firm thumbs up.
Whoa, hold on there. He’s addled enough that he’d actually believe that.
In walks a gentleman dressed in a simple white shirt and black pants, his gray hair pulled back in a ponytail. Despite all odds, you can tell that he’s just some regular dude.
Okay, how are we supposed to explain this ridiculousness to THAT guy?
Yep, this is it. This is how the convenience store dies.
I mean, we’ve got a super swole drag queen threatening a death god in a gas mask, as two more equally suspicious characters stare on.
Most sane people would run the other way.
Ayame is up in a flash, her chair screeching against the floor.
The seemingly normal customer staggers — but he was just pulling out his hidden blades. He’s got one in each hand now, and a third clenched between his teeth.
“Aw, c’mon love, don’t be like that. You knew I’d be back. And this time, I’m gonna get the job done.”
The well-armed pervert brings his blades down on Ayame’s sickle with enough force to knock it out of her hand. Before she can recover, he’s already poised to strike again.
Everything’s happening so fast. There’s nothing I can do to stop him.
I’m too far away. Standing beside my manager, all I can do is look on in horror.
...Until I feel a gust of wind whip by.
“Oooh, the nerve! How dare you point those dangerous weapons at that sweet little cutie pie!”
Kintaro rushes in, holding back both of the pervert’s knife-wielding hands with apparent ease.
“What strength...! You’re some kind of monster...”
“Aw, muffin. You think that’s impressive? Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
Kintaro delivers a vicious headbutt at point-blank range.
Oooh, that’s got to hurt.
“Heh heh. I’ve gotta hand it to you, girlie. You’re one brawny beauty. And I love that in a woman.”
He wobbles, blood trickling from his forehead, and the shinigami pounces on him from behind.
The shinigami handcuffs the pervert’s hands behind his back, binding him up tight with a rope for added insurance.
“What a disgusting man.”
He spits out his judgement as he tightens the bonds, and I rush over to Ayame.
“Ayame! Are you alright?!”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
She gives me a weak smile as she clutches her right hand. Did she get hurt when that jerk disarmed her?
“...I’m sorry that I couldn’t do anything to help.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. I was so much more afraid of something awful happening to you, Haru. It’s better that you were out of harm’s way.”
“Still, I... I’m sorry.”
“Ooh, isn’t that just swell... You lucky bastard... I’d kill to have a woman that gorgeous fawning all over me...”
Being bound up doesn’t stop that pervert from trying to undress Ayame with his eyes.
“I’m the legendary Jack the Ripper. So, you’re called ‘Ayame,’ huh? Heh, that’s great. What a great name.”
He wriggles in delight, swaying from side to side.
I step in front of Ayame, to try and block her from his view.
“What is your problem? Why do you keep attacking women who could beat you up?”
“There’s no sport in preying on the weaker ones. Getting the toughest ones to start crying, to feel ashamed, or get all embarrassed...that’s where the real fun is. And when you slice all of their clothes off... Ooh, even the strongest’ll break down into tears, blushing red and trying to cover up, all because of ME. It’s the BEST.”
“Never mind your excuses. You owe this woman an apology.”
My manager advances on that shameless degenerate with thundering steps, his expression absolutely terrifying.
“For what? I’m just out here, tryin’ to live my best life.”
I swear, I can feel my blood start to boil. I’m about to punch the guy, but my manager blocks me off, sinking down to a level low enough to stare that pervert in the face.
“She deserves an apology too, but I was talking about her.”
My manager jerks his thumb over at Kintaro.
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to call people names?”
“Wh-... I... Oh, don’t bother with that ruffian. That wasn’t the first time I’ve been called a monster, and it won’t be the last.”
My manager turns back as Kintaro bashfully waves off the insult, with a...
“Well, that’s not right. A woman as beautiful as you could never be anything but angelic.”
With that startled outburst, the shinigami slides up next to me, whispering in a low voice.
“They...were not sizing each other up earlier?”
“Like, for a fight? Nah, I think that was just Kintaro, uh, coming on a little too strong.”
“And that was a good thing?”
“...Honestly, I have no idea.”
“Oh, please, you’re making me blush. Really though, you don’t have to go out of your way to be nice...”
Not that Kintaro seems all that bothered by the compliment.
“I wasn’t. I meant what I said. Are you listening to me? All women are wonderful. No exceptions.”
The last half of that statement is very pointedly directed at the pervert.
He looks between my manager and Kintaro, arching a cynical eyebrow as he mutters...
“Thank you for your assistance, everyone.”
With a crisp bow, the shinigami departs, dragging his bounty out behind him. ...Hang on, where’s Kintaro?
“Sooo, since we’ve established that you think I’m pretty... You sure you’re not free tonight?”
“I have to work.”
Figures. That delicate flower’s gone back to flirting with our fragile introvert.
“Thanks for everything, Haru.”
“...You know, I don’t know why, but it feels like this night just dragged on forever.”
“Mm, but... It feels like it’s been ages since the two of us got to spend this much time together, so it wasn’t all that bad.”
Ayame smiles, and it’s still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
More than anything, I’m just glad that nothing too serious happened to her.
“Hey, Kintaro? Thank you for stepping in to save Ayame back there. I don’t know what we would’ve done without you.”
When I look back up from my polite bow, Kintaro glances back with a...
“Aw, honey, it was no trouble at all. I’m all for roughing people up to protect cuties like her! Seriously, if you’re ever in any kind of trouble, you just call. Even bears! Bring ‘em on! I’ll chuck the fuzzy jerks right out on their bare behinds!”
You know, Kintaro’s not so bad after all.
I’m still not sure that “delicate flowers” should be bragging about their ability to grapple with grizzlies, but... Well, she doesn’t need to hear that from me. I keep my mouth shut, giving her a grateful smile instead.