anko3741: Working Part-Time at a Yukkuri Shop
Summary by platina:
At 9 AM, Anon arrives for work at the yukkuri shop "Yuumin."
The manager is already in the office, e-mailing suppliers, scrambling to find an adequate supply of Da-je Marichas--over 20 customers have made reservations to buy one. Until recently, Da-je Marichas were an unexceptional item mostly bought by abyusers, but the heroine on a current TV drama has one as a pet, and now their popularity is skyrocketing and they are in short supply. The usual breeder who supplies the store will send them five tomorrow, but that isn't nearly enough. The manager asks Anon to bring him a pair of bronze-badge Marisas for breeding.
Pushing a cart of food and supplies, Anon heads into the main part of the shop. The shop is long and narrow, with cases of yukkuris against both walls, laid out like this...
Cashier | Rare | Rare | Silver | Discount | Live Food | No Badge
Entrance | Gold | Gold | Goods | Predators | Bronze | Bronze
...with a walkway down the middle and the door to the office behind the cashier. To appeal to customers, the gold-badge and rare-type yukkuris are closest to the entrance, and the further in you go, the lower the ranks get. Anon starts the day's work in that order as well.
Each gold-badge yukkuri is her own 60-cm square case equipped with soft matting, a fluffy cushion, and toys. The gold section appears a bit understocked--they only have two Reimus, a Chen, and a Patchouli. The three Marisas they used to have have all been sold, perhaps thanks to the Da-je Maricha boom. Anon wakes them up and gives them their food and water. In pleasant, moderate tones, they greet him and thank him, then begin eating quietly.
Next is the Rare-type section. About a year ago, there was a rare-type boom, with celebrities buying expensive rare-types and people rushing to imitate them. Even Anon's mother bought a Sanae because her favorite actor had one. The boom has died down somewhat, but rare-types are still something of a status symbol.
The rare-types' cases are bigger than the gold-badges', and they have special supplies for each type. The shop carries M-type (short for "Moriya-type") rare-type yukkuris, a category that includes Kanakos, Suwakos, and Sanaes. Rare-types are known for being intelligent and resilient, but they are only yukkuris, after all, and they find it stressful to be around types that they don't know. That's why yukkuri shops generally carry stock of the same category. The other categories include K-types (Kouma-types: Sakuya, Meirin, Remilia, Flan), E-types (Eiya-types: Teruyo, Eirin, Udonge, Tewi, etc.). The manager is thinking about trying to get some of the recently-popular S (Seiren)-types, like Byakuren and Murasa, after the M-types are all sold.
Next, instead of the silver-badge section, Anon heads way back to the no-badge corner. He passes the bronze-badge section, where the yukkuris seem to be ranting and yelling at him, but their cases are soundproof, so he ignores them. All the yukkuris are in soundproof cases except for the gold-badge and rare-types (so the customers can talk to them).
Anon opens a big case at the back of the store that contains innumerable sleeping baby-yus and koyukkuris. There's pee and poop all over, and some of the yukkuris are dead. Anon picks out the corpses, dumps some soggy food into the food dish, and grabs about ten little yukkuris and puts them on the cart.
The baby no-badges are squeaking, "Weimu ij a pet yukkuwi!" "At washt, shomeone shaw Awiche'j vawue!" "Now ish ij the ewa of Mawisha, je!" until Anon wheels them in front of the predator-types. Then they fall silent and huddle in fear. Observing that there seems to be a Da-je Maricha among them, Anon sets her aside and tosses the others into the predator case.
The predators are another big draw--they're in a case that reaches to the ceiling so customers can see them flying around. Right now, the shop has two Remilias, three Koremilias, a Flan, and two Koflans. Without fighting with each other, they settle down to eat their live food.
After seeing this, the no-badge Da-je Maricha has thrown up her bean paste and is twitching, so Anon stuffs it back into her mouth along with some ramune.
Anon goes to the silver-badge yukkuris next. They're in narrow cases, about 30 cm square. The predator case is set far from the door so as not to cause stress to the gold-badge yukkuris, and also to teach the silver, bronze, and discount yukkuris to know their place. It doesn't have much effect on the bronze-badges, but it works on the silver-badges. They're trembling and crying, and if Anon listens closely, he can hear them begging, "R-Reimu is a good girl, Reimu is a good girl" and "Marisa doesn't taste good, please don't eat Marisa!" Costing one-tenth of what gold-badges cost, silver-badge yukkuris are the store's bread and butter, so of course they won't be fed to the predator-types.
Anon gives them their food and checks their sell-by dates, putting pressure on the ones who are near the end of their selling period. Golds and rare-types generally don't have a limited selling period, but silvers and below do. They generally arrive at the store in near-adulthood around the age of two months, reach adulthood in the next 20 days, and then remain up for sale for five additional days. After that, if they were bought from a wholesale dealer, the factory will buy them back for a few hundred yen apiece to be made into yukkuri food, and if they came from a breeder, they are returned to the breeder. Anon says that dealers and breeders deal with them slightly differently, but he doesn't deal with that part of the job.
Next, the "chaos zone," the bronze-badge cases. They are kept in small cases that can just barely hold a single yukkuri, all lined up like a coin locker, yelling at Anon from behind the soundproof walls, some happy, some sad, some angry. Most bronze-badge yukkuris are lousy pets. They're so cheap, they can easily be bought with a child's allowance. They are bought from wholesalers and have no training to speak of. To keep from being driven crazy by the noise, Anon quickly and impassively opens each case, tosses in a scoop of food, and moves on to the next.
Next is the discount [irregular] yukkuri corner. The yukkuris for sale here have damaged accessories, or are returned goods, or are sets of families. A family seems cheerful, while a returned Marisa exudes an aura of gloom.
After that is the live-food corner, where baby-yus and koyukkuris are sold as food for predator-types (and for pet snakes). They're in a shallow divided container, all sorted by type. Anon scatters some food over them and checks to make sure there's an adequate supply of plastic baggies and disposable gloves for customers to use when buying them.
Then Anon goes back to the gold and rare-type cases to clean their toilets. That's the last of his morning tasks.
Anon remembers his boss's request and grabs two bronze-badge Marisas to take to the breeding area. He also tells his boss about the no-badge Da-je Maricha he found. Anon gives the sleeping baby Marisa a flick on the forehead, and she cries, "It hwurtsh, je!! What are you dwoing, je!?" The manager is delighted and promises to treat Anon to dinner sometime.
Anon opens up the store. The first customer is a middle-aged man sent by his daughter to buy yukkuri food, but he barely knows anything about her yukkuri beyond the color of its hair. The shop carries all different kinds of food--wet, dry, hard, liquid, for babies, for koyukkuris--and there are rules for the type of food that a certain pet should be given, so Anon lets the customer to try to figure out what he was supposed to get. Anon doesn't want to get in trouble for picking the wrong thing.
The next person is a regular customer, an attractive orange-haired Miss. She greets the golds and rare-types, then heads straight for the bronzes. She picks out a Marisa and an Alice and has Anon pack them in the case she brought. Excited at becoming pet yukkuris, the Marisa and Alice look smugly at the other yukkuris, but the long-timers--the golds, the rares, and the nearly-expired silvers--just look at them sadly.
"So, what kind of abuse are you going to do next?" Anon asks.
"It's a secret! I'll put it up on my blog, so check it out," says Miss.
Miss has a pretty popular blog where she shows herself abusing yukkuris. Anon visits it regularly. (He's not really into abuse, but he enjoys the pictures and videos of Miss.)
After Miss and the middle-aged man leave, there's a lull in business. Anon straightens up the shop, washes some empty cages in the shed behind the shop, and chats with the manager. The manager is hoping to be able to raise some Da-je Marichas. Anon asks about training them, but the manager says the most important thing right now is to get a lot of them.
The next customer is another regular, an odd, silent man. He buys five little Reimus and five little Patchoulis from the live-food case. After he leaves, Anon wonders if he has a pet predator-type yukkuri. The manager says that some people use them as cat toys, too. Or it could just be regular abuse, Anon adds. Lowering his voice, the manager says that he hasn't tried it, but he's heard that some people masturbate with them. Anon thinks that's an urban legend.
Their conversation is interrupted by a young couple looking for a pet. The man seems to want a Reimu; the woman seems to prefer a Sanae, and in the end, the woman decides they should just get a dog instead and they leave.
Finally, Anon's shift is over. On his way home, he encounters several stray yukkuris crawling along the ground, and he throws them all into the public yukkuri disposal bins. He thinks about buying some hot oden at the convenience store and wishes he had a girlfriend. He's a bit tired from work.