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Second Chance Slaughter

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Chapter 1 Reborn as a Convenience Store Clerk?

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Stop!!!

 

Avery’s scream pierced the quiet of his small apartment, echoing off the walls. He jolted upright, drenched in sweat. His clothes clung to his back, soaked through, as if he had been swimming in his own nightmares.

 

Breathing heavily, he ran a trembling hand through his hair. His palm was clammy.

 

For a moment, he sat there, dazed and disoriented, trying to shake off the remnants of the dream—or was it a memory?

 

Wait… isn’t he supposed to be dead?

 

The last thing he remembered was the cold touch of Gwangmyeong’s blade against his neck. He had felt the sharp steel slice through, and then the world had spun into darkness. That had to be the end, right?

 

His hand shot up to his neck, feeling for the wound that should have been there. But his skin was smooth, unbroken.

 

“Did I survive?” he whispered.

 

He squeezed his eyes shut, willing his mind to clear. The fog of confusion lingered, heavy and suffocating.

 

As long as I'm alive nothing else matters.

 

When he opened his eyes again, he finally took in his surroundings, something he hadn’t noticed in his initial panic.

 

The place was cramped but unfamiliar. He was sitting on a bed—soft and comfortable, unlike anything he had known in his previous life. The room was small, filled with modest furniture, far removed from the cold, shadowy world he had once navigated.

 

Before he could stand up, a loud, jarring sound filled the room. Avery winced as the alarm clock blared from the nightstand. The sharp ringing drilled into his skull, intensifying the throbbing in his head.

 

“Ugh… make it stop!” he groaned.

 

Then suddenly, a torrent of memories flooded his mind. It was like someone had pressed play on a movie of someone else's life, and Avery was the unwilling spectator. His head throbbed as scenes flashed before his eyes—memories of a boy growing up, his first day of school, his mom's comforting smile, his high school crush, and the sting of his first heartbreak.

 

He saw jobs he had taken, faces of people he barely knew, and mundane moments that felt strangely intimate. The life of Avery unfolded before him, merging with the remnants of his own past.

 

He saw the apartment he was in, now familiar, and his current job as a convenience store clerk. He even understood the basics of this modern world with its technology and everyday routines.

 

But amidst these memories, some parts remained hazy.

 

A thick fog clouded certain moments, and the voices within those memories were muffled and indistinct. It was as if someone had taken a brush and smudged the details, leaving him with a sense of incompleteness.

 

After what felt like an eternity, the onslaught subsided.

 

Avery leaned against the wall, gasping for breath. Sweat trickled down his temples as he tried to process the rush of information.

 

“What kind of madness is this?” he muttered to himself. “Whose memories are these?”

 

Despite his confusion, the memories felt oddly familiar, resonating with emotions he couldn't dismiss. He wanted to reject them, but something deep within told him these memories were now a part of him.

 

Stumbling through the small apartment, Avery found the bathroom. Just as the memories had shown him, there was a mirror above the sink.

 

He grasped the edges of the sink, steadying himself, and looked up.

 

Staring back at him was a face he knew and yet didn’t recognize. It was familiar but unsettlingly different. The reflection was younger, softer around the edges, lacking the hard-earned scars of his former life.

 

Avery slapped his cheek hard, the sting sharp and immediate. Blood trickled from his nose, the pain almost knocking him out.

 

But it confirmed one thing—he wasn’t dreaming.

 

“Did I just reincarnate into the body of this guy?” he whispered in disbelief. “You mean to tell me I’m a clerk at a convenience store?”

 

He looked around the small, cluttered apartment, everything screaming ordinary. The posters, the clothes, the mundane mess—it all pointed to a life far removed from his former identity as Yeomra, the King of the Night.

 

The absurdity of it all was almost too much to process.

 

But as he stared at his reflection again, a slow, incredulous smile began to spread across his face. This wasn’t a nightmare. This was his reality now.

 

“This must be a blessing from the gods,” he murmured.

 

Sure, it would be better if he’d be reborn as a farmer, tending to a plot of land far from the chaos of the world.

 

But this—this was good enough.

 

According to the fragmented memories he had accessed, this new life as Avery offered a shot at normalcy. A life without the constant shadow of death looming over him.

 

And who knew? Maybe the gods of fortune had more in store for him.

 

If he could be reborn into this body, why couldn’t he dream of owning that little piece of farmland one day? Stranger things had already happened.

 

Avery chuckled softly.

 

The irony of it all was almost comical. From a feared assassin in the murky world of the jianghu to a regular guy working at a convenience store.

 

Wait...

 

His job! He was late!

 

Avery’s heart skipped a beat as reality snapped back into focus.

 

If he wanted to keep this new life, he had to tackle the immediate problem: getting to work on time. If he didn’t, he’d be jobless in no time, and from what his newly acquired memories told him, this world didn’t take kindly to slackers.

 

Moving with the speed of someone still accustomed to life-or-death situations, Avery scrambled into his work uniform.

 

The fabric felt foreign yet familiar as he buttoned up the shirt and slipped into his shoes. He barely glanced at his reflection before darting out of the apartment.

 

As he burst into the hallway, he nearly collided with the landlady, Mrs. Kim, who was leisurely perched by the stairway, enjoying her morning tea.

 

“Avery, you brat! You’re behind on your rent again,” she began. “If your job isn’t paying you enough, you should look for another one. You’re young, full of energy. Men like you should be juggling two jobs, not wasting your potential. Have you thought about going back to university? You’ve got a future ahead of you. Why are you wasting it at that convenience store? When will you pay up? I need to survive too…”

 

Her words blurred into an endless stream of nagging, testing Avery’s patience. The ruthless instincts of his past life as an assassin itched to surface, but he clenched his fists and took a deep breath.

 

He had vowed to embrace a normal life, to let go of his violent past.

 

“Sorry, Mrs. Kim! I’ll sort it out!” he called over his shoulder.

 

He sprinted past her, making a beeline for his bike parked in the small corner near the stairs.

 

He grabbed the handlebars, swung his leg over the saddle, and pedaled with all the strength he could muster, leaving the apartment complex and Mrs. Kim’s fading voice.

 

“This brat! I’m still talking! Kids these days have no respect for their elders!” her voice trailed off.

 

The convenience store wasn’t far from his apartment—a quick 15-minute ride. Avery pedaled furiously, the cool morning air whipping past him as he navigated the bustling streets.

 

By the time he arrived, his manager was already there, fiddling with the padlock on the steel roll doors.

 

The manager, Mr. Takeda, looked like he’d stepped straight out of a zombie apocalypse movie—gaunt face, dark circles under his eyes, and a perpetual scowl that could freeze water. But beneath that intimidating exterior, he was surprisingly kind-hearted. His sharp eyes, though, always seemed ready to cut through.

 

“Avery, running late today? Usually, by the time I get here, you’re already stocking the shelves.”

 

“Apologies, I got held up by... something urgent,” Avery replied, wincing at how lame his excuse sounded.

 

He had expected a scolding, but Mr. Takeda just shrugged. Avery had always been a diligent worker, reliable to a fault. Missing the mark once wasn’t going to tarnish that record.

 

“Don’t worry about it. Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit,” Mr. Takeda said.

 

Then he paused, narrowing his eyes slightly. Is it just him, or does Avery’s way of speaking sound... different today?”

 

Mr. Takeda sighed, shaking his head. “Well, if you’re done making excuses, give me a hand with these doors. They’re a nightmare on my shoulder.”

 

“Of course,” Avery said.

 

He stepped forward, grabbing the edge of the heavy steel door and heaving it upward.

 

As Avery wrestled the heavy roll door into place, another figure approached, clad in the same blue-and-white convenience store uniform.

 

A girl with short, tousled hair jogged up, panting slightly. She looked to be about Avery’s age and wore an expression of guilty haste.

 

“Ah, Mina, late again?” Mr. Takeda sighed, raising an eyebrow. “What’s your excuse this time? Rescuing another turtle? Chased by stray dogs?”

 

Mina was notorious for her wild excuses, each more unbelievable than the last. Despite the manager’s initial attempts to set her straight, she was steadfast in her quirky explanations.

 

“No, manager, you won’t believe it!” Mina started. “A seagull swooped down and grabbed my ID just as I was about to put it on! I had to chase it down the street, and thankfully, it dropped it. Can you imagine? What would I do if I lost this?”

 

Her eyes were wide, a mixture of indignation and relief. She held up her ID as proof, as if to ward off any skepticism.

 

Mr. Takeda shook his head, a look of weary resignation on his face.

 

Firing Mina would mean the hassle and expense of training a new hire, and though she was often late, she was remarkably efficient once she was on the job.

 

“Maybe that seagull was trained by a master thief?” Avery suggested.

 

“Do you really think so?” Mina gasped.

 

Mr. Takeda shot Avery a look that was equal parts disbelief and exasperation.

 

“Stop feeding her fantasies, Avery. Do you think this is some Murim epic?”

 

Avery blinked, the word Murim sending a jolt through him.

 

Right, he thought. This isn’t the world of assassins and martial arts anymore. I’m Avery now, just a guy working at a convenience store.

 

He had to be more careful with his words. One slip and he might lose this chance at a normal life.

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