This little excerpt down here is in fact related to the chapter, just some extra tidbits about what Ryouma is talking about in case you don’t know:
Gyudon is Japanese food. If you’ve never eaten it, you should. It tastes good. Usually it’s beef and rice with egg and sometimes veggies too. Mmm… it’s really good.
Some are expensive and some are cheap. The stores Ryouma are referring to are the cheaper ones. They go for like 250 yen to somewhere around less than 500 yen. Of course, there are also more expensive versions. Oh, and they also sell other stuff too, of course. Not just Gyudon.
Edit: (2015/09/03) 4 pieces of silver -> 4 pieces of copper.
Volume 2 Chapter 4 Part 2
“Please excuse my unsightly behavior. Still though, this slime is truly amazing. With this slime, even if Ryouma-sama opens a laundromat, there should be no problem. Ah, with this speed, this price, and this result, Ryouma-sama’s laundromat will surely flourish.”
Ah, he seems to have gone off on a trip by himself…
“Then, how big of a bag would be good? It’s quite embarrassing, but I don’t know much about the market price.”
“Right… I’ll have several sizes brought over then.”
As Serge-san said that, he called a female servant over and had her bring several bags to us.
“As Ryouma-sama can see, I’ve arranged the bags from smallest to biggest, starting from the left to the right. The left most can take in an average man’s portion of clothes.”
“A slightly bigger one would be better I think. Families in general have more laundries, and amongst the bachelors there are many who find laundry to be troublesome and end up stockpiling them.
And also it’s cheaper for 4 and 5 pieces of clothes to go for 1 medium copper coin, than 1 medium copper coin for 1 piece of clothing. Like this, the customers will find this to be to their advantage. There’s also not much of a difference between one piece of clothing and five pieces when it comes to the efforts I have to put in on my side. And moreover I’m not even aiming to gain that much profit as all I’m aiming for is to make enough to get by. Lastly, I believe if I make one batch cheaper, then I’ll be able to make a profit as plenty of people will come and use my services repeatedly.”
In my previous life I was really indebted to these kind of cheap businesses… Even for lunch I’d go buy from those Gyudon chain stores.
The shop I bought from was also pretty much decided. During my previous life, I went there all the time, and so the people there already thought of me as a regular customer. I don’t know how much I’ve paid all in all to the stores around the place I lived in, in my previous life. But I’m not dissatisfied at all, rather I’m really grateful for being supported by them in my previous life. With that in mind, I think it’s important to create repeat customers for one’s business.
As I was thinking that, I noticed that Serge-san’s eyes were actually sparkling as they gazed at me.
“Wonderful. Ryouma-sama, to actually look into the future and not be influenced by immediate profits. Ryouma-sama already seems to possess amazing managerial insight. This Serge is in admiration.”
Most of the people in Japan know that, you know? Even kids could up with this, I’m not amazing at all…
I just spoke a little of something from my experiences in my previous life, so being praised over something like this makes me feel quite uneasy. To the people in Japan that seriously study management, I’m really sorry.
“Then in that case, how about this bag over here? This bag can take up to 3 to 4 people of a normal family’s 2 day’s portion of clothes.”
“And it seems that for a bachelor, this bag should be able to take even up to 1 weeks’ worth of laundry. Yes, this is quite good, let’s go with this. Also, I’d like to take around 2 or 3 bags that’s double the size of this one, as well as one whose size is five times this one. Will that be possible?”
“It’s possible, however isn’t it too big?’
“The bag from a while ago will be targeted to individuals. The bag double its size will be for small parties of adventurers. The one five times the normal bag’s size will be recommended for smithies with plenty of disciples, construction workers, and other big groups.
If we were to calculate the bag targeted at individuals as a man’s portion for a day, then for a week it’ll be as 7 people’s portion. Doubling that will get us 14 people’s portion, and five times the first bag will get us a portion for 35.
The bag targeted at individuals will go for 1 medium copper coin or 10 suits. The double-sized will go for 1 medium copper coin and 8 pieces of small copper coin for 18 suits. The bag five times the size of the first bag will go for 4 pieces of medium copper coins for 40 suits.
Since there’s a discount based on usage, I believe the number of people that will think of using the service will increase. In the instance where they don’t’ have enough people, then they’ll talk to other people about the laundromat in order to gather people. In the end, talk of the laundromat will spread and everyone will know about my laundromat.
And because there will be more people who will use the service, there will be more clothes to wash. A bag that would normally go for 14 portions if an individual were to fill it up, could then be filled up by 14 people for a day. Like this, the customers will use the laundromat almost every day, and I’ll also get a medium silver coin and 8 small copper coins almost every day as well.
Like this there will be income on a daily basis. Also because the amount paid per person is cheaper, it is clearly an advantage for the customers. And so like this it can become advantageous for both me and the customer.
Moreover because jobs like smithing and construction are occupations where one can get dirty easily, I expect a large number of customers from those occupations to use my services should they come. In that instance, there is the possibility that the customers who come to know the effectivity of my laundromat with their worker clothes may come to use my services personally. There is also the possibility that their coworkers come to have their clothes washed as well.
After all, construction work and the smithy are jobs that are generally taken care of by the men. So, there are people who are bad at laundry or find doing laundry to be troublesome and neglect their laundry, right? If I am able to make one big contract for that workplace, then it should be possible to acquire those kind of customers as well.
Fu…ah! Ah~…I screwed up, Serge-san has stiffened up… and his eyes are even wide open…Since a long time ago, I’ve always had this bad habit of talking one-sidedly… I’ve screwed up so much before because of this… I guess it’s because I had a business-like talk after a long time that I ended up slipping again.
“Sorry, from time to time I have this bad habit of going on and on by myself. Please excuse my rude behavior.”
“No, no, no! There’s nothing to apologize for! I’m just a little surprised. Ryouma-sama should only be 11 years old. To be able to calculate at that age, and on top of that mental math is certainly something to be praised. But more than that, the business policies that Ryouma-sama had talked about just now are things that I have never heard of. However, it should definitely be a very effective method. Today, I feel as if the scales have fallen from my eyes.”
That’s it!? That’s where you’re shocked!? Oh wait, now that he mentions it I am supposed to be an 11 year old kid! Calculations are… umm, whatever. But it would appear that he’s quite shocked even though all I did was spout a bunch of simple management strategies, huh? Rather than say I thought it up though, all I really did was line up the present time business strategies…Wait a moment, do they not have discounts around here? Did I really say something that shocking?
“Umm, aren’t there discounts around here?”
“There are discounts, but the kind of discount that Ryouma-sama had mentioned has not been thought up until just now. Discounts are something a merchant will normally do to gain favor even at the cost of suffering some loss for the sake of future transactions. There are also cases where discounts are given in order to quickly sell something.
Well those two are the basic reasons, as for others, there are also cases where discounts are given to make the customer leave quickly. And then there are also merchants that start off at an exorbitant price to customers that don’t know the market price, and then they pretend to sell it at a far lower price when in fact it is still higher than the market price. But that’s about it. As for shops that have a regular discount, I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
Well, he looks like he’s being serious.
“Since it has become like this, I highly recommend that Ryouma-sama register to the merchant guild.”
“Yes. Because there is also a branch of the merchant guild in this town, it is possible to register right away. The merchant guild is unique to each country, as it is necessary for all businesses to go through it before being granted permission. This includes even peddling, stalls, and carts.”
“Then does that mean what I tried to do just now was illegal?”
“No, on the outward the guild may be operating the businesses of many countries, but it’s not like they’re really in charge of everything. For one, the villages in the borders trading their own commodities as they please, and adventurers stopping by in the middle of their adventure to sell the herbs they’ve gathered to a pharmacy isn’t forbidden.
In the same way, children or adventurers having a sideline, doing some sort of odd job, and receiving compensation isn’t a problem. In those instances, the money being exchanged isn’t that big, and is also not illegal, and as long as both participants show consent then it isn’t a problem.
However, from what Ryouma-sama has spoken about today, the money Ryouma-sama will be stumbling into is not something that can be called small. In this situation, the guild will definitely intervene and it will become a problem.”
“I see, that was close… thank you very much Serge-san.”
“Not at all, I have also made light of Ryouma-sama. I thought Ryouma-sama was just going to take a side job, and make some small change. But I had never imagined that Ryouma-sama would actually come up with such deep management policies. Because of that I didn’t talk about registering at the guild.”
I didn’t think about it that much at all actually…
“Then in order to start up my laundromat, I will have to register at the guild, right? However I am already affiliated with the adventurer’s guild and the tamer’s guild, will there be any problems?”
“Please rest assured as I will be recommending Ryouma-sama. Therefore there won’t be any problems, and Ryouma-sama will be able to register. Also there aren’t any exams in particular. And as for being a member of more than one guild, rather than that being seen as an impediment, because it will allow one to get information easier, it is actually seen as something that is very much welcome. If it’s alright with Ryouma-sama we can register at the guild tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow? I still have a job to do as an adventurer tomorrow, so by the time I come back it will be around the same time as today.”
“That won’t be a problem. The merchant guild has several staff members, and so it is possible to process the papers at any given time. After all to a merchant, information is life. And so it is of utmost important to get any information before it becomes old.”
You mean even though it’s a different world they have 24 hour service?
“Then in that case, if it’s alright with Serge-san, then…”
“The laundromat that Ryouma-sama has come up with, is truly a wonderful thing! This business idea will be able to reap huge profits that not even merchants have seen. It will definitely create a huge sensation on how businesses have been tackled until now! I, Serge Morgan, am fascinated. Please allow me to be of help!”
Somehow he’s started to really exaggerate this! To think it would actually become something so important… will this really turn out to be just some extra change?
“Th, thank you very much. Your words are very reassuring.”
“Such words are wasted on me. Since it’s already become like this, we also have to think about the land Ryouma-sama is going to be opening the store on.”
Store!? Hey, I wasn’t planning on doing something that big!
“Fumu… from Ryouma-sama’s face, I suppose Ryouma-sama wasn’t intending on making this that big?”
“Yes. I thought I would only be making enough to get by at most. So I thought that it would have been fine if I just took a corner of the town somewhere like a stall and then go around the neighborhood by myself. After all if it were to become a store then it wouldn’t be a side job anymore,”
“I see. However in terms of management, Ryouma-sama can rest assured as I am able to lend some of my people.”
No, that’s no good, right? Something like leaving it to others…
“No even if it’s a store, leaving everything to others is…”
As I said that, Serge-san made a wry smile.
“Fumu… I feel like I’ve somewhat understood at least a little of what the duke was saying. Ryouma-sama, there’s really nothing strange about leaving the management to other people.”
“Of course at the start, it’s normal for someone to manage his store by himself. However once the store branches increase and becomes something on the level of my stores, then at that point it becomes impossible to manage everything by one’s self. In this instance it’s a good choice to pick trustworthy subordinates, raise them, and leave the management of the stores to them. Does Ryouma-sama find doing things in this way to be strange?”
Well… true. Now that he mentions it, it was quite common for the chain stores in Japan to have an employee manage it and not the owner…
“Certainly, it’s not something strange.”
“Right. Moreover there are people in the world that can and cannot do management. For people that can’t, instead of forcing it, those people generally hire someone else that can do management.”
“I can also understand that.”
“It would seem that Ryouma-sama can’t make a decision as of the present time. In my opinion Ryouma-sama has the talent for management. After all, there is the idea, the way to make it a reality, and amazing management strategies that will surely change the landscape of how businesses work. However I do not believe Ryouma-sama is very talented at the psychological war in discussions. Because, everything Ryouma-sama’s face is like an open book. Everything shows.”
You’d say something like that so bluntly!?
“For someone of Ryouma-sama’s age it may be something concealable, but that level won’t work against a sly old fox of a merchant such as myself.”
I had some confidence in my poker face in previous life, but was that just my imagination?
“Also, I am not lending Ryouma-sama my people completely out of virtue. When Rheinhart-sama had introduced Ryouma-sama to me, he told me to give Ryouma-sama advice. Aside from that we also talked about our thoughts on Ryouma-sama’s future prospects.”
“Yes. To have come up with the waterproof cloth and the thread, as well as that iron ingot at that age. Even without Rheinhart-sama’s introduction, Ryouma-sama is definitely someone to watch out for. On top of that, because of the conversation today, the earnings from today onwards is something that can be looked forward to. This isn’t something that a merchant such as myself can ignore. Being able to sell the bags whole sale to Ryouma’s store is also good, so I would love to have a share in this. With all that in mind let us open the capital for investments.”
… Going this far, is that really ok? But you know…
“If you invest money into this and it fails, then what?”
“One who is afraid of failure would not be able to make a store big. A merchant that owns a store this size can more or less carry the risks.
Moreover, nothing comes to mind when it comes to factors that will cause Ryouma-sama’s business to fail. But in the case that it does fail, it will be enough for Ryouma-sama to create iron ingots and waterproof clothes to compensate the loss. The chance for success is high, and there’s even a way to get back my losses. With this kind of conditions, if I didn’t pitch in then I wouldn’t be called a merchant anymore.”
True, if I just made some ingots I would make money…
“I understand. Let’s work together.”
“Has Ryouma-sama started to feel like doing it?”
“Yes. But please excuse me from the financial investments. In the past I had subjugated some bandits, and because of that I have received quite a bit of compensation.”
“Is that so? Then, how about the workers.”
“Yes, please take care of that. Also, please let me buy the miscellaneous goods including the bag that will be used in the store, here. As for the talk regarding the ingot, let’s do that at a different time. To begin with, because the management of the mine had been left to me, I had already been planning on making some.”
“Thank you very much. From now on it appears that we can look forward to a good working relationship.”
With this we were able to conclude our discussion. After that I bought the bag from Serge-san, who was quite in a good mood, and then left the store.
I walked back home on the road that had already become dark. When I finally got to the lodging, Elia was there waiting for me. She was not happy, no. She was clearly pissed off and was releasing a horrifying aura to go with it.
“Ryouma-san, what were you doing up till now? I was worried, you know?”
As Elia put away her anger, she burst crying. Looks like she was really worried. Even though it was against a bunch of small fries, I still did take a request to subjugate monsters… my bad. Because of that I quietly received Elia’s scolding. After that, she got tired of crying and being angry, and then just said that she’s going to bed already. I was taken along by the maid as I sent Elia off.
“Excuse me. My apologies for having caused you to worry.” –Ryouma
“It’s fine, since from the looks of things it would appear that you’ve already been scolded plenty by Elia.” – Madam
“It’s true though that you made us worry.” – Rheinhart
“Be careful next time, ok?” – Rheinbach
“Yes, I’ve taken it to heart.” – Ryouma
“And? Where did Ryouma-kun run off to, to be home this late?” – Madam
“The carriage had an accident and was broken. Because of that, I walked from somewhere near the northern gate, and as I passed by Serge-san’s store, I decided to stop by. Thanks to the magic recovery potion that Serge-san gave me, we were able to keep healing the injured. So I went over to thank him for that. Along with that, I thought of buying some things, but before I knew it, it turned into a long discussion.” – Ryouma
“You were over at Serge-san’s? What did you talk about?” – Rheinhart
“We talked about the ways on how to make money for me to be able to support myself, as well as the use of cleaner slimes in my laundromat. Ah! By the way, I’ll be coming home a little late tomorrow. I know I was scolded just now, but…” – Ryouma
“It’s fine as long as you let us know, Ryouma-kun. Anyway, what’s going on tomorrow?” – Madam
“I’m going with Serge-san to the merchant guild to register. While we were discussing my plans, for some reason it ended up becoming something big.” – Ryouma
“What? Weren’t you just planning on making enough for your living expenses by doing chores?” – Rheinhart
“That’s also what I’d thought of at the start. But as I was talking with Serge-san, before I knew it, we ended up talking about setting up a store.”
“A store? Your discussion actually progressed to that point?” – Rheinbach
“Serge-san’s reason was apparently because he can see a prosperous future. And so it seems that the personnel who will be taking care of the store will be coming from Serge-san’s store.” – Ryouma
“Serge-san actually said that much, huh? So, when is the opening?”
Eh!? He actually went to ask about the opening naturally. And here I thought he was going to be surprised.
“There’s still a lot of things regarding the store that we haven’t discussed, so it’s still undecided. That aside, aren’t you guys surprised? For an 11 year old kid like me to actually say that he’s opening a store…” – Ryouma
“Well it’s because owning a store doesn’t have an age restriction. There are kids like Ryouma that have a stall and then there are also kids that tend the store.” – Rheinhart
“But of course there aren’t any 11 year old kids that have a store, but… well, since it’s you.” – Rheinbach
“Ryouma-kun is different from a normal kid after all, so I just ended up thinking, can he do it? But Ryouma-kun does possess various knowledge, and has even managed to get Serge’s stamp of approval, so it’s probably fine. But if anything happens you must rely on us, ok? You better not forget to contact us regularly as well, understand?” – Madam
Is it ok with that?
Well after that I was able to somehow hazily go back to my room. There I had the slimes who haven’t split yet, split. Afterwards I contracted with them.
The current number of slimes are as follows:
Sticky Slime x 907
Poison Slime x 666
Acid Slime x 666
Cleaner Slime x 22
Scavenger Slime x 3033
Heal Slime x 2
Metal Slime x 1
Slime x 1
The sticky slime went over 900, in a little while it should go over 1000 too.
The poison slime and the acid slime are like a pair of double dices and even have the same number. That 666 is quite ominous though…
As for my cleaner slimes, I’m happy that they doubled in number.
I wonder if it’s because of the battle with the goblins. The slimes have gotten quite strong. The big slime and the huge slime acquiring the physical resistance is quite good. But I didn’t’ think at all that the slimes were actually capable of learning rod techniques, spear techniques, and even taijutsu.
I taught them a bunch of stuff, but I didn’t think that the slimes would actually be able to learn these kind of skills. I guess I’ll teach them all sorts of stuff from now on.