“Since the both of you have chosen to stay, then I guess you’re both alright with slimes.” [Ryouma]
The two responded by slightly nodding their heads.
“First, I’d like you both to introduce yourselves. Also, if there are any kind of conditions you wish to have in your contract, then please, do mention it. Let’s start with the man, first.” [Ryouma]
I first called out to the guy on the right. I’ll also have the girl talk later… but honestly there’s something quite concerning about these two. First, their attire. The clothes they’re wearing are quite different from what people generally wear. Those are the kind you’d see in a Chinese movie. And on top of that, that cane the guy is holding, and that girl’s hair ornament…
While I was observing the two, the man spoke.
“My name is Fei. And this is my daughter, Li Ling. We’d be glad if you could hire the both of us.” [Fei]
Wow! They even talk like the Chinese flicks! And to think that they’re actually father and daughter…
“You guys are relatives?” [Ryouma]
“She doesn’t look like me, right? It’s because she takes after her mother. Also, there’s something I need to tell you.” [Fei]
As he said that, he showed me his right leg. On that right leg, there was a brace affixed to it.
“I’m a merchant from a country called Gilmar. We ran away from the country because of the war. And ever since we got here, we’ve had nothing but bad luck as we had our money stolen time and time again.
Since we didn’t have any money at the start, I thought of making even a little by mining. But then the cave collapsed, and now my right leg’s broken. Unfortunately, I don’t have any money to get it healed with magic, so it’s going to take time to heal. Can I still be hired even with this injury?” [Fei]
A broken bone, huh? If I remember right, you can heal that with several casts of ‘High Heal’, or alternatively, one cast of a ‘Mega Heal’. I can’t use either, but my slime can. Though then again, even if I don’t heal him and have him work as a receptionist for the meantime, there won’t be any problem.
“You can work as a receptionist for the mean time, so there won’t be any problem in regards to your leg.” [Ryouma]
“Working as a receptionist is also something admirable. As long as you are able to interact well with the customers, there won’t be any problems. As for the salary, is there anything you have in mind?” [Ryouma]
“None. As long as I can be compensated enough to live, then it’s fine.” [Fei]
“I see. Then, next, is the young miss… Li Ling-san, right? Is there anything you’re hoping for?” [Ryouma]
“I’m the same with my dad. The only thing I’m hoping for is to be able to work alongside my dad, and make enough to live on. Also, if you could introduce us somewhere cheap to stay, then we’d be grateful. The place we’re staying at right now is the guild’s temporary lodging. Once we find a job, we won’t be able to stay there anymore.” [Li Ling]
“Since I can’t get any job because of my leg, my daughter is doing some odd jobs to get us by. But with only that, we’re only able to barely hang on. Actually, we barely have anything left. So as long as it’s a place we can live at cheaply, then we won’t have any complaints.” [Fei]
Live-in, huh? Well the employee lodging house I made is free anyway. As for the salary, they did say it’s fine even if it’s cheap, so I guess the salary range I had already decided before will do just fine.
Besides, everyone else aside from these two had already left. And also, I do need some extra helping hands immediately, and the job at my store isn’t difficult either. I don’t think they’ll have any problems with the job.
Moreover, although these two seem to be hiding it, they’re actually quite strong. With that much strength, I can even have them work as guards for the store.
“In that case, there’re rooms for employees to stay at, at the second floor of the store. Would you be fine staying over there?” [Ryouma]
There’s still one more thing left though. Something I need to know no matter what.
Because I believe these two aren’t the type to make an honest living.
In this world there’s nothing unusual about being hired as a guard and killing a few. In fact, I myself have killed 30 bandits. But in these people’s case, the number isn’t something like that. It’s my first time feeling something like this. Is this what they mean when they say something reeks of blood? Forget Japan, ever since coming into this world, I’ve never felt anything like this.
… In the unlikely case where we end up fighting. If it’s just me, I might still be fine. But if I have to protect the guild master while fighting, then things might get a bit rough.
“There’s one last thing I want to know, but…. Before that, guild master.” [Ryouma]
“My deepest apologies, but may I ask the guild master to leave the room for a moment? There’s something I need to discuss regarding the store.” [Ryouma]
I said it lightly, but honestly speaking, I want her to leave. I think I was able to get the message across, but…
“Why are you chasing me out? If there’s something up, then just say it.” [Grisela]
Looks like she ended up doing the opposite, and asked me about my motive instead.
“It concerns the store’s secret.” [Ryouma]
While not arousing suspicion from Fei and Li Ling, I try to get the guild master out.
But when I tried to do that, I noticed Fei-san move. I guess he noticed… I’m bad at talking secretly, so it would have been great if it worked. But, it’s not like I expected anything anyway… I guess it can’t be helped.
The tension in the room got worse.
“Guild master. It’s fine. It would appear the shopkeeper’s already noticed.” [Fei]
When he said that, I felt that something was off. What’s going on?
“Shopkeeper, exactly who are you? We may be former killers, but we have no ill will against you or the guild master.” [Fei]
It’s true that I didn’t feel any intent to fight… but did the guild master know about them?
“Guild master, you knew?” [Ryouma]
When I said that, the guild master breathed out a sigh, then said this.
“Of course I knew. I don’t know about others, but before I introduce someone to a job, especially those from other countries, I make sure to properly check them. After all, it’d be bad if I introduced a spy, right?
Don’t worry, these two really did desperately run away from their country. Still though, you did pretty well figuring them out.” [Grisela]
“We even went so far as to disguise ourselves as normal people…” [Li Ling]
“The only ones who’ve managed to figure us out until now are you two. Since you were able to figure us out, you’re definitely not normal. It’s quite curious.” [Fei]
“I don’t have the same insight the guild master possesses, but I’ve been studying martial arts for a long time. Because of that I can tell whether someone is strong or weak. Also…” [Ryouma]
“I was quite concerned about the hidden weapons you have with you.” [Ryouma]
“Fei! Li Ling! You two actually brought something like that!?” [Grisela]
“Aiya… you noticed even that?” [Li Ling]
“It’s because a long time ago, things regarding hidden weapons were driven into me, plenty. In this world the scariest living things are humans. They use their heads, trick people, and make others let their guard down. And the instrument used to follow that through are hidden weapons. So in order to protect myself, I studied them.” [Ryouma]
This is something related to my father. But now that I think about it, it is something nostalgic.
“I was hit by those plenty. During a disagreement in the house for one, or during my day-to-day life for another.” [Ryouma]
“Exactly how have you been living until now?” [Grisela]
“You don’t seem to be someone like us though. You’re aura is different.” [Li Ling]
“You’re close, but you’re not. Your aura is like that of someone who only learned the techniques without using them.” [Fei]
They can actually understand my aura to that extent? They’re amazing… these guys.
“True, I did learn a lot of techniques meant for actual combat from my master. However, I was only taught how to use it, and was forbidden from actually using it. I’ve only started using my abilities 3 years ago. And my opponents were nothing but bandits.” [Ryouma]
“It’s the difference in age. We killed bandits who disobeyed the law and traitors back in our country. There was plenty of fighting back in our country and the public order was bad. If we didn’t kill, we wouldn’t have been able to protect ourselves. What we told you a while ago wasn’t a lie. We’re your usual hardworking merchants.” [Fei]
“The master we were serving lost in the war, and our country as well as our work lost its meaning. And then, we came to this country. We haven’t done any job worth boasting. But even then, will you still employ us?” [Li Ling]
“The guild master acknowledges you guys, so it’s fine as long as you guys work normally.” [Ryouma]
I won’t lose out on anything as long as they work. And besides, I don’t have any intention of pursing matters of the past.
“Really? I didn’t think you’d actually hire us even after finding out.” [Fei]
“We even prepared to run away.” [Li Ling]
“Please don’t, if you do, it’ll be troublesome. I’m in need of hands right now… and besides, what’s important is the ‘now’, so I don’t have any problem with your past. Please do come and work for me at my store. Also, would it be alright if I also ask you to work as bodyguards when needed?” [Ryouma]
I doubt there’d be any problem when even the guild master left them alone, despite knowing their situation. After all, the guild master’s insight is greater than mine.
In fact, I feel like she can actually see through the fact that I’m actually a 40 year old uncle… I do hope it’s just my imagination.
“Don’t worry, I’ll work properly” [Fei]
“Just leave the bodyguard duty to me.” [Li Ling]
“Then, I’ll officially hire you two. It’ll be a pleasure working with you two from now on.” [Ryouma]
We all bowed our heads. Afterwards, the guild master spoke.
“You done? If so, then go. I’ve already had a carriage prepared.” [Grisela]
“Thank you very much, guild master.” [Ryouma]
“It’s fine, don’t’ mind something like this. Fei, Li Ling, do a good job, ok? After all, this kid’s store has a bright future ahead of it. And next time, don’t bring hidden weapons with you!” [Grisela]
“If I don’t bring them with me, I won’t be able to calm down.” [Fei & Li Ling]
“How long are you planning to act like assassins!? Aren’t you guys, merchants right now!? … Although they’re like this, they’re not bad people. They won’t commit any crimes. Please take care of them.” [Grisela]
“Take this with you too. It’s their resume. Show it to those two from Serge’s, ok?” [Grisela]
“Right… wait a moment, shouldn’t you have given this to me right from the start?” [Ryouma]
“Hee hee hee, I wanted to see how good your eyes were. Everyone else pretty much left, but these two are the prized catch. They can get the job done. Also your insight isn’t bad. It’s not a merchant’s insight though. Well, do your best, ok?” [Grisela]
‘Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
I left the guild with Fei-san and Li Ling-san, and rode back to the store, on the carriage the guild master had prepared.
When we got back to the store, we were greeted by a huge crowd of customers and two busy twins.
“Welcome home, boss!” [Karma & Karla]
“There’s so many…” [Li Ling]
“This is your store? It’s quite popular, huh?” [Fei]
“I’m going. Karma-san, Karla-san, please receive the customers.” [Ryouma]
“Boss, I’ll work too. If it’s carrying stuff, I can do it.” [Li Ling]
“Me too, if it’s laundry then I can also carry some.” [Fei]
They offered to help, themselves, so I didn’t hold back and took their offer. Fei-san appears to specialize at reception, but it seems he can also work to some extent.
At any rate, like this, we’ll be able to get through the evening rush.
… After a long struggle, we finally managed to reach the store’s closing hour. We put up a note saying we’re closed, and then closed the door.
“Fuu… Good job today, everyone!” [Ryouma]
“Thank you for your efforts!” [Everyone else]
“Ryouma-sama, these two are the new hires, right?” [Karla]
“Yes, the man is Fei-san, and the woman is Li Ling.” [Ryouma]
“I’m Fei. My pleasure to work with you.” [Fei]
“Li Ling, nice to meet you.” [Li Ling]
“I am Karma Norad.” [Karma]
“I am Karla Norad. It’s our pleasure as well.” [Karla]
“I actually planned to have them start tomorrow, but they somehow ended up working today.” [Ryouma]
“But of course. After all, you’re allowing us to work here as live-ins.” [Fei]
“It’s only a given for us to help out when it’s busy, right? But that aside, there’s something I wanted to ask.” [Li Ling]
“What is it?” [Ryouma]
“We’ve been carrying laundry, but when does it get washed? We just take the laundry, then toss it into the next room. Afterwards, we just get it back from the slimes.” [Li Ling]
“Now that you mention it, I haven’t explained to you how the store works, have I?” [Ryouma]
I took out a cleaner slime and a goblin’s loin cloth, and presented my usual explanation. When I did so, the two understood the reason why the guild master mentioned that my store had a good future. And after I finally told them, that today was the store’s first day, they were shocked.
For so many people to come on the first day… in my previous life, this much would be on the level of a pachinko parlor, huh? Anyway, it seems that in this world, a store being this popular on the first day is extremely rare. Is it because they don’t advertise?
Well whatever, I’ve finally completed the first stage of the store. I guess, I‘ll go heal Fei-san’s leg now.
I called Fei-san and Li Ling-san over to the employee lounge. I had them sit there, and told them to wait, while I went out to get the heal slimes. When I came back I had two heal slimes with me.
When I told them that the heal slimes were going to use ‘High Heal’ to heal Fei-san, they were shocked. But nevertheless they gave their thanks for being able to receive treatment.
After the heal slimes healed Fei-san, his leg was fully healed. It took 6 times all in all, with each slime healing 3 times because it was a bone fracture, but the slimes still managed to heal him with ‘High Heal’.
“You saved me. I am truly grateful.” [Fei]
“It costs a lot of money to be healed by magic, you know? Is it really ok to receive it for free?” [Li Ling]
“It’s fine. After all, it’s the boss’ responsibility to make sure that his employees are able to work comfortably. Also, the slimes did it, so it didn’t cost me anything. Like this, I think it’s fine to give it for free.” [Ryouma]
Looks like there’s someone in the town who can heal with healing magic, but because of the skill and magic power required, the cost is quite high.
So since it would have been expensive to receive healing magic, Fei-san decided to work at the guild, doing odd jobs, while waiting for his body to heal without relying on magic.
“It would have been great if we were able to bring more money with us, but when we were running away, we ended up using our money as bribe to cross the border.” [Fei]
“Is that why you have no money?” [Ryouma]
“The guards of our country are greedy. It doesn’t matter whether its crime or running away. As long as you bring out money, they’ll look the other way like it’s perfectly normal. But if you don’t have any, they’ll catch you and bring you back to get some reward.
That’s why we couldn’t afford to be stingy. If we did, and the reward for us was higher. Then they’ll just arrest us instead.” [Fei]
“The jobs we did were for the country… so if our identities were leaked out, the reward for us would end up higher than normal people. But there are also doubtful people who catch normal people and interrogate them. The people running away from our country usually use up their money there. After all, there’s no point in being stingy when it comes to your life.” [Li Ling]
That ‘Gilmar’ country sounds dangerous… And she also mentioned that there’s plenty of fighting. Is the country crumbling?
After we talked a bit, I assigned Fei-san and Li Ling-san their own rooms. Then, I had them put their belongings in order.
After that I went to check today’s profit from Karm-san. Today we got a total of 791 copper coin and 8 small copper coins, totaling to 7918 suits. The 18 suits came from Poline-san, who went for the option targeted at groups with more than 7 people. But as for the others, they came here to try out the store and had only bought the individual bags. They looked happy after trying out the store, so I guess they’ll end up becoming regular customers.
As for Karma-san and Karla-san, they too were surprised by the store’s popularity and were shocked to see the profit for the day. After I asked them about it, it turns out that amongst stores without nobles for its customers, a medium sized store would make 4000 suits in a day.
Even if you deduct the expenses from the profit, the earning for today’s opening day still trumps it. Seeing that, they couldn’t help but be shocked.
“This is amazing!” [Karma]
“If it’s like this, then very soon, the store will be able to make profits comparable to a large store without noble customers!” [Karla]
“How much does that kind of store make?” [Ryouma]
“20,000 suits. As a rule, anything more than that won’t be mentioned. If one has nobles as a customer, then one’s profit will greatly increase. Although it’s quite expensive, if one is able to sell luxurious goods, then it’s possible to make a lot.” [Karla]
“Well in my case, I’ve got nothing to do with nobles, but if I’m able to make 2.5 times today’s income, then it should be possible to be on the same level as a large store.” [Ryouma]
“We made this much today, so it should be possible to reach that goal within a month. We also still haven’t received the portion from the guild. If we include them, our customers will greatly increase.” [Karla]
“Perhaps, there might even be a day where our profit for a day will reach 1 medium gold coin.” [Karma]
“Ha ha ha, no way.” [Ryouma]
When you say 1 medium gold coin, that’s 50,000 suits. There’s no way that could possibly happen.
“It’s possible.” [Karma & Karla]
“This town is a mining town. Because of that, there are plenty of miners and people who deal with iron. Although, the number has decreased substantially because of a big mine being abandoned, there’re still at least 10,000 people, you know?” [Karma]
“Moreover, people won’t come and buy just one bag. While I think it may be difficult to continuously go over a medium gold coin, it should be possible in cases where the adventurer’s guild has just finished a big request.” [Karla]
“I see…” [Ryouma]
It might be possible once.
“Also, if Ryouma-sama were to create another branch in a different town, it wouldn’t be hard to go beyond a medium gold coin every day.” [Karma]
“We’re already talking about branch stores? That’s quick.” [Ryouma]
“That may be so, but it’s not wrong to think ahead.” [Karma]
“As long as you have some able and trustworthy hands, then you should consider it.” [Karla]
Certainly, even though today’s the first day, we made quite a profit. I’ll take note of it. But for now I think I should look at the present.
“Ah, I forgot about it, but here. It’s the resume of the two I’d just hired.” [Ryouma]
“We’ll examine it.” [Karma & Karla]
The twins began to read the resume I handed to them.
“Although they said that they’re ok with a low salary, please pay them 150 suits daily.” [Ryouma]
I did also ask them to double as bodyguards. So it should be fine to give them the highest pay of my anticipated price range.
“Understood.” [Karma & Karla]
After that, I bid goodbye to the four, and then went back to the lodging.
When I got back, I reported the earnings for the first day to Rheinhart-san and the others. When I did so, they were shocked.