The Next Day
I went to the store and talked to Carm-san and Karla-san regarding the discussion yesterday. After that, I headed to the merchant guild, and was again brought to the reception room. It happens every time, so I’ve already gotten used to it…
“You need more people again?” [Grisela]
“Yes. But there’s also something I wanted to consult to you about.” [Ryouma]
“Hmm? What is it?” [Grisela]
I explained the situation.
“So the dimwit has his eye on you, has he?” [Grisela]
“You know Matthew?” [Ryouma]
“But of course. He is, after all, the guild master of this town’s tamer guild. So it can’t be helped that I sometimes have to meet him, not that I enjoy seeing him, mind you.
That guy’s someone who got drunk on his own power, and can’t do anything else except suck up to influential people. Aside from that, the only other things he’s good at are working his subordinates, and making excuses.
That guy believes in money and power. Seeing you with the duke, he probably sees you as someone who is trying to curry favor. Like that, if you go hire some people from the tamer guild, it won’t do you any good.” [Grisela]
“So it really is as I’d expected.” [Ryouma]
“No question about it. Hiring people from the slum is a good idea. That guy treats the slave magic users from the slum as a bunch of no good, so even if he wants to, he won’t be able to stop them. Even if they’re affiliated with the guild, they should be being treated poorly. If it’s people like that, then at the very least they won’t try to help Matthew, right? … If you find someone you think is trustworthy, take them with you. You won’t have any problems with the legal process. Besides it’s not really a crime or anything.” [Grisela]
“In that case, I’ll do as you’ve suggested. Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah, do your best.” [Grisela]
As I stood up from the sofa and was about to leave, she said this.
“Ryouma, go take your seat again, I forgot to tell you something.” [Grisela]
“What is it?” [Ryouma]
I said, as I sat again.
“I investigated a bit about the thugs who came to your store. I was able to find out that they were hired by someone, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find out who. There’s the possibility that the dark guild is involved, so be careful.” [Grisela]
In other words, a criminal group, right?
“Is the dark guild a gathering of assassins and thieves?” [Ryouma]
“Yes. The dark guild takes dirty requests, and give them to their members. The contents of their job are illegal, so naturally, they’re an illegal organization. But they don’t just commit crimes, they also provide the tools. Because they’ll do anything, there’re quite a lot who give them requests. They’re a group that specializes in killing, so be careful.” [Grisela]
“I understand, thank you for warning me.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t mind it.” [Grisela]
As the guild master said that, she sent me off, and I left the guild. I was planning to go to the mine next, but then, I happened by someone I didn’t want to meet. That guy was standing by the side of a luxurious carriage when he saw me. Seeming irritated, he called out to me in a strained voice.
“Bastard, what are you doing here?” [Matthew]
“This is the main street. Isn’t it normal for people to pass by here? Branch Head, Matthew.” [Ryouma]
Who would’ve thought that we’d end up meeting here in the road like this? I see he’s still as annoying as ever, though. But this is different from before. Last time I was with the duke, so he hid it. But now that I’m all alone, he’s openly showing his aggression.
“Hmph! A dimwit like you shouldn’t be calling me so familiarly… By the way, I heard you started a strange store.” [Matthew]
He knows about the store? … Is it him? Did he really send the thugs?
“It seems you’re using slimes, but a talentless dimwit like you who has only been able tame slimes, despite being a slave magic user for 3 years, isn’t fit to be called a slave magic user. Moreover, your slimes are a new race? And they eat dirt? Hmph! Not only do you have a bunch of useless beasts, the only things those things are capable of is making themselves dirtier!” [Matthew]
As he kept insulting me like that, I ended up remembering the time when I registered. Because of that, I became even more annoyed.
It doesn’t matter what I say to a guy like this. It’d just fall on deaf ears. Seriously, what a pain in the ass. Still though, for some reason, I just can’t find myself getting angry at this guy. I’m slightly pissed off, but… I’m able to remain calm…
“Good grief, you’re such an eyesore. Even though you’re social standing is like that, you actually dare to cajole the duke? Last time, the young lady of the duke and his missus defended you, so I had no choice but to let you register. But I can never accept that you’re actually a member of my tamer guild! I will absolutely never accept it! Even if you come to the guild, I won’t give you a job! To begin with, a dimwit like you who can’t tame anything but a slime, can’t do anything! … Ah, you’re here. Come!” [Matthew]
Matthew said the things he wanted to say to me until a young woman wearing a gaudy outfit came. He let her ride his carriage, then he immediately set off.
Seriously, what a horrible person to be with… However, he mentioned that slimes and scavenger slimes are useless and unable to do anything else except become dirtier. Does that mean he hasn’t noticed their value at all?
Wasn’t he the one who sent the thugs?
Well, whatever. I’ve changed my mind. I originally wasn’t planning to make a fuss regarding the profits, but as revenge for today, I’ll go make a killing with those slimes he called worthless.
I want to have the issue with the slave magic users solved anyway, so I might as well ask Jeff-san now.
I decided not to go to the mine, and instead, I decided to head towards the adventurer’s guild.
When I got to the guild, I asked where Jeff-san was. Apparently, he should be going home soon, so I waited by the guild.
After 1 hour of waiting, Jeff-san arrived. After I saw him finish reporting his request’s success, I called out to him.
“Hey, if it isn’t Ryouma. What’s up?” [Jeff]
“I wanted to ask for your help regarding our discussion some time ago.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, that’s fast. I thought you’d take more time to make up your mind. Well, if you’ve decided, then we can go now.” [Jeff]
“Is it ok?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t mind. Besides, I was planning to go to the slums today anyway. My house is also close by, so let’s go.” [Jeff]
“Then, please take care of me.” [Ryouma]
And so, we went to the slums. On the way, we bought some food ingredients. Apparently, these are refreshments for the slum people. Because of the public office, the slum people’s income has suffered, and so the people who used to live in the slums are giving those in the slums assistance little by little.
After we finished shopping, we carried everything as we walked. Gradually, the presence of people vanished. The kind of building we saw became seedier and seedier. And even the children we saw from time to time, wore shabby clothes.
When they saw Jeff-san they waved their hands and called out, and Jeff-san also responded to them.
After that, I just followed them.
After a while, we arrived at an old but well-built building that’s slightly bigger than the others.
“Is grandpa here?” [Jeff]
Said Jeff as he lightly knocked on the door. The door opened by itself. I felt some magic power just now… so it’s probably the work of magic.
“Looks like he’s here, let’s go in.” [Jeff]
When we entered, there was an old man, around 60 year old, with white hair, sitting on a large chair while facing a plain table. The man calmly spoke.
“You came again, Jeff. Thank you for always helping us. However, I’m not at an age where you can call me ‘grandpa’, you know?” [Grandpa]
“You’re plenty old in my opinion.” [Jeff]
“My legs and loins are still fine, so I’m not an old man. But that aside, who’s this kid? Did you bring another one you want me to watch over?” [Grandpa]
“Even if he’s like this, he’s an excellent adventurer. Enough to make his own living. He came here to discuss something with you. Something that’s also beneficial to the slum.” [Jeff]
At those words, the man looked at me.
“A pleasure to meet you, my name is Ryouma Takebayashi.” [Ryouma]
“You don’t need those manners here. I’m Ribble, the boss of Gimuru’s slum. Jeff introduced you, so you’re probably trustworthy, but I’ll warn you just in case. You can’t just do whatever you want here. And if we can maintain a good relationship, then we’ll also be grateful to you.”
The moment he said those words, he gave off a strong aura of intimidation. I guess it’s just what you’d expect from a boss.
“Of course. I also don’t want any unnecessary hostility.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, Ribble-san snorted and laughed while broadly grinning.
“Looks like you didn’t get scared… Good guts, kid.” [Ribble]
“Ain’t that obvious? He’s someone I acknowledge, you know?” [Jeff]
“I see. Well, what is that beneficial discussion of yours?” [Ribble]
“I’ll explain.” [Ryouma]
It’s my store, so the one who should talk is me, right? As I thought that, I explained.
“I see. You don’t want the tamer guild to butt in, so you want to hire some people from the slums. That’s certainly beneficial. Since you’re going to be providing a place of work, and moreover, salary high enough to make a living, then I don’t have any problems. As long as you pay them properly, you can take whoever you want. As for us, it’s enough for us to have another person allocating materials and food.” [Ribble]
Well, this discussion wrapped up unexpectedly fast. I thought he’d take a referral fee too, but… I guess Jeff-san’s introduction had an effect? In any case, what’s important now is to find a trustworthy slave magic user that I can hire.
After that, we left Ribble-san’s home, and went over to an acquaintance of Jeff-san who knows how to use slave magic. On the way, Jeff-san called over two kids and asked them to call someone over.
After a while, we arrived at a house. Jeff-san walked over to its door, and violently knocked.
“Hey! Old Caulkins! You’re here, right!? Come out!” [Jeff]
Right now, Jeff-san looks like a debt collector… As I thought that, the door slammed open, and a thin man middle-aged man, who looks like his withering, came out. He feels like a salary man who just went through his company’s restructuring.
“Shut up Jeff! Even if you don’t bang on door that much, I can hear you!” [Caulkins]
“There’ve been to many times when I called you, and you didn’t come out!” [Jeff]
“It’s your fault, since you had to come while I was in the middle of my research!” [Caulkins]
“Like hell it is!” [Jeff]
“What could someone like you who has never researched understand? Researching is like diving into a deep sea of thought, and just like bubbles, you have to pursue the ideas before they disappear. There’s no way I’d have the free time to deal with other things, during that!” [Caulkins]
“It’s because you don’t think about other things like that, that you ended up bankrupt because of your fruitless research!” [Jeff]
“Ugu… There’s nothing I can say to that… forget it, what’s your business?” [Caulkins”
“I came here to bring you a job offer as a slave magic user.” [Jeff]
When the man named Caulkins heard that, his eyes twinkled.
“A job? Me? A job as a slave magic user?” [Caulkins]
“Yeah, the boss is Ryouma over here.” [Jeff]
At those words, Caulkins finally noticed me.
“A pleasure to meet you, my name is Ryouma Takebayashi.” [Ryouma]
“Excuse me, I showed you something unsightly. Are you the client? Moreover, the client who wants me as a slave magic user…?” [Caulkins]
“For the meantime, let us inside, old man.” [Jeff]
At Jeff-san’s words, Caulkins scratched his head as realization hit him. Entering the house, the atmosphere became gloomy. The house had one room, with one magic stone for light, and one cloth at a corner which is probably used as an alternative to a proper futon.
Without even a chair, we had to talk while sitting on the ground.
“And? What kind of work do you want me to do? It’s sad, but unfortunately, I can’t really call myself exceptional as a slave magic user. And since I can’t tame strong magical beasts, I didn’t have a choice but leave that line of work and become a researcher instead. In other words, I’m just a guy obsessed with his research. I really don’t know if I can meet your expectations, since it seems you want me as a slave magic user. I think I could do something if it’s research though.” [Caulkins]
“Research? What kind of research?’ [Ryouma]
When I said that, he replied like this in a self-depreciating manner.
“It’s the theme of the last research I was given at the place I worked at a long time ago… it has to do with slimes.” [Caulkins]
“Yeah, but without any results, I ended up getting fired. Although more than 10 years had already passed, I still have some lingering affection for it and am still………………… Why are your eyes sparkling?” [Caulkins]
While Caulkins was feeling worthless, he couldn’t help but ask that, when he saw my expression.
“You know, when people hear that I’m researching slimes, I normally get thought of as an idiot, you know? Even in the lab, you get treated as someone who isn’t doing anything. In fact, it’s the kind of job the higher-ups give you, when they want to get rid of you. It was like that for me. So why is it that your eyes are sparkling?” [Caulkins]
“Because I’m also a researcher. And I research slimes.” [Ryouma]
After that, we were speechless for a moment as we stared into each other’s eyes………… then eventually, we grasped each other’s hands, and exchanged a hard handshake.
“What just happened in those few seconds!?” [Jeff]
“Eh, just now, something, like this…” [Ryouma]
“An outsider wouldn’t understand. It’s the kind of happiness that researchers feel when they meet another researcher who is researching the same topic that they are.” [Caulkins]
“True, I definitely don’t get it.” [Jeff]
At this point, we suddenly heard a knock.
“There’s another customer? Today’s pretty noisy, huh?” [Caulkins]
Caulkins stood up, and went to the door to open it. When he did so, there were two people, a man and a woman, standing there.
“Caulkins-san? We heard that if we went here we would be able to get a job. Is it true?” [Woman]
“I didn’t think a job as a slave magic user would actually come, so I quickly came!” [Man]
“Robelia, Tony, so you were also informed? That’s right, a client who’s looking for slave magic users came. Moreover, he’s a comrade of ours!” [Caulkins]
“You mean to say…” [Tony]
“For the meantime, come in!” [Caulkins]
As Caulkins-san said that, he pulled the two inside, then closed the door.
After that, I greeted the two, and introduced myself to them.
First, the man amongst the two is currently 23 years old. Apparently, he is an exceptional slave magic user, but because of jealousy, his boss and his colleagues took advantage of his honest nature, and pushed the scandal and failure of an experiment to him. With him taking responsibility, he ended up demoted. He was then ordered to research slimes, and after not being able to bring results, he was fired.
I asked him why he’s not taking other jobs when he’s so exceptional, but it turns out, he’s also being watched by Matthew, and is being kept from taking jobs. Matthew used the tamer guild’s network, and destroyed his reputation as a slave magic user by telling others of his incompetence. Because of that, he wouldn’t able to get a job as a slave magic user even if he went to another town. He is currently a day laborer at a mine.
As for the woman, her name is Robelia, and she’s 25 years old. She became a researcher for the same reason Caulkins-san became one. But then, she was sexually harassed by a superior. And because she had solely been pursuing research, she was not accustomed to men, causing her to accidentally spur her slave monsters. Her slave monsters weren’t strong, so at most they were just threatening. Only, they ended up cutting her superior. That superior played innocent and demoted Robelia, where she was then made to research slimes. After some time she was fired. Currently she works at a brothel, three times a week.
After that, I introduced myself and talked about the details of the job. When they heard that, their eyes sparkled. By the way, while I was explaining to them, I brought a cleaner slime from my ‘Dimension Home’ to show them.
Actually, in order to keep myself clean, I always keep a cleaner slime with me in my ‘Dimension Home’. I first showed them the cleaner slime’s shower. Then, having shown them that it’s safe, I let them try it out next.
“Who would have thought that there would be a slime like this? This kind of slime really suits a laundromat. By the way, do you mind if I research during my free time?” [Caulkins]
“We’ll make those guys who look down on slime research take back their words!” [Robelia]
“Matthew still hasn’t realized the value of this, right? To have this opportunity to be able to shock that Matthew… let me do it, no, please let me do it!” [Tony]
“Please let us work for you!!” [All three of them]
Having been told that with enough vigor to make me back of a bit… these guys will definitely not turn on me for Matthew. If it’s like this, I think I can trust them. Although, now, I’m kind of hesitant to hire them for a different reason, but… whatever. To begin with, I really shouldn’t speak for others, and besides, they won’t betray me, so isn’t it fine?
Also, they kind of have the same objective as me, who wants the views of those who look down on slimes. But, the only ones I can fully trust right now are Karla-san and the others. Should I have them watch over these guys? Hmm… but rather than that…
“Is it alright with your jobs?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t have any job right now. I already finished my contract a few days ago, and I don’t know when the next job is coming, so I’m actually a bit troubled.” [Caulkins]
“As for me, I’m originally a day laborer, so I don’t have any problems.” [Tony]
“Regarding my work at the brothel, all it takes for me to end it is a few words. And even though I call it a brothel, all I’m really doing is borrowing the place, and paying them a part of my income. There’s no other contract.” [Robelia]
“Then, can you three compute?” [Ryouma]
“Of course we can do it!!” [All three of them]
“Then in that case, please come work for me at my store. The location of the second store hasn’t been decided yet, so for the moment, please work to learn the ropes. What should we do for your lodging? Are you guys going to live here, or would you like to live at the store?” [Ryouma]
“Live at your store!” [All three of them]
“Then we’ll do that… I have something I want to talk to you guys regarding the store… Jeff-san, is there a clothes shop somewhere around here?” [Ryouma]
These guys’ clothes are too shabby. Even if I have the cleaner slimes clean them, the holes won’t be fixed. If they work like this I’ll be troubled. And in this world, uniforms aren’t used except for high class stores. Most stores just generally use civilian clothes. My store is the same.
So because of that, I had Jeff-san and Robelia-san go to a nearby clothes shop to buy several clothes. For Robelia, while it wasn’t anything extravagant, she did have some clothes that could be used for work. However, because it wasn’t the kind of attire that you’d wear in a laundromat, I still had her go buy some. No one else was privy to women’s work clothes, so we had to let her choose for herself.
During that time, I went to the town, and let Carm-san know that I’d already decided on the new hires.