After passing through the gates, I returned Rai and the monster carriage back into the Dimension Home, then I began the tour.
We’ve just gone past through the gates of the facility. The place was quiet, and there were no people around. The only things that could be seen were the seemingly well-built buildings with flower beds and trees around and the open plaza. But despite the seeming lack of life, the sound and voices of people could be heard.
“Currently, the orphans of and around Gimuru, the teachers, the employees working at my store, and the slaves are all living here. There are 300 of them all in all. Aside from those living here, there are also those who have their own house or stay at the inn at the town who commute to this training facility.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, Elia and the others looked at me with deep interest.
“As I’ve said before, I originally started this facility on my own whims, but it was thanks to the support of the Jamil household and the many people who helped me that we were able to put up this facility.” [Ryouma]
Financial aid was one of the ways I received help, but other than that I also received help in the form of people offering their services. Most of the instructors in this facility are actually people who retired from their jobs under the condition that I would provide for their day-to-day needs. They said they didn’t need much of a salary so long as I could ensure their livelihood.
This facility is an orphanage for children unable to support themselves, a dormitory for the employees working for me, a school for children and other aspiring people who wishes to learn techniques, as well as a workshop for the craftsmen taught by the facility.
As I said that, the first place I led the group to were the rooms of the people living in the facility. The left and right buildings that were lined up like the katakana ‘コ’ from the gate were the residences. And the center building of that shape was the shared space which contained the bath and the dining hall. I showed Elia’s group the rooms that were currently empty.
The rooms were fit for four, furnished only with the barest of necessities. But should any other furniture be needed, we can also provide those. But in any case, the rooms were dreary with nothing else to them but their sturdiness. Yet surprisingly, Michelle-san actually liked the room, and thought it to be comfortable.
After that came the bath and the washroom. There was a large bath for each of the residences to the left and right, totaling to 2. At first, it was suggested to only have one large bath, separating the people entering by time. But then considering that many of the adventurers and artisan trainees would come home dirty, in the end, it was decided for there to be two large baths to allow either gender to enter whenever they wish.
All the dirty water and trash goes to the basement where the scavenger slimes dispose of them. After which, the scavenger slimes then spit fertilizers into another room in the basement.
Next came the lounge and the dining hall. The lounge and the dining hall were created to accommodate a huge crowd, but due to the furniture being created by the students of the craftsmen, the furniture decorating the area were all over the place in terms of quality.
As for the kitchen, the one using it weren’t only the cooks, but also the students learning to cook. They used it for their hands-on training as well as a place to make bread crumbs. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s thanks to the students and the husband and wife instructors who were former bakers that I’m able to serve the fried foods – except for the tempura – in my Slime Den Restaurant or the store in the arena.
Food like croquette, tonkatsu, and menchi-katsu were certainly popular, but leaving even the production of the bread crumbs to the employees was just too much of a burden. But thanks to the help of the students and the teachers, not only is it possible for the employees to skip the bread crumb making stage, but as the two bakers had even researched on the frying of the breadcrumbs, the taste was even improved. The skills of a pro are truly frightening.
This concludes most of the tour. Now… let’s go to the main course, and head to the learning area!
But just as I was about to head there, I noticed that Elia and the others were for some reason looking at the ceiling and the walls strangely.
“Magic stones for lighting the rooms, and candles for the hallway…” [Riera]
“Is there something that caught your attention?” [Ryouma]
As I responded to Riera-san’s muttering, Riera-san hesitatingly said.
“Yes, actually… Is this facility doing fine in regards to its operation costs?” [Riera]
Operation costs? Well, there’s no problem in particular… Did it look like we were having financial problems?
As I was being puzzled by Riera-san’s unexpected question, Michelle-san added.
“The candles on the hallway walls are consumables, right? Moreover, there’re also the magic stones inside the rooms. Isn’t it expensive having so many magic tools set in so many different rooms? Orphanages and baths normally don’t have them. I mean they’re great to look at sure, but isn’t it too costly?” [Michelle]
Ah, so that’s what it was! It wasn’t the walls, but the candles that she was looking at!
Of course, using lighting would definitely cost money. And the bigger the facility, the greater the expenses. That’s why the church and the orphanage gets everyone to sleep early. It’s common sense after all to save up on candles.
But this training facility doesn’t do that. If you ask why, well it’s because three amongst the teachers here are tallow chandlers. Moreover, there are ten students here learning how to make candles, resulting in hundreds of candles being made every day. So there’s no need to bother about candle consumption.
The teachers check the candles made, and when they’re good enough, they get sent to Serge-san’s Morgan Firm to be sold. So rather than being a burden to the operation costs of the facility, the candles are instead a source of profit.
Moreover, the students are also passionate about their studies. So there are many of them who continue to study even during the night. If they just wanted to play around, then I probably wouldn’t support them, but since they want to study, well… I mean if I didn’t support them, then there wouldn’t be any point to this facility, right?
So I firmly answered.
“There’s no problem at all. The magic stones will break after using them long enough, but we’re more than able to take care of the expenses. Besides, it’s a necessary expense to let the children study.” [Ryouma]
When they heard my response, they clapped and praised in admiration. They each looked at me with admiring gazes.
“Ryouma-san, I’m moved!” [Elia]
As Elia said that, she took my hands, surprising me. Then Michelle-san said.
“The Imperial Capital’s Academy provides magic tools and candles in order to reduce the costs of lighting in the night. From time to time, we see some poor students without any lighting.” [Michelle]
I didn’t know.
That aside is Elia going to keep holding…
Just as I thought that, it seems Elia noticed too, and she pulled back her hand as she took a step back. Thinking back on the Elia from before, this Elia’s reaction is a lot more womanlike….
“Yeah, so what they do is they cut their time spent during the night, save up money, and then buy some lighting for themselves. The fact that you consider it a necessary expense to provide lighting for your students really helps them a lot. Your students are fortunate, and I’m sure they can feel your passion as well.” [Michelle]
It sure feels uneasy being praised this much. Michelle-san’s a bit androgynous, but she’s still really pretty. The other four girls are also all young, beautiful women, so it can’t be helped if I end up blushing after being praised like that.
“Ah, no… It just doesn’t cost that much for me, so you don’t have to praise me that much.” [Ryouma]
I pulled myself together… I planned on taking them to the learning area anyway, so I might as well take them to the candle workshop first. As I thought that, I walked.
With the girls in tow, I left the shared area, and walked down deep into the halls until we reached a fork. Ahead is the learning space.
I turn right, and walk past the classroom of the students studying letters and calculations. I climbed up the stairs at the end, and then opened the door to the corner room that was the first to greet us upon entering the second floor.
The room we entered was two sizes bigger than the classroom we just passed by a while ago. In there were three skilled tallow chandlers. They were Dort-san, Delt-san, and Tord-san. With them were 10 male students, working. After they greeted me, and I told them that I was doing a tour of the facility for Elia’s group, they immediately went back to working.
Amongst the 10 students that were working, two were twining a wooden rod in washi (Japanese Paper), grass, and cotton. Two were melting and filtering wax inside a pot. Of which the resulting wax were then being processed by another two who created wicks through the use of the rod from before. Then the remaining four used their bare hands to smear wax over a rod until it was thick. As for the three skilled tallow chandlers, they would go around supervising the students by giving them advice or by showing them how it’s done.
I feel like the students started working harder when I entered the room, but I’ll just keep quiet about that.
“These are the skilled tallow chandlers and the people learning from them.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, the girls’ gazes moved to the box near the students, by the corner of the room, filled with candles.
“This facility first teaches characters and the basics of arithmetic calculations. After that, it teaches the students what they want to learn.” [Ryouma]
The students are cut out for different things, so while I won’t chase them out if they have no talent, being unmotivated is another story.
“So… about the matter of lighting we were discussing a while ago, the candles being used in this facility are all being made here. We also make a profit from the candles produced here, so there’s not much of a burden to our operation costs in providing all that lighting.” [Ryouma]
I might as well take this opportunity and introduce them…
I went to a corner of the room, and showed them a slime that was inside a barrel.
“This slime is a wax slime. It’s a slime that spits out wax.” [Ryouma]
The wax slime prefers to eat vegetation with plenty of oil content in them, but it can also eat other food just fine. The only side effect to doing so is that the wax it spits out will be less. Thanks to this slime the only real expense in candle making are the grasses and cotton used in the production of the candles’ wick.
The rods used are shaved bamboos made from the bamboo thickets by my house. The washi papers are created by the evolution of a sticky slime after eating bamboos, the pulp slime.
The pulp slime likes to eat strong vegetation with plenty of fiber. It then spits out the sticky liquid resulting from melted vegetation. It was by wringing out the faint memory I had of one of my extracurricular lessons back in my previous life, that I was able to make paper. It was hard making it from memory, but it was worth it.
The produced paper is used by the students as notebooks, textbooks, and test papers. It is also used to create paper bags to be used by the store at the arena. Papers are sold for 10 suits a sheet on the market, so just 10 sheets would already cost an adult a day’s living expense. With the pulp slime, a good chunk of the expense can be cut off. Unlike the candles, the paper made here is only used in my training facility, in my house, and in the store. It isn’t being sold.
“We don’t just provide candles to the students. We also provide them with notebooks and the necessary writing materials. Character and math textbooks are also distributed free of charge to the students. And in the instance they run out of papers, they can request for a new one. Of course, they’ll be scolded if the waste it.” [Ryouma]
From candles to the ingredients of candles, and then to the explanation of the pulp slime. By the time I finished explaining everything, Elia and her friends’ eyes had turned into dots.
“…” [Elia and her friends]
Huh? It’s not like I mentioned anything about my previous life… And it’s not like they were surprised by the cooler slimes back in the monster carriage, so why? Even Sebasu-san’s just nodding his head while saying it can’t be helped.
“Ryouma-kun, the textbooks are free? But shouldn’t those be expensive since you need to pay for the ink and pay someone to engrave a mold?” [Michelle]
“Oh there’s no problem there either as we have ink slimes.” [Ryouma]
The ink slime eats vegetation and spits out liquids of different colors. Currently, they can spit out six different colors, which are black, white, red, blue, yellow, and green. But that’s not all, by using ink with finely powdered magic stones, and writing a script. Then by placing a sheet of paper over that script, and letting the ink slimes spit out ink according to the shape of the script, it’s possible to easily reproduce copies of the original script.
If you release magic power, the slimes will happily gather, and absorb magic power. This method of copying takes advantage of the slimes’ ability to sense magic, and is useful for creating documents for reports and meetings. This is something that was mostly created by the slime research facility put up by me – as part of my hobbies – and by my fellow researchers.
Upon explaining that, Elia and her friends broke out in a chatter about how convenient slimes were.
I wholly agree with them. The fact that slimes are useful is a shared common sense in my circle.
More than anything though, I’m happy that they realize just how useful slimes are.
“If you’d like, I could provide some notebooks and papers for you all.” [Ryouma]
I spontaneously said that out loud. Actually, I don’t think notebooks and papers would be a good present for girls, but Michelle-san was actually elated. Apparently, she often runs out of paper due to all of her magic formation experiments. She also had to record the results down too.
After that, I showed them the other places.
First was the workshop in the second story that created light things such as strainers, baskets, chairs, ornaments, clothes, and leather goods. Then I brought them to the classroom where lecture regarding the prices of commodities and the circulation of goods in the market were held. After which came the classroom for medicinal products and the laboratory. The doctor teaching that class is also responsible for aiding students that have fallen sick.
Following that, the rooms in the first floor were mostly just classrooms, workshops that produced heavy objects, the ingredients for those objects, and the warehouse where the furnishings of the facility were stored.
To give some examples of the workshops there, there’s the workplace of the carpenters that build cabinets and desks, the sawmill where lumber is produced, and the harness/carriage workshop that had a large door facing toward the courtyard. It’s actually from that workshop that I got Rai’s monster carriage made.
We also visited many of the other classes. By the time we finished, it was noon. With the tour done, we rode on Rai’s monster carriage, and left the facility.
On the way to the Slime Den Restaurant to have our lunch, I heard the girls talking from the seats behind me.
“Isn’t it possible for the training facility here to actually be better than the Imperial Capital’s Academy?” [Riera]
“Yeah… Smithing and magic’s also taught in different places, right?” [Kanan]
“Yes, that is correct.” [Sebasu]
There are a lot of people who want to become adventurers, and there’s the risk of accidents if we had magic training take place in the same area, so adventure related classes and armor and weapon crafting classes are being held elsewhere.
“The subjects being taught are less than the academy’s, but that’s only because the scale is different… And considering that the graduates have to become an apprentice somewhere, it’s not that much different I feel.” [Riera]
“I think it’s better here since I can get all the lighting and paper I need.” [Michelle]
“Well depending on what a person is looking for, the training facility here might actually be better than the academy. I think most people would prefer it here though.” [Elia]
Seeing the five praise the training facility that much made me happy. I had great confidence in it which is why I showed it to them, but who would’ve thought it would be put on the same level as the Imperial Capital’s Academy.
After that, I focused on driving the carriage. It wasn’t until we got to the Slime Den Restaurant that I realized that I’ve been humming all along.
Looks like I was a lot happier than I gave myself credit for.