“…And that’s the gist of it.” [Ryouma]
“So, because there’s some strange guy messing with your business, you want people you can trust. And as long as they can fulfill that one condition, you don’t care if it’s someone from the slum, huh.
That’s not a bad proposal, indeed. I won’t have any complaints as long as you’re able to provide a decent living to whomever it is you end up employing. So, as long as you pay properly, you can take whoever you want with you. There’ll be one more person providing foods and goods too, so that’s good.” [Revel]
Negotiations were a lot simpler than expected. I thought for sure I’d have to pay a referral fee, but it seems that won’t be necessary. Maybe it’s because Jeff introduced me. In any case, from here on out, what I need to do is to earn the trust of my future employee.
After getting permission from the manager, Jeff-san and I left his house and went to the house of a monster tamer that Jeff knew. Along the way, Jeff-san called out to two children and had them call someone.
“Where did you send those kids?” [Ryouma]
“You’ll know later.” [Jeff]
When we got to a house, Jeff-san violently knocked on the door.
“Hey! Old man Corkin! You’re here right!? Open up!” [Jeff]
If someone were to see Jeff now, they’d definitely think he was a bill collector.
Surprisingly, the door suddenly vigorously opened, and a slender middle-aged man jumped out. The atmosphere around him was like that of a salary man who’s been laid off.
“Shut up! I can hear you perfectly fine without knocking like a madman!” [Corkin]
“Well, you usually don’t show up when I call you!” [Jeff]
“That’s because I’m in the middle of my research!” [Corkin]
“Like hell that’s true!” [Jeff]
“What does someone like you who’s never researched anything in his own life know!? Research is like diving into the deep sea of thoughts, and pursuing an idea before it vanishes like one’s breath would under the water. There’s no way I could have the time for anything else while submerged in the deep sea of thoughts!” [Corkin]
“And because of that your fruitless research cost you all your fortune! And now, you’re completely bankrupt and living out here in the slums!” [Jeff]
“Y-You shouldn’t say that so upfront… Forget it. What do you want?” [Corkin]
“A job offer. Monster tamer work.” [Jeff]
As soon as Jeff said that, Corkin’s eyes twinkled.
“A job? For me? Monster tamer work?” [Corkin]
“Yeah. The client is Ryouma over here.” [Jeff]
It was then that he finally noticed me.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. My name is Ryouma Takebayashi.” [Ryouma]
“Sorry about the unsightly display earlier. You’re the client? What do you mean by monster tamer work?” [Corkin]
“For the meantime, how about letting us in? Old man Corkin.” [Jeff]
Oh, yeah. Corkin scratched his head and let us in, then he closed the door. The house only had one room and was quite dim since it only had one magic stone for lighting. There was also a cloth in the corner of the room that probably served as his futon.
He didn’t have any chairs, so we sat down on the floor and talked.
“So, what is it that you would like me to do? Unfortunately, I am not very skilled in monster taming. If you want me for my monster taming abilities, I’m not so sure I can meet your expectations. If it’s research, however, then I might be of use to you.” [Corkin]
“What is your research about?” [Ryouma]
When I asked that, he answered in a self-mocking manner.
“It’s the last research theme I was given back at the research institute. It’s slimes…” [Corkin]
“Yes, and because I couldn’t get any results, I was fired. It’s been 10 years since then, but I still can’t let go of my research, so I’ve been continuing it until now… Why are your eyes sparkling?” [Corkin]
Corkin-san had replied in a self-mocking manner, but when he saw my reaction, he couldn’t help but make an odd face.
“It’s the sort of research the bigwigs in the institute give to someone when they want to kick them out since it’s a leisurely post with nothing to do. The same was true for me. So, tell me. Why exactly are your eyes sparkling?” [Corkin]
“Because I also research slimes, albeit privately.” [Ryouma]
After that Corkin-san and I wordlessly stared into each other’s eyes for a few seconds… And then, at the exact same time, we gave each other a firm handshake.
“What just happened in those few seconds!?” [Jeff]
“Nah, we just sort of…” [Ryouma]
“Outsiders can’t understand… The joy of meeting someone who researches the same topic.” [Corkin]
“You’re damn right I don’t understand…” [Jeff]
Suddenly, a knock sounded from the door.
“Another guest? Today sure is noisy…” [Corkin]
Corkin-san stood up and opened the door. Outside were a man and a woman.
“Corkin-san? We came here because we heard there was a job offer. Is it true?” [Woman]
“I didn’t think a job for monster tamers would come, so I came as fast as I could!” [Man]
“Huh, so it’s you two. Robelia, Tony, the client looking for a monster tamer is inside. He also happens to be a comrade of ours!” [Corkin]
“Do you mean…” [Tony]
“Anyway, go in first!” [Corkin]
As Corkin-san said that, he dragged the two inside and closed the door.
After that I exchanged greetings with the 2 newcomers and we introduced ourselves.
The man was Tony-san. He was 23 years-old. In his case, he was an exceptional monster tamer, but his talent earned him the envy of others. He had an honest personality, and in the end, he was tricked by his superiors and coworkers. As a result, an experiment’s failure and the responsibility of a scandal was pushed to him, causing him to be demoted. He was then ordered to research slimes, but without any results, he was fired.
When I asked him why he doesn’t just work as a monster tamer if he’s so good, apparently, a bigwig from the tamers guild of the town he used to live at zeroed in on him and kept him from getting any work. To make things worse, word of him being an ill-mannered monster tamer spread throughout ten tamer guild’s network, so now he can’t get any monster tamer work even if he goes to another town. Presently, he is working at the mines as a day labourer.
“…Have you gone to the tamer guild of this town?” [Ryouma]
“It was horrible back at the other towns, and I couldn’t even get any money to buy food for my monsters, so by the time I got here, I’d already released them…” [Tony]
Apparently, he came to this town to work at the mines after giving up on the tamer guild.
I should probably help him meet guild master Taylor.
“That sort of stuff happens too, huh.” [Robelia]
The woman said that as she consoled Tony-san. She is Robelia-san. A 25 year-old woman, who was sexually harassed by her boss at her research institute. At the time, she was focused on her own research, so coupling that with her lack of immunity toward men, when her boss touched her, she was shocked and accidentally sent her monster against her own boss.
Although it wasn’t a strong monster – the sort that was just good for threatening – her boss still ended up being cut. Her boss played innocent, and she got the short end of stick, as she got demoted. She was assigned slime research, until eventually, she got fired. Presently, she works 3 times a week at a brothel as a servant, doing odd chores here and there. She also makes a living by patching up clothes.
With everyone having introduced themselves already, all that was left was my own introduction.
So I introduced myself and told them about the job. They immediately showed interest.
“There’s a slime like that?” [Corkin]
“That’s my first time hearing one.” [Robelia]
“What a strange ability.” [Tony]
I decided to give them a demonstration.
I always have a cleaner slime with me in my Dimension Home, so I can keep my body clean. I took out that one slime and had it clean a pair of shoes.
“Wow…” [Corkin, Tony, Robelia]
“That’s a slime, alright.” [Corkin]
“This pair of shoes was dirty, but the filth just disappeared. Did it melt it?” [Robelia]
“But the shoes retain their form.” [Tony]
“Hmm… Does it really just eat filth?” [Corkin]
To prove to them that it was safe, I allowed the cleaner slime to clean my body.
“…” [Corkin, Tony, Robelia]
I don’t know if they’re worried or expectant, but they watched me carefully as the cleaner slime cleaned me.
“Would you like to give it a try?” [Ryouma]
After showing them it was safe, I offered to let them experience it themselves.
“Then how about I… huh?” [Corkin, Robelia, Tony]
The three of them spoke at the same time.
I only have one cleaner slime with me today, so I’ll just have them go in turns.
It took us quite a bit of time to finish, but after going through the cleaner slime bath, their shine on their skin and the color of their hair has gotten better.
“Oh, it’s actually better than soap.” [Corkin]
“I feel refreshed!” [Tony]
“Since when was it that I last looked like this!?” [Robelia]
It seems all the filth that they couldn’t get rid of due to the living conditions in the slime vanished because of the cleaner slime.
They really were dirty, though, considering how long the cleaner slime took, but now, they’re looking pretty good.
“Very curious. Our job is just this slime and the laundromat, yes? In that case, will it be alright for us to research during our free time?” [Corkin]
“With something like this… We could finally get back at those guys who looked down at us in the past!” [Robelia]
“The salary is also a lot bigger than any job I’ve worked before… On top of that, it’s monster tamer work… I’ll do it. No. Please let me do it!” [Tony]
…I can really feel their zeal. Suddenly, I feel reluctant to hire them, but… It’s not like I can really judge them considering how I’m like… So long as they won’t betray me, then that’s good enough.
Maybe it’s because our goals are similar, but I feel like it would be okay to hire them. After hiring them, I should leave them under Carla-san’s watch until when I can fully trust them. In that case…
“What about your current work?” [Ryouma]
“I’m unemployed. And the job I took ended yesterday, so I don’t actually know when I’ll get work next.” [Corkin]
“I’m a day labourer, so there’s no problem on my end.” [Tony]
“I just need to leave a few words at the brothel, then I should be good to go.” [Robelia]
“Alright. By the way, can the three of you do math?” [Ryouma]
“Yes we can.” [Tony, Robelia, Corkin]
“In that case, I would love to have you work at my store. We haven’t decided where to put the second store just yet, but you need to learn the ropes first anyway, so… Ah, by the way, what about your residence? You can choose to live in the slums or at the store.” [Ryouma]
“Live in please!” [Robelia, Tony, Corkin]
“Alright then. Before going to the store, though… Jeff-san, do you know a good clothes store?” [Ryouma]
No offence, but these guys look seriously shabby. Although the cleaner slime managed to clean them, their clothes are still full of holes… Only high-class stores have uniforms, so most employees work in civilian clothes. My store is the same, but their current outfit is just no good.
Because of that I had to ask Jeff-san and Robelia-san to buy some nice clothes at the nearest store. If there were only men in the group, I could’ve just asked Jeff-san, but Robelia-san was a woman, and none of us knew anything about women’s clothing, so I told her to pick out her own clothes.
While they were out buying clothes, I went to the store and told Carm-san that I’d decided to hire some new hands.