That seems to have concluded his reports.
He’s here now, so I might as well talk to him about hiring former convicts.
I talked to Carm-san about the things I talked about with the gods.
Of course, I didn’t talk about the gods or my previous life, but even without those, his countenance still darkened.
Is he going to refuse, after all?
I kept down the urge to ask that and waited for his response.
“As of now, I am against it. This is our first year in business since opening. Our business is going well and if we need to hire someone, we could just hire some hopeful applicants. There’s no reason to go out of our way to employ high-risk individuals. At the very least, we should put up more branch stores and fortify our footing before venturing into such dangerous territory.” [Carm]
“I thought that would be the case.” [Ryouma]
It’s the obvious answer.
I also don’t think I would be so accepting either if I were in his shoes.
Prioritizing strengthening our footing is the correct opinion.
“But there’s something I would like to propose.” [Carm]
“Yes. I understand your feelings of wanting to give former convicts a chance. To be honest, I think that’s supposed to be the job of the ruling class or the church, but… in the past year that I’ve been here, I’ve been watching you, Boss. Your management philosophy surprised me time and time again, but I can understand it.
Although it’s certainly too early for us to attempt to hire former convicts, I am not completely against it. I merely wish for us to take time to prepare, proceed step by step, pick out the former convicts carefully, and execute only after enough preparations have been made. In other words, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in setting the employment of former convicts as an end goal.” [Carm]
…I was planning on persistently trying to persuade him, but he actually accepted it just like that…
“You sure accepted the idea easily.” [Ryouma]
“Frankly, it’s a bit too late for me to be surprised considering that you openly welcomed a group of girls who left their village to work, as well as the slum people… But it’s also because of that that we’re able to work so peacefully. Although I think it’s something that we have to tread lightly with, but given that you’re even willing to consult me beforehand, I’m not against it completely. This is probably because I’ve been watching you work until now.
But just as I’ve said earlier, in order to be able to hire former convicts, we first need to solidify our footing. To that end, you will have to move more proactively. This too will profit the store in the end.” [Carm]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
Carm-san understood what I wanted to do, and at the same time, he also understood how to handle me. What an astute person.
“Thank you very much. So, exactly how do we go about this?” [Ryouma]
“How about buying some slaves?” [Carm]
Slaves… Oh, right. That’s legal here.
“A slave, huh… I’m not completely clueless about slaves, but I’m not that privy to them either… Can you be more specific?” [Ryouma]
Carm-san explained it clearly so that I could understand.
There are three types of slaves in this country: ‘Poverty Slaves’ ‘Debt Slaves’ ‘Criminal Slaves’.
Poverty Slaves are people who seek patronage. They could also be people sold by their own family as slaves so they could support themselves.
Debt Slaves are people who failed to pay their loans and have been turned into slaves to forcefully do manual labor.
Criminal Slaves are people who have committed a crime and – as punishment – turned into a slave.
“Many debt slaves and poverty slaves are slaves due to some unfortunate circumstance. As such, they should serve well to increase our workforce and help lay a foundation to hire former convicts, given that their mindset should make them more accepting.
As for criminal slaves, a special spell has been casted on them to prevent them from fleeing or hurting other people. They’re less riskier than former convicts.” [Carm]
Carm-san also went on to say that while there are those who became slaves due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, there are also those who ended up as slaves due to living an overly self-indulgent lifestyle.
“Debt slaves and poverty slaves are people who – out of necessity – have exchanged their freedom in order to live. Of course, there are those among them who wish to regain their freedom as soon as possible. Jobs at our stores pay relatively well, so I think we can give an opportunity to these people.” [Carm]
“I see. …What do I need to watch out for when purchasing slaves?” [Ryouma]
“You only needs to ensure them their daily necessities and not commit undeserved violence against them, but those conditions have already been met by the store policies. As far as the store is concerned, it’s not really any different from hiring someone from the guild.” [Carm]
“I see…” [Ryouma]”
A slave, huh…
As I became thoughtful, Carm-san asked me.
“Do you hate slaves?” [Carm]
“I don’t. I’m just not used to them.” [Ryouma]
I knew slaves were a thing in this world, but I never thought of buying one.
But there are things that I’ve come to understand after hearing Carm-san talk about them.
It’s one industry in this world. I should study it some more.
I told Carm-san that I’ll think about it.
“In that case, it might be a good idea to drop by the Moulton Slave Company at Gaunago. Before I and my older sister came here, Serge-sama mentioned that it’s a good place to buy slaves from. If you ever find yourself in need of slaves, please consider using their services.” [Carm]
Speaking of Gaunago, that’s the town where the duke’s residence is. I’m going there to greet them anyway, so that makes things convenient for me.
…Did he consider this far when he suggested it?
Feeling as if I’m being led by the nose, I couldn’t help but turn to him.
Carm-san’s calm smile was firm.
…What a reliable guy.
I’ll have to thank Serge-san when I meet him again.