The man immediately avoided the sharp gazes of the adults and assumed a somewhat detached attitude. From the sound of things, he’s the top person here, but he’s way younger than what I had imagined. He’s probably not even in the latter half of his twenties.
He strikes me as a fresh good-looking young man who’s a president of a start up company.
“Still, I must say I am quite surprised to see all of you visiting my store together.” [Orest]
As he said that, his gaze turned toward me.
“Oh, please do excuse my manners. I am the president of this store here, Orest Moulton.” [Orest]
“Thank you for your kind consideration. I am Ryouma Takebayashi.” [Ryouma]
“Takebayashi-Sama, I see. It is my great pleasure to make your acquaintance.” [Orest]
Hmm? He seems pretty normal to me… So far.
He’s talking properly to me too even though I’m only a child. But then again, another way of looking at it is that it’s plenty strange for him to be treating me the same way he does the duke or the presidents of large companies even though I’m only a child… But that’s enough to get me to understand why the three adults are so concerned about him.
While I was thinking that, the conversation turned to changing the location first before talking about specifics, and even Fei-san, who couldn’t enter the conversation at all, was called into the store.
When we entered the place, a store that looked just like a noble’s manor greeted us. Even the interiors of the store was the spitting image of a noble’s manor, full of pomp and extravagance. But unlike a noble’s manor, there were many chairs and counters lined up near the entrance, making the place look more like Japan’s post office or the city hall. Speaking of which, I also noted 5 groups of customers that were here before us. But as rude as this may be, based on the way they were dressed, I think they were neither nobles or rich people.
“Fu fu fu, are you surprised?” [Orest]
“Yes I am. First of all, this place doesn’t look like a store at all. And when I first heard of a store that sells slaves, I imagined something darker and more malicious.” [Ryouma]
“Unfortunately, there are indeed stores like those too. It depends on the scale and location. But ‘slaves are humans too’, after all. Moreover, they are also the products that our company deals with. It is only natural that we take care to keep them healthy. To that end, my Moulton Slave Company provides clean rooms and sufficient food for all of our slaves. We even regularly employ doctors to manage the health of our slaves.” [Orest]
And in order to accommodate a large number of slaves, they needed to provide plenty of rooms. Apparently, that’s the reason why they have this large store that’s basically equal to a noble’s manor.
“Of course, we don’t have many stores as gaudy as this one. This place was originally a noble’s manor, and it just so happens that my father was able to purchase it. We simply renovated a part of it and turned it into a store.” [Orest]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
So my hunch was correct. It is a noble’s manor.
“This way please.” [Orest]
The room we were brought to contained a simple rectangular table and some chairs. There were more than enough seats to accompany double our numbers, which was currently six, given we had five from our group plus Mr. Moulton himself. It’s reasonably large considering that he’ll be calling slaves here.
Mr. Moulton recommended me to take a seat in front. From the looks of things, he has already inferred that I’m the customer today. He was also paying a lot of attention to me along the way. I never mentioned it, though. I wonder how he figured it out. Well, I guess this much is expected of someone those three praised as being brilliant.
Mr. Moulton very naturally rang the bell placed on the desk and ordered the woman that appeared from the next room to prepare us drinks. That series of movements was really stylish. So much so that I can’t help but be astonished.
“Now then, Takebayashi-sama. What kind of slave are you looking for today?” [Orest]
“Let’s see…” [Ryouma]
For the mean time, I decided to tell him that I own a laundromat and am looking for people who can work as guards.
“If you need guards, then not only will they need to be skilled, but they will also need to be trustworthy. Moreover, it’s for a store…” [Orest]
“I know. If it’s just for a brief period, I could put up a job request at the adventurers guild, but doing that is a bit difficult for longer jobs.” [Ryouma]
Actually strong adventurers are more likely to make more money subjugating monsters than they are being employed. There might be some willing to work for a short time, but most of them will probably refuse a long contract. It’s not everyday that you can conveniently find a strong adventurer thinking of retiring, after all.
“I want to focus on the personality of the slaves. Of course, I want them to be skilled as well. But so long as they have the basics down, then I can still consider taking them in, as the head of my security here, Fei, can train them.” [Ryouma]
After seeing the skill and personality of the slaves, I will negotiate about the price. Carm-san said that if there was someone really good, I shouldn’t hesitate and make a contract with them immediately, but given these conditions, maybe I’ll take a wait and see approach first.
“Prioritize the personality, huh… In that case…” [Orest]
Mr. Moulton suddenly stood up and took out a bundle of documents from the shelf behind him. From that he took something akin to a bookmark that was sandwiched between the pages.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. In this store, the information of the slaves have been compiled into documents. Please pick out those interested in from this list of slaves that possess battle-type skills.” [Orest]
It seems he wants me to narrow down the candidates by taking my pick from this list, and then interview them.
The document he gave me was easy to read. The name of the slaves, their gender, race, history, skill, and skill levels were all written down.
“This is really detailed…” [Ryouma]
“Yes, after all the value of a slave greatly changes depending on the abilities and knowledge he possess. Slaves are obliged to disclose their information through their status board. We use that information to determine their value.
Based on your requests, I believe the people from that document might fit the bill. Those slaves possess battle-type skills with levels 2 to 3. Please pick out people that are highly appraised for their character from that.” [Orest]
“…The prices listed here. It seems there are some differences even between people of the same abilities.” [Ryouma]
“That’s because some of those are debt slaves, who sold themselves, and some aren’t. Debt slaves are sold to slave stores like ours, and in exchange, their debts are settled, but we’re the ones who have to shoulder the debt.” [Orest]
Oh, so that’s why the price of their loan is added to their original value. After all, if they sell for below the price of their debt, they’ll make a loss.
The documents have been organized well and Mr. Moulton also explains things easily.
Because of that, despite it being my first time, I was able to easily pick out some candidates.
…I really don’t understand. Why is Reinhart-san and the others so wary of this man?
Tl Note:Mr. Moulton isn’t Moulton-san. The suffix used is ‘shi’, but I don’t think there are many who know that suffix, so I just went and translated it as Mr.