Customers: ‘I need some extra hands, but slaves are too expensive’ ‘I need extra hands, but only for a few months’.
Slaves: ‘My price has gone up, so no one will buy me’, ‘I want to pay back my debt quickly and become free again’.
Slave merchants: ‘Just the living expenses of the slaves will cost money’, ‘There are slaves that are more expensive than their abilities are worth’.
Apparently, Orest-san has started a ‘slave rental service’ that’s paid by the hour for those looking for temporary slaves. A win-win-win solution to the demands of the three parties mentioned above.
But at this point, what’s the difference between being a slave and a person using the guild to be employed?
Some slave traders criticized the idea too, saying that they should instead focus on increasing the profits from the buying and selling of slaves.
There were those that were against it due to the risk of the slaves running away.
But in then, Orest-san defeated every one of those arguments, and now the service has been implemented!
Or at least that’s what’s written on the pamphlet.
Anyhow, putting that aside, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to take advantage of this new service.
“When I picked Ox-san, I also got the opportunity to interview other candidates. Fei-san said that those candidates were also good enough to serve as guards. They’re not as good as Ox-san, but it’s not a bad idea to rely on this new service to supplement our workforce.
After all, just as what’s written on that pamphlet, we can hire them temporarily. And if they do a good enough job, we can purchase them and hire them as permanent employees.” [Ryouma]
When I think of how the words ‘you can also hire the slaves you interviewed!’ were written on that pamphlet Orest-san gave me, I can’t help but get the feeling that I’m dancing right on his palms, but regardless…
“There’s not a lot of people using this service just yet, so the people behind it are still very flexible when it comes to accommodating price and conditions. Orest-san isn’t someone who can be dealt with by ordinary means, but he’s definitely trustworthy when it comes to work.” [Ryouma]
“I see. Let’s think about it some more.” [Carm]
“I’ll leave it to you. Also one more thing. It’s the duke’s family’s idea, but I was thinking about opening two stores at Gaunago. I’m grateful to customers that go out of their way to drop by our store despite it being far, but the farther the store is, the less inclined people are to use it. Gaunago is a much bigger city than Gimuru.” [Ryouma]
“…Right. Even here there are people who found washing the laundry to be too difficult now because of the cold weather and have finally resorted to our services.” [Carm]
“It’s not just the profits too. I also want the laundromat to be more accessible and convenient to the people. Another option is to hire a carriage and a driver, and then open a collection and delivery service, but that will cost money twice. Once for the purchase of the carriage, and then another for its maintenance. Moreover, there’s a risk for delivering the laundry to the wrong address and the carriage being targeted. Because of that it’s a lot easier to just set up another store.” [Ryouma]
Besides, building several stores in a city will give us a greater portion of the market share. Perhaps we might even be able to pull off the so-called ‘Strategic Dominance’.
Even now the number of people enlisting their services is continuing to increase.
And at the very least, we have an advantage in the fact that no other laundromat other than ours has cleaner slimes. I want to make the most of that.
“Come to think of it, before our store made it, weren’t there people trying to open laundromats too? I hear most of them have given up, but are there still some left?” [Ryouma]
“I haven’t heard about them lately at all… Should I investigate?” [Carm]
Even back when I first opened the laundromat, one method I had in mind to deal with the overpopulation of the cleaner slime was to open a chain of laundromats. If there’s a serious merchant out there, I could consider selling a store and its employees to him. In that way I’ll be able to leave the branch store in another person’s hands.
Anyhow, there’s no harm in investigating.
As such, I wrapped up my thoughts and asked Carm-san to do just that.
Carm-san asked me to go into more detail about the chain store and the strategic dominance.
As someone who once dreamed of leaving my life as a salaryman and launching a business of my own, I explained to him everything I knew.
…When I did, Carm-san looked at me with evident shock on his face.
“What’s the matter?” [Ryouma]
“That’s curious. Very curious. But what’s more is that I can tell that you’re really serious about the laundromat now.” [Carm]
What’s going on? And what’s with his reaction? Why is he looking at me like a NEET that has finally started working?
Could it be? Am I… A slacker in Carm-san’s eyes?
…But how could that be? I mean I… I leave most of the work to him and just drop by once in a while to get the report.
Now that I think about it, I can’t deny it at all.
His eyes are twinkling.
Ugh… But considering that that haggard look from his face that reminded me of a burnout newcomer is gone, I think I’ll just let it pass.
“Well then, the investigation will be a bit troublesome, but please take care of it.” [Ryouma]
As I told him that, he responded with a voice brimming with life and left the room.
Hmm… Maybe I should work a little harder…