4 days later.
Although there was nothing waking me up, I opened my eyes as usual, and just as usual, I prepared food for the slimes and myself.
After that I readied myself and left for work. Or at least, I was about to when I realized that there was still some time left, so as usual, I made an idol for the gods until then.
This has been my morning routine recently.
I’ve been depressed ever since that day I screwed up at the Craftsman District.
Perhaps one saving grace is that I at least realized that ‘I was being tense’.
When I think back to it, Sereriputa’s words come to mind.
‘It’ll get noisy around you in the near future, so do your best.’
When he mentioned ‘in the near future’, perhaps he was referring to my return to Gimuru from Fatma Territory. He said it would get noisy around me, and Gimuru’s public order has indeed worsened.
He is a god of this world, after all, so he might have already known then what was happening to this town. I do wish he’d been clearer, but he doesn’t really strike me as the type to provide information for no reason. Just the fact that he gave me a tip could be considered kindness on his part.
But still, why is my heart so rattled?
When I thought about it calmly, I realized what the reason behind that was.
‘The current atmosphere of Gimuru is just like the atmosphere back at my previous world and the company I worked at there.’
Nothing about this world is similar, but somehow someway it reminds me of my previous world. It’s almost as if everything until now has been nothing but a happy dream, and now I’m finally waking up from it… As if all that good luck is finally swinging back… I can’t really explain it well, but it’s a kind of vague anxiety that feels like something like that.
I trust my employees, but… It’s precisely because they’re so helpful and so kind to me that I want a protect them.
No matter how unlikely it is, the chance of losing them scares me.
If this were just some groundless fear, then it wouldn’t really matter, but… Even these kind of thoughts have already become routine for me. And yet despite that I still can’t find an answer.
“Sigh… Ah, it’s almost time.”
Before long it was time for me to leave, so I picked myself and left.
When I got to the store…
“A letter?” [Ryouma]
“It’s from that laundromat from before.” [Carm]
“From that laundromat?” [Ryouma]
When I arrived at the store, something to sour my mood was already waiting for me.
…Apparently that showed on my face, as Carm-san wore an apologetic face as he handed me the letter. I reflected over my actions as I opened the letter.
“I see.” [Ryouma]
“Boss, if it’s okay with you, can I also see that letter?” [Carm]
“Sure. It’s basically a letter of apology.” [Ryouma]
The owner (mother) of the store wrote in the letter an apology for the events that transpired recently, as well as her thoughts regarding the matter and the men in front of the store. She also gave her reasons why she acted the way she did.
“What should we do?” [Carm]
“Nothing… It’s not like she’s asking us to come again nor has she expressed her will to talk. We can just take her apology as is. More importantly, let’s deal with the other issues we have.” [Ryouma]
“I see.” [Carm]
“Is there a problem?” [Ryouma]
“No, I agree with you. It’s just that normally you’d probably just laugh the matter off and suggest to visit her again to talk. I just thought you ‘weren’t acting like yourself’.” [Carm]
“Hmm… It is true that I don’t mind petty things, and I do in fact not think anything of that matter anymore, but I still don’t feel like entrusting the store to her. Still, I understand your feelings. Thank you for your concern.” [Ryouma]
He’s worried about my mental state.
“Are there any other letters or documents that have been delivered?” [Ryouma]
“These are the ones that have been delivered just now. This one was delivered by the guild master of the Merchant Guild, Grisiera-sama. This one from the guild master of the Tamer Guild, Taylor-sama… But as for this envelope, no name has been given. A young boy adventurer did come to deliver it, though. I believe his name was Berk-kun?” [Carm]
“In that case, it must’ve been sent by Revel-san, the person responsible for the slums. Let’s see… Ahh, that’s good to hear.” [Ryouma]
“You seem happy.” [Carm]
“Yes, there were some things we talked about, and it seems that they’re heading in a good direction. Remember that slime garbage processing plant or that slime goods factory of the Morgan Company that I talked to you about before? This is a continuation of that.
The processing plant of course, but even other related facilities require land, so we needed to figure out where to build them, and in the end, it was decided that we would be demolishing a portion of the slums.” [Ryouma]
“Is that alright? What about the people living there?” [Carm]
An obvious question, the answer to which is this letter.
“According to this letter, most of the structures in the slums are one-story houses. With only one floor and few rooms, they’re no different from tightly packed sheds.” [Ryouma]
What’s more is that they’re miserable shacks with cracked crumbling walls and rotten wood. They’re barely able to keep standing thanks to the slum people repeatedly fixing them.
“If we were to build a two-story structure like this store there, we’d easily be able to provide space for at least twice the amount of people that the current structures there can provide shelter for. And if we can’t expand the store horizontally, we can just expand it vertically.” [Ryouma]
“I suppose.” [Carm]
“I only needed about an hour to build this store with my magic and my slimes. I told them that and called out to the slum people with houses or lots. ‘Is there anyone among you who would let me rebuild their house into a two-story house?,’ I told them.
Naturally, the people who would be living in it would be the owner. So I asked them, ‘Would you be willing to let someone else use the free rooms?’ Of course, under the premise of a lease.” [Ryouma]
In this way, the owner would not only have a new house, but he’d also have a source of income.
“To be honest, I thought it would be difficult too at first, but when I asked the guild master, she told me that so long as I properly compensated the people I was trying to evict, then the rest depended on negotiations.
And when I actually discussed the topic with Revel-san, the slum people were much more favorable to the idea than expected. They said stuff like, ‘We’re poor, so we don’t have a lot of belongings’ ‘We can move anytime.’ ‘When do you plan to start,’ …etc. Based on the documents they’ve sent, it seems there are a lot of proactive people among them. It’s actually really surprising.” [Ryouma]
Naturally, it won’t do to evict them unless they agree to our conditions and the whole matter is consensual. After all, if we end up being thought of as those illegal land grubbers, it would only end in tragedy for both parties.
“Anyhow, that’s what we’ve agreed upon. And Arnold-San, one of the bigwigs of the government office, did also ask me if I could readjust the slums, so…” [Ryouma]
At this rate, I might as well suggest that we build a housing complex. Besides, I was always planning on building a dormitory for the employees of the factory and the garbage processing plant. I can also dismantle all of the buildings in one go with my magic and my slimes. As for the simple physical labor stuff like cleaning up the rubble, I could hire people to make the work more efficient, but… At this point, isn’t this already on the scale of a land readjustment project?
What’s more is that I will be putting up a lot of slime industrial facilities in the slums. In that case, it might just be fitting to call the slum district the slime district… Yeah, that doesn’t sound so bad.