Presently, the people who left the meeting early were gathered at the break room of the Bamboo Forest Laundromat. There were 15 people all in all, including the arms dealer, Darson-san, and my neighbors, Pauline-san and her husband. Jill-san and Hyuzu-san were also present on behalf of the security company.
Our goal is to discuss the current state of Gimuru, as well as discuss the various means by which we can defend ourselves. Unfortunately, we weren’t making much progress.
As for why, it’s because the people who weren’t acquainted with me were too scared.
The reason behind their fear was also none other than myself.
I was too tense in the last meeting and ended up saying too much. Their fear today is a lingering effect from that.
They’re not looking down on me anymore, but this kind of atmosphere is bad too, and more importantly, they’re not asking questions or giving their opinions.
As such, I decided to go ahead and first propose the establishment of my security company. To calm them down, I decided to first put at ease their fears of ‘nobles intervening’, which was the reason why that shady meeting became such a mess in the first place.
“—And that’s the gist of it.” [Ryouma]
To that end, I had Jill-san explain the details, but when they found out that they were sent directly by the duke’s family, they were surprised and couldn’t respond quickly.
Well, it doesn’t really matter as long as they understood, but did they?
Or so I was thinking to myself when…
“Ah, excuse me. I’m sure you’re all acquainted with me now, but I’m Darson from Tigger’s Arms Store. Ryouma, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” [Darson]
“Of course.” [Ryouma]
“First, in regards to the establishment of this security company of yours, I understand now that there’s nothing to fear about nobles intervening, but are you serious?
According to the explanations provided, there are four conditions needed to establish this company. First, the two people sent by the duke will have to manage it. Second, the expenses for the employees and the management will all be covered by you. Third, the company will continue until the situation calms down. And fourth, once the problem has been resolved, you will offer all of the security personnel to the duke.
Hiring people, training them, giving them equipment, and feeding them until they’re ready to stand on their own should cost a considerable sum. I don’t know how many you intend to hire, but I’m sure you will be hiring quite a number. And yet despite spending so much, those two will be the ones in charge of everything, so you won’t be able to do as you please. What’s more is once the situation calms down, all of your investments will have to be given to the duke. Frankly, I don’t see one bit of profit in this to you.” [Darson]
That’s true. But…
“I’m serious. Or rather with the exception of the duke dispatching two people to manage the security company, all of the conditions were proposed by me.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, everyone made a face that said they couldn’t understand what I was thinking.
I’m sure that to businessmen such as themselves, it looks like I’m just trying to spend a lot of money for nothing.
“In the first place, I’m not really trying to turn over a profit with this security company. There are various reasons why, but one reason is because of the existence of competitors. Although they’re not able to handle the situation right now, this town already has its own guards. There’s also the adventures guild, and there are also mercenaries that specialize in violent jobs. The security company I’m proposing is too close to these establishments and would essentially become something akin to a business rival. Moreover, there’s a vast gulf in trustworthiness between a guild that has been around for a long time and a newly established company that’s privately managed. I’m sure you all understand just how big of a disadvantage that is.” [Ryouma]
On this point, many people nodded.
“Moreover, if I just wanted to build a security force, cultivating one security personnel from square one isn’t the most efficient. It would be a lot more affordable to simply hire from the adventurers guild or the mercenary guild. It would be faster too.” [Ryouma]
On this point too, everyone agreed.
“If so, you might be wondering why I want to establish a security company, to which my answer would be, ‘because it’s necessary.'” Even if it might cost a fortune, I believe it’s a necessary step for us to protect our assets and our lives.
There’s a saying I heard once. ‘The defenseless rich are no more than prey to armed bandits.’ If we were to be too stingy and end up being robbed, then wouldn’t we have simply lost both the interest and the principal? I’m sure no one here wishes to lose their precious family or employees. At the very least, I don’t.
Moreover, while I might not be able to directly profit from the security company, I will still be able to turn over a profit
Also, handing over the security personnel to the duke is actually a way of keeping them employed.
I mean it’s fine and all to keep them around when needed, but what happens when they’ve outlived their usefulness? I can’t exactly just say, ‘I’m done playing with you’, and just throw them by the wayside, now can I? That would be too irresponsible and would put the employees in a bad spot.
In that regard, the duke and feudal lord, Reinhart-san, should have much use for these security personnel, given that he’s building a new town.
It should also be reassuring to the security personnel to know that they will still have work once the situation has calmed down. Moreover, knowing that they might end up working for the duke should also make the security company more enticing.
Just that knowledge should be enough to spur some people to apply at the security company on their own volition. When I told the people gathered here that the relinquishing of the security personnel to the duke would make it easier to recruit people, they finally understood where I was coming from.