When it was past work hours and most of the employees had returned to their dormitories, the people sent by the duke – the four guards, the maid, and the doctors – were gathered within one of the rooms of the security company. Serge-san, who just happened to drop by, was there too.
“To everyone’s efforts! Cheers!” [Hyuzu]
“Cheers!” [Everyone Else]
Hyuzu offered a toast, and everyone simultaneously said ‘Cheers!’ Well, everyone except Jill, who made a difficult face and asked him a question.
“Hey, Hyuzu. Is this really something we should be doing when we’re supposed to be giving a report?” [Jill]
“C’mon, Jill, don’t be so stiff. Even if we are having some problems, everything’s still within expectations. And the report is just a sort of confirmation, so we can just do it while drinking. Besides, didn’t we tell Ryouma to lighten up? We wouldn’t be very persuasive now if we’re so tense, right?” [Hyuzu]
“that’s true…” [Jill]
“If you keep making a face like that, Serge-dono will be troubled, you know.” [Hyuzu]
“M-My apologies. …Wait a moment, didn’t you drag Serge-dono here!? …Sigh, I really can’t apologize enough for Hyuzu’s behavior.” [Jill]
“Ah, please, there’s nothing to apologize for at all. Hyuzu-dono only invited me so as to not make my trip here a waste.” [Serge]
“It puts me at ease when you put it that way.” [Jill]
After their conversation wrapped up with that, Camil remembered something and asked Serge.
“Come to think of it, why are you here, Serge-san?” [Camil]
“A magic tool craftsman I’m friends with has entrusted me with a package to hand over to Ryouma-sama. I agreed to deliver it since I figured I would also be able to talk about the factory’s products.” [Serge]
“Unfortunately, you just missed each other. Ryouma’s been going back home early recently.” [Camil]
“Now that you mention it, ever since he’s started raising those goblins, he’s been wrapping up his work and going home earlier.” [Hyuzu]
“He has some new familiars, so it’s only normal he’d want to go home earlier. Ryouma-sama needs to learn more about goblins, and familiars are living creatures too. I’ve heard that goblins have a tendency to become sick or throw a tantrum when they’ve yet to acclimate to their new environment too.” [Rurunez]
“That’s true, but even if that wasn’t the case, it’s still a good thing for a workaholic like Ryouma to go home early.” [Hyuzu]
When Hyuzu said that, everyone nodded, and when the atmosphere loosened up, Lilian asked.
“By the way, Serge-sama, since you wished to talk with Ryouma-sama, is the factory having problems? If it’s something urgent, I could send my familiars.” [Lilian]
“Thank you, but it’s nothing urgent, so please don’t worry. I just thought it would be good if I could speak to him about the future production schedule and top products, as well as the various products he ordered.” [Serge]
“It’s good if there aren’t any problems. But isn’t the waterproof cloth your top product? Will you be making something new?” [Lilian]
“As you’ve surmised, the factory will mainly be producing waterproof cloths made from the sticky slime’s sticky liquid that’s been treated. But Ryouma-sama has indeed spoken of other products that take advantage of the slimes… Do you know that a part of my store was set on fire just recently?” [Serge]
Naturally, they did, and everyone but Serge nodded.
“Ryouma-sama was deeply concerned about that incident, and when we spoke, he suggested many things, from ‘fire-prevention policies’ to prevent fire from being a problem in the first place to a ‘fire extinguisher’ to deal with the fire in case a fire were still to occur, to ‘rescue methods’ in case someone were to be left behind a burning room, and even ‘special equipment’ for the people performing the rescue operations. He kept coming up with one idea after another, but every one of them seemed worthy of consideration, so I was thinking of coming up with a prototype, and then depending on the results, sell them as actual products.” [Serge]
“Come to think of it, there was something like that in the curriculum of the security company’s training, wasn’t there? The recruits are currently still at the foundation building process and are just building their strength, but in the future, they’re supposed to undergo rescue training. He also suggested training those interested to become medics.” [Hyuzu]
“Serge-san’s store being set on fire must’ve really been quite the shock for him.” [Rurunez]
“That young man has always been one to treasure others and take the initiative to start something, but that’s also why we can’t just leave him alone. You also can’t help but be concerned whenever he says he wants to help.” [Zeff]
Everyone agreed with Zeff, but Hyuzu tilted his head and became thoughtful.
“? …” [Hyuzu]
“What’s wrong?” [Rurunez]
“Rurunez… It’s a bit late for me to be saying this, but I think Ryouma is doing quite well at this city.” [Hyuzu]
“Isn’t that why he’s able to get other people’s help on top of us and make his plans a reality?” [Rurunez]
“Yeah. And he’s well-connected too.”
“He’s got his adventurer buddies to help him build his security company, but on top of them, he’s also got the support of three guild masters, the head of the government office here, and the person in charge of the slums. Not to mention big merchants and influential people like Serge-san.” [Jill]
“He seems to know a lot of people from town too. There’s those store-owners, those slum kids that’ve worked as garbage collectors, and apparently, he goes to church frequently too and leaves donations.” [Hyuzu]
“I haven’t known him for long, but he’s always struck me as a child who’s thoughtful about others. Although there are times when he seems to be lacking common sense and has a somewhat strange perspective.” [Riviola]
“True, true…” [Hyuzu]
Hyuzu agreed with Riviola, but he seemed to be thinking about something else too. When Jill saw that, a worried expression appeared on his face, and he asked.
“What’s the matter? It’s not like you to worry so much. Feeling under the weather?” [Jill]
“Nah, I just thought it was a bit strange. It hasn’t been long since we first met, but he’s really changed a lot. I mean, you guys remember, right? He was cooped up all alone by himself in the forest.” [Hyuzu]
“Yeah. But he’s gotten so used to life in the city, I’ve forgotten about it already.” [Jill]
“Right? And as we were talking about earlier, he knows a lot of people too. When I think about how he’s been doing recently, he’s not just doing really well. In fact, it feels like… You remember when he said he was ‘bad with people’? Well, I’ve started to feel like that might not actually the case.” [Hyuzu]