“Looks like you succeeded.” [Reinbach]
“It’s only one success, but if we fix the environment here, even a land like this should be able to produce food through Slime Farming. I’ll produce food for later too and continue observing. There’s a chance that the miasma might seep into the soil given enough time, but the planters have already been coated with light-attribute mana, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Regardless, I’m sure even normal people can reproduce my results. I don’t know if enough profit can be made to make it worth the effort, but I’ll be making a report to Reinhart-san later about this, so I’ll ask him then to check.” [Ryouma]
“Many villages have fallen because they couldn’t do work due to the miasma, so if your results can really be reproduced with enough training, I’m sure it will be a great help to many people and villages. The Grave Slime and that spell of yours should also make the subjugation of undead that much safer. It makes me look forward to the future.” [Reinbach]
“Especially since the problem with that spell is that it requires the continuous burning of food. If food could be produced on site, the burden of procuring and transporting food will dramatically decrease, and the efficiency becomes that much higher.” [Sebasu]
Reinbach-sama, the previous duke, and Sebasu-san, who assists him, seemed to have something in mind and were really happy.
“Is there anything you would like, Ryouma-kun?” [Reinbach]
“Reinbach-sama, you’re always so quick to talk about rewards.” [Ryouma]
“You would be rewarded as a specialist even if you provided only the information pertaining to the Grave Slime since it can be an effective way of dealing with the undead.” [Reinbach]
Even if you tell me that… There’s nothing I particularly want right now… I mean, I’ve already received too many things.
For example, the money I gave out during the incident at the end of the year has been promised back to me in installments. And on top of that, I received social standing through the job of Specialist and was even given tax exemption on a portion of my income. My income is also snowballing to the point that it’s actually terrifying.
And they’re asking me if there’s anything else I… Oh, right!
“How about a new lab? It would be great for researching the grave slime, and it would be really convenient if I could use a land like this freely. I was wondering what to do about the feed too once I got back.” [Ryouma]
“Their numbers have already gone past 1,000 just this morning, right? I was really surprised when I saw that.” [Remilie]
As someone who was used to the reproduction of slimes, however, I was more surprised that they ate enough undead to increase their numbers by that much and still have only consumed a fraction of all the undead. In any case, since there’s so many of them, I’m going to need just that much to feed them all.
Due to the nature of slimes, they won’t die even if they can’t have their favorite food. They’ll eat whatever is available and evolve into another variant. That’s not a bad thing per se, but it’s not conducive to observing a single species for a long time, so it would be best to have a location I could regularly procure undead from.
“It wouldn’t be a problem if they were fine with normal animal meat, but…” [Ryouma]
“It’s another story if they need undead, huh. There are several places in the Jamil Duchy that have been corroded by miasma, so you can use those for your lab. We don’t know what to do with them either, so if anything, you’d be helping us out if you were to take them off our hands.
However, something like that won’t suffice as compensation… You might not mind but others will.” [Reinbach]
“It will look like a troublesome territory was pushed onto you.” [Remilie]
“How about you stop thinking about it and just accept coin? There’s nothing wrong with having lots of coin, right?” [Schieber]
“About that… Recently, I’ve actually been told to spend more.” [Ryouma]
My business has grown thanks to the large amount of money from the duke’s family. And by being appointed as a specialist, the laundromat also turned into a semi-official company.
Moreover, I am also receiving support from the duke through my research funds. In other words, tax is being used to fund me, so it’s more important than ever to clarify the flow of money.
“That’s why we hired a tax collector and a legal officer from the duke’s family to work for us.” [Ryouma]
Even in my previous life, there has never been a shortage of government subsidy abuse, as well as the bashing and criticisms on the media and internet. In the past, such matters didn’t really have anything to do with me and were just things that I read on the screen, but now, there was a chance that those same criticisms might fall on me.
I’ve been told that an annual review by the Merchant Guild was sufficient for the average business owner, and I’ve been told that it wouldn’t be a problem for me either, but I wanted to be sure. That’s why I went out of my way to get the duke to refer me to an expert as part of my reward.
“So that former tax official told you to use more money?” [Schieber]
“We could produce vegetables and grains through Slime Farming, and we’ve also started to produce alcohol and processed food from our produce, so we were completely self-sufficient when it came to our meals. Most of our living necessities were also self-produced, so we barely used any money other than for the store’s management.” [Ryouma]
The business expense and tax exemption privileges wouldn’t be a problem for last year, but I was told to be more conscientious from this year onwards. I was thinking that tax levied would go to the duke’s family anyway and become the duke’s family’s profits or be used for the benefit of the duchy, but…
“Reinhart-san saw through me and instructed the people he sent to stop me if I tried to pay more tax than I needed to and to make sure that I used the money for my own sake. Steyer-san, the former tax official, himself told me so. I was also told that it wouldn’t be good to donate too much to the church and was restricted in that regard.” [Ryouma]
It might have been obvious since he’s a former tax official, but he was really devoted to his duties, and he completely crushed my shallow wit. He said that a tax collector’s job was to collect the amount of tax as prescribed. He was also presently an employee of the store and not of the duke. That’s why he says it’s his job to maximize the profits of the store and pay only the right amount of tax.
I didn’t have a lot of leeway in my finances in my previous life, so I couldn’t spend money to support anyone, but if I had a lot of money, I don’t think I would have regretted or hesitated to splurge. But he wouldn’t be able to understand that even if I tried to passionately explain it to him.
“In the end, he just told me, ‘I’ve seen owners trying to get away from paying taxes and owners wanting to bribe the duke, but it’s my first time seeing someone who just wants to pay more tax.’” [Ryouma]
“Well, that’s true…” [Schieber]
“I understand that I’m in an enviable position, but I have little to no experience having lots of money, so I really don’t know how I’m supposed to use it. In the end, I’ll either just use the money to start a new project or repeat what I did at the end of the year.” [Ryouma]
“…Despite not knowing how to use money, you seem to be managing your assets quite well.” [Remilie]
“Starting a new project, using money for the sake of the future… Those are all correct ways of using money.” [Reinbach]
“It’s working out somehow thanks to the advice of my excellent managers and the cooperation of my subordinates.” [Ryouma]
I have a lot of people supporting me now.
I’ve entered a ton of industries. It would have been unthinkable in previous life.
If not for all those people helping me, the only idea I have to use my money is to save.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.” [Sebasu]
Looks like Sebasu-san finished making lunch while we were talking.
We still have a lot of things left to do, so I better make sure to fill myself up.