“Being unable to keep up with the changes is certainly problematic. And as complicated as taxes and laws are, it’s indeed necessary for people to get an understanding of them. Of course, that’s by no means easy.” [Ryouma]
“Indeed~ That’s why we’re doing our best to study.~ Then we’ll teach our parents through our letters~” [Maria]
“Of course, we’ll do our best at the store too! It’s only thanks to everyone helping us that we can have this opportunity, after all. If not for everyone making adjustments in terms of schedule and work load for us, we wouldn’t be able to study as well without pushing ourselves, so we need to repay the store at least that much.” [Fina]
“I’ll look forward to that.” [Ryouma]
To be honest, I never thought they’d turn out like this when I hired them, but… If they’ve grown to the point where they’re no longer just making money but also developing themselves, then nothing could be better. As the owner, I’m also satisfied.
“Speaking of growth, Leelin-san, you’re talking a lot more fluent now, huh.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. I’ve gotten used to the language here. The people of the store – especially, Jane – are always talking to me, and there are the customers too, so I’m getting plenty of practice. It seems dad is going to take some more time, though.” [Leelin]
That might be because of his age. Some people say that humans can do anything they set their minds to, or that it’s never too late to start something, and I’d agree, but there’s no denying that one’s rate of learning deteriorates with age. I know that by experience.
“Ah, speaking of growth, Dolce has been making a lot of progress himself. He’s been sparring with the security personnel and has gotten a lot stronger than before. Dad and Ox-san were both surprised. Recently, he’s been talking with Yurdum. I guess having another guy his age did him a lot of good.” [Leelin]
“Dolce-san is a hardworker too, after all. He would occasionally ask questions about writing, and recently, he’s been reading some fairly difficult text. I see him reading books during breaktime a lot.” [Fina]
“He said he didn’t know what to do with his money, so he’s using it to buy books~” [Maria]
“Is Dolce-san that amazing now?” [Ryouma]
He’s from the slums, so he was completely illiterate when he came here. I knew he’s been studying in his free time, but I didn’t know that he’s accomplished so much already. With how strong he’s gotten, I guess it wouldn’t be wrong to describe him as being accomplished in both the literary and the martial arts.
And speak of the devil…
“…Did you call me?” [Dolce]
“Ah, Dolce-san. We were just talking about you.” [Ryouma]
The person himself appeared, so we had to explain what we were talking about. That must have embarrassed him because his face turned a little red, and he shook his head.
“I still have a long way to go. I can’t beat those two when it comes to studying, and I’m also the weakest in the security department. Fei-san and Ox-san have to hold back too; otherwise, I won’t be able to spar with them at all.” [Dolce]
“I don’t think it’s good to compare yourself to them. Dad and Ox-san aren’t just your normal security guy. To be perfectly honest, they’re way too strong to be working as security.” [Leelin]
“Ah, I thought so too. The only places I’ve ever been is my village and this city, so at first I thought that was just how it was, but the other stores weren’t like that at all.” [Fina]
“The only stores that regularly hire security personnel are those in dangerous areas or luxury stores. Most normal stores just have their employees or manager deal with problematic customers. I think anyone with a larger build or is accustomed to some roughhousing would be fit for the job. At a normal store, you’d probably be fit for managerial level in security. Or at least, you’re good enough to be.” [Leelin]
“Really? I don’t know much about other stores, but… If that’s true, then that’s great.” [Dolce]
In the first place, I hired him through a referral by Jeff-san when the store was harassed by some thugs shortly after opening. He was already strong enough then, yet he’d gotten even stronger. He should have more confidence in himself.
…If he’s working this hard, maybe he’s hoping for a raise or a promotion? A worker that does their best but fails to see change is bound to be discouraged. Carm-san and I have already spoken about the salaries and treatment of the workers, so he should be receiving ample pay.
Regardless, I was curious now, so I asked him about it, and as it turns out, he was receiving more than enough pay. In fact, even if we paid him more, he wouldn’t know how to use it. I can somewhat understand. I’m earning much more than him, but we’re facing similar problems in that regard… Oh, I see. This must be how the duke and everyone else felt seeing me.
“Is there anything else you want then?” [Ryouma]
“If I had to say, then… A vacation? Traveling sounds nice.” [Dolce]
“Oh, good idea! Where do you want to go?” [Ryouma]
“I’ve been in this city since the day I was born. That’s true for most of the people from the slums. I never thought it would even be possible for me to travel unless I took a job related to adventuring, transporting, or something else along those lines.
But after hearing about everyone’s hometowns, and after starting to read books, I can’t help but be curious. Ah, but of course, I’m just curious about it right now, and I don’t actually have any concrete plans. I don’t know where to go. I don’t even know what I’ll do once I travel, and in fact, I asked for a vacation, but I actually don’t know the first thing about that.” [Dolce]
“I understand. In that case, let’s put this conversation for later. Instead, how about traveling with me?” [Ryouma]
The plan is to expand the business once I get back from the Great Forest. Of course, we would need to hire enough personnel first, but regardless, because of that we’ll have to scout out the locations for the new branches in the neighboring towns. I can take him along then with my Dimension Magic.
Whether it ends up being a day trip or an overnight stay, there won’t be much time for sightseeing, and we’ll be missing out on the charm of traveling slowly on carriage too, but… Oh, come to think of it, I guess another possibility is to send him to one of the new stores as security.
If it’s normal for there to be no opportunity to travel unless it’s related to work, then let’s just make it related to work.
“Is that possible? I mean, is it really alright?” [Dolce]
“I’d have to discuss it with Carm-san, but it should be possible. You’re working here anyway, and we will need to send people over once we open a new branch, so if it’s just adding you to the list of people to be dispatched, it shouldn’t be that difficult.
You’ve been working here since the store opened, so you know how I do things. And I also trust you personally and professionally, so sending you to a new store would put me at ease.
It should be a huge help to the people who’ll be tending to the new store too… Though we’ll be training them properly here, they’re bound to ask some simple questions while they familiarize themselves with their new workplace. I’m sure it would make their lives that much easier to have someone they can ask then.” [Ryouma]
“We had a lot of questions at first too.” [Fina]
When I started the store with everyone, we too had to figure things out step by step. As someone who’s been with us since that period, I’m sure his experience will provide a wealth of knowledge to those new employees.
“We could make it a temporary assignment with a set time limit. Maybe just the first month, or maybe half a year. But of course, that’s only if you’re willing. Do consider it.
By the way, the current candidate for the next branch is in Gaunago, where the duke’s mansion is located. The duke’s family asked us to build a branch there, so it’s at the top of our priorities.” [Ryouma]
“Okay. I’ll think about it.” [Dolce]
I should inform Carm-san. In any case, being able to speak with them like this, makes me feel as though we’re all progressing together, and that makes me happy. Even if the way we’re involved with each other changes, I hope we’ll always be able to share a moment like this occasionally.