One month after spreading the rumor.
“Good work out there, guys..” [Ryouma]
“You too, Boss.” [Everyone]
Work at the store concluded today too without any problems.
The employees left the break room in droves as they headed back to their dorm.
The only ones who stayed behind were me, Caulkin-san, Tony-san, and Robelia-san.
“It’s already been a month since you started working here… Well? How is it? Do you have any difficulties in work that you wish to address?” [Ryouma]
“Not at all, Boss! This is the best place I’ve ever worked at!” [Robelia]
“Not only do I not have any complaints with our treatment, the work is also fulfilling.” [Tony]
“More than anything, it’s such a joy to see the slimes bringing in so much profit.” [Caulkin]
The other two nodded to Caulkin-san’s words.
“That’s good to hear. I asked you to help with researching stuff on top of training you, so I was worried I might’ve been pushing you too much.” [Ryouma]
“Forget about us, Boss. What about you? The customers have been increasing lately, and… That man came today too, right?” [Tony]
Ever since publicizing my contract with the rimel birds, rumors attacking Guild Master Taylor have gone down. But in exchange, more and more people have been wanting to meet with me.
“He left quickly… but what was up with that man?” [Caulkin]
“Apparently, he’s a middleman for selling monsters. Rimel birds sell high because there are plenty who are willing to pay for them, alive or taxidermized. And there are also those who wish to use them to carry letters.
Anyway, it was all money talk, so after finding out that that’s all he wanted to talk about, I asked him to leave.” [Ryouma]
It was either selling the rimel birds or to hire me.
I’ve already decided not to sell the rimel birds, so that one’s out of the question. As for hiring, if he wants to hire me, then he needs a letter of reference.
“It wasn’t all that problematic for me since I did refuse his abrupt request for a meeting. Still, thank you for worrying for me.” [Ryouma]
“It would be troublesome if something happen to you, after all. Our situation now is really good. It’s even better than when we were researchers at the lab.” [Robelia]
“Yes. Much much better than when I was just a researcher in name.” [Caulkin]
“Back then the future held nothing but despair…” [Robelia]
“Was it really that bad?” [Ryouma]
“It’s because you don’t know how terrible the lab is, Boss. The work conditions there are so bad that people living in the slums are better off. They treat their researchers worse than slaves.” [Caulkin]
You’d think a lab would treat their employees right, but apparently, there are some pretty terrible labs. But then again… Even back at my world, despite all the labor laws, there were still companies that abused the hell out of their employees. Such employees even popularly came to be called ‘corporate slaves’…
It seems that even though the world has literally changed, people are still the same as ever.
“The only ones who stay after being sent to the slime department are those obsessed with research like me or those with nowhere else to go.” [Caulkin]
“It’s a position specifically meant for people the lab doesn’t like or outsiders, so it’s only natural that the people in the slime department would be treated poorly… Slave owners need to ensure the livelihood of their slaves, but the lab only needs to pay the wages of the researchers. Their livelihood be damned…” [Robelia]
“That being said, they do pay a big enough salary to live off of, but it’s just barely enough. Not luxurious by any means. Moreover, they will cut that wage over the pettiest of things, so you’ll be forced to cut on your living expenses… If you complain, they’ll just tell you to resign, so you have no negotiating power whatsoever.” [Tony]
Yep. That’s a corporate slave, alright.
“What do you mean by ‘pettiest of things’?” [Ryouma]
“Well, the most common reason is not being able to get results.” [Robelia]
“The main objectives of the slime research department is to explain the slime’s mode of life and to grasp the taming method of the big slime. Unfortunately, no one has a clue how to achieve those.” [Caulkin]
“And that’s why it’s used to demote people.” [Tony]
“So, why can’t you explain the slime’s mode of life?” [Ryouma]
I know even Earth, with all of its development in science, has animals they’ve yet to figure out, but…
“For starters, slimes can be found pretty much everywhere. They’re too varied, be it in environment or abilities, so even if you come up with a theory, there’s bound to be a slime somewhere out there that goes contrary to that theory.” [Caulkin]
“Moreover, there’s simply too little information. When researching other monsters, you start by dissecting the monster. From there you look at various stuff, like the shape of their teeth and use that to infer information, such as whether they’re carnivorous or herbivorous.
But when slimes die they just leave behind their nucleus while the rest of their body disappears, so you can’t even dissect them. Not that there would be any point in doing so, since their bodies are transparent and you can see everything. But with the nucleus they leave behind being nothing more than a brittle stone, we can’t even tell if they actually have any organs…” [Robelia]
Now that he mentions it, slimes do disappear when they die…
When I got to this world for the first time and I defeated a slime, it just disappeared and left behind a nucleus.
For a moment, I thought the world had a drop item system going on, but when I defeated other monsters, their body didn’t disappear, and I couldn’t loot them without gutting them first.
Because of that I also wondered why only slimes disappeared upon being killed.
Unfortunately, I never really got to answer that since my interested turned toward the evolution paths of the slimes.
“We also have countless incidences where the slimes evolved into a higher variant, but we have no idea how to make the evolutions happen.” [Tony]
Hmm? They don’t know the evolution conditions?
“What kind of slimes did the slimes evolve into?” [Ryouma]
“All sorts. That’s about all I can really say. I mean each time they would evolve into something different…” [Robelia]