Chapter 77: That time when we picked up the craftsmen
We’ve arrived at Corundum, two days before the deadline of the enlistment I posted at the guild.
「Well then, I have something to do at the guild so this is where we part」
「I understand. Thank you for everything, Caam-san」
「Don’t worry about it. I can’t tell you to just swim home after all. Alright, take care not to mistake deer for tigers okay?」1
「Another saying huh? Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any tigers yet in this world」
「That is truly unfortunate. At any rate, good luck」
The hero party left after that exchange. Well, no matter how he decides to report the incident, something is bound to happen so I guess I can just continue without worrying too much about it.
「Well then, everyone is free to do what they want during this trip but for those who can do calculations, please stay behind for a bit」
After saying that, only three people were left.
「I apologize for taking your time even though we’re finally at the port town. I’m thinking of just sending you guys to buy supplies the next time we run out so I’ll introduce you guys to Nils-san. Also, if I’ll need your abilities once we start exporting goods in the future」
The three of them looked a bit confused but just continued.
「Just think of it as you guys being a merchant’s apprentice. I’ve only done transactions so I don’t know how this would work but I’m sure it will work out somehow as long as persevere. Well, there’s also the option to hire someone who specializes in that though. Well, then, shall we go?」
After saying that, we moved to Nils-san’s warehouse.
Once we arrived, I called out to a man who looked like one of Nils-san’s workers that was nearby.
「Hello, is Nils-san here?」
「Yeah, he is inside. Did you come to purchase from us again? If so then please show me the liquor barrels that will be used」
「We’re not here to purchase anything today. I just came to talk and also introduce these gentlemen to him. I won’t always be available to come here personally after all」
「I understand. Well, he’s inside so please look for him there」
I knocked on the door of the same office/break room that I entered the other day then waited for a reply before entering.
「Sorry for disturbing you」
Once Nils-san saw my face, or rather the color of my skin, he gave an immediate reply.
「Are you here today to make a purchase?」
「No, that’s not it. I can’t always be away from the island for long periods since something might happen so I’ll introduce to you these people behind me who are somewhat capable of calculation」
「I understand but let’s make the gentlemen behind you wait for a bit longer and let’s talk about this first」
After saying that, he stood up then took out a white cloth from his desk.
「I didn’t have the opportunity to travel to the island so couldn’t report it but I’ve already given the thread you gave me the other day to my acquaintance. According to them, it’s inferior to silk but it will be profitable with a large enough stock. The cloth’s texture is between silk and cotton so it seems like it can be treated as a higher quality cloth for the commoners」
「I see. However, I just found that cocoon by chance while I was exploring the island and we haven’t even paved a road towards that area yet so we don’t have any in stock. If we push for it, the earliest that would happen will be around the time of the end of the seasons’ festival. Would that be alright?」
「Is that so? I would appreciate it if you would let me handle the negotiations at that time」
「If we really wanted to get the highest profit, it would be better for us to make a deal with the textile industry directly rather than conducting business through a middle man like you. However, since I don’t have any connections, I’ll be in your care」
「I appreciate it」
「Well, I’m not a merchant after all. However, if someone decides to personally go to the island to buy the thread, would it be better if I send them to you? Should I write them a letter of introduction or something?」
「You don’t need to go that far」
「Oh, that’s right. Can you recommend a place that deals with vacant shop spaces?」
I had to say it in a roundabout way since he might not understand if I say “real estate agent”.
「If that’s what you want then you should head to the guards’ station since they’re also the ones managing that」
「Thank you. The next thing I would like to bring up is the delivery of the livestock, or to be more specific their escorts」
「Alright, what about them?」
「They were the heroes」
「Wha-! W-well, you seem to be in good health. And so, what happened to the hero-sama?」
「We fought but managed to come to a settlement after talking it out. We even gave them a ride on our ship to this town. The problem is that the merchant ran away in the middle of the fight. Moreover, according to the hero, he was going to take all of the money once I was defeated. I obviously would get at least a bit mad at that so I’m thinking of harassing them. I won’t ask you to introduce me to them but the next time I ask for livestock, please get them from the same merchant. I want to greet them with a huge smile on my face when they come to deliver the goods on the island after all」
「I truly apologize. I didn’t know they were that type of person. I will change how I interact with them from now on」
「It’s fine if that’s what you want to do but please get them the next time I request for livestock since I want to harass them」
「You’re a very interesting demonkin, aren’t you Caam-san?」
「No, that’s not it. This is just me being childish and wanting to play a prank. I’m thinking of enjoying the awkward atmosphere that will happen when they arrive」
We moved on to the introduction of the three after that. I felt like the progress was a bit too slow though, probably because they’re not that well educated.
「Nils-san. Please keep drilling it to them like that. That way, I won’t have to hire a merchant」
「Understood. They’ll be fine merchants by the time I’m done with them」
「You don’t have to go that far since they’re going to end up being sailor merchants. Well, I don’t really mind if you rip me off, to be honest」
「I won’t do such a thing for it may damage my credibility」
「Well then, we should be leaving soon」
「I understand. Please drop by again whenever you’re here」
After saying that, we left Nils-san’s warehouse.
「Caam-san, I don’t think we can do this」
「It’s fine. Didn’t Nils-san just say he’ll help you out? And besides, since you’re only going to purchase supplies that we’re lacking, just use the note that I’m going to give you and you’ll be fine. I’ll be coming along if it’s something important」
As I said that, I told the three of them that they were free to go then I headed for the guards’ station.
I approached one of the old men on the counter and asked about the vacant stores.
「I have a few questions about the vacant stores and I’ve heard that this is the place to ask. Would it be alright for me to check the layout of the buildings?」
「Understood. I shall get someone who can help you with that so please wait a moment」
He went into the back room then after a while, an onee-san came out and sat in front of me.
「Thank you for your patience. What type of business are you planning on starting?」
「Let’s see. I’m thinking of a place that serves tea and serves light meals or sweets」
Hearing that, the onee-san had a troubled look on her face then called another person from the back to assist her in explaining.
「I’ve heard about your query. That type of store would need a usable furnace as well as some tables and chairs. Would that be enough?」
「Yes, that would be enough. However, I’m only browsing for now so let’s save the detailed explanation for next time. Please show me the closest available store from here」
After that, I was led to the closest vacant store so I began checking the layout.
The entrance was quite wide, there was a counter, a kitchen, and a simple-looking room in the back.
Should we go with square tables or would it be better if they are round? Square tables would be easier to get though. The counter only needs chairs and the room at the back can be used as a breakroom. It would be great if the sales would also allow us to get a vacant room nearby.
While I was thinking about all of that, the agent who showed me the store started talking to me.
「Um, you said your store is going to be serving tea and snacks but is that really true?」
「Yes, that’s the kind of store I’m aiming for」
「Tea is something that you drink at home or during breaks so I don’t think it will be very popular, to be honest」
「It doesn’t have to be popular since we’re going to open a store for publicity」
「Publicity…… you say?」
The agent was at a loss for words but I kept going.
「I’ve discovered something that could be used as an alternative to tea after all. I’ve never seen it being sold around here so I’m thinking of making it known to the public at first. Once people who know about it increase, the number of people who would want to be able to brew it in their own homes would also increase. That’s when we can start considering exporting the product」
「Because of that, for the time being, this shop will only be used to introduce the product to the masses. Even if the shop doesn’t become popular, we’ll be able to get a profit by selling the raw ingredients」
「Is that so?」
「That’s the reason for getting a shop. Well, it would still be best if both the shop and the raw materials are thriving, wouldn’t it? I’m sure that the price would change depending on the location among other factors but such things are better off left for when we’ve actually started in earnest. This should be enough for now. Thank you for your assistance」
「It was my pleasure. Well then, I shall return to my work」
After saying that, we exited the building and he locked the door.
I think we can obtain chairs, tables, and firewood in this town so just have to regularly transport the beans here and we’ll be fine.
Two days later at noon
「Well then, let’s go to the guild to see if there are any craftsmen who would like to immigrate」
「That would be great. We would have wasted our time if there aren’t any」
「Yeah. But you’ve already bought women and drinks while we were here, haven’t you?」
「Just don’t get any weird disease okay?」
「Then I’ll leave things here to you guys」
After saying that, I was seen off by the cheerful sailor.
Once I got to the guild, a couple of men sitting at one of the tables at the back started looking in my direction the moment I entered.
They might be the potential applicants who recognized me from the description on the poster. Five men huh? They look skilled. I wonder if there aren’t a lot of female craftsmen in this area?
While I was thinking that, one of them approached me.
「Are you the demonkin called Caam?」
「Yes, are you applying to immigrate to the island?」
「Then let’s get right to it. Let’s talk at that table over there」
After saying that, I picked a vacant seat then we started the discussion.
「Well then, why don’t we introduce ourselves first? Well, as you can probably tell, I’m the dark-blue-skinned Caam who put up the recruitment post. Nice to meet you」
The five people nodded and just gave me a brief reply.
「I’ll just ask to make sure but do you really want to go to the island?」
「I’ll be speaking for our group. We’re craftsmen working in this town but we are already done with our training and will have to start being independent soon. That’s why your post came at just the right time since we have matching interests」
「Alright, why don’t you guys introduce yourselves?」
「The name’s Jucove, a carpenter」
「I’m Goburg, also a carpenter. We worked at the same place and we were thinking of opening a store somewhere」
「I’m Sharlet, a mason」
「Bart. I’m a woodworker that mainly makes make furniture」
Oh, I unexpectedly got the full set.
「Well then, I’ve got a few questions for everyone. Are any of you guys married? If so, do you have any children?」
「All of us are bachelors so we can leave right away」
「I see. That makes things easier. However, don’t you have things you need to bring, like tools for example? What about those?」
「Everyone has their own tools. However, Pietro will need an anvil to do his smithing」
「That’s right. Pietro won’t be able to fix my chisel without that. My chisel is already busted so I can’t use it for anything as is」
「I see. Let’s look for a place where they’re sold then」
「I know someone」
Pietro mumbled those words. He sure is a man of few words.
「Then that makes things quicker. I’ll show you the way to our ship first so that you’ll know where it is. Then we can split up so you guys can finish making your preparations. However, Pietro-san, before you go and do your preparations, please guide me to the place that sells anvils. It’s a necessary expense so I’ll spend our funds to buy it. If anyone else needs additional tools required for your job, please let me know so that I can also purchase them」
「「「「「Oooh」 」 」 」 」
They sounded impressed by that. At any rate, I wonder if it’s normal for craftsmen of different fields that are skilled enough to start working independently to gather like this.
「Before we leave, please give me a moment to take care of something first」
I went to the lady at the receptionist desk and asked her to remove the paper I had posted then we left the guild. I guided everyone to where our ship was docked then told them that we’ll meet there in the morning of the following day.
After that, I was led by Pietro-san to the shop he had worked for. There, I bought an anvil as well as some iron since we didn’t have any on the island.
「Urgh! It’s so damn heavy!」
「Hey, demonkin lad. It’s an anvil so of course it would be heavy. Go get someone to help you since that thing is even heavier than my wife」
How would I know your wife’s weight! Also, I’m sorry but I have two wives so there’s no way this thing weighs more than my two people.
「I guess you’re right. I’ll go get someone」
It’s small but heavy but I might be able to carry it myself if I can figure out a good way to hold it. Now, who should I call?
「I also need to prepare so I’ll excuse myself」
After saying that, Pietro left. It would have been nice if you helped us out too you know?
Once he left, I called over a couple of sailors to help me carry the anvil and iron I bought.
「Gaahm-zan, gib us some good alcohol tonight for this! Pleaze!」2
「Fine, so put your back into it already! It’s digging into my shoulder!」
The shopkeeper uncle used a thick rope to tie the anvil on two poles so that we can distribute the weight but if I had to guess, each person was still carrying about 70 kilos. My shoulder was dying because of that.
Small but heavy things are the worst!