Arc 1 – Part 1
Chapter 2: I started a consulting business for adventurer parties.
“Well, how are you?”, I said to myself while on the first floor of an inn, gnawing at cold bread while stroking my unshaven chin.
I am Kenji an adventurer that retired before 30. This has caused me to lose my means of providing for myself.
When I was in Japan, I was a consultant.
At first, I thought of making a living through consulting, but the guild was already firmly established in that market with little room for anyone else, combined with the fact that I had no start-up capital, I gave up on it.
“Hey, what are you doing?”, called out Sarah the Archer.
This redheaded woman joined our party two years ago.
I think she is past 20, but it is difficult to determine due to her being part foreigner.
Even if I ask her she only says that it is a secret.
She seems quite worried about her age.
How should I say it, is it the difference between our cultures or is she being sophisticated? I think that we have the same words but different meaning.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
“You shouldn’t buy that arrowhead it is expensive.”
“Could you not be so nosy about how I spend my money?”
Adventurers are quite careless when it comes to money.
Because all they know is how to fight they are unfamiliar with the concepts of economics
Therefore, they tend to get ripped off.
Take Sarah as an example. She had a terrible sense of money and as a result was always penniless. Being unable to just stand by and watch them waste their money I taught them that buying in bulk could save them money.
If you buy the arrowheads, shaft and feathers separate you can build them yourselves.
Even if an archer were to buy an arrow they would end up adjusting it themselves to suit their preference.
As a result, the difference in labour between buying an arrow and making one yourselves is minimal.
How many people are buying arrows as they use them?
What percentage can be reused?
What is the market price and how much can you save by buying in bulk?
Using my knowledge from when I was a consultant, I was able to reduce our arrow expenses to 1/6th of what it normally was.
They treated me to a drink as thanks.
They understood that such expenditures were no good.
Adventurers tend to be the poor people who run off with no education.
Money is a necessity for beginners for them to arrange equipment but, they squander their money without saving any.
This results in them struggling to raise their rank.
This is a downward spiral that keeps repeating itself.
I was transported here in my mid-twenties. I was able to do well because of my good money sense.
I helped my party by managing their finances
Well, it seems they weren’t able to understand much, except for Sarah, because they were idiots but…
Is it helping those like Sarah.
I do not care much for consulting other adventure parties.
But it cannot be help in order to earn money.
With that in mind, I decided to start ‘Adventure part management consultation’.
Chapter 3: Story of my first unreasonable customer
“Then, I will be your first customer”
Sarah sat down on the seat opposite mine. Her red hair bouncing as she did so.
“Since you are my first customer I will give you a deal, 1 big copper coin? No 3 coppers”.
I can live for 2 weeks with 1 large copper coin whereas 3 coppers will do me for 2 maybe 3 days. Well I guess there’s no helping it.
“Hmm… should I? Oh well”
“Well, if you have no money then I won’t take any.”
“Understood, then please.”
First of all, make an oral agreement.
You do not make a contract with one another.
Many adventurers cannot read, so they feel that you are trying to deceive them.
“So, what’s the matter”
“Not me, my archer friend in another party needs help. Arrows are very costly, but the party’s not willing to cover the expenses. Because she cannot earn enough to cover the costs, she was told to leave.”
“There are two problems. First. You were also troubled by the cost of arrows, so you should buy them in bulk. Rather if she buys with you it will be cheaper. Second there is no rule for sharing expenses for adventurers. Well, there are teller staff for major adventure groups but it’s impossible for a newbie team.
“So, for the first one she should buy arrows in bulk, but what should she do for the second one? I told you that arrows are expensive, but I heard that swordsmen also have to pay for sword sharpening and the magician also said that catalyst are expensive… I do not know whether the party’s opinion is correct or not.”
“You should meet up with their party. In the meantime, I will make a manual for shopping.”
“Is that not what the Adventurer Guild is doing?”
“Such bureaucracy is keeping amateurs from rising up!” I spit.
In this world, a thing called the Adventurer’s Guild exists.
However, what they actually do is possibly closer to modern day employment agencies.
They handle allocating requests to parties capable of completing them, confirm completion of said requests and make payment.
They handle the registration, resignation and death of adventurers, they also purchase materials from monsters. But that’s it.
While they provide a lot of support for high-ranking adventures, they do not give enough support to novice adventurers.
It is different from a game.
There is no support for beginners. The uneducated people come from rural areas usally challenge reckless requests and die. If they don’t die then they usually retire from suffering crippling wounds without any compensation to help them.
In the first-year half of them die.
That’s just what type of work it is.
It is my amateur business against the Adventurer’s Guild.
Though even if I make a manual there is no meaning in distributing it among those that cannot read.
It would be literally reaching for a castle in the sky.
How to teach trading and negotiations to those that do not even know how to read.
It is quite troubling.
Chapter 4: First menu is accompanied by shopping
Think, Think I tell myself.
I image the problem in order to come up with a solution.
10s of seconds pass in serious though.
“How about you shop together?”
“???” Sarah looked confused.
“In short, her party members don’t trust each other to honestly say how much their preparations cost. When you have a party, tell each other what to prepare also tell each other the cost of your necessary preparations. Go around together to the Blacksmith, Magician’s Guild and Grocery store and pay together, while trying to haggle. It will take less than 2 hours to meetup and shop.”
“When you finish an adventure, go around with your party and replenish your supplies. After you have done that fairly divide the remaining amount between you.”
“That’s it, why didn’t I think of this? Every time we finish a request we meet at the bar, I will bring it up with them then.”
“Stupid, I was doing all that. Well, I do not know what you are going to do in the future.”
“If you are concerned about negotiations then, I could attend you first shopping tour. If you know the market price and have people with strong negotiating skills it will help with your finances. The suspicions your party held before will also be cleared up. Making them be more fair with the money.”
“You should do this as a business!” Sarah shouted excitedly.
I see, there is also that.
I nodded my head in agreement.
I’m good at thinking up solutions for others, but not for myself.
For the time being I will accompany adventurer parties when shopping.
It seems to be the first menu to support adventurers.
Chapter 5: The client talks
(This is from Kimberly’s point of view, Sarah’s friend.)
Kimberly, Ginger, Garang and Golum. They have been my party members for the past 2 months.
Archer Kimberly who came from a rural village, Swordsman Garang, Ginger who was taught only beginner magic and Gorum with a dexterous hands and quick feet.
The very image of a newbie party.
However, it couldn’t be avoided.
It is only possible to pair beginners with other beginners.
Because it is important to both make money and survive.
Since our party was formed, we have received as many as 10 requests in only 2 months, but I feel somewhat upset.
Because we are not saving money up and as such we cannot upgrade our equipment.
As such I consulted with Sarah who also uses a bow.
“I have a good acquaintance.” Replied Sarah.
I came to the first floor of the inn in the morning.
In the inn, a swordsman-style man sat on a desk and shook hands with me.
“Kenji is doing management consultation for adventurers and parties.”
“Sarah recommended you to me.”
Kimberly had seen Kenji before in a medium sized party.
Though there skills aren’t all that impressive, the equipment his party wielded was always noteworthy.
“I heard the story from Sarah, but I want to hear it from your mouth.” Kenji says.
Adventurers stake their life on verbal requests.
Kenji understanding this insists on Kimberly saying it herself.
“So far, I have been on as many as 10 requests. All that should have been successful, but we aren’t saving money. So, we are left without enough money to upgrade our equipment. Personally speaking, even with the money I earn most of it goes to buying arrows due to them being so expensive, although I am accumulating experience I do not feel as if I am rising at all.”
“Leave it to me.” Kenji said while nodding his head.