|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2173 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1002 words|
Having thought of a job for them, I promptly called the guild master Krieck. With the influx of requests of late, he spent most of the time holed up in his office. It was true what they said, the higher you go the more paperwork you have to do.
“Master, it’s Lapis.”
“The door’s unlocked, you can enter.”
After I knocked on the door, he gave me permission to enter. The first thing I saw was Krieck buried under a pile of paperwork, just like I had expected. He turned to look at me, too tired to attempt glossing over his exhaustion, but still curious as to my off-schedule visit.
“It’s rare for you to come here on your own. Is there something you want to talk about?”
“In a way yes, but it’s not really about myself. It’s something that involves the guild as a whole.”
“…Hmm, I don’t really get it but it sounds important. Tell me.”
He placed his pen on the desk, then signaled at a chair for me while he readjusted his body on his chair. He had taken a more serious attitude, so I cleared my throat before I continued speaking.
“I’m sure you’re aware of this, given it’s not limited to the guild, but beginners always struggle and compete harshly against each other, right?”
Krieck did not look impressed, hearing something that was pretty much common sense.
“Of course. Personally, I wish I could help them, but doing such a thing could easily lead to favoritism and destroy the guild’s impartial ideals. It’s a complex issue, but nowadays we have the training school, so I think that as long as they put enough effort into it anyone can make a living here.”
“That’s true, but while they train at the school they have no means of earning money.”
“Right. The training school’s fees are dependent on one’s rank, so the lower ones can attend basically for free. But that also means they have no time to earn money.”
The training school was a place one could spend money in to get stronger, but not somewhere they could directly earn money from. That made the barrier of entry nigh unpassable for actual beginners. I wanted to do something to help those beginners who had no way of attending.
I just had to find a way to give jobs to those living in actual poverty, who had no savings or means to get jobs. That way the guild, and me, would be able to rest easy.
“I’m curious about something. Do all the furnishings in the guild come from a defined merchant?”
He seemed bewildered by the sudden change in topics, but he tilted his head and traced his memories.
“I wouldn’t say it’s exactly one appointed merchant. We usually make a list with everything we need, then send the list to as many merchants as we can and buy resources for three months from the cheapest seller.”
“Then…couldn’t we make a change there? Making everything in-house instead.”
This was my plan. We could build a small factory in one of the corners of the training school, then produce whatever item the guild spent the most money on there.
“Considering our work, I guess that would be paper, right?”
“I think so, yes. We use paper for the request documents, as well as the flyers on the bulletin board, then there are all the reports and certificates. Compared to other items, our usage of paper is extremely high. Even if we didn’t make all of it ourselves, even just a bit would be a big help…”
Krieck stayed silent for a while, his face showing he was deep in thought. There were many times when the paper supplied to the guild was of low quality, tearing easily, ink seeping out making it unreadable, and many other issues. Important documents were usually written on leather parchments, but those were also thick and hard to manage. But I had a plan to solve all those problems.
Many things had shocked me when I saw the world after Karin and Ciel took me out of the mountains, one of them being the low quality of the paper. Before that, I remembered paper being sturdier and whiter, but still used everywhere. The government had strict regulations on the quality of paper as well, which did raise its price but it was still manufactured at such a scale that it was no luxury item.
Now I was planning on resurrecting that old paper. Luckily one of the many blessings bestowed upon me by the gods was that of the god of knowledge, Widom, so I would never forget any knowledge or skill I saw once. And there had been one time back then when I had seen the workings of a paper factory, which would be useful now.
Calling it a lost technology would sound suspicious, so I decided to tell Krieck that I knew an easier way of manufacturing paper of high quality instead. The main difference between now and then was the presence of a machine that removed impurities back then.
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When impurities were embedded in the paper, it made it easier to tear apart, and ink would leak more easily. Simply spending a bit more time and workers on removing those impurities would drastically improve the quality of the paper. Ciel had told me there were many wars in the past, so it was easy to imagine the workers who knew how to properly manufacture paper had been drafted and died in battle, so the technology was lost to time.
There was no real innovation in the manufacturing process, but Krieck still seemed impressed hearing something as easy as cleaning could do that.
“…Are you sure something so easy will increase its quality?”
“I’m certain and I would swear by it. I could demonstrate myself, but let’s leave that for another time… Instead, let me explain how that ties to helping newcomers.”