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Translated by: Rinkage
Edited by: The Blacksmith & Anonymous_Neko
Chapter 50 – The smell of Cinderella from the ‘Secretary’
“Um, excuse me.” [???]
Belca-san’s daughter, who had still been trembling at the entrance, called out.
Her grey-coloured short bob was unkempt, with bangs long enough to conceal her eyes. She had light freckles across her face, moderately tanned skin, and a body that could be described as abnormally thin. She was slightly shorter than Marina; probably a little over 150cm. She was around 15 years old. Although she didn’t stand out, her features betrayed the possible hint of her future beauty.
Nonetheless, this type of girl suits my preference… It was possible that she was an unfortunate country girl…
That said, there were numerous cute girls in the village, so even if her looks were somewhat to my liking, I would not choose her because of that.
“Then let me give you an interview… First of all, come forward and take a seat.” [Jirou]
“Eh? U-Umm.. yes!” [???]
She tottered over in a fluster and was able to somehow sit on the chair. Is this child really going to be okay?
“Please tell me your name, age, vocation and introduce yourself! (1)” [Jirou]
I shot her the interview-like request. It was against my principle to ask annoying questions like, “What motivated you to apply to work at our company?”
Although, even if I were to ask that question, I would probably only get a straight answer along the lines of, "Because it seems like an easy way to make money."
“A-Aurica. Aurica Flaireim. I’m 16 years old. My vocation is… for the time being it’s ‘secretary’. Introduce myself… u-umm…” [Aurica]
"Um… I think Rebecca-san who’s standing there knew about it already, but I have a slight, um… no, actually… I have extremely poor eyesight. Okaa-san told me to keep it a secret but… umm so… I won’t be able to manage much secretary job. I can do housework and take care of horses but… in comparison with the other girls, I am totally…" [Aurica]
Oh? I see — so she has poor eyesight! She was certainly moving strangely just now, and I guess that would explain it. I’m glad it’s not because she’s an oddball. The impairment didn’t seem to be so severe that it would affect her daily life, but it also didn’t seem likely that corrective aids for vision would have been developed yet in this world. Even if such devices had already been developed, they would probably be too expensive for her. It's quite a miracle she made it this far. At the very least, it would be really bad for those with ‘secretary’ as their vocation to have poor eyesight…
That might be the reason why her mother was being so forceful about it. Although there was also a possibility that this might be due to the preconception of the people in this world. Even if a girl has somewhat poor eyesight, as long as she is presentable as a bride, it would be alright to them. I am unsure of the marriageable age here, but in the olden days on Earth, young girls were wed off at the age of 15. So, it was plausible that people in rural areas here had the same mindset.
Or, to tell the truth, I couldn’t deny that all the young girls who came as applicants today are possibly not married yet. After all, I did not enquire them if they are married or not. That was because the likelihood of young girls at that age who are married in this world are…
Oops. My thoughts had veered off in a strange direction. We’re talking about eye glasses right now.
“…Rebecca-san, are eye glasses expensive? If I'm not mistaken, Tobias-san was wearing one. If it's only several silver coins then, but well I don't think that would be the cost." [Jirou]
“Toby-kun’s is just for show. That guy has poor eyesight, you see. So, he wears fake glasses during work as a facade." [Rebecca]
“If that’s the case, then what about prescription glasses?" [Jirou]
“Nn… you could get those, but I think it might be hard for Aurica to afford them… Even so, in that child’s case, she couldn’t even tell people’s faces apart. That’s how bad her eyesight is." [Rebecca]
Rebecca appeared distressed as she said this.
Since none of my family members had this issue, I couldn’t tell how bad her eyesight was just based on that explanation alone. I have no idea what lens strength she needed, so it wouldn’t be possible for me to simply bring one back from Japan for her.
Although custom prescription glasses requires one to get their eyesight properly examined first, I could get reading glasses from optical shops instead… That option should be better than nothing, after all. I might not have adequate knowledge to carry this out, but if I were to give her a simple eye examination and purchase one for her online…
“Hey, Jirou.” [Rebecca]
“…Eh? Yeah? I mean, what is it? I was just a little preoccupied…” [Jirou]
“I can guess what Jirou is basically thinking right now. You want to ‘help’ that girl… Isn’t it so?” [Rebecca]
She hit the mark. Were my thoughts that easy to read from just looking at my facial expressions? I wasn’t normally able to express myself indirectly though.
Upon realizing that she had guessed it correctly, she heaved a sigh and turned to me.
“Well, if Jirou wishes to do so, then I’m fine with it… but there’s just one thing that I’d like you to remember. 'Help someone only when the person themself desires to be helped first. Otherwise, even well-intentioned efforts will only serve as self-satisfaction.'That’s the teachings of Le Baraka." [Rebecca]
Certainly, being so mindful about a child who came for an interview was probably a ‘well-intentioned’ act…
I couldn’t refute the fact that I was indeed expecting her to be grateful after I healed her eyes using earth’s technology (I was referring to eye glasses).
I became dispirited when she had me figured out…
Somehow, we ended up being engulfed by a profound silence…
This happened even though we were still in the middle of an interview…
At that moment, the one who broke the silence and came up with a new suggestion was Hetty-san.
“Jirou-sama, how about this: You want to help Aurica-san, but Becky believes that you should not help someone that easily. On the other hand, Aurica-san would like to work under Jirou-sama. So why not include it inside the terms of employment? You will be covering all the expenses to heal her eyes, and Aurica-san will be paying it back by working for you… How about it?" [Hetty]
E-Erm…How about it? Even if you asked me that, I wouldn’t know what to answer since I had not considered it that much yet…
"Ah, um, is there a way to heal her eyes? The only thing I had in mind actually was just eye glasses." [Jirou]
“Is that so? I had thought you were considering on using the spirit stone actually…" [Hetty]
Ah, the spirit stone! Since it could be used to restore one’s youth, it should be able to restore one’s eyesight too. That is great! It’s an easy method.
“Wait a minute Hetty. I didn’t actually say that he shouldn’t help her! It’s just that, Jirou can be a little too kind…” [Rebecca]
“Yes, yes. Thanks for sharing that with me.” (2) [Hetty]
“There should be at least two spirit stones if we return to the mansion. If Aurica-san’s eyes can be cured with those, then it’s fine to use them. Well, it’ll be up to Aurica-san though." [Jirou]
“E-Eh? You're fine with it? Just like that?! ——-I see. Jirou-sama is indeed way too generous." [Hetty]
“Isn't it? You should understand now why I couldn’t leave him alone, right?” [Rebecca]
“Yes, yes. That’s too much information… (3)Well, certainly it might tickle a woman’s maternal instincts, right?" [Hetty]
Rebecca-san and Hetty-san were spouting whatever they pleased. What do you mean by maternal instincts? Despite my appearance, I'm already 21 years old!
…Well, it was undeniable that I am not a ‘self-reliant man’ though. I am a NEET after all… I wonder if it was impossible for me to conceal all that aura of incompetence that emanated from me…
Well, I guess I might be a kid who’s unsure whether hair grows on treasure trail or not for Rebecca-san and Hetty-san.
It is a fact that I’m still a virgin.
Despite the fact that we were still in the middle of an interview, we were having a private conversation among ourselves. There was a faint smile on Aurica's face as she watched us.
That wouldn't do. The applicant would make fun of us if we were to go on with our lengthy discussion! It wouldn’t be a good thing for her to have an unfavourable view towards the employer.
“Um, Aurica-san? There is a term that we would like to propose. Would it be alright to you?" [Jirou]
When I straightened up and asked her, she nodded in reply.
“First of all, I am considering hiring you. However, it is undeniable that the problem with your eyesight might get in the way of your duties. That is why we came up with this proposal." [Jirou]
"Y-Yes! Um, actually—-I heard what you all were discussing about a moment ago. …But, I… while I am very happy with the proposal, I really couldn’t afford to pay you back for the spirit stone…so, as I thought, the other kids might be better…” [Aurica]
Hm. Well…I guess so.
Depending on the types of spirit stones, even the cheapest one would cost about 20 gold coins. In other words, it is an item that is worth at least 3 million yen.
If this were in Japan, it would be the same as someone saying, “I’ll employ you once your eyesight recovers. Oh yeah, I’ll be covering the cost for the LASIK surgery, so rest assured."
If you were to think over it carefully, it sounded like a fraud.
So, even if she were to use all five silver coins to pay me by monthly installment, she would be able to fully reimburse me only after 40 months. In fact, it would be more reasonable for her to return the sum of two silver coins every month. However, if that were the case, then it would take her around 100 months (more than eight years) to pay me back everything.
…That said, I don’t know how critical is the issue of visual impairment in this world either.
In my opinion, even though it might be somewhat hard for her financially, if me being meddlesome might bring about a possibility for her eyes to recover, then it might be worth thinking about. Nevertheless, it was a decision that might affect her for a lifetime, so it was undeniable that she would be having a bit of a hard time right now.
If she herself refused to be helped, then it would be just like Rebecca-san said. It would only ended up being a “well-intentioned effort” if I were to insist on helping her. Nothing could be done if things weren’t meant to be. Although, I could possibly give her another push, just in case… since she seemed like the shy, withdrawn type who always wound up getting the short end of the stick.
“You can take your time with the repayment of the spirit stone. I really don’t mind it. If you manage to achieve any guidance during your employment, then you can pay me back with the spirit stone at that time. I don’t have the intention to charge you any interest as well. …But, one of the prerequisite is that you need to work hard in the duties that are given to you. If you like, you can work as a live-in too." [Jirou]
On hearing my words, Aurica raised her face. However, before she could reply, Hetty-san interjected her.
“Jirou-sama, it might be impertinent of me, but I would like to make a comment. That term is far too generous. If she decides to live-in, 2 silver coins would be sufficient as the wage. Even if she were to use 80% from the total to pay you back, it would still be more than adequate for her." [Hetty]
“Eh? But she’ll be left with only 40 El, won’t she?" [Jirou]
“It will be sufficient for her if she’s a live-in. We have already explained that uniforms will be loaned to her. The job has basically covered everything for her including her food, clothing, and shelter. What other problems would she have?” [Hetty]
“It’ll take her close to 10 years to pay me back with just 2 silver coins as wage though.” [Jirou]
“That will prevent her from quitting half-way, won’t it? If Jirou-sama would like to insist on it, then she can treat it as a 'bond' until she achieves her guidance. In any event, achieving one guidance within 10 years is not unlikely." [Hetty]
I see… Well, it would be fine by me since I could save my money, but this made me feel as though I am operating some kind of 'black company' now, since I reduced the amount of wage in the middle of an interview.
That said, it was true that nothing comes cheap. Well, that would be the case only if the person in question accepted it…
“Umm… I might not be able to achieve my guidance, actually. I think I will take a long time to return the money as well. Erm, so will it really be alright?" [Aurica]
Will it really be alright?
Naturally, it was fine for me. I had said the same thing last time with Marina. I guess, in Marina’s case, what she said was, “Why did you choose someone like me?”
I wonder if it was because I like those shy and withdrawn type. As I thought, it must be because I’m a virgin. I am bad against those aggressive type. It was a feeling that I did not want to acknowledge, though.
In the end, I decided to hire Aurica at the wage of 200 El (Two silver coins) per month.
Since the amount was lower than the initial arrangement, I planned to hire another one, although, that would have to wait until things settled down on my side. In fact, as repayment for the spirit stone (in name), the amount that I would be paying her is actually not 200 El, but just 40 El per month.
I received different kinds of responses from those who came for the interview when they found out that I was hiring Aurica, but they were generally favourable.
When I tried enquiring about them a little, I discovered that Aurica was living alone with Belca-san, her mother. Due to the problem with her eyesight, she couldn’t get a job related to her vocation, so she could only help out with the housework. Their living expenses were mainly provided by Belca-san, who worked at the tavern for a small wage.
Therefore, Belca-san had hoped that she would either achieve her guidance, or that her daughter would be able to find a good candidate for marriage one day. Nevertheless, since her daughter was not especially beautiful, there was no benevolent man who could readily accept a visually impaired girl. On top of that, she did not receive any guidance either. If the situation persisted, she was concerned that her daughter could only be prostitute. While she was deeply troubled by her daughter’s future, the village chief started spreading the news that I was hiring a maid; and that was how this interview came about.
When I informed Belca-san – who was waiting impatiently outside- that I had decided to hire Aurica, she pulled Aurica into a hug and swung her around.
On top of that, when she heard it from Aurica herself that I would be healing her eyes with spirit stone as an advance payment, she looked so pleased that she started shedding tears. Following that, I explained to her Aurica's wage, and that she would be staying with me as a live-in maid, but it seemed that Belca-san didn’t have any problem with it at all. Well, even if I did say she would be living with us, her village is only a stone’s throw away from my mansion.
Well then, since I would be using one spirit stone to heal Aurica’s eyes, I should be clearing my guidance soon. Among the guidances that I have; ‘Try defeating a monster’ and ‘Obtain your own home’ should be relatively easy to be cleared. Nonetheless, it was a mystery as to why I have yet to be able to achieve ‘Obtain your own home’. I had essentially acquired one already, so it made me wonder if there was something else that was still missing.
“Aurica-san, did you happen to receive a guidance? If it seems achievable then I might be able to lend you a hand.” [Jirou]
“D-Danna-sama, umm, um, you don’t need to use any honorifics when you address me." [Aurica]
“Danna-sama, is it… It sounds nice… Aurica, one more time! One more time please!” (4) [Jirou]
“Eh? Um…? Danna-sama?” [Aurica]
Ooooooh! I couldn't resist the look when she cast her eyes down shyly! A maid calling me ‘Danna-sama’ with upturned eyes! (No maid clothing yet, though). Being able to experience this with just one spirit stone is cheap…
“U-Um… I did receive one when I received my blessings, but it was difficult for me to achieve it, so I gave up…” [Aurica]
“Is it a hard one? If so then I could help you with it.” [Jirou]
“Umm, Danna-sama don’t need to go through such great lengths to do this… Besides, it is probably impossible unless you have books or teachers…” [Aurica]
“Is that so? Then, what's the content of the guidance?” [Jirou]
“Erm… it’s ‘Acquire another language 0/1’.” [Aurica]
(1) The raw for this part is 自己アピール (自己PR) which literally means ‘Self-appeal’ or 'Self-public relations'.
This Engrish (A mixture of English and Japanese word) term is used when the interviewer asks the interviewees to talk about themselves, their skills & abilities and why the company should hire them.
(2) The raw for this part is 'ごちそうさま' which can also be literally translated as 'Thanks for the meal'.
(3) The same 'ごちそうさま' is used here.
(4) The last two parts are in English.
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