In the following week, the durability test for the rubber finally concluded.
There were no problems with the durability of products, and in particular: Rubber-coated cloth, Cushion and Sandals, all these types of shoes were permitted by Hegard to commence commercialization. The slingshot and protectors however had to be postponed. Especially the protector, I haven’t had the time to fully test its durability against piercing and slashing sword attacks. Well, it’s no use complaining about that right now. I was hoping to commercialize the protector for a high unit price, but Hegard didn’t permit the selling of the armor. Nevertheless, he gave me instructions to keep on improving the armor, and I was told to guide and teach both Farne and Mill in the method of creating rubber goods. At any rate, I readily complied with his instructions as I had no qualms about teaching my fellow siblings nor about improving the quality of my rubber goods.
But there is one thing that I can’t really understand.
「Father, is it alright if I also provide instructions to the people of the village?」
「Umu, in regards to this matter, I plan to talk to everyone about it after dinner. Until then, you should keep training hard」
After saying that, he stood up from his seat as if the conversation was already over. He is probably going to patrol the territory. I wasn’t really completely satisfied with his answer as the conversation got cut off, but, I trained my magic and used up all my mana in the morning and took a rest until noon. Well I suppose we are going to talk more about it during dinner anyways…
After eating supper, Hegard gathered the entire family and said “I want to talk about something today” and he kept the fire inside of the lamp lit for the occasion. Both Farne and Mill didn’t know what the topic was going to be about as they exchanged looks with each other and immediately turned their attention towards Hegard. It would seem that Sharl had already heard the gist of it before hand, and she seemed to be really calm and had the usual smile on her face. Myun was preparing some sort of tea beverage that tasted like black tea, and it seems that Hegard was planning on waiting until she served everyone their drinks before beginning to speak. I also felt that I didn’t need to alienate Myun from our family conversations any longer so I just calmly waited in silence until my tea was poured for me.
After serving tea to everyone in the room, Myun bowed and left the room. I wasn’t sure if she was going to return into the room, but when I gave her a fleeting glance, she returned a light smile towards me.
「Now then, the topic we are about to speak as of now, is something that both Sharl and I have already decided on. However, Farne and or Mill, or even Al, if you guys have your opinions about this, we don’t mind hearing them. Depending on the circumstances, we may even reconsider our plans」
Hegard looked at each of us sequentially as he spoke out.
「Although I think you guys already know about this, Al has recently ascertained the durability of his rubber products. Well, after hearing the opinions of the people who were testing the products, it turned out that there weren’t any major problems. Because there were no unforeseen problems, we have started production of various types of rubber products and distributed it to Bakkudo Village, we are also going to put it up for sale in other nearby towns. The goods we will offer up for sale are a variety of sandals, namely: Shoes, rubber-coated cloth and cushioned shoes」
After saying this much, Hegard took a mouth of tea to moisten his mouth.
「In regards to the slingshot and armor, I decided to postpone mass production for now. The reason for this is that, rubber is already going to be monopolised by Bakkudo village, so if we wait a little bit longer and raise the quality of our products, when we depart to the frontiers for battle, it will become useful in practical combat and serve as proof thereby increasing its price. Ah, in other words, it will propel the village to new heights and consolidate the fact that we provide special goods that we can be proud of. Therefore, I want the product to be improved even more, enough so that it can be used in actual combat in the near future, and after showing how useful these armor products are to those who have no idea what rubber is, only then will we begin selling it」
Up until now, Mill had a face that showed she didn’t really understand what was going on, but after that explanation, she seemed to understand a little more. Nevertheless, is that what Hegard was thinking…..
「When somebody uses either the sandals or the rubber-coated cloth they will soon realize how excellent these goods are. Although it’s hard to predict the opinions of the masses before we put it up for sale, at the very least, both Sharl and I have high opinions for these products. Though I placed a considerably high price on these goods, it is likely going to be very popular. Aside from the nobles, I don’t intend on making the price so high that commoners will not be able to afford it. Well, to be honest I don’t have a clear prediction of how many of these products will sell, and I plan to work it out from here on out…… However, in terms of life saving armors, I can’t leave it to chance. Obviously we can’t just put it up on the market, so that we can see if it can withstand a slash from a sword, right? Therefore, I plan to have improvements done to the armor from here on out and then use it in the next war. After all, it’s about time that our village is called for battle. Depending on how well it goes at that time, I might even be able to sell it to the other nobles and aristocrats right on the spot」
I understand, he’s trying to promote the sales of the armor with actual combat proof… I actually hadn’t thought that far ahead. I actually thought that if I just did a presentation to show that my armor could withstand the strike of a blade within Bakkudo Village, that it would be enough as a sample and start selling it immediately. However, it never occurred to me to use it in actual combat as a proof of how superior the product could be. I don’t really know if this idea came just from Hegard or just from Sharl, or maybe the both of them thought of this idea when they were discussing things, but what I do know is that my parents aren’t just for show! Not only that, it seems that they also have quite the keen mind for business.
「Alright, then in order to recap, I want you kids to remember something. In terms of rubber products, there is actually a couple of secrets involved. In regards to this secrets, you guys should never leak them out to outsiders, unless they are your family members. Even now there is already a variety of secrets, but as the amount of rubber products that is produced increases, so too will the amount of secrets around it. If you want to state your opinion about the other matters then we will be happy to hear it, but in regards to this matter, it’s already been decided so I won’t accept any objections. This is what I have decided as the head of the Greed Household. You guy’s got that?」
「I think that I’ve got a good grasp on how to make the rubber products from Al. If there is something wrong with what I say, please correct me」
After saying this, Hegard looked at me and started to explain the procedure in making the various rubber products. He didn’t really get any specific mistakes, so I didn’t interrupt him in the middle of his speech. I thought that I only briefly explained the concepts to Hegard in the past and he only got as far as touching some of the products, but it seems that he was able to accurately explain in depth as to the procedure of how to create these products… I suppose that as the lord of this village he is really working very seriously. From this, I understood that he wasn’t just blankly listening to what I said, and it can be seen that Hegard’s powers of comprehension is really good.
「In brief, magical power is not necessary to make rubber. By going through the proper procedures, anyone can make rubber products if they had the time. However, in the process of drying the rubber, it is most efficient to use magic to help with the process, this part is clear right? Also if you mix the sap, with the charcoal powder and the yellow stone’s powder it’s elasticity will grow, and if you keep adding more of these ingredients, it will eventually become hard and become ebonite. People can have a general prediction as to what is being mixed in, besides we are going to mass produce the products from here on out, so along with the increase in ingredients it probably won’t be possible to hide this secret for a long period of time. However, the real secret is in the ratio and percentage of how much of each particular ingredient are mixed into the rubber. You guys got that?」
Once again, everyone nods. Indeed, it’s probably better to guard the secret of the mixture ratio and procedure of things rather than what ingredients are being used. Just like Hegard says, if we wanted to keep all the other elements a secret, it is probably impossible. Afterwards, both Farne and Mill was given orders to learn the manufacturing method of the various rubber products. At the same time, I was to increase the amount of rubber goods that was to be produced. Because I was allowed to employ the various retainers working under Hegard, I don’t think it will take too much time to accomplish.
As far as I knew, there are 265 Para Rubber Trees, that are able to produce sap. Up until now, I have only been able to efficiently gather around 30 of these trees to make into rubber products, but after receiving help, it is predicted that I can efficiently use around 200 trees. I also had to make sure that we didn’t use up all the sap in the trees, and I started planting the seeds of these trees in a different location.
Quite a lengthy amount of time has passed. and I think they know the children are getting sleepy, and so it was decided that we would leave the talk up to here for now and go to bed.
The collection of rubber goes well, and the production has increased greatly. Well sap has been retrieved and the charcoal and sulphur have been ground into powder, and all we are doing is essentially mixing these things together, so it’s not like people can fail in this. In regards to the mixing ratio, I already created a memo so they can’t really get this part wrong either. After a period of 2 months, we have been able to create: 20 rubber leather boots, 100 rubber sandals, 1 meter in width and 50 meters in length of the rubber coated cloth and lastly 10 rubber cushions. In terms of the rubber itself, we have only managed to use up half of the amount.
I hear that Hegard has confirmed the quality of the products being made and together along with Sharl and a couple of retainers, they are planning to go to the nearby Doritto Town in order to sell the products. I’m told that according to the circumstances, they may even go to the Marquis territory towards the capital city called Keel, in order to sell the products. I don’t really know how long they will be out for, but, considering they are directly selling the goods how long would this even take? Also if they were unable to sell any of my rubber products, this would be really bad wouldn’t it? Na, but when I think about it calmly there is no way people wouldn’t buy these products. However, I do have to address the problem of categorizing the products pretty soon.
「Father, have you decided on the price for each of the products?」
I daringly asked him. If the price was too high, nobody would be able to afford it, yet at the same time, if the price was too low, we wouldn’t be able to maintain the costs of purchasing the various livestock.
「Yeah, I’ve already decided. Sandals will be 10,000 Zeni, the shoes will be sold for 30,000 Zeni. The cloth will be 5,000 Zeni per 1 meter, and the cushion will be 20,000 Zeni per cushion」
Ahh, damn it. I totally don’t understand the value of money in this world.
「I see, by the way, what is the price to purchase a single horse, I wonder?」
「Hmm let’s see, if we want to use a horse that is fit for our house, it would probably cost around 6 million Zeni. Even the war horse that I will be using for battle, costs around 10 million Zeni」
Huh? doesn’t that mean that even if we sell all the inventory in our possession right now, all we will be making is 2 million Zeni? That’s not nearly enough…. Well, I understand that the prices of horses are originally very high because they are considered as precious animals. However, the price of rubber is undeterminable right now. I mean, to begin with, how much value does 1 Zeni even hold? I think that the fact that I don’t have any economic sense is finally starting to become a problem for me.
「Umm, may I ask how much value skin sandals usually get sold for? Also boots」
「Hmm~, let me think, leather sandals usually cost about 3,000 ~ 5,000 Zeni. Boots are roughly around 12,000~15,000 Zeni」
I see, it’s still quite vague though. I can see that in terms of regular prices, it is more expensive than the existing products on the market, but the rubber products are probably being sold on the cheaper side of things.
「Al, I understand that you are worried. You are thinking that the prices I’ve set are too cheap, right? However, you don’t need to be worried. This is only the beginning. I predict that it will sell in bulks and I don’t plan on stopping at Doritto. The moment the products become popular I plan on increasing the price to 5 times the current amount within the capital city. Therefore, it’s alright」
Saying this, Hegard pats my head as I watched over the luggage as they were being loaded.
Umm, I totally didn’t expect it to be 5 times, will it work out?
Three weeks have passed. Hegard and the rest haven’t returned yet. Because our parents aren’t home, you would think that us brothers and sisters would be able slack off, however, one of the leading retainers serving under Hegard, called Beckwise Aizenside without exception would come every single morning and abduct us, and force us to compulsory sword practice. Well because I’m still young all I’m really doing is just practice swings so there aren’t any big problems, but for Farne and Mill, they seemed to be getting worked to the bone.
After asking about it, it seems that this is actually easier than when Hegard would drill them. Oi oi, I couldn’t help thinking if that’s really true, then how crazy is Hegard’s training?! It kind of depresses me when I think about that fact that in a couple more years, I will be forced to this type of training. However, in the end it is a necessary thing, so I won’t complain about it.
In addition, after taking care of the last contact liaison that arrived, it would seem that no new contact has come to replace him. Approximately 3 months have gone by since then, and I’m thinking that there is going to be movement soon, therefore, I haven’t been going hunting at night lately. In truth, I have only gone hunting twice since then. I want to avoid a scenario in which Myun’s bracelet is unusable in times of need, and this cannot be compromised so it can’t really be helped.