Wakamo – Chapter 2

Second Chapter to mule everyone into this series 😛

Chapter 2: The Dog-Eared Black Magic Company President’s Employment Decision

I went to The Owl with One Hundred Eyes cafe Riza was talking about.

Their naming sense is a bit weird, but inside it actually is pretty stylish with matching owl themed furniture tastefully placed around the place.

I was told that if I were to sit at the table furthest to the back, the person who works in the black magic industry will turn up. Therefore, I ordered a gold barley tea and took a seat.

A woman in the black magic industry huh. I was sure it would be some wrinkly old hag that I would be meeting.

It just seems like the sort of old-fashioned industry that you wouldn’t expect young people to be involved in…

At any rate, the working conditions are definitely horrible. They’re the sort of jobs where all you do are things like lining up goat necks on altars.

Waiting around with that not so fun thought banging around in my noggin, a shadow was cast over my head.

Raising my head, I see the robed figure of a dog-eared girl standing in front of me. Her hair a chestnutty purplish color, cut into a short bob which really suited her.

Her age seems to be a bit younger than mine. Somewhere around sixteen, maybe seventeen. Seeing that she has dog ears she’s probably a werewolf. There’s a lot of different types of people in the royal capital, so this sort of thing isn’t unusual.

“Are you Franz?”

The girl stated. So this person is in charge of a black magic company huh.  Speaking of which, her robe is the black magic type. People who work in the white magic industry don’t wear such dark robes.

“Yes, I’m Franz…”

“Th…th…thaaank you so much for coming!”

All of a sudden she took my hand and heartily shook it.

Wh.. what’s with this person?!

“I am Necrogrant Black Magic Company’s representative, my name is Cercer and essentially I am the president of the company! I’m truly truly overjoyed that you’ve come to the black magic industry, we are really short on people!”

“What? You’re a company representative, but you look so young…!?”

No matter how I look at it I couldn’t help seeing her as my junior.

“Ah, I’m originally from hell, I was a hellhound cerberus, this is just a temporary form. In total I am about five centuries old”

This is the first time I’ve ever heard of someone talking about their age in centuries!

“Man, you’re really helping me out here. Black magic alone makes students not want to touch it with a forty-foot pole. Young people like you Franz, coming into the industry really helps us revitalize it!”

If you looked closely, you could see her tail instinctively moving.  It seemed to excitedly shake back and forth with joy.

“Um… I haven’t said I was joining yet…? I just came to talk today…”

“Yes yes, I get you! It’s fine if you just think of today as an informal get together. Is there anything you want? It’s on me. Why don’t we start off with about a dozen of the seasonal pancakes?”

“No, I’m fine with just tea!”

If I order too much here, I won’t be able to turn her down!

After that I received various explanations about the Necrogrant Black Magic Company.

“Way back when our company was comprised of around 300 individuals, including the underworld we had about 15 supporting offices… most branches have been shut down. Right now we have an office here in the royal capital and one in the vice capital. Between the two offices we have about 10 or so people.”

It is THE small business…

I mean, is it really a good idea to be employed by a sunsetting company?

“You’re thinking to yourself that the sun is about to set on our company, right?” 

Right through me.

“Don’t worry about it, it’s fine! In other words, rather than saying that the sun is setting, it would be better to say that the night has come! The night is better anyways! Especially because it is black magic! To the extent we can’t do anything about it, it just fits us as a company.  After all, knowing what you know, it isn’t strange to say that about a company that’s decent with black magic!”

“Even if you can crack black jokes about it, as a student looking for work, I can’t laugh about that!”

“Ah, that’s also the case isn’t it. Sorry, us cerberus are a bit easygoing.”

It’s a bit unclear if being a cerberus and having a light personality actually have anything to do with each other, but it’d be a pain to call her out on it, so I’ll leave it be.

The underworld is the world where devils live, recently there have been a few humans that come and go, but I don’t know any of the finer details about the place. They aren’t too particularly keen on going to war, so it probably isn’t that big of a deal.

“By the way, what kind of work do you do? Is there anything fishy about it?”

It’d be a problem to do things that could make me a criminal day after day.

I need to be thorough about checking this.

“Recently we have been doing things like using imps and wights to clean up swamps. Ah, summoning wights is a bit hard at first, but don’t worry we have simpler things for you to do.”

“Anything else?”

“We use our familiars to do things like clean graves”

“…Anything else?”

“We also manage abandoned ruins”

Huh, it’s plainer than I thought it would be.

“There isn’t anything more like, doing lots of bloodletting, or making lots of sacrifices?”

“There isn’t.”

She answered immediately.

 “C’mon, for example sacrificing goats costs a lot of money doesn’t it. Apart from back in our heyday, we don’t have the money to do that sort of thing. Right now we’re doing more steady work.”

“What about shortening people’s lives?”

“That sort of magic does exist, and the risk is real, but immortal people like me do that sort of thing so it isn’t a problem. Furthermore, that risk is actually a substitution for activation magic. If you take it slow and improve your magic ability and technique, you can mitigate that risk.”

It’s safer than I thought…

“You’re thinking to yourself that it’s safe right?”

Right through me.

“You’d be correct! Today’s black magic industry is safe! Our bad image is just people remembering the sacrifice requests of yore.”

Cercer laughed with a smile.

“Rather, our core hours are from 10 AM to 7 PM (With an included 1 hour lunch break so it’s really only 8 hours of work) If you have to work late, however long you work that night you get off the next day. We also pay around the same amount as the white magic industry.”

“Seems pretty white!”

//TN: In contrast to a corrupt “Black” company

“It’s also against company policy for bosses to force their employees to go to company get togethers. Of course, you can tag along to the bar if you like. For people in the black magic industry, having time to themselves at night is important. It’s bad manners to selfishly force people to come along.”

//TN: In Japan it’s really common for bosses to force their employees to come to drinking parties called nomikai after work. While typically not, “mandatory”, it is heavily encouraged and you’d lose your social standing at work if you didn’t go. Also people are expected to keep drinking until the boss has had enough to drink, often times much more than one would be comfortable with.

“I’m also happy about that!”

It’s great that I wouldn’t have to worry about being with my boss after work.

Huh, this a pretty decent company isn’t it.

If it’s like this, there isn’t a reason to say no.

“How about it?”

Cercer leaned forward in her seat and lowered her head.

She looks like my junior, but she makes my heart flutter a bit.

Moreover, her eyes are super cute and round, she reminds me of a small animal. I understand why Riza would become cafe friends with her. Riza seems to love people like this.

“There is a probation period of one month. If you don’t like it, I don’t mind if you quit”

“I take it you don’t track people to the ends of the earth and kill them if they quit?”

“That’s all, I can’t say much for the industry’s bad reputation. In the end, an industry that bullies people is one that is confident that it can find replacements. I’m in the position where I have to lower my head.”

That sounds like a sound thesis.

“By the way, you’re probably leaving your school dorm sometime next month, our company dorm has a 3-room unit with kitchen, toilet, and bath here in the royal capital. You can move in there! It’s only 1 silver deducted from your salary a month!”

Enticed, I gulp down fresh saliva.

Even the cheapest unit in the school dorm is 4 silver a month…

Although it’s for employees, compared to anything else on the market it might as well be free.

Moreover, if you think about the work it would take to start from the bottom and look for a place while unemployed, this is stupidly easy.

“So, how about it?”

Cercer inquired one more time.

I reached my hand out and latched onto Cercer’s.

“Please let me work at your company!”

“You’re hired!”

Cercer happily answered.

“Strictly speaking, I’m still a student though”

“Then you’ll be hired after you graduate”

I finally got a job!

With this I can graduate worry free!

Wakamo - Chapter 1
Wakamo - Chapter 3