Chapter 221 – Backstreet Girl Potte

My name is Potte.

I’m a girl living in the backstreet.

Maa, I’m only 12 years old.

My body….will surely grow in the future.

I’m sure my chest will grow.(wish)

My encounter with Paula-san is purely a coincidence.

I was able to complete my daily task of mashing medicinal herbs that morning and was about to go to bed but she called me out.

She asks if I could guide her around the neighborhood.

Great, it’s another job.

However, I didn’t jump in joy.

It is only showing her around, if she won’t pay me, I can only say sorry to myself.

I thought of several things to negotiate but Paula-san immediately handed a downpayment that instance.

It seems like she knows the custom in the backstreet?

I started to guide her around the city while gripping the coin she paid in advance.

Paula-san did not ask about the famous shops in the main street but the shops in the territory of the backstreet.

To put it simply, I show her around this city’s backstreet.

I see.

She showed sympathy to the shabby me and she already anticipated all my answers.

I answer all her questions within the limit of my ability.

Of course, I did not dare lie to her since I feel like it is dangerous.

We go around together for around 3 hours.

I receive another coin for completing the job in addition to the meat skewer she brought from a stall.

She’s a good person.

I feel really lucky today for having an extra income.

Until I went to where I sleep.

I don’t understand what’s happening.

My bed. It is in the material warehouse in the city where all the unused material of the government was dumped.

Because of that, a lot of people from the backstreet, like me, are living there.

Goldie-san, the one who manages this area, specially made that material warehouse a women exclusive area so we can sleep there with peace of mind.

It was a good place.

But now, there are a lot of strange workers there taking out the materials.

Some of them are guards of the city too.

In other words, this is neither an act of thievery or terrorism but a legal job.

Every material brought out of it equals to the number of girls that are now homeless.

The sun will set soon.

Don’t.

I should not be disheartened.

I need to ask Goldie-san first.

I managed to contact Goldie-san but there’s nothing he could do about it.

I heard that it is ordered by the city’s governor.

No one can go against it.

Hah.

The governor knows that the material warehouse is our home.

Because of that, we were provided with tents, temporary beds, and foods for breakfast and dinner.

But they won’t provide us with those for a long time.

Food and bed will only be provided for one month.

I have to do something by then.

Goldie-san seems to be looking for a new place for us….but it is impossible to find one soon.

Should I think positive that at least we were not kicked out during winter?

Tomorrow, I will work hard to look for work and find a place to stay.

I immediately thought of Paula-san.

That’s because I accidentally found her looking at the shops around so I did not dare miss this opportunity.

I thought that she could give me a job.

I don’t care even if I’ll only be her luggage carrier.

I feel like she’s a powerful woman.

This might be destiny.

I talked about her about my situation and even exaggerated it to get a job. Paula then, asked me with a serious expression.

「Do you want to have a job today? Or do you want to permanently have a job?」

Of course, I want to have a permanent job.

「Are you? Then, customer service…..it is a job of serving food to the customers of the store. Can you do it? It’s really hard.」

Hard?

I don’t mind how hard it is as long as I have a job.

Of course, as long as you pay me for it, you’re going to, right?

Paula nods as if it’s the matter of fact.

However, I will be a probationary employee for the time being so I won’t be paid that much.

That’s right.

The job is hard and I won’t get paid much but I’m still going to do my best.

It is not because Paula-san is stingy but this is only common sense.

I will still be taught on how to do my job.

It is normal to not receive much compared to someone who already knows what to do.

But employees will be provided with food too.

As expected, Paula-san is really a good person.

Is it alright for me to monopolize this luck?

Thinking about the girls who are in the same situation as me, I feel a little heavy.

No, this is wrong.

Only when I prove myself to be a good and hard worker can the other girls can be hired.

But my determination is in vain.

「Your friends, bring them in too.」

Is Paula-san a goddess-sama?

I called out the girls who were also sleeping on the material warehouse.

It is easy for the boys to find jobs.

I’m not being unfair but I’ll prioritize girls.

I called out nine so it’s 10 including me.

Aren’t we too many?

Now’s not the time to think of that.

It will already be considered good if Paula-san remembers their faces.

Thus, let’s wash our face first.

……..

Even seeing us all, Paula-san didn’t seem annoyed and hired us all.

Thank you very much.

Afterwards, we greet Paula-san’s husband.

He seems to be a kind-hearted person….areh?

Isn’t that person next to him an important person from the Goroun Company?

I’m probably mistaken…

The first thing Paula-san ordered to us is to wash our body.

Are we that dirty?

I don’t think so.

We were made to wipe our body three times.

Our hair was also washed.

Next, washing the clothes we have been wearing.

We wash them with only towels covering our body.

Yup, we’re dirty.

No matter how much we wash it, dirt still comes out.

When I asked Paula-san about what we should do after washing our clothes, she prepared change of clothes.

Such beautiful clothes, what about them?

Areh?

We can wear them?

They are clothes for tomorrow?

What’s clothes for tomorrow?

…..

I was surprised.

We have to change the clothes we wear every day.

We did a lot that day.

It is not work but ability check.

Can we read characters? Write characters? Calculate? Greet? Tend the shop?

I can read about 30 characters but I can’t write or calculate.

There are a lot of things we can’t do so we were worried that Paula-san will abandon us.

Rather than our worry, Paula-san prepared delicious food for us.

Moreover, it is at a decent shop.

I haven’t even enter the backdoor of such a shop so I’m very nervous about entering as a customer.

There is a menu but I couldn’t read so I left it to Paula-san.

I can’t read characters but I can see the terrible prices on the other side.

The other girls imitated me too.

It was delicious.

I was surprised that there’s such a delicious thing in the world.

Before I noticed it, my plate is already empty.

Who ate it?

No.

I was too absorbed in eating.

I should have savored the taste slowly.

After eating, Paula made us study.

We learned a lot.

I learned a lot about money that day.

The one who taught us is Paula-san acquaintance?

This person seems to be someone important for the Goroun Company.

I never thought that I would have the chance to work with such a person.

Gold coin, silver coin, copper coin.

This is the first time I’ve seen a gold coin.

It is shiny and beautiful.

I’ve seen silver coin before at Goldie-san’s place.

But I have never touched one.

I know copper coins very well.

Unlike other coins, copper coins are divided into large copper coin, medium coper coin, and small copper coin.

If one says copper coin, it is generally referred to the medium copper coin.

Small copper coins are also called tax copper coins because that’s what usually the government pays the people working for them.

When we get 10 of them, we can exchange them for a medium copper coin.

There’s no fee for exchanging small copper coins for medium copper coins but there are exchange fees for other coins.

But if there’s no exchange fee….

10 small copper coins = 1 medium copper coin

10 medium copper coins = 1 large copper coin

1 copper coin is enough to buy 1 large loaf of bread.

As for me, that’s one meal….no, that’s worth two meals.

That’s already a large sum of money.

The stalls at the streets of the city sell their products between 1 to 3 medium copper coins.

One cup of alcohol worth 1 piece.

But I have never bought one.

Though I even know something like that, I didn’t know that 1 silver coin = 100 large copper coins.

1 gold coin = 100 silver coins.

In other words, comparing the value of a gold coin to copper coin….ehto….a lot.

Paula-san, who was listening on the side taught us that its 100,000 pieces.

As expected of Paula-san.

She can calculate.

Eh?

Will we be able to do that too?

Maybe.

We experienced a lot that day.

I thought that we have to go out because it’s already late but Paula-san prepared the inn to receive us.

If we return with our current beautiful and clean appearance, we will be in danger.

That’s true.

Men, when we were still sleeping in our previous dwelling, they never approach but it is different now.

I don’t think that there’s someone that evil there but we have to protect our body properly.

Eh?

That’s not the case…? My looks?

What about it?

The discussion was stopped there as we were pushed into the rooms of the inn.

One room is for two people.

Unbelievable.

Even if all 10 of us were to sleep here, it’s still spacious.

This bed….may I use it?

I got careless because I was overwhelmed by a lot of things.

I contact Goldie-san.

He was worried.

I’m really sorry.

But please, don’t suddenly appear.

Goldie-san is a good person but his weakness is his scary face.

His face is at the level of making a crying child stop crying.

Though I’m already accustomed to it, there are times that it still surprises me.

Like now, I almost fell asleep.

I thought I’ll sleep forever.

As for my roommate….she’s sleeping soundly.

Don’t wake her up?

I’m enough?

I see.

I explain Goldie about Paula-san.

Goldie is worried about us so he sneaked into the inn.

Thank you.

I totally forgot about you, I’m sorry.

The next day, our full-scale study session begins.

Yesterday is only a glimpse of it.

The things we don’t know were taught one after another and there is no time to be surprised.

After a few days, even though I can’t write, I was able to read easy characters.

I also learn simple addition and subtraction.

I did my best to not disappoint Paula-san.

When I thought that our study ends there, it still continued.

Yeah, I’ll do my best.

The things we can do increased too.

Our job is to bring food to the customers.

Therefore, we have to do various….areh?

We don’t need to practice carrying them to the customers?

From what they say, we only need to listen to what the customer wants to order, tell them how much, take the money, give the change if there’s any and……

We will be touching money?

「If there’s anyone who’ll steal money, no matter how small it is, will be fired. Understand?」

No way.

Although studying is hard, because of Paula-san, we don’t have to worry about food or place to stay.

The wage is enough.

While we were uneasy, Paula-san gave us our wages that day.

It has been 10 days and we were afraid to receive it because we thought that Paula-san will abandon us.

We were guided to the place where we will work.

I was surprised.

It is because we all know this “place”.

It is the place where we used to sleep.

There’s a really big building there now…..or should I say, roof?

I heard that the males were all hired to construct a certain place, is it this place?

It is Paula-san’s husband’s shop.

It means, we’re going to work here?

Let’s look around.

Even if we are already inside it, it is not dark.

But there’s no window for lighting…..this place is bright even without windows.

Is it using light magic?

At the inner part of the shop, there are already things installed.

The chairs and tables are neatly arranged.

There’s a lot of tableware too.

And what are those boards?

Ah, the dishes will be carried using those boards.

We haven’t practiced carrying dishes yet, are we going to be okay?

……..

The customers will carry them themselves?

We will be working while wearing matching aprons.

We’ll line up at the counter, listen to the customer’s order, tell them the price, and commence with the trade.

We rehearsed.

I haven’t made a mistake yet.

However, I was surprised.

The customer will go to the counter to order, and sit after getting his food.

Was there a shop like this?

Though I thought that it was terrible and strange, Paula-san seems to be confident about it so it can’t be wrong.

This is a really big shop so it can’t be compared to others.

Right.

I shouldn’t think negatively.

But I can’t cope if I’m not convinced myself.

Anyway, there are so many customers.

It looks like people came from all over the city.

Just a little while ago, there are about 20 additional new hires because we are already not enough.

At that time, I thought that they hired too many but I never thought that it was not enough.

They hired more and now we’re about 200.

Even Goldie-san, who was taking care of us, was called to help in.

Maa, we finally understood what congestion means.

All because of the food made by Paula-san and her husband.

Curry.

I have eaten it several times before the store opened and it was really delicious.

I was struggling to take the first bite when we first eat it but for some reason, I wanted to immediately take another bite after that.

The unusual food called rice is also very delicious.

This rice seems to be valuable so it is only served for special customers.

Regular customers will have to eat curry with bread.

It’s still delicious enough. By the way, the price of 1 cup is five medium copper coins.

Even with that price, customers are coming nonstop.

I guess I’m wrong.

I’ll do my best.

The two hundred hired people, including me, are not hired at the same time so not everyone can do everything.

Paula-san said, everyone will be able to do every task after some time.

But for now, we fixed on our current task.

The tasks are: taking orders at the counter, carrying the food from the kitchen to the counter, collecting tableware on the tables, washing the collected dishes, and managing the queue.

Everyone is using matching apron in order to distinguish them from the customers but only those who are working in the counter are wearing matching clothes.

The clothes look like the cute version of maid clothes of housemaids working on a noble’s mansion.

Everyone wants to wear them so everyone’s working hard.

As a person who works on the counter, I feel a bit sense of superiority while wearing them.

But that sense of superiority disappears once every seven days.

For some reason, Paula-san and her husband prohibits us for working seven days straight.

They said that it is called a rest day after working 6 long days.

And even if you are on a rest day, you’ll still be paid.

We wonder why and it seems to be village chief’s order.

Village chief is Paula-san and her husband’s employer.

A great man.

No one can disobey village chief’s order.

Even though reluctant, I took my rest day.

And solved my reluctance.

It is because I can I was able to spend my day at the store by looking out at the game area.

There is a game area for free mini bowling game.

Playing there doesn’t cost money.

In other words, I have a reason to come to the store.

Though it was a little hard, I managed to convince Paula-san and her husband to let me do it.

Rather than saying me persuading them, it is “us” who don’t want to take the rest day.

We will work on the drinking and eating area for six days and on the seventh day, in the game area, we will wor…..play.

「Let me explain to you the rules of mini bowling first. First of all, you can’t throw it with power.」

It is a really good workplace.

However, it’s not like we have no complaints.

It is the usual morning meeting.

「Good morning. First of all, I’ll have to report to you about two fights that happened at the store yesterday. Though Goldie-san managed to take care of them immediately, you should never try resolving such matter by yourself. Please rely on the city guards dispatched by the government. Being injured because of things like that is pointless.」

「Got it.」

「And today, there are two individuals with cold so they have to rest. The shift has been adjusted so check them again.」

「Got it.」

「I’m thankful for your dedication for work but if you are sick, don’t try to report to work. Please be honest and obedient.」

「…..」

「Your answer?」

「G-got it.」

「All right! People in charge of the counter, move out!」

「Got it!……….welcome!」

「Welcome!」

「Welcome!」

「Welcome!」

TN: They are saying “irasshai mase” which can be translated to “welcome” and is used in stores/shops.

I line up at the counter after hearing the husbands report and morning greeting and I’m not dissatisfied in any way.

Until he said his last line.

「Then, let’s work hard today for village chief!」

I want to work hard for Paula-san.

At a later date.

Village chief came and I finally know how amazing he is.

Yup, I’m convinced in every way possible.


 

 

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