Dream Life Vol II Chapter 74.1: “Three Years Later: Part Two”

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 Three years have passed, and among those who have been associated with us, there have been significant changes in Douglas McLeod, a real estate agent, and Sai Furman, an adventurer and informant.



 First, McLeod, who has been successful not only in the real estate business but also in the financial business.


 He has started a low-interest lending business with adventurers. To tell you the truth, I had a hand in this.



 At the end of the second year, I visited his trading company to ask him to take care of my house during the summer vacation, and he consulted me about his new business.


 I had no reason to support him and had no intention of asking him for advice, but he begged me repeatedly, and I eventually gave in.


 He was in a bind, so I proposed a loan to adventurers.



 Despite his initial request for my wisdom, McLeod was reluctant to lend money to adventurers with unstable incomes. Common sense dictated that lending money to an adventurer who might lose his life at any moment was a risky proposition.


 Furthermore, the only collateral that could be offered would be armaments, which would be almost unrecoverable if the adventurer were to lose his life, and since armaments are consumable, their value as collateral is low. Given this, it would be perfectly normal for a proper merchant to be reluctant to lend money to an adventurer.



 However, as an adventurer myself, I think differently.


 First of all, one of the reasons adventurers tend to lose their lives is inadequate equipment. Young adventurers, in particular, are often poorly funded, and they enter treacherous forests and mountains with poor equipment. It would be nice if the enemies were of the adventurer’s level, as in a game, but reality is not so easy.


 Powerful monsters can appear unexpectedly even in places where one thinks there is little danger. Just as the Giant Centipede once appeared in the forest’s shallows, there is always danger, even in places where inexperienced adventurers go.


 At such times, if they have a certain amount of equipment, they may be able to retreat without suffering serious injury.


 Even with monsters that are suited to their abilities, the risk of injury is always present. Even in such a situation, if they can spend money on protective gear, the risk of being injured is greatly reduced.



 The reason people fear injury is that the cost of treatment by a healer is expensive. If you get injured, even if it is only a broken bone, you will lose your savings just from the cost of the treatment. If they can pay for the treatment, they will be fine, but if they cannot, they will be left to heal naturally, and their income will be cut off in the meantime.


 Young adventurers, in particular, have little savings, and even a few days without a commission is said to be very difficult. I had a guardian and Liddy, so I didn’t really know what it was like.


 That is why I have always wanted to change this situation.



 The Adventurers’ Guild also lends money to newcomers, but the interest rate is quite high. The annual interest rate is about thirty to forty percent, and the amount is about 1,000 Crona, or one million yen. This is not because the guild is trying to make a profit, but rather because one-third of the loaned money cannot be recovered. The guild does not have the budget to lend out unlimited amounts of money, and in order to at least keep the guild out of the red, they have no choice but to set the interest rate at that level.



 As for repayment, the loan is usually paid back in a lump sum or in several installments within a year, but even so, it is quite difficult for a young person of seventeen or eighteen years of age. Especially for those with a low knowledge in self-finance, it is impossible to save money, and repayment is delayed. This is surprisingly common.



 I made the following proposal to McLeod.


 First, negotiate with the Adventurers’ Guild to establish a system whereby the money can be deducted from the reward. This would make it easier to pay back the money in installments, albeit irregularly.


 The system would not be outlandish, since taxes and guild fees are also deducted.


 The interest rate is capped at twenty percent per year and is added in a lump sum at the beginning of the loan. After one year, if there is any balance, it is multiplied by the interest rate and collected again. This system is similar to the so-called mortgage loan system, but the feature of this system is that it offers significant advantages to both the lender and the borrower.



 First, the lender can secure a profit for the annual interest rate. Moreover, the lender can reinvest the amount recovered at an early stage, enabling effective use of the funds. As for the risk of bad debts, the amount recovered is rarely zero unless the initial request is unsuccessful. Another advantage is that even those who spend all the money they have on hand can collect on a steady basis, as long as they are capable as adventurers.



 The next advantage for borrowers is the low interest rate and the simplicity of repayment through the deduction system. The system of automatic repayment of debts is especially revolutionary for young adventurers who have just entered the workforce and whose grasp on finance is not yet clear. If they decide to automatically put twenty percent of their reward toward repayment, they can pay back their debts even if they spend all of the money they receive. And if they can borrow again after the full amount has been repaid, it will be easier to renew their equipment. Furthermore, if the system allows for an increase in the maximum amount of money that can be borrowed as one’s level rises to a certain level, one can update one’s equipment to match one’s abilities.



 Another advantage for lenders would be low-interest loans from the Adventurers’ Guild. Borrowing from the guild at an annual interest rate of about five percent and lending to adventurers at twenty percent would be profitable on its own. Of course, the guild would have to pay administrative and other expenses, so it would not be able to earn a simple fifteen percent interest rate, but they would not be putting their own funds at risk.



 On the other hand, the Adventurers’ Guild also has its advantages.


 Because of the original loan system, the risk of lending remains the same. Although they will lose interest income, this is not a major obstacle because the system is not designed to make profits. On the contrary, since the paperwork will be outsourced, the cost of the loan will even out.



 Having explained all this, McLeod was suddenly motivated. He energetically lobbied to the Doctus branch of the Adventurers’ Guild, and finally became the branch’s exclusive contractor.


 At first, adventurers shunned McLeod because of the unreliability of the system, which automatically deducted money from the amount paid, but when the guild declared that it would guarantee the reliability of this system, the number of borrowers quickly increased.



 The guild was also concerned about the safety of its adventurers, so it actively supported the new system, which would give them an advantage in updating their equipment.


 The number of borrowers increased so dramatically that there was talk within the guild that the guild itself should offer the loan program, in order to secure a profit on the interest. However, they gave up the idea because they could not secure enough staff to handle the complicated calculations.



 McLeod’s guild, on the other hand, was able to respond quickly because its employees had the simple accounting knowledge that I had taught them. Furthermore, after signing an exclusive contract with the Adventurers’ Guild, they hired many young employees through the Merchant Guild, and apparently imparted accounting knowledge to them as well.



 Pericritor, where the Adventurers’ Guild is headquartered, is now considering the introduction of the same system, and McLeod Trading Company has been named as the exclusive contractor for this purpose. Furthermore, they have created a similar loan system within the guild of commerce and are providing loans to small and medium-sized businesses. The McLeod Trading Company are emerging as a financial institution not only in Doctus, but also in Pericritor.




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