Release that Witch Chapter 946
Roland closed the notebook and gently sighed.
The arrival of numerous Sleeping Island witches would undoubtedly instill the industry of Neverwinter with immeasurable vitality, yet... a few intractable problems lied in front of him,
with the toughest one being the issue of payment.
Those witches belonged to Sleeping Spell. Theoretically, they were under the leadership of Tilly, so whether they were willing to be employed was totally up to themselves. Although Tilly's attitude toward him had greatly improved, it was still hard for him to back up his former promise and make use of his connection with Tilly to propel the witches forward.
That was to say the position planning in the notebook was only his own intentions for the witches. To what extent those intentions could be realized was dependent on the number of witches who were willing to join in the tides of production.
To instill them with slogans like "labor is glorious" or "labor changes fate" would bring little effect, yet to boast the idea of "fighting for our homeland" seemed less meaningful. After all, to them, the only place which could be called their home was Sleeping Island.
Roland believed that anyone would fall in love with this city and take it as his or her home after living here for a few years, but it was not the right time yet—naturally, a newcomer would be cautious and suspicious of a strange, new place. He could not wait for a few years to pass before developing the industry, so he had to offer intriguing payment.
Simply speaking, there must be a desire that propelled them to work.
Prior to this, Roland had asked Tilly about the witches' payment. In Sleeping Island, the bounty service the witches offered to the Fjords merchants or explorers were quite costly, most of which cost between tens to hundreds of gold royals. Although Tilly used that money for basic living materials, the witches still got paid according to a primitive quota allocation system. They lived a fairly poor life, but it did not mean they had not seen much money.
Besides, nowadays 30% of the profits made from the Chaos Drink trade was at Tilly's disposal. It was predictable that she would take a small portion of it to improve the witches' living standard. In other words, even if a witch who chose not to work would not starve to death and could live a better life than the one on the island.
So a few extra gold royals might not be enough to get their interest.
Besides the low payment, there could be the issue of comparison. Most of the witches in the Witch Union were paid with one to three gold royals per month. Why would the outsiders get better paid? Even if Roland raise their payment as well, there could also be a criticism. Some witches might ask "our payments have been kept at the same level for almost two years, why do we get a raise as soon as the Sleeping Island witches arrived? Do senior witches like us have to depend on the newbies to get a salary raise?"
Even though the union members would not put it that way, Roland would rather not take that path.
At this thought, he could not help but look at the girl resting on the lounge chair reading a picture-story book—Nightingale.
Nightingale must have felt his gaze and turned over to ask, "What's wrong?"
A perfect curve.
"No, now is not the time." Roland cleared his throat and asked, "How long have you been here?"
"Two years, 11 months, and 26 days." Nightingale sat up. "Why do you ask?"
"If I remember correctly, your primary payment was two gold royals a month, right?"
"Ah, at the time," Nightingale showed an ambiguous smile and said, "that would be right. It was twice as Anna's payment. At first, I even refused it. Later under your repeated appeal, I, sort of, reluctantly agreed to be your guard."
"What appeal? You, after seeing Anna pass through her Day of Adulthood peacefully, went back to stop Cara but ended up having a falling out with her, then decided to stay!" Roland rolled his eyes internally. "But during your stay, have you felt that what you gain is not proportional to what you give, and at any point considered to leave?"
"What did you say?" The smile on her face froze and was replaced by a hint of anxiety. "Why...why would I leave?"
"No, it was just a figure of speech," realizing what he said could be easily misinterpreted, he hurriedly corrected himself. "The emphasis is the former half of my words. Are there witches who feel their payment is too low?"
After confirming that Roland was serious, Nightingale sighed in relief and flashed before his desk. "How is that possible? One gold royal is already half a year's income for a common person. We're not working harder than those workers, so our payment being 'out of proportion' is also out of the question. Besides, even if we get a large amount of money, we wouldn't know how to spend it. After all, we don't need to worry about making a living, which was out of our imagination in the old days."
"Perhaps not every witch thinks so..."
"Why not!?! If you don't believe me, you can ask Wendy," Nightingale said confidently. "She knows our fellow witches better than I do."
"Alright," Roland shrugged and said, "I need her opinion on another matter anyway."
"What matter?" Nightingale asked curiously.
"It's a secret, but soon you'll know," Roland answered with a smile.
"Your Majesty, I've never thought that!" Unexpectedly, Wendy's response was even more intense. "Even without payment, I'd have done my best to build this place. I used to say that Neverwinter is the new Holy Mountain to the witches, and the other sisters are also serving you with the same expectation! If the City Hall is in a shortage of money, I'd like to give you the gold royals I've saved."
"Um... alright, I'm only collecting opinions." Suddenly, Roland felt very touched by her remarks. Touching his nose, he turned away his head and asked, "Is there anything you want in particular?"
"This..." Wendy was startled, and Nightingale began to quickly blink to her. "If you must ask, I feel... that... perhaps... if each one of us could get one more bottle of Chaos Drinks every month... that'll be great."
"Do you agree?" Roland looked at Nightingale.
"Is this some sort of wishing game?" Nightingale gently smiled. "Since we're asked to freely express our wishes, I think two more bottles would be better."
"No doubt." He then had a rough framework of the reform of the witches' payment.
If there were things more valuable than money, it would be the things that money could not buy. Evelyn's Complex Wine House was often visited by some witches, but its high pricing kept most of the witches out. They turned to the cheaper fruit wine—not because they could not afford visiting Evelyn's wine house, but their consumption stopped them from spending a large amount of gold royals on such luxuries.
Besides, the Chaos Drinks sold in the wine house were all old varieties. Their low sales made it very hard to replace the inventory, and their freshness could not be compared with the new products released each month.
What if I just change the Chaos Drinks from a welfare item to a special item to be purchased?
One can call it a points system or a dual currency system. But to entice the witches to work by rewarding them with something gold royals can't buy, won't it make the work itself more attractive? At the same time, it could perfectly avoid the witches' sense of unevenness brought by raising the payment.
Besides the Chaos Drinks, Roland had many more ideas for special items that could be purchased, which could maintain their own attractiveness and at the same time not to be imitated by any other companies.
Want it? Work hard!