Editor: Kabur & Silavin
More than three years had already passed since the founding of Razequa Amamiya in the Central Continent.
At the time of its founding, Razequa Amamiya was able to control the western and southern regions of the continent, but it did not expand its territory further during the three years.
One of the reasons for this may be that Razequa Amamiya itself did not use military force to conquer the region.
Even before and after the founding of the country, Razequa Amamiya never used direct force.
Nor did it forcefully threaten villages and towns.
They were simply incorporated into its territory they wished to be included.
The reason why the territory under their control did not expand for a while after the establishment of the state was partly because the towns and villages were opportunistic in their response to such circumstances.
However, Razequa Amamiya probably took more time to stabilize its rapidly expanding territory.
Of course, they did not reject the towns and villages they wished to join.
Just at that time, three years after the founding of the country, a town in the east requested to be included in the territory under its control.
This meant that the only area within the Central Continent that was not under the control of Razequa Amamiya was the northern part of the continent.
It was expected that the northern towns would make a move now that the eastern side had entered their territory, but they did not make any significant move.
They knew from the past three years that Razequa Amamiya was not aiming for domination by force, so they were probably thinking that they would be able to manage their territories on their own.
Of course, they were not out of trouble yet.
There was also fear that they would be isolated within the continent, but the northern towns have strong ties with the northern continent.
Besides, it was not as if there had ever been a breakdown in business from Crown.
Kousuke and his team were moving with a large trading party heading north from the town of Ryussen.
The members this time were Collete, Peach, and Nana, who had recently evolved.
Kousuke was of course moving as “Kou,” while Collete and Peach were now adventurers using different names.
Aside from Kousuke, the names of Collete and Peach were not as widely known, but still, precautions were prepared.
As a matter of course, their Crown Cards had to be created by Kousuke.
When Gazeran and the other department heads saw the card, they laughed wryly, but no one could blame them.
Since Kousuke was the only one who knew about the mechanisms of the Divine Engraver, there was no way for anyone other than those involved with him to know which one was the real one.
It was impossible for ordinary staff members, let alone department heads who knew each other, to tell the difference.
The department heads were aware of his privilege as the creators of the Divine Engraver.
Of course, that was in the assumption that Kousuke would not abuse this privilege, but the department heads trusted him in this regard.
Kousuke, who was on duty last night escorting the merchants, was currently sleeping in a moving carriage.
Collete was the one who was acting as his escort.
As was the case with ordinary peddler escorts, it was not unusual for adventurers to bring their own carriages.
In fact, the more space they have, the more they appreciate it.
The same was true for large trading companies, where adventurers with their own carriages were sometimes given priority.
A large trading company would have prepared a number of carriages based on a calculation of the amount of cargo that can be loaded in advance, but they also make use of the space in the carriages brought in by adventurers.
Of course, there were times when there were no extra carriages available at all, but that was common.
Carriages brought in by adventurers were given special treatment as extra space.
“How are things over there?”
Collete, who was playing the role of a coachman, was talking to a coachman who was moving a carriage alongside her.
He was one of the adventurers on escort duty, just like Collete.
Collete also responded promptly.
It was not the first time she had been spoken to.
Not only this man, but most of the people who talked to Collete were also escorts.
Of course, she knew that some of them had ulterior motives.
There were some who did not, but unfortunately, this time it was not the case.
“I see. Now that we’re next to each other, why don’t we talk a little?”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, but my companion is sleeping in the back of the carriage. I don’t want to make noise.”
Most people would have backed off, but this man, unfortunately, did not have the ability to understand women’s subtleties.
He persistently tried talking to her.
“It’s okay if it’s just a little bit. They won’t wake up with this.”
Collete sighed in a dismissive manner.
She was thinking about how to handle the situation and was about to answer when he noticed something unusual.
Ignoring the man, she called out to Peach in the back of the carriage.
“Peach, some trouble is about to arrive.”
When she called her name, responded to her and the two completely ignored the annoyance besides their carriage.
“Yes, yes~. Well, I’ll deal with it.”
With just that exchange, Peach headed to the location where the leader of the trading party was.
Although the speed of movement of a large merchant fleet was faster than that of a normal peddler, it was not at breakneck speed.
Without even breaking a sweat, it would be easy for her to catch up with the leader’s carriage.
When the lead carriage stopped, the following carriages stopped one after another.
In the meantime, Peach told the details given by Collete.
The evolved Collete was able to detect the appearance of monsters before Peach did.
Of course, this was thanks to the power of the spirits.
By the time Peach had heard Collete’s story and provided details to the leader, the leader was able to detect monsters as well.
However, she could barely see any monster, not as much as the information Collete had.
Based on the detailed information given by Collete, a strategy was formulated.
The strategy was not significantly different from the one originally planned.
The leader of the team sent each of the adventurers to prepare for the interception of the foreseen monsters.
It had already been three days since they left the previous town.
This was the second time they have been attacked by monsters.
Opinions would probably differ whether it was the number of attacks that were more or less frequent.
Some said that the frequency of attacks increased because of the large scale of the trading company, which was easily noticed by the monsters.
On the other hand, goblins and other monsters with a certain level of intelligence did not attack when they were moving in large numbers.
Large merchant groups brought a large number of adventurers to match their size, so it was rare for them to be wiped out.
They were able to repel the attack this time without incident.
The adventurers who had finished defeating the monsters were processing the ones they had killed.
Bart, the leader of the adventurers, was staring at his work with an expression of displeasure.
Layla, a fellow adventurer, noticed this and spoke to him.
“You don’t seem to like it.”
“You noticed that too, didn’t you?”
Layla shrugged her shoulders in response to Bart’s question.
They both knew what they wanted to say to each other without being told.
“Well, I’ll talk to the captain tonight.”
The leader of the large trading company was separated from Bart.
Bart was only in charge of organizing the adventurers.
The leader made the final decision on how the convoy would move.
Layla knew this, so she did not ask any more questions about the matter.
“I see. Well, anyway, who are those girls?”
When Layla said “those girls,” she meant Collete and Peach.
They noticed the monster’s approach before anyone else did, as they did in the last raid.
Thanks to those girls, they were able to survive attacks without being taken by surprise or incurring major damage.
Even the members of Bart’s party were chosen as leaders because they were more capable than the rest of the party.
Just the fact that they noticed the monster before they did was a remarkable feat.
“Well. We’re both seeing them for the first time, right? At least they were helpful. I won’t pry too much.”
Layla shrugged at Bart’s answer.