"I'm Vandam. Silver Rank. This guy's Zeki. Also a Silver Rank. Us two are personally affiliated to Chaney Firm. Allow me to take the lead during this escort mission."
Though not at Lecan's level, Vandam has a stall stature coupled with, while slim, a forged body. His black beard brings about manly air. Donning a hat with wide visor, and a long sword on his back.
Zeki is a small man wearing a hood that looks the part as a mage. His short black hair looks weirdly lustrous.
"Long time no see, Vandam-dono. Naturally, you're the leader in this mission. We'll be sure to follow your orders."
"I really appreciate your understanding. Nike, it's reassuring to have you with us."
"Well now, I guess there's no need to introduce myself, is there. This guy with a scary face here is Lecan. As you can see he's a swordsman, but he's also got few tricks up his sleeve. He's good at detections. This one here is Eda, an archer. Both are copper ranks."
"Pleased to meet you two. Anyway, it's time to depart. And for the formation, you fine with me, Lecan, Eda, wagon, Zeki and Nike in order?"
"Okay then, let's depart."
The party left through the south gate. There's a highway to the south of Vouka town, and if you go southwest from Vantaroy, their destination, you'll reach the royal capital after trekking a similar distance.
Lecan bought a map yesterday. A map that only tells about rough positions of half of towns in the northern part of the kingdom, with nothing about terrains nor roads.
Looking at it, the dungeon city Duvolt is situated to the southeast of Vantaroy. It's the town where <Sword Dungeon> is located. Between Vouka-Vantaroy and Vantaroy-Duvolt Dungeon, the latter is actually a bit farther apart, but it almost seems like it isn't. Also, at first Lecan found it weird that the trip from Vouka to Vantaroy was supposed to take seven days on a wagon yet Vouka to Duvolt was a month also on a wagon.
But thinking again, stagecoaches often make a stop to accommodate people getting on and off, they also have to protect their itinerary. Not something that can't be compared to private wagons that prioritize speed above all else.
Duvolt dungeon is a lot more closer than he thought. It might not long before he could pay a visit.
Lecan also found and bought, <Zaka Kingdom Dungeon Map> yesterday.
This map also doesn't depict roads, mountains, rivers nor anything of the like and is pretty much useless for use on site, but being a map that details full particulars of dungeons found inside the kingdom, it's the most intriguing map there is for Lecan.
According to this map, there are 32 dungeons managed by nobles in this country. Eight of those are grand dungeons whose floors exceed 100. Additionally, there are small dungeons that aren't managed by nobles not outlined in the map, supposedly numbering around 150.
Duvolt dungeon is a grand dungeon that holds 120 floors.
Other than that, there's a dungeon called Ninae to the southeast of Vouka town. Number of floors is unknown, but it should be less than 100. It's so much closer than Vantaroy. Lecan plans to go see it when he has times.
A while after the carriage left the town, their foreperson, Orst instructed Vandam to stop the carriage.
"Now then let's have a rundown, I'm a proxy of Manager Chaney, Orst. Our coachman is someone who has been working under the firm for a long time, Ghett. Our destination this time is the trade city, Vantaroy, but as you may be aware already, we're not actually carrying much."
Orst continued his explanation soberly. Their principal goods this time are dungeon items Lecan obtained in middle and lower layers of Golbul Dungeon, including multiple Grace-laden items. Their objective is partly for profit, but most importantly they want to form deeper connections with influential merchants at Vantaroy, as such the safe delivery of the luggage is of paramount importance and they've only been able to depart after recruiting sufficient escorts.
"To tell you the truth, a certain source has informed us that our firm's hateful rival has plotted a raid on this wagon. Our opponent possesses great wealth. As such, we expect that our raiders would be quite skilled indeed. We will definitely face a raid, so please escort the carriage while keeping that in mind."
Lecan finally got it after hearing his explanation. The rewards for Lecan, Eda and Nike are five gold coins for three, a huge sum. He was wondering if they could even profit if hiring unaffiliated escorts would cost them that much. However, they have a reason to absolutely be sure of their safety even if it means less profit.
Orst is naturally inside the wagon, while Ghett is on the coachman's seat. Vandam and Zeki are riding their personal horses, while Lecan and Nike are on foot.
Eda is walking well.
Back when Lecan was in the same escort job with her, she did so many wasteful moves, quickly tiring herself out.
But now she's easily tailing the wagon while moving between bushes like she's completely used to it.
In the beginning, they were told that they would stay in towns or villages in the six nights they would be on the road, but suddenly they were instructed to camp the night outside.
Vandam had an awfully surprised look on his face when Orst gave the order to secure a camp site even though it hadn't gotten dark yet. Yet, befitting of a veteran adventurer, Vandam immediately guided them to a camp spot.
"Lemme take care of <Ignition> and <Lamplight>. Apparently, I got a stupid amount of mana, ya see. Zeki-san, ya gotta save your mana."
As Eda ignited firewood, Zeki reflexively threw a question.
"Hold on. What about the chant."
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"You didn't chant the spell."
"But I did. <Ignition (Yutel)>, I said."
"That's the invocation spell. I didn't see you doing preliminary chant used to gather mana and construct the magic."
"Eh? This was how my master taught me, so I always thought this was how ya do it though?"
"Can you tell me your master's name?"
Lecan shook his head.
Telling Eda that she cannot answer that question.
"Sorry, but I gotta decline to answer."
"I see. Sorry about that."
Afterward, when Eda put <Lamplight> lights in all four corners of the camp site, Zeki was shocked with eyes wide open. Same with Orst who spoke.
"My word, this is quite a surprise. Splendid control you have there. To put out this many simultaneously without so much a flicker. Is your mana going to be alright?"
"Oh it's no sweat at all. And I'm super good at keeping these up an entire night."
"They would disappear when you go to bed, wouldn't they."
"Eh? I think they're still on when I'm asleep though. I mean, that's what everybody said."
"I-is that right."
Seeing Eda's magic impressing everyone, though weird, Lecan felt a bit proud.
At the same time, he was made aware that the magic he taught her was quite advanced compared to the average level of this world.
Lecan gathered firewood and made a firepit.
Vandam put magic beast-warding pot-pourri in four corners and cooked their meal.
Orst was staying put near the luggage the whole time.
Ghett cared for the horses that pulled their wagon.
Zeki cared for his and Vandam's horses.
Eda kept watch on the surroundings.
Nike helped with everyone's work a bit.
The escort trip seems to be off to a smooth start.
Vandam, Nike, Lecan, Zeki, and Eda kept watch alternately.
There was no raid that night.