Far west of the capital.
The border between the Dragon's Head Plains, ruled by the demon race, and the Dragon's Back Mountains, inhabited by the beast race.
This vast territory, known as the frontier, has been the site of quarrels between the two races since ancient times.
Therefore, the important role of protecting this important place was given the title of frontier count, and was given high status and praise.
However, even though he possessed a vast amount of land, most of it was stony and barren.
I want wealth to match my rank.
This had been the desire of the rulers of this land for generations.
The frontier count's mansion is located in the center of Nordwesen.
The office is almost devoid of extravagant ornamentation, and is of a rugged construction.
That's why the flamboyant light fixture on the desk was so foreign.
...... What a magnificent size.
"Oh, that's a hundred gold pieces. Those brown-skinned bastards really know how to watch their step. I'd like to learn from them.
In response to Viscount Gwinner's praise, the owner of the room, Bernhardt, the head of the Leven frontier family, replied with a grimace.
He is a sturdy man with a mustache and two horns peeking out from his head covered with black hair, indicating a strong blessing of light.
He was forty-seven years old this year, but the radiance in his eyes had not diminished at all.
The man who ruled this remote land was no stranger to the prosperity of the merchants.
Having given up on the cultivation of wheat on the barren land, the current head of the family concentrated on the fishing and salt industries in the villages and towns facing the North Sea.
In addition, he threw money to the court and took over the monopoly of the salt business.
The northwestern part of the kingdom was now a salt production center, and the frontier count's wealth was steadily increasing.
However, the Viscount who was summoned did not think that Bernhardt would be satisfied with that level.
As Gwinner waited for his next words, the frontier count, who was sitting at his desk, carelessly handed him a white light that he had lifted.
Look at it.
"I'll take a look. Hmm, this pedestal looks familiar.
You recognize it?
"Yes, the work of the beasts.
Bernhardt nodded his head in satisfaction.
The moles seem to have dug up an underground labyrinth.
"...... It seems so.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
"We may be starting a war soon. Be prepared.
"Very well, sir.
Gwinner bowed deeply as the owner of the room looked at him, telling him that his business was finished.
But as soon as he put his hand on the doorknob, the Viscount remembered one of his concerns and turned around to ask.
"Count, is the alchemist still here?
Yes, he's very useful.
...... I'm not sure we should put too much trust in such a person.
The frontiersman's reply was a wave of his hand as if to say, "Go away.
Gwinner left quickly, exhaling quietly as he gathered his thoughts.
At present, the border between the beastmen and the Fram Emirate is half-closed and no goods can come and go.
So the most likely route would be through the Dragon Arm Forest area.
There's a good chance it went through my territory. ....... I see, you should look for that too.
The Viscount Gwinner's territory, located south of the frontier county, does not face the sea, so it is not possible to make a profit from salt production and marine products.
Therefore, they have been cultivating villages and building roads with an emphasis on distribution, and it seems that a business opportunity has finally come their way.
As soon as I return to my territory, I need to wash the peddlers who have changed in some way.
Gwinner murmured in his mind.
The third day after Hans's return to the village.
The newcomers, Noemi and Tinya, seem to have settled in well.
Noemi is a demoness like Paula, and they look quite similar.
In particular, the body shape around her chest is very similar.
However, Noemi's hair is straight and red, and the corners of her eyes are slightly upturned, giving her the air of a cool, powerful woman.
However, this impression has been completely erased by the unexpected expressions she showed me several times during my first exploration of the labyrinth.
Tinya, a petite girl with short black hair and cat ears, was apparently the pursuer who had been following me in the capital.
She was staked out in front of the inn, but my scent suddenly disappeared and she lost sight of me.
In order to make up for his mistake, he tried to follow my scent while walking from place to place, but he ran out of money and collapsed on the way.
Hans picked me up, and I managed to arrive at this village.
Currently, he is satisfied with the rich food life in the village and has no intention to return to the capital.
Well, I can't trust him too much because he said so himself.
When I returned to the village after Hans and I had finished leveling up, the village chief and Ute beckoned to me secretly.
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Nino. We've been expecting you.
We've been waiting for you. ...... Things got a little dicey. Will you come with me?
They led me to the back of the tavern.
When I turned my gaze as they pointed, I saw a face.
There were the bodies of two men, their faces turned right back to each other.