So you are saying that the squad research even increases the negotiation costs of provinces? I don't think so, but i may be wrong.My fellow is in the same chapter, the difference is that he did all the squad size upgrades up to #16 (one upgrade less compared with me) and his Silk Province is red. So I asked him today for the negotiation costs of the same province in the same distance, for 4 encounters.
Seems that both negotiation cost and enemy size are related to the squad size upgrade.
This situation could be explained with that he already scouted more provinces in total, because every single province already scouted also raises the costs of the next one - not only for scouting, also for difficulty/negotiation costs. This is at least my observation, as some orange provinces changed to red after i simply scouted more.