“Is this the Robber Fly colony’s nest?” I asked.
Squealer shook his head, “Our nest is where the queen lives, still quite a ways from here. This is one of our lines of defense against the Ground Spider’s assault.”
“Lines of defense?”
“Bunkers, trenches, slurry walls, tunnels, all used for defense. …Gods, could you possibly be interested in strategy board games like Shogi and Go?”
The question caught me off guard, “Well, I suppose. We learned both in school.”
To be honest, I thought they were fun at first, but quickly lost interest, so I’m still a basic level. The biggest reason I gave up was that there was always a couple people I couldn’t win against. One of them was Shun, which was understandable, but every time I saw Satoru’s triumphant face, I couldn’t keep going.
“Then this explanation may be better. We β★ë◎Å, I mean, queerat colonies fight each other in a style closer to that used in Go than in Shogi.”
I wondered vaguely why he used the word “queerat”.
Squealer began explaining the power struggles between queerats in a style reminiscent of the false minoshiro.
Queerats are descendants of the troglodytic naked mole rats from East Africa, living mainly in narrow underground tunnels. Even after humans helped to change their physique and raised their intelligence so that they could build their own culture, their basic societal structures are still the same. The dwellings are more or less vertical pits, with numerous branches to provide escape to the surface in case of floods. There are also horizontal tunnels running between the pits for transportation without having to go to the surface.
“For us, fighting above ground is a relatively new development. It’s obvious that being aboveground provides better maneuverability than being underground does, no matter how much armor you are wearing. That said, I don’t know how the other aboveground fighters feel, but I believe that in terms of discerning the opponent’s position, advancing aboveground is pointless.”