“But the Ground Spiders are in the forest, aren’t they?” Satoru scowled discontentedly. “Attacking from here, we can’t see the enemies, and they’ll just get away. And the field is easy to clear too.”
“It is as you say. Imagine however, a single one of them escapes and, heaven forbid, shoots one of the gods with a poison arrow,” Squealer looked up fearfully at Satoru.
There was a gash on his nose and dirt was stuck to the blood here and there.
“Our own arrows only cause numbness, but the Ground Spiders are assassins; the poison they procure from their indigenous frogs are lethal. If you are even grazed by them, there’s no cure. Our spies have found a safe route, so please come with me.”
Once again, Squealer had appeared before us with impeccable timing. After exterminating the troop at the top of the hill, we were having a discussion. I was saying that there was no more danger of being pursued by the enemies and that we should leave as soon as possible. But Satoru was stubbornly insisting on killing all the queerats.
Why was Satoru like this? I was shocked when I looked at his face. The boy I knew so well, the one that hid his kind nature behind a facade of sarcasm and boastfulness was nowhere to be seen. I was looking at someone completely different.
Although he gave all sorts of reasons, like the canoes being hidden too far away, or that we had to strike back when we were struck, I knew from the strange gleam in his eyes that he simply wanted to kill more. No matter what logical argument I came up with, Satoru was unfazed. We had only vague memories of the location of the Ground Spider colony and had no idea where its core (the place the queen lived) was. With so little information, it was impossible to eradicate them. And more importantly, if Satoru was injured, then that would be the end of it.
My tenacity was working and Satoru was beginning to give in. From the bottom of the came a voice calling at us. Fearing a trap by the Ground Spiders, we looked down cautiously, and saw Squealer with the remnants of the Robber Fly colony prostrated on the ground worshipping us from afar. There were only fifty or sixty of them left, a testament to the efficacy of the poison gas.