Somehow, it didn’t make sense. Normally, when a colony was attacked, the first thing it would do was to report it to us and apply for permission to retaliate. And yet, we had heard nothing from the Spider Wasps.
“In any case, it’s a problem if we leave the situation as it is. It’s interfering with the samples I need collected, and it’s disrespecting our authority.”
“You’re right. We’ll investigate it as soon as possible.”
“What will you do if you find the colony that launched the attack?”
“There will be some form of punishment at the very least. Either the Giant Hornets will be ordered to carry it out, or one of our offices will do it.”
Within the Department of Health, the Environmental Health and Pest Control divisions worked closely with us. If the latter was sent out on assignment, it meant that an entire colony was being exterminated.
“Still…” Satoru looked like he was trying not to smile.”
“Nothing. You just seemed like the real department chief around here with the way you talk.”
We smiled at each other. The distance between us had disappeared.
At the time, I was happy that some stupid colony had given me and Satoru the chance to make up.
However, despite being the person in the town most wary of the queerats, even I couldn’t imagine the terrible future this event foreshadowed.
The monthly meetings at the Department of Health were always full of the same droning reports that bored everyone to tears. That’s why the attendants of the July meeting came as such a shock.
Three leaders from the district sat next to Hiroshi Kaneko, the head of the department. Koufuu Hino represented the Occupations Council. Shisei Kaburagi was consultant for the Security Council. And Tomiko Asahina, head of the Ethics Committee, was also present. The first two were known for being the most powerful and most skilled cantus users in the district, they were the very definitions of the words used to describe them. And of course, I don’t need to explain who Tomiko is.