“Absolutely not!” Yakomaru shouted with his arms crossed in front of his chest. “By the deities of heaven and earth, I swear that we gave no such order.”
“But is the Goat Moth colony not affiliated with you? Or rather, under your rule?”
“It is true we have approached the Goat Moths and labored to join forces. However, our efforts have yet to bear fruit. The reasons are twofold. First, most members of the colony still cling to the old ways of thinking and will not leave monarchal rule behind. Second, the Giant Hornets have had their eye on the Goat Moths for a long time. As allying with us would appear invite violent repercussions, it seems their options were awfully limited.”
“Kiroumaru, is Yakomaru telling the truth?”
“It is the nonsense of a sophist who piles lies upon lies.” He bared his teeth in a wolfish grin. “It is absolutely absurd. Please don’t trust the words of this treacherous snake. To address his first point, I have been informed the Goat Moth queen has already been taken captive. As for his second claim, I can tell you we have never threatened the Goat Moth colony.”
“Yakomaru.” Mr. Kaneko turned his attention to the other queerat.
“My my, I am shocked. The Goat Moth queen, held captive? What could be the source of such inane prattle? The queen is currently in good health and ruling over her colony. Although she entrusts political matters to her very capable regent, Quichy.”
“What gall you have to tell such barefaced lies in front of the gods. Perhaps I should rip out that filthy tongue of yours,” Kiroumaru said, his voice overflowing with menace.
“Kiroumaru, you are not to speak unless addressed.”
Kiroumaru bowed his head at the rebuke.