“So what do we do?” I asked.
“Wait for Kuramochi to enter the hospital. Once he’s safely inside, we’ll crush the bastards.
Kuramochi hesitated outside the entrance. The inside of the building was even darker than the night outside, but it was still too dangerous to light a torch.
“Heeey. What are you guys doing? Are you coming?” he called back to us, sounding irritated.
“We’ll be right there. Just hold on a minute. We’re going to check out the surrounding area,” Satoru answered.
“Tch. What, are you chickening out?” he scoffed, then stepped resolutely into the hospital and disappeared from view.
Now! We released our cantus into the fields around us.
The rice paddies burst into flames so intense they seemed to almost reach the sky.
For two or three seconds, nothing happened. Just as I was beginning to think that we had been overly paranoid about the whole thing, an entire army of soldiers leapt out of the mud. There were hundreds of them. They drew the weapons they had hidden among the stalks of rice and fired relentlessly at us.
But the moment the queerats revealed their positions, it was over. The flames exposed their positions to us, and they were temporarily blinded by the flames after hiding in the dark for so long. Only a few arrows and bullets struck the boat; most missed by a wide margin and flew over our heads.
The four of us began a merciless attack. Fueled by fear, anger, and a need for vengeance, the images we created wrung the queerats’ necks, smashed their skulls in, snapped their spines, and crushed their hearts. We didn’t even notice the rainbow sparks made by cantus interfering with each other. The only thought we had was that not a single queerat could be allowed to live; they needed to be thoroughly exterminated. The air was filled with the crackle of burning crops and shrieks of dying queerats. It had turned into hell.