“Enough! Stop! That’s enough!” Satoru shouted ten minutes later.
The fields of rice were almost entirely burnt away, and the queerats had stopped attacking completely.
“Did we get them…?” Fujita stepped forward, unable to contain his excitement.
“Yes. They’re probably all dead.” he answered.
The water in the paddies extinguished the fires and darkness closed in on us again. The stink of charred flesh hung in the air.
“I…just…” Okano lurched forward and began puking off the side of the boat.
“Calm down, Okano. Just relax. It’s okay. No one enjoys doing this. Even if the targets are queerats.” I rubbed her back.
“Come on, it’s okay. It’s okay, it’s okay…” Fujita repeated robotically.
He seemed to suddenly remember Kuramochi and turned to shout, “Heeey! Kuramochi! You okay?”
But there was no answer.
“What happened to him?” he asked Satoru, bewildered.
“I don’t know. But as long as he wasn’t struck by a stray bullet or something, he’ll be fine.”
“There aren’t any more queerats, right? Should we go and check?”
“I guess so. There might still be enemies hiding inside though.”
“Hm. I see…so what should we do?”
In the time that we had traveled to the hospital, Fujita had gradually pushed the position of leader on to Satoru. Even now, he was probably just acting like he valued the input of a younger teammate.
“Really? That’d be great-”
“Satoru! Are you crazy?” I shouted.