“Don’t raise your voice. The second it realizes we’ve noticed him, we’re done for. …as for why it hasn’t attacked, it’s probably letting us lead it to where all the townspeople are.”
This was the worst situation possible. If we kept going, we’d invite the murderer right into our midst. But I couldn’t think of a way to get it off our tail either. I racked my brain desperately, but fear had numbed my mind and I couldn’t come up with anything.
“If we go as fast as we can…can we escape into the canal?”
“No, we won’t make it,” Satoru said shortly. “The canal is a straight line, there’s nowhere to hide. Even if we went as fast as we could, it would capture us with cantus in a second.”
We couldn’t stop its boat, or hinder it in any way either. The fiend would attack the second it saw any sort of opposition from us. As long as we were in its line of sight, it held all the power.
“Then…wait. Are you saying we have no chance?”
“Hold on. I’m thinking. Just keep talking.”
All I could rely on now was Satoru’s steady calmness. I kept talking about whatever came to mind.
“I never thought we’d be in a situation like this. I still can’t believe everything that’s happened tonight. It’s the Summer Festival too. A lot of people died. Some right in front of my eyes. No one saved them. …and not just that. We abandoned Okano and the others…no, we left them to die. Why did it come to that? What in the world went wrong?”
Tears spilled down my cheeks.
“I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die not knowing anything. It’d be like a bug that got stepped on out of the blue. At the very least, I want to know why I have to die. I can’t just die and leave things the way they are.”
Satoru was still thinking with single-minded concentration.