an English translation of the novel

Page 204-205

 

The words had a dramatic effect. People stopped when they saw it, and slowly managed to regain their senses.

“Terror paralyzes the mind. That is what the enemy is counting on. Everyone please stay calm.”

Shisei Kaburagi appeared, floating above the crowd. His eyes were covered by a mask like the ones used in the Demon-chasing festival. His cantus-amplified voice reverberated in all directions more clearly than any megaphone could manage.

“The fiend is just another of the queerat’s devilish tricks in their rebellion against us. Because of them, numerous lives have been lost. Though we grieve for the fallen, now is the time for us to stand united.”

There was the sound of applause. It spread through the crowd until everyone was clapping.

“Yes!”

“United!”

Shouts came from every direction.

“Death to the queerats!” Shisei Kaburagi declared.

The crowd took up the chant.

“Death to the queerats!”

“Death to the queerats!”

“Death to the queerats!”

They yelled in unison, fists punching the air.

Without Kaburagi Shisei’s charisma, I doubted anyone could have calmed their panic so quickly. He had an impressive ability to manipulate human emotions. Only a strong emotion like anger could have chased away their fear. Then he fanned their anger to incite them to action. It was a risky move, but necessary all the same.

But now that I think about it, all of this had probably been anticipated by Yakomaru’s meticulous calculations.

The timing of the fiend’s appearance. The movements of the crowd. And even Kaburagi Shisei’s speech at the square.

Without warning, the ground shuddered and collapsed. Before they even had time to scream, dozens of people were swallowed by the gaping hole that opened up under them.

The sinkhole was about a hundred meters in diameter, large enough to take out the entire square. The pit stopped right in front of me, and its center was right where Kaburagi Shisei had stood in the crowd.


 
     

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