“I couldn’t either. Why though? Satoru?” Maria wrapped her arms around herself uneasily.
“I dunno. As soon as I saw the lights, my mind went blank, and I couldn’t concentrate no matter how hard I tried.”
“Ah!” I exclaimed. “It’s just like that time, right? Like when we were at the Temple of Purity, looking into the flames of the altar…”
“I get it,” Shun said, getting to his feet. “That makes sense then. We were hypnotized.”
“What does that mean?”
“It’s an ancient technique for controlling people. Through suggestions, you can make them fall asleep, tell the truth, or do whatever you command.”
I couldn’t imagine where Shun had learned something like this.
“But Saki was fine; she yelled at us to catch it and everything. Maybe she’s so thickheaded she’s immune.”
“No I’m not,” I snapped. “It’s because I was wearing sunglasses…”
The most simple-minded one out of all of us was definitely Mamoru, but I stopped myself before I said it aloud.
“Hypnosis uses flickering red and blue lights. The red sunglasses probably cut down its effectiveness. Let me see it really quick.”
As I wondered where in the world he got all this information from, he put on my sunglasses and stared up into the sky.
“But if Saki’s the only one who can use her cantus, it’ll be hard to catch that thing. It seems to like to hide in narrow crevices.”
“Looks like it. Hey, shouldn’t we be heading back soon?” Maria said, uncharacteristically nervous.
“Why don’t we go back to the canoes and have lunch?”
I wasn’t sure if Mamoru was scared, like always, or just hungry.