“It’s too early to say that for sure,” Satoru said gloomily. “They might be waiting for us to let our guard down before attacking.”
“Why do you keep saying that?” I snapped. “Do you enjoy the fact that they’re afraid of us?”
“Fine, should I say something stupidly optimistic then?” Satoru retorted.
“…Satoru’s probably right,” Shun said unexpectedly.
“Saki’s right that they don’t want to fight over there. Maybe because that’s where their nests are. But once we get far enough away, who knows what they’ll do.”
“But…what’s the point in attacking?”
“Dude, did you not see what Rijin did earlier? How many queerats do you think he killed? They’re not going to be satisfied with just having one of us dead.”
Satoru’s logic was depressingly sound.
“But they probably think we still have cantus, right? They should be trying to avoid more meaningless deaths,” Maria said.
Shun shook his head, “Like Rijin said, they’re a foreign species. They might have been civilized in the beginning, but have lost contact with humans for a long time. Remember, that first scout that was caught? It didn’t seem to know what cantus was.”
“That’s true, but shouldn’t they have learned to fear it by now?” I said quietly, trying to think from their point of view.
“Yeah. That’s why they haven’t attacked us yet. But at best, they only half-believe in our powers.”
“They’re probably thinking that if they had the same powers we did, they would have slaughtered us a long time ago.”
There was a silence so heavy that it was hard to breathe.
“…what’ll they do from now on?” Satoru asked Shun.
“Once we get far enough from the nests, it’s very likely they’ll try to strike back.”
“And what happens when we can’t retaliate?”
Shun’s silence was answer enough.
“So how far away from the nest is far enough?” Maria asked worriedly.
“I don’t know for sure.” Shun looked uphill. “The most dangerous place is probably at the bottom of the hill.”