I saw Yakomaru coming towards us.
“Good morning, gods. We will be departing soon, but would you like to have breakfast first?”
The thought of having to eat minoshiro jerky made me lose my appetite.
“What about you guys?”
“We can eat while we travel. It’s just military rations, so it doesn’t taste too good.”
“That’s fine, we’ll do the same.”
“As you wish.”
Yakomaru was wearing a hooded fur coat and riveted leather armor. His bureaucratic air from two years ago was still present, but now he looked much more like a general. He blew a whistle that hung around his neck and two hundred queerats lined up in formation.
“Hey, is it really necessary to send out this many soldiers?” Satoru asked, frowning.
“There might be unexpected dangers on the road. We are prepared to do anything to protect the gods,” Yakomaru said reverently.
We joined him in the middle of the formation. Apparently being in the rear was just as dangerous as being at the very front. Muscular guards bearing large shields surrounded us on all sides.
Most of the snow around the colony had been cleared away and bits of frost crunched under our feet as we walked. As we made our way onto the snowy plains, Satoru and I put on our skis. The soldiers also wore shoes that resembled simple skis, and their short legs worked rapidly to propel them forward. Since we were able to move so much faster with cantus, Satoru was starting to get annoyed at their slow pace.
“Cant we go any faster? If you tell us where it is, we can go on ahead.”
“I’m very sorry. We cannot move as swiftly as the gods. But the Goat Moth colony is not much farther, so please bear with us. If you went ahead, I would not be able to reach you in time should anything happen.”