an English translation of the novel

Page 410-411

Yakomaru gave the order.

Instantly, dozens of arrows flew toward the pine tree on the cliff in a beautiful arc. Most of them bounced off the cliff, but a few stuck to the tree, and one embedded itself in a crack between the stone.

Still no response. At Yakomaru’s command, the archers lined up to shoot again. This time, they wrapped oil-soaked cloth to the head of the arrows and set them alight.

Dozens of flaming arrows cut through the air.

The pine tree soon started to burn and give off black smoke. Finally, there was movement. I saw a spray of snow. It looked like they were trying to put out the fire from the other side of the tree.

“I’m sure they understand the situation now. I will try to summon them again.”

Yakomaru raised his right hand. The soldier with the megaphone started its earsplitting shriek again. Although I couldn’t understand what it was saying, its tone was surprisingly aggressive. Was this really just a summons?

Finally, the answer came in the form of a volley of arrows.

All around the pine tree, countless arrowslits had opened in the rock, allowing them to send out waves of arrows.

The enemy arrows came from above in a straight line, traveling at considerable speed. Having no shields, Yakomaru’s archers and the megaphone soldier were about to become pincushions.

The next instant, the swarm of arrows were parted by an invisible force and flew away in all directions.

Satoru and I had changed the course of the arrows in the same way we had parted the avalanche. I thought it was impressive how we had sprung into action at the same time. I guess we had known each other for so long that we could almost read each other’s mind.

There followed what seemed to be a confused silence from the Goat Moths. A strong wind could blow arrows off course, but having them suddenly part in different directions mere feet from the target was not something that happened naturally.


 
     

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