“I am deeply sorry,” Squealer bowed his head. “We sent out a scout earlier and he came back completely unscathed.”
“Isn’t that obvious? They didn’t want your scout, they were waiting for us.”
“That’s enough. We’ve come this far anyway,” Satoru said, grabbing my arms. “Let’s hurry and settle this so we can go home.”
Oh really, I thought. Something was off about him. In addition to being tired, I thought he seemed to be having trouble focusing his eyes. The boulder he had failed to block earlier came to mind. The usual Satoru would never make such a huge mistake.
“We cant keep going this way though. We still don’t know where the rocks are coming from,” I said uncertainly. “We should go back.”
“No,” Satoru shook his head. “The battle has already started. Turning back is suicide.”
“But if we leave the forest, we’ll be attacked by the rocks. And we can’t travel through the forest either because we don’t know what traps are here.”
“I will send scouts ahead,” Squealer said, as if trying to get back into our good graces. “We will find where they are catapulting the boulders from. And with the gods’ help, we can strike them down one by one…”
“Don’t make it sound so easy. Satoru is tired.”
Squealer threw me a deeply suspicious look. I realized I had made a mistake. Even though they might have suspected it earlier, now they probably knew for sure that I couldn’t use cantus.
Taking my silence as consent, Squealer started giving orders in his high-pitched queerat language. The Robber Fly soldiers spread out into the bamboo thicket instantly. Even though they had suffered extreme losses so far, their morale was as high as ever.