But a number of them returned within two minutes and made an anxious report to Squealer. He turned to face us. Although I couldn’t read queerat expressions, it looked like he had serious news.
“On the other side of the bamboo forest is an open area unobstructed by trees. It appears that the enemy’s main force is spread out over there.”
“Then we have the advantage since they’re easy to spot, right?”
“That…how should I say this? Please come see for yourself. This time I am positive that there are no enemies hiding in the thicket.”
Dubious, we followed Squealer through the forest. After about forty or fifty meters, we could see through to the other side. We crouched down to make ourselves less visible and crept forward slowly.
There was an open area of a hundred square meters. The Ground Spiders had felled the trees near their colony to prepare a site for the final battle.
“Amazing…” I said.
The sight of the clamoring troops could only be described as spectacular. Their armor and weapons glittered in the midday sun.
“Three thousand of them divided into five troops,” Satoru said, awed.
“But they’re all in the open, so it’ll be easy to beat them, right?”
I thought Satoru would agree immediately, but he thought for a while.
“It’s not a given.”
“Look at that formation. The heavily armored foot soldiers are at the front and the archers are hiding behind them.”
It was the phalanx formation commonly used in ancient Greece. The frontline had heavy shields and spears, preventing the enemy from penetrating the troop. If that row falls, the one behind would take its place, like a shark replacing its teeth.
“And that’s not all. See all the rocks in the back? The group next to it is probably the catapult.”
Then I understood.
“You mean the group itself is the catapult?”