Another silence filled the room as everyone was struck dumb with shock.
“Why…do you think that?”
“Everything on the battlefield had been turned to ash, but there was one thing, I noticed, that remained untouched. The arrows.”
“What do arrows have to do with anything?”
“The Giant Hornet and Robber Fly colonies use two different types of arrows that are easily distinguishable from each other. There were a good number of Giant Hornet arrows left at the scene. And they were all completely undamaged.”
“If the arrows had hit something and bounced off to land on the ground, there would be obvious signs of damage to them. The only way they could be in perfect condition is if they had been stopped in midair by cantus.”
If anyone other than Shisei Kaburagi had put forth this idea, no one would have believed them.
“Ah! So then…excuse me,” Satoru hurriedly suppressed his excited shout.
“It doesn’t matter. Continue,” Tomiko said, looking kindly at him.
“Right. There was something I found odd when I was at the scene. None of the dead Giant Hornet soldiers were carrying weapons. Of course, the victors in a battle usually take their opponent’s weapons, but they would also usually leave the broken ones behind. …but if their weapons had all been snatched away by cantus, that would explain it.”
“B-but, there’s no one in this town that would side with the Robber Flies and kill the Giant Hornets. And obviously no one on the Wildlife Protection or any other division in our department would do it,” Mr. Kaneko said, sounding panicked.
“Yes. Of course, it is not anyone living here. Let me think…yes. Could it be another district?”
At Kaburagi Shisei’s words, excited chatter arose once again, but Tomiko shook her head firmly.
“That’s impossible. The closest districts to us are Iroishi 71 in Tohoku, Tainai 84 in Hokuriku, and Koumi 95 in Chuubu. None of them would be stupid enough to try something like this.”