“Stop already.” I tried to hold him back.
“Low-lifes, maggots…how dare you kill humans!”
Satoru didn’t seem to hear me at all.
I remembered the last time he was like this. We had been trapped underground after the Ground Spiders attacked. When he regained his cantus and we started to counterattack… Satoru was only a twelve year-old boy at the time, but it was as if I had seen a glimpse of the fiend in him. The memory made me break out in a cold sweat.
Right now, his face was hidden in shadow, but I have no doubt he was wearing the same expression he had back then. A strange mixture of unstoppable anger and bloodlust…
“They’re dead already. We’ll be in danger if we don’t get out of here!”
Finally, Satoru seemed to calm down. “Right, let’s go.”
We had only gone a couple steps when he stopped again.
“The group I just killed isn’t the one that’s attacking at the square. These guys were here to ambush the people who tried to escape. With these numbers, it’s likely they were just the vanguard and there are more coming. So if we run this way, we’ll probably meet even more queerats. It’ll be dangerous, but our best bet is to go back toward the square.”
“It’s okay. Some might have died in the surprise attack, but humans won’t be killed that easily. We might be gaining the upper hand already.”
His prediction was right on the mark.
The queerats’ strategy, a blitz attack in the middle of the night, was likely more intended scare us than do any real damage.
First, they dress up as monsters and offer normal wine with cups of poisoned wine mixed in so as to sow the first seeds of panic when people started dropping dead at random.
Then by timing their guns with the bursts of fireworks, they create an even greater disturbance over a larger area.
When people start trying to escape, they start shooting camouflaged arrows to herd them into a central area, sowing even more chaos and making it difficult to use cantus. Once everyone was stuck in one place, they could kill us like shooting fish in a barrel.