Yakomaru’s plan had been carried out flawlessly up until now. But two people, with cantus so powerful as to rival the gods themselves, turned the tide of the battle.
The queerats’ attacks had killed over two hundred people. The two thousand or so who still lived were in a state of panic that bordered dangerously on becoming mass mayhem, but calm was restored with a few words written across the sky. Incidentally, no one else has ever figured out how to write glowing words in the sky without the use of fireworks.
Following instructions, the crowd gathered into a circle about sixteen meters across and sealed their cantus to prevent interference. The only reason everyone responded so readily to these commands was that we had absolute faith in Shisei Kaburagi.
Inside the circular formation, everyone was protected from all attacks, much like the magical barriers often described in fairy tales. Be it arrows or bullets, they were all deflected by an invisible field.
As Satoru and I returned to the square, we were astonished at the speed and ease with which Shisei Kaburagi used his powers to defend us.
Their attacks nullified, the queerat army was brought to a standstill. Koufuu Hino sauntered lazily up to them.
“Heeheeheeheeheeheeheehee. Well that’s just too bad. Looks like there’s nothing you can do,” he said in a strange, singsong voice as he tapped his bald head with a folding fan. “Bad little rats, you betrayed us. What should I do? Rip out your tongues, and turn you inside out. String you up, turn you into jerky. Bad little rats that rebelled against humans. How should I punish you? Snap your bones, stretch you out, and pound you into patties.”
People began to clap. They all wished to see this cruel revenge. Koufuu Hino raised a hand to acknowledge the crowd. When he turned back to the queerats, his entire face had changed. His eyes bulged from his head like ping pong balls and he howled in a frightening voice.
“Now then, you eeevil, murderous rats, what shall I do with you?”