Ch. 199 Red Ant War
We left the Red Ant hive. Adofu had been attentively watching the hive’s entrance since the time we separated. Upon spotting me, he hastily drew closer.
“Are you already finished? That was pretty quick, wasn’t it?”
No, it’s dangerous to come closer right now! Since there are Red Ants approaching from behind!
Using gestures, I hurriedly conveyed to him to not come over here. Adofu stopped moving, furrowing his brows with a suspicious expression.
That following moment, a swarm of Red Ants emerged after me. Adofu’s facial expression twisted even more.
[Things change…… must go immediately.]
Nodding hesitantly while looking over here from a distance, Adofu hurriedly distanced himself. I wonder how Adofu has taken the situation this time. He probably never would have thought that I had been deceived at the end following negotiations, and had been made a soldier for quarrels between the Red Ants.
After leaving the Hive, I joined the Red Ants’ ranks. Well then, let’s have them guide me immediately.
When assessing the number of Red Ants, there are about thirty, aren’t there? It’d make me shiver if they were enemies, but right now it’s reassuring to consider them more or less as allies. It’s a fighting power equivalent to thirty Little Rock Dragons, which can destroy a village.
Are they really allies? It isn’t a trap, is it? If I were to be on the receiving end of a pincer attack, I won’t escape harm.
[…… now from Red Ants, can’t read hostility.]
The Ball Rabbit calmly replied to my doubts. Even if you can’t read the Queen’s thoughts, you can read those of her subordinates. If there was something off, Ball Rabbit would surely say so, and there would be no real point in asking now. But even though the situation had turned out well not long ago, I am still on my guard.
But there’s also the possibility that, as a countermeasure to [[Telepathy]], the Queen had lied to her subordinates. No, that can’t actually be the case. I’m overthinking it. Even if the Queen were to trick me to that extent, it wouldn’t be able to have its subordinates move efficiently.
But still, antagonising a fellow Red Ant hive…… It really is a territorial issue, isn’t it? A bit like “Oh, the son of your house is doing some hunting in our territory.” Perhaps it’s also the case where me having defeated the giant centipede has caused the power relations within the desert to fall into disarray.
After having marched for a few hours, two Red Ants detached themselves from the swarm and ran ahead. The other Red Ants don’t seem to pay this any heed. Thinking that it might perhaps be better if I were to also follow them, I hastened my footsteps, only to have a slightly larger Red Ant at the vanguard who seemed to hold a commanding position bark “Kucha! Kucha!” at me. Seems like I should stay here. The Red Ants surely have their own way of doing things. Since I have little reason to go against that, I guess I’ll obediently go along with it.
After not even an hour had passed, the two Red Ants returned. They come to face the Red Ant commander and have some kind of talk. It appears that they were doing reconnaissance. Huge as I am, I surely am not fit for that.
Ball Rabbit, do you understand what they’re talking about over there?
[Don’t understand well…… thing like how formation and attack.]
……Hmm, I don’t know anything about the Red Ants’ offensive tactics. Will we be alright? There’s no such thing as coordination between us and even at this point in time I still can’t distinguish between ally and foe. They’re all Red Ants. They could at least draw some kind of mark on their backs so I can differentiate between them. I wonder if I can do that with something like pheromones The ants might be able to differentiate the distinctive features of their faces though.
The commanding Red Ant closed in on me. It seemed like it had some kind of business with me.
If you would, Ball Rabbit.
[Don’t understand well…… I ask make easier to understand.]
Eh…… There are times when even Ball Rabbit doesn’t get it, huh…… Or has it said something rather strange?
The Red Ant commander drew a circle with its forelegs, and aptly pointed at it with its legs, as if wanting to say “do you understand?”
Sorry, I don’t really get it……
The Red Ant commander cried out in astonishment, then added a sketch of an ant poking its head out of the circle to it. Is it the Red Ant hive?
Indicating comprehension, I barked gently.
Again, the Red Ant commander moved its front legs, adding lines and whatnot to the surroundings of the circle. Slightly away, it drew a number of circles and something resembling a dragon.
It appears that it’s instructing me on how to attack. The several circles seemed to be my Red Ant allies.
From there, it drew many arrows. I think this is the route in which we will scatter and attack.
When I twisted my head when a triangular shape was added, it redid the sketch of the dragon, having thought that it was hard to understand. No, not that. I get the idea, but it appears to me that the triangular shape represents the enemy Red Ants.
We’ll split into front and rear lines, and the first attack will be from the front. During that, the frontline will split into three separate groups. After that, the enemy Red Ants will come out of the hive. Then the rear will infiltrate the hive while those enemy Red Ants are being baited and lured out by our frontline.
There are no more particular instructions after this. Perhaps it thinks that it’s alright to just send in a few units then let us move at our own discretion, since it is too difficult to anticipate any movements from there on? Or perhaps it doesn’t really know in what way to utilise me. Well, if that’s the case , I’ll just move according to my own discretion.
I’m afraid of mistakenly crushing a comrade, but it’s good that I can differentiate them with [[Telepathy]]….. or so I hope.
I’m part of the central frontlines. It appears to be fine that the rear only consists of five units. I wonder what five Red Ants could do, but I guess Red Ants have their own style of combat.
However, as for all this amount of information being communicated with cries, I guess it can’t be helped that Ball Rabbit wasn’t able to translate all this. It’s possible that it might have transmitted the battle strategy in name only.
After having moved further forward from there, we came to a halt. It seemed that the enemy ant hive is already very close. Five Red Ants hurriedly skittered away somewhere. That’s most likely the rear unit taking a roundabout path.
After roughly ten minutes, the Red Ant commander let out a cry. Upon hearing this, the other Red Ants all became fervent.
Without delay, they advanced at a speed that can’t be compared to that of just a few moments earlier. Having been left behind for an instant, I hurriedly followed after the Red Ants.
After advancing a bit, a wide red hole in the ground came into view. There’s no mistake, this is the Red Ant hive.
Upon drawing closer, enemy Red Ants started gushing out of the hole. One, then three, then four appeared…… and in order to report the situation, one Red Ant returned back into the depths of the hive.