Shocked by the sight of the enemy army.
In order to rescue Satoru and herself from the cave they’ve been trapped in by whatever fell from the ceiling (it wasn’t a lake, like I suggested last week, but it wasn’t clear at all what it actually was), Saki recalls a time where she convinced Satoru to show her his mantra, and used the oldest trick in the book (the impression on the paper underneath) to learn it when he would only show it to her for a second. Using this knowledge, and Satoru’s being tired and asleep, she recreates his mantra ceremony, and manages to unseal his Cantus. With Satoru thus re-empowered, they are able to escape and eventually meet back up with the survivors of the Robber Fly Colony and decide to assist them in fighting the Ground Spiders.
As they march on the enemies, they go through various ambushes, traps, and incoming boulders and arrows. That despite being assured by Squealer that the route had been scouted and was clear. Satoru, as pretty much their only offense and defense, starts obviously tiring (and perhaps his “Death Feedback” is ramping up, as maybe his subconscious is catching on to the fact that he is killing beings), and Saki is trying to not let on that she is powerless at the moment, although she does make a mistake and lets it slip, earning a hesitation and strange look from Squealer. Finally they break through all the defenses and come upon a huge force of, and a force of huge, Ground Spiders (and why are they all gathering there in a hole?). Can they defeat this army? Or is there something else going on?
A quick flash, but why do this?
I was not surprised at all at Saki’s past memory of convincing Satoru to reveal his mantra. Something I wonder about this universe is how much leeway the children are really given. In our world, children are held to a lower standard on things like following rules, especially if they break them infrequently. And most ‘rules’ are more “guidelines” anyway, to be excepted or even broken at will when circumstances dictate. And we see that there are tons of rules in the show’s world, and some don’t really seem to be reasonable. For instance, what’s the reason not to tell someone else your mantra? We didn’t get any voiceover background why not (like we’ve gotten before for some things), so my assumption is to prevent exactly what happened here: it is a manner of control over people. Saki didn’t have to work particularly hard to unseal Satoru’s Cantus. And has Saki done this with the other children as well? If they meet back up, can she unseal the others? And did one of the others remember hers, for instance Shun, who I’ve noted before is the most rulebreaking of the entire group? I find it hard to believe that Saki would only do something like that with Satoru, who was the boy she got along with the least. So I’m pretty confident that the entire group will eventually be back up to full strength.
Saki is wondering if Satoru is really the same person.
Or will it be *more* than full strength? After his unsealing, Satoru seems to have affected both a strength upgrade and a personality change, to the point that Saki asks if something is wrong with him. The question arises that maybe it’s not just the mantra words, but there’s some other component to it. We saw that during Saki’s ceremony there was both the destruction of her old powers and the installation of a new mantra. I’ve hypothesized that this was the removal / sealing of an uncontrollable, or possibly stronger and more destructive, version of their PK ability. Did Saki actually unseal this stronger or even a more malicious version?
An odd look.
Finally, what was that look that Saki got from Squealer when she let it slip that she may not have her PK abilities? We don’t know that the bakenezumi like the Robber Flys would actually harm the humans, and we know that the Ground Spiders are more than willing to challenge the humans with PK abilities. Does knowing she is powerless mean anything at all?
Bad for the Robber Fly colony is that it looks like the Ground Spiders have a whole army of different animals at their disposal, plus they actually look like warriors. The Robber Fly members look, honestly, like rejects: thin, misshapen, short, unathletic. Did they really think they had a chance against the Ground Spiders?
The Ground Spiders have the equivalent of the troll. What’s ugly is what they’re going to do to the rest of the Robber Flys.