This slug like parasite is actually a symbiote. After attaching itself to a warmblooded host, it feeds off that being. However, its tenticles, growing under the skin, act as secondary nerves, increase the victims nerve responses.
A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.