Date: December 30, 2014
Michiko and Hige go on a small patrol and encounter a horde of bandits!
"Bandits on the Road (Again)"
Land of Lightning
In order to placate Hige for the upcoming mission (Michiko knows that it's going to be a rather torturous one from Kaido soon), Michiko has decided to take Hige out on a patrol of sorts. The girl sent a messenger hawk to Hige that said to meet up with her at the gates and they would set off on horseback. It shouldn't take too long, but bring a few snacks just in case? She can be found leaning against the Kumogakure gates with a book in her hands and open as she waits for the Inuzuka to arrive. It looks like Kimura is with her today, the fox sitting next to Michiko.
Little does Hige know the horribleness that is soon to come. It's even more of a surprise that Michiko sends for him though after how upset she had seemed at him last time he saw her. Still he takes it as a good sign and, after packing his normal tools and some snacks, he makes for the gate. Konsho must catch a scent of the fox ahead of him because the dog takes off like a shot, leaving Hige confused in his dust. And indeed the pup springs past the open gate to try and pounce on the wolf a good thirty seconds before Hige even gets there. "Good morning Michi-chan," the boy offers as he looks the chuunin over, trying to gauge if she's still upset with that whole 'angry at her training' thing.
Michiko's book falls from her face when she senses Hige and Konsho approach, offering the former a small smile. "Hige-kun, it's good to see you. I thought you might want a small treat before your next mission," she says, putting the book in a pouch. Kimura yelps when she gets pounced by a dog, of all things, and she nips at the ninken's tail a few times before wriggling from the pup's grip. "It's just a patrol, so don't get excited. The worst we'll run into is probably a few bandits."
Konsho darts away when the fox gets free, tongue lolling out of his tilted head as he watches her, tail wagging. If nothing else Konsho will have a good time! "We're going on a mission Konsho, you can't play around." Hige chides the pup softly and Konsho dutifully retreats to sit next to him, though something in his eyes looks like he's just waiting for the right moment. Hige nods to Michiko as she explains the minor extent of the mission, "I'm just glad you…gave me a mission. I thought you might still be mad." The boy ducks his head and rubs the back of his neck with a hand with the admission.
Michiko shakes her head a bit. "Well, even if I were, there's no sense in keeping you from a mission when you're perfectly fine and healthy. And this should be easy for us both, so let's both do our best, yes?" She offers a smile, whistling lightly for the horses they're borrowing. Then she hops onto one and nudges it into a steady trot while Kimura follows along, ears swiveled back to keep an 'eye' on Konsho. "Use some of your Inuzuka skills while we do this, Hige-kun. It's good practice, I think, for your kind of skill-set." she adds as they move along.
Kimura has no issues keeping up with the horses, as she uses some of her wind chakra to keep up. The fox yips at Konsho, perhaps a bit scoldingly. 'You should try to work on your speed, pup' is what she yipped.
Hige is silent for as long as Michiko is, eyes scanning ahead, behind, and around the road their on, occasionally raising his nose to sniff the air for anything suspicious. When Michiko speaks he stops with her while still keeping an eye on their surroundings while still listening to Michiko. But by the end of it Hige's only staring at her with a hint of surprise. So…he was right? Kind of. "I know how you feel." Is all he says in regards to the not doing anything, even if he wasn't abed as long as she was. He offers a little smile and is just happy that she's not mad, though he doesn't say it. Instead as they start back up again he goes back to what he was doing. Konsho yips back at the fox with a huff, 'Tiny legs and I can't use that chakra like you!'. Hige smirks a bit as he hears the dog trying to defend himself.
Kimura snickers and shakes her head, yipping back, 'But you can use chakra to boost your speed, even without an element.' She gives a nod, but then sniffs a bit. -"I think there was a bit of blood spilled around here. Not too recently, but within the last day…"- she reports. Michiko frowns and gets off her horse to send out a bit of chakra along the ground in search of anything that would perhaps be a bear or something that slumbered. Not finding that, she hmms. "Hige-kun, do you smell any thing new? Or interesting?"
Konsho lets out a few soft grumbling yips that don't actually amount to much, besides maybe a promise of an extra pounce later. When they stop and Michiko dismounts Hige looks around slowly with a faint frown before he lifts his nose to the air and sniffs a few times before shaking his head, "No, I don't smell or hear anything." He doesn't sound entirely certain however, what with the fox smelling something. Maybe his nose is off.
Kimura is a bit closer to the ground than Hige is! So perhaps that's why she's picked up something more than the Inuzuka? She sighs a bit when she realizes that she can't detect anything else. "Alright, then. Let's tread a bit more carefully. And… Hige-kun, can you use the transformation jutsu? If so, I want us both disguised as normal travelers. If something happened to a normal person, then the same should happen to us… Just keep a good eye out and get ready for a battle. Okay?" Kimura hops onto Michiko's horse, using a bit of chakra to transform into a dog that looks a bit like Konsho, though with obvious differences so they don't look the exact same.
Hige scratches his chin thoughtfully after he can't sense anything before looking to Michiko. He blinks, then coughs a bit as he lowers his eyes, "I…don't know how. Never really tried," he admits a bit sheepishly. Of course since he doesn't wear his forehead protector he doesn't exactly look like a shinobi anyways. "Konsho hop down. We might not look too suspicious if you're walking next to us." Of course he can't hide the Inuzuka markings though.
"Well, do your best, Hige-kun. Anything is better than how you currently are," Michiko says. He may not look like a shinobi, but he does have the Inuzuka markings. And it's usually only clans that have markings like that… "Alright… Once you're ready, we'll continue forth. At a normal rate so as not to be too suspicious. I didn't sense any basic traps in place, so we should be fine in that regard." Kimura growls lightly, but doesn't /say/ anything anymore. A small yip to say, 'I don't like this'.
Hige makes a mental note to have someone teach him that jutsu later, but for now…The boy considers, then snaps his fingers as he digs through his pack and pulls out some gauze. He quickly wraps some around his head a number of times so that it covers the bridge of his nose and the Inuzuka markings before grinning at Michiko. "Does this work Michi-chan?" Konsho yips up to Hige playfully before he catches what Kimura says, at which point the nin-pup grows more serious and begins looking around as well, sniffing carefully.
Michiko raises an eyebrow at the disguise, but nods. "Yes, that should be alright." The girl nudges her horse onward, and it doesn't take that long for the duo to come across the bandits. Apparently they were lying in wait several meters ahead and they had set up a lot of things to cover their scent. Only one bandit comes out of the bushes at the approach of the shinobi, and he doesn't recognize them either. "Hello, there! I don't suppose you would mind giving us all your belongings?" he requests. The man was a bit small in stature, but he also was built. And he was holding a spear, so he didn't have to get too close to Michiko while he spoke to them.
Work with what you got and think on your feet, right? Hige just continues to grin as they go…until they come upon the bandits. From there he grows serious as he stops his horse behind Michiko's, eyes scanning the side of the road to try and pick up on how many others there are in hiding. What with the spear and all he's not going to have much of an advantage on the horse so he slides off, holding onto the reins and, for the moment, not making any moves. Nope, he'll let Michiko be in charge and try not to charge in like he normally would, even though it annoys him to wait. Konsho growls at the bandit leader though he doesn't move either for now.
The bandit just eyes Konsho and Hige's response, and about five more bandits come from the bushes at his signal. "Now then… Just don't do anything rash, boy. And everything will work out alright." It seems that Michiko has only changed her clothes, and not her appearance in the henge. So she still looks like a girl, and a scared one at that. "Ah, of course. Let me just get my bag for you…" she says to the head bandit, reaching into a saddle bag. Her hands, now that they're hidden, make a few quick seals and make the earth explode as a cover, which is a signal for Hige to attack… Hopefully he gets the message.
Hige moves as soon as the first seal is made, darting forward and releasing a pair of kunai towards two of the other bandits while Konsho makes for the third. The kunai are only to distract them for this small time until he can get closer of course, but he still has to cover that distance. As for Konsho, well he's there in a flash and uses the training Bandit gave him to initiate his attack. Yep, right for the groin.
The bandit that Konsho attack goes down almost instantly from the pain, not making any noise whatsoever. The other two only get a scrape or a kunai in the arm, as they wince from the dirt getting into their eyes. Michiko doesn't hold back as she tries to set fire to the ones who avoided the dirt bomb (it can only reach so far), but they seem to avoid her flames with ease and start throwing things at the pair! Rocks, sticks, leaves, kunai, and a few other things that would just result in a bruise, likely, at worse. Well, the kunai would hurt a lot more than that, but oh well…
Hige pulls out another kunai and flicks aside the first thing that comes his way, but missing the second since it was in quick succession. The kunai sticks him in the arm but he ignores the pain, gritting his teeth as he jumps over the last one coming at him to land in front of his own pair of bandits. With the kunai he slashes out at one, then spins and brings his claws down towards the other. His eyes look feral and with all the movement the makeshift mask slips away to reveal his markings. Konsho, well, he just makes sure the guy is going to stay down for the moment.
Apparently the bandits don't feel like getting too close to Michiko as she manages to avoid all of the kunai that were thrown at her. They continue to throw things, not wanting to get hit by that fire of hers, though two of them end up succumbing to flames. Well, that's half down! The one that's getting bitten by Konsho flails and kicks at the poor pup, though it's mostly that instinct-type of attack rather than anything particularly aimed. Hige gets one guy attempting to tackle him off the horse while the other aims a punch at the Inuzuka's head. It's obvious they're no fighters…
Michiko, in response to the bandit attacks, simply uses a bit of fire to replace herself and avoid injury, then makes a few handseals to send bolts of fire at them Kimura does her best as well, electricity zapping the bandits that get anywhere near her, which makes them yelp. It's nothing damaging, but it certainly keeps them away!
Konsho easily avoids the poorly aimed kicks from the bandit even if it does make him stop biting. That guy won't be having kids ever again anyways. Hige isn't so lucky. Whether he underestimated them or they just got really lucky it's hard to say. Maybe he's just having a bad day and the dice still hate him. After their attacks hit the boy is knocked back a little ways, one eye closed as a bruise begins forming around it and blood dripping from his mouth, not to mention a few other various spots he's been cut. He's angry now and that's never a good sign, for him or anyone else. It usually means he just gets hit more. A low growl escapes as he pushes himself back to his feet and picks up a kunai he'd dropped. He throws it at one of the men before charging the other, spinning as he attacks the other, "Tsuga!"
The kunai is easily avoided by the bandits, but one man is a bit… okay, a /lot/ intimidated by Hige's growl. It was an inhuman sound to come from a boy, and it was unnerving! The man yelps as he tries to get away, but the attack ends up scratching his arm, and he decides he wants no more part in this 'fight'. He had joined this gang because they were only going for the 'easy' targets! So that's… two left, by the looks of it, as the man that Konsho attacked is not getting up anytime soon.
Michiko sighs as this one man seems to keep dodging her attacks. The leader, no less. The girl makes her handseals again, really focusing this time. And with a quick few bursts of fire, the man goes down. Each one is placed strategically so that if he tries to avoid it, then he'll just end up in its true path. Kimura sends a few zaps at the remaining person, though again, they're really harmless and ineffective.
Hige's eyes turn on the last man remaining, his teeth showing in a snarl as when the man attacks Hige more or less just takes it so that's he's close enough to attack back. Perhaps it was a bit too strong of a hit for him to be able to retaliate but he doesn't seem to be thinking the best at the moment. Even Konsho is getting worried and darts in to try and attack the man, jumping for his throat even in order to help his companion.
With the help of Konsho, the last bandit goes down thanks to the Inuzuka duo. Michiko cleans up the area a bit by making a giant whirlpool that sucks down whatever damage has been done. Specifically, those bodies. Then she looks to Hige and frowns a bit. "You got hit a few times… I can heal you, if you like?" she offers a hand. "Enough for you to feel fine, at least. And you've a mission in two days, I believe, so rest on the in-between, okay, Hige-kun? I think we're almost done with the patrol, too, so we can both relax and maybe have some food after this." Kimura goes to hop on Michio's horse, feeling proud even though she probably did less overall damage than Konsho.
Anger still burns within the Inuzuka boy and when Michiko first speaks he turns to her with his sharp teeth bared. Konsho yips loudly at him though and the boy blinks, then lowers his eyes as he gets himself back under control. There's a moment where he doesn't look like he's going to accept the healing, but finally he nods in silence, not raising his eyes back up. He got hit. Far too much, just like last time. At this rate he's no better than someone still in the academy. He mentally berates himself as he does far too often, even ignoring Konsho when the pup yips up at him again.
Michiko heals most of Hige's injuries, then takes her spot on her horse again. "Alright, let's go. Hige-kun… You did well, okay? There were a lot of them, and we were successful against them. So don't be too hard on yourself." With a gentle nudge, the horse starts forward, and they travel for a few more minutes before going back to Kumogakure for food and rest.
Hige doesn't respond to Michiko after she's done healing him, moving to his horse and mounting up. Even Konsho can't get the boy to talk which is a bit strange. The dog jumps up to the horse, then Hige's head and lays there, peering down at his companion worriedly. His focus returns for the remainder of the patrol but he is otherwise more subdued than normal all the way back home.