Date: November 9, 2015
Four Suna aligned Genin are hired on as caravan guards for a merchant traveling through the dunes over the course of a week. They discover that the sandy dunes not only live, but also hunt.
"Caravan attacked by the shifting dunes"
Land of Wind
While it was early in the morning Rikuto was already at the outskirts of the village, kneeling down in the sand. Surrounding the young man was a series of scrolls, each one was heavily inked and he was starting to monitor them intently. Beside the young man was an older and somewhat short man tending to a series of camels, each one held a saddle that was made not to carry not people but belongings, namely heavy sets of scrolls like the ones around Rikuto currently. One by one the older man would finish preparing the bits for the large animal's mouths and attaching them to the rear ends of the next one, creating a caravan of four in total and two that were left on their own.
The Tenjin estate would be given a missive directed towards a 'Tenjin Koemi'. Towards the separate Hayato residences two missives were addressed to a 'Hayato Hiroto' and a 'Hayato Malik'. Each of the missives were written the same way, and oddly not personalized: You have been selected for the security of a caravan lead by Kazuhiro of the Goto clan, a merchant clan of the southwest. Your skills have left you selected for the task of over watching the transport on it's travels to the southern markets, to the coastal markets before returning to Sunagakure in roughly one week's time. Prepare yourselves. You are being assigned with three others shinobi.
With the checks finalized, the young Miira leans forward and rolls up one of the largest of the inked scrolls before binding it in two places with tasseled cord. Lifting the scroll suddenly took some effort, as even for a scroll it still managed to be over a meter long and awkward to grip onto without risking tearing a seal. Where the others that had received summons were to appear on time, they would likely be expected to assist loading the three rear pack animals and partially prepare the front most camel.
Hiroto never had a problem accepting any task he was assigned to. Although things where his eyes could be of use were always much better for him. He would make sure him, and Tenshi were both ready before heading out to the meeting point. On the way there he would pick up something for him, and Tenshi to eat. Of course by the time they were done it was gone, and they would now be completely ready to travel besides all the prep that they need to do as a whole. Of course he was kind of lazy when it came to things he deemed work for someone else, but he would help load the animals.
Being tapped for a mission so soon after the last one has Malik pretty happy. It was another escort mission, but that didn't matter to him. Any chance he could get to impress the higher-ups was a plus for him. So after receiving the missive, he and Sinbad would make their way towards the meeting point. Riding on his shoulder the falcon was chirping in his ear and Malik sighs. "I don't know which shinobi we'll be working with this time." The falcon hops on one leg and chirps some more and Malik sighs again. "Okay, okay. If it's Hiroto, then yes you can hang out with Tenshi. I'm sure he won't mind." He's dressed in his usual attire, hood hanging at his back and the mask draped around his neck. His quiver and recurve bow are on his back along with a small backpack since they might be gone from the village for awhile. Once the duo arrive at the designated place, Malik would incline his head. "Hayato Malik, reporting for duty." Once spotting Hiroto, he would grin and greet him. "Hey, bro. How are you?" Sinbad wastes no time in greeting Tenshi as he hops from Malik's shoulder to the thick leather vambrace on his arm, flapping his wings slightly in excitement.
Koemi would walk to the outskirts of the village where they were supposed to gather, carrying many additions to her supplies onto her belt to try to prepare her for her security detail. In her case it may be more akin to medical duty, but she wouldn't want to ask for special treatment or protection all the same. She has been coming to terms with the other roles that she has to play as a Shinobi. She looks over the camels and the people already gathered, and offers a warm smile to Rikuto and Hiroto in particular. "Good day Rikuto, how are you today? Hiroto, you are looking well. How has your cut been healing?" She looks around and finds the nearest object to load onto the camels, choosing to load the one furthest to the back. When the other Hayoto Malik arrives, she looks over at him curiously. She wasn't exactly certain Hiroto had a brother, but she never got to know the other youth well enough to even try to seek out that information. Still, watching them and their hawks greet each other in such similar manners was fascinating to say the least. Once she is done with her current task, she walks back over to the group and bows politely. "Hello. For the people that do not know me, I am Tenjin Koemi, Genin and low-level medic at the hospital. If you happen to get hurt somehow during our travels, please tell me so that I may tend to you. Also, try to drink plenty of water. I do have some excess if it is required for any of you."
"Tired.. Though I think I understand your stress of tending to someone else a little more now" is said with a bit of a grumble, not yet turning around towards Koemi though his ear turns towards the young woman when she spoke up, some what startled. Lifting a hand he would pat the side of the camel twice after securing the last of the larger scrolls. Walking away from one to the next, Rikuto would begin to inspect the bindings but while doing so he spoke up after the young woman's introduction, "Miira Rikuto, Genin.. 'Musician'" though when he spoke his 'specialty' a light smirk appears on his lips, but said nothing more. Turning towards her he would offer a light nod before turning to watch the two Hayato-s for a passing moment for their responses.
Kazuhiro on the other hand wouldn't wait, his lips spreading into a wide mouth grin while his arms began to part showing the vibrant colored clothing that made up his outfit under his day cloak, along with reflective gemstones that dot along his necklaces. "Welcome, welcome. I'm Kazuhiro, this in so many many short hands is what remains of my caravan. There shouldn't be too much work right now, though you'll be expected to help with the handling and keeping these idiots in line." The word 'idiots' is said with a slight nod of his head towards the camels that were behind and to the side of him. "<>It shouldn't be more than two days trip to the first market, there It'll be my treat on drink and meals before we are moving again.<>" The man's tone was relaxed after the sight of not one but four shinobi being selected as his aid and his guards. "<>Everyone, mount up, we can talk as we ride rather than talk in the sun.<>" Turning around, the older man looks up at the tarped back of the lead camel only to unfasten something.. a short rope ladder, making it easy for him to climb up and settle himself into position.
The two camels that were left for the four genin were unladen with supplies and were tarped on top of the saddle to shelter the rider from the sun itself. Rikuto wasted little time, grasping onto a high point and pulling himself upwards and into the rear of one of the camels before pausing. "If you guys have a fear of heights, you could walk for a while until you start to slow us down, then I'll arrange things for you to be able to handle being up so high, won't even need a shot, promise."
Firstly upon arrival it wouldn't take long for the other to show up. Obviously Rikuto was already there, but he hadn't greeted him yet. The first to arrive after him would be Koemi, and he slightly smile and wave towards her. "Hey Koemi. My cut has gotten much better. Thanks for the help with it." Then just like that back to packing things up for a little until the other one arrives. Malik came by and Sinbad went ahead, and started greeting Tenshi. "Hey Malik. I'm good. How about you?" Tenshi seemed happy to have a friend to chat with on this trip. Well it seemed that everyone was here. Rikuto eventually greeted everyone saying his specialty with a smirk. Music. Pretty sure he seen him before in the hospital. I suppose that music could be genjutsu. It would affect one of the senses. "Hayato Hiroto." He directed it towards Rikuto as the others knew his name already. "Shouldn't be a problem to ride on the camel." Mostly he would stay quiet as he didn't know what to talk about with the others around here. Then he mounts his camel ready to head off.
Malik grins at Rikuto. "No worries here, bro. Nice to meet you both." He says towards Rikuto and Koemi. "I'm Hayato Malik, at your service. And that's Sinbad." He says pointing to the falcon who is now chatting up Tenshi by telling him of their previous adventure in the desert while facing down a giant scorpion. Malik vaults up to land on top of the camel before looking towards Komei. "You've got a lot of gear there, do you need any help carrying it? I don't mind." He then grins towards Hiroto, his green eyes sparkling. "No complaints here. Just happy to be out on another mission, really." He then directs his last comment to the merchant. "Nice to meet you, Kazuhiro-san. We'll be sure to keep a sharp look out for trouble. So no worries about that."
"That is excellent to hear, and think nothing of it." Koemi turns from the introductions to politely listen to the merchant who hired them. She tries her best to look attentive to his instructions. Him calling the camels idiots has her brows dipping down at the outward edges in confusion. Nothing was the camels' fault probably, it was normally the fault of the person who guided them. That did not exactly bode well for the kind of person they would be dealing with for the next few days. Still, he was kind enough to offer food and water, so that helped her opinion of him slightly. "Yes Kazuhiro, understood." She bows slightly and walks up to the two camels that remain, looking between them.
A thoughtful frown crosses her features when it dawns on her that they would most likely need to share camels. Not wanting to interrupt the Hayoto's family bonding, she starts to climb onto the camel Rikuto has claimed. She murmurs a quiet apology to the young man, "Sorry Rikuto-san. Seems he assumes that we will be alright with being cozy with one another. But it shouldn't be much worse than beneath the sails on your vessel, right? No annoying levers and wheels to worry about either." Once she's settled in as best as she can, she nods to herself and reaches down to affectionately brush the camel's coat. "There there…you won't give us any trouble now, will you? That's a good camel." She looks over at Malik curiously, then back down at her belt. "Oh, no, that's fine. I need to get used to the weight of it if I will be accompanying more field missions. The majority of my supplies are salves, ointments, herbs, medications, bandages, needle, thread…but some are somewhat toxic, and could be spilled. Accidental contact to the skin could prove detrimental."
With the team of genin settled in behind him, "Ut ut!" is suddenly said, sparking the lead camel to begin a mild trot which somewhat forced the ones bound to it to begin trotting as well to keep up. The two camels which carried the genin would begin walking, lingering behind some what until they near the end of the caravan and pick up the pace. Those listening intently would be able to make out a humming and a slight side to side sway with the lead camel as the merchant within cared a tune in his throat to a song he was likely very bad at singing. Within the hour, the world around the caravan would be reduced to little more then rolling sands and the dunes that were made of of them.
"This route" is spoken up by Rikuto as he turns to the side and towards the Hayato's mount. "Will be taking us close to Maas, and close to the ruins. Do you think those two can get us a look out and see what might be waiting for us?" Looking forward again, he slips a hand up and onto his shoulder, rubbing it slowly as he adjusts a muscle. "The Kazekage scouted the area, there were signs of strikes. It was a few months ago but there's a chance.." Tilting his head off to the side, Rikuto lowers his voice to ask Koemi something carefully, but a touch teasingly. "Have you ever learned how to stop someone other than with light poprock practice techniques?"
Hiroto at first hadn't even payed attention to the lack of mounts for every person. Seems the others picked partners though as he watched Koemi jump onto Rikuto's claimed camel. He wouldn't have wanted to try and talk about that anyways considering things. After a while they would be asked by Rikuto to send the birds up ahead to do some scouting, and considering their teamwork at this it wouldn't be long before Tenshi flew off to look ahead. He would stay a ways in the air to look at the area around them. Anyhow Hiroto would as well use his eyes to look off into the desert. "Malik we should try to come up with some arrow ideas while we are on this ride." He doesn't make any sign that he had said anything besides the words themselves.
"You got it, Rikuto." Malik says as he motions for Sinbad. The falcon hops back onto his arm as Malik says, "Scout the area ahead with Tenshi and let me know if anything is amiss." As the falcon takes flight, Malik's eyes shift from their normal green to mirror those of the falcon. Yellow rims with black pupils. He nods to Hiroto. "We totally should. So far, I have crystal tipped arrows. A flash bang arrow, and then there's my custom trick shot. I have some ideas of capture arrows too. Like loading one with a net so that people get tangled up in it.. What do you think?"
Koemi awkwardly bounces and bobs on top of the camel as she tries to cling to it, looking extremely out of her element as far as riding is concerned. "Ok, ok…easy there." She tries to idly reassure the camel for her own comfort. This thankfully has her very distracted from the merchant's pour humming and singing, though she still has time to wonder how uncomfortable the poor camel beneath him must be right now. She remains mostly quiet for their hours' travel, until Rikuto takes the lead. She looks over her shoulder and listen to his instructions and warning. Her lips dip into a subtle frown at the news of potential strikes. She tries her best to eliminate any hint of worry when Rikuto speaks to her, "Of course I have. I've been under the threat of being taken on more missions out in danger afterall." A quiet smirk crosses her face as she goes on to explain, "I brought the poison I've been working on with me. It should put them in quite a lot of pain…though…it does have a chance of compounding together and the more that is in their system the higher the odds of death…so just…warn me if we make any plans to take prisoners." She closes her eyes and begins to focus, entering a mild meditative state.
High in the sky the pair of falcons would be able to notice tracks, though quite a few of them were camel tracks leading in different direction, though they appear to stop suddenly, corral at one point before moving distantly back in the direction they once came from. While it was hard to make out, there were several spots that appeared to be odd, where the sand still looked like sand but didn't hold the grainy look like usual, almost as if a faint smudge on an image. Anymore more to be found out would either wake more time or for the birds to wake a much closer look than their over viewing point.
A faint chuckle escapes his lips listening to Koemi but then he closes his eyes, starting to wait for a moment. Taking a deep breath, the young man begins to focus onto himself as his chakra begins to blend and refine itself to a more usable state. "If you, any of you get an odd feeling tell me. I can't really feel if you're in an illusion just yet, though Koemi might if she can touch you." Moving a hand into his cloak, Rikuto produces a small scroll and waves it towards Koemi. "This is going to be for you but.." Turning his head to the side, he looks towards Hiroto and Malik, speaking up to ask "What supplies do you two need? I can see what I might have with me for you to use."
Hiroto gets the information from Tenshi, and would decide to tell everyone about it. "Seems there is something interesting with the sand. It looks like sand, but not as grainy. Hmmm I think I will send Tenshi in for a closer look." He would do that, and Tenshi would move closer staying at the same altitude. Of course he would try to look for it as well, but he couldn't spot them as easily as Tenshi so he stopped to look at the others. "I don't really need any supplies. I got everything I use on me." He points to the bow he carries with him before looking back to Malik. "I have thought up some designs for a netted arrow actually. We should try it out when we get the chance." Of course still not much emotion was on his face mostly because of them being on the mission. He didn't want to be caught off guard in a conversation with someone. As he waits for something to happen he would continue looking between the other three shinobi here.
Malik takes on a look of concentration for a moment before he would nod. "I agree with Hiroto's assessment. There's something wonky about some tracks not far from here. They seem to converge into one location before they stop and reverse course. I'm also sending Sinbad in for a closer inspection." He then shakes his head towards the more experienced Genin. "I'm fine. I'm used to carrying everything that I need with me. But thanks for the offer." He flashes a smile to Komei. "No problem. Just thought I'd ask." He then replies to Hiroto. "Sounds cool. We should talk more about it when we get back. I've got some ideas for a prototype, but I think we'd be more successful if we pooled our resources." His voice is light, but one can tell that he is on alert. He raises his hood to cover his head and then attaches the mask to his lower face. Time to get serious. "I'm not good with illusions at all. Just putting that out there..so if anyone wants to help me with them, I will not turn it down."
"Hm?" Koemi wonders out loud, frowning a little to herself in thought. "Well I suppose I could. But keeping track of chakra is still considerably difficult…that is better suited for people able to sense its presence with effort like yourself." She still reaches behind her in an attempt to rest a hand on Rikuto's leg, in an attempt to run some quick diagnosis on him as a whole. She keeps an ear out for Malik and Hiroto both, letting them prepare to warn them of impending danger. In the meantime, she glances up at the scroll Rikuto gestured at her with, eyeing it. "Huh. Curious. And what is in that one if I may ask?"
"Sand that isn't grainy, what the heck does that mean?" Furling his brow in confusion, he looks from Hiroto to Malik, trying to find out if one understood the other. Slowly shaking his head, he would grumble lightly to himself but then would nod. "Starting to wonder just how birds see things normally.." The question about the scroll causes Rikuto to lift it up, letting one end unravel and show the drawing marked within it with a bit of a smile. "Sand and cloth filtered water, it should be able to be used for your techniques, shouldn't it? I doubt you brought enough to use defensively like before."
While away from the caravan and closer towards the distortion, Tenshi would notice what was wrong first, cloth. The reason why the sand was too smooth was because it was a textured pattern of several tarps, partially hidden within the sand dunes. A few of the tarps were held down but rather than blend into the sand, they were bend inwards with overly wide brush strokes washing back and forth, someone or something was trying to keep the tracks dismissible even from being closely inspected by most people.
Hiroto would have the info relayed to him, and right away would speak up. "Hold up. Tenshi noticed more. It seems it isn't grainy because it is several textured tarps. Seems someone is trying to hide the tracks from being examined." He would call Tenshi back, so he doesn't get separated from the rest of them even though he wouldn't lost sight of them that easily. "What should we do Rikuto?"
Malik furrows his brow. He didn't see any of that, or rather Sinbad didn't. He nods and says towards Hiroto. "Good catch, bro. Sinbad missed it." He then looks over to Rikuto. "It could be multiple things. Including a trap of some kind for a caravan." He then quiets down so that Rikuto could assess the situation and let him know what they're going to do next.
"Well I had enough." Koemi tells Rikuto, hmphing quietly afterwards. "The streams of water I can control are precise so…they don't typically need as much water as most techniques. As does my other technique." She lifts her shoulder to shrug, "And if it came down to a desperate situation, I could gather what water has splashed onto the ground for use again…but…thank you for thinking about me. I'm sure that it will be very helpful if it came down to it." She pauses to look over at Hiroto and Malik in concern. She looks straight ahead and attempts to call up to the merchant, "Sir? We should be careful up ahead. There are some subtle signs that are concerning." Now she doesn't try to yell so loud for the entire desert to hear her, so it may be easy for the merchant to ignore her amidst his humming and singing.
Closing his eyes, and nodding lightly Rikuto began to try and think things over before blinking suddenly and pointing towards Malik. "Hold on a moment, why do I get the feeling you're putting this on my shoulders? You're a half a year older than me at least" is said somewhat bitterly though it was only then he seemed to realize something. Looking between the pair on the other camel and then towards Koemi he asks, "Which one of us was assigned to be the commander? Either way.. I vote we just go around them, we're a far distance away aren't we?"
With Koemi speaking up to the merchant, the lead camel becomes still rather than rocking as did the humming. "Hmm? Something signs? The desert's large, if there's something in the way, we'll go around it. No need to risk stepping into traps." Unless instructed otherwise, he man's mouth would open wide and his tongue would cause a rapid clicking sound, with the light tug on the reigns to press his point, the camel would turn at a moderate angle, diverting off the more travel route to one that was more shapely, slowing the progress down but not by significantly much.
Hiroto looks between everyone at the question of would lead. "I thought you were leading Rikuto? Either way I at least figured it wouldn't be me leading." He then goes back to quietly sitting on the camel as they move around. He thinks for a moment whether, or not to send Tenshi back out. He doesn't see it as necessary though. Of course he didn't know what else to do. It was boring as of now, and he was in the mood to nap. Although he didn't think he should during a mission like this until everyone was ready, and able to nap. "Rikuto I still feel I should ask you so sorry if it is a pain, but if you think I should send out Tenshi to scout again just ask. I don't want to risk him getting caught out there by something if it is not needed."
Malik shrugs with a grin. "Hey, man. I thought this was your gig. After all, I may be a little older, but you have more experience. So I'm gonna follow your leadership. Maybe next time I'll be in charge and our roles will be reversed, yeah?" Of course with the mask on the grin is lost, but his voice is light at least. He nods in agreement. "Yeah, going around is probably the best bet. And I'm with Hiroto on this one. I called Sinbad back too. I don't want to risk him unless it's completely necessary."
"I…don't know." Koemi tells Rikuto, frowning thoughtfully as she tries to recall, "Perhaps you were? You have led other matters well in the past. But my knowledge of that is limited. The most I truly recall is that the summons for the mission were rather individualized and vague at the same time. Nothing really mentioned who I'd be working with or under." She looks back over to the merchant and shakes her head as she tries to correct him, "No, -subtle- signs. It looked like there may have been some careful planning taken to try to catch us off guard up ahead. Just go a little bit around the original path and we'll tell you when it should be safe to return to it. Just to be on the safe side sir, it is most likely nothing." The merchant shouldn't be entirely in the dark after all if they could help it. She chews on her bottom lip and watches the camels start to turn off at an angle. "There we should be on our way around…we'll just need the hawks in a little while to tell us when the unusual trail has been avoided."
Lifting a hand to the side of his head, Rikuto rapidly began to scratch at his scalp in frustration. "Alright, alright.." Forcing his head to one side, several pops could he beard as his neck aligns itself forcefully. "We should.." Blinking, the young Miira simply looks at the back of Koemi's head as she was already talking to the merchant again before anyone else said much of anything. "Bring both of them back unless they want to just relax in the skies. It's four of us remember, two of which are good shots.. Why should we really worry about things like that?" With a shrug of his shoulders, he slumps but his finger tips soon tap against one another, focusing once again.
"Still too far for me to really tell.. but I don't feel anything around us other than.. well us for the most part." The merchant on the other hand, doesn't seem to be arguing but is following the advice and keeping an ear out for Koemi, nodding along the way as she relayed the information. "<>This is the main route between the center and southern markets. This route at times is known for pit traps.<>" Motioning with his hands, despite the odd angle to see him, the man would estimate the side of the hole a little smaller than his forearm was. "<>A camel or a person steps onto what seems like sand, but it's really a half a meter hole, at the bottom metal spikes. Often will break a leg, if you're not lucky, they put viper or scorpion venom onto it.. good as dead without finding a medical shinobi that's trained with toxins.<>"
The trip itself was quiet, for the time being, but it wouldn't be long before movement within the odd tarps along the ground began. One person at a time would leave, wrapped in a cloak with a similar dyed pattern quickly makes their way around the sands before lowering down and stopping, only to continue along again. While it was a fair sight from the normal human eyesight, if the birds were still airborne they would be able to notice the erratic activity only to then watch the person disappear within one of the shelters once again.
Hiroto looks at where Rikuto and Koemi are so he could speak directly towards Rikuto. "Well we may be good shots, but we don't know who is out there. They could be better shots, or just overall better." Of course that gives him reason to think about sending Tenshi back out at least. For the time being he doesn't though. As the traps that are usually laid out are spoken of he imagines them, and it makes him glad he spotted the tarps. He would then stay quiet for the trip until addressed again, or comes up with something that he needs to say.
Malik nods as Sinbad comes back to perch on his shoulder as he continues riding the camel behind Hiroto. "Yeah. Dad used to say that no matter how good of a shot you are, there is always someone out there who is better." He then falls silent for awhile before he pipes up. "Though not everyone has the kind of arrows that we use, though. That does give us a slight advantage." He falls silent again until his opinion is asked for, or until something else happens. For the moment, Sinbad stays close to him.
"Well, don't worry Rikuto. Keep at it…hopefully there won't be anything out there but…just in case." Koemi peeks over her shoulder to give Rikuto a look of concern, but she keeps the majority of her attention on the merchant to listen to him. She grimaces a touch as he starts to describe the traps. "I see…it would be terrible for the camels…" She reaches out to try to pet the back of the camel's neck. "Puncture wounds and venom are…relatively straightforward for humans and animals both. However, a broken leg would be incredibly hard to mend…they would need to keep weight off of it, and I can't…" She stops herself from saying more, before politely correcting herself, "Well. I am not the best medic for animals."
"Better shots than to Hayato? If you two miss your marks I'll scorch everything that currently exists around us. If you can use bola, that will make things easier, could give all of us some needed target practice" is said with a bit of a smirk and a relaxed tone. Rikuto looks then from Hiroto to Malik and the smirk fades some hearing the second now agreeing with the first. "Hmm.. both of you are rather serious about that, does it really look that bad out there to you?" Arching a brow slightly at the mention of Koemi not being able to mend a bone, he nods lightly in the air, and soon began to hum a low note as he began to think, 'Broken bones are still a serious concern then hmm..' Becoming lost in thought, the young man falls silent, trying to work out a plan of sorts.
Without much resistance nor much mind to the faint chatter behind him. Both of the hawks, Tenshi and Sinbad would be able to see movement, but more importantly, glints within the sandy dunes stretching wide that weren't there before hand. Though it was hard to tell, small piles of sand began to move from place to place, though upon closer inspection the sand were cloaked with sand patterns but also with sand glued onto their back, leaving the material heavier but much more difficult to pick out. It was difficult to near impossible to tell how many people there were but it was clear, there were at least two or as many as four dozen, though which were real was another question.
Hiroto was silent until Tenshi notified him of movement. People wearing cloaks of sand? As quietly as possible he got Rikuto's attention. "Rikuto. We have some people wearing sand cloaks. We can't tell how many there are out there. There could be as many as four dozen." Then he went quiet again, and Tenshi flew up into the air some barely above where they were. Extra height hopefully would reveal more to them.
Sinbad cries out to Malik and his eyes unfocus for a moment before he nods. "Confirmed. However, I can't tell whether it's three, four or a dozen. They've got camo, but it's obvious they're targeting the caravan. Going around doesn't seem to be working." He also sends Sinbad higher into the air as he withdraws an arrow.
Koemi glances over her shoulder and notices Rikuto's surprised expression. She seems confused for a moment before she lets a soft 'ah' escape from under her breath. "You see, I could repair any of your bones well enough…perhaps not as…'quickly' as some other medics could. We all as humans have a far easier time keeping weight off of legs and the like…plus if it came down to it, we could be carried…if a camel broke a leg, or even just part of it, then there is no easy way of keeping weight off of the limb properly." The thought makes her frown sadly to herself, "That means no matter what I could do as is…unless they were carried or hoisted to keep their weight off of their leg, then they would just keep making more damage that no amount of securing the bone could fix. That is why larger animals like camels and horses…are often put down after injuries like that out in the field, if there aren't very skilled medics to tend to them. Out of mercy for the animal."
She pauses at Hiroto's words and frowns deeply to herself. She looks ahead and sighs quietly to herself before she asks the merchant, "Excuse me? Sir? Can you please make the camels stop and come closer to us where it is safer? It looks like there will be trouble…being ahead of us is not a good place to be."
As the hawks elevate in height the view of the land becomes much more clear. The true number of men dwindles from dozens to possibly a single dozen. The cloaked figures were purposefully moving in bursts, moving several meters rapidly before crouching down, staying low onto the sand before lifting up with an arches back to hurry along again only to drop down low, blending in again. Of the two hawks, Sinbad was the more unlucky of the two, flying lower and slightly slower during the gliding observation, gained some attention.
Lifting up, one of the sandy figures exposed a solid color of a tanned shirt and light armor but also a painted pale curved cross of wood with a cord drawn tight across the spokes.. a cross bow. Pulling the lever on the back, a bolt suddenly is fired off towards the flying creature, causing a high pitched whistle, almost similar to a sickly sparrow. The shot itself was still from a distance but still held a moderate chance to injure the out of place creature.
Lifting a hand out to the right of his tarped saddle, the merchant would begin to motion that he heard Koemi. Pulling back on the camel's reigns, he would also begin to shift it sideways, trying to curve the short caravan off to the side rather than face the possible dangers head on. "Tsk tsk, tsk tsk.. come on now.. that's it, slow down. We're taking a break here" is spoken loudly, but it was clear he wasn't talking to a person but the mounted beasts.
Hiroto upon noticing the man reveal himself went for his bow right away, and fired off three quick shots hoping to at least clip him, and cause blood to drip. Once he was bleeding it would be much harder to hide, or he hoped it would be. "Rikuto there only seems to be about one dozen out there. Maybe a few more or less, but not as high as I first thought."
Once Sinbad is fired at, Malik is immediately notified. And he doesn't hesitate to return fire. His arm blurs as he fires arrow after arrow at the guy. "Sinbad just took fire from some kind of bolt." His expression is hidden behind the hood and mask but his voice is calm.
Koemi starts to climb down off of the camel once all of the animals are resting together. She looks out to the distance where the arrows fly then returns her attention to the camel she was on an gently pets its coat. "Listen to him now." She then turns her back to the animal and starts to unscrew the cap on some of her waterskins. She looks up at Rikuto, "Should we go to meet them or wait here in case Hiroto and Malik's bolts cannot reach? Or maybe the bandits might try to close the distance between us?" In the meantime, she closes her eyes and focuses on sending chakra through the sand beneath her feet to get a better idea for herself just where each one might be.
Clucking his tongue when the first shot flies off and behind the over watching bird, the sound draws not only the attention of the merchant and the guard force from Sunagakure, but also peaked the interest of several of the odd piles of sand scattered about. The archer after taking the first shot notices a glint from the distance and dives for cover, leaving an arrow to burrow into the sand beside him suddenly. It was enough reason for him to move rapidly, though the sudden ride allows the second arrow to graze past the shin guard, gashing into his thigh. With some luck the third arrow would only land at his feet rather than into it. The luck he held weathering the first assault would be clearly missing ass arrows would pierce into his bicep, into his lower ribs before a second strikes low, burrowing high into his calf, near the joint, forcing the man face first into the sands.
Once on the ground Koemi would begin to be able to feel what the two Hayato could only guess, it was once a dozen, though with one man on the ground it was now eleven people, with four others scattered through the small almost buried tents that were noticed several moments before hand. "Stay close to the caravan, we if surge them and they double back on us it'll be fore nothing! Koemi, prep the water jugs and the canteens. It'll be your job to act on defense, don't waste water sending it that far out, they will have to come for us.. but they will start targeting the weakest here. The camels." Rocking forward and to his knees, Rikuto moves from the saddle and lands onto the shifting sands with a bit of a stumble but soon begins to make his way to one of the middle beasts, already working on unbinding a few scrolls. "What tricks do you two have? Try to buy us some time while we prepare to make a run for it."
The hail of arrows flying from a distance would not go unnoticed and the sight of six sand piles begin to charge closer towards the group, though lingering behind were at least four more. The piles of sand that linger back held tubes of iron bound wood up to their shoulders before pressing a lever causing a sudden hiss before a flare ignites and a festival rocket screeches out and forward towards the caravan but also towards the two archers. Within a fleeting moment, the rocket would be upon them but would explode suddenly, showering the pair of hot ceramic shrapnel if they didn't manage to get away. During the mix up, the man that resembled more of a pin cushion than a healthy scout was beginning to be dragged along the sands towards one of the rest spots, either to save the body or treat the man before he would bleed out normally.
Hiroto was not off the camel, and although he knew they were coming was also unable to get off quick enough. He just wasn't used riding camels and the such on his own. He usually walked, or when he was younger was with others who did most things for him. Never under attack during it though. Once he was off even with two wounds now he finally was able to attack again. He would just try to hit the few he could see, and only attacking ones.
Malik was still on the camel, but when the shrapnel came, he popped up to a standing position and leaped backwards, flipping and twisting in mid-air. "You need a distraction. Got it." While still in the air, he calls out. "Shut your eyes." Pulling a specialty arrow from his quiver, he fires while inverted, just before flipping again and landing on his feet. He kneels, pulling an arrow with a crystal tip, as he takes aim again. The first arrow would impact near one of the targets just before a blinding light would explode from the shaft. The crystal tipped arrow would add some extra 'umph' to his next shot.
Koemi chews on her bottom lip, but nods at Rikuto to show she understands. "Ok…but you three be careful please! I'll try to stop them as they get closer." She assumes a relaxed stance with her hands ready for seal work. She looks up towards the sky when the screech of fireworks pierces through the air and she blinks in surprise. It was definitely an unusual tactic for most bandits to have…where did they get such equipment? Before Koemi has much more time to think of it, she notices the shrapnel coming their way. With a seal formed, several arking ribbons of water whip out from Koemi's canteens and whip around the camels and her in fast flowing currents to deflect as much of the flying metal as she could manage. She winces and looks over at the merchant's camel, noticing the sight of red blood trickling down from a wound on the back of its neck. She allows the water she used to splash onto the sand as she rushes over to try to calm the pained and panicked animal as best as she can so that the merchant would remain safe. "Shh shh, careful, careful…it's ok. It's gonna be ok. Hold on please!"
The camel below the Hayato pairing would whine loudly as not one but a pair of explosions rip through the air near it, luckily the boys and the thick saddle managed to take most of the shock and blow of the assault. Of the camels that were attacked, tendrils of water manage to protect all but one, the one under the merchant causing the beast to buck suddenly under the assault. With the combination of Koemi and the Merchant, the beast would soon begin to calm down, the bleeding while somewhat thick, was restricted by the very piece of ceramic that made the wound, removing it suddenly would likely cause the blood to flow much worse. Despite the sudden and flashy assault, the caravan was left unharmed, unlike the attackers.
Down field after managing to steady themselves after the rocket was fired, the first of the four rocketeers takes not one, but three arrows.. two into the chest and one into the stomach, leaving them tumbling backwards. One of the arrows pieced deep, and from the gasping choke coming from their throat, one pierced deep into a lung. In the same instance the third rocketeer covers their eyes and lets out a profane curse onto to then go silent, holding their throat before falling to their needs. The short held true and pierced through the scaled armor on one end but not the other, leaving the arrow's tip buried into the back of their throat.
Pausing after pulling out one of the scroll that had been secures, Rikuto rolls it out and onto the ground and places a hand onto it before surging it with chakra. With the seal partially released a large pot with two strong handles appears, almost a meter tall and filled with water. "Koemi, focus on these ones in front, not sure which one's I'll miss. We'll help you take care of everyone once these ones are wiped out" is said hastily, Taking in a deep breath, Rikuto turns and forms three seals before moving his hands over to his lips and exhaling. Orb after orb flows from his mouth and is hurled away, each one flying towards the closer group before detonating once they touch the sands.
Hiroto was seemingly okay after everything that has happened now. Of course he still didn't want these people to get away, so to hopefully catch one he pulls out a forked arrow firing it at anyone still standing, and then after they are hopefully knocked to the ground he fires more arrows that are blunted to hopefully just knock him out. Maybe then they could take a prisoner.
Malik continues to crouch and fire as he and Sinbad find targets. When Hiroto fires his, Malik fires one that ricochets off of it, altering its trajectory so that it comes in behind one of the men, instead of in front of him. One of his trickshot combos.
Koemi breathes out a sigh of relief as the camel calms down and the merchant seems ok. She turns to look back at Rikuto and down at the water he's retrieved from the scroll for her. She nods in understanding and turns to face the approaching group. Her hands move swiftly between different seals, gathering up water from her purple tinted skin and some from the jug into a dense and spiralling orb. As the oddly tinted mixture is blended thoroughly, one last hand seal forcefully breaks it apart and sends a wave of needles of water flying at the bandits in front.
Tenshi would watch as the fourth rocketeer ducks down only for their neck to be cut and snared before being forced back and against the dune. The following arrows would be met with a soft crackling sound of bones shifting crudely or even fracturing. While under Sinbad's eye the second rocketeer would try to use the empty cone to block the shot, though the fact it spun off to one side causes them to lower the guard. In that instant they would look down, watching their blood begin to spill out and onto the sand, not scared but in a mist of confusion mouthing 'When did I..' before staggering tot he side.
What both of the birds would keenly notice is that the bodies of the distant archers were disappearing. There were more than what were attacking, in the disturbance and chaos of the fight at least two figures were casting cloaks over their injured numbers and dragging them away and soon the freshly injured were dragged away as well to be treated.
Of the number still charging, it was more difficult to tell, the explosives flames washed over the sands setting most of the opposing forces aflame. One of the charging units would draw in close to the caravans before falling forward, face down into the sand, two needles made of water piercing through the arm and one through the chest, sheer luck managed to keep it from being a second one in a similar space. Of the charging force of six, one was dying in front of Koemi, two others where scattered on the sides, curled up trying to pat off the flames but three were missing, hiding within the cratered sand.
This time Hiroto does not care about the fighting. Having noticed the bodies moving he quickly sends Tenshi to a position to spot them, and hopefully give their positions away. "Rikuto…. There are more out there then the attacking force. I will try to get an estimate of how many more are out there." He doesn't ask Malik to help as he could be useful either helping, or keeping the enemies off. Hiroto himself would not shoot any more arrows as he was enhancing his own eyes with chakra to see further out there.
Malik has only moved very little during the attack. He's still standing around the camel. He makes a motion to send Sinbad to see if there are any more. In the meantime, the ones that are on fire are a target. Nobody has told him to take prisoners, so he doesn't see a need to stop shooting. He fires another couple of his standard arrows at the target.
Koemi tilts her chin down to look at the dying man in front of her. She looks between the other two and sighs quietly. "If they have backed off, can you guys please…try to drag those two over here before they get away." She kneels down by the man and places a hand on his forehead as she warns him, "If you struggle or try to harm me and my companions, I will show you exactly what I put into my needles to make them hurt…by making you drink every drop of it straight from the source." She glance over at the other two and raises her voice loud enough to hear it, "Same for you two. You can either cooperate and get on the road to recovery before you're brought in, or you can just make your suffering worse." She hmphs quietly and begins to process the diagnosis as it comes to her. "Perhaps a mild antidote treatment…and some medicine for the pain once the burns have been treated…"
"More? Their smart enough to stay away, good." Turning to look out towards where the pair are set on fire only in time to watch an arrow burrow into their chests, causing them to not care about their flaming clothing and leaving them staying perfectly still. "Hmm.. Tss, nothing to do.." Turning his head to the side, Rikuto would look down and notice Koemi not finishing off the man at her feet though she wasn't being tender towards him either. "If you're going to treat him, just treat him enough so that he doesn't bleed out Koemi-san. Leave him aching.. Hmm." Moving a hand within his cloak, the young man would pull out a journal but also a pen before opening it and quickly writing something down. Ripping out the page, he soon waves the page towards Malik and Hiroto. "One of you two, I need you to bind a note to an arrow for me. You can see where their base is right?"
The note on the page was simple. This is a Caravan under the protection of Sunagakure. Two of your's are dead. One is being permitted to live. Follow us and we will execute all of you. This is a warning.
The merchant for his sake was largely also missing, though if he was looked for he would be in his camel's saddle, a larger thick tarp of leather padded with wool surrounded much of his overhang. The heat within the protection was stifling, though the chance that even a close range crossbow bolt would pierce it is unlikely.
Knowing Malik was the better archer Hiroto would let him do it. "Go ahead Malik… you're a better shot right now." So Hiroto steps back, and keeps an eye out while they wait. Might as well make sure anyone nearby is not trying to catch them off guard. Who knows how these guys think. His bow would have an arrow loaded, and ready to pull back and fire in case he does spot someone nearby.
Malik nods at Hiroto. "Alright." He attaches the note to the arrow shaft and then squares his shoulders before taking aim. He angles the shot upwards slightly. He breathes in deeply before he fires into the air. "Rikuto, do you think they'll listen?"
Koemi looks up at Rikuto and nods, though she looks over at the two bandits who are now dead. She breathes out a slow exhale through her nose before she starts to treat the man's bleeding wounds with minimal effort as was requested. Thankfully one of the jars she carried had the sticky substance that helped her close wounds with less effort than the normal stitching process. She glances over the bandit and hmms quietly to herself before she nods to herself. She stands and makes the man stand up as well after she tries to remove his weapons from him. She gives him the silent treatment as she turns to start tending the injured camel's wound. She does pause to check up on the merchant, "It should be safe for now sir, we are going to make sure that they won't be trying to follow us again…" With a brief smile, Koemi returns to dealing with the shard bothering the camel carefully. After the process is done she would tell the others, "The camel should be ok, I have it closed and bandaged, with a mild numbing agent to dull the pain."
Despite Hiroto staying on high alert and the pair of hawks circling above unhindered, nothing was spotted. The ones that had charged and were left unaccounted for did not move form where they chose to hide away, those from the distance didn't charge forward and the man under the young medic's care didn't once try to resist though his twitching might hint hint that it wasn't by choice, but that he simply couldn't move. Without a hindrance, Malik's shot would take aim, and hit the mark, piercing strongly into the tops of one of the odd locations that were out of place within the sandy dunes.
"If they don't, you'll point them out for me and while you and Hiroto-san keep them low from avoiding being shot, I'll wave the air around them and we can play a game. How many cook before they are poked." While he spoke with a soft smile on his lips and lightly, there wasn't much humor in the idea, but it was soon shrugged off. "They haven't fired another thing at us, they also lost several over there and the ones who charged in. They haven't really cut down out number though Koemi-san might need to right for a while with Hiroto-san, I can see he's dripping but.. I don't think he sweats red." Turning his gaze over to Hiroto he speaks up and asks, "Did you even notice you were hurt yet?"
With the coast clear, and the camel in the mists of being treated, the merchant peeks from his shelter though his head was still low, staying within the flaps for protection. "<>Y-you're sure? Lets keep moving then.. I haven't been attacked in over a year, and that was to the west. It was supposed to be safer on this route…<>" Agitated but more flighty than angry it was clear the man simply wanted to put the thoughts behind himself, and with the lack of news he didn't check on the other camels, almost not wanting to see the damages yet from all the explosions and shouting that had been going back and forth though muffled for him.
With the caravan settled again and basic treatment for Hiroto's minor wounds while in transit, the group would manage to make it to the southern bazaar without many disturbances. While within the market the group would be housed for the evening, allowed time to resupply their needs before setting off again. The second length of the journey would be much more quiet but when they made it to the second destination they would find out several caravans had went missing when traveling a similar route.