Counting Swords


Arika, Jiro, Ayumu, Rikuto, Malik

Date: February 27, 2015


A blockade thanks to bandits has been interrupting trade within Sunagakure, so a team of genin have been sent out to take care of them.

"Counting Swords"

Land of Wind

Sandy Expanse - Eastern Desert [Land of Wind]

The deserts of the Land of Wind appear to be a barren, waterless, plantless, lifeless wasteland to most people. There actually IS life here, and water can be found as well if one knows where to look and how to gather it. However, the fact remains that the desert is an inhospitable place to be without protection. The Eastern Desert is the great, barren expanse that lies between the border of the Land of Wind's border with the Land of Rivers, and the Hidden Sand Village.
Sunagakure lies to the west, and the border lies generally eastwards. North is empty desert.


Reports have flooded into Sunagakure about a small group of skilled bandits taking supplies from the Land of Wind. The long-established route of trade through the desert was constantly being hit by guerrilla warfare tactics! Obviously, someone has to do something. Only a few specific carts were spared, and these mostly due to the fact that the group was asleep or something… Hawks were sent to Arika, Ayumu, and Jiro, some of the available genin, so that Sunagakure could get these missing supplies back and maybe even take out the smaller group of bandits.
Arika stands waiting at the gate, likely with Jiro, and sighs with impatience. "We Should get going already…" the girl mutters grumpily, peering around for the Iga. "Where's everyone, anyway?!"

Of course she's waiting with Jiro. They're attached at the hip after all. "Calm down Ari. 's'not like the bandits'r goin' anywhere." He says, sounding bored more than anything. His hands are flopped lazily on top of his head as he waits as well, glancing around idly.

When Ayumu inevitably arrives the man looks completely ragged, to say the least. His clothes were more ruffled then usual, his hair was down and smooth out, suggesting that Iga had to work at making it so spikey, and he pretty walked at a slouch like some sort of zombie. Despite his exhausted appearance, he at least seemed to retain enough sense to wave haphazardly at the duo after getting within a few meters of them, and carried a sack filled presumeably with supplies over a shoulder.
"Ohayo, Arika-san~ Jiro-kun~" He offers along with a weak, foxy smile. "I'm not too late am I?"

It had been several weeks since Rikuto had been within Sunagakure and so he was resting when he could, sadly his curiosity had recovered during his time away. It would take him long before he could sense that.. Arika was no longer within the village, and she also didn't give him warning about it, along side her a much smaller flame.. Jiro, and a much larger flame but not as complex as her's.. Ayumu. 'Just what are those.. Hmm.. Too quiet' was said to himself and with that raised from his bed and began to collect his things he needed.
Narrowing his focus, the young Miira would focus onto the unique flame as he makes his way past the village gates and well into the dunes. Aiding Rikuto in his trip was a an odd construct he kept safe, a cross between a low wagon and a raft, built to surf the sandy desert dunes with great speeds using the wind for momentum.

"You're so late that we finished the mission twice over, Ayumu-san!" Arika huffs at the man. There was no need to update people on the situation, as they would all have gotten what information Suna knows in the missive: bandits were attacking trade lines, and they had to take them out. She waits for a bit before setting off with the group. As they travel across the sands to the main road, they would see very few wagons with supplies, indicating the bandits were doing a great job at blocking Suna's supply lines…

Jiro waves a hand at Ayumu when the man appears, "'ey." He greets simply before looking around once again. Well, that's everyone in the missive, minus any stragglers they might pick up. The boy sets off then with the others, actually keeping a watchful eye around this time since, you know, /bandits/. Don't want to get hit without expecting it, right?

Ayumu sweatdropped and chuckled weakly at Arika's exclimation. She may have had a point, but he would not entertain the matter further than that. He turned instead to regard Jiro's general direction to see how the boy was taking things. At one point he started to open his mouth as if to say something, paused, then simply nodded back in greeting. Regardless of whether or not the boy was inside the village or out, his 'adversary' would find a way to him eventually. The Iga resolved himself to straighten up a little and maintain genuine focus at all times for the duration of the trip.
Just as Rikuto sensed the group, Ayumu too felt his presence in time… among others. He kept his lips shut regarding the matter. For now. "Hmm… A wonder it would be if any of those passerbyers had any information on their methods." Ayumu idly wondered aloud.

While he wasn't originally assigned on the mission, Rikuto was unaware of the mission's goals or dangers though he had a general direction to work on and would soon arrive. With his eyes closed and a hum in his throat the group wasn't hard to find nor catch up to, they were on foot after all. Rikuto didn't aim for stealth, and with his speed it would be extremely difficult, the white sail in particular being easy to spot. When he got within a few hundred meters he would open his eyes and guide his way with his eyes, planning to curve and slow to come along side the group. "Ari-chan, who said you could leave the village without me?"

As the group arrives at the trade lines, a bird can be seen circling overhead. A falcon to be more specific. It folds it's wings and then swoops low, leveling out just as it reaches the group. Jiro and Arika would know Sinbad on sight at this point and Malik isn't too far behind as he walks up to the group, hood up on his head and mask attached on the lower half of his face. "Yo, s'up bros. I didn't expect to you see you guys out towards this way, though from what I've seen and heard…maybe I should have expected it. Something about supply lines being blocked." He pauses a moment and looks over at Ayumu. "Need a hand with it?"

Arika shrugs a bit and says, "You could try and ask 'em…" to Ayumu's question. The girl yawns a bit, tired, and continues along when Rikuto shows up. "Rikkun!" meep. "It's a mission. And we gotta figure out who's blocking the road everyone uses, is all. Ask the Jounin, not me…" Grumble. More company arrives in the form of Sinbad and Malik a bit later, but they aren't enough to lighten her mood. "I don't need to always be around you… And you went off without me once," she retorts before wiggling her fingers to the Hayato pair.

Jiro is silent at Ayumu's question, letting Arika answer it. Really it wouldn't hurt probably. When Rikuto arrives the boy scrunches up his face at the older Genin and shakes his head, "Ari's fine, ya don' always need ta be 'round." He mutters after Arika's own similar statement. His eyes shift up to the skies then as something familiar catches his attention. He grins widely as he recognizes the falcon, then looks around for Malik. When the Hayato arrives there's no hesitation…Jiro launches himself to try and tackle the other Genin. Standard greeting and all.

Ayumu stayed true to his word, so neither the arrival or Rikuto, Sinbad, or Malik surprises the man personally. He doesn't nearly have the willpower to bother with an immediate proper greeting once each arrive at their own time. Most of that energy he divided up between nodding briefly to Arika, then summoning a shadow clone. It would wander off to talk with the nearest passing wagon and try to persuade them to pause for a moment. They weren't so far away from Sunagakure yet to warrant any concern about the attempt being some bandits attempt at holding their intended target back.
Then again, if rumors were already going around that the main lines to Sunagakure were being hassled, odds were that noone traveling could fully trust even a Sunagakure shinobi at the moment…
From a distance the original seemed to observe the progress of the clone, though turned around eventually to acknowledge Malik's question with a belatedly weak smile. "Your asistance would be welcome, I think.. Yes, most definitively. Perhaps you can have your.. brother, carry this—" Ayumu's hair seems to squirm until finally a tendril coiled about a disembodied grey eye makes its way over to Malik. "And scout the road ahead. Three eyes being better than one, wouldn't ya say?" He says and offers a broad grin before shifting his attention to Rikuto fully. The Mirra isn't offered more than just a studious look however.

"Ya ya.. do you really wanna be stuck as a little boy out in the middle of nowhere in the mountains? Do you know how cold it is out there?" Rikuto grumbles to himself and leans back in the sand raft as he looks towards Arika though the news of a mission causes him to turn to Ayumu and drip his head lightly. "They put her in your hands this time? Mind of I help? As she said, I've been gone too long, just.. don't add me to the pay listing, I wasn't assigned." Turning his attention to Jiro, planning to retort himself only to watch him tackle yet another person just now arriving, causing him to chuckle lightly.

Malik ducks low when Jiro dives at him, catching the boy in his arms and then hugging him briefly before setting him on his feet. "Hey, little bro. Looks like we're working together on this one." With his mouth covered it's hard to see him smiling, but he is. "Arika-san. Ayumu-san, and Rikuto-san. Nice to see you all again." When Ayumu hands him an eye, he doesn't look the least bit disgusted before he gives off a shrill whistle. Sinbad dives towards his position, splaying his wings out at the last minute to slow himself before he perches on Malik's outstretched arm. "Carry this, and make sure Ayumu-san gets a bird's eye view of the situation." The falcon graps the eye in one clawed foot before he climbs back into the sky again. He turns to Ayumu. "Just tell me where you want him to fly and I'll relay it to him."

The shadow clone manages to find a few passing, but it takes a few minutes before it finally finds a couple brave enough to speak. "Ah, we're just selling blankets and pillows, here. But a friend of ours, smithing type… He's a good guy. He got attacked. Said there about three who tried to stop him. Weren't much more than sell-swords, though, he said." They continue to be pestered, though, and say, "Hmm… Well, that's all we've heard. We're off to visit the man now, though. He's in a bind with most of his stuff gone." They would continue on, then.
Arika peeks over to Rikuto, clambering onto his back. "You're gonna join? Yay!" She hugs the Miira and seems pretty happy with this situation before sending her senses onto the wind in search for… Well, anything. For now, she just senses absolutely nothing, especially thanks to the fact that her range only extends to a block… Boo!
Jiro isn't able to see much except sand upon sand… And then more sand. Ayumu, with Sinbad carrying the eye, and perhaps Sinbad as well, would see a few men working about two miles from the group in a north easterly direction from the genin. They weren't traveling, that much was clear… How suspicious! On Rikuto's radar: a few pinpricks of light. Something even more outstanding than a typical pedestrian.

Jiro returns the hug to Malik, grinning up at the Hayato when he's set back down. "Cool!" He says, sounding excited at the prospect of actually missioning with Malik. He looks around at the others briefly, his eyes following Ayumu's clone curioiusly for a few moments before he kind of looks around some more. Nothing suspicious at all, nope. Mission over!

Ayumu lofts both brows in mild surprise, then lowered them as a broad smile grew. It seemed everyone presumed that as the eldest shinobi, he was in charge… not that he could blame them. But still, it was almost enough to elicit a chuckle out of the ex-wanderer.
"So it seems, Shiro-san, and.. considering her reaction, I would say that it is more than fine?" He grins sheepishly then turns back to Malik and gestures further along the road ahead. When the eye inevitably does find something, the timing could not be more poorer. The clone had dispelled itself just in time to cause a distracting flux of information. Ayumu rubs his head silently for a few moments, but eventually regains enough of his composure to say, "Sellswords.. at least three, maybe more and… More than likely experienced ones if there is truly only just three causing so much trouble… May also mean that one of our allies are already moving against us." Ayumu states nonchalantly, or gradually with a lack of caring as he grew more stable.
"Hmm… To engage directly heh… Will need to lure them away from the road if possible.. any suggestions."

It was half expected at this point that as soon as Arika wasn't annoyed with him.. she would use him as a tree. A chuckle escapes him as he turns to the side and moves an arm behind himself to loosely hug the young girl. "I came all this way, why wouldn't I?" Turning his attention towards the dunes, the young Miira's brown eyes narrow for a moment and he closes them, letting his chakra swell before opening them again and looking around.
"Some of them I can sense well from here.. They aren't just sell swords Ayumu-san.. Some might be ronin, too weak to be missing nin, unless they ran away early in training." Rikuto's eyes were rather unfocused as he looks into the distance. Canting his head slightly, his brows furl before shaking his head lightly, blinking his eyes back into focus before turning to the man. "Planning to swallow them whole or separate them?"
The young Miira didn't seem like he was challenging or questioning order but was curious. As he awaited further instructions he moves a hand onto his back and removes a strap, trying to wiggle an object from there and into his lap, a case. Within the case.. a string instrument, a Koto which he was careful with. "Hmm.. I wonder if I could have a little fun with this."

Malik also looks in that direction. He comments, "Yeah, I see them, too. I can put arrows in them from this distance if I need to." His gaze narrows for a moment as the takes the time to study each individual before turning his attention back to Ayumu and Rikuto. "I can give them someone to chase, or I can use one of my specialty arrows to disorient them enough to be taken quickly." He shrugs. "Beyond that, I'll leave that up to more experienced shinobi than me."

Arika hmms softly, thinking over a plan. "I dunno… We could try and draw 'em away to keep 'em off the main path. That would mean people wouldn't be able to see us attack them and stuff. Or get caught up in the fight." She peeks curiously at the instrument Rikuto gets out, wondering what he plans with the Koto… Interesting. "Better not have it get destroyed, Rikkun!" she quips before peeking over between Miira and Iga. "So what's the plan, anyways?" It's hard to believe the older genin could actually notice people so far… But it is what it is.

Jiro just listens to what the others say, looking off in the direction that they indicate before looking back to Ayumu silently. The small boy crosses his arms over his chest and just…waits. There's really not much he can do in the way of planning with so many other people here so…yeah. Silence.

Ayumu let out a heavy sigh and shook his head. "Ronin would fit their description, their… tactis thus far. Though.. short of this being a personal vendetta, they would be sellswords as well." He snorts. "Just not ordinary ones. Wait.. hmm… Ah nevermind. No matter how confined what existence is, it would be rude, mean, and foolish to so easily sum it up by a single title or general description." The Iga says, sort of rambling at that point instead of actually answering questions at first.
Thankfully, noone has to wait for long for him to refocus back on the mission at hand, because he snaps his focus around back in the general direction their target lay. "Will use any sand dunes away from the main way as cover the ambush point. I'll use.. No, if they have any good sensory abilities they won't fall for the clone. But—" He turns to Jiro and Arika. "Whoever we lure may be willing to follow you two perhaps.. But this will only really work if good Malik here has a few spare bows."
Ayumu turns to Malik grinning, and pauses long enough for answer. If Malik does have the necessary weapons, both Arika and Jiro were to be equipped with the weapons and were to make their way around and behind the group using the dunes as cover. From the closest dunes they were to fire down upon the sellswords. To make them seem like a real-ish threat, Malik was to make a far shot seemingly from the same area. The duo, er, trio were to seem to flee out of immediate sight, leading on whoever followed.
But if not, then, there was plan B which entailed Rikuto making plenty of noise with his instrument from cover, a valley between dunes. Otherwise, he and Ayumu were to wait in hiding until the first shots lured attention in their direction. All of this Ayumu explained, though the longer he had to speak, the more drawn out his words became.

Staying quiet the young Miira turns his attention towards the bait, the two youngest members there along side the rather relaxed Hayato. Humming softly to himself, he turns his attention to the instrument in his lap, running his fingers across the string, testing the tension before adjusting it slowly and nodding lightly. "I'll be here as support then. I've been learning to do more than simply pluck the strings but it'll take a bit of time to have my fingers warm up for the more interesting tricks." Dipping his head, he turns to Arika and teases, "Remember, if anything too bad happens use Jiro-kun as a shield until I blow everyone one else up, kay?"

Malik shakes his head. "I don't carry extra bows unless I know I might be needing them. So I only have the one right now, sorry, Ayumu-san." But as he is filled in on the plan, he nods faintly, understanding how it's going to go down. As Rikuto speaks to Arika, he turns to Jiro. "Don't sweat it, little bro. Sinbad will be looking out for you, and I'm not going to let anything bad happen. If things get bad, just bide your time until we can get to you." He then looks from Ayumu to Rikuto and states. "I'll go get into position."

And so they set off with Ayumu's plan in action! It means that Arika has to split up from Rikuto, which makes her pout unhappily, but she goes along with it. "Don't be mean, Rikkun…" she grumbles at him for the comment, going off to the side with Jiro, Malik, and maybe Ayumu unless he chooses to sink into the ground or something.
They only have to travel a little bit of the ways before reaching the bandits and actually getting into position. They might even be able to notice better that more are in the group. About 5 or so! A large cart has been brought over in the time it took to travel and plan, and it's filled to the brim with weapons.

Jiro listens to the plan and nods slightly as he hears his part. When Rikuto mentions using him for a shield the boy scrunches up his face before walking over to the teen and trying to bop him on the top of the head with a fist. "She wouldn' have ta. I won' le' anything 'appen ta her anyways." He says with a soft hmph before looking back to Malik and nodding with a little smile, "Than's. Good ta know at leas' one person doesn' jus' wanna get rid'a me." A glare cast back at Rikuto before he looks to Ayumu and waits to be told where to go.

Ayumu bows his head slightly at the unfortunate news. He silently reconfigures the plan in his head, then officially announces they would go with plan B. The two youngest were still to linger close to the rise the enemy was to take in order to approach Rikuto, but instead wait until their target pass them by before springing the trap. The Iga made some mention of taking advantage sooner of surprise if need be, but stressed that as a LAST resort. WIth that said and done, Ayumu takes a back seat to observe everyone's reactions and any final words.
"Just.. try not to get too entangled with each other. All of you… And don't take any unnecessary risks. Leave that to jiji-san here." Ayumu says, smiling broadly. Inwardly, he kicked himself for not fighting harder for another experienced shinobi leading the group. He wasn't at his best, and if something went wrong…
"Nothing will." He muttered darkly as he shifted from one seal to the next. A shadow clone poofs into existence at his side, and together they would merge into the ground. While the original trailed behind the main group and would observe from a distance, the clone stuck close to the middle ground between Rikuto and the kids.

Bringing his hands together as Arika chided him, Rikuto changed his appearance but not terrible, seeming older and his clothes some what more colorful, fit for a performer. The disguise would last for all of.. five second before Jiro, who had largely gone unnoticed thanks to him focusing on a image, knocks him upside the head. Instinctively, the young Miira moves a hand to his head onto to see Jiro hot footing it away while he's left grumbling.. 'Little runt.. might just torch you around the edges when we get back…'
Lowering his fingers to the cords, Rikuto would slowly begin to string the instrument along with gentle plucks at first it was just a light sounds but as he continues.. even the other genin would see what he shaped. He didn't make himself invisible, on the contrary, he causes other illusions of patrons watching him, some dancing couples swaying to his tunes, and coins within his craft that were seemingly tossed there for his performance skills. A lesser festival and reprieve from the dunes as even a keg of illusionary water was there to be had, for a cost.

Malik moves down closer to where the three men were. His job was simple. Be the distraction should thinks go south. Not a problem in his mind. He has noted that Ayumu seems to be off his game today, but he felt a lot better with Rikuto with them. The genin was way more experiened that he was and he was thankful for that. Using the sand dunes for cover, he slinks along while using Sinbad as his primary security system. The bird is still carrying Ayumu's eye and circles above silently. To anyone not familiar with the Hayato, he's just another avian out hunting.

The men hear the music, and they start towards Rikuto, swords drawn but not pointed yet at the Miira. The Genjutsu had no effect, but they were fooled by the henge. "Hey, you… These parts are pretty dangerous if you are just sitting here playing the Koto… You should get a move on… Unless you want to get robbed..?" says one, clearly one of the leaders. Two are still back by the cart fixing up the weapons. Perfect targets for Arika and Jiro, should they want to attack…
Arika watches the bandits approach Rikuto and tenses up just a bit, but then her attention shifts to Jiro and the men further back. "… D'you think we should try and get those guys, Jiro-kun?" she asks, pointing at the two near the cart.

Jiro has moved to the rise before finding a place to hide away. As the men move towards Rikuto, Jiro watches them go and considers silently while listening to what Arika says. "We're suppose' ta s'prise 'em." Jiro mutters, looking between the three baddies again. Why did they have to split up? Well, Rikuto could take care of himself, especially with Ayumu and Malik watching him. "Yea', le's go ta make sure they can'na 'elp." He says, keeping low as he moves towards the men and pulls the sash silently from his waist. As he nears he doesn't hesitate and quickly lashes out at one of the men with the sash, flicking the thing to try and drill into one shoulder, then the other.

If it weren't for the fact both Ayumu were one with the sand at the time, they would've facepalm at Jiro's over eagerness. They settled for making a note to have a talk with Jiro later. In the meantime, the clone moved on to play back-up if and when the time arrive. With luck, the duo would be able to dispatch their targets alone. If they cannot, well, it would be in position soon enough to make their future efforts easier… hopefully.
The original on the other hand manuevered into position to signal for both Malik and Rikuto to begin the attack.
How exactly? By essentially sticking returning an arm to normal and giving a thumbs up from behind the thugs.
Er, not thugs, Ronin!

"Dangerous yes, it is at times, though many merchant and travelers pass through here as well. It's worth the risk, don't you think so gentlemen?" Looking up the performer offers the men a gentle smile as his fingers continue to play the Koto. The smile faulters for a moment when he could sense what was going on a distance away before the signal was even given. "Why don't you sit.. relax?" Stringing the Koto at a difference pace, chakra laces with each stroke. First of which causes shinobi to appear from the sands behind each of the men before quickly silencing them by slitting their throats, dragging them back into the dunes with them. The next illusion was more simple.. the performer never was, and turns to sand.

Malik has his back against the sand dune while looking over his shoulder, trying not to be seen. He's already slipped his bow off his back and has one of his special arrows at the ready. When he sees Ayumu's signal, he turns and rises up to a standing position, releasing his first arrow as he goes. There is a blinding light and a loud bang, before he reaches behind him for his second arrow. This one has a crystal tip instead of his normal ones. He goes for one of the Ronin that Jiro just attacked, attempting to put the man down in a way that he can be questioned later.

One man gets hit in the shoulder, which alerts the second and allows for him to draw a sword to parry the strike from Jiro. "Hey, there's a kid!" he says, surprised. The other man recovers enough to also draw a sword, approaching Jiro from behind when Arika comes out and knocks him over with a gust of wind. "Don't hurt Jiro-kun!" she huffs, the girl looking just about ready to take down the man who was trying to attack her friend.
Two panic when they feel the Genjutsu affect them, their minds making them think they are scrambling to get away from their death. The third isn't affected by anything, though, and he slashes at Rikuto to try and break the hold on his friends. "Quit playing! You better-" Suddenly his world is completely white, and he is blinded by Malik. The man scrubs at his eyes, trying to get his vision and hearing back.

Jiro reacts quickly, mentally thanking Arika for watching his back before he hops away from one slice, then brings his cloth in front of him to flare out the size of his frame and block the second. Once the attack is deflected he kicks out the edge of the cloth towards the mans legs to try and trip him up before drawing it back and lashing out again towards the chest.

In theory, the third guy's plan was sound. Unfortunately for him, Ayumu chose the moment he decided to focus so much of his attention on Rikuto towards binding the man at all cost, and suffocating him until he passed out. He was to be the sole survivor of the group, for there were answers the Iga desired. He needed to be absolutely certain this indirect attack on Sunagakure had nothing to do with certain… individuals.
The clone remains on standby as prefered. The genin didn't bring their target down swiftly, though with Malik helping from afar, they needed no real assistance. Yet.

In theory, the third guy's plan was sound. Unfortunately for him, Ayumu chose the moment he decided to focus so much of his attention on Rikuto towards binding the man at all cost with tendrils of hair, locking his striking arm in place, coccoon him immediatly after, then finally suffocating him until he passed out. He was to be the sole survivor of the group, for there were answers the Iga desired. He needed to be absolutely certain this indirect attack on Sunagakure had nothing to do with certain… individuals.
The clone remains on standby as prefered. The genin didn't bring their target down swiftly, though with Malik helping from afar, they needed no real assistance. Yet. (re)

Luckily the young Miira moved from where he was for the other side of the road, but he never raised to his feet. The henge shatters when he brings his hands together, sending a clone out to grasp their commander but then one towards each of the illusioned men. Rather than hugging the men, the clones broke down into their element, quickly exploding at near point blank range unless the men were faster.

Malik hops up again after taking cover from firing his last two shots. He shuffles to the side to change his vantage point before aiming towards the man that Jiro is fighting. He murmurs under his breath. "Get the away from my little brother, you sonofa.." The statement is followed by the *twang* of his string as he fires another arrow just above Jiro's head, towards the man's throat. He quickly switches targets as Sinbad dives down towards the second man's head, the one that Arika is fighting. The falcon apparently doesn't like anyone accosting the girl, and he attempts to disorient the man just before Malik fires a second arrow towards him.

Arika just knocks the man she was after unconscious while Jiro finishes off the second with a nice cut that just happened to slice his throat. If he doesn't die from getting his throat slashed, he's quickly finished off by Malik's arrows. Sinbad's talons sink deep into the man Arika took out to the point where it's probably best he was killed. One of the men stuck in Rikuto's genjutsu gets trapped inside some steel cage. There was a bit of pounding, but he eventually is gonna run out of air. Ayumu just has to keep it up for a bit. Clones erupt into the commander's face, and he gets burned badly before just falling over to die from the pain.
"Good job, Sinbad-kun!" Arika says with a small wave of her hand, grinning to the falcon. She kinda peeks over at Malik and Jiro to see how they fared, and by the looks of things, very well. "You too, Ma-kun. Jiro-kun." She hmms and peeks at the cart next… "Is that it? Are these the bandits?"

When the arrow sinks into the throat of the man he's fighting Jiro just grins before looking back up at Malik and waving a hand over his head in thanks. He turns to make sure Arika is okay then, nodding as he reties the sash with it's breakaway knot. He looks back towards the others as well while remaining near Arika. He wants to try and see if they're okay but he's not leaving the girl behind, nope.

Ayumu has no qualms with keeping the cocoon in place for however he could. Had he the energy to do so, the man would've gone a step further, but maintained the status quo instead until the desire outcome his met. With his focus so locked on the one individual, it remained the clones job to act on his behalf and answer Arika's question.
It rises from the sand nearby and extends all of its wary senses. If there are any more folks apart of the operation, he would find them, hopefully, and speak of them. "You have the right mindset, Arika-san… Mostly. I want you to double check and make sure all targets are dead neu-er, dead." The clone states, then turns to the others. It signals for Malik to keep watch just in case, while it looked over the cart personally.
"Shiro-san. Make sure the other two are truly down for good, then regroup with the others. I.. will be joining you all shortly." The original manages to state. Once secure in the knowledge his target was uncouncious, Ayumu strapped his new found prisoner to his back, groaning a little at the man's weight.

Chuckling softly as he watches the man not be able to escape in time, but proceed to become cooked in the flame clones until seeming to die with the last blast. "Did I go a little far? Did we need one or two still living?" Turning his attention to the side, he looks down towards the other area, focusing onto Jiro and Arika before looking for Ayumu. Bringing his hands together, Rikuto began to shape a rather interesting ninjutsu, not wind nor fire, but both at once, Scorch. A near colorless flame appears close to the Miira's hands, but it would travel to one body to the next, each time it touched, it would almost turn the body to ash dust. Luckily? For the prisoner that Ayumu collected, Rikuto didn't once try to harm him after the fact.

Malik offers Jiro and Arika a two fingered salute while Sinbad continues to circle around overhead. He's looking to see if there are more bandits about. In the meantime, Malik moves up to the top of the sand dune to get a view of the area himself. His bow is still out and he's got an arrow at the ready, just in case. With Rikuto taking care of the bodies, the Hayato is making sure that an ambush isn't waiting for them for when they make their way back.

Arika peeks at the bodies on the ground, and they aren't moving at all, even after she stares at them for a long time. The girl tells the clone, "They're good." Ayumu and Malik would see no more threats on the horizon, which means that their work was done. With that, the trade routes should be a bit more free for the time being, allowing Sunagakure its full weapons supply! Yay! Arika drags Jiro back to the others to give them the full report and then would attempt to climb onto Rikuto's back for the journey back home.

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