Date: June 29, 2014
Michiko and Hiei go out on patrol and are ambushed by bandits.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Crash and Burn"
A Canyon in the Land of Lightning
It's a cold day in December. There is snow on the ground and a light drizzle makes one think that it would continue all throughout the day. However, this day finds Hiei sitting on top of his horse Snake Eyes just outside the front gates of Kumogakure. He had been tasked to take a small team and conduct a routine patrol along the nearby mountain range. He would normally do this alone, or with Ryouji or Sado. However, right now, he is waiting to see who would his partner be today." Snake Eyes grows restless and attempts to prance a little while tossing his head. Hiei pats him gently on the neck. "Easy, boy. We'll be leaving soon enough."
Michiko almost didn't want to get out of bed thanks to the weather. But she got a message that she had a mission to patrol along the mountains, so she made herself get ready. It didn't take too long, fortunately, and she was out the door and ready to go at the gates in short order. "Good morning, Hiei-san. And Snake Eyes," she greets. Yes, even the horse. "I hope you're doing well today," she adds with a small yawn, her body not quite awake even though she felt it.
Hiei's brows raise slightly in surprise, "Good morning Michiko-san. I wasn't expecting you to be assigned to this one, but I'll gladly accept the company anyway." When Michiko greets Snake Eyes, the large warhorse whinnys softly almost in a return greeting. "Well, we should get going. We've got a lot of ground to cover and it will be slow going with the snow." He regards the younger shinobi for a moment. "Would you like me to have the stables saddle you a horse, or would you like to ride with me?"
Michiko bows her head slightly. "I'm glad I can be a happy surprise, then, Hiei-san." Her head tilts as she considers the Yotsuki's offer. "If you don't mind, I'd prefer riding with you. Thank you for the offer," she replies, her tone relatively cheerful. "Hmm… I wish winter would end soon… Did you have a nice time on your honeymoon?" Her attempt at conversation while she gets up on Snake Eyes (likely with a lot of help).
Hiei nods and reaches down for Michiko's hand, pulling her up into the saddle in front of him. Wrapping his arms around her waist to keep her stable, he grabs the reigns and directs Snake Eyes down the trail towards their first check point. "Sachiko and I had a very nice time. I took her to the Land of Tea where I have a beach house. It was a gift from the Tea Damiyo after helping to rid his country of the Hitokage. Most of Tea Village has been rebuilt, too." He pauses. "I didn't get a chance to thank you for attending the wedding. I know most young people don't go to such things because of the boredom factor. I noticed you had a book with you though."
Michiko settles as comfortably as one can in front of Hiei. She gives several nods as she listens to him talk about the honey moon. "Ah, that sounds very nice. I'm glad you had a good time." She coughs lightly to at his final comment. "Ah, yes. The wedding was pleasant, and I /did/ put the book away when you and Sachiko appeared at the altar, at least. Hiro-san and I were talking a bit, too, which was made it more enjoyable."
Hiei chuckles. "Michiko, if I hadn't needed to be there, I probably would have been bored too. Not to mention Hiro did give me a way out. He had Snake Eyes and Jinx saddled and ready to go by the front gate in case I decided not to go through with it." He smirks faintly. "As nervous as I was though, I'm glad I got through it. Though I think Sachiko's sister hates my guts."
Michiko giggles at that. "Ah, poor you. Hiro-san is a good friend, it sounds like. I didn't realize Sachiko-san had a sister… Though I suppose it shouldn't shock me. She's not originally from Kumo, so I likely wouldn't know her family very well." As she speaks, she looks around a bit. They are supposed to be patrolling, after all. Conversation just makes the whole thing less boring.
As Hiei and Michiko eventually make it past the first checkpoint and even the second one. Just before they reach the third as they are moving through a small canyon between two mountains, the ground quakes slightly before four men rise up out of the earth. They're dressed for the weather and they all carry swords. The leader looks at the two shinobi on horseback and points his sword at them. The other three take up flanking positions making it impossible for Snake Eyes to run. "Get down off the horse and give us all your money, your horse, and we'll take the girl too. She'll fetch a fair price at the slave market in the Land of Water."
Hiei was about to suggest that he and Michiko stop to have a bite to eat since they were in a canyon and out of the cold bitter winds when they are ambushed by what appears to be bandits. He looks down at Michiko and offers her a smile. He doesn't seem all that worried…afterall, this was the kind of thing they were on the lookout for. "Alright." He says to the bandits. "We're getting down. Slowly." He slides off his horse's back and then helps Michiko off. "I don't suppose you guys would just go on about your business and leave us alone would you?"
Michiko blinks at the bandits that suddenly rise from the ground. Zombies? No, they're human. Especially with this talk, they are greedy humans. Who apparently want to sell her as a slave… Well, then. "Indeed, I'd rather not be sold off… Besides, we don't have much money on us," he genin adds, coming down from the horse with a smile at Hiei for his assistance.
The bandit leader snorts towards Hiei. "We outnumber you, of course we're not going to leave you alone." He says towards Michiko. "Doesn't matter what you want, girl. Wreck, we might even have some fun before we deliver you to market." At that comment, his buddies begin chuckling and a couple of them even give Michiko lewd looks. They press their blades closer to Hiei and Michiko. "If you don't want to die, you'll do as we say."
The more they talk, the more Hiei's expression goes from nonchalant to grim business. That kind of talk didn't set well with him. He offers Michiko a subtle hand motion, indicating for her to prepare to attack the two bandits closest to her. Without warning, he aims a kick towards one of the men before slapping Snake Eyes on the rear to get him out of harm's way. "Now, Michiko." He says towards the genin.
Michiko may pale slightly at the bandits' words, but she sees Hiei's hand motion and offers a subtle nod, focusing her chakra in preparation for battle. In her opinion, these bandits deserved to die and they were going to roast even before dying if she could help it. Once Hiei calls out, she leaps backward, putting a bit of distance between herself and the bandits, and sending a rather large firebolt or two at them. "I think you are the ones in danger of dying…" she idly comments.
The Bandits weren't expecting the sudden action from the two shinobi. Hiei's kick lands in the gut of one of them and the other two manage to dodge Michiko's attack, but they all retaliate just the same. Two of the bandits attack Hiei with their swords and the other two attempt to close the distance with Michiko while doing the same.
Hiei attempts to dodge the strikes towards him, but the first bandit manages to cut him along the cheek, causing a trickle of blood to drop onto the white snow. However, he manages to dodge the second bandit's attack by diving and then tucking and rolling back up to his feet. While keeping both of them in sight, lightning plays along his skin underneath his coat as he takes a moment to gather his chakra. He keeps his knees bent, ready to move while looking for an opening to their attacks.
Michiko blinks as the bandits move toward her, approaching faster than she would like, even. In fact, they move quick enough that her defense fails her, and she finds herself getting cut up quite a bit. She grits her teeth at the pain, trying to put more distance between her and the two bandits with more fire.
The two bandits on Michiko close in even further, not trying to do permanent damage to their prize. However, Michiko's firebolt manages to hit one dead on, causing him to fly backwards and catch fire. He screams and begins to roll around in the snow in an attempt to put himself out. The second bandit dodges Michiko's fire and steps in to attack her again. Meanwhile the two bandits on Hiei mistake his inaction for fear and begin to attack him again, swinging their swords out towards the Jounin. They had drew blood from him already and thought him to be easy prey.
Hiei ducks and dodges, managing to keep the swords away from his body at this point. He reaches back to draw his own blades, but his fingers catch only air as he remembers that he left his swords in the sheath on Snake Eyes' saddle. Going to plan B, he forms handseals rapidly and then expels fire from his mouth towards the two bandits..just like how Michiko taught him.
Michiko finds herself once again the victim of some rather unfortunate scratches. If her luck keeps up like this… She grumbles faintly to herself and launches even more fire at the bandits. "This rather is unfortunate…" she mutters, taking an opportunity to quickly wrap a bandage around the worst of the cuts she has acquired lately.
The bandit attempts to get out of the way of Michiko's fire, but it catches him completely. By the time he hits the snow, his body is charred and smoking from the genin's attack. One of the bandit's that Hiei attacks succumbs to the Jounin's fire bullets in much the same fashion as his cohorts did with Michiko. However the one that Michiko burned earlier is now back on his feet and rushing towards her with his sword drawn. The other bandit that Hiei was fightning manages to dodge his jutsu and attack him again as well.
Hiei hops back a little, making the remaining bandit come after him through the snow. When he swings his sword towards him, he dodges before he sends a fist crackling with lightning towards the man's chin. His goal is to catapult him into the air with his strike and if he's successful with that, he forms a handseal quickly and then expels a large fireball towards him while he's in midair.
Michiko, out of the corner of her eye, sees Hiei take one of the bandits down with a nice bout of fire. It is certainly safe to say she's impressed by Hiei's skill with the Jutsu. "Good job, Hiei-san!" she calls out to him, forming seals rapidly. The final handsign she holds and a large dome of earth surrounds her, effectively blocking the sword attack. It explodes, an attempt to blind him, and fire follows soon after.
Michiko's earth dome explodes in the face of the bandit causing him to stagger back unable to see. When she launches her fireballs at him, he didn't stand a chance. He falls back onto the ground as smoke rises from his body. The bandit Hiei attacks is much less fortunate. As the sound of thunder crackles from Hiei's strike, he is sent skywards and then the fireball sent to his back on further makes him fly until he crashes into the side of the nearby rock wall. With all of the bandits defeated, the Kumo nin can continue on towards their destination.
Hiei looks over at Michiko. "Good job to you as well, Michiko." He frowns fainly when he sees the cuts on her and walks towards her, pulling out bandges from the pouch on his belt. "Let me help you out with those wounds. Then we can tie up the ones that are still alive and take them back to the village for processing."
Michiko smiles to Hiei. "Ah, thank you for the help, Hiei-san." She makes sure that most of the blood from her wounds is cleaned up, relaxing into a less fiery state. "Hmm… I wonder if any are actually alive, though… We hit them pretty good, from what I can tell…" She peers at one of the bandits, pretty sure at least one is dead as a door nail.
Hiei shrugs. "I'm sure at least two of them are. That guy I launched like a rocket probably didn't survive the fall, even if the jutsu didn't kill him. And I'm sure that guy you barbecued isn't breathing anymore. But I believe the other two will survive with just burns. If that's the case, we can tie them up and put them on the back of Snake Eyes. But we can also just go ahead and kill them here, too. I leave the decision to you. They were going to do some pretty bad things to you. I think it's only fair."
Michiko nods a bit, eyeing between the two bandits who are most likely alive. "I think we should keep one alive, at least… The one you nailed would probably be useful." She goes over to the one she roasted and finishes him off with a Kunai slice to his throat. "Ready to get back to the village when you are, Hiei-san," she says, in a tone that is a bit too cheerful given the situation.
Hiei ties the last bandit up with ninja wire and then whistles. Snake Eyes comes trotting back over to Hiei and he ties the man behind the saddle before he mounts up and then helps Michiko into the saddle in front of him. "Sometimes, Michiko. I think you've been hanging around Nariko too much." He murmurs almost under his breath as he heads back towards Kumo. "Good job Michiko. And I'm seeing and improvement in my fire jutsu, too. Thanks for that."
Michiko settles easily in the saddle. "Hmm… If I spend a lot of time with Nariko-sensei, then I would consider that a very good thing, I think, Hiei-san." She's right in front of him, so it's easy to hear his muttering. "Good job to you as well. I could tell your fire Jutsu was stronger. Should I attribute it to our last training session, or have you been working evenly on both nin and Taijutsu?" she asks, a light teasing tone in her words.