Date: November 14, 2011
Three shinobi on a mission to guard a caravan against some victims of war turned bandits.
A road in the Land of Grass
Rocky Terrain [Land of Grass]
Along the border of Grass and Stone country, is a rather vast rocky terrain. The dry air coming from the Stone country makes this area a bit hard on anyone traveling along the path. The ground floor is made up of hard earth and rocks. Boulders ranging from small to rather large size can be seen scattered about. The area's proof of being dry can be seen with the very few tress that are actually here. They are bare, dried up, and without any green. No signs of water or plantation can be seen in a long while from here.
Though Sungakure was not a direct victim in the war, the land suffered. Trade routes that passed through combat areas were often stolen. There for the routes themselves were closed. This only added to the number of people without work due to the war. There were other causes that contributed to people becoming bandits, especially if their homes had been destroyed. Now that the war was over, the high population of bandits was becoming an issue in re-establishing the trade routes. To combat this, shinobi are being sent along to protect the trade routes.
A wagon train travels down the road at night. Each of the three wagons has four horses and two drivers. The cargo is well covered by the wooden exterior of the wagons. There are no markings on the wagons to determine what each one is holding. That remains a mystery.
The road itself contains some rather large rocks. They could easily hide multiple bandit parties or predators. There is very little light from the moon. It is almost completely dark.
Alright. Mika is looking very very very very creepy right now. As she rides on the one of the wagons, she looks at one of the traders. "Dammit girl! Can't you turn those eyes off?! Thats…really damn freaky!", the middle age man says. Mika gives a small smile that creeps him out more. Why are her eyes creepy right now? Cause her pupils are almost the size of her eyes, giving her the creepy innocent kitty look….Mika raises her hand in a paw motion, and does a teasing, "Meow."
The woman is laughing her butt off as she pokes her head out of the wagon. She looks around. Mika always loves freaking people out with her cat eyes on nights like this when her pupils are large. The woman pulls out a tuna flavored ration, and noms on it for a few moments…
Itami sat inside the precious cargo wagon, situated in the middle of the train. She was resting for the most part, laid back atop crates and enjoying the ride. She knew what she had to do, but heck, so far things were good. No bandits had shown up yet, but they were going to come out eventually. "Look alive, people. What's out there so far?" She asks from inside the wagon. "Keep your eyes locked on your surroundings." She rose up and latched onto the ledge before flipping up to the top of the wagon to look around. The mid-level wagon was up front and behind the precious was the average. "Ah, I see we're reached some outcroppings. Perfect." She grinned. "Keiji, go and familiarize yourself with the night." That was her way of saying, 'scout the surrounding area in secret'.
Keiji was sitting on the top of the precious cargo wagon when Itami's orders came in. He wearing a hooded cloak on this night. That way he did not look too much different from the traders. The boy uses the cover of the cloak to do some hand signs before dropping to the ground and placing a hand against the ground. As the wagon started to pass him, he reached up with his free hand and swung himself back onto it. "We are not alone." the boy stated. He looked up ahead towards some large rocks. "I sense a number of horses. They do not appear to be grazing. They are ahead a few meters." The boy's report was done. He had alerted them to the ambush, though he half expected both shinobi already knew.
Mika sniffs the air. She smiles a bit. "Nothing much to worry about I think. I'm picking up about 20 different smells, and if they're horses, then that would make for 10 bandits. Though, as per normal, treat each one as if they're a jounin level or Kage level. See an opening, kill without hesitation, and if they retreat, let them run.", Mika says. She blushes a bit. The way she said it, it sounds like she has done stuff like this before. Then again, she could just be repeating what was always told to her. Facing something unknown, treat it as the serious threat to you, and if oppertunities show themselves, take them….Mika bites her lower lip.
Itami liked where this was going. "I see, I see. Excellent. Alright, let's head them off. We'll go ahead of the wagons and head the bandits off. If it's 10 we're working with, then we need to be all the more vicious. We can't allow them to get the better of us." She jumps off of her wagon and onto the path. "Do any of you have a jutsu that can work in blocking their path?" She inquires. "This will make things easier if we're able to connect with them instead of them to us." She offered.
Keiji shakes his head. "I imagine in my other form, I could take out two or three quickly." The boy's dark eyes glance toward the rocks. "We need to hurry with whatever the plan is. I am sure they will be wondering where the wagons are." He clicks his pincered fingers waiting for the order. He then glances at Mika. He still was not sure exactly what to think of her ways.
Mika takes a deep breath. "I don't have any jutsus suited for that, but…that doesn't mean that we still can't block them off.", she says. The woman smiles a bit. "You two got that ground sink thing. And I got agility. I'm thinking I'll hide in the rocks over there, and if they retreat that way…I can cut them off with my agility. Hate to say it though, but I'll go for the horses necks or legs. The throw should stun them. If you two are chasing, you two might be able to get whose left after your inital attack. That sound like a plan?"
"You might want to put your other form to use, then. Besides, it'll get you more acclimated to the changes your body undergoes." Itami remarks and looks to Mika as she explains her plan. She nodded in understanding saying, "That'll work. Cut the horses, leave the fodder for me and Keiji." She chuckles. "I say we leave them alive, but if they show enough aggression to kill, we take 'em out. Alright? Let's go!" She signaled forward and began to run ahead of the cargo train to meet the horses. The cargo train would be ordered to keep moving at their same pace. Hopefully, this problem will be settled before the train reaches the horses or vice versa.
Keiji nods his head. Soon his body begins to change and the tail sprouts from his backside. He grins at Mika. "My tail is more deadly than yours." The boy then took off running after Itami. When he neared the bandits, he moved up on top of a rock. He remained there until Mika struck. Keeping them alive would be a chore. It was soo much simpler to just kill them.
The bandits themselves were gathered round behind a large rock. The first bandit looks towards the second and shrugs. "You sure the wagons were coming this way?" the man asks. The other man nods his head. "They should be here any moment. Just be patient." the second bandit replied. The horses they were riding did not exactly look like prized horses. These guys also were not wielding swords, but more field tools like wheat scythes. "Whatever, lets just get this done. After this load we should be able to return home. We'll use the gold to rebuild our homes." The voice came from a third bandit. Most of the bandits looked fairly scared or wet behind the ears.
Mika rushes along, and sticks to the rocks. She uses her insane agility to move quickly. Her thoughts are silent at the moment as she focuses. Those bright orange eyes of hers almost stand out on the rocks. The woman tosses her robe to the side, and says a small prayer. The woman drops off from the rocks, and then starts to bound one after another towards her prey. Her hands turn into those nasty claws, but this time, there's the blue-ish white kiss of ki surrounding them. Mika rushes into the pack, and goes strictly for the horses. The woman makes sure that all her kills are quick, and clean. No suffering. Veins and artieries are cut, making sure the animals didn't have time to even know what had happen to them. Afterwards, Mika continues to run through, leaving the rest to Itami and Keiji…
Itami jumped up and clinged to the rocks that were in the area, watching Mika go about and do her work. The horses all began to collapse and tumble as they're cut down. Good. Everything is going to plan, although she admits that she hates to see such good horses die. She then jumped across to meet with Keiji and quietly assess the situation until the horses were taken out. She hummed.
Once the horses were all cleared, she dropped down and moved to apprehend the bandits. She didn't want to really fight just yet until she was able to understand their purpose for robbing these wagons. She started wit with two blades of wind, each sent to either side of the group where the horses were cut down to be warning shots to them.
Keiji's eyes focused on the men as the horses were cut down. He saw the tools. These werent bandits. These were misguided victims that made a bad decision. There is a shake of the head. Keiji looked at Itami. He was certain she saw it as well. He moved to the ground between the men and where the wagon would pass them in a few moments. "We cannot allow you to take this caravan. Please stay down until it has passed. You will not lose more than your horses."
Mika is simply too fast for these bandits. Their horses fall, a few of which trap their rider's leg as they hit the ground. Others scramble to their feet. "Please do not kill us!" one of them cries out. Though it is accompanied by a few screams from those trapped, it easily heard. "I think my leg is broken. God it hurts." one of the trapped bandits cry out. Two of the bandits actually take off the opposite way of the road in fear…
Mika slowly walks towards the men. There's a different look to her a bit. As she walks towards the group, her bright orange eyes are clear to see, but Itami and Keiji would see that Mika's hands and feet are claws now. They give off the bluewhite ki look that seems to almost give her a sight…"….May I put my robe on once more?", she asks Itami in a quiet tone. Its almost a whisper, but…the girl does look a lot more feral at the moment, and likely scaring the living hell out of the men there, even more then they are now.
Itami, once she's approached the group, gave them a once over and sighed. Two wandered off into the darkness, but she couldn't afford for them to get lost out of fear. So, she held up hand to excuse herself saying, "I will return shortly…" Before she left, she said, "And yes, you are free to wear your robe." She spoke to the girl. She'd have to have a talk with her later.
Flickering away, she went after the retreating men, dropping in the path of one and collecting him before flickering off to find the other and collect him. When she snatched him up, she'd return to the group and drop them both on the ground, dusting her hands free of dirt. "Alright, let's get these guys out from under the horses. And while we're at it, why don't you all tell us why you've been trying to attack the caravan, hm?"
There is a grimace from Keiji as he tries to figure out how they are going to move the horses from on top of the people. He looks towards Itami. "A little bit of earth style might help. I know I am not strong enough to lift the horse. I doubt Mika is either." He then looks towards the other men. "One of us really should get back to the caravan, just incase something else is out there."
When asked about why they were attacking caravans, multiple bandits begin to talk. All the noise together makes them rather hard to understand. Then they stop and look towards one of the older men. "Our homes were destroyed in the war. Our fields were burned. We no longer have the means to survive. It is dishonorable, but we have families to feed. We need the cargo to buy food and shelter." He looks over at the dead horses before adding, "And horses to work the fields next season."
Mika moves over to her robe, and slowly puts them on. She covers her head with the hood so that she's not seen under the hood. She looks over at the horses. After hearing what the man had to say, she reaches inside the robe, and pulls out the gold she has gained in the last 3 missions, and tosses it to the ground in front of the men. "I did take life, so I must give life as well.", she says. The woman turns away, and starts to walk towards the caravan. Her voice is flat, trying not to convene any emotion as she walks off. Once the caravan was close enough, the woman hops inside the back of a wagon. She sits crosslegged, watching over the troupe with her nose and eyes.
Itami nodded in reply to Keiji. She had a move that might assist in this situation. She lifts her foot to stamp the ground and send a pillar of earth up from beneath the horse to lift it off one of the riders. "If you need food and other such things, why not just find a village to settle into and aid yourselves that way?" She asks of the would be bandits. "There are ways to try and manage without suffering dire consequences. We could have very well killed you all." She looked at Mika as she tossed the gold down before leaving. "But it seems like you all are able to reap of the benefits of being apprehended." She chuckled.
"You all should use that among yourselves. Do what you must to support one another. Find a village to settle into and support it as your new home. Many have suffered in this war and it is selfish to think that you all are the only ones that have." She scolded.
Keiji also grabbed a hold of the wagon. He moved to the front and checked the driver and his partner. "Everything went okay while we were gone?" he asks before looking back towards Itami. He then glances back towards Mika. "That was very nice of you, but they did know the risks." He offered her a slight smile before turning around and looking towards the road. They were not too far from their destination.