Date: May 19, 2012
Unusual growth in dangerous predator populations have been reported near towns in the Land of Wind. Suna nin are to seek out and thin these populations, and keep an eye out for possible causes of the sudden growth. Sogekihei has been tasked to deal with the issue in one particular village.
A village in the Land of the Wind's more fertile regions.
The deserts of the Land of the Wind are a harsh place, difficult to survive, and this is exactly why we're in one of those parts of the land of the Wind that is -not- desert, but rather a mountaineous terrain, covered with green-and-yellow grassland: the villages in need of being protected from the sudden growth in the population of dangerous predators are much more common here, and the need to protect them is that much greater. It's a fall evening, which means the air is dry and hot, only beginning to cool off after the baking flames of the sun have had all day to heat it up.
Sogekihei has been tasked with the protection of one of these villages, and so he finds himself, now, at its edge. Even from afar, one can sense that not all is normal - there's a tension in the air, and a silence, as the whole of the village lies in wait for the next attack of the packs of predators roving nearby, all normal life ended under the pressure of this danger.
The hunter travelled lightly. During the day, he had his protection from the sun in his clothes. Now, as it was evening, he was watching his surroundings while he approached that village. Heero above what wheeling in the evening thermals. Soge would unshoulder and string his bow as he'd step into the village. Quiet. Quiet meant an attack. Soon there would be an attack it looks like. He looked up at Heero again for a moment, deciding to focus himself as he walked. There was enough buildings that an attack here would not be that bad, as he can pick off those targets from above.
With people mostly hiding in their homes, Sogekihei is the only one in the street. Like everything else, he casts a long shadow in the red rays of the setting sun. But for now, nothing seems to be happening, just the same tension cutting the air as the sun inches downward along the sky, providing less and less illumination for Heero to see any attacking beasts. Somewhere far away, sharp eyes may pick up a growling, somewhere else, something howls sadly, and somewhere else yet, an even sharper ear may pick up the sound of something killing… and eating.
The hunter narrowed his eyes. Heero would dip lower, the gathering darkness making it harder for the falcon above to see their target. They were close, the sounds a shattering noise in the stifling quiet. Soge would take to the roof top of the buildings, one of his real arrows, a green fletching with 2 white, was drawn and notched. He started his patrol over the village by those roof tops, searching for the preditor animals that were terrorizing that area.
As the last of the sun's disk vanished beyond the edge of the horizon, the world was cloaked in a darkness quickly approaching stygian depth. Only a few early stars and a very thin, almost sharp, edge of the moon above permitted one to see something. That, however, is quite enough to allow the hunter to see a large, quadripedal shape, somewhat bear-like in build, flash past the buildings across the road. And then another, and another, and another, one of them knocking over something that falls down with a thud. The second one, in light of this, is so much more worrying: a wary man, wielding a spear and with a likely-to-be-useless knife at his waist, steps out of the building. Even the faint light from the skies allows the hunter to read worry on his face as he turns his face towards the building and peers into the night, trying to see what's on his roof. Noises in the other houses signify his appearance on the street has roused the worries of other people waiting in their houses.
They show up now? Not when the sun is up? He would facepalm if he wasn't busy with his patrol. Of course, now that civilians are out, that could be.. difficult. Flashing from the roof top, Soge would land on the road beyond immediate range of the person who came out of the building he was just on top of. "Hi. I am Hayato Sogekihei. I have been assigned to deal with the predator that has been harassing this village. I was patrolling the area to find them and will report my results when I have dealt with the animal, Hai?"
Prey! The moment the man had left his home, the creatures of the night had adapted their pattern to hunting down the new prey, and now they were closing in. The man remained unaware of this, and a good deal of them had even slipped through the Hayato's sharp senses. "Ah…" he doubtfully pronounced, examining Sogekihei. "A little kid like you? And that's why you're up on my roof?" He glances of Sogekihei suspiciously once again, but the fact he's got a forehead protector and is equipped like a ninja, well above the level of a common thief who'd be interested in what this village has to offer, seemed to convince him. "O-okay… will you need..?" The animals had closed in enough, and attacked, their bone-crushing jaws ready to tear into human flesh. A smaller group of the animals moved towards the civilian, while the others focused on the child. In the movements of their paws, and the silhouettes diving out of the darkest recesses of the alleys, the hunter can recognize a common predator here - hyenas.
"Crud." That was about all the time the Hunter had before he moved. The first thing he'd do was move at Heero's cry, the warning long enough to show it was from all sides. Dodging away from those who were coming at him, he'd latch on to the civilian and flash them both to the roof of his home. "No. Stay out of the way." He'd move then, eyes narrowed as he'd look at the hyenas. Arrows were drawn and fired, that rapid shooting surprisingly accurate as he'd try to hit as many as he could, those three round shots pegging the beasts to try and drive them off.
The strikes are indeed accurate, but the animals are quick and clearly more used to the darkness than the hunter's own tactics: several arrows wind up merely grazing the creatures, or sticking out of the sand with no harm to the animals. However, after the nin's shots have been fired, a sharp whining cuts through the night when one of the animals is badly hurt. The others keep their heads low, growling at the boy and his bird. This has just moved from a hunt to a battle. The man shakes his head, surprised by the boy's quick actions, and looks around, before running off towards his home. Some of the animals jerk towards him, but don't dare expose their flanks to the boy. Always from behind him, they jump, some to bite, some to grab him in their mighty jaws and lock him down, an easier target for the others. One of the animals is bright enough to get onto a set of barrels and jump at the bird, trying to pin -it- down.
Heero would give a cry out as he would do a flipped wing dip to roll out from under the Hyena's attack. Meanwhile, Soge was dodging like mad on the ground, trying to avoid getting tagged. One of them managed to get a bite on him, drawing blood from his leg before he got away. The Hunter was pissed. He would again move, those arrows drawn and fired. He went slower, considering he has hit some of them, it's time to start taking them down. Those shots were accurate, even in the dark, to target the ones he has already hit.
"Yipe! YIPE! YIPE!" Now that he's traded precision for accuracy, the boy's arrows find their quarry considerably more reliably. Two of the creatures are put down immediately, one is merely severely hurt, and backs away, under the cover of his allies. The creatures make a few token bites in Sogekihei's direction, mostly at his legs, trying to put him on the ground for long enough for them to escape, but most of the pack is already retreating, literally licking their wounds - those that still can retreat, that is. (Knockdown Bites: 19, 27, 23.)
Stick and move, stick and move. The hunter was fast, that blur of motion left the hyenas snapping air as he'd blur away. Landing on a roof top, about half way down the path they were taking to flee, he would draw three more of those arrows, eyes narrowed as Heero swept low to cry at the hyenas, almost like a sheep dog hearding the group out of town. The hunter would aim for any of the wounded, better to kill then let them get away wounded and suffer now. He wasn't going to stop them, but they were going to definitely pay for attacking the village.
The arrows whistle into the backs of the fleeing herd, two of the three arrows connecting, and ending the paths of the fleeing mass of animals. There are certainly no wounded left any more - and five of the creatures lie dead in the street or the grass just outside the village. The creatures redouble their efforts to get away, all four paws working as rapidly as they can.
The Hunter gave Heero the sign to follow, the falcon winging on high, above any potential attacks from the animals to verify they were out. Soge meanwhile, would start gathering the dead, getting them back into town so that they were lined up and out of the way. Once that was done, the head of the village, most likely a mayor or something like that, would be saught out, so that Soge could do his report. This is of course if Heero doesn't see them coming back.
Careful cheering and loud congratulations to the nin sound from the houses that have seen the episode - by the next evening, the entire city will probably be praising Sogekihei's name for chasing away the creatures. That is, if the dogs don't come back that next evening. The town elder's house is large enough to stand out and be recognizeable. When Sogekihei knocks on the door, there's a suspicious, "Who's there..?"
"Hayato Sogekihei. I am a Suna nin assigned to deal with the predators. They have been routed and my bird is watching to make sure the beasts do not come back. I will stay through the next day to verify they are gone before I return to the hidden village. I wanted to let you know, it's done." Soge would check a few of his arrows that had been used, verified they are ok before being put away. His bow having been unstrung and put back on his back as well. He seemed almost disinterested. It was a good hunt, hopefully the hyenas meat can be well used in this village.