Resource Reclamation - Otter Denial


Amani, Hiei, Iminari, Minori, Hiroyasu (emitter)

Date: September 25, 2013


The waterway that runs from the lumbermill to the Kitsuki Port shipwright is being interrupted by otters. As the team of shinobi eventually finds out that the otters have absolutely nothing to do with it, and are attacked by a group of crafty bandits.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Resource Reclamation - Otter Denial"

a Dense forest in the land of lightning, used for logging.

It's actually mid-morning, post breakfast, well for those who wake up for such a wonderful thing. The word goes out via messenger hawk or messenger… so if you sleeping your door is ~Thwack Thwack Thwacking~ and if your out then your ears are ~screech screech screeching~. The missive is simple meet up at the main gate for a quick debriefing, there is no requirement on gear, so assume standard around the area locale. For those who arrive Early, Hiroyasu is standing at the entrance leaning against a boulder looking out for those who have been summoned by his office.

It had been a long time since Hiei had been tapped for a mission, so when the hawk came, he jumped on the chance. Things had become too quiet for his tastes anyways. Arriving early at the entrance clad in his gear, his shoulder length hair is tied back to keep the wet strands out of his hair as the rain pelts his body. "Yotsuki Hiei, reporting. And it's about time." He comments, obviously talking about the length of time its been since he's been sent to do anything. "What's the job?"

Iminari just happened to be out, delivering a note to a doctor before she forgot and just as she stepped out of the medical center a hawk came screeching in, landing on a nearby fence. She'd hesitate, looking around to make sure this hawk wasn't for someone else but, with the lack of anyone around and with how intently the bird was staring at her, she'd grab the message…
Eventually Iminari shows up with an umbrella over her head. "Good morning." Bowing as best as she could while keeping dry for the time being. "Seems I was requested, though that's all the note told me." Iminari then looks to Hieh and Hiroyasu expectantly.

Ah, morning. Filled with rain, breakfast and tapping on doors. Amani was not at home, but she did have breakfast and was outside. So, screeching hawk would have to do. As it swooped down and dropped the message off, she took a look at it and crumbled it. She arrived at the gates shortly after.

+ Minori had been out when it began raining, travelling through the nearby area picking herbs and the like for her medicines, potions, and toxins. When the water began to fall upon her, she picked her way back to Kumogakure, and as she arrives at the gate, so finds a group of shinobi gathering at the gate, among them are Hiroyasu, Hiei, and Iminari, all of whom she is familiar with. There is only one among them who is a stranger to her.
She approaches the group, somewhat cautiously, and looks to Hiroyasu. "What's going on here? A lot of trouble to be out in the rain." She tips her umbrella to the side a bit so she can get a better look at everyone.

Hiroyasu nods his head to Hiei "Isn't it? Now that I am back in the office.. you can expect to be lamenting that sentiment soon" he smirks, "We got a lot of backup requests; So expect to be busy and stay that way ~Yotsuki Hiei~", the casual talk cut short when Iminari comes out "Good morning Iminari" he says with a bow of his cloaked head, "Yeah sorry about the lack of information. We've been having issues when people aren't actually debriefed prior to a mission, apparently follow directions on a piece of parchment is more optional than having someone bark them at you.." he nods to Amani "Good morning Tsukikage" then a quirk of the brow, "Tejin Minori.. You want some redemption for how you acted last time? I'm willing to give you a second chance.. but its your last" he says.
Now that everyone has arrived he starts into it "First off, This should be a milk run.. As you probably don't know, most of Kumogakure's lumber comes from a particular area down in the lowlands, apparently there is an issue with the water supply that runs a lumber-mill.. The local fauna seem to be rebelling against the lumber-mill and the workers and the output has suffered greatly. We need you to find out what is causing this hostility and solve it.. and that doesn't mean slash and burn" he stares at Hiei before continuing "They are important to areas health so don't do anything unseemly.. people are watching this.." he says before looking around "any questions if not then you will be heading out immediately.. you will arrive about lunch time if you keep good pace" he says.

Once Hiro began describing the mission, Hiei had begun to form an idea of how to fix the problem, but then Hiro just had to go and ruin what potential fun he could have had. However, he doesn't complain. He was too old for that way of thinking now. "That's good. I prefer to be busy. Need to make more money so I can afford the wedding." He turns to look at those going along with him. He knew everyone gathered here, so there was no need to introduce himself. "Hmm. I'm the only guy. Not that I mind." He lifts a hand. "Good morning, ladies. Some of you I haven't seen in a long time." He looks towards Minori and Iminari.

"Hmm, odd." Iminari looks to the piece of paper, still in hand and for the sake of not littering it's tucked away in her satchel for now. A simple smile is tossed to the two new arrivals as she awaits debriefing. "Hmm, not that I can think of." She turns towards the exit. "I suppose with the delicate nature of this mission, they didn't want anything to be… manhandled." She eyes Hiei, carefully after this can never really trust a Yotsuki to be gentle.

"Morning," is offered simply enough to Hiro. "So, the fauna are responding to the lumber mill. Must be a reason for it and I think I might have an idea of how to solve this issue…" She began thinking, unaware Hiei had been doing the same, but she was caught off guard as a word cycled back through her mind. "Marriage?" She inquired. "You're getting married?" She asked the swordsman with an incredulous tone. Not that she wasn't happy for him, but…really? It was a bit difficult to take in.

+ "Ah…" Minori's cheeks flush with embarrassment as Hinoryasu brings up the last debacle she had been in. "That… was… unfortunate. It was my first look at any sort of real combat, I panicked a bit, is all." She frowns. "I would like another chance, however… even if I am not very good in combat, I have some talents with herbs and the like that may help." She looks to the others, Hiei, when he mentions not having seen them in a while, and gives him a smile, and then a nod towards Iminari. When Amani seems surprised about the fact that Hiei seems to be getting married, she turns and raises an eyebrow at the man, questioningly.

After about 10 minutes of rain, it trickles off until streamers of sunshine begin to cut through the clouds until there is hardly a trace of ever having rained. The target area is actually a picture-esque thick old wood forest, the towering trees creak over heard gently in the breeze, the road is barely large enough for a cart and has been ruts from weighted loads, in fact barrelling down the trail comes a lumber laden cart drawn by half a dozen, huge workhorses which stand like titans of muscle as they stride past, the driver rudely shouts "Get out of the Way! Idiots!" before the wind from the cart rushes past, apparently it had fell behind the heavy hooves as they punish the path.
Not long later, the group arrives at the lumber-yard, a large wood and stone building.. the problem is almost immediately apparent, the river barely reaches the water-wheel and the water if chock full of river grass, and debris, it actually looks more like a poorly maintained garden than a river. "Finally! I sent the request weeks ago, what took you lazy shinobi so long?" a voice says as a large man comes out of the lumber mill. "Look I won't mince words, those little rudders need to die, Look what they have done to us! I got kids to feed and my wife.." then he sees that the group is most Kunoichi and clears his throat "is a wonderful woman who I cannot see enough of.. because of this.. please fix it.. about 10 minutes up the river is where the spirits are.. kill the little whiskers." he snarls and goes back into the shed with nothing more to say.

Hiei fills Amani in during the run to their destination. "Yeah…well, technically I asked her, and technically, she said yes. But she wants me to do it again the 'proper' way." He shrugs. "I don't know what is considered proper. My parents sparred and after Mother beat up Father, he asked her and she said yes. I figured that's how it's supposed to be done, you know?" He glances over at Amani. "And I just bought a new house over in the village, so yeah, extra ryo I won't complain about." As to who he's marrying, Amani should know the answer to that one already. Once they arrive and the man begins a heated discussion, Hiei holds up a hand. "We've been dealing with some internal issues, but we're here now. We'll take care of it." He turns to Amani. "You're the nature expert. Any ideas what we're dealing with? The last time I came into contact with spirits it turned out to be genjutsu." He pauses. "I really hate genjutsu."

Imi giggles lightly as Amani interacts with Hiei but, her attention was more so on Minori, curious on what she was redeeming for and when explained Iminari's expression lights up. "Ah that makes sense now, here I was thinking it was because we were naked…" It's obvious Iminari had no clue she was thinking out loud.
Adventure! When the time comes Iminari hops out of the way of the oncoming cart with a sigh. "You'd think the animals would avoid the area instead of invade with all that commotion…" One rude man down only to be followed up by another once they reached the place. "Mmmhmm. Spirits…" She closes her eyes and focuses for a moment, "Strange. There's… nothing around at all. Is there a specific time these attacks happen? These spirits may just be a gathering of people trying to drive them out for some reason or the other."

Rain and more rain then…sunshine! The weather in the Land of Lightning is odd at best. Rain that goes /up/ the mountain and clouds that disperse quicker than a hapless idiot in Fuuma Alley. But there are more pleasant things to think about, like weddings. "You have a strange way of viewing marriage, but I can see why. To be honest, the way you described it sounded like it could fit for you and Misaki, but her saying the 'proper' way changes my viewpoint of her and get behavior…sort of. I didn't think either of you were capable of being gentle." She paused. "Is that being too honest?" She shrugged. "Whatever the case, I'm happy for you both. There's much that needs to be done to see this marriage through," she smiled. The trip was over already? Huh. The discussion with the lumberjack went over well enough. "So, he wants to kill the animals and possibly his wife. That cover up was awful…" She remarked having picked up on the subtleties in his voice. "Oh well. He mentioned spirits which is…not what I was expecting. Fauna? Yes, but their dearly departed afterlives, not so much. In the case of spirits, one thing that have to be is pleased. The only way to please is to somehow make up for issues or get rid of whatever is causing the problem."

+ A dangerous coach driver, obviously in a hurry to get his goods to where they needed to be right away, and a rather callous, yet tactfully so, man who is angry about the lack of productivity… it was making for a good start to the mission they had embarked upon. Minori had elected to remain relatively quiet thusfar. Her previous performance on her first mission in many years had made her a bit nervous about this one as well, especially with the mention of spirits, killing, and genjutsu. It meant only one thing: Danger.
There were many things that Minori could handle, but when it came to being in danger, she was not the bravest of people. Well, honestly, nothing to do with bravery, but more about self-preservation. She was very important for other things, sacrificing herself needlessly to some accidental misshap during a mission was not what she needed.
"So… uhmm…" Minori finally begins, looking to the others as they all sort of seemed to come to some conclusion about what they needed to do for the lumber harvester. "What is our plan?"

~Boing, boing~ it seems so far the objective is always just over the next hill or the down the road.. Soon you will have to climb to the tallest tower to get the key to unlock the door you found in the first 5 minutes.. anyways where was I.. river right..; A young face peeks out, a young boy about 10 or 11 "Sorry about the foreman, he.. is under a lot of pressure. Attacks? they don't really attack, the river spirits have just refuses to let the river flow freely. If you will excuse me, we have to go back to manually sawing the logs without the river we have to do it by hand." and he goes back inside as well, there is the sound of audible cursing coming from inside from a familiar voice.
As you follow the river upstream, you come across the problem, well problems.. A settlement; well an encampment really, which several tents have sprung up, the river is partially dammed and a large fishing net covers from bank to bank, on the other side of the partial dam the chitter of otters escape its sounds like there may be several if several were a dozen.
A gentle curl of purple blue escapes from the center of camp and the smell of smoke and meat reveal that it would be a cooking fire in the middle of cooking. The tents themselves are nothing remarkable really; simple, thick, cheap fabric, something you'd expect from a temporary structure. A Large cart is parked within view, it looks to have seen better days, but it could still roll… however the horses which pulled it don't seem to be anywhere nearby or at least within view. The circle of tents obscure quite a bit of the interior of the camp and as you are looking from the outside, all you can see is.. tents.. lots of tents. Wait.. what was that.. something rustles in the bushes nearby it sounds mean and big.. the rustling continues, there is a pause before leaping out of the bushes is a squirrel in all it's vicious menacing glory.. it looks up at the group and scurries up a nearby tree, and chirps flicking its tail before retreating back up the tree. Crisis averted!

As you follow the river upstream, you come across the problem, well problems.. A settlement; well an encampment really, which several tents have sprung up, the river is partially dammed and a large fishing net covers from bank to bank, on the other side of the partial dam the chitter of otters escape its sounds like there may be several if several were a dozen.
A gentle curl of purple blue escapes from the center of camp and the smell of smoke and meat reveal that it would be a cooking fire in the middle of cooking. The tents themselves are nothing remarkable really; simple, thick, cheap fabric, something you'd expect from a temporary structure. A Large cart is parked within view, it looks to have seen better days, but it could still roll… however the horses which pulled it don't seem to be anywhere nearby or at least within view. The circle of tents obscure quite a bit of the interior of the camp and as you are looking from the outside, all you can see is.. tents.. lots of tents. Wait.. what was that.. something rustles in the bushes nearby it sounds mean and big.. the rustling continues, there is a pause before leaping out of the bushes is a squirrel in all it's vicious menacing glory.. it looks up at the group and scurries up a nearby tree, and chirps flicking its tail before retreating back up the tree. Crisis averted!

Hiei pffs towards Amani. "Just because I like to hurt people physically doesn't mean I can't be gentle. And Misaki has changed a lot, too. We're not kids anymore." Hiei states plainly before listening to the kid long enough to get a direction that they need to move in. Upon arriving, he looks at the tents, the nets, and the otters. Hiei frowns. "River spirits. Right. We just need to tell these people to scram and then it's problem solved."

Enter random kid who happened to overhear everything, relieving the feeling of Iminari just standing around asking dumb questions. "Thank you!" Bowing and all that, much too relieved to have gotten that information.
"Eh…" She looks out over the encampment. "I hope it'll be that easy. It-" The rustling grabs her attention, she'd squint. Someone with the ability to mask their chakra?! A kunai is drawn and she takes a defensive stance, prepared for a surprise attack. "Look… out?" She sighs as the squirrel hops on out, minding its own business. "Anyway, as I was saying. It seems like we might be potentially dealing with ninja over there. There chakra levels are high for the average person. Maybe a kinder approach to start?" Iminari suggests, though she sure as heck isn't going to be the first to move in.

So, the spirits aren't /really/ angry. Hmm. Whatever. More on those details later. Down the river and in a small encampment, there appears to be activity taking place. Speaking of activity, what's that sound? Amani activated her Nejigan to figure out what it was only to see it was a squirrel. Well…now that she has it on, she supposes she can keep it on for the time being. "The food smells good…" She states. "Perhaps we should take a look around the camp. Some of us can look into the camp and others can look into the river. Any volunteers? I'd like to look into the river since I appear to be the nature expert. Anyone else?" She points out across the group to anyone. "Oh, and thanks for clarifying, Hiei because, well, you know. Yotsuki and all," she smirked.

+ So, the spirits may, in fact, be real. They may also be quite upset, but if what the kid says is true, they might not be all that hostile. This conglomeration of tents /was/ displeasing them, and they needed to be dealt with, as Hiei states so bluntly. "Unfortunately, telling people tp up and move will be rather difficult. Most people don't take too kindly to such things."
So… Iminari believed there may be other shinobi? Well, that wasn't good. That meant things could get bad, especially if the people down below were not too thrilled with the idea of relocating, and would be willing to put up a fight for whatever reason. Again, Minori was a bit nervous. Best tread carefully.
When Amani suggests they split up, Minori looks over to her. "I am quite an expert on plants and the like, so I suppose we could split us up. I could go look into the camp, see if anything is strange?"

Hiei smirks at Amani. "Keep messing with me, Yamayuki and I swear I'll hold you down forcibly and tickle you into submission." When Amani lays out the plan, he nods. "Alright then, Amani. You and Iminari check the river. I'll go with Minori to check out the camp, just in case someone left a surprise or something. You guys be careful." He moves to stand next to Minori, so that he can leave with her when she goes to check out the camp itself. He shrugs, "Unfortunately, you're right. People generally don't want to move once they've entrenched themselves in somewhere. But I'm confident your negotiation skills can make a difference. Right?"

"Sounds ferocious." Iminari idly comments towards Hiei's tickling comment, "Save that for the spirits… as for splitting up." Iminari didn't see much of a fault in it. "Maybe we can find something that will actually convince them to move or at least make something up." Amani would get a nod from Iminari before she takes off towards the river.
Soon they find… otters! "That's what all that noise was, hrmmm…" Iminari didn't know enough about wildlife but, looked to Amani. "Would you say they look annoyed?" Imi takes a moment, "Eh, is this the type of otter that builds dams? If so, maybe this camp is pushing them down the stream with over fishing…" Iminari looks down the river, "Seeing as river clogging seems to be the only attempt of sabotage, animals attempting to build new homes seems more viable than an attack…."

"Tickle me into submission? You sure you can handle that? What if I engage in flatulence?" Yay, science! Not that Amani would, but there seems to be a correlation between the two. "Alright, it's settled. We'll report our findings back here," she states as she nods to Iminari. "I had my reservations during the discussion we had with the foreman, but it's likely activity here is upsetting the balance around these parts. The problem is these kinds of activities are not likely to stop. I don't know if there's any alternative to all this logging, but there might be one," she considered. "When it was mentioned that animals were attacking, I found that odd. Animals typically flee, especially in the face of people. Constructing this dam might be along the lines you've described."

+ The split-up is a go, and soon Minori is off with Hiei. She had spent a bit of time with him before, but knew little of him. Hopefully he'd keep her safe. "Negotions can be perfect, can be done to the letter, and could be the most persuasive ever, and yet they will never overcome desperation. We'll need to find out why these people are really here before we can negotiate anything with them."

Ha! Our party decides to split into two functional groups, huzzah effectiveness! Meanwhile! in the river of dooom! ergh. There is indeed many otters who seem to be chittering even more now that they have an audience as they dart back and forth in the river leaning over the partial dam looking into the net with some trepidation before chittering and wigging out. The dam itself seems more man-made to focus the overflow into the net, a very effective method as the net is full of fish and the river is decidedly not.
We find our heroic shinobi, entering into the fortress of cheaply made tents.. Sitting around the fire, are several large men.. really large with biceps the size of boulders, mountains of manly flesh which connect to equally manly men in manly repose. "Today's job was easier than yesterdays.." one says chugging from a mug as he bites into a bit of charred meat, "Tell me about it, they all just fell over like it wasn't even a challenge.." says another who is sitting on a fur mat also enjoying a freshly cooked hunk of meat. The other two seem quiet just eating as they all sit around the fire.. before a larger gentlemen comes out from a tent "Good job today men!" he growls before joining them for lunch around the fire.

Hiei sighs as Minori goes into her lecture about how good negotiation works when the subject is receptive. "Well, you can ask them what's going on, and if they would mind moving. If that doesn't work, then I'll try a more stronger tactic." Stepping up to the fringes of the camp, Hiei sees the large men sitting around the cooking fire. For a moment, because of their size, he thought they may have been family. But from listening to the conversation he ahs with understanding. "Lumberjacks. I think." He asides to Minori.

"Well, if we can't move either of the human companies. We could potentially relocate the otters to somewhere similar." Iminari wasn't sure how much the otters or those pro-nature would like that. "Poor guys." She gives the otters a sympathetic look. "Hey… I've got a bad feeling about that whole camp, maybe you should go back to them. I'd probably be better off in the back to cover some sort of escape if need be." That would be Iminari's full intent to stay back and observe, that was until some strange chakra noise is picked up. Why not investigate!

It's time to talk…with sound! Surely, the otters can be communicated with in this fashion. Nah. "Relocation would screw with these otters. I really don't think we should move them…" She sighed. "Maybe we should head back to the camp. But first…" She retrieved a kunai and cut a hole into the net to let some fish out. Otters gotta eat. "Alright, let's head back. What's this bad feeling you're talking about?" Best to focus now and prepare for the worst. Feelings like those need be needed.

+ Minori sighs at Hiei's revelation that she would have to do all the work here. A glance over to the lumberjacks and she is off, moving over to their circle, stepping up to them and looking around a bit. "If you don't mind me asking, what exactly fell over like it wasn't a challenge?" She tips her head to the side. "The trees? Or something else?" She gives a dismissive wave of her hand. "You see, I am from the Tenjin clan, doing an analytical survey of the area's lumber-production capabilities. Trees that are weak may yield poor lumber, and we cannot have the in circulation or the liabilities will be…" She gives them harsh looks and raises a hand with a pair of glasses that she plucked from the inside of her garments, and then places them on her face, pushing them into place with two fingers, before finishing the dramatic pause. "Endless…" Perhaps her bluff would be sufficient to get a little information.

There is sudden hush as all the eyes turn on the two interlopers.. "Yep.. Dem Treez fall real gud" one of the ones who had been quiet and it was no surprise why. "Look, we already told those guys down the river, we are independent contractors, and they should stop bothering us.." the big guy from the tent says before one of them offers "you want some baby otter, its the tender-est meat, they fall into the fish nets.. it was a real shame to let em go to waste" they say holding up the delicious smelling meat which they had been eating one.. "Now what did you say something about hugging trees and loving wood?" he larger guy says with a sneer and they all burst in roaring laughter.

Hiei stands to the side and just behind Minori as she talks to the lumberjacks. When they hold up the meat, even after Hiei hears what it is, a sound comes from his stomach. Man, he was hungry. He takes the time to move his ponytail from his shoulder so that it hangs down his back between his shoulder blades. Hiei crosses his arms over his chest, but this was Minori's show. Should she fail, then the situation would fall into his category. He smirks a little at the comment about hugging trees and loving wood. If he wasn't on a mission, he would probably hang out with these guys.

Amani heard the laugher as she approached, though it felt like she was right there when it happened. These guys killed baby otters? No wonder there was distress. The nets were holding young and disrupting food supply. She was probably going to pull a Hiei after hearing about baby otter meat, but she held herself together. "Independently contracted or not. This area is conducted within the jurisdiction of the contractors up river. Your services around here are disputing workflow and causing issues. I'm in agreement with my friend here. The problems that could be caused may be endless."

+ "Ah, yes.. I do love wood. Good wood. Hard wood. Wood that doesn't break when it is in use. Wood that is of sublime condition and texture, pattern, and color!" She waves a hand. "I'm just kidding. I'm just here for a paycheck, as I imagine you are." She smirks at them all and waves off the otter meat. Minori then looks to Amani who had decided to interrupt. ~Curses… she just had to show up…~ She shakes her head, then turns back to the lumberjacks, hoping that Amani hadn't upset them too much with her statements. "I would be pleased if you took me to whatever lumber you have felled, particularly this 'easy to cut' stuff that you speak of. If it what I think it is, no one will be getting paid any time soon…" She shakes her head and then pushes the glasses back up again. ~Why am I even wearing these…?~

The hearty chuckle continues as she tells them about how she loves wood, "Sur, just you.. or yer friends coming too?" one of them says as they all stand up; now that more shinobi had arrived. "We already told them! They don't own this patch of dirt! We do!" one of them snarls at Amani before looking at the quiet yotsuki "does your eunuch talk?" the largest of the burly men asks Minori before looking around and saying "Follow us then.." he says.

Hiei glances over in Amani's direction when she shows up and lays down the law. When they ask if he speaks, Hiei looks pointedly at the person who asks and yawns, as if he was bored with the entire exchange. However, when they offer to take them to this easily felled wood, Hiei has no choice but to follow along. For the moment, he'd let Amani and Minori take the lead on the investigating part. These guys were rude and unruly. Hiei found that he didn't like them as much as he initially intended.

Amani did have an issue with patience that needed to be checked out, but that's the life of a medic. Everything must be immediate! There is no time for banter. Do or the patient dies! "Cool it. Whatever you own…" I don't care, is what she wanted to say. "I'm a medic, so, it's hard for me not to expect immediate results to what I say. Life doesn't wait in the operation room, after all." She looked towards Hiei as he was called a eunuch. This mission might just get a bit tougher…Or not. Darn. She wanted a reason to attack. See what it's like to be a true eunuch after taking a chakra scalpel to the—"So, where are we headed?"

+ Minori glances back at Amani with a harsh look. "You're a medic… so, you should let those of us who understand these things take care of it, while we let you cut people up and sew them back together later." She sniffs and turns back to the lumberjacks. ~Sorry… I don't know your name, but Ill still have to apologise later…~ "He is mostly for carrying things, if necessary, but he has other functions as well. Let us hope we do not need any of them." She grins at the lumberjacks. "Lead on. I am interested in seeing what has happened to the forest here."

There is a collective sigh from the group, as the constant questions from in and out, "The forest" was the answer to where are we going.. "A Lively bunch of youngens aren't ya" the biggest say as Amani and Minori give sassy banter.. When they arrive there is a burnt out cart, the skeletons of the charred horses and driver still attached. "About right here was where it happened.." one of them says as they draw perhaps appropriately large axes as begin taking swings at the 'young' shinobi! But fear not, the a squirrel nearby saw the whole thing and would likely do the right thing.

Hiei followed along behind Amani and Minori. When the lumberjerks finally turn on them, Hiei was actually surprised. He didn't think they'd do it so soon. He shakes his head while listening to Amani and Minori go back and forth, but he draws his katana to block the axes. On the first one, he manages to only slow it down enough so that it doesn't hurt as bad when it slams into the edge of his shoulder. It's a flesh wound and Hiei ignores the pain as the adrenaline rush takes over and his body reacts without him having to think too much about it. It was the way he was wired. The second attack, Hiei manages to block completely before he takes a two-handed grip on his sword and swings twice, once in a downwards arc and then back the opposite direction. "Minori, you may want to back away. I hear you're not much of a combatant. Might want to let Amani and me take care of this."

Amani cut her eyes at Minori like she was about to deliver a backhand like she stole some money. Okay, okay. She's a medic. Medics do medic things. Things that Minori described. Things that could be done to /her/, but that's something for another time. She ducked and slipped out of the way of the axe attacks before rising up and giving a one two punch towards the ones that struck out at her.

+ "Well… that explains that…" Minori states as they approach the wagon. Unfortunate that those poor souls had met that end. But, so was life in this day and age. She looks to the others just as the lumberjacks attempt to fell them like the trees they supposedly cut down. Hiei's warning is useless, as well, especially once Minori is apprehended. "Well, this is certainly unfortunate." She may seem a bit more confident and calm than usual when in such situations… Strangely so.

The two burly men brandish axes attempt to move out of the way as the yotsuki swings, one of the slashes swinging wide the other well finds it mark grazing across the chest of the bandit, he growls "That all you got, little bee?" he taunts before they both bring their axes in a flurry of blows not very coordinated in fact they aren't particularly skilled but they are dangerous as each swing has more force behind it than normal coupled with their weapon of choice.
The two fighting Amani fair about the same, one leaps out of the way of her sonic assault with the other one being no lucky and on the end of a teeth chatting sonic pummeling.. He rubs his jaw "They's got dem a cicada too" before they too unleash a flurry of blows,
Meanwhile Minori is being held at the end of an axe blade, "Tell your friends to stop, or else!" he says to who he thinks is their team lead.

Hiei attempts to block the incoming axe with his weapon, but once again he only succeeds in slowing it down before it impacts him. Hiei hisses and then simply dodges using his footwork as he dances from side to side to avoid the axe strikes. He would love nothing more than to check on Minori's progress, but he was kind of busy at the moment. Performing a string of handseals a light blue aura infused with lightning of the same color surrounds his body. "Release: Lightning Aura!" He flicks his wrist as the blade of his katana glows a bright blue before striking out with incredible speed. Hiei hops back a few feet, blood oozing down his left shoulder and the left part of his chest. "Stop this before we're forced to kill you." He slides his gaze over to where Minori is held. "Let her go, and just leave. Otherwise, I won't be held responsible for what comes next."

Amani shot sound from her fists and feet as she blocked the attacks against her with ease. She quickly focused to gather up more chakra for the task of attacking and retaliated with a couple claps aimed at her attackers. Minori, being at the end of an axe blade caught her attention and she considered further actions that could possibly get her out of that bind. Hiei had a point with his warning, but she was out to attack. These guys have pushed things too far.

+ "What? You think they'd listen to me? Your buddies are trying to kill them… I think anything /I/ say is going to be pretty useless…" Minori tips her head to the side and peers back at her captor. "Just so you know, though, if you kill me, he'll kill you, I imagine, since there will be nothing stopping him." She then glances back at Hiei. "But it sounds like he'll only badly beat you if you let me go, so, lesser of two evils, right?"

Hiei's sword glowing with power just ruthlessly rends flesh, fabric and anything in its path. The burly bandits yell out in pain as the start to get pretty pumped as they start to swing their axes with reckless abandon "WE WILL CUT SO BAD, YOU WISH WE NO CUT YOU SO BAD!" one of them eloquently puts it as they swing their axes at Hiei.
Meanwhile Amani's hits sail right through their attempts to defend as if they were standing still and they writhe in agony and chant in undulating tongues before trying to mow her down with each swing they almost throw themselves off their own footing.
Minori on the other hand "Shaddup, I'm going to cut out your tongue.. you talk too much!" he whines trying to slap his hostage with the flat of his axe.

For Hiei, it felt like his opponents were moving in slow motion. This was one of the advantages of being trained exclusively by a Reizei. He easily dodges the attacks from the bandits. He had decided that he wouldn't allow them to touch him anymore. He had sustained two injuries already from being careless and cocky. It was time to get down to business. He had given them the warning and they ignored it. He leaps backwards again to get some separation and performs a single hand seal. A bolt of crimson lightning descends from the sky and strikes the ground with an accompanying sound of thunder. To the naked eye, it looks as if both Hiei and Minori teleported away. In reality, Hiei moved at high speed, using the lightning and the thunder as a distraction as he plucks Minori from the arms of the bandit leader and descends into the sky to crouch upon a branch of a nearby tree in a crouch. He gently places the woman on the tree branch next to him. He states to her in a cold voice. "Stay here. This won't take long." He drops back to the ground. "Amani. Let's get this over with." His voice is cold and detached, much like it was way back when they had to battle the Yakuza in Hiro's old apartment. Hiei had made the decision to kill.

Amani jumped back and took to using her bow. Besides, she didn't want to be anywhere in the vicinity of wild axe swinging. She landed on a tree and planted herself there firmly as one arrow was loaded, pulled back and fired with precision at the heart of her foe. She'd leap away and find another tree to stick to with another arrow loaded and fired. She thinks this one was fired a bit clumsily, but should still be effective.

+ Minori is about to drop a retort on the thug that was holding her when she was suddenly re-apprehended by Hiei and transplanted to a nearby tree, where she is promptly abandoned. "Well.." She dusts herself off. "I'm going to go explore the area and see what is going on… you two… do your thing." Minori hops down from the branch and lands with a flourish, before walking off.

The two axe wielding manics keep missing their speedy target and they can't even catch him when he goes all teleporty and saves the girl.. When he hits back on the ground, the two look at each other and decide to do something that one should never do.. they hurl their axes at him in a last ditch effort to impale him, and in their minds finish off the puny weakling. "UNF!" they growl.
The two engaged in battle with Amani keep finding a wall of sound deflecting their strikes and they growl charging at her when she leaps backward one of them actually manages to slap one of the arrows out of the air in a momentary feat of lucky skill, the other not to be outdone tries the same and succeeds in allowing his forehead to be the host of a very sharp metal point "she.. loved.. wood.. heh..heh" he mutters before falling to his knees and falling over dead.
The leader now free of his hostage can do what he does best, and pulls out a bow of his own, and begins to hurl chunks of sharpened wood at Amani with decent skill.

Hiei stands up straight and reaches back to draw his second sword. When they hurl their axes at him, it looks like it simply goes straight through him. Hiei had waited until the last possible second to dodge and it was so fast that he left an after-image in his wake. By the time they focus on him again, he's already moving towards them both at high speed.

He has a bow too? This just got interesting. Amani placed up a barrier between herself and those wood projectiles, but one found its way through and pierced her. It carried her back until she hit a tree and fell down only to prevent another from doing the same as the first. She was more successful this time and made certain that she'd kill this guy. Though, she can't do that with the pain she's in, at the moment. Both of her shots were off center. She supposes she should've waited before trying, but she's eager to take him down.

It isn't even fair what Hiei does to the two weaponless bandits as he in a blink of an eye slashes right them so much so, they manage to turn around and charge at him with their fists before falling over.. they hadn't even noticed they were already dead.
The boss of the bandits on the other hand was actually a pretty talented woodsmen, as her arrows come barrelling down the pipe at him, he quick draws and fire two in return one of which splits her arrow in half rending it into shards of splinter in mid-air "Your messing with a real man now girlie girl.." he boasts having forgot that two arrows were coming and it slams right into his leg with sudden and sickening thud.. He looks down then back up "Ow.." he says before quick drawing a volley of arrows which he rains down on the entire area like a madman.

When the arrows come raining down, Hiei goes into a series of acrobatic movements as he flips around to avoid the arrow storm. He goes into a horizontal corkscrew flip before landing with his feet in a wide stance. With growl, he rushes the bandit boss, attacking him with both swords in a flurry of strikes. If nothing else, he could provide Amani with a distraction long enough for her to put him away.

Someone who uses wood as the source of his bow is not to be taken lightly. The idea that he can fire off on rapid succession is envious to Amani and she suffers for it as an arrow comes down on her and embeds itself into her body, despite attempts at defending. In an effort to keep herself from further harm, she fires off another boom ahead of her and follows it as if it were a moving shield to make her nice. She was hurt, bleeding and angry. He says she's facing a man, but she's no little girl and she affirms this fact as she summons chakra to her hand and drives her attack home against him. She ensured that her thrust was strong enough to get to the deepest tissues within his body as her hand disappeared into his form.

The bandit boss was a battle seasoned vagrant, he was skilful but he lacked the finer training that could turn someone of his calibre into a shinobi killing machine, Hiei's eloquent dance of steel tears flesh from muscle, and muscle from bone.. The bandit leader attempts to back peddle he needed to escape these little pests were not the tiny insects he thought, they were more like wild savage animals that smelled blood, and had a wish to see his end in the worst way possible. "Let's get out of here.." he says to the other bandit who Amani had been fighting, he honestly having seen his twin brother impaled in the forehead by an arrow, had lost the will to fight. He had been quietly mourning over the corpse and nods picking it up and scurrying into the woods like a fearful rabbit. The leader on the other hand, he was not so lucky at all, as he attempts to leave he is rebuffed by a barrier of thunderous sound, retreat was not in the cards for him. There is a slow pause as he takes in a deep breath watching as the glowing hand of the raging yamayuki comes from behind the yotsuki and burying itself deep in his chest.. there is a sudden cold shiver that shoots up his spine as he looks down as he falls to his knees "You'll.. pay.. for.. that.." defiant to the end, perhaps that is why he made it to the top in a profession where weakness is devoured… The party having now expunged the rebel element from the area were free to act as they saw fit again without the threat of immediate harm or dismembering! yay~

Hiei flicks his swords to get rid of the blood before quickly sheathing them. He places an arm around Amani's shoulders, seeing that she's injured. "Are you okay? Listen, we still need to unblock the river. I'll get Iminari and we'll take care of it. Take this time to heal your wounds and then join us. I don't think these guys will come back any time soon, but if they do, yell for me. I'll be back here in seconds." With a sigh, the aura around his body disappears and his shoulders droop. His chakra reserves were running on fumes. He grabs a piece of the baby otter meat once he makes it back to the camp site. He needed the energy. Moving towards the dam, he walks out on the water and closes his hand into a fist as it crackles with lightning. "Lightning Shotgun!" He aims his hand at the dam before a blast of lightning shoots out of his palm. "I hope that does it." Hiei had injuries himself, but they were minor. His shoulder and chest were bleeding, but he was still running high from the fight, though it's possible he'd start to feel it once they began the journey back home.

Amani winced at the arm placed around her shoulder. She knows it wasn't intentional, but the gesture agitated the wounds she sustained from the arrows she took. "I'm alright, just gotta get these removed and all else taken care of," she states. "Thanks, though. I'll help with clearing up the river in a few moments…" She watched Hiei go off and tended to her injuries shortly after. Cleaning the areas up, she carried out healing by closing up the wounds. They were pretty painful… She's glad she became a medic. That's one thing she can say went well recognized by her. She knew she had it in her, but her performance today has left a bitter taste in her mouth. She staggers off towards the dam where she sent in some sound jutsu to shake up any material that may have still been jammed. She was a bit disappointed in Hiei for trying the otter meat, but lets it slide.

When Hiei returns to the camp and then to the river, his lightning shotgun was just enough to unleash the force of the water behind the man-made dam and the water washes over the shredded net, the otters bark happily and surf in the leading wave of water which surges down the bank, in a few minutes the waterwheel was going to be back in service and the blade will be able to saw wood with the power of water instead of angry cursing elbow greasers. Amani's assist breaks up any remaining remnants of the dam and the net is easily removed to prevent any further ecological harm.
A quick scouring of the camp, reveals they were indeed bandits as several caches of ill gotten loot could be found, various weapons and tools of the trade. Along with a generous helping of otter meat, roasted, smoked, and even dried.. along with river fish in the same manner. Unlike the stolen goods, this was free to take.

The river is finally clear and Amani couldn't be any more happier, but now, it's time to head out. She thought to go back to the camp to look it over and found it had loot within. She wasn't sure who all the loot belonged to and there was temptation to take it, but she thought to return this stuff to the village up river and see if there was anyone there that had belongings stolen. Besides, she was going to get paid for this work, anyway.

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