|[Sep. 18th, 2013|11:06 pm]|
“Kill ‘em dead before they raze your village to the ground,” Raidou said, wincing as Genma did something vengeful to his shoulderblade. “Unless they’ve got more’n one tail, in which case, hope the Hokage has a plan.”|
Kakashi’s shoulders stiffened.
Katsuko had been staring at Ryouma, but now her masked face turned slowly around to Raidou. Behind the shadowy eyeholes, he saw her give a slow blink.
“If that’s what we’re up against, we got off light, ” Genma said, breaking the silence. “These things had chakra, but it wasn’t anything like the Fox. Hound, how’s Rat’s shoulder?”
“Holding,” said Kakashi. “The bleeding’s slowing.”
“Keep pressure on it,” Genma instructed. “Rat, you feeling light-headed at all?”
“Functional,” Katsuko said, which could mean anything from perfectly fine to I’ve got at least one working limb left. “No dizziness or nausea. More worried about whether there’s bigger versions of those things.” She glared at the corpses, one oozing out, the other gently smoking from Genma’s fire jutsu. The slow-pattering rain hissed on the scorched flesh.
Raidou pushed himself carefully to his feet, ignoring Genma’s irritated sound, and grabbed his sword. He had to plant a foot on the scorpion-dog’s corpse to wrench the blade free. Yellowish-orange fluid trailed after it, metal-smelling. “We need to move clear. Ram, bury these bodies deep. Hound, get Rat up—” Katsuko was already shoving upright, but Kakashi’s hand on her elbow steadied her. “Tanuki, you can patch me when we’re not sitting right on a bullseye.”
“These aren’t shallow wounds. At least let me get a pressure dressing on your shoulder before you move around so much,” Genma said.
Raidou had to take his word for it. All he could feel was the dull, distant ache of something slightly wrong, and the warmth of seeping blood. “Bandage fast.”
Ryouma grunted, cracked his knuckles with a splinter-shot sound, and started an earth jutsu that siphoned moist dirt away from beneath the bodies. They sank slowly. With Kakashi’s help, Katsuko found the broken pieces of her kodachi and dropped them back into the sheath, plugging them in place with the remainder of the hilt. She looped a strand of wire around the hand-guard and tied it to the sheath, making a weapon that looked whole. Raidou hoped she’d be able to get the blade reforged.
“Okay,” said Genma, when he’d finished playing with Raidou’s shoulder. “Move carefully. And tell me if you feel dizzy.”
“Not my first scratch,” Raidou said, and lifted his voice. “Ram, you’re on perimeter guard. Hound—”
“I’m okay, taichou,” Katsuko interrupted. She’d taken over clamping gauze to her shoulder.
Kakashi shrugged. “Perimeter or scout?”
“Scout,” Raidou said, after a second’s debate. “Find out where the hell those things came from, and if there are others. Don’t get caught.”
The dry tilt of Kakashi’s mask suggested Raidou was being just a tiny bit stupid. He saluted and vanished.
“Does it annoy anyone else when he does that?” Raidou asked.
“I’d be lying if I said no,” said Genma dryly.
“I think it’s just a character flaw,” Katsuko said. “Like his sarcasm.”
“At least he saluted this time,” Ryouma pointed out. He pushed the edge of his mask up with the back of his wrist, snatching a few quick breaths of unmuffled air—he had to be strangling on the rot-scent dousing his hands; Raidou could smell it from here—then he ran through the seals again, filling his palms with chakra the color of old blood, and vanished into the trees.
In theory, Raidou knew that Ryouma could hold that jutsu at a low-level simmer for hours, primed like an exploding tag, but it still looked tiring.
“There’s a spot that way,” Genma said, nodding his head to the right, well away from where both trails led, and the directions the demon-dog-things had attacked them from. “Rat, stay close.”