“Are you quite certain that this route is safe, dear?”
“Oh, I don’t know, love. Nobody in town could say for sure. The best we can do is hope, I say.”
Three well-structured wooden wagons were being pulled by a single, beautiful, and strong horse, its inky black coat seeming to glitter even in the shadows cast by the large oak trees of the forest. In the wagons were hefty, ornate chests, obviously containing valuable items from the bountiful amount of chains and locks wrapped around them. They were further secured to the transportation with rope, in a way that muffled as much sound a possible, still making some scuffling and groaning noises here and there. The horse seemed to start making uncomfortable noises.
The couple, themselves, were out in the front of the first wagon, holding the reins to the horse, wearing concealing, dusty cloaks in an attempt to look like poor travelers. They didn’t bother to think about how ornate their wagons were.
A plump, middle-aged man poked his head through the curtains leading into the interior. “Pst! How much longer are we going to have to hide, old man?” His forehead was littered with beads of sweat, all the way to his majorly receding hairline.
“Mind your manners, Hagglesworth. You must respect the elderly,” the woman scolded, keeping her voice low. “We shall be out of the forest in a short time, so you and your associates needn’t worry.”
“Indeed,” said the old man, absentmindedly. “And if we make way as soundly as possible, we’ll not be disturbed by the bandits.”
“Ye thenk, ye auld neap?” The three of the group, turned to the left, all gasping after seeing a giant man crouching and hunching over. The horse reared back out of fright, whinnying. Knives flew from the trees, cutting the horse free from its reins, and it galloped fearfully away from the scene. The passengers could do nothing but watch as it ran away, the bandits coming out of the shadows, including the giant.
As the thieves surrounded the caravan, a girl leapt from the top of the trees, landing soundly on the dirt road in front of her group. She looked over to the giant and smiled. “Good work, Ackerak.” She then turned to all the other bandits and nodded. In response, they further approached the wagons, ignoring the old man’s pleas to spare them. The first wagon was quivering from the passengers’ quaking bodies.
One of the goons went up to the man with a big stick. “Make yerself useful and shaddup, will ya’!” He struck the old man with said stick and knocked him off the wagon. However, before hitting the ground, he vanished, dumbfounding the bandits.
“Holy craep!” exclaimed the attacker, inspecting the ground where the old man should have fallen to. “Ya’ think I hit ‘em too hard, Aria?”
The girl shook her head, looking around. “Um, I doubt that would happen if you did.”
“Pretty much. It’d be awesome if that did happen, though!” said a jolly voice from above. The bandits looked up at the tree branches, but nothing was up there.
“Ah!” screamed one of the random goons, pointing at the one who attacked the man. “In front of you!”
The aforementioned robber turned, having been looking at the one guy that screamed. Somehow, without a sound or any sign of movement, a figure was squatting on the wagon in front of him staring down, intensely, smiling. The two people stared at one another for a few moments, and then the new-comer swiftly back-handed the goon, knocking him to the ground. His cloak seemed to have barely moved in the process, as did even his arm.
“Bad person!” yelled the new guy, suddenly angry, as if he were scolding a dog, “Only the elderly can hit the elderly! Or little kids!”
Many of the other bandits threw throwing knives in retaliation, but the mysterious person dodged them by many feet, even grabbing the old woman; the people inside the wagon squealed in fear as the knives flew in. He quickly set her behind a tree, avoiding more projectile weapons, and jumped onto the middle wagon, at rest. His wavy, brown hair seemed barely scuffled.
Ackerak shouted at the young man. “Haey, ya bas! Who de ye thenk ye are!? Do ye knowgh who yer getting’ in a rammy with?! ”
“Nope,” the new-comer replied happily. His eyes could be seen even in the darkness of the forest; their blue was shining with an absurd amount of glee. “Although, if you wouldn’t mind telling me, I’m looking for this girl call the ‘Bandit Queen’. I’m supposed to bring her in dead or alive. Y’all haven’t seen her around, have ya?”
Everybody just stared at him in silence.
“… I’m the Bandit Queen.” Aria said bluntly, irritated by his stupidity. She started stepping up to him, drawing two three-foot long swords, glaring deeply into his eyes.
The guy jumped into a patch of light near the middle of the group. He looked extremely confused; tilting his head to what may as well have been 90 degrees. “Impossible. The girl in the wanted poster looked evil and ugly. You’re not evil and cute.”
“… Artist’s interpretation.”
Setting his head back to a normal angle, looking happy again, the guy said, “Well, this this’ll make me job much easier. Let’s fight.”
“Oh, where ye thenk yer go’n, ye hoachin goon?” The giant picked up a bandit that was sneaking off with his massive hands, holding him in front of his indignant face.
“Let me go!” he yelled, squirming around, trying to free himself. “Don’t you all know who that is? That’s the Insanity Incarnate, Fujitsu Kamouguchi, that one famous bounty hunter! He’ll kill us all!”
The bandits turned to the bounty hunter at once (sans the ones that didn’t recognize the name), shocked, and some afraid. Even Fujitsu became surprised, upon hearing that he was famous. The only people left unfazed were Ackerak and Aria.
Fujitsu became very jittery, jumping up and down. “Oh, my gods, I’m famous? Um… um um, umumum… any of you want me autograph?”
Everybody just stared at his unexpected stupidity.