The merchant was rather a skittish type. His hands were always rubbing, like a hamster that was worried someone was going to take his sunflower seeds. Shizuka didn't blame him, he had a rather expensive cargo with him. A horse-drawn caravan filled to the brim with chakra infused wood. These were special kinds of materials. Fed chakra from the moment they were planted, all through their sapling years and taken care of till they were tall and thick enough to be chopped down. The beauty of this kind of wood was, that they responded well to Chakra. The grains in the wood optimal for the flow of energy. Shinobi made various weapons and tools from it. Some expert carpenters made entire buildings out of these precious woods. It made it easier for the Shinobi to channel their unique chakra through, allowing for a more refined and untainted shape.
The merchant had two guards of his own. One sat in the back of the caravan while the other road on the caravan itself. The merchant was seated next to the driver his eyes always darting back and forth. Even the shadow of a bird high up in the air would startle him. Shizuka was in the front, leading the way back to the village of the sun. Kokoro would be right beside her on the Journey. Imino's concern for the merchant's good wasn't as important as her concern for the younger Shinobi. Losing a teammate was heavy on a shinobi but Imino felt like she was the squad leader for this mission. Losing a subordinate of sorts would sit ill with her.
Several hours would pass as they were well away from both borders of the Sun and Moon village. These were the times they were often attacked. Away from the patrols of both villages and outposts. The lawless bandits reigned as their own judicial force, taxing merchants for using their roads. Of course, bandits weren't the only danger. Wild animals and beasts corrupted by the old wars roamed these lands too. Strange, how the misfortune of the world employed shinobi like her. Shizuka's ears would wiggle a bit and casually she would ask her young friend.
"So, Sakura-chan, how do you fight?"
Word Count: 897 Post: 3/4