Black sandal-clad feet raced across forests floor disturbing what green leaves had fallen from the trees above. Even before they could settle, many other patters jostled them back up as a horde of bandits followed in quick pursuit. A young boy, hair as black as the sandals on his feet with a mixture of green and brown caught up somewhere between the two extremities, had on his tail a score of ruffians, kept far enough off by his pace to avoid danger, but not detection.
With all the agility of a ninja, he quickly jumped up and bounced himself off tree bark, putting palms against a branch before flipping himself to the other side of the wooden limb, just as a score of four arrows shot from a crossbow consecutively embedded themselves into the bark behind him. Landing with a sneer, the lad with eyes cloaked in sunglasses taunted. "You'll have to be better than that." He took off against just as a katana swept across where his crouched head had been to become stuck in a tree.
In all there were about five of them behind him, a sporting challenge, though not one greater than a shinobi would dare face. However, instead of turning to fight, he continued deeper into the forests that trailed up one of the many mountaintops in the Land of Lightning. As his strides continued, the count of the bandits also went up as a burly man wielding broadsword flanked him from the left, jumping out of the brush with a straight-down slash that would have sliced Edo in two had he not stopped immediately before it. As the swords tip dug into ground, Edo jumped over the backside of the blade like it was a pommel horse. With two quick slugs to the man's jaw, the brute's grip on the blade loosened before a jumping back kick sent him stumbling back. Quickly, the young weapons master dislodge the blade and used it to fend off the counter flank from the right. Had these bandits had better timing, he may have actually gotten somewhere with the maneuver, but even the best strategies are worthless to those that couldn't execute them. As the bandit rushing form the right ran in, Edo spun with the blade into a horizontal chop that embedded the hefty broadsword into the trunk of a tree. Cocky, the bandit that had avoided the sweep by jumping spoke as he landed on the portion of the metal sticking out of the tree. "Too slo--" Before he could finish, however, Edo had shut his jaw with a upwards sidekick that took advantage of the man's dropped guard.
The victory, if it could be seen as such, was short lived. Taking foot again, the five original bandits had caught up and were again on his trail, now to be joined by the other two that had not been injured, but merely stunned. Any sensible person would have at least plucked the two off to ensure they did not add to the condition of already being outnumbered, but it was pointless to argue that point now.
As he continued into the forest he passed a tree marked with an "X" slashed into it, though gave little mind to the marking. They weren't all that unique, especially since several other trunks shared in the same, and on the other side of them, a small clearing next to a dirt road revealed itself. However, this location was not so quickly ignored by rushing through it. Instead, Edo finally stopped, standing in the middle of the clearing and turning back to face his assailants that collected in a half circle coming out of the forest, all with weapons drawn.
"We got you now, kid."
With one more stride forward, the lead bandit trigged a trip wire almost invisible on the ground, setting off a massive explosion of paper bombs that had been placed on the backside of the trees marked with "X"s earlier. The explosion quickly incapacitated the whole slew of bandits, sending their unconscious masses to the ground as a few of the trees timbered down as wreckage from the trap that had been set long before this encounter. The only one of the bandits, left awake was the leader, whose shirtless backside was burned in the encounter.
Rolling him over with a kick, and placing his sandal head upon the bandits chest to apply pressure to the new wound, Edo looked down with distain. "You really shouldn't be so oblivious to your surroundings. I didn't even disguise the paper bombs, but you were so fixated on what was before you that you never once looked back." He gave an irritated sigh. Edo knew better than to expect something more from the untrained bandits, but a little common sense would go a long way. "I only got one question for you." Edo said putting both legs on the man and crouching down to apply even more pressure to the burn wound. "What do you know about Decay?"