Clip clop, clop, clap, clip, clip-clap-clip-clop-clip-clap.
The thundering of hooves echoed through the canyon with immense fury as Rio leaned forward, her spurs digging slightly into the sides of her steed with an apologetic sorry plastered all over her face. Her right arm, bloodied and hastily wrapped in bandaging, held tightly onto a small hooded individual. She could taste iron in her mouth and her hair was drenched in sweat beneath her helmet. Shaking her head to try and stop the ringing her vision nearly blacked out as she leaned forward on the girl and horse as it picked it's pace up, only to come to moments later.
She'd just been struck in the head with a javelin, and while her helmet made of the purest Ryuuhagane had easily defended against the blow the kinetics and weight behind the javelin left her seeing stars. Shaking her head more she tried to stay awake, her left arm pulling tighter on the reigns of the horse. Behind her hootin' and hollerin' filled the canyon as the sound of hooves multiplied. For every clip there was four clops, and for every clap their was four clippity-clops.
A metalic ringing noise filled the air as a kunai bounced off her shoulder piece, denting it but failing to do any true damage. Rio groaned. She needed to get her head back on quickly, but found her eyes closing once more as she nodded off and leaned forward, the horse veering slightly to the side.
Twenty-four hours earlier
Despite it's name Tea Country had quite exceptional liquor... and despite being a raggedy sea shack of a bar the Predaceous Tit served a special nectar of the goddesses that made even the most stalwart mean spill his secrets. With the added patronage of some important people passing by the freshly minted Heart Empire, there was always a wealth of information for a young woman and leader of a bounty hunter guild to obtain. Guzzling down a cup of water, Rio pretended to be slightly drunk off of her "nihonshuu", having drunken only enough to taint her breath and enter the boys tables.
"And so I told him don't let these white duds and my pleasant demeanor fool ya, and you see, this fella didn't take to kindly to my pleasantry-" a samurai dressed in pure white said as he recanted a story to the others surrounding the bar. Before Rio could get to the end of the story someone tapped her on the shoulder and beckoned her to follow, and having flashed a sizeable amount of coin she was inclined to hear the fella out.
The flickering of candles weakly bathed the back alley of a bar in Tea Country in a warm light- light enough to see your hands but dark enough to not see much else. She couldn't make out much of the hooded man's face before her, and noted only the slimy voice of the would be employer.
I was asked to find someone to do a job in the Laughing Desert- a simple package retrieval. There may be some light resistance, but I'm sure you will find away to retrieve and deliver the package unharmed... was how the pitch started... and things ended with a total of 200 Ryo. Though the man who was asking her could only be described as slimy and possessing a voice of poisoned-honey, Rio was inclined to take a job so simple with a payout this sweet, and perhaps to naive to realize the folly that was "a simple job" with a grand payout.
"One thing though, sweetheart. You must deliver the package to the border of Tea Country and leave it be- no questions asked... and under no circumstances are you to damage the package in any way."
As weird as it was this was often how jobs like this went. It'd also be nice too, for a change, to not have to kill or beat someone down for a payout. With the finer bits of contract complete she would set out with her bounty puck and head for the desert, a lone hunter atop her trusty stead. Eventually, she would ride upon the dusty desert town lined by cactuses and sparse buildings where the package was said to be... unsure really of what was to come.