The car suddenly halted. Feldsharp snapped awake and looked around. Heart appeared to be stirring from a nap as well. Trees surrounded them on all sides except for the narrow gravel road.
“What is going on?”
The driver spoke in rushed and frantic Japanese.
“What?” Heart leaned forward. “Say it slower. Yakusha, what is going on?”
The driver shook his head wildly, pointed at the translator.
Heart stood up in the car and leaned over the seat to get a better look. A fletched wooden shaft protruded from his chest. A stream of blood stained the front of the man’s outfit.
“Get down!” Heart shouted and leapt back into the cover of the back seat.
The driver went out of the car sideways and disappeared.
Heart peeked over the back of the seat and saw a couple of men approaching on the road ahead. They both carried swords. To their right another man appeared and pointed a crossbow directly at her over the side of the car. All three wore bits and pieces of unmatched armor.
“What are – Oh.” Feldsharp raised his hands up as he spotted the bandits.
The bandit to their right snapped into a more offensive stance and took aim on the half-giant when the hands came into view.
“Kyojin!” The archer called out.
The two swordsmen froze in mid step.
The crossbow bandit started rattling off quick forceful streams of Japanese at the other men. The other two moved forward very cautiously. Heart held still. She narrowed her eyes at the approaching men. She could take those too easily enough but the crossbow would have to be much closer before she could take him out without sharing their translator’s fate.
“What do we do?” Feldsharp whispered to the Daughter.
“Stay quiet, do what they say… for now.”
“Shizukesa!” The archer barked loudly at them.
The swordsmen flanked the car with weapons at the ready. The archer then barked something at them and they jumped back a moment. He said a few more words and one of the men suddenly disappeared down beside the car. The swordsman emerged a moment later dragging the driver by the scruff of his shirt. With a violent shove the driver went tumbling into the gravel.
Both swordsmen and the archer focused their attention on Feldsharp and Heart. The archer barked a couple of more commands and the swordsman closest to Heart reached slowly and carefully towards the car door. With a click the latch gave and the door fell open.
“Toridasu!” He pointed the crossbow at her and then used it to point behind the car. “Toridasu!”
“Okay!” She ducked her head down and with her hands up moved slowly out of the car.. “Hai!”
Just as soon as she was clear of the car the swordsman body checked her to the road and she landed face first in the gravel. She turned and prepared to defend herself against his next attack and found him absent. Instead the swordsman and the archer focused all their attention on Feldsharp.