There was nothing like a long, extended mission away from the village to make a shinobi yearn for home. It seemed, too, to have the same effect on monks, as Shingen found himself cursing against the bitter cold. Snowfall was lovely, but such a harsh snowstorm and knee-deep snowbanks made for an incredibly unpleasant experience that made him curse the stuff. Kiri was an often cool, even cold, and damp place. Shingen had a fondness for warmer things, but in cold like this, chilling him to the bone, he was begging to return back to the Hidden Mist.
Escorting the caravan as he was, Shingen knew that it would be a long while before his reprieve. Even when the caravan arrived at its destination and its transactions were complete, there was the shivering cold return journey after that. He and his companion could make it much more swiftly on their own, were they allowed to, but at the present they were confined to the slow pace of the caravan. The only thing that seemed to keep the monk sane was the steaming hot thermos that he held in his hands. Lines of steam dances through the harsh air as the scent of hot cocoa wafted into his nose. A single sip was enough to rejuvenate him, and he had shed tears of joy when Misumi had given it to him.
But his reprieve was to be short lived. In the howling wind any detection by sound was impossible. By sight, however, was another thing entirely. The dark cloaked figure stood out against the white snow. That fact alone stood out to Shingen - it did not seem that stealth was ever the desire. Very strange, if it were a common bandit. He had no time to cap and safely store away the thermos; he let it drop into the snow at his feet, staining the white with the lightly colored mixture.
Kicking off of his feet he leapt to the top of a large nearby snowbank, giving him a vantage point to examine the situation. His first instinct was to protect the merchants - and so he would - but he also wanted to see if there were any other assailants aside from the dark cloaked figure, but in the heavy snowstorm it seemed impossible. As he moved into action, hopping down from the snowbank to intercept the wraith, Shingen grimly accepted the possibility that there might be more than one assailant. With a burst of speed, as fast as he could muster, he moved to interpose himself between the figure and the closest merchant. His fists ready, he shifted into a stable position, his stance solid but not too low, lest he be inhibited by the snow.
_________________Life's a balance, you can feel it in your soul
Time's a challenge, you can't be in control
I will manage to bring peace to the world
And I will turn your heart into gold