An hour later, the demon hunter and her apprentice reached the gates of the yeti village, Toshi pounding impatiently on the doors.
"Amara! Let us in!" Toshi hollered over the howl of the wind.
One of the younger yeti peered over the doorway. "We've had enough visitors today! Go away!"
Toshi's eyebrows shot up at the tone in the yeti's voice, prompting Maigo to put a hand on the demon hunter's shoulder.
"He probably hasn't met you yet." The demoness chuckled under her breath, as the young yeti disappeared from the top of the wall, pulled down by some of the elder members of the clan.
The doors were hauled open to allow the pair entrance, Toshi bowing shallowly and smiling to the yeti that had come out to meet her.
"Some thing must definitely be happening outside for us to have so many agents come through our doors." Amara moved to the head of the welcoming committee. "What brings you, Demon hunter?"
"A wild goose chase, apparently." The green eyed demon hunter smiled, shrugging. "You wouldn't happen to have seen several of our agents come traipsing through here in the last four hours, have you?"
"My son and some of his friends stopped by for information about some thing that happened at the monastery, and Loki was here not too long ago on the subject of the same thing." Amara shrugged, the yeti's shoulders heaving.
"In that case then, we're on the right track." Toshi nodded. "Did they say any thing?"
"They accused us of killing those people!" The yeti from the doorway called out, silenced quickly by a cuff to the ear by his mother.
"Well, my dear, I can tell you right now that you are all completely innocent." Toshi stood arms akimbo. "The priests were attacked by Sector Zero agents and members of the Order of St. Benedict."
"How do you know?" Amara asked, concern crossing her face.
"There are tracks to military vehicles to and from the church." Maigo started. "I caught a scent of yeti on the premises that wasn't your son's, but it seemed… processed."
"Processed?" The matriarch tilted her head.
"Sector Zero is known for collecting samples from crypto zoological and paranormal creatures for study. I think that they may have had some preserved yeti hair and claws to set up the scene that our people came across."
The clan regarded the pair of senior agents with various shades of shock and anxiety. One of the younger yeti reached for the matriarch, who responded by picking the little one up. "How do they collect these samples, exactly?"
"From captured or dead creatures." Maigo shook her head. "We've been trying to shut them down for years."
"Do you think that my son is in trouble?" Amara asked.
"If he's with Piper and Zosime, and if Loki is trying to catch up with them, they should be fine." Toshi nodded.
"Do you know which direction they headed in?" Maigo asked.
Amara looked in to the mountains that surrounded their citadel. "They said they were headed to the Top Of The World, but they headed away from it."
"Then the information that Piper has is bad." Maigo looked at her master. "What if they wander off the grid?"
"Piper won't let that happen." Toshi shook her head. "How long was Neel living here before he started his internship?"
"Twenty seven years." Amara shrugged. "My son knows these mountains like no body else. He even guarded the Top for a couple of years, so why he'd lead them in to the mountains is beyond me."
"Maybe he's trying to protect them?" Maigo tapped her chin in thought.
"Piper would probably push him off a cliff if he tried a stunt like that." Toshi shook her head. "I'm willing to bet that he knows what he's doing."