Ahuahu was not happy at leaving Ahu and baby Tangaroa. They were sleeping peacefully as he slipped away quietly well before dawn after a restless night. The wind was blowing through the trees as the men assembled before the chief’s house. The men were exhorted to defend their honour and their fishing rights with their blood.
It was decided they would travel by their boats which were loaded with clubs and spears. The craft adapted skilfully from peaceful fishing vessels to attack craft to speed their journey and to only accommodate the men and their weapons. The sea was choppy but the southerly wind pushed them quickly up the coast.
The crag of rock showed up in the light of the full moon now sinking over the west the men were ordered to slow up and paddle slowly toward the shore. As their craft glided into the beach not a sound was uttered as they were so close to the settlement.
Old Ruru was left behind to guard the boats while they were away which were pulled up off the beach and hidden in the dunes.
The men disappeared into the trees lining the shore and circled around the village. Ahuahu peered into the gloom trying to make out the lie of the land and to ascertain if anyone was awake. There was a deathly silence, no babies crying, not a snuffle, a not a murmur of people waking or even of animals snorting or cackling. He touched Hi’ilei on the arm and in the pre dawn gloom he tried to show his concern at the silence in the settlement. Hi’ilei, he could just discern was shaking his head doubtfully. Just as they were about to lie down in the undergrowth there was a mighty cry from within the village and a mass of shapes in the darkness came running toward them, shouting a fearful warning with bloodcurdling cries. With that the whole group of their fellow villagers rose up in the predawn light to respond with cries of their own, chanting revenge. The rocky outcrop villagers were more numerous and better prepared and soon Ahuahu and his fellow villagers were embraced in an impossible fight, as clubs were brandished and spears thrust, bodies pierced and arms broken.
Ahuahu heard Hi’ilei cry out as he shouldered a blow from a club and staggered to his knees. Ahuahu thrust his spear up at the attacker but merely dragged the point over the back of the retreating adversary drawing blood but doing no real harm. He then bent down to Hi’ilei and tugged at his good arm to get him up saying ‘We have to get out of here, they were expecting us.”
They fell back into the undergrowth as the noisy one sided battle petered out and the men from the rocky outcrop village sang of their victory as the rest of their own village men disappeared into cover in the now brightening day. Hiding in the dense bushland Ahuahu ripped up part of his garment and adapted it to fashion a sling to support the arm of Hi'ilei's damaged shoulder. They could hear the villagers search them out but by staggering along parallel to the village rather than away from it, the sound of the pursuers got fainter. Slowly they made their way around to the beach keeping as quiet as possible. It was some time before they returned to where the canoes had been hidden. But they had gone.
Making sure they were not seen Ahuahu walked into the water and waded in the shallows and kept going south assisting Hi’ilei. When he thought it safe enough he came ashore on a pebbly beach and then made his way inland hoping that they had evaded any trackers.
It was almost noon before he considered a stop and finding a stream sat down with Hi’ilei and brought him some water to drink in his hands. Hi’ilei was in great pain but nodded at Ahuahu and gasped out, “I do not deserve a friend like you.”
Ahuahu nodded but merely said, “We must return to the village before nightfall so that Haimona can look at your shoulder.”
“I am happy for him to look at it, but I shall be less happy when he fixes it” he said with a weak grimace.
After a short rest Ahuahu was all for pushing on back to the village with a staggering Hi’ilei by his side. Ahuahu was now thinking of Ahu and the baby and how much he wanted to be with her again. He sensed the smell of fires and cooking from their village and recognised the features of the land. He needed to touch Ahu again, he wanted to have Tangaroa asleep by their side and he wanted to feel her love. As he helped Hi'ilei into the village they heard wails of mourning, while others seeing their entrance greeted them with joy.
However little Moana’s mother came up to them and said to Ahuahu “Ahu and the baby are missing.”