He'd made quick work of the poachers. Poachers in his territory never lasted long. He liked it like that. It meant the leopards he protected, claimed as his, were safe. Well, safer. Men with their guns and knives and lack of care for what they mutilated, killed, and destroyed were nothing but meat to him. Meat to be slaughtered. Not eaten, though. Never eaten. Left to rot as they left behind those of his kind, killed for their fur and little else. He had no patience for such destruction, and he had no mercy for the humans that infiltrated his forest.
In the midst of the attack, though, he'd lost sight of one of the culprits. Young with dark hair, slanted eyes, and a scent of pure fear that he remembered vividly. The boy had run from him, but the men had taken out their guns, shot at him, and he'd forgotten about the boy until it was all over. Still, the boy's scent was strong, intense, leading him along a mindless path through the dense, humid jungle. The boy was still here, somewhere, and he was determined to find the last interloper. He'd leave no poacher to return to the cities, to bring back tales of a vicious leopard that killed men.
No, no witnesses. If there were no witnesses, fewer hunting parties came looking for leopards. For him. He had to find the boy. At some point, the boy had washed his stink off in a little pool of water. The boy was clever, but that cleverness didn't help against a leopard. He could still smell the boy, potent and terrified, and then the boy's cleverness ran out.