Fighting Back

Pelith, a lithe huntress, is facing the knowledge of the strong likelihood that her people might disown her for being falsely accused of a crime she had not committed. But then, her beloved horse, Culia, is eaten by a blood-thirsty dragon that has finally been set free from being held captive for four hundred and sixty-eight years by a spell that has recently been broken by the combining of two magic rocks. She then begins to slowly come upon the conclusion that someone has purposefully framed her. With the unlikely and unexpected help of Rasa, a poor, underfed farmer boy, she must make a dangerous journey in order to save her race from destruction and once again prove herself innocent and loyal to her people.

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Pelith was lucky she hadn’t landed on the deer’s antlers, and she knew it. Her hand had been scraped on them, but at least she hadn’t landed right on top of them. She had landed on his rough back, both legs on one side so that she riding side-straddle atop this wild beast, now sprinting away from the orchard of Ziatajie apples and toward the forest. Pelith knew she would likely get knocked off by low branches. She whistles a high tune, and in moments, her horse Culia, was running next to the deer. Culia moved right just a bit so that Pelith could leap from the petrified deer and mount her horse. She had landed so smoothly it slowed them down just a few seconds, and almost immediately they were right beside the beast.

Pelith grabbed her small, useless cloak from her back, wrapped two apples in it for weight, and quickly flung it at the long legs and hoofs beside her. The deer took perhaps three more steps before stumbling and tripping. Pelith thrust the knife with as agile as possible as they passed, and the blade flew true and pierced the deer’s side. Culia galloped a few long strides more before turning around and returning to the deer. Pelith jumped from Culia’s back and kneeled next to the dying buck. She gently pulled the knife from the bleeding wound to wipe it on the grass and slipped it into her sheath at her waist.

The deer heaved in a last few heavy breaths before going completely still. Pelith sighed from both relief and exhaustion. “Thank you, Culia,” Pelith managed through pants.

“Pelith! Your hand-we need to get you back home immediately.” Pelith glanced down to her palm where she had been scratched from the sharp antlers. Blood streamed from the small gash, but it wasn’t too bad. Not so bad that she couldn’t first pull the deer back home with her before getting it bandaged.

“That’s alright for now. But would you help me haul this meat home?” She looked at Culia pleadingly.

“But this is a serious wound. You’ll need stitches for this, I’m sure,” Culia protested, though Pelith just waved her off.

“It really isn’t that bad. It stings a little, yes, but we must get this deer home before it attracts animals,” Pelith said. Culia nickered slightly. She had always admired Pelith’s ability to overcome even the most difficult of obstacles. This cut was nothing to her. Though Culia worried for her friend’s safety, she knew she would never win that argument.

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