Ashes of the Ylan [A Rama Empire novel]

"I thought you'd kill me," she croaked. "Not much honour if you cannot keep your promises."

Within the world of Convergera, lies the lands of Rama. Though the Rama Empire has long since been disbanded, the Capital still stands as a symbol of prosperity. The Antirian wars are over, but peace is soon disturbed as disaster strikes.

Sarashi is raised on the Wild Plains, but in a culture where freedom is everything, she is tied down by fear and expectations. Her people wants her to embrace her mother's legacy, her own fury screams for vengeance and her heart aches to belong. But when the war between the Sapphire Empire and the people of Rama flares up again, she'll have to make a choice between what she wants, and what is expected of her.

"Both standing on two legs, eyes level, the lion tried to push her into the ground. Her heart beat like never before as it stretched its neck over the spear to reach her face with its teeth. Pain made her dizzy as she growled back, a fiery rage star

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66. Ch 9: Where there is Smoke (Part 4 of 8)

General Olston Amiar Savuir of the Savuir nobles of Cahl had been furious when that little tribal bitch escaped. It was one thing to lose people in battle, that was expected, but to allow one weak and wounded female to evade his men by the fingertips? He could not allow that, especially when it was supposedly part of the most rebellious tribe on the plains.

Shortly after dawn, the dog handlers sent word that the trail was false, and that they had been going in the wrong direction. They were now back on the right one, but the delay had enabled their prey to get ahead. The thought alone made the general grit his teeth, and pull the reins so tight, his horse danced beneath him in discomfort.

"Bring me my maps!" he shouted, and one of the foot soldiers jumped to it. His assistant was nowhere in sight, which was no surprise. The fool had been whipped and demoted, after he let the Rama escape. The man had deserved being bitten by that demon cat, the whipping, and all the shame that would fall on his name when he returned home.

Order was pertinent, and required. The General liked order, liked the firm hand it required, something his wife had never understood. Like his father used to say, no steel existed that did not need a good hammering to take shape.

The worn paper crinkled against his hands as he unfolded the maps of the plains. He had personally pried it out of the hands of one of the tribe's primitive leaders after running the creature through with his sword. Blood stained one corner of it, and the ink there was runny, but it still served its purpose.

"They can only run for another two to three days before they reach the mountains," he commented aloud. "We'll catch up with them before then. They'll need to stop here-" he pointed it out to his corporal, "and here, for water."

"And then, Sir?" the man asked.

"Then we'll surround them, cut them off, and kill them. Efficiently, fast and in a civilised manner."

He would run them north, and then he would dispatch them like vermin.

And nothing short of a direct order from Tiburon Namur would stop him. Not even the wild forces of nature, be they wind or sun.

A heavy breeze tugged at his cloak, as the wind began to pick up.

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