[Completed] Fire's Promise [Ashes of the Ylan #1] [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


24. Ch 4: Mountains Tall (Part 1 of 8)


Mountains Tall

The Wild Plains

(1248 p. CP)


Soldiers ravaged the borders of the Wild Plains throughout the summer and most of fall. First when winter began making its entrance, and the land grew barren, did they draw back again, scampering to cross the river before the great rains flooded its banks. The plains blossomed during the rains, exploding with colours of purple and red, before it faded to the grey of the cold season. It was a few weeks of absolutely bounty and beauty, in between the most desolate of times on the plains, and often over too quickly.

Sarashi and the others settled into a routine. Weeks of travelling alone on the plains, were interrupted by occasional stays with the different tribes. Tribes that greeted them with hesitant curiosity, or undisguised hostility. Every now and again, some showed honest welcome and friendship, other times, they drew back in wariness over her missing title.

It was just before the rains when they visited the Tribe of Plains' Deer.

Custom was that when strangers came close to a tribe, scouts would meet them and escort them to the camp. Even those who were unhappy with their visit, usually showed them common courtesy and welcomed them. Their Mahal would offer them dinner by their own hearth fire, and they would exchange news of other tribes and of the Sapphire Empire's patrols. They would be given their own tent at the outskirts of camp, where they would stay for the duration of their visit.

How long that visit was, depended on the hospitality of the tribe.

The Plains' Deer's tribe differed from the others. No scouts met them when they rode onto their current territory, and there was no signs of them as they headed in the direction of their camp. Heavy worry spread through Sarashi's little group, the memory of the hung Horned Owls present in their thoughts, and they hurried.

The tribe waited for them, arms crossed and brows furrowed, when Sarashi, Mya and Janko got down from their horses.

The Mahal stepped forward, recognizable by the deference in the others' expressions.

“You are not welcome here,” she told them. “You are denied our fires. Move on. We do not wish to have to chase you away.”

Sarashi's face distorted almost like she had been slapped and could not understand why.

“I don't believe you know who-” she started, but the Mahal interrupted her angrily.

“Sarashi Enshira, Last of your Kin, and Rightful Ruler of Enshal, you are not welcome here.” Her lips curled in disgust as she listed Sarashi's name and titles.

Sarashi took a small step back, too startled to answer. Her hand curled up to her chest.

Janko stepped forward, holding out his hands in an appeasing manner.

“May we ask why? We hold no quarrel with your tribe, and see no reason why we're denied customary greetings.”

“You may hold no quarrel with us, but neither are you owed any love nor respect. We are not the Rama of Enshal, and Sarashi Enshira is not of the tribes, nor a Lady of our People,” the Mahal said. Her hawk like eyes bore down on the young princess. “By her own choice, she has claimed no relation to us. By ours we will have none with her.”

“It is not unusual for the tribes to let those not of them take succour at their fires-” Janko tried.

“You and the girl of the Wild Horses may stay. But we will not have one who is not tribe among us,” the woman stated firmly. “Unusual or not.”

“Then I won't force you,” Sarashi growled, pain echoing inside her and leaving her words hollow. This felt too much like when she had first come to the plains, unused to their trials and customs, having just lost her parents. The isolation from the other children had been unbearable, a constant strain.

Mya placed a hand against Sarashi's back.

“We will leave,” Janko said, his eyes dark. As they rode away from camp, one of the young boys spat after them.

After that they avoided tribes where no scouts came forth.

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