[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

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28. Ch 4: Mountains Tall (Part 5 of 8)

Winter in the mountains was bitterly cold. Sarashi spent most of her time huddled by the fire in Kheerl's little hut, together with Mya, reading and memorizing stories of great battles. Kheerl had once fought in the Antirian wars as part of the Enshalian army, and had many stories about the father Sarashi barely recalled from her childhood. Other days she spent outside, practising staff fighting with the young ones of the tribe.

She lost a frustratingly great amount of the sparring matches. The mountain tribes were more used to fighting than those on the plains, as bandits plagued the cliff sides. Younglings who had seen less winters than Sarashi had already been in life and dead matches with the Molterainian robbers.

When Rayla yet again managed to slam a staff against Sarashi's legs and send her to the ground, Sarashi saw red. She grabbed her own staff and rose to beat the girl within an inch of sanity, not caring that her leg hurt. Rayla stepped back, seeing the look in Sarashi's eyes and lifted her own weapon defensively, but her expression was taunting. The girl had been a pain in Sarashi's ass since they came to the tribe, always smiling and acting like she was the God's Mistress.

“Don't-” Rayla said sweetly, but before the situation could escalate, Janko stepped in.

“Sarashi!” he called from the side line.

For a moment it seemed she had not heard him, but then she turned to look at him, tension in her entire body. Her glare could probably turn people to stone just then.

Janko was unaffected though, a mask of joviality firmly in place on his face.

“Silver Song is growing fat, and Timpre isn't much better,” he called. “Why don't we go for a ride, before the weather turns again?”

Sarashi wanted to scream. Wanted to shout out all that had built up in her over the last year, but she bit it down, and forced herself to nod. She feared that if she opened her mouth, it would all come pouring out. She followed Janko to the enclosure, getting their spears as Janko bridled their mounts.

Soon they were trotting through the ravines and up the cliffs, keeping the tempo slow so the horses would not slide and trip on the invisible frost covering the rocks. They never saw the bandits before they were right there, roaring and shouting. The horses reared in fear, and kicked out. Timpre did not attempt to flee, but charged the nearest man. Silver Song only stayed because Janko was there. Her instincts fought his wishes, and she turned in confusion, not managing to evade the blade. It cut deep into Janko's leg, and with a scream, he fell off the horse and to the ground.

Sarashi was almost thrown off Timpre, and swung herself down from him. He fought better without her on his back, and she needed to get to Janko.

Swinging the spear like a staff, completely forgetting about the tip, she made one of the men draw back – There was only five of them!

She vaguely registered Janko whistling a signal for help and Silver Song enhancing the sound. The blood pounded so loudly in her ears, she had no clue what she was doing. She just acted.

When the help arrived, she had remembered about the tip.

A dark skinned Molterainian, as much Rama as she, laid dead by her feet. She had killed a human. Only it was not her enemy, it was one of her own people. One of her own kind. With a desperate cry, she dropped her spear. The strangled noise was the last sound she made for days, and she was wordless as Mardik and the others led them back to camp.

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