[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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36. Ch 5: Widow's Crook (Part 5 of 7)

Uran, as the scout was named, lead them to an ylan grove not too far from the Sun Hawks usual spring territory. Their camp's exact position was marked against the sky by pillars of smoke. In the grove, they found four men and a woman waiting, armed and ready to ride off. They were eating just then, small cakes of seeds, berries and deer fat.

“I thought you said you were seven total?” Rise asked harshly as she counted.

Possibly the tallest man Sarashi had ever laid eyes on, stepped forward.

“One is following the soldiers and the Ramas. When they make camp, he'll double back and tell us where they've stopped,” he said. His voice was uncommonly deep, the rumble of a great beast. “I am Galvar. Which one of you is the Princess?”

Sarashi rode forth, and met his questioning gaze with a firm one of her own, hiding her nervousness.

“Sun doesn't shine kindly, but meet we must,” she said. “How can we help?”

Galvar scoffed when he saw her, and neither bowed nor addressed her properly. Clearly he thought her to be little help at all.

“Twenty soldiers escaped from our tribe, and took with them ten captives,” he said. “We need only your numbers to take them back.”

Sarashi frowned in disapproval of his manners.

“And I assume you have a plan?” she asked.

“If they make camp on this side of the river, we'll fight them head on. If they manage to make it to the guard station by Widow's Crook, they'll tie up the Ramas outside, and will have reinforcements on hand. If one raises the alarm, our fourteen warriors will be outnumbered beyond two to one,” Galver explained.

“You're certain they're crossing by Widow's Crook?” Janko asked.

Galver nodded.

“It's the only place where the water is shallow enough around here,” he said. “Though the current is strong.”

Sarashi leaned back and let Timpre's reins hang loose.

“Fighting head on fourteen to one, isn't ideal,” she said carefully, her mind turning. “But better that than face the garrison of the guard station. Do you know the count of soldiers kept there?”

“Fifteen,” Jarmir spoke up. “We keep an eye on them when we can. None of us like how close they build it to our border.”

The woman doused the fire while they spoke, and all that had sit to eat, stood and went to their horses. They had only stayed for so long to wait for Sarashi and her group before heading out. And why not, when they knew where they were going?

Janko undid his bow from his back, strung it and moved his quiver for easy access to the arrows. Everyone followed his example, readying their weapons for quick use, while Sarashi and Galvar still kept their attention on each other. An unspoken challenge in Galvar's eyes, made Sarashi shake her head.

She had no need to command his group, and did not mind if he directed this fight. He had more experience than she, and a better grasp of the guard station's defences. It was only logical for him to lead.

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