[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


46. Ch 6: Night Raid (Part 8 of 8)

The sound of Silver Song's ear piercing scream, had Sarashi scrambling out of bed, suddenly wide awake. Franticly, she grabbed her sarong and tied it around her waist and shoulder. She had her spear in one hand as she pushed away the tent flap, and ran outside to see what the heck was happening.

Destruction flooded her eyes and ears.

Her tribe was screaming as imperial soldiers set fire to their tents. A soldier had grabbed Mya and was pressing her into the ground, twisting her arm behind her back. Another one was waving his sword at Janko, who was trying to get to Silver Song. Two was coming straight towards Sarashi, preventing her from grasping the situation further, before she was forced to lift her spear.

How is there so many of them? They shouldn't have been able to cross the river! Sarashi ducked a weapon, leaping sideways. We burned the bridge!

“Get everyone out of here!” she shouted at Janko, or anybody else who could hear her.

She blocked a sword heading for her head, but the flat side of the sword buckled and scraped over her fingers. She ignored the pain and kicked out, trying to get the soldier back at a distance, so she could use the pointy end of her spear; promising herself that if she survived, she would get her hands on a good dagger for close combat. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Liery stab the man holding Mya.

The soldier shouted as her foot hit his plate mail, doing little to no damage. He reached out with his gloved hand and took hold of her spear, lifting his sword in the other hand to cut her down. Thinking fast, she let go of her spear, and threw herself backwards. She fell into her tent. She had to get her knife. Why had she not thought to bring it out with her?

Sarashi grabbed the knife beside her bed the moment the soldier barged into the tent, sword lifted and her spear in his other hand. He turned his arm expertly, and stabbed her in the leg with her own weapon.

“Don't move!” he sneered, as she gasped. Her vision swam and darkened as he pulled the spear free.

She reached behind her with one arm, pulling herself away from the soldier, without taking her eyes off of him.n She grasped her knife with sweaty fingers. Her eyes were wide and wild. He stepped on her hand with the knife, and kicked the blade away from her. Dropping her spear, he took hold of her clothes and pulled her to a stand.

“I told you: Don't. Move,” he said, wrenched her arms behind her back, and tied them together one handed with leather cords. She cried out as he did so, struggling to free herself. He responded by using the sword and pressing its blade against her throat. “Be quiet or I'll make you quiet,” he threatened.

Sarashi spat at him, heaving for air through her fear.

He threw her to the ground, kicking her in the stomach, so that she yelped at the sharp pain. Tears sprung to her eyes, and made everything blurry. She saw her knife a few feet away, halfway hidden behind a basket. She scrambled to a sit, crying out as the soldier kicked her again, and scampered backwards. Her bound fingers felt for the knife, but could not find it. Her thigh was burning, wet warmth spreading over her skin.

The soldier pressed his foot down on her stomach, fiddling loose another leather cord from his belt. He bent over to tie her feet.

“You kick me again, I'll cut off your ear,” he growled.

Her fingertips met something cold and hard.

He looped the cord around her ankles.

She pulled the knife into her hands, and cut the ties there. The cords were so thick, she accidentally cut into her palm when they broke.

He tightened the leather around her legs, to keep her from fleeing, and was about to straighten himself out.

She swung her arm, aiming with the blade for his throat, but missing. Instead the knife cut into his cheek, and tore it up. He roared and fell back in shock. She pulled her knees up and kicked with gathered legs at his shoulder, making him drop the sword. She propelled herself forward and caught it with both hands.

The soldier came down on her with all his weight, fighting to take the sword from her, or press it down to cut her. She bit his hand on the hilt till she tasted blood. He faltered and she pushed the sword to the side, letting go of it and grabbing the knife where it had fallen.

This time she got his throat.

Sarashi crawled out from under him, shaking and heaving as she cut the ties from her legs. On staggering knees she got to her feet, knife in hand. Leaving the tent she re-entered the battlefield. It was a mess of soldiers, and she could not see any of her people alive among the smoke, and the broken tents. She thought she could hear Rayla scream somewhere, but was not certain it was her.

A Rama lay dead to one side, but she ignored whomever it was. There was no time to mourn. Her eyes flickered around, but all she could see was chaos. She tried to run, but her leg would not cooperate.

She gasped for air and held her hands up in front of her eyes, when a tent beside her suddenly flared up with sparks. Stumbling she tried to find her way out of the camp, and she leapt to avoid a soldier swinging his sword. Her leg half collapsed beneath her, and she stumbled over a corpse on the ground, falling to her hands and getting up again. She made it out of the smoke, and onto the open plains.

Somebody grabbed her hair and pulled her backwards, and she hit the ground hard. She screamed and kicked, turning her body and plunging the knife into whomever it was, until her hair was free again. She got up and tumbled into the tall grass.

Suddenly her leg folded beneath her once more, without her say so.

It refused to carry her, and vertigo grabbed her by her stomach and refused to let go as she fought back nausea. The kicks to her solar plexus made it painful and difficult to breathe.

When she got to her feet again, it was too late.

She was surrounded.

Sarashi forced herself to stand up straight despite her leg, and gripped the knife with careful deliberation. She threw her head back, staring at the soldiers with proud defiance.

“You want me?” she hissed. “Come get me!”

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