[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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49. Ch 7: Amongst the Ylan (Part 3 of 8)

The strong lines of Rise's body fit snugly against Avan's broad chest as she snuggled up closer to him. There was a glowing warmth between them, and though they had only been sleeping for a few sun marks, she felt well rested. Letting her eyes open, she studied his face.

He had a heavy set brow and narrow eyes, and Rise admitted to herself that while he was not handsome, he had a charm to him. He made her feel smaller, but in a good way. He would never tell her not to fight, or try to protect her, but if she stumbled he would be by her side. And he made her feel light and frisky, like her sister.

He was a bit younger than she, but that mattered little in the great scheme of things.

Sensing that he was being watched, Avan opened his eyes and smiled when she was the first thing he saw.

“Heyla,” Rise whispered.

“Hi,” he greeted back, and Rise secretly marvelled that she had had to leave the mountains and her tribe behind, to find someone who suited her so perfectly. Someone who, despite their shared culture and heritage, did not even say hi in the same way she did. She leaned in to kiss him.

And stopped at the sound of a muffled thud. Something felt off.

“What is it?” Avan asked her, confusion in his eyes.

Rise shook her head and sat up.

“I'm not sure,” she told him, looking around. The horses sounded spooked, she realised. But there had been no alarm from those keeping watch. She left the bed and put on her sarong, while still distracted. “I'll just have a quick look.”

Opening the tent flap to look outside, the first thing she saw was a burning arrow burying itself in the tent across from hers and Avan's.

“We're under attack!” she cried out, ducking back into the tent to grab her spear. Already Avan was out of the sleeping furs, and after his own weapons. When they hurried outside, they were met with a pitched horse scream, that could only be from Janko's bonded. Already smoke rose from tents where arrow shafts stuck out like needles on a hedgehog.

Imperial soldiers flooded down the hill and into the valley where they were camped. Within seconds, Sarashi's group was forced to fight for their lives.

“Rayla!” Rise shouted, terrified for her younger sister's safety. Through the sound of fighting, she thought she heard Sarashi yell something, but they were too far apart for her to hear the words.

Avan blocked a sword headed for her head, and then turned to spear one of the soldiers through an opening in the plate mail by his arm. His spear got stuck, so he simply let it go and picked up the dying man's sword instead.

“Rise!” Rayla called, and Rise turned to see her holding off two soldiers with her glaive. There was blood on her arm, and she was having trouble keeping them away. Avan saw it too, and nodded at Rise for her to go.

Those who had seen Rayla fight might have compared her to a storm of lightning and thunder, flashy and loud and deadly. If Rayla was those things, Rise was the wind, invisible, but every bit as forceful and deadly when she wanted to be. Fighting to get to the girl she had protected since infancy, she was furious.

She left wounded in her wake, and made it to her sister's side.

A pained cry reached them, and she turned to see Avan fall to his knee, wounded.

The sight distracted Rise just enough, that she never saw the soldier draw his bow, nor the arrow until it slammed into her shoulder, just below the collarbone.

Rayla screamed.

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