Author's note: So if you've gotten this far, then thanks! I'm going to slowly revise each chapter, but school comes first, and I don't have much time to do this. But reviews would be appreciated!
As she calmed the white mare, she looked around the courtyard, studying each creature that she could. Names began to float across her mind, and she somehow knew that they were the name for the creature's kind. She picked out Minotaurs, Minoboars, Harpies, Ogres, Hags, Boggles, Goblins, Werewolves, and Cyclopes, though she saw a few animals among them too. Using the horse as a screen, it was easy for her to examine the courtyard of the castle, picking out the gates and least defended areas.
A plan began to form in her head, and she knew she was running out of time. When a Satyr passed her, she tripped him, snagging the bow and quiver he carried. Her Minotaur barely had time to react before the mare kicked out viciously with both hind legs, sending him flying backwards. The mare was built for work, and she packed a powerful kick. Then the mare struck out at the one holding her, and he fell too. The girl lunged, using the fallen Minotaur as a boost, and grabbed the mare's mane. She swung upwards with ease and leaned low as she settled on the horse's back. A word in the strange language sent the mare galloping towards the still open gate, and the girl slung both the quiver and bow over her shoulder. Leaning down, she snagged a sword from another Satyr and used it to hack down the ogre that tried to stop her.
As the mare plowed her way through the creatures in front of the gate, the girl on her back swung the sword with vicious accuracy. Boggles and Goblins fell, dying or dead, even as she struck out at Cyclopes and Minoboars. Then they raced through the gate and the mare surged through the snow. The girl risked looking back over her shoulder and saw the Harpies trying to climb into the air through the wind. The wolves, coyotes, and a lynx had no problem coming after her, but it was then that strange language came back to her. Without thought to what she was saying, she shouted something, and was immediately rewarded. The coyotes and lynx leaped up, bringing down several of the Harpies, who flew low in the storm and could go no higher. The wolves, being the strongest and most numerous, had the most success.
But even so, the girl was forced to spur her slowing mount faster though the strengthening storm as the last two harpies pumped their wings to come after her. When she reached the edge of the woods, she brought the horse to a stop ad turned her back to face the incoming monsters. As one screeched and dove for her, she raised the sword and swung with all her strength. It let out a chilling wail of pain as she sliced its wing nearly off and blackish-green blood spurted from the wound. As the blood spray touched her bare arms, face and neck, it burned and stung, leaving red welts behind. She screamed, nearly dropping the sword, and dove into the snow as the pain brought tears to her eyes. Steam rose from where the Harpy had fallen, the snow around it stained a vibrant emerald. She swore she heard she skin sizzle as the snow touched it, but when she looked up, she had another problem.
The biggest of the wolves was only a few feet away, his bright green eyes latched on the last harpy. Slowly the girl eased backwards, though she scooped up a handful of snow to press to her burning face and neck. With her hand shaking, she raised her other arm, leveling the sword at the last creature. It looked between the half dead girl and the wolf, and wheezed. She realized it was laughing too late, and had to dive into the snow once more as it dropped towards her, claws outstretched. The wolf, however, sprang up into the air, his powerful jaws closing around the creature's neck before they too fell into the snow.
The girl looked up as the horse nudged her from behind and her jaw dropped as the beautiful mare knelt in the snow. The girl had enough strength to crawl from the snow to the horse's back before she stuck the stolen sword in the scabbard on the saddle and collapsed forward. She held onto the horse's mane, her eyes starting to close as it regained its feet and turned to the forest. Her eyes met those of the wolf, and all she could do was stare. His muzzle dripped green blood onto the snow, the black fur stained dark. He held her gaze for a moment before extending one leg and bowing to her, his tail sweeping down across the snow.
She nodded gratefully, then let her eyes close. "South, my friend, head south," she whispered to the mare, and had her eyes been open, she would have seen the horse nod, her ears flicking. But she was slipping into darkness once more, and did not even feel the snow falling on her back through her thin and ripped cloak.
Author's note: Hope you enjoyed this one! Please review or pm me and let me know what you think. Also, on a random note, if any of you readers are artists, I'd really, REALLY appreciate a fanart! I can't draw at all, and I'd love to use a personal piece as a cover! Pm me if you're up to the challenge!