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The Huntress

By ChrisH All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 1

Not for the first time, Nwei wished she'd made better life choices.

Elven feet barely touched the ground as her nimble frame darted through the Ohatri Forest. Long-felled trees barred her way, forcing her to alter course where she could not have leapt. Flames licked at the top branches, and their ashes fell like dry rain. Usually, this would be a pleasant day for its inhabitants, the children possibly even tracing her erratic movements as they played and climbed through the trees.

Nwei's bow clattered against trees, and her quiver bounced on her back, pounding her shoulder with every step. As she ran she tried to tighten its leather strap, but it would not. Swearing under her breath, she finally accepted that she actually needed to get a new one, if she made it out alive.

The forest behind her was crumbling, burning.

The Wyvern circled above, gargantuan caricatures of bat wings and a lizard tail marking its distinctive shape against the setting sun. Screeching, it laid down yet another wave of fire. Most of the flames were absorbed by the treetops, throwing leaves and branches down like tiny fireballs. The rest scorched the ground, felling trees with a red wall of death.

She kept barely three steps ahead of the flames and the airborne shadow spewing them; perfect bait: she needed the beast to come to her. There was no way she was hitting it up there. She needed to get higher, and the Wyvern needed to get lower for a critical blow.

Or, she quickly decided, I could wing it.

Picking up the pace, she outran the flames, nocking an arrow into her bow. A feather on the top of her bow wavered to the left, and she adjusted her shot accordingly, before drawing and loosing.

The arrow flew through the air until she could no longer see it. Assuming it would hit, she loaded another, and fired it, adjusting her aim only slightly, before repeating again. Relatively, normal arrows would feel like mere pin-pricks to a beast that size. But these arrows had an acidic-diamond head, rather than the usual stone; they get through anything. And how best to take down a Wyvern than to wing it? Nwei smiled; this job was a real harami, but her face lit up; nearly over.

Nothing can fly with burning holes it in its wings.


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