Monsters were scarce around the river bank, but plentiful anywhere else. That was a pity, for Kaliamarah needed to hunt. A red, hot thrill flushed her from head to toe, her heart drumming a steady beat of encouragement.She was hungry. She fancied a big, meaty dragon to bring back home and roast for the feast. Her sister was getting married, and it was up to Kaliamarah to provide the sustenance. She would not disappoint. Failure wasn’t an option for the Trarg huntresses, there was always the win, and the rush of a good, challenging fight.
Bees hummed as they flitted from flower to flower. Fish danced in the river as it streamed downhill. A pack of sheep roamed on the grass trail. It was a peaceful scenery—not the kind of place a dragon would choose to lay dormant. But there must be a monster lurking about here, otherwise the compass wouldn’t have brought her here.
She flicked her eyes down at the intricate device tied on a bracelet and wrapped around her left wrist. It had never failed her before, and it had better not malfunction now, half a day before the wedding feast was scheduled to begin. Her sister was marrying the chief of Taloor—the neighboring clan they’d been feuding with for decades. This wedding symbolized more than the union of mere man and woman. It symbolized peace.
Determination renewed, she straightened her back and whispered the enchantment to reawaken the compass, “Ain’t no rest for the wicked.”
The compass sputtered, coughing up black dots that shot up in a wide arch. Their trail went further into the sky, past the puffy white clouds hovering calmly over the river…and stayed there.
She stared at the big middle cloud. Something wasn’t quite right about it.
A gust of wind ruffled her hair. She flicked it away and focused on her mission, her eyes flickering from the dots, to the cloud, to the compass, and back again, until a dull ache started pounding in her right temple. Another burst of wind hit her face, just as she was focused on the cloud. It wasn’t moving. Everything around it was flicked away by the wind, and this big, meaty-looking cloud remained still.
She smiled, reaching for the bow and arrow wrapped over her shoulder. Perhaps her sister would get a dragon for her wedding feast, after all.