This is a small piece of the first chapter of The Besieged Unicorn Army of Ryk. I am hoping to have the book completed by year end :)
If you like it, please let me know if you would like to be an ARC reader. Note- this is not edited!
Dragon scat. Ember’s delicate nostrils flattened with disgust. While it wasn’t in view, the smell of it carried for long distances. Ember snorted and angrily tossed his mighty head; this meant the boundary was not being respected. The dragons had come down from the mountains. Only a few days had passed since the dragons arrived on the island and been met with a sight to behold. Row upon row of steadfast unicorns, assembled on the plains between the forest edge and the rocky base of the mountains. Unicorn Army in front, citizen unicorns in the back. While the Biern were not part of the army, every unicorn would fight to the death to protect the Graze, their main feeding ground. The dragons had understood their meaning and gone no further than the mountain tops. Unicorns are sensitive beings; their seer had felt the change in the wind and knew something was coming. “They are in the air.”; Rays had warned the captains. They had time to call together the herd to meet the dragon intruders and had successfully held them back, until today. Ember sighed; confrontation would be inevitable. Sooner or later the dragons would be seen, word would spread, and the Biern would demand the army take action. Not just to protect the unicorns’ grasslands but the other animal residents of the island. The unicorns felt obligated to defend all beings, from the tiny Twiglings to the rabbits, deer, even the bears. They couldn’t in good conscience let any of them become food for the insatiable dragons. All of this aside, Ember had other reasons for the foreboding growing within his chest. Dragons shook the very earth and they liked to dig and burrow. Much like other powerful beings on this island liked to dig and burrow, ones the unicorns had a vested interest in leaving undisturbed. By their very nature, dragons were disruptive, and the unicorns wouldn’t be able to keep them quiet for long. Ember hoped the dragons could be reasonable, he didn’t want to fight. Even though unicorn hooves could cut dragon flesh, their horns could penetrate dragon hide and hold back dragon fire for short bursts of time, unicorns were very susceptible to teeth and claws. Both sides would suffer losses and as a captain, Ember felt this responsibility keenly.
Growing bold, are they?
Ember turned. The Unicorn Army’s other captains, Sage and Torrent, stood nearby.
He nodded. I am sure they become restless. It will not be long before there is conflict.
The others nodded in return, and they eyed each other warily. Conflict would result in noise and the unicorns feared noise more than they feared the dragons, or anything for that matter.
Torrent looked back to the forest. Nothing can be done right now. We are late for the ceremony; we need to go to the place where we gather.
Ember hadn’t forgotten. With the arrival of the dragons, many young unicorns had stepped forward to join the army. They needed to take the pledge and be seared. Rearing up, Ember led the gallop to the place where we gather.
From her vantage point in the foothills, Seraii watched the retreating forms and smirked. Unicorns. Stunningly beautiful, yet stunningly arrogant.