‘We do as we were told, keep the equis looking at us,…’ Vas growled at the unicorn and jumped toward her. She did what came naturally, faced them with her head down. She couldn’t even feel the pain now, more focused on the two chicks and overwhelmingly afraid. ‘But it’s not us that the equis should be afraid of,…’

A full-grown Shivae burst from the nearby bushes, screeching shrilling as he barreled toward the unicorn. Riva and Vas scattered to the sides in almost as much surprise as the unicorn. She never saw the adult. He was quick and precise, leaping onto her back. The unicorn was dead before she hit the ground, the work of powerful jaws breaking her neck in one abrupt jerk.

‘This is our first real hunt.’ Vas and Riva stared from a few yards away, their heads down and cautious. ‘It’s also the first time Riva and I have seen our father make a kill and it was so sudden it was frightening! We’re not big enough to do it ourselves and I can’t even imagine how I’ll ever be able to do it.’

Triv stood over the body, letting go once he was satisfied that the unicorn wasn’t going to get up and try to get away. He shook his head and took a deep breath, then called the pair of chicks to him.