New Egypt: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 5
By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr
The bunny’s ears perked up. “Speaking of honest, you might want to move to the side, out of the way of the swinging door.”
Azure did as she was told, flattening herself up against the wall to the kitchen. A moment later a hoof knocked the door open and Blisters trotted into the kitchen, Buzz Buzz flying over his head. The unicorn looked around the kitchen, his big eyes wide with excitement.
“Matilda isn’t here right now. But she won’t mind if we test the whipped cream for the pudding. That’s always my job. She calls me the official taste tester. Says it’s an important job. I think it’s more important than being queen, but don’t tell Azure that,” Blisters said to the pixie who had spotted Azure at once.
Buzz Buzz pointed in Azure’s direction, her hands waving around wildly, but only nonsensical rambling coming from her mouth. Blisters had already trotted over to the oversized icebox and opened it with his horn. A large bowl sat on the middle shelf, much too high for Blisters to get to easily. Azure simply watched, exchanging looks with Manx who sat discreetly on the ground.
“All I have to do…” Blisters had his front hooves on the shelf under the whipped cream and was nudging his horn under the bowl. It tipped forward a little but mostly remained level. Blisters rammed his hoof hard into the icebox. The bowl shot out of the icebox, half of its contents spilling onto the tiny unicorns head.
Azure yanked out her wand and directed it at the bowl, making it and its contents freeze in the air. She floated it back into the icebox pushing it to the back where it would be safe.
Blisters’ tongue wiped across his mouth. Buzz Buzz had a towel in her hand and went to work cleaning the whipped cream off his eyes, muttering frantically the entire time. The unicorn turned about, looking lost. “Did I do that? Has my witch magic finally come to me?”
Blisters froze when he set his eyes on Azure, everything starting to compute. He backed up a few feet, cowering slightly. Buzz Buzz flew protectively in front of Blisters. The pixie’s sparkly wings were moving fast as she hovered.
“Is it too much to ask that all the hooved creatures stay out of the kitchen?” Azure asked, her voice overflowing with frustration.
“Queen Azure!” Blisters squealed. “You didn’t hear me earlier when I said…Anyway, you’re looking lovely. Yellow is a nice color on you. Not as nice as pink. But everyone looks great in pink. Well, not Gillian. Pink would wash him out, but please don’t tell him that. I think that I irritate the Gnome, although I’m not sure why. Did you say all hooved creatures? Have the horses from the stable been trying to get into the peanut butter in the pantry. I told them all about it. Buzz Buzz doesn’t seem to think they can understand me, but I think my distant cousins know more than we all think.”
Azure allowed a smile on her face. How could she not? Blisters never knew when to shut up, about like Monet. “I wasn’t referring to the horses.”
“Oh, well then who?” Blisters asked, staring around the kitchen. Even though he was quite short by unicorn standards, he still hadn’t spotted Manx sitting a few feet away. The little bunny was inconspicuous like that.
The bunny disappeared and the stallion form of Manx filled up the space. Blisters sprinted forward, hiding behind Azure’s legs, nearly stabbing her with his unicorn horn.
“She means me,” Manx said, sounding amused.
Buzz Buzz shot straight to the ceiling, a safe distance from the pooka. When she realized what he was, she lowered, her face red with anger. She then launched into a series of rants, or that’s what it sounded like.
Blisters stepped out beside Azure. “Oh, it’s just Manx. I thought you were a monster.”
The pooka shook his head, his mane of black hair splaying in the air.
“He is a monster. Your framework is just messed up, Blisters,” Azure said dully.
Manx shot into the form of a raven and flew through the kitchen, landing on Azure’s shoulder. He pecked her softly on the ear. “You know I’m no monster. Not to you anyway.”
“Stay out of the kitchen or I’ll show you what kind of monster lives in the basement of the House of Enchanted,” Azure said.
“Oh, threats are fun. I didn’t know you had that in you,” Manx teased.
“What kind of monsters? Oh, no. I won’t be able to sleep now. I’ll have to sleep with Monet again,” Blisters said, scuttling in their direction.
“There’s no monster, Scabs,” Manx said. “Azure is just trying to make me behave.”
“His name is Blisters and if you don’t behave then I’m not taking you on my world tour,” Azure said. “Also, there is a monster in the basement. If you don’t believe me then just ask the Queen Mother. She’ll tell you.”
“World tour! World tour! I’m going!” Blisters jumped, making a loud racket each time he landed on the tile floor.
Azure directed her wand at the kitchen, sweeping it through the air. The whipped cream and split pea soup disappeared, along with the dirty pan. “I’m sorry, Blisters. I really need your help here. I was actually hoping that you’d help Gillian mind the potion shop.”
Blisters backed up, his eyes going wide. “That’s a big job, Queen Azure.”
“One of the biggest,” Azure agreed with a nod.
“So you’re going to vacation all over Oriceran and leave me to take care of Virgo?” Blisters asked. Buzz Buzz was now curled on his back, fast asleep. The pixie played hard and slept hard.
Virgo hadn’t been more peaceful in five centuries. The scare of almost losing magic had put everything into perspective for the witches and wizards. Everyone was cheerier than before. Disputes were at a record low. And the good will between the Land of Terran and the new emperor, Azure’s brother, had created a new economic source. Virgo was now exporting large crops of vegetables to Terran, which at first had been a strange thing for them to eat.
“Yes, Blisters, I’m leaving Virgo in your hands…hooves. I can only leave if I know you’ll be watching over things,” Azure said.
Blisters lifted his head high, looking proud. “I won’t let you down.”
Azure patted the unicorn on the head and nodded. “I know I can depend on you. Why don’t you go and check in with the potion shop and I’ll meet up with you?”
“You got it!” Blisters bounded out of the kitchen so fast and hard that Buzz Buzz slid off his back and fell to the floor with a thud. The unicorn flew through the swinging door before the pixie recovered from the fall, looking around irritated and confused.
Azure scooped up the pixie, smiling at her. “I’m counting on it that you’ll look after Blisters. I can only leave if I know you’re in charge.”
Buzz Buzz beamed at Azure before launching into a long string of nonsense words. She then flew through the door that was still swinging and disappeared.
“You’re a wise and tricky queen,” Manx said, still perched on Azure’s shoulder.
“I’m mostly tricky, so don’t fucking cross me, pooka.”
Manx lowered his raven head in a show of respect. “I’d never dream of it, dear queen.”