New Egypt: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 5
By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr
The sun wasn’t even up when something awoke Azure. She peeled open one eye to find Finswick sitting on her chest, his tail sitting on her face. Pushing up to a sitting position, she tossed the cat off her. “Why do you have your ass in my face?” she asked, wiping the hair clinging to her face away.
“Oh, you’re awake. Great, we can get on the road,” Finswick said from the corner of the large bed.
Azure let out a sigh of frustration. “Very cute. Yes, now I’m awake, but we’re not leaving until the planned time.”
“You realize that you’re queen and can do whatever you like.”
Azure eyed the clock on her bedside table. “Firstly, Monet probably went to bed an hour ago. Secondly, I’m queen, which means, I can banish you if you don’t keep your butt out of my face while I’m sleeping.”
Finswick lifted his chin high in the air. “I, as your familiar, am linked to you. If you banish me then you’ll banish a part of yourself. Hurt me and you’ll feel pain.”
“Is that how it works? I think you’re making it up,” Azure challenged.
“Only one way to find you.” Finswick leapt from the bed, pawing at the door to Azure’s room, opening it. “Chop chop. The sun will be up in an hour. Let’s get going.”
Azure rolled her eyes, pushing the large comforter off of her legs. “I have a feeling I’m going to regret allowing that cat on this trip.”
“Finswick, have you seen my hiking boots?” Azure called to the other room, where she could hear the cat clawing up the chaise lounge that sat in the corner.
The scratching stopped. “Yes, your gran used a disappearing spell on them last night while you were sleeping,” Finswick said, a laugh in his voice.
Azure pulled her head out of the giant armoire, confused. “What? Why would the batty old woman do that?”
“Because if she can’t find them then she can’t wear them,” Finswick said in a voice meant to be an impersonation of Gran.
“That damn witch.” Azure pulled the only pair of boots she could find from her dresser. She held up the knee high boots with a sneer. “So she obviously wants me to break my neck by the looks of it.”
“Probably, but she also said that you had an appearance to keep up while on the world tour and doing that in muddy boots and a scraggly ponytail wouldn’t cut it.” Finswick peeled around the open door, rubbing against it. “She actually washed me and brushed me with argan oil.”
Azure eyed the black and white cat. He did look sleeker. “Well, are you planning on doing my hair, because if not then I’m throwing this mess into a ponytail.” She indicated her head of messy blue hair.
“I’ll do your hair if it will get you out of here quicker.”
“Why are you so antsy to get out of Virgo?” Azure asked.
“I’ve never been out of these borders. For a hundred years, I’ve watched over you and the House of Enchanted. It’s my turn to have the adventure. Do you know that they have rats the size of small dogs in New Egypt?” Finswick asked, looking interested in an answer.
Azure grimaced. “That’s disgusting. On second thought, we’re not going to that kingdom.”
“The hell we’re not. I’m catching one of those rodents and then mounting its head over our bed.”
Azure turned and looked at her canopy bed. “Uh, yeah, I don’t think so, Fin.”
“Get dressed already. Your breakfast is already cold.”
“I haven’t even ordered it yet,” Azure stated.
“Yes, but I have. It was delivered an hour ago, when you should have been up.”
Azure huffed, but smiled inside. She was secretly thrilled for Finswick. He did deserve this trip. They’d see so much of Oriceran together. It would be different than her other adventures, because there would be no dangers. They could just sit back, enjoy the scenery and relax.
“I’d be ready, but I can’t find my hiking pants…” Azure trailed away. “Wait, the old witch?”
Finswick nodded. “She put a disappearing spell on anything that made you look common. Put on a dress and let’s go.”
“I can’t travel in a dress. That nutty old bag is out of her mind,” Azure said. She pulled a black skirt from the wardrobe. It wasn’t exactly appropriate for hiking, but it was better than the jewel encrusted gowns that lined the armoire. The plain shirt must have slipped by Gran.
Azure threw on her clothes and tied her hair into a loose braid. She was just about to head out of her chamber when she paused in the doorway. Something on the table caught her eye. Drago’s knife winked back at her, its shiny hilt catching the light from the fire. She doubled back and grabbed the knife. The orc’s hand-forged weapon had served her well before. Maybe it would come in handy again, if they encountered any danger.