Land of Terran: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 4
By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr
The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years… until now.
Laurel strode beside Queen Azure, her eyes low. It was still so strange for the werecat to travel around Virgo without being hyper aware of her surroundings. She’d have to get used to it.
“Are you sure you won’t join us? We could use someone with your logic skills on this expedition,” Azure said.
“No, I’m cataloging new plants native to Virgo. I had documented all of the ones I could find in the Lancothy. This is a part of my life’s work, to create essential oils from plants which have many uses,” Laurel said.
“You fit in well here in Virgo with that mindset. We rely on Oriceran too to heal us and provide the remedies we need,” Azure said.
“Except for now. Your people…” Laurel trailed away, her cat eyes full of remorse.
“My people will recover. We’ll use industrious spirit like yours to persevere.”
“Maybe I’ll discover something while you’re gone. Something that can help. I’m intrigued by the lavender that grows wild here. I’ve never seen anything like it and think the medicinal purposes will be numerous,” Laurel said, a bit of excitement in her voice.
“Very good. I’ve asked Finnegan to give you access to the lab in Charmsgood’s old potion shop. It’s not being used and will be a good place for you to create your essential oils. Once they’re tested then feel free to sell them at the artisan market,” Azure said, taking the reins of the horse being offered to her.
“Oh good, the queen has decided to grace us with her presence,” Monet said, already on his own horse.
“Where’s Gillian?” Azure asked staring around the stables.
“You haven’t heard?” Monet asked, covering his laugh with the side of his hand.
“Heard what?” Azure wasn’t sure she wanted to know. Had the Gnome abandoned them after stealing secrets, about like Ever?
“Well, your favorite new pet decided he was accompanying us and Gillian actually agreed,” Monet said, pointing to the stable doors.
Azure stared ahead, confusion masking her expression. She dropped the reigns of her horse when Blisters came galloping out of the stables. A saddle had been poorly fitted to the little unicorn and slid down and to the ground as he bounded forward.
“Blisters, what are you doing here?” Azure asked.
“Blisters gets to go on your adventure. The lovely Gillian agreed when I made him an offer,” the small unicorn said, frolicking in a circle.
Azure lifted her gaze to find Gillian marching out of the stable, a bridle in his hand.
“What is going on?” she asked.
“Well, as you might have guessed, Queen Azure,” Gillian began, “I’m a bit small to ride a full-sized horse.”
“However!” Monet interjected, a wide smile on his face.
“However, Blisters agreed that I could ride him, if he was allowed to go,” Gillian said, his chest puffed out.
“Oh dear Merlin.” Azure stuck her hand to her forehead, her eyes wide. “And of course, you wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to ride a unicorn, even if he brought disaster and death with him,” Azure whispered in Gillian’s direction, a hand cupped around her mouth.
“Exactly,” Gillian said proudly. He strode forward and fit the bridle over Blister’s head, although the excited unicorn jumped around making the tasks ever harder.
“I’m going to save the world! Me and pals are going to save Oriceran. Glory be to us!” he sang.
Azure stared up at the heavens. “Fuck my life,” she whispered.
“I second that, sister,” Monet said, withdrawing a flask from his robes and taking a long drink.
Azure mounted her horse before gazing down at Laurel. “Well, if we don’t return, then please take care of Finswick for me. Maybe take him on your travels. He’s always wanted to leave Virgo, but I’ve never allowed it.”
Laurel offered an encouraging smile. “I’m certain that won’t be necessary. I’ll be here when you all return,” the werecat said.
“Hold still,” Gillian said to Blisters with an irritated growl. He fitted the saddle on the unicorn’s back, tightening it and ensuring the attached bags were secure. Twice he tried to throw his stumpy leg over the side of the unicorn’s back but was dragged the opposite direction. Gillian held onto the reins as the tiny unicorn charged forward, unaware that his rider was only half on him.
After nearly being trampled under hooves, Gillian pulled himself upright on Blisters, a determined look in his eyes. The gnome gripped the reins, holding them tightly.
“It isn’t too late to make different travel arrangements,” Azure said, careful with her choice of words.
Thinking she was speaking to him, Blisters shook his head, his mane of rainbow hair swaying. “No, I’ve made up my mind and want Gillian as my rider.”
Azure offered the gnome one last look of warning, to which he replied by tucking his chin and flicking the reins. “We’d better be off. We’ll want to reach the river by nightfall.”
Blisters started forward, a small toot sounding from his rear end, like a broken trumpet. His horn-like music didn’t stop until Azure and Monet joined Blisters, their horses striding beside him as he ran at full speed.
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