Dark Forest – Snippet 4

Dark Forest: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 2

By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr

The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years… until now.

Chapter Three

Azure and Richard stood silently, backs flat against the brick wall in the alley behind the jail. Azure had used magic to put Robert into his guard uniform, something neither he nor Richard could do because their magic reserves were depleted. They were waiting for him to get through security and grab her soul stone from storage. According to Robert, the guards there when he was booked weren’t the same ones on duty now, so he should be fine.

Squinting against the evening sun, Azure stared at her father. He was still in the suit he’d been wearing at the press conference. Worse, he was the most recognizable person in Terran. She aimed her wand at his face and muttered an incantation, and his features shifted, his eyes turning to brown and his thin nose enlarging. The hair on his head also faded until it was a solid dirt color.

“What did you do?” he asked in a whisper, hands darting to his face.

“I changed your appearance. Don’t worry, it won’t last for long.” She grimaced at his drab head of brown hair. Then she pointed her wand at herself, reluctant to do the same thing to her own hair. Finally she pressed her eyes shut and turned herself back into Candace Smith, with her blonde hair and brown eyes. Instantly she missed her blue tresses.

“Wow! I will never get used to witch magic.” He shook his head in disbelief.

Azure had so many questions. Like, who was this guy? What was he like? How had he and her mother come to be together? However, those would have to wait…maybe forever.

“Okay, so how are we getting into the palace?” she asked.

“The good news is, we won’t have to. Tonight is the unveiling of a new monument on the far side of city. I’m guessing my brother will be giving the opening address in my absence, so if we can get backstage, you can use magic on him when he’s alone. Just before he goes out.”

“Okay, that will have to work as far as a plan goes. What’s this a monument to? Is it Phillip’s face scowling at everyone in disapproval?”

Richard actually laughed at her remark, his expression looking strange with his new nose. “Actually, it’s funny that you say face. At Phillip’s request, the sculpture was modeled after a famous monument on Earth. The one there is of the faces of famous people, so here we did the faces of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Oprah, and Hillary Clinton. It’s called Crushmore.”

Azure could only shake her head. “I have no idea who those people are.”

She heard someone approaching at her back and whipped around, only to let out a sigh of relief. Robert strode in their direction, an easy smile on his face.

She snapped her fingers at him, impatience oozing from her.

“Here you are,” he told her when he reached them. He dropped the soul stone from his hand but held onto the chain, making the gem sway in the air.

“Thank Merlin!” Azure reached forward and ripped the chain from his hand. She fastened the necklace around her throat at once, feeling the stone warm against her skin.

“One day I’ll let you buy me a drink to thank me.” At that, Robert backed up, turned, and sped off in the opposite direction. He needed to get out of there before he was seen, and she and her father needed to get out of view and across town.

Azure turned to Richard. “Lead the way,” she said, holding out a hand.

He nodded and stepped forward.

“Not so fast there, Princess Azure,” a voice said behind them.

Azure regarded him for a long moment. “What’s the catch? And it’d better not include a date this time. I should think you would have gathered by now that I was going to stand you up.”

“I did figure as much,” Robert said. “Just magically put me into my guard’s uniform, and I’ll go in there and grab your soul stone. Then we’ll all walk out of here free.”

Checking the hallway, Azure confirmed it was still empty, but that wouldn’t last much longer. “Okay, fine, but when you leave here, lie low. Don’t attract any attention to the fact that you’ve escaped. As soon as they figure it out, they’ll have the palace on lock down.”

“Hey, I’m here to make things easier. Don’t worry!” Robert smiled.

FROM SARAh>>>In book two we meet a few new magical creatures. It’s a great time for me to ask you, what’s one of your favorite magical friends? Elves, unicorns, gnomes, trolls, fairies, orcs… the list goes on and on.