It was almost the end of summer. So much had happened since then. Sofia had found her first love, and Amber had gotten a taste for flying, deciding that she wanted her own flying horse.
Sofia remember when Amber made her request."
"Mother, father, I've been thinking about joining the Flying Derby team next year." Amber declared. "So I want to get my own horse."
"That's great, Amber." Roland smiled.
"Me and James can help you pick out a horse." Sofia suggested.
"That would be wonderful." Amber smiled. "I hope I find one as loyal and friendly as Minimus."
"But Sofia, what will the other princes say?" James asked.
"James, that's what you said when I came on the team." Sofia smirked.
"I know." James smirked. "I was just kidding."
"Amber, we'll get you get a horse just as soon as all of the tests are over." Roland declared.
"Thanks, guys." Amber nodded.
*End of flashback*
Finally, the day had come. Amber was at the royal stables, picking out a horse (With Sofia's help).
"What about this one?" Sofia asked, pointing to a white horse.
"Too big." Amber shook her head.
"This one?" Sofia indicated a grey color-ed horse.
"Not in that color." Amber shook her head.
Sofia groaned. Amber had looked at nearly a dozen horses, and rejected each one on minor details. She was certainly a picky one.
"Wait, what's this?" Amber spotted a tan horse with a golden mane.
"She's beautiful." Sofia smiled.
"Hello, there." Amber patted the horse on her snout. "I'm princess Amber. Would you like to be my horse."
The horse snorted and nodded her head.
"I think that's a 'yes'." Sofia chuckled.
"What should I name her?" Amber asked.
"Well, she has a golden mane, so how about Goldie?" Sofia suggested.
"I love it." Amber smiled. "But does she love it?"
The horse snorted and nodded her head.
"I think so." Sofia smiled.
"Let's take her to Sir Gillam." Amber declared.
The sisters took Goldie to Sir Gilliam, and informed him of Amber's intentions. Sir Gilliam gladly let Amber have Goldie. Afterwards, Amber went to change into her new riding clothes. Sofia took the opportunity to talk to Goldie.
"Hello Goldie." She smiled. "I'm Sofia. You can talk back. My Amulet let's me hear you."
"Really?" Goldie asked.
"Really." Sofia chuckled.
"Well Sofia, you can count on me to take good care of your sister." Goldie declared.
"I know you will." Sofia nodded.
Amber came back into the stables, wearing her new riding clothes.
"Okay, I'm ready." She declared.
"And so is Goldie." Sofia replied.
"Let's see what she can do." Amber smiled.
The girls took their horses outside and mounted them, taking off shortly after.
"Remember to start off slow." Sofia instructed. "Don't try anything too difficult."
"Right." Amber nodded.
"Goldie, let's work on our turning." Amber suggested.
Goldie flapped her wings, heading upwards.
"We'd better go with them, Minimus." Sofia declared.
"You got it." Minimus nodded.
After twenty minutes of practice, they returned to the ground.
"Nice work, Amber." Sofia smiled. "You're really getting the hang of this."
"Of course." Amber smiled.
As Amber tended to Goldie, Minimus turned to Sofia.
"Boy that Goldie was really something, wasn't she?" He smiled. "So agile, and elegant..."
"Why, Minimus." Sofia chuckled. "Do you have a crush on Goldie?"
"No, no way!" Minimus blustered. "Besides, she wouldn't think much of a horse like me..."
"You're a great horse." Sofia smiled. "Goldie would really you, trust me."
Meanwhile, prince Hugo had arrived at the course. He noticed Amber.
"Ah Princesses Amber, just the Princesses I wanted to see." He smirked. "Maybe I can get back on her Good side."
He walked over to her.
"Princess Amber." He smiled.
"Prince Hugo." Amber said curtly, not even bothering to turn around.
"I see you have a horse of your own now." Hugo noted.
"Yes." Amber nodded. "Looks like flying derby's no longer a 'prince thing'."
"No, it's not." Hugo groaned. "Let me know if you need any pointers."
"Sorry, but I already have someone for that." Amber sneered. "Sofia can teach me everything I need to know. Now if you don't mind, I have more practicing to do."
"Of course, Amber." Hugo growled as he walked away.
James caught Hugo as he was on his way to the stables.
"You'd better not be trying to mess with my sister." James threatened.
"Perish the thought." Hugo smirked. "But flying derby can be quite dangerous."
"What are you getting at, Hugo?" James frowned.
"I'm just saying, it'd be a pity if Amber had an accident." Hugo continued. "She might ruin that pretty face of hers."
"Listen, you." James growled. "You do anything to Amber, and you'll regret it!"
"Who said anything about me doing anything to her?" Hugo said innocently. "I was just implying what might happen."
"Yeah, well, go imply somewhere else!" James snarled.
"Anything you say, James." Hugo sneered as he walked away.
"Gonna have to keep an eye out for him." James mused.
Sofia and Amber came down soon after, returning their horses to the stables.
"You were really great up there, Amber." Sofia smiled.
"Well, I had a good teacher." Amber said modestly.
"Hey, girls." James greeted them.
"Hello, James." Sofia smiled.
"Did you see me up there?" Amber asked.
"Yeah, not bad." James shrugged. "Anyway, I think we've got trouble."
James talked them though his encounter with Hugo.
"...So you'd better watch yourselves." He finished.
"Ooh, that Hugo!" Amber seethed. "How much lower can he sink?"
"We can handle Hugo." Sofia told her. "As long as we all stick together, and watch each others' he won't dare try anything."
"Good thinking, Sofia." James nodded.
The kids all put their horses back in the stable, then headed for home. In the stable, Minimus sidled over to Goldie.
"H-hi, Goldie." He stuttered. "I'm Minimus. That was some really nice flying you did up there."
"Thanks." Goldie smiled. "You weren't so bad yourself... for a horse your size."
"Thanks... I think." Minimus smiled. "How do you like your new rider?"
"Princess Amber?" Goldie mused. "She's okay. Got some good moves for a beginner."
"That's because she rode me a few times." Minimus explained. "In fact, that's what made want to have her very own flying horse."
"Well then, I owe you a little more thanks." Godlie declared. "I've been waiting for an owner for so long, and you helped make it happen."
"You're welcome." Minimus said bashfully.
That night at dinner, Roland wasted no time in asking the obvious question.
"So, how was flying derby practice, kids?" He inquired.
"It was wonderful, daddy." Amber gushed. "I love my new horse. Her name is Goldie, and she is so beautiful, and a great flyer, too."
"How nice for you, Amber." Miranda smiled.
"Now, kids, I'm afraid your mother and I must leave for a diplomatic mission tomorrow." Roland declared. "We'll be gone for a few days, actually."
"You'll be back in time for the race this Saturday, won't you?" Amber asked worriedly. "It's my first flying derby race ever. You can't miss that!"
"Don't worry, Amber." Miranda smiled. "We'll be back before Saturday."
"And in the meantime, you'll have Baileywick and the servants to look after you." Roland added.
"Indeed you will." Baileywick smiled. "You can rely on me, your majesty."
"You see?" Miranda smiled. "Everything will be fine."
"Okay, mom." Sofia nodded.
After dinner, the kids gathered together.
"Do you think we should have told mother and father about Hugo?" Amber asked.
"It's best not to worry them." Sofia shrugged. "Besides, we have no proof he's going to do anything."
"True." Amber sighed.
"We can handle Hugo ourselves." James declared. "Shouldn't be too hard, dealing with a blowhard like him."
"All the same, we should try and figure out a way of finding out what he's up to." Sofia mused. "Maybe if one of us were to get close to him."
"Don't look at me." Amber grimaced. "I don't want to be in the same kingdom with him, let alone the same place."
"Okay, scratch that." James declared.
"And he won't want me coming near him, either." Sofia pointed out. "Not after I beat him in the qualifier."
"What about Cleo?" Amber suggested. "Hugo likes her. They even worked together on the dream castle project, remember?"
"That could work." Sofia nodded. "As long as she's willing to do it."
"Okay, then." Amber nodded. "I'll talk to her about it during lunch tomorrow."
"Right." Sofia smiled. "Now, let's get ready for bed."
"Sure." James nodded. "Night."
"Good night." Amber yawned.
The next day, just as lunch was ending, Amber met with Sofia and James at the far side of Royal Prep's cafeteria.
"Cleo's in." She declared.
"Really?" Sofia asked.
"Of course." Amber answered. "Apparantly, he was so bossy and controlling during their dream castle project, she's been hoping to find a way to get back at him ever since."
"How about?" James smirked. "She didn't even need convincing."
"Lucky for us, Hugo still thinks Cleo's completely into him, so he won't be suspicious about her hanging around him." Amber smirked. "Maybe if his head weren't so big, he'd be a little smarter."
"Let's get in some more flying practice after school." Sofia suggested.
"You don't have to tell me twice." Amber nodded. "I can't wait to get back on Goldie."
After school, the kids went to the royal stables. To Sofia's surprise, Minimus wasn't in his stable, but was in Goldie's, the two flying horses chatting away.
"Hey there, Minimus." She smiled.
"Oh, hey, Sofia." Minimus said nervously. "Me and Goldie were just talking..."
"That's nice." Sofia chuckled. "But now it's time to get some practice in."
Sofia, James and Amber saddled their horses and took off into the sky.
"You and Goldie were getting along pretty well back there." Sofia noted to Minimus.
"Yeah, I told her how riding me was what made Amber want her own flying horse." Minimus declared. "She really likes me for that."
"I'd say Goldie like you for who you are." Sofia smiled.
"Thanks Sofia." Minimus beamed as they flew ever upwards.
Meanwhile, Cleo walked towards Hugo, intending to put the plan into action.
"Prince Hugo, how would you like to have lunch with me tomorrow?" She asked.
"I'd love to, fair princess." Hugo smarmed.
"Great." Cleo smiled. "Oh, and good luck up there, prince Hugo"
"I don't need luck." Hugo boasted.
Hugo swaggered into the stables.
"It's payback time." Cleo sneered.
Up above, Amber was getting better and better at flight manoeuvres.
"A little to the left, Goldie." She instructed. "Good girl."
"Here comes trouble." James noted, as Hugo flew towards them.
"What do you want, Hugo?" Sofia asked.
"Not much." Hugo shrugged. "Except to show you how a real flyer does it."
"Keep dreaming, pal." James snorted.
"Oh, yeah?" Hugo sneered. Pulling his horse's reins, he performed an impressive manoeuvre. "Top that."
"In my sleep." James smirked.
James pulled off an even better move.
"Maybe you oughta be taking lessons from us." James joked.
"Oh, just you wait." Hugo sneered. "The big race is coming up. I'll come in first, and prove once and for all who the best flyer is!"
"Good luck with that." James sneered.
The kids returned from their practice just in time to see their parents off.
"Good luck on your diplomatic mission." Sofia smiled.
"Thanks, dear." Miranda beamed.
"You'll all be good for Baileywick, I trust?" Roland asked.
"Of course, daddy?" Amber nodded.
"When have we ever not been good?" James asked.
"You don't really want me to answer that, do you?" Roland chuckled.
"Not really, no." James smirked.
"We'll be back before you know it." Miranda hugged her children. "Promise."
"Let's hope so." Amber smiled. "You don't want to miss my racing debut."
"We wouldn't dream of it, sweetheart." Roland smiled.
The kids followed their parents outside, waving them off as their carriage carried them away. Once the carriage had carried their parents past the horizon, the kids went back indoors.
"It's almost time for dinner, young majesties." Baileywick announced. "you won't want to miss today's dessert: Jiggly-wiggly pudding!"
"Alright!" James cheered.
The kids went to the dining room. The absence of their parents putting a dampener on their spirits.
The next day, Cleo met with Amber as they entered Royal Prep.
"Well?" Amber asked.
"I haven't gotten anything out of him so far, but I'll keep trying." Cleo whispered. "Lucky for us, he just loves talking about himself."
"And we appreciate your sacrifice." Amber said with sympathy. "It can't be easy, listening to going on and on about himself."
"I'm used to it." Cleo said sardonically.
"How so?" Amber asked.
"Never mind." Cleo said quickly. "I'll try and get more out of him during lunch."
"Keep up the good work." Amber nodded.
Later, at lunch, Cleo sat with Hugo.
"The big race race is tomorrow." She noted. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm glad you asked." Hugo pulled out a small pouch. "I got this sneezing powder from my dad. At the race, I'm going to pour it all over those Enchian losers. That'll show 'em."
"Yeah, it will." Cleo laughed nervously.
Afterwards, Cleo found Amber and warned her.
"So, that's Hugo's game, eh?" She sneered. "We'll soon see about that. Good work, Cleo. I trust you'll be attending tomorrow's race?"
"Wouldn't miss it." Cleo smirked.
Roland and Miranda returned home the next morning, mere hours before the race.
"Sorry we're late, everyone." Roland apologised. "Diplomacy took a little longer then we thought."
"That's okay." Sofia smiled. "You're here now."
After sharing a late breakfast, the family started to move.
"We'd better get to the stables." James noted.
"My first race." Amber beamed. "I can hardly contain myself!"
"We'll be rooting for you." Roland smiled.
"All of you." Miranda added.
Before long, all the racers were standing at the starting line. Hugo looked very pleased with himself.
"Remember what I told you." Amber whispered.
"Watch out for any powder." Sofia recited. "Got it."
The race began. The riders soared through the course, each trying to take the lead.
"You should stuck to cheering real flyers on, Amber!" Hugo jeered as he flew ahead.
"Oh, yeah?" Amber frowned. "Let's show him, Goldie!"
With a burst of speed, Goldie caught up to Hugo's horse.
"Oh no, you don't." Hugo sneered, reaching into the pouch.
Amber realised what Hugo was trying to do. She pulled up on Goldie's reins.
"Flap, Goldie!" She yelled.
Goldie flapped her wings hard, sending the dust right back at Hugo. The obnoxious prince started sneezing. One particularly violent fitthrew him off his horse, and onto a stack of hay bales.
With Hugo out of the race, Amber flew to the front of the pack, finishing in third place behind James and Sofia. The crowd cheered wildly. Minimus and Goldie smiled at each other, silently acknowledging their victory.
"Well done, Amber!" Roland cheered as he and Miranda came to greet them. "Third place! Not bad for your first race."
"Thank you, father." Amber smiled.
"You were great, Amber." Sofia added.
"Yeah, not bad at all." James nodded.
"If you think I'm good now, just wait until I get some more practice in." Amber smirked. "Who knows? Someday, I might be better then both of you."
"We'll see." James smirked.
"Yes, we will." Amber smirked back.