The boy watches from his dias, ruffled dress pressing in uncomfortably on all sides. They insisted on a corset this morning, ignoring his winces as the maid pulled it tight around curves that are becoming harder to ignore. It wasn’t the first time he had borne this sense of wrong as someone worked to present all the most awkward parts of him to the world. After all, he is the princess, and with that title comes certain obligations.

Including, apparently, suffering the groggy afternoon heat as a goatherder’s son tries to tug an ancient sword from a stone.

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