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The day came for the liveliest feast at the castle: The day of the princess' formal engagement. All nobles and merchants had been invited, and the peasant of the kingdom lurked in the distance around the castle, catching glimpses of the royalty and nobles as they arrived.

Within the great hall, musicians played the merriest jigs, and the feasters took in the most splendid wine and pheasant. In the middle of it all, many guests danced—and at the very center was the princess.

She smiled away as she danced with her betrothed, alighting into the air as she been taught as royal. She beamed and waved between dancing steps at the feasters, who raised their glasses and cheered in her happy wake.

Only...she was not happy. She met the prince only the day before: a marriage arranged by the king to the prince of a neighboring land.

Their kingdom, in this union, would be safe.

She would not be.

Submitted: September 10, 2022

© Copyright 2022 B.J. Vancheyson. All rights reserved.


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