Challenge #01371-C276: One Small Difference

Dragon: Tries to kidnap a princess

Dragon: Accidentally saves a Prince from a tower

Dragon: Isn't sure what happened -- OohLookShiny

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young Dragon in possession of a good lair, must be in want of a Princess. So it was for Ginrauth, who had not only terrorised the local Dwarfs into submitting 'donations' to his hoard, but had also found an abundance of shiny gemstones within the cavern he dug. He knew all there was to know about setting up a great lair, and having goodly part of it being an enormous geode was just a bonus.

Ginrauth went looking for towers. Humans stored all sorts of valuables in towers. Gold, grain, armaments... and Princesses of the right age.

Sometimes, there was a sorcerer in them. That was a loss of sorts. The really good sorcerers had wards and protections to keep Dragons away. The bad kind were crunchy and tasted excellent once flame-roasted.

But generally, a young Dragon seeking a Princess just had to listen for the singing. There was something about being stored in a tower that made for wonderful music. And most Princesses, Ginrauth was told, were eager for a change in scenery.

He avoided the towers in castles. Those came with siege weaponry and Dragon-arrows. What a discerning Dragon wanted was a Princess in a solitary tower. In the middle of a wilderness just made for a Hero to overcome.

And there one was. Past cliff, chasm, and a labyrinth of thorns. One roar was all it took to chase off the guardian Gargoyles, and it was a simple thing to lift off the conical roof and snatch up the human within. Mission accomplished.

As Ginrauth glided back to his lair, he examined his prize. Short hair. And nothing that looked like a fancy hat. Or a fancy dress. This Princess looked a lot more... masculine... than he'd been lead to expect.

"Oh thank the Gods," breathed the human. "I was dreading human's rescue." Their voice was deeper, but seemingly forced so. "Do you know how horrible it is to be a Princess when you're really a Prince?"

This... was not in the stories. "Er," said Ginrauth. "So... you're coming willingly?"

"Yes please," said the Prince. "I'll come and keep you company. And defend you against knights. All I want is the right to be me."

Ginrauth let the Prince ride astride his neck, and let the fellow tell stories. Prince Dane was a good storyteller, and even though he was barely a passable singer, he made excellent company.

Knights came, of course. They all came looking for a Princess Dahlia. They were mistaken, and then routed by Prince Dane, who had the benefit of Dwarven armaments and plenty of time to train.

One day, perhaps, they might go looking for a Princess together. But for the moment... life was good.

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