An hour before sunset progress seemed to halt. The leaders of the army threaded their way to the front to see what had happened but Č., T., and a few others knew what they would see. As the road curved about an ancient stand of oaks, the fields surrounding the capital revealed themselves. The familiar outline of the city could be seen in the distance.
Č., who had been caught playing on the Lion Throne when not much older than Š., looked now at the place of her birth, her former home, a world of terrifying memories. She felt her stomach lurch and forced herself to remain calm. V. watched apprehensively.
Her eyes moistened as she thought of her mother and the night in the dungeon when G. swiftly kissed her farewell and departed forever, leaving Č. in the charge of total strangers.
At this point the basting threads are pulled and the banner of the Black Lion is revealed without the brisure that proclaimed our princess as the third child. She is now visually proclaimed to have the title in her own right, to be Her Magnificence, the new Black Lion. She has, up to this point, refused to be called by the title. Now she can no longer pretend it is not happening.
Let us pray for children forced to grow up too soon.
Sweet dreams, my felicitous ferrets!