Mitym's palace parents, that is what he liked to call Nnalo and Bibma, had given him the same instructions as they had given Eticia.
"You must always let the princess win." Like all the other youth, he wondered about the rule. It didn't make any sense.
When the princess was little, the scarf race had just been for the palace youth. However, on her 8th birthday, the race had been opened to the public.
Many children from the surrounding villages had come to join the fun. Many of the children from his own village of giants even came to participate.
Mitym wondered if it was just a coincidence that others were allowed to join once the princess declared she only wanted to watch the scarf race.
He didn't think so, but that didn't mean he could figure out the answer to the riddle of why. He just knew that it tied together somehow.
Mitym felt bad for Atamar. He saw how everyone watched her. He was sure
she felt like he did when he was at home with his giant parents.
In the giant village, he was constantly watched. The way everyone treated him made him always conscious that there was something wrong with him. He knew how much he hated it.
He still got a little bit of that at the palace, but it was easier. But Atamar didn't have anywhere to go to escape from it all.
Since he knew how it felt, he was always looking for ways to help. He frequently volunteered to be the guard at the different competitions the young people had when they were alone.
He kept hoping that the adults would stay away long enough to let Atamar finish a competition. They never did.
He was always so disappointed when he had to yell, "Promising Day Princess." He could see the shoulders slump in disappointment as Atamar realized she had lost another chance to see how she compared to the others.
He was excited when she asked him to help her with her grammar. Maybe this was his chance to make things better. He would search for ways to make her laugh and smile.
He would mimic their teacher, tell her jokes, read her funny stories, and laugh about her mistakes. He knew the others did the same.
They all wanted to make up to her for what she had lost. They couldn't beat her at anything outside the maze, but inside the maze they would make her forget.
Mitym had to work hard to learn the subject matter, but it was worth it. He greatly enjoyed his teaching job. He loved seeing Atamar's smile when she understood—and her laugh, oh that was priceless.
He tried to make up the funniest sentences and stories for them to use to practice correcting. Sometimes, he would write them about other people in the palace. He would make them do the craziest things.
One story was about Lylek going fishing and getting pulled in. The fish held her prisoner in an underwater dungeon until she promised not to fish anymore.
Another story was about Yasec having tea with the queen and trying to be dainty and proper but failing miserably.
The other palace youth quickly found out what was going on, and they asked the princess if she would mind if they came. She said anyone who had made the promise was allowed to join them any time.
Sometimes there would be a large group gathered around Mitym as he taught the grammar lesson. They enjoyed seeing who could find and fix mistakes the fastest. If Atamar found it first, it was for real, and she knew it.
The study sessions were so fun that Mitym would often go to the maze to join her other study sessions. Eticia's word problems were hilarious, and Isoje would always find some funny way to relate the science to things that happened in the palace.
The hours they spent in the maze were priceless, but so was the expression on their teacher's face when people suddenly started catching on so quickly in class.
Then there was the laughter. When the teacher would go over something, it would remind them of some funny incident that happened in the maze while learning about that.
They would try to stifle their laughter, but once someone thought of it and started snickering, it would remind the others, and soon they couldn't help it.
They were laughing uncontrollably. Even Atamar would smile and once she had laughed in class.
Suddenly, Mitym's thoughts were interrupted by his dragon veering downward...
YOU ARE READING
Princess Atamar has always grown up being the best. Of course, it wasn't of her choosing. Every teen in the kingdom, including her closest friends were forced to make sure Atamar always won their games, had higher grades, and was better at everythin...