Pique'n'yer interest 

“To thyself be – enough.”

Page 2 of 3

"You're true to yourself, young man," he said. "If you're to live here, you must learn one thing. To thyself be - enough. Can you do it?"

Peter nodded, unsure of what the king meant. He was then sent off to play in the mountain with the other subjects, sliding down icy hills with nothing to stop them but their hands. He linked arms with Nicola and they slid together down to the meadow, laughing all the way.

Once there he found the other subjects blissful and happy to have nothing more than what was before them. One drank ale, another smoked a pipe. Yet another popped a magic pill and danced to the music of nature. Peter joined in all these things, forgetting the journey and anything else before it. So it went for three days.

On the fourth day, Nicola woke him at dawn. She escorted him back to her father's castle, saying nothing along the way. Once there they found her father sitting still, a staff at his side, staring gravely as they approached.

He asked Peter what he thought of his time in Brose. Peter enjoyed it much, struggling to compare it with any experience he'd had before. The King said he must do one last thing if he wished to stay. He could marry Nicola, live happily, perhaps even become king himself once the current sovereign passed on.

The king lifted an orb from the top of the staff and placed it on the arm of his throne. He then reached again to his staff and pulled out a needle so thin the eye could barely perceive it. The king held it in front of his face, then ran it across his right eye, tracing the path of a scar that ran across his retina. It was a scar that left him half-blind, able to see only enough.

To thyself be - enough.

Peter looked at Nicola and saw the same scar. He backed away from them both then turned to find all the subjects of Brose standing before him. They too held needles in front of their eyes. They approached him one step at a time, marching on the wanderer they hoped would join them willingly.

Peter screamed, looked around for an exit, then remembered - enough.

He leaped through a castle wall, realizing it was only strong enough to help the building stand. He slid down the mountain, pursued nonchalantly by the Brosians. He found his satchel at the edge of the forest and ran into it, though the subjects had long since given up their pursuit.

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