The princess held up her chained hands. “The sorcerer has the key, and he has told me that he will unlock my bonds only if a fully honest man comes to save me. Are you that man?”
“I hope so,” said the young man.
Suddenly, in a flash of lightning, the sorcerer appeared, tall and skeletally thin, his skin greenish and his eyes glittering red, wrapped in a long dark cloak that gleamed and moved disturbingly.
“At last, a worthy suitor,” he said, his voice deep and oddly echoing. “Are you a prince, lad?”
“No,” the boy said simply.
“No?” the sorcerer raised an eyebrow. “No royal blood at all? Why on earth would I release this beautiful prize to a commoner?”
The lad looked briefly at the princess, so lovely and strong, so solemn ...