"My royal rump is sore," Edgar moaned. Even as he complained, he flashed a pearly white smile. The entourage broke into laughter, snapping at the reins of their mounts. Chocobos, feathers of gold shining brighter in the hot desert sun, bounded across the dunes towards Castle Figaro.
"So you are the pampered princeling after all," the Captain grunted. There were gaps separating his yellow teeth. "Fair-faced and pale skinned, just as the ladies of court prefer."
"Aye," a subordinate called out from behind. "They say the other is the real man o' the two."
"He certainly has the sandy chin to prove it," Edgar smirked. Yes, he was the handsome one, but he was no spoiled child. He understood this game of theirs. It was a test to see just what kind of man Edgar was. If he took offense to the jest, he was no fellow of theirs. If you smile, laugh, and own up to these accusations, you prove yourself worthy of such company.
Were Sabin here in his stead, posterior bouncing upon the back of this bird of burden, they would find some other way to test his virtue. Perhaps they'd send his naive sibling on a fool's errand, lost in the caverns or forest while the rest had slept and handled business back at the village. Or perhaps they'd send his mount back to its home, forcing him to walk the rest of the way. Knowing Sabin, he'd do it, too. He'd die on those sands, proud, never having given in to their japes.
"The other will make a good general," the captain suddenly stated rather solemnly. It wasn't optimistic speculation, though Edgar was certain it was intended to be taken thusly. The young prince knew the truth, however.
Edgar's hand reached into his pocket, his finger caressing the two-faced coin that his father had once given him. The King's demise was near, and a successor had yet to be named.