Phillip often felt that he would have been better off being born the second son.

Yes, he was the crown prince, and there were great perks that came with that title. But for the most part it was work, work, work. Ever since he turned sixteen, his father had insisted that he participate in all official meetings and conferences with the king's Council. At first it had felt great to be included, but now it seemed that it was all he ever did. His whole life was consumed by helping his father run the country and by being forced by his mother to attend royal balls, which he detested. All those simpering princesses vying for his attention! It was enough to make anyone gag.

But today would be different, Phillip thought with a grin as he sat up in his oversize four-poster bed. Today his father had promised, albeit with much begging on Phillip's part, to let him go for a ride around the castle. A quick jaunt, his father had said. But Phillip had other plans in mind. He was a prince, after all, and today he was going to do exactly as he wished. Permission or not.