“Hi, I’m Diaeyraeiynyae,” the girl said with a curtsey. “I am princess of-”

“I’m just going to stop you right there,” said Adjudicator Nomis. “Do you think there are enough vowels in your name? Maybe room to cram a few more in there? I mean it’s already got a point count high enough to hit infinity with a triple word score, but surely you can do better?”


“Listen, sweetheart,” said Grand Mufti Al-Temsah. “Giving a princess a name with more vowels than the Hawaiian language was in about eighteen to twenty years ago, so we’ve seen enough of it to last a lifetime. Sorry, but you’re out.”

“No, I do not think that my name has too many apostrophes in it! It’s a name of proud meaning and lineage among the D’in’olq’toq’plar!”

“All right, how about this?” said Adjudicator Nomis. “You’re argumentative and irritating. We want sparks, yes, but you’ll reduce the whole place to ashes!”

“Free tip, sweetie,” added Mufti Al-Temsah. “Arguing with the judges is almost always a direct ticket to exiting state right.”

“I’ve killed fifty men, saved countless idiot suitors, and I can do a horse rotation on my carriage while changing my own oats,” said Princess Dil.

“My congratulations to you, madam, but I’m afraid you just don’t have what it takes to make it to the next round,” said the Grand Mufti. “Thanks for coming.”

“It’s because I’m a strong female character, isn’t it?” snarled Dil. “You’re looking for a powderpuff to feed your misogynist princess ideals!”

“No, it’s because you’re not on the list and slaughtered twelve Heron Guards to get here,” said Nomis. “It wouldn’t be fair to the princesses who filled out their applications in full.”

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