Many years ago, in a country that has disappeared with the ages, lived the glorious Emperor Sule. Sule ruled his realm wisely and fairly, and was much loved by his people. There was one subject however, on which Sule was frantic and unreasonable, and no one in his court or indeed the entire country could change his mind. Sule was a wealthy man, his treasury overflowed with riches, but the jewel that he prized above all others was his own daughter, his only offspring. When the girl was first born, Sule gazed at her, and a great fear gripped his heart. The child's beauty was so stunning that Sule knew even at her early age that in adulthood she would be in much demand by suitors everywhere, a thought which filled him with great jealousy. Therefore, an imperial edict was issued, commanding that his daughter would live in isolation, and that no man's eyes would fall upon her. Any man who violated this decree would be castrated, his tongue would be cut out, and he would live his life in silent servitude among the eunuchs that dwelled in the palace.
For many years, this situation was suitable to all, the princess being a proper and chaste young lass, and obedient to her father in all things. The years went by however, and the princess developed in the usual ways, and began to chafe at the constraints imposed by her father. In seventeen years he was the only man she had ever seen, and never had she been allowed to see the world outside of the palace. One day she complained of this to her closest friend, the servant who had nursed her as a child, saying "It is not fair! Other maidens of this land are free to wander where they please, and associate with whomever they will. I however remain in the palace, and I have no marriage prospects, because no man dares to violate my beloved father's wishes."
Her words moved the aged nurse, who began to consider how the young girl's plight might be alleviated. A few days later she approached her mistress with a plan, "Tomorrow is a market day, and the city will be thronged with merchants and crowds of people from the country side. In the morning, while your father is in session with his council, I will go out to purchase supplies for the kitchen, and you will accompany me, wearing a disguise. In this way you can experience the outer world that you so desire, and your father will be none the wiser." The princess was delighted, and the two made the necessary preparations. The following day they went out as planned, visiting many different stalls. Here however fate intervened, upsetting the world as is its wont. The last stall the pair visited was manned by a handsome young merchant, just starting out in the world. The princess looked upon him, and was immediately enamored. She knew at once that she desired to see this merchant again, and she conferred with her nurse. The two of them devised a hasty scheme, and the princess went back to the merchant.