Sage the orphan is just trying to survive in a crumbling kingdom, stealing food for his fellow orphans and lying to adults. For years he hasn't let his guard drop, in fear of death. Most people know him for his sharp tongue and defiance.
I know about the tunnels.
Watch yourself, Sage. Conner is already mad at you.
In a robbery gone wrong, Sage is caught in a quagmire. To his surprise, a nobleman named Conner drops in just on time and saves him. The catch? Sage is bought by him to act as a "servant."
I will be the prince.
When he refuses to work for him, Conner takes him by force, knocking him out. When Sage awakens, two more orphans are with him, plus one more a couple hours later. The whole time, Sage looks for any opportunity to escape. However, when Conner kills one of the boys, Sage is left to submit to Conner.
Watch your back, Sage. I'm going to be prince!
Pretty quickly into their journey, Sage forms friendships with one of Conner's vigils, Mott, and on of Conner's servants, Imogen. Mott acts as a mentor after Conner reveals that the orphans will compete to become an impersonator of the long lost prince to save the kingdom of Carthya. Imogen takes care of Sage in private.
Sage knows that his life depends on becoming the prince. If he fails, death is sure to befall him. With defying words towards Conner's plan, he decides to become the prince, confident that he will win.
As the orphans get deeper into their prince training, the other orphans reveal their desperation to snatch the role. Sage merely brushes off their threats and taunts, continuing to believe in his own plans.