The Prince strode into the King’s hall and threw the giant’s head at the feet of the royal thrones.
“I have completed my task and fulfilled my oath oh King, now I have come for my prize. Your daughter’s hand in marriage.” He crowed this to the King and court
“‘Tis true you have and I am a king of my word-” but the King’s words ceased when there was a sudden movement at his side. His daughter, the Princess, stood and drew her sword. Her face unreadable, she turned toward her father and set her free hand on the arm of his throne.
“It is true father, you offer many things that are not yours to give, and yet you give them still,” she said as she stared into the eyes of the Prince unblinking.
All was silent in the throne room. Then color raised in her cheeks, and many gasped as her sword swung.
The sword cleaved through flesh and nearly all the way through the wood of the grand chair.
The Princess smiled through clenched teeth and after re-sheathing her sword, she looked down and bent to pick her hand up from the granite floor.
Not a murmur was heard of the hundreds assembled as she descended the steps dripping blood, and stood before the Prince.
She held her hand out to him, but he did not take it. His nostrils flared, and his eyes squinted as he prepared to speak.
But she dropped the hand at his feet, silencing him once more, and splattering blood on his boots. Then she tore the collar from her blouse and wrapped her new stump to preserve her remaining life within her body.
“Prince,” she said then. “There is your prize. My hand. Marry it, bury it, with it do what you will. But if you ever presume to bargain further for me, I will be delivered in pieces before I consent to be traded like I am the property of any man.”
She turned her back on him, and her father, and left the hall then, never to return…Until the day she was made Queen.