Seeing the princess' almost imperceptible movement the young man strode forward with complete confidence. He stood gallantly in front of the door and threw it open to reveal—the tiger!
The princess looked on with only the slightest twinge of her heart as the tiger sprang mercilessly onto her lover while the audience sat in awe. She kept her face stoic and her eyes like blocks of ice—she didn't need the people seeing any weakness in her. But her heart ached and it felt like there was a crushing weight on her chest making it difficult to breathe. Why was she feeling like this? Had she made the wrong decision? It had been the most difficult decision she had ever made. What to do? Give the only man she loved to a woman she hated, or let him suffer the most horrible fate at the claws of the tiger? It had seemed as if the choice was impossible to make. But she had done it. At times it looked as if she had made the wrong choice, letting her love suffer, but for her the pain of watching him die couldn't compare to the pain of watching him be betrothed to the wretched lady behind the other door.
The man cried out in terror as the tiger sprang upon him. He felt as its mighty claws came in contact with his bare skin. But he felt it only for a moment. The pain in his heart was even greater than any physical pain. How could his only love have betrayed him like this? He had loved her, and she let him suffer. This was how she repaid his love. Yet, anger was not the prominent emotion he felt. He felt a longing and sadness in his heart for the princess, knowing that this would be the last time he would ever see her lovely face and her beautiful but savage eyes. With a last effort, he raised his head to the princess, looked at her with his wounded eyes and whispered the words "I love you," just as the tiger lunged for his throat.
The princess couldn't take her eyes off of her fallen lover. She had betrayed him, and he had still told her that he loved her? She knew now that her choice had been wrong. If she had truly loved him, she would have let him live happily with another woman than suffer a grotesque death in the claws of the tiger. With a mighty cry the princess lunged for her guard's sword, wrapped her hand around the handle, and plunged it deep into her chest. "Now we will be together forever my love," she thought. And the world faded to blackness.
The king sat in his seat gaping while his only daughter crumpled to the floor. Why had he done this? All because the man she had loved—the man who made her happy—was not of royal blood. The king knew what it was like to be in love. Behind his barbaric and savage appearance, there was a man who knew what he was doing to his daughter was wrong, and who deeply cared about her. Why again had he done this? Ruling meant nothing to him now. He had nothing. His only daughter and his wife were both dead—leaving him all alone.