7 Chapter 7

(Robert's POV)

The nerve of this ruffian!

I finally got the opportunity to talk to my lady and he had the gall to try and steal her from me!

Making Lyanna my lady wife has been my greatest desire for a while. She had a wild beauty to her and her rebelliousness was very charming. Truely a once in a lifetime flower. Everyday I found my love for her grow deeper.

But, most importantly, marrying her would make Ned my brother and our families would be tied forever. It was my one true desire to be able call Ned my brother.

When Lyanna told him to address her her given name so intimately, I was incensed. How dare she?! She was my betrothed! The boy was lucky that Ned managed to placate me.

Then, the boy told everyone his sob story, trying to earn some pity. I wasn't afftected by it. Instead, I was skeptical about the range of weapons he had on him.

When the bandits suddenly ambushed us, I was ecstatic. Finally, I could show my might in front of my lady and show the boy with whom he was trying to mess. But, I was denied that opportunity, by that fucking son of a whore!

He cut down those bandits like a knight who had been through numerous battles. Then, he looked directly at me and said, "... Well, bandits and rogues are my ultimate prey."

I would never admit it to anyone, but, his words made my spine shiver. His eyes showed the effect the wilderness had brought upon him.

A savage feind who would kill and slaughter and rip and tear anything that came into his path. Such was the boy who stood in front of me.

I suddenly developed a desire to fight him and defeat him. He was a worthy challenge. I would show him my fury and earn the love of my lady.


Robert was finally placated.

'If hostility was all I needed, I'd have made him piss his fucking pants long ago! What a waste of my time!'

"We need to keep moving." I said as I collected their pouches, swords and daggers for myself.

"What are you doing?!" Ned asked, shocked that I was looting the corpses of the bandits.

"What does it look like? They attacked me and lost their lives by my blade. So, I get to loot them. Also, I'm preventing other bandits and rogues from acquiring their weapons and coin. Better I have them than others, right?"

Lyanna bobbed her head like a chicken while she looked at me with barely hidden wonder. For the first time, I saw her act like her age. Ned, meanwhile, frowned harder. It was clear how much Jon Arryn's teachings had affected him.

He looked at Brandon who simply shrugged and moved away.

I wrapped all the swords in a piece of cloth and tied them on my back. Then we kept venturing further into the forest.

It took us a while to find the trail of a heard of boars and I signaled them to wait. I moved slowly to scout the area ahead and managed to locate the boars. I looked back at them and nodded. Smiles could be seen on their faces while Lyanna had a look of juvenile excitement.

'I guess this is her first hunt.'

I walked back to them and whispered, "Three adults. One male. Be careful and only use spears or bow and arrow to attack them. Boars are fierce animals and they will maul you if you are careless."

Even though they knew what they were supposed to do in a hunt, they still nodded at my words. When Lyanna was about to follow them, I gently grabbed her horse by the reigns and whispered to her, "Lady Stark..."

"What?! Are you going to stop me? Is it because I'm a 'lady'?!"

"... No. You need a spear. Here, take mine."

She had the decency to look a little embarrassed before a smile bloomed on her face and she accepted the spear, riding off after her brothers. I could only shake my head in exasperation and wonder. The similarities between Lyanna and Arya were remarkably uncanny.

I walked behind them, keeping an eye out for predators lurking in the thick of the forest. When Robert and Brandon began their chase, I ran after their horses as it was my job to make sure they'd return alive and that the hunt would be successful.

With my axe in my hand, I ran through the srrubs and the braches, not wanting to let them out of my sight. I could hear laughter and suppressed a wave or disgust rising in my gut.

'Finding joy in killing.. Tch. At least, it's a necessity for me.'

Even Lyanna was having fun as she chased around a boar with her spear ready to end the beast's life.

'Imagine being hunted like an animal for sport.'

I always hated it when Whent organised such hunts. But, seeing the Starks enjoying doing the same, it broke a dam inside me.

'They're all the same. The Starks are good.. Only when you compare them with the rest of Westeros. I guess, good and evil is truely relative and depends on the perspective of a person.'

The boars ran for their lives, but, one by one, they fell to the spears of the hunting party.

Lyanna was still struggling to catch up the boar she was after. She took her horse through the bushes, chasing the boar. I cursed under my breath and ran after her.

"Lord Stark! After me! You sister might get herself in danger!"

The men frowned and began to follow me.

True to my worries, Lyanna did get in trouble. She had fallen off her horse which was nowhere to be seen and neither was the boar. No, it was a shadowcat that had managed to corner the stupid girl.

I frowned and ran faster. I knew that the big cat was about to pounce on her and it did. Lyanna screamed, closed her eyes and brought her arms in front of her face by instinct.

I jumped and tackled the cat in the air and threw into a tree trunk. The cat roared in pain and aggression for being denied its prey.

"Lyanna!" I heard Brandon yell.

The big cat roared at me and pounced to my face. I dodged and quick as a snake, I got on its back. Coiling my arms around its neck, I grabbed it in a rear naked choke.

The rest of the hunting party had arrived and witnessed everything that was happening. I was not in the mood to kill, but, I had a few options left. A massive struggle had ensued between me and the magnificent beast.

Angry, I let out a primal roar from my throat and squeezed hard.

[Congratulations on reaching a milestone.

Willpower: 1003

You have unlocked the passive skill 'Apex aura'.

Apex aura: Show them who's the true ruler of the jungle. Get the aura of an apex predator and make others submit in defeat through your predatorial presence.

You can turn this skill on/off

Exp reward: 90,000

You have learnt the skill 'Warcry'.

Warcry: lvl 1

Let out a primal cry of war and decrease enemy's attack, defense and speed by 10%. Increase your attack and speed by 10% along with that of your allies.

Stat: Vitality

Energy: 7

You have defeated a shadowcat.

Exp gained: 600

You have leveled up

lvl: 61--->63]

The shadowcat stopped struggling and I felt it give up against me. My breath was ragged from the struggle and slowly, I released the cat who saw the opportunity and dashed away.

Tired and out of breath, I sat up and rested against a tree.

[Apex aura turned off]

Shock was clear on everyone's face.

Lyanna quickly got up and hugged Ned before she started to cry.

Brandon dismounted his horse and walked to me and said, "Allan, you have done a great service to the house of Stark. You save my sister's life and for that, I and house Stark are indebted to you. Ask of me for a boon and if I have it in my power, I shall grant it to you."

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