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Guys a question, regarding Varys I made it too slow for these chapters?I based it mainly on the stress and pressure that the spy master must be going through with all the problems that were happening, he would be more focused on other things than investigating a servant, besides being worried about losing the royal favor after so many failures that could lead him to the pyre.
POV of Varys
I relaxed thinking that it was better to be wrong than right, by tomorrow that man should be dead, since the dose I gave him is deadly, it could kill two or three men with the dose he consumed in the wine, so one less problem I have on top I must solve the chaos in the capital soon.
The next day I was woken up quite early, there was a fire in the city near the port, there was great chaos in the city, as you could hear the screams in the city of how the fire was spreading
Nobody knew what was going on currently and neither did I, the flea bottom is not the safest place either because those people live like animals, so it would not be strange that some drunk would light something and it would start to spread.
When I managed to get information about what had happened, I didn't like it at all.
Apparently the commander of the guard ordered an early attack on the warehouse, where the map indicated one of the bandit guards looking to end once and for all with the damn murderers who plague the guard with constant murders.
But from the information that had arrived it informs that the whole plan that the commander of the guard had made had gone terrible, three captains of the guard died, and the dead guards already reach more than two hundred, they were trapped in one of the warehouses and were burned alive, there are many wounded and I must confirm what happened because they tell me that it went wrong is not correct information.
I was leaving my room almost running to meet with the commander when I got another scare that left me frozen for a few moments.
Asten was mopping the floors as usual, as if nothing had happened.
'No, no, no, no, I saw him drink the poison, he should be dead, I gave him more than it takes to kill a man, it's not possible, he should be dead.'
'What's going on, I made sure this time, was the poison bad?'
''Excuse me m'lord Varys, you seem to be disturbed by my presence''said Asten standing up and looking at the floor
''No Asten, I was just thinking about what had happened today, many dead, terrible news for the city'' I said with the calmest tone I could.
''Yes, the news is terrible, the screams of the people were heard even in the castle, I hope it's not something very serious and that they can help the people'' said Asten as he continued to look at the floor
''Go on with your work Asten, I remembered that I must do something'' I said as I went to see the one in charge of the servants of the castle.
It can't be a coincidence, he couldn't survive two assassination attempts with poison, he must have the means to cure himself of the poison, but how the hell does he know what I poisoned him with, I didn't tell my plan to anyone, it couldn't have leaked out
I must give him a deadly job, something that is a guarantee of death, the king is paranoid and does not accept anyone approaching him with a metal in his presence, Asten will be in charge of cutting the king's hair and nails, this will explode in his madness and send him to burn, and the spy problem will be over and avoiding one of the king's madness attacks if he were to find out about a spy in his castle.
Moving through the castle, I arrived at the kitchens and looked for the head of the servants.
"Hi, I need a servant to perform certain duties for the king," I said, speaking to the woman.
''Lord Varys, who should I send to help the king'' said the servant's attendant.
''I need you to send Asten to cut the king's nails and hair, we cannot continue allowing the king to be in such terrible conditions, we must improve his image so that the nobles trust him again'' I said in a serene tone.
''But... Lord Varys, that is condemning the servant to death, but why him?, he has obediently done his job, he has not missed a single day and he never complains about any work assigned to him, he is a perfect servant, what made him deserve that punishment?'' said the woman quite scared
''I keep my reasons to myself, I need you to put Asten to perform those functions when I come back from the streets, I hope my order has been fulfilled, don't you want to remind him what could happen if you show signs of treason against the king'' I said smiling at the woman.
The woman opened her eyes wide
''Yes lord Varys, Asten will be assigned to cut the king's fingernails'' said the woman with a sad tone.
After that, I turned my attention back to the public order of the city which was at historic lows, the people were frightened and saw that the golden cloaks could not defend them, since they refused to go out to areas considered extremely dangerous.
Walking through the streets of the city, I arrived at the warehouses of the port where the attack of the gold layers had taken place and where supposedly the bandits that were tormenting this city gathered.
The first thing I saw was the disaster of how the gold cloaks that had survived this chaos were trying to recover the bodies of their comrades from the rubble of the fire, and at the same time trying to control what was left of the fire that continued to burn the surrounding warehouses.
The figure that stands out was that of the commander of the guard who was pale.
It was no surprise, he had failed too many times and when the king finds out what had happened today, nothing could prevent him from being burned in front of the entire court for the king's amusement.
''What happened?'' I said in a calm tone.
''It was a trap, another one, but this time they didn't settle for just a few guards, this time they tried to kill as many as they could, I sent six hundred gold cloaks with the help of some of the men from the noble houses that help us with the surveillance, almost all of them died in the trap'' said the commander who was still thinking how to explain this
''I need more details lord stokeworth, that hardly helps at all'' I said a slightly annoyed voice.
''Ask Captain Duncan, he was one of the survivors in the trap'' said the commander as he sat down.
It seems that the commander of the guard is more inept than I thought, we will have to look for a new commander for the future.
I started looking for the surviving captain and found him as I was leading the search efforts in the rubble and noticed that he had one arm covered in bandages
''Captain Duncan, I need to speak with you,'' I said speaking to the captain.
''M'lord Varys, how can I help you, I apologize for my appearance, but I was almost burned alive in that trap'' said the captain showing his clothes that were somewhat burned.
''What happened, the commander hardly mentions the details'' I said with a serene tone.
''That useless bastard sent us to check this warehouse, but he didn't even try to make sure to check the area before ordering us to go in to look for the bandits, they had a subway cellar where we found that they slept and had many of their members, but for some reason when we were checking this subterranean warehouse the doors of the warehouse closed and many of those bandits started to come out of the surrounding warehouses and started to burn the warehouse, many were trapped in that trap, that rock cellar turned into a furnace'' said Duncan outraged
''The screams, the damn screams, everyone inside that trap was burned alive and we couldn't help them, we were fighting the bandits to escape from the warehouse before we were trapped too, almost all the captains were trapped there, when we managed to drive the bandits out and get out of the warehouse, there was nothing to do, we tried to put out the fire and save as many as we could'' said Duncan touching his injured arm.
''Do you think it was a mistake by the guard commander?'' I asked the captain.
''Of course it was, I told that idiot several times that we had to send some patrols before to make sure this was safe, but no, he was more interested in ending the problem fast than solving the problem safely and this is the results, hundreds of our comrades were burned in that trap we have several wounded and worst of all people know it, they know we can't do anything against them, everything that could go wrong, went wrong'' said Captain Duncan very annoyed.
''Certainly, you are right captain, we must get that incompetent out of the post, but how many of the bandits do you think died is this trap?'', I said asking
Only the gods know m'lord Varys, we killed about forty in the warehouse, but we know nothing about what happened in the subterranean warehouse, when we can lift the rubble, there will probably only be charred bodies left from what happened,'' Duncan said looking me in the eyes.
''Thank you for your information Captain Duncan I will make sure you get help from the kingdom, I will talk to the prince and have him send some of his recruits to start filling in the gold cloaks'' I said with a calm tone.
''I am grateful for your concern, m'lord Varys, I will see what I can do, but as long as that good-for-nothing is giving orders we will accomplish nothing'' Duncan said as he turned to continue directing the search for bodies in the rubble.
After this conversation, I tried to contact my little birds, but again there was only silence, I could not find any of my little birds, here they had all disappeared, if this continues like this the capital could fall into anarchy.
I headed to the castle, I needed to get help from the prince on this before he decides to leave the capital to face Robert, even if he manages to defeat the pretender, if this continues like this the capital will be dangerous for everyone.
Quickly, I approached the throne room, where I met a perplexed Rhaegar.
When Rhaegar saw me, he quickly approached me, grabbing me by the shoulders, showing anger in his eyes.
''What did you do, spider?'' said Prince Rhaegar.
''What do you mean, my prince?'', I replied in surprise.
''Where did you get a servant that speaks High Valyrian, he managed to control my father, he doesn't listen to me anymore, he only listens to that man'' said Rhaegar furious.
''I didn't get any servant who speaks High Valyrian'' I answered the prince.
''Oh, I guess that man standing next to my father in the throne room is just an illusion, I tried to get my father to accept a forced conscription in the villages on the way to Robert's camp, but now he doesn't listen to me at the moment he only listens to that man'' said Rhaegar angry
''I can only think of ........ Asten''I said perplexed
''Who is this Asten?'' said Rhaegar
''A servant who I believe to be a spy'' I said whispering
''And why didn't you warn me?, we could have eliminated him'' said Rhaegar.
''I had no proof, I had nothing, it's just a suspicion that came to me, but every time I tried to eliminate him he survives'' I said in anguish.
''Spider you don't know what you did, look come with me'' said Rhaegar gritting his teeth.
When we entered the throne room, we found that the king was burning a servant.
'But unlike normally King Aerys, he had short hair, trimmed beard and cropped nails once again he looked like a handsome man showing off his Valyrian features, next to him was the king's new hand and Asten they both had that maniacal grin as they watched the servant being burned, listening to the servant's pleas.
Asten got as close as he could to the king and began to whisper to him and the king paid all the attention he could to his words
''You see what you have caused spider, my father only listens to that man, he doesn't even pay attention to me when I talk to him, he only sees him'' said Rhaegar.
I approached the king and tried to speak to him, but the doors of the court opened and brought the commander of the city guard in chains.
And I heard first hand what Asten was saying to the king, though I do not speak High Valyrian fluently, I can understand what he was saying and could understand Asten speaks High Valyrian with a fluency that I have only seen the Targaryen speak.
''My dragon lord, we cannot trust him, he is clearly one who does not recognize your birthright to the throne, a traitor who seeks to slowly plot against your magnificent rule, he must burn, he is a traitor, listen to the words of this humble servant and act upon your wisdom my dragon lord''Asten said in perfect Valyrian.
King Aerys began to look at the commander.
''BURN THE TRAITOR, BURN HIM, BURN HIM, BURN HIM'' shouted the king.
The knights of the royal guard started to tie up the commander of the city guard and placed the wildfire and lit it and we saw how the commander of the city guard was burning, everyone was horrified by this, but there were two people that were smiling with what was happening, while the king was enjoying the sight of the fire
''My lord dragon, I know faithful Targaryen subjects that could serve you well, I can make sure that no one will ever again think that you are a bad ruler because they have their ears full of lies, you just have to show them the reality, of your fair and benevolent government that has seen the kingdom prosper, you should not listen to that eunuch, he only brings trouble, a useless man that does not know how to do his job'' said Asten looking at me
And I felt the terrible look of the king, his eyes full of madness, my body froze with fear, the king had seen me as an enemy.
"BURN HIM NOW, BURN HIM," shouted the king.
I looked at Prince Rhaegar to seek his help, but he averted his gaze, I had lost the royal favor and now I was at the mercy of all those I had annoyed.
Asten whispered again to the king.
''My lord dragon, you must show your magnanimity, the eunuch may have been useless, but he has served your family for years, the black cells would be a fitting fate for the spider'' Asten said.
The king only heeded his words, he had him trapped like a puppet and Asten was a puppeteer
He wasn't a spy, he was someone hungry for power, and I gave him the golden opportunity.
Take the traitor away'' said the king.
The royal guard took me and took me to the black cells.
I was perplexed, I never thought it would end up like this, I didn't see him coming.
For a long time, I was only accompanied by darkness until I felt footsteps coming to my cell.
The door opened and it was Asten even in the darkness of the cells his perfect white teeth were shining
"Well, well, well, tell me spider how does it feel to lose at your own game," Asten said with that damn maniacal grin of his.
''I never thought I would end up here, I thought I would always know everything before anyone else but I was wrong,'' I said looking at Asten.
''Yes decadence hits hard when one gets used to the quiet, you are good Varys, I would say better than most I know, children like spies very clever, cut out their tongues and teach them to read and have them tell you their secrets. they have discovered and use the castle passages to overhear all conversations, I have to admit within this little world you are playing you were the information king'' said Asten with his arrogant tone.
''But I am out of your league, spider, I am better because I am the best at everything I do and what I do is art, nobody is better than me at infiltrations taking names borrowing learning languages and gaining people's trust'' said Asten
''Why are you telling me this, aren't you afraid that they will listen to me and execute you for your treason'' I said with a calm tone.
''Who would listen to the story of a traitor?, NOBODY, I have the king under control, if I want I can have most of the nobles burned until he runs out of patience with the king, I was planning to just take my time to get to the top, but because of your interference I had to change everything, nightshade I never liked how that poison tastes, but it is effective, for next time try to use more wine because god what a way to ruin a good drink with a huge amount of that poison'' said Asten
''But why did you always have to stick your nose in, I must say Varys, your idea of the king burning me was splendid, I at the time thought of throwing it all away and escaping using the castle tunnels no one would find me and my presence would not be remembered, maybe my lover would miss me, but I was just one servant among hundreds'' said Asten as he continued to watch me
''But I decided to make my move, it has always been easy for me to manipulate people, I have this gift of knowing what to say to people to make them trust me and your king was not the difference, the mind of a madman is complicated, but if you know what is necessary for him to trust you he is like a seven-year-old boy looking for his father's approval to do everything'' said Asten smiling
''Oh, my dragon lord, this humble servant wishes to fulfill his family's tradition of serving the dragon dynasty with loyalty'' said Asten in Valyrian
''Who am I?, my dragon lord, my family has always served the Targaryen, my family supported your ancestors in the conquest of your subjects in the seven kingdoms, we have always been at your side, we are your friends, I am the only person you should trust because I am a faithful servant of the Targaryen and obviously of you my dragon lord'' said Asten saying what he spoke to the king
''My dragon lord, a dragon cannot fear steel, it is not worthy of your prestigious being, show who rules you are the dragon and this alone a razor could not even cut your radiant scales, yes that my lord, show everyone why the Targaryen are the best thing that ever happened to them in their miserable lives just seeing you in your magnificence is a favor you ace, just breathing the same air should be a blessing for everyone'' Asten said as he grimaced with his hands as he cut the king's hair.
''My dragon lord you must be wary of your son, he has the blood of the dragon, but he craves his power, he craves his title, he wants to be the only dragon with power, you must watch him and control him, you must not continue to accept his requests, he is only a prince not a king and he must accept your orders he does not deserve to be heard, you must stay alert because there are enemies everywhere my dragon lord, but you are wise and powerful you will show everyone why you are a dragon everyone will feel the privilege of seeing you in your glorious reign''said Asten finishing.
''So you manipulated the king with lies and sweet words, so you are someone of Valyrian descent or something like that?'' I asked with my calm tone.
''Nothing like that, I speak the language of the Targaryen and I took advantage of it to talk to him, that gave me what I needed to gain his trust and every time more words came out of my mouth more and more he trusted me as if I were a long-lost brother'' said Asten laughing.
''What do you want to achieve, why so much effort to control the Targaryen'' I said looking at Asten.
''Let's say I like to see everything burn, I have analyzed your way of working and thinking Varys, I work for the good of the kingdom, beautiful ideals, the truth, I share them with you, but you never knew how to use them, you never knew how to use the fear that gives the power of information and what I want now is to see how this kingdom collapses, to see how everything falls, to bring something better'' said Asten.
''For now enjoy your new quarters spider, don't worry, I will come to visit you often, I really enjoy seeing the desolate face of the one who thought he could stop me, there are nobles to burn and a city to stabilize, since you are useless even that you can't do well'' said Asten closing the door of my cell.
What have I done, how could I lose to him, in a way he's right, I was too complacent with my spies, I didn't realize what had happened in the city until it was too late.
I tried to get some sleep, as my head hurt from trying to think of what I could do to get out of here.
Days passed, those days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into moons and my day of execution never came, but Asten stayed true to his word and visited me very often, every day he came to rub salt in the wounds of my pride, how he controlled the court of the mad king as he wished.
How all the nobles went in search of him to get protection from the mad king, because as he could direct his madness he could destroy a noble house or protect it, that's why the nobles were offering him gold, land and their daughters to get this valuable protection.
In a matter of a couple of days the problems of violence in the city ended, they found the places where the bandits were hiding and finished them off under the new commander of the city guard, the city was once again safe and the levels of robberies and violence had returned to normal standards.
Asten also gave me information on what was happening in the war, Rhaegar had managed to gather a large army and was preparing to march and end the rebellion once and for all, but I have my doubts about that, the southern problem still persists even if Rhaegar wins Robert has brothers and if the southern army is as large as I fear it is they could take one of Robert's brothers as king and the war would continue for many years to come.
But the most common thing that was happening was that people who were actually loyal to the Targaryens were dying on the orders of the mad king, as the puppet master was doing everything he could to weaken the Targaryen position in the city by eliminating their allies in the city.
'This is all my fault, if I had been more diligent I could have stopped this, but in my attempts to serve the kingdom all I did was bring about the destruction of the kingdom, for no one knows how long Asten's control over the king will last and as long as he has control over the king his position of him in the court in unquestioned'
'I feel like I am about to go mad with guilt or it could be from being so long in these cells where there is no light, the truth I don't know, I just know that I am the plaything of that man's amusement and I don't know what will happen when he gets bored of me.'
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