I spent my time, as usual, in my room, making notes on the different organs in the dragon that worked of magic and their functionalities from the information I had gained from the dragon bones. Suddenly, someone knocked on my door. I opened it to find Barristan Selmy standing there.
"Ser healer, the king would like to have a private chat with you," he said respectfully.
"Sure, lead the way," I replied, following him.
"So, what does the King want from me?" I asked.
"He has learned that you will be leaving tomorrow and wanted to have a dialogue," Barristan replied.
"Ah, by the way, there has been something that has always bothered me. Do the Kingsguard always have seven members?"
"Yes, that has always been the case," he replied.
"But doesn't it make more sense to have, like, two or three guards per member of the royal family?" I asked.
"While your idea makes more sense and has merit, there are other factors to consider when choosing the number," Barristan replied.
"Ah, politics and preachers, I suppose," I said. He just smiled and didn't say much after that.
We reached the room where the king was waiting for me while drinking some ale.
"You called for me, Your Grace," I asked, offering a small bow.
The King raised an eyebrow, his expression growing serious. "Why do you do that?"
I was taken aback by his question. "I'm sorry, Your Grace?"
"The kneeling, the bowing, the whole facade you keep putting on," he said, his tone growing more annoyed.
I took a moment to consider my answer, choosing to be candid. "To be truthful, Your Grace, I don't mind the act of kneeling or bowing. I wasn't born into nobility and don't see myself as one. I don't possess the arrogance that prevents nobles from showing deference to those less powerful than themselves. I bow because it's a simpler option than dealing with the annoyances that will follow if I don't do so."
"Is that the same reason you have kept the act of being just a healer?" the king asked.
"I am mainly just a healer, whether you believe me or not. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. After all, I would be a poor mage if I didn't," I replied with amusement.
He snorted "Sure you are," he said, "are you certain I can't convince you to stay in King's Landing? It's quite refreshing talking to you instead of all the sycophants living here."
"I'll have to disappoint you in that regard, Your Grace. I hate this place more than you do, and I've quite grown to like the cold. And I'm sure that if I stay here for another day, the city will probably be set on fire by someone trying to kill me or pissing me off."
"You're definitely onto something. If no one else, I'm sure my wife is going to try something."
"Really? I don't recall interacting with the queen, let alone doing something to slight her?" I asked in genuine surprise.
"Well, you just answered your own question," he told me. "The cunt probably got mad that you didn't try to suck up to her."
That really stopped me short. I knew she was self-centered, but seriously...
"Well, then it'll probably be best if I leave as fast as possible," I said.
"Why? You scared of some Lannisters, Mage?" he asked, more amused.
"Not really. I just don't trust myself to keep my mouth shut in front of people with very elevated opinions about themselves, and like to keep reminding everyone," I replied dryly.
He snorted at that. "Shame. I would have paid good money to watch that."
He then reached for one of the scrolls on the table and passed it to me. "Here's your reward for your services to the crown. As long as Ned agrees to it, that forest is yours."
"Thank you," I said, accepting my reward
"Are you sure that's all you want?" he asked.
"Yes, Your Grace, there isn't much you can give me that I need," I replied, with a shrug of my shoulders.
"Very well then," the King said, his tone hinting at disappointment. "When do you plan to leave?"
"I'm planning to leave at dawn tomorrow," I replied. "I've completed all my tasks here, and my journey to King's Landing has given me much to think about and do, so it's best I get to that as soon as possible."
"Ah, but before you go," the King interjected, his eyes alight with mischief. "There will be a feast tonight in your honor, a celebration of your services to the crown."
I chuckled at the King's request. "Are you sure, Your Grace?" I asked, my voice tinged with amusement. "I doubt many in the Red Keep will be happy to attend such a feast in my honor."
"Nonsense," the King replied with a chuckle. "It will be the most entertaining feast yet, and it's the least I can do to show my gratitude."
"Very well, Your Grace," I finally said, a smirk playing at the corners of my mouth. "I will be happy to attend the feast tonight."
I left the King's chambers with a sly grin on my face, excitement buzzing through me at the thought of the feast that was to come. This would be my final chance to create a stir in the capital, and I was sure that I would be the center of attention. Everyone would be looking to get a piece of me, to figure out my secrets, or win my favor. The idea of being surrounded by the power-hungry elite of the Red Keep was tantalizing, and I couldn't help but relish the thought of playing my last game in this grand arena.
I halted my steps, taking a moment to reflect on my inner thoughts. It was then that I realized that I was entertaining the thoughts of a megalomaniac. Was a mere two days in King's Landing corrupting me? Back in Winterfell, I would have never thought such thoughts. But my time here seemed to be changing me in ways I never could have imagined. I knew that I needed to leave this city soon, before I went full emo.
"Daim it," I muttered to myself. "Old habits certainly die hard. It appears that I'm still unconsciously adapting my behavior to fit in with my surroundings."
Lord Tywin Lannister, head of House Lannister, Warden of the West, and father of the Queen, was sitting in his solar seat in the great castle of Casterly Rock, going over some concerning letters he had received from his daughter and spies in King's Landing. The letters talked about the newest sensation spreading across the realm: The mysterious figure known as the White Mage of Winterfell, whose miraculous healing powers had caused quite a stir across the continent.
According to the letters, this person was more than just a simple healer and if the letters from his daughter were to be believed, this mage was growing in power.
Tywin had heard about the mage's work in Winterfell but hadn't given it much thought. However, as time went by, he started hearing more and more disturbing news from the North, with many small folk and traders either shifting to the North or visiting it to receive healing from the mage, which was enriching the otherwise isolated part of the realm. The other surprising news from the North was its rising glass trade, which even had the Myrish worried about their new competition on their existing monopoly.
He didn't know how the Northerners had gotten their hands on the method to make glass, but they had been doing a good job of keeping it under wraps. Tywin had his suspicions that it was the healer who had provided the Starks with the method because the healer apparently did not have the accent of anyone from Westeros and could be from Myr.
As for the rumored healer, Tywin was initially skeptical. However, after seeing firsthand the completely healed spies, some of whom he had scarred himself to test their healing, he was eventually convinced of the healer's extraordinary abilities.
Despite his impressive talents, Tywin wasn't overly concerned about the healer's potential impact on a potential war with the North. After all, he was only one person and could be dealt with accordingly if necessary.
The recent news from King's Landing was concerning, however. The healer had everyone fooled, and he was never a simple healer but was actually a mage, who was probably growing in power by healing people. Tywin had initially thought the healer was a simpleton for only charging a silver for healing, but it could be possible that the healer didn't care about the money, and it was just a distraction. The healer wanted as many people as possible to come to him for healing so he could get more powerful by using his magic on them. Now, the healer was powerful enough that he didn't need to hide anymore.
Now, if the letters were to be believed he was no longer a simple healer but a mage who could send entire armies to their knees with ease, and with a bit more effort, he could probably kill an entire army.
He could no longer just sit back and treat this like a minor issue. He needed to act now. The mage was too powerful to be left in the hands of potential enemies, so he either had to entice him to join the Lannisters or have him eliminated. But before doing either of those, he needed to get better information on the mage. Something better than whatever the shite his daughter had written about him.
"Come in," he said as he heard a knock on the door. He sees Tyrion enter his solar.
As the younger Lannister took a seat in front of him, Tywin handed him the letters he had received from King's Landing.
Tyrion skimmed the contents of the letters, a smirk forming on his face as he read. "It's been a while since my dear sister has been this colorful in insulting someone other than me," he said with a chuckle. "I wish I could meet this Mage just to see how he managed to make her so angry."
"Well, you are in luck because I have a task for you, Tyrion," he continued. "You will go north under the guise of needing healing. Maybe he can cure your dwarfism, but your main task will be to find out everything about him. Find out how we can entice him to work for the Lannisters and also discover his weaknesses."
"Wow, you sure have your priorities in order," Tyrion said sarcastically. "You haven't really allowed me out of Casterly Rock in so long, and you want your disgrace to handle such an important task?"
"Disgrace you may be, but you're still a Lannister, so you will do as you are told," Tywin reminded him sternly. "You leave on the morrow."
Tyrion sighed, but stood up from his seat. "Very well, Father. I will set off tomorrow as you wish."
"Good," Lord Tywin nodded, satisfied. "This is a critical mission, Tyrion. The information you gather will be instrumental to the success of our family."
Tyrion left the solar, his mind already racing with plans and strategies for his journey North. He was eager to travel after being confined for so long and deep down, he had a glimmer of hope that this healer could make him normal, even though he had come to terms with his short stature long ago. He had heard tales of the great healer and his legendary powers, and he couldn't wait to see if it was all true.
The next day, he set off on his mission with a small entourage of men. He knew that the road ahead would be long and dangerous, but he was determined to succeed.
And with that, Tyrion Lannister, the Lannister disgrace, set off on a journey that would change the course of his life forever, even though he didn't know it yet.