20 Chapter - 20

Several days had passed since the Healer had left King's Landing, yet Cersei couldn't shake off the memories of that terrifying experience. She longed to convince herself that it had all been a fever dream, but the evidence was impossible to ignore. Her reflection in the mirror revealed a face that had grown more beautiful, with her golden locks radiating a new brilliance.

Although the change was not apparent to anyone else yet, she could clearly see the effects of whatever the Healer had done to her. Under different circumstances, she would have been overjoyed by the changes.

However, she could not escape the haunting memory of her withered face and gray hair. Every time she blinked, she was reminded of that night. Whenever she tried to sleep, she was plagued by nightmares of the Healer carrying out his threats to strip her of her identity and abandon her to rot in the slums. The mere thought of it made her shudder with fear.

In her distress, Cersei had not left her chambers since that fateful night. Her brother, Jaime, had grown increasingly concerned for her wellbeing and attempted to inquire about what had transpired. But Cersei was unable to articulate a single word.

She had sought solace in Jamie's embrace, but then a grim truth dawned on her - no matter what Jamie did, she remained numb and devoid of any pleasure. It was at that moment that she remembered what the mage had said about the cost she had willingly paid in her state of desperation and confusion to reclaim her beauty.

The mage's ominous last words to her echoed in her mind, haunting her with their stark reality: 'You will never be able to feel pleasure ever again unless I allow it'

They were a constant reminder of the cruel price she had paid. Rage surged within her, and she hurled the cup she had been holding at her own reflection in the mirror, shattering it into shards that flew in every direction. She was incensed that the mage had dared to take away her ability to feel pleasure and was determined to make him pay. She would prove that he had not broken her spirit. After all, she was the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, a lioness: fierce and strong, and she would not cower so easily.

However, in that moment, she caught a glimpse of her face in one of the broken shards on the ground, and for a brief instant, her beautiful visage turned into the withered, scarred version that haunted her nightmares. Her anger dissipated, replaced by an overwhelming sense of sorrow. She screamed and broke down into tears, realizing the gravity of the mistake she had made in her desperation. All thoughts of revenge vanished, leaving only regret and despair.

In that moment of vulnerability, she couldn't help but wonder if things would have been different if she had chosen a different approach. Perhaps if she had seduced the mage slowly, instead of threatening him, she could have had a powerful mage eating out of her hand. She could have become the most powerful woman in the seven kingdoms.

However, beneath the layers of regret and anger, a sense of shame gnawed at her. She couldn't ignore the fact that a part of her had enjoyed what had happened that night, and a small voice inside her whispered that it was looking forward to it happening again. It was as though she knew it was inevitable. Why else would he make her more beautiful? Why else would he tell her that only he was allowed to control when she felt pleasure?


Shireen Baratheon lay in her bed, watching Maester Cressen as he examined her gray, scarred arms. She noticed that the old man seemed lost in thought, troubled by something. She decided to break the silence and ask him a question that had been on her mind for a while.

"Maester, have you ever heard of the White Mage?" she asked, her voice small and hesitant.

Maester Cressen paused for a moment, his brow furrowed, before he put down his tools and turned to face her. "Yes, child, I have heard of him," he replied with a deep sigh.

"He is a healer, isn't he? I have heard people say he can cure any disease or wound and how he cured the whole of King's Landing in one day. Do you think he could cure my greyscale?" Shireen's eyes were bright with hope.

Maester Cressen hesitated before responding, his gaze fixed on her scarred face. "The White Mage is said to have extraordinary powers, but I have my doubts. As a man who has studied the higher mysteries, I have seen and heard many things, but nothing like the rumors of what he is capable of," he said, stroking his Valyrian steel chain link. "His white-flamed pyre is an anomaly too. It is very different from the fire made by worshippers of R'hllor, and according to accounts, it didn't seem like he was praying to the gods."

Shireen nodded, understanding the maester's skepticism. "But do you think it's worth a try? Maybe it would give me a chance to be normal and not scare people away."

Maester Cressen looked at Shireen with a heavy heart. "I have failed you, child. I should have found a way to help you. But maybe, just maybe, there is hope. I will write to your father and ask him to talk to the White Mage. Perhaps he could help you."

Shireen's eyes widened with hope, and for the first time in a long while, she felt a glimmer of happiness. "Thank you, Maester Cressen. You always know how to make me feel better," she said, a small smile gracing her lips.

The old maester returned her smile, but his heart was heavy with doubt. He knew that the White Mage was a dangerous man, with powers that could not be explained by any rational means. But he was willing to take the risk, for Shireen's sake.


Varys had made a conscious effort to steer clear of the mage's presence in the capital. Initially, his reluctance was due to a desire to assess the situation before making his approach. However, after witnessing the mage's formidable abilities, Varys found himself consumed by a familiar sense of terror, dredging up memories from his past that he had long since suppressed.

The mage's stay in the city had been brief, and Varys was grateful for it. Though the chaos he had left in his wake unsettled Varys, he was relieved to be away from the mage's presence.

But what unsettled him most of all was the realization that something had transpired between the mage and the queen on the night of the feast. His little birds had reported seeing the queen enter the mage's chambers, but none had seen or heard anything afterward. Even some of Littlefinger's whores had confirmed the same tale, and no one had seen either of them leave.

The queen's behavior was an unmistakable indication that something significant had occurred. Varys could only speculate about what it might be, but he knew that if he could uncover the truth, he might be able to leverage it to turn the realm against the mage.


In a dimly lit room surrounded by their exclusive walled library, a group of elderly men with chains around their necks had gathered. As the last member arrived, one of them addressed the group, "Now that we're all here, let's begin."

The portly old man brought up the first topic on their agenda, "The White Mage of Winterfell."

Another member scoffed, "I've read the reports on him. He seems like nothing more than a charlatan preying on the ignorance of the northern savages."

Several of the Archmaesters nodded in agreement.

However, the head of the table interjected, "At first glance, that may be true. But I've received reports from Pycelle regarding the events that have transpired in King's Landing since the Mage's arrival."

The mood in the room shifted, and the members began to read the letter that was passed around. Skepticism, fear, and revulsion were evident on their faces.

"Are we certain that Pycelle hasn't gone senile?"

"While that may be a possibility, similar reports have been received from other sources," countered another.

"Indeed, the Mage appears to possess great power. However, we have no knowledge of his intentions and objectives. We cannot risk the potential consequences of having a magical practitioner amongst us," added a third member.

"We are scholars and men of learning. Magic has no place in our age," agreed yet another.

"So, what is the best way to handle this situation?" inquired the head of the table.

"After considering the limited information we have on his abilities, assassination seems to be the most viable option, and we must act swiftly to prevent any further spread of his influence," proposed one of the members

Many of the Archmaesters agreed to the proposal, nodding their heads in agreement. However, one of them let out a sigh, which caught the attention of the rest of the group.

"Do you have anything against the idea, Archmaester Vance?" asked another member with a curious tone.

Archmaester Vance replied, "If the rumors of him being able to heal everything are true, does it not make sense to get any knowledge he has for ourselves before we get rid of him?" He sounded curious and interested in the mage's abilities.

"You do bring up a good point, Archmaester Vance. Your curiosity is evident, as healing is your subject. But how do you propose we get access to the mage's knowledge?" asked another member with a hint of skepticism.

"I have been keeping up to date on the news about the healer, and I have heard about how he has been teaching some lowborn women how to deal with minor wounds and some of the smaller diseases. I hadn't given it much thought initially, but now that we are sure that most of the rumors about him might be true, we might be able to get the knowledge we need through her," Archmaester Vance suggested with a sense of excitement.

"Your idea does have merit. I'm sure a few gold coins are all we need to make the girl tell us all we need. If not, we can use other means to persuade her," said another member in an amused tone.

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