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A note from coinhas2sides

Here is todays chapter, though there is unlikely to be a second in the coming days. 

I am going to be busy over the next few days and be unable to write much. I have done the rough drafts for the next few and should still have time to finish the act, but it will be single daily chapters for a bit. 

Once the act is done i plan to take a few days off writing to plan the next act and create some rough drafts. 

Some people have mentioned that they feel the chapters are still a bit too short. 

could you vote on whether you want to keep the current pace, about 1.5 to 2.5 thousand words a day, or if you want to double the chapter length, but i will only be able to release every 2-3 days?

I will close the poll when the act is finished. 

Thanks for reading

 

Arya POV (1 hour earlier)

 

I was going downstairs to the dining hall for some breakfast when I heard a lot of shouting from outside. Harry and James checked the window. Father said that I needed to have guards at all times for the next few days, and I and Sansa are not to leave the Tower of the hand without permission. We both made a fuss at that point, Sansa because she wasn’t allowed to see her ‘precious’ Joffrey, and me because it is so boring in here. At least I can still do practice with Syrio in the afternoon and Nymeria to keep me company. She was following me at the moment, excited to eat breakfast, where I would slip her some of my bacon.

The sound was getting louder and suddenly Harry backs from the window deathly white. “Lady Arya, we need to leave. Now!” he tells me. I keep telling them not to call me ‘Lady’ and everytime they just smile like I'm some child having a tantrum. I was about to say it again when I see how serious the two of them look.

“What’s going on? What is that noise?” I ask. The noise is really loud now, with people shouting and screaming becoming clear now. I am scared at this point when Harry grabs me by the shoulder and drags me down the hall.

“We’re under attack!” He shouts. “There are hundreds of soldiers forcing their way to into the building. The guards outside are already dead, they will be on our floor soon. We need to go down the rear staircase and get out back. Then we can go to the main building where the Lord and captain Jory are.” He tells me as he draws his sword and pulls me along.

There are 2 staircases in the Tower of the Hand. The first leads to the dining hall and the main entrance, the other to the servant’s quarters and the back entrance. Sansa has her lessons in the main buildings with the Septon, while father had to go to an emergency meeting of the small council earlier.

We run along the corridor and down the steps. We are running down the last corridor when we reach the junction in the path. From the direction of the main hall a bunch of men with a king’s guard at the lead stops calls to us.

“Halt! In the name of the king, lay down your arms and surrender. Arya Stark by order of the king you are required to come with me and stand before him and your father.” The kings guard, Ser Meryn, ordered us. I never liked any of the kings guards. Father said the commander, Barristan, was a good man, but so far whenever I pass them, they always look like they are sticking their noses up at us. This time is no different, except he is matching it with an angry scowl and bloodied sword.

Harry pushes me to James and stands before us. He looks over his shoulder and tells us. “James, take Arya to the Lord. I will …" He doesn’t finish. While his head was turned, he was stabbed in the throat by Meryn. After killing Harry, Meryn moves forward with his bloodied sword, the rest of the soldiers following him.

“ARYA, RUN!!” James shouted to me, clashing swords with the men. He blocks about 2 strikes before one of the soldiers stabs him with their spears while Meryn locks his sword. As James falls to the floor, Meryn swings his sword down on him again, cutting his head off. I turn to run, but Meryn grabs me by the hair.

“Stop struggling brat, make this harder and I will break your legs before bringing you to the king.” He warns me. As I struggle Nymeria leaps at Meryn biting his arms in an attempt to free me. It is useless, her teeth can’t break his armour and Meryn just kicks her in annoyance. “Fucking mutt. Kill the dog.”

“NOO!! I screamas one of the men moves forward. He is about to stab her with his spear when a sword tip pierces his neck from behind. He falls to the ground and Syrio is standing behind him, sword in one hand and dagger in the other, both covered in blood. In the corridor where once stood 6 soldiers, now lay dead, throats slit. Syrio killed all of them without ever making a sound.

“Who the fuck are you? Do you know what you just did?” Meryn throws me against the wall and turns to face Syrio, sword raised in defence. “Those are the soldiers under the king, killing them is an act of treason.” Syrio appears to look very bored with what he is saying and even gives a slight yawn. “I am Ser Meryn Trant, a member of the king’s guard, and by his authority I command you to surr...” He starts, but never finishes.

With a quick leap forward Syrio bats Meryn’s sword away and thrusts his own into Meryn’s mouth, and through the brain. “I am Syrio Forell, the First sword of Braavos. And I command you to die.” Meryn’s life lingers for a bit more, before Syrio withdraws his sword and he slumps to the ground, dead. Syrio wipes his sword and then moves to me.

“Arya, are you alright child? Come you must rise. We must get out of the Red Keep.” He takes my hand and lifts me up, checking for wounds. I get up and check on Nymeria. She only got stunned and didn’t break anything luckily.

“We need to get to the main Keep, that is where my father and Sansa went this morning. Jory and his men are there as well. If we find father and the king then we will be safe.” I tell Syrio the plan Harry and James thought of. As I think of them, I turn to look at their butchered bodies. They died to give me even a few more seconds to run. Without them Syrio would have been late. Nymeria would be dead and I would have been captured.

“The Red Keep is swarming with soldiers. The main hall was already filled with them, and I fear that whatever this is, your father and the king are powerless to stop it for now. We must get you out of the Red Keep, out of King’s Landing even. Once the fighting is stopped we can return, but if you are taken and used as a hostage it will become much harder for your father.” He tells me the worst news possible. If the main building Is also taken, then father and Sansa are likely taken, if not worse. I take a few deep breaths, calm myself, and nod.

“Very good. We must find a way out. When I was heading here the main gate was locked and under guard. There is no way we will escape from there.” It was when he told me about the gate that I remembered the secret passageway, telling him that we needed to go to the dungeons. “The dungeons? Arya my dear we are trying to avoid the dungeons not enter them.” He tells me with a queer look.

“No! There is a secret passage there. When I was chasing a cat, I followed it into this crevice that led to an underground path. That led to the beach outside of King’s Landing.” I tell him about my recent adventure. As part of my training Syrio told me to chase cats. It is a test of reflexes and speed to catch such slippery animals. One of them it led me through that secret passage and I had to walk back to the Red Keep through the main gate.

“Then let us go.” Syrio declares. We run down the corridor through the rear exit. Out in the courtyard there is people fighting and dying. We run for the black dungeons, anyone that tries to stop us is cut down by Syrio. When we reach the entrance, I hear a shout from behind us.

“Over there! The Stark girl is over there!” One of the Lannister soldiers was pointing to us and shouting. Most of the Stark guards were dead now, with a few scattered clashing noises coming from the nearby buildings. Several of the soldiers had seen us and were now heading our way. We quickly entered the dungeons and headed down the stairs, towards the Black Cells.

When we pass a particular turn, I stop Syrio and lead him down a crevice. The path is hidden by a combination of the torch creating shadows and shiny surfaces on the opposite walls to attract attention. I would have never found it if I didn’t follow the cat that had adjusted to the environment down here.

I led Syrio and Nymeria down the path, the sound of guards entering the dungeons behind us. They pass the entrance and continue on, never seeing us in here. We continue all the way to the end, making a number of turns when the path twists into different directions. If it wasn’t for following the cat when I came down here i would have definitely gotten lost down here. We exit into the sea breeze, sun having fully risen now. I have lost my energy and only want to drop, but Syrio forces me to continue. Suddenly I hear Nymeria barking and Syrio tenses up. I think it is the soldiers catching up and just look at the ground, waiting for them to take me.

“Arya?! What are you doing here and who is this?” I hear a voice that is very familiar. I look up and see Ben and Brutus, standing on the sand before us. Irub my eyes,then when it is clearly not an illusion, I run to him. I try to speak, but can’t get full sentences out. Eventually I faint and fall asleep in his arms. The next time I wake I am on a bed in a wooden room, Nymeria and Brutus sleeping on the floor before me. Nymeria starts to bark when she notices I am awake, while Brutus sniffs me and then sits down again.

A few seconds later Ben enters the room and asks me what happened. I do my best and at the end he tells me not to worry. He sent a man to tell people to gather in his room.

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A note from coinhas2sides

'First sword of Braavos didn't have his sword' Ha not this time. 

Sorry, that part always annoyed me in the show, that he didn't just pick up a lannister sword to fight with. I didn't want to just change the scene, as that wouldn't be fair to the writers, but i did change the setting. (I know some people theorise he is actually the faceless man and he survived the encounter, but i never got to see and hear Syrio again, which made him dead to me)  Sad

Due to previous events, the time of the attack happened in the morning rather than during their lessons, so there was no excuse. 

sorry if the expaination seemed uneccessary and a bit forced, but this was one of my favourite parts to write. 


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