The Last Jedi chapter 3
I do not own Star Wars or ASOIF/GoT
"Alone, today you are." Said Yoda as she stood atop the pyramid, Arya finishing getting up the final step.
"And probably will be from now on." She said with a deep frown, prompting the small Jedi to raise an aged eyebrow.
"Sansa feels that she had learned everything there is."
Earlier that day
"Sansa, c'mon we should leave." Her elder sister looked at her with a look of annoyance although there was an ounce of perhaps apology.
"I am not going, Arya. I have learned what I need to. I am a lady, not a warrior."
"What do you mean you are a lady? What of the force, what of your lightsaber? Wasn't it pretty? Where it is anyway?" questioned Arya in disbelief and anger.
"It is back in my room and yes, it is pretty. But it is a weapon and a lady should not have one."
"Then why did you bother? Master Yoda said that our lightsbers should always be with us! Why did you bother for a whole month if you are just going to drop it?!" Arya kept on yelling at her sister.
"I was a foolish little girl, just like you! I was curious, alright." Responded with equal fire Sansa "I have seen all that I need, but we have a place, Arya. We are ladies, not… not warriors!"
"Jedi are not warriors, stupid!"
"Then why do they carry swords?!"
"Father carries a sword as well!"
"Father is a man! And a lord! It is his duty!"
"And what is our duty? To sit prettily and stich our sigil in five different ways all day long?!"
"There is more to been a lady and you know it, Arya! Didn't you pay any attention to Septa Mordane's lessons?"
"Why must you ruin it? I, we finally found something interesting and you just have to ruin it with your lady talk!"
"I am ruining it? You are the one always ruining things with your… wildling behavior! I wonder how we can be sisters! Why can't you be more like me?"
"I will never be like you!" screamed Arya before running away.
Yoda frowned, seeing Arya's expression, the anger bubbling beneath the surface.
"Calm down, you must."
"Calm down? You cannot just tell me to calm down and expect to do so!"
"It has always been her. The elder daughter, the first daughter, the prettier daughter, the more refined daughter. None ever acknowledges when I do something good, something right," she shook her head, mockingly spitting out the last word" but if it is Sansa, she is suddenly the Maiden made flesh!"
Arya was pacing and Yoda's frown further increased, noting how the stone obelisks that were dotting the very edges of the pyramid were shaking.
"And now, finally I find something truly interesting, something magical and for a moment I felt that we can finally be in something together like father always wanted even if she once again outshone me only for her to revert back to her previous self the moment she was satisfied!"
"Arya Stark." Yoda interrupted, but Arya paid him little attention.
"She asked me how we can be sister! How we can be sisters?!" she raged on.
"Arya Stark!" Yoda repeated again.
"I will never be like her or Jayne Poole! Always sneering and pointing and looking down on people pretending to be ladies!"
"Arya Stark!" said the Jedi ghost in a raised voice. Finally looking around, Arya was stunned by what she saw. All four obelisks in each corner were now floating, slowly rotating around their axis. The moment lasted for barely a second before all four unceremoniously dropped to the ground, one somehow managing to remain in its base while the other three topple, one to the inside and two to the outside, crumbling down the side of the Pyramid. Not long after, Arya followed, falling to her knees, suddenly exhausted.
"Let your emotions rule you, you did." Said the ghost, his cane somehow creating a banging noise on the ground as he moved closer to where Arya was on the ground.
"Bottle them up, dangerous it is, but releasing them as you did – even more so."
"This is why you said we should clear ourselves of emotion…" mumbled Arya. "But you also said Jedi should be compassionate. How can one be emotionless, yet compassionate?"
"Hmmm, not the first to question that, you are." The small jedi walked before the grey-eyed girl.
"Without emotions, no living being exists. No, the Force, without emotions, you should use."
"I…I think I get it." Mumbled Arya.
"Good, good." Said Yoda before smiling.
"An unfortunate start, this is, but ready to begin your training, you are."
One year has passed rather quickly for the young Stark even if she felt herself become more and more somber. Hiding a secret of such large magnitude, she constantly felt awkward, out of place when around her family. On more than one occasion, she had tried to get Sansa to come again with her to the temple, yet she just outright dismissed her most of the time. A few months ago, it felt as if she nearly succeeded, but then Jayne Poole appeared and whisked Sansa away.
Still, on sheer persistence, Arya continued her training despite the slow yet ever-growing rift between her and her family. To her own horror, one night shortly before bed, she had discovered that due to her daily visits, she had begun to spent less and less time with Jon. The very next day, she sparred with him in the courtyard for all to see, well, before her mother and septa interrupted with their shouts, at any rate. After that event nearly seven months ago, her daily visits to the temple had dropped by a good half and despite the chiding from Master Yoda, she kept it that way.
Nevertheless, her training steadily progressed with even master Yoda complimenting her on her quick studying. She was slow to learn actual use of the Force, but all else was if not easy, then at the very least quick to learn. She did spent a lot of time questioning the Jedi code, finding one the two existing forms of it contradicting while Yoda claimed they mean the same thing, in the end.
Due to her slow progress in the force, Arya started learning lightsaber forms a good two months before she had even constructed her blade, practicing with the steel short swords that she and Sansa had brought way back when they first discovered this place. However, while her master explained all forms, he advised against Arya's training in some duo to her low physical and force capabilities. And as such, Arya was stuck slowly learning forms one and three despite her desire for two and four. With blasters, whatever they were, been nonexistent in Westeros, Arya trained in form III defending from small rocks thrown at her at high speed by Yoda using the force although she discovered that this was much easier with a lightsaber when she eventually got hers.
And her lightsaber… her slow force progress allowed her to see many different shapes and while the old Jedi said that it was an extension of herself and no matter what one studied, the correct shape will appear by itself, Arya felt that Sansa got the same shape as the lightsaber that the two of them first discovered because her sister at the time only knew it.
One blade, two swords, double bladed, shoto. So many different shapes and some she even found ridiculous like the crossguard one. She subtly asked Jon once what the crossguard was for on a sword and he told her it was for catching an opponent's sword if it slid down the blade. She personally found it ridiculous. If one was fighting against a lightsaber, said blade would cut through the solid part of the guard while at the same time, a normal sword may be caught, but if it hit the actual lightsaber guard, it would just be cut in two which meant a part of the opponents' sword turning into a sharp object well inside her defense, potentially imbedding itself in her arms or stomach. That night she though why use a lightsaber at all seeing as all other swords would just be cut, meaning she will never be able to block anything, instead having to dodge an opponent and parts of his weapon.
The most strange however was the double-bladed in her eyes. It looked interesting at first, but also seemed large and unyielding despite knowing that it would be light. The small Stark mussed that for such a large blade, two blades, actually, the grip is simply not big enough for effective swings.
And as such, it was to her immense shock to see a double-bladed lightsaber when she opened her eyes on the day she assembled her sword. Yoda then changed her lightsaber training, going from what she would call more traditional forms to something that almost resembled a dance. Her dance as opposed to the silly ones that her sister practices.
She would spin the blade above her head, around her body, sometimes even spin the whole body while at it. Arya once questioned Yoda is it really wise to leave one's back towards the enemy as it would happen during a full body spin, only for the small Jedi to laugh, calling out on her good foresight, yet explaining that for such a large blade, continuous motion was the key and that at times she would be with her back to the enemy, said opponent would have been pushed away.
It was a vague explanation, yet the grey-eyed girl accepted it nonetheless.
However, despite believing that the grip was small for such a large blade, and indeed it was with the full length been a good head taller than her, it was still actually a pretty large piece of metal and other materials Arya did not quite understand, the hilt stood at a good foot and a half long if not more.
For the whole three months that she has now had it, she had taken it barely five times to Winterfell and four of them were in the first month, the last one been when she discovered a saddled horse tied near the entrance, becoming fearful that someone may discover her secret, recognizing it as one from the Winterfell stables.
In the end, despite her initial thoughts she was happy with her lightsaber. It was different from her sisters and not in shape alone. At the push of a button, a beautiful, if thin-looking pure-white blade would appear. Also, the two blades were not even in length, one been a good third shorter than the other.
Seventh month of 297 AC
Arya somberly dragged herself to the top of the pyramid, sitting down to rest on the last step, not even rushing to take up her lightsaber, hidden underneath one of the obelisks where she had hollowed out the ground underneath.
"Troubled you are, padawan Stark?" questioned the friendly voice of her master.
"It's just…. I have been having trouble sleeping…" said Arya, her grey eyes lazy and bloodshot.
"Bad dreams, hmm?" questioned Yoda, but Arya felt he wanted more than a confirmation.
"It's just… it is always the same, these last few days. I see a black skinless man giving a red skinless man a green drink, only for the red man to drop dead a moment later and then… then the scene shifts to Winterfell burning with that same black man standing over a crying Sansa."
"Hmm, simple dreams, these are not. The Force, speaks to you, it does." Said Yoda, sitting down next to Arya "Made of them, what do you?"
"I dunno. I can only think of the Boltons."
"The Boltons?" questioned Yoda.
"Yes, a family sword to mine. Their sigil is a red flayed man."
"But whom, the other flayed man, the question is? Thoughts on this, you have, lord Stark?"
"I do…" spoke up a voice behind Arya, causing her to jump up, nearly falling down the stairs if not for the hand that caught her. Her father's hand.
"Father…I…I can explain." Shakily said Arya, her eyes wide.
"You need not say anything. I have known for an year." He said, taking a seat on the last step before patting the ground next to him, the daughter uncertainly taking her seat back.
"I must tell you how proud I am of your tenacity, even after Sansa stopped, even with how long it took you to be able to use… the power." said the northern lord, putting a hand around his daughter's shoulder.
"Thanks… I needed that…" she said in a small voice, nuzzling into her father for a moment before suddenly pulling away, her grey eyes accusing. "Have you been following me every day?" the question prompting her father to give a small laugh.
"No, I followed you once when you and Sansa suddenly started whispering to one another." he gave her a knowing look, causing her to blush, yet remain silent and turn her head away.
"And another the day after you completed your lightsaber."
"How did you know when I finished my lightsaber?" she questioned, only for Ned to look passed her, prompting her to turn away and lock eyes with her smiling master.
"Keeping your father updated with your training, I have. Only a ghost, I am. Someone look after you, must."
"I am not a child!" pouted Arya before turning back to her father. "And now? Why today?"
"Even a watcher on the wall would see that something troubles you." he said, stroking her head.
"So, father… who is the black man?"
"If a bastard" he began grimly, cringing slightly at the word, especially the glare that suddenly marred his daughter's face "inherits his father's position, he is not allowed to use the normal family sigil. Instead, he must invert it."
"So if Jon was to inherit, he must use… a white wolf on a grey field?" she questioned, genuinely interested. Her father gave her a small, sad smile.
"The Bolton sigil is a red flayed man on a black background. Inverted…it is a black man on a red background." Her father nodded at her words.
"House Bolton. Overlords the Starks, seat the Dreadfort. Lord Roose Bolton. Heir…" struggled Arya.
"Heir Domeric Bolton, currently fostered at the Vale." Filled in Ned.
"What other Boltons are there?" asked the girl.
"None, to my knowledge."
"But there obviously are!"
"In motion, always the future is." Chipped in Yoda. "Vigilant, you must be." The two Starks nodded at Yoda's words before Arya fell into musing.
"So either Domeric will poison Roose… or someone else will poison both and take control of house Bolton."
"I can ask for Domeric to come to Winterfell instead of straight to the Dreadfort once he returns from the Vale, see what kind of man he is."
"You would invite a Bolton to Winterfell?!" nearly shouted Arya causing Ned to glare at her.
"Arya, despite their many rebellions, the Boltons are our loyal banner men. A family name does not determine who you are."
"Hmm, a prudent course of action, this is. But investigate who the dark man is, you must. Dangerous he is, I feel." The three fell once again into silence before Yoda got up, moving back to the center of the platform.
"Padawan, split in two, your lightsaber can?" asked Yoda, knowing the answer.
Frowning for a moment, Arya went to the obelisk at the edge before lifting it up and retrieving her sword. Removing two pins with the force, she rotated the two halves in opposite direction and looked at Yoda expectedly.
"Reduce the power to training on the two of them." Following the order, she reduced the power to nearly nothing, igniting the shorter blade before testing it on the ground. Satisfied with the result or lack of, she decided to test it on her hand. Arya yelped in pain, but there was no wound, only slight reddening of her hand.
"I see." She heard her father say and she gazed up, seeing him come to stand before her with a hand outstretched.
Her eyes widening, Arya quickly handled the longer blade to her father, swiftly explaining how to use it before getting into position and igniting her shorter sword. It took a moment for Ned to ignite his sword, momentarily startled at the suddenness of it before crossing blades with his daughter, a small smile on his face.
By the two forms of the Jedi code, I meant the full and 'shortened' versions.
The poll result were predominantly for double-bladed and double bladed jedi temple guard style (aka uneven foldable) while for color blue, purple and white all had absolutely even results so I decided to use white… because Stark and it would further contrast the difference between Sansa and Arya. Tully blue and Stark white. Southerner and northerner, etc.
I use the series version of the Bolton banner, with the book version been red on pink simply because once again, contrast.
Thank you for reading.