Whats up everyone. Lone time no see and all that stuff. So, to be real this chapter was really hard to write, is very short. I won't call it a disappointment per say but I have been working on it for about 4 months I think, and I only got about 5000 words to it. making it perhaps my shortest chapter to date for this story.
With that said clearly no one wanted to take it up so I did the best I could do. I will not be answering any reviews this time around mostly because its been so long sense the last chapter but I hope you all like it regardless of how I feel about it.
Fyi I have started two new stories that are in my profile. If you like or have the time give them a read and tell me what you think.
Till next chapter you all have a great day and stay safe out there in this crazy world of ours.
As he sat in a tent with his vassals and allies listening to them bicker like children on what should have been about the Lannisters and how to deal with them, Lelouch had to give Tywin Lannister a small applause. In one fell swoop he had guaranteed the survival of his house. No matter how hard his own vassals argued against it there was no way he could be rid of them without insulting Lord Arryn who took the surrender. Something he could not afford to do at this point in time. Yes, he could defeat the Vale if they decided to stand against him on what would be a minor slight against Lord Arryn, but it would not look good to his own vassals nonetheless his allies.
Twice before the Vale under Lord Arryn had come to the North's aid and this made it three. He couldn't repay such loyalty towards his family by ignoring the man. His own brothers wouldn't stand for such an insult to the man. Truly a masterstroke on Lord Tywin's part and one worthy of some respect. So why was there so much arguing? Well, that was because no one could agree on what to do with Lord Tywin's children or the lords of the Westerlands.
Reparations of course needed to be paid and it went without saying that Cersei and Joffrey's lives were forfeit. But questions about how much should be paid and what if anything should be done about Cersei's other children were made. Greed naturally came out at this point. After all, the Westerland was the richest of the Seven Kingdoms, so everyone wanted to demand high reparations. As for Myrcella and Tommen Hill as they were known now that everyone who mattered believed they were not Robert's children, well options were mixed. Many wanted to see Tommen sent to the Wall or in extreme cases see him hang along with his mother and brother. As for Myrcella, well she was a difficult case seeing as she was still betrothed to his younger brother, and none wanted to see a woman hanged for crimes she didn't commit.
Not that it mattered if they did or didn't what to see such a thing seeing as Myrcella was in Dorne right now. They wouldn't hand her over if they thought harm would come to the girl especially seeing as she had become quite popular in her own right there. Plus, Lord Arryn wouldn't allow it harm to come to the girl either and would pull his own support from Lelouch if he tried anything. Then there was his own wife who needless to say was very fond of the girl. While the other reasons didn't really worry him so much seeing as he fully believed he could deal with Dorne and Vale, the latter did. Shirley took the whole, we don't harm children in Dorne to heart. Even if she was no longer in Dorne she held on to that belief strongly and would fight for it.
Having heard enough of their mindless arguments Lelouch speaks for the first time sense the meeting started. "Enough."
It's one word but it is enough to get them to shut their mouths.
"Reparations will be paid in full by the Westerlands, the Reach and the Stormlands for this war, but it will be up to me to decide what they shall be. As for the child of the ex-queen Cersei Lannster, Myrcella and Tommen shall not be harmed and anyone looking to do so will be thought of as an enemy to House Stark. Is that understood."
"Yes, your highness." They all speak at once.
"Good you are all dismissed, except you brother and good-father I still have things to discuss with you both." Lelouch says as they both nod their heads and remain seated and quiet till everyone else leaves.
When everyone leaves Robb gives a sigh, "Gods that couldn't have been more annoying if it tried."
"You said it Robb. It's one of the reasons why I spend so much time away from home." Oberyn says to the young man who he had come to respect for his skill at arms.
"Please, father you travel for the I do it for the sheer pleasure of fucking foreign cunt than anything else." Shirley says to him in good humor.
Which makes Oberyn clinch his chest like he is in pain and says, "Daughter you wounded me.
Which makes everyone laugh. Well, everyone except Lelouch who just smiles.
When the laughter dies down however Robb speaks seriously, "Brother I have to say I am surprised you have let this war end so easily. I had thought you wanted House Lannister to be destroyed like me."
Hearing the bitterness in Robb's voice Lelouch says, "I wanted Tywin Lannister destroyed brother, not House Lannister. That would have been little more than a byproduct of his fall if we had gotten to him before he did what he did."
"Yes, that was unexpected of the old lion." Oberyn said with some anger. He didn't see that coming or that he would be denied his revenge like he was. It pissed him off but after a night of drinking and fucking he had made some peace with it.
"Do not sound so disappointed, good-father. While the old lion may have died, he did leave a little parting gift for Dorne." Lelouch says.
"Oh, how so Lelouch?" Oberyn asks.
"Before his death Lord Tywin had the Amory Lorch arrested and jailed. No doubt in an effort to appease your house after he passed away." Lelouch says to him.
"Wow the old fucker really didn't leave anything to chance did he." Shirley says in a very bitter voice.
A lifetime of wanting the man dead just to end like this was more than disappointing. It was absolutely infuriating. Not only could they not deny House Lannster's surrender, but if they did it would look really bad. As a new regime coming in, they would already have enough problems to deal with as it was, without looking petty as well. Still a big part of her wanted to beg Lelouch to kill them all anyways. Well, all of them expect sweet Myrcella and little Tommen.
From all the reports she was getting of how Myrcella was doing during her absence had painted a pretty picture of a happy girl who had started to come out of her shell so to speak with the help of her cousin Trystane. Who had taken a surprising step forward to keeping the young girl entertained while she had been away. This led Shirley to question the nature of their relationship with each other and wonder if it would be best to end Myrcella's betrothed with her good-bother and marry her to her cousin. After all her good-brother Bran didn't really show too much interest in her past that of a friend even before she was sent to Dorne. Something to think of she guessed.
"Indeed, he did my love." Lelouch says taking her hand in his to calm her down a bit. Her anger ran deep much like his. The only difference was he could push it down and be rid of it.
"Can I assume you will be sending that fat pig to Dorne to face justice Lelouch?" Oberyn asks with a savage grin on his face. Letting all know what type of justice he has in mind.
"Of course, good-father. After all, it would be in poor taste to not send him after your brother has agreed to join my new kingdom." Lelouch says, shocking everyone in the room.
"Brother do you mean?" Robb says only to be interrupted by Lelouch.
"Yes, brother, the message came in last night. After a few more talks I will be king of all of Westeros." Lelouch said, like it was no big deal and is in fact was not a big deal to him. This was always the plan in the end. The fact that it happened was not a surprise to him or Shirley who never believed Lelouch would be anything, but king.
"So, my brother has agreed has he. Hmmm, I guess it was a good decision if nothing else." Oberyn says thinking it was perhaps for the best. Lelouch was way too skilled in the art of war to honestly say that Dorne could stand against him. Perhaps keep him at bay for a while but he was smart and knew how to sway people to his way of thinking.
"To say he has agreed is a bit much. A few more things need to be discussed, but more or less he has agreed to join the fold." Lelouch says to him.
"What about Jaime Lannister?" Robb asks.
Knowing what his brother was asking about, Lelouch says, "That I will discuss with the new Lord of Westerlands."
Feeling his anger get the better of him, Robb stands and says, "Discuss? What the fuck is there to discuss Lelouch. He should hang with that bitch of a sister of his."
It was rare to see Robb so angry and lose control of his temper but everyone in the room understood why he was angry. Everyone knew that Jaime played no small part in the injuries that caused his and Lelouch's father to die. Regardless, it could be argued that it was the arrow that put the final nail in Ned's coffin.
"Perhaps brother, but then he is fully supporting his brother in this surrendered and as the new Lord of Westerlands and played no part in the war at all due to his own injuries." Lelouch says to him.
Which was the truth. Jaime's injuries ended up being far worse than anyone at first realized. He eventually recovered, but he was never going to be the same man he was. In his old world all his injuries would be called career ending. Honestly Lelouch wanted him dead, but to appear fair he would be given a trial that was fairer than that of his sister or bastard son. Chances where he would walk away stripped of all his noble titles and rank, but that was about it.
"Brother, he killed our father." Robb says in an angry voice.
"No, he didn't Robb. All he didn't was give him an injury that potentially led our father to his death." Lelouch currents.
"That is not the point brother." Robbs says to him.
"Again, no Robb, that is the point. Listen I know what you want and trust me I do too, but I will not condemn the man to death. After all, it was him and his uncle that arrested his sister and his bastard son." Lelouch says to him
"Which was most likely orchestrated in an attempt to keep Ser Jaime from losing his head along with them Lelouch." Shirley adds from his side.
"I know my dear but regardless it could be said that despite all his wrongs in the end he did the right thing. Orchestrated or not we simply can't ignore it in favor of vengeance." Lelouch tells them.
More than able to put two and two together, Robb says, "Politics."
"That is right, Robb politics. We are a new regime coming in and can ill afford to look petty by taking vengeance on a man who did arrest his own sister and child despite knowing what would happen to them." Lelouch tells him.
"And with all the political reforms you are planning to pass within the next few years we have to look just so those who inevitably rebel against us look unjust." Robb says bitterly, but now getting it.
"Correct Robb. As it stands, I am already having trouble with Lord Arryn who has guessed my intent to strip the rights of the nobles from having their own bannermen in favor of having one joint military under my control. Then there is of course the not so little trouble my wife has caused with promising I'd marry the Twin Roses of the Reach. Something by the way, your uncle would like to have a talk with you about my love." Lelouch says as he watches his wife start to sweat a bit and give an uncomfortable laugh.
Oberyn on the other hand just laughs out loud at his, "Ah, yes I can't imagine he would be too happy with that. While I personally see no trouble with it, passing the obvious misgivings of my brother is a whole other matter. Dornish he may be, but not that Dornish."
"Which reminds me again brother, is there nothing that can be done about this. I mean the amount of trouble this will cause down the line alone makes my head hurt." Robb says.
"Sadly, no brother. My wife is sadly right in what she did. Marrying them and keeping them close is for the best right now. As for what happens down the line we will just have to count on our children to deal with it." Lelouch says with a sigh. A sigh that is followed by everyone else not named Shirley who wasn't worried at all.
"Now if you don't mind, I have to get to another meeting." Lelouch says before standing up.
-A few moments later-
Sitting in a tent drinking a glass of wine Tyrion was trying to steel his nerves for the upcoming meeting he was about to have with his grace King Lelouch Stark. Shit, when he thought about what he just called Lelouch in his mind Tyrion felt like drinking even more. But he couldn't, not yet anyways. He needed to keep his mind about him if he wanted to come out of this well in one piece. How things went down the proverbial shit hole he didn't know, well he did know but he didn't like to think about it.
Yet, he couldn't help but think about it. Looking at the board was the only way he could guess what was going to happen next and how House Lannister could possibly insert itself as a useful piece rather than a disposable one. But the more he looked at the board the more he understood how badly everyone had played into Lelouch's hands. They were all like puppets on a string and Lelouch the puppet master moving them at his will. Sure, some random events had still happened, but all of them were accounted for and his plans adjusted accordingly without changing the overall outcome.
That is what his father saw before he died, but it was of course far too late to change the overall outcome. Looking back, he got a glimpse of it back in the North, but he was to blind to see the full picture. As for his sister, well she and Lord Eddard had done nothing, but accelerate Lelouch's plans from what Tyrion could see. Robert's assassination, Lord Eddard's death it was all accounted for. While he was sure King Lelouch didn't wish for his father to die it was still accounted for and the overall plan adjusted to fit it.
And now here they were. Him and his brother sitting down in a tent waiting for their jailer, because that was what Lelouch was to show. Whatever happened in the next few minutes would determine the fate of House Lannister and more importantly their own. Looking over at this brother Tyrion thought poor Jaime, he didn't look well at all. Where there was once smooth skin untouched by time was now a wrinkled face that made him look 10 years older than his brother was. Gray hair was already showing itself on his head and beard making him look closer to 50 than the 35 name-days old he was. But that is what weeks of sleepless nights and days of constant worry did to a person.
Seven Hells Tyrion would be in the same shape as him if it wasn't for his lover Shae. He could easily see he had aged a few years as well, but she had kept the worse of the stress at bay. That and well Tyrion didn't have nearly as much to worry about as Jaime. Oh, how his brother ranted and raved about his part in this play their father had come up with. The thought of sacrificing their bitch of a sister and her twisted inbred son so the rest of House Lannister may live was unconscionable to Jaime. So, Jaime had of course refused to do it till Tyrion took his brother in hand and slapped him several times to remind him that he had two other children by their sister.
As disgusting as it was to admit to himself, Tyrion had to remind him that Myrcella and Tommen were still in the Starks' hands. They were already recognized as his bastards by their sister. If he didn't play his part, then House Lannister was done and most likely them as well. A slight over exaggeration to be sure for he was sure no harm would come to his niece and nephew, but he needed to make sure his brother would play his part. After all he didn't want to see him beheaded or hanged as well. As for House Lannister it would survive with or without his brother after all once he handed his sister and her son over it was all but assured.
Hearing the flap of the tent open both men watch as several guards of the Elite Wolf Pack walk into the tent along with their new King Lelouch. Both men stand or in Tyrion's case jump down from his seat and bow.
"Your highness." They both say but one with in a dead defeated voice the other in a more nervous one.
"Lord Tyrion, Ser Jaime. Please have a seat." Lelouch says with the fakest smile they had ever seen. It was the smile of a predator who was about to go for the kill.
They both take a seat be even Jaime who is not well-versed in politics knowns a fake smile when he sees one. They are in deep shit and hanging by the point of a blade or perhaps its best to say the point of the blade was at their necks. Just waiting to be pushed forward if they chose their words poorly.
After taking a seat himself Lelouch starts off by saying, "Let's do away with any pretense of why I am here. At this stage of the game, it's pointless and a waste of time wouldn't you agree, Lord Lannister?"
Trying to keep a straight face Tyrion just says, "Of course my king."
"Then let's get to it. Reparations will be paid by the Westerlands to the Kingdom of Westeros of either a full sum of three million gold coins or 6 million in payments for the next 6 years." Lelouch says to them.
Tyrion has to rub his head at this number. While still the richest of the Seven Kingdoms neither amount was small or easy to put together quickly. Then there was the fast Lelouch said gold coins not dragons. He really was stripping anything related to the dragon's rule away from the land. A bold move, but one that left no question to who now ruled Westeros.
"Yes, my liege." Tyrion answers with the only answer he can give.
"Good let's move on to the trials." Lelouch says.
Tyrion just nods his head this time. This part was perhaps going to be the hardest to hear. Lelouch was no doubt going to make a show of the trials and make this as painful as he could to send a message to everyone else in Westeros.
"To start, Lord Tyrion, you are guiltless of any crime so there will be no trial in your case." Lelouch states to him.
"Thank you, your highness." Tyrion says expecting as much. While he may have taken part in the war it was only at the Battle of Blackwater. Past that he didn't do much at all but retreat from King's Landing with some wildfire.
"The same goes for your uncle Kevan, as well as all the lords of the Westeros who are not already dead and all prisoners of war will be released. After all it could be argued they had no idea about the assassination or that Joffrey was not Robert's son." Lelouch says to him.
"That is very generous of you your highness." Is what Tyrion is saying but it is anything but. Lelouch was clearly looking to keep the image of House Stark's pension for honor and fairness unblemished. That way when he starts hitting the nobles with the same policies that the North already had in place for itself it would look bad to stand against them. After all, he was already giving them their lives. What was losing some of their privileges next to that.
"You will also be playing the part of the judge in your sister and nephew's trial with your brother acting as executioner." Lelouch tells them.
Both of them look at Lelouch with eyes wide open in surprise. Jaime, who had been quiet from the start, wants to say something. Anything to protest against this, but Tyrion luckily speaks before him. Saving himself from making a fool of himself or saying something that could see him on the chopping block with their sister and her son.
"My king that…. that would make us kinslayers." Tyrion says as evenly as he can but the look in Lelouch's eyes makes that hard to do.
"On the contrary, once they are found guilty both Cersei and Joffrey will be stripped of all titles and names. They will simply be two criminals' sentence to death for high treason." Lelouch says making sure they can't worm their way out of this.
Something both Tyrion and Jaime understand. Especially Jaime who know this was happening because while he didn't kill Lord Eddard, he did have a hand in it. Perhaps if he had not struck that blow to the man's shoulder, he would still be alive. Perhaps if he turned his blade against his sister and son, made them stand down then they would not have to die. Perhaps if he had done a few things in his life differently this would never have happened at all. Perhaps.
"What about my other children? What will happen to them?" Jaime asks while at the same time admitting to Lelouch what the man already knew about Myrcella and Tommen.
"They are guiltless in all this and will be treated as such. In fact, I plan to outlaw the practice of bastardy and force all parents of said bastards to recognize them as legitimate members of their families." Lelouch says shocking Jaime but not Tyrion.
It didn't take Tyrion longer than a second to realize Lelouch was doing this so he could replace any rebellious nobleman with those who would be more agreeable. The political reforms he no doubt planned to make would make many enemies and who better to replace those enemies than their own forgotten child. Many of whom would be more than happy to plunge the knife in their natural father's backs.
Rubbing his head at the knowledge that the bloodshed had really only just begun Tyrion says, "Is there anything else your highness."
"Yes, in fact there is Lord Lannister." Lelouch says much to Tyrion's dread.
"With the creation of a new government new positions need to be created and filled in short order. With that in mind I will be asking you to take up the position of Minister of Law. Basically, the Master of Laws, but with additional duties and responsibilities. Such as arresting those suspected of treason and prosecuting them to the full extent of the law." Lelouch finishes.
Reaching for a cup of wine that is on the table that he is sitting at, Tyrion takes a drink, then another and another till the cup is empty. Then rubs his head and says, "What do I know about law?"
"Honestly most likely nothing, but you're a quick learner. Like how I am sure you will learn why I am giving you such a prominent position." Lelouch says than stands. Then adds, "I will give you some time to think it over. Have a good day Lord Lannister."
"Sure, I will do that." Tyrion thinks to himself as he watches his new king walk out the tent. Knowing he had no choice in any of this.
-Dragon Stone about 3 months later-
Looking out over the balcony of Dragonstone that overlooked Blackwater Bay, Stannis Baratheon watched as a ship flying the banner of House Stark sailed closer to the island. As he watched he thought of how things had come to this and not for the first time. Ever since his defeat at King's Landing and his surrender to the Northern Navy he had little else to do. Strip of all power and authority he was little more than a prison in his own castle though he supposes he had little to complain about. He was treated quite courteously and was not subject to the same abuse as others in his position most likely would have found themselves in.
Sure, his movements were heavily watched, and he was never left alone, but he still got to enjoy all the things a noble was accustomed to. He even still got to train with his sword with his Northern guardsman. So, he really didn't have much to complain about and all the free time gave him the opportunity to get to know his daughter better. He was even able to bridge the gap with his wife and while they would never love each other he would dare say they were at least friendly towards each other.
But when alone and with no one to talk with he thought of the past and what was going to happen in the future. There was no way he was going to get to live after all was said and done. While most of his supporters were dead, arrested or had betrayed him it would only take a slight change in the wind for someone to come along looking to instill him as king. Lelouch Stark couldn't allow that and so his fate was sealed. Right now, his only goal was to see that Shireen did not share the same fate. He may not have been a loving father and even now he was too stern with her, but he would not let it be said he didn't love his child.
Hearing the door open Stannis looked over to watch as Lelouch Stark the new King of Westeros strolled in. Not walk but strolled at a relaxed pace as if everything was as it should be. It was one of the few things he had noticed about the young man since he had met Lelouch all those years ago. Young Lelouch never seemed to be in a rush for anything and always walked and stood in a relaxed and graceful manner. Like nothing was ever outside his control. Yes, one could say he had the air of a king from the start. It was just official now.
One of the things he often wondered about was did Lelouch set this up from the start. Did he always want to be king and just used and manipulated everyone to achieve that goal? Or did simply step forward to take control of the chaos brought on by his brother's and Lord Eddard's deaths. He didn't know, but deep inside he felt it was the first, but he would not voice such suspicions or thoughts. They were pointless thoughts and had no place in the conversation he was about to have.
Walking from the balcony towards Lelouch, Stannis keeps a respectful distance and bows to Lelouch slightly. "King Stark."
Bowing his own head in return but lesser than Stannis did, Lelouch says, "Lord Stannis."
Both men just look at each other for a time. Understanding all too well the positions they were in and in Stannis' case accepting it. Which proved to be harder than he thought it would be. Pride was not an easy thing to put aside for someone like him.
"Shell, we sit?" Lelouch asks point at a table nearby.
"Yes, I think that would be best." Stannis says and they both walk over to the table to sit down.
They sit in silence for a bit. Neither holds any real animosity towards each other. Dislike on Stannis' part sure, but that was nothing new seeing as both knew he never really liked Lelouch from the start. Respected him sure, but never liked.
"I guess I should start by congratulating you on your victory, your highness." Stannis says to him.
"Thank you, Lord Stannis, but while your congratulations are welcomed, I am not here for that." Lelouch says back with a cold voice.
"Indeed, may I inquire as to what my fate is to be? I have heard that trials will be held soon." Stannis asks.
"If you are worried about being paraded around like some fool, I can assure you that will not be the case Lord Baratheon." Lelouch answers him.
"I am relieved to hear that King Stark." Stannis says and really, he was even if he didn't sound like it. He at least wanted to leave this world with some dignity. "But that doesn't answer my question." He adds.
"Well, that will be up to you, Lord Baratheon. While your trial unlike the others will be held with dignity and fairness, we both know you are not walking out of this alive. You can declare yourself innocent, but none will believe that you didn't assassinate your own brother by use of witchcraft. Due to that you will be found guilty, executed and in a show of force your family will be stripped of all titles." Lelouch answers.
A sigh leaves his lips as Stannis understands what is happening here, "But you don't want that do you."
"No, I do not. I would prefer you plead guilty." Lelouch answers.
Taking a moment to think Stannis says, "And what would I get in exchange for pleading guilty?"
"What would you like?" Lelouch asked willing to hear Stannis demands to a point. After all, while he didn't feel any pity for the man and how far he had fallen that didn't mean he didn't have his uses. If things went well Stannis' trial could paint him in a merciful light while the other one showed his teeth so to speak.
Having already thought that something like this could happen Stannis answers, "I want my daughter to inherit Storm's End. It should have been her right from the start so I would see the injustices my brother Robert laid on me corrected."
Feeling that it was a reasonable request and one he could use to his advantage, Lelouch answered, "Very well. I had a plan to change the inheritance laws to allow for equality between men and women anyways. So, she can be the first example."
"I also wish to see her fostered with your family. I am no fool. I know that my enemies will be looking to remove her or force a marriage between her and their heir.'' What he didn't say is that by fostering her to Lelouch's family perhaps she could catch the eye of one of the younger Stark brothers. He knew she was not pretty due to her grayskin scars, but that didn't mean it wasn't possible and if not that perhaps a close friendship was not out of the question.
Lelouch of course saw through this and while a marriage wouldn't see Lady Shireen lose any of her power, it wouldn't do for her to be assassinated before she could be of use to him. It would be best for her to stay in the North till she could take over and perhaps be indoctrinated into being a loyal supporter of House Stark.
"Very well." Lelouch answers.
"There is one last thing." Stannis says.
"And that would be?" Lelouch asks.
"The form of my execution. I know you have started hanging people as a new form of execution and your brother Robb has become well known for his Crucifixion. I don't wish to die like that and would like to die with some dignity. Perhaps a beheading in private if that could be arranged." Stannis says to him.
In truth he feared hanging. He had been told that if the neck didn't break during the hanging it could take a long time for someone to die and the less said about Robb's Crucifixions as it had become known the better.
"Of course, you have my word and that of House Stark that your demands will be met so long as you plead guilty during your trial." Lelouch says to him.
"Thank you, King Stark. Now if you don't mind, I would like to be left alone with my thoughts." Stannis says.
Lelouch just stands at this and gives the man a respectful nod of his head then leaves. Everything was going as planned, all that was left was to see to the trials themselves. Than he could start purging the nobles who would try and stand in his way.