My Teenage Romantic Comedy is now a Medieval Political Fantasy? Didn't Expect That (Oregairu/Game of Thrones)


Chapter 1: Pride (272 AC)


When I think of childbirth, I had expected that I would need to experience it someday. Not giving birth myself, of course, since I was male, but by watching it happen. However, I didn't expect that my point of view, instead of being from the father's, it was from the baby's. How would I describe it? The confusion, the warmth, the tightness, and the coldness at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't. Or rather, I wouldn't.

Because this was definitely going to become a trauma.

The first thing that greeted me when I was born—or rather, reborn—was the blurry image of a person who I would later learn was a chambermaid and two different screaming voices. It was impossible to tell, not with my undeveloped eyes and ears, but I would learn later on that I was part of a set of triplets.

I was born Hachi Lannister. The story was that I was supposed to be named Hatch Lannister, but my mother sneezed during her rendition of it. Not once. Not twice but three times. She took it as a sign from the Seven and named me thus. That was why, despite the fact that I was in a brand new world with a whole different aesthetics, I had a name that was similar enough to my last.

What's this? You don't understand? Let me greet you with a couple of facts.

My true name—well, I guess both are my true names so this would count as my previous name—was Hikigaya Hachiman. Hikigaya was the family name while Hachiman was the given name. I needed to emphasize this since this world had a different order set for names, but that was to be expected since I was born into a medieval European-styled world that was based on western aesthetics. Hachi, Hachiman. Pretty close, wasn't it?

In my previous life, I was born in Japan to two parents chained to the corporate system. They adhered to the religion of the black companies whose motto was that unpaid overtime was the joy of life. As expected of a child spawned from corporate slaves, I grew up above-average in everything except appearance. And then I died. The end.

Oh wait, that wasn't the end. Of course it wasn't, otherwise my story wouldn't be about another life but about the afterlife. On that note, I was born to House Lannister in Casterly Rock in the Westerlands region on the Westeros continent as a completely normal and healthy baby boy.

Normally, reincarnators would get some kind of cheat skill or they would bring their education from the other world to change this one. However! This wasn't a medieval fantasy. This was simply medieval. I wasn't given any sort of power like that, even though I guess being born as a super high-ranking noble could maybe count as one. As for education…

I knew absolutely nothing. I could mix a few chemicals to make certain chain reactions, but it wasn't like I knew how to make those chemicals in the first place. I guessed my math skill would be the highest here—if that was worth anything. Probably just with calculating tithes and taxes. Well, what did you expect? I was a high school student who knew high school subjects and too much unhealthy internet trivia. You would think that an old man engineer would be the ideal type to reincarnate, especially with the progress they could bring to the era, but for a high school student? That was a laughable dream.

Just what kind of reincarnation story was this? I had read enough light novels to know what I was supposed to be getting into, but my circumstances had none of that. Even though this was definitely a different world—I didn't recognize any of the countries or continents—it was closer to medieval Europe than anything else. There used to be fantasy elements like magic and dragons, but those had died out a long time ago, if they even existed in the first place. All that was left was high-nosed nobles, dirt-poor peasants, and an incestuous royal line. No monsters or demon lords at all. Just myths and legends like the White Walkers which were basically gruesome fairy tales people would tell their kids at night to keep them obedient. Of course, it never worked on me.

"Hachi, get your head out of that book and come play with us."

I flipped to the next page in the book, deliberately ignoring the six years old blond boy in front of me. I supposed that should be "six name days," but that just sounded too strange in my mind for my taste. With a huff, he walked up to me and slapped the book out of my hands. I didn't mind though; the book was terrible. It was a fiction story, but when only around maybe ten percent of the population could read, much less write, the quality of written stories tended to be extremely low. Like caveman art in comparison to manga art. I sorely missed my old collection of light novels on my bookshelf and webnovels on my computer.

And I desperately hoped they erased my harddrive.

Here lies Hikigaya Hachiman. He had a predilection towards women with bunny ears.

"Jaime," I said as I tried to hide the sigh that wanted to creep out of me.

"Well, are you going to come or not? We're all waiting for you."

"We both know that's not true. You're the only one waiting for me. And maybe Cersei if she's out there."

Jaime frowned. I wasn't cute like Jaime and Cersei. I was just me, with blond hair. The hair really didn't help make my dead fisheyes any better. Not that I wanted to be like that riajuu bastard, Hayato, but it would have been nice to look appealing. Wait, scratch that. Bastard wasn't a term I could easily throw around now. I will just call him an idiot. What kind of face did I have? Well, my features remained relatively the same, if you disregard how a cosmetic surgeon rearranged my face. Okay, so there was a big difference, but I didn't see people falling over themselves for me like they did with my siblings, so I doubted that it changed that much. Except now, I was the heir to a kingdom, seeing since I was born first among the triplets in the ruling House of the region. Not that my siblings, as young as they were, truly understood what that meant. Not that I truly understood what that meant.

"They all wear masks, Jaime. The sooner you can see through them, the sooner you'll understand," I said. "I don't mean they're inherently dangerous; they are children of our bannermen and allies, but the face they have on is the same kind that villagers have with their local lords. The fake kind." The same kind that salarymen have with their corporate bosses. "Why should I bother wasting my time?"

There was a moment of angry indecision on his face before Jaime turned to point at the fallen book. "And what do your books have? Just boring stuff."

"History, politics, war." If he actually bothered to learn to read well, he would have known that the book on the floor was none of these. It was actually a cheap, vapid romance novel that I wouldn't pay a single yen for. Not that I paid for any of these books at all. "For ruling. You understand, right?"

At that, Jaime said nothing and stormed out.

I got up from my seat, bent down, and picked up the book. Taking only a momentary glance at it, I put it back on the bookshelf. It probably wouldn't be long before Jaime tells someone about my refusal. Someone was going to eventually come to check up on me, and I didn't relish the thought of getting caught with this kind of book in my hand. I skimmed through the admittedly small selection once more, hoping that this time, an interesting book that I missed before would pop up.

A lot of the books here were history books, detailing the same events but just in a slightly different style with different biases. Still, that wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so dry. It was actually much worse than my high school textbooks so that said a lot about the kind of people who read and wrote these books. There was a saying that in order not to repeat history, we must learn from it, but a lot of these historical events were…something.

Take for instance the story of something something Targaryen who defeated an entire army by riding on his dragon and burning them down. What did we learn from this event? Get a fucking dragon, one of the best cheats you can have.

Any tactics mentioned were at best rudimentary. Flanking? Obvious. Fire arrows? Can I start yawning now?

I played enough Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms to get an idea of how to rule a kingdom in war times. In fact, I had even played more than my fair share of real time strategy games. While real life was different, it wasn't that much of a different. I just had to account for those factors like communication, weather, and human stupidity. There was a reason you couldn't direct a team in a MMORPG like you would with units in a RTS. Still, it wasn't like I was a master at those kinds of games; I wasn't Korean after all.

Out of all the books, I eventually pulled out a book on the various Houses. I never really found these to be that useful. The only ones that you really had to know about were the major Houses and a few important bannermen. Knowing the sigil would help to identify them by sight and knowing the motto gave a little description on what the family was about. However, everything else was just fluff. What was the use of knowing their myths and legends or what deeds their ancestors did? Yes, yes, knowing that would let you know if they were friendly or not, predicting their attitude on this or that ancestor who married into this or that house. I supposed since these noble houses had long memories, ingrained by a maester's droning, grudges were serious issues, but it would be easier and more practical for me if someone could just told me outright if they were friendly or not. There were too much backstabbing and betrayal for the past knowledge to be truly relevant anyways. If it went further than three or four generations back, it wasn't exactly that relevant anymore. Besides, it was all just too tangled up at this point. Better to slice the rope than undo the knot. Besides, just because my parents were corporate slaves didn't mean I was going to be one.

Yet, here I was reviewing the main houses again while ignoring the numerous houses of their bannermen when I heard the door opening. In hindsight, that had been a very practical decision to switch books.

"Hachi." My father, Lord Tywin Lannister, stood in the doorway, was staring at me with a gaze that would have petrified me, if I wasn't a reincarnator. As it was, I merely returned the gaze with all the calm of a startled rabbit. Yeah, I wasn't that calm.


"Why aren't you frolicking with the other boys your age?" His stern voice made it seem more like an interrogation rather than the simple questioning that it was.

"Why bother?" Having said that, I waited for the tirade that was sure to come.

"Why? I've told you several times, Hachi. They will be your bannermen. In the future, they will fight for you and die by your command," he said. "You must foster the relationships that will serve you when you are Lord of Casterly Rock."

"What's the point? At most, a person would get one or two close friends. What's the use of that when we have far more bannerhouses than that?" I distinctly remembered the expressions on their faces the first time I met them. They were quick to hide it behind fake smiles, but they were children; they were definitely not experienced enough to hide it from my discerning eyes. "Besides, I can tell they think they don't think much of me."

"You don't wish to dispel their notion?"

"What's the point? One or two will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Our house has too many bannermen for that to matter."

"An interesting observation, my son, but foolish." Tywin walked up to me and looked down at the book in my lap. "Politics and the court require a finesse that you must learn through interaction with others."

"It's useless for me."

"As Lord of Casterly Rock, you will need to negotiate with and entreat those that come to your court," Tywin said. "I expect you down there amongst your peers before evening."

"I refuse." The moment that words left my mouth, his hand was already swinging. The slap resounded through the room even as I fell from my seat.

"There will be no more discussion or arguments. I expect to be obeyed."

"Or else what?" I glared him. I knew it was childish, and I could see him visibly restraining himself from slapping me again.

"Or else, boy, you will be confined to your bedchambers until I feel you have learned to be obedient." With that said, Tywin stormed out like a tempest.

For anyone else in this strange era, it would be a punishment, but for me, it was more of a blessing. This "punishment" suited me just fine.


I had spoken too soon. It didn't matter the fact that I prepared so much material for my precious solo time. The fact of the matter was that this solitude was started to grate on me. Was it human nature? Nobody was allowed to see me except for when the maids came to feed me or clean me. Even then, they were silent, and I was hard-pressed to break it. They answered me well enough, but I didn't have any natural aptitude for striking up conversations so my attempts usually ended in a terse reply and then more silence.

The books lasted a while, as they always did, but they were relatively few in number, and they weren't exactly interesting in the first place. Who was interested in knowing how the secret bastard daughter of Brynden Rivers and Shiera Seastar attracted the attention and fell in love with the heir to House Blackfrye? Nobody but Cersei. She gobbled that kind of story up every time I read to her, except she wasn't here right now to allay my boredom.

So what did I do most of the time? I slept, and I thought about things. This life and my previous life. I thought a lot about about Komachi, my little sister, as well as Totsuka Saika, whose smile I wanted to protect with all my might. Ah, Totsuka Saika… Fortunately—unfortunately—that forbidden path was now forever closed.

I sighed.

Solitude. It really was no good without any real entertainment. There were no computers, internet, light novels, anime, or even music to listen to. Well, there was technically music. Not in my room, of course, but there were musicians. However, their selection was vastly limited. So much so that I have heard Rain over Castamere more times than I care to think about.

This era was truly the era of boredom.

There was training because there was nothing else to do.

There was book learning because there was nothing else to do.

There was socializing because if there was something else to do, the world would implode.

I had survived the first few years of life simply because everything was new. Now, I knew what it felt like to be a caged princess. Except male. And a prince.

I wanted to go out and sightsee…

…because there was really, really nothing else to do.

As I lying in bed, bemoaning my fate like the spoiled reincarnator I was, the door opened with the turning of the overly loud doorknob and the creak of dry hinges. I didn't bother to get up because I assumed it was one of the maids.

I assumed wrong.

"Hachi." The stern voice of Tywin Lannister made me shot up from my bed in surprise. Not panic, just surprise. My clothes were wrinkled, but I didn't bother to straighten them down.


"Are you ready to do your duty?" He asked that like it was a statement with a forgone conclusion. However, I had something up my sleeve.

I stood up from my bed and pointed at him with a determined face.

"I challenge you to a duel!"


By duel, I did not mean an actual fight or spar. Anyone who thought that a six year old could actually go through with that ought to have their brain examined. No, I was referring to something more of a game. And not a card game like Yu-Gi-Oh, otherwise I would have stuttered the word "duel."

What I was challenging him to was something that I knew was his expertise. This was actually a war game with a map of Westeros covering the entire long table in the war room. On the map were small wooden blocks of different shapes that signified the towns and castles. Colored rectangular blocks were representative of armies, with his being the color of red while mine being blue.

"I believe in you, Hachi," Cersei whispered from besides me. Hah, Cersei, my cute little sister, you earned a lot of Hachiman points with that! It didn't mattered that I taught her the phrase; all that mattered was that her timing was spot-on.

The room was actually a bit crowded. Once people heard that the little lord was challenging the big lord, many people came just to see how well I did, which included most of my relatives in the castle like my uncles and the rest of the triplets. They probably didn't expect that it would be something like this.

I had heard enough stories of the battles he had won in the past to know how cunning and skilled everyone thought he was. However!

I had far more victories in single player campaigns and multiplayer matches than him to lose here!

"Do not forget your word, Hachi." Tywin stared down at with the same blank yet stern gaze that he always had. "I expect your full obedience."

"I won't forget." After all, I promised to meet with those children, but I never said how many times I would do it. I worded it carefully enough in-case of failure or injustice. This was a testament to how rotten my personality was. However, I didn't want to lose; if I did, it would mean exposing that safety net, and I knew that Tywin was intelligent enough that it wouldn't work a second time.

"You may make the first move, Hachi." That was a handicap if I ever heard of any.

"What about the rules?"


"How to play."

"This isn't a game," Tywin said. "You will start with a set of seven armies. We'll each take turns, explaining our choices and actions when we make them."

"That's it?"

"Were you expecting more?"

"Yes, you need to choose the general composition of your army and mark the pieces. Since I'm going first in the game, you can choose what units you have first." While it seemed like I was giving him the lead in that, it was actually a handicap in my benefit. Whatever army he chooses, I would be able to counter his composition. When I looked at him, however, I could tell by the glint in his eyes that he knew that too, but he didn't refute me. He was probably overconfident because of my age and inexperience.

Well, I will teach him not to underestimate me…um too much, that is.

"I shall take three cavalry, three infantry, and one archer for my armies."

"You'll have to be more detailed than that." At his questioning look, I said, "What kind of cavalry are you using? A heavy cavalry of full-plate knights with lance and sword, used for charging into enemy lines? Or maybe you prefer a lightly armored cavalry armed with spear and shield to harass with hit and runs? What about the infantry? What armor and weaponry will they have? Sword and shield? Warhammer and shield? Spears and javalins? If we want to simulate war, we can't be frivolous with the details. Each type has their own specialties and their own counters."

It was only when I stopped talking that I realized the silence that came over the room. Looking around, I saw some wide eyes and agape mouths, but none looked so surprised as my brother, Jaime. I flushed a little when I realized that I probably looked like a military otaku, giving a trivial lecture on the specification of a rifle. However, Tywin answered without missing a beat. He named off a list of different unit types, as if he thought I would understand. Of course, he thought right, but I was far from the stereotypical six year old. Nevertheless, I felt a little bad for cheating like this.

"Next time, let's make our selection in private with a judge so that the battlefield would be a surprise." I felt like I needed to say that little piece before I launched into my own set of units for my armies. Of course, each of them were specific counters to his. On the actual map, we started with our armies on the opposite side. Mine in the south while his in the north. Since I had the first turn, I was able to get a headstart and secure the more viable castles. By securing, I didn't mean putting it into a siege, but more of the negotiation type since a battle would take too long and they were technically still within my territory. I had a lot of free time during my punishment so I did read up from these castles, even if my memory of the details were a little fuzzy. Still, I knew the basics, and I had to explain my reasoning for getting the lords of these castles to agree when Tywin asked. This established a viable supply line and retreat point.

However, because of my mass grabs, my armies became scattered to the left and right of the field leaving only one of my armies in the middle. Tywin's armies were collected together into a giant host so he wasn't able to get that many castles, but it was enough as he made his way down the middle. It was basically a mass of armor. Everything from heavy cavalry to heavy swordsmen. Only the archers wore light armor. I took that as a sign that the archers were going to be the skirmishers, going ahead of the pack to weaken my forces.

Of course, that was when I made my strike. I launched light cavalry even as I regrouped my forces on the left and right side of him. I had to explain my reasoning and why it would work when I had my light cavalry commence hit and runs on his heavy cavalry. The attacks were swift and devastating since I aimed not at the armored soldiers but at the horses themselves since those were unarmored. When he gave chase, my light cavalry proved too swift and suffered very few casualties. When I had the opportunity, I used the light cavalry to hit the skirmishing archers. One charge practically ripped them in half.

My archers on both sides launched arrows into Tywin's host. For good measure, I had them wrap cloth around the arrows and light them on fire. It reduced the range and accuracy of my arrows, but I didn't need too much; with his cavalry and archers occupied, the heavy swordsmen were much too slow to reach my archers, their platemails weighing them down and exhausting them. The thing about fire arrows was that they weren't technically that useful in actual killing, but my target wasn't the infantry; it was the horses. Fire was something that frightened them, and scared horses sometimes ran amok, causing chaos in their ranks.

One of Tywin's heavy cavalry was able to charge to the west, but I had my spearman army set down spearwall. By that, I meant that I had the first row crouch down while aiming their spears forward. The second row aimed their spears a little over the head of the first row. The third row set their spears on the shoulder of the second row to aim at the highest level. This essentially set down three defensive rows of spears that the charging horses stopped before or suicided on. The thrown off knights would then be slaughtered before they could get up by the back row. I switched out the rows when I could because even though the spears did stop the horses, they tended to break. That wasn't even mentioning the casualties that occurred since the momentum of charging horses wasn't something that could be easily stopped.

I couldn't stop the heavy infantry, but I made sure that they were fatigued. I hadn't traveled much north while he had to move his entire host southward. Heavy armor and long marches were not exactly compatible aspects. By the time our battle begun, his soldiers were already fatigued. It was a simple matter to have crossbow skirmishers lay down waves of bolts while still having enough space to flee out of range of the heavy infantry.

With all this happening, I also argued that the morale of the units, with the dissolution of the host, the constant hit and run attacks, as well as the fire arrows would make routing a very real possibility.

Which did happen. With my armies attacking from all sides, the enemy started routing back to the north. In that direction was a wide-open plain that was practically asking for my cavalry to rampage through. However, I didn't use them to chase until the host finally broke apart and all of them routed. Only then did I use my cavalry and slaughter the retreating soldiers. With their heavy armor, they had no chance of escape. When asked why I slaughtered the defeated and retreating army, I didn't hesitate to say my response.

"It's better if there's no war. Peace is always better than war. But if they come at me with an army, to destroy the land and people that I'm protecting, then I'll show them no mercy. I'll crush them so completely and utterly that they will never have another thought of raising their sword against me, even if I have to eradicate entire houses to do so." Utterly harsh words. I actually said them because it sounded like the kind of thing that a General would say, but if it came down to it, I wasn't actually sure if I could do that. Still, the silence was deafening.

However, when I looked up at Tywin, I had never saw him so proud as he was in this very moment.


After that, there was a lot of gossip about me.

It was crazy how public opinion switched around just like that. I heard the whispers, the talks about how I was a genius of war. How I went into detail about specific unit types. How I surrounded and routed Tywin's armies. Even though I did find out later that the tactics that I used weren't really that good, nobody expected a six year old child to think of even that much, so they were really expecting a lot in my future. Though, I couldn't say I liked my new nickname.

Little Tywin. They never said it to my face, but I heard the whispers just before I turn a corner.

Still, I had a lot of fun. For the first time in a long time, my excitement had peaked and my adrenaline was running. If I had to analyze it, I would say it was more akin to a table-top roleplaying game than a strategy game. Since there was no rules, I had to constantly explain why some tactics would work or why this or that unit was faster. Sometimes, I had to argue with Tywin on some of them, though my uncle, Kevan Lannister, was usually the judge that decided on those cases. He was fair, though, by stating why he was accepting this or that argument.

After that, Tywin would sometimes come back and quiz me. The questions would range from house sigil to battle tactics. I wasn't that great on house identification questions, but for battle tactics, those were probably my best. He started bringing me around inspections of the nearby barracks as well as expose me to the paperwork involved with all of that. After he found out that I was skilled at mathematics, which wasn't hard since the highest level of math in this area seemed to be arithmetic, he got me to work on financial and logistic documents like with the tithes of the fiefs and the upkeep of the armies. I still had to wonder why he was expecting so much out of a six year old.

When I walked the halls, people noticed me more. Before, I had seemed lazy since I kept skipping sword practice and social parties, but that was all changed by that war game. Now, I was known as a genius, and everyone was trying to get close to me now. I didn't outright reject them—it just wasn't in my nature to—but I wasn't that good with conversation, and it showed. Some tried harder than others, but I still gradually pushed them away.

Behind their smiles and polite words, I could tell. I could read between the lines. Nothing had changed except their fear and respect for me. They still thought I was disgusting. Maybe I could have fooled myself, if I didn't have my discerning eye. Maybe I would have been happier, surrounded by sycophants and golddiggers, ready to do my bidding in order to get closer to me. In order to gain more power from me.

But I could tell. I could see through their facades. Their gracious smiles that never reached their eyes. Their polite words that decorated their loathing. Each word out of them was like a hidden knife.

Some people were optimistic. They would think: "Maybe I can change myself or maybe I can change them." And maybe they do. However, to me, that was like letting them hold a knife to my chest while I desperately hope that they would change their mind about me and retract the blade. No, I couldn't live like that. I didn't have it in me to be that brave, to bet it all on the roll of a gambler's dice. So I pushed them away.

"Hachi, there you are!" Cersei threw open the door and came in, followed closely by Jaime.

I groaned from where I was lying down on my bed.

Family was the exception.

Family was always the exception.

Jamie stopped in front of my bed and stared down at me with a smirk on his face. "See. Told you he'd be here. He's always here."

I tried to swat him with my pillow, but he backed away out of my reach.

"Hachi, get up! Don't you remember what day today is?" Cersei came within reach, but I didn't swat at her. My learned reluctance, stemming from Komachi and my previous corporate slave father, stayed my hand long before my brain caught up. I really was too sleepy for all of this.

"My day off." This corporate drudgery had me hauling my carcass to a Maester and the Swordsmanship Instructor six days a week along with my siblings. Yes, both siblings. Since Jaime and Cersei looked so alike, they kept crossdressing and switching places so that Cersei could learn the sword arts. They couldn't do the same with me since I looked a bit different from them, so much so if someone didn't know beforehand, they would think Jaime and Cersei were only twins and not triplets.

"Jaime." Cersei looked at her little brother and nodded to him. Jaime returned the nod. They grabbed my arms, a flat-chested rose for each arm. "What does flat-chested mean?"

"I'll tell you when you're older." Stop reading my mind, Cersei!

"You're saying it out loud!"

I didn't get a chance to respond before they yanked me off the bed, sending me sprawling across the rug. I rolled around a bit, trying to generate friction and create heat for my quickly chilling body. It was only after I gave it a modicum of effort—about fifteen seconds worth—that I finally gave up and flopped onto my back.

"So what do you two want?" Even though I asked that question, it was with exasperation instead of curiosity. We had been through this dance and play so many times that it was nearly becoming a habit. Our routine was me being lazy—with good reason—and them dragging me off to whatever caught their attention on that particular day.

"Didn't you hear? Mother is pregnant," Jaime said.

"Really? Okay, wake me nine months later." I made no effort to get up as I rubbed my cheek against the rug.

"Do you think it will be a boy or girl? I'd like a little sister," Cersei said without missing a beat.

"It'll be whatever. I already have both so it's not like I'm missing anything."

"I wouldn't mind having a little brother," Jaime said.

"Does it matter?"

"It does matter!" Both of them yelled into both of my ears at the same time.

"…next thing I know, you'll both be finishing each other's sentences." Even as I grumbled, I sat up. Jaime held out a hand which I grabbed, letting him pull me up to my feet. "So what are you both really here for?"

"Can't we just be here because we want to play with you?" Cersei asked before giving up just as quickly without missing a beat. "Fine. I need you to convince father to let me practice swordfighting."

"Don't you do that already? Can't you just keep pretending to be Jaime?"

"No, I can't! If I'm being taught, that means Jaime is not being taught."

"Why me? Why don't you just ask him yourself?"

"Do I have to spell it out for you? You're his heir, Hachi the genius. If you ask him—no, if you beg him, he'll let me join the class with Jaime and you."

Well, I don't see why not.




"No," Tywin repeated.


Tywin paused mid-scribble and looked up at me with an intimidating stare. I could tell from his expression alone that he was asking me if I was really asking that.

"Why can't Cersei be taught to fight?"

"Sometimes, I forget," Tywin said. "that you're a child of six namedays."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"It means that you're not mature enough to understand the full extent of the duties you must one day be responsible for." Tywin's frown deepened. "Traditions must be upheld."

"You mean reputation. I'm your son; I know you don't really care all that much about traditions."

Tywin frowned slightly. "The answer is still no."

"At least let her learn self-defense. This is a dangerous world where knights will rape a beautiful girl if they get the chance. There's nothing wrong with learning to fight a little to protect herself," I said. "All it takes is one time, less than an hour, for her—for most girls—to be forced upon by someone. If she knows enough to fight back, to cause a lot of noise, then wouldn't that be a good thing?"

"For a child of six, you know more abut that than you should," Tywin said tiredly. "The answer, however, is still no."

"Why not?" I was getting agitated, I could recognize that, and it came through in my voice.

"Besides the wasted time and manpower on a girl whose duty is to hearth and home? Placing the tools, no matter how insufficient, into the hands of a naive little girl who thinks she can take on the role of a boy, a man, a squire, a knight will only lead to dereliction. She'll run off to Essos with fantasies of grandeur. When she returns, it'll be with one less arm, a cunt that has been raped a few dozen times, and a bastard in her womb."

"That won't happen."

"You do not know that. If I came out and taught the stable boy how to use a sword for two weeks, the fool would become confident enough to join an army and die in battle. Do you believe that is sufficient training?"

"No," I said while trying not to roll my eyes. Tywin was getting into lecture-mode so I began preparing myself to weather it out yet again.

"Do you think this stable boy will live past his first battle?"


"There is no 'maybe.' There is a 'yes' and a 'no.'"

"I can't speak on behalf of luck," I said. "Battles aren't won just by skill, father."

Tywin gave me a speculating glance. "No, they certainly are not. I do not believe I need to teach you the requirements and qualities of war," Tywin said. "But if the girl is allowed, what is to stop other ladies from asking for the same? Why not include the women of the smallfolk? Shall we construct a female barrack for your new division of women-at-arms?"

"No need for the sarcasm, father. We both know the smallfolk won't ask for it; they're just too scared," I said. Well, some of them weren't, but I could imagine how a low-born girl would be treated in the military: tragically. "How about if a highborn lady wants to train, then she'll need to send a letter to her father asking permission. Without doing that first, it'll risk alienating my future bannermen, and I can't have that happening." I already knew that most of those kind of permission letters would definitely be rejected, meaning that things wouldn't really change from how it was now except Cersei being able to train openly.

"A well thought out solution." Tywin nodded and paused for a few moments. "Very well, I'll allow it."

"I'm glad you see reason—"

"Under one condition," Tywin said. "Any trouble that comes from it will be your responsibility. Do not think you'll get your way all the time. You've the gift of logic, more than I could say of many men four-folds older than you, but it can easily turn on you."

I nodded my head at his condition and his advice. Not that I really needed it, since it was just a warning about being cautious. I was already cautious enough.

"I will, however, praise you for not using the other houses as examples in your arguments. I know very well that the Dornish and some houses in the North allow their women to fight, but we are Lannisters; we do not follow the lead of other houses. We follow our own will."

I nodded again.

He returned to his writing, and I returned to the duty I was performing earlier.

The reason I was here in the first place was because Tywin had begun taking me along on his duties. Or rather, I should say it was his office duties. Letters, reports, and—when I showed an aptitude for arithmetic—financial documents. Not that it was hard to be considered a genius with math; enough of the nobles I met could add or subtract, but multiplication and division? Maybe one in ten out of those that knew that level of arithmetic. Anything more advance? Perish the thought.

I should have expected it though, especially with the rate of literacy in this world. If I was to guess what they were thinking, I would say it would be something like: "Who needs to read if you can swing a sword?" It was that kind of thinking that was going to end badly. History—at least history in my previous life—showed what could be achieved far past that era, where humans numbered in the billions and could reach the moon. It was not a paradise, but it was far closer than here. I was born in a fortunate position, but people born as peasants? Their lot wasn't pleasant to think about, yet it was something I had to think about eventually since I was the heir.

"Hachi," Tywin said, taking my attention from the document I was reading. I had been sitting in a chair in his office, reading through one letter after another from this or that lord. It usually contained empty platitude and sometimes a request for fostering which I was putting into my steadily growing rejection stack. As for him, he was still working even while he talked, writing on whatever parchment was in front of him.

"Yes, father?"

"What have you learned?" At his question, I glanced at my large rejection stack.

"Lords like to give greetings," I said, "just so you can remember they exist."

"Do not mock them."

"I'm not," I replied. "The more contact you have with someone, the more chances that you will hit a flag."


"Uh, it's nothing," I mumbled.

"Do not take this lightly, boy. After my death, these will be your bannermen; those that will heed your call to arms if you remain strong," Tywin said. "You must keep them close, but you cannot trust them."

"I know. Keep my friends close and my enemies closer. I remember reading about what happened with Grandpa Tytos, especially with the Tarbeck and Reyne."

"Then you know what happened to them?"

"Yes, father."

"Take heed, boy. Your grandfather's weakness allowed them to bring our house nearly to ruins. Do not make the same mistake."

"I know, father. When the center is weak, it has a chain reaction that causes everyone to suffer. The vassals will rebel and the land will be filled with bandits. If he had been stronger as a lord, then both the Reynes and the Tarbeck would have never rose up against him," I said. "Because of him, the Westernlands lost strong bannermen, and the smallfolk suffered many losses. I won't make the same mistake."

"Good." Tywin gave me the barest of smiles. It was lacking in many regards, but it was also as rare as pigs flying over the moon. "A lord must never show weakness."

"For the vultures are not too far behind," I said, finishing his sentence with my own.

"Clever," Tywin said. He pointed at the pile of letters that I had stacked earlier. "After you burn them, you may leave."

I raised an eyebrow. "Not going to write a response?"

"The responses have been written, and the ravens sent out weeks ago. I kept these for your lessons," he said. "You may leave."

Well, I didn't need to be told twice.

"After you burn them."