A/N: Hi all. Sorry about the delay. Lots of things have been going on but it's all fine now. Updated a day early cause y'all are so awesome :)
Now it's back to our heroes.
Please do review the story. All these followers and favs keep coming (thank you to all my wonderful readers for that), but I want to make sure you're enjoying the plot, and to see if there are any awesome ideas or suggestions :D
A hazy cloud of greasy-black smoke already covered the city. Moon blocked from view, the only illumination came from the various bonfires and infernos spread out through Meereen. Screams, collapsing buildings, and the occasional boom of cannon filled the air. "What the fuck are they burning?!" Jon shouted to Podrick as he arrived at the main courtyard, already filled with soldiers readying for battle.
The lad was dressed in full plate armor, sweat coating his forehead. "Buildings, to force the people into the streets, also garbage and dung as sort of a signal to the other Sons of the Harpy."
"This how they capture, Yunkai, Emperor," stated the auxiliary captain in broken common tongue. "Lure us out, then ambush."
Another nodded. "If we commit our forces, they will swarm us in the streets and alleyways. They've done if before, and now they'll use the smoke to conceal themselves further." Unlike most of his men, he had the air of a freeborn citizen - an aristocrat even.
"What is your name, Captain?" Jon asked of him.
"Lokar zho Zhoggaz, your Majesty."
"A noble name. Why don't you fight with your countrymen?" Blunt, Jon wanted to know. The roar of a canon off one of the courtyard battlements caused all but him to flinch.
Zho Zhoggaz gulped. "There's been too much bloodshed, sire. Too much suffering of all."
Jon crossed his arms. "I agree, which is why I won't let my subjects die under the knife or in the flames. We will stop these murderers." Face set in a determined scowl, he watched as his commanders began to resign themselves to his plan. "Daenerys appointed local councillors to run Yunkai. I would like to speak to one of them… now." Perhaps one of them could shed some light on the enemy's tactics.
"They are all dead," Mossador stated, cringing from the screams filling the din.
"Forced into the center of the fighting pit and slaughtered," zo Loraq the Younger added, head hung.
Wheels began turning in Jon's mind. When he joined his father and Robb in hunting wild dogs and wolves, their goals were to flush them out into an open space to be surrounded - not a good place to be, unless the hunters weren't prepared to face the vicious beasts. "Mossador, where is the nearest large open space to here. A courtyard, marketplace… anything?"
Blinking, Mossador looked puzzled. "I'm… I'm not sure…"
"Now is not time for this!" Jon yelled. "Spill it out!"
"There's a marketplace, sire, about half a mile hike through the city from here, overlooking the cliffs but entrances from all side."
Lips pursed, gazing out at the city awash in flame, Jon stood quietly for a moment. "Podrick, Lokar, ready the men. We're going on a thunder run."
With a flick of the wrist, the bronze knife sliced through the skin and arteries of the neck as if it were a fluffy pastry. The freedwoman fell to the ground in an ever increasing puddle of blood. Raising his knife in the air, the Harpy shouted his battle cry from underneath his golden mask. "Death to the Dragon!"
"DEATH TO THE DRAGON!" screamed the other ten men in his detachment, bodies of freedmen and citizens alike strewn around them. Homes and shops burned behind, coating their loose robes with soot and grease.
Cheers dying down, a low thud began to filter into their hearing. Thudding and drumming growing louder and louder, the leader kicked the corpse aside and peered at the bend in the road - one of the largest ones winding through the city. Sky pitch black, the buildings alight with flame cast flickering shadows upon the street. Shadows of marching men. They appeared in view rather quickly, lines and lines of shield-bearing Northern hoplites, whooping as they marched with all due haste. In the van were two dozen mounted knights, led by a figure in a black tunic and with flowing black locks billowing behind him. Valyrian steel sword raised high in the air, the figure's sigil upon his leather cuirass caught the Harpies at the last second before his sword and the swords of the other Westerosi sliced through them.
The Emperor. The White Wolf.
Pulling back the reins, Jon glanced behind him at the marching forces. Tight formations of Essosi auxiliaries mixed within, the hoplites looked just as fearsome as they did when he faced them - only now their shields bore the direwolf rather than the flayed man. "Forward men! For the North!" As they passed him, the men whooped and cheered, still racing forward.
The marketplace was largely empty, it being night with over a week before the vendors and merchants would set up for the bimonthly bazaar. Stark and auxiliary troops swarmed in, officers barking orders at the top of their lungs. Well drilled and disciplined, they fell into line quickly - the hoplites in a wide semicircle anchored by the low stone wall along the cliffs overlooking the outer city while the auxiliaries remained inside, ready to assist the hoplites if an assault came.
Dismounting, Jon took a swig from his waterskin as Podrick approached him. "So what now, your Majesty?"
It did not take long. Via runner and signallers with deep horns, groups of insurgents raced for the marketplace. Thousands of them, charging for the unbelievable opportunity of catching the Emperor and his men outside their fortifications. They had hoped that he would send his men out, but all of them? Him putting himself in danger? Prayers to the great Harpy were said in full as the Sons of the Harpy trickled in - the trickle became a flood, surrounding the Imperials.
"Come out into the open, King bastard!" someone shouted from beneath his mask. A man in a clean robe, gold shining from the firelight, stepped forward. "Come out and I'll slit your throat, nice and quick." Portly belly threatened to spill over the sash tied around his waist. At the time of low harvests, he ate well. His knife was inlaid with silver, hilt jewel-encrusted. "Don't be a coward! Face your death with dignity!"
A silence hung over, the low cackling of flames from within the city and buzzing of flies swarming the bodies all that disturbed the din. "I died once!" bellowed the Emperor's reply. "I don't intend to again!" War cries and laughs left the Stark ranks. They knew of their ruler, the Resurrected.
Snarling under his mask, pure rage filled the noble's voice. "BASTARD! You and your subjects won't live to see the morning!"
Jon's response came soon after. A flash streaked through the air as the javelin ran through his middle, bright crimson spurting over his immaculate robes. "MASTERS!" Jon drew Longclaw. "Come and get us!"
"HOO! HOO!" cheered the hoplites, joined by the auxiliaries.
A deep boom from a horn resonated, the line of masked insurgents charged as one organism. Golden masks hid their crazed, angry eyes. They made the Harpies even fiercer, inhuman, reminding Jon of the Army of the Dead as they surged.
"Who holds Meereen?" yelled Podrick as loud as he could.
"WHO HOLDS MEEREEN?"
Hundreds of them, knives and short swords combining with the lack of armor to give them speed and flexibility - two advantages negated as they slammed into the Imperial shield wall. Mimicking the ferocious wildling charge on the plains of Winterfell, they stabbed and hacked at any gap they found, using their sheer mass to push the hoplites back. Auxiliaries inside the shield wall engaged in any gap that formed until another hoplite replaced their fallen comrades. Jon, Barristan by his side, threw himself into the fray as did his subordinates. Fighting with their men, swords tasting enemy blood.
In one show of strength the hoplites surged, pushing their opponents away from them. Line staggering back, bloody corpses left in their wake. An uneasy calm settled between the two sides before the whoops began. "HOO! HOO!" Direwolf shields moved forwards in one single line, pikes darting forward to pierce the unarmored insurgents. Dozens fell with screams and gurgling shouts, the line continuing to advance and pushing the Sons of the Harpy back. However, gaps began appearing in the line as they expanded their semicircle. Insurgents swarmed through the gaps only to be cut down by the auxiliaries within.
Jon wasn't about to take any risk. "Fall back!" he shouted, slicing off the knife arm of one of the Harpies. The man's mask was impassive, belying his blood-curdling screams. Jon kicked him to the ground as he and the line retreated back to the tight position, only few of their number lost at the expense of far more of the enemy.
"Keep ranks!" he heard Podrick shout.
"Keep ranks, boys!" Jon hollered himself. The ragged, formless mass of the Harpies hesitated. What they faced were not the hit and runs against lightly armored mercenaries or ambushes against Unsullied forced into narrow alleyways. On open ground against the heavily armored northern hoplites, their forces were in worse shape than the wildlings at the Battle of the Bastards. Hemmed against the cliff face, the Imperials had nowhere to retreat and stood firm. Jon could see how they began to shrink back, assessing their options.
The piercing roar that resonated through the early-morning air - striking surprise and fear into those on both sides - brought a smirk to Jon's face. 'Like lambs to the slaughter,' he thought, eyes shifting to the two shapes closing in on the horizon. "Sōvegon naejot issa," he whispered, knowing only the dragons could hear him. "Bellowing shreikes leaving their throats, the green Rhaegal and grey-white Edderon banked over the marketplace, massive shapes casting shadows over all. Fear seemed to paralyze the enemy, while the Imperials stared in wonder. Jon's smirk widened. "Dracarys!"
A split second passed, stretching out as several minutes. Maws opening, the air rippled around the dragons' heads before Rhaegal and Edderon unleashed the inferno onto the unsuspecting Harpies. Far from the small juveniles that had entered Meereen with limited dragonfire, their bodies brought forth a near endless supply of flame upon their father's tormentors. Pitched screams left their throats, many running frantically, not noticing masks falling to the ground or sandals left in the dust in their terror. None helped. Keeping a close eye, Edderon methodically diverted his dragonfire into the streets while Rhaegal finished off the remainder in the marketplace. Cheers leaving the soldiers at the great beasts belonging to their Emperor - his plans working out magnificently once again - the fight was over in less than a quarter of an hour.
Stepping through the charred bodies and strewn weapons, Jon knelt by the jewel-encrusted dagger of the Harpy leader. Lifting it in his hand, testing its weight, he heard something shift inside - the hilt was hollow.
His thoughts on the subject were broken by hushed whispers. Nearly inaudible, when coming out of the lips of thousands of onlooking citizens and freedmen that had appeared out of the homes, streets, and alleyways to crowd the outer perimeter of the marketplace it hit like a roar. Rising to his feet, Jon's eyes scanned the crowd. Part of him looked for a threat, for flashes of gold masks glinting in the early morning light, but much of it was curiosity. Intrigue and uneasiness as to what the crowd would do.
Finally, one figure stepped through the crowd. It was a young boy, scrawny and bare chested, head cropped short in the Ghiscari style. A threadbare vest and loincloth were draped over his body - all that bothered for clothes. Ser Barristan stepped forward with his hand on his sword out of caution, but was stopped by a raised hand from his Emperor. All could see the boy carried no weapons, nor could even harm Jon in the slightest.
Skidding to a stop mere feet from Jon, the boy's dark eyes stared at him in wonder. A skinny hand pointed at him. "Vhrysa," he said, voice rather loud for such a small boy. He looked over at the crowd. "Vhrysa."
Another citizen, this one a bulking laborer, also pointed at Jon. "Vhrysa." He was not the last.
Soon the entire crowd was chanting it, adoration written on the undulating waves of humanity from the marketplace to throughout the city. Confused - barely knowing enough Valyrian to get him by, let alone Ghiscari - Jon turned to his Imperial Guard. "What?"
Barristan chuckled. "They call Empress Daenerys Mhysa, mother. They call you Vhrysa…"
"...Father," Jon finished for him. Suddenly, all thoughts were swept from him as the crowd surged, lifting him on their hands and carrying him in a single wave. As Dany had with his countrymen, Jon had won the hearts of hers.
Dragonstone. The land of her ancestors, settled by the Targaryens even before the Doom destroyed the Valyrian homeland and plunged Essos into the chaotic secession wars for the next half-century. Settled by the Targaryens before their first Westerosi-born generation - the great Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives - began the conquest of Westeros under their banner. Where Daenerys Targaryen made her base of operations before journeying to the North to reunite with the long-lost Jaehaerys Targaryen to begin the reconquest and liberation of their sundered realm.
As such, the sight of the windswept cliffs and grassy fields, the great grey fortress built by Aegon as the home base for the conquest, should have elicited feelings of nostalgia and happiness as Daenerys brought Balerion to a sharp bank downwards. Images of her and Jon taking a sabbatical here, a week or two of quiet and passionate lovemaking away from the stresses of the capital - of Rhaegar arriving as a young man to set up court here with his new bride in preparation for the time he'd rule the vast Empire… None were in her mind this time. No, instead as she stared at the massive Imperial fleet in anchor offshore was anger and frustration welling within her eyes like white hot dragonfire.
'Damn you Daario.' There had been no daylight in her order to him. Stay in Meereen with the Second Sons, hold against the Masters. While the extra irregular cavalry would help against the Lannister forces, the chaos back at Riverrun among her small council at her absence was likely beginning to boil over. On top of that the situation in Essos could be catastrophic just as Jon arrived. 'My Jon.' Her grip against Balerion's spines tightened. Dany would get to the bottom of this.
Thudding to a stop with a low bellow, Balerion tiredly stretched out on the soft grass. Dany slowly dismounted, stepping toward her child's slumped head. "Rest now, my child," she cooed, gently stroking the bottom of his jaw. "Relax." Watching his eyes flutter closed into an exhausted sleep, Dany felt someone approaching her. She turned. "Lady Greyjoy."
Yara offered a tight smile. "Your Majesty." The hardy Iron Islander bowed slightly. "I would have brought a welcoming committee, but then I realized that you wouldn't care for such shit at this moment. And…" Her eyes drifted to Saracen sheathed on Dany's waist. "I trust you can defend yourself."
"You presume correctly, however inartful your words." Dany fought a smirk, the situation calling for a more solemn tone - though time with the Northerners and the Wildlings had accustomed her to the saltier vernacular of the common tongue. "Where is Daario Naharis."
Sighing, Yara gestured to the castle. "Follow me."
The fortress had transformed itself in the months since she and Jon had moved court to Winterfell - and later Riverrun. What was supposed to be a seat of Targaryen power was now an Ironborn naval outpost. Intricate murals and mosaics had crates of projectiles, sailbags, and newfangled cannon shot propped up against them. Rows and rows of swords and pikes decorated rooms instead of tapestries, and stoic servants were absent, replaced with the vulgar swearing of salty sea dogs. It irritated Dany slightly, but the realities of war were not lost on her.
"We set sail in one week," Yara explained. "Our scout ships haven't found a trace of my uncle's fleet. We're operating under the belief he's either near Lannisport or in the southern portion of the Narrow Sea to intercept cargo shipments between us and Slaver's Bay."
"Thinking you can lure him out?" One portion of the war that had been very quiet was at sea - no news, no conflict except for random ship to ship actions where no capital ships were involved. It made Dany nervous.
Apparently, Yara felt the same from her expression. "Theon thinks a sea blockade of King's Landing will lure them out, so we'll see. Better than sitting here with our fingers up our cunts - though with the Emperor in Essos you're probably familiar with that." At Dany's scowl, the Ironborn pretender laughed. She pointed to the door of the council chambers. "He's in there. If you decide to execute him, I won't mind. He's kind of a prick."
Fighting a smile of her own, Dany nodded to Yara and pushed open the door. Sure enough, there he was, hunched over the map table with Theon Greyjoy. The Empress hardened her expression. "Admiral Greyjoy," she said flatly. "Captain Naharis."
Theon bowed immediately, professional. "Your Majesty."
Daario's bow was less formal, almost a chore for him. "Your Majesty." A satisfied smile marred his face. "It is a pleasure."
"Indeed. You are dismissed, Admiral." This wouldn't take long, and she didn't need guards present for this. Theon, shooting her a sympathetic look, quickly obeyed. Now, they were alone. "Imagine my shock to find out that the Captain of some of my most elite men is in Westeros."
His eyes twinkled. "Well, when my Queen… no, Empress calls. I come running."
"I told you to stay in Meereen." Her voice was pure ice. She learned well from the Starks. "Was I not clear, or did you selectively hear my commands?"
Daario offered a wry grin, falling back on his charm. "There was a dispatch bearing your seal, Daenerys…"
"No." Dany cut him off, the casual familiarity regarding her title and name angering her. "It is 'Your Grace,' to you, and I sent no such dispatch. If you are so trusting of it, then hand it over so I can inspect this forgery for myself." Perhaps it was a trick by the masters to lure forces away from her - Daenerys couldn't discount the eventuality, for it sounded like something they would do.
Bowing, Daario lowered his voice, calming his rising impatience. "Forgive me… your Grace. But I destroyed the message after receiving it in Meereen. I did not want any enemy spies taking possession of your orders."
'A convenient excuse… or destroying the evidence.' Her inner voice sounded a lot like Sansa - life in Joffrey's Court, traveling across Westeros with Littlefinger, and as Ramsay Bolton's wife had acclimated her to the deceptive and underhanded ways of dishonorable men and women. Nevertheless, Dany shook away the thought. 'Daario may be sneaky… and stupid sometimes... but he is loyal.' "Such foolishness and idiocy is unlike you, Captain Naharis."
"I am sorry that my conduct has offended you, your Majesty." He averted his gaze to the floor in supplication. "But I only act in the best interests of the one true ruler of Westeros."
Dany's frown deepened. "'One true ruler,' you say. You discard my husband entirely?"
"No, I do not suggest that." She could tell he was fighting a grimace at the mention of Jon - horrid but not entirely surprising. "But the claim to rule of an Imperial Consort illegitimately born, of a northern family no less, pales to that of the trueblood Targaryen he married."
A slight laugh left Daenerys' lips as she sat at the head of the table. "Aye, I am a trueborn Targaryen, blood of the dragon from both mother and father. Jon, your Emperor, is so much more, however." Grin widening at Daario's puzzled expression, sardonically enjoying his discomfort as penance for the intrusion in her life. "He is the blood of the dragon too. Crown Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, son of my brother Rhaegar."
Not much could faze Daario Naharis, having seen it all and been through it all - this, however, was flooring. Mouth agape, he couldn't possibly have conceived of this. "That… that is impossible."
"And I thought you had more sense than that. Have you not heard of the great Lord Eddard Stark, and his honor? He protected him from the Usurper for over a decade."
He had heard about Eddard Stark. The man's name was synonymous with honor even in the most decrepit brothels in Essos. "If he is not the… Emperor's father, why would he protect him?"
"Because my husband, your sovereign's mother is Lyanna Stark. Jon is the union of ice and fire, the best of blood on both sides - a worthy co-ruler for me. So, Captain Naharis, I'd advise you to be respectful of him." At Daario's silence, Dany took it as acceptance. "Good. While I did not order this, your presence does bring advantages to our strategic situation. Once the fleet sails, you will take a fast ship to shore and join the Second Sons. My brother in law, Robb Stark will be your commander. Are we clear."
Face a mask, Daario bowed as low as he could. "Yes, my Empress. Your orders will be carried out." With that, he walked out, leaving Daenerys alone.
Looking at the ceiling, Dany sighed. That went far better than expected.
... to provide the Stark bastard alive, his head is all that is required for Lord Lannister. All that is needed is for the healthy population of Meereen to be left alive and in good condition. The sick, the old, the scrawny children… you may do to them what you may…
Snarling, Jon slammed his fist on the table. "Fuckers. Cuntface barbarians!" One did not live among the thieves and scoundrels of the Night's Watch without picking up a few choice words - however unregal they were. "They call me a savage northerner and Dany a whore, but then put this shit in motion. Swine."
"Calm down, your Grace," Ser Barristan cautioned. "We wouldn't want your heart to stop from the stress." Handing Jon a goblet of water, he was relieved when his Emperor downed the whole cup.
In all honesty, the cool liquid sliding down his heated throat did help his mood. "It seems what I found out in King's Landing has been corroborated." A sigh left Jon's lips, the magnitude of it all weighing on him. Only three years before, he had been a simple brother at the Wall, and now the fate of humanity was on his shoulders. 'Alliser Thorne must be laughing right now, wherever he crawled to.' "The wheel will be destroyed either way, either forever by mine and Dany's hand, or to be replaced with a more crushing version by Joffrey and his cabal."
"You'll find extensive support within Meereen for your goal, your Grace," Podrick offered, nursing a cup of watered wine. "Among the freedmen, unanimity especially after stopping the Sons of the Harpy. Among the former masters…" He shrugged. "They may have changed their tune, but since I arrived a lot of them were quite open in their opposition to Queen Daenerys."
Jon's fists clenched. "I should burn them for their disloyalty."
Barristan, a worried frown on his face, placed his hand on the Emperor's shoulder. "Sire, I know it is tempting. But remember what happened to your grandfather."
Turning to look at the old knight, Jon felt much of the anger deflate from his body. "You're right." The blood of the dragon burned hot within him, sometimes overcoming the cooling effect of the wolf. Anger and ferocity were powerful forces - when carefully husbanded. He just had to keep the familial madness at bay, to set the example of his father and grandmother rather than the Mad King. "I will only burn those that actively supported the Harpies, but the detractors must be brought over to us…" He fiddled with a buckle on his cuirass. "But how to do so. How to do so…"
"The bulk of the army has begun the move to our main camp south of Harrenhal, all Highest," stated Randyll Tarly, eyes planted on the massive map table stretched out before the collection of the Lannister military council. "We have a cavalry screen around the Targaryen forces…"
"The forces of the Dragon Bitch and Stark Bastard, Lord Tarly," Joffrey snapped from under his veil. "Do best to remember that."
Tarly bowed. "Forgive me all Highest. The Dragon Bitch's forces are marching to Harrenhal according to our scouts - Robb Stark leads them."
Joffrey hissed, tossing a fleck of stone across the table. "Fucking Walder Frey. Couldn't even kill an unarmed man trapped in his own fucking hall! He deserved to get his throat slit."
"Agreed, all Highest," said Littlefinger in his syrupy voice. "Such incompetence deserves death. However, Lord Qyburn and myself have additional information for you." He bowed as well.
The faceless mask turned to Qyburn. "Well? Speak!"
"Yes, all Highest," Qyburn sputtered. "My little birds indicated that a large detachment of two thousand sellswords of the Second Sons have departed Gulltown and will be at Harrenhal within week's end. Apparently veterans from the Dragon Bitch's campaign in Slaver's Bay."
Before another rage assault could occur, Tywin Lannister interjected. "Allow me to speak out of turn, but do not worry about them. My discussions with Chief Banker Nestoris have secured us the services of the Golden Company. They are being offloaded in the harbor as we speak."
The King's form was still. "That is good, but I don't like this." A bony finger pointed to the cluster of figurines around Harrenhal. "Dothraki. Horse scum rampaging through my domain. Mine! They could swarm us. Swarm us like locusts!"
"It is not them that we need to worry about," Cersei stated flatly. "A large fleet remains anchored at Dragonstone and an army of Unsullied led by Edmure Tully march for Casterly Rock."
"All Highest," spoke a Stormlands Lord. "Perhaps we should continue to press for the negotiations Lady Cersei attempted, see if we can work out some kind of accord rather than spill any more blood before Winter sets in?"
An ominous cloud descended on the council as they waited for the King's reaction. Surprisingly, he did not blow up - many would rather he had blown up. "Ser Gregor," Joffrey said with a menacingly low voice. Not a word from his mouth, the Mountain stepped forward, grabbed the Lord from his chair with one hand by the neck, and slammed his head against the stone wall. Many cringed as the skull fractured with a sickening crack. "Anyone else wish to concur?" Joffrey asked as the body dropped bonelessly on the floor.
"We will outnumber them, all Highest," stated Tywin, ignoring what just happened. "Prince Trystane has mobilized the Dornish levies. They will join our southern legions to reinforce our army to take on Robb Stark."
Joffrey's expression was obscured by the gauzy fabric, but there was no doubt at the incredulous grimace. "If what you're saying is true, grandfather, then it would take weeks to fully ferry the last remaining Westerlands regulars and Dornish levies from Sunspear to meet with the army already here."
"Yes, that would be true." Tywin absentmindedly played with his fingers, dragging on the silence around the map table. "If I hadn't already ordered said forces to march overland for Harrenhal before I sailed for King's Landing. Based on the last raven dispatch they should be…" Taking out a new marker from his pocket, he dramatically slammed it on the border between the Westerlands and Crownlands. "...at Stoney Sept."
The generals and advisors all glanced at their feet, waiting for the chimera to answer. Only silence left Joffrey's mouth, overtaxed mind working overtime to parse the meaning of what his grandfather and Hand was telling him. All were delighted at the news, but given the corpse still bleeding in the corner of the room, the King's emotions were erratic and unpredictable - at best. No one wanted to be on the wrong side.
Suddenly, the piercing, malevolent laughter of the King echoed through the room. Everyone joined in, most forced - a significant minority genuine. Baelish laughed with a flourish, Pycelle chortled with a cough mixed in, and Kevan Lannister shook his head in mirth. Even the taciturn Randyll Tarly cracked a smirk, arms folded.
"Well well, the lion's teeth are ready to bite." Unsheathing Hearteater from his scabbard, he brought it down on the marker representing Daenerys Targaryen. The sword smashed a hole in the table, splinters shattering everywhere. "Fuck you, Dragon Bitch. Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, you!" Screaming at the top of his lungs, each word was punctuated by the downward swing of the sword.
Letting out a laugh that didn't reach his eyes, Bronn fought the urge to cringe at every slam of steel on wood. Bits of coagulated blood dotted his tunic, a drop staining his stubbly cheek. Quick eyes shifting from the King to the Hand to each and every laughing lord and noble at the table… 'Is a castle worth this?'
'These aren't the only cunts that could provide you a castle, fucker.' Pondering this, Bronn focused completely on his fascade as Joffrey continued to rant. "To a thousand years of the Chimera!" Hoisting his hand high, Bronn cheered with all the others.
AN: Tywin may be scum, but he is Jon's match when it comes to military strategy. The dragon may find itself outmatched by the lion this time.
As in the "Battle of the Bastards" ep, the Sons of the Harpy found themselves overconfident, falling for Jon's trap and getting slaughtered. However, that does not change the fact that Meereen is in turmoil and the Masters Alliance still lurks with their army at Yunkai. What will Jon do?
Daario did not expect Dany's "bastard" husband would be the union of ice and fire. Thus, demurral rather than the reunion he hoped for. More to come!
Next week, the assault on Casterly Rock.