A Game of IaF Chapter 4

A Game of Ice and Fire: Begin


Mary

Chapter 4:

Jon woke up and once again;

Ping!

You have slept in you own bed; HP, SP and MP have been restored 100% each. All ailments and negative status effects have been cured.

Jon smiled as he pushed the notification to the side and got on his feet. Today was the first day to the rest of his life. Yesterday he had spent the day shoved into the Maester's Turret reading everything he could about Old Valyria. He was only halfway done with the first book when he realised the day was already over.

Jon quickly freshened up and changed into a new set of clothes. Today was a new day, and with that new day came the opportunity for new things. If Jon got enough quests he would be able to level up quicker, he would become stronger, and if he wanted to really travel to Old Valyria, then he would need all the help he could get.

Jon had a time frame in mind. The king would be arriving in a month's' time. When he and his party returned South Jon could join them. He would then be able hire a ship to Dragonstone, one of his ancestral homes. He didn't really have a plan for what to do after that, but he was working on it.

Once Jon was ready he looked too Ghost, "you ready to go out today boy?" Jon asked.

"Woof!" Ghost barked as he wagged his tail. Jon and Ghost quickly walked out off the Great Keep and into the courtyard. Jon hurried to the Maester's turret, he had a lot of work to do, and little time. He needed to research the land around Valyria more thoroughly, but before Jon could get very far he heard someone call out his name.

"Jon!" Jon turned to see Ser Rodrik approach him.

"Ser Rodrik," Jon gave a small bow, "how may I help you?"

"Where were you at practise yesterday?" Rodrick asked, "I told you, everyday after lunch."

Jon blinked, "oh...I apologize, it slipped my mind. I was in Maester Luwin quarters the entire day."

"And what were you doing there?"

"Reading up on our history," Jon replied evenly.

"And why the sudden interest in ancient stories Snow?" Rodrik raised an eyebrow.

"I-well, I just got curious is all," Jon gulped, Ser Cassel stare burnt itself into Jon's soul.

Lie Failed!

Jon groaned, 'shit, now you fail?!'

"Look boy I don't care what you do in your free time, but when you are set to train with me, you do not forget!" Rodrik started to raise his voice yelling at Jon, "now! Fortunately for you I have a free day today, and I'm going to spend it teaching you why it isn't a good ideas to 'forget' to do your duties! And because you forgot yesterday, you will be doing double!"

Jon's eyes widened in fear, even Ghost whined a little bit in fear. "I-I see, well-"

"-Shut up!" Cassel yelled, "come on!" Jon gulped in fear, 'why do I do these things to myself?'

Jon groaned and followed Cassel to the courtyard where the man took off his cloak, "take off your cloak, shirt, belts and boots Jon, you're going to be doing a lot of exercising today."

Jon nodded as he took off his everything except his pants. He pilled all his things into one corner and turned to Ghost, "gaurd them for me would you?"

"Woof?" Ghost looked confused as it turned it's head sideways.

Jon sighed, "nevermind."

He walked to Rodrick's side and stood ready for anything the man could throw at him.

"Alright, first the good news, you have great upper body strength and your core isn't half bad either. Bad news, your legs are shit," Rodrick took off his gloves and put a hand on his sword, "so here's what you are going to do. You are going to run this field over and over again until I tell you too stop, got that?"

Jon blinked, "for how long?"

Rodrik picked up a wooden sword, the same one Jon used before. He approached Jon and hit him in the ass sending the boy jerking up in surprise. "Until I say so! Now run!"

"Yes sir!" Jon took off as fast as he could. He ran around the track over and over again staining his feet with mud and his body with sweat. Jon felt his body vibrate every time his feet hit the ground, he controlled his breathing, he learnt long ago that long drawn out breaths was the best way to go when running for a long time.

"Come on boy! Stop slowing down!" Ser Rodrik roared out as he swung the wooden sword barely missing Jon's back.

"I'm trying to save energy!" Jon yelled back.

"Did I ask you to save energy?! No! I asked you to run! And that means I want you to run!"

Jon didn't want to give him another reason to hit him. He took off as fast as he could and kept that pace up for as long as we could. Soon it became too much, the running weighed down on him, and Jon felt himself slowing down.

"Pick up the pace!" Rodrik yelled as he smacked Jon once more when he came around.

Jon growled, 'fucking sadist,' Jon wanted to stop and shout, but he knew he needed to do this. If he was serious about going to Valyria, he would need more stamina, and right now this was the best way to do that.

Jon looked at the Playtrix, the green SP bar was displayed over it, and it was only reduced by a fraction. Jon smiled, 'I have a lot more stamina to use.'

Soon an hour had passed. Even Rodrik had gotten bored of just watching Jon run. He layed back on the fence bordering the training grounds and watched Jon struggling to simply jog in place.

"Come on Jon, just another ten minutes!"

"That's what you said twenty minutes ago!" Jon cursed. He knew he was strong and young, but he was seriously reaching his limits.

The green bar was now almost empty, but Jon didn't need to see that to know that.

Jon couldn't feel his legs, they were numb from the pain of running for so long. Suddenly he tripped and tumbled and fell on his face. Jon felt mud seep into his hair and into his mouth, but he was too tired to care.

Rodrick grumbled, "get up Jon!"

Jon wanted too, but he just didn't feel like he could do it. He let his face rest in the mud, uncaring about the mud in his hair. But just then;

Ping!

Jon was surprised, he looked up and saw a blue pop up box;

Due to running you have gained +1 to your VIT!

Jon's wiped the mud from his eyes and looked at the box, he didn't read that wrong, not one word. He quickly opened up his status page and there it was;

VIT- 4

Jon felt happiness course through his body. He could feel himself become happier, a little surge of energy went through him. He felt his body shiver in excitement, he could do it! By training everyday like this he could become stronger! If he trained like this he could become strong enough to travel to Valyria in one piece!

Jon got back to his feet and closed his status page. He looked at the green bare representing his health. It was only a quarter full, but that just meant Jon still had more energy to spend. And maybe if he ran some more he could increase his VIT once again.

"You can take a break now if you want," Ser Rodrik grunted as he put away the wooden sword, "that's enough for today."

Jon looked up, he removed the mud form his face and wiped it on his pants. He put one foot in front of the other and started walking before he slowly picked up speed and started to jog.

"Jon? Didn't you hear me? I said that's enough!" Rodrik cried out again.

"I know, I heard you," Jon replied when lapped near the knight, "but I'm not done."

Rodrik raised an eyebrow but said nothing in return as he simply let the boy continue to run around in circles.

Jon felt the last remaining drops of his stamina run dry. It was ten minutes later when he finally stopped and dropp to the ground panting from exhaustion. He looked at the green bar over the Playtrix and saw that the bar was empty, except for a small amount of green left in the end.

Jon laid back on the muddy ground as he panted heavily. He looked to the sky, for once it was clear, and Jon could see the blue sky over the white dull clouds that plagued the North.

"Here, drink this," Rodrick approach with a pitcher of water.

Jon grabbed it without a word as he chugged the whole thing down in a few short seconds. Ghost walked over to his master snuggling to his side and digging it's head into Jon's legs for support.

"Thanks," Jon panted out after he finished the drink.

"You did well Jon," Rodrik nodded in approval, "we might make a warrior out of you yet. That's enough for today, wash up and go do whatever you wish. You're excused from sword practise today."

Jon nodded as he poured the rest of the water over his head getting the remaining mud from his face. He quickly grabbed his clothes that he had removed form before and walked to the castle well.

He still had a lot of mud covering his body and hair, and Jon prided himself with his hair. He remembered hearing about the Targaryen's being very sensitive about their long locks, maybe while Jon didn't inherit their signature silver hair he did obtain their liking for hair maintenance.

Jon put his clothes to the side, almost drowning Ghost underneath it all. "Oh, sorry about that." The wolf whined but said nothing.

Jon went up to the well and quickly dipped a bucket into it. Jon dipped his hand into the water washing his palms. He then pulled the bucket up and poured it over himself. He quickly wiped the mud out of his hair taking care as too not rub the mud deeper in.

Jon grumbled, there was still too much mud in his hair. He quickly refilled the bucket and poured this time instead of putting it all on his head took handfuls and made sure to get every grain out.

"Careful there Lord Snow, you might end up wasting all the water we have tending to your hair," came a soft voice giggling at his expense.

Jon pushed his wet locks to the side and saw red haired maid smiling at him. She was about his age, fair skin spotted with freckles. Her eyes were blue, she wore a simple grey dress with an apron on. The scent of freshly baked bread followed her around, but that wasn't the most startling thing about her. What Jon found most fascinating was her smile, seeing it sent a shiver down his spine.

Mary Rosalyn, Baker of Winterfell

Lv- 2

REP- 45/100

Jon blinked, 'wait, a 45 REP score? But we have never even meet...I think.'

"You know most girls in the castle are actually jealous of your hair Lord Snow," Mary smiled as she dipped her bucket into the well, "they say it's smoother than a man's hair has any right to be."

Jon snapped out of his daze, "yes well, I suppose everyone must have something they are know for."

Mary looked down eyeing Jon's body, "well I do believe you will be well remembered for those." Jon looked down and saw her staring at his abs.

"Hey!" Jon blushed a storm as he quickly grabbed his undershirt covering himself.

Mary chuckled, "I don't think that is any better." Jon's body was still wet causing the white shirt to stick to his body, "in fact I think the lack of a clear view only makes it all the more appealing, you know? A little something for the imagination."

Jon blinked, "I….I see..."

Mary smiled, "cat got your tongue my lord?"

"No, not a cat, you. Though I think it would have been better off with a cat."

Mary chuckled again, she quickly pulled out her bucket of water, "well Lord Snow, I'll be sure to care of your tongue, good day," she curtsied as she walked away leaving Jon wide mouthed staring at her shapely rear walk away.

Ghost yipped, sounding awfully like a chuckle at Jon's expense. Jon looked to the dog and narrowed his eyes, "you're not helping."

Jon had never realised how badly he acted towards women, or any form of social interaction. He did wonder when CHA would ever be important, but it seemed he finally found his answer.

If he wanted to go anywhere in this world he would need to be able to make friends, and CHA, which was his charming stat, needed to be very high in order to help him do that. Right now it was only a 1, Jon really needed to work on that.

After drying himself off Jon walked back to this room and changed clothes there. He sent his wet shirt and dirty pants to the washers. Ghost by now had become tired already, the poor thing, so Jon tucked him and quickly made his way once more to the Maester's Turret.

He knocked on the door, "come in!"

Jon did so and found Luwin once again reading a book with great interest. The Maester looked up and beamed as he saw Jon. "Good to see you again. I have left your books right where you left them."

Jon nodded, "much appreciated Maester Luwin," he then quickly walked to the area of the tower dubbed 'his' and sat down on the table. Open in front of him were more books regarding Valyria and the areas around it, Jon quickly began to pick up where he left off last night, fully intending to finish what he started.

The rest of the book was a little boring. It mostly spoke about how amazing the people were and a few minor details about the landscape that was sure to have changed thanks to the Doom. An hour had passed by the time Jon had finished reading it. But by then this happened;

Ping!

You read a book! You have earned +1 INT!

Jon opened his status page;

INT- 4

Jon smiled, it wasn't much, but he was getting better. Now all he had to do was find a way to improve his WIS, LUC and CHA. STR he figured he could just lift heavy objects, like swords and the such. He had a way to improve VIT and INT, and if DEX stood for dexterity then that mean he would need to learn how to be an acrobat or something.

Jon put the book to the side and picked up another one, this one about the road systems the city laid out. It was vague and confusing, but Jon knew he needed all the help he could get.

Just as Jon reached the halfway point to the book he got a new notification;

Ping!

A skill has leveled up!

Language: Common tongue, Lv- 2 (3%)

How much you understand about the common tongue of Westeros.

Reading: Slightly above average

Speaking: Very good

Understanding: Average

Jon was surprised at this. He figured that the skills should be able to level up, but he never realised it would be so soon. Not that he was complaining, far from it. Now that his reading speed had increased he could read more in less time, meaning more INT points!

With renewed vigor Jon continued to read book after book. Eventually he had read enough to gain an extra point for INT;

You read a book! You have earned +1 INT!

INT- 5

Needless to say Jon was happy. He had however noticed something, the first time he read and got an extra point for INT he had read only one book whole. Then for the second time he had read more than three books. That meant it would slowly become harder and harder for Jon to warn points through reading, but Jon put that to the side, he could worry about it later.

"You have read quite a few books Jon," Luwin said sounding impressed, "do you recall most of them?"

"A bit," Jon nodded, "I know the general lay out off the land. I also know the currency, gold pyramids for Yunkai and other slave states and square iron coins for Braavos. I also know the common language there is High Valyrian, but it has been bastardised so much each city has it's own dialect, making it it's own language."

Luwin nodded, "yes, true, true. From what I understand if on fluent enough with High Valyrian they should be able to effectively communicate with all."

Jon smiled, "and you wouldn't happen to know High Valyrian would you?"

The Maester raised an eyebrow, "oh? And why would you wish to learn a language only spoken half-way around the known world?"

Jon smiled, "I just wish to learn more. Didn't you say something going wherever my path of knowledge leads me?"

Ping!

You have created a new skill! Convincing!

Convincing, Lv- 1 (0%)

You ability to convince people to do what you wish them to do.

5% success rate,

+1% per REP point you have with said person.

Jon was surprised at the skill but quickly sent it away before turning back to the maester for an answer.

"Hm," Luwin scratched his chin, "I have some free time after supper, usually I reverse it for myself, but these days I am sad to say I mostly spend it reading books I have already read. If you don't mind losing a bit of sleep, I would be glad to teach you High Valyrian after dinner."

Jon smiled and nodded, "yes maester Luwin, I would appreciate that very much."

"Good, now speaking of supper, you are getting late for yours. Go on, don't want to be late, a proper mind needs a full stomach to work."

Jon got up and bowed to the man before leaving the turret. He walked back to the Great Keep and quickly entered the dining room. Arya and Sansa were already there, with Lady Stark sitting next to the head of the table on the right.

Jon bowed again, "lady Stark." the woman said nothing as she simply glared at Jon before returning to her meal.

Catelyn Stark, Faithful wife

Lv- 46

REP- -65/100

Jon almost visibly flinched at seeing how much Catelyn hated him. He had literally never seen a negative score before. She hated him as much as Arya loved him.

Jon sighed, 'if only she knew there was no reason to hate me. I'm not the child of Ned Stark, I'm his nephew. If only she knew,' Jon's eyes widened, 'wait, maybe I could tell her? Or maybe at least convince father-Lord Stark, to tell her. Gods, what's wrong with me? A few days ago the man was my father, and now I can't even call him that in my head. It just feels...wrong. Maybe when I speak to him I can comfortably call me father, but not alone. When I am alone Rhaegar Targaryen is my father, or at least he is supposed to be.

Jon looked to Sansa;

Sansa Stark, Proper Lady

Lv- 3

REP- 10/100

Jon was glad Sansa didn't hate him, though considering Rodrik liked him more than his own flesh and blood was concerning to say the least.

Jon quiet walked to the table and saw down next to Arya.

"Hello Jon!" Arya smiled, "how was your day?"

Jon gave a small smile and whispered, "fine little sister, just fine. How was yours? Did you have fun sewing gowns?"

Arya puffed her cheeks out, "now you're just being mean Jon. I hate those boring classes!"

"Do not shout at the dinner table Arya," Lady Stark spoke up. Arya grumbled as Jon stifled a laugh.

Soon Robb, Lord Stark, Brandon and Rickon joined them and dinner began. It was a quiet affair, like always, and while Jon was used to it he couldn't help but feel saddened by the fact that no one liked to talk, especially to him.

"Jon," Lord Stark suddenly spoke up, "I wish to talk to you. Come to my chambers after dinner."

Jon was surprised but nodded, "understood Lord Stark."

Robb turned to Jon and motioned with his hands, 'what happened?'

Jon shrugged, 'I don't know.'

After the silent dinner everyone left for their separate rooms. Jon however followed Ned Stark back to his work chambers in the top of the Great Keep. They entered the room, it was modestly big, with a few shelves packed to the side, a desk in the center with towers of papers stacked on it.

"Sit Jon," Lord Stark said as he sat behind the desk.

Jon did as he was told and sat down in front of the desk, "why did you call me father?"

"Maester Luwin tells me you have recently taken a great liking to reading," Ned took off his cloak and sat down.

"I have, yes. I thought it would be best to improve my education as I have been sorely lacking in certain fields."

"That's good Jon, very good," Ned narrowed his eyes, "but what I find disturbing is what subjects you have taken an interest too."

"Father if this is about-"

"Do you know dangerous this is?!" Ned roared, "you cannot do anything that would draw even the slightest bit of attention to yourself Jon! I gave you one day! One day to collect yourself and realise that this is the safest place in the land for you! And what did you do?! You went and started researching about Targaryen's!"

"Is that a crime to do so?!" Jon stood up, "is it a crime for wanting to know more about my family?!"

"We are your family!"

"But not my real one!" Jon couldn't stop the words, it just seemed to come out on their own.

Ned narrowed his eyes, "what does that mean?"

"I...I'm sorry my lord, I misspoke. Forgive me," Jon bowed sitting back down.

Ned sighed, "Jon...how did you find out?"

"Pardon?"

"How did you find out about...about your parents?" Ned said the last in a whisper afraid to be overheard.

"I...I..." Jon sighed, he had planned for this. In case Lord Stark had ever asked him this he had already an excuse planned, "I found out I couldn't get burnt. I touched fire and….it didn't hurt. I remembered reading somewhere that the only ones immune to fire were Targaryens. But I didn't have the silver hair or violet eyes, I looked very much a Stark, meaning I was also a Stark. And the only Targaryen I knew who could have possibly had a child with a Stark was…..well, my parents."

Ned sighed, he leaned back and closed his eyes, "damn dragons. Damn fire."

"Were you ever planning on telling me?" Jon asked.

"No, never," Ned looked at Jon, "if you had known…I made Lyanna a promise, to keep you safe, no matter what happened."

"Even if that meant keeping half of my family away from me?"

"Yes, even then."

"I see…..may I ask for a favour?"

Ned raised an eyebrow, "what kind of favour."

"Could you please tell Lady Stark the truth about me?" Jon begged.

"What?! Why would you want me to do that?!"

"Because she hates me for existing, and she hates you for betraying her," Jon explained, "she thinks you were unfaithful, and that isn't the case. Before, when I still thought I was nothing but a bastard, one of my only regrets was that every thought you were disloyal. Because of my existence you were called dishonorable, even by your wife. But in truth you are the most honorable man I know Lord Stark. You took me in, you cared for me, and for that," Jon smiled, "I'll love you forever.

"But now, I know the truth, and I don't want people to hate you for me anymore. I want them to know just what kind of man you are."

"Jon if I told anyone about you, you would die. Honour means very little if it means the life of someone I care about is forfeit," Ned replied.

"I know. But I don't mean tell someone random of the roads. No, I mean tell your wife. She deserves to know the truth, and quite frankly I am growing tired of her hating me. Before I understood why she did it, I was a bastard, a symbol of your 'unfaithfulness'. But I know the truth now, and I'm starting to get annoyed."

"Jon-"

"-Please father, I see the way people look at you when I'm around. That look of disrespect, I don't want that for you. I know we can't tell the world about me, but why not at least your wife? Who has sworn to be by your side, forever."

Ping!

You have successfully convinced someone!

+1 CHA

Ping!

A skill has leveled up! Convincing!

Convincing, Lv- 2 (34%)

You ability to convince people to do what you wish them to do.

6% success rate,

+1% per REP point you have with said person.

Jon mentally pushed the notifications away, he quickly looked back at Lord Stark and found the man deep in concentration. Jon was surprised he was actually able to do it, at least that's what the Playtrix told him.

"You...are correct Jon," Ned leaned back on his seat while Jon gave a sigh of relief. He honestly didn't think Lord Stark would have bought it, but he was glad he did.

"I'll tell her tonight," Ned sighed, "I'll tell her everything."

"Thank you Lord Stark," Jon bowed.

"Now, back to the reason I called you, if you continue doing research on the Targaryen's when the king arrives it would be very, very dangerous. I don't wish to deny you your heritage Jon, but...but you have be careful, do you understand?"

Jon nodded, "yes father, I do."

"Good, you are dismissed," Ned got up and Jon walked to the door, "oh and Jon, before you go," Jon turned around as Ned reached into his desk drawer pulling out a blue and grey blanket. "Your mother wrapped you in this when you were born. She had made it, just for you."

Jon walked towards Ned and carefully took the blanket. He looked at it, the grey was stained brown, maybe from him, but Jon didn't believe so. He knew what it was. It was blood, his mother's blood. Jon looked at the blanket and noticed in the corner of the soft woolen cloth was a names stitched in red, 'Jon'.

Tears welled up in Jon's eyes, he couldn't help it as they slowly fell down his face. He pulled the blanket up to his face, he smelt the fragrance coming off it. He didn't know what it was, he couldn't identify it. It smelt sweet, yet sour. Like the warm southern wind of summer.

"Thank you," Jon whispered as he wiped his tears away, "thank you so much."

Ned smiled, he walked from behind his desk and wrapped Jon in a hug. "I know you feel angry that I didn't tell you, but I did it to protect you. I know I'm not your real father, but to me, you will always be my son."

Jon couldn't it hole anything back anymore as he wrapped his hands around Ned crying freely, "thank you father. Thank you."

They stayed like that for a while before Jon finally let go. Ned stepped back and Jon swore he saw his eyes were teared up as well. But before h could say anything Lord Stark turned away, "I also want you to have this," he approached one of his book shelves and picked out a heavy tome, "this is a complete history of the North alone. Much more in depth than anything you can find with Maester Luwin. I understand you wish you learn more about your family, but don't forget, you have just as much wolf in you as you do dragon. The North is also a part of you Jon, never forget that."

Jon took the book and nodded, "thank you father. I will read it and return it as soon as I can."

Ned nodded, "good. Now go, I'm sure you have a lot to do, I heared from Maester Luwin you wished to learn High Valyrian?"

Jon nodded, "yes, I thought it would be a good idea to know another language."

"Why? Are you planning on traveling soon?"

Jon shrugged, "not right now no, but maybe, I haven't decided what to do in life yet father."

Lie Succeeded!

Of course it was a lie, Jon however knew that he simply couldn't tell his father that he was planning go to Valyria, he knew how crazy that sounded.

"I see, correct me if I am wrong, but you seemed awfully interested in joining the Night's Watch before."

Jon nodded, "I was. I believe that was the only place for me, when I still believed I was nothing but a bastard. But now, well now I see differently, and I see a world open to me."

Ned smiled, "I see, well whatever you plan on doing my son I wish you the best of luck. And remember, I will always be here if you need help."

Jon bowed, "thank you father. Goodnight."

"Goodnight Jon," and with that Jon quickly left the warden of the North's chambers running to Maester Luwin turret for his language class. Ned sighed when Jon left, he got off his chair and approached his chamber window. He looked at the moon and sighed, 'Lyanna, I pray that I'm doing the right thing. Please, don't hate me.'


An hour later;

Jon sighed as he walked back to his room with several heavy tomes in his hand. The maester had just spent the last two hours trying to teach Jon a new language. 'Trying' being the key word. No matter how hard Jon tried he just couldn't seem to grasp the basics. Luwin insisted that Jon was making progress saying things like 'you are learning this faster than most Maester's I know!' But Jon knew a lie when he heard one.

In the end he earned another skill;

Language: High Valyrian, Lv- 1 (2%)

How much you understand about the language of High Valyria.

Dialectes known:

Braavos

Reading: Extremely Poor

Speaking: Extremely Poor

Understanding: Extremely Poor

The base stats weren't the same as his common tongue skill, but that may be because here Jon was learning a new language entirely but there Jon already knew the language.

Either way Jon knew he had a lot of ground to cover and little time to do it. He had maybe a month before he would be forced to stop researching about the Targaryen's, and so Jon had asked Luwin permission to take some times with him to bed, for some late night reading.

Luwin had agreed, but only if Jon promised to take care of them, which he did. So now Jon had three books in hand, along with his baby blanket tucked into his back pocket.

Jon closed the door behind him as he put the tomes on his table. Ghost looked up and whined, Jon hadn't feed him supper yet and Jon felt like kicking himself in the ass for that.

Jon sighed, "I'm sorry boy. Come, I'll get you something to eat right away." Jon pulled out his baby blanket and looked it over, he needed to keep it in a safe place, but he didn't want to put it here, in case Ghost decided he wanted a new chew toy. He needed a safe place and he had...inventory...right.

Jon opened his inventory and quickly put the blanket inside it. Jon smiled as he saw the blanket rest in one of the many boxes of the inventory, now no one would be able to get to it, and Jon will be able to look at it whenever he wanted.

Jon carefully picked up Ghost and walked out of his room. He made his way to the kitchen hoping that someone will be there to cook Ghost up something.

As he reached the bottom of the castle floors he smelt the aroma of bread. Ghost yipped as he practically salivated at the smell. He tried to jump out of Jon's hands but the young man kept him steady.

Jon quickly reached the kitchen and walked in, "hello? Is anyone there?"

"Lord Snow, I didn't expect to see you again so soon," Jon saw Mary, the red haired servant from before, walk up to him from inside, "did you come back for your tongue?"

Jon blushed, he was embarrassed about what he said that afternoon, but he couldn't do anything to change it, so he simply powered through, "no-ahm, I just wanted to get something to eat."

"Really? Did you not have dinner with the Starks?" Mary asked surprised.

"Actually it's more for Ghost than me," Jon said pointing at his puppy that couldn't stand still always looking around at the various food aromas that filled the room, "you wouldn't have anything would you?"

Mary nodded, "as a matter of fact I do, come Lord Snow." Mary walked inside and Jon followed.

She lead them through the many empty stations filled with vegetables and the like. Jon saw in the corner of the room a meat locker that was closed off from the rest of the room to prevent insects from entering and spoiling the meat.

Mary stopped in front of a station with a bowl full of cut vegetables and a skinned pig sitting on display. "This is tomorrow's food," Mary said as she took a knife and cut the first few layers of pork, "I had just finished preparing everything when you showed up Lord Snow."

"I apologize if it was inconvenient my lady," Jon blushed as she smiled at him.

"I'm no lady Lord Snow."

"And I'm no lord," Jon replied.

"Yes you are," Mary handed Ghost a few slices of meat which the wolf quickly gulped down, "you are Lord Stark's son, be it true born or otherwise."

"And yet I am not a Lord," Jon repeated himself, "so please, call me Jon."

"Really my lord?" Mary raised an eyebrow, "just Jon?"

Jon smiled, "yes. Just Jon."

Mary nodded, "understood, Lord Jon."

"No, I mean just call me Jon, no lord."

"Many would disagree," Mary argued back as she gave Ghost a slice of warm bread, "since you are after all the son of Lord Stark."

"And I'm a bastard, so no lord title for me."

Lie succeeded!

"True, very well then Jon, I think your pup there is plenty full."

Jon looked down and noticed Ghost asleep already. Jon's eyes widened in surprise, he didn't think the small thing would fall asleep so fast. It was literally eating bread out of Mary's hand a few seconds ago.

"Well...that's good, I suppose. Thank you Mary, you really saved me, if I hadn't gotten Ghost something he wouldn't have let me sleep all night."

Mary blinked, "h-how did you know my name?" She looked surprised as her blue eyes sparkled with wonder.

Jon realised what he had done. Never once did he ask her for her name, and never once did she give it. The only reason he knew her name was because of his gaming powers, and he obviously couldn't tell her that.

'Think Jon think!' Jon stared blankly at Mary for sometime before he came up with an idea. Jon cleared his throat, "I may or may not have asked around about you."

Lie succeeded!

Mary smiled slyly, "so you asked around about me did you? Why may I ask did you do that?"

Jon smiled, "I needed my tongue back."

Mary laughed, "okay then, what else did you hear about me?"

Jon started to panic, but suddenly a wave of calm washed over him pushing the doubt and hesitation to the side. Jon suddenly had an idea, 'I should use Observation on her!'

So Jon did;

Mary Rosalyn, Baker of Winterfell

Lv- 2

REP - 45/100

HP- 100/100

SP- 150/150

MP- 0/0

Allegiance- House Stark

STR- 4

VIT- 8

DEX- 5

CHA- 3

INT- 3

WIS- 4

LUC- 10

The third daughter of a farmer from the outskirts of Stark land, Mary was known to be gifted in baking treats and food items. She was later recruited into Stark service and is not spending her days happy cooking to her heart's content.

Jon smiled, "you are the third daughter who used to live in a farm near the outskirts of this land. You were known for your baked goods and was later recruited into our service. From what I understand you are very happy here."

Mary gasped, "amazing. Who told you all this?!"

Jon smiled, "now Mary if I did that then my source would never trust me again."

"I could loose your tongue," Mary huffed crossing her arms.

Jon chuckled, "you are going to have to try very hard to do that." 'She looks so cute when she's angry.'

Mary smiled, "and what do you have in mind?"

Jon shrugged, "I don't know. You're probably going to have to do something amazing."

"I just feed your wolf," Mary argued, "and might I remind you it's is the middle of the night. I believe that deserves at least a hint at who told you."

Jon looked at Ghost and then at Mary, "okay, you're correct, I owe you for this. But that still doesn't mean I'll give up my source."

Mary hummed to herself, "I see….very well then, I have just the thing to loosen your lips," she untied her apron and put it to the corner, "come with me."

Jon blinked, "don't you have to finish here?"

"I told you, I'm already done. Now come along Jon, one way or another I'm getting that name from you," Mary grabbed Jon and pulled him along.

The bastard was amazed at the speed Mary ran. One moment they were inside the Great Keep, the next they were running through the courtyard. Jon didn't resist as she dragged him across the castle until they stood in front of the broken tower.

Jon raised an eyebrow, "what are we doing here?"

"I'm trying to convince you to give up your source," Mary grinned as she walked up to the door. It was closed with a huge metal lock in front of it. Mary went to the side of the door and felt around the walls. She stayed there for sometime before pulling out a brick revealing a hollow interior that had a metal key in it.

Mary used the key to unlock the door, she turned around, "well? Are you coming?"

Jon was surprised, "how did you-"

"-Come on Jon! I don't have time to waste!" Mary smiled back as she ran inside.

Jon blinked , 'a girl is asking me to follow her into a dark place….does she like me? What am I saying? Of course she likes me! She has a REP score of 45! And she doesn't even know me that well! Jon, do not screw this up!' He walked in as well closing the door behind him.

The inside was dark, but luckily the windows poured enough light in for him to see everything clearly. He saw Mary walk up the stairs, she turned back and smiled, "come on Jon!"

Jon didn't know what was going on. His feet moved without his permission. His face smiled without him knowing it. He followed the girl, her smile light up the tower, and before he knew it, Jon was with her on the very top.

The top of the tower was open to the cold night. Mary stood near the edge of the tower as she looked to the stars above.

"When I first came here I was sad. I missed my home and my family. And then I saw this place. A tower that no one used? It was like it was made for me."

"And how did you get the key?" Jon asked as he put Ghost's sleeping body on the floor. The pup whined before snuggling into the floor comfortably.

"I stole it from a gaurd," Mary smiled as she turned around to meet him, "he did get into trouble, but I gave him a week's worth of pies to make up for it."

Jon turned from the beautiful redhead in front of him and looked around. The tower gave a great view of the castle and the lands beyond the walls. Jon smiled, "it's beautiful, thank you for showing me this."

Mary smiled, she walked up to Jon, "so is this enough to loosen your tongue?"

Jon chuckled, "sorry, I love that you're doing this, but I'm still not going to tell you anything."

Mary cupped John's chin with her hand, "then how about this?" she pushed Jon's head up and Jon gasped.

The stars twinkled in the night sky. There were so many of them that Jon was overwhelmed at their beauty in an instant. They flowed like a wave in the night sky sparkling like diamonds.

"I never, I never even noticed them," Jon admitted as he stared in open awe.

"Most don't," Mary admitted, "most are too focused on their own lives to even look up. But back in my farm, every night before I went to bed I would see them. It became a habit and I just...well I didn't want to stop."

"This is so beautiful," Jon gasped.

Mary smiled, "so Jon, think this is enough to tell me what you know?"

Jon smiled, he looked down and suddenly realised he was just inches away from Mary's face. He blushed, and when Mary noticed him blushing she turned red as well.

They said nothing as they struggled to make eye contact with each other. Jon was taller than her, but he didn't notice that. All he noticed was how blue her eyes were, how her freckles seemed to melt into her skin when she blushed, how she bite her lips as Jon slowly moved closer.

Mary closed her eyes and so did Jon. They leaned in, their lips inches away. As they were about to kiss Ghost let out a yawn.

Jon and Mary's eyes shot open. Jon looked at Ghost, the pup was waking up again as it looked around for Jon.

Mary suddenly moved away before Jon could say anything, "I-I'm sorry. I must leave. Please don't tell anyone about this place, I beg you."

"I-I, yes, I promise, Mary-" Jon wanted her to stop but before he knew it the red haired girl had ran to the roof door leaving Jon alone.

Jon sighed as he looked at Ghost, "thanks for that you stupid mutt." Ghost looked confused as it tilted its head, "sigh, never mind. Come, let's go back to our room."

Jon grumbled as he walked down the tower. He didn't know what went wrong, Mary liked him, she had an REP score of 45 for him and he hadn't even spoken to her before today. Jon sighed, 'the first chance I ever had with a girl and I blew it, well..' he looked at Ghost who had fallen asleep again, 'maybe I didn't blow it. Stupid mutt.'

Jon quickly locked the broken tower replacing the key in the loose brick like Mary did, he didn't want her angry at him for misplacing the key now did he? He quickly walked back to his room where he put Ghost to rest in one corner while he got ready for bed.

But as the night droned on Jon couldn't fall asleep. His mind was too active, he kept thinking about Mary, about how he almost kissed her. He then thought about his quest, about how he would eventually have to leave for Old Valyria.

Jon sighed, 'perhaps it would be better if there was nothing going on between Mary and me. I still have to travel to Valyria, it would not be fair to her.'

Jon got up in frustration, sleep didn't come. He looked around and spotted the tomes Maester Luwin left for him. Jon sighed, if he couldn't sleep he might as well read. He grabbed his candle stick and went outside. He lite the candle with the torch outside and brought it back in.

Jon picked up the first book, a guide to learning Old Valyria written by a maester that died 200 years ago. He opened it and began to read into the night. But the image of the girl with red hair and deep blue eyes underneath the stars still haunted his mind.

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