Chapter Four::Camp

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"Can you fight?" The king asked, glancing over his squared shoulder in order to look to Raina for an answer. She nodded slowly, staring at his somewhat more relaxed demeanour and questioning expression. "Aye," She replied, gazing up at the man in front of her, as he processed her answer. They were currently marching through swamp like areas in order to return to the king's camp-site, where Raina - or Ray as he knew her - would begin training, presumably. He hadn't put her in shackles like she had expected, nor did he keep his sword out and pointed at her, instead he'd become less tense and allowed her to walk alongside him at ease. They had remained quiet for the duration of the walk, the king sneaking in the odd question or two which she would answer quickly and simply, and that would be the end of it. There wasn't much that needed to be said, most of her life had been laid out in front of him previously, when he'd first found her, and she knew him and nearly everything about him, so what else needed to be asked or answered. "Did your father teach you?" The king spoke up, his accent burning through Raina's mind, and igniting old memories of their childhood. "No, my brothers actually," Raina answered quickly, only afterwards becoming cautious as to whether or not that was a smart thing to have said. "How many do you have?" Thinking quickly, Raina immediately replied with the honest answer, knowing that if she were to be caught out on lying about her gender, at least most of the other things she had told Robb Stark would be the truth; whether he chose to believe her or not was his problem, not hers. "I have 3 - one at the wall, two back to Winterfell," The king stated, not completely unaware that Raina knew this already, nearly everyone in Westeros knew the name Stark, and how many of them there were, but Raina put it down to him merely wishing to talk as though she didn't know him inside and out, like everybody else he spoke to.

Nodding slightly, Raina refrained from answering that time, finding herself completely mesmerized by the array of lights illuminating the horizon. As much as she hated to admit it, the Twins were a beautiful sight to behold, especially at night time. Every fire lit within the walls shone out through each cravis and each window, creating what looked to be a crowd of fireflies. Stopping in her tracks, Raina spent a moment simply admiring the view. Never before had she seen such a sight, and thinking it over, it was hardly likely she ever would again, thus wishing to savour the moment for as long as possible. Deepwood Motte was not as beautiful as this, the lights that escaped her home were dull, a fatal reminder of the sickening lives lived within the dark building, and of each depressing memory that haunted the corridors once everyone had retired for the evening. Shaking away the thoughts of home, Raina found her present company had noticed her lack of motion, and had accompanied her in admiring the view. "We'd best keep going." The king sighed after a brief moment, casting a inquisitive gaze in Raina's direction, "we're almost there." Silently agreeing, Raina began to follow as the king continued onwards, the faint glimmer of a fire catching her attention through the trees as they walked on. 

The king had been right, they were almost there. The camp wasn't as big as Raina had expected, there were a minimal amount of tents and fires scattered throughout a small clearly, the limited amount of soldiers wandering through the camp ceasing to notice their king had returned, and all huddling atop benches and lurking beside tables whilst talking between themselves. It almost reminded Raina of the training rings at Deepwood Motte, though she dared not think of that place any longer. Turning to the king, she could not help but catch his alluring gaze faltering to leave her direction, that was until she looked at him anyway. He coughed slightly, pointing towards an older man dressed in full plated armour. "Talk to him. He'll get you settled for the night. I'll see to it your training begins tomorrow. We could make a decent soldier out of you yet," The king smirked, the smallest hope of a true smile only briefly grazing his face before the stone-cold mask returned. Not really given a chance to answer, Raina soon found herself alone as the king sauntered into a nearby tent, leaving her to fend for herself. 

It was hard to believe her attempts to convince the king of her being a man had actually paid off. Her having been graced with her mother's looks and, well, convenient figure, she had thought it would be obvious to guess her gender even with the haphazard haircut and unflattering clothes. Yet here she was, soon to be a soldier for the king in the North, and so far no one had any idea of whom she was or where she had truly come from. 

Deciding to approach the man whom the king had told her to see, Raina strode through the mud and towards the man who's features reminded her of her father. A mangled white beard in need of a trim, a mop of similarly coloured hair atop his head, and leathering skin grazed with markings from battle. Perhaps, she hoped to herself as she walked, he shall not be anything alike her father and perhaps he is indeed a lot kinder, or at least more bearable. Finally reaching the man in question, his gaze immediately shot to her, tracing over her body briefly before chuckling. "How old are you, boy?" He snapped harshly, once again examining her with a harsh amount of detail. "Seventeen," She stammered out, refraining from cowering under the stern man's intimidating stare. The man chuckled again, this time out of irony. Slapping a hand against Raina's shoulder, he held out his jagged finger in the direction of a muddy tent. "You can sleep in there tonight," He spat, releasing his tight hold and turning back to his previous conversation, completely ignoring Raina's presence from that moment on. Sighing in discontent, Raina thought it best to say anything further, and simply decided to accept their gracious offer of at least letting her sleep under the cover of a tent if nothing else. Turning around in the direction of said tent, Raina began walking, hating the way her feet slid through the mud covering the floor, and disliking the murmurs she could hear from other soldiers whom had their gazes fixed on her. It was only when she reached the tent that she found herself staring at one soldier in particular. His shaggy blond hair and chiseled face was too recognisable to miss, especially to Raina. The fire beside him helped with distinguishing his other features, but it wasn't needed, Raina knew exactly who she was looking at. 

And with that she entered the tent, letting her mind settle at the thought of a familiar face - even when he was so far away, and hadn't even seen her yet let alone spoken to her -  but it was enough to put her at ease for that night alone. 

A/N: I know it's not much greatest but i thought i should put out an update, sorry it's taking awhile am struggling with a bit of writer's block  at the moment. Will hopefully update soon, hope you are liking it so far :D

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