LANTA

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LANTA



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CEDRICK HATED HIS NEPHEW.

He distinctly remembered Stannis Baratheon - his elder brother - taking him to the Red Keep to see the newborn Prince Joffrey. At that time, Cedrick was perhaps three - Prince Joffrey was laying in a wooden crib while the Queen had been sleeping as a consequence of drinking the milk of the poppy. His wet nurse was standing next to him, ensuring he was well fed and healthy. Cedrick hadn't ever experienced such an awe-inspiring moment, he watched the little baby move his tiny feet in a jagged motion.

Wisps of his golden hair stuck up in all directions and was accompanied by a pair of beautiful emerald eyes. Cedrick was about to move his tiny finger to tickle the little baby when a tall, muscular man entered the room with tears brimming his eyelashes and a reddened nose.

Robert.

Cedrick had only met his brother a few times. He wasn't present when his mother gave birth to him, he was more or less a stranger to him. Cedrick had withdrawn his finger and hidden behind Stannis' gigantic leg. Robert had held the baby in his arms and cradled him to sleep, whispering vows to him. He looked handsome back then.

Whatever happened next was forgotten by Cedrick, but after the first encounter with the prince, he was sure that time and circumstances had change people beyond repair. Never had he ever thought such a beautiful child could harbour such monstrous thoughts inside him, never had he ever thought that a king could unchain the demons of mercilessness and let them control his rule.

"Cedrick, you're not a child anymore." Cedrick knew whom this elderly voice belonged to. He snapped out of his thoughts and averted his gaze to match Lady Olenna's. "You are expected to be downstairs and join everyone for the dinner."

"I don't live up to anyone's expectations," Cedrick pronounced, his voice devoid of any emotion.

"Sure you don't." Lady Olenna sighed, continuing, "But you have to live up to mine; it's not up to you, son." Her shrivelled, grey hand reached Cedrick's shoulder as she clutched it.

"I don't want to go down there - haven't you heard what they say about him? The handmaidens said that he beat the Stark's eldest daughter and humiliated her in front of his entire council!" Cedrick retorted, his eyes full of terror. He was concerned about Margaery too. She had been his first friend, first love, he couldn't do this to her.

"I know about all that - "

" - Yet you're making Margaery marry that beast! If you don't believe my claims then just give me a day or two and I'll prove to you how much of a monster that boy is!" His voice ricocheted off of the walls, burning as it touched Lady Olenna's ears.

"The same handmaidens call me a worthless whore; do you believe those claims too?" The statement was so full of power, it made Cedrick shut up in a way that he swallowed all of his assertions. Lady Olenna watched him in silence, he sulked and his gaze fell.

"No. . ." His voice faded into the air, a faint frown etched on his face. His soft brown hair fell and scattered unevenly on his forehead, "I'm just - terrified. Is he the right king? Does Margaery truly deserve him?"

"It's not about whom she deserves; it is about what she deserves. Cedrick, you are well aware of the reason behind why she's marrying him." Lady Olenna sighed and pressed her palms against her knee, "Knowing her - raising her - I am sure that she is ambitious enough to use that beastly boy as a pawn."

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