The temple walls were dark, they let no light in, for why would a temple that worshiped death, ever let light seep through its halls? There is an uncanny chill there too. The feeling of warmth from a fire is a foreign concept at the House of Black and White. Here, death is worshiped, for all men must die and all must serve. Valar Morghulis.
No one has spent years at the temple, how many exactly, she couldn’t be certain. She doesn’t even know her own age. Her moon blood came a year back, she remembers the day fondly. Some parts of her memory still remained at the time and she remembered a woman with long red hair telling her that one day she would become a woman. She never understood how someone becomes a woman, more importantly, why a bit of blood on a sheet defines womanhood. She remembers other women in the temple comforting her, in their cold way, but comforting her nonetheless, because now she was ready to perform more advanced kills because she could use her body.
Now, at the tender age of she thinks sixteen, maybe seventeen or fifteen, she can’t be certain. Her chestnut colored hair cascades in waves down her back. Her face is much more angular as the years have gone by and her eyes are a striking grey color when she wears her face. But alas, she wears the face of another at almost all times. She hasn’t worn her true face in over two years—so she has no idea how she’s grown. Her body is toned and muscular from her intensive training with the sword, staff, and her mind was strengthened through her knowledge of poisons, deceit, and stealth. Her skin is tanned and freckled from the endless hours she spent in the sun gathering information for the Kindly Man.
Each day she would come back with three facts and each day he would ask for three more. She loved being on the docks, seeing all the ships sail in from Westeros. Once in her life she thinks she lived there, for why would she feel drawn to the sea? But No One has always lived in Braavos, No One has never had a life outside of the temple walls. And she is No One. A girl with no face, a girl with no family, a girl with no name to claim as her own.
Yes, she’s had many names, for in order to be Faceless she always has to become someone. She had been Nan, Salty, Beth, each one different from the rest. She shudders at the memory of being Beth for Beth was a blind beggar who was eradicated from the House of Black and White. She had killed a man named Meryn Trent, for some reason No One had wanted him dead, and it was not because she had witnessed him take young girls into his room at the brothel, he had done something far worse that warranted his death. So, she had dawned the face of a young woman who had come into the temple a few days prior. The girl never said why she wanted ‘the gift’ and it was a question that was never asked. No One was curious, she remembers wanting to know why. Why would a girl with the most beautiful blue eyes, eyes that exuded laughter and excitement, want to die? No One thought the eyes were beautiful, a deep blue like the center of the ocean, she thought they looked familiar, but No One had never known of a man with eyes as blue as that.
She remembers it vividly, she pounced on him like a hyena, after ripping off the face of a young girl, and plunged her knife into his eye then the other. His screams were like music to her ears. As she heard his suffering, she still felt like it wasn’t enough, but finally she went stealthily grabbed his neck from behind, the blind beggar searching for her, begging for his life. Another man had not begged, she knew, and this man had taken his life. She slit his throat with a swift flick of the wrist. The sound of him choking on his own blood was music to her ears. But when his body went limp, she didn’t feel peace like she thought she would have. Instead she felt nothing, she truly had lost who she was, but she had not yet become No One.
No one had killed the man, brutally, and without the House of Black and White’s permission, her blindness was her penance. She was blind for at least six months, probably more. It was the most difficult time of her life, she thinks.
The streets of Braavos, although they bustle with activity during the day with all the merchants from Pentos, Lys, Myr, and the other free cities, at night they were still. Where Beth used to stay, there were no taverns or markets, it was a tranquil spot by the water. She liked to hear the waves crash against the rocks. There was always a calmness by the water. She had been alone those six months too. During the day, she would walk to the opening of the docks, where the sailors would come in from their nights of drinking, praying they’d still be a bit drunk, drunk enough to drop a coin or two in her dish so that she may get some food for the day. She’d go weeks without eating, but she never complained, for her body had been used to the same torture before.
One day, the Kindly Man came to the docks and promised her that she’d be able to come back to the House of Black and White if she could promise to be No One. She fought for months there, blinded still, being beaten by the Waif with a staff repeatedly. It was grueling. It was difficult. It was like walking through the Seven hells. The pain her body endured was so intense there were days she could hardly walk to her rooms. She would sob into her pillow at night wondering if this was all worth it, the pain, the torture, even the heartache she felt every time she took a life. But when she had the time to think about it, she realized there was a reason she was at the House of Black and White.
Because she was alone. Why would a person with a family, a life, friends, and passions ever step through those Weirwood doors? If she had a family wouldn’t she be with them? She never wanted to be an assassin, taking someone else’s life never gave her pleasure. But, she knew she could do some good being here, besides it was the only place she had to go. So, she committed herself completely to her training, not once going out of line, not once complaining about a cut or bruise or unfair lie. She dealt with everything that she had been given and did it not with a smile, but with a straight face. For she was No One. No One had no feelings or habits or cares.
“Mercy,” The Kindly Man called. His white robes dragged on the cold floor, but made less noise than a feather dropping.
“Yes,” No One answered.
“Someone is to be given the gift.”
She didn’t respond as he explained the mission, her first assignment after she had flowered.
“The Black Pearl,” she hesitated, biting her lip.
“The Sea Lord of Braavos is a difficult man, you must be her prodigy.”
She went to leave the temple as he called out to her, “Girl,” he hesitated, giving her a knowing look that she didn’t quite understand. He looked at her as if he knew her and she felt scared for a moment. She couldn’t put her finger on who she was and he, the way he looked at her, it made her shiver.
She didn’t respond, looking up at him fearfully.
He changed his face to one she thought she recognized, a Lorathi man with crimson red hair and a white streak right at the front, a long nose, and tender looking eyes.
“You can run,” his voice sounded calm, “You can go home.”
“This is my home,” she responded shortly.
“If you do this, you’ll never be able to go back.”
“It’s been too long anyways,” she sighed, “There can’t be anything to go back to.”
He looked as if he wanted to respond, but instead said nothing, “You have a choice, a— “
Was he just about to say her real name, she wondered, what was it? Who did she used to be?
“I am no one, and I serve the many-faced god,” she stated with firm tenacity as she walked past the vaguely familiar man and donned the face of a blonde-haired, green-eyed beauty, with large breasts and an ass to match, perfect for a courtesan.
She strutted out of the temple confidently and as she closed its doors, “You’re still in there Arya Stark, please,” he begged.
The streets of Braavos were bustling with people, much to Elena’s delight. Elena was the name she had taken, as she wore the face of a girl with a small button nose, plump lips, and olive toned skin with dark almost raven-colored hair to match. Her body was plumper than no one’s, having a little more fat around the middle and a larger butt, but anyone would have a larger butt compared to her’s from training. She could feel men’s eyes on her as she walked the wandering streets, her breasts were up and on display and her arching eyebrows gave each man who dared make eye-contact a bewildering look.
The courtesan’s house was located in a dark alley between two canals. It had no ornate detailing on the outside, blending in seamlessly with its surroundings.
“Hmm,” she thought to herself, “It’s likely they’d want to keep this hidden.”
“Can I help you?” A woman with a stocky figure and blonde hair piled high on her head asked as Elena sheepishly knocked on the door.
“I, I uh,” she hesitates.
“Dorira,” another voice shouts, “Let the poor girl in, she’ll catch a chill.”
But she had never felt more-warm than now with the pale moonlight burning down her neck.
“What’s your name, love?” The older woman, who couldn’t have been more than twenty-five asked.
“Elena,” she answered.
“And what brings you here, Elena?”
“I wanted to be trained in the womanly arts,” she mutters under her breath as she twirls her skirts between her index finger and thumb, observing the pine-wood floors of the room, counting how many panes there are.
The blonde woman scoffs and is met with a glare from the older woman, “Now, why is that?”
She had practiced the lie in her head over and over on her journey to the courtesan’s manse, “My father died,” she bit her lip and chocked down her sobs, “He hadn’t the opportunity to find me someone and I am not sure where to go or what to do.”
“You, poor child,” Bellegere, the Black Pearl, sympathized, “You can’t be more than sixteen years old.”
“A woman grown, by even Westerosi standards,” the blonde woman hissed.
“Dorira,” Bellegere warned, “She is but a lost child, a lone-wolf. Come, let me show you a warm bed.”
Elena hesitated, “My lady, I have nothing to offer you, no coin, no,” she trembled.
“My dear,” she grabbed her chin and bore into Elena’s brown colored eyes, “With eyes as captivating as yours, you’ll pay for your room ten-fold.”
“I’m, I’m not a whore,” she stuttered, afraid to offend the courtesan.
“We are not whores, my dear,” the woman simply brushed off the insult, “Whores use their bodies to pleasure men, we use ours to pleasure ourselves. I will teach you how to wrap a man around your finger without even as much as batting your eyelashes. Men wager on about how strong they are, how battle ready they are, how nothing could give them a fright. But when you don’t even have his balls in your hand, but simply sit on his lap and kiss the spot between the back of his neck and his ear, he’ll be weaker than anyone in the whole of Essos.”
“Men are weak,” Dorira added, “They think we pleasure them for their own desire, but it is for us.”
“My mother always told me, sex was supposed to hurt,” Elena spoke without thinking.
“Where did you grow up, girl? Westeros?” Dorira quipped, “Even there, only the highborn girls are unlucky enough to never receive pleasure.”
“No,” she quickly rebutted, “I’ve lived in Braavos all my life.”
The Black Pearl pursed her lips, the girl’s Braavosi accent as much as she may have tried to hide it was still laced with northerness, “Well then, why don’t we get you settled. You’ll be much easier to train than some of the other girls.”
Elena was curious at the woman’s statement, but didn’t want to press further.
“Most come to me lost and bewildered, as if they accidentally ended up on this alley and knocked on my door seeking shelter and food,” the woman continued on their walk up the stairs, “I usually have my girls train them and send them on their way a month or two later, never bothering much with them myself, but you,” she turned and held the candle in Elena’s face, “There’s a mystery about you.”
“I am a simple girl; my father was a fisherman and my mother stayed home.”
“Did you have any siblings?”
“None that remain.”
“The gods take what they will from us and we are left to pick up the pieces.”
“There is only one God.”
“Ah,” Bellegere breathed out, “The Braavosi was is to believe that only the many-faced God exists, but is he not the crone in the seven, or the Lord of Light, or even one of those northern gods with a face on a Weirwood tree?”
“It means that only death matters, he is the strongest of all the gods.”
“Why do you think that?” She asked as she opened the door to Elena’s new chambers.
“Death cannot be outrun.”
“You seem to have outran it.”
“I’ve been lucky on my journey, but I haven’t strayed far from home. If I had, I don’t know where I’d be.”
“Maybe you’ll know someday. I bid you goodnight, Elena.”
“Goodnight, my lady.”
“For a woman who doesn’t know the common tongue,” Elena spoke in the common tongue, rather than the Braavosi they had been conversing in, “You say my lady so eloquently, most girls spit the word like mi ‘lady.”
She left the girl then, whose head was spinning. She understood, too well what the woman had said, and in her mind, came pictures of a horrible stable. Where bodies were cramped together and there was a boy with piercing blue eyes.
“It isn’t real,” she whispered to herself, “None of it is real.”
The room she had been given was quaint, it had a window overlooking the canal and the same pine-wood flooring as downstairs. The bed wasn’t large by any stretch of the imagination, but it fit her frame and had a soft mattress. It engulfed her as she laid down on it staring at the dimly lit ceiling with her hands folded over her chest as she drifted off to sleep.
“You’re seriously not going to take her in, are you?” Dorira barked, “Her story was purer— “
“Pure what?” Bellegere asked, bringing the cup of ale demurely to her lips, “Her story was pure?”
“It may be,” she mussed, “But she’s a beautiful girl.”
“So, she’s been sent here to murder one of us and you bring her into your home, give her food and a warm bed to sleep in.”
“She won’t betray guest-right.”
“I’m sure the faceless men don’t have that.”
“Trust me, my dear, when the day comes that an assassin will take my life from me, I’d hope I’d be able to look into their eyes and see nothing. Hers tell a story, hers betray much more than she believes they do, and even if those eyes are not her own, they’d be a beautiful last sight.”
“You,” Dorira’s words caught in her throat.
“Be still, dear, you wouldn’t want the wolves to rip your throat out.”
The morning came and Elena was grateful to not be woken up by the sound of the waif’s staff hitting the end of her bed at the House of Black and White, but instead by a shy maiden, who couldn’t have been more than eleven.
“My lady,” the girl nudged her shoulder ever so slightly, “The mistress is asking for you. Your dress is on the chair, she begs that you wear it.”
Elena was still groggy from her sleep, “Of course— “
“Vellia,” she small girl smiled, her skin was darker than Elena’s olive toned skin, likely coming from the summer isles.
“Thank you, Vellia, I will be down straight away.”
The girl made her way towards the door on swift feet, before Elena halted her, “Vellia?”
“Yes, my lady?”
“My name’s Elena, please call me that.”
“I’ve been instructed to call you—” The girl suddenly clammed up, the worry evident on her face as her brows crinkled with wrought.
“When we’re alone, please call me Elena,” she persisted.
The girl seemed to be a bit more comfortable with the thought, “Okay.”
Elena waited for the young, southeroi girl to leave her room before getting out of bed to examine the dress. She quickly washed her face with some water that had been scented with rose petals, a touch she hadn’t noticed last night before she went to bed. She observed herself in the mirror, admiring the traits of the face she had taken from the hall of faces. Even though she was beautiful, there was something about the eyes of this face that gave way to hurt and agony. They were chestnut colored orbs of uncertainty.
“Focus,” she told herself, “You need the training.”
She found the dress that Vellia had laid on the chair, it was a simple royal blue colored dress that had a flowing skirt, she also found britches to wear underneath it and a pair of brown heeled boots. She hadn’t much cared for dresses, even opting to wear britches under her robes at the temple, but she knew if the Black Pearl saw her purse her lips at the sheer sight of a skirt or a corset she’d probably be kicked out of the courtesan’s home before she could recite her full name.
“There you are, my dear,” Bellegere greeted her with a kiss on each cheek. The woman was wearing a revealing black colored dress, with her breast corseted so high they almost reached her chin, while more attention was brought to them by the necklace she had that fell right between them. Her dark hair was pinned up, revealing her long, subtle neck from behind. And her face had the subtlest hints of makeup on it.
“Thank you for the dress.”
“It was my pleasure, couldn’t have you going around in those rags, now could I?”
“Look up dear,” the Black Pearl instructed, “Men will never want you if you look as if you’re more interested in their shoes than in their pants.”
The blush crept on her face, “I’m sorry, my lady.” She made it a point to make eye contact, emerald green eyes bore into her brown ones as the Black Pearl took another sip of her tea.
“Come sit, dear.”
Another young girl came and offered Elena a cup of tea, “Thank you,” she muttered.
“That’ll be all, Meshella, hurry along now.”
The girl curtsied then left the room quietly.
“Now dear, why are you here?”
“I have nowhere else to go.”
“Nowhere else to go, or no one else to turn to?” She gave her a knowing look as she took another sip of her tea.
“The temple does not teach me what I need to know,” she stated simply.
“And are you here to kill me or any of my girls.”
“We are not allowed to kill anyone who we know the name of.”
“Elena may know my name, but does no one?”
“No one knows of no one’s name. Not even her own.”
“You’d be curious to know that your real identity is not that well-hidden, my dear.”
The woman was a master decipher, of men and their cocks, but still she knew how to lie. She couldn’t have seen through Elena’s lie, or better yet, to her real self. She was no one. That is who she is.
“A man with red hair with a white streak in the front told me once of a lass he met in Westeros,” she began.
“Please do not continue.”
“My dear,” the woman looked at her with surprise.
“I do not wish to know who I was or what I was or where I’m from. I only wish to learn how to be a courtesan.”
She swallowed deeply, “Alright, my dear,” she had a pained look on her face as she observed Elena. Suddenly the voluptuous figure and the deep brown eyes felt all wrong, “I shall teach you anyways.”
“But before I start, my dear, whose name has been given to the many-faced god?”
“It is not yours.”
“Very well,” she hummed, “Now, your posture.”
Elena shuffled her shoulders back and sat as straight as a board. She didn’t hunch nor did she lean to one side, like she’d seen so many ladies do.
“It’s good,” Bellegere noted, “But you’re not using your full potential. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out.” Elena obliged, “My dear, it’s going to be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. But please, wipe that pained look off your face. No man will…”
“I know,” she bit back a bit too abruptly, “No man will ever want a woman who isn’t confident.”
“A man doesn’t care if you’re confident, most of them want a good fuck, that’s what whores are for, bless them. No, courtesans are the ladies of the night. We are to be alluring, yet demure, confident yet shy, voluptuous yet subtle.”
“It’s all a balancing act, my dear.”
Their training had been going on for a little over a week, learning about how exactly to say things to a man, when to give compliments, when to tease them, when to go in for the kill. The Black Pearl had promised her that she was a fast learner, probably her best in a while, and that if she weren’t faceless she’d likely take her on as her true apprentice.
“You could stay, my dear,” she smiled, in the little time Elena had been with her she’d grown to love the girl in a motherly type of way.
“Tell me, dear, are you happy here?”
“Very.” Elena was not lying. She had developed a good friendship with Vellia, learning the girl was captured as a slave in Southeroys by some merchants, but was freed when Daenerys Targaryen took Astapor.
“And are you happy in the temple?”
She hesitated, she wasn’t happy at the House of Black and White, but it was where she was learning to fight, to have a purpose, to seek revenge. It had happened second night here, as she tossed and turned in the feather-bed, she saw something through eyes that were not her own. It had been the same when she was blinded, she had somehow been able to get into the minds of simple cats and use them as her eyes. But this was different. Here she was running through fields with a large wolf pack at her rear. However, the dream was not met with silence, a voice spoke to her in it, telling her something, calling her something. She couldn’t exactly remember, but it had all felt so real.
“It is my home.”
Bellegere sighed, “You will always have a home here.”
Elena smiled at the woman, somehow, she knew that maybe her true home was calling to her, “Thank you.”
A few months on and Elena was ready to attend an event with the Black Pearl. Luckily the Sea Lord of Braavos was also attending. He had been recently elected, much to the chagrin of many people. He was a former slave owner, as he hailed from Meereen and not Braavos. His bald head shined under the light and the smug grin on his face made Elena want to stab him right then and there.
“My lady,” he stood up and kissed Bellegere on the hand, Elena surmised that they knew each other.
“Tycharo,” she greeted.
Elena was disgusted at the way the man was gawking at Bellegere, he licked his lips in apprehension, but soon his attention was taken away from her and brought to Elena.
“May I introduce, Elena.
Elena curtsied and demurely offered her hand to the man, who likely was in his mid-forties. She felt his cold lips as they kissed the back of it, and his eyes looking deeply into hers. Brown just like hers, but instead his showed unkindness and arrogance. The gold rings that littered his hands and the silken robes that covered his body were outlandish and unnecessary signs of wealth that Elena on most days would turn her nose up at.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“Come, Elena,” he gestured for his men to move, “Sit, I want to hear all about how Bellegere found someone as enticingly beautiful as you and if she trained you, as I think she had.” She could hear his men clink their glasses and laugh and as she looked for Bellegere to help her, the woman had disappeared into the crowd.
Bellegere had told her that when she had sex, if she pleasured the man correctly it wouldn’t hurt. She had practiced many times with the other girls in the home, learning how to kiss properly, how to undress seductively, how to even have an orgasm and feel the waves of pleasure running from your center and down your legs in such a fashion that you wonder if you’ll ever walk again. They’d even ventured to some ale-houses where she’d met young sailor boys and merchant’s sons, but she’d kiss them, maybe go a bit further, but she’d never had sex with them.
“Those boys are too weak,” Bellegere would say, “You’ll need a man.”
And so, she’d always brought them to her bed, with a seductive click of the tongue, they were more than happy to give her the gift and have her leave them without barely even kissing them. But something about Tycharo made her feel uneasy, he knew exactly what The Black Pearl was training her in, exactly what she was supposed to be doing.
The hairs at the back of her neck stood up as he pressed his lips so close to her ear, she could swear his tongue touched her neck, “She’s never brought me one as beautiful as you before.”
Internally she was shaking, she knew Bellegere had aided her in getting closer to the Sea Lord of Braavos, telling her about his inner fantasies and how exactly she was supposed to get to this man, but she had never imagined him to be so unattractive with his bald head, overly flamboyant wardrobe, and of course his arrogant tone of voice.
“My Lord,” she began.
“Tycharo,” he interrupted, taking a sip of his wine. She had downed a whole cup already and it had been quickly refilled by one of the many servant girls in the room.
“Tycharo,” she smiled at him, “You flatter me.” She fluttered her eyelashes at him and rested her palm on his thigh. She could feel him jolt, but instead he put his hand on top of hers and gave her a knowing look.
“How are you enjoying your evening?”
“Your home is pleasant,” she said, “It’s more beautiful than any I’ve ever seen.”
“Thank you, Elena,” he held her hand tightly under the table, as he stroked her thigh, “How kind of you to say, but compliments don’t flatter me.”
“And what does,” she teased, stroking his thigh again, this time aiming even higher.
He bit his bottom lip, forcefully, and then took another sip of his wine before whispering in her ear again, “I don’t know what she’s taught you, but tonight, my darling.”
His voice sounded engaging and hopeful, not much like the threat Elena was feeling. However, eventually, the hall died down and the meal ended, and after an unforeseen number of dances, Elena and Tycharo retired to his apartments on the highest level of the compound. She hadn’t seen Bellegere all night and she felt a sense of sadness that the woman who she had come to see as a maternal figure in the past few months, wasn’t there to give her a last talk about what was about to transpire. But, she was no one, and no one held no fears or reservations about her maiden head.
“You don’t mean that, Tycharo,” she forced herself to blush.
“Come,” he instructed, as his large hands found the small of her back and guided her towards a winding staircase. No amount of wine in the world could’ve prepared her for the moment when the door closed and his dimly lit roomed showed little more than an amber hue on his bed.
The large feather bed was covered in dark orange silks, likely sent from Tyrosh or someplace else in Essos, and a few pillows that had sequins sewn into them with tassels on the ends. The bed looked mighty comfortable and that’s all Elena focused on, the featherbed mattress that she’d soon lay her head down on. The pillows looked like they would support her neck as she would look up into his eyes.
“So, beautiful,” he muttered as he slid his hands up and down her arm’s tanned skin.
“My Lord,” she shyly responded, just glancing up to make eye contact.
“My sweet, Elena,” he said barely louder than a whisper, as his tender hands found their way to her hair, engulfing themselves in the smooth locks, he turned her head ever so slightly to the side and his lips met hers.
He tasted like wine and greed, but as much as she despised the man and his arrogance, she could feel her body responding to him. She cursed herself, she felt weak and unclean, but she went with the motions. Responding to his kiss further, using her hands to rub the back of his neck and down his back.
She stopped for a breath and seductively looked at him, their foreheads touching, “Wait, my Lord.” She turned around and guided him to the bed, “Undress me.”
His eyes lit up with desire, “My pleasure.”
Her head was at the head of the bed, resting on one of its many pillows. He started with her shoes, taking them off one by one, and as he did so he kissed and sucked on her toes.
“So, beautiful,” he purred.
Soon his whole body was on top of hers trying to undo the corset she was wearing from behind. She could feel his hands fiddling with the strings, entirely too focused on the thought of sex that he couldn’t feel there was a dagger placed at the nape of his neck.
The man gasped and his eyes looked at her with a sense of betrayal, “Valar Morghulis.”
She didn’t even bother to look back as the man’s lifeless body rested on the bed.
“Valar Morghulis,” the kindly man greeted as No One entered the House of Black and White.
“Valar Dohearis,” she responded.
“Go,” he instructed, “Three facts.”
“But do it with this face.”
She was perplexed by his instruction, he normally let her choose which face to wear, which identity to claim as her own. So, why would he hand her the face of a girl with pale skin and a long nose and long, unruly, dark-brown hair. But most intriguing was her grey eyes, that looked like silver on the outside that got as dark a steel towards the middle.
She walked the streets of Braavos as she usually did, trying to blend into the crowd and not garner more attention to herself. She was aimlessly looking around, trying to figure out where to go next, when suddenly an old woman approached her. She looked as if she needed assistance, so No One was just about to reach into her coin purse when the woman stabbed her in her lower abdomen.
“Our secrets are not for you to tell, girl.”
She was paralyzed with fear as she felt the knife go deeper and deeper into her. She felt it twist and it stung so badly. It felt like the life was being drained out of her. But she fought, she fought like mad, like a wolf in heat, to simply get the woman’s arms off from around her middle. She jumped over a bridge and ran like mad to anywhere, anyone that could help her.
“My dear,” Bellegere looked at her.
The girl looked at her with grey eyes, so different from the brown ones she had worn previously, “I, I,” her hands were desperately covering her middle, they were soaked with blood as was her shirt and britches.
Bellegere observed the girl and with pure horror noticed her injuries, “Come inside, now.”
And so, the woman stitched her up, and gave her milk of the poppy to dull her pain, No One started talking in a feverish hurry.
“I think I see wolves,” she slurred.
“Hush, my dear, the pain will be over soon.”
“There’s snow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in Braavos, but it’s falling quickly and faintly. It’s so beautiful.”
“No, my dear, I don’t think you have.”
“But it’s not the real snow,” she continues, “Real winter is when the snow falls so fast and thick that the crops are flattened by it and you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you.”
“That sounds terrifying.”
“No,” she smiled and weakly said, “It sounds wonderful.”
No One was asleep for a few days, while Bellegere and Vellia were tending to her wound and feeding her water and honey so she wouldn’t starve.
“My dear,” Bellegere warmly greeted as the young girl’s eyes fluttered awake, “You’re awake.”
“How long was I asleep?” No one wondered.
“A few days, quite normal with the wounds you had.”
“Yes,” she bit her lip.
“You know, Elena used to bite her lip,” Bellegere observed, “Particularly when she was nervous. You’re her aren’t you.”
“And who did this to you?” The woman grabbed her hand and rubbed the back of it with her thumb, the motherly touch did not go unnoticed by No One.
“The faceless men.”
“We need to get you out of the city.”
“What does it matter?” She cried, “They’ll always find me, they know who I am, they know my real face, I’ll never be safe.”
“My dear,” the woman had tears in her eyes, “You have to go. There’s a ship called the shy maiden, it’ll take you to Westeros.”
“You will be safe there,” she promised, “I need you to trust me.”
The young girl sobbed, “I can’t, I don’t even have my true face.”
The woman cupped her cheek with her hand, “I was once told a story by a man in a tavern, who had red hair with a white streak in the front, that he had met a girl with the most intoxicating grey eyes, who had a fire lit underneath her. But who was so consumed with revenge that she eventually made it to Braavos, where he trained her.”
The girl listened on, “He never told me her name, but he described every detail of her face. He told me he watched over the girl as she grew and trained more and forgot more of herself. He told me there would be a time when her honor would be challenged and she would need to be protected. So, my dear, you have your face.”
“I do not know who I am,” she sobbed.
“You will find your way,” the older woman gently said, “Your family is in Westeros, where I do not know, your name I do not know, all I know is that a wild-girl with grey eyes would one day come to me and I am to get you out of Braavos safely.”
“Thank you,” the girl said with an exasperated breath.
A few days later, she was at the port with a large bag slung across her shoulder, that held a thin, long sword Bellegere had given her, desperately looking for the ship they called they Shy Maiden.