Then he witnessed the cold harsh reality that he lived in.
He had come home for the night after training in the wild and chanced upon the corpses of his parents. The murderer had long since left the scene of the crime. As confident as the young man had been in his tracking ability and his skill with a blade... he knew that it was unlikely he would ever claim revenge. Instead he had hit the road. Behind he left the handmade grave of his family.
It was only sensible that he spent the next five years of his life working for the highest bidder. Using the skill that his father left him and the strategic ability that his mother had pounded into his head. His name quickly rose in many social circles around the country and he found himself hired more and more. Fuuin the Relentless, they called him. No one left a battle with him alive. Not even his companions!
Eventually he suffered a debilitating wound.
In all honesty, it was accidental on his part. He was so focused on finishing the assignment that he hadn't noticed the way his teammate had looked at him. The way that his eyes seemed to glimmer with murderous intent until it was too late for him to react. He was run through the shoulder with his teammates' sword. Left to slowly die in the wilderness of the Riverlands. But that was not the end of him.
Fuuin had managed to pull himself to the nearest settlement. The people there were kind and took him in, taking the time to heal and care for him. He was abruptly reminded of the many lessons that his mother had instructed him in and he realized the risk of his current lifestyle. And so he retired. Slowly, the name "Fuuin the Relentless" had vanished from the many social circles. Fuuin Votyris settled in the village that saved his life and put his blade up for good.
Until the Hand of the King came looking.
He really should've seen that coming. His luck was never the greatest.
Fuuin Votyris looked at the man in question. His eyes seemed to glimmer with curiosity as his eyebrow arched. The unspoken question seemed to float between the pair until the older man broke the silence.
"I am here on behalf of the King; Robert Baratheon."
The young blonde snorted with disbelief. "And how does that involve me?"
"King Robert remembers the reputation you once held with some of the... more unsavory social circles. He requests that you deal with a group of slavers."
"And why should I care? I've long since put the blade up. I haven't fought in almost eight months."
Jon Arryn regarded him for a second. As though the idea of him refusing the request had never occured to him. The view pleased him. How many in Westeros could honestly claim that they had caught the Hand of the King flatfooted? He was probably one of the few that could! "I would highly recommend that you don't. You would be handsomely rewarded for your efforts."
He really didn't have a choice in the matter.
The Kingsguard would come down on him like a flock of ravens. He was strong. Many had fallen prey to his sword in the past and only one had the right to claim having defeated him. But the personal guard of the King himself were better in every which way. They were faster. They were stronger. And they were more numerous. He was but one and they were many.
Jon looked positively radiant!
"Perfect. The slavers are held up in a Keep almost thirty miles just east of here. I'll await your return here, Votyris."
Fuuin just scowled at the man and left the room.
By the Seven, he scarcely recalled just how much his armor weighed. His entire body felt constricted in the layers of iron fabrication that he now wore. The sword that had served him well over the years was slung across his back, the hilt peaking up over his right shoulder. It was uncommon to see that style of carry with a blade but the young adult prided himself on never following the latest trends. He was unique.
"Fuuin! Fuuin! Fuuin!"
The retired mercenary looked over his shoulder at the source of the disturbance. He was surprised at the sight of Doutei, a man that he had quickly become acquainted with since his arrival here. It was actually this man and his family that hard nursed him back to health. The sheer debt that he owed this individual and his brood was immeasurable. "How can I be of assistance?"
"Please! Let me help you with the slavers!"
Had word of his assignment traveled that quickly? The blonde appeared uncertain for a second.
Doutei adopted a pensive look on his face at the refusal.
"Why should I entertain your notions of grandeur, Kelloway?"
"... they... took 'em. They took the love of my life and my children hostage. I want to make them pay for this injustice!"
Fuuin felt his eyes widen as he thought of Aura and her children. By all means, this matter made itself personal. No one threatened the safety of his most trusted companions. No one.
"Thank you!" Doutei looked relieved almost... the young blonde smiled as he walked passed him.
"Just don't get yourself killed."
Doutei looked up at the Keep that seem to completely fill the distant horizon and gulped. He wasn't so sure about this now. Surely Fuuin could handle the enemy on his own? Then he recalled the reason why he was here, why he was about to put his life on the line. He was here to save his family. Aura. Neko. Anne.
They were in trouble.
Fuuin was quite the warrior. He was no fool. Not for the first time, the man had reminded himself of the scary reputation that the man had built for himself. And he still never regretted helping him in his moment of need. That was just the sort of person he was!
"Are you feeling okay, friend?"
The family man turned to regard the blonde. "Yeah. Just nervous. I haven't fought anyone since before my nineteenth namesday."
Grinning, Fuuin patted him on the shoulder and pointed toward the Keep that they now planned to assault.
"Don't. I will handle the majority of their forces. In my experience, slavers were never the sturdiest fighters. They'll fall as quickly as any civilian."
How was that supposed to comfort him? He was a civilian!
But the point was rendered mute as his companion rode off on his horse, a magnificent creature with hair as bright as snow. Doutei scarcely remembered seeing a horse that color. Where in Westeros had the man chanced upon it?
"Come! We have no time to waste!"
The fighting was over in under half an hour.
Fuuin looked upon the corpses of his fallen enemies.
While he had handled the lion's share of the fighting, Doutei had killed his own fair share of men. He was pleased with the skill that the silver-haired man had shown when the chips were down and the moment of truth had arrived. He would've made one hell of a fighter. One that he would've loved to protect him in the thick of battle. And that was saying something, considering his past.
His eyes swiveled over to his right. It was nice to see his companion being reunited with his family. After the fighting was finished and the enemies lay in pools of their own blood, they had freed the slaves. Most of them had sworn their allegiance to Fuuin. That was quite the surprise! He had found it rather troubling that a majority of the men and women were former soldiers or mercenaries that were in the wrong place, wrong time. But he wasn't going to complain.
Doutei also had taken it upon himself to continuously thank him over the last few minutes.
It was amusing.
"It wasn't a problem, Kelloway. I would've helped regardless of the King's request. I owed you a life debt," was his response.
Doutei just smiled and returned to smothering his family with attention. It almost made him envious, as he had no children or wife of his own.
What was he talking about? He was barely past his twentieth namesday! There was plenty of time to worry about marriage and continuing his family line later on, preferably somewhere in his thirties. Then he could sit back and relax as he raised his family. Live on the money that he accumulated over the years. Anyway, that was neither here nor now.
"Kelloway. I am returning home ahead of time. Please lead the rest of the men and women to our village, once you are finished."
Jon Arryn led him to another town that was just a few miles north of his beloved home and led into the very room of the King himself. Apparently the man had wanted to check up on some of the villages that lay outside of the safety of Kingslanding, or something of the sort. In all honesty, the blonde didn't care about the Baratheon's reasons. He was his own man. He could make his own decisions.
But now here he was. Kneeling before the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
"An impressive victory! As a reward, I mean to give you the slavers' Keep, the holdings around it, and make you Lord Votyris. What say you?"
Now he just needed to accept his reward and return... hold on.
"This one humbly accepts the reward you bestow upon him. You will not regret this."
King Robert seemed please by his acceptence. He motioned for Jon Arryn to step forward, passing him a patent of nobility. While on the outside, he was cool and collected, on the inside, he was on the verge of completely going nuts and trying to assault the pair. Truly a mistake in the making. He just wanted to retire and live the rest of his life peacefully. And now he was in charge of a Keep and everything that doing so entitled? Screw the Seven! This was just his freaking luck!
But the choice was out of his hands.
Such was the consequence of dealing with the person that sat upon the Iron Throne.
Fuuin bowed before the two men and left to make preparations.
He already had the makings of his own army, so that wasn't a problem. It was everything else that he needed to worry about.
Like... getting the Keep in working order and ready to present to any visitors.
The newly dubbed Lord Votyris sighed in defeat.