The plaza was beginning to empty. The press dissolved around them as people drifted back to their lives. But Arya's life was gone. Numb, she trailed along beside... Yoren, yes, his name is Yoren. She did not recall him finding Needle, until he handed the sword back to her. "Hope you can use that, boy."
I'm not... she started.
He shoved her into a doorway, thrust dirty fingers through her hair, and gave it a twist, yanking her head back. "...not a smart boy, that what you mean to say?"
He had a knife in his other hand.
As the blade flashed toward her face, Arya threw herself backward, kicking wildly, wrenching her head from side to side, but he had her by the hair, so strong, she could feel her scalp tearing, and on her lips the salt taste of tears.
The oldest were men grown, seventeen and eighteen years from the day of their naming. One was past twenty. Most were younger, sixteen or less.
Bran watched them from the balcony of Maester Luwin's turret, listening to them grunt and strain and curse as they swung their staves and wooden swords. The yard was alive to the clack of wood on wood, punctuated all too often by thwacks and yowls of pain when a blow struck leather or flesh.