Oh my gosh I am ! It has been so long since I've updated! My parents canceled the internet at my house and my school doesn't let me on this website so this is the only time i've been able to! Anyways, please enjoy! Read and review!
Aowyn composed herself, rising from her crouched position and brushing the stray tears from her eyes. She gazed at the distant speck of the other Rider and his dragon high in the sky, and she had an overwhelming sense of astonishment, mingled with the slight feeling of relief.
I feel foolish, she said. I have not shed a tear since the day you hatched.
Arazael lowered his head so that his eye was level with her face. You are not foolish by letting yourself feel your emotions, little soul. It is natural to feel overwhelmed when we meet a dragon and Rider for the first time since The Fall. Their existence was unbeknown to us, as was ours to them.
Indeed. She agreed, nodding her head and staring at the ground. I can't put to words what I am feeling now. It's as though I am living one of my dreams, and that any moment I will wake and find that it wasn't real at all, just a figment of my imagination.
Arazael sniffed, a tendril of black smoke curling from his nostrils. We both know that is not the case. You are in shock, as understandable. It isn't so strange, though, considering that we have heard of the new Rider before. Do you not recall the day you wandered into one of the small empire villages quite a few months ago, and explained to me that you had heard of rumors?
I did. She nodded. I specifically remember that day. But do you also remember that I had said the villagers claimed that they were just rumors? I wasn't so quick to believe it, as much as I wanted to. We have not been to any of the empire's villages since then. Nonetheless it was shocking all the same. She added.
Although, he replied, shaking his length. It might not have wise to respond the way you did. You nearly snapped his head off.
She regarded his comment by shaking her head, as if she were trying to rid herself of a bad thought. How else should I have reacted? We have not spoken to another living soul other than ourselves for the past few years and you think that I would have welcomed him with open arms and dancing about throwing flower petals in the air? And what are you to say that my response was no worse than yours? You nearly killed the other dragon.
He growled, and fixed his depthless black eye on her face. That is different. It was an act of defense. I sensed that you were in trouble and came. It was only natural that I immediately assumed the hatchling was the one responsible for endangering you.
The only thing that had had me afraid was the fact that a trespasser was lurking through our home. She snapped back. I would have killed him had my arrow not been deflected by his wards. And then she added. Their arrival is shocking, no doubt. It seems as though the Fates have guided them to us, and now our very future has been changed forever.
Indeed it has. He agreed, crouching near the ground allowing her to leap up his foreleg and onto his back. And now we must go to face whatever the Fates have in store for us.
She simply nodded and settled herself between his shoulders. Arazael's ivory scales scraped against the cloth on her legs as she shifted in her position. They did not have the luxury of a saddle, and therefore Aowyn was forced to bear the pain of his scales chafing her inner thighs. She could only make the position as comfortable as possible by providing a pelt to sit on she had acquired from the carcass of a desert wolf she had come across in the Hadarac some years ago. The wolf was just one of the many animals she had encountered on her short and occasional travels along the borders of the empire. But the hide was now worn and thin, and she was now prone to chafing and sore legs and back.
She braced herself by clutching the very large, bone white spike in front of her as Arazael extended his massive wings and took to the air. She did not look back; the place she had once claimed as home for years became an inconsequential speck on the ground and then disappeared out of sight as they rose higher and higher into the air.
Eragon rode with Saphira for a while before a few of Nasuada's Nighthawks spotted them in the air and hailed them as they flew past, landing just a few yards away. The soldiers approached, and relayed Nasuada's message to him and Saphira.
"Shadeslayer, Lady Nasuada has asked us to look for you, and demand to know why you have disappeared without approaching her first on the matter." a young soldier said.
"We understand her concern," Eragon replied. "And we thank you for worrying for our safety, but we must speak to Nasuada immediately, for this cannot wait a moment longer."
The soldiers exchanged a few inquiring glances with one another, but complied with Eragon's request and led him and Saphira back to the Varden's camp.
As soon as Nasuada spotted him, she immediately dropped what she was doing and gave him an earful. "Eragon, this no time for you and Saphira to go exploring the empire for the sake of your curiosity! Do you know how worried I was? Whatever possessed you to—"
Saphira roared, shaking the tents around them and causing a few of the Varden's inhabitants to retreat and weave themselves between the many rows of tents and out of sight.
We do not have time for you and your squabbles! What Eragon has to say is vitally important, and if you do not listen to him then you will answer to me.
Nasuada held her tongue and looked at Eragon expectantly, folding her arms across her chest and shuffling nervously.
"We must speak in your tent, and bring Arya and the rest of the elves as well." Eragon said.
Nasuada nodded and sent a young soldier to gather them, and led Eragon into her tent.
It did not take long until the soldier returned, out of breath and acquiring a layer of sweat across his brow. Arya was the first to enter in after him, looking stricken as she caught Eragon's urgent expression. Blodgharm and the rest of the elves followed shortly after her, and took seat around Nasuada's table. Eragon cast a few spells around Nasuada's tent, permitting anyone from overhearing what Eragon was about to say.
"What is the meaning of this call, Shur'tugal?" Blodgharm asked in his purring voice, yellow eyes flashing.
Eragon inhaled deeply, feeling his heart beat heavily against his ribs. "As Saphira and I were about to leave the river, Saphira caught a strange scent on the wind, and insisted that we find the source." he began, and could feel the excitement bubbling in his chest. "We flew a ways and encountered a small abandoned home. Saphira claimed that the scent was strongest there, and so I went to investigate."
"Eragon," Arya started, interrupting him. "Do you realize that some of Galbatorix's soldiers could have been stationed there? You could have been attacked!"
"I would have known if soldiers were there, so I proceeded." he defended. "There were no soldiers, but it certainly wasn't empty."
Saphira had extended her head in through the entrance of the tent, fixing her bright sapphire eye on the audience before her. Eragon was just recounting the events that lead up to the incident, but we do not have time to explain the entire story just yet. So to put it short, we investigated the area and chanced upon something that we would never have expected to find...And then continued. Eragon and I have found another Dragon Rider.
Eragon watched as the group before him became rigid. Nasuada was the first to speak after several moments of silence. "Are you sure, Eragon? It could have been a mistake, a trick of the light possibly."
"It is true." he explained, rising from his chair and resting his palms against the cool surface of the wooden table. "I did not believe it myself until I spoke with them. They are not bound to Galbatorix, and neither do they serve the Empire. This is not something I can just tell you, but rather I must show you. They come now even as we speak."
There was a pause in the tent, and the air had become still, before everyone began speaking at once. Arya and Nasuada barked question after question at him, as well as the other elves until their sounds intermixed in the air and became a continuous hum. The volume rose until Saphira snarled and quieted them all.
Hatchlings, all of you! Shouting and arguing like infants you are! They approach now on the north wind, and we do not have time for this pointless bickering. I have contacted them and told them that we meet them a few miles from camp. But for now all of you must swear that you will not so much as even breathe about this to anyone. Swear in the ancient language that you will speak to no one until a proper greeting will be established with the rest of the Varden.
It was, Eragon mused, difficult to argue with a dragon.
A few moments later, the elves and Nasuada had sworn to Eragon and Saphira that the other dragon and Rider were to remain a secret. Nasuada asked the elves to prepare for the arrival of the mysterious dragon and Rider. Arya, Blodgharm and the rest of the elves were led away, talking to each other in hushed voices.
Nasuada led Eragon out of the tent, and stopped him before he mounted Saphira.
"Eragon," Nasuada began, lowering her voice so that only he may hear. "Our absence will not go unnoticed. I propose that we stay until nightfall, and lead them here under the cover of darkness. I will stay with the Varden until then. Can you do that for me?"
"Aye, Saphira and I will meet them first, to assure that they will not be harmed. We will call for you when we are ready."
"Thank you, and be safe." she added as he mounted Saphira, strapping himself into her saddle and clutching the spike in front of him. Saphira took off without hesitation, and soon they were high above the ground, the Varden becoming just a small green square in the wide expanse of land below them. As they flew, Saphira showed Eragon the place where they were to meet the other dragon and Rider.
They seemed very nervous, the dragon and Rider . She commented as they grew closer. In fact, I half expected them to flee the moment we left, but it seems they have decided to agree and meet with us. Cowards I say, fearing everything when they have nothing to fear at all.
Saphira, Eragon sighed. Keep in mind that they probably haven't shown themselves to anyone for who knows how long, and are trying to adjust to the fact that they have been discovered by someone who could prove to be a possible enemy.
She snorted in response, and Eragon had to shield his face as a cloud of black smoke exited her nostrils and whipped behind her, causing his eyes to smart.
After another short while, Saphira took a sudden turn, angling herself downwards so that the ground quickly rushed to meet them. She slowed their descent by unfurling her wings slowly and catching the strong wind against the thin blue membranes. As she landed on the ground, her wings created large gusts of wind that stirred the ankle-high grass around them.
They had arrived on a flat expanse of land just a few miles north of the Varden's camp, and were just a few yards from a line of trees so dense that Saphira would barely be able to fit her frame in the space between each tree. A few wildflowers dotted the surrounding area with a series of different colors, but nothing else moved around them.
Eragon unstrapped himself from Saphira's saddle and fell to the ground, landing lightly on his feet with a muted thud. He straightened himself upright and looked in the stretch of land around them. The silence was heavy in the air, other than the occasional musical whistling from the birds around them.
They come. Saphira said.
A moment later, Eragon could hear deep percussions in the air above that steadily grew louder, making his ears ring with each heavy thud that beat through the air.
They both averted their eyes to the sky and could see a massive white dragon flying towards them. The dragon landed a ways away; the grass reduced to rippling waves from the torrent of wind that the dragon's wings made as it alighted on the ground. Fragments of sunlight reflected off of its ivory white scales, dancing about them in flecks. The white dragon turned and revealed a young girl hoisting herself down from between its massive shoulder blades. She landed albeit slightly ungracefully on the ground, keeping close to her dragon and refusing to take another step towards Eragon and Saphira. She kept her hand taught on her bow, following every one of Eragon and Saphira's movements with a trained eye. Eragon could see her frame quiver slightly, and Eragon suspected that she was very afraid.
Eragon projected his voice so that the girl may hear. "We will not harm you. We only wish to converse with you peacefully."
He could see the girl exchange a distressed look with her dragon, before she took a few hesitant steps forward, keeping her eyes on Eragon the entire time. She reminded him of a frightened child, clutching to a mother's skirts and trying to hide from the prying eyes of strangers.
Eragon took a few cautious steps forward, almost as if he were approaching a coiled snake prepared to strike. The closer he came to the pair, the easier he could see how frightened the girl was. Her fair face was contorted in fear, and her frame quivered under Eragon's gaze. He held his hands up, palms forward in a gesture of peace. The girl brushed her dark hair from her eyes and relaxed her face, taking a few hesitant steps forward.
"I apologize for my earlier behavior towards you. It was disrespectful, the way I spoke. I hope that you understand that my reaction to your appearance was only out of shock." she said, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"It's alright, it was understandable. But now we have more serious matters to attend to. There are many questions that need answering, and I would like if you would accompany me to the Varden in an attempt to solve this mystery. My liegelord is leader of the Varden, and now knows of your existence as well."
She stiffened at his last statement. "I hope you know that this is all very unnerving for the both of us. We have hidden from Alagaesia for quite a few years, and are not accustomed to the company of…people." she replied, struggling with the last word.
Eragon nodded. "You are a Rider, and therefore have responsibilities to Alagaesia. But we will not discuss such matters now, for anyone could be listening. Night will soon be upon us, and my leader has requested that you come with us. Will you?"
She looked at her dragon inquiringly, and then turned to Eragon. "Alright,"
Eragon turned and walked away, heading towards Saphira. Aowyn looked to see Arazael lifting his snout into the air and sniffing in Saphira's direction, his one black and one filmy gray eye studying her across the clearing. Saphira shuffled her wings nervously under his pressing gaze, and looked away. Aowyn flinched away, feeling another set of adrenaline pour into her blood.
You should not be so afraid, Arazael said as Aowyn clambered up his leg and onto his back. For the scent ill fits you. Calm your heart and rest easy, for you have nothing to be afraid of.
She could feel his sympathy through their shared link, and calmed her racing heart. His feelings of love and affection always seemed to steady her, no matter what seemed to be happening at the moment.
Thank you, Arazael. She responded in kind, watching as the fellow Rider scaled his dragons left foreleg and onto the saddle. Where would I be without you?
He coughed deep in his throat, laughing. You could be still wandering the Hadarac, on the verge of death. Or wound yourself up in some other serious situation.
That is true, she replied, and then stifled a gasp as he launched himself into the air after the blue dragon with a powerful leap. He spiraled up before straightening himself in the air, just behind the other Rider.
What is going to become of us? Aowyn asked, spotting what looked to be a camp in the distance. The white tents contrasted against the green land below. This feels so wrong. I'm still trying to recover from the shock. Only this morning were we cowering like a pair of frightened rabbits cornered in their den, and now here we fly to a rebellion camp with another Rider we had only guessed existed.
Arazael snorted. I would not be the one cowering like a frightened rabbit, little soul. A dragon does not cower before his enemies, only pins them to the ground until they submit themselves and admit him clan leader, which is another reason you would have never been able to survive without me. You are too timid, and need to face your fears.
Aowyn did not respond, feeling her heart quicken as they drew closer. Night had already fallen, and now they were under the cover of darkness. The stars above their heads glittered against the black sky, and Aowyn let out a sigh.
They did not reach the camp, however, for an unfamiliar touch brushed her consciousness and she lashed out by jabbing at the other's defense in an attempt to protect herself. However, her shields were not as strong as she had thought them to be, for a voice spoke:
Admirable, but it is not needed. We will be arriving outside the camp, so we do not frighten the soldiers. The other Rider said before severing the connection. She relayed the message to Arazael, and he angled himself downwards along with the other dragon.
As they alighted down onto a patch of flat land, Aowyn spotted several figures walking in the dim light of the moon away from the white tents. Aowyn studied a dark-skinned woman as she approached, blending in with the blackness around them, flanked by several armed men. Aowyn, out of reflex, immediately grabbed for her bow and tensed, expecting them to attack.
"It's alright," the other Rider said, placing his hand on her bow as she knocked an arrow. "They mean no harm, and will only attack unless you do first."
She glanced at him and reluctantly lowered her bow, keeping the arrow in her grasp. As they came closer, Aowyn could see that several other figures garbed in fine tunics following as well. They moved with inhuman grace, as if they were floating in air instead of walking across uneven ground. They stopped just a few feet in front of Eragon and Aowyn, not hiding the surprise and awe in their faces.
"Eragon," spoke the dark-skinned woman, studying Aowyn and Arazael with brown eyes. "You were right; this is truly a great surprise. I am almost at a loss for words…"
Aowyn's heart was now beating madly against her ribcage, and all she wanted to do was run and disappear. Seeing and hearing someone other than Arazael speak and interact with her was so foreign that she could barely grasp it. She calmed though, once she could see that they meant no harm. She watched as Arazael bent his neck until his snout was mere inches from the group in front of them. He sniffed, causing a gust of hot air and moisture to envelope them. They dark-skinned woman and soldiers shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, but remained stoic and calm.
They do not smell evil, as far as I can tell. He said, and Aowyn nodded, locking eyes with the woman in front of her she assumed to be the Varden's leader. She took a step forward, feeling a slight tremor run down her spine.
"My name is Aowyn. It is an honor to make your acquaintance." she said, trying to be as polite as she could.
"Well met, Dragon Rider. Will you join us in my tent? Come, there is much that needs to be discussed."
So there you have it! I don't know when Chapter 6 will be up, but don't hope for anytime soon. Thanks for reading and cross your fingers that the next chapter will be up!