Okay, after some constructive criticism, I was shown that I portrayed Eragon as an incompetent fighter. I rewrote parts of the chapter to better reflect the story and to actually create stakes. (After all, the name is kind of a deus ex machina device which can be used to be all end all) Wards and spoken spells cannot work in the presence of absolute magic. (Think of trying to wash your clothes in the middle of a hurricane)

Chapter 20 – Sacrifice


Eragon felt light surge through him, lifting him into the air. Mairon flinched in front of him as the air became still and quiet. The darkness curled off of his armor, preventing the light from fully enveloping him, but Melkor's eyes grew softer and quietened. Melkor had been difficult to subdue, the binding spells seemed to have no effect on the great beast. No derived spell which had meaning was able to affect the black rider or his dragon. It is as if any words in the ancient language that are spoken are undone by his will. The name will be of no use here. Wards themselves are meaningless, only absolute magic can counter absolute magic.

The air began to hum, as if whispering in the ancient language the words to calm the chaos within the dragon's heart. Mairon yelled out in rage, his grasp on his own emotions beginning to slip. I cannot let this happen. He is as much a victim as the people he will hurt if he gives in. I can still save him. Eragon hovered towards the dark elf, his eyes momentarily glancing at Loivissa, who seemed to be fading out of consciousness. Her eyes seemed to be shifting in color, from the deep blue of her namesake lily, to a hazy viridian. This broke his concentration for a single moment, and Melkor stirred, roaring out. Mairon quickly took this opportunity to raise his sword one last time towards her, with a vengeful smirk on his face.

"NO!" Eragon cried out, lifting his hand to cast a spell. Before the magic could even begin to escape from his fingertips, Loivissa snapped awake, eyes glowing bright green. That energy, I know it. Firnen roared in the sky above them, as Mairon's sword cut through the air with a piercing whistle. The elf lifted up her sword to block the blow, and a resounding crack was heard that shook the very foundations of the forest. The sword in her hand began to crack and shine, releasing spastic bursts of energy, knocking both the elves to the ground. Eragon's eyes widened as he realized that Loivissa's sword was no ordinary sword. I know this blade. The illusion spell faded as the green hue cracked around the hilt of the sword. Tamerlein.

He cast a spell to shield Loivissa, hoping the ward would hold. Pure magic was not an option, as it would use every bit of available energy to perform his will. If he used an absolute, it would drain Loivissa as well. Every bit of pure magic I use, the more it destroys my body. I cannot risk that happening for her. I can only hope that the ward will hold. He braced for what was about to occur. Mairon roared, jumping up onto his feet, and Melkor managed to drape his wings over his riders body. The sword on the ground began to glow with energy, a low hum sounding from the brightsteel that outshone even Eragon. Firnen dove from the skies, along with the spell-casters, towards the shining light. Stay back! It is not safe!

The dragon barreled forward, ignoring his mental shout, determined to save Loivissa. Why do Arya and Firnen value her to this extent? This is beyond reckless. But in his heart, he saw why. She is what Arya wishes she could be. If Loivissa dies, the only part of Arya left that is capable of freedom dies along with her. He focused more of his energy into the wards, hoping that Mairons presence would not undo the magic.

His gaze moved towards Mairon, who had mounted Melkor and seemed to still be shielded his eyes, landing on the ground, calling out silently to Saphira in the distance. My love, we must act now. With a sudden burst of speed, he scaled the black dragons wings, and tackled the rider to the ground. As their skin made contact, there was an immediate arc of energy that connected through them as the magic attempted to balance itself out. Eragon felt a drain on his mind as if he had been drugged, and he saw Mairon stagger as well. The hum of energy rose to a screech and the sword between them and Loivissa erupted, shattering the skies and dissipating the clouds above. The explosion was deafening, releasing so much force that Melkor was blown back towards the trees. Eragon and Mairon were pushed into the ground, rolling several meters across the ashes. As he rolled, he saw Loivissa in the air, tossed hundreds of feet, like a ragdoll. NO!

Eragon's eyes widened as he reached out, attempting to slow her descent. His eyes blurred as he tried to focus, but the explosion had disoriented him and the magic in the air was causing his head to spin. Attempting to use the ancient language, his concentration nearly broke his will, as stars began to dance before his eyes. No spells other than absolutes will work. The magic around him was a torrent, and focusing it without harming Loivissa was nearly impossible. For all his years of experience, he felt helpless, as no amount of knowledge of magic could save the elf as she fell through the sky. I will not stop trying. He began to chant in the ancient language, trying to weave the waves of magic into order. It isn't working. Trying to slow her fall was useless, as there was too much chaos in the magic around him. I have to keep trying. Maybe if I wake her up, she will be able to slow herself.

He felt the dark elf behind him stir, and dread seeped into his skin as he realised what was about to happen. If I stop now, she will not survive. Concentration breaking, he felt his arms begin to weaken, the helplessness in his heart pushing to the surface. Time seemed to slow down as he heard the scraping of metal on the ground behind him. Wake up, come on. Wake up. The elf behind him moved closer, staggering as the magic in the air clouded his senses as well. Mairon grabbed Eragon's arm, pulling it back. No… I couldn't save her…

His body gave in, unable to withstand the stress any longer, and he clawed for Brisingr, attempting to free himself from Mairon's grip. The elf merely pulled his arm backwards, twisting the joint and breaking the bone. With a mighty kick, he pushed Eragon to the ground. As he fell he glanced up at the sky, at Firnen, catching Loivissa before she hit the ground. She will be alright. She will be alright. She will be alright.

His arm fell limp at his side, and he used the other one to draw his sword and stood up with one fluid motion. Mairon sneered, contempt in his eyes at Eragon's resilience. "You fool." Swords clashed as Eragon fought with a failing grace, his body and mind breaking, and the heavy layer of magic slowing his actions. He is affected by it as well. The dark elf's strikes also slowed, each swing hanging in the air, as if they were fighting underwater. Despite the battle being in Mairon's favor, Eragon held his ground, using what strength he had left to push forward, attempting to get in close. It does not matter if I am injured, as I fear it is already too late for me. I must relieve his burden. Stepping in close, he used Brisingr to make contact with the hilt of Mairon's blade, pushing his body inwards to pull their swords together. The elf took advantage of the proximity to knee Eragon's abdomen, causing his knees to buckle. It must be now. I need to hold him in place before Melkor recovers and wakes. Eragon rolled forward, using Brisingr as leverage to hold Mairon's blade in place. Using his body, he knocked the elf to the ground. The both of them tumbled through the ash, as Melkor stirred behind them. The dragon shook his head, snorting fire angrily. Mairon smiled gleefully, using the dragons strength to dig his sword into the ground and push Eragon down. He growled, kicking Brisingr out of Eragon's hand, and stabbing through his back with a visceral ferocity. Eragon blinked, glancing down at the cold brightsteel sticking out of his abdomen. Blood seeped out of the wound, but he knew that there was nothing he could do. Saphira, it was already too late the second I touched him.

He smiled sadly, falling to his knees. He tasted blood in his mouth, and felt tears in his eyes. I will not fade into oblivion yet. I have a mistake to correct. Saphira cried out in anguish, her soul aching for his, knowing that that there was no other way. Firnen roared, blasting Melkor with fire from a distance, Loivissa still in his grasp.

Eragon looked up at Mairon, who was laughing gleefully, a mirth in his eyes which was unlike any he had seen in his entire life. It has taken him. Pushing himself up, the cold brightsteel still stuck within his body, he grabbed the dark elf's shoulders. I see you now. The reserves of magic within him began to erupt, boiling over beyond his capacity to hold. He heard Saphira's voice in his head, calming him, as he gazed into the abyss within Mairon's eyes. Easy, little one. We have only one opportunity for this. If he escapes now, Alagaesia will be plunged into darkness for eternity. Eragon held the stare, allowing his magic to seep through his skin, into Mairons essence. The darkness within the elf fought back, lashing out, causing Melkor blast a torrent of flame towards them. The fire dissipated, merely swirling around them and becoming a part of the energy whirlpool.

Firnen! You must go! NOW! Eragon's voice was commanding and definitive, it was clear that this was not a request. The emerald dragon and the spell-casters on his back shared their energies to Eragon, understanding that there was no other way to purify the darkness, and that the stranger they knew as Arucane was as good as dead regardless.

The wound in his abdomen began to throb, spurting blood furiously as the ground shook underneath him. His arms were still locked in place on the elf's shoulders, his eyes staring into the pools of black that were testing his limits. "You do not belong in this world, Arucane. You do not deserve anything but the void. You are a false prophet, a trickster, a liar. Who are you really? Why do you fight for them? WHY DO YOU OPPOSE THAT WHICH WILL PURIFY ALL? SHOW YOURSELF TO ME."

Eragon smiled, tears streaming readily down his face, catharsis at his fingertips. Mairon, my friend. You were once one of my own. You were so brash, so willing to fight, but you were always kind. You always had a kind heart. I will not give up on that heart. You can fight it. You can get what you want without destroying everything you once held …

"WHO ARE YOU, TRICKSTER." Mairon pulled the blade from its sharp end, deeper into Eragons torso. Pain only amplified the emotions bursting through a thousand years of repression. He smiled, feeling the darkness within the elf falter at his resilience. The trees around them began to break, the skies turning bright with light as if it was high noon. Eragon only smiled, waiting for that release, to meet the void at last. To see Arya as she was in his dreams, pure and joyful. My Arya…

Mairon's scowl faltered, confusion filling his eyes, the darkness clearing from them. "You…you love her."

Eragon nodded, feeling the pain within Mairon's heart. He touched the side of the elf's face, letting peace and melancholy push away the chaos. "Your mind is lost, and you have lost your way. The affirmations you had made are not your own. The path you chose to take is one you had only an idea of in your mind. But you must fight. You are not beyond redemption." The darkness seeped into his own fingertips, entering his mind with another stab of pain. "I take your burden, young one."

It seared his mind, destroying his instinct for self preservation, and his mind begged for the release of the void.


You already know it in your heart, my friend.

"I am Eragon Bromsson, the first rider of the new age, and I fight for those who cannot fight for themselves."

Mairon fell to his knees, sorrow in his eyes, yet a quiet accusatory malice still hung in his mind.


You left us… I can never forgive you."

Eragon lifted his former students chin, shaking his head." I do not need your forgiveness. Whatever evil you may cause from this day onward, is a choice you make that will define you. You have a second chance. Take from this what you will."

Mairon's eyes cleared completely, and Melkor seemed to have just had a similar conversation with Saphira, as his eyes were also completely free of the darkness. Eragon's grip loosened as his body began to fail him, the energy beginning to dissipate. Darkness clawed at his conscience, as he felt selfish for being able to escape. I…must rest now. After an eternity…I finally get to rest.

Mairon scrambled backwards, climbing upon the back of Melkor, in a frantic rush to escape the consequences of his actions. Eragon felt guilt rush through the elf's mind for a moment, but it was quickly stifled down by anger and resentment. He sighed, closing his eyes, as Saphira also let her energies fade, the darkness taking them both. Melkor took off, the thunder of the dragons wing beats the last thing Eragon heard as he fell into the void, Saphira alongside him.

I love you, little one.

And I you, Saphira.

A/N- Leave a review :) I appreciate feedback very much and I enjoy reading amusing reviews as well, for eg-

"Mfer just comes back and is like, "Hi have a chapter."

Man has been writing this for four years."

This one genuinely made me laugh, thanks TopHatGuy! And all of you stay home and stay safe, I'll try my best to give you all some entertainment during this tough time :)