"Roran… I…"

"Roran!" Another voice called out to the boy. This time, it was distinctly female.

Eragon gritted his teeth and turned around, wanting to curse. What now?

To his surprise, a girl with copper colored hair was running toward them. Her eyes were the color of coins. She had a big smile on her face. Beside him, Roran visibly froze up.

"H-hi, Katri-trina," he was saying in a high-pitched voice. Eragon furrowed his brows at the other boy, wondering why he sounded like that. He didn't get the chance to ask as the girl finally caught up to them.

"Thank goodness," she said with a sigh of relief. "I was beginning to think I wouldn't be able to catch you before the evening ended. Hm? Who's this?"

"This is Eragon! He's my friend!" Roran introduced. He was still speaking in that high-pitched voice of his. When Eragon didn't reply, Roran nudged him roughly with his elbow. "Say hi, Eragon."

Eragon huffed, folded his arms, and said, "Hi."

"I don't think I've ever seen you in the village before. Did you come with the merchants?"

Eragon was about to say "no," but again, Roran spoke for him, "Yes! He did! I was showing him around since he's so new here. We just came from watching the show."

"Oh, it was so amazing, wasn't it? Father doesn't allow me to go often. I wish I was able to come with you."

The two continued to converse. Roran even seemed to have forgotten all about him. Eragon was about to clear his throat, remind them that he was there when something from the corner of his eye caught his attention.