Hello… minions…

I just had to say that, don't ask why. Well I've decided to write another story and as you can probably guess it is another book 5 type of fic; however I start at the end of the Uru'baen battle scene, right after Galby's death.

If anyone is wondering about my other fic: I doubt I will finish that, for some reason the conclusion of book 4 sapped my will to do so. As you will discover, the writing style of this fic isn't going to be as turgidly poetic as my old fic and I think that is a change for the better. I do plan to make some fundamental changes to the book 4 ending, including the M&T departure (though I'm not sure how I am going to handle that part) and Arya will NOT become a rider (I've always seen that as a lazy choice and not fitting with the secretive type of person that she is, she will remain queen though) and yes, there will be ExA (probably, I may change my mind), but not for a while; there will NOT be any MxN (sorry fans), I don't like the paring and don't see Nasuada to be worthy of being with Murtagh. Murtagh will probably get with someone, most likely an OC (thought it won't be very detailed as I think that the E&M relationship is more important). There may be some mature scenes, not too graphic though. Murtagh will remain a badass. I don't know how the update rate will go, or if I will finish this fic: I am knee deep in Exam shit at the moment. There is also another fic I have planned; what if Eragon wasn't who everyone thought he was? What if he had everyone fooled?

That was a long author's note.

It was Thorn's harsh silhouette along the, once intimidating, walls of the fragmenting citadel that first alerted Eragon to the presence of the red pair. Saphira stirred and slightly loosened her jaw, causing the surfeit carcass of a young cow to fall from her grasp and strike the ground with a hollow crash, before roaring a small blue flame towards Thorn's direction: a warning and permission. Thorn responded in kind, allowing a raging inferno to escape his maw, out shadowing Saphira's with its daunting splendour. A message not well received as Eragon felt Saphira's pride sting.

He smiled. Some things never changed, withstanding both time and knowledge.

Raising his eyes skywards he noted the relative closeness of Thorn, only a few moments remained until their meeting.

"Are you ready?" he asked Saphira.

A low growl was his only answer. Sighing, Eragon turned his gaze away from the spectacle of a dragon in flight; the buffeting torrent of air - resonating from Thorn's continual and approaching beat of wings - washing over his form; he tightened his hold on Brisingr's pommel and focused his thoughts. If it came to conflict he would be prepared. Grim faced, he positioned himself in a combat station as Thorn hung in the sky like a deformed, ruby, spider, blocking Eragon's view of those he carried, before calmly lowering to the ground in a picture unlike the norm for a dragon.

"But then, not many can have Saphira's vanity."

The thought made him chuckle lightly to himself, which in turn attracted Saphira's curious emotions. He assured her of the unimportance of the matter and was saved from further scrutiny as Murtagh slid from Thorn's back, Zar'roc's sheathe glinting menacingly at his side, he was followed, much to Eragon's surprise, by another figure. A female clad in leather; she fell to the floor with a dancer's grace, dark locks of hair tumbling around her face from the impact. Rising quickly she gave Eragon a small, almost unnoticeable, nod. She seemed to burn with an afflicted effulgent


Suspicious thoughts kindled in Eragon's mind and he fought to conquer them before addressing the present company. He had not seen Arya for a number of hours, she had disappeared with her mother's body to the elven camp some leagues north, at the conclusion of the battle. Switching his gaze to the man Eragon noticed the troubled expression Murtagh wore, dark rings hung from his eyes. He had also vanished not long after victory was announced, but to where Eragon knew not.

Eragon watched, with shrewd eyes, as Murtagh threw Arya a strange glance, as if questioning. She responded with a raised eye brow, the lines of her face relaxing somewhat. Murtagh seemed to draw strength from the gesture for he nodded confidently. The knot in Eragon's stomach tightened. He was clueless to what was happening… almost envious.

"What has happened between them?"

Saphira remained silent.

A silence that Murtagh seemed obliged to break; he gave one last look at Arya, who nodded and retreated somewhat at his stare, to stand a few feet behind Thorn, as if to award privacy, arms crossed at her chest. Murtagh spoke then, arms spread wide.

"So, I guess you succeeded; personally I thought you would have died long before Uru'baen, given your innocence and naivety," his voice carried a light laugh, mockingly quiet. Arya too drew a small smirk.

Eragon frowned at the damning praise.

Murtagh seemed to sense his discomfort, for he gave a teasing smile, his whole exterior glaring with brazen confidence, which felt odd for Murtagh's stance in current affairs, "Tell me. Do I still talk to the same young boy I saved from the Ra'zac? Or are you a man now?"

There seemed a general well of curiosity behind the question, even Arya showed interest, her eyes burrowing into Eragon's, flashes of wisdom leaping behind her emerald spheres. Releasing his deathly tight grip on Brisingr, Eragon forced his muscles to and took a deep breath of air, revitalising his body and mind.

"What is a man?"

To his annoyance Murtagh and Arya shared glances again, amusement twinkling behind their eyes, before once again breaking into small grins. Or a slight upturn of the corner of lips in Arya's case.

Their behaviour both puzzled and angered Eragon. They were treating him like a child, withholding some great secret from him. It hurt Eragon more then he would admit, even to himself: it had taken him months before he could draw even a small smile from Arya, yet Murtagh had done so after an hour or so of conversation.

"What in hellfire's is going on here?"

"Little one, you truly have to learn how to handle a jest."

Arya interrupted their conversation, her voice musical and soft, with hints of warmth, "You are improving Eragon."

She had moved closer to the group, now standing abreast with Thorn's large glittering head, the only one who had yet to speak. He seemed content to just sit and examine his claws for any impurities. For some reason the image captured Eragon's attention, until all else faded into oblivion. There was something comforting here, watching a creature as ferocious as a dragon appear quiet and calm and whilst he had witnessed the same attributes in Saphira, there was something different in the way Thorn conducted himself, magic oozed in every action.

It took Eragon a moment to notice that Murtagh had resumed speaking.

"…quite astounding in the manners you have changed Eragon, not as excitable anymore; a change for the better I think we can all agree."

Eragon shook his head, more to himself than anyone else, in an attempt to clear the cobwebs clouding his mind.

"What… what is it that you require of me Murtagh, Arya?"

As soon as the words left his mouth both Murtagh and Arya grew serious. A grim atmosphere settled like a cocoon of shadows. Eragon felt the gentle ebb of worry beginning to filter into his conscious. It was Arya who spoke.

"A new ruler is about to be crowned, an era is coming to an end and a new one is beginning; let us hope it is one of light and peace."

That's it for now. Short, I know and a filler chapter. But I just wanted to start events. I didn't want Arya in this scene, but I did just so I could create some jealousy on Eragon's scene. So the brothers are picking up their friendship, not the best of starts, but we have to start somewhere. Point out any errors. Thanks for reading.