Chapter 1: To the Unknown
A dragon's roar interrupted the monotonous sound of the oars creaking and the water splashing as the elves paddled their way to the homeland of the Dragons on board of the Talita. Eragon looked at Saphira flying in the sky, making a difficult maneuver and he wished that he was enjoying himself as much as she did, but he could not let his thoughts wonder away from Alagaesia, his homeland, and to all the people he was leaving behind. He was leaving them and he did not know when or if he was going to see them again. He thought again of Arya, Firnen, Roran and Katrina and Nasuada. He still remembered the cry of Roran as the Talita was going out of sight. He couldn't decipher what he said but he remembered the anguish in the voice. A tear ran down his cheek and he quickly looked away and wiped it with his hand annoyed. He wished for the hundredth time that there was another way and that perhaps he could stay in Alagaesia but he knew that there was no going back. If he was to become the leader and teacher of the new dragon riders and dragons then he should be strong and powerful and wise just as Oromis or Vrael had been. He swore that he would give everything he could to learn and to teach the secrets of the riders to the new generation of dragon riders. With that thought he turned his sight away from where his homeland was quickly fading away and looked to the elves aboard the ship.
He saw Blodgharm, his blue fur shining from the light of the sun, talking to some of the elves at the oars as they tried to control the ship with their powerful movements, making the ship move at a fast speed. His vision turned to the captain of the ship, a human named Redbeard. He smiled at the thought as he had a similar name to all the pirates in the stories he had heard of when he was a little kid and Garrow wanted to scare him for him to go to sleep. He chuckled as he heard Redbeard shout orders to the elves that were a lot more powerful and wiser than him. He was a tall man with tanned skin and a red face from the sun which was partially covered by a magnificent red beard. He had the air of experience though as with confident movements he turned the wheel of the ship. He had a large tattoo of a three headed sea monster that reminded him of a dragon or a giant sea serpent on his large powerful hands. Eragon walked towards him so that he could talk with him intrigued by his appearance.
"Shadeslayer, I want to tell you again what a great honor it is to have you on board of the ship and to be helping the dragons rise again" he said with his deep bass voice.
"Captain Redbeard, the pleasure is all mine." Eragon said with a smile.
"It will surely be a story to tell to the kids. I have five of them you know. Most of them mine I think!" Redbeard said with a short laugh at the end. Eragon laughed with him and asked him about where he was from. It was important to get to know the people in the ship to build good relations and to be able to work together.He learned that Redbeard was from Teirm and his family lived in the poor section of the city. Eragon was intrigued by the many tools he saw near the captain that helped him to sail. However, his attention was drawn by a weird tool. After a polite conversation, Eragon asked the question that had been in his mind for a while.
"Do you know what this is?" he said pointing at an astrolabe, intrigued by its circular appearance and the symbols that were marked on its surface like the elvish runes in swords and in texts.
"Ah a very interesting question Shadeslayer." Redbeard said and for the next hour he went into a very elaborate explanation of its origins and how it was used. Eragon was impressed and surprised to find out that it was mostly used by sailors and could accurately locate where the sun was, as well as the moon. This ability was useful as the sailors could understand their location and navigate the ship to its destination, especially after a storm.
'Enjoying the explanation are you? That's what you get for asking too many questions" Saphira told to Eragon with an amused voice.
"Saphira! I must learn everything I can about the ship if I am to spend the next month or two in here...or maybe even more" Eragon said with an afterthought.
"Of course little one. A wise decision. Do you want to fly with me later?" Saphira said with a hopeful tone. A big smile and a sense of happiness was all that Saphira got for an answer.
Eragon excused himself from Redbeard who was still explaining the difference between the different kind of winds and how they could affect the ship's position and sails in a storm when he walked towards Cuaroc. He was standing at the middle of the ship, and Eragon was impressed by his appearance again. His whole body was completely made of metal and he had the size of a Kull. Eragon once again marveled the amazing craftsmanship that Silvari the Enchantress, the elven smith, had used to create the Kull's body, every muscle and tiny detail, perfectly aligned and crafted, made in order to impress the observer and give him an image of excellence and beauty. He was the protector of the dragon eggs and eldunarya for more than a hundred years, a role that was passed to Eragon, now that Galbatorix had died and the dragons were still vulnerable searching for a new home. He walked towards the large figure, which reminded him of Nar Gharzvogh and he wondered if Cuaroc still remembered his days as a kull warrior. He had many questions but he did not know how to start the conversation so he waited as Cuaroc showed his neck in the manner of respect of the Kull.
"Eragon, thank you for including the Urgals and Kulls in the rider pact. There are really no words to express my gratitude."Eragon inclined his head but before he could answer Cuaroc continued."I would like to help you train the new Urgal rider with your permission. The eldunarya passed a long time training me to become their protector and I could teach some of this knowledge to the new generation of riders." Cuaroc said loudly.
"Of course Cuaroc, it would be an honor. I will need every help possible if I am to teach the riders." Eragon said in a serious tone.He then looked at the slowly fading sun and then to Blodgharm and two elves that were near him, Fael and Yasmira. Fael was a head shorter than Eragon and he had a slim build, with silver hair and a serious expression. Eragon had heard that he was a master archer. Yasmira was at Eragon's height. She was at Islanzadis age and she had brown hair and a small scar on her cheek. She had an amused look on her face and she looked happy. She was a powerful magician who was part of the twelve elves sent for his protection when he was with the Varden.
"Shadeslayer" Blodgharm said with his purring voice. Yasmira smiled at him and Fael inclined his head in a sense of respect.
"Blodgharm, Yasmira, Fael, it is an honor to have you accompany me and Saphira in this journey. Your help will be much appreciated." Eragon said, unsure of where to begin the conversation.
"The pleasure is ours Shadeslayer. It is good to help the dragons find their new home. It is the least we could do." Fael answered. Eragon inclined his head in gratitude and then answered.
"As a Lead Rider, I would like to be as powerful and as better prepared for the challenges ahead and so I would like to ask you if I could spar with you, Blodgharm every day as a way of improving my skill and also practice magic with you, Yasmira and Fael if that is ok with you." Eragon asked.They all inclined their heads.
"Tomorrow morning then." Blodgharm added.
"The elves will have to rest in a few days and I think it would be better for Saphira too, to hunt as feeding a dragon with our limited provisions would not be advisable. Considering her size and..." Blodgharm said but was interrupted by Saphira.
"I heard that" she said with a roar and the elves were quick to praise her flying qualities until Saphira was satisfied with their compliments. Eragon released a short laugh, amused by her reaction. After a short while of thinking, he talked again.
"I will also work on restoring some of the eldunarya freed from Galbatorix. I think it would be a good idea if I did that task with the help of the elves and Umaroth and Glaedr." Eragon stated.
"Shadeslayer, If you need any help at all, you have but to ask." Fael stated.
Eragon excused himself politely from the three elves as they discussed the details. He looked at the clear, vast blue sky and realized he had been holding his breath. He called for Saphira with his mind. When she arrived, he jumped in his usual position, on the back of her neck, and he hugged her as he said.
"Time to fly, partner of my heart"
"Indeed little one." Saphira agreed and she flapped her wings gaining speed and altitude, and roaring her pleasure of being with the partner of her heart and mind to the wind, challenging all living creatures, as she kept flying to the lands beyond, to the unknown.