Chapter 9: A Shade's Revenge
The old man groaned as he finally lifted his face from the ancient book he was reading. He closed it and put it aside on his desk as he relaxed on his creaking chair. The room he was in was a complete mess, full of half written papers, calculations, notes, and torn books. It had taken him a few years, but he had finally found yet another answer to a question he was seeking. Ever since he was a young man, finding answers to impossible questions was his goal in life. He found it extremely pleasurable when he could finally satisfy his curiosity. He smiled and laughed out loud as with a quick spell he cleaned the room of all the papers. He listened at the rain falling outside and the loud thunders. He quickly made his way outside the room as he felt an intense hunger. He had not eaten anything in days. He opened the door and was greeted by a puddle of water that had formed on the floor as small droplets of water fell from the broken ancient roof of the building. With a curse he quickly took a bucket of water and holding his back, he put it on the floor. He moved to the tower's kitchen and prepared himself a meal of meat and bread as well as a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables from his garden and a mug of ale. He ate his food slowly, thinking of his new discovery.
As he was eating, he could not help but look at the small wooden animals and was reminded of her. His daughter. He took a small wooden lion in his hands and remembered how he used to watch his daughter play with it, making sounds of roars and talking. It had been a long time since that day, a long time since his daughter had left in anger, since the last time he had seen her walk away from the tower, Edur Ithindra. His heart ached again and he was reminded of the many years he had spent alone with his books as his only company. The only times someone visited him was when they were lost, or wanted to find shelter from a storm.
He still remembered the last person he had seen enter. He had claimed his name was Bergan, but he knew better. It was impossible to not recognize the gedwey ignazia, the silver mark on his hand, which signified he was a rider. At first he had thought it was the king Galbatorix but then he realized it was not. Another rider then must have hatched and he had tried to explain to him what it was he was doing. He could see the same curiosity that was in him in the young rider but after he had explained, the rider had distracted him and left.
" We seek the answers to the questions we choose" he had tried to explain.
He tried to explain about his theory, of light and darkness. The right words could not come to him to describe what he had seen, for he had been enlightened. Enlightened with the truth. And always, his goal was to search for the truth behind all things. That was why he had been born. To make the people stop living like savages and in darkness according to their own beliefs and what they thought was the truth but thrive in a new age of light and knowledge.
Anger filled him once again, from realizing the young rider had not understood. He had finally found the answer about lightning and how it was created and how it could be used. He had heard the true name of the rider, Eragon Shadeslayer, they called him. Shadeslayer. But could a shade really be killed? Of course as every one knew already, a shade could only be killed when it was stabbed in its heart. But was it really dead, or was the man it possessed the man who died when this occurred. And if this was the case then what happened to the dark spirits and consciousnesses that possessed the human. Were they also destroyed or were they waiting in silence for the next victim. Waiting for their chance to strike again. And if this was the case then Shadeslayer was an empty title, a title that could not actually exist. Could these dark beings be destroyed and if so how? They did not have a body, and could not be killed through any usual weapons. And all the magic that was used to kill a person targeted a certain part of the body not the mind or the consciousness of the being. For years people were taught that it was not possible to bring back people from the dead. But what happened to a person after he died? Was there a soul? And if the soul did exist would it not have the same substance as these corrupted beings that possessed a man to create a shade? Thus there had to be two categories, the corrupted and the non corrupted. For years he had searched for a way to find a way to summon a person and he believed he had finally found the answer. And if this was the case, then finally he would have made an extraordinary discovery! He had to put his theory to the test.
With a quick move he lifted himself from the chair and walked fast toward his office again, avoiding the puddle of water. He shut the door behind him as he quickly gathered his books and notes and opened the seven compendiums. They were pieces of paper where he had written many spells over the years and words of the ancient language. He cleared his throat and with a loud voice he shouted the magic spell.
He instantly felt the drain from his body, larger than any he had experienced before. The spell used the same wording as the calling of a shade with only small differences, but he had included a few lines in the spell. He saw as the room got darker as all light was completely drained and the old man Tenga could barely see as the room was filled with conciousnesses, screams and shouts and laughter. They quickly took a form he had never seen before, and attacked his consciousness. He had expected this might happen and as a result he had carefully prepared some defenses in his mind to prevent the being from taking control of his mind. He quickly shouted a bunch of spells that had no effect and quickly realized this would not work. He looked at his compendiums for anything useful and shouted everything he could, some spells breaking the table in pieces while others made some papers burn and a mirror to break. An attack made a huge crack on the wall, as it then collapsed. Another attack burned the small wooden animals his daughter had created so many years ago. The bookshelf caught fire but the attacks passed through the form as it was quickly invading his mind taking control. He attacked with all his force, shattering the beings defenses but the attack that came as a response was even stronger. His defenses collapsed and he felt the darkness in his mind as it took control of his body. He tried to escape but a voice filled his head.
"Cease to struggle! We have won!" the voice said over and over but Tenga continued to resist as much as he could, attacking and defending his mind. He striked at the multiple consciousnesses with all his might again and again but there was no result. The beings continued to suppress his thoughts, his movements and would only allow the slightest of freedoms.
Finally, he realized that it was pointless and he felt his heart sink as he realized he had been defeated. Suddenly, a stream of memories came in his mind from his life, when he was a young man and his first memories from his daughter, the day she left, the countless hours he had spent in his study. He attacked one last time and managed to get a hold of the beings memories as the attack was unexpected. A thirst for power filled him, days passed in the wilderness, full of killing and destruction. He saw the day the being found the broken man over a dead dragon. The man's grief was enormous as he could hear his crying. He heard the shout of anger of the man to the sky and he could see the man as he slowly wondered aimlessly, and succumbed to madness, talking to himself, to things that were not there. The being had approached the man and made a promise to him that he would learn it's secrets to fulfill the man's thirst for revenge. Tenga could see the countless days he spent studying. He then saw the young man, on a dark moonless night. His expression was unreadable as he approached the being with caution. He saw The man who could be no other than Galbatorix break his promise and him shouting a spell to banish the being from the land. The spell surprisingly worked, and the being was cast away with a terrible scream. He could feel the endless anger, rising and rising as it searched for a way for revenge, a way back. A way he had opened by mistake.
"You see now why we must do this? We were tricked and we want the world to pay!" the conciousnesses told to him as they finally took control of his body.
The shade looked at the mess as the ancient building started to collapse. The spell to bring it back from the dead had been more than the ancient tower could handle. Walls fell and floors cracked as he made his way outside. His skin was white and deathly and his hair was blood red. He looked at the flesh and he reminisced the time when he was not trapped in this old man's prison. But it had to be done. The time had come to fulfill his revenge. He turned around and walked away from the building and the tower's remains in search of blood.