Chapter 1: The Word of a Rider
A malefic light sprang into existence between Thorn’s jaws an instant before an ever-expanding wall of flames billowed out of his maw and rolled over Arya, obscuring her form. By then, Eragon was less than fifty feet away – close enough that the heat stung his cheeks.
The flames cleared away to reveal Thorn turning away from Arya, doubling back as quickly as his bulk would allow. As he did, he swung his tail, whipping it through the air faster than she could hope to evade.
“No!” shouted Eragon.
There was a crack as the tail struck Arya. It knocked her into the darkness, like a stone loosed from a sling, and the Dauthdaert separated from her and arced downward, its glow dwindling to a faint point that soon vanished altogether.
Iron bands seemed to tighten around Eragon’s chest, squeezing the breath out of him. Thorn was pulling away, but Eragon might still be able to overtake the dragon if he drew even more energy from Glaedr. However, his connection with Glaedr was growing tenuous and Eragon could not hope to best Thorn and Murtagh alone and high above the ground, not when Murtagh had dozens or more Eldunarí at his disposal.
Eragon swore, cut off the spell that was propelling him through the air, and dove headfirst after Arya. The wind screamed in his ears and tore at his hair and clothes, and smashed the skin on his cheeks flat, and forced him to narrow his eyes to slits. An insect struck him on the neck; the impact stung as fiercely as if he had been hit by a pebble.
As he fell, Eragon searched with his mind for Arya’s consciousness. But instead he came across another’s directly below him. It was hard like a brick wall yet disjointed as if someone or something was guarding a different section of his mind. They were Eldunarí and lots of them.
“Letta” Eragon shouted to stop himself colliding with the stranger.
“Greetings rider” he smirked. Eragon stared dumbfound at the figure in front of him. He looked around twenty or so, but the crown on his head indicated how old he really was. He had brown hair the same as Eragon’s; in fact he resembled Eragon completely except from his eyes. His eyes were grey.
“Eragon?” called Saphira
“Stay away Saphira, fly away, go somewhere where he won’t find you”
“I’m not leaving you” she cried
“You must, so long as you don’t mate with Thorn and produce a female dragon egg he won’t kill me. If he captures you as well-
“I’m coming” interrupted her determined voice.
“No. Find Arya and get her to the Varden then fly away as fast as you can and seek refuge in Ellesméra. Please Saphira, just go.”
There was no reply back, or if she did reply, he never heard what she said. He had already blocked his mind and was heading off in the opposite direction of the Varden in order to keep everyone safe. He knew he was no match for the king, even if a whole battalion of elves were backing him.The last thing he heard was the Kings pitiful laugh then his mind clouded and he fell into a deep sleep.