Hello there! Yeah right… just read on. O.o
Disclaimer: You know, I own a lot of things – mostly unneccessary stuff though – but Eragon doesn't belong to it.
The hoofbeats sounded dully against earthy forest ground. Three white sturdy horses galloped between the high trees, carrying their elven riders and most likely their only chance against the empire through Du Weldenvarden.
She held on to the sapphire like stone wrapped in a woolen cloth and every few seconds her eyes left the way in front of them and remained locked on her prescious freight, as if to check if it was still there and unscatched.
Beside her rode her two loyal companions Faolin and Glenwing. She glanced over to Faolin, and as if having sensed her observation their eyes met and she was given a reassuring smile.
They had reached the familiar grounds of Du Weldenvarden not two hours ago and the horses were giving their best to reach Ellesmera as swift as their legs allowed it.
Arya knew that she shouldn't praise the day before sunset, but the closeness of home provided her with more certainty that they would reach their destination without hindrances.
It was true that Galbatorix had intensified controls lately, but they had been able to carry the egg from the elves to the Vaarden and back again for as long as she had been charged with this position.
Glenwing suddenly led his horse closer to her and said quietly: "The way will tighten up ahead. We should form a line."
She nodded determined, and Glenwing understood it as a sign to take the first position. He urged his horse forward and gripped the spear harder, pointing it forward so he held it horizontal to the ground, ready to strike any possible enemy.
Arya's horse settled in the middle, while Faolin restrained his own mount and brought up the rear.
The path they now were on was just as wide for the horses to find hold on; the trees on both sides were so thick building uncrossable walls.
The wind suddenly turned from following- to headwind, and as soon as it did so all three elves froze on their horses, and even the animals took in the new presenses with trepidation:
Without hesitation the three companions kicked their horses into a mad run, knowing all too well that no matter how many beasts there were, be it a trap or just coincidence, the egg could under no circumstances be endangered.
The way widened as suddently as it had tightened and Arya surged forward leaving the two elves, even though unwillingly, behind.
And not a second too late. As soon as she was out of range a volley of arrows darkened the sky and found a mark in sweat elven flesh. She couldn't but wince at the screams of her friends, but didn't dare to look back.
Faolin would have wanted her to conclude their mission.
Suddenly she heard someone scream from behind and her eyes widened as she recognized the words of a spell. It caught both her and her horse off guard, and the animal went tumbling to the ground.
The elf maiden pulled her feet out of the stirrups so as not to be trapped under the horse when it fell and –more out of luck than anything else- landed on her feet, the woolen cloth still in her hand. For the first time she dared to look back and at the sight instinctively pulled out her sword, before turning around and starting a mad sprint away.
Away from numerous Urgals who, after bothering with her fallen comrades, dedicated all attention to her. And away from the creature she had hoped would only be part of her darkest nightmares: the Shade.
Pressing the dragon egg closer to her body she darted across the forest, neatly zig-zagging through the trees in order to bring more distance between herself and her followers. She knew the forest better than them, she could trick them, she could...
The scent of burnt wood entered her nostrils and with a sudden foreboding she turned around, despairing even more when she laid eyes upon the Shade's new work.
Fire everywhere! The Shade was trying to catch her in a ring of fire... but he couldn't get to the egg. She wouldn't let him.
In her desperation Arya had not noticed three Urgals sneaking up behind her. With new determination overpowering her fear, the elf didn't even give the Urgals the opportunity of attacking. She made sure to have the egg embraced securely before charging her attackers. The first beast lost its head before it even realized what was going on. Its two companions grinned warily and parried her first attacks.
It didn't take long to deal one of them a fatal blow and knock the other unconscious. If she wanted to be successful she couldn't take long anyway. There wasn't any time. The rest of Urgals had nearly canceled out her head start and the Shade eagerly set the forest around her aflame.
Elven speed helped her increase the distance again and she ran into the direction of the big rocks. By leaving the path she might be able to reduce her tracks and harden it for the Urgals to follow her.
Before her suddenly appeared the Shade, having jumped down good twenty feet from the rocks. As she stopped dead in her tracks, he only gave her a satisfied smirk.
Turning around in an instant Arya realized that she couldn't run back. Urgals came from all directions, her helplessness mirroring on their smug expressions.
The Shade's icy voice pierced through the silence like a deadly arrow finding its mark. It sent a shiver down her spine, and exactly that inspired Arya to a last desperate act.
Grabbing the blue sapphire, the woolen cloth carelessly fell to the floor. She held up the egg as if to ask for the Gods' help and frantically whispered old words, letting all energy flow into the spell.
As the Shade realized what she had in mind he desperately cried out: "Garjzla!"
A red gleaming fireball left his hand and flew into her direction with lightning speed. But it was to no avail. Before his attack succeeded the elf finished her spell and he thought to recognize relief on her features.
Then the fireball struck and pain bereaved her expression of all else.
Boiling with rage the Shade turned his attention to the Urgals, who were just standing there schocked of the sudden happenings and too dense to understand what was going on.
With an infuriated scream the Shade threw his sword away and went over to the elf. On the way he stopped, lost in thoughts for a moment, and then looked at the Urgals. His lips formed quiet words and the beasts fell to the ground in silent agony, death awaiting to embrace them.
"You have outlived your purpose."
Urgals had always been more of a hindrance than a help to him. They were brainless, slow, and in his opinion only average fighters. He would have never taken them with him in the first place if it wouldn't have been for Galbatorix insisting on it.
His eyes drifted back to the unconscious woman in front of him and suddenly the hate boiled even stronger within him than before. He should have thought of it before. Should have blocked her mind, should have attacked her immediately.
Now the egg was gone and he had no means of knowing where she had transported it to.
He called his horse, retrieved his sword from where he had thrown it in his madness, and with a last look at his new captive hoisted her into his arms.
She was very light, seemed nearly fragile. It had been a long time since he had laid his hands on an elf, an even longer time for the elf to be alive.
Putting her on the saddle infront of him, he mounted his horse and rode out of the forest. He only extinguished the fires in his way.
The others he would leave to burn.
So uhm…. I can't really remember if Arya was on the way to the Varden or back home, and frankly I was too lazy to research it. Anyway, because everyone wants to get to the later chapters, we'll just forget such little details, right?
Do you see that little button there in the left corner. It'd make my day if you clicked it. (A note to flamers: Feel free.)