Disclaimer: Sorry, but my name is not Christopher Paolini, so therefore, I don't own any of his characters. Lol!

A/N: Yay! Fanfiction is working for me again! Sorry about the long wait, guys. I've been sick for the past few days (almost a week), and I haven't really felt like doing much of anything! But, I am feeling pretty much better now and the computer is working properly again (so no one panic!). lol! Happy Valentines Day to you all! This is my Valentines Day present to you! Hope you enjoy the final chapter!

A little note… I don't think the name of Morzan's dragon is ever mentioned. I even asked my friend who read Eragon recently, and he said that it wasn't. So, this same friend gave me a name to use!

Ch. 12: Eragon's Promise

Thorn slowly got to his feet as Shruikan stood over him, laughing. You're too easily distracted, Thorn.he said, looking down at the red dragon as he glared back at him. You have to keep your mind on the fight.

I… I have to get to Murtagh. Thorn snapped as he anxiously looked up at the towering form of Uru'baen. There's something very wrong happening inside. Can't you feel it, Shruikan?

I'm sorry, Thorn, but I'm afraid that you won't be able to get to your Rider. Shruikan replied, hiding the slight fear he was suddenly feeling. So, Thorn felt that something was wrong too…

Thorn growled softly to himself in anger. He had to get past Shruikan… before it was too late…

Suddenly, both dragons heard a loud roar as a fiery attack came and hit Shruikan, making him back away from Thorn. Get away from him! a voice shouted as a dragon landed next to the red one. Thorn smiled when he saw her.

Thank you, Saphira. he said.

Saphira turned to look at him, and then rubbed her head against his neck. You're welcome. she replied with a smile. Thorn returned the gesture.

That's cute. Shruikan sneered as he walked toward them. You're together again. But I'm afraid that the reunion will be short lived!

Shruikan, you hate Galbatorix! Saphira cried. Why are you doing his will?

Whoever said that I was doing what Galbatorix wants? Shruikan asked, his eyes gleaming.

Please, Shruikan! Thorn begged. Something is happening in there! I know you can feel it too! You have to let us through!

Tempting offer, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to decline. Shruikan replied, forming another fiery attack in the back of his throat.

Thorn stood protectively in front of Saphira, forming an attack of his own. But before either dragon could attack, a loud, angry roar echoed in the night air around them.

Saphira and Thorn stood close together as the red dragon stopped his attack, and Shruikan looked wildly around as he did the same. They heard the roar again, and all three dragons looked up at Uru'baen.

They watched in horror as a large, black outline appeared against the night sky, its red eyes the only light in the darkness…

Xxxxxxxxxx

Morzan looked away from Murtagh when he heard the loud roar, and he smiled when he saw the red eyes watching them. "That was faster than I thought." he muttered to himself, slowly walking toward the window. "Much faster than I thought…"

Seeing that his brother was out of danger for the moment, Eragon quickly got to his feet and rushed to Murtagh's side. "Come on!" he said anxiously, pulling him up and supporting him. "This is our chance!"

Murtagh nodded his agreement, but before they could head for the door to the throne room, they watched in horror as Morzan opened the window and as Galbatorix entered through it.

"I have done what you thought was impossible." the king said with a broad smile. "Amafaer has returned."

Morzan shook his head in wonder, amazed that such a thing could be done. "How did you do this?" he asked, reaching his hand out into the night air and running his hand along his dragon's snout.

"It was not easy." Galbatorix answered. "It took a lot of my power, more than I would normally use for someone. Your dragon was even closer to death than you were, if possible. The only thing was, his body was still barely alive since he could sense that your mind was not yet gone, unlike you. That part made the process slightly easier, but it took more energy to revive him. Also, I had a shorter amount of time to bring him back than you, so…"

Morzan only nodded, unable to believe that his dragon was back. Amafaer, I have missed having you by my side. the Rider said.

And I you. Amafaer replied in his deep voice. Are you ready to serve Galbatorix once more?

Sighing, Morzan nodded. It is time. he told him.

Murtagh turned away from the sight to look at his brother. "Let's go!" he whispered anxiously. "We have to take this chance!"

Eragon immediately began to pull Murtagh along beside him as he turned and headed for the door, but he stopped when he felt Galbatorix's eyes on them.

"You two aren't going anywhere!" the king snapped, raising his hand. "Letta!" (stop!)

Both Riders felt anxious when they could no longer move, and Eragon recognized this to be the same spell that Murtagh had used on him at the battle of the Burning Plains. Murtagh glanced backward with his eyes when he heard footsteps approaching them, and he tried to give his father an angry look as he came to a stop in front of them.

"You are merely prolonging the fate that you cannot escape." Morzan told his eldest son, pulling him away from Eragon and throwing him roughly to the ground. Murtagh winced in pain and held his already injured arm tightly when he landed on it hard, but he was found that he was free from Galbatorix's spell.

Thorn! he thought desperately.

Eragon watched anxiously as Morzan left Murtagh and moved back in front of him, his eyes moving to Zar'roc's red blade. "You will pay for interfering." the evil Rider muttered, raising the sword.

"Wait." Galbatorix commanded, walking over to join the Rider as he looked over Eragon. "I want him alive."

Morzan glanced at the king, and then looked back at Eragon with an angry look in his eyes. The younger Rider watched him, feeling slightly relieved when the man lowered his sword and walked away from him. But anger soon replaced that slight relief when he stopped in front of his brother.

"Now, are you going to be more cooperative?" Morzan demanded harshly as he looked down on his struggling son.

Murtagh opened his eyes and angrily looked up at his father, not saying a word. He didn't want to do anything the man told him to do, but it seemed like he didn't really have too much of a choice…

Morzan looked down on Murtagh, and his eyes began to glow red. A moment later, Murtagh cried out involuntarily as his scar began to glow, the start of the painful completion of his father's curse.

"Murtagh!" Eragon shouted with fear, trying to break free of the king's spell. He desperately wanted to help his brother. Galbatorix stood next to him, watching what was happening with amusement. When the curse was completed, Murtagh wouldn't be an unwilling servant anymore…

"The time has come. The curse is finally almost complete." Morzan muttered, watching as Murtagh continued to writhe on the floor in front of him. "My legacy will be fulfilled…"

Suddenly, some of the large windows on the other side of the throne room shattered when a large force broke them. Eragon found that he was finally able to move. He was free from Galbatorix's spell since the king was distracted by the sudden loud noise.

Morzan looked up at the windows, furious when his eyes stopped glowing because of the sudden distraction. Murtagh lay still at his feet, breathing deeply as relief swarmed through him that his father had stopped using the spell. The evil Rider then walked over to Galbatorix so they could speak with each other.

Seeing that his brother wasn't in any immediate danger again, Eragon quickly ran over to him. "Murtagh!" he said anxiously, keeling down by his side. "Come on, Murtagh! Please!"

Murtagh quickly opened his eyes and took a deep breath at the sound of his name, and he smiled when he saw the younger Rider's worried eyes. "Don't worry, Eragon." he told him. "I'll survive."

Eragon smiled back. "Let's try to get out of here." he replied, grabbing Murtagh's arm and putting it around his neck as he pulled his brother to his feet. "Luck for us that distraction came when it did. I wonder what it was…"

Both Riders looked over at the shattered windows, squinting to try to see out into the night air. Suddenly, they heard a loud roar and an anxious voice echo inside their minds.

Murtagh! Eragon! Are you two all right?

Murtagh smiled when he heard the familiar voice. Now we are. he answered. Thanks to you, Thorn.

Where's Saphira? Eragon wondered.

She's going to get Arya. Thorn told him. Don't worry. She's fine. Now, I have to get you two out of there!

Galbatorix and Morzan watched with disbelief as the red dragon's large tail smashed more windows, leaving a lot of empty panes. Murtagh and Eragon exchanged looks with each other, and then ran toward the now broken windows.

King Galbatorix prepared to use magic to stop them, but Morzan set his hand on his arm. "Don't bother wasting your time." he muttered, watching as Murtagh and Eragon climbed onto Thorn's tail and were lifted out of the throne room.

"You aren't going to try to stop them?" Galbatorix asked, surprised.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that." Morzan answered, a smirk appearing on his face. "They won't get far."

Xxxxxxxxxx

Aie aimed another blow at Arya's head, which she blocked. A second later, she sent a blow of her own at him. Neither one of them seemed to be tiring, and it seemed like their battle could go on forever.

Aianna was standing against the wall, pretending to be healing her side. Her thoughts lingered on what she had said to Eragon during their short battle, but she was mainly concerned about the older Rider. Please get to Murtagh in time… she thought with worry.

Suddenly, Aie stopped the battle while Aianna looked up. They had both heard a commanding voice inside of their minds.

Aie! Aianna! Come to the throne room immediately! Galbatorix ordered.

The twins looked at each other and nodded. Aie turned his attention to Arya. "I'm sorry to say that I have to run, Princess, but it can't be helped." he told her, pushing her into the stone wall as he passed her. "Consider yourself fortunate. Next time you won't be so lucky."

Aianna looked at the elf for a moment, and then quickly followed her twin up the stairs. They were gone.

Arya sighed as she put her sword away. Now all she had to do was help Eragon to save Murtagh.

Arya!

The elf froze when she heard her name insider of her head. Saphira? Arya asked. Where are you?

If you run up the stairs near you, I'm right at the window on your left. Saphira answered her. Hurry! Thorn's getting Eragon and Murtagh. We have to meet them!

On my way, Saphira. Arya answered while she hurried up the stone stairs. As she got onto Saphira after climbing through the window, the elf hoped that all of them would be able to escape Uru'baen.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Murtagh smiled slightly as they flew away from the dark fortress. He couldn't believe that they had all left Uru'baen alive. It seemed nearly impossible, since Morzan had returned. His smile vanished when he thought about his father. The Rider could feel his scar throbbing every once in a while, and he knew that the curse was not let complete…

Thorn's mood suddenly brightened when he saw another dragon coming toward them from the left. Good. You got Arya. he said once the two creatures were close enough. Now we can leave this cursed place.

Yes. Let's leave as fast as possible and before anyone comes after us. Saphira replied as Eragon climbed on her. I'm just relieved that Eragon and Murtagh are alive!

I wonder how long that's going to last. Murtagh thought bitterly to himself, blocking these words from everyone around him. Galbatorix and Morzan aren't just going to let us leave so easily…

Suddenly, Murtagh let out a surprised cry of pain as his scar began to burn.

Murtagh! Thorn said anxiously as he glanced behind him at the Rider, watching as he leaned against his neck for support. Saphira, Eragon, and Arya all watched with worry as the also shouted his name.

Then, a loud roar resounded around them, and Thorn and Saphira looked back down at Uru'baen. They watched in horror as the black form of a large dragon that wasn't Shruikan flew up at them, sending up billowing black flames.

Thorn and Saphira separated so the dangerous flames didn't harm them or the people riding them. Arya was horrified as she saw the dark eyes of the man who was on the dragon that was attacking them. "Is that Morzan?!" she whispered anxiously. "Then that must be Amafaer, his dragon. But, I thought that they were dead! How could they have returned?!"

"I'm not sure." Eragon replied darkly. "I only fought with Morzan. I didn't speak with him."

Murtagh slowly opened his eyes when he heard another fiery attack being fired. He noticed that he and Thorn were quite a distance away from Saphira, Eragon, and Arya, and he saw that his father and his dragon were only concentrating on him… He's only after us, Thorn. the Rider told his dragon.

I know. Thorn replied. What about it?

That means that Eragon, Arya, and Saphira can escape. Murtagh said.

Thorn thought about his words for a moment. They won't leave if it means leaving us behind. he muttered.

Murtagh smiled. I know that. he confirmed. We'll have to make them.

The red dragon looked back at his Rider as he dodged another attack from Amafaer. Make them? he asked. Then, he returned the smile. It will be a challenge, but I'm up to it if you are.

Murtagh nodded. I am.

Suddenly, Thorn let out a loud roar of pain when Amafaer's teeth clamped tightly on his back, mere inches behind Murtagh. The Rider looked back at the dragon and Morzan, seeing that his father's eyes were gleaming maliciously.

Saphira stopped flying and looked at the red dragon with horror. Thorn! she screamed, heading toward him as fast as she could.

Thorn's eyes moved to her, and he growled angrily as he sent flames flying in her direction. He didn't want to, but he knew that it was necessary.

Saphira gasped and dove quickly down to avoid the attack, making sure that Eragon and Arya were out of harm's way. Thorn, what-!

Get out of here! Thorn shouted, looking at the blue dragon angrily. Escape now while you still have the chance! Go, Saphira!

Thorn… Saphira muttered, longingly looking at the other dragon.

Eragon looked down on his dragon in disbelief and slight anger. Saphira, come on! Let's go! he urged. We have to help them!

Saphira sighed as she glanced back at her Rider sadly. Thorn won't let me get near to them. she told him quietly. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do.

Angry now, Eragon looked over at his older brother. Murtagh! he shouted through their mental link, seeing the Rider cringe at the sudden loud sound of his name. Tell Thorn to let us come to you!

I'm sorry, Eragon, but I can't do that. Murtagh replied. Thorn's already made up his mind. Besides, they're only after us, not you. Hurry! I don't want you hurt!

I'm not leaving you behind! Eragon told him fiercely. I'm not leaving you to face both Galbatorix and Morzan alone!

He could hear his brother's sigh. Look, Eragon. I'll be fine. Murtagh said. I have Thorn. They can't kill me because they need me. There's not much that you can do now anyway with only the three of you. When you get more people, then you could possibly come back. But not until then.

Eragon was about to argue, but he stopped when he felt Arya's gently hand rest on his shoulder. "Murtagh's right, Eragon." she whispered. "We don't stand a chance against Galbatorix, Morzan, their dragons, and the twins alone. We have to have more people with us."

The younger Rider turned around and looked at the elf. "I can't leave him." Eragon told her, fear in his voice. "I can't…"

"We have no choice." Arya replied, though her expression was pained. "If we tried to do anything now, the only thing that it would accomplish is getting us captured. We can't save Murtagh then. We'll gather some more soldiers and come back as soon as we can, okay?"

Eragon didn't answer or even look back at his friend. He felt awful about leaving Murtagh behind, and he wondered if his brother would do the same in his position… Then, he gasped when he heard Morzan speak. He was saying something in the Ancient Language, and even though his voice was only a whisper, the younger Rider could hear it clearly as it was carried on the wind.

"No, Murtagh!" Eragon shouted when he heard his brother's cry. He watched in horror as Murtagh fell off of Thorn's back, unconscious, and landed in his father's arms.

"I'll take this." Morzan said, looking down on his son's limp form before looking up at Eragon. Amafaer then began to fly back down toward Uru'baen, dragging a limp Thorn along with him.

The last thing that Eragon heard before Morzan and Amafaer disappeared into the shadows of the fortress with their unconscious captives were two words…

"You're next."

Xxxxxxxxxx

The sun was beginning to set as Saphira, Eragon, and Arya flew over Alagaseia. The blue dragon was strangely silent as she sped toward Ellesmera, her expression hard as her thoughts lingered on Thorn.

Eragon was the same way as he thought about Murtagh and what horrors he was possibly going through. Why hadn't he taken Queen Islanzadi's advice and had Vanir and Seira, along with even Nari and Lifaen, come along? He knew that it was his fault that they didn't have enough people. It was his fault that they couldn't have saved Murtagh yet…

Arya sat behind him, looking at the Rider sadly. "Eragon…" she began, but didn't continue. She didn't know what the right thing to say to him would be.

"What?" Eragon asked without feeling, looking behind him to face her.

The elf sighed and met the Rider's eyes. "You know that it's not your fault about what happened to Murtagh, right?" she answered. "It's the only option that we had at the time. We were outnumbered. It's what Murtagh wanted anyway…"

"I still feel like we could have done something." Eragon muttered. "I just don't like the thought that I abandoned him. Your queen told me to take people with me, but…"

Arya slowly placed her hands on his shoulders as a form of comfort. "You didn't abandon him." she told him reassuringly. "Murtagh told us to run. Look at it this way. When we return to Ellesmera, there will be a lot of elves who will want to help us. Then, we can hurry and save Murtagh. You'll see. Everything will be fine."

That's right, little one. Saphira agreed, her voice fierce.

Eragon nodded, relieved to have his friends' support and comfort. "Thank you, Arya." he said, giving her a smile. "You too, Saphira." Arya smiled back. Then, the Rider turned his head to look at the golden sun as it rose higher in the deep pink sky.

Hold on, Murtagh.he thought. I know you probably can't hear me, but know my promise. I'm coming back for you and Thorn. I'll get both of you away from Galbatorix and Morzan, no matter what the cost. We're coming. I promise you!

A/N: That's it! Thank you all very much for reviewing! I appreciate every one of them. I ended this pretty much open-ended so that you'll be looking forward to the sequel, Morzan's Legacy. Hope you enjoyed it, and I'll see you soon with the next story!

"My legacy will be fulfilled…"