Disclaimer: Do I need one? Seriously! I'm not Paolini!

A/N: Okay, here's the next chapter! I'm sorry, guys! Has fanfiction not been working for any of you? It wouldn't let me update for like four days. I had this chapter done and typed, but it wouldn't let me submit it!!!! Anyway, now onto the "thank you's"!

alsdssg: Wasn't it? I thought it would be the perfect thing for her to say. Anyway, I'm glad you like this! Here's the next chapter!

Emberseve: Thank you so much! Lol! You know it! Don't worry. Dera's story will be revealed in the next chapter, not this one. I love spring break. Now I can update! Enjoy!

Dragon Rider of Alagaesia: Oh, really? I never really thought about it that way, but I guess it does! Lol! I'm glad you think that this is sweet. I'm trying my best! Yes, long live Murty!

G.A. Clive: Lol! Well, you never know who I can scare away with my crazy "thank-you's"! I'm glad you really like it, and I'm glad you'll be staying on-board! Oh, and I don't think he'll kill Murtagh. But, you can go at him with a pain-ball gun if you want! He's not my character anyway! Lol!

Kalisona: Thank you, mellon-nin! I know. I'm going to try to work on it. Good luck with yours!

little-chibi-girl: Thank you! That's great to here! I hope you like this chapter!

swim freak 9000: Don't worry. I know what you mean. I thought about that myself. So, there will be more of that in up-coming chapters. Thank you for bringing that to my attention, though! Here's the next chapter.

LoNnI: So, you're my first reviewer this time! Lol! Thanks so much, Mrs. Morzansson! Don't worry. Mrs. Hedlund doesn't mind. You're not being pesky or anything! Thank you again for everything! You rock!

All right. And now, chapter four.

Ch. 4: Complications

The next few days passed by slowly for Murtagh. He wasn't allowed to do much except for lay in bed, eat, sleep, and talk to the people that were taking care of him. Though it was uneventful most of the time, the Rider found himself feeling grateful that he didn't have to return to Uru'baen yet. Any excuse to stay away from Galbatorix worked for him.

That night, Murtagh waited patiently while Dera checked him over again. "Your rib seems to be all the way healed." the man muttered, pressing gently down on the Rider's side before moving up to his head. "Now, let's check your other injury."

Could these injuries hurt him again? Thorn projected his worries to the elderly man from outside.

"Well, of course." Dera told him bluntly. "There are always risks with injuries that aren't completely healed like this. I'm sorry if you were looking for a sweeter answer, but that's the way it is…"

Thorn, stop worrying. Murtagh told him, sensing his dragon's immediate concern. I'll be all right.

Dera sighed as he straightened up in his chair. "Well, Rider, I think you're well enough to travel tomorrow if you need to." he said. "As long as it's not that far of a distance, that is. But otherwise, you can leave if you have to."

"I would love to stay longer, but I think it would be best if I head for Uru'baen." Murtagh replied. "I'm really well enough to leave?"

"If you must." Dera told him with a slight nod.

Murtagh smiled. "Thank you for everything, Dera." he said. "I really appreciate all of your help."

"It was my pleasure, Rider." Dera replied with a small smile of his own. "Have a good night's sleep."

Murtagh watched the man slowly leave the room, then turned his attention to the window to look at the red dragon. See? he asked. I told you that I would be all right.

He heard a low growl from outside. Only if you had to travel. Thorn said. Remember what Dera said…

I know, I know. Murtagh interrupted, lying back against his pillows. It would be best if we left tomorrow, though…

Thorn moved closer to the house and put one of his large eyes up to the windows, seeing that his Rider had already dozed off. He sighed and used some of his magic to turn the light off. Good night, Murtagh.


Galbatorix was pacing his throne room impatiently. The soldiers should have returned from Aroughs already. Where were they?

Then, his thoughts traveled to Murtagh. He had entrusted the boy with a simple errand. If he couldn't complete a small task in the time allowed, then what could he do? What is taking them so long? the king thought angrily.

Then, he whirled around when there was a knock on his door. He muttered something in the Ancient Language and the door to the throne room opened. Halden, the captain of the army that he had sent to Aroughs, hesitantly entered the room. "We have returned, my lord." he said, bowing respectfully.

"Oh, have you now?" Galbatorix muttered, walking over to him. "Then tell me… where is Murtagh?"

Halden inwardly cringed at the question. "Well, my lord," he explained, "there was a terrible storm while we were in Aroughs, and I'm afraid that we haven't seen him since."

Galbatorix nodded. "All right. Thank you, Halden." he replied. "At least you are being honest. You may leave."

Halden bowed and quickly left the room, relieved and surprised that he hadn't been punished for losing Murtagh. Galbatorix turned away from the door and walked over to one of the large windows, looking out at the dark horizon. So, you think you can avoid me, do you, Murtagh? he thought with amusement, closing his eyes as he tried to find the Rider. Well, we'll see how long that lasts…

Soon, a picture formed in his mind. He saw Murtagh sleeping peacefully in a dark room in a home that he assumed was in Aroughs. The king opened his eyes, grinning. "I promise you now, Murtagh." Galbatorix muttered to himself. "You will regret following my command."


"Thank you very much for everything, Dera." Murtagh said with a smile. "You too, Anastasia. It was a pleasure to meet both of you."

"The feeling is returned, Rider." Dera told him. Anastasia stood next to him, not saying anything. She didn't want Murtagh to leave…

That morning was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly in the cloudless blue sky above. If he didn't know any better, Murtagh wouldn't even have guessed that a terrible storm had recently ravaged the town. "I hope I see you both again." the Rider replied, turning toward the red dragon. Are you ready, Thorn?

The dragon only growled in reply.

Murtagh laughed as he prepared to climb onto his back. He could sense his dragon's frustration. Everything will be fine, Thorn. he assured him.

Whatever you say, Murtagh. Thorn muttered.

Suddenly, Murtagh gasped when he felt extremely dizzy. He stumbled back away from Thorn, his hand at his head. He could feel someone forcefully probing at his mind…

Thorn growled with worry as he looked back at his Rider. Murtagh! he said anxiously.

"Rider!" Dera shouted, moving as fast as he could toward him. Anastasia remained behind, sensing with horror everything that was happening.

Murtagh tightly closed his eyes, a burning pain growing in his head. He knew Galbatorix's wrath whenever he felt it… "Thorn…" he gasped, feeling his unconsciousness beginning to leave him. "It's… Galba… torix…."

The last thing he heard before he slipped into unconsciousness was Thorn's loud roar.

A/N: Sorry if it's kinda short, but I hoped you liked it anyway. Thanks, guys!