Okay, I'm getting NOWHERE with my story "Daughter of an Empire" so I'm starting this while I try to kill my writer's block… hope you enjoy

Disclaimer: I don't own anything that you recognize from Inheritance.

Sorry I didn't get much Murtagh into that last chapter…. This one will have him in it a lot more, I swear it!

By the way, I may make a song-fic for Ayilie with the song "Hear Me" by Kelly Clarkson… look up the lyrics if you don't know the song and tell me what you think!



Murtagh fastened his black cape around his neck and buckled his boots before belting on Zar'roc. Galbotorix was sending him out to battle; the Empire was to fight the Varden-in an ambush- and he was to capture Ayilie and bring her back to Uru'baen. He was feeling many emotions: the strongest and foremost being the urge to do the king's bidding. The second was anger and hatred towards the king. He also felt grief, pity, and utter hopelessness. There was no way that he could evade this; the king had made sure not to let any kind of loopholes into the oaths that he had Thorn and Murtagh swear.

Murtagh was wearing the same polished steel armor he had worn at the Battle of the Burning Plains. He felt an odd rush of anxiety course through him, though he was confident that he would succeed- in fact he knew that he would. He had had this feeling before- when he was ordered to capture Eragon and Saphira. Only this time he didn't have any loopholes whatsoever. Galbotorix had made sure of that.

He left his room and brooded on these thoughts as he made his way down the long corridor and to the dragon hold. He ran his hand along Thorn's ruby red hide and silently mounted himself on the saddle. He avoided the great dragon's gaze, and closed his mind to his companion.


Ayilie nodded and turned away to look out the window. Her hands clenched into fists and a single tear slid down her face without a sound. She sucked in a breath, realizing that she wasn't breathing. Ayilie felt a hand on her shoulder. She stiffened at the touch, but relaxed when Eragon turned her face so that he could look her in the eye. His eyes showed compassion. Ayilie had rarely seen this emotion in the eyes of a man.

She swiped the stray tear away and gazed silently into Eragon's sorrowful eyes. Finally, the silently was broken.

"I have felt pain, Ayilie. I have felt it both physically and emotionally… mentally as well," he seemed to be choosing his words carefully, "we have all felt pain in one way or another. You are my sister. And though I know you not, I still want to help you. I feel…responsible- or more that it is my duty- to protect you."

"Pretty speech." Ayilie muttered, a hint or humor in her voice. She looked down so that her hair would fall into her face, hiding the grim smirk that was on her pale face. Eragon froze.

"Please, Ayilie… all I- we ask is that you at least attempt to have hope. It seems to be difficult for you to do so." Eragon said darkly. Oromis, who had remained silent all this time, raised an eyebrow.

"I believe she is frightened." The old elf said silently. Eragon nodded. Ayilie looked at both of them before speaking. "Fine! As I see it I have no choice but to let you…help me. I will fight for you if necessary." She said quietly. Eragon grinned; Oromis' eyes gleamed.

"You will fight with us, not for us, sister." Eragon said "sister" somewhat easily. If only he had been able to cope with Murtagh being his brother... Ayilie let a small smile paste itself onto her lips. Oromis clasped his hands together and bridged his fingers.

"With this issue sorted out, I believe this conversation is over. Eragon, you may take Ayilie to your quarters and she will stay there for the duration of her stay in Du Weldenvarden, as long as you agree?"

"Yes, Ebrithil." Ayilie winced as Eragon used the Ancient Language. She still hated it, for it was the Language that bound her to Galbotorix, but then she was confused as she also loved it. The words she knew could destroy all her enemies and fulfill her every desire… except for her freedom. But what was her freedom? Was Galbotorix really as evil as he was portrayed by these elves? Or was he even more diabolical? Had he really betrayed the Riders or had he saved them? But how could he justify the slaughter, of man, elves, and dragons? All she knew at this point was that she wasn't sure what side she was on.

Eragon jolted her out of her thoughts by tugging her arm softly. She instinctively raised her hand to hit him, and he winced. She stopped herself from hitting him and apologized in a low voice, hanging her head as she followed Eragon down an unknown path.


Queen Islanzadi looked up from the parchment that had just been handed to her by a messenger to Oromis. His face was creased with concern.

"War." Was all that she said. Oromis nodded gravely. "Have all of our warriors gather… we must be ready for this attack. The Varden will need us desperately if they are to win this battle."

"I agree." Oromis said slowly.

At that moment Arya walked into the room. "What has happened, daughter?" Arya's features were stiff.

"Oromis, Eragon and I need your assistance." She said darkly. Oromis raised an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"Ayilie is… in a state…" she said slowly. Oromis stiffened visibly and bowed his head to the queen. "Excuse me, my queen, but I must see to this matter." Islanzadi nodded.


Eragon was attempting to restrain Ayilie against the wall of the tree house when Arya entered the room followed by Oromis. Ayilie's entire body was tensed and she was covered in sweat. She was shaking violently and her arms were flailing, as if she were in battle. Her eyes were rolled back into her head so that only the whites were visible and her breath came in short, ragged bursts. She muttered incoherent words and Oromis reached out, touched her cheek with his first and second fingers, and frowned.

"She is cold." Ayilie suddenly stopped moving and slid down the wall and hit the floor with a soft thump. She was still shaking somewhat and her muscles were still tensed up. Eragon crouched down to look at her. Her eyelids were moving.

She is dreaming. commented Saphira. Eragon nodded silently. "See her eyelids?" he asked. Arya took a step closer and looked down at Ayilie's motionless form. She nodded. "She is dreaming?"

"Saphira and I believe so. Though what of, I know not. I have a feeling that it's more than just your average nightmare." He said darkly. Ayilie's eyes suddenly shot open. She was still breathing raggedly and sweat continued to drip off of her face. "Eragon." She hissed. He swiveled around on his heel and met her gaze. The haunted and tortured expression on her face made him cringe subconsciously.

"What is it, Ayilie?" he asked softly.

"He is coming."

"Who? Who is coming, Ayilie?" at that moment she shuttered before her eyes clamped shut and she grimaced in pain. Some thing-or someone- was trying to take control over her body. She lost the fight and her eyes clouded over.

"Eragon…" came a strangely familiar and painful voice. It was odd to hear it coming out of Ayilie's body, especially since the voice had once said that his mind was his last sanctuary. Eragon stiffened.

"Murtagh." He said. It was more of an accusation than a question. Ayilie's head nodded. Oromis and Arya stood back, observing silently. Arya's hand rested on the pommel of her sword.

"Eragon. You must be prepared for what is to come. Do not let your guard down, and at all costs, keep Ayilie under your watchful eye."

"I am already doing that." Eragon said dryly. Ayilie's lips twisted into a darkly humorous smirk. "She is valuable to the king, you know, brother." Eragon cringed at Murtagh's loose use of the term "brother".

"You are no brother of mine," Eragon spat. Ayilie shrugged. "I give no care to what you believe. I know the truth, and so do you, and you should know that denial is no way around things." Eragon's fists were clenched. Ayilie laughed, and then grew serious again. "But I did not come here to harass you. I came to warn you. That is all I have to say, so farewell, brother."

Eragon realized what was occurring and jumped to Ayilie, shouting, "No! Wait!" But Murtagh had already left Ayilie's body. She collapsed on the floor, unconscious. Eragon then picked Ayilie up into his arms and took her to his own bed and laid her there.


Too much of a cliffy? REVIEW PLEASE!