Chapter 89: Part 2: Angela. Sticky Bombs.
Note: I have not read Brisingr.
CP owns the Inheritance Cycle.
Note #2: Remember, I am tutoring the 12-year old. That's the reason the updates are not coming as fast. Please be patient with me.
Arya tried desperately to keep Eragon and Murtagh apart. Eragon yelled at Murtagh about selling the Varden out. Murtagh responded he did not want to go with Eragon through the Valley, but no Eragon did not listen to him. Saphira ran off a litany directed at Thorn, her eyes shining dangerously. Thorn growled a low, long and deep rumble from within his belly. Arya tried as hard as she could, while Angela looked on dispassionately from an outcropping of rock.
"You killed King Hrothgar!" Followed immediately by, "I had no choice in the matter!" Murtagh pushed on Arya from one side and Eragon from the other. Saphira slapped her tail on the sandy ground, broadcasting her displeasure with a roar and smoke coming from her nose.
"How do I know you don't have a weapon hidden away?" Eragon demanded.
"The elf, when she cut the ropes that bound me, checked once again to see I had no weapon," Murtagh spat out. "What about you? You are just the honorable one, so you would never enter a fight with a hidden blade! Coward!"
Eragon yelled, "I am going to get you!" He pressed up against Arya, reaching for Murtagh. Soon, Murtagh pressed in on Arya to get to Eragon. Thorn spread his wings as if to fly and attack Saphira.
Bring it on! Saphira said dramatically.
What, you have no concern for the eggs you carry in your belly? Thorn spit out.
Oh, they are safe even if you are around! Saphira growled. Eragon and Murtagh continued their accusations, while Arya tried to stay between them. She saw both Saphira and Thorn preparing to launch themselves at each other.
What have I done? Arya thought, exasperated. She felt crushed as Eragon grabbed onto one of Murtagh's arms. Suddenly, Angela stood up with a cylindrical object and handle. She tossed it over Arya, Eragon and Murtagh's head. As Saphira prepared to leap into the air the 'sticky bomb' blew up about one dragon length away. Saphira jumped to the side, wondering what Angela did. Angela picked up the rat, which tried to escape from Solembum and threw it back to him. He played with the rat, letting it go and then catching it before it could get away.
Angela pulled out another sticky bomb and threw it near Thorn; the force of the explosion when it hit the ground caused him to jump backwards. Eragon and Murtagh stopped, stunned. Arya took in a quick breath.
"Oh, good," Angela said nonchalantly. "I hadn't had a chance to show you what the portable 'sticky bombs' were all about. Quite an effective demonstration, don't you think?" Saphira recovered enough from the surprise to growl toward Angela. "Well, I see Saphira did not get the message. Oh well." She pulled out another sticky bomb and tossed it much closer to Saphira who had to scramble just to barely get out of the way. Solembum swallowed his rat as silence reigned over the camp. "There, now you will listen to Arya and then go at it, because I am convinced she took the cords, which bound you, Murtagh away. Carry on."
Angela sat back down on the rock and started eating a piece of fruit, seemingly uninterested in them anymore. Eragon stepped backwards, while Murtagh scowled. "You may use whatever body part to attack or defend," Arya spoke, annoyed. "No picking up small rocks or throwing sand in the other's eyes. Nor can you make any attack with your mind. If you want me to treat you like children, then I will. Do you understand?" Both Eragon and Murtagh nodded, so Arya moved away from them, sitting down on the rock next to Angela.
Both Murtagh and Eragon stared at each other, and then at the same time, dove for position. Eragon got under Murtagh and flipped him over his shoulders. Eragon tried to press his advantage, but Murtagh slivered away. Murtagh then flung his body at Eragon and knocked him down. They started wrestling on the ground.
Arya sighed. Angela offered her a piece of bread, and Arya gladly accepted. Soon, they were both eating and watching as Eragon and Murtagh went one way and then the other. They came close to Arya and Angela, who lifted their feet to let Murtagh and Eragon pass. A disgusted Arya frowned in a disagreeable way, and Angela laughed. Eragon gained the upper hand, getting several hits with his fists on the back part of Murtagh's side where his kidneys were.
Arya turned toward Angela, scowling. "Oh, hush now," Angela said. "They never would have talked the problem out, considering Eragon had a chance to confront Murtagh back at the Varden's camp. Do you want some of my fruit?" Arya shrugged her shoulders and held out her hand for more bread. Murtagh spun around and held Eragon upside down, and then they rolled.
Arya and Angela spent the next quarter hour watching them battle. They moved one way, causing Angela and Arya to lift their legs to let them by. They rolled back the other way, causing Arya and Angela to lift their legs again. Meanwhile, Solembum became bored and ate the rat.
"Want some sassafras nuts?" Angela asked Arya.
"Only if you will take betel nuts from me," Arya replied.
"You would have the more exotic nut," Angela stated, pretending exasperation.
They stopped for just enough time to raise their legs so Eragon and Murtagh could roll by. "We like to raise all kinds of trees and plants, many of which elves brought over from Alalëa," Arya told Angela. "Actually, it is the nutlike seed of the Areca Palm. If we were in Ellesméra we would chew the seeds with leaves of the betel pepper and lime as a digestive stimulant. Alas, we are in the Hadarac Desert."
Angela laughed. Saphira and Thorn were still hurtling insults at each other, though Arya thought they would finish, but there were obviously several things, which offended draconian sensitivity. Murtagh had gotten the now, pounding his fist into Eragon's shoulder. At least it's not his face, Arya considered.
"I have not seen two people determined to win in my hundred-fifty years," Angela said merrily. Arya agreed with her, and then did a back-take, realizing what Angela had intimated.
"Did you just say you were one hundred and fifty years old?" Arya asked, surprised.
"Yes, That is correct," Angela responded.
"Is this because you are a witch?" Arya pressed.
"Oh, heavens, no," Angela answered, then they both had to lift their legs as Eragon-Murtagh rolled by. "Although being a witch I do eat certain herbs I know will prolong my life. Every true witch knows which herbs will do this— did you catch my malapropism, or was it polysyndeton? Maybe it was just a pun— 'witch knows which herbs'." Angela failed to get a rise from Arya, so she said, "Oh, well, knowing the right herbage only gives an extra twenty years, thirty if you know what you are doing." Arya still made no comment. "Excuse me," Angela stated, as if getting no rise from Arya bothered her. Arya knew, however, that it did not.
Angela reached in her bag and pulled out another 'sticky bomb' as Thorn and Saphira were both gathering themselves to fly, having exhausted every insult they could think of to throw back on the other. She threw her sticky bomb over Thorn's body but close enough so the explosion knocked him off his feet. Ha! Saphira said triumphantly.
"Wait!" Arya cried out.
"Hold on," Angela said nonchalantly. She pulled out another bomb and threw it at Saphira, close enough so the explosion completely flipped her over. "Now what did you say?" Angela questioned Saphira cheerily. Arya knew with Saphira's withering response to Angela required no answer.
Murtagh threw off Eragon and grumbled something as, "This is stupid." Eragon groaned as the bruise on his right eye would soon match the one on Murtagh's left. They both lay on the ground, but Arya had forgotten them and quickly stood up and turned to face Angela.
"How did you live for one hundred fifty years?" Arya demanded. "If it is not because you are a witch?"
"Oh, did I not tell you, I am a descendent of the Grey Folk, I mean, mixed with humanity, over a few generations of Grey Folk-human marriages." Angela nonchalantly said. Solembum climbed up on her lap, purring. He gazed sharply into Angela's eyes. "Oh, all right. Surely, you did not suspect Solembum would attach himself to me, or rather let me attach myself to him, for no reason?"
Arya stood, sat back down, stood again and started pacing. "Islanzadí never told me, yet she must have known," she muttered. "That would explain why she enters Du Weldenvarden without question. Why would they not tell me once I became Queen?" Angela tried to interrupt her, as both Eragon and Murtagh marveled at what Angela revealed. "They should have told me!"
Arya, Saphira said in her mind, still upset for the sticky bomb.
"What?" She asked, irritated.
Angela wants to tell you something, Saphira continued.
Arya turned toward Angela. "Islanzadí knew, however no one else except King Evandar did. After his death, she buried so much of what she knew and focused on being a good Queen; even though I did not support her decision to withdraw, but it was not my place to say because I am not an elf," Angela explained.
"Great," Arya sarcastically said. "So there were always facts she hid from me, not just her giving Brom Arden, which now resides in Eragon's possession, but also this!" Arya threw the sassafras nuts into the ground across the camp from where she was.
Eragon stood to his feet and walked over to her. He put his hands on her arms. "Arya, I'm sure your mother was in some shock after the ambush that took your father's life. I think you should take what she did for you in the battle of the Pinewood City— because that was the choice, which she made in deciding to confront Fäolin."
"Hmm…Eragon made a positive deduction of reasoning," Angela stated. "There's progress. Oh, do not stop now, Eragon." When Arya and Eragon both turned toward Angela, she said, "Well, don't stare at me. You two are mates, unless my understanding is wrong."
Arya's face turned beet red. "I only did that so Eragon would not fall into a trap with another human," Arya fiercely stated. "It was for one night, that is all! You should ask Saphira, who did not bother to tell her Rider so he could disengage his mind from hers!"
Angela laughed. "Oh, so you just happened to wear your hair down for the first time in seventy years as Ambassador to the Varden, and do not tell me it came with the job of being Queen." Arya's jaw dropped. She tried to remember when exactly she had started leaving her hair down, and considered it had to be near the time she had consistently noticed his smell. She did not even notice Eragon's face was just as flushed as hers, or the fact Saphira and Thorn both shuffled their feet, while Murtagh looked away.
"You have no right!" Arya scowled as she walked away. "I will run the rest of the way! I hope you are going to the mountain to the east of the other, because I am going there!" She did not wait for any answer; she started running the only sound the neighing of Lötvir, who wanted to go with her. He could not because of the assignment, which he accepted, of carrying Angela, Solembum and their 'sticky bombs'. Though Lötvir could not figure why their name contained 'sticky' when they did nothing of the sort.
Arya put leagues between them, angry with Eragon, cursing the fact Saphira chose him, and Angela for revealing that part of her background. A part Arya should have known, as the daughter of Islanzadí, she should have known! Arya's thoughts were turbulent, anger at Eragon growing, and at Angela for revealing what she should have told her privately. She needed to know the information because she was Queen, even though it was not permanent; but why did Angela pick then to tell her? Why did her own mother not tell her? Arya kept returning to Angela's information about Eragon and her; anger inflaming until it consumed her.
You know the drill about reviews.
Note: Okay, just got a little bit of Lötvir's POV.
Note #2: I heard that Angela said she was over one hundred years old, and that fit perfectly with what I had in mind for her. Being a descendent of the Grey Folk-human kind I wanted to explore this from the beginning of my writing my story; because of the way she told Eragon in Eragon, Book 1, about how the Twins knew if they messed with her, she would turn their mind into mush.