Hello everyone! Sorry this one took so long to update, but I was debating on whether to discontinue this one… should I? Just to clear some things up… this story was posted BEFORE Brisinger came out so things are different… (Like whom Eragon's father is, etc.) And as you can tell… the elder Eragon is an Eragon a lot FARTHER into the future. Apparently, Nasuada is dead (sooo sad XD) well anyway… if you have any more questions just ask! (Or they might be answered in later chapters!) Here you go and please review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 6: To the Death

Eragon stood pointing Brisinger at Keitha's neck. She was frozen in fright and confusion at her friend. Her breathing was deep and ragged while he stared unblinking at nothing.

"Eragon…? What are you doing? What's going on?" she stuttered. His sword tip just dug deeper causing her to yelp in pain. She looked at his eyes and noticed that the bright brown of his eyes and dulled and filmed over, nor did he blink or show any signs of emotion. Realization lighted in her eyes and she quickly jumped back from the sword. Eragon jerked slightly and dove at her with his sword raised. She danced around the clearing avoiding his blows as she tried to come up with a strategy.

Stopping, she turned and looked at him. He noticed this and charged her. But, she stayed unmoving in her position. Just as he was about to strike her, she raised her hand and cited an incantation. Eragon froze and his eyes flickered.

"Losna!" she cried and he fell over unconscious.

()()()()()()()()()()

Galbatorix frowned as he looked at the riders before him. The eldest and the youngest were the easiest to manipulate but the eldest son…

The king turned his head to the boy and eyed him as the boy returned the gaze. Murtagh scowled and returned his gaze to the ruby hatchling which sat in front of his rider. Two males and one female were in his possession. That meant… more dragons. When the two new comers matured… they would crush the Varden and no one would stand in his way. He frowned. Except for Brom and the two… elves, or whatever they are.

He was shaken out of his thoughts when Morzan coughed slightly but HIGHLY conspicuously. He turned to him and frowned in distaste. Morzan eyed him then inclined his head towards the two boys. Galbatorix sighed and also turned to them. Standing he walked towards them and stopped a few feet from Murtagh. Murtagh stiffened but made no other movements.

"Now, Murtagh, be a good child and listen to me," he stated firmly. Murtagh refused to look at him and continued to watch his dragon. Sighing, the king raised his palm and pointed it at the hatchling.

"Eldrvarya," he whispered. Murtagh's eyes widened in horror as a searing pain ripped through his dragon's body and to him through their link. His dragon whimpered in pain and writhed on the floor.

"Stop! Please!" Murtagh cried as his dragon began to gasp for breath. Morzan watched silently and Eragon sat with his dim eyes staring at nothing. Galbatorix drew back his hand and looked at what he had done. The hatchling lay motionlessly on the ground as the other, Saphira, bounced around in concern. Turning around he sat back down on his throne. Murtagh raised his eyes and looked at him. He bowed his head and recited the words of binding in the ancient language. Galbatorix's laughter echoed throughout the throne room.

()()()()()()()()()()

"Come on Baldor, hurry up!" Roran called to another man behind him. Albriech stood looking back at both of them from atop a small hill.

"Yeah, yeah. Calm down Roran," Baldor called as he lugged his pack up the hill. In the distance the Hadarac Desert stretched on in every direction. Somewhere in the desert lay their destination, Uru'baen. There lay his cousins whom his father had betrayed. Slowly they descended the rocky earth into the desert.

"Gunna be a long dry trip, eh Roran?" Roran walked silently and looked at the sandy earth.

"Yeah, think so. Are you sure you want to come? I mean, its gunna be dangerous!" Albriech and Baldor nodded earnestly.

"Of course! We're not cowards you know… Murtagh and Eragon are our friends too," they chimed in. Roran nodded and continued his walking. They fell into silence and walked onward. A soft haze rested n the horizon and the sun burned above them. They trudged on and spoke nothing until darkness began to fall.

They stopped and set up their tents. Albriech started a fire and Baldor cooked the meat. Roran, however, sat off at a distance and looked at the stars. He watched the twinkling stars and thought about his cousins. Why did father give them up? Why? He thought angrily. I must find them… I must save him from his at all costs… especially Eragon.

Flashback

Roran walked through the silent house. He stopped before his youngest cousin's door and noticed that he was not there. Turning around he headed to the door and opened it slowly. He walked out and saw his cousin watching the stars. Roran watched him for a few minutes before Eragon turned and noticed him.

"Roran?" he asked softly. Roran walked over to him and sat down next to him. Roran looked up at the stars along with him. After a few minutes Eragon turned to him.

"Roran?"

"What is it Eragon?"

"Every night I hear someone… calling to me…"

"Calling?"

"Yeah… she calls to me; she comforts me and talks to me. She says she's watching me and protecting me. She said…" Roran looked at his cousin in confusion. Eragon looked away and into the forest which surrounded them.

"She said eventually someone was going to come for me. That this bad person would take control of me and use me to hurt people." Roran placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Do not worry… I won't let that happen," he soothed, "I'll always protect you." Eragon shook his head.

"No Roran, she also said someone really close to me… when they try to protect me will… will… die." He cut off and started sobbing. Roran leaned down and hugged him.

"Do not worry; it's just your imagination… no one's going to die, Eragon. Don't worry." Eragon started crying louder.

"No! I heard her… I really did… she…she…" Roran picked him up and carried him into the house. He laid him in his bed and walked into his own room. He sat down and his hands began to shake. Eragon would never lie about something like this… he was so… sincere. Too sincere.

End Flashback

Who had spoken to Eragon? Was this person right? What did she know? Who was she? No, don't worry Eragon. I will keep to my promise. Even if I die I will protect you.

"Roran?" Baldor asked in concern. Roran shook his head and scooted over to the two.

"Don't worry… I'm fine." Baldor shrugged his shoulders and handed him a bowl full with a stew. Roran nodded and began to eat. It tasted awful.

()()()()()()()()

Murtagh sat looking out of his window with Thorn sitting in his lap. The newly named hatchling watched his rider curiously and nipped periodically at him. Murtagh sighed and placed the dragon on his bed. He promptly yawned, curled into a ball and fell asleep. Murtagh smiled at him and walked back over to the window. His thoughts wandered to his baby brother who slept in the room across the castle from him.

Oh Eragon, why must you be such a magnet for trouble? He cried out. What has the king done to you? He has harmed you, brother, and I will not forgive him for that. I promised mother I would protect you. I will do just. Even to the grave.

()()()()()()()()()()

Keitha looked sorrowfully upon the man that lay before her. His chest rose and fell slowly and she could hear the beating of his heart. He slept tranquilly devoid of all cares as she watched over him.

Leaning forward she brushed her lips against his ear and whispered.

"I will protect you." She leaned back and watched him again. Her heart rose to her throat as stared at him. What was this feeling?

Flashback

"Keitha?"

"What is it Eragon?" Eragon paused and looked at her thoughtfully if not a little strangely. She rocked uncomfortably on her feet and stared at him in confusion.

"We are cousins."

"What? Cousins? What do you mean?"

"Well, we are not brother and sister and…"

"And what Eragon?" Eragon looked at sorrowfully and, yet again, with that strange look.

"… we are cousins because nothing does or will exist between us." Keitha froze and nodded. She now understood what he was thinking. Yes… they will never, no, should never, have anything like that exist between them.

End flashback

Keitha leaned forward and grasped his hand. She leaned towards him and stopped with her face inches from his.

"Eragon… I will not let any harm come to you." Her tears shown like diamonds as they began to fall and adorn his face sleeping.

Please tell me if i should continue! it would be greatly apprectated!!!!!!! i hope you liked it! PLEASE REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!