Roran walked up behind Eragon, who was standing silently, watching an Elf bound around the forest.

"Greetings, dear friend." Roran clasped Eragon on the shoulder.

Eragon turned and smiled. "Ah, Roran. You are not my dear friend, Cousin. You are my family. Much closer than any friend."

"Thank you, Cousin." Said Roran. "Though I have never really considered the Definition of a dear friend, it still means a lot."

They embraced, before turning their attention back towards the strange Elf.

"So..." started Roran. "How long is he going to stay out there?"

"Well," Replied Eragon. "It depends. It might be a century, it might be a day. Not even he knows."

"Right... And he just does that all day?"

"Yes. Well that, and other things."

"Other things like what?"

Eragon considered the Question.

"Well he has to feed."

Roran turned to him. "Are you sure?"

"Unless elves don't need food, fairly sure."

"Oh. What does he eat?"

"Same thing they do." Eragon gestured to the pack of deer.

Roran fell silent, before:

"And he wanted it to be like this?"


"...Seems like a waste of time, doesn't it?"

"When you live forever, you don't really keep track of time."


The elf stopped abruptly and started scratching behind his ear with the paws he had genetically modified.

"Don't you think," Roran said, "That if all the elves teamed up, they could easily defeat Galbatorix? I mean, if they can alter their appearance so much, without coming anywhere near close to dyeing, all of them together would be no match for the Big King, right?"

"Maybe. But then the he would have won anyway, as the Elves wouldn't really be Elves anymore."

"How do you figure?"

"They are a peaceful people." The Elf looked like it was playing a game with the other deer. "If they started attacking everybody, they would destroy everything they believe in."

"Fair enough."

They stood in comfortable silence at the edge of the clearing, watching the strange being frolic with a different species, until again Roran piped up,

"Well, couldn't someone design a potion that instantly knocks someone out and puts them to sleep? Then you could sneak into Galbatorix's house and throw the potion at him, then while he is asleep assault his mind and kill him."

"It's not that easy. All his wards would protect him and vent out the potion."

"Oh. Well, guess we'll have to stick to the original plan, then."

"We had a plan?" asked Eragon.

"Aye. Try not to get killed." Roran grinned.

Eragon smiled with him. "Aye, stick to the plan."

The Elf, by now, was resting against the trunk of a tree. Another deer, a doe, walked up to him and nuzzled him in the side before lying down next to him.

"Looks like they're getting along well." Eragon noted.

"Yes." Roran smiled. "I guess that's what you'd call a Deer Friend."