Eragon rode on Snowfire, hoping to get to his destination soon. He was traveling alone except for Saphira, who was flying above him so high that she would look like a bird to anyone who looked up. Nasuada had Eragon assigned to a very important mission: he had to convince King Uther Pendragon to aid the Varden in their war against Galbatorix. The tyrant king of Alagasia had somehow offended the King of Britain. Nasuada grabbed the advantage, and told Eragon to go and try to ally the Varden with king Uther. Even though it was a risk sending their best hope of defeating Galbatorix away for a period of time, Nasuada was desperate, and the Varden needed more allies, and quick. Eragon had no objection to Nasuada's decision, except for the fact that Uther had outlawed magic from his kingdom. Eragon himself was a magic worker, but it wasn't himself that Eragon feared for; it was Saphira. It was said that beneath Uther's castle in Camelot, there was held captive a dragon, as reminder to those that apposed him. Eragon feared for Saphira's life.
There was a rumble, and a sapphire dragon landed next Eragon. Snowfire did not bolt, for he was used to this sort of thing. Saphira looked Eragon in the eye, and what Eragon saw was compassion and never-ending love.
'Eragon, do not fret over my safety. I have thought over this problem many times, and I have come up with a solution.' She said, her voice speaking crystal clear in Eragon's mind.
'What is your plan?' Eragon asked, using the same mind-speech that the dragon had used.
Saphira's beautiful sapphire eyes twinkled mischievously. 'I'm not going to tell you, but we'll pass a town called Greenwood on our way to Camelot, yes?' Saphira asked.
Eragon frowned. 'Yes, it's one of the lesser towns.'
'Good, because you're going to need another horse.' Saphira said.
'Another horse? What for?' Eragon asked.
Saphira's eyes twinkled again. 'You'll have to wait and see.' She said before she spread her great wings, and flew back into the air.
Eragon watched her fly away, then sighed. He hated it when Saphira kept secrets from him.
In the Throne Room of Uther Pendragon
"Sire, you've just received word from Lady Nasuada, leader of the Varden." The guard said, bowing to the great and feared King of Britain.
Uther frowned. "Why would a rebellion contact me?" He asked.
"She has contacted you, to give you heads notice that she is sending an ambassador here, and that he should arrive within a week of so. At least, that was the time when she wrote the letter. I'm guessing that by now the ambassador should arrive any day." The guard said, holding out the note for Uther to see.
Uther snatched the note from the guards hands, and his eyes skimmed over the piece of parchment. He frowned, and sat the letter on the table by his throne. As this was going on, the Lady Morgana and Prince Arthur Pendragon watched in interest.
Uther pondered the letter for a moment, then took a deep breath.
"Tell the guards at the gate that when this ambassador arrives, to let him into the city, and to have someone escort him to the castle." Uther said.
The guard stood up straight, then bowed his head.
"Yes, sire." He said before exiting.
"What do you think the Varden want?" Morgana asked.
"I don't know, but I hope that I haven't offended them." Uther said.
"Why should we fear a pack of rebels? We've got one of the biggest armies from leagues around. We can deal with a handful of farmers." Arthur said.
"The Varden are no ordinary rebellion; they are allied with strange people, and they are the experts of hiding. Their previous leader, Ajahad, was a born general, and his daughter is the same. They've got all kinds of people on their side, and if they've survived this long, they've got strong warriors fighting with them." Uther said.
"What do you mean 'if they've survived this long'?" Morgana asked.
"Do you remember Galbatorix?" Uther asked.
"Of course, the lunatic bastard." Arthur replied.
"He's one of the most powerful and feared tyrants in the world." Morgana added.
"The Varden are rebelling against him." Uther said.
Arthur and Morgana's eyes both opened wide.
"Forgive my language, Father, but we're in trouble if you've pissed them off."
Between Greenwood and Camelot
Eragon had done as Saphira asked, and had purchased a horse in Greenwood. It was a magnificent mare with hair that glinted slightly blue in the light. Her name was Blackfire. She was the only horse left, because everyone thought her cursed, because she showed an intelligence unique for horses. Eragon thought it was quite a steal, at the price he got her for.
Once Eragon was a ways from Greenwood, Saphira landed in front of the horses. Blackfire's eyes rolled as she tried to bolt, but Eragon held her reigns fast.
'I'm ready,' Saphira said.
'Set the bag Arya gave me down close to me.' Said Saphira.
Eragon took the sack that had been given to them by the elfish princess, Arya, and set it down by Saphira's talons. Saphira had refused to Eragon of her plan, and had forbidden him to open Arya's gift.
Had it been anyone but Saphira telling him this, Eragon would have opened the sack, but surprising him brought Saphira pleasure, and Eragon did not want to deprive Saphira of her fun.
Saphira looked down at the sack for a moment, then looked up at Eragon.
'I believe that it would be wise of you to turn around.' She said.
Eragon was puzzled, but did as Saphira told him to.
Almost as soon as Eragon's back was turned, he heard a faint whispering in his head. He realized that it was Saphira, speaking in the ancient language. Eragon tried to make out the words, but Saphira was speaking too fast, and her voice was hushed. Eragon then felt a sudden intense heat on his back, as if a great fire had been lit. Then, just as soon as the heat had appeared, it was gone. Eragon waited patiently for Saphira to tell him to turn around, and all the while, he heard the sound of some sort of struggling. Eragon still didn't turn around, even when he heard the thump of something falling down.
After a while, Eragon was startled by a melodious voice calling his name.
"It's alright, Eragon, you can turn around now."
Eragon turned around, and saw to his surprise a woman, with long silky black hair that was like Blackfire's, in the sense that it had a tint of dark blue in it when caught in the light. The woman had pale skin, so pale that in some places you could see the blue veins underneath her skin. Her face was angular, and she was tall for a woman. Her nails went slightly past her finger tips, and reminded Eragon slightly of talons. The woman was wearing a deep midnight blue dress, tied at the waist with a simple brown belt. It suited the dress, though. The most odd thing about the woman, though, were her eyes. They were oddly shaped, like a cat's, and they were a deep sapphire blue, and shone as brightly as the gem whose color they mirrored.
"Saphira?" Eragon choked out.
The woman smiled, and nodded her head. "Yes, Eragon, it is me."
Eragon stared at her with wide eyes. "How . . . what?" He asked.
Saphira smiled. "I thought of this while we were still on the plains. I told Arya and Nasuada about my plan, and they taught me how to act like a lady. Aria lent me some of her clothes so that I wouldn't have to wear breeches and tunics like a man." She said.
It all fit: the sudden disappearing with the ellith and the rebel leader, the new horse, it all made sense now.
Eragon was going to ask what she did to become human, but he knew that Saphira wouldn't be able to explain it. Dragons did their magic when they were inspired to, it was purely instinctual.
Eragon sighed. "Well, at least we won't have to worry about Uther finding out about you."