Chapter 50: Epilogue Seven hundred years later
A man with trimmed and perfected chocolate brown hair and cerulean eyes answered the call. He was wearing a casual dress of Elvin nobility. A pair of rather loose fitting felt pants and a very fine embroidered tunic that went nearly to his knees. A sapphire blue sword hung at his waist and a simple gold crown with the yawe symbol entwined with the aesthetic leaves of Du Weldonvarden sat on his head.
Turning back briefly to his previous engagement, he dismissed his charges.
"Fenrir, Thane, Maximus, Valrien, Esthemone, Keira, you have your duties and your assignments. I want you to only investigate the charges against that Elvin man and protect the citizens against any further attacks. Are we clear?"
A synchronized, "Yes, ebirthil." resounded in the immediate areas.
Thane was a human boy, flaming red hair and sky blue eyes. He hailed from Surda, born nearly fifty years back. Maximus had hatched for him there when he was not nine years of age. His family had sorely missed the boy, but they were glad for his education and his choosing. As if to match, Maximus was the same color as his Rider's hair, a rather reddish orange. A color that the deep purple hued Esthemone never lets him forget would 'pick him out like an apple among the oranges.' Esthemone's Rider was the fair blonde haired Kiera with another set of hazel eyes to contribute to her appeal. Kiera was the result of a union of a human Rider and an Elvin Rider. Of the three, she remained the most skilled in swordplay. After Arya and Eragon had mated, these couplings between immortal humans and elves had become more frequent once it was apparent the children suffered no ill effects. Of course, if the child was not a Rider, he or she could be subjected to a mortal life, yet even that was only a barrier for wanting children. And in truth, children of Riders were rare.
The last to mention were Fenrir and his dragon Valrien. Fenrir was the typical mysterious man, jet black hair and a pair of black eyes to match. But his eyes lacked the coldness of black, they were warm and comforting if seen in the right way. His features were sharp and pointed, almost to the point of being ruthless. His hard lines contributed to his foreboding sense and his aura exuded danger. But Eragon knew beneath his rough exterior, no doubt the cause of an abusive father and negligent step – mother who constantly beat him, he was a soft hearted boy who continued to make children little wooden birds that flew with the wind or a small flower to the little girls who were having a rough day. He rarely smiled, rarely let emotion show in his face. He was a master with words, and the most skilled magician among the pair. Valrien, his white dragon seemed to reflect that inner heart in a seemingly rough exterior. Of the three dragons here, only Valrien was calm and controlled. He was the nicest of the three as well, considering all Esthemone and Maximus did was fight and poke fun at each other. It even grew old to their own Riders, much less to others. They had recently engaged in another one of their arguments, much to their Riders dismay. Kiera spared a glance at Fenrir. Their master noticed that he too, was staring after her like he would his fancy, but Fenrir quickly masked his intentions like the master he was. She seemed to be fairly disappointed with the encounter, but it was not the master Rider's place to interfere.
A gust of wind swept in the elder Rider's direction as they three took off for their posts. A small smile graced his features as he watched their ascending bodies become mere specks in the air.
His smile grew wider as the small child drew closer and closer. He picked up his daughter of two years, resting her on his well developed arms and started walking back towards Tialdari Hall. Her mother was slowly making her way towards them, a glint of humor in her eyes. She was wearing a tunic of his. A habit that never died. She pinned the cloth in places as to give her shape instead of drowning herself in it. The fragrance of pinecones wafted through the air as the man, once again, found himself intoxicated by her scent. They met halfway before the child had found something else that peaked her interest. Her parents watched as she bounded away in the direction of an unsuspecting little sparrow taking refuge in little tree nearby.
Feeling an arm curve around her back, she turned around only moments before she was swept into a long, languid kiss her mate was so good at. Her hands immediately sought their prize in his hair, but she could no longer curve the long locks of hair around her fingers. Her mate had cut it for a more 'professional presentation' but, alas, how she missed his longer hair.
A sigh in contentment broke them apart.
"I love you, Arya."
She smiled at how her heart fluttered at those words even years later, before answering her customary answer of how she loved him as well and nudging his nose playfully with hers as she always did.
"She looks just like you, my Queen."
"But she has your eyes."
And that she had. The daughter of the king and queen of elves, Eragon and Arya, had raven black hair like her mother and her father's natural brown eyes before he was changed into a Rider. Her features were just as striking as her mother's but her heart was as naïve and kind as her father's.
"Mother, there are some Dwarven delegates waiting for you both in the hall."
The voice that came next was of their son and heir to the throne. He had inherited his father's chocolate brown hair and his mother's emerald eyes. He stood at his father's height, a man of twenty five years himself, and a Rider as well. He was far more like his mother though, sharing her angled and sharpened features while sharing his father's build.
"Evandar, look after your sister while we are away."
"Yes, father," came the swift reply.
The King and Queen made their way to Tialdari Hall, but not before catching the mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Oh and Evandar…" his inwardly groaned at his mother's knowing tone, "Do not let your sister pull all the flowers in the garden again."
"But mother," his voice was, once again, filled with mischief, "I was the one who did that. Does that mean I can do it again?"
A raised eyebrow on his mother's part silenced him on the matter. He called his forest green dragon to him, Könungr. The story of his naming was a comical one. Lord Fiolr had spitefully called his father Könungr when they had come to visit him in order to see his progress on his sentence, and during one of his many imitations of lords he found annoying, he had said the word Könungr, and that was that. That green dragon stuck with it. Even he thought it was a little egotistical, but that green dragon would not be called by anything else, and to match, he had the stubbornness of one too. Well, that and it was the offspring of Saphira and Valianas. Her stubbornness must have passed on to him. They were there for the month, a break for the Blood-Oath Celebration granted by the Council of Elder Riders at Vroengard. As the heir to the throne, Evandar had to prepare beforehand, and was given a leave. Of course, it did not hurt that his father, Eragon, not only rebuilt Vroengard after the Fall, but headed it for a full six and a half centuries before being crowned King of the Elves.
Nevertheless, Evandar went after his sister Selena in hopes of catching her before she did something rather stupid. He, on the other hand, was apparently more like his mother, carefully planning his pranks and never being caught. He spared one last glance at his parents before finding his sister.
Eragon chuckled to himself before falling into an easy grin.
"What is it, iet Shurtugal?"
Even after all these years, they still fondly called each other by the names they gave each other during the war. Even though Arya was Queen, and had been for the past fifty of so years, she was still his princess and he would still pamper her like one. The love never died between them.
"He takes after you, you know."
Arya smiled knowingly, she was a troublesome child with the free reigns her father gave her. But damn it all, he was her son, and that did not go for nothing. She had given him free reigns when he was growing up as well. Islanzadi often made an offhand comment that he was growing unruly, but she did nothing but encourage his mischief by rewarding him with lavish gifts every time he visited her in her forest dwelling after she had resigned from being Queen. Although, Eragon strongly suspected she was lenient because he was named after Arya's father.
After Estheria was trained and Vroengard was rebuilt, Saphira and Valianas finally fell deeply in love and mated. They still continued to have children every decade or so, but since there was no need to prolong their race of the Riders any longer, most of their eggs were wild dragons. Könungr was the only exception in a full century. Currently, Saphira and Valianas were flying across Crags and swimming in the large fresh water lake there. Estheria and Blodhgarm were taking a well deserved break in Blodhgarm's home where they were staying for the Blood – Oath Celebration. Estheria became a master of meditation techniques and expansion and taught that subject proficiently. She was continued to be the favorite teacher of the young Riders with her sweet and loving personality. Blodhgarm taught magic and spell weaving at Vroengard. He fell in love with teaching so much that he expressed his desire to continue as a teacher even though he would never be a Rider. Eragon requested Vanir to teach swordplay and with the abundance of new disciples to shape up, he wanted to stay as well. He, however, continued to be the most hated of the teachers with his constant insults at incompetence and hard training sessions. The Master Rider himself taught literature and poetry to the elder students. Most who expressed desires to continue in that field had talked with him personally on pursuing a path in the arts. He had stationed them in peaceful and scenic areas of Alagaesia so they could fulfill their duties as a Rider and have their inspiration.
Arya had remained the Elvin ambassador and delegate during these times, However, she was quickly appalled at the lack of knowledge the Riders had included in the department of the entire Alagaesian history and culture of all the races and demanded Eragon include it in his curriculum. And once Eragon could not find a teacher for it, she took the job stating she did not want any lesser knowledgeable one teaching such a delicate subject. She did state, of course, that if one more knowledgeable came along, she would gladly hand over the position. That day, however, never came. Arya, instead, chose an old student of hers who had long since left Vroengard to look over Marna to come back and teach as she would no longer be able to. Asthon, the student, was more than willing to come back and fulfill his teacher's request.
And now, now they had both decided it was time to fulfill the next duty of their lives, they left Vroengard in the hands of very capable elder Riders, Estheria included, and became the revered King and Queen of the Forest Elves. They ruled for a peaceful fifty years so far, during which they had two children: the naughty Evandar and the innocent Selena.
There were still times when one of them broke up in a sweat because of a nightmare of the war or even when she ran her hands over the scars that damned black sword put on him or even took the creased and refolded paper on which her mate wrote that poem before they were separated and read it once again. Nay…they never forgot the war, it was too much a part of them to ever be truly forgotten. But they did not need to. They did not need to when a little shift would immediately give them the comfort of their companion's arms around them.
Later that day, they found themselves curled up in an especially large easy chair in front of their fireplace. The fairth of Murtagh and Thorn was hung above the fireplace in all its majesty, catching the light the fire trickled into the room. It was not cold outside, but they still huddled together for warmth. A delicate hand ran over the emerald pendant that still hung faithfully around her neck. The queen had tilted her face upward, angling her lips so she could easily find her mate's. He placed chaste kisses on her lips, murmuring his usual poetic praises against them. It was during these times when no one bothered them.
Well…perhaps not no one.
They made no motion to move from their current position, they knew who it was opening the doors to their private chambers this late in the night.
"Mother!" A little girl ran up and bounded in her arms before snuggling up close against her. The Queen lay back down against the strong body of her mate, savoring the feeling of his strong arms around her and their daughter. The last footsteps heard were those of her son before he nearly fell down into the chase next to them, his eyes watching them closely with a hint of a smile.
"What, son, would you like to sit on my lap too?"
He gave his father a large grin before standing up a little too quickly.
"Well, if you insist, father, who am I to disobey?"
And before the elder man could protest, his son slid into easy chair next to his small-framed mother and laughed at his father's mortified expression.
"I truly appreciate the love, Evandar," Eragon's voice was strained a little, "But you are not twelve any longer."
He laughed harder before getting himself and pouring himself his favorite tea that his mother always made for him in case he walked in and wanted a cup of it. He drained it quickly before grabbing a blanket and haphazardly throwing it over himself and promptly falling asleep. Evandar had an odd habit of drinking tea before bed. Apparently, it put him to sleep. It started at the age of fifteen. He was home for a break of a few weeks here and there, and he had tried to get into the kitchen to make a little tea, but he could not find where his mother had hidden it. So, he quietly crept into his parent's room, who watched him and his unusual habit every night without his knowing, made a cup of tea of his favorite and went back to bed. The next night, the tea was already made for him and so he took a cup as silently as he could, kissed his mother goodnight and thanked her, and slept quite peacefully that night.
Arya lifted herself out of bed and fixed the blanket on her beloved son before placing a tender kiss on his forehead. Her mate had left the room and taken Selena to her bedchamber as she had also fallen fast asleep. Her daughter was an interesting one. The princess could only fall asleep on her own bed or in her parents' arms, and on top of that, she needed a room far up in the tower in order to fall asleep well. Her father had loved that she was an innocent little daddy's girl, but Arya knew better and so did her father. Once he found the long group of sturdy vines that had formed by accidental magic on her part all the way up her tower large enough for her hands to grasp on well and climb down. That child was fearless. Eragon was so appalled at his daughter's daring and unable to deny his little girl anything, he hand built a sturdy oak staircase all the way up the tower so she would be safe. He did not want to even risk magic saying, 'it is unpredictable' even though he was merely being paranoid.
Arya removed the dull lighting provided by the candles and slid into bed, waiting for the warmth of her mate to lean against. It came quickly after her thoughts along with a chaste kiss on her lips, surrounding her as she rested her cheek lightly on his chest.
The dreams of their ancestors were fulfilled. They no longer ran on someone else's agenda, they no longer made another's dream theirs. Nay, this Rider and princess couple had finally began living their dream. A loving family living in an era of peace. Their dreams were finally complete.
(A/N) This is the end of the story. I thank everybody who reviewed and I really hope you enjoyed it.