Eragon paid no heed to the desperate pleading of the man on his knees before him. He picked him up by the throat with one hand and casually broke his neck with a flick of his finger. He then gently tossed the limp body over the side of the battlements and watched him fall onto the ground below. There was a wisp of air at his side. He turned to face Ayra as she stared deep into his eyes.

"I once knew a young man that taught me a lesson of morality when dealing with such a situation," she said. "Was that man a threat to you Eragon?"

"He isn't a threat to anything anymore," replied Eragon as he returned her stare.

"Eragon you must break from this path," she said breaking her stare, concern evident in her voice. "Or you will be forever lost to it."

Eragon turned to face the group of guards who burst from a nearby tower and were now running towards them.

"I know," he replied softly as he slowly drew his sword.

Lireal trudged on through the muddy woods. She was wet tired and her new armour chaffed horribly. She was, in short, miserable. It was not helped by the fact that it seemed only Sam was likewise affected. Eragon in contrast seemed tireless his constant pace was so brutal to follow that on occasions she offered to lead in order to slow them down. And when they stopped to sleep at night she noticed that he never once shut his eyes. She had difficulty believing the Dog's explanation of him saying that he was both human but with unnatural strength, stamina and perception. It all smacked of free magic to her. However he was an evident outdoorsman. Every night he would disappear with the Dog and come back with some form of game or another. And every time there wouldn't be a scratch on the animal or any trace of charter magic.

On the third night after their summoned weather they sat round a small fire that Eragon had constructed, Lireal thought of the name Eragon screamed out that day at the hut and wondered who it was and what had happened. Saphira, a pretty name to be sure, not one she had ever heard before however. She looked up to find Eragon staring at her with those deep brown eyes with a look like he was looking into her very soul. She quickly looked away, feeling embarrassed without really knowing why. Then he spoke.

"She was my dragon." He said his voice clear and sharp on that quiet night.

"I don't under…" Lireal started.

"You know what a dragon is?" He asked.

Lireal nodded.

"Then she looked exactly like you think she did with scales all shades of blue long teeth and sharp talons," he smiled as he spoke as if recalling a happy memory. "And she was more intelligent and wiser than you could believe."

Lireal flinched as an image hit her mind of a ferocious looking beast but beautiful in spite of its obvious power, or because of it.

"What happened to it?" Asked Lireal. And a pained look flashed on Eragon's face.

Suddenly she was filled with vertigo and an image of the dragon falling through the air beneath her and then the most powerful lance of compassionate agony lanced through her causing her to gasp out. Eragon looked down at the fire before them.

"Im sorry," he said softly as he jabbed at the fire with a stick causing sparks to fly into the air above them. "She was murdered in a battle by another…"

Lireal picked herself up and walked over to Eragon who continued to stoke the fire with his stick. She sat down beside him and put her arm over his shoulders.

"You loved her?" She murmured.

"More than that," he replied softly. "She was me. And I her. We were one."

"I don't understand."

"From the moment she hatched are souls were merged and when she died…" he sighed. "She took part of me with her."

Lireal looked up at him expecting tears but finding nothing in his eyes but the dancing reflections of the fire in front of them. He then turned to her and said.

"It is late, and there is far to go in the morning."

"But I…" Lireal started.

"Slytha," murmured Eragon quickly catching Lireal before she fell back onto the earth.

He carried back to her bed and gently put her down and covered her with a blanket.

He turned to find the Dog in front of him, head tilted to one side.

"She would have to look so much like her wouldn't she?" Said Eragon.

"Such is the nature of things," replied the Dog

Eragon walked around the fire past the snoring form of Sam. Then sat and embraced his waking dream. The only one he could have and the only one he didn't want to see again.