Curses… I'm just feeling too Inheritance-y. Couldn't resist writing something up. With any luck, this will turn into an actual story, if my original works don't get in the way. If any of my readers how looked me up, I apologize, but my hiatus is due completely to my original works. I have already finished one of them, roughly equal length to Gregor and the Cutter Lair, and am well into the next. I offer my sincerest heart's apology, but I can no longer guarantee anything. Life is strange.
I simply couldn't resist, however. This plotline is roughly composed of things that have been running through my head ever since I finished reading Brisingr. I don't even know what I'm gonna call it yet… that'll only come when I actually post it. I don't know how this will be received or how far it will or I will take it. For now, I'm giving the bloody thing a shot. We'll see how this goes.
Disclaimer: Sadly, not.
Seemingly After Everything
From the moment she had been born, she had been a princess. Treated as such, too.
It infuriated her. There was nothing she hated more than royalty, and, just to her luck, she was a part of such lineage. It made her want to pull her hair from her head and burn her limbs to cinders. This was not proper action for a princess, her mother told her, which complicated the situation. She was not on the best terms with her mother, either, and after her father perished the affection was strictly one-way and the entire relationship downhill. She started to think it was at that point that her life began to spiral downhill, she imagined when she thought back, but her character wasn't the type to dwell deep in the past. It just wasn't her way. She was a forward-thinker. She made herself that way. Princesses weren't like that. Perhaps that's why she did it.
Her first mate—her only mate—had loved her for it. They were each other's only confidante's in a world full of hate. He had been the sole anchor for her as she traveled between a world where she was shunned and a world where she was grossly disliked. If not for him she may have fled the world. Away, as far as she could go without killing herself. But he was there, and his life made hers worth living. As long as she had him by her side.
It was not fated to last. Looking back, she thought she had realized that the morning before he was slaughtered. Killed, by the demon she had hated beyond any love she could ever feel. She had felt something that morning that made her fear for her very being, for his being, for everything they knew. She could never identify it; she tried and failed, it was near impossible. Eventually she stopped trying, lying in her cell after having watched him die. It was useless; it wouldn't bring him back, it wouldn't save her from the horrible tortures she was subjected to. It wouldn't stop the Shade from raping her mind night and day, searching for the terrible truths she didn't possess to give.
The demon had almost killed her when word passed through the kingdom that there was another dragon in the world. His fury had nearly been the end of her. Only the sense of victory had held her together, through the days and nights where tears fell soundlessly from her eyes with no recognition of why they were or how they had come to be. Her love was gone, her life was lost… but the dragon lived. She often wondered who it had hatched for. She knew where she had sent it, but she knew of no special being in such parts of the world, save for the Rider she had sent it to. It would not hatch for him, though… it was impossible to entertain such hypotheses.
Some days she prayed the Shade would just kill her. Life had no meaning rotting away in the cell. She had no magic to escape, no magic or devices to take her own life. She wondered often, same as of the Rider, whether or not she would actually commit the act of suicide if she had had the power. She never found out, and she was not sure she ever wanted to. She was terrified of the answer, whatever it was. She had no doubt of that.
Her life changed forever when she met the Shur'tugal, the blue rider. The battle under the mountain defined her existence forever. The Shade was defeated; she watched the rider slice through its heart himself, she assisted him! The scar rent in his back by the demon's blade was the sign, though; the moment his black blade pierced the rider's flesh, their fates became intertwined… hers and the rider who had saved her, healed her wounds, showed her the way to the light of living again. She knew she would guide him until he needed her no more. That was the path to save her life's memory.
They traveled to her home… her old home. She had no home anymore. He was exposed to the Shur'tugal-elda, her only remaining friend amongst her people. He was taught the ways of the Rider, the ways he would learn to live his life when his Master was no more. She watched him learn, was happy for him. He was one of few who she actually considered friend. Before he had ever proclaimed it aloud, she had been aware of his lust for her presence, known the dangers. It was irrelevant; he was intelligent, and there was no room for error in the war with the Dark King.
When he approached her for the first time with the intent of pursuit, she had rebuked him without a second thought. Had she had a choice in the matter she may not have been so swift, but she was of no doubt that after consideration her action would have been the same. He was a human, albeit a rider. Humans and elves had mated over the centuries of history, but this would not be a union that ended in happiness. He was a rider; she was nothing. Nothing to him, in the end, as she thought of it. No matter the feelings she may have had, which she didn't even acknowledge, didn't even notice, there was no room for his heart's desire.
When he was changed… that was when she noticed she was actually fond of his presence. It was nothing more than friendship, though he tried again, begged, even. She could not, they could not, it was impossible. But she found all of a sudden that she felt quite alone without him there. She had lost her mate, she had been stripped of her family and her distant friends, and now even her rider—the rider—was no longer by her side to help her as she returned to the rebels.
His battle with the brother was crippling for him. He was not prepared, and he fared terribly. She was forced to watch from afar, not even able to comfort him when it was over. She watched as he threw it away himself, on his own… as she could never do. His determination for victory, for others, for the necessity of continuation. It was something that almost shocked her in him. He had grown from his attempts to woo her in the middle of a shielded forest to a never-tiring warrior on the battlefield. Yet he did tire. And his exhaustion, the pressure, his unrequited frustration and terror, were his alone to bear. She grieved for him, for his dragon, for him.
The rider. The rider. Every thought she had dealt with the rider. How the rider would fit into the rebel's plans. What the rider would argue if she proposed a plan of action. What the rider would say if she were to tease him as she had been unable to do before she'd met him. The rider was the future, she knew. She believed. The rider was everything to her life. Her success, the world's success, depended on the rider. Her friend. Her closest living companion. She wasn't simply fond of his presence; she adored it. But she could never let him know that. It would simply make him believe that there were things in her mind that simply weren't. She couldn't deny the sense of joy she felt when they laughed at the same time. A rare occasion, yes… but far from repulsive.
A Shade… there was a Shade. Memories, horrible remembrances nearly destroyed her that day. His eyes were the same. The eyes… they crippled her. The rider was there, he saw her through. He helped her as she had helped him conquer his own Shade. As he had struggled with the raw vision being surged through his body involuntarily from his distant Master's demise, he had somehow found it in his way to distract the demon long enough for her to sneak in her attack.
The Master, her friend… gone. He was all she had left. He had to succeed. She had to help him. She could make only enough decision for him to succeed and come from the other side of the battlefield victorious. Her life didn't matter. His was the only thing to her anymore. Victory had only one path, and it was his to take. Without her.
If there was one thing she had learned in her life, it was that when you truly start to believe there was a happy ending to be had—her happy, the rider happy, the world happy—there is always another battlefield. It was a pessimistic outlook, but she could not help it. Battlefields were seemingly the only thing she had ever known. The battlefield that took her father. The battlefield that took her mate. This battlefield was no exception… the battlefield that will test everything that you have accumulated to defeat the coming evil. It isn't even the battlefield that the final war will end on—it is the precursor, the taste of the power, the deep breath before the plunge.
Yet even on that battlefield everything changed in a moment.
Where she should have been with him. But wasn't. Where her sword blade should have saved him from the cuts of the enemy. But didn't.
Where he was slashed, chopped, and cut.
Where he was kicked, maimed, and ridiculed.
Where his soul was fated by the souls of the dragons to die…
In every creature's life, there is a day that changes everything. On this day, everything you knew or thought you knew changes. Shapes warp, memories cloud, visions shift. Friends you thought you knew turned foreign; jokes you may have once told turned humorless. This day is tumultuous for all, whether it be in sadness or happiness, pain or strength, and without exception the day of this occurrence is the most important in a creature's life. No one is able to tell what occurs. It is laid out itself by the most ancient magicks known to the world. But what one does know is that on this day, no matter what triggered the happening, what ignited the first spark, what made the mind bleed… it was the very thing that defined an existence. And it was the reason why everything lived.
For the longest of times, the most terrible of years, she had thought that day had been the day she met her mate. Then she thought it was the day she met the rider.
She never could seem to get it right.
The day that changed her life forever was the day that she watched her rider lead the armies of rebellion against the enemy, fearless, without a worry in the world. Alone and mighty. Alone against one far more powerful than he yet not as powerful as he needed to be… The day she watched him fall and be felled. The day he shed more blood than she had shed in a century of life.
And it was all because of the moment she had played her heart for dead—the moment the sword had passed through his body, twisted, and been brutally removed—that she realized what she had kept in store…
…on the day that, after his body had been pierced, his soul crushed, his strongest resolution devoured…
…the day he climbed back to his feet. The day he refused to stay down. The day he defied the will of the dragons, and got back up...
Because it was at that moment... because of how their eyes met across leagues of battlefield... that the spark ignited in her heart.
Hmmmmm… I'm not sure about that... we'll see. Yes, this battlefield is MY creation. No, this is not a oneshot. Yes, this is a premonition. Yes, I'm sure you're confused. I apologize profusely.
I don't know why, but I always seem to start my epically long disaster-love stories with the non-main character's point of view. You got me. R & R, folks. I'm already writing the next chapter…