Disclaimer: I do not own the owned (aka The Inheritance Cycle).

Author's Note: Just a wee word of introduction – I got this idea from the myriad of fanfics like this in the Harry Potter fandom. Most of them are pretty darn funny and likeable enough. They are romantic comedies (more like smutty comedies but usually with a good enough amount of romance tempering the smut/lemons) with some adventure and action.

The main character – in this case usually Harry Potter as it's the HP fandom – somehow acquires god-like powers and totally rocks the world, taking it over effortlessly and thrashing his enemies. Something similar will happen here but it is mainly to propel AxE forward as well as give Eragon a backbone.

In case anyone's wondering, that's what the main shipping will be (AxE/ExA) and there will be zero slash. Do take note that this is rated "M" for a very MATURE reason, namely some adult themes and battle action. You were warned. But enough said. Without any further ado, I present you with my latest plot-bunny!

P.S. This fanfic is rated for future chapters as in the next one.

Chapter 1: In Which The Ritual Is Found

Eragon was searching through the scrolls and manuscripts furiously. Surely there had to be something here that could help him defeat Galbatorix! But alas, there was nothing. He was currently in his master Oromis's hut back in Du Weldenvarden.

Saphira and, oddly enough, Arya had joined him. They had given special permission after the burning of Oromis and Glaedr's bodies as per the customs of the elves who did not bury their dead. Eragon had found it slightly disturbing but was growing more accustomed to their different ways of life and had made no comment.

Besides, he had been too overcome with grief at the time and was the last person to leave the burning pier. He stayed at the scene until Arya finally mustered up her courage and coaxed him away. Even then, Eragon was still depressed and was like a man in a daze blindly following after Arya as she led him through the maze of tents that was the elves' camp.

After the ceremony, Eragon and Saphira had been requested a week of leave to mourn their fallen masters and return to his old home in the woods to see if he had left anything behind that could help them in the war. Eragon had been reluctant to use anything like that as a weapon, thinking that his master deserved more honour than that but eventually agreed.

He was surprised when Arya requested to join him and Saphira afterwards and readily agreed, simply thankful for some extra company. He doubted he would have the strength to return to the war if it were not for Arya. Coming to think about it, he would be a mess if it were not for her. Eragon let loose a weary sigh as his thoughts tread further into forbidden territory.

He knew he had promised not to yearn after Arya but found it hard not to. Because of the promise, he realised that his feelings were no longer the lust of raging teenaged hormones but love. He thought it could not be possible at first but his suspicions were confirmed when he made a Fairth of Arya out of the blue.

He could not stop himself and had grabbed the nearest stone in sight, etching how Arya looked to him on the smooth slab of marble. He was shocked at the result and after Saphira snuck a look at it, she confirmed his thoughts with a chuckle. His dragon companion then went off to hunt leaving him alone to explore the hut which he was doing up until now.

Heaving another sigh this time of resignation, Eragon stared at the Fairth for a long moment. He marvelled at how simply looking at this new image of Arya sent a warm strength through his whole being. He shook his head in wonder but quickly sobered when he sensed a magical presence near him.

"What are you doing, Shadeslayer?" A musical voice asked curiously.

Eragon yelped, startled and spun around stuffing the Fairth behind his back. His face flushed bright red in embarrassment and he froze in shock and horror hoping Arya had not seen the picture, for it was her who had entered the hut. It was twilight and no one else was around for miles making the silence between them all the more uneasy.

Eragon squirmed uncomfortably under her piercing glare. He held his breath as Arya studied him like a hunter scrutinizing her prey trying to decide if he was worthy enough. Finally, Arya relented and visibly relaxed drawing back a step. Eragon let out his pent up breath and his shoulders sagged.

He had almost forgotten about the Fairth which he shouldn't have done, for Arya's hand shot out and snatched it away from his hands. Eragon blurted out a startled "Eep" and wanted to run away from the perplexed elf. He braced himself for a negative reaction and watched in alarm as she studied the Fairth calmly.

The minutes wore on and Arya turned from the Fairth and looked at him. Eragon did his best to look her in the eyes but felt his own move away involuntarily, too embarrassed to have been caught off guard. At last, Arya looked away and surprised Eragon by placing the Fairth gently on the small table in the corner of the hut.

"It is impressive work, Shadeslayer," She said softly, her eyes taking a faraway look out the window.

Eragon swallowed hard, trying to decide if he should be pleased or confused or hopeful at the compliment. There were so many choices and he did not want to bugger up his chances of spending time with his friend, not to mention that she was the woman of his dreams too.

"Have you had any luck in your search yet?" Arya asked, clearly changing the subject as if sensing his unease.

Eragon smiled wearily, grateful for her tact.

"I'm afraid not," He said, sitting down tiredly on a bench opposite Arya who was sitting on a chair next to the table.

"Perhaps you could use a helping hand?" Arya enquired.

"I would appreciate that," Eragon said with a thankful smile.

Arya tilted her head to the side and favoured him with a warm smile in return, making Eragon go slightly dizzy. He found it hard not to stare and quickly gave himself a mental shake. Clearing his throat he stood up hastily and gestured to the table that was still covered in a messy pile of scrolls and other books.

"Should we begin?" He asked hurriedly.

Arya nodded casually and turned around on her seat so that she faced the table. Eragon hurried over to join her at the table and resumed his task. The duo worked in silence for what seemed like an eternity and Eragon was very relieved to enjoy a worriless evening. Eventually, night fell and Arya murmured a spell causing the hut to become lit up without any candles or lanterns.

Eragon marvelled inwardly at her talent and gave her a genuine compliment. Arya smiled and nodded but continued looking through the pile of scrolls. Suddenly, she froze and her eyes widened. Eragon looked up sharply wondering what was wrong. When he saw her face he gazed curiously at her, his eyes intense with concern for her well-being.

"What did you find?" He asked quickly. "Are we in trouble? Did you find something?"

Arya hesitated and then nodded uncertainly. Eragon was shocked to see her ears pink with embarrassment and her eyes downcast as if being caught doing something naughty. Eragon cursed himself inwardly as his cheeks flushed bright red from all the less-than-proper mental images that flooded through his brain at the notion.

He desperately tried to avoid Arya's gaze, and was even more worried as the elf's body stiffened. Wordlessly, she slid a rather long and thick paper across the table to him. Arya remained silent and tight-lipped making Eragon nearly sweat with worry. Whatever she had found appeared to be potent but risky.

Why did he get the feeling that it would be embarrassing? Taking a deep breath, he caught the paper in his hands. He closed his eyes momentarily and prepared himself for all sorts of nasty things. Judging by Arya's reaction it was less then pleasant. When Eragon finally dared to look down at the paper he was floored.

It was scrawled neatly in an extremely old style of elvish writing – even older than the Ancient Language, mind! – and was entitled The Ritual. But it was not the title that disturbed him but the ritual itself that was written in very distinct detail cramming up every inch of paper. Eragon nearly choked on bile from surprise and shock and horror at the ritual, and promptly fainted.

To Be Continued...

A/N: Dun-dun-dun! What is this *gasp* ritual? What has gotten Eragon so wound up about? And why is Arya so alarmed? Also, how will this push AxE forward? All answers and more shall be answered in the next, and following, chapters. So, like it? Love it? Hate it? Leave a review so that I can make this fanfic better yet and, as always...

...Stay tuned for more!