Chapter Forty Six
Saphira and Crystalina soar through the air not far from the ground. Their scales are cleaned and shining because they are the last female dragons in existence, their enemies must fear them but also admire them. There are elves on their backs made to look like Eragon and Leolynn with magic. The dragons have no trouble distinguishing their partners of their hearts and minds from the illusion. The elves do not smell like them, their minds do not sound like them. But all the illusion is meant to fool is the humans and that seems to be as success so far.
Thorn and Murtagh fly at them, bathing them in flames. The flames don't do any harm to the dragons thanks to the wards Eragon and Leolynn so carefully placed on them to protect them. It would be the dragons jobs to keep Thorn and Murtagh from realizing that it was not Eragon and Leolynn who were sitting on their backs. That would mean either staying far enough away from them that they would not be able to read the thoughts of the elves or the dragons would have to keep attacking often and ferociously enough that they would not have the opportunity to attempt reading their thoughts. It would be difficult but the dragons preferred to attack.
The dragons collide in the air and fall to the ground with a crash. Something cracks in Thorn's left wing and his back arches in a strange way as Murtagh's wards struggle to protect him. The female dragons both jump into the air, hitting and kicking Thorn on their way up. They fly over to the big building where Eragon and Leolynn and the others had been held captured and were injured or even murdered in some cases. They want to destroy the building out of revenge.
Thorn climbs back into the air. He dives at them and they split at the last second, leaving Thorn to collide with stone. He gets stuck in a room and fights to claw his way out. While he is struggling, Saphira and Crystalina start hitting the stones around the roof. Finally the stones go tumbling down on top of Thorn. Thorn continues to struggle even worse under the rubble until the whole building lets go and crumbles on top of him. Saphira and Crystalina settle next to the rubble and bathe the whole pile in flames. Murtagh and Thorn will both have to work harder and expend more energy to prevent being cooked alive as well as the energy being used to keep them from getting squashed by the stones. If they used up enough of their energy then maybe Crystalina and Saphira would stand a better chance of winning.
Thorn bursts from the wreckage, roaring. He is bleeding and wounded but furious with the female dragons. Saphira and Crystalina take off upwards into the sky. Thorn follows close behind. When the dragons hear their names being called from their partners, they dive in the direction where they sense them. Thorn is hot on their trail, eager for vengeance.
There's a loud crash and I can see a gaping hole in the horizon where the cathedral had stood. Eragon and I both grin, proud of our dragons. When it comes to spreading chaos and destruction, dragons have no equal.
We dropped the boy from the cathedral in an alleyway. He would find his own way from there. Now we are running to the gates, desperate to reach them before we are discovered. All of the people around us are staring in the direction of the cathedral and listening to the sound of the dragons fighting. There are werecats in their animal forms all over the rooftops watching us. They will not fight unless they absolutely have to because they wish to keep their involvement with Varden a secret from Galbatorix for now. It's nice to know they are with us though.
Suddenly we all stop in our tracks. There are hundreds of soldiers in front of the gates pulling on armor as they are shouted orders to from their commanders. They have also piled a huge mound of rubble against the inside of the gates in attempt to keep the Varden from battering them in. It would take a team of fifty men days to clear a mound that size away.
Someone points at us and shouts "Rebels!"
Eragon and I both draw our swords at the same time, lunging forward at the soldiers. Many of them are caught off guard, not having recognized us as their foes at first. Crystalina and Saphira swoop past us, a gust of wind from their wings rusting our clothes and hair. Thorn is right behind them. They disappear in the distance. I focus on the battle and keep fighting as does Eragon.
I can tell that his energy is fading. So is mine. Even the elves are growing more and more tired. "Magic!" Arya tells us.
Eragon and I begin casting spells. We use anything we can think of to combat the attackers. Nothing is actually working to harm the soldiers. The dragons clash above us. Murtagh yells down "Brother! Those soldiers are under my protection!"
Nothing around us gives us much hope. My only hope lies in Eragon and our dragons. "We have to leave!" Arya shouts.
"Eragon!" I yell. He is right beside me swinging his sword. We work together to hold off the soldiers.
He speaks in my mind then quickly. 'It would be simple for me to lift Arya, Angela, Solembum, you, and myself over the wall where the Varden are waiting. But if we flee the Varden will be no better off than before. We can't wait any longer. Our supplies are running out.'
'If that happens it will be the end of us and everything we have fought so hard for…' I finish his thought.
"Eragon! Now!" Arya yells. She pulls on Eragon's arm frantically but he stands his ground.
We have again reached a crucial moment. This is it, now or never. Our next move means everything. Thorn is swooping down towards us with his talons outstretched. My heart is pounding in my chest.
'Aren…' I hear Eragon think.
I realize suddenly, alarmingly, that he's going to use Aren. It is the ring Brom gave him with all that energy stored up inside it. Eragon was saving it for when he came face to face with Galbatorix. I knew how reluctant he was to use it since it was his father who had gifted it to him. Now I have a moment to wonder if even Aren will have enough power to save us.
I join my energy with Eragon's, focusing. "Jierda!" he yells and our magic joins together with the energy of Aren to help us.
The torrent of energy that flows through me is incredible. It is unlike anything I have ever felt. It burns and tingles at the same time. It's like a mighty ice cold river that is both agonizing and exciting. The giant pile of rubble moves up into the air, hitting Thorn and knocking him away. Eragon and I both fall to the ground on our hands and knees, breathing heavy as we work together to maintain the spell. "Ganga raehta," Eragon directs it, go right. It moves over Leona Lake and it is then that we finally release it. It falls into the water with a splash.
The gates are open and damaged beyond repair now. The Varden storm in, attacking. I spot Roran leading them. Eragon takes off running suddenly. Some soldiers have Arya in their grasp and are trying to take her away. He accidentally drops his sword and doesn't stop to pick it up, just goes to free Arya. I pick it up for him and hand it to him after he helps Arya. "Thanks," he tells me.
I nod. "Sure."
We pause for a few moments to catch our breath. Saphira and Crystalina land in front of us and we hug our dragons.
'Crystalina, I'm so happy to see you.'
'We did it!' She exclaims.
The elves on our dragons backs jump down. Blodhgarm is still in the form of Eragon and Eragon frowns. It is odd seeing yourself like this. Blodhgarm says a few words then changes back to himself.
'I dislike how my hair curls at my temples'
'It's cute' I tell him. 'You're handsome just the way you are.'
People are cheering for us and Eragon tries to answer their questions the best he can despite how exhausted he is.
Just then Thorn rises into the air once more. The Varden gather around us, ready to fight, as Eragon and I climb onto our dragons backs.
"Brother!" shouts Murtagh. "I'll have blood from for the injures you caused Thorn! Take Dras-Leona if you want it. It means nothing to Galbatorix. You've not seen the last of us, Eragon Shadeslayer, Leolynn Shur'tugal, that I swear!"
Then they fly away…