SPOILER ALERT! Contains material from Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. If you're reading it and haven't gotten to the end, I suggest finishing the whole book first before you read this.

EPILOGUE FOR INHERITANCE

Roran stood by the water's edge on the pebble beach, watching as the ship Eragon boarded, the Talíta,drifted away along the river, further and further away from him, his only brother going away and him not knowing when he would return.

Roran bit his lip hard, trying to maintain some control over his emotions. In his hands were Eragon's last gift to him, a casket of gold and gems meant to help him build a castle when he and Katrina returned to Palancar Valley with their young daughter. The other villagers from Palancar Valley had already went ahead as Roran and his family went to the elf city, Ellesméra, first.

In the dark sky, he could barely see the two silhouettes of the dragons, Saphira and Fírnen, looping around one another in their last moments together. Even though it was dark, he could see that they lacked the usual enthusiasm he usually saw whenever they were together. He felt a pang of sadness for them too.

Next to him, the three horses he, Eragon and Arya had ridden nickered in an almost sorrowful way, as if knowing what exactly was happening. Roran pressed his palm against the neck of the chestnut male he had ridden, rubbing softly.

Had this really been the best of choices, Eragon? Blast Angela's prophecies! You didn't have to leave!

His eyes became watery and before he knew it, the tears fell. He struggled to hold them in, but who was there to see him anyway. He let the tears fall free.

When Eragon had first told of his plans to Roran and Katrina, they had been beyond upset, even waking up their sleeping daughter, Ismira. Eragon had insisted that there had been no other way to care for the Eldunarí and also raise the hatchling dragons within Alagaësia as it would have distrupted the lives of the other races living in it. He'd only seen one choice, which was to leave the land and find a new place to carry out his plans in peace.

Later on, Eragon told Roran of the witch, Angela's prophecy. He hadn't said everything in the prophecy, only the part where Angela had predicted Eragon would leave and never return.

Roran had taken badly to that.

He took a deep breath, then another and another. Looking up, he saw that the ship was nearing the first bend in the river. Now, it looked just about the size of his palm in the distance.

Arya had gone with Eragon on the ship, only to accompany him for a short while before returning to land. Not only was she a Dragon Rider now, she was also the Queen of the Elves. There was no way that she could follow Eragon if she didn't want to leave her people and her duties. Roran knew Eragon was incredibly saddened by the prospect of not being able to see the beautiful elven woman again, likewise with Arya.

Fatereallyiscruel, Roran thought.

Close to the bend in the river, the smaller of the two silhouettes in the sky, Fírnen, swooped down towards the deck of the ship, one of his forelegs outstretched. Just as quickly as he had dipped down, he rose upwards again. Roran could see something hanging from the dragon's claws, which he assumed was Arya.

Itcouldn'tbehelped,huh?Roran let out a long breath, his heart slowing down as calm took over. He wiped his cheeks from tears and gazed to the horizon, his eyes never leaving the ship.

Fírnen's silhoutte grew larger as he came closer until Roran could see the glittering green scales in the dim of the night. He saw Arya holding onto the the dragon's front paw, though he couldn't quite see her face.

With three flaps of his wings, Fírnen landed close by and the horses whinnied in nervousness. Roran put down his load as he attempted to soothe the animals.

When the horses were calm enough, he turned and saw that Arya had removed herself from her dragon's grasp and that she was rubbing Fírnen's shoulder as they both stared at the diminishing form of the Talíta.Roran could see the slight droop of the elf's shoulders, the limp wings of her dragon. He was, without a doubt, sure that they were trying to soothe each other from the gripping sorrow that they were facing.

Then, Fírnen raised his head and let out a long, mournful keen that echoed through the night and inside Roran's very being. He felt tears forming again as it subsided and he busied himself with, again, calming the horses. Not too long later, an answer came back to Fírnen from the direction of the ship.

With a final touch to Fírnen's shoulder, Arya began walking to Roran. He smiled sadly at her. She acknowledged it with a tight nod.

"He is finally off," Roran spoke through the knot in his throat. He took the casket of precious items from where he put it and carefully placed it in the saddlebag of his horse.

"He is," Arya said. She went over to the other two horses and touched their foreheads. "I will ride Fírnen back to Hedarth. We shall fly above you so you will not lose direction." She closed her eyes for a moment and from the expression on her face, Roran knew she was communicating with the two horses she was touching through their minds. Her vivid green eyes reopened and she then touched the third horse before looking back at him. "In any case , I have told these horses to ride back to Hedarth. We shall stop there to return the horses to the dwarves and from there, Fírnen will take us back to Ellesméra."

"Won't the weights of the two of us combined slow Fírnen down?" Roran asked.

"He will manage. I will lend him my strength if need be and we will make stops along the way. We can take a boat, but that would take longer than flying by dragon."

Her cool, unwavering voice impressed Roran, but not by much as Arya had always had a composed demeanor, even through the hardest of times. When Queen Islanzadi, Arya's mother, had died and news of it had reached the princess, Roran had not seen any tears from her. She could have mourned privately, who knew, but he and everyone else knew that Arya was a stoic person. Roran very much doubted that he could match her in that aspect.

By then, Fírnen had made his way to them and he bent down, glancing at Roran with one wide, green-yellow eye before gently touching Arya with the tip of his snout. The new Queen nodded, rubbing the space between Fírnen's nose.

"Your Majesty," Roran began. Arya started at the formal title but gestured for him to continue. "Do you think he'll be fine?"

She took a deep breath, not needing to ask who the 'he' had meant. "Knowing Eragon, I'm sure that he can handle things well, much better than he had and we all have."

Roran's head lowered as he gazed at the pebbles on the ground. "I think so too."

Arya shifted on her feet and said, "Let us go so we can reach Hedarth by dawn."

Roran nodded and mounted his steed while Arya climbed into Fírnen's saddle. If Arya had told the horses that they were going to Hedarth, then he was sure they wouldn't go astray so he didn't tie them together.

He readied himself and steadied the horses as Fírnen took flight, the force from his wings causing the pebbles underfoot to tremble. Roran saw Arya twist around to look one last time at the disappearing ship. From his position, he couldn't be sure, but he thought he saw Arya's eyes glint, as if wet.

When Fírnen was well in the sky, Roran spurred his horse and they and the other two horses ascended the hill they had come from to get to the pebble beach. It didn't take long to reach the top of the small hill and once there, Roran stopped his horse and turned to face the river.

The ship was now about the size of his thumb with a small speck hovering above it. He sighed, his heart clenching for the thousandth time at the thought of never seeing Eragon and Saphira again.

Life has many challenges. We've just faced and conquered one hurdle and we're thrown into another. I know it's the hardest for you now, having to leave everything behind and go into unknown lands. But, if you didn't have that drive, then we'd never have been able to defeat Galbatorix, eh?

Roran chuckled and gazed upwards to Fírnen's figure in the sky before looking back to the horizon.

Everyone is going to miss you, Eragon. Me, Katrina, Horst, Arya, Nasuada, Orik and even Fírnen, even though he'll probably miss Saphira more. You bloody well visit us or I'll give you a good bash on the head, I promise you.

Quietly, Roran said, "Farewell, my brother." And then, he casted a salute to the direction of the ship.

May the stars watch over you.

XXX

A/N: AARGHH! I've just finished the final book in the Inheritance Cycle, which was Inheritance, and I am quite sad at the ending. I'm not disappointed, but I wished it'dve ended on a more happier note. Eragon leaving Alagaësia and neverreturning? You've got to be kidding me. The scenes were all perfect, mind you, and there was no OOCness, and the parting with Arya was so heartbreaking (to me).

So, still in my state of shock/sadness/damn-its-over-and-I-wished-the-author-had-done-an-epilogue-ness, I've come up with this short Epilogue myself. I wanted to do both Roran and Arya's POVs and compare them to see which one was better so that I can post it, but after finishing this, I concluded that I didn't need to write it from Arya's POV as this was enough and it's better done in Roran's eyes.

If Christopher Paolini-san had come up with a 'CHARACTER'S FUTURES', Arya should bear a child (if it weren't Eragon's, the poor guy would be devastated) as children are highly sacred (can't come up with more accurate word) in the elven world. Murtagh must come back ('cause he's awesome!) but I don't see why he loves Nasuada.. She should just go marry wine-drinking Orrin for all I care. And I'd want to see an Urgal as a Rider.

... Oh well. IDK what to say anymore. Hope you enjoyed the fic and sorry for the extensive, ranting-like A/N.. (nervous laugh)

Additional notes: A day after writing all this, it suddenly dawned on me: if I was 'unhappy' with the ending of the book, then why am I making everything more angsty? ... Oh well.