Disclaimer: Same rules apply!

Disclaimer 2: By the way, an idea I am using in this chapter comes from an alternate universe Eragon fic called Reversed Life. It's epic and I am simply borrowing the idea from the author and make no claim to it.

Author's Note: Okay, so I know you guys are pissed at Arya's fate but like I said, not everything is as it seems and she probably won't be raped by Durza. Sadly, I haven't made up my mind yet. Originally, I wanted to make this a smut-filled crack-fic hence the slavery which was a good excuse for smut and Eragon's AU titles a good enough excuse to make him all badass and epic. Now, however, I want to make this a bit darker and brutal – kind of like a dark-lord Eragon fic like they have in the Harry Potter Fandom. There will still be humor but it will come in time and that time is not now. So I apologize for the changes and will be greatly saddened if that makes you stop reading this fic since I get nothing out of it but your reviews, advice, and feedback. But enough rambling and onto the story!

Chapter 10:

When Eragon woke up, he felt like half of him was missing. His body was on fire with pain and he felt like he couldn't sit up or stand straight even if he tried. His body felt unbalanced and uneven like something was twisted deep inside of him. His head ached and he fought to stay conscious. Speaking of which, he was greatly alarmed to feel several consciousnesses deep within him.

They were constantly pouring energy into his being and while it gave him strength, it also put him into a trance-like state as the constant source of energy hummed loudly in his head and made his insides feel warm and gooey. The outside of him was another cause for worry since he felt icy-cold to the touch. He felt like he was cocooned inside an icicle and panic rose in his chest as he realized he wasn't breathing.

Eragon, A voice whispered wearily.

Saphira? Eragon asked haltingly, even his own voice sounding cracked and hoarse like a decrepit old man's and not his own. Saphira, my dragon, what has happened unto me?

Oh, Eragon! Saphira said mournfully and Eragon felt an over-powering sorry emanate from her side of the bond.

Strangely-enough, her half was far closer than ever before as if they were truly one the same and while that was undoubtedly a good thing; a needle of doubt pierced him.

You have been asleep many moons, my precious one, Saphira explained. Much has occurred and much has changed whilst you slumbered.

How? What? I…don't understand, Eragon stammered, his mind was chaos.

What was the last thing you remember? Saphira asked gently.

Eragon hesitated as he prodded the depths of his memory, desperately fighting to pierce the fog of forgetfulness that shrouded his mind.

At first, nothing happened and he was about to give up with a groan of despair.

But upon a burst of energy from Saphira, the fog abated and a myriad of visions flashed furiously before his closed eyelids. He felt dizzy simply thinking about them. Gradually, he was able to latch onto one.

An elf's mangled form lay on a bed…

Lord Morzan was mocking his mother…

Savage hired thugs swarmed the estate, pillaging and raping as they went. The entire manor house…in flames…

He was flying through the air in the claws of a dragon, his dragon…

Pain lanced up his leg as a fire arrow grazed past it setting his limb ablaze…

The fire was soon put out but an intense excruciating pain filled his entire being…

For the longest time, there was nothing…

Energy filled him…

He was wrapped in steel…

Crude wires were attached to his body…

Nails were hammered into the steel around him…

The eerie sound of a heartbeat echoed in slow-motion for what felt like a hundred years…

Eragon awoke with a gasp.

His eyes shot open and he lunged up from the bed he sat on…

…only to snap back down onto his bed.

"Saphira!" Eragon growled aloud, writhing against the bonds. "Why am I chained?"

"Because we were afraid you would seek vengeance after learning what happened," A male voice floated into the room.

Eragon twisted his head around and instantly zeroed in on the speaker.

He was evidently an elf from his slim form, cat-like face, and pointed slender ears. He wore silver robes and leaned casually against the wall by the door.

Suddenly, Eragon's vision blurred as his brain sought out every single form of data he could about the male.

Strange green lights flashed in front of his eyes as a green circle in front of his eye zeroed in on the elf. A myriad of letters and numbers in a foreign language filled the air next to him, also in the strange green, semi-translucent color. They appeared and disappeared swiftly and more kept coming until Eragon knew nearly everything there was to know about the elf: His strengths and weaknesses, who he was, what he was, what he did, and what he intended. But there were two things kept from him that made him itch with frustration.

"Impressive," The elf smirked. "I see your new powers are awakening. You may be useful yet."

"What the devil are you talking about?" Eragon spat, the elf irked him already.

"When you escaped from the estate you were shot at," The elf began. "But the fire was not the least of your worries: The arrows were laced with a vicious poison. The flames were merely a distraction allowing the poison to run their course."

"Then how am I alive?" Eragon asked doubtfully, uncertain whether to believe the elf.

"Saphira brought you here and our greatest healers struggled to keep you alive," The elf explained. "You were in a comma for months as we attempted to clean your body of the poison. But alas, it had run too deep. Your body was as good as dead but your soul lingered."

"What do you mean?" Eragon asked, his heart thundering in his chest as his alarm grew.

"Do you know of the Eldunari?" The elf queried.

"Yes," Eragon retorted. "I have a great love of knowledge and study whatever I can get my hands on."

The elf simply nodded in acceptance.

"Then you must know that when a Dragon dies or is in pain they can remove their Eldunarya and give it to their Rider for safekeeping," The elf continued.

"Of course," Eragon said quickly, not liking where this was going at all.

"But I doubt you know that the same thing is possible with humans as well?" The elf asked with an eerie gleam in his eyes.

Eragon was about to deny that that was at all possible but then hesitated. He had buried himself in scrolls of arcane knowledge such as this and had come across brief mentions of it in passing, but they were merely myths and legends that spoke of an evil necromancer who decided that since humans were in plenty and easier to breed than dragons it would be far simpler to use their souls to boost his strength than that of a dragon.

However, when the elves learnt of this evil they quickly rose up against him and crushed the practice for an elf's soul was ten times more powerful than a human's or dwarf's and who would have known what would have happened if men began stealing the souls of the elves for power?

Gradually, the necromancer was forgotten as the elves purged his diabolical practice from the history books not wanting anyone else to do the same. But at the same time, they still allowed Riders to keep the souls of their dragons for safekeeping. Of course, that was largely due to the fact that a dragon and Rider would be bonded so fiercely that they would never dream of using the other's soul for evil.

"You see that I am telling the truth," The elf smirked, snapping Eragon out of his reverie.

"Yes," The rogue heir grumbled. "What of it?"

"As I said," The elf went on. "The poison had rooted into the fabric of your being too deep and we could not eliminate all of it at the risk of ending your life or making you too weak to live for very long."

"Then why am I still alive?" Eragon demanded, struggling to remain calm.

"It was a last resort," The elf said with a hint of sorrow in his voice. "It was your dragon who suggested it and we would have not even remotely considered it had she not brought it to our attention."

"Well?" Eragon snapped.

"In a forgotten era," The elf said haltingly. "During the days of Wild Magic before the Ancient Language was written, there lived a race called the Gray Folk. Who they were and what they did is now largely unknown but what is known is that they were immensely powerful. Anyhow, these Gray Folk dabbled in all sorts of things from Soul Bonds to Telekinesis and non-verbal magic. They tamed beasts that would frighten even a dragon and made discoveries that would make our whole world seem insignificant. It was these Gray Folk that discovered how to cheat death."

The elf paused, allowing his words to sink in.

Eragon had indeed heard of these legendary Gray Folk and he had no doubt that they existed, but now he was starting to wish they hadn't since all sorts of fears were assaulting his mind with this unusual tale.

"I cannot explain properly," The elf mumbled, hanging his head in shame. "You must see for yourself. But first, I demand an oath in the Ancient Language that you shall not seek vengeance or cause harm to us for attempting to save your life."

Eragon nodded uneasily and swore the oath.

Once the elf was satisfied, the bonds fell open with a clank and Eragon rose stiffly from the bed. He stood in slow motion and watched in growing horror as he stepped in front of a large mirror that was placed before the bed.

For instead of where his appearance would normally be, there was, in his stead, the appearance of a man of metal.

He stood seven feet tall and was more muscular than a Kull. He had the head of a dragon and glowing yellow eyes stared back at him. He wore a breastplate and chainmail loincloth and there were two glowing circles on the palms of his metallic, claw-like hands.

Much to his disbelief, he felt not one but two hearts beating in his chest.

Fumbling frantically, he unlatched the breastplate and let it crash to the ground. His mind raced as he saw two glowing crystals snug within his 'chest' attached to a viper's nest of silver wires that sparked and shimmered constantly.

One of them was intensely familiar and the other one he barely recognized.

Saphira? Eragon asked uncertainly.

Yes, my little one, The dragon said sadly. Do not fear. I still live but my mortal form slumbers under a hibernation spell guarded by elves every hour. It was the only way to keep you alive and power your new form.

Eragon saw red and turned slowly but deliberately around to the elf.

Instantly, the queer letters appeared as he gauged all his weaknesses and the green circle zeroed in on the elf.

"Who…are…you?" Eragon growled, the orbs on his hands flickering as he fought not to let them explode.

Much to Eragon's surprise, the elf bowed low before him and gave one simple name in reply.

"Faolin."

To Be Continued!

A/N 2: Before you guys spam about this being non-canon, remember that creature who guards the Vault of Souls in the real book 4? If that's possible with a dragon why not with a human especially if he has another soul powering his body?