Hey guys! This my version of the book, Inheritance. Basically everything you need to know is in the summary, I'll keep writing based on reviews, might make a sequel but I'm not too sure just yet.

Disclaimer – I don't own the inheritance cycle or any of the characters.


The Empire: Book IV

Chapter 1

Eragon and Saphira flew over the city of Belatona. The battle had been going on for a few days but Eragon had found it surprisingly easier than the battle of Feinster. Perhaps it was because he wasn't there at the beginning and the fact that there was no Shade to fight here.

The battle for Belatona wasn't over yet, however, and Eragon watched below as soldiers of the Empire gathered together in masses to protect themselves while others had been yelling for archers to shoot Saphira down.

Eragon smirked. "Let them try." He thought wryly. Eragon looked ahead of the direction Saphira was flying in, the dark keep of Belatona stood but a few hundred feet from them.

Eragon was about to call out to Saphira when a familiar presence began to push against his mental walls, and he quickly lowered his defenses.

"Arya."

"…Eragon." Arya replied a few seconds later.

Eragon noticed that she seemed tired. "Are you alright Arya?"

"…I am fine Eragon, however I am currently making my way to the keep. I could use your help." She replied not unkindly.

Eragon gave a mental nod, "Of course, I'm on my way now."

Saphira had already spotted Arya down below and tilted her wings to fly to her.

"Will you be alright Saphira?" He already knew what she was going to say but still he asked.

"Baahh! It will take more than these pesky ants to hurt me! It is you that I'm worried about." Saphira replied.

Eragon chuckled. "Do not worry, Saphira, I will be Arya and the other Elves."

Saphir's throat rumbled as she agreed with Eragon, but it would still take more to convince her. Who could blame her? Whenever Eragon left her, trouble seemed to be just around the corner.

Saphira didn't dare land for fear of the numerous pike men on the ground, and so when she was close enough to the ground Eragon jumped.

He landed gracefully beside Arya as she cleaved a soldier from shoulder to the opposite hit. She turned to face Eragon and offered him a weak smile. They had been fighting for days now and everyone was ready to get the battle over with.

"Shadeslayer." She said with a curt nod. Dirt covered her face and blood was splashed over her armor, gleaming in the hot sun.

Eragon smiled back at her and drew Brisingr from its sheath. He still marveled at how light the blade felt in his hands. His thoughts were cut short however, when they were suddenly rushed by a group of Empire soldiers. Eragon gave Arya another smile. "Shall we?"

Arya flashed him a grin. "After you, Shadeslayer."

They were completely surrounded now. Groups of soldiers encircled them, forcing Eragon and Arya to fight back-to-back. Saphira roared in the distance and Eragon looked up to see what had happened.

A nearby soldier tried to take advantage of Eragon's momentary distraction and charged at him, aiming at his throat.

Eragon gave a sly smile and quickly dodged the oncoming blow, moving as little as possible but faster than a Human or an Elf. The soldier was completely stunned and soon realized his mistake, but before he could escape Eragon slashed at the soldier's exposed back. Brisingr easily sliced through the armor, spilling the soldier's blood. The other soldiers were stunned at what they saw, but they soon screamed and charged Eragon and Arya.

Without moving from his current position, Eragon ducked as another soldier attempted to slash his neck. He quickly turned around and kneed the soldier hard in the gut and then drove Brisingr through his back. He glanced over his shoulder to see Arya making quick work of the other men. One after another, Eragon and Arya swept through the Empire soldiers as if the two were swimming through water. Clouds of blood filled the air and the smell of metal entered Eragon's senses. He cringed as the metallic taste entered his nose. He hated death, hated having to kill. It had taken him a long time to realize that in the end it had to be done, though each man he killed would forever haunt him his dreams.

The last soldier collapsed onto his knees and then feel onto his back as Arya placed her boot on the man's chest and withdrew her curved blade. Both their armor and their swords were covered in blood. Eragon couldn't help but look at all the dead men lying around them. "Is this all I'm to experience, battle and death?" He said bitterly.

Arya placed a hand on Eragon's shoulder and gave him a reassuring smile. Eragon looked back at her and couldn't help but smile in return. Arya always seemed to put his troubles at ease, no matter what they may be.

But Arya had changed…and so had he.

[Flash back…]

Eragon was sitting down on the grass just outside the city of Feinster. He and Saphira had been there for hours. After everything that had happened, all Eragon wanted to was be alone with his thoughts. Saphira was sitting close by with her head resting on the ground. They were close to the cliff; it gave them a wonderful view of the vast sea beyond the land. Eragon leaned against Saphira's belly and she hummed in contentment.

He sighed; he had lost yet another father and master. It didn't seem fair. Life didn't seem fair and fate seemed just as cruel to him. Eragon had hardly known Oromis or Glaedr. They had been too focused on preparing him for the battles to come, and he had been too focused on becoming stronger to try and build a better bond with either of them.

It was the same with Brom.

"Brom…" Eragon thought to himself. It brought a tear to his eyes as he thought of the short time he spent with him, how close in proximity he been to his actual father, but never knew until it was too late.

"Little one…" Saphira hummed.

Eragon could feel her sadness through their link. It gave him some happiness, to know that he would always have her by his side.

Saphira brushed Eragon's face with her snout, "I love you, little one."

Eragon smiled and stroked her jaw, "And I you."

They sat like that for several more minutes, until Eragon felt another consciousness brush against his mind. He quickly threw up his barriers but after a moment he realized who it was.

"Arya?"

"Eragon…"

Her voice was soft and sad. Eragon had never heard Arya speak that way before, she had always hidden her emotions well. Although, Eragon had prided himself at being one of the very few who could read some of Arya's very subtle expressions. It was still hard for him to gauge her emotional state, but this time it was different.

"Arya, what is wrong?" Eragon asked in a concerned voice.

"I…was looking for you. When I spread my mind out beyond the city, Saphira told me where I could find you." She replied.

Eragon momentarily blocked Arya from his thoughts, "She was looking for me?"

"Eragon, isn't it clear that she too is having a hard time?" Saphira replied in an obvious tone.

"I suppose, but why didn't you tell me she was coming?" He asked.

Saphira gave a mental shrug, "It did not seem to be of that much importance to me."

Eragon sighed, but let it pass. Returning his thoughts to Arya, he quickly told her of their location.

"We are by the cliffs, south of the city."

Arya gave a mental nod and the connection ended.

Several minutes later, Eragon found himself sitting next to Arya. He couldn't help but stare, he knew it was wrong but it was difficult for him not to. Her raven black hair blew lightly in the breeze. She was still in her normal leather jerkin, and a leather circlet covered her forehead.

She was hurt and it was easy for him to tell. He didn't know why, perhaps she felt comfortable around him now to be a little bit more open with him. Or maybe because she was too sad to care. It didn't matter to Eragon what the reason was, all he wanted to do was hold her, to comfort her. But he knew he couldn't, he knew he shouldn't. After everything they had been through, Eragon knew he had to let her go, but he could not bring himself to do it. He would always love her.

Several more minutes passed before Arya spoke. Her voice was but a whisper and Eragon didn't think he would have been able to hear her without his acute Elvin hearing.

"I miss them…" Arya said without moving her head, her eyes fixed far off into the distance.

Eragon looked up at her. He didn't really know what to say, so he just went with his feelings.

"I know…so do I."

Without even hesitating, Arya leaned her head on Eragon's shoulder.

He froze. Shock and confusion overwhelmed him. Eragon hesitated, and then slowly wrapped his right arm around her lithe body, unintentionally bringing her closer to him. Eragon's heart quickened as their bodies touched. He blushed and quickly berated himself.

"Oromis…I hardly knew him but he meant so much to me." Eragon said, his voice was broken and he could feel hot tears slowly trickle down his face. "It seems that fate has deemed me unworthy of having a proper family." He finished.

Arya lifted her right hand to Eragon's cheek and turned his head to face hers.

"Eragon…" Her voice was full of sadness. Sadness for the loss of a Rider and dragon that meant so much to the Elves, but there was also a sadness for Eragon. He didn't know the extent of Arya's relationship with Oromis, but he knew that if she wanted to tell him, she would.

Purely out of instinct, Eragon wrapped his other arm around Arya and pulled her into an embrace. For a moment, Eragon thought she might push him away and yell at him, but, to his surprise, she did not. Instead Arya reciprocated the kind gesture and rested her head in the crook of his neck. Eragon did the same, and now the tear that had been threatening to fall began to flow freely.

As Eragon cried, so did Arya, and in that moment it seemed that all hope was lost. He pulled from her after a few minutes and wiped his tears away. It seemed that all they had was each other; Eragon, Arya and Saphira. Though none spoke it, they all knew it. They had to remain close or forever lose sight of their goals.

"Gah, forgive me." Arya chocked. She gave a light laugh as she wiped the wet tears away.

Saphira snaked her head so that it was between Eragon and Arya now, "There is no need to be sorry, little Elf. We are all going through a hard time. This is normal." Saphira curled her lips, showing her teeth which Arya took to be a smile.

She stood up and brushed herself off. "Thank you, Eragon, Saphira. I am glad to have you as my friends."

Eragon stood to meet her, switching to the ancient language he spoke, "Nay, Arya Svit-kona. It is we that are honored by your friendship. We are truly grateful."

It seemed, for a moment, that Arya was lost for words. In that moment, Eragon thought he saw something sparkle in Arya's eyes.

"Was that…no, it couldn't have been." Eragon quickly shrugged off the thought as Arya bowed. "Forgive me, but I should be going now. There is much that still needs to be done."

Eragon nodded, "Of course Arya, we shall return the Varden camp shortly. There is still much we need to discuss with Nasuada."

Arya smiled and nodded and then turned and ran off toward the Varden encampment. As Eragon watched Arya run off he felt a pang of sadness in his heart. Deep down he knew they would never be together, but it still hurt him to think such thoughts.

"Come little one, we should return to camp."

Eragon nodded and slowly mounted Saphira. When he was fully settled in she pushed herself off the ground and flew towards the campsite.

[End of Flash back…]

It had been months since that day. Months since he had last had a proper conversation with Arya. He wasn't sure if she was avoiding him or if she was simply too busy to see him. Regardless, he knew that something had changed within her, ever since that day on the Cliffside.

Eragon's thoughts were interrupted when he heard a large and Arya both looked in the direction of the blast to see that one of the walls that blocked the keep had fallen. Without pausing, Arya turned and ran towards the dark tower.

"Arya, wait!" Eragon yelled as he ran after her.

They had one goal in the keep, Lord Talus. If they could get him to surrender then the battle would end quickly. It was a much harder task then they had anticipated, however. Lord Talus was nothing like Lady Lorana; he did not want peace.

While Eragon and Arya made their way towards the keep, Saphira was successfully distracting the soldiers by tearing through the many towers which the archers had settled in. Entering the keep was still no easy task as another wave of soldiers blocked their pack. Eragon and Arya immediately went into their battle stance, but they never got the chance to attack. Instead, a tall and furry man jumped in front of them and began to ruthlessly attack the soldiers. One by they began to fall. As the last man fell to the ground, the furry creature turned to face Eragon and Arya.

"Blodhgarm!" They yelled in unison.

Blodhgarm gave then a sly smile, "Go on, Shadeslayers, we will need Lord Talus in order to end this siege."

They both nodded and then made their way inside the keep.

The inside of the tower was almost as dark as it was on the outside. Eragon pulled out his sword and cried, "Brisignr!"

Immediately the sword burst into flames, acting as a sort of lamp for them.

Arya grinned, "You were just waiting to do that, weren't you."

Eragon grinned back, "You have no idea."

They quickly made their way to the top of the keep. Surprisingly enough, there was no one to block their path. They climbed and climbed until they finally reach a set of large double doors.

Eragon looked at Arya and she nodded back. Not needing anymore approval, Eragon burst open the doors, Brisignr ready to fight.

There, sitting on a throne, was Lord Talus. He was completely surrounded by men. Eragon gritted his teeth. "What a coward." He thought to himself.

He was about to attack when Arya suddenly stopped him.

"Wait." She said through their mental link

Eragon paused, "What is it?"

"This seems too easy, they must be protected by wards." She replied.

Eragon looked from Arya to the soldiers, then to Lord Talus. He had a rather calm look on his face, which now began to bothered Eragon.

He frowned, "Well, if they do, we'll just have to break through them."

"Well now, it seems the famous rider and his little elf are in a bind." Lord Talus laughed.

Eragon's grip in Brisignr tightened but he soon felt a hand rest on his shoulder. He looked over to see Arya staring back at him.

"We need a plan." She said, her sharp emerald eyes bore into him.

Eragon thought for a moment, and then gave Arya a mischievous smile. "I believe I have just the thing."

Eragon reached his mind out to Saphira and he soon found her causing mass panic to a large group of foot soldiers. Eragon chuckled to himself, "Saphira, I need you to do that over here. We're at the top of the tower."

"…I'm coming little one." Saphira responded a few seconds later.

Eragon then turned back to Arya, "Now, when Saphira starts attacking the tower I'll need you to try and find the magician who is putting up these wards. I shall help you, of course." He added.

Arya nodded and minutes later the tower began to shake.

Eragon grinned, "Here she comes."

Saphira flew to the top of the tower and crashed into it. Everyone in the room lost their balance and fell over. Eragon groaned and opened his eyes.

He felt his cheeks flush when he saw that Arya had fallen on top of him.

She blinked a few times and shook her head before finally noticing her position. Arya froze and once again Eragon saw that glint in her eyes, the same glint he saw after the siege of Feinster. But it was gone as soon as it came and they were soon both on their feet.

As Saphira began to attack the men, Lord Talus took the opportunity to run past Eragon and Arya. Shaking herself from her dazed moment, Arya ran after Lord Talus.

Instead of following her, Eragon decided to look for the magician. Several minutes pasted without any luck.

"Saphira can't hold them off forever with those wards; I have to find that magician!"

Minutes rolled by before Eragon felt someone tug at his mind; it was Blodhgarm.

"What is it Blodhgarm?" Eragon said in a rather annoyed voice. He didn't mean for it to come that way, but this blasted magician was giving him a hard time.

"Forgive me Shadeslayer, but I believe I have disposed of a certain magician that may have been giving you some trouble." He replied calmy.

Eragon blinked twice, "Really? That's fantastic! But how did you find him?"

"It was good plan to have Saphira attack the Keep, although the magician was not in the tower itself, he switched his attention to Saphira. Luckily I had been keeping a close watch on her and noticed the impending attack." Blodgharm said.

Eragon sighed in relief. "I thank you for your help, Blodgharm. Perhaps now we can end this god forsaken battle."

"Indeed, Shadeslayer." Blodgharm replied before retracting his mind.

Eragon turned to Saphira; it seemed that in the time he had conversed with Blodhgarm she had already taken care of the men.

Eragon laughed. he should have expected Saphira to rip through them. Not wanting to waste any more time, Eragon searched for Arya with his mind and soon found her to be on one of the lower levels of the Keep.

"Arya, what's going on?" He asked, hoping that she would say she had caught Lord Talus.

"Eragon, did you find the magician?"

"I didn't not. Blodgharm however, was most successful in locating the bastard and has disposed of him. Where is Lord Talus?" Eragon replied.

There was a long pause before Arya replied. "He is here."

Eragon made no attempt to respond and instead ran towards her.

As he made his way down the stairs, Eragon suddenly heard someone running up. He held his breath and his grip tighten on Brisignr. The footsteps came closer and closer until they were only a few feet from him. Without hesitation, Eragon struck out Brisignr in the direction of the footsteps.

There was a loud clang as his sword met with a ward.

"Hey! Watch where you're swinging that stick of yours, cousin!"

Eragon blinked twice, completely confused. "Roran?" He said in disbelief.

"Of course it's me! Who did you think it was?"

Eragon frowned, "I thought you were soldiers from the Empire. It is a good think I placed those wards around you." He chuckled.

"Indeed. Have you found that bastard Lord Talus yet?" Roran asked with a growl. There were cuts all around his arms and a few on his face, but there was still a burning fire in his eyes.

Eragon nodded, "Arya is with him, this way." He pointed in the direction and they both ran off.

Eragon pushed open another set of double doors to find Arya with her sword drawn and Lord Talus, who also had a sword in his hand. When Eragon and Roran entered the room, Lord Talus clenched his teeth and a sneer covered his face as he dropped his sword.

Eragon raised an eyebrow, "So, I take it this means you're surrendering?"

Lord Talus scowled and spat on the floor. "I would rather die!"

Arya looked at Lord Talus; her gaze hard and cold. Her lips twitched, "So be it." She raised her palm and muttered, "Slytha." As the words left her mouth, Lord Talus slumped over.