I do not own the Inheritance Cycle.

"There is another visitor, Your Majesty"

She laughed and shook hands with King Dagr, and politely curtsied as she took the beautiful horse, moulded from solid gold, from his palm. Impatient, she quickly bade him good bye and turned to the messenger.

"Who is it this time, Egil?" Then, turning to her husband, whispered: "Every time I think we can finally leave, a new representative comes."

He chuckled. "I have no idea who this could be, we have already seen all the Urgal elders, Queen Arya, Dagr of Surda and King Orik. Eragon sent a letter of congratulations two weeks ago."

"Your Majesty, may I present Freyr, of the Riders."

"Thank you, Egil" He quickly left to return to his post.

He was undoubtedly an Elf and was dressed a dark azure robe with threads of silver embroidered into the tips of his sleeves, enough to portray his significance among the riders, but not so rich as to attract unwanted attention. The mark of his bond shimmered on his palm. Underneath, she could spot plain brown leather travelling garments. She smiled, the skin at the corner of her eyes as she let her pleasant surprise leak onto her features.

"Your arrival is a welcome surprise, Rider Freyr."

"I am greatly pleased at your marriage, My Queen, though, may I ask, where is your husband?"

She couldn't stop the grin breaking onto her face as she gestured to the man conversing with Arya. He noticed her gaze and strode over to wrap and arm around her waist, red scabbard touching her thigh. To her surprise, Arya walked towards them as well.

Freyr bowed. "It is an honour"

Muragh merely grunted and stuck out his hand. "I would have though my brother would have taught you my dislike for manners."

Freyr chuckled. "He did indeed, but it is always advisable to be courteous in the presence of elves."

They all laughed as the Queen of the Elves reached their circle.

Her husband smirked. "This is Freyr, he knows your race too well."

Freyr bowed and began the Elven greeting.

They only talked for a little while, however, before he mentioned that he had wedding presents Eragon had insisted on giving both her and Murtagh.

Arya tapped her on the shoulder after he had left and whispered:

"He is an imposter, I have not taught him or been told of his training by Eragon."

Her smile slipped from her face like a mask.

Murtagh's hand fell to Zar roc while her fingers brushed the dagger concealed on her left thigh.

When he returned with his dragon, coloured a dark blue like his robe, both Firnen and Thorn had landed behind them, their emerald and blood red eyes focused on the elf as he slid down from his saddle. He rummaged though his pack's contents for a while, murmuring in the ancient language as he did so, before extracting a rectangular parcel wrapped in fine silk and offering it to Murtagh, who accepted it, after a nod from Arya, which Freyr ignored or didn't seem to see.

"Eragon suggested that you open it yourself when you are alone."

Murtagh's expression hardened. "I open parcels whenever I chose."

He slit open the cloth before gingerly exposing the slab of stone.

The moment he saw the top half, he dropped it back into its sleeve. "Where did you get that?!" he hissed.

"Eragon wished for you to have it." She thought his voice was too nonchalant and his face too impassive, for his remark to be true. She caught Arya eye and blinked. She shook her head very slightly.

However, he spoke another phrase is what she presumed was the ancient language, and Arya frowned, confusion flitting across her face. He made an excuse to leave, and leapt on his dragon's back, before speeded off into the distance. Suspicion was clear on her face when she turned to her right. But Murtagh was gone. She could spot his outline stomping towards their chamber. The skin between her eyebrows furrowed as she wondered what was in that sleeve...

They sprinted past the grey rubble, and then leapt over sheets of shredded iron, and then scraped past razor sharp spikes. The dusty ground blurred beneath their light feet as they rushed towards him.

His lips tinged with blue, parted as he breathed, and a drop of red escaped from his mouth.

Blank eyes gazed from heavy eyelids at the pure abyss. Nothing sparkled, nothing danced in those dark eyes. Only a slight rise and fall in his chest as they bore him towards the fire.

It hissed and out spat burning embers. Its smoke climbed into the night sky, obscuring the moon. Waves of heat aggressively blasted the travellers as one half roasted while the other froze. The fire crackled with rage as its arms of flame writhed around in pain.

He was still there, body rigid and eyes painfully scrunched closed. Pallid skin contrasted the blood seeping from his cracked lips, which parted to allow silent breath. Death seemed better than bloody victory and quiet surrender easier than loud success. And yet, every rise and fall of his chest beat the damaged drum of life.

Egil awoke with a start upon Dagr's back. Dark, almost black, midnight blue barely reflected the light of the sun to his right and he could imagine they would just look like a sparkling void in daylight. He admired Dagr's unique beauty, but he missed the dazzling brilliance only his dragon could emit.

A sudden wave of nausea erupted inside his head, and the skyline spun as his gripped the spike in front of him. When his head finally cleared, he noticed a dull pain in the back of his head. He ignored it. He was getting used to it, and anyways, he had tarried too long. He needed to get back to his shelter before it really started.

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