People of Fanfiction, I have returned!
Sorry, always wanted to be able to say that, but well I have returned with the next part of my A dance of Shadow and Light series, so it is true.
My absence was quite well spent actually, as I have managed to plan out almost the entire plotline already, and have made a buffer of 13 chapters, so that even if I do not have time to write a single thing until Christmas, I will not miss a single update and can then catch up in that holiday.
Seriously I have aready crossed the 50.000 words mark and have only just uploaded something.
Because of a tighter schedule this time around, I will only be updating the chapter once a week, this time being Monday.
Again I have some starting information(in case you have forgotten):
Italic spelling means that the person is either thinking to himself or sending thoughts to others
"Fat spelling inside quotation marks means that the character is speaking in the Ancient language"
"Italic spelling inside quotation marks means that the character is speaking in the dwarven language"
Other than that, have fun
A new beginning
Mercury was walking among the booths just outside of Hedarth, where merchants were constantly trying to attract the attention of any new buyers. For today's visit to Hedarth, Mercury had chosen to wear a couple of blue contact lenses, along with a brownish pair of breeches, a sturdy brown tunic and a well-worn travelling cloak.
His physical appearance had not aged beyond that of any normal human of around 25 years of age, if you overlooked his eyes, which he always kept hidden behind contact lenses of various colours, but Mercury was far from any normal 25 year old human, as he was in fact well past his 100th birthday already.
Kilgharrah's magic had influenced him, so that he did not age beyond this age, just like the human dragon riders, although he shared no such bond with Kilgharrah. Mercury had theorized that the reason why this particular age had been chosen as the stop, had been because it was around here that the human body stopped it's development from childhood to adult.
Hedarth had expanded quite a lot since the establishment of the dragon rider city in the east, as it now served as a focal trade point, but in the last few weeks, Hedarth had experienced a significant increase in inhabitants.
The reason behind this increase was the same reason that Hedarth's outer fields had been littered with booths, stalls, tents of all kinds of colours and enough decorations to decorate the entire Ilirea; it was the annual celebration of the day where Arya Shadeslayer and Eragon Shadeslayer gave up their lives in Alagaësia to journey east and establish the new order of the dragon riders.
Suddenly a merchant came up directly in front of Mercury, where he began to show him some of his finest jewels, while saying, "best jewels in all Hedarth to the best prices. I promise you that with one of these, you could even win the heart of an elven lady, like the great Eragon Shadeslayer did".
Eragon and Arya had officially become mated a few years after they had left Alagaësia, which had apparently been the source of much gossip and many love poems in Alagaësia at the time. From what Mercury had been able to scrape together, they had even had had a son about 50 years later, which had become a dragon rider like his parents, and they had apparently recently had a daughter too.
"No, thank you. I do not have the money to spare", Mercury grunted, as he tried to wave the irritating merchant away, but the man would just not take no for an answer.
"Oh, but they are very cheap", the merchant continued, before he shoved a pendant directly in front of Mercury's face, "just look at the fine craftsmanship in this. The dragon's body is pure gold, while its wings are made of silver from the dwarves, and its eye is made from a real emerald. Only 25 gold coins".
Even while wearing his contact lenses, which severely lessened his enhanced eyesight, Mercury could still see the small stains of rust on the edges of the wings and the scratches on the emerald, so he decided to try and stop this irritating man now, before Mercury would become so irritated on him that he might make an incident.
In a deathly low whisper he said to the still rambling merchant, "there is rust on the edges of the so called silver wings and the coloured glass in its eye has visible scratches, so stop trying to sell it to me, before I decide to tell everyone that your jewels are just as worthless as your word".
The merchant paled significantly, before he quietly left Mercury to go pester someone else. After he had gone, Mercury breathed a sigh of relieve to finally be rid of this pestilence, who merely tried to exploit the ignorant people at such celebrations.
He stopped at a bench, where he made to sit down, while he looked at the banner saying: The 85th anniversary of the beginnings of the new age of dragon riders.
It had been 86 years since Galbatorix had been slain in the city that had at the time been named Urû'baen, 85 years since Eragon, Arya and Kilgharrah had left for the east, after which a new war had sprung up, which had just ended 12 years ago.
The war had been dubbed the Shadow War, which had mostly been because most of it had been fought in and from the shadows, and even today, 12 years later, only a fraction of what had occurred in it had been uncovered. The history books and various scholars had accumulated what they had knew about the war in a collected book, which they themselves had said was far from finished.
According to the book, the war had been a struggle between the remnants of the Black Hand combined with all who still supported Galbatorix's rule, either by choice or forced oaths, against various secret organisations of both the Empire and Surda, and the figure known as Mercury Iridium.
Many discussions had been raised about how big of a role Mercury really had had in this war, but it was without a doubt that had he not been there, the war might still have been on-going. As it was now, the war had officially ended with the Purification of Ilirea, as the final battle was being called by the commoners, where Mercury had apparently led a band of fighters into the heart of Ilirea to purge out the last remaining stronghold of the Black Hand and kill its last leader, whose identity to this day was still unknown.
After the war Mercury had vanished completely from public view, and most considered him dead of old age, although the mage's order had never officially ceased their search for him, as his body had never been found and he was still technically a rogue magician on the loose. The history book's only description of him was when he was in his full armour, which also concealed most of his face from view, and without his contact lenses on, so that his silver dragon-like eyes were clear and prominent.
Cults had even sprung up around the public's perceived image of Mercury, which in Mercury's mind was quite ironic, when you took into consideration, how much he detested cults.
Despite his apparently major role in the war, Mercury could remember none of it. His first memory, since Eragon, Arya and Kilgharrah had left, had been 79 years later, where Mercury and Kilgharrah had returned to Alagaësia from the east.
He had then been able to scrape together what had happened during the time of the war from various history books, a few scholars and the gossip of the land. In the period between the war's ending and his memory's return, he had written some journals, which had shed light on both what had happened during this period of time, and had deterred Mercury from wanting to regain his memories of what had occurred in the war, as it had apparently had quite significant repercussions to his mental stability.
During the years following his and Kilgharrah's return from the east, Kilgharrah had pressed Mercury to try and find somewhere, where Mercury could settle in. Mercury had tried living in various cities all across Alagaësia, although none had been able to make him feel at home, which had meant that he had hardly spent more than half a year to a year at each place, before he sold his house, packed up his things and moved away again.
Even this visit to Hedarth during the celebration had been at Kilgharrah's insistence, despite the fact that HE got to fly around and enjoy himself, while Mercury was stuck here among the countless people, who either tried to sell him something or was too busy to watch where they were going, so that he constantly had to adjust his course to avoid stumbling into them.
With a defeated sigh, Mercury got up from his bench and began to head away from the celebrations. This had been the last attempt at fitting in, Mercury had been willing to make, and it had turned out as just as much of a disappointment as all the previous attempts.
Kilgharrah, I am leaving, Mercury mentally told Kilgharrah, who had been flying unnoticed on the outskirts of Hedarth.
So soon? You have not even had a chance at courting any of the women there yet. Perhaps all you need is something more permanent to settle you down, Kilgharrah replied in a smug voice.
Just because you have had more than a dozen hatchlings, does not mean that I want to, Mercury replied in a slightly tired and slightly annoyed voice, but you may have a point in that I need something more permanent to settle down.
What are you thinking about?, Kilgharrah asked intrigued.
Well, I still have that deed to get a mountain in the Spine, Mercury answered, perhaps I could build myself a proper home there.
But I thought that you wanted to have access to a library at the place where you wanted to settle down?, Kilgharrah asked confused, is that not why we have spent the last six years travelling between cities with libraries large enough for your taste?
You are right in that that is why we have travelled to these cities, but since none of them have been to my liking, I believe that it would be time to not move towards the library, but have the library move towards us, Mercury cryptically replied, as he neared the secluded place, where they had agreed to meet.
Some more explanation would be nice, Kilgharrah replied, as he swooped down and landed in front of Mercury.
I was thinking of building my own library on the mountain, Mercury replied, I could then have copies of most of the other major libraries in Alagaësia's content sent there. It should then be free to enter and study there, except that you have to supply some sort of contribution to the library, which is not already present there. That way it could continue to grow as word of it spreads.
What of people who do not own rare books?, Kilgharrah asked.
Well, I could just set up a poetry and art section, where they could then contribute with their personal works, although I never have had much of a liking for such things, Mercury absentmindedly responded, before a thought struck him, that reminds me, I should have a museum section too. That way I could trek across Alagaësia to look for artefacts and other rare objects, which could then be presented there as well.
Your idea might actually work, Kilgharrah replied thoughtful, how do you intend to have this place build and will it be large enough to accommodate dragon riders, as they will surely be among those that you would want to search out additions for you?
Well, I actually intended to build it by myself with my own hands and magic, and hoped that you would help me in the construction of it, Mercury responded, before he decided to answer the dragon's unsaid question, and yes there will be a permanent accommodation made for you, should you choose to use it, as well as some to visiting riders.
Kilgharrah hummed in appreciation of his answer, before he bent down on his knees to allow Mercury to climb up to the saddle between his shoulder blades.
Where to know?, Kilgharrah asked.
First we have to search the Spine for the right mountain, as there is a few conditions that must be met, before we can even start to address which mountains we prefer, Mercury answered, while he readied himself for Kilgharrah to take off, as Mercury was far from accustomed to flying on dragon back.
I felt a little bad about starting with the same chapter that I presented you with the last time, so I have decided on a little game.
Up until my next update, everyone that reviews can each ask a number of three questions about the plot, which I must be able to answer with a yes or no answer. Please consider your questions carefully.