“...” she finished, but Eragon couldn't hear her. He knew she was talking, but the words didn't register. Syra, however, was just able to finish before she collapsed. With his quick reflexes, Eragon was able to catch her before she hit the ground.
“Syra, are you alright?” he asked, concerned. He couldn't understand why she had suddenly felt so weak and frail, or why she had collapsed to the ground. But Syra knew, she knew full well the chances of what might happen.
“Shadeslayer, I am old. A Grey Folk's lifespan is the same as a human's, perhaps a bit longer. I am half elf, and have endured hundreds of years longer than the last of my race, but I am not immortal. Discovering your true name took the last bit of energy I had reserved, but I can see, you aren't ready for it yet. You didn't hear me, did you?” she asked. Eragon shook his head, still bewildered. “I thought as much. One day, you will find it within yourself, but not through me, or anyone else. You give me hope, Eragon. Thank you...” she finished. Eragon could sense sadness resonating from her voice, and he couldn't understand why, at least, not yet.
When he looked down at her body, he saw her fading away, like stars joining a river of vibrant colors, heading towards the sky. It was a beautiful display, but reminded Eragon even more of who he had lost.
Be grateful, Eragon. We gave her hope, and now she has gone to a better place than these times. Her life was not in vain, Saphira said in a comforting, almost motherly, tone.
Eragon didn't reply, he merely nodded his head as he sat there, motionless. If only I had come sooner! He said, scolding himself privately. Maybe then I could have helped her, or gotten to know her. Then something else struck Eragon: He mourned not only for himself, but for Arya, who would never meet her.
Arya ran gracefully through the forest, but this time she had a destination. She didn't stop to admire the trees and beautiful flowers that were scattered through-out the forest. She didn't bother to take breaks or rest, she didn't think that he was that far away.
“We're still friends...right?” she recalled Eragon saying during their last conversation. Was I too harsh? She asked herself. No, she answered, Eragon has his own reason for leaving...but what is it? She wondered.
Arya was looking for Eragon, who had wandered off into the forest. Oromis couldn't tell her where he was, only that he instructed Eragon to “explore” Du Weldenvarden. Even in the vast forest, however, she extended her mind, searching for him or Saphira.
Eragon thought he felt Arya approaching, unsure, he asked Saphira. Did you feel that?
Indeed I did, Little One, she replied, emerging from the trees.
If she really is here, Saphira, I can't confront her, Eragon confessed. He was still uneasy about their last conversation. Instead of leaving Arya distressed, it had left him depressed. Saphira had warned him, though, but he had been to naïve to listen. “We can't, and so it never shall be,” he remembered her saying, after he had asked her if they could just be friends.
We still have time, Eragon, but lets hurry anyway, she chided, as she saw him becoming unnerved.
Eragon took that as his cue, and swiftly lept onto Saphira's back. She leaped into the air, sending leaves, dirt, and other debris hurdling in the opposite direction. Even with their speed, it had been too late. Arya had arrived sooner then they had predicted. She raced out of the thicket, only to see a dark blue blur in the sky. At first, she wondered where she was, and what she had encountered, but then she realized.
“Eragon...just where are you going,” she whispered.
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