Instead of Arya, I prefer her mom (Eragon)

Reincarnated in the world of Alagaësia, Cedric Merlinson wants nothing more than to follow his namesake's example—by becoming the greatest wizard who ever lived. As far as the big bad was concerned, he couldn't care less. Power-gaming was the name of the game, and he wouldn't let anything get in the way of that. Unfortunately for him, the road to unlimited power wouldn't be without its hurdles...

f0Ri5 · Book&Literature
Not enough ratings
39 Chs

Chapter 19

The next day, Brom and Cedric rode the two horses while Eragon flew on Saphira. Apparently, she'd carried the young, unconscious mage to Therinsford—Carvahall's closest neighbor, and one renowned for its stables. Brom purchased the horses, along with supplies for their journey.

The route they'd be taking hugged the Spine, travelling southwards to Woadark Lake, and then following its river westwards, cutting through the mountain range. There, by the coast, lay Teirm—a harbor city, and one serving as base for one of Brom's old comrades, Jeod, a Varden agent.

Cedric got the gist of it from Eragon, filling in the gaps himself. It was similar to the novel's events, but without the detours, given they weren't hunting Ra'zac. While he waited for an opportunity to slip away, he comforted himself knowing Fitch's cottage was locked up tightly. The locals not being the criminal sort, there was every possibility he'd return to find not a bottle out of place.

Toward the end of the day, their little party of four had left Utgard mountain-pass; the uneven, forested land giving way to Yazuac's expansive plains. Drinking in the sight of waving grass under blue and grey skies, Cedric felt somewhat conflicted. He'd little opportunity to travel during his previous life, and hardly ever saw such sights—certainly not on horseback. It was an experience in and of itself.

When they elected to make camp for the night, Cedric was in a strange mood. Having lived in this world for thirteen years, he thought he'd gotten used to it. However, it all suddenly felt surreal to him. The nighttime atmosphere intensified the feeling of mystery, along with the flickering campfire, starkly highlighting the brush's silhouette.

When Eragon joined them, walking stiffly after his long flight, he found Cedric and Brom sitting silently. They'd spoken little during the day. Predictably, the old man's apprentice didn't take kindly to being drugged, while Brom himself was unrepentant.

Sighing, the young rider stretched his arms above his head, trying to loosen his back. Finding the silence unbearable, he ransacked his brains, searching for something to say.

"…after being on Saphira's back for the whole day, I can safely say there isn't a soul for miles. Is there any reason for her to keep skulking in the rear like some kind of-…?"

Feeling Saphira's consciousness pressing against his, Eragon decided to keep his unflattering comparison to himself.

"…in any case, it isn't dignified. Surely, she could join us for once?"

Brom sighed, habitually pulling on his beard. When he spoke, his voice was a little rough from a lack of use.

"You're right, I should've thought of it sooner. My mind's been rather occupied. Please, ask her to come, if she's willing. We've been piss-poor company, but I at least am hoping to make amends."

He pointedly didn't look at Cedric, but his accusation was clear as day.

Eragon nodded, relieved. Though, he didn't need to contact Saphira, since she was often in his mind, and was presently. He found he enjoyed having her 'around'. It also helped, keeping her up to speed.

After exchanging a few thoughts between them, his attention returned to the present. Alarmingly, he found Cedric glaring daggers at Brom. He was trying, and failing, to restrain himself.

"You know what, I don't have to take this. Not from you, you bloody, fucking kidnapper!"

Jumping to his feet, he practically shoved his finger under Brom's nose, causing the old timer to tilt his head back—the look on his weathered face showing clear disdain.

"Careful, boy. Keep using such foul language and you might find yourself with a mouthful of broken teeth."

His voice was even. There was no guilt, no apology. Nor even an acknowledgement of the slightest wrongdoing. Even Eragon felt it was a bit much. If he were in Cedric's position, he'd be equally upset.

Awkwardly clutching the sword-handle near his waist, he tried intervening.

"Brom… you owe him an explanation, at the very lest. I myself would very much like to know the reason you went so far just to bring Cedric along."

The young mage's amber eyes briefly locked with Eragon's, burning in the firelight. It made him feel guilty, that his reaction to Cedric's drugging and kidnapping was so mild. In fact, he did feel strongly about it, but Saphira sided with Brom, and it all made him feel very confused.

"He was disobedient, and acted like a child. If he'd been more reasonable, it wouldn't have come to that."

It was the most non-explanation Eragon ever heard.

"Now, show some respect to your elders and remove your finger. I've been patient with your outbursts, but my temperance isn't unlimited."

If there was a way to get Cedric to withdraw, then Brom's last statement certainly wasn't it. 

Eragon felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. He'd been dreading this, that the argument would devolve into something worse. For that reason, he'd not wanted to let the two ride by themselves, but there was no option. Cadoc, his horse, couldn't carry two people, not day after day.

Fortunately for him, before things got physical, Saphira arrived. There was a flap of wings, a dark, massive silhouette descending from the sky. Despite her size, her arrival was eerily quiet. Slinking just outside the circle of firelight, her blue scales reflected the dim orange; the color pearlescent, almost like some kind of exotic metal.

Turning her head, her big, slitted eyes took in the sight of Cedric standing over Brom, his hand almost seeming to reach for the old man's neck. She let out a rumbling huff, one that, despite her inhuman appearance, couldn't be mistaken for anything other than amusement.

Cedric's expression worsened, giving Brom a last sideways look before withdrawing.

"My situation entertains you, does it—or perhaps you find it funny, me wanting to turn the tables on the old man? You don't think I would win? Curious, given he's never displayed much proficiency in magic. Or maybe you know something we don't…?"

Slowly circling the fire, Cedric stared piercingly into one of her enormous, mirror-like eyes. His hands went to his vest, adjusting it with forced stiffness.

"Cedric! That's entirely uncalled for! Saphira has nothing to do with your quarrel. I understand you're upset, but there's no point in lashing out-…"

Cedric's eyes narrowed, scoffing as he came to a standstill, five feet away from Saphira. He probably would've stuffed his face in front of hers, had Eragon not moved between them.

"Well, she certainly picked sides, didn't she? From your own mouth, I never would've been here if it weren't for her. Despite her high opinion of the old coot, I doubt he has the strength to lug me on his back from Carvahall to Therinsford!"

Apparently, Brom was more than willing to be the object of Cedric's ire, but when he started confronting Saphira, the storyteller's fuse proved a lot shorter.

"That's enough!"

Moving like a ghost, he was suddenly behind Cedric, one hand clamping down on his shoulder.

The red-head's eyes flicked to the old man's gnarled fingers, a sneer appearing on his face.

"If you value your hand, you might want to consider letting go."

Brom's features drew tightly together, the wrinkles on his face creating deep furrows. It was a ferocious expression, one that seemed more suited to a battlefield than the fireside.

"In all my years, I've never met such an arrogant brat! Do it, if you have the stones!"

His voice boomed loudly in Cedric's ear, the vibrations practically transferring to his bones.

However, the young mage's anger wasn't any less than Brom's. Abruptly, Cedric's mana surged to the surface. It was a liquid-cold sensation, like a shot of mercury directly into his veins.

Behind him, Brom's face was like a stormy sky, emotions roiling behind his grey eyes. However, the attack he waited for never came.

Suddenly as it arrived, Cedric's anger dissipated. In a smooth movement, he grabbed Brom's wrist, wrenching his own shoulder forward. The old rider let him go, watching as the young mage returned to his spot near the fire, taking a seat.

"Fine, you win."

Kicking back with one leg over the other, he procured a twig from somewhere, cleaning his teeth.

Whatever Cedric' flaws, he at least knew to pick his fights. Brom had too many advantages. If Cedric wanted to leave, he'd no choice to attack Brom, while the shitty bastard only had to obstruct him, stop him from leaving.

Being the one to draw blood would only worsen his image in Eragon's mind. Besides, if he did get the upper hand, the accursed dragon would certainly assist Brom. To make matters worse, he was wearing that fucking ring, storing gods knew how many years of energy.