The man's name was Murtagh and he'd been imprisoned for over a month now. The torment he'd endured was obvious and Chrysanta cringed at the thought of subjecting another living being to that kind of treatment.
He explained the world she'd found herself in–and it was a new world. She didn't recognize any of the names of places or people. They weren't in the human world and most definitely not in the Fairy Realm. It was a whole new world and she didn't dare close her eyes.
He explained the Dragon Riders and the war they fought long ago, one that they had lost. He told of Galbatorix, the tyrant king, and his black dragon, Shruikan, how they, along with thirteen other traitors, defeated their brethren in various underhanded and vile ways. He ranted about the slavery and poverty in the empire, how Galbatorix did nothing to save his people as monsters called Urgals roamed the land, hunting and murdering.
In turn, Chrysanta told him about her world, how her eldest brother was to be married soon, how her eldest sister was the Captain of the Warrior Fairies. She told him of the wars and uprisings they had had in recent years, how they had just settled into peace.
And when the guards came to get them, she told them exactly what they could do with themselves.
They weren't amused.
After a swift slap to the face, both she and Murtagh were dragged out of their cells and down the hallway, ending up in a throne room. Sitting on the throne was a man of average height, with long, lean face, black hair, and a crown.
This was Galbatorix, the tyrant king.
"What is your name, girl?" He asked, his voice low and rough.
Chrysanta clenched her jaw and raised her head defiantly. He wasn't getting anything out of her, not willingly. She could be quite stubborn when she wanted.
"Thorta du ilumëo!" He growled.
"Chrysanta," she spat out, unable to stop her mouth from moving.
"Where do you come from?"
"The Fairy Realm."
"I have heard of no such realm," he mused, stroking his beard like some kind of bad movie villain.
He seemed to be in deep thought for a few moments, and then flicked his hand in a deliberate motion. A younger man in chains stepped forward with a bright green stone resting on a pillow. Murtagh sucked in a breath.
"Bring her forward." He commanded. "Perhaps Fate smiles upon me today."
She was frog-marched toward the stone, the bad feeling in her gut growing. Nothing about this was good. She had no idea what that stone was and she didn't want to.
Chrysanta flinched as the guard yanked her hand out and placed it upon the stone. Then, she drew in a breath. This was not a stone, but an egg–she could feel something inside it beginning to awaken from the touch. A foreign mind touched her own and she flinched again.
As the Fairy Queen's daughter, she had met many powerful, incomprehensible beings, but this felt like...a dragon.
She went pale as a sheet, knowing what was happening, yet not knowing why. He was testing her, seeing if she would bond with the dragon inside this egg, as a Dragon Rider. Little did he know, that that was impossible, as she was not of this world. And she knew as soon as he knew she could give him nothing, she'd be dead.
As her soon-to-be-brother-in-law would say–Nope.
So, she reached out with her own mind, to Murtagh's. 'Close your eyes!' She commanded. She felt confusion and fear, but he did as she said. Then, she unleashed the light that was inside her. Everyone screamed as the light burned their eyes and she winced as she realized in her panic, she had not warned the slave. Grabbing the egg and the slave's arm, she ran past the stunned guards and grabbed onto Murtagh as well. Together, they all ran for the exit, Galbatorix screaming behind them.
'Murtagh!' She screamed. 'How do we get out of here?!"
He sent her a image in her head. But that would take them down–
'Just do it!' He screamed back. So, she did. They went down into the dungeons, farther and farther until they reached wide, open caverns. And there, in one of the openings, lay a small ruby red dragon, perhaps only a few weeks old.
Murtagh raced over to the dragon, and began undoing the chains laying over the dragon, pinning it to the cavern floor, muttering to himself. Yelling sounded behind them. She stood the slave, who still had his eyes shut, in the cave and placed her hand over his eyes. A gentle golden light glowed and she began healing his eyes. "I suggest that you hurry," she urged Murtagh.
"What exactly do you think I am doing?" He grunted. Six chains to go and the footsteps were growing closer. She swore and reached up to her neck to grab the small pouch that rested on her throat. She didn't know if this would work, but...
"Here," she rushed over to Murtagh and the dragon. "Have him drink this."
"What is it?"
She had to resist the urge to roll her eyes. They didn't have the time for this. "A shrinking potion. It might work, it might not, but we need to go."
He stared at her for a moment, and then took the potion and poured it down the dragon's throat. A moment passed and Chrysanta's heart dropped. They weren't going to make it.
Then, the dragon abruptly disappeared.
Murtagh cried out wordlessly as he bent down to pick up the tiny red dragon. That could know fit into the palm of his hand.
There was no more time. She shoved him towards the slave, who was blinking repeatedly, and whispered the key word to send them into her pouch.
They vanished with similar yelps and she took off running.
Out of all her siblings, Chrysanta has always been the fastest and she was putting all her speed and agility to the test. She quickly outstripped the guards heading towards her and headed to the fresh air she could feel at the end of this tunnel.
Of course, nothing would do Fate but to have the exit be hundreds of feet off the ground. She took a look down and nearly hurled. Looking behind her, she knew she had no choice.
So, she took a deep breath, took a swig of a levitating potion, and took a running leap off the mountain.