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Chrysanta came to in a dark, dank cell. The air smelled of blood and suffering.

A dungeon. She was in a dungeon.

"Bracken?" She called out for her brother. "Mizelle? Anneliesa?" No one answered. So, she was on her own then.

The last thing she could remember was visiting her brother's new fiancé, Kendra Sorenson, and her brother, Seth. The unicorn and fairykind had decided to make it official after 5 years of dating. Most of those years were spent in one conflict or another. She hated the thought that this would mess up the wedding plans in any way. She'd looked forward to being a 'bridesmaid'.

And at this point, she was wishing for Seth's ability with locks.

"Hello!? I demand you let me out of here this minute! Do you have any idea who I am?!" She hoped, with enough noise, they'd at least come to shut her up. Getting more information was key. Even if it meant getting knocked around a bit.

"Would you be quiet?!"

Chrysanta's jaws snapped shut as something moved in the darkness of the cell across from her. A dark haired man, scowling in obvious pain, blood smeared across his face, appeared. "Do you want them to come back?!" He hissed.

Well, yes. But she got the feeling that that wouldn't be a smart thing to say to this man.

"Who are you? Where am I?" She asked, quietly.

"You're in Urû'baen."

She blinked. Alright, name she had never heard before. That was helpful.

"Where?"

It was his turn to blink in confusion. "Urû'baen? Capital of Broddring Empire?"

She blinked back at him. "Never heard of it."

He gaped at her. "Who are you?"

She sat up straighter and looked the man, who had still not told her his name, in the eyes. "I am Chrysanta, daughter of the Fairy Queen."

"Who?"

Chapter Text

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.
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'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.

Chapter Text

Murtagh awoke suddenly, his entire body throbbing. Next to him, Thorn slept on with small puffs of smoke as he snored. Across from him, the slave sat warily against the wall. And the woman, Chrysanta, knelt next to a fire.

Sitting up slowly, he found that they were in a cave, large enough to hold a two month old dragon. Swallowing, his mouth dry, he spoke, "Where...where are we?"

"About two days from Urû'baen," Chrysanta replied. "I didn't expect you two to have such a reaction to my pouch. My apologies."

His head hurt. Funnily enough, that was the one part of his body that hadn't before his term in the pouch. "What is that?"

"An enchanted pouch, allows me to carry up to 6 people at a time–or two and one dragon," she corrected. "I hope you're hungry," she handed him a loaf of bread and a few pieces of jerky. He took them cautiously. While she had helped him escape, she was obviously not entirely sane. She maintained throughout their talking in the cells that she wasn't from Alagaësia at all, but some "Fairy Realm".

He turned back to her. "Where's the egg?"

She twisted around the firelight caught the verdant shell of the egg. "It hasn't left my side."

He nodded, turning back to his food, but watching her out of the corner of his eye.

For someone clearly not in touch with this world, she was just as uniquely beautiful as Nausuada, though the exact opposite. Her skin was like polished marble, her hair as white as snow, and her eyes a gentle gold. The first time he saw her, he thought she was a messenger, sent to carry him to the next life, should there be one.

He ate, unable to ignore the growling of his stomach any longer. The slave just stared at the food laying before him, while Chrysanta tore into her own rations, which included a vegetable instead of jerky. Perhaps she didn't eat meat?

"Are you not going to eat?" She asked gently.

The man didn't respond.

"What is your name?"

That question also went unanswered.

She sighed. "I don't approve of slavery. You may speak how you wish, eat when you are hungry, and go where you want. I just brought you with us because I didn't know where you would want to go."

"He's not going to speak," Murtagh grunted. "Just leave him be."

She gave him an unpleasant look. "Maybe he just needs some reassurance."

Even as she admonished him, her voice didn't rise, but remained soothing. He got the feeling this woman didn't lose her temper often, if ever. Even as she had told the guard to 'go fuck themselves', her tone remained even.

She turned back to the slave. "What's your name?"

Murtagh huffed, sure that her question would get the same response as the others.

"Isaias."

He did not expect that.

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After a long argument on what would be done about Thorn, it was decided that he would go back into the pouch and Murtagh would carry it. Before she gave it to him, Chrysanta whispered into the bag and reached in, drawing out a glowing sword, along with a scabbard.

Murtagh and Isaias stared as she strapped it to her waist. "What?" She demanded once she noticed them.

"What are you?" Murtagh blurted.

She sighed. "I'm not explaining this again. Let us just go."

"Where to?" Isaias asked, then shrunk into himself as he realized he'd spoken aloud.

Chrysanta smiles gently at him. "Good question. Where are we going?"

"To the Varden," Murtagh said, hardly able to believe he was saying it.

"The Varden?" Chrysanta and Isaias chorused. Though Chrysanta sounded more confused than Isaias.

Murtagh nodded.

"They're the only way we'll be safe."

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The way to the Varden was over the Hadarac Desert, which Murtagh did not look forward to crossing again. He pushed himself to remember how Eragon had explained the magic used to dredge up water from the desert, because he was sure he'd soon need it.

"After we reach Bullridge, we'll gather supplies and horses for the rest of our journey."

"They'll be looking for us, won't they?" Chrysanta asked quietly. "It might be best to avoid anyone else."

Murtagh shook his head. "No. We need supplies and, from what you told me, they might've assumed that we died in that insane escape."

Her tone was flat and sharp when she responded. "The king's more brainless than he looks if he believes that." And there went his hope, cause she was right and they all knew it. After Eragon's desperate flight to the Varden several months ago, they'd have to be extra careful not to attract any attention.

That meant no towns and no horses.

Murtagh cursed, kicking the ground. And immediately wincing at the pain it caused. After a two months of torture, his body protested even the smallest movement.

Speaking of which... "What month is it?"

"Ōstar," Isaias said, while Chrysanta looked confused.

So, he had kept track correctly. Murtagh had been captured in Lenzin, three months ago. His heart ached at the thought of his unlikely friends thinking him dead or, worse, a traitor.

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The way was silent, besides the birds and things, due to Murtagh's sour mood and the other's reluctance to interrupt it.

"What is wrong, my heart?" Thorn's mental voice, almost lyrical in sound, relaxed a bit of Murtagh's tension. The corner of his lips rose in a small smile.

"You still sense my pain, even in there, my friend?" He asked gently.

Thorn huffed. "Of course."

Murtagh sighed. "Now I wish Eragon and I had taken more care in our escape. Chrysanta's right, Galbatorix will be on guard for any whisper of us."

"The past can not be undone. We should concentrate on the now."

Murtagh gave a tiny breath of a laugh. "When did you become so wise?"

"When I chose you as my Rider."

Murtagh's heart warmed at the compliment.

Right then, Isaias spoke up. "I believe I can retrieve us some horses."

Murtagh stopped and turned around. "How?"

The ex-slave took a deep breath, focused his eyes on the ground, and planted his feet firmly. "Before I was caught and put into the king's...services...I lived as a thief."

Wonderful. He was traveling with a thieving ex-slave and a mad woman who could somehow produce light from her body. He almost felt like the normal one.