Murtagh narrowed his eyes slightly, skeptical that the girl in front of him would have any information that he would need. "Information about what?" he inquired.
The girl who had introduced herself as Heavyn replied, "You tell me any information that you can give to me about Galbatorix and his plans, and I'll tell you of one way that I know of to change your true name somewhat quickly, thus freeing you from that monster. Interested?"
"You're bluffing. How can you have any knowledge of how to escape Galbatorix?" the enslaved Rider challenged. "For that matter, if you are from another world as you've implied, why should you even care about what happens to anyone on Alagaësia, anyway?!?"
"A valid question, and one easily explained," Heavyn replied. "You see, my world has the ability to record the stories of other worlds, and the tale of Alagaësia is one of those stories. Normally, residents of my world are unable to travel outside of its borders. Thanks to the X-blade, however, I've gained that ability, and thus I now have the opportunity to set things right. Not to mention that, should Galbatorix stay on the throne for much longer, then my foe may consider forming an alliance with him, which would definitely be a Bad Idea in all capital letters. My fellow Keyblade Wielders and I have already dealt with one of Xehanort's minions here on Alagaësia, and thanks to that the Heartless have been introduced to this world. It is imperative, therefore, that I give whatever help I can give… even if it's just simple information."
The grey-eyed man gazed at the odd girl. If she knew of a way to change his true name… Thorn, what do you think?
I'm not sure, replied the dragon, who also stared at her, trying to gauge the potential danger. She seems genuine… however she could also be a very skilled actress.
Should we try to have her share her side first before we make our decision?
For the first time in this strange encounter, Thorn turned towards his rider. No, he protested, if we did that then we'd be as dishonorable as the egg-breaker. We shall take the honorable way and decide first, then inform her of our decision.
Murtagh inwardly sighed, even as he once again noted Thorn's refusal to name Galbatorix and instead using one of his regular insults for the man. What I really want to know is what she plans on doing should we refuse her request.
Then why don't you just ask her?
Unable to argue with Thorn on that point, Murtagh asked aloud, "What if we refuse to give you the information?"
"I'll respect your decision and leave peacefully," answered the raven-haired girl. "In addition, I swear that I will not tell the Varden about this meeting, and instead simply twist it so that I only avoided you instead."
"Would you swear in the ancient language?"
"If I knew the appropriate phrase, I would. However, forgive my caution, but I will not repeat any phrase you say in case it's a trap to force me into Galbatorix's service. In addition, should you try to prevent me from leaving after you refuse my offer I will fight you and Thorn. I will not hesitate to severely hurt the both of you, although I will not kill either of you."
"And if we tried to kill you?"
In response, the girl angled herself towards a nearby tree. Raising her strange weapon, she simply cried out, "Gravity!"
To the amazement of the dragon and Rider, a strange black ball formed above the tree and began to envelop it. As the tree flattened from the obvious force, Thorn blurted to his Rider, She just used magic without the ancient language! Isn't that supposed to be impossible for you two-legs?
Yes, it is, answered Murtagh. Even Galbatorix has to use it… so how can she do magic without the ancient language? Aloud he demanded, "How did you do that?!?"
"I learned how to do magic long before I came to Alagaësia, so your guys' rules don't exactly apply to me or my fellow Keyblade Wielders," she answered with a shrug.
Dragon and Rider glanced at each other, then Murtagh asked his final question. "What if the oaths we were forced to make prevent us from giving information to you."
"Do your oaths mention anything about not corroborating with someone not from Alagaësia? I might just be that loophole you need to help free yourselves from Galbatorix."
She's got a point, commented Thorn.
With that comment, Murtagh's decision was made. "What do you want to know?"
"You actually did it," the X-blade commented silently, shock filling its voice. "You actually managed to get him to give us information!"
"Told you I would," responded Heavyn smugly. "It was obvious he was considering my offer when he went silent to confer with Thorn, and I knew that with him, honesty is the best policy considering how little he gets of it." Aloud, she simply stated, "I'll take whatever information you're willing to give me, Murtagh."
Murtagh once more glanced at his dragon, then returned his gaze back to her. "I shall pass on two pieces of information to you- the location of the final dragon egg, and the reason why Galbatorix has been sequestered in Urû'baen lately."
Something about the way he mentioned the second piece sent a chill down Heavyn's spine. "I'm not going to like that reason, am I?" As Murtagh shook his head, Heavyn sighed, "Okay… well, give it to me anyway."
Nodding, Murtagh began, "First, the location of the final dragon egg- originally, Thorn's and the other dragon's egg had been in my father's old castle to throw the Varden off. However, when Thorn hatched for me Galbatorix apparently thought that Thorn and I would be enough protection, and moved the last egg back into his castle in Urû'baen. It is now sitting deep in the underground part of the castle."
"Got it," Heavyn nodded. Inwardly, she cheered at this prime bit of information. While it was unfortunate that it would be difficult for the Varden to free the egg… knowing its definite location would surely help them out.
"Now, for the other piece of information…" At this, Murtagh took a deep breath, as if to brace himself for what he was about to say. "The reason why Galbatorix has been sequestered in his citadel is because he has been searching for the true name of the ancient language… and I'm sorry to say that he has recently succeeded."
Heavyn felt her heart skipping a beat at this. Instantly, she was reminded of the last Ra'zac's words to Eragon- He is close to finding the true name. This was really, really, REALLY bad news!
"Why is that so important?" asked the X-blade aloud.
Glancing down at the blade, Heavyn answered, "Knowing the name of the language means he has control of the language, and can do anything he wants with it! Lie while speaking it, breaking established oaths… you name it, he can do it now."
"What's more, what he intends to do with it… it's horrible," added Murtagh.
Sharply looking back at him, Heavyn demanded, "What do you mean?"
"He intends to subjugate every single magic user and force them to do his will by controlling who can use magic. Those who refuse to serve him will be unable to use magic."
"Frickafracka!" Heavyn spat out. "How did he figure it out?!?"
"I don't know," responded Murtagh, shaking his head. "I've only felt its effects… and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the Name of Names."
Taking a deep breath, Heavyn closed her eyes to try and put this information to the back of her mind. Although the news upset her, ultimately she could do nothing about it except warn the Varden- even if Galbatorix were to try and control the Keyblade Wielder's magic, thanks to how they all have been taught it would ultimately be for naught.
"Thank you, Murtagh. The news will most certainly be helpful," she finally said. "Now, to fulfill my end of the bargain- a way to change your true name."
"You know, I'm curious about this myself, Heavyn," remarked the X-blade. "What is a true name, anyway?"
Surprisingly, it was Murtagh who answered. "A true name is the essence of anything, whether it be living or not. To know the true name of something grants you power over it."
"Hence, why it's a Very Bad Thing that Galbatorix knows the true name of the ancient language," added Heavyn. "I'll explain more later, X-blade, okay?"
"Alright… but I'll hold you to it!" came the response.
Nodding, Heavyn turned her attention back towards the one who needed to hear the story she was about to tell. "Keep this in mind, Murtagh, as you hear this tale- what I say is the truth. Understand?" When he nodded, she began, "Once upon a time, there was a woman from a small farming community who was wooed away by a very powerful man. This man was a loyal servant of Galbatorix, however to the woman it didn't matter, for at the time she loved him.
"The man, however, took advantage of her love and turned her into one of his most powerful weapons by learning her true name and binding her to him. Over time, she became greatly feared throughout the Empire for her deeds, and even today those who hear of her deeds turn as white as a corpse. It was during the height of the man's control over her, however, that one of the most profound moments of her life took place- she became a mother."
Yep, it was obvious that Murtagh realized who she was speaking about, if his wide-eyed sharp glance at her meant anything.
"While this event did start the changing of her true name, it was when she met a man who disguised himself as a gardener that fully changed it. For you see, when she became a mother she realized at just how awful the father of her child was, and promptly fell out of love with him. Her meeting the pseudo-gardener was the final nail in the coffin for her old true name. She and the spy fell in love, and the woman gave the spy much-needed information to help take down the man who had once bound her while also becoming much kinder to the less fortunate than she had previously done. Unfortunately, however, she conceived a child with the spy, and fearing for her unborn child fled to her old home in order to give birth to him away from the one who would murder him. The birth took too much out of her, unfortunately, and she eventually died."
For a brief moment, Heavyn worried for Murtagh. His spine had stiffened up so much during her tale that she feared he had caused injury to it. However, considering that he what he had just heard obviously had dealt at least one serious hammer-blow to what he had once known… it was understandable, to say the least.
"So… tell me- how does this woman's tale relate to me?" he finally inquired in a tight voice.
"Don't you see? It was the love for her eldest child that began the change and the love for the spy that had once sought to simply infiltrate her home was the thing to fully enable it," came the answer. "Love, no matter what its form, can change you so profoundly that your true name will reflect this."
Jaw tightening, Murtagh almost spat out, "And you think I have someone that I could love enough to change me, huh? Shows—"
"What about Nasuada?" Heavyn interrupted. As she had gambled, Murtagh stopped his rant immediately and stared at her with surprise. "Didn't you begin to like her in a romantic way when you were held as a political prisoner by her father and she came to visit you?" When he remained silent, she coaxed, "All you have to do is continue to follow the path you once began on, and I'm sure you could finally break Galbatorix's hold over you. It won't be instant by any means… but it will be effective, this I promise you."
The enslaved Rider was silent for several long moments. It was only when Thorn gave him a gentle nudge that finally prompted him to respond once more. "This woman… did she truly love her elder son?"
"So much so that he was an effective tool for his father to control her with," Heavyn replied.
"And the spy whom she fell in love with… did either of the sons meet him?"
Smiling, Heavyn answered, "Yes, actually, both of them did. Anything more, however, you'll need to ask the younger son, for it is his place to tell, not mine."
Nodding slowly, Murtagh's face seemed to show his acceptance of this. "I… have a lot to think about," he finally admitted. "Thank you, however, for telling me this."
"You're welcome," she replied with an understanding smile. "Now, I've got to get back to my friends, for I know that they are extremely worried about me." As she threw the X-blade up into the air, she added, "I do hope, however, that we can meet again someday Murtagh, Thorn."
For the first time, a small smile graced Murtagh's face. "I would like that, as well."
Suddenly, a surprisngly musical voice added, So will I.
Heavyn's jaw dropped as she heard Thorn's voice for the very first time. It was nothing like she had imagined, and she instantly realized the incredible honor of hearing it. As the glider form of the X-blade flew down, unexpectedly a phrase in the ancient language popped into her head. She wasn't sure if she had read or heard it before… yet when she realized the translated meaning, the ravenette realized at how appropriate it was for this moment.
Hopping onto her glider, she turned towards Murtagh and Thorn. "Sé mor'ranr ono finna," she stated simply, being careful not to turn it into a spell.
Surprised looks filled their faces at this. As she began to fly away, she heard Murtagh call out, "Farewell, X-blade Wielder!"
Farewell, added Thorn.
Turning back, Heavyn waved a final farewell to them. When she saw Murtagh begin to climb back into Thorn's saddle, she faced forward once more.
"Hey, Heavyn, who was that woman you were talking about?" inquired the X-blade as it angled itself back towards the Varden camp.
Smiling a small smile, she answered, "The story was about Murtagh and Eragon's mother, Selena."
Shock filling their bond, the X-blade protested, "You're not serious!"
"I am," retorted Heavyn. "Her tale was told in the third book."
Silence filled the air for several minutes as the X-blade absorbed this. Then… "And the phrase that you told them? What did it mean?"
"It simply means, 'May you find peace.'"
"Appropriate," came the X-blade's comment after several moments.