Chapter no 6 – AN AME OFPOWER

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)

On the way home Roran said, “There was a stranger from Therinsford at Horst’s today.”

“What’s his name?” asked Eragon. He sidestepped a patch of ice and continued walking at a brisk pace. His cheeks and eyes burned from the cold.

“Dempton. He came here to have Horst forge him some sockets,” said Roran. His stocky legs plowed through a drift, clearing the way for Eragon.

“Doesn’t Therinsford have its own smith?”

“Yes,” replied Roran, “but he isn’t skilled enough.” He glanced at Eragon. With a shrug he added, “Dempton needs the sockets for his mill. He’s expanding it and offered me a job. If I accept, I’ll leave with him when he picks up the sockets.”

Millers worked all year. During winter they ground whatever people brought them, but in harvest season they bought grain and sold it as flour. It was hard, dangerous work; workers often lost fingers or hands to the giant millstones. “Are you going to tell Garrow?” asked Eragon.

“Yes.” A grimly amused smile played across Roran’s face.

“What for? You know what he thinks about us going away. It’ll only cause trouble if you say anything. Forget about it so we can eat tonight’s dinner in peace.”

“I can’t. I’m going to take the job.”

Eragon halted. “Why?” They faced each other, their breath visible in the air. “I know money is hard to come by, but we always manage to survive. You don’t have to leave.”

“No, I don’t. But the money is for myself.” Roran tried to resume walking, but Eragon refused to budge.

“What do you need it for?” he demanded.

Roran’s shoulders straightened slightly. “I want to marry.”

Bewilderment and astonishment overwhelmed Eragon. He remembered seeing Katrina and Roran kissing during the traders’ visit, but marriage? “Katrina?” he asked weakly, just to confirm. Roran nodded. “Have you asked her?”

“Not yet, but come spring, when I can raise a house, I will.”

“There’s too much work on the farm for you to leave now,” protested Eragon. “Wait until we’re ready for planting.”

“No,” said Roran, laughing slightly. “Spring’s the time I’ll be needed the most. The ground will have to be furrowed and sown. The crops must be

weeded—not to mention all the other chores. No, this is the best time for me to go, when all we really do is wait for the seasons to change. You and Garrow can make do without me. If all goes well, I’ll soon be back working on the farm, with a wife.”

Eragon reluctantly conceded that Roran made sense. He shook his head, but whether with amazement or anger, he knew not. “I guess I can only wish you the best of luck. But Garrow may take this with ill humor.”

“We will see.”

They resumed walking, the silence a barrier between them. Eragon’s heart was disturbed. It would take time before he could look upon this development with favor. When they arrived home, Roran did not tell Garrow of his plans, but Eragon was sure that he soon would.

Eragon went to see the dragon for the first time since it had spoken to him. He approached apprehensively, aware now that it was an equal.


“Is that all you can say?” he snapped.


His eyes widened at the unexpected reply, and he sat down roughly.Now it has a sense of humor. What next? Impulsively, he broke a dead branch with his foot. Roran’s announcement had put him in a foul mood. A questioning thought came from the dragon, so he told it what had happened. As he talked his voice grew steadily louder until he was yelling pointlessly into the air. He ranted until his emotions were spent, then ineffectually punched the ground.

“I don’t want him to go, that’s all,” he said helplessly. The dragon watched impassively, listening and learning. Eragon mumbled a few choice curses and rubbed his eyes. He looked at the dragon thoughtfully. “You need a name. I heard some interesting ones today; perhaps you’ll like one.” He mentally ran through the list Brom had given him until he found two names that struck him as heroic, noble, and pleasing to the ear. “What do you think of Vanilor or his successor, Eridor? Both were great dragons.”

No,said the dragon. It sounded amused with his efforts.Eragon. “That’smy name; you can’t have it,” he said, rubbing his chin. “Well, if

you don’t like those, there are others.” He continued through the list, but the dragon rejected every one he proposed. It seemed to be laughing at something Eragon did not understand, but he ignored it and kept suggesting names. “There was Ingothold, he slew the . . .” A revelation stopped him.That’s the problem! I’ve been choosing male names. You are a she!

Yes.The dragon folded her wings smugly.

Now that he knew what to look for, he came up with half a dozen names. He toyed with Miremel, but that did not fit—after all, it was the name of a

brown dragon. Opheila and Lenora were also discarded. He was about to give up when he remembered the last name Brom had muttered. Eragon liked it, but would the dragon?

He asked.

“Are you Saphira?” She looked at him with intelligent eyes. Deep in his mind he felt her satisfaction.

Yes.Something clicked in his head and her voice echoed, as if from a great distance. He grinned in response. Saphira started humming.

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