Chapter Five: Rider And Ra'zac Edit
So Eragon, all by himself, exhausted and magically drained, calls out to the remaining Ra'zac in the ancient language. “Come, O thou eater of men’s flesh, let us end this fight of ours. You are hurt, and I am weary. Your companions are dead, and I am alone. We are a fit match. I promise that I shall not use gramarye against you, nor hurtor trap you with spells I have already cast. Come, O thou eater of men’s flesh, let us end this fight of ours. . . Yeees. Brilliant admit that you're all alone to an enemy of whom you've killed its entire family. Oh, and promise not to use your most potent weapon. Yup. \~/ \~/ \~/
The Ra'zac appears, and does not attack him. Instead it tells Eragon that Galby wanted Eragon not dead by its hand. And that Galby has more hearts than Eragon. To which Eragon replies “Hearts? I am the champion of the people, not him.”
The Ra'zac becomes more sympathetic as it mentions to Eragon that the dead one was his hatchmate and that he wants Eragon to make a pact with him. \~/
“I am the lassst of my race, Shadeslayer. We are ancient, and I would not have us forgotten. Would you, in your songsss and in your hissstories, remind your fellow humans of the terror we inssspired in your kind? . . . Remember us as fear !”
This is a rather typical villain response before they die. Tell the world about us. Eragon wants to know why should he. The ra'zac says because he will tell Eragon a secret. Eragon refuses to give his word until he knows what the secret is. Noble he is. \~/
The secret, Galby has almost discovered the name, the true name
What name? He doesn't know.
This displeases Eragon so he refuses to make a pact. Nice guy. \~/
The Ra'zac curses Eragon in response, “Curssse you, Rider! I curssse you! May you find no roossst nor den nor peace of mind in thisss land of yours. May you leave Alagaësia and never return!” This is the same fate that Angela gave to him way back in book one. This is also sort of like the words that Galadriel gave to Legolas, in regards to him no longer finding peace in Middle Earth once he heard the cry of the gulls. \~/
In a surprisingly quick battle, Eragon then kills the Ra'zac, in like two movements. Also, we get this metaphor: A mare’s tail of blood separated Eragon from his enemy as the Ra’zac swept back its sodden cloak . It is not, after some discussion, a reference to an actual horse's tail but instead of the cirrus clouds which are sometimes called mare's tail. Of course how many people are going to know that? And how many people are going instead picture a horse's tail, instead of clouds in regards to the blood splatter? \~/ \~/
But the battle is anti-climatic and that is the end of the Ra'zac. Probably because Paolini didn't want to have to deal with a free, revenge seeking Ra'zac and instead wanted to get the plot moving forward. He grabs Sloan and flees the cavern. Upon reaching the ledge he runs into a wee problem. \~/
The ground? Is about a mile down. He doesn't have a dragon. Oh and apparently those fishermen had more money than I though they did, because it looks like there are horsemen on the way. Eragon gives the weirdest example of talking to himself that I've seen in regards to talking to yourself. \~/
“It’s almost a mile down,” he murmured. “If there were a path, I could easily walk that distance, even with Sloan. So I must have the strength to lower us with magic. . . . Yes, but what you can do over a length of time may be too taxing to accomplish all at once without killing yourself. As Oromis said, the body cannot convert its stockpile of fuel into energy fast enough to sustain most spells for more than a few seconds. I only have a certain amount of power available at any given moment, and once it’s gone, I have to wait until I recover. . . . And talking to myself isn’t getting me anywhere.”
It's the "Yes but what can you do" part that gets me. Usually when you talk to yourself it's "what can I do". It's also written in a rather formal style, which I don't think normal people think in. He's also too calm and rational about it. He should at least be a bit worried because of the up coming riders who probably have no way to get up the mountain or even see him because of the hologram covered entrance. Yes. Worrisome. \~/ \~/
Ah, hell, what do I know? I'm just thinking logically here.
So, he uses magic to get down, using some of Sloan's energy as well, all the while worried about the rapidly approaching riders. Which he wouldn't have to worry about if he stayed up in the cave and regained his energy or waited until they went away. I don't think they have magicians powerful enough to get through the shields there. \~/
He taxes himself so badly that when he gets to the bottom of the mountain he collapses.
Eragon was no longer capable of coherent thought, but somewhere in the back of his brain he was aware that he was about to die. It did not frighten him; to the contrary, the prospect comforted him, for he was tired beyond belief, and death would free him from the battered shell of his flesh and allow him to rest for all of eternity.
He hurt so much that dying would be a welcomed way to stop the pain. \~/
AH but we don't get out of this situation to easily. No, because we still have two books to go, so he can't go and die. As much as we'd like him to. Instead he garners the will to live again, by seeing a bumblebee.
From above and behind his head, there came a bumblebee as big as his thumb. It circled his ear, then hovered by the rock, probing the nodes of citrine, which were the same bright yellow as the field stars that bloomed among the hills. The bumblebee’s mane glowed in the morning light—each hair sharp and distinct to Eragon—and its blurred wings generated a gentle bombilation, like a tattoo played on a drum. Pollen powdered the bristles on its legs.
The bumblebee was so vibrant, so alive, and so beautiful, its presence renewed Eragon’s will to survive. A world that contained a creature as amazing as that bumblebee was a world he wanted to live in.
He garners the will to live because he sees a bumblebee. Not because he wants to see Saphira again, or defeat Galby, or see his cousin or any myriad of reasons. \~/ \~/ \~/ Why a bumblebee then? Maybe because there's something miraculous about a bumblebee, or maybe he's trying to be deep and philosophical that it's not the mundane things that matter but instead the world itself and all the little things that make it worth living. Or maybe...he stole it from somewhere.
So, he grabs onto the life force of a shrubbery to replenish his energy. And then another and another and another until he's all better. He feels guilty about taking the energy from the plants, but he doesn't feel guilty about taking energy from Sloan or earlier Saphira. He has a very interesting view on the sanctity of life. \~/ Eragon berates himself for being careless with magic because the Varden need him. Careless for magic that's bad. Running off on a side mission? That's okay. He really needs to get his priorities straight. \~/
Speaking of running, he starts running back to the Varden with Sloan on his back, with no supplies at all. Also he appears to have misplaced his staff. I wonder if it'll come back. \~/
He's jubilant at the finishing of the quest to kill the Ra'zac. He even calls it that, "his quest for vengeance". It has freed him of fear and other stuff that he'd been feeling since he left home. Funny, never saw that.
But he is also sad:
Yet, to his surprise, his triumph was bittersweet, tainted by an unexpected sense of loss. His hunt for the Ra’zac had been one of his last ties to his life in Palancar Valley, and he was loath to relinquish that bond, gruesome as it was. Moreover, the task had given him a purpose in life when he had none; it was the reason why he had originally left his home. Without it, a hole gaped inside of him where he had nurtured his hate for the Ra’zac.
I'm not really sure how they're his last ties, after all he has the entire village of Caverhall waiting back with the Varden. I guess they don't count for very much. But it's okay, he gets over it rather quickly.
That he could mourn the end of such a terrible mission appalled Eragon, and he vowed to avoid making the same mistake twice. I refuse to become so attached to my struggle against the Empire and Murtagh and Galbatorix that I won’t want to move on to something else when, and if, the time comes—or, worse, that I’ll try to prolong the conflict rather than adapt to whatever happens next. He chose then to push away his misbegotten regret and to concentrate instead on his relief: relief that he was free of the grim demands of his self-imposed quest and that his only remaining obligations were those born of his current position.
Elation lightened his steps. With the Ra’zac gone, Eragon felt as if he could finally make a life for himself based not on who he had been but on who he had become: a Dragon Rider.
I'm sad because I lost my ties to home, but that's okay! I shall look forward! Eragon has this remarkable ability to rationalize things away. He did that in the end of the previous book where he rationalized away the fact that Morzan was his father. It makes him feel flighty to me, never dwelling on any one particular thing long enough to feel it. \~/
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