Insubordination part one Edit
This, I believe is the Roran Kills Impossible Numbers of People With His Hammer chapter. His hammer, by they way, is not his penis.
No. I don't know why I said that. I claim weird moodness.
Anyway, we get more military tactics - Paolini style and more stilted dialogue as well. Well perhaps, what he would consider to be "heroic" dialog. I'm not sure. It starts off silly and ... well... gets worse? The problem is that he's not trying to be silly, he's trying to be dramatic and deep.
The rich black soil was cool against Roran’s hand. He picked up a loose clod and crumbled it between his fingers, noting with approval that it was moist and full of decomposing leaves, stems, moss, and other organic matter that would provide excellent food for crops. He pressed it to his lips and tongue. The soil tasted alive, full of hundreds of flavors, from pulverized mountains to beetles and punky wood and the tender tips of grass roots.
When I was real little, I ate some dirt. My mom went around screaming hysterically and called up my grandma. Her response? "Was it clean dirt?" I say this because that is what I think of when I see someone eating dirt. They're five. Or younger. Much younger. Smelling the dirt is one thing. But I think once something is dirt, it's going to taste like dirt. Unless you're a dirt conosure where upon you can probably divine different flavors of dirt. Which if Roran is, makes me extremely worried. Smelling the dirt would be better. Or if the phrase "he imagined he could taste ..." was stuck in there somewhere. But there honestly isn't a reason to taste the dirt. It's not going to give you any information beyond "dirt". Maybe "sandy dirt" or "dry dirt" or "clay dirt" but you aren't going to know what pulverized mountains are going to taste like.
Also, that is the most erotic way I've ever read anyone write "he tasted the dirt".
Roran knelt down and slowly dragged his hands through the nearly virgin soil. It'd hadn't been marched upon by the filthy boots of the enemy, it was still fresh and clean. With a gentle hand he lifted up a tiny bit, just between his fingers, watching as it flowed back to the earth where it came from, where it belonged. The remaining crumbs he pressed to his lips, tongue flicking out to tasted it delicately. He savored the taste. Such a fine bouquet of flavor he'd never tasted. It was full of the earth. Everything he could want in one heady taste, sending a slight groaning longing in him. He wanted to plow deep into this soil and reap crops from it. Over and over, this is what he should be doing here, not trampling over it like some sort of beast, but taking care of it. Loving it dearly. Put his full sweat and muscles into it every day, pushing dearly. Until he finally collapsed, empty and ruined til the next morning.
... Oh hell. I just wrote dirt p0rn.
Great. Where is that handbasket?
Roran wishes he was back at home plowing the fields with Katrina in their own farm.
Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.
Roran is with a new Captain. One Captain Edric. Edric is a by the book captain who punishes for any little deviation of established practice. Roran doesn't think that's a good thing becuase it discourages creativity and invention.
A thought and a story. My grandfather was a captain during World War Two. He said that one of the hardest things he had to do was to get soldiers to listen to him before they went out onto the field, because if they didn't they would die during combat. He said that after a while he could tell who would live and who wouldn't come back after seeing how well they listened to him. The rules were there to save lives and the soldiers weren't supposed to think, they were just supposed to follow. Creativity and invention in combat is a dangerous thing. If you devate from the plan then who knows what can happen and who can get hurt because they're expecting you in one place and you aren't there.
This is all foreshadowing, of course.
Roran is actually lucky in that he's already above foot soldier too. He's in charge of one of three units that are going to be attacking a group of enemy soldiers. When Orrin and Nasuada retreated from Surda they took the bulk of their forces with them, leaving the country open for Galby to terrorize.
Orrin is an excellent king. He left his people unprotected.
Even better, Saphira could easily - so says the text - wipe out the enemy soldiers but they can't have her leave the camp unless she's getting Eragon.
Getting back onto Snowfire, Roran rode to the front of the column of two hundred and fifty men. Their mission was simple; since Nasuada and King Orrin had withdrawn the bulk of their forces from Surda, Galbatorix had apparently decided to take advantage of their absence and wreak havoc throughout the defenseless country, sacking towns and villages and burning the crops needed to sustain the invasion of the Empire. The easiest way to eliminate the soldiers would have been for Saphira to fly out and tear them to pieces, but unless she was winging her way toward Eragon, everyone agreed it would be too dangerous for the Varden to be without her for so long.
Because the innocent civilians are more capable of holding off the armies of Galby than the Varden's fighting force. And it'll take her much longer to get there and fly back than it would an army riding there. There would also be more loss of life if she went instead of if the army went.
Clearly it's a trap that the Orrin and Nasuada cleverly avoided by not sending the dragon away. Now their massive army is safe from the other army that would attack them. Or... something. Or another.
Carn the wizard is there. He's riding... a MARE *GASP*
It must belong to one of the bad guy's and he took it. Of course since Roran is riding a stallion and they're good buds. Carn can't ride a stallion because he's a weak and mild wizard and can't handle the firm and powerful animal that is a stallion.
Mustn't write slash fic.
Mustn't write any more slash fic.
He and Carn exchange some Witty Banter than includes things like We should overtake them before our shadows are longer than we are tall."
So. There are three groups that are going to be attacking this group of soldiers that are in the village they've found. One is led by Roran, one is led by Edric and one is led by Edric's familiar Sand. This is not the word I think Paolini is looking for. "Familiar" should probably be replaced with "crony" because familiar while indicating familiarity with a person doesn't work like that as a noun. Instead it refers to the magical companion of a magic user. At least in modern context. And in unmodern context. The unusual word here displaces me from the flow of the work and makes me, once again, go 'huh'?
Anyway, in the village, after having a literal kill the dog moment, because killing dogs shows that you're evil, the soldiers find an old man, a young woman and a child. The entire regiment of soldiers appear to need to go and look at these three prisoners because they all go back to the center of town, leaving their backs turned. This is apparently what Edric was waiting for, for he calls charge!
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