Man and Wife pt.2 Edit
This section is of Eragon and Nasuada visiting the sick so that they know that their leaders care about them. The thing is, why haven't they been doing it before. Why is it "I want you to come and visit", instead of "it's time for our daily visit"? Sure it's good that they're going to visit, but they're at the camp, they should be able to visit every day, or at least make time to do so. It's not like they're generals coming to visit and so have to make a special trip. Of course it could be said that Nasuada is hyper busy and things like that, giving her money away to peasants and things like that. Of course the reason for this trip isn't so much for character building as it is for plot cookies.
There's a very Paolini part as they do so.
For over an hour, Nasuada and Eragon visited with the men who had lost their limbs or their eyes or had contracted an incurable infection in the course of fighting the Empire. Some of the warriors had been injured that morning. Others, as Eragon discovered, had been wounded on the Burning Plains and had yet to recover, despite all the herbs and spells lavished upon them. Before they had set forth among the rows of blanket-covered men, Nasuada had warned Eragon not to tire himself further by attempting to heal everyone he met, but he could not help muttering a spell here and there to ease pain or to drain an abscess or to reshape a broken bone or to remove an unsightly scar.
First off, Eragon can cure CANCER but the magic apparently can't cure infections and things. Also, the Burning Plains battle has been less than a month ago, of course there'd still be injured. Especially if they can cure CANCER. I mean wounds from battle take time to heal, even though it's probably easier than CANCER to fix. Because you know CANCER is a piece of cake.
Then there's the things he does try and heal. Easing pain? Good. Draining abscess and reshaping broken bones? Good. Removing unsightly scars? Whut? How is that helpful? It goes back, likely, to the whole idea of pretty = good, ugly = bad. If the man has scars, unsightly ones, then he won't be good. Instead he'd become bitter and evil or something. And if Eragon hasn't taken away his scars, his battle badges, why should he take away someone elses if they didn't ask for him to do it? In a sense he's sort of playing god here.
Finally, if Aren has enough magic to throw a mountain, why can't he use its power to heal all the people. Since, you know, he can CURE CANCER!!
Of course, we don't actually get to see Eragon talking to the wounded, that's not important. We don't need to see him deal with these people who in a sense fought for him and were injured for him. We're just told he does.
Finally we get to the important part of this section. We know it's the important part because we actually get to see him talk to the guy. And he gets a description.
One of the men Eragon met had lost his left leg below the knee, as well as two fingers on his right hand. His beard was short and gray, and his eyes were covered with a strip of black cloth. When Eragon greeted him and asked how he fared, the man reached out and grasped Eragon by the elbow with the three fingers of his right hand. In a hoarse voice, the man said, “Ah, Shadeslayer. I knew you would come. I have been waiting for you ever since the light.”
He appears to be a blind seer what with the blindfold over his eyes. This lends him credence, of course. He also has prophetic babble where he is able to pick out the fact that Eragon has the magic belt and Aren and knows that Murtagh is Eragon's brother. Eragon backtracks again, saying he has no brother. It's a very interesting back and forth wishy-washy sort of thing. He only seems to approve of Murtagh's relationship when it's convenient. Or around other people. It could be said then that he wants to show he disapproves of Murtagh and his actions, when really he does care about Murtagh, except that we never see him showing that he does care. We never see his thoughts about Murtagh and his situation in private or when talking to Saphira. Hence I can't really say that Eragon isn't being wishy-washy.
The man also claim that the gods have given him this gift.
“The light that illuminated the flesh of the world. In a single instant, I saw every living thing around me, from the largest to the smallest. I saw my bones shining through my arms. I saw the worms in the earth and the gore-crows in the sky and the mites on the wings of the crows. The gods have touched me, Shadeslayer. They gave me this vision for a reason. I saw you on the field of battle, you and your dragon, and you were like a blazing sun among a forest of dim candles. And I saw your brother, your brother and his dragon, and they too were like a sun.”
(I'll get back to the gods in a second)
And that Murtagh's light is different that Eragon's:
“Listen to me, Shadeslayer,” whispered the man, pulling Eragon toward his lined face. “I saw your brother, and he burned. But he did not burn like you. Oh no. The light from his soul shonethrough him, as if it came from somewhere else. He,he was a void, a shape of a man. And through that shape came the brilliance that burned. Do you understand? Others illuminated him.”
So Murtagh is being used as a weapon, I suppose, for lack of a better term. And voices are being stuffed through him. Very angry voices which when Murtagh gets too stuffed, he'll break.
The seer says that he wonders if Galby's managed to capture the gods as they don't feel human at all.
Oddly, Eragon takes him seriously. I say oddly because he's not has any experince with gods as a religion and the elves have convinced him that there are no gods. At least the last time I checked. But this is what he says: “Whose gods, though? The dwarves’? Those of the wandering tribes?” If he doesn't believe the gods exist then why is he asking which gods? Why isn't he trying to figure out what they really could be. Like maybe spirits or something. Why does it matter which gods, if the gods don't exist?
Also notice that only the dwarves and the 'primitive' wandering tribes have gods. The civilized humans don't. (The Evil Mountain doesn't count). They live a life of no spirituality. Of no thought of the afterlife. They don't have the depth of culture to do so. The people who die are just dead. I could say that they're atheist, but atheists don't believe that gods exist. They just have no concept of a god. Or anything. Like I've said. NPCs.
When he leaves the man, one of the healers pull him aside and apologize for the loony man. Eragon says the man isn't loony but has an uncommon ability. He ask her to tell the magic people if the guy gets better or worse. I would think he should tell them to come over right away. But, what do I know? I only use logic. We also learn that when the guy was given this gift of light his eyes turned pure white, even his pupils vanishing. Yup, that's our blind seer all right.
Personally, as a total aside, I'm rather proud of my seer, Jono. Who is completely not at all blind. In fact the one time he does loose his ability to see from an accident couldn't have visions or anything. As his eyesight grew better he was able to have visions again. I don't think I ever even intended him to be blind.
Moving on from the digression.
Nasuada and Eragon finish up their tour of the injured and Eragon mentions his encounter with our Blind Seer. She says that he should tell Arya about it. They part ways with What many of them had told him continued to reverberate through his mind:We fought for you, Shadeslayer. We don't get to know how he feels about this, because the chapter ends. He just is thinking about it. And we don't even get to think about it for long, cause he goes to sleep.
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