Chapters The Ramr River, the Hadarac desert, a Path Revealed.
Apparently Saphira's saddle goes missing because, when Eragon and Murtagh discuss what to do with Elf Sue, they worry about saddle sores for both him and elf girl. Wasn't the saddle that Brom made for Saphira supposed to prevent those sort of things? And if it's missing, where'd it go and how'd did it get lost? Their solution? They tie the Elf Sue to Saphira belly. Unprotected from the wind or the elements. They tie the unconscious elf to her stomach, face down towards the ground. This possibly gravely injured elf is now tied to Saphira's stomach. How is that not dangerous? Tell me? Tell me, why couldn't they just make a litter for Saphira to carry? This is how she carried Garrow way back in the beginning of the book. So why can't they do that again? In another show of brilliance Saphira stays close to the ground instead of flying high in the sky so that she might be mistaken as a bird. This is to hide from the soldiers that might be following them.
Do you know what that reminds me of? A ninja going around saying "Sneak, Sneak, Sneak."
We have a blue dragon that can blend in with the sky trying to hide on the ground.
Now we begin our long and hard trek towards the Haradac desert. In a lovely bit of mystery the alarm has managed to supersede Eragon and Murtagh so that they have to avoid villages and towns. No explanation as to how these places got the information. They just know. They ride all day and night without stopping and eventually find a safe place to rest. There is some discussion onto the fact that it has been three days and Elf Sue still hasn't woken up. Eragon is worried about her and feeds her water by a rag "through her sculpted lips" feeling oddly protective of her. Apparently Eragon's still doing the creepy stalker thing.
The next day they all walk. Yes, even Saphira. The elf is still attached to her belly. I wonder how many times she hit her head on things? They reach a river and Saphira flies everyone over just in the nick of time before the guards get to them. Eragon and Murtagh are so tired that they occasional wander off while walking. Eventually they get to the desert and take a nap.
They traveled in four days, thirty five leagues which is about 121 miles. That's about thirty miles a day. Not bad.
Murtagh and Eragon are
slashy cranky at each other from lack of sleep. Eragon manages to magic them up some water before they have dinner. They eat. They sleep. It's boring. Then Murtagh says that it should only take them a few days to cross the part of the desert that they're trying to cross. If we remember from last chapter it took them almost a month to cross the same amount of territory. I think the heat and lack of sleep is getting to him.
Eragon continues to obsess about the elf in a very creepy way.
They soon see mountains that are so tall that they can't see the peaks of them when they're still a day's ride away from them. They reach the mountains (Which was supposed to take them almost a month) by the end of the day.
Eragon then reflects in amazement that they crossed sixty leagues in five days, something that's impressive for riders who are able to change horses regularly. Four days took them thirty five leagues, in nice climate. Which leaves twenty five leagues in desert climate which is the equivalent of seventy five miles. It is physically impossible for a horse to travel that amount of distance in that environment.
So. How did they do it?
See Snowfire and Murtagh's horse who's name I can't be bothered to recall, dropped dead at one point during the ride but like professor Binns they just kept on going. Eragon and Murtagh just didn't notice.
Eragon then muses about the fact that now he's outside the empire for the very first time and how it's his duty as a Rider to save people from Galby's Evil empire. It's all very noble like.
He then gets the idea that he should try and read the elf's mind. The elf mentally bitchslaps him until he manages to think that he's a friend in the ancient language. We learn that her name is Arya (but I will still call her Elf Sue) and that she didn't realize that she was free of the Empire. We learn that she's in a trance because she was given a rare poison Skilna Bragh was given to her and every day they fed her the antidote before giving her new poison.
So basically, they poisoned her, cured her, poisoned her, cured her, poisoned her, cured her... why are they doing this again? They already have her drugged so that she can't use her powers? No reason is given. It's apparently something that you do if you're evil. Kind of stupid (I mean what if she develops a resistance to the poison, there would you be) but... evil. I think. More stupid than evil. Really.
"AH-ha! I am Evil! I am going to poison you!"
"YES! And then! Tomorrow before you die I shall cure you... before poisoning you again! MWAHAHAHA... Mine is an evil laugh!"
Alec:*bitchslaps the evil person* Stop being stupid!
Sorry, my muse had a fit and couldn't take it any more.
Anyway. We learn that Elf Sue only has three or four days to live before she dies. She then mind melds with Eragon to give him the location of the Varden who hold the antidote. When Eragon comes too from the mind meld we learn that he had been sitting around with a pained expression on his face. Eragon explains what he learned and then mentions the fact that it looks like it will take them longer to get to the Varden than it took them to get where they are from Gil'ead. It took them five days to get there from Gil'ead. Elf Sue only has four days at the most. She should be dead by the time they get there.
Murtagh points this out, saying that it will be impossible to do so without killing the horses (apparently he hasn't noticed that they're zombie horses already). Eragon and Murtagh then start bitching at each other like an old married couple. It's very slashy.
"You're totally worthless and need everyone to take care of you."
"I am not."
Whine, whine, bitch complain, pretty boy fight! At least until Saphria breaks it up. She makes them promise to talk about their problems.
Apparently Murtagh's problem is that he doesn't want to go to the Varden. Why doesn't he want to go to the Varden because they'll expect things from him. What things, he doesn't say, but apparently it has to do with who his parents are. Or who his father is. He's about to reveal who his father is... but they get distracted.
Apparently Urgals are a foot. Murtagh recognizes them from their banner and has apparently fought their leader. He agrees to go with Eragon until they reach a certain point, that way he can keep away from the Urgals. The Urgals, it should be noted, are marching on foot. Eragon and Murtagh are on horseback. This is important to remember for later on.
Other things to remember, it should take them over a week to get to the Varden. Their horses should be dead. Why? Well you'll see next time!
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