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They start out early in the morning on the Ra'zac's trail. Saphira flies about them as they walk.
To take his mind off his chapped and bleeding thighs, Eragon asks Brom more questions about dragons.
It turns out that they won't hatch until they are good and ready. That is, they wait until the person destined to be their rider comes along.
Brom goes on about the mating habits of dragons, as well as military strategies when riding them. All good info.
They walk all day until they near the village of Therinsford.
Eragon asks again about who owned the sword that Brom gave him, but Brom won't say. When Eragon starts to fuss again, Brom says, "All will be told in time" (16.20). Way to be super dramatic, Brom.
They decide to make camp. After dinner, Eragon settles down next to Saphira—that is, until Brom throws a stick at him.
Brom and Eragon start to swordfight with sticks. It does not go well for Eragon. Long story short: in no time, Brom is splashing cold water on his face to wake him up… after, you know, knocking him out.
Eragon gets up, angry for revenge, but Brom continues to pummel him unmercifully like a deranged Mr. Miyagi. Still, Brom tries to teach Eragon as he's kicking his butt.
Eventually, Eragon collapses in a bloody heap. Talk about the school of hard knocks. (See what we did there?)
Saphira makes an odd growl; then Eragon realizes that she's laughing at him.
The next day, they reach Therinsford before noon. Saphira takes off as they enter the village.
They have to cross the Anora River to enter the village, but there's a greasy dude on the bridge charging five crowns to cross. Daylight robbery!
They pay and walk across, but Brom bumps into the bridge keeper. On the other side, he reveals to Eragon that he totally lifted that guy's coin purse. Score.
Eragon says that it's stealing, but Brom defends his actions as justified.
Now to business: They pay a boy to take them to the nearest horse seller. He takes them to Haberth, who offers to sell them two horses.
Brom likes one, but not the other. He's interested in Snowfire, Haberth's prized white stallion.
Haberth names a huge sum for him, since he doesn't want to sell ol' Snowy. Brom matches it, though, so he's got a deal.
In the meantime, Eragon realizes that he can reach out with his mind to the horses in much the same way he communicates with Saphira.
Brom tells Haberth that he'll take good care of Snowfire, then slips away into the village. Eragon leads the horses out of town and meets Brom there.
Brom's found out that the Ra'zac definitely passed through town.
Eragon mentions to him that he can touch the horse's mind with this own, and Brom says that this power is unusual in such a young Rider.
They jump on their horses and head south out of the Palancar Valley. On the way, they pass a crumbling ruin where Riders used to guard the valley. It reminds Eragon of the legacy of heroism that he's inherited. (In case this whole thing wasn't feeling epic enough already.)
Their travels take them to the edge of a vast plain at the edge of the valley. Before they head into it, they make camp for the night. Eragon decides to name his horse Cadoc, after his grandfather.
And then it's time for another game of "Get Battered by the Stick" with Brom. Oh, good.