Eragon and Saphira take their leave of Nasuada and visit the tent that has been assigned to them by the Varden. There, Eragon checks on the status of his possessions. He then picks up an object, the Hand-and-a-half sword dropped by Murtagh during the Battle of the Burning Plains, and contemplates it. He considers of the possibility of casting a spell to restore it, but decides that while he needs a sword, he need not use the blade of another betrayer.
Eragon bathes and dresses himself in a fine lámarae shirt and tunic, then he and Saphira proceed to meet with Nasuada for her evening meal, as agreed. Upon joining up with Nasuada, Eragon finds that he is able to talk with her with an ease he has never had with any other woman. Though it makes him feel awkward, Nasuada does not seem to notice. The two arrive at a tent and Nasuada warns him that they must once more "dive into the swamp of politics," then sweeps back to the curtain of the tent to reveal a group of people yelling "Surprise!" and table filled with food. The gathering turns out to be a surprise party, consisting the entirety of the villagers from Carvahall, in addition to invited guests, such as Angela the herbalist and Elva. Both Eragon and Saphira greatly enjoy the party, with the villagers treating Eragon as one of their own, and Eragon retelling several tales of his adventures, by popular request.
When Nasuada leaves the party, she tells Eragon that he may have tomorrow and the day after to spend as he pleases, but he should come to her the day after, as she has a most important mission for him. Eragon brings up his promise to remove his curse from Elva and Nasuada asks if it would be possible for him to feign his attempt, given the valuable nature of Elva's services. The idea is repugnant to Eragon and he refuses, but suggests that Nasuada explain to Elva her value and ask if she would be willing to continue her burden. Nasuada agrees to this, but tells Eragon to be present in her pavilion three hours after dawn to remove the curse, should persuasion fail. Much later that evening, Roran approaches Eragon and asks him if he told the full truth about the reason he remained behind at Helgrind. Eragon tells him to not ask that again, as it's not something he wants to know. Roran agrees, stating he trusts Eragon. He then asks Eragon if he would consent to marrying him and Katrina. Eragon is greatly surprised, asking if Roran wouldn't prefer having someone else, such as Nasuada, or King Orrin, perform the deed. Roran states that he wants Eragon, as he is a Dragon Rider and his only family. Eragon agrees and suggests sometime next month as a date for the wedding, as Nasuada's mission will likely keep him occupied for some time. Roran asks for the day after tomorrow, and Eragon wonders why so soon, as there would be little time to prepare and people would think it unseemly. Roran hints at Katrina's pregnancy and Eragon agrees to the wedding. Roran takes his leave and Eragon tells Blödhgarm that he and Saphira are going to go flying. They do and Saphira tells him that he may rest while flying and she won't let him fall. Eragon does and dreams of a circular stone city and a small girl wandering the city's alleys and singing a haunting melody.