Eragon wakes up, aware of a burning in his side and unsure of how much time has passed. Saphira is crouched over him. He opens his eyes to see a campfire several feet away. He believes the drug has worn off, for he can think clearly, but his hands are tied. Eragon gets to his knees and sees a young man, who is well armed and looks to be a few years older than himself, seated by the campfire. He introduces himself as Murtagh and explains that he has been tracking the Ra'zac. Eragon listens and breaks the ropes by using magic. He tries to stand, but is overcome by pain in his ribs and falls back down. Murtagh tries to assist him, but Saphira growls protectively. Eragon tells her to let him help. She accedes and Murtagh pulls Eragon to his feet.
They go to the fire, where Brom is lying on his back. Murtagh says he was hit between the ribs with the Ra'zac's knife and isn't doing well, but tells Eragon they should attend to him first. Eragon pulls off his shirt to reveal a red, blotchy bruise on his left side with the skin broken in several places. Murtagh puts his fingers to Eragon's side gently, which solicits a yell from him. Murtagh says he probably has some broken ribs, then tears up a blanket and bandages Eragon's side.
Eragon goes to Brom and undoes the bandage on his side. Eragon takes off his gloves and Saphira comes to his side to join their power. They heal Brom, rather quickly, and Eragon feels a little sick. It's not only the first time Eragon uses magic to heal someone, but the first time they join their power together to be stronger. Eragon tells Murtagh that he couldn't fully heal Brom, only what was on the surface. Murtagh goes to make Eragon food and Eragon begins to wonder who Murtagh is to have such a fine sword, bow and horn and to be hunting the Ra'zac.
Eragon tells Murtagh they have to leave, asking him if he can make a litter for Saphira to carry Brom on. Eragon gathers his weapons, Zar'roc and his bow, while Murtagh assembles the litter and places Brom on it. Saphira takes off, which intrigues Murtagh, and ascends into the dark sky. Eragon mounts Cadoc and expresses his appreciation to Murtagh, telling him he should leave them to be safe. Murtagh resolves to accompany Eragon as he wishes to have another chance at the Ra'zac and has no better place to be. Eragon mulls it over shortly, then agrees. They ride in silence till dawn, when Saphira needs to land. The three of them stop at the base of a sandstone formation that's dotted with caves. They move to a wide cave at the top with a narrow entrance, providing great protection, and they make a fire and eat. Unable to give Brom water, they go to sleep.