Eragon, Murtagh, and Saphira stop to eat. Eragon checks on Arya and notes that she isn't improving, but seems no worse. The trio talk of how the soldiers are gaining on them and they haven't had much break. They wish Arya could take them to the elves, but they quickly realize they may not be given shelter anyway. They analyze their options: going to Du Weldenvarden is undesirable, as they would need to go back past Gil'ead, where their trouble stems from. To reach Surda, they would need to cross most of the Empire. They could go across the Hadarac Desert, to where the Varden are hidden somewhere in the Beor Mountains, and at least be safe. The desert begins to look like the best venue, but they are unfamiliar with the land at the other end of the desert. They decide they will angle southeast and come out to the Beor Mountains, instead of crossing through the center of the desert. From there they can follow the mountains east or go west to Surda.
Murtagh points out that they wouldn't have enough water to satiate themselves, let alone Saphira, if they were to cross the desert. Eragon has the idea of transforming sand into water. He's a little unsure of how to do it, but eventually uses the words Deloi moi on a small clump of sand he has placed on a rock. His energy is drained at an inordinate speed and he begins to fear that the task will take his life. He tries to break the connection, but is unsuccessful and can only wait. The sand is finally transformed, though Eragon is left very weak and realizes it's a forlorn hope.
Saphira scolds Eragon, emphasizing the importance of being careful. Eragon understands and asks Saphira how she managed to transform Brom's grave into diamond. She tells him that she doesn't know and reminds him that strange, uncontrollable things happen around Dragons.They sit quietly for some time. Eragon begins to draw a valley in the sand with his finger. When it's finished it closely resembles Palancar Valley and he starts to feel very homesick. Eragon looks at the furrows he carved in the ground and sees that it is moist. He scrapes a little more and discovers a thin layer of moisture underneath the sand. He uses magic to summon the moisture from the ground and samples the perfect drinking water. Saphira is somewhat doubtful there will be enough water, but Eragon is confident. He goes and tells Murtagh that they can go through the desert. Eragon goes to sleep, with Arya being the last thing he sees.