Back in Ellesméra, Saphira rattles on about Glaedr; Eragon gives up on shaving and removes his facial hair with a spell. When they return to Oromis’ hut, he gives Saphira a new saddle, and she and Glaedr go off to work on flying. Oromis teaches Eragon a series of motions that allow him to exercise without paining his injured back.
Oromis then brings Eragon into a glade and tells him to open his mind to the life around him. Eragon discovers he can connect with the consciousness of animals, and concentrates on ants, learning everything he can about their lives and movements. However, Oromis criticizes him for having only paid attention to the ants, and says he will have to learn to pay attention to everything at once.
They then work on reading and writing in the ancient language. Eragon mentions having blessed a child back in Tronjheim, and Oromis reveals that that because of a grammatical mistake he cursed the child instead, saying she would be a shield when he meant to say she would be shielded from harm. Oromis says that according to the ethics of riders, this child will now be Eragon’s shame and his responsibility. He doesn’t know whether the mark of a Dragon Rider, which Saphira applied to the child, will help her or harm her further, because no one other than riders has ever been marked that way before.
When Saphira and Glaedr return, the two teachers berate the students for not having telepathically communicated each other’s lessons, and instruct them to further open their minds to each other in the future.