This deleted scene from Brisingr takes place the morning after Eragon returns to the Varden from Helgrind, in the chapter “Intersecting Sagas.” It offers a unique look at Eragon’s healing abilities, as well as his responsibilities as the only free Rider in Alagaësia.
It was just after dawn, and Eragon was sitting on his cot, oiling his mail hauberk, when he sensed the turbulent thoughts of a man fast approaching his tent. Eragon paused and listened, alert for trouble. A moment later, the rhythmic thud of boots striking the ground became audible. Then loud, angry shouts shattered the morning as the elves intercepted the runner. Eragon frowned when the shouts did not subside and were occasionally drowned out by the elves calling to each other in the ancient language.
“I am no lord,” Eragon said.
As Eragon walked through the camp, following Gull, the elves silently flitted among the tents at distances of ten and twenty yards. Saphira chose to fly, and, as she wheeled against the blue backdrop of the sky, she said, There have been other petitioners who have come to seek an audience with you, but Blödhgarm and his spellcasters turned them away before they could disturb you.
“There is nothing to forgive,” said Eragon, “for I am neither hungry nor thirsty.” And he smiled at her. She responded with a wan smile of her own. He extended a hand toward her belly, then stopped and glanced between her and Gull. “May I?”
Determined to save her, Eragon threw himself at the task with feverish intensity, tracing the crimson threads to their inevitable ends, searching for every fragment that had broken off and taken root in the fertile soil of her flesh. For a long time he labored, and while he eliminated hundreds of fragments, thousands more eluded him. He could have cast a broader spell, one aimed at the entire population of tumors, except that the tumors were so intricately bound up in the surrounding tissue, such a spell might also attack healthy parts of Signa. Moreover, shifting a growth through Signa’s body required his close attention to ensure he caused no further harm, and whenever he excised a tumor from her body, it left a void that he then had to repair.
Signa was watching him. She lay pale and sweating, her withered frame solid and ordinary, with no sign of the burning wonder he knew it contained. The lines of pain on her face had eased somewhat, but her expression remained one of undisguised anxiety. “Will I live, Shadeslayer?” she asked.
Directing a guilty glance at the empty cradle at the opposite side of the tent, Eragon brought himself to heel. “Anyway, the truth is this: Your life I could give you. That much lay within my power. But I cannot promise you another life. I tried to include exceptions in the spell, but odds are, when you lie with your husband, the magic that sustains you won’t allow you to conceive a child. That . . . is the full cost. . . . I am sorry, but it was the only way I could save you.” Fearful of how she would react to such a loss, and ashamed of his part in the theft, he looked down and around, and then settled for clasping his hands with unnecessary force.