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    He yanked his hand out of her grip and reached back, fingers groping. The skin on his back was smooth and warm, flawless. Hard muscles flexed under his fingertips as he moved. He slid his hand toward the base of his neck and unexpectedly felt a hard bump about a half-inch wide. He followed it down his back with growing horror. Durza’s blow had left him with a huge, ropy scar, stretching from his right shoulder to the opposite hip.

    Pity showed on Arya’s face as she murmured, “You have paid a terrible price for your deed, Eragon Shadeslayer.”

    Murtagh laughed harshly. “Yes. Now you’re just like me.”

    Dismay filled Eragon, and he closed his eyes. He was disfigured. Then he remembered something from when he was unconscious . . . a figure in white who had helped him. A cripple who was whole—Togira Ikonoka. He had said,Think of what you have done and rejoice, for you have rid the land of a great evil. You have wrought a deed no one else could. Many are in your debt. . . .

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