Back in the Sahara desert, it is now the eighth day, and the pilot and the little prince are both thirsty. The little prince suggests that they search for a well in the desert. Although he believes it is hopeless, the pilot nevertheless walks with the little prince, and as night falls, he begins to notice how beautiful the desert is. The pilot realizes that the beauty of the desert depends on the fact that there is water hidden in it somewhere.
The pilot finally opens up to the idea that they might find water in the desert and begins walking with the little prince. In this state, of experiencing and interacting with the desert rather than trying to escape it and focusing on his plane, he realizes the truth of the phrase, "What is essential is invisible to the eye."
The little prince falls asleep, and the pilot lifts him up and carries him as he continues walking. The pilot gazes upon the little prince and believes him to be very fragile and precious. The pilot admires how passionate the little prince is about protecting his rose. At daybreak, the pilot finds water.
The pilot wants to protect the little prince's innocence and loyal attachment to his rose. In addition, the pilot's thoughts about the prince's fragility and preciousness suggest that the prince and the pilot have now developed a true friendship. Now the pilot recognizes—feels—the prince's uniqueness to him. It is no accident that this is the moment where they find water, the essential thing in nature to keep them alive.