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Water Lily

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Prologue

 

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Cara landed heavily on her knees, gasping, sobbing pitiful gasps and cries, shoulders heaving violently, as she desperately tried to catch her breath. Nausea crawled up her throat, causing her to frantically swallow as the Mord-Sith magic and… something else turned her insides to liquid. Or at least felt like it. Whatever It was it was scorching hot, her bones felt like they were breaking and re-knitting all at once, her nails felt as if they were being pulled from their nail beds, her hands clawed into the ground, the dirt a soothing cooling contrast to the searing magic tearing up her insides. Cara could feel the sweat staining her leathers, her damp hair beating a stinging-wet tattoo around her face and neck.

Like a recent electrical storm that wreaked havoc, the air remained stained with the essence of powerful magic. The ground that Cara landed on looked as if something impacted hard enough that all living trees, leaves, and fallen debris splashed outwards in an almost perfect circular pattern, with a heaving Cara in the center.  Cara was about to find herself in an alternate reality, a new unfamiliar world, filled with unusual magic that Cara has already been gifted with. But this ‘gift’ has morphed into something unusual – even for this world, due to her Mord-Sith magic.

The last thing Cara remembered was the most agonizing, excruciating pain through an Agiel bespelled to capture all the pain and agony it has meted out to Cara’s victims, and once she’d lost consciousness, the next moment of clarity found her tied up against the rough bark of a tree. Zedd stood before her chanting the old language of the Old World, erecting dangerous, heavy magic. It swirled around her, suffocating her, before she lost consciousness yet again. But right before she fell into the welcoming darkness, her eyes unconsciously found Kahlan’s; falling into pools of worried, darkening blues, conveying an unnamed emotion because it was if those eyes knew that things might never be the same. In that one moment, Cara allowed herself to connect with the one person who’d managed to siphon complex emotions, emotions that Cara thought she’d expertly compartmentalized throughout their long journey together. Emotions Cara buried as deeply as possible because they were fruitless in the face of Kahlan’s devotion to Richard, to say nothing of what those emotions did to her identity as a Mord-Sith.

Nevertheless, Cara found herself yet again, at the mercy of powerful, unpredictable magic. Magic that was supposed to restore her to woman she was before the magically enhanced Agiel and Dahlia possessed her. The Spell of the Undoing… only it seemed to have gone awry. It would be a few hours before Cara realized just how much it’d all gone wrong.