Blind, Deaf, and Dumb
Darken examined the artifact Garen had retrieved for him. It had been lost in the catacombs of the People's Palace for centuries.
A statue carved from stone with magical properties, it was in the shape of a flaming dragon. The Statue of Virtue – in the hands of a Rahl it was supposed to cleanse the evils of the world.
Darken had heard of the artifact long ago, but had not sought it out until now. Perhaps it could be used to banish the Keeper from the world, or at the very least restore Darken's original body, and thus his han to him.
"You have done well, Garen," Darken said as he reached for the statue.
A warning of the subversive nature of magical objects flitted through Darken's mind. He stayed his hand.
"Garen, I have another task for you."
"You will take the artifact to my brother."
"I don't see why we have to wait for the wizard's return," Cara groused as she helped Richard track a rabbit for their dinner, bow in hand. At least, she hoped it was a rabbit.
The game in this area was pathetically scarce.
Richard didn't answer, and Cara rolled her eyes, continuing, "It's not like he can't use magic to find us."
Richard sighed, "Zedd said he would be back in a day or two, Cara. We told him we'd wait."
"And starve to death while we're at it."
There was movement in the bushes. Sighting quickly, Cara let an arrow fly.
Hurrying to see if the shot had been fatal, Cara charged to the bushes, pushing foliage aside.
Her face fell.
"What is it?" Richard asked.
"A stupid carving. Probably a child's toy. Not dinner at any rate."
"Bring it back to camp anyway," Richard said wearily. "Maybe we can trade it for food in a village."
Perking up, Cara lifted the carved dragon, sliding it into a loop next to her Agiels, "I thought we were waiting on Zedd."
Richard made the face he always made when she succeeded in irritating him.
The day was looking up.
Darken looked up from the stream where he had been washing his face to see Garen approaching.
"I trust you were successful?"
She smiled at him, obviously hoping for a reward, "Yes my lord, the Seeker has the statue. He will touch it soon."
"And the watching spell?"
Garen pulled a vial of dust from her leathers, "Set my lord. They touched the powder."
Darken took the vial from Garen, then sprinkled some in the water.
An image formed there. Pleased, he settled back to watch.
"What's that?" Kahlan asked, pointing at the statue dangling at Cara's hip.
"We found it while we were hunting. He," Cara gestured vaguely at Richard, lazy cynicism dripping from her tongue, "thinks we may be able to trade it for food."
Kahlan frowned, a crease between her brows, "Is that the only thing you found?"
Cara gave Kahlan a look that could peel the bark from trees.
Kahlan stood, tugging at the statue. Cara removed it from the leather strap that held it in place and they held it between them.
"It looks like it could be valuable," Kahlan mused as Richard approached.
"We'll leave a sign for Zedd, and then we'll see if we can trade this for some supplies at the nearest village."
Richard reached out to take the statue. The instant his skin came in contact with it, there was a blinding, deafening crack of white light.
When the light cleared and their ears stopped ringing, Kahlan said, "I can't see!"
Watching her lips move, Richard replied, "What? Speak louder!"
Cara snorted, realizing instantly that they those two were under some spell that had been on the statue. Probably triggered by their epic love or something. She opened her mouth to say as much.
No sound came out.
Watching Cara's expression of shock and outrage in the image in the stream, it was all Darken could do not to giggle.
Rahls didn't giggle.
He did chuckle a little though. Evilly. It was a deep, manly, evil chuckle.
Kahlan had figured out what had happened and said as much to Cara, but Richard couldn't hear her. She tried to write it in the sand for him, but without being able to see her writing the message was illegible.
That meant one thing.
Cara had to play charades.
Face flaming red, she crouched, flapping her arms like a dragon and opening her mouth in a wide snarl, as if she were breathing fire.
"A gar?" Richard asked, "Is it a gar? A gar is involved somehow? Do you mean the Margrave's gars? Is he behind this?"
"No, it's not a gar! Stop saying gar!" Kahlan shouted, but of course, Richard couldn't hear.
Frustrated, Cara swept her arms back and forth in front of her, indicating she wanted to start over.
"We need to go swimming?"
Cara vehemently shook her head. Making her body as rigid as possible, she struck a pose, hoping he would guess…
"Are you a monument? No, a tree? Does the gar live in a tree? Okay, okay, stop jumping up and down. Umm…. What about a sculpture? Are you a sculpture?"
Frantically Cara made stretching motions, hoping he would hit on the right word.
"You kinda look like that statue of Rahl the villagers pulled down."
Cara smiled, clapping her hands.
"It was one of those? Rahl? Rahl's behind this? Well, let's go find him then!"
Cara had been going for 'statue', but she supposed Darken Rahl could be behind this ridiculous plot.
He always was.
Sword of Truth in hand, Richard charged off in a random direction.
Cara and Kahlan knew that he was somehow going the right way.
He was the Seeker. It was his thing.
"You know," Kahlan said as she groped her way among the trees, "you could have just shown him the statue."
Cara flipped her the bird.
It was okay. Kahlan couldn't see it anyway.
Darken watched them charge his way, glad that he had decided to send the statue to his little brother. If he hadn't, he would likely be blind, deaf, and mute at this very moment.
Erasing the evils of the world, indeed.
No wonder the thing had been buried with the last Rahl to use it.
And now they were coming to have him reverse the magic. While it would be entertaining to draw the game out, Darken did need the merry band to get on with saving the world, so he supposed he would wait for them.
Besides, he'd finally have a chance to say every funny, dirty thing he had ever thought to Cara without the possibility of her interrupting.
When Richard charged into the clearing, screaming "Rahl!" Darken barely looked up from the stream, despite the volume of his brothers voice.
He liked to time his dramatic head turns for just the right moment, to get full impact.
Once he heard the Confessor and Cara stumble after his brother, he turned, his hair swooshing dramatically around his face as he settled piercing blue eyes on Cara's form.
She flipped her hair, looking to the side.
"Cara," Darken purred, revving his voice up to Seduction Mark II, "how long it's been. How are you?"
"Fix us!" Richard yelled, waving his sword around.
Cara glared, refusing to open her mouth.
"Has my little gift robbed you of that wonderfully biting voice of yours?" Darken asked, still in Sexy Tiems Mode. He ignored Richard completely. "No matter, as I recall you are quite talented at doing other things with your mouth."
"Cara? Eww!" Kahlan squealed as she fanned herself, imagining Rahl's form in his chestvestdress. He was repulsive and vile and she hated the way his hair contrasted with his eyes and the way the muscles of his arms moved under his tan skin.
Absolutely hated it. He was a grossgrossevilevil man.
She did not want his babies.
She would not enjoy making them.
"What?" Richard yelled, apparently having decided that being deaf meant he was allowed to flail all over the place all day.
Cara was unmoved.
Revving up to Full Seductive Powerz Darken stalked to her, whispering sweet torturous nothings in her ears.
Finally they came to an agreement.
"I'll lift the spell… if you do that thing you used to." Darken smiled devilishly.
Cara grudgingly accepted.
They went into the woods.
Richard and Kahlan waited.
Finally, Richard charged after them, ready to rescue Cara from perverse sexual games.
He was startled to find Cara standing, fully clothed, blowing air through her loosely closed lips to make a noise like a horse.
Darken Rahl clapped his hands and giggled.
Richard wished he had been the one struck blind.
When Zedd returned to the campsite to find Kahlan, Richard, and Cara eating a rather questionable looking fish, there was an awkward silence in the air.
Seeking to distract them, he said "You wouldn't believe the day I've had!"
He woke up three days later tied up and slung over Cara's horse.