*With this one, I'm planning on having relatively short chapters, roughly around 1000 words, however some might be longer, depending on the content. Thanks to love4lots for the suggestion, this is for you.
Tears of Glass – Part 1 – Bleeding Tears
A bright light seemed to envelope everything as the rays of the sun made contact with the Stone of Tears. Kahlan could hardly believe it, yet it had happened. Her tears of grief and anguish over killing the man she loved had formed a new stone. Zedd had reached out and plucked up the pale blue stone, and the old wizard had looked as stunned as she had.
It had been a mad dash to the Pillars of Creation, clutching Richard's hand and guiding him up the steep rocky steps. But, thank the good spirits, they had made it in time. Placing the stone in his hand, Kahlan guided it to the resting place amongst the iron spinners. She thought it only right that he, her Seeker, the man who had sacrificed so much for this quest, be the one to place the stone in its place.
As the light subsided, she looked around to see the green smoke and flames disappear as the horrific cracks in the ground began to heal over, sealing the rift. The veil restored, Kahlan turned to Richard, wanting nothing more than to gaze into his warm brown eyes and see the love for her that he held. Instead, she was met with a ghastly sight. His eyes were dull and seemed to look right through her, the tiny scratches from where the glass had hit his face marred his handsome features. Red lines streak down his face from his eyes, like bleeding tears.
"Kahlan?" his mouth opened and he called for her. His blind eyes darted around in search of her. His hand reached out and she grabbed it and held it to her cheek. He visibly relaxed at her touch. "You're all right?"
"Yes, Richard," Kahlan cried softly. "I'm all right. You're death called me out of the Con Dar, and Cara and Zedd made it just in time."
"And the Stone of Tears?" he asked. "Did you managed to get it back from the Keeper?"
"No," Kahlan murmured softly shaking her head. "The Stone—"
"That silly prophecy was right," interjected Cara. The Mord'Sith smirking with satisfaction. "It turns out that Kahlan's tears created a new Stone of Tears."
Zedd nodded. "You may have given the Stone of Tears to the Keeper, my boy," he said. "But the Keeper failed to take into account the Creator's prophecy that as long as Kahlan's pure heart beats, He was doomed to failure." The wizard smiled, though Richard could not see it. "It appears you two are meant to fight side my side."
Richard gave a nod and took a quick breath and grinned boyish. "If you don't mind, Zedd, I'd like my vision restored, so I can gaze upon the face of the woman who has saved us all from the embrace of the Keeper."
Kahlan blushed a little at Richard's acclamation of her achievement. She did not feel like she deserved it, especially with what she had done that had caused her to cry and her tears to manifest into a new stone. But, just the same, it was nice to hear him say it.
"Hold still, my boy," Zedd said, stepping closer. "Kahlan, dear one, will you give me some room." Kahlan gave Richard's hand one last squeeze before she stepped back to give the wizard room to work.
Zedd raised his wrinkled hand over Richard's eyes and began mumbling the words for the healing spell. Suddenly Zedd jerked back and cried out in pain. Richard doubled over and screamed, his hands clutching at his head as he collapsed to the ground. Kahlan's eyes grew wide in terror as she dropped down beside Richard to hold him as he shook. Cara watched on helplessly, and Zedd, recovered from the sudden pain, heaved in great big breaths.
"Dear spirits," Zedd huffed. "That dark sorceress must have infused those glass shards with subtractive magic, spelling them to repel any magic used to heal him."
Hot tears stung her cheeks as Kahlan held Richard to her breast. She looked up at Zedd, her lips trembling with worry and despair. She had just lost him moments before and she did not want to lose him again. "Can anything be done?" Kahlan asked. It was more a desperate plea than anything else.
Zedd knelt down next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "I do not know, dear one," he replied, looking concerned. "It has been a long time since the New World has seen subtractive magic." He looked up at the Stone of Tears, the pale blue stone still glowing. "Long ago, the Order of Wizards wielded both sides of magic. There might be something at the Wizard's Keep in Aydindril that can help."
"Then we must go there," Kahlan declared. "We have to help Richard. Spirits, Zedd, I tried to confess him… and… Zedd?" Her brow furrowed as she suddenly remembered what had happened. "When I tried to confess him, nothing happened. Why?"
Zedd gulped. "You noticed that, did you?"
A groan saved the wizard from any further explanation, as Kahlan directed her attention back to her Seeker. "Kahlan…?"
"I'm here, Richard," she soothed, caressing his face. "I'm here."
Richard groped for her arm. "Kahlan! Oh spirits, Kahlan…," his voice was laced in fear, the torment clear on his face. "I can't see you." His head darted around as he sought her out. "Kahlan, where are you? ...Zedd? What happened? Why can't you heal my eyes?"
Zedd took a deep breath and explained the situation to Richard.
"Is that even possible?" Richard questioned after Zedd had finished telling him, his voice slowly regaining its normal intonations. "Can subtractive magic act in such a away?"
"To be honest, my boy, I don't know," Zedd said. "The last wizard in the Midlands to have subtractive magic died around two thousands and fifty years ago."
"Merrit?" Kahlan asked.
Zedd nodded. "Yes, Kahlan, the wizard who turned Magda Searus into the first Mother Confessor. He was the last Wizard of the First Order to wield both additive and subtractive magic."
Richard's hand shot out and to his credit he managed to grab Zedd's arm. He pulled his grandfather to him. "Zedd," he said in a strong voice. "Why am I not confessed?"
Zedd blinked, obviously thrown off by the question. Kahlan could tell by the look on the wizard's face that he had been hoping the subject would drop and that the pressing matter of Richard's blindness would end the questions.
"Answer me, Zedd!" Richard shouted, a little fear creeping into his voice.
Zedd took a deep breath and looked over at Kahlan. "There is no magic more powerful than that of the love a man has for a woman," he said.
Kahlan furrowed her brow, confused. If all Richard needed was to love her, then why did Zedd not tell them this long ago? He would have saved them a lot of suffering and heartache if he had.
"He needed to do more than just love you, dear one," Zedd continued, as if in answer to her unspoken question. "Richard had to be completely devoted to you, love you absolutely with no room for any doubt. If I had told you the way, doubt would have latched on to a small corner of his mind and waited there… festering, destroying any chance for the two of you to be together."
Kahlan turned to Richard and sobbed softly. Not in grief, but in joy. His love for her was total and absolute. It had been stronger than the magic of confession. Her heart was hammering so hard in her chest that she was surprised that no one asked her if she was all right. Kahlan had never known that such devoted love could exist in anyone other than the confessed. And now, to know that it did, and that it radiated out from Richard's heart for her, made Kahlan feel more jubilant and happy than she ever had before. But then reality hit, and Richard's present predicament came flooding back into her mind, and she looked back down at her Seeker.
"Richard," she spoke softly, leaning her forehead against his so he may feel her breath and her presence. "We have to get you to Aydindril."
He nodded and his hand moved around in the air for a moment before finding her arm. He ran his fingers up and down her skin and tenderly caressed her with much affection. "As long as you are with me, Kahlan, I will go wherever you command."
Cara huffed and stepped forward. "All right, if we're all done with the mushy stuff, I think it's about time we set up camp."