Author's note: Takes place in a made up time when Rahl is still living yet they have befriended Cara. Enjoy! :)
"Corned beef and fresh cabbage, what could be better." Zedd said through a mouthful of food. Richard smirked at the wizard as he buttoned up his boots.
"So while we were sleeping, you slipped off and got yourself full course meal?"
"Not full course, a full course meal would have entailed dessert. Like a persimmon pie..." Zedd's eyes rolled into the back of his head.
"I thought the nearby settlement didn't even have a tavern?"
"It doesn't. But there's a farmer's field just west of here. I simply borrowed a few things than in return gave his crops a little boost. By next summer he'll have enough tomatoes to feed a village."
"And the beef...?" Kahlan asked, looking to the mess of red blobs on his plate. Zedd gobbled up his last bite of meat.
"I took a chunk off one of his steer. But don't worry the animal is alive and well. I am a very good at what I do." He wiggled his fingers and his plate became instantly clean.
"The things you'll do for good food..." Richard shook his head at the wizard.
"Stale biscuits and unripe berries can get a little too routine." Zedd strolled off. Richard turned to Kahlan and lowered his voice.
"Does he forget that we all eat the same food?" Kahlan smirked.
"Do you forget I have excellent hearing?" Zedd said from over his shoulder as he disappeared into the trees.
"Sometimes I wish he was just an old man in a robe." Richard said through a smirk.
"If he was, he might drive you even crazier." Kahlan smiled as she rose, dusting off her white dress.
"Next town we hit, we'll get him back." Kahlan smirked in agreement. Zedd quickly reappeared and headed in their direction, his robes falling back into place.
"Well now that that's taken care of we should get moving." Richard fastened The Sword of Truth to his side and Kahlan swung her leather pack onto her shoulder. The threesome headed off towards an expanse of rolling meadows. It was dotted with short willowy trees, whose green leaves were beginning to tint with pink from the nearing Autumn. They strode on through the grasses, enjoying the calmness and beauty of the morning. The sky looked like a painting, an iridescent blue speckled with arrays of solid white clouds. The air was haunted with a chill from the changing seasons, but the sun's warmth was enough to keep a smile on all their faces.
Richard took in the scene around him, they were always in beautiful spots. But they never quite had the time to enjoy them. And this one just seemed special. Different. The further they got into the meadow, the more Richard felt. Something was drawing him deeper into the grasses, and before he knew it, he had veered off towards something in the grass. Veered off away from Kahlan and Zedd and became deaf to them as they called his name. Something was tugging on him like a magnet, but Richard didn't resist because he felt no danger. Just fascination. Then he saw it. Something small and shiny, sparkling in the sun. He stepped over to it, leaning down to inspect the thing.
"Richard! If you've found something don't touch it!" But Richard didn't heard Zedd. The object was the length of his hand and the width of his palm. It's surface was smooth and black. It was thin and had several different shaped holes lining it's edges. It was still pulling on him and Richard became transfixed. He slowly reached out and touched it. Instantly the thing lit up, glowing like white sunlight. There were many small glowing boxes that looked like they were part of this thing, each with a different picture on them.
"Richard..." Zedd said cautiously as he and Kahlan stepped up behind him.
"What...is it?" Kahlan asked, sounding as if she too was beginning to become transfixed. "It isn't good whatever it is." Richard looked over his shoulder, as if he just noticed they were there. His hand still resting on the object.
"Look at this thing, its so beautiful." Zedd looked from Richard to Kahlan, both had a look in their eye. He may have been immune to whatever sorcery was transfixing Richard and Kahlan, but he could observe through their faces and the thing that was transfixing them that that it was too late. Richard had already touched it, there was no going back only forward...
"I've never seen anything like it." Kahlan said.
"Because it is not of this world. This is a rare a powerful form of dark magic. I should have known this was here from the moment we entered the meadow."
"How could this be dark magic, Zedd. Its so..." He became distracted by its glowing colors.
"So dangerous and so out of my power. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do." Kahlan seemed to be slipping in and out of her fascination and turned to the wizard.
"What is going on, Zedd?"
"If I am correct, that thing is an Alium Orbis...meaning it came from another world. Another universe. Only a wizard of extreme power could have conjured something like this. And why is something I don't have the answer to. All I know is in a matter of time we will all go away..."
"What do you mean?"
"When Richard touched it, he released its power. And now there's nothing we can do but wait." As long as Kahlan resisted looking at it, she was able to stay with Zedd. Richard on the other hand, was still transfixed.
"If this is from another world, does that mean...?"
"We're all going to be transported there at any moment. So while we still have time we need to make a plan."
"You guys think we could trade this with Rahl?" Richard said but they ignored him.
"How do we get back?"
"I'll only know once we're there. Wherever we end up find cover immediately. With these clothes we may be walking targets. If we get separated, meet-" But Zedd was cut off when a series of strange monotonous sounds streamed from the object. Then a voice echoed out.
"This is the Dollar Tree how c-" And before any of them could react, it all went black.
Water. Salty water. Ocean. Richard looked about, the water was murky. He kicked to the surface and gasped for air. The swells bobbed him about, giving him quick glances of the world around him. The sky looked the same, the sun felt the same, but then he looked to the shore and it certainly did not. He knew how to swim, but never had much time to practice. He began to panic as he noticed how far shore was, then suddenly an hand grabbed him.
Booming vibrations pounded into Kahlan's ears. The wall she was slumped against felt like it was moving. She groaned, pulling out something from under her and tossed it aside. Wherever she was, it was pitch black. Was she in a cage? A cellar? It was a tight space but she could hear someone outside. She fumbled around before finding part of the wall that felt moveable, then she tugged. She pulled a large enough space to climb out. She squinted into the light as she rose. It looked like bedchamber, but it must belong to someone royal, unless this was just the way everyone lived in this world. With soft fluffy floors, thick bedding, books and food everywhere. Kahlan tried to pop her ears as they began to ease out of their attack from the pounding wall. Then she spotted a shadow shifting in a crack in a door and gripped one of her daggers.
Zedd jolted up as if awakening from a restless dream. He slowly looked around, already sweating under his robes from the heat. He looked about and was surprised by what he saw. Surrounding him, was a beach full of people. And everyone was naked. Now Zedd did love to wear his birthday suit, but even this was slightly alarming. Perhaps in this world clothes don't exist, and that's why he was so hot in his robes. Perhaps here, it never got cold. Since he was still wearing his clothing, he looked about for any other clothed people that may be Richard and Kahlan. But they were no where in sight.
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