I believe that was when Li-Ming began to understand the danger of her actions and what failure could mean. We did not speak again of Isendra's death until the last time I saw her. Did Li-Ming know why Isendra had died? Did she know how Isendra had been killed?

The events in Lut Bahadur did not dim Li-Ming's desire for knowledge in the least. She was obsessed with learning more so that she might succeed where Isendra had failed. She spent most of her hours in the library and always found her way to where she was forbidden to go but, despite my efforts, it was impossible to keep her from. She learned temporal magic from the writings of mages who had extended their lives far beyond those of normal men, and read of others who had so empowered themselves that death's gaze passed over them, mages like the mad wizard Zoltun Kulle, who replaced his blood with the sands of time and could not be killed, only imprisoned. With her understanding of the unseen web of arcane power, she taught herself the ability to project from one place to another with teleportation magic. She mastered the trick of shaping living illusions and was able to create two perfect images of herself that mimicked her actions. There were scrolls and diagrams that showed how to defy and bend the invisible forces of the universe. Her power grew great, as did my concern.

The first time we met, I told you only to watch Isendra for fear of what madness she might choose to undertake. I do not question the decision you made.

It was not long after that Li-Ming made her own choice.



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