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Thousands of miles away, Sapphire was walking towards her master to deliver the amulet. She was so pleased to finally have an amulet to deliver to her master and that she would avoid whippings tonight. Though she wished she could have increased her favor by also nabbing the fire amulet, she had no intentions on telling her master about it. The less he knew, the better.

“Have you returned with the water amulet, elf?” the master inquired as he stood stoically with arms crossed as Sapphire approached him.

“Yes, master, I have” Sapphire said proudly as she handed it to him with a slight bow out of respect.

The master took it for her and smiled big.

“Yeeeeesssssss….” he said, pleased to hold an amulet in his hands. Within seconds, however, he sensed something was amiss. After further observation, his face crumpled in fury and he threw it to the ground, shattering it.

“You FOOL!” he roared, “You did NOT return with the amulet! That one was a FAKE!”

Sapphire gasped in shock and horror. She had been duped! But how?! How could they do this to her?!

“Master! I did not know!” she pleaded.

“That is NO excuse!” the master spat. He unhooked the whip from his belt and raised it to deliver one of many lashes to Sapphire, which made her cringe in fear.

Something caught the end of the whip, however, and yanked it from her master’s hand from behind him.

The master was surprised and turned around angrily.

“Who DARES to interfere?” he growled. He stopped in fright though when he saw who the ‘offender’ was.

“Now just what were you doing?” the man asked, his voice deep and cold, sending chills through whoever heard it and he looked impossibly old. He wound the whip in his hands.

“Punishing the elf for failing to retrieve the water amulet!” the master answered, “The correct one! What she brought me was a fake!”

“And you did not think to bring the fake to me before you destroyed it?” the man asked before looking at the master with glowing red eyes. “And you speak to me in such an insubordinate fashion…”

The master began to shake out of complete fear and he began to stumble over his words like a bumbling fool.

“B...b...buuuuut master, it was a fake! What use would it have been to keep it?!” the master protested.

The man lashed the whip casually and caught the master across the cheek. “Do not question me.” the old man snapped.

Sapphire was staring, appalled. Who was this master that was forcing her master into submission?! He was far more menacing and fear-inducing than her own master. She would not want to get on his bad side.

The master touched his cheek, the blood spilling onto his fingers, and looked up at his superior in terror.

“A…thousand apologies, master” he bowed to him, “It won't happen again.”

“No it will not. You will piece together the amulet yourself and bring it to me. Make sure that no piece is left out. If there is, that mistake will be your last.” the old man threatened.

The master slowly bent down and picked up the pieces, his hands shaking like a leaf on a tree on a very windy day.

“Y...yes, master” he said as he swiftly left the room.

“You.” the man pointed at Sapphire. “Child.” He turned his full attention to the girl. His glowing red eyes seeming to burn into her.

Sapphire’s body began to shake in fright as she slowly got up off the floor. “Yyyyyyesssss?” she asked shakily.

“Come with me.” he said before turning and walking towards a place Sapphire and her team were forbidden to go.

Sapphire hesitantly followed, curious but afraid of what was going on.

He walked through the hallways and everyone that he passed saluted and didn’t give Cassie a second glance when she was following this old man.

“Who…who are you, anyways?” she dared to ask.

He chuckled darkly as they reached the throne room and he walked up to the throne and sat in it. “The master of all lords. I am the Overlord.” the man replied, sitting straight.

Sapphire gasped. She had heard of the Overlord but had never seen him prior to this. In fact, most around Osiris had never seen him. Only a very select few had ever come across him. She could see why he was called the Overlord. He reminded her of the evil king Galbatorix from the Inheritance Cycle books.

“What do you want from me?” she asked

“Remember your manners, child.” the Overlord said.

Sapphire bowed her head in fear. “Apologies, Overlord” she replied.

“Explain what happened.” The Overlord ordered.

Sapphire gulped in fear. She did NOT want to but she knew she couldn't hide anything from the lord over Osiris. So she recalled everything, from her trash talking before the competition to her wipeout performance, to the hex that stripped her of her elven abilities, and to the game of keepaway that the Scorpions had played on her, with the result being in Da’Rell snatching what she had believed to be the true water amulet. She hesitated greatly but she also confessed to him the fire amulet around Strikemaster Ice’s neck and how it burned her when she touched it to try to take it from him.

The Overlord sat forward more at attention than before. “It burned you when you tried to steal it from around his neck you say?” he asked.

“Y-y-yes, Overlord” she answered nervously.

“Your hand would still be burned then, correct?”

Sapphire nodded as she raised her right hand to show him the grueling burn that made her palm scream with pain if she closed it.

The Overlord started to laugh. It was a wicked, evil and dark laugh and it made Sapphire’s skin crawl.

“Wh-why the humor, Overlord?” Sapphire dared ask nervously.

“We’ve found the element of fire… Perfect.” he grinned.

Sapphire looked at him quizzically. “The element of fire?” she asked, “What do you mean? And why is this good?”

“Because if we have found one. We have found them all… The others are closely connected personally. They are the one thing. The ONLY thing! That can stand in my way.”

“Does that mean then that the others in the Scorpion group represent the other amulet elements as well?” Sapphire asked.

“As it was written.” he chuckled with a dark smile. “You report to me now.”

“V-v-very well...Am I dismissed?” she asked, hoping that she could be free of his haunting presence.

“Not quite.” he snapped his fingers and several people appeared.

“For finding the element bearers you will be rewarded. I want her trained. But there is still the matter of the lost water amulet.” the Overlord stated.

Sapphire cringed in fear. “But please have mercy on me, Overlord. I did as I was asked. How was I to know that it was fake?” she pleaded.

“You will not be lashed for this.” he said as he thought. “... Hmmmm yes… Consider this a punishment. And a gift. I want her marked. The pain from this will be your punishment. The power it gives you your gift.” The Overlord said.

Sapphire cringed in fear. The way he spoke made this ‘marking’ sound like no gift at all. She did not want any further ties to him and this cause. She certainly was terrified about what this pain felt like. But she felt trapped and subdued. There was no way she could get out of this. Not without consequences that she dared not conjure up in her mind.

The Overlord dismissed them.

A woman with a mostly shaved head and a ponytail with a tattoo coming up her neck and covering half her face and head grabbed Sapphire’s arm. They bowed and left the room.

Sapphire felt even more fearful than before and felt her body go limp. The woman dragged her along.

“It is very rare for our master to show any form of mercy. You should feel lucky” the woman said. “I am Naga. And I will be in charge of your training. Young elf.”

“H-h-hello, Naga” Sapphire introduced, “I am Cassandra. But I like Cassie. But I'm not called that; I go by Sapphire.”

“I wouldn't be surprised if we never see that bumbling idiot Skallos again.” Naga chuckled, “Disgusting fool.”

Cassie felt sympathy for her old master. Though he was never kind to her, she could relate to the fear and terror in his eyes, and actually wished in that moment that he would be spared of the Overlord’s wrath.

Naga took Cassie to a room that looked mostly medical except for one corner that had a chair and a tattoo machine in it.

“Wh-what marking am I gonna get?” Cassie asked nervously.

“Now that is usually up to the artist.” Naga said, gesturing to the tattooed half of her face. “Not all are like mine. Surely you've seen others with marks on them as well.”

“But why am I getting it? What purpose will this new power serve?” she inquired.

“The ink amplifies your own magical abilities.” Naga said as she took Cassie over to the chair and made her sit in it. “It's better than having your flesh peeled from your back by a whip.”

“I still fear the pain that comes from this, though…” she said weakly.

Naga leaned back against the wall, her arms crossing over her chest as someone else walked over as he dried his hands on a towel. “What have you brought me today, Naga?”

“An elf. The Overlord has a special interest in this one.” Naga said.

“Well then.” he said, grabbing Cassie’s chin and taking a look at her. “Well if our master has taken an interest in her then I won't touch her pretty face.” the man replied.

Cassie went rigid and had to fight to suppress a scowl. No one had the right to touch her and comment on her appearance like that. And there was only one person she would ever welcome such a compliment from...And she was beginning to worry about this ‘special interest’ that the Overlord had in her…

“Hmmmmm now this one has to be special… Make it more artistic.” the man said as he thought. “Mmmm arm? No not as easily covered up… If those escaped brats see it they’d know what it was immediately and there goes the surprise… The side seems like a good option… maybe the thigh.” he said before going to start sketching something up.

Cassie cringed and felt herself getting angry. They would not DARE! Those were more personal parts of her body!

“I will not allow it!” Cassie dared to protest.

“You don't have a choice.” Naga said. “Do you think I wanted my face, neck and shoulder tattooed? Swallow your pride and be grateful that he’s in a good mood. You could have been stuck with something degrading. But he’s actually trying for this one.”

“...But why? Why is he so interested in me…?” she asked.

“We don't know what the Overlord wants with you. But we have heard that he’s planning to obtain a new body some time soon within the year.” Naga replied. “A younger, stronger body. And lucky you. He only subsumes males.”

Cassie thought about what she said and analyzed it as much as she could. Not being possessed by his true nature would be good because she wouldn't be possessed by an evil being. But when she analyzed things further, her stomach became gravely ill when she reached a potential explanation for why the Overlord had a new special interest in her. What if it was…her he was interested in? She felt as though she was going to be sick.

It took a little bit before the man revealed the design he had come up with for the tattooed marking he was going to do on Cassie.

“Wow… tribal roses? That's actually quite a beautiful one. You’ve outdone yourself, Axe.” Naga said.

“Thank you. I’m actually quite proud of this one.” Axe smirked.

Cassie looked at it and gasped in horror. The design had a haunting beauty that she instantly despised with every fiber of her being. She knew the significance of the symbol of the red rose and the thought of being marked for the Overlord himself made her even sicker and more furious.

“NO!” she kicked and screamed in protest, “NO! I REFUSE! I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BECOME A MERE OBJECT OF PLEASURE FOR THE OVERLORD!”

Naga strode over and slapped Cassie across the face hard. “You have no right to speak of your desires. You have no choice! And the decision is not yours to make!”

Cassie’s face stung from the pain and she couldn't help but allow tears to fall from her cheeks. She felt completely and utterly hopeless, and she hated it.

“Where do you want to put the mark, Axe?” Naga asked.

“Thigh would be a good location. The left one.” Axe replied.

“Are you going to be a good girl and take it? Or are we going to have to strap you down while you receive the marking?” Naga asked, her eyes narrowing at Cassie.

Cassie’s lip quivered as she cried again. She knew she shouldn't protest but the thigh was the absolute worst place to put the marking! What if the Overlord wanted to look at it?!

“Noooooo…NOOOOO!!! NOT THE THIGH! NOT THE THIGH!!!” she screamed in protest.

Naga struck Cassie on a pressure point and suddenly she was silent. She couldn't move… but she was still very much awake and aware of everything going on. Naga went and ripped the whole leg off of Cassie’s pants. “In time you will learn. You have no choice. The Overlord’s rule is absolute. And if he wants something. He gets it.” Naga threw the cloth to the floor then helped Axe position Cassie. “And no one can stop him.”

Cassie’s anger turned into complete and utter grief. Never had she felt so helpless, hopeless. She would never get to live a normal life like she so desperately wanted.

“Noooooooooo……NOOOOOOOOO!!!” she let out a painful, sorrowful, grieving wail, wishing that someone would hear her and help her break away from this miserable fate that she had no hope to escape from.

“Do you want me to gag her?” Naga asked as Axe prepared to begin tattooing.

“Nah. you know I like it when they scream.” he grinned.

Cassie clenched her eyes tight and prepared for the impending doom that awaited her, trying to think of something, anything that could put her mind at ease.

Kaine.

Axe started tattooing the large design onto her thigh. There were several long painful hours ahead for her.

Cassie’s breathing became sharper and she clenched her eyes so tight that she could feel a grueling headache developing. Silent tears flowed out of her eyes from the pain and she tried her hardest to think about Kaine. His face, his eyes, the way he so gently brushed her hair away and touched her ears, the interest that he expressed in her. Those thoughts helped her tremendously but it also grieved her. When, oh when, would she see him again?

After the tattoo was finished and the skin over it magically healed but with a spell that didn't take away the bite of the pain, she was escorted back to the place where she and her team stayed.

“Your and your team’s training begins early tomorrow morning in preparation for when the location of the next amulet is revealed. No excuses for being late or slacking off.” Naga said before she left.

Cassie sighed and hobbled off in pain to her bed, her entire team staring at her as she walked.

“What happened to you?” Shay asked with raised eyebrows.

“Yeah, what's with the tattoo, boss?” Da’Rell asked, scratching his head.

Cassie groaned. “It's not a tattoo, and please don't call me boss anymore. My name is Cassie, but for the sake of public identity, call me Sapphire.” she said as she gently laid down on her back.

“Yes, bo- ah uh, Sapphire” Da’Rell answered awkwardly.

“Well if it's not a tattoo, then what is it?” Eva asked, “It’s gnarly looking.”

Cassie felt enraged and shot up to an upright position, ignoring the pain that surged through her leg.

“IT IS NOT GNARLY!” she screeched, “OR BEAUTIFUL, OR ANYTHING!”

Her team stared at her blankly as she started to calm down.

“...This marking is said to help amplify my own magical abilities. But I hate it. It's ugly. I feel violated that they ripped off my pant leg and chose to ink the marking on my thigh, a rather private area. And when I protested, they somehow made it so I couldn't move! Against my own will!” Cassie said as she looked at her team with her sharp blue eyes.

“The pant leg thing and immobilizing you against your will is bad yeah but thigh tattoos aren't all that bad” J said.

“Yeah it's not uncommon for girls to get em and show em off” Eva agreed.

“It's bad when the Overlord himself was the one who had me get a marking and apparently he has a ‘special interest’ in me that I think involves me...after he gets his new host body which is gonna be younger and stronger...see where I'm going with this?” she asked before feeling ill all over again, “This marking haunts me. The artist couldn't have chosen something more offensive and disgusting. I feel like I've been branded to become the Overlord’s object of mere pleasure. And I don't care if I die trying, but he will NEVER touch me or treat me in such a way” she growled, venting a LOT to her team.

The other Raiders stared at her, and all began to feel ill as well. Eva looked as if she was about to vomit.

“Ewwww…Isn’t the Overlord super old? That’s messed up” JaMarcus said.

“Yeah...We didn't know he was such a nasty perv” Shay agreed.

“I would rather go back to the orphanage than to be here” Da’Rell stated, which gave unanimous nods of agreements.

“I want SO badly to be freed from this wretched, evil, miserable place” Cassie sighed, “I don't want to be forced to do evil and to become the toy for the Overlord. He’s my new master now that I have to directly report to and I hate it. I wanna be free. Free to be me.”

“So if we all hate him and don’t wanna work for him...what do we do?” J asked.

Cassie sighed and retold them the account of her meeting the Overlord for the first time and how terrifying he was.

“Dang...so what's keeping all of us here is fear” JaMarcus sighed. “Who knows what kind of awful things he could do to us. Especially you, Cassie. But we ain't gonna let him lay a finger on you. Nuh uh. We’ll do this amulet hunt for him, we’ll do whatever training we have to do. But that's all he's gonna get from us.” The other Raiders nodded vigorously in agreement.

Cassie smiled a little at them, something that they had never seen her do before.

“Thank you. And...I’m sorry for the way I have treated you all. I feel honored that you all are willing to protect me. I promise to protect you all in return. I still am terrified of the Overlord, but at least I no longer feel alone, and that gives me peace. Let's work together, and let's be each other's support system as we perhaps find a way to be free from the evil that Osiris is…”
In this chapter, we meet the Overlord and begin to understand Sapphire's- aka Cassie's (yes I made my OC Cassie into an elf and "enemy" in this story!)- character. She will become more understood as the story goes along. You can also start to see the development of character for the Raiders as well!

As you can see, I referenced  the Inheritance Cycle books by Christopher Paolini in this chapter and there's influence from his books that is shown here in this chapter. I had finished reading the series not too long before starting this fanfic collab so I was inspired by it! Sapphire/Cassie was inspired by Nasuada and some Arya.


The Overlord, Naga and Axe belong to :iconbikermicechick:
Sapphire/Cassie, Skallos (though Tara came up with that name) and the Raiders belong to me
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May 29, 2017
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