The tortured cries of prisoners was creeping into the room. The Sense-Wardens who had been interrogating Zafira were now guarding her in case she tried to escape. She was on her knees bloody and beaten. It had taken years to find her, and Mevolent would be thrilled. She had been on the run in America until Mevolent's forces destroyed a lot of her country and she fled. Baron Vengeous had found her the day China Sorrows had died, as did he but it was Serpine who brought her in. It took a lot out of everyone to take the Grand Mage in as she knew her true name and was hard to beat.
The seconds past by. Zafira could barely stay in a kneeling position but the Redhood beside her would kick her until she knelt, or a Sense-Warden would send spikes of pain in her mind. She heard footsteps and she felt a hand, gloved, on her shoulder,
"If you look the master in the eye, I will assure you are punished severely. You have no right to look upon his face." Serpine's voice was in her ear. He didn't wait for an answer. She was forced to her feet and brought to what was the throne room. She knew who was there. Mevolent. In simple robes and that veil covering his face. The god-killer sword was in a case too. She was forced into a kneeling position. Figuring it wise, Zafira kept her gaze to Mevolent's hands. This was the man who had nearly killed her so many times in battle. She knew he was a skilled fighter. And she loathed him. Serpine had told Mevolent something because he spoke as soon as she was looking at him.
"The Sense-Wardens say you have a skill that no other mage of our time has, Zafira." Mevolent said keeping his tone calm.
"What would that be? I know many things you can only dream of." She replied coldly. Nobody moved.
"I believe you to know exactly what I meant. You are intelligent I do not deny that. So let us not play games."
Zafira shook her head, "I can revive the dead. So? It wouldn't matter to you if you want me dead.
"I do not wish you dead, yet. You have a talent I find useful. I'm offering you a chance at freedom. You have been imprisoned for a decade. You know exactly what will happen to you everyday. I do not offer freedom to just anyone. You have a chance to show yourself worthy of the Dark Gods, I speak for them. Serpine and many others who fought you say you are incredibly talented, I could use people like you." Zafira stayed quiet. She did not believe in the Faceless Ones, yet every instinct told her to admit defeat and join him. She knew what was America is now his. She also knew she'd die painfully if she refused. Zafira spoke, her voice steady,
"I will join you." She said. Mevolent must gave been pleased but he didn't show it in his voice,
"Nefarian, take her to Nye. The Sense-Wardens say she speaks truthfully." Serpine nodded and motioned for Zafira to stand, she tried to and once up she followed. They entered a room and Nye was there.
A few months had gone by. Zafira had been much more recovered. Nye had warned Mevolent that she was still weak from her years in the dungeons. She lived in the City. Though Zafira was not permitted to leave unless patrolling with a general. She was a fighter for Mevolent. She knew she was not trusted and that was fine. One of the generals would take her when patrolling the streets, only because Mevolent was testing her loyalty. Many Resistance members were found by her. She proved herself daily. In a world where mortals were slaves, it was strange.
Zafira stood with a now living Baron Vengeous. He kept her in his sight at all times. They were waiting for the morning patrol to come back. The time came and there was commotion, a person was brought in. Serephia Jackson. An assassin who was working under Zafira until Mevolent took over. A close friend. Serephia saw Zafira and broke free of her guards and Zafira found herself pinned to a wall, Serephia strangling her.
"TRAITOR!" She screeched. Freaked Zafira drew her dagger and cut Serephia.
"Get....off...of....me...." Zafira gasped struggling to get away. Serephia's grip loosened. Zafira stood up again and went back to where she was. The Redhoods had Serephia and led her to the dungeons. The Baron's gaze was on Zafira.
"I knew her when I was an Elder in America. She was one of my assassins." Zafira explained. The Baron nodded and led them out into the City. Who else thought her a traitor? She was loyal to someone now, years ago Mevolent was an enemy, but now? Now he was her master.