I eventually leave the pool and dry myself up. Choosing from a large variety of dresses I pick a brown and gold one, knee length. All these clothes were like slave outfits so I looked like a common maid but I didn’t care. I wanted to wear something comfortable and flowing.
My room was connected to a spacious flame lit hallway that led down to secure stairs that were barricaded with futuristic technology. It contrasted with the medieval feel of the rooms and hall, but that was just a reflection of a Gems desire to remain instinctual and connected to things of feeling.
The more scientific and simple things became, less feeling and less emotion would be associated with those very things. It was like a staple of Gem technology. It was only used when necessary, for security, for weapons etc.
As I brush my hair and get out the knots, I eventually slip out of my room, bare foot, to search for Celeste.
I pass all the rooms and find them empty, which bothers me but there is nothing I can do about it.
So I walk down the stairs, where the security doors at the bottom surprisingly open to a bustle of activity. I see regular Gems scurrying around, chatting on phones and laughing in groups on their lunch breaks. It seemed like a vibrant work place, with marble floors and walls encrusted with quartz.
As I step down the stairs, eventually the Gems scurrying about notice me and they all go deadly quiet. They all watch me in awe...
...they recognised me.
All in unison I start hearing whispers.
“...she’s the princess...”
“...she’s really back...”
“...she’s so beautiful...”
I understood their reactions. I guess the return of Royal Female Gems was pretty impressive news for these regular Gems after 1000 years of our absence. I feel like a goddess as I quickly walk by, blushing as people openly stare and continue to talk about me.
I feel a few kisses of air from a few cheeky Gems who controlled the element, where air caresses my face and blows back my hair over my shoulders. One courageous woman actually comes up to me after growing a flower in her palm. She stops me and motions to my hair.
“Ok,” I smile as she places it behind my ear, through my brown locks, “Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” she whispers. She seems overwhelmed that I’ve spoken to her and quickly steps back to let me continue on my path.
So, I continue down the wide corridor, signs showing where the shops were and where the Magic Zoned Bar was located. I was close, it was just around the bend. Even now I can hear a light play of tunes.
Oddly, walking through the newly built Scouting Stadium, I felt like this would be a moment I would remember forever. I felt so special with all the looks being thrown my way.
I even saw signs suggesting that the people who worked here had accommodation located here as well. Markets of food were one way, baths were in another direction, health care was in another direction as well.
However, I head toward the bar, hoping to find Celeste.
As I walk along, the curved wall to my right suddenly opens up with massive windows, over looking the Scouting Stadium. My eyes widen as I take in the perfectly manicured grass, the four story high stadium rows of spectator seats and the twenty or more stories above that full of apartments. The walls were specially engrained with a rainbow of different gem stones.
It use to be so barbaric, now this place was rebuilt and advanced. It almost looked like a living museum. I guess it could be classified as one. On the field, I see Dark Gems and regular male Gems fighting in small games and competitions.
They look like they are having fun and the women and men running about the Stadium who work here also look content with their life.
But every now and then, I would notice how the females headed towards cleaning cupboards and kitchen areas. While the male Gems wear the business suits and head towards higher duties.
People were happy, but there was an underlying stress. Some faces didn’t speak so plainly.
Besides the positive whispers, I could also feel glares from women and men alike.
Not many, but they were there.
And no one even realised how close they were to being connected with the rest of the universe. Neither did they realise how our values were going to be scrutinized by legislation that was totally out of this world.
It was all on my shoulders.
I finally see the Magic Zoned bar up ahead and the crowd that has gathered. Within the rows of Gems I see the familiar heads I’m searching for. The tallest most fearsome Dark Gems, Traegr, Sabir and Hraken, all sharing drinks. Hraken was still in his warrior outfit, of course.
Then I see Celeste, being surrounded and touched by many who approach her as she sits sprawled across a couch, being flooded with trays of drinks and nibbles of food.
The crowd was half focused on one other figure, with two glowing orange bracelets around her wrists to stop her burning the place down – Seraphine.
She is separate from the others, literally stuck up against a wall and restrained as people interview her and ask questions, no doubt. She looked relatively irate but also happy to answer the regular Gems.
I feel a whole new level of responsibility levelled on my shoulders now as I approach, looking over all the regular Gems whose fate was left into my hands because I held the document. As soon as possible, Seraphine, Celeste, Hraken and I, needed to get this document completed, signed and fixed up. How we could make that happen was key and I’m sure Seraphine had already planned it all. Or at least had an idea.
As I get closer Celeste spots me and instantly jumps to her feet from the couch. Traegr’s eyes snap to her running off as she pushes past people to head towards me.
I stop and smile and it looks like she wants to give me a big hug so I shrug and open up my arms.
“Sapphire!” she grabs a hold of me, wearing a dress too, but a silver flimsy one, so it matches her hair, as does mine.
“What’s going on?” I ask, smiling.
“Tonight,” she stays in close to whisper in my ear, “A battle will take place... they found a Madeira.”
She quickly pulls back and continues to smile at me, pretending to be totally innocent of any thing she shouldn’t know.
My eyes furrow as I look over her shoulder and sure enough, Traegr and Sabir are both stalking their way over towards us.
Hraken is smirking at me from the bar counter as he watches me being intercepted by the King and Sabir. I watch as he slyly stands and heads over towards Seraphine, causing the crowd to go wild.
Everyone had obviously learnt about their past in history classes.
I’m now smiling to myself at the antics playing out and I momentarily forget Celeste’s words.
“No running off now, sweet little whores,” Traegr drawls as he approaches fast behind and slips a hand through Celeste’s hair, grabbing her neck, while looking me over, “Enjoying your stay, princess?”
I ignore him and focus on Sabir, who reaches out to run his thumb along my cheek, brushing away a stray hair. I look up as he towers over me, purposely making me feel small. His eyes have darkened as if he is desperately craving magic but he holds back and just smirks with evil intent instead.
“You’re so innocent,” Sabir growls.
“Really?” I roll my eyes, adding in severe sarcasm.
"Innocent of the ways I’m going to hurt you and make you scream, little cheeky princess... we have a special treat for everyone tonight,” Sabir doesn’t blink, trying to make his statement strong. I wait for him to go on, knowing he hasn’t finished his threat yet, “...and afterwards, Sapphire... you know what comes next, I’ve waited too long to have you back under my hand... just under me in general.”
“You were born to be a Punisher,” I answer, thinking of the irony yet again of his corresponding birth night to Hraken.
Sabir was born to be consumed and in love with his dark side; perfect for a Punisher’s role.
Hraken, however, was born to master that side of his darkness. A perfect quality for a King. If you could master yourself, you could rule everyone else easily.
I glance at Traegr, with a scared body and a firm grip of Celeste’s waist, now.
I wonder if he knew how close he was to being overthrown?
“It’s not like you to be so quiet. What are you thinking about, princess?” Sabir asks.
“She’s probably thinking what it’s like to have a nice stretched pussy... you’ve left her untouched since her return, Sabir,” Traegr growls disapprovingly.
“Celeste’s pleasure came first,” Sabir doesn’t blink as he says this, and I watch Celeste blush guilty, but she knows I won’t be offended, “It was a part of your punishment, Sapphire.”
“What now?” I ask both Dark Gems, trying to distract from Sabir’s taunting, which would only inevitably get worse as time went on.
“While we drink and eat and fuck for the rest of the day and night – our men capture your girls in the forest,” Sabir explains, running a thumb along my two lips, just as Hraken had done, “The world gets introduced to their Royal Female Gems once more on camera. We might even show them you bending over, how does that sound? Naked and supplicating, just before I give the camera’s a wink and close the door. They’ll know exactly what’s happening. A princess being punished – because you’re one very bad, cheeky girl... and the whole of Kiyr will know it.”
I give him a raised eyebrow, it was the perfect opportunity to take the bait.
“Perhaps you will be so deprived from my body that you will simply pass out from shock when you see me naked again... just like a virgin boy who can’t wait to stick his cock in something. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten how to use it at all –” he presses his thumb tighter against my lips, now, shutting me up.
“Are you done?” Sabir growls, “You’ve forgotten how to comply, little one... and you remember how compliant you use to be, don’t you? Always begging for my attention.”
“Things change when you grow older, wiser and... more knowing of the world. Once it use to be about my pleasure and yours, as it was all I knew. Now it is much greater. I am obliged to rule with Traegr – I am a princess after all,” I grab his wrist and pull his thumb away from my lips to manage a smirk of my own.
“Well, now you’ve just guaranteed yourself all night with Sabir in a bed, darling,” Traegr happily chuckles, “No one rules but me, you’re just for show, princess... Sabir, you better have her crawling by the time you’re done with her.”
“Chains are in order, then,” Sabir gives me a wink and finally takes a step back. He reaches out a hand and he caresses Celeste’s hair to make me jealous before retreating with an evil smile, returning to the bar.
“Go exploring, sweet whores of mine,” Traegr palms off Celeste towards me, “You can’t escape, we’ve got you all under close scrutiny,” he then turns to follow Sabir, leaving Celeste with me.
I panic for a moment at Traegr’s words. Were there cameras in the rooms, too?
“Let’s go,” Celeste says seriously, pulling me along with her away from the bar, “We need to talk about you know what...”
Ah, yes, Madeira.
If they found a Star Cursed, reborn Madeira Citrine female; that would be the big event on tonight.
But it’s not my immediate worry.
“They’re watching us,” I whisper back to Celeste, “Traegr just warned us.”
“You think they have cameras on us and can hear us?” Celeste asks, grabbing my hand as she pulls me onwards, “It’s okay, follow me. I know a place.”
“Oh, you do, do you?” I ask with a raised eyebrow, curious what place she knows about that I don’t know of yet, since we had only been here half a day.
“A green sanctuary, within the stadium, we’ll talk there,” Celeste smiles, more than happy to show me.
“You seem very happy even after that talk with those assholes,” I point out.
“I have some news about... the other girls and our recruit,” Celeste whispers. It takes my mind a moment to remember that, ah yes, Pharis was our new recruit.
“Good news?” I ask.
“Yes, good news.”
“How did you find out what’s happeni –”
"Shhh, princess,” Celeste grins as she pulls me along, “I’ll tell you when we’re in private.”
“After we chat... anywhere else we can go or anything else we can do here that would be helpful to us?” I ask, wondering out loud.
Celeste bites her lip, seriously thinking. She gives me a cheeky look, excited as she thinks of the perfect plan.
“...maybe we can find the new girl?” she suggests.
I raise my eyebrows, impressed by the idea.
If we could, we might be able to gain another new member for our rebellion.
And Madeira Citrine females... let’s just say they had an infamous reputation.
They weren’t in our history as great leaders for nothing.