Yao smirked as he walked back and forth in front of the prisoner guards, who trembled as he paced around them. They all swallowed hard. They could tell that Yao was not pleased with what they told him. He held in his hand a whip and pulled at it with the other as he looked down at the Captain.
"Would you mind repeating that? I think my ears didn't hear you correctly. I don't see the children. Where ARE they?!"
"I-it's just like I told you, Sir. T-they escaped," the Captain said, his throat feeling dry. Yao chuckled and shook his head.
"'They escaped'? Really...how hard is it to guard children? Children who ended up making fools out of all of you?!" He cracked the whip at the wall and it made a violent echo that filled the room. The men whimpered and held on to each other, while the Captain bowed and began to kiss at Yao's shoes.
"Please, forgive us! We won't do it again! We'll make sure those children won't escape again!" he pleaded. Yao kicked him away.
"You're right about that. It won't happen again. I'll make sure of that. And I'll take care of you later. From now on, they'll be mine to handle alone. And as for all of you, I can't wait to see what China's tigers will do to you. Now get out of my way! I've got some children to hunt!" he pushed by the cowardly men and walked out of the room.
"Idiots," he mumbled. "All of them."
"I have spent some time on thinking about what Yao is up to," China said as he took a sip from his tea, "I am relieved that I have found you all before he did."
He smiled softly as he stared at the children before him. He ran into them on the way back from May's room. They all were seated in China's dining area.
"Mr. China," Kibu bowed his head as he addressed him, "I assume you have talked to May and have decided to help us?"
"Yes. It was hard for me to believe at first, but...May Ling is a wonderful daughter. And the things she has told me about Yao have all but been true, I'm afraid. What makes me ashamed is that I didn't pay attention to it in the beginning, and now look. Everything has gone wrong with the many foreign countries. It was because of me that Yao has hurt many. I apologize to you all," China sighed a bit shamefully and bowed his head to the children.
"Well, you're on our side now, right? That's all that's important," Amelia said. "And I wouldn't say that it's completely ALL your fault. Yao took control over you, so it was difficult to know if he was lying."
"Perhaps," China said, "but I'm afraid I may not be of any help to you about defeating Yao. I have tried to figure out his motives, yet, I don't have much of an answer."
"Please," Nancy said, "if there's any information that you can give us, I'm sure that even a little could help a lot."
"We can't discuss this without Ivan," Ita said. "I wonder where he ran off to anyway."
"He's been gone a little while," Francis said.
"I have not seen him," China said, "but we can't go looking for him right now."
"And why not?" Elizabeth asked as she crossed her arms, "we can't just leave Ivan out there."
"I agree with you," China acknowledged, "But Yao is out there too. If we go off looking for Ivan, he might find you and kill you all. I think we should stay here and talk about how we're going to get Yao to surrender."
"But-" Elizabeth began, but Travis stopped her.
"Yao wants all of us. I think I understand China's point. He doesn't want us to go off and start trouble before we're ready. Yao needs all of us, so he probably won't kill any of us at once. All the same, it won't help Ivan if we go after Yao without some sort of plan. Am I right?" Travis said as he looked to China. China nodded.
"Yes..." he turned away and didn't look as if he wanted to tell the children something.
"Something wrong?" Romia asked. China sighed.
"I didn't want to tell you all this. But I suppose you might as well know. Your parents came here to rescue you. But they were captured by Yao."
"What?!" the children cried.
"It's true. But now that they've been captured, I'm afraid it is up to you children to bring an end to all of this."
"I can't believe that!" Amelia said, "How could even our parents fail? I don't care what happens to me or how strong and powerful Yao is, I'm going to rescue our parents! And I'm going to do it now!" she began to walk out of the room, but China pulled her arm back.
"You're acting without thinking, Amelia. How will you defeat Yao alone and without a plan?"
"I don't need a plan! Just as long as I can kick his butt and show him who's boss!"
"That kind of thinking will only get you killed. If you're a country, then you need to think like one."
"Well, what do you suggest we do?!" Amelia asked. She was getting very impatient.
"Listen to what I have to say first," China said. Amelia sat back down with a pout.
"It is obvious that Yao wants to kill you all along with me and the others, as well. I'm not sure why, but I know that he hates us. Why? To be the ruler of all nations? Somehow, I don't think that's the only thing. Perhaps he had a bad past with a country and takes it out on everyone. May told me that she heard him say something about a wish he wanted to become reality. She isn't sure what it is, however, and neither do I. Perhaps if you asked him what it is then maybe we can have a better understanding at what it is he wants. But I don't think that he'll tell you willingly without a fight first, so if you're going to face him you all need to be prepared for anything."
"I don't want to fight!" Ita and Roma cried, "Can't we just sit down with Yao and talk about it?"
"I'm afraid that Yao won't listen to reason," China said as he shook his head.
"I'm tired of running away from
him," Elizabeth said, "I think we should face him now. He's going to
come looking for us anyway."
"Agreed," Nancy said. She turned to Emily, Pedro, Benji, Travis, Romia, and Melody. "I think you should stay here with China and find a place to hide. We are the ones who are to defeat him."
"Just don't fail and die, okay?" Melody said, "All will be lost if you do."
"C-can I stay behind? Ita is technicality a child of G8," Roma said as he hid behind his younger half-brother.
"You coward!" Amelia glared.
"Roma." Ita began, but he didn't know what to say. He was a bit ashamed that his older brother was so cowardly. "But...you and I have to help. It's our destiny."
"Im sorry, Ita. But I'm too afraid."
"Forget it, Ita," Nancy said, putting a hand on his shoulder, "He's not going to help." Roma looked away from her gaze. He did feel ashamed, but he wasn't going to change his mind obviously.
"Right then," Francis said, "Shall we go and find Yao?"
"Hai. But we can't leave without May," Kibu nodded. It was then that the door to the room was opened and in stepped May.
"You were talking about me?" she asked. She looked really tired and her voice was a bit drowsy.
"May!" China said as he stood up and stood beside her, "I told you to wait in your room until I came back for you."
"Yes, Father. You did. But I can't wait around for Yao to do something terrible again. It's time to face him."
"But you are weak from using the death chi. You should rest before you go off anywhere."
"Father, I have been resting. The drowsiness will wear off soon. Has anyone seen Ivan?"
"No, he was going after you last we heard from him," Pedro said.
"I hope he doesn't go off facing Yao alone," she said.
"Let's hope that didn't happen," Nancy said. They looked at the friends they were leaving behind. "We'll do what we can."
"Be careful, May. You and your friends," China said as he gave his daughter and kiss on the forehead. May hugged her father.
"I promise that we'll put an end to this, Father." And with that they left the room and went off to search for Yao.
"Where do you suppose we'll find Yao?" Amelia asked May. May shook her head.
"I don't know, but he'll find us. I know that for certain."
"I hope nothing bad happened to Ivan," Ita said, looking concerned and worried.
"Ivan smart enough not to get caught, Ita," Francis said.
"Who's that?" Amelia said as they noticed a shadowy figure in front of them in the hall. The figure stepped into the light and everyone gasped.
"Ivan!" Nancy said, "What happened to you?" Ivan didn't answer.
"Didn't you hear me?!"
"I was looking for Yao. I finding him," he said. He looked serious and May had a bad feeling.
"What?! You found Yao?!" Elizabeth said, "Why didn't you come looking for us? You didn't try fighting him, did you?"
"Het. Following me," Ivan turned and ran away.
"Hey! Come back!" Kibu said and they ran after him.
"Something's wrong," May told them as they searched the halls and rooms for Ivan, "He doesn't seem like himself."
"What do you mean by that?" Francis asked.
"He's different. I just have a creepy feeling," May said as she rubbed her shoulders, feeling a chill.
"There he is!" Amelia said as she pointed down the hall.
"This way. Follow," Ivan smiled as he pointed into a room. He walked in and the others followed him. They gasped as they entered the room and say Yao.
"Yao!" They said in union. Yao smirked and looked toward Ivan.
"Thank you. You've saved me the trouble for looking for them myself," he said as he raised his arm and Ivan gasped for breath and collapsed to the floor.
"Ivan!" May said as she knelt down beside him. She glared at Yao. "I knew there was something wrong with him. You were hypnotizing him!"
"Very cleaver. And it lead you all to me. Now we can have some fun, yes?" Suddenly, the doors slammed shut and locked. Then the ground began to rumble and the room slowly faded out, making an island appear.
"Is this...it is, isn't it?" Elizabeth asked. Kibu nodded.
"Hai, my dream. This is our final battle with Yao. Be prepared and don't fear. We can't afford to lose." Yao smirked as he stood before them
"When I get rid of you and your parents, the world will know me as Yao the emperor. And Then everyone will bow before me."
"I wouldn't count on that yet, Yao." May said, "We are ready for you, but are you ready for us?"