Tea Leaves and Purple Robes

World Clock

Match Twenty: World Clock:

By morning, Michael’s awakening could be felt all over the world. Italy constantly smells like blood. At first, he tried to hide it. No amount of cologne could hide the smell of blood. So he gave up trying. What would it matter?

“We’re all going to die anyway.”

The others didn’t like when he said that. Kiku seemed too calm about everything happening around them. The countries all shared in Sena’s concern.

“Have you tried to take him to therapy?” Alfred asked. Sena shook her head.

“These always turn up dead,” she said. The American man didn’t know how to respond to this.

“Oh…” was all that he could say.

The older countries gathered together to talk about what to do next. Yao walked down the hall with Ju in tow.

“You sure you want to do this?” he asked her at the door. She held her fist to her chest.

“Yes!” she said without missing a beat. “We have to protect our son!” Her voice trembled as she spoke. Yao put his hand on her shoulder.

“I understand,” he said. The Chinese man turned and opened the door. Everyone was already sitting inside. Antonio stood up.

“You’re here,” he said. “Good. Come inside.” Yao bowed his head and walked inside. His wife followed behind. Antonio stopped Yao in place.

“Is it a good idea to have her here?” he whispered.

“She won’t have it any other way,” Yao whispered back. “You remember the incident of that woman breaking into our house that I told you about, right?”

“Yes,” the Spanish man said. “What about it?” The Chinese man paused and looked up. Ju walked over to one of the tables and took a seat.

“She’s in protective mom mood,” he said. “We think that our baby might be a target in their game.” Antonio had a serious look on his face. He walked with Yao to their seats. The Spanish man clapped his hands. Everyone looked up. Antonio cleared his throat.

“The situation has gotten worse than how we first believe,” he said. “Michael has been woken up. We don’t know what’s going to happen next.” Whispers filled the room. Elizabeta raised her hand.

“Is that why Feliciano and Lovino both smell like blood?” she asked.

“Yes,” Antonio said.

“What do we so now?” Gilbert asked. The Spanish man lowered his head.

“There isn’t much we can do with Italy anymore,” he said. “The best we can do is to track down the rest of the seals.”

“Do we even know what they are?” Elizabeta asked.

“No,” Antonio said. A heavy silence filled the air. Roderich threw his hand up in the air.

“This is just great,” he said. “We do not know what we are doing.”

“But we still have a chance, don’t we?” Ju asked. Yao grabbed her hand. Antonio pressed his lips together.

“There might be,” he said. That was all he would say. Yao gave him a stern look. Antonio shook his head.

“How is your brother?” he asked.

“Fine,” the Chinese man said in a quiet voice. Ju looked up at her husband. She began to ask but he shook his head.

The meeting won’t go anywhere again. They seem to be stuck. Ju finally stood up.

“What is the fourth seal?” she asked. The older countries looked up at her. They didn’t have an answer. That was until Gilbert stood up.

“I might have something,” he said. They turned to him.

“What?” Antonio asked. “What is it?” The Prussian man hesitated at first.

“I’m not sure about this. This could be nothing,” he said.

“Well, what is it?” Roderich asked. Gilbert lifted his chin.

“I have noticed something off about the animals in my yard,” he said. Antonito raised his eyebrow.

“How do you mean?” he asked.

“Well…” his friend said. “Last night, I saw all of these black cats staring at me from my bedroom window.” The Prussian man paused as he thought about how it sounded. He held his breath for a second.

“You too?” Elizabeta asked. Everyone turned to her. Gilbert walked over to her.

“When?” he asked.

“Last night,” she said. “And this morning.” Roderich had a stunned look on his face.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked.

“I didn’t know what to make of it,” his girlfriend said. “Part of me hoped that I was seeing things.” He pulled her into his arms. Antonio’s fists tightened by his sides.

“That’s the sign,” he said. Everyone looked at him. The Spanish man lifted his chin.

“This is good,” he said. “We have something work with here.” Low chatter filled the room. Ju looked up at Yao. He took hold of her hand. They could make it through this. Jing would be safe. They at least had a piece to start from.

If they are going to act, they are going to have to do it fast. Michael’s toxic was starting to kick in all over the world.

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