97 Falling from the Skies
Yaya stood still on the roof and stared at the peaceful horizon. She was aware of Christina's death. She always knew that staying in the dark side had its risks and she always hoped that it never came to that point. Tonight, she was going to face the consequences of her own actions and there's no more turning back. She heard footsteps on the roof. Slowly, she turned to face her former allies.
"Long time no see, Wen." Yaya maintained her calm and cheerful smile. Deep inside, she really was happy to see the Black Rose members again. How she wished she could have seen Pio again too.
"It certainly has been a while," replied Wen.
"Well? What do you plan to do about me?"
"That depends." Wen looked at her in the eye. "Are we your enemy or your allies?"
Yaya giggled. "I wonder." She paused. "Is Pio not with you?"
"Pio has been missing for some time. We still haven't found him."
Yaya frowned. "Oh dear."
"Perhaps you have an idea?"
"Unfortunately, I don't know where Pio is or where he might be."
Jasmine stepped forward. "Yaya, why are you with them?"
"That's a hard question, Jas. A hard question with a hard answer." Yaya placed her fingers together. "Ah. It seems that I'm surrounded." She closed her eyes for a moment. "If you're going to kill me, now is the perfect time."
Jasmine shook her head. The mere idea of killing her friend made her distraught. "Yaya... no..."
Yaya walked forward. Wen cautiously held up his gun, but Yaya held the tip of the gun and moved it to her neck. Directing it at the area that would cause a sure death.
"We're no longer on the same side. We're enemies now. Things will never be the same, so you must kill me," said Yaya.
Even Wen had a difficult time making a decision. Was this a trap? Was Yaya giving up? He couldn't tell at all.
"Wen, don't do it!" Jasmine begged.
Sphinx remained silent. He was in no state to make a rational decision.
Wen and Yaya stared into each other's eyes for a few seconds, before Wen lowered his gun.
"I won't kill you like this," replied Wen.
"Is that so?" Yaya turned around. "Thank you, Wen and everyone. I enjoyed the little time we had together."
Yaya calmly stood at the edge of the roof and let herself fall backwards as if there was a comfortable bed behind her.
"YAYA!" Jasmine shouted at the top of her lungs.
"Is she... dead?" Sphinx was horrified to see Yaya just throw herself off the castle.
Wen looked down. The sea of clouds provided no answers about Yaya's fate. He had a serious look on his face.
Jasmine fell on her knees. Anna and Luna went to comfort her.
"Why would she do that?" Luna didn't understand Yaya's actions. Nobody did.
"I guess it's our victory for tonight, but it doesn't feel very victorious," said Wen. "Let's hurry up and rescue the prisoners so we can get out of here."
The team slowly moved out of the roof and back into the building to locate the other prisoners. It wasn't long before they found the right door where the rest were locked in prison cells similar to the ones Anna and Potato were kept in.
Luna was disgusted by how the players were treated. How could anyone be so cruel? Whoever wanted this to happen deserved a hard punch on the face.
They unlocked the cell doors and were thanked by all the players kept there. They probably found at least a third of the missing players listed on the hidden city's bulletin board.
"Thank you so much for saving us," the players thanked them one by one.
"There are other players who were brought out of the prison and moved elsewhere," one of the rescued players told them.
"We'll go look for them too," said Wen.
They were about to leave the prison, when Ileanna noticed one cell that was still occupied.
"Wait. There's still someone here," said Ileanna as she walked closer to the cell door. When she opened the door, she was surprised to find a familiar person. "What are you doing here? How did you get here?"
"Who are you?" the blonde boy in shiny golden armor asked.
"You don't remember me?"
He shook his head. "No. I don't think we've met before. Are you my fan perhaps?"
"Li Yuan and I rescued you in the forest, Gaylord."
He was surprised. "You know my name! Am I that famous?"
Luna stood beside Ileanna. "Wait. How did Gaylord get here? Wasn't he back at the city?"
"Gaylord is here?" Jasmine and Sphinx were also surprised.
"All teleporting methods have been disabled. He couldn't have gotten here, unless he was abducted by hackers."
"Then... who is the Gaylord back at the city?"
Frisk's voice suddenly came on. "Guys, we have a problem."
"How clever of them to hide in an area under development."
The Gaylord in the hidden city strolled casually along the street. He was getting tired of putting on the act of a narcissistic fool. One of his subordinates told him there was someone rescuing players and taking them somewhere, so he decided to investigate on his own. He didn't think he would be 'rescued' by them and taken to their secret hideout. He managed to fool everyone with his disguise and acting, which was an achievement he took pride in. It only took him one push of a button to signal his army of hollow armor soldiers surrounding the oasis to infiltrate the city.
"Too bad, Wen. Even this one you can't hide from me," he said under his breath.
The ground trembled as hundreds of soldiers came filing into the city after the safety barrier, which kept the city disconnected and hidden from the visible Aries world, was shattered. The desert city was now in full view and vulnerable to attacks.
"The end game begins now."