(My father is powerful)
"Ah!" Anna uttered a great cry of pain, but with lips tightly shut, she refused to tell the men where Beryl was.
Puzzled by her refusal to cooperate, the men frowned in anger, then one of them viciously kicked her hard in the chest. Gasping in pain she spewed forth a stream of blood.
Hiding behind the statue, Beryl watched the scene of abuse in helpless terror.
Frighted out of her young mind, she almost let out a scream of horror, but she covered her small mouth with her hands, holding back the expression of fear. She could not risk being found by the thugs again, and tears of desperation beaded her marbled cheeks.
Anna seemed to be aware of Beryl being in sight of the drama, and she looked in her general direction, silently mouthing, "Go, go..."
"Anna..." Beryl murmured choking on her tears.
She wanted to save Anna but she knew with certainty that it would be futile, as she was too small and weak to fight off the muscled bandits. If she tried to help, she would simply be caught again.
Finally, she then accepted that she couldn't save Anna or her mother if she was caught by those men.
With a grim little swallow, she looked into Anna's worried eyes and, gritting her teeth, turned to run away.
'Anna, I promise I'll find Dad and he will save you!' she vowed solemnly in her little heart.
She ran as far as she could, her chest hurting from the breath burning her lungs. Not knowing how far she had come, she could only hope that it was out of reach of the bad men. Her legs trembled with exhaustion and she panted for breath.
Finally able to breathe a bit better, she looked around and found herself at the side of an unknown road, and the realization struck home that she was hopelessly lost.
What should she do now, to find her father?
After all, she was only five years old, and despite having a good memory, she hadn't been everywhere in Jingshi City, and she had no idea where she was now.
There were no passers-by around to ask for directions either. She stood staring blankly at the black road with cars speeding past, and looked with longing at the head-lights that flew past only to dim on the horizon. Fatigue made her eyes ache and she felt weak.
Before she completely despaired, she suddenly saw a familiar black luxury car. Fixing her eyes on it she saw her father, Jacob, sitting in the back.
'Thank goodness. Daddy's come to find me!' Excited at the thought of being rescued, she ran towards the car as fast as she could, yelling, "Daddy! Please stop! Daddy! Daddy!" She finally screamed in desperation.
However, the people inside the car didn't hear her as the car was traveling at high speed and quickly disappeared from view.
Beryl tried to run faster to catch up as she continued screaming and crying, "Daddy! Daddy, stop the car! It's me, Beryl!"
However, even an adult could never have caught up to the speeding car, and she didn't stand a chance on her shortened juvenile limbs.
Running out of control, she tripped and fell to the ground, hitting the gravel next to the road with her knees. Pain lanced through the scraped and bruised joints. Holding her bleeding knees Beryl began crying in pain and fear.
Why didn't you hear me?" she wailed disappointedly.
Sinking into despair, she didn't notice the minibus driving up behind her quietly. A man with a mask stepped out and silently approached.
She was surprised by a powerful set of arms which grabbed her from behind. Struggling to her feet she was swiftly incapacitated by a handkerchief soaked in a powerful drug that covered her mouth and nose tightly.
"Hmm..." She gagged on the pungent odor which invaded her nose and throat. Struggling like a frightened deer under the hunter's cross-hairs achieved nothing, and she soon lapsed into an anesthetized unconsciousness. Closing her eyes, the expression of desperate horror fixed on her beautiful face.
Casually picking her up like a discarded toy, he swung her limp, rag-doll body over his shoulder, and then carried her to the vehicle. The balaclava hid his face and the cruel scar of a smile. Getting into the driver's seat he stepped on the accelerator and sped off with his prize. In the Maybach, Jacob opened his eyes, which were bright with remembrances, and he asked, "Sam, did you hear something?"
Sam, who was driving the car, quickly answered, "No, sir."
An ominous presentiment came into Jacob's mind. He frowned and commanded, "Stop the car."
"Yes, Mr. Jacob," Sam replied and immediately slammed on the brakes. He dared not ask the reason. Since Jacob's solo returned to Jingshi City from D country, he had become even more secretive and his motives were a mystery. Even his face remained a studied mask which revealed none of his emotions.
The car stopped and Jacob got out at once. With determination he walked back and looked around as if searching for someone.
A few moments ago, he seem to have heard someone call out to him saying, "Daddy."
The voice was faint but echoed in his ears again and again.
He looked down the long road ahead of him and the steady stream of traffic, but saw no-one that could have called out. Was it just an illusion?
He remained standing still in one spot, with his eyes roaming about, but found nothing. Feeling confused he finally returned to the car. Once seated inside, he lifted his hands to press at his throbbing temples and closed his eyes for a moment to ease the aching in his scull. "Let's go," he finally said.
For some reason, he felt weak and that he had missed something important. 'What a ridiculous feeling! I'm Jacob and I have no weakness.
No-one is important to me, that is weakness. Letting someone in, is weakness. I won't let it happen, ' he thought, rehearsing the words like a mantra, as if secretly trying to convince himself.
Beryl was still unconscious as the minivan reached the suburbs. Looking about to be sure that no-one saw them, the man with the mask took her out and handed her to a woman.
The masked man proudly asked, "What about this kid? She is beautiful and lovely. I think she's the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."
The woman looked carefully at Beryl's delicate little face and nodded approvingly, "She's a real beauty. I think she will fetch a high price. But why does she still sleep like the dead?"
"I guess she inhaled too much anesthetic. Take it easy. She will wake up later," the man explained.
The woman shook her head reproachfully, but breathed a sigh of relief and took Beryl into the warehouse. When Beryl woke up, she was still dazed and didn't know where she was. Then, as her vision cleared, she saw the girls and women huddled around her.
She sat up suddenly, ignoring the spinning sensation in her head, looked around and asked, "You... Why are we locked up here?"
A girl of her own age whispered, "Because we're going to be sold. Everyone here is going to be sold."
"Sold?" Confused Beryl could only murmur and repeat this strange concept.
She had never heard of the selling of people, and knew nothing of the flesh trade. Abducting and trafficking in women and children was foreign to her.
A weepy-eyed woman, whose name was Yilia, explained, "We are now like toys. If we are sold, we will lose our freedom and we can't see our parents anymore, and we will also suffer a lot."
Her words were like demons in the air and many of the young girls began to look around fearfully while they cried hysterically.
But Beryl didn't cry. She looked around and found that the warehouse was full of women and young girls, ranging from their early teens to early twenties.
All the women in the warehouse had one characteristic: they were all beautiful. She understood then why she had been caught, perhaps only beautiful girls could be sold for a high price.
"Why don't you cry?" The girl, who had spoken to Beryl, asked in a puzzled tone, "Are you not afraid at all?"
In response Beryl shook her head firmly and spoke with conviction, "My father is very powerful. He will soon come to save me!"
"Really? I also hope my father will come and save me," the girl said hopefully.
"They will most certainly come," Beryl comforted.
Her words seemed to calm the girl, and she introduced herself, "My name is Mona. What about you?"
"My name is Beryl," she replied.
The two little girls sat side by side and talked to each other in hushed tones.
Yilia stared at the two little girls with burning eyes. She was overwhelmed by jealousy and envy, and her face twisted into an ugly expression of rage. How could they find peace so quickly in these dismal conditions?
She worked as a clerk for a small company and with her beautiful face, she had numerous pursuers and suitors. Life was happy every day.
But in the afternoon of the day before yesterday, everything changed.
She had met a lost child, and had decided to walk him home, but along the way, she was blitz attacked and knocked out. Like the other girls, she had woken up here.
She was normally a kind woman, but she blamed that child for landing her in this awful situation.
If that child was here, she would tear him up! Following the breach of her trust, she now hated all children in the world. To her they were hell-spawn and evil.
She found it difficult to understand why the traffickers had abducted her. One thing was clear in her mind though, she was now lost in this mess because of that child.
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