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King of Fighters '00
Storyline of King of Fighters 2000, The
--CHINA. A boy lies bedridden in a room of Chin's house.
Kaoru sits beside him, watching over the sick child. Athena enters the room.


ATHENA: "So how's he doing, Kaoru? How is our little Bao?"
KAORU: "Ah, well right now, there's no real change. But it looks like the fever has broken a bit."


Kaoru begins to change the compress on the boy's forehead. In that interval, Athena places her hand over Bao's forehead.


ATHENA: "Is that so? Great.... I'm sorry, Kaoru, to ask you to attend to Bao like this...."
The expression on Athena's face lightens a little after she makes sure Bao's fever has fallen, but her face then reflects her concern toward Kaoru.
KAORU: "Ah, no, don't worry about me. More importantly, though, Bao hasn't regained consciousness...."
Since the end of last year's tournament, Bao has been bedridden, stricken for several months with a high fever whose origins are unknown.
"Origins unknown"...This is how the doctor put it, but Chin knows a better reason for this affliction.
A few months ago.
After the doctor returns, stumped by the case, Chin begins to address his three charges, speaking as if he has come to a profound realization.


CHIN: "...Naturally the doctor would not understand the cause behind this."
ATHENA: "Does the doctor know something?"
CHIN: "Well, it's no more than mere speculation, but...to begin an explanation we'll have to consider Kensou's condition."
KENSOU: "Are you talking about my powers?"


Chin nods toward Kensou, who today seems unusually quick on the uptake.


CHIN: "That's right. Just when was it that your powers gradually began to fail you?"
KENSOU: "It all began last year."
CHIN: "Specifically?"


Athena answers for the obfuscating Kensou.


ATHENA: "...Ever since Bao came to live with us."


Chin continues, nodding at Athena's observation.


CHIN: "Indubitably. Ever since he was brought to us, I sensed that he had the ability to use psychic powers, but something was astonishing about the growth of his powers since he came to live with us."
ATHENA: "Without doubt his powers are equal to us, perhaps they even exceed ours."
CHIN: "I had thought that surely his powers were just blooming, but since he came here, there was that matter with Kensou."
KENSOU: "Huh? So you mean...Bao siphoned away my powers?"
CHIN: "Well, that's roughly what I'm saying. But I don't know why you're the only one he's affected."
ATHENA: "Is that the cause for Bao's current affliction?"
CHIN: "Athena, Kensou, do you recall anything that happened recently?"


The memory of everyone barely escaping NESTS's base is the first thing to appear in Athena and Kensou's mind's eye.


ATHENA: "Well...I heard about it afterward, mind you, but all I remember is the roof of NESTS's base collapsing...."
KENSOU: "Me too. All I remember is me jumping out of there without realizing what was going on around me...."
CHIN: "Kaoru and I only saw it, but Kensou was releasing a staggering power while he carried Athena out to safety then."
KENSOU: "But I was almost completely drained of my power at that time, too...."


Kensou responds to his Master with a puzzled expression.


CHIN: "You must have summoned your latent powers sleeping within you to save Athena. Seeing that Bao fell ill subsequently around that time, the power from Bao must have temporarily fed back to you, and with that synergetic effect you were able to summon that power."
ATHENA: "So with the feedback from Bao.... Yeah, but, I see, that awesome power at that time...No, it can't be!"
CHIN: "That's it exactly. Right now, all of Bao's psychic powers have been sucked from him and the effect of that has resulted in his current affliction."
KAORU: "It was right after Kensou collapsed. Bao came to be afflicted with that high fever."


All of the gathered people cast their gaze to Bao.


CHIN: "Even someone like Kensou who had been tempering his mind and body with his daily training didn't wake up for three days after using that power. And when Bao, whose body is still not fully developed, absorbed that power, he must have reached a point of sensory overload."
KENSOU: "So you mean that I'm actually drained of all my psychic powers?"
Everyone turns their gaze toward Chin. Chin sighs deeply and answers.
CHIN: "Unfortunately, that possibility is quite likely. But you did surprise me; I never thought you had such latent power within you...."
KENSOU: "How terrible. Even the doctor.... But I'm not much of a happy camper now."
CHIN: "Well, even though it was just once, your power did temporarily return, so there must be a chance that your power could return permanently. Kensou, try not being so negative and see how things play out."
KENSOU: "Yeah, I guess your right...."


Athena gazes at Kensou, whose reply is neither one of resignation or satisfaction.

Chin and Kensou clear the room, leaving Athena, Kaoru and Bao in the room. While watching over the unconscious Bao, Athena strikes up a conversation.


ATHENA: "Ah, yes, that reminds me, Kaoru. Did you know there's another KOF this year?"
KAORU: "Uh, yeah. Or so it seems."
ATHENA: "And we decided to enter KOF."
KAORU: "But you'll need four members this year, won't you?"


Kaoru asks with a surprised look on her face.


ATHENA: "Yes, that's right."
KAORU: "So have you found the fourth member yet?"
ATHENA: "No, it seems that Chin plans to enter Bao."
KAORU: "What? He hasn't opened his eyes for months since the last one!"


An expression of both surprise and worry comes over Kaoru's face. While Athena sports a similar expression, Athena replies to Kaoru's question.


ATHENA: "Uh, that's right...but the Master said that Bao's fever looks like it's gradually breaking and he should awaken with his powers intact by the time of the tournament."
KAORU: "But, that...sounds so rash."
ATHENA: "Yeah, I thought so too...."
KAORU: "If you think so, then why...?"


Athena continues with a troubled expression on her face.


ATHENA: "The Master says it's a rather drastic method of treatment, but even if he's stabilized, it's no different than the dangerous condition he's in now. KOF would be the perfect chance for him to release the psychic power that overwhelms him. It seems that the Master has thought things out."
KAORU: "Really...? And then there's Kensou, too."


It took a while, but Athena's tense expression relaxes upon hearing Kaoru's reply of acknowledgement.


ATHENA: "...Yeah...uh, I'm sorry. Things will change someday, though."
Athena stands up and tries to take Kaoru's place. Kaoru stops her.
KAORU: "No, I'll stay here a little longer...I sure hope Bao awakens for the tournament, don't you...?"
Kaoru turns her gaze to Bao and she continues her watch over him.


ATHENA: "Yeah."


Responding only to her question, Athena, along with Kaoru, continues to gaze gently at Bao.


Since 2006
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