This story takes place after Dante throws Sirberius through the portal into the Mystical Realm and stays behind. The story takes place in the Death Dimension and will be used as a special if it is created as an anime.
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
“Now where was I?” Dante says pulling out his duel katanas and charges head on into the oncoming flood of enemies. Dante easily slashes through the weak adversaries before him but the shear numbers prove a force to be reckoned with. After what seems like an eternity Dante finally clears the immediate area of demons and withdrawals into a nearby cave.
“Damnit, they just keep coming, my energy is fading fast against these creatures.” Dante says to himself. “I don’t even know where the hell I am, and for that matter how to get out of here. Well if anyone knows it will be the man himself, Draethius … well demon himself I guess.”
“Hey you, whose side are you on? Choose wisely or die here.” A voice comes from deeper inside the cave.
“Who is there? What do you mean by sides? I don’t know of any sides.” Dante replies.
“Either you are with us, The Burning Dawn, or with the Demon Lords. You don’t seem to be on the side of the Demon Lords, nor do any of us recognize your face. Are you new to these parts?” The voice continues.
“My name is Dante and I was trapped here by Draethius in an attempt to banish him back to the Death Dimension. I am from the Mystical Realm and I am in search of a way back home. I will aid you in your offensive against Draethius if it would help in my quest.” Dante replies.
“The Mystical Realm you say, a wild card, we could use you in our war. We know how to get to Draethius, although the path is long and dangerous. We cannot promise he has a way to your realm but if he managed to get there before then I believe he may know of a way. We will accept your aid Dante, but we will keep an eye on you.” The voice says revealing himself as a Fallen Angel, with short spiky black hair and a cut over his left eye, of the likes of Azriel. “My name is Uriel and I am the leader of the Burning Dawn.
Dante stands up extending his hand out “Now let’s kick some Demon ass. But how far exactly is Draethius’s lair?”
“Draethius resides on the ninth layer of the Death Dimension; we are currently on the first.” Uriel replies.
“Well that’s not so bad right, that’s only what eight layers to travel, cake.” Dante says ready to begin the journey.
“I don’t think you understand exactly how long of a journey this is. The eighth layer alone has ten inner layers, this wont be an easy journey. Demons infest the layers along with those damned here by the Gods,” Uriel states.
Dante stops and turns around, “Then what the Hell are we doing standing around.” Dante turns back around and continues to walk outside of the cavern.
“As you wish, this is the first layer. The least dangerous, but as you know there is still a threat here.” Uriel pulls out his weapon; they are fist weapons with three blades on each fist, and says “Dante follow me, I will introduce you to the team.”
Dante follows Uriel further into the cavern; Dante is able to see a feint light at the end of the cavern. It grows larger as they arrive closer to the den of the cavern. Uriel and Dante walk into a large circular room, and sitting around the room are a group of three men. They stand at attention as Uriel walks into the room, “Men this is Dante, the newest member to the team.”
“This is your team? A group of only four men, you have to be kidding me.” Dante yells.
“Don’t underestimate them, they are fully capable of taking out even the strongest of demons, remember we have been doing this for along time.” Uriel replies to Dante.
A large demon stands up from where he was sitting on the furthest wall of the room; he is large and covered in spikes made from what looked to be bones. “I am Tiamat, we don’t need anymore fighters, we are capable of killing the Demon Lords on our own.” He says toward Dante.
“Fine then let me go, I have actually fought Draethius, Hell he was apart of me on the Mystical Realm. If anyone knows his powers it would be me, so we will see how long you live without my knowledge.” Dante replies.
“Tiamat shut the hell up and stop being anti-social to our new buddy here,” the voice of another fallen angel who jumped to his feet after saying that. He had long red hair going down to the mid section of his back. “I am Mesphisto, I however am glad to welcome you to our team.” He says.
The last of the men in the room, just ignored Dante’s presence completely. Dante glared at him as if trying to read his very soul. “Oh, forget about Virgil, he doesn’t talk to anyone besides Uriel over here.” Mesphisto says as he notices Dante glaring. The man was about the size of an average man, but something about him seemed, fake as if this was just a guise.
“Well, we should get going there is no time to lose, we have a long journey ahead of us.” Uriel says to the group of men.
“Finally let’s get this damn Demon dead already.” Dante says as the group leaves the cavern.
The First Layer
The group continues down the path that will eventually lead into the second layer of the Death Dimension. The group approaches a gate and they stop and read the inscription above the gate, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” The gate opens to reveal the inner section of the first layer. The group walks in but is confronted by a group of demon imps; these little demons are able to shoot fireballs out of their hands.
“These are weak men, let’s take them out.” Uriel says to the group. Dante charges in dodging the fire attacks with ease and pulls out his broadsword and begins to assault the little demons. The rest of the team follows; Tiamat pulls out two bone whips from his wrists and uses them to slice the demons. Mesphisto uses a bow from range to pick off the imps with ease. Virgil pulls out two katanas and hacks away at the demons, but his attacks don’t seem to hit. After Virgil’s flurry of attacks the imps all of a sudden drop dead bleeding from the mouth and other orifices.
With all the demons dead and laying on the floor Dante walks up to Virgil and asks “Dude, what exactly did you do to those imps, it didn’t even look like you hit them.”
Virgil remains silent, Mesphisto walks up to Dante “Well you see his weapons are forged from both the divine and the Death Dimension realms. They are able to cut through objects as if they phase through them and cut internally, one nasty of an attack if you ask me.” He says to Dante.
“Impressive” Dante replies. The group continues to walk killing the remaining demons as they spawn from the ground. The group approaches a pitch black river, “The outer section is further down this river” Uriel tells Dante.
“How are we supposed to cross the damn thing, excuse me but as you can tell we don’t have a boat.” Dante asks, but as he finishes his sentence Virgil walks up to what looks to be a gong and smacks it. In the distance the group can see a boat quickly advancing towards them. The boat stops to reveal a demon already on the boat.
“Who dares beckon the carrier of souls, Charon?” The demon yells.
“We are here for passage across the river, give it to us or you will die.” Uriel replies.
“Ha, you can’t kill me fools, now face the wrath of Charon!” Charron yells as he enlarges to reveal his true form as a titan. He slams his fist onto the groups’ position, but the group manages to split apart and dodge the attack. Dante attacks with his broadsword but to no avail, the sword can’t break the titan’s skin. Dante backs up and imbeds his sword with the Darkness Flame. Dante unleashes a flurry of attacks sending arcs of the Darkness Flame at the titan. The Flames hit the titan directly causing the titan to back off a bit. At this time Tiamat shoots out spikes from his back at the titan piercing his skin and pinning him to the ground, as Mesphisto flies above and unloads a full round of divine arrows into the titans torso. Virgil lands on the titan’s head and unleashes a furious assault into the titan’s skull causing the titan to die right there and turn into ash.
“Now that’s what I call team work.” Dante cheers as he jumps onto the boat, the others follow behind.
Uriel chants something and the boat takes off down the river Acheron.
The Layout of the Death Dimension
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
The boat continues on down the river Acheron and the group begins to discuss the upcomming confrontation with Minos, the Judge of the Damned.
"Ok so is this another one of the Demon Lord's lackeys?" Dante asks.
"Not quite, Minos is a demon, yes, but he is not under direct control of the Demon Lords. He simply judges a persons merits and places them where they deserve amung the levels of this Dimension." Uriel replies.
"And we need to get his blessing in order to move on? We can't just sneak around?" Dante asks.
"No there is no other way to exit this layer then through his chambers. Either he grants us passage or we force it from him." Mesphisto answers with a slight grin.
As Mesphisto finishes his statement the boat arrives at a giant building, the top not visable from where they stood. The group dismounts the boat and begins towards the edifice. As they walk up to the door they pause for a moment at the sight. Before them; a giant with skin that resembles molten rock, loomed over head. The giants eyes burning brighter than coals, and horns jutting from his skull and spikes along his shoulders.
"Those who await judgement step foward, there shall be no mercy, thy tormant shall be eternal." The gaint spoke, voice booming.
"Minos, we do not come in wishes to have our souls judged, we seek passage through your realm." Uriel yells to Minos.
"And for what purpose do thee wish to pass?" Minos responds.
"We are on urgent business, we have been sent to deliever this prisiner to the almighty Draethius." Uriel yells.
The group, instantly seeing the ruse in place grab Dante by the arms and hold him in front of Uriel.
"He fights against our lord and master in an attempt to destroy the order we have grown so acustom to. Surely you do not wish to invoke the wrath of Draethus. Even your might, although great it is, stands a chance against our lord's." Uriel provokes.
"I have been given no warning to this arangement, do you have proof that what you say is truth?" Minos replies cautiously.
"Ah but we do have proof, this prisioner is Dante, as you may know, a once vessel for the master." Uriel yells.
"If this is who you claim it to be then his strength must be great, and in such a trial would be an accurate test. He shall be put through a gauntlet to test his tenacity. From that I shall place my decision." Minos demands slamming his gavel and upon doing so the ground opens up underneath Dante and skeletal arms grab him pulling him under.
'Dante, this is Virgil, can you hear me?' Dante hears inside his head.
"Yes I can hear you." Dante says.
'We must communicate through our thoughts, it is the only safe way to communicate here.' Virgil says.
'What is going on?' Dante asks.
'You are being placed in a set of three matches, to test your strength in order to prove you are indeed the previous vessel to Draethius.' Virgil replies.
'Then this should be a peice of cake right?'
'If what you have told us is true then yes.'
'Ok when does it start?'
The darkness is interupted by a blinding light comming from in frot of Dante. A gate opens and Dante is tossed into a circular pit with a caged in roof. The walls are covered with spikes as well as the roof. On the opposite side is another gate, it begins to open. Dante prepairs to fight, black flames circuling his body. A giant pig looking demon charges out from the other side. Dante side steps the pig with ease, the pig spins around, and begind to charge again. Dante jumps back as the demon charges and in mid air places his palm on the demons forehead.
"I purge you into Oblivion, now perish." Dante says aloud.
As Dante finishes his line a stream of black flames peirce into the demons skull as flames shoot out from every orphace of its body. The demon shrivels up on the ground leaving only ash.
"Is that the best you've got? Come on now give me a challenge." Dante mocks.
The gate closes and the sounds of gears turning fills the pit. The gates begin to open once again and this time a creature that resembles a lion but instead of a furry main there was a main of vines. The lion pounces at Dante teeth showing in anticipation. Dante rolls to his side avoiding the teeth, but to Dante's suprise the vines that make up the demons main extended whiping Dante, cutting up his left side. The blood pours from Dantes wound sending the beast into a bloodlust rage. Dante madly dodges the repeated attacks from the lion as well as the vines. The vines leaving no room for Dante to get close.
Dante thinks to himself 'Well if there is no way to avoid then I will just let them hit me.'
Dante dodges the lion, but allows the vines to wrap around him. The thorns tear at his flesh, but Dante stays concentraited. The Crimson Flame erupts from around Dante's body and travels along the demon vines engulfing the lion on the other side, incinerating the beast and the vines alike. Dante kneels in obvious pain.
"Heh, that was a little better." Dante jokes.
Once again the sound of turning gears fills Dantes ears, the gate once again reopens. This time a single, normal looking male walks out from the shadows. "Are you ready?" The person asks calmly.
"Am I ready? Ha when am I not." Dante says charging at the mysterious person, scythe forming in his hands. Dante slashes and the person is cut in half. Suprised Dante jumps back as the body falls to the floor. The body begins to convulse on the ground, the body begins to pull itself together and recombines. The male stnds back up and brushes off his body.
"Thats quite the weapon you have there." The male replies. "I think I want it." The male says laughing as a scythe forms in the persons hands.
"Well this will be fun" Dante replies with a grin.
The two charge at each other matching attack for attack as the sparks from the battle fly. Every move that Dante tries to land is blocked by this dopelganger as if he could read his thoughts. The two are evenly matched, however, the dopleganger has a slight advantage in the fact that Dante is weakened from the prior fights.
"Well you can match my physical skill, but can you cant copy my special abilities." Dante yells
Dante is surrounded with Darkness Flames, yet at the same time the Dopelganger surrounds himself with a violet flame.
"I have some tricks of my own as well." The Dopelganger replies.
Dante launches the Darkness Flame in the form of a punch, however, right before the punch lands the Dopelganger splits into five different beings. They all attack Dante at the same time, Dante blocks two with his hands and one with a leg and manages to dodge one but the last one lands a direct hit on Dante in the chest. Dante is sent flying back almost hittng one of the spikes on the wall. Dante recovers and engulfs himself in Darkness Flame, "Are you ready you copying bastard, I will show you what happens when someone tries to steal my moves, now I banish you into Oblivion." Dante yells as he charges the group of five. They all manage to dodge, yet they failed to notice that they werent Dantes Target. Dante slams the ground and the flames travel along the walls, ripping the spikes off the wall and shooting them to the opposite sides. One of the copies is killed while attempting to dodge yet the other four manage to survive. Standing on top of the spikes the four laugh in sync.
"You just cant win, admit it, you lost and we won. Now allow death to swallow over your soul." The group says laughing.
"See you may be a good copyof my skills, but apparently you cant read minds as it may seem. To bad you wont live to understand what I am saying." Dante replies.
"What are you ..." The group begins as the roof slams down on them crushing and impailing them on the spikes. The roof is stopd by the spikes on the sides of the walls, where they impailed due to the prevous attack.
"I have beaten your test, do you believe me now." Dante yells
"Ah yes I do believe you are the vessel, however ..." Minos begins as Dante is brought back to the room where the others are waiting. "I do not believe the cause of your passage." Minos finishes.
"What do you mean?" Uriel demands.
"Why would he be so willing to prove who he is? Only to go on to be tortured by Draethius, and yes he must know that is what awaits being a vessel of the great one. I am not so easily fooled. Now be gone or I will send you to the unending abyss." Minos yells.
"Reguardless, we must pass, and if that means taking you out in the process then so be it." Uriel yells
Mesphesto aims his bow at Minos and unleashes a flurry of arrows imbueded with fire. The arrows are swatted away by Minos with a single swing. Uriel pulls out a Broadsword and attacks at Minos as well, each swing sending a wave of energy at the giant demon. As Minos is busy blocking the swings from Uriel, Tiamat shoots bones from his back as sharp as razors. The bones directly hit Minos in the neck, the demon grabs his neck in pain.
"Now all at once attack." Uriel yells.
Virgil and Dante join the fight, Dante using his scythe imbueded with the Crimson Flame, and Virgil using his duel blades to strike at Minos's weak points. Minos erupts fire around him and sends the group flying back.
"I am not so easily defeated. I am Minos, the Judge of the Damned." Minos yells
Dante notices the dopelganger forming bac together from the pit. Dante pauses for a moment and shoots a blast of Darkness Flame at the formig dopelganger absorbing his essence and sending it into Dante. Dante imediately erupts in a Violet Flame and dashes at Minos. Minos swings his mace at Dante who automatically splits into five beings. All five corcle around Minos and begin to channel the Crimson Flame into their bodies.
"We need time to set up this attack." Dante yells o the others.
All at once the other members of the group begin doing all they can to prevent Minos from attacking Dante. Tiamat continues the barrage of razor sharp bones as Mesphesto flies above and rains arrows down into Minos. Virgil and Uriel interupt any attacks that are focused on any of the Dantes'.
Dante and his clones stop channeling and charge at Minos with their scythes. They each slash upwards on the giant demon sending a Crimson Flame wave from each one. They all shoot upwards and split the giant demon into peices.
Dante collapses and blacks out.
To Be Continued ...
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
Dante awoke on a bed in a well furnished room.
"Whats going on? Where am I?" Dante asked aloud.
"You are with me now." Came the voce of a beutiful women dressed in a body forming gown, her hair was Dark as night and she had a flawless figure and a face amost inhuman with beauty. "I am Valestra, and you are the one known as Dante; am I correct?" Valestra asks.
"Uh, yeah I am. Where are my comrades? How did I get here?" Dante questions.
"Your friends droped you off here, they felt that the road ahead was to dangerous and that you would only hold them back." She replies. "It doesnt matter anyway, I am here now and I can make all your dreams come true." She says as she moves closer to Dante.
"Left me, why would they do that? After all we have gone through, without me we wouldnt have come this far." Dante says angrily.
"True my darling, but they do not see that, they do not see how amazing you truly are. I can see it, I see how strong, how powerful you are. It may be the reason I am so attracted to you." Valestra says as she pushes herself up against Dante. "Be with me know, be with me forever." She says.
Dante embraces her with his arms wrapped around her waist.
"I would love to stay here with someone as beautiful as yourself, but I simply can not. My friends are in need of me in the Mystical Realm and I must defeat the Demon Lord in order to get there. You may join me if you wish, but I must go on." Dante replies.
"But Dante am I not enough for you, I could make you happy in ways you never dreamt of." She pleeded
Valestra stares deeply into Dante's eyes, "Would you really leave an inoccent lady like myself in a dangerous place like this?"
"I need to be ... going ... well I guess I could stay for a little ... no, no I really must be going." Dante says.
"Please just stay for a little while then, regain your strength." Valestra says.
"Fine, but only until I am back to full strength." Dante finally gives in.
"Great then let me prepair you a bath." Valestra says eagerly spinning around and walks out.
Moments later Valestra returns and brings Dante into a bathing room.
"If you need me I will return at your beackoning call." Valestra says as she walks out.
"Thank you." Dante replies.
Dante relaxes in the bath as the thoughts play in his mind.
"Why do I fight for the Mystical Community anyway? What do I owe them? What am I saying, I nearly destroyed the ones I care about, if only to fuel this rivalry. I owe it to them to repay the damage I have caused, to fix what I have done wrong. But Sirberius, I will defeat you someday, I will prove I am the stronger of th two of us." Dante thinks to himself. "But there is more to all of this, I can feel it. Something big is inomming and I cant tell what it is. A new dawn is aproaching and we better be prepaired. I can just lay around and relax I must continue on." Dante decideds.
"Valestra, I must be off." Dante yells aloud.
In no time flat Valestra arrives from outside the door.
"What do you mean my love? You cant leave just yet, you haven't regained your strength." She states.
"No matter I have a job to do and sins to atone for." Dante replies.
"Dante I need you, stay with me, forever." Valestra says as she wraps her arms around Dante and kisses him on the lips.
At that moment Dante feels a pain in his back, Valestra's nails dig deep into his flesh. "If I cannot have you then no one will, you will stay or you will die." Valestra yells as she tosses Dante aside.
"What is going on here, if I must I will kill you." Dante attacks with a punch fueled by Crimson Flame.
Valestra dodges and kicks Dante in the chest sending him flying upwards. Valestra jumps toward Dante but Dante's wins emerge from his back and he stops himself mid flight and punches right through Valestra. At that moment the world spun and the walls came craching down to reveal Valestra floating with a hole in her chest attached to what seemed to be a lure. Dante was no longer in the lush housing he was just moments ago but now was on a floating rock circling a tornado in the middle of a giant crater.
"What the Hell is this?" Dante yells.
"You have invoked the Wrath of the Succubus Queen so now you must die." A voice yells.
A moment later thousands of winged Demons, that remarkably had humanistic beauty, flew from the crater in the middle. They all charged at Dante who know was all of a suddenly wearing his clothes and weapons again. Grabbing his Broadsword Dante flies at the demonic horde shasing and cutting multiple enemies at a time. Looking to his right Dante notices Uriel fighting the demons as well.
"Uriel whats going on?" Dante yells
"Welcome to the inner sanctum of the second circle. We are in lusts domain now. Nice to have you with us again, we should have warned you about the illusions before. Glad to see you were capable of breaking free." Uriel shouts back.
"How many of these do we need to kill?" Dante asks.
"As many as it takes to draw out Ciacco, their queen." Uriel replies.
They pair continue to fight the demons as eventually Mesphesto, Virgil, and Tiamat join up with them as well. They kill thousands of demons until finally the tornado esplodes shooting blasts of energy at the group, who easily dodge.
"Now you face my wrath, sisters retreat I will deal with these pests mysel." Ciacco yells.
"Prepair yourselves she is no push over." Uriel commands.
The group prepairs for battle as an indescribabley beautiful woman decends towards them, she carries twin blades that curve towards her shoulders. She dashes at the group sending a shockwave that knocks back Mesphisto and Tiamat backwards. She then charges at Virgil who manages to dodge.
"She is lightning fast, she will be a tough opponent." Dante states as he charges at her with his blade ready.
Dante and Ciacco clash blades but Ciacco manages to tilt Dante's blade just slightly, but enough for her to parry his attack. Dante goes flying backwards into Uriel. Virgil takes this opportunity to slash her a few tmes from behind before she spins around wih a slash that hits Virgil in the chest. Tiamat jumps in with two whips that look like spinal cords. He slashes in a flurry and manages to hit her a few times, until she grabs the whips and sends a lightning pulse through them into Tiamat. Mesphesto at this time flies over head unloading an assault of arrows from his bow. Ciacco uses a lighting barrier to repel the attack and send it right back at Mesphesto. Dante charges in with his Broadsword combined with his Darkness Flame and penetrates the barrier and slashes upward sending Ciacco into the air, Uriel and Virgil both jump up and meet her in the air and combine attacks fir optimal damage. As Virgil and Uriel land Tiamat and Mesphesto both keep range from her and shoot a barrage of arrows and bone missles, catching Ciacco in the cross fire.
Ciacco explodes and a black cloud covers the area.
"Is she dead?" Dante yells.
"I dont know, I cant see a thing." Mesphesto replies.
"Shut up and listen." Tiamat yells calmly
"Fools you have forced me to reveal my true form, you will all pay a serious price for this, death is not enough for the likes of you." Ciacco yells over the group in a much deeper voice.
The smoke clears, revealing a giant, mutated Hog-like crature. About twenty tusks juttng from her face, flames engulfing the hoofs and spikes covering the torso. She charges at the group with lightnign like speed, slaming Meshpesto into the ground. Dante manages to use the Violet Flames to split into five copies and dodge the attack. The five copies all use the Crimson Flame and send slash waves at Ciacco. The waves hit directly, cutting Ciacco, but with a laugh she continues to charge ignoring the wounds. Uriel throws his broadsword at Ciacco's head peircing her through the head, but only knocking he off balance enough for Virgil to move out of the way. Virgil jumps onto her back and begins to lash at her, damaging her on the inside.
"Nothing is having any effect" Dante yells.
"No, you are wrong, it is doing what it should do. She is just over come with blood lust that she is ignoring the pain and fighting till she dies. Lets grant her that pleasure." Uriel replies.
"I know what I need to do, she wants to bring out the real me then I will give it to her." Dante says as his eyes begin to glow with Darkness Flames. Dante's body begins to harden and spikes jut out from his body, his wings expand and his nails become as sharp as the finest blades. "How do you like my vampiric form?" Dante laughs as he charges at Ciacco.
The two clash and Dante is wrestiling Ciacco with his bare hands grabbing the horns. Ciacco tries to break free but Dante keeps his grip. Ciacco opens her mouth and a stream of green gass shoots out sending Dante flying back. Dante recovers only to have Ciacco charging at him with no time to react. When out of nowhere another Vampiric formed entity kicks Ciacco in the side of the head sending her spiraling of balance. "Forgot about the split I made earlier didnt you. It will cost you your life." Dante yells as he flies up, forming back with the four other copies. Dante places his palms out and a giant ball of Darkness Flame forms, "Now die." Dante yells as he shoots the ball at Ciacco.
The attack hits dead on engulfing Ciacco and sending her essence into Dante. Dante lands on the ground and turns back to his normal look. "Man it has been awhile since I needed to go into that form. So anyway shall we continue?" Dante says as he begins to walk.
"To bad you dont know how to use that form to its full potential yet." Virgil says to himself as he follows the group.
Ciacco - Succubus form
Ciacco - final form
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
3rd Layer of the Death Dimension
The group continues down the twisting road; as they walk it becomes obvious the changes in scenery, the little flora that was in the region has all but died, the ground was increasingly becoming filled with indistinguishable corpses and filth. Looking around Dante can see the silhouettes of figures in the shadows, red eyes glaring out at them, watching their every move.
“What is watching us? If they mean us harm then why do they stalk? They must know that we sense them.” Dante rants.
“They know we see them, but they also are mere pawns of this realm. They won’t act out until ordered to do so. After all, Hell Hounds are very obedient creatures.” Uriel responds. “Let us pay them no mind, for now.”
The group comes up to a giant iron gate decorated with skulls and corpses hanging from the tips. As Uriel approaches the gate, the gate swings open. They continue in and are momentarily stunned by what sounded like a low growl. As they continue the once mere shadows come to life and the group is now surrounded by wolf like creatures, only these ‘wolves’ were covered with spikes and instead of fur there was fire.
“Are these your so-called Hell Hounds Uriel?” Dante mocks.
“Aye, these are the foul beasts. They don’t attack, they must intend for us to remain here.” Uriel responds.
“We can take them easily; we don’t have time to stand here for some beasts.” Dante urges.
“You make a point, but we won’t be here for long.” Uriel smirks. Right as Uriel finished his sentence the ground a few yards away from the group explodes with an inferno. As the fires die down a looming figure remains, three heads each with razor sharp teeth and eyes of fire. There were slight differences in the eyes of the beasts, one head had red fire, another had a blue flame, and the last had a green flame. The beasts had a fiery trail going down his back to the tip of his tail, which was also engulfed in flames.
“Defilers of my realm, for what reason do you justify your trespassing,” the beast growls.
“We seek out your master, Draethius. Let us pass, our quarrel is not with his pet,” Uriel yells. The dog growls with obvious distaste. “My master has no requests for the likes of you, and I am sure it will please him to have your corpses added to his collection,” Cerberus growls.
“Then we will just have to kill you and your kin.” Dante yells as he and Virgil flank the beast from his sides. Tiamat shoots his bone spikes in a 360 degree circle around him, killing all of the hell hounds instantly. Mesphisto flies up and unloads a flurry of arrows into the center head of Cerberus, or so he intended. The beast looks up at the arrows and with a grin he opens his jaws unleashing a stream of flames into the arrows incinerating them.
Dante using his broadsword slashes at the beast’s right head, but is repelled when the beast launches a blizzard of razor sharp ice shards at Dante. Dante, unable to avoid all the shards, is hit and plummets to the ground. Virgil lands a few quick blows to the right head, but as with the other heads this one opens its mouth and spews forth a stream of green acidic liquid. Virgil quickly avoids the attack and continues his assault. Uriel and Tiamat fend off the oncoming horde of hell hounds from the gate as the three others continue attacking Cerberus. Mesphisto continues shooting into Cerberus’s center head, and is able to land a few arrows, but the damage seems too unnoticeable.
“We need to concentrate on one of the heads at a time, Dante, Virgil, help me with the center,” Mesphisto yells.
Dante and Virgil both kick off the heads they were fighting to help Mesphisto. Dante changes to his vampyric form mid jump and flies over to the center head. Virgil simply ran along the back of the beast. Dante, covered in Crimson Flame, swings his broadsword sending Crimson Arcs at Cerberus. Cerberus shoots his flame stream and neutralizes the attack, however he is unable to stop the attack from Virgil as he slashes Cerberus’s throat. Once Mesphisto noticed the wound he unloads a stream of arrows into the wound. The center head goes limp and slumps down as the beast simply jumps back and, using the left head shoots his mini blizzard at the three partners. Dante is hit by the blast and is sent to the ground, and Cerberus pounces on him paws slamming him into the ground. Tiamat runs to help but as he is almost there the left head shoots a stream of acidic goo at Tiamat. Mesphisto notices that Tiamat doesn’t notice the stream coming at him and launches himself in front of the assault, taking the full force of the blast and being sent flying back.
“Noooooo!” Tiamat yells watching his closest friend being hit, but there was no time to help as Cerberus shot another blast, this time intent to hit his original target. Tiamat dodges this time and in a rage shoots what seems to be an impossible amount of bone spikes; the spikes hit the right head nearly taking it off the beast completely. Temporarily stunned, Cerberus releases his hold on Dante, leaving the opening needed. Dante engulfs his newly summoned scythe with the Darkness Flame, Jamming the scythe into Cerberus’s chest and slashing upwards. The slash cuts the beast in two, but that’s not all the flames engulf the beast and send its essence into Dante.
There was no time to celebrate though as Dante looks around to find Mesphisto, who moments earlier was severely injured, then Dante noticed the rest of the group huddled around a figure. Dante rushes over to see Mesphisto, only he wasn’t well. He was slowly being engulfed in a plague, originating from the chest and spreading.
“Hey … what’s with the sad faces, heh … it’s only a flesh wound right.” Mesphisto jokes obviously struggling to speak. “Seriously now … you guys will make it … do it for me … do it for the cause. I said … I would give my … my life if I needed. To save a friend … I have no regrets. Go on … in my name,” he continued.
“No you must live, we need you. I won’t let you die because of my ignorance.” Tiamat cries, the rest of the group surprised by the sudden expression of emotion.
“My friend … then do me on favor.” Mesphisto asks.
“Anything” Tiamat replies.
“Take my life, and use my energy to finish this … allow me the chance to help in the final … final confrontation.” Mesphisto asks as his eyes close and the darkness from the plague finally takes hold of him entirely.
Tears flowing from his eyes, Tiamat creates a spike out of his wrist and with one final thrust takes the life of his dear friend. Eyes closed, Tiamat absorbs the life essence of Mesphisto and in the process Tiamat gains wings of black feathers.
“We fight not only for our freedom now, but for revenge, we will avenge this loss. Let us continue,” Tiamat states as he stands up and walks along the path. The rest of the group nods and follows.
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
4th Layer of the Death Dimension
As the path continues the settings change, the surrounding area becomes progressively rocky and mountainous. The group finds themselves walking through a crevices between two mountains. All of a sudden behind them a giant boulder falls and smashes into the ground.
"We need to get through this fast, lets pick up the pace, these are dangerous areas." Uriel says.
As soon as he finished his sentence another boulder fell and nearly crushed Virgil, if not for his inhuman speed he would have been killed.
The group begins to run and as they do boulder after boulder fall behind them. As they reach a clearing they notice the silhouette of a group of figures, but time not permitting, no one thought twice as they approached.
They made it to the clearing but before them stood a vast army, all undead zombies in black armor with gold trim. They seemed to be chanting something in a demonic tongue, then, they began their attack. The group instinctively readied themselves for the upcoming onslaught, Virgil readied his blades as Uriel unsheathed his broadsword, Tiamat created twin bone blades erupting from his wrists and arching down toward his forearm. Dante surrounded himself in a violet flame and splitting into six copies, creating a mini army of his own. Dante rushed in hacking at the lifeless army, the bodies piling before him. Tiamat flies above and encasing his body in a bone cast, plunges into the center of the army causing a meteor like effect, then erupting from the cast he flies out with a fury never before seen from him as he cuts down his opponents. Uriel begins swinging his blade and the arcs created mow down the army in his wake, as Virgil dashes in and in a flash kills one enemy then immediately attacking another with lighting speed.
The group continued the massacre of the dead, but as much as they cut down their opponent they continued to attack, as if the army never ended. Then as if it seemed the battle would last an eternity, the army suddenly stopped attacking and moved back. The group, stunned at the sudden retreat, remain still wondering what was happening. Then, in the distance, a rider on a black horse, with spikes protruding from the sides and skull and a mane of fire, enters the scene.
"So you fight with the expertise I would have expected from those who slew the mighty Cerberus. My name is Plutus and I am the overseer of the fourth layer, normally I wouldn't bother myself with trash such as the likes of you, but I have been ordered to stop the up risers. And an order is an order after all, plus I wouldn't let you go anyway, I am always searching for a challenge." Plutus said with a malevolent grin.
With a wave of his hand the army of the dead fell to the ground. The rider, now visible, harnessed armor that was so extravagant you would think he was the ruler of the Death Dimension himself. The young man wore a black armor, decorated with rib bones on the chest and demonic bones on the shoulders. The armor was also trimmed with gold and spikes running down the spine. The helmet covered the mans face, all but his eyes which glowed with a eerie white/blue flame. The helm also was decorated with large demonic horns and a flaming Mohawk streak from front to back.
"Well if it is a fight you want then we would be glad to deliver it to you." Dante yells arrogantly
Dante charges in with his 5 other copies, all at once they change into vampiric form and launch a six sided attack at Plutus. Plutus deflected the attack without even dismounting his horse. Dante's clones all form back into one as he falls to the floor, but Dante is able to quickly regain his footing. Dismounting, Plutus unsheathes his broadsword, almost as long as his body. Dante also forms his blade in his hands, and imbued it with the crimson flame. Dante launches another offensive and successfully lands a blow on Plutus's midsection, the blow causing a mini explosion and pushing him back a few feet, but otherwise unharmed. Plutus looks up and with a swing of his massive blade he sends a shock wave at Dante who is caught by surprise and sent flying back and tumbling backwards.
"That attack should have left him crippled at the least." Dante says as he holds his midsection while rising from the ground.
"Well it didn't, so lets do this together this time." Uriel replies.
"Tiamat flank left, Virgil flank right, I have center, Dante make a rear assault. Put all you have into it men, we need to defeat him quickly," Uriel states.
Tiamat and Virgil run strait and split before Plutus can finish his vertical swing. Dante runs along the sword and launches off of Puluts's helm landing behind him, readying his blade. Uriel runs forward and swings his broadsword and connects with Plutus's blade. Tiamat and Virgil, both using duel blades, begin a flurry of attacks on Plutus's midsection, as Dante readies his Crimson Flame Slash attack. Once Plutus parry's Uriel, Virgil and Tiamat dash back away from Plutus and Dante brings his slash down upon Plutus, engulfing him in crimson flames. The lifeless body falls to the ground.
"Well he wasn't all that tough now was he," Dante mocks spitting on the ground.
The group begins to walk away, but as they are about ten yards away they hear a bone chilling laughter. They turn around to see the body rising, still limp, then straiten and land on the ground in a standing position.
"I haven't had to regenerate for a long, long time. Sorry it took so long, I won't delay next time, assuming there is a next time," Plutus mocks.
Grinning, "Well this just got a bit more interesting." Dante laughs.
Plutus runs at the group, blade trailing behind. Plutus stops a few yards before the group and arcs his blade skyward, sending a blast shooting strait at the group. The group dodges, and readies their abilities. Dante uses the darkness flame, Tiamat creates bone spikes throughout his body, Uriel shrouds himself in a blood red orb. The group attacks, Tiamat flexes his body sending all the spikes at Plutus, as they stab into his armor they explode sending bone shards all around, but since the were apart of Tiamat he controls them and causes all the shrapnel to also slice at Plutus. Uriel concentrates and the orb moves forward a bit in front of him, he then places one hand on the orb and it goes flying into Plutus, while inside the orb thousands of tendrils latch onto Plutus and rip at his flesh. When the orb dissipates Plutus still stands, Plutus lifts a hand and the ground surrounding him turns blood red, healing his wounds. Then with another wave of his hand the bone shards are sent flying back, except not at their creator, but instead, at Virgil. Virgil is impaled by hundreds of bone shards and sent flying.
"Virgil!" Dante yells as he dashes to Virgil's body. Dante looks down on the now convulsing body of Virgil, his eyes blood red and his teeth now as sharp as knives. He rises and the shards evaporate to dust, large demonic wings erupt from his back and his skin becomes as hard as diamonds. With blood running down his body Virgil heals his wounds. With his nails also growing, he flies at Plutus and grabs him, flying upward. As Virgil reaches a high altitude he drops Plutus, flying down with him Virgil slashes with his claws, destroying his armor to metal scraps. Virgil flies back and lands as Plutus's body drops to the ground.
Plutus rises, but very weak, and grins. "Go on then, kill me, allow me to regenerate full and we can play some more."
Virgil stares him down and replies in a deeper voice then is normal for Virgil "You will perish, of this i promise, but you wont be coming back. You forced me into a form I abandoned long ago, and for it I will satisfy my blood thirst I have hidden for ages. You will regret this day, you will wish you never crossed my path."
Virgil walks up to the extremely weak Plutus, and with a slash rips off his arm. As Plutus screams in agony, Virgil holds up the limb and lets the blood drain into his mouth and on his chest. Tossing the limb aside, Virgil removes the second arm, Plutus now on the ground screaming in such pain that it made even Dante wince. Virgil continues his disembodiment of Plutus until a body remained with head intact, "Do you feel it? Do you feel your life slowly draining from your body? Can you feel the sweet touch of death? Well cherish it, for now is the last time you taste the sweet release." Virgil says darkly to Plutus as Virgil bites into the exposed neck of Plutus, draining his body dry, leaving a withered up corpse.
"With no life essence, he cannot return. He is nothing now, no afterlife, he is gone forever." Virgil says as he regains his 'casual' form.
He rejoins the group and states, "Well, shall we continue then? We still have much further to go."
Dante, in awe, thinks to himself. "Who is this guy? How does he have a that form? The form, mistakenly known as a vampire. Why hasn't he used this power before, and why, now, do I feel such a closeness to him. I want to know, no, I need to know. But another day, there are more pressing matters at hand. But I will have my answers, one way or another." Dante thinks as he quietly joins the group and continues on, into the fifth layer of the Death Dimension.
Virgil after transformation (best I could do, don't really like the pic)
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
5th Layer of the Death Dimension - Enter Dis
The group continues down the bank of a river flowing red with blood. Inside the waters it is vaguely visible, silhouettes fighting each other, ripping each other apart out of pure wrath. As they walk a dock is noticeable in the distance, and thus is their next destination.
"Is this how we are crossing this river?" Dante asks.
"Aye, the river Styx, Phlegyas should be arriving shortly. We may need to convince him to allow us passage," Uriel answers.
They arrive at the dock, and await Phlegyas. Dante thinks to himself, remembering Virgil's transformation. 'What was that? How is it even possible that a vampire is down here? Only demons and Fallen Angels should be found in this realm.' Dante thinks to himself.
"Hey Virgil, can I talk to you for a mo..." Dante begins but is abruptly cut off when a long boat speeds up to the dock. A giant of a man is standing inside of the boat holding a pair of oars.
"You are not of the damned, what do you want further in this Dimension, only death and chaos can be found." Phlegyas says.
"We are here to put an end to the Demon Lords. We need to cross this river in order to break into the city of Dis, from there we will continue to Draethius's chambers and destroy him." Uriel responds.
"Ha you think you can kill Draethius? You are fools, simply fools. Turn back and go home, there is nothing for you here." Phlegyas scoffs.
"We will cross this river with or with out your permission, we would just like to make our trip less strenuous. We have a lot to go through ahead. Cerberus and Plutus have both tried to stop our journey, both have been lost to the Abyss. Do you wish to join them?" Uriel threatens.
"Hm, I also have no love for the Demon Lords, and I will not sacrifice my own life on their behalf, if it is death you seek who am I to impede, I will take you there." Phlegyas agrees.
The boat zipping across the crimson sea as if it had wings of a dragon, they would soon arrive at the gates of Dis, where the real battle begins.
The boat arrives at another dock, the group leave the boat and thank Phlegyas for the aid.
"I wish your journey well, I will mourn for your deaths." Phlegyas finishes.
Dante, still pondering Virgil's powers, leads the rest of the party to the gates of Dis. The gates, standing taller then any castle in all the Mystical Realm, are decorated with giant skulls and spikes adorning the face of the gate.
"How are we to open this gate?" Mesphisto asks.
"We are to challenge the furies, once they are defeated we will be able to open the gates." Uriel replies.
Walking up to the gate, Uriel yells "Furies, slayer of men, destroyer of worlds, reapers of vengeance, come do thy bidding, open these gates or perish by our skills."
A resounding laughter fills the air, then three balls of fire float high above the party, they transform into bodies. They were feminine on appearance, yet demonic in nature. Covered in fire and no distinguishing features other then body type they attack the group. Dashing, leaving a train of fire in their wake. As they approach they screech so harshly the entire party is stunned for a minute, a minute to long, they were upon the group slashing with insane speed and the fires left behind scorch the very earth beneath them. Once recovered Dante, possibly out of subconscious thought, goes into his Vampire form, growing claws, teeth and spikes, as well as Hardening his own skin, wings also sprout out of his back. Dante dashes around one of the furies and, with his razor sharp nails, swipes at the fury. The fury easily dodges, and flies back as the other two attack from both sides. Dante parries one of the furies but is left wide open for the third. However before the third could land an attack of its own, Virgil intercepted in his own Vampiric form, tossing the fury away from Dante.
"Beware the furies Dante, they are more powerful then they appear and they always fight together, just as we should; their names are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone." Virgil says.
"OK so how do we defeat them? Anything in mind?" Dante asks still ready to strike at any moment.
"I've got nothing, lets just see if we cant just find an opening." Virgil says with a slight smirk.
A moment later Uriel and Mesphisto joins them in flight, they prepare to strike. The group shoots out, Virgil flies at one fury and Dante at another. Mesphisto and Uriel take on one of the furies together. Uriel, using his broadsword, slashes sending energy arcs at the fury as Mesphisto shoots bone spikes from his wrists. Dante, now using his Scythe, slashes at the fury, who just fades into nothing and appears behind him, only to be met with a wing to the chest. Dante spins around and slashes again, this time achieving a direct hit. Virgil, using his dual swords Heaven and Hell, slashes in quick succession at the third fury, doing more damage then any physical attack could do to these ethereal beings. The fury Virgil is fighting falters, and Virgil takes advantage and slashes the beings throat with his blade, cutting the very beings life force. The fury explodes and the blast sends Virgil flying back, only his diamond tough skin keeping him alive.
Dante follows suite and swings the scythe at the fury's throat and cutting the beings head off, but the being laughs and recombines. Shocked Dante quickly engulfs himself in a sapphire flame and stops time quickly enough to appear behind the fury, now attacking.
"What just happened? Why did yours die and mine not?" Dante yells.
"My blades are different then yours, I assume they are not immune to my ability to cut their very ethereal essence. Trying using your flames in combination with your attacks, you may find something that works." Virgil responds now joining Uriel and Mesphisto with their fury.
Dante uses his emerald flame on his scythe, causing it to radiate green energy. Dante attacks but the fury proves to be to quick, it strikes Dante through the chest, the wound instantly cauterized due to the flames of the fury. Dante, struggling to keep his vision in check, makes a desperate slash and hits the fury on the side. The fury begins to bubble up and expand, growing larger and more disfigured, finally it explodes and sends Dante flying back, alive but unconscious.
When Dante reawakens, he is on the ground, he jumps to his feet and looks around. The gates are just beginning to open. Dante, now relieved that his friends must have killed the last fury sits back down, trying to regain some strength.
"Get off your ass boy," Virgil says as he walks up to Dante
"Hey, Im good to go, where is everyone else?" Dante asks.
"They already went on inside, we are to catch up in front of the unholy citadel, located inside the gates of Dis." Virgil responds.
"What! why did they go in without us? They could need us, lets go." Dante says jumping to his feet and heads to the gate.
"The city is empty, the Fallen Angels are no where to be found, it is as if they all were called away, no bodies, no nothing." Virgil replies, staring at the gate deep in thought, waling besides Dante.
"Empty? What do you think could have happened?" Dante asks.
"Well, from what we know, Azriel had returned, the most powerful of all the Fallen. It seems he was preparing for a war, but something, or someone, halted that process." Virgil replied.
Suddenly remembering what he wanted to ask Virgil before Dante asks, "Oh hey, I have been meaning to ask you, what is that form that you used before? It looks so similar to my own Vampiric form." Dante asked.
"That would be because I am also a Vampire such as yourself, banished here long ago, before your time." Virgil responds
"Banished? How did you get banished here?" Dante asks.
"Ha, well along time ago during the war against Draethius I was helping in the fight, due to circumstances I was banished to this realm. We can talk about this another time, let us catch up with the others.'" Virgil replies.
They continue on and enter the city of Dis, inside they are swarmed by zombie like beings, neither dead nor alive, they attack on impulse anything that moves. Together Dante and Virgil easily wipe the area clear of the eternally hungering abominations.
"I thought you said this place was barren, that constitutes something to me" Dante yells
"They weren't here moments ago, something is going on, we need to find the others." Virgil replies.
The two of them run towards the citadel, before they can arrive the ground breaks open and and angel like being arises from the earth, his wings spread and he laughs, "Even without my lord, I am still strong enough to rule this city, I will destroy you for trespassing on my land." The fallen angel yells hysterically. "I am Damien and I will be the death of you all, your friends are already fighting my pet, Medusa will take pleasure in ripping them piece by piece." Damien comments.
Damien flies at Dante who instinctively goes into his vampiric form and deflects the attack, Damien rebounds off the ground and attacks again, this time Dante has no time to react and is sent flying into the air. Virgil launches an attack on Damien, Damien forms with the rock beneath him and dodges Virgil's attack. Damien then forms underneath Virgil and attacks from below, the attack hits. Virgil, mid flight turns to his vampiric form and launches back at Damien, Damien is hit and sent flying back. Dante, now recovered from the strike, attacks Damien from above as he is flying back and lands a kick to the stomach sending the fallen angel to the ground. Damien forms with the ground and grabs Virgil's ankle and pulls it into the earth grounding Virgil. Damien then pops up behind Virgil and jams his hand through Virgil's chest and lets him fall to the floor a bloody mess.
Dante, now in a blind rage, turns to his Overpowered Blood Lust form, the Darkness Flame engulfing his body as he attacks Damien, he grabs Damien by the throat with immense speed, he then lifts up Damien and flies upward. Flailing around Damien claws at Dante's body, leaving deep cuts and punctures. Dante releases Damien, Damien thinking he broke free attacks Dante, Dante withstands the assault and doesn't flinch, Dante then with a single punch sends Damien to the ground. As they descend Dante whirls around Damien throwing punches and kicks, bloodying up Damien and sends him crashing into the ground. Dante calmly lands besides Damien and places one arm out, Darkness Flame swirling around the palm, and says "Pathetic little pest, you think you could withstand the power of a true monster? I am the darkness, I am the corruption, and I will annihilate you like the piece of trash you are you little worm."
Dante suddenly shakes his head and brings his hands up to his head. "What is going on! Get out of my head you bastard, I don't want you here anymore."
Taking advantage Damien jumps up and slashes at Dante's throat, Dante catches the hand and breaks Damien's arm. In pain Damien flies away, "I will be back, these are my lands, this is my city, I will avenge my master and friend. You all will pay."
Dante drops to the floor struggling against the unseen enemy in his mind. At the same time Virgil has recovered and limps to Dante's aid.
"What is going on Dante? What causes you so much torment and pain?" Virgil yells.
"Aaaaaargh, get out, you are not apart of me anymore." Dante screams. "I left you when I got into this realm, you are not who I am, you are not me, I will not allow it." Dante yells as he continues to hold his head in agony.
Finally Dante drops, falls to the ground and almost blacks out. A short time later, Dante barely conscious, Mesphisto arrives with a look of dread covering his face.
"Virgil, its Uriel, he has been captured. We slew Medusa, but as we were trying to recover our strength Chiron arrived and took Uriel, he stabbed through me with a pike, but I managed to survive. We need to save him, I will not have another death on my shoulders." Mesphisto says.
"I know friend, but I need to take care of Dante, he needs me now, I wasn't there for his life, but I will not abandon him now. We will leave at sunrise when he has recovered." Virgil replies.
Dante blacks out, recovering his strength for the trials ahead.
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
The Sixth Layer
Dante awakens, light surging to his eyes, nearly blinded. "Whats going on? What happened?" Dante asks allowed not knowing if anyone is even nearby to hear his questions.
"Uriel has been captured, by the leader of the Centaurs, Chiron. They hail from the seventh layer, they are a forsaken race created through the mating of a Fallen Angel and a Lesser Demon. Their leader however is no joke, skillful archer praised even on holy lands for his incredible accuracy." Virgil responds, sitting next to Dante, slowly beginning to rise to his feet.
"Yes, we must make haste if we are to rescue Uriel, we have little time." Tiamat replies.
"Well then lets get a move on." Dante replies rising to his feet.
The group walks around the Castle Dis, walking upon a cavern hidden behind the building. The walk through the cavern which slopes downwards, "This is the entrance to the sixth layer, be on your guard, it is a short layer but none-the-less deadly." Virgil says to the group.
They exit the cavern and all around are coffins ablaze in flames unquenchable.
"WHO DARES ENTER MY LAIR." booms a loud resounding voice, and in the distance drops a huge demon covered in flames.
"On your toes, this is Bael, a high ranking Demon. Prepare to fight." Tiamat says.
The group readies their weapons, Virgil and Dante transforming into their Vampiric forms as Tiamat goes into his full demon form. Bael charges the group, on all fours, horns aimed directly at Dante, flames swirling around his massive figure. Dante is able to roll to the side, but the flames do little damage to Dante. "What is this? I should not be able to be hurt by any flame!" Dante yells.
"These are flames of the underworld, think of them as entities all their own, parasitic micro-organisms that help the Demon." Tiamat responds.
"I will keep that in mind." Dante returns.
Bael turns around and prepares another assault on the group, this time charging Virgil. Virgil flies above the demon but as he rises slashes using his dual swords, the damage is minimal but still does its damage. Tiamat fires missiles of razor sharp bone at Bael who takes the hits to the back, most of the spikes however are disintegrated by the flames before reaching Bael.
"HAHA pathetic creatures, your little attacks can barely scratch me, you will all die." Bael scoffs.
Dante readies his Crimson flame around both of his arms, the flames flowing down his arms to the palms of his hands. Dante's eyes begin to glow a blood red as he readies his onslaught. Dante flies head first at Bael, both arms stretched out front making fists, the Crimson Flame still around his fists. Dante and Bael collide and there is a massive explosion, Dante is sent flying back as Bael is merely temporarily stunned. Bael continues his charge at Dante, hitting him as Dante is still mid air from the collision. Dante hits the floor hard as Bael tramples his motionless body on the ground. Virgil, trying to help his comrade is on Bael's back slashing at him, doing some damage, but Bael ignores the attack and focuses on Dante. Tiamat continues firing missiles as he runs up with a spine whip in hand slashing at the legs of Bael hoping to knock him off his assault. The attempts are futile as Bael ignores the interference, laughing and seemingly killing Dante. Bael backs off to observe the damage he so beautifully created. Dante's motionless figure lays in front of the behemoth.
"Dante!" Virgil yells.
"You will pay creature, I will watch you die!" Virgil yells now going into a berserk rage. His body erupts with spikes and his eyes seemingly erupt in flames. Virgil dashes at Bael, both swords in hand and unleashes a fury never seen from him, Bael is caught of guard. The slashes make no marks, but the blood flows from Bael's eyes as the internal damage is done. As Virgil continues his assault, Dante is not as motionless as first thought. Back on his feet Dante is surrounded by Darkness Flame and with black wings and horns erupting from his skull, Dante is now in his Over Soul form. Dante, wielding his scythe, joins Virgil in his assault and slashes the beasts throat with the scythe, the molten demonic blood spilling to the ground. Tiamat is not just watching but firing a flurry of bone spikes into the wound, causing even more agony and damage to the Demon. Bael falls to the ground, Virgil back in his right state of mind notices Dante still alive, and in fact stronger then he was before.
"I... I thought you were gone," Virgil says almost in disbelief.
"I have this thing against dying, you see it just doesn't appeal to me as some may think." Dante replies with a grin.
"You fool, how could you let a beast like this take advantage of you like that?" Virgil yells now remembering the battle.
"Ha, well you may just say my strategies are a bit unorthodox," Dante says laughing.
Bael's corpse begins to shake and bulge, finally the disfigured demon explodes and from its corpse a figure attacks the group. The figure is the shape of a human, but dressed in a completely white hooded coat, white pants, white boots, as well as completely white hair. The figure begins throwing energy like blades at the group, who instinctively avoid the assault. The figure lands, and from his body radiates a light, almost falsified in presence. The figure forms from his back a pair of which wings, angelic in nature, and flies towards the group wielding dual energy swords. He aims at Dante who, still in his Over Soul form, flies directly at this new adversary immersed in his Darkness Flame Aura. They collide head on and the dual auras collide almost in celestial fashion as Darkness and Light battle at each other. Dante, using his broad sword, attacks with powerful sweeps and blows while the cloaked figure, using the dual swords he formed earlier, attacks with quicker more precised swings. It seems the two are evenly matched, until Dante, after forcing the new attacker to block a powerful downward thrust, places his palm in front of him and from it a Crimson Flame burst flies forth catching the enemy in the face.
"Who are you, you obviously are not of this plain," cries out Dante to the recovering being.
"My name, is Weiss," he says with a mocking bow. "Now my turn for questions, why are you this far into the Death Dimension, what are you searching for?"
"What business is it to you? Are you another pawn of Draethius?" Dante replies now with a blood lusting smirk.
"Ha, that fool has no power over me. Well if you are against the Demon Lord then I guess I will lend you my aid. This is not a choice for you to make." Weiss says with a now relaxed smile.
In shock Dante reluctantly agrees knowing he wont swayed the new comer.
They continue, following the new found ally Weiss.
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
The Seventh Layer
The group finds themselves following the new found ally Weiss into the seventh layer. All around them are lakes of boiling blood and creatures burning in them. As they walk one of the creatures tries to escape from the lake and as quickly as it exits the pool is shot down back into the lake by an arrow from what seemed to be thin air. The group now shocked, all except one, Weiss, who begins to run in the direction of the arrow, the rest of the group follows suit.
When Weiss finally stops his charge they find themselves about ten yards away from a group of six Centaurs, upper torso and head of a Human and the Lower torso and legs of a horse like creature, and all equipped with bows and arrows.
"We are the guards of this land and the Commanders of Chiron himself, the Lord of the Seventh Layer. You will soon be joining our esteemed guests in their fiery torment." one of the Centaurs says mockingly with a smirk.
"We will see who is the one who is left standing after we are done." Weiss replies as he charges into the group.
As soon as Weiss finishes his sentence he had already formed his Sword and a Shield that and charged into the group of Centaurs, blocking the incoming arrows with his shield and slicing through the first centaur with ease, and on his return swing decapitates another. As soon as the first two fall the rest split up, however, this doesn't stop Dante who, wielding his scythe, cuts through his first target and with an extension of his palm shoots out a Crimson Flame burst to engulf another. Virgil also destroys his first target with ease and speed, the Centaur didn't even have the time to react to the attack before he spat blood from every orifice. Tiamat also takes out his enemy from afar with his bone spikes, deflecting arrows and then striking his target with deadly accuracy in the skull.
"Show yourself Chiron, your Commanders are all dead, come out and fight us coward!" Dante yells trying to bring out the infamous Chiron, and then, as if the taunt worked, the boiling lake erupts and Chiron gallops out from the blistering lake.
"I have come, now, you shall all feel the wrath of Chiron!" Chiron yells in a booming voice.
Chiron, standing taller then the other Centaurs that litter the floor, bulls out a huge bow that has sword blades on both ends and a spike on the center where the arrows fly out from. Also along his back is a large pole-arm with a large curved sword at the tip. Dante then notices that hovering above the boiling lake is Uriel, tied in a fabric not known to the Mystical realm, and as the seconds go on he inches closer to the pool.
"That is your friend is it not, in exactly six minutes and forty-five seconds he will be consumed by the burning lake and will forever belong to my realm, you have that much time to free him." Chiron says with a chuckle. "And the only way to get him down, is by using my blood to weaken the fabric, good luck." Chiron now laughs hysterically.
As soon as he finishes his words, Dante is upon him, wings out and in full Over Soul form. Dante, using his broad sword, unleashes a fury of attacks at Chiron who repels them with his bow's bladed edges. Dante jumps back to avoid a retaliation strike from Chiron, and shoots out a Crimson Flame blast and as soon as it connects Virgil is on Chiron throwing furious blows in quick succession, making their mark but seemingly Chiron is unaffected. Tiamat launches Bone Spikes at Chiron who, seemingly faster then the eye can perceive, deflects them all with arrows. Weiss surprisingly doesn't do anything, yet.
Chiron marks his target, Tiamat, and unleashes what seems to be a wave of arrows, easily in the hundreds. Valiantly Tiamat deflects the majority of them, however, he is struck many times in the torso and arms. Tiamat falls, and is motionless. Virgil is swiped by the bows edged blade and is knocked back, Dante, however, sees an opening and blasts Chiron with a Crimson Flame and manages to injure the massive Centaur. Weiss now gains his ominous white aura, but something about it seems more... sinister, and gains his energy created wings. Weiss flies over the group and above Chiron who gains a look of sheer horror, as if recalling a lost memory.
"You! You shouldn't be here!" Chiron yells at Weiss, this sudden look of terror suprises Dante who looks on in shock, awaiting the next move.
"I dont know what you are referring to creature but you will pay for trying to stop our righteous cause, prepare yourself for eternal darkness in the realm you so calmly lay claim to, and so your pride will be your downfall." Weiss says in a sinister yet omniscient tone. Then suddenly Weiss launches down at Chiron, and in an instant there are pieces of the once powerful leader scattered throughout the land. Dante rushes to a piece and using it weakens the binds around the unconscious Uriel and frees him.
"How did you manage to slay him in a single blow?" Dante demands.
"I am not sure myself, I guess it may have been simply luck." Weiss says, almost in mocking tone.
"I don't know who you are, or what your goals are, but I must thank you." Dante admits, then suddenly realizing Tiamat is still motionless rushes over to him.
"Your friend is dead, the arrows were tipped with poison, there is no way for him to continue on." Weiss says.
"No he must live, he has vengeance to uphold!" Dante yells tears caressing his face as he realizes what Weiss says is the truth.
Virgil plants a hand on Dante's shoulder, "He knew the risks well, lets not let his death be in vain, we must avenge him, and Mesphisto." Virgil says.
"And I know of a way into the fortress of Draethius, I will take you to the gate of the eight layer." Weiss says as he turns and heads along the path, the huge gate noticeable in the distance.
When they arrive at the gate Weiss walks up and places a hand on the gate. Suddenly the gate swings open with force and Weiss walks ahead. There are two roads, and Weiss stands along one road heading east. "These two road are where we must go out separate ways. Go along the west road it will take you to Draethius's castle, once there you will find a gargoyle. Speak these words to it to make it crumble revealing a passage way into the castle. You wont be noticed by any guards if you do this right. The words are 'Seighart - The Propagation' ... go on, the eight layer will cause you no trouble as long as you cause it no trouble in return."
"Where are you going? Why not come along with us? And why wont the eight layer cause us any trouble, it seems every layer has been progressively harder and harder the deeper we get into this damned place." Dante asks
"I have my own mission to account for, and as for the eighth layer, its lord, The Prince of Demons, is currently missing and the demons will not attack unless provoked. As long as you make no attempts to fight them then they wont touch you, I give you my word." Weiss says and is gone in a flash of white light.
"I guess this is what we must do then, maybe we will meet him again." Dante says to Virgil, who is carrying the still unconscious Uriel.
"As long as he is on our side when we do, I wouldn't want to meet him head on." Virgil replies.
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.
THE FINAL CHAPTER
Dante, still carrying the unconscious Uriel, enters what the group assumes to be the 8th layer. Upon entering the layer they notice they are being watched very closely all around them, but as Weiss claimed no demons made any move to hinder their progress. The group makes it to a sheer cliff that seems to descend down to the next layer.
Dante: "Great we can just fly down to the next area right?"
Virgil: "Sadly it is not that easy, do you see the dark clouds in the distance?"
Dante: "Can't we just avoid them if they are dangerous? I mean they are pretty obvious."
Virgil: "You just dont get it, the clouds emit a dark energy in the whole layer, have you not noticed that your body feels weaker just as we stand here? This layer is aimed at stopping anyone who may want to venture into the Draethius's layer."
Dante: "So then there is no way down? We can't simply stop here."
Virgil: "I know, I know we must find away around, there should be some kind of service entrance for the demon's minions. A tunnel of some sorts perhaps?"
The two continue on with Uriel in arms, and Tiamat closely behind. The group comes face to face with a legion of demons, all of which have a bird like appearance and walk on two legs akin to those of a hawk whom all start to laugh and haggle at the adventurers.
Demon 1: "Look at the helpless group of twits."
Demon 2: "Do you even know where you are? If the demon lord were here we'd have your bones for breakfast and blood as wine. HAHAHAHAHA"
Demon 1: "Im surprised you made it this far, so this is the team that cause such chaos in the previous layers? Even made it past Dis did ya?"
Demon 2: "They dont look so strong to me."
Demon 3: "well you are quite the buffoon are ya not HAHAHAHAHA"
Demon 2: "Shut your beak or ill shut it for you!"
Demon 1: "HAHAHAHA you both are morons.
Dante: "Sheesh you really are annoying, if you have no bussiness with us than make your leave or ill make it for you!"
The group of demons suddenly sober up and glare at Dante with red peircing eyes.
Demon 1: "Please do, give us a reason to kill you all... even your weakened little comrade."
Virgil: "Dante... remember what Weiss said. Just ignore them and keep looking."
Dante: "Fuck Weiss how about I kill the lot of them and make it easier on us."
The demons almost jump back in shock at something the pair said.
Demon 3: "Who did you say you talked too?"
Demon 2: "It couldn't be Him ... could it?"
Demon 3: "He would never help out such low lives."
Dante: "Do you three know Weiss by any chance? Ya know, white hair ... actually kind of white everything come to think about it."
The demons observe the group and huddle up. The talk in hushed tones until on turns around and spits "we will show you the way, follow us."
Dante and Virgil, shocked at the news look to each other, Tiamat remains composed.
The demons show the group to what seems to be a jutting rock from the cliff.
Demon 1: "Stand on this, it holds enough room. It will get you where you are trying to go."
Demon 2: "Id suggest leaving the dead one behind."
Demon's together: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"
Dante: "He isn't dead, he is just weakened... he will be fine."
Demon 1: "I wasn't talking about the unconscious one there. I was implying the quite one, he is marked for death. HAHAHAHAHA"
Dante: "What exactly are you talking about, what do you mean marked for death?"
Demon 2: "All will be clear in time HAHAHAHAHA."
The demon then slams his feathered hand onto a rock in close proximity, the quake of energy makes the jutting edge break causing them to fall down and land in a make-shift tunnel structure. As they continue down the tunnel a light shines in the distance, making out what seems to be wording written in blood on the walls.
"This is the bridge between darkness and light." are able to be made out.
Dante: "Some form of riddle maybe?"
Virgil: "Possibly, or a warning."
Tiamat: "we should continue."
As they walk on more of the message is made clear
"It contains the energy of both's might."
Dante: "Ok so what ... a bridge between Darkness and light? Yet this new information states that what ever this thing is, contains the energy of both light and darkness."
Tiamat: "What contains the essence of light and darkness?"
Virgil: "Perhaps more will be revealed, let us move on."
As Virgil predicted, more of the text appears, but this time on the floor written in the same blood, or so they assume is the same blood.
"To experience greatness beyond this bliss."
Dante: "Greatness? Think maybe it means Draethius's fortress? But what could this 'bliss' refer to? Well we know there has to be more somewhere, the statement is left open ended after all."
The light now revealed as a flaming wall of black fire between the group and the other side of the tunnel, preventing the party to make it to the other side unscathed. Dante shakes his head in frustration, "What the Hell do we do now? Did those Demons trick us after all this is a joke. The fire is black, how is it even giving off light? I hate this place nothing makes sense!" As he continues his rant he kicks something on the floor that slides over to Tiamat. It is a tablet with the final part of the saying written in blood.
Tiamat: "You must lay your sanity with the Abyss."
Tiamat: "I am not sure what to make of this. Lay our sanity with the abyss?"
Virgil: "It is a clue, this wall seems as if it is dangerous, but the clue is that if we trust in our ablity, our 'light' if you will, to continue unscathed than no 'Darkness' can get in our way to experience the 'greater bliss' on the other side."
Dante: "So if I think it wont hurt me than I will be fine? Who would leave such a trap that is effectively harmless?"
Dante calmly walks through to the other side, exiting the conflagration unscathed, followed by Virgil carrying Uriel. Tiamat hesitates to continue on, and only after pushing out his chest in blatant defiance of the obstacle ahead of him does he continue. However, upon contact with the wall Tiamat erupts into flames, and is physically thrown from the fire back to where he was standing before. Now hunched over holding his sides.
Unknown: "So, I see you doubted yourself there, you have just opened the perfect opportunity for me to strike."
The shadow on the tunnel wall begins to move, a dark figure steps out from the shadows. "My name is Tim Drei, and I will be your Judge, Jury, and Executioner."
Dante: "What the hell do you want with us?"
Tim: "Your life to start; however Dante, you need to stay alive, but this poor fellow here, who now is so utterly weak from this trap, his life is forfeit."
As Tim finish his statement Tiamat is rising to his knees, Tim slowly walks up to the back of Tiamat and points his rune encrusted pistol to Tiamat's head. "Remember this Dante, you still have enemies on the outside, and your allies, well lets just say they aren't as much on your side as you may think. I will bring you an offer in the near future, until now let this be a warning on those who don't take me up on my offers." At point blank range Tim pulls the trigger and shoots Tiamat in the back of the skull, killing him instantly. Than as soon as he appeared, he vanishes into the shadows.
Virgil: "NOOOO TIAMAT!!!"
Dante: "I will kill you!!! You bastard do you hear me!!!!"
At that moment the tunnel begins to shake and rubble from the roof begins to fall.
Virgil: "We need to grab him, he deserves a warrior's burial."
Dante nods and runs back through the fire and picks up Tiamat, carrying him on his back he runs through the fire again, being scorched by the intense flames that pushed Tiamat back previously. Dante, scarred and burned exits the other side and along side Virgil, runs for the exit.
The two make it out, each carrying a comrade on their backs. Dante places Tiamat down gently and closes his eyes. Virgil throws together a make-shift pyre and they burn the corpse of their ally, supporter, friend and say their farewells. The night has set upon them and they can make out what seems to be a castle surrounded by what looks like water. The two head towards their next destination; Draethius's Castle.
The to men are sprinting towards the castle, still far in the distance, yet as they run there is movement. Uriel is waking up!
Uriel: "Wh-where am I?"
Virgil(now stopped): "We are in the 9th layer my friend, we are almost there."
Uriel: "And the others? Where is Tiamat?"
Dante(looking at the ground): "He was murdered, by a man named Tim Drei."
Uriel: "So he has shown himself. Than now must be the time."
Dante: "Wait what? You know this guy?"
Virgil: "You better start talking Uriel, what do you know, he killed Tiamat!"
Uriel: "You don't get it do you? What we are doing means so much more than your pathetic revenge schemes Dante. You think id head up a rebellion for that reason? You are so naive. Virgil, you are getting old my friend, do you not know my by now?"
Dante: "Uriel... tell me what you are talking about. Are you saying that things are no longer what they were when we started?"
Uriel: "Fool! Things were never the way you thought they were in the first place! Tim and myself work for a much bigger cause than you'll ever know. And we have been watching you, helping you, pushing you to your limit. We are more of allies than you will ever let yourself realize."
Dante takes out his scythe: "If you are with Tim, than you are no longer a partner of mine, leave now or I will lay out your corpse for the carrion."
Uriel: "Idle threats by a still inexperience warrior. Ill be in quite a bit of trouble if i slay you, no no no, but a little discipline will be acceptable."
Uriel extends his wings, and rips off his eye patch to reveal a simple blue orb. Uriel than pulls out a broadsword, and dashes straight toward Dante. Dante pulls out his broadsword and blocks the incoming attack, yet is pushed back a good twenty yards. Virgil pulls out his duel blades and his wings extend as well. Virgil and Dante both now with wings fully extended flank Uriel on both sides. They close in on both sides, yet Uriel remains calm. As soon as both arrive at their mark, Uriel is gone in a flash causing both men to barely clip each other in the process. Uriel than reappears behind Dante and slashes with incredible speed, leaving deep wounds in his back. Uriel's eye flashes with a blue glow and sends a beam into the wounds, igniting his flesh from the inside out. Dante's fried body falls to the icy floor below. Virgil not wasting time, changes into a vampire-esce form and with his new found speed manages to score a few hits with his duel blades, causing internal wounds of their own.
Uriel: "Ah so it is now between you and me old friend. You I am allowed to kill, don't make me do that, I still see you as a friend."
Virgil: "The friend I knew so long ago died, and is replaced by this uncaring, dishonorable, disgusting excuse of a man."
Uriel: "Than it is what it is."
Uriel ports behind Virgil and swings; however, Virgil anticipates the move and quickly throws one hand behind him and clashes blades with the former friend. Uriel's eye pulses with energy as it unleashes a torrent of blue flames upon Virgil. Virgil is critically injured by the flames, and is staggered by the attack. Uriel arcs his blade downward and connects with one of Virgil's wings sending him spiraling to the icy floor below. Uriel gives chase and using his foot kicks Virgil on their decent slamming him with even more force into the ground causing shards of ice fly through the air. Uriel stands over Virgil and points his Sword at Virgil's throat, "Good bye... old friend."
Virgil: "Uriel... re-remember... w-what we are f-fighting for."
Uriel steps back, conflicted with some form of internal force, grabbing his head and yelling in obvious pain, "Virgil!!! Kill me now! I have been corrupted by the demon lord, he has taken my mind ARGH do it now!!!!"
Virgil rises with great strife and thrusts his blades forward into Uriel, "My friend... I will see you soon." than both men collapse.
Dante at this very moment makes his way over to Virgil.
Dante: "Virgil, you will be ok, we did it."
Virgil: "Dante... I-I need to tell you something... I am ..."
Before Virgil is able to finish his sentence, there is a loud booming sound and Virgil is struck and sent back. In the distance is Tim Drei with gun extended towards Virgil, barrel still smoking. His appearance now clear, he has short cut hair, and wears a suit wielding two pistols.
Dante explodes with anger and Darkness Flame engulfs his entire body as it forms into his hybrid Vampyric-Shinigami form and within a blink of an eye Dante appears behind Tim. Tim before even realizing what hit him, is struck by Dante, who with one hand stabs it into Tim's back and rips out his heart. Holding the heart in his hands, Dante spits "You will now feel the heartache that you have put me through, I will see you die in your literal heart pain... no perish!" Dante crushes the heart and with a blast of Crimson Flames disintegrates Tim.
Dante rushes back to a downed, gasping for air, choking on blood, Virgil.
Dante: "Virgil, stay with me, you will be fine."
Virgil: "D-don't lie to me... I k-know a fatal wound when I, I see it. I n-need to tell you s-something. Take my blades, use them, they are m-my gift ... to ... my ... son" and with his last dying breath Virgil gives Dante a quick smirk and fades away.
Dante: "No!! Don't go!"
Dante, unable to control his overwhelming sadness begins to pour tears of misery and pain. Yelling out Dante explodes again with emotion and ends up in his pure Vampire form, kneels down and picks up the duel blades, Heaven and Hell. Eyes now blaring with Crimson Energy he dashes towards the Citadel controlled by the Demon Lord. He ends up to the 'water' he noticed before, which is really a sea of demons and damned warriors. Dante wastes no time to think about the sheer numbers of enemies and hack and slashes his way through, creating a path straight to the Citadel. With a single blast of Crimson flame he brings the door down and runs inside. Surprisingly no demons follow, and Dante reverts to his normal form. He rushes, running down the barren halls looking for the mark of his quest. Soon enough he hears voices, one distinctively Draethius and the other also very familiar. Dante makes his way to the door form where the voices are emanating. Cracking the door open Dante is struck in shock, Draethius is definitely inside; however, his guest is none other than Sirberius ... his former friend and rival.
Draethius: "Show your loyalty, we have an uninvited guest who has been a thorn in my side for sometime now, take care of him and you will have proven yourself."
Sirberius: "As you wish."
Sirberius turns to the door and kicks it in and with immense strength grabs Dante and smashes him through a wall sending him to the outside of the citadel. Sirberius once again smashes into Dante throwing punches and kicks that connect each and every time.
Dante: "What the Hell are you doing! I threw you back to our own realm, what is going on!"
Sirberius: "You were a fool!"
Sirberius pulls out his duel swords, Dante does the same with his newly acquired blades form his father. They clash again but this time Dante is ready for the blows, and able to predict Sirberius's speed and power is able to block every attack thrown at him.
Sirberius looks Dante in the eye and winks and flashes a grin. Dante now realizes that this is a ruse and knows what he has to do. They continue the fight, fighting as they used to when dueling. The exchange blows and seem equally matched until Sirberius spins around and with a quick strike to the side of Dante, sends him to the ground below. Sirberius Dashes towards Dante, and raises his swords.
Sirberius: "Dante, I need you to do me a favor."
Dante: "Anything, but this will make us even for the whole possession thing."
Sirberius stabs Dante in the stomach with his blades and retracts them, returning to Draethius's side. What wasn't seen was Sirberius dropping a stone, a glowing blue stone that, when no one was around, ported Dante back to the Castle in the Sky.
8th Layer Demons
One should not fear death, but instead fear life.