Disclaimer: I do not own High School DxD nor do I own Devil May Cry. When life finds a way to fuck you over and you have no fallback plan, the solution is not to complain in a fanfiction disclaimer. Yet, I'm still doing that. Life tends to suck.
A/N: Son of Sparda DxD apparently has a TV Tropes page. I am bemused, shocked, aroused, and crying like a bitch all at once in varying increments.
With that out of the way, let's get to the end of Mission 4. Finally, holy shit.
Mission 4: PART 5
"Start talking, Azazel."
The Governor sighed across the table from where Dante sat. This was a moment he had not been looking forward to; one, for the amount of effort in trying to make it sound unbiased and two, for making him remember events he would rather forget. The Great War had taken its toll on all sides and no matter what they may say, loss was still a hurtful subject. He should know. Brother, sisters, and friends he had once laughed, cried, and be happy with were no longer with him. Whether they perished by each other's hands, by the devils' hands, or by his own hands, mattered little now. No matter how much he drowned himself in Lust, the very reason why he Fell in the first place, the ache remained afterwards.
"…Once upon a time, there was a place where nothing existed but primordial chaos. And above it, one person watched. His curiosity grew when from that smoldering boulder of fire, the first breath of life came forth. Wanting to see more of it, He reached out and gave that small, insignificant matter a push. It was not a gift… but it was something. Hundreds… thousands… millions of years pass, and life from the ocean sprung forth. Father had not created life itself. He had only given it a tiny motivation and so, the primordial chaos became no more."
"Yeah. Nice history lesson. Kokabiel."
"I'm getting there. Just as life sprung forth on its own accord, we Angels were created as well. Helel was the first. Then Michael. Then Gabriel. Raphael. Uriel. Me. And then the others who had fallen with us when Helel revolted…"
"You're stalling. Damnit, if you're not going to tell me," Dante got up to leave—
"The story began when the Tower of Babel fell. During the Great War."
Azazel looked down. It did not look like a tale he was proud of. Slowly, he sat back down.
"It was me and Kokabiel fighting against Raphael and Uriel, in the early years of the Great War. He was not always calm, morose, and sorrowful. Kokabiel enjoyed killing and fighting, perhaps far more than what was permissible. Perhaps worse than I was back then. Never did he care for glory. Never did he stop for a lover. I'm not sure he even cared about intimacy. When I had been cornered by Raphael and Uriel within that cursed spire, Kokabiel had been eager to rush to my aid, no doubt wishing to draw blood from his former brothers. Raphael and I had our own feud, leaving him and Uriel to contend against each other. Our battles split the ground we stood on and made the Tower of Babel crumble from their discord. It fell in the battle, and while Uriel had escaped before it collapsed on him, Kokabiel didn't."
"When he rose up from the rubble, he was still the same Kokabiel I knew." Azazel looked up at the ceiling, recalling the memories of long past. "Then the bloodlust, the urge to spill blood, his Wrath-filled fanaticism towards fallen angel supremacy… they vanished gradually as the War progressed. The final straw was when God our Father died, he became Sorrow. The next time we would come to meet, decades later, he was an entirely different person. I did not recognize him until he called out my name."
"Looking back, it had been a subtle change over the centuries. I had not noticed it until he made mention that he was getting married. As I said, love was not a notion he would ever partake in, nor was kindness. That was when I knew that something was wrong. He was not the Kokabiel I knew."
The Governor closed his eyes.
"…But in the end, I did not do anything about it because of wishful thinking on my part. My own selfishness. Brutality was not something the modern world needed. The people of olden times were cruel because it was necessary for survival. Now is a time for peace. For diplomacy. For the sake of a better future. That was why I lied to myself that day six decades ago; Kokabiel, Angel of the Stars, the Bloodletter, had changed for the better. I even went as far as to believe it. But in reality, something had happened to my brother."
Dante felt that he knew what was going on now. "And this new person that Kokabiel became. Do you know who he is?"
"That's the thing." Azazel frowned. "He is without a doubt Kokabiel."
Confusion was predominant on the Fallen Angel Governor.
"But I don't know who he is."
Vergil stood in a meditative pose, his presence shrouded and becoming one with the surrounding of chaos and ineptitude. This entire ordeal had been a farce to begin with. A reignition of another Great War? He wanted to laugh at the enactment as a whole and found it unworthy of even laughter. Fallen angels staging a joke of a coup? There could have been a better course of action, like directly assassinating the Gremory and Sitri heiress without warning. That was why he believed there was an ulterior motive behind the "reignition".
Then the Demons made their appearance. Mundus's sigil made itself known. Higher demons such as Aconite and Terios led the invasion, though they had been swiftly disposed of. The demon invasion and the invasion on Kuoh were two separate matters with very little connection aside from the main perpetrator of the latter being a demon himself.
Oh, he knew. Dante had laid bare his own suspicions to him. The resulting implosions of demonic power afterwards in the distance only served as confirmation. He scarcely knew about the tales of the two brothers who were apprentices of Sparda, having never bothered researching about them. What did strike his curiosity was how Modeus managed to come to this world. Eleven years in this world, and he had not even been aware.
Such disgrace. It appeared he had more reasons to better himself.
Then he felt it. The last of the demons were vanquished. Kokabiel and the dog were the only demons left.
"So. It is done." He reached up to undo the wraps on his hea—
"What is done?"
He paused. Vergil opened his eyes slowly, deliberately, to see who managed to walk up to him without his notice. A black haired woman covered in bandages. No one special, nor anyone he was familiar with. But she was not hostile, so that was a tentative plus. Who was this person? She was certainly not a normal person, since he would have sensed her before she even approached him.
"This area is off limits. I suggest you return home and forget about tonight."
"I can see that," she replied without hesitation. "It's hard not to when there's shooting stars everywhere and priests walking around like the Rapture is upon us. But there's someone I need to find. He's… important."
He did not reply, staying silent instead. The woman slowly became agitated when he did not say anything. "Look. I'm just looking for an asshole that I just know will do something stupid, and my other friend-" she appeared to gag when she said 'friend', "-who decided to up and ditch me after my place got wrecked beyond repair. Have you seen a guy in red coat, about your height, with white hair? Or some tanned tramp with hair like a horse's mane?"
He did not know the latter but the former's description, he recognized immediately. Dante. She knew him. How reckless of his foolish little brother to open himself up to a resident of this reality without any thought of the consequences. Or perhaps he was aware of them and went about with it anyway. Both were equally viable.
…But then again, he was guilty of that as well. He would be a hypocrite for calling him out for that.
Vergil pointed in the direction of the school.
"Thank you," she calmed down and rushed in the direction he gave her.
The Dark Slayer watched the woman until her back disappeared from his sight. That was… an interesting encounter, he mused. He followed her path, curious of her intentions. He may as well help the devils against that three-headed ice guardian of Temen-ni-gru while he was there. The deserters could wait.
If there was ever such a thing as a blood shower, then Dante and Modeus had proven that such a thing could exist under certain circumstance.
It was utter pandemonium. Limbs flew everywhere. Steel rang clear, vibrating disastrously through the air. Light weapons punctured through and thorough, slashing and ramming about. Bone particles flew. Lead flew faster. Dante was bathing in more blood than he could remember. It was not a pleasant sensation when he thought about how long he would have to shower to get the scent off, but otherwise, he did not mind it much. Sanitation was not much of a priority for demons, anyway.
Some escaped. The others continued to mindlessly charge towards their deaths.
Soon enough, they were all dead. Dante and Modeus collapsed opposite of each other. Both had confronted the demons on low fumes, and both were on the brink of severe exhaustion and hemorrhaging. Still, there was still so much left they had to do.
"…I had failed to keep an oath to allow myself no close contact with any denizens of the world I was spirited away to. I failed when I learned how much I had come to cherish a native of this world," Modeus murmured, slowly standing up from prone and moving away from the fresh corpses of demons sprawled across the grounds, slain by his own light, his own sword, his own hands.
Dante turned his body over to a supine position and lifted himself up as slowly. Even as his body protested, he listened to what Modeus had to say. "My wife, Adriel… she had always been a beacon of conflict when I first met her. My resolve would waver when I see her. And when I saw Raynare with her, the day she was born, it vanished completely. So when she passed on, I did what I could to hold steadfast to a promise she made me keep no matter what…" he stared at his hands, clasping them into fists. "…and because of that, I abandoned everything."
He scoffed, a familiar scorn now directed at only himself.
"I am no father. I do not deserve such a title. What father would go as far as to attempt murder on his own blood?"
"…When Raynare spoke of you, she said that she hated you."
"I am not surprised," the Cadre whispered. "Decades of neglect, decades of isolation tend to do that to people."
"But," the Son of Sparda continued as if uninterrupted, "I felt something from her when she laid crying on that bed. She wanted you to be there for her. It could have been something else, but I know it too well to believe it's otherwise."
After all, he had felt it himself when he was young too. Damn it. Sympathy or empathy, whatever it was, he simply could not ignore that pain. He just could not. He would not allow it at all.
Dante stared straight at Modeus. "Then you did what you had to, to protect her from what you were going to do." He spied a final demon trying to ambush them and made quick work of it, firing BSAD pointblank in its face behind himself. He got up, seemingly casual about the large amount of blood leaking on his skewered body. His expression betrayed nothing, but the only thing that made it evident that he was fatigued was his heavy breathing. "What a way it was. Never heard of something like beating her senseless to the point of near death. Broken bones, some punctured organs, swollen parts that should not be swollen, you're a real piece of work."
Modeus stared at him emotionlessly. It was a far cry from the memory Dante had of Sparda's successor.
"You'd think after five decades or so, she got over the whole thing. Or exploded. Or something. Nope. She's still quite a powder keg of daddy issues. It should have exploded after your beating but instead, the thing got wet on the inside from all the tears poured into it."
"It is unneeded."
Modeus stated promptly, cruelly trampling on the sentiment.
"I am a bastard, choosing to pursue a goal over being with my daughter when all it did was give me more pain. I want to die, Dante. But I will not accept a meaningless death. I know what my crimes are. I know about the grudges and resentments that have been born since the Great War's end. I know about the sins that have accrued since its advent. All of them… I'm taking them with me. With my death, I will become the monster that is to be feared, the reminder of what will happen if the three factions stay divided any further. I will drive the three factions together."
His red eye glowed, trailing wisps of scarlet as he tread forth.
"And if I must become a demon once more… so be it."
"…So. You still kept going forward." He groaned out. "No matter how damn stupid it was, you kept your promise to her." Modeus briefly widened his eyes in surprise. "Azazel had been liberal about you, you massive prick. Your wife, your daughter, your changes from the guy who was once Kokabiel. For the love of… tch," Dante clicked his tongue and scowled.
"You haven't changed one single bit, Modeus."
"Yes…" The former Cadre nodded in acknowledgment. "Yes. That is right. I am Modeus, the chosen successor of Sparda. But at the same time, I am Kokabiel, the Lord of the Stars. The two are one and the same, and have been since the Fall of Babel."
"One thing off the bucket list," Dante murmured, placing a reminder to talk to Azazel afterwards.
Modeus remained silent. "I made a promise with her. I left them behind. I left her behind, so I must not waver. I must never lose sight of my goal, lest everything I have achieved for it is forever lost. I must…"
He summoned his personal sword back into his hands. "…because it is too late now. I've gone too far to be given the courtesy to repent, to apologize. So the only way left is forward…"
It rose to point at Dante.
"And you are in my way."
Dante fixed his grip on the Fused Excalibur. "I made a promise too, and I don't intend to have the curtains close for me yet."
Breathing heavily, Modeus poised his Rebellion-like sword towards his heart. Slowly, he transformed into his Devil Trigger. Dante followed suit and pulled the fracturing Fused Excalibur out of the ground to prepare his own sword stance, releasing a heavy sigh and going into his false Trigger form.
"This is why I hate dealing with old geezers. Always inflexible and stubborn, making the young ones do all the damn work."
"Back at you, Dante." Modeus closed his eyes, as though reminiscing. "…If it still means anything to you, I forgive you for killing Baul."
"You only did what you thought was right." Dante left it at that. The past was the past.
It was obvious now that neither of them were going to give in.
"I will keep my promise…"
"…And I will keep mine." The former Cadre followed up.
The air around them exploded as they charged at each other, swords dripping with deadly intention that would pull in any who dared to interrupt. But that would not happen. It will not. The blades of both ends were meant only for the other, and that was that.
There will be blood, and nothing can stop it.
A piercing, horrified scream filled the air, but it did not stop the finishing blow. It was too late.
The sound of rending flesh resounded, and blood splatters flew.
"Why are you so weak?"
He held the little girl in his arm and whispered helplessly. The question had been directed towards himself, and he was unable to answer even his own question. She stared at him with childish curiosity, not understanding the words.
"Dear, you shouldn't be asking your own daughter a question like that," a voice melodious to his ears called out to him.
Behind him, a beautiful woman, dressed in clothes befitting a wife with flowing raven hair tied into a side plait and sparkling amethyst eyes, smiled at her lover.
"Think of what will happen if she remembers those words years later."
He placed the girl down, who quickly ran to her mother and hugged her like the little bundle of joy she was. The woman tilted her head at him in solemn joy as she accepted her daughter with open arms. "I know that you are many millenniums old, experienced much more to the immortal life than I could ever have, and know many things that can still be taught to humankind," she took a breath and calmly stated, "but I can't help but call you stupid."
He opened his mouth, but closed it when second thoughts came to him and whispered putrid mire. He could not tell her what was coming. He had been approached by a dark emissary. He recognized the sigil scarified on his uninvited guest's back hand. He felt the level of power it emitted when it came to him with a message, power he recognized came from a source beyond his knowledge. Not one of the Ouroboros Dragon, nor of the Dragon of Dreams…
He had slain it nonetheless, but if even the messenger had given him a hard time and forced him to Devil Trigger and fight back with his full power, then Mundus… Mundus had grown far more powerful than he could imagine. He feared that if Mundus could go up against Sparda in his prime, or had long since surpassed him…
"What's wrong, love?"
His wife's concern snapped him out of his panic attack. He had long since fallen down on his knees and had not noticed it until he looked up. He felt her hand brush against his cheek as she gazed into his eyes, and tenderly lifted his hand to hers, letting the contact calm him down.
"I… I don't know what to do, Adriel," he admitted forlornly. Pathetically. "My power isn't enough to stop what is to come. I… I cannot stay."
"What? What is coming? Why can't you stay?"
"I… my past has caught up to me." He replied without giving a reply. "A past that I had long discarded… it has returned. I cannot…"
He could not let her be involved. He could not let his daughter be involved. They had no part in this. They did not fight demons nor did they know the demons he knew. They were not ready.
She whispered his name and draped her arms around his shoulders. Under her, his daughter did the same and hugged his chest, mimicking her mother's action. He had once revealed his true name to her in an attempt to push her away from him, yet she persisted. Since then, she would only use it when they were alone together. He accepted the embrace and rested his head on her.
"I am aware of how little I know. I am aware that there is still so much I have yet to know about you. I am aware that no matter how open you have been to me, you will still keep your burdens to yourself. I cannot force you to share them because you are such a stubborn man. That's why I know that one day…"
Her embrace became tighter.
"You will leave me behind."
He felt his chest wrench at the blunt confession. His daughter looked up her mother and then looked at him in panic. She had begun tearing up quietly.
"So you must not be led astray." He pulled gently away to look at her, confused by her words. "That's all I ask. You've always fought even when the odds were stacked against you. You've never stopped for others. You've yet to fail yourself."
"…You made the gravest mistake of falling for me," he stated mournfully.
"It was never a mistake."
Modeus closed his eyes and basked in this moment with his family.
It had not dawned on him before but it did now. Once, he could care less about this world and was content with sitting back and watching it reach the end of its life when the War of the Three reached its conclusion. Now though… he could not stand to watch it die an undeserving death.
This was the reason.
The Demon World rejected him when Sparda rebelled against his kind.
The Human World of his distant past would never accept his kind.
Then after centuries of war in this New Life, when he had resigned himself to quiet imprisonment, he had finally found a place he could, without any hesitation, call his home.
He realized he had come to love this world.
His panic, his doubt, any misgivings he may have had ebbed away slowly, and resolve settled in their place. First, he needed allies. His remaining legion of 301. They had sworn their eternal loyalty to him and only him. They would help him. His brothers… no, he cannot possibly ask Azazel or Shemhazai. He cannot jeopardize the current state of affairs the Three Factions were under.
They must unite. How they would unite, he did not know. Yet.
He had to search for allies that were in the know. The sudden spikes of energy of the past centuries and millenniums recorded within the inner sanctums of Grigori and the Fifth Heaven… they were his only clues. They were his first steps.
He looked at his beloved, then to his daughter, who had looked worried at her dad's sudden change.
"You hear that, Raynare? I will protect this world. No matter what happens, I will give everything if it means you will find happiness. That is why... that is why..." he trembled slightly and smiled clumsily. His beloved beamed at his attempt. "Wait for me, Raynare. I'll make everything right."
The little Raynare saw her father smile, not knowing why he smiled like that but that was enough to make her joyful. So she laughed, as happily as any child could laugh. And it made the scene all the more beautiful…
There was silence. Rias, Sona, their peerages, and the devils' reinforcement – who came in time to sweep up the remaining Hellhounds that were lingering about – watched the crumbling school as the crimson lightning dissipated. Irina, Xenovia, and Bluehide stood attentively alongside the church defectors. Serafall had returned to the Underworld to quickly give words and news to the Devils' Council, and Katerea was nowhere to be seen, having left before anyone could confront her for her involvement.
Cerberus… had fled. The Templar had slashed the ice dimension into nonexistence and proceeded to make his way through the Ice Demon's icy exterior like it was papier-mâché. Of course, the shield was back before he could do more damage. They had combated each other on equal footing, with Bluehide being supported by the two Archdevils and the Behemoth, and Cerberus raining hails and blizzards at them in all conceivable directions and forms. It truly had been a glorious scene to behold for the devils' reinforcements when they arrived. But eventually, it had to come to a close, for the Ice Demon deemed it a better option to accept a loss and make its leave.
But the words it spoke as it made its retreat kept the devils in alert.
Do Not Worry. We Will See Each Other Again Very Soon.
Strangely, Bluehide did not give chase and was silent when accosted. Their words were quickly silenced when he told them,
"Hadn't I told you to run?"
The silence did not last long. Dante emerged from the now-destroyed school, a cracked Excalibur in hand that was slowly morphing back into its original form. Demonic energy that had once empowered it was slowly seeping out and soon it reverted back into its original shape, only lacking the golden sheen that once surrounded the glorious sword.
"Man… I do not get paid enough to bleed like this," he muttered disarmingly. Excalibur promptly shattered in his hand. Despite the sword's destruction, its cores still remained and thus, it could still be reassembled in the future. It was why Irina and Xenovia did not panic as much as they would have as they moved to secure the four floating cores of Excalibur under Bluehide's command. "This little powwow has been drawn out for far too long," Dante remarked as he watched the two collect the cores.
"No kidding? It felt like years, even though it's only been a week," Issei joked back. It felt great to just talk and not have to be frustrated or angry at anything. Just simple conversations that had no meaning behind them, only there to create revelry.
But still, tension was still there and it had to be cleared.
"Where is Kokabiel?" Rias asked.
She nodded and noted that there was someone missing. She had spotted her rushing to the top where Kokabiel and Dante had been. "And Raynare?"
She fell silent. Dante rolled his shoulders, feeling his joints pop at the action. "Well, if you'll excuse me, I need to go home, take a shower, and sleep this off like this was one wild, massive org-*COUGH*!?" He doubled over and coughed out blood. Asia immediately reacted and tripped onto the ground in her haste to heal him. He chuckled harshly as she slowly got back up and embarrassingly limped her way to him instead. "…You know what? I'm not gonna finish that. I totally forgot about little miss nun's healing ability."
Rias placed a hand on his shoulder, who winced. It was promptly retracted. "You once said that this became personal. May I ask why?"
"You're really going to do this? Right now? In front of everyone?" She stared at him for an answer. Dante clicked his tongue and took a deep breath in.
"…It all started with a little girl trying to stab her boss. Thankfully, the guy in question managed to stop her and give her a good scolding. I'd give it a fairy tale ending, but we can't all have that, can we?" He watched Asia's Twilight Healing make good work on his wounds. The fatigue remained, but he at least did not feel the pain of a thousand needles shanking its way all throughout his body. "Instead, the guy meets a bunch of demons, met an old acquaintance, slew a bunch more demons, and fought the little girl's father and totally won, by the way. And alas, there was no sleeping around to be had."
Rias shook her head in bemusement. "Why does it keep surprising me that you could keep up that attitude even now?"
"It's my defining trait, Rias. I'm nearly nothing without it." He paused. "Well, not nearly. I'm still a pretty stand-up guy without it if you compare me to him." She raised a brow and followed his eyes. Her curiosity became wariness when Dante had been directing his attention to the Templar, who was approaching them as they spoke. "There's still more to my tale but alas, it will have to wait. Company comes without us having time to take our hands off our crotch. As is usual."
"We meet again."
"Well, well, well. If it isn't Rey Mysterio."
Light from blue fire erupted, and the prompt clicking of an opened sword resounded. Bluehide walked towards Dante, murder apparent in his eyes. The bandages around his head seemed to unravel, and yet they remained steadfast on his face.
"Oh? You're approaching me?" Dante asked. "I'm half an inch away from collapsing into a fever dream, and you're coming right at me?"
Bluehide stopped before him. "I'm not sure what to feel. Annoyed that you're making a reference beyond me, or annoyed that you have not changed since we last met."
"Different strokes of annoyance has always been your schtick. Still the same as always."
Dante and Gilver stood (in the former's case, sitting) face to face towards each other. The bloodlust was palpable in the air. Red and blue clashed against each other. Everyone around was frozen, not knowing what to do except observe. A Templar and a Demon Hunter. There was a joke to be made, but no one was in the right mind to say it out loud or even think it.
The former's eyes became narrowed. "I ain't got a sword. Just my guns, my fists, and my dashing good looks. You still wanna go?"
"When has that ever stopped you?" Bluehide tilted his head.
They were going to kill each other.
That was the line of thought shared by the people around them.
…Then a ringtone chimed. To be more specific, it was the 1994 Nokia monophonic ringtone. To Dante's ever-rising surprise, Bluehide slowly pulled out an outdated phone model from an inner pocket and answered it.
He stayed quiet as the person over the phone started talking. "Aah." He nodded. "I see." He replied. "Hn." He made a sound of affirmation. The voice became really excited and animatedly said something.
The Templar made a frown that appeared through his bandage wraps.
"Is that so."
Why was he casting a wary eye towards Dante?
"Very well. I will see you soon." He ended the call.
Dante looked at him with equal parts suspicion and smugness, which basically meant that he had one of the biggest shit-eating smiles the world had ever known. Any signs of bloodlust or murderous intent between them had dissipated completely. That seemed to irritate Bluehide to no ends.
"We are done. Do not search for me. Do not look at me. Do not even think about me. If you even catch a glimpse of me, no one will remember you."
Why was he acting so guarded now? He had only been joking earlier when he called out his brother for having a girlfriend. This… this… he had no words. He was honestly lost for words. This was a first for him.
"Was that your girlfriend?" Dante guffawed. "Wait, are you… are you actually embarrassed?! Holy shit! Is this real life? Or is this some convoluted fever dream I'm stuck in? Even though you already-"
"You will speak no more, Dante. She is not my girlfriend," the Templar growled. "She is my benefactor, and I am paying back my debt to her is all."
"Yeah. We have a word for that. It starts with a 'g' and ends with a 'd'. Girlfriend! Or maybe she's your god now?"
"You are lucky that I cannot kill you now."
"You can't? Or you're not allowed to?"
A murderous expression that could only be attributed to a sibling being especially pissed off at their sibling passed through Bluehide's eyes, but it vanished before anyone could have a proper look.
"Only you can dash whatever semblance of stability I have over my life," Bluehide remarked and drew his sword. One slash down and another sideways, a rift appeared as if cut asunder to show a swirling iridescent void within. He gestured his head to Irina, Xenovia, and the rogue exorcists, who were silent when he created a portal with his sword. "Come."
They obeyed and followed the Templar into the rift in reality. Soon, it closed on its own, leaving Dante and the devils in the field.
"Yeah, no. I'm holding this over his head. He isn't forgetting this for a long time."
Dante continued to laugh. Surprisingly, it was Kiba who broke the silence amongst the remaining crowd with an equally surprising statement. Evidently, the Devil Hunter had rubbed off on the blond Knight as well. It was slow and steady but it eventually budded.
"I can't be the only one feeling blue-balled here."
That was the first sound he made after a long sleep that definitely lasted more than a day.
As it turned out, having potent light shoved repeatedly into his body was not conducive to good health and he had been put out of commission for how many days. The poison from Modeus's light continued to etch its way through his body despite Asia's intervention via Twilight Healing and while it did not hurt, it was similar to the flu and thus, exceptionally irritating. Not to mention, it had demon power behind it, so that was something to note.
Dante woke up with blistering buzz's in his head. He was aware of some things and not others. For example, he was not aware that Raynare was sitting across from him, staring at him trying to wiggle his body and instead making a bad impression of a hungry, hungry caterpillar. But, he knew that he was back in his office and on his couch. He knew that his head ached and tried not to think much about it. He knew that today was a school day again since he had been vaguely aware of Rias and Sona coming into his home to wake him up, only to leave because he did not bother to react to their presence. That also meant that he was aware that Kuoh was back in business which, according to a delirious part of his brain, was impossible because how does someone rebuild an entire school campus in a matter of days?
'Magic, that's how.' The sober part of his brain supplied helpfully. It left him wondering how exactly.
Thus, Dante spent that entire morning attempting to sort the mess his brain was in, which meant that he was practically paralyzed and helplessly laying on his couch, wide awake to ponder the mysteries of the cosmos. By the time Dante was able to move his body – but was unaware that he was able to – Raynare had gotten up to sit by him. For the most part, she looked uncertain of what to do. The silence continued.
"I was scared, you know?"
She finally spoke. Dante let out a deep breath, but did not say anything.
"I was scared of what would happen if you had went to that school. I was scared that you and Father would kill each other. I was scared that you'd forgotten your promise. Of confronting him, and what his reaction would be if he saw me. I… I was just scared of losing someone again." Raynare pulled a leg in to lean her head on, her eyes glistening as she stared at him. He noticed that she was wearing his clothes again, but did not comment on it. "You really are a piece of work though, aren't you? I had my suspicions, but I never thought you could do it. Fighting him on equal grounds… but I wonder why you said this was personal. The heiresses filled me in when you were asleep for the last three days."
Dante turned to look at his maid.
"There were once twin brothers who were apprentices to a man," he began a tale out of the blue. The fallen started and looked at him with rapt attention. "The man could be called a knight, I suppose, and was a renowned swordsman, so great that he was appointed the right-hand man and general of a King. Under him, the twins learned. They trained. Soon, they became lords by their own rights. One vowed to surpass his mentor. The other disavowed his swordsmanship for his beloved brother."
He adjusted himself to a comfortable position. "…Then things changed. The man was "awakened to justice". What that means is left to interpretation, but whatever it really means, it fell down to the fact that he could no longer see the King, his subjects, his peers for who they once were. Thus, he rebelled. He became a pariah among his kind. His two apprentices rushed to his side, but the man refused them and had them swear to live true to their aspirations, severed his connection with them and exiled himself to the Human World."
Raynare looked at him blankly as he stared wistfully at the ceiling.
"Many years pass, and one of the brothers would come to learn of the existence of that man's son. Living true to his aspirations as sworn those years ago, he confronted the son… and died by his blade. The man's brother, witnessing his kin dying with his own eyes, was torn by grief and charged to his death at the son."
Dante sighed. "As it turns out, that man, the one who was the mentor to the twin brothers… is my father." The fallen raised a brow. This was the part he would have to be honest. "Would you believe me," he started slowly, "if I told you that there are multiple worlds out there besides this realm? That there exists life beyond this dimension?" Again, she stared at him in confusion. "Would you believe me… if I told you that I'm not from this world?"
This time, there was a reaction. Her eyes widened as realization struck her and whatever notions she had of him were shifted and reassembled together.
"And… what did that story have to do with… whatever?"
"It has to do with a lot of things, apparently," Dante admitted. "It has to do with the sudden amount of demons appearing everywhere around me recently. It has to do with me being here in the first place. It has to do with some people not being as dead as they're supposed to be." He trailed off at the end. "One of the brothers was reborn into this world. And not just any rebirth, he was reborn as one of the Cadre."
Dante nodded. Raynare breathed out. "So… he was right. I thought he had been talking crackpot beliefs to try and make me go away like always."
"Where he came from, his name was Modeus."
"Modeus…" Raynare stared down. "Mother had always called him that when they were alone together, but I always thought it was an inside joke between them. Now it makes sense… just not in the way I thought it'd be. But it still doesn't answer-"
"This became personal because Modeus had answers to questions I have. But most of all, I had priorities that had to be met."
She became quiet as she recalled the scene she managed to run into that day…
(flashback, three days ago)
"And like that, the path you chose has shattered."
Modeus looked down at the stump, the place where his right arm once was. Mentally, he reached out to regenerate it. It did not come back. No, it was more that he could not summon the urge to bring it back.
"…Why didn't you kill me?"
The question came out softly. There was no scorn, no anger, no hatred. Only curiosity.
"I told you, didn't I?" Dante hefted the crumbling sword on his shoulder and began trailing away. "I got a job, and it involved promising to reunite a good-for-nothing father and his equally good-for-nothing daughter after so many decades."
He turned to greet the literally disarmed demon with half-closed eyes, then to the tear-ridden raven-haired girl a distance behind said demon. "Either way, it's my win, old-timer. Quit fighting, learn how to rub one out with your other hand, and retire already. At your age, nature calls at random times, most often at times you're unguarded if you don't pay any attention to yourself."
As per usual for the winner and the loser, the winner decided what would happen to the loser.
Modeus gritted his teeth. "Peace will not come without sacrifice. I was ready to die for it, Dante-"
"I don't give a damn what your plan is or was," he interrupted irritably, complete with a scowl that clearly meant 'shut up and listen or I will permanently rearrange your face'. "What I see right now is a girl who dearly needs her dad and a dumbass who clearly needs his head checked. You want to die? Die after having a heart-to-heart with your damn daughter. Or for Raynare's sake, don't die."
"Mundus," Modeus's voice gained an edge of desperation. Dante paused. "He has grown stronger. Stronger than I. The Factions… they are not safe divided. I have seen the army he has built. I have seen the Devils he has awakened and given pieces of the Qliphoth's fruit to. They need to unite or else the Demon King will tear them asunder. This reality is not safe, Dante."
The red hunter, both in title and literally, mulled over the words.
"…Mundus can wait. I kicked his ass once and shut him inside a box. I'll kick his ass again. Only question will be how exactly."
Dante walked away, leaving two people to themselves. Whatever words they had for each other, whatever sentiments they wanted to express to one another… it was not for him to witness. He had no place in it.
As he retreated, he made his final words,
"Why is it that the guy who doesn't have a family understands that word more than the one who does?"
"So that was why you spared him…"
"It was one of my reasons," he admitted. "The other was because there were too many parallels between your story and mine's. Daddy abandoning family, kid having daddy issues, dad is in some way related to a war, any of that ring a bell?"
"I make promises that I know I'll keep," the red hunter recited the words he gave her on the night of the assault on Kuoh. "And this was just one I did not want to break. I have to say, you grew on me. You're still a pretty awful person but eh, same can be said for a lot of people."
They stayed in silence for a while afterward. Whatever words Modeus and Raynare had exchanged would remain private and between them. Whether they reconciled or not… he had done his job nevertheless. Stupid daughter and stupid father were reunited. Case closed. Time to sleep.
"I don't think I'll ever understand you," Raynare finally prompted. "I'm an awful person and you still helped me."
"Story of my life. I still don't understand me," Dante waved away the backhanded compliment. "Then again, I happen to have a history of helping awful people. Eventually, they learn to have fun and not be dicknanas at the same time."
Like Enzo. Good old money-laundering, alcohol guzzling, interest charging Enzo. A greedy prick but at the end of the day, a reliable and fun person to be around. Like Trish, who had shoved Force Edge in him and flung a motorcycle at him on their first meeting. She got better after the events of Mallet Island, and was still a lovable psycho. Then there's Katerea. A damn good gambler with a mean streak of sadism when she felt she was in control, she had improved since the time they fought in Kyoto. And then some.
He must have been lost in thought since Raynare had gotten up close without him being aware of it.
"Hm?" He felt something envelop his lips.
She tasted of plum, just like the scent of her feathers from that fateful night. He was not much of a fan of fruits but even he knew how soft a woman was, and at that moment, Raynare was very soft. In a way, he knew she had feelings for him but was content with thinking they would go away soon. Now though…
The kiss deepened liberally then unexpectedly broke, one surprised at how thorough the other had explored their mouth in a span of seconds. Dante chuckled, despite the pain.
"You know Rayray, the way you're on me, people will start asking questions."
She snarled embarrassingly and butted her head against his cheek. "Will you shut up and let me have this?"
Dante relented, wrapping an arm around Raynare. "Sure."
The two stayed close together, wrapped in each other's arm. It was a moment of peace. After all of the fighting, all of the running around, all of the rampant emotions that compromised the mind, it was a deserved moment.
"…So does this mean I'm finally getting that lap dance?"
Raynare could not hold back and laughed. It was both genuine and tired but she could not help it. He had completely butchered the mood that had been set in place.
"Don't push your luck. That was just a thank you kiss."
"You're gonna have to give me more than a thank you kiss after everything that's happened. Remember your payment? Not one lap dance. Not two or three. You know exactly the amount."
She hid her face against his body. "…We'll see."
And like that, all was well in the world.
Vergil stood still with arms folded, bandage still loosely wrapped about his head. Irina and Xenovia stood nervously nearby as passersby looked at them curiously. They were at the airport again, though the reason why the latter two did not know. Vergil did not bother to tell them why, only looking at them sternly when they asked him.
"Your Eminence, sir?"
He hummed in response.
"Why did you let them go?"
"Them" referred to the rogue exorcists. The Dark Slayer tilted his head slightly.
"What do you mean."
"The Church decreed that any rogue exorcists who abandon their oaths to their institution are to be captured, tried and judged for their crimes and sins." Xenovia studied the Templar's reaction, gauging her words as best as she could. The bandages made it hard to decipher his emotions. "But by allowing them to leave… I do not mean to doubt your judgment, your Eminence, but your decision goes against what the high priests have dictated when we were sent to Japan."
Vergil studied the bluenette exorcist.
"Griselda has raised you well. Your obstinacy will one day lead you to high grounds," he commented. Xenovia looked confused as to whether it was a criticism or a compliment. "Quarta. Shido. Recite to me the oath you swore when you devoted yourself to His service."
Xenovia and Irina snapped to attention.
"I, by God's bestowed right upon Man, solemnly swear to affirm His words and adhere to the Commandments and Beatitudes He passed through Moses and the Messiah. Where it is permissible, I will impartially spread His message. Where it is impermissible, I shall faithfully bring His light."
They recited automatically and as one.
"…And? Does the oath mean anything to you? Or is it simply another litany you memorized for fun?"
The two flinched at the accusation even if it had not been intentional. "S-sir Bluehide?"
He sighed internally and thought back to two days earlier…
They all looked confused. Confounded, even.
"I don't understand, your Eminence?" The defectors' leader expressed the entire group's thoughts.
Vergil had to massage his forehead. How was it that they had heard him talk and still did not understand what he was telling them? Were they children? Did they know how to think for themselves? In the end, he breathed quietly. Calmly. Breathing was good. It helped him concentrate.
"Your next order is to leave. Your business here is done. Your punishment is knowing that now, you have nothing to fight for, that everything you have dedicated your life to is a lie. So what will it be, fallen exorcists?"
"…" None of them said anything. They had nothing to say.
"But… but your Eminence. What should we do now? We have nothing. No matter what we do…"
"What you believe in now and from now on is none of my concern." Vergil shot down the words mercilessly.
"But you told us yourself. You chose to reveal to us the horrible truth. That… that God is dead."
Vergil looked at the one who spoke and then to the sudden sound behind him. Xenovia looked outraged, in disbelief at the last three words, and was waiting for him to deny it. On the other hand, Irina looked dazed. Lightheaded. As if she was about to collapse any moment.
"…I had my suspicions." Vergil corrected and turned back to the defectors. "It was confirmed when Archangel Gabriel ordained me Paladin. The Council itself declared that this matter never meet the light of day. I made the conclusion that the knowledge be known, against the Council's decree. That would make me as much a heretic as the rest of you, according to the Church."
"Your Eminence!" Another spoke up, appalled at how lightly the Paladin was taking this in stride. "You are exalted among the greatest of us! You should not say such things so easily!"
"Oh? Then answer me. Are your oaths to the Lord simply something to throw away easily?"
They were once more struck into silence.
"If you wish to become heretics to the Church because your preexisting notions are shattered beyond repair, then do so. If you wish to continue serving the Church despite now knowing the truth, then do so. I do not care either way."
"Then… why did you tell us, your Eminence?" The leader implored. "You could have kept the wool over our eyes if you did not care about us. So why did you tell us anyways?"
Vergil scoffed. Why indeed.
"The defectors had a reason for doing what they did." He finally spoke. "When they swore that oath of devotion, they internalized it. Centered their entire life around it. So what were they supposed to do when everything they had been told by the Church had been empty words that masked a naked betrayal? What were they supposed to do when they, who had trained since childhood to be weapons of the Lord, have been fighting hollow battles all this time? What were they supposed to do when the deeds they had done in His name all amounted to nothing?"
Vergil turned back to where he had been and spied the person he was waiting for.
"The one they swore that oath to was not the Church but God. And God is dead."
The three words still struck through them. Xenovia had gone into a state of catatonia when the words finally registered to her and Irina had fainted nearly promptly, sparing her from the heartache that would come to her nevertheless when she woke. Three days was simply not enough to recover from that harsh truth.
"I simply helped them remember themselves. Even if they have lost their purpose, they can still find their own courage. Even if the source of their commitment is gone, they can still move forward. Perhaps the Church would rather they be silenced to keep the truth from coming out. I say the truth will come out eventually and that it is better to be known now."
"Ultimately, an institution run by Man. And Man had always found ways to mask their vices."
"Such harsh words. As always, you do not know mercy, V- Gilver."
A lilting voice tittered, interrupting them. They all turned to behold the one who approached them. Her wardrobe was simple, yet when donned by her, she resembled and elevated the words 'model' and 'elegance' to a whole new level. Golden hair graced her features, gleamed and streamed down her heart-shaped face. Lips of perfect pink curled upward, revealing a smile that would have been alluring if not for her sapphire blue eyes, hopeful and innocent, twinkling as they greeted the three of them welcomingly.
"No. Merely acceptance," he simply replied. She approached him first, while the other two realized who they were looking at and knelt. Then, contrary to the immaculate image she had only a moment earlier, a cute pout popped on her beautiful countenance as she looked up at the Templar as though he had done her wrong.
Vergil kept a straight face as he took hold of the luggage the newcomer had on her person.
"…Hello, Gabriel. Welcome to Japan."
"Is that it? Is that all you have to say after weeks of no contact?"
"Yes." That was how he would leave it. Brief and with no explanation. Such was how he dealt with the Archangel Gabriel.
The pout intensified. Irina and Xenovia began to sweat, seeing a parallel between Serafall and Gabriel and not wanting to point it out.
And so, the beginnings and preparations for a peace treaty began.
Mission 4: END
A/N: Once again, SoSDxD (I'm shortening it) has a TV Tropes page. I really have no idea how to react other than to thank the tropers who have been working hard on it. Kudos to you, ssjSega, K2NR, StFan, and any others! Anyone who wants to contribute, go right on ahead!
So. I'm sure some people want to know the plan on where SoSDxD is going to go, now that DMC5 is out, Capcom has retconned the timeline so that DMC2 precedes DMC4 chronologically, and new information like the Qliphoth Tree are revealed. The gameplan… has not changed. I'm still going with the original draft I have, as if the retcon never happened because it's too much of a hassle to change things that have been established for this story. Surprisingly enough, it's not because I'm a lazyass and don't want to change. The timeline for this story will still be DMC3, DMC1, the anime, DMC4, and DMC2. Maybe some time along the line, I'll include elements of DMC5 in.
BUT! With DMC5 giving us an ending like that, I now have a very good excuse to finally start writing my DMC x RWBY story, so thanks, Capcom!
As a celebration, for both the fifth installment of DMC and the end of this long-ass Mission, along with the end of the tense atmosphere I wanted for this Mission, here's an omake that is entirely unrelated to it to finish this chapter off. Finally.
Omake #2: Latent Homosexual Tendencies
A week had passed since the Assault on Kuoh, as it was now officially called, and the resident demon hunter had a client. A much welcoming event, but in this case…
"So!" Dante clasped his hands together in a rather formal manner as he stared at his newest client. "How can I help you, pretty boy?"
"Err," Kiba Yuuto scratched his cheek meekly. "I don't know how to say this..."
"Take your time," the hunter kicked his legs up and onto the desk. "I've got a lot of spare time, and the pizza's coming in around ten minutes or so."
"Ah, right." After a moment of contemplation, the blonde Knight finally spoke up, "There are two things I want to talk about. First is, what is it like to be a sociable person?"
Dante raised a brow. "Aren't you one already?"
"No, I'm not," Kiba denied firmly. Dante's other brow rose. "You see, I've spent almost my entire life dedicated to destroying Excalibur, only to direct it towards the man who was responsible for the death of my friends. Now that he has been dealt with, now that I see that Excalibur itself isn't a good reason to latch onto vengeance anymore..." He closed his eyes. "My purpose now is to continue serving as Rias-sama's Knight. And since then, she has ordered me to be more... sociable." He met Dante's studious gaze with his own curious one. "You seem to be an expert on the subject of being sociable, so I thought I could go to you."
"And never did it pass in your mind to go and ask Ise-boyo?"
The blond knight ruefully smiled, "I'm afraid Ise-kun's definition of 'sociable' is different from the actual norm..." he hesitated and gave his own words some thought, "Though, that would give me some more time to spend time around him and get to know him better."
Dante cupped his chin, "Hm. This is a hard one, but not one I'm not unfamiliar with. I suppose with Ise-boyo's track record, you are right in some ways to come to me." After some time, he coughed, "Right! So, you know those people who seem to follow you around like you're hot stuff? Well, try talking to them. Not the kind where you just say 'hi' and 'bye' and all that. I mean, talk to them. Engage in meaningless convos where everyone learns something about the other, joke around, hell, maybe even accept their invitations to go out and sing karaoke. Or something. Honestly, Japan is so weird. Paying to sing in a voice that could be horrible?"
The blond knight nodded at the suggestions, thinking seriously through the list he was given.
"And the second one is?"
Kiba flushed. "Aha, you see..." the blonde uncomfortably rubbed his thumbs together, "It's about Ise-kun." Dante leaned forward, legs down and back arched forward to signify his interest. "You see, ever since the whole incident blew over, I get a strange feeling whenever I'm around Ise-kun. My chest gets all warm on the inside and frankly, I feel happier whenever he's around. And when he isn't around, I feel kind of lonely."
The devil hunter kept silent at the revelation, willing his lips to desist its smirk. He also tried his best to not burst out laughing at the implication of the context Kiba was providing him, and just how much misunderstanding it will cause.
This was too good an opportunity to pass.
"I see. This one, I can answer readily, Kiba," Dante folded his hands together and peered intently at the blond. "Let's sit down and talk about why you feel so attached to the guy." The knight felt the sudden spike of intensity in the atmosphere and gulped as he met the hunter's gaze, whose hands were placed together in a way that covered his nose and mouth to only show his sharp eyes. Then he dropped the bomb.
"You want Issei."
"…Wha-…What are you…" Kiba stammered, clearly unprepared for the answer. "But that would imply… No, something like that…" The blond rose from his seat and began to walk around to clear his mind, "No, I can't even begin to consider it… besides, Rias-sama already has her hands on him, so I can't be with him… can I? Wait…"
Dante noticed a flaw in Kiba's self-reasoning and did not hesitate to capitalize on it for his own entertainment. "Kuhuhuhu…" He began to laugh like one of those villains from a low-budget action movie he once saw. Then he struck clear,
"You aren't even thinking about the gender barrier issue!"
"—!" Kiba appeared shocked at the revelation. "U-unbelievable!" He went back to his seat, "To think that I had such a thought like… that…" He frowned. "Then, s-should I… be the dominant one, or the submissive one?"
It was not a gold mine anymore. It just transformed into a diamond mine.
"Which one would you prefer?"
"I don't know," Kiba's unsure aura shifted into one of resolve, "but I feel that I can go both ways." Abruptly, the Knight stood and strode confidently to the door. "Thank you, Dante. I'll come back with the results."
The door closed, and once Dante was sure his client was out of earshot-
"AHAHAHAHAHAH!" He laughed out loud and slapped his thigh repeatedly, unable to control himself.
"You are an awful person," Raynare said, struggling to maintain her own composure.
"I don't see you fixing the problem."
"I never said it wasn't funny."
A/N: I regret nothing.
EDITED: For updating author's note with new info, punctuations in story, and grammar errors.