Good day to you all.
Some of you might have noticed my prolonged lack of updates and rightfully determined I've been rather busy for a while. The chief cause of this, aside from the demands of modern life, come from the fact that my Pendrive, upon which most of my notes were stored, decided to die a while back, taking with it years worth of notes, files and god only knows what else.
While I managed to maintain a shaky grip on sanity due in part to having responsibilities to keep me busy and the fact I kept non-extensive backups on my laptop, between losing my job and said laptop in fairly short order, I think you can understand why I took so long to get back into writing.
But back I am, for the most part, though don't expect too much for the time being. Also, fair warning, a lot of my earlier works are either going down or up for adoption because, in all honesty, I either can't muster up the nerve to tackle them after so long, or they're just unsalvageable from a plot narrative. Rest assured that several of my fics will be salvaged and even continued, but for now, most of my earlier works, mostly my Naruto fics, are bound for the recycle bin unless anyone cares to adopt them.
That being said, this is a little something I came up with while trying to avoid going insane from boredom. Warning, light spoilers for those who haven't read the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure supplementary novel 'Over Heaven', which is essentially Dio's diary as seen in Eyes of Heaven videogame.
Seriously, play that game, it's epic.
Epilogue: Stairway to Heaven
Ogre Street, London; 1870 -1880
"Dio, no matter what happens live nobly and with pride. If you do that, you'll surely be able to go to Heaven."
Those were the last words Dio Brando's mother left him, the last bit of advice the only woman the self-proclaimed Emperor of The World had ever truly loved bestowed upon him before being brutally taken from this world, the abuse and neglect she'd suffered at the hands of the man she'd mistakenly fallen for finally taking their toll on her proud soul.
Dio had no idea if that beautiful, Holy Woman was allowed to rest in the 'Heaven' she so lovingly and obsessively preached to her son, husband and neighbours, but while he wished with all his twisted heart she had, a part of him somehow 'knew' his mother never obtained her 'ticket to heaven'. Such was the fate of fools who sought above their station, and while he would publicly sing his mother's praises, at the same time he could not deny that she was hopelessly foolish, the very fact she consented to marry his father being living proof of that.
If you were to attempt to describe Dario Brando with words you'd find yourself hard-pressed to find a more despicable, loathsome embodiment of scum and villainy on this planet. For the life of him, Dio could never understand why a woman of his mother's breeding, or any woman for that matter, would willingly wed such a monster; supposedly they had eloped, though what circumstances could have driven her to Dario's arms Dio shuddered to imagine, and the fact the claim came from Dario himself made it all the less believable.
Sometimes, if Dio closed his eyes he could still recall his mother's pleas for the old drunkard to change his ways, to return the money he stole and swindled lest he be forever denied entry to Heaven. It was a laughable affair, for while Dio may not have been entirely certain as to his mother, he was absolutely certain that if there was such a thing as 'Heaven', then Dario Brando, who would frequently take his anger out on anyone weaker than himself, would never have been permitted to even glance upon the gates that barred his entry.
Indeed, it was Dario's mistreatment of Dio's mother than had eventually seen to her demise, just as he had cost Dio the chance to become an older brother, though Dio only learned this years after the fact. Following his mother's death, the two settled into a routine where Dio, using the education his mother had provided at cost to herself, would earn money for Dario's booze through various odd-jobs and gambling. While Dario was just as violent drunk off his ass as he was sober, if not more so, somewhere in that diseased brain he must have understood that injuring Dio needlessly would only cost him his precious alcohol and so, for a time, they existed in a twisted sense of harmony.
Then one day, just when Dio was beginning to think he could, if not salvage, then at least tolerate the old man somehow, Dario crossed the line. In an act of cruelty brought on by his thirst, which Dio's slim pickings had been unable to quench, Dario cruelly commanded Dio to flog his mother's dress. Dio had naturally refused, for while Dario regarded it as simply be a pretty piece of cloth that hung in the back of their meager closet, to Dio is was the only remaining memento of his mother. He'd sooner gouge his own eyes out than sell it just so Dario could drink the profits away.
So you can probably imagine the horror, the sheer unmitigated rage and helplessness the younger Brando felt when he returned from 'work' one day to find Dario already passed out drunk, the floor littered with freshly purchased and even more recently emptied bottles, while the cupboard hung open and bare.
It was at that moment that Dio vowed to kill the man that he had come to regard as a cancer, not just on himself, but upon society as a whole. It wasn't as if it would be particularly difficult either, as not only did they live in the slums, where people tended to 'disappear' overnight, but the man would sleep the day away if he wasn't fit to hang out with whatever ne'er-do-wells could tolerate his company.
It would have been simplicity itself to slit the man's gut with a knife and leave him for dead, but that would mark Dio as the murderer and while the town he lived in lacked proper laws, such as they were, killing one's father was still an unforgivable crime and Dio had no desire to throw his own life away, not after wasting over ten years caring for the drunken letch.
No, if he was to kill Dario Brando without being held accountable, Dio would need a tool that couldn't be traced back to him, and as luck would have it, he found it in a shop of Wang Chen, a medicine man from the Orient whose wares were questionable at best, outright illegal at worst, but were tolerated with the typical English naiveté of them being novelties from the orient and the fact that no self-respecting bobby would ever set foot down Ogre Street to question the man without a small army to back them up.
And so, as much as it infuriated and humiliated him, Dio maintained the charade of dutiful son, working day & night to afford the liquor & medicine his father eventually required while Dario's health slowly declined to the point he became permanently bedridden, unable to even sit up to hurl bottles at his Son for his 'cheek'. Despite the dual assurances of the poison being unknown to the medical community & the fact that no investigator would dare brave Ogre Street, Dio opted to take his time, carefully regulating the dosage over the next few months to make the man's descent seem more natural, often mixing in ordinary flour, all the better to draw out every last second of Dario's suffering whilst leaving no evidence to implicate him in the foreseeable future.
In that moment, Dio felt such a sense of profound 'Relief', of 'Salvation', that for a fleeting moment he somehow felt that even a person like him could go to 'Heaven', that even God had acknowledged his act of taking Dario's life was the noblest, proudest act that Dio Brando could have achieved in this life. A part of him, a part Dio hadn't entertained since his mother's death, hoped that in some small way his unborn sibling took some solace in his murdering the bastard that forever denied them the chance to live.
So you could probably imagine the rage he felt when Dario, perhaps hoping to atone for his life of sin on his deathbed, sent off a missive to a certain Lord George Joestar, cashing in on a 'favour' the old felon had conned out of the nobleman in order to ensure that Dio would be well cared for upon his death.
Where did this piece of shit, so beneath his contempt there were no words to describe his disdain for the air he breathed, get off trying to atone for everything he'd done up until this point? Did he seriously believe that by sending Dio off to live with some foppish noble he'd somehow swindled into taking care of him, he'd atone for the multitude of sins he'd accumulated over the course of his repugnant life? In that moment, Dio swore that if that one act, despite all improbability, had been enough for Dario Brando's twisted soul to ascend to Heaven, then he would follow the man up there and kill him again.
Still, in the end, as much as Dio despised the existence of Dario Brando, there was no denying that in sending him off to the Joestars, the man had laid the cornerstones of the long, winding road to his future.
Joestar Manor - 1881
As much as it disgusted him to admit, if there was one thing that Dio shared in common with his late father it was their united dislike of the Nobility. To Dario Brando the so-called 'Nobles' were an 'evil that should be hated', and as ludicrous as it sounded for that man to refer to anything on God's Green Earth as 'Evil', Dario's hatred of Nobles was quite possibly the only thing he took seriously in life.
It was all self-righteous bullshit of course. After all, it wasn't the Nobles who made Dario Brando a violent, abusive alcoholic. But as a child growing up under the influence of said drunk it was only natural that Dio picked up a few undesirable traits, and sadly, by the time he buried the bastard the man's 'teachings', for lack of a better word, were firmly grounded into his psyche.
As a result, it didn't take a genius to comprehend why Dio's first impression of the Joestar family was decidedly poor, though to be fair he challenged anyone who'd endured a similar upbringing as his to remain calm in the face of Jonathan Joestar's innocent, ignorant cheerfulness.
Up until that moment, Dio had fully intended to lay low, earning his way into Lord Joestars' trust by masquerading as a well-mannered, obedient young man, the perfect older brother to the clearly lacking-in-etiquette Jonathan, all for the purpose of usurping the Family fortune. In this regard, Jonathan was not so much an obstacle to his plans but prey to be dealt with at his leisure. While he held no expectations for the boy, at the same time he'd harbored no innate desire to act against him.
But the moment Dio climbed out of the carriage only to be greeted by Jonathan's asinine smile, he'd felt such an wellspring of rage at this ignorant, sheltered, workshy-fop that if he hadn't vented his anger on the Joestar's mutt he'd probably have stabbed Jonathan then and there. It went without saying that Jonathan didn't take kindly to this, becoming enraged by the, to him, unprovoked assault on his pet. Dio had simply scoffed at his reaction, for compared to the rage he felt, the Joestar heir was simply a spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.
After all, what reason had he to be angry? He, who had everything handed to him on a silver platter from the moment he was born? Rather than setting him at ease, Jonathan's friendly, trusting attitude and heatless anger was like a slap to the face for Dio, who had only survived this long by being as cutthroat and ruthless as possible. And so, despite knowing it could jeopardise his plans, deep in his heart Dio vowed that he would make life a living hell for Jonathan Joestar. By the time he made his move he fully intended to have crushed the arrogant pup in body and spirit before taking everything he was to inherit for himself.
And for a time, it seemed to work. Dio exhausted every means he could to break Jonathan's spirit, whether it be getting him in trouble with his father, which wasn't terribly difficult considering how strict the man was on the boy, turning the local children against him with rumours of being a snitch or soundly thrashing him in public so the cheers of the crowd would drive home how pathetic he was. But rather than take pleasure in his humbling of the Joestar heir, Dio found himself feeling nothing but frustration, for no matter how hard he pushed, no matter how often he brought the spoiled brat to tears, Jonathan never truly fought back.
At first he attributed it to his spoiled upbringing, after all, if one did not learn hardship early on, then they would be ill-qualified to advance in life. Such thoughts were soon driven from his mind the day he decided to crush Jonathan's heart for good and brazenly laid his hand, and lips, on the boy's would-be love-interest, Erina Pendleton.
The daughter of a doctor, Erina was a bizarre young woman, at least by Dio's limited standards at the time. Any other woman of her standing, upon having their first kiss stolen in such a manner would have broken down and fled in tears. Yet despite her distress, rather than fleeing with her pride in tatters, she had instead landed a mortal blow of her own by purposefully choosing to wash the taste of his kiss from her lips with muddy puddle water than take a few steps to the nearby river, implying that being kissed by Dio was far more repugnant to her than dirtying her lips with filth.
In hindsight, lashing out at her for the insult had been childish, but then Dio was not used to defiance after being given such an easy target in Jonathan. Looking back, it could be said that, in a twisted sense, he respected Erina for her defiance, much like how he respected his mother for her patience. Still, regardless of his feelings towards the girl, by laying his hands on Erina, Dio finally accomplished what months of abuse had failed, namely igniting the fire of rebellion in Jonathan Joestar's heart.
Up until that moment, everything had been going according to plan. By beating Jonathan down when he was in such a state, Dio intended to break his spirit and forever drive any thoughts of retaliation against him from Jonathan's mind. It quickly became apparent, however, that his plans had been effectively shattered when Jonathan, rather than curl up like a beaten dog, came at him like an enraged bull, shrugging off his injuries to lay into Dio with an explosive ferocity never seen before.
In that moment, Dio realised he'd been mistaken in his assessment of Jonathan's character. It wasn't that he wouldn't fight back, he was simply the type who could withstand any wrongdoing unto himself, but would explode into action to defend those precious to him, a fact Dio learned the hard way, as Jonathan unleashed all the pent-up resentment he'd harboured for his tormentor in a savage fury that shook the very walls of House Joestar.
It was infuriating. Never in his life had Dio suffered such a thrashing. He had intended to set himself above Jonathan, and yet all it took to bring him down was to lay his hands on the wrong woman? The very fact brought tears of frustration to his eyes and he surely would've acted on his anger were it not for the timely arrival of Lord Joestar and a certain Stone Mask.
According to the servants, Jonathan's mother, Mary Joestar, had purchased the mask in London mere hours before the fateful carriage accident, and George Joestar had seen fit to hang the mask on the wall as a morbid memento of his lost love. Despite, or perhaps because of this, neither Dio nor Jonathan paid the thing more than a cursory glance till now. For Jonathan, it served as a reminder of the mother he lost, whereas for Dio it was a bitter reminder that he owed his current situation to Dario.
However, nothing could have prepared them for what happened when Dio's blood, shed by Jonathan's enraged fists, landed on the mask, prompting it to suddenly sprout 'bone needles' that would've surely pierced the brain of any man foolish enough to wear it. Jonathan probably assumed only he had witnessed the transformation, but Dio had seen it all, filing it away for later even as he took vengeance for the indignity by burning Jonathan's mongrel alive.
Joestar Manor - 1888
For the next seven years, Dio maintained his mask of a 'Good Son' even around Jonathan. While the Joestar heir retained his misgivings as a result of their initial interactions, in the end Dio was able to get him to open up, the two becoming and an inseparable duo at their local university. It was almost insulting, really, how quickly Jonathan believed he'd changed, especially after everything he'd done. Still, it only served to better facilitate his plans to claim the Joestar fortune, which he promptly put into motion after graduation.
George Joestar was a kind, sweet, gentlemanly man of great character, a man with numerous strong points that Dio, under different circumstances, would've been proud to call 'Father'. As it were, however, he viewed the man as little more than a stepping stone to continue his rise to the heights of society that had started the moment he buried Dario in a shallow grave.
That being said, achieving this goal would take a lot more planning and subterfuge. While no-one had given a toss for the death of Dario Brando, George Joestar was a respected member of the community whose death, sudden or otherwise, would have far-reaching consequences, so naturally anything as blatant as stabbing or shooting the man would do nothing but draw unwanted attention even if it could never be traced back to Dio.
It was for this reason that Dio opted to enlist the services of Wang Chen once more, taking advantage of George's sudden cold to replace the man's medicine with the same poison that had sent Dario Brando to his shallow grave. And this, of all things, proved to be Dio's undoing. Or rather, the combination of the specific symptoms caused by the poison, which Dario had apparently listed in his missive to Lord Joestar all those years ago, and the damnable curiosity of Jonathan Joestar when he stumbled across the self-same missive in his father's study, combined with his misgivings to drive the younger Joestar to challenge Dio directly for the second time in his life.
It was almost Shakespearean, really. Indeed, the whole scene played out like something from one of the bard's tragic comedies, the valiant son challenging his rival with damning evidence from beyond the grave. As infuriating as it was that even in death the old drunk continued to hinder him, however, it paled in comparison to the rage Dio felt when faced with Jonathan ignorantly demanded he plead his innocence on Dario's honour.
After all, how could he swear on the honour of a man who had none?
Regardless, with his suspicions confirmed, Jonathan was quick to pull rank as the 'legitimate' heir, forbidding anyone but trusted family doctors from examining George or preparing his meals before heading to London to have the poison analysed by the University, no doubt seeking an antidote. While Dio remained confident that the London University would be unable to identify the compound, that would only serve to further incriminate him now that Jonathan's suspicions had rung true. In short, if Dio hoped to rectify this situation, he would need to alter his schedule somewhat.
Thankfully, Jonathan had made things all too easy by deciding to base his Archaeological Thesis on the Stone Mask and its strange mechanism. Dio had not forgotten that night Seven years prior, indeed he doubted the memory of the indignity he suffered that day would ever leave him, but for the time being he was more interested in the memory of The Stone Mask's reaction to his blood.
Jonathan initially hypothesised that the Mask was some form of ritualistic execution method. Further study through the use of cadavers and medical charts led him to revise his theory somewhat, hypothesizing that it was some Ancient form of Trepanation. As intriguing as the notion may be, such things mattered little to Dio. Indeed, given his vested interest in determining The Mask's usefulness as a tool for Murder, he was rather banking on Jonathan's initial hypothesis being correct, especially once word reached him of the Joestar's intention to visit Ogre Street.
If he'd been the same boy from seven years prior Dio would have written Jonathan off for dead, but the memory of that night combined with their recent confrontation planted seeds of doubt in his mind that would only be alleviated when Jonathan's death was confirmed. With this in mind he took to the streets under cover of darkness to verify The Mask's usefulness, bringing with him a bottle of wine to calm his nerves, though it backfired when he realized the disgusting similarity to Dario.
Fortunately for his mood, he was quickly accosted by two drunken layabouts, the kind of gutter-trash he would've swindled coin from years ago. Unfortunately for them, they saw fit to make disparaging remarks about his mother, which they regretted soon enough, though not before revealing the true purpose of The Mask and paving the penultimate step to setting him on his 'Path To Heaven'.
England - 1888
Fate was indeed a strange mistress.
Had Dio not made an enemy of Jonathan seven years prior, it was likely they never would have discovered the secret of the Mask. Without that encounter, Jonathan would never have chosen to research The Mask and Dio would remain unaware of its true purpose. The very thought of how close he had come to missing out on his true destiny sent shivers down his spine to this day.
Still, even with that revelation, he'd harboured no immediate desire to don the mask. As tempting as it might seem, the sacrifices that came with the enhanced strength and immortality, namely the inability to walk under the sun, were too great for him to consider for the time being. Sadly, it seemed fate, that ever fickle wench, had other plans for Dio and Jonathan that night, plans that would culminate in the Death of George Joestar and the loss of the Joestar Mansion in a blaze that put the Great London Fire to shame.
Needless to say, though burned almost beyond recognition, Dio survived, and with the aid of a recently zombified Wang Chen, the pilfering Oriental having also been accosted by Jonathan, Dio made his way to London, intending to make full use of his supposed 'death' to heal and test the limitations of his new abilities whilst adding to his Zombie horde along the way, starting with Jack the Ripper.
They eventually settled in Wind Knight's Lott, a former training ground for Royal Knights, reduced to a the Coal Mining Town where criminals worked off their sentences in the mines, often dying due to shoddy working conditions, providing enough dumb muscle for his growing army of Zombies, though the true gems were located in the Cemetery dedicated to fallen Knights.
In life, the Knights Tarkus and Bruford had sworn their allegiance to Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland, only to be betrayed and executed alongside her courtesy of the machinations of the cruel Elizabeth Tudor. Needless to say, like a fine vintage the resentment they felt in life had only matured in death until, centuries later, they returned as Dio's loyal Zombie Knights.
It had been Dio's intention to slowly seize control of the town and use it as a base of operations before moving to seize control of London and, from there, the world. However, he had not forgotten about Jonathan during his time in hiding. Putting aside his explosive inner strength, as the only person to know the secret of the Stone Mask, Jonathan presented a considerable threat if left unattended.
Normally he would've handled the matter personally, but as his body was still recovering he was forced to send Wang Chen with explicit instructions to test the waters and only eliminate Jonathan if it were possible to do so without attracting attention, otherwise, he was to return immediately. And so it was that Dio learned that not only was Jonathan aware of his survival, the Joestar apparently picked up a few new tricks courtesy of an Italian Baron named William Antonio Zeppeli.
How this Baron Zeppeli had learned of his survival, Dio would never know. What was known for certain was that while Dio had amassed his armies and recovered his wounds, the Baron had been mentoring Jonathan, already a considerable foe by himself, in 'The Ripple', an Ancient Martial Art from the Orient that was the antithesis to Dio's own Vampiric Power.
It was ironic, really, that he, Dio, should reject his humanity and forever be spurned by the sun, whereas Jonathan had embraced his humanity and, in turn, learned to channel the sun's power through The Ripple. A part of him idly wondered what would have happened if he had gone ahead with his plan to use the mask on Jonathan. Would Zeppeli have instead trained Dio to face the Vampire Joestar?
Not that it mattered in the long run, for no sooner had Jonathan gained a firm grasp on 'The Ripple' did that meddling buffoon Speedwagon finally manage to track Wang Chen down, thus bringing about the events of his and Jonathan's Penultimate battle.
Windknight's Lot - December 1st 1888
"As long as they have conviction, there is nothing a human can't do! Humans grow...I'll show you!"
Those were the words Jonathan Joestar spat in the face of death as he set his own gloves ablaze to bypass Dio's Freezing Technique and send his accursed Ripple into his body with enough force to send Dio flying over the railing of the balcony. Through sheer force of will, Dio managed to sever his head from his disintegrating body before the accursed Ripple could reach his brain, leaving the rest of his corpse to be found by Jonathan and what remained of his party while Wang Chen carried him to safety.
For the third time in a row Dio had underestimated Jonathan Joestar and paid for it dearly. Even the regenerative powers of a Vampire couldn't restore a body that had been destroyed by The Ripple, so if Dio hoped to regain his dignity, he would have to claim another body for his own.
It wasn't as if the feat was impossible, his research had proven that long before Jonathan's party arrived. As such, he could have grabbed any random body off the street with Jonathan none the wiser. He certainly wouldn't have spent the next century marinating in a coffin under the sea.
But that would have been the coward's way out, and while Dio was many things, a coward he was not. If he had to steal a body then he would only accept the best, and what finer body could there be than that of the one man in this world he respected? The very man who had laid him so low?
And so, as before, he waited, hiding his shameful appearance until the prime opportunity arrived, the one opening where Jonathan would have no warning, where he would be separated from his allies, the Ripple Warriors and that damned interfering Speedwagon, waiting until the ship bound for the Americas was well underway before instructing Wang Chen to turn a single passenger into a zombie then expose himself to Jonathan, luring his arch-enemy away from the crowds so that they could have their final confrontation and conversation man-to-man.
Reduced to only a head, the only weapon Dio retained was the high-pressure liquid he could fire from his eyes he developed as a last-ditch attack when all else had failed. Knowing he had to act before Jonathan could gather his wits, he fired the twin beams with the intent of destroying Jonathan's brain, granting his foe a quick, painless death out of respect.
Sadly, while his reflexes were dulled by shock, Jonathan retained enough of his wits to attempt to block the attack, though all this accomplished was redirecting the shots so they severed his windpipe, thus preventing him from using the Ripple, but also slowly choking him to death while his newlywed wife, Erina Joestar, looked on in horror, having happened across them either by coincidence or drawn by the bond between husband and wife.
Regardless, much like seven years prior, it was the presence of Erina that gave Jonathan the strength needed to stand against Dio's oppression. While his victory was all but assured with the removal of Jonathan's Ripple, Dio did not wish to see his nemesis suffer and so commanded Wang Chen to finish the job quickly and painlessly, giving Jonathan the opening needed to use every last ounce of Ripple Energy in his body to destroy the zombie's brain & sabotage the engine room.
And so, in a sense, it could be said that both of Dio's most humiliating defeats at Jonathan's hands could be attributed to Erina Joestar nee Pendleton, that proud, noble, Holy Woman who wanted for nothing, save to remain at her husband's side when any other woman would've fled in hysterics.
It was astoundingly foolish, to think that such a pure, honest and beautiful woman could exist, yet Dio could not help but see his own mother in her. And yet, either out of ignorance or some other noble emotion, Jonathan urged Erina to live, the spoiled milksop, having finally matured, passing his will to his wife to carry out even as tears spilled from her cheeks, for how could she refuse such a man?
And so they remained, Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar, his sworn archenemy and the only man Dio ever truly hated and respected. Here, in that moment, having transcended life and death, bathed in the heat of the roaring flames, Dio could not help but imagine they had finally established feelings of friendship for one another as the explosion rocked the ship.
Cairo, Egypt; 1983-1988
For the longest time, the vampire formerly known as Dio Brando remained uncertain as to how he had survived the shipwreck. While he recalled successfully claiming Jonathan's body, doing so had cost him the last of his strength and the ensuing explosion had rendered him comatose, which combined with his century-long slumber at the bottom of the sea hadn't done his memory any favours.
Initially he hadn't paid the matter much thought, far more invested in acclimatising himself to this brave new world he now found himself in so as to ascertain the best way to attain 'Heaven'. After all, the only ones who knew of his survival had been Erina and Jonathan and neither of those could have survived the explosion.
It was only after he awoke his Stand, The World, that he learned the Joestar Bloodline endured, having sensed their presence through their connection to Jonathan's body. How though, had they survived? Jonathan had no next of kin and even if Erina had been pregnant, how had she managed to escape when he had explicitly ordered Wang Shen to sabotage the lifeboats?
The answer hit him harder than even Star Platinum's fists eventually would, the memories of those final moments aboard the doomed vessel returning in a flash of light and blazing heat. He had finally taken Jonathan's body for his own, but in doing so had expended more strength than necessary, causing him to pass out from exertion.
In that moment, he felt gentle hands attempt to raise him, dragging his massive frame towards the sturdy casket he'd prepared in advance. It was Erina. Though his mind was quickly fading, DIO could still recall her struggles as she attempted to lift her former husband's massive frame and place it, along with the child, into the casket. If he closed his eyes, he could imagine her palm against his cheek as she whispered in his ear.
"Can you hear me, Dio...? If I had been born poor, I may have done the same thing...I may have had the same ambitious heart and strayed from the path of humanity just as you did."
Such Lunacy, as if Jonathan would ever permit himself to love a woman that remotely resembled his hated enemy.
"Jonathan's body belongs to you, now." She continued, "Now, you truly are a member of the Joestar family."
He felt a kiss adorn his brow, chaste and bereft of the passion she had displayed during her farewells to Jonathan, yet for a fleeting moment DIO imagined his mother was tucking him into bed.
"Rest now a while; sleep soundly with my husband at the bottom of the ocean." She urged "I do not know if it will be in 50 or 100 years...But someday, please give up your evil ways and become a good person...Please become a noble, proud human that can go to Heaven."
And so, for the third time DIO's destiny was irrevocably altered by the presence of Erina Joestar nee Pendleton. That proud girl who had so brazenly defied him had matured into a true Holy Woman that would go so far as to save her husband's murderer on the off-chance he might reform.
Had DIO recalled this the moment he awakened, perhaps things might have turned out differently. Perhaps he would have sought to make amends with the Joestars, or at the very least avoided them. So far as DIO was concerned his quarrel with the Joestars ended with Jonathan, he held neither the desire nor the intent to interfere with them if he could avoid it.
Sadly, it seemed fate remained an ever cruel mistress, for no sooner had he awoken his Stand did the Joestars awaken theirs, becoming aware of his presence. Still, DIO was content to leave them be. It wasn't as if they could find him after all, not only was he half-way across the planet, but who would think to look for a Vampire in Egypt of all places?
However, it seemed that confrontation with the Joestars was a foregone conclusion, as DIO's spy in Japan reported that Jonathan's Great-Granddaughter, Holly 'Seiko' Kujo nee Joestar, collapsed due to her own Stand turning on her due to her gentle nature. With only 50 days until she died, it didn't take a genius to realise the Joestars would be marching on Egypt to settle accounts, backed by that damnable Foundation that thrice-damned Interfering Speedwagon had set up prior to his death.
And so he sent out assassin's to waylay them while he endeavoured to realise his dream of 'Attaining Heaven', which after years of research and the aid of his close friend, Enrico Pucci, had finally bore fruit. All he had to do now was fend off the Joestars and 'Heaven' would finally be within his grasp. With the Power of The World, it would be child's play to eliminate them, the only reason he hadn't from the start was because old Enya insisted he let the assassins handle it instead of dirtying his hands.
Such foolishness; he'd made the same mistake a century prior when he left the fate of Jonathan's party to Bruford and Tarkus. While he had the excuse of his research as a distraction this time, it didn't change the fact that he should have confronted them from the get go, instead of letting them grow stronger over the course of their long trek to Egypt from Japan.
Oh well, it mattered not. Even if something untoward happened, he had left detailed instructions in his diary for dear Enrico to follow. Regardless of the outcome of their confrontation, Dio Brando would attain 'Heaven', even if he had to do so over the corpses of Jonathan's descendants.
Cairo, Egypt; January 1st 1989 - 17:17pm
Truer words were never spoken, DIO looking on with a grimace as the body he had stolen from Jonathan violently exploded in a manner all-too-reminiscent of his original, courtesy of Jotaro's Star Platinum shattering The World's leg. In hindsight, attacking Jotaro with a kick when his legs hadn't fully healed was probably not the smartest thing he could have done, but the Joestar's cocky attitude, looking down upon DIO like he was filth to be scrapped off the bottom of his shoe, had angered the vampire far more than even Jonathan's ignorant greeting over a century prior, though strangely enough DIO felt none of that anger now, merely a sense of irritation that was slowly giving way to a profound sense of calm, the likes of which he'd never felt before.
'That's a lot of blood...' he noted, watching the precious red liquid fountain out of his corpse with a detachment that should have unnerved him given the lengths he'd gone to acquire it. He was dimly aware of Jotaro saying something, but given the fact his head was currently liquidated it was understandable he couldn't hear the Joestar's words 'Probably something arrogantly heroic.'
"Dio." A voice called out, sending a chill up the vampire's spine that put the momentary fear he felt when Jotaro froze time to shame, not because he feared it, but because he never expected to hear that voice again outside his dreams.
I'll leave off there for now, if only to bait you thirst for more. And yes, this was basically a summary of the Over Heaven novel with my own little additions here and there. Kinda explains how Dio could be so charismatic to his followers huh?
In any case, as you can probably guess from the description, this is a crossover with RWBY, though it draws elements from the web-novel Isekai Tensei Sodouki. For those of you know know what I'm talking about, you can probably guess where this is going. For those who don't, look the series up if only because it's a pretty decent spin on the 'reincarnating in a fantasy world' trope.