Devil May Cry © Capcom

Hold on to the Past or Rise from Here

Jason M. Lee

Nero watched as the fingers on his dad's left hand danced over the strings, while his right hand moved the bow backwards and forwards as well up and down, and then at angles. The song had started out almost soft and a little sad, but gradually it became more somber and a bit heavy, as if a growing weight that was almost too much to bear. It didn't quite sound like the music his dad preferred listening to, but close enough and not as fast paced as some of the songs Lady and Dante would sometimes play on the stereo.

As the last notes drifted away like a farewell, Vergil opened his eyes and raised an expectant eyebrow at his son watching from the sofa. "Do you still want to learn?"

Nero wrinkled his nose before shaking his head, hair flopping. "Nuh-uh. I like the guitar Uncle Dante plays with more. Can- May I-"

"As we have discussed before, no, you will not be using Nevan to practice. You are still not old enough yet, and while Dante is already a bad enough of an influence on you, she will be far worse." Vergil ignored the amused titter that strummed from the aforementioned purple Devil Arm at Nero's pout, putting away the violin back in its case.

"But I like guitars, Dad! You heard how screechy I made the violin when you let me try once! And you told me that the violin used to belong to Grandma, her grandpa, and her grandpa's dad!"

Vergil hid the wince on remembering how piercing the notes were to their sharper hearing when Nero attempted to do just a simple scale. Dante swore he's heard better yowling from the alley cats in heat, prompting a cuff to his head from Lady. On the other hand, the violin had survived at least two wars, several conflicts, and at least one attempted demon invasion (including when Mundus had attacked). One of the items he had salvaged in the family home's ruins were several journals from an apparent four-times great-grandfather, several entries documenting the gifting of the instrument by a supposedly grateful demon-human descendant of the famous Stradivari family. "Fair. Perhaps another day then. You are sure that I can not dissuade you away from guitars?"

"Hey, Uncle Dante could also play a normal guitar even though he usually plays Nevan, who's an electric guitar! That means I should be able to switch between the two!" Nero practically bounced on the sofa. "I mean, there was that one composer who used rock AND classical instruments for that really kickass song in that video game movie, remember? You didn't disagree with Uncle Dante when he said it was awesome! Maybe I can even make my own theme song!"

He couldn't help but smile at his son's enthusiasm, choice of instrument and music taste aside. While he wouldn't admit it out loud, Vergil had been impressed by the blending of traditional orchestra with the styling of progressive metal for the climactic musical piece at the climax of the film. Traditional could only take one so far, and as Dante had pointed out, sometimes mixing it up a little did make things more interesting. At the least, he hoped to be able to pass the violin on to his son and Nero could then pass it along to his own children.

"Let's start with a classical guitar first. Then, we'll see about those used by rock or metal musicians."

The brilliance from Nero's delighted grin and laugh at the hair ruffling was like a flighty arpeggio after a dreary section.

A/N: For Dadgil Week 2019, "heirloom", "music", and "playing".

The music piece Vergil was playing? It could either be "Sentinel Prime" or "There is No Plan" from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon original score by Steve Jablonsky.

Title from the song "Ashes" as sung by Gemie and composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, from the anime film Promare.