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Capitolo Secondo: Ambizione (16)
I write this letter to you to relieve you of the worries concerning our current wellbeing. We're fine. We're all fine. Despite how simple these words feel, those are indeed holding a legitimate and absolute reassurance that we are dealing with the current threat as smoothly as possible. Robert has recovered fully from his injuries, and the same extends to others. Beyond that, I have to say that this trip is going to be as exciting and extremely intense as predicted, except now we have more worries to be dealing with considering this sudden intervention from rogue members of the Mexican Army. We are soon going to face the real issue tied to this very development, and hopefully we will bring this to an end without suffering any wounds or injuries.
With that out of the way, I wish for you to be safe and not concerned by our safety. I'm doing my best to prevent pain for others and… myself. I understand that in my last letter I might have highlighted a preference to just focus on others rather than what I had to really worry about, but I can guarantee you that I am still preserving my wellbeing too. Bhediya and Robert send their regards, with our cuddly werewolf asking a little comment from Sarah in your next letter if possible. He tries to be tough but he still loves his little sister a lot.
Finally, Kate and Zephy send their own regards too while young Bloody would like to know if it would be fine if he can ask you a few questions about myself. I did ask him if I could answer those on my own, but he seemed fairly convinced he required a close source to the truth around myself. I've yet to discern if he is trying to be sarcastic or serious…
But now I send you my personal regards and hope that you are not feeling too lonely these days, so I promise you that once this trip is over we can take a little private journey in Europe. I've been eyeing a lovely villa in Palermo. I believe you will love it once we have the chance to check it.
With hopes of a bright future for us and our family,
Your Dio Joestar.
P.S. I'm glad to know that I won my bet with Jojo regarding the naming of our soon-to-come nephew. George II will surely steal the heart of his grandfather through that name and the union of personalities from both Erina and Jojo.
I took a moment to sigh and pause as I was done writing this important letter back home. We were just a few minutes off from finally reaching Mobile and I felt like this one was going to be an intense visit considering the kind of welcoming party we were possibly going to get quite soon. Mobile was one of the few cities that had been really struck by the Southern Democrats' ill practices of ganging up on black voters and non-Democrat voters. Those were years of utter decay and decline for the entire area, with the various Mayors and administrators ending up creating a massive debt that would crack on the economic status of the entire region. It would come to the point where even the Governor of Alabama understood that this couldn't be allowed to continue anymore and established new roles for experts to take on and get the entire debt dealt with. Sadly, this solution had yet to be implemented and so we were going to enter the city as it had yet to be stabilized from the various riots that it was known to suffer quite frequently.
In fact, as soon as we finally arrived, we quickly noticed the loudness of people rushing left and right to either join brawls with the police and gangs, while others merely ran away from the trouble. It was a massive fight the one we arrived at and the best solution to this was to not intervene. Not yet, at least. When I mentioned this, I had a couple of protests, mostly from Bloody, Bhediya… and Kate.
"We can't allow innocents to be beaten like that, Dio," The blonde argued with a serious tone, failing to hide how much distressed she was at the sight we were bestowed with. "I know you're planning something but-"
"We can't intervene directly without putting ourselves against the law," I interrupted firmly, drawing a scowl from the girl, but also an irked look from the younger blond. "And I understand that this can't be allowed to continue, but, right now, the best we can do is to stay put while we approach the town hall."
"But the others-"
"Can be helped. Those that are trying to run and need assistance," I approved with a sigh, looking at Bhediya. "You, Kate, Zephy and Derek shall stay and support those that are trying to get out of this mess alive because they are trying to keep neutral about it. Heal anyone that needs that kind of assistance if needed."
The werewolf nodded, but as he looked ready to leave, someone else opposed the idea.
"I want to go too," Bloody said with a serious tone. "I want to help others with them. I know how to use Hamon-"
"And that is not required by my own decision. I can tell you're getting worked up too much to not just jump in the first melee to protect people."
"Because that's the right thing to do," He harshly rebuked.
"It's the easy thing to feel right about something. But not the correct way to do things right," I sharply shot back. "You might consider diplomacy futile right now, but if you curb the head of the trouble, then the entire mess will collapse on itself."
One glance at the boy and I knew he was gauging how much I had established about his current mindset. He was getting worked up too much on the matter to just hold himself from joining the fight, all for the good reasons… but results he wouldn't be happy about. He had the good mindset, but, as this proved once again to me, he was far from experienced in handling this kind of political issue. I kept him close considering how he was glancing tentatively on the circumstance, with the saving grace being Speedwagon supporting my perspective by admitting that adding more violence to what was happening would have just worsened things for both sides rather than helping one in particular.
We were forced to take numerous detours all around the area before ultimately managing to find a smooth path to the town hall. So many civilians were involved in this mess and I was baffled by the lack of safe zones for some of the wounded to retreat to. In fact, I was even shocked by the fact I saw some of the brawling even happening among same-colored civilians. I saw two black men clashing, then more joining and making the entire skirmish even more confusing and violent than it was initially. I found the behavior odd, but not as odd to see numerous cops clashing against one another. Something wasn't right within this bout of violence and… I couldn't help but wonder if this was the power of a possible enemy Stand. Was that even possible right now considering that I knew Vins was employing a limited number of Stands? No, I eventually conceded with a grimace. Something stranger was unfolding in Mobile, and it was somehow tied to Vins… but it wasn't a Stand. What could even create this kind of reaction from people?
These musings reached a culmination when we finally arrived at our destination. The town hall had definitely seen better days, with most of the windows barricaded to protect from external attacks and… all curtains drawn down. Vampires? It was possible and so we entered inside by breaking through the few wooden bars nailed to try and keep whatever was inside only within the building. I felt a strange stench as soon as the doors were pulled open, something similar to rot but… more disgusting. It was burning my nostrils, and I had to cover my nose just a few moments inside the place. My example was followed by the others as we started to search around for clues. The entire first floor had been left in the dark, with not even the artificial light created by electric bulbs and lamps allowed to linger as we were moving into pure darkness.
My sight was heightened through hamon, and I knew Bloody could do the same but… Robert didn't have that luxury, and I had to keep an eye out of him rather than letting him wander around by trying to follow us. The pace was slow, but we smoothly went through the hallway that led us to the upper floors and right to the mayor's office. At this point, any suspicions regarding undead activity was confirmed when we were ambushed by zombies. Just four of them, trying to attack us by striking in the dark and using the small size of the hallway to their advantage. It would have been quite dreadful to face a few years ago, but I dispatched three of them while Bloody took care of the one that got too close to him. More would soon approach as we continued walking towards our next destination, but none of those managed to injure any of the three of us. The only 'damage' was the frights that Robert was getting at the unholy shrieking coming out of nowhere and getting him jumping.
"D-Dio, with all due respect… Do you remember when you said I should stop drinking as much as I do normally because I could end up growing to have heart attacks if I didn't?"
I blinked in surprise at that sudden question, but I slowly nodded. "I recall that conversation, yes."
"Well, I think I will now listen to that after today."
I held back a snort at the connection that was offered and I knew that it was going to be quite the amusing circumstance to face when we were out of here and bringing our side of the situation to the others. Poor Robert was finally getting why heightening the chances of heart problems was more than troublesome considering the line of work we were taking nowadays. Beyond that mirthful exchange, we actually arrived at the office and… there we found an interesting sight.
"Kukukuku! Dio Joestar- I finally found you!" The only occupant of the room greeted loudly while dropping a hand that seemed to have been taken by the corpse of the mayor that had been set on the table. The figure donning priestess-like robes. Female, her exposed skin was decaying despite the fact I could tell she was a vampire. Very unsettling, and incredibly confusing.
"I think we found you first… whoever you are," I replied as smoothly as I could while highlighting the rudeness of a lack of an introduction from our current foes.
"My name is Farrah, the Enchantress of the Dead. I was once a simple healer that was cursed by a witch… but I was given a chance by my mistress to deal with the scoundrels like you and to show how futile your ambitions really are!"
She didn't look much, with her body too damaged to be capable of surviving a fight but… something was indeed weird about it. I could feel a sense of familiarity and dread about this circumstance and it then happened. The woman mustered a crystal ball and… something pulled at me- no, at us all. It was sudden, it was strong, but we were not getting thrown into it. I tensed up holding onto the ground with my stance but failed to jump away as the pull suddenly yanked us forward and into it. A bright light exploded from the sphere as I felt my entire perception of reality suddenly altered as… I 'woke up' somewhere else. It was… the Joestar Manor? The main hall by the entrance, it was the same and yet… The entire place was in ruin. It looked to have been the ground of a serious battle, but also the subject of decay through time. It seemed really old and… one figure was sitting by the first line of stairs that led to the second floor. The same figure that I have seen in my recent nightmares and… he wasn't covering his face anymore.
"This is the end of the line for us. Maybe you should have seen this one coming considering how recent events have told you about."
I frowned at… my older self? This was clearly an illusion but… it felt awfully tied to what I had to face back in these dreams.
"What are you talking about? What happened here?" I questioned, getting a quiet sigh instead as the man stood up and gave me a dull look.
"Many horrible things. We did those."
"I've been struggling with scarier outlooks of my existence, so if this is the best you got then-"
"Hannah dies because Vampirism ends up taking over. We didn't have a choice."
"I don't recall asking," I flatly pointed out. "In fact, I don't see the point of you telling me this."
"Jonathan perished because he tried to protect his son during the Great War. We failed to prevent it. Erina would die two months later due to heartache and… George II would perish in the conflict to make his father proud."
"Are you done, you foolish illusion?" I inquired calmly, holding back as much of that unsettling list that was just leaving me angrier than else. "In fact, spare me the rest. Everyone dies, it's my fault somehow, I end up in a cycle of despair and sorrow and perhaps contemplate using the mask and do something about it."
I noticed the malicious aura coming off his body and the lack of Hamon within his frame… he was a vampire. A different breed of it at that.
"Once again, spare me the rest," I interrupted without hesitation. "I've heard some stupidities in recent days and… really, I don't care of what a stupid contraption of my mind can hope to creatively achieve through this."
"I'm only speaking the truth-"
"What about Bloody and Kate?"
He blinked, a frown forming on his face. "What about them?"
"Kate might not have a counter to any of my Stand's powers, but she would manage a permanent hit or two on your body. And Bloody… no. I will not tell you."
"Tell me what? I'm from the future you're building."
"You are the saddest effort ever put forth to demoralize me. Do you think I would ever concede to this? That I would allow you to undermine the good things I'm trying to build?" I pressed relentlessly. "You are but a one-time trick that would have done wonders against my younger self… but now? I achieved so much by being careful but determined. And you? You are nothing but a failed view of what I can do and what others can do to me if I fail."
"You don't understand-!"
I sure did. Especially when I pumped Divine Hamon in my body and rushed in to deliver a powerful uppercut that sent him upstairs. The attack- he didn't see it. He should have expected it if he had been my older self but… he didn't. While the idea of getting pulled in a crystal ball would normally highlight a glimpse in the future, I was reluctant to believe some vampirized 'witch' would be able to pull considering the height of such a magical attempt. It wasn't something that could be done with ease, even with what the Stone Mask could offer. I tried to contemplate how to break free from this upsetting circumstance, but my attention was soon stolen back to the vampire as he calmly recovered from the little slam on the wall.
"I guess you will see the truth through pain. Like always," The bastard ominously muttered before rushing back towards me and… he was fast. Really fast. I was actually impressed by the pace, but it was still manageable considering I could predict what he was doing and move just in time to return hit after hit. We were trading a lot, with damage on my side healing slower compared to the insane healing factor the man was showing like that. Still, hamon was doing something… but also not. It wasn't being as effective as it should have considering I was facing a Vampire, making me wonder if this was part of the illusion to try and boost my opponent up through BS or through a legitimate reason like some 'hamon resistance' because he practiced Hamon for so long that he built some immunity to it or something like that. Doubtful but at this point, I was no longer surprised by this development. The punches were stinging, and I knew I was in a bloody stalemate I couldn't win on my own. Even employing ｢ACT 2｣ didn't seem to chance the circumstance I was stuck in, with the vampire's own Stand managing to somehow hold its own and do more compared to ｢ACT 2｣.
It was a slow defeat in the making and I knew I was also running out of juice. Differently from other battles against other Dios, this one saw me move around a lot more than previously, rolling and backing away on multiple occasions to avoid getting frozen up by my foe. He was being rather freeze-happy compared to the Part1!Dio I faced a while ago, and definitely using it together with his own Stand. And despite my unwavering confidence, I was taking a lot of damage after just twenty minutes of intense fighting.
"You're not going to leave this place. It shall be your home and… the grave of your future."
I scoffed at the comment. "Not going to lie here… but the cheesiness of your speeches with me really makes me the most disgusted. Perhaps even more than what I had to face with other Dios."
A growl left his mouth as he rushed up towards me and… then he stopped mid-air. I stared at the scene with a confused but also tired look. Something was… hurting right now. Something that had to do with what was cracking right above my head. I looked up, and I saw multiple cracks spreading all over ｢ACT 2｣. The Stand hummed quietly, and I saw it slowly descend and turn to look at me. There was silence as its body was crumbling before me and I remained quiet while studying this baffling phenomenon.
"Do you know why this world is cruel?"
This was the first time I heard ｢The World｣ communicate with me in such a clear manner and… I was impressed by how close its voice was to mine. I took a moment to contemplate its words, knowing that this had to be important and beyond the mere illusion we were stuck inside. No, this was actually tied to the dreams and… to what was hidden in that box.
"Not yet," I replied quietly, almost groaning at the irony behind that response. "But I'm working on it."
"No." The Stand refused as its face further broke. "You know the truth. But you are afraid of what others think of it. You saw it, this situation brought it to your mind and allowed you to grow into believing it more than before."
That was an unexpected rebuttal, but one that confirmed my suspicions. I wasn't sure yet who I was talking to since I doubted this was really ｢The World｣'s talking to me. No, the Stand was being used by something different- something that had the power to speak through it. A Beyond? No, this was… different. It felt different. Still, despite this discovery, I knew I had to be honest or face repercussions from the way I was refused just moments ago.
"It's a gauntlet. The world we live in, the wars we suffer- the violence. It's a challenge," I started to explain. "It's to test the might and minds- to test resolve and willpower. We are all fighters in a world-wide arena."
"Yes. Yet the purpose of this challenge isn't to control the World."
"It's to protect it. It's to find a guardian to it," I added without thinking, my mind connecting to the expressed thought and going forth without logical input. It all felt fitting within the matter at hand. "We were set up to create our own final civilization. The one that would last eternally after the rage and violence that shaped us into modernity."
"And then… we provided you with something to further exert these claims. To finalize the product."
"The Meteor was meant to remain untouched. It would have done the correct job of selecting the few people worthy of its might without killing anyone," The Stand lamented dryly. "Yet it still quickened the process and created… you."
"I'm not the original one-"
"But you are what we were looking for. Despite what you might use as an excuse to deny the circumstance- you are what we found. If we hadn't, then Pucci would have been the one to revert the universe until we had what we needed."
"What? Pucci doesn't-"
"Have you ever wondered why Pucci was allowed to win? Why were people like Giorno weren't seen intervening to stop this? Why did Jotaro and Jolyne, two Joestars, fail against a servant of the Original Dio?"
"You… you did that. So this means you are not a deity or a Beyond… you are-"
"What we need to be for the sake of completion. We are one and many, but you, Dio, are what we have been seeking for eons and dimensions. The truth behind Human completion."
And with that, ｢The World｣ was freed of the possession and allowed to… change. The evolution was indeed radical as its entire armor shifted to the solid Gold color that was used by the original ｢The World｣. Its size increased partially and I felt that this new version of my Stand, this ｢ACT 3｣, was the first step into true perfection.
Time resumed back to normal and the pause had granted me the chance for my Hamon to heal me properly and get me ready for 'Round 2'. I swiftly dodged his attempt to land his claws at me and pushed him away with a solid punch from ｢ACT 3｣. The golden punch struck his face, slamming his teeth in and leaving him shocked at the sudden change in pace. Differently than before and much to my relief, the vampirized illusion merely growled from that point onward which made for an unpleasant noise since there were no teeth on his face.
I decided to use this advantage to test the limits of ｢ACT 3｣ and I was surprised of one thing. The overall strain of normal Time-related powers was definitely improved and way stronger than the copy's own Stand. And there was also the new addition to my arsenal, the little trick that offered me the advantage over him.
"｢ACT 3｣! TOKI WO TOMARE!"
The familiar noise that was tied to the original ｢The World｣'s Time-Stop power soon followed as time stopped all around me. Grinning, I started to count the seconds I had within the stopped world. Nine seconds. My lips twitched in disappointment at not having a higher limit, but considering that this was the 'initial' timecount, I knew it was going to improve the more I used it. And I was going to use it to study and cut through some time-draining activity on my own. As the Time-Stop ended, the copy paused and frowned at this circumstance, perhaps perceiving something was wrong.
I didn't allow him to continue. Nor did I need this fight to last more than it needed to. I had tested my current limits, and I knew that using the power so frequently could potentially gain the BS that Jotaro used on Dio. And I didn't want to get screwed by that possibility. A solid Muda from ｢ACT 3｣ cemented the final hit, with its left punch slamming at full power onto the side of the copy's head and tearing it off his body before crushing it on the ground. The body wobbled for a moment before falling forward and burning down as the curse was properly lifted off from it and…
"How am I supposed to leave now?" I wondered quietly as I started to look around. It didn't take long for me to actually find an exit as I realized that beyond the big doors that led outside there was actually a transparent glass holding me from getting out of that setting and back to the mayor's office.
｢ACT 3｣ manifested unconsciously, accepting my simple desire of breaking free as it started to drill the glassy surface with a furious barrage of punches that were way faster and stronger than what I was more accustomed about. It was clear its stats went up, especially when I could feel the pressure doubling compared to previous occasions and rekindling a sense of 'rush' that I had lost due to how long I had grown familiar with the previous swiftness of its strikes. The surface didn't survive for long as my attacks seemed to be more than enough to actually collapse it.
With the loud echoing of glass breaking, I felt another flash of light consume me and… bring me back to the office. Bloody and Speedwagon were there too, with both looking fairly pissed and directing their anger right at the baffled 'Enchantress'.
"W-What? How is this possible?! My spell-"
"Was pathetic," I flatly commented. "In fact, we faced far worse than this. Which is why you're now going to pay for this kind of trickery."
"Y-You witch!" Bloody exclaimed, while Robert growled.
"Never been one to strike women, but I see you more as a heinous villain than else!"
"Y-You think this is over? That sphere… it was one of many! You lose Dio Joestar!" The Priestess exclaimed while revealing multiple spheres on the table now activating all at once.
"｢ACT 3｣!" I exclaimed the very moment I started to feel pulled again. The reactive response seemed to work as the pull disappeared and I used the time I had to crash those spheres before giving the woman a free flight into the sunset. So, after crushing the glass balls, I delivered a flurry of punches to conclude the upsetting circumstance.
The last punch came just as time resumed its course and… the result was deeply impressive. The glass spheres cracked all at once while the shocked priestess was suddenly flung out of the window after exploding in blood and bones, the sunlight waiting outside managing to do the trick and kill her at once. As her demise brought an end to this skirmish, it also seemed to end the violence outside as the noise of battles slowly drew to a closure, with everyone stopping and pausing over what was going on before panicking over the toll taken by all sides. Grimacing at this predictable situation, I looked back at the others and I noticed they looked slightly shocked by one thing that dignified the fact I had been behind that final attack considering I was no longer standing near to them. I could tell from their glances alone that I would have to explain a lot once we were through the aftermath as… this was going to be a mess to explain to the authorities.
But first, let's fix the aftermath at once...
Due to the death of the mayor and of most of the Democratic representatives that should have been eligible as replacement after his murder, the rule of action was that the Republican would have had their chance to set their own candidate into the office and, through emergency powers, try to get things fixed where fixable. The damage delivered by the vampire's manipulation had left many families to mourn the passing of men, women, and children. No one was spared by the brutality caused by the manipulation of the woman.
Farrah, the vampire's name, had managed to get to the mayor by seducing her way into his office through illusions. There, she killed the mayor and used some form of magic to appear like him so she could start to enable riots and use more of her magic to enchant the violence to the point everyone was just attacking everything nearby. It worked in most part when it came to those that had been involved in the various battles across Mobile, leaving numerous wounded and dead people littering the streets. This was a massacre that was going to catch more attention from the government without any hesitation. I managed to get hold of the new mayor during the ensuing chaos, the man holding himself just barely considering the circumstance he was meant to be facing at once. I told him that it would have been best to request the mobilization of the National Guard all over the South to prevent this from happening again and ask for the government to focus more on what was going on in the general area. He accepted this, and he felt more compelled to listen when I provided him with the promise that I would see for funds to be pumped into the required money to rebuild what was broken and send relief to the shattered families within the city.
I ended up finding out that my 'arrival' was actually expected as some of the members of the former pro-Confederacy groups that had heard of my 'deeds' and had been planning out to 'see if I was what people were preaching about'. The proof, in this case, was helping heal some of their injured friends and other civilians. I decided to go for it and give them proof instead of just holding back- not when there were people in need of proper medical assistance. They seemed a bit reluctant when I also started to aid black people too, but they didn't complain about it as I went through all the tasks they put me through. It was a two hours-long activity and concluded with a tired me getting praised by many and blessed by the local Church's pastor as a Saint. Or something along those lines. I was spreading the word of 'peace', but I sure felt like this was going to escalate into something more if I didn't keep a strong look over it and prevented it from radicalizing.
As Mobile started its long path to recovery, the train was furbished to move once more back on tracks and aimed at New Orleans. The second group reported no injuries on themselves, with the sole exception of Bhediya having a minor gash on the wound caused by one of the manipulated aggressors rushing at him and striking him while he was helping multiple people at once. Nothing concerning, but it left him in a negative mood for some time… until I brought up how things went for us. Explaining what really happened back in the mayor's office seemed to leave everyone perplexed at my words. I didn't blame them for not believing it and I decided to prove it as soon as a certain Cowboy commented on the matter.
"I don't think I understand. How do you stop… 'time'?" Derek argued with a skeptical tone. "I mean, I know you can do things with time but… outright stopping it just for yourself? That sounds rubbish."
We were already aboard the train and moving, but instead of replying to that affirmation, I decided to prove to them all that I wasn't lying about it. Taking a big piece of paper that I turned and shaped into a cone hat, I uttered a quick '｢ACT 3｣' and used the time I had at my disposal to set the hat right above the man's head. Once time resumed its course, Derek blinked as he felt the weight of the paper hat over his head.
"Really?" He huffed calmly, but I was more concerned by two comments about it.
"I saw you… move," Kate announced in surprise. "In fact, that would explain why for a moment before the end of the fighting, I noticed everyone had paused and I couldn't move."
"Y-Yeah. You put the hat on by going to his right side," Bloody added.
"Zephy?" I asked, trying to find out if the critter had noticed something too.
"I didn't see anything. I believe it's limited to these two."
"Same," Robert commented and Bhediya nodded in agreement to this line.
"Well, it would seem that, for some reason, you two can actually see me moving through stopped time which is… interesting to say the least," I added with a contemplative voice. "In fact, considering how this kind of power works, I wouldn't exclude the possibility you might be able to actually move within it the more you're influenced by it."
"Is that… so?" Kate inquired with a hint of surprise. "I can tell you're planning to use it a lot."
"Just to train it. The more I use it with moderation, the more seconds I can keep this going."
"How long can you keep it?" Bhediya asked in complete fascination with the topic.
"That's not much," Bloody pointed out.
"It is a lot during a battle. These precious seconds can make for some important decisions and turning points in a losing skirmish."
I nodded in agreement and the conversation continued for a while regarding this new development. I didn't have much to offer beyond what I already gave, preferring to keep quiet over the fact that I had received a mystical visit I had yet to fully decipher. There were bigger players than Vins and Pucci, and I had yet to determine if they were friendly or not. The rest of the trip went nicely as I carefully checked the real limits of the Time-Stop as I wanted to know what happened if I decided to try and go 'beyond' the limit already. The result? I felt incredibly drained and had to remain still and quiet for a while. My body just rejected the concept of 'breaking' that kind of limits, and I understood that trying to force it through it was counterproductive and incredibly stupid on my part. I used that time to write a letter to the closest MiH's office here in the States to try and get the promise I offered the mayor fulfilled and give extra help in the reconstruction process.
What I didn't know at the time I was writing that letter was that the situation in the South was finally expanding into National politics and demanding proper attention to get it solved. The Union Army had activated a couple more troops from reserves and was already rounding up and freeing some of the settlements harassed by the vampire raiders from the pressure by employing tricks to force the monsters under the sunlight. A slow operation, but one that was steadily giving info to the army what was going on and who was behind this kind of madness.
It wouldn't be a lie to say that Vins was slowly waking up the Sleeping Giant from its slumber after the Civil War, and I was quite certain that her next actions were only going to fill it with unquestionable resolve.
｢ACT 3｣ is finally there and the original Time-Stop Power has been achieved… HUZZAH!
Still, the Box is still closed. And Dio's power isn't… enough to open it. Something more has to be unleashed before it can show the truth and give Dio the missing piece to ultimate control over ｢The World｣.
｢The World: ACT 3｣
User: Dio Brando (SI)
Destructive Power: S
Range: C (Ten Meters)
Ability: Time Manipulation Level 3 (Reverting, stopping, or amplifying the movement of a thing or being or complete Time-Stop of everything beyond the User and the Stand).
P.S. If you have any suggestion for Omakes, feel free to throw it in either in a review/comment/post. I will try to write those that I can actually put into a chapter and deliver it to ya while also crediting the ones behind the ideas.
Omake 31: A Joestar's Wedding (Jonathan)
I really should have expected this and… yet I was surprised. Again, I wasn't really planning to end up like this. Not when the original Dio behaved and turned out to be.
The news that I had been chosen as Jonathan's best man for his upcoming marriage with Erina took me by surprise. I would have expected him to approach someone else considering how much time he started to spend with Bhediya during hamon training. I wasn't even exactly prepared to face a wedding now that Hannah had started to consider this too. I didn't exactly blame her and my hesitation was more driven by the fact I really didn't know how to prepare for that. Especially now I was going to be part of one and be the one to keep the rings too. There was quite a strange division of roles within this event, but I didn't complain. For some odd reasons, Erina sure got in a tense mood about it.
And by tense mood, I really meant her having rants with people whenever they asked her how she was doing with the pressure. To be fair, I had a talk with her while she was particularly annoyed by how many people were just repeating the same questions to her. After a pep talk and a hug from me, she seemed to get enough steel in her confidence to handle the circumstance better. Not the finest attitude, but definitely several hints better than what she had for a while. Her father was… incredibly worse than that. But if your name wasn't Jonathan Joestar, he sure felt approachable. Until the marriage was brought up. He was so happy for his daughter, but that didn't prevent his protective nature to have him handle out threats to a panicking JoJo as the older man promised some 'medical accidents' in case the Joestar heir failed to attend to his bride's needs. Which was hilarious from an external standpoint, the spectator's view, and it made me relieved that I didn't have to face that kind of madness with Hannah.
Speaking of Hannah's parents… I actually gave a background check just because she asked. These people were no longer around. Sickness, poverty- standard reasons as to how people tended to die in this time period. She wasn't really touched by it considering how quickly the kicked her out of their home. She still felt lucky things turned out that way, and she seemed to take a serious note of this as soon as one of her bridesmaids. Sarah was amused when she was picked as the second one, and the rest of the cast got prepared for the big event altogether as soon as the big day came to us. The day was one of the most nerve-wracking one in recent history, especially with how tight the schedule felt compared to the usual. Waking up early wasn't a novelty, but it sure got a lot messier considering that everyone else was doing the same too to be prepared for the early morning functions. It's been a long while since I visited a church, and the moment I entered inside the one where the entire ceremony was meant to unfold sure returned the weird vibes I tended to have back from my previous life. I just didn't like the… 'high and condescending' nature of the building. A sacred site, but also one that really made one feel like God was always watching, even more when you were inside the church itself.
I didn't feel any guilt to genuinely feel distraught by the phenomenon, but that didn't prevent me from feeling really frustrated. Just enough to not want to linger beyond the time we were meant to spend inside it. Once everyone was there, seated and the bride and groom had managed to get safely and well to their destination, the event unfolded as smoothly as planned. It was a standard marriage, with the same lines coming from all sides as the script usually went. The only main difference between what I've been watching several times now and this very moment was… I was there. And I was a very important part of it. Despite the dullness of just waiting, I still kept attentive as I knew that my part was incredibly essential to the completion of this big day for these two. When it was time for the rings, I calmly handed those to Jonathan, the young man sparing me a happy smile as it was clear any doubt had been washed away from his mind the more he spoke about his love for Erina, and Erina returned the vows with her own. All in all, a beautiful day to be a side-character to a couple's purest form of joy.
As the ceremony concluded with the priest's positive closure and his allowance for the two to kiss, there was a loud but glorious reaction from the witnesses of this monumental development. Applause roared eagerly as people celebrated the kiss that confirmed their commitments and saw them effectively becoming Mr. and Mrs. Joestar. After just a few more minutes to get the entire ceremony properly ended, the next part of the big day started. The feast was prepared just to celebrate the entire situation. I had to put some money in when it came necessary to get two gifts, one for Jojo and one for Erina, but I could tell the man appreciated the carrion with small representation of them during their marriages and a lovely lullaby that could be used to calm any nerves or even used with their future children. The blonde's gift was something that I had to actually contact first to get it served to her. Speaking with this certain celebrity considering how tedious her work was proved to be quite difficult, but she listened when I offered a permanent partnership with my organization to sustain her hospital work.
Florence Nightingale was in her sixties when I ended up approaching her. She was rather difficult to start a conversation with but still someone that listened and valued logic before any kind of prejudice. She had already established herself in the medical community, and she was surprised when I mentioned to her why I was asking for her invitation. The end result made all the hassle worthwhile and much more. Erina was ecstatic, and while Florence tried to keep her cool considering the circumstance, she still appreciated the fact she ended up finding a young but fierce lady that was inspired by her hard work and was still planning to pursue a career in medicine as a nurse. For a moment I also worried that the older woman's presence would have denied Jojo the chance to actually dance with his bride, but the dance happened and they got what they were planning to do.
All was going just fine and Hannah spent most of the time with me. We danced, we drank some wine and then ultimately had to leave as the entire thing couldn't drag for too long. After the rest of the guests were safely escorted out and back to their homes, I couldn't… exactly remember what happened to me that night. At first I knew only that Hannah had taken me to my room and then… we fell asleep. The next morning proved to be a tense one as I woke up in quite a warm embrace under some covers and… I feared I had done it- or rather, that drunk Hannah had been the one to do it.
After getting hold of myself, I managed to get a proper look of the situation and realized that my worries had been based mostly on nothing since we were both dressed and… we had just cuddled up. To be fair, Hannah was really cute while sleeping and the fact she was really latching onto me as she didn't want to let go of my warm self sure made for an amusing but slightly worrying circumstance. It didn't help that just a few minutes after waking up, I saw the door of the room open to see George peeking at the situation inside. He stared at me, and I stared back with a tired look.
"Cuddling," I merely muttered and yet the single word seemed to get a concrete answer to the old Joestar's mind. One that still left slightly 'disappointed' at the lack of scandalous reaction, which left me confused, suspicious, and particularly worried of the chances of this becoming a problem in the near future. After a while, Hannah finally started to stir from her rest and the girl opened her eyes to realize what was going on.
"No. We just cuddled," I remarked calmly, getting a sigh and a pout from Hannah.
"I told you that it might change once we get married."
She sighed again, nuzzling closer and holding me tighter. "You better find that lovely ring you promised me."
I felt it was more of a threat than else but… I didn't blame her. I hope I ended up really finding what I'm looking for and not making a poor figure in front of her. Not when our relationship's integrity stood about it.
And that, Joseph, is how your grandpa married your grandma. Any questions?
P.S. If you have any suggestion for Omakes, feel free to throw it in either in a review/comment/post. I will try to write those that I can actually put into a chapter and deliver it to ya while also crediting the ones behind the ideas.