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Capitolo Secondo: Ambizione (17)
Training was going smoothly. While I could say that I was quite far from fully mastering the new ability of my Stand and my capacity to harness Divine Hamon, I still was making leaps into the right direction in both circumstances. I had managed to gain a solid hold over the Hamon-related technique, which seemed to also help me bolster my Time-Stop power. Not only did I increase the sharpness of my body and my overall stamina, but I was also capable of possibly nullifying the negative effects of using the Time-Stop so much and so frequently. All Time-related powers initially tended to put a strain to my body, or my heart to be more specific, with ｢ACT 1｣ leaving me minor issues since I was already training in Hamon, while ｢ACT 2｣ left more 'prominent' issues the first months I trained with it. The more I exercised my body through Hamon, it adapted to sustain and even grow to ignore this kind of strain. ｢ACT 3｣ represented the 'new obstacle' to overcome as I could gain double the advantages that previous ACTs had given to me. And I knew that this wasn't… the final form of my Stand.
I had taken time to wonder about an evolution for my Stand to exceed even further as… there was potential. I could feel there was room to expand on what I had and… I knew this could be mere euphoria speaking due to the fact I had unlocked such a powerful ability just recently, but that I also could tell by merely looking at my Stand, ｢The World｣, that this wasn't over. Not yet. There was something else that I had to unlock before unleashing its full potential. Something that wasn't currently within my reach and… that it was tied to my strange dreams. I would still dream of the box, but this time the object was devoid of protection and only its lock remained to prevent me from seeing what was inside it. Two letters had been 'locked' in, an 'M' and a 'A'. I thought about trying my luck and testing out combinations, but I noticed just as soon as I placed my hands on the lock that I couldn't move the remaining bits. Those were locked on empty tags, leaving me with obvious guesses but no capacity to verify if those matched with the current combination. So… I was stuck for now just training and getting through the trip. Something just told me I was going to get some understanding in a few days of checking the box. There was something familiar about it which made me grasp more of its current purpose.
As we finally reached our current destination, we noticed that New Orleans was… celebrating. And I had just a hint of what was really going on when we arrived at the station and noticed how packed with tourists and businessmen the entire area was. Everyone was a bit reluctant to leave due to how crowded the entire place was, and yet, much to my surprise, Kate pushed to see what it was all about. Which was odd considering her usual predisposition to look around the cities we visited. Due to her reluctance to generally show her appearance around, I was confused by this form of eagerness, but she mentioned that something about this celebration felt awfully interesting and she was fascinated by what could have created such a large gathering of people here in this city and… in this bizarre time. To be fair, I couldn't fault her for being curious about it, but I had my doubts this was going to be anything really fun due to the nature of this event.
"The World Centennial Cotton. It's a celebration for the fact it's been roughly one hundred years since the first known recording of a cotton shipping reaching England from the current US-owned land," I started to explain while leading the group around, with Bloody actually keeping quite close to me as a way to prevent him from getting pushed around by the other people around while also giving me the chance of keeping track of him and prevent any chance of kidnapping. "I would say it's a pleasant initiative, yet… I could see Cotton isn't actually the focus here today."
I could see numerous stands with electric devices. I knew a limited exposition regarding electrification should have happened two years after this event in the original timeline, but I could see how the city would try to mix both to save a rather 'weak' reason for such a big fair. I could see a couple of familiar ones I had already invested in and that had been created in England or France, but I saw one particular stand which got my full attention. Most of the technicians were tied to Edison one way or another, with a couple of 'second-rate' competitors… but this one was a complete independent stand and I recognized a single individual working on it. Another interesting factor was that this was the only stand with only a single worker occupying it, which highlighted a 'poorer' backing compared to the competitors. Short black hair combed properly, a well-cared mustache, dark eyes and he was wearing a light-gray outfit with matching jacket and pants, he was also donning a white shirt and a black tie that matched with his shoes' shade.
"Good morning," I greeted politely as I decided to check on what the man had on display. The calm words brought him out of his current activity, with his inquisitive eyes already on me and studying me. The others had taken a moment to look around at the other stands, leaving just me and Bloody to discuss with this interesting gentleman.
"Good… morning," He greeted back, and I could feel the Slavic accent that further confirmed my suspicions on who I was talking to.
"Apologies for interrupting, I was just… impressed by this curious tool you were tinkering on," I pointed out quietly, glancing at a familiar object that could really improve livelihood if properly produced and distributed to the right people. A blink, the man looked briefly down and then frowned back at me.
"Oh, this? It's just a prototype. A… stupid one, if I have to be honest."
I let out a perplexed hum at that response. "How so? I believe it's quite close to completion from the looks of it."
I noticed Bloody sparing me a confused glance at my words, but it was the man that spoke up again.
"You… know what this is?"
"A motor," I calmly answered. "I would dare to say an induction one, but… better developed than Mr. Walter Baily's original project and the one developed by Mr. Otto Blathy."
At the mention of these two pioneers of this new subject, the scientist seemed to change attitude in the span of a few seconds. It was an expected reaction as I had brought up individuals that shouldn't have been known as popularly as they are to fellow inventors, giving the man a clear understanding I wasn't a jolly tourist that came to him to annoy his current work. Soon he was nodding happily, pushing the device to the central spot of the table so I could look closer to it.
"Still, not a working one. I've been trying to get it to work for two years now but… nothing."
"I guess it's frustrating, I can say that if you succeed with this endeavor, it would establish a new standard… oh, I almost forgot, my name is Damiano Divino."
I reached out and the man happily went for the handshake.
"Tesla, Nikola Tesla."
I smiled at the confirmation as I checked once again on the device. "Still… If it doesn't require checking your math sheets, may I give it a look from the inside?"
His lips twitched in disappointment at the request, feeling a bit annoyed by the request since I could as well be a possible competitor and spy in disguise. Still, it was a mere suspicion and it wouldn't work well for him to alienate a possible investor by ruining that interaction out of these doubts. He carefully unraveled part of the device, allowing me to check inside and check the problem which could be tied to the known malfunctioning tool. I blinked, thinking back at what I learned back in my previous life by seeing my father work on his kind of motors. I was given a lot of 'education' regarding this kind of machinery, so I knew some basics which I could tell weren't 'well applied' within this prototype. I merely brought up those issues to the scientist, Tesla baffled by my suggestions but swiftly followed through as he slowly started to apply the changes and see what differed between my suggested configuration and the one he had been struggling with. A few moments later, I felt a hint of smugness lay on my face when the motor started to work as intended, providing enough electricity to three light bulbs at the same time.
"Sir, this is… fortuitous, I feel compelled to ask if you would be willing to… share a patent with me."
I smiled at that offer, but I shook my head. "Sadly, I'm not an inventor and I'm more of a businessman, but not as 'American' as Mr. Edison tends to be, Mr. Tesla."
"In which regard?" He half-demanded, quickly noticing that I was actually dressing well.
"Well, I would say I hail from Europe, and my company has for long been seeking out minds as gifted and well-geared into the betterment of humanity as yours."
"You're a representative from Made in Heaven."
Now, that was actually a surprising take in that regard. I still decided to nod and he hummed.
"I've heard many good things about the company, you have not exploited any of your workers or scientists… but I doubt I can't land any position without Edison putting pressure to have my acquisition stopped."
"Mr. Edison might be rich, but he will not have any influence on the matter, I can assure you of that," I argued with a serious tone. "I understand your worry, but I can assure you that the leader of the company isn't one that is deterred by threats, especially from someone that uses cheap tricks with some of their workers."
He didn't look outright convinced, but he still nodded. "I guess I can give it a thought."
"And of course, I believe you've been struggling due to the influence of your former employer," I added with a small smile, writing down a check for him to cash out at the nearest bank. "It's not much, but it should provide you with some relief and also give you the chance for the voyage if you're interested."
Sparing just a look at the check, Nikola's face went pale at the number registered there.
"This… is so much."
Fifty thousand dollars now was roughly the equivalent of a million dollars in modern times during the original timeline. I was making him a rich man fast, but not without reason. I knew of his gambling addiction, but I knew he wasn't going to waste all the money at once before considering a proper source of income that could set him off to life.
"Never enough if it comes to gain allies in revolutionizing humanity and bring new free services to them," I argued kindly. "I would suggest speaking with some of the representatives here in the US so you can at least get an understanding of the working of contracts. I know you have been unhappy with the one you were advised to sign."
He could only nod, still shocked by the absurd price for the time and age. I discussed the best setting which he could find a quick response to, and that I was going to personally contact a few of the representatives myself to make sure any interview proceeded smoothly. I didn't continue the conversation any longer as we were done with that kind of important topic, plus I could feel that lingering would attract too much attention on ourselves as some of Edison's own inventors were already eyeing me with interest as I was done conversing with Tesla. And I also knew the man had a lot to think about regarding the offer I just forwarded him. As we left the premises of that stand, I saw Bloody eyeing me with incredible curiosity as he clearly had many questions he wanted to ask me regarding what had just happened. The boy had yet to build up his own 'courage' to speak to new individuals he wasn't prepared to talk to, mostly those that had great importance through either his own knowledge or my own interactions with them. Instead of waiting for him to speak, I decided to indulge and start the conversation myself.
"Anything you need to ask?"
"Why would a former employer be interested in depriving the chance of one of his ex workers to find work? Did he do anything in particular to warrant this kind of reaction?"
A legitimate set of questions, and I gave him a thoughtful look.
"I would say both did things to each other to warrant that kind of bitterness. Tesla is a man that can't handle money well when he has the chance of gambling, but Edison is, just like many other businessmen, fairly interested in 'tricking' people when possible," I replied as reasonably as possible, the topic quite difficult to truly grasp without supporting one side or the other… unjustly. Despite his genius, Tesla still burned money for futile reasons. "The main difference is that Edison is influential. He will try to make Tesla's life difficult because he called him out and he bailed from a contract he probably broke first."
"Like all sorts of economy, Capitalism right now has its good qualities which is the capacity to invest and become rich from a poor upbringing. Sometimes people don't like that new rich men and women form through this, and so they establish… cliques, or groups that prevent the rise of those individuals."
"This is so wrong," The blond pointed out with a scowl. "I mean, Mr. Tesla might not be the best of individuals but… still, he shouldn't be attacked like this. What about the laws-"
"Precedents exist, but sometimes those are ill-applied. Politicians tend to create new laws to prevent full industrial takeovers, only for capitalists to find new ways to gain newer entries within the world of politics. This is going to be a lesson, don't trust bankers and other businessmen at face value, wait until you can confidently say they are wholeheartedly good people," I muttered with a serious tone. "There will come a time where you will have to ask for endorsement, and there are only a few individuals that will allow you to have this with minimal prices."
"...Dio, why every time we talk about the system, I feel like things are so negative?"
I hummed, patting his head. "That's because you've been educated to be optimistic towards society. I'm of the belief that, if you are too positive about something, and yet this topic proves to be quite 'awkward' in practice, you tend to be more upset about the discovery."
"Because I believed it was better?"
If only you were the only one to suffer that.
I couldn't blame him for feeling disappointed, but I could tell this experience is shaping him to be a little more cynical. I was careful enough to not push it onto him, and he seemed to be receiving this kind of education properly and without any maliciousness developing out of it.
"Yep. Which is why you should always set yourself the need of personally checking if something is genuinely good or bad. Sometimes things are weirder than they seem at first glance after all," I explained to him. "So, keep an eye out for anything suspicious and do trust your instincts because this environment is quite far from kind."
The blond nodded as he looked around and wondered about a specific detail he was just now spotting.
"Still, why are there so many soldiers around?"
It was something I had noticed while we had left the station. Due to the event's size, I wasn't surprised that a large battalion had been employed to keep any social issue out of the way and preserve peace within the city. Either that, or there have been some major issues within the city I wasn't aware about. Regardless of this, I merely shrugged.
"There are many tourists, I suppose they don't want any trouble to cause a riot or worse," I guessed with a calm tone.
The answer seemed to be satisfactory as Bloody went back to look around while keeping silent. Humming quietly, I noticed Kate around and we went to check on her as she huffed while retreating from one of the stands. She noticed us and I could see that something really happened from the way Zephy was looking quite embarrassed.
"So… anything to bring up?"
"Some children… pulled my tail," The blonde replied with a tiny grimace. "I'm just surprised they would go and do that."
"Maybe they thought it was fake," I argued with a calm tone. "I hope it didn't hurt much."
"Nothing I haven't felt before now," She admitted dryly, before giving me a fascinated look. "Still, I see the two of you are done talking with that man."
"Dio talked the most," Bloody hummed and I frowned at him. He noticed and looked back with a confused glance. "What?"
"Are you saying I'm chatty, young Valentine?"
He looked confused, but a bit embarrassed. "N-No?"
"Dio, you're not the kind of person that can be hurt by this circumstance," Zephy flatly pointed out, while Kate snorted, her lips twitching in amusement at the guardian's response.
"He is doing it on purpose."
"Of course I am," I mirthfully rebuked while glancing eagerly at the girl, vanishing any 'hurt' within my face as I regarded the younger blond once more. "Still Bloody… you really shouldn't feel excluded from discussion. I guess you aren't very talkative with people you don't know but… I believe you did good to not try to engage a conversation with Mr. Tesla. He is quite eccentric."
"I really want to talk… more," He admitted and I patted his head.
"We can work on that back on the train since I think I have an idea to work with that," I offered kindly before realizing through one of the nearby clocks that it was getting time for lunch. "Still, how about we get the others and then check some of the cuisine? I heard New Orleans is quite renowned for the curious dishes made by the locals?"
The offer of having an interesting meal for lunch seemed to appeal Kate's interest, same for Bloody and Zephy. Soon we retrieved the others, starting with Robert and Derek having taken refuge in a nearby bar while Bhediya was busy playing with some kids around the corner. The big fluffy thing could be quite playful even when he wasn't in his fuzzy form. Once everyone was recovered, we quickly went to check the restaurants that were known to serve 'traditional' food, but as we did so we were quickly overwhelmed by the fact that there were multiple 'cultures' within the city and that their traditions were hardly similar to one another. Still, we decided to test the one we were familiar with and… I got to see quite a couple of amusing reactions from the others… while I was also subjected to quite the unsuspecting discovery in the form of some 'unpleasant-looking' food which proved to be terrific. Really delicious, I had to ask for a second once I was done with my first Jambalaya. This little experience gave me the idea to eventually invest into getting some of these dishes brought to Europe. I could tell native French were going to love it. Same for some Englishmen and women.
With lunch out of the way, it was time for us all to get back to resume our trip… but as the train was ready to go, I ended up receiving a notice from one of the workers that a 'preacher' had left a letter for me to read at once. I frowned over what kind of madness Pucci might have caused, but I was left surprised when I was granted sight over quite a curious request. After making sure everyone was onboard, I took off with just Bhediya, the werewolf quickly questioning what was wrong and why I needed him.
"Let's just say that our foes have started to target civilians to gain more… troops."
To give him a definite answer, I handed him the paper and his expression morphed from confusion to outright dread and disdain.
My 'calm' voice let out the degree of anger and worry that came from the news of nearby villages having been 'sabotaged' by vampires.
The church we were given the address of was fairly big compared to others I had checked before in the US, but it was quite far from being the size of a proper cathedral. As soon as we knocked at the entrance, we were greeted by a nervous-looking man, fairly young but with enough beard to make him seem close to his mid-thirties, that quickly let us in. The sight we were bestowed with as soon as we were inside was as grim as the message had mentioned, except a bit more cramped than we could have predicted.
The benches were mostly used to lie down numerous men, women, children and elderly as most of them were plagued by pain and other horrible aching caused by this 'sickness' they had developed so suddenly and that couldn't be healed by a normal doctor. While one could simply call it a mere case of poisoning through an unknown element entering in contact with their bodies, the truth was that the Vampires had grown smart and actually started to sabotage wells with their bloods. The process was mostly committed through those wells that were covered on top, thus preventing the sun from bathing its rays over the exposed liquid. With the blood persisting, but diluting since it mixed with the water, anyone that drank from these sabotaged sources of water ended up slowly turning into Zombies. The process was slow but… for Pucci to intervene in such length, then the situation was way more tremendous than expected. Most of the villages had been alerted of this development, but the damage had already taken a few individuals that had to be killed to save the rest. To add insult to injury, there were so many people that had to be healed and Pucci couldn't do much about them due to their situation.
We were the ones that knew how to use Hamon and, while I would have brought Bloody too, I had reasons not to. The boy was learning to fight with Hamon, but his control was still clumsy when it came to predicaments that required nerves of steel to heal others. To this magnitude? I knew he could have messed up and panicked. Which was why it was just me and Bhediya and why we were planning to get this whole situation stabilized as quickly as possible. Much to my surprise, there were also soldiers around, making sure to keep track of any unplanned zombie emerging from the sickened civilians and deal with them. Pucci himself was discussing with a high officer from the rank emblem tailored on his right upper shirt and the priest that was supposedly in charge of this holy site.
The discussion was interrupted as soon as the Stand User took notice of us and greeted us with a nod.
"Dio, Bhediya- I suppose you're already aware of the situation," Pucci quickly muttered.
"Yes," I curtly replied. "We can start from those that are closer to turning and then shift to the one that are showing lesser symptoms."
Before we could move and start curing the poisoned civilians, the officer, a major, stopped us with a good question.
"Can you really help, Mr. Joestar? Can you fix this?"
I nodded, turning around and starting to check on the ones that felt within my sensor ability closer to losing their 'flame'. "Yes, my friend and I have a peculiar ability which strongly opposes the current condition that has afflicted these victims. I believe we can discuss later once we're through to make sure they are all saved."
Much to my relief, we weren't interrupted as we indeed started to heal as many innocents as possible. The predicament was quite grave, with many quite close to turning, but luckily enough reacting well to the treatment we offered as we used our Hamon as precisely and quickly as possible. The healing process took a while for each case, and I felt dread and anger grip my heart multiple times as I found myself dealing with young children, old men and women- there was even a girl of four that was crying for her mother, the woman having been one of the first victims of this insanity. Some took more than the others, either because they were affected for longer by the 'sickness' or because their body was too drained to put much of a fight against it and so the illness was spreading faster. Time was essential, and we moved as swiftly as possible, left and right, to make sure everyone was taken care of and no 'unexpected' case managed to skip our attention. It took us both half an hour to get the entire main hall dealt with, with all patients already showing signs of betterment after our treatment was over. Families rejoiced at the situation and yet we couldn't exactly 'celebrate' as there was much that the major wanted to know.
"Siurana is behind it somehow, at least, that's what the priest could say as to how these 'bloodsuckers' got through. I'm still confused how does that even work, how does one becomes a vampire or a zombie?"
"It's tied to a special set of Stone Masks that are mostly found in South America," I replied with a serious tone, gaining the officer's attention. "It's nothing magical, but the masks have the capacity to 'kill' the user and then return them to life lacking a soul, thus their humanity, but granting them a set of abilities beyond human. And immortality."
He frowned. "There's a catch, right?"
"No sun, no having children, no having an ounce of kindness in your heart," Bhediya answered and the man gritted his teeth and sighed.
"I guess that's the thing that kind of bastard would go after just to make his ambitions become true. This situation is fairly bad as it is as I've heard of what happened in the East and… the congress already ordered mobilization of a large army in response to what is happening. Mexico is sweating bullets to try and offer an explanation."
"War between the two states could make traveling alongside the border impossible," I pointed out grimly. "Which means it would be best to handle this matter first. Where is the army rallying?"
"I reckon it was somewhere in Houston. Either the city or spread in the forts nearby," The Major explained. "Still, Mr. Joestar, I believe you wish to take part in that strike and… do something about it?"
"Mexico as a sovereign nation isn't interested in this matter. The last thing they need is to risk a full-fledged war with the US with how fragile their current political order is," I pointed out while nodding. "If it's possible, I would like to prevent a war that will do nothing more but worsen the situation further."
"And how do you suggest doing that? People here are not going to listen to a call for peace towards Mexico," The pastor of this church asked with a concerned tone, to which I smiled and sighed.
"I believe we can draw a lesson from this situation. Cooperation can do great things and… I think we can convince Mexico to 'excommunicate' Siurana from their army and label him a traitor. At that point, it would be him against the US and the Mexican Army."
"And how do you think to convince Porfirio Diaz to take that stance, good sir?" The pastor inquired, once more worried.
"The letter," Pucci hummed, drawing the attention of the fellow man of the cloth and the Major.
"What letter?" The officer pressed and I sighed, mentioning something that I had written a while ago and that I didn't expect Pucci to be aware of me having it on myself. While I did send the letter to the regretful vampire's family, I had preserved the original, the one that I worked on adding a few corrections to make it easier to read. Call it a memento, or a reminder of the fact that this wasn't a war where everyone is completely bad- no, most of these vampires and zombies were unwilling people that had been pushed to show this kind of madness within themselves.
"One of Siurana's men decided to confess before dying, he asked me to write a letter to his family and I had preserved a copy of it. The Mexican Government can check on it, but I know it is good enough evidence to warrant some cooperation to be born from it."
"Do you have it on yourself?"
I nodded, passing the folded copy to the Major and the officer started to read it quickly, struggling a little over the Spanish language but understanding the main context of it.
"It could work. I will send this letter to Houston and have the commanding chief read it and plan out a way to draw an end to potential hostilities on the border, and possibly mention your arrival if you plan to come. I'll describe you as a specialist for the crisis we're facing right now." The man confirmed with a hopeful tone. "Of course, this doesn't mean this reconciliation wouldn't end the issue."
"Siurana is still alive," Bhediya confirmed.
"And until he lives, there will be a living obstacle between the US and peace," Pucci carefully added, drawing nods from the officer and the other priest.
I sighed. "The plan will be to draw him out and kill him. Which might make for a troubling battle when it happens."
"But we will be ready," Bhediya confirmed.
And I felt quite confident about that too. With the notion that Funny Valentine wasn't going to take part in this fight, the chances of this ending swiftly were pretty high. It all depended on how quickly Siurana's position could be overrun by the combined efforts. Still, the situation here was now stable and Pucci swore he would have returned these families back to their homes and warn the leaders of their settlements to be wary of further trouble of this kind. Which meant making sure the wells' water was exposed to sun rays. After confirming our current goals, Bhediya and I returned to the train and explained the situation to the others. Derek wasn't happy with this turn of events since it could easily blow up in our faces if the Mexicans weren't convinced by the proof.
The rest of the day went on smoothly as we all prepared for the next few days and how this was going to be an intense battle to face. I trained with Bloody, the boy well aware he couldn't enjoy the luxury of keeping away from the 'front line', but already cementing his progress within his capacity to fight with both Hamon and Spin. I could also see faint 'lines' of something moving around him with each punch and kick he employed. A Stand, I contemplated quietly, but not one that was ready to truly manifest and aid him. It was there, watching and seemingly learning from its own user from the way it stopped but still 'mimicked' Bloody's attacks. With night falling over that part of the world, sleep came surprisingly easy and…
And I was back in that dream.
This time I didn't even bother trying to force through the lock or the chest itself, merely sitting in front of it and glaring at it. Something was familiar. The frame, the size, the texture of the wood. I could tell I had somehow touched it before. I had seen this box before, yet I had no clue of where and when I first saw it. And why it was important for me so much that I was dreaming of it so intensely. My head slowly started to hurt and… this wasn't a normal occurrence. It was rare in my 'visits' for the place to give me a headache, and it was all the time tied to… a threat approaching.
As if alerted of trouble, I looked around to see where my instincts were calling out that there was an issue within my proximity. One moment there was silence, the other soft footsteps approached and soon a figure was sitting beside me. Shorter, 'smaller', the outfit he was wearing was so familiar as… it was the very same I came to like wearing back when I woke up in this body. The young blond didn't look at me, his orange eyes aimed at the chest. He didn't speak, he didn't utter a single sound as he gazed over the very thing I couldn't unlock. I thought about speaking to him, to engage him in a discussion- to understand why he was here. I thought of this, but I didn't go through. Something about his presence made me outright annoyed, as if… this wasn't a mere copy.
"So… what are you?"
"My name is Dio Brando. This is my body, thief."
This wasn't an illusion, a trick, a sham- no, something about the introduction of this 'Mini-Dio' had me somewhat unnerved and… if for a time I would have bent at that upsetting circumstance, what I did next seemed to surprise the mini-Dio as I stood up and started to walk away from the figure. I think that's where he noticed I wasn't tricking him into reacting, but rather finding a way to leave this dream.
He stood up and snarled at me. "Coward!"
And at that accusation… I paused and huffed.
"How can I be a coward, if the solution can't be achieved?" I inquired calmly, glancing behind and returning the gaze back to him. "Especially when it's clear the owner of the truth is unwilling to spare any words until he is ignored as much as I am?"
His scowl deepened. "This… this isn't a truth that is yours to know about."
"...Okay, so I should be leaving."
"W-What?! Are you stupid or something? Why would you leave when you could… take the truth out of me."
I frowned. "What?"
"I-I mean, you have the power, you can definitely overwhelm me and-"
"Then go to a bar, drink my riches away and be a miserable man?" I sarcastically interrupted, the reference missing him at first, but then mini-Dio realized what I just said. "My name is Dio Joestar, and I refuse to ever so closely play into the sick mind that Dario Brando imposed upon us through that abuse. I might not be you, but I know when not playing in the hands of a bastard."
"So… you think it's not correct? That we have to be forced to be… good? To be sheep to idiots and pigs?"
"If you consider being sheep doing the right thing instead of the easy thing, to not be a piece of shit and the greatest scum of the Earth… then yes, I think I love being a fucking sheep."
The boy tensed up at the cussing, but I wasn't done with it.
"I will not ask you to thank me, I'm not an egomaniac that needs to feel his ego stroked to reach happiness. I'm not a senseless fool that loves being nice and can't see your own plight- do you think I asked for this? Blame Pucci, but I can't return you anything."
"Then you're a thief-"
"Of what? You're still there, your soul persists."
"But my body-"
"Dio, how much do you know about the current timeline we are in?"
"The timeline, how much do you know about it? Do you even know why Pucci cast you aside and put me in here?"
"No… I was slumbering, or something that felt like a deep sleep, until… I saw that box. A while ago. And then I remembered the… the priest but- why does this matter?"
"Because Pucci and I know how things unfold if you remain in control," I grimly explained. "You die, Dio. You got so greedy and so cruel to the point where you eagerly surrendered your humanity to be immortal. All because you wanted more and more-"
"T-That's not true. I wanted one thing-"
"The Joestar's riches. And then what? You kill George after shunning Jojo long enough to either have him disowned or kill himself… but then what? Do you think nobles would have stood idle and allowed a little upstart to get away with this blatant steal? The death of George would have gained interest and an investigation. You would have been caught."
"True? It isn't true, Dio? You studied the nobles, you know how prudent they would be at the sight of a commoner trying to usurp one of their families. They would be appalled, they would make sure the fortune was removed by you and given to each of them," I half-snarled, feeling my chest bubble in red as I felt so close to outright react violently at this BS. "And what would happen to you then? Prison, maybe you would lose the chance to a job and then you would be like him, like Dario, drinking your sorrow away all day long and giving zero craps about those around you for the rest of your bitter existence."
I didn't remember getting this close but… I was there, holding him by his wrists and staring directly at his frightened face and then… I noticed tears and… I realized how mad I was at what I was doing. Something really came out of me and made me so angry at him. Something just… just pissed me off and made me snap that badly. I released him and started to leave again.
"Think about what I told you. I have… other urgent matters to solve. Power isn't a necessity, not when I have so many innocents to save. So many good people..."
And with that, I actually left. One blink and… my mind went numb as the dream world was cleared of the lucidity and I was dropped into the land of dreams.
To ease down, rest, and prepare for the next tough days that were around the corner.
Lots to say here… how about we start with the next chapter? A 'war' is soon to come. A modest-sized one, but one that will hopefully find a 'good' conclusion. Not an ultra-good one, but still a proper one for this mini-arc. Because soon it will be time to resume the chase as quickly as possible to get to Vins. She is on the move, and it will take her very little to reach her desired goal.
Also… Mini-Dio. It would seem like Pucci didn't do the 'correct' job of removing the former personality before inserting the SI into Dio's body. And no, this is not the beginning of 'hearing voices inside the mind of Dio', just more conversation to discover… a terrible Truth that will actually motivate Dio's malicious trait.
And now… here is some Omake, this one from one of the suggestions!
Omake 32: Divine Singularity (1)
Idea from: Chinini1996
Something is… wrong.
I woke up hastily as soon as I felt danger coming up close. I wasn't sure what was going on, but my instincts were flaring at the hint of harm close to strike. Jumping off the bed, I barely had the time to switch in my daily clothes to realize that something was very off with the train. Nobody was in the sleeping quarter beyond be and I couldn't hear anything beyond the train's engine as the vehicle kept moving.
The gripping dread that currently pooled within my mind barely gave me any insight of what was really going on, but just as I left the wagon to try and find the others… I heard something else moving other than just myself. I paused, tensed up and finally I jumped out of the nearest window as soon as I saw something big, white, and menacing suddenly turn in a ball and rush up to me from the direction I waking to. Using ｢ACT 3｣ I managed to perch myself on the rooftop, but I knew this barely dealt with the trouble as I noticed numerous light starting to manifest as… wyverns roared and released numerous fiery blasts in my general spot. I rolled away, the attacks slamming on the side of the wagon and tearing part of the wagon's roof.
I prepared three Spin-powered spheres and exploded five of the flying drake mid-air before focusing on the trouble manifested by the very white goo that had the property of morphing its form, this time adopting the one of a large humanoid that stared at me with emotionless need of murder. It was familiar as I had seen it somewhere many years ago and… I realized.
I huffed at the Homunculus, one of the 'normal' enemies in Fate Grand Order. "Come forth, abomination!"
The monster roared and tried to rush up at me with its hands becoming claws, I quickly jumped over its head and pushed it inwardly with a punch from ｢ACT 3｣. The monster was stunned for a moment and it gave me the chance to punch it to death with my Stand. It was an easy job, but not one that was done just yet as I saw others emerge from the train and swiftly attack me. I was in a great advantage, but their swarming was easily damaging the train as the structure could barely hold so many monsters at once and… as much as I knew that I could survive a train crash with my Stand, the issue would be one of mobility and sense of direction. Right now, in the middle of nowhere and with the early hours of the day just striking, I was clueless of where I was at the moment. Just as I dealt with my fourth foe, I felt something pull me upward, yanking me off from the rooftop and right up to the sky as… Pucci brought me over his stand as ｢Made in Heaven｣ rushed away from the train. There was a grim look on the priest's face and I knew something bad had to have happened for him to intervene this much.
"Pucci, what is going on?"
The priest remained quiet for a moment, but then hummed. "Someone invaded this reality, effectively compromising time and space at the same time."
"Which means that… someone is altering gravity?"
He nodded. "To a greater degree than ｢Made in Heaven｣."
The news caught me off-guard as there was no way that a Stand existed right now to compete with ｢Made in Heaven｣ when it comes to reality-manipulation. Something big was going on, and the single idea that I have which could explain the bizarre development was that…
"This is a Singularity," I muttered dryly. "I believe someone has invaded from a universe which is labeled 'Nasuverse' and that… there should be allies to us. People that have come to fix this mess."
The man blinked, taking a moment to remember my circumstances and nodding slowly at my comment. "I did perceive two distinct groups clashing just moments ago, which would mean there might be allies to our cause right now."
｢Made in Heaven｣ picked up speed as we rushed through the desert until we arrived to our destination at… a distant ruin of an old civilization. It looked to be Japanese by nature, but it made little sense as to why this would really be there. Still, I noticed two distinct group.
Gudao and Gudako, so it was the timeline where both 'twins' were Masters to Chaldea. Mash Kyrielight was standing between them, using her Shield to protect them as the rest of Servants brawled against the 'foes' they were set up with. Sadly… there was a problem in discerning who was an ally and who wasn't.
I could clearly see all Jojos from Part 1 up to Jojolion, plus the three Dios from Part 1, 3 and Part 7, fighting against my… very group. In fact, my own teammates were fighting as if they had been attacked first and that made me worried about what was going on and… then I spotted that they were being lead by a… copy of myself? I was baffled by the precision and the fact I could tell our Hamon was similar but… this was an impostor. I didn't tell anything to Pucci, but he seemed to realize what I was planning to do, just as ｢Made in Heaven｣ hovered over the scene, I jumped off and dive-bombed onto the impostor, the guy not expecting an attack from above from the lack of reaction as I plummeted towards him. But he sure did notice my arrival as I landed right in front of him while delivering a solid right punch and then uppercutting him away from the others. The loud impacts caught the attention of the fighter and… everyone stopped.
"D-Dio?" Robert inquired quickly, being the one that was the closest to grasp the new development.
"What is going on?" Bloody asked too, and I sighed before turning to look at them.
"First, good morning. I hope none of you reported any injury, else I will be even more annoyed by this impostor's play by setting you against who is currently our allies," I started to say with a stern tone, my attention drawn back at the copycat. He stood up and I noticed something odder with his appearance. He was wearing the same battle-armor as the one I was donning, except of a darker shade of gray plus black spots. His skin was paler than mine and… his eyes were a solid yellow.
"Of course… I should have suspected that you would have survived but… I forgot about Pucci," The other Dio muttered with disdain in his voice while glancing at the approaching priest before turning his eyes once more to look at me. "Still, I'm intrigued. Here I am, facing my 'gooder' counterpart."
I blinked, my eyes widened partially at that affirmation. "So, you're not a-"
"Not a copy, merely a man trying to fix a mistake. One that you seem to have prevented somehow, I'm definitely impressed and curious but… Sadly, I have to decline this opportunity as you will probably ruin my plans."
"Well, if you think so, then those are dangerous ones," I lamented tiredly while taking a fighting stance, the smile on his face... really threatening "And I will stop you here and now, Dio Alter."
… "Ah… so this is how it is..." The alterego commented dryly. "No, I will not fight you in these ground. I don't care about battles, but to fully attain my wish. I will take my leave now."
"You will not," I said before rushing up at him only for him to disappear through a dark portal and… leaving me incredibly annoyed. "Damn…"
Oh right, there were others beyond me.
I turned to see that everyone was looking at me and… three particularly intrigued Dio were approaching me. I could tell they had many questions, most of which could either go bad or good. With bad on them being the most favorable considering two out of three were vampires.
"So… anyone can explain to me what is going on?"
The 'WRYYY's were eternal through the entirety of the morning as I was done asking that question.
Why indeed, this story does take suggestions for Omake as mentioned last chapter. And yes, this is a FGO mini-xover.
Pa1110: Next time I will address that as an Omake!
Maybe: That Omake will happen. Dio going around and picking kid versions of those that can stop time and become their father. XD