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Capitolo Secondo: Ambizione (18)
Two years earlier, London…
I wasn't exactly sure why I thought this would have been a good idea, but I've been told that I should have given a look at the house before 'leaving it for good'.
George spearheaded this idea for the sake of finding out anything that Dario might have kept a secret from me and that I was entitled to get as part of his legacy. I was opposed to this due to the fact that anything coming out of that dead bastard sounded worse than trash, no matter how precious or valuable it was to the market. Even selling these things would make me feel sick of letting his legacy wander around like this. I had for long refused to look at the old Brando home out of personal interest to keep away from it. Sure, I had my own curiosities tying to that place but… I wasn't willing to risk anything weird while giving it a look. Still, I decided to check, but not for the reasons George had coaxed me to go for. He put an impressive push on it, but nothing that really had me particularly driven to go for it. No, something else had actually pulled me to check on this unpleasant place and see what was still inside of it. Curiosity, I initially chalked it out to be, but I would soon realize it wasn't that. The moment I entered inside the modest-sized but decaying home that once housed the Brando family, I felt a strange sense of breathlessness that kept me put by the entrance.
Something… unpleasant was happening inside the place. Or it had happened since the entire building had been vacated completely just last year and I just… I couldn't remember. I've been putting so much effort into trying to remember anything big of Dio's life which wasn't mentioned through the original timeline but nothing really jumped to mind. I thought things were as bad as they were shown on the show, and it did seem to be the case as I walked right up to the main section of the entire household, which was the living room/bedroom. It was the biggest room within the Brando home and where most of the negative activity tended to happen. Part of me had wanted to bring a 'spirit detector' just to check if there were ghosts haunting this place. Maybe I could get to exorcise Dario's ghost in the process.
While I didn't have any recollection of what happened inside that room beyond what the Manga and Anime showed of Dario's last days, my mind burned unpleasantly due to a strange sense of… mental disgust. The kind of disgust that exceeded and ascended beyond the physical kind of upset that was growing due to how strong the putrid stench of the room was. It felt like the entire building was legitimately rotting and stinking due to it. The bed was the epicenter of the foulest smell, mostly due to the combinations of stains of blood and alcohol that hadn't been cleaned from the mattress. Plus more liquids I wasn't willing to even ponder about while I looked left and right for anything that could give me any insight of how dreadful the life of Dio had been before joining the Joestar Family. My thorough look of the living room yielded no major results, pushing me to seek these hints elsewhere by moving to the other smaller rooms. I was a bit intrigued by the idea of checking Dio's room and seeing if anything here survived the long time that has gone by since someone had checked on it, but I decided to check another room first. One tied to a character I knew but also not due to how minimal her presence was in both Manga and Anime, but also because of how important she actually was for Part 6 and her knowledge.
The room that was once owned by Dio's mother was incredibly… clean. It felt particularly odd due to the fact that the rest of the rooms were so filthy and tainted by the stench of alcohol. This one was devoid of it and it was also devoid of any humidity-caused mold that was threatening to take over the entire house if someone didn't properly work on removing it through either a pricey reparation fee or… by burning the entire place down. What really caught me off-guard wasn't the lack of foul smells, but rather the fact that it was so empty of items. The room just had a spartan outlook as only a bed with a thin mattress was on it. No sheets, no reinforcement to the wooden 'skeleton', nothing beyond the basic form of a bed. And that sounded incredibly suspicious considering that Dio's mother should have had something more than just that. My confusion still remained after wasting some time to check around for any secret compartments within the room. Nothing jumped to my attention, so I decided to scout the rest of the house rather than going to take more time into this small section. I wasn't exactly at ease about going to 'my' old room, and yet I could tell if I was to find something important, then I would have found it there.
I entered the room with a cautious but attentive gaze, looking around and digesting what was now all around me. The place was 'filled' with things compared to the one I just finished checking, but it still was fairly 'lacking' compared to anything I had seen to that point. And while one could easily think that I'm referring just to my condition at the Joestar manor, I also meant the small but modest room I had back before leaving my previous life. This… this didn't seem a healthy place for anyone to live in. The stench was there, but it was dulled out by efforts to keep it cleaner than the living room. From what my nostrils could catch by flaring up in disdain, these efforts had failed miserably. I paused by the bed, the sheets over it making it clear that Dio managed to somehow know how to recover these items for him to have. A small desk, some papers left in there and an old pen with an ink bottle just beside it. No written messages there. My gaze was then aimed at the wardrobe, my wonder increasing at the thought of finding some interesting clothes inside… but I sighed in a minor grimace as I found just an old and unusable sleep wear from when Dio was younger and a worn off black coat. The clothes he wore – and then I started to wear – during my early months with the Joestar family had been those that he had taken best care about due to those being the only pair of fresh clothes he had in his entire life.
The realization left me even more angry at Dario than before, making this entire visit not only frustrating to go through, but also incredibly… infuriating. I could have done so many good things today like training with Hannah and Bhediya, poking some teasing-driven fun at Jojo and Erina while also pushing them closer to each other, or even burning time through paperwork. I wasn't even sure why I decided to just accept George's point of at least checking if what I really got out of this was how bad 'my' life was before coming here. I allowed a sigh to breach my lips as I knew that at this point, I was just wasting time for no good reason. I was about to leave as this idea just kept gaining legitimacy and… then I froze when I noticed that something about the room was incredibly off. It wasn't exactly something I spotted while looking around for anything in general, but then I saw something while looking on the ground… something that was missing. The reason why I caught on this matter just now was mostly tied to the fact I had a small hint of this being a strong possibility. With the dust settling on the ground, a small rectangular spot remained the less dusty. Something, a box or a chest, had been there for a time and… I wasn't sure what it was all about. I crouched down, trying to memorize the sizes of the base and perhaps getting a proper understanding of what I was looking for. But as I touched the closest corner of this limited area-
I felt pain.
The very hand that had tested the peculiar clue was quickly brought back to my chest as I moved away from the bizarre spot. My heart was… aching? It felt like I was suffering a heart attack, one that was tied to the phenomenon I just analyzed in a physical manner. I backed away further, something about it… terrifying me and pushing me to stray away from it. Despite the obscure circumstance, I couldn't find anything which would motivate this strange and malevolent response, even as I checked around for any rooms I might have missed the first look around. Maybe my body was reacting so badly since it 'expected' the box to be still there? Maybe it was a pain-induced necessity that was ingrained within my muscle memory or something similar. It was a stretch, but I decided to look around the house and the perimeter surrounding it to see if there was anything that could have helped me find a trail on what was going on with this missing box.
Much to my chagrin, I was left empty-handed about answers in that regard. Once I was out of that place… I decided to just forget about what happened. I didn't have the means to study this case any further, plus I could feel something within my body was reacting horribly to this circumstance and I knew I couldn't investigate this on my own. I refused to allow anyone else on this information, mostly because I felt it was too personal for me to divulge. I told George that I found nothing worthwhile in that visit beyond bad memories. He apologized to me about this, mentioning how he just wanted for me to find something pleasant to remember the cheerful time I had with my mother rather than shove him back to the very place where I suffered due to my father.
I accepted the apology, but mostly because I was lying about what happened there and I didn't need him to grow suspicious of anything in that regard. It was a thought that persisted just two days before other affairs got my attention and drowned me in work. I didn't try to get back at it as I knew it would have been a waste of time. What would I have learned about it beyond pain that I wasn't meant to know about? I didn't really have the interest to venture that deep into Dio's past, especially since it was clear that something traumatic was tied to that entire situation. So I just let the years go without ever bringing this up neither to myself or others… until now.
And, as I finally dug around my memories to find out where I had first 'seen' the box that haunted my dreams, now I knew what it was and… what was hiding inside of it. At least the 'idea' that was hidden in it.
Present time, nearby Houston...
When I heard that Houston was amassing troops from the Union Army, I didn't expect a deployment that overshadowed what I had seen in New York. The US government had indeed decided to pack the whole section of the border with a substantial army which was meant to breach through the line on the maps and deliver retaliation for those raids that had been happening for a while now. I couldn't really blame them on this response, but I definitely didn't like the idea that I had to now defuse a possible war from happening while also securing the two sides' approval to hunt down Siurana. It was not going to be easy despite the fact I was going to approach the US military leadership deployed on the border while being recommended as a trustworthy advisor. I wasn't sure how much that was going to matter, so I didn't expect to rely on it too much when it came to discussing with the officers left in charge of this detachment.
Our arrival to Houston one that took a bit longer than usual due to the distance between it and New Orleans, and it also took an hour to reach the forts where the US Army had started to concentrate its troops around. We were escorted by a cart that had been manned by a few soldiers which had been assigned to escort us to the main fortification where we were to meet with the leader of the massive garrison. When we arrived at our destination, we were first checked by some of the soldiers. Most of them had a bit of trouble when it came to Kate, Zephy and… Bloody, but overall they seemed to not lament much about some confusion regarding these individuals. Once we were given the authorization to approach, we were escorted to the office of the chief-in-command of this operation and… I was a bit surprised by who we ended up finding waiting inside. I tensed up a little bit as I was met with piercing and inquisitive eyes that were as intrigued as perplexed when the cast of characters I was 'leading' inside his office was now shown to him and the rest of the officers rallied in there. The rest of the military specialists were a bit surprised themselves, but weren't as direct or blunt about it through their expression as their boss.
Philip Henry Sheridan wasn't the best man when it came to his policies applied towards Native Americans due to his active participation in the Indian Wars, but it was undeniable that his ability to command troops was second only to some of the 'star generals' during the American Civil War. The current General-in-Chief of the US Army, this man was not someone I had expected to see deployed for this occurrence but, then again, this guy was the man in charge of the entire US army and, in case this really blew up in a full-fledged conflict, it was only for the best if he was around to make sure he could charge up an offensive. Yet right now this presented a particularly difficult circumstance when it came to prevent a militaristic approach on this matter.
"Dio Joestar," Sheridan commented quickly and stern. "I would have expected someone less… built."
Now, that was a bit of a surprise, but I guess one would imagine a businessman as young as I was to have less muscles than I really had. Still, I didn't allow this to delay the proper presentations to be done.
"General Sheridan. Apologies for interrupting your meeting."
He scowled a bit, shaking his head at my words. "I doubt that counts as an interruption if the meeting had reached such a dead point," He lamented while sparing some annoyed looks at his officers. "Still, your group can finally bring me some insight on what we're dealing with. I was told you have helped around due to an attempt to poison a few villages, and it ties up to what the hell is wrong with these raiders and their inhuman abilities."
"It's biological with a hint of 'magical' so to speak. The cause of this issue is tied to masks that were created centuries ago with the purpose of bringing 'greatness' to many. The issue is that those that wear it end up obtaining abilities and weaknesses that generally ties up to what is known to vampires," I started to explain with the most serious tone possible. "Mind you all, these are not jokes when it comes to what weaknesses are known about vampires, sunlight being the primary one to use against those. These creatures which are nothing more than walking corpses have the ability to use their intelligence and abilities with minimal hints of remorse… in the best of cases. Once the mask is used and the transformation is over, their humanity is removed from their bodies- their souls no longer inhabit them as it only remains a ruthless animal that mimics the previous humanity through 'memory' than anything else."
"You're saying that… some Mexicans got hold of these 'Masks' and managed to turn a couple of their soldiers into 'Vampires'? And we're meant to believe it?" One of the officers asked almost sarcastically, but not too much considering the look Sheridan was giving him.
"Just like how it happened in New York," Speedwagon pointed out and a few officers grimaced at that reply.
Still, Sheridan didn't seem completely convinced of this. "It would make some sense in some aspects, but I would like to understand how someone like you knows of these masks and how do you know that Siurana is making use of those to create his own super-army."
"We had a situation in Britain a few years ago. One of the Stone Masks was recovered roughly a decade ago by my father and it was used by less-than-reputable individuals to try and gain power quickly," I answered calmly. "The reason why we know this tie up is because the one behind giving Siurana some of the masks was the same mastermind behind the siege of New York. Which is currently someone we're hunting down."
"I see. So I suppose that, by that connection, you're also planning to take down Siurana by helping us here."
"And we prevent a war that nobody really wants," Zephy hummed, causing quite a shock to those that weren't aware of his capacity to speak. One of the officers even tilted his chair to the point he lost control and fell down in quite the embarrassing way.
Sheridan was the one that distanced himself from the others as he merely chuckled. "Hehe, to think that you had some more surprises to yourself. And I guess that what the young miss has isn't a trick either."
"That would be correct," Kate answered with a small smile. "Still, these issues remain. Siurana was behind this attack more as a personal ambition than anything that ties up Mexico."
"And I understand that," The General agreed flatly. "Something that even the Mexicans are willing to accept as they had been having trouble by the borders too regarding 'US troops' employed to attack villages. That matter drew more hostility from them, but they changed tune when I decided to forward the letter you attached to the letter right up to the border guards in Mexico. They managed to track down the family of the man tied to this letter and they mentioned they had received a similar letter back home. I would dare to say that we got the best way to secure a diplomatic meeting through that and now we will have one by dinnertime."
That was speedy, I thought quietly over the swiftness of communication. Then again, it all came to check if the writer of the letter sent a similar one back to his family to confirm its legitimacy and… well, now Siurana's alibi was going to suffer a lot in case of this meeting. I was going to ask for more, but one of the officers spoke up with some nervousness in his voice.
"S-Still, sir. Maybe it would be best for them to… not be embroiled in this. After all, their expertise is limited to just-"
"No," Bloody interjected firmly. "We have to be there."
His refusal was met with shock and… some anger by the very officer that got interrupted by his response. The General remained silent for a time at this development, and yet he stood up before taking a few steps towards us, stopping right in front of Bloody. He looked down, the boy staring back with the same intensity and fierceness as the two engaged in a serious staring stand-off. There was no break to the ever-growing tension that had now started to spread on both sides of the room. Everyone was taking a more guarded stance, me included, and yet the two didn't seem shaken or in the process of taking further steps to intensify this unexpected and unpleasant escalation of the discussion.
"You are… You are his grandson, aren't you? Funny Valentine," Sheridan muttered with a hint of surprise and fascination. "I remember him. The bastard was a gutsy man before he took politics and turned too prideful and pompous."
"My name is Bloody Valentine, yes."
His surprise expanded. "'Bloody'? I guess he was annoyed for some good reasons. Still, it would be a lie to say you lack his very eyes. The dutifulness, the unwavering sense of desire to bring the nation to a worldwide stage instead of the little world we have created only for us Americans."
"I care for my people."
"And you would only want the best of them," The older man admitted with a small smile. "You didn't waver, not even when I got my gun ready to kill you. Why? Do you think that your friends can help?"
"I can protect myself too."
"Oh? Can you?"
"Ahahah," The man chuckled a little louder than previously. "I suppose you're not any less than him. Actually, I think you're more than him considering how strong you are at your age. A bit younger than how I remember him being when he joined the Army."
There was no response to that, merely a smile. And one that the General took as a reason to stop this interaction and turn to his officers.
"Still, the kid is right. Considering how much effort Siurana put into worsening relations between the US and Mexico, it would be foolish to assume he would just spare us from facing issues while we get the Mexicans to agree for a common front against him," Sheridan pointed out. "We will need all the help we can to keep things smooth or else we face a big crisis that could end up with us getting hurt even with a victory."
There were a few opposing voices at this idea, but no one saw it good to counter that fair point. As much as they would have taken a less 'civilian' route, they were well aware that the US situation was far from stable if War started between the nation and its southern neighbor. Mexico might not have the best army in the region, but it was still enough to match up what the US army could dispatch without sparking more discontent within the South. We were granted the chance to take two rooms for ourselves within the fort and prepare for the soon-to-come meeting as it was clear that something big was going to happen. I wasn't sure what Siurana was going to do, but it was definitely going to be far more unpleasant than I could imagine. This was the endgame for him, and cowardly animals acted the worst when cornered.
With this much time for ourselves, I decided to take this opportunity to read some of the available info of those people we were going to face so that I knew what had to be said without making a mess in the process. While I was busy with this, a little conversation ensued with the rest of the group about what was going to unfold in this meeting.
"Dio?" Bloody asked, sitting by the table together with Zephy and Derek while the trio were playing a game of cards.
"Yes, young Valentine?" I hummed while looking away from the papers I had been studying for a while now.
"I don't think I ever asked anyone but why does the United States and Mexico have so many… issues with each other?"
I paused, taking a moment to ponder on the correct knowledge without sounding too favoring of one side compared to another.
"I would say it ties up with the fact that the United States and Mexico have started as colonies of two rivals that shaped the mindset of their national ideas. Great Britain with the Thirteen Colonies and Spain with New Spain," I elaborated with a serious tone. "I would say that rivalry remained and then became the basis for what happened here in Texas and then the concession of the former Spanish colonies that have been turned into US-controlled States."
"But… How long has it been since that? Shouldn't things have gone more peaceful by now?"
"It doesn't matter," Derek answered to the boy while sipping at a glass filled with beer. "National pride and all of that just helped keep tensions up. Then we wanted to get a puppet in Mexico, and Mexico tried to turn us into an outlet to keep their military generals around and lead their governments."
"None got what they wanted from the looks of it," Robert commented mirthfully. "I guess that's something they share in common."
"I would say it's more than just that," Derek pleaded for the sake of preserving some of his nation's pride. "There are also bandits that tend to come from Mexico."
"And yet I've read of US attempts to impose their own government in the guise of it being a democratic installation."
There wasn't really a 'right nation' in this very circumstance, and yet Kate tried to put her own into this matter and… it was there that things got a bit weird and yet funnier than before.
"I still don't understand why any nation would need to expand beyond its cultural borders. It's clear that some of this land should just… be owned by the original inhabitants? I don't mean to sound too harsh on others but… it just feels odd."
"Japan never had a thirst for expansion? I thought all nations had at some point," Bhediya remarked and the blonde shrugged as if this was a certain thing.
Of course, I decided to differ from that version of events.
"Didn't something like that happen to the Ainu population?" I replied quietly, my words surprising the samurai as she gave me a confused look.
"I don't think I'm aware of that story."
I nodded. "A good part of the northernmost region of Japan was owned by Ainu people. With the creation of the early Shogun position, it became a 'necessity' to colonize the north for Japanese peasants."
She blinked, her eyes widening in surprise at that bit of history. "Oh… wait, you know more about Japanese History, Dio?"
"Just a bit. I might not speak it, but I know fairly extensively about recent modern history," I replied with a hint of amusement. "Any questions you wish to ask about it?"
"Actually," Kate hummed quietly. "Who is the current Shogun?"
I frowned. "Uh… The Tokugawa Shogunate fell roughly two decades ago due to the rebellion of Emperor Mutsuhito. The Meiji Restoration brought an end of feudalism and the creation of a unitary Japanese Empire."
At this, the girl's tail twitched to show how shocked she was. It was Zephy that spoke up in her stead, the critter also intrigued by this tidbit he wasn't aware about.
"So the Emperor is in charge now… right?"
"The Emperor decided to follow the path of a constitutional monarchy that Great Britain has with some details copied by Germany. So he is more of a moderately-powerful element within politics, but not an absolute monarch," I replied and… soon I was getting a few stares by everyone minus Robert and Bhediya. In fact, the werewolf added something that helped understand how I knew this much.
"Dio has been studying world-wide history for a little more than four years now, and he has been quite intense about it ever since he started to study Law."
"A lawyer and a historian," Derek hummed, particularly fascinated by the double side of this knowledge.
"But didn't you have trouble studying History while studying Law? I know that both are quite… difficult to learn on a normal basis."
Robert snorted. "Dio can be quite advanced when it comes to siphoning knowledge out of books. Rather quick with studying for his degree and he had just enough time to waste reading about History too."
"History is no waste of time," I admitted flatly, starting to feel a bit ganged on by these comments. There were a few chuckles at that response, but the conversation turned to a sweeter and less unpleasant take as everyone got ready for the meeting. Just as it was about two hours for it, I decided to take a brief nap to charge up before the big event. I felt surprisingly tired due to how unpleasant the heat was at this point. From the humidity of New Orleans to the hot temperature of Houston, my body needed a bit to grow accustomed to it. So, as I closed my eyes with the expectation of being allowed some time to enjoy the quiet rest before facing some big threat, I was soon proved that the situation on the other side was far from idyllic.
Especially when I ended up facing quite the annoying brat on the other side of the 'mirror'.
"Bloody… he is special. Isn't he?"
I opened my eyes to find myself lying on some sand while in front of me, standing with a bored look on his face, was the previous owner of this body. His eyes gleamed a strong sense of curiosity regarding the topic he was bringing up. I merely sat up and gazed at him with an annoyed look, thinking of keeping quiet or not.
"He is holding a potential- something that ties up to what I have. He knows pain, he wants to change things."
"He is not like you," I replied flatly, knowing what the little menace was planning to do. The eager glint in his eyes just screamed of it, no matter how much effort he put in appearing innocent in his plotting.
He blinked, faking a surprised look. "Of course. After all, I've seen much worse."
"Spare me the usual backstory. After all, considering all circumstances, you were quite lucky."
"How does my story even remotely count as lucky?"
"Well, you received a form of education, you weren't born a girl and thus pushed into becoming a prostitute, you had mother-"
"She is my mother, not yours!"
And that was what really pissed me up about him. Trying to cling on to that stuff...
"And how does this change things, you dumb brat?"
There was a moment of silence, but it was just a fake peace as I felt a smaller fist slam onto my cheek. I felt some pain, but it was swiftly dulled by the Hamon. I was surprised that my Stand hadn't reacted to that attack, but I didn't mind the little damage considering how minimal it was. Dio tried to slam my chest next, but the boy didn't have the legitimate strength to actually put me in a difficult position. I didn't hesitate in allowing him to give his best shots and realize how violence wasn't the solution to bring me down. He looked so angry, so vicious but… so defeated by the time he realized how inferior his current physique was compared to mine.
"As if you weren't one already-"
"One thing is food, another is a person's body."
"Quite ironic that you would have stolen Jonathan's body in an effort to gain his mighty physique," I muttered mirthfully, ignoring the renewed barrage of punches that really did nothing to my body. It was quite 'soothing' actually as it felt like one of those rough facial massages, except I wasn't really in the mood for it and the boy was far from able to keep up with the 'pressure' he was exerting. After a while, he seemed to calm down. I looked at him as he took a serious seat on my lap, glaring at me as if that would have burned my face away with the deadly gazing. But nothing of that sort happened and I decided to press back on him.
"Why are you guarding that box in particular?"
Dio merely blinked at my question and I sighed.
"I understand that it is important since I remembered where it once was, but I want to understand why it is important and why you moved it away before leaving."
"That's none of your concern. That's what it is," He flatly remarked, dripping poison from his voice while saying this.
And I scoffed. "So you're saying that you're not willing to fix the past? To make things right?"
"Why would I even need to 'make things right'? What is wrong with my plans that need any fixing?" He stiffly shot back. "Why do you even care about trying to make a point with me? What if I just don't care of what you bring up to try to convince me and-"
"And then what?" I interrupted with a challenging tone. "Will you ever feel complacent with the fact you stubbornly hold to wrong ideals? Can you really live with yourself by the time you realize that what you've been living by is an illusion? A mockery of reality?"
"Then I will impose it upon the world as it is my right!" He shouted back, making me sigh in disappointment.
"The purpose of the Heavens isn't to enable you to be a full child and abuse people's lives for the sake of amusement. It has a duty in it, just like all roles in life," I rebuked sternly, getting a frown from him. "And it's futile to try and paint it any different. You will not achieve success by being a brat. It's foolish, and extremely deadly on yourself."
"You really are an utter cretin," Dio dryly commented and I sighed.
"And that's where Bloody is better than you Dio. He doesn't allow pride to prevent his growth and understanding," I sternly retorted. "In fact, I can say his parents are proud- the same I doubt extends to your own mother-"
"Don't you even dare to bring her up! You don't have that right!"
"Don't I?! And then who does? You? The one that in the end turns out to be more rotten than Dario?"
He was overwhelmed by this harsh counter, but I think the boy realized how little control he had on the situation when I merely stood up, lifting him up in the process so as to not shove him down. He tensed up at the circumstance, but didn't react. His eyes widened in shock and awe at the move, looking up at me in a mixture of confusion and intrigue.
"I believe it's time for me to wake up," I muttered while noticing that someone was indeed trying to bring me out of my nap. "I have an urgent matter to attend to… and I believe you have much to think about. In fact, if you feel the need to inquire more about the situation right now, feel free to do so once I'm asleep again."
"It's well beyond my hands, Dio. So you either pick it and show for once you're no impatient brat, or you can stand there, whine to nobody in particular and keep gloating at nothing."
I didn't bother looking at his face once I was done with that interruption, knowing that I really had to wake up and I was quick to open my eyes to a calm Speedwagon as he helped me up from my slumber out of the couch. Soon I was walking together with the others out of the living quarter and getting led by a few soldiers assigned to us to where the meeting was going to happen. I felt charged-up and ready to face quite the diplomatic mess… while also headbutting against any possible attackers sent by Siurana. Of course, I was surprised when, as we arrived at the meeting, we found out that the Mexican Generals that had joined this diplomatic reunion had decided to gift us a tiny package in the form of a properly bound Siurana that was still struggling against the ropes and the chains keeping him restrained.
Truly a confusing twist but… I doubted this was the end of trouble for this meeting. This victory just didn't feel 'guaranteed' yet.
Next time… Big battle! Dio vs (Insert Boss Name)!
Also serious comment: The Golden Spin can be used without a horse, it's just less effective than the Horseback Golden Spin.
Serious comment 2: If anyone has questions that want to bring in Dms, I'm more than happy to answer them. Or even review ones. But if you're expecting me to not offer you an answer and are out there to genuinely annoy and troll before calling you rude after 'fighting' over a simple and absolute fact, then don't expect me to be cordial in your regards. I'm more than happy to discuss criticism, but if there isn't room to answer, then I doubt it's a goodwill-driven effort.
But now, some Omake!
Omake 33: Divine Singularity (2)
After spending years in the late nineteenth century, the degree of clean and pristine that is Chaldea sure makes me feel a bit inferior with the life standards I've grown accustomed to. I guess spending so much time away from what was once home got me really detached from feeling too familiar with this technological level.
While normal Singularities would have seen the Masters, which were both Gudao and Gudako in this instance, remain around to fix things, there were reports that the current holder of the Holy Grail had released a terrible miasma that was affecting all those that were within the copy of reality me and my teammates have been brought to. To avoid major issues, we were all pulled back to the main HQ and given the time to rest and recover while we prepared for the next move. Of course, considering the circumstances, the 'DIO's found it essential to waste my time in a full-fledged interrogation regarding my origins and my moral compass.
"I still can't believe a version of myself that never used the Stone Mask exists but… then again, I've seen that there are many figures in this facility which have multiple versions of themselves," Part 3 DIO hummed calmly while staring me up and down.
"Why wouldn't he want to achieve immortality?" Part 1 DIO inquired, almost disgusted and prompting me to answer with a flat tone.
"Perhaps I don't think losing a degree of sanity is worth that kind of interesting protection from aging," I reminded. "After all, most of the early plans, those that worked brilliantly, were all tied to us all being human."
The younger Vampire scowled, and he seemed more pissed when Diego nodded at my words.
"What's the use of immortality if you can't plan out ways to survive with it?" The British Jockey agreed to my point of view.
"I suppose there is sense in both decisions. It was more tied to the… Joestar family," Part 3 DIO remarked. "After all, those were the ones that foiled our plans were Joestars."
I saw many eyes aimed at me. "What?"
"I'm still unsure if to label you a traitor, or to consider you one of the luckiest version I have ever met," The effeminate vampire stated and I hummed.
"I think you could just call me the most successful."
I saw all of them spare me a bitter look that really made me realize how much similar they all were to each other.
"I have a company that is expanding in Europe and America, soon I will also try to hit the Middle East and Asia," I started to list flatly. "I'm a proficient user of Hamon, I can use the Spin to exceptional level, my Stand is possibly going to surpass ｢The World｣, I have an impressive physique without having to steal the body of my rival and I have a girlfriend, which means I don't have to hire prostitutes to spread- oh wait, those children were after all spawns of Jonathan."
The bitter looks turned in vicious ones as they really looked ready to jump at me.
"Roasted!" I heard a flamboyant called out and I had a strong feeling that was owned by one Joseph Joestar. But as I engaged in a mild stand off with the three DIOs, I decided that staying for too long would just warrant a brawl and… 'Da Vinci-chan' was clear about not making any messes while we were here. I stood up and calmly left, pausing just a growl coming from Diego.
"What? Already leaving, 'successful'?"
"I've been told to not cause any fighting in this cafeteria," I replied flatly at the jockey. "It would be discourteous of us to create issues to the twins and the rest of the staff."
There was no counterpoint at that as I calmly walked off to see where the others were. The twins were the ones that helped them find a table to sit by while I fended off this triple assault from my counterparts. I was well on my way to find them when I realized that someone was already talking with them and… I knew them. She was a bit shorter than me, but her armor hid a well-trained body that was tempered by years of knightly educations and battles. The only reason she didn't seem much at first glance, but her hidden sword and her armor… they were unforgettable. The one with the 'heart of a Dragon'.
She was currently busy speaking with Kate, both sharing a similar degree of interest due to their respective blades, and perhaps background and unique details. Still, I felt compelled to interject that conversation, perhaps my inner sense of being a Briton drawing me into being part of this. There was indeed a pull from the Promised Eternal King of Britain and the me, the One that Craved the Heavens upon the World.
"King Arthur Pendragon, Saber," I greeted curtly, my words gaining her attention as I saw the blonde turning to gaze at me. Blue-green eyes matched mine in curiosity but also 'familiarity'.
"You are Dio Joestar, I heard from Jonathan that you are… different than them."
"Hopefully in a positive way," I replied calmly. "I feel honored to be in front of you."
She raised a fascinated brow. "And why so?"
"Well, the legend has you a man, and yet you are born a woman. While I don't mean any disrespect, I can't help but imagine that your rise to power was a tumultuous one considering how difficult it was to keep that power. I'm truly amazed by what you achieved."
"And yet I… failed."
I tilted my head. "And why so, your highness?"
Her lips twitched in minor annoyance at the title.
"I failed my people. I wasn't the king they idolized."
I blinked. "And yet you're remembered in a positive light."
"That's because the undoing elements that led to my demise were darkened by those that believed in me."
"I don't believe so," I admitted without hesitation. "In fact, I think the reason why you're remembered as a true icon of true Briton Hero is because you did what you could."
Her eyes narrowed at my words. "Beg your pardon?"
"I meant no issue with my comment, but I have to say that you are what many strive to be when they think of heightening a world, may it be one where only Britain exist, or one that cover Earth as a whole."
I smiled a bit. "You're welcome, your majesty."
Just as I said this, I tensed up as I felt two distinct elements blurring towards me. I brought ｢ACT 3｣ out in the open, thinking of intercepting those in time… only for one of them to tackle me right by my legs and another smack their cheek onto mine.
"Big Brother!" Said an overly-affectionate Jack the Ripper said while latching onto me as if her life depended on it.
"Dio!" Greeted lovingly a giddy Abigail Williams as she wrapped her arms tightly around my legs.
Their combo resulted in me tripping down and getting swarmed by the two and… more child Servants that for some reasons knew about me. I was literally drowning in children's laughs for a while before individuals like Raikou, Boudicca, Parvati and even Archer EMIYA came by to fish me out from that incredibly unexpected development. It was clear they somehow knew about me and… it was Gudao that actually gave me an answer. An answer I couldn't understand due to how unrealistic it felt to my brain.
"O-Oh, I think they have all met your specific versions in different timelines," He reasoned with an uneasy tone while his sister was standing unpleasantly close to where I was, drooling a bit while poking with her right index at where my abs were through my white shirt.
Dio and Chaldea, eternal shenanigans for the Heavens to gloat about.