Author's note: So this is a short chapter. I did try to make it fun. This isn't a spoiler since it's very obvious, but most of the DMC crew won't be staying on Remnant. That being said, they might be around for a chapter or two more, but no promises there. Also, there's a moment in DMC 3 canon which I've very rarely seen anyone talk about, so I decided to reference that a little bit here. On a different note, I've mentioned in the past that I write original stories too. My martial arts/fantasy story has been up for a while. It has some of the same things that many of you like about this fanfic: OP protagonist, badass fights. If you're interested, feel free to check it out: https www royalroad com/fiction/36459/warriors-journey/chapter/565507/to-a-new-goal Any support would mean a lot.
On a different note, I've mentioned in the past that I write original stories too. My martial arts/fantasy story has been up for a while. It has some of the same things that many of you like about this fanfic: OP protagonist, badass fights. If you're interested, feel free to check it out:
https www royalroad com/fiction/36459/warriors-journey/chapter/565507/to-a-new-goal
Any support would mean a lot.
Chapter 19: The Decisions of Now and Long Ago
There's a unique sensation that one only experiences when two entirely different groups of people they know come together. It could be your friends from high meeting your friends from the neighbourhood. Or your online acquaintance meeting your real-life friends. You get the gist. Regardless of which two exact groups come together, the one always at a bit of a loss for what to do is the mutual person. After all, you might have entirely different personas when with different groups. For example, yelling "hell yeah, light weight" is acceptable while pumping out reps in the gym, but not so much while carrying folders to your cubicle in the office. So when your workout partners meet your work colleagues, you aren't quite sure who you're supposed to be: the guy aggressively chasing gains, or the guy who's quiet and avoids conversation.
It was in such a situation that Dante found himself. Seated in the front room of the new agency building, he looked none too happy. On one side was Glynda, along with his work partners and students. On the other side were Vergil and Nero, and the rest of the crew from the Earth's Devil May Cry. He had no idea what he was supposed to say, where to begin. Of course, as tends to happen in these situations, someone else chose to break the ice first.
"It's pretty much the same as the old agency, just neater. But I'm guessing that's because it's brand new,' said Trish.
"Here we go," he muttered.
"Old agency?" asked Yang.
"Yang," said Dante. "Remind me to teach you not to take the bait."
He looked with trepidation at Trish, who, by contrast, looked like the holidays had come early. There was a grin practically overflowing with glee on her face.
"Ah, he hasn't told you? And here I was thinking it was so important to him," she said in a voice of mock disappointment.
"Details, please!" shouted Ruby.
"Seconded," added Coco, raising her hand.
Trish cleared her throat.
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away-" she began.
"That's not how the story goes," interrupted Dante. "Are you trying to get us sued?"
"There was a young devil hunter," continued Trish, ignoring him. "He was good at his job, but had a habit of spending all his money quickly. As a result, he found himself in a near constant state of debt."
Dante looked at Glynda, who was glaring at him.
"Wait, you're talking about Dante?" asked Jaune. "There's no way he could be like that."
The idea of his teacher, the epitome of a badass hunter, living like that… just wasn't something the young man could imagine.
"What money he could save," said Trish, "Was spent on the few things he derived some kind of pleasure from. Alcohol, ice cream and pizza."It was at this precise moment that Dante decided to get up from his chair, and Trickster dash towards the door.
Unfortunately, he was stopped, by a combination of Pyrrha's magnetism on his belt buckle, and Glynda's telekinesis on his whole body.
He turned and looked at them, silently asking if they had to do this.
The answer was obvious.
He groaned, but accepted.
"A drink would be good right about now," he muttered.
Several thousand miles away, a scruffy hunter sneezed as he was about to take a sip from his flask.
But our attention remains on Dante's new house, where the two groups of people are only beginning to know each other.
"Well, if we're going to do this, introductions are in order."
He gestured at the man whose face was identical to his own, though, in contrast to him, this individual had their silver hair swept back in spikes. He also wore a black coat and trousers, along with a blue vest.
"This is Vergil. Unfortunately, he's my brother."
"Unfortunate indeed," commented the man.
The Remnant crew looked at him with both wariness and curiosity. Under Dante's instructions, no one had come out of the house during the fight, but they had all felt it: the blows which sent out gusts of wind and shook the ground, the demonic power that froze them with fear. When it was over, they had come out and seen the combatants. Despite the damage Vergil had taken, however, there was not a single scratch to be seen on him at the moment, which spoke volumes for his regenerative abilities.
They looked at him in awe. It was their first time seeing someone who was truly Dante's equal.
It was also clear that the two brothers didn't quite "get along".
"Come on, this again?" said the younger, silver-haired man. "We just got over this five minutes ago. Can you two grow up already?"
"That," said Dante, "is my nephew, Nero. Good kid. A little dense sometimes, but good."
"Wait, your nephew?" said Glynda.
Everyone drew a little closer, and their eyes turned to Nero.
"Then that means his father is…"
A vein pulsed on Vergil's temple.
"Huh", said Yang, the only one brave (or brash) enough to say what everybody was thinking aloud. "Guess some people really do go for the strong, silent types."
"What foolishness," muttered Vergil.
"Nevertheless," said Glynda, glaring at Dante. "Was all that really necessary? You two nearly killed each other."
The devil hunter glanced at his brother.
He didn't really want to say it, but she had a point.
"When I felt him flying this way in his demon form, I knew he wanted a fight. And well, we've done this before a few times, so I thought more of the same was coming."
He decided not to mention that Vergil had almost destroyed the Earth twice.
Glynda looked at Dante in astonishment.
"You're brothers, but you've nearly killed each other a few times?"
To call her incredulous would be an understatement. Needless to say, it just didn't make any sense to her that two people who shared the same blood would do that, much less be completely fine with it, to the point where they were both sitting here now, relaxed, as though nothing had happened.
The two brothers glanced at each other, Dante unsure what to say.
Sensing the awkwardness, Trish decided to intervene.
"I wouldn't think about it too much," she said. "Demons do these things a little differently. Sure, these two are half human, but to be honest, that's probably why they're both still here. In a battle between two full demons, one must die. It's how it is. There aren't any hard feelings."
Aside from fear, anger, and undying vengeance, but that's pretty obvious, she thought.
Trish was curious though.
For Dante to have transformed right outside the house, these people must be aware that he was half demon. That was why she didn't hesitate to give her explanation.
But it also made her wonder. Back on Earth, Dante had been secretive of his true nature. Here, however, he had trusted so many people with that secret. It was strange. But she would soon find out why that was.
"Seeing that all of them are here though," said another of the visitors, "Are they all demon hunters too?"
"Not exactly," said Dante. Turning to the others, he decided to introduce her as well. "This is Lady. She's an associate back from Earth. We did a few jobs together now and then."
He pointed out the older gentleman in the suit.
"And that's Morrison, my agent back home."
"One hell of a story, Dante," the man said. "One hell of a story."
The Devil Hunter nodded.
"All right then."
For the next few minutes, he proceeded to give a summarized account of his stay at Remnant, ending with his decision to start up the monster hunting business.
"... and that's when you showed up," he said, looking at Vergil.
The older brother's face was almost unreadable as always, but a small frown appeared on it.
"Going by what you've said, am I correct in understanding then, that you have no intention of returning to Earth?"
No sooner had those words left his lips than the entire crew's gazes snapped to the red clad warrior. He felt the weight of those stares. They wanted an answer. They needed an answer.
It wouldn't be an easy one to give, but…
"That's right," he said simply.
"That's bullshit!" said Nero, standing up. The younger warrior's fists were clenched. There was anger on his face, but much more too. Growing up, Credo and his family were the first truly reliable older figures in his life. It was much later on that he had encountered Dante. While his uncle could be seemingly careless, not to mention good at riling him up, he was someone Nero looked up to.
"Woah-ho! What are you getting all fired up for, kid?"
"You're joking, right? Are you really not coming back home?"
Dante smiled. He could sympathize with where Nero was coming from. But his decision was already made.
"The Earth doesn't need me. It's your turn to handle the demon hunting business there."
"That's not even the point!"
Nero looked at Trish, Lady and Morrison. He even looked at Vergil.
"Don't you want to come back?" he asked.
"A part of me, yeah," replied Dante. "If I had a way to come and go, I'd take it. But that's ol' Vergil's gimmick, not mine."
The Dark Slayer grunted in annoyance.
Dante looked at him for a moment before returning his attention to Nero.
"I like being here," he said simply. "I've been doing pretty well since I got here, and I want to keep it that way."
Normally, he wouldn't go this far, but because he was fond of Nero, he decided to make an exception.
"I'm happy that you've got a place to call home, Nero. Can't you be happy for me too?"
The younger Devil Hunter blinked.
It took a while, but he finally saw it. Every one of the people from Remnant in the room looked genuinely happy, and it was because Dante had said he would be staying. It was clear from a single glance that they really were close to him.
More than anything, Dante himself really was doing better. Nero hadn't been a frequent visitor to his office, but from what he saw, he used to have a constant, tired look in his eyes. In contrast to that, he looked energetic here. His eyes were full of life, he was in better shape, his hair was neatly cut and styled, and he was sharply dressed.
In every way, this was what the Legendary Devil Hunter looked like at his best.
And if that was the case…
"Fine," Nero said. He glared at him. "Just remember. There's a home back on Earth for you to. So if you ever feel like coming back, or even visiting…"
With that conversation over, everyone felt considerably more at ease.
"Speaking of all that, though," said Dante. "The situation here is actually really interesting. I'll tell you all about it over pizza."
The evening passed comfortably at the newly established Remnant branch of the Devil May Cry, with the people from both worlds exchanging stories.
"So you're the nephew…" said Yang. She and the rest of her team were gathered around Nero, who sensed some potential for headache here, but decided to be polite.
In particular, the long, wild-haired blonde seemed to be the brash, thrill-seeking type. She also seemed the type who'd get pissed off easily. In other words, the same type Nero was. Which meant, a collision was inevitable.
"You must be pretty strong, huh?"
Yang had felt the demonic powers clashing outside the house earlier, but she hadn't looked. She knew Dante and Vergil were on the same level from what she had heard. Nero, having demon blood in him, should be powerful too. But he was younger. Just how much of a difference was there between him and the brothers?
"I'm all right, I guess," Nero answered. While he enjoyed being strong, bragging about it wasn't quite his style.
The blonde gave him a careful, analysing look, before nodding, as though she'd decided something.
A grin on her face, she got up and walked over to the billiards table, where she put her elbow.
"Arm wrestle me," she said.
Ruby, Weiss and Blake all blinked.
Nero raised an eyebrow?
Is this girl for real?
"No way," he said.
"You scared?" asked Yang.
Nero felt a vein ticking in his head.
Turning, he called out.
"Hey, Dante. Aren't you teaching these kids any manners?"
Dante, midway through a beer, replied.
"Eh, they're all right. I prefer to let people do their own thing."
Nero rolled his eyes.
He looked around to see Ruby giving him a curious stare.
"You aren't actually scared, are you?"
Though she was a shade calmer than her sister, let it never be forgotten that Ruby also was the impulsive type who rushed into challenges.
The vein in Nero's head finally popped.
"Oh, it's on."
He walked over to the billiards table and put his elbow down in front of Yang's.
Naturally, when this was happening, everyone's attention was pulled to the scene, almost as if magnetically drawn to it.
Before long, a crowd had gathered around the table, and bets had been made.
For this match, both participants were using their left hands.
"I mean, we have been training for a while now, and we've got Aura. We're going to be facing demons too," said Weiss.
"And Nero's not that much older than us," said Ruby.
"Between Nora and Yang, who's stronger?" asked Jaune.
"It would probably come down to whose Semblance absorbed more energy," reasoned Pyrrha.
"So it's arm wrestling…", mused Dante, as the two fighters locked hands. "Just so you kids know, Nero is pretty strong"
"How strong is 'pretty strong'?" asked Glynda.
[Dante's mental flashback to Nero crushing the Saviour's head]
"I can take him," said Yang.
Thirty minutes later…
Nero looked over at Dante.
"Hey, this Aura they've got starts to deplete after a while."
"Yep. I've gotta train them to improve their endurance."
On the other end of the table, Yang was pushing with all her might. Hanging off the other side of Nero's arm and pulling to add to the force was Ruby. Somehow, even Blake and Weiss had been convinced to take part, both of them pushing with Yang.
"So…", said Jaune. "Do you think he's using at least half his strength or…?"
Pyrrha decided not to answer. She was one of the people making money off Nero tonight, but team RWBY probably didn't need to know that.
"Damn it!" growled Yang. "What is this arm made of?"
Nero glanced at her.
"Look, are you done yet? I feel like getting another beer. The old man and Dante are going to finish them all at this rate."
"Damn it! It's all these years of you being single! They've made your arm too strong", said Yang. The match was getting to her, and she needed a way to do some damage, even if it was verbal.
Dante shook his head.
"Tactical error there."
"What do you mean?", asked Ren.
"Well, it's just that Nero's married."
To this day, people are unsure what dropped first: the jaws of everyone to the floor, or team RWBY's hands to the table.
"Keep training," said Nero. "You'll get there. Hey, Dante, you better not have finished all the beer."
As all of this was happening, a different conversation was taking place between people who hadn't been watching the match.
Lady approached Glynda, who was quietly sitting some distance away, looking on.
The huntress turned to the devil hunter, giving her a nod in greeting.
The two of them hadn't really spoken much earlier in the day. One of them, after all, wasn't much of an extrovert to begin with. As for the other, she'd been too busy catching up. But that didn't mean she hadn't noticed.
Lady was, in her own way, observant.
"Can I ask you a question?" she said.
Glynda, not quite sure where this was going, nodded nonetheless.
"Who exactly is Dante to you?"
The question had come seemingly out of nowhere, and it took Glynda aback for a moment, but she adjusted to it quickly. After her experience with Nevan, this didn't really shake her. She looked at Lady for a while. Needless to say, she didn't know much about the woman. Dante had given some context during the introductions, briefly explaining how the two of them had met during a crisis situation.
For whatever reason, her eyes were intently fixed on Glynda as she waited for the answer. If nothing else, she was earnest.
Glynda didn't detect any malice from her.
As a matter of fact, even what Nevan had wasn't malice. She had strong feelings for Dante, and she was acting on them to try to keep him to herself. Ironically, that was a very human thing to do. She hadn't told him about the incident, but she was sure that if she did, he would see it that way too.
As for Lady, Glynda couldn't quite tell why she wanted to know that. But if her experiences had taught her something, it was that there was no reason to lie here, or hide anything.
"I suppose you could say we're close," she said.
"Are you dating him?"
They stood there in silence for a while. Glynda felt it was fair that she should ask a question too.
"Why does it matter to you?", she asked.
As if snapping out of a trance, Lady turned to her.
She smiled slightly, looking on fondly at Dante, who was on the drumkit, showing off stick tricks and playing around with the double bass pedals.
As she watched, her mind flashed back to a scene from many years ago.
"I'll take care of it. So you just relax." In the Library of the Temen-ni-Gru, the young Son of Sparda leaned closer to her. Lady turned away, looking to the side. Taking the sign, Dante gave her space, eventually walking away, heading towards where Arkham was attempting to steal his father's power for himself. It had been a single moment, nothing more or less. In the years that followed, neither of them ever mentioned it.
In the Library of the Temen-ni-Gru, the young Son of Sparda leaned closer to her.
Lady turned away, looking to the side.
Taking the sign, Dante gave her space, eventually walking away, heading towards where Arkham was attempting to steal his father's power for himself.
It had been a single moment, nothing more or less.
In the years that followed, neither of them ever mentioned it.
Lady wondered briefly, as she stood in the Remnant branch of the Devil May Cry:
If I'd chosen differently then…
She didn't let herself finish the thought, shaking her head slightly as she answered Glynda's question.
"Just someone who made a decision once."
The bespectacled blonde was strong for sure. Lady's combat experience was telling her so without even needing to fight her.
And that wasn't all.
"Hey. Underneath all the crazy antics and showing off, he's a good guy. Take care of him."
Glynda turned her gaze back to the red-clad man, who had started a drum solo.
"I was going to do that anyway."