Dante landed, guns at the ready. But the sorcerer seemed to have disappeared again. He heard the others land behind him, and turned around to greet them. "Well, he ran off again, the coward. You guys okay?"

Lady and Nero nodded, but then Nero looked around frantically. "Wait, where's Kyrie?" He thought she'd landed with them, but she was gone. "Kyrie!" he called out. "KYRIE!"

Lady looked at the double doors behind her. "Hey, Nero, you might want to see this," she said.

Nero turned around, and looked at the doors. Scrawled across them in a red substance (looking eerily like blood) were the words "She's safe. For now." Nero made to open them, but then noticed another message below the first one: "Beyond here be monsters." He growled under his breath. "That black-cloaked bastard…"

Dante looked at the room they were in. It seemed to be the main foyer of a mansion. "Say, is it just me, or does this world seem a little…familiar?"

Lady turned to him, nodding. "Yeah. But I don't remember feeling like this in Ichigo's world. Wonder why that is?"

Dante shook his head. "Dunno. But this better not be another damn castle."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, there was Temen-Ni-Gru, Mallet Island, and Fortuna Castle," he said, ticking them off on his fingers. "Granted, Temen-Ni-Gru was more of a tower, and Fortuna was only part castle, but still, it's gettin' kinda overdone, you know?"

Nero shook his head, but then stopped as all three of them heard a gunshot. "What the hell?"

The man shot again at the advancing creature, but it still kept lurching at him. Taking aim again, his third shot went through its neck, finally bringing it down. It fell flat on its face, a pool of blood spreading under it. "What the hell is this thing?"

The woman shrugged, still breathing heavily. "I found Kenneth…killed by this thing. Let's report this to…"

Dante pressed his ear up against the door. "Hmm…huh?"

Lady looked at him in interest. "What is it?"

"Looks like we're not alone. Sounds like two people in that room: one man, one woman."

Nero walked toward Dante. "You think they can help us find Kyrie?"

He shrugged. "Worth a shot." He made to open the door, but it swung inward before he could grab the doorknob. "Hey, we're-"

"Hold it right there!" Suddenly, two guns were pointed at his face, and within the millisecond, he, Lady, and Nero were all pointing theirs right back. A lot of angry shouting broke out.


"Put the damn guns down!"

"Where the hell do you think you're pointing that?"

"What did you do with him?"

"That won't work!"

Dante, irritated, pointed his guns away from the newcomers and shot directly upward. Just as he'd hoped, the yelling miraculously stopped, but the tension wasn't relieved at all. "Look, we're not gonna solve anything by yelling, so why bother?"

Lady gave Dante a look of incredulity, but nodded. "Let's talk this through, before we start pointing guns around." She holstered her pistols to demonstrate, and Nero reluctantly followed suit, resisting the habit of spinning Blue Rose as it returned to its holster. Dante holstered Ebony & Ivory, shaking his head as he did so. I suppose that even though them shooting me won't do anything, I might as well try not to freak 'em out too much. The other two slowly lowered their weapons, then with a nod to each other, put them away.

Lady sighed. "Good. Now, where are we, and what's going on around here?"

The woman looked at her oddly. "You don't know where you are? How did you get here?"

She briefly considered telling the whole truth, but knew there was no way they'd accept it. Instead, she settled on a half-truth. "We got lost, and one of our group is missing, so we thought we might find her here." Close enough, anyway.

The man shrugged. "Not a bad plan, but I gotta say, things aren't looking too good. There's some weird stuff going on around here."

Dante chuckled. "'Weird' is right up our alley. So, who are you guys, anyway?"

The woman looked at her companion, then looked back as they both flipped open badges.

Nero grinned, looking at the woman. "Jill Valentine, huh? Nice beret."

And thus, finally, this particular story is over. I was planning on one more omake chapter...but I couldn't think of anything, and instead of waiting until that happened, I figured it would be good to close this particular chapter of our story without dragging it out any further.

That having been said, it will take a little bit until I start the next story. I'd like to post the first five chapters (and prologue) all at once, and I only have about one and a half written; that way, you all don't have to wait ages for more than two chapters. ;-p

Thank you very much to all your wonderful reviews and messages, and I hope to get the next story out as soon as possible! Take care of yourselves; you all rock. ^_^