Dantega:Volume 1 Chapter 2

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Chapter 2: First Contact

(PART 1)

Chapter 2: First Contact

(PART 1)

The sun has risen and the dawn light shines on the grassland as the group continues their walk westward. After a couple hours the scenery is beginning to change into more of a hilly terrain.

“We should be there shortly.” said Rage with his usual stern look.

“Hopefully we find certain people who are ‘aware’ so we can get some information on the location of the first Gate. And also, it looks like those guys are getting tired of walking.” replies Ubica with a sigh of exasperation.

The two of them are far ahead of the others, and looking back at the rest of the group it is quite obvious why. Most of the group is struggling with the fatigue of this long journey up and down the hills; Napoleon seems to be managing well but the others look exhausted. However there is one Royal member of the group who looks completely unaffected; Xavier is resting comfortably on the back of his bodyguard Tsubiri as though she were a donkey. Tsubiri is a trained soldier and could normally handle the rigors of a hike like this, but the look on her face is pure anguish and her legs are shaking.

Ubica can’t help but feel some kind of anger at the sight and he begins to walk toward Xavier.

“Get off of her now.” he hissed those words through gritted teeth and a mean scowl.

Frozen in fear at Ubica’s demand, he doesn’t move nor speak.

But an equally surprised Tsubiri shows a flustered face that doesn't fit the assumed look of a battle hardened bodyguard when she says, “I-It’s ok, I’m fine... it’s my job and my duty to protect the prince.”

“This isn’t what I call protecting someone. It’s called letting a selfish brat walk all over you.”

Ubica grabs on to the collar of the stiff prince, lifts him to the air off her back and roughly tosses him on the ground.

“Prince Xavier! Are you alright!?” Tsubiri shouts as she rushes to his aid.

But before she could reach out her hand to help him up, she was blocked by Ubica.

“Do you remember what Rage said yesterday?”

“Ehhhh!!? W-W-What are you doing!?”

Before she knew it, she was on Ubica's back.

”There is no such thing as royalty here, in Purgatory, you're just a normal girl.”

Tsubiri's face turns bright red. “B-But…”

“No one deserves to be treated like an object, remember that. Your legs hurt right? Just take a rest, we’ll be there soon.”

Silent by his gentleness, Tsubiri gives in to his words and leaves Xavier on the ground alone; she wraps her arms around Ubica and rests her head on his left shoulder.

“...Thank you.”

After seeing the situation unfold, Trojia is truly impressed by how kind Ubica is; but she is also feeling envious. She tries not to show it but when a pretty face like hers is troubled it is completely obvious.

Niomyo sees this and with a wicked smile says, “Ohhh, quite the player that guy is huh? He is really handsome though, I wonder if he will hit on any of the other girls here?”

The frown of Trojia’s face progressively becomes steeper. “He’s not like that! He is just being nice to her!”

“Hmmm? I think I’m sensing jealousy from you princess.”

“I’m not jealous at all! Besides, why are you keeping an eye on me? Shouldn’t you be keeping your eye on that general? He looks like he’s getting pretty close to Prince Luke’s bodyguard.”

“Hah? Why would I be?”

Niomyo looks in Napoleon’s direction, but sees the sight of the dull atmosphere between Napoleon and Sora. They are walking next to each other but are not saying a word, it’s almost like they don’t even realize the presence of the person next to them.

Either way, whatever he does has no effect on Niomyo; it’s obvious that Trojia is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill in an attempt to switch the topic away from her unreasonable feelings of envy.

Ubica is once again with Rage in the front of the group, Tsubiri is still on his back and now fast asleep.

“Damn that punk kid, how can he treat someone like that?”

Rage looks at him dejectedly, “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, but just because someone has a problem it doesn’t mean you should be obliged to help them.”


Rage turns his head and looks toward a large hill that lies just a few hundred yards ahead. “The majority of them will die here anyways, there is no point even wasting your time on being kind.”

Ubica frowns and shifts his gaze to the ground, “They don’t have to die, not if I can fight for their sake. I’m not kind to them because I want to accomplish anything, it’s just the least I can do.”

“Your naivety makes you look stupid. I think I prefer the less fragile old you.”

“I prefer the old version of you that kept his opinions to himself. Think what you want, Rage, but leave me out of your mouth.”

The two glare at each other maliciously, and without realizing it they have arrived on top of the hill that was once quite far away.

Rage looks out in the distance and says, “We’re here.”

There is a large city just up ahead at the bottom of the hill, the quaint houses and shops on the outskirts of the town don’t match the central area that holds two massive metallic looking buildings that are surrounded by a series of smaller structures.

Ubica looks backwards to see where the rest of the group is and sees that they are fairly far away, he thinks to himself that he and Rage must have left them behind by accident. He tilts his head to the side and bumps the head of Tsubiri, he has forgotten that he has the sleeping bodyguard on his back. He whispers his apologies to her and she remains fast asleep.

After a few minutes of waiting for the rest to walk up the hill, Tsubiri begins to wake up.

“Oh? Are you feeling better now?” asked Ubica with a smile.

“Y-Yeah... thanks.”

Ubica gently lets her down to her feet, she stretches for a little, yawns, and makes direct eye contact with him.

“Hey..." Ubica says, "I’m sorry for intruding on your relationship with your boss.”

She gives a shy face like a nervous child and replies, “N- No don’t worry about that. It’s okay really…”

The rest of the group arrives, huffing and puffing in exhaustion.

“I assume we will go to that city to find a place to stay for the night.” Napoleon says in an almost monotonous tone. “There must be a different currency here, so I assume it will be more difficult to find a place to stay than we’d think.”

Rage responds, “You sure make a lot of assumptions.” “It’s my job to properly assess the situation at hand.”

Napoleon truly impresses Rage with his attitude, he operates so differently than the others. He has been thrust into a surreal situation and is still able to think calmly and manage himself stoically in such chaotic and unreasonable circumstances.

On Napoleon’s fifteenth birthday he had met the minimal military age requirement and joined the La’Juutian armed forces for front-line combat as a swordsman. His talents were extraordinary from the beginning and as a result it grew into tremendous heroic acts that allowed him to rise up through the ranks at a fast rate. After a year of his triumphs, rumors began to spread about his accomplishments all throughout the world, he quickly became a celebrity and the pride of La’Juune.

When the former general died in a battle in which both Troy and Eiyalazo were just yards away from invading the city of La’Juune, Napoleon took command over the panicked army and led them to a miracle like victory which promptly saved the entire country. Naturally, he was christened as the new leader of the army and has made it into the leading military superpower of the world.

Rage, who has gathered the souls of the dead in these battles for the past eleven years has seen his feats firsthand and watched him grow into the person who is respected even by death.

“Your armor and their clothes have gold and other precious metals” Rage says, pointing at Napoleon’s chest. “they will sell for a lot of money in the town.”

Napoleon looks at the golden tint of the armor he has fought countless battles in, there are dings and scratches from many fights on it, but once melted down it will be valuable all the same.

A bittersweet feeling is felt in the pit of his chest, he’ll be leaving behind the evidence of his life’s work when this armor is gone, but knowing that the value that comes from it will be used to win a new battle is enough to fill him with determination.

With a strained smile he says, “Understood.”

The group has now entered the town; the outside of the buildings are very renaissance-like, cobblestone streets intertwine the city and it gives of the feel of an Italian town much like Firenze. A walled river, a hundred meters wide runs through the center of the town, splitting residential areas in two. The bridges leading from one side to the other carry markets and shops and many people are conducting business over the top of fisherman’s boats floating on the river below.

The people that are simply going about their daily lives are all shocked to see something so unusual as a large group of strangely dressed foreigners and are staring at the group with wary eyes; one can’t help but feel awkward by this.

“Geez! Do we really look that weird to them?” Daey exclaims, feeling extremely uncomfortable.

Ubica laughs, “Well if you really look at our group we are pretty odd looking.”

Daey ganders at the difference between them and the other townsfolk. The people of this city are dressed in dark pastel colors, thick wool and leather outfits blend everyone in with each other.

Daey notices the difference as well, she and the rest are wearing bright colors and look extravagant.

“I guess we do stand out like a sore thumb, of course the most noticeable one is that fellow.”

She points at Rage who is clad completely in black and is holding a large scythe well over six feet in length.

“Haha yeah no kidding! I’m surprised the people of this city haven’t thrown rocks at him and ran away.”

Ubica and Daey share a laugh together and walk down the street towards their next destination.

After a half hour of walking, the group finds a large brown building with about fifteen windows, there’s a sign that says something in a foreign language.


“Eh? What does that mean?” Daey asks.

To which Ubica replies, “It's Italian..It says hostel.”

“Hmm? What’s Italian?”

Ubica gives her a facial expression like, ‘Are you kidding?’ But he then quickly realizes that there hasn’t been an Italy for over a thousand years.

So he tries to explain, “Italian is the language of an old country called Italy. Most of Purgatory is occupied by all the people that weren’t sent to Heaven or Hell. So I’d figure that the remnants of cultures that once existed in the past would be carried on in this place.”

Daey raises her eyebrow in confusion which makes Ubica smile awkwardly as if he has just said something completely asinine.

“Well... you will get it more the longer we stay here.”

“So how do you know so much about this whole mess?”

Ubica jumps a little and tries to find an answer, “Eh-um I... It’s a long story you see I-“

Before he could get a chance to finish his bumbling sentence, Rage interrupts him saying, “Let’s find somewhere to sell the armor and clothing so we can check in.”

“R-Right!” Ubica replies and takes a sigh of relief. (Saved!) he thinks to himself as he and the group head off to the local flea market.

After selling off and buying some more casual clothing, the group checks into the hostel; they take four separate rooms to fit the party of fourteen.

Niomyo and Trojia have one room. Luke, Xavier, Sora, Phoenix and Tsubiri, have one. Daey, Niera, Rudo and Cyrus share one, and the last is occupied by Ubica, Rage and Napoleon.

Night is beginning to fall, naturally the royals are restless due to the overall enormity of their situation; but after bathing, the fatigue of the day’s journey catches up to them as they ready for bed.

“So what brought you into this room Napoleon? Shouldn’t you be with the rest of your group?” Ubica asked as he leaned up against the wall of the hotel room.

“I have no reason to be there with them, as far as I am concerned, this is the most Important room to be situated in.”

Rage lets out a harumph as if he knew his reason from the beginning.

Napoleon looks at the two with a serious face and asks, “What kind of enemies will have to go through in order to get back?”

Rage and Ubica glance at each other and then back at Napoleon when Rage replies, “Since you aren’t familiar with the bible or religion, you’ll find this hard to understand... our enemies are everyone from Hell who can reach us here. Damien will likely send numerous demons to keep us from returning to Earth.”

“Couldn’t he just have sent them to kill us all back on Earth? I don’t see why he would go through the trouble to send us here.”

“That's because of Rage and I..." Ubica answers, "If I were to die on Earth, my soul would still need a destination to travel to, I could easily end up being able to come back in some form or another. Though Rage is different than I am, if he were killed, he’d just end up manifesting in Heaven and could return to do his job as a reaper. But here in Purgatory is a completely different story, if either of us die here, we completely cease to exist.”

Rage concludes Ubica’s statement, “We’re at an extreme disadvantage, with a certain amount of work, Hell has almost complete access to Purgatory. It would be a complete disaster if any of the 7 Demons of Hell's Hierarchy come to kill us, or even if Damien himself arrives. I don’t think you or the rest realize how bleak our situation is here.”

Napoleon doesn’t seem fazed by the words of the two and sternly says, “I’ll help you find a way to victory.”

Both Ubica and Rage have respect for his bravery and commitment, but they know that he still doesn’t comprehend the true evil of the reality that awaits him and the rest.

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