Dantega:Volume 1 Chapter 3
It’s now around midnight, the streets are empty and the group, including Rage and Ubica are fast asleep. There are no sounds reverberating through the town when suddenly Ubica awakens in shock.
He looks towards Rage who has awakened suddenly along with him and says, “Did you feel that?”
Without another word, the two get up, grab their weapons and proceed out of the door of the hostel room.
Before they can get out of the doorway the voice of Napoleon is heard, “I assume an enemy has appeared... let me accompany you.”
“Once again, your assumption is correct.”
The sound of footsteps is heard in the hallway outside of Niomyo and Trojia’s room. Trojia wakes up to the noise and glances out the door in curiosity; she sees Napoleon, Rage and Ubica hurry down the stairs and out the hostel's front entrance. Trojia immediately knows something is wrong and wakes Niomyo.
With dreary eyes the half asleep bodyguard asks, “What’s wrong?”
Trojia gives a worried face and doesn't explain anything, she just says, “Let’s go!”
The three are running through the moonlit streets of the Italian like city at a fast pace. Most of the city’s inhabitants are all inside their homes, the occasional light through a window can be seen with the silhouette of a person gazing through in curiosity.
Napoleon sees this and while running he says to the two leaders of the pack, “Is it just me or are those people looking at us in an odd way?”
Rage has noticed the same thing and replies, “It seems like they know what’s going on.”
“That doesn’t matter, we’re almost there!” yells Ubica.
After a couple more minutes of running, the three arrive at a bridge that leads over water and into the center of the city which holds the more metropolitan area of the city with the two massive buildings that were seen earlier from the hill. The two towers are completely lighted in green, yellow, and blue. The difference between the towns on one side of the bridge from the other is glaring.
The three cross the bridge and look around; there are dozens of smaller buildings surrounding the two towers, a large statue of a man dressed in a robe and wearing a crown of leaves on his head sits in the middle of it all.
“That is a statue of myself when I was Emperor of Rome.”
This is an unfamiliar voice and it catches the three by surprise; shifting their attention from the statue towards the source of the voice, they find a man standing there with a cynical smile on his face.
He is wearing a tattered black trench coat that stretches down to the silver of the metal guards on his boots. His face is wrinkled but it doesn’t seem like it’s from old age, it’s more like someone who lacks sleep or is extremely stressed. But one thing that stands out right away upon first glance is a big horizontal scar on his forehead that crosses out the number 666. Above that scar and brand, a leaf crown sits atop his curly dark brown hair.
Trojia and Niomyo arrive at the base of the bridge, both in awe at the sight of the lights that all the buildings cast. In Troy, electricity is very rare and can only be used in small quantities, but here the lights are so bright it’s like looking into an intense starry sky. Trojia shows a face of determination and proceeds to run to the center of the lights.
The two of them can see Ubica and the others standing in front of an unknown man and they quickly hide behind a corner of a small building. Easily able to hear the voices of the men, they stand back quietly and wait.
“Nero!?” Ubica exclaims in surprise.
The man’s eyes grow large and through a wide grin he yells in excitement, “Leader!!? You have come back for me!? They said you were thrown into the eternal lake! Haha! I knew it was all a lie!”
“What are you doing here?”
“After a thousand years, my punishment has finally ended. Not only that, I have been rewarded with my own city! Isn’t it grand? Hahaha this is worth all the pain I have endured!”
Nero raises his arms, his trench coat rises up and reveals his body. It’s completely wrapped in barbed wire that stretches to his forearms. His torso, down to his legs are drenched in blood.
“Who is this guy, Rage?” asks Napoleon, disturbed by the sight of him.
“His name is Nero... he once was the emperor of the world’s most powerful country, Rome. Nero was also one of the first emperors to persecute the Christians, the executions of a large number of his people angered God, so he set fire to Rome and burned down a third of the city. Naturally with Rome in such a weakened state, its enemies rebelled, Nero was exiled, and was in constant fear of assassination until he committed suicide.”
“But why is someone like him calling Ubica ‘Leader’?”
Before Rage could speak, Nero loudly asks, “Do you not know who you are standing beside?”
Ubica draws his sword and with a flash appears in front of Nero, the blade is pressed against his neck.
“Don't say another word.”
“Leader? What is this?”
“I am not your leader.”
Nero’s facial expression sinks towards his chest. At the end of his reign as the emperor of Rome, some of his closest friends and allies betrayed him and plotted assassinations against the disgraced ruler. So having someone he obviously trusts threaten him like this snaps a fragile wire in his brain.
“No... I was told that you betrayed us... it’s not true right!? If you help me kill the humans and the reaper, I’m sure 'he' will forgive you!” said the shaky voice of Nero.
Ubica’s face turns cold, “I refuse.”
Nero grits his teeth violently as his eyes grow larger, he lets out a ghastly scream. “GRAAAAHHH! BETRAYED AGAIN!! I HAD FAITH IN YOU LEADER! WE ALL DID!!”
Nero grabs Ubica’s sword with his bare hands and,
Ubica's sword is pushed violently toward the ground and from the corner of his left eye he sees a silver flash. With the sound of a butcher knife cutting through meat, Ubica’s left temple becomes very hot, he jumps a few yards back and grabs his head which is now covered in blood. The attention of Ubica switches from his bloodied hand and back to Nero, who is holding out his arms once again revealing the barbed wire that writhes his body. But this time the scene is different, the barbed wire is now circling his body like a snake.
“Do you know of my punishment after Armageddon? Hah Leader!?”
Ubica clicks his tongue as Nero continues to speak.
“One thousand years of having barbed wire inserted into me. Through my eyes, through my nose, ears, mouth! Everywhere! Because of you! Because I followed you! But I believed that you would come back and that you would lead our army to victory once again! So after a thousand years I have harnessed my punishment and turned it into power, a power to help you! Are you really standing here in front of me now, telling me that all of those years of agony was for nothing!?”
“What in the world are they talking about?” asks a stunned Niomyo.
“Oh, sorry princess!”
Trojia lets out a slight gasp upon the release of Niomyo’s hand from her mouth, “What did you do that for Niomyo!?”
“Sshh, it looked like you were going to call out to him when he got hurt. You heard that Nero guy, he wants us dead, so I think it’s best to stay quiet and let them handle it.”
Trojia’s eyes look at the bloodied Ubica as she thinks to herself, (Does this have something to do with that secret he doesn't want me to know about?)
“It looks like that's how it's going to be." he says to Nero, he then turns to Rage. "Let me be the one to handle this, I can't think of a better way to show you my resolve than to expel a ghost of my past.”
Ubica charges at Nero with incredible speed, as a reaction, Nero leaps back a few feet. He points both of his open hands in Ubica’s direction and out of his palms spews out barbed wire screaming towards Ubica’s head and body.
He jumps over the wires at a height parallel to the smaller buildings and shoots downwards as if he pushed off an invisible wall in the air. The loud sound of metal slamming against metal is heard, Ubica is holding his sword only a few inches from Nero’s face, but it is entangled in the barbed wire that is protruding from dozens of different holes in Nero's body.
“Oh? You look surprised, don’t you know that there is ferrum in both blood and metal? It’s amazing what one can learn after a thousand years of feeling the same barbed wire rip through your body, I learned how to carbonize the ferrum in my blood to form an infinite amount of this steel wire once it leaves my bloodstream!”
For those who don't know what ferrum is, it is the chemical component found in iron. Since iron is formed naturally in the human bloodstream, he's speaking of how he's used it to his advantage.
The sound of dozens of wires slicing through skin is reflected off the glass of the buildings like an amphitheater. A spider-web of barbed wire is zig zagging through the air at Ubica’s body from dozens of different angles.
Ubica is dodging them in mid air by jumping off and through the wires. There is seemingly no escape when he becomes more and more entrapped by the metal strings of death.
With a loud crash, the wires disperse in different directions and Nero’s body slams into the ground.
Nero looks up in shock only to see Ubica standing impossibly on the vertical side of one of the two towers’ windows about thirty stories up.
“HAHA I’D EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM YOU LEADER!”
Nero’s face contorts as he lifts his body out of the marble hole he was half buried in. He spreads his body as if he is doing a jumping jack and every line of barbed wire in his protruding from his body flings out at incredible speeds upwards in Ubica’s direction. Ubica is running quickly on the side of the tower as the wires pursuing him in hot haste explode each of the large lighted windows in its wake. The yellow, green and blue lighting of the surrounding buildings shine through the large falling shards of glass hurling toward the marble ground. It gives off the impression of hundreds of shooting stars falling to Earth.
One can’t look at this pretty spectacle for too long however, because the seemingly meteor shower like scene is actually the form of numerous large razor sharp objects that could slice open any unfortunate bystander in an instant.
Rage and Napoleon fled to escape the falling car sized shards of glass, the area they are now in is just a few feet from Niomyo and Trojia but the corner of the building between the two groups blocks their view of each other.
The sound of Nero’s ear tearing laugh and the uncountable amount of glass shards shattering on the marble floor is almost deafening.
“How is any of this even possible!?” yells the rarely surprised General.
Rage calmly answers back, “In our world, just about anything is possible.”
Napoleon composes himself after a few seconds of deep breathing while Rage continues to speak.
“This is nothing compared to what you will see in the future Napoleon, so watch closely.”
Napoleon looks at the scene of the two scaling freakishly on the sides of exploding buildings. “That Nero, he called Ubica Leader... tell me what this is about.”
Trojia, who is standing quietly behind the corner, has her interest piqued and begins to eavesdrop on the conversation that is about to ensue.
Rage shows a dead serious face and says, “I’ll make this short.”
Trojia’s heart is already beating at a fast rate at the sound of Ubica’s battle, and the thought of hearing of Ubica's past speeds it up even more. “A thousand years ago, a third of the human population was destroyed during the battle of Armageddon. Hundreds of thousands of Angels in God’s army squared off against the billions of Demons and humans that allied with the army of Satan.”
Trojia, Napoleon, and Niomyo’s minds are all racing with questions about how something like that has anything to do with Ubica. God, Satan, and a thousand years ago. How could any of those subjects possibly be relevant to this young man who they have found themselves in the company of? They stay silent as Rage continues to speak.
“Just like your role with La’Juune, there were leaders of each army. The Son of God, who led the army of Heaven, and the Anti-Christ, who led the army of Hell. Each side had its lieutenants, knights, pawns and foot soldiers. Nero was simply one of the thousands of past lieutenants in the army of Hell.”
By now, a cold sweat begins to fall down Trojia’s temple.
Rage’s face turns cold as if he is a judge that is sentencing a man to death for his crimes. “The one who is responsible for intentionally misleading billions of people to their doom... the only person who can truly lead the army of Hell is the physical embodiment of sin… that person is Ubica the Anti-Christ.”
Trojia’s legs buckle due to shock, her falling body is caught by Niomyo who is also taken aback by Rage’s words. Both of them know the bible quite well, most places on modern day Earth have many different religions, but Troy is mostly influenced by catholic beliefs. In the third and newest testament of the new holy bible, the story of the first apocalypse ended with the battle of Armageddon where the side of God was victorious. As a result, the Anti-Christ was cast into an endless lake of eternal hell-fire by the Son of God. But supposedly, the one banished to the eternal burning is fighting right before them, risking his life to protect them. Trojia is thinking this in denial as she searches through the memory banks of her brain that contain the stories she has read about the topic.
Napoleon is staring into Rage’s eyes as if checking for any sign of dishonesty, but he sees nothing that would suggest he isn’t telling the truth. “If that is the case, why is he helping us? Why is he betraying his own comrades and trying to kill that Damien fellow? Shouldn’t they be allies?”
“They probably still would be, if Damien wasn’t the one who betrayed Ubica first.”
There’s a momentary pause between the two until Rage speaks again. “In the bible it is said that the Son of God cast Ubica into the bottomless lake of eternal hell-fire, but that was not the case. In actuality, God’s army was utterly defeated. Ubica became so powerful that even God’s Son himself couldn’t put a stop to his tyranny. To Damien and Satan, he became too unstoppable of a force to control. If they allowed him to succeed, there is no doubt they would be next in line for destruction. The one who stabbed Ubica in the back and sent him to an eternity of burning was Damien himself. History speaks for itself however, it took all the power they had just to seal Ubica away. Victory for Hell was lost solely because of their betrayal, but the betrayal kept them alive and allowed them to escape to fight another day.”
“And so Damien blamed the loss on Ubica’s betrayal..? I can see why Ubica would want to take revenge so badly.”
Rage looks upward to where Ubica is fighting Nero; even from the ground he can see the true determination on Ubica’s face as he is fighting with all of his heart.
“That’s not what he’s fighting for”
Napoleon shows a look as if he was silently asking what he meant by that.
But before Rage could answer his glare...
A huge explosion of green flames is seen at the top of one of the towers. Large green fireballs containing huge chunks of the tower slam on the ground with thunderous roars.
Through a plume of smoke, Nero crashes to the marble floor with a large thud.
Ubica is flying downwards in a green haze, his light green eyes are glowing brightly and can be seen shining through the night sky. He lands with tremendous force and mercilessly thrusts his diamond red sword into the stomach of Nero.
Blood is spraying form Nero’s gut like a geyser, but seemingly unfazed, Nero’s face turns cock eyed. “I’M SO DISAPPOINTED! YOU WERE SO MUCH STRONGER BACK THEN!”
With both hands, Nero grips Ubica’s sword with all of his might, slicing open his palms in the process.
“YOU WEREN'T SO FOOLISH!”
Nero flicks his hands sending blood spatter towards Ubica.
Ubica attempts to jolt backwards, but with the sudden movement of his legs, a sharp, horrid feeling is felt in his two arms.
The burning sensation is the result of having hundreds of razor-like barbs penetrating his flesh and tearing into his muscles. The wires holding the barbs are squeezing tightly into Ubica’s forearms like a snake constricting its prey. Pain reverberates in Ubica’s body as he is starting to feel the razor sharp metal rubbing against his bone.
Trojia and Niomyo have backed away to a different building in order to stay hidden and they now have a clear vantage point of the gruesome battle. Trojia’s eyes turn large at the extremity of Ubica’s wounds, “Ubica is getting hurt, Niomyo! We have to help him!”
Trojia’s tone is becoming increasingly frantic with each breath. Niomyo isn’t daft enough to think for a second that there’s anything either of them can do; she clasps onto Trojia’s arm and pulls her further away.
Ubica is trying to escape but with each move the barbed wire sinks deeper into his arms.
The geyser of blood spewing from Nero’s stomach is beginning to harden and take the shape of something thin.
(More wires!?) Ubica struggles to think as the pain makes his vision blurry.
As if having his mind read, Nero brings an answer to his thoughts.
“Oh? You think the only weapon I can shape my blood into is this?”
The geyser of blood takes the shape of a spear and is pointed directly at the heart of Ubica.
“I wish I could’ve seen the old you just once more... SOMEONE LIKE YOU IS BETTER OFF DEAD THAN BEING WEAK!!! IT’S OVER!”
The spear rips through Ubica’s torso and into his heart, the spear is shot like a projectile out of his back and smashes violently into a window of one of the surrounding buildings.
“N-no way...” said Trojia in disbelief.
She is so stunned her body is as stiff as a board, she has just witnessed Ubica’s chest exploding but refuses to believe her eyes.
Ubica grits his teeth for a moment then slumps over his sword.
The boy who saved her has died right in front of her, and she couldn’t do anything. The feeling of helplessness gathers in her heart as tears begin to flow down her face. Trojia in a panic is once again about to shout out his name but she is grabbed tightly by Niomyo.
Napoleon shows another rare expression of surprise and says, “He was defeated!?”
Rage readies his weapon and begins to back away. “This is bad..." he then turns to Napoleon and shouts, "Run!”
Rage runs down an alleyway with Napoleon not too far behind, but before they make it out of the view of Nero and a slain Ubica...
“Why didn’t you help him!!?”
The voice comes from a petite blonde teenager who's wearing a large frown while crying in distraught.
“You stupid girl! Why did you come here!?”
Trojia’s fists are clasped tightly, she is in such an emotionally broken state that she is about to attempt to strike the Angel of Death with all her might.
“Were you both here this entire time?” Napoleon asks.
Niomyo steps in front of Trojia, and with a cracked voice says, “I-I’m so sorry, we heard your footsteps at the hotel and got worried...”
“Forget about that! We have to get away!” shouts Rage.
His voice rose into a frantic tone the others have yet to hear from him, nor would they ever have expected it.
Niomyo and Napoleon follow his directions and begin running, but Trojia hasn’t and is standing there like a statue.
Niomyo stops and shouts, “Let’s go! It’s dangerous!”
But her words fall on deaf ears, she is frozen stiff.
“I’ll go get her.”
Napoleon runs back and puts his hand on Trojia’s shoulder, after she ignores this action he readies to carry her.
“It’s too late.” says Rage in a deep voice, “this is not what he wanted...”
Suddenly, a sickening feeling reaches the bodies of the three, so nauseating that it makes them instantly want to vomit.
“It looks like your wish will be granted... Nero.”
These words are heard clearly in the heads of Napoleon, Trojia and Niomyo. The words simultaneously arrive along with a painful migraine.
“This voice! It’s Ubica!” shouts Trojia while she is struggling to even stand.
Ubica is still bloodied and is still slumped over his sword, an ominous green light coming from underneath the silver hair that is cascading over his eyes shoots out like a burst of flame. His hands begin to move upwards until they point to the night sky. He’s still alive, against all odds, the bloody mess of a man he is, is still moving. But it is different this time, his aura gives off a feel like he is still dead. From all the wounds of his body comes a black smoke excreting upwards; the mere sight of this smoke strikes fear into the hearts of the three.
Even Napoleon, who has seen almost every horror known to man has his knees shaking at what is standing before him.
It’s becoming completely unbearable for the innocent Trojia. She is quickly losing consciousness but she is willing herself through the horrid feeling in order to have confirmation of Ubica’s survival.
The black smoke has now wrapped around Ubica and is lifting him gently to his feet, Nero is stiff with amazement, but shaken in fear.
“How is this possible!? I pierced your heart!!!”
Ubica’s head hangs down and his body is still limp.
“Did you really think I have a heart?” Ubica asks.
These words pierce the hearts of the three humans in a series of thuds.
It is a truly terrifying experience that will last in their minds for the rest of their lives.
Under Ubica’s hanging hair, a thin grin is revealing his two long canines, and with a quick lift of his head he shows two flaming green eyes that are now surrounded by a maddening black sclera; and there are two black lines that seemingly melt from his eyes down his face.
He spreads his arms as he declares, “All I have there is Dantega.”
The final straw that broke the camel’s back for Trojia is the look of Ubica’s new face and the weight of his declaration. Her knees buckle and she falls to the ground and is only a couple seconds away from losing consciousness.
The last thing she thinks to herself is, (He’s alive... thank goodness...)
With a smile, she passes out on the marble ground.
However, there is no goodness to thank, goodness doesn't exist here any longer.
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