Dantega:Volume 3 Chapter 4

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Chapter 23: Revelation

(PART 1)

"It's about time we took a rest! What is this some kind of death march!?" shouts Xavier.

He is complaining to his little brother Luke who has an embarrassed smile on his face.

"Well it looks like we've almost made it to the first gate and we have only been traveling for ten days." Luke replied while scratching his head.

Aria chimes in, "Yeah, this way is quicker than the way Strauph and the others went. Papa wanted to explore more of this world so he came back to our hometown in a giant circle."

When she says circle she means that the map is shaped in a perfect loop around the massive crater that Abaddon created, making it look very similar to this (|) shape.

"Well what's the point of moving so fast if they don't even catch up for a few days!? We should move slower!"

Phoenix comes up and tries to calm him down. "Now now, it's not our choice to decide how fast we should go." he says as he twitches his head toward Rage who is sitting on a rock.

Xavier looks at him and quickly looks away when he sees that Rage is shooting him an angry glare.

"It's best that we get to the Gate before them, I'd prefer it if Ubica would not fight unless he absolutely had to... I don't want to hear anymore complaints." said Rage in a stern voice.

Xavier turns away and blows air out of his nose.

Phoenix chuckles and proceeds to walk to Rage's side. "Do you not want him to fight because you are afraid he will lose himself?"

Rage's eyes widen with surprise and asks, "You know who he is?"

He smiles and gestures Rage to join him to walk further away from the group into an area clattered with large rocks.

"That's right... I am a man of God after all, I can feel his evil pulling at my soul every second I was near him."

By now the two are close to a hundred yards away from the rest.

"What made you come to the conclusion that he is who he is?"

Phoenix opens his bible and looks to the newest testament of Revelation and says, "This book describes him pretty well does it not?"

Rage sits on a rock and twirls his scythe. "Hmph... I guess it does if you can figure out that the now kind Ubica is actually the Anti-Christ."

"You know what the word Anti actually means, by putting Christ on the back end of that word means that he is the exact opposite of the Messiah. As much as Jesus Christ is the embodiment of love, Ubica is the embodiment of evil. One would have to be foolish to not be able to feel that presence in him."

"Well it would seem if that there are a lot of fools in this group." Rage takes a deep breathe and continues, "Speaking of Jesus... It always seems that when things get bad like this, he and God are nowhere to be found."

Phoenix shuts his bible abruptly causing it to make a loud thud, he reveals a sharp glare accompanied by a faint smile and says, "Oh... He is a lot closer than you think."

Rage gets a funny feeling in his chest at his words, he stands up and looks straight into his eyes and asks, "Do you know something I don't?"

Phoenix laughs a little, "Perhaps I do, perhaps I don't. But one thing is for sure, you'll find out which one it is soon enough."

He turns away and walks through the hill of large rocks that lay between him and camp.

Rage is left their wondering about what this priest had just said, with a mind full of suspicion all he can do is sit back on the rock and scowl.

"Hey Sora..." Aria asks.

Sora pauses and thinks of her one word to say, and comes to struggle replying in her usual robotic tone, "...What..?"

Aria looks a little troubled when she says, "I've been meaning to ask you for a while now, Papa's book... Since you could read it I want to know what he said about me."

When she says 'could', it means that the book is no longer here to read. Back when they were avoiding falling into the massive crater at the stone house in her home town, the book was dropped into the abyss and it will never be seen again. Rage never bothered to tell her or Strauphius the caring words that Achille wrote in that book, though Strauphius shrugged it off easily, this has been eating at Aria since it happened.

Sora is very annoyed at the fact that she has to say something but her face is as stiff as ever so it looks like nothing is bothering her when she tries to explain, "...I... Didn't... Read it..."

"What? T-Then how did you know it was that language called Latin?"

Sora sighs with a straight face, "... I... Only know... A few... words..."

Aria looks really displeased and sits on the ground to throw sticks into the camp fire. "Then tell me... What word did you see the most?"

Sora puts her hand on Aria's shoulder and simply says, "...Love..."

Aria turns in surprise, to her, Sora doesn't look like a girl who would lie about something like this, she'd be more like a person who'd just stay silent about the whole thing. This means that even though Achille left them to go to the Gate on his own, he truly did care about them and that he left with nothing but good intentions, he did not heartlessly abandon them like she thought.

"Thank you... That's all I needed to know." she says with a happy smile.

And with that, the group all sits around the campfire and readies for the travel north that lies ahead of them in the morning.

Dawn breaks and the sight of the area they are in can now be seen clearly, fairly large hills are tattered with both large and small rocks. If one were to compare this scenery with that of an Earthly one, it would be most similar to a chaparral but without the brown shrubs, instead the plants that lie between the stones are long light green grasses.

With the group gathered and ready to go, they set off northward.

"I wonder where Daey is right now." said Niera while looking to the ground in a concerned way.

Cyrus puts his hand on her shoulder and says, "I'm sure she is fine, we'll be seeing her soon."

Niera has never been separated from her older sister before, this and being trapped in this strange world for close to a month has gotten her very homesick.

Luke is walking just a few feet away from them and can't help but overhear their conversation. "It must be tough for you Niera, but like Cyrus said, things will turn out alright." He said his words of comfort while thinking of his own little sibling.

She sees that he is probably struggling as well, if anything it is worse for him, his father was murdered and his little brother is all alone and most likely leading his country in a massive war.

"Thanks Luke..."

"Though we'll be at the Gate a lot sooner than they will... They are probably strapped for cash by now, our side of the house had the trunk of valuables that Aria and Strauphius had stolen over the past few years so we have nothing to worry about when it comes to finance." Cyrus says as he ponders both group's situations.

"Do you think Rage will want to wait for them at the Gate?" asks Luke.

Cyrus looks to the back of Rage who is leading the group and replies, "I would think so... I don't see why he wouldn't."

"That's good to hear." says Niera as she sighs in relief.

Cyrus can't be sure so he doesn't want to get her hopes up, but he'd rather do that than make her sad in any way. So all he can do is follow Rage and walk up and down these rocky hills and wait to see.

"I want you to head to Purgatory." said Damien with a steely glare.

He is speaking to a man sitting comfortably in a large red velvet sitting chair, he is wearing a gunmetal colored overcoat over a white v-neck shirt and necklace with a black scarf underneath. He has tight black jeans and gray dress shoes, and a gray beanie atop his head covers his messy dark brown hair. With a few earrings on each ear and light facial hair along with dark blue eyes, he really gives off a laid back and stylish appearance.

"Ehhhh, do I have to?" he asks while he groans in displeasure.

"Of course you do."

The man who looks to be in his mid twenties stands up lazily as though his body is stricken with severe weariness.

"Huahhh... Well where are they?"

"I don't know, you'll have to start at the first Gate and work your way south on one of the sides of Abaddon's crater."

The man sighs extremely loud, "That sounds like a pain in the ass."

Damien faintly smiles and ignores his complaints, he continues with a game plan, "You'll either run into Rage or Ubica depending on which side you choose, they have split up so you don't have to worry about fighting both of them at the same time."

"That's all fine and dandy, but I would still rather have someone else do it."

Damien calmly walks to him and ambiguously begins to threaten him. "I think that it might be time for Abaddon to move up in the Hierarchy... Perhaps your spot will be open soon?"

The man frowns, "Like I'd ever let a former Angel take my spot."

He says this because Abaddon was created first as an Angel of Heaven to play a big part in God's final Judgment. And that he did; but when he was fulfilling his duties he became infatuated with killing so he was easily tempted by Satan into changing sides. Ever since then he has been obsessed with becoming a high ranking member of the Hierarchy.

It took a long time for the demons of Hell to accept him as a comrade, some have never come to terms with it, plus a lot of them just simply don't like the guy.

"Then allow me to up the ante, if you don't go and kill at least two of the humans... Not only will I give Abaddon your seat, I'll kill you myself." Damien said that with his usual blank smile at its most cynical.

The man cracks his neck and begins to walk out of the candle lit room they are in.

"Alright then, I guess I have no choice. Hehehe, all I need is a little motivation for me to move these lazy bones of mine."

He exits out of the room and Damien says to his back, "Very good... Belphegor."

After traveling for yet another day, the group reaches a small village, the buildings and houses of which are carved out of the large rocks the rest on the sides of large hills.

"Do you think we'd be able to stay here?" asks Cyrus.

Rage looks around and sees that there is nobody around, he is immediately suspicious and doesn't answer his question as he walks into the center of the town. Rage looks through the window of one of the stone houses and sees a man, woman, and a child sleeping on a bed.

He does not want to disturb them so he walks along a dirt path and peeks into another house, though without the child, this is the same kind of thing, the people are sleeping. By now he starts to feel a sickening feeling in his stomach, it isn't anywhere near dark yet and these people are sleeping as if they are nocturnal.

He checks what seems to be a convenience store and sees that there are a half dozen people scattered on the ground in sleeping positions.

Phoenix is following him and spots the same sight, "Well this doesn't look good."

Rage turns to say, "There is definitely something wrong here."

He walks into the little store and examines the people on the ground, he turns a man over and he can see that he is obviously sleeping.

Rage takes a sigh of relief until he hears Phoenix say, "You're going to want to see this."

Rage looks to Phoenix's position and notices him leaning over a downed woman, he walks closer for a better inspection and sees that the woman looks a little blue. Her mouth is open and her tongue is black, her eyes look like they have melted out of her head as a stream of blood rolls down her face from her sockets, she is obviously deceased.

A gasp is heard from the doorway, it is none other than Niera who wanted to check in. She is horrified at the sight of such a gruesome body.

"Get out of here!" Rage shouts.

She quickly turns and runs away, leaving the two back to their business.

"What do you think happened?" asks Phoenix as he pulls out his rosary and touches his four corners.

Rage ponders for a moment and comes to a conclusion that he would hope to be false, so instead of thinking about this answer he tries to come up with a different one.

"It could be poison... Or a plague of some sort."

Phoenix puts his hand on her skin and says, "No I don't think so... These people are still warm, they died recently."

"Damn it all!" Rage shouts as he slams the butt end of his scythe on the ground.

"What is it?"

Rage walks out of the door and takes a deep breath. "I'm sure you might be familiar with what I'm about to say, this wasn't caused by anything other than a certain person... Belphegor."

Phoenix jumps up and his whole body turns tense when Rage continues.

"Let's just hope that he's already left this town."

Aria and Sora are looking throughout the town for any sign of life to no avail.

"Where the Hell is everybody??" shouts Aria in frustration.

Sora is thinking the same thing but doesn't say so. She walks to what seems to be the town hall, it is much more designed than the rest of the houses, what makes it stand out most is that it's three stories tall. Many windows and pointed roof tips give off the feeling of the Kremlin in Russia, but with less colors.

Sora uses the knocker on the door to send a loud noise throughout the building, after hearing the sound echo for a few moments, she decides to try and walk in, and to her surprise she finds that it is not locked. She opens it slowly and about halfway she hears the sound of snoring.

"Hey Sora! You can't just walk in there like that!" Aria shouts as she runs up to her after being left behind.

Sora puts her index finger across her lips, gesturing for her to be quiet. Aria raises her eyebrow and goes along with it quietly as the two slowly walk into the large building. Since the blinds to the windows are shut and this place is carved into mountain and rock, the large lobby is completely dark, the sound of the snoring can be heard deeper into this room but they can't see who it's coming from.

Aria gestures that she is going to open the blinds and walks to a window until she is halted by her feet being tangled on something that feels like a sandbag. She trips and when she falls, she grabs the dark blinds to the window to save her but she rips it off its shingles causing an extremely loud noise.

"Owwwoww..." she groans as she winces and rubs her head.

Now that the blinds are down and the sunlight has entered the room, she can see what she had just tripped over.

But what she finds is an image that will last in her mind for as long as she will live. On the ground is a man who's eyes are gone and blood is rolling down his face from his sockets, his mouth is grotesquely open making his disgusting dry black tongue visible.

"Hiiyaaahhhhh!" she screams loudly and backs away, only to back into another dead man with the same look. She screams even louder than the one previous and stuns Sora.

Sora opens the blinds on her side and now the entire lobby can be seen. At least a hundred people are lying piled and scattered dead on the smooth stone floor.

Sora jumps back in shock and Aria's face turns blue with horror.

On a pile of a dozen people there is a man sleeping comfortably, once the light hits his face he stops snoring and starts to wake up. The two girls stand silent as he sits up and yawns while he stretches, he rubs his eyes and looks at the two with a look befitting of a bitter man having to wake up to do a miserable job.

"Huh? Who are you?" he asks.

Sora still has her emotionless look on her face when she tries to answer his question with one of her own.


He twitches his head back in confusion, "I'm Belphegor..?"

Though she doesn't know who he is, his presence sends an immense pressure barring down on her, she knows this is the feeling of fear. Seeing that Aria is frozen stiff, she also knows that as of now, if this is an enemy, she has to fight the cause of this fear.

Sora pulls out her twin small swords from the sheaths clasped to her thighs and readies to rush him when the voice of an incoming Niera can be heard from just outside the door.

"Sora! Aria! I saw a dead body!"

Niera decided to console in them first because throughout the past couple weeks she feels that as the only girls in the group, they have bonded better than the others.

Niera runs through the door and sees the mountain of dead men, women and children, as a result her pupils shrink and she puts her hand over her mouth and gasps.

Sora tries to block her sight by walking in front of her but the damage has been done, Niera faints in the doorway and becomes even more helpless than usual.

Belphegor nonchalantly walks down off the bodies like he would walk down a set of stairs and asks, "Are you from this town?"

Sora doesn't answer but instead holds her ground in front of Niera.

He sighs, "You don't have much of a personality, I'm not good at dealing with people like you."

He continues to walk toward her, making her increasingly more nervous.

"Doesn't it get tiring holding all of your emotions in like that? Don't you think it'd be easier if you could just sleep?" Belphegor scratches his chin and continues, "You can forfeit all of that troublesome effort if you could just go to sleep... I can help you if you'd like."

Sora doesn't quite understand what he's getting at, because she is no good at picking up other people's subtle tones such as sarcasm and hidden innuendos, she can only come to the conclusion that he is trying to hypnotize her in some way.


"Ehhhhh, come on now, I can't tell weather that was an enthusiastic no or a maybe kind of no... You know what I mean?"


Belphegor drops his laid back demeanor and frowns. "You sure are useless, earnest people like you are better off dead."

He lifts his hand out and points his fingers at her, an odd colored blue smoke shines around his arm and drifts slowly to Sora's face. She knows this must be toxic but she cannot back away because of Niera, so instead she holds her breath and readies to slice his arm off.

But before she could...


A black beam of dark energy shoots past her head from behind and slams into Belphegor's chest, causing him to shoot back and land violently into the pile of dead bodies.

"You two get out of here!" shouts Rage from behind the door.

Phoenix runs and lifts Niera over his shoulders and backs away. Aria is still in shock so Sora quickly switches her mindset from fighting to escaping before Belphegor can stand up. She grabs Aria's arm and literally drags her out of the building.

"Hey now, where did that come from?" asks Belphegor as he slowly lifts himself to his feet.

He thinks that this attack somehow came from Sora so he lifts his head to look and expects to see her, but instead the only one standing in the building is a man that he knows pretty well.

"Whoa! Where did you come from Rage?"

"I should be the one asking you that."

Belphegor starts to laugh in relief, "Wow, how lucky this is... I never thought that when I left Hell I'd find you or Ubica so quickly, to be perfectly honest, I gave up on even bothering with it when I stumbled across this town."

Rage looks around the room and is angered by the carnage, he frowns and asks, "Was it necessary to kill everyone here?"

Belphegor cracks his neck and replies, "I didn't kill these people, they killed themselves." He once again walks through the corpses and smiles. "It's amazing how people are so easily tempted with such trivial things. This is a poor town and the people here were working so hard, yet they were still struggling to get by. So I simply offered them an easy way out."

Even though he's sure that he already knows the answer, Rage asks, "What was it?"

Belphegor shrugs his shoulders. "I told them that I can give them wealth for free... All they needed to do was forgo their natural talents and relax, sleep is what they truly wanted so sleep is what I gave them."

Rage slams the butt end of his scythe into the ground and says, "No, you gave them death, your logic has always been twisted when it comes to people who work hard in life."

Belphegor laughs and points his finger at him, "Hehehe well there is a reason why the definition of my being is called 'Sloth'. It is my job to offer people a life of leisure, they have a right to be lazy and be wealthy at the same time, they have a right to know that if their talents are given away to a bed, it is still possible that they can obtain happiness! Do these people not look happy!?"

He starts to show a cynical smile and Rage looks around the room and stares at all of there horrified and painful faces, it is obvious that these people were not happy when they died so miserably.

Things have always been like this for Belphegor, the object of his existence is to simply tempt people into laziness. As this is one of the Seven Deadly Sins that if overly abundant in a human, their soul is seen as foul and rotten, and perfect for collection by the Devil's reapers.

Even the simplest of things can be considered 'Sloth', if one were to sleep in too long it could be a Deadly Sin, thus making Belphegor a very important demon because everyone has to sleep eventually, and he can even tempt people who are merely looking to get an extra minute of rest and turn them into lifeless corpses before they wake up.

"This is what they wanted! By believing me, they chose death over a miserable life! Hahahah how could I not oblige!?"

Belphegor shouts as he moves his arm in a throwing motion toward Rage, and along with it a huge and seemingly solid gusting blue wind that carries the dead bodies and slams into the walls. This along with the fast moving solid wind cause the building to violently explode outward and send large pieces of stone, rock and numerous parts of dead bodies hurling into the light of day.

Once the smoke clears Rage is still standing around his black cloud, he looks behind him to check on the others and sees that Phoenix and Sora are safely guarding Aria and Niera in the rubble and dust. Out in the distance comes the final three group members running toward the noise, and when he sees this he gets a bad feeling in his back of his mind because everyone here other than himself is very vulnerable.

He turns to look in the smoke and what he sees are two bright blue light beams coming out from the eyes of the silhouette of Belphegor. From this, an evil snickering can be heard moving closer through the body tattered terrain.

Rage readies his scythe and takes a deep breath, he is about to fight one of the 7 Demons of Hell by himself and even he is nervous about this.

Now, is the first battle fought with these legendary foes where the fight began with the intent that it will be a bloody fight to the death.

He knows that either he or the demon will die here.

But the stakes are even higher than just that, if he dies, the humans accompanying him die as well.

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