Dantega:Volume 3 Chapter 5

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(PART 2)

Out of the dust cloud shoots Belphegor at immense speed, he is flying forward with his hand surrounded by a blue light pointing at Rage. Rage lifts his scythe and Belphegor's hand slams into its handle, Rage thinks that he has stopped the full brunt of the force but he still finds himself blown backwards past his onlooking comrades and he crashes violently into one of the houses carved into a boulder.


As soon as he opens his eyes after the impact, he sees the light of Belphegor's hand just inches in front of his face, Rage ducks to the side and narrowly avoids a strike that demolishes the solid rock house directly behind him.

Swinging his blade upward it nips a few strands of Belphegor's messy hair, causing him to back away. Belphegor takes a deep breath and his cheeks become quite large, once at its maximum air capacity, he lets out a blast that matches the color of his eyes.

Rage lifts his scythe and raises his black cloud from the ground to shield himself, only to have it blown away when both forces seem to negate themselves.

Once visibility was returned after the light of the blast, Belphegor is once again inside of Rage's guard. He uppercuts his blue light covered hand into Rage's gut, causing Rage to cough out blood and literally fly hundreds of yards away.

The blue light surrounding certain extremities of Belphegor's body fades and it now seems that he is relaxed when he yawns and stretches out his arms.

With a loud sigh he says, "Huuaaaaahh man.... this kind of thing is such a bother."

To the left of him is a large flat piece of broken building, so he takes a seat and glares at the onlookers standing in awe at the demon’s strength.

Cyrus and Sora guard the group with their swords out, and Belphegor finds this amusing.

"Do you guys actually think you'd be able to do anything to me?"

He haphazardly makes his way back to his feet and takes a couple steps toward them, "Don't you find pointless effort to be tiresome? It would be much easier if you'd just sleep."

As much as the two guards have no intention of listening to him, his words truly do have a hypnotizing effect just as Sora had thought. His words can send a person with the slightest thought of hopelessness into a trance-like state, and they end up falling into his temptations until they reach a death similar to the people in the destroyed town hall.

Out of all the humans, one is caught in this trance, and it is none other than one most weary of this entire ordeal, Xavier.

"Yeah it would be..." he says as he walks to Belphegor.

"What are you doing?" asked Luke as his brother slowly walks past him.

His words fall on deaf ears and Xavier keeps walking towards Belphegor.

"Grab him!" Phoenix shouts.

Luke jumps to the act and attempts to do so, but Xavier seems to weigh a ton and no matter how hard he pulls, he can’t hold his brother back. Belphegor laughs as he holds out his hand and gestures his index finger like one would if they were asking someone to come, this motion seems like it has an effect on the young prince like a hooked fish on a fishing pole.

"Very good, I can give you peace of mind, I can free you from all of this boorish effort, just unload that weight onto my shoulders."

Looking closely, one can see that Xavier is starting to dry out and shrivel, if in this state much longer, he will surely die. Both Luke, Phoenix and Cyrus are holding him with all of their might but to no avail.

Sora knows that she must do something immediately, so she decides on a daring move. She rushes Belphegor and swings both of her blades toward his neck, he lets it get so close that he can feel the wind hit him and as soon as it does, he smiles. Sora is blown back viciously and she lands in a pile of rubble that causes a large plume of dust to rise.

Aria, who is still in shock, tries her damnedest to regain her composure when she realizes that the pile of rubble her friend just landed on has numerous sharp objects just waiting to skewer someone. She shouts out Sora's name but there is no answer through the dust.

"What am I doing?" she asks herself when she assesses the dire situation they are in.

Rage is likely still flying in the air, Sora is likely seriously injured, Niera is likely down for the count, still passed out from shock, and Xavier is more than likely about to turn into one of those disgusting corpses.

That is, unless she does something about it.

She stands and thinks, (I'm the only one who has the ability to fight!)

She leans to the ground, lifts a large rock and throws it at Belphegor's feet.

He pays no mind to this, thinking that it is only yet another desperate attempt at halting the capture of Xavier. But when he looks away, a flashing light stuns him.


Under his feet comes an explosion that knocks everyone around the blast herself off their feet and the plume of smoke and flames reach up more than thirty meters high.

Xavier is released from his trance, though thrown onto his back from the explosion, he is just a little out of breath as he wonders what had just happened while everyone takes a simultaneous sigh of relief. Aria is breathing really hard, she put all of her energy into that blast and for the object's size, she made the biggest explosion she possibly could.

After catching her breath, she runs to where Sora is and finds her laying on the pile of rubble seemingly unscathed; she is luckily pressed in between three jagged metal poles. One is in between her legs, the other is just left of her side and the last is only a few inches to the right of her head.

Aria starts to laugh a little and says, "Wow, I guess it really isn't your time to go."

Sora sits there with her usual straight face, if one looked at her closely enough it would seem that she is trying to smile though she definitely isn't.

The aftermath of the explosion leaves a long trail of black smoke that is floating into the air, without a doubt no one could live after being exposed to the epicenter of such a shock-wave.

Luke walks up to Aria and grabs her hand, with a face full of relief he says, "Thank you Aria, my brother would have been a goner if it wasn't for you."

She smiles and thinks about Strauphius, she can relate to the emotion he is showing her. She is about to say something in return when she is interrupted by a voice saying,

"As surprised as I am that a human could pull such a feat off, you’re still not even close enough to put me to sleep."

This voice of Belphegor comes from the black smoke: in the darkness, a shining blue light grows and grows, and to everyone's dismay, the demon steps out.

The demon looks agitated at the fact that he has just lost his prey. Normally, one person's life would seem insignificant to a demon of his caliber, but Belphegor survives on the sins of others, so much so that each person can give him immense strength if he or she is filled with enough of this exact 'Original Sin'.

"Interesting ability you got there. It's just a crying shame that this is the exact type of thing that can't harm me."

He coughs and black smoke comes out of his mouth while walking closer to the frightened group.

With a relaxed attitude he asks, "You wanna know why?"

Aria jumps in front of the rest to protect them, she is so scared that her knees are shaking. Though she is trying to put up a brave front, she knows that there isn’t much she can do to stop him because of how much energy she put into that last blast.

Belphegor proceeds to walk dangerously close, "I'm sure you know that fire needs oxygen and nitrogen to ignite right? Well, I can control them."

"What do you mean you can control them?" she asks as if not wanting to believe him.

He stretches his arms and sighs, "The perfect form of sleep can only be contained by the dead, and in this sleep, oxygen and nitrogen isn't needed. I give people the perfect sleep by controlling the oxygen and nitrogen in and around a human's body."

(That would explain why those people were so shriveled.) Phoenix concluded to himself. He sighs and sits on a chunk of rock and reads his bible as if nothing is going on. He smiles and says under his breath, "This is going to be interesting."

Because Belphegor can virtually manipulate air to a certain extent, he is capable of taking away the two elements needed to make a fire grow and explode, thus making her attack end up more like a harmless light show. Aria understands this and is frightened to her core, this means that no matter what she does it will be pointless.

Belphegor scratches his head and says, "Now that I've explained that much to you, don't you think it would be better if you just gave up? There's no point in putting any effort into a futile cause, so how about letting me help you?"

He takes another step closer and the breath from Aria begins to escape her body.

She has let doubt fill her subconscious and Belphegor is taking advantage of it. Aria can't breath and she falls to her knees in exhaustion, her eyesight begins to fade into darkness and her body is so weak it feels as if her only strength is coming from her bones.

This feeling is exactly what the human body is like if it has been deprived of oxygen, everything but the bones in the human anatomy consists of certain things in which oxygen is absolutely vital. If it were to be taken away, the blood would clot and dry, and along with it the brain, eyes, skin and the rest of the organs, and these horrifying results are exactly being felt by Aria, who is literally having life sucked out of her.

Belphegor starts to smile when he says, "You are almost free, just a little mor------"


A maddening black explosion engulfs Belphegor, once again interrupting his speech. From the sky, Rage floats down on his cloud just in the nick of time.

He points his scythe down and says, "So you can control the air huh? I never did know that, but that would explain why I flew so far away when you hit me."

Though he wasn't in attendance when Belphegor explained himself, Rage figured it out through the brute force of his earlier attack. When one is hit there is a shock-wave of air that is created throughout the body in a natural reaction to the initial blow, that is the result of air being pushed through the creases of that area. What Belphegor does is accelerate that air to the extent where there are thousands of pounds more pressure and force to it.

Out of Rage's scythe comes a black beam of energy that relentlessly plows into the plume of smoke before allowing him to recover. This results in the rest of the group being knocked back onto the ground. Phoenix on the other hand is still sitting on the rock, and shielding his face from the wind with his bible.

The lingering sound and other effects of Rage's attack begin to dissipate as they wait for the smoke to clear and see if the enemy is still standing, and of course, once it does they find that he is. But this time is different, he is bloodied and his gray pea coat is torn, he is standing in the same position he was in when he was trying to temp Aria as if nothing had happened.

"Well now, that's twice..." he says softly, but his voice was full of frustration.

He lifts his head up to look at Rage who is floating a little more than twenty feet above him and frowns. He then lifts his hand up and the familiar blue light forms around his arm.

"Get down here."

He clenches his fist and the air around Rage's feet pulls down hard and it sends Rage spiraling to the ground before a violent impact so forceful he sinks into a crater.

"I've grown tired of playing with all of you... this troublesome job has long since worn on my patience, all I want to do is go back to sleep..."

Belphegor lowers his head and his hair covers his eyes, his shoulders tense up and he shouts, "But you people are getting in my way!!!"

He jumps up into the air and floats, he points both of his hands toward the group on the ground, looking up at him in shock.

"If you don’t want to relax, if you don’t want to sleep, if you refuse to give up, then you’re all better off dead!!"

A blue wall of light forms in front of him and is pointing ominously down at them as it grows larger and larger with each passing second.

Rage struggles to get out of the hole he’s buried in, with a body battered he works up enough strength to shout, "Everyone, run as fast as you can! If you stay you'll die!"

The able bodied members of the group run away, Cyrus grabs Niera and flees, but both Aria and Sora are downed due to the injuries they had just sustained. Aria is breathing extremely hard as she tries to catch the breath that was almost completely stolen from her when she was in Belphegor’s trance, her legs feel like they’re made of stone and she can’t possibly find the energy to flee. Sora isn't too badly hurt but she is dreadfully stuck in the pile of rubble, she has a straight face but there is no doubt she's nervous as to what is coming.

"Damn it all!" shouts Rage in frustration.

Getting himself back to the surface, he runs in between the two remaining girls and raises his scythe.

Seeing this, Belphegor shows a wide smile, "I’ve collected the weight of the burdens of so many souls throughout my long life, as much as you think that these troubles were so easily manageable, I doubt even you could handle how heavy it truly is."

By now the blue wall is so large that even the fleeing group of royals will perhaps not make it.

Belphegor throws his hand down and shouts, "So try and carry it!!"

As though his voice was a trigger, the blue wall came falling to the ground.


Once it hits, it digs into the turf much like an anvil would if dropped into soft sand, the crater the intense weight creates is the exact size of the wall itself around a hundred yards in width and a hundred yards in length. It is more than fifteen feet deep and everything that was once there is as flat as a piece of paper.

"Buaahahahaha! Now you can see why it’s easier to just sleep!" Belphegor yells as he floats down to the now smooth surface and begins to look for the dead bodies.

He walks along the boundaries of the twenty foot deep perfectly square crater and sees that there are many different body parts scattered across the ground, he figures that they are more than likely the remains of the deceased townspeople. They are so flat that it literally looks like they are fake, much like a toy made of cardboard.

"Tch... there's probably no way I'll find them like this." he says with a click of his tongue, "Well, I guess all that's left to do is to take care of the others and then I can get to relax."

He sighs and begins to float upwards when he feels a sharp pain enter his back and out of his stomach.

Belphegor looks down and sees that there is a scythe protruding through his gut just above his naval, he coughs up blood and says, "...What?"

Belphegor is utterly puzzled as to how this is happening.

Rage can sense his surprise and explains, "Did you really not think that it was possible that I could do the same thing as you?"

Rage pulls the scythe out of the demon’s body and kicks him, causing him to jolt forward and slide onto the ground.

"The weight of that attack was the exemplified weight of the souls you have collected right? Well, I simply counter balanced the souls you needed for the wall with a circle of the souls I own. So when the two collided, all it did was make another crater under yours that kept us safe from your attack."

Belphegor coughs and says, "Sneaky bastard..." He struggles to stand as blood waterfalls from his wound. "But I'm not done yet."

He points at Rage and attempts to steal the oxygen from his body just like he had done with Aria. But nothing is happening, he tries even harder but it is once again failing.


Rage has a stern look on his face when he asks, "Are you trying to force me into a perfect sleep?"

Belphegor jumps back as he continues.

"That's what you did to the others, and now that I know what your power consists of, I understand how you did it, and what for." Rage takes a step closer and finishes, "A perfect sleep can only be obtained in death... are you stupid Belphegor? I am Death."

He swings his scythe and rips a black wind into Belphegor's chest, causing him to fly back and hit the crater wall at an intense speed.

"Here Sora, let me help you." Aria says as she pulls Sora from her stuck position in the rubble.

Though she doesn't say it, she gestures her gratitude with her hand.

They crawl out of the circled crater only to find that they are in another one, they look around and see Rage walking toward Belphegor who is embedded in the crater wall.

Above them on the surface comes the rest of the group, Cyrus, Phoenix, Luke and Xavier look down on them and are relieved to see that the two girls are safe.

Their presence here means that Cyrus was able to get Niera to safety and far away from their battle, and Aria and Sora can feel at least a little at ease knowing that they held the demon off long enough to keep her from harm.

"Everyone's okay! That's great! It looks like things are finally turning our way. Right Sora?"

Sora analyzes what is happening and softly responds, "...Right..."

"There isn't anything you can do that will affect me Belphegor." Rage said as if scolding a child.

Belphegor is showing his first signs of weariness at Rage's each passing step.

"Is that so?"

He shuts his eyes and takes a deep breath, with this, the wound in his stomach starts to clot. He is depriving certain points of its oxygen so he doesn't bleed out.

He pulls his head out of the hole when he hears footsteps approaching from above him on the surface.

"Hey! Are you guys okay!?"

He can hear Cyrus calling out from directly above his head.

Upon hearing this, Belphegor smiles and the pupils of his eyes shrink. "Is that so!?" he shouts, "I think I have something that will change your mind!"

From his eyes comes a horrifying black blood and it falls down his face, it's as if the blood carries the sound of people crying as it drips and connects with the wound on his stomach. The blood from there turns black as well and the sounds of moans and screams of agony are heard as loud as if someone was yelling in their ears.

"What is this!?" Rage asks in surprise.

Aria and Sora, including the rest of the group on the surface all cover their ears to these piercing voices but it still causes them to prostrate on the ground.

Belphegor starts to laugh wildly before saying, "If you don't appreciate sleep enough to want to reach out and grab it yourselves, then how about I force it down your damn throats!?!?"

The sky, the ground, and everything around them all seem to melt like in a multicolored oozing liquid. This in and of itself is very disorientating, but there is an added effect to this when it feels that all of their hearts are being grabbed at by thousands of little hands. Only a moment later, everything is black and the maddening screaming and moans completely stop, every last one of them including Rage is stuck in this atmosphere in a deafening silence.

"What's going on?" Rages asks himself as he tries to look around, this surreal out of body experience is certainly something that he’s not used to.

This is making him nervous, he doesn't see anyone else around and fears that they could be attacked and killed if he doesn't get out of this place, little does he know that the rest of them are in the same predicament.

Rage tries to walk but he feels no friction under his feet and he cannot move, "Damn it! There has to be a way out of this."

As if on cue with his words, the black that surrounds him disappears in a blink of an eye and he falls. He lands on a thin metallic surface in a loud thud, before he can open up his eyes he can hear five more similar thuds behind him. He turns to look and sees the others suddenly appear, but his attention is grabbed by their surroundings.

They have found themselves in a four by four metal room and each wall has a door in it.

"Oww my butt.... where are we?"

Aria said while rubbing her behind; looking around she sees the windowless blood stained and rusted walls that surround them.

Rage gathers his composure and tries to assess the situation, but even he is beyond confused, he and the whole group have been brought into this odd place intentionally.

"Well I guess there's only one way to find out." answered Rage as he reaches for the door handle on the north side of the wall.

He turns the handle and decides to open the large door as quickly as possible, and as soon as he does the same familiar and horrid screaming is once again heard, but this time it is amplified as if coming from a loudspeaker right in front of them.

The mere sound makes Xavier vomit in the corner, but the sight is far worse than anything imaginable. In a dull black, brown, red and gray tint, cages and cells line the walls for as far as the eyes can see, enclosed inside an unimaginably large building, the gray roof is lit by flickering light bulbs that stretch so far in the distance they seem like little stars. There are no windows, just fifty stories of bloodied cells on each side of this endless room.

With a closer look one can see thousands of people hanging from ropes, sharp hooks and other objects of torture and death from the railings and ceiling, they are dripping blood all the way down and splashing onto the floor that bathes the thousands of sluggish people writhing limbless and thin in the red liquid.

This is a scene purely from Hell, and for a moment Rage honestly thinks that they have been sent there.

He slams the door shut and turns to the rest, hoping that they did not witness any of that and to his relief, he sees that they are once again prostrated on the floor. That kind of scene would make even the most hardened man go mad, if they saw what he saw they could have easily broken down mentally.

The sound of the screams completely disappeared with the shutting of this thin metal door, this makes Rage even more confused as to where they are. "Are you okay Xavier?" asks Luke while rubbing his own temples trying to relieve the headache the moans had just caused.

"What kind of freakish noise is that!?" Xavier yells with tears in his eyes as if he had just been punched in the nose.

(I hope the other doors aren't half as bad as that one...) Rage thinks to himself, he knows that they sure aren't going to get out of wherever this place is without going through one of these doors. The light flickers as he ponders which door to go through when it hits him, (This place... it's probably where Belphegor stores the souls he’s collected throughout time...)

He leans on the wall and intentionally bangs his head into it in frustration.

"We're in Belphegor's world now..."

"Huh? What do you mean?" asked Cyrus.

Rage takes a deep breath and replies, "This is the place where Belphegor sends the tempted souls after he collects them, which means we are in a place that only he can access."

Aria's shoulders shake when she asks, "Can we get out?"

"I don't know, but I think we can... I'm sure that we are the first ones that he had sent here with their bodies still intact. I would guess he would do that with everyone if there wasn't any downside to it, so I think we are an anomaly in this case."

Luke sighs and says, "That's a relief."

Rage frowns and sternly says, "But there is one big problem."

The rest of them jolt as the fear level in their chests rise exponentially.

"This place is an unlimited power source to him, he will be ten times stronger here than he can ever be somewhere else."

Their hearts skip a beat as they think back to how strong he was before and how much more dangerous he'll be even now, they can't help but feel hopelessness in this situation.

After Rage comes up with a temporary game plan, they reluctantly are all ready to venture into this world of Belphegor's and are standing by the east door.

Rage holds the handle and asks, "Have you prepared yourselves?"

Cyrus pushes up his dark glasses and answers with a smooth, "Yes."

Luke nervously smiles. "Y-Yeah."

Xavier cracks his fingers and puts on the front of a tough guy to hide his own fear from himself. "Yup!"

Aria swings her large sword in front of her. "Ready."


With this they are all prepared to leave and Rage takes his first twist of his wrist on the doorknob when he feels like he is missing something. He halts and thinks for a second, it is not something, but someone, and this someone should most certainly be here if even Rage was caught.

He turns around to the group and sees that they are all looking at him in confusion as to why he hasn't opened the door. He furrows his brow in confusion when he asks,

"...Where's Phoenix?"

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