Dantega:Volume 3 Chapter 8
"W-What's going on here?" Tsubiri asks weakly.
The sight of the two embracing in such a romantic fashion has given her a throat drying pain in her chest.
Ubica is close to feeling the same way when he tries to push Messor off of him. "Tsubiri! This is..."
Messor looks up at his panicked face and she once again can spot his emotions simply by seeing his reaction, she smiles and thinks to herself, (So it's her.)
Instead of letting him go she puts her head into his chest and looks at Tsubiri with a mocking eyes, "Oh? It looks like we've been caught Ubica."
Ubica jumps in shock. "Whaaa!?"
Tsubiri's eyes start to water up, as soon as the first tear drops she turns around and runs away into the crowd.
"Hey wait!" Ubica shouts.
He nudges Messor off of him and he runs after her when his hand is grabbed, causing him to stop.
"Don't go." she says, looking at him with an intense glare.
He shoots one right back to her and replies, "Let go..."
"I don't see the point in doing so, what good is chasing after her going to do for you? What do you plan on saying to her? What's there to accomplish?"
Ubica halts his speech for a few seconds, he doesn't know how to answer those questions and after thinking about it there really is nothing to be gained by doing this. But then it hits him, that way of thinking was the same as when he was the most evil existence in all of creation; he is different now and he understands that even something that can be uneventful for him can be something that makes another happy.
In this situation the only thing he is thinking about is Tsubiri, and her feelings.
He starts to frown a little and the only thing he can muster up from his mouth is, "Let go of me Messor."
She obliges with a sigh and watches him disappear into the the sea of people, she chuckles for a moment and then turns around to lean on the guardrail.
"She's the one huh? Good, now I know who to keep an eye out for." she says to herself with a frown and a smile.
Underneath her hands, the railing of the stone bridge begins to rot and decay, pieces of it falling into the lake causes loud noises that catches the bystander's attentions.
Messor takes her weight off of the guardrail and exits the crumbling bridge, under the night sky her bright gold eyes shine when she says, "I will never give him away."
Like a signal to her words, the bridge she once stood on collapses violently into the lake.
Tsubiri is still running as fast as she can through the city, with her head down and not caring where her final destination will be, she has completely enveloped herself into the heart of this maze like town. She stops and finds herself in a darkened alley way, after looking around for a second she gets a strong creepy feeling about this place so she back tracks back into civilization and the bustling atmosphere.
It looks like she is in a town square of some sort, it would seem that there are even more people in this area than there are anywhere else. A lot of them are throwing coins into a fountain that rests in the middle of the the town circle. In this fountain sits a large statue of what obviously looks like some kind of god so they are paying their respects to it.
"Uhhhh..." she mumbles, she keeps scoping the place for the way in which she came but she is becoming more and more disheartened because all the streets around here look the same. "Ahhh shit I'm lost!"
Tsubiri starts to pull her hair in frustration at the fact that she is even more lost than before, her comical expression quickly fades into a depressed fashion when she thinks back on what had just happened that made her run into her current situation.
"I'd rather be lost than have to see that ever again."
Her eyes water and she uses the back of her hand to wipe them.
Walking aimlessly among the crowd she finds that this is much like the situation she was in when she was abandoned at the castle of La'Juune. Though the circumstances are completely different, the feeling of being stranded and alone in a big place are pretty much the same. With her head hung down and her eyes to the floor, she carelessly bumps into people while thinking to herself, (I wonder if anyone will come looking for me?)
These kind of thoughts are starting to eat away at her and the feeling of being an unwanted nuisance is taking large bites at her heart. To her, this is something that she had always thought she was because Xavier treated her like a useless employee, and everyone else that she knew treated her that way for that matter. So it shouldn't be any different now even though she finally has a personality of her own. It just hurts her that the person she is now is probably no better to anyone else than it was before when she was just following orders to survive.
(I'm sure this wouldn't hurt so bad if I was the old me...)
It's getting more difficult to hold back the water in her eyes with her sleeve when all of these inner depressing feelings begin to resurface, as of now she is in a miserable and lonely state.
She continues to turn down streets only to become more lost and the panic is officially starting to settle in her subconscious. (If I don't come back tonight... Will they leave me?) she thinks, assuming that they all don't care about her in the least. (But... But... Ubica promised me.)
As soon as she says his name in her head, the image of him holding on to Messor flashes and the warm feeling of the promise between them fades into the cold sting of him lying to her.
Tsubiri starts to run in an attempt to beak that thought processes by wearing out her legs, weaving throughout the townsfolk she honestly thinks that she'll never find her way back when she unintentionally yells, "Someone help me!"
This shout grabs the attention of the people passing by, they all wonder if she is being chased by someone or rather. But naturally, like most people do they ignore it and go along with their daily lives.
Whatever happens to her is none of their concern, they shrug it off like, 'Someone else will help her out sooner or later.'
This kind of attitude is molded into almost everyone because at the end of the day, helping someone else would more than likely not do them any good, in fact it would most definitely hinder their daily routines.
But it would seem her plea has caught the ears of a certain person in the crowd, through the talking and murmuring of the people a voice is faintly heard.
Though it can't be recognized immediately, she understands that it is someone she knows because he knows her name, and the one and only person she can think of who would be looking for her is Ubica.
Her face turns from a gloomy look into an excited one, she listens carefully toward the source of the voice and starts to run towards it.
(Ubica!) she thinks to herself as tears of happiness start to fall from her eyes and fly behind her by the blowing of the wind. (Ubica!)
She runs through a few more people when she hears her name being called once more, she pushes another couple out of the way until the source of the voice can be seen.
"Ubica!!!" she shouts with a smile on her face.
But that smile is quickly wiped away when the person she wanted to see most is not the one standing in front of her. Her face is bulldozed with disappointment when she sees the familiar face of Strauphius.
"Damn it all! Where did she run off to!?" Ubica yells, he is following what he believes to be the direction in which Tsubiri went.
Having no luck he clicks his tongue and decides it might be better to check from above, he jumps up atop the three story buildings and hops over the alleyways they cast over from one structure to another. From a higher view he can see that this city is shaped like a labyrinth; if one is not careful it would be very easy to become disorientated.
"Knowing her she's probably lost." he says with his eyes glued to the ground, "I better find her quick before something happens."
Though he isn't worried about her protecting herself, especially with her new powers, he still feels that there is a possibility that a group of people could see her vulnerability and try to do something to her; as long as there is a chance that she could be hurt in anyway he'll never leave her alone.
A churning in his gut is causing him to become extremely nervous, he doesn't know what it is yet but is definitely there.
"I have a bad feeling about this."
"What are you doing here Strauphius?" Tsubiri asks as she tries to wipe what's left of the tears from her eyes, even if he isn't the person she wanted to see she is still relieved that someone came.
"I got worried when all of you didn't return so I came out to find you."
"O-Oh... Thank you.."
"Are you crying?"
"Not at all!"
She turns her back to him and rubs her face.
Strauphius begins to have an unusual, serious aura about him when he asks, "What's wrong?"
He walks up to her and puts his hand on her shoulders to turn her around.
"Was it 'him'?" he asks, his voice accompanied by a stern face.
This makes her uncomfortable, she doesn't like being touched and being so close to him adds to the edge. But, as of this moment Strauphius is the only one who bothered to look for her so all of these feelings are washed away when she remembers why she is so distraught.
"What did he do?"
"I'd rather not talk about it... I guess in reality, I shouldn't have expected anything different."
That kind of talk really adds to her depression and it is seen plain as day on her face, to her this means that anyone would choose a princess or a god over her, she is just a common bodyguard after all.
"You should expect something different! If he treated you bad then forget about him!"
With his shout he begins to shake her shoulders, causing her eyes to grow large with surprise.
"But nothing! If he is like that then go for me! I'll never take you for granted!"
Seeing him in such a serious manner is causing her head to spin, his eyes are so full of sincerity that it would make any girl feel secure.
She bites her lip and ponders for a moment, not knowing exactly what to say, she looks him in the eyes and tries her best to reply, "I... I--"
"Get your damn hands off her!"
Strauphius is suddenly sent flying violently into one of the street side buildings. Not completely knocked out, Strauphius is in a world of hurt; his mouth is bleeding and his shoulder is most definitely dislocated.
Tsubiri is even more shocked about this than she was at the sudden confession. Turning her head to where Strauphius once was, she sees the sight that she has wanted all along.
Niomyo is walking along the city streets with a sour look on her face, she has been sent by Trojia to go and find everyone else because they've been gone so long that even she was starting to think something was up.
"Right after the Princess says that she'll never punish me, she sends me out to do this stupid job as a punishment for my outburst... What a contradiction this is!"
Her talking to herself in such a manner cause passerby to stare but she ignores them, all she wants to do is find them and get back to the hotel so she can sleep. These long days of travel really wears on her, if it wasn't for the horse drawn carts acquired in the last town they'd truly be in a severe disposition.
She sighs and is becoming more and more annoyed when she starts to get a little confused as to where she is going; it's always hard to find someone in a big place when the searcher has no clue where the target could possibly be. The elongated sigh turns into an angered grunt and she bitterly takes a random turn down an alley way.
After passing through it she is in another area that looks almost exactly the same as the last, she clicks her tongue and threatens someone who's not even there. "I'd love to meet the architect of this place so I can beat the shit out of him."
She is about to turn around to go back through the alleyway when she notices there is some kind of commotion just ahead, a few dozen people are crowding around a fairly small space so she decides to look out of curiosity. Once there she swivels her way in between the crowd until she reaches the center. She jolts back in surprise, knocking into someone when she sees Ubica, standing in front of Tsubiri in a protective manner looking down on a grounded Strauphius.
"Strauphius? I could've sworn he was at the hotel when I left... What in the world is going on?"
Instead of jumping in and getting involved, she hides a few people deep into the crowd and watches silently.
Realizing what had just happened, Tsubiri shouts into the back of Ubica, "Why the hell did you go and do that for!?"
"Do you know how to get back to the hotel?" he asks tensely, shunning her question.
"Haah? Of course I don't! This place is a freakin' death trap!"
"What do you mean 'shit'!?" She starts to punch his back repeatedly as she shouts, "And also, do you mind telling me just what the hell you were doing with that Messor girl!?"
Ubica turns, grabs her hand, and pulls her head under his arm. While gritting his teeth with a frustrated smile he begins to give her a brutal noogie.
"Now's not the time for that you airhead!"
"Owowowowow let go of head you jerk!!!!"
"Not until you've calmed down!"
"I am calm! I am calm!!!"
He releases her and she rubs her head excessively, with a child like face she says, "I don't get it, I don't get what's happening here."
"I promise... I'll explain everything to you later." Turning back toward Strauphius he finishes, "The only thing I can say now is that all of this is not what you think Tsubiri."
Strauphius gets to his feet, he looks so hurt that it is almost sickening seeing his arm droop down like that, he spits blood out of his mouth and then smiles cynically. He raises his dislocated arm and with his left he pulls in towards his shoulder blade, reconnecting the joint, the sound it makes made all the onlookers a little nauseous.
Out of his awful looking smile comes a small laugh that rises in tone to a hysterically loud one. "Kukukuku.... Huuaahaha.... HAHAHAHAHAH!!!"
Everyone, including Tsubiri and Niomyo find this beyond odd, that last twenty seconds were extremely disturbing, all the way from the injury to the whacked out reaction to it.
Once done laughing Strauphius points at Ubica and says in an unfamiliar tone of voice, "I knew I'd find you old pal!!!"
Tsubiri backs away in shock. "Strauphius?"
Ubica reasserts his position in front of her and says, "That's not Strauphius."
"Oh! Well shit since my cover was blown I might as well get rid of this disguise."
Strauphius takes his index finger and taps it on his forehead, with that, an ugly gray light shines around him, causing him to be engulfed.
Once gone, a different man appears.
He has bright orange hair and eyes of an amber shade, he stands rather short and when the light fully fades it becomes obvious that he is a kid who looks around the age of eleven or twelve. This is weird because his voice is much deeper than his appearance would indicate.
He throws his arms open, causing his dark blue robe to flail back and says, "What's the matter Ubica? You looked shocked."
Ubica is forcing a smile back as he stares at the kid with wide eyes. "Your new look... It's ridiculous."
A vein surfaces on the boys head. "Shut the fuck up! This is my punishment for taking part in the Apocalypse!"
"You mean they turned you into a little pipsqueak? Hahaha that's hilarious!"
"I'll fucking kill you! I'm a lot older than you are you shitty brat!"
Ubica breaks out in laughter as he says, "It sure doesn't look like it!"
The kid has a giant frown on his face and he bites his lip when out of a light surrounding his hand comes a blade that has a large circle shape at its tip. "I don't wanna hear any kind of shit from you old pal. At least I wasn't sent to rot in a pit."
Once the kid said that, Ubica's demeanor turns serious and he pulls out his sword as well. "May I ask you what you intend to do here?"
The kid points his sword out and has a sick smile when he answers, "Kill as many people as possible."
The pressure emitting from the two makes it hard for Tsubiri to stand, she takes a step back and says, "Who is this guy Ubica?"
Before Ubica can answer, her question is quickly answered by the kid.
"The name's Mammon."
Ubica nudges her away and says, "This guy is really dangerous, I want you to run as far away as you can."
"I already told you I have no clue how to get back!"
"That doesn't matter! If you get lost I'll always find you!"
She blushes at his words and begins to back track subconsciously, she is moving slow and this makes him very impatient.
With this, Tsubiri takes off running.
Mammon raises his circled sword and says, "Like I'll let that happen."
Within an instant the entirety of thirty blocks is covered by a massive and ugly gray churning circle; the stars up above disappear and all of what's there looks to be the moonless night sky.
"Everyone in this radius is fucked. I recommend that all of you people start to scat! Perhaps you might be able to prolong your lives for a short while!" Mammon shouts.
The onlookers are confused but they don't take his threat seriously because of his appearance, he spots this and grows angered at there belittling glares so in order to show them how dire their situation is, he points out his sword into the crowd and says, "Ebuillo, prove em' to be foolish."
Out of his sword comes a bubble of some sort that is the same color of the massive circled ball that they are surrounded by, it floats gently towards them and weaves throughout the people until it stops. All of them stare at it like it's harmless, a child comes up and pokes at it so he can make it pop but as soon as he touches it the sphere it expands and engulfs a group of fifteen or so, some of them completely in it and some of them have only half of their bodies in.
"Get out of there!" Ubica shouts.
But it is too late.
In the blink of an eye the bubble retracts and implodes, when it does it makes a soft little 'pop' but the innocent sound does not depict the carnage seen by the aftermath.
The perfectly decapitated bodies are left standing as they were when they were once whole, the imploding bubble literally took what it surrounded inwards along with it. Some of the fifteen people were all gone except for the bloody stubs of their feet and some were missing the area that should be above their waists. They all fall to the ground simultaneously and the sounds they made were more of a squishing sound than that of a thud.
The people all scream in horror and panic ensues when they all run away as fast as possible. Increasing their nervousness and fright is the sound of Mammon laughing and hurling more of those death bubbles into the numbered groups of panicked people.
A couple people fell and were quickly trampled close to death by the others, not one person stopped to help.
"LOOK AT HOW SELFISH ALL OF YOU ARE!! THE TRUE NATURE OF HUMANS SHINES SO BRIGHTLY WHEN THEY ARE CONFRONTED WITH DANGER!!!"
He keeps laughing hysterically as he hurls even bigger bubbles into buildings, whether human or not, once the bubble implodes it takes perfect circled chunks out of whatever it touches.
Seeing how bad things have gotten, Ubica rushes him with his red diamond katana ready for the worst; he swings his sword in an upwards motion but Mammon blocks it.
There was so much force in Ubica's swing that it knocks Mammon twenty feet upwards into the air, he does a little flip and then lands on one of his spheres.
He chuckles and looks down on Ubica as he floats gently in the air. "Awwh, it looks like your little girlfriend didn't make it very far."
Ubica turns pale when he said that because the first thought that went through his mind was that she was hit by one of his attacks when she was running away.
He turns quickly and shouts, "TSUBIRI!!!!"
But to his relief he finds her very near to him on the ground holding her knee in a funny way.
"Are you okay!?" he asks.
Tsubiri looks up at him with a sour face and a tear in her eye as she says softly, "I-I tripped."
"Haaaah!?" He throws his hand over his face in an annoyed way. "Goodness you are such an airhead!! If you ran when I told you to run you wouldn't be anywhere near here!"
"It's not my fault that there was a pothole in the road you jerk!!"
"Well maybe if you watched where you were going you could have avoided it!!"
The two shout insults at each other as if the last couple of minutes never happened, more than a few veins start to show all around Mammon's face when he feels like he is being completely ignored.
He thinks to himself, (Damn this kiddish appearance of mine!! I'm so sick of not being taken seriously!)
With these thoughts running through his head he shouts, "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!"
The two stop their bickering and look at his little red angered face; the initial reaction of seeing what looks to be a kid throwing a temper tantrum is them laughing, and they do exactly that, making him even more pissed.
Mammom hurls a large bubble out of his sword towards them but Ubica quickly regains his composure and uses a good amount of strength to hit it with his sword and send it flying in another direction.
"All jokes aside, just who is this guy exactly?" Tsubiri asks again.
Once again the one to answer is Mammon himself, "I ALREADY TOLD YOU!! YOU STUPID BITCH!!"
"Geez what a dirty mouth for a kid."
Mammon starts pulling his hair and yelling in frustration, both at his body type and her attitude.
However, he stops his tantrum when Ubica asks, "How did you find us?"
"Don't you remember? I dwell in the avarice of others, and your little rag tag group is chalk full of it."
Mammon is one of the Seven Demons of Hell, his role in the Hierarchy is to represent, and tempt people into 'Greed', also known as 'Avarice', or 'Covetousness'. He is very similar to Beelzebub, who represents 'Gluttony', both of them are a sin of excess, the two are also similar in that their lives don't revolve around their Original Sin like Belphegor does.
Greed is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. Avarice is more of a blanket term that can describe many other examples of greedy behavior. These include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain. Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed.
Because he dwells in these types of emotions that reside in humans, he is able to take on their form and know exactly what their thoughts and desires are. Mammon used some of these tactics when he took the form of Strauphius in order to tempt Tsubiri into his arms, if she accepted and fell for his trick, her soul would have been taken and she would've died instantly.
Ubica takes a deep breath and responds, "But that still shouldn't be enough to find our location."
Mammon smiles and shrugs his shoulders. "That would normally be true, but the souls of your humans have recently gone through a transformation right?" Ubica's breathing sharpens as he continues. "Not many people in Purgatory are 'aware', so when six people who have such souls are all in one group I figured it had to be you." He floats down atop his bubble and finishes, "What's good about your little group is that they are all greedy, so much so that this, along with their growth made it beyond easy to spot."
"So what you're saying is that you were able to find us because their new abilities?"
Mammon chuckles and replies, "No, what I'm trying to say is that I was able to find you specifically because of The False Prophet."
Ubica jumps back in surprise, his throat becomes dry and asks, "W-What do you mean?"
"We all know that she is with you now, and I know that the powers that come along with being 'aware' are not easy to obtain overnight. By that I could tell that someone definitely helped them, and I know that something like that wouldn't be possible for you. So that leaves one person... I must say, she helped me a great bit because I've been stuck in this shitty world searching for you for weeks."
A heavy feeling surfaces in Ubica's body, he clenches the handle of his sword extremely hard and thinks, (Could it be... That this was her plan all along?)
As much as he doesn't want to think this is true, the evidence adds up. Why would she want to join up with the group and give them powers if it shows no gain to her? She had always said that she'd never do anything unless it somehow benefited herself, if she was still allied with Damien and the others, giving them such abilities could help them find the group easier, and as a result, she would reap the rewards of doing her job. But if that's the case, why would she not give the demons their location when they first met up with her? Perhaps she wants him to think that she's trustworthy, and all the while subtly try to bring him back to his old darkness so she can once again have him?
Ubica's head is spinning with confusion, everything in his mind is about Messor and he can't focus, and this will cost him.
Mammon sinks into his bubble and the bubble implodes, in a split second the bubble reappears right behind Ubica. It grows from the size of a baseball and back to it's regular form of about ten feet in diameter, and out of it comes Mammon with a huge smile on his face.
"Ubica look out!!" Tsubiri yells.
But her words don't reach him because his eyes and ears are shut so he can make room in his mind for the suspicious thoughts of Messor.
Mammon swings his blade and slices right into Ubica's back, Ubica's knees buckle at the shock and he falls in what feels like slow motion.
While falling in a trance, Ubica thinks to himself, (I guess... I really can't trust her after all...)
Once this thought was finished, he falls face first on the ground and slips away into unconsciousness.
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