Dantega:Volume 4 Chapter 10
Chapter 41: An Angel's Revenge
“The Archangel!? What the fuck are you doing here!?" shouts the male voice of Cerberus. The blood from its middle mouth falls to the island floor as it grits its teeth in both shock and pain.
"I'm here for a few reasons actually, none of which you need to know of." replied Michael sharply.
He then turns to Sora and holds his hand out to lift her off the ground, she naturally obliges and stands to her feet.
Sora glares at him in awe as his aura sends a warmth through her body the likes she has never felt before. It's as though she is staring into the eyes of salvation itself.
She ignores the presence of Cerberus, the beast she was once so frightened of and says, "T-Thank you for saving me..."
Michael smiles and shifts his eyes back to the demon. "It was my pleasure, by helping you I'm killing two birds with one stone."
Cerberus hears this and the woman's voice inquires, "Did you actually come from Heaven just to stop me??"
"Don't be stupid, I wouldn't waste my breath on a mutt of the netherworld like you. If I had any intentions of that sort I'd most certainly be after the demon you are accompanying at the moment."
"Yes, there's no way I'd miss a presence like him, but I can sense that our resident angel of death is occupied with him right now... I'm here because I have a much bigger fish to fry, one that makes you two look worthless in comparison."
"Is that so?" The woman's voice asks, the voice of the child quickly follows, "Then allow me to take a momentary leave.."
Cerberus then turns and retreats into the jungle.
For reasons unbeknownst to both Michael and Sora, the threat of the dog demon is over.
"That damn mutt, it isn't going to just leave like that for no reason." Michael says as the spear in his hand burns brightly and then disappears into thin air. He then turns to Sora, "It's planning something, and I'm sure that it won’t rest until it tastes your blood... Come with me."
Michael starts walking in the opposite direction in which Cerberus went, leaving Sora behind.
He's obviously expecting her to follow him, and considering the situation she was just in it'd be foolish not to do so.
She quickly chases after him and walks alongside the last remaining Angel of God.
"Did you feel that?" Amon asks, halting his attack on Rage.
Rage doesn't pause though, instead he uses this as an opportunity to gain the upper hand on the situation. He rushes Amon and swings his scythe horizontally in the direction of Amon's neck.
The demon narrowly avoids it by forming a ball of distortion in front of his face, causing the scythe to veer off course.
"Hey now, I'm being serious."
"So am I!"
Rage yells as he sends another swing of his scythe in the demon's direction.
Amon easily parries the attack and sighs when he says, "Your earnestness gets you in trouble sometimes you know that? There's a reason why you were never able to retrieve Ubica's soul, your judgment is clouded far too easily to notice the little obscurities that go along with a battle."
"I'm just trying to help you out, I would like to sway you from your worst instincts so you can actually fight me on even ground. I mean really, this is just boring."
When Amon speaks of Rage’s instincts, he is referring to Rage's nature of being the Angel of Death. His natural instinct is to retrieve the souls of the departed without so much as a second thought; with such a strong base of action, it is very difficult to diverge such feelings onto anything else that goes on around him. It isn't as though he is physically unable to sense something odd in the process of a battle, after all, he was able to save the lives of his human comrades on more than one occasion. It is just that this force drives him to subconsciously attack his enemy in the best possible manner in order for him to retrieve his or her soul.
However, this hyper focused state of mind is causing him to turn a blind eye to something very important.
Amon on the other hand, notices quickly and slips out of the way as fast as possible.
Rage, not understanding quite what his sudden retreat meant, is met with a gold blast of heat and energy directly onto his side, he is then sent flying with it at an incredible speed through the thick trees of the jungle.
It takes a good twenty collisions through those trees before he even begins to slow down, the cracking noises echo in the darkness as each impact seems louder than the last.
Amon keeps backtracking while laughing at the same time. "Hahaha if only you listened to me, I tried to warn you.”
As soon as he finished saying that, another one of those golden beams was sent in Amon's direction, except since he saw it coming, he was able to avoid being hit.
The beam misses and zooms through the jungle, but surprisingly, no damage was dealt to the trees and surrounding shrubbery.
"Don't be so impatient." Amon then cracks his neck and in a manner similar to that of someone quite annoyed before he says, "Michael."
"It's been quite a long time since I've seen either of you. Over a thousand years right? Hmph, how about that." said Michael as he reveals himself from behind a batch of thickly leafed trees.
Following closely behind him is Sora, she is wearing a surprised face and queries, "Why did you attack Rage?? He's on our side!"
"Oh, I apologize, attacking him just came naturally to me, I didn’t even think about it."
Amon laughs momentarily before saying, "This is all too interesting. So much so that it has got me thinking... Just what the fuck is the last Angel of God doing in a place like this?"
"You don't think I'm here to stop you?" Michael replied sarcastically.
"That presumption would lower my intelligence points. Thinking that is more on Cerberus' level.”
"Then how about you take a guess?"
"Oho I love playing games... If I were to guess it'd be..."
Amon doesn't finish, instead he immediately attacks Michael, he moves so fast that the Angel didn't have much time to react.
Amon opens his palm and a ball of distortion forms; he slams his palm into Michael's gut and sends him flying into the jungle similar to the way Rage was.
"Like I have the patience to be playing a stupid game right now!!" Amon shouts furiously.
He walks rather fast toward Michael, who is now tangled in the branches of a low tree; his spear was knocked out of his grip in the attack and is lying in front of him just out of reach. He has truly become defenseless.
With each step, Amon creates more swirling vortexes of distortion, while doing so he says, "It's not as though I feel you are important enough to interrogate by torture. It's just my natural reaction to want to inflict bodily harm upon Angels. Not too dissimilar to how you dealt with Rage, it makes sense to you right?"
A wide grin forms on Amon's face, out of the crescent moon shaped hole in his face, a maddening laugh filled with pleasure comes. "Did you know that I consider myself somewhat of an artist?"
Michael glares at him quizzically.
"I've always had a passion for artwork where the paint seemingly melts down the canvas. It's something that I like so much that when I kill people I try my damnedest to make it as similar as possible."
Even though the 7 Demons of Hierarchy usually seem so much more composed when compared to a standard hell dwelling demon, all of them have their own psychotic quirks. Usually that quirk is centered around the Original Sin they represent, but something even more cynical molds into their bodies and causes them to teeter over the edge occasionally.
These quirks that they gradually succumb to more often than not results in the death or torture of someone else, it is something they have gotten so used to they hardly even notice that they're doing it.
In this case, Amon intends to distort Michael’s body into a swirling form of liquid and use it to make one of his own forms of abstract artwork.
Just the thought of doing that to an Archangel brings Amon a great deal of pleasure.
Michael smiles, seeing the face that Amon is showing him and understanding the psychosis behind it, he finds himself amused.
"It’s funny, seeing you now is like looking at a reflection in the mirror..." Ignoring the obvious danger in front of him, Michael shrugs his shoulders. "Tell me, what do you see staring back at you?"
Amon’s sick smile shrinks and is replaced by a look of confusion.
But before Amon could get a chance to speak, Michael shifts his gaze toward Sora, who at this moment is only a few yards behind the back of Amon with weapon in tow. The look of determination on her face signifies her intent to attack Amon on his blindside in order to save Michael. This new face is a far cry from the one that was twisted in despair when Cerberus was on the verge of devouring her.
A mere human attempting to interfere in a battle of such fearsome participants borders on the edge of insanity, but she couldn't convince herself to sit idly by while the man who saved her life just minutes earlier is in danger.
"Do me a favor Sora." Michael says, ignoring the presence of Amon. "Can you take about twenty steps to your left?"
"Don't ask questions, just do it."
Though Sora doesn't understand the reasoning behind this, she does it anyway.
Discouraged at the fact that she is now farther away from Amon than before; she begins to think that Michael really might be slain without her being able to do anything about it.
Amon also doesn't get it, but in all truth he doesn't care. He didn't even notice that Sora was sneaking up behind him because of just how small her presence is, he is about as threatened by her as someone would be to an ant crawling up one's leg.
He sighs and turns back to Michael; he lifts his hands and readies to send the swirling vortexes of distortion down when he is once again interrupted by the words of Michael.
"Seeing myself in you, feeling and thinking the way you do..." Michael smiles and gives Amon a short moment to ponder this statement before saying,. "You have all become so predictable."
As soon as the air of those words exit his mouth...
Cerberus comes storming out of the thick of the jungle at full speed in Sora's direction; pulling leaves, branches, and even whole trees with it.
This happened so fast that Sora had no time to react to it, and even if she did her legs wouldn't move fast enough to avoid being snatched by one of Cerberus' three sets of jaws.
This was its plan all along, it knew that Michael was going to confront Amon at some point, all it needed to do was lay in wait for the exact moment where the two were occupied with each other and stealthily move in for the kill.
Michael begins to laugh loudly, his eyes shine and in the brief moment that Amon is distracted with Cerberus, the spear that was just out of reach stands itself up in between the Angel and Demon.
In a flash, the spear is engulfed in a bright white light and grows brighter as Michael laughs; its size doubles, then triples, and multiplies further on until it stands like a solid wall some 10 meters high and 10 meters wide.
Amon tries to flee but before he could even move an inch...
The blazing hot white light shoots forward faster than the speed of sound and completely engulfs Amon. The light zooms in a straight line directly past the spot in which the demon once stood, and in that straight line, at this very moment, is a certain three headed dog demon.
This strange hot white light carries no noise, rather a distinct base sound that pounds on the innards of one's ears. This sound is much more akin to being in a small room and having a large speaker to one's head while a bass guitar hits a constant note that never stops. Then multiply that feeling by a thousand and this would be it.
The light crashes into Cerberus and its skin is immediately peeled off by the force, its flesh literally dissolves off its bones and the liquid in its eyes boil and melt away. Cerberus didn't even have time to scream before the white light completely engulfed it and its silhouette disappeared within the light. Sora watched as much as she could of this until the brightness caused her to instinctively slam her eyes shut and turn away. If she had stared any longer, her eyes would have suffered the same consequences of staring into the sun for an exceeded amount of time, she most certainly would have gone blind. There is something odd about this assault, though she doesn't know exactly how close she actually is to the initial attack, she knows that she should be close enough to be affected by it. But if she had her eyes shut the entire time and never saw the light, she would almost have no clue that there has actually been a devastatingly strong attack in the first place.
She can't feel the heat of the light that shined brighter than the sun nor can she feel any energy permeating from it, she can only feel the base beating on her ears. A normal person might only think that this was an earthquake because of how the ground is shaking. But for some reason, this feeling makes her feel safe and secure; it has taken away all sense of danger that has been beating on her since arriving on this island.
The base noise eases up until it finally comes to a stop, all feelings of angst quickly disperse and an overwhelming sensation of tranquility fills the air.
Sora slowly opens her eyes and tries to look around the now quiet area, she blinks repeatedly as to shake away her momentary blindness caused by the light. The darkness eventually comes to blurry vision and her sight begins to focus in on her surroundings.
She finds that the entirety of the jungle, barring the area Cerberus ran out of, is relatively unscathed. Which is surprising figuring the destruction that light caused to the dog demon was so great. To have the flimsy in comparison shrubbery still be standing is quite the shock.
Sora takes a huge sigh of relief and stands to her feet; she readies to turn her head in order to look in Michael’s direction when the sense of peace and security is shattered by a warm and putrid smelling breath beating on the back of her neck.
She quizzically turns around to see Cerberus standing there, but this time it has an even more gruesome appearance than ever before.
The fur, skin, and all the muscles and tendons that connect to the bones are now gone, stripped away as if it had just made a trip to the butchery. Cerberus’ eyes and ears are melted away, and its bones shine white as if all fluid has been sucked out. Its bones are like a cage for all of its now visible organs, each breath it takes its lungs expand and retract and can be seen as plain as day. Every time its heart beats, the blood that is supposed to flow to the muscles slides off its bones and falls to the ground.
“I... can still... smell her...” came the raspy voice of the child. “She’s here, I know it!” shouts the man.
Cerberus moves its heads all over and the sound of bones rubbing against bone is heard, something like this shouldn’t be possible but it would seem there is enough strength left in this powerful demon’s body to instinctively move itself.
The three heads point in Sora’s direction and the woman's voice shouts, “THERE!!”
“No way...” Sora said to herself, her voice full of fear.
Realistically, all she needs to do is get up and run as fast as she can, chances are Cerberus would not be able to catch her in its horrific condition. But she is so stiff in shock that she can’t even budge, her legs will not move.
Cerberus inches closer to her and her shoulders jump, her teeth chatter together and she begins to mutter, “Save me...”
She turns to where Michael was tangled in those branches and to her absolute horror she finds that he is no longer there.
(Where did he go?) she thinks to herself.
Chances are, he left soon after the blast assuming that the job had been done or there was another enemy he needed to attend to. Either way or for whatever reason, Sora is once again in a situation that will lead to her death without the assistance of someone. Unfortunately for her, this time no one will come, with Rage likely injured off in the jungle somewhere and with Michael’s sudden and mysterious departure, she is alone.
“Someone save me...”
“Huuaahahahaha.” The child laughs, “Even if I die, I won’t go without tasting your blood!”
“Someone!!” Sora yells, throwing her eyes in every direction desperately trying to find salvation that won’t come.
“IT’S TIME TO EAT!!” The three voices of Cerberus yell as all three heads lunge down at Sora.
“SAVE ME!!!” Sora shouts at the top of her lungs with her eyes forced shut.
She takes a deep breath and awaits her doom but is shocked to find that nothing has happened. She keeps her eyes shut until a couple seconds pass with no change; this gives her no choice but to look.
What she sees is the back of a man, he is clad in hooded black coat standing between her and the dog demon, holding Cerberus’ nose on the middle head with the palm of his hand.
Her natural reaction is to think that it is Rage, but when she sees that he isn’t holding a scythe, she knows that it isn't him.
Even though Cerberus’ eyes melted away, one could still sense the surprise on its face.
“I know this scent, you are the Anti-----“
Before Cerberus could even finish its question, its bones crack and break into thousands of pieces as though it was a glass window that just had a rock thrown through it. Its organs expand violently and explode in a dazzling flash of red, sending the broken pieces of bone along with it flying into the green of the jungle.
The entirety of Cerberus was literally blown to oblivion in just a flash.
Sora is left speechless, she was once again saved at the nick of time by yet another strange man, and this time there is no way that ferocious beast will come back.
She takes a huge breath and falls to her knees, this was truly a miracle and she has no clue how to fathom her luck or thank the person who saved her.
“That was the first time I’ve ever heard your voice.” The man in the black hooded coat said with his back still turned to her.
“Huh?” Sora mumbles, she recognizes this voice.
The man turns around and holds his hand out to help her back to her feet.
“It’s been a while, Sora.”
With his facial features clearly seen, Sora’s eyes widen and her jaw drops.
“Holy crap did you see that crazy light!?” Aria shouts to Niera and Cyrus.
“W-What do you think it was?” asked Niera nervously.
Aria quickly replies, “Who cares, let's go!”
Cyrus frowns and steps in front of Niera. “Don’t be ridiculous, we can’t just go rushing into an area like that, it is way too dangerous.”
“Oh come on!” Aria begins to drool, “I gotta see! I gotta see it, that explosion was incredible!”
“U-Um Aria... could it be that you are getting turned on by this?” Niera asks while peeking behind Cyrus’ shoulder.
Aria smiles wide and lifts her new sword up over her shoulder. “Of course I am, I love explosions! Besides, one of our friends might need our help over there, we can’t just wait around.”
Cyrus takes a sigh of resignation and says, “I guess you’re right.”
Aria giggles and immediately runs toward the direction of the light.
“I’m glad you can finally see things my way ya old coot!”
“It’s not that I agree with the explosion part!”
“Yeah yeah!” she turns and sticks her tongue out at him before running towards the light.
“And I’m not old! I’m only 23!”
Niera begins to chase after Aria and back trots so she can face Cyrus when she says, “No offense but you do act a lot older than your age you know?”
“What?? Not you too!”
“Hehe come on let’s go!”
She leaves him behind as well, he scratches his head and asks himself, “Just where the hell did that scene come from?”
Without giving any more thought, he quickly chases after the two girls in order to find out the cause of the light.
“Wow that light was incredible!” Xavier exclaims in awe, he is still looking up in the night sky as the remnants of that light linger.
“It sure was.” replied Phoenix as nonchalantly as possible.
“Hey shouldn’t we head down there to take a look?”
The two of them are at the Gate already, so going back would mean they abandon their position at the helm of the next level.
Even though Phoenix had already said that he has no intentions of waiting for the others, Xavier is still surprised when he answers,
“The source of that light is already here.” Phoenix interrupts and looks down on the other side of the lake.
Standing there is none other than Michael, fresh off his battle with Amon and Cerberus.
He walks atop the water rather slowly toward Phoenix and Xavier.
“Who is that guy?” Xavier asks, worried that he might be an enemy.
Ignoring the Prince, Phoenix walks off the steps and back onto the water; the two walk toward each other in silence until they are within an arm’s length. The two share an intense eye to eye stare until a slight smile surfaces on their faces. These smiles are followed by a pleasant handshake between good friends.
“You answered my call.” said Phoenix.
“Of course, I didn’t waste a second when you revealed yourself to me. I give you my humble thanks.”
“Come now, you don’t have to be so formal, we’re not in Heaven anymore.”
“I must disagree, whenever the Messiah graces me with his presence I must take this moment as though it was a miracle bestowed unto me by God himself.”
Upon hearing Michael say that, the smile on Phoenix’s face twitches awkwardly for a split second and reverts back.
“God huh?” he said in a breathy voice quietly.
“Excuse me my Lord?”
“It’s nothing... Anyways, might I ask what exactly the Archangel is doing here as a Gatekeeper in Purgatory? ”
As soon as he asked this, the atmosphere around the Archangel dropped and a heavy seriousness settled into his eyes. “I must ask you to forgive my silence on that matter, I’d be too ashamed to tell you.”
Phoenix raises an eyebrow, “Is that so? Then answer me this, were you sent here because God wanted you to, or are you doing this on your own accord?”
Michael keeps a straight face when he responds, “God was kind enough to let me go on this endeavor upon my request. Though to be honest, I would have gone without his permission.”
“Oh? It’s that important to you huh?”
“Yes messiah, more than you’ll ever know.”
Michael takes a sharp breath after saying that, only then noticing that his formal way of addressing Phoenix has slipped unintentionally. He glares at Phoenix to see if he noticed, but Phoenix glosses over it.
“And why wasn’t I notified of such a thing? I assume this was pretty recent.”
“I apologize, but I requested this to be kept a secret. No one knows that I’ve been working this position for the past couple months.”
“Hmmm. So you knew that I was here in Purgatory...”
“No my Lord, I am currently fighting back my shock that my Lord Jesus Christ has been put in this situation.”
“Then you now know that the original 'plan' for me back on Earth has gone awry. I needed to improvise, so I’ve come up with a new one since being here. For me to complete my new plan, my comrades and I need to get through the Gate. I’m sure you can make an exception for me?”
“I’m sorry to hear that the world must suffer a little longer due to your absence. God must be disappointed as well.” Michael bows and finishes, “I trust in your holiness, I believe that by you getting back to Earth, peace will come to the Heavens and all the lands below. If I can assist you in any way it would be an honor.”
Phoenix lowers his head slightly and a thin grin gently meets his lips, “Peace to the Heavens and all the lands below huh? Sure, if that’s what you wanna call it.”
“I want you to tell me...” Phoenix raises his head and his voice along with it, “Why are you here?”
Judging by his tone of voice and the overall look on his face, it is obvious that this is a stern command and not a friendly request. But despite that, this is still an order that Michael is trying his best to avoid answering.
He stays bowing and doesn’t speak, somehow hoping that Phoenix will perhaps give up on this inquiry.
But that is not going to happen, a frown surfaces on Phoenix’s face when an answer still doesn’t come, he takes a deep breath and gets ready to speak when from up above an unfamiliar voice is heard.
“He’s here to kill Ubica, you damn idiot.”
Michael and Phoenix both look up simultaneously.
Standing atop a flat rectangle of distortion is none other than Amon.
“I thought I---!”
Amon lifts up his index finger and shakes it from side to side like a parent would to a child. “You didn’t actually think that you defeated me did you? Geez, I get no respect.”
“Think about it, light is the easiest form of anything to distort because it has no mass. I’ll admit that attack was something else, but that attack is probably the worst possible weapon to use against me.”
“You certainly did a number on Cerberus though I’ll tell you what.”
“Then it looks like I still have some work to do.” Michael readies his spear and prepares to jump up to Amon.
But before he could he is halted by Phoenix asking,
“Is what he said true?”
Michael turns back to him and shows him a look of shame before shifting his gaze to the ground and answering.
Amon starts laughing and clapping his hands from above, “Hahaha bravissimo! This is amazing, is the Archangel still mad that he burnt his two little girlfriends to a crisp because of Ubica?”
“Shut your fucking mouth.” Michael hisses.
“Woah such foul language coming from the last remaining Angel. I’ve learned so much about you today, I’ll have some good stories to tell to the others. Such things like how the man who once defeated Satan now thirsts for revenge against the Antichrist. And let’s not forget the most important thing the two of you have revealed to me...”
Amon takes his index finger once more and points it directly at Phoenix.
“That’s right! I came here just at the right time to find out that this priest is actually the Son of God! Hahaha I just might be promoted for this.”
“I won’t let you escape!” shouts Michael.
“Oh yes you will, do you wanna know why? Because a certain somebody has just showed up on this small island.”
“A certain someone who is at the center of every action Heaven and Hell makes.”
“I-It can't be, I couldn't sense Dantega at all...”
“Well you sure are in for a surprise, this someone now lives his pathetic life swallowed by the guilt of what he did to all of you, so much so that he’s forsaken the one thing that gave him life. But I wonder what would happen if he was thrown into just one more life or death battle with an Archangel? Not only that, but 'the' last Angel! This couldn’t have worked out any better!”
“WHERE IS HE!?” Michael yells, a bright light surrounds him and the water of the lake begins to boil under his feet.
“Hahaha I can see it now! I can see the Wrath in your eyes! You asked me what I saw staring back at me... It's been my own reflection this entire time."
Amon starts laughing and sinks into his rectangle of distortion, the rectangle shrinks into nothing and the entire presence of the 4th ranked Demon of the Hierarchy is finally gone.
But now there is a new dark presence that has taken form on this island, and it goes by the name of Michael.
He doesn’t turn to Phoenix but speaks, “Do you know why I gave you my flame?”
“I never gave it thought.”
“Because that flame is the power that was used to burn Catherine and Margaret into dust. How could I wield such a thing after I used it for that? I thought that by giving it to you, the fire would become pure once again.”
“So what is your new power for then?”
“For a thousand years I’ve developed this light specifically to destroy that wretched darkness of Ubica’s. Every day since the Apocalypse, every breath I’ve taken since then, was to give me the strength to drown that darkness in light and avenge their deaths.”
Phoenix stays silent and glares at Michael’s back without much emotion worn on his face.
“So don’t try to stop me.”
This time it is Michael’s turn to make an order, the manners and formalities he had are blown away by the mere thought of the Antichrist.
Phoenix takes a quick inhale and responds, “I won’t.”
Without another word, Michael dashes off in a flash of white light, leaving Phoenix alone standing atop the water of the lake.
Phoenix clenches his fist momentarily and then releases them. His lips mold into a slight smile when he begins to speak to himself, “I won’t stop you Michael... but I'm sure Ubica will put an end to your revenge one way or another.”
He then sighs and looks up to the sky.
“Why would God let Michael come here specifically for something as dark as revenge? God should know how badly this situation could turn out...”
He turns back toward the steps and starts his walk to the confused Xavier. Because of the sound of the waterfall, the prince was too far away to get a proper grasp on what they were talking about. He was only able to pick up bits and pieces of their conversation and from what he heard he was unable to make anything out of it.
Phoenix has his eyes on the ground in front of him as he takes his steps, with his thoughts running rampant, an ugly frown forms from his eyebrows and the corners of his lips sink down to his chin.
He again clenches his fists and grits his teeth.
“Just what are you scheming, God?”
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