Dantega:Volume 4 Chapter 11
“I can’t believe it, is it really you?” Sora asked with eyes wide open.
“Who else would I be?”
“I’m just so surprised, I haven’t seen you in such a long time and now you’re suddenly here. Have the others arrived safely?”
Ubica reveals a strained smile and replies, “We were separated a little over a week ago... I was hoping that they’d already be here by now.”
Sora finally takes his hand and is lifted up to her feet, her body still feels light with the feeling of relief. She was never this afraid to die in the past, she would fearlessly fight anyone if it meant protecting the Prince; but being eaten alive by a Demon frightened her to her core, it takes her a few more seconds to compose herself.
“What happened?” she asks.
Ubica purses his lips and looks down to the ground, answering such a simple question is proving to be very difficult. As far as he knows they could all be dead, a vision of all of them dead with Abaddon triumphantly standing over them laughing flashes in his head, he slams his eyes shut and tries to shake it off.
“The boat we were on… The Captain wanted me off his ship after a demon attacked us out in the open sea. We made a deal that he would continue to take them here if I left the ship.”
“Well that doesn’t sound too bad, you looked so troubled when you said that.”
“I could never be so sure about anything, there’s no telling what kind of danger they’ve been in since I left. But I have to trust in them, and believe that they’ll arrive here safely.”
“Sounds like there’s no choice but to do just that then, right?”
Hearing words of comfort from Sora of all people gives him a sense of reassurance for whatever reason. It’s not like he thinks she knows any more about the situation than he does, but he finds her voice to be quite soothing.
“Yeah, you’re right.”
“Get away from Sora you bastard!!” shouts a voice from within the jungle.
Ubica turns around to see its source but is met with a fruit hitting him square in the face.
Of course this would normally mean nothing but a bump on the head, but in this situation the fruit has the explosive power of a hand grenade.
The blast hits Ubica dead on and he disappears in the smoke.
“Sora! Are you alright!?” shouts Aria as she rushes to Sora’s aid.
Sora is blue with shock; she can’t believe that Aria just blew Ubica up without even giving him a chance to reveal himself.
“W-W-What did you do!?”
Aria grabs her shoulders and smiles as though she had just finished up with her life's greatest accomplishment, “I saved you, what do you think?”
Aria remains happy and carefree until she feels an angered glare beating on the side of her face, she can’t help but glance over and sees a face through the smoke of the aftermath of the explosion she caused.
“If you don’t mind me asking... who is this girl that just threw a bomb at my face!!?” Ubica asks in a raspy voice while cracking his knuckles in a threatening manner.
“Uwaaah!? He’s a lot stronger of an enemy than I expected! Stay back Sora, I’ll handle this!”
Because Ubica’s face is covered in dark dirt and ash, Aria doesn’t recognize him at all. And because Ubica never got a chance to properly meet Aria in the past, he doesn’t recognize her either.
Sensing that this could turn out extremely bad, Sora jumps in between them and shouts, “Stop it you two!”
They both look at her and simultaneously shout,
Even though Sora has retained her ability to talk, she is still not quick enough on her feet to explain before the two go at each other’s throats.
But thankfully for her, Niera jumps in latches onto Ubica’s arm.
“Huh?” Aria halts.
Ubica stops as well to look down on just who’s grabbing his arm.
Niera’s smile instantly breaks the conflict that has just been narrowly avoided.
“I’m so happy you’re alright.”
He’s surprised that she realized it was him so quickly, it’s been a while since they last saw each other and when they were together they weren't as close as he was to some of the others.
“Wait a second, this guy is Ubica?” Aria asked.
“Can’t you tell?” Niera asks as if stating the obvious.
Aria takes her sleeve and rubs it rather hard across his face, removing the dirt.
“Ooaah, it is you!”
Ubica frowns at how rough she was wiping the dust off his face when he says, “Now that we went through all this effort to reveal my identity, can someone tell me who this person is??”
“I’m Aria, I’m happy to know I made an impression on you the one time we met..” she replies sarcastically.
“I’m pretty sure I was unconscious for that.”
“Strauphius is my identical twin, you really don’t at least recognize me through him?”
Even though Ubica has never seen her in person, he does actually know her name, and also the fact that she’s Strauphius’ sister.
“Speaking of Strauphius,” Aria continues, “Where is he? Shouldn’t he be with you?”
Ubica doesn’t want to bring up the bad news without being consciously delicate with his words, he pauses for a moment as he contemplates where to start. He also wonders if he should tell her that the last he saw of Strauphius, he had been thrown up against the railing of the ship and injured.
This delay gives ample time for Cyrus to join in the conversation from behind, “I’d like to know where Princess Daey is as well.”
“Woah you sure came out of nowhere!” Aria explaims in surprise.
“This isn’t a good time for jokes; I need to know where the Princess is.”
Ubica sighs and decides to tell them everything that happened when a familiar scythe bearing man who looks awfully beaten up shoddily walks up to them.
“Ah it’s Rage.” Niera points out.
With a glare expressing a lack of emotion about their long awaited reunion, he walks right in the center of everyone before looking Ubica in the eyes to say,
“I’d like to hear about what happened as well.”
Phoenix walks up the stairs that lead to the Gate through the waterfall.
He doesn’t speak to Xavier about the conversation he just had with Michael and it prompts the young Prince to ask,
“Who was that guy?”
“The Gatekeeper.” Phoenix sternly replies.
“Wha!? He’s not going to try and stop us?”
“Not this time.”
“Then what do we do?”
Phoenix twitches his eyebrow in annoyance before smoothly replying, “We go through the Gate.”
“But what about the others? What if that Gatekeeper goes and attacks them? Shouldn’t we-----“
Like a child shouted down by their parents, Xavier immediately tenses up.
“You ask too many questions. The Gatekeeper isn’t going to lay a finger on any of our comrades; they will meet us on the third level of Purgatory in a few short minutes. If you want to go back to them then be my guest, I’m going through to the other side. The last thing I want to do is be here for ‘his’ death.”
Xavier doesn’t know what exactly Phoenix meant when he said all that, but one thing is for sure, he won’t be asking any more questions in order to find out. Fearing the vulnerability he’d face if Phoenix left him behind, he comes to the conclusion that he’d best keep his mouth shut and follow the priest. The two silently walk under the waterfall and through the shine of the second Purgatory Gate, leaving the others to catch up.
“How could you be so damn careless?” Rage hisses.
Ubica, who found a rock to sit on, tries his best not to express the shame he’s feeling.
He had just told them all about what happened in the past couple weeks, from start to finish. About how they came across the Black Dandelion, how he was kicked off the ship due to Leviathan’s attack, how he stumbled upon the island, and how everyone he became acquainted with on that island met a grizzly fate.
Though the sympathy felt upon hearing the tragic story of Amber and her family is certainly there, the bulk of the hurt that came along with the terrifying truth is due to the fate of their family members and friends.
As far as Ubica knows, the ship was under siege by Abaddon, which means there is a very good chance none of them are going to make it to this island. Aria is sick to her stomach thinking about Strauphius being in such danger.
Niera and Cyrus are as well, they know how easy it would be for someone like Abaddon to capsize the ship, if they were simply left stranded in the ocean they would never survive.
“Oh my god...” Aria says loathsomely, “This is a disaster.”
“Don’t say that Aria.” Sora urges, “You have to believe that they are alright.”
Aria throws her hands in her face and replies, “How? How can I believe something like that!?”
Sora replies with a befuddled silence.
Niera and Cyrus are feeling the same anxieties, they are finding it very difficult to believe that all of them could possibly be safe.
“I have a friend that we met up with back in the first level.” Ubica declares, perhaps feeling appreciative of Sora’s earlier optimism. “She has given all of them the power that comes along with being ‘aware'. With Messor at their side, it’s not too far-fetched to think they have actually won that fight and are on their way here as we speak. At least, that thought has kept me going.”
His words actually do help ease the feeling of despair filling their chests, if only slightly. They take cautious sighs of relief and breathe in what little hope that fact has to offer.
Rage on the other hand had to double take and repeat what Ubica just said back in head, with a threatening step forward he asks, “This friend of yours... Did you just say it was Messor?”
Ubica’s shoulders jumped for a split second when he realized he so casually dropped her name in front of Rage of all people.
“Yeah, she managed to find me.”
Rage’s face contorts in shock and then his eyebrows steepen to form an angered frown. He charges Ubica and grabs his collar, lifting him up off the ground.
“Have you gone mad!? How could you have brought that girl anywhere near them!?”
“You’re overreacting.” Ubica struggles to say due to being slightly choked, “She’s here to help us, I trust her.”
Rage shakes Ubica and shouts, “She’s here to help you! She couldn’t care less about the others!”
“Keeping them alive is helping me, and she knows that.”
“This is ridiculous! She’s definitely scheming something, how did she even escape the pit after you left her behind!?”
“Watch what you say about her in front of me.” Ubica sharply replies.
He didn’t need to raise his voice in order for those threatening words to strike Rage with the force of an attack. He lets Ubica to the ground and backs off, all the while gritting his teeth in anger.
“She’s changed, just like I have. I trust her with my life and the lives of the rest of us. They’ll be here soon, I’ll promise you that right now.” Ubica says, fixing his collar in the process.
The rest of them don’t even bother to ask just who this girl they are talking about is, judging by how fierce the atmosphere is around the subject they feel it’s best to stay out of it. Ubica and Rage glaring at each other like that is sending an electric wave of threatening energy onto each of them.
“Come on guys, the two of you arguing over what’s already done won’t help to solve anything.” Sora interjects, breaking the tense atmosphere.
“She’s right! Let’s get back on the topic of the situation we're in now.” Aria yells, coming to Sora’s aid and changing the topic. “Was it you who made that huge white explosion, Ubica?”
“Me? No, I came here thinking that it might’ve been Rage somehow.” he replies as he shifts his gaze back to Rage.
“It wasn’t me.” Rage replies with a shrug of his shoulders.
“It was ‘him’.” Sora claims.
“Him as in who?”
Sora takes her finger and points in the direction behind Ubica and the rest; they all turn their heads and see the culprit behind that massive light.
“Him as in me.” Michael says with a slight frown on his face.
“!?” Ubica’s face drops in shock and he is immediately frozen stiff in disbelief.
“Before any of you ask me any questions, allow me to tell you all that I am the Gatekeeper of the 2nd Level of Purgatory. If you wish to pass, you’ll need my permission.”
Rage scowls and squeezes the hilt of his scythe. “So we are forced to battle with someone like the Archangel in order to pass… what kind of sick trial is this?”
Michael holds out his hand as if telling Rage to take it easy as he says, “You and your friends are allowed to pass. The other two men in your group are awaiting your arrival on the other side.”
“The Gate is behind me, walk in that direction for about a mile and you’ll arrive there. Now go.”
“Isn’t that great!?” Sora asks, beaming with a bright smile.
Niera and Cyrus are relieved as well. Aria too for that matter, because at the last battle with a Gatekeeper Luke was killed, if another one of them were to die she wouldn’t know how to handle it.
“Hmph, then I’ll take your word for it. I won’t even bother to ask how you ended up as a Gatekeeper in the first place.” Rage says, he turns to the others and finishes, “Let’s go.”
Michael walks in front of Rage and points out his finger. “Not all of you are allowed to pass.”
“What do you mean?”
“He's talking about me.” Ubica says, causing the rest to turn back to him.
He is standing farther away from the group than before as if he was expecting this to happen all along.
“That’s right; the rest of you can go join the other two.”
“Don’t worry about me. I need to wait for others to show up anyways.” Ubica said with a strained smile.
“Let it be.” Rage said as he began walking in the direction Michael pointed.
This prompts the rest to hesitatingly follow.
Once far away from twe they left behind, Sora can’t help but ask, “Why wouldn’t Michael let Ubica pass?”
Rage takes a shallow breath and answers, “Because Michael intends to kill him.”
Aboard the Black Dandelion, Caesar is looking through a pair of binoculars out on a distant island, a few miles back he had noticed a huge flash of white light, and as if using it as a beacon he followed towards its source. Cross Checking the map with the direction he’s leading the ship to, he finds that the island in which the light came from is the x that marks the spot.
The island is where the 2nd Purgatory Gate is located.
“Wow we got here much faster than I thought!” he says with his face still buried in the map.
“We must have got caught in a heavy ocean current that sped up our destination by a day or so.” Napoleon said after overhearing Caesar’s explanation.
Earlier that morning, it was estimated that the ship wouldn’t get to the island until late the next day.
With his binoculars, Caesar looks around the shores of the island, all over are already docked ships, some destroyed and some intact ships clearly showing signs of a recent battle. But what is quite interesting is that there aren't any people near or around the beach.
“Something big just went down here. There should still be enemies within the island in search of the Gate. They’ll do whatever it takes to get there first.”
“I’m sure we can handle fighting regular humans, it’s the Gatekeeper we need to worry about.” Napoleon said as he examined his sword’s edges, checking its sharpness.
“The humans on this island are all ‘aware’, they haven’t been regular humans for quite some time. There’s a high possibility that they have extraordinary powers.”
Napoleon smiles in confidence, “We don’t have to worry about that now do we?”
Caesar matches his smile, “That’s right, that Messor girl truly came through with her word.”
Napoleon puts his sword back in his sheath and walks towards the barracks. “I’m going to inform the others that we’ll be arriving shortly.”
As Napoleon opens the door to the stairs leading down from the deck to the innards of the ship, he thinks to himself,
(I sure hope you are there by now… Ubica.)
“Long time no see.” Ubica says, breaking the silence of his and Michael’s glare.
“It hasn’t been that long really... I’ve seen your image every day for the past thousand years.”
Ubica takes another good look at Michael, he sees that his knees are shaking in apprehension and that he’s clasping onto his spear so tight his knuckles are as white as his clothes.
This is a man who’s desperately holding himself back from immediately attacking; this is a man who wants Ubica dead at all costs.
Sensing this, Ubica unsheathes his sword and holds it to his side; a bitter look is written across his face as he knows that avoiding conflict is going to be impossible.
“Before we do this...”
A sight Michael thought he’d never see, Ubica is bowing his head to him.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”
“I know my apology means nothing to you, and I know an apology isn’t enough to right the wrongs of the past. But I truly feel guilty for what I’ve done, I’d do anything to make things right.”
Michael takes a step back in amazement; the person he has been visualizing in his head all these years would never do something as weak as saying sorry. It’s almost beyond belief that those words can even exit his mouth.
Michael mutters the first words his instincts brought to mind.
“Prove to me that you’re actually sorry. Repent for what you’ve done.”
“How do you want me to do that?”
“Kill yourself. Right here on the spot, slit your own throat. Fall on your sword. Light yourself on fire! If you die right in front of my eyes, perhaps then I can believe you’re actually sorry!
Michael’s face contorted in anger as he said that. The memories of what Ubica has done have shattered any possibility of accepting an apology.
Ubica takes a deep breath and lifts from his bowing position. He looks Michael square in the eyes as a soft breeze weaves its way through the jungle and gently beats on the side of his face; adding a serenity to the moment.
“I can’t do that.”
“Hehh!?” Michael moans as he twists his neck to the side in a disgusted manner. “Then have you reneged your pathetic excuse of an apology?”
“I haven’t, I truly meant what I said.”
“Then why won’t you die!?”
Flashes of the human world at war, of Satan’s army rising once again, of Damien and the others having free reign on the world while waging their own war on Heaven shows itself in his head. The all too familiar images of destruction another war like that would cause to beat on him. He cannot let something like that happen again, in his mind, preventing such a thing from happening is entirely up to him.
Following visions of that grim future are the faces of his friends, his comrades that have been traveling with him the past couple months. Napoleon, Strauphius, Messor, Daey, Trojia and Tsubiri. The memories he’s shared with them pass through his head like scenes from a film.
“I have a reason to live.”
“Hahaha.” Michael laughs, “You? A reason to live? To me, you only have a reason to die!”
Michael charges Ubica with revenge shining in his eyes; the unavoidable second battle between the Antichrist and the Archangel begins with a bright flash of light and a loud bang.
Rage and the others all walk up the stairs to the Gate, with thoughts still on the well being of Ubica and the rest, nothing is spoken between them. There’s a feeling of emptiness that has come with leaving behind a friend to fight for his life alone, and it is exemplified with knowing that their particular group might be the only ones to make it to the next level.
Each step they take, these troubling emotions grow, it gets to the point where they begin trying to find justification to not go through with leaving them all behind. The humid air of the waterfall in which they are about to walk under is seemingly attempting to push them back. The loud crashing of the water is like a wall of sound not permitting entry.
But Rage presses on, half of his body is under the water when he looks back to see the others hesitatingly moving forward. It becomes obvious to him what it is they truly want to do.
Rage sighs, even if it’s obvious to him what they want, it doesn’t change what needs to be done.
“Ubica won’t lose, and the others will come. Once we reach the other side, we’ll wait as long as it takes for them to catch up.”
Niera’s face lights up at the thought of being reunited with her sister.
Rage doesn’t respond with words but nods his head.
It would seem that hearing something even slightly optimistic from Rage was enough to lighten up their spirits to the point where they can move forward.
“If Negative Sensei himself thinks they’ll be alright, then it must be true.” Aria says as she pats him rather hard on the back and walks under the waterfall and through to the other side.
Niera quickly follows Aria and says, “Thank you Rage, I mean it!”
Cyrus scratches his head and takes his own steps towards another new world. “You sure have a way with words. I need to learn a thing or two from you.”
The last one on this side of Purgatory with Rage is Sora, she now has a voice to speak with but chooses not to say anything as she walks through the Gate. Instead she just smiles gratefully at the fact she is somehow still alive. With an almost childlike skip, she makes her triumphant exit from all dangers she had made it through.
Now alone, Rage looks out into the distance and sees yet another bright flash of light from within the jungle. The battle between Ubica and Michael is underway and it’s undoubtedly going to be difficult for Ubica, both mentally and physically. Though it is sad to see the Archangel deteriorate into what he is now, he knows that no matter what the circumstances are, it is clear who the good guy is in this battle.
He faintly smiles and turns away from the flashing lights while saying under his breath,
“I’m rooting for you, Ubica.”
“This is odd...” Caesar says as he scours through the jungle of the island, “There should be hundreds of people here, yet we haven’t seen anyone.”
Following Caesar is Napoleon and the others, along with all thirty of his crew members. Having this many people walking through the jungle is bound to attract attention, but oddly enough there hasn’t been a single encounter.
“Considering the fact that there are dozens of ships docked on the shore it’s almost a freak occurrence that no other pirate has been spotted.” Napoleon said, rubbing his chin in wonder.
“Do you think they’ve already passed through the Gate?”
“I think that’s pretty unlikely, there’s a better chance they’ve all been wiped out by the Gatekeeper.”
A man suddenly shouts, shifting everyone’s attention on him.
“It’s a body!” he says as he lifts his foot and finds that he had just stepped on a severed head.
“Kya!” Daey squeals, to her right a couple more mutilated bodies lay tangled in a bush.
“What’s going on here!?”
Looking closely around the area, dozens of body parts are seen throughout the darkness of the jungle. As gastly of a sight anyone could imagine, Napoleon and Messor calmly analyze the situation.
“Do you think it was the Gatekeeper?” Napoleon asks Messor, who is now standing beside him and looking down on a mangled corpse.
“I can’t say for sure. But it looks like they’ve been chewed on by some kind of animal.”
“But what though?”
Messor racks her brain at what possibly could have done this, she would be most surprised if there were an actual animal living here naturally on Purgatory. Because of that, she finds her thoughts immediately land on what could be brought here from Hell.
“It can’t be... Cerberus?”
“Guys, this one is all swirled up.” A pirate a couple yards away states.
Messor walks over to the body and finds it in almost a liquidized state, now there is no doubt in her mind what happened here.
“Tch... Amon brought it here.”
She turns to all of them and warns, “Be on the lookout, there’s a good chance that we may come in contact with a very powerful demon.”
Even though the pirates have no clue what a demon would look like if they were to see one, they find it hard to discredit that statement due to the happenings on the ship with Leviathan a few nights earlier. Not to mention the carnage they’ve found themselves walking through here in the jungle. Before anyone could respond to that terrifying thought, they are interrupted by the feeling of the ground shaking.
Thrown completely off balance by the tremor, some fall to the bloody jungle floor and can’t get back up.
The shaking continues for another couple seconds before it suddenly stops; what comes next is an eerie silence.
A huge explosion rips through the jungle and the night sky shines in both green and white.
Messor’s eyes open wide as she instantly recognizes this power.
She immediately rushes toward the explosion and weaves her way through the shrubbery of the jungle, leaving everyone else behind without so much as a second thought.
A bright smile forms on Tsubiri’s face as she says, “Ubica’s here!?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, she runs after Messor. She is quickly followed by Daey.
Caesar and his men want no part in going anywhere near that explosion, but when Napoleon and Strauphius both rush towards it without saying a word, he and the crew reluctantly follow.
The only one not rushing into danger is Trojia, who is idly walking with a nervous face and shaking shoulders.
There was once a time where she’d be the first to rush to him in a situation like this, but that time belongs in a past life she has long forgotten. Now she wouldn’t know how to face him even if she wanted to.
Almost in spite of herself, her body moves towards the great uncertainty she feels compelled to move toward.
The Antichrist and the Archangel once again battle to the death, but this time on different grounds.
The Archangel is fighting for revenge, no longer bound by the benevolence of the Heaven from which he came.
The Antichrist is fighting for his friends, and to protect those in danger on Earth, no longer bound by the malevolence of his birth.
The two fight with such an intensity to them it’s as if the world has focused itself around the two.
This battle, this hate, has seemingly caused the world of Purgatory to seize its movement as a whole.
“Tell me Antichrist, do you wish to kill me!?” Michael asks as he takes a colossal slash of his spear towards Ubica’s neck.
Ubica blocks it with his red diamond katana but the force knocks him back into a batch of trees.
“I don’t want to, but I will if I have to!”
Michael swings his spear and a line of light spreads horizontally from left to right. Ubica ducks under it and the force of that attack is felt on the back of his neck, the light rips into the jungle behind and a loud wind noise is heard rattling the trees.
“You’d apologize to me in one breath, and threaten to kill me in the other. What trash you really are!”
By now Michael’s face and demeanor are so filled with hate it’s disturbing to look at. A sad sight considering what he once was.
If not careful, Ubica could find him pitiful.
This is a dangerous way to see the foe in front of him, by pitying him, it deflects blame from the culprit that brought such a person to life. The truth of the matter is that Ubica should only see his own guilt in Michael.
The shadow of a man Michael has become is the direct result of Ubica's evil; just one of many men taken down by it.
The Archangel is no exception.
“You’re right; I’m the worst kind of person.”
Ubica maneuvers under one of Michael’s flashes of light and gets within arm’s length of him; he slams his left palm into the Angel’s chest and shouts,
Michael is sent flying violently as if being hit by a tremendous weight.
This is one of Ubica’s special attacks, he moves his arms as fast as he can, and whatever air his hands cause to move in that motion, forms tenfold into his palms. After storing the energy of that air, he is able to push it out in an intense forward force; the air is so strong that it is more similar to a train hitting someone at full speed.
“My very existence is enough to bring ruin to everyone around me, and I lack the strength to do anything about it… But damn it, I’m doing the best I can!!”
This is his resolve.
He certainly doesn’t have the ability to create an equitable world around him, that’s been painfully evident by the tragic ending of his most recent relationship with Amber and her family. But that doesn’t change the fact that giving up on it would make vain the sacrifices of those that guided him on that path.
Amber’s dying wish was for him not to change, giving up now would be tantamount to throwing that away.
“So stand up Michael! I’ll defeat you!” he declares as he points his sword in the direction in which the Angel was sent flying. “Once you’re gone, I’ll apologize to you again by continuing on the path towards doing good!”
Awaiting Michael’s return, he notices a small flash of light from the darkness of the trees. The light only glitters for a moment when it disappears back into the dark.
Thinking nothing of it, he readies to rush into the jungle after him but is quickly halted by a dull feeling in his stomach. This sensation is quickly followed by a sharp pain and the feeling of liquid running down from his chest to his legs.
The tip of a cross shaped blade of a spear has penetrated his body, and the man holding that weapon is Michael, in a crouching position below him.
Squinting his eyes and gritting his teeth in pain, Ubica asks, “How?”
“Are you surprised? I have the power to freely move through light, I can get from point A to point B faster than anyone.”
Travelling as fast as the speed of light is something that should be physically impossible. Even if the laws of physics didn't exist and it were actually possible, the human body would literally fall apart by moving at such a speed. But after a thousand years of nonstop training, Michael has turned himself to become one with light, thus making it his most powerful weapon.
Michael pulls his spear out of Ubica’s solar plexus and kicks him to the ground; he stands over Ubica and points his spear down at him, signifying a position of victory.
“My oh my how the roles have changed. All of that delusional nonsense you were just spouting, the the truth is, the best you can do is be pitiful to me. That’s not good enough of an apology! ”
Ubica takes his free hand and puts it on his chest and over his wound, a black smoke rises and molds around his hand as his body is rejuvenated with a new found determination.
“Pity me all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to defeat you here.”
Michael clicks his tongue and another bright light forms, this time around his spear and his whole body, he is preparing the attack he used to rip the flesh clean off Cerberus.
The black smoke engulfs Ubica in a similar fashion and it becomes apparent that these two attacks signify the light vs. darkness that was spoken of. The two forces are about to collide when some voices are heard out in the distant jungle.
Ubica and Michael halt and they move away from each other.
Michael’s glow fades and a bitter expression forms on his face when he says, “Damn it... there are still people here.”
He scowls at Ubica and then turns and walks away, causing Ubica to wonder just where in the world he is going.
Sensing this, Michael states, “I made a deal with God that I’d fulfill my job as a Gatekeeper. As much as I hate to stop this battle, protecting the Gate is my number one priority.”
In a quick flash, Michael vanishes and retreats back to the Gate.
This could either be considered good luck or misfortune, there is a possibility that Ubica could’ve been defeated in that attack; but at the same time it could’ve gone the other way.
With the adrenaline of the battle wearing off after the Angel’s sudden departure, Ubica can really feel the pain of the wound in his chest.
“Shit.” he says in annoyance as he staggers up to his feet. “I hope this doesn’t take too long to heal.”
He buttons up his coat to keep things such as dirt from entering the wound as the black smoke of Dantega begins slowly repairing damaged tissue.
Contemplating how he is to fight against Michael’s power, his thought process is broken when he hears a gentle voice calling his name from behind him, a voice that instantly saps the feeling of pain that’s currently plaguing him.
He quizzically turns around and sees a sight that makes him drop his sword in disbelief; Messor is standing there holding her hands over her mouth in joy.
He doesn’t say a word, the look in his eyes does all the speaking for him, she’s alive and well and he is overrun with the feeling of relief.
He slowly walks to her and she walks to him, this will undoubtedly result in an emotional embrace.
That is, until Ubica is decked by a girl with magenta hair shouting,
Being leveled flat on his back so suddenly knocked the wind out of him, while struggling to catch his breath, he locked eyes with the person who attempted to tackle him.
She is sitting on his lap and looking down on him with a huge smile on her face, he instantly sits up and gives her a big hug.
“You’re okay! Hahaha you’re okay!!”
A vein bulges on Messor's forehead as she attempts to ignore their happy reunion, they’re almost too happy to see each other as he lifts her up and they begin dancing around ridiculously.
“Oh how I’ve missed your stupid face Ubica!” she says as they dance.
“I could say the same for you!”
They both share a laugh as they insult each other and it makes one wonder just what kind of relationship they actually have.
This is quickly interrupted by Daey dashing in between them to break it up.
“Okay you two can stop this shameless display of affection now, some of us would like to enjoy being reunited as well!”
“Whooah, it’s Daey too!”
His excitement quickly shifts in her direction, he grabs Daey from under her arms and throws her into the air.
He catches her and starts laughing, “I’m so happy to see you!”
“Welcome back, I’m glad to see you’re alright.” she replied with a warm smile.
“Geez, he looks a little too excited just seeing the girls. He didn’t even notice that we’ve been standing here this whole time!” Strauphius said with a sigh of exasperation.
Standing quietly next to him is Napoleon.
“Hey guys how’s it going?” Ubica asks without much care in his voice.
“What the hell kind of greeting is that!?”
“Hahahaha I’m just kidding.”
Napoleon chuckles slightly and gives Ubica a firm handshake. “It’s good to see you.”
“Likewise... so where’s Trojia?”
Before Napoleon can answer, a small voice is heard from farther back in the group of pirates.
“I’m right here.”
“Trojia! Huaaah what a relief, all of you guys made it here safely.”
Ubica walks up to her and puts his hand out to pat her on the shoulder, but to his surprise she flinches and backs off quickly.
“I hate to interrupt this warm reunion but we’d like to get to the Gate already.” Caesar chimes in, his words expressing his obvious annoyance.
“R-Right.” Ubica says, still a little confused at Trojia’s defensive reaction. “There’s a lot for me to explain to you about the Gatekeeper, before that though, is it true that Abaddon had come to your ship while I was away?”
After getting the rundown about the happenings on the ship, Ubica explains the situation at hand with Michael.
To be perfectly honest, despite the relief of hearing about how they survived their dangerous encounter with Abaddon, he doesn’t know how to think about what happened aboard the Dandelion. He has found himself most worried about why exactly Damien showed up, and what he did to Trojia.
While all of them walk towards the inevitable battle with Michael, he pulls Trojia aside and asks, “Are you really okay?”
Trojia doesn’t even turn her head to acknowledge him when she coldly replies, “I’m fine.”
He doesn’t know how he is supposed to respond to her curt answer, and while thinking of something, she speeds up her walking and leaves him behind.
(Something is definitely off with her...) he thinks to himself.
Immediately after thinking that, a wave of physical discomfort hits him, the pain of his chest wound pounds on his body like a jolt of lightning. In his happiness, he had forgotten how weak his body is and how bad of a spot he’s in. He can hardly breathe.
“Hnnggh!” he groans, the sound of his blood falling to the ground in a stream beats his ears.
His legs buckle momentarily and he falls to his knees. Quickly rising back to his feet so no one notices, the realization hits him when he says under his breath,
“Damn it… this wound is going to be a big problem."
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