Dantega:Volume 6 Chapter 3

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(PART 3)


“You’re... Going to kill me?” Messor asks as she wipes the blood from her mouth with the sweatband she wears on her wrist. “Hahaha, come and try it girl.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Trojia attacks.

Perhaps due to her telekinesis, she is able to cover the ten meter gap between the two so quickly it seemed like she was a blur. Before Messor even knew it, she’s face to face with the new, and empty red eyes of Trojia.

“!!”

With a twist of her body, Trojia swings the twin blade in her right hand in an attempt to lop off the head of her target. Having no chance of physically avoiding this attack, Messor sends a couple of her butterflies to intercept the incoming blade.

The two collide and Messor does a quick hand gesture; the butterflies explode like a grenade and send Trojia flying back while guarding her core with her arms.

The sleeves of Trojia’s white shirt shred and char, with a little shake of her arms the burning cloth flies off and leaves her skin unscathed. She then catches her footing and reestablishes her firm position as the attacker.

Messor only had the time to put enough strength into the butterfly for that explosion just so she could make some space. Knowing that Trojia’s attacks are going to be relentless, Messor gets onto her feet and starts running to her left.

It’s a good thing she did too, Trojia instantly sent a heavy ax and longsword screaming off the surrounding walls and stabbed the stone wall where her head should’ve been.

Trojia doesn’t stop there, every single one of the hundreds of weapons posted like trophies are flying off the hinges and hurling themselves towards Messor.

This level of telekinesis is not too dissimilar to the magnetic properties used in Jeffrey’s attack. There is still a considerable amount of math needed to be calculated in order to have the desired effect; the difference between the two is that Jeffrey has to do it manually alongside a couple external devices, whilst Trojia’s brain is now working on an unfathomable level to where it’s processing all of this automatically. All Trojia needs to do is imagine what she wants to move and it does so, the same thing applies to how much speed the object is needed to travel.

Of course, there are limits to this power, she can’t move buildings or shift mountain ranges with her mind. Her brain can literally explode if she tries. The human body can only use specific parts of the brain to do specific functions, and there is a reason for that. If it were to overuse one function over another, the body part of that said function would cause the other functions suffering from malnutrition of energy to fail. The organs would collapse because the brain would literally forget about sending the proper energies into keeping the bodily functions going, that’s why the human body has a set limiter on certain functions that are necessary, and those that can be built upon are used to form psychic powers.

This is why what Trojia is doing should be absolutely impossible; she’s moving hundreds of objects simultaneously and hurling them at a specific target. She’s using at least ¾ of her brain's functional capabilities solely to focus on the movement of those objects right now, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Spears, shields, swords, axes, and even the occasional full bodied knight suit standing on platforms against the walls are being levitated and shot forth as if they were blown from a cannon.

The crashing sound of all these objects hitting the wall behind Messor as she runs gets louder and louder in her ears, judging by this she knows that it’s only a matter of time before she is impaled or crushed by one of these projectiles.

“Tch! I guess I have no choice!”

She gets a steady piece of footing from underneath her and stops running, before getting hit by the ensuing weapons, she claps her hands together and a gold light encircles her hands as she shouts,

“TERRA AMNIS!”

The ground below her splinters into thousands of pieces and begin swirling around her body in a torrent of brick and rock. The rotating mass of dirt, rock, and brick repel the oncoming swords and send them scattering across the room. It then expands and looks to engulf Trojia, picking up even more debris on the way.

“If you’re just going to fling shit at me, you’re in for a surprise!” Messor yells loudly enough to reach her opponent’s ears.

Trojia starts jumping back with her eyes planted firmly on the approaching mass of certain death.

Seeing that her attention is stuck on one thing, Messor again claps her hands and the butterflies that surround her shoot out of her barrier of rock and multiply above Trojia’s head.

Just when Trojia looks up and notices this, Messor shouts with all her might,

“DIE!!!”

BBBBOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!

Over a dozen explosions, ten times more powerful than the blast earlier bang from above Trojia’s head. Within an instant she is engulfed by the concussions. The flames swirl about and the roof over thirty feet above her shatters and falls into the inferno.

There is without a doubt, nothing left of the young Princess after this, it’d be considered luck if her body even keeps its form once all the smoke clears.

Messor is finding it difficult to hold back a laugh, she’s just killed what she sees to be her biggest rival; with her gone there’s only two targets left in Tsubiri and Daey. Her eyes glow as she stares at the carnage through the twister of sediment swirling in front of her, she can’t wait to see the result of her victory.

That’s when she feels something strange...

It's the presence of someone directly in front of her.

Messor’s eyes instinctively stroll downwards and she spots that of which has given her this strange tinge of tightness.

Crouched down at the level of Messor’s waist is Trojia; she is pressing one of her twin blades against Messor’s stomach and doesn’t hesitate to push forward with all her might. The blade skewers the False Prophet and the pressure of being pushed is painfully felt in the area just above her naval.

“!!??”

The swirling mass of brick and rock that Messor created falls helplessly to the floor as she is lifted upwards and pushed toward the wall by the strength of Trojia. She slams into it and is impaled all the way to the hilt of Trojia’s blade.

“Kuuuhhaahh!?” she moans, the last bit of air puffs out of her lungs as blood sprays from her mouth and onto Trojia’s face.

The blood from her stomach sprays as well, painting Trojia’s white one piece dress with the distinct color of red.

The young Princess pays to mind to this when she lets go of the twin blade impaling her enemy to the wall and readies the other one for another merciless strike.

Messor stares into the empty red eyes of her assailant and in the split second of realizing what has just happened she tries to put together an explanation.

What could she have possibly done to avoid being caught in her butterfly’s explosion?

How could she have gotten from point A to point B so fast?

And just how was she able to get in between the torrent of sediment that was used as an impenetrable barrier?

Only one explanation can be used to answer those questions.

She teleported...

Teleportation is a form of Psychokinesis, which is a blanket term for Telekinesis. Teleportation is such a small factor of Trojia’s new power that should be physically impossible to do, especially since doing both at once exceeds the limits of the brain’s capability.

Teleportation uses a completely separate mathematical system than Telekinesis, it’s much more precise. She’s literally bending time space and walking through to the other side which can only be seen through millions of random numbers floating about in a haze; one would need to pick the exact numbers out of the fray that signify the coordination of her desired destination. If she got it wrong, she could teleport herself directly into a wall, or arrive with half her body jammed into the floor. If she got stuck in any other object, inanimate or not, it would result in certain death.

That’s like shutting your eyes while trying to go to sleep in the comfort of your bed, and then opening them to find that your torso has been replaced by the brick of your house’s wall. One’s legs would still be on the other side of their body, but their organs would be crushed at such a level it’d be considered pressed into another dimension.

Trojia pulled this feat off for the first time while avoiding a high category explosion; it’s a miracle that she didn’t at least teleport herself into the brunt of Messor’s torrent of sediment. Instead she pulled it off perfectly, and inflicted a fatal blow on her enemy.

Messor is in such a shock about this fact, it numbs the pain in her stomach; all she can do is stare down into the emotionless eyes of Trojia.

That’s when Trojia lets go of her grip on the blade and the pain Messor was numb to just a moment earlier is felt growing, this time spreading upwards towards her chest.

“Ugguuah!”

She looks down at her wound and catches sight of the inch or so of the blade that can still be seen in between her body and the hilt; the blade is upside-down so the sharp end is pointing upwards. Knowing that the laws of gravity itself will cause her to split in half, she grabs the hilt in order to hold herself up, leaving her even more defenseless than before.

It would seem that’s exactly what Trojia was counting on, with her other hand she readies to swing the blade; this time aiming towards Messor’s arms.

(Don’t tell me... She was planning this all along!?) she thinks to herself.

She’s just realized that Trojia did this to her on purpose as a sick way of making her death as slow as possible. Once Messor’s arms are severed, the weight of her body will slowly cause her mass to fall to the ground, the razor sharp end of the sword, which stands between her and the floor will eventually split her horizontally like a banana peel.

Revenge is best served with a side of torment, and Trojia has every intention of enjoying the sight of her slow death for what she’s done to her precious bodyguard.

Trojia doesn’t hesitate to swing when her body is suddenly overcome with a thick pressure; her movement is stopped just inches before she lops off Messor’s arms.

“Very good, very good!”

A familiar voice comes from behind; it’s without a doubt the voice of Lilith.

Perhaps because Lilith let her, Trojia turns around and her emotionless stare lands on the figure of the owner of this massive castle.




All Tsubiri sees is a flash and the man who was attempting to lick the side of her face is no longer there, at least half of him isn’t. Before she can even look to see what happened Ubica’s soft voice reaches her ears.

“Close your eyes...”

She doesn’t hesitate to comply. Unlike earlier when he asked her to shut her eyes to surprise her with a birthday present, this time it’s to protect her from seeing something awful.

He doesn’t want her to see him do this and she doesn’t want to see him do it either. It’s beyond sad; the promise that he would do anything for her is going to cost human lives to fulfill. But that’s the price he’s willing to pay in order to keep her safe, no matter how much pain it causes him, he’ll do it for her, no matter what.

Tsubiri hears a couple more thunks and the sound of liquid spilling onto the ground floods her ears. As soon as she feels the grip of the men’s hands slide off her arms, she throws her hands over her ears to keep any more of these sounds from entering her head.

It only took a few seconds of this until an odd feeling sweeps through her body as if she had the wind knocked out of her. The presence of the thousands of men that once surrounded her seem to have disappeared. The tone of her own thinking gets louder and she realizes that the outside noise has ceased to a dead silence; prompting her to slowly open her eyes to see just what had happened.

The first thing she notices is the distinct color of red, it’s literally everywhere. On the surrounding buildings stretching up over two stories; street lights soaked, cars painted, the ground puddled in red liquid like an overflowed lake. All of this red no matter where she looked, except one place; the area of about a ten foot radius in which she stands is untouched by blood, and looking closely at herself none of it has stained her clothes either.

Ubica has kept her clean from this dirtiness.

Her eyes then catch sight of another thing not covered in red; Ubica is standing, untouched by blood just like Tsubiri. He’s holding the face of a man and lifting him off the ground, with his free hand he points his sword directly at his heart.

It would seem as though him doing this is something natural to him, it’s just like he’s done this same thing on numerous occasions before. The only thing off about this is the position of his eyes; they are staring right at Tsubiri as if they’ve never left her.

Perhaps it’s because he’s noticed that she’s now watching. Or perhaps he’s been looking at her this entire time as to add a reason to why he’s committing all this killing. Or perhaps she’s the only light that can be seen in this deep moment of darkness he’s found himself sunken into.

One thing is for sure, the pain in those green eyes of his is more than evident. She can see the guilt eat at the shine of those eyes and the pain felt behind the scenes spewing from them as if he were bleeding.

Tears fall down her cheeks because of this; not only are people being killed for her sake, Ubica’s the one doing it. The one person in the entire world that would feel pain over such a thing more so than any other. She’s just seen his goals and dreams shattered through the look in his eyes; she’s just watched all that he’s striven to be become dust under the weight of his own guilt. She’s just watched everything he’s built up slowly since his exit from the pit crumble down around his feet and mesh into the red color of the blood surrounding him.

Seeing Tsubiri cry in devastation at what he’s done causes Ubica to mentally breakdown; he’s completely zoned out as his grip on the man’s face weakens and he drops him to the ground.

The man, along with all the others showed no fear of death until their very last breaths when they finally realized what was happening. The spell Asmodeus put them under made it that way, she wanted Ubica to see the fear in their eyes when he slayed them. This man was no different, he’s shown Ubica his weakest moment, and now that he’s free from the grasp of death he begins to flee on his hands and knees like an injured animal desperately trying to flee from a predator.

It would seem that the man has regained the control in his body until his eyes shift to Tsubiri. As if that was a trigger, he begins to crawl towards her, reaching his shaky hand out to grab hold of her leg. The extent of Asmodeus’s words truly hit home at this sight, like she said, they will never stop targeting Tsubiri unless they are killed.

Stunned by everything hitting her all at once, she’s frozen in place as the man inches closer. He gets about a foot away from her when...

SHLUNNKK!

His back is impaled by Ubica’s sword and his body is mercilessly skewered through his heart and out the other side. Like sliding a credit card through an ATM machine, Ubica quickly pulls it out, sending a geyser of blood squirting in the air.

With that, the last of the men numbering close to a couple thousand are gone. Killing off unarmed humans no matter how great the number is like child’s play to a monster like Ubica; the death of all these men was so unfair it could hardly be called something as simple as a massacre.

This fact is another reason why the guilt is so heavy on Ubica’s soul, these were just regular people, even whilst under the control of Asmodeus, they were just frail humans that held no real threat to him.

“Ubica...” Tsubiri softly says.

The distance between them is now separated by a corpse; she wants to reach out and touch him but the source of his pain can literally be stepped on. She just stands still hoping that he’ll lift his lowered head and show her something other than a pained expression.

He doesn’t do that however, his body trembles as his eyes lay focused on the proof of his atrocities lying blow him. He’s frightened to death of what she’ll think of him after watching firsthand such an amazing form of brutality. He’s scared pale that she’ll be disgusted with him so he’s afraid to look her in the eye. If she denies him now, he’ll not only break, he’ll fall into despair deeper than lowest part of the ocean he was born in. Her tears alone make his stomach churn in nervousness, to him that can only mean one thing.

“Please...” she said frigidly, she can’t even conjure up a word to follow that.

It would seem that that word has reached him though; he takes a deep breath and raises his head. He fully expects the worst and the pain in his eyes are even more severe as he tries to smile and speak through his dried throat.

“Hey... I thought I told you not to look?”

His voice alone causes her tears to overflow, she’s genuinely hurting for him and the people who just had their lives cut short. She ignores the dead body between them and takes a giant step over it; she grabs onto Ubica’s shoulders and throws her head in his chest.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m... so, sorry...”

Ubica droops his head back and stares up at the sky. While keeping his glare up at the moving clouds, he replies, “... It’s not your fault.”

“Huuahahahahaha!”

Asmodeus’ laugh is heard from above atop a two story building. The blood stains from the men reach just below her dangling feet.

“I could go on and on about how he’s lying to you because it actually is your fault, but I won’t do that; Ubica’s actions were way too touchinggg~!”

Ubica’s cold stare shifts from the sky to her wretched face, she can try to torment him all she wants but he won’t let her do anything to harm Tsubiri. He frowns at her and shows his first real form of pure anger in a while.

“Ahhhn~ that look is also sexy on you ya know? But I still like the real you a lot more. I can’t believe that killing over a thousand innocent people wasn’t enough to throw you overboard!”

Ubica reverts his attention back to Tsubiri; with his free hand he uses the back of his thumb to lift her face off his chest. He looks her in the eye and says, “I need you to get away from here, get as far away as you can and don’t look back.”

“B-But...”

“Please, if something happens to you now, I’d have done all of this for nothing.”

“.....”

He gently nudges her away from him; she struggles to get her legs working for a few moments and begins to walk away. Her walk speeds into a run and she starts sprinting.

Ubica takes another deep breath as the sound of her footsteps getting further away sends relief to his tense body. That’s when they suddenly stop, and her voice is heard out in the distance shouting,

“Ubica! I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling right now, and I don’t know how to help you through it... But just know that when you’re done with all of this fighting, and we’re together again, I promise you I’m going to find a way to make you feel better!”

Ubica’s shoulders jolt upon hearing that.

Seeing his reaction, Tsubiri knows that her words are reaching into the darkest depths of his hurting soul.

She puts her hands over her mouth to make sure her final words reach him. “No matter what happened; I still love you! No matter what happens in the future, I will always love you! So win and come back to me Ubica, nothing’s changed!”

After her words, her footsteps are once again heard until they fade away in the distance.

It’s now just Ubica and Asmodeus, but this time he feels a sense of security that was missing until just this moment.

With a new wind he stares up at Asmodeus, if she looked closely enough, she can see that the pain of what he’s done has receded a little in his eyes and have been replaced by strength. Though his face is straight and aligned with intensity, there’s an odd look about his expression that almost looks fulfilled; it’s as though he realized that what he did to protect her was well worth it.

Asmodeus frowns, she hates that look, it just might be that she’s jealous, but sins of other Demons shouldn’t be felt as strongly as this. She’s infuriated, under her gritted teeth is the chain of her tongue piercing grinding away, making a metallic sound exit her mouth.

“That girl...” she grumbles through her teeth, “It looks like I’m just going to have to kill her in order to make you break.”

Ubica points his bloody sword up at her when all of the sudden, an intense pressure is felt all around the street. It’s shaking the ground, rattling the windows and shaking the buildings to the point of them almost collapsing. These earthquake like phenomena are coming from the power of Ubica.

An odd, bright aura begins to shine around Ubica, one that hasn’t been seen by anyone until now.

If one were guess what it is, they’d be sure that it is of the benevolent type; it’s the type of thing that shouldn’t be anywhere near a man like Ubica the Anti-Christ.

“What the fuck is that?” Asmodeus asks herself as this strange benevolent like power of Ubica’s surges and grows into an even more imposing force.

The black, reptilian like pupils in Ubica’s eyes, fade away and only a green ball of light shines through his now white aura. He takes a deep breath and in a flash he vanishes.

Faster than even Asmodeus’s comprehension speed, he appears directly behind her. She doesn’t even have the time to turn around when Ubica speaks into her ear.

“I’m going to end this quickly...”

“!!!”

BOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!




Lilith is wearing a white silk robe that’s more or less transparent; with nothing like a bra under it, just about everything can be seen under the right lighting. Unlike the restricting and degrading outfit of Asmodeus, Lilith’s is the exact opposite. She shows freedom in her presence that oozes pride at the fact that who she is, is not beneath a man’s word.

She is the first woman, she came before Eve, and broke away from the unreasonable situations cast on her in the Garden of Eden. She had forsaken the word of God and decided to make her own, of course she was punished, but after thousands of years she's grown far stronger than even God could have imagined.

When God created her, she was meant to be below Adam, the representative of man. Now, it's very likely no man could stand up to her will. This is her way of showing all men that women are in no way inferior to them, in fact it should be the other way around.

The candlelight shines off her light brown hair and her multicolored eyes gleam as if they were glass marbles. She flat out exudes the pride and confidence of a beautiful and strong woman.

She spreads her arms and smiles. “I can’t let you kill her.” she says as she slides her open palm down the side of Trojia’s face. “If you were to do that, your soul would lose the irresistible pureness that has gotten me so fond of you.”

Trojia stares blankly as Lilith begins touching her in ways that can only be described as inappropriate. For whatever reason she’s not fighting it one bit; it could be the result of Lilith manipulating her into complacency. But no matter what it is, Trojia doesn’t move; it’s not like she likes it, the look on her face shows no emotion, it’s more like she doesn’t care at the moment.

The reason why, is the girl pinned against the wall behind her. Trojia has not been taken over by Lilith’s ability, she just isn’t thinking about anything else; it’s a very unique blankness that can be found in her soul, and that very blankness is what Lilith is striving for.

Lilith stops her molesting movements and looks to the fabled False Prophet; the only person who stood by the side of the Anti-Christ is stuck helplessly like a pin up butterfly.

“Don’t stain your soul with the likes of this woman... I’ll be the one that kills her.”

“Geh!!” Messor hisses through bloodied teeth as she tries to find a way out of this.

Lilith smiles and takes her first step forward in an attempt to devour Messor’s soul when all the sudden she feels a light prick on her neck.

“..?”

Trojia has stepped in between the two and is poking Lilith with the tip of the blade being held in her right hand, and with her left she’s grabbed the grip of the other twin sword impaling Messor to the wall.

“She’s mine.”

“What do you think you’re doing? You shouldn’t even be able to move well as threaten me in any way.” Lilith seems to be unafraid by Trojia’s sudden movement. Thinking nothing of this, she continues, “I know your hatred runs deep for this girl, but you shouldn’t let it cloud your judgment.”

In one fluid motion, Trojia pulls the blade out of Messor’s abdomen, sending blood flying into the air; and with her other sword in her right hand she pushes it to the left side of Lilith’s neck. The sword in her left hand then crosses over the other to create an X shape around the base of Lilith’s throat.

“Wha?”

“You’re In the way.”

“Are you crazy? You can’t kill me; you’ll never reach the Gate without me. My castle is an inescapable labyrinth filled with a countless number of traps that stretches for miles, it’s impossible for---“

SHLINK!

“Khaa?”

Is all that Lilith was able to mutter before the inevitable happened.

Trojia pulled outwards with both of her hands as if she was opening a double door. The result of this simple movement is gruesome, Lilith’s head flies upwards being trailed by a fountain of blood as if it were a cork from a celebratory champaign bottle.

Just like that, the first woman that held such ability that she opposed God when there was only two humans alive on Earth is gone. In that short moment, all of the magnificent history in a trail of biblical events that followed behind this woman are no more. The third Gatekeeper has been defeated; she died thinking she had full control of the situation all the way until she felt the sensation of her head being separated from her body. Once she realized that, there was nothing.

In that quick second where the legend of Lilith was destroyed by a teenage girl; that certain teenage girl has taken her first life.

And that girl didn’t even bat an eye once the blood spray painted her face, hair and clothes with the color red.

Dv06-chp03 img003.jpg

The way she sees it, she’s killed two birds with one stone. She’d have to go through her eventually, why not take advantage of it now when the Gatekeeper least expected it?

Even Messor is shocked, Trojia turned into a heartless monster on par with her and Ubica in a mere second. Now, it has truly dawned on her, this girl can, and will kill her.

(Tch! Like I’ll let that happen!)

She leans back on the wall with all her weight and starts to impossibly sink into it as if she were a ghost that held no mass. What she’s doing is nothing like that however; being the False Prophet that was born of the Earth; she’s able to freely move through earthly material. She’s lucky that the castle is made of stone otherwise she’d likely be dead to rights.

Trojia senses something is amiss and immediately forgets about the corpse she just created. Lilith’s body has barely dropped to the ground when Trojia turns and flings both of her swords into the area where she knows Messor is.

Two solid thunks reach Trojia’s ears as her eyes catch up; she knows right away that those noises don't match the sound of a flesh and bone body being pierced. Just below where her swords stick into the wall, she spots Messor’s feet scurry backwards into the wall and disappear.

Trojia’s emotionless face begins to contort and her eyebrows form into a frown when it dawns on her that she’s just let her greatest enemy get away. She kicks Messor’s puddle of blood on the wall with great strength, and surprisingly, that kick was enough to send chunks of the wall scattering about.

Gritting her teeth in frustration, she says to herself,

“I’m coming for you Messor.”

She prepares another bone breaking kick against the wall to break through when the door that she entered this rectangular room from, opens up and a bright light shines on her. Her red eyes flash as she looks through the light and notices that it’s Rage and Napoleon.

She halts her kick and turns away from the light as a reflex.

“Trojia are you alright!?” Napoleon asks in worry, the first thing he noticed was all the blood on and around her.

“I’m fine.” she coldly answers, “Where are the others?”

“We split up in groups of two so we can travel down each of the three doors a little ways back.” Rage answers.

“That’s good... The rest of you are bound to run into the other girls, we did the same thing at those doors.”

“So...” Napoleon says as he looks around the room, it looks like a tornado has blown through here. “What just happened?”

“The Gatekeeper is dead. We’re free to pass through the Gate once we find it.”

“What!?”

Trojia’s body seems to weaken as her tone of voice begins to gain more of a tone, “Let’s go... We’ve still got to find the Gate before we can pass.”

Her frame leans to the side and she falls against the wall. Rage and Napoleon can tell that she’s on the verge of collapsing and rush to her aid. Before they get there however, she falls unconscious and drops like a sandbag to the ground.

“Trojia!”

Napoleon takes her into his arms and checks her pulse, he sees that she’s fine and breathing regularly. He takes a sigh of relief and looks up to Rage, who is staring down at her with in an odd expression.

Rage then leans down and reaches towards her face, instead of checking for her breathing like Napoleon did, he lifts up her eyelids and stares into her eyes.

“Green?” Rage asks himself.

“What exactly are you trying to find?”

“I’m absolutely positive that when we got in here... Her eyes were red.”




Asmodeus is flying through the city with a trail of smoke being left in her wake; she’s been ruthlessly beat like this for minutes now. After banging into the side of a building and ricocheting violently to the ground, she bounces to a stop and quickly tries to get up before her body gives out. She doesn’t even reach one knee when out of nowhere, Ubica appears behind her.

“!?”

He swings down his sword without even flinching. Asmodeus barely has time to block it by stretching the chains tied above her hands by metal bracelets that pierce through her wrists.

The sound of metal rings through the air and sparks fly all about.

On a normal occasion, these chain links should have snapped from the force of the sword made of pure diamond; the only thing keeping it intact is Asmodeus’s own power surging through the chains.

A yellow light surrounds these chains and the shackles around her wrists vibrate.

She uses this as a weapon of defense and a weapon of offense, with a certain amount of power taken from the spike protruding through her wrists she sends to the links, it can be used as in unbreakable shield, or a weapon so sharp it could tear through any material.

Knowing that, Asmodeus changes the properties of her chain into an offensive weapon so she can cut Ubica’s sword right through. She’s pretty much been trying to do similar things this entire fight, the problem is that Ubica hasn’t even given her a chance to do anything but defend.

And sure enough, the same thing happens again.

Ubica jumps up into the air and disappears in the smoke of a destroyed building.

“Damn it!! What kind of power is this!? Haah?? Ubica!”

Unlike before, Ubica has allowed her to stand to her feet; she looks around the smoke and dust for any sign of him and flinches at every sound.

Asmodeus is not this weak, she should not be playing the role of the mouse with Ubica as the cat, it should be the other way around. It’s just that Ubica has revealed a benevolent strength the likes of which she’s never seen before, it’s almost like she’s found herself in a battle with an Angel. This type of battle needs to be prepared for appropriately, it’s going to take a few minutes for her to figure out just how she is to go about this.

Knowing that she doesn't have that long to figure it out, she smiles and says, “I guess I’m gonna need backup.”




Tsubiri is running through the city with her head down, not caring where she goes. She doesn’t notice the onlooking citizens out on the street, all she can hear are the sounds of explosions coming from the area behind her being caused by the battle between Asmodeus and Ubica.

Sprinting for over a few minutes or so has gotten her quite winded, it is only now that she decides to rest her tired legs and take a look back at the scene she had left. Out in the distance of the metropolis, she sees large plumes of smoke rising, and flashes of white light zoom across the sky and leave a green vapor trail behind. She’s never seen this kind of power before but she has a strong feeling that it’s coming from Ubica.

Even with that feeling as intense as it is, that little bit of doubt is enough to make her very nervous. She’s scared to death of him not making it out of this alive; and she’s also afraid of what he’ll have to put himself through in order to survive.

Not being able to bear it any longer, Tsubiri turns back around on the path she was running on just a few seconds earlier. Ubica had told her to get as far away as possible from him, and unlike last time, she has every intention of sucking it up and waiting for him to find her.

She bites her bottom lip and says to herself, “Please come back to me...”

A deep breath follows her words in an attempt to inflate belief into her chest, there’s nothing she can do other than that. Almost feeling secure about his victory, she suddenly hears a voice from in front of her that shatters that false sense in an instant.

“Long time no see girly, I’m tickled to see that you’ve made a fine man out of my old pal Ubica.”

Standing in front of her is a tall man with bright and flowing orange hair that falls down his back; his eyes of an amber shade stare menacingly as he smiles thinly at her. He gives off the feeling of an overly attractive man but his voice doesn’t match his face.

Just like last time.

Tsubiri immediately recognizes this voice and it sends shivers down her spine; the last time she heard this voice, it belonged to the figure of a child named Mammon. That child was the Demon that represented Greed out of the 7 Deadly Sins; that child was an absolute monster that slaughtered thousands of people and laughed about it pleasurably.

This man has the same hair, the same eyes, and is wearing the same dark blue outfit as that particular child, he’s holding the exact same circled tip sword as well. The only difference between the two is their height and age; the child looked around eleven whilst this man looks more like someone in their mid-twenties.

“Come on now, I think you should at least recognize my face a tad bit.” he says, shaking his odd shaped sword in a loop as if hoping to jog her memory.

“Y-You’re that kid that...”

“That Ubica killed right? Nah, I’m that kid but he certainly didn’t come close to killing me. In fact, he helped me out; by destroying that stupid little body of mine it ended the punishment that God cursed me with at the end of the Apocalypse. Did you know that Satan and I were the only ones punished after that whole mess?? What a damn joke!”

Tsubiri can’t speak, she knows full well who this guy is and she wants no part of dealing with him again; if it weren’t for Ubica he’d have killed her a few times over back then.

She takes a couple shoddy steps backwards and starts booking it away from him as fast as her legs can take her. Just because she now has the power to fight, doesn’t mean she stands a chance against one of the 7 strongest Demons of Hell.

“Hey hey where you goin? Did you forget?”

A ball of antimatter appears in front of Tsubiri and the now adult Mammon hops out of it, cutting her off.

He leans in and looks square into her frightened eyes and says, “I promised that I’d kill you for electrocuting me when I was fighting Ubica... Greedy people have amazing memories you know?”

“!!!”

Tsubiri turns around once again and tries to flea; and once again, it’s to no avail.

One of Mammon’s orbs of antimatter encircles her legs as she runs. Tsubiri knows full well what these bubbles are capable of and is stricken with a fear so deep that it shakes her very soul. A slight of hand is all it would take for Mammon to have this ball capsize and take her legs with it.

With her attention focused on trying to get away from this ugly ball of death, Mammon again appears in front of her and latches onto her throat with his hand.

Her movements grind to a sudden halt and Mammon smiles thinly as he says, “But before I do that, we’re gonna have a little fun.”

Both Mammon and Tsubiri are engulfed in a churning dark gray bubble that then shrinks and pops.

Mammon has taken her to the other dimension called Antimatter; a world that he created himself, from there, escape is impossible.




Messor finds herself in an extremely small room lit by a single candle, this room is odd because unlike the other, there is no door leading in or out of it. The only thing in here is a dark tunnel imposingly stretching into the darkness before her, the cold air blowing from within is seemingly telling her to enter.

Her blood is falling from her stomach like a leaking faucet but she pays to mind and lets it drip down her legs and to the floor; the floor that is covered in dark green grass for whatever odd reason. She’s more worried about her new surroundings and her possible pursuer than her wound, no matter how gruesome it looks it shouldn’t take too long to heal.

Much like Ubica, her body heals itself without much work, even without medicine to ward off infection, her body’s natural function will take course and she’ll be as good as new in no time. Of course, that doesn't mean the pain caused by said wound isn't affecting her; she's still hurting quite badly and it pulsates with each heartbeat.

“Tch, I’m not going anywhere near that tunnel.” she says as if speaking to the castle itself.

She walks up to the wall and prepares to morph through just like last time but is shocked to find that it isn’t working.

“..?”

She tries once more and when nothing happens yet again, she realizes that there must be some kind of barrier keeping her from doing so. She then walks towards the tunnel and notices a plaque placed conveniently just before the entrance stating:

‘For those who have found themselves at the entrance of this tunnel, you have broken the number one rule of my castle. If one wishes to reach the Gate, they ‘must’ go through each door on the pathway to it. If you are here, that means you’ve tampered with the pathway you were on in an attempt to shorten your route. As a consequence, the one(s) responsible are sent down a different route to the Gate, one much more dangerous and difficult called the ‘Punishment Labyrinth’. If you are able to reach the other side of this maze, then you will have arrived at the Gate, where I’ll be waiting.’

This message was obviously written by Lilith. The message does enough to explain how this massive castle works; there are certain tests one must go through the reach the Gate, no matter what path one chooses.

To Messor, this path is no different from the other one.

“Hmph, even after death I see you still intend to make this a pain in the ass. Fine then, I’ll get through this and wait for that girl to show up. This time however, I won’t hold back.”

Messor enters the tunnel and disappears in the darkness without an ounce of doubt.

Little does she know, what’s in store for her in this labyrinth is not something to be taken lightly.




Phoenix walks along the dark hallways of the castle, blending in perfectly with his surroundings.

Xavier, who is holding a torch can only stare at his back as each step his priest moves forward the farther away his presence feels. It’s just like the last time they were separated form the others, Phoenix was acting rather dour then as well.

“U-Um...” Xavier mutters, trying to find something to say.

“Don’t bother talking.” Phoenix coldly stops him.

“.....”

Xavier droops his head and looks at his feet as he continues to walk; not knowing how to handle this kind of situation he just stays quiet. With his mind racing, he fails to hear the footsteps of Phoenix slowing to a stop and accidentally walks right into him.

“Whaaa!?”

He falls backwards and drops his torch, causing sparks to fly all over and darkening the already black path ahead.

“What’s going on??”

“Shut up Xavier.” Phoenix says, grabbing his face without looking at him. “Someone’s there.”

Phoenix is glaring at something in the darkness like a dog growling at a ghost. There’s nothing in front of him that can be seen but he can feel it.

This tenseness lasts for a few moments when a girl's voice is heard from within the darkness yelling,

“Who’s there!?”

Phoenix immediately drops his guard and takes a slight sigh of relief. “Aria, it’s me and Xavier.”

A clattering of footsteps pitter-patter towards them and sure enough, it turns out to be Aria and Daey.

“So you guys made it in huh?? Where’s everybody else?” she asked excitedly, she’s quite happy to see a friendly face from within all this darkness.

“We split up at that pathway a little ways back.”

“I see.” Daey added. “We’re kind of in a jam here, we’ve been contemplating turning around because this hallway seems to go on for miles... We can’t help but feel like we are getting ourselves even more lost than we were before.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, but the lady of the castle told us that all three routes would lead to the Gate eventually. I’m starting to think that she was lying though...”

“Hmmm.” Phoenix mutters as he holds his chin and walks deeper into the dark hallway.

“H-Hey!” Daey shouts, a little ticked that he ignored her and kept going.

“There’s only one way to find out.” Phoenix says, his figure disappearing with each step. “I have no intention of backtracking away from the Gate and travelling in a larger group. It’d take longer, and not to mention it’d be more dangerous.”

Leaving the others alone and confused, all thoughts of going back are instantly demolished and they start following him.

Xavier in particular doesn’t feel safe at all being separated from Phoenix so he starts running to catch up. “Hey Phoenix hold up for a sec!”

He doesn’t get more than a few feet closer when,

CLICK

“!!”

Xavier’s foot sinks into a indentation on the stone floor; the square block dropped down about a foot and causes him to lose his balance. While falling, two strange circles of light flash on the walls directly on each side of him; the two lights make a strange hissing noise that starts deep and rises to a high pitch as if it’s ready to blow.

Being the explosion expert Aria is, she knows what is going to happen right away. She shoves Daey backwards and rushes to him.

“XAVIER!!!”

In a swift motion, she jumps, grabs Xavier in mid-air, and twists her body.

BAAAAAAAAAMMMMM!!!

As quick as it started, it ended in a flash; through the rubble clattering on the ground, Xavier’s frame rises and he gingerly stands to his feet.

“Are you okay!?” Daey shouts, running to his aid but weary of her steps.

With his eyes hung downwards and firmly planted on the sight of something, he answers, “Y-Yeah... But.”

“But what!?”

Daey climbs over the rubble and looks down to see what he’s staring at; laying there bloodied and covered in rubble is Aria.

“Oh my... Aria!”

She begins moving whatever debris out of the way to make room for her to breathe while Xavier stands there motionless; it’s as though shock has overcome his senses. Aria has a wound somewhere on her head that’s causing blood to slide profusely down her face, she’s definitely breathing but it’s shoddy and she keeps sliding in and out of consciousness.

“I don’t get it... Why did she do that?” Xavier asked softly as if stating his thoughts aloud.

“We don’t have time to worry about that now! We have to do something!”

Daey pulls a handkerchief out of her pocket and covers the wound on her head, when the blood soaks the handkerchief right away; she loses the ability to think ahead.

“Phoenix!” she shouts further down the hallway, “Phoenix! Aria is hurt! Phoenix!!”

Judging by the silence after the echo of her frantic voice, it would seem that just like he said, Phoenix has no intention of backtracking away from the Gate.

He left them behind.




Cyrus and Strauphius are walking along a hallway so bright it almost hurts their eyes; it gleams in a florescent blue light and makes the pillars posted every ten feet on the side of the each wall seem like crystals.

“Is this really the right way?” Straphius asks while scratching his ear with his finger.

“How am I supposed to know that? I wasn't all too keen on separating like this, I’d feel a hell of a lot safer if I was with Napoleon and Rage rather than you.”

“Hey what’s that supposed to mean??”

Cyrus stops in his tracks when he spots something out in the distance. “Please don’t tell me that’s what I think it is...”

“Huh?”

Out in the distance seen plain as day are two people scrunched down and not moving, at first he had hoped that the bright light is playing tricks on him, but he can perfectly see two figures laying lifelessly on the ground.

As soon as Strauphius takes a gander, he notices the same thing and shouts, “Are those bodies!?”

“Let’s go!”

The two of them rush over and to their dismay they find the limp bodies of Sora and Niera firmly planted on the ground. Not even one wound can be seen on their bodies but it’s quite apparent that there’s something horribly wrong; their eyes are wide open as if they’ve seen a ghost but they aren’t moving.

“What’s wrong with them!? Princesss!” Cyrus shouts frantically.

Strauphius doesn’t know what to say; all he can do is check their pulse and hope for the best. But before he could, him and his partner hear the sound of metal against metal clattering out in the distance. Due to the light of this hallway, they can see what it is that’s causing the noise immediately.

There are four armored suits moving towards them as if they are on wheels; they shine in a bright silver and look to be museum pieces as they are almost too bright with no signs of damage visible. Each of them have the same crest on their chests as the Colossal’s outside, and each color is different.

Seeing this again, they know that these objects are moving by the use of the souls of the men tempted by Lilith into coming here. All it would take is for them to break those crests and free the souls trapped inside, with that they’ll be able to pass; it sounds simple enough.

However.

Not giving the two any time to formulate a proper plan, the armored knight suits gather into formation and move forward for a physical assault.

“Get ready!” Cyrus shouts, still worried about the well-being of his Princess.

Strauphius doesn’t respond but his body language gives him an answer, in these type of situations words are borderline useless; all that matters is if the job can get done or not.

The two rush in for a head-on attack, with the suits of armor moving forward at the same speed, the immanent sound of swords clashing is soon to be heard.

That is, if it ever got to that point.

Before any metal clashed with each other, Cyrus’s heart stops and he suddenly drops to the ground. The thunk of his body banging against the smooth crystal like floor pierces Strauphius’s ears and forces him to stop.

“Huh?”

Cyrus’s eyes are wide open and seen through the black tint of his glasses clearly; Strauphius can see that he’s still breathing but the look of death on his face is enough to throw the heavy weight of fear down on his shoulders. It’s not just the fear of Cyrus's health, it’s the fear of the unknown, it’s the fear of not even knowing how it happened and not knowing if the same will come his way and when.

Without realizing it, the four suits of armor encircle him and send their weapons screaming towards his defenseless body. At the last second, Strauphius comes to his senses and uses his intense speed to scatter; the weapons of all four armored suits crash into the ground he was once standing on.

Once he gets a safe distance away, he attempts to regather his racing thoughts; in the past, he’d normally flee from such a situation. But now, his comrades are downed right in front of him so there’s no way he can just leave, he must fight.

“Oooaaaahhh!!!”

With this scream, he readies to charge; however, his first step forward doesn’t land on the ground, it falls under him and he’s floored. Landing hard on his face, he immediately tries to get up.

Only one problem though, his body won’t move.

“!?”

Strauphius has found himself in the same state as Cyrus, Niera, and Sora. He doesn’t know how or why that happened but the answer seems to get closer to him in the form of footsteps. The back of his collar is forcefully pulled upwards and his limp body hangs towards the floor.

He can’t tell what’s going on but he knows that his body is being dragged off somewhere; the only thing his stuck in place eyes can see are the suits of armor throwing Cyrus and the two girls over their shoulders and following him.

This level of uncertainty has gotten him genuinely afraid, and it’s very likely that the other three are also conscious and aware of what’s happening as well.

(Damn it! Damn it! What’s going on!!) he thinks to himself as he’s carried off down the hallway.

They take a quick left into a very dark room and he is stricken with a frightening feeling that he’s going to find the answer to that very question any moment now.




Asmodeus's body is firmly planted into the ground, being forced in by the foot of Ubica.

Even though she’s in a position of obvious defeat, she’s still smiling.

“What’s so funny?” Ubica asks as he presses down even harder; the ground below her cracks as a result.

With her chest collapsing under the weight of Ubica’s foot, she still forces out a laugh and replies, “Oh, nothing special, it’s just the fact that you’ve changed so much... It’s actually quite funny because you’re so fake, your’e like a high-school girl.”

“Is that so?”

CRRAACKKK!!

The ground under her starts splintering like a glass window that's had a rock thrown through it; and if one listened closely enough, they’d hear the sound of Asmodeus’s chestplate cracking along with it.

“I think you’ll find that I can still be just as ruthless as I ever was.”

“It’s not that same!” she yells, spitting out blood that flies up and lands back onto her face. “I want to know how this happened! I have to know how it is that the man who was once the Anti-Christ could kill off thousands of people and not be swayed in the least! Before you kill me, tell me how!”

Ubica releases the pressure on her chest and points his sword at her neck; he sighs and replies, “It’s a whole chain of occurrences that led me to becoming the person I am now... But there’s really only one reason why I am who I am; at this very moment, there’s only one thing driving me away from the darkness.”

“Then tell me.”

“Asking me that like you really care... You’re trying to buy your time for something, what are you waiting for?”

“Don’t think I have any plans up my sleeves, I’m pretty incapacitated at the moment if you haven’t noticed. I’d just like to prolong my life, like any other sane person would under the same situation; but you see, my natural curiosity as the Demon of Lust is longing for the explanation of the once brilliant man that I admired so heavily. You could at least do that for me right?”

Ubica pauses for a moment, and then answers coldly, “I won’t”

He raises his sword and swings for her neck; in his mind, he has no reason to tell her anything about him. In his heart of hearts he knows who it is that changed him and how, and that’s all that matters, his enemies would take whatever extra information he gives them and use it against him.

The answer to her question, and the reason why he’s become stronger, is known only by him, Tsubiri, and Michael...




Two months earlier...

“Kill me...” Michael says as he floats on the water of the lake which leads to the third level of Purgatory.

Standing over him is Ubica. From this position it is obvious who is the defeated, and who is the victor.

“I won’t do that.” Ubica replies as he sheaths his sword. “I’ll get nothing out of it.”

Michael frowns and grits his blood stained teeth. “I don’t want your damn pity! You didn’t hesitate to kill all the other Angels, so why am I any different!?”

“Because now I don’t have to.” Ubica sternly replies.

He gestures to Tsubiri and the two begin walking towards the Gate.

“You do have to! I will chase you to the ends of any world! I won’t stop until I kill you Ubica!”

With his back turned, Ubica says, “Then so be it. The results will always be the same.”

Michael spits out blood and asks, “How can you be so confident?”

Ubica then smiles and grabs onto Tsubiri’s hand, they continue their walk up the stairs to the Gate as he leaves the defeated Archangel with some final words.

“Because I have someone I must protect, and I will never lose with her by my side.”

The two walk through the Gate and into the next level, leaving the injured and disabled Michael behind to gather his thoughts. He hisses in anger at the fact that he has once again lost to Ubica; what makes it worse it that the current man he lost to is nowhere near the strength he once held as the Anti-Christ.

Michael has lost to the one thing that he himself had once represented so strongly.

He has lost to love.

Ubica found strength in the love he holds for the girl that he was with and he used it against Michael in a brilliant display.

Michael, who had forsaken himself with hate, had no chance of winning.

The cruel irony hits him worse than Ubica’s final attack as he contemplates what has happened to him.

During the Battle of Armageddon, Michael tried to use his love for Catherine and Margaret to defeat the Anti-Christ; but Ubica’s evil was far stronger and he was defeated. Now, the roles have switched, Michael traded everything he was for hate and tried to use it against a now loving Ubica, and still somehow managed to lose.

Just what is he supposed to represent anyways?

How is he supposed to live on knowing that no matter what, he will lose in the end?

This is why he wanted Ubica to finish him off, at least he wouldn’t have had to live with that fact constantly scratching at the back of his mind.

“Damn it!” he shouts as he tries to move his arm to slam the water he’s floating on.

His body is more or less paralyzed so he failed to do even that.

All he can do is take deep breaths in frustration and glare into the sun as he asks himself,

“What am I supposed to do now!?”




That’s right; this Ubica now uses the love for his friends to fight the evil that still plagues him deep inside his soul. And judging by the way this battle went, it looks as though love has conquered it; the ever so common saying that love is stronger than hate has only applied itself to him when he found out that love was actually something he could feel.

Tsubiri helped him do that; if not for her, he’d have never recovered from what he’s done and what he’ll likely have to do in the future. As long as he has her, he’ll use his new strength to destroy what he once was and the people who are attempting to send him back.

His sword is only inches away from Asmodeus’s neck, but the smile on her face doesn’t leave and she still carries confidence in her eyes. The reason for that comes in the form of a churning gray bubble planting itself between her neck and his sword.

By the time Ubica reacts to it it’s far too late, the two collide and the second they touch the bubble explodes outwards and knocks the sword right out of his hands. The force was enough to twist Ubica’s arm backwards at an awkward angle and dislocate his shoulder.

“Arrrghh!!”

“That’s payback for the time you busted up my arm old pal.”

This is undoubtedly the voice of Mammon.

Ubica’s face contorts in shock, he sees the true form of the person he thought he killed over a half a year earlier.

“Did I forget to mention that Mammon is still alive?” Asmodeus says as she stands to her feet and dusts herself off. “And you were right; I was trying to buy time. But you didn’t even let me do that you cold-blooded bastard.”

“H-How?” Ubica asks, replaying the events of that night in his mind.

Looking closely and analyzing the final part of that battle he sees that there should be no way that he could’ve survived.

His theory contradicts the facts planted firmly in front of him, there’s no point in thinking about it now so he decides to charge. While running, he pops his arm back into place by twisting it a certain way; he then holds out his hand and his sword flies back into his grasp. If he could defeat Asmodeus, he can handle Mammon as well; he just has to have the will to win.

Asmodeus jumps in between the two and intersects him by jumping over his head and allowing his neck to catch on the chains latched to her wrists. Ubica is clotheslined at such a speed he does three or four back-flips before viciously landing onto the ground.

He coughs wildly as his throat feels like an elephant has just stomped on it; he didn’t even see it coming.

(How did she become so fast!?) he thinks to himself frantically as he struggles to breath.

“You know I could’ve ripped your head off right there if I really wanted to.” she said smugly, walking towards him she continues, “I think it’s about time to take things a little more serious, though I gotta say, getting beat up by you was quite the turn-on.”

She’s implying that she was pretty much losing on purpose because she enjoyed it.

“Hey Ubica...” Mammon asks, forming dozens of his bubbles of antimatter and letting them surround him as if it was a barrier. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed it yet, but all we’ve been doing is putting you in really fucked up positions in order to see how you’ll get out of them. We give you choices, and you always somehow make the wrong one spectacularly. You’re like a carnivore caught in a trap; in any normal occasion the fight or flight instinct will take over and they’ll bite because the wall behind it is barring it from leaving. But like the pacifist beast you are, you turn away and run into that wall countless times, just hoping that it’ll break under the weight of your will... It’s not going to work old pal, it’s time that you use those sharp teeth of yours for real.”

“I can beat you guys without resorting to Dantega, I know I can!”

“You have yet to show us otherwise.” Asmodeus adds, her chain making noises as she gestures her hands. “There hasn’t been one occasion where you haven’t let Dantega seep out of you while fighting us and you know it.”

“.....”

She’s right; he used it against Nero, he used it against Mammon, although he didn’t fully use it on Leviathan, once Ubica’s revenge was taken away he was almost completely overcome by it. The only reason he didn’t use Dantega’s power during the fight with Abaddon and Beelzebub is because he simply didn’t have time; under that kind of pressure, there’s no doubt the Anti-Christ’s power would reign supreme over the power that cares for his comrades.

“So we’ve constantly put you between a rock and a hard place in wait for you to unleash your true self; thus far we’ve tempted you with Greed, Lust, and Envy, since it hasn’t really worked we’ve decided to try something a little different. That’s the reason why I’m here as well. Our goal today is to completely overwhelm you with a situation impossible for you to get out of without unleashing the power of Dantega.”

“That won't happen.”

Ubica spits at that statement and the talking ends between them, he rushes in at Mammon once more, this time more mindful to the movements of Asmodeus. He gets within five meters of the unwavering demon when a bubble forms in between them about ten feet in diameter.

Knowing that if he carelessly tries to power his way through that, Mammon could have it retract and send a large chunk of his body to another dimension; he also can’t blow it away with brute strength because he’d just turn it into a bomb and explode it in Ubica’s face. So instead of using either of these tactics, he decides to send a long range attack directly through the bubble.

He swings his sword and slices the wind to create an odd pressure zooming forward horizontally; what this does is create a very thin pocket of still air sandwiched in between two gusts flying a hundred times faster than the speed of a category 5 tornado on the Fujita scale. This still air acts like a blade being hurled faster than the speed of sound; Mammon won’t have the time send the brunt of the attack to another dimension through his bubble so it would pass right through and slice Mammon in half.

“Not so fast old pal.”

The bubble suddenly turns transparent and its contents can now be seen. There is a certain girl inside this sphere, and in the instant she’s able to see outside she catches eyes with Ubica.

Ubica doesn’t understand how or why she’s in this situation, as far as he knows it’s just a hallucination. But one thing is for sure, seeing her in that bubble knowing full well what could so easily happen to her is enough to make his chest burn in angst. Ubica has seen firsthand the powers of those orbs, he’s watched as Mammon compressed over ten people into the size of a golf ball from within it.

‘!!!”

“Ubica!”

Just hearing her voice was enough to shatter his train of combative thought as if a truck had ran into it; now the only think rolling through his mind is panic. In less than a second, his own attack will slice through the bubble and along with it the upper body of Tsubiri.

In this state of pure heart stopping panic, he pushes off the ground and rushes to her at such a speed it quite literally explodes the air behind him. He can’t even think straight as his blurry eyes are set solely on Tsubiri; he’s attempting the impossible, he’s trying to out run his own attack. The attack meant to hit Mammon at such a speed he’d have no way of countering it.

Ubica’s body is surrounded by a bright light and with him in it, that light shines wide like a television screen that had abruptly been shut off and it zooms parallel with his own attack.

He’s going to make it to her, he’s going to save her, he’s going to pull off the impossible.

At least that’s how it looked for that short moment.

The transparent sphere that Tsubiri is trapped in quite literally fizzes away like a sugar cube dropped in water and her entire presence disappears. It’s like he saw her through a mirror room in a carnival house, she vanished like she was nothing but a mirage.

With her gone, the sight of the man standing behind that sphere can be seen once more. But this time, the blurred figure of the man Ubica barely catches sight of in his intense speed shocks him worse than the sudden appearance of Mammon.

Although he can’t make it out clearly, he knows it’s not the Demon of Greed.

Ubica is on a collision course with this man, both his attack and his body have no way of stopping before it is too late.

Time seems to slow down in this instant and the man’s face can clearly be seen as he holds both of his hands out.

He has red eyes with white pupils, jet black hair and is wearing a confident smile on his face.

Ubica instantly recognizes him as Damien.

With his right hand, Damien grabs on to Ubica’s face, and with the back of his left, he leisurely knocks away the wind attack as if someone threw a cotton ball at him. As soon as these motions are made clear, time speeds up once more and

SSLLLLAAAAAASSSHH!!!

The wind of Ubica’s attack crashes into the middle of a building and doesn’t stop until it slices through a few more and sends them toppling to the ground.

The next thing Ubica knows, he feels his equilibrium being thrown backwards and then is followed by a blunt pain in the back of his head.

With a firm grip on Ubica’s face, Damien slams the back of his head into the asphalt road and sends it splintering into thousands of pieces.

Not being able to comprehend what had just happened, all Ubica can do is feel himself sink deeper into the ground as his own blood is seen floating in his peripheral vision.

As fast as Ubica’s attacks just were, Damien was able to stop them with his bare hands.

“I’ve finally got my hands on you Ubica...” Damien says as he releases his grip and jumps out of the crater he created with Ubica’s body.

Asmodeus and Mammon walk to each side of him and peer down on their enemy as if he was an injured tiger caught in a trap; it’s just as Mammon said, Ubica is nothing but a beast constantly being cornered.

With the sudden appearance of the puppet master behind all of this, Ubica can’t help but feel the weight of his instincts beating down on him along with the glares of the three above.

Although Damien isn’t one of the 7 Demons of Hell, he’s certainly on a different level than everyone else, especially if he can give orders to the highest ranking members of the Hierarchy. Satan, who’s one of the 7 Demons himself and is supposedly the leader of the legendary group is hard pressed to even do that; the fact that they are following him means there’s some kind of strength he’s yet to show that’s worth fighting for.

Ubica hasn't seen Damien’s real powers after all this time, but he’s just caught a good glimpse of it, and as a result he’s found himself buried in the ground.

He tries to lift his broken body out of the crater and struggles to climb up the steep wall over ten feet high; to his surprise, Damien and the other two don’t do anything to stop him and allow him to shakily slip his way back onto the road.

He stands to his feet and after a couple wobbles, he asks a question that somewhat surprises the others.

“Where’s... Tsubiri?”

“Oh? I thought you’d ask me about my arrival first, but I guess now I know where your priorities are.” Damien replies.

“I can worry about that later, so do you have her or not!” Ubica’s voice cracked slightly when he shouted that. His legs still feel like wet noodles and his eyesight is still very hazy.

Mammon takes a rather long sigh of exasperation and answers, “Yeah, I got her right here.”

He then raises his arm and the same dark gray bubble forms to his side and becomes transparent once more, revealing Tsubiri.

“What have you done to her!?”

“Relax I haven’t done anything. I’m sure if Asmodeus got her hands on her first she would have had some real fun, but my definition of that is usually a little different. You see, I don’t know if you recall, but this little lady here shocked the shit out of me the last time we met. I promised that I’d kill her for that, and here I am, looking to carryout my word. I just thought it’d be much more fun if I had you watch old pal.”

“I won’t let you!”

Ubica tries to take a step forward and drops as if he lost all strength in his legs.

“Ubica!” Tsubiri shouts; worried about him more than herself.

Damien slightly huffs air out of his nose in a little laugh and starts walking towards the now crawling Ubica. Once he reaches, he steps on the hand that’s holding the sword, forcing Ubica to drop it and become defenseless.

“Look at how pathetic you are... Groveling like a neglected dog. Tell me, what do you expect to do once you reach her? Do you honestly think you can save her in your condition?”

“...I’ll find a way.”

Ubica said that with about as much of his confidence broken as humanly possible.

Truthfully, he knows the real answer to Damien’s question.

“Your only way is through Dantega. If not, she dies.”

“Don’t listen to him!” Tsubiri shouts from within the bubble.

Mammon clicks his tongue and shrinks his bubble rapidly; forcing her to roll herself up into a ball to avoid being compressed.

The bubble doesn’t stop until Damien says, “Stop that Mammon, I won’t let you kill her just yet.”

Without even questioning him, the usually loud Demon stays silent and stops the bubble in a small enough size to force Tsubiri into a sitting position. She’s quite lucky to say the least, much further than that would certainly result in a broken neck.

Ubica’s chest rose into his throat when he saw that, so much so he couldn’t even yell out to her.

The fear in Ubica’s eyes is evident when Damien says, “If you’d like, I’ll let her live... You only have to do one thing for me, and it doesn’t even involve Dantega.”

“..?”

“Beg me.”

Confused about this, Asmodeus asks, “Hey what’s this all about? Can’t we just kill that girl and get this over with? He’s bound to turn if we take her away from him.”

“No...” Damien replies, “This is something that must be done first.”

Ubica just glares at the bubble Tsubiri’s trapped in that can recede at any moment and kill her slowly. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself if she died in general, watching her die like this would be absolute torture.

“.....”

“What will it be Ubica? All I ask is for you to throw away any kind of pride you have left and kiss my shoe. After that, just say the simple word please, and I’ll let her free.”

Looking into the eyes of Tsubiri, it almost seems like she’s telling him not to listen to Damien and just let her go. Tears start to fall from her eyes; she doesn’t want to see him do this, especially because she was careless and got caught. If she got away, Ubica wouldn’t have had to bare the burden of her presence and would have been able to fight freely. Now however, he’s being forced to beg his enemies for her life.

Maybe it is because she was a soldier this feels like the ultimate insult to her; she can’t stand to watch such a scene. And when Ubica shifts his eyes from her to Damien’s shoe, that’s exactly what she does. She slams her eyes shut when Ubica does the unthinkable and throws away his pride, following Damien’s orders exactly.

“Please, Damien... Please let her go.”

Damien’s confident grin grows wider and his eyes have a brighter shine than usual; he slams his foot onto the back of Ubica’s already bleeding head and presses down while letting out an unusual laugh.

“Huahahahahahahahahaha! Very well then, she can live!”

He pushes Ubica’s head into the ground once more and walks away in between the confused glares of Mammon and Asmodeus.

“Mammon, let the girl go... But send her down the street a little, let Ubica crawl to the woman he begged his enemy for.”

“You can’t be serious..?” Mammon asked, skeptical of the orders given to him.

“I agree, we have him right where we want him. How are we just gonna pass on this chance!?” Asmodeus voices her displeasure as well.

“Ubica is not quite ready yet; he needs to lose every fraction of his new self to revert back to his old. He must suffer more than any man could in order to give Dantega more power than ever before. And today, we’ve just taken a huge step towards that, that’ll be all we need for now. My plans for him don’t stop here, there is still more torment awaiting him once he reaches the ‘other’ girl.”

“But...”

They doubt him because it seems like for the first time, Damien has allowed his own personal interests to outweigh his logic regarding the plan involving Ubica. If the goal is to break him, then killing those most important to him is the easiest way to do it. To them, it just feels like Damien is making it more complicated than it needs to be.

“That’s the last time I’ll ever have either of you question me. Understood?”

The two stay silent and Mammon sends Tsubiri out about a hundred yards away down the street and frees her from his bubble of antimatter, dropping her on her firmly to the asphalt.

The three walk away a couple feet when Damien turns around, prompting the others to do so as well.

He looks at the silent and slightly relieved Ubica and smiles, “I hope this shows you how pointless your efforts in protecting them are... You can’t even stop one of us, with everyone present, we will kill every last one of your friends before they reach the final Gate.”

Ubica answers his statement with a few broken words of his own, repeating what he once said earlier, he grits his teeth and mutters,

“...I will find a way... No matter what, I’ll find a way!”

“You’re still going on with that? Fine then, I’ll show you the difference in our strength so you can see that your words mean nothing.”

Damien holds out his hand in the direction where Tsubiri was dropped off at; Ubica shifts his tired gaze to her position.

Damien's next move is a simple wave as if he was shooing someone away. It is that simple motion that will bring about an attack that shakes the very core of this metropolis.

Within a millisecond, every window in the entire city pops and a head wrenching screech rings through the boulevards and alleyways as if brought forth by a powerful wind.

The shards of glass don’t even reach half way to the ground when,

GAGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSHHHHH!!!

A tremendous explosive noise burst out from the area of the city around Tsubiri.

Actually, it was not just one. Thousands and tens of thousands of explosive noises shoot from the core of each building at such short intervals that they all sounded like a single whole.

However, Ubica had no clue what had happened.

If one had an aerial view of the city, they’d see the top of every last structure in the metropolis break and fall into their own debris as though each mass had a detonation charge. If one had a view even higher than that, even one from space, they’d see a stain of gray towering into the atmosphere as if a great fire has purged the land of Purgatory. That is how devastating this attack is, that is how much destruction the son of Satan has caused with a simple wave of his hand.

Ubica doesn’t even see this unfathomable attack; he doesn’t notice everything around him crumbling like a stacked deck of cards that had the base card at the bottom suddenly taken out. He doesn’t pay any mind to the hundreds of thousands of people who have certainly all lost their lives in this very instant.

As if he has tunnel vision, he only sees the frame of Tsubiri disappear in a great plume of dust followed by her silhouette being engulfed by the falling buildings collapsing from each side of the road she found herself in the middle of. What he’s so sure he’s seen, is the dreaded sight of the girl he loves being crushed to death under the weight of Damien’s power.

Ubica’s next breath is filled with soot and debris; he doesn’t even bother to flinch at the sharp pain it sends his throat into. He merely holds it in as all sound never reaches his ears, and only the gray cloud where she once was is seen through his wide eyes.

“Ah...” Is all he can mutter as he starts crawling towards that plume of smoke.

He’s completely ignoring the presence of Damien and the other two Demons, his mind simply can’t function in a way that tells him his enemies are still standing just a couple feet away.

Asmodeus and Mammon are more or less amazed at the display Damien had just put on, not just because of his immense power, but because he was so quick to change his mind on letting Tsubiri live. It’s like he chose to let her live on a whim, and chose to kill her on a whim; either way wouldn’t have mattered. That’s the kind of strong leader they chose to follow over Satan. To them, this is the kind of strength that should be followed.

Damien, who has surrounded Ubica and his two allies with a pocket of untouched air, faintly frowns and snaps his fingers.

This gesture immediately engulfs Asmodeus and Mammon in a bright orange flame and sends them back to Hell.

As if he wanted to keep the two demons from hearing his next words, he looks at the pathetic form of Ubica and says, “You are far too weak, my priorities are almost shifting to my father over you... For that I urge you to keep trying to find a way Ubica... But I am quite sure that everyone you’ve grown to care for will be dead by the time you actually do. Keep that in mind the next time you try to stand up against who you really are.”

Damien engulfs himself in flame and sends himself back to Hell along with the others; leaving Ubica in this now desolate wasteland of a once booming metropolis.

Those words of Damien’s struck the innermost point of Ubica’s soul and added weight to his already heavy legs as he inches his way forward through the rubble.

Paying no mind to the glass on the ground that’s cutting up his hands and knees, he presses forward, hopelessly, and hopefully not endlessly.

It’s more than likely he’ll never find her, between the thick dust polluting the air and the never ending layer of rubble on the ground, he’d be lucky to find a whole car well as a whole human. Only bits of human flesh are painted on the rock as the occasional limb is spotted through cracks and crevices.

He doesn’t even want to look at them to check, if he saw her in a mangled state like that he’d fall apart; it is because of this refusal to accept the truth of this matter, the odds of him actually finding her are zero.

“...hhhaaa.”

He begins muttering to himself as the blood from his head, hands, and knees begin to leave a trail of despair behind him.

He’s on the verge of breaking unless he finds something right away; his tattered body and his malfunctioning mind can’t take anymore. After this next mound he crawls over, if there’s nothing there, it’s over. And it’s doubtful that he’ll ever come back.

With his last ounce of strength, he hurls himself over the mound; once to the top, he slips and tumbles down like a rock being rolled down a steep embankment. His frame crashes into debris and other sharp objects until he comes to a grinding halt, a wake of dust puffs behind him and begins disappearing into the rest of the gray.

This is it, he can no longer keep his eyes open so he lets them rest. Surely the next time they do, the white of his eyes will hold the distinct color of black and all he’ll ever think about is revenge.

That’s when an odd warmth hits his eyelids and the color of orange is seen through them; feeling this unusual sting he opens them only to find that he’s staring directly into the sun.

He turns away quickly to free his eyes.

(The sun..?) he thinks to himself as he looks to his surroundings.

He is encircled by the dust and debris of Damien’s ferocious attack, but the twenty foot radius he’s found himself in is completely unscathed. It’s as if he’s in the eye of the storm; the ground below him is untouched, the sky above him is crystal clear, and the air he’s now breathing is refreshing instead of poisonous.

“W-Wha..?”

“... Ubica.”

A girl's soft voice is heard to his left, this is the very voice he had thought he’d never hear again no more than a few seconds earlier.

Standing there, completely untouched by the devastation is Tsubiri.

Her eyes are wallowing up with tears as she sees Ubica in such a horrible state.

She was in the same situation as Ubica; she had no clue what happened and was under the impression that Damien had killed him in that blast.

“Aaah...”

Ubica mutters, not able to articulate any words to go along with what he’s feeling.

A surge of strength is felt in his legs as he stands up and starts walking to her, when he gets within a few feet his knees give out and he falls to them.

Tsubiri is about to lean down to help him but she is stopped when Ubica throws his face just below her chest and squeezes her back tightly. She can feel him breathe into her as if he’s on the verge of tears as well.

What was once such a dark and hopeless place has now been filled with light, just outside of this barrier of light they're in is the devastation that can no longer reach them.

Tsubiri wraps her arms around him and squeezes as well; the two of them sharing the exact same feeling of absolute relief.

This moment cannot be put into words so casually as it would not give it justice, what they are experiencing is a wordless stretch of time where feelings far outreach anything that can be said.

The two ignore their current conditions and refuse to let each other go; now more than ever they realize the severity of the situation they were just in. They were so close to losing each other that it has stricken a deep disbelief in the fact that the two are actually alive. It’s like seeing a mirage and blindly walking towards it only to find out it was real, a person would never let go of it once they got there.

This amazing moment, no matter how beautiful, was only brought forth by the mercy of Damien.

This fact has made Ubica want to hold onto her even more, he knows that Damien let her live in order to have him choke on the fact that their levels in power are so far apart. Damien probably decided this at the last second just to demonstrate this very fact to him. Damien has complete control of the situation, and this was his way to show it. He’s proved to Ubica that he controls who lives and who dies, whether it be Ubica or his loved ones, he can decide either way on a simple whim.

It’s only now that Ubica truly fears Damien for who he really is.

Someone who can destroy everything one cares for on a whim is far worse than any bad guy with a set objective to take over the world. Damien has shown all that know him who really has the power here, and the ones who just happened to see it firsthand are Tsubiri and Ubica.

“Hey Ubica...” Tsubiri says, breaking the silence of the ruined city as the sun reflects off of her still intact glasses.

“.....”

Ubica’s throat still burns from all of that dust he’s breathed in so he answers by squeezing her just a little tighter.

“... I still love you.”

Ubica grits his teeth in a grateful fashion and mutters something as he nods his head up and down against her body.

“So let’s go back to the others, pass through the Gates and get home so we can end all of this. Let’s go home and live free, away from everything trying to harm us.”

It sounds like a great plan but the second and third parts of her statement are much easier said than done. This is likely just Tsubiri's way of giving Ubica determination after such a horrible defeat, this is the only thing she can think of to get his strong spirit back after his pride and all of his dreams have been shattered by his number one enemy.

Ubica pauses for a moment, seemingly unable to think that far ahead.

Tsubiri feels that what she said might have been too much for him on such a short notice. But to her surprise, Ubica looks up to her and shows her a smile she recognizes right away. It’s the same smile that he gave her along with the birthday presents earlier. It’s the look of his that tells her he hasn’t, and will never give up on her. It tells her that there will never be a day when he goes back on the promise he made earlier; this is his way of telling her that he agrees and he can’t wait.

Tsubiri smiles wide and kisses him on the forehead; she’s not ready to give up either, even in the face of overwhelming power, she’ll fight on as long as the promise of being with him if they win is still there.

Ubica is the same way, he won’t stop what he believes in just because he’s at a disadvantage; he’s not ready to just yet. He has every intention of using this new found strength to crush anyone who stands between this feeling of love and the goals that go along with it.

No matter what the conflicting interests of others are and how they affect him, his interests regarding Tsubiri will never change. And knowing that her interests will never conflict with his, he truly feels that he can still win, as long as she’s by his side.

Conflict of Interests: (END)



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