Dantega:Volume 8 Chapter 4
“So how was it?” asked Rosemary Halloran with a look of delight on her face.
She’s leaning over Damien, who had just finished his favorite bowl of food. Despite his appearance, Damien prefers vegetables over meat, so his mother would grab whatever greens at hand like cabbage and beetroot; and then mix them with newly found spices like pepper and nutmeg.
“The herbs were seasoned well.” Damien replied without much emotion, but his blank compliment was enough to light up Rosemary’s face.
During the middle ages, the term ‘vegetables’ was rarely used, instead, the term ‘herbs’ covered all forms of green plants, roots and herbs. And those foods that came from the ground were considered commoners’ food, unfit for nobility.
Yet Rosemary cherishes her use of them, she wasn’t very wealthy growing up so her parents had taught her how to make the best use of cheaper food items. Once she moved to Italy to become a nun, common herbs was pretty much all she ate while immersing herself in monastic communities practicing abstinence.
It makes her very happy that her past diet can satisfy her son.
“That’s good to hear, it’s hard to find good tasting food nowadays what with the famine and all. Since we can’t afford to let anything go to waste, the greens were a little old this time around.”
“It’s fine, I enjoyed it.”
“Nothing that a little spice can’t take care of.” she said proudly while puffing out her chest.
Damien’s blank gaze shifts outside of the window overlooking the city of Avignon. From the highpoint in the Palace of the Popes, he can see the struggle of the citizens, and out in the distance he can see the farmlands cursed with yet another poor harvest. If things continue like this, he feels as though the number of dead lying on the roads and at the gates of the palace will only increase.
“Famine huh…” He mumbles, “I wonder how much more the people can take?”
“What’s that?” Rosemary asked, she didn’t catch all of what he said because his tone was lowered.
A rock came flying through the window, sending glass shards scattering about in the room. The fist sized rock crashes into the bowl on the table and sent it flying across the wooden floor in a series of sharp thuds.
The sudden noise was enough to startle Rosemary, but did little to shift Damien’s steady glare to the outside world.
“What happened!?” Rosemary shouted, visibly shaken.
Rosemary ganders out of the window and sees hundreds of people at the gates of the palace; shouting obscenities towards the church and throwing rocks at the walls. The mob steadily grows and the main road leading to the front gate from inside the city is increasingly being filled by the bodies of the disgruntled.
“Aren’t the guards going to do anything? They need to be stopped! You could have been hurt!”
“I doubt there’s much the guards can do now.”
As if right on cue, a dozen palace guards come marching to front gate, dressed nicely in full uniforms that have yet to see any type of fighting. They reach the gate with spears in tow and point them at the hundreds of people pressed up against the iron gate.
“By order of the Pope, we demand you all to return to your homes!” The lead guard shouted.
The uproar that order caused was enough to take the guards aback.
Voices from the mob are heard shouting, “We’re hungry!” “It’s the churches fault!” “We’re taxed so much we can’t afford food!” “Why aren’t you helping!?”
In times of strife, higher institutions like government and church always get blame, and as it often is, it’s usually one of the two’s fault.
The church’s taxes haven’t helped the people buy food; it instead helps the church feed themselves. And with the King of France virtually under the thumb of the church, and disinterested in the people’s struggles due to the fighting of the Hundred Year’s War with England, their voices are forced to fall on the only ones who can hear them.
The Pope is just on the other side of this fence, and they’re certain he can hear them loud and clear, yet he refuses to show himself, he cowers in his massive palace, eating all the food bought with their tax dollars and hard work.
“Step away from the gate!” The guard shouted at the men pressing their entire weight on the iron bars.
The lock is starting to give way and anymore of this they’ll certainly break through.
The shouting from the crowd continues, “It’s not fair!!” “Why do we have to starve??” “We’ve been dying on the streets ever since ‘He’ arrived here!”
Now that last shout wasn’t lost on Damien and Rosemary, and those words struck a deep cord in the depths of their minds.
“He??” Rosemary exclaimed, “They can’t mean that…”
“Mother.” Damien interrupted, “I think we need to go.”
At this very moment, all of the guards line up perpendicular to each other and point their spears at the mob.
“If you don’t leave the Palace gate we will be forced to retaliate!” The lead guard shouts, his spear pointed at them as well.
“That bastard child is no Son of God!” A person in the mob shouted.
“He’s the devil in disguise!” said another.
“He’s the true reason we are starving!”
“That child is a monster! An evil monster!”
How things escalated to that point can’t be explained in logical terms, when people get desperate, they instinctively blame others. Damien is no exception, especially when looking back, the supposed Son of God’s birth was said to have brought them wealth and prosperity, instead they’ve been robbed and starved of their basic rights as human beings.
It must be Damien’s fault; it couldn’t be anything rational like soil exhaustion, overpopulation, wars and diseases. It must be the supposed Son of God’s fault; it has to be, only because he can be touched, he’s just a wall away.
In this very moment, the clouded thoughts of the mob boil over into steam and they charge at the gate. Instantly, the iron fence bends inwards toward the palace grounds.
The guards, far removed from any intention of diffusing the chaotic situation peacefully, are left with no choice but to retaliate with violence.
The whole lot of them point their spears at the encroaching mob and the leader shouts,
With that, 6 foot long spears are skewering the citizens of the mob with devastating effect. Dozens of people drop to the floor, others are heard screaming in agony. Yet the sudden attack does nothing to quell the anger, in fact, it doubles it.
The people unfortunate enough to fall to the ground after being stabbed are quickly trampled by their fellow mob members. The second wave of humanity is enough to shatter the locks of the iron gate and send the double doors wide open with a heavy bang.
The guards are overwhelmed and are quickly engulfed and beaten to death by the bare hands and blunt weapons the mob carries.
Other guards from deeper into the castle immediately come forth to engage them but once again, they are taken over. It only took a few seconds for the interior of the Palace of the Popes to be breached.
“Run.” Damien said calmly and grabs Rosemary’s hand and rushes down the hallways of the Palace.
They can hear the shouts of the people invading the largest bastion of religion outside of the Vatican and can feel the panic ensuing through the halls in the form of ominous echoes.
While running through the hallways of the Palace, emotions felt by the mother son duo run rampant along with the movement of their legs. Such feelings as betrayal, fear, and despair are felt as the walls of the entire Palace seemingly close in on them with the incoming sound of footsteps and shouts.
Damien however, is only feeling anger.
Deep down inside, he knew something like this would happen with the way events of the outside world have transpired over the years, he could always sense the unease at the Church, it was only a matter of time before it became too much for them. But even though he understood the unease of the people, he is still angered at the fact that they wish harm upon Rosemary.
These people invading the Palace of the Popes not only wish to harm him, but he is certain they will commit unthinkable atrocities if they are able to get their hands on her.
He must protect her.
No matter the cost, he has to protect her.
The two of them make their way to La Chambre Du Cerf, the large room which serves as Pope Clement’s writing cabinet. In front of the door stands twenty guards, astutely awaiting the arrival of the mob should things escalate to that point.
The guards recognize the child who they believe to be the Son of God and quickly make way for him to enter; as if being spirited away, a dozen pair of hands grab at him and pull him towards the door.
It’s only then that he notices the distance this created between he and his mother. There’s a gap between them, filled with the bodies of the guards that feels almost like an impenetrable wall.
“Hey!” he shouts, desperately trying to reach out to her.
Her voice is almost lost in the commotion of guards and their bodies blockade the two whilst pushing them both further and further apart.
It’s now, as if they were a wave flooding into a tight space, the mob can be seen through the gaps in the guards' figures.
“What are you doing!? Let her through!”
They don’t listen, instead they push him through the doorway in an even more frantic fashion and immediately close the door behind him in a heavy thud.
Knowing full well what will happen to a weaponless woman caught between two opposing forces of blood thirsty men; he knows she won’t last more than a second in that mass of resentment.
“Open the door!! Open the door!!” Damien shouts, banging on the door with the sides of his hands.
“There’s no need for her.” Comes a voice from within the room, “You are the Son of God, the vessel you were brought to this earth in is unimportant.”
“Are you mad??” Damien yelled as he turned towards the fifty men crammed in this room all dressed in Cardinal attire.
Sitting behind a desk is the man who had just spoke such cold words with an easy familiarity that should have naturally been foreign considering his position.
Pope Clement VI.
He sits there, despite hearing the screams from outside of the room with an eerie calm; it’s as though he was expecting this to happen and had just been waiting for this moment to arrive.
“I am not mad.” replied the Pope, his fingers crossed and laid on the desk, relaxed and showing no form of weariness. “You are the hope of this world, and God has told me through prayer that you must survive this ordeal. He told me to bring you in here to protect you.”
Damien feels as though he’s heard something similar to this before but he can’t put his finger on it. Even if he could, this is not the time to be worrying about such a thing, especially when he hears the clash begin from outside of the door.
There are shouts of profanity, screams of agony, and weapons clashing reaching the ears of everyone protected by these walls.
Damien has horrible images of his mother caught it the mayhem, and his overall expression becomes frantic.
"I DON'T CARE. LET ME OUT!"
His red eyes glowing like two burning hot pieces of charcoal intensify the weight of his words and sends a distinct pressure down on the cardinals that frightens them to their very core.
Yet the Pope seems unaffected, Damien may be the supposed Son of God, but God gave him specific orders; he feels like he has no need to be intimidated.
"You will remain here." Clement says with a confident gesture, "And we will all survive."
Damien's fury doesn't cease, if anything it only worsened.
He puts his hand on the door and points his other hand towards the Cardinals and Pope, causing the frightened men to jump back in surprise.
Through gritted teeth, he replies, "No... I am leaving, and you will all die."
A deep rumbling begins to shake the walls of this room and the cardinals panic as the fine paintings and statues begin falling to the ground. The crashes and bangs the fine art makes as they shatter adds a sharpening presence to the fragile ground. As though they were standing on gelatin, their balance falters and some begin toppling to the floor.
The hinges of the doors begin coming undone and Damien can feel he is close to breaking it open.
He's so close to getting out of here his anxious hearts beats wildly in impatience.
"Stop this." said Clement, who still hasn't budged from his position behind the desk despite everything occurring in the room.
Damien proceeds to shake the room and try to make his way out; that is, until Clement repeats himself.
"I said stop."
All of the sudden, the earthquake shaking the room all about halts, and the hinges of the giant door that were once so close to breaking fall back into their original position.
The power that Damien felt in his hands ceases and he is left feeling weak and helpless. He is left shocked and amazed that the mere words of the Pope were enough to break the will of his strength.
"I told you didn't I?" Clement asks, finally standing to his feet. "God told me to protect you."
As if breaking Damien's daze, the sounds outside of the door finally stop, and the resulting silence leaves him in a blank state of disbelief.
"It's over, I have fulfilled God's wishes. If you still insist on leaving this room, I can allow it now."
Without the aid of anyone, the door that was once so heavy slides open by itself, the light from the outside halls breaks the darkness of the room and stings Damien's eyes.
Once he can see through cleared vision, the brightness is replaced by the color red.
There's blood everywhere, on the ground, the walls, even the roof. It's as though someone had come through with red paint and sprayed the entire place in an attempt at abstract art.
The smell is rough, the hue of the entire hallway is a pink color caused by the mist of blood freshly spilled. Each step Damien takes into the humid mist peppers his face and clothes with small droplets of the red liquid, and each step he takes carries a sound similar to stepping into a puddle of water.
The bodies are piled, both members of the mob and the guards alike stacked together like sandbags. Due to the confined space in which they lay dead, it's even hard to decipher which is which; yet Damien scours through the bodies with eyes full of hope he'll find the person he's looking for.
The hope in his eyes however, looks more like desperation.
Especially when he can't find her in the stacks of corpses.
He groans, not quite sure how to decipher his feelings and program them into words to exit his mouth, he can't even call to her.
But he doesn't need to, because he feels someone grab at his ankle, and upon looking down, he finds Rosemary, covered in the blood of the others, but looking up at him with her big blue eyes.
Miraculously, she somehow survived it, she somehow made it through despite being caught in the middle of the horrifying skirmish.
"H-Help..." she said, her voice light and raspy as though the weight of the others on top of her is affecting her ability to speak.
Damien quickly leans down and grabs her one free arm and begins pulling.
"Just hang on."
Like pulling a blanket out from under a pile of rocks, her frame is heavy to him, so much so that he's barely making her budge.
The pressure on her shoulder causes her pain and she groans lightly every time Damien heaves.
After a minute or so, he finally feels like he's making progress, just a few more pulls and she'll be free.
One big pull.
Another big pull.
This is it, just one more.
A final big pull.
Her body becomes astonishingly light once he frees her from the mountain of corpses; in fact, her body is abnormally light. Even in this trance like moment of success, Damien senses this and is quickly confused. As he drags her he looks down to Rosemary once more and is pelted with a sight so grizzly it almost makes him vomit.
Rosemary's lower body is gone.
Seeing that continuing to pull on her is causing her intestines to slide across the ground he instinctively let's go of her; his momentum continues and he loses his footing and falls back into a another pile of bodies.
Damien's broken tone isn't lost on Rosemary, despite her injuries. She can see in his eyes that whatever is wrong with her is really bad, she doesn't even have to see for herself. It all happened so fast; one moment a man with a large sword swung at her, the next moment she was on the ground and her son was pulling her arm.
Due to shock, the pain hasn't settled in yet, she just feels astonishingly cold.
"Am I..." She struggles to say, "Am I going to die..?"
Damien looks her in the eyes and wants to tell her that she'll be okay, but he can't find it in himself to lie to her, even if that might be what's best. He can't find it in himself to tell her to cling onto a false hope.
"I'm sorry." he replies, his head hung low, shoulders slumped in disappointment. "If only I had the strength to protect you..."
"No!" Damien shouts, finally revealing emotion, "I should have been here for you! I should have gotten through that damn door! I should have---"
She interrupted him with her soft, yet resolute voice.
"Regretting it now won't do either of us any good. If I'm going to die, I want you to accept it and realize it's not your fault."
"It is, because of who I am, I've done nothing but bring you misery."
She reaches out her hand, prompting Damien to grab onto it as though it were the most precious diamond.
She looks deep into his red eyes and smiles, a warm tender smile only a loving mother could give to her child when she says, "I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
With that, the big blue eyes that were looking into his become clouded and dark, her glare frozen in place as her body finally succumbs to the blood loss and she fades away into death.
Despite the kind, gentle words, Damien's expression cracks and his lips begin to purse, the gap between his eyebrows shrinks and his menacing red eyes begin to water. There's devastation on his face, such a face never once been felt, never once been shown, yet here it is, planted firmly on the son of Satan as though he were a regular human who had just tragically lost a parent in a violent conflict.
He reaches a breaking point, his vision is akin to a million firecrackers going off at once and a surge of emotion is felt rising from the pit of his gut and up to his broken heart, then it makes its way into his hoarse throat and exits out of his mouth in the form of a cry so great it shatters the world around him like broken glass.
The pieces of the world around him violently fall into a sea of nothingness, until it is replaced by light...
Leading Rosemary by the hand, Damien stops in the hallway and opens up a window, gesturing her to jump through.
“Running around the Palace will only allow them to close in on us. Let’s go.”
Still in somewhat of a daze at this whole situation, Rosemary silently complies and hops out of the window and takes the small drop to the Palace grounds.
Once she gets out, he's hit with a severe headache that almost buckles him; but despite feeling the pressure beating on his temples, he makes his way out of the window as well.
By now, the distance between he and Rosemary is too great for his liking, so he loudly says, "Hey wait, you need to be closer to me."
She stops, turns around, and in this very moment, an arrow impales her neck and she topples to the ground like a sack of bricks.
The blood spray is cascaded in front of his vision in what seems to be slow motion, and it takes a few moments for him to realize what happened.
He rushes to her aid, and upon reaching her, he hears the gurgled sound of breathes desperately trying make its way through the waterfall of blood gushing through her neck.
Another arrow whizzes past his face and hits the ground just to the left of Rosemary's shoulder; he looks to where it came from and sees a group of people, lead by a man with a makeshift bow, rushing towards them across the Palace grounds.
He shouts, holding his hand out to them with rage in his eyes, fully expecting to see their limbs flying. He'll make them suffer for what they've done to his mother.
Nothing is happening, they keep getting closer and closer, and their killing intent grows with each step they take.
It's likely he's come to realize that the powers he thinks he should have, are non existent.
He's just a human, no different from the men wishing to take his life.
He's just a fragile human, not immune to human weapons like the ones they carry.
After coming to this understanding, he grabs Rosemary's limp frame and takes off running.
Of course, he's not running that fast, but due to the head start he had on the mob he's able to find a spot outside of the castle well hidden enough that he can tend to her wounds.
Though not much of a saving grace, the arrow that pierced Rosemary's neck went all the way through and Damien is able to break it in half and safely remove it.
He then covers the wound after using the arrowhead to rip the sleeve of his shirt and wrap it around her neck. But it is not enough, the blood flow keeps leaving her and her face is so pale it's obvious she won't recover.
Panic is written on his face, and the now pale blue eyes of Rosemary can see it, and come to the conclusion that she will be dying here any moment.
She slides her palm gently across his face and roughly says, "It's... Okay..."
Damien shakes his head and replies, "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry, it's all my fault."
"If only I wasn't born, you'd----"
"No." she interrupts again.
As if demanding his attention, the remainder of her fleeting life goes into these final words.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Her body goes limp in his arms, her death glare connected to the gaze of Damien's red eyes.
The cold facade of Damien, the Son of Satan, cracked.
And with a shout of agony, the world around him again shatters like broken glass and falls into nothingness before being replaced by light once more.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Were the last words Rosemary said before being tossed off a balcony with a noose around her neck.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Were the last words Rosemary said before being thrown into boiling water.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Were the last words Rosemary said as she was thrown in a coffin and buried alive.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Were the last words Rosemary said before she was beheaded.
"I'm so glad... I was able to have you as my son..."
Were the last words Rosemary said when she finally succumbed to the rigorous torture of being crucified.
Damien may not know it, but he may have heard those final words hundreds, if not thousands of times. He's seen her die thousands of different deaths, each time suffering the pain of witnessing it as though the others never happened.
No matter what he did to stop it, it always ended in her death. Trying his hardest, his powerlessness led to her demise every single time.
This time is different, he did it, he succeeded in killing everyone who wished to do his mother harm.
The diluted forms of the Clergymen are sprawled across the entire room in a brilliant display of red; and Pope Clement's body parts tatter the already wet ground.
And now, on the balcony and under the light of the sun, he holds his fragile mother in his arms after pulling her out of that dark and damp room once used as the Papal suite.
"Mother, I'm going to tell you something... It's going to be hard on you." He said, not much emotion in his tone considering his mother's beaten and bloodied condition.
As soon as those words exited his mouth, he's stricken with an odd feeling; it's as though he's experienced this before.
"W-What is it?" she asked timidly, the shine in her eyes dimming from the loss of blood.
"I'm not who you think I am."
An odd heartbeat like sensation pulsates on the back of his throat after saying that; he once again feels that distinct familiarity.
After witnessing Damien kill off over twenty Clergymen and the Pope in such a spectacular fashion firsthand, it's likely she figured that out a while ago.
"Then who... What are you?"
Damien takes a deep breath, looks her in her fleeting eyes and plainly answers,
"I am the Son of Satan."
Throwing his hand on his beating temple, now he's certain this has been said before, he just doesn't know how.
When tears begin to fall down her face, her current image and the one laid out deep within the confines of his memory are seen perpendicular to each other before morphing into on another.
The two are the same.
"Tell me..." Damien barely speaks, his words almost dribble out of his mouth as the immense pressure of the upcoming question begins to crush his very heart. "Do you still love me?"
Rosemary pauses, her tears still falling rapidly and Damien can feel the warmth of them seep into his sleeve.
The silence between the two is maddening, but only one of the two feel its effects.
Damien is starting to sweat while looking down on the devastated face of the woman who's dying in his arms. In his memory, he is certain she said something along the lines of, "I'll always love you." and, "You're still 'my' son, despite who your father is."
Yet where those words are supposed to be, there's nothing but silence.
Until, her once shaky mouth grows steady, and with a cold resolve in her eyes she answers the boy's troubled question.
Like glass breaking, the memories of an ending where Rosemary still loves him despite learning of her son's rotten origins shatter and fall into nothingness.
Unlike the scenery of the world outside changing, the scenery in his heart is dealt the final blow.
"I always knew there was something wrong with you." Rosemary said, a sharp bitterness in her tone.
The glass shattering noise grows louder, and is starting to take on a noise more similar to an explosion.
"I always knew that you were a monster! But I believed, I tried so hard to believe despite my instinct, I believed you were the savior!"
"If only you hadn't been born! I would have lived a normal life!"
"M-Mother..! I'm sorry, I'm---"
"If only it were someone other than me! Why did it have to be me?? I lived only for God, how come it was I who had to bring such evil into this world!?"
Her weak voice is gaining strength and exiting her mouth with such potent fervor that it's resonating so loud in Damien's head it's making his vision blur.
Her words have now taken the physical form of the source of Damien's lament.
As if his head was stuck in the middle of two high powered fans, a deep rumbling base noise begins to make itself present in his ears and it causes his body to shake. Rosemary continues to move her mouth, likely shouting woeful obscenities both at herself and at him, but Damien can no longer hear.
It's as though the his sanity was shattered along with the proverbial glass that was his heart.
But freeing him from his daze, is a moment of pure silence brought about by three words that officially destroy him.
"I hate you!!"
All sound everywhere ceases, everywhere except the words of Rosemary's dismay.
"I hate you! I hate you! You evil bastard son, I hate you!!"
And then, breaking that silence is an explosion louder than all the others combined.
Damien can no longer take the abuse, he can no longer take the rejection.
His fists start to rise, and the next thing he knows, it all fades to black.
In this darkness he can hear a pounding noise similar to meat being cleaved; it reverberates in his head as though this is the aftermath of the blasts.
And as the pounding slows to a halt, the darkness begins fading as well, revealing the horrid scene present in the light.
Rosemary Halloran, the woman unfortunate enough to give birth to the Son of Satan, is lying dead from obvious blunt force trauma to her skull. She's in such a state where she is almost unrecognizable.
Damien looks to his bloodied hands and instantly gags, he can't believe what he had just done to the person he centered all his aspirations around.
"Very good my fair child!" Comes Satan's voice from inside the dark Papal Suite. "You never cease to amaze me, I can rest assured that no matter what, in the end you will always produce the results that most favor me."
The Devil walks to the balcony and looks down on the bloodied corpse being huddled over by her killer; he scoffs at the scene and continues, "No matter what path you take, you'll always reach the same ending."
He's right, just like last time, his mother died at his hands; how it happened is the only difference.
"But I can end that for you, I will be the one to break the cycle you're destined to be stuck in."
Out of nowhere, a sword appears in Satan's hand as he leans towards the neck of his son.
With a menacing grin, he speaks into Damien's ears, "Wouldn't you like that?"
"A wise choice my fair child, a wise choice!"
Satan prepares to swing down and lop off Damien's head; this is the reality the two of them created for themselves.
Satan has succeeded in defanging the child who so dangerously opposed him by stripping away his very will to live. The master manipulator has won this battle by delving his opponent into an inescapable insanity by making him live through the death of the person he cares about most thousands of times over.
He has overcome this obstacle not by fighting with fists clenched, but by mental subjugation.
It's over, Satan wins.
"Huh?" Satan mumbles in confusion.
There's something wrong, and it hits him in the face in the form of a freezing cold breeze.
Looking around, he notices that the scenery changed into a sea of white snow blanketing the horizon.
It is the 4th Gate of Purgatory.
But why? Why is he back where he shouldn't be? Why has the reality he created for he and Damien reverted back against his will?
The answer comes when he harshly coughs out blood and falls to his knees.
"Ah, isn't this a wonderful sight?"
The voice of Damien is heard behind him and he shoddily turns his head to find that his son is standing there, peering down on him as though he were a mangy animal.
"H-How?" Satan asks, now noticing the hole in his stomach that caused him to buckle to his knees.
"Did you honestly think I wouldn't notice?"
Damien said as he kicks the injured Satan and sends him sliding across the snow. He then picks up Satan's sword from off the ground and gives it a quick sharp swing.
"You really didn't think I'd recognize the falseness of that reality?"
"You didn't recognize it! I'm sure of it!"
"You're right, for the most part I certainly didn't. You could have destroyed me had you not made one mistake."
Damien's overbearing presence that seemingly towers over his father continues to move closer and closer as he speaks.
"You made my mother hate me."
"I know that was your final attempt at breaking me, but it was also what had saved me. Had you continued with what you were doing before, I doubt I could have handled even one more time."
Satan is starting to frantically back away from Damien like a frightened dog with an injured leg trying to escape a predator.
As if watching this pitiful effort has triggered something inside him, Damien's eyes glow bright red and he stabs into Satan's arm with the sword and ruthlessly pulls it back, splitting his arm in half laterally.
"I may have fallen for the many different scenarios that brought about her death, but never once would I have accepted that she'd hate me."
Satan's left leg is almost decapitated as he tried to flee, this time, stopping him dead in his tracks and forcing him to moan in agony.
Now right on top of him, Damien looks down at his father and points the sword towards his face. Judging by the results of the injuries suffered to his arm and leg, there's no doubt that the shape is head will take in the aftermath of this will be quite grotesque.
"I'm sure you know, but my mother believes that I'll be the one to change this world. She knew what I'm willing to do to change it, and despite that she accepted me, she believes in me. She said that she was glad she had me as her son."
Damien presses the sword into the Devil's neck.
"If she's willing to accept an evil that killed off millions of people, how could I possibly believe that she'd be selfish enough to hate me because my evil got her killed instead?"
Inching the tip of the blade further into Satan's neck, blood draws once the skin breaks.
"I knew it then, it was just another one of your arrogant attempts at manipulation. You may have been able to shape the reality of the world around me into what you want, but you'll never be able to change 'my' reality."
"No, this is the end of your legacy as our leader. From this point on I'll be the one taking charge against God and his allies. With your power, I'll finally be able to change this world!!"
Damien pushes in with all his might and...
It's over, Damien has plotted, planned, and dreamed of this moment for thousands of years. Now he is only half way to having all the power he'll ever need to take over and alter the worlds below and above him, just like he promised Rosemary all those years ago.
He's so close to Dantega that he can taste it.
But it's odd, he's not actually tasting the success, instead he's tasting the iron of his own blood.
The arm that held the sword to Satan's neck has separated from the rest of his body and the resulting blood spray paints his face red.
The next thing his knows, he feels a hand viciously squeeze on his bloodied face.
"I do apologize kid." Comes the voice of a black man Damien sees through the gaps of the fingers clasping to him. "But there is no way to change this world."
Phoenix throws Damien as though he were trash out towards the snowy horizon and with the hand still covered in Damien's blood, he points it towards the moving target. With a simple clinch of his fist, a huge fireball that looks more like an asteroid forms above the son of the Devil and crashes down on him.
In a towering inferno, a vicious explosion ensues and pelts the night sky with flaming debris and the aftermath is similar to a meteor shower.
The mere heat of the blast melts the snow at the point of impact and sends waves of warm water crashing at Phoenix's feet and dousing Satan's tattered and limp form causing him to sway back and forth.
With the sound of the scorching debris falling to the snowy ground off in the distance, Phoenix turns to Satan and smiles at the downed man.
"Lucifer, Lucifer, Lucifer, oh how you've lost your shine."
He leans over and rests his hand on Satan's chest.
"You were once so great, before me, you were the one with God. Now you are only a shell of what you once were, and a shell of who you think you are."
A rough pressure is felt in Satan's chest and his battered body jolts as though a surge of electricity shocked him.
"But fear not my pitiful rival, your soul won't be wasted; instead it'll be used to destroy everything. The Earth that you hold so dear, all of its people, both Heaven and Hell... And God himself."
Satan's eyes ask the questions his mouth is unable to articulate, but the Son of God gives him no answer; instead he pushes his weight down on his chest and smoke begins rising from Satan's body.
"So be grateful! You are going to take part in the creation of nothing!"
By now, blood is screaming from Satan's mouth in place of his voice as Phoenix pulls out a red orb from his chest. It pulsates bright and once in makes contact with the outside air it shines blindingly as though it were a star pulled from the heavens.
"N-No... Stop..!" Satan spits out through his bloodied mouth. "It can't end like this..!"
"You were doomed to an end like this from the very beginning, all men played by God are destined to fall, you and I are no different... It's just unfortunate you didn't have the mind to realize you were just another marionette connected to the wires of God's control bar."
With a thin grin, Phoenix engulfs the light of Satan's soul in flames and the swirling inferno rushes into his person and a massive plume of black smoke spreads out in a gale of wind. Satan's limp and lifeless body, with his face still frozen in a shocked death glare, begins to dissolve into the smoke and both he and Phoenix disappear into the darkness.
It only takes a few seconds, and out comes a new monster.
The monster has dark skin, his hair is starch white, and his eyes a glowing violet; he's no longer wearing priest garbs, instead there is a white robe with a three red crosses on the front and back draped over the tall body of this man standing with arms folded.
His glare is resolute, his stance is confident and strong.
He is someone who has thrown away his destiny as a tool used to benefit the ungrateful; cast away his ties to the supposed love and grace bestowed on him as the Son of Man; buried the caring nature of the most just being to ever walk the earth and replaced it with someone whose only desire is destruction.
He is a vengeful man.
He is a truly wretched, evil man.
He is Jesus Christ.
And even more so than that, he is now the Devil.
From this point on, the monster named Phoenix Navara will be the one to oppose God.
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