Dantega:Volume 8 Chapter 6
“I was foolish to underestimate you, Azrael…” said Beelzebub as his tattered body lay wrecked on the snowy surface.
All that’s left of him is his head, his neck, and a portion of his torso.
His face still has color and his expression still carries life, if not accounting for his missing body one wouldn’t know that anything traumatic would have occurred at all.
Rage approaches, cloaked in a dark hazy cloud, the white of his eyes are barely visible from underneath the darkness of his hood. Such an imposing dark force gliding across the white snow in perfect contrast is overbearing on the senses, even Beelzebub can feel the pressure pounding on the remainder of his body.
“So this is the power of God huh?” Beelzebub smirked as he said that. “Fascinating, really.”
“This power has unleashed so much pain, it shames me to use it.” Rage said, peering over his downed foe and pointing his scythe ready to inflict the finishing blow.
“Shame? How pathetic.”
Beelzebub’s swirling green irises peer up towards the black mass above him and never waver as he continues.
“You keep making the fatal mistake of trying to be an individual, when in reality you are merely a creation. The emotions that made you throw away your real name and replace it with a new one in an attempt to give yourself character truly shows the flaws of your pathetic existence.”
Rage squeezes his scythe as though those words hit him with a distinct force.
“In longing for an escape from the rigid dichotomy of your existence, you’ve failed to grasp your true worth as a tool for both our side and God’s side. You’re such a damn waste it’s enough to make me sick.”
“Where is all this coming from?” Rage asked, holding himself back from inflicting the finishing blow on his foe in anger. “Why do you even care about what I do with my life?”
“Why?” Beelzebub replies, straight faced as ever. “Because God is terrifying, and you have a piece of his strength.” Beelzebub’s passion seems to grow along with the rising pitch of his voice.
“Don’t you see that you have the power to alter the world? You’re not much different from Dantega, and you have fallen into the same pathos as Ubica by rejecting it in order to become a being unique unto yourself. You see, that is simply not possible, you ‘are’ this incredibly terrifying power, and Ubica is forever going to be Dantega. All other forms of your existence are entirely secondary to them.”
“I am not defined by my power, I have never been.” Rage retorts.
“But you are! Whether you believe it or not makes no difference to the truth of the matter. You are God’s creation, and he gave you a piece of his being. You are simply a tool, Azrael!”
“Aren’t you the same then? Aren’t you just using your powers as a tool for someone else’s objectives?”
“Of course I am, and I am secure enough to accept that. You see, I can be a tool for someone else if it means that my personal objectives correlate with theirs; I can live with myself knowing that our end goals are the same. You however, just like Ubica, don’t even have goals, you just simply exist, and reject your strength at the same time. It’s pathetic!”
“Tch…” Rage hisses.
“I am to destroy the one being that truly terrifies me… If it is true that God has created everything, it would mean that nothing is our own. I want something of my own! And you and Dantega are in the way of that!”
Beelzebub’s face writhes with a vibrant fervor; one can’t help but feel such heartfelt revelations by a demon of such caliber must be a result of his fleeting life. But the mangled man half buried in snow doesn’t show any signs of wavering in his desires, he proclaims them as though they are still within his grasp.
Rage can’t stomach the sight any longer, this creature underneath his foot is a being he simply cannot comprehend; yet the reason for his inability to understand such a man is truly just a fault of his own.
Beelzebub is right, and even the demon’s skewed desires strike envy in the soul of Rage.
This emotion prompts Rage to unleash an attack of such fury, that his very name takes shape in the form of a great black blast that literally obliterates the ground below him. Snow plumes up hundreds of yards high, blanketing the horizon with a mix of dark energy and glistening bits of ice at vapor.
The tattered frame of the 3rd ranked demon of Hell goes up into the sky in the midst of some devastating destruction. His flesh breaks apart bit by bit, fly by fly, and is eventually dissolved in the heat of the explosion.
Beelzebub is no more.
Rage peers at the calamity he unleashed upon his foe, a hollow feeling brewing in his chest brings discomfort. Even though he is victorious, he can’t help but feel it wasn’t by his own hand Beelzebub fell.
Rage clicks his tongue in disgust.
“Just what am I really supposed to do?” he mutters to himself. “What is expected of me?”
The lines all over Rage’s body begin to fade, and what little bit of pigment of his skin begins to return from its ghoulish white form. Despite not sustaining any real physical injuries, he quickly falls to his knees and gasps for air; it’s as if his body rejected the power of God, or God’s power is simply too great a burden on his body to handle. Whatever the reason, his energy has been warped to the point where he can’t even stand up.
He falls to his knees and leans his weight against his scythe.
His eyes become heavy as his vision fades. The incredible destructive power he had unleashed fizzles out in a whimper as though it were a dying battery. Motionless in the snow, the wind begins to bury the living embodiment of death in a blanket of white.
“It doesn’t look like she can hold on much longer, Ubica.” Leviathan said with a smile, gesturing to Tsubiri while she both freezes and drowns in the box of water he created. “But look over there!” He shouts, then points to the direction of the ferocious battle raging between Trojia and Messor.
It looks as though things are about to reach a climax with them, both the girls are charging each other with such tremendous malice in their movements. Ubica can sense the murderous energy in the very pit of his chest as the two make their suicidal charge.
Leviathan is breathing heavy, his huffs and puffs enter and exit through the corners of his mouth. He’s holding back his body’s fatigue to put on a confident front; he’s hiding how much of a threat the pair’s attack actually was. Yet somehow, he has found a way to ensure his goal in this fight with Ubica; he has put Ubica in a no win situation.
If he chooses to stop the fight with Trojia and Messor, he leaves Tsubiri to die, if he wants any chance of saving Tsubiri, he will need to unleash Dantega, which is the exact objective of this entire battle from the beginning.
Leviathan has succeeded.
What will Ubica choose?
Ubica doesn’t wait long.
With his head hung low, Ubica raises his arm in the air towards Tsubiri. With a clenched fist, a heavy base noise rips the wind and snow fall to a complete standstill.
Leviathan reveals a face of shock, that feeling of base hit him in the stomach and felt as though his heart stopped for a moment.
With that, he feels the control he had over Tsubiri’s water coffin begin to slip. The frozen icicles begin to dissipate, and bubbles of air spontaneously form until the entirety of the square explodes outwards in a loud popping noise.
Tsubiri begins her rapid fall out of the sky.
Leviathan gathers his composure and proceeds to draw the moisture in the air around him, and then turn the newly formed water into a half dozen menacing sharp icicles. With a quick hand gesture, he sends the six large missiles zooming towards the falling girl.
Tsubiri is just catching the breath that left her when she almost drowned, half in a daze she has no way of defending herself.
In an instant, the icicles are upon her, without a doubt she will be impaled. But right before making contact, the icicles suddenly melt, and all that hits Tsubiri is non-threatening pools of water.
Immediately after, Ubica snatches her out of the sky and safely lands back on the ground.
“Are you okay?” Ubica asks, holding her tightly as she coughs out some water that got into her lungs.
“Huff, huff, yeah I think I’m okay. I’m a little cold though.”
“I can take care of that for you.”
Steam begins to vapor off her body as her hair and clothes dry almost instantly.
“Whoah! Is this you?” she asks, her voice seemed to carry much more energy now that she’s warm again.
“It is, Leviathan’s water can’t hurt you anymore.”
Ubica gently puts her back onto her feet and pats her on the back. This prompts Tsubiri to smile and hit him on the back as well, only she really gives him an especially strong whack.
“Thank you, Ubica. I was scared, but I knew you’d save me.”
The two share a little moment of relief and love as they smile at each other, but it is broken up by the voice of Leviathan.
“You disappoint me again!” He shouted, his voice carrying an unusual amount of frustration. “Why do you constantly handicap yourself? You’re going to get this girl and all of your weak little friends killed.”
Ubica frowns, looks back to Leviathan and replies, “It’s you who has handicapped yourself.” Ubica points his sword at him and continues resolutely, “You continue to try and attack my friends to get me to change, but what you’re doing is underestimating what I’m capable of outside of Dantega.”
“You are Dantega you fool!”
“I am, but I’m more than that!”
“I’m stronger than you without Dantega, I can protect my friends without Dantega!”
Leviathan’s face shrinks in anger, the air around him begins to shift and distort as though it were heating to boil. The energy coming from the ground below his feet is spreading out so rapidly it blows Ubica and Tsubiri’s hair back.
“If you won’t become your true self to save the lives of those close to you, then you leave me no choice.”
Clouds form above, gather into masses and change color from hot reds and oranges, to cool blues and purples.
Ubica can sense the destructive force forming in front of him, and Tsubiri can feel the ground tremble as she looks upon the reflection of the colors of the clouds on the snow.
It’s as though the world itself is beginning to take the shape of a distant planet as the atmosphere and the ground distorts. Hot colors shine brightly under Leviathan’s feet and as though they were a solid mass begin to push him into the sky slowly.
“You’re no different from any of us, Ubica.” Leviathan said as the circle of ever changing lights spread out from underneath him dozens of meters wide in a big circle. “You will do whatever it takes to survive if you’re truly in danger.”
The clouds above begin to produce brilliant colors of rain and drop into the circle of light below.
Ubica takes a weary step back and shields Tsubiri. It’s as though he has finally felt the true evil intentions presenting itself in front of him.
“Tsubiri, I need you to run as far away from here as you can. Gather up everyone you are able to and make your way to the Gate.” Ubica said sternly, his eyes never leaving the brilliant display growing in the distance.
“Can I really not help you?” Tsubiri replied. As much as she wants to stay and fight alongside him, her inner soldier’s instincts are telling her what is painfully obvious.
“This time he’s truly out to kill me. It’s best if you and everyone else can use this chance to get out of here safely.”
Tsubiri doesn’t argue, she can sense that this moment is going to become too big for her to be involved in. There is a resolute tone in Ubica’s voice that shows her he is about to give everything he’s got to survive this fight.
She puts her hand on his shoulder and turns him towards her; she pulls him in close and kisses him on the lips. It’s a deep, long kiss; one of such affection it seemingly sends shockwaves into Ubica’s body.
“I love you, Ubica, you’re going to win!” She said confidently with a smile and a clenched fist as she looked him square in the eyes.
Ubica can’t help but feel empowered by her belief in him.
He smiles as well and says, “Damn right I am!” He grabs her balled up hand firmly. “Now go get everyone to safety and meet me on the other side.”
Tsubiri takes a few steps back with a smile before turning to run away from the light of this upcoming fight to the death.
But before she does, Ubica leaves her with some parting words. “Tsubiri!”
She turns around and jogs in place almost comically as she keeps her attention on the next thing he’s about to say.
“I love you too… more than you know!”
As if right on que, the light emanating from Leviathan shines and illuminates her brilliantly radiant smile.
“Actually, I think I do know.”
With that, Tsubiri jets off running, using her electricity to allow her to dart off at a furious pace.
Once the warmth of her presence leaves, the coolness of the killing intent from Leviathan is replaced in the air.
Ubica turns back to his enemy to see that the clouds and the circle that are above and below Leviathan have grown exponentially in that short time it took to say goodbye to Tsubiri.
This power is now primed to attack, and Ubica braces himself with his sword out in front of him.
“You stand there as if you know what I have in store for you.” Leviathan said, his voice more menacing than ever. “There was once a time when I watched you grow into your physical form. You started off so small from within Dantega under the ocean. Have you ever thought about what gave you the flesh for your vessel?”
“My job was to nurture you from within Dantega, to make sure you grew into the monster you’d become as quickly as possible.”
The colorful rain flowing down from the clouds above him and into the circle below begin to put out the light on the ground. The light grows dull, becoming an ugly brown and pale black glow as a ghastly smoke replaces it.
“All the bodies of every form of life are majority water. You were no different. Bit by bit, year after many hundreds of years, I created the flesh of your body through the water of the world around you.”
Ubica is speechless, he can’t even doubt that this is true. Leviathan was the one constant in Ubica’s existence before the arrival of Messor deep in the dark depths of the ocean. To hear that his physical being was brought into form by his greatest enemy hurts the very reality of his identity.
“And your point is?” Ubica asks, feigning apathy to his foe’s sudden declaration.
“The point is, the souls of the Envy have been under my control for many thousands of years in Hell. Millions upon millions of the wretches sent to me for torment. I’ve spent a lot of time nurturing them as well.”
Leviathan raises his arms and the platform of putrid light beneath him begins to take the form of a massive serpent; raising him into the dark clouds. He stands upon its head triumphantly as the circle of dullness below him takes the shape of a large body of water.
As if writhing out of the very physical form of this lake, horrendous screams bellow from within and sharply enter into Ubica’s ears. These are all of the souls under Leviathan’s control, the sound of voices from those tortured along the timeframe of their eternity.
Ubica’s head immediately pulsates in pain as he watches forms begin to exit the dark lake of souls.
“Through water, I can create bodies!” Leviathan shouts. “Through the souls of the dead, I can create life!”
Ubica takes a weary step back as the forms, now daunting in their size, exit the lake and into the cool Purgatory air; their bodies steaming from the heat they emanate. The first one to exit has hideous pale beige skin, small beady bright blue eyes sit close together in the center of an elongated bald head, which rests atop a frame more similar to a mantis. Its mouth filled with hundreds of long sharp teeth is fixed agape, with its tongue draped over its chin oozing a dark red liquid.
More follow behind it, wriggling out from the water in disturbing fashion, the shape of their bodies completely unique to each individual. Some are black skinned, some are red, some yellow and some share the same skin tone as pigs. All of them have menacing sharp points on their limbs as if they were swords or knives ready to slice at whatever is in front of them.
These figures scream in pain as though each step they take wreaks havoc on their long brittle looking limbs, they scream as though the cool air is like needles piercing their transparently thin skin.
They writhe as they look for a way to relieve their suffering. This is when Leviathan simply lifts his hand and points it at a very nervous looking Ubica.
With that simple gesture, the dozen disfigured monsters rushed towards Ubica at a speed he almost couldn’t see coming until they were right on top of him. The 4 meter tall figures move so quickly that it defies logic.
With its razor sharp mantis-like arm, the pig skinned monster takes a vicious slice at Ubica’s neck.
Ubica barely gets his sword up in time to block the attack. But the force is so powerful it sends him flying a dozen meters away.
Without a moment of reprieve, sharp fingernail-like projectiles from the back of the black skinned monster are sent Ubica’s way. A quick reaction to the imminent threat results in Ubica twisting his body hitting the projectiles away in one swift motion, sending them all flying off in different directions.
Before he can even land his feet back on the ground, the pale yellow skinned monster is towering down on top of him, ready to send a strike down with its anvil shaped arms.
Ubica holds his sword up to block it, but the force buries him into the ground; a crater forms from the splinters of the impact, and rocks, dirt, and snow are sent pluming into the air. Both the monster and Ubica are hidden from sight deep within the debris, until the monster is seen catapulting into the sky alongside a loud explosive noise.
Ubica flies up right under it and uses his sword to take a colossal slash, behind it comes a blast of bright energy that slices the monster in two pieces diagonally.
It lets out a ghastly scream as both bloody halves of its body fall from the sky.
In an instant, Ubica is overwhelmed by another presence right behind him when the pig skinned monster seems to suddenly appear. This time Ubica doesn’t have the reflexes to parry this attack fully, and he’s halfway slashed in his shoulder along with the glancing blow of the sword. Shocked by the force behind the attack once more, he is again sent zooming towards the ground at incredible speed before landing on the rock hard ground in a heavy thud.
“Ugahh!!!” He groans, knowing full well that there can be another attack that will land if he loses focus for even one second.
However, all of the monsters who have left the lake stand moaning and groaning in agony and writhe as though they are itching to get to him. Leviathan peers above them, his hands glowing in a multicolored light are obviously controlling the actions of these incredibly powerful beings below.
“Each one of these pitiful creatures of mine are the living bodies of the souls of many thousands of humans from throughout time. Constantly in pain, forever miserable.” Leviathan says, “Strong, aren’t they? Pain and Envy can bring out such great strength, especially when so many souls are together as one.”
Ubica is already breathing hard just dealing with the first three, he can’t help but be alarmed when the numbers of these screaming creatures coming from the lake begin to multiply by the hundreds with no sign of slowing down. As nervous as he is about his ability to fend off so many of them, he’s grateful that Tsubiri is far away from here; there’s no way he’d be able to protect her under these circumstances. This makes him wonder why Leviathan never used this ability from the very start, there’s no doubt the havoc he could have brought upon Ubica’s friends would have been devastating.
(What is the weakness of this trump card?) He thinks to himself.
“You have something they want, you know? You are their sin, Dantega is the reason why they are like this now. You are what caused them this torment, Ubica.”
“That's not true.”
“But it is. If their sins brought their souls to me, those very sins are right in front of them in the form of you! If they want freedom from this pain, they will need to destroy what got them here in the first place. I’ve been waiting for so long to let them have you, all of this time they’ve suffered for this moment.”
Leviathan raises his arms and the dark lake grows, the pitch of the screams heighten and now thousands of these monsters come spewing out into the cold air. They immediately gaze upon Ubica, releasing roars of anguish; their voices blaming Ubica for their Hell.
Ubica is overwhelmed, not by the realization that his very existence is created by the Demon in front of him, and the sins of these creatures, but by the sheer number of these powerful beings. It’s like there is an endless supply of them, and they don’t stop coming.
How is he going to stop each one of them? What would happen if Leviathan decided to attack along with them? Is it even possible he can win against such astronomical odds?
From high atop his perch on the serpent’s head, Leviathan addresses his monsters and points his glowing hands at Ubica before loudly saying, “Destroy the sin in front of you, and finally free yourself from this pain.”
And just like that, the flesh of millions of souls rush to attack.
Tsubiri has made her way so far from the battle that she can no longer hear the horrendous screams of the monsters, there’s an eerie silence left in the wake of such an awful noise. But the feeling this silence is giving her isn’t only from getting away from the battle she was just in; the feeling comes from the silence of all the rest of the battles that were once raging all at the same time.
There’s no one around her anymore, and no one fighting out in the distance.
“Are we really the only ones left?” she asked herself, worried about the fate of her friends.
If there was anyone near her, friend or foe, she most certainly would feel their energy.
This is why she’s more than surprised to suddenly hear the sound of footsteps crunching on the crisp outer layer of snow from behind a mound blocking her view just a few yards away. Quickly turning to the source of the noise, she is taken aback by the figure presenting itself to her.
Without a moment’s hesitation, she rushes to the injured girl that is stumbling forward slowly.
Messor’s gaze is pressed forward in a thousand yard stare, it’s as if she doesn’t even have the strength to move her eyes. She’s in a miserable state, Trojia’s swords are still protruding from her body, and the wings that once shone so brightly behind her are now withered on her back.
Tsubiri grabs her shoulders and urges her onto her weakened knees, but Messor is determined to not waste any moment of her fleeting life. She has somewhere she absolutely needs to be.
“Leave me alone, girl.” Messor says, not even making eye contact with the girl in front of her, instead just glaring ahead.
“I couldn’t possibly leave you alone! Here, let me help you.”
Messor, despite her resistance, just about collapses into Tsubiri’s arms as the both of them gently lower to the ground. It’s obvious that simply moving any part of her body with such grievous wounds is causing her great pain, and Tsubiri can’t help but wonder just how in the world she’s even breathing with these two swords skewering her.
“Why?” Messor asked softly, her forehead pressed onto Tsubiri’s shoulder. “Why would you help me?”
“Because you’re my comrade. What kind of person would I be if I just left you in such a state?”
Tsubiri doesn’t give Messor time to respond before grabbing the handle of one of the swords, “If you’re anything like Ubica, you wouldn’t bleed out if I take these out of you, right?”
“You know about Ubica and I?”
“Of course I do, but that’s not important right now. I think we need to get these out of you, at least then you won’t be in so much pain.”
“Okay, pull them out if you can. It will help me to breathe a little easier.”
“This is going to hurt really bad for a second, but as soon as they are out I’ll use my electricity to seal up the wound. I hope your body can do the rest for you.”
The two girls look each other in the eyes; Tsubiri grabs hold of the first sword in Messor’s side, and pulls out as quickly as possible. The sword glances bone and organs on the way out.
Not wanting to prolong the pain any more than necessary, Tsubiri yanks the other sword out from under Messor’s armpit. Her axillary vein was severed at the first impact, and the sword had seemingly blocked the artery from completely bleeding out. So upon removal of the weapon, a torrent of blood came gushing from the wound.
Tsubiri quickly electrifies her hand and grabs hold of the bloody area under the injured girl’s arm; with a loud crackling noise, her electricity creates so much heat under Messor’s arm that the open wound quickly seals itself. With a swift movement, the next wound is sealed in the same fashion.
Like a weight lifted off her lungs, Messor can breathe slightly better, even though the pain of her insides being torn still lingers, her body can at least somewhat function. From now on she’ll have to rely on Dantega to heal the damage that still remains.
“Are you feeling better now?” Tsubiri asked, her words packed with sincere concern.
Messor feels it, the energy this girl in front of her carries no malice, it’s almost like she’s looking at an angel.
“I am…” Messor pauses for a moment, looks to Tsubiri and puts her hand on her shoulder before saying, “Thank you… you’re a kind person.”
Taken aback by these grateful words, Tsubiri bashfully looks away. “No, it was nothing anyone else wouldn’t do for you. I’m happy we were able to stop the bleeding.”
Shakily standing to her feet, Messor asks, “I need to hear something from you… if you know about my past with Ubica, why is it that you don’t hate us?”
Tsubiri doesn’t understand why she’d ask something like that at a moment like this, and she smoothly answers, “Because the Ubica I love isn’t even close to the same man as back then. I think you know that better than anyone.”
She gently smiles, helps Messor stand up straight by grabbing her hand and shoulder before finishing, “As for you, I believe you’ve been punished enough for whatever you did with him. It must have been hard being alone for all that time, and it must have been even worse to finally get out only to find that the Ubica you know and love is no longer there.”
Messor stays silent as she contemplates those words; an emotional lump forms in her chest.
“But the Ubica I love, still loves you deeply. You’re such a big part of him, he’s told me so much about you that I feel I’ve gotten to know you as well. I couldn’t possibly hate someone he cares about so much.”
Messor is at a loss for words, until this moment she has only ever hated this girl in front of her. There was a specific plan in place that she had intended to fulfill that involved killing this person. She’s torn with guilt for even having the thought of hurting this beautiful girl that Ubica grew to love the most.
“I’m sorry!” Tsubiri interrupts, bowing her head in the process.
“I’m sorry for causing you pain, I didn’t know who you were when I fell for him. But selfishly, I don’t think knowing your past would have ever stopped what my heart wanted. I’m sorry that our relationship has brought you pain.”
“You can’t be serious?”
“I am! Please forgive me!”
Messor puffs out of her nose and the edges of her lips rise. “Don’t torture yourself over something so stupid, girl. You’ve won what it was your heart desired, that’s not anything to apologize for.”
She takes a deep breath and takes in a refreshing air that gives her a strength she can’t quite describe. But deep down she knows where this strength is coming from.
“It’s like you said, the person my heart longs for is long gone. No matter what I did to get him back, it just wasn’t possible. My time at his side has passed… but that being said.”
Messor’s shoulders rise, and then relax. The strength welled up inside of her with that last breath is released, and with it is finally some closure. In a way, this girl in front of her was that closure all along; Tsubiri is the one person she could have trusted to never hurt him, she was just too stubborn and envious to see it.
“I’m glad it was you.”
Tsubiri blushes, not knowing how to respond to that.
“Here.” Messor says as she hands Tsubiri the bloody swords that were just pulled from her. “You can bring this back to that wretched princess. She’ll need them if she dares try to harm Ubica again.”
“You really think she’d try to hurt him?”
“Judging by the fact that she hasn’t come to finish me off, she may still have some autonomy over herself. But Damien has implanted a desire to kill him that she soon will no longer be able to control. I’ll admit that I’ve contributed to the speed in which she’s transformed into such a monster however...”
Tsubiri has no idea what she’s talking about. This is the first news she’s heard of either of those subjects, and needless to say she’s very alarmed. There are so many questions floating through her mind, but it’s as though Messor is simply speaking in a train of thought, a lot like someone would if they were talking to theirself.
“But after I help Ubica, I’ll know that there is nothing that that princess could ever do to harm him. She and Damien will never get their hands on him, no one ever will be able to.”
“What are you going to do?”
Messor smiles, looks at Tsubiri confidently and replies, “Go back to where I belong.”
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