Mission One: The Clouds are Burning...Edit
Mission One: The Clouds are Burning... First TakeEdit
It was an ordinary dull day in the town of Atropos, located on an island not far from Fortuna- relatively speaking. The Desir Islands were located a few hundred miles away from the the island nation of Fortuna and were surrounded by choppy waters filled with shallows and jagged rocks. That being said, the quartet of islands, Clotho, Atropos, Lachesis and Salamandra, were the closest land masses to the isolated island. The two nations had long been out of contact with one another because of traditional values and the influence of the Order of the Sword, a militant religion that seemed rather adamant to keep prying eyes away from Fortuna, but the two maintained a strong connection via trade. This all changed six years ago, after a terrible incident struck Fortuna and brought to light many of the hidden happenings on the mysterious island: the worshiping of a demon lord, the existence of the Hellgate and the experiments carried out on members of the order, with the occasional civilian used when new experiments were to be attempted. It would be safe to say to that the people of the Desir Islands were horrified of what had gone on in Fortuna, but it was only by their hands could the full recovery of Fortuna begin.
Several months passed. The lives of many people living on Fortuna had been permanently altered because of Order’s grand scheme. Families were broken, friendships wedged apart by differences in support and many lives were lost. For an isolated island this could have resulted in its complete destruction, but it was miraculously held together by two beacons of hope: Nero, a devil hunter gifted with the arm and spirit of a demon, and Kyrie, the woman who stood by his side without fail, keeping Nero from crossing the line between human and demon. The two led the beginning of Fortuna’s reconstruction, albeit slowly at first. Having been a member of the Order of the Sword, Nero was not completely trusted by the citizens of Fortuna, even after he managed to best the titanic False Savior, and was the subject of much disdain and scorn. The same applied to Kyrie, though to a much lesser extent, because she chose to support Nero and stood by his side.
The recovery process was slow and not without hiccups. Dissent towards the remainder of the Order only grew as tensions rose, eventually boiling into a riot that only damaged Fortuna more than it already had been. Between mediating conflicts between the people and leading the repairs for the damage done to Fortuna, Nero and Kyrie rarely had a moment’s rest and often got very little sleep, something that was slowly wearing away at them. When it seemed like the two attempting to right Fortuna would break under the stress, aid from the Desir Islands arrived.
The relief effort was fast acting and got the job done. In less than two months, Fortuna was nearly back to its original state, minus a few issue here and there. The tension between the fragments of the Order and the regular civilians of the island was cleared with the help of advisers and mediators from the isle of Clotho, bringing back the much sought peace. Nero and Kyrie were able to catch a break so to speak, getting well earned relaxation time, though their duties did not end. The two were able to negotiate for a better trade relationship between the islands in exchange for helping out with the demon related issues within the Desir Islands and, like that, Fortuna was finally fully restored. It was also around this time that a new story began...
It was a dull and ordinary in Atropos. People crowded the narrow sidewalks and traffic was as atrocious as usual. This was the price to pay for a sudden spike in development and the spread of urbanization. New technology meant more people and more people meant more hustle and bustle. For June this meant the day would be a repeat of yesterday and the day before and so on.
June was not from the island of Atropos, she had been brought there six years ago by her caretaker after the incident on Fortuna, and she was considered an oddity. She was the daughter of an antique shop owner named Innis, an odd figure himself considering he found June six years ago and took her in without question, and was well known for her silence and aloof personality. June had never been very talkative, especially to strangers, and rarely socialized with others her age, something Innis tried (and failed) to coerce her to do. Instead June found pleasure in drawing or staring people in the eyes, which she said revealed a person’s true character, which only unnerved others and led to her becoming the topic of much school gossip. Very few people knew that June, despite her reclusive and distant nature, was rather opinionated and strong willed, she just kept things to herself when she wasn’t at home. June at home was an entirely different person, much to her caretaker’s chagrin.
“June, why can’t you be like this in front of others,” asked Innis Remidi, June’s caretaker and owner of Reborn Treasures, the only antique shop in all of the Desir Islands. He was exasperated as he usually was when dealing with June, who was lounging on a couch with her legs propped on a nearby table. She gave him a bored look.
“I don’t like people,” she answered before resting her eyes. Innis could only sigh, he had known that raising June would be difficult but not nearly as difficult as it was already.
“You’ve gotta be more proactive and attached,” he complained, scratching his head, “How else are you going to make friends and eventually get married?”
“I don’t have to marry,” she returned, opening an eye. “I’m not interested in people in that way.”
“I wasn’t either at your age, but I can’t just take care of you forever. In a year you’ll be finishing school and you’ll have to find a way to take care of yourself.” He sighed. “The business doesn’t make enough money for me to hire you on as an assistant and I can’t say that it’ll be easy for me to keep things up unless there’s a sudden spike in interest in antiques or having to do a few side jobs.” June perked up slightly at that.
On very rare occasions, Innis would leave the shop in June’s hands while he went to take care of business elsewhere, often returning not only with scrapes and bruises, but also the money they needed. June was extremely curious about his destinations and asked him every question she could think of, receiving no answer in return. Unfortunately. she was not the only person interested in Innis’ business. There were many rumors about Innis, many involving him holding a second, shadier business that he ran in the shadows, but none of these claims were substantiated. On a few occasions, law enforcement agents would be called to investigate Innis and the antique shop, but there was never any evidence of him doing anything illegal or dangerous, something that only brought more attention to him.
“When will I be able to handle the side jobs,” asked June, “You do enough already, let me handle the other things.”
“Sorry, but that won’t be happening anytime soon, June. There’s a reason I don’t let you handle them, it’s the-”
“Same reason you don’t let me go outside after dark, go on school trips alone or stay over at a friend’s house,” finished June.
“I’m pretty sure you just said that you didn’t like people.” Innis smirked, the thought of June actually having a friend made him happy. His smirk was erased when a pillow hit him in the face.
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.” She stuck her tongue out at him before walking to her room.
“Oh right. June, tomorrow we’ll be having a guest over, you’re free to stay out until sunset unless something comes up,” Innis called. He waited several minutes before he stood up and entered their home’s tiny kitchen. “Tomorrow’s the big day... He’ll be here.”
Innis spent the next few hours preparing food for the next day, making sure that the meat was well seasoned before letting it marinate in the fridge and ensuring that the sides were done. Heh, I bet they’d think I became a housewife or something if they could see me now. He smiled to himself, remembering his life before he found June on Fortuna. “The past is the past, no point giving it that much thought.” Innis spent the rest of the night in the kitchen, getting to bed in the wee hours of the next morning.
June rose shortly after dawn as she usually did. School started early in the day and went on into the early afternoon, so she had to be up and about early. She spent a few minutes getting her morning hygiene done, then moved onto getting dressed for the day. On her way out of her bathroom, she took a quick glance at a mirror, catching a glimpse of her amber eyes that seemed to glow in the dark and her short and messy black hair. She made her way to the living room and toward the door, shaking her head at Innis when she saw the state he was in.
“Another late opening,” she mumbled to herself as she closed the door to the house behind her and walked to school. The island of Atropos was small, meaning everything was near and nothing was too far away. These days walking had become a better alternative to driving because there was little pedestrian traffic and no need to worry about impatient drivers. For June, the morning walk was the most peaceful part of the day because of the silence and lack of people. Within the hour, the streets would fill with cars and the walkways would crowd with people, replacing June’s enjoyment with annoyance because the bustle would continue long into the evening. Might as well enjoy this while I can.
By the time June arrived at school, the traffic and noise of the day had began. She had still gotten there before many others would, but she still had to deal with people her age and older throughout the day and on her way home. She waited at the school gates until they opened a few minutes later, quietly entering the school building and walking to the library where she would read until it was time for her first class of the day. Nearly two hours passed before the first bell rang, something that was unusual on its own, but the long drone of the bell only added to the odd atmosphere. June looked up from the book in her hands and found the library completely deserted, which she knew was not normal in the slightest. Setting her book down, she decided to look for someone who knew what was going on. Her search led her to the main office of the building, where multiple staff members were pacing around, calling the parents of students or otherwise discussing whatever was going on.
“Oh, it’s you June,” called a woman from behind her. June turned her head and saw her home room teacher, Helena Avery.
“Hello, Ms. Avery,” answered June in a polite tone, bowing her head slightly at the older woman. “Is something going on? The library was empty and I didn’t see anyone in the halls on my way here.”
“So you didn’t know then.” Helena smiled sadly. “June, the volcano on Salamandra has started to show signs of erupting soon. The last time this was recorded was one hundred years ago and...”
“It was bad,” supplied June, a worried expression forming across her usually neutral face.
“It was terrible,” nodded the teacher. “Supposedly, the sky was dyed black for four months out of the year and the settlements on the islands were completely destroyed within moments. To make matters worse, there were sightings of strange creatures in the area around the islands for the next few years and many more people died after returning here than when the eruption occurred.”
“Oh...” This was bad indeed. The eruption sounded bad alone, but the strange creatures that would follow it and the larger number of casualties afterward painted a grim picture. “Are there plans for evacuation?”
“Yes, we’ve contacted Fortuna and the mainland. By sunset, the rescue vessels should arrive and the evacuation process can begin. Until then, we’ve been told to send all students home and tell them to notify their parents if they don’t know yet.”
“Ah, I’ll head home and tell Innis then,” June said, walking away briskly.
“W-wait,” exclaimed Helena, “Can you tell Mr. Remidi that the Salamander is active?” June was now confused, she just said that she would inform Innis about the upcoming disaster. Maybe it was a code or secret message or one of the random sayings of a teacher. Whatever it meant, June nodded and raced out of the school, her long legs carrying her out and away from the school in long strides. It’s a good thing I joined the running team in middle school and stuck with it, I should get to the shop soon if I keep up this pace.
It took fifteen minutes of running for June to reach Reborn Treasures. On her way, she had seen several major traffic jams and a few accidents on the narrow roads of the island. Luckily, there were not many pedestrians out, probably because news of the volcanic activity was spreading around the island like a wildfire across a small forest. When she entered the antique shop, she found Innis talking to two people: a man with pale white hair wearing a long red coat with a guitar case strapped to his back and a boy around her age with similarly white hair and a simple dress coat over black slacks. Innis paused when he saw her, but continued his conversation as if she hadn’t been there.
“As I was saying, this job isn’t a simple babysitting assignment, Dante. This is a matter of utmost importance.”
“I don’t see how watching over your daughter while you conduct your business is nearly as important as you’re making it out to be,” responded the man in red. “I can understand that you don’t want her to get in the way, but you could easily have her watch over the shop as usual, Innis. Why is it so important that I watch over her this time?”
“I’d like to know that as well,” voiced June, getting the attention of the man and the teenager. “I’m not just a child you know. I can handle myself just fine.”
“See, she’s not the same girl you rescued back then,” said Dante.
“That’s not the problem,” sighed Innis, rubbing his temples rhythmically. “The problem is that they’ve become active in the area. I can’t just leave her here, unprotected, for an extended period of time, three day absences were already stretching it.” More things that she didn’t know or understand? She knew Innis was secretive and overprotective, but this was beyond the norm.
“Then take her with you,” Dante suggested with a shrug, “If you won’t explain the issue, I don’t see any reason to listen to this any further.”
“It’s because he can’t take her with him,” responded the boy, looking directly into June’s eyes with his own icy orbs. “If he did, the angels would come after them both.”
“Still going on about angels, kid,” asked Dante, “I told you, I’ve seen a hell of a lot of things in my years, but never any angels. I’ve seen demons in the shape of angelic figures, but never any angels.”
“Seeing isn’t always believing, Dante, you know that,” chided the boy, not looking away from June, which was frankly creeping her out. Maybe this was some form of retribution for her doing the same to others. “I guess it is hard to fathom that they exist when you’ve not seen any, even when you regularly converse with one.”
“And you’ve lost me,” responded Dante, only for the boy to point at Innis. “Him? He’s an angel? I think you need to check your eyes, I don’t see an wings with a countenance of fire or a halo of blinding light. He’s a regular-”
“You knew from the start, didn’t you,” asked Innis, his voice dull as he addressed the odd boy. He then looked at Dante. “Yeah, the kid’s right. I’m an angel, I just suppress and hide it, like you do your other side.” Innis placed a hand to his forehead and something seemed to shatter before a brilliant golden light filled the shop and June blacked out.
June awoke on a couch, wrapped in a thin blanket. She looked around slowly, her vision foggy and dim. It took a few moments for her to adjust to the lighting in the room and take in her surroundings. The man called Dante and the odd boy sat a table across from her, while beside her sat- rather floated- Innis.
The man whom she had lived with after he found her was a lot different than she remembered. His dark shoulder length hair now extended down to his waist and faded to the color of genuine gold at the tips. Floating above his head was a burning halo of orange light with swirling and curving extensions branching off of each side. Growing from his back was a pair of wings with metallic silver feathers that shone with molten light. His tanned, angular face was now the color of polished bronze with fiery amber eyes. His clothing had remained the same black T-shirt with silver colored jeans as before, but now the colors seemed to pop and glow as well. The thing that stood out to June the most, however, was the sheathed long sword shaped like a rapier accompanied by a primarily black shield with gold lining, silver trim and a diamond set in the center of it.
“I-Innis,” stuttered June, surprised and afraid of her guardian’s true nature.
“The one and only,” he responded, his voice now holding an echoing, metallic quality. He chuckled in a lilting fashion. “Sorry if I startled you, I didn’t want you to see this side of me if you didn’t need to.” She shook her head fervently.
“Y-you’re an an-”
“An angel, yes.” He sent Dante a sidelong glance. “Is this proof enough?”
“For now,” yawned the devil hunter, propping his legs onto the table. “Now, are you going to explain why you can’t just take care of her? Better yet, why other angels would be after you if took her with you wherever you’re going?”
“That’s a long story,” began the metal angel.
“We’ve got time, tell it.”
“No, actually we do not, Dante,” objected the boy, “It appears that the volcano in the area is going to erupt soon.” The mention of the volcano reminded June of something from earlier in the day.
“Oh right,” exclaimed June, “Innis, Ms. Avery said something about the Salamander becoming active or something. She insisted I tell you that for some reason... Innis?” The look that flashed across Innis’ face the moment she said Salamander was not one June was accustomed to seeing. She had seen him laugh in the right situations, smile bashfully around Ms. Avery, cry over soap operas, get angry when something broke or he missed an episode of one of his favorite programs, become depressed when he counted the shop’s income for a month and become exasperated with her when she was especially stubborn, but never had she seen Innis’ serious, grim expression until today.
“I should’ve known,” he grumbled, his wings knocking over one of the inexpensive lamps that furnished the room when he suddenly rose from the couch. “Dante, I’ll pay you enough to fully cover your debt and any future debt you manage to incur over the next decade and then some. In exchange, I need you to watch over June starting immediately.” Dante raised an eyebrow.
“Oho? Do you know what you’re saying? That’s a lot of money, Innis,” he replied smoothly.
“I know. Approximately three-hundred-ninety-seven million, four-hundred-fifty-two thousand, nine-hundred-seventy-three dollars and forty-two cents, not including the damages you caused when the Temen-ni-gru burst from the earth, the repair costs for Lady’s motorcycle or the damage done in Fortuna, which would raise the total to one billion-”
“That’s enough, that’s enough,” hissed Dante, waving his arms frantically. He cleared his throat and took a few deep breathes before continuing. “Are you sure you can afford that and more? That would be a couple billion dollars at least, maybe more...” June was shocked to silence. How in the world did a single person amass that much debt!? Dante looked like he was in his mid, maybe late, thirties, it didn’t seem possible that he could have amassed such a debt. What was even more outlandish was Innis’ claim to be able to pay the entire amount and more! Did he forget that they lived in a cramped two storey house that doubled as a shop when he went angel mode!?
“Innis are you insane!? We don’t have that kind of money,” she exploded.
“...Actually, we do,” responded the angel after a short deliberated pause. “In my savings alone, I have around seventeen trillion dollars, probably more and I put at least three trillion dollars into your college fund and inheritance each year... June?” While his foster daughter was frozen in disbelief at his words, it was Dante’s turn to be absolutely flabbergasted. This man- No, this angel has enough money in his name to buy several large countries, yet he chooses to work as antique dealer and occasional informant or devil hunter?
“What’s the world coming to,” he muttered as the gravity of what was just said fully sank in. Not only could Innis pay off his debt and more, it wouldn’t even dent his total wealth. Before depression could sink in, the boy chimed in.
“Dante, Innis, it’s beginning.” He pointed outside, indicating the burning sky line. He pulled what appeared to be the head of a fancy cane from within his jacket, the piece of brass metalwork having a concave grip and a hollowed out, rounded star with a single sapphire adorning each point.
“It’s about time,” sighed the man in red, unzipping the guitar case to reveal a large claymore with a notched blade and a guard akin to a rib cage with the start of two arms emerging from it near the base. Similarly an open mouthed horned skull decorates the point where the guard meets the grip of the sword. The grip itself is plain, but it ends with a ring of small outward flaring spikes. “June was it? Stay close to me, I don’t need you dying needlessly.” She nodded absently. What kind of world had she just been thrust into? Since when had she been rich? Was she dreaming?
“Let’s handle this quickly, the volcano is still a threat without its denizen,” stated Innis as he beat his wings and picked up his sword and shield. Dante swung his iconic sword over his shoulder and into the sling on his back.
“Right, it’s showtime!”
Mission One: The Clouds are Burning... Second TakeEdit
The streets of Atropos, the skies of Atropos and even the seas of Atropos were ablaze. The air was stifling and congested with thick smoke and dry heat. The earth was cracked and shattered, the streets littered with smashed cars crumpled bodies trapped in smoldering wreckage. The sky was dyed as red as blood, the clouds boiling and churning like a turbulent black sea glowing with embers. The sea steamed and raged around the island, violent waves striking the shores fiercely and tearing away at the harbors. If the emergency operators did not arrive soon, saving the people on the island would be an impossibility.
Elsewhere, a fierce battle was taking place. Dante, Innis and even the mysterious boy were fighting off hordes of infernal demons as they made their way through the now ruined city. June followed three closely, trying her best to stay out of harm’s way as best she could while they fought. As they made advanced through the burning town, she noticed that the three fought vastly differently. Dante, she noted, fought in what appeared to be a reckless manner with his sword, occasionally tossing the blade into the air or into the nearest demon and riddling them with a seemingly endless hail of bullets from a pair of handguns of contrasting colors, never once getting hit. Innis dominated the sky with agility and efficiency, his strikes pinpoint and true anytime his sword flew through the air and his shield blocking all attacks aimed at him as he swooped, dove, skewered and cut down the demons that got within his range. The boy fought in a more provocative fashion, goading enemies into attacking only to dodge and viciously counter with a blade of translucent white light emerging from his odd tool, his movements nimble, graceful and cruel all at once. Despite all of this, June couldn’t shake the feeling that none of them were giving their all to the battle- if anything they were cutting through the demons as if they were barely any challenge.
“There are lot more of these small fry than expected,” commented Dante, piercing through a row of demons with a powerful lunge, then springing over a slash made by one of the larger demons. He made quick work of it with a trio broad slashes followed by a kick before doubling back to the others.
“Until we take out their leader, they’ll spawn endlessly,” called Innis from above. “The flames from Salamander will endlessly bring them into the world until extinguished. He’s basically forging his own army and sending it to attack as he covers ground and creates more soldiers. They may be low rank demons, but if there’s an indefinite number of them we’ll be the ones to kick the bucket.”
“That will be a problem,” sighed Dante, “Let’s find the boss and take him out of the picture.”
“No need,” said the boy, popping his neck. “We’re not far from him.”
“What makes you say that?” Dante raised a curious eyebrow.
“The molten remains of the next few blocks.” He pointed ahead, indicating the shimmering of the air not far ahead of them and the melting metal structures just beyond the wall of heat.
“Isn’t that a little too convenient,” asked June, voicing her thoughts on the matter. "If the leader was here the entire time, shouldn’t we have seen some sign of it?” The odd boy stopped suddenly, contemplating her words.
“True... It hasn’t been more than twenty minutes and yet we’ve already found the one in charge... supposedly,” he noted, “Which either means that this Salamander fellow isn’t the brightest of demons or it’s a-” The ground before the group exploded into a geyser of flame, liquefied metal and molten rock, revealing a large tape worm shaped demon comprised of the same fire, blackened stone and twisted pieces of metal that the other demons were made of. Its mouth was a ring of jagged metal pieces and sharp stone fragments. There were no eyes to be seen, but none of the other demons that had attacked had eyes and they seemed to know where their adversaries were regardless. "Trap," he finished, sending a sidelong glance at June, "Very good."
“No Mortal shall pass beyond this point! Perish and burn!” While the creature’s mouth did not move, it was clear that it was the source of the rattling voice that reverberated across the area. Glass shattered as the stiflingly hot air grew hotter. June became dizzy from the heat and began to lose her balance, stumbling backwards as the world began to fade around her. Everything went black for what felt like an instant to her before a refreshing rush of cold air hit her and restored her conscious. Standing before her was a humanoid demon with a combination of insectoid and reptilian features holding what appeared to be a frozen set of nunchaku with three handles and a central ring connecting the trio of black chains to one another.
The demon’s body was primarily black and red, but had some grey areas, a white area atop its head and glowing veins of orange light that spread across its body like cracks. From its forearms to its pointed fingertips, the demon’s flesh was the color of coal with spiraling orange lines. Starting from its elbows and ending at its shoulders, the demon’s skin was crimson with the occasional black spines. The same pattern was followed on the demon’s legs: the upper leg down to the point kneecaps were primarily black with the golden lines while it was crimson from the shins down to its three clawed feet. The demon appeared to be wearing a long coat that was fused into its red, golden vein covered upper torso, the coat having three separated tails that gave the impression of an insect’s folded wings and two jutting points where the front of the collar on either side would be. The neck and lower portion of the demon’s face was a dark grey color with four lighter spikes on both sides that advanced from its chin to its lower jaw. From the jaw line upwards, the face was red with glowing golden eyes and two larger red, backwards pointing protrusions on either side of its head, giving the demon’s face a masked appearance. From the forehead, parting the natural red mask, was was a white section of short, backwards facing spines not unlike hair.
Oddly, June was not afraid of the demon in front of her, if anything its presence was comforting in a way. Stranger yet, she felt more at home around the demon did she did Innis after his transformation, as if some unconscious part of her knew that she was safe around the demon whereas Innis' nature envoked a faint, instinctual fear within her. The demon in question, seeing her trance-like gaze, cleared its throat.
“If you stare at me like that, it’ll give Innis a bad impression of me,” it said in a voice that was both familiar and not because of how deep it was and the faint echo of restrained power.
“Dante,” she returned, not entirely sure that the demon before her was the white haired man from before.
“Bull’s eye,” the demon replied, returning to his human form in a flash of red light. “You were about to have a heat stroke, so I transformed and used Cerberus cool you down. Hold on to this guy, he’ll keep you safe from the heat.” Dante thrust the nunchaku into June’s hands.
“What about the demon,” she asked, only for the devil hunter to point at Innis and the boy wearing away at the molten parasite with glacial spears from above and furious beams of light from the sides.
“Those two covered for me while I made sure you stayed among the living. It’s about time for me help them finish him off. Stay back just in case.” June nodded as Dante sprinted towards the worm, drawing his claymore from across his back. The red clad devil hunter halved the distance between himself and the molten demon in the span of several seconds, springing into the air as he taunted the creature. "Hey, bug, this one's on the house!"
The demon turned and snarled at Dante a second before the devil hunter's sword buried itself in its head, having been hurled at the worm demon by the devil hunter the moment he had its attention. The demon jerked back suddenly, tearing free molten rocks and metal from the ground as it swayed unsteadily before finally collapsing, sending a spray of burning dust and debris into the surrounding area.
"Always one for the flashy finish," commented Innis, returning to the ground.
"What can I say," shrugged Dante, plucking his weapon from the demon's rapidly cooling corpse. "That's part of my style." He slung the sword around, flinging off any traces of the demon worm before sheathing the sword. "Besides, you two whittled it down while I took care of the little lady."
"Hmm, it's a good thing you gave her the ice Devil Arm," nodded the boy, giving Dante and the angel a bad taste in their mouths.
"Don't jinx it," sighed Innis as the boy continued.
"Because the real battle..." The boy tightened the grip on his light sword.
"He's jinxing it," sighed Dante, pulling a scaly silver backpack with metallic red lining and two eye shaped compartments from his guitar case and slinging it onto his back. At the same time the ground began to tremble and a fierce heat wave hit the area.
"Is about to begin," finished the boy as the demon worm's body began to glow with heat before slithering back into the ground. The trembling stopped, only to be replaced by a mighty earthquake that split the ground enough to reveal a glowing molten mass beneath the island. The already scorching heat became searing as a magma clad webbed limb the size of two eighteen wheeler trucks emerged from the sundered earth. Three other limbs of the same type emerged from the molten mass, dragging with them hundreds of the molten worms from before as a part of a much larger amphibious head with several dozen beady white eyes and a gaping maw of a mouth filled with hundreds of thousands of micro-file teeth that dripped white hot liquid. Next was a long and wide torso covered with black plates connected by melting cracks that spiralled along the edges of the plates and fed into six small wells from which white and blue lava poured. Last to emerge was a long tail of equal length to the torso and head of the molten beast, one covered with black plates that thinned until only the molten and burning contents beneath them could be seen as the balancing appendage fanned into a crescent shaped blade.
The great demon silently turned its massive head towards Dante and the others before releasing a roar that shattered the earth immediately ahead of it, disintegrating buildings and flinging the three warriors and their charge hundreds of meters away. Innis managed to catch June and the odd boy, dampening their impact with his sturdier than diamond body and softer than silk wings. Dante was nearly flung the full distance, but stopped himself short by stabbing his weapon into the earth, using the friction from the impact to slow himself to a halt. Innis released the two teens and replaced his long sword with a frigid broadsword covered in ice crystals and freezing mist that almost solidified the liquid in the air while his metallic wings took on a frosted silver hue. He then looked at the boy beside his adopted daughter and shook his head.
"Congratulations kid, you jinxed it," he deadpanned.
"That's my job," shrugged the boy, readying his weapon as Dante made it to them. "Loose ends can't be ignored."
"This may the the party of the century," he smirked as dozens of swords comprised of blue light formed around him while he held his own sword. "Let's get this show on the road!"
Mission One: The Clouds are Burning... Last RecordEdit
The streets of Atropos were deserted. The lucky people had made it to the rescue boats sent from Fortuna and the mainland. The less lucky found themselves in the claws and fangs of demons. One would have thought the rescue done and, indeed, the majority of the boats had returned to their place of origin to keep the evacuees safe. However, a single boat remained. It was smaller than the others by a large margin and was sporty in design rather than sturdy.
A single person manned this boat, a man in his mid to late twenties with snow white hair and a cast on his right arm. He wore jeans and a button up shirt under a heavy coat with rolled up sleeves and carried a bizarrely shaped two handed sword over his shoulder. His icy blue eyes were narrowed while his mouth curled into an impatient frown.
"Hurry it up, old man, we don't have all day," he grumbled. He could only wait so long before he needed to pull out, with or without the people he was waiting on.
"Dante, we aren't harming it, we're pissing it off," commented the strange teen as he backpedaled out of the way of a feeler from the massive salamander. He'd long realized a full frontal assault was futile and was instead analyzing the demon for any exploitable weaknesses.
"I figured that the first time it decided to erupt, kid," yelled the veteran demon hunter as he cut down a second and third feeler from the demon then hopped back slightly to avoid a third from beneath him. The severed feelers flailed briefly before lava spurted from stumps where their ends once were, new worm-like heads growing from the "bleeding" areas. "You really dunno when to call it a quits do ya, big guy?" The demon responded with a deafening roar as it reared back all of its feelers, each head adorning them glowing white hot. "Incoming!"
The warning came not a moment too soon, as each head fired what could only be described as a molten beam of energy wildly, carving through concrete and metal structures as if they were never there. The trio in battle with the creature could only dodge, with Innis grabbing June to keep her out of the way of several beams. Even the Salamander's spawn were unsafe from the lasers, easily being mowed down by the erratic attack.
"At this rate, we're gonna run out of places to stand," called the angel, setting a windswept June further away from the Salamander. He quickly flew towards the demon, blade clad in ice and began severing the demons feelers, dancing and dodging between them as they bit and swept towards him like the limbs of a great tree caught in the middle of a windstorm. Each feeler he struck froze and shattered, the burning orange light they held fading to a dull red as they sagged before flaring back to life. "You aren't getting off that easily!"
With speed rivaling an aircraft build for speed, Innis flew above the forest of feelers and raised his sword. Pale blue light engulfed the blade, making it glow brighter and brighter until it was nearly blinding. Taking no time to pause, the angel flew even higher, dodging more beams of pure heat as the feelers took aim at him and fired the molten beams at him. One nearly clipped his wing, sending him spiraling away from it, into another that his shield thankfully could block. The angel hissed, his arm badly burnt through his shield, but he nonetheless used it to line up his sword hand as he took aim at the immense demon. He took a deep breath and narrowed his eyes, target found as he hurled his weapon at the demon like a spear of light. And indeed, the sword pierced through the demon's head, into the lava welling from the earth beneath its feet, halting the demon as thick ice began to grow from the tiny hole the weapon had made. The ice quickly spread, freezing over the majority of the feelers and the demon's head as it spread across the surface and interior of the demon's body, slowing it to a crawl as the life in it seemed to be snuffed out.
"Now, while it's out of it," yelled Innis from above, flying to a nearby building while nursing his arm. Dante and the strange teen nodded, the former sifting to his demonic form while the latter was surrounded by a blue, flame-like aura as his eyes shined a bright jade. The elder demon hunter summoned forth a set of gauntlets and greaves and donned them in an instant, sprinting towards the halted demon to deliver a powerful left hook to its frozen face, cracking the ice with the blow. He swiftly followed this up with a heavy uppercut, spreading more cracks as the demon's head was forcefully lifted several feet from its position. The teen wasted no time either, hurling his blade at the demon.
"Merak," He yelled, causing the blade of light to expand into a great axe of sorts as it flew, grip, now elongated several feet and less rounded with a ball of glowing blue light floating on each end, landing in his hand as he appeared to warp to it in a burst of blue light. "Asterism!" With a roar, he leap over the demon's head and brought the axe, now even larger than the demon's head down, in tandem with a second, stronger uppercut from the demon hunter.
"Shoryuken!" The combined force of the two titan blows, split the demon's head in half, shattering the ice within and around it as it fell into the gaping maw in the ground it created. Neither of the pair took this as a sign of elation, however. Instead, both leapt back as blue flame sputtered to life within the Salamander's headless torso. Blue tinged lava poured from the injury the demon had suffered as the orange and yellow magma flowing within its body grew hotter and hotter until it turned white. The ice on the demon's body quickly melted as the demon began to move, once sluggish, now as fast as a speeding car. Plumes of white ash escaped its body as it took its first steps forward since the demon hunters had halted it, but any sense of dread was short-lived when once of its legs broke, its stone components unused to the heat its body was now generating. Another leg followed, but soon the demon recreated its legs, more durable and lees hot, but not without the strange teen noticing.