"That day, if our positions were switched..."
"Would our fates be different?"
"Would I lead your life, and you mine?"
Hello, and welcome. This fanfic was, as anyone who has played DMC5 can tell from the above line, inspired by a simple idea. What if the roles of the game were swapped? What if it had been Vergil in the house on that fateful day, and Dante who was outside? How would this change history, and the people involved? Well, you'll have to read on to find out.
A few notes before I begin. Firstly, this fanfic is focused on the events of DMC3, which as both the first game in the timeline and the one most heavily focused on the rivalry between the two brothers, it will naturally be my focus. Prior knowledge of the events of DMC3 will not be needed, but it's nice to know what actually happened so you can fully appreciate the changes. Also, don't expect me to fully write out every last boss fight in full detail. I don't see much point to that. There are some fights I will do, but if you see a cut to the end for some, don't be shocked.
This first chapter is mostly going to be setup, so apologies if it's a bit heavy on descriptions.
Also, as a final disclaimer, any similarities between the Dante shown here and the infamous Reboot Dante, known by fans as "Donte", are completely unintentional. I have not and do not ever plan to play the reboot, and this will be the last time I even mention it exists.
With all that said, let us begin.
It began in a nightclub. Not the kind of place the man who was now entering it generally frequented, but today was a special day. After years of work, painstaking research, and a not inconsiderable amount of risk, the pieces were all ready. All he had left to do was move the pawns into their starting positions. One would require no effort from him, she had been nipping at his heels for years, he would be truly shocked if this changed now. Another, he was confident could be baited into coming where he was needed easily enough. It was the third pawn that he was going to have to work for, as this one, he required the cooperation of, at least for the time being.
And so he entered the club. He was a bald man with heterochromia, one eye red and the other blue, dressed in unremarkable black clothing that brought to mind the image of a simple man who was of no particular threat. His face, however, did him no favors, as it had an ugly, unnatural looking brown scaring that looked more like a stain on his face then anything done by a weapon. And if one stared too long at it, they might even catch a glimpse of it moving. The only other thing of note was a plain book that he gently grasped in his hands.
The various patrons of the club gave this strange man a number of looks. Some wondered if he had anything worth stealing. Others assumed him some kind of skinhead. None of the looks were terribly friendly. He ignored them all, and searched the room. He did not see the man he wanted, which meant he was at the private balcony seating upstairs. A good bit of luck, this was not a conversation he wished to have in public. He turned, and walked up the stairs.
He saw the man he was looking for as soon as he reached the top. A man with unkept white hair in a red coat sat in the center of the large sofa, with his bare chest showing under it. On his neck, a necklace that had a red stone attached to it was visible. On either side of him sat a woman in a dress, and in front of him was a box of pizza and some beer. He was busy kissing one of the women as the man approached, and continued to do so until the man cleared his throat, drawing his attention and causing him to look up at the man.
"I'm a little busy, pops. Mind waiting till I leave before you try to convert me to whatever it is you do?"
The man shook his head. "I am not here for that. I am here to speak to you, Dante, son of the Legendary Dark Knight, Sparda. It involves your brother."
Dante's eyes narrowed, and he looked at one of the girls. "Take a hike."
Sensing the change in the atmosphere, both girls quickly walked away. The man continued. "I seek your assistance with a job. One you are well suited to. I assure you the compensation is-"
He paused as Dante suddenly reached into his coat and pointed a black pistol at the man's head.
"You know, your ugly mug kind of reminds me of a raisin. I'm already tired of looking at it. Cash ain't everything, and I don't like strangers who know my personal business. Give me one good reason not to improve the world's overall gene pool by removing your ugly ass from it."
"Simple." The man said, unflinching in the face of the gun. "I have a plan, one that I believe you will be interested in. For I plan to draw your brother to this place. And I wish for you to fight him. Something you have done much of in the past."
There was a long, tense moment. Then Dante spun his gun, and put it away. He waved for him to take a seat. "Go on. But first, you got a name?"
"Arkham." He said as he sat. "Now, let me explain in detail what I plan to do….."
The place was named Fortuna. A curious island nation which was remarkable for a single reason. Their local religion and holy order, known as the Order of the Sword, worshiped a demon. Specifically, the Legendary Dark Knight, Sparda. A legend that was well known. Long ago, the human world was ruled over by the demon world. And then, 2000 years past, a demon by the name of Sparda rose up in rebellion against the demons, siding with humanity. He single handly pushed back the demons, and sealed them away, separating them into separate worlds. It would simply seem this order took the legend more seriously then most.
Not that the man who had been drawn by these rumors didn't understand why. After all, he knew it was all true, as one of Sparda's twin sons. No doubt he stood out in this place, between his slicked back white hair, his blue coat and the katana he was carrying around on his hip. A fact that had worked against him here, as it seemed someone had caught onto his identify, if the 3 men who were doing a poor job of hiding the fact that they were trailing him for the past hour were any indication. His investigation had told him little he had not already assumed, and so it was now time for him to depart, before the humans did something unwise and he would be forced to withdraw using force. Still, he thought, remembering where he had woken up this morning, it had not been all bad. A shame he would be unlikely to return to this city anytime in the foreseeable future.
He looked back over his shoulder, and noticed immediately that his tail had vanished. Where had they gone? He had not made an effort to shake them yet, there was no reason they should have lost him outside of sheer incompetence, and while that was never something to put past anyone-
"Greetings." Vergil turned back to see Arkham standing in front of him, and he was instantly on guard. No human should have been fast enough to move behind him in the span of 3 seconds without his notice. "Are you Vergil? Son of Sparda?"
Vergil's hand reached down, gripping the hilt of his sword as Arkham walked so he was just behind a parked motorcycle, placing a hand on it. "And if I am?"
"Your brother sent me." This caused his eyebrow to raise. The man before him hardly looked like someone Dante would ever willingly associate with. "He sends his regards, and an invitation. Please, accept it."
And then he threw the motorcycle at Vergil with one hand. In a single motion, Vergil drew his blade and sliced it clean in two, causing the two halves to fly behind him. In the time this took, while his view was blocked, the man had vanished. Where he had been standing, a sealed envelope sat. Taking a moment to look around and ensure Arkham was not waiting in ambush, he sheathed his blade, and walked over, picking up the envelope and opening it. Inside, in Dante's poor excuse for handwriting, was written the name of a city, with the additional message of
"See you there, Bro."
In an old, run down hotel room, a girl was making final preparations. She had short, black hair, an expression that for years had been permanently set to "angry", and she had heterochromia, one eye red and the other blue. Usually, she'd be more picky with her choice of bed, or at least find somewhere with clean sheets, but today was an exception to the rule. For years, she had been tracking a man, one of the most evil, despicable bastards she'd ever had the misfortune of knowing. Arkham. A man who also happened to be her father. Over the years, she had gotten to know his patterns, patterns that ensured she was always a step behind him, but no closer. He was always on the move, rarely in one place for very long, and on the few occasions she managed to get close, something always happened to delay her. He was an evil bastard, but he wasn't stupid.
Only now, those patterns had suddenly changed. He'd been back and forth out of a single city multiple times, and his usual efforts to hide his tracks had stopped. She was only a day's drive away from his believed current position. That meant one of two things. He was trying to draw her in. Or he believed he no longer had to hide. Regardless, she was going, and whatever happened when she got there, she'd deal with it. She looked around the room, covered in the stink of gunpowder and leftover dirt from the maintenance she'd done on her armory last night. Another advantage of staying in a dirty room, there was zero expectation she was going to clean after herself. She buttoned up her long sleeved, white shirt, adjusted her belt of ammo pouches that was covering a pair of short shorts, and made sure her red boots were lased up.
Then she reached for her guns and started to put them in their spots. A pair of pistols went in holsters attached to her boots, a pair of sub machine guns went on her front and back hip, a handheld repeating crossbow went on her leg, and her trusty custom built missile launcher, the Katalina Ann, went over her back. Satisfied she was ready, she left the room, walked outside, and mounted her motorcycle. She kicked the throttle and drove off, ready for whatever may come.