The following is a fan-based
All Parts of the JJBA are all owned by Hirohiko Araki.
Please Support the Official Release!
Capitolo Secondo: Ambizione (25)
This place was more pleasant than the others they had explored.
It was one of the loose thoughts that escaped Bhediya as he pointed this out to Dio while they were giving a quick look of the city. There wasn't much to see due to this being a small part of civilization that couldn't yet be considered even a normal town with how few citizens lived in the area.
The blond smiled and nodded at this notion, mentioning how Flagstaff was one of the smallest settlements in the region which had numerous natural landmarks in the whole state. Way more to overwhelm the sense of 'decay' that generally came from major towns and cities.
The fresh air invigorated his senses as the werewolf calmly pondered over the sights this place offered. He had made plans to personally check on the few rivers around, just so that he could get a proper taste of nature after a while. Considering these states were predominantly filled with many deserts, it sure felt like a pleasant change of pace and silence which eventually lulled the young man through his little stroll.
Dio returned to the train as he ventured alone into the nearby forests, with Bhediya eagerly switching to his usual form to rush around and get a quick grasp of the world around him. His senses picked up everything there, easing any worries as he wandered happily and without a care of the world.
A bit of relaxation wasn't something to scoff at, not when training had been quite intense as of late. Maybe he was just in need of a vacation after this was over. He heard North Africa has some pleasant places to check, specifically Egypt and the Nile region. It could be interesting to make a little trek from Cairo down to Aswan. But as he thought about that possibly pleasant trip away from the wild urban life of London, Bhediya's senses caught something 'intruding' within his reach.
He stopped, his lupine head turning to the side as he saw something fast rushing around him. An ambush? Definitely a poorly-planned one. There was just a single individual and… No. He shouldn't allow himself to grow too overconfident. Surprises were a thing life bestowed all the time, except those weren't always positive.
Plus, Sarah had already shown him more than once that despite their gap in skills could be neutralized with some creative preparation applied smartly and viciously. There are way too many memories of getting 'caught' by his sister's pranks. Way too many for his modest pride. Still, the situation at hand was nothing to joke about. Considering the local population and the natives that lived in the area, there was a fair chance his stalker knew how to move around this environment and set up traps to capture him.
Any step from that moment onward was a risk to fall into a trick that could weaken him. So, Bhediya switched to his human form, calmly putting on the clothes he had placed in the backpack he carried around in these situations. Not only this was meant to attract the attention of his current witness into believing that the hamon user was in a fragile situation, but also that there wouldn't be any need for traps due to the 'poor response' to the current instance.
As if matching all that expectation to a T, the observer struck from above. They had climbed the trees around Bhediya, jumping and diving down to try and get a cheap shot from above. Sadly, Bhediya's reflexes were far more tuned with his body, and his 'reply' was fairly vicious. He rolled around his right hand grasping the attacker's furry throat and slamming them on the ground.
A growl, the wolf-like creature akin to his own secondary form lashed out, trying to get out of the stranglehold. But no matter how much it tried, Bhediya's might kept him still as he tried to stop him. It amazed him that there were others like him here in this kind of place, but, then again, it was such a lovely place in this nation to set up a… tribe? More of them?
He didn't feel like there was anyone else beyond this individual within the area and soon the fellow werewolf turned into their human form. Male, slightly older than Bloody but still younger than him. Short, unruly black hair, brown eyes and some hints of hair forming on his face around his mustache and beard areas. He was gnawing his teeth at Bhediya, still trying to get free from his hold and… the Hamon user huffed.
"Are you done?"
The dull question got a louder snarl from the youth. "A-As if, intruder! This isn't a place for you to wander. This is the tribe's land."
"Oh," The older werewolf muttered quietly. "And I assume that this tribe's land is within a legal jurisdiction rather than one born from verbal orders."
And illiterate too. Not that Bhediya could blame him for the way the boy was behaving. Still, this was interesting as he didn't expect to stumble upon this kind of situation just yet. He had wanted to visit India in a few years. To try and find if there was something left of his biological family. But right now, this chance just piqued his interest and he decided to give it a more thorough thought.
"By the law of the land. And I suppose your leader is aware that there is a settlement nearby which owns this section of the world, pup."
The nickname easily gained renewed irritation from the youth.
"I ain't a pup! I am a scout, a warrior of the pack-"
"Which has currently suffered a loss to me. So, I suppose there is, within your code of law or morals, the necessity to accept requests from a victor in a fight."
His mouth opened again, but no words left it… at first.
His voice was tense, perhaps expecting the worst, but Bhediya wasn't really up to engaging in misunderstandings if these were as counterproductive as they were right now.
"How about you show me where your pack lives, pup?"
Another growl was thrown at that jab, but the boy didn't try anything stupid as soon as he was released from Bhediya's hold. He put on a… loincloth, proving to the more refined man that this tribe wasn't exactly in touch with the rest of society when it came to fashion and other matters. Specifically education. The boy took the lead, submissively showing Bhediya the path to take to see where his home was and where the rest of the wolves lived.
Small huts made by wood from cut trees, leaves and leather-made ropes. It was quite basic when it came to protection as there were small rocks to determine the 'borders' of the main camp. Various people wandered around, some in their human form and the rest in their lupine version. Oddly enough, some had tattered US flags hanging by their tents. It was clear it was done out of respect and that the flags were quite old but… why?
Despite the lack of answers in that regard, he had to admit that everything here looked quite peaceful. Except for the guards that were slowly approaching them. Differently from the rest, this specific part of their society held a form of leather armor on them. Incredibly weak-looking and definitely more of a 'ceremonial' set of items than anything else.
"Why did you bring a pack-less one within here, young scout?" One of them asked, leaving Bhediya slightly perplexed.
Pack-less? Bhediya could only assume this mistaken view was driven by the idea that 'his pack' was made of humans and not of those of his own kind. Still, he decided to speak for himself rather than let the youngling speak for him.
"My name is Bhediya Joestar, and I was caught wandering in your 'lands' by this pup. I am supposed to meet the leader and face punishment for this slight."
The face of the 'pup' said otherwise, but the guards didn't seem to care. Bhediya trespassed, he got 'caught', and now he was to face repercussions for his 'foolish decision'. He didn't spare any comment or look at the boy as they both walked deeper within the camp, the youth still trying (and failing) to grasp why the older werewolf had lied to get inside the camp. Of course, he didn't know that Bhediya had planned to have a valid reason to get inside and speak with the leader about this situation.
The leader was a dark-haired gruff man that was full bearded, a large scar running across his cheek and up to his left nose. With his chest exposed and showing the hair forming by his upper torso, he appeared to be the… what Bhediya expected when he imagined some tough-looking werewolf pack leader in this kind of place. He was sitting atop a small throne of stone right at the center of the village, with its home definitely the larger tent a few meters behind his current seat.
"You brought a fascinating visitor before my gaze, young man," The leader roughly spoke, growing pleased at the submitted nod coming from the youth. "And you… speak up, who are you?"
"My name is Bhediya Joestar. And I came here to understand why a tribe of fellow lycans exist away from other men and women."
"...Are you joking, 'Bhediya'?" The burly man quickly asked. "Living with normal men? Why would we need to lower ourselves to that?"
Ah, so… it's one of those situations.
The only reason the Hamon user didn't facepalm was because it would have been too much of a sign that he wasn't really pleased with this line of thought. Seriously, lycan supremacy?
"I'm not. I'm genuinely surprised to find out that a tribe lives so far away from others when I have noticed that Flagstaff isn't even that much populated with normal men- in fact, I believe there are more lycans than normal men right now."
"That's a foolish thought… one that my own predecessor, an old fool that allowed people of ours to migrate and mingle with others that weren't our kin," The alpha argued dryly. "Always preaching peace and understanding when normal men will always destroy and kill what they can't understand."
"That's not true. After all
"My predecessor failed to… led our mistaken kind back to their true home. So I took this upon myself and took the youngest generation back where they really belonged. Here are, already showing true unity among the other pure members of my rule."
It didn't take long for the younger fellow to realize what the leader had just said. There was an awful large number of children within the tribe, with many of them being as old as the 'pup'. Half of them might be adults but… there were kids. Boys and girls stolen from their parents and-
"Y-you kidnapped them?" Shock filled Bhediya's voice, but the leader snorted, almost frustrated by the moral implications behind such an accusation.
"I led them to salvation. Away from the superstitious men and their violent reactions. Here, where nature welcomes us."
"Nature welcomes everyone," The Hamon user firmly rebuked that declaration. "But I doubt it was just that. Why has no one tried to explain that this wasn't the same lycanthropy that was mentioned centuries ago? That we can control this gift rather than be cursed by it once every full moon."
"They wouldn't have listened," The leader argued, but Bhediya wasn't up to it.
"How can you tell if you haven't tried?"
"Because I know they can't understand us!"
"They? We are not different from them. We've been blessed with a gift, but they too are children of nature-"
"And yet you here admitted that you didn't even try to bring peace and unity through diplomacy. What kind of 'superiority' hails from the lack of dialogue?"
"The one owned by us better beings!"
"…" Bhediya blinked, refusing to comment on this response, gaining an annoyed look from the bigger man.
"Do you think your ideas are better than ours? That you are better than us?!" The pack leader retorted ferociously and Bhediya sighed, his irritation just growing at this rebuttal.
"I believe that's not what I've just said. I only see foolishness to try and pursue a route that, in the long run, will hurt those people. Those children- our brothers and sisters by pitting them against our other siblings."
"You challenge my honor and my decisions, intruder? Do you think yourself better than us?"
"I'm lesser than them, but better than you, fool."
There was no other word exchanged as the Pack Leader roared, shifting in its lupine form which was twice as big as Bhediya's own frame as a wolf but also slower and more unfocused. His early assault was easy to dodge, and the ensuing nothing was barely faster than the normal vampire. Bhediya kept up with ease, surprising the large gathering of villagers which stared at the fact the visitor, a pack-less werewolf, was easily tearing onto their leader in pure awe and shock. The first blow was the vicious beginning of a massacre on the nameless leader.
Now that Bhediya thought about it, the bastard never introduced himself and… he was fine with it. It was best to not know a name that was soon going to mean nothing to anyone.
The furious wolf jumped away, snarling and demanding a single thing. "CHANGE!"
His pride wanted Bhediya to be in his other form, to make this match more 'equal'. It was kind of ironic that, until a while ago, he was lamenting how he was stronger and better… and Bhediya just had the best answer to that kind of annoying request.
The Hamon user scoffed. "Why should I waste it on a mongrel?"
The insult wasn't forsaken, fueling new viciousness as the leader was back to attack the young man as he failed to grasp how large the gap between the two was. Violence was met with twice the intensity, and what would have looked to be a one sided massacre turned out to be as such… except with the roles switching. Bhediya's human form easily overwhelmed the tougher-looking beast. From roaring, the werewolf was now whimpering and losing any kind of bravado it held at the beginning of the fight. But the more Bhediya fought, the more he felt 'chanted' to do more.
The eyes, the expectation, most of them were tired of this tyrant. Was this what Dio felt on a daily basis? The admiration, even from those he didn't know much about, triggered that excitement that could easily push him into taking a darker route. It would be so… easy. To just let the instinct take over, even rely on his Stand and massacre the monster before him. It would be sensible, right- It would be justice.
But who was he to determine the ferocity of such an act? He wasn't meant to take pleasure in it. Sure, he will still get some of it out of his foe's death, as there was no reason to spare him for his crimes but… why should he surrender to instincts when he had grown through logic and restraint. George's words came to mind when he explained this notion to him why those people in charge just didn't change things already. There were those that would want to do so but...
"It's a forbidden fruit situation. To have such power and use it to change things. From the moment he is able to model society to his whims, a man is perpetually tempted to sin to his own deity, to his own consciousness, all for the sake of keeping that exhilarating feeling running permanently. It's as addictive as the worst kind of poison possible."
Despite the pleasant feeling it gave, the overpowering taste of 'goodness', he knew that he had to be modest with it. Humbleness was a trait that he had yet to learn, but Muddiburi gave him the foundation to work on it. He was a werewolf, yes, but he was also someone with a mind, a sense of human perspective, and a pack that he would never want to replace for nothing in this world.
The beating was ultimately put to an end as quickly as possible. No words were uttered by any sides, no chance to beg for mercy, or to give any grandiose speeches to warrant applause. Bhediya just wanted this to be over as fast as feasible. The beast collapsed dead, leaving in its wake a sense of realization that struck mostly the tribe. The pack leader is dead… so, there should be a new one?
Some of the more loyal members to the previous alpha tried to urge a need for Bhediya to be the successor of the werewolf he had just slain, despite the bizarre matter which would see him in charge. An option which was quickly shot down as Bhediya made it clear that 'it was time for the pack to turn in community and to return to become one with the others'. So, the entire camp was packed up as the trail back to the town saw the group of people arrive and reconcile with those that had long started to live among other humans.
The next part proved to be more tricky than expected. The lone mayor of the city was relieved to know that the kidnapped children were all safe and sound, but rightfully puzzled and worried when the lycan situation was brought to his attention. It definitely helped that he learned a good part of his community was already made by those, and that Dio was there to smooth things out. As much as Bhediya could handle some leadership and diplomacy, he didn't trust himself to make a perfect move on this matter. There were limits he just couldn't break no matter how hard he studied and trained.
As the day slowly started to come to an end, he found himself enjoying the spoils of a good deed. The mayor had promised to try and integrate the new part of the community within the city's borders and allow them the chance to live the lives they wanted for themselves and their children. It was quite the pleasant feeling and one that was disrupted by a single question.
"So… how was it?"
Dio's voice ruptured the peaceful meditation. They were alone, sitting atop one of the train's wagons as the sun started to set. The noise of the vehicle was less present in that spot, and he had planned to meditate on what had happened today. Yet his close friend had other plans in mind from the looks of it and… Bhediya decided to indulge his curiosity.
"What about specifically?"
"Finding other werewolves. I can tell you're not as much… excited as I thought you would have been."
"I guess I'm a bit disappointed," The young man admitted, nodding in agreement at the blond's comment. "But it's more tied to this particular tribe. They were led by a moron."
"Oh? How so?"
"They have… a gift. This power is such a beautiful gift from nature and they waste it by praising isolation. They could do so much from it and-"
"They wasted it in the name of 'purity of nature' or some spiel like that?" Dio interjected with a tired sigh matching his.
"...Yes? How did you even get that much out of it?"
"I asked some of the former pack members," The fellow Hamon user confessed mirthfully, gaining a pout from him. "And it sounded like… what one would expect on the matter. The thing with the children? A bit too extreme in that end. I'm glad you dealt with it the way you did."
The pout was instantly replaced by a pleased smile. "It was… interesting. You know, I think I finally got the answer to a question you didn't want to reply to a few years ago."
The blond raised a confused brow at that. "Oh?"
"Being atop many people's worlds, it sure is a difficult burden," Bhediya explained. "Their expectations, even though they aren't demanding you to go through with it-"
"It gives you that desire of breaking from the hard work you've been focusing on until that moment," Dio interjected with a serious tone, nodding calmly at that explanation. "The reason why I don't bring this kind of thing up is because I know not many would pick up that kind of feeling on the spot. It's a rare form of euphoria."
"But now I had the chance to feel it. I almost fulfilled that inner need to be 'great'. At least once."
"You're already great," The businessman pointed out and the werewolf nodded while chuckling at that correct affirmation. "In fact, didn't 'Pup' as you called him promise to challenge you in combat in the future?"
Oh, the little scout that found him hadn't exactly accepted the fact Bhediya had used him to fight and kill his former alpha. In a strange twist of fate, the boy had proclaimed an oath of finding him once he was strong enough and challenging him to prove his strength. That the humiliation he faced wasn't easy to ignore with just a sorry.
He really tried to say this as seriously as he could… while his long-thought lost mother was hugging him tightly and refusing to budge from him as he said those words and was nodding thankfully at the fellow werewolf. Despite how amusing that felt, he also knew that the declaration was driven by genuine commitment. Who knows, maybe he will end up facing the boy again in the future.
"That's going to be a mess to face in a few years but…" The werewolf sighted. "Thank you. Before today… I don't know, I always had that kind of curiosity about how it would be to be really in charge for once. Even for an instant and it's dreadful without some preparation."
Dio chuckled, shaking his head at that sheepish admission.
"It's alright, to want to be on top of the mountain for once. Just to see how the view looks from it," He hummed happily. "It's a pleasant view, but not one you get without paying a personal price at times."
That last comment left Bhediya puzzled. Sure, the feeling was pleasant and the worries were many, but it was clear that Dio was referring to something else. Another kind of concern that he hadn't felt himself during that brief state of greatness. Something that was actually unperceivable if not for just a few.
"Uh?" Dio hummed, looking back at him after staring at his own boots for a while, thoughtful about something.
"What kind of price? There's something else beyond the normal burden of keeping up expectations and not being overwhelmed by those and your instincts?"
The time needed for Dio to answer proved to be much longer than expected, further heightening the sense of concern growing within the werewolf on the matter. Still, the blond sighed and forced a smile on his face.
Bhediya would have said that, but something about that seemingly defeated response just left him more confused than anything else. This was the first time Dio looked this unease when it comes to talk about the foundation of his own thought on life and reality, as if there was something he had never brought up and that the werewolf had expanded on through this interaction. Did he really fail to see that Dio had more than just what he was willing to show to others? Did Hannah know? Did anyone actually know of this? Despite the perplexing discovery, Bhediya decided to give only a warning. And a promise.
"You know, we agreed to be honest with one another if there is anything important. How about, once we're done with Vins, you tell us what really gets you this worried so many times npw," He hummed quietly, staring at Dio. "Because I can clearly see you have something bottled up. Something that has you concerned with us during these odd instances."
He gave him a long look, something one that didn't know the blond would call a disappointed look, but it was actually one of self-disappointment from what Bhediya saw. Dio sighed and then nodded, seemingly accepting of this idea.
"After Vins. It will be just a few to know about this. No one else."
If there was this much secrecy, even beyond this whole mess they were facing, then it had to be something really important for the blond. Their conversation ended there, their focus redirected to meditation once again as they tried to find some personal peace after that lengthy chat between each other.
At this point, Bhediya knew that the end of this adventure was going to bring out some secrets that, one way or another, were going to give a whole new depth about the man that was Dio Joestar.
Will Dio tell the truth? Who knows! Maybe he will, maybe he will not!
And now, the much awaited finale to the Divine Singularity Omake saga!
Omake 40: Divine Singularity (Finale)
After surviving a very family-making-enticed Hannah and making sure that things were under control while some of the Servants took care of the unconscious Thanatos/Jack, the conversation turned finally into something more serious when Da Vinci announced that she found the location we had to 'breach'. Dio Alter's domain was a small 'vacuum section' within the dark void that devoured the world, an entire area that was devoid of the sun. True darkness within darkness.
The objective was simple. Invade the section, destroy any monsters rallied within the area and take care of the Big Boss with the Holy Grail. It was similar to other 'Secondary Singularities' that were known in FGO, but I was surprised that it was going to take so 'little' to get it through. Then again, other Singularities were either caused by entities with numerous mini-bosses to cause issues, or challenges enforced through silly and unavoidable reasons. But right now, our target was holed in his little reign, a couple of layers made by monsters of various kinds between us and him.
The plan had us all smash into his defenses before ultimately facing the last threat, but I had other ideas about it. First, I had to convince Pucci to go with this, but he was quick to agree to the alteration I had in mind and I managed to mostly avoid any suspicious eyes to fall on my decision to stick by him to 'strike from above'. The only one that definitely got a clue on what I was planning to do was Hannah, but she remained quiet. The only confirming hint I had was when she said two words which stuck to me through the trip and beyond.
I don't intend to get hurt by that buffoon.
As the rush began and the Servants started to be employed on the monster-dense area, Pucci and I flew above the battlefield and rushed deeper into that domain. Standing atop that 'hill' where he planned to either win or die, Dio Alter stared at our arrival, alone… with a disappointed look on his face. I calmly landed on the ground, starting to take steps towards him.
"I would have expected you to rely on others to face me," The fellow blond scoffed. "You didn't even bring Hannah? I'm shocked."
More like saddened from the way his expression is briefly shown. I had a little theory about this very instant that went beyond the explanation he gave me a while ago, something that came up during our latest interaction. I knew what was up with him but… I decided to keep it to myself until it held a tactical advantage in this fight.
"Why should I bring her or anyone I care and cherish to face some disappointment that bears my face and even goes as far to claim to share a similar soul?"
"Because you will definitely need help against me. I'm not a joke as you wish I was. Not here, not in my domain."
"So, you admit you would be a joke to me in normal instances?" I asked, my smile widening. "Then I guess that this battle is already over."
He wasn't amused by that cheeky remark, so much that he tried to show off his skill by using a heightened version of the Vaporization Freezing Technique of the original Dio. Ice rapidly formed from his feet through the floor that was between him and me. I jumped away, but instead of backing off, I just pressed forward towards him.
His eyes widened, but he managed to react by further expanding his ice control into forming sharp spikes from the ground that tried to get me mid-air. But I was moving too fast and was too high from the ground to get quickly skewered by this effort. Instead, I resorted to something he recognized from just the way I arched my legs.
"The Thunder Split Cross Attack? Or maybe it's the variant we used in the past? Nonetheless, this isn't working."
Or so he thought. Instead of trying to intercept it, he tried to back away from my trajectory and… he looked pleased when I landed on the ground, my crossing arms still burning with Hamon. My smile didn't falter as I jumped forward using the tension within my leg and turning it into kinetic energy by flexing my muscles in the right way. I reached him instantly, the doubled speed shocking him and giving him just the chance to try and block the forward attack. My hamon cut into his limbs, tearing those off his body and forcing him to try and use his Stand to retrieve the disembodied bits.
Sadly, ｢ACT 3｣ was already intervening struck its counterpart in the head with a double-punch on the sides. The effect was that Dio Alter was stunned and I started to ferociously destroy him with punches and kicks.
"It was in Windknight's Lot- when you got turned into a vampire, right?" I asked sharply, already knowing that it had to be the truth. "I've been- I've been thinking about this, what you told me of your origins. That it was necessary and all… but I got it now. You were forced to turn, you killed Hannah and the others in the ensuing bloodlust."
"I- I didn't-"
"And then you tried to shift this rhetoric that you were forced to make use of the Stone Mask when we have beaten those limitations on our own without relying on it," I argued flatly, giving him no chance to speak up. Soon, I slammed him on the ground with a powerful Divine Hamon attack. "You say you're from the future, but you sure don't know about me to the point of being able to predict my moves. Admittedly, you got me early on. Not now. Never again."
He tried to stand up to live through this, to try and prove that his current madness wasn't as such. But my boot came down without hesitation, crushing his head as Hamon burned what was left of him.
"There was no light here, because you relied on darkness to try and find resolution," I muttered dryly. "I don't know the moments that you realized what happened and when you lost that sanity to admit the truth to yourself. May your soul… no longer wander this realm of your own sorrow."
The battle was mostly over, I looked over the remains of the monstrous entity and saw a small golden cup emerge from it. I grasped it and… made a simple wish.
"Now, let's revert everything how it was before this crossover happened. This time, without Alter around to cause this whole mess."
The world around me warped, and I could tell that the wish was accepted. Soon, I was lying on my bed, back on the train as the others were calmly going through their usual stuff, unaware of what had happened in that 'dream' we shared.
I kind of felt sad towards the Masters since they lost a good chance to have a rare Palingenesis material for their Servants. A pity but… it was best for this to be like it. It could be fun to try and think of Nasuverse and JJBAverse mix-ups but…
Boy, the reality of that situation would be insane in practice. I could only hope I wasn't getting any other invasion of the sort when it comes to this matter. I really didn't need to face another Servant like that Alter form ever again.
And for now, it was time to get back on the job and prepare for the fight against Vins and Santana.
Next omake will be a little interesting as it will entail another aspect of Dio's future.
Darkifiedluis: Could be Omake 42 and 43 respectively.