Chapter 14

I seem to have a new motto these days, and it's not one I'm particularly fond of. It seems as if it's too much like the motto my younger, immature brother used to live by.

'Don't think, just do.'

He'd always say that when we were at that strange phase in our lives, when we were young enough for foolish past-times but old enough to know fear.

I would usually act as the word of caution, with Dante laughing at my reserved nature and pushing on ahead with whatever he had planned for the day. He'd always return with new rips in his clothes and with more bruises to add to a rapidly growing collection while I would end the day with new knowledge on some topic which mattered little in the grand scheme of things but somehow still presented itself as a matter of great importance to a seven year old. I can't quite remember what though, maybe some sort of complicated chess move or some way to beat whatever video game Dante happened to be playing at the time.

It's strange that I remember it now. And it's strange that I remember that Dante was always fond of four word long catch-phrases. Maybe it's the most he could remember at any one time.

Hn...Strange. Perhaps not everything has changed about me. I'm always so filled with insults even when he's not around.

It's ironic that the one who exercised little to no caution whatsoever, the one who didn't employ his brain for more than five minutes at a time is more successful and fulfilled in life than the one who thought things through to their logical conclusion.

'You feeling sorry for yourself again?' A voice cuts into my thoughts. I stare at her as she sits at the tiny desk in our, no her hotel room. She seems to be working on some forms, I'm not sure for what. To be honest, I can't even bring myself to move close enough to her to see. Wretched woman. I shoot her my best glare but whereas before she would look away, the woman rolls her eyes, clearly unimpressed.

'Please,' she scoffs, 'as if that's going to have any effect.'

'It did before,' I retort, before my mind has time to catch up with my mouth. It is a sudden lapse of control, one that I am unnerved by.

'Yeah, you're right. It did before, when I thought that you'd be the same as in Temen-ni-Gru. But now that I've had time to think about it, I know that you're basically a toothless dog. You might snarl and growl, but there's nothing you can honestly do to me.'

'You speak nonsense.'

'Says the one who begged me to get you off that stinking island. Face it, Vergil. You need me and you know it.'

I struggle to maintain my composure, but I can feel something build inside me, wild and burning. It's probably rage. I pretend not to know.

'Had you done that, I'm sure that Dante would have been pleased to know that you'd abandoned his brother to die. You were honour-bound to help me, not for me or for yourself, but for him.'

'After what you put us through, he would have understood.'

That hurt...

I refuse to acknowledge that traitorous little voice that seems to have taken up residence in the back of my mind. But even that seems to have more strength than I, and I am suddenly filled yet again with doubt.

It's true that I had wanted to see my brother, because he is the last link to our family that I have left. But until now, I had never really stopped to consider in-depth how he would take my sudden return, allowing myself a glancing look at the issue before focusing on something else. I have held no illusions as to the terrible consequences of my actions; erecting Temen-ni-Gru alone levelled half of the entire city. So many lives were lost for the wishes of one individual.

It doesn't matter that I was played for a fool by a madman in a ridiculous costume; that's hardly a worthy defence. The fact remains that I raised my blade to my brother first, shed his blood, attempted to steal his half of our mother's amulet and betrayed my blood-line entirely.

I have briefly thought of these things, about the possibility that Dante will kill me as soon as he sees me, but in my naïvety I simply assumed that Dante, being everything that I am not, would forgive me and welcome me back, albeit it with some wariness, of course.

I hate this woman.

'You don't know what you're talking about,' I say, my voice controlled as I sit up a little straighter. 'He is my brother. I know him.'

I know as soon as I utter those words that I must have said something absurd. The woman's previously smirking face turns cold, her burning mismatched eyes swiftly study my face, calculating. She looks as if she's about to say something before she abruptly changes her mind, shakes her head and returns her attention to the papers on the desk.

But I saw something in her eyes that doused the flames of anger within me, leaving me cold and filled with a nameless something...

I think...I think I saw pity.