A/N: Not much to say here but again thanks for ALL of your comments and reviews. Glad you have been enjoying this far.
Now, on with the show!
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Dante and Thomaz had parted ways from the Devil May Cry office, agreeing to meet up shortly at the old cathedral in question. No longer having a car, Dante grabbed his motorcycle from the garage and headed for the ancient building on the other side of town. He sped off into the night, the sharp cold air whipping the devil hunter's silvery white hair wildly, as he throttled the bike and headed for the freeway.
The long stretch of road lay desolate at that time of night, as not a soul lay witness to the curious sight of the half-devil rider. His silhouette gave way as he passed under the towering street lamps, exposing his uncanny figure clad in red and a vicious broad sword mounted to his back. As his bike roared down the freeway, Dante thought about everything Thomaz had revealed to him; Then something occurred to him. He recalled how Vergil strangely pointed out, when he had picked Nika up from his place, that there was 'something' about her—and more oddly he warned Dante to 'be careful'—to which struck Dante as odd, but he didn't think much of it at the time. It was now he realized that Vergil must have sensed this power within her. Dante knew his brother had always been more adept with his ability at sensing energies. He then figured for what he mistook as Vergil's interest in the girl, was nothing more than his brother's sensitivity to the power inside her. But just as he settled on that idea, Dante half-smirked as he then recalled how truly burned Vergil appeared by his innocent flirting with her. Although he knew he'd never know the truth, he could only suspect that somewhere deep down inside, maybe Vergil held an ounce of true human desire for this girl. Maybe.
Dante exited the freeway and drove up to an abandon lot near where the old chapel stood, as the bike's throaty rumble disrupted the surrounding stillness as he pulled in. He parked it out of sight behind some large piles of old scrap that was strewn about the derelict yard and cut the engine, allowing the silence to creep back in. He unmounted the bike and casually looked up and around at his surroundings, then with a few swift leaps, he effortlessly scaled one of the taller scrap piles. At it's peak, Dante stood tall as he narrowed his eyes and panned around the landscape just ahead of him. From his elevated vantage point, he had a clear sight of the ancient structure he was headed to. The monolith stood unmoved and dark, like some sort of giant stone beast at rest in the night. Although dark outside, with only a hint of light from the clouded moon overhead, Dante noted the space surrounding the structure seemed void of the light and enveloped in a different sort of darkness all it's own. He inhaled deep, filling his lungs with the crisp coolness of the air, and in a few swift jumps descended to the ground below. A cloud of dust billowed up as his heavy boots connected with the dirt ground and he walked off toward his impending mission.
The massive iron gate that once hung between the stone pillars of the entrance to the chapel yard lay perpetually open wide, now rusted and bent on deteriorated hinges.
"This is most definitely the place."
As he casually walked through the entrance, Dante stopped when he heard Thomaz's voice and looked up. The man was perched on top of a small crypt structure to his right, and upon seeing the devil hunter, descended in one swift jump, landing near him.
"He is here," Thomaz confirmed. "I can sense my father's presence from somewhere inside."
"Good," Dante replied coolly, "Time to get this party started."
Thomaz quietly nodded, and the two made their way toward the front of the building.
The old grounds were desolate and void of any traces of life. To their right, stood a small forgotten graveyard—evident of a few lopsided and weathered tombstones that stuck out from the earth. A couple of gnarly old trees and scattered shrubbery dotted the landscape; their leaves long since fallen. Even the random patches of dried grass that scattered the yard were brown and dead. To Dante, it felt as if the land had soured and nothing no longer grew here. The light breeze scooted a few dried leaves along the old cobble path they traversed to the building's facade. As they approached, Thomaz stopped as Dante continued to stroll up the crumbled stone steps of the entrance.
"Don't you think we should find an alternate way in?" Thomaz questioned.
"Why?" Dante responded indifferently, as he looked over the massive set of wooden doors in front of him. "Front door's open." With a hearty kick, he slammed his boot into the door causing it to burst open from the force. The impact thundered and echoed throughout the surrounding stillness. And with a half-hearted shrug, Thomaz bound up the steps and followed him inside.
The two looked around at the vacant expanse as a few unnerved pigeons fussed high above in the massive buttresses. A slight haze of dust moved in the air, disturbed from the commotion, as the two tried to focus on the dim surroundings. The once grand sanctuary was now in ruins, and the stale smell of years upon years of neglect filled the air. The room was decimated with debris of all kinds as if a whirlwind of junk, paper and leaves had passed through. Rows of pews were haphazardly strewn about, broken and turned over. Its great support pillars were crumbling, while some had been desecrated with crude graffiti.
"Nice place," Dante announced sarcastically, as he waved away the dusty atmosphere in front of him.
Thomaz then spoke up as he surveyed the area. "In order for the rite to work, he must create the portal for Erebus at the lowest point of the grounds."
Dante looked over at him casually. "Well then, looks like we need to find a way down."
Thomaz nodded and the two made their way to the back of the chapel where an altar once stood. Upon investigating, they noticed the dais where the altar space once existed had since collapsed, now exposing a rather large opening in the floor. The stone platform having separated into several sections, created make-shift steps that descended into an unknown darkness below. Dante walked up, and without hesitation, jumped down onto the first tier.
"This looks promising," he said, as Thomaz followed suit.
They leapt from platform to platform, slowly making their way down into the dark bowels below the cathedral. The last section of platform was elevated enough that it left considerable height from it to the ground below. Dante, however, descended effortlessly with one swift jump, while Thomaz opted to bound off one of the side walls, leaping from a few stone outcroppings to ease his descent.
Once on the ground, they noted their dim surroundings to be an extensive set of catacombs. It smelled rank and wet with ancient decay. Lining some of the walls were carved out recesses, some containing remnants of skeletal remains, draped in cloth long since deteriorated. Tree roots had found their way through cracks in the masonry and branched out like veins along the walls. The stone pillars of the underground structure were coated in a black slime-like substance that seemed to seep from between the bricks.
"Someone has been here," Thomaz said, taking note of a few lit torches that stuck out from the columns, dimly illuminating their surroundings. It was then he pointed silently to a dark corridor down aways from them that seemed to be emitting a sort of faint warm glow near the end. Dante nodded, and the two made their way to the light up ahead.
As they trekked down the dismal hall, Dante could feel the air around him thicken. He noticed that Thomaz must have sensed it too, as the man seemed to take an uneasy stance and drew the rapier sheathed on his back. When they came to the end of the hall, they rounded the corner to where the light was coming from, and entered a large chamber with a vaulted ceiling. Around the room old oil lamps were lit, casting an eerie yellow glow throughout. They took a couple of steps in and looked around at the contents of the chamber. Inside contained what looked like a sort of library. Wooden shelves lined the walls from floor to ceiling filled with books and a few strange artifacts, but little else of note. Across the other side of the room, a large wooden door with an oversized iron handle stood closed. Thomaz stepped past Dante, who seemed mostly disinterested in his surroundings, to an old desk that sat in the middle of the room. On it were open books and some papers strewn about. He picked up one of the papers and examined writings that were on it.
"He has been here," Thomaz spoke up. As he read further, he furrowed his brow and seemed perplexed by what he saw. "These notes—,"
Suddenly, he and Dante both sensed a static charge build in the air around them. Dante narrowed his eyes and spun around just as a large iron door slammed down over the entrance where they had come in. The surfaces of the doors suddenly began to glow a dim red as demonic energy seals appeared, trapping them in the chamber. Dante instinctively drew Ebony and Ivory holstered behind him, as Thomaz readied his sword. From all around them, disembodied voices cackled and screeched. The haunting laughter echoed throughout the chamber.
"Sins," Dante grumbled low, as a twisted smirk formed on his face.
Suddenly, the demonic foes phased through the surrounding chamber walls, armed with deadly scythe weapons. The room filled with their presence quickly as Dante took aim. "Make sure you attack their masks. It's the source of their power," he alerted Thomaz, as he began to fire Ebony and Ivory furiously at a grouping of demons headed directly toward him—their imposing blades ready to attack. The frenzy of bullets from his pistols connected with the creatures causing them to howl and quickly retreat, phasing back into the wall.
Thomaz had reeled and dodged out of the way as one of the Sins charged directly for him. He rebounded from the ground and launched off the wooden table at the creature, knocking it's scythe away with his sword. In one swift move, he thrust the rapier's blade into the hideous mask containing the source of the creatures powers and shattered it. The demon screamed as it quickly dissipated into a hazy black mist.
Dante spun and fired again as two of the Sins that were set on attacking him, rematerialized. This time, Dante leapt onto the large wooden table for a better vantage point and frantically fired into his opponents. He then switched tactics and concentrated fire on just one of the two quickly approaching. His concentrated fire destroyed the Sin just as the other closed on him. With it's blade ready to strike, he quickly drew Rebellion from his back. In one swift move, he thrust the blade into the demon's mask. It screeched and dissipated like the others into a fine black mist.
The devil hunter chuckled mischievously. "Who's next!" He mockingly announced, as another Sin met with Dante's fury.
Thomaz fended off two more Sins that had materialized and were closing in. Suddenly, his sword began to glow and the creatures screamed as he slashed into them, unleashing a celestial energy charge from his blade. Both Sins dissolved into black mist as Dante felt the residual effect from the offensive energy. It unnerved him slightly and reminded him not to get too close.
Two remaining Sins appeared through the walls and began to encircle their adversaries. Dante took aim at one and fired rapidly into the creature. It screamed as it quickly darted back into the wall. "C'mon!" Dante growled impatiently, tracking it's disembodied cackling.
Thomaz readied himself for the other quickly closing on him. As he thrust his blade at the creature, it reared and countered his attack. It swung it's deadly blade at the man who managed to quickly block the hit with his sword. But the force of the blow knocked him off his feet and he tumbled to the ground.
As the other Sin had reappeared, Dante took aim. It darted and dashed trying to evade the barrage of bullets he sent at it, but the devil hunter fired relentlessly—keeping locked on his target. The mask of the Sin shattered and it dissolved like the others. Just then, he heard Thomaz yell.
"Dante, behind you!"
Dante spun just as the remaining Sin closed in and reared back it's blade to attack. He aimed his pistols at the creature just as a brilliant white light flashed, and the creature cried out. Dante quickly turned away and shielded his eyes with his forearm, as he once again felt the offensive effects of the energy released by Thomaz. Dante turned back to see Thomaz standing there with his sword extended toward him where the Sin use to be.
"Watch where you point that thing, huh?" Dante groaned.
"Apologies," Thomaz bowed, then sheathed the sword on his back.
With the last of the Sins disposed of, the demonic seal over the doors faded as Dante hopped down from the table and walked over to the wooden door on the other side of the room. Thomaz joined him as Dante opened it, swinging it aside on dry hinges, revealing a short hallway that lead to a set of descending steps at the end. More torches lit the way as the two proceeded onward.
They headed down the steep staircase that spiraled them down further below the chapel. Oddly, the air temperature became warmer the lower they traversed and the humidity seemed to be rising. Once they reached the landing, they stepped out into another catacomb-like room. This time, though, the room was filled with a steamy haze and the sound of moving water could be heard somewhere just ahead.
"Some sort of hot spring?" Thomaz questioned.
Dante narrowed his eyes as he tried to gain focus through the steam in the room. "I don't think so," he replied skeptically, and drew his pistols stowed behind him.
Thomaz followed his lead and drew his rapier, as the two cautiously proceeded into the room. The further in they went, they came across a long stone walkway that was flanked on either side by large pools of water. It bubbled in spots, creating steam that rose from its surface. As they made their way across, Dante was first to feel the static charge of demonic energy rising around them, as the pool of water to their left began to churn and erupt violently. The two spun to face the commotion, as a large serpent-like creature began to rise out of the water. Coated in thick bronze-colored scales, it uncurled it's body and reared back; opening its fanged mouth and letting out a high-pitched squeal at the intruders.
Just then, low guttural hissing sounds came from up ahead, as out of the haze, emerged two large lizard-like creatures. They stalked toward the men, walking tall on their haunches, as their long leathery tails whipped agitatedly back and forth.
"I'll deal with Ugly here, you take care of them," Dante ordered.
Without question, Thomaz readied his sword and advanced toward the reptilian adversaries fast approaching.
The serpent creature hissed once more at Dante before striking. As its jaws snapped at the devil hunter, Dante quickly ducked and rolled to the side, avoiding its deadly bite. He immediately sprung to his feet and began to unleash a rapid fire of bullets at his enemy. The creature reared back and let out an indignant cry as it seemed unaffected by the barrage of ammunition assaulting it.
"So that's how it's going to be," Dante said in an austere tone, as he ceased fire on his foe. It was then the beast began to glow a bright orange, and the water surrounding it started to sizzle and boil.
The demonic reptilians had closed in fast, growling and snarling while violently swiping at Thomaz with their massive claws. He ducked and dodged with calculated precision from the creatures' attacks. They were fast and relentless, and the man knew that one false move would cost him greatly. One of the creatures then took a swipe low, causing Thomaz to summersault backwards to avoid the hit. As he landed on his feet, he quickly found an opening to counter with a slash from his sword. The demon reared it's head back and cried as it dropped to the ground stunned, just as the other charged in. Thomaz thrust the blade deep into the creature's chest. It roared as the enchanted weapon sunk into it's flesh, and in desperate retaliation, swung it's massive claw at the man—raking it's razor sharp talons across his upper arm. Thomaz grunted from the painful infliction, as he managed to retract his sword from the demon just before it tried to take another swipe. He dove out of the way and quickly stood, clutching his injured arm.
Dante holstered his pistols and drew Rebellion from his back as the glowing serpent reared back and inhaled deep. It's radiant glow intensified so that Dante could now feel the intense heat emitting from the creature. It opened it's mouth wide, releasing a large, plasma-like fireball toward him. With both hands, he drew Rebellion back then swung; connecting the broad blade with the fireball, sending it reeling back at the creature. The flaming orb crashed into the demon's head and erupted into an infernal explosion. Globs of the molten-like substance plopped into the water below, quenching its heat and causing the water to sizzle violently.
"That's some hot temper you got there," Dante mockingly teased, as he accusingly pointed Rebellion at the creature. "Seems to me like you could use a good cooling off."
The serpent whipped it's head violently, shaking off residual flames from Dante's return fire. It then furiously screeched and immediately swooped its head in for another strike.
Thomaz stood there momentarily, his breathing labored, as he tried to recover some of his stamina. His arm burnt with a searing pain and steadily bled from the demon's attack, but he remained steadfast as the two creatures regained their senses and turned to charge on him once more. With a deep, determined breath, Thomaz readied his sword.
This time, Dante leapt straight up as the creature's head closed in on him once more. As he vaulted, he flipped in the air once, and came straight down landing a crushing blow with Rebellion onto the serpent's skull. It cried out as Dante landed to its side and swung the broad sword, rapidly delivering a series of vicious hits just behind it's head. He heard its thick scales crack from the impact of the blade, as the demon screeched frantically and pulled back. Dante smiled wickedly. "Where you goin'? I'm not done with you yet," he taunted. The serpent demon began to quickly glow again and spat another white hot fireball at the devil hunter. "Is that all you got? I could do this all day!" Dante shouted, and immediately spun with the broad sword for a wind up, sending the burning orb soaring back at the demon. "But I ain't got time to stick around." This time, the creature dodged the returning fire, as it sailed past its head into the back stone wall; exploding on impact and causing debris to fly, while molten rubble came careening down into the water below. "Tricky," Dante scoffed, as the serpent dove it's head in again for another attack.
As the reptile creatures advanced once more, Thomaz closed his eyes and began to utter something under his breath. The sword he held close to him began to glow with a pure white light as he then opened his eyes. He planted his left foot and in one swift move, launched over the lead creature as it took another swipe at the swordsman overhead. As he landed in front of the second demon, he drew back his sword and in a quick stabbing motion, thrust the charged blade into the creature's chest. It cried out in agony and began to make a vile gurgling sound as it slumped as a lifeless mass onto the floor. Thomaz withdrew the blade and spun, thrusting it into the first demon who had turned around to attack. It reared back and wailed and as he removed the blade, it collapsed as a motionless heap to the ground. Thomaz limply dropped his sword at his side as he stood there, trying to catch his breath.
Dante had ducked as the creature's jaws came dangerously close. "Pretty good," he laughed, then rolled to his left. As he popped up, he swung his sword into a violent uppercut. "But not good enough!" he yelled excitedly, as the blade connected at the side of the creature's throat causing a radiant red plasma to spew from the gouge. The majority of the creatures blood had landed on the floor in heavy splotches, causing the stone underneath to dissolve. Dante had managed to evade the spurting substance, but not before a few drops landed on his coat sleeve. The thick leather sizzled as the fiery substance began to burn tiny holes into the material. "Hey, watch the coat!" Dante barked, as the demon took a feeble snap at him once more. But the devil hunter was too fast, and with one more hefty swing from his sword, he sliced the creature's head off. Its head tumbled across the floor, then fell back into the pool. The intense heat caused the water to bubble and hiss as it sank, while it's headless body whipped around frantically before slowly collapsing into the water.
"Told ya, you needed to cool it." Dante audaciously smirked at the bubbling pool as he hitched Rebellion on his back. He then turned and saw Thomaz slowly emerging out of the haze just up ahead.
Thomaz took sight of Dante and stopped, as the devil hunter suddenly drew Ebony and aimed directly at him. He furrowed his brow questioningly as he noticed Dante's eyes go dark and a malicious expression fell over his face.
"Duck," Dante commanded.
Thomaz quickly dropped to the ground as Dante fired one round from his pistol at the lizard demon emerging out of the mist behind the man. It leapt for him just as the bullet connected in the center of its skull—the force knocking it out of its forward momentum and sending the vile creature sailing backwards. It landed hard and its limp form slid a ways along the ground before coming to a lifeless stop.
Thomaz was crouched down as he looked up to see Dante standing over him. "You okay?" Dante raised his brows, as he noticed the gaping wound on Thomaz's arm.
"Yes," Thomaz replied simply in a heavy breath. Then surprisingly to the man, Dante put his hand out in gesture to help him up. Thomaz stared at the gloved hand before him for a moment, then gripped onto Dante's forearm and stood up. "Thank you." He said graciously with a slight nod of his head.
Dante half-grinned then started to walk away. "Time to get outta here. This place is really starting to burn me up."
She managed to open her eyes slowly to a surrounding darkness, as she inhaled the air harboring the staleness of centuries around her. Where–, Where am I? Nika lay face down, her head turned so that an uncomfortable chill of a stone floor pressed against her cheek. She struggled to move then; her body still numbed from the effects of the demon's paralyzing stare. She moaned lightly as she tried to wriggle her left arm that lay limply bent at her side. It felt heavy and pricked slightly when she attempted to move it. As the girl struggled, she suddenly heard a metallic sound of a lighter flick open and Nika tensed when she realized she was not alone. She nervously shifted her eyes to the sound just in front of her where a small flickering flame cut the darkness—dimly illuminating the silent figure holding it. Her eye peaked through the mess of hair covering the side of her face, as she intensely watched him light the cigarette that stuck out from between his lips. With a few deep puffs, the tip glowed a bright red and the man clamped the lighter shut, causing the room to go dark again. She saw the little burning red dot in the blackness intensify as she heard him inhale deep—then a long-drawn exhale. Nika breathed anxiously as he just stood there in dark silence for a while, she felt, watching her. She swallowed hard when she finally heard him shuffle. He slowly walked around to her right, his footsteps echoing sharply off the hard stone floor. After a few steps he paused, and she heard what sounded like the rush of something quickly igniting, as a dim orange glow began to illuminate the room.
Sarin lit the torch mounted to the wall with the tip of his cigarette, then casually continued around the room. The chamber was a small rotunda of sorts—circular with a domed ceiling. It was a cold empty room with one thick wooden door for an entrance. Nika lay in the center of the floor unmoved, as the demon held up his cigarette to the next torch along the wall and brought it to life. He circled the girl slowly, eyeing her with idle interest, as he made his way around the room and lit the remaining torches mounted to the wall.
She heard him slowly come around her and eyed him apprehensively as he stepped into sight. Her eyes looked up intensely at him just as he crouched down in front of her. He perched on the balls of his feet and casually rested his forearm on his thigh, as he placed the cigarette between his lips then reached his hand down to her. Nika moaned wearily as he gently pushed aside the loose tendrils of hair that covered her face with his index finger.
In the light, she could see him clearly now. She recognized him as the strange man from the concert hall; The strange man that had abducted her from Vergil's. But she now knew that this was no man, as the demon stared down at her inquisitively with his dark eyes.
"I trust she didn't give you much trouble this time?"
That voice! Nika shuddered when the voice broke the silence. It unnerved her that she hadn't heard anyone come in.
The demon looked away from her and addressed the voice. "No," he replied in a slightly insulted tone. "She had been weakened enough to not cause problems." He then looked back down at the girl as a mischievous grin formed on his face. "He must have had his way with her before I showed up," he said, looking at her in a contemptuous manner.
Nika angered at his perverted insinuation and began to moan and grunt indistinguishable words in retaliation. Her sudden fury allowed her some movement as she also began to twitch and writhe in frustration, to which only made the demon smile. He stared at her awkward actions in amusement with his abnormal toothy grin. "So feisty, she is. This one has a lot of life in her," Sarin remarked, as the other came to stand next to him. He made no sound when he walked, and she sensed there was something very unnatural about his presence. Nika stopped suddenly and stared wide-eyed at the man looking down at her—the man who's voice she had heard so many times in her dreams since the night her father died.
Sarin stood up and moved aside as Feliks bent down to her. His movements made no sound, not even a rustling of the fabric of his clothing was heard. Nika eyed him apprehensively as he reached out his hand to her. "So much life," Feliks mused, as he caressed her cheek with the backs of his fingers. Nika shuddered at his touch. He was abnormally cold and it felt oddly as if nothing more than condensed air moved across her skin. "Prepare her," Feliks then flatly ordered, as he stood from the girl who let out a small whimper at his words. "And when you're done," he continued sharply, "take care of our guests." To which, Sarin nodded. Feliks silently began to exit the room when he paused. "Oh, one more thing," he added casually. "Do see that my son makes it to me. I want him alive," he ordered.
"And the other?" Sarin asked.
Feliks turned to the demon. "As for the Son of Sparda, do what you like," he finished coolly and left the room.
Nika's eyes went wide when she heard this, as Sarin took another deep inhale from his cigarette before he flicked it to the ground and stepped on it. He looked down at the limp girl at his feet and grimaced.
Dante and Thomaz pressed on through another series of short corridors without incident. The wet earthy smell of the surroundings indicated to them that they must now be well below the surface of the chapel. The plain stone tunnels held little of interest to them and their path was lit by an occasional torch mounted inside a succession of small alcoves that lined the walls every few meters or so. Although he hadn't mentioned it, Dante thought their path up to this point seemed a little too contrived; he felt it was as if someone was leading them—wanting them to come to them.
As Dante glanced over at the man next to him, he noted the large gash on Thomaz's arm where the demon had injured him. His sleeve, torn considerably and saturated with drying blood, exposed the injury that Dante could see quite plainly. Although still red and looking rather swollen, it was beginning to moderately heal. He then recalled how Thomaz had mentioned earlier at the office how the celestial energy offered similar abilities to Dante's own demonic powers, like healing. But aside from the injury, he noted the man's fatigue and was becoming slightly concerned about his condition. His skin had taken on a slight pallid tone and his forehead and temples were dotted with tiny beads of sweat, causing some of his hair to mat against his skin. Dante could sense the man's elevated heart rate and noted his breathing had become slightly irregular.
"You doin' ok?" Dante thought to ask.
"Yes. Yes, fine. Thank you," Thomaz courteously replied, and wiped his brow with the back of his forearm. "I'm afraid it's just I'm—How do you say—getting to old for this shit," he reflected.
His attempt at humor made Dante let out a hearty chuckle and the devil hunter approvingly clapped him on the back. It was then Dante admired Thomaz's determination and honor, but more so, the passion that was driving him to protect his daughter—a daughter he never really knew, but loved no less.
"Those notes—," Thomaz then began, as they walked on. "Back in that library. There is something you should know. I couldn't decipher the language completely, but on them contained reference to something about returning of the flesh."
"What exactly is that supposed to mean?" Dante raised a brow.
"I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure," Thomaz apologized, "but it has something to do with my father. I recognized his handwriting."
"So what, he's summoning a demon and resurrecting the dead now too? What else does your father have up his sleeve?" Dante replied sarcastically.
Thomaz grinned lightly at Dante's comment. "Raising the dead? No, not exactly. The notes seemed to refer more to regaining some sort of corporeal state of being." He continued when he noticed Dante side-glance at his statement in confusion. "Corporeal—of the physical body."
"Well, whatever the hell that means, sounds awful shady to me," Dante replied coolly as he suddenly realized Thomaz was no longer next to him. Dante stopped and quickly turned to see Thomaz standing a few paces back. He leaned somewhat limply with his right forearm against the wall and had his other hand to his chest. Dante quickly stepped up to him and noticed the blank look on his face as Thomaz absently stared past him.
"Hey, you alright, old man?" Dante pensively asked with a raised brow.
"She—, She is here," Thomaz breathed out suddenly. He then shifted his bewildered gaze to Dante and gripped his forearm intently. "Nika—, He has her," he added, breathing heavily. "I can sense her. She is close—very close."
Dante stared at the man for a moment, slightly unnerved by his statement, but a characteristic smug grin formed on the devil hunter's face. "Well, the more the merrier I always say," he confidently spoke. Thomaz grinned slightly at Dante's attempt to console him and let go of his arm as he leaned off the wall. Dante then turned and began to walk on. "Now, let's end this."
Thomaz quickly caught up to Dante, who was stalking down the corridor in a rather determined stride. They continued on for a short distance until the corridor ended and fed them into a large open area.
"This place just goes on forever," Dante said with mild annoyance, as they walked in and surveyed the surroundings.
It was a large storage cellar of sorts with giant, old wooden barrels stacked throughout the expanse, while others lined the walls on their sides in long rows. It was eerily silent, aside from a rhythmic dripping from the ceiling moisture into collected puddles dotting the floor. They continued on, winding their way between stacks of large dusty crates covered with rotted burlap. As they looked up, thick iron chains hung from a vaulted ceiling. Attached to some of the ends were ominous iron cages, coated in heavy dust webs that lightly billowed like some sort of strange breathing specters from the slight internal air current. A few hefty iron candelabras were lit, contributing a guiding light along their path.
They made their way to the far side of the expanse where two openings stood across from each other. One appeared to be another sizable storage room of sorts, dimly illuminated by a few small wall torches lining the interior. Its plain, rounded arch opening had what looked like a solid metal door retracted above it with a row of thick grooved teeth along it's bottom edge. The other opening was a pointed archway flanked by a pair of large, stone statues of mourning angels. It offered a path that was black as pitch, leading into an unknown darkness. As they approached, Dante casually looked between the two doorways as Thomaz stopped and closed his eyes.
"She is this way," he spoke up, as he opened his eyes and pointed to the angelic archway. As Dante turned to face Thomaz, he narrowed his eyes and panned around suspiciously.
Thomaz furrowed his brow and looked at Dante concerned. "What—?"
As he reached for Rebellion, something large viciously slammed into Dante with great force and sent him flying backwards. He rolled violently, head over feet, into the storage room, as his attacker followed suit and quickly flew in after him. Mechanical gears suddenly began clanking and whirling as the large iron door of the archway came slamming down, locking the two inside. Thomaz ran to the door and frantically looked for a way to open it, but it's lock appeared to be controlled from the other side.
"Dante!" Thomaz yelled and slammed his fist on the door.
Dante managed to plant a foot, breaking his momentum, as he slid backwards crouched on one knee. As he came to a stop, he sprung to his feet and quickly looked away, closing his eyes, when he recognized the demon standing before him in front of the door.
"Thomaz, go!" Dante bellowed from inside the sealed chamber. "Go find Nika!"
Thomaz slid his hand down from the door and nodded silently to Dante's order as he reluctantly turned and left.
"Now, we've got a score to settle, you and I," Dante threatened, as he quickly drew Ebony and Ivory from behind him and began to fire.