"The Order of the Sword, huh?"
Dante took an ample bite from the fresh slice of pizza he held in his gloved hand, then chewed vigorously.
Lady slowly nodded her head. "Yes. Are you familiar with them?"
Dante gave a brief chuckle. "Sorry. Religion and I don't mix," he said through a mouthful.
Why did I even bother asking?
She rolled her eyes in annoyance behind the reflective orange shades she wore, the sleek frames hiding her heterochromia. Lady had two different colored eyes; her right was a light blue, with just a hint of hazel, her left a deep and menacing brown that almost glowed with red if the light was just right. Shades were now almost a standard piece of her attire, keeping the stares to a minimum. Unfortunately, Lady was having another problem with stares.
She noticed that Dante wasn't looking at her face when he responded to her. Rather, he was enjoying the view of the plunging neckline of her white pinstriped blazer. The form fitting garment, complete with a set of matching hot pants gave her an air of business and pleasure. And as Dante's luck would have it, she didn't believe in bras, and just happened to absently be leaning forward on his desk.
Whatever keeps him interested. Guess I'll have to spell it out for him.
"It's a small congregation that gathers in the castle town of Fortuna," she said, then gave an airy scoff. "I guess the only people who would have heard of it are the type of people who take interest in this type of thing.
Dante laughed and swallowed his mouthful of pizza. "Like you."
Lady cocked her head, her gelled black bangs shifting to the side.
Dante took another bite from the piece of pizza in his hand, apparently bored with the current conversation. He opted to stay how he was: his feet propped up on his desk, slouching in an antique Gothic chair. Lady rolled her eyes again. The half-demon was being more annoying than usual. Maybe she was just impatient because she was stopping on her way to a job, maybe he just pissed her off in general.
Dante's shop, Devil May Cry, was Lady's only real competition when it came to her profession: demon slaying. Apparently, as said by Dante, something Lady had said when they first met was his inspiration for the name of it. Lady couldn't remember, nor did she really care.
The shop resembled more of a dingy tavern than a place of business. There was a beaten drum kit and a pool table in the corner. The other side held a well used red leather couch, as well as a beaten jukebox and a filthy refrigerator. A solitary fan slowly circled overhead, doing nothing in fixing the room's temperature. The most noticeable feature was Dante's desk and the items behind it: a large arsenal of firearms, as well as several evil looking Devil Arms. Most prominent among these was the Sparda, a massive demonic sword displayed proudly on a column.
Despite her and Dante's competition, they worked together on rare occasions. She hoped that this would be one of them. She just happened to be in a bind. The only problem was getting Dante motivated.
"So just how much do you know about Sparda?" she ventured to ask, not knowing what type of answer to expect. She at first figured Dante would know quite a bit about his own father.
"Well, from what I can figure there's a lot of, uh, confusion, surrounding him."
He shot a look to the third figure in the room, the one sitting casually at the end of his long desk: Trish. The tall blond woman...(or was it demon?) merely shrugged. She sat, legs crossed, in black leather, one leg mindlessly keeping beat with the jukebox spilling out death metal. Her head was tipped up and back almost proudly, the silken tresses of her hair spilling down the back of her ebony bustier. Like Dante, she was enjoying a slice of pizza.
Lady kept a close eye on Trish. She didn't have the exact details of how she and Dante met. She didn't even know if she was a true demon, or a cross like Dante was. Trish rarely spoke, and in fact hadn't even said a word since Lady arrived. Lady wasn't quite ready to trust her just yet.
He probably just keeps her around for the scenery. Heh, and they call me nicely stacked.
A long strand of cheese pulled from the slice, connected to the corner of Trish's mouth. She noticed Lady staring and raised an eyebrow in question. Lady gave her a wry look before turning back to Dante.
Once again, why do I even bother asking?
Lady straightened herself, then turned and paced down the length of the room. About a dozen belts and holsters strapped around her creaked lightly as she moved. Lady preferred guns and artillery over other methods of extermination. Three handguns, two small submachine guns, the ammo for them and various grenades were all concealed on her small frame. Her weapon of choice, Kalina Ann, a large custom made rocket launcher with a wicked bayonet sat propped against the wall.
In Lady's opinion, anything could usually be fixed by shooting it. If that failed, then blowing it up would work just fine.
"The story goes that Sparda served as the feudal lord of the city long ago," she began, feeling stupid on having to lecture Dante about his own father. "The people who live there today take these legends as truth and worship him. Just like a god..."
This seemed to perk Dante's interest. He kicked his legs from off his desk and leaned forward, the slice of pizza still in his hand.
"They worship a demon as a god?" he asked, with a glint in his eye.
He looked over to Trish, who still seemed indifferent to the whole conversation. She daintily sucked the grease from each of her fingers, then hopped off the desk, striding off. The warped wooden floor protested loudly as her black heeled boots beat down on them.
"Peaceful worship can't be condemned," Lady said quickly, making sure Dante had not gotten the wrong impression. She walked back to his desk, once again leaning forward out of habit. "But the real problem is the Order. Lately, they've been running amok, catching demons, and have been even butting in on some of my jobs!"
Dante grinned, and Lady sighed again. She knew that he would like nothing more than to see her squirm. Now, he was probably going to milk this for all that he could. But, like it or not, she was against a wall. The Order needed to back off, or else she would be out of work.
"Maybe they're starting a zoo," Dante said casually.
With a quick swipe, Lady snatched the half eaten pizza from Dante's hand.
"Not just demons," she revealed, leaning close. "They've also been targeting Devil Arms. Like the ones you have," she finished, gesturing at him with the slice. At least that should interest him.
"Okay, a museum then." Dante made an attempt to snatch the slice back, but Lady was too quick, pulling it out of his reach. Dante gave a look of exasperation, then decided to abandon his slice Lady had taken hostage. "So what?" He slouched back again and propped his legs up, apparently pissed that he couldn't finish eating in peace.
Lady decided to move in for the kill. "Well what if their intentions are foul and there's a diabolical plan behind these apparently 'random' acts?"
Yeah, it was a stretch, but Lady was being pushed, and she was going to push back. The Order needed to stop screwing with her business. Getting Dante to rattle a few cages would be at least a good start. Plus, it wasn't like she was making this up. She had heard more than a few rumors about the Order of the Sword...none of them were that appealing.
Impatiently, she folded her arms across her chest, being careful not to stain her white blazer with red sauce or yellow grease from the slice of pizza in her hand. Finally, Dante seemed interested.
"Well then," he said getting up, "I'd have something to keep me occupied and...Trish!" he barked over his shoulder. When there was no answer, a look of peculiarity briefly crossed his face. He looked over his shoulder, a look of disbelief now replacing the confusion.
Lady smiled triumphantly. Behind Dante, the column displaying the Sparda was now bare. Only the pegs that held it remained, along with a smear of pink lettering of what looked like lipstick on the stone:
"See you there"
Lady hadn't even noticed it, and her back had only been turned for a grand total of about five seconds. Trish had vanished, taking the powerful Devil Arm with her, doing it without even a sound; Lady remembered the noise she had made when she walked off. Not even a whisper. It was just another reason why she didn't trust her.
"Hmmmm..." Dante said aloud, his tongue in his cheek.
"Let me know how it goes," Lady said smugly, tossing the piece of pizza back onto it's box. She paused at the door to collect Kalina Ann on her way to her motorcycle. "Don't worry," she added, "I don't expect you to do this for free. There'll be a little something in it for you."
It was Dante's problem now, not hers.
In the semi pitch black of the cathedral's stage, Kyrie wrung her hands together tightly, almost painfully. A shuddering breath escaped from between her lips. No matter how many times she performed, it was impossible to shake the butterflies from her stomach. Maybe it was because by being a quiet, shy girl, she hated being the center as attention. As a thin halo of light formed around her, growing larger and brighter, that fear became even more apparent. The orchestra began to play the first notes.
The spotlight on her grew brighter, expanding to about two or three meters in diameter. Kyrie opened her eyes slowly, trying not to squint or blink rapidly. The scenery beyond the veil of light was just as black as it had been before the light.
Just pretend there's no one there...no one there...But who am I singing for then? Ohhh...Is there anyway to get rid of this feeling?
Kyrie could just make out the shapes of dozens of worshipers on the other side of the light. She couldn't see their faces, as they were obscured by their worship hoods. Only their silhouettes were visible. The rest of the cathedral's magnificent Gothic architecture was shrouded by the shadows.
The light reached it's fullest intensity, turning Kyrie into a beacon that almost glowed white. She was dressed in her worship finery: a simple white dress with long sleeves, comfortable and sensible to wear. The emblem of the Order was embroidered in a glittering gold fabric on each sleeve. Around her arms, pooling almost to the stone floor of the stage was a black lace shawl. On her head was a shining gold tiara, something that Kyrie thought was ridiculously gaudy, given the situation, as well as a bit heavy. Her auburn ponytail had been carefully threaded through the cold metal only minutes before. Topping the entire outfit was a pair of equally gaudy earrings to match her tiara.
The music softened, then crescendoed. Kyrie recognized her cue. She breathed deeply, once to relax herself. Slowly, she loosened her hands' death grip on each other, then pushed her shoulders back and lifted her head. Her eyes closed briefly, then opened, and her lips turned up into a warm smile. She breathed deeply again, this time for the first verse.
"Listen to my voice calling you
Calling you out of darkness
Hear the devils cry of sin
Always turn your back on him"
As she sang the heavenly melody, her arms slowly drifted in front of her. "Sing the words and weave the music," her voice teacher had always said. Her voice trilled perfectly as the verse ended, her entire life of practice showing in each note.
Unseen in the shadows, the orchestra's music swelled. The next verse was already upon her. This time, more voices would join her as the chorus backed her singing.
"With the wind you go and still
I dream of your spirit leading me back home
I will give my gifts you you
While you're gone and watching you"
By now, Kyrie's eyes had adjusted to the harsh light that was illuminating her. She carefully turned her head to the side, locating the spot where he said he would be. She gasped ever so slightly, her bright, celestial features turning to surprise and worry. He wasn't sitting there.
Nero, where are you?
She knew he didn't like going to the worship services, but he had promised! Every time she sung, he would be there watching her. But not this time. The end of the pew was empty.
Kyrie quickly hid her surprise before it could be noticed by the congregation. She was so busy thinking that she almost missed her next entry. With just her voice harmonizing with the orchestra's harp this time, it would have been an easily noticeable mistake. Her teacher would never have forgiven her for something like that.
"The light in your eyes
An angel of dark
Lighting to ease the shadows' sight
Hearts will grow, the heavens will play
Leaving the things behind in the end"
The last word 'end' had to be held for a full measure and a half. Kyrie's voice didn't falter once. Gone was the surprised girl, the talented songstress in her place, almost painting the music with her hands and voice. She pushed Nero out of her mind. She had to perform well, or else her family's reputation would be spoiled.
The song was almost finished; the first verse repeated and went to its coda. The last note was the hardest for Kyrie, for any singer really. Mastering such a prolonged high note took months of practice.
"Listen to my voice calling you
Calling you out of darkness
Hear the devil's cry of sin
Always turn your back on him
Please accept this song as my prayer, Lord Sparda. Help Nero keep his promise.
Kyrie raised her arms up gently, the long black shawl creating a grim arc behind her. She felt the muscles in her throat follow familiar patterns; her lips parted, and let out an ethereal sound of beauty that didn't waver or bend.
Just before the note finished, Kyrie gave one last glance to Nero's spot. Her smile became genuine. There he was, sprawled out on the pew in a manner unfit for worship. Not even dressed for the occasion, one dirty boot was propped up on seat, staining the green cushion with speckles of brown. He was breathing heavily with a light sheen of sweat across his forehead. But he was there, and that was all that mattered. He could explain himself later.
He grinned sheepishly at Kyrie as the congregation applauded politely. She beamed back, for the first time feeling happy to be on the cathedral stage.
Authors Note: Well, I've decided to branch off into another genre. I'll still stick with Resident Evil, but I'm mainly doing this as a personal project. I love action, and Devil May Cry has an ample amount. So, I thought, why not? I'm going to try to be a little more free with the story and dialogue, because there isn't a whole lot in the game, and it doesn't make alot of sense sometimes. But, as usual, I'll try and stick to it word for word. For those of you who know the games well, I hope you enjoy. For those who don't, I hope I intrigue you. Enough talk, though. "Let's rock, baby!"