The Devil of Zero
Disclaimer: Neither The Familiar of Zero nor Devil May Cry belong to me.
– The Crusaders –
Tristanian Airspace, 350 KM Altitude
High above the Tristainian countryside, two fleets of airships circled each other warily. One, led by the imposing bulk of the Lexington, flew the colors of the reborn Albion. The other, with no clear flagship by size or design, flew Tristain's flag.
Aboard the Lexington, the crewmen nervously scuttled and scampered around the ship, performing their duties under the unsettling, alien gazes of the strange beings that followed the thing that now overlooked the bridge crew its place beside the Captain's chair.
Captain Bowood, commander of the Lexington, was leaning as far away from the bandaged and cloaked figure as he could without appearing overly craven.
It was plain unnatural, whatever it was. He could barely abide its presence on his ship, much less right next to him. Even worse was the knowledge of its brethren in the Lexington's holds.
Bowood shuddered, something that the person on his other side, Sir Johnston, commander of the fleet, noticed.
"Whatever is the matter captain?"
"Nothing, I'm fine." Bowood evaded, although he couldn't stop his eyes flickering to the thing for a brief moment.
"Really now Bowood," Johnston began, a chastising tone to his voice, "You shouldn't be so apprehensive of Lord Kokabiel and his troops! After all, Lord Cromwell says they are the righteous soldiers of Heaven sent to aid our glorious cause!" Unnoticed by either the facepalming Bowood or the ranting Johnston, the being known as Kokabiel shifted slightly, making a rattling sound, and coughed.
If only they knew.
After Johnston ranted for a minute, Bowood waved irritably, signaling the first lieutenant to oversee the loading of the cannons.
Then, a resounding BOOM echoed through the air.
The Tristanian salute. Despite already knowing what would happen, Bowood's gaze still drifted to the side, where, at the trailing edge of the Albion fleet's formation flew the smaller, older airship Hobart. Smoke was drifting from it, and flames soon became visible even from so far away. And finally, the ship simply exploded, a fair approximation of the flames igniting the powder magazine.
Ignoring the signal flags on the bow as they slowly gesticulated the arranged messages, Bowood looked, and caught a glimpse of golden light. Focusing, he followed it, seeing a barely-visible halo darting for the Tristainian fleet.
A grimace stretched across his face, and he laid back in the captain's chair, off-handedly waving at the crew again.
Seconds later, the Lexington shuddered as the first of many cannon volleys fired.
– The Princess –
Tristainian Palace, Tristain
A few hours later
The council chamber was in chaos. A mere hour since the notification of the air-fleet's demise followed within minutes by the formal declaration of war from Albion, and the various councilors, advisers and miscellaneous lords and ladies that had some vague idea of war were jabbering on about 'special envoys', 'treaties', and 'misunderstandings'.
Sitting in the meeting's seat of honor was a shocked Henrietta. She was wearing her beautiful wedding dress that had just been finished. She had originally planned to head to Germania by carriage after the dress had been finished. Beside her, Wales stood in resplendent robes, his face set in a grim expression as the chaos of the meeting progressed.
"Albion states that our fleet attacked them first! However our fleet says they only did a cannon salute."
"Accidents can cause misunderstandings."
"Let's hold a meeting in Albion to sort this out! Perhaps there is still a chance to mend this misunderstanding!"
While the powerful nobles stated their opinions, the Cardinal Mazarini nodded.
"Right. Dispatch a special envoy to Albion. We will approach this cautiously, before it turns into a total war over a mere misunderstanding."
At that moment, an urgent report arrived.
The messenger carrying the letter from the carrier owl, rushed into the meeting room.
"It's an urgent report! After landing, the Albion fleet has started capturing land!"
"Where did they land?"
"The outskirts of La Rochelle! It seems like in the field of Tarbes!"
– The Devil –
It had been a few days since the Laguna assault on Siesta's home. The villagers, many of whom were quite aware of Kiritsugu's efforts as the Orc Hunter and rather enamored of him and his family for it, had been helping to repair the excessive damage to the house. It was obvious many of them were perplexed as to what had caused such destruction, but their respect for Siesta's father and his guests kept them from asking questions.
It helped that clean-up of the battle's aftermath was rather easy, simply immolating the Lagunas' corpses with bursts of Abaddon's Hellfire, and then collecting the halos. Unlike the rather plain tarnished golden halos of the Affinities and Applaud Vergil had slaughtered a few days ago, the Ardor's halos had some small rubies set in them, as well as some inscriptions in what Abaddon told Vergil were ideograms of the Celestial language.
During this, Vergil noted a strange effect when he handled the Ardors' halos, feeling a strange sort of thrill as he held them. Experimenting by giving two of the halos to Kiritsugu and Shiro, he found they also felt the strange effect. When he gave Siesta one, she flushed and moaned involuntarily, before slapping a hand to her mouth and blushing deeper.
This did nothing to prepare him for handling the Beloved's halo, something best described as a tarnished gold hula-hoop with wing-like extrusions and a fist-sized emerald-like stone set in the front of it. The sheer emotion caused by touching it sent Vergil to his knees, and all three of the Infernal entities in his head screamed with glee, before he recovered enough to store it with the rest of the Ardor halos in his Dimensional Armory.
Technically, they could have left in the morning, Siesta's Cambion healing having long since eliminated her wound. However, everyone had far too much fun spending time with Siesta's family.
A metallic shriek rent the air of the forest as an obsidian-black katana clashed against the steel of Derflinger's blade.
"Owowowowowow!" The sentient sword screamed briefly, before the blades separated as their wielders stepped back a bit. Vergil with Derf, had a cold smirk on his lips, while opposite him, Kiritsugu wielded the black katana one-handed, a small upturned corner of his lips being the only evidence of his own satisfaction with the duel.
The combatants moved again, Kiritsugu slicing his free hand open and lashing it at the Son of Sparda, the spatters of blood becoming several dozen kunai-like knives with exaggerated serrations and long blades. Vergil countered with a steady barrage of Summoned Swords, the ethereal blades shattering with the blood-knives, each blade large enough to intercept three or more of them. Between the two of them, almost a hundred sorcerous weapons filled the air. Still, they charged each other, weaving in between the weapons that managed to escape mutual destruction and lashing out again.
For an instant, the blades clashed again, the metal shriek and Derflinger's protestations sounding again.
Then Vergil disappeared in a Trick, teleporting behind Kiritsugu.
The Orc Hunter only smirked, and a rune glowed briefly below Vergil's feet before erupting into a concentrated explosion of blood-red Hellfire.
Almost immediately, Derf was swung down from above in an almighty two-handed blow, which Kiritsugu barely sidestepped, the ancient sword burying itself into the earth. Vergil, landing just a moment after his blade, wrenched it out of the dirt and flicked it clean.
"When did you plant that rune?"
"The same time I created the knives." Kiritsugu replied, and Vergil noticed the hand clenched around the katana dripping blood from the thumb. "I sharpened the guard."
At that moment, shouts of alarm and fear sounded from the village, and the two part-devils looked up to see an airship and dragon-flights over its location.
"Hm. It seems Reconquista is invading." Vergil stated, with a slight hint of annoyance. Then, golden streaks appeared from the ship, darting for them. In a few seconds, the clearing they were dueling in filled with dozens of Laguna, including the Affinities, Applauds that had first assaulted Vergil, the Ardors and Beloveds only more recently revealed, and new, stranger Celestials.
– The Author –
Alright, I'm back. While brief, I see that K'GoN's reign over my fanfiction work seems to have created some strife among you guys, in this Excuse Note.
A Copy of the previously posted Excuse Note:
"Alright, so, obviously it's been a while, and there's several reasons for that...
First, Knightmare doesn't keep good notes.
Second, the DmC...remake, I think? Is pretty damn good on its own...and it's plot, if you file away at some of the minor and major details (Replace Mundus with another Demon Lord and strip out anything hinting at Angelic Heritage, for example) , would actually serve as a damn good backstory for the original DMC games. I mean, it explains everything. Literally, everything. How Dante grew up, how Vergil grew up, how they first re-met, and why they so intensely dislike each other.
It fits in so neatly, that I've gone back and edited Knightmare's backstory notes to include a version of DmC sanitized for Canon DMC, as well as two new entries in the Glossary.
So, a timeline by the Sparda Twins' age:
Sanitized DmC: 18-21
DMC3: 24 (Yeah, he looks a bit young, but I have an answer: DEMON REGENERATION/AGING!)
DMC2: Who cares?
That's that for DmC's plot, as for the rest of it, I kind of like it. Gameplay seems smoother, maybe easier (where I was getting Bs and As in style rankings in the original DMCs, I've been getting SS almost straight through in DmC). One thing I didn't like, however, was the jabs at the original. Mostly, that bit in the first stage, with the wig...seemed really immature to me.
Well, enough on DmC, let's talk about the other reason...Knightmare's Notes.
The guy's a mess, even when sane. Honestly, I've got papers all over the room, squeezed between books, in old binders...jeesh, guy should get an organizer. Going by the part of the light novels he left off at reading, we're getting to around the Big Battle of Tarbes and whatnot, and all I've found is this:
Vergil gets pwned
I mean, seriously? That's all you had to write about it dude? Not only is it so improbable and laughable, but you don't even have any details on how to go about writing something so impossible in this story!
What is it Neb?
("Found another page concerning that")
Really? Let's see...365,000 spirits of the Netherworld...Ophanim of the Edenguard...alright, yeah I can see that.
So, with that bit of news I can start writing the rest of the chapter. When it's ready, I'll delete this and post the chapter (although I'll probably copy this into the Authors Note.
So, see you soon with a real chapter!
Knightmare Gundam of Ni, your Robotic Ruler
On a side note, who here actually wouldn't mind Vergil ruling the Human Race?"
At any rate, some explanations seem required.
I'm not going to bother with responding to each review complaining about DmC independently (because I honestly only care enough to set a few facts straight).
First off, the commonly stated fact of DmC being a reboot: Despite the "..." and the question mark above, I am in fact perfectly aware of DmC's status as a reboot. That said, its overall plot when 'sanitized' (ie, chopping off all the offending bits that don't match DMC1-4 canon with a fire ax is a perfectly good origin plot for everything, up to and including Dante and Vergil's already-established hostility in DMC3 and Devil May Cry The Shop being a viable business (Everyone being aware of demons makes being a demon hunter rather more profitable than otherwise).
For those who are mentioning whatever else from the 'novels and manga', I've already said only the games are in any way canonical to the backstory of this fic, as in I'm ignoring everything else, mainly because I've never seen anything else, and have neither the time nor money to go hunting them down.
Second, people quoting sales figures at me: I don't care about how well or bad DmC sold. I really don't. That doesn't factor into how I enjoyed the game in any way. It also doesn't factor into my writing in any way. When it comes to video games, I am concerned with only two things: The Plot and Gameplay. That's it. That's all that factors into my enjoying a game.
And of course, none of this really has anything to do with this story, so that's all about that.
Here, we see the invasion of Tarbes. Despite the horrendous slaughter of much of their army back during the 'Retrieve Wales' arc, they still have the military force to invade Tristain, because they just lost a few (thousand) commoner troops, risking none of their flying units or airships, as well as none of their ah, 'Celestial' benefactor's minions.
So, yes, despite Vergil's interference, events are still going only slightly jarred from the canon path...
...for the next thousand words, then things get hilariously derailed, I promise. That's when I'll put that nice bit I wrote out-of-sequence way back during the Mott chapters in. You guys should love that.
Sorry for the shortness of the chapter, I was going to continue it, but then I realized that was the perfect cliffhanger point. But the next update, shouldn't be more than a week or two (three at the most), will be much longer, I promise.
Small announcement, after this update, I'm going to start putting all of the Author things at the top and separate them with the horizontal lines from the main part, let you guys get that over with sooner.
Knightmare Gundam of Ni