Request fic from Nemi.
Getting the central joke requires knowledge of DMC1. Getting the irony of it all requires knowing what happened in the first novel, the one whose portrayal of Vergil DMC3 chose over Kamiya's original concept of the character. Although DMC3!Vergil is a sucker compared to novel!Vergil.
As much as I like to draw on the first two novels and Word of Kamiya (where is the Bayonetta crossover fic where Eva was an Umbra witch?) I'm ignoring the DMC4 novel where Nero is Vergil's son, because I like the impression I got from the game better.
Vergil isn't old enough to have been around when samurai were allowed to use commoners for killing practice, but judging from the manga, he's certainly got that attitude.
While the Order of the Sword sometimes, sometimes, sent members outside Fortuna, when wherever they were sent was in real danger, asked really nicely and swore on whatever they considered holy not to burn whoever was sent at the stake as soon as they demonstrated… unusual abilities (not all the half-demons had fled as far as Vie du Marli after Mundus' invasion had turned humanity against their old gods and even Sparda's rebellion hadn't managed to salvage demonkind's reputation), Nero would never have been considered a candidate for such a mission.
Partially because Nero had been generated from the blade of the Yamato by one of Agnus' first experiments with it and they didn't want to lose their future holy hero, a manifestation of the power of a carrier of Sparda's divine blood. If any demons ever found out what Nero was, Mundus' forces would have assaulted the city with all the strength they could muster.
And Dante would be furious, or so they'd thought: he'd turned out more amused by it than anything. (Except for the fact they'd kept family secret from him. That was not cool.)
Even if sending their god-child on an outside mission had been an option, they never would have sent him on this one. Not when he'd shown no signs of ever learning any manners, and Japan was Japan. Manners were extremely important there, and while the blood of Amaterasu's descendants was extremely watered down and no match for a half-demon of Sparda's own divine lineage, the last thing they wanted was a diplomatic incident.
Especially now, when the city's defenders had been decimated.
They would have sent Credo, the loyal, polite… very dead commander of the knights.
But the request came in through the proper channels, refusing and letting more of Japan's native priest-hunters get slaughtered would have been wrong as well as rude, and somehow Nero was the only surviving Knight that spoke Japanese.
Despite the fact they'd never actually taught him Japanese. Or any languages, really. Or much that didn't involve swinging a sword or shooting (he'd been less familiar with the latter). He'd said he hated boring bookwork, and why argue with their god when he shouldn't have needed to speak to any unbelievers outside the holy city of Fortuna?
But they were short-handed enough that they couldn't afford not to send anyone. To fail to do so would have been to display their weakness and invite further invasion.
Also, Nero was already on a plane over Central Asia before the remaining church officials got the message and realized that yes, the self-appointed (not that anyone was going to argue with him) commander of the Knights really had just packed up and flown to Japan.
For Nero, it wasn't the fact he spoke Japanese that was strange. After hearing a voice saying that it wanted more power, yadda yadda yadda, he'd kind of had to get used to the whole voices in his head thing.
It was the fact that he spoke polite Japanese. Polite and archaic, real upper-class courtly stuff. It wasn't that he couldn't understand how normal people talked, and when he ran into some punks who Nero thought he would have spoken like he knew what they were saying, he just didn't know how to speak that dialect himself.
And he was pretty sure that what had almost come out of his mouth when he replied to them hadn't been, "Out of my way," but, "Out of my way or I will use you to slake my sword's bloodthirst, weak peasant scum," or words to that effect. Sentiments to that effect, anyway.
He'd also caught himself eyeing a kimono (somehow knowing that it was a male kimono, which didn't make it any better, dammit) with vines and dismissing it not because it was a dress but because it didn't have thorns (what, did he want to wear rose print now?) and wasn't blue.
Then there was the moment of mortification when he'd introduced himself as Nelo. It wasn't that Nero minded being rude, but there was well, general rudeness that kept people from turning into stuffed-shirts, too full of their own importance and sounding like he was making fun of people for stereotypes of how they talked, which was not cool. It just kept coming out that way, though, and the Red Queen seemed to alternate between being too thick a sword, like he was thinking of some spindly katana instead of a proper broadsword, and too small…
He was glad it had been a few years since Dante showed up, otherwise he was wryly sure that he would have decided this had to be all his fault somehow and hunted the bastard down instead of the demons he was supposed to be killing.
Nero shoved that into the box of things he didn't think about (like how often he called Kyrie 'Mom'), and quickly followed it with how easy it was for him to navigate Japan's occult scene. Investigation had never been his strong point, but somehow he knew exactly where to go to hear about this cult, and this CEO, and a gathering in a park that was going to get attacked by demons…
"That old man, if I'd known he was getting you mixed up in this… Well," said Dante. "This doesn't look like someplace you'd find sushi."
Staring up at the other side of the hollow ball of apocalyptic cityscape, Nero wasn't sure if the world had just ended (it couldn't be that easy, right? It just couldn't be) or they were in some freaky corner of the demon world (not that all of it wasn't freaky), but he did know one thing. This was all his little bro-All Dante's fault.
Nelo had never felt so much like Credo in his life.
Trying to pin Dante to a roof until he explained what the hell was going on and who was that blond kid kept him too busy to have to think about who else he must be feeling like.
Aaand right into Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, the first RPG I ever played (because it had Dante in it) and still the best gameplay ever. So much better than the Persona games and their dating sim stuff, seriously.
Her request was for something that pointed out the Nero/Nelo thing, and the irony with Dante having amnesia in the novel and Vergil/Nero in DMC4, but I thought of Nocturne… Someone needs to do a Vergil in Nocturne fic, too.