"If I can make a suggestion for a moment here… Why don't we both just stop?" Dante asked as the giant took its place. To his surprise, Mundus did not attempt to immediately slash him to ribbons with the marble, but stood and waited for him to continue. "I wanna make you the same offer I made your kid… Why don't we both stop, right here, right now, and deal with the bigger problem. Our mutual problem."
"Mutual problem? The colossus asked, amused.
"Nero," Dante confirmed. "Don't act like you don't know what a savage monster you created…There's so much of my father's blood in him that it actually created a separate personality, one I just tore out! And without that tiny, tiny grip on reality, he's not just your weapon anymore, he's a ticking time bomb! Two of the most powerful demons who ever lived, their ideologies as different as Yin and Yang, are boiling inside his brain… Oh he might be easily manipulated right now, but what do you think is going to happen when you let up for a single second? You know how powerful he is, he wants to kill the both of us just to get his instincts to stop screaming at him!"
"If you are so fearful, why separate the two?" Mundus asked.
"Firstly because unlike you, I hate the thought of an innocent soul in suffering… And second to force you into this position. There is nothing I could loathe more than to alley myself with you… But I ask you consider that even if you do kill me, it'll be a very short lived victory… I let you get away with your life once Mundus, I have the capacity to do it again, if I feel like it. Him?" Dante said, pointing to Nero, "He'll never let you escape."
Mundus would have no more talk and took his first swing at the hunter. Dante managed to dodge the initial slash, carving into the earth of the floating island in a gigantic cut and dodge behind a few nearby buildings, muttering to himself, "I'm no chemist, but no way that's real marble."
"Come on out boy," Mundus snarled. "You are only prolonging your suffering."
"Three gigantic eyes but he probably can't track worth a damn," Dante said under his breath. He contemplated the situation, quietly noting, "Those three eyes are the only leads I've got… But he'll probably protect them like his family jewels…"
Dante had to make a lunge as Mundus slashed again and craved the shack he was hiding behind in two, the buildings all thankfully close enough to one another he could dodge from one to the next without being noticed. Still, this strategy could only last him so long, he knew it.
And then there was still Nero. Even with all the power he already had, Dante was sure Mundus was sucking out his own son's strength like a leech… He could separate the two and see if Nero would do as he predicted and turn on Mundus instantly, but the emperor was clearly too strong at the moment, Nero wouldn't be able to do much… But he could still play a part in the endgame.
With his free hand Mundus swiped a few more buildings out of his way with the same ease the clearing a desk of papers, revealing the hunter. Knowing his rage could be clouding his judgment, Dante decided it was time to take a risk.
"Over here jackass!" He shouted. "C'mon! This is the longest I've ever seen anyone try and crush an ant!"
Mundus swung down again, his blade once more digging deep into the ground. Quickly checking that he had all his weaponry on hand, Dante ran at the makeshift weapon and made a jump.
With inhuman balance, Dante ran along the edge of the sword as fast as he could, getting a few feet of progress before Mundus even noticed he was running on it, but once he did his response was fast, swiping him off with his free hand, knocking the demon hunter to the ground from over twenty feet in the air. Dante smashed onto his back, sure he heard and felt a few tiny cracks running through his skeleton. He forced his eyes open in time to see the gigantic marble blade coming down on him again and rolled to the side just in time to dodge it.
Dante grabbed Kalina Anne from his side and fired a rocket towards Nero, still trapped in Mundus's center, but the demonic king raised his sword and slashed it in two, giving little attention to the explosion.
"You should know by now the weapons of men have no effect on me!" He cackled.
"As I recall these shut you up last time!" Dante said, twirling Ivory and Ebony from their holsters and firing a few rounds. They broke into Nero, but he remained motionless as Mundus continued to laugh.
With his free hand Mundus reached down into the church briefly before throwing his fist at Dante again. Though he again dodged it out the hundreds of smaller hands that made up Mundus's fiery form lunged out from his arm, some holding small shards of the marble dug between their fingers and others gripping them like blades. Dante managed to parry and slash off a few of the hands, but their numbers and speed were clearly superior and took slashes and blood-drawing punches from at least a dozen of them, forcing him backwards until he lost his footing, two of the blades then promptly stabbing him in the shoulders and pinning him to the ground.
"The devil within you grows thin and weak," Mundus mocked. "A decade ago you were my foe… But just what are you now?"
"Now?" Dante asked through the blood in his mouth. "You don't get it… I'm more like the both of my parents than ever."
Mundus stabbed his blade into the earth and leaned in close, so close that Dante could feel his burning breath, starring him down eye to giant eye. "No. You are more like your mother. Foolhardy. Impulsive… And another of my victims."
"You forgot one other quality, Dante muttered with a weak smile. Mundus gave him a moment to respond before he disappeared from sight, The emperor double took at this for only a moment before spotting him on his right shoulder, wielding his brother's sword, but by then it was too late. In a flash Dante rushed at Mundus and thrust the katana deep into Mundus's right eye. Blood poured out like a fountain as the demon wrenched backwards in agony, clutching at the wound, the jerk so sudden and fast that it threw Dante off of his body and he again was forced to suffer the damages of another fall, but it was worth it to land the blow he just had.
"You worm!" Mundus roared. "Half bred dog! Mongeral! How dare you!"
"She knew how to take the fall for what was really important," Dante yelled. "She gave her life so that I could live… And I'll bet she gave you a beating while she was at it! My shoulders might be hurting, but you? How's your eye?"
Mundus began to wildly hack and slash at the hunter, desperately trying to strike him down, Dante again forced to move as fast as he could carry himself to get away from the strikes before Mundus's eyes began to glow fully and his remaining good eyes fired optic blasts of energy in his direction, the blasts exploding as they hit the ground and throwing him off his feet. Dante reflected on already using his most obvious form of trickery, and, pushing back onto his feet, contemplated how he'd have to blind those other two eyes.
He knew he still had his father's sword, but was hesitant to use it too quickly. For all of its incredible powers, he knew he still wouldn't be invincible, and he'd need to feed the blade with Mundus's blood to keep it at its full power, something that would be too difficult when Mundus was forcing him to run and hide so much.
Amongst the destruction Dante managed to jump into a steaming crater left in the ground by one of Mundus's blasts, hiding at the rim and hoping Mundus would not be so quick to attack the same place twice. He was not, and instead turned to peer behind a few more buildings. Dante was standing at the demon's blade side, scanning up its arm, devising another dangerous strategy, noting to himself that he really hadn't become any wiser with age.
He climbed out from the crater and ran at the arm, lunging and clinging onto as many of the small arms as he could get his hands on. In a moment he caught Mundus's attention, the devil's arms reacting violently, clawing at him as quickly as they could. Dante gripped Rebellion and slashed off whatever hands he could, grabbing the arm stubs and pulling himself higher up. He gasped in pain when a line of marble knives cut into his back, being thrown from the hands on Mundus's other arm. Still, he did not stop, now stabbing rebellion into the giant for extra support, Mundus groaning in pain whenever he did.
Dante pulled himself as high as the devil's shoulder before the hands got ahold of his ankles, trapping him in place. "That's quite far enough!" Mundus snarled.
"Fine by me, I'm a good shot!" Dante yelled, throwing Rebellion at Mundus's left eye. A few hands on Mundus's face managed to grab the sword before it made contact and the demon laughed.
Dante hadn't planned on an alternative, but was grateful for the thick skin of his heritage when he again drew Kalina Anne and pointed at Mundus's shoulder. When he pulled the trigger the rocket blasted the hands off of his legs and propelled him into the air towards Mundus's face. As the demon went to grip the wound on his shoulder, Dante had the chance to grab Rebellion from his hands and stabbed it into Mundus's left eye. He tried as hard as he could to hold onto the hilt of the sword as Mundus again convulsed and shook in agony, but lost his grip and again fell towards the ground.
He managed to draw Madonna in time to swing at one of the rooftops, the bladed whip catching one of them and allowing him to swing to safety. He only managed to hold his footing for a moment before the shack was blasted by an optic blast from Mundus's last good eye. Dante was blasted backwards, painfully rolling backwards to the edge of the floating island, gripping the ground as hard as he could, struggling to stay on.
Mundus's recovery was faster than it had been before and he thrust his hand forward, pulling Dante and a handful of the dirt upward. Giving him nothing but another roar of hate, he threw Dante to the ground in the town's center. He held Dante to the ground with his many small hands, holding his arms and legs far apart but not bothering with his chest. Unable to move, Dante could do nothing to stop Mundus from stabbing him right through the chest with the gigantic marble-like shard. The blade with thin at the end but still stabbed him right through from his sternum to his waist. Dante let out a scream of pain, blood pouring from every side of the wound, Mundus finally dismissing his cackling as he slowly twisted the gigantic shard, Dante shrieking louder and louder.
"So ends the line of the traitor," Mundus muttered. "I was denied vengeance against your father, but I had your mother, your brother, and through my son the rest! I only regret Sparda could not know my revenge… I want you to scream like he would!" Mundus continued to twist the blade, Dante crying out in a pain like he'd never known before. "I want you to beg! Scream and plead to me! Beg me for death!"
The Sparda sword had been forced from his possession, now laying a foot too far to get ahold of, and even if he could, the hands were still holding him in place.
Dante closed his eyes, trying his very hardest to concentrate. He centered his demonic energy, trying to build up as much as he could, shuddering a little as he did, Mundus still intent on grinding into him. Mundus's last eye burned bright as once more he yelled.
Dante released the strength he had built up, erupting in a blast of burning read and scorching the hands holding him in place. The aura was enough to dissipate the blast Mundus fired from his eye. For the moment, Dante, now in his demonic form, found hands and legs were free as Mundus tried to figure out what had just happened.
As his strength slowly returned, he raised his arm and chopped at the thin end of the marble blade, shattering it and creating a little space and permitting him to roll aside and dig the end out of his chest.
Mundus still hadn't reacted with anything but confusion, allowing Dante to grab Madonna and thrust it towards Mundus. The chain-sword fired with unprecedented speed and power, piercing Mundus's topmost eye and leaving the demonic emperor completely blind and bringing out the strongest screech of anguish yet. Mundus now dropped his makeshift sword and clutched at his face, wildly trying to dig the blades out but found he could not.
Dante gripped his father's blade, ready to finally bring out his endgame.
In a flash Dante turned from his own form to the visage of his father. Six wings to now support him, he jumped into the air and flew right at the sightless emperor.
Crippled by both the loss of his sight and optic blasts, Mundus could only fumble in a struggle to strike his opponent. Dante flew from point to point across the demon's body, slashing into his lava-like flash and clawing hands, every slash now soliciting cries of pain. Still trying to cut him out of the air, Dante elected to handicap Mundus further, landing on his right arm, stabbing deep into it and running upwards as fast as he could, severing tendons and veins all along the way until he lunged off, rendering the arm limp and useless.
At last Dante could turn his attention to where it was most demanded. As more arms reached up to grab him and he hacked them away, he flew towards Mundus's chest and flew straight through it, impaling Nero and gouging him out of his father's center along the way. The arms clinging to Nero held as tight as they could, but were unable to keep hold and were torn off when Dante forced his way through to the other side. The demonic transformation began to fade and he and Nero crashed into the ground as Mundus continued to rage. Pushing to his feet, Dante saw Mundus's titanic from began to shrink, every inch of him writhing and shaking violently, the roar of pain all that was audible.
"Let's finish it," Dante said to himself, standing up straight. Without Nero at his core, Mundus's power was fading rapidly. He prepared to rush back into the fight, turning to give Nero a quick look before being forced to look again.
The now almost mindless Nero gripped the severed hands that had gripped him, their power rushing into his body and the hands shriveling into lifeless husks. A crazed smile came across his face as he pulled another that had been clinging to his leg and sucked the life out of it as well.
Proving his speed was superior, Nero shoved Dante out of his way and ran at Mundus as fast as he could, grabbing ahold of as many of the tendril-like hands, draining the life from them, tearing them off and moving onto his next handful. Dante starred from a distance, at first with a little smile but then a fear building in him. Nero's aura and powers began to feel saturated, his muscles growing larger and more full with every handful, wrenching at them harder and faster with every grab. Mundus, not even knowing what was going on, demanded to know what was happening to him as he struggled to fight back, but Nero just kept gouging himself on the hellish power.
"Like I said, time bomb," Dante said to himself. This was going to be too much, the Plutuson could well erupt in minutes from taking in too much power. Mundus knew how to distribute it over his massive size, Nero had neither the body nor the mental capacity to properly use all that power. The fight was over, but he now had to ensure his own survival.
He turned towards his father's sword and his handguns and looked reluctantly towards Mundus and Nero. Whatever their value to him, he knew he could not retrieve his weaponry. Dante ran to the edge of the floating island and jumped off.
For a few dozen feet he fell through the dark of hell before reaching the threshold and crossing back into the human world. Raising Sparda and channeling his remaining strength, he began to close the portal. Just before it closed completely, there was a monstrous explosion from within, hellfire blasting out of the closing portal and Dante giving himself a satisfied, but sad smile as he looked towards the ground.
He didn't have the energy left to transform and, with how brutal the fight had been, wasn't sure if he'd survive the fall. Gently, he shut his eyes, prepared for whatever would follow.
And once again, he was swept out of the air.
He opened his eyes to see the angelic Lucia holding him in her arms, a look of strong reassurance in her. Weakly he turned towards the floating island, which was now falling from the sky and crashed back into the mountains in a seismic smash. After a few more seconds in the air, Lucia landed, Dante getting back on his feet, exhausted but gratified.
"Dante, is it over?" Lucia asked.
Dante nodded, "Yeah… It was a hell of a fight, but Mundus is gone… Hoisted by his own petard… Killed by his own son."
"And Nero… Could you-"
"Yeah," Dante said. "I think I did."
The two held each other tight amongst the destruction, giving no words, only exasperated breaths before Lucia quietly said, "It's over… It's finally over."
And just as she finished saying it Dante was pulled to the ground. Both of them jerked around to see a hand like one of those on Mundus's body, but this one black in color gripped around Dante's ankle, a human sized hellgate behind it. Both of them tried to react but were too slow as the hand pulled Dante into the portal, dragging him into the darkness as the portal closed.