Dante awoke slowly, groaning as he pushed himself to his feet from a pool of his own blood. "What...what happened?" he asked, his memory still groggy.
"The devil inside you has awakened!" Agni informed him.
"The power of your father's blood, realized!" Rudra concurred.
"The legacy of the Sons of Sparda...the Devil Trigger!" they intoned together.
Shaking his head, he staggered over to where Applejack was huddled in the middle of the platform. Scooping her up, he saw blood on her muzzle. "What happened to her?" he asked, hiding concern. "Did she get hurt?"
"She has no injuries," Agni pointed out reassuringly.
"The blood is your brothers," Rudra explained. "After you got stabbed, she tore a chunk of the side of his throat out."
"Damn!" Dante said appreciatively. "That takes guts!"
"Indeed!" Agni agreed. "That she has plenty of!"
"Ap-Balls!" Cerberus agreed.
"And it was after she was knocked aside and lost consciousness that the demon inside you awoke!" Rudra pointed out.
"Indeed!" Agni agreed. "It was not until she lost consciousness that Rebellion revealed its true face!"
"And not until Virgil had left that you relaxed enough to change, and then collapse!" Rudra pointed out. "As though it awoke specifically to pro-"
"One word of that sort from either of you and I feed you to Cerberus," Dante interrupted.
"Yes, Lord and Master!" the twin swords replied.
Dante gently stroked Applejack's head, spotting her stetson and putting it back on her head. "Not that I'm denying the possibility," he mumbled to himself, strapping her back to his back, "but I have a reputation to maintain." Walking over to a nearby statue, he slammed his fist against it. The energy from the strike flowed into the statue, and caused the top of it to explode.
The noise woke the unconscious filly. "...Papa?" she whimpered, putting her hoof to Dante's cheek.
Dante smiled, turning back and stroking her cheek. "Things were kinda rough back there," he said easily. "How about something fun to take the edge off?"
Smiling, Applejack nodded eagerly.
Dante grinned widely. "Hold onto your hat!" he said, before diving off the top of the tower.
"Yeeeeeehaaaaaah!" Applejack called out happily.
As Dante dove, several of the bloody birds he'd faced earlier in the tower flew up. He easily dodged and evaded, shooting them down with Ebony and Ivory. Applejack continued to cheer happily, holding her hat down on her head so it didn't fly off. Jumping from one to another, Dante reveled in the sudden surge of strength, speed, and agility he had now, higher than it was before his fight with Virgil just now. He then deliberately slowed his fall enough so that he could be swarmed by them, before spinning like a dervish with Ebony in one hand and Rebellion in the other, ripping them apart.
He then threw Rebellion forward, spinning, watching as it impaled several of the birds. He then fired a bullet to impact Rebellion's hilt, causing it to accelerate downward, shredding the birds impaled on it as well as several others it passed through. Dante raced down the Tower, catching up to the sword as they both accelerated to the point they had heat coronas. He then leapt straight out from the side of the Tower, staring at the shine of the sword's new edge. So this is what it looked like when Pops wielded it, huh? he thought to himself.
He then got eaten by a demonic leviathan flying through the sky.
Coming in for a landing within the beast's belly, Dante shook his head. "Not how I expected that to end, but still fun!"
"Again!" Applejack cried happily, waving Cerberus around in the air.
Dante chuckled. "Sure, why not? Next time we're at the top of the tower, we'll jump off again. But first we've got to get out of here. It stinks."
Applejack held her nose in agreement. Laughing at her scrunched up face, Dante began his explorations of the beast's insides.
At Agni and Rudra's direction, Dante found it easy to open doorways forward within the great beast by destroying glands that held seals closed. Dante did his best to do it quick, as it really did stink inside. He also did his best to avoid stepping in digestive acid.
As Dante entered the Leviathin's heart chamber, he saw his path to the heart itself blocked by a reinforced membrane. "Let me guess," Dante said to Agni and Rudra. "I need to find something to fit in there-" he pointed to a protuberance on the membrane "-to take the membrane down so I can destroy the heart and make this thing crash so we can get out?"
"...a viable conclusion," Agni admitted.
"A distinct possibility!" Rudra agreed.
"You are getting better at this!" Agni complimented.
"Soon you won't need our advice!" Rudra pointed out.
"But we have never been inside a Leviathan before!" Agni pointed out.
"So we have no idea!" Rudra proclaimed.
After glaring at the two swords in silence for a time, Dante let himself be encouraged by Applejack's giggling. Chuckling, he continued onward.
After fighting his way through two monsters reminiscent of the giant centipede he'd fought before, along with numerous monsters that looked to be in various stages of digestion, Dante was able to bring an Ignis Fatuus and bring it back to the membrane wall. By that point, all the adventurers were eager to get out of the beast, as it had become progressively more disgusting as they went through.
"Let's get out of this thing," Dante said, holding the artifact to the membrane protuberance.
The membrane promptly dissolved. Dante then leapt into the heart chamber, attacking the three segments of the heart. Applejack, for her part, attacked with both Cerberus and Artemis, focusing on taking down the monsters that rose to attack Dante from behind. She found a good combination by freezing them with Cerberus' ice blasts before shattering them with a charged shot from Artemis.
"The power of her attacks has improved," Agni commented as Dante swung Rebellion.
"Indeed," Rudra concurred. "Do you think it has something to do with what happened when Young Master was stabbed?"
"A distinct possibility," Agni pointed out. "We should probably mention it when Young Master has a free moment-"
Applejack promptly clocked them both with Cerberus.
"Or perhaps not!" Rudra pointed out.
"Indeed!" Agni agreed. "It is not too important!"
"I am certain if it is it will become apparent in its own time!" Rudra proclaimed.
At that moment, Dante delivered the final blow to the Leviathan's central heart, and the creature began to crash. "Let's see where we come out, huh?" he suggested to Applejack, who giggled happily in response.