After fighting their way through the underground waterway without encountering any monster strong enough to give them a challenge - even the winged Goatlings - goat headed, bat winged minotaurs - proved helpless after Applejack used Berial to lash their wings off - Dante acquired a rune stone that enabled him to fly in his demonic form. ...this proved rather useless, as it was far easier and less draining to ride Griffon, but he decided to hang onto it anyway.
They continued through the city for a time, but before they went far, a glowing red barrier rose behind them.
"Someone don't want us backtracking," Applejack pointed out dryly. Thank the maker, she added silently. Ah'm gettin' sick of it.
"Watch out!" Dante shouted, yanking Applejack out of a spell circle a Goatling had conjured around her.
Applejack smirked up at him. "Thanks, Pa. I got it from here!"
As they made their way forward, the Goatling continued to conjure pillars of green fire from the ground to strike them, even as other monsters rose to attack them. Dante whipped out Gilgamesh for the powerful blows and the minor protection from fire it would give him. Applejack wielded Nevan in her forelegs and Cerberus with her tail, carefully dancing around the flames. She didn't actively strike at the monsters coming after her, focusing instead on keeping up a barrage of blade and cold around her while dodging the flames, as the enemies were all melee range fighters.
It wasn't long before the enemies were all down. The Goatling was last to fall, and went down heavily. Through the next door, they found themselves in a trolley station. They didn't have long to wait before a massive creature that looked like a cross between a lion and a gorilla made of rock dropped down through the skylight, smashing the trolley.
It roared at them, beating its chest.
Applejack whistled. "Well, that's a new one!"
"Bet I take him down before you can," Dante teased.
Applejack clashed Beowulf's gauntlets together. "You're on! Melee only attacks, one Arm."
Dante triggered Gilgamesh. "Deal!"
The pair of them leapt into the fray. The lion-ape seemed to share their idea of combat, as it lunged forward with sweeping arm strikes to counterattack their punches and kicks. While Dante would jump or roll out of the way, Applejack leapt onto the swinging arm. With four legs, she was able to brace herself on the limb as she raced up it to deliver a double hind buck to the beast's face, making it stagger briefly, leaving it open to more attacks from both of them.
The beast also enjoyed leaping upward to hang from the rafters before jumping down atop them. Dante took a cue from Applejack's tactics by leaping up to seize the beast's hanging tail. When it dropped down, the tail flung upward, sending Dante up to head height, where he delivered a rocket powered kick to the back of the beast's head, sending it sprawling.
Though the lion-ape wasn't able to meet their assault well, it took a lot of damage to take it down, making it somewhat challenging. When it fell, it dropped a key to open the gate to the harbor.
"That was fun!" Applejack panted, wiping her brow. "Limiting myself like that made things a lot more interesting. He nearly snagged my tail a couple o' times."
Dante chuckled. "Nearly got backhanded a couple times myself. Who laid the finishing blow?"
There was silence for a time. "Wait, was I supposed to keep track of that?" Nevan asked.
Groaning, Dante and Applejack made their way to the harbor.
As the pair fought their way towards the harbor, they quickly discovered that - even with artificial weapon limitations for challenge - the low level monsters that littered their path were boring. Even switching weapons every strike soon lost any entertainment value. They decided to ignore them for the most part and only smash those that got in their way, as once the incursion was stopped there wouldn't be enough demonic energy in the area for them to survive long. With no civilians to protect, there was no real point in hunting down every last one. They already had funneled more than enough demon essence into all their Devil Arms to unlock their full power, and the God Statues had nothing else to offer them.
Oddly enough, some of the lesser monsters actually took note of this change in behavior on their part, and began to avoid the Devil Hunters as they approached. Applejack actually found that rather amusing, idly altering her path so that those monsters that did try to avoid them had to scamper up the sides of the buildings to get away.
Once actually at the harbor, Dante acquired another rune stone. This one allowed Dante to run at high speeds while in Devil Trigger...which meant he actually stood a chance against Applejack in a foot race for as long as his Devil Trigger lasted. Applejack could sustain her ground eating gallop for hours, though.
Striking a switch at the harbor opened a gate for a short period of time, not enough to get there at a normal walking speed. After seeing exactly how long the gate stayed open before closing, Dante grinned at Applejack. "Race you!"
Applejack's grin split her face. "Yer on!"
Applejack struck the switch as Dante activated his Devil Trigger, and they both started running at the same moment. Dante made it through the gate fine, but Applejack had to slide under it as it shut, reaching back at the last moment to snag her hat before the gate crushed it.
"I finished first!" Dante bragged.
"I finished cooler!" Applejack huffed back.
Dante thought about that for a minute. "Can't argue there."
Behind the gate, they found themselves facing a massive, dark green and bright blue, demonic octopus...or possibly squid.
Applejack grinned. "So what's the challenge this time?" she asked.
Dante thought about that. "Hmm...lightning only." He drew forth Alastor.
"It's been a while since you wielded me," Alastor complained.
"It'll be fun to double team again," Nevan purred as Applejack spun her about.
The four tendrils acted as a barrier, blocking Dante and Applejack from getting close. When they did get close enough, the beast spewed poison gas. Dante had a more difficult time dodging the poison than Applejack, but Dante also was able to do more damage per strike due to his greater physical strength.
After the beast had taken a good amount of damage, it wrapped all of its tentacles around itself, generating a shield that pushed them back. It didn't stay up long, though, and the lashing attacks with the tentacles simply opened further opportunities to attack.
As lightning did a great deal of damage to the beast, the fight didn't last long...and Applejack got the final blow, as she discovered she was small enough to slip between the tentacles to attack.
"I win!" Applejack said proudly as a gate opened.
Dante whistled as he saw the motorcycle behind the gate. "But it looks like I get the prize!"
Applejack pouted. "But I can drive a motorcycle in my human form!"
"But you don't have a license," Nevan pointed out.
"Pa didn't need ta know that!" Applejack hissed back.
Laughing, Dante patted the side car. "Hop in, AJ. This cycle needs a gunner."
Perking up, AJ hopped in, drawing Artemis. "Time for lotsa shooting?" she asked hopefully.
Dante grinned as he revved the engine. "Fire away."