• Published 13th Oct 2014
  • 16,167 Views, 2,332 Comments

Dante's Little Apple Surprise - Tatsurou

Dante juggles fighting demons and raising a baby Applejack while trying to stay as laid back as he's always been.

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Bringing Down the House of the False God

As Griffon flew in towards the Headquarters, Trish raised a curious point. "So...how are we going to divide the targets? We've got quite a few."

"Applejack and I will take Agnus down hard," Dante replied. "We need to stop his research fast, before he can get any more results from it."

"Then Nero and I will go after Sanctus," Virgil replied. "It's about time we had some father-son bonding time without the rest of you interrupting."

"I will establish my authority over whatever members of the congregation remain," Credo stated. "I am still a high ranked member of the Order. They may listen to me."

"In that case, Kyrie, Griffon, and I will deal with anyone who doesn't listen to you," Trish told Credo.

"Now that we've got the teams divided up," Applejack asked, "any idea where the big bads'll be?"

"Sanctus will be near the Savior," Credo replied, pointing to the massive statue visible behind headquarters. "He still seeks to activate it. Agnus is probably in his backup research center, at the old Opera House."

"Drop us off on the way, Griffon!" Applejack ordered.

"Yes, Mistress!" Griffon proclaimed, banking as he passed near the Opera House.

Dante and Applejack leapt off, landing easily on the ground below as Griffon headed towards the HQ. Several demons rose to fight them, but the pair made short work of them with the various Devil Arms they'd brought with. When they were swarmed by a large group, Applejack drew forth Nevan and began to play, the music draining the magical energy right out of the enemies before releasing it back at them in a destructive blast. Between that and Pandora, nothing stood in their path.

As they entered the old Opera House, they found Agnus sitting on the stairs up to the stage, going over his notes, the only light in the chamber a spotlight shining on him. He looked up as they entered. "You arrive...far sooner than ant-t-t-ticipated," he stated theatrically. "However, it was my...as-s-sumption that those demons would prove far inferior in the face of your...tactics."

Applejack thought at first that he was being sarcastic, but became distracted when the spotlight went out, only to illuminate Dante, who was standing near a chair. "You summon and kill!" he proclaimed theatrically as music played from nowhere. He kicked the chair across the room. "You summon and kill. I fail to see the logic here." He spun dramatically. "Is...sanity...the price to pay...for power?"

Frowning, Applejack held up a scorecard reading '4.2'.

Lightning flashed, and the spotlight was once more on Agnus, as he held a human skull. "Humans..." he growled. "They are but stubborn and foolish," he continued, enunciating every word slowly. "It takes a journey to hell for them to accept and praise their God. A fact that tickles-" He crushed the skull. "-irony's judgment." He then blew the bone dust from his hand.

Applejack held up two scorecards. The first read '3.9'. The second read '1.5 point penalty for making Shatner's singing look good'.

"Ha!" Dante proclaimed from where he lay at repose. "And your judgments interest me not!" He stood up quickly. "For I am here!" he proclaimed dramatically. "To bring an end! To the ambitions you've wrought with my family's blood and honor!"

Applejack shrugged and held up '5.3'.

"You are too late!" Agnus proclaimed, flying into the spotlight in his demon form. "Our goal's are almost complete, and you are powerless to prevent their completion!" He posed dramatically, his sword clutched in his arms lovingly.

Applejack held up '1.2'.

"Enough!" Agnus complained, slamming his blade to the floor. "If you feel my performance is so bad, then show me better, mare!"

Dante held up a sign saying '3.9'.

Applejack shrugged. "If ya insist." The stage went dark.

Lights flared, creating a human silhouette that was just barely visible. "What fools you have become, blinded by an empty gift," Applejack spake, rolling her words. "You receive a demon's power and believe yourselves angels, free of the chains of mortality...never knowing that you have merely chained yourselves to something far worse." The lights brightened, revealing Applejack in her human form. "Power comes not from blood, or from God, or demons, or any other source beyond its wielder. Power comes from the heart. And you have sacrificed yours."

The lights dimmed again, and she drew forth Sparda, its pulsing red eye the only illumination in the room. "Do you see it?' Applejack asked, her voice changing. "Do you see its beauty? The power grandfather bequeathed to his children? It was a gift of love...something you will never know, having given up your humanity. For to turn your back on your heart...is to become as nothing."

The light flared, and Applejack stood changed. Demonic armor plates covered most of her body, leaving only a gap bare straight down from her neck to her navel almost but not quite exposing salient attributes, and covering all four limbs. Her hair blazed out like liquid sunlight from beneath a scaled, demonic helmet that anchored to the scales over her neck, leaving her fang filled mouth free to speak, a forked tongue visible between fangs. Her horns grew long and sharp from her brow, nearly touching at their apex as they curved, with magic sparking between the tips. Her scorpion tail glowed as the sting swayed back and forth above Sparda, braced on her shoulders. Demonic wings spread from her back, mantled gently around her.

"You think to make light from darkness..." Applejack continued. "But you fail to understand either. One cannot bequeath the other...but one can choose. Sparda chose to wield his darkness for the light, and so became both...and we, his children, are born of both, and wield them together, carrying on the dream he gave us...peace."

The lights went out again, and Sparda's eye slowly closed. "And for you, lost in the darkness...the light will be forever denied you. All that is left is shadows...and in one stroke-"

There was a brief flash, and darkness returned.

"All that is left is silence," Applejack finished. "The eyes stand eternal witness."

As Sparda's eye slowly opened, the lights came up, and Agnus' demonic body slowly fell apart, neatly bisected from crown to crotch.

Dante held up a sign that read '9.5'.

Smiling, Applejack reverted to her normal pony form and bowed.

Griffon banked over the top of the tower in which the Savior was being built, and Virgil and Nero leapt down to land lightly atop it, staring up at the massive working. Staring up at the creation, a glowing golden light could be seen atop the forehead. Sanctus himself.

"Is it not beautiful?" he asked them casually.

"I've seen better," Virgil replied bluntly.

Sanctus frowned. "You will reconsider...once it is complete."

"We won't be letting that happen," Nero stated bluntly.

Sanctus sighed. "What lies has this man told you, Nero, to turn you against us who raised you? Surely it cannot be so easy for you to turn your back on all you have known for your whole life."

"It's not," Nero replied, flexing his demonic arm. "But blood will tell."

"Ah yes, blood," Sanctus intoned. "Has he told you the whole story? How your mother was only a one night stand? How we took her in when she was heavy with child? How he came after us with vengeance for succoring you when newborn? That he didn't even want you to li-"

"Lies!" Virgil snarled. "While I knew his mother little, I returned to her as soon as I learned she carried my son! I sought what I could do for her, but she was not strong, and carrying Nero stole most of her strength. But in the moment I held him newborn in my hands, and promised her on her dying breath to look after him...he was stolen from me!" He drew his blade, a facsimile of Yamato. "And my demon power awoke to find him and save him!" Virgil shifted into the form of Nelo Angelo once more.

Sanctus sighed. "And how blinded did your power make you," he asked softly, his own form glowing with light, "that it took you so long to find him?" When the light faded, Sanctus stood changed.

He was garbed from head to toe in golden armor that made him appear far more muscular than the helpless old man he had seemed before. He held a single sword in his hand, and gold-white wings spread from his back. "Did you get lo-"

"You!" Virgil snarled, interrupting Sanctus. "I will never forget that visage! You are the one who stabbed me in the back and took Nero from my arms! You are the one who fled beyond my senses with him, forcing me to seek Sparda's library for any information on you by image! And you are the one who killed me, and sold my body and soul to Mundus for materials to complete your work!"

Sanctus chuckled. "And what makes you think this time will be any different?"

Nero stepped up beside his father, his demonic energy flaring around him. "Because this time...he isn't alone." He held out his demonic arm, and Yamato appeared in his hand. He shifted it to his human arm. "Lets see you handle both of us!"

Growling, Sanctus charged in for battle.

Credo and Trish sat slackjawed, staring.

All of the followers who had been so dead set against them, ready to fight and die for His Holiness, were now sitting rapt in the cathedral, gazing up at the spectacle before them. Kyrie had managed to get them all to side with her far too easily, to the point Credo and Trish were left with little to do besides groom Griffon.

All it had taken was two carefully placed cameras, a movie screen, and lots of popcorn.

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