Dante's Little Apple Surprise

by Tatsurou

Chapter 2: Ball!

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The small pony strapped to his back between his shoulder blades, Dante stepped into the cavernous base of the tower, ready to begin ascending. As he entered, he saw a massive figure of ice, resembling a three headed dog, chained to the wall. As he approached, it - and the room - shuddered, the ice breaking off in chunks to reveal an actual three headed dog, coated in ice and chained to two walls like a guard dog. It stalked towards him as he backed away, lunging against its chains before letting off a roar that sent a large chunk of ice towards him. Dante quickly shattered the ice with his sword, momentarily distracted by the happy squealing of his passenger and her rustling with something.

"Leave now, mortal!" the beast commanded. "The likes of you are forbidden in this land! You who are powerless are not worthy to set foot here!"

Dante stepped back. "Wow, I've never seen a talking mutt before. You know in a dog show, you'd definitely take first place." He wasn't sure if it was a good idea to taunt the creature, but it was certainly fun, so he decided to go all out. "And did you mean me or Applejack?"

"You, a mere human, make a mockery of me?" the beast demanded, spitting out a blast of freezing cold, which Dante barely dodged. "If I meant the pony, I would have said hoof!"

Dante smirked as Applejack giggled, apparently having found what she was looking for. "Easy, Fido!" Dante teasingly cautioned. "How about I take you out for a walk?" He clapped his hands teasingly. "Come on puppy, let's go!"

"You'll regret this you-" the beast began, before something small and spherical flew by one of its heads. "Ball!"

The beast promptly lunged after the object, slamming into the wall under one of its chains, causing that wall to collapse on top of it. The ball in question bounced out, heading towards another wall. "Ball!" the beast proclaimed, one of its heads lolling unconsciously as it lunged after the bouncing ball.

Applejack giggled as the beast chased the ball, causing wall after wall to collapse on top of it. Before long, only one head was still conscious, the chamber was wrecked, and the ball bounced back to Applejack, who caught it in her Stetson.

Dante blinked. "Where'd the ball come from?" Applejack pointed into the hat. "Where'd the hat come from?" AJ shrugged.

The beast fell over, landing at Dante's feet and dissolving, leaving a three pronged nunchuck behind, each mystic metal bar having a stylized dog's head at the end. "Ball?" the weapon voiced pathetically as Dante picked it up.

Dante grinned as he started to wield the weapon, only to stare in shock as it spun out of his hands to wrap around Applejack. The filly, for her part, giggled and pet the weapon like it was a puppy. Shrugging, Dante continued onward towards the tower entrance.

Before he'd gone more than a few steps, however, a woman on a motorcycle burst through the wall of ice behind him, nearly landing on him as she came down from a jump. He managed to avoid it by back-flipping over her...not noticing at the time that Applejack fell out of her carry straps to land on the back of the motorcycle.

"Are you going to the party?" Dante asked as he landed. "What's the hurry? Didn't you get an invitation?" He winced slightly as he saw Applejack on the back of the motorcycle. He made a mental note to add shoulder straps to keep her in the carry straps when he flipped.

Without even turning around to face him, the woman lifted her massive firearm and fired a rocket at him, which he proceeded to surf around the room. His cries of excitement were joined with Applejack's giggling and clapping. Kicking off the rocket, Dante landed to see the woman turning to examine Applejack. At the same time, Dante got a good look at the woman.

She had very pale skin, dark brown hair, one blue eye, one brown eye, and was dressed in a tight fitting shirt and shorts. As she looked down at Applejack, the pony smiled up at her, reached up with one hoof, and booped her nose. For a brief moment, a soft smile suffused the woman's face, making her heart stoppingly beautiful.

The moment ended, however, as she turned back to Dante, revved her motorcycle, and shot forward, leaping over him to deposit AJ back in her carry straps, nearly grazing Dante's nose with the wheels as she went by. She launched up into the hole in the roof that Dante's ride had led her rocket into opening.

Dante looked up after her. "This just keeps getting better and better." He then went through the door the Cerberus had been guarding and began his ascent of the tower...after a brief pause to strap AJ in more securely.

As he began the next stage of the climb, Dante found that AJ was rather advantageously placed. Strapped to his back, she was in an ideal position to spot any demon creatures attempting to assault him from behind. While he'd have been fine with her just calling his attention to them, she took it a step further. Leveling the dog heads of the Cerberus Nunchuck, she fired blasts of ice at the demon creatures, freezing them solid long enough for Dante to spin and shatter them with his sword. Normally, this would have been a great advantage...except for the frequency of her firing those blasts of ice, and the fact that the weapon shouted "Ball!" every time it fired a blast of ice, and from more than one head if she fired multiple blasts at once.

"That's going to get real old, real fast," he grumbled to himself as he continued.

Author's Notes:

Sorry for the long delay, and the relatively short chapter. The early parts of DMC 3 don't really give me much to work with for making the chapters, as Applejack isn't old enough to speak, no major plot deviations have yet occurred, there's little character interaction, and I refuse to include too much of the gameplay. This is a story, not a walkthrough, so I'm not addressing the puzzles or exploration aspects.

Future chapters should be longer and come more frequently as I come across more viable material.

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