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Dante's Little Apple Surprise

by Tatsurou

Chapter 25: Promises

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Inside the Captain's Cabin, Dante took the Staff of Hermes from the statue that was holding it. Then the entire ship shook.

"Of course," Dante grumbled as the room then began to flood.

"The ship is sinking!" Griffon squawked in panic. "I can't swim!"

"Unsummon him," Beowulf instructed Applejack.

Green magic surrounded Griffon, and he vanished into Applejack's magical aura. "That's pretty cool," Applejack admitted.

After that, no one could talk as the ship had sunk and they were all underwater. Thankfully, their demonic nature meant that they didn't have to worry about breathing...for some reason. Applejack decided to follow Dante's approach in that regard and not think too hard about it. As Dante drew the Needle Gun, Applejack armed Artemis and Virgil conjured his phantom swords, and they all swam their way out.

None of the monsters they encountered underwater stood a chance against them as they made their way out of the ship and back to the surface. "Hoo-wee!" Applejack called out. "I do not wanna go swimming again anytime soon. At least, not in anything smaller than a tidal pool."

"Some of the sea water is pooled over here," Virgil pointed out, gesturing to a much shallower pool.

Walking over, Applejack examined it for a time, then grinned. "Pa? Did ya bring the soap?"

"Yeah," Dante replied. "Why?"

Taking her hat off, Applejack set it aside as Nevan manifested physically. "I've got a promise ta keep!" she replied happily.


After the funnest bath Applejack had ever had - in addition to Nevan manifesting, Alastor, Ifrit, Agni, Rudra, and Cerberus all manifested to help with the bathing, and Virgil was cajoled to joining in as well, 'if only to make sure she actually got clean', as he put it - the group continued onward.

Eventually, after fighting their way through several monsters, they found themselves in a catacombs like area. Picking up an engraved shield that was obviously important, they then threw a switch hidden in the arm of a skeleton. This opened a gate for them, but also triggered a trap with a rotating path with spikes.

Applejack summoned Griffon. "Can ya grow big enough to carry me on yer back and Pa and Uncle in yer talons while still fitting in the hallway?" she asked.

Griffon thought about it. "I think so."

"But the spikes go up all the way to the roof," Alastor pointed out.

"I'll take care of that," Dante said.

Shrugging, Griffon expanded until he was about the size of an albatross. With his demonic strength, he was able to pick everyone up.

Grabbing hold of Griffon's talon, Dante drew forth Geryon's power, allowing them all to make it through to the open gate without getting spiked.

"Hmph. So your brain does work sometimes," Virgil commented.

"Behave, you two," Applejack scolded when Dante turned to counter.

Back outside, the trio made their way down a cliff, fighting more shadow cats on the way. After fighting them, they encountered an open door frame filled with a red seal. "How do you intend to get past this one without sacrificing demonic essence?" Virgil asked, halfway between smug and curious.

Applejack backed up, primed Beowulf, activated Devil Trigger, and crashed through the perfectly ordinary stone to one side of the doorway, making her own unsealed path. Reversing her Devil Trigger, she smirked up at Virgil.

Virgil, for his part, gave a slow applause at being shown up that way.

After fighting their way through a great many more Marionettes and Fetishes, they came across another sealed stone arch. This time, however, Applejack used Nevan's scythe form to lever the arch off the stone tower it was braced on before throwing it at another Fetish that arose. The seal devoured the demon.

Passing through another door, they came to a huge, familiar area. "Hey, this is where I attacked you guys the first time! ...and you ignored me."

Dante scratched the back of his head. "Sorry about that."

Virgil, unwilling to actually apologize but also unwilling to face Applejack's judgmental glare, nodded.

To one side of the large area, they found two paths leading to either side, which could be unlocked with the Emblem shield. Once again, they decided to take both paths, Dante and Virgil taking one path, while Applejack and Griffon took the other.

Riding Griffon, Applejack was able to explore the trap filled path with ease, acquiring the pair of lances deep within. Meeting back up with Dante and Virgil, she learned that Dante had gotten a new gun, but beyond that there had been nothing of interest.

Using the pair of lances Applejack had picked up, they opened the door to the coliseum.


A magic circle in the center of the coliseum spoke of offering a sacrifice to open the path to the Wheel of Destiny.

"Sacrifice?" Applejack asked. "Any idea what sort of sacrifice we're supposed ta offer?"

"Generally, it means killing a powerful creature," Nevan explained. "Unfortunately, I don't think there is one here to kill."

Dante chuckled. "Maybe you should pour some Jambalaya on the circle," he offered.

"I ain't gonna waste food like that!" Applejack countered.

"Do you have a better idea?" Dante asked.

"We need to energize the circle with a certain amount of power, right?" Virgil offered. "Why not just use some of our blood?"

Dante and Applejack turned to stare at him. "Wut?" Applejack asked.

"We're of the blood of Sparda," Virgil explained. "We saw at Temen-ni-gru how much power our blood holds. And beyond that, my blood is now fully demonic."

Dante and Applejack turned to each other, then shrugged. The trio surrounded the circle and used their preferred bladed weapon - Dante used Force Edge, Applejack used Nevan's scythe form, and Virgil used his katana - to spill their blood onto the circle.

A pillar dropped down from the sky, revealing an elevator platform.

"Told you," Virgil pointed out, leaping upward.

"Hey!" Dante yelled, chasing after him.

Applejack remained behind for a bit, feeling something behind her. "Say...Griffon?"

"Yes, Mistress?" Griffon asked.

"Before you became my familiar...you worked for Mundus, right?"

Griffon was quiet for a time. "Yes, I served Mundus."

"Then you know something about his plans?" Applejack asked.

"Not much," Griffon replied. "Only about his other agents."

"Ah." Applejack turned to where Trish had been trying to be discreet in her entrance. "And what can ya tell me about her?" she asked.

Griffon stared at Trish for a time. "She is a demonic construct," Griffon replied. "Mundus made her to resemble Sparda's wife to play on Dante's human weakness."

"Thought there was something suspicious about her knowin' so much," Applejack replied, turning to face Trish.

"So what now?" Trish asked, struggling to stay calm. "You kill me?"

"Nope!" Applejack replied. "Now you go away, and by the time ya meet up with us again, you'll need ta choose whose side you're on."

Trish looked away. "I can't betray Mundus," she replied. "Whether I want to or not. His magic gave me life. He can...take it away just as easily."

"He could," Applejack replied. "Except...I put some of the crystallized energy Force Edge gives off - the essence of Sparda's power - in the Jambalaya. Been puttin' it in every dish to help stabilize mah Devil Trigger."

"I have been tasting Sparda when I taste the Jambalaya?" Beowulf demanded in shock. "Devouring his essence? ...I am surprisingly okay with this."

"More importantly," Cerberus pointed out, "Sparda's true power came from his indomitable will to help those he cared for. If Trish has absorbed that power into herself...then if she denies Mundus, he won't be able to take his magic back from her."

Nevan seemed to vibrate in excitement over something, but remained silent.

"So you got a choice ta make," Applejack replied. "Whose side would you rather be on...now that you know the choice is yours?" Turning, Applejack leapt onto the elevator platform, following Dante and Virgil.

"What are you so excited about?" Beowulf demanded of Nevan. "You're getting on my nerves!"

"If Trish chooses our side, Dante, Virgil, her, and Applejack being in one place will generate a strong enough focus of demonic energy that we'll be able to manifest for non-combat!" Nevan squealed excitedly.

Cerberus immediately joined her squealing, much to Beowulf's disdain. Applejack pulled her hat down to hide her amusement.

Next Chapter: Portals Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 26 Minutes
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