“Thanks, I owe you one.” Holden said stuffing the number in his pocket.
“Hey, you cleaned the place for me today, so we’re even, and thanks.” Patty said as she sat back down in front of the T.V.
Holden walked to his pickup with the sudden realization he didn’t know where anything was in Capulet city. As he started the truck he dialed Lady’s number on his cell phone.
“Hello?” Lady’s voice issued from the other end.
“Hey, it’s me. Do you know any good places where we can have breakfast?” Holden asked as he took a pair of sunglasses from the visor and put them on.
“Are you going to shoot anymore muggers in the foot?” Lady said with a laugh.
“I won’t if they promise not to shoot me first.” Holden said laughing also.
“There’s this diner by the beach called Mackey’s, on Docket Street . I could meet you there.” Lady said after a minute.
“Then it’s a date.” Holden said with a smile as he started driving toward the beach which was a half-hour away if he remembered correctly.
“No, it’s just breakfast.” Lady said smiling at the half-demon’s boldness.
“That’s what all my other girlfriends said when I took them out for supper.” Holden said with a laugh as he pulled up to his first stoplight.
“Well I guess then it’s a date.” Lady said with a mock sigh.
“Sweet.” Holden said.
When Holden pulled in to the diner he was frustrated because it took him longer than he expected to find the beach from Dante’s office. As he turned of the pickup he noticed Lady’s motorcycle in the parking lot.
“Sorry I’m late; it took longer than I thought to find the place.” Holden said after the waiter directed him to the booth.
“It’s all good; I just got her five minutes ago.” Lady said as the menus came.
“Well I’m sorry to have to make you wait.” Holden said as he took of his sunglasses.
“This is nice; I rarely ever get to eat out.” Lady said looking through the menu.
“I know the feeling; I usually have to cook. It’s nice to have a break once in a while.” Holden said looking at the special which was a Denver omelet, home fries, and toast, while Lady decided on a Spanish omelet with a bagel.
“So, what’s Dante mean when he says I have training to do?” Holden asked as they waited for their coffee to arrive.
“Well, I think he wants to spar with you before the portal opens in Lucedio Abbey.” Lady said as the coffee arrived and she mixed it with cream and sugar.
“Where and what is that?” Holden asked, and then took a sip of his coffee, for he liked it black.
“It’s in Turin , Italy . It’s a monastery; rumors say that it’s haunted and some nasty stuff happened there. Dante says that’s where the portal will open.” Lady said as she stirred her coffee.
“Sounds like fun. When do we get to train?” Holden said as his stomach rumbled loudly with hunger.
“You can’t do anything on an empty stomach.” Lady said after laughing, the look of innocence on Holden’s face made it all the more funny.
“Yeah, when’s that food gonna get here?” Holden said with a hungry look in his eyes.
“It’s only been three minutes.” Lady said as Holden’s face fell with disappointment.
“Oh man, but I’m hungry now!” Holden whined and then winked, which caused Lady to burst into a fit of laughter.
“What’s so funny Lady?” Holden asked, and then took a sip of coffee.
“You just sounded like Dante when you said that. He can’t stand not eating.” Lady said giggling again.
Holden laughed along with her and when the food arrived they ate and looked at each other in silence until the bill came. Holden looked at it and nodded with grim amusement.
“I’ll take care of it.” Holden said as he finished the rest of his coffee.
“Thanks; does your mom lend you money ever?” Lady asked out of curiosity.
“No, she tries when she knows I put all my money into buying the booze for the bar, but I never let her.” Holden said.
After Holden paid the bill he grabbed a toothpick and started to clean his teeth. He was walking outside to his truck when Lady suddenly grabbed him from behind and kissed him on the cheek which surprised him.
“That was for breakfast, and this is for being cute.” Lady said and kissed him much more deeply after he spit out the toothpick.
“Well, I guess you do what you know.” Holden said with a grin as he held onto Lady.
“I have to say you’re pretty good at it.” Lady said kissing him on the cheek.
“Wonder what’d happen if I took you out to dinner?” Holden said as they walked to her motorcycle.
“Why don’t you try it sometime? You’ll find out.” Lady said as she put on her sunglasses and helmet.
“I’ll take you up on it.” Holden said as she started the bike and drove off.
Man, he thought, that girl is awesome!
Holden drove back to Devil May Cry with the thought of training in his mind. He wanted a chance to fully test his skills and knew the perfect place to go.
“Dad, I don’t know if I can do it.” A six year old boy with short cut white hair said with a tear as he stood in a large field while a demon ran towards him.
“C’mon, that’s no way to talk; I know you can do it kiddo.” The tall man with his silver hair tied in a ponytail said with a grin as the demon closed in.
“I’ll try Dad.” The boy said as he raised the huge gun in his hand. Suddenly the barrel of the gun pulsed with black energy. Suddenly the gun went off and the demon stopped with a huge hole gaping in his chest. Then the boy pulled the trigger eight more times with rapid speed and the demon vanished. The boy set down the gun and looked at his smiling father.
“Not bad kid, it was only an illusion, but still you impressed this guy. If you keep going like this I promise one day you’ll be as powerful as ME!” The man yelled and suddenly grabbed his son and started to wrestle with him as the boy yelled with delight.
“Yep, that’s where we need to go.” Holden said aloud with a smile as he shifted gears.
* * *
“So you’re telling me, that we need to go all the way to Oregon to train at your dad’s ranch that he’s had since the ‘30’s?” Dante said with a mouthful of a breakfast sandwich as Patty continued to watch T.V.
“All of us. I swear Dante the training I did at that place helped make me as good as I am today.” Holden said leaning on Dante’s desk while Dante lifted and wiggled a foot in his face that had been propped on the desk.
“I don’t know; I’ll see what Vergil thinks.” Dante said as he finished the last bite.
“See what Vergil thinks about what?” Vergil said as he entered the office silently without even disturbing the bell on the door.
“We wanted to see what you thought about going up to Oregon to do the training.” Dante said as he got up from the desk to play some pool with Holden.
“Why would we do that?” Vergil said with a frown as he threw Holden a pool cue.
“Because it was his dad’s ranch they trained on.” Dante said as he racked the balls and Holden prepared to break.
“Well, I guess we could see if Rausten left anything behind.” Vergil said with interest.
“When do we leave?” Holden said as he sunk the three ball.
“We should leave now. That way we can get more training done.” Dante said as he sunk the rest of the balls in one shot.
Mission Four: Training For the Job
“Well at least this time you got some driving in.” Holden said as Dante shifted gears next Wednesday afternoon.
“You make it sound like I don’t do anything.” Dante said as they took the winding mountain road at 70 miles an hour.
“Do you?” Holden asked sarcastically.
“Sometimes.” Dante said with a grin as they passed a small inn.
“The turnoff’s up the road a little bit.” Holden said.
“I see it.” Dante said and turned.
They took the gravel road for about fifteen minutes until they reached a gate that was padlocked and then Holden took a key off of the key ring which was attached to the key in the ignition. He went out and opened the gate which had been locked since he was fourteen. It took a little nudging then the lock finally opened and Dante drove past with Vergil following in his Mustang. Holden closed the gate and caught a ride in the backseat with Lady as Dante led the rest of the way down to the ranch.
“This is nice.” Vergil said as he got out and stretched. He looked around, very nice indeed, he thought as he looked at the enormous house and surrounding fields and pastures that were sectioned off by fence. He looked towards the shop and barn wondering where Rausten might have kept his belongings.
“There are enough rooms for all of us to sleep in comfortably, oh Vergil; Dad had a study at the top of the house you can look around if you want.” Holden said as he pointed to the turret at the top of the large Victorian manor.
“Excellent, what’s in there?” Vergil asked.
“All of his books on magic and other books, and devil armaments, the book of incantations to summon the demons we used to fight. After they got married Mom didn’t want all of it around the mansion except for his swords, she was afraid someone might get hurt if they tried to mess with it. The study is huge, so it may take a few days to go through everything.” Holden said.
“Okay, I’m going to take a look if you don’t mind.” Vergil said as he grabbed Yamato out of the trunk and walked to the house.
“Wait, I sealed that room myself so nobody could enter after he died. I’ll undo the spells in a while. For now let’s unpack.” Holden said looking at the afternoon sun.
“After that I think we should train against each other, and get a feel for each others skills.” Dante said nodding at Holden and Vergil.
“Fine with me, but we should get changed.” Holden said as he unlocked the house.
* * *
A few minutes later the three half-demon’s came out of the house dressed in their normal devil hunting gear. Vergil had disposed with his coat as it was hot and revealed a black sleeveless shirt. Dante had opted to fight bare-chested. Holden came out of the house last in a grey T-shirt and his faded black coat on with faded blue Wranglers and shoes on and put his guns in the holsters around his waist.
“Wait, I got a present for you.” Dante said and went to the back of the Mustang and grabbed a large box. He threw it at a surprised Holden who opened it. Inside was a pair of knee high heavy duty black boots. Instead of laces there were straps and buckles. Also there was a brand new black coat. Much better than his plain looking one this coat had intricate stitching and three separate pads in the shoulder which padded the front top and back. In the inside of the coat were two holsters for him to carry his guns and enable quick cross draws. On the back right shoulder was a holster for him to carry Eternity instead of holding it in his hand. There was also a sash and buckle with a silver H to close the coat and also carry Backlash. But the greatest of all was in the lower middle of the back the words Lucky Devil were stitched in blood red cursive.
“Wow! This is badass!” Holden yelled as he put on his new presents.
“Yeah, the shit cost a small fortune; consider it nineteen years worth of birthday presents. You have tons of coats just like that now.” Dante said with a smile.
“Let’s give this new gear a test drive.” Holden said as he secured his weapons.
“Fine by me.” Dante said as he stuck Ebony and Ivory and a sawed off shotgun in the back of his pants and grabbed Rebellion.
“Yes, let’s do this.” Vergil said rising from underneath the shade of a large weeping willow.
“Oh man, this is gonna be great.” Holden said as they walked into the large pasture some hundre feet away to the left of the house.
Trish and Lady sat on the fence in normal clothes and watched as the boys prepared to battle. Trish watched with fascination as the same bloodthirsty smile crossed each of their faces. Dante and Vergil stood across from Holden for the first round.
“Do it!” Lady shouted. Then in the blink of an eye all three of them began.
Holden suddenly vanished and appeared above Vergil swinging Backlash in a downward arc and sliced into Vergil’s shoulder and kicked Dante in the face with his left foot. He spun and jumped off of Vergil’s head and opened fire with Dusk and Midnight . A black flash of energy appeared under him and he threw Eternity at Dante which he blocked with Rebellion. Holden motioned with his right hand and Eternity suddenly lifted up and then plunged into the ground. Holden landed as Vergil disappeared in a flash and appeared above him with Yamato. Vergil then began a sudden vicious attack which forced Holden to jump backwards. Dante was on him in a second. With a scream Dante lunged for Holden’s chest but Holden shot him in the hand and Vergil in the kneecap with Dusk and got to his feet. Holden motioned with his right hand and Eternity hit Dante in the back of the head with the hilt as it rushed to its master. Holden then fought Dante and Vergil with Backlash in his left hand and Eternity in his right and was on equal footing with them for about five minutes until Dante shot him in the face with the shotgun. He then unleashed a barrage with Ebony and Ivory as Holden retreated while he healed. He then vanished and axe kicked Dante in the head after he appeared above him.
Vergil then sent black blue balls of energy at Holden which he countered with Backlash. Backlash started to glow with a faint green light. Holden looked at it puzzled. Dante then saw the opportunity to stab Holden through the chest partway, almost all the way through. As blood dripped on Backlash there was a burst of green energy and Holden’s sword was bathed in the energy which was turning black.
I guess I have the old man’s power now. But it’s confined to the sword for some reason, oh well… Holden thought. He then swiped at Vergil who was overcome by the energy and sent fifty feet back. Holden then grabbed Rebellion which was still lodged in his chest and pulled it out and cut off Dante’s arm. He then threw Rebellion at Vergil who was getting up and it went through his skull.
“Let’s take this to the next level.” Dante said after reattaching his arm and Devil Triggered. Vergil did likewise and after Dante retrieved Rebellion they took to the air.
“Well this is a new development.” Holden said calmly as he took off his coat and put his guns back in the holsters around his waist. He noticed his t-shirt had a hole in it and ripped it the rest of the way off. Holden had only Devil Triggered twice before and that was in desperate situations. I don’t think I’ve mastered it yet, so I’ll have to play it by ear. This is only temporary but it might give me the edge I need, Holden thought as he laid down Backlash and the crystal on Eternity started to glow. Holden then ran his hand across the blade which cut him and turned the blade black and the crystal silver as his blood dripped from the tip.
Holden then jumped into the air straight at Dante and started attacking him with Eternity. He finally cut him and Dante started to scream as his body turned black and started on fire which he quickly absorbed with Rebellion. After he recovered Dante flew on top of Holden and started beating him with his sword in a rage. Vergil got underneath him and stabbed him through the throat with Yamato. Dante then grabbed Holden and spiraled downward until they hit the ground. There was a large crater and Dante flew back and stood on the ground as Vergil joined him.
“You’re starting to piss me off.” A blood soaked figure said as it emerged from the crater. Holden stood up supported by Eternity as it regained its normal color. Holden then closed his eyes and concentrated with all of his might. Suddenly black energy started to pulse from him, after a huge burst he Devil Triggered. He thrust Eternity in the ground and motioned toward Backlash with his right hand which obediently flew from its sheath. The sword started pulsing with the same energy as before but more fiercely. Holden then pointed it Dante and black energy laced with green barreled through his wing. Holden took to the air and motioned for Vergil and Dante to join him, but they reverted to human form. So Holden took to the ground and unleashed his full power on them. They fought Holden for five more minutes while he was in his devil form. Holden then suddenly seized up with pain and returned to human form breathing heavily.
“It takes a toll on the body; you have to realize when you reach a certain limit. Dante and I hadn’t reached our limit but we figured you might.” Vergil said.
“The power… it’s amazing. I’d never fought… with Backlash like that before… and it was only a portion of his full power.” Holden said panting with his hands on his knees.
“You have to amp yourself up, get special stuff that allows you to use the power longer.” Dante said to Holden who was struggling to stand all the way up.
Holden passed out and Vergil silently gathered his weapons and clothes while Dante threw him over his shoulder with a sigh and took him to the house.
* * *
Dante was shooting with Dusk and Midnight outside when Holden woke up in his room half an hour later. As he watched through the window Dante ran through several poses in the field where they had battled Holden also noticed he had Eternity and Backlash with him. Holden watched as each cartridge started on fire as it hit the ground. The spell Rausten had put on the ranch made each spent cartridge vaporize on the ground after it was spent. His philosophy was that he didn’t want the place to look messy. Despite his father’s carefree attitude he was a clean freak, a trait which he passed on to his son.
After he grabbed a clean t-shirt washed his face and tied back his hair in the bathroom attached to his room; he put on his new boots and walked the long hallway past the other rooms to the stairs he looked at the door to his father’s study which had runes drawn in black to keep intruders out.
Holden went downstairs and noticed that no one else was in the house. He went to the living room and noticed Rebellion leaning against the fireplace and Ebony and Ivory on the mantle along with the shotgun. You play with my toys, I’ll play with yours okay? Holden thought as he grabbed Dante’s mammoth sword. The eyes looked like they were watching him as he put Ebony and Ivory into his back pockets and grabbed the shotgun.
Holden left the house unnoticed and walked the opposite direction of Dante and went to the woods. Holden walked until he found his favorite clearing by the creek. The creek was rushing. Holden muttered an incantation and made several lightning fast hand signs, and a couple of seconds later fifty various demons of different levels appeared out of the ground. Holden opened fire with Ebony and Ivory and started the killing spree. He put the guns back in his pockets and charged the shotgun and blew apart a demon. Red orbs spilled out onto the ground and Holden held out his left hand and they disappeared into it. Holden then started hacking away with Rebellion and soon the demons were howling and screaming with pain. After he finished twenty minutes later he looked at the weapons with approval.
“You’re a smart sword; I bet you’re even sentient.” Holden said to Rebellion whose red eyes glittered back at him.
“That’s what I thought.” Holden said as he picked it up and headed back to the group.
When he got back he noticed everyone was sitting by the large pond in front of the house.
“What’s up?” Holden asked.
“We just received some info, the portal is going to open sooner then we thought.” Dante said.
“When?” Holden asked.
“In three days.” Lady said as she walked to Holden and held his hand.
“Oh, well that sucks.”
Continue to Chapter 3 >>
© 2008 Duff