Legacies  //  By: Duff

Chapter 3

“Oh, well that sucks,” Holden said with a shake of his head still holding Lady’s hand.

“Mathematically I figure we should leave tomorrow for Lucedio Abbey,” Dante spoke.

“Like you could ever do math, you retard; although you did sound halfway smart when you said it,” Vergil laughed.

“Thanks, and by the way, I didn’t do halfway bad in math, I had a C plus,” Dante said proudly.

“So, what do we do? I mean besides Mental Math over here, do we know what’s really going on?” Holden asked while Dante stuck his tongue out at him.

“I believe all of your questions will be answered in Italy ,” Lady interjected as she held his arm.

“How cryptic. Fine, let’s pack what we need and get the hell out of here,” Holden said.

“I concur, what we are doing now is wasting time,” Vergil spoke as he stood up and grabbed Yamato.

“Hey, could you fork over my stuff?” Dante asked motioning with his hand. Rebellion wiggled in Holden’s grip but did not return to its master.

“That’s a nice sword you have there. Its like mine, they’re alive,” Holden commented as he returned Dante’s weapons after he left Lady.

“Yeah they are; your guns are good too. Nice balance and accuracy,” Dante replied as he took the guns out of his back pockets and threw them high into the air. When they came down Holden caught them both by the grips and briefly pointed them at Dante before twirling them thoughtfully and putting them in his front pockets.

“We’ll have to fight only with our guns sometime. I’m going to go for a walk,” Holden said.

After Holden came back he went to the house and began to pack some clothes and his weapons. He found Dante and Vergil occupying both showers so he decided to wait until later to shower. He then went to his father’s study and touched the door after muttering an incantation and the runes on the door vanished. Holden entered the study which was the size of a small library with hundreds of books lining the walls from top to bottom. Strangely there was no dust or dirt in the study, because this was where Rausten went to work great magic’s and this was the effect. He looked around and went to a smaller room in the back of the study which had a huge old fashioned wooden door that was also magically locked. After he undid the seal and pulled the huge brass ring which served as the door handle Holden entered and small lamps came to life with green fire. He looked around at the strange weapons on the walls, his father’s devil armaments. Holden looked at whips, scythes, lances, staffs, swords of various styles and sizes, knives, armor pieces, one armament that looked like a bongo; and various other weapons. There was a huge object standing about twelve feet tall with a green curtain around it which was the portal Rausten had used to travel between different worlds. His father had specifically forbid Holden from using the portal until his son was old enough to master the books he owned. Written in the language of magic Holden understood them, but not enough to be a master of the arcane like his father. When he could Holden devoted himself to studying magic. Holden looked at all of the weapons for five minutes or more and decided that he wanted to do the job on his own power, not borrowed power. He left the study and activated the seals on both doors again. Any demon who touched them now would have their soul sent straight back to the Demon World after suffering unimaginable pain before they died.

“I didn’t find anything that would be of any use to us in the study,” Holden said when he came back down the stairs.

“I think we need to do this under our own steam anyway. Any devil arms we bring the demon kings and the Fallen could turn against us,” Dante yawned as he dried his hair.

“What’s the difference between a demon and the Fallen?” Holden asked.

“The Fallen are those who were cast out of Heaven, the rest of those in the Demon World are sort of like the offspring of the Fallen. Those are the scum you hear about the most,” Vergil replied as he spiked his hair back.

“I have a question. How are we going to get to Italy ? We can’t drive, and with all of these weapons it might be tough to get through an airport, and Dante and I have to pay our usual contacts from the last time,” Trish asked.

“I guess I could get a private jet from my mom, she always had one ready when Dad needed to travel the world,” Holden said.

“Would she do that for us?” Lady asked.

“Yeah, I haven’t talked to her in a while though,” Holden sighed as he ran his hand through his long hair.

“Well how about you call mommy and see? Hey is she a MILF?” Dante asked with a grin.

Suddenly Holden snap-kicked Dante in the face breaking his nose and then while his foot was in the air he jumped and kicked him across the jaw with his left one and then drew Midnight and pointed at him.

“What the fuck was that for?” Dante yelled as he held his nose.

“You pissed me off,” Holden said as he holstered up.

Haha, I think the boy could give you a real fight if he was so inclined to kill you brother,” Vergil said as he clapped Holden on the shoulder.

“Tell me about it.” Dante groaned as he straightened his nose.

“Sorry I lost my temper, I’ll go call Mom,” Holden said and walked to the living room to call.

“Crazy fuckin’ mama’s boy,” Dante muttered low enough so Holden wouldn’t hear him.

Holden picked up the phone and looked at it before dialing the number. The phone was answered on the second ring.

“Hello, Grave’s residence?” A man’s voice answered.

“Hey, is Heather there?” Holden asked wearily not wanting to talk to his stepfather.

“Who is this? How do you have this number?” The man’s voice asked forcefully.

“Derek calm down, it’s Holden.”

“Oh, how’re you? How’s that bar in New Jersey ?” Derek asked gruffly.

“Its fine, it keeps money in my pocket,” Holden said. Derek and his son John, who was three years younger than Holden, thought he was weird because he denied his inheritance, and his decision to run a bar and be a devil hunter. His seventeen year old daughter Jessica had a huge crush on him.

“Money you could use to get a college education son. Your father was a highly educated man,” Derek lectured.

“Dad was many things, a full demon to name one of them. He had millennia’s of experience and learning after he came to the human world. I don’t want anymore schooling,” Holden said.

“Yes, I know. But you’re father wouldn’t want you to be miserable either would he?” Derek asked.

“I’m fine, really don’t worry about me,” Holden wondered if that was really true.

“Okay, here’s your mother Holden,” Derek said.

“Sweetheart, is that you?” Heather asked a minute later.

“Hi Mom, how are you?” Holden asked.

“I’m fine, and why are you calling from the ranch?” Heather replied nervously.

“I came up here to do some training with Dante and Vergil and their friends,” Holden said.

Sparda’s sons?” Heather asked.

“Yeah, I’m not surprised that I was the only one who didn’t know I had cousins,” Holden muttered.

“So you found out?” Heather sighed.

“I found out. Why didn’t you guys ever tell me?” Holden asked.

“Your father didn’t want you to know, he didn’t want you to be influenced by whatever paths they might have taken,” Heather replied gently.

“Oh; hey I was wondering if we could borrow the plane. We have a job in Italy ,” Holden spoke.

“I’ll have a helicopter pick you up at the ranch and bring you here,” Heather said.

“Or, you could have the chopper bring us to Italy ,” Holden countered knowing what his mother was getting at.

“I never get to see you anymore; you can come home for a while before you leave for your job,” Heather said.

“Fine, if I have to. See you in a bit,” Holden groaned.

“You know ever since your father died you never wanted to be home, you only wanted to chase demons, and you only went to high school because I said I’d call the cops on you,” Heather said sternly.

“Because devil hunting’s the only thing I can do. I’m the son of a devil mom,” Holden said.

“But you’re also my son; don’t forget you’re half human too,” Heather said with worry.

“I wish I was a full demon, that way Dad would have never got killed. That way I could be as strong or even stronger then him. I’d be powerful instead of a weak half-breed,” Holden said.

“You’re not your father, you never used to want to be a full demon, you were happy the way you were,” Heather cried out.

“After I learned how to use Backlash’s full potential today I realized something. I realized that I don’t belong with humans, and I don’t belong with demons. I have no place with either of them. The only way I can be a whole being is if I take his full power,” Holden calmly ignored his mothers’ hysterics.

“Don’t talk like that, you’re a sweet boy, if you had his full power from Backlash, you wouldn’t be you anymore. You… you’d be a full demon,” Heather gasped in realization.

“Exactly, if I find a way to take his power from the sword, it might expunge my human side. I’d be the most powerful devil; more powerful than Dad or Sparda ever could be. Then no one would ever suffer from demons again,” Holden said.

“No more! The chopper will be there in an hour or two. When you get here we’re going to have a serious talk,” Heather said composing herself.

“I’m not you’re little boy anymore, I’m a man. I want to be able to kill all the devils. Most of all I want to live the way Dad did. He had an amazing life. I just want to do something important,” Holden sighed.

“I know; I understand you’re afraid of living in your father’s and Sparda’s shadow. Do you truly want to be a full demon?” Heather asked bracing for the answer.

“I don’t know. The devil inside me wants to have more power; but the human in me is fine with it,” Holden said truthfully.

“You have to decide for yourself what is right honey,” Heather said with a sigh.

“Okay Ma, I’m sorry,” Holden said.

“I understand,” Heather replied.



Mission Five: Family Ties


A few hours later the group was standing outside of Graves ’ Manor taking in the view.

“So it must have been nice growing up in the lap of luxury,” Dante smirked as he looked around his coat flapping behind him like flames in the light breeze that had kicked up.

“Yeah, it wasn’t so bad. Look, let’s just do this and get out of here,” Holden muttered as his mother walked from the mansion.

“Holden! You look great baby,” Heather said embracing him as Derek and his kids followed behind him.

“Thanks Mom; we can’t stay long, but I promise we’ll come back and visit,” Holden blushed as he went back to Lady’s side where she preceded to hold his hand in hers.

“Okay, but you should at least clean up before the ride. You look filthy, and smell a bit,” Heather looked at Holden pointedly.

“Yeah, we don’t want you to stink up the joint kiddo,” Trish smirked.

Holden groaned and walked into the huge mansion and gave one of the servant’s his bag who bowed and took it to his room. Holden went to the large bathroom turned on the large shower and let the water run. He stripped and undid his hair while the water grew hot. He let the water run over him for a few minutes after he finished bathing. Afterwards he dried off, and tied back his hair and saw that clean clothes had been laid out for him while he was in the shower. Looking in the mirror Holden saw he had a day or two’s growth on his face and decided to leave it, thinking it looked more rugged. Holden looked and saw clothes had been laid out for him; slightly baggy blue jeans, his new boots and coat, briefs, socks, and a blood red button-up shirt and white tank top awaited him. Plus there was a pair of black fingerless leather gloves with red flames on the backs. He dressed minus the coat and gloves. The young fighter walked downstairs where he spied on a conversation his mom and the rest of the family were having with Dante, Vergil and the group.

“Sounds like a huge job,” Derek said with his eyes wide.

“More so then Holden knows. Because of his father’s reckless decision to put part of his power within his sword the Fallen will surely be after it for their master,” Vergil murmured then sipped his tea.

“I’m just wondering what good the sword would be to them in the first place?” Heather asked.

“We’ve seen Holden use its power partially, and that was enough to hurt me bad. Imagine if he knew how to tap into it fully. Then imagine if the Fallen had it,” Dante said after a drink of his beer.

“It sounds terrifying,” Dave said wide-eyed as his father.

“Exactly, but if Holden doesn’t screw up, we don’t have to worry about it. Right now it’s only a what-if scenario,” Dante replied.

“Holden won’t screw up; he’s too good at his job,” Jessica said proudly.

“Sure, I don’t doubt it, I just doubt his experience,” Dante looked at the girl with a smile.

“I agree with you there Dante, ever since I got him that bar he looks for one job after the other. He hardly finds work, he’s as persistent as a dog with a bone and impatient to boot. He’s like his father, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit,” Heather said with a shake of her head.

“I’ll be fine, I can handle myself.” Holden announced as he came down the long staircase.

“Alright Mr. Confident, just make sure you don’t shit yourself when you get into a fight,” Dante said rising along with Vergil.

“Just make sure you don’t get in my way,” Holden retorted.

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Lady said rising from the sofa.

“We should get going; things may be getting worse over there,” Trish said as she looked out the window.

*     *     *

When they arrived at the Graves ’ private airfield everyone quickly loaded on the plane except for Holden who said his goodbyes to his family.

 “Give me a call when you come back,” Jessica said kissing Holden flush on the mouth while Lady watched with amusement out the window.

“I’ll try,” Holden replied lamely looking at Lady.

“Be safe,” Heather said as she hugged him.

“Okay, I need to leave. They’re waiting,” Holden said holstering his bag of weapons on his shoulder.

As the plane took off from the ground Heather and the rest were waving madly to him.

“Finally we can do this; I’ve been waiting for days,” Holden said as he laid down his bag of weapons, and then pulled out his guns and the cleaning kit he brought along. He pulled a small bowl from one of the cabinets and poured some gun oil in it. He then spread out a small sheet and started to disassemble his guns on it. 

“Honestly I think this will be a really stiff fight, and I hope our employers pay us after we’re finished,” Dante said with his eyes closed as he spread out on one of the sofa.

“I hope so; I remember a few times where we’ve been screwed in the past.” Lady spoke from her chair as she watched Holden clean the tube then move on to the spring clips.

“I still can’t believe they employed you. I thought you weren’t on real tight terms with them,” Trish said as she took out her iPod.

“Most religions and cults see me as interference; their loss,” Dante said with a shrug of his shoulders as he went to the bar to pour himself a drink.

“Who employed you?” Holden asked curiously as he finished and put the guns back together with the air of someone who has done a job many times. The guns went back together with a quick series of clicks and snaps. He then sat on the other sofa while Vergil sat in a chair quietly examining Yamato, and Trish leaned back in a recliner and listened to her iPod.

“The Vatican did, they’re paying us three million. They’re the ones who sent me to find you too,” Dante grunted as he sat down with a tumbler of Jack Daniels and ice.

“Why find me though? Like you said before, I’m not exactly qualified for this,” Holden frowned.

“Oh, just because there’s strength in numbers,” Dante replied with a mysterious grin.

“That’s a huge payday; the split will come out good,” Vergil interrupted before Holden could say any more on the subject.

“Yeah that is a good payday huh?” Holden said, all other thoughts forgotten as he figured out the split in his head.

“We should be arriving in Italy in a few hours,” The pilot announced over the intercom.

“We might as well get some sleep,” Lady said as she sat next to him.

“Yeah, I am kinda tired,” Holden said stretching and yawning and leaning back. Soon he was out like a light and gently snoring. Lady took his head and gently laid him down in her lap, while she took her feet and put them on the sofa and stroked his head until she nodded off. Pretty soon almost everyone was asleep except for Vergil who was still transfixed on Yamato as if he was talking to it in his mind. After a few more minutes of this he shook his head and slid Yamato quietly back into its sheath then walked to the bar where he fixed himself a tumbler of bourbon and Coke. He then raised his glass to his friends and family and drank deeply. After he finished his second tumbler he fell asleep at the bar with a faint smile on his lips.

When they touched down a few hours later Lady stroked Holden on the side of the face lightly to wake him up. After failing to rouse him she then kissed him on the lips and neck to which Holden woke up with a smile.

“Now that’s what I like, a good nap and a beautiful lady to wake me up,” Holden said smiling at his little joke.

“And I like sleeping with a handsome man on my lap,” Lady murmured into his lips.

“So I guess we both get what we want,” Holden said then kissed her.

“I have a question. Does Jessica kiss better than me?” Lady asked rubbing his stomach.

“Nope, definitely not,” Holden said as Lady smiled, then kissed him deeply.

“Hey, are you guys selling tickets to this?” Dante asked with a smirk.

“Yes and the proceeds go to charity, the charity being you, as you’re desperate enough to watch your cousin and your friend make out.” Holden replied as he got up and stretched, then put on his gloves and coat.

“Hardy har har!” Dante yelled sarcastically.

“Can we please go now?” Trish asked impatiently.

“Let’s do it,” Dante said as limo waited to take them to the abbey.

The ride to the abbey was in silence as the group mentally prepared for what the Fallen and the demon kings might throw at them.

“I can’t take you any farther; lately it’s been getting scary around here at night,” The limo driver said in Italian as he stopped a few miles away from the abbey as the moon was rising.

“This will be fine,” Vergil replied in perfect Italian as the others readied their weapons.

“Thank you for understanding. By the way, the young man’s truck was delivered to the abbey earlier today,” The driver said as they got out of the limo.

“Thank you for telling me, and don’t worry about it,” Vergil said as he closed the door.

The driver left with the wind blowing which kicked up the tails of the three half-demon’s coats. Soon the headlights were out of sight and the only light came from the full moon.

“We should split up, and go our own way to the abbey and see what we find; here are the teams, Lady and Trish, Vergil and Holden, and me, myself, and I. If anyone gets in trouble call me. Its time to take off the gloves kid, you’re playing in the big leagues now,” The ever ready devil hunter said with a grin.

“Are you ready?” Vergil asked Holden who merely nodded in return.

“Okay, first one there gets a pay raise!” Dante said and started running toward the front doors.

The others went their separate directions and prepared for the fight. Holden and Vergil walked in silence for a while until Vergil spoke suddenly.

“So, what did you think of our match?”

“I think that you guys could have gone harder on me but you didn’t. You reminded me of how much power I have to gain,” Holden said.

“Ah, so you want your father’s power,” Vergil commented nodding to the sword which was tucked in the sash of Holden’s coat.

 “Yeah, ‘cause then I can be as strong or stronger then him. That way I can fight on the same level as him and Sparda,” The young fighter said.

“Power isn’t everything, trust me on this Holden. I tried to get my father’s power once. I did horrible things to try and obtain it. Then I became a slave because of my ambitions. All I’m saying is to be careful. Ambition is good, but you can’t sacrifice everything for it,” Vergil said with a dark look on his face.

“You became a slave to Mundus right? You were Nelo Angelo. I heard that Dante killed you on Mallet Island . How did you survive?” Holden asked.

“To be honest, I’m not too clear on that myself, I’m sure I was dead though. Then for some reason I came back. Ever since I came back I made an effort to change myself,” Vergil said.

 “Heavy, but I guess we don’t exactly have a ‘normal’ family,” Holden chuckled with a shake of his head.

“You get used to it though,” Vergil said wryly.

“I guess; you know just a few days ago I didn’t even know I was related to you guys. I’d heard about you, but the fact that we’re related? That’s something I could never have imagined,” Holden said wonderingly as they walked through a field.

“Then your imagination is limited cousin,” Vergil replied with a smile.

“Yeah, but you have to have one to deal with all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes,” Holden said grinning back.

“Wait a second, do you feel that?” Vergil asked as he stopped and partially ejected Yamato with his thumb.

“No I don’t, wait… I do now, it feels really weird. What is it?” Holden said grabbing Eternity with his right hand and grabbed Dusk out of the holster on the right side of his coat.

“Spirits of the damned, these weaklings must be our welcoming party,” Vergil sneered as mist formed around them and horrible twisted spirits rose from it taking on substance and weapons formed in their hands.

“Well that’s one screwed up welcoming committee they have; let’s send these fuckers back to Hell!” Holden shouted happily as he let Eternity rest back in the holster and undid the sash on his jacket, Backlash still resting comfortably in the sash/holster. He grabbed Midnight with his other hand and prepared for battle.

As spirits started to surround them Holden started charging up his guns and Vergil stood there with Yamato still halfway out of the sheath. Suddenly the spirits attacked and Holden blew off two spirits heads while Vergil fully unleashed his sword and started hacking up bodies with ferocious speed and skill. Holden jumped into the air and dive bombed the spirits and unleashed gunfire which was so rapid it sounded like a machine gun. Before he landed he twisted and kicked the heads off of two other spirits. Suddenly ice cold hands grabbed his neck and he felt coldness entering his body threatening to take over. It spread and Holden stood as if frozen. Then his eyes turned crimson red and he unsheathed Backlash and stabbed the thing in the stomach. He turned around and snarled as he turned the blade in its stomach so the sharp end was facing up. In a second the spirit was split almost completely in half, and then his eyes resumed their normal color. Suddenly glowing swords appeared in the air out of nowhere and stabbed about ten spirits who disappeared. Holden looked over at Vergil who nodded and ducked as a spirit came at him with a sword. He chopped off the legs in one stroke then came back with a reverse stroke and chopped off the head as the spirit was falling.

Holden continued the assault with Dusk and Midnight . Spirits were felled left and right by his blazing guns. As he dispatched the spirits a look of boredom was on his face.

“C’mon, give me something I can have some fun with!” Holden cried out impatiently.

Holden then stopped using Dusk and Midnight and pulled Eternity off his back and started swinging. He was a madman with the sword killing spirits left and right until they were all sent back to Hell.

“If that’s all the armies of Hell can muster then I’m afraid I might have to give some of that three mill back,” Holden said disappointedly as he threw the sword in the air, and turned around and caught it with the holster on his back.

“Watch your tongue; we’ll have more foes soon enough,” The wary slayer replied coldly as the mist pulled back and he sheathed his sword.

“Gotcha Verg,” Holden said and continued walking.

Holden sneezed after a minute or so of walking and Vergil looked at him curiously to which Holden grinned.

“Guess a pretty girl’s talking about me somewhere.”

*     *     *

As Trish and Lady were waiting to see some action they were talking about the impatient young half-devil.

“Seriously, you want to go out with him?” Trish asked with surprise.

“Why not? He’s cute, funny, and an all around good guy,” Lady said with a smile.

“He’s also younger then you are,” Trish said.

“Oh well, he’s a lot of fun and he’s got a sort of sweetness. He’s something else.” Lady smiled.

“Hey it’s your life. I’m not telling you what to do, just voicing my opinion,” Trish said.

“At least you’re not giving me hell about it.” Lady laughed.

“Not a problem.” Trish said as she pulled out Luce and Ombra and aimed them at Lady who ducked. She began firing at three demons that appeared along with a dozen or more zombies.

Eww… if there’s one thing I hate, its zombies,” Lady said as she pulled out her gun and began taking out the zombies while Trish dealt with the demons.

“Don’t let them touch you, the stink never comes out!” Trish said as she felled one of the demons with a blast of lightning.

“I’ll remember that,” Lady said as she readied a grenade.

“Okay boys, let’s play.”

*     *     *


As Holden and Vergil continued toward the abbey which was still far off they heard a cry in the distance that sounded like a woman in trouble.

“Did you hear that? It sounded like Lady,” Vergil said then clamped his mouth shut quickly.

“You think so? I’ll go check it out,” Holden said and ran off without another word.

“Holden wait! It could be a trap, stubborn fool!” Vergil yelled after him, but Holden was swallowed up in the darkness soon after. Vergil walked after him thinking he would have to educate him long and tirelessly on the concept of patience and strategy.



Mission Six: The Fallen


Holden suddenly found himself enveloped in darkness and the moon gone and he was lost. He looked around and suddenly his gold eyes brightened a bit and he could see again. He continued to walk in the direction he thought he heard the scream from.

“Son of filth, son of a traitor. You don’t deserve the death I am about to give you; so weak to fall for an obvious trick,” A voice issued from what sounded very near, yet far away at the same time.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before. I’m stupid, I don’t have experience, and I should stick with running the bar. You guys really have to come up with some new material,” Holden spoke coolly but at the same time silently berating himself for falling into a trap.

“You have never seen or heard me before. I am one of the Fallen. I have powers you cannot imagine.”

“Am I supposed to be impressed? The portals not even open yet. Hey… are you screwing with me?” Holden asked jokingly.

“The portal is opening; I was simply the first to cross over. This world will soon know…”

“Our fury and might, you will all perish and this world will be ours. We will bring with us the three D’s: Death, Doom, and Destruction; blah de fuckin’ blah man. I’ll beat your ass like every other demon. Again you need to work on your material, it’s really boring,” Holden interrupted then yawned and stretched.

“You will regret your words insolent half-breed, for I am no mere demon.” The Fallen spoke.

“Then come on, prove me wrong asshole. Show me you’re as witty as you are ugly,” Holden said gesturing with both of his arms for the Fallen to come out.

“Such disrespect, you shall know the wrath of Dagon foolish boy!” A man shaped being with long black hair and leathery charcoal wings screamed and flew towards him.

“Hey, you’re not as ugly as all the other demons. And here I thought you’d be an eyesore,” Holden said as he pulled Backlash out of its sheath.

“I swear by the pits of hell you will die!” Dagon yelled and picked Holden up and threw him into a tree which fell to the ground upon his impact.

“If I wanted a kiss I would’ve called your mother!” Holden spoke quoting Tommy Boy after he rose and sheathed Backlash as the moon revealed itself again.

“I am one of the originals, I have no mother,” Dagon said as he landed and a pitch black sword shimmered into existence and he revealed himself in the moonlight. What could be called a man stood before Holden; his body was pitch black as if he had been burned. He stood in a black robe and his wings folded behind his body. His eyes were black like coal, and were darker than the night that surrounded them and the demon was easily seven feet tall.

“Then remind me not to call you a son of a bitch,” Holden called with a crazed grin and charged the Fallen. As he ran he grabbed Eternity and jumped above him. With a yell Holden swung the sword in a huge downward arc meant to cleave the Fallen in two. Instead the Fallen simply stopped the blow with his hand. Holden landed surprised and sheathed his sword and grabbed Midnight out of the left holster with his right hand and Eternity with his left. He shot Midnight rapidly but the bullets just bounced off the Fallen who laughed much to Holden’s annoyance. Okay, if I can’t shoot him I have to cut him. Deep, Holden thought as he twirled Midnight a few times then holstered it as the Fallen stood patiently. Why is he playing defense instead of offense? Is he on orders or is it something else? I’ve never had an enemy who was so nice, Holden thought as he switched his sword to his right hand, then ran his free hand down Eternity. While his blood flowed down the blade it turned black and the crystal turned silver. If I use the Torture Method I can cut him now, when the blade’s like this it can cut anything and make him hurt like hell, Holden charged Dagon and started thrusting his sword at him in a million different places. Dagon simply blocked each blow with his sword. Holden then kicked Dagon in the shin which caused him to become off balance and then thrust the sword deep in his chest. Unlike before with Dante instead of fire black energy seeped from the wound and covered his body as Holden pulled out the sword and winced in partial sympathy. The Torture Method was the name Holden had given it. The basic principal was you had to endure pain to give pain; the attacks varied on the whim and knowledge of the wielder of Eternity. Holden only figured out three of the ‘methods’ but figured that the second one would put Dagon in the ground; he was right. As Dagon began screaming in pain while the black energy wrapped tightly around his body and dropped to his knees, black liquid, which Holden supposed was blood, started to come out of Dagon and created puddles on the ground. Dagon then closed his eyes and opened them a few seconds later and two things happened. First Dagon stopped screaming, and then he got up. Oh shit, I thought that would get him good. This guy might actually worth my time, Holden thought and grabbed Dusk with his left hand and charged a shot. As black energy surrounded the barrel of the gun Dagon stumbled to his feet. Holden pulled the trigger and blew a hole in Dagon’s chest.

“What does it take to put you down?” Holden yelled as Dagon arose.

“Much more than you are capable of whelp,” Dagon smirked as the hole in his chest closed.

“More insults? I thought we were past all that,” Holden said putting away Dusk and unsheathing Backlash preparing to kill him.

“Change,” Dagon spoke suddenly and then the forest faded from view and Dagon disappeared. Holden found himself standing in front of the Lucky Devil looking at the dark blue neon sign above the door which was off. Holden looked around not believing what he saw. He looked up the street and saw the auto garage and the diner and a few other shops. His was the only solo building not connected to anything. He lived in the part of town which was away from the malls and the commotion and traffic. He liked the location of his bar because it wasn’t uptown and around lots of noise and people. He wondered why he was back here instead of Italy and gripped Backlash tighter. He walked down the street past the video store and the Kung Food Chinese restaurant.

Holden heard a commotion in the alley behind the restaurant and walked behind the shop to see what was happening. He saw a woman whose face he couldn’t make out struggling against a man with a hood who was attempting to take her purse. The woman was hitting him with a fist trying to get the man to stop. Holden walked calmly into the back of the alley sheathing Backlash.

“Hey pal, I think she’s attached to that purse, you should leave her alone,” Holden called.

The man either didn’t her him or ignored him as he punched the woman across the face and she let go of the purse.

“Hey asshole, I said leave her alone!” Holden yelled drawing Midnight and aiming it at the man who took a knife out of his pocket.

Holden fired a warning shot over his head but the man didn’t even notice. Holden ran to him to get the knife away from him and as he was going to shove him into the wall something strange happened. When Holden touched him, or rather didn’t touch him, his hands passed through the man. The man grinned as he slowly cut the woman’s throat. Holden started shouting loudly as the man finished and then ran off with the purse. The woman’s body rolled on the ground and he saw the face of the woman. The face was Kim’s.

“No! Oh God please, no!” Holden moaned. He tried to stop the bleeding but his hand went through her body as it had gone through the muggers. He sat there yelling for a moment then rose to his feet drawing Dusk and Midnight .

“Dagon! You’re gonna pay for this! I know you’re there! Come out you piece of shit!” Holden yelled with rage.

“How sad, you can’t even save a woman from a mere human. What made you ever think you could defeat me?” Dagon’s disembodied voice asked.

 “FUCK YOU!” Holden screamed in a voice that didn’t sound remotely like his own. He then gnashed his teeth and started shooting wildly trying to vent his anger.

Holden stopped after a minute or so and put away his guns. He drew Eternity and held it. Black energy started to build up around the sword and the crystal started to flash between black and silver.

“What do you think you are going to accomplish? This is my world, and here you are trapped; a ghost, never able to touch or to feel. I could destroy you without you even seeing me do it.”
Holden didn’t say a word just grimly let the energy build to it’s maximum. This has to be some sort of illusion; he’s transported me somewhere and created this world. Dad once said Eternity was good at helping if you were in a fix. I need your help, please help me escape this damn funhouse of his, Holden thought desperately. The crystal stopped flashing between black and silver and slowly started to turn orange. The strange orange light seeped from the crystal and ran down the hilt and then the blade. The sword then lit up fiercely Holden was forced to shade his eyes for a second, and then it stopped. The energy retreated to the crystal which began swirling with the orange energy of the sword and the black energy which was his.

Find the center of all of this; there you will make your escape, for I can allow you to travel between worlds in an instant, but you must find the center where the demon is. For I cannot do it here, a voice told him inside his head. It sounded like a man’s voice, but it was cold and dispassionate. Holden had never heard the voice before but was sure it was the voice of the sword. Holden walked to the street and looked around. Find the center of it all huh? I don’t even know what it means, but I do know that Dagon fucked with me, and I don’t like being fucked with, Holden thought as he put Eternity in its holster. He walked to his bar and tried to enter, but to no avail. Apparently his intangibility was being reversed on him. He kept walking down the street for what seemed like hours. As the buildings and shops he recognized faded from view the world as he knew it was replaced by a grey nothingness that seemed infinite, yet confining at the same time. He kept walking until he found a dilapidated house he had never seen before which stood atop a jagged hill. This must be where he’s waiting; these kinds of things never have a backdoor that you can walk through can they? Noo… that would be too simple. Instead I have to go into what looks like the house from Tales of the Crypt, Holden thought irritably. Holden walked up the hill to the house and as he was halfway there he was met by two Hell Vanguards who appeared from flashes of red energy.

“So, you’re sending others to do your dirty work, and keep me out? We need to have a long talk about integrity pal,” Holden said drawing Backlash hoping he would be able to strike them. His wish came true as the Vanguards attacked twirling their scythes and then disappeared. Holden jumped quickly into the air as they reappeared at the spot he was at and landed on one of their backs. He proceeded to pummel the demon with the hilt of Backlash and then threw it at the other and unleashed a barrage of gunfire with Dusk and Midnight into the back of its head. He then jumped off the creature’s back and summoned Backlash to him from the others chest with a quick wave of his hand, and attacked the one he was above in a vicious downward slash. He then landed behind it and did multiple cross slashes to the waist and did the same to the shoulders, back and neck. He jumped over the demon and corkscrewed through the air cutting the demon several times as he landing. As he came down he slashed it in the chest and shot the other one in the face with a charged shot from Dusk as he landed. Suddenly black energy surrounded his sword which was laced with green. As he unleashed the energy from the sword, the Vanguard he had slashed in the chest exploded into sand. He then cut the other one in half and threw Backlash high into the air. As it landed he caught it in his outstretched sheath right as the Vanguard exploded.

“That was actually fun; me and you should do that Dagon,” Holden said. He didn’t get a response but he knew the demon had heard him.

“Fine, be that way,” Holden muttered as he continued his trek toward the house.

As Holden walked to the house he kept seeing things out of the corner of his eyes. When he tried to focus on them he couldn’t see them at all. Finally Holden understood what they were. More spirits, but they didn’t seem malevolent. So this must mean I’m in the netherworld; what some people call limbo, the space between Heaven and Hell. These must be spirits who are passing through, or who wind up here, Holden thought with a grim shake of his head as he crested the hill.

When he got to the top he stopped and looked at the large crumbling house in front of him which appeared to have an aura of evil surrounding it. Holden shook his head, drew Dusk and Midnight and walked to the front door. As he reached out to touch the knob it sizzled and then a blast of white lightning blasted him and he landed on his back as five Lusts, two Shadows, and three Wraths appeared before him.

“I guess you guys came to tell me that ‘mi casa es su casa’ right?” Holden asked as he got up and dusted himself off. The demons roared in return.

 “I thought so; well I am charmed you went all out just for me.” Holden said as he put his hand over his heart and bowed deeply.

The Lusts began the attack moving with ferocious speed. Holden shot ones sickle as it tried to remove his head, he then charged a shot with Midnight and kept firing with Dusk until it was ready. He unleashed the charged shot into ones head and it turned to sand as it was destroyed. One of the Shadows reared and then charged Holden. He holstered his guns and pulled Backlash out and sent it flying with a burst of power. He then shot a Wrath that was next to the Shadow repeatedly until it exploded destroying the Shadow and three of the Lusts. He then snarled and turned on the rest of the demons as his eyes turned red.

“This is what I live for, what the hell is your purpose in life?”

*     *     *

After the final demon had been disposed of Holden walked to the house and gingerly touched the doorknob, having no resistance this time as he turned it. After he entered the door slammed shut behind him and Eternity started to hum with energy. He closed his eyes and walked to what appeared to be the center of the living room which was bare of furniture and pictures. He pulled Eternity and was about to say something when Dagon’s voice filled the room.

“Turn back now boy; even though you are little more than a specter in this world you are still alive. If you walk away I will renege on my oath to kill you and mercifully allow you to live out the rest of your existence in this world,” Dagon said.

“You don’t get me at all, do you man? As long as I can fight I’ll never quit, never stop, never rest, until the job is done. It’s just the way I am Dagon. Follow me?” Holden asked with a smirk.

“You are foolish; don’t you understand that I will kill you?” Dagon replied with anger.

“Yeah I understand, and I guess I always was a little slow, but I can’t stay here and play. So let’s finish this. Loser has to buy the beer,” Holden spoke with a stretch and a yawn after he holstered Eternity and pulled out Backlash.

“You will die; for you are nothing more than a half-breed, a stain on the tapestry of existence,” Dagon said as he manifested.

“Yeah, well you talk too much. HAA!” Holden screamed as he charged Dagon. The Fallen summoned his black sword and prepared to defend himself as the young half-demon slid and prepared to strike at his legs. At the last second Holden sprung up from his slide and slashed with Backlash across Dagon’s chest.

*     *     *

“Where did he go? I swear I am going to hurt that boy if he doesn’t show up soon,” Vergil muttered as he walked through the forest after his cousin. After he had walked a ways he found the battleground where Holden and Dagon had previously fought. He surveyed the wreckage of the broken tree and the pool of blood which had seeped into the ground, permanently staining the spot black with the Fallen’s blood. Vergil saw the battle play out in his mind’s eye with the detached expertise of a lifelong warrior.

“You didn’t go easy did you Holden? But where did you go, that is the question,” Vergil mused aloud.

He surveyed the scene for a bit more then he saw a grayish mist unlike the one which had surrounded him and Holden when the spirits had attacked them. The mist started to swirl around the slayer blocking off any escape from it and soon he was transported to limbo.

*     *     *

Holden had taken on the kind of harsh demeanor he reserved for times when a battle required seriousness. He had two separate personalities; one was an easy going smartass who constantly had fun with life, while the other was a cold blooded devil warrior who couldn’t stop until his enemy was dead. When the devil in him was stirred nothing mattered to him except winning and killing his enemy. Holden’s devil side thrilled at the prospect of finally having a worthy opponent. Dagon had sensed the change in him and for the first time since he had been cast to Hell he started to feel a tiny prick of fear. The boy was gaining the upper hand in the battle, but Dagon also sensed that he was holding back. To top it off the boy’s golden eyes had turned crimson red, and the look the child gave him told the demon that the young hunter was out for blood.

“You’re not using the full extent of your powers,” Dagon muttered with a grimace as the boy stabbed him in the shoulder.

“Neither are you, you’re still going easy on me,” Holden said putting a stop to his assault momentarily.

“Because our master has plans for you boy,” Dagon sneered nastily.

“Who, the demon kings?” Holden asked and then Dagon recoiled as if he’d been spit on.

“What, you think I serve those scum? No, my master is the First of the Fallen,” Dagon replied nastily watching the information set in on the young hunter.

“Oh him, so Lu’s got plans for me huh?” Holden said calmly, but on the inside he was worried about the implications as he twirled the hilt of Backlash between his fingers.

“Indeed, he has plans for you and that wonderful sword you have,” Dagon nodded toward Backlash.

“Yeah, well I’ll shove this sword right up your boss’s…” Holden mimed performing a reverse bowel movement with the aforementioned sword.

“Such insolence,” Dagon seethed.

“No more talking, now it’s time to fight,” Holden spoke quietly readying Backlash. His eyes flared an even brighter red.

“Very well, it’s a shame it must end now; you have been a worthy adversary,” Dagon said with a nod.

“Same here, it’s been fun. Let’s do it.”

Holden once more charged the Fallen with all of his might. This time both of them knew it was to the death. They knew it had to end. One of them would leave over the others corpse. Dagon attacked with the intent to kill, despite master’s orders. His only thought was to kill this young upstart before he killed him.

Holden whipped out Dusk and shot at the Fallen as black and green energy laced down the blade of his sword.

“You want my sword? Well you can have it! You can have all of it!” Holden screamed. As Holden stabbed Dagon in the chest the Fallen’s sword entered his stomach. As the Fallen tried to retrieve his sword the young hunter grinned and grabbed hold of it.

“Huh uh, nope you’re all mine pal,” Those eyes were insane; full of hunger and rage. Dagon didn’t hear the young man so much as he felt what those eyes were saying.

Dagon tugged viciously on the sword trying to free himself and flee from the child. Holden gripped it fiercely, heedless of the pain to his hand. Holden then shoved the sword all the way through the Fallen’s body and energy started to pour from every direction.

“Have fun asshole,” Holden said with an evil twisted grin as the energy traveled outward from the demon’s body. Suddenly the energy built to a maximum and with a fierce black light the demon exploded.

“No, I didn’t use my full powers. To do so would have just made me more bloodthirsty then I already was; and plus you didn’t need to see them,” Holden swayed from physical and mental exhaustion and leaned up against the wall.

Vergil then entered the room and took a peek at the damage Holden and the Fallen had caused. Vergil looked thoroughly impressed to see Holden still standing.

“So I see you’re still alive,” Vergil nodded as the young man quickly pulled a gun with his right hand.

“It’s you, yeah I’m still here,” Holden said as he twirled Midnight and holstered it.

“Do you know a way to get out of this place?” Vergil asked as Holden rubbed his forehead and walked towards Vergil.

“Yep, I think I figured it out. One of this sword’s abilities is to move from one world to another,” Holden said as he took Eternity from its holster.

“Really; Holden you never cease to impress me,” Vergil said as orange energy seeped from the crystal to the blade.

“Yep, but the punch line to this joke is I have no clue what I’m doing,” Holden laughed.

“Are you serious?” Vergil asked as Holden stabbed the sword into the ground. Suddenly a ball of orange and black energy surrounded Holden and Vergil. While Holden looked on with a manic grin the ball of energy shrank around the two half-demons. There was a flash of bright orange light and the two were transported to the point where Holden and Vergil had left the forest.

“Ta da!” Holden announced looking around.

“Yes we seem to be back,” Vergil muttered, annoyed by his young cousin’s antics.

“Let’s head to the nearest bar and grab a drink,” Holden said with a grin.

“Good luck with that, but we need to keep moving to the abbey,” Vergil replied.

“Fine, let’s keep moving.”

*     *     *

“Looks like you weren’t that tough after all,” Dante said standing over the Fallen’s body outside the abbey.

“Just end it; I have suffered enough humiliation at your hands half-breed,” the Fallen replied in a choked voice.

“Not just yet my good sir, how would you like to make a deal regarding my cousin?”


To be continued...

© 2008 Duff