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Silence falls over the cemetery save for the light rustle of leaves fluttering in the wind.  Dante and Bayonetta look each other over.  They both know how skillful the other is in combat and have gotten their information from outside sources.  Now it is time to put all they know to the test.  Dante kicks things off with a quick leap in the air.  He rains down gunfire on Bayonetta.  The crafty witch backflips to safety while at the same time she returns fire with the guns mounted on her heels.  Dante drops to the ground, flipping once before landing.  He is immediately met with more gunfire from Bayonetta.  With a fast twirl, he defends with Ebony and Ivory, blocking Bayonetta's bullets shot for shot.  The bullets clink in midair and drop to the ground fused together.  Bayonetta quickly switches her stance.  Aiming one leg forward, she spews bullets from three guns.  Dante, not intimidated, widens his grin and increases his rate of fire.  The bullets ricochet off each other, causing collateral damage to the headstones and trees.

Realizing that a straight forward gunfight may be pointless, Bayonetta drops down and sweeps her outstretched leg in a circle.  An ominous looking glyph appears on the ground which she quickly sinks into.  Dante stops firing the moment his tricky opponent disappears.  While searching for her, his keen senses alert him to something above.  Quickly throwing himself to one side, he avoids being stomped by the giant foot Bayonetta created.  Bayonetta, who has appeared immediately after launching her attack, quickly throws out another attack.  A fist with a butterfly motif donning the wrist comes at Dante.  The Devil Hunter is struck hard and sent flying across the cemetery.  Bayonetta flips into the air, creating another stiletto-clad foot that jolts up from the ground as she rises.  Dante is booted sky high almost a fraction of a second after the first strike.  Bayonetta reels back and drives one foot forward; bashing her half-demon opponent away with another conjured up foot.  Landing afterward, she watches Dante soar through the air.

"Don't leave yet.  We didn't have dessert yet," Bayonetta said coyly.  She then takes off after her date, transforming into a sleek panther mid stride.

Losing momentum from Bayonetta's powerful attack, Dante begins to drop from the sky.  He slams on the asphalt road of a neighboring town to the cemetery.  He uses the momentum to roll backward and spring to his feet.  For the moment, it is quiet.  But that soon ends when Dante spots Bayonetta, who has amazingly caught up with him, diving down from above wrapped in an ominous red aura.  Flashing a grin, he quickly leaps back avoiding the witch's powerful stomp.  While airborne, Dante draws Rebellion from his back and slashes it three times, releasing dark waves of his demonic aura.  The waves slam into the ground where Bayonetta is.  The moment Dante lands, a giant woman's fist bursts from within the cloud of smoke.  He blocks with Rebellion as he's pushed back.  Regaining his footing, the Devil Hunter knocks the magically conjured fist aside; then, he rushes toward Bayonetta.  Once in range, Dante swings his sword.  Bayonetta leaps over him avoiding being slashed.  She fires a couple rounds at Dante's exposed back but he quickly swings Rebellion to intercept the bullets.

Bayonetta, upon landing, sounds off with her guns again.  Dante whirls around with Rebellion screaming through the air.  He knocks the witch's bullets back with the broad side of his sword.  Reacting quickly, Bayonetta takes aim and deflects her own bullets.  In the midst of it, she nearly misses Dante who is fast upon her.  With a smirk, she tosses one gun in the air and snaps her fingers.  A large feminine hand shoots up from the ground, launching its conjurer to the air.  Dante swings Rebellion.  The conjured hand disappears just before the sword makes contact.  Wasting no time, Bayonetta swings one arm down, calling forth another fist.  Dante swings his sword over head to block.  The magical fist pushes down on Dante, forcing him to brace Rebellion with both hands.  The asphalt beneath his feet begins to give way.  Bayonetta disperses the magical hand in favor of conjuring a stiletto-wearing foot that bashes Dante across the street and into a building.  The force of the impact collapses a portion of the abandoned dwelling on top of Dante.  Bayonetta gently lands on the ground.  Raising one arm, she catches her gun that was tossed earlier.  She waits patiently for her opponent to emerge, knowing it'll take more than she threw at him to keep him down.

A few moments pass.  Rubble of the ruined building begins to move and shift.  A piece of the second floor is tossed aside as a familiar silver-haired figure rises out of the wreckage of wood and brick.  Dante takes a moment to collect himself before casually strolling to the street, dragging Rebellion lazily behind him.  Once in the middle of the street, he jabs the sword into ground and begins patting the dust and pieces of plaster from his clothes and hair.  He peeks over at the building he crashed through taking notice that it was a dry cleaner. He chuckles at the irony.  Dante looks around the town.  All the buildings were run down.  A lot of them had boards where the windows and doors once were.  Others were half demolished and left hung open like a rotting wound.  A clothing store in the distance, once beautiful in its time, is now a ruined husk, much like the other stores and shops and homes that made up this community.  Dante can also see the remnants of the tragedy that occurred here.

Demons ran through the small community years ago, terrorizing the residents here.  Dante was called to eradicate the demonic menace.  He succeeded.  Or so he thought.  When he returned a few days later, it wasn't to the bright smiling faces of a bustling community.  No, the scene he returned to was of horror.  The town had been completely stripped of its glory, leaving behind a decadent shell.  The demons, soon after Dante left, returned to finished what their brethren had started.  The slaughtered every person in sight.  That's when Dante discovered the town was a nexus to the Underworld.  The only way for him to bring the people peace was to eliminate the new brood of demons and close the portal.  

A tragedy such as that would shake even the strongest will, but not Dante.  However, he is not without sentiment.  He returns to the cemetery nearby from time to time to pay his respects and with good reason.  The cemetery contains the residents of the town.  Dante is the one who buried them.  It was one of his first jobs as a Devil Hunter.  He never forgot that tragedy.  A tragedy he could've prevented.
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Submitted on
May 29, 2012


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