Mar 12 2013

Dante vs. Bayonetta: The Witch Dances with the Devil Chapter 32

In the middle of the town, a second large glyph appears drawing Dante’s attention. He turns in time to see hair like treading shoot from within the glyph and form into what appears to be a spider’s web. Then he sees a large form marching through the portal. It is a gigantic black spider with burning red eyes. The spider roars, revealing a fiery mouth. Dante laughs and says, “Now there’s a familiar face.” The spider Infernal Demon reminds him of a similar devil he fought a while back. Phantom was a spider-like devil whose rocky body flowed with magma and carried the strong scent of brimstone. It pursued Dante relentlessly through the castle on Mallet Island until Dante finally defeated Phantom, sending the lava spider back to the Underworld. He will do the same with this one. Dante casually strolls a couple steps toward the Infernal Demon.

“You know, I met your cousin not too long ago! A big ugly spider that breathes fire like a drunken prom date!” said Dante. The demon spider responds with a bellowing roar. “Did I strike a nerve? Sorry, I just I have this thing about spiders.” Dante draws Ivory and says, “They just creep the hell out of me out.” Grinning, he fires a demonically charged shot that strikes the demon spider in the forehead. It responds with an angry roar. The shot wasn’t meant to injure the spider demon; just make it angry. Dante chuckles, for Phantom gave the exact same reaction. “Well, guess I’ll have to bring out the bug spray.” He places the Coyote back in its holster on his back and hangs his left arm down. An ominous glow encases his hand before spreading outward and taking shape. A briefcase embroidered with a frightening skull forms in Dante’s hand. It glowed with spectral energy. Of course, this is no ordinary briefcase. It is a weapon—the most powerful weapon in his arsenal, capable of 666 different configurations. This weapon has been spoken of through legend on the whispers of those who have seen its terrible destruction. It is also said to have been forged by a powerful demon blacksmith. The mere mention of its name is enough to strike fear, said to contain nightmarish evil beyond comprehension—Pandora. The weapon found its way into Dante’s possession after his victory over the demon toad Dagon. “Time to exterminate,” Dante says with a grin.

The demon spider, Phantasmaraneae, roars in defiance. Like Phantom, Phantasmaraneae also nests upon a sea of magma, deep within the furthest reaches of Inferno. However, it is rarely seen upon the face of the Earth, even sightings of the demon in hell are a seldom event, unlike its cousin. While having the frightening appearance of a spider, it is a curious beast, and should one have the good fortune to encounter the Phantasmaraneae, one should treat it with care and respect, in hope of receiving rare treasures and secrets in return. Of course that is not the case. Phantasmaraneae has been for another purpose—to kill Dante. Exposing its flaming maw, the demon spider creates a ball of hellfire and lets it fly.

Dante, grinning, holds Pandora out. The strange weapon transforms, first breaking apart before joining together into its new form. When the final pieces of Pandora fix into place, the demon weapon has become a bow. Dante draws the spectral string and takes aim. A pair of bright ethereal arrows launches through the air and destroy the ball of hellfire in a fiery flash. Phantasmaraneae lets loose two more hellfire balls. Dante destroys them with a couple plucks of Pandora’s string. The spider demon rears back and roars before firmly planting itself with its claws. It begins launching volley after volley of hellfire. Dante returns fire with more ethereal arrows. Each orb explodes like a fireworks display. The embers slowly float to the ground like rose pedals. Wasting no time, Dante fires a shot that strikes Phantasmaraneae square in the face. He fires a second shot at its exposed throat when the creature reels back.

Phantasmaraneae slams on the ground, showing signs that it has been injured. However, the demon spider will not yield. It hauls itself up and bellows forth a defiant roar. It raises its head and bellows again. But this roar had a different tone. It is not long before Dante sees why. From the portal, dozens of mini black spiders scurry along the webbing stretched across the town. With a softer roar, Phantasmaraneae coaxes the mini spiders to take flanking positions high in the web.

“Heh, so you’ve brought the kids out to play, eh?” said Dante. He looks around at the mini versions of the demon spider. They’re too far out of range to use Rebellion. Ebony and Ivory would be a better choice, but there’s a chance for him to be exposed should the spiders attack en masse. This wouldn’t be a problem if he was at full strength. With the way they are set up including the “mother” Phantasmaraneae at the center, Dante needs a way to attack all of the spiders at once. Luckily, he has a weapon perfectly suited for this. “Too bad I don’t play well with others,” he says wearing a wide grin.

The “mother” Phantasmaraneae communicates to its “babies”. All the demon spiders spread their maws wide revealing the roiling hellfire in their throats. The town looked like a giant Halloween decoration complete with Jack-o-lanterns. However, these lanterns burn with the fire of the Inferno instead of candles. The spiders’ burning mouths glow intensely as they build their power. Dante stands unnerved by the glowing arachnids that threaten to burn the flesh from his bones. He’s fought against the fire demon Berial and trounced the Phantom before that.

FWHOOSH!!

One by one, the mini Phantasmaraneae launch fire orbs of death in rapid session. The “mother” Phantasmaraneae waits a moment before unleashing its fiery orb. The attacks are perfectly coordinated, providing very little chance for Dante to escape. His only route is backward. Leaping into the air is an unwise option. The “baby” demon spiders would simply launch their attack skyward where Dante is most vulnerable. Plus, there’s chance that they could be far more agile that their “mother” due to their smaller size. Therefore, the only wise choice would be a retreat. However, the shockwave from the massive attack would also injure him and give Bayonetta a chance to capitalize. Of course, such an action would be unbecoming of the Devil Hunter.

With a cool smirk, Dante flips Pandora just over his right shoulder. The demon weapon transforms, expanding and building itself around him. He sits in the chair that is created as the final multiple pieces click into place. Pandora has formed a mobile mini battle station around Dante. This form is extremely powerful, capable of attacking multiple enemies. With a few flicks of the controls, Pandora charges up and prepares to unleash hell. “How’s this for a kick-ass bug bomb,” Dante taunts with a wide grin. He then presses the button.

Multiple missiles launch from the cannons along Pandora’s circular sides. They target and destroy the mini Phantasmaraneae before going after the mama phantom spider. The large fireball is destroyed by one pair of ethereal missiles and the second pair strike Phantasmaraneae head on. A screech of pain rips from the demon spider’s throat. Pushing the pain aside, it looks at Dante with burning eyes. Angered, the hellish arachnid roars defiantly and charges. It refuses to suffer the same fate as its cousin Phantom. Another round of missiles is launched, stopping the charging spider in its tracks. Another sky shattering scream erupts from Phantasmaraneae’s mandibles and then it collapses in a heap to the ground.

Dante looks on at the injured devil. Form his bouts with Phantom; he knows Phantasmaraneae is just as persistent. It will not accept defeat. His suspicions ring true when the spider demon begins to heave itself up. Though it has taken heavy damage, Phantasmaraneae uses its remaining claw to pull itself up. The hellfire that writhes in its body can be seen through the cracks and divots that cover its battered shell. With effort, the demon spider manages to stand though it has lost a couple legs. It casts its eyes on the man that has brought it close to death. The curious it is, its wonders how a man can possess such incredible strength. Phantasmaraneae contemplates what it will do next.

Suddenly, the webbing that spanned across the town starts to unravel rapidly and flow across Phantasmaraneae’s body. Its missing limbs are quickly restored and the damage to its body is repaired. The demon spider has made the decision to fight on. Its injuries are healed and Phantasmaraneae bellows into the night sky with a mighty roar. Exposing the hellfire in its throat, the demon spider gathers its strength, creating a large fire ball.

Dante’s trademark grin stretches to his ears. He releases the controls and Pandora reconfigures again, taking the form a large cannon that is taller than Dante. Dante takes the controls on either side of Pandora. Spectral energy builds in the center of the cannon. It is not long before the demon weapon reaches full power. Pandora crackles with energy. Dante gives one more look at Phantasmaraneae to see that the demon spider is also ready. The massive ball it created roils with unearthly fire. The heat emitting from it begins to melt and distort the asphalt below. Phantasmaraneae anchors itself with its front claws; then, with one final charge of power, it sends the whirling hellfire at Dante. Dante watches the approaching “meteor”.

“Well, it looks like you overstayed your welcome. It’s time for you to punch out!” he says. Squeezing the handles, Dante fires a beam of spectral light from Pandora that collides with the fire ball and begins pushing it back. The resulting shockwave blasts buildings on either side to ruin and obliterates the asphalt directly underneath.

Phantasmaraneae looks on in horror as it watches its own attack rush back at it. It screams. Pandora’s spectral light beam sends both the demon spider and the fire ball screaming back through the portal. Following a thunderous rumble, the portal closes.

Pandora breaks down and returns to its standard form of a briefcase. Dante flips the weapon over his shoulder and turns to face Bayonetta just as her hair-comprised clothing returns to her body. He sees that she is weakened from using so many summoning spells back to back. But he knows she will fight it off and then fight him. “Hey Witchy Lady, got something to show you,” Dante says before whipping Pandora to the ground. The weapon may now have the form of an ordinary briefcase but this form is also a weapon. In fact, it’s Pandora’s most powerful form. Dante opens the case. A magnificent white light shrouds everything in its radiance.