Vergil lay in the shallow waters, drawing in each ragged breath as the world spun around him. The smell of burnt meat and the taste of copper saturated his senses.
For the moment that he remained there, confused and wary as he tried to determine the sorry state his body was in. What ... just happened? As he wheezed, his eyesight began to return to one of his eyes, the other was still fogged and distorted.
He could see his hand where he held the Yamato, his palm clasped tight around its hilt. The pain in his extremities so great there was barely any sensation in his arms or his legs, his fingertips were blackened, he could no longer feel them.
There was a ringing in his ears, a nagging in his mind.
Why? Everything hurt, and if he moved it would just cause more pain.
Still, the nagging continued.
Heeding the nagging, he pushed himself to his knees, hunched over himself as he shifted to brace the Yamato on the ground of the shallow waters. The fresh strain of pain that coursed through his body as he stood shocked his brain awake, he focused his good eye on the reflection in the water before him.
The three glowing orbs of lightning, hanging ominously in the air. Vergil lifted his gaze to the source, the orbs framed by an angelic statuesque creature, whose cracks belied something far more sinister beneath the perfect stone.
It all came rushing back then, the last fifteen minutes of complete and utter hell of fighting this demon. The first five of which he had spent using everything he had in his repertoire to make any dent in the stone, the three after that he’d been flicked like a speck of dirt and sent flying through countless pillars, two after that to get back to the fight, only to be smashed by a stone-clad fist. He remembered getting one good parry, one good blow in the four minutes before being electrocuted. The intensity of which his healing factor could not compensate for, despite his demonic lineage as his body fried.
He remembered collapsing.
How long had he spent on the ground? He knew not.
It seemed surreal that he’d been allowed this respite, the time to recover from such a blow. It dawned on the Son of Sparda that despite the countless blows he’d landed, but one had made any dent in the Demon King. Yet he’d been struck but three times, and he was already in such a sorry state.
“Ah, there it is,” Bellowed the demon prince of darkness, the mere echo of the voice caused the air around him to tremble, “The smell of fear.”
Vergil flinched, realizing he was the one trembling, not the air. He grimaced, his grip tightening on the Yamato. No, he was not as weak as to fear this tyrant. So why couldn’t he get the shaking under control?
“Tell me, child, do you have a better sense than your father?” Vergil was confused at first, what the Demon King meant, “Will you yield?”
Swallowing his fear, it was useless to him, he once again took a fighting stance. “I will not.” He ignored the trembling, it was his just residual effects from his nerve endings being electrocuted, he told himself.
Unamused as he was, the statue form of Mundus reached toward Vergil. There was a crackling in the air, and though he flinched at the sound, Vergil managed to dodge the lightning bolt, his body screaming at him as he did so. He had to keep moving. Dodging out of the way. Keeping his distance. When Vergil finally saw an opening he seized it, leaping toward Mundus to strike the jewel affixed to the center of his forehead. Logic told him it would be dangerous, but there was always a wind-up time between lightning blasts, that was the window of opportunity to deal the bastard a mighty blow. However Vergil never reached the jewel, his trajectory halted as he was swatted once again like a bug from the air. Sent flying into the shallow waters of the ruins. As he forced himself back to his feet he saw the giant stone hand come down at him once again, having barely enough time to parry the blow.
As Yamato connected with the stone hand, Vergil dug his heels in as well as he could in the waterlogged dirt and stone underfoot. There was but a moment where he was sure, confident, that he may be getting somewhere when the Yamato shattered.
Shock permeated through him, and it seemed but for a moment that time stood still. Eyes widened to the point of strain. A cold shiver shook through him.
The cracks spider-webbed up the blade, crackling like reconstituted rice, or the sound ice makes when placed in water that was too warm.
Metal breaking off into chips. Small pieces, inconsequential at first. Until it burst like splintering glass, only the sound was sharper, heavier.
The scant light of the ruins refracting off the kaleidoscope of shards that now surrounded him.
With the absence of the blade, unable to change his own trajectory, his face connected with the stone, and he was sent flying in the opposite direction, too late to recover, he hit the ground hard.
A gasp escaped him as he felt his back crack harshly, his momentum causing his body to skip like a flat rock across the water. Each impact broke something new until he finally came to a stop. Though not as disoriented as before, his injuries prevented him from returning to his feet too quickly. It was a struggle to even prop himself up by his elbows, the state of his back caused him a profound amount of trouble as he forced his legs underneath him. He /had/ to get standing, he couldn’t be caught like this. The ground shook with each step of the demon’s approach, causing the water to ripple and wave. Vergil managed to stand at the cusp of the demon king’s arrival, only to be riddled with vines that speared through his flesh, breaking the bones that had just knitted back together, locking him in place.
The ground beneath him shook as the chunk was lifted into the air, excess water flowed from its edges until there was but a small pull beneath Vergil. At first, Vergil did not catch what the demon king was saying, his body protesting too loudly, the list of where there was pain kept growing each passing moment. He did finally focus on what was being said when he heard his father’s name.
“...Son of Sparda. Son of a traitor.” The disdain his the tone palpable, “If he had not lost his demon pride and took humans to his bed, he could have had a son worthy of his name. Yet here you are, a perversion of our kind.”
The chuckle sent a chill down his spine, “Fortunate that the whore that bore you perished. It is a shame that my forces did not come across Sparda that day, he might have been able to save her.”
Vergil gritted his teeth, “Are you done?!” He snapped.
Silence hung between them for what seemed like an eternity, “Such insolence, you show me ire, yet the stench of fear betrays you.”
As Vergil opened his mouth to retort, a vine hand wrapped firmly around his neck, stopping him from speaking. Choking him until his lungs were burning for air, his vision blurred. Yamato fell from his grip, though reflexively he tried to grasp it again, his fingertips catching on the end of the pommel as it fell. Plunking into the water below him, out of reach. Once it became clear that the vines would not let up, once his head pounded and black splotches appeared in his vision, only then did Vergil struggle against the vines. Desperate for air.
“Ego, terror, rage. Such intensity in your odor, conflicting each other. Foul emotion of the human heart. It cannot decide what it wants to be,” As the vine released his neck, Vergil gasped desperately for air, vertigo taking him as he hung uselessly among the vines.
“I will say, what you did not inherit from your father in strength, you make up for it in audacity.” What felt like more black vines crawled up his body, slow and deliberate this time. They had a warmth to them, sticky dampness.
The sensation causes him to shiver in disgust.
“It is time that you learned your place, Son of Sparda,” The slick, black vines wormed their way around his body, tightening around his chest and limbs. Once he was secured in their grasp he was yanked upward, away from the vined chunk of floating land. As he’s lifted, Vergil gets a glimpse of the source of these warm ‘vines’, their slick black sheen glinting out from the cracks of the statuesque demon. He realized then they were not vines at all. A cold panic-struck through him, and in his struggles, he ignored the pain from his broken body.
Vergil tried to shout as more tentacles surrounded him till he was lost in the pervasive darkness. The tips of the tentacles dug into the wounds of his flesh, boring into any unmarred skin, causing new wounds. Jerking when he felt his skull crack, dizzy as pain throbbed, blood trailing down his neck. Surviving only by the grace of his demonic blood, sure these injuries would kill any lesser creature. Still, he was not immune to instinct as panic struck him again as he struggled and writhed, disgusted and afraid. Yet he could gain no leverage.
“You still fight? Even when your body is at its limit? Commendable, if not foolish. It is clear your sordid nature would require a more... invasive approach.” Gagging as one of the tentacles shoved past his mouth and slicked its way down into his throat. The taste was vile and Vergil would have vomited if not for the invasion blocking him from doing so.
“I have heard of the delicate human spirit. Centered in the precious worship of their pathetic flesh. What is the phrase... That the body is a temple?” Desperately Vergil found only breath through his nostrils, the air thick and stale with the stench of the demon. Like burning molasses, it stung his senses.
“Do you hold such preconceptions?”
What was he talking about?
No sooner was the question voiced than the answer came when one of the tentacles tore open the back of his pants. Panic washed over him again, but he could do nothing but scream as the slick black thing ripped him open, filling him. His eyes stung as the tentacle writhed within him, causing him to squirm, tears pricking the corners of his eyes. Shame washing over him at the despicable invasion.
“So you do,” The chuckle that came from the demon caused the tentacles to vibrate and throb, earning fresh cries of muffled agony that splotched Vergil’s vision. Slow and deliberate, harsh and violently twisting in him, screaming into the tentacle down his throat, hot blood dripping down his legs. When at last, there seemed to be a lull in the tentacles activity, his vision returned. Relief was but a breath away.
Was it over?
“Do you understand now, Son of Sparda?”
No, it wasn’t.
Mundus booming voice caused slight tremors through the tentacles, “When you came to Hell, you entered my realm. All things and creatures of my realm belong,”
Vergil gave a muffled yelp as the tentacles moved once more, pulsating as they bulged as if something was moving through them.
“Body and Soul,”
Once the intruding substance entered through his mouth, into his skull, through his skin, into his ass, he felt a cold and vile wave of foreign sensation rush through him, making him sick. The feverish cold threatening to consume him, filling him with a shameful bliss that was unnatural. Eyes rolling back as he quickly became drunk on the energy of the more powerful demon as the thick muck coursed into him.
The invasion of the essence into his mind, ripping through his senses like a blender, was a horrific experience. Where he should be feeling pain, anguish, there was also pleasure and pressure. A cocktail of erotic humiliation, profound contempt, venereal craving, and fleshly avidity that was blinding.
Just make it stop!
The conflict of this horror and the euphoria of the corruption coursing through him left him in the throes of obscene torment, and raw, erogenous terror.
Too much for him to handle, Vergil blacked out. Mundus’ last words seemed distant, but he heard them well enough.
“Now, so do you.”
When Vergil woke, he had the sensation of deja-vu. The world spun around him as he lay on the cold, damp stone. His hair shrouded his vision.
No, that wasn’t accurate.
While hair was in his face, as he moved his head it was clear that his vision was distorted. Everything was covered in a thin sheen of rouge. This strange change of perception caused the environment to lag, the edges bleeding, leaving ghost images behind as he surveyed the room he was in.
It was circular, light poured in from the caged ceiling high above him, dim as it was, the sound of dripping water. The only door in the place was made of some sort of dark metal, with no handle on the inside.
Familiar and yet he could not place why.
As he shifted to sit, he winced at the sharp pain that ran through him. Checking himself for wounds, he immediately found that his clothes were worn, tattered, and looked eerily... old. Dusted and ruddy, the royal blue of the silk now darkened to that of the deep sea.
Cold creeping down his spine at the sight as he gently touched the frayed ends of the cloth.
Regardless, the heavy, wet clothes made him shiver, so he discarded them for now. His vest was worn as well, torn in a few places, he unzips it to check the most prominent source of pain, his chest. What he finds stills his breath, over his left breast, where his heart should be, there was a deep, throbbing wound. Yet it did not bleed. Instead, from the center of the wound his veins had blacked and gorged, his skin as pale as ash, and dare he says it looked to be cracking. Where it cracked a bit of blue light sprang forth, ever so soft.
Shortly he realized that this strange condition wasn’t just on his torso. In fact, he could only guess that it spread to his entire body.
Touching one of the areas with the heaviest affliction was like he was poking his skin with a hot brand, yet at the same time, it felt clammy and distant like he was not touching his own flesh.
Affixed around his neck, was a cold iron collar, with matching manacles on his wrists and ankles. His wrists showed a considerable amount of chafing, to the point where the edges where it met his skin showed signs of injury. Vergil sneered at the sight of them, realizing they did not appear to have a seam or method of locking them. Just a loop for something to hook onto. So they were somehow enchanted, then?
Whatever... Questions for later.
Moving to stand, as soon as he put weight on his left leg it immediately shocked him with pain and gave out from under him, leaving him sprawling on the floor once again. Staying put, for now, he instead rested his body against one of the curved walls.
Surveying the room revealed a few wood plates near the door, there was the smell of old blood that had been washed away, but not entirely. He leaned over to smell collect a bit of the blood from patch nearest him, sniffing at the still wet sample.
How badly had he been injured by Mundus?
He knew the answer, and it caused a disgusted shudder to slither through him.
Distinctly though, he remembered his back had been broken. He shouldn’t be able to move. Not yet anyhow.
For that matter, he didn’t remember sustaining a broken leg during the battle. But perhaps he had acquired it in the struggle of the... He shook the images from his head.
Trying to discern the inconsistencies forced a migraine to throb, “Ugh...” his voice was raw, strained and painful to use. Had he really screamed that much? Or was the invasion that harmful to his vocal cords?
Either way, he felt a hot wave of shame streak through him, trying again shaking off the details of what happened to him. They didn’t matter much now, did they? The bottom line was that he was captured, trapped.
Returning his gaze to surveying the room, on the far left wall was a pile of what he could only surmise was some sort of dried grass, a matted wad of cloth that he didn’t recognize. Possibly from the previous denizens. Near the makeshift bed there were marks on the wall, as he scooted closer he discovered they were tallies. Twelve sets of five. Plus three more.
Is that how many the previous prisoner stayed here?
Just sixty-three days? The marks looked quite fresh, perhaps they passed away or were moved.
Vergil rested next to the tally marks, his body already weary from the bit of movement he had exerted. He rested his face into his good knee, grimacing at his own weakness and unaccounted exhaustion. Wincing when his hip pinched, though it was so persistent he had to resort shifting to loosen the pinched nerve by laying to his side.
That was better.
Though he’d been forcing the thoughts away, they came back to him, full forced and clear, he remembered the humiliation of defeat and rape he had endured. He tried once more to shake it from his mind, eyes prickling with a burning sensation, biting back nausea and the metallic taste of pre-disgorge crawling at the back of his throat. Swallow it down. Ignore it. As far as he was concerned it was... a lesson. He won’t make the same mistakes, he’d be quicker, more tactful. Less recklessness. More care, more awareness. That sounds right. Focus on distance attacks with Yamato next time.
It came back to him. The moment it had shattered, the feeling of shock and dread. Vergil sneered at the damp floor, grimacing against his good knee, his grip tightening on the trousers.
The corners of his eyes stung again as the sound of Yamato shattering rang through his ears again as if it just happened. He fucked up. But how? How did he fail to make up for the disproportion of strength? He was prepared, perhaps not as much as he would have planned to be...
No, not nearly as much as he had planned to be.
He /should/ have had his father’s legendary sword. Baring that he should have had the core of the sword, Force Edge, with him. Yet he left it in favor of taking the amulet. Reflexively he reached for his neck, freezing when he realized what he should have minutes earlier, that the weight of his mother’s amulet was missing from his neck. No...
Vergil searched himself, then turned his gaze toward his discarded clothes. Wincing as he pulled leaned enough to grasp the tattered end of his jacket to pull it closer, rifling through every pocket to find it, yet it was missing. Frustrated and pained, he tossed his jacket aside in a gruff growl that scratched his throat, searching his vest now, he quickly tossed that aside as well when there was no amulet to be found.
“DAMN IT!” he croaked out, wincing at the state of his voice. Swallowing to try to calm the torn and worn muscles. A small glint in the corner of his eyes caught his attention, and he snapped his head toward the shine, shimmying to the bedding to yank off the pitiful cloth draping atop the grass.
There it was, nestled among the dried, milk-white grass, was the amulet, its brilliant ruby shining as it caught the dim light above. Cradling it in his hand, he pressed it against his forehead, the flurry of emotion and panic calming instantly as he sat back against the cold stone. His thumb gently grazing over the edges of the gold rim surrounding the ruby. It was safe, it was here. He didn’t lose it.
When he was calm, he sat up once more, gently moving his leg to get a better look at the wound. Checking the leg as he carefully pulled up the pant leg out from under his boots. Not that his pants served a purpose in covering him anymore, the back having been ripped open... Still, he was not so swift to part with them just yet.
There was a lot of swelling, but no bleeding or open wounds, a distinct throbbing at the shin that told him the limb was broken. Even so, there was the familiar tingling sensation that told him it was healing nicely, That was a start. With a sigh he leaned back against the cold of the stone, shivering with embarrassment and chill as his bare ass rested on the damp floor. His gaze settling on the wood plates near the door.
Scooting over to the door, he took one of the plates and tried to break it. When he could not he tried to use the corner of the door frame as leverage, finally breaking it after too many tries, he immediately felt spent from the exertion. No, he would not entertain this weakness. Leaning against the door, he used the plate as to rip up some of the cloth from the bed, then used the length of it as a splint.
Once the splint was secure he rested, vertigo took him as the room felt like it was spinning again.
He may have fallen asleep, the shift of metal next to him shocking him awake. There was a voice, he did not understand the language, but he waited for the right moment. Watching it carefully as it’s gangly limb shoved a wooden plate of something muck that could hardly pass as food through.
Vergil clasped his hand around the arm, pinning it to the floor. When the demon yelped Vergil grinned, using the sharper piece of broken plate, he stabbed through into the creature’s metacarpals to pin its arm there.
In that same moment something sent his body into a fit of pain, the source of pain he could not identify as it felt like it was squeezing, scratching, and crackling its way through every inch of him. He stiffened and collapsed onto the floor, trying to grasp, to inhale some air into his burning lungs, but getting nothing.
By the time he had even begun to recover the feeding door had been closed, the fresh plate and its contents left behind. His throat burned, his fingertips tingled, his body throbbed and pulsed. His heart pounding frantically, desperately in his ears, his chest felt tight as he rasped at every breath; and these were not careful breaths. These were desperate gulps of air like he was drowning.
For some time he could not move, when he did manage to, as his breathing finally steadied, he forced his shaking body to a sitting position again, pausing for a long moment for nausea to settle before turning to look at the plate.
‘What the hell is this?’ was the obvious question on his mind as he retrieved the plate from its spot on the floor. Giving the plate a tentative sniff, grimacing at its strange, sulfuric undertone. It did smell like meat, though, so against his better judgment he picked up the slimy, what could only be described as a meatball, and bit into it. It was a grueling task to swallow the gamy meat, even more, to continue doing so till he was finished. The sauce like gravy it was served with wasn’t so bad, it had flavors he couldn’t name, all of them not as pleasant as any human dish, but it ... sufficed.
In the hours that passed, Vergil had used the stake he’d used on the gremlin of a demon earlier to carve at some of the stone making up the walls, to no true avail. So he just drove the stake in deep and hung his coat to dry. Using the cloth over the grass as a crude blanket, he tried to rest, yet with every subtle, half-heard the sound he found himself jolting awake.
It was useful, surely, that his instincts were on such high alert. But on the other hand, it was equally annoying when he needed the rest. It took hours longer than it should have for his leg to heal.
He was nearly drifting to a true sleep when something nagged at him to wake, he hadn’t heard anything dangerous or noteworthy, just the sound of water dripping more frequently than normal. A harmless noise, yet here he was, springing to wake on the bedding, his heart in his ears. Eyes darting around the small, circular prison, only looking up when the light began to dim above him. A sharp intake of breath stilled in him as he saw the culprit of his darkening room; there were long, black tentacles snaking down toward him.
Panic washed over him as he stumbled away from the length of the dark tendrils as they met the grate on the ceiling, rushing to grab the stake in the wall, yanking it out he used it to stab the nearest tendril when it got too close. In unison the tendrils snapped away at the cut he managed, momentarily frozen there before rushing at him. He struggled and stabbed at the black tentacles, yet he was quickly overrun.
The invasive tentacles tried forcing their way past his teeth no matter how hard he clenched, breaking a few of his incisors. Giving a shout as he was forced to the floor, yelping, and growling in protest. Gasping as they bore into the wound over his heart, choking then as his mouth and throat were taken. He struggled against the tendrils as they snaked around his body, yet he could not stop as his body was contorted, spread wide as the tentacles drove deep into him. He would shout if he could, in shame, and pain as his body was again ravaged violently by the cold invasive embrace that must be Mundus, yet he’d spoken no words to him.
None of it gentle.
A violent tussle of pressure and blood. It was clear that his pleasure wasn’t the point, as he was stretched and filled, unable to protest against the harsh rhythm forced into him, draining him of strength as he struggled against every passing moment. His head swimming when the tentacles pulsated, pumping that ichor into his body until he was delirious. Until finally, he was dropped harshly onto his back, covered in sweat and the remnants of the corrupting ichor.
(That could likely be his cum. That thought alone was nauseating.)
Vertigo, the exhaustion prevented him from moving right away, and when he could he turned to his side to heave and retch until he could no more. He had no energy to brood over his lost lunch.
Noticing that it was light in his chamber again, telling him that the tendrils had retreated once more. Checking skyward just to make sure he was alone. Quietly, he stayed there, until the cold on his skin was too much to bear. Only then did he move back to the bedding, finding the amulet, he clutched it to his chest. Vergil bore his tired glare into the stone of the wall before him, his rose tinged gaze glossing as tears came unbidden, stinging sharply.
He would have spoken his ire aloud if he thought his voice would work.
He knew it wouldn’t.
As his gaze drifted to the tallies on the wall, then to the tattered coat crumpled on the ground near him, he ruminated on his scent all over the room, on the tolerance of the food, and the discarded plates near the door. On the amulet being hidden in the bedding...
... Vergil reached up to trace his hand on the wall, counting the tallies again. Sixty-three tallies. Catching sight of his chafed wrists, the wounds were reopened. He watched as a bead of blood dripped down to his elbow, and dropped into the bedding, in the same spot among the grass as another stain of blood. It was older, drier. Surely it had been there for a while. Picking up one of the dried, stained shreds of grass, he sniffed at it.
It was his blood.
In the quiet, he stilled for countless moments before picking a small, worn chunk of stone from the corner where the wall met the floor, reaching to scratch one more line into the wall of tallies.
With the job done, he sat back,