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Chapter One: Tough Guy and DecentiusEdit

Hazy purple and pink lights flooded the club, and dirty, dirty druggies and whores danced to the beat of the cheap music. In this midst of it wall walked one man, unremarkable when compared to the others, but somehow more fierce and dangerous looking. His clothing was ragged but stylish in this city. A simple white tank top, dark jeans, and thick boots. Tucked into his belt, strangely, were two pistols...

His eyes were locked on a single woman who stood out from the others. Long blonde hair she had, and she wore a skintight vest and jeans that seemed to be a size too large for her. Her most stunning feature, though, was her dim green eyes. She didn't see him at first, but when he came close to her, she had taken a liking to him immediately.

Alcohol, and music, and some drugs... Now, they were outside the nightclub, hidden under the cover of the shadows in the alley. The menacing man pushed her up against a wall, to which she didn't resist. He leaned in close, an anxious grin on his face, and...

She pulled a gun to him and held it to his forehead. She smiled and pulled the trigger. The last thing he felt was the top of his skull splitting into bloody chunks, and the moist chunks of his brain scattering in all directions.

Chrissa smiled delightedly and tucked her gun back into her pocket. Looks like Amerigo wasn't as tough as she'd thought. It was a shame, though, she thought. From all the hype she had heard about him, he just couldn't measure up. She turned to walk away, but she heard his voice call out, which was quite a shock.

"Ouch, that hurt," he exclaimed calmly. Chrissa turned back and saw Amerigo stand up painlessly, while the top of his head quickly regenerated. Watching the strips of flesh flap about in the air before returning to their home on his skull was a disgusting sight.

"Well, well. It looks like I was wrong about you, Amerigo," Chrissa acknowledged. Amerigo cracked his knuckles and grinned his signature grin. His tank top was spattered with blood, but he didn't seem to care.

"What, did you think I was a pussy?" he remarked sarcastically.

"I think you can help me out." said Chrissa intuitively.

...

This was the rural city of La Montañeses. Medieval-era cobblestone buildings were the only structures to be seen aside from a few modern houses tucked into the crevices of the town. It was unbelievably different from Amerigo's home city Nova Hejmo. A towering church building stood out in the distance, and the huge bronze bell within its tower was clearly visible.

"This is my hometown. Nice, don't you think?" Chrissa asked simply. Amerigo didn't say anything, but he exhaled heavily. Not quite a sigh, but not normal breathing.

"Yeah, sure, it's okay. I guess. Too damn quiet if you ask me," complained Amerigo. Chrissa didn't respond to his obvious insult. "So, why did you bring me here, exactly? I sure as hell ain't here for sightseeing or some shit."

"La Montañeses might look nice on the surface, but there's darkness under that pure surface," Chrissa snapped suddenly. Amerigo widened his eyes and leaned back, pretending to be intimidated.

"Whoa, just take it easy, man," he jived. The town looked pretty nice to him, unlike Nova Hejmo. Amerigo didn't see how anything bad could be hidden in such an ordinary looking little town.

"Somewhere in the walls of the church -- you can see it from here -- is an ancient holy artifact called Decentius. It's a golden coin whose origins are not of this world... As you may have guessed, it can be used to gain incredible power, good or evil," Chrissa explained.

"And? What, do you want me to go and grab the coin for you? Tch, not a chance, lady," Amerigo whined. Chrissa gave him a serious look.

"No, Amerigo. There's a rich man who came to La Montañeses in search of Decentius. His name is Naramna, and he's not exactly "right" in the head. He was probably normal once... but I think he corrupted himself from his extensive rituals in trying to gain demonic powers... He did succeed in that," Chrissa went on, "I need you to help me find Decentius before Naranma does. We'll head to the church soon, so-"

"And who the fuck says I'd agree to all this?" Amerigo interrupted rudely. He yawned and scratched his chin.

"Me. If Naranma finds Decentius, then the whole world could be in danger. Do you really want to be the indirect cause of the end of the world?" Chrissa scolded. Amerigo shrugged.

"I've come close to directly ending the world before, so it wouldn't be a big deal," he replied with sarcasm.

Chapter Two: ChurchEdit

The base of the church was wider than it should have been. To make things more unusual, there were no windows on any of the elongated sections. It was as if something was... hidden. The only windows on the entire building were the stained glass portrait above the tall wooden doors and on the walls of the tower. Amerigo looked more closely at the portrait above the door and saw that it depicted an angelic being holding her hand out to a common man. In her hand was a coin.

"Here we are," Chrissa said. Amerigo was still looking over the church vacantly, so he didn't hear her.

"What's with the big, windowless spots?" he asked randomly. Chrissa looked to the area that he was looking, as if to understand what he meant.

"They say it's for storage, but they never say what it is that they have in there. Nobody that I know has ever been in there," replied Chrissa.

"Who's 'they'?" Amerigo questioned. Chrissa sighed impatiently and explained that she had meant the priests and other church officials. Amerigo walked up to the front doors and pushed on them, only to see that they were locked tightly.

"It's no use trying the doors. They're always locked on most days..." Chrissa said. Amerigo raised an eyebrow at her before turning back to the doors and kicking them wide open.

"Or you could... do that," muttered Chrissa. Without saying a word, Amerigo tramped inside, and Chrissa followed.

All the church benches were arranged in an odd pattern. They were grouped together in a square shape at either side of the main room of the church, as if covering something on the floor.

"What do you make of this?" Amerigo asked. Chrissa examined the benches for a few seconds before moving one of them off to the side, revealing a small trapdoor leading under the church.

"I think we've found our way to Decentius," Chrissa said delightedly. Amerigo followed her lead, and moved away one of the benches on the other side of the room. Sure enough, there was another trapdoor.

"Looks like we have to split up for this one," said Amerigo. Chrissa nodded.

"Alright. You take that path, and I'll take this one." she said quietly. Amerigo looked at her with his mouth open slightly and his eyes wide.

"Gee, ya think? Let's hurry up and get this over with. I have shit to do back in Nova Hejmo, so I'd like to be done here by the end of they day," he said sarcastically and rudely." Chrissa ignored the rude remark and went down the trapdoor. Amerigo did the same.

Amerigo found himself in a mostly empty cellar-like room. The only thing present was a table and a chair, sitting adjacent to him in the room. There was a crucifix and a small gem on the table. Amerigo picked it up and immediately felt hypnotized by it. His necklace -- the source of his demonic powers -- grew warm, and so did the gem. Without warning, the gem flew towards him and implanted itself into his necklace, and he felt a surge of energy flow through him. His hand started to spark, and he realized he could focus the sparks and make them stronger or weaker, and he eventually had small bolts of lightning at his fingertips.

"Not bad." he admired. He heard the trapdoor slam shut, and then a sizzling sound. He turned around and there, on the floor, was a black charred spot where a demon was beginning to emerge.

Within seconds, a deformed humanoid figure had appeared. Its body was grey and sharp looking, but muscular. One eye white eye was on its face, and it was encircled by an irritated red color. A matching eye was in the center of its stomach, and just below that was a gaping mouth that was drooling blood.

"Oh-ho-ho!" Amerigo laughed, "Just in time for me to test my new toy!" The demon screeched at him with its stomach-mouth and leaped at him, but Amerigo easily rolled out of the way and smiled. It had been a while since he had used his trusty scythe, actually. This would be a neat time for it, he thought. He held his arm out, and in his hand appeared a sphere of flames, which morphed into the shape of a delicate looking scythe. This scythe, though, was nowhere near delicate. Amerigo lunged at the demon and effortlessly sliced through it, but that didn't end it. The severed halves of the demon flailed on the floor before regrowing their lost sections and forming two more demons.

"Ah ha! So it's gonna be like that, huh? That's okay, I needed some exercise!" Amerigo mocked the twin demons, who roared and gurgled at him.

Chapter Three: Dubious DuplicatesEdit

The twin demons slashed at Amerigo at the same time, but he wasn't about to be taken down by that. He dodged the attack and countered with a swipe of his scythe, which once again sliced the two demons in half. Before they had a chance to regenerate, Amerigo finished off one of the halves with a flurry of bullets, but the other three halves still grew back into more demons.

"Uh-huh! Keep comin' at me, see what happens!" Amerigo taunted, whirling his scythe in the air and slicing the three demons into pieces, too small to regenerate into more demons. Amerigo whirled his scythe around once and it vanished with nothing more than a small flash of flames. As if on cue, a doorway opened up in the wall, leading even deeper into the church's secrets.

The next room Amerigo walked into was indeed an actual storage room, not unlike the claims of the priests.

"So they didn't lie after all, huh?" he remarked. The room was rather large, and it was packed up to the ceiling with strange crates. What could possibly be in all these crates, and why would a church need them? It suddenly came to him that they could be here as a diversion, an attempt to hide Decentius. These crates wouldn't stop him, though. He picked his way through the labyrinth of boxes, but he still found no exit.

"Alright, I'm sick of this shit," he said impatiently. He focused his energy into his hands, and bolts of electricity struck the crates around him. They ignited instantly, and they were reduced to nothing but ashes within only seconds. Just as Amerigo had thought, the crates were all empty. They were only a diversion. Creating a larger blast this time, he destroyed all the crates in the room. Now that the crates were gone, he could clearly see the entire room... and the menacing statue that stood in the center.

It was shaped like one of the demons he'd fought in the last room, but much larger. The walls started to bulge, and dozens of the smaller demons emerged from them and flew to the statue. They sank in, and the statue suddenly gained color and a fleshy texture. Then it came to life. Amerigo stood face to face with the enormous demon, with its dozens of eyes blinking at him over and over.

"I don't know what I expected," Amerigo said calmly, "But all I know is that this'll be a fun little game..." He summoned his scythe and grinned at the monstrous thing.

The demon roared and tried stomping on Amerigo, but he moved out of the way just in time and unleashed his fury. A barrage of bullets bombarded the demon, causing tiny chunks of its flesh to scatter into the air, but it still lived. The demon was full of rage now, and it grabbed hold of Amerigo and raised him into the air. Amerigo struggled to escape its grip, but it was too powerful. The demon hurled him across the room and slammed him into a wall. He heard the wall behind him crack. Amerigo pushed himself out of the wall and landed perfectly back on the floor.

"Heh, you'll need to try harder than that, you ugly fuck," he taunted the demon. The demon, on the other side of the room, prepared itself to charge, and Amerigo simply stood patiently and calmly. Then it ran at him at full speed and rammed itself into the wall. It was stuck, luckily. Amerigo took the opportunity to attack it with his scythe, and whirled it in circles like a saw. Large chunks of the demon's flesh were torn off, but they became smaller demons and surrounded Amerigo. Before Amerigo had a chance to do anything else, the huge demon freed itself and batted Amerigo away. Not only did he have to deal with the giant demon, but now he had dozens of the smaller ones to fight.

"Well... Looks like I'm in a bit of a pickle," Amerigo said nonchalantly, "Not exactly a problem for me, though. I've fought tougher demons than you shitty looking things."

...

The front doors of the church were wide open, which was highly unusual. A tall and menacing man entered, and scanned through the room in only a few moments. Decentius was here somewhere. He had only to find out where... He noticed that two passages in the floor were left exposed. That meant that somebody else had come here in search of the coin as well.

"Good... This makes things even easier..." the man whispered cruelly, "They'll find it for me..."

...

The last of the small demons was gone, and the huge one fell to the floor and melted away into a puddle of grey ooze. Amerigo threw his scythe up into the air, and it disappeared in a tiny little flare of light.

"Heh. See? Wasn't that hard," he said proudly. A hole opened up into the floor, where the statue had been before. That was the only way to go, so Amerigo leaped right down it.

Chapter Four: Puppet MasterEdit

The floor suddenly collapsed under Chrissa, and she plummeted into a deep pool of water. She swam back up and looked around, and found that she had fallen into a sewer beneath the church. Climbing onto the walkway next to the water, she suddenly heard an eerie giggle from the darkness around her. There was a wooden clunking sound, repeated over and over again, like wood blocks clanging together.

From the shadows appeared a lone puppet. It had four long and wiry arms, two of which held small triangular chakrams, and its legs were stumpy and short. It seemed to float along, its legs never touching the ground. The puppet's face was the most disturbing, though. It had a pentagram on it, and it had three eyes, two at the points on either side of the pentagram, and one at the top of the pentagram. But there was more than one. After the first appeared, more appeared behind it, all approaching Chrissa.

"Shit," said Chrissa. She grabbed her single gun and held it before her, prepared to fight back. One of the puppets suddenly created an uproar of insane laughter and leaped at her, but a few bullets put it to an end. The death of the first puppet provoked rage in the others, and suddenly Chrissa was surrounded on all sides. More puppets approached her from behind. She was cornered by the puppet demons. She had only a few shots left in her gun, so that wouldn't last long. She would be forced to resort to melee combat. She reached into her pocket and pulled out what appeared to be a small canister and pressed a button on it. It immediately extended into a full-length sword, with a squared off tip. The demons crowded around her, piercing her with their chakrams, but she fought them off temporarily with fierce strikes of her sword. Every slash took out demon after demon. They seemed to be incredibly weak, but more and more kept coming.

Then Chrissa noticed the blood red strings which suspended them in the air. She realized that if she cut these, they would be destroyed much easier. Chrissa readied herself, and then jumped into the air, swinging her sword at the mass of red strings. Within seconds, more than half of the demon swarm had disappeared, and the rest of them fled fearfully. They all moved in the same direction, Chrissa noticed. There must have been something there...

Chrissa sprinted through the sewer until she came to a wall of iron bars. It was a dead end. But that left her wondering how the puppets had passed here... She examined the area quickly and realized that the bars didn't extend to the bottom of the water in the sewer. She could easily swim under and get to the other side.

As soon as Chrissa surfaced from the water on the other side of the bars, distorted theatrical music rang out from the darkness. She cautiously walked into the shadows, until bright lights flooded her eyes, revealing that she was suddenly standing on a stage of some sort. Blood was dripping down from the ceiling, mysteriously. Chrissa looked up and saw a hideous being hanging upside down from the ceiling. Its body was battered and beaten horribly, and blood was flowing from its torn and bruised skin. It held cross-shaped wooden planks in its hands -- a control bar with which to control marionette puppets.

As soon as she looked up, the demon noticed her and grunted. Its face was mangled and barely recognizable, with only one eye remaining intact. The demon broke away from the ceiling and slammed itself down onto the stage. It raised its arms high into the air, and four crimson strings shot out from the control bar and wrapped themselves around Chrissa's arms and legs, taking control of her. She was whipped around the stage, as though she were dancing wildly and madly. She was finally pulled high into the air and thrown into the floor, and the strings broke. Chrissa stood up painfully and fired her last few shots at the demon, but it did little good. The demon leaped up into the air and summoned four puppets. They resembled the smaller ones, but were twice their size and drenched in blood and acid. They jived around the room aimlessly, too quick for Chrissa to attack. She decided to try to focus on the huge demon, but that proved to be a mistake. As soon as she began to ignore the small demons, they attacked her all at once. One of them hurled its chakram at her and sliced a deep wound into her arm, and the others bashed themselves into her, knocking her over.

Angered and weakened, Chrissa hacked and hacked at the four demons, slicing the strings that gave them life. The huge demon jumped down from the air and tried to attach strings to Chrissa again, but failed when she sliced them before they could tie themselves to her. The demon roared and jumped up and down angrily, creating multiple lines of shock waves that ravaged the stage. Chrissa ran at the demon and stabbed her sword into its chest, which actually seemed to hurt it. It cried out in outrage and threw her to the other end of the room, but she managed to land gracefully to avoid being harmed by the fall. The monstrous entity summoned four more of the puppets, which immediately began dancing around the room crazily. They all threw their weapons at Chrissa, but she was smart enough to dodge them this time. Taking the demons out was considerably easier now that they were unarmed.

"Alright, you bastard! I'm coming for you next!" Chrissa shouted at the demon, which reacted with an animalistic scream. Chrissa leaped up to its face and impaled her sword all the way through the demon's head, creating a spurt of blood from both sides. The demon fell backwards and its heavy body crashed into the floor, and it finally died. Chrissa withdrew her sword from its dead face and sighed in exhaustion.

She was no longer standing on the stage, but back in the sewer. In front of her was a long staircase, leading up to the surface.

Chapter Five: Fish FaceEdit

Amerigo was falling, and falling, and falling, but he didn't know where he was going. It was now that he regretted thoughtlessly jumping down the hole in the middle of the room. Just when he thought the fall would never end, he landed in a deep pool of water in a circular room.

Looking back up, he realized that he had jumped through a pipe, and there were four more of them on the ceiling. Amerigo swam around in the water, trying to find a way out of the room, but he could find none. Instead, he plunged beneath the water and darted to the bottom of the pool, where he saw a strange shape. It was a colossal serpentine creature, resembling an eel of some kind. But, it appeared to have six insect-like legs near its face. It saw Amerigo, and it lunged at him and snapped its jaws at him, producing a bright flash. Amerigo propelled himself back to the surface of the water and leaped into the air, providing temporary safety from the serpent. Behind him, the creature flew out of the water and crashed into the wall before vanishing back into the pool. Within moments, the creature swam back to the surface and hissed aggressively.

"Huuuuman!" it roared, "You couldn't comprehend how long I have awaited my next meal!" Amerigo waded in the water away from the monster and grinned.

"Yeah? Well, you couldn't comprehend how long I've awaited a challenging fight, fish face!" Amerigo shouted mockingly. The giant serpent hissed and sped through the water at him, but Amerigo dived downwards to avoid its charge and summoned his scythe. While the serpent was still above him, he rocketed upwards through the water and hacked at the snake's underside.

"You pest! I will devour yoooouuu!" his enemy roared in rage. The snake plunged into the water with Amerigo and charged at him, snapping its jaws ferociously. With every snap of its jaws, a fierce burst of light and heat exploded around Amerigo, stunning him. The serpent clamped its jaws around Amerigo, and he was quickly sucked down into the monster's throat.

"Sshhit!" Amerigo yelled. He remembered the power he gained from the gem in the cellar of the church, and focused electricity into his hands. Suddenly the walls of the serpent's throat were ablaze with electrical light, and Amerigo was forced upwards by a sudden wave of vomit. He was propelled out of the snake's mouth with great speed, and was shot all the way across the room. Above him, the serpent coiled up in pain and convulsed from the electricity. Amerigo withdrew his guns and aimed up, towards the snake, and unleashed a watery fury. Every bullet fired was surrounded by a fiery, electrical aura, and electrified the water around them. As each bullet connected with the serpent, it twitched violently and became angrier.

"You vile creature! My hunger has been replaced with sheer hatred!" the serpent screeched. It thrashed around in the water and created an underwater cyclone which pulled Amerigo up to the surface. He was thrown out of the water, and the snake leaped at him, jaws wide open. Amerigo flew into the wall, but he planted his feet perfectly against it and kicked himself off of it, towards the enraged serpent. He swung his scythe just as he passed by its face and gouged out one of the snake's eyes. A huge gash was left along the snake's side, but it still wasn't done fighting.

"I am done with you, human!" the serpent screamed, "Leave my domain!" The serpent bashed its face against Amerigo and sent him rocketing up into one of the pipes at an impossible speed, out of the room. He flew out the other end of the pipe and crashed through a weak wooden wall, and tumbled downwards. When his fall finally ended, he found himself in a huge chamber, with statues depicting angelic and demonic creatures, and an altar in the center of the room. Placed on the altar was a golden coin.

Chapter Six: Naranma's TrinityEdit

Amerigo approached the altar and stopped just a few feet in front of it. He crouched down and blew away the dust covering the floor, revealing a tripwire. His eyes followed the wire up to the ceiling, where a spiked panel was suspended in the air.

"Not today, heh," Amerigo laughed. He stepped carefully over the tripwire and snatched the coin from the pedestal. "So, this is Decentius..." he whispered. He was intrigued by its shiny coloration.

"I gladly thank you for finding my coin for me," a voice called out from the darkness. Amerigo turned back and aimed his pistols in front of him, but he saw no one. Then, out of a hidden doorway walked a tall, menacing man with blazing golden eyes, eyes as gold as Decentius. He wore a white trench coat and even whiter pants, and a peculiar scar marked his right hand.

"Ah, I take it you're our spoiled guest looking for this pretty little coin," Amerigo mocked, holding the coin out towards the man, "Naranma, I think your name was?"

The man smiled and pulled a cigar from his pocket. He held it in his left hand, and he ignited it with a flame that burst from his right arm, with the scar.

"You know, I've worked a long time to find that little coin," Naranma hissed, "so it would be quite rude of you to keep it from me."

Amerigo looked at the coin and then slipped it into his pocket. "Looks like I'm the jerk here, huh?" he smirked. Naranma shifted his weight to his right leg and pulled the cigar from his mouth, then sighed.

"So, you shall have it your way?" the evil man began, "Then allow me to let my little pet have some fun..." Naranma stepped back and clapped his hands, and the scar on his right hand began glowing a golden color, and a shape appeared in the air, composed of only bright yellow light. It was a vaguely humanoid shape, with sharp points and what appeared to be three inhuman heads. Then it became totally clear, revealing a metallic beast shielded in heavy armor, and its three beast heads thrashed and gnawed in the air. The monstrosity stood on its arms and legs, unable to stand in an upright position due to its body composition. The three heads stuck out from the body at unnatural and terrifying angles, with the apparent main head dangling miserably from what should be the monster's chest. The remaining two heads grew closer to the shoulders than they did to what should be the hideous thing's neck. Two things, however, were shared by all three of the heads -- the gaping jaws filled with crooked teeth, and the raging golden eyes. On the monster's back was a pair of featherless wings, looking broken and deformed.

"This is Trinity, my little pet!" Naranma roared, "Trinity is no ordinary demon. Its body is infused with the strongest metals I could buy, coupled with the hundreds of souls within its three heads!" Amerigo looked unimpressed.

"Yeah, yeah. Cut the crap. This ain't no middle school science fair. I'll take out that thing like the tin can that it is!" Without hesitation, Amerigo began firing at the demon. In response, it leaped up into the air and plunged its claws into the ceiling, and opened all three of its mouths. Balls of blue energy congregated within its jaws, and a triple laser beam exploded down to the floor, but Amerigo dodged the attack and landed gracefully out of the demon's attack range.

"Try a little harder than that, you sack of shit!" he insulted the demon. The demon roared and flew from the ceiling back onto the floor, and stood up on its hind legs. In its one humanoid arm appeared a silver blade, with flames raging at the tip. The demon charged at Amerigo, who leaped over the demon and summoned his scythe in midair before charging straight at Naranma instead. He slashed his scythe at the evil man, who was thrown back with an impossibly minor wound to his chest.

"Ah, you wish for a fight with me? Then prepare to experience incredible suffering!" Naranma's scar blazed to life, this time turning a blue color and emitting blue sparks. Amerigo jumped backwards and realized he was virtually trapped between Trinity and Naranma. But, he still had a trick up his sleeve. Trinity was the first to attack, and it lunged at Amerigo and attempted to grab him in its clawed hand, but wasn't fast enough.

Now Amerigo stood on the other side of the tripwire, beckoning for the demon to attack him.

"Get the fuck over here if you want a piece of me!" he taunted. The demon got down on all fours again and ran at Amerigo, but its leg caught the tripwire, and the spiked panel plummeted down from the ceiling and crushed one of the demon's heads. There was a sickening cracking sound and a splatter of blood, accompanied by an agonized howl before the demon retreated back to its master, its destroyed head hanging in shredded pieces. Naranma stared in disbelief at Trinity and looked back to Amerigo, now enraged.

"Decentius shall be mine, you cretin!" Naranma's scar turned green, and Amerigo was hoisted up into the air by an unseen force. Out of his pocket floated the coin, which raced through the air and landed in the palm of Naranma's hand.

"Shit, this didn't go as planned," muttered Amerigo. He was thrown back to the floor unexpectedly, which prevented any sort of immediate reaction. As if on cue, Chrissa suddenly burst into the room through yet another hidden door and fired three shots at Naranma, but it had no effect. Trinity flew from the shadows and hurled Chrissa across the room, in an attempt to protect its master.

"I win, and you lose," Naranma growled, "And now, my power will be greatly amplified by my new little toy."

Trinity bashed the ground, and a twisted black portal appeared, which Naranma and Trinity both casually strolled into. Before it closed, Amerigo jammed his scythe into the center of the portal, which held it open.

"Well, the portal is open. Care to head in?" Amerigo gestured to the portal, implying that Chrissa follow them. Chrissa crossed her arms.

"The world is at stake, Amerigo. Don't you think that you'd stand a better chance against Naranma than I would?" she scolded. Amerigo crossed his arms, mocking her. Finally, he made his decision.

"Alright, I'll head in. Just do me a favor first," he said oddly, "Help me get my scythe out of the portal first." Chrissa squinted her eyes, but she obeyed. She grabbed hold of the scythe stuck halfway in the portal. Then, Amerigo shoved her down into the portal and then leaped in himself. They would both pursue Naranma.

Chapter Seven: A Show to Be RememberedEdit

Amerigo and Chrissa found themselves just outside the walls of a castle-like fortress atop a hill. At the foot of the hill was a tiny little town, appearing to be quite poor and ragged.

"What were you thinking, Amerigo?!" Chrissa yelled discontentedly. Amerigo shrugged and walked to the gates of the castle, which were surprisingly left agape. When Chrissa didn't follow, he turned back to her with his arms crossed.

"Um, there was a reason I pushed you into that portal with me. C'mon," he said impatiently. Chrissa checked her gun and sighed.

"Fine, but I'm out of ammo," she muttered. Amerigo tilted his head wonderingly for a moment, and then examined his own gun.

"Funny, I haven't given any thought to ammo for a long time. Demonic guns, infinite ammo, ya know?" he chuckled, "You're good with that sword, right? Just, eh, rely on that, I guess." With those final words, he headed into the castle. To Amerigo's dismay, the doors shut behind him, separating Amerigo and Chrissa.

Chrissa realized she was trapped outside now. She searched for another possible way in, and found a window that appeared to lead into the second floor. That was her only way in. After backing up a short distance, she sprinted at the wall of the castle and ran up the side, and caught her hand on the windowsill. She hung helplessly for a moment, but she managed to pull herself in. The first thing she saw were more puppets similar to the ones she had seen in the sewer, but these ones were motionless and lacked strings. Nonetheless, they still unnerved her.

The floor of the castle was shiny and sleek-looking, probably made from polished granite. A chandelier covered in red candles hung from the ceiling. It was swinging faintly, despite the lack of a breeze inside the castle walls. Curved staircases with purple carpeting were on each side of the room, and a door was in the wall between them. Amerigo walked to the middle of the room, directly beneath the chandelier, and suddenly felt an inexplicable cold breeze. The chandelier began swinging more violently, and then an ominous figure materialized, hanging from the chandelier. It was a bloody human figure, with scars and bruises on every inch of its mangled red body. Its face was just as destroyed, with strips of flesh rotting away and a large puncture wound going all the way through its head. It had one eye, but it was clouded and appeared to be blind. It held two cross-shaped control bars in its hands, strangely.

"Hm?" Amerigo mumbled. The creature swung to and fro angrily, and fast-paced theatrical music hummed from all directions, without explanation. It gurgled hideously, and then blood began to pour from its many wounds, and warped wooden puppets appeared around the room. They had four arms, which held triangular bloody chakrams, and they danced madly around the room, suspended by red strings leading up to the control bars held by the creature on the ceiling. Pained words were coughed from the demon's deformed mouth.

"This... will be... a show to be remembered!" it screamed, coughing painfully. Amerigo laughed.

"A show to be remembered, eh? Well, I sure hope this isn't a musical, because I'm a little rusty on my singing skills," he growled sarcastically, "But let's have some fun."

The puppets danced over to him, darting unpredictably around Amerigo. He materialized his scythe and effortlessly hacked each of the puppets into pieces, but that wasn't the end of the fight. The demon hanging from the chandelier shrieked insanely, and then crimson strings shot out from the control bars and began flapping around the room aimlessly, trying to find Amerigo.

"Heh, what's the matter? Can't see me?" laughed Amerigo. He started shooting at the demon, and it only started swinging faster and faster on the chandelier. Faint cracks appeared in the ceiling around the base of the chandelier, but they were nowhere near large enough to make the demon fall. Amerigo kept firing, but the strings finally found him through the loud sounds of bullets being fired. They wrapped themselves around his arms and legs and whipped him around the room, dizzying him badly. The strings released their grip, and he fell back to the floor, still severely disoriented.

More puppets appeared around the room, but Amerigo was unable to accurately attack them thanks to his nausea. Finally he gave up on using direct attacks and instead created a sharp explosion of electricity in the room, igniting all of the puppets and dazing the demon hanging from the chandelier. Now his nausea had worn off, so he could easily attack the demon now. A flurry of bullets, and the demon finally became outraged and swung harder than ever, and the chandelier dropped down from the ceiling a few inches, now hanging by only a few thin wires.

"Yeah! Keep on dancing up there, see what happens!" Amerigo taunted. The demon couldn't stop its mad swinging at this point, and the chandelier finally broke away, sending the demon crashing down into the floor. It wasn't done fighting yet, though. It swung its arms blindly, trying desperately to find Amerigo.

Chapter Eight: Grand FinaleEdit

Amerigo ducked out of the way of the demon's blind rage, but it still managed to grab hold of him and toss him into the wall. Strings shot out from the control bars again, but Amerigo sliced at them with his scythe and charged back at the demon. He swung his scythe at its chest, and it tore surprisingly easily due to the scars and torn flesh. The demon roared and jumped to the top of one of the staircases, then summoned more puppets to defend itself.

"I see that you're so cowardly that you can't fight for yourself, and have to use pawns," Amerigo teased the demon, hoping to enrage it even more. The puppets flew through the air at him and clawed at him with their weapons, but once again Amerigo quickly subdued them.

"These little wooden pricks are no match for me, big guy! Keep trying!" Just before Amerigo ran at the demon again, a larger puppet appeared before him. Its wooden body was scorched, and there were nails jammed into many parts of its body, as well as a carving knife embedded into its neck. Two of its eyes burned a red color, and the third glowed yellow. As the demon moved, the eyes seemed to leave tiny trails of light in the air.

"Aha, now this may be more of a challenge," Amerigo grinned excitedly. The demon pulled the knife from its neck and cackled in a twisted voice. It lumbered through the air, suspended by thick red ropes rather than strings, and hacked at Amerigo. He dodged the attack easily, since the puppet was so slow, but it unexpectedly began to move more quickly and swung its knife at Amerigo again, this time managing to strike him. A large wound was cut into Amerigo's chest now, but it had already begun to heal. Amerigo grinned and happily began bashing the demon puppet with his scythe, throwing the puppet to the floor. The ropes pulled the demon back up into the air without hesitation, and it turned to a defensive position instead. Its arms covered its face and abdomen, and the puppet hovered around the room randomly, temporarily safe from Amerigo.

"Tch, like I give a shit," said Amerigo, who then easily reached the demon and sliced the ropes holding it in the air, killing it. He turned impatiently to the demon at the top of the stairs.

"Got anymore shit you wanna throw at me, or should I just skip straight to killing you now?" he taunted. The demon roared and jumped down the stairs, tracking down Amerigo by the sound of his voice. Once the demon got close, Amerigo jumped into the air and kicked it in the face, which prompted a splatter of rancid blood from its many wounds. The demon fell to the floor and dropped its control bars, stunned from the sudden attack. Amerigo picked up the bars from the floor and spun them around once before sending out strings to attach to the demon. Amerigo willed the strings to hoist the demon into the air, and they did so. The demon was under Amerigo's control now, so he forced it to slam itself into the wall again and again, not killing it but weakening it to the point of barely being conscious. For the final blow, Amerigo guided the demon to the broken chandelier on the floor, and bashed its face into the shreds of broken glass endlessly, until it finally ceased movement and a pool of blood congregated on the floor.

"Now, that's what I call a grand finale," remarked Amerigo proudly. He retracted the strings back into the control bars and admired his newly acquired weapons. They would definitely be useful in the future.

Amerigo tried opening the door in the middle of the room, only to discover that it was locked. Instead, he walked up the staircase to the right of the room and entered the door there.

The demon on the floor stirred slightly and growled monstrously. It wasn't going to be finished that easily.

Chapter Nine: Cursed StairsEdit

A stone spiraled staircase stood before Chrissa, obviously leading down to a lower floor. The longer she gazed at the stairs, the dizzier she became. It was almost as if the voices of thousands of spirits were calling to her and urging her forwards. She squinted her eyes and moved back to the center of the room to check for any other way out. The staircase was her only option. She sighed, grabbed her sword, and cautiously proceeded.

After only a few steps, a force field appeared in the doorway behind her. It began to move towards her, and a demonic face appeared within it. She had to run as fast as she could if she wanted to make it out alive. Without a second thought, she fled down the stairs, the evil face still pursuing her. Step after step, she kept moving down, but she was suddenly halted by a dead end in the middle of the stairs. Turning back around, she saw that she was now in a large slanted room, with multiple staircases running along the ceiling, complete with inhuman beings walking along them. At the top of the room stood her enemy, the face. It was much larger now, and was now its own entity rather than being a part of the force field.

Before Chrissa could do anything, the face's shape corrupted into a skeletal form, and spit out a blast of tiny laser beams all around the room. Every beam stuck like a dart into the floor and walls, creating an array of tiny pins in the room. Chrissa sprinted to the face and hacked at it with her sword, but the face only retreated into the wall.

Behind Chrissa appeared grey and malformed demons, with convulsing and twitching bodies. They had one eye on their face, and one eye on their stomach, just above a toothy and bloody mouth. Chrissa didn't hesitate to attack the demons, but with every attack they only split into more demons. Within mere seconds, she became surrounded by hundreds of the demons.

"Fuck!" she exclaimed dreadfully. She could never handle this many of them. The face reemerged from the ceiling and started spitting out more lasers at Chrissa, but she dodged out of the way. Instead, the lasers disintegrated a handful of the demons. Chrissa maneuvered around the room as the face continued to vomit lasers, causing each of the demons to slowly be eliminated by the face. Once the demons were finally gone, only Chrissa, the face, and the beings walking along the ceiling were left in the room.

The face screamed insanely, and it morphed into a featureless blob before crashing down to the floor and forming a shape identical to Chrissa. The demonic Chrissa withdrew her own sword and attacked the real Chrissa, who deflected the attack with her weapon. The demon rolled back and temporarily morphed back into a blob of energy, but then returned to its humanoid state. It pulled a gun out of nowhere and began sending explosions of flaming bullets at Chrissa, catching her off guard. One of the bullets grazed her shoulder and threw her to the ground, and the demon returned to its skull-like state. It hovered over to her with shocking speed and started charging a laser, but Chrissa still managed to gather herself and deliver a lethal swipe of her sword to the demon's forehead. The face screamed as it melted into a blob on the floor.

Chrissa was back on the staircase now, and in front of her was an orange gem in the shape of the face. It flew up to her and hovered in the air in front of her, so she reached her hand out to grab it. Before she could do that, though, the gem flew into her neck, but bounced back off while emitting a sparking sound.

"You are not..." the stone hissed, "Amerigo..." The stone hesitated in the air for another moment before flying back into her neck, this time vanishing as it made contact and filled Chrissa with new energy. Chrissa instinctively reached to her gun and aimed it at the dead end wall in front of her. She meant only to fire one shot, but the gun seemed to be alive with its own power and blasted the wall to pieces with a flurry of bullets. The rest of the staircase was now exposed.

Chapter Ten: A Head to Match the OtherEdit

Amerigo pried the door open and found himself in a beautifully decorated corridor. A violet carpet with patterns of blue roses was laid on the floor, and medieval-era portraits lined the walls. To complete the scene were statues of none other than Naranma, and a large stained glass window at the end of the corridor. Amerigo took a step in and got a whiff of smoke.

"Whew, that's strong," he remarked. He didn't see any smoke, nor did he hear the crackling of flames. The scent seemed to come from nowhere. Only three steps into the room, the door slammed shut behind him, unsurprisingly. Amerigo took his time in exploring the room, and "admiring" the portraits on the wall by blasting a bullet into the face of the person depicted in each one. As if on cue, as soon as the final portrait was vandalized, a hulking monster smashed through the stained glass window and crashed onto the floor below. The monster stood up on its hind legs, revealing its identity -- it was Trinity, Naranma's pet demon. Its crushed third head still hung uselessly from its shoulder, but the remaining two heads were full of fury.

"Whoa, hey!" Amerigo jived, "I'm sure we can sort this out. After all, it's not like I meant to, oh, crush the shit out of your face!" The demon roared and tried to stomp on Amerigo, but he just hopped back, out of the way. Now Amerigo saw the source of the smoke. It was pluming out of the demon's two mouths.

"Not happy, huh? Well, how about I make your other head match the fucked up one!" taunted Amerigo, preparing his pistols for combat. The demon leaped at him and tried to grab hold of him in its huge hands, but Amerigo escaped perfectly and unleashed his fury upon the demon. The intense blast of bullets did no good, but the demon was somewhat slowed by the sudden barrage. While Trinity was still turned away from him, Amerigo ran up its back, summoned his scythe, and expertly swung the blade around the neck of one of the heads and began to pull it backwards to slice off the demon's head. Before he could get far, the demon threw him off and summoned its sword. It ran at Amerigo and impaled the sword into him -- or tried. Amerigo leaped back in time and kicked himself off of the wall, which sent him flying straight at Trinity's hideous face.

Amerigo's foot made contact with the eye of one of the heads, which painfully crushed it. Trinity half yelped and half screamed in pain and mindlessly jumped backwards, crashing into the wall. The wall tumble on top of the demon, and a large portion of the ceiling followed. While Trinity was still dazed, Amerigo climbed up to its head and once again wrapped the blade of his scythe around it. Pulling as hard as he could on the scythe, the demon finally awakened from its unconsciousness and flailed its arms angrily in an attempt to grab Amerigo. He kept pulling downwards on the scythe until there was a grotesque tearing sound followed by a sharp cracking noise, and the head fell from Trinity's body. The now singular-headed demon screamed with an almost human tone and thrashed its arms blindly in all directions before fleeing the corridor, jumping back through the window. The decapitated head shrank down to a tiny version of itself and crystallized into a tiny gem, which then flew up to Amerigo's necklace and became a part of it, granting him new power.

Amerigo twirled his scythe around and tossed it into the air, where energy lashed out from his hand and possessed it, suspending it in the air. Amerigo willed the scythe to slash apart all of Naranma's statues in the room, and with no hesitation it decimated all of them. The scythe returned to Amerigo, and he possessed the remaining shards of the statues and forced them into the shape of the words, "Fuck you" and slammed them back into the floor, creating a black pile of dust and debris.

"I can already tell I'll have a whole lot of fun with this..." Amerigo grinned excitedly.

Chapter Eleven: ThriceEdit

The staircase ended in the main hall of the castle. Chrissa noted the destruction: destroyed paintings on the walls, charred pieces of wood lying around, and a ruined chandelier smashed into thousands of pieces on the floor. A battered body was on top of it, its face impaled into the shards of glass. Chrissa recognized the body. It was the theatrical demon she had fought back in the sewers. She quit moving when the demon shifted and stood up slowly, brokenly. It glanced around the room with its now-eyeless, ripped up face and growled.

"My... previous performance..." the demon hissed, "was not much of a show... after all." It stomped the floor furiously, causing the whole castle to shake. Chrissa gripped her sword in one hand, and her gun in the other. The demon knew she was there, despite its apparent blindness.

"You haven't heard me speak until... now." The bloody being knelt to the ground and reached its arms through the floor, where they disappeared into what resembled a portal. It pulled from the ground a set of new control bars, but these were different than the ones it had wielded before. These ones were silvery-black and lined with spikes, and a crimson gem was embedded in the center. "You will be the perfect puppet, in my show of thrice. The show... must go on!" the demon roared as it raised its arms above its head, and red strings shot out from the tips. Chrissa tried to dodge the strings, but they weren't targeting her. Instead, they latched onto the charred pieces of wood on the floor and pulled together a monstrous wooden puppet with eight misshapen arms and long legs made from burnt string. Its abdomen was filled with carving knives, and the jaws on its face hung open permanently, in an eternal scream.

Chrissa fired a few shots at the puppet, which knocked it back and gave her a temporary advantage. While it was down, Chrissa lunged at it and delivered a sharp blow from her sword to the puppet's malformed face. The puppet fought back, bashing its heavy arms into her and throwing her to the floor. The demon controlling the puppet laughed crazily, momentarily loosening its controls on the puppet. The puppet hung limply in the air while the demon cackled, so Chrissa unleashed her wrath in the form of an explosion of bullets. The puppet was torn into pieces, rendering it useless. Now turning her focus back to the demon, Chrissa performed the same punishment unto it. The demon screamed and leaped in the air in an attempt to grab hold of something from which it could dangle overhead, but failed to reach anything and crashed back into the floor, into the pile of glass from the chandelier and wood from the puppet.

"The show is over!" Chrissa shouted as she sped towards the demon, ready to strike with her sword. Just before the sword made contact with its body, the demon unexpectedly jumped back to its feet and grabbed Chrissa with its decaying hand. She struggled to escape its death grip, but she wasn't strong enough. Finally the demon released her by hurling her up into the air, and it skillfully attached strings from its control bars to her limbs and once again gained control of her body. Chrissa felt a powerful jolt of energy run through her, the demon's power. She was flown across the room, spinning rapidly and madly until she came to an unexpected halt. The force of the sudden stop rattled her, and she was left dizzied and helpless.

The demon threw her around like a rag doll, but she finally came to her senses because her own energy briefly overpowered the demon's. She reached out and grabbed the strings binding her to the control bars and yanked on them as hard as she could, which hardly did anything, but confused her blind foe for a few precious seconds. Under her own control, she sliced the strings that were attached to her and forced them back at the demon. The strings seemed to have a mind of their own as they wrapped around the demon's arms and legs tighter and tighter. Suddenly the demon went wild, bewildered by what had happened. The strings guided it around the room, forcing the demon to crash into walls, until the strings suddenly began to stretch in different directions. There was a sickening tearing sound as the demon's limbs were ripped off of its body by its own power, and then a loud thud as its abdomen slammed onto the floor.

Chrissa breathed heavily. She was exhausted from the battle. Judging from the destruction that was already here when she showed up, she assumed that Amerigo had already been here and had moved further into the castle to find Naranma. All she had to do to find him was follow the trail of destruction.

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