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Dedicated to purple_taco for her votes and support and stuff and stuff. x3

Drawing: Smexy Blethinette (with curled hair for a night out...or maybe in based on her words >:3) by Erza1998

5.

A Fractured Vow

Dante’s knuckles were still sore and swollen from when he punched Mundus a few days ago, but he was willing to go through the pain again when he saw the demon walk in the room. With each step, Dante’s hand pulsed with an ache that reminded him of when his fist connected with Mundus’ jaw: the day the demon had killed Blethinette. 

He remembered how he and Mundus were kneeling over the hemorrhaging Reyna. Her eyes were rolling in their sockets, the blue in them fading. It had been Mundus’ fault. He knew the consequences for killing either the king or queen, and he still did it, knowing Reyna had been wounded and needed her regeneration powers to reattach her arm.  

So Dante had punched him.

The crack of his knuckles and the surge of electric pain was an alien sensation, but it was also familiar. Mundus turned to him with malice filled eyes that should have been red. If it hadn’t been for Verden—

“Have her bandages been changed?” Mundus asked.

Dante looked up at him. It was still strange seeing him in jeans and a shirt even though that was what he had been wearing since they arrived here. Not that he saw much of the demon, especially when Ayame and Verden came to visit. Mundus tolerated being around Gahn and even Diorela, Michael, and Anna, but he was quick to avoid his brother and his Spirit.

“Yes,” Dante answered Mundus’ question, “I changed them this morning.”

His dark eyes darted to the nightstand where a roll of gauze lay next to a brown glass flask. He picked up the roll as if checking to see if it had been used.

Dante clenched his jaw. “If you weren’t going to believe me, why ask?”

Mundus didn’t answer.

“Your father was here earlier to help,” he said.

A small frown crossed Mundus’ features but he again kept his silence. He crossed to the middle of the room where a small dining room table set was and took the remaining chair. He placed it next to the bed—on the opposite side of where Dante was seated—that took up the majority of the tiny room.

It was more like an adobe hut and the bed in front of him was just an old twin mattress placed on top of a crude bed frame also made of clay. The cabinets that lined the ceiling were filled with blankets and mismatched cutlery, dishes, pots, and pans. A bucket was nailed to the wall where a faucet hung over it.

According to Mundus, they had improved their living quarters since he last saw them. Their numbers had increased as well.

Dante rested his elbows on his knees as he leaned closer to the bed. His eyes traced all the folds and wrinkles on the sheets until his sight landed on the face of the person lying down under them.

Reyna.

She had been unconscious since they brought her here four days ago, but she was still alive. Her face was sunken with dark circles around her eyes and there was a frosting of dead skin on her lips. Dante saw the fresh bandages he had wrapped around her right elbow. The bleeding had stopped since the first day, but it was best to keep the wound protected from infection.

It was just the shock of her system having been deprived of its healing essence when it needed them most that had knocked her unconscious, Verden had said. As long as they gave her water and mashed up fruit, she would be fine and would eventually wake up on her own.

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