Chapter 1: How Dante’s Journey Began
A PMD Fanfiction
Written by NES2
The mission had begun as routine. To Dante the Lucario and his partners Beatrice the Gardevoir and Virgil the Noctowl it was a treasure mission like the others, a simple trip that involved grabbing a rare item and selling it to the highest bidder. Dante of course had lied about the mission’s true purpose, but without this white lie Dante’s partners would have chickened out and attempted to talk Dante out of it.
The truth was that Dante needed them now more than ever. This was his journey, but he could not take it alone. He needed someone beside him, to either save his sanity or be with him when it was lost for good. The journey would be one that no Pokemon had lived to tell about. It’s treasure was myth, and it’s location well known but perilous to traverse. But Dante needed this more than ever, because ghosts of his past haunted him. He had done something long ago that he kept to the back of his mind, for remembering it would destroy all semblance of order in his life. But those past sins were beginning to manifest, to return and claw at his fragile peace. There was only one road to salvation now.
The map had come into his hands mysteriously. He had found it one shopping for supplies at the shop the Kecleon Brothers kept in Treasure Town. They were selling it for 10 Poke, as they had no use for it and no one else interested in bagging it. It was ancient, literally thousands of years old. Dust, mold, and even mysterious areas where it had been lit on fire existed, but the map remained intact. The brothers themselves hadn’t opened it for they believe it would fall apart, but Dante took it upon himself to open up the map at home secretly, to uncover what the map was hiding. He carefully unrolled the ancient scroll atop his bedding, his eyes widening when he discovered what the map’s contents were.
It was to and of a dungeon known as Inferno. Dante himself had always believed it to be nothing more than legend passed on from Pokemon to Pokemon, used to discourage misdeeds by putting into the minds of those who would succumb to temptation he idea of punishment for their sins in this place. The ancient road and map through this perilous dungeon was in Dante’s hands, a way into Inferno. Each level was more disturbing and punishing as one got deeper, notes written beside each level describing each level‘s inhabitants and the retribution they received there for their earthly sins. Unfortunately, the map stopped at the 8th level, where a different note had been left. The cartographer had never finished the journey, but what he had encountered on the way had been left to Dante, who held the dusty and fading map in his hands now. Even then however, he would have stored the map away if it wasn’t for one note written by the anonymous author, which caught Dante’s attention and held it.
I have observed that other Pokemon trapped in this place have actually been heading deeper into Inferno in search of an artifact known as the Grail of Purity, which would allow them to exit this dungeon. I believe it may be the artifact which can redeem a Pokemon of any crime, even the most heinous. However, most Pokemon quit right around level 8, as this is usually where they can take no more. Since I no longer have will or reason to be here as well, I am going to attempt to leave this place now. My time has not come yet anyways, nor am I a member of these forsaken masses. If you come upon this map, put it away for eternity and never contemplate on it again. I have suffered much throughout this journey, and this Grail of Purity is an artifact that you shall not be able to obtain without the sacrifice of your very soul’s will to live. No Pokemon with any semblance of reason should chose to come to this place, as it is the realm of the damned and a place that good Pokemon should never see. Please, heed my word. This place will be the end of you.
Dante had not heeded the advice of the author. The mention of an artifact that could clear any soul of sin was something that Dante had been looking into for centuries. The artifact was a panacea for Dante’s earthly misdeeds, which he believed would be wiped away by the Grail. Reason had left Dante at this point. As though pulled by another force, calling him to the dreadful place, Dante plotted to go there and obtain the artifact by any means necessary.
So we come back to the beginning of our story, the white lie that he told to conceal the deeper meaning of the mission. Telling them a vague truth about he had found an old map to a valuable treasure and keeping any other details a secret, he convince Beatrice and Virgil to accompany him on the trip. He was even lying to himself, because a necessary illusion he had to place over his mind in order to hide Dante’s true intentions from Beatrice, who could read every one of Dante’s thoughts. He had done it before with his past, faking amnesia in his head order to keep the reality of Dante’s past away from her. To this day he held up the illusion, leaving Beatrice blissfully unaware of Dante’s darker side. He hated himself for doing so, but he could never tell her the truth. It was a painful matter, and one that would break her heart.
And so began our hero’s journey, an ordinary mission in the minds of his partners. Beatrice packed berries of all sorts, bright red apples, and gummis to keep them feed. She prepared these in an relaxed manner, humming as she packed the Rescue Kit for the trip. Virgil took it upon himself to scavenge money and supplies for the trip in lesser dungeons, using these small excursions into the occasional cave to train. Afterwards he used that money to buy items they could equip for the journey, including a Pecha Scarf for Beatrice and a Defense Band for Dante. Virgil on the other hand, said he could do without one.
The time eventually came, and with an eagerness they followed behind Dante as he began to lead them into Hell. Trekking into the vast and extensive wilderness of the realm, they followed him putting their trust and faith into his decision. Soon however, even they could see through their excitement and realize something was different about this mission. This seed of doubt was planted as Dante approached the first obstacle, the Dark Wood of Error.
Chapter 2: The Dark Woods of Error
“It’s strange here Dante. Something’s off about this place, I know it. I just can’t focus on what though. I’m sensing a dark and menacing aura surrounds in this area”, Beatrice said about the silent and shadowed section of forest. Dante had not yet reached Inferno’s entrance, but already he had a bad feeling about this trip. The woods were extremely misty, reducing Dante’s sight range severely. No Pokemon seemed to live here in this shadowy place, and only the crack of an occasional branch underneath the foot of the traveling group disturbed the terrifying silence.
The place was fear incarnate. Dante’s had the map to guide him, but even with the ancient manuscript Dante had a difficult time finding his way. Slowly but surely, dementia began to set in. Out of the corner of his eyes Dante would see things move just beyond the mist, and when he reached the place where he believed he had seen the movement there was nothing, as though it had been a ghost.
But Dante knew better, even better than Beatrice. Something was in this forest, something he did not like at all and wanted to avoid at all costs. So he continued to march forward through the mist, the forest getting darker as the canopy of leaves above let in less light as he got deeper into the woods. He tried hard not to admit it, but eventually Beatrice read him.
“We are lost Dante, admit it”, Beatrice began, looking into Dante’s mind and finding the answer.
“Yes, which is odd. Normally I can sense where we are going using aura, but it is as though we are trapped in an eternal maze. I can’t tell if we are heading in circles or not, but we can‘t turn back now. We must go deeper”, Dante replied. Looking at his compass, he noticed that it’s needle was spinning wildly unlike anything he had ever seen. Putting it away, he decided that he would have to navigate this place without a single semblance of direction.
Soon the forest began to become more perilous. Roots that stood up from the forest floor would trip Dante, and vines would wrap around his feet, holding him back. Thick branches would lash and whip at him, cutting the skin under his fur. These things did not affect the others however, and Virgil and Beatrice remained unharmed. The forest was punishing Dante, tearing at him little by little. With each step the forest lashed out viciously. The vines began to grow thorns and the branches began to cut deeper. Blood trickled down from Dante’s forehead, the drops falling to the forest floor.
“Footsteps”, Beatrice noted suddenly. Dante looked around, listening attentively for a rustle in the bushes or a giveaway to something tracking the group. Dante’s ears were meet with a total silence however. Dante trusted Beatrice’s words however, so he knew better than to let his guard down. Looking forward again, he found a clearing that he could have sworn wasn’t there before. Motioning to the others, he led them into the foggy clearing to sit down and rest. They would make camp for the night here.