33 Chapter 32

Where the Hell was Jean? 

As the seconds dragged on and the pain mounted, I came to the only conclusion that made sense.

Jean had made her choice, and she chose Xavier.

"I will lock you up in your mind and hand you over to them as an apology," Xavier growled. "They'll slice you open and put you back together just to see how you work, and no one will come looking for you because they won't remember you," he said. "See, I might surround myself with people because I want a family, but you'll never find one because of what you are, Dante– a sniveling, hideous creature pretending to be human."

Something within me broke, and demonic energy surged forth, filling every inch of my body with rage and energy. 

"Fuck…You!" I roared, summoning Ebony, and pointed it at Charles's head. It wasn't the threat of fucking dissection that ticked me off, no!

It was the other thing.

He was a fucking dead man-- no two ways about it. I willed energy into the chamber of the gun, and it obeyed. The barrel gained a golden crimson light that slowly started to glow brighter. 

Charles panicked and stopped fucking about, pitting the full force of his mind against mine, but I roared in defiance, shoving him back.

To Hell with the consequences. 

Jean was not on my side, and I'd cut through all of the X-men if I had to. 

I knew he was talking out of his arse, but he'd gotten under my skin nonetheless. It didn't help that Jean's betrayal was still so fresh. 

In the end, I was left alone to take care of business. Again!

With gritted teeth, I slowly got up to my feet, burning even more demonic energy. Temperatures peak in the office, setting loose paper on fire and scorching the ground below me as I took step after hellish step toward Charles. 

I wasn't going to fucking miss.


I saw the genuine look of fear in Charles's eyes when he recognized that I was beyond him for that brief moment. Of course, he was going to win out eventually, but it wouldn't be before I shot him dead.


I squeezed the trigger, but before my gun went off, a force jerked my hand.


Everything below Charles's left elbow disappeared, along with a chunk of his wheelchair, and just like that, the pain was gone.

Congratulations: You've unlocked a new Demonic Technique: Focused shot.

25 DE

In the place of the overwhelming pain, I felt a presence that dwarfed Xavier's. 

I knew it was Jean, and frankly, I didn't care.

I used my new skills again. Energy started to gather in the barrel of my gun. I pointed it at a bleeding, mewling Xavier, ready to put the son-of-a-bitch to bed.

"Don't!" Jean commanded. "Please!"

"Why not!" I growled. "He fucking deserves it. You saw what he did, what he said. I was right. He was controlling you and probably every mutant here."

"Killing him was never part of the plan," Jean said. 


"What part of the plan was leaving me to get multiple fucking aneurysms!" I yelled. "You were supposed to step in the very moment shit started to go sideways! What happened, Jean!" 

"I-I froze," she said, choking back tears. "I didn't want to believe he was capable of that."


She froze? 

What sort of bullshit excuse was that.

I wanted to yell at her, but then a question appeared.

'What did you expect was going to happen?'

She'd known him since she was a child, and now she was finding out that he was some twisted monster who got kicks out of manipulating people.

Yelling at her would only make matters worse.

Still, it didn't soften the blow of her betrayal.

"I know you weren't ready, Jean," I said slowly, "but I stuck my neck out for you. Your inaction almost got me killed."


The professor's blood pooled beneath my feet. He was starting to bleed a little too much. He was going to die before I had the benefit of killing him. 

"I'm sorry," she sobbed. It was easy to forget that Jean was still a kid.

I sighed, releasing the energy build-up alongside my coat—the demonic aura stealing nearly half of my demonic energy.


+3 Demonic Energy

At least something good came out of this. It was a shame that was not enough to awaken my Devil Trigger. 

I vanished my gun without ever looking back at Jean. 

"Save him," I said, and she immediately rushed over to his side, ripping a piece of her shirt to start an emergency triage. 

"Jean, I–"

"Save your strength," She cut him off. 

I turned away from the pair and began to walk towards the window. Dipping my hand into my pocket, I hit the stop button on the tape recorder.

"Dante," Jean called out, but I didn't look in her direction. 

She hated Xavier, obviously, but he was still family. 

I didn't want to do something as drastic as cutting Jean off– I needed her– but the entire episode showed me that I was not nearly as good at manipulating people as I thought I was. 

I may need to take a class on manipulation or go slower next time.

"I promised I wouldn't abandon you, and I won't? I said. "I'm coming to get you as soon as I get the sorceress on our side. I can't afford to stay mad at you, Jean. Not with everything at stake. As for you, Charles," I raised my recording device. "Our entire conversation was recorded. You will negotiate that meeting as promised, or this will get leaked online. Every mutant, everywhere, will know exactly how you treat your new wards." 

 "Dante, you didn't…" I heard a slight panic and surprise creep into her voice.


"My academy, the X-Men…" he wheezed. "We do so much good here."

"You'll lose it all, Charles," I warned. "If you so much as look at me funny, everything you've worked for 20 years will come crashing down. You fucked with the wrong guy. You're my bitch now." 

 I gave Jean a final look. "Tell everyone or don't tell them; I don't really care. Just be ready when I come for you." 

I leaped out of the window just as Storm, Wolverine, and a handful of students rushed into the professor's office. 

Shouts echoed behind me, but I was gone the second I hit the ground. Liberal use of Angel Evade and Burst turned me into a blur.


I took the goodies Jean bought for me and suited up in an all-black X-men suit I nabbed from Cyclop's wardrobe when I stole the tape recorder. I ripped off the X-men logo, partially because I couldn't stand the sight of Charles and mainly because I wanted all of the glory for what was about to happen for myself. 

Thinking about the entire episode with Jean and Charles still burned me. It was oh so tempting to give the bald git what was coming to him, but I needed to think long-term if I was going to survive in this Universe. 

I could fillet the fucker after I got my Phoenix flame.

Until then, I settled for taking out my rage on the criminals of Hell's Kitchen. 

As you can tell, the timeline has been a bit screwy. Jean Grey being a teenager when Storm is fully grown? Kitty Pryde only being two years younger? We weren't in the 616 Universe or the 199999 universe either.

That became crystal clear to me when I turned on the news the other day and saw a bald man with an egg-shaped head and a waistline the size of a great oak giving a speech about restoring the glory of Hell's Kitchen through innovations and revitalization. 

I nearly did a spit take, but it did help me put together why the crime rate in that part of the city has been insane recently. 

An arms race between the Russians and the Albanians started a few days ago. 'Luckily,' neither side has lost too many people. But the violence has driven most folk with common sense out of the neighborhood, giving Fisk exactly what he wanted. 

I couldn't prove he was supplying both sides, and I wasn't eager to in the first place. All I cared about was pilfering his weapons for myself and bagging the heads of both sides.

They would make a compelling offer to SHIELD and prove I had what it took to work with them. 

At the very least, it would buy me some goodwill with Fury, which was all I needed really to win him over to my side. Some things remained true regardless of what Universe you were in.

My journey to Hell's Kitchen went by faster than I anticipated. Liberal use of Ophion's grappling hook and Angel Lift's swinging function had me zipping from building to building like Spiderman. It helped that I could move much, much faster than the average man. 

I had 40 Agility, giving me four times the speed of a high-level athlete, and with my endurance, I could keep on going for hours.

I landed on the rooftops near a popular Russian bar and used Ophion to yank up a guy doing his business behind a dumpster with Ophion's Demon Pull. The transition had been so sudden that he hadn't even gotten the chance to scream before he was on the roof. 

I brought an Orochi dagger to his eye before he could make a pip.

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