原作者 @Foenix 和Alsabetha （已授权翻译）
Chapter 12: Love and War
原作者 @Foenix 和Alsabetha （已授权翻译）
Chapter 12: Love and War
【茸徐】Bloody Golden Butterfly: Ch. 39
Ch. 39: Shadow Moses
Jolyne lost count of how many times she'd yawned while standing there on the harbor under the morning sun. It must have been a considerable amount because her dad and Giorno would shoot her concerned looks from time to time. She waved them off, having no intention of explaining...
Ch. 39: Shadow Moses
Jolyne lost count of how many times she'd yawned while standing there on the harbor under the morning sun. It must have been a considerable amount because her dad and Giorno would shoot her concerned looks from time to time. She waved them off, having no intention of explaining to them that her sleep-deprived body was functioning entirely on too much coffee and weeks' worth of pent up rage and frustration. Wet dreams and bloody kisses didn't exactly seem like good topics for starter conversations so early in the morning either.
Trying to expel Donatello's cursed blood from her body with her Hamon had failed, so since that night, she was left to endure those damned dreams. Only an hour or so after hitting the sack, she would wake up disturbed and covered in cold sweat, feeling the intense urge to cleanse herself in gallons of ice cold holy water.
Bruno's sparring sessions helped exhaust her enough that some nights, she would immediately fall into a dreamless sleep after one of their sessions. However, other nights, the dreams still crept up on her, and she would wake up a while later, her body hot and drenched in sweat. On those nights, she tried using some of the mediation techniques she had learned from Lisa Lisa that were meant to conserve energy and provided the same restorative benefits as sleep. She would do this on her bed for the remainder of the night until it was dawn and time to get up for training. It was effective for the most part but still couldn't substitute for actual sleep. It didn't do anything for the intrusive thoughts or the slight feelings of excitement either.
Jolyne was ready to get rid of Donatello from her life once and for all. She hated him, plain and simple. He had caused her family immense grief, leading them to a long separation, and he was all too proud to announce his sinister intentions for her. Thinking about what he had said back in his cell about how hard his life had been, she was even more certain that any empathy would be wasted on a self-pitying asshole like him who blamed the world for his misfortunes.
These past few days, knowing that he was on the same island as her had made her constantly on edge and filled her stomach with butterflies. She would feel better once it was Giorno's problem. And maybe when they finished interrogating him, they could get rid of him for complete good. It was a strangely dark thought, and perhaps a few months ago, she would have found the idea of a life being ended quite upsetting, but too much had changed since then and so did her outlook on life.
"Is Bucciarati already at his post?" her dad suddenly asked her.
"Yeah, he came as soon as he could. It's weird, but..." She stopped talking when she saw Weather Report staring at the horizon instead of the main building like the others. "Hey, is something wrong?"
Weather Report shrugged, continuing to keep his eyes fixed straight ahead. Jolyne tried following his gaze but could not find anything out of the ordinary, just clear blue skies. Perhaps he was sensing something she was not with his stand ability.
A movement suddenly caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. Seeing three people emerge from the main building, everyone became extra alert.
Donatello, flanked by two uniformed senior Hamon disciples on either side, stood out like a sore thumb in his white suit and red leather jacket as he limped out of the building. The platinum chain jewelry around his neck glinted in the sun, similar to the silver chains imbued with Hamon that wrapped around his torso and bound his arms at the back. Despite the sorry state he was in from his time in the dingy cell, his blonde hair disheveled and his clothes looking wrinkled and stained, he couldn't seem to stop smiling.
Jolyne took a deep breath, breaking away her gaze for a moment.
She was not afraid. She could do it. Whatever she had witnessed and endured in her dreams, none of it was reality. No one was privy to the contents but her.
When she turned back, she found Donatello squinting at the sky, seeming briefly bothered by the sun. However, he stopped paying attention to it when he caught sight of her.
"Oh dear, I missed you. Since you were so close, you could have come by to visit me more... I know you wanted to."
Jolyne's face contorted in disgust but she didn't bother to reply. Paying him any attention at all would be giving him exactly what he wanted.
Ignoring him, she said to the others, "Shall we go now?"
They had already made all the preparations, so they quickly boarded the boat that would take them to Venice. It was a small draft boat that could enter as far as Giorno's palazzo in Venice without any problems. The group transporting Donatello consisted of the two Hamon disciples, her dad, Weather Report, Giorno, and herself. It was not a large committee, but it was everyone necessary.
In good environmental conditions and with not too much cruise ship traffic, the job could be done in half an hour. The weather was nice, even nicer than what was forecasted thanks to Weather Report. Still, Donatello seemed quite calm, too calm for someone whose stand ability would be rendered useless on sea, where he couldn't unearth memories. It gave Jolyne a strange feeling as she watched him board the boat, stranger than what she had felt since her meeting with Bruno that morning.
The space on the vessel was much more enclosed than on the harbor, so everyone was more closely packed together. This also meant Donatello was in much closer proximity to her than she would have preferred, which was actually to keep a continent's worth of distance away. When he caught her looking at him, he grinned and blew her a kiss.
Jolyne shuddered, both at his action and the unwanted feelings it had stirred within her. She immediately turned her back to him, feeling his gaze drill into her as she put more distance between them, as much as the enclosed space would allow.
She was glad she had chosen to throw on a large sweatshirt that morning for the trip. Having a roomy layer of clothing somewhat helped alleviate the crawling gaze.
As they left the harbor, her dad was at her side, putting a hand on her shoulder. Feeling him so close gave her a bit of reassurance, as did Giorno's look of concern that constantly flitted from her to his brother, who continued to be flanked by the two Hamon disciples.
She couldn't wait for it all to be over.
The journey went smoothly at first, with no note-worthy incidents happening along the way. The sea's cool breeze was comforting, and she enjoyed how the icy seawater sprayed on her face when she stood close to the edge. Catching the serious but serene expression on her dad's face beside her, she even allowed herself a moment to wonder if this was part of the allure of his job for him.
She began to feel hopeful that she was just being paranoid until, ten minutes into traveling on the half path, they heard a thud and felt the boat lurch beneath their feet, as though the hull had hit something huge in the water.
Jolyne hadn't been on too many boats in her lifetime to tell for sure whether something like that would be normal or not, but her high-strung nerves put her on guard immediately. It seemed that she wasn't the only one, as the others around her also tensed, standing straighter. No one uttered the words 'Stand attack' but everyone thought it, recognizing the signs. Seeing the grim expression on her dad's face, who was far more experienced than her in both fighting stand users and traveling on water, she became far more convinced.
Peering into the blue sea, it didn't take long before bubbles began to rise from its depths, warning of the presence of something beneath. Jolyne hadn't really known what to expect but certainly not the sight of strange creatures submerged just beneath the surface. She felt as if she were in a movie and not reality. No way were sea monsters real. But then she wouldn't be able to explain what she witnessed next.
From the depths of the sea emerged blue octupus-like creatures that had only two tentacles and a head crowned with red jewels. If the jewels were not a clear enough clue that they were not from this world, then there was the fact that they looked like they had come straight out of a cartoon. To top it off, the creatures emitted an unnatural sound, like a pre-recorded, studio-generated roar.
"What the hell are those creatures?" asked Giorno, who probably had entire encyclopedias about marine biology memorized.
"Fuck, are those pokemon?" said Jolyne.
"Tentacool," replied Jotaro without hesitation. "First, they threw Super Mario enemies at us and now pokemon."
Even though the creatures didn't seem to be very difficult enemies to defeat, just as the gombas hadn't been, they manifested their Stands, as the environment the group moved in was a disadvantage. Her dad looked ready to jump out of the boat and fight in the water, but she asked him to wait.
"Guys, we should turn the Stand user over to Nintendo's lawyers so he knows the real terror when we catch him," Jolyne told them, managing to hit the pokemon with a fishing rod she had found in the warehouse room. "Venice is starting to appear on the horizon. Should we stop?"
They didn't have much time to think about it because as soon as she finished speaking, they heard a noisy whirring sound overhead that grew loud with each second. A glance at the sky showed a helicopter heading their way, though perhaps it was simply passing by. It wasn't something necessarily unordinary, but Jolyne's gut told her to exercise caution.
She stole a glance at Giorno and saw him frowning as he gazed up.
"Helicopters aren't often given permission to fly over Venice," he said aloud. "Stay on your guards, everyone. It's terribly suspicious."
By air and water, they could only wait for the enemy to approach. Another creature attacked the boat, this time not a tentacool but something similar, though much bigger, almost the size of a kraken. The evolution seemed to follow the patterns of the anime, making the tentacruel a huge beast with even more tentacles. It was much more dangerous and, certainly, more intimidating than the small tentacool. With a mighty swing of one of its tentacles, it knocked Jotaro clean off the boat.
"Dad!" She leaned out to peer over the edge.
"Jolyne, please stay away from the gunwale," said Weather Report. "Remember, Mr. Kujo is an expert swimmer."
He was right; she had almost forgotten that her old man was practically born to traverse the sea. As if summoned, a purple-jacketed figure emerged, punching with both his Stand and his own fist at the tentacruel. It wasn't the weirdest thing she had ever seen her dad do, but she was sure it made the top 10.
The downside about keeping an eye on him was that Jolyne stopped paying attention to the helicopter. Someone approached the gunwale beside her, leaning dangerously close to the edge, their knuckles turning pale as their hands clenched on the railing tight. It was Weather Report, the same person who had advised Jolyne to stay away from the gunwale only a moment ago. He gazed at the helicopter with sharp, unblinking eyes, surprising even her with his level of deep focus.
Had he spotted someone he recognized inside? She already had her suspecions on who it might be.
She tried squinting into the helicopter through her bangs that were swaying wildly due to the suddenly strong winds, but it was too high. The helicopter seemed to have also slowed down and now hovered aboved their boat, proving their suspicions correct.
She shot Weather Report a look, her breath catching in her throat.
"What? How do you know?" she asked.
"I just do."
His gaze turned stormy. The winds around them suddenly began to pick up fiercely, making the waves more and more choppy as everything began to cloud over. The blue sky darkened to a gray, and there was even the sound of thunder not far away.
Jolyne didn't have time to doubt or question what he meant. Whether or not Father Pucci was really in the aircraft, which was a grave matter of its own, it looked like the boat would sink if Weather Report didn't calm down quickly.
Keeping his eyes glued on the helicopter buzzing above their heads, Weather Report suddenly stepped back and made his way to the other edge of the boat, where the helicopter was closer.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," she muttered.
As she followed after Weather Report, Giorno caught on and went to the position she was in to try and help Jotaro, although he seemed to be managing quite well.
Too focused on the dangers outside their boat, Jolyne had practically forgotten all about the ones lurking within.
It all happened before she realized it. Although Donatello had been locked up for days and perhaps even beaten, as indicated by the bruises on his face and the limp in his gait, his wounds had mostly healed. Hence, it took him no more than a moment of pain to dislocate his arms and free himself from the chains.
Her only warning as she passed by was the thud of the Hamon disciples' bodies hitting the floor or railing as they were shoved aside before a hand suddenly grabbed her waist.
Whipping her head around, she came face to face with Donatello's red eyes that seemed to be taken from the most terrifying of monsters and his feral grin. An atavistic fear ran through her in the few tenths of seconds before his sharp teeth brutally pierced her neck.
A bite hurt, but a bite to the neck hurt even more. A ragged scream escaped her. The others turned, even Jotaro, who had heard her all the way from the water. The scream only lasted a moment, however, before Donatello let go, pushing her away. Regaining her balance and grabbing onto the railing of the rocking boat, Jolyne turned and watched him double over, spitting out thick, purplish-blue blood.
"That's what you get for biting without asking."
Despite the dire situation, she had to suppress a snicker that threatened to escape when she saw Donatello lift his head and flash his red eyes at her, his body trembling uncontrollably. A choked, gurgling sound came from him, and he spat more of the strange blood.
Jolyne grabbed her neck and pulled off her sweatshirt, intending to use it to apply pressure on her wound, leaving herself in just a tanktop. The body peeking through her top was much tanner than her face. Underneath the fabric, a padded bra sat on her completely flat chest. Although she had a marked waist, she looked quite masculine.
"How is it? Is it your first time dining on corpse blood? Bruno specially asks for your rating."
Donatello fell to his knees on the ground, now vomiting. If he had been a full-fledged vampire, that would have knocked him out completely. The corpse blood from Bruno's body was the perfect poison to hurt a vampire. She couldn't believe his idea had actually worked.
Seeing him fall, the pokemon began to appear everywhere, closing in more aggressively. To make matters worse, Weather Report had not calmed down and the situation was becoming even more dangerous for them on the boat.
"Signore Report, if you don't stop, the boat is going to sink!" Giorno shouted.
Weather Report seemed too focused on the helicopter to pay any attention to anyone. Sometimes, she forgot how truly terrifying of a power the normally calm man had.
The boat began to lurch dangerously and the sea became choppier, causing her dad to succumb to the attacks of the tentacruel and sink into the sea. Just like that, Jolyne went from feeling victorious to watching the world sink all at once.
Looking up, she saw a face appear in one of the windows of the helicopter. It was still too far away for her to see clearly, but she was almost certain it was the priest. Even all the way from the boat, she could feel his mocking gaze on her, his very posture exuding arrogance.
She felt rage heat her blood, but instead of being swept up in the intense emotion, it was Hamon that began to form in her despite being in a foreign body. The lungs of a reanimated corpse didn't work exactly the same, but she knew she had to try when the moment was ripe.
The decision to go in Weather Report's direction instead of her dad's had been a difficult one to make, but she was confident that her old man would be able to get out on his own. He always found a way to come back to her.
She charged straight at Weather Report, who seemed to be in his own little bubble. Without even raising a shout or trying to talk to him, she smacked him in the back of the neck. The blow seemed to bring him back to himself, just as the storm that hard started began to die down again.
Now, to get her dad out of the water.
A deafening roar sounded from the other side of the boat. Jolyne watched with a gaping mouth as the sea burst open, letting out a huge, raging Gyarados, a giant blue oriental-style sea dragon, with Jotaro Kujo mounted on top. He wasted no time charging straight towards the rogue Tentacruel. Star Platinum tore the huge pokemon apart with a flurry of blows of which only half would have been necessary.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the boat, she saw Giorno glowing in the golden light of his stand as he faced off against other sea pokemon. Whichever ones so much as aimed an attack against him would disappear in that instant.
With a weapon as powerful as Gold Experience Requiem at his disposal, Jolyne wondered why it was taking him so long to deal with all of the creatures at once. That's when she noticed new pokeomon suddenly popping up, taking the place of those that had disappeared, although making it double.
Glancing back at the helicopter, she saw someone peeking out from behind Pucci's figure, watching the battle below. She couldn't see him well at all, though he seemed smaller and more hunched over than the priest. It wasn't long before he moved over to the helicopter's open door, holding something in his hands. The greenish thing in his hand unleashed two whips that shot straight down into the boat. They latched onto Donatello's legs and wrapped around him, all the while avoiding the chains around his torso. Jolyne realized with a start that the whips were actually leafy vines. Tracing them back to the man in the helicopter door, she was finally able to make out that he was holding a bulbasaur.
It was obvious that he was the one behind this bizarre phenomenon. Without a doubt, that user was the missing son of DIO, Ungalo.
The vines did their job, towing Donatello up, and it looked like he was going to escape again.
"Oh no you fucking don't."
Jolyne hadn't put herself through all that harsh training just to let herself fail like that. Grabbing a coil of thick rope tucked away to the side, she did quick work of making a noose she had practiced tying numerous times with her strings. Then, with all the strength in her arms, or rather Bruno's arms, she began to move the lasso in a circular motion before tossing it hard. As it flew through the air, she poured her Hamon energy into it, forcing it to follow the trajectory of her will, which was toward Donatello's bloodsplattered torso.
Donatello, who seemed only half-conscious by that point, looked startled as he suddenly found himself trapped in her noose, the rope tightening around him over his silver chains.
"Overdrive!" she shouted.
She knew the borrowed body wasn't going to work the same as her own, but she hoped imbuing the silver chains with a new surge of Hamon would at least stall him long enough until one of the others could come to her aid.
To her elation, not only did Donatello's body squirm before going limp, but his upward trajectory stopped as well. It seemed that her sparks had run up the leafy vine and also affected his brother, who was pulling him up. Jolyne wasted no time, taking the opportunity to pull hard on the rope, tugging Donatello back down in the boat's direction.
Not long after, when she had caused the body to dip a couple of meters closer to her, she felt some resistance and knew it could only mean that Ungalo had gotten over his momentary shock and was now resuming his efforts to pull Donatello back up.
For a moment, the unconscious Donatello was tugged up and down like a rag doll as two people on either end battled for supremacy. Jolyne was impressed that the bulbasaur's leafy vine was able to hold out for as long as it had. Although it looked as though both parties were of equal strength, gravity worked in her favor, so she managed to slowly inch the body a little lower toward her end.
Just then, as she looked up to check the helicopter, she saw Pucci pull something from his body. He threw the object out the window, too fast for her to completely follow its trajectory with the naked eye, though she noticed a nearby flock of seagulls and how one of them cried out. She waited for something to happen, but they continued to circle in the air as the seconds stretched into a minute. Just when she began to doubt her assumption, the temperature in the area took a dive.
Wearing nothing on her upper body but the tanktop, Jolyne couldn't help but shiver and had the urge to hug herself for warmth. That would mean letting go of the rope, however, which she refused to do. Gritting her teeth against the freezing temperature, she instead concentrated completely on pulling Donatello further down.
She had underestimated Pucci's attack, thinking his intention was only to make her freeze. Before she knew it, a haze began to arise in the air and little translucent squares began to fall from the sky. Not having expected them, she wasn't able to dodge fast enough when one square fell near her and grazed her arm, passing through with a holographic touch. She heard the sizzling sound before she felt an excruciating pain that caused her to cry out and let go. Seeing bone poking out of her injured arm, she realized the square had melted part of the flesh in its path.
With her no longer dangerously tethering Donatello to the boat, the helicopter was able to take off at full speed, taking his unconscious body with ita. The sea battles around her continued, but Jolyne could only watch the helicopter that carried their escaped prisoner get further and further away.
"I can shoot it down," Weather Report whispered from beside her.
Jolyne realized for the first time what he had been up to the whole time during her little tug of war game. Storm clouds were brewing overhead in the horizon, cackling with electricity. Weather Report seemed completely serious as he looked at her, awaiting a response.
She immediately shook her head, rejecting his idea. No matter how desperately she wanted to reverse the situation, it was too dangerous for everyone. She had never seen him this way before, the way he seemed far more obsessed with throwing the opponent down than he was with his own life and the lives of his teammates. For the first time since she'd known him, Weather Report scared her.
Only when the helicopter was a speck in the horizon did the sea finally start to calm, no more sea creatures popping up to replace those they got rid of that were making trouble for them. The boat was silent, rocking gently in the calm waves.
Jotaro simply adjusted his cap that miraculously hadn't been lost underwater. Giorno was quickly at Jolyne's side, seeing her numbly holding her burnt arm—technically, Bruno's. She gritted her teeth against the pain as he regrew the skin cells in her arm; her addled brain wondered if Bruno was feeling the pain back on the island too or if he got a pass since she was borrowing his body at the moment.
A wave of nausea suddenly hit her. She didn't know if it came with having her head attached to a body that wasn't her own for too long, especially one that was not quite alive, or if it was just the crushing defeat sinking in.
They set course back to Air Suplena to fetch Jolyne's body and return Bruno his. Giorno had given her his expensive jacket to cover up, which she had soon turned into a bloody rag, but he didn't seem to mind. He was much more focused on her being okay despite the bizarreness of her current state.
In fact, she really wasn't okay, as her nausea hadn't abated at all. Her physical state was nothing next to what she had felt: fear. It was not simply being scared—what she had felt was a sense of paralyzing fear, the likes of which she believed an adult could no longer feel. Being paralyzed for those tenths of a second could have made all the difference in how things played out. Had they not predicted that such an escape was possible and planned ahead for the contingency, Donatello would have undoubtedly stolen her blood and probably more.
The feeling actually got worse the more she dwelled on the fact that the man who wanted to hunt her had escaped and was on the loose again. She would have to be alert at all times from now on, even within the island, as he had already proven that he was capable of sneaking in. There was really no saying when he would appear again or where.
'Well, it won't be for a little while at least.'
She tried to be optimistic, thinking about a poisoned Donatello hiding in a ditch somewhere licking his wounds, but at the moment, it didn't bring her much relief.
As they neared the island, her dad explained to her that with a little luck, they could find the helicopter and track down Pucci along with the two brothers. Jolyne was going to grumpily retort that it was pointless, that there was no way Pucci would have used that mode of transportation if he didn't have a way to cover their tracks when she noticed Jotaro's tired eyes watching her carefully. She suddenly realized he was trying to cheer her up. That in itself warmed her heart more than than any of the words he had just spoken to her.
"The truth is, seeing you riding a water pokemon is something I used to think you did when I was a kid," Jolyne said to him.
"It wasn't really the worst fight I've ever had," he replied with a very slight smile, though only for a second.
There was silence between them, but this time a more comfortable kind.
Jolyne would have been content to leave it at just that, but of course, that wasn't exactly her style.
"I guess at least we've learned quite a few things in this fight," she said. "First, we confirmed that the blood of the dead works as an effective poison even if it isn't used against a full-fledged vampire. Second, we gained more knowledge on the missing brother and his Stand; it's safe to say his ability can also be overridden by Gold Experience Requiem. As an added bonus, thanks to his ability, Dad even fulfilled his secret dream. Third and finally, I've realized the Leone Abbacchio experience."
"What do you mean?" asked Giorno.
"I've become one with Bruno Bucciarati."
Hamon Disciple N1: My name is Giacomo Tiramisu, and I have a dream: to be the one to put an end to the plague of vampires that killed my grandparents. Despite being a 20-year-old man and having been surpassed by the young Zeppeli, my story is unique, so I will be proud to join you and let you know about my bizarre adventure.
Hamon Disciple N2: Well, that's not going to happen.
Hamon Disciple N1: What?
Hamon Disciple N2: The authors say that they've already introduced too many characters to add more named OCs, so we're just stuck being minions.
Hamon Disciple N1: But what about Iulius?
Iulius: My character description is "Caesar but 14 years old". Just how am I an OC?
Hamon Disciple N1: But that's not fair!
Iulius: Well, at least you're alive. We Zeppelis usually die in this series, so I wouldn't complain.
"我是罗利 杰伊 庞德啊"
To be continue……
【茸徐】 梦里的人 ①
【茸徐】Bloody Golden Butterfly: Ch. 38
Ch. 8: Romeo
Romeo was stressed out in a way he had never been before. He had arrived safely in Rome, only to be kidnapped by his supposed new friend. At first, he thought he was wanted for ransom, but it turned out that he was just a means to get to Jolyne. Donatello, if that was even his real name...
Ch. 8: Romeo
Romeo was stressed out in a way he had never been before. He had arrived safely in Rome, only to be kidnapped by his supposed new friend. At first, he thought he was wanted for ransom, but it turned out that he was just a means to get to Jolyne. Donatello, if that was even his real name, wouldn't answer when Romeo asked what he wanted from her, for as far as he knew, she was just an ordinary girl, nothing special.
That liar Donatello actually stuffed him in the trunk of a car and dragged him to Naples where he thought he was going to die until some huge scary guys rescued him. Hours later, they were on some island where they found Jolyne calm and covered in blood, seeming to have beaten up his kidnapper. When she knocked Romeo unconscious, it was almost a relief. Or at least until he woke up again.
The new captors had put him in a little room that looked like something straight out of one of those period soap operas his mom enjoyed, with a huge balcony behind it. It was all very dreamy and vacation-like if it weren't for the fact that he was brought there against his will and he didn't know how he could communicate with his dad to get him out of there. He currently sat on a couch that looked older than he was, even if it was elegant, peeking through the crack between his eyelids at the only other two people in the room as they chatted with each other. Luckily, they hadn't tied him up; it seemed that at least they didn't consider him a threat.
Even though he hurriedly shut his eyes again, the voice of the older lady told him she knew he was awake. She said something about his breathing giving him away, though he swore he wasn't loud.
"Please let me go! My father has plenty of money. He'll give you however much you ask!"
Neither of the two people seemed to pay him any mind.
"I'll tell you whatever you want, but let me go home first!"
"I know you have your plans, Jotaro, but only a few hours ago I made her a promise to beat him up. It's like the spirit of my George and my Joseph have interceded to fulfill a last will before my old bones prevent me from doing something like that."
"I don't believe in that nonsense, witch, but I don't really mind you beating him up," the one called Jotaro replied.
If Romeo had known how the meeting between the old woman and the other huge, serious man was going to go, surely, the idea of being thrown into the sea would not have seemed so unpleasant. Not even the old hags in horror movies were as scary as this old lady, but the huge man was even worse.
"You're related to Jolyne, right?" Romeo said rather frightenedly to Jotaro, who kept looking at him with his classic expression, maybe a little more threatening than usual. "Jolyne and I are... very good friends. Where is she anyway? I want to talk to her. She would never be okay with all of this."
"I'm her father. And I know who you are."
Romeo gulped. He hadn't imagined that Jolyne's dad would be a grumpy giant. He had only known that her parents were divorced and that she hadn't seen him in years. His first meeting with her mom was at her house before the accident and the second was when Marena slapped him by the courthouse door on the day of the trial. No doubt her ex-husband was up to date on that matter.
"N-Nice to meet you, Mr. Kujo."
"Frankly, the feeling isn't mutual," Jotaro said with a tone even more curt than usual. Next to him, the old lady sipped her tea, looking at him with the same contempt.
"Our Jolyne is a lovely young lady. Intelligent, kind, good, strong, and beautiful." She drilled Romeo with her gaze. "I thought that being a bit prone to buffoonery like my Joseph and just as headstrong was her biggest flaw, but I see she had a much worse one hidden."
Romeo began to almost wistfully think back to when he was locked in the trunk. When Jolyne appeared, he was the gladdest he had ever been to see her. Everyone in the room turned their attention to her instead.
"Your disciple offered to stand watch, but nothing much happened anyway. Giorno just talked to Donatello and I broke his nose. He won't be telling us anything substantial until Rohan arrives. Speaking of, have you questioned this guy?" She refused the tea that the old lady offered her. "I swear that whenever I forget that you're English, I remember again because you're always drinking that stuff."
"Joliet!" Romeo said. "I don't know what's going on, but some guy pretended to be my friend and then he kidnapped me."
"You're as clueless as ever." Jolyne turned to her dad. "Can we send him on the first flight back to the states? Even if it's as animal cargo, that's fine too."
"That's not very funny." Romeo tried to smile, unsure if she was joking. The Jolyne who had been his girlfriend would say that as a joke, but the woman in front of him, who had not yet cleaned up after the battle, seemed perfectly capable of carrying out what she said. And he may have given her reason to do so too.
It didn't take long before another one of his ex-saviors joined them, a tall man with blonde hair that flowed down his shoulders. Rather than the tracksuit worn by others on the island, he was fully dressed in a flamboyant attire and ornaments, like shown in mafia movies. He had to be one of those criminals who kidnapped top designers to serve them exclusively. Romeo was almost positive that his hair had to have extensions too. And were those pectorals made of silicone? He wasn't sure, but he was willing to bet on it.
The blonde criminal went directly to the old lady, to whom he began to speak in Italian after bowing respectfully to her.
"I don't believe we've been introduced, Mrs. Joestar. My name is Giorno Giovanna." He gave her a gentlemanly kiss on the hand. "I've heard of you, but I've never had the honor of meeting you in person."
"The pleasure is mine," the old lady replied. "I've heard a lot about Passione. I know it's changed since you became its don."
Romeo wasn't really listening to what they were saying. There was something about the blonde man, Giorno Giovanna, that seemed very familiar. He soon realized where he recognized him from. For the past couple of weeks, he had stared at and cursed at the picture Jolyne had sent him of her with that other man, the same one that happened to be standing before him now.
"Hey, I know you!" Romeo pointed accusingly. "You're from the picture, the new boyfri..."
Before he could finish, he felt something thin and very long press into his arm, quickly wrapping around it. The string-like thing, which he couldn't see, tightened before he suddenly felt an electric shock-like sensation course through him and his mind went blank. He didn't have time to feel relieved when the invisible string loosened because he suddenly lost complete control over his arm. He found himself forming a fist and then punching himself harder than he thought he was capable of, breaking his nose on the spot. A scream escaped him.
"You're up against noses today, are you? Not that I blame you. Were you capable of doing this before?" Giorno was not at all fazed by the other man's cries of pain or the smell of fresh blood even though he had been neglecting his special feeding. He was more mindful of Jolyne's response. "No? Well, it seems that combining your Hamon techniques with your Stand ability is making your own Stand grow. Congratulations."
"If done carefully, mixing together something as versatile as Hamon and your strings can make you very formidable, even among Stand users." Jolyne's dad patted her on the shoulder. "Not to mention you can play tricks like this on imbecile non-stand users without them being any the wiser."
"I don't know what happened at all, but I think a congratulations is in order," said the old lady. "I think you're the first person since my Joseph to possess a Stand while also handling Hamon. Looks like your abilites have grown to a point where you're able to physically manipulate your opponent. I'm very proud to have a descendant as capable as you."
Jolyne seemed deaf to Romeo's moans of pain, her eyes watering at the old woman's words.
"When Bruno comes, you should use this same trick on him. Let him have a taste of what it's like for someone to manipulate your body without permission," Giorno suggested to her, making her smile. That smile reminded Romeo of the one she used to give him, though this was much more relaxed.
"Oh, fuck, yeah. He played so many tricks on me when I was training with him. I'm going to return the favor!"
"I have no doubt it's a magnificent ability," the old lady said, "but I think you forgot to turn it off, if you know what I mean. You should release it if you're still using Hamon. You could hurt him, but more importantly, you'll exhaust yourself even more than you already have after having used a lot throughout the day." She glanced at Romeo as he struggled to move his fist away from his face.
"Oh, I think..." Jolyne mimicked the movement she did a moment ago, but this time Romeo noticed that he regained control of his arm. As the string loosened around his arm and let go, his arm felt a little heavy, no longer having any support. She paused, thinking about something. "Dad, can I talk to you for a moment?"
Ham-on? Stands? Romeo didn't know about all of that, and he didn't care. Seeing Jolyne leave the room with her scary father, he began to feel panicked.
He shrank in on himself and almost screamed when Giorno Giovanna approached him, with the old lady laughing behind him. His nose somehow healed amid cries of pain.
Air Suplena had several rooms for study but only one for relaxing while watching TV, so Jolyne was surprised to learn that the other disciples didn't stop by often. This meant it was usually free for her and Shizuka when they weren't crawling off to sleep. Hence, she was sure that room, which was right next to Lisa Lisa's chambers that they had just exited, would be empty. Thanks to the soundproofing, it was perfect for having a private conversation.
Shutting the door behind them, she faced her dad.
"There's something you should know," she began.
Jolyne wanted to have a better relationship with her father and be more truthful but not so much that she had to tell him how her relationship with Giorno was going. It was best to embellish that a bit.
Gosh, hopefully, this would be easier to spin than when facing her mom.
"You know the whole story about the car accident with Romeo and the framing, right? So, apparently, Romeo now claims to feel sorry for selling me out, and he constantly tried to contact me through my social media. I tried to tell him off, but he wouldn't listen. It was getting really annoying, so I messaged him and lied about having a boyfriend. Since he didn't believe it and acted all cocky, I showed him 'proof' by sending him a picture of me standing next to someone better-looking than him, which happened to be Giorno. So..."
The few seconds he stared at her seemed like eternity. Jolyne began to worry that she had underestimated her old man's knowledge of social media use and that he would be able to pick out the flaws in her story.
"I see," he finally mumbled after a long while. "I don't trust that that boy would have kept quiet and not spread his knowledge about your so-called boyfriend everywhere. Good grief, that's one more annoying problem we didn't count on."
"Yeah, that's exactly it!"
Then, Jotaro suddenly turned and walked back to the living room where a hushed Giorno and Lisa Lisa were discussing the lack of cleanliness in the canals. Jolyne couldn't see, but a nervous Romeo was tied to the seat with a grapevine created by Giorno.
She feared the worst when Jotaro called Giorno, asking him to accompany him for a moment. Was he going to smack Giorno?
She didn't think her dad could hurt him much when Giorno had the Requiem and all... Could he?
As soon as Giorno entered the adjacent room, Jotaro started talking. He went straight to the point.
"Giovanna, there's a little problem. The kid in that room who Donatello used to mislead us is my daughter's ex-boyfriend. It seems he came all the way here from the US to romantically pursue her, indirectly creating this whole mess. Jolyne says he's been very persistent, not leaving her social media alone, so to get him off her back, she lied to him about having a new boyfriend. Which is you."
Giorno gave her a quick side eye before turning back to Jotaro. He was about to say something, perhaps calm Jotaro down, but her dad didn't give him the chance.
"I don't know if it's too much trouble for you to pretend it's true. It'll help us get a rich brat like him under control."
Jolyne guessed that Giorno must have spent a lifetime practicing being expressionless because it was impressive that his only reaction was to raise an eyebrow. The last thing either of them expected was for her own dad to ask him to go out with her, even if it was in a pretend way.
She couldn't have known about the many things that crossed Giorno's mind, like the desire to tell her father that he was just a method actor or that Giorno could even keep up the act until it was time to give him a few grandchildren.
"It isn't a bad idea," Giorno finally said. "Men like him only give in to another man. Otherwise, he'll keep bothering Jolyne and making everyone's job more difficult."
"Besides, while we erase her records, it's good to have an excuse for what she's been doing here all this time," Jotaro said, considering the idea. "Something like making a passionate, youthful decision to go meet a boyfriend's family in Italy, from which she learned a lot, like a new language and customs of that culture. It would look good on a college application too."
"I agree, Dr. Kujo," Giorno said seriously. "However, I am a busy man. I have something to attend to in Venice. If you want my help in keeping up the act, Jolyne will have to come along with me."
There was a small bout of silence, then all the cordiality between the two men seemed to vanish all at once. Jolyne looked at them both for a few moments before sighing in boredom at the display of testosterone.
"Do you have a house in Venice too?" she asked to break the ice.
"This is not the time to talk about real estate," Jotaro said. "From what he's suggested, it's clear he wants to interrupt your training as if he has any say in this."
"I didn't say I wanted to interrupt anything, signore. I can manage from Venice, but I can't miss any meetings, no matter how delicate the situation with Donatello is. My business is important to too many people. Besides, in all the time that Jolyne was with me, they were not able to get that close to her. I have more than enough means to protect her effectively. So, please don't blow things out of proportion." He turned to Jolyne. "Of course, I have a house in Venice. A palazzo, in fact. I have many properties around Italy and a few scattered around the world. It's the norm in my profession."
"She's not going to be any safer with you than with me, Giovanna," Jotaro interjected again.
The two men proceeded to stare each other down.
Jolyne was tired. She had been overcome by difficult situation many times, but on this occasion, she was literally tired. Exhausted. Not just mentally, but physciall too, as she had fought a Pillar Man and a vampire just before, using Hamon for a prolonged period of time. If she passed out, would they fight over who carried her to rest? She knew they would, and that caused her to growl in frustration. She was stuck between two of the most powerful Stand users in the world.
With a history of conflict behind them, the situation would be dangerous for anyone. Right now, she was actually thinking of kicking both of their asses.
"Uh, excuse me, who was it again who stopped that vampire bastard?" she said, not wanting to say Donatello's name aloud because of the disgusting feelings she feared it might insight in her. "Until you guys showed up like you were some kind of saviors, I was holding the fort by myself pretty well. So, fuck you both. I'm not a baby in need of protection." She folded her arms and looked at them alternately in disdain. "Give me a break. Are you going to fight like complete assholes, or are you going to let me have my say? Because may I remind you, Mr. Mob Don, that I am not one of your superordinates. And Dad, I'm an adult."
Both men mumbled an apology to the most important person in both of their lives. Jolyne had always been strong, but there was a kind of new resolve in her that was palpable. Giorno found her sublime. Jotaro thought that perhaps she was spending too much time with Lisa Lisa.
"If you guys are done being jerks, let's be reasonable. It seems pointless to do all this just to try to calm that asshole down. First, it doesn't make sense for me to suddenly stop training. I mean, I hate it with all my soul, but hell, its effective. Second, even if I could easily come for training all the way from Venice, it begins in the wee hours of the morning and there's no way in hell I'm leaving before dawn for it. Besides, Giorno, don't you have to go back to Rome?"
At that moment, Giorno had an image of Fugo saying that he couldn't just leave without further ado for Venice. Luckily, since it was to help Jolyne, Abbacchio had been on his side and told him that anyone who needed to see the Don could take a few hours' drive to see him; that's what the fucking Don was for. Bucciarati would meet him in Rome, but the others would stay there. Feeling sorry for anyone who insisted on the imperative need for an urgent appointment, he had seen to it that Leone Abbacchio, with Panacotta Fugo as secretary, would receive those who wanted a meeting and were unwilling to go to Venice. He was sure that most would either lose their haste or claim that Venice was too beautiful a place not to go to when they found out. So yes, he could do it.
"Sometimes, I have to spend periods of time in Naples, Florence, or here in Venice, so it's normal. Don't worry about it," Giorno replied with a totally unconcerned expression.
"Ok, then what if I keep training a few days a week but take a day off to go to Venice with my 'boyfriend'?"
"Jolyne, I don't know if..."
"Mrs. Marena called me to say she's coming to Venice too," Giorno interrupted. "She also told me to inform you that she's coming whether you like it or not."
Jolyne smiled triumphantly. Anyone thinking of Jotaro Kujo and how to defeat him would think of elaborate plans or powerful Stands, but Jolyne knew that if she wanted calm, without her father interfering too much, she had the ultimate weapon on her side. Marena Regio Kujo knew how to neutralize the invincible Jotaro Kujo better than any Requiem arrow.
At the end of the day, Giorno departed to his Venice mansion. He had to supervise everything for the arrival of the guests even though he did not at all like the idea of going far away from where Donatello was being held. Although he had made sure that the monster was well-guarded several times, he was not at ease and communicated with them several times by phone.
Bruno arrived with a spirited Marena the next day. As her appearance made clear, her family was from Venetto, so it was like going back to her roots. As for Bruno, well, he had a lot of painful memories in Venice that he was trying to overcome, but overall, he was doing well. At least he could handle Venice, unlike Sardinia, which seemed impossible.
Having Bruno around was a God-send. Jolyne didn't want to disturb anyone when she woke up feeling dirty from dreams triggered by Donatello's blood, but he was always willing to beat her mind clear.
As plans were being made for Rohan, the other key, to arrive as well, they were rejected by Lisa Lisa, who refused to allow him entry onto Air Suplena. Having heard stories about Rohan Kishibe, the old woman was extremely wary and distrustful. Too many favors had already been granted to the Joestar family with the entry of people who did not practice Hamon, and they had endured enough having Donatello on the island.
According to the laws of Hamon, Donatello was still a vampiric beast. His attack had left several wounded and he had even killed one of the instructors on his way, so most of the disciples clamored for him to be executed. They were only so willing to hand him over to Giorno because they knew that it would mean a fate far worse than death for Donatello. Even if they were still hurting from the loss, perhaps having him away and knowing that he was going to pay for his actions would help them return the island to the peaceful place it had been before. With that said, they didn't have the time and resources to deal with a potentially dangerous enigma like Rohan.
Despite Jotaro's reluctance, they had to settle for transfering their captive to a cell in Giorno's Venice palazzo.
The day of Donatello's transfer quickly arrived. It was a sunny morning; Weather Report had made sure of that. Giorno did not like the weather, as he remembered the sun shining hopefully against the sky the day they found Abbacchio dead. He had woken up with a dark foreboding. When he arrived at Air Suplena, Donatello's calm smile sent shivers down his spine. Giorno knew something was going to happen, and he was going crazy not knowing what it was going to be.
Anasui: By analyzing my competition, I think I've managed to guess why I could not marry Jolyne.
Jonathan: That's not a bad idea, but I think the answer is that she didn't love you.
Anasui: No, it was something else. Let's analyze my rivals. The first one is Romeo; he's simply not real competition. Then there's Donatello. Your son, right? He used his blood, which is—
Jonathan: A horrible method.
Anasui: Terribly effective. I even admire it. And then there's Giorno, the one who respects her and takes her on dates and all that. With all that, I think I've found the answer.
Jonathan: Yes, love her and treat her with respect.
Anasui: Again, you are wrong. There is something they all have in common. And the ladies Erina, Suzie and Marena. Even Dio.
Jonathan: Young man, what does Dio have to do with this?
Anasui: You had four children with him, so I count him. My failure was not dyeing my hair blond. Unforgivable.
Jonathan: I don't think that...
Anasui: Are there hairdressers for ghosts?
*原作走奥3：Simple y Claro by Miload47
*原作走奥3：Simple y Claro by Miload47
【茸徐】Bloody Golden Butterfly: Ch. 37
Ch. 37: Averno
Jolyne was quite resolute about how to deal with her ex-boyfriend for the time being. It didn't take more than a sharp blow to the back of the head to knock him unconscious; he was a problem she would deal with later. Now she had some more important matters to deal with, like two brothers...
Ch. 37: Averno
Jolyne was quite resolute about how to deal with her ex-boyfriend for the time being. It didn't take more than a sharp blow to the back of the head to knock him unconscious; he was a problem she would deal with later. Now she had some more important matters to deal with, like two brothers who wanted to kill one another. Actually, on second thought, maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all. Letting Giorno kill Donatello would be the best option. She was on the verge of suggesting this idea when her dad spoke up.
"We should interrogate him for information about Pucci and whatever was up with those biologically incorrect turtles just now," Jotaro said.
"True, we can't kill him just yet," Jolyne said with disadvantageous sigh.
"Dr. Kujo, if you will, I have experience making people talk," Giorno said.
"No offense, Giovanna, but I can't trust you with your brother."
"It's all right, dad. We can trust him." Jolyne put a hand on Giorno's shoulder. "I know I do."
Star Platinum held Donatello while Jotaro adjusted his hat and muttered one of his signature 'yare yare daze'. Giorno shot a grateful look at her. Weather Report looked between them but said nothing. It was Shizuka who cut the silence as she stared at the unconscious Romeo.
"So, blondies, huh?"
"Yeah, blonde like Iulius," Jolyne replied, making Shizuka blush with embarrassment.
Obviously, the Hamon warriors were prepared to deal with vampires, so there was an underground dungeon on the island that was suitable to hold Donatello. She had only seen it once herself before while touring the island. The matter of Donatello's Stand made things a little bit more tricky, but after some discussion, they quickly decided he would be bound at the wrists with silver chains and watched over by someone at all times so that he would have no opportunity to activate his Stand.
Shizuka was tired, but she was feeling much better thanks to Giorno, so she took care of Romeo with the help of Iulius, who came running to the area to offer his help in any way he could. Even though they were practically children, the Hamon training made the two of them much stronger than Romeo, so they took him without any problems. For a second, Shizuka's eyes met Jolyne's, who smiled mischievously at her as she mouthed the word 'blondes', causing Shizuka to quicken her pace.
Jotaro was called over by Lisa Lisa to talk about the wreckage, so only Jolyne was left along with Weather Report and Giorno to transport Donatello to the dungeon. Or rather, she led them while Weather Report dragged Donatello and Giorno trailed behind them, probably so as not to kill him right there.
Despite the age of the dungeon, it was not so different from a police station cell. It had a small bed behind long bars and a tiny ceiling window that allowed the moonlight to pass through into the cell below. The most modern thing about the place was the electrical installation and a small modern urinal.
After Donatello was tied up, Jolyne and Weather Report had a quick whispered conversation with their heads close together. She could feel Giorno's gaze on her from the corner of her eye, but nothing more. Perhaps he had grown accustomed to this habit of Weather Report's along with the way he tiptoed around as though he lived in a continuous state of extreme caution. To Jolyne, there was still so much mystery built around her friend, even compared to the others, but her gut told her he was a good person deep down.
Weather Report nodded to what she said and patted her on the shoulder before exiting the dungeon.
Feeling Giorno's gaze burn with curiosity, she said, "I asked Weather Report to let you talk to this guy alone."
"Grazie, not that I have much to talk to this monster about anyway," Giorno replied, shooting a disgusted look toward the cell.
"Of course, we're all monsters except for our golden boy," Donatello said.
Under the dim lighting of the cell, he looked too relaxed sitting on the bed for someone whose hands were chained together in front. While his red leather jacket looked pristine, his white suit was stained with blood.
"I'm sure that no matter how many lies you've told Rikiel, you think the same about our brother. Who even knows what you would have said about Ungalo."
"Ungalo?" Giorno was quick to latch onto that. "Is that the name of our brother?"
"Maybe, maybe not."
"Answer the question properly. I don't like repeating myself."
"You really want to know about our brothers, do you?" Donatello raised an eyebrow. "Well, I'll tell you, but not today. I don't feel like continuing the conversation."
Jolyne glanced at Giorno. His face looked calm, but she could tell that something wasn't right; his fists behind his back were clenched tight in anger. Remembering Rikiel, she guessed that the information on their remaining brother must be very important to him.
"I'm not going to get my hands dirty with you," Giorno said coldly, "but I'm sure my men will enjoy doing so. Didn't you want to meet them? One of them is going to love making you talk and then taking care of the remains."
Giorno was no longer Giorno at that point. He was Don Giovanna; he explained, not threatened.
"He's a specialist in dismembering bodies and keeping them alive during the process. At 12 years old, with a small knife, he dispatched men more intimidating than you. At 20, he was already feared by all of Italy. Imagine how much he's refined his skills now that he's left his humanity behind. He's a true craftsman of torture. Working on a unique specimen like you, who is capable of healing so quickly, will bring him immense joy."
Donatello was glaring at him with so much hatred, if looks could kill, Giorno would have been torn to shreds before her very eyes by now. Giorno, however, looked relaxed as he took a step forward.
"One way or another, you will answer my questions," he said. "Whether it's now or later, more painful or less, that's for you to decide."
"I'm not telling you anything," Donatello spat, trembling with rage. "Not to you or your cronies. Go ahead and try to torture me all you want. You aren't getting a word out of me."
"Is that so? Have it your way. The mafia shows no mercy, not even to blood relatives. You may be my brother, but you aren't my fratello."
As the brothers stared one another down murderously, Jolyne could swear the room's temperature dropped a few degrees. She decided it was a good time to bring up something that had been bothering her.
"The last of you, Ungalo. He's here somewhere nearby on this island or in Venice, isn't he?" Jolyne said. "He must be the one who violated Nintendo's intellectual property."
It was just a guess, but Jolyne became more sure as she said it aloud. It could explain Donatello's nonchalance. He must be counting on this brother to save him.
Not good. She shot Giorno a grim look.
"Oh? You want to know more about my brothers too, my JoJo?" Donatello leaned forward as much as the chains would allow, a smug grin on his face. "In that case, maybe I do feel like talking. I wouldn't mind if you're the interrogator."
"Eyes on me, Versus," Giorno growled.
Donatello ignored him, his eyes not leaving Jolyne's. "I'm willing to talk, but you have to do something for me first."
Jolyne glared, knowing it couldn't be anything good.
"I want you to kiss me."
Giorno went rigid beside her. No doubt he must be regretting what he had said before about her offer to let him be alone with Donatello.
Just when he was about to say something, she stepped forward to open the solidly barred door that separated her from Donatello. She approached him calmly as if to inspect him. Since he was kept seated and chained to the bed that served as a bench, it was the first time she had seen him from above. It was a little less scary that way after being haunted by him in her nightmares for so long.
She swallowed down her disgust when she caught sight of the smudged green lipstick stains around his mouth. She was afraid to look at herself in a mirror. Her own lipstick had to have been smudged too and maybe even covered in blood. Could Giorno have realized...?
She shoved the thought out of her head as she gently took Donatello's face in both hands and gazed at him. Smiling, he closed his eyes in anticipation. It was at that moment when she headbutted him hard in the nose. A telltale crack was heard, and Donatello groaned.
She let go, bursting out laughing. "Did you really think I was going to do it?" she said, clutching her stomach. "Oh, I feel so much better, more relaxed. Giorno, could you fix his nose so he can break it again?"
She tossed a look over her shoulder and found Giorno returning her smile.
Donatello's grimace faded as his blood dripped from his nose toward his mouth. He stuck out his tongue to lick it slowly. "Mm. Delicious, don't you think, my JoJo? You've had a taste for yourself, and I'm sure I'm going to love yours too. It must be true that love is about sharing because I certainly enjoyed doing it with you." His smile chilled her bones. "If you want more, you know you only have to ask."
Jolyne froze. Something churned in her stomach. She wanted to say it was all disgust, but there was something else too, something she had been able to willfully ignore during the battle. But now the adrenaline was gone, and she felt an inexplicable evil desire that brought her shame.
Meeting Donatello's deep blue gaze, she saw his cold eyes dance with laughter. She quickly turned her gaze downward, only to catch sight of the splotches of blood on his expensive tailored suit. Whose blood was it? She began to wonder if the red of the leather was just meant for camouflage.
She wanted to break his nose again... but then she also wanted to lick the blood that seeped out. At the memory of the kiss, there was a surge of pure anger intermigled with desire. Jolyne clenched her fists, trying to look nonchalant.
Seconds could have passed or even minutes before she felt a gentle grip on her arm, pulling her out of the cell.
As the cell door shut with a click, she looked up and met Giorno's reassuring aquamarine gaze. He pulled out a handkerchief neatly folded in his lapel. Grabbing her gently by the chin, he brought the handkerchief to her face, setting about wiping it. Slowly, her face felt cleaner. When he withdrew the handkerchief that was stained red and green and held out his hand, it took her a few seconds to understand what he was asking. She handed him the green lipstick she carried in her pocket. Cradling her face with one hand, he proceeded to carefully reapply the color to her lips.
"Not a trace," he whispered to her.
This time, the faint heat she felt in her cheeks had nothing to do with the blood she'd consumed.
"No matter how much you try to erase me from her body, you can't get rid of me!"
There was the sound of chains clinking and moving. She turned and saw Donatello angrily tug at his restraints, seeming to check the hardness even though it burned him.
"This posh Italian wouldn't understand anything you've been through, Jolyne, but I do!"
At his words, she gave him her full attention, pursing her lips.
"Do you know? I was once also sent to fucking prison for something I didn't do, and I was only 13. Like you, I was treated like shit over there. And also like you, I was isolated from a family that was supposed to love me. Don't you see? Our lives are a reflection. It's gravity, if you think about it. It's what Pucci was telling us so much about..."
"If you're going to talk, it better be information we want on Pucci. I don't give a damn about your so-called feelings for me." Jolyne glared before sighing in frustration. "You know what? I've had enough for today. Punzie, he's all yours. Enjoy the family reunion."
"You're leaving already? You can go ahead and try to escape. Chasing you is fun, my JoJo," he said, licking his lips.
Jolyne heard a 'crack' that momentarily stole Donatello's smile before it returned to his face, now with an unbearable smirk. Squinting her eyes, she noticed something odd about his nose. Not only had it stopped bleeding, but it seemed...intact. As though it had never been broken in the first place. Seeing this, she put her hand on her throbbing forehead, on the place where she had hit him.
She whipped around, rushing away. She didn't think she could take another second of that smug smile or the tantalizing smell of his blood that was now inside her as well.
As she left, she mumbled something insulting under her breath, slamming the door behind her. Of course, a lone string was left behind. She didn't intend to stop listening to what was going on in there. Donatello wasn't able to see it from his position, and she hoped Giorno wouldn't either. She found a safe spot for herself a distance away, half-way toward the exit.
It was amazing how quickly the atmosphere in the dungeon changed. She even seemed to notice a change in temperature through her thread.
"So, you're working with the enemy now, are you? With the same man who killed our father?"
"I'm not the one who murdered their patriarch in cold blood," she heard Giorno say. "They're not my enemy."
"Oh, so you think the Joestars are going to let you have her just because you play the good guy with them?" Donatello didn't laugh, though the mockery was present in his words. "You may be the golden boy, but you're nothing but a dirty mobster to them, dirtier still for climbing over others to get your way to the top. You're just as much a son of Dio as the rest of us, only guiltier of more crimes."
"How many of us are there? I know there's one more at least. I'm giving you a chance to talk before I force it out of you." Giorno's voice was stoic.
"You're still as cold as when we first met. I hated you then, you know. I was destined to be the one to lead Dio's sons, and then overnight, Pucci showed up with news of another one with life-giving abilities and, on top of that, he controlled the most powerful gang in all of Italy." Donatello's voice seemed empty at that moment. "But when you arrived, I discovered that you were little more than a child, more lost than even I was. You had no courage to do what really needed to be done. That's all you ever do. Keep me from doing things like a coward. The worst part is that even Rikiel wants to leave with you."
"Rikiel is a grown adult who can choose for himself," Giorno said coolly. "Do you treat our other brother like that as well?"
Donatello began to laugh, the reverberations of his laughter making Jolyne's skin crawl. "Do you really think I'm so easily fooled as to give you more information about our other brother like that? You want to know more about him. Well, I'll tell you that his name really is Ungalo, but nothing more. If you want to know more, you'll have to wait until we beat you. You lost the right to know more about them the day you left us."
"Left you? Is that what you've convinced yourself? Don't you mean the day you went to assassinate Joseph Joestar?" Giorno spat. "You know the main difference between you and me? I don't run away from my mistakes and spend my time blaming others for them."
"That's what you tell yourself to sleep at night on your throne over the corpses of your enemies? You know, I wouldn't have actually been able to do it if you had warned them in advance. I trusted that you were too much of an egomaniac to ask for help, and I was right. You're a lot easier to read than you think, and you're certainly not invincible. That will be the end of you."
Jolyne furrowed her brows, questions flooding her mind, but she would wait to hear an explanation from Giorno later. That was a much better option than continuing to think about the sinister things that might or might not have happened.
"I may agree with that to an extent, but it won't be today and it won't be by you," Giorno said. "I have more people on my side than you think. You think you're going to get into my head that easily?"
"Our father also believed in his followers, but he ended up dying alone. His followers convinced him that he controlled them, yet that control was not enough, just like you with your zombies. Oh, I know about your little secret in the basement of Naples, GioGio..." He exaggerated every syllable of his name with a thick fake Italian accent, making it almost sound like an insulting parody. "It's the same with the Speedwagon Foundation... Jotaro Kujo isn't going to let you near his daughter now that he's found her. You missed your chance to pop her cherry even though you had so many opportunities."
It took Jolyne a few seconds to process his last sentence. When she did, her heart shook.
Damn, did all of them know she was a virgin? Fucking vampires and their obsession with blood and smells. She wanted to punch a wall.
"How did you..."
She could practically hear Donatello's smirk as he responded. "You thought I wouldn't realize? There is something so exquisite about the blood of a virgin. Even more exciting is the prospect of taking it. Really, I should thank you. Despite having passed through both you and that idiot boy's hands, she's still as good as new. Must be fate. Our father wanted to snatch everything from the Joestars, and now it's my turn."
Feeling bile rise up her throat, Jolyne restrained herself from going right back in and throwing her fist straight at his face again.
It seemed that her lack of sexual activity had really been made a state issue. She didn't know how she was ever going to be able to look people in the face again.
She felt exposed; it was less about her virginity and more about the whole world knowing about her intimacy, something that should only matter to her and the person she did it with when the time came. As always, Donatello managed to make her feel like an object instead of a person. It was the same thing Romeo had done to her when he tried to make her follow his will, minus the few moments of false happiness.
Engrossed in her own thoughts, Jolyne realized she had missed part of their conversation. It was probably for the better. She didn't think she could take any more disgusting words from him anyway.
With the way Giorno was moving, she could tell his patience had reached its limit too, and he didn't need to hide it now that she wasn't in front of him. If he was thinking of killing Donatello, she wouldn't do anything to stop him. Surely, no one would miss him. However, something still seemed to hold Giorno back. She didn't know what, but if there was anyone capable of restraining himself in such situations, it was him.
Giorno's voice spoke again. "Jolyne is a person you won't have. Gesù benedetto figlio di Dio Padre, you can't just decide on your own that you're going to have someone. They are... a human being." He paused. "People are not to be owned, least of all her. She deserves someone who will love her regardless of her legacy."
"How chivalrous of you to say that when you find yourself drawn by her blood and to her beauty. Do you even love her?"
"Yes," Giorno said without hesitation. "Because I know her. She is much better than you and me. She's brave and strong, and in spite of everything, goodness still shines in her. So yes, putting aside my desire for her blood, I love her."
Jolyne retracted her string. It was just in time too because one of the advanced students walked past her just then, apparently arriving to stand guard.
She couldn't tell if Giorno had given up on the interrogation, but it was best that the student took his place. They just weren't going to be able to talk to Donatello anyway. She knew Giorno didn't enjoy being cruel, at least not normally, but she didn't doubt that in this case, he would be more than willing to allow his consigliere to torture Donatello as he had promised, right before handing him off to Rohan to read.
She stared at her intact finger as if it was to blame for what she had just heard at the very end, a thousand thoughts circling her head.
Giorno liking her was not news to her, but apparently, he had skipped the path between a crush and full-blown love. Her mom always told her that Italians were very intense people; it seems she wasn't lying.
Knowing Giorno must be coming out soon too, she knew she couldn't stick around with her thoughts in a jumble. It wouldn't bode well if he caught her eavesdropping on him.
Little did she know, Giorno had seen her string and known she was listening from the very beginning.
Marena: Welcome to the class on Jolyne.
Anasui, Donatello, Romeo, Giorno: Good morning, teacher!
Marena: In terms of her appearance, Jolyne is beautiful.
Anasui, Donatello, Romeo, Giorno: Of course, teacher.
Marena: Additionally, she is very intelligent.
Anasui, Donatello, Romeo, Giorno: Tremendously intelligent, teacher.
Marena: And she is an independent person capable of choosing the person she loves and rejecting the ones she doesn't.
Giorno: Of course.
Anasui: I don't understand that part.
Romeo: Who wouldn't choose me?
Donatello: If someone else's wishes clash with mine, it doesn't count.
Marena: I see. Only Giorno passed the class, so the rest of you will have to go to remedial classes with the other teacher.
Jotaro: First lesson, I'm going to kill you all.
【茸徐】His Christine: Chapter 9 (Final)
Jolyne slowly opened her eyelids as her consciousness surfaced. The room reflected in her blurred vision was dimly lit as if a black veil covered it. From the appearance of the room, even her hazy mind understood that it was midnight.
She blinked a few times and used her hand to trace the softness...
Jolyne slowly opened her eyelids as her consciousness surfaced. The room reflected in her blurred vision was dimly lit as if a black veil covered it. From the appearance of the room, even her hazy mind understood that it was midnight.
She blinked a few times and used her hand to trace the softness that touched the right side of her body. The sensation informed her that she was in bed.
Giorno had put her to sleep, and when she woke up, she ate a home-cooked meal he prepared before going right back to sleep. She felt sluggish now, probably due to mental exhaustion. Rubbing her eyes with her fingertips, she reflected on the situation.
She turned her gaze to her own body to clear her thoughts and vision. Her eyes caught a glimpse of the ice blue camisole and pair of shorts she used as pajamas. They were blurry, but somehow, even in the darkness, she could see the color.
It was not because her eyes had become accustomed to the darkness but because there was a light illuminating the room. Sensing someone's presence, she looked up without hesitation. What she saw was Giorno, whose face was illuminated by the light of a cell phone screen. Seeing it, she looked at him.
Though he wore black slacks, his upper body was naked. He was not touching her but leaning his back against the bed's headboard. His face was grim as he stared at his phone.
She tried to get closer with her elbows on the mattress to the face that was clearly grumpy.
"You're awake," he said.
Her movement had notified him that she was awake. His face, wrinkled between his eyebrows, relaxed as soon as he looked at her. His usual calm face. A gentle expression that was only for her.
"Yeah, good morning..."
She greeted him with a mumble, and he broke into a smile. Dropping the hand holding the phone onto the bed, he bent over and placed a kiss on her cheek as she looked up at him.
She smiled at the tender touch.
"It's only two-thirty in the morning," he said. "Isn't it too early to say good morning?"
"Yes, it's that time of night... No, I've slept too much."
Her awareness became clearer as she huffed at her own words.
It was no exaggeration to say that she had slept all day. Although it was the middle of the night, she thought about preparing for her father's hospitalization. She tried to get up out of a desire to help him.
However, Giorno's hand gripped her shoulder and stopped her from moving. The force was not strong, but it did not budge.
"Giorno," she said, opening her mouth to say something.
"You should still be sleeping," he said. "The fact that you've slept so much is a sign that you're exhausted. Besides, what are you planning to do, getting up in the middle of the night like this? Moving around now will only contribute to your fatigue."
Jolyne shook her head. She moved her mouth, still open.
"I have to prepare for my dad's hospitalization. If I do it now, it shouldn't take until morning."
"There's no need to be in such a hurry," he said.
"I'm not in a hurry... I just want to get started and ease some of his time spent confined to a bed. I just want to reassure him that it's okay to take a rest."
As she spun the words, thinking of her father, Giorno's gaze drifted downward. He seemed to glance at the cell phone he had left on the bed, but his blue eyes quickly returned to Jolyne.
"Your haste has no bearing on your father's recovery," he said. "The injury can only be healed slowly with his body's own restorative power and the doctors' medical skills. So, please calm down."
"I am calm."
"No, you seem to be in a hurry to leave. If you're so worked up, you're the one who's going to feel overwhelmed."
His words and the hand that stroked her cheek were so gentle. She could feel his love for her in a way that was plain to perceive.
"I'm fine," she said. "I was just shocked by my dad's injury. He's the one who's suffering the most. He can't even move, and his whole body must hurt. Who knows if he'll recover well and when he will be able to walk again. And if he knew that he might even lose his voice, I'm sure..."
Jolyne looked down, her own words making her more anxious. She tried to get up, placing her hand on top of Giorno's that was on her shoulder.
However, he still inhibited her with force. He really wanted her to rest.
She raised her eyebrows in frustration. He just wouldn't listen... She remembered that he was a man who didn't listen to others very well. From what she'd seen and learned from talking to him, he often let his own opinions stand.
Looking up at him with a look of discontent, she met his sincere gaze.
"I know how much you care about your father," he said. "But I care about you and I worry about you. And..."
Giorno's hand, which had been touching her cheek, came to cup it. Fixed it in place so that she could not escape his gaze.
"I still think you should stay in this town. If you feel for your father who can't move, remaining here would be best. With me, you can experience a normal life without being discriminated against. There will be no inconvenience at all, and you can concentrate on assisting with your father's treatment. His injuries may take a long time to heal completely, but he should make a beautiful recovery if he recuperates here quietly."
Again, a permanent stay was proposed.
Jolyne, feeling that it was due to good intentions and love, was pleased but could not consent.
"I told you before, I can't," she said. "It's for the same reason as last time, plus my father's injury."
Staring straight into those sea-colored eyes, she rejected his proposal once and for all. The moment she did, his pupils twitched.
"If he stays in this town, only his broken bones will heal. The damage to his vocal cords won't recover completely. The nurse told me that the wound is so deep, the facilities at the local hospital won't be able to treat it. It would have to be done at a larger hospital in the city, a specialized department. So..."
His hand slipped from her cheek. The movement drew her attention to him, and she saw that he was clutching his cell phone.
Jolyne turned her gaze to Giorno's face again. His eyebrows were slightly raised, and he looked at her with a downcast expression.
"When it's safe to move my dad's body, I'm going to transfer him to another hospital," she said. "I'll be leaving town with him. I'll go back to my parents' house. I'll go back and help with his injuries from home... That's what I'd like. It's the only way to take care of him."
His voice was weak and lackluster, and she could tell he was devastated. She knew the reason for that sadness was that he would be separated from her.
She was genuinely happy that he was pining for her, but her intentions were firm. She was not bound to him.
"Just have to be thorough then," Giorno mumbled, making no sense.
Despite the low volume of his voice, it was clearly audible.
She blinked her eyes and stared. He dropped his gaze but then slowly raised it and smiled at her.
"When it comes to your father, I have to... I have no choice because you really, really love him."
After saying this, he brought his hand to Jolyne's head and stroked her hair, combing through it. He looked calm. Jolyne, believing he understood, put on a smile, though it seemed troubled.
"I told you before, I want to stay with you too," she said. "But I can't give up the life I have already."
"It's okay, I already know," he said. "It's my own selfishness, childish selfishness... I never thought I had this childish side of me."
He smiled with embarrassment. She hadn't stopped looking at him. As they stared at one another, they began to laugh.
Hence, Jolyne missed it. She didn't notice that the hand that Giorno had left on the bed was operating the cell phone.
Inside the hospital room.
Jotaro, in his bed-ridden state, was subjected to DIO's neverending abuse.
He was verbally taunted and mocked, tortured mentally. His body was not safe either. Hands that could easily tear a human body poked and prodded him as if to claw into him, wanting to deepen the wounds.
Double torture. Unable to speak, he could only let out a roar, which DIO laughed happily at too.
Jotaro could only glare at the face he wanted to punch, and inwardly, he braced himself for the moment when DIO brought out his fangs.
He was told he wouldn't be killed, but that would depend on the mood of Giorno, DIO's son. If Jolyne displeased Giorno, he could be easily killed.
He was forced to walk a tightrope without a lifeline. Irrespective of his own will, he was being balanced by Jolyne's hand.
'I need to tell her the truth somehow.'
It seemed hopeless, but he did not give up.
As long as he continued to endure, DIO would eventually leave before the sun rose. Jolyne would then come to his hospital room while the sun was still up. Even if Giorno followed her, he would have a chance to convey a message.
Ignoring DIO's constant bullying, he continued to think, trying to come up with a way to get his daughter out of harm's way. Serious thinking led him to turn his gaze to the ceiling at some point.
His thoughts were fogged by a tightening around his neck.
There was breathlessness along with a sharp pain in his constricting throat. Jotaro turned his sharp gaze toward DIO with a frown.
DIO did not smile as he squeezed his neck with one hand. He looked down at Jotaro with cold eyes, as if he were looking at an insect crawling on the ground, and gradually increased the force of his grip.
He couldn't breathe. He felt as if blood was flowing back into his brain. In his vision, blurred by the agony, he saw DIO's other hand. In his hand was a foldable cell phone. The screen glowed in the darkness.
"I'm sorry, very sorry about this, Jotaro."
Jotaro's head became dizzy from the pressure. The blood flow had stopped, and he was about to fall into unconsciousness.
However, DIO's measured force kept his consciousness from falling and he continued to suffer.
The situation had taken a turn for the worse. Choking while understanding this, Jotaro repeatedly opened and closed his mouth in desperate need for oxygen.
"My son is in a foul mood. He has asked me to kill you. This is truly unfortunate... I wanted to finish you after I'd punished you some more."
Perhaps because of his heightened emotions, DIO released the restraints on his neck with a chuckle.
Jotaro hurriedly breathed repeatedly to take in oxygen.
"Huh... huh, huh."
Breathing so hard that his stomach rose and fell, his eyes followed DIO as he stepped away from him, even turning his head to the side when DIO moved out of his hazy vision.
The black cloak DIO wore made him look like one of the walls in the room. The door was half-open in front of his huge body, showing just his back to Jotaro.
Behind the door was a female nurse with a pale complexion and a frightened expression on her face. She trembled, the tears that filled her eyes running down her cheeks. In her hand, which she held to her chest as if in prayer, was a silver oil lighter.
DIO bent over and brought his lips to her ear.
"You've spread the fuel, correct?"
"Yes, yes... upstairs..."
"You're the wick. Go set yourself."
"Oh, uh... Ugh..."
The nurse sobbed and ran out as she cried uncontrollably. She was out of sight, but Jotaro could tell from the sound of her hurried footsteps that things were imminent.
Her reaction. The object in her hand. The words DIO whispered to her.
Sensing that the worst was about to happen, Jotaro became emotional, writhing and trying to move his limbs. The bed made a creaking sound with his movements.
DIO turned around and gave him a smirk.
"Don't be so violent. Nothing will change even if you are. There's nothing you can do about it now."
He put one foot in the hallway, with a hand on the entrance frame. It was a slow movement, probably to get on Jotaro's nerves.
"This hospital is going to burn. The cause was the mismanagement of fire by the nurses. The exterior of this place is stucco, but the interior is made of wood. Since you'll be inside, you'll slowly burn..."
The worst had come. DIO was right; there was nothing Jotaro could do.
All he was able to do was grit his teeth in anger.
"Are you mad? I know you are. You will burn to death because of your daughter. Her words and actions angered Giorno. If you want to hate someone, hate your own daughter."
DIO's laughter echoed, seeming to really be enjoying himself.
He completely slipped out into the hallway but then his smirking face peeked in.
"I've been burned alive too, and it's pretty painful. How much more can you take? No, you might suffocate from the smoke before you burn... Hmph, suffer at best."
DIO guffawed, and then his face also went back behind the entrance. The sound of slow, heavy footsteps moved away.
Jotaro, who had been staring at the entrance the whole time, saw only the still-open door. In the darkness, it looked like an endless hole.
How long had he been gazing at it? Not more than a few minutes, he thought, smelling a burning stench. Realizing that the fire had been set, he closed his eyes.
He was not resigned but thinking of Jolyne.
'Please... be safe.''
Hopefully, the unnatural fire at the hospital would be a stepping stone to the truth. He hoped that she would find out everything and escape from the town and from Giorno.
A fire broke out at the hospital where her father was hospitalized. Jolyne discovered this when she was packing up his belongings inside his bedroom.
The trigger was the sound of sirens blaring in the middle of the night and the noise of the neighbors. When she went outside with Giorno, who was wearing a black jacket, she saw red flames floating in the distance.
"The location of the flames is the hospital. There may be a fire in there."
Giorno's voice was tense. It was the switch that sent her running. She rushed over to make sure her father was safe in the hospital, wanting to dispel her shock and great anxiety.
However, when she arrived, gasping for breath, Jolyne's eyes caught sight of the hospital, with red flames shooting out of the roof and the second-story windows. The second floor, making a crackling sound, was on fire.
Two fire trucks were parked in front of the hospital, and firefighters were spraying water with hoses. The town's residents gathered behind the fire trucks, huddled together in fear, screaming and cowering.
It was a scene reminiscent of hell.
The heat of the flames reached her from a few meters away. The hot air caressed her skin, and she felt a burning sensation in her throat. It was quite a lot of heat; she could tell from the flames curling up from the white building.
Trembling, Jolyne almost fell to her knees, but she stopped when she saw doctors, nurses, and patients being rescued from inside the hospital, supported by firefighters.
She could not see her father among the soot-covered people being saved. He may still be inside.
The thought made her legs head for the burning hospital. She took a step or two and was about to run forward when someone grabbed her shoulder, stopping her.
She turned around. A grim-faced Giorno was gripping her shoulder. The force was so strong that his fingers dug into her skin; her arm was unable to move.
"It's not safe to get close," he said.
"But my dad! He must still be inside!"
"The firefighters are doing a rescue operation. He must be one of the survivors already brought outside."
"You don't know that!"
Her voice rose out of frustration. Wanting to see her father safe as soon as possible, her body tried to move out of the desire to help.
Giorno's grip was strong, however. He pulled Jolyne back and wrapped his arms around her, causing her to be trapped in them.
"Let go of me, Giorno! I have to go, I have to help my dad!"
She screamed in distress, as did others. She whipped her head, her bangs and loose back hair swaying, and scratched Giorno's arms, which were wrapped around her waist, trying to peel them off. She could not keep up appearances because of her love for her beloved father.
Giorno resisted and would not let go.
"Do you want to save your father?"
His tone was emotionless and apathetic as he whispered the words into her ear. It was like cold water, and Jolyne stopped lashing out.
She nodded and looked up into his face. Like his voice, his expression was devoid of any emotion. He was unusually calm as he stared at her with his beautiful blue eyes that reminded her of the ocean.
"Of course, I want to help. Why wouldn't I? He's my dad."
The moment she made her intentions known, Giorno laughed. A twisted smile was raised on the edge of his mouth, utterly wrong for the situation.
She was unable to reproach him for it. She couldn't even form words, frightened by the twisted smile she had never seen on his face.
She tried to call out his name in a shaky voice, wanting to confirm that it was the Giorno she knew.
She became speechless when the arms that were wrapped around her pulled away and she was released.
Beautiful blue irises continued to stare at Jolyne from within narrowed eyes.
"Then I'll make you a deal," he said. "I'll help your father, but you have to promise to stay by my side forever."
"You're saying you'll help me?"
She was about to ask "how," but her words were silenced as Giorno's middle and index fingers traced her lips.
"Promise first. If I help you, you won't leave me... Is that clear?"
Jolyne hesitated. The sudden frightening appearance he showed her made it impossible for her to give an immediate answer. She didn't recognize his new face. She even had the feeling that he was capable of doing terrible things to her if he didn't like how she answered.
However, despite her hesitation, she put her father's life first.
And most importantly, Giorno was her lover. She loved him and counted on his words.
"I'll do as you say if you help my dad."
The fingers that had been tracing her lips left. Giorno's face was expressionless as he proceeded past the still Jolyne and headed toward the burning hospital.
"If your father survives, he'll be taken to the nearest hospital. That's roughly fifty kilometers away from this town, so I don't know if his life force will hold out until then, but it doesn't change the fact that I saved him. Is that okay with you?"
He turned only his face. Although there was a devilish glint in his eyes, illuminated by the flames, she nodded.
Giorno let out a breath from amusement and turned forward, heading toward the hospital. He waded through the town's residents, who were shouting and huddling together, and walked between two fire trucks, calling out to a firefighter on the side.
She could not hear him due to the distance, but when the firefighter bowed his head, Giorno moved even closer to the hospital.
His skin should have been exposed to searing heat, but he showed no signs of suffering. He soon stood in front of an unused fire hydrant to the side of the building.
He lifted his right leg, and suddenly, the fire hydrant crumbled and blew away. Jolyne's eyes widened at the unusual sight. Her startled emerald green eyes reflected the column of water that spewed out.
The water moved in a straight line toward the heavens, but as Giorno put down his right foot and held up a hand, it changed shape.
Swelling and expanding, a huge body of water floated in the air. Illuminated by the flames, it took the form of something. There were two protrusions on either side of the body that were pectoral fins, one on the back that was a dorsal fin, and when you traced down that, you would see that growing out of the dorsal fin was also a tail fin.
It was a whale. The moment she realized this, the whale-shaped body of water fell onto the burning hospital, crushing it with a roar.
The roof and the second floor were destroyed. The impact also caused the body of water to burst open and flood into the hospital. The flames were extinguished, and any remnants of the heat produced steam.
Everyone was stunned. There were no screams, no wails of grief; everyone looked at the soaking hospital and at Giorno. It was a miracle, a bizarre and unusual sight.
It branded firmly in Jolyne's eyes. She was stunned, unable to comprehend what her lover had shown her.
"The fire is extinguished! Check for survivors!"
Someone's voice. She was startled by the words, probably uttered by one of the firefighters.
Indeed, the fire in the hospital had been extinguished. The second floor had collapsed to the point where the skeleton was visible, but the first floor, where her father's room was located, was still intact.
Firefighters entered the building one after another through the entrance and rescued soaking wet, soot-covered survivors in their arms.
Jolyne, praying while watching the series of rescues, finally saw her father. One firefighter carried him on his back while another lent support from behind with his hand. He was not covered in soot, but his body seemed wet.
"Is he alive?"
She couldn't tell because his eyes were closed. Her legs moved to run over and check.
However, she stopped when she saw Giorno standing in her way. He stared at her with a blank expression on his face, and she felt as if her heart was being gripped.
She called his name. She wanted to believe it was the Giorno she knew.
That made him smile. It was a wicked smile, with the edges of his mouth curling upward.
"I saved your father, as promised."
He held out a hand to Jolyne. When she saw it, she looked at his face.
A terrifying man. A man with unknowable power. A cold man feared by everyone in town. And a man who was kind to her. An affectionate lover who was always there to help.
She hesitated only for a moment before taking his hand. Instantly, he pulled her into an embrace, and she closed her eyes as she saw the transformed hospital in the darkness.
Her father was no longer in sight. The hustle and bustle of the area also faded away. All Jolyne felt was Giorno's warmth.
At a port town in Florida, a fire broke out in their only hospital. The cause was mismanagement of the fire by a nurse.
Nine people were killed, including the nurse who caused the accident. Although the fire did not completely burn down the building, seven inpatients and an inpatient's daughter, who was on the second floor where the fire was the most intense, became victims.
The daughter had run into the burning hospital to save her father, who was too badly injured to get out of bed. She was apparently consumed by the flames and her body was found so charred that she could not be identified.
The autopsy was performed by a watchman who resided in the town and was based on the testimony of those gathered at the scene. Her body was delivered to her bereaved mother.
Her father, who was an inpatient, was taken to a nearby hospital, but he did not regain consciousness even after many days. His life force had been worn down to the limit, causing him to have fallen into a coma.
Even if he regained consciousness, he would find his voice and arms lost due to the deep wounds from the serious injuries he sustained before the fire and the crushing injuries from the collapse afterward. When he awoke, his despair would be immeasurable.
The incident was so tragic that Florida's television station broadcasted it daily. Playing in homes and on the streets was the funeral of the girl who lost her life to save her father.
The sight of her mother weeping and clinging to the coffin brought tears to people's eyes. Everyone probably prayed for the dead girl's soul to find peace.
However, people's interest waned with each passing day. TV stations also stopped broadcasting the fire incident due to declining viewership.
The fire at the hospital in the small port town and the victim's daughter were gradually forgotten. The only ones who remembered her were her mother, her friends, and her comatose father.
If only her father would wake up, things would change. The true cause of the fire and those who nested in the port town would be brought to light.
No one knew when that would be. His life force may run out before he woke up. That was how deep his injuries were.
From the window of the chapel, one could see the town spread out below the cliff. The darkness of the night had fallen, yet one spot in the town shone brightly.
It was the light of the festival. The monthly festival to select the Vampire's brides was now in full swing.
Jolyne did not know how many girls were participating this time. Nevertheless, one of them would surely be chosen as a bride and would come to the mansion where that chapel was located.
The girl would meet the monster that lurked there, a vampire who sucked the blood of the living. If the vampire, who had become the ruler of the town with his formidable power and charisma, took a liking to her, her family would become wealthy. He would give her a fortune and she would rise in status within the town.
The bride would also be favored. The vampire was a man of beauty, so the satisfaction of being loved by a beautiful vampire would be immeasurable.
But only if he liked her. If the vampire's mood was offended in any way, he would kill the bride by sucking her blood. Her corpse would also be dropped off a cliff by his son, branded a failure.
And even if he liked her and favored her, her life would last no more than a month. This was because the vampire was insatiable. After toying with her for a long time, he would kill her cruelly and leave his son to dispose of her corpse.
Most of these girls were chopped into small pieces and scattered into the sea, but some were thrown into the graves of the brides of the landowner, once known as the Vampire.
Death was the only thing that awaited the Vampire's brides. The town's higher-ups were aware of this, but they likely did not even have an opinion. It was the town's ruler who was killing after all. Because he was a vampire, not a human, there was no one to oppose him.
This town would continue to devote its young girls to the vampire until he was no more.
Jolyne, seeing the lights of the festival, let out a small breath.
Dressed in a long black coat over a black dress, she could only contemplate the powerful being over whom she had no control.
There was a hand holding her shoulder, providing her warmth. It drew her body in.
She did not refuse as Giorno pulled her close, even putting her head on his shoulder. He dropped a kiss on her forehead, which she allowed.
"If my father likes the bride this time, we can go home very soon."
She nodded her head slowly and rubbed her cheek against his chest. A small breath from above wafted through the air.
"I can't wait to get home... and give our bodies the proper attention they need."
"It's so windy here on the cliffs," she said, "it's freezing me to the core. Could you keep me warm?"
Jolyne closed her eyes at the gentle voice and warmth.
The words of her father, Jotaro, ruminated in her mind. They echoed, "You are not a good judge of character."
The words must have come back to life from some slight regret. But she had attained love. She was enveloped in a relentless love that was directed only at her.
Jolyne did have regret. A town where death was the next-door neighbor. The horror of a ruler who was a vampire. But even with all that, she still had Giorno. Because of him, she did not despair.
Suddenly, she thought of her father. She was told he was in a coma, but he was still alive. He survived because she chose Giorno.
With that as support, Jolyne continued to be with Giorno. She could only convince herself that she had not made the wrong choice, embraced by the warmth of his loving arms.
“我妈妈 你妈妈骑着少扫帚飞，我妈妈 你妈妈女巫从不哭，我妈妈 你妈妈除掉替身使者，女巫和替身在河里淹死，女巫和替身被我们吊……”第二塞勒姆的女孩还在唱着那愚蠢的歌谣“传单都发出去，如果乱丢，我肯定知道”对仗助不理睬的少女威胁着孩子们“看到可疑的事要汇报给我”仗助在洗碗的空闲中从厨房门口看着孩子们一个个拿着传单出门。唱歌谣的女孩在街道上逆流而行，传单被女孩一把撒向空中，这街道上四处飘散……
特里休和米斯达大步地强装镇定地走在楼道里，警报声被拉响，傲罗们在大厅里寻找着逃犯。乔鲁诺拉着徐伦逃跑迎面碰上两名傲罗，乔鲁诺再次甩出卷翼魔，爱吃脑袋的卷翼魔直冲傲罗的脑袋“别动他脑袋啦！走吧，快走！”又有三名傲罗追上“Free Stone（石之自由）/Gold Experience（黄金体验）欧拉欧拉欧拉！/木大木大木大木大！”两名傲罗被打飞，最后一个卷翼魔创飞在地。两人继续逃跑“那是什么？”“卷翼魔”“我爱死它了！”徐伦喜欢上救自己多次的卷翼魔。乔鲁诺拉着徐伦在一个拐角处和米斯达，特里休碰面“进去！”