[Dante] There is a question I desire most to ask you. Virgil insisted he knew what my question was but I do not trust his judgement. Since we have some time alone to ourselves would you answer me this?
[Ulysses] I have conquered many quests, I have travelled across the seas, I know what you seek and I can provide you with the utmost wisdom if you choose me to be your guide. Virgil is not equipped to journey you safely through Hell, but I? I can do the unthinkable. I promise that your life will remain intact. Choose me to be your guide and you will have the answer to your most desired question.
[Dante] Though Ulysses is trapped in this pit of fire in the eighth circle of Hell for fraud he is best known for overcoming many obstacles. How can I object his request? I am on a similar path, a journey of my own. If he was able to conquer his journey, I’m sure he can assist me in mine.
Okay, I will choose you to be my guide Ulysses. You are a well-known warrior and traveler and I have more faith and peace with you as my guide than Virgil. Let us go now before he returns.
As we reach the ninth circle I began to see a Demon standing still with a sword, continuously stabbing the souls that circle around him. As they circle around, their wounds close and reopen with each passing stab. These are the Sowers of Scandal and for their sins of division they themselves are eternally split apart. On our way passing through, Ulysses seems to be lost in his thoughts as he hasn’t spoken much since we fled from Virgil. As we get closer to the Demon I am overwhelmed by the pain these souls are bound to endure.
Ulysses, now that we are far away from Virgil will you answer my question?
[Ulysses] The answer will only be beneficial to you after we make it safely out of Hell. From there, your physical body will be able to continue its journey on the correct path to God and only then shall the information be provided to you.
If only Dante knew, I shall take over his body right before we make it out of Hell. There is no Demon here that will resist the urge to help me. His soul shall replace mine, and I shall use the remainder of life within his body to venture out and find the island I was searching for so long ago. I shall live in peace and gluttony for the remainder of time, there is no way for me to escape my fate in Hell. I might as well enjoy life on Earth a bit more before I return to my suffering.
So how was your life like back on Earth? Did the women find you to be an attractive man? Were you barely making by or were you fortunate in wealth?
[Dante] Something isn’t right here. Ulysses swore once I made him my guide he would answer my question. Does he not have an answer? Ulysses could be deceiving me for an ulterior motive, for personal gain and why does he want to know so much about my life on Earth? What he should be doing is answering the question I desire most, which should guide me on my spiritual journey! I need to get away from him. He has other plans for me I know it!
Ulysses, let’s get closer to this Demon. Let us see if I can recognize any of the souls here. Maybe this Demon can also give us some advice for when we encounter Satan on how to sneak by him.
[Ulysses] This would be a perfect moment to distract Dante so I can take over his body.
Sure, but just for a moment. I will talk to the Demon while you talk to some of the souls.
Before Dante could attempt to escape from Ulysses, Ulysses traps Dante, forcing his soul into Dante’s body. Dante’s soul is now in the form of Ulysses’ old flame.
This Demon will call for assistance in bringing you back to the eighth circle alongside Diomedes. No one will notice that I am gone as long as a soul is in its place, and that soul my friend is yours. Your curiosity with God has gotten the best of you. The answer to your question is: curiosity killed the cat. God cannot save you, only you can save yourself. I deserve to enjoy Earth once more as I spent so many years lost, trapped, under hypnosis. I deserve to be free from this retched place, even if it is just for a few more years!
[Ulysses] Hello beautiful women. How would you like to sit pretty in Hell, maybe in Limbo? Or at least in the second circle of Lust? I shall tell you this information and you shall spread the word to all of your lady friends, even your husbands when you return home to them! If we cannot escape Hell, let us lavish in it!
Ulysses thinks that trapping as many souls along with his shall lessen his sentence. Though this is highly improbable, he believes it is worth a shot.
Over the next thirty years, Ulysses travelled the world searching for this long-lost island to live in solitude. Along the way he killed, stole and seduced thousands of married women.
In his last few breaths, he wondered how Dante had felt when he stole his body. How is he managing the punishment destined for himself and what will be his ultimate punishment now after all of these lust-filled monstrous years?