Chapter 8: To Lowee, and the SUPER AWSOMAZING SUPER NINTENLAND
"Uni, do you have everything you need?" The girl walked out onto the balcony that led out of Noire's office, shouldering her bag. Uni nodded.
"Yeah, I think I'm good." Uni felt the square object she spent so much time on, making sure it was wrapped carefully and that nothing would ever crush the box or dent it in any fashion, and sighed in relief. "Are we really going to Super Nintenland, Noire?"
Uni's older sister nodded, putting her hand through her hair.
"Yeah, we'll be meeting up with Blanc and Vert at the gates." Uni blinks her eyes.
"Hmm…" Uni had met Vert before, since Noire and Vert collab once in awhile. However, she had yet to meet Blanc. All she knew was that she was the CPU of Lowee, and from Neptune and Noire, that she likes to read and gets angry easily.
Suddenly, the approaching roar of an engine cut off Uni's thoughts and she looked up to the sky. The all too familiar white and purple jet, Nepgear's GearWing, flew over to the balcony, stopping above it and landing on the ground nearby Uni and Noire.
The cockpit opened up, and a not as wild as usual Neptune appeared as she popped out and waved at the Lastation sisters with both of her arms.
"Nowa-chan! Uni! Hurry up!" Noire stamped her feet and clenched her fists, leaning forward to glare.
"Don't call me that!" Sighing, the CPU grabbed her forehead. "Whatever, we're coming." Uni gripped her bag tighter and walked over to the jet, climbing in without the need for Neptune's arm. Neptune shuffled to the back to reach out to Noire, while Uni looked inside to see Nepgear sitting at the pilot's seat, staring at a video in his N-Gear.
"Hey." Nepgear looked up, grinning from ear to ear upon seeing his best friend. Locking his electronic, Nepgear shoved it into his pocket and waved at Uni.
"Hi, Uni! How are you?" Uni climbed into the seat next to Nepgear, pushing her bag into the roomy compartment near her feet.
"I'm alright." Neptune leaned over Uni's seat, pressing her head on Uni's.
"I guess I'll sit back here." Uni's eyes widened.
"Uh, I'm so-" Neptune patted the Candidate's head.
"Aw, don't worry your silly little head. I'll just snuggle up to Noire or something." Uni could hear Noire stiffen in her seat. Neptune made a grin. "Speaking of which…"
"GET OFF ME!" A drop of sweat rolled down Nepgear's face as he heard his and Uni's sister fight and wrestle in the back.
"S-Sorry about Neptune, she's been excited about this for a while." Uni rolled her eyes.
"I get it. Anyways, we ready to go?" Nepgear nodded, raising his hands. A holographic keyboard appeared under the young boy's hands. Typing a bunch of keys, the keyboard disappeared and a joystick appeared in its place. As the joystick appeared, the cockpit closed shut, shutting up Neptune and Noire in the process.
"Mhm. Neptune, Noire. Are you all ready?" Neptune tossed her arm into the air.
"Yep. Yep. Yep! All ready and willing!" Noire scoffed.
"I'm all set, Nepgear." Smiling, Nepgear turned to Uni, who had just put her seatbelt on. Nodding to Uni, Nepgear grabbed onto the joystick, causing the GearWing to jump into the air.
"Alright, let's go!" The thrusters flared alive and Nepgear steered the plane towards the north, to Lowee. The GearWing blasted through the Lastation skyline and flew towards its destination.
After a couple minutes of juggling with the joystick to keep the plane straight and safe, Nepgear pressed a few buttons and let go of the joystick. Leaning against his seat, Nepgear sighed and placed his hands on his lap.
"Phew, auto-pilot is now in place." Nepgear turned to Uni. "It should be at least thirty minutes up to an hour until I have to take control again. If we're lucky." Uni shrugged her shoulders. "So, anything you wanna talk about?"
Uni pursed her lips, closing her eyes and listening to the constant, now quieter, roar of the engine. Suddenly, the seat behind Nepgear squeaked as the CPU behind him relaxed against the seat.
"Nepgear," It was Noire's voice. "This fighter jet is really comfortable." Nepgear smiled. "How did you get it?"
"Oh, the GearWing? It's actually an Uber Ultra Dimensional Destroyer Loweean Regular Lateral Rolling Battle Air-fluid Starfighter jet. Although the Dimensional Destroyer part has yet to be proven true." Uni stared at him.
"That's a mouthful." Nepgear nodded.
"It really is." Uni glanced at the bag at her feet, then to the young man beside her. Nepgear had slightly lowered his chair, allowing him to lie on his back. Nepgear had closed his eyes and folded his hands over his stomach. Pressing her lips together, Uni parted them and leaned forward slightly.
"Wha- Neptune get off me!" Uni stiffened, looking over her shoulder. The CPU in question had fallen asleep, landing on Noire's shoulder. Neptune was beginning to drool and Noire was quickly pulling away. The lavender haired CPU slipped off of Noire's shoulder, landing on her lap. Arms up in the air, Noire's lips and fingers twitched as Neptune dozed away.
Uni whipped her head to Nepgear, who was staring out of the cockpit. The clouds were speeding by, reminding Uni of the bullet train that she took whenever there was a gun convention, Lastulet. The girl reached out, her fingers almost touching Nepgear's shoulder.
Suddenly, Uni felt her heart tighten and pulled away, placing her bag between her legs. The young girl lowered her head, biting her lip.
"Why did I chicken out like that?! I'm such an idiot!"
Glancing back at Nepgear, Uni stealthily took a deep breath.
"Hey." Nepgear turned his head towards Uni, smiling.
"What is it, Uni?" Uni broke eye contact. Gripping her elbow, Uni pressed herself against her chair.
"I don't even have anything to talk about- Why did I…?"
Nepgear blinked his eyes, tilting his head to the side and raising an eyebrow.
"Uni?" The young girl flinched.
"Y-Yeah?" Nepgear peeled himself off of his chair and leaned a little closer to Uni.
"You okay?" Conscious of the gap between them, Uni slid farther away in her chair.
"I-I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?" Nepgear hummed and pursed his lips, closing his eyes. Uni's eyes bugged out.
"I-Is he… inviting me to-" A quick beep came from Nepgear's side and the young man immediately flew back to his seat and pushed a couple of buttons before a holographic screen popped out.
"State your alliance." In the holographic screen was a stern-looking woman with a white military cap on her head. Nepgear cleared his throat.
"Friendly." Uni felt herself shrink back upon hearing the woman's voice.
"Your purpose?" Nepgear just smiled.
"Just flying through to reach Super Nintenland." The woman nodded.
"Before I can permit you to fly further, may I see your pilot's licence?" Nodding, Nepgear reached into his pocket and pulled out a small ID card with Nepgear's face on the corner. Holding it up to the screen, the woman nodded. "One moment please." The screen released a beam that was as wide as the card. The beam moved up and down the card until Nepgear's picture appeared on the screen. "Ah, there it is. Thank you, Mr. Nepgear. Please have a nice day."
Nepgear bowed to the screen.
"Thank you." The screen blipped out. Uni was staring at the ID card in Nepgear's hand.
"Huh, you really are a pilot." Nepgear grinned and held out the card to Uni.
"Uh-huh." Uni took the ID card and examined it. "If it wasn't for Blanc, I wouldn't have gotten this license, or my dash boots!" The young man scratched his cheek. "Now that I think of it, I owe her for giving me all this mobility." Nepgear reclined onto his seat. A smile curved his lips up. Meanwhile, his eyes chased after the clouds that flew by. Uni noticed that Nepgear's license was issued a few years ago.
"Hey, when did you start training to be a pilot?" Nepgear broke away from his chase to look at his friend.
"...Uh, about…" Nepgear squeezed his eyes shut, one of his eyebrows twitching as he began to count with his fingers. "Five years?" Nepgear stared at Uni.
"...Why are you asking me that? I don't know." A drop of sweat rolled down Nepgear's cheek and he turned to look behind him.
"Sis, when di- She's asleep." Nepgear turned back to Uni. "Let's go with five years." A drop of sweat rolled down Uni's face as the young girl narrowed her eyes.
"Aren't you carefree?" Nepgear chuckled.
"Maybe a little bit." Uni's eyes narrowed further.
"That was a rhetorical question." Nepgear blinked.
"Ah. W-Was it?" Uni sighed. Glancing away, Uni looked outside. The clouds zoomed by. "Uni?" Uni pressed her legs against her bag and her face heat up. "Uni, are you there?"
"At least you're honest with yourself…"
"Uni? ...Uni? UNIIIIII-"
"What!" The girl whipped her head back to Nepgear, who looked relieved.
"I thought you weren't feeling well." Uni raised an eyebrow.
"Why would you think-" Nepgear leaned forward, grabbing Uni's shoulders and pressing his forehead against hers. "-Eh." Nepgear closed his eyes.
"Hmm…" Uni's face began to turn a deep red. "You're not sick…" Uni began to tremble. "Huh? Now you're heating up…" Squeezing her eyes shut, Uni grabbed Nepgear by the shoulders, knocking the young man's hands off of her shoulders.
"G-Get off!" Nepgear flew back into his seat, blinking his eyes rapidly. Uni sat up straight, grabbing her chest. There was a fast and powerful thumping against her hand. Nepgear stared at his friend, who was breathing heavily.
"...What?" Nepgear reached into a compartment near him, pulling out a small medicine bottle labeled Yums.
"Heartburn?" Uni's right eye twitched.
ↀ Д ↀ
The Gear-Wing stopped above the parking lot, where four figures stood in the center. Three of the figures were small in stature. The tallest, and oldest, of the three wore a white poofy hat over her brunette hair and a large white and blue fur coat over a white sleeveless shirt-dress. The other two were shorter than her, wearing blue and pink versions of other girl. The fourth figure, who towered over the other three, wore a bright green and white dress that accented her long blonde hair. However, the fourth figure wasn't dressed as warmly as the others. The girls in green and white waved over to the Gear-Wing as it slowly touched down onto the ground.
"They waited for us." Nepgear pushed a button near his side, causing the cockpit's door to lift open. The Planeptunian Candidate looked over his seat. "Sis, Noire. We're here." Nepgear received replies of mumbles and groans. Standing and stretching his limbs, the young man turned to his friend. "Let's go."
Grabbing her bag, Uni nodded and climbed out of the Gear-Wing. As she tossed a leg over the metal bird, Uni let out a satisfying grunt as her legs got to move. Glancing to the side, the young girl saw her companion hop into the air and dash off the jet. Nepgear then flipped forward and dropped out of Uni's line of sight. Although Uni heard a thump and a couple of claps. Uni rolled her eyes. "Showoff."
Uni hopped off of the aircraft to see Blanc and Vert, the CPUs of Lowee and Leanbox respectively. The young girl could hear her sister trying to toss Neptune off of the Gear-Wing as Vert and Blanc approached her.
"Uni," Vert made a bright smile as she walked over to Uni. She also made a small giggle upon seeing Neptune and Noire still in the plane. "I'm delighted that you were able to come along." Uni bowed to the CPU.
"Thanks for inviting us, Ve-" Uni's words- along with her face- were stuffed into Vert's chest.
"Oh don't worry about it. It's the older sister's job to make her sibling's lives enjoyable!" Noire landed on the ground, dusting herself in annoyance.
"Hey, Vert." Vert nodded to her companion. "Don't hug Uni too hard, she's not really used to-" Noire was cut off by a sudden, Neptune-shaped, bomb that hit her square on the head. As Vert was caught off guard, Blanc jabbed Vert in the side. Yelping in surprise, Vert released Uni and Blanc yanked the former away.
"Oh, Blanc please!" The CPU in question scoffed.
"You already bury Nepgear and the twins, don't need to add another." The blonde CPU grabbed Blanc by the shoulders and shook her.
"Then let me hug Rom and Ram." Blanc shook her head.
"No." Vert pouted.
"Then Nepg-" Blanc narrowed her eyes.
"No." Vert pursed her lips, and then grinned.
"How about you?" Blanc paused, glancing away.
"..." Vert creeped over Blanc, arms outstretched and finger grasping.
"Blanc onee-chan~, look look!" Blanc ducked under Vert's clutches, heading over to the cheerful voice.
"Yeah, yeah." As Vert faltered, the CPU placed her hands on her hips and huffed. A smile quickly overcame disappointment as she watched Blanc walk away. Vert glided over to Neptune.
"Neptune," The CPU of Planeptune was in a daze, but snapped out of it when Vert reached out a hand. "How was the flight?"
"It was totally worth caving to Nep Jr.'s begging." Neptune looked around. "Where's Lady Lonely Heart?" Vert pointed where Neptune sat. "Oh, so that's why the ground was soft." Neptune kneeled next to the unconscious Noire, poking her over and over again.
Uni was, for lack of a better word, overwhelmed by the sudden personalities that she just met. Stepping back from Neptune and her eventual scolding by her sister, the young girl began to look around for Nepgear. Following the path Blanc took, Uni walked around the Gear-Wing.
From where she was, Uni could only hear that cheerful voice called Blanc over. As she moved further away, the young girl could now hear more voices, Blanc's and Nepgear's. Once Uni reached the other side of the Gear-Wing, she found Nepgear in a situation.
Nepgear was currently carrying the pink twin on his shoulders, who was grabbing him by the head and pointing forward.
"Go, Nepgear! Ride like the wind!" The blue twin stood nearby Nepgear, worried.
"Ram, be careful." Blanc was currently trying to pull Ram, the pink twin, off of Nepgear.
"Ram, get off Nepgear before you break his neck." Nepgear scratched his cheek.
"I-It's okay, Blanc. Really." Blanc noticed Uni and turned to her.
"Oh hey, the Lastation kid." Uni narrowed her eyes.
"Don't wanna hear that from you." Blanc grunted.
"Hmph, that's new. By the way, name's Blanc. CPU of Lowee." Uni bowed.
"Oh, thanks for inviting me and Noire here." Blanc nodded.
"Don't mention it. To be honest, I was going to kick your ass for calling me a kid." The CPU motioned to Ram. "But I have more annoying things to deal with. That, and I'm in a good mood. So I'll let it slide." Uni blinked.
"...Right, I'll keep that in mind." Uni glanced away. "I guess I should be careful." Uni turned to Nepgear, who was shaking under Ram's ever-shifting weight. Walking over to Nepgear, Uni crossed her arms. Shifting her weight to one leg and raising an eyebrow, Uni smirked at Nepgear's position. "Having fun?" Nepgear tried to scratch his cheek, but Ram's consistent bouncing forced him to keep both hands on her.
"It's not that difficult… really." Blanc pulled a pouting Ram off of Nepgear, allowing him stretch his neck. "The hard part is dealing with a sore neck." Uni raised an eyebrow. Nepgear felt something tug at his shoulder. Turning around, the young man saw Blanc looking up to him.
"I'll be leaving the twins in your care for a bit." Nepgear nodded.
"Of course, leave them to me!" Blanc made a quiet noise and turned to the twins.
"Rom. Ram. Don't cause too much trouble for Nepgear." Blanc looked at Uni. "And no pranks on Uni either." Ram's pout got poutier. Rom nodded bashfully. Blanc then turned to the duo. "By the way, leave your weapons in Nepgear's jet." Uni raised an eyebrow.
"O-Okay…?" Blanc shook her head, sighing and looking past the Gear-Wing.
"You'd never think an idiot would attack an amusement park mascot with a katana." Blanc's eye twitched. "But it happened." Nepgear scratched his cheek.
"Sorry about that…" Uni whipped her head to Nepgear, eyes wide. Blanc waved it off.
"It's fine. Just keep your idiot sister's hands away from the goddamn peach stall." A droplet of swat has rolled down the Planeptunian Candidate's cheek.
"My sister's not an idiot!" Nepgear stepped forward, but stepping back immediately. "She's just… slow?" Nepgear glanced at Uni, who made an "X" with her arms. Blanc rolled her eyes.
"Whatever. Just stuff her sword in the jet already." Blanc walked towards a ticket booth.
"O-Okay." Nepgear turned to see Noire pull his sister's face. After staring for a second, Nepgear looked at his friend and smiled. "I'm gonna grab our sisters' weapons real quick." Uni nodded as Nepgear headed over to the CPUs.
Once Nepgear was gone, Uni felt two pairs of eyes staring into the back of her head. Turning around, Uni found Ram, and Rom behind her, staring straight at her. Uni glanced to the side.
"Uh…" Uni gave an awkward smile. "Hi?" Ram blinked as Uni gave the twins a quick wave. Rom gripped onto her sister a little tighter.
"Hey!" Uni stepped back, putting her hands in front of her. Ram pointed at her. "Are you Nepgear-nii's girlfriend?" Uni froze. Rom shook her sister lightly.
"Ram-chan, you can't say that." The blue twin said. "Nepgear Onii-chan doesn't want us to know that." Ram pouted.
"B-But, Nepgear-nii keeps talking about Uni-chan all the time! She has to be his girlfriend!" Uni backed up, her face heating up. Suddenly, the girl felt something soft and round against the back of her head. Turning her head, Uni found two mounds attached to a smiling Vert.
"A-Ah, sorry Vert." The CPU of Leanbox giggled and shook her head.
"Oh no, don't mind me." The CPU leaned closer to Uni. "If I may ask, what is your relationship to Nepgear?" Uni held her hands in front of her, backing up again.
"I-I-I…" Uni bumped into someone else.
"Hey, Uni." Turning around again, Uni found herself face to face with her crush. "So you've met with the twins and my master?" Furrowing her eyebrows, Uni used this question to avoid answering Ram and Vert and coughed into her fist.
"Master?" Nepgear pointed at Vert. "Why would you need a master?" Nepgear rubbed the back of his head.
"W-Well…" Vert coughed.
"Oh right, did you need something Vert?" The woman handed Nepgear four tickets.
"Here you are." Vert gestured to Blanc, where Noire was dragging Neptune towards the entrance and the Loweean CPU followed them. "We've agreed to split up here and meet up at the food court for lunch." Nepgear grabbed the tickets and nodded.
"Thanks Vert!" Nepgear handed a ticket to Uni. "Here you go, Uni." Nepgear waved the rest of the tickets towards the twins. "Rom! Ram! Let's get going!"
Uni stared at the ticket. It was a thin strip of paper with a dotted line meant to be ripped off. The rest of the ticket had a picture of the amusement park that was slightly obscured by the name of the tower: SUPER NINTENLAND Woohoo!
Uni turned towards Vert, still staring at her ticket.
"Thanks Vert, we'll see yo-" Uni glanced up to see that Vert was gone. "Eh? Vert?" Uni glanced out, finally seeing the CPU already at the entrance with the older sisters. "How did…?" Blinking, Uni shook her head. "I guess we'll head in no-" Uni turned back to see that Nepgear was chasing after Rom and Ram, holding up their coats.
"Rom, come on! Let's go!"
"Rom! Ram! You forgot your coats!" Putting her hand on her head, Uni noticed three strips of paper on the floor. Picking them up, Uni's eyes widened upon seeing three Super Nintenland tickets.
"Wha-!?" Scooping up the tickets and holding them up in the air, Uni chased after the trio. "Nepgear wait! You dropped the tickets!"
(ↀ Д ↀ)
"Geez… How could you drop the tickets?" Uni crossed her arms, standing beside Nepgear. The two were waiting for Rom and Ram to get into the park because they got in line without tickets and were pushed further back in line.
"S-Sorry…" Nepgear scratched his cheek. Uni stared at the entrance.
"Why would those two think that they could enter an amusement park without tickets?" Nepgear chuckled.
"From what I heard, the twins come here often and they think they can get a free pass since they're CPU Candidates." Uni raised an eyebrow, shifting her weight to the side.
"Really?" Nepgear nodded.
"Apparently it's worked so well, that the park wants them to get actual tickets from now on." Uni blinked twice.
"...Huh." At that moment, Rom and Ram ran towards the duo. Nepgear waved as they got closer.
"Rom! Ram! Where do you wanna go?" Rom put her hands on her cheeks.
"I wanna go everywhere!" Ram threw her hands into the air.
"Let's go on a rollercoaster!" The pink CPU Candidate pointed behind Nepgear and Uni. "That one first! That one!" Nepgear and Uni turned around to see a humongous rollercoaster behind them. Uni watched the coaster rise up to the top of the ride and immediately drop down. Uni glanced at Ram.
"The biggest one first?" Ram bounced up and down.
"Mega Maryo Galaxies is soooooo much fun! I have to ride it every time!" Uni shrugged and turned to Nepgear.
"Shall we go- Nepgear?" Nepgear's skin turned pale, and the young man was shivering slightly. "Nepgear?" Nepgear snapped out of his trance and quickly looked at Uni.
"Hu-Huh what?" Nepgear grabbed his trembling arm, causing his entire body to shake instead. Uni furrowed an eyebrow.
"Are.. you okay?" Nepgear's eyes darted between the ride and the ground.
"Y-yeah! I'm great! ...Yeah." Shrugging her shoulders, Uni followed the twins as they headed towards the coaster's line.
Nepgear stared as roller coaster. Upon seeing the coaster zoom through the rails, Nepgear swallowed.
"Oh this isn't going to be-"
(ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ)
"I don't understand." Uni shook her head, her hand against her face. Ram was fixing her hair as Rom rubbed Nepgear's back. The young man was kneeling in front of a trash can, head inside. The fate of Nepgear's stomach echoing from the trash can. "You fly a jet-plane-thing." Uni gestured towards Nepgear, exasperated. "Your sister carries at speeds faster than that ride. How can you get motion-sickness!?"
"It's okay, Nepgear Onii-chan. You'll be okay." Nepgear groped around until he was able to he patted Rom's shoulder. Pulling his head out of the trashcan, Nepgear wiped his face with the face-towel Rom had in her hands.
"I-I don't know… I just get motion sick every time I come here." Nepgear leaned against the trashcan. "I think I'm going to wash my face real quick." Taking Rom's face towel, Nepgear stretched his neck and walked off. "You guys just have some fun for now." Ram waved at Nepgear as he supported his stomach.
"Bye-Bye Nepgear-nii!" Rom cupped her hands over her mouth.
"We'll meet you at the food court later!" Nepgear waved the towel. Uni was reminded of a white flag as Nepgear retreated towards the restrooms. Rom and Ram ran in front of Uni, putting their hands behind each other and smiling.
"...What?" The twins glanced at each other, then at Uni. "What?" Rom grabbed Uni's right hand while Ram grabbed her left. "H-Hey!"
"Come on Uni-chan!" Ram tugged the CPU Candidate towards more rides. "Let's go!" Rom nodded her head.
"Mhm." Rom pointed towards some mushrooms spinning around in a circle. "I wanna ride that!" Uni resisted with all her might, but the combined might of the twins and along with their energetic adorable smiles, the girl was helpless.
"Okay! Okay! Just don't yank off my arms!"
Once the girls reached the line, the twins released their prisoner and got in line. Uni followed them, raising her head to stretch her neck and see what ride they had chosen to ride.
Uni glanced at the sign above her and could barely see the word Mushie. Staring ahead, Uni could see that the ride was made out of giant mushrooms. People would climb into the mushrooms and spin a wheel in the center, causing the fungus to spin faster.
"Uni-chan! Uni-chan!" The CPU Candidate looked down to see Rom staring at her with sparkling eyes.
"What are your favorite rides?" Uni shrugged.
"I don't really have a favorite ride." The CPU Candidate of Lastation crossed her arms. "Hmm… maybe those rides where you get to shoot stuff." Rom blinked her eyes.
"Wow, you can do that stuff?" Rom's eyes widened as she put her hands up to her chest. Uni scratched the back of her head.
"Yeah, guns are my hobby." Rom tilted her head to the side.
"Hobby?" Uni nodded.
"You know, the thing you like to do a lot." Rom lit up.
"I… I like to draw!" Seeing Rom's eyes, Uni smiled.
"That great!" Rom made a sweet smile. Suddenly, Ram latched onto her sister and grabbed Uni at the same time.
"Hey! Don't be dummies and stand there! The line's moving!" Ram dragged the two further down the line, stopping when they were near gate. Rom's lip quivered as she held her twin's hand.
"S-Sorry Ram…" Ram flinched. Making eye contact with Uni, the black-haired girl could see guilt in the brunette's eye. Ram coughed into her fist and turned around.
"F-Fine. I just wanna ride all of the rides, that's all." Rom smiled.
"Ram." The blue CPU Candidate hugged her sister, causing Uni smile. Ram turned to Uni.
"Hey, you." Uni blinked. Ram let go of Rom and stood in front of the young girl. After a second of staring into Uni's eyes, Ram grinned and patted her on the arm. "Alright, let's go!" The twins turned their attention to the line. Meanwhile, Uni raised an eyebrow.
"What… was that?" The employee opened the gate and allowed a handful of people, including Uni and the twins, into the ride. Uni followed the twins to a giant pink mushroom. Climbing into the fungus, Uni strapped herself to the circular seat while the twins did the same. Ram grabbed onto the wheel in front of her and turned to Uni.
"Come on, grab it!" Uni stared as Ram when her sister gently touched the wheel. Rolling her eyes, Uni grabbed onto the wheel and relaxed into the seat as much as she possibly could. Meanwhile, Ram was literally on the edge of her seat. "This is gonna be SUPER AWESOME!" The pink brunette's legs bounced erratically.
"Ram, calm down." An alarm went off, causing the all of the mushrooms to slowly move in a circle. Ram began to turn the wheel with all her might. Rom attempted the same. However, neither of them could turn the wheel. Watching the twins struggle, Uni twisted the wheel with ease. Rom and Ram were surprised and let go of the wheel. Uni began spinning the wheel faster and faster.
"Whoa!" Uni raised an eyebrow. Ram waved her arms at Uni. "Come on! Come on! Spin it more!" Glancing at Ram for a second, the Candidate continued to spin the wheel. Ram threw her arms into the air while Rom gripped onto herself. "Wheee~!"
"Eeeeep!" Ram and Uni's hair flew as the momentum pushed wind at them. Ram eventually resorted to laughing while Rom squeezed her eyes shut. Uni narrowed her eyes to prevent the wind from whipping them.
Eventually, all Uni could see were a mesh of colors coming from Rom, Ram, the mushroom, her hair and the background. In her ears was the wind, and Ram's laughter.
Suddenly, another alarm went off and the wheel stuck in place. Once the wheel stopped moving, the mushroom slowly screeched to a halt. When the mushroom finally stopped, Uni looked around. Ram had her arms up in the air, her hair was a mess. The CPU Candidate of Lastation ran her hand through her hair, noting that she should grab a brush later. Rom, on the other hand, was shivering.
"Hey." Uni unstrapped herself from her seat and moved over to the blue twin. "Are you alright?" The Candidate of Lastation put a hand on Rom, causing her to stop shaking and open her eyes. Her lips quivering, Rom slowly nodded.
"I-If Ram's with me, I'll be fine." Ram shook her head wildly.
"Hahaha! That was so much fun!" Fixing her dress, Uni held out a hand to both of the twins.
"Come on, you two. Let's go somewhere else." Rom took Uni's hand while Ram used Uni's hand to pull herself to her feet. Uni guided Rom out of the ride while Ram ran ahead.
"Come on, you two! We've got a ton of rides to get on!" Uni turned to Rom, who tightened her grip.
"You sure you're going to be okay?" Rom smiled at Uni.
"I-I'll be fine. ...I think." Uni patted the blue twin's head.
"Hang in there, alright?"
(ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ)
"Wow that was so much fun…" Ram, Uni and Rom were walking towards the food court. Uni had to tie Ram's hair into a ponytail to stop her hair for getting any messier. Rom got a headband instead, since her hair was too short. In Uni's hands were the twins' hats.
"Uh huh, it was super fun." Rom held onto a candied mushroom that she got for Blanc. Uni was staring at the candy in the child's hand.
"Is… that really a mushroom?" Rom shook her head.
"It's cotton candy… I think." A voice caught Uni's attention.
"Hey, girls!" Neptune waved over to the trio, sitting at a large circular picnic table with a white umbrella covering it. "We're over here!"
Uni could see Noire waving at her from the table. Vert was drinking something from a cup and Blanc was reading a book next to her. Nepgear was there as well, but his back was facing Uni and he was slumped over the table.
"Ah, Blanc Onee-chan!" The twins rushed over to the table, while Uni quickened her walking speed.
"Onee-chan, here!" Rom held up the candied mushroom to Blanc. Looking away from her book, Blanc smiled and patted her little sister on the head.
"Thank you, Rom." Taking the candied mushroom from Rom, Blanc noticed a pouting Ram nearby. "Ram, come over here." Still pouting, Ram obeyed her sister. Suddenly, Blanc pulled the two into a hug.
"Wha- Hey!" Ram was startled.
"Did you have fun, Ram?" Shaking off her surprise, Ram let out a huge grin. Wrapping her arms around her sister, the pink twin pushed her head against Blanc's.
"Blanc, Blanc! So, we…" As Ram ranted about all the rides that she rode with Rom and Uni, Uni sat beside Noire, plopping the twins' hats onto the table. Neptune was munching down on pizza, while Nepgear was pressing his face against the table. There was a slice of pizza, a soda, and a side of fries left untouched in front of him.
"Enjoying so far?" Noire asked her sister while handing her a cup of soda. Uni nodded.
"Yeah, although I didn't expect those two to love thrill rides so much." Taking a swig of her soda, Uni turned to stare at Nepgear. The young man was still face down, but Vert was now rubbing his back. "Uh… Is Nepgear alright?" Vert nodded.
"Yes, he's just suffering from a bout of motion sickness." Uni furrowed her eyebrows.
"What? But we left him so he could recover from that." Neptune scratched her cheek, letting out an apologetic laugh.
"We kinda found him when he was leaving the bathroom, so we took him with us." Uni grunted.
"Wait, don't you know that your little brother gets motion sickness?" Neptune nodded.
"Ye-Yeah, but I couldn't let him out of the fun." Grabbing a slice of pizza, Uni took a bite.
"Nepgear?" The young man in question wearily lifted his head, his face a pale green. "You really can't say no to your sister, huh?" Nepgear let his face slump against the table, slightly nodding. Vert giggled.
"Well, Nepgear does love Neptune." Neptune giggled, rushing over to her brother and glomping him.
"I love my adorable baby brother." Nepgear groaned. "Oh, sorry Nep Jr." The CPU Candidate of Planeptune lifted his head, holding it up with all his might. Neptune reached into her hoodie pocket and pulled out a tiny plastic baggie filled with tablets. "Here ya go, Compa gave me these for your case of woozies." The bag immediately vanished from Neptune's fingers and Nepgear was swallowing two tablets and taking a huge gulp of soda. Letting out a sigh, Nepgear's face returned to a healthy skin color. Uni swore that Nepgear's cheek sparkled, despite being under an umbrella.
"Phew…" Nepgear grabbed his slice of pizza and began chowing down. "This is delicious!" Neptune grinned and patted her brother on the head.
"Hehe… Good as new. Compa did a good job." Noire grabbed one of Nepgear's fries and popped into her mouth.
"Still, it's strange. Nepgear's body is just like a human's, but he's a CPU." Neptune wrapped her arms around Nepgear. "I'm surprised no one's ever said anything about him not being a CPU." Nepgear continued to eat, tossing fries into his mouth.
"CPU or not, he's always will be my little brother!" Noire rolled her eyes.
"Always with the optimism," Noire shrugged. "But you wouldn't be you if you weren't." Vert clapped her hands.
"Why don't we get some more food?" Vert scanned the table. "It seems we're just about out." Uni put down the crust of her pizza and stood up.
"I-I'll go with you!" Vert smiled at the young girl.
"Okay, we'll be right back!" Uni followed Vert towards the food stands. The duo weaved through the crowds and stopped before the stands.
Crossing one arm under her chest, Vert put her free hand on her chin. Uni stared in awe of Vert's presence as the CPU glanced from stand to stand.
"Uni?" The CPU Candidate flinched.
"If I may ask, what is your relationship to Nepgear?"
Vert's question vibrated through Uni's head. The young girl shook her head, turning to the CPU.
"Y-Yeah?" Vert pointed to the stands.
"Which kind of food should we get?" Uni whipped her head towards the stands.
"U-Uh…" Uni turned back to the table where everyone was. "Um…" Vert blinked.
"Is there something wrong?" Uni shook her head.
"N-No, I'm fine. Seriously." Vert grinned.
"If I didn't know anything, I'd say that you were uncomfortable around me." Uni glanced at an ice cream stand.
"O-Oh, how about we get dessert?" Uni rushed over to the line as she faintly heard Vert giggled. "She knows!"
When the Candidate got in line, Uni felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. Following the arm, Uni found that Vert was smiling gently.
"I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable, but I tend to act when people I love are involved." Uni looked around. The young girl decided to let Vert go on.
"People you love?" Vert nodded, taking Uni by the arm.
"Please, come with me." The CPU led the young girl away from the line.
"W-Wait, but the ice cream…" Vert smiled.
"It can wait." Vert winked. "Now please, come with me."
Vert led Uni to an isolated bench, far away from the food court. Vert sat down, patting the spot next to her.
"Please sit." Uni plopped down as Vert looked up into the sky. Uni stared up as well, the sky was clear with few clouds so high up that they weren't noticeable. The CPU Candidate of Lastation glanced at the CPU, but Vert didn't utter a single word.
"Uh… Vert?" A gust of wind blew by, making Uni shield her eyes. Through the cracks of her fingers, Uni could see Vert put a hand up to her temple and close her eyes.
Uni stared as Vert embraced the wind.
Once the wind died down, Vert turned to Uni, smiling.
"I feel that taking a moment to get away from everything can help calm you down." Vert folded her hands over her lap. "Well, how do you feel?"
"...Uh." Vert looked straight ahead, watching a family run by. The child noticed Vert and waved at her. Vert waved back, causing the child to smile.
"I understand Neptune's feelings in protecting Nepgear." Uni whipped her head to Vert. "However, I wasn't fond of him being trapped inside." Vert opened her hand, staring at it with a solemn look on her face. "As a result, he can be pretty clumsy and he's completely honest with almost everything."
"That's not a bad thing." Vert chuckled.
"It isn't, but it's evidence of his upbringing." Vert looked at Uni. "I'm sure you wondered why Nepgear calls me his master." Uni nodded. "Well, that's because I truly am Nepgear's master." Vert put a hand over her chest. "I taught Nepgear the basics in martial arts." Vert giggled. "Well, Blanc taught him some things here and there." Uni blinked, confused.
"Don't CPUs already have combat knowledge when they're born?" Vert nodded.
"Yes, but I'm sure you're aware that Nepgear is an Incomplete CPU?" Uni nodded. "When an Incomplete CPU is born, they are have no knowledge of anything: combat knowledge, common sense, nothing at all." Vert hung her head, crossing her arms. "They're essentially babies." A thought popped into Uni's head.
"Wait, so how does Nepgear know all the stuff he knows?" Vert smiled.
"The natural way. He learned everything." Uni eyes widened.
"Shocking, isn't it?" Uni slowly nodded. "Nepgear was taught swordplay by Neptune, close quarters combat from Blanc and I… he learned how to fly a plane from Lowee's flight training program. I've heard that Histoire spent a few hours teaching Nepgear how to walk and talk before presenting him to Neptune." Vert smirked. "I expect he came across mechanics and robotics one day on the internet. Although I've never asked him yet."
"He learned all of that?" Uni stared at her hands. "Nepgear had to learn how to fly a plane, fight, eat, sleep, and literally every single thing to function…" The CPU Candidate felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around her and something soft against her face.
"While I know that Nepgear can be quite difficult sometimes- Not as much as Neptune-but I can understand if you want to be away from him." Uni suddenly shot up.
"I-I don't want to distance myself from him at all!" Uni put her hand on her chest as her shadow slightly covered Vert. "I-I…" Uni clenched her fists. "I lo-" Biting her tongue, Uni covered her mouth and stepped back.
Vert stared at her with wide eyes. Those slowly began to shine and Vert's mouth began to remind Uni of a cat's.
"Oh?" Vert placed her elbows on her lap, and leaned forward so that she could rest her head on the back of her hands. "Care to finish that sentence?" Uni shook her head rapidly.
"N-No! I-I-I…!" Vert giggled.
"There's no shame." Vert tilted her head to the side a bit. "Do you remember what I asked earlier today?" Uni's finger twitched, eventually the young girl stared hard at the floor.
"Y-yeah…" Vert laughed.
"Oh please, calm down." Vert patted the spot next to her again. "Sit. It's hard to keep one of the twins in line when they're aggravated. So please, calm down." Taking a deep breath, Uni sat down next to Vert again.
"... I remember what you said…" Vert wrapped an arm around Uni, pulling her close.
"It seems that might've put you on edge," Vert placed her head on top of Uni's. "But now it's obvious to me why you acted so, and I'm sorry." Uni bit in the inside of her cheek.
"N-No, you weren't the one who…" Vert patted Uni.
"Let us let bygones be bygones now. That question doesn't matter now." Vert sighed. "Rather, I'm relieved." Uni looked up to Vert.
"Relieved?" Vert returned the gaze with a smile.
"Yes! To think that Nepgear would care for someone such as yourself… and that she would harbor feelings for him as well." Uni's face reddened. "There's nothing to be embarrassed of. It's all thanks to you, Uni?" Uni tried to pull away, shaking her head. "Please believe me, before Nepgear met you. He would only ask about us, or talk about Neptune. Now, he's become livelier, and happy."
"Well, Nepgear's always happy. But I mean, that he isn't happy for anyone else." Uni blinked her eyes. "I'm sure you don't believe me, but if you ask Nepgear will tell you this: The first time you met, he was relieved to know someone with similar experiences with him. During your 'rivalry', Nepgear enjoyed spending time with you and he was ecstatic to get your number." Vert shook her head. "Now, he won't stop talking about you, or his creations, or the Gear-Wing, or training." Uni finally pulled away and held up a hand.
"I-I get it." Uni stood up and rubbed her arm. A smile found it's way to her mouth. "I… helped Nepgear." Vert nodded.
"Yes, and I'm sure Neptune would accept your relationship with Nepgear if you decided to go further." Uni jumped slightly.
"Wh-Wha-" Vert put one of her fingers on her chin.
"Although, Neptune is very keen on keeping an eye on Nepgear. So I'm not one hundred percent positive that Neptune will approve, buuuut-" Uni leaned forward, thrusting her hands outwards.
"VERT!" The CPU in exclamation laughed.
"Okay. I think I'm done teasing you. Now, let's get some ice cream." Vert stood up from the bench and headed back to the food court. Uni's eyes followed Vert, standing there dumbfounded.
"...What was that?"
(ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ)
Vert and Uni returned to the table, carrying four sundaes. When they arrived, Nepgear, Rom and Ram weren't present. Placing the sundaes down, Neptune's eyes sparkled. Planeptune's CPU ripped one of the spoons out of Uni's hand and began to dig in. Rolling her eyes, Noire thanked Uni and reached out for one of the other sundaes.
"Oh, I'm sorry Noire." Vert scooted the other three sundaes away from Lastation's CPU. "I only had enough credits for four sundaes." Noire narrowed her eyes.
"Wasn't your wallet bursting with cash earlier?" Vert turned away, covering a smirk.
"I'm afraid to say that this was all I could afford." Noire's eye twitched.
"So what are going to do with the other three?" Vert smiled, taking two spoons and a sundae, and sat next to Blanc. Blanc was immersed in a book. The CPU of Leanbox lifted Blanc and placed her on her lap. The CPU of Lowee didn't react.
Humming to herself, Vert scooped up some ice cream and placed into her mouth. Getting more ice cream, Vert held the spoon up to Blanc's face. Blanc clamped onto the spoon and Vert had to struggle the silverware out.
Uni stared, while her mouth was hanging open.
"The other two sundaes belong the little ones." Noire crossed her arms.
"Well, then which one am I going to eat?" Neptune shoved the partially eaten treat in front of Noire.
"Come on, Noire~. If you don't hurry, I eat it all." Noire's face reddened, but the CPU held up her spoon.
"F-Fine, if you insist!" As Neptune and Noire dug in, Blanc looked away from her book and dodged Vert's spoon.
"Uni, the twins took Nepgear to the garden. It's north from the food court." Blanc pointed past the food stalls. "Over there, if you don't know your cardinal directions, don't have a map nor a compass." Shrugging her shoulders, Uni placed the remaining spoons on the table.
"I'll bring them back, I guess." Vert waved, popping the spoon into Blanc's mouth.
"Come back before the ice cream sundaes melt!" Uni waved absentmindedly.
(ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ) (ↀ Д ↀ)
Uni arrived at the garden. The CPU Candidate found that the garden consisted of a flower bed, which was big enough the replicate the sea, that led to a giant maze.
Near the giant flower bed was a billboard. On the billboard was a map of the maze. From what Uni saw on the map, there was a beautiful fountain surrounded by four circular gazebos.
Scratching her head, Uni stared at the center.
"I'm guessing they're probably at the center of the maze." Sighing, Uni shook her head. "Why don't they ever find a nice and easy place to be?" The young girl walked over to the maze. Upon reaching the entrance, Uni saw someone lying on the ground.
"Wait…" Lying facedown, there was a young man with long purple hair tied into a pon- "Nepgear!?"
Rushing over to Nepgear, Uni dropped to her knees. Ignoring the pavement scratching her, Uni flipped Nepgear onto his back. Nepgear looked fine, there were scratches and slight bruises here and there, but the most peculiar thing was Nepgear's clothes were soaked around his torso. Uni backed up slightly at the smell.
"Ew, what is that? Spit?" Shaking her head, Uni tapped Nepgear on the cheek. "Nepgear, what happened?!" The young man grunted as he tried to sit up, his entire body shaking.
"Yellow, fat… thing." Nepgear wrapped his arms around his stomach. "Long. Tounge. Very long." Shaking his head, Nepgear pointed to the maze. "Took Rom and Ram inside." Nepgear flopped onto his side, groaning.
"Nepgear?!" The CPU Candidate in question shook his head.
"Help the twins!" Nepgear pulled himself into a fetal position. "I'll be fine! I'll catch up with you in a bit." Uni shook her head.
"No, you're in terrible shape." Nepear turned away.
"I'm alright!" Uni pointed to Nepgear's injuries.
"Whatever that thing was, it beat you up didn't it?" Nepgear pulled his legs up to his stomach.
"Auuugh, my stomach hurts!" Uni blinked.
"I ate too fast, and then Ram pulled me over here. We ran all the way." Uni glared at Nepgear.
"Wait, you're telling me you're concerned over an upset stomach over than getting injured." Nepgear nodded.
"Yeah, well the monster thing didn't really hurt that much. He just threw me out of the maze. But uuuuuugh…" Nepgear rolled around. "This really huuurts." Uni stood up, her eyes blank.
"I'm gonna go check on the twins." Nepgear held up a thumbs up. The CPU Candidate pointed around near the entrance.
"The thing burst through the maze… Uuugh. So you should be able to get to the center…" Uni heard Nepgear's stomach this time.
"Yeah, you should get that taken care of." Uni turned towards the maze. "Hmm…" Taking a deep breath, Uni stepped into the maze.
The maze was made out of tall hedges, twisting and turning to prevent anyone from navigating it easily. However, just like Nepgear described, there was a large hole in the hedges. Peering through the holes, Uni found that the holes went all the way to the center of the maze.
"Geez." Uni scratched the back of her head. "I feel bad for the gardener here." Stepping through the holes, Uni could barely see a large yellow blob in the center of the maze, near the fountain. Narrowing her eyes, Uni could barely see Rom and Ram being held by some kind of red appendage.
Gritting her teeth, Uni sprinted through the rest of the hedges stopping before the monstrosity.
"Rom! Ram!" The two saw Uni and tears began to well up in their eyes.
"Help us! Please! This thing is disgusting!" Rom nodded.
"It stinks…" The monstrosity laughed.
"Ladies. Ladies. Please. The smell isn't repulsive at all. Rather, it is cleansing your beauty even further." Uni gagged.
"Okay, why don't you stop that?" The big ball of yellow slowly turned around, revealing its appearance to Uni.
The thing that held the twins was a giant pig-lizard hybrid. It had a tiny scaled tail, similar to a snakes. However, Uni had to step back, because the red tongue that wrapped the twins was drenched in a foul-smelling drool. Uni almost gagged again, but saw Rom's tearful look.
"Oh? Is this another beautiful little girl?" The pig-lizard thing narrowed its bulbous puke green eyes at Uni. Uni glared at the monster.
"I'm not a little girl!" Observing every inch of Uni's body, the hybrid clicked its tongue.
"Just out of my range." Uni's shoulder dropped.
"...What." The monster put one of its stubby claws to its chest.
"Oh, nothing. My eyes have seen the truth! True beauty, belongs to little girls!" A droplet of sweat rolled down Uni's head.
"..." The monster laughed, dropping the twins into its hands.
"See? Even you're speechless to the truth!" Uni shook her head, clenching her fists.
"Wha- No I'm no-" Uni suddenly felt something wet and slimy slam against her side. The CPU Candidate was flung off the ground, crashing into one of the pillars that held a gazebo.
Uni flopped against the floor, pain searing through her back.
"Well, no time to waste. Time to build my heaven of little girls! ALL FOR TRICK~!" Ram reached out to Uni. Rom struggled harder, but the monster known as Trick kept his grip.
"Uni!" The CPU Candidate struggled to raise her head. Uni slowly reached out as the monster bounced away.
"HEY!" Trick paused and turned around.
"Oh… It's you again." Uni rolled to her side to see Nepgear standing across from Trick. Nepgear was still clutching his stomach.
"Nepgear-nii! You're okay." Nepgear nodded to the twins.
"Yeah, I'm fine where's…" Nepgear turned to see Uni on the ground. "...Uni." For a second, Uni thought she saw Nepgear's eyes flash red. Baring his teeth, Nepgear turned to Trick. A faint white aura formed around Nepgear.
"YOU! What did you do to my friend?!" Trick giggled.
"Oh, nothing~. Just another vermin getting in my way." Trick narrowed his eyes. "Just like you." Trick thrusted his tongue towards Nepgear. The young man sidestepped. Grabbing onto the tongue, Nepgear pulled forward. The action yanked Trick, and the twins, towards him. Stepping forward, Nepgear threw a punch straight to Trick's gut.
The punch shocked Trick into letting go of the twins, causing Rom and Ram to fall behind Nepgear. Letting go of Trick's tongue, Nepgear punched Trick again, knocking him into the air.
As Trick flew, the twins grabbed onto Nepgear.
"Nepgear Onii-chan!" Nepgear patted the twins on the head. Glancing at them each, Nepgear then gestured to Uni.
"Go check on Uni." Now he was staring at her, Uni knew her eyes weren't tricking her. Nepgear's eyes were red. Once the two began running to Uni, Trick landed on the ground, creating a small crater on the ground. Standing up, Trick threw his head back.
"HOW DARE YOU?!" Trick pointed at Nepgear. "You're ruining my heaven!" Nepgear clenched his fists.
"Y-You…" The white aura began to grow. "...hurt my best friend…" Nepgear began to tremble. "...for your sick fetish?!" The aura began to behave like a large fire, growing and shrinking at an irregular rate. Grabbing his face, Nepgear lurched forward. "...I'll…" Trick slowly scooted backwards.
"Um…" Trick glanced from side to side.
"I'll destroy you!"
The white aura flared into a pillar, engulfing Nepgear. Nepgear roared, his voice turning loud and husky. The ground began to shake as the power emanated from Nepgear. Rom and Ram clung onto Nepgear as Uni watched on.
"Now, he's become livelier, and happy."
"I… helped Nepgear."
Uni watched as the pillar died down, along with Nepgear's roar. Heavy breathing came from Nepgear as the white energy shrouded him like a fire. The young man held his hands like claws and he bent over, ready to pounce.
A pair of blood red eyes stared down a terrified Trick.
Uni's mouth open by itself.
Nepgear and Uni's Lily Rank: 4 → 5 (Good Friend)
Uni and Rom's Lily Rank: ?
Uni and Ram's Lily Rank: ?
Rom and Ram's Lily Rank: 8 (Sisters)
Ram and Rom's Lily Rank: 8 (Sisters)
Nepgear and Rom's Lily Rank: 7 (Sibling-like)
Nepgear and Ram's Lily Rank: 7 (Sibling-like)