Okay I don't know what I was thinking with this. It's like I wrote the first half semi-seriously than the second half I said screw it and went off the rails a bit. Anyways figured I'd share this with the world, whether or not I'll continue it, I don't know. Depends on if I feel like I can do anything with it.
Peeking around the corner I spied the two generic-looking guards, they were leaning against the wall, casually chatting. Seeing that their attention was laxed I quickly rolled out of the shadows and sprinted forward. My footsteps were silent, drowned out by the pumping of my heart. Before the two could detect my presence I halted and hid behind a fixture with a vase on it. Concealed by the shadows.
"Huh? What was that?" One of them, having heard the muffled swoosh of me diving for cover, asked.
The other generic looking guard turned to his comrade. "What was what?" He asked, not having heard the sound.
"I thought I heard something..." The first one said as he started walking in the general direction of my hiding spot.
"It's probably just your imagination." The other guard responded, not believing that there was anything out of the ordinary.
No response was offered as the first man continued his investigation. The moment his gaze turned away from my hiding spot was when I ducked out and back into cover. This time closer.
"I heard it again!" The first one cried out, his eyes landing on the piece of cover I had chosen to conceal myself with this time.
"That time I heard something..." The second watchman said as he became more alert. I heard the sound of clanking metal as he walked over to his ally.
I smirked as they approached me, their body language tense and prepared. But nothing could have prepared these two incompetent men for me. Jumping out of cover I assuaulted the first of my opponents. Landing on his shoulders I smacked him in the side of the head with my sheathed dagger before pushing him to the ground.
The second one barely had time to recover before I was knocking him out as well. He fell to the ground with a heavy thud. They had both been incapacitated before they had even realized what had happened.
Looking down at the passed out guards I sighed. I had wanted to try and sneak by without either of them noticing me, but sadly they had been a little more alert than I had anticipated. Reaching into my pack I procured some rope and quickly went about tying them up.
Once they were out of the way I silently entered the building. The Basilicom was noticbly lacking activity. Most of it's occupants had either gone home or retired for the night.
Looking down a hallway I tried to recall the blueprints I had spent the last week memorizing. I hadn't managed to commit the entire building to memory, but I did know the route I needed to take to get to my destination.
Turning left I broke into a sprint and made my way to the nearest set of stairs. I couldn't afford to use the elevator, as that would get me caught. I would need to make use of detours and side entrances to keep from being discovered.
I tried to keep as low a profile as possible. The guards on the upper floors didn't know I was here yet, but they were diligent in their patrol. 'They tend to be like that when you send a calling card warning them that you're going to steal from the CPU.' My lips curved into a smirk before i slid out of cover, keeping low I went into the nearest door and closed it behind me.
From what I remembered of the floor plans I knew that this room should be one of the Basilicom's many kitchens. I was halfway in the room when a bright light suddenly ilumated a portion of the kitchen.
Swallowing a curse I pressed against the wall and dropped back down. It was nearly midnight, I had expected the kitchens to be empty. With an annoyed frown I set my sights on the tiny figure rifling through the fridge.
"Lala, ladela. Pudding, pudding. Gonna get me some midnight pudding~" A somewhat childish voice sung off key.
'The CPU herself?' I was surprised to see her here. Though considering what I've heard of her maybe it wasn't too surprising.
'That's called plot convenience.' A voice, that sounded surprisingly similar to the violet haired girl's, echoed in my mind.
Shaking that thought away I returned my focus to the girl before me. She had short light purple hair and was dressed in a white hoodie that seemed to double as a dress. I had seen Planeptune's CPU before, but never up close. Admittedly she was cute.
With a frown I ignored that tangent of a thought and returned my attention to her profile. She was in the middle of searching for a midnight snack so it wouldn't be to hard to sneak passed her and go into the next room.
I was just about to do that until my rumbling stomach stopped me. I swore under my breath as the violet haired girl looked in my direction. Even in the dark I could see her confused experssion morph into a large grin.
"I heard a grumbling tummy. Is there a ghost out there who wants to share a midnight snack with little 'ol me?" I held my breath as I waited for her to hopefully decide that she had been hearing things. Despite her supposed airhead tendencies she was not to be fooled. "Come out, come out wherever you are. Mr. Ghost? I have a bowl of pudding with my name on it. But I'll let you have a bite." She promised.
My stomach answered to her calls, rumbling out a response. I sighed, figuring that the jig was up, and slipped out of the shadows.
She met my appearance with a large grin. "See, Mr. Ghost was that so hard?"
I frowned, a little off put by her lack of apprehension. "I'm not a ghost." I deadpanned.
Her violet eyes held a slight gleam as she waved her hand. "Details, details. Now where was I?" She said before turning back to her bowl of pudding. Producing a couple of spoons she glanced in my direction. "Now would be the part where I say that I can't eat this by myself, but you, I, and the readers all know that's a lie. So come help me eat this, before I eat it all myself."
With a sigh I stepped over the shattered remains of the fourth wall and accepted one of the offered spoons. Digging into the pudding I took a bite and marvel at the mixture of chocolate and vanilla on my tongue. 'Whoever made this deserves my thanks.' I thought to myself before taking another bite.
Within seconds the dessert has been consumed and the two of us lean back in our seats, the empty bowl resting between us. The violet haired girl looks up at me before leaning forward. "So, uh I didn't get your name Mr. Ghost. By the way I'm Neptune, but you and everyone already knew that. Since I am the main character. In fact my name is even in the game's title."
I looked at her oddly, not sure whether to comment on her strange way of talking. Deciding not to bring attention to it I humored her. "I told you I'm not a ghost."
"Oh are you the bright eyed new guard that Histy hired? The one who's a total underdog but becomes a main character level hero?"
"...No." I answered.
"Oh, I know, I know. You're-."
"How about I just tell you?" I said, cutting her off.
Neptune paused in her rant before closing her mouth and making a zipping motion. Seeing that I had somehow gained her attention I decided to start speaking. "I'm a thief. I came to steal from you. That card that I left for your oracle to find was sent by me."
Her violet eyes widened in recognition. "Oh so you're the guy who sent that card." She said, as if I hadn't just told her that I had come to steal her possessions.
"That's it? That's you're reaction to being told that you're being robbed?" I even lifted my bag that had some valuables that I had managed to snag since my arrival.
She looks at me oddly before grinning. "Well yeah. I mean it's just money and stuff. As long as you don't do anything to hurt me or my friends I don't really care. I'm too lazy to try and stop you." She said before hopping off her seat and walking to the door. "Just don't steal the pudding." Neptune told me, her eyes taking a playful yet serious look. "Pudding thieves are unforgivable." The violet haired girl said before leaving the kitchen.
Staring at the spot she had just been in I took a moment to analyze what had just happened. Almost instantly I had came to the conclusion that I didn't have the processing power to figure out the logic in Neptune's actions. With a tired sigh I stood up and left the room, but not before depositing the empty bowl into the sink.
I spent the next hour sneaking about, grabbing anything of value that could be sold. I had even gone through the residence areas and pilfered Neptune and her sister's belongings. My sack full of credits, old gaming consoles, and other various possessions, I decided that it was time to leave.
It was just as I was about to start heading downstairs that I heard a commotion. Normally I would have made sure to avoid going in the direction of other people. But the only feasible way to exit the building was in that direction.
My mouth set in a thin line I walked down the hallway with, my steps steady and cautious. Soon I came upon a peculiar scene. A transformed Neptune was fending off five cloaked figures while a girl with cream pink hair was tending to an injured brunette who was wearing a large blue coat.
My first reaction should have been to stay hidden and wait for the perfect opportunity to sneak through. I did not do that. Watching the injured Neptune fall to one knee made me give pause. I recalled the brief moment I shared with the purple goddess almost an hour ago.
Having grown up in the slums of Planeptune I had heard many negative things about Planeptune's CPU. She's a glutton, she's lazy, she's selfish. Whether or not those are true I don't know. What I did know was that she had offered me kindness. Despite being the one who was stealing from her, she had given me food. Seeing her being attacked and doing nothing would have left a foul taste in my mouth.
'One kind turn deserves another.' I decided as I gripped my dagger.
Fast as I could I appeared in front of Purple Heart just as she sluggishly raised her weapon to block the nearest robed figure's attack. Catching his sword on my dagger I dug my heels in and held firm.
"You..." Neptune's voice, deeper than I remembered, sounded out.
If the cloaked man was surprised by my intervention I couldn't tell. His face was hidden by his cowl. I bit my cheek as I felt the pressure on my blade increase before vanishing entirely.
Purple Heart, having regained her wits, pressed her attack. Seeing that another of the cloaked figures was moving to flank her I followed the violet goddess and defended her side. Parrying his attack I landed a kick to his side and watched him fall back as Neptune's opponent managed to return to his allies.
"Who are these guys?" I questioned, wanting to know what I was up against. My immediate thought was that they were some sort of cult, considering the cloaks and their hidden faces. My hypothesis was proven correct as Neptune landed next to me and responded.
"We are part of an organization that wishes to do away with the current system." The closet robed figure said as he stepped forward.
I frowned, feeling that didn't do much to answer my question. Suddenly a white violet blur appeared from the side. The CPU candidate, Nepgear, had arrived. Her attack had forced the figures to scatter, seeing our chance Neptune and I advanced on them.
"Leif, take them. Kill the two sisters and anyone who gets in your way." Their leader ordered as he and three of the robed figures disappeared. The remaining robed figure stepped forward, gripping his cloak and throwing if off in a dramatic fashion to reveal a muscular man wielding a sword as long as I am tall.
"Oh this is going to suck..." I muttered, looking down at my dagger. If I tried to block any attacks from that sword chances were that it would break.
"Neptune, are you okay?" The CPU candidate asked her older sister, a worried look on her face.
"I'm alright." Neptune answered in kind as she faced our lone opponent, who was kind enough to let us keep talking until we were ready to fight. You know it's important to make sure we have all of our items and equipment in place. If we lose this fight it'll be game over.
The violet haired woman turned to me, her clear blue eyes holding a hint of concern. "What about you?"
I raised an eyebrow, which prompted her to point at my shoulder. Turning to look at where she was indicating I let out a small noise of surprise at seeing that I had been cut. 'When did that happen?' I wondered to myself, finally feeling the injury. It wasn't crippling by any means, but it did hurt. Putting up a brave front I played it off. "I'm okay." I assured her.
Neptune seemed to buy my response because she turned once again to face our adversary. "Well then, let's beat this boss. Be careful everyone." She said addressing me and her sister.
"Right." Nepgear and I answered simultaneously before rushing in behind Neptune.
One lengthy battle session later and we finally arrived to the post boss battle cut scene. Even after knocking the bosses HP to zero he was still standing, much to our chagrin. With a throaty growl he rushed us with his massive sword raised over his head before swinging it down at Planeptune's CPU. Purple Heart blocked his attack with her own blade before backing off. Seeing an opening I rushed in with my dagger and stabbed his exposed side.
His enraged roar was the last thing i heard before being smacked in the face with the flat end of his sword. I cried out in pain before slamming into the wall. My vision swam for a few seconds before clearing, looking up I saw the boss yanking and breaking my dagger. Looking in my direction he started advancing on me, I panicked as I tried to return to my feet to no avail.
Neptune, seeing the danger I was in, rushed to my aid. "HAA!" She cried out before slamming into him. "I'm ending this now!" She cried out before activating one of her game breaking skills. "Neptune Break!" I lost consciousness just as Neptune finished the boss off.
I awoke hours later to find myself wrapped up like a mummy. "Too tight..." I muttered trying to move my arms.
"Ah Mr. Thief please don't move. I just finished changing your bandages." Hearing the unfamiliar voice I turned away from my current predicunement to see who had spoken.
It was the pink haired girl who had been tending to the brunette earlier. Now that she wasn't in the middle of healing someone her experssion was warm and kind. Realizing what she had just said I spoke. "But I'm not that injured." I stated.
The girl smiled. "I know, but I didn't want to take any chances. You can never be too careful."
"Also it'll keep you in check." A less kinder voice spoke up. Managing to turn my head I caught sight of the girl with the big coat. "How are you feeling?" She asked upon noticing my gaze on her.
"Um I'm fine. But who are you guys?" I knew that the CPU had a pair of close friends, a nurse and a guild agent, but I couldn't recall their names.
Pink hair was the first to answer. "Oh that's right we never did get to introduce ourselves. I'm Compa and that's Iffy " She said before pointing at the brunette.
Iffy looked away from Compa back to me. "You can just call me IF." She said, her tone slightly terse. Crossing her arms she walked over to my bedside and produced a familiar bag. "You're a thief." She stated with little room for argument.
Without batting an eye I confirmed her statement. "Yes I am." That seemed to surprise her. "There's really no point to hide it. The evidence is in that sack." I addressed her confusion.
IF narrowed her eyes. "You're quite calm despite the situation. You know stealing is a crime, and robbing the CPU of Planeptune makes your situation worse." The brown haired girl informed me with a glare.
I nodded, unbothered by IF's harsh attitude. "I know. This isn't the first time I've been caught." Hopefully it wouldn't be the last. You don't get as good at theiving as I am without getting caught a couple times. 'Though with how tight my bindings are I'm having trouble coming up with a good exit strategy...'
My thoughts were interrupted as a violet blur entered the room, followed by a tiny blonde girl. Neptune grinned upon seeing me. "Ah the protagonist of this story is still alive, good job on that mummy wrapping Compa." The violet haired girl complimented as she walked over to us.
The blonde girl who followed her huffed. "Neptune, please reconsider this. I really don't think this is a good idea." She pleaded to the violet haired girl who ignored her.
IF raised an eyebrow at her friend. "You sure this is a good idea, Nep? He is a criminal." She reminded.
It appeared being reminded of my criminal background did little to persuade Neptune from whatever it was she had decided. "Doesn't matter. He's a good guy."
IF still didn't look very convinced. "H-How can you tell? He just tried to rob us."
Neptune childishly stuck her tongue out. "Oh come on Iffy. Can't you just trust in my sagely wisdom for once?" Despite her question Neptune didn't look at all perturbed.
IF shook her head with a sigh. "It's not that I don't trust you, the existence of your wisdom aside, I don't trust him." She said, not at all keeping her feelings on the current matter hidden.
Having had enough of the vagueness of their conversation I spoke up. "Okay, what's going on? Something I should know about?"
Speaking up had the desired effect of drawing the four girl's attention. Upon meeting my gaze Neptune offered a friendly smile, one that I couldn't help but admire. Why would she look so happy to see a complete stranger?
"I'm doing this because I trust him. Even if he was robbing us he still decided to help us instead of warping out." The CPU told her friend before turning to me. "As for you, considering I am the all knowing wise goddess of Planeptune, I have decided to have you pardoned for your crime of trying to steal from me."
I looked at her in bafflement at her declaration. "Huh?" Was the best I could come up with.
Unbothered by my reaction Neptune continued. "And after much consideration we, meaning I, have decided to hire you." The room was silent as everyone looked at the purple goddess as though she'd grown a second head.
The blonde girl who had followed her in was the first to break the silence. "Neptune, please reconsider." She repeated. "We don't know anything about him other than that he's a thief."
IF nodded. "I have to agree, if anything that should make him even more untrustworthy."
Having overcome my surprise I turned my attention to Neptune. "When you say hire..." I trailed off, hoping she or someone would explain her thinking process.
Neptune grinned. "Well with that super secret unknown organization wanting to axe me, and the other CPUs Histy said it might be a good idea if we get bodyguards. Someone to watch our backs and make sure we don't get assassinated. And since your so good at sneaking around, I figured that you'd be perfect for watching my behind." She then grinned. "Just don't watch it too hard."
Shrugging off the slightly suggestive comment I spared a glance at the other girls in the room. Compa was the only one who appeared undisturbed with Neptune's decision, while the other two girls obviously had their reservations. "What would I have to do?" I asked, giving the idea some consideration.
Despite Neptune's Herculean leapt of logic it wasn't a bad offer. I could get off scott free and all I need to do is make sure no one can take the opportunity to get at her
Neptune grinned. "I already told you, just watch my booty."
The blonde one whom Neptune had referred to as Histy was the next one to address me. "Basically you would have to shadow her during her day to day affairs."
Sounds easy enough. "That doesn't sound too hard " I told them.
Neptune seemed happy at my response. "So you'll do it?" She asked slightly excited to which I nodded. "Wahoo!" She hollared before jumping over to me and wrapping her arms around my neck.
For such a tiny individual she had an amazingly strong grip, and I couldn't use my arms to push her away. "Air..." I rasped.
Neptune released me. "I'm looking forward to your body guarding Mr. Thief." She said, grin still in place.
Catching my breath I looked up at her with a frown. "My name isn't Mr. Thief, its-"
Neptune made a psh noise. "Come on, we're near the end of the fic and the readers still don't know your name. Does it really matter at this point?" She asked.
Well when you put it like that. I sighed. "Yeah I guess you have a point..." I conceded. I guess the readers would just have to wait for a possible continuation to learn my name.
"I'm so happy to meet you Mr. Thief, it's always nice to make new friends. I know Nep-Nep's happy." Compa told me with a warm smile that was just too endearing.
Before anyone else could be said another girl entered the room. She had the same hair and eye color as Neptune but was dressed in a sailor uniform. "Neptune, I'm back." She announced.
Turning her attention away from Neptune happily greeted her sister. "Heya Nep jr. Did you get the thing I asked for?"
The long haired girl nodded with enthusiasment. "Of course. I have it right here " The CPU candidate said before producing what looked like a dagger.
Without prompting Nepgear presented the item to me. Frown I pointed out that I was still tied up. The flushed embarrassment I received from Nepgear was nothing short of cute.
"Oh, sorry." She said before asking Neptune and the others if it was okay to release me. The CPU's answer was positive while the rest of the room minus Compa adopted cautious looks.
Nepgear took the dagger and carefully sliced away the bandages. Once my hands were freed she handed me the weapon. "I had it made from the remains of your old one, plus some materials I had lying around. The blade is pretty sharp and can cut through most anything. Also it'll take a long time to break, the durability is 9001." Insert your best Vegeta joke here.
"Have him push the button!" Neptune implored excitedly.
"I was getting to that." Nepgear told her sister as I looked at the black hilt of the weapon. There was a tiny button on it. "if you push that-" I pressed it as she spoke and to my surprise a purple beam shot out of the dagger. "It turns into a beam saber." Nepgear explained as Neptune hummed a familiar melody.
I had to admit that was pretty cool. "Whoa." Was all I managed before stepping back to give the weapon a few test swings.
"While the dagger itself will last, the beam sword will not. It's powered by a tiny crystal." The lilac haired girl explained. "So try to conserve."
"The force is strong with this one." Neptune said in a playfully dramatic tone as I turned off the beam. Deactivating the beam saber I gave the dagger another quick inspection before strapping it to my belt. Turning to the two sisters I offered my thanks. The CPU offered me a grin. "No problem, now come to the dark side." She dramatically told me.
"Okay, enough Star Wars references." IF said before crossing her arms. "Seriously this author needs better jokes, I think this is like the fifth or so time that the fourth wall has been broken."
I glanced between the girls before letting a half smile slip through. Oddly enough I was kind of looking forward to my new life as Neptune's bodyguard.
But that's something the audience will have to see another day, because the chapter's over.
Honestly I don't know what my thought process with this mess was. But hey, it was kind of fun to write.