Download Session 4: Liking Others
Original Concept: Hyper Dimension Neptunia MK2
Created by: Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Nippon-Ichi Software, Gust Corporation, 5pb and Comcept
written by: wrathie
Author's Notes: HYPER DIMENSIONAL NEPTUNIA MK2 HAS A SEQUEL AGAIN!
Rom asked timidly as her second favorite thing in the whole world looked down at her with a confused expression on her face.
Nepgear had been to Lowee quite often lately due to Rom's request and although her and her sister was happy to see her here, their sisters, namely, Blanc and Neptune wasn't very happy about the arrangement.
Rom could understand why Neptune was not that happy with Neptune coming over as it would mean less time to play with Nepgear but she couldn't quite understand why her elder sister disliked her coming over to play when she liked her too.
Rom had seen Nepgear reading her sisters books with her and they seemed to be good friends as they spent quite a long time with each other.
Unlike her and Ram, Nepgear was able to sit down with her for hours at a time doing nothing but reading.
It was fun to read stories with Ram but they prefer playing other games on their game consoles, especially her favourite Pockety Monsters. She has a much better collection than Ram does of course~~
So there really wasn't any reason for Blanc to be mad when Nepgear comes over for a long period of time.
'Do you know why Blanc is mad when I play with you?'
Rom tilted her head in confusion as she recalled how Ram had been the same, getting mad when Nepgear played with her but eventually she came around and decided to play with them as well. It was nice to have Ram back and the two of them, no, three of them had fun playing many games while they were together.
They played Lowee's games as well as Planeptune's games and if Uni was here, they played Lastation's game too. Ram particularly liked the hunting games as she was quite good with them. Ram herself like a rhythm game that made her sing together with the game.
'Pata Pata Pata, Pon~~'
The characters were cute and memorable and even Ram liked it, even if she doesn't like to admit it and they had gotten their own Lastation and Planeptune's consoles too despite Blanc being upset at them getting one.
However Rom and Ram knew that Uni and Nepgear did the same and as they liked to hang out together, CPU candidates were good friends with each other after all, Mina had helped them obtained one with their own pocket money.
'Ehh... does she? I couldn't tell... but why do you think she is mad, Rom-chan?'
'...Because when Onee-chan is mad, she starts talking to herself more and gets hungrier too... and she gets mad at Rom and Ram...'
'Ahaha... I think everyone gets mad when they're angry...'
'… that's right... Onee-chan she breaks her pen when she's angry... and Onee-chan... breaks a lot of pens when Nepgear is playing with Rom and Ram...'
Rom lowered her head as she recalled how Blanc bad crushed a pen in her hands, literally crushed it as a piece of the shattered wood had struck her when she asked Blanc to come and play with them, together with Nepgear of course.
'… Hmm... I'll find out for you, Rom-chan, so don't worry.'
'Mm mm... Thank you, Nepgear-chan... eheh, let's go back to playing~~'
Nepgear smiled at Rom as they picked up their consoles again and after checking that Ram wasn't ignored, the older CPU candidate played with the younger ones happily.
'You mean Blanc-sama...?'
Nishizawa Mina tilted her head in confusion as she was approached by Nepgear regarding the situation above.
'Well, I suppose Blanc-sama has been going through her supply of pencils rather quickly... she does have the tendency to scribble something and then toss it away when it doesn't go well... but that is usual for Blanc-sama. I wouldn't be worried if I were you, Nepgear.'
Mina liked Nepgear as well even though she was the Oracle of Lowee, someone who should be dedicated to her nation but she couldn't find fault with Nepgear, the girl was perfect, almost... as she had her own little flaws that Mina could see.
Even so, Mina could safely say that if Nepgear was Blanc's sister or at the least, was a Lowee citizen, she would be one of the most beloved asset the city has.
Kind of surprising how Planeptune allows a girl, or a national treasure like her to go to help out other nations but Mina supposed that was why Planeptune was the strongest, most liveable and most technological advance nation in Gamindustri.
Nepgear might be the latest of quality citizens and assets from that town but there were others as well, for example IF-san and Falcom-san to name a few, the two of them were very good in their jobs and if they were in Lowee, they would surely be a department head, unlike their current position of a Guild Member and a Travelling Adventuress.
Either way, Mina was reminiscing and thinking too much on the situation as Nepgear rubbed her chin unhappily.
'But Rom is worried... and I don't want to tell her that I didn't find out why Blanc was mad... she said that it was similar to how Ram had behaved before...'
'Oh, I see...'
Mina clapped her hands together before smiling at Nepgear, if that was the same situation as before, she would have to ask the culprit herself for causing this headache in the first place.
'Blanc-sama is not really mad, she has to take time to adjust her own feelings regarding the matter at hand.'
Pushing her glasses up, Mina smiled as she took a seat, inviting Nepgear to sit down as well in front of her, a mysterious aura surrounding her as Nepgear did follow her lead.
It was similar to the dark aura that Mina had when she made Rom and Ram apologize to her but it was slightly different, as if she was excited about unravelling a huge mystery or something.
'Her own feelings? Does that mean Blanc-sama is really mad at me? Did I do something wrong?'
'No, Nepgear, you did nothing wrong... but can I say that this issue runs through the whole family? I never would have expected Blanc-sama to be so similar to Ram... but then again, Rom and Ram inherited different things from their elder sister.
In a way, if you put Rom and Ram together, the two of them would be a similar copy to Blanc-sama, if only more spoiled... for that part I take full responsibility.'
Mina started with a string of conversation that didn't make sense to Nepgear but she nodded politely as well for Mina seemed to like to reminisce as well before getting to the topic at hand.
'It is similar to the situation at Lastation as well, Uni takes after her sister and despite her more willingness to open up and be truthful, it is a sad fact that the sisters are Tsunderes, desho?'
Mina smiled as Nepgear nodded and sighed. It would be sunny in Lowee when that ever changes.
'The only exception is you, Nepgear, you do not take after your sister at all. Yes, there are similarities in the fact that the both of you can be remarkably dense when it comes to certain things but overall, Nepgear, you are a much better CPU than your sister...'
In a not very subtly covert operation was Rom, Ram and their sister, Blanc as they sneaked up closer to the two girls to try and eavesdrop on their conversation.
Ordinarily it would be Rom and Ram who could or would do this kind of childish stunt but it all started when they wanted to surprise Nepgear after seeing her pay a surprise visit a few weeks from when Rom had the conversation.
Blanc had caught them then after passing by but before she could tell them off, the conversation turned to involve her and being as curious as her sisters, Blanc couldn't help but to 'approve' this operation.
'This is so exciting, Rom! Onee-chan has never joined us in one of these before.'
Ram giggled as she helped pull Blanc's body to another hiding place as her sister wasn't as flexible as she thought she would be, a sore spot that was pissing her off as she complained about how her bones are aching from this position.
'Ehee.. Onee-chan is getting old...'
Rom giggled while Blanc bit her own lip to keep her temper in check. If not for the conversation that was going on, she wouldn't have bothered and instead she forced a smile as she muttered about the lack of exercise.
'But this is the last time, you here? The last time we do this...'
Blanc scoffed as she tried her best to listen to the conversation going on above them.
'Nepgear, the key problem would be that not all of the girls are very forthcoming with their feelings and emotions. You are an open book, Nepgear, in a way you are similar to Rom, who sees the world in black and white, things that she likes and things that she doesn't like. It is easy to understand her, just like how it is easy to understand you.'
Mina smiled but then frowned a little as she reworded herself.
'At least to me that is, your actions are easily predictable and the same goes to Kei, the oracle of Lastation and Histoire, the oracle of Planeptune... to all of us who have been dealing with people from different places and different backgrounds, you Nepgear and most of the CPUs and the candidates are like an open book.
Even so, to the CPUs themselves, who are used to viewing the world through their own judgement, find you difficult to read. Just like how Rom views the world in black and white, the others find it difficult to interpret how the world is like in your view.'
'I... I see...'
Neptune didn't get it and neither did the Lowee CPU and her sister who were left struggling and scratching their heads.
'I apologize if I am making things a little vague but I imagine that Blanc-sama would be mad if I say the reason for her anger. Well then, do you know what Rom likes the most?'
'I guess it's Ram-chan desho?'
Mina smiled as Nepgear got it right in the first try but her smile got even bigger when she told Neptune who she liked second best.
'It is you, Nepgear.'
It was a shock to the Planeptune CPU candidate but if she was the heroine of the story, who wouldn't like her? Unlike the first series which had the main heroine pissed off the others for obscure, crazy reasons.
Neptune sneezed suddenly as she looked up at her paperwork, all the while supervised by Histoire.
'Are you coming down with something, Neptune-sama?'
'I unno, I think I'm being badmouthed somewhere though...'
'I'm the second favorite person to Rom? Ehhee... that's flattering but wouldn't that be Blanc-san?'
For some reason the girls heard something snap in half after she said that but try as they might, they couldn't see anything wrong in the basilcom.
Mina raised an eyebrow as she picked up a familiar kind of splinter, a kind that she distinctively remembered clearing up earlier.
Somewhere in the room was Blanc and her sisters and the sisters were shivering in fear after witnessing their sister snap another pencil before she knew what was going on.
She had calmed down somewhat but was still a little winded after making their escape. Right now however, they were out of the Basilcom and out of sight of both Mina and Nepgear, to the disappointment of Blanc.
'There's always next time.'
Blanc swore as she reached out to hug her sisters to comfort them, something that she hadn't do for quite some time and the two sisters calmed down and snuggled back happily. A picture perfect moment of peace and serenity before they heard Nepgear shriek a second time.
A little while before...
'Well then, it is time for the final question for the day, Nepgear.'
Mina nodded as she tried to guide Nepgear into the right track to deal with the situation herself. It was difficult but she knew that unless Nepgear took the necessary actions herself, it wouldn't be of use at all even if she stepped in.
'Do you like Blanc-san?'
'Yes... I do, she's so reliable and smart and she is such a good writer.
'Good. Then what about Rom?'
'I like Rom-chan too, she's... like a little sister to me.'
'Mm mm~~ Ram-chan too, even though she didn't like me at first but we are good friends now.'
'I see.. well that is the problem, Nepgear.'
'Eh? Is that wrong too?'
'That is not wrong at all, but it makes things difficult for your friends, Neptune.'
Mina smiled patiently as Nepgear looked very confused, so it was really like that with her huh?
'Well, Nepgear, have you ever considered who you would save if Rom, Ram and Blanc-sama was on a sinking boat and you could only save one of them?'
It was a trick question and Nepgear took a while to think about it before shaking her head.
'I can't... I would want to save all of them.'
'You're too kind and nice, Nepgear... you can't choose who is more important... that is why Blanc-sama and Ram does get... mad when you come over.
'Huh? I... I don't get it...'
Mina sighed as she knew she couldn't say more without telling her exactly why Blanc and Ram were... jealous at the attention that was unevenly distributed among the three of them. Nepgear might not like anyone of them better but to everyone else, they might see it in different ways.
Just like how Ram could see the world in Black/White and was not able to realize she was neglecting Ram, so can't Nepgear realize she was neglecting or giving less attention to Blanc and Ram if they choose to ignore or shy away from her.
Mina leaned closer, her hands reaching out to stroke Nepgear's chin, causing the younger girl to blush heartily as Mina stared at her with purpose and mischief in her eyes.
'Who do you like the best?'
'Tell me, tell me! C'mon Mina! Tell me!'
Clinging to her, Ram begged their Oracle while Blanc sulked behind her after failing in her bid to order Mina to spill the beans.
Rom wanted to know too but after Mina said it was a secret, she had kept quiet and instead watched as Ram continued in her efforts to get Mina to tell them exactly who Nepgear liked the best.
'Please, please, please! I'll be good for a week!'
'Uh uh... You'll have to be good for a year.'
'EHHHHHHH! That's not fair!"
Ram sulked while Mina laughed lightly, it was worth every moment of it and she would savor it as long as she could.
'You could try asking her yourself, Blanc-sama, Ram, I'm sure she would tell you.'
Author's Notes: All I need from Nepgear is Yui Horie sensei!~