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Let go of that Navi! I'll do it myself!

Chapter Text

The last thing Rockman remembered was the core of the Cybeast exploding as it was destroyed, taking himself with it. He had the foresight to cancel out of full syncro with Netto, so at least the brunette would be safe.

Rockman couldn't quite say the same for himself. He had hoped to see his operator grow up, but he knew he couldn't let the boy be sacrificed along with him.

'I'm sorry, Netto-kun.' The blue Navi smiled sadly. 'But I guess this is it for me.'

Rockman shut his eyes as the explosion engulfed him. But instead of searing pain, the Navi felt nothing instead. Cautiously, he opened his eyes to find that time around him seemed to have stopped, and hovering before him was a familiar half-transparent figure.

"Serenade!" Rockman was beyond surprised. He thought Serenade had been deleted during the Undernet Navi's final encounter with Forte. "You're… you're still alive?"

"Not for long." Serenade seemed resigned. "Even as we speak, my strength is quickly fading. I will disappear entirely before long."

"Serenade…" The blue Navi frowned. It was his fault that Serenade had been deleted. He hadn't been strong enough "I'm sorry."

Serenade shook his head. "Don't be. It was not your fault. My time may be up, but yours is far from over, Rockman."

"What? But… I was just about to be…"

"Rockman." Serenade's gaze met Rockman's as he began sternly. It was one of those rare times that Serenade became serious. "I need you to do something for me."

That made the blue Navi pause. What could he do that the other navi could not? "What is it?"

"Please…" Serenade gritted his teeth. "Please, save Forte."

The request hit Rockman hard. With his fight against the Cybeast, Forte had given the last of his strength to Rockman that had allowed him to continue fighting and win against the Cybeast. It was doubtful that the dark Navi was still alive at this point. "Serenade… I…"

Serenade cut him off with a laugh. "I trust you to help him, Rockman, in a way that I could not. You can save him, whereas I have failed."

"W-what do you mean, Serenade?" The blue Navi was visibly confused.

"It's okay. You'll understand what I mean soon enough." The Undernet Navi gave him one last smile. "Now, with the last of my strength…"

Rockman wanted to stop him, to ask him what he really meant, but he was once again engulfed within a bright light.


"W-where am I?"

When Rockman reopened his eyes, he realized that he was definitely nowhere near the place where his battle with the Cybeast had taken place. In fact, it seemed that he was back in the net, though it wasn't any place he recognized.

'I should probably ask around, to get an idea of where I am.' He decided, and began to walk around the area. Still, it took him longer than expected before he found another Navi.

"Excuse me," The blue Navi said as he approached the other. "I think I'm lost. Would you mind telling me where I am?"

The Normal Navi grunted, annoyed. "You're in Den City's net."

"Den City? B-but… What year is it?" If this was indeed Den City, then it had changed quite a bit. Rockman hoped he hadn't been blasted into the future.

"It's 19XX." The Normal Navi rolled his eyes. "Sorry, but I have more pressing things to do." He said, then left hurriedly before Rockman could ask anything else.

'19XX?' Rockman was still stunned at this realization. 'But that would mean Netto-kun and everyone else still hadn't existed yet!'

Rockman sighed, slightly defeated. 'Is this what you had meant to do, Serenade? To send me back in time?' He wished he knew what Serenade was trying to do. He wouldn't be so lost then.

Before he could continue pondering his own thoughts, the blue Navi jumped as he heard the familiar sounds of viruses approaching. He turned to see a group of Beetanks growling as they approached him. Briefly, Rockman was surprised to see so many at once, especially in such a populated area such as Den City's net, but he supposed that if this was indeed 19XX, security probably isn't as advanced as it will be in 20XX.

Slightly nervous, Rockman summoned his rock buster. Normally, he could handle these viruses without much of a problem, but…

He was severely handicapped by the fact that he was missing his operator.

Rockman dodged out of the way as the first of the Beetanks fired their shots at him. Quickly, he retaliated by shooting several of his buster shots at the virus, but as expected, it didn't put much of a dent on its armor. Another Beetank fired its shot, and the blue Navi only barely managed to roll out of the way of the second shot.

He cursed internally. He needed something more powerful than his buster if he wanted to stand a chance against these viruses.

Rockman watched as the third Beetank fired at him, as if it could tell that the blue Navi wouldn't be able to dodge out of this one. Wincing, Rockman crossed his arms in front of him and braced for the impact. But something unexpected happened.

The shot curved. Instead of hitting its intended target, it changed its trajectory, and landed several feet away from the navi, leaving him unharmed. Both Navi and virus were stunned by this turn of events.

'That was Serenade's special ability!' Rockman quickly realized. He couldn't believe it. 'Was Serenade behind this as well?'

He wasn't given much time to think about this before the fourth and final Beetank decided that it would have a shot at the blue Navi as well. Rockman watched as the projectile sped towards him, but this time, he was prepared. Standing his ground, the Navi tried to replicate the feeling that briefly washed over him when he curved the previous shot, sensing the wave of energy produced by the projectile blast and trying to redirect it…

This time, the shot did a complete one-eighty, and ricocheted back towards the Beetank, its own shot penetrating its armor and deleting it in one fell swoop before it even realized what had happened.

Seeing the other viruses stunned, Rockman turned and ran, not wanting to push his luck any further than he had to.


It was only when Rockman was sure that he'd lost the viruses chasing him that he stopped and allowed himself some time to think about the events that had occured. He sat behind a data cube and began to mule over recent events in his mind.

If he understood correctly, Serenade had sent him back in time, to the year 19XX, way before everything he knew had happened. He also seemed to have gained Serenade's special ability to deflect shots, or Serenade had given him his own ability before he disappeared. It was either one of the two.

Then, there was the other thing that Serenade had talked about.

'What did he meant when he said "Save Forte"?' The blue Navi wondered, thinking of the possible things Serenade could have meant. 'Forte did became a Darkloid later. Did Serenade want me to save him from becoming one?'

If so, wouldn't sending him directly before the Darkloids got ahold of Forte's data and reprogrammed him into a Darkloid be enough? Rockman shook his head. It was all so confusing.

"ALERT! ALERT! SECURITY BREACH IN SCILAB MAINFRAME! ALL SECURITY NAVIES REPORT TO SCILAB MAINFRAME IMMEDIATELY!"

The loud announcement once again jolted him out of his musings, but it left him wondering as well.

'I didn't realize I had entered the SciLab computers. I was just trying to get away from those viruses.'

Curious but cautious, Rockman peeked out from behind the data cube he was behind. It appeared that the source of the commotion was not far from where he was. Already, he could tell that several security Navies had been downed. They were lying on the floor, with damaged data dissipating into nothing as the chaos continued.

'This doesn't look good.' Rockman thought to himself. 'The SciLab Navies seem to be completely overpowered. Whoever's doing this must be really good.'

"You!" Rockman heard one of the Navies shout. "I don't know what you're trying to play at, but stop it right- gGGHHHAAAAAARRGH!"

The Navi was subdued before he could even finish his sentence. Rockman watched, half in horror, half in awe, as he was tossed across the floor effortlessly.

"Weak."

Rockman jumped as the security Navi's arm was stepped on, snapping instantly with a loud crunch.

"Useless!"

The Navi was then kicked aside. Breathing in nervously, Rockman took a look at the figure who had caused such mayhem, and wasn't prepared to recognize the Navi responsible for this chaos.

"Forte!" Rockman gasped. He continued to observe quietly as Forte approached the downed Navi.

"Is this all SciLab's top security has to offer?" Rockman heard the red-eyed Navi muse as he stepped on the Security Navi once more. "What a joke… At this rate, anyone could have hacked into SciLab's computers."

Rockman swallowed as he watched the scene unfold or, more specifically, at Forte. If Rockman still doubted that he was in the past, he would have been corrected by now. The ebony Navi was clearly missing his trademark cloak, and the way he held himself had a certain sense of gracefulness to it as well, instead of the pure sense of rage and brutality Rockman had been so used to in the future.

This was obviously Forte when he was younger. But what was he doing, attacking SciLabs?

As he contemplated whether to come out of his hiding spot and attempt to stop the red-eyed Navi from continuing his rampage, another voice sounded out through the network.

"That's enough, Forte!" Rockman looked towards the source of the voice and saw what appeared to be a human male in his early thirties. "Stop this instant and apologize to everybody!"

Forte looked towards the man as well. "Doctor Cossack!" He said. Rockman was surprised once again. He'd thought Forte loathed all humans, but the blue Navi couldn't even sense an ounce of hatred in his eyes. In fact, he would say that Forte looked at that man… Cossack, with admiration.

"It's no use, Cossack!" Rockman could here the other humans, probably SciLab scientists, say. "He won't listen to us! He only thinks that he's correct-"

"...I'm sorry, everyone…" The black Navi said. This time, Rockman wasn't the only one that was shocked. It appeared all of the other SciLab scientists weren't expecting Forte to actually apologize.

All except for doctor Cossack, who just laughed. "Good! Good! You're a good child, Forte! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!" He then turned to the other scientists. "You can all forgive him now, right?"

One of the other humans didn't look convinced. "But doctor Cossack! He-"

"Frote never meant any harm." Cossack cut the other off before he could continue. "He only meant to show you the flaws in your security, isn't that right, Forte?"

Rockman could only watch in silent awe as the red-eyed Navi nodded politely. This younger Forte was so different from the one he'd known; the Forte he knew would rather be deleted than he associated with humans, while this Forte not only seemed to listen to humans, but seemed to genuinely want to help them, in his own unusual way.

It made Rockman wonder what had happened to Forte that had caused him to become that Navi he was today… well, in the future. Rockman had an idea as to what it was. Forte had talked about being betrayed by the humans in one of their first encounters before. The blue Navi just wasn't sure what it was exactly that caused such a drastic change in the other Navi.

"Itf that is all," Cossack now addressed Forte. "Forte, I know you mean well, but you'll tell us before doing anything like that again, alright?"

"Of course, doctor." Forte smiled.

"..."

Rockman took a moment to gather himself. What he had witnessed just now was a lot to take in. He knew Forte had probably been a different Navi before the "betrayal" he said had occurred, but Rockman could never imagine the change to be this big. Carefully, he retreated back into Den City's net before anyone could discover him lurking around in the SciLab computers.

Meanwhile, Forte snorted internally as he felt the presence of the hiding Navi gradually faded before disappearing entirely. Hmph. SciLab's security must be worse than he had originally thought if even Navies could make it past them unnoticed.

Chapter Text

After coming to the realization that he was permanently stuck in the past, and there was not much he could do about that, Rockman fell into a sort of steady schedule in the following few days.

During the night, he would wander around Den City's mostly deserted net and practiced his newly gained ability against wandering viruses. The blue Navi found that while curving or redirecting projectile shots weren't as hard as he had originally thought, it still took a considerable amount of effort and concentration if he wanted to redirect a shot in the specific location that he wanted, especially if the projectile shot was a powerful one. Rockman found that he could reflect normal canon or buster shots with relative accuracy and precision, but he wasn't sure if he could do so with stronger shots like HiCanon or multiple shots like Shotgun. It was a good way of defending himself, but he definitely needed a lot more practice before he would be a lot more confident relying on it in battles. There was no need to be cocky and risk himself getting hurt or deleted.

The blue Navi would then find a relatively secluded spot to fall into a sleep cycle and regain his energy afterwards, but after he woke up during the day, he would silently slip into the Scilab computers once more.

It probably wasn't a good idea, to enter the SciLab computers without permission to access them, but Rockman couldn't deny that after seeing Forte's younger version of himself, he was definitely interested in the black Navi's past.

Having familiarize himself with SciLab's network, Rockman easily dodged out of the way of security and made his way in without being detected by anyone. He would then quickly locate the Navi that we was searching for, and quietly observed him from a distance.

In the short span of a few days, Rockman believed he had a clear idea picture of what Forte was like when he had been younger.

From what Rockman could gather, Forte appeared to be created to find flaws in SciLab's security, thus helping them to improve their systems, which was why Forte was the first independent Navi to have been created- so that he could see and pick out the flaws that the humans could not.

'That would also explain his Get Ability programme.' Rockman thought to himself. 'Forte would need to be able to adapt and improve along with their security in order to help them realize what was still lacking.'

While this gave Rockman an idea as to what the ebony Navi had been before he became the Messenger of Darkness, he found Forte's relationship with the humans- or, more specifically, doctor Cossack- much more interesting.

Because Forte genuinely seemed to like the humans.

Even at a distance, Rockman could still tell that Forte appeared to be watching a video recording of a baseball match in his downtime. The first time he'd seen it, the blue Navi could hardly believe his own eyes, but now he could safely determine that Forte had been interested in human culture.

Other things Forte appeared to be interested in were music, video games and comics. Rockman found himself grinning at the thought that Forte might have been something of an Otaku at one point of his life.

The thought also saddened him a bit, however. 'Forte used to be so happy. I wonder what happened that had changed him so much?'

Briefly, the blue Navi thought about Forte's relationship with doctor Cossack. He had also learned that Cossack was Forte's creator. Yet, the bond between them seemed to be more than creator and creation. As Rockman observed their interactions, he could tell that Cossack treated Forte as if he was his own child, and Forte-

Rockman was willing to bet his life that Forte in turn saw Cossack as his father. The look of trust and respect in his eyes was undeniable.

And it hurt Rockman to think that something had happened to sever such a bond.

'Maybe this was what Serenade had meant?' Rockman thought to himself. 'If I can figure out what happened, maybe I can stop it.'

Nodding to himself, Rockman made his way to leave SciLab's computers once more as office hours were over. As he did so, the blue Navi noticed that it appeared several blind spots he had used to circumvent the security had Navies standing watch now.

'I guess this means Forte's doing his job well.' Rockman thought silently. In the end, it took him longer to get back into Den City's net undetected, but he still managed. The blue Navi then fell back into his nightly routine of training against wandering viruses. Rockman found it a lot easier to reflect simple shots now that he'd been practicing with them constantly.

As he fell into another sleep cycle, Rockman briefly wondered what Forte would be up to the next time he saw him.


Whatever Rockman had expected, it certainly wasn't this.

"Finally. He's getting what he deserves for deleting so many security Navies."

"He's not so tough now. Those energy suppressors limit his powers down to just ten percent, you know."

Forte visibly scowled. Even Rockman couldn't resist gritting his teeth in anger as he watched the two security Navies attempt to provoke him while the dark Navi was clearly helpless- not only did he now wore suppressors on both his wrists and ankles, the red-eyed Navi also wasn't allowed out of the barrier he had been trapped inside.

Despite his growing frustrations, however, Rockman stayed put. He knew he couldn't just reveal himself right now. It would just lead to him getting in trouble without helping anyone. For now, he could only continue to observe as the scene played out.

The two security Navies left soon enough, apparently growing bored that they couldn't elicit any reactions out of the dark Navi. The holographic image of doctor Cossack appear just several moments later.

"Ah… Have you been behaving, Forte?" Cossack smiled as he addressed Forte, but Rockman couldn't miss the slight hint of sadness in his voice. "Forte… I'm so sorry to have to put you in this situation… But this is the only way to protect you. Do you understand?"

"Doctor Cossack…" The hurt was apparent in Forte's voice, but he quickly covered it up, smiling instead. "I… I've heard that humans find this sort of thing… fashionable." Forte changed the subject, gesturing to the energy suppressors on his wrists.

"Forte…" For a moment, doctor Cossack wasn't sure how to answer. "...It looks good on you, Forte. You sure have an eye for these things…"

It was at this point when Rockman stood up and snuck away. This was terrible. He couldn't bear watching on anymore.

Even so, Rockman was sure this wasn't the thing that had caused Forte's drastic change in perspective. The blue navi could still see that Forte still respected Cossack very much.

'But if this wasn't it, then what was it?'

Rockman had a feeling that he would find that out very soon.


Rockman continued with his daily visits to SciLab's network. The slack in security hadn't gone unnoticed by him.

His visits had gotten a lot less interesting and much more heartbreaking when all he could do was to watch Forte sit in his small cage miserably. The blue navi had to stop himself multiple times from just running up to the dark Navi, to tell him that everything was going to be alright. Doctor Cossack would drop in a check up on Forte regularly, but aside from that, Forte was left completely alone.

'Maybe I should free him?' Rockman pondered, but quickly dismissed the thought. Doing so would only get Forte into more trouble than he already has. He wouldn't risk that.

However, just as he banished the thought, the barrier around Forte flickered, before sizzling out of existence, leaving the dark Navi free. The blue Navi frowned as he watched Forte look around, clearly just as confused as he was as to what had just happened.

'I have a bad feeling about this.' Rockman thought to himself. He watched as Forte began to leave the area, probably to figure out what had happened. 'I should follow him, just in case something goes wrong.'

The blue Navi tailed Forte for a while, watching as the other Navi would stop momentarily in order to examine the scene around him. It would appear that the SciLab networks had been damaged badly. Rockman wasn't sure what had caused it, and he only got more and more uneasy as more time passed on.

Forte seemed to be saying something to himself- Rockman was too far away to hear him, but he did notice when the ebony Navi suddenly snapped to full awareness.

The blast directed at Forte was unexpected, and Rockman jumped a little at the loud sound that had resulted from the explosion the blast caused.

"Finally, you show your true colours!"

"What?" The voice surprised Rockman. He looked up and quickly glanced about, before realizing that Forte had been completely surrounded.

'Those are the SciLab security Navies!' Rockman thought as he ducked behind a data cube. 'But why are they all appearing here…?'

Then, the blue navi jerked when he came to a suddenly conclusion.

'They… They didn't believe that Forte was behind this, did they?'

"Today is the day you die, freak!" Emboldened by the fact that Forte had his powers severally hampered by the suppressors, the Navies rushed forward all at once, aiming their weapons at the dark navi.

But Forte wasn't going to take that lying down. Snarling, he summoned his own powers, taking out one of the more arrogant Navies that had rushed him in one fell swoop. "Arrogant fools!"

From his position, Rockman watched with growing worry as the fight dragged on, his core pounding heavily. He didn't doubt Forte's abilities, but…

'There's too many of them.' He realized. 'Forte can't last forever, especially with the suppressors. They'll overwhelm him with numbers.'

Rockman clenched his teeth. Where was doctor Cossack, anyways? Did he know this was happening? 'Any time now.' Rockman hoped, for Forte's sake. 'Doctor Cossack is going to appear any time now.'

By now, Forte had already defeated a sizable number of the Navies. He growled as he rendered yet another one incapable with another swipe of his hand. "Don't underestimate me!"

"Darn it! How is he still this strong?!" One of the Navies yelled.

"We'll get him!" Another yelled back. "He's limited by the suppressors- He can't fight forever!"

Just then, Rockman noticed one of the Navies gearing up for an ambush. The Navi summoned his sword, making a wild dash towards the red-eyed Navi, but Forte was preoccupied. The Navi drew closer and closer, and Forte still hadn't noticed him.

If the sword landed its mark, Forte was going to be deleted in an instant. The blue navi couldn't afford to wait for doctor Cossack to interveer anymore.

"Forte!" Rockman cried as he leapt out from his hiding spot. "Watch out!"

Chapter Text

It hurts.

Rockman winced. He was lying face first on the ground, not completely cognitiant of the series of the events that had transpired until just now.

Without any thought, he had just rushed out and pushed Forte out of the way of the slash, so the dark Navi was still very much fine, but…

He had ended up taking the brunt of the attack instead. Rockman winced in pain as he felt another stab of pain across his back. He didn't need to see it to know that he was very badly damaged.

Startled by the sudden appearance of another Navi, the ambusher stepped back. "An intruder? Wh-"

He didn't get to finish his sentence. Just then, the flash of a blade swept across his form, cutting the Navi wide open. All that remained was the Navi's loud screech as he was swiftly deleted. As the dust cleared, Rockman looked up from his position, gasping in surprise as he did so. Forte had somehow managed to deactivate the suppressors on his wrists and ankles, the remnants of data slowly dissipating and disappearing into nothing, but that wasn't the only thing that shocked the blue Navi.

Forte's other arm had transformed into the blade which the other Navi had attempted to use against him. Rockman already knew about Forte's Get Ability programme, having experienced it being used against him first hand when Forte copied his Ultimate form, but the almost instantaneous nature of how Forte was able to copy and absorb other Navies' abilities still managed to surprise him every time.

The dark Navi then turned to the other security Navies- with the suppressors gone and Forte having grown more powerful by absorbing one of their abilities, the tables have now turned. The group seemed to have realized this much.

But before either side can do anything, a series of explosions rang throughout the entire network.

"What happened?" One of the Navies yelled. "Where did these explosions come from?"

"They seemed to have been caused by a system error elsewhere!" Another one yelled back.

"You mean Forte wasn't the cause of those explosions?"

"Damn it, we've been had!" One of them came to the conclusion. "Everyone, plug out now!"

As soon as he finished, the Navies all plugged out in unison, leaving only behind the soft rumbling of the fading explosions and the two Navies behind. Rockman sat up slowly, bowing his head and sighing in relief. 'Thank heavens, they've gone.'

That was, until he realized that there was now a sword pointing directly between his eyes.

The blue Navi gulped nervously. Apparently, now that the major threat to his life was gone, the other Navi had decided to direct his attention towards him instead, and in his current state, Rockman couldn't even escape, much less fight the other Navi and survive. Slowly, he looked up, meeting Forte's gaze, trying to show the dark Navi that he wasn't a threat.

For a moment, Forte didn't say anything, only looking at Rockman with narrowed eyes. That was fair, the blue Navi decided. He would be suspicious, too, if some Navi he'd never seen more just happened to jump out of nowhere to save his life.

"You've got some explaining to do." Forte said finally.

It didn't appear that he would be getting out of this. "I don't mean any harm." Rockman clarified, hoping that Forte would maybe relax enough as to not be a single step away from ramming the sword through his head.

Thankfully, Forte seemed to consider this.

"Who are you?" Forte asked.

"I'm…" Rockman paused. If he existed in the future, it was going to be really weird to have two Rockmans running around. "I'm Mega."

His hesitation didn't seem to have gone unnoticed. Forte glared at him harder.

"...I don't know what you want." The dark Navi said, seemingly to have come to a conclusion. He lifted his sword slightly. "But I won't deny that you may have possibly saved him just now. For that, I will spare you. But if you appear in front of me again, I won't hesitate to delete you." Forte said. "Now get out of my sight!"

Rockman didn't have to be told twice. As much as he hated it, there was no way he would be convincing the other Navi otherwise. He scrambled to his feet and left as quickly as his damaged body could manage.


Forte didn't stay in the net for long. Once he had regained the strength he'd lost from his battle, he seemed to have found a way to enter into the undernet. Even though Rockman was hesitant to follow, especially since his own damage had yet to be completely healed, the blue Navi didn't want to let Forte out of his sight.

He mentally kicked himself for not noticing that something was wrong sooner, and for not doing more to prevent the events from happening. It seemed as if Forte was doomed to fall down into the spiral and hate and despair that his previous self had gone through.

'Did I fail?' Rockman watched sadly at the now cloaked figure of the black Navi. He was now sure that Serenade had sent him back to prevent Forte from becoming the Navi he was in the future, but it seemed as if he was unable to stop it from happening. Forte was truly becoming the Messenger of Darkness that everyone had feared, growing more and more powerful with every opponent he deleted. Forte was strong, even before his change, but now Rockman doubted he could even lift a finger against what the dark Navi had become now.

Rockman didn't want that. Even in the future, he'd never wanted Forte to be miserable. He'd wanted to be the red-eyed Navi's friend. But after having seen Forte's childhood, the blue Navi was more determined to let Forte see that he didn't need to distrust everyone he saw. Forte had him now. It was only a matter of how he should go about letting Forte know that.

At least Rockman could still keep up with the dark Navi even in the Undernet. The paths in the Undernet weren't always stable, and were often broken down, leading to steep falls. Forte had discovered how to levitate earlier. Rockman had expected the other to lose him immediately, but the blue Navi discovered- quite accidentally, after nearly falling into a bottomless pit- that he seemed to have gained the ability to levitate as well. It was a feeling similar to wearing air shoes, but it required constant energy concentration in order to maintain his flight.

It was difficult to get used to, and the blue Navi was definitely much more comfortable walking, but at least that made it a lot easier to keep track of Forte.

Now, he just hoped he would get a chance to approach the other Navi, without risking the other deleting him instantly.


Forte was cornered again. Rockman found the scene similar to when Forte had been accused of something he had not done back in SciLabs, but he doubted that luck would favor him and allow his ambushers to be distracted by something elsewhere.

Not that he doubted Forte's abilities. Forte had definitely grown much more powerful since then. But Rockman still couldn't help but worry. Especially since the number of Navies surrounding him were much larger, and the fact that they were undernet Navies.

"Your legend as the Black Shadow ends today, Forte!" Rockman heard one of the undernet Navies declare. "Today is the day you die by the hands of the Red Army!"

Forte didn't say anything, only staring idly at them in return. As the self-proclaimed members of the Red Army leapt forward, Forte swung a hand at them, deleting a bunch of their numbers in a single instant. From afar, Rockman watched in awe at Forte's display of strength. It was impressive, especially considering the short amount of time it had taken Forte to get this powerful.

Silently, he watched the battle play out. As expected, the dark Navi didn't have any problems deleting the Undernet Navies, but…

Rockman frowned. The Undernet Navies looked too calm, giving the situation. They were losing the fight, but didn't seemed bothered by it in the least. The blue Navi suspected that something was up. Cautiously, he glanced around the area for several moments, before discovering the problem.

There was a large laser cannon, hidden behind the debris and rubble piled up within the Undernet. Those Navies must have known that there was no way they could win against Forte, even in their great numbers. That huge canon was probably an ambush they had set up…

The blue Navi grit his teeth in anger. Even he had wanted to beat Forte, to defeat the strongest Navi in the Undernet, but he would never stoop to using ambushes or cheap shots in order to win! He had done it, fair and square. However, it would appear that fairness was the least of those Undernet Navies concerns.

Rockman decided he wasn't going to let that happen. Quietly, he snuck around the battle and towards the cannon. If he could disable it before it could fire-

"He's in range! Fire!"

-Well, there goes that plan. The blue Navi only had seconds to make another decision before the laser cannon fired. He had been practicing, but not with projectiles this large before-

But if he didn't do anything, Forte would be caught in the blast. There was no way he would allow that. With a nod, Rockman jumped directly in the path of the shot, and raised both hands.

The instant the shot made contact, Rockman almost collapsed and lost his focus. It burned. The sheer force of the blast was too daunting, too much for him to handle-

'No! I can do this!' Rockman told himself. He was shaking. 'I just need to focus...!'

There was an instant where the energy of the blast seemed to flicker, just for a moment, but it was all the blue Navi needed.

'There!'

With a loud cry, he used his strength to push back against the laser blast. The effect was immediate, and the shot was bounced back towards the cannon. The explosion caused on impact alarmed whatever Undernet Navies who were still alive. Unsure of what happened, but certain that they now stood no chance against the Black Shadow, they retreated.

Rockman nearly fell to his knees. It had taken nearly all of his energy to deflect that shot, but at least he'd done it. He sighed in relief.

Then, a hand grabbed his wrist.

Chapter Text

It was Forte. Rockman jumped a little when he saw the other Navi staring at him with his red eyes. Briefly, Rockman wondered what the dark Navi wanted, but considering the pressure he had on his wrist was just enough to keep him from moving, Rockman allowed himself to relax slightly knowing that it was unlikely that Forte wanted to delete him right then and there.

"..." It took a moment for Forte to speak. "This is the second time now."

Rockman didn't know what to say. He watched as confusion and suspicion flickered in Forte's gaze.

Seeing his silence, Forte scowled. "What do you want?"

"I don't want anything." The blue Navi shot back.

"Why did you follow me, then?"

"I-" That made Rockman pause. He didn't know Forte realized that he had been trailing him. He had thought that he'd done enough to hide from the other Navi's sight. The realization made he think, though-

Sometimes, when Rockman had just been about to lose track of the other Navi for good, Forte appeared to slow down, or sometimes decided that he needed a rest, allowing Rockman to catch up with him. He had originally chalked that up to coincidence, or just him being extremely lucky, but now that he knew Forte had sensed his presence the whole time, Rockman was slightly hopeful that perhaps the other Navi wasn't as distant as he appeared.

Maybe he was even warming up to him, but Rockman didn't want to push his luck that far yet.

"I… I just wanted to help you." Rockman said. That was the truth.

Forte's expression didn't change. "I don't need your help."

"I don't care." Rockman insisted. "I still want to help you."

"..." Forte paused for a moment, and Rockman wondered if Forte would believed what he had said. "You're not afraid of me." It was a statement.

Rockman shook his head. "No, I'm not."

"You should be. You saw what I could do. I could have done it to you."

"But you didn't, did you?" The blue Navi questioned him. "If you knew that I was there the whole time, and that you could've deleted me easily, then why didn't you do it?"

That seemed to have caught Forte off guard. Indeed, if he had known the blue Navi was there, then why hadn't he deleted him yet?

Was it possible that Forte didn't want to delete him? Rockman hoped that it was.

"You say you want to help me?" Forte asked him. His gaze seemed less harsh now.

"I do." Rockman nodded.

Forte narrowed his eyes. "Can I trust you?"

Rockman assumed he was probably talking about the incident back in SciLab. As much as Forte tried to hide it, the blue Navi could tell that the other Navi was still very much hurt by the ordeal. Rockman could only imagine the betrayal he felt when the person he trusted the most didn't come to his aid in his time of need.

"I would never betray you, Forte." Rockman said, his voice determined.

"Never?"

The blue Navi shook his head. "Never."

Forte paused again in thought. Rockan was wondering if he had come to a decision when the dark Navi spoke again. "I could feel you this whole time, you know."

"Yes, I know that." Rockman touched the side of his face, slightly embarrassed that he hadn't realized that sooner.

"No, I mean, the entire time." Forte clarified. "I could feel you, when you first snuck into SciLabs."

...What?

"W-what?" Rockman was startled. He hadn't realized Forte had discovered his presence that early.

Forte looked to the side. "That first day, when you snuck in… I can't really explain it, but I knew you were there, just hiding around the corner."

"But… Nobody saw me, did they?" He hoped not. He was sure he'd stay way out of sight from all of the Navies there.

"No, I'm sure no one did, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to keep coming back." Forte shook his head. "In fact, I didn't see you, either."

"Then how…?"

"I could feel you." Forte frowned, probably trying to find a way to clarify what he meant. "Ever since you appeared, I could always feel this… presence, behind my back. I didn't know who it was the first time I'd felt it, and it took me several days to recognize that it was you- Because you kept coming back."

So that's how Forte knew. But… "If you knew I was there, then why didn't you tell anyone? Technically, I was an intruder. Weren't you worried that I would have done something?"

"I considered it." Forte admitted. "...But I could also feel something else."

"What was it?"

"I'm not sure if I can explain this correctly, but…" Forte paused. "...You seem to have… human emotions."

The blue Navi was stunned silence. While Navies were programmed to experience basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, or anger, Rockman had been told that he was special for being able to experience the entire spectrum of the human emotion- concern, content, worry…

He wasn't sure if Forte could experience those feelings as well, but it would seem that he could tell if Rockman himself was experiencing them. That was definitely a surprise.

"Your emotions seemed to fluctuate a lot." Forte continued. "You could be… amused one moment." Rockman had probably been watching Forte cheering on a baseball team. "But then, it appears that you would feel… sad." Rockman remembered thinking about what had happened that had changed Forte so drastically at that moment. "But, I could never feel any ill-will from you. I could feel that you weren't intending to harm anyone, so I let you be." Forte stopped, then added, as if an afterthought. "Besides, you being able to sneak in every day just proved how bad security was."

"Forte…" Rockman wasn't sure how to respond to the other's confession.

"I might have gotten used to your presence." Forte murmured, as if he was unsure if he should tell the blue Navi this or not. "I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but it felt… comforting, feeling you just at the back of my mind, especially after… that incident happened."

"..."

Rockman could now tell with much certainty that Forte hadn't want to put up with his ruthless facade in his past. The fear he had struck into the minds of many, and the way he had treated Rockman, with so much hostility- it was just a way to prevent people from getting too close. It wasn't because he believed that having someone held him down, or made him weak. He was just too afraid to be betrayed again. And now that he knew that Forte had wanted, like anyone else, to have someone there for them, he was more determined than ever not to let Forte go down the same path he had in his previous timeline.

As if sensing his thought, the dark Navi looked back at him. "...I'm still not sure if I can trust you yet." Rockman bit his lip. As much as he wanted Forte to open up to him, Forte's distrust was understandable. How would he had felt if someone he saw as a father had turned their back to him? "But… I suppose there is something you can do to prove that I can trust you."

"Wh-what is it?" Rockman asked, slightly nervous. He wasn't sure what Forte wanted him to do, but if he could show Forte that he was trustworthy… well, that would be worth it.

Forte was silent for a moment, before drawing himself closer to the blue Navi. "...During that time in SciLabs, I could feel something else." Then, the dark Navi raised a hand, running a thumb across Rockman's lips.

The blue Navi certainly hadn't expected that, and in his momentarily stunned state, the dark Navi took his opportunity to close the distance between them. Placing his hands on Rockman's cheek, he steadied the blue navi's head before planting a kiss on his lips.

Rockman's mind went blank. It wasn't until Forte drew back that he felt a series of emotions wash through him- shock, confusion... and something else that he wasn't quite able to make out.

But apparently, Forte had. The black Navi grinned. "As I suspected. You harbour something more than just feelings of friendship for me."

Chapter Text

Rockman reeled back in realization. Forte was now leering at him.

'Oh god, oh god.'

This wasn't supposed to happen. He had only been sent back to save Forte. How did this even happen?

Before he could delve on this further, the dark Navi lept at him, sending the two of them tumbling onto the ground. Forte was now leaning over him, both hands planted firmly besides him to keep him trapped.

"F-Forte!" Rockman's face flushed red instantly. "What are you… W-we… we can't…!"

"Why not?" Forte reached a hand up. Rockman's helmet was already cracked at the side from their run-in with the Red Army, so he had no trouble lifting it from the other Navi's head and tossing it to the side. The blue Navi's dark brown hair complimented his green eyes nicely. "You want this and I want this. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't."

"?!"

Did he want this? Or, more importantly, had he wanted this? Rockman tried to think back to his interactions with Forte in his previous timeline… Maybe. Maybe, he might have felt something towards the black Navi that was more than than just pure friendship or admiration, but the other had been so hostile and distant that Rockman would have settled with just being friends with him, and even then, that seemed to have been an unachievable thing.

The blue Navi was snapped out of his thoughts when Forte bit down onto the base of his throat, feeling a hint of fangs digging into his skin slightly. He yelped and jumped slightly, startled.

"You think too much." Forte said.

Rockman couldn't help but whine when Forte licked the place he'd just bitten. "B-but-! Wh-what if they come back?" Rockman was referring to the Red Army- he didn't want to be caught out here in the open.

"Not after what happened, they won't."

Somehow, during their short conversation, Forte had managed to move Rockman onto his cloak. The blue Navi's blush deepened when the other began to remove his skinsuit.

'Oh god, this is really happening.'

It wasn't long before Forte had him laying bare underneath him, and if Rockman had a heart, it would be beating twice as fast as it normally would by now. Looking up at Forte's crimson eyes, he felt nervous, slightly timid, and maybe a bit uncertain, but…

He wasn't afraid. Rockman trusted Forte not to hurt him.

The other seemed to have sensed this. "...I want to trust you." Forte told him, his eyes steady. "...But I need to see if you trust me, too."

Rockman nodded his head in understanding. It would be unfair if he only expected Forte to trust him without showing that he was willing to put just as much trust onto the other as well.

Slowly, Forte began to shed his own skinsuit. Rockman had fought with Forte multiple times before, but this was the first time he could clearly see Forte's physique up close. The blue Navi blushed as he saw the toned form of the other Navi, a bit of a contrast from his own slender form, but his focus was mainly drawn to the other's chest, where Forte's Navi emblem was.

Rockman left out a breath he didn't know he had been holding when he saw Forte's Navi emblem still intact. He remembered the shock and horror he'd felt when he saw the deep, jagged scar slashed across the other's chest, splitting his Navi emblem in half.

He was glad that, at the very least, he had prevented it from happening this time.

"What's wrong?" Rockman jolted slightly at Forte's voice. He still hadn't got used to the fact that the other Navi could pretty much read his emotions now.

"It's nothing." He said softly. "I'm just glad… it wasn't you."

Forte seemed to understand what he was referring to. "...You shouldn't have done that. You could have been deleted."

"It could have been you." Rockman argued.

Forte didn't reply. Now that his hands were free, he used them to trail down Rockman's sleek form. The blue Navi couldn't suppress a shiver as the other explored his body. One hand then reached down between his legs, attempting to get a feel of what was down there, but one of the fingers slipped into-

Both Navies stopped abruptly. Rockman was panicking internally; he'd never had any experience with anything sexual. He never even once checked what he had down there. He had just assumed-

Before Rockman could react, Forte had grabbed both his legs, spreading them apart. It took all but one look to confirm his suspicions.

"You…" The dark Navi swallowed, surprised by this development as well. "You have both parts…"

Rockman was breathing heavily now. He wasn't sure if it was possible for his face to get more red. "Please, don't… don't laugh..."

"Never." Once the initial shock had passed, it seemed that Forte was more fascinated by this than anything. "You look beautiful down there."

"Don't tease me!"

Forte just chuckled at his outburst. "Alright, as you wish."

Rockman made a small undignified sound when the first finger slipped in. He quickly latched onto the Navi above him, hugging the other's neck tightly as the full length of the finger curled inside of him.

"F-Forte!" Rockman whined as another finger slid in with the first, parting his insides softly.

"Relax." Forte told him as his fingers thrusted in deeper. The blue Navi shuddered when they pressed against a particularly sensitive spot within him. "I've got you."

In the following few moments, Rockman could only moan and whine as Forte pushed his fingers in and out of him expertly; the other Navi seemed to know the pace to thrust at, and what angle to push and curl his fingers to get a reaction out of the smaller Navi.

'H-how is he so good at this…?' Rockman doubted Forte had any other partners before, even in his previous timeline. Not with Forte being so hesitant to let anyone close to him.

Rockman jumped as Forte pushed in with three fingers, spreading them apart widely just as his insides gave a harsh shudder. "You're too obvious." Forte told him, suddenly.

...Oh.

So Forte could sense more than just his emotions.

He wasn't allowed to linger on that thought any longer as Forte resumed his actions, stroking and touching his insides, parting his walls gently. It wasn't long before the blue Navi's insides became slick and willing around those fingers, not when the dark Navi could tell what he liked and enjoyed, not when Forte could pretty much read him like an open book.

Normally, it would be scary, to let someone else hold that sort of leverage over you. But Rockman didn't feel in the least worried. In fact, considering the circumstances, the knowledge that Forte could read him so accurately… excited him.

Rockman was a panting, withering mess by the time Forte withdrew his fingers, a trail of clear fluid sliding out from his opening as a result. The blue Navi panted as his insides clutched around nothing, as if expecting something else to enter and split them apart...

Then, he felt Forte's length push up against his slit.

"I'm going to fill you up now." The dark Navi breathed against his ear, grabbing the sides of his hips with both hands to steady him.

Rockman tensed. This was really happening. Forte was going to… to…

Holding onto the Navi above him, Rockman willed himself to relax. He then gave a small, hesitant nod to the other Navi. That was all the affirmation Forte needed to push his hips forward, completely plunging into the Navi below him with a single thrust.

"A-ah!" Rockman couldn't help himself. His insides were stretched wide, shuddering and clutching desperately as the entire length slid in. He cried out when the tip bumped against his deepest parts. "Forte…!"

The dark Navi hissed in return. "Mega…" Rockman blinked. It was the first time Forte had addressed him by name… well, at least, the name that he had given Forte. Rockman whimpered and gasped when Forte gripped his hips, pulling him in as he thrusted forward, causing the tip to grind against his opening in there…

"Shit." Forte hissed again. "You're so warm and tight in there, Mega. It feels so nice inside you."

Rockman flushed, half in embarrassment, half in excitement. "F-Forte! Stop- A-ah! Hhn…!"

"I'm serious." Forte continued as he began to thrust in and out of him. Rockman whined with every inward push, the Navi above him managing to hit and grind against every one of his sensitive spots with every thrust. "You're clutching around me so tightly… I can feel your insides shivering whenever I push in and tighten around me when I pull out…" The dark Navi kissed his cheek. "You don't want me to stop, do you?"

"Forte!" The blue Navi couldn't handle it anymore. "Stop teasing me!"

Forte laughed, and kissed him again. "Alright, I'll play nice."

Then, he began to fuck in ernest.

Rockman's eyes widened as Forte sped up his pace, but still maintaining the same depth with every thrust. The blue Navi's body tensed up unwillingly, his insides clutching tighter, as if attempting to stop the offending length from splitting him so deeply, but his slick allowed the other to push in despite his tightness, allowing little to no resistance as his deeper entrance was repeatedly thrusted and grinded against.

"For-Forte!" It was too much. Rockman was sobbing from over-stimulation, his entire body shaking. He clawed at the other Navi's backside, but Forte still showed no signs of stopping. "Ah…! Hhn... a-ah!"

With a harsh shudder, Rockman came, white liquid splashed between the two Navi's abdomen as he climaxed. Forte groaned when he felt Rockman's insides clamp down even more.

"Almost there." He soothed the Navi sobbing below him. "I'm so close. Hold out just a little bit longer for me, alright?"

"P-please… Hhn!" Rockman cried harder. It was too much- too much-

Finally, after several more thrusted, Forte came with a low growl. Rockman's face burning red when he felt his insides being filled, a warm substance gushing in and pooling inside him snugly.

Both Navies panted, Forte still sheathed within the smaller Navi as they regained their breath. Rockman closed his eyes, the experience had been tiring as it had been exhilarating. He remained laying down, until he felt the other Navi nudge him.

"Mega?"

"...Yes?"

"Let's go another round."

Rockman's eyes snapped open in alarm.

"Forte! Wa- Hhn! A-aah…! S-sto- oh…"

Any further protests were drowned out by the sounds of moaning.

Chapter Text

"I'm not that cold." Rockman protested as Forte pulled the hood back over his head.

"I don't want anyone else to see you." Forte said. Then, before Rockman could say anything, the dark Navi took his hand again. "Come. We must keep moving."

"..."

Deciding that he wouldn't be able to argue with Forte on this matter, Rockman relented. Sighing internally, he allowed Forte to lead him through the Undernet. He supposed that he would just have to get used to wearing a cloak like Forte; the other apparently had the ability to turn damaged data into the shape he so chose. It was how Forte had made his own cloak, though the one he handed Rockman was a deep shade of purple, and had a hood which Forte seemed determined to get him to wear.

The blue Navi was confused at first. He'd never guessed Forte would be the possessive type. Though he supposed he shouldn't use his knowledge of the dark Navi from his previous timeline to guess what this Forte was like anymore. Rockman was still unsure whether the previous Forte had considered him a friend or not, but his relationship with this iteration of Forte was definitely closer, especially after…

Rockman felt himself blush. God, he wasn't sure if he'll ever get over the fact that he and Forte had… had… had done it. He would never have believed that the strongest Navi in the Undernet would take that sort of interest in him. In fact, he still had trouble believing that right now.

Despite himself, Rockman couldn't help but think back to earlier events. Forte had staked his claim multiple times- the blue Navi couldn't remember how many. It had been too much for his first time and he had passed out during the middle of it. His blush deepened as his mind unhelpfully provided bits and pieces of his memories during their… connection.

Forte stopped suddenly in his tracks. Apparently having sensed Rockman's sudden influx of emotions, he turned to the blue Navi, grinning. "I'm afraid I can't satisfy you right now. But when we get to our destination, I'll be sure to rectify that."

Rockman flustered, embarrassed that he'd been caught. "Don't be lewd."

Forte looked at him with his red eyes. "I just wanted to make sure my mate is well taken care of."

"Where are we going, anyways?" Rockman decided to change the subject before he embarrassed himself further.

"You'll see."

The two of them fell back into comfortable silence, and Rockman was allowed to ponder on his thoughts once more.

'...So, I'm Forte's… mate, huh…'

That was another thing he'd have to get used to. Navies, like humans, could take mates- it was just extremely rare and unheard of, considering how many Navies like Normal Navies aren't even programmed to experience emotions. And the ones that were don't tend to find other Navies that they felt significant enough to take as a mate, or they just weren't given the opportunity to pursue the other, depending on their operator. Rockman supposed he should considering himself fortunate that he'd been given the chance to experience that, even though the Navi who he'd ended up with definitely wasn't who he had expected.

...Not that Rockman was complaining. But still, it was very unexpected.

Forte seemed to have wordlessly established himself as the dominant in their relationship. Again, Rockman didn't mind. He was just glad that Forte had opened up to him and stopped seeing him as a threat. That was more than the blue navi could had ever hoped for. Though now he thought about it, he guessed he shouldn't be too surprised that this was the dynamic he and Forte ended up in, considering he'd basically been following Forte everywhere, even in his previous timeline. While the first time he entered the Undernet had been by chance, his repeated visits had been driven by his desire to see the other navi again. Even his drive to become stronger, and all the misadventures he'd gotten himself into, seemed to have been fueled by the drive to meet Forte again. Rockman assumed that he had just wanted to prove to himself that he could become stronger by defeating the strongest Navi in the undernet, but now… Now, he wasn't so sure that it was purely just to prove his own strength. Maybe Forte was right. Maybe, even then, he had already started developing more complicated feelings for the other Navi.

It was just embarrassing that Forte had figured it out before he had.

That made him curious, though- Did Forte, the one from his timeline, harbour such feelings for himself, too? It was possible that this iteration of Forte was just simply given the opportunity to act upon his feelings.

"You're always thinking so much."

Rockman jumped slightly. "Sorry. I can't help it."

Forte huffed and pulled him closer. "Come here."

Rockman's mind then went blank as Forte swept him off his feet and carried him bridal style, the only thing he could focus on was the loud thumping sounds coming from his own chest.


Forte didn't have a problem being a wandering figure around the Undernet, but now that he had a mate, that wasn't acceptable anymore.

Rockman looked around as he explored the area Forte had secured. It was a ridiculously obscure and secluded part of the Undernet. The blue Navi would have settled for just a small section of the area but Forte had apparently wanted the entire area for himself. Rockman briefly pondered over the benefits of Forte's decision; sure, it would make it easier for other to locate Forte, but it would be a lot less likely for them to be caught off guard or ambushed like they would have been out in the open. Rockman didn't think many Navies would actively look for the so called Black Shadow, anyways. Once word got out that Forte had decided to make his residence here, it was very likely that most Navies would avoid the area like the plague.

Speaking of which, Forte was still busy scaring away any lingering Navies within the area. He had left Rockman here earlier after making sure that this part of the area was devoid of any wandering viruses or Navies.

...Well, if Forte was determined to make this part of the net their new home, the least he could do was help. The blue Navi had noticed a lot of broken and damaged parts within the area- unsurprising. Considering the majority of the Underset was broken and run down. But that didn't mean Rockman couldn't fix it. His mind wandered to a certain place he knew of in the Undernet. After gaining his barings, Rockman began heading in the direction of the location. It wasn't that far from here. He was sure Forte wouldn't mind him wandering around for a bit. He would probably be back before the other even noticed.


The sight of carefully structured and intricate pathways never ceased to amazing him. It was most likely the only part in the Undernet that had such carefully structured pathways. Rockman smiled to himself as the view of the Mettaur Village came into view, his memory serving him correctly.

Sensing the presence of a NetNavi, the Mettuars huddled together, eyeing him nervously. It was not uncommon that Navies had come to the village before to delete viruses.

"Easy." Rockman told them gently. "I don't mean any harm. I'm not here to hurt you."

The Mettaurs regarded him carefully, before slowly deciding that he was indeed harmless and continued with their respective tasks. The blue Navi sighed in relief.

"So, another Navi has stumbled upon the Mettaur Village."

Rockman turned towards the voice, recognizing the Navi instantly.

'Gateman!' Rockman had to stop himself from addressing the other. They shouldn't know each other, not yet. "Well, I've heard the rumours circulating within the Undernet that there's a village made of Mettaurs somewhere here, so I decided to see for myself."

Gateman snorted. "I won't tolerate anyone interfering with the natural order of things here. Do you understand?"

Rockman nodded. "Of course. I'm just here to take in the sights. I won't disturb you or the Mettaurs." He paused briefly. "I won't tell anyone about this place, either." He quickly added.

"Good. Remember what you said" Gateman told him. "I'm Gateman. I won't hesitate to delete you if you go back on your words."

Rockman sighed internally as he watched Gatman leave. 'He's still serious as always.'

The blue Navi lingered around the village for a little bit longer, watching in awe that the Mettaurs as they constructed the delicate pathways over and around the village. 'It seems it won't be coming today.' Rockman thought to himself silently. 'That's good. But I'll have to check back later, just in case.'

If this timeline was anything like the previous one, a renegade virus was bound to disrupt the peace and quiet of the Mettaur Village, and when it appeared, Rockman was going to put a stop to its destruction once more.

Chapter Text

"Where have you been?"

Rockman jumped. He wasn't aware that Forte had noticed his absence.

"I was just… looking around." Rockman told him, a bit sheepishly. "...Sorry, I was kind of… bored."

Forte stared at him for a bit, frowning. The blue Navi was starting to worry if he'd accidentally made the other Navi mad when Forte spoke again. "I don't mind you exploring around a bit… Just tell me where you're heading so I know where to look if something happened."

Rockman sighed in relief. "Of course. I'll do that next time." He paused momentarily, before smiling. "I'm glad you trust me enough to let me out of your sight, Forte."

Forte snorted. "I've seen what you can do, Mega. You may look harmless, but you can bite back twice as hard if you wanted to."

Well, if there was one thing this Forte and the previous Forte had in common, it was that they both respected power.

"How do you do that, anyways?" It took Rockman a moment to realize Forte was talking about Serenade's ability to reflect projectiles. "I've never seen anything like that before."

"Well…" Rockman bit his lip. "I… I don't know, either."

"You don't know?" Forte was surprised. "Weren't you programmed with that ability?"

The blue Navi shook his head. "I wasn't. I just had it, one day, when I woke up. It was an accident that I even discovered I could do that." That was sort of the truth. Rockman still wasn't sure how he had acquired Serenade's ability.

Forte regarded him carefully for a second, before he raised his hands towards the blue Navi. "Can I…?" Rockman quickly realized the other Navi wanted to try and copy the ability through him. "Maybe I can figure out how exactly it works."

Rockman nodded and timidly placed his hands on top of Forte's, shivering slightly as he felt Forte's Get Ability programme run through his systems; normally, it would be unnoticeable, especially in battle, when there were more important things to worry about. But without anything to distract him, Rockman could feel the programme clearly probe and scan his systems for the data it wanted.

After a while, Forte frowned. "I can't copy it."

"What?"

"I can locate the data within you and make a copy of it." Forte explained. "But once it leaves you, the data breaks down almost immediately." His expression turned thoughtful at that. "It seems the data was programmed specifically with your unique data in mind."

"Huh…" Rockman was confused as well. "Well… I don't really know how to use this ability. I can deflect normal shots just fine, but trying to do that with stronger shots takes a lot of energy. I'm not sure if I can manage that."

"Wouldn't it be easier to let the shot just pass by you, so you only have to exert enough energy to redirect the shot, instead of putting yourself directly in its path? That way, you won't have to waste the extra energy to stop the shot before redirecting it like you did." Forte said.

...Oh.

Rockman slapped himself on the face. Now that he thought about it, wasn't that exactly what Serenade had done?

"I never thought about that." Rockman confessed, feeling embarrassed. "I'll be sure to give that a try next time. Thanks."

"Hn." Forte hummed. Then, he appeared to consider something. "You used to have an operator, didn't you."

"..." Well, there was no use lying about that. "Yeah."

The other Navi's expression grew stern. "...Had they abandoned you, too?"

"Wh-what?" Rockman panicked slightly. "No! It wasn't anything like that! It was just… unfortunate circumstances."

"Oh?" Forte didn't look convinced.

"He didn't abandon me, or anything!" Rockman tried to explain what had happened with as much truth as possible. "It's just… We were caught up in a fight when a large explosion happened. I was knocked out. When I came to, I wasn't anywhere I recognized."

"And he hasn't looked for you?"

"That's not his fault! He probably thought I was deleted in the blast." More like he actually physically wasn't able to find him, considering his operator wasn't even supposed to exist for another year or so.

Forte fell silent for a while. Rockman shifted uneasily under his gaze.

"...Would you go back?"

"What?"

"If your operator found you." Forte elaborated. "Would you go back?"

"..."

Dammit, he never knew Forte was so insecure about himself that he would believe Rockman would abandon him for his operator.

"...I doubt that I'll ever find him again." Rockman said. "...But even if I did, I still wouldn't go back."

"...Why not?" Forte asked, still uncertain.

"Forte, I…" Rockman sighed, resisting the urge to shake the other Navi. "Look… it's true that I care about my operator a lot, and I still do. But he's a strong boy. He can take care of himself. Besides… he probably has another Navi to look after him right now." Rockman looked directly at Forte. "I trust that Navi to look after my operator for me. So I won't go back, Forte. Not when you need me more than he does."

Internally, Rockman had never been more thankful to have been thrown back into the past- Deep down, he also knew that Forte's worries were not unfounded. Rockman's operator was indeed very important to him. At first, Rockman admitted that he had been worried about the prospect about not having Netto-kun with him, but now…

Had he still been Netto's Navi, there definitely wouldn't have been an ounce of a chance that he could have been with Forte. And there was no way Rockman could allow Forte to be alone by himself. Not again.

He met Forte's gaze, seeing the flicker of emotions in the other's eyes before Forte blinked and pushed them back down, but even then, Rockman could tell that Forte had been touched.

"That's good to know." Forte grinned at him. "Besides, even if you wanted to go back to your operator, I wouldn't have allowed it."

Rockman tensed slightly when Forte suddenly stalked closer towards him. "Forte…?"

He was kissed on the lips again. This time, the dark Navi didn't relent until he'd fully explored the smaller Navi's mouth. Rockman gasped as the other Navi cupped his behind through the thin layer of cloth.

"Forte!" Rockman panicked slightly when the other Navi pulled at his cloak, yanking it off his body. "What are you-"

"I told you." Rockman shivered as Forte smirked at him. "I told you that I would make sure you're thoroughly satisfied once we got here, hadn't I?"

"!"

Rockman was grabbed before he could jerk back, Forte quickly guiding him to lay on the floor before he could protest. Blushing furiously, Rockman attempted to struggle out from under the larger Navi, but Forte once again took hold of his waist, locking him in place before ripping his skinsuit open, apparently having decided that it was too much of a hassle to remove it otherwise.

"Forte!" He writhed, still attempting to struggle- he didn't think he could handle another round so soon. "W-wait! I can't… Nnh! S-sto- oh! A-aaah…"

The dark Navi was on him in an instant, biting and kissing his sensitive skin, eliciting soft gasps and whimpers from him. It wasn't long before the blue Navi's body became lax under the other- it was slightly scary how familiar Forte is with his body now after their first time. Rockman was rendered completely helpless, shivering and moaning as the other continued teasing his body.

Once Forte decided he was ready, he wasted no time in kicking off his own skinsuit and grinded himself against Rockman's entrance and oh god he was already wet down there.

"A-ah!" Rockman tensed, his body jerked in surprise as Forte pushed himself inside with a single thrust, filling him instantly. It didn't hurt. Instead, his insides just clutched around the other navi's length comfortably. Rockman shuddered to think that his body had already grown accustomed to Forte being inside him.

Forte hissed. He pulled Rockman's hips closer as to get more of his length inside the smaller Navi. "Fuck, you're so sweet down there. It almost makes me feel bad for having defiled you so thoroughly."

"Forte!" Rockman gasped as Forte grinded against him, the tip of his length rubbing directly up against his inner opening. Already, he could feel his eyes prickling with tears. "D-don't… Ah!"

"I think I can still feel some of myself inside of there." Forte breathed against his ear as he began to thrust shallowly against him. "You'll be good and take more of me in there, right?"

"F-Forte…! D-don't- Hhnnn…!" Rockman was sobbing already, unable to handle both Forte's stimulations and teasing at once. "Sto- Aaah…! S-stop…"

"'Don't stop'?" Forte asked as he jerked up against Rockman, forcing another sob out of the smaller Navi before he hissed suddenly. Rockman had bit him.

"That is not what I meant and you know that!" Rockman snarled at Forte, apparently fed up with his teasing. The dark Navi laughed breathlessly at his outburst.

"Alright, I'll be nice."

That was the last concret thing Rockman remembered before he was drowned in the onslaught of pleasure as Forte began fucking him passionately, forcing climax after climax from his body before the blue Navi passed out once more from exhaustion.

Chapter Text

Rockman huffed as he rushed to get to his destination. He had pointed Forte in the general direction he was heading in so the other Navi could go look for him if he wanted. Now he just hoped he could get there in time before disaster struck. The blue Navi allowed himself a moment of relief when he saw that the Mettaur Village still remained relatively undisturbed, but he quickly reminded himself to stay alert. The renegade virus could strike at any moment.

The Mettaurs seemed to have recognized him as the Navi from yesterday. They paid the blue Navi no mind as he approached the village.

"You again."

Rockman turned to the voice. "Hello, Gateman." He smiled as he greeted the other Navi.

Gateman regarded him criously. He was still cautious, but appeared a lot less hostile than he had been the day before. "Where's your operator?"

"Huh?"

"You don't look like an Undernet Navi. Where's your operator?"

"..."

Was he really that obvious?

"I don't have an operator." Rockman told him. "I'm here on my own."

Gateman didn't look convinced. "I won't treat you any differently even if you are a surface Navi."

"...I used to be one." Rockman sighed, relenting. "But I've gotten used to being in the Undernet."

Gateman gave him a look. "I'm sorry."

"..."

Great. Now even Gateman thought that he had been abandoned.

"Anyways… I never got your name the last time we met."

"Oh, that's okay." Rockman said politely. "My name's Mega. It's nice to meet you."

"Mega." Gateman nodded. "I must apologize for my hostility during our previous encounter. You must know that a lot of Navies that visit the Mettaur Village don't exactly have the best intentions in mind."

"Don't worry about that. I understand." Rockman grinned. "It would be nice if I can get a closer look inside the Mettaur Village, though."

The other Navi paused slightly, before nodding as he decided that Rockman was trustworthy enough. "Come with me."

Rockman looked around as he was led through the familiar streets of the Mettaur Village. It was still bustling with energy as he had remembered. "They're really something, aren't they?" Rockman said as he attempted to make conversation.

"Hm." Gateman hummed in agreement. "Many Navies don't understand or appreciate the combined power which these Mettaurs have when they put their minds to something, just on the basis that they are viruses." The taller Navi paused at that. "But you seem different."

"Well, I was surprised at first, too." Rockman said, recalling his feelings from when he first witnessed the Mettaur Village. "But when I saw some of the things the Mettaurs had built, I was more amazed than anything!" At that, the blue Navi turned his gaze to a tall bridge in the distance.

Gateman followed his gaze. "They may be small, but in numbers, they can achieve great things."

The two Navies fell silent for a moment, both admiring the sight of the large crowd of Mettaurs working together in sync, before a whirring sound in the distance broke the silence.

"That sound…!" Rockman recognized it instantly. It was the renegade viruses.

"So, it's decided to return today, too." Mistaking the blue Navi's reaction as confusion, Gateman elaborated. "Even in the Undernet, natural disasters still occur."

Already, the Mettaurs were beginning to flee in terror as the tornado drew closer and closer to the village with every passing moment. Rockman's eyes narrowed.

"It's not a natural disaster."

Gateman snapped his attention towards him, eyes wide. "What?"

"It's a virus." With that, Rockman ran towards the incoming tornado.

"What are you doing?!" He heard Gateman yell after him. "If you get swept up in that thing, you'll be deleted in an instant! Undernet navi or not!"

While Rockman appreciated the other's concern, he knew how to handle this situation perfectly fine. He'd fought this same virus before. He knew exactly how it acted.

"Hey! Over here!" He yelled at the virus once he was close enough to get its attention. The effect was almost immediate. Sweeping random pieces of broken or junk data into its swirling tornado, the virus then proceeded to aim the deribs directly at him.

Anticipating its attack, the blue Navi dodged out of the way of all three of the objects aimed at him. "Is that all you've got?" He provoked the virus.

It worked. Irritated, the virus picked up a huge chunk of broken metal into its tornado, before flinging it at him at an extremely high speed.

'I suppose this is as good a time as any to test out Forte's theory.' Rockman thought to himself as the projectile sped towards him. Dashing towards the object, Rockman lept away at the last instant. Once the ball of metal had passed by him harmlessly, he focused his energy to redirect the projectile-

Rockman was surprised when all he needed was a small nudge in a different direction to send the entire thing hurdling back towards the virus- it was unable to react quickly enough before the chunk of metal hit it out of the air, the tornado it summoned disappearing into nothing a moment later.

Summoning his Rock buster, the blue Navi walked up to the virus. "Leave, and never disturb this village ever again."

The virus seemed to have understood that it had been bested. It crept away swiftly, and Rockman doubted it would return again.

Sighing in relief, Rockman reformed his buster into his hand. He turned around, only to be ambushed by a dozen of happy Mettaurs, all of them clicking and chirping excitedly. A moment later, he saw Gateman slowly approach him and the group of Mettaurs.

"... Impressive." Gateman said.

"It's nothing." Rockman smiled. "...I guess I kind of messed up the natural order of things here, huh."

Gateman shook his head. "No. Thanks to you, the Mettaurs in this village can finally live in peace."

Rockman laughed embarrassedly at the growing amount of Mettaurs that were now hugging and nudging him. "Hey. What's wrong, you guys…?"

"It would appear that they would like to return the favor." Gateman seemed surprised by this development as well.

"Well…" Rockman grinned. "There is something that I have in mind…"


"Are you guys alright back there?" Rockman turned around, checking to see if the the dozen or so Mettaurs trailing behind him were alright before he continued on, the soft chirping of the Mettaurs following him the only sounds he heard for a while, until he felt someone approach.

Rockman stopped instantly in his tracks. The Mettaurs, having sensed his suddenly alertness, all huddled in a tight group behind him, looking around nervously while the blue navi just stared ahead in the direction of where he had felt the presence of another Navi come from.

Realizing that their cover was blown, the Navi decided to reveal itself, appearing before Rockman in a puff of smoke.

'As I suspected.'

"Shadowman." Rockman addressed the Navi.

If the Navi was surprised by how Rockman knew his name, he didn't show it.

"Navies have started to notice your presence in the Undernet, you know." Shadowman told him. He had told Rockman the same thing in his previous timeline, too, after he had survived his first encounter with Forte, warning him of the possibility that he would be challenged by many strong Undernet Navies because of this.

"You don't have to worry about me." Rockman told him. "I'm strong enough to defend myself."

"..."

Rockman watched as Shadowman seemed to be pondering over something for a brief moment, before the other Navi spoke again.

"Strength is not the only form of power within the Undernet." Shadowman said. "Perhaps I may be able to aid you in that regard."

It took Rockman a second to understand what Shadowman meant.

Among surface Navies, it was a little known fact that Undernet Navies were able to form something called a "Pact", consisting of the master and the subservient between a stronger and weaker Navi. Pacts weren't often formed, as they cannot be broken unless either the master wills it, or the subservient manages to become strong enough to break the pact themselves, which almost never happened. However, some Navies were still willing to form Pacts with stronger Navies, as the subservient- depending on how strong the master was- were able to gain a huge boon in their power through their Pact. On the other hand, the master would secure the services and absolute loyalty of their subservient. It was how Blues had suddenly gained a new form and became more powerful during their fight against the Darkloids in his previous timeline- He had formed a Pact with Serenade.

And Shadowman, for whatever reason, has decided to throw his entire lot with Rockman.

"...Give me some time to consider this." Rockman said, after he steadied himself. It was a bit too much to take in. "I'll find you once I've made up my mind."

Seemingly pleased with this answer, Shadowman bowed politely, before disappearing in another puff of smoke.

Chapter Text

Fighting with Forte was a lot more exciting and a lot less nerve-wracking when he knew the other wasn't hellbent on deleting him, Rockman decided.

The two Navies were currently in a location not far away from the area they had decided to make their home. Rockman had suggested the two of them leave while the Mettaurs helped them fix up the place- They wouldn't have been able to do anything otherwise, with them being terrified of the black Navi and all. It also gave Rockman an opportunity to practise with repelling multiple shots.

It seemed to be good practise for Forte as well- The black Navi wasn't quite used to being shot at as he was usually the one doing the shooting. He was forced to teleport out of the way as Rockman deflected another series of energy shots back at him.

"Not bad." Forte smirked, his hand forming into a buster. "But let's see you try and deflect this."

Aiming his buster at Rockman, Forte fired multiple rapid Vulcan shots at the blue Navi.

Rockman calmed himself. Reflecting multiple shots didn't require as much energy as it did concentration. He had to focus on every single shot and willed each one of them to turn in a different direction. As he felt each of the shots coming towards him, he focused on extending his energy to give each of them a push in the opposite direction- a few of the buster shots ended up flying in a completely unrelated direction, but the blue Navi was successful in repelling the majority of them back at Forte, the dark Navi only having a moment to activate his aura before the Vulcan shots connected, the impact from the shots causing a small explosion as dust clouds filled the area.

"Maybe try not to telegraph your attacks so obviously next time!" Rockman smirked. He paused however, when Forte was nowhere to be seen after the dust and smoke had cleared.

'Crap! Where did he go?'

"I've got you now!"

Rockman yelped when he was suddenly tackled from behind, Forte's arms wrapping around his arms and waist, bringing the two Navies to the ground as he lost his balance and fell. The blue Navi kicked and struggled for a bit. "Let me go!"

Forte grinned. "Never."

Rockman soon gave up, sighing. When it came to physical strength, the dark Navi still had the upper hand. There was no way he was breaking out of Forte's grip. "Alright. Fine. You win."

"Hn." Forte seemed pleased. "Pay more attention to your surroundings next time."

"Yeah. I will. Thanks."

Forte held him for a while longer, before he finally relented his grip on Rockman, allowing the smaller Navi to sit up.

"...Hey." Rockman said, seeing his opportunity to bring up something he'd been thinking about with Forte.

"Hm?" Forte stared up at him from his position, still half laying down. Most Navies would probably be scared to deletion, seeing the strongest Navi in the Undernet letting his guard down like that.

"...I ran into a Navi on my way back." Rockman began, trying to figure out how best to explain his situation. "He… He wanted to form a Pact. With me."

That got Forte's attention. The black Navi sat up immediately, his gaze seething with alarm, anger and envy.

"I didn't accept, or anything!" Rockman said before Forte could say anything. "I… I wanted to know your opinion on this before doing anything."

That seemed to have calmed the dark Navi down substantially, but Rockman could tell that he was still agitated by it. "... Who was he?" Forte asked.

"His name is Shadowman." Rockman said carefully. "He approached me just as I was returning and offered his services to me, so I guess he wanted to be my subservient." Rockman paused slightly, then added. "He might have saw what I did back in the Mettaur Village."

Forte frowned upon hearing that. It was no surprise to Rockman that the dark Navi was extremely possessive of him, and the thought of someone else seeing him had made him uneasy.

"Do you know what he wants?" Forte asked again.

"...Power, maybe?" It was the reason why most Navies were willing to form Pacts. "Other than that, I'm not sure."

Rockman watched as Forte fell silent, probably muling over what he had said, before the dark Navi turned and looked at him directly in the eyes.

"What do you think?"

The blue Navi paused. "...Huh?"

"I want to know what you think about this." Forte explained.

"Well…" Rockman bit his lip as he thought. "I think… It would be beneficial, to form a Pact with him."

Forte raised an eyebrow, but otherwise, waited for him to elaborate.

"I've seen his abilities, and I know what he can do." Rockman continued. "He's a Navi that sticks to the shadows, and he can get around unnoticed. Plus, he seems really knowledgeable about the happenings within the Undernet…" Rockman met Forte's gaze. "I can think of several things he could help out with."

Forte's expression remained stern. "Are you certain he can be trusted?"

"It's not like he can betray me, even if he wanted to." Rockman said. "The Pact would prevent him from doing that."

Hearing this, Forte closed his eyes, and sighed. "...Alright. I'll leave the decision up to you."

Rockman's eyes widened in surprise. "Forte…?"

"I trust your judgment." Forte told him. "Besides…" he reopened his eyes, looking at the blue Navi. "It seems like you've got everything figured out. Just be careful, alright?"

"Forte…" Touched by Forte's faith in him, Rockman was unsure how to react for a moment. "...Of course. I'll be careful. Thank you for trusting me, Forte." He hugged the black Navi tightly.

Forte didn't say anything, but Rockman knew that the other could probably feel his gratefulness as he hugged him back, arms winding around his waist tightly. They remained like that for a little while, before Rockman jumped as he felt Forte's hands began to slide lower.

"F-Forte…? What are you…?" Rockman was beginning to suspect that something was up.

"Mega…" Forte leered at him. "You've lost just now, hadn't you?"

Rockman's lip twitched, but he otherwise remained silent. He hoped this wasn't heading in the direction he suspected it was.

Sensing his unease, Forte smirked. "... I'm going to claim my prize now."

"...!"

Rockman slammed both hands against Forte's chest in an instant, attempting to push the other Navi back, but Forte grabbed both his wrists. The two Navies struggled around for a bit, before Rockman lost his balance and fell forward. Forte quickly forced himself on top of the blue Navi, his chest pressed against Rockman's back as he firmly held the smaller Navi in place; one hand locking both of Rockman's wrists in place while the other slid along his waist. Without warning, the black Navi ripped Rockman's skinsuit from his body, before guiding the other's back side to rest against his crotch.

The blue Navi shook in nervousness and embarrassment when he felt the other's hardness push up against him. His soft petals were still swollen from their previous matings. His body tensed up on instinct when the tip of the length slid into him- It wasn't that he didn't want to have sex with the other Navi, it was just that once Forte started, it was impossible to get him to stop.

Rockman shuddered to think that he'd passed out from exhaustion both times when he and Forte had done it. The amount of stamina the dark Navi had was… unsettling.

"Hhn!" Rockman tensed and jerked as Forte pushed forward, filling him to the brim in an instant. The blue Navi hadn't been quite ready yet, and from this position, Forte was able to sink into him deeper than he normally could have, but already, he could feel his soft walls clutching around Forte's length pleasantly, quickly becoming slick and willing, as if begging the dark Navi to violate him further.

Rockman closed his eyes, his blush deepening at the realization of how easily his body had surrendered to the Navi on top of him.

Forte, for his part, seemed pleased. He began thrusting shallowly in and out of the smaller Navi before he rested the tip of his length against Rockman's inner opening- He could locate it with relative ease now, and how the blue Navi would shudder and clench every time he prodded that spot had most definitely helped him remember where it was. "Mega…"

Rockman shivered as Forte whispered against his ear. "F-Forte..."

Forte smirked as he began to grind against the smaller Navi once he had his entire length within him once more, successfully drawing out little gasps and moans from the Navi below him. "...You know, if I'm not mistaken, human females get pregnant from there." At this, Forte jerked his hips upward, thrusting up directly against that inner most part of the blue Navi.

The effect was immediate. Rockman's eyes snapped wide open, while his insides clenched in alarm… and anticipation. "...For-Forte…!"

"I'm going to fill you up." Forte was thrusting again, this time going deeper and harder than he had been before. Each inward thrust was met with a harsh shiver as he slammed against that spot deep within Rockman. "I'm going to force you open and plant my seed deep inside of you, Mega. I'm going to pour so much of myself inside of there, you're going to be full with my kids soon enough."

'Oh god, oh god.' Rockman's mind was reeling. The rational part of him knew that Navies weren't able to get pregnant, but the other part of him, the one that wanted Forte to claim him, was excited at the mere prospect, of the mere thought of him getting fat with his dominant's offspring. 'There! Right there- Yesohgodpleasemore-!'

Sensing his excitement, Forte thrusted harder and faster into the Navi below him, not having to worry about being gentle now that the blue Navi's insides were completely wet with slick, some of it leaking out with every thrust and slipping down his thighs. Feeling the blue Navi's insides tighten and shudder, Forte quickly realized that the other was close to climax.

"Aa-aaah!" Rockman sobbed as he came, his climax prolonged by the fact that Forte didn't relent in his thrusts, hitting and grinding against the blue Navi's insides while he came. "Forte- Forte…!"

"Shh." Forte soothed the Navi below him, kissing Rockman at the back of his neck. "I'm here. I'm right here. I'm going to fill you soon."

"F-Forte!" Rockman was already crying. "Pl- Hnn! Please…!"

Finally, after several more thrusts, Forte came within the smaller Navi. Rockman's insides were shuddering with joy and unadulterated pleasure as he felt himself being filled- Forte was spilling himself deep within him- Oh god he was going to get pregnant with Forte's offspring…!

Both Navies collapsed onto the ground after that, trying to regain their breath. Rockman shivered when he felt Forte move slightly inside of him.

"... Does the idea of being pregnant with my children excite you that much?" Forte seemed genuinely intrigued.

"...Yeah." Rockman admitted. It was embarrassing, but for some reason, the idea of having a child with Forte just felt… nice.

"Hm." Forte mumbled. "Then I suppose I should make sure you're carrying before we're through."

"...! W-wait!"

Shakily, Rockman shifted under Forte, turning so that he was laying on his back instead.

'That's better.'

He looked up at Forte.

Smiling, Forte took Rockman's lips in his before he thrusted inside of the blue Navi once more.


Rockman found Shadowman easily enough once he took the Mettaurs back to their village, the shadow Navi was still lingering around the place Rockman had ran into him prior.

Once he felt Rockman got close, Shadowman revealed himself once more. He looked at Rockman, wordlessly asking for his decision.

Breathing in, Rockman steadied himself before holding his hands out. "I'll form a Pact with you."

Shadowman nodded. He took Rockman's hands, and the blue Navi discovered that he was allowed access to the other Navi's programming. Carefully, Rockman scanned over the shadow Navi's data, trying to determine which part of the Navi's programme would benefit most from the Pact.

Finally, Rockman decided on Shadowman's sensory data. He put some of his own data along with the Pact programme, the programme activating immediately after it had finished installing. The other Navi was now going to be much more sensitive to his surroundings, as well as gaining a huge buff to all his senses. The Pact should allow him to sense and make out the different energy signatures of any single Navi, enabling him to pick out a single target even among thousands of other Navies. It was probably difficult for anyone to sneak up on Shadowman, but now, it would literally be impossible.

Having felt the change, the shadow Navi stumbled for a bit, taking a moment to gather himself as he adjusted to the sudden increase in his senses.

"Than-" Shadowman coughed. "Thankyou."

Rockman smiled. He stepped towards the other Navi.

"I need you to do something for me…"

Chapter Text

"So? How is it?"

"... It's definitely different." Forte said.

The blue Navi feigned hurt at Forte's reply. "I go through all the trouble in designing the place and that's all you have to say? My disappointment is immeasurable and my day has been ruined."

The dark Navi gave him a look. "Don't do that."

"Huh?"

"Teasing. It doesn't look good on you, and you're terrible at it." Forte snorted, rolling his eyes.

Rockman blushed, looking to the side. "Geez… Thanks, I guess."

"This is what your PET was like, isn't it?" Forte said as he continued to look around the area. The entire place had brighter lighting, the tiles replaced and Rockman had even managed to find some damaged applications that he was able to repair. He especially liked the sleep cycle station that pretty much acted as a human bed- Rockman doubted he will ever understand how Undernet Navies were able to sleep without it.

"Well, yeah." Rockman shrudged. "If this is going to be our home, I at least wanted to make it look nice. The entire place looked like it was falling apart when we first got here."

"... It's nice."

Rockman blinked. "Huh?"

"It's nice. I like it. A lot." Forte told him. "I'm just not quite used to it, still. But I still appreciate it, Mega. Thankyou."

"Forte…" Rockman smiled. "Don't worry, we'll settle in nicely."

Just then, the blue Navi received a notification at the back of his mind. Forte seemed to have sensed it, too.

'That was quick.'

"Sorry." Rockman leaned in to give Forte a quick kiss before leaving the area. "I'll be right back!"


"Do you have it?"

Shadowman wordlessly handed Rockman a datapad. The blue Navi took it and activated it instantly, hands slightly shaking with nervousness. With a beep, the screen of the datapad blinked on, showing the image of one of the laboratories in SciLab.

'So far, so good.'

Rockman began to flip through the rest of the feed, nodding as he determined that he could get a view of anywhere within SciLabs- both of the real world and of the net.

"Thanks, Shadowman." Rockman said as he smiled at the other Navi. "I wouldn't have been able to do this otherwise."

"It is my pleasure, Mistress." Shadowman replied. "With the powers you have given me, bugging SciLabs was no difficulty at all."

"..."

Shadowman had insisted on calling Rockman his Mistress once it was discovered that Rockman had been the submissive in his relationship with Forte. Rockman couldn't be bothered to correct him anymore after the fifth time. He continued to flicker through the live footage of SciLabs, before a familiar face made him pause.

'Dad!'

It was Yuichiro Hikari. He definitely looked a lot younger than Rockman remembered, but Rockman was sure that it was unmistakably him. Netto's father still existed in this timeline! Which would mean Netto-

"...Mistress?"

Rockman was jolted out of his thoughts. It took him a moment to realize that he was shaking.

"It's nothing." Rockman quickly said. "I just, got a bit excited. That's all."

Turning the datapad off, Rockman made a mental note to follow up on how Dr. Hikari… Dad was doing, once he had the time.

"...Oh, that reminds me." Rockman looked back up suddenly. "I need to ask you something, Shadowman."

"What is it, Mistress?"

"Well… I was wondering if you're familiar with a certain Navi in the Undernet…" Rockman proceeded to describe, in detail, Serenade's appearance to the shadow Navi.

Once he had finished, Shadowman fell silent. "I do not recall any Navies in the Undernet matching that appearance." He said. "But I will be sure to keep a look out for them."

"Oh…" Rockman frowned. He didn't doubt Shadowman's knowledge of the UnderNet and its residents, and with a Navi so powerful such as Serenade himself, it was extremely unlikely that Shadowman would not know who Serenade was, unless-

Did Serenade not exist in this timeline? That was… concerning, to say the least.

"There is something else brewing underneath the surface of the Undernet, though." Shadowman continued. "Rumors of a terrorist organization said to strike fear into humans and Navies alike are forming."

'WWW!'

"Keep a close eye on them." Rockman said, his gaze stern. "If anything happens, tell me immediately."

Shadowman bowed. "Of course, Mistress."

Rockman sighed, closing his eyes. He didn't think he would have to deal with WWW so soon again. He can only hope that he can keep the chaos to a minimum this time. So many humans had been hurt, and Navies deleted last time. He won't allow that to happen again.

"There's also another rumor that has been circling around the Undernet as of late." Shadowman continued. "I believe you may be interested in what these rumors say, my Mistress."

The blue Navi blinked. "What is it?"

"It appears that there have been sightings of an Undernet Navi, which most have begun to call as the "Blue Myth"." Shadowman explained. "If the rumors are to believed, then it would appear that this new Navi has powers that rival even that of the Black Shadow's."

Rockman frowned. That was definitely new. He never heard of any Undernet Navies being deemed anywhere near as strong as Forte himself, aside from Serenade, of course. "Do you know who this Navi is?"

Shadowman paused.

"Well, it is hard to say." The shadow Navi replied in a mildly amused tone. "But if I had to guess, I believe the Navi from which these rumors had originated from would be you, my Mistress."

"..."

Rockman resisted the urge to slap himself in the face. Right. He's blue, he's been seen with Forte in the Undernet, the Undernet Navies had decided to call him the Blue Myth because of the colour of his skinsuit- Fine. Fair enough. How had he not made that connection?

"...Alright, I'll be more careful from now on." Rockman sighed. "...If you're worried about me, you could have just said so, Shadowman. I wouldn't be offended or anything, just because you cared about me."

"I would never dare question your powers, Mistress!" Shadowman quickly defended himself.

"That's- That's not what I meant!" Rockman sighed again. Maybe it was an Undernet Navi thing. "Just… look. Next time, just say something along the lines of, 'Hey Mega, there seems to be a lot of unwanted attention surrounding you. Maybe you should lay low for a little while.' I won't be offended by you looking out for me, alright?"

"... I understand, Mistress." Shadowman nodded slowly.

"Great!" Rockman grinned. "That's all, then. I'll call you if I need help with anything else!"


As it turns out, Rockman wasn't able to wait until he got back to his and Forte's makeshift home before he turned on the datapad again. Flipping through the live feed, the blue Navi quickly relocated doctor Hikari in his own office. It seemed as if he was working on something.

'Come to think of it, I never did find out what Dad was working on.' Rockman thought. It was no secret that doctor Hikari was a very busy man, but in between the misadventures him and Netto would get up to, he supposed it kind of slipped his mind to ask doctor Hikari what he had been researching.

Curious, Rockman observed for several more moments, watching the live feed intently. He watched doctor Hikari step away from one of the tables he was conducting his tests on, before a small plant materialized out of thin air on it.

"!"

Rockman clutched the datapad in shock. That was no ordinary plant- It was completely digital. However, just as quickly as it formed, the data of the plant broke down, completely dissipating into thin air just moments later.

'Was Dad working on a way to bring things over from the digital world into the real world all along?'

That was absolutely revolutionary. Rockman wondered why he had never known about doctor Hikari's research in his previous timeline before. 'Maybe Dad hadn't been able to complete his research, considering all the things that happened…'

The blue Navi was so engrossed in his thoughts, he didn't notice a dark figure slowly creeping up towards him.

Chapter Text

"Boo."

Rockman let out an undignified scream, nearly dropping the datapad in his hands. He turned around and pushed the other Navi back. "Don't scare me like that, Forte!"

Forte didn't mind as the blue Navi pushed him back, shrugging it off quickly. He was amused. "You're too oblivious to your surroundings, Mega."

"Yeah, yeah. I have to be more aware of my surroundings and all, I get it." Rockman huffed, slightly mad. "You didn't have to come up from behind me and scare me just to make a point."

Forte raised an eyebrow. "Did I really frighten you that much?"

"Of course you did!" Rockman flustered, face slightly red from embarrassment.

The blue Navi had thought it had been a ghost, and Rockman would rather be deleted than let Forte know that he was terrified of ghosts.

"Alright… I'm sorry." The dark Navi said. "I won't do that again."

"You better not!" Rockman huffed, holding the datapad against his chest. Forte looked at it with mild interest.

"Is this what you went through all the trouble to get?" He asked.

"Pretty much." Rockman smiled. "It's-" the blue Navi paused for a brief moment. He knew how Forte felt about SciLabs. He hoped the other wouldn't react too negatively.

"It's live footages from both the cyberworld and the real world of SciLabs." Rockman continued. "I had Shadowman bug the place so I can check up on it from time to time."

Forte scowled upon hearing that. "What do you need that for?"

"...Personal interests." Rockman said, a bit sheepishly. "...I know how you feel about SciLabs, Forte. But it's good to keep an eye on the human's technological advancements. Did you know that one of them has been researching a way to bring digital data over from the cyberworld to the real world?" The blue Navi elaborated, hoping to sway the other.

It seemed to have worked. Forte appeared to consider his words for a moment. "...Let me see."

Rockman quickly turned the datapad back on and handed it to Forte. Luckily, doctor Hikari was still running the same tests he had before. As the dark Navi watched the footage, Rockman kept a close eye on his expression. Forte was never one to wear his heart on his sleeve, but even then, the blue Navi could tell that he was unwillingly impressed when he saw doctor Hikari materialize the digital plants into the real world.

"...Impressive."

"I told you." Rockman grinned.

Forte continued to watch for several more moments, before something had caught his attention and his expression changed. There was a moment of surprise before the other Navi turned away, and Rockman hadn't been able to read anything else from him.

"Forte?" Rockman asked, slightly worried. "What's wrong?"

"..." Forte was silent for a while longer before he spoke. "...He's your operator, isn't he?"

That stunned the blue Navi. While it was doctor Hikari's son, Netto Hikari, who had been his operator, Forte's guess had been extremely close to the truth. 'Forte doesn't appear to know who Dad is, so how was he able to make that connection…?'

Wordlessly, Forte turned back to him. He reached one hand over to Rockman and parted his cloak. There, underneath, was Rockman's Navi emblem.

It was the exact same emblem that doctor Hikari was wearing on his lab coat.

"...!"

Rockman was stunned silent, not having realized just how observant the dark navi was, but Forte seemed to have taken his lack of an answer as a silent admittal.

"... I won't stop you." Forte said as he handed Rockman the datapad. Then, he turned and walked away.

The blue navi was dumbstruck for a moment before he realized what Forte had meant.

'He still thinks I'm going to leave him…!'

Rockman's fists clenched as he began to shake. Not in fear or distress, but in complete, unsuppressed rage. The blue Navi couldn't remember the last time he had been this angry. Forte must have felt it too, as he suddenly stopped in his tracks, giving a slight twitch.

"Forte." He said, as calmly as he could possibly manage right now. "We've talked about this."

The dark Navi looked back at him, but didn't reply. There was still a hint of lingering doubt in his eyes.

'Unbelievable!'

In an instant, Rockman tossed the datapad aside and ran towards the dark Navi. Forte, not expecting Rockman to react the way that he had, was caught off balance, the two of them falling to the floor as Rockman tackled him, grabbing him by his cloak.

"I'm not going to leave, Forte." Rockman snarled. "You're not getting rid of me that easily." Then, in the heat of the moment, he caught Forte's lips in a kiss, his unusual forwardness surprising the other Navi. Already, he was tugging at Forte's cloak, trying to get it off. Sensing his intentions, the dark Navi helped him remove his cloak and skinsuit. It wasn't long before Rockman held Forte's length in his hand.

"Shit!" Forte hissed as the blue Navi began to stroke him, bucking his hips up to meet the other Navi's pumps. Rockman leaned in for another kiss. "Mine." he breathed once they parted.

"Yours." Forte agreed. He groaned when Rockman suddenly gave his length a harsh pump. "Fuck! You're so good with your hands, Mega."

"Hn." Rockman hummed. "You want to be inside me now, don't you?"

"Fuck yes." Quickly, the dark Navi sat up and helped Rockman tear his skinsuit off of his body. Once they were both bare, Rockman positioned himself on top of the other Navi, Forte's hands holding his hips to steady him as the tip of his length lined up against Rockman's opening.

"You ready?" the blue Navi asked, allowing himself to slide just low enough so the tip parted his petals gently.

"Yeah. Go on." Forte said as he laid back down, both hands still gripping Rockman's waist. "Shit. I can feel your insides twitching already."

The blue Navi grinned. With that, he sat down, impaling himself on Forte's hardness just as the other Navi bucked his hip upwards. Rockman keened when his soft walls were parted, his insides nicely stretched. With him on top of the other Navi this time, Forte had managed to thrust up into him at a completely different angle. Rockman took a moment to steady himself, but already, he could feels his insides clutching and shuddering, asking for more.

Forte, for his part, hissed and gripped the blue Navi's waist tighter. "Fuck, you're so tight."

"Hh-nnnn." Rockman couldn't reply. He enjoyed the feeling of being completely filled for a moment longer before he began moving, raising and lowering himself on top of the dark Navi at a steady pace. Forte quickly began to buck his hips upward to meet his downward thrusts, drawing out long whines from the blue Navi as his soft walls were repeatedly spread. When he let out a surprised gasp and his insides gave a sudden shudder, Forte knew he had relocated that sensitive spot within the blue Navi.

Locking the smaller Navi's hip in place, Forte began to thrust in ernest, pulling the blue Navi's hip down onto his length with every upward pump. Rockman gasped and whined, his eyes wide as he was thrown off balance, the steady pace he had set was suddenly broken and replaced with a more frantic one. His insides shivered and clutched tightly as that spot deep within him was slammed against repeatedly. Unable to handle the suddenly onslaught of pleasure, the blue Navi collapsed on top of Forte, whimpering and sobbing, a clear slick fluid leaking out from between his legs.

"Forte- Forte…!"

The dark Navi was undeterred. Instead, he continued to buck up into the smaller Navi above him, groaning as he felt the other shiver and clench around him tightly. The two of them came at the same time, Rockman screaming as his insides shuddered harshly, while Forte thrusted up one last time before releasing himself deep within the other Navi.

"You're never getting rid of me." Rockman breathed as he came down from his high, kissing Forte again. "Never."

"Mega…" Forte held him tightly. "Mega, I'm sorry for doubting you..."

Rockman sighed in relief, having got through to Forte. Before him could say anything else though, he was suddenly pushed over. The dark Navi was now hovering over him as he laid on his back.

"For- Hhhn…!" Whatever he was about to say was cut short as Forte slid into him once more.

"Shh." Forte hushed him as he began to grind against the smaller Navi. "I'm going to make it up to you."

Sounds of moaning echoed through the area not a moment later.

Chapter Text

Rockman was surprised when Forte showed an interest in the Hikaris once he had figured out Rockman's relationship with them. Apparently, he wanted to know more about Rockman prior to meeting him.

"I don't understand, though." Forte asked. "You were in SciLabs. If you knew your operator was there, why didn't you go find him?"

"... We got seperated a long time ago." Rockman said. He couldn't really tell Forte that he was actually the Navi of doctor Hikari's son, who wasn't even born yet. "I didn't know he started working at SciLabs."

Forte nodded. Now that he thought about it, didn't Mega refer to his operator as a boy during their prior conversation about him?

"What was he like back then?"

"He…" Rockman paused slightly. He recalled Mrs. Hikari saying that Netto was very much like his father when doctor Hikari had been younger.

"...He hated school. He used to over sleep a lot and tried to make me do his homework for him."

On the screen of the datapad that had been set aside, doctor Hikari sneezed.

Forte snorted, amused. "That's… unexpected."

Rockman grinned. "Yeah, I know." Then, his expression changed. "...Forte?"

Sensing his unease, Forte frowned. "What is it?"

"I heard… I heard that he's expecting."

Forte tilted his head. "Expecting? Expecting what?"

"..." Rockman sighed. "He has a wife, and she's pregnant, Forte. He's expecting a child."

"Oh." Forte paused. "I suppose you'd like to see his kid, huh."

Rockman looked at Forte, startled that the other had guessed so quickly.

"It's okay. I know how important this must be for you." Forte said. "Just tell me when it happens, okay?"

The blue Navi just started at him blankly. He hadn't expected Forte to say that. Lips quivering, he leaned over to Forte and hugged him tightly. "You're too good to me, Forte."

"...I should be the one saying that." The dark Navi said softly. "Sometimes I wonder what I've done to deserve you."

'Oh, not much. Just tried to delete me at least three times in my previous timeline.'

"...That aside, though." Rockman pulled away and looked up at Forte. "Forte, how's things with you in the Undernet recently?"

Forte rolled his eyes. "Mega, I know you care about me, but seriously?"

"I know. It's just that, Shadowman told me of this terrorist organization that's supposedly forming." Rockman frowned slightly at that. "I'm still not sure what they're about, but I'm afraid they might do anything for power." That was sort of a half-truth. He already knew what WWW wanted, and that they were unlikely to initiate contact with Forte, if his previous experience was anything to go by. Gospel, however...

"I won't be defeated that easily." Forte insisted.

"Just be careful, alright?" Rockman said. "I know you're the infamous Black Shadow and all, but it won't hurt to be cautious."

"...Alright, I will." Forte lightly tapped his nose. "My little Blue Myth."

Rockman's face went bright red immediately. He pushed Forte's hand aside as the other chuckled.

While tales of the infamous Black Shadow still echoed throughout the Undernet, the nature of these rumors seemed to have changed recently. The Black Shadow was still considered a figure of ruthlessness and absolute power, but was not longer a wandering figure that could appear anywhere within the Undernet. Instead, as long as one does not disturb the Black Shadow's territory, they were safe from his wrath.

However, there appeared to be some Navies that were interested in investigating the area in which the Black Shadow had decided to make his home. There were speculations on why the Black Shadow had chosen that one place out of the entire Undernet to settle, and some suspected that the area was special, at least in some way, to have caught the attention of the Black Shadow. Some of these Undernet Navies seemed convinced that the Black Shadow was hoarding something within the area, otherwise, he would not have guarded it with as much ferocity as he had.

That was… sort of true.

However, rumors of another figure, the Blue Myth, had begun to circulate around the Undernet as well. These rumors weren't as well known, and were mostly spoken in hushed tones, but there seemed to be a general consensus that the Blue Myth seemed to have a power that was unknown of, that had caught the attention of the Black Shadow. There appeared to have been some whispers of how the Black Shadow would even leave his domain unattended if he knew the Blue Myth was near to hunt him for his powers.

Rockman suspected that someone, at least from afar, had caught sight of him and Forte's play fights. He couldn't think of how these rumors could had formed any other way. The blue Navi didn't pay much attention to what the rumors said about him, but Forte appeared strangely invested in them.

"I hope you don't actually believe those rumors about me, Forte." Rockman said.

"Of course not." Forte grinned. "I don't need to hunt you down if I've already got you." WIth that, he leaned in and kissed the blue Navi.


Since Rockman didn't want to attract anymore attention towards himself than he absolutely needed to, he had to rely on Shadowman to know how doctor Hikari was doing outside of SciLabs. Shadowman had offered to bug his house, too, but Rockman refused.

"It just… doesn't feel right." The blue Navi said. "That just makes me feel like a crazy stalker, or something."

"But I'm effectively doing the same thing, Mistress." Shadowman pointed out.

Rockman blushed. "Y-you don't have to tell me everything! Just when something important happens, okay!?"

"Of course, Mistress."

Several days passed uneventfully, before Shadowman dropped in once more.

"It's happening." He said.

Rockman jumped to his feet instantly. "Right now?"

The shadow Navi nodded.

The blue Navi breathed in sharply. "Okay. Take me there, now."

"Wait." Forte interrupted. "I'm going, too."

"Forte, you don't have to-" Rockman started. He didn't want to bother Forte.

"No. I want to see this." Forte looked at him. "...I know how much this means to you, Mega."

"...!" The blue Navi was silent for a while, unsure of what to say. Then, he smiled and nodded. "Alright then, let's go."

The three Navies were able to arrive at Seaside Hospital not a moment later. Shadowman had the foresight to clear out a straight path for them to take. The three were inside the network of one of the security cameras in the hallways, allowing them to have a clear view of what was happening below them. Outside of the surgery room, doctor Hikari was pacing nervously. Rockman paced along with him.

'I'm going to see Netto-kun again.' The blue Navi thought. 'I never thought I'd meet him like this, though…' He paused slightly in his steps. 'I hope he'll be alright. He'll probably grow up to be the same Netto-kun that I know. The Rockman from this timeline's going to look after him, too.' Rockman tried to reassure himself. 'Still… I can't help but worry-'

Rockman jolted when he felt a hand being placed on his shoulder.

"Calm down." Forte told him. "If I didn't know any better, I would say that it was your kid in there, with how nervous you're being."

"Sorry." Rockman smiled softly. "I just can't help it. I guess I'm just as excited to meet him as well." 'Well, I've already met him, but still…'

"So you know it's a boy, eh?" Forte asked.

"Y-yeah. It's just a feeling I have." Rockman stammered. Luckily, Forte didn't question him. Seconds later, the door flung open, and one of the doctors stepped out from the surgery room.

"Congratulations, Mr. Hikari! You have twins!"

Chapter Text

The elder of the Hikari twins was named Hub, while the younger was named Netto. Already, Netto was crying and making a fuss, while his elder brother, Hub, slept quietly next to him.

"He's noisy." Forte commented.

"He's a baby, Forte." Rockman sighed.

The dark navi made a face, before the two of them continued to observe the family of four silently.

Twins. That was still shocking to Rockman. The Hikaris had only ever had Netto in his timeline, so the realization that there were now going to be two Hikari twins running around the place still surprised the blue Navi.

'I hope that doesn't mean there's going to be two… three of me. That would get confusing quick.'

Rockman regarded the two twins carefully. 'Now that Netto-kun has an elder brother, I wonder what he's going to be like. Knowing him, though, he'd probably still be the same.' The blue Navi smiled at the thought. 'I hope the two of them get along.'

"Let's go, Forte." He nudged the dark Navi next to him.

Forte raised an eyebrow. "Leaving so soon?"

"They'll be fine, like you said." Rockman grinned. "Plus, they'll look after each other. I'm sure."


Over the course of the next several years, Rockman kept a close eye on both the Hikaris and the developments of WWW. As much as he wanted to, Rockman couldn't just go into their base and confront them right now. That would just be asking for deletion. He had to find a way to draw them out into a false sense of security, before he could strike them down hard and fast in one fell swoop. If he messed up, WWW would just go into hiding and regroup again, and more people would get hurt.

"I'm not certain what they are attempting, my Mistress, but it would seem they have captured a sizable amount of viruses to experiment on."

"What sorts of viruses?"

"Elemental viruses, Mistress." Shadowman paused slightly. "All elements. Aqua, Fire, Elec and Wood."

Rockman frowned. As he suspected. They were trying to create the Dream Virus in this timeline as well.

"...Mistress?"

"Yeah?"

"Forgive me if I'm wrong." Shadowman said. "But you seem to have a clear grasp of what their plan is, Mistress."

'...He's as perceptive as always, huh…'

"Let's not talk about that right now." The blue Navi said, changing the subject. "Shadowman, tell me about Netto and Hub Hikari- How're they doing lately?"

While Rockman would be more than willing to see for himself how the Hikari twins were doing, it would put too much attention on him to be seen leaving the Undernet, especially after how his reputation had grown over the course of the years. Thankfully, Shadowman had helped him filled out most of the gaps.

While Netto Hikari remained mostly the same from what Rockman had remembered, among the two brothers, Hub Hikari was mostly definitely the mature one. Hub tended to be quiet and stayed put while Netto was already out there and getting himself into all sorts of trouble. When the two gradually started attending school, Hub had taken Rockman's role of attempting to drag Netto out of his bed each morning, and was also the one who made sure Netto did all his homework before he got into any sorts of mischief again. It was interesting, to say the least.

Yet, despite their complete difference in personality, the two Hikaris clearly cared for each other. Rockman still remembered one time when Shadowman had recounted the events of what happened to the two boys. Netto had unknowingly gotten himself into trouble with some school bullies- that part, while worrying, it was not all that surprising. What was shocking was that the usually quiet Hub Hikari, without thinking, had ran to Netto's rescue, grabbing an umbrella and smacking one of the bullies. The two ended up being beaten really badly, but they were smiling the entire walk home.

Perhaps that is just the thing with twins, to have a sort of special bond between them. Rockman couldn't help but feel just a little bit envious of the two.

"Netto and Hub Hikari had just received their NetNavies from their father, Mistress."

"!" Rockman looked at the shadow Navi. "Just now? Today?"

Shadowman nodded, and handed him another datapad. "I've created a profile on both of their Navies."

The blue Navi took the datapad and turned it on immediately. The screen blinks on, flashing the names of the two Navies belonging to the Hikari twins.

"Rockman X and Rockman Zero…?"

"It would seem that Netto Hikari is the operator of Rockman X, while Hub Hikari now operates Rockman Zero, my Mistress."

Rockman flipped through the datapad quickly. Rockman X and Rockman Zero- or just X and Zero for short. The profile Shadowman created gave quite a detailed description of their specs; It would seem that while X was a buster-type Navi much like himself, Zero appeared to rely on sword-type weapons more.

'...They kind of remind me of myself and Blues… Even their colour matches ours.'

"Mistress?" Shadowman spoke up suddenly. "If I may be so bold?"

"What is it?"

"Those two Navies… Rockman X and Rockman Zero." Shadowman said thoughtfully. "...They remind me of you, my Mistress, in a certain way."

"..." Well, doctor Hikari did create all three of them, technically.

"They appear to be able to... be more than ordinary Naies." Rockman could hear the frown in Shadowman's voice. "I cannot place it, but there is something about those two Navies…"

The shadow Navi seemed to have trouble putting it in words, but Rockman understood what he meant. Doctor Hikari, at least in his timeline, had intentionally programmed Rockman to be able to experience and express the full range of human emotions, so the blue Navi could connect with his operator better, allowing the operator and Navi to truly become friends. However, this concept was so revolutionary, many people still have trouble understanding it, even in his time. The fact that Shadowman could sense that something was up already gave Rockman the hint that his abilities of perception were truly great indeed.

"...Perhaps I should not have said that." Shadowman sighed. "I am sorry, my Mistress."

"No. It's alright. I know what you mean." Rockman said, looking up from the datapad. "I think- I think there's something special, about these two Navies as well."

If this doctor Hikari was anything like the previous one… Then Rockman suspected that he had programmed X and Zero with the same emotional capabilities that he had, as well.

Rockman looked off into the distance as he pondered something else. If he had remembered correctly, WWW was going to start it's plans to plunge the world into chaos not long after Netto started fifth grade-

"I thought I might find you here."

The blue Navi jumped. As he turned around, he saw Forte slowly walking towards him.

"...Is something wrong?" The dark Navi asked as he was in front of him. "You haven't felt this anxious in years."

"Something's about to happen, Forte." Rockman confessed, looking away. "I can't tell what it is, but…"

"Mega." Forte cut him off. "We'll be fine, alright?"

The blue Navi sighed, before giving a small nod. 'That's right… I know what they're going to do already. I can stop them this time, before they can do any real damage.'

"Come." Forte took his hand. "Let's go."

Chapter Text

 

"Damn it, we're going to be late! Hub! Why didn't you wake me up?!"

"I did- twice! It's your fault for not getting up in time!"

Rockman smiled, watching the scene play before him as he followed the two twins through the cyberworld.

"Mistress, are you sure this is alright?" Shadowman spoke out from behind him.

"Of course! It's about time I see things for myself instead of forcing you to do all the legwork for me, isn't it?" Rockman looked back, grinning. "Besides, I have you to watch my back for me, don't I?"

"...I am flattered, my Mistress." Shadowman replied.

As the two Navies continued to jump from server to server through the net, Rockman briefly considered the events leading up to this moment. It had taken some convincing on his part to assure Forte that he would be fine in the surface net- Afterall, being about to thrive in the Undernet for years wasn't the result of just pure luck. The blue Navi had pretty much mastered Serenade's ability to reflect projectiles. Plus, the dark Navi had insisted that he grow accustomed to levitating during his time in the Undernet. Besides, Rockman had assured Forte that the rumors regarding the Blue Myth probably hadn't reached the surface net, considering it wasn't even especially prominent in the Undernet with how secretive Rockman was with his appearances in the Undernet.

The dark Navi had also questioned his sudden insistence in going to the surface net in person, though Rockman had given him a more dubious answer for this…

If he wasn't mistaken, this was the day that WWW launched their first attack. He had to be there to stop them before they could cause any real damage.

In the meantime, though, that gave him an opportunity to see how the Hikari twins went about their day first hand. Rockman couldn't suppress a small laugh as Netto and Hub Hikari made it to their classroom just in time; Hub had woken up on time to get to class, but he didn't want to leave his younger sibling behind.

For the most part, everything remained relatively the same as Rockman remembered; aside from there being two Hikaris now, it appeared they still shared the same group of friends. Dekao still wanted to pick fights with Netto, Yaito was still the daughter of the CEO of Gapcom, and Maylu-

Rockman smiled to himself. 'Maylu-chan still has a crush on Netto-kun, but he's still too dense to see it.'

"Have you guys heard?" Maylu asked the group once class had ended. "There's a series of electronic malfunctions all over ACDC Town lately."

"I've heard about that." Hub said thoughtfully, "The net police are investigating it. They aren't sure yet, but suspect it might be a coordinated attack from WWW."

"WWW?" Netto asked, oblivious.

"WWW is a terrorist organization that's been circulating around the net lately, Netto." Yaito sighed. "Seriously, Mariko-Sensei talked about this in class. Don't you pay any attention at all?"

"Of course I do! I just… forgot! That's all!"

Rockman sighed. 'He's still the same as always.'

"All this talk about WWW is making me bored." Dekao butted in. "Hey, Netto! Let's have a Net Battle! Me and Gutsman are going to defeat you this time!"

"Ha! That's never happening!" Netto exclaimed as he stood up. "Me and X beat you every time!"

"I thought Net Battling isn't allowing in school." Hub said, looking at his younger sibling.

"School's over! So it's okay!" Netto grinned, looking back at his elder sibling.

"Alright." Hub sighed. "I guess I'll walk Maylu-chan home." Yaito had a private limousine to pick her up everyday after school. "You two have fun."

That got Rockman's attention. While he knew, thanks to Shadowman, that Rockman X is a buster Navi much like himself, he had never seen him fight in person. It would also be interesting to see how Netto operates him, as well.

Shadowman seemed to have noticed his intentions. "Mistress, Shall I follow them?" He spoke up, looking at Hub and Maylu.

"...Alright." Rockman nodded. He needed someone to keep an eye on Hub Hikari as well, when WWW inevitably attacks. "Make sure he's okay, but don't interfere unless you absolutely need to." He didn't want to alert the WWW to his presence that quickly.

"Of course, my Mistress."


"You're going down, Netto!"

"That's what you think! Plug in, Rockman X, transmission!"

"Plug in, Gutsman, transmission!"

Rockman watched intently as both Navies plugged into the cyber world simultaneously. He already knew Rockman X bore a resemblance to him, but it was still weird, seeing him in person.

Dekao went on the offensive immediately. "Get him, Gutsman!"

"Guts Hammer!" Forming his hand into a hammer, Gutsman slammed it onto the ground, creating a shockwave. However, being smaller and much more nimble, Rockman X was able to leap out of the way quickly.

"Nice try, but it's going to take more than that to beat us!" Netto yelled, pulling out a chip. "Attack Battlechip; Cannon! Slot in!"

"Eat this!" X's hand formed into a cannon, and fired. Gutsman, unable to get out of the way quick enough, endured the full brunt of the blast.

Rockman continued to observe the two's battle from afar, though his focus was mainly on Netto Hikari and Rockman X. He had fought Gutsman plenty of times before, so he knew exactly how Gutsman fought. Rockman X, on the other hand…

'It seems Netto-kun operates X similarly to how he used to operate me.' The blue Navi pondered. 'He realizes that Gutsman may be strong physically, so he's relying on X's speed and long ranged battle chips to maintain the advantage.' He watched as Netto slotted in another buster chip. '...Perhaps he may be relying on buster-type chips too much…'

Rockman continued to watch the match, though it was already clear that it was unlikely that Gutsman could pull out a victory at this point.

"Stop running like a coward and fight us head on!" Dekao yelled as Rockman X continued to avoid Gutsman's attacks effortlessly.

"Mistress." Rockman was jolted out of his thoughts. Shadowman had initiated a video call with him.

"What is it, Shadowman?"

"It appears that there may be some… complications."

At that instant, Maylu's Navi, Roll, plugged into the system.

"X! Gutsman!"

That caught the attention of the two Navies immediately. "Roll? What are you doing here?" Rockman X asked her.

"It's Hub and Maylu!" Roll was frantic. "They're in trouble!"

"What?!" Both Netto and Dekao were shocked.

"The two of them just arrived at Maylu-chan's house when it happened." Roll continued. "The door locked, and the oven suddenly exploded into flames! Hub and Zero are currently fighting the viruses, but if this continues...!"

"Alright, I understand!" Netto said. "X, you go on ahead with Roll and help with the viruses!"

"Got it!"

"Gutsman, you too!" Dekao said.

"Guts!"

Rockman frowned. "Shadowman, stay put for the moment. I'm heading over immediately."

Chapter Text

"Mistress, I have identified the Operator and Navi responsible for this attack to be Hino Kenichi and Fireman respectively, both are of the WWW." Shadowman told Rockman as he followed Roll, Rockman X and Gutsman through the cyberworld, being careful to remain hidden from their view. Both their operators had sent them ahead to help with the problem while the two boys ran on foot to Maylu house.

"Find out where they're releasing the viruses from, but don't confront them just yet." Rockman told the Shadow Navi. Regardless of who he was, allowing the WWW to know that he was interfering with their schemes would just make them more aware of his presence later on, which would make it difficult to draw them out. Stopping the viruses however, should put a stop to this attack and prevent any real harm from happening.

Moments later, the Navies entered the oven's computer in Maylu's house, Rockman trailing closely from behind and slipping onto a higher level to watch the scene play out below him. Rockman Zero had already cleared out the majority of the viruses, and with Rockman X and Gutsman helping him, they soon cleared the area of danger.

"That seems to be the last of them." Rockman Zero said as he cut through the last of the viruses with his sword.

"Yeah, it appears so." Rockman X steadied himself. Then, he gasped as he noticed something. "Zero! Gutsman! Look out!"

Both Rockman X and Zero were able to leap out of the way as a barrage of fireballs rained down upon them. Gutsman, however, wasn't. He was thrown far back by the blast.

"Gutsman!" Rockman X was alarmed. "Roll! Go see if Gutsman is alright! We'll take care of this!"

"Alright! Be careful, you two!" Roll yelled back before she ran towards the downed Navi.

"Mistress." Shadowman said as he approached Rockman from where he was standing. "I have cut off the link they have been using to send in their viruses. They won't be able to cause any more havoc."

Rockman blinked. He was constantly surprised by how quickly the shadow Navi worked. "Alright. Thanks, Shadowman." Then, he frowned.

Shadowman noticed his change and followed his gaze. Below them, Fireman had already begun his attack, sending wave after wave of fire towards the red and blue Navies.

"Damn it!" Rockman heard Hub curse. "If only we can get close enough, Zero and I can cut him down with the Z-Saber, but…!"

"I can blast through his shots with Netto-kun's battle chips, then you can get close!" Rockman X said. "We just have hold out until then!"

Shadowman's eyes narrowed. He knew his Mistress showed particular concern regarding these two Navies, but to have difficulty in fighting an opponent of such a low caliber…

Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps there wasn't anything special about those two after all.

"I'll burn you both to a crisp!" Fireman yelled as he prepared for his final attack. "Flame Tower!"

Slamming one hand down, a pillar of flame erupted from the ground. It sped towards the two Navies, leaving behinds a trail of broken data and debris in its path.

'This is it, then.' Shadow sighed internally. 'Those two are done for now.'

"Battle Chip; Barrier! Slot in!"

The shadow Navi's eyes snapped wide open as the Flame Tower collided against a barrier instead of the two Navies as he had expected, successfully canceling out Fireman's attack. Fireman appeared just as shocked. "What?! How-"

"Sorry to keep you waiting, Nii-san!" Netto Hikari's hologram appeared besides X. "I made it just in time, didn't I?"

"Netto-kun!" Hub Hikari exclaimed, then he grinned. "Don't worry, you're just in time!"

"Alright then, let's do this!" The younger Hikari smiled back, pulling out a battle chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Slot it!"

Once he received the battle chip data, Rockman X aimed his buster arm at Fireman, his hand turning into a vulcan.

"Ha! You won't stop me with that!" Fireman raised both his arms. "Fire Blast!"

The two Navies matched each other shot for shot, but as each fire blast and vulcan shot collided, the resulting explosion caused the area to fill up with dust and smoke.

"-! I can't see!" The fire Navi realized, but it was too late.

"Attack Battle Chip; Area Steal! Z-Saber! Double slot in!" In an instant, Rockman Zero teleported in front of Fireman, his hands forming into a green saber. Before the other could react, Rockman Zero slashed the fire Navi across the chest, splitting the Navi wide open.

Fireman screamed. The damaged he had taken was too great to allow him to continue fighting and he was forced to plug out.

"Alright! We did it!" Netto said, turning to his brother. Hub smiled back.

"Pah! I don't believe it! Fireman, defeated by a bunch of fifth graders!" It was Fireman's operator, Hino Kenichi. "...Well, whatever! We got what we came for anyways! The next time I see you two, you won't be getting away that easily!" With that, he disconnected from the server.

While the group were busy pondering what Kenichi had meant by that statement, Shadowman couldn't quite suppress the surprise and awe that he felt. Taking both their power levels and combat strategies into consideration, it was extremely likely for the Hikari twins to be able to pull off a victory like they had, but…

The shado Navi looked back at his Mistress, expecting to see the same emotion of shock and awe that he had felt, but instead, there was a soft smile on the blue Navi's face. As if he had expected it to happen.

Feeling Shadowman's gaze on him, the blue Navi met his gaze and grinned. "The friendship between a NetNavi and his operator can't be measured with numbers, Shadowman."

"...!"

If the shadow Navi ever doubted that his Mistress knew more than he let on, those doubts would have been cleared by now.

'As I suspected. The Mistress is more knowledgeable than he seems. It would appear that he merely needs me to confirm his own speculations.' Shadowman thought to himself silently. 'Now, all I need to see is if my other theory also rings true…'

With that, the two Navies logged out of the server and retreated back to the Undernet.

Chapter Text

Rockman was intercepted by Forte the moment he took a single step into their shared residence.

"I saw what you did in the surface net, you know."

Slightly startled, the blue Navi turned to him. Even though he had shown prior interest in the affairs of the surface net, he knew Forte would be suspicious why he had suddenly insisted on visiting the surface net himself. He just never though the dark Navi would go as far as to investigate what the blue Navi had been doing there himself.

Sensing his surprise, the dark Navi narrowed his eyes. "Did you think I wouldn't be watching?"

"...So?" Rockman said, looking away. "I would've still done what I did, whether you were watching or not."

"You're up to something." Forte pressed. "You've never wanted to get involved with either Undernet or surface net affairs before. And now, you've gone up to the surface net and actively put a stop to a net terrorist attack. Why the sudden interest?"

"Because." Rockman frowned. "I hate people like that. People who have power, but don't use it to help those in need, and step all over those who are weaker than them."

"That's none of your business." Forte scowled. "It's not your concern to protect the weak. It's not like you can protect them all even if you wanted to."

"Well," The blue Navi grit his teeth. He could see Forte's point of him being unable to protect everyone in need, considering he was only just one Navi, but that didn't take away from the value of helping others when he was able to! "It wasn't my concern to save you back then, but I still did it anyways!"

He regretted it the moment he said it. Forte expression went blank and the two Navies stared at each other awkwardly for several moments.

"...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that… That was uncalled for." Rockman sighed, feeling guilty. "I just… I just got annoyed when you said that it wasn't my business. I know I can't help everyone in need… but knowing that doesn't make me want to help people who need it any less."

"I see." Forte looked away awkwardly. "...I'm sorry, too. I know how much you care about other people… I was just… worried that you might be taken advantage of, because of that."

Rockman gave Forte a soft smile. There were definitely still a few hiccups in between them, considering how much the two Navies actually differed from each other, but they've gotten a lot better at smoothing out these kinks. Not surprising, considering the two of them had had many years of practise.

"I still don't agree with what you're doing." Forte turned back to him as he said. "...But I don't suppose that's going to stop you."

"That's alright." Rockman grinned. Forte wouldn't be Forte if he had agreed with everything the blue Navi said. "I do promise to be safe, though. I won't do anything needlessly risky." After all, he had access to a lot more resources now than he had the first time he went up against WWW.

"I'll hold you onto that." Forte said with a slight hint of amusement. "...Don't keep me in the dark, though. Tell me what has you so concerned about the surface net all of a sudden."

"Well…" Rockman frowned. Where to begin? "...Remember when I told you about that terrorist organization?" He watched the other Navi carefully, waiting for his response, but Forte just gestured for him to continue. "Turns out, that feeling that I had several days ago… They just started their first coordinated attack today."

"You stopped them, didn't you?" Forte asked. "Why are you still so concerned?"

"Forte… I think the attack was just a distraction."

The dark Navi raised an eyebrow.

"After the twins defeated Fireman… His operator had said something about "already achieving what they came here to do"." The blue Navi explained. "So… I don't think causing havoc through their attack was their true intention."

"What do you suppose their intentions were, then?"

"...I'm not sure."

That was an outright lie. The blue Navi knew what exactly Fireman had been there for. It was for the Fire Programme. Just before he had been forced to logout, he had finished sending the Fire Programme data to his operator, which meant that they had indeed completed what they had set out to do in the first place. If he wasn't mistaken, WWW will be going after the Water, Elec and Wood Programmes shortly after.

Of course, there was no way "Mega" would know that.

"Hn." Forte regarded him carefully. "You're brighter than you look."

"Thanks." Then, he blinked. "Hey!"

"Just teasing, Mega." Forte gave him one of his rare smiles. "I still don't like it, but as long as you don't do anything too stupid, I'll tolerate it."

"Geez…" Rockman pouted slightly. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you're expecting me to "do something stupid" sooner or later."

"You don't exactly have the best track record… Though sometimes I'm still thankful for that." Forte told him. "...Pushing me out of the way like you did still had to be one of the worst things I've seen you do."

"I guess even my stupidity has some value, huh?" Rockman grinned.

"Hm." Forte hummed, leaning forward. "Perhaps I should show you just how grateful I am."

"!"

Rockman dodged Forte's hand as the other reached for his hip. He'd been with the dark Navi long enough to pick up on what was happening. "Forte, that is by far the worst reason you've ever come up with, for us to…" His face flushed red.

"What are you talking about?" Forte asked, feigning innocence. He brushed a finger across the blue Navi's cheek. "I just wanted to show you how grateful I am towards you, by making you feel good."

"..."

Damn it, he was already shivering in anticipation. Forte had been so thorough in claiming him that it didn't take his body long to recognize the dark Navi as his dominant.

In other words, he's become extremely receptive towards Forte's advances.

Rockman's breath hitched when Forte kissed him, but otherwise didn't offer up any resistance as the dark Navi tugged his cloak off and guided his body to lay bare beneath the other. His blush deepened as Forte parted his legs gently and settled in between them.

"You're still so beautiful." Forte said softly as he trailed a hand up Rockman's thigh. "I'm going to make you feel so good."

"P-please…" Rockman shivered. His body remembered all the times Forte had left him quivering with ecstasy. His insides were beginning to clench rhymetically.

Forte grinned and kissed him again. "When have I ever let you down?"

Rockman gasped, the tension in his body snapped and broke as he was entered, his insides shivered in delight as he was parted, spread around Forte's length. The blue Navi whined as he laid there, his body receptive and willing towards what the larger Navi above him was about to do to him.

"Your body seems happy to see me." Forte breathed as he began rolling his hips against the smaller Navi, coaxing out sharp gasps and whimpers from him every time he pushed up against there. "Your insides are clutching around me so tightly."

"Hh-nnn…" Rockman couldn't say anything. Forte was being gentle with him right now, but his body was shivering in anticipation for when the Navi above him would inevitably turn his love-making into claiming, when the dark Navi would thrust and slam into him with such force that he couldn't help but scream in protest and pleasure as the larger Navi marked him, inside and out.

"...I've been wondering." Forte said suddenly as he thrusted up against Rockman, drawing a long whine out of the smaller Navi as the tip of his length bumped against his most sensitive spot. "You've taken so much of me in there."

Rockman jerked slightly in alarm. He suspected he knew where this was going. "F-Forte…!"

"You've probably absorbed a good amount of my data." Forte continued, forcing several sharp cries from the blue Navi as he began to thrust deeper and harder into the body below him. The dark Navi couldn't quite suppress a growl of satisfaction as he felt Rockman's soft walls tighten and clench around him. "I wonder what your body is doing with my data."

"For- Hn! A-ah…!" Rockman's breath hitched when Forte slammed against his inner opening.

"How does it feel? Knowing that there's a piece of me inside of you?" Forte breathed against his ear as he pulled at the blue Navi's hips, positioning him to get a better angle to thrust down at. The dark Navi grinned when Rockman responded with a sob and whine as that inner opening of his was repeatedly thrusted against while his body shivered and clutched encouragingly.

"Forte…!" Rockman's mind went blank. He couldn't think. The submissive part of him was overjoyed at the fact that his dominant had claimed him so thoroughly. It wanted more- It wanted his dominant to mark him, again and again, over and over.

Sensing his change, Forte began to fuck him the way he had wanted to from the start. He thrusted down, hard and fast, forcing himself against the smaller Navi over and over. The blue Navi panicked, trying to get away from the sudden overwhelming pleasure, but the other Navi had locked his hips in place, effectively keeping him still as he repeatedly thrusted into him. It didn't take long for Rockman to throw his head back as he began to sob incoherently from over stimulation.

Forte hissed as Rockman climaxed, feeling the smaller Navi clutch around him tightly. Growling, he forced the Navi below him open once more before he released himself deep inside the other's warm opening, the smaller Navi whimpering and keening as he felt himself being filled.

The blue Navi sighed, the feeling of Forte being inside him had grown familiar to him over time. Once he had regained his strength, Rockman had tried to move from underneath the other Navi, but Forte stopped him.

"Forte…"

"Wait. I'm not done showing you how thankful I am yet."

"..."

In hindsight, the blue Navi supposed he should have known he wasn't getting out of this for another long while.

Chapter Text

"...Mistress?"

Rockman jerked back to full alertness. "Ah! What is it, Shadowman?"

The shadow Navi gave him a look. "Are you alright?"

...Damn it, he dozed off again, didn't he? "I'm- I'm fine!"

If Shadowman suspected something was up, he didn't say anything. Rockman tried to hide his blush by pulling his hood down lower.

"...It appears the class is going on a field trip today, Mistress." Shadowman said after a short pause.

'...Oh, that's right!'

The blue Navi grinned to himself. If he wasn't mistaken, Netto-kun was going to to pull a prank on his entire class today. Quickly, he stood up to follow Netto and the rest of the fifth graders through the net. "Come on, Shadowman! Let's go!"


About a month ago, an exchange student, Akira, arrived at ACDC Elementary School. Since he was a troublemaker as well, the younger of the Hikari twins had become quick friends with him, much to the dismay of the entire class, who had ever since been subjected to prank after prank the two of them came up with.

"Netto-kun! You're going to get yourself in trouble if you don't stop!" Rockman X had told him, after one of their more serious pranks were they had fooled their group of friends that they had been attacked by some sort of monster.

"Come on, X! We aren't hurting anyone!" Netto grinned. "Besides, it's hard to find someone who understands the value of a good prank like Akira!"

Rockman had sighed from where he was watching them. 'Netto-kun's still the same as always.'

However, their time together was not meant to last. Today was the last day Akira would be attending ACDC Elementary School, but Netto Hikari was not about to let his friend leave without a bang.

"Alright, class! We've arrived at our stop!" Their class teacher, Miss Mariko said as the train neared the platform. "Remember to be careful when stepping onto the platform-"

"Mariko-sensei!" Yaito interrupted her. "The train just went past our stop."

"..."

"No way!" Hub Hikari was panicking. "You don't suppose there's a virus in the control system, is there?"

"It can't be! ...Huh?" Akari noticed Netto's smug look. "Netto! Could it be…!"

"Come on! It's not like this field trip's going to be interesting or anything!" Netto gave him a thumbs up. "Let's hijack this train for today!"

"Alright!"

"This is awesome!" The class was exhilarated.

Miss Mariko was not.

"I don't believe it…" Miss Mariko was mumbling incoherently to herself. "Today's class is ruined… I'm going to be in so much trouble…"

"Mariko-sensei!" Maylu cried as their class teacher passed out from shock.

Rockman laughed to himself, slightly embarrassed. He still had no idea how Netto-kun had convinced him to go through with this prank when the younger Hikari had been his operator. However, he didn't allow himself to stay distracted. "Shadowman."

"Yes, my Mistress?"

"Go to the engine systems of the train." The blue navi told him. "When I give you the signal, cut off energy to the systems."

The shadow Navi bowed, before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

'Now, I just need to go to the control panel of the train.'

Netto and the others were already at the front of the train when he logged into the main control systems.

"Look! The train's going a hundred and eighty kilometers a second!" Dekao said, looking at the speed display panel.

"That's… a bit fast." Hub frowned as he commented.

"Netto-kun! Something isn't right!" Rockman X yelled from his PET. "I didn't give the order to speed up!"

"Ha! I'm not falling for that, X!" Netto grinned from ear to ear. "You can't out-prank the prank master!"

"That's- That's not a joke! I'm serious!"

Rockman's eyes narrowed. 'Here it comes.'

"WARNING! WARNING!" It was the train's emergency system. "TRAIN IS ON COLLISION COURSE WITH TRAIN IN FRONT! ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT IS THREE MINUTES, FIFTY FIVE SECONDS!"

"That's…!" Akira looked at Netto is shock. "This isn't a joke, is it?!"

"Of course not!" Netto was panicking as well. "I would never go this far just to pull a prank!"

"Then that means there's a virus in the train's computer system for real." Hub Hikari concluded. "We'll have to plug into the train's main control system and delete the viruses if we want to stop this train."

"Alright then!" Netto Hikari said. "Akira, just in case, you get everyone to the back of the train. Me and nii-san will take care of the viruses."

"Okay…" Akira looked solem. "Netto… you be careful, got it?"

"Leave it to me!" Netto smiled back. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X-"

"Rockman Zero-"

"-Transmission!"

In a flash of red and blue, the two Navies entered the main control system of the train, both taken aback by the scene before them.

"This place is crawling with viruses!" Rockman X said.

"We have no choice but to delete them all." Hub Hikari frowned, taking out a battle chip. "Zero, let's go!"

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: THREE MINUTES, ELEVEN SECONDS!"

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: TWO MINUTES, THIRTY TWO SECONDS!"

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: ONE MINUTE, TWENTY FOUR SECONDS!"

Rockman frowned as he watched the twins continue to struggle with the viruses. He believed in the two Hikaris' abilities to put a stop to the train's rampage, but if he had to, he wouldn't hesitate to have Shadowman short circuit the engine's computer so the train to come to a halt.

"Hub-san." Rockman Zero said. "The viruses just keep on coming."

"At this rate…" Hub looked at the younger Hikari. "Netto."

Netto met his gaze. "Nii-san."

Rockman grew confused and slightly curious as the twins nodded at each other, as if coming to an agreement. He watched as the two of them went to the back of the control room.

"You ready?" The elder Hikari asked.

Netto nodded. "Of course."

Then, the twins did something that would have given Rockman a heart attack had he been human. Unlocking the safety, the two twins pulled up both handles in sync, decoupling the head of the train from the rest of the body. Without the head, the rest of the train would begin to slow down and stop after a while, but that would mean…

Without the extra weight holding it down, the head of the train suddenly jumped up in speed.

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: TWENTY SECONDS!"

Rockman blanched. Even if he had Shadowman stop the train now, there was no way they were avoiding an impact!

"At least everyone else is safe." Hub Hikari smiled softly. Then, he blinked. "Ah! Netto!"

The younger of the Hikari's looked up. "What is it?" He followed Hub's gaze. His eyes widened. The could already see the back of the other train.

"I guess this is it-!" Hub Hikari closed his eyes shut, unwilling to watch as the two trains drew closer to each other-

Then, a miracle happened. The train in front of them had switched tracks, just barely avoiding collision. Netto gasped, then breathed a sigh of relief. "Ah! That was close! The train switched tracks- I thought we were done for!"

Hearing this, the elder Hikari reopened his eyes. "...The central control room must have noticed what happened." He said, then his gaze turned determined. "...That should have bought us more time to regain control of this train!"

"Yeah! I'm not giving up, either!" The younger Hikari nodded. "Come on, Nii-san! Let's put a stop to this train!"

"On it!"

The two twins ran back to the control room.

Meanwhile, having witnessed the entire thing, Rockman felt faint.

'These two… they're really something.' The blue Navi thought to himself. 'But if they keep this up, they'll really end up scaring me to deletion.'

Chapter Text

"TRAIN COURSE CHANGE DETECTED! NOW RECALCULATING; ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: SEVEN MINUTES, THIRTY SECONDS!"

"That should be the last of them!" Rockman Zero said as he cut up one of the final viruses with his Z-Saber.

"But the train still isn't stopping!" Netto Hikari yelled as he attempted to activate the brakes manually. "And the breaks won't come up!"

"Maybe there's someone else behind this?" Rockman X wondered, looking around the area. Then, his eyes widened as he noticed something. "Ah! Look out!"

Heeding his warning, Rockman Zero leapt out of the way just in time, as a thunderbolt struck down from the sky towards where he had been standing. "That was close…" The red Navi sighed in relief. "But who…?"

As the dust and smoke cleared, a dark figure appeared in front of the two Navies. From where he was standing, Rockman had instantly recognized the Navi that was seemingly responsible for the renegade train, but…

'That's weird. He's not supposed to show up so soon.' Rockman frowned. 'Perhaps WWW may be reacting to how quickly their previous attack had been shut down?'

"My name is Elecman!" The Navi proclaimed, staring down at the Hikari twin's Navies.

"So you're the one behind those viruses!" Hub Hikari said.

"Stop this train at once!" Rockman X yelled, aiming his buster at the electric Navi.

With a flick of his hands, an electric field crackled to life, surrounding Elecman. "Fools. You may have defeated Fireman, but don't think you'll be deleting me that easily- I am far stronger than he is!"

"This guy knows Fireman?" Netto Hikari was surprised. "Then that means he's with WWW, too! Nii-san! We have to defeat him, quick!"

"On it!" The elder Hikari took out a battle chip. "Let's get him, Zero! Attack Battle Chip; Sword! Slot in!"

The red Navi dashed towards Elecman, his hand forming into a sword, but Elecman was ready with a counter.

"You can't hurt me with that! Elec Sword!" Elecman's hand formed into a sword as well, but this one bustling with barely contained electricity. The energy making a buzzing and sizzling sound as the two swords collided.

"Oh yeah? Then how about this?" Netto Hikari grinned, pulling out his own Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Canon, slot in!"

"You're finished now!" Rockman X's aimed his hand at Elecman as it formed into a canon. "Take that!"

The blast connected with the electric Navi, causing him to grunt as he recoiled slightly. "Not bad." He commented, glaring at the red and blue Navies. "But that won't be enough to defeat me."

"What do you- Ah!" Rockman X gasped as he saw Elecman's wound quickly begin to heal, the damaged bits of data being repaired in an instant as his injury disappeared completely. "He's feeding off of the electricity that's fueling the train!"

"Now you see how fultile your efforts are." Elecman raised his hands. "Electric Blast!"

"Argh!" Having been caught of guard, the red and blue Navies were both thrown back by the blast. Rockman's eyes narrowed. 'I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that WWW would fight with an unfair advantage.'

Having gained the upper hand, Elecman sent bolt and bolt of electricity and the two Navies opposing him. "You're not leaving my thunderstorm alive!"

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: FOUR MINUTES, THIRTEEN SECONDS!"

"Nii-san!" Netto Hikari turned to his sibling. "What can we do? He'll just keep on recovering all the damage we do to him!"

"...We'll just have to try as hit him as hard as we can." Hub Hikari said after a moment of pondering. "If we can deal enough damage to him in one shot, we might be able to delete him, or in the very least, force him to log out without giving him the chance to recover…"

"...Alright, we'll do that." Netto Hikari nodded. He then grinned at Rockman X. "X, let's clear the way for Nii-san and Zero!"

Rockman X smiled back. "Ready when you are!"

"Not so fast!" Elecman held both his hands out once more, sending another ball of electricity at the blue Navi. "I won't let you do that! Electric Blast!"

"I've got this!" Netto smiled as he took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Wide Shot! Slot in!"

Rockman X's hand formed into a shotgun and fired, the wide shot cutting through the ball of electricity. Shocked by this turn of events, Elecman wasn't able to dodge out of the way in time as the rest of the wideshot cut through him.

"Kuh! This is nothing…!" The electric Navi ground out. "I'll just heal-"

"As if we'll let you do that! Zero!" Hub Hikari pulled out his own Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Area Steal! Z-Saber! Double slot in!"

In an instant, the red Navi disappeared and reappeared in front of Elecman, his hand, formed into the familiar green saber, had sliced through the electric Navi, cutting him in half. Elecman screamed in pain, but his expression shifted briefly into a crooked smile.

"Guh! E-even if you've managed to defeat me… It's too late!" The electric Navi laughed. "I-I've successfully sent the Elec Programme to my operator… WWW's plans will come to fruition!" With that, he was forced to log out from the control systems.

"ESTIMATED TIME OF IMPACT: ONE MINUTE!"

"I can activate the brakes manually now!" Netto Hikari yelled. "Nii-san! Help me with this!"

"Okay!" Hub Hikari grabbed onto one handle as his younger sibling held onto the other. "Three, two-!"

The twins pulled back of both handles simultaneously, the entire car of the train shaking and screeching as the brakes were activated. The twins watched with growing worry as the train drew closer and closer to the end of the tracks.

"The train isn't going to stop in time!" the younger of the Hikaris screamed.

"Don't worry- it will!" The elder Hikari said, despite being terrified himself. "Zero! See if you can tilt the train from the systems!"

"Got it!"

Steering the train to the left, the side of the train collided with the wall of the tunnel the train was in, the friction causing a loud screeching sound as sparks began to fly. Finally, just before the train could collide against the end of the tunnel, it slowly grinded to a complete halt. Both Hikaris stared in shock for a brief moment, before Netto Hikari collapsed to the floor.

"That was too close!" Netto sighed. "I can't believe we actually managed it!"

Hub gave him a small smile. "...I guess you'll think twice before you decide to pull another one of your pranks, huh."

"Hey! That wasn't me! That was WWW!"

Watching the scene, Rockman smiled as he despawned the Lightning Rod he had summoned with his spare Battle Chip data. He didn't think anyone would have minded if he leveled the playing field a bit. "Shadowman, we're done here." The blue Navi said through an audio call. "Let's go-"

"Hold it."

Rockman jolted in surprise. Reacting on pure instinct, he sidestepped out of the way, just in time to dodge the slash of a blade that passed right by him. The datacube behind him wasn't as lucky, and got sliced in half.

'That voice…!'

Somewhat reluctantly, Rockman turned towards the source of the attack. Before him, was a familiar red and black Navi.

'Blues!' The blue Navi swallowed. He didn't think the other Navi would recognize who he was, but he had never been more glad to have a hood over his head than he was now- Blues somehow was always able to pick up on his ticks.

'I guess he's a Net Police in this timeline as well, huh… But why is he here now?'

First, it was WWW's attacks, and now Blues' appearance. Had he somehow, unknowingly sped up the development of things in this timeline?

"So," The red Navi raised his sword at him. "What's your connection with WWW?"

"?!" Rockman almost didn't resist the urge to yell. "...What makes you think I'm connected to WWW?"

"An Independent Navi observing a cyber attack play out by the sidelines…" Blues took a step forward. "Unless you want to claim that you were just caught in the crossfire, it doesn't get more incriminating than that, does it?"

"..." Damn it, Rockman really had no idea how to talk his way out of this one. From Blues' point of view, he supposed he did appear pretty suspicious, since he was indeed watchin the twin's battle with Elecman play out from above, far away from harm, but…

"Nothing to say?" Blues frowned. "Then I'll just have to delete you and take your memory data!"

Not expecting the sudden escalation in this situation, the blue Navi was fully expecting to be hit with Blues' sword as the red Navi dashed towards him at sonic speed-

That was, until Shadowman intercepted him with a shuriken, forcing Blues to back off to avoid being hit with his attack. The shadow Navi quickly positioned himself in front of Rockman.

"How dare you attack my Mistress." Shadowman said as he raised his own sword. "I'll make sure you pay dearly for that."

Snapping back into full awareness, Rockman quickly grabbed hold of Shadowman's wrist. "Shadowman, don't!"

The action surprised both the shadow Navi and Net Police. Shadowman looked back at him in confusion. "Mistress…?"

"Don't mind him." Rockman said as he regained his composure. It wasn't that he thought Blues was weak, but considering that it was still quite early in the timeline, and that Shadowman was an Undernet Navi… Rockman just couldn't see it ending well if the two of them were indeed going to fight. "Just take us back to the Undernet."

"...Hmph." It was clear that the shadow Navi was reluctant to let this offence go unpunished, but he would never consider disobeying a direct request from his Mistress. He turned back to Blues. "Don't expect to get away that easily the next time we cross paths!" Then, he summoned several smoke bombs, and threw them onto the ground.

Blues watched in surprise, quickly followed by frustration as the two Navies were nowhere to be found once the smoke had cleared.

Chapter Text

Rockman sighed as he entered the Undernet. Just watching the twins pull off that stunt like they had had been extremely draining on him. And then there was the problem with Blues…

The blue Navi bit his lip. If his knowledge of Blues was anything to go by, then the red Navi would be anything if not persistent. Rockman might have gotten away with this encounter relatively unharmed, but the next time he ran into Blues…

"Mistress? Are you alright?" Shadowman seemed to have sensed his unease.

Rockman shook his head. "I'm alright." There was no use worrying about it right now- it wouldn't help him anyways. He'll definitely need to be more careful next time, though. "Thanks, Shadowman. I knew I can trust you to look out for me." He gave the other Navi a small smile.

"It is my honor, Mistress." The shadow Navi said. Then, as if having sensed something, he looked to the side. Rockman followed his gaze to see the Black Shadow approaching them.

"There you are, Mega." Forte took his hand once he got close. "Come. I found something you might be interested in."


Rockman already suspected what it was before he had gotten close, but its appearance in the Undernet still surprised him. "This is…"

"Some sort of virus, that's for sure." Forte narrowed his eyes as he floated closer. "I've never seen any like this in the Undernet before, though."

Rockman frowned as he carefully observed the wrangled form of the virus with half its body missing, damaged and broken data quickly dissipating into thin air. The blue Navi had never seen this sort of virus before, but it was still oddly familiar to him. For one, the head of this virus resembles that of the Dream Virus, from what Rockman can remember. Though it was an odd shade of red, instead of green, like the Dream Virus had been. Rockman grimaced as one of its bug-like appendages started twitching.

"If no one's ever seen this sort of viruses in the Undernet before, then they must have been released into the Undernet, somehow." Rockman suspected that it had been the work of WWW, considering the uncanny resemblance with this virus and the Dream Virus. That made him wonder how he had never ran into them in his previous timeline, however. Perhaps these viruses were never released onto the surface net, and considering he didn't enter the Undernet in his timeline until much later, after the Dream Virus had been deleted, perhaps it hadn't been that much of a surprise after all.

"Hm." Forte hummed, tilting his head. "That's not the only thing, though."

"Huh?" Rockman looked at the dark Navi, confused. "What do you mean?"

"After I deleted this virus, I noticed something in its programme." Forte explained. "Look."

Rockman jumped back, slightly startled when a bright red aura surrounded the other Navi. "Th-that's…!"

"I took this off of the virus." The dark Navi frowned slightly. "It appears to be some sort of aura, but it doesn't do much. You can still pass through it." Rockman reached his hand out experimentally, and indeed, it passed through the red aura without any trouble at all, but…

Rockman already knew what was happening. He'd pieced together the entire puzzle. "Forte, I think I know what this is."

"I know." Forte met his gaze. "It has something to do with that terrorist organization you're so worried about, right?"

"Ye-yeah!" The blue Navi was still shocked at how sharp Forte was. "Just now, WWW launched their second attack. The NetNavi responsible claimed to have stolen the Elec Programme that was powering the entire train system, so this aura…"

"They must have created it from the Fire Programme they stole during their last attack." The dark Navi concluded. "So that's what their true intentions were."

Rockman fell silent. If he hadn't already lived through this entire ordeal once, the blue Navi doubted he would have figured out what WWW had been up to until the last moment. Forte, however, had just come to the same conclusion as he had by just using his logic and reasoning…

"..." Forte was silent for a moment as well. "Mega, you should look out for places with large bodies of water in them."

Rockman was dumbstruck. "Wh-what?"

"There's an obvious pattern, isn't there?" Forte explained. "There's four elements, Fire, Elec, Water and Wood. If what you said is true, and WWW already has the Fire and Elec programmes, do you think they're going to stop there?"

"..."

Damn. He should really be asking what Forte was thinking instead of it being the other way around. Where was the dark Navi the first time around when he had to figure out what WWW's plans was? "Well, what do you think, then?"

"Me?"

"Yeah." The blue Navi smiled encouragingly. "Go on, tell me."

"..." Forte looked to the side. "If they're creating auras using the elemental programmes… I would say they're attempting to create an aura that can repel any sort of elemental damage."

"What…?" That was… true. But Forte had made quite a big leap in logic. "Can you explain that to me?"

"Look, Mega." Forte waved his hand at the red aura. "One aura in itself is pretty useless. Besides from the element it's suppressing, anything can basically just pass through it effortlessly. This is hardly something anyone can weaponize, especially a terrorist organization."

"Yeah… but how does that translate to combining the auras together?"

Forte looked at him as if he was six. "...Mega, if one aura repelles the element it suppresses, then what would you get if you combine all four auras together?"

"An aura that can repel all elemental attacks…?"

The dark Navi nodded. "Doesn't that sound like something that can be weaponized?"

"..." Rockman regarded him silently before his expression broke out into a smile. "Your professionalism is showing, Forte." The blue navi suspected that it had something to do with Forte being a security Navi in the past.

Forte's expression immediately turned annoyed. "...Whatever."

"-Hey, wait! Where're you going?" Rockman ran after him. "Don't just stop there! Tell me how to counter it!"

The dark Navi snorted. "Not in my field; I just find the problems. I don't fix them."

"Come on! You must know something!" The blue Navi pouted as he continued pestering the other. "Tell me! Tell me!"

"Hm." Forte turned back, smirking. "...Well, I might know something, if you convince me hard enough."

That got Rockman to stop in his tracks immediately, his face went bright red. "F-Forte! Can you go one day without thinking about that?!"

"I didn't say anything." The dark Navi said, innocently enough. "You made that connection yourself."

"Th-that's… That's…!" Rockman flustered, embarrassed. "That's your fault- Ah…!" He grabbed both of Forte's wrists with his hands as the dark Navi took hold of his waist.

"Yet, I don't see you complaining any of those times." Forte pulled his hands back. "Come here."

"..." Rockman allowed himself to be pulled against the other Navi's chest. Reaching his hands up, he wound them around Forte's neck. He gasped when Forte reached under his cloak and touched him there.

"Relax." Forte told him as he shivered. "I just want to see if I can make you come using just my fingers."

"?!" The blue Navi attempted to jerk back. "Forte! That's- Ah! Hn-nnn…!"

"Hold on. I've got you." One arm wound around his waist, Forte had already slid his other arm downwards, hooking his fingers and using two of them to part Rockman's insides. Legs shaking, the blue Navi can only hug the other's neck tighter.

"For-Forte… This isn't- Hnn…! Th-this isn't g-going to work…"

"Hm?" The dark Navi curled his fingers and chuckled slightly in amusement when he managed to coax out a small whine from the smaller Navi. "You really should have more faith in me, Mega. I've been practising something, just for you."

Just the sound of that alone worried Rockman a great deal. "I'd… I'd rather n-Ah! D-don't…!" He writhed as Forte slid a third finger in alongside the other two, rubbing them up against one of his more sensitive spots.

"You'll like it. I promise." Forte kissed him lightly. "Now…"

Rockman yelped, his entire body jerked when he felt it- it was as if an electric shock had shot through his body. He clutched onto the other Navi tighter as he trembled. "Forte! Wh-what was tha- Hn!" He was cut off by his own cry as the feeling jolted through his body again.

Forte held him tighter. "How does it feel?"

"I don't, I don- A-ahhh!" His legs were shaking. If he hadn't been clinging onto the other Navi so tightly, Rockman knew he would have collapsed already. "S-stop…!"

"I don't know…" Forte spread his fingers wide apart just as Rockman's insides clenched tighter. "You seem to be enjoying it."

"N-no…!" Rockman sobbed, both terrified and excited at the same time. The dark navi responded to each of his reactions expertly; curling and thrusting his fingers up into him as the smaller Navi gasped and whined, each spark of energy that shot through his body driving him closer and closer to climax until his body finally gave out, his soft walls giving a harsh sudder, clutching around the intruding fingers tightly. Rockman gasped and panted as his climax subsided. "Forte, wh-what was that…?"

"You know those energy shots I can do without having the summon a buster?" Forte asked, still holding onto him.

"I…" Rockman knew that. Unless specifically programmed otherwise, most Navies were unable to shoot energy shots directly from their hands, as the energy from these shots were likely to damage them as well. To circumvent this, most Navies would shift their arms into a buster and fire the shot that way. "What… what does that have to do with anything…?"

"I've been practising, but just with a small amount of energy." Rockman gasped as that now familiar spark shot through his body again. Forte grinned. "Just like that."

"...!"

The blue Navi just stared at him. He wasn't able to put it into words- What on Earth had prompted Forte to- How had Forte even imagined that energy could be applied in this way?! "You…!"

The dark navi shrugged. "I told you. I've been practising this just for you."

"You…! Unbelievable!" The blue Navi's face was entirely red at this point. "You're- You're insufferable, you know that?! Now let go!" He attempted to push the other off.

Forte didn't allow it. He held on tighter. "But Mega, you still haven't convinced me yet."

"Th- That's not my problem!" Rockman panicked. "Le- Ah! F-Forte! Sto- Hnn…! Don't…! A-ah… Hnnn..."

He really should have known better by now.

Chapter Text

The thing was, even though Rockman understood Forte's logic clearly, and that WWW was likely going to launch their third attack aimed at the Water Programme, the blue Navi just couldn't figure out where the Water Programme had been- He must have missed that part entirely the first time around.

...Come to think of it, he didn't believed he knew where the Wood Programme was located as well. The Navi and his operator had just sort of… left it to the Net Police to figure things out, while they were busy mastering full syncro.

That was a huge oversight on his part. So now, Rockman basically found himself a sitting duck once more as he waited for WWW's next attack.

"Mistress, that child appears to be unusually distressed."

"Hm?" The blue Navi looked over to where Shadowman was watching. It was one of Netto Hikari's classmates, but Rockman believed the two of them hadn't been acquainted yet. "What do you mean?"

"The boy was fine a moment ago." The shadow Navi explained. "But now, he's showing signs of extreme distress. I can even sense it from here."

"Oh dear…" Did he just received a message about his family? The blue Navi hoped nothing too bad had happened. "I hope he's fine…"

The class ended not long after that.


"I can't believe it, Netto-kun! This is the third time this week that you've gotten yourself into trouble!"

"You can't blame me for that!" The Hikari looked at Maylu. "Homework is so boring!"

"Maybe if you'd actually pay attention in class, you'd know how to do it." The elder Hikari told him.

Netto Hikari groaned. "Not you, too!"

Hub gave him a small grin. Then, he gasped. "Look out!"

"Huh?" Not being able to react quickly enough, the younger of the two Hikaris yelped as he was pushed to the side, falling to the ground as he lost his balance.

"Ah! I'm sorry!" The group heard someone yell. They looked just in time to see the figure that had just ran past them speeding off into the distance.

"Owww… That hurt… huh?" Netto had felt something with his hand. Not recognizing the object, he picked it up and yelled towards the retreating figure. "Hey! You dropped this- huh?" The person was nowhere to be seen.

"How weird…" Hub said to himself as he helped his younger sibling up.

"Isn't that Tohru Hikawa?" Maylu asked.

"Who?" Netto was still confused.

"He's a student in our class, but he usually sits in the back." Maylu explained. "Netto-kun, what was that you picked up just now?"

"I dunno…" The Hikari twirled the object between his fingers briefly. "Seems to be some sort of card…"

"That looks like a key card." Hub pondered as he inspected the card Netto was holding.

"Oh, that's right!" Maylu seemed to have remembered something. "Doesn't his father work at the Waterworks?"

"Does this mean that this is a key card for the Water Plant?" Netto was surprised. "This is too important! Let's get to the Waterworks and return it to him!"

"Water...works?" Watching the entire thing through the net, Rockman stopped to ponder for a moment.

Could that be it? Could the Waterworks be the third location WWW launched their attack on?

And then there was the thing with Tohru…

"Mistress, is everything alright?" Shadowman asked him.

Rockman frowned. "Shadowman, can you locate Tohru-kun?"

The shadow Navi paused for a moment, briefly checking the flow of data through the net. "...I cannot, my Mistress. It would appear that the signal from his PET is being blocked, somehow."

The blue Navi narrowed his eyes. Even he could tell when something suspicious was up. "It seems we aren't returning to the Undernet just yet, Shadowman. We'll have to make a detour to the Waterworks first."


"That's weird! No one seems to be here!" Netto Hikari said once the trio arrived at the Waterworks.

"Maybe they're all inside?" Hub Hikari wondered. "Let's use the Key Card to get inside."

"Are you sure that's okay?" Maylu seemed worried.

"We're just here to return this Key Card, so it's alright!" The younger of the Hikaris reasoned. Once the three of them entered, however, there was still no one to be seen.

"That can't be right!" Hub said, looking around. "Aren't there supposed to be lots of people working here?"

"Ah! Netto! Hub!" Maylu cried suddenly, "Look!"

"What is it, Maylu?" Netto asked as the two Hikari twins turned to her.

"It's on the news!" Maylu continued. "Reports of water shortages throughout the city are all over the news!"

"Water shortages?" Hub gasped. "Do you think that it has something to do with what's happening at Waterworks right now?"

"That must be it!" Netto took out his PET. "Nii-san! Let's plug in and figure out what happened!"

"Alright!" Hub Hikari took out his PET, too.

"Wait, I'll help, too!" Maylu smiled. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X!"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Roll!"

"Transmission!"

The three Navies entered into the Waterworks computer. They noticed the problem at once.

"Hub-san! The Waterworks computer is completely frozen!" Rockman Zero said.

"Frozen?" Hub was confused. "But how… Ah! Zero, look out!"

The red Navi dodged out of the way just in time to avoid a blizzard aimed towards him. He formed his hand into a buster. "Who is it, show yourself!"

"..."

Rockman Zero was surprised when a small, eskimo-like Navi walked out from behind one of the pillars of ice. "You're responsible for all of this?"

"He's not the only one! Hee hee hee!"

Alarmed, the red Navi turned around to see another Navi approaching him, this one resembling a clown on a ball. "Who're you?!"

"I'm Colouredman!" The clown-like Navi laughed, wagging his finger. "And I'm afraid little kids like you aren't allowed here! Hee hee!"

Rockman Zero aimed his buster at Colouredman. "Return Waterworks back to normal!"

"Ooh! Scary!" Colouredman made a scared face. "But are you going to attack me, even at the risk of your friends?" At this, the clown-like Navi pointed. Zero followed with his gaze to see both Rockman X and Roll with their feet frozen in place; apparently, they hadn't been quick enough to dodge out of the blizzard.

"That's- That's fighting dirty!" The red Navi yelled at Colouredman.

"You don't know dirty yet! Hee hee!" The clown Navi laughed. "Now, Iceman! Get him!"

"!"

This time, Zero hadn't been fast enough to react when another blizzard hit him, completely freezing him in one fell swoop.

"Zero? Zero!" Hub screamed when the signal to his NetNavi was cut off.

"I can't reach Roll!" Maylu cried.

"I can't reach X, either!" Netto grit his teeth. "Damn it- huh?"

His elder sibling noticed his change. "What is it, Netto-kun?"

"I just received an anonymous message… I'll read it." Netto frowned. "'Iceman's operator's father held hostage. Location; basement closet next to stairs'..."

"Iceman's operator's father has been held hostage?" Maylu asked, seemingly worried. "Can it be true…?"

"I'm not sure, but this is the best lead we've got." Hub Hikari said. "Come on, if we can find him, then perhaps Iceman will stop this!"

"Alright!" Netto Hikari nodded. He turned to Maylu. "Let's go!"

Meanwhile, Shadowman was watching the entire thing unfold in through the net.

"Mistress, are you certain? To entrust these children with something so important…"

"I'm sure, Shadowman." Rockman smiled. "They just need a hand. They'll figure things out for themselves soon enough."

"..." The shadow Navi said nothing else. He looked back towards the lower level of the Waterworks computer, where Iceman and Colouredman were.

'I hope you are correct, my Mistress. It does not appear they have much time left…'

Chapter Text

Internally, Rockman's mind was racing.

While WWW did acquire all four elemental programmes last time, Rockman didn't think they had gone as far as to attack the Waterworks for it; the blue Navi would have definitely noticed something as severe as water outrageous across the entire city. In fact, ever since he started interfering with WWW's plans, their attacks seemed to be growing in severity each time.

If this trend was to continue, Rockman shuddered to think what WWW would do in order to get their hands on the Wood Programme. Adding to the fact that Rockman still hadn't the faintest clue of where it was and how to avoid potential casualties, the blue Navi hoped it wouldn't be anything devastating.

"Aah haa haa! Frozen! They're all frozen!" Colouredman was giggling hysterically. He turned to Iceman. "And it's all thanks to you!"

Iceman, obviously an unwilling accomplice to his crime, only glared at him.

"Awww! Why the sad face? Cheer up! Hee hee!" The clown Navi laughed, taunting him. "Just think about it! I would've never managed to hijack Waterworks computer, and steal the Water Programme without you! Hee hee! ...Oh?" Colouredman seemed to have realized something at that. "...Well, I guess I won't be needing you anymore then, do I! Ha!"

The ice Navi gasped, only having a brief moment to react when Colouredman fired a huge ball his way, Iceman only barely managing to roll out of its path.

"Urgh! You're- you're horrible!" Iceman yelled as he got up. Colouredman looked unfazed, putting his hands on his hips.

"Hee hee! That's just how it goes!" The clown Navi made a face. "Hee hee! Here it comes!"

Hearing a rumbling sound coming from behind him, Iceman turned back to see the huge ball rolling back towards him. This time, he had been unable to avoid the attack in time, and was sent flying as the ball collided with him. "Argh!"

"Haa haa haa!" Colouredman was in hysterics. "Delete, delete, delete!"

"Iceman!" Tohru Hikawa was screaming from within the control room. He slammed his fist onto the table. He knew nothing good was going to come out of cooperating with WWW, but he didn't have a choice…!

"Tohru-kun!"

The boy gasped and stood up abruptly. He hadn't realized that someone else had entered the room. He turned to the source of the voice. "Wh-who?!"

It was Maylu Sakurai. She offered him a smile. "Your father's safe, Tohru!"

"My, my father?" Tohru asked, still slightly shocked and in disbelief.

"We know what happened!" Maylu attempted to convince him. "Netto and Hub found your father tied up in one of the basement closets! We know you're only doing this because your father has been held hostage!"

"Does that mean- is my father really safe?" Tohru asked once more.

"He is!" Maylu nodded. "So please, stop this!"

"...!" It only took Tohru an instant to decide what to do. "Iceman!"

Hearing this, the ice Navi looked up from where he was laying on the ground. Using the last of his strength, Iceman raised his hand towards one of the ice pillars, creating a swirl of wind that collided against the ice, melting it instantly. Colouredman, surprised by this turn of events, hadn't been able to stop him in time.

"Why you…!" The clown Navi fumed. He drew closer to the downed Navi. "Why I oughta-!"

He was stopped by a flash of red. In an instant, Rockman Zero, having been thwarted out of the ice, intercepted the clown Navi. "I'm your opponent!"

"Wha-Ahhh!" Shocked, Colouredman threw his hands up. He quickly regained his composure. "Ah, haa haa! You don't scare me!" Jumping up into the air, he prepared for his attack. "Go get him, ball!"

Colouredman once again fired his ball, this time aimed at the red Navi, but Zero was ready for it.

"Z-Saber!" His hand transformed into a green saber. He dashed towards the oncoming barrage, before slashing with his Z-Saber, cutting the ball in half. "You're next!"

Completely caught off guard, Colouredman screamed as the saber slashed him across his body. There was no way he could continue fighting after having sustained that sort of damage. "I'm sorry… Miss Madori…! B-but at least… we've got the Water Programme…! Hee hee hee…!" With that, he was forced to log out.

Shortly after, water supply to the city was restored, and Tohru Hikawa was reunited with his father.

"...I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused, everyone…" Tohru said.

"That's okay, it's not your fault!" Netto Hikari assured him. "You were just worried about your dad! WWW is to blame for this!"

"That's right." Hub Hikari agreed. "...But there's still one thing I don't understand."

"Hm?" The younger Hikari turned to him. "What is it?"

"It's about that anonymous message you received." Hub frowned. "I wonder who sent it…"

"Does it matter?" Netto shrugged, grinning. "They helped us, didn't they? So they're good in my books, whoever they are!"

"Netto…" The elder Hikari sighed. "I hope you are right."

Rockman smiled softly to himself as he left the scene. He turned to his companion. "So, Shadowman, what do you think?"

"... I am still uncertain of my opinion on them, my Mistress." Shadowman replied. "But… I can see the potential in them." Then, the shadow Navi abruptly snapped into full awareness. He unsheathed his sword instantly. "Mistress, watch out."

Rockman stopped in his tracks as Shadowman stepped in front of him. The blue navi was confused for a brief moment, before he realized the NetNavi that stood before them.

"Blues!" Rockman gasped before he could stop himself. He mentally kicked himself for that slip-up.

"..." If the red Navi was surprised by it, he didn't show it. "Funny how you always show up at the first signs of trouble."

The blue Navi bit his lip. There was no arguing with that. "...I'm not the one causing the trouble, am I?"

"That's for me to decide." In a flash, Blues' hand formed into his trademark sword. Without pause, he leapt towards the two Navies, and slashed his sword. But Shadowman was ready with a counter. He met Blues' sword with his own, a loud clunk sounding out as the two swords collided. The red Navi jumped back, seemingly shocked; up until this point, he had yet to confront a Navi that could match him in speed. However, sensing his opening, Shadowman turned to the offensive. Summoning multiple shurikens, he threw one after another at the red Navi before Rockman could stop him. Blues managed to deflect most of the shurikens with his sword, but that left him open to attack. Raising his sword, Shadowman made a mad dash towards the red Navi, ready to slice him apart, but Rockman was quick enough to react this time. "Shadowman, don't!"

The shadow Navi reacted just in time to position his sword out of the way, but he did end up kneeing Blues in the abdomen. Rockman winced when the other was went flying backwards. He quickly turned to the shadow Navi. "Come on! Let's go!"


"Mistress… If you don't mind me asking, who was that Navi?" Shadowman asked him once they had gotten back to the common net.

"He's…" Rockman frowned slightly. He didn't want to lie, but technically, he and Blues hadn't been acquainted yet, in this timeline. "He's a Net Police Officer." He decided to go with something more general.

"...Have you met him before, my Mistress?" Shadowman asked. Rockman supposed he should have expected that, what with him accidentally saying out the red Navi's name and all.

"...It's complicated…" Rockman said, unsure of how to answer. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a crowd of NetNavies that had formed not too far from where the two of them were standing. They seemed to be huddling around a message board, discussing something.

"What's going on over there, Shadowman?" The blue Navi asked, genuinely curious.

Shadowman narrowed his eyes as he listened in on the Navi's conversation from afar. "They appear to be talking about something called the "N1 Grand Prix", my Mistress."

"N1 Grand Prix…?" The name was familiar to Rockman, but he couldn't quite remember where he had heard it from.

"It appears to be a tournament of some sort. " Shadowman continued as he listened on. "A tournament where NetNavies compete in net battles to determine who the strongest net battler in Den City is."

"Oh!" He remembered now. Netto Hikari had been excited for that tournament in his previous timeline, but the whole thing ended up being cancelled when WWW decided to launch their final attack, the "End Game". There was no way a tournament that size could be held amongst all that chaos that had happened.

Perhaps since he had played a part in helping minimize the chaos in WWW's previous attacks, the tournament could be held this time around?

Ah, it was a shame, though, that he still couldn't participate in this tournament. He supposed Netto-kun would be joining the tournament with his NetNavi, Rockman X, while Hub Hikari would be entering along with Rockman Zero. Still, that didn't mean he couldn't spectate…

The blue Navi smiled as an idea formed inside his mind.

Chapter Text

"I can't believe I let you talk me into this."

Rockman looked back at the other Navi, smiling. "Come on, don't tell me you're having second thoughts now, not after I had Shadowman go through all the trouble to find the perfect place for us to spectate."

Forte rolled his eyes. "What's so great about surface Navi battles, anyways? Their caliber of battle can hardly be considered exciting."

"That's not the point!" The blue Navi pouted slightly. "Forte, we've been together for years, but didn't you realize we've never really been on a date before?"

"Dates are a human thing." Forte pointed out.

"They are. But that doesn't mean NetNavies can't do it as well." Rockman took Forte's hand. "This way! Let's go!"


"Welcome to Den City's first ever N1 Grand Prix tournament! I'll be your host and announcer, Kiro Midorikawa, bringing you the latest news within this tournament!" Kiro smiled as the crowd cheered. "Joining me as commentator is Higgory Yamitaro! Local Chip Shop owner and an enthusiastic Battle Chip trader!"

"He-he-he… H-hi…" Higgory appears to be suffering from stage fright.

"Higgory! Seeing as the first match of the N1 Grand Prix is about to start, do you have any advice to offer to the net battlers in this tournament?" Kiro asked.

"We- well…"

"Huh? What's wrong? Aren't you really passionate about Battle Chips?" Kiro prompted him.

"Battle… Battle Chips… Ah!" The mere mention of Battle Chips apparently was enough to get him all riled up. "That's right! Battle Chips are the most important part of any net battle! The stronger chips you have, the more damage you can do and the more enemies you can defeat! Battle Chips are everything in a net battle! Especially rare chips! Rare chips allow you to use strong attacks that are much more powerful than normal chips! They're pinnacle in winning any net battle!"

"Eh… haha…" Kiro laughed nervously, slightly startled by Higgory's sudden change in behavior. She quickly recovered, though. "A-anyways! The first match in the main battle dome is about to begin! Here come the contestants!"

The crowd cheered once more as the two net battlers stepped into the battle dome.

"This first match will be Gutsman against Greenman!" Kiro yelled as the two Navies plugged into the battle sphere. "Battle start!"

"Let's get him, Gutsman!" Dekao immediately went on the offensive.

"Guts!" Raising both hands, Gutsman formed them into a hammer. Then, he brought it down, creating a shockwave. "Gutshammer!"

Greenman never stood a chance. He was sent flying back the moment the shockwave collided with him, and was forced to log out moments later.

"Amazing!" Kiro yelled as she stood up from her seat. "Gutsman has forced his opponent to log out in just 30 seconds! What a great match to start off the N1 Grand Prix!"

Somewhere above the Battle Sphere, both the Black Shadow and the Blue Myth were peering down onto the battle below them. It was just high enough where no one would think to look up and see them, and they would get an excellent view of whatever was happening within the battle sphere below them. Rockman turned to Forte, grinning. "So? What do you think?"

The dark Navi was obviously unimpressed. "Are we seriously going to watch all of these matches?"

"Forte! Weren't you really into human sports at one time?" Rockman pouted. Despite himself, the blue Navi really wanted to try and get Forte interested in human sports once more. It couldn't be healthy for the other to just be constantly lurking around the Undernet. He knew all too well what that sort of isolation had done to Forte the last time around.

"..." Forte's lips twitched slightly, but he finally sighed, relenting. "...Don't humans also usually place bets when watching sports?"

"Ah…" Well, Rockman supposed Forte was right. "What are we betting?"

"Hn." Forte thought for a moment. "...For sport?"

Rockman smiled. "For sport it is, then! We'll make a bet on who we think the champion of the N1 Grand Prix will be!" Flipping through the Battle Index for the N1 Grand Prix, the blue Navi quickly found the Navi he was looking for. "I'll bet on him!"

Forte took one look at the Navi he'd chosen and snorted. "Seriously, Mega? Him?"

"Don't rule him out just yet, Forte!" Rockman insisted. "I've seen what Rockman X and his operator, Netto Hikari can do! They have a lot of potential, you can trust me on that."

The dark Navi rolled his eyes, but didn't question Rockman further. "...I'll need to look at the rest of the competitors before making a decision."

"Alright." Rockman nodded. That made sense. "Don't take too long though- I'll give you till the end of the first preliminaries to make a decision, okay?"

Forte nodded. Just then, another announcement sounded out.

"In-incredible!" Kiro Midorikawa was completely floored. "Just now, a new record has been set in one of the sub Battle Domes by Enzan Ijuuin and his NetNavi, Blues!"

That caught Rockman's attention immediately. Though, in hindsight, the blue Navi supposed he should have expected that Enzan and Blues would be entering the tournament as well.

"Here's a replay of the battle- a forced logout within 12 seconds! Amazing!" Kiro continued as the main screen started the play the footage of Enzan and Blues' battle.

'He's still as quick as I remembered." Rockman thought to himself as he watched the footage; Besides from his strength, one of Blues' strongest and most prominent strengths had to be his speed; his opponent had been defeated before they could event realized what had happened.

"Him."

Rockman was snapped out of his thoughts. "What?" He asked as he turned towards the other Navi.

Forte met his gaze. "That Navi. He's going to win the tournament."

"Eh?!" The blue Navi was surprised. "Why?"

"His technique and skill." Forte explained. "It's nothing too impressive, but it's more than enough to win him the tournament, considering his competition."

"H-hey! What's that supposed to mean?" Rockman realized he was being a bit childish, but he couldn't just do nothing when Forte was throwing dirt on his operator! ...Well, sort of.

Forte shrugged. "Just calling it how I see it, Mega."

"Well… fine." Rockman crossed his arms dramatically. "But don't come crying to me when you lose your bet!"

"On the contrary." Forte grinned as he leaned in. "I wouldn't quite mind if you came crying to me when you lose yours."

"...!" The blue Navi drew back, blushing furiously. "Don't- don't be lewd! This is serious, Forte!"

"I am serious, Mega." The dark Navi teased him. "Whatever are you thinking about?"

Embarrassed and flustered, Rockman pushed Forte away, the other Navi just chuckling at his reaction. Damn it, Forte always seemed to keep on finding ways to get a reaction out of him.

"Mistress?"

Rockman snapped out of his daze. He turned to Shadowman. "What is it, Shadowman?"

The shadow Navi seemed concerned. "...There's something I must inform you of, my Mistress. It's about the WWW NetNavies."

The blue Navi tilted his head, confused and slightly worried. "What… What about them?"

"Their operators have been spotted among the crowd."

"!"

The blue Navi was alarmed upon hearing this. Forte didn't say anything, but Rockman could tell he was concerned as well. "What are they doing?"

"They don't seem to be doing anything at the moment…" Shadowman explained. "It would appear that they are entering the tournament as competitors as well, but I suspect they might have some… ulterior motives."

Rockman frowned. That made sense. He suspected that the WWW members were up to something as well, but he couldn't do anything about that just yet, not when he didn't even know what they were attempting to achieve.

"Keep a close eye on them, Shadowman." Rockman said. "If they try anything… Tell me immediately."

"Of course, my Mistress."

Chapter Text

"Iceman! Watch out!"

The eskimo-like Navi leapt out of the way just in time to avoid a barrage of rockets that were sent his way. He turned back to face his opponent, Rocketman.

"Alright! Now's our chance!" Thoru smiled as he pulled out a battle chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Ice Bomb! Slot in!"

Several small bombs appeared before Iceman. He quickly grabbed them. "Ice Bomb!" The ice Navi cried as he threw them at his opponent. Rocketman, being a huge, bulky Navi, was unable to move out of the way when the Ice Bombs collided with him, the bombs freezing and encasing him in ice as they exploded.

"Rocketman is unable to battle! The winner of this match is Iceman!" Kiro announced with her usual enthusiasm.

Rockman dangled his legs idly off the side of the platform he was on as the crowd cheered, smiling slightly to himself. The tournament seemed to be going smoothly.

"That blue Navi you betted on is up next." Forte suddenly said besides him. He was flipping through the N1 Grand Prix Battle Index.

"Rockman X?" The blue Navi looked up. "Who's his opponent?"

"Some Navi by the name of Skullman."

Rockman paused slightly. That was unexpected. He had fought Skullman before, but he didn't expect his operator, Miss Miyuki to enter into the tournament as well.

"...What's wrong?" Forte seemed to have sensed his sudden concern. Rockman remembered when he had to go up against Skullman in his timeline. He had been allowed to use any spare Battle Chip data that he had on him, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never land a successful attack on the skull Navi. It was only later that he realized that it had been Skullman's operator, Miyuki Kuroi, that had been behind that.

Miss Miyuki was the owner of the local antique shop. However, the people who visited her shop rarely ever went there for the antiques; it was for her fortune telling skills. During his battle with Skullman, Miss Miyuki had been using her precognition to anticipate all of his attacks, allowing her Navi to foretell every single one of his moves before he himself was even aware of it.

It was fortunate that Netto-kun had found him trapped inside the vase computer when he did. He might not have survived otherwise.

"...It's nothing." Rockman said, looking to the side. In truth, he was slightly worried about Netto-kun and Rockman X having to go up against such a powerful opponent in their first match.

"..." Forte silently sat down next to him. "What is it? Are you conceding defeat before their match event started?"

"Of course not!" The blue Navi snapped back at him.

"Then stop acting all worried." The dark Navi smiled. "You're usually the one to tell me to have more faith in things."

"...!"

Rockman just stared at Forte for a moment, slightly shocked. He would never had expected Forte would be the one offering him encouragement this time around.

"...Thanks, Forte." He smiled as he regained himself. "...You're surprisingly sweet when you're not acting all terrifying like the Black Shadow."

"..." Forte huffed. "...Whatever."


"The next match of the N1 Grand Prix is about to begin!" The crowd cheered once more as Kiro continued. "This next match will be fifth grader Netto Hikari and his NetNavi Rockman X, against Miyuki Kuroi, owner of the local antique shop and her NetNavi, Skullman!"

Both Netto and Miyuki stepped onto the stage as the Battle Sphere activated. Netto was smiling brightly, as usual. "I hope we have a great Net Battle, Miss Miyuki!"

Miyuki regarded the Hikari carefully, but she didn't reply. Then, she closed her eyes for a brief moment before she spoke. "Five minutes."

"Huh?" Netto was visibly confused.

"This battle will end in five minutes." Miyuki continued as she opened her eyes, smiling mysteriously. "And the winner will be…"

"A-amazing!" Kiro cried out in shock from the announcer stand. "Apparently, Miyuki is using her fortune telling skills to foretell the outcome of this battle!"

"...!" Netto Hikari was stunned for a moment. But he quickly regained his composure. "Heh! I'm sorry to disappoint you, but your fortune telling is wrong! Me and X are going to win this battle!" He quickly took out his PET. "Let's go! Plug in, Rockman X, transmission!"

Miyuki sighed, and followed suit. "Plug in, Skullman, transmission."

Both Navies entered into the Battle Sphere at once. "Alright! Battle Start!" Kiro exclaimed.

Rockman X immediately went on the offensive. He formed his hand into a buster. "X Buster!"

"Kee hee hee!" Skullman easily dodged out of the way of the shots. "Is that all?"

"You might be able to avoid individual shots, but let's see you try and avoid this!" Netto Hikari quickly selected a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Slot in!" Rockman X's arm shifted from his buster to the vulcan buster. Then, he fired multiple rapid shots at Skullman.

Skullman might not have been the fastest Navi, but as if he was able to predict X's attack, he avoided each of the shots expertly.

"N-no way!" Rockman X was shocked. "I can't hit him!"

Above the Battle Sphere, Rockman was quietly observing the entire thing. 'So, Miss Miyuki is already using her fortune telling skills to predict X's attacks.'

"My turn! Kee hee hee!" Skullman laughed as his forearms detached from his body. "Bone Stalker!"

The two detached limbs came to life in an instant, both acting as boomerangs as they flew towards Rockman X. The blue Navi was quick enough to dash out of the way of the first one, but the second one was able to hit him from behind on its way back, sending him flying. "Arrgh!"

"How-" Netto Hikari was visibly nervous now. "...If he can dodge out of buster shots, but he won't be able to get out of large explosions!" He took out several more chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

Rockman X threw the bombs at Skullman once he had received the Battle Chip data. "Take that!"

"Kee hee hee!" Skullman didn't appear worried. "Bone Stalker!"

The two boomerang bones flew back to him, colliding with the mini bombs, causing them to explode long before they could reach the skull Navi.

"Th-this can't be!" Rockman X was tartled.

"None of our attacks are connecting!" Netto had realized the problem as well.

"It's useless."

"Huh?" Netto Hikari snapped his head up. "What did you say?"

"I can tell what your Navi is about to do, long before he himself realizes it." Miyuki said calmly. "...Three minutes left."

"Ghost Fire!" Skullman yelled as he summon a large ball of purple fire. He flung the Ghost Fire at Rockman X, the blue Navi unable to react quickly in time and ended up being scorched by the fire. "Arrrgh!"

"This-" Netto Hikari clenched his fists. "No! This can't be! Is Miss Miyuki really reading our attacks so clearly?!"

"Kee hee hee…" Skullman was slowly approaching Rockman X. The blue Navi unable to do anything as he was badly damaged. "You're finished…"

"Netto-kun!"

"E-eh?" Netto snapped his head up. Someone was screaming his name from the audience.

"Don't just give up yet, you idiot!"

"Nii-san?!" Netto was surprised when he found the person who had been yelling.

"So what if Miss Miyuki can see the future?" Hub Hikari yelled down at him. "If it hasn't happened yet, you can still change it!"

"That's… that's right!" Rockman X seemed to resonate with Hub Hikari's words. "Miss Miyuki may be able to see the future… but we can still decide what our future will be, Netto-kun!"

"...!" Netto considered his words slightly, before he grinned. "That's right! We can still do this!" He took out several battle chips. "Get ready, Miss Miyuki!"

The fortune teller narrowed her eyes. "...One minute left."

"Let's do this, X! Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

"Mini Bomb!" Rockman X threw the bomb at Skullman.

"That won't work! Kee hee hee!" Skullman avoided each of the bombs sent his way.

"Heh, are you sure about that?" Netto asked as he continued to slot in more Mini Bomb chips into his PET. As Rockman X threw each of the bombs, the explosion caused created a cloud of dust, and soon, the area was completely filled with clouds of smoke.

"...Clever." Miyuki said. "Trying to obscure visibility… But that won't work on me."

"Kee hee hee...I don't have to see you to know where you are…" Skullman looked around the area briefly, before he raised his hand. "There you are!"

He moved to attack the spot where he had felt Rockman X approach him from, but instead of the blue Navi, his fist connected with a Mini Bomb, causing him to fly as as it exploded. Miyuki's eyes widened as she gasped. "Impossible…!"

"Now's our chance!" Netto Hikari selected his final Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Sword! Slot in!"

A flash of a blade cut through Skullman's form from behind. The Skull Navi screeched in pain as his body was cut through. Seeing this, Miyuki plugged her NetNavi out from the Battle Sphere, ending their match.

"Skullman has plugged out! The winners are Netto Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman X!" The crowd went wild.

"..." The fortune teller was silent for a while. "...I don't believe it…"

"Huh?" Netto Hikari turned to her.

"...Your NetNavi…" Miyuki was more mumbling to herself at this point. "I can sense within it… a human's soul…" With that, the fortune teller left the stage.

"...Weird." Netto said. "I wonder what she meant by that…"

'As I thought.' Rockman smiled to himself. 'Both Rockman X and Rockman Zero share my ability to experience human emotions.'

Chapter Text

Forte regarding the sleeping Navi carefully. His purple cloak was parted slightly, revealing the Navi's soft body and his nice thighs. And if Forte didn't know any better, he would have said that the blue Navi was breathing softly in his sleep.

Silently, he approached the Navi still deep in his sleep cycle. Forte usually didn't really cared much for using the sleep cycle station, but when the other Navi was presented to him in such a way… well, he supposed he could at least see some of the value of it. He tugged the other's cloak to the side, being careful not to wake the sleeping Navi. As he ran a hand down the blue Navi's thigh, he made a small sound in his sleep, but otherwise, didn't stir.

'Beautiful.'

Mega. Forte still wasn't sure how he felt about this Navi. So many things surrounding him, how he had appeared in SciLabs one day, how genuinely good he appeared to be, and how he had saved him from possible deletion, not once, but twice…

It was just too convenient.

"Hn-nn." Mega was making delightful little noises as Forte continued to touch and stroke his body, and Forte couldn't help the spark of desire growing within him, seeing his submissive just laying there, completely lax and unaware. He wanted to claim the blue Navi, now.

'I wonder how his body tastes, when he's unaware like this.'

In truth, Forte knew he should be more suspicious. There was just too much mystery surrounding Mega, some that he could tell the blue Navi had refrained from telling him, but…

Forte breathed in sharply when the Navi below him shivered as he pulled off the rest of his skinsuit. He glanced down briefly. He could feel himself growing hard, just seeing those soft petals slightly hidden in between the other's legs. He had to stop himself from just forcing his way in instantly. He didn't want to wake the other. Not yet.

Carefully, he reached in between the sleeping Navi's legs and parted his entrance with two fingers. Mega twitched slightly, but when Forte was sure that the blue Navi would not wake, he sunk his fingers deeper into the other, spreading and rubbing them along the other's soft insides. Mega, even in his sleep, appeared to have felt what the dark navi was doing to him, responding with a soft whine. Forte realized that Mega was most likely unaware of his own body's reactions at this time, but he still couldn't suppress the growl of approval at how the sleeping Navi was reacting.

Even if his mind was unaware at this moment, Mega's body seemed to know what it wanted. The dark Navi could feel the blue Navi's insides began to twitch and clutch around his digits, a thin layer of slick coating his fingers as he continued his ministrations. Forte would pause in his actions whenever he felt the blue Navi begin to stir, keeping him somewhere in between unconsciousness and full awareness as he prepared the other. Mega whined, his eyelids flickering slightly when Forte stimulated a particularly sensitive spot within him.

He was hooked. Forte knew he had grown addicted to the Navi below him, but he couldn't stop himself; he wouldn't have stopped himself, even if he could. He didn't want to.

Slowly, with patience he didn't know he had, he slid himself into the smaller Navi, hissing when the familiar warmth and tightness surrounded him. He felt Mega's breath hitched slightly when he was fully sheathed, giving a soft, gentle thrust forwards into the Navi below him, his body shivering with arousal that his mind wasn't even aware of yet.

It was a nice feeling he had grown to enjoy, but it wasn't enough. He wanted more.

Gently guiding the sleeping Navi's thighs around his waist, Forte made sure he had a tight grip on the other's hip before he pulled out slowly, then slammed back in with enough force to jolt the other Navi's entire form, and that-

That was enough to wake the blue Navi. His green eyes snapped open, and immediately, Forte could feel the alarm, panic and pleasure the other Navi was projecting. He snarled, gripping the other's hip tighter. This. This was what he was addicted to.

"F-Forte…!" Mega gasped out, with shock and confusion and arousal. Forte felt the smaller Navi's walls clutch around him, shuddering and quivering more intensely than before now that he was fully conscious. "Wh- What are you…!"

"Shh. I've got you." Forte cut him off as thrusted into the other once more, Mega's body jerking as he gasped with surprise. "You just lay there and look pretty."

"N-nnh, n-no… D-don't…!" Mega writhed, struggling with shynessembarrassment and slight resistance. But the dark Navi could also sense the want and anticipation inside of the blue Navi, just brewing beneath the surface.

Now, all he had to do was to draw them out.

Setting a steady pace, Forte began to thrust in and out of the Navi below him, making sure to gently nudge against the blue Navi's inner opening there. Mega whimpered and whined with each of his inward pushes, the Navi's soft insides becoming wet with slick. The shyness and resistance Forte had felt from Mega slowly began to fade away, being replaced with want and desire and pleasure instead.

Now, for the fun part.

"Your body's really sensitive, Mega." Forte told the other Navi as he continued to roll his hips. "You seem to recognize me, even while you were asleep."

He got the reaction he wanted almost immediately. As Mega jerked and gasped, Forte could feel his disbelief and embarrassment flaring up as well. "Th-that's…! A-ah! Hn… n-not…!"

"You were so wet just from my fingers alone." Forte continued, making sure to thrust up into that one spot inside of the other. "You could tell that it was me, couldn't you?"

The blue Navi's blush deepen, as did his embarrassment. But when Forte slammed back in again, the feeling wavered slightly, his pleasure threatening to overtake it. Mega shook his head, tears already forming from over stimulation. "N-no, a-ah…! Hnn...I-I'm not- Ah…!"

"Don't lie." Forte insisted, holding Mega in place when he attempted to shy away from him. "Your body is clutching me so tightly- It doesn't want me to stop. At least you're honest down there."

Mega whined and sobbed when Forte sped up his pace, the Navi below him shuddering in joy and delight every time the dark Navi slammed into him, but his embarrassment and resistance still lingered, the combination of No, Don't, Stop and Yes, Please, More that the blue Navi felt clashed terribly within him. It was intoxicating. This was what Forte wanted.

Finally, deciding that he was done teasing the other Navi, the dark Navi began to thrust into the other how he wanted, snapping his hips forward hard and fast, ramming into him with enough force to jolt his entire body forward had he not had such a tight grip on the smaller Navi. The effect was immediate, the feelings of alarm, no, panic, stop, anticipation, please, don't, more only encouraged the dark Navi further, until the Navi below him snapped and came with a loud cry, his entire body quivering and everything melted away into silent submission.

Forte's own climax was not too far behind. With a snarl, he came inside of his submissive, feeling the blue Navi gasp and twitch slightly as he released himself deep within the other. Once it was over, the two Navies remained as they were, both panting as they recovered. Forte saw Mega looking at him, eyes teary and still slightly dazed, having been woken in such a way, but he was projecting feelings of happiness, content, satisfaction, and… something else. Something much purer and more intense than just joy or happiness. And before he realized it, Forte was kissing Mega, bucking his hips into the other once again.

"For-Forte!" Mega was alarmed. He still haven't completely recovered from their first connection yet. "Wai- Ahh, w-wait…"

"No." Forte growled as he started thrusting once more. "You're not getting five more minutes."

His mind told him this was worrying, that he shouldn't be so indulged in the other Navi, but Forte couldn't help it. He was completely and hopelessly addicted.

But this was one addiction he knew he never wanted to get over.

Chapter Text

"I see." Forte said, suddenly.

Rockman looked at him, confused. "What?"

"Mega." Forte met his gaze. "Don't you see what those WWW operators are trying to do?"

Rockman paused. He honestly had no idea. "What is it?"

"Look." Forte held the Battle Index out. The blue Navi took it from his hands. "Tell me what you see."

"Well…" Rockman briefly glanced over the data. "Rockman Zero's next match is up against Colouredman, while Rockman X's next match is up against Fireman…"

"Hm. Do you think it's coincidence?"

Rockman frowned slightly at that. "...Even if it's intentional, what are they going to do?"

"..." Forte just stared at him for a moment, as if he was unable to tell whether he was joking, or he really had no idea on what was happening. "Mega, accidents happen in net battles all the time."

"...So?"

"Imagine if you were a member of a terrorist organization." Forte sighed. "You've determined several people that may prove to be a problem in your future plans, but you cannot get rid of them out in the open without alerting the Net Police and getting them involved in some way. Now, imagine that you discovered that these problematic people have entered a tournament, in which if an accident were to have happened and they are unable to plug their Navies out in time, they would be deleted and taken care of without anyone getting suspicious." The dark Navi paused slightly, as if giving Rockman some time to process this. "Do you see their intentions now?"

Oh.

Oh no.

"But- but even so… Rockman X and Rockman Zero have defeated both Fireman and Colouredman before!" Rockman reasoned, slightly unnerved. "Besides… there's strict rules in the tournament that prevents net operators or their Navies from cheating during matches."

Forte looked at him incredulously. "Mega, please don't tell me you actually believe that members of a terrorist organization would give even an ounce of care for any rules during net battles."

"..."

Rockman resisted the urge to slap himself. Alright, that was honestly stupid of him to think. "Then… What can we do…?"

"Nothing." Forte said, plainly.

"But we can't allow them to just do as they please!" Rockman was panicking slightly now. Sensing his distress, the dark Navi took his hand.

"Calm down." Forte told him sternly. "You trust the twins to defeat those WWW Navies with their own strength, right?"

Rockman nodded. "I do, but…"

"Then that's enough." The dark navi squeezed his hand slightly. "You can interver when those WWW operators try anything, but doing so before that would just get you into trouble, understand?"

The blue Navi paused for a moment, before conceding. "Okay, you're right." Rockman said. "I'm sorry… I just got really worried for a moment there…"

"It's alright." Forte shrugged, then smiled. "But it wouldn't hurt for you to be more aware of these things."

Rockman blushed, looking away. "You can stop teasing me about that right about now."


 

"Our next battle pitches Madori Iroaya and her NetNavi, Colouredman, against Hub Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman Zero!" Kiro announced as yet another net battle ended. Both contestants stepped onto the stage.

"..." Hub stared at Madori for a moment. "So you're Colouredman's operator."

Madori either wasn't fazed, or pretended not to realize what the elder Hikari was implying. "What's the matter, little boy? Don't tell me you're already charmed by my womanly charisma!"

"You-" Hub was taken aback. "Th-that's rubbish!"

"My, oh my." Madori sighed dramatically. "That's no way to a lady's heart! I guess I'll just have to teach you some manners, boy!" The WWW operator took out her PET.

"As if I'll lose to you!" Hub Hikari took out his PET, too. "Plug in-"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Colouredman!"

"Transmission!"

In two flashes of light, the two Navies entered into the Battle Sphere.

"Hee hee hee! I still have some unfinished business with you, red Navi!" Colouredman cackled as he faced Rockman Zero. "Prepared to be deleted! Ha!"

"Alright! Battle start!" Kiro announced.

"Go get him, minions!" Colouredman shouted, summoning mini versions of himself that launched themselves at Rockman Zero. Reacting accordingly, the red Navi formed his hand into a sword, slicing apart each of the tiny Colouredmans as they flew towards him.

"Nice try, but Zero and I aren't going down that easily!" Hub took out a battle chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Variant Sword! Slot in!"

Inside of the Battle Sphere, Rockman Zero held his arm up, the arm forming into a stunning gold and neon sword in an instant. "Variant Sword!" He swung the sword at Colouredman, the shape of the Variant Sword shifted and changed, producing a golden wave that aimed itself towards the clown Navi. Colouredman panicked. "Ah! Stop it, ball!"

Launching his giant ball at the incoming wave, the two forces collided with each other, creating a huge explosion sending dust and smoke everywhere. The crowd cheered wildly at the sight.

"Amazing! It seems that this is going to be one exciting match!" Kiro exclaimed. Then, she turned to Higgory. "Higgory! What do you think?"

"Well…" Higgory said in his usual tone. "It does appear that both Navies are equally matched… but now that Rockman Zero has gone on the offensive, it would be difficult for Colouredman to win unless he finds some way to turn the battle in his favor…"

The moment Higgory finished his sentence, Rockman Zero had lept out from the clouds of smoke, making a mad dash towards Colouredman. "Take this!"

The red Navi swung his sword. Colouredman had flinched back, avoiding the brunt of his attack, but Zero had managed to leave a mark on his chest and left shoulder. "Eek! You- you- you-!"

"Oh! How dare you!" Madori yelled, her cool composure crackling for a brief moment. "That's it! You're going to get it, boy!"

"What?" Hub Hikari was confused, but there was also a slight hint of nervousness in his voice.

"I'm going to show you just what happens when you mess with me!" Madori smiled wickedly. "You say goodbye to your Navi now!" She snapped her fingers. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the battle stage within the Battle Sphere began to shake and rumble.

"!" Rockman Zero was alarmed. "What's- what's happening?"

"Hee hee hee!" Colouredman laughed as he summoned another ball. "Prepare to face your doom!"

Thousands of glass pillars shot out from the ground, each of them having a clear reflective surface, acting as mirrors as each of the mirrors reflected the image projected by each other. Rockman Zero soon found himself surrounded by these pillars. He looked around nervously.

"Hee hee hee!"

The red Navi gasped, barely managing to jump out of the way as Colouredman's ball attack shot towards him. He quickly turned towards the direction in which the attack had came from, but instead of his target, he was instead met by a dozen images of Colouredman, the clown Navi's image being reflected by each of the glass pillars surrounding him.

"This is…!" Hub was just as alarmed.

"Which of them is the real one?" Zero was unsure where the real location of his opponent was. Then, he heard a rumbling sound coming from behind him. Turning around, this time, he hadn't been quick enough to avoid Colouredman's ball attack, and was sent flying into one of the glass pillars.

"Zero!" Hub screamed.

"Ha ha ha!" Madori laughed. "How do you like that, boy?"

"Hee hee hee!" Colouredman's voice echoed and bounced off of the glass pillars. "Delete~!"

Above the Battle Sphere, Rockman stood up abruptly. He had to stop this.

"Wait." Forte wrapped one arm around him, effectively stopping him from moving.

"Forte, he's in trouble!" The blue Navi yelled back at him.

The dark Navi didn't reply immediately, but he did point at Hub Hikari. "Look."

"...?" Rockman followed with his gaze. "What- What is it?" He didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

"That boy." Forte explained. "He's up to something."

"..."

Rockman watched with growing worry as Zero continued to avoid Colouredman's attacks, the clown Navi laughing hysterically at his opponent's inability to locate him. If this goes on… "Forte, let go."

The dark Navi ignored him. "Not yet."

"Forte!" Rockman hissed. "This is serious! If I don't do anything then Zero will…!"

"Zero, now!" Rockman was interrupted, the elder Hikari taking out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Z-Saber! Slot in!"

Zero's hand formed into a familiar green saber, and Rockman watched in shock and awe as Zero ducked out of the way of Colouredman's ball attack, dashing towards the direction in which the giant ball had come from, and slashed at one of the images of Colouredman that had been reflected onto the glass pillars-

Except that the red Navi had indeed struck the real form on the clown Navi. Colouredman screamed as he was cut in half. "No…! H-how did you…!"

Zero remained silent, only watching as the clown Navi was forced to plug out, the pillars and glass cracking and shattering moments later, returning the battle stage back to its original form.

"Colouredman has plugged out!" Kiro yelled from the announcer stand. "The winner of this match is Hub Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman Zero! Incredible!"

"No, no, no, no, no!" Hub gave Madori a weird look. The WWW operator was screaming incoherently to herself. "This can't be, this can't be! I can't be losing to a brat…!"

Meanwhile, Rockman was stunned silent. He was confused as well. "How did he…?"

"He used their own tricks against them."

The blue Navi looked at Forte. "What do you mean?"

"Remember the mark Zero had made on Colouredman at the beginning of the match?"

Rockman thought for a moment. That's right. Hadn't Zero cut Colouredman across one of his shoulder before the clown Navi had summoned those pillars? But… "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Mirrors invert images when they reflect." Forte explained to him. "Apparently, the boy was bright enough to use the direction of his opponent's attack to narrow down the possible location of his attacker, then used the inverted images of the mirrors to determine which Colouredman was the real one."

"...!"

Rockman looked at the elder Hikari in awe. He had known Hub was the more mature and calm one of the two, but to be able to figure out a counter to Madori's trick so quickly…

"And Mega?"

Rockman was snapped out of his thoughts. "What?"

Forte grinned at him. "Maybe next time, your first course of action shouldn't be rushing out immediately without even properly assessing the situation, hm?"

The blue Navi's face turned bright red. "Forte!"

Chapter Text

"Oh!" Rockman gasped as he suddenly remembered something. "How's Blues doing?"

"Who?" Forte asked.

Rockman looked at him. "The Navi you bet on that would win, Forte. I can't believe you betted on him and don't even remember his name."

Forte made an 'Oh, him.' expression. "I'm surprised you remembered."

The blue Navi began to flip through the N1 Grand Prix Battle Index, quickly locating the data on Blues. Rockman found that the red Navi had defeated all of his opponents thus far- this wasn't anything surprising. Enzan and Blues wouldn't have been Net Police Officers if they weren't good at net battling, but the records showing that Blues had won all his matches in under half a minute still shocked him.

The other Navi seemed to have guessed the red Navi's performance just by reading his emotions alone. "Worried yet?" Forte grinned.

Rockman looked back at him. "Of course not!" He huffed. "Just you wait! Netto-kun and Rockman X are going to win this!"


"Things are beginning to heat up in the Battle Dome!" Kiro smiled as another match finished. "The next match will be Netto Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman X, against Hino Kenichi and his NetNavi, Fireman!"

"Netto-kun." Rockman X spoke out from his PET. "That's the Navi that set fire to Maylu-chan's oven."

"I remember." The younger Hikari said. "So that's his operator, huh?"

"We should be careful." His Navi told him. "Did you see what had happened during Hub and Zero's match with Colouredman and his operator? I'm afraid Fireman might be up to something, too."

"Don't worry about it!" Netto grinned. "We've beaten this guy before, right? It'll be no trouble beating him again!"

"Here come the contestants!" Kiro announced as both operators stepped onto the stage.

"So, you're that blue Navi's operator." Hino said as the two approached the Battle Sphere. "I won't lose this time; prepare to be deleted!"

"We'll see about that!" Netto took out his PET. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X!"

"Fireman!"

"Transmission!"

"You may have gotten away last time." Fireman told Rockman X as the two Navies entered into the Battle Sphere. "But you'll be a pile of ash when I'm through with you!"

"Alright! Battle Start!" Kiro exclaimed.

Fireman went on the offensive immediately. "Fire Blast!" pointing both his arm cannons at Rockman X, Fireman sent a barrage of fireballs his way. However, anticipating his attack, the blue Navi was able to dash out of the way of each of these shots.

"Now it's our turn!" Netto took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Slot in!"

Rockman X's hand shifted into a Vulcan as he received the Battle Chip data. He aimed at Fireman. "Vulcan!"

As the multipla rapid shots flew towards him, Fireman was ready with a counter. He slammed one hand onto the ground. "Flame Tower!"

A pillar of fire bursted out from the battle stage, canceling out the vulcan shots at they collided with it, the Flame Tower quickly making its way towards Rockman X as it rumbled.

"Alright, then! How about this?" Netto Hikari selected another chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

Rockman X threw several Mini Bombs into the incoming Flame Tower, the bomb exploding, dissipating the pillar of fire from within.

"What a heated battle!" Kiro cried out from the announcer stand. "Both Navies are matching each other, shot for shot!"

"Flame sword!" One of Fireman's arm shifted into a blazing sword as he swung at Rockman X.

"Battle Chip; Barrier! Slot in!" A half-transparent barrier surrounded Rockman X in an instant, Fireman's Flame Sword breaking in half as it collided with the barrier.

"Now's our chance!" Netto Hikari pulled out yet another chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Canon! Slot in!"

Rockman X's arm formed into a canon. "Take this!" He yelled as he fired the shot directly at his opponent. The fire Navi was unable to avoid the blast in time as he was countered, the shot damaging one of his arm canons badly.

"And it seems Rockman X has gotten the upper hand in this battle!" Kiro announced. "Hino and his Navi Fireman are in quite a pinch!"

"That's it, mister! You're done for!" The younger Hikari grinned as he yelled at the WWW operator.

"..." Neither Navi nor operator appeared particularly concerned with this development. "Tch. I still have an Ace up my sleeve, kid."

"An Ace…?" Rockman X was both confused and worried. "What does that mean…?"

"Hmph." Fireman stood up tall as he recovered. "Prepare to be doused in my flames of vengeance!"

The loud sound of turning gears began to encho and churn throughout the entire area, the open ceiling of the Battle Dome was closing in on itself. The lights within the arena all went out at the same time, plunging the interior of the Battle Dome into darkness.

"Wh-what's this?" Kiro was alarmed. "Has the power been cut off…? Ah!"

The entirety of the spectating crowd was shocked when the Battle Sphere began to shine intensely, lighting up the entire Battle Dome with just its glow alone.

"This can't be normal!" Hub said from where he was among the spector stand. He had been watching Netto Hikari's match along with their group of friends.

"Yeah! There's no way the Battle Dome would just close up like this!" Yaito agreed with him.

"And it's gotten so hot, even from here…" Maylu added. She looked at Netto worriedly. She could only guess what the younger of the two Hikaris was feeling, standing so close to the Battle Sphere like he was.

"Damnit! How is that Kenichi guy looking completely fine?" Dekao asked.

"I'm not sure-" Thoru began, but he quickly noticed something. "Ah! Guys, look!"

Within the Battle Sphere, Fireman's form began to glow, his damaged arm cannon quickly repairing himself. Slamming it onto the ground, a wave of fire began to spread out from where he was standing, changing the entire battle stage into a fiery pit.

"Someone's feeding energy into the Battle Sphere!" Hub realized. "And Fireman is feeding off of that energy!"

Empowered by the suddenly influx of heat, Fireman slammed both his arm cannons into the ground, summoning two pillars of flame. "Double Flame Tower!"

It was obvious that the younger Hikari was already being affecting by the heat. Rockman X had barely managed to dash out of the way of the first pillar of flame when he finally managed to find the Battle Chip he wanted. "Area Steal, slot in…!"

That allowed the blue Navi to avoid the second Flame Tower just in time. "That was close…!"

"Y-yeah..." Netto had to shield his eyes from the intense light radiating from the Battle Sphere.

"Hmph, so you survived that attack." Fireman looked surprised. "But you won't be leaving this inferno alive! Fire Blast!" Raising both his hands, Fireman once again fired a barrage of fireballs at his opponent, this time, fueled by the sheer amount of energy he was receiving, the Fire Blasts came one after another. Rockman X could jump out of the way of the first several ones without much of a problem, but the fire Navi fired shot after shot at him, not giving any room for the blue Navi to recuperate, until the balls of fire finally landed their mark just by sheer overwhelming him.

"X…!" Netto realized his Navi was in danger, but he was fumbling. The heat was getting to him. "Just wait a moment more… I'll send you a Battle Chip…!"

Up at the spectator stand, the group of friends have noticed this as well. "They must be doing this by somehow hacking into the N1 Grand Prix systems." Hub reasoned. He turned to the others. "If we can find the problem and fix it, then we can return the Battle Dome back to normal!"

"What are we waiting for, then?" Dekao stood up. "Let's go! We have to help Netto!"

"I'm going, too!" Maylu offered.

"No, Maylu, you have to stay here in case something happens to Netto." Hub told her. "Don't worry, we'll find out what's happened and be right back!"

"Well… alright." Maylu nodded. "But please, hurry! I'm not sure what will happen to Netto-kun if this continues…"

Chapter Text

"This should be the place!" Hub said not long after the group had left the spectator stand of the Battle Dome. "We should be able to reach the N1 Grand Prix system servers from here!"

"Alright, let's go, then!" Tohru nodded. The group took out their PETs simultaneously.

"Plug in-"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Gutsman!

"Glide!"

"Iceman!"

"Transmission!"

The four Navies plugged into the system in a flash. The realized the problem instantly.

"This- this place is crawling with viruses!" Iceman exclaimed. "This is terrible! Who could have done this?"

"My guess is on WWW." Glide said as he turned his hand into a canon. "In fact, I suspect Hub Hikari's previous battle to have been rigged by them as well." He began firing at the viruses.

"Guts!" Gutsman slammed his fist into a Bunny viruses. "Winning with tricks is so dirty! Guts!"

"I don't like it as well." Rockman Zero said as he slashed at one of the Fishy viruses that tried to run into him. "But it would seem that Hub and Netto have both been targeted by the WWW."

"Could it have been due to Hub and Netto-san's interference with their previous attacks?" Glide was quick to conclude.

"It's possible." Rockman Zero nodded. "Which is all the more reason why we shouldn't let them win!"

"Ahh!" The two were interrupted by Iceman's scream. "E-everyone! Those viruses are coming together…!"

The three other Navies turned to him and saw what was happening. The rest of the viruses had began to crowd together into a large cloud, forming into a single form. The huge virus made out of the thousands of smaller viruses roared at the four Navies, towering over them as it made its way closer to delete them.

"Glide Canon!" Glide shot several shots from his canon at the huge virus, but all of the shots bounced off of it without a scratch.

"Guts Hammer!" Gutsman decided to attack the virus as well. He formed both of his hands into a hammer, and slammed it down onto the ground. The resulting shockwave sped towards the huge form of the virus, but the attack was once again useless on it. Then, the virus raised it's hand to attack them.

"Watch out!" Iceman shouted. He turned to the virus. "Blizzard!"

A gust of icy wind blew against the virus, freezing its arm for a moment. But with a shake, it shattered the ice coating its arm in an instant, roaring once more in anger.

"It no use! Our attacks aren't damaging it!" Rockman Zero quickly realized.

"Gwaaaar!" The viruses screeched. Raising its hand high once more, it brought it down, preparing to slam its claws into the four Navies. Iceman screamed and ducked his head, while the other three watched in horror and braced for impact.

Then, a string of light flashed across the form of the virus. The virus paused for a moment, as if it was unsure of what had happened, before his entire form was split into two halves. The virus screeched as its data began to dissipate, before it disappeared entirely.

"That- that was…" Rockman Zero stared in shock. He could briefly make out the form of another Navi in the wake of the virus's deletion.

"Who're you?!" Iceman appeared to have noticed the strange Navi as well.

"..." The strange new comer didn't say anything as he sheathed his sword, narrowing his eyes as he regarded the group of Navies carefully. "Your friend is safe. The systems have been returned to normal." Then, the Navi disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"Wait!" Rockman Zero yelled after him, but it was too late. "Damn… He's gone…"

At that exact moment, the red Navi received a video transmission from Maylu. "Hub-san, there's a video message from Maylu-chan."

"Alright." Hub turned on the video transmission. "I hope nothing bad has happened…"

"Hub! You guys have cleared out the viruses, haven't you?" Maylu asked once the call got through.

"Yeah. The systems are back to normal now." The Hikari nodded.

"I saw it! The Battle Dome is also back to normal now, but…" Maylu appeared frantic. "Netto had passed out from the heat several moments ago, and he still hasn't woken up yet!"

"What?" There was a collective gasp within the group of friends.

"Damn! Hold on, Maylu, we're coming back now." Hub Hikari cut the connection to the video feed before turning to the rest of the group. "Let's go!"

The younger Hikari was still lying on the floor unconscious when the group got there. Hub Hikari went as close to the stage as he could from the spectator stand. "Netto-kun!" He began yelling at his younger sibling. "Wake up!"

As if hearing his voice, the younger Hikari twitched slightly, but was still not fully conscious yet.

Hub frowned. Alright, this was serious now. "Netto-kun- Wake up, you idiot! You're going to be late for school!"

That got the younger Hikari's attention. Gasping, he sat up in an instant, before he realized what has happening. "Ah! Nii-san…?"

Hub grinned at his twin as Netto looked up at him from the stage, their gaze meeting. "We've cleared out the viruses that were inside the Battle Dome system!" Hub told him. "Now hurry and win this match! Rockman X needs you!"

Realization quickly registered inside of Netto's head. "Th-that's right!" He grabbed his PET from where it had fallen quickly and stood up. "This isn't over, yet!"

"What?!" His opponent obviously wasn't expecting him to get back up. "Tch! Fireman! Delete that kid's Navi- Now!"

Knowing that they've lost their advantage, Fireman acted quickly before Rockman X could recover from the damage he had taken when his operator had been unconscious. He slammed both his hands into the ground once more. "Double Flame Tower!"

Two pillars of flame bursted out from the ground instantly, reacting a path of ash and derib in its way. "You're finished!" Fireman yelled as the twin flames sped towards his opponent.

"Don't be so sure about that!' Netto didn't appear fazed. "Me and X have an Ace that we've been hiding up our sleeves, too!"

"What nonsense is this!" The WWW operator wasn't having any of it. "We'll burn your Navi to a crisp!"

"Alright, X! Let's go!" Netto took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Step Sword! Slot in!"

The moment Rockman X received the Battle Chip data, he disappeared from view entirely, the two pillars of flame creating an explosion as they collided with each other, but otherwise missing its intended target completely.

"No- no way!" Fireman was alarmed. He attempted to prepare for another attack, but Rockman X had appeared in front of him before he could react.

"Step Sword!" In a flash, Rockman X slashed the fire Navi in half. Fireman screamed and was forced to log out, thus ending their battle.

"Amazing! Netto Hikari and his Net Navi, Rockman X, have pulled out an amazing recovery and won the battle!" Kiro exclaimed. The crowd cheered once more at such the unexpected outcome of this match.


"Nii-san!" Netto Hikari found his elder sibling soon enough after he had left the stage.

"Netto-kun!" Hub Hikari smiled. "I'm glad you're alright."

"It was thanks to you guys." Netto smiled back. "Thank you."

The two were silent for a moment. "Netto-kun." Hub said, suddenly. "Remember that anonymous message you received that helped us out at the Waterworks?"

The younger Hikari tilted his head. "I remember. What about that?"

Hub frowned. "Because… I think I know who he was."

"What?" Netto was visibly shocked.

"At least, I think I know who he was." Hub elaborated. "...When we were clearly out the viruses in the Battle Dome systems, some Navi that looked like a ninja appeared out of nowhere and helped us. I think he, or whoever his operator is, might have been the person behind that message as well."

"Okay." Netto shrugged. "But why do you look so worried about that?"

"Netto… We don't know anything about who that Navi or his operator is. We don't know what their intentions are." Hub sighed.

"Well, they're helping us, aren't they? Which means they're against the WWW" Netto reasoned. "And that's okay with me!"

"..." Hub didn't have any rebuttal for that. "Well… I hope you're right. I still can't help but worry about that, though…"


"Shadowman, you're back!" Rockman smiled as he saw the shadow Navi return.

The shadow Navi bowed. "I have did as you asked, my Mistress."

"I saw! Thanks, Shadowman!" Rockman said. "...I was a bit worried something might have happened to you, you know. You were gone for quite a while..." The blue Navi quickly brushed it off. "Ah, but I guess I'm just getting all worried about nothing."

When Shadowman didn't reply, Rockman continued. "Oh! I just remembered- There's something else I need you to do for me, Shadowman."

"What is it, my Mistress?"

"I need you to…" Rockman whispered the rest of it to the shadow Navi. Shadowman only nodded once he had finished.

"Of course, Mistress." Shadowman said. "I shall do as you ask."

Rockman grinned. "Thankyou, Shadowman. You've really helped me out a lot." With that, he turned to leave the area, but not before saying one last thing to the shadow Navi. "Oh, I think that's all the matches finished for the first day of the N1 Grand Prix. I'm heading back to the Undernet now. You should get some rest too, alright?"

"..." Shadowman could only nod as the blue Navi logged out from the area, mulling over what his Mistress had said.

'He was worried about something happening to me…?'

The shadow Navi sighed, unknowingly gaining some newfound admiration for the blue Navi.

Chapter Text

"How was the N1 Grand Prix, Forte?" Rockman asked once the two returned back to the Undernet.

"..." The other Navi appeared uncertain of what to say. "It's okay." He paused, then added, as if an afterthought. "Not that I was expecting much."

"If you liked it, then just say so." Rockman pouted. "This is the first time that such a large-scale tournament's been held, but I know there's some mini tournaments we could go to if you wanted to spectate."

"I don't." The dark Navi insisted. "Their caliber of battle is hardly something to look at."

"Hmph. Alright then." Rockman mock-sighed. The blue Navi could tell that the other had at least enjoyed their time together, even if he wasn't all that particularly interested in the tournament itself. "I guess I'm going back tomorrow on my own, then. What a shame."

That got the other Navi's attention. The moment he wanted to make his way past the other, Forte intercepted him, stopping him with an arm around his waist. "No, you're not."

Rockman smiled. "Does that mean you're going with me now?"

Forte looked at him for a moment. "...Is this what Submissives do now?"

"...?" The blue Navi was confused. "Do what?"

"Stare at other NetNavies in front of their Dominants."

"...!" Pushing Forte back, the blue Navi took a step back. "That's- Whatever you're talking about, that's not it!" He blushed, half with embarrassment at what Forte was suggesting, and the other half in annoyance that he would even suggest that to begin with.

"Isn't it?" Unrelenting, the dark Navi took a step forward as he drew back. "You were so engrossed in them, that you didn't once look away. I had to see the whole thing."

"That's what people do at tournaments!" Rockman's face was entirely red as he yelled. He knew Forte was succeeding in getting a reaction out of him, but he still couldn't believe the other was actually accusing him of… of… lusting after other NetNavies.

Forte grabbed both of his wrists before Rockman could take another step back. The smaller Navi ended up being pulled against Forte's chest.

"Perhaps I should remind you who's submissive you are." Forte breathed against his ear.

"..."

Rockman shivered, lips twitching. He couldn't speak, gasping when Forte leaned down and bit down on his throat. The Navi himself was slightly worried about the other was going to do to him, but the Submissive inside of him was purring in delight. It couldn't wait.

The blue Navi struggled out of shyness and instinct when the larger Navi forced him onto the ground, tearing any clothing he had to shreds. He attempted to get back up, to turn around when Forte pushed him face-forward to the ground, but the dark Navi placed a hand on the back of his neck. "Stay."

He stilled immediately, without questioning it. It took him several moments to realized what had happened, and he attempted to look back and see what Forte was doing when he felt the other kick his legs open. "For- Forte…?"

"Hm." Rockman jerked, letting out a surprised gasp when he felt Forte's length push up against him, parting his slit slightly. "Is this how you present yourself whenever a Dominant appears before you?"

The smaller Navi's body tensed up instantly. He shook his head in embarrassment. "No! that's not- Annhh…!"

He was cut off by his own cry when Forte sheathed himself fully within him, whimpering as the larger Navi grabbed his hips and held him still when he attempted to get away. Rockman allowed his forehead to press against the ground as his body thobbed in want and pleasure at being forced open by his Dominant.

Forte bucked his hips, forcing out a sharp cry from the Navi below him as his insides were forced open even more. "I feel your insides twitching around me." Forte said as the smaller Navi shivered. "...Is this what happens every time you see a Dominant?"

That got a reaction out of Rockman immediately, his body jerking as he began to protest. "N-no! That's not- Hnn!" Forte had forced himself into the smaller Navi once more, effectively cutting off what he was going to say.

"Shit… You're so wet down there already." The dark Navi continued, edging him on. "I'm surprised I didn't see you leaking when you were watching all those other Navies."

"Forte!" Rockman was frantic now. Even the Submissive part of him was rejecting what the other Navi was accusing him of. Eyes wide, he looked back at the Navi above him and hissed. "That's not true!"

"..." Forte regarded the smaller Navi carefully, his face red and eyes teary, but still somehow maintaining that resolve of his. Sighing, he relented. "...I know."

Rockman sniffed, somewhat angry but mostly annoyed and frustrated at the other. "Then why would you say that?"

"..." Forte remained strangely silent, avoiding eye contact. The blue Navi looked at him curiously before a thought appeared in his mind.

"Forte, were you…" Rockman swallowed. "...were you jealous…?"

The dark Navi's gaze snapped back towards him. "No." He said, a bit too quickly.

"..."

The blue Navi's silence only seemed to unnerve him future. "I'm not!" He insisted.

Finally, Rockman couldn't help the short laugh that escaped him. He smiled softly at Forte's glare.

"S-sorry." the blue Navi grinned. "It's, it's just nice. To be wanted that way."

"...Hmph." Forte looked to the side. "...You only feel this way towards me?" It was more of a question than a statement.

Rockman nodded. "Only you."

Forte's gaze softened at that. He leaned down closer to the smaller Navi, Rockman twitching slightly when the action caused him to be further impaled on Forte's length.

"...I'll claim you as my own now." The larger Navi told him.

The blue Navi's breath hitched at that. "W-wait! Not… not like this…" He much preferred to be facing the other. It was more comforting that way.

Forte quickly understood what he meant and helped him turn around, the smaller Navi shivering when the other was still inside of him when doing so. Forte took hold of his waist once more when he was settled and kissed him. Rockman reciprocated his kiss, body shaking in anticipation as he slightly bucked his hips against the larger Navi.

That was all the confirmation Forte needed. Withdrawing until just the tip remained, he slammed back into the smaller Navi hard and fast, successfully drawing out several sharp cries and whines from the Navi below him. Rockman jerked slightly, his entire body now throbbing and clutching with delight and pleasure. The Submissive part of him was screaming in joy as it finally got what it wanted.

It didn't take Forte long to drag a climax out of the blue Navi; he was extremely familiar with Rockman's body at this point, and knew exactly what to do to get the reaction that he wanted. The blue Navi's body giving a harsh shudder as he came, a trail of slick being drawn out from in between his legs when Forte didn't relent in his pace.

"I'm going to pour myself deep inside of you." The dark Navi said as his movements became more jerky. He hissed when he felt the blue Navi clutching around him tighter. "Would you like that?"

The smaller Navi keened, unable to speak, but his pupils were blown wide with want. Rockman gasped as a familiar warmth flooded him. He held onto the Navi above him tightly and shivered, whimpering incoherently as he waited for the feeling to pass.

"Mega." Forte murmured after a while, kissing him over and over. Rockman whined briefly and turned his head to the side, glaring slightly at the other Navi.

"...Was it not good?" Forte asked him.

"Th-that's not it!" Rockman was flustered. "I, I liked it. It was just…" He sighed as he attempted to get his point across. "Just… just don't accuse me of doing things like that again. You know I'd never do that."

"I know." At least Forte had the gall to sound ashamed. "...I'm sorry."

Rockman made a small sound when Forte moved. "Good. Now get out-" He trailed off when Forte reached down with one hand, cupping his rear end and brushed against-

"...Hm." Forte appeared thoughtful. "I don't believe I've claimed you there yet."

"?!"

Alarmed, Rockman attempted to struggle out from under the larger Navi, but Forte already had him where he wanted him; there was no way he could fend off the other Navi when it came to physical strength.

"F-Forte! Don't…!"

"Not- Hnn! N-not there…!"

"A-ah! Hnn…"

Chapter Text

Rockman wasn't quite sure what he had been expecting, but he supposed Shadowman coming back with a Normal Navi- the shadow Navi had bound and gagged him, too- was the closest thing he could get. He heard the Navi's muffled screams as Shadowman set him down- Poor guy. He was obviously terrified.

"It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you." Rockman told the Normal Navi as he moved to take off the gag. "I'm just going to take this off, alright?"

"Please! I don't know anything! I'm just a Normal Navi- I swear!" The Navi cried once he was able to.

"He was watching Blues' and Rockman X's battle from afar, like you suspected he would, my Mistress." Shadowman interrupted him. The Navi visibly paled at that.

"I- I didn't have a choice!" The Normal Navi panicked. "Please- you have to believe me!"

That much was true. Rockman knew who this Navi was. He had met him before in his previous timeline.

The Normal Navi had been abandoned by his operator and ended up being recruited by WWW. Though unwilling, he had nowhere else to go, and had gone to observe his and Blues' net battle on their orders. The Navi had ended up being discovered by Blues in the middle of their fight and explained the entire thing out of pressure from the Net Police Officer, but once Blues had known about his affiliation with WWW, there was no stopping the red Navi from deleting the Normal Navi and taking his memory data for analysis.

"Please calm down." The blue Navi told him, trying to show the Navi he meant no harm as much as he could. "You were watching that Net Police Officer Blues' and that NetNavi Rockman X's netbattle, right?"

"No! I didn't- OUCH!" Shadowman had stepped on his foot. "Ow- OW! Okay, okay- I was!"

Rockman frowned at the shadow Navi- he really didn't approve of using violence to get answers out of other people.

"It's alright. I just want to know what happened." The blue Navi told him.

"But- But- But I don't really know that much!" The Normal Navi stammered.

"Just tell me what you saw." Rockman smiled.

"I…" The Navi paused, hesitating for a bit, but he flinched when he saw Shadowman grab the hilt of his sword. "Okay, okay, okay! I'll talk- I'll talk!"


"Hey, isn't that Enzan Ijuuin?" Hub Hikari said. The twins were walking home just after the end of the first day of the N1 Grand Prix when the elder Hikari noticed the other net battler across the street.

Netto Hikari looked where his sibling was looking at. "Who?"

"The person who set the twelve second record in one of the first matches of the tournament, Netto. Don't you remember?" Hub told him.

"Ah! I remember now!" The younger Hikari then turned to the other boy across the street. "Hey, Enzan!" The elder boy ignored him as he kept walking, but that did little to deter Netto.

"That was a great battle you had back there!" Netto continued yelling at him. "But you better watch out when we get paired against each other- I'm not going to lose to you!"

"Netto-kun, come on." Seeing that Enzan didn't appear to want to pay them any mind, Hub tried to get his younger sibling to stop.

"..." The white haired boy stayed silent for a while longer, before he spoke, just loud enough for the two other boys on the other side of the road to hear him. "You're so noisy."

The effect was immediate. "Hey!" Netto yelled back at him. "That's not nice!"

Enzan finally looked back, meeting the two Hikaris. "...I don't need a second-rate net battler telling me what to do."

"Wh- Hey! Take that back!" Netto Hikari attempted to run across the street to get to the other boy, but his elder sibling grabbed his arm, stopping him. "Netto! There's traffic here!"

"But Nii-san! Did you hear what he just said?"

"That's the point! He's trying to edge you on!"

"...!" It took the younger Hikari a second to fully process this.

"Hm." Seeing this, Enzan narrowed his eyes at the two. "...Seriously, how do you expect to win any net battle with that attitude of yours?" He turned back to the road before him. "You should just withdraw before you embarrass yourself…"

"What did you just say?!" Whatever his elder sibling had told him was long forgotten. "Why don't you stop and battle with me right now? I'm not afraid to beat your ass right here!" Netto continued yelling at the other boy as they walked. "Are you walking away because you're afraid me and my NetNavi will beat you, coward?"

That made the elder boy stop in his tracks. Netto smiled to himself. "So? Have you finally decided not to run?"

"...You're persistent, I'll give you that…" Enzan said, more to himself than anything. He turned back around, taking his PET out. "...Fine. Plug into the traffics system and I'll show you just how weak you are."

"You…!" Netto was fuming now. "We'll see about that!" He took out his own PET. "Come on, X! Let's get this guy! Plug in, Rockman X, transmission!" He plugged X into one of the terminals on the side of the street.

"Plug in, Blues, transmission!" Enzan did the same on the opposite side of the road.

In a flash of blue light, Rockman X entered into the traffics system. "Whoa, there's a lot of pathways in here…" The blue Navi commented once he entered into the system. "But, where's…?"

He was interrupted when a gust of whirlwind began to sped towards him, slicing and sweeping up pieces of data apart as it approached. Alarmed, Rockman X jumped down onto a lower platform, only just managing to duck out of the way of the swirl of blades. "That was…!"

The whirlwind broke apart shortly after, revealing a red Navi with long, white hair. "...Hmph."

"That guy is Blues?" Netto Hikari was stunned by the Navi's display of speed and power.

"He's fast…!" Rockman X nearly didn't see him approaching.

"If you're afraid, you can still plug out now." Enzan spoke out at to him.

"That's- That's not happening! Me and X aren't going to run away that easily!" Netto yelled back at him. Rockman X, though nervous, nodded, agreeing with his operator.

"Is that so?" Blues observed his opponent. "Then I suppose there's no reason for me to hold back anymore." In a flash, he disappeared once more, a sudden gust of wind blowing through the entire area.

"...! He's so quick, I can't see him!" Rockman X quickly realized that the gust was caused by how quickly the red Navi was moving. He formed his arm into a buster, attempting to take a shot at the red Navi, but he was attacked from behind and knocked even lower down the platforms before he could even realize what was happening.

"Is this how he managed to defeat all his opponents that quickly?" Netto Hikari realized.

"Blues can reach up to Mach five in speed." Enzan unhelpfully told him. "In other words… You're extremely outmatched."

"E-even if that's the case…!" Rockman X stood up, attempting to aim his buster again. "I won't- Arghhh!" This time, Blues' blade had sliced him from the side. Another well-aimed kick sent him flying into a wall.

"This…!" Netto was stunned. "...Can NetNavies really become this powerful?"

"So?" Enzan looked at the younger Hikari. "Do you give up yet?"

"..." Netto Hikari was strangely silent for a while. "...You're right. There's no way me and X can match up to you and Blues in speed, but…" He looked back up, grinning. "That doesn't mean we can't still beat you!"

The elder boy's eyes widened briefly in shock at his reply, before he grit his teeth. "...Blues, delete that Navi."

"Yes, Enzan-sama." The red Navi disappeared into a gust of wind once again, a whirlwind of slashes forming in his wake as he sped towards Rockman X.

"Netto, what are you doing?!" Hub Hikari grabbed his younger sibling by his shoulders. "Plug X out now or he'll be deleted!"

"..." Netto was smiling. "Are you ready, X?"

Rockman X smiled back. "I'm ready."

The blue Navi stood still as the fury of blades swept closer and closer towards him, as if taunting the other to take a stab at him. Finally, when Blues was close enough, he thrusted his sword forward, preparing to land the fatal blow onto the blue Navi-

Rockman X reacted. As Blues stabbed him with his sword, he quickly reached out and grabbed the other's wrist with his own hand, effectively stopping the red Navi from moving.

"!" Blues was alarmed. "What?!"

"Now's our chance!" Netto took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Giga Cannon! Slot in!"

Keeping Blues in place with his grip, Rockman X's other hand formed into a canon. "Giga Cannon!" Aiming it at the Navi before him, he fired it, point blank at Blues, the shot exploding on impact.

"Alright!" Netto grinned.

"We did it!" Rockman X smiled as well. Then, the Navi noticed something was wrong. "Wh-"

In an instant, a sword pierced his chest from behind.

"...A commendable attempt." The red Navi commented. "But all you managed to hit was just the fading image of myself." He pushed Rockman X off of his sword after that, the blue Navi collapsing to the ground, unable to battle anymore after that.

"No… no way!" Netto Hikari just stared at the scene before him.

"...Plug out, Blues." Enzan said. His NetNavi returned to his PET a moment later. "...Now you understand the difference in our strength. I won't hesitate to delete that Navi of yours next time." With that, he walked away.

"..." Hub Hikari looked at his younger sibling worriedly, the younger of the two was obviously devastated after that defeat. "Netto-kun?"

"..."

"That Enzan isn't as tough as he makes himself out to be, Netto-kun." Hub Hikari continued when the younger of the two didn't reply. "You did manage to damage Blues, you know."

"Huh?" That got Netto's attention. "I had…?"

"I saw it." Hub smiled encouragingly. "...Blues didn't show it, but you did manage to hit him. There was a bit of damaged data on his left arm, Netto."

"...!" Netto was silent for a brief moment, before he grinned. "That's… That's right!" He appeared to have regained his confident. "Even Blues isn't undefeatable! We'll get him, next time!"


Rockman was deep in thought once the Normal Navi had finished his story. He wasn't surprised by the outcome of their battle- after all, the same thing had pretty much happened to him, but it had definitely ended on a much more positive note.

"That's all I know! I swear!" The Normal Navi cried. "Please! I won't tell anyone! I don't want to be deleted!"

The blue Navi was snapped out of his thoughts. Turning to the Normal Navi, he spoke. "I said I wouldn't hurt you, remember?" Then, he smiled. "...What if I told you I can help you leave WWW?"

"Th-that's…" The Navi was stunned. "You… You can do that?"

Rockman nodded. "Of course."

"But, but…" The Normal Navi hesitated. "What if they come find me? They'll delete me for sure!"

"Don't worry about that." Rockman grew serious at that. "Sooner or later, there wouldn't be any WWW anymore." He promised himself that he wouldn't allow WWW, or any organization for that matter, to hurt anyone ever again.

"..." The Normal Navi considered his words for a while, before nodding. "O-okay. I, I never wanted to be in WWW in the first place, anyways…!"

"That's great." Rockman's smile returned. "Now, all you have to do is return to the surface net and…" The Normal Navi appeared a bit uncertain at first, but once Rockman had finished, he only stared at him in awe. "R-really? I, I can do that…?"

"Of course you can." Rockman reassured him. "Shadowman will take you back to the surface net, and you can continue on with your life after that."

"O-okay…" The Normal Navi nodded. "But… what about WWW…?"

"I'll take care of them." Rockman said, his look determined. "...I won't allow them to continue with what they're doing for long."

Chapter Text

"Aqua Tower!"

"Ice Bomb!"

As the Ice Bombs collided with the pillar of water, they exploded, freezing the Aqua Tower instantly, the attacks effectively canceling each other out. Roll and Iceman looked at each other, both panting from exhaustion.

"And it seems this match will be a close one as well!" Kiro exclaimed. "Amazing! The battles are getting more and more interesting as we draw nearer to the end of the final preliminaries!"

"I'm sorry, Tohru-kun! But Roll and I are going to give it our all in this battle!" Maylu told the boy at the other side of the Battle Sphere.

Tohru smiled back. "I wouldn't have it any other way- Me and Iceman aren't going to go easy on you, either!" Then, he nodded to his NetNavi. "Iceman! Let's finish this!"

Taking a deep breath, Iceman steadied himself as he prepared for his final attack. "Blizzard!"

"Let's go, Roll!" Maylu smiled, taking out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Cyclone! Slot in!"

As the gust of icy wind blew towards the pink Navi, she activated the Battle Chip data her operator had sent her, a Cyclone forming in her hands. As the two attacks clashed against each other, Iceman's Blizzard attack was sent ricocheting back to him, freezing the Navi in one fell swoop.

"Iceman is unable to battle!" Kiro announced as the match ended. "The winners of this match are Maylu Sakurai and her NetNavi, Roll!"

"Alright, Maylu! That was amazing!" Netto yelled from the spectator stand.

"Yeah. That was a great match. I really thought Tohru-kun had it, though." Hub smiled a bit sheepishly.

"We now come to the final match of the final preliminaries!" Kiro continued as both Maylu and Tohru left the stage. "Our final match will be Enzan Ijuuin and his NetNavi Blues, against Count Jack and his NetNavi, Elecman!"

"Elecman?" The name sounded familiar to Netto.

"Isn't he that NetNavi we fought on the train?" Hub remembered, too.

"Hey, you're right…" The younger Hikari frowned. "First Colouredman, then Fireman and now Elecman…"

"It would seem Enzan and Blues have also been targeted by WWW." Hub agreed with his sentiment.

"Damn it." Netto turned to his elder sibling. "Do you think they'll be alright?"

"Hm." Hub strangely smiled, shaking his head. "I wouldn't worry about them too much."

"Ha, you're done for, kid! Prepare to be deleted!" Count Jack yelled as he plugged in his Navi. Enzan didn't reply, only looking at his opponent silently as he plugged Blues into the Battle Sphere.

"Prepare to be electrocuted!" Elecman echoed his operator's statement once Blues logged onto the battle area.

"Battle Start!"

"Electric Blast!" Elecman went on the offensive immediately, shooting out several electric balls at his opponent, but Blues dodged out of the way of each of them effortlessly. "You're slow." He told the other Navi, as he formed his hand into a sword. Dashing towards the electric Navi, he took a swing. Elecman only barely managing to avoid the fatal blow.

Count Jack whistled. "Heh! That Navi of yours is pretty good, kid!" He laughed. "But he wouldn't be much use if you can't operate him!"

"...?" Enzan regarded his opponent carefully.

"It's show time~" The electric Navi's operator said as he raised his hand. An electric field crackled to life instantly, surrounding the entire Battle Dome, cutting off the audio and video feed from Blues to his operator's PET.

"Gah ha ha! What's the matter? Can't see a thing?" Count Jack taunted him. "That's too bad! I can see everything as clear as day over here!"

"You may be strong, but without your operator, even you can't defeat me!" Elecman told Blues within the Battle Sphere.

"...I see." Enzan said quietly. "So that's how you intend to win…"

"Oh? What's the matter? Afraid, kid?" His opponent grinned.

"Tricks like that won't work on me." The boy merely said as he took out three Battle Chips. "Blues! Programme Advance!"

Inside the Battle Sphere, Blues appeared to have heard his operator. He raised his hands as he prepared to receive the Battle Chip data from his operator. "Programme Advance!"

"Wh-what?" Elecman was stunned. "That's impossible- You shouldn't be able to reach your operator!"

Both the red Navi and his operator ignored him. "Attack Battle Chip; Sword! Slot in!" Blues' hand formed into a sword.

"Gh! Elecman! Stop them this instant!" Count Jac didn't want to wait to find out what would happen if he allowed the two to continue.

"Attack Battle Chip; Wide Sword! Slot in!" As Enzan sent the second chip data, Blues' other arm formed into a Wide Sword.

"I won't let you do that!" Elecman yelled. He thrusted both hands forward, sending a bolt of energy at his opponent. "Electric Blast!"

"Attack Battle Chip; Long Sword! Slot in!" As the final chip was slotted in, the entire audience gasped as a bright light engulfed the entire Battle Dome. No one could see what had happened, but they all heard Count Jack scream as the screen of his PET exploded from the overflow of energy. Once the light had faded, all the audience saw was the battle stage within the Battle Sphere had been completely split in half, only Blues remaining on it. Elecman was nowhere to be seen.

"Th-that's… Incredible!" Kiro was completely astonished. "The winners are Enzan Ijuuin and his NetNavi, Blues! But what power…! What happened…?"

"It seems Enzan and Blues had just performed a Programme Advance." Higgory was also in awe next to her.

"That- That was a Programme Advance?" Kiro turned to him, obviously shocked.

"Yes. A Programme Advance." Higgory nodded. "It's common knowledge that by using certain Battle Chips, their data would resonate with each other, and create a powerful attack known as Programme Advance. But few have actually managed to pull it off…" The Battle Chip collector pushed his glasses up slightly at that. "In fact, this is my first time to see one being used in battle…"

"That's amazing!" Kiro was ecstatic. "But why is Programme Advance so hard to pull off, Higgory?"

"Because Programme Advance isn't just about knowing the right combination and order of Battle Chips to input." Higgory explained as he looked at Enzan and Blues. "It's also about the synchronization of an operator and his NetNavi. If the operator and Navi aren't fully synchronized, then a Programme Advance is impossible, even if one has the necessary chips to perform it."

"That attack was a Programme Advance?" Netto was shocked as well. "But- But why haven't I heard about anything like that!"

"Netto-kun…" His elder brother sighed. "If you actually paid attention in class, you would know this."

"Hey!" The younger of the two frowned. Then, something crossed his mind. "Oh! Nii-san, you have all Sword, Long Sword and Wide Sword chips, don't you?"

Hub nodded. "Yeah."

Netto grinned. "Nii-san! Can you lend me those chips? I'd like to perform a Programme Advance, too!"

"What? No way!" Hub said, but his tone was teasing. "I still have matches to win! I can't just lend you all my chips willy-nilly!"

"Come on, Nii-san! Nii-san!" Netto chased after his elder sibling as the two of them ran out of the spectator's stand.

Watching the scene from above, Rockman smiled to himself. Neither of the twins acknowledged it, but it was obvious the two of them had a deep bond with the other.

"Interesting." Forte said.

"I know, right?" Rockman looked up, only to see that Forte wasn't actually talking about the twins. He was still busy looking over the Battle Index of the N1 Grand Prix.

"..." Quickly, he went over to the dark Navi. "What's so interesting?"

"Every match after this are going to be tag-team battles." Forte told him.

"Tag-team?"

"Hm. Two Navies are going to be randomly selected to fight against another pair of Navies until only one pair remains."

Rockman paused slightly at that. That would mean Netto and Hub Hikari would have a chance to be paired with each other and fight as a team! Rockman had seen how well the two worked together as a team, he couldn't wait to see them fight more opponents as a pair.

"That's not all, though." Forte continued. "It would appear they've done a draw, to have two defeated Navies come back as 'wild cards' in the tag-team battles."

"Oh?" Rockman was interested as well. "Who're those two Navies?"

"Colouredman and Fireman."

"Wh-what?!" The blue Navi wasn't expecting that!

Forte just looked at him. "...Is it really that much of a surprise? They've shown they'll do anything to achieve their goals, and rigging the drawing systems in the tournament wouldn't be out of the question."

Rockman frowned. "I don't believe it…" It would appear there really wasn't anything WWW wouldn't do to get what they wanted.

"Hm." Forte was strangely smiling. "I've changed my mind. Perhaps this tournament isn't as boring as I'd originally thought."

"Forte…" Rockman sighed. "You know I won't just stand aside and do nothing about this."

The dark Navi looked back at him. "...Of course not." He nodded. "You wouldn't be yourself if you had, Mega."

The Black Shadow and the Blue Myth looked at one another, seemingly coming to a mutual agreement of sorts as the next rounds of battles were announced.

Chapter Text

"The last of the preliminaries have been wrapped up! The upcoming matches will now all be tag-team battles, so netbattlers will have to work with each other to defeat their opponents!" Kiro announced shortly after the final match had ended. "Remember to cheer for your favourite net battlers, everyone!"

"Tag-team battles, huh?" Netto smiled briefly. He and his twin sibling were both currently on the spectator stand.

His elder sibling hummed. "I wonder who we'll get paired up with."

"That's not all!" Kiro continued once the cheering had died down a bit. "To begin the tournament's first tag-team match, we have a special announcement for everyone!" The reporter paused for dramatic effect. "We have selected two defeated contestants in the preliminaries as wild cards to compete in the first tag-team match! Meaning there's still a chance for these wild cards to be the N1 Grand Prix Tournament!"

"I wonder who they're going to be?" Hub mused. "Maybe it's someone we know?"

"And here are the results!" Kiro smiled as she read from her cue card. "The contestants competing to be number one netbattler in the N1 Grand Prix will be Madori Iroaya's Colouredman and Hino Kenichi's Fireman, against Hub Hikari's Rockman Zero and Maylu Sakurai's Roll!"

"What?! Those two! And they're dragging Maylu into this as well!" Netto yelled out in shock. He turned to his elder sibling. "Nii-san! You have to be careful! Who knows what they'll try this time!"

"Yeah…" Hub Hikari shared his concern. "I'll definitely look out for any tricks they pull."


"Well, well, well! Never thought you'd face us again, huh!" Madori was quick to taunt them once all four of them had stepped onto the stage.

"You're not getting away, this time!" Kenichi pointed a finger at the two fifth graders. "This time, you'll be burnt to cinders for sure!"

"How rude!" Maylu Sakurai frowned at the two WWW operators. "Well, I'm not afraid of you! And neither is Hub! Isn't that right?" She turned to her friend.

"Oh, y-yeah." Hub said, a bit belatedly. He remembered what tricks these WWW operators had pulled the last three times. Adding to the fact that this was a tag-team match, it made him anxious just thinking about what they were planning this time. He didn't want Maylu or Roll to get hurt.

"Well aren't you a feisty one!" Madori said in mock shock. "But let's see if you can still hold your head up high when you've been defeated!" The WWW operator took out the PET. "Go get them, Colouredman!"

"We've still have a score to settle in between us, too!" Kenichi followed suit. "Plug in, Fireman!"

"Hub and I won't lose to the likes of you!" Maylu seemed determined. "Plug in, Roll! Transmission!"

"Right- We'll give it our all!" Hub agreed. "Plug in, Rockman Zero! Transmission!"

The crowd cheered in anticipation for their battle as the four Navies plugged into the Battle Dome simultaneously. "Alright! Battle start!"

"Kee hee hee! You won't be getting away this time!" Colouredman acted instantly. The clown Navi raised his hand. "Aqua Tower!"

"I'm going to burn you to a crisp!" Fireman followed, slamming one of his arm canons into the ground. "Flame Tower!"

Both the pillars of fire and water sped towards Rockman Zero and Roll from opposite directions. Just as the red and pink Navies were bracing for the impact, the two opposite element pillars collided into each other, cancelling Colouredman's and Fireman's attack out all at once.

"Argh! What made you think using Flame Tower was a good idea?!" Madori was already yelling at her partner.

"What about you? You're the one who used Aqua Tower!" Hino yelled back at her.

"Maylu-chan!" Hub Hikari turned to his friend as he realized something. "Look!"

"I know!" Maylu Sakurai appeared to have realized this as well. "They really aren't good with working together, huh!"

"Yeah! We can gain the upper hand and win that way!" Hub concluded. He smiled at his friend. "When our chance comes, we'll…" He whispered the rest to Maylu, the girl grinning and nodded once he finished relaying his plan.

"Alright! Let's do that!"

"Hey! This is no time for you two to be chit-chatting!" Colouredman jumped up, preparing for an attack. "Ball attack!" He shot out the huge ball from underneath him.

"Let's do this, Roll!" Maylu took out her Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Cyclone! Slot in!"

Holding her arm out, a cyclone formed in Roll's hand. Aiming it at Colouredman's ball attack, the pink Navi sent it flying back at Colouredman, the clown Navi screaming in shock as his attack flew back towards where it had come from and collided with him, knocking him to the ground. Then, Roll turned to her teammate. "Ready?"

Rockman Zero nodded, smiling. "Ready!"

Smiling back, the pink Navi sent the gust of whirlwind out from her hands, the swirl of cyclone sweeping up the red Navi in its wake.

"What is this? Are you actually stupid?" Fireman laughed at the two, before he noticed something was wrong.

"Let's go! This is our special attack!" Hub took out one of his Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Long Sword! Slot in!"

"Fury Cutter!"

From within the cyclone, Rockman Zero formed his hand into the Long Sword, creating a whirlwind of slashes as the cyclone sped towards its the Fire Navi. Fireman's realization came too late, and he was unable to get out of the way in time as the flurry of blades slashed through him. The cyclone dissipated shortly after, releasing the red Navi within it unharmed.

"Alright! We did it!" Maylu cheered.

Hub was smiling as well; truth be told, he'd taken inspiration from watching his younger sibling's street battle with Enzan and his Navi, Blues. However, he noticed that something was up once he turned back to their opponents.

'That's weird. They don't appear to be worried at all.' Hub thought to himself as he watched the two WWW operators' expressions carefully. 'Don't tell me they're still planning something…?'

"Now!" Kenichi suddenly exclaimed. "We have him where we want him!"

As soon as he finished, a loud rumble sounded over the battle stage within the Battle Sphere, and a bolt of black lightning shot down from above. Rockman Zero stared in shock as the dark lightening sped towards him.

"Zero! Watch out!"

In an instant, Roll had pushed the red Navi out of the way, but the action resulted in her being struck by the dark electricity instead, the pink Navi screaming in pain as the shock ripple through her.

"Shit! We missed!" Madori cursed as she saw what happened.

"Tch. Whatever." Hino was annoyed as well, but he didn't seem as angry as his WWW co-worker appeared to be. "The effect is the same, anyways."

"R-Roll!" Rockman Zero could only look on in horror as the dark electricity crackled wildly around his friend. There was a bright flash of light, before the area within the Battle Sphere became oddly quiet. Reopening his eyes, Rockman Zero gasped in shock at what he saw.

Roll was standing before him silently, as if nothing had happened, but something was wrong. Her appearance seemed more menacing, and two dark, bat-like wings had sprouted out from her back. After a moment, the pink Navi opened her eyes and placed one of her hands before her, a look of surprise and annoyance briefly crossing her features as she did so.

"Roll…?" Rockman Zero was uncertain of what to do. Something told him his friend was not entirely herself at this moment in time. "Are you… okay?"

That got the pink Navi's attention instantly. Snapping her attention towards the red Navi, she scowled. "Silence!"

Rockman Zero only just managing to duck out of the way of a bolt of electricity as Roll pointed a finger at him. "Wh-what's gotten into you?!" The red Navi asked once he steadied himself.

"What's happened?" Kiro was dumbstruck as well. "It would seem that Roll has suddenly decided to attack her teammate!"

The pink Navi narrowed her eyes as she heard this. As Fireman and Colouredman approached her, she glared briefly at the both of them.

"What the fuck is this?" She hissed, just loud enough for the two WWW Navies to hear. "We agreed that I would take over that red Navi's body- not this pink chick!"

"What's done is done." Fireman hissed back at her. "Just stick to the plan- If we can delete that red Navi, then we would've effectively accomplished the exact same thing."

"You two!" By now, Rockman Zero would have been a fool to not know that something was definitely wrong. "What have you done to Roll-chan?"

Both WWW Navies and Roll looked back at him. Behind her, Colouredman gave Roll a nudge. "Come on, Elecman! Just do it!" He whispered to her.

The pink Navi let out a loud groan of frustration, falling silent for a brief moment, before she looked back up, grinning wickedly.

"They've done absolutely nothing!" The now-transformed Roll said with a bright smile. "I've just realized that I no longer wish to be your friend is all!"

Chapter Text


Rockman Zero gasped as he jumped out of the way of another one of Roll's bolt of electricity. "Roll! Snap out of it already! What's happened to you?"

"This is completely unexpected! It seems that Roll has indeed aligned herself with the opposite team! It's now three versus one!" Kiro explained to the entire audience.

"Roll-chan! Why are you doing this?" Maylu was distraught as well. "Can't you see that we're your friends?"

"Friends…?" The pink Navi narrowed her eyes. Raising her hands once more, she shot out another blast of energy towards Rockman Zero. "I would rather be deleted than be associated with you!" The red Navi wasn't fast enough to dodge out of the way of this shot, and he screamed as the beam of electricity electrocuted him.

"Zero!" Hub was horrified.

"Roll, stop this!" Maylu attempted to get through to her Navi once more. "Don't you remember us?"

"Do I remember who you are…?" Roll paused slightly, narrowing her eyes, before she broke out into a grin. "Of course I do- How can I forget? You're my annoying ex-operator who's always telling me to do things!"

"R-Roll!" The girl was taken aback.

"How could you say that?" Rockman Zero slowly steadied himself.

"I told you- I no longer want to be associated with you lot!" Roll proclaimed loudly as she turned to Maylu. "I denounce you as my operator!"

There was a collective gasp within the Battle Dome. "An operator being abandoned by her NetNavi! This is completely unheard of!" Kiro exclaimed.

Maylu was barely holding back tears at this point. Hub placed one hand on her shoulder. "Maylu-chan, I don't think that's Roll…"

"Hub-san is right." Rockman Zero nodded. "Roll-chan would never say things like that!"

"But- But then, what's happened to Roll?" Maylu was frantic.

"I'm not sure…" Hub frowned. "But I think it might have something to do with that black electricity…"

"That's right." Rockman Zero seemed to have realized something. "That black electricity was aimed at me, but then Roll had pushed me out of the way…" The red Navi shuddered. He couldn't even imagine what would have happened if that lightenling had struck him.

The girl seemed to ponder this for a moment, before she nodded her head hesitantly. He knew her Navi well enough to know that there was no way Roll would act like this on her own accord. "Then how will we return her back to normal?"

"I'm not sure… huh?" Hub frowned. Someone was attempting to initiate an audio call with him. "That's weird… I'm pretty sure I've turned that off for the match…" The boy paused for a slight moment, before he accepted the transmission out of sheer curiosity. "Who is this…?"

"Your friends have realized that a radio wave transmitter is being used to control your pink friend." A voice spoke out before he could say anything else. Hub recognized the voice instantly.

"It's you!" He remembered the voice to be that of that strange Navi which had helped them defeat the giant virus responsible for the Battle Dome's malfunction last time. "Who are you? And why-"

"I trust that even you can accomplish something as simple as surviving until your friends have located the transmitter." The voice continued, ignoring him. Then, the audio feed was completely cut out.

"Hub…?" Maylu had heard the entire conversation. "You know that person…?"

"No really…" The elder Hikari admitted. "But he's helped us out before, during Netto's and X's battle with Fireman."

Maylu was surprised by that realization, but she was still worried. "What should we do now…?"

Hub cast a quick glance towards the spectator stand, and quickly noticed that his younger sibling as their group of friends are indeed nowhere to be seen within the crowd. He turned back to the battle before hand. "We don't have a choice. Zero and I will just have to hold out until Netto-kun and the others find where they're sending the radio waves to control Roll-chan are coming from."

"Whatever you're planning, it's not going to work!" Fireman aimed one of his arm canons at Rockman Zero.

"That's right! Hee hee!" Colouredman spoke up as well. "You'll be deleted long before then! Ha!" Then, the clown Navi jumped up into the air. "Ball attack!"

Seeing the attack coming, Rockman Zero only just managed to form his hand into a sword and cut the huge ball in half as it sped towards him, but that had left him open for attack.

"You're finished now!" Fireman fired shot after shot of fire at the red Navi. "Fire Blast!"

"Zero! Look out!" Hub reacted instantly. "Battle Chip; Area Steal! Slot in!"

Rockman Zero disappeared just as the barrage of flames rained down upon him. He reappeared behind Fireman. Just as he raised his sword to strike down the fire Navi, a familiar figure stepped in between the two Navies.

"Roll!" Not wanting to hurt his friend, Rockman Zero faltered in his attack immediately. "What are you doing?!"

"Tch. How noisy." The pink Navi ignored him, and instead, just pointed a finger at him. "This will silence you!"

A bolt of electricity shot out from her fingertips at that same moment. The red Navi neither had the time to anticipate nor dodge away from the attack, and was electrocuted once more as the energy shocked him. He fell to the ground in pain as Roll approached him with an amused expression on her face.

"What're the matter, Zero?" Roll asked looked down at him. "Do you find me that electrifying?" Her grin only widened as the red Navi looked up at him with a pained expression. "Don't you worry- I'm far from being done with you!" The pink Navi then tossed her head back, letting out a high-pitched laugh. "Kya ha ha ha ha~!"

Behind her, both Fireman and Colouredman felt a chill go down their spines.


"Glide, have you managed to pinpoint the exact location of where the radio waves are coming from yet?" Rockman X asked as the group of Navies sped through the cyberworld.

"Not yet, but I am getting close. It should only be several moments more for me to locate it." Glide replied.

"Guts! How dare WWW use Roll-chan for their schemes! Guts!" Gutsman was angered.

"I can't believe it, either!" Iceman agreed with Gutsman's sentiment. "But- but there's still one thing that worries me…"

"What is it?" Rockman X asked as he looked back at his friend.

"Well, it's about that audio message from that Navi…" Iceman seemed a bit lost for words, before he blurted out. "A-are we sure we can trust that guy?!"

"I'm not sure, but he's helped us out before, hasn't he?" Rockman X reasoned.

"But that doesn't mean we can trust him!"

"Huh? Why not?"

"B-because!" Iceman appeared unusually flustered. "He's scary! How can you trust someone that scary?"

"..." Rockman X didn't have an answer for that.

"I've got it." Glide spoke out as he located the source of the radio waves. "This way!"

Following Glide, it didn't take long before the group of Navies logged into the systems where the radio waves were transmitted from. The group was slightly taken aback at the large contraption that stood in the center of the system.

"So this is what they're using to transmit the bad waves, guts?" Gutsman was a bit uncertain.

"It would seem that is the case." Glide said as he looked at the contraption. Four large lightning rods stuck out from the main body of the machine, and there appeared to be a faint outline of another NetNavi within the centre of the strange device as it hummed with energy. "I suspect that if we destroy it, we will be able to return Roll back to normal!"

"Guts! Leave it to me, guts!" Gutsman raised both his hands, forming them into a hammer. "Guts Hammer!"

He slammed the Guts Hammer down onto the strange machine, but an energy field crackled to life instantly, protecting the device from harm. Gutsman was flung back as repeated attempts of damaging the radio-emitting device cause the electric field around it to flare up, striking him.

"Here, let me try!" Rockman X aimex his buster at the machine. "Charge Shot!"

Shooting out a large energy blast from his buster, the shot flew towards the strange device, but the electric field around it had once again protected it from harm.

"Damn it! None of our attacks are working!" Rockman X quickly realized. "There must be some way to destroy this thing…!"

"...Hm. I suppose it cannot be helped."

"H- Who's there?!" The group turned towards the voice instantly, and another Navi stepped out from the shadows.

"I-it's you!" Iceman recognized the Navi immediately. "You're that Navi from last time!"

"..." The unknown Navi paid him no mind and he unsheathed his sword. "Step aside."

That was the only warning he had gave the group before he slashed at the machine in one swift movement. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the radio-emitting device slowly began to collapse and cave into itself from where the strange Navi's sword had cut through it, a loud rumble sounding out through the entire area as the device was finally destroyed and rendered useless.

Meanwhile, Rockman X was gaping in shock at the scene before him. 'Such power…!'

There were interrupted by the sounds of someone coughing just as the rumbling from the machine had died down. From within the rubble, Elecman emerged, his entire body covered in damaged data.

"... I am uncertain whether to feel annoyed or relieved that this plan of ours had been foiled." The electric Navi said.

"You're that WWW Navi!" Iceman pointed an accusing finger at him. "Give up! You can't beat us all!"

"Tch." Elecman didn't seem amused. Instead, he turned his attention towards the strange Navi.

"So it was you all along that had been interfering with our plans." Elecman acknowledged the strange Navi. "I do not know who you are, but be warned. We will be prepared for you next time!" With that, Elecman logged out of the systems, the fading laugh of "kya ha ha~" sounding out through the area as he did so.

The group shivered collectively. They didn't think they could look at the electric Navi the same way again.

"...Hey." Now that the urgent thing had been resolved, Rockman X turned towards the mysterious Navi. "...I still don't know who you are, or what your intentions are… but thanks for helping us. Again."

"..." The strange Navi was silent for a moment. "You need not thank me. I am merely following the orders of my Mistress." With that, the strange Navi disappeared once more, leaving the group with more questions left unanswered.

Chapter Text

"Ahn… Hn… N-no…"

Rockman gasped softly as Forte bucked his hips into him once more, both of the blue Navi's legs were spread wide while the other's entire length slammed into him, hitting his soft, sensitive opening in there. Rockman shivered and keened as he felt whatever the dark Navi had left in there previously slosh around slightly. The blue Navi found himself unable to offer up any sort of resistance as the dark Navi began their third- fourth? Rockman couldn't remember at this point- round for the night.

The blue Navi shook his head, sobbing quietly as the larger Navi thrusted in and out of him, his insides clutching in slight discomfort around Forte's length as he was beginning to feel sore from the dark Navi's persistence.

"For-Forte… Stop…"

He whimpered when Forte merely grabbed his hips tighter, licking away any tears he spilled.

"Just one more." Forte told him as he continued to buck into the Navi below him. "Just once more and we'll be done, alright?"

Rockman sobbed harder. Ever since Forte had gotten a taste of him, the dark Navi never once passed off on any opportunity to have him again and again. The blue Navi wasn't sure how much more of it he could handle.

He would never have expected it. Even though he had known he would try his best to befriend Forte after seeing the dark Navi for the first time after he was sent back into the past, Rockman had never expected that this was the position he and Forte would end up in, with him writhing and whining underneath the larger Navi as the other repeatedly slammed into him.

"Mega…"

Rockman's eyelids fluttered softly as he attempted to respond to the other. However, as their gaze met, the smaller Navi's breath hitched- Forte always had a way to invoke some sort of emotional response from other people just from his gaze alone, and he couldn't help the cry of pleasure that escaped him as he was split around Forte's entire length repeatedly.

Even in his previous timeline, Forte was extremely good at making others feel what he wanted them to- There was a reason why so many people, both Navies and humans alike feared the Black Shadow with their lives, and Rockman couldn't say he blamed them. It took all but one look to see the intensity of power, hate and rage within the dark Navi's eyes, and the blue Navi would be lying if he said he had not been terrified as well when he first encountered the Black Shadow inside the Undernet. It was just that the terrible fear that he had experienced was also accompanied by an overwhelming excitement of having finally met the strongest Navi in the Undernet that had allowed him to suppress the fear and terror that Forte had invoked within him.

It was just a thing that the dark Navi was able to do, to invoke an intense emotional response from his victims just by looking at them. Rockman realized that Forte was doing the exact same thing to him now, yet instead of hate or rage or anger, the dark Navi was now looking at him with want and lust. But this time, the blue Navi felt himself completely helpless to whatever emotions Forte was managing to draw out within him.

Forte must have felt the shift in emotions within him, as well. He paused slightly just as he sheathed himself in the smaller Navi fully to grind against his soft insides, causing him to let out a long whine in response.

It made him feel slightly dirty, that Forte could make him aroused with just a single glance.

"Forte!" Rockman gasped as the other Navi bit him. He struggled slightly in embarrassment with whatever little strength he had left as the other Navi teased him. Another inward thrust had rendered him still as his entire body quivered with pleasure.

"Not yet." Forte told him. The dark Navi never once stopped in his pace. "I'm not done with you yet."

Rockman began whimpering incoherently, unable to reply as his insides quivered in delight, clutching rhythmically to meet each of the larger Navi's thrusts. For a moment, his pupils were blown wide with want, staring at nothing in particular as his body accepted everything Forte was doing to him with enthusiasm and joy, until the blue Navi suddenly noticed a strange look in Forte's eyes.

The blue Navi's blush deepened as his vision snapped back into focus. Rockman recognized that look.

Whenever Forte had talked about his desire for power, whenever he talked about his goal to become the strongest Navi by destroying and absorbing all of his enemies powers, and whenever he vowed his vengeance on the humanity that had betrayed him… He had that exact same look in his eyes that accompanied the hate, anger and desperation.

It was the look of hunger.

It was the exact same look, when Forte had hungered for power, when he had hungered for revenge-

And now, it was hunger for him…?

Rockman gasped and jerked as realization struck him. No wonder Forte was so persistent with his advances- No wonder he was never able to reject any of Forte's advances. If the previous incarnation of Forte had told him anything, it was that whatever the dark Navi hungered for, he would get- regardless of the consequences, or anything at all.

Rockman's eyes widened at the thought that the dark Navi's hunger was now directed at him. A bit of panic and uncertainty shot through him as he realized this, but the Submissive part of him was absolutely squealing in delight that he had his Dominant's unwavering attention, that his Dominant wanted him with such determination and desperation and-

His own climax caught him off guard. The blue Navi let out something in between a cry and a whine as his entire body tensed up, his insides clenching in desire as he came, a gush of slick trailing down his thighs as Forte continued to fuck him through his orgasm, the smaller Navi sobbing harder in overstimulation, while his entire form was quivering in ecstasy. It took Rockman a moment to realize what had happened; He had came just from the thought that Forte had desired him with such intensity…!

The blue Navi began to keen loudly as his orgasm subsided. The other was still slamming into him with enough force to jolt his entire form, his inner opening had long been forced wide open and sore from the other Navi's persistence; It was too much- Forte's want and desire was too much- He was going to break…!

Rockman snapped back into awareness as Forte came inside of him, spilling himself deep within him for the third or fourth time that night, and he shivered, clutching the Navi above him tightly as he whined. He could feel the other filling him up in there

Then, Forte was kissing him. Rockman didn't have the strength to reject or reciprocate the dark Navi's actions, sighing slightly as the other Navi pulled away slightly, finally allowed him some time to recover.

He never would have guessed, that Forte would desire him with such intensity; or that he would want Forte to desire him with such intensity…

But then again, he never guessed that he would be sent back in time in the first place, had he?

"Mega." The blue Navi was brought out of his thoughts as Forte nudged him. He was still dazed, not having fully recovered from his climax yet.

"Forte…" He was tired, and his entire body sore at this point. He closed his eyes, wanting to pass out, when he felt the other Navi thrust up, sharply.

Rockman's breath was caught in his throat, his eyes snapped wide open. "F-Forte! No!"

"..." The dark Navi met his gaze with that look again. "Just one more round." He said.

"...!" Rockman shook his head, but the other's gaze was staring right through him. The blue Navi couldn't bring himself to say no as the Navi above him started once more, drawing out a series of moans and sobs from him as his entire body was soon flooded with pleasure.

It didn't appear he would be getting much rest this night, either.

Chapter Text

"Variant Sword!"

Colouredman screamed as he was sliced in half. He plugged out from the Battle Sphere to avoid deletion. With one of his opponents taken care of, Rockman Zero now turned to Fireman.

The fire Navi visibly tensed. As soon as the radio waves that they were using to control Roll had been cut off, there was no reason for Rockman: Zero to hold back anymore, and the red Navi had begun to attack the two of them relentlessly.

"Let's end this, Zero!" Hub took out his final Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Z-Saber! Slot in!"

Seeing this, Fireman raised both his arm cannons at the red Navi. "Fire Blast!" It was his last attempt at fighting back.

Dashing towards the fire Navi, Rockman Zero slashed through the ball of fire easily with his Z Saber. Another quick movement and the red Navi had successfully rammed his saber through his opponent's chest, cutting Fireman wide open and forcing him to plug out moments later.

"Amazing! Rockman Zero has managed to pull out an incredible victory in the end!" Kiro exclaimed. "The winners of this match are Hub Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman Zero, and Maylu Sakurai and her NetNavi, Roll!"

Hub let out a side of relief. That had been too close for his liking. He turned to Maylu. "Maylu-chan, is Roll alright?"

"Yes, she's fine, that's to you two." The girl had been able to plug her Navi out once she had returned to normal. "But she's really badly hurt. Whatever they did to her… I don't think we'll be able to compete in the tournament anymore…"

"It's fine, Maylu." Hub tried his best to comfort her. "At least Roll is safe now. That's the most important thing."

"...You're right." The girl nodded in agreement. "But you or Netto better win the tournament for us! Okay?"

The elder Hikari smiled softly. "Don't worry, we will!"

Above the Battle Sphere, Rockman also breathed a sigh of relief. It appears that there wasn't anything WWW wouldn't do to get rid of the foilers of their plans in this tournament. For a moment, the blue Navi could understand how Roll and the others had felt in his previous timeline; just being able to watch in worry from the sidelines and unable to actively help wasn't a good feeling to experience. It was one of the reasons he wanted to become stronger in the first place- So that he didn't have to feel that same sort of worry or helplessness of being unable to help.

"...Mistress?"

Rockman turned to face the shadow Navi. "Oh, Shadowman." He smiled sheepishly. "Thanks for helping me with WWW again. It seems I'm always relying on you for these things."

"...I had gotten careless. WWW is now aware of my interference." Shadowman told him. "I apologize for that, my Mistress."

The blue Navi frowned slightly upon hearing that. "...Well, I guess it can't be helped. Just be more careful in the future, Shadowman. Now that they know about you, I'm not sure what WWW will do… Don't get yourself hurt, alright?"

The shadow Navi paused slightly, obviously not expecting the reply he got. "I shall be fully alert, my Mistress. They will not catch me off guard."

"Alright." Rockman nodded. "Anyways, thanks again for looking out for the twins for me."


It was several more matches before one of the battles had caught Rockman's attention once more.

"Our next battle will be Gutsman and Woodman against Bomberman and Stoneman!"

The blue Navi blinked. If he remembered correctly, both Bomberman and Stoneman were WWW Navies; he encountered Stoneman while the Navi had gone on a rampage through the cyber world, destroying anything in his path, and Rockman didn't encounter Bomberman until after WWW had been defeated. In fact, Bomberman had been the one to lure him and Blues into the Undernet where they had fought and first encountered the Black Shadow.

He narrowed his eyes slightly at the thought. He realized that both Bomberman and Stoneman's early appearance in this timeline was likely in no small part due to him going back in time and changing things, but despite knowing that there was a possibility that he could alter future events with his actions, he couldn't bring himself to just sit back and let things happen. Not when he knew he could prevent them this time around.

However, that wasn't the only thing that worried him.

"Forte… those two operators…" Rockman looked towards the direction of the cloaked figures of Bomberman and Stoneman's operators as he said this. Forte followed his gaze, regarding the two figures carefully, before he must have realized the same thing Rockman had as well.

"Interesting." The dark Navi murmured softly to himself. Below them, the four competing Navies have already plugged into the Battle Sphere.

"So, you two will be our opponents for this round." Bomberman said as the two teams approached the other.

"That's right, Guts! Prepare to be defeated!" Gutsman pounded his chest in confidence.

"Kuhuhuh…" At this, Stoneman let out a strange laugh.

"Huh? What's so funny?" Woodman didn't appear amused.

"Such weak Navies…" Stoneman continued, his two round eyes gleaming. "You wouldn't be able to move us from where we stand…"

"Guts!" That comment had apparently angered Gutsman. "We'll see about that, Guts!"

"Alright! Battle Start!" Kiro announced from the announcer's stand.

"Guts Hammer!" Slamming his hammer down onto the ground, Gutsman sent a shockwave towards Bomberman, the WWW Navi just standing in place and the shockwave sped towards him, creating a large explosion as the attack collided with him.

"Woody Tower!" Woodman went on the offensive as well. Throwing both his hands up, pillars of Wood sprouted out from the ground around Stoneman, surrounding the giant Navi in an instant.

"Amazing! It seems that Gutsman and Woodman aren't giving their opponents a chance to fight back and have gained the upper hand!" Kiro exclaimed. Then, there was a pause when she noticed something. "W-wait! There's something inside the smoke…!"

As the dust and smoke cleared, the entire audience could see Bomberman unharmed, standing in the exact same place that he had before Gutsman had even attacked him. At the same time, there was a loud rumble, before the pillars of wood snapped and broke, Stoneman emerging from the broken remains of the Woody Towers, also unharmed.

"I-incredible! Bomberman and Stoneman are completely unaffected!" Kiro was floored. The crowd appeared just as shocked as well.

"That's weird." Higgory suddenly spoke out.

"Huh? What is it?" Kiro turned to him.

"Well, while it's the NetNavi that's actively engaging in a net battle, the net operator also plays a significant role in the battle as well, by sending their Navies Battle Chips to use." The chip trader tapped his chin lightly at that. "But… since plugging in their Navies, Bomberman and Stoneman's operator don't seem to be doing anything…"

"That's…" Curious, the reporter looked at the two operators. Indeed, they appeared to be just standing there, acting as mere observants to their NetNavies' battle.

"That's because they aren't real operators."

"Ahh!" Both Kiro and Higgory jumped at the new voice. "M-Miyuki Kuroi! H-how did you get up here?" Kiro was surprised by the sudden appearance of the fortune teller.

"..." Wordlessly, Miyuki took out a small metal spoon and made a quick slashing movement with it. At the same instant, both the cables linking Bomberman and Stoneman's PET to the Battle Sphere were snapped in half.

"A-ah!" Kiro was once again shocked. "Bomberman and Stoneman's connection to the Battle Sphere has been cut! They should be plugged out right now, but…" The reported swallowed briefly. "But they're still inside of the Battle Sphere!"

The two WWW remained where they were, unfazed by the announcement. Their opponents took a step back in shock. "H-how…?"

"Could it be…" Higgory seemed to have come to a realization. "That Bomberman and Stoneman are independent Navies?"

There was a murmur among the crowd, most of them not completely comprehending what the commentator had meant by that. "What's an independent Navi, Higgory?" Kiro asked for clarification.

"An independent Navi is a Navi that has no need for an operator." Higgory explained, pushing his glasses up. "They can think and act completely on their own according, and even make their own decisions during net battles."

Kiro gasped. "Does such a thing really exist?"

"Heh heh heh…" Within the Battle Sphere, Bomberman began to laugh. "It is true. Stoneman and I are independent Navies- We have no use for operators! Those two-" He raised a hand at their two operators. "Are merely our puppets!"

As the two operators flung off their cloaks, there was an entire gasp among the entire audience; There, in the spot where Bomberman and Stoneman's operator should be, stood two androids instead.

"Then...!" Kiro was alarmed by this development of things. "Gutsman and Woodman are indeed fighting against two NetNavies without operators!"

"S-so what, guts!" Gutsman seemed to have regained some of his confidence. Raising his fists, he ran up towards Bomberman. "Guts Punch!"

Seeing this, Woodman went in to support his teammate. "Woody Tower!"

Bomberman once again stood still as Gutsman rushed towards him. Just before Gutsman could swing his fist, Bomberman reacted; he matched Gutsman's attack with his own, countering him with a punch through his chest. Gutsman giving out a cry of pain before he was forced to plug out to avoid deletion. At the same exact moment, Stoneman summoned his own attack. "Stone Cube!"

A gigantic block of stone formed above Stoneman's head, before it was sent hurtling towards Woodman, striking him full force. Woodman had plugged out from the Battle Sphere not a moment later. There was no way he could continue fighting after he had sustained so much damage.

"Gutsman and Woodman have plugged out! The winners are Bomberman and Stoneman!" Kiro seemed to hesitate slightly at this. "B-but, is this allowed…?"

"Well… There's no rules saying anything against independant Navies participating in the tournament…" Higgory said as he flipped through the N1 Grand Prix manuel.

"Then…" Kiro quickly regained her composure. "What an unexpected turn of events, to have two independent Navies participating in the N1 Grand Prix! How would regular Navies fair up against fully independent Navies? We'll just have to see more in their next match!"

As the crow cheered in anticipation, Rockman's mind was swarmed with worry.

"I can't believe they made more." The blue Navi turned to Forte, realizing what the other had meant; Forte had been the first fully independent NetNavi, and it was probably a surprise to him that people would create more independent Navies after what had happened with him.

"Forte, I… I think those two are part of WWW as well." Rockman told him.

The dark Navi raised an eyebrow at him. "What makes you think that?"

"I-" The blue Navi paused. Indeed. As of yet, he had no proof of the two Navies' connection to WWW other than his own experience. "I… It's just a feeling I have."

"Hm." Forte was silent for a moment. "Normally, I would be more skeptical, but considering you've been right about quite a few things up to this point, I'll allow you some benefit of doubt." The dark Navi handed him the Battle Index for the N1 Grand Prix. "Besides, if the current pattern of the twins facing WWW NetNavies is to continue, I would say that your guess isn't that far off."

Rockman looked at what Forte was showing him, and his heart stopped.

'No! This can't be!'

Netto Hikari and Hub Hikari's next match was up against Bomberman and Stoneman.

Chapter Text

"We've had a series of amazing battles so far! And now, we come to our next match- The two fully independent Navies Bomberman and Stoneman, versus the Hikari twins Hub Hikari and Netto Hikari, and their NetNavies Rockman Zero and Rockman X!" The crowd cheered wildly as both Bomberman and Stoneman logged into the battle sphere on their own accord; after it was revealed that the two had been independent Navies, there was no reason to pretend that they have operators anymore.

Both Hikaris stepped onto the stage not long after. "I still can't believe such a thing like independent Navies are real." Netto mumbled softly.

"Well, there are some people who don't have NetNavies and can still go about their daily lives just fine. I guess the same is true with NetNavies." Hub pondered. "...But if they don't have operators, then how are they going to be able to use Battle Chips…?"

"I guess that means we're at an advantage, then!" The younger Hikari beamed.

"I suppose…" Hub wasn't as relaxed as his younger sibling. He didn't think the two independent Navies would join a tournament with such a handicap, and knowing how powerful the two were after their last match… The entire thing just didn't sit well with him. "But that doesn't mean we should let our guard down. Be careful, Netto!"

"Alright, I get it! Now let's win this thing!" Netto Hikari took out his PET as he approached the Battle Sphere. "Plug in!"

"Rockman X!"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Transmission!"

In a flash of red and blue light, both Navies plugged into the Battle Sphere, and the two opposite sides regarded the other silently for a moment.

"And the contestants are ready!" Kiro was ecstatic. "Alright! Battle start!"

"We'll take care of Bomberman; You go after Stoneman!" Netto told the elder Hikari as he took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Canon! Slot in!"

Aiming his hand at Bomberman, Rockman X's hand turned into a canon. "Take this!" He fired the shot at the bomb Navi, the blast exploding on impact.

"Yes! We got him!" Netto grinned.

"Wait! Something's not right!" Hub told his younger sibling as he noticed something. As the smoke from the blast had cleared, the two saw that Bombman was surrounded by a barrier, leaving him unharmed from the attack.

"That's the Battle Chip data for Barrier!" Netto Hikari quickly realized. "But- but they don't have operators! How are they able to use Battle Chips?"

Bomberman crossed his arms and snorted. "We told you, we have no need for operators!" He declared. "Us independent Navies can use our own custom Battle Chips in battles, eliminating the need for net operators!"

Hub Hikari narrowed his eyes. So that's what the two were hiding. They'll just have to be extra careful. "Let's go, Zero! Attack Battle Chip; Variant Sword! Sl-"

"Quake!" Before the elder Hikari could even slot his Battle Chip into the PET, Stoneman had summoned several large weights, the weights falling from the air and crashing onto the battle stage, knocking Rockman Zero over before the Battle Chip data could be received.

"Zero!" Hub was alarmed. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." The red Navi quickly stood back up. "...But how are they able to attack so quickly…?"

"What an exciting match! Both Rockman X and Rockman Zero have gone on the offensive, but their attacks have been completely countered by Bomberman and Stoneman!" Kiro cried out from the announcement stand. "Higgory! Since this is the first time we've seen an independent Navi fight in a tournament, would you mind sharing some of your insights on this match?"

"Well…" The Battle Chip trader took a moment to gather his thoughts. "If I were to be completely honest, I believe independent Navies have an edge over regular NetNavies in net battles."

"Ehh? But don't NetNavies need their operators to send them Battle Chip data to use in battles? Doesn't that mean regular, human operated Navies have more advantage?" Kiro asked, obviously confused.

"That's true." Higgory acknolwedged. "But some NetNavies are able to use spare Battle Chip data, or custom Battle Chips in net battles even in the absence of their operators." He paused slightly, watching as Bomberman threw a Black Bomb at his opponents. "And it would appear that both Bomberman and Stoneman fall into this category."

"Okay, but how does that give independent Navies an edge over regular Navies? They're both using Battle Chip data to fight in battle, aren't they?" Kiro questioned.

"The key is in the timing." Higgory grew stern at that. "While regular NetNavies may have access to a wider Battle Chip selection than independent Navies, their operator have to send over the chip data before they are actually able to use it. The time that net operators take to assess the situation, pick out a Battle Chip and slot it in are all precious moments that regular NetNavies waste during net battles. In contrast…"

"Ah! Could it be…" Kiro appeared to have picked up on what Huggory was implying. "That independent Navies can use any Battle Chip data they want instantaneously?"

The Battle Chip trader nodded. "As a result, independent Navies can attack much faster and with more efficiency than regular Navies ever could." He paused slightly just as Stoneman had sent another barrage of Quakes towards Rockman X and Rockman Zero. "This is difference between independent and regular Navies."

Meanwhile, on the stage, both Hikari twins were in quite the predicament.

"Damn it! None of our attacks are working!" Netto realized. "They just keep on countering anything we do!"

"That can't be helped." Hub Hikari seemed to have come to a conclusion. "They're reacting too fast for us to keep up."

"Then what can we do, Nii-san! We can't just lose!" The younger Hikari was beginning to panic at this point. His elder sibling fell quiet for a moment, as if considering something, before he turned to his younger sibling.

"I have a plan." Hub told his sibling. "When I give the signal…" He whispered the rest to Netto, the boy was confused for a moment, before a moment of surprise crossed his features, quickly followed by a grin as he appeared to have understood something.

"Alright! Let's do this!" Netto took out several Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

"Take this!" Rockman X began throwing bomb after bomb at the two independent Navies once he received the Battle Chip data. As expected, Bomberman activated a barrier around him and Stoneman, effectively keeping the two Navies safe from harm.

"Useless tricks won't work on us…" Stoneman grumbled, unimpressed.

"Then what about this?" Netto took out another Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Sl-"

"Canon Ball!" Several Canon Balls flew towards Rockman X, but before they could hit their intended target, the blue Navi disappeared from view entirely. "Wh-what?!" Bomberman's cool composure was finally broken.

"That was Area Steal, idiot!" The younger Hikari stuck his tongue out. "Now's your chance, Nii-san!"

"Hm?" Stoneman let out a low grumble. The two independent Navies didn't realize what the two twins had planned until Rockman Zero had suddenly appeared behind them, his hand already formed into a sword.

"Now, Zero!"

"Variant Sword!" With a slash, Rockman Zero sent a wave of energy towards Bomberman and Stoneman, the two independent Navies caught off guard and unable to avoid the attack as it collided with them, a loud explosion sounding out within the battle dome.

"Yeah! It worked, Nii-san! We did it!" Netto grinned.

Hub was smiling as well. "They might be able to pull off attacks faster than we can, but without operators, they can only rely on themselves to assess their surroundings."

"A-amazing! Did Rockman X and Rockman Zero manage to pull off an incredible victory despite their disadvantage against the independent Navies?" Kiro was on the edge of her seat the entire match. "It seems- W-wait! Inside the smoke…!"

Both Rockman X and Rockman Zero appeared to have noticed as well. The two were completely on guard as they waited for the smoke to clear, and let out a collective gasp when at the scene before them.

"Bomberman and Stoneman are completely unharmed!" Kiro exclaimed.

"They're using Iron Body!" Rockman Zero quickly realized.

"...It would appear that we have underestimated you." Bomberman regarded both Hikaris carefully. "But we will no longer make the same mistake twice." With that, the bomb Navi turned to his partner. "Stoneman, commence the operation."

"..." Silently, Stoneman raised one of his large arm-like attachments, and fired an unknown programme into the air. The programme took a while to fully activate, but once it did, a large portal began to open up in the area above the Battle Sphere.

"I wonder if you'll put up as much of a fight without your operators?" Bomberman said dubious as the portal fully manifested itself. "We'll be seeing you two… In your own personal hell!" With that, the two independent Navies logged out of the Battle Sphere through the portal.

"Wha… What was that all about…?" Rockman X looked at where Bomberman and Stoneman had been standing a moment ago in confusion, before he realized something was wrong- His own data was being pulled into the portal. Panicking, he turned to Rockman Zero only to realize the same thing was happening to the red Navi as well. Both Navies yelled out in shock as they were pulled into the portal above.

Above the Battle Sphere, Forte had stepped in front of Rockman, shielding him with his own cloak once the dark Navi had realized what was happening, preventing the two of them being forced into the portal as well. Rockman could only stare in disbelief at the scene before him, unable to react.

However, Shadowman had. As soon as he saw the NetNavies belonging to the Hikari twins being pulled into the portal, he leapt from the platform, disappearing shortly into the portal as well.

A blinding flash then shot out from the Battle Sphere, and once the light had faded, the Battle Sphere was completely devoid of NetNavies.

Chapter Text

"Shadowman!" Rockman reacted a bit belatedly. The shadow Navi was already nowhere to be seen.

"What just happened?!" Within the Battle Dome were the murmurs of the audience as they attempted to make sense of what had just occurred. "All four of the NetNavi contestants have vanished!"

"They're traveling through the cyberworld!" Higgory realized as he attempted to track the four Navies on his laptop. "They're going at an incredible speed… Ahh!" Higgory flinched back as the screen of his laptop exploded from the overflow of data.

"What to do…?" Kiro mumbled softly to herself as she flipped through the N1 Grand Prix Manuel. "There's nothing in the rules about this! This has never happened before! ...Huh?" The reporter looked up as one of the staff handed her a cue card. "Ah! It seems that we've come to a decision!" Quickly, she took the card and read from it. "If both pairs do not return to the Battle Sphere within fifteen minutes, they will both be disqualified!"

"What? Just fifteen minutes?" The younger Hikari panicked. "There's no way we can track X and Zero in time!"

His elder sibling frowned as well. "If we had an idea where they were taken to, we could… huh?"

A flashing light coming from outside the Battle Dome had caught his attention. Netto Hikari had noticed it, too, and the two twins looked to see that it had come from the lighthouse some distance away from the arena. They hadn't realized how cloudy it had gotten.

"That's the lighthouse…" Netto raised an eyebrow. "...But why's it flashing like that suddenly?"

"..." Hub Hikari was silent for a moment, his eyes fixated at the blinking light, before he gasped as he realized something. "It's flashing in Morse code!"

"What code?" His younger sibling gave him a confused look.

"Three short flashes, followed by three long flashes and then another three short flashes." Hub quickly explained as he pulled the cable connecting his PET from the Battle Sphere out. "It spells 'SOS'! I bet Zero or X had something to do with it!" He turned and ran off the stage. "Come on, let's go!"

"H-hey! Nii-san!" The younger Hikari yanked the cable of his PET from the Battle Sphere as well, not fully comprehending his elder sibling's explanation. "Wait for me!"


Shadowman stepped away from the control panel of the lighthouse. He wasn't completely sure if the two children would understand the message in the blinking lights, but that Hub Hikari seemed like a bright kid. He reasoned that at least the elder of the two would be able to catch onto the hint.

In the meantime, though, he had to make sure those two Red and Blue Navies aren't too badly damaged.

Stepping onto the edge of the platform, he looked over to see that both the twin's Navi had gone of the defensive, focusing their efforts on avoiding Bomberman and Stoneman's attacks instead of engaging them. At least they were smart enough to realize that this gave them the best chances of survival.

"Kuhuhuh… You can't run forever…" Stoneman grumbled as he summoned another attack. "Quake!"

Several more weights fell from the sky, landing around the red and blue pair, the aftershock from one of the weights managing to knock Rockman X off his feet.

"I've got you now!" Seeing his opportunity, Bomberman summoned several more bombs and threw them at the downed Navi. "Take that!"

"X! Watch out!" Forming his hand into a sword, Rockman Zero slashed the bombs apart before they could hit their mark. "Are you alright?"

"I- I'm fine!" Rockman X insisted as he stood back up. "Right now, we need some way to contact Netto and Hub!

"I know, but…!" Rockman Zero looked back at the two independent Navies. As much as he knew that Rockman X had a point, he didn't think their attacks would let up long enough for them to reach either of their operators.

"I'll bury you alive!" Stoneman let out a loud rumble, summoning even more weights. "Delete!"

Before the two red and blue Navies could react, weight after weight landed in a circle around them, effectively trapping them in place. Stoneman brought brought both of his arm-like appendages down, and a final weight began to fall directly on top of them.

"Zero! We're not getting out of the way of this one!" Rockman X quickly realized.

"Damn it, we'll just have to…!" Before Rockman Zero could finish, the huge weight landed on top of them, a loud rumble sounding out in the aftermath.

"Kuhuhuh… Target, deleted…" Stoneman appeared pleased with himself, before he noticed something. "...Hm…?"

Within the rubble, both Rockman X and Rockman Zero were still functioning; the two Navies were using their combined strength to support the Quake to avoid being crushed.

"Hm… Still alive…" Stoneman mumbled, slightly annoyed. "What about this, then?"

Raising both his arms, Stoneman prepared for a massive attack. Weight after weight was summoned, filling the entire area with Quakes afloat in the air. "Kuhuhuh! Nowhere to run this time!"

Slamming his arms onto the ground, the weights began to drop in sync, speeding closer and closer towards the ground. Shadowman grabbed the hilt of his sword. 'Time to intervene.'

"You know, for someone who spends so much time worrying about other people, you should really be worrying about yourself."

"!"

The shadow Navi turned, alarmed that he hadn't sensed whoever it was that had snuck up on him, but it was too late. In an instant, a force slammed into him, and he was thrown off the platform he was standing on, and directly in the way of stoneman's attack, a loud crash and rumble echoed throughout the entire area as the quakes fell on top of each other.

"Kuhuhuh… It has been done…" Stoneman was convinced that he had indeed accomplished his task this time. He turned to his companion. "Bomberman, let's return to the Battle Sphere." Raising his arm, he fired a shot, another portal opening in its wake.

However, before one of them could step a step forward, the sound of several buster shots interrupted them. The two independent Navies turned to see the pile of weights crumbling, Rockman X and Rockman Zero leaping out from the rubble just moments after.

"That was too close!" Rockman Zero complained.

"Sorry! Sorry!" It was Hub Hikari. It seemed that he had plugged into the lighthouse systems.

"At least we made it, right?" This time it was Netto Hikari, his holographic image appearing besides that of his elder siblings.

Stoneman let out a low growl of annoyance. He turned back to Bomberman. "Bomberman! You go back and win the match. I'll take care of these two once and for all!"

"Alright." Bomberman agreed. "You follow once you've dealt with those two." With that, the bomb Navi disappeared into the portal.

"Netto-kun. If we don't send either X or Zero back to the Battle Sphere, we'll be disqualified." Hub quickly realized.

"I know, I know!" Netto frowned. "But how are we going to get past that guy?" He was referring to Stoneman.

"..." Hub silently considered his options for a moment, before he turned to his younger sibling. "Netto, when I give you the signal, have X run for that portal."

"What?" Netto stared at him. "I'm not leaving you are Zero behind!"

"You're not. As long as either X or Zero can make it back to the Battle Sphere, we can both advance to the next round." Hub told him. Then, he turned back to the battle at hand. "...Zero, let's try it."

"...Hub-san?"

The elder Hikari took out three Battle Chips. "...Programme Advance!"

The red Navi got the idea instantly. Standing upright, he prepared for the attack. Both Navi and operator pausing for a moment to gathering themselves.

"Attack Battle Chip; Sword! Slot in!" Hub Hikari slotted in the first Battle Chip. Rockman Zero held his arm out, forming one of his hands into a sword.

"Nii-san…!" The younger Hikari stared in awe and wonder besides him.

"Attack Battle Chip; Wide Sword! Slot in!" As the second chip data was sent, Rockman Zero's other arm transformed into the Wide Sword.

"Your efforts are futile!" Stoneman rumbled. He raised his arms. "Stone Cube!"

As Stoneman's attack flew towards Rockman Zero, Hub quickly put in the third battle chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Long Sword! Slot in!"

Raising both arms high above his head, Rockman Zero brought the two swords together, the three swords combining and turning into something else entirely.

"Beta Sword!" A wave of energy was emitted as Rockman Zero swung the newly formed sword at the oncoming attack, slicing the Stone Cube in half. Seeing this, Hub quickly gave the signal. "Now!"

"On it!" With a leap, Rockman X landed on top of the wave of energy produced by the Programme Advance, and he was sent into the portal, riding the wave of energy back to the Battle Sphere before Stoneman could stop him. As the portal closed, Rockman Zero fell to his knees, the Programme Advance having drained the rest of his strength.

"Why you…!" Seeing one of his targets had escaped, Stoneman decided to turn his rage towards the red Navi. The large Navi raised his arm, intending to crush the other under his weight, but Rockman Zero disappeared before he could bring his arm down- Hub Hikari had plugged him out of the system.

Back in the Battle Dome, another flash of bright light shone out from the Battle Sphere, before both Rockman X and Bomberman landed into the Battle Sphere once more.

"Both Bomberman and Rockman X has made it back to the Battle Sphere with only seconds to spare!" Kiro quickly announced. "Both teams will be continuing onto the next round in the tournament!"

As the crowd cheered, Bomberman only regarded the other Navi in the Battle Sphere carefully.

"Rockman X…" The bomb Navi narrowed his eyes at the other. "...We'll be seeing each other again… Very soon."

Chapter Text

The area was quiet for a while, before a loud shot burst through the rubble, the large pile of broken tiles cracking and breaking in half before revealing a small barrier inside.

"Shadowman! Are you alright?" Rockman said as he canceled the barrier he was using and helped the other Navi up.

"...I am fine, thanks to you, my Mistress." Shadowman took a moment to steady himself.

The blue Navi allowed himself a sigh of relief. He didn't mean to doubt Shadowman's abilities, but knowing that WWW was now aware of his presence made him worry they might do something to target the shadow Navi directly. He ended up tracking the other through their Pact and arrived at the server just in time to see Shadowman falling directly into Stoneman's attack.

Now that he thought about it, it was good that he had made the decision het had. Shadowman relied on stealth and surprise to take out his enemies- Not brute strength. An attack of that scale would have seriously injured him, or might have even deleted him.

"...Shadowman, what happened?" Rockman asked once he was sure the other Navi was indeed alright. "It's not like you to be caught off guard like that…"

Shadowman was silent for a moment, probably brewing in a mixture of shame and anger at his own mistake before speaking.

"It is my fault." Shadowman confessed. "I did not sense their energy signal, and that allowed them to sneak up on me."

"They snuck up on you…?" Rockman frowned. That was a bit hard to believe, but if Shadowman was a Navi specifically designed for stealth, then maybe it wasn't that hard to conclude that there might be other NetNavies out there that were programmed to do the same thing. It was just surprising that there was a surface Navi with the specs high enough to fool even Shadowman's senses, though that only further confirmed Rockman's suspicion that WWW was actively taking measures to get rid of the shadow Navi.

As if sensing his question, Shadowman clarified his words. "I do not believe that they are a surface Navi, my Mistress. It's very possible that they are an Undernet Navi."

"An Undernet Navi?" Rockman briefly considered the possibility. "But… Why would an Undernet Navi ally themselves with WWW?"

"It does not need to be an alliance, my Mistress." Shadowman explained. "Many Undernet Navies will be more than willing to do anything, given the correct price."

"Oh, so a mercenary…!" Rockman realized. But that only brought up another question in his mind.

What Undernet Navi would be both stealthy enough to get past Shadowman's senses, and would be willing to do dirty work for WWW? Rockman couldn't think of any Undernet Navies he knew of that fit both these criteria.

"...I shall not fail again." Shadowman was determined. "The next time I meet them, I will make sure they pay."

"Shadowman…" Rockman sighed, giving the other Navi and soft smile. "I'm just glad you're okay."

The shadow Navi met his gaze, becoming silent once more before he suddenly fell to his knees. Alarmed, Rockman grabbed him by his hands. "Shadowman! Were you hurt?!"

"...No Master would care about their Subservient as much as you do, my Mistress." Shadowman said.

"Wh-what…?" The blue Navi was confused by why the other was suddenly bringing this up.

"I have been searching for a Master for years, yet I could not find one that I respected or trusted enough to follow." The shadow Navi clarified. "But… when I saw what you did in the Mettaur Village... " He paused slightly at that, as if unsure of how to say it. "...I am glad that I took that risk."

Rockman just stood there, eyes wide, unsure of how to feel about Shadowman's confession. It was true that they had formed a Pact as Master and Subservient but… The blue Navi supposed he must have underestimated how mistreated Subservients were by their Masters.

"My Mistress." Shadowman took Rockman's hands in a firm grip. "Even if you were to revoke our Pact, I shall forever remain your loyal Subservient."

"..."

Maybe he had also underestimated just how much of the future he had affected.


"What do you mean you're not going to be able to participate anymore?"

"It's like a just said…" Hub Hikari sighed. "I think Zero and I might have overdid it with the Programme Advance, and I don't feel too good about letting Zero into another battle when he's not fully recovered yet, so…"

"Damn… That's a shame…" His younger sibling mumbled as the two walked back to the spectator stand. "I was hoping we'd get to fight more opponents together…"

"Well, even if I made it onto the next round, we might not have been paired together, anyways." Hub offered an encouraging smile. "...Besides, this is the perfect opportunity for you to win the tournament! We both know I would've won if we were paired against each other!"

"Hey! That's not true!" Netto was about to say more, but another announcement had caught his attention.

"Our next tag team match will be Blues and Shiningman against Pickman and Drillmach!"

"Blues?" The younger Hikari appeared to have realized something. "Oh! Isn't he that Enzan guy's Navi?"

"He is." Hub nodded. "So he's made it this far into the tournament, too."

The twins then fell quiet and watched as the four Net Operators step onto the stage and plug in their Navies.

"Battle start!"

Pickman and Drillmach reacted instantly, rushing towards Shiningman and Blues at once as they attacked. Shiningman didn't appear fazed. Instead, the Navi began to march forward, humming some sort of weird tune.

"..." Blues stayed where he was, merely observing the scene before him as Pickman and Drillmach closed in on the two of them. Then, without warning, the red Navi swung his sword, emitting a wave from his blade, the slash hitting all Pickman, Drillmach and Shiningman in one fell swoop, ending the match instantly as he defeated all three Navies at once.

"P-pickman, Drillman and Shiningman are all unable to battle!" Kiro seemed astonished by this turn of events as well. "The winners are Enzan, and his NetNavi Blues!"

There were some hushed murmurs within the crowd. On the stage, Shiningman's operator was already yelling at the white haired boy, but he was promptly ignored as Enzan made his way off the stage.

"That guy…!" Netto frowned. "It's like he doesn't care about anyone other than himself!"

"..." Hub was quiet for a moment, but as Enzan made his way just past where the two twins were sitting in the spectator stand, the elder Hikari yelled down at him. "Hey you!"

That got Enzan to stop in his tracks. He appeared to have recognized Hub's voice, and looked up to meet the other's gaze. "...It's you."

"I don't know what you're thinking, but you can't just win everything by your own!" Hub yelled down at him. "There's going to be a time that you have to rely on someone!"

"Nii-san…!" His elder sibling's forwardness surprised Netto.

"..." The white haired boy narrowed his eyes briefly, before he spoke. "You talk a good game. But you still ended up being held back by the people you rely on."

"Wh-what did you say?" The elder Hikari was slightly taken back.

"Your technique is clearly greater than that of your brother's over there." Enzan continued. "You could have had your Navi return to the Battle Sphere by himself easily, yet you chose to save that sibling of yours, thus forfeiting your chances of winning the tournament." With that, the elder boy continued on his way.

"Th-that's not true! You take that back!" Hub yelled after him, but this time, he was ignored.

"...Nii-san, what he said about you and Zero, was it…?" Netto asked, feeling guilty for having caused his elder sibling to be unable to participate in the N1 Grand Prix, either directly or indirectly.

Hub Hikari turned to him immediately. "Don't listen to him- It's not true at all! And even if it were, I don't regret it!" He told his younger sibling, his gaze stern. "...You just focus on your upcoming matches okay?" He flashed a smile at his sibling at that. "Tell you what, if you win your next match, I'll let you borrow my Battle Chips!"

Netto Hikari appeared slightly uncertain for a short moment, before he nodded with renewed confidence and determination. "Alright, Nii-san! You said it!"

Chapter Text

"He's leaving." Forte told him just as Rockman made his way back to the platform they were spectating from.

"Who?"

"That white haired boy." Forte clarified. "He's just left the Battle Dome."

Rockman paused briefly. Enzan leaving the N1 Grand Prix? It wasn't like Enzan to run from competition- It wasn't as if he had anything to be afraid of, anyways. He had been crushing all his opponents up to this point. Maybe he had something important to do? He was a Net Police Officer, after all. "Maybe he has something to do? He just had a match, so his next one's probably not for a while, anyways. I'm sure he'll be back by then."

"Hm." Forte tilted his head as he regarded him carefully. "You seem to know a lot about those humans."

"That's…" Rockman wasn't sure how to respond to that. Even if Hub Hikari hadn't existed in his original timeline, he couldn't deny that he did know a lot about the two twins and Enzan. And their group of friends, to be completely honest. "I can't help it. They just keep getting into trouble."

When the other Navi just stared at him for several moments more, Rockman looked away, breaking eye contact with him. He felt as if Forte was just staring right through him, which was sort of true, he supposed.

"You're too obvious." Forte told him as he closed the distance in between them. "You care a lot more than you let on, Mega." At this, the dark Navi reached out a tapped Rockman's Navi emblem lightly, cutting him off before him could deny it. "I can feel it. In fact, it's so overwhelming that it's one of the only things I can feel from you whenever something bad threatens to happen to them."

"..." Rockman couldn't say anything. Forte had got him there. He smiled softly. "You see right through me, Forte."

If the dark Navi was surprised by how easily Rockman had admitted to that fact, he didn't show it. "...I understand your concern for the twins, Mega." Forte said. "But everyone else?"

"There doesn't need to be a reason." Rockman attempted to argue. "They're innocent in all this. So if I can help them, I will."

"Is that really it?" Forte pressed, and Rockman couldn't help but grow slightly nervous. He found that he tended to underestimate just how accurately Forte could interpret and pick out every single one of his separate emotions. He couldn't really tell Forte that he was from the future and that he'd already experienced everything once. He doubted the other would believe him, anyways.

...What if Forte did, though? The sudden thought had struck him, and Rockman couldn't help but consider what that would imply. It would be nice if he could be completely honest with the other Navi but…

That would also mean he would be telling Forte about how they were more enemies than anything in his original timeline, and what the dark Navi had done back then, how he had murdered all those NetNavies and humans ruthlessly-

What if Forte decided that he had ulterior motives for getting close to him? That it was just to prevent all of those tragedies from happening? While Rockman couldn't honestly deny that that might have been somewhat true, he did genuinely care for Forte himself. He knew how isolated and alone the other would have otherwise been, and he didn't want Forte to think that Rockman only offered his companionship to him just to prevent him from doing all those horrible things.

He was jolted out of his thoughts when he felt a finger gently brush over his cheek. Looking back at Forte, Rockman saw that the other's gaze had softened, most likely having felt his influx of emotions during his short monologue.

"...I can tell you're not comfortable with telling me your true intentions." Forte said softly. "...I'm not sure how to feel about that. Knowing that there's something you're holding back from me. But I won't push you for now." There was a slight pause. "...But I still hope you can tell me what that was all about. Whenever you're ready."

"Forte…!" Rockman was shocked, relieved and slightly sad at the same time. He was glad that the dark Navi hadn't just forced him into telling him what he knew, but he still couldn't help but feel guilty about the underlying implication that he didn't trust Forte, at least, not completely. "Forte, whatever happens, I, I…" He blushed furiously. Damn it, he still couldn't bring himself to say it out loud. "I… care about you. A lot. Okay?"

The blue Navi averted his gaze when he saw the other's grin. It didn't help that he knew Forte could feel his embarrassment. "There's no shame in saying it, Mega."

"I can't!" Rockman was completely flustered at this point. Forte's expression remained amused.

"Then that's just another thing I'll be waiting on you for." With that, the dark Navi took his hands. "Come here."

Rockman allowed himself to be pulled towards the other, his back against Forte's chest as one of Forte's arms wounded around his waist. The blue Navi jumped in surprise as Forte's other hand slid under his cloak and cupped his bottom. "Forte!?"

"You've been paying so much attention to everything else." The dark Navi murmured behind him. "I think I deserve at least some of your attention, too."

"Here, Forte?!" Rockman hissed, attempting to turn or struggle out of the other's embrace. "We're out in the open! What if someone sees?"

"They won't." Forte insisted. Rockman tensed, gasping softly when he could feel the other's hand reaching in between his legs, stroking his opening there. "And if we stay like this, no one would suspect anything, even if they saw."

"...!"

Rockman had no idea what Forte was doing. He couldn't look behind him very well, and true to Forte's word, his cloak did obscure whatever the other Navi was doing underneath if. His legs began to shake as he felt the other spread his fingers inside of him, Forte's arm on his waist was the only thing that was keeping him standing.

"Forte, I swear-" Rockman's voice faltered briefly when he felt Forte's length push up against him, the other's arm tightening around him as he struggled slightly. "This, this is the worst idea you've ever had..."

"Hm?" The blue Navi could hear the amusement in the other's voice. "Is that so? I'm sure I can change your mind."

Rockman couldn't stop the loud cry that escaped him when he felt Forte thrust upwards into him, shealting himself fully. He immediately clasped a hand over his mouth. Damn it, he hope no one heard…!

"Does it feel good?" The dark Navi teased him, kissing the back of his neck softly.

"I-it doesn't!" Rockman was seething with panic and embarrassment. "It's not- Hnn!"

Another long whine escaped him as Forte bucked his hips upward once more, this time, the tip of his length had nudged against that soft opening in there. "Are you sure?" Forte asked him. "You're clutching around me so tightly down there."

Rockman's entire body was shaking at this point. Despite himself, he could feel his insides throbbing in joy at being split open like this, the stretch was pleasurable, if not a bit uncomfortable with their position. "J-just… Just hurry up and get it over it."

"No." Forte said blankly. "I want to watch the next several matches like this."

Rockman's eyes went wide, his blush deepening in an instant. "F-Forte?!"

As the blue Navi turned his head, Forte kissed him lightly on his cheek, the action sending another shiver through the smaller Navi's body. "We've had plenty of passionate sex before." The dark Navi told him. "I want to savor this one."

"..."

Much to the blue Navi's chagrin, Forte had ended up keeping his words.

Chapter Text

Hub was shifting nervously in his seat. As he had predicted, the semi-finals of the N1 Grand Prix came down to his younger sibling Netto Hikari and that Enzan against those two independent Navies, but…

The white and raven haired boy was nowhere to be seen.

"If contestant Enzan Ijuuin doesn't arrive in five minutes, then he'll be disqualified!" Kiro announced. "And contestant Netto Hikari and his NetNavi Rockman X will have to take on Bomberman and Stoneman alone!"

The elder Hikari looked down at the stage in worry. Netto was already in front of the Battle Sphere, the holographic images of the two independent NetNavies staring at him menacingly. He knew his sibling was gifted at net battling, but if Netto really had to go up against those two Navies on his own…

It was nothing short of suicide.

"Darn. Don't tell me that Enzan guy just ran away like that!" Dekao said from behind him. "What a coward!"

"Don't say that, Dekao." Tohru was more reasonable. "You don't know if that's true."

"Speaking of missing…" Maylu looked around for a brief moment at that. "Have you guys seen Yaito-chan anywhere…?"

Hub looked up as well. Now that Maylu has mentioned it, he didn't recall seeing the other girl for a while.

"Two minutes left!" Kiro's voice sounded throughout the Battle Dome once more. "There's not much time left! Will Enzan Injuuin make it in time? ...Ah!"

There was a collective gasp within the audience, followed by a loud cheer as a certain white haired boy ran into the Battle Dome. Hub breathed a sigh a relief as he watched Enzan step onto the stage besides his younger sibling.

"And contestant Enzan Ijuuin makes it onto the stage with one minute and forty-five seconds to spare!" Kiro exclaimed. "What a nail-biting way start to an already highly anticipated battle!"

"...Hmph, and here I thought you've done the smart thing and ran away."Bomberman spoke out from within the Battle Sphere. "Instead, you've walked straight into your demise…"

"We'll see about that." The white haired boy didn't appear fazed at all.

"Enzan!" Netto smiled. He had been getting slightly worried as well. "I'm glad you made it!"

"Netto Hikari, I have a favor to ask you." The elder boy turned to him.

"Huh?" The younger Hikari was confused. "What is it?"

"Tell Rockman X to stay out of Blues' way if he wants to live."

"H-hey!" That both angered and confused Netto even more. "What sort of attitude is that?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Enzan merely looked at him. "If you get in our way, we won't hesitate to delete you, too."

"Why, you…!"

"Netto-kun, calm down." Rockman X attempted to stop the situation from escalating. "I'm sure he doesn't really mean it…"

"..." Turning back to the Battle Sphere, the elder boy took out his PET. "Plug in, Blues! Transmission!"

Within the Battle Sphere, Rockman X watched as the red Navi logged into the battle stage next to him. "Blues! I hope we'll have a great match together." He offered the other Navi a friendly smile. However, it would seem that Blues shared the same sentiment of that of his operator's.

"You just stay out of my way." Blues told him so bluntly that even Rockman X was slightly taken back.

Seeing that all of the contestant NetNavies had plugged into the Battle Sphere, Kiro gave the signal. "Alright then! Battle Start!"

Rockman X reacted instantly. Forming his hand into a buster, he fired several shots at Bomberman, the independent Navi responding by summoning a bomb attack and throwing them at his opponent, the two attacks canceling each other out.

"They're as strong as I remember…" Netto frowned slightly. "We have to hit them hard and fast!" He took out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Giga Canon! Slot in!"

Rockman X aimed the canon at Bomberman and fired, the shot exploding on impact. However, once the dust had cleared, the independent Navi was inside a barrier, apparently having used one of his custom Battle Chips to counter X's attack. "We've told you- Normal Navies like you are no match for us Independent Navies!" With that, he summoned his next attack before the blue Navi could react. "Spread Bomb!"

Rockman X attempted to dodge out of the way of the bombs, but he had severely underestimated their explosion radius, the blast sending him flying backwards. Bomberman followed up on his attack with another series of bombs, not allowing the chance for his opponent to recover. However, before the bombs could hit their mark, a series of slashes flashed across the, causing them to explode prematurely.

"B-Blues!" Rockman X was slightly surprised by the turn on events, though he was nonetheless thankful. "Tha- Kuh…!"

"I told you…" The other Navi and punched him in the gut and held him as he faltered in his step. "Not to get in my way." With that, Blues tossed him aside, Rockman X crashing into several data cubes in the distance.

"Enzan!" Netto yelled at the other net battler. "What are you doing?!"

The white haired boy ignored him. "Blues!"

His NetNavi nodded, seemingly having understood his order. "Yes, Enzan-sama!"

"Attack Battle Chip; Wide Sword! Slot in!"

Blues' arm formed into a Wide Sword as he made a dash towards Bomberman. Seeing his opponent approach him, Bomberman immediately summoned several more bombs, aiming them at the speeding Navi, but Blues dodged expertly out of the way of each of them.

"Attack Battle Chip; Paladin Sword! Slot in!"

As Blues neared Bomberman, his other arm turned into the Paladin Sword. Reacting before the bomb Navi could counter him, the red Navi jumped at Bomberman as he disappeared in a swirl of blades, catching the independent Navi in his attack.

"Bomberman!" Stoneman attempted to run to his partner's aid, but it was too late. A fury of slashes flashed across Bomberman's form, and once the bomb Navi was finally released from the whirlwind of slashes Blues had created, his body was split into a dozen pieces, the fading scream of Bomberman was the only thing that can be heard as he was deleted.

"Incredible!" The crowd cheered wildly at the display as Kiro announced. "Just when it seems that the Independent NetNavies have gained the upper hand, Enzan and Blues have managed to delete Bomberman with just a single attack!"

Without pause, the red Navi now turned to Stoneman. "You're next." Leaping into the air once more, Blues repeated his attack, but this time aiming at Stoneman. The huge, bulky NetNavi unable to move out of the way as the whirlwind of blades collided with him head on, enveloping him in a series of slashes.

Blues landed on the battle stage as the whirlwind broke apart. For a moment, Stoneman appeared to be fine. "Why… Why you…!" The large Navi turned to his opponent, but as he did so, his huge body began to break and fall apart; Blues' attack had cut him apart just like it did Bomberman. "Guh… Uh...!"

With a loud rumbling sound, Stoneman's body shattered into pieces, each of them collapsing onto the group with a bang. The entire crowd was in awe and shock at the quick and unexpected victory.

"Stoneman and Bomberman are unable to battle!" Even Kiro sounded surprised. "The winner is… W-wait! What's happening inside the Battle Sphere…?"

"Hm?" Blues had noticed that something wasn't quite right as well. He cast a quick glance backwards to where Stoneman's body had been, only to find that the broken pieces of the stone Navi's body were rebuilding themselves, piecing themselves back together, and it wasn't long before Stoneman was completely received.

"Th-this is unexpected!" Kiro exclaimed in shock. "Stoneman has somehow revived himself entirely!"

"Kuhuhuhuh…" Stoneman let out a strange laugh. "You might have been able to defeat Bomberman, but you won't be able to beat me!"

Despite this, Blues somehow retained his cool composure. The red Navi readied himself for another attack. "I'll be the judge of that."

Chapter Text

"Blues, finish that Navi."

"Wait!" Netto attempted to stop Enzan. "Don't you see what he did after your last attack? He's just going to reform himself again!"

"Don't tell me what to do!" Enzan snapped back at him, his calm composure breaking for a moment. Quickly, he turned back to the battle at hand. "Blues!"

The red Navi instantly leapt towards Stoneman, but the independent Navi was ready for him this time. Raising both arms, Stoneman summoned his attack. "Stone Cube!" Several large Stone Cubes flew at Blues, but the Navi avoided them with ease.

"Enzan, stop!" Netto was yelling at him right now. "Normal attacks aren't going to work!" At this, the younger Hikari seemed to have recalled something. "Programme Advance! Enzan, you have to use the Programme Advance!"

Enzan remained strangely silent, only motioning for his Navi to continue with his attack.

"The same trick won't work twice!" As Blues disappeared into a swirl of wind once more, the huge Navi raised one of his arms and brought it to the ground, creating a huge shockwave. The large vibration caused the whirlwind to break apart, revealing the NetNavi inside it in an instant, and before Blues could react to his counterattack, Stoneman shot both of his arms out, catching his opponent in between them.

"I've got you now!" Stoneman let out a loud rumble. "I'll crush you to pieces!"

Both Netto and Enzan gasped as Stoneman began to crush Blues in between his two arms, the red Navi letting out a scream in pain.

"X? X! Are you there?" The younger Hikari attempted to contact his NetNavi. If he didn't help Blues now, the red Navi was definitely going to be deleted.

"...Uh…" It took a moment for him to get a response. Rockman X had apparently been knocked unconscious when Blues had threw him into the data cubes. "Wh-what happened?"

"X! I'm glad you're alright!" Netto allowed himself a brief second of relief. "But Blues is in trouble! If you don't help him now, he's going to be deleted!"

"I…" It took Rockman X a moment to access the situation. "I have to find some way out of these data cubes first; half of my lower body is crushed undeath- I can't move!"

"Alright…" The boy thought for a moment, before he took out a Battle Chip. "I'll send over some Battle Chips. You use the blast to get out from under there, alright?"

"Got it!"

"Let's do this!" The Hikari grinned. "Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

A loud explosion sounded throughout the Battle Sphere, sending bits of debris and broken data everywhere. From within the smoke, Rockman X emerged.

"Attack Battle Chip; Mark Canon! Slot in!"

Rockman X aimed at Stoneman as his arm formed into the Mark Canon. The large Navi, not expecting his other opponent to suddenly reappear, was unprepared as the canon locked onto him. The blue Navi fired, the shot landing its mark and hitting Stoneman in one of his round, glowing eyes, causing the independent Navi to flinch back in shock and pain, allowing Blues to escape from within his clutches.

"You… How dare you…!" The stone Navi grew furious as he recovered from the attack. "I'll make this place your grave- I'll bury you alive!"

Raising both arms to the sky, Stoneman summoned an entire field of weights that littered the sky, before bringing them all down onto his two opponents. It seemed that the independent Navi was now more determined than ever to delete his two opponents.

"Enzan! I told you you had to use the Programme Advance!" Netto was yelling at the elder boy once more. "Why are you being so stubborn?"

"Shut up!" The white haired boy had lost all his patience at this point. "Stop yelling at me!"

"You can't just keep on doing what you want!" Netto only raised his voice. "At this rate, both X and Blues will be deleted!"

"You don't know anything!" Enzan was just as frantic as Netto at this point. "So stop pestering me and-"

He stopped abruptly when he felt something hit him at the back of his head, whatever it was falling to the floor with a soft 'clank!'. Startled and slightly curious, both boys looked to where the sound had come from.

On the floor, there were the two Battle Chips for Sword and Long Sword.

"If you don't have the chips then just say so!" Both of the boys looked up. Hub Hikari was yelling at the two of them from the spectator stand.

"What?" There was a flash of shock, before it was replaced with anger and annoyance. "What are you talking about?"

"Yaito-chan told me everything!" The elder Hikari let out a huff. "Now hurry up and use the Programme Advance!"

"I don't need your help!" The white haired boy snarled.

"Are you seriously still going on about that at a time like this?!"

Just then, another series of loud rumbles sounded out from the Battle Sphere. Rockman X let out a cry as he was knocked over by a shockwave, and while Blues was still relatively alright, it was obvious that the red Navi wouldn't be able to keep this up forever. With such an onslaught, there was no way they were able to get close to Stoneman. They needed an attack that would be powerful enough to break through the barrage of weights.

"Hurry!" Hub Hikari urged him on. "There's no point in being cool if you're dead!"

"Come on!" Netto Hikari joined in as well. "Me and X will cover you!"

"Fine!" Seeing no other way, the elder boy finally relented, though he didn't hesitate to make his displeasure known. "Blues! Programme Advance!" Hearing this, the red Navi prepared himself for the attack. Picking up the two Battle Chips from the floor, Enzan slotted the first chip in "Sword!"

Blues raised his first hand, quickly transforming it into a sword. His operator quickly sent him the second Battle Chip. "Wide Sword!"

"I'll delete you!" Realizing what was happening, Stoneman attempted to interfere. "Stone Cube!"

"HiCanon!" With a powerful blast, Rockman X had shot through the Stone Cube that Stoneman had sent hurtling towards Blues.

"Long Sword!" As the final chip data was sent, Blues raised both hands above his head, the two Sword and Wide Swords merging together to form the Programme Advance. Clutching the newly formed blade in his hands, the red Navi made a mad dash towards Stoneman. This time, the large Navi was unable to stop or move out of the way of Blues' attack, and the full force of the Beta Sword struck him head on. His core overloaded from the impact, and Stoneman let out a final roar as his entire body exploded, leaving behind only a huge crater on the battle stage.

"Stoneman has been deleted!" The crowd was cheering wildly. "Blues and Rockman X have managed to pull off an incredible victory!"

"Alright! We did it, Enzan!" Smiling, Netto turned to the elder boy.

"..." Ignoring him, the white haired boy just plugged his Navi out and walked off the stage. Confused and annoyed, Netto plugged Rockman X out from the Battle Sphere as well, quickly trailing behind the other net battler. "Honestly? What's your deal?"

The other merely continued to walk, stopping only when he saw two figures ahead of him in the hallway. It was the elder Hikari, with Yaito hiding behind him slightly.

Reaching into his pocket, Enzan took out the two Battle Chips that Hub had threw at him and tossed them back at him, the other just barely managing to catch the two chips mid air. Then, the white haired boy cast a glance at Yaito. "...I didn't think you would be able to keep your big mouth shut."

"H-hey!" That got the girl to poke her head out from behind the elder Hikari. "If you hadn't gotten yourself into trouble, then I wouldn't have to say anything!"

"Huh?" The younger Hikari seemed to have realized that he was missing something. "What do you mean? What happened?"

"Just after one of the matches, I saw him acting all suspicious!" Yaito explained. "He was with some shady suited men discussing something, so I followed him!" The girl glared at the white haired boy at that. "Turns out, he's a Net Police Officer investigating the WWW!"

"A Net Police Officer?" The younger Hikari raised an eyebrow.

"People who basically deal with and investigate net crime." Hub Hikari explained.

"I see!" Netto looked at the boy in question. "So that's why those WWW Navies were after you, too!" Then, he paused slightly at that. "But… How did you happen lose two of your Battle Chips, Enzan?"

Enzan didn't reply, but he did glare harder at Yaito, the girl blushing in embarrassment under his gaze.

"W-well… I might have- And I'm saying might!- Have sorta, maybe, accidentally…" Yaito trailed off briefly. "I-It was an honest mistake, al-alright?! I didn't mean to get us into trouble, okay?!"

Oh, so that's how. Netto grinned at the white haired boy. "Well, now that we've defeated Bomberman and Stoneman, we won't have anything else to worry about during the rest of the tournament, right?"

"Believe what you will." Enzan said as he made his way past the three friends. "I won't hold anything back in the next match."

"...Sheesh, this guy." Netto grumbled softly to himself as he watched the white haired boy leave. But then, as if an afterthought had struck him, he stopped abruptly.

"...WWW wasn't the only thing I was investigating during this tournament." Enzan said suddenly.

"Huh?" That got the three friends' attention.

"You don't need to know the details." Enzan told them. "...But there's been some certain NetNavies that have been popping up during each of WWW's attacks." At that, the white haired boy looked back at the three. "It is still unsure what their relationship with WWW is… But just be wary of any strange NetNavies that pop up, alright?" With that, he turned and left.

"...Huh." The younger Hikari was quiet for a moment, before he smiled. "So, he's not as distant as he seems, after all?"

His elder sibling, however, did not share his same sentiment.

'A NetNavi that keeps on appearing during each of WWW's attacks?' Hub frowned slightly. 'He couldn't have meant him, could he…?"

Chapter Text

"Mistress, is everything alright?"

Rockman was jolted out of his thoughts. He turned to the shadow Navi. "I'm fine, Shadowman."

"..." The Navi fell quiet for a moment, as if considering his words carefully before he spoke once more. "I am concerned for you, my Mistress."

That made Rockman pause. It was the first time Shadowman had outwardly expressed his concern for him. The blue Navi knew that it wasn't because the shadow Navi didn't care, but Shadowman had probably refrained from doing so out of fear that his sentiment may be mistaken as doubting the Master's ability- Something that wasn't taken very lightly and considered by many Undernet Navies to be an insult.

Shadowman then looked at what Rockman had been watching. Below them was the battle stage within the practise room systems; there were several of these rooms just outside of the Battle Dome for contestants to practise and brush up of their skills before the match. The rooms were mostly deserted by now, as the two contestants of the final match have already been decided, and the tournament had announced a break before the final match, probably to drum up more anticipation within the audience. However, that did not mean that the battle stage was completely empty.

True to his words, Hub Hikari had indeed lended his Battle Chips to his younger sibling after the semi-finals, and considering his competition, Netto Hikari appeared to have realized that if he wanted a chance to win the tournament, he would need to master Programme Advance so he could match Enzan and Blues blow for blow.

However, the practise wasn't going as planned.

"Darn it!"

Rockman watched as the Beta Sword flickered and vanished once more, his frown deepening. It appeared that Netto and X were having trouble drawing out the power of the Beta Sword. It could only mean that the operator and Navi weren't in sync enough to harness its powers, but…

That didn't make sense. He and Netto never had a problem performing Programme Advance in his original universe. He sighed as he wondered what could've happened to change that.

"That Netto Hikari and Rockman X have the right idea." Shadowman commented on the two's practise. "But without a strong enough motivator, it will take too long for them to successfully perform Programme Advance. They will not be able to master it in time for the final match."

"A strong enough motivator…?" The blur Navi mused over that for a moment, before it clicked.

Hadn't he and Netto accidentally triggered full syncro during their first fight with Blues and Enzan? The two's shared shock and rage when Blues had deleted the Normal Navi had unknowingly caused them to fully synchronize with each other. Now that he thought about it, the same thing had probably happened to Hub and Zero; both operator and NetNavi had probably felt a strong desire to protect their younger counterparts, the overwhelming influx of emotion triggering full synchronization which allowed them to pull off the Beta Sword Programme Advance of their first try.

But since he had Shadowman save that Normal Navi this time around…

...Oops.

The blue Navi slapped himself on his face, feeling slightly embarrassed for taking so long to figure out what the problem was. Well, what to do now? At this rate, Netto and Rockman X wouldn't be able to master Beta Sword in time. They wouldn't stand a chance against Blues and Enzan like that.

...Perhaps he should interfere? He's changed so much in this current timeline already, it wouldn't hurt to change things just a bit more, would it? Besides, Netto and X were supposed to have mastered full syncro at this point in time, so he technically wasn't changing anything by giving them a push in the right direction, was he?

"Shadowman."

"Yes, my Mistress?"

Rockman regarded Rockman X on the battle stage below them carefully. "Cut off all communications to this room for the time being, okay?"

"Of course, Mistress. I shall do as you ask."


"Damn it! It broke apart again…"

"I don't understand!" Netto Hikari groaned, clutching his forehead. "What're we not getting right? The timing? The posture?"

"I'm not sure…" Rockman X sighed. He was confused as well. "I guess this Programme Advance thing is harder than we both thought, huh…"

"There must be something we're missing!" The younger Hikari insisted. "Both Nii-san and that Enzan were able to do it! So what is it that they've done that we didn't?"

"It's because both Hub and Enzan were fully synchronized with their NetNavies."

Both operator and NetNavi jumped. Rockman X formed his hand into a buster and took aim at where the voice had come from. "Who is it? Show yourself!"

The two watched in surprise as a cloaked figure stepped onto the battle stage with Rockman X, the purple cloth masking most of the NetNavi's features, but the Navi's bright green eyes could still be seen from underneath his hood.

"My name is Mega. I'm here to help you enter full syncro."

"Full syncro…?" Rockman X relaxed slightly when it appeared the new comer was not hostile. "What's that?"

"Full syncro is the complete synchronization of a NetNavi as his operator." Mega helpfully explained. "Performing a Programme Advance requires a high level of synchronization between an operator and a Navi, so if you're able to enter full synchronization, you should have no problems performing Programme Advances in turn."

"Is that true?" Netto's eyes widened in shock and awe. "Then how would me and X enter full syncro?"

"It's very easy!" The cloaked Navi said as he stepped closer. "Here, let me show you."

In the next moment that followed, the younger Hikari had reacted entirely on instinct, slotting in a Barrier chip just as Mega brought a Long Sword down on Rockman X, the sword colliding with the barrier with a loud clank.

"Wh-what're you doing?!" Rockman X was stunned by the sudden change in events.

"Don't get me wrong." Mega smiled at the two. "But full syncro is most effectively achieved through strong emotions experienced by an operator and his Navi, and it wouldn't be authentic if there wasn't some sort of matter at stake, would it?"


"Zero, would you mind checking up on how Netto-kun and X are doing?" Hub took out his PET as he walked down the hallway. There was a short pause before he got his reply.

"I'm attempting to do just that, Hub-san, but…" Rockman Zero frowned. "Something appears to be jamming their signal."

"We can't reach them? That's weird..." The elder Hikari said as he sped up his pace. His younger sibling had gone directly to the training room after their encounter with Enzan, but he was still having trouble with performing a Programme Advance from what he saw. He had left shortly after to get some air outside of the Battle Dome, before deciding to check back on Netto's progress.

However, Zero's inability to contact the two worried him. He hoped it was just some sort of system malfunction, and not his younger sibling getting into trouble again.

As Hub Hikari reached the room, he gave the door a soft yank, and after making sure that the door had indeed said "pull", he yanked on the door harder.

The door was shut tight. It didn't move an inch.

"Zero, I'm going to plug you into the systems." Hub was now almost certainly sure that the signal jamming was intentional. "Once you get in, we have to find whoever's blocking access to the training room and stop them, alright?"

"I got it." His Navi nodded.

"Alright." He took out the PET's connector. "Plug in, Rockman Zero! Transmission!"

The red Navi logged into the system servers in a flash of bright light. It took him all but one glance to realize what the cause of the problem was.

"It's you!" Rockman Zero recognized the Navi standing in front of the control panel instantly. "You're that NetNavi from before!"

"So you're the one blocking access to the training room!" Hub Hikari quickly concluded.

"Hm. How very observant of you." The Navi merely crossed his arms, regarding the two of them carefully.

Zero shifted one of his arms into a sword. "Return the controls back to normal instantly!"

"I will not." The unknown Navi said. "I cannot allow the two of you to enter."

"What're you after?" Now that he thought about it, Hub was growing more and more certain that this was the NetNavi that Enzan had warned them about. "We always run into you whenever WWW's involved- Don't tell me they're behind this as well."

"I'll tell you what I told that brother of yours." The strange Navi narrowed his eyes. "I do not care about any WWW. I only carry out the orders of my Mistress."

Hub raised an eyebrow. Was that person this NetNavi's operator? "Who's that Mistress of yours?"

"You do not need to know that."

"Fine!" At that, Rockman Zero took a step closer. "If you're not going to tell us anything or return the systems back to normal, then we'll just have to beat you ourselves!"

The unknown Navi did not appear threatened by his words. He merely withdrew his own blade. "I have no intentions of hurting you." He said, observing Hub and Zero carefully. "But if you are to attack me, then I shall not hesitate to defend myself."

Chapter Text

Rockman wasn't just attacking at random. He was trying to provide just the right amount of challenge with the possibility of victory. It was theoretically possible for Netto and X to trigger full syncro through panic or desperation if he went hard enough on the two of them, but he didn't want to risk actually hurting the other Navi. Plus, that wasn't quite the impression he wanted to leave on them. But if he didn't provide the two of them with a good enough challenge, then… Well, that would defeat the purpose of this encounter.

"What are you waiting for?" Rockman asked them as he fired another shot from his buster. "Use the Programme Advance!"

"Then stop attacking us!" X yelled back at him as he ducked out of the way of his shot.

"Yeah! What's your deal?" The younger Hikari also decided to add in his two cents. "How're we supposed to concentrate if you're attacking us?"

"Netto-kun…" Rockman sighed, a strange whimsical feeling washing over him as he addressed the boy in that tone. "Don't tell me you honestly expect an enemy to stand still while you attack, do you?"

The brunette paused. He seemed to consider Rockman's words for a brief moment, before he realized something. "W-wait, you know me?"

"Of course I do." Rockman smiled. He knew so much about the Hikari boy. "I've been watching all of your matches up to this point. I know just how you and X fight." Taking a leap forward, Rockman summoned his Long Sword and deflected X's buster shots as the other Navi began to recover from his shock and defended himself.

X turned just in time to avoid Rockman as he thrusted his sword forward. "Are you sure this is the only way to trigger Full Syncro?"

"It isn't. But it's the most effective way." Rockman told him.

"I would've opted for the safer way." X grimaced. Aiming his charged buster at Rockman, he fired the shot, Rockman catching the shot easily within his hands- he'd gotten so used to using Serenade's ability that he could completely stop weaker projectile shots in their paths now.

"But that'll take too long." Rockman smiled. As he balled his hand into a fist, the energy palette flickering slightly. "Afterall, that's why you're practising Programme Advance, isn't it? So that you would have a chance against Blues and Enzan?" He flicked his hand, and the ball of energy exploded into a small puff of illuminate butterflies before it flickered out of existence completely.

X was briefly distracted by the display before he snapped back into awareness. "Alright fine. You got us." He said, his buster still trained at the cloaked Navi. "But why are you helping us? What're you after?"

"That doesn't matter." Rockman told him. Time to up the ante. "Let me tell you something." Rockman pointed to the clock display at the far end at the wall. "It's nearly time for the finale, isn't it?"

"That's…" At that, Netto looked towards the display as well. Damn it, he hadn't realized that so much time had passed already. "There's four minutes left..!"

"That's right. And you'll notice that the doors are locked, as well."

"Wh-what?!" The younger Hikari was visibly nervous now as he began to suspect what was happening. "Don't tell me you're keeping it closed!"

"I'm afraid so. And there's no other way out." Rockman told him. "But I'll consider unlocking them, if, let's say, you manage to defeat me."

"I figured." X frowned, gritting his teeth. "Fine, if you want to fight us that badly, then we won't hold back, either!"

"And don't think that you scare us!" Netto added. "There's no way me and X are backing down from a good challenge!"

There it was. That spark of fighting spirit that Netto was known for, and as fate would have it, it appeared that Rockman X shared the same spark as well. Rockman grinned at the two encouragingly. "Alright then, what're you waiting for? Take your shot."

"You asked for it!" The younger Hikari didn't hesitate to pull out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Slot in!"

Aiming his hand at the cloaked Navi, X fired multiple rapid shots at the other. Seeing this, Rockman remained oddly calm; he'd had enough practise at this point that he deflected each of the bullets back at the other Navi without so much as batting an eye. Startled by the turn of events, X nearly didn't react in time to dodge out of the way as each of his shots flew back towards him.

"How did you…!" The shock was obvious. Neither Netto or X had seen anything of the sort before.

"You won't be able to hit me with those kinds of attacks." Rockman just said. "You'll need something a lot more powerful than that to work." The bait was so very obvious. In fact, Rockman's entire plan hinged of the two operator and Navi to take his bait. "Two minutes left."

"...We can't afford to fail now, not when we've come this far." The brunette narrowed his eyes. "X, let's do it!"

"Right!" His NetNavi nodded. "There's no way we're backing down now!"

"Programme Advance!" Netto signaled as he took out the three corresponding chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Sword! Slot in!"

There it was, Rockman realized. Both the operator and NetNavi were sharing the same will and emotion, but he still needed to give them another push. Quietly, he transforming his hand into a buster and began charging it.

"Attack Battle Chip; Wide Sword! Slot in!" Raising his other arm, X shifted it into the Wide Sword, but Rockman continued to withhold his own attack. He had to wait for the exact moment to strike.

Netto Hikari took out the final chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Long Sword! Slot in!"

'Now!'

Seeing the moment he was waiting for, Rockman took aim and fired, just as X brought the two swords over his head. He got the effect he had hoped for immediately; With the potential threat of the oncoming danger, Rockman could actually sense the sudden spike in synchronization triggered by the sheer will to overcome any obstacle.

In a bright flash of light, the solid form of the Beta Sword manifested itself in X's hands, the Navi grabbing and swinging it without so much of a second thought. "Beta Sword!"

From the blade, a huge wave of energy was produced, slicing through Rockman's previous shot before speeding towards him, the blue Navi overwhelmed with a sense of pride and accomplishment before he realized, a bit belatedly, that perhaps he should do something about the Programme Advance that was not directly in front of him.

Quickly and slightly panicked, he raised both his hands. Without thinking, he pushed the wave of energy upwards, and the attack changed directions instantly, shooting upwards and missing Rockman by inches before it exploded as it collided with the ceiling, the entire battle stage rumbling in its wake.

"Th-that was a Programme Advance!" X had exclaimed once the area had quieted down. "Netto-kun, we've done it!"

"I saw!" Netto was grinning as well. "That was awesome! So that's what performing a Programme Advance is like!"

Behind them, Rockman quietly observed the two. Though the blue Navi was indeed proud at the two's ability to use a Programme Advance, he couldn't quite stop the hint of sadness that washed through him at the scene- That used to be him and Netto.

'Navi and operator synchronization is at 98.02%...' Rockman mused silently to himself. '...I suppose that's as high as it'll go for now.'

Pushing that thought to the side, Rockman initiated an audio call with Shadowman. "Shadowman, release the locks. We're done here."

Both Netto and X looked up when they heard the door unlock with a soft click. "You've unlocked the doors?" Netto looked at him with a surprised expression.

"I never meant any harm." Rockman told him. "I said I've wanted to help you with Programme Advance, didn't I?"

X was still appeared cautious about him, but Rockman supposed it was understandable. "...I'm still not sure about who you are, but… Thanks. You've really helped us out a lot."

Rockman was stunned for a brief moment, before he smiled back brightly. "You're very welcome. Now don't you have a match coming up?"

"Ah! Th-that's right!" The two of them only had moments to get to the Battle Dome now. Netto plugged his NetNavi out from the systems. "Come on, X! Let's go!" Flinging the door open, he took a running start out of the room, and immediately ran into his elder sibling. "Owch!"

"Netto-kun!" Hub sounded unusually worried. "Are you alright? Are you hurt?"

"I'm fine, Nii-san!" Nett took a second to steady himself. "I'm heading over to the finals now! Remember to cheer me on, okay?" With that, the younger of the two sped down the hallways.

"Netto! W-wait!" The elder Hikari attempted to stop him, but his younger sibling was already nowhere to be seen. Frowning, Hub sighed quietly to himself.

"That Navi… disappeared suddenly just like that…" Hub mumbled. "And we still don't know what he's after, and what happened inside when we were locked out…"

"That's true, but the important thing is that Netto was unharmed." Zero said from his PET. "He appeared fine when he exited the room. As for what had happened, we could always ask him after their match."

"Yeah. I suppose you're right." Hub agreed. "Alright, we'll do just that."

Chapter Text

"Finally, the long awaited finale of the N1 Grand Prix is about to begin! Is eve

ryone excited for the grand finale?" Kiro grinned as a loud cheer sounded throughout the Battle Dome. "Among the hundreds of participants that have joined the tournament, our final two contestants have risen over the competition against all odds, and are about to compete in an all or nothing net battle to determine who the winner of the N1 Grand Prix will be!"

"I'm surprised they made it this far." Forte idly said. Rockman was sitting next to him as the two NetNavies watched the scene play out from above.

"Hm." The blue Navi didn't bother to hide his pride for Netto and Rockman X. "I told you that there's something special about them, didn't I?"

The dark Navi glanced at him briefly. "And by something special, you mean they have you pulling strings for them from behind the scenes?"

"Hey! I was just leveling the playing field!" Rockman was quick to defend himself. "You saw what some of those WWW operators tried to do to them, didn't you? There was no way I could allow that."

Forte sighed and fell quiet for a brief moment, as if he was considering how best to put his thoughts into words.

"You can't protect them forever, Mega. Sooner or later, they're going to have to learn how to deal with people who use petty tricks against them themselves."

"I can watch over them until they're strong enough that tricks won't work on them."

"And what if they encounter someone who's just simply stronger than they are?" At that, Forte cast a quick glance in Enzan and Blues' direction. "You can't fight all their battles for them, can you?"

"...I'm not trying to." Rockman said, his look determined.

"Hm?"

"They'll grow strong enough to overcome any obstacle on their own, I just know it." Rockman elaborated, meeting Forte's gaze. "I'm just… I'm just protecting them, until then."

He could tell that Forte wasn't convinced, but the dark Navi didn't push the matter any further.

"And here they come!" Kiro exclaimed as Netto and Enzan stepped onto the stage. "The final match pits Netto Hikari and his NetNavi, Rockman X, against Enzan Ijuuin and his NetNavi, Blues!"

"...So, this is it." Netto grinned as he neared the Battle Sphere. "I can't wait to battle with you and Blues again; Me and X have been training, so there's no way we'll lose this time!"

"...So you say." Enzan didn't look impressed in the slightest. "If anything, I'll commend you on being extremely lucky- That's how you've managed to win all of your matches up till this point." Then, Enzan's expression changed. He had a slightly menacing look in his eyes. "But that's as far as you go. I'll delete your Navi and win this tournament."

"Heh, that's what you think!" Netto was no longer fazed by the other boy's cold demeanor, apparently having gotten used to and expecting it during their brief moments of interaction. "Let's show them what we've got, X!" Taking his PET out, Netto plugged his NetNavi into the Battle Sphere. Opposite of him, at the other side of the Battle Sphere, Enzan's eyes narrowed as he did the same. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X!"

"Blues!"

"Transmission!"

In a flash of red and blue, the two NetNavies entered into the battle stage facing each other, the crowd growing wild with anticipation.

"You're strong, Blues." Rockman X offered a smile. "But Netto-kun and I have grown stronger as well. You won't be beating us so easily."

"..." For a moment, it appeared the red Navi would not say anything. "It doesn't matter how strong you have gotten. I'll delete you all the same."

"Final battle, start!"

As soon as the words were spoken, Blues charged at X immediately, his hand formed into a sword. But the blue Navi had gotten faster- he could see Blues approaching him this time around. Ducking out of the way of Blues' attack, Rockman X turned his own arm into a buster and took a shot at his opponent, the red Navi managing to deflect his shot, but appeared surprise that X had reacted in time like he had.

"...Huh. This shall be interesting." Blues commented, before he resumed his attacks with more ferocity than before.

"We won't just let you have the upper hand like that!" Netto yelled, taking out a Battle Chip. "Battle Chip; Area Steal! Slot in!"

Rockman X disappeared entirely as Blues slashed his sword at him. Enzan visibly scowled in annoyance. "You're just delaying the inevitable." He said to the younger boy. "No matter how far you run, Blues will catch up to you."

"Who said we were running away?" The younger Hikari smiled back. Then, Rockman X reappeared in the air above the battle stage. Netto proceeded to take out several more Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Mini Bomb! Slot in!"

Still airborn, X began to throw bomb after bomb at his opponent below him, the red Navi only able to either dodge out of the way or deflect the bombs as he was unable to levitate. The entire area was completely filled with dust and smoke clouds once X had landed back onto the ground.

"...Hmph. You've definitely gotten stronger…" Enzan was more mumbling to himself, before he raised his voice. "But that doesn't matter- There's no way I'll lose!" The white haired boy took out one of his own Battle Chips. "Attack Battle Chip; Paladin Sword! Slot in!"

A gust of wind unveiled the smoke covering the battle stage with the swing of a sword. As his target was revealed, Blues raised the Paladin Sword and prepared to strike down his opponent.

"Me and X won't lose to you, either!" Netto yelled back at the other boy. "Attack Battle Chip; Z-Saber! Slot in!"

In a bright flash of light, X had countered Blues' sword attack with his Z-Saber, a loud clash sounding throughout the entire area as the two attacks collided.

"...I see. So he's lent you his Battle Chips." Enzan realized. He'd pay enough attention to know that the Battle Chip Netto was currently using belonged to his elder sibling. "...Then that means you must be practising Programme Advance for this final battle." The younger Hikari had never showed to have any sword type chips, but Enzan knew for a fact that the elder Hikari had the chips necessary to perform the Programme Advance for Beta Sword.

"Aww! You got us!" There was a hint of a whine in Netto's voice. "I was hoping we'd surprise you with that!"

"Tch. Then I suppose there's no reason for me to hold back anymore." Enzan said, taking out three familiar chips. "We'll see which of our Programme Advance is the stronger one!"

"Heh, X and I aren't back down from a good challenge!" The Hikari boy glanced briefly at his NetNavi at that. "You ready, X?"

Smiling, the blue Navi nodded. "I'm ready- Let's do this!"

As the two Navies leapt apart from each other on the battle stage, the two operators prepared for the final attack. "Programme Advance!"

"Sword!" As Netto slotted the first chip in, Rockman X raised his hand, reforming the Z-Saber into a sword.

"Wide Sword!" Blues raised his other arm, swiftly forming it into the Wide Sword.

"Long Sword!" The two Navies raised both their swords above their heads, a bright light illuminating the entire Battle Sphere as two completely new swords were formed from the three sword type chips. As the Programme Advance manifested, both Navies took hold of the sword in sync, and charged towards each other. "Beta Sword!"

X and Blues swung their swords at each other, and as the two Programme Advances collided, a bright light shone from the Battle Sphere, encasing the entire Battle Dome in a bright light.

"Ah! Wh-what's happening?" Kiro was alarmed. "What's that bright light coming from the Battle Sphere?"

"That's the result of the force of two Programme Advances colliding with each other…!" Higgory was in awe. "It's… It's beautiful…! I've never seen anything like this before!"

Within the Battle Sphere, the two red and blue Navies were still engaged in battle, each matching the other blow for blow. The sounds of the two Beta Swords clashing repeatedly against each other could be heard within the entire Battle Dome.

"This isn't just a battle of strength anymore!" Higgory continued, obviously mesmerized by the scene before him. "It's also a battle of their will and determination! This is incredible!"

The bright light encased the Battle Dome for several moments more, before it gradually began to fade, the singular form of a standing figure making itself visible within the fading light.

"It appears we have a winner!" Kiro announced, squinting to get a better look at the standing figure within the Battle Sphere. "The winners of this watch, and of the N1 Grand Prix, is Enzan Ijuuin and Blues!"

The loud roar or cheers from the audience was deafening, but Netto couldn't hear any of it. "X? X! Are you alright?!"

Hearing his operator's voice, the Navi let out a small groan from where he had collapsed onto the ground. "N-Netto…?"

"X!" The Hikari smiled, sighing in relief. "Thank goodness, you're okay!"

"Y-yeah." His NetNavi coughed softly. "I'm… I'm sorry, about the match… I just-"

"Don't say things like that!" Netto interrupted him. "We went into the battle with everything we've got- That's all I can ever want!"

"Netto-kun…!" Rockman X was stunned for a brief moment, before he smiled as well. "...That's right. We'll definitely get them next time."

"Definitely!" Netto nodded in agreement.

There was a moment of silence, before X heard the approaching sounds of footsteps. Looking up, he realized that Blues had knelt over and was offering him his hand.

"...This doesn't make us friends." The red Navi apparently felt the need to clarify. "But I know a worthy opponent when I see one."

"...They've definitely surprised me by how much they've improved since the last time we've battled…" Enzan was mumbling quietly to himself. He thought he would have crushed the other boy's spirit with that devastating defeat, but he had obviously underestimated his will.

And there was also that NetNavi of his. The way that Rockman X and Netto Hikari had interacted with such trust and… kinship? "...I'm almost jealous."

As Blues helped Rockman X to his feet, the two NetNavies met each other's gaze.

"...We'll definitely be stronger the next time we battle." Rockman X told him. "So don't think you'll be beating us next time, okay?"

"...Hmph." That was the only response he got from the red Navi.

Then, before anything else could have happened, a tremendous shock had jolted the entire Battle Dome.

Chapter Text

"Wh-what was that?" Netto wondered, slightly startled after he caught himself. The sudden jolt and nearly knocked him off his feet. However, as it appeared, that was the least of his problems. The entire area was now shaking and rumbling. "Is the Battle Dome falling apart?!"

"The Battle Dome is built over water…" Rockman X quickly realized something. "If it collapses, then we'll all fall into the ocean!"

"This is an emergency! It seems some of the major support beams of the Battle Dome have been damaged- The tournament arena is in threat of collapsing completely!" Kiro spoke out from the announcement stand once one of the staff had finished explaining the situation to her. "Everyone, please follow the staff directions and evacuate the Battle Dome immediately- Huh?" The was a gasp when the announcer noticed something. "W-wait a minute! Someone else seems to have entered the Battle Sphere!"

Inside of the Battle Sphere, X and Blues appeared to have realized this as well, and as the two Navies looked up, the look of recognition flashed through their eyes.

"It's you!" X identified the floating NetNavi as the one he had met just prior to the match; It was a bit difficult to forget the Navi's purple cloak and green eyes. Then, he paused briefly when he realized that Blues had echoed his statement completely.

"You know that Navi?" It was Enzan's turn to sound surprised as he looked at Netto.

"Not personally- But we've met?" The sudden seriousness in the situation made the younger Hikari felt as if he'd been caught doing something he wasn't supposed to.

"I-impossible!" The two boys turned their attention to the voice from the announcer's stand- This time, it was Higgory, and he sounded completely in shock. "Th-that NetNavi! Could it be…!"

"What do you mean?" Kiro was obviously confused. "Higgory, you recognize that NetNavi?"

"In the years I've spent searching for rare Battle Chips, I've assessed the Undernet multiple times on several occasions." Higgory appeared to grow stern as he quickly explained. "There are many rumors circulating around the Undernet, about certain NetNavies so powerful, that the scale of their strength could not be measured…" The Battle Chip trader stopped briefly- He was shaking. "...But given the circumstances, I believe our mysterious NetNavi is the fabled Blue Myth."

"Undernet NetNavies? Blue Myth?" Kiro was mostly confused, but the seriousness of Higgory's tone also worried her. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"You don't understand!" Higgory yelled, frantic. "The Blue Myth- She attracts disasters whenever she appears!"

"Attracting disasters?" There was a hint of suspicion in Kiro's voice, but she still hadn't quite made the connection that Higgory had just yet.

"There's one of the more prominent tales I've heard of her being circulated around the Undernet when I first heard of her. It was when she was first seen appearing in an Undernet village…" The man swallowed at that. "...Not a moment later, a gigantic cyclone had tore through the entire area, nearly ripping the entire village from the ground and destroying half of it in its wake…"

"Don't tell me-" Kiro had finally made the connection that Higgory was hinting at. "Don't tell me that the Battle Dome collapsing is because of…!"

Just then, another loud crack and rumble sounded out through the Battle Dome, and screams coming from the audience could be heard as the arena bagan to shake even more violently than before.

"No time to think about that now!" Higgory quickly realized. He grabbed the reporter by her wrist as the two ran to safety. "Let's get out of here!"


 

Internally, Rockman was beating himself up.

The blue Navi had lost his footing when the first, initial shock had occurred, which had caused him to fall into the Battle Dome below. While he did catch himself mid-air through levitating, in hindsight, he supposed he should have known that nothing was more incriminating that being seen floating down nonchalantly into complete chaos.

Gosh darn it.

"I knew you'd show up, sooner or later." Blues had wasted no time in pointing his sword at him. Rockman winced slightly at the red Navi's accusing tone.

"Is it true?" Rockman quickly looked at X, realizing that the other Navi had his buster trained on him as well. "That you're causing the collapse of the Battle Dome?"

"..."

Rockman really wanted to say 'no', but he doubted anyone would believe him at this point. It would probably get him into more trouble than he already was in.

X however, seemed to have taken his silence for admission. "Why are you doing this? Stop it right now!"

"There's no reasoning with Undernet Navies!" Blues had apparently taken his distraction as an opportunity to charge him. "Take this!"

While Blues was undeniably strong, considering how early in the timeline Rockman still was, he realized he had the unfair advantage of being more experience than Blues currently was. That and the red Navi had just come out from an extremely hectic battle and had not fully recovered yet. Not wanting to accidentally hurt the other, Rockman opted to just summon his Long Sword and deflect Blues' attack, the two swords creating a loud clank as they collided.

"Blues!" X had apparently taken that as his sign to attack. He quickly took aim and fired a charged shot at Rockman, the cloaked Navi pushing Blues out of the way and reflecting the shot without thinking, causing it to explode at X's feet and sent him flying backwards.

Rockman winced. Was there anyway he could possibly make himself less incriminating at this point?

"Plug out!" Enzan yelled at Netto on the other side of the Battle Sphere. "Your NetNavi's damaged! There's no way you can continue to fight like that!"

"And leave you and Blues to face that Navi alone by yourselves? No way!" Netto shot back, taking out a Battle Chip. "Attack Battle Chip; Vulcan! Slot in!"

As he stood up, X aimed at Rockman, his buster turning into a Vulcan before firing multiple rapid shots at him. At the same time, Blues had also recovered, and attempted to make another charge at him. Rockman did the only thing he could think of- Catching all of X's Vulcan shots before they could hit him, he redirected them all towards Blues. Having witnessed what Rockman had done to X's shot prior, the red Navi was not completely caught off guard, but he was still forced to leap away to avoid being hit by the redirected attack.

'Plug out. Please plug out. Oh my god. Please just plug out.'

"Your cheap shots won't work on me!" Blues yelled at him as he prepared for another attack. Raising his other arm, the red Navi formed it into a Paladin Sword as his operator sent him the chip data. Leaping at Rockman once more, he attempted to strike the cloaked Navi down, but the form of another figure flashed in front of him and slashed him through his chest before he could pull his attack off, the red Navi collapsing onto the ground shortly after.

"I told you I would make you pay if you attempted to harm my Mistress." Shadowman told the downed Navi.

"Blues! Plug out!" The white haired boy had disconnected his PET's cable from the Battle Sphere, preventing his NetNavi from being deleted from extensive damage. Then, he turned to Netto. "Hikari! Plug X out now- There's no way you'll survive against the both of them!"

Seeing this, Rockman finally decided to speak up as well. He turned to X. "Plug out, X."

X seemed to be startled by the cloaked Navi finally breaking his silence. "What?"

"When the Battle Dome collapses, the Battle Sphere will also be destroyed." Rockman explained. "If you don't plug out by then, you'll be deleted as well."

"Then stop it!" X was frantic. "You're causing the Battle Dome to collapse, then you can stop it, can you?"

"..." Rockman sighed. It doesn't appear like he was talking himself out of this one. "...I can't."

X gritted his teeth, raising his buster at him once more. "...Then I'll just have to stop you myself!" He fired a charged shot at the cloaked Navi, but Shadowman reacted, deflecting the shot entirely long before it could hit its intended target. Then, summoning a Shuriken, he threw it at X, the attached programme forcing a plug out as it hit the NetNavi. After that, he turned to the two boys still standing at the Battle Sphere.

"Your NetNavies have been dealt with. As for you two…" The shadow Navi clasped his hands together, before he muttered something. "...Mekakushi no Jutsu!"

A bright flash of light shone out from the Battle Sphere, blinding the two boys as everything faded away into the light.

Chapter Text

"...tto-kun! Netto-kun!"

"Ah!" The brunette jerked awake in an instant. As he woke, he quickly realized that he wasn't in any place he recognized. He looked around in an attempt to find clues as to where he might be.

"Netto-kun! Over here!"

The boy turned to the source of the sound. His PET was placed on the table besides him. Reaching over, he picked up his PET. "X! What happened? Where am I?"

"You were knocked out by that flash of light, and the Battle Dome sank into the ocean completely." X explained to his operator. "The doctors checked you for any injuries while you were unconscious, but they said there wasn't anything serious."

"The doctors?" Netto blinked. "Then that means I'm in the hospital?"

"Yes. You're in SeaSide Hospital." The Navi inside his PET nodded. "I think Hub's just outside, in the lobby, and Mom's coming over to pick us up right now. We should be able to leave then." At this, the NetNavi smiled. "I'm glad you weren't hurt, Netto-kun. I was so worried."

"Ah, sorry!" Netto laughed, a bit embarrassed. "But I'm fine, see?" He raised his free hand, giving the other a thumbs up. "Besides, it'll take much more than that to bring me down!"

"Is that what you truly believe?"

The new voice startled both the operator and his NetNavi. Looking up from his PET, Netto realized the display screen opposite of his bed had been turned on, and the NetNavi staring back at the two of them was one that he definitely recognized.

"You again…" The younger Hikari frowned, clutching his PET tighter. "...We keep running into you, but we still have no idea who you are…"

"..." For a moment, the boy wasn't sure if the strange NetNavi would answer him, so he was surprised when the Navi replied. "My name is Shadowman."

"Shadowman, huh?"

"I don't suppose you'll also be telling us about your involvement in sinking the Battle Dome?" Rockman X spoke out from his PET.

"What involvement?" Shadowman snorted. "It would appear to me that you do not have any proof of that other than some arbitrary rumor about my Mistress."

X remained strangely silent, then, he appeared to have realized something. "So, that other Navi was your Mistress you kept talking about."

"Oh yeah, that NetNavi…" Netto hummed, biting one of his nails in thought. "What was her name again? The Blue Moth…?"

"It's the Blue Myth, Netto-kun."

The boy blushed. "I knew that!"

"Hmph." Shadowman narrowed his eyes. "If I were to be completely honest, I still haven't the slightest clue why the Mistress holds you two in such high regards."

"Wh-what?" Shadowman's words confused the younger Hikari greatly. "What do you mean?"

"Do you honestly believe it was purely the work of good fortune that you managed to survive each of WWW's attacks?" The shadow Navi asked him. "And those incidents during the tournament- do you believe it to be luck that you made through them relatively unharmed?"

"...What are you trying to say?" Rockman X couldn't deny the truth in the other NetNavi's words; Now that he thought about it, too many things just seemed too… convenient. The anonymous message at Waterworks, Shadowman's interference during Hub and Maylu's tag team battle, and the fact that Hub and Netto had managed to locate them so quickly when they were pulled from the Battle Sphere into the lighthouse system…

"...I will admit, when the Mistress first told me that you two were special, I was nothing if not skeptical." Shadowman told them. "However, after witnessing your final battle…" The shadow Navi paused briefly, as if he was considering something. "...Perhaps that is what the Mistress sees in you two…?"

"That's it! Can you stop being so mysterious and tell us what you want already?" The brunette had had enough of the shadow Navi's suspense.

"Rash and impatient as always." Shadowman narrowed his eyes. "I want to see just how powerful the two of you can become."

"What?" It was X's turn to be confused. "What do you mean?"

"I mean exactly what I just said." As he spoke, Netto's PET beeped as a notification popped up.

"It's an image file!" Rockman X realized.

"You will find the power you seek following this map." Shadowman told the two of them. "...However, whether you are able to achieve this power will depend entirely on yourselves." Then, after he had finished, the shadow Navi added, as if an afterthought. "I must warn you, however. The path that leads to it it filled with dangers and uncertainty. If you are not fully prepared, then you shall surely meet your demise."

"Shadowman…!" Netto was unsure of what to say for a brief moment. "... Heh, you're as bad as you make yourself out to be, you know?" Then, the boy grinned. "You don't have to worry about us! As long as me and X got each other, we can overcome anything!"

"Tch! You-" Even Shadowman was taken aback by the younger Hikari's response; the trust and faith that the two operator and Navi had for each other remained something the Undernet Navi found hard to get used to. "Incompetent fools! Do not take my words lightly!" Then, as he regained his composure, Shadowman spoke calmly once more. "...I shall be watching the two of you from the sidelines. Try not to do something too foolish- I would hate to explain myself to the Mistress if something bad were to happen to the both of you."

With that, Shadowman cut off the video feed to the display screen, sighing internally. 'Those two… They're quite the handful, aren't they…'

As the shadow Navi was making his way out of the hospital systems, he noticed that there appeared to be an unusual amount of Programmes and NetNavies inside of the hospital computers.

'I suppose I should not be too surprised. Quite a few humans have gotten injured when the Battle Dome collapse.'

Then, out of the corner of his eye, Shadowman noticed something. The Undernet Navi had been uncertain if he had saw what he had at first glance, but as he turned his gaze directly at the passing Navi that had caught his attention, the shadow Navi still couldn't quite suppress the shock he felt when he made out the distinctive features of the Navi.

'This cannot be! Out of all the places, here…?'

Then, just as quickly as the NetNavi had appeared, the Navi had logged out of the computer systems, most likely having returned to his PET. Shadowman took a moment to gather himself, quickly recovering from his initial shock.

'...This is astonishing.' Shadowman thought to himself, eyes narrowing. 'The Mistress must know about this immediately.'

Chapter Text

"...Mega?"

The blue Navi let out a small sound. He was laying face down on the sleep cycle station. "No."

"..." Forte quietly placed his hand at the back of his head. "You can't be hung up about that forever."

"Fooorte!" Rockman whined, attempting to swat the other's hand away. "Did you hear what they said about me?"

The dark Navi took Rockman's wrist in his hands. When the first shock had rumbled through the Battle Dome, Forte hadn't been quick enough to grab hold of the other NetNavi as he fell. Knowing that his appearance would only serve to add more fuel to the flames, the dark navi had opted to stay hidden once he realized that Rockman was in no threat of any real danger. "If it makes you feel any better, I didn't believe a word he said."

Rockman couldn't quite stop the snort of laughter that escaped him. He turned his head, looking up at the other Navi. "Thanks, Forte. You just know how to make me feel all better." He said, half-sarcastically.

"You're very welcome." Forte told him with the same amount of sarcasm, kissing the palm of his hand. Rockman jerked his hand back.

"I still don't know why the Battle Dome collapse, though." The blue Navi sat up, hugging his knees. "I mean, obviously I didn't do it. But I have no idea what did…"

"I was thinking about that, too." Forte appeared genuinely lost as well. "If it wasn't an accident, then however had caused it probably wanted a lot of people injured."

Rockman blinked. He hadn't considered the possibility of the collapse to be an accident. "You think it might have been an accident?"

"It's possible. Especially considering the scale of the final battle." Forte shrugged. "It might not have been anything too out of the ordinary for us, but many surface Navies or humans have not even witnessed a Programme Advance being performed, let alone two at the same time. Keeping that in mind, it's very possible the Battle dome wasn't designed to sustain that sort of power within the Battle Sphere, and might have collapsed as a result."

Rockman fell quiet for a moment after hearing the other's explanation. It made sense, didn't it? But… "But why did they have to make up all those things about me? I didn't do any of it!"

Forte chuckled, cupping the side of Rockman's cheek with one of his hands. "That's just how the Undernet is, especially with your sparse appearances. It wouldn't surprise me some Undernet NetNavies would take the liberty to make certain things up to fill in the blanks."

Rockman unconsciously leaned into Forte's hand. "...I guess you're right. But I still can't believe they think that I'm… I'm…" He blushed, trailing off.

"Hn." The dark Nai smiled. "Again, if it makes you feel better, I don't care if you're just Mega or Mega-chan."

Rockman tensed, his eyes wide as he jerked back slightly, his face completely red at this point. "Don't… don't say that."

"Say what?" Forte sounded confused for a brief second, before he must have realized something. Climbing onto the sleep cycle station to lean over the smaller Navi, he leered down at him. "What is it? Don't you like it when I say your name, Mega-chan?"

Rockman felt a shiver go down his spine. The blue Navi attempted to get out from under the other Navi by crawling backwards, but was quickly grabbed by his waist. "Forte!"

"Hm?" The other Navi pulled him until he was laying flat on his back. "Are you shy?"

The blue Navi was shaking, not quite understanding what was happening. This was no different from all of the other times Forte had asked him for sex, but…

Normally, he would fight back. There would be a brief moment of half-hearted protest before he allowed the other Navi to continue. But he found himself just laying quietly underneath the larger Navi, the Submissive inside of him stirring with an unusual amount of shyness and obedience. His breath hitched as Forte leaned in for a kiss; he had expected the other to be forceful, to hold him in place as he struggled, but he was surprised when all the other did was to place a quick, chaste kiss on his lips.

Forte was being unusually gentle with him, and that somehow made him felt both relaxed and nervous at the same time; Relaxed enough to not struggle against whatever the other Navi was doing, but not nearly reassured enough to not feel the hint of excitement and anticipation of what the other Navi was about to do, the combination on which only contributed to his shyness and embarrassment.

"Poor thing, you're shaking so nervously." Forte brushed a thumb across his cheek. "Don't worry. I'll take such good care of you." At that, he leaned in closer. "I'm gonna make my princess feel like a queen."

Rockman's breath hitched, but he remained mostly still as Forte began to strip him, gasping softly as the dark Navi clasped one of his hands over his chest.

"I love your breasts, Mega-chan." Forte said, squeezing. "They're just the right size to fit into my palm nicely."

"F-Forte!" Rockman writhed. The other Navi's words made him embarrassed, but causing the Submissive in him to purr in delight, pleased at whatever compliment his Dominant had offered him- He wasn't sure whether he should stop or ask for more.

"Hn." Forte appeared to be pondering something as he rubbed his thumb up against one of Rockman's nipples, the action drawing out a long whine from the smaller NetNavi. "Remember when you said you wanted to carry my child, Mega-chan?"

That got a reaction out of the blue Navi almost instantly. Rockman's eyes snapped wide open, his pupils dilated with want and desire. He remembered. He remembered every single detail.

"Yes." Rockman breathed, unsure if it was himself or the Submissive inside of him that was speaking. "I, I want…" His lips quivered, still unable to say what he truly wanted.

Fortunately, it didn't appear Forte wanted to tease him too much this time. "Don't worry. I'll get to that now."

The blue Navi allowed himself to be moved so that Forte was settled in between his legs, slightly uncertain of where to look once he felt the other push up against him. His entire body was shaking with anticipation.

"I'm going to fill you with my offspring." Forte told him softly, the blue Navi gasped as he felt the tip pushing in. "Would you like that?"

Rockman nodded, the Submissive in him chanting 'yes' over and over again. Clinging onto the larger Navi, he attempted to buck his hips against the other, taking more of Forte's length inside of him. "I, I want it." He said, resting his head on the other's shoulder, somewhat glad that Forte couldn't see his blush.

"Alright then." Grinning, the dark Navi took ahold of his waist. "I'll make sure you're full before we're through."

With that, Forte bucked his hips forward, pushing his entire length in with a single thrust. Rockman let out a sharp cry as his insides were spread wide, clutching and shivering desperately as he clung tighter onto the Navi above him. "A-ah…!"

"You're still so tight inside of there, Mega-chan." Forte breathed against his ear as he set a steady pace, bucking softly into the smaller Navi underneath him, drawing out small whines and whimpers with every thrust. "Your pussy is clutching me so tightly. It's as if it wants to pull me even deeper in there." At that, Forte angled his thrusts, the tip of his length nudging against there.

"Ahn!" Rockman's entire body tensed up as that innermost sensitive spot of him was poked at. He was quivering with nervousness when Forte was inevitable ram himself against that spot within him repeatedly, but the Submissive part of him was growing impatient; It knew that was the place that his Dominant would mark him, pouring his seed deep inside of him and getting him fat-

Unknowingly, Rockman bucked his hips against the other once more, his forwardness seemed to have surprised Forte as he faltered in his pace slightly. "Mega…?"

"F-Forte, please…" The blue Navi trailed off briefly, knowing what he wanted, but unable to vocalize it. He clinged desperately onto the Navi above him. "I-I want…!"

It didn't take Forte long to realize what he meant. He grinned. "...Alright, I won't make you wait any longer."

Rockman felt the other's grip on his waist tighten briefly, before Forte had withdrew himself nearly completely and slammed back in. The blue Navi keened loudly, his insides clutching and and shuddering at the sudden rough treatment, but the Submissive side of him was absolutely screaming in joy- It was getting exactly what it wanted. For the following moments, Rockman could only let out sharp cries of pleasure as his insides were repeated stretched and forced apart, while that small opening in there was thrusted into over and over-

"Any time now." Sensing that he was close, Forte leaned down to whisper into his ear. "I'm going to pour myself deep inside of you. Your body's going to accept and take in my seed and you'll be carrying my child inside of you before long."

"For-Forte!" Rockman gasped, his soft insides quivering in unadulterated pleasure. His entire body shaking at this point as Forte continued to ram into him with such force and precision while maintaining his quick pace.

"Your belly's going to get so fat with my kid in there." Forte continued, edging him on. "You're going to be such a good mother too- Isn't that right, Mega-chan? You'll make sure that my kid's well fed and taken care of?" At that, Forte turned his head, kissing the smaller Navi softly. "I can't wait for you to have my offspring, Mega."

That was enough to push Rockman over the edge, the blue Navi crying and whimpering incoherently as he came. He sobbed and clawed at Forte's back when the other Navi didn't relent in his pace as he attempted to force that inner entrance inside of the smaller Navi wide open. "Forte- Forte!"

"I'm almost there." Forte attempted to hush him. "I'm so close- You'll be good and take all of me inside of there, won't you?"

Rockman let out something in between a whine and a sob. He couldn't speak, but the Submissive part of him was screaming 'yes', his insides clutching and shivering with anticipation. With one final jerk, the dark Navi snarled and released himself deep inside of the smaller Navi. Rockman's mind went blank as he felt the familiar warmth flooding him, his entire body still quivering in the aftermath of his orgasm.

It took Rockman longer than usual to come down from his high, but once Forte had felt that he had regained himself, he gently nudged the smaller Navi. "...If I know you'd get so riled up from this alone, I would've done this so many times before."

Snapping back to awareness, the blue Navi sniffed softly. "Forte… You know that NetNavies can't actually get pregnant, right? Even if I… I…" The blue Navi trailed off once more, but Forte seemed to have understood what he was implying by his quick glance downwards.

"You don't know that." The dark Navi said, kissing him once more. "I heard most pregnancies are a surprise, anyways."

Rockman's breath hitched. His body tensed as he suspected what the other was trying to do. "Forte, don't-"

"Maybe if we tried again now, we'd have twins."

Rockman blushed a deep shade of red. "Forte! That's not how pregnancies wor-Hnn!"

"For-Forte, sto- Ah-hnn! Ah…!"

"D-don't… Hn-nnn! ...I'll… I'll really get pregnant…!"

Chapter Text

Rockman had received the audio message from Shadowman once he had managed to get out from his mate's clutches.

"Mistress, there is something I must inform you of."

Rockman blinked, slightly confused by the seriousness of the other Navi's tone. Hadn't the worst of what happened during the tournament been over? "What is it, Shadowman?"

"...It's about a certain NetNavi you were looking for." The shadow Navi told him. "I have located him in one of the computer systems in SeaSide Hospital- He appears to be lingering inside the systems of room 2-0A."

The blue Navi frowned. He didn't recall looking for any NetNavi at this point. But Shadowman appeared to be really concerned about this NetNavi… "Alright. I'll head over there now. Thanks, Shadowman."

Cutting off the audio feed, Rockman made his way to the SeaSide Hospital computers, curious but cautious at the same time.


"Nii-san!"

"Netto-kun!" Hub had practically ran over to his younger sibling's side once he entered the hospital room. "I'm glad you're alright- I was so worried!"

"I'm glad they finally let you in! I was bored out of my mind in here." Netto grinned. "Hey, where's Mom?"

"She'll be here in a moment, then we can finally go home." Then, the elder of the two sighed. "...It's a bit of a shame that neither of us ended up winning the tournament, though."

"That's alright. We got to fight tons of strong opponents along the way, and second place isn't so bad!" The younger Hikari teased.

Hub huffed, crossing his arms and looking away childishly. "Speak for yourself!"

Netto laughed, the two of them falling into comfortable silence before hearing someone else enter the room. Both Hikaris looked towards the door, and were surprised when the person standing in the doorway wasn't someone they recognized.

"You're…" Hub looked at the strange suited man, cautious and slightly nervous, while Netto was more confused than anything.

"Don't worry, you're not in trouble." The man said as he approached the two boys. "Hub and Netto Hikari, right?"

The elder Hikari frowned. "Excuse me, but who're you?"

"Inspector Oda of the Net Police." The man took out his badge, showing it to the two boys. "We're currently investigating the cause of the collapse of the Battle Dome. One of our officials have told us that you might have knowledge regarding one of the potential suspects. I would like to ask you a few questions regarding that."

"I guess he's talking about Enzan." Netto whispered softly to his elder sibling.

"Our officer says that you may have had interactions with a certain NetNavi known as the Blue Myth prior to the finale of the N1 Grand Prix. Is that true?"

Netto bit one of his nails. "Well, I guess, yeah."

"Hm." The man regarded him closely. "Would you mind retelling the interaction that you had with this Navi?"

"Well, it was just before the final match. Me and X were just practising in one of those practise rooms when she just appeared. At first, we thought she'd wanted to attack us or something, but it turns out she was trying to help us with Programme Advance."

Hub Hikari looked at his younger sibling with surprise at that. "That's what was going on in there?"

Netto nodded. "Yeah. It was real weird."

"Were you not with your sibling as this was happening?" The man seemed to have noticed the elder Hikari's words.

"Not really…" Hub paused slightly. "I was outside of the room when it happened, I think."

"Outside?"

"I was locked out. I tried accessing the control systems with my NetNavi, but there was this other NetNavi overriding the control systems."

"Oh! That's right! She'd tried to lock me in the training room- I was afraid I'd miss the final match, that would be the worst way to lose the tournament!" Netto piped in.

"Hm. You mentioned that there was another Navi that was controlling the systems while this was happening?" Inspector Oda was now addressing Hub. "Would you mind telling more about this NetNavi you encountered?"

"It was that Navi that had this star on his head. And he looked like a ninja." Hub tried his best to explain.

"Oh! I think I've seen that Navi, too!" Netto's eyes lit up. "It was that Navi with that sword and the red scarf, right?"

"Yeah! That's the one." The two twins apparently had a way of knowing exactly what the other was talking about.

"He was there when you were in that fight with Fireman and Colouredman, you know." The younger Hikari said, suddenly remembering that he'd forgotten to tell his elder sibling about that entire ordeal before.

"Really?" Hub frowned. "Huh. He really keeps appearing everywhere…"

"Everywhere?" The inspector raised an eyebrow, prompting the two twins.

"Yeah. I think I first saw him when Netto-kun was in that fight with Fireman and his operator, and then he just kept popping up during the tournament, right?" Hub looked at his younger sibling who nodded in agreement.

Inspector Oda appeared to consider their words briefly. "Has he initiated contact with the two of you outside of the tournament, then?"

"I don't think so." Hub said.

"Nah." Netto echoed his elder sibling's statement.

"I see." The inspector nodded. "Alright, that will be all then. I thank you for your time."

"...You're lying, aren't you?" Hub whispered softly to his younger sibling once he was sure the man had left.

"Aww, Nii-san!" Netto pouted. The two twins knew each other too well.

Hub ignored his whining. "Why'd you do it?"

"Alright, fine, I'll explain." Netto sighed, rolling his eyes dramatically. "It happened right before you came in, actually. Shadowman just appeared on the monitor over there." The younger Hikari pointed at the display screen at the far end of the wall.

"Shadowman?"

"That's what he's called." Netto shrugged.

"Okay. And what did he say?" Hub asked.

"A bunch of stuff..." Netto frowned briefly, seeming to have trouble recalling the details of their conversation.

"Didn't he claim that that Blue Myth NetNavi was the one interfering with those previous WWW attacks?" Rockman X finally decided to speak out from his PET.

"Oh yeah! I guess he did, huh?" Netto laughed, slightly embarrassed.

"Why'd you lie about that?" Hub was still confused.

"Okay, okay, I'll tell you." Netto grinned. He picked up his PET laying on the table next to the bed. "X, share that image file with Zero."

It took only a brief moment for Hub to open the image file. "This is…?"

"Shadowman said it was a map to some sort of power!" Netto smiled slyly. "That inspector would've forced us to show him this map if he'd know what happened."

"This… This is amazing, but…" The elder Hikari paused slightly in thought. "Are you sure this isn't a trap…? It seems a bit suspect..."

"We'll just be extra careful." Netto seemed determined. "We have each other to watch our backs, right?"

"...Right." Hub nodded, smiling briefly, before he frowned in slight annoyance. "...But this map…"

"Ugh." The younger Hikari groaned. "I know exactly what you mean. It's the worst."

"Hub? Netto? Dear, are you two well?"

The two boys looked up instantly.

"Mom!"


Rockman sighed as he made his way through the SeaSide Hospital computer systems. He'd decided to stash his cloak elsewhere until he was done here, deciding that the best way to stay hidden and avoid being recognized was to hide in plain sight; It wasn't as if anyone knew what he looked like underneath his cloak. In fact, most surface Navies would probably recognize him instantly if he did wear his cloak. There was a weird feeling of nostalgia, though, as he walked through the computer systems- It was as if he was just a regular surface NetNavi again.

Deep in his thoughts, the blue Navi didn't notice as a programme running towards him, the two bumping into each other.

"OW! OH NO!" The programme exclaimed once it had picked itself back up. "I AM TERRIBLY SORRY! I'M NEW HERE- I HAVEN'T A SINGLE CLUE WHERE I'M SUPPOSED TO GO!"

"That's okay." Rockman smiled softly. "Well, where are you going? Perhaps I can help?"

"REALLY? YOU WILL? YIPPEE!" The programme did a small jump before it continued. "WELL, I'M SUPPOSED TO DELIVER THIS DATA TO ROOM 2-0A, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS!"

"Room 2-0A?" Rockman blinked, surprised. "Oh! I'm heading there myself. Here, follow me and I'll take you there, okay?"

"OKAY! THANK YOU, KIND NAVI!"

With the programme following closely behind him, Rockman quickly navigated his way through the computer systems, locating the wrap pad to his destination and logging into the room systems.

"Ah, I was waiting for that data." A voice spoke out not a moment after Rockman had entered into the room systems. "Had the programme gotten lost again? Well, I thank you kindly for bringing him here."

Rockman turned to the voice. "Oh, it's nothi-" He stopped dead in his tracks, gasping once he saw the NetNavi who was speaking to him.

"Se-Serenade?!"

Chapter Text

The other NetNavi paused, staring at him for a brief moment before he spoke. "I'm sorry- Do I know you?"

"Oh! S-sorry." Rockman stammered, still not fully recovered from his shock. "Where were my manners? I'm, I'm Mega."

"Mega." Serenade repeated, smiling. "It's nice to meet you. I am Serenade- but I suppose you already knew that."

The blue Navi laughed awkwardly. He really hadn't expected to see the King of the Undernet in here of all places.

"MISTER SERENADE! HERE IS THE DATA YOU WANTED!" The programme piped up as he floated towards the Navi. "IT'S THE NOVELIZED VERSION OF LUNAR KNIGHTS, THIRD EDITION!"

"Ah, that's right. Thankyou." Serenade nodded, taking the data from the programme.

Rockman was quiet as he fell back into his thoughts; in all honesty, he still wasn't sure what he was expecting or what he wanted to achieve when he had asked Shadowman of the whereabouts of Serenade. The blue Navi had thought that since Serenade had been the one to send him back in time, that perhaps the other Navi would recognize him, even in this timeline, but he suppose he'd been mistaken.

No one else had recognized him. He technically didn't even exist in this timeline, so perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised that this Serenade didn't have any recollection of him, either.

"Well, I guess I should be going then." Rockman said, feeling slightly resigned. "I'm sorry for disturbing you."

"Oh, you're leaving so soon?" Serenade appeared disappointed. "I was hoping you'd have some time to stay a while; My operator's currently in one of his daily checkups, and I rarely get to talk to other Navies outside of here."

That made Rockman pause- Serenade had an operator? "Daily checkups?"

Serenade nodded. "Yes, my operator lives in this hospital."

"What happened?" Curious, Rockman asked before he could stop himself. "I mean, if you don't mind telling me." He quickly added.

Serenade's smile faltered. "...He's lived in this hospital for his entire life. He's very ill."

"Oh…" that made the blue Navi felt bad. "I'm sorry- I didn't mean to bring that up…"

"No, it's okay." The other Navi shook his head. "My operator's been sick since birth. He's suffered from a disease known as HDB for his entire life. Since he has to be monitored constantly to make sure he doesn't have another attack, he doesn't get to go out much." Serenade stopped momentarily. "...I guess that's also why I don't get to leave here very often."

"That's terrible!" Rockman couldn't imagine being trapped in the same room for the entirety of his life. "He'll get better with treatment, right?"

"...I am unsure. I've just been doing my best to keep him company while he's in here..." Serenade hesitated, before he looked away, smiling softly. "Sorry. I shouldn't be saying such depressive things- We've just met, afterall."

"You don't have to apologize, Serenade." Rockman told the other Navi. "I'm not actually in a hurry, anyways, so I'll be more than happy to stay and talk for a while with you."

He could feel the change in mood instantly as Serenade beamed. "That's great! Perhaps I can even introduce you to my operator, when he returns."

Rockman nodded. It was still weird- the fact that this iteration of Serenade wasn't the King of the Undernet, but instead the NetNavi of an ill child. Even if Rockman knew that some things in this timeline were different from his original one, if Hub's appearance in this timeline was any indication, but the difference was so drastic that the blue Navi found it hard to adjust to so suddenly.

Just then, a holographic image flickered to life next to Serenade. Rockman watched as the projection visualized itself, displaying the image of a small boy.

"Mamoru!" Serenade appeared relieved. "You're back."

"Yeah." The boy, Mamoru smiled back, before he yawned. "I'm just so tired, having to do this everyday." Then, he appeared to have noticed Rockman. "Oh! Hello!"

"Mamoru, this is Mega." Serenade quickly introduced him.

"Oh, is Mega your actual name?" The boy blinked. "Anyways, it's nice to meet you, Mega!"

"Hm, it's nice to meet you, too." Rockman said politely, but he was somewhat confused by Mamoru's first statement. "But what do you mean by…?"

"I've seen you before, on TV." Mamoru explained.

"On TV?" That only made the blue Navi more confused.

"Yeah! You're that NetNavi they're calling the Blue Myth, right?" The boy bit on one of his nails as he attempted to recall his memories. "I was watching the live broadcast of the N1 Grand Prix when you appeared."

Rockman's jaw dropped. "I, I think you're mistaken- I'm not-"

"I remember your eyes." Mamoru seemed completely certain of himself. "They have this spark in them. I'd never forget it." Then, he appeared to be considering something. "But, you're a lot less scary than they make you out to be on the news."

Rockman just stared at the boy, unsure of what to say. It figures that Serenade would have an operator that also possessed some sort of unknown power, and had an air of mysteriousness surrounding him. "W-well, thanks, I guess." At least the blue Navi could take some sort of comfort knowing that Mamoru wasn't afraid of him, despite all the negativity surrounding him. "So, you were watching the N1 Grand Prix?"

"I was!" Mamoru's eyes lit up at that. "I watched all of the live broadcasts- Watching other people net battle was amazing!"

"You seem to be really interested in net battling." Rockman commented.

"Well, I would love to become a net battler, too, if I can." Mamoru's mood changed at that. "But the doctors said that I can't. They say it might trigger another attack."

"You could always net battle once you get better- I'm sure you'll be great at it!" Rockman attempted to comfort the ill child; The blue Navi wasn't even lying. Had Serenade been one of the competitors in the N1 Grand Prix, he would have swept all of his competition.

"Yeah… right." Mamoru sighed, his posture slumping. "It's not as if I'll ever get better…"

"Wh-what?" The boy's sudden pessimism surprised Rockman greatly. "Why not?"

"Everyone's been saying that I'll get better. That there's some treatment that might help with my disease…" Mamoru frowned as he trailed off slightly. "But it's been so long, and I still haven't gotten any better! I'll still be sick even if they give me treatment- I'll never be able to leave the hospital, or net battle, or do anything else…"

"Don't say that!" While Rockman understood why Mamoru would hold such opinions, it still shocked him that such a young child would have so little hope for himself. "Look- While it might be true that treatment might not make you get better, there's still a slight chance that it will! But if you don't believe that you'll ever get better- Then that's just it! Even if it seems impossible, there's still a chance to change your future for the better, but you have to have hope in yourself for that to be possible!"

The blue Navi's word seemed to have stunned Mamoru; it was probably in some part due to no one having told the boy the same thing before. "I…"

"Well said."

The knowing tone had made Rockman blink. Slightly alarmed, he turned to Serenade, the Navi just quietly observing him with a stern gaze. "Serenade…?"

Then, the hospital alarms blared to life.

Chapter Text

"A-an alarm?!" Panic flooded his systems in an instant. Damn it, why did trouble seemed to follow him everywhere he went?

…Maybe there were at least some truth to those rumors, after all.

"Wh-what's happening?" Mamoru seemed just as lost as he was, if not more terrified.

"That doesn't sound good- I'll go assess the situation." Serenade turned to the frightened child. "Stay here. And remember, deep breathes, alright?"

"O-okay." Mamoru nodded. "You be careful."

With that, Serenade quickly accessed the warp pad leading back to the main computers of the hospital. Rockman followed closely behind him, and the two spotted the problem almost instantly.

The hospital computers were being attacked. A swarm of the miniature versions of the Dream Virus Rockman had seen once in the Undernet before had somehow been released into the computer systems. Not far off, the two could hear some other NetNavis flee in terror as the mini Dream Viruses attempted to take a bite out of their data.

Rockman frowned. He already knew that these viruses were developed by WWW, and that it was extremely unlikely that they would've formed elsewhere on their own. Was it possible that WWW had started yet another attack, right after the tournament had finished?

"Watch out!"

As the blue Navi was deep in thought, he hadn't noticed that one of the bug-like viruses had leapt towards him, intending to tear him apart. Serenade had raised his hand at the virus, summoning several petals that shot themselves towards the miniature Dream Virus, knocking it away from Rockman, the blue Navi gasping once he'd realized what had happened.

"Are you alright?" Serenade asked him once the immediate threat was gone.

"I'm, I'm fine. Thank you." Rockman sighed. That was stupid for him to do. If it hadn't been for the other Navi, he could have gotten seriously injured. Briefly, he turned to where the virus had fallen as he heard it snarling and chittering slightly, not completely down yet even though it had been damaged by Serenade's attack. Rockman paused as he noticed something else.

This miniature Dream Virus was blue. The one he'd saw back in the Undernet was a bright shade of red, and it had some sort of fire-type aura on it. If so, does this mean that this one had the water-type aura attached to it? That made sense. WWW had acquired the Water Programme, after all. That would mean they've been successful in developing a water-type aura using that elemental programme.

But why were they releasing these viruses here, of all places? Rockman couldn't remember something nearly as severe his first time around.

"They're everywhere- They're absolutely tearing the systems apart." Serenade's words jolted him out of his thoughts. "This is very bad- There're some patients that might be undergoing operations at the moment. If we don't find a way to put a stop to this attack, their lives might very well be in danger."

Rockman blanched. There was no way he could allow that to happen! But… "There's too many of them! How're we going to delete them all?"

Serenade appeared to consider this for a second. "We don't have to delete them all. As long as we can protect them from damaging the Tree of Life's programme until the authorities arrive, we can prevent them from doing any real harm."

"The Tree of Life?" Rockman had never heard of such a programme before.

"It's the most important programme within the hospital systems." Serenade explained. "It's connected to nearly all of the rooms and equipment here. If the viruses were to damage it…"

"Alright, I've got you." Rockman understood the implications instantly. "You lead the way- I don't know where the programme is. I'll follow closely behind you."

Nodding, Serenade quickly began to make his way through the computer systems, and Rockman trailed closely behind, occasionally offering support by shooting at the viruses that attempted to attack the two of them. The blue Navi also noticed that there now appeared to be a yellow coloured variation of this virus as well that were scuttling all about the computer systems, this one mostly likely having the electric-aura attached to it, if the two other variations before it were of any indication of such.

"We're here." Serenade said once the two had logged into the innermost systems of the hospital. Rockman allowed himself a brief moment of awe as he saw the giant programme that took the appearance of a tree sprouting out from the depths of the system and towered over the entire network of the computer. It was as if there was an actual tree growing from within the cyberworld.

But there was a infestation problem- Already, hundreds of miniature Dream Viruses had attached themselves to the Tree of Life, and had begun taking bites out of the programme, the damaged data disappearing into thin air.

Panicking, Rockman formed his hand into a Long Sword. "We have to stop them!"

"Wait." Serenade held one hand up. Then, he pointed at one of the main branches of the tree. Rockman followed the direction of where the other Navi had pointed at with his gaze.

"Th-the Dream Virus?!"

Right there, on one of the branches, the large form of the Dream Virus was just sitting there, its bug-like appendages digging into the bark of the tree. 'That can't be right! WWW had collected all four of the elemental programmes before they had created the Dream Virus to use it during the 'End Game'! So why is it here, of all places?'

Rockman narrowed his eyes, attempting to make sense of what he was seeing, but as he looked at the Dream Virus for a few seconds longer, the blue Navi seemed to recall that the Dream Virus he faced was a lot larger than this one. That, and this Dream Virus was a discoloured purple, instead of green as he had remembered.

Perhaps this was just a prototype…?

"You've seen this sort of virus before?"

Rockman jolted to full alertness- Damn it, had be said it out loud? "W-well… Sort of, I guess…"

Serenade looked at him with a blank expression, but otherwise didn't question him further. He turned back to the ongoing chaos before them. "It appears that the large one is in control of the smaller ones- perhaps if we deleted that one, we could stop this virus attack." Then, he paused slightly. "But…"

"But?" Rockman blinked.

"There's some sort of thing surrounding that virus." Serenade pointed out. "...It has an aura."

Oh. That's right. WWW had used the Dream Virus in their final attack, and the reason why the Dream Virus was as powerful as it had been was because of the Life Aura- The aura thay WWW had created from all four of the elemental programme- attached to it. It was the perfect defense, able to withstand any attack, thus making the Dream Virus virtually invincible, but…

Rockman grinned. "Don't worry about that. I'm heading in. When I give the signal, you attack that large virus' aura, okay?"

Serenade fell silent, regarding him carefully for a moment, before he nodded. "Alright. But please do be careful."

"Okay then." Rockman took a deep breath. "Here I go!"

With a running start, he leapt from the platform he and Serenade had been standing on, landing on one of the branches of the Tree of Life. The miniature versions of the Dream Viruses all directed their aggression at him almost instantly, growling and snarling as they attempted to attack him, but the blue Navi just dodged out of the way, paying them no mind. His attention was focused on the prototype Dream Virus.

As if sensing his intention, the prototype Dream Virus raised one of its gigantic claws, preparing to bring it down on him, but Rockman was prepared for this as well.

"Now!" Rockman gave the signal. Still on the above platform, Serenade acted- summoning a barrage of pellets, the other Navi directed them all towards the prototype Dream Virus, the shots exploding on impact, the Life Aura protecting the virus from sustaining any damage as expected, but Rockman wasn't concerned in the least- He was waiting for his opportunity.

Roaring in rage, the giant virus brought his claw down, swinging it at the blue NetNavi, but as he did so, Rockman saw the Dream Aura flicker out of existence for a brief moment.

'As I suspected.' Rockman smiled to himself as he saw the opening he was waiting for. 'The Dream Aura is still flawed- There's an instant where it disappears completely, leaving the Dream Virus vulnerable to attacks.'

Taking his chance, Rockman leapt forward, dashing out of the way of the virus' attack, slashing it in half before the Life Aura could re-manifest itself. The virus screeched, stumbling for a brief moment, before it fell from the Tree of Life, collapsing into the depths below as it was deleted, the smaller variations of it also dropping from the tree one after another not a moment later.

"...Very impressive." Rockman turned to see Serenade floating down towards where he stood. "I knew you could do it."

"Huh…?" There was that tone and look again, the one Serenade uses whenever he was about to reveal something important.

"Ever since your conversation with Mamoru, I knew you'd only ever wanted to change the future for the better, and you'd do anything in your power to ensure that." Serenade said with a soft smile. "After all, you've fought hard to achieve what you have today, haven't you?"

"Serenade, you…" Rockman thought he'd been certain that there was no way this Serenade recognized him, but the other's words just now made him doubt once more- It had hit too close to home. "You know something, don't you?"

When the other Navi had fallen strangely silent, Rockman continued. "You know about all of this, about why this is happening, and everything-" The blue Navi was unable to put it into words without him sounding mildly insane. "So… so why'd you do it? What did you intend to happen when you did it?" Rockman was shaking with doubt and hope at this point. "Tell me!"

"..."

Serenade merely stared at him in consideration for several more seconds, and, for a brief moment, it seemed as if Serenade had been about to say something, but his expression had changed completely in the next instant. He was smiling.

"Whatever are you talking about, Mega?" Serenade asked him. "I am, after all, just the humble NetNavi of an ill child." With that, Rockman watched in conflicting doubt, uncertainty and confusion and as the other Navi left.


"OH NO! IT'S GONE! IT'S REALLY GONE!"

Rockman looked to where the voice had come from as he made his way out of the computer systems of the hospital- It appeared to be the same programme he had met earlier that day.

"Are you alright?" Rockman asked as he approached the programme. "What's wrong? Did you lose something?"

"EEEK!" The unexpecting programme jumped a feet into the air. "WH-WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, KIND NAVI? I- I WOULD NEVER LOSE ANYTHING IMPORTANT! NEVER!"

Rockman sighed, slightly amused. "It's alright. Maybe I can help you find whatever you lost."

"YOU- YOU WILL? The programme was surprised, but still slightly uncertain. "YOU WON'T LAUGH AT ME?"

"Of course not." The blue Navi smiled reassuringly.

"WELL, OKAY THEN." The programme said. "I'LL, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS."

Rockman nodded. "So? What is it?"

"IT'S THE WOOD PROGRAMME INSIDE OF THE TREE OF LIFE!" The programme was frantic as it explained. "IT'S GONE! SOMEONE HAS STOLEN IT!"

Chapter Text

"I've got it." Forte said, suddenly.

Rockman paused. He'd returned back to the Undernet once he'd retrieve his cloak, the familiar weight of it resting on his shoulders once more. Uncertain of what to do after he learned that WWW now has their hands on all four of the elemental programmes, Rockman had wanted to ask what Forte saw of the entire situation, but the other Navi had beaten him to it. "Got what?"

"Your problem with the auras." Forte elaborated. "There's a way to circumvent them."

The blue Navi blinked, surprised and in awe; He would've guessed that Forte of all Navies would be able come up with a solution to an impossible problem, but he didn't expect Forte to take the banter that they had when discussing it with such seriousness that the dark Navi would actually spend the time and effort thinking over it.

"Well, alright then." Rockman grinned. "Enlighten me."

"It's surprisingly simple." Forte raised a finger. "You blow them away." Then, he mimicked the motion of blowing out a matchstick.

"..." Rockman waited, expecting some sort of follow-up to Forte's statement, but when he realized that was all the other Navi had to say, he blinked. "What?"

"If you blow the aura away, then they aren't protected by the aura anymore, making it effectively useless." Forte made it sound like it was common sense.

"Don't patronize me. I get that." Rockman frowned. "But how are you even going to blow an aura away? It's attached to the person using it, isn't it?"

"It is, the same way you can detach it from that person if you pull on it hard enough."

"No, no, that's not how it works." Rockman argued. "You can't just blow away a barrier when someone summons it. They're inside the barrier. It doesn't work that way."

"Mega, that might be true for barriers, but we're not talking about them. We're talking about auras." Forte sighed.

"Aren't they basically the same thing?" Both auras and barriers protected the user from damage.

"They achieve the same purpose, but they are definitely not the same thing, Mega." Forte paused briefly, as if wondering how to explain it in a way the blue Navi would understand. "When you summon a barrier, you effectively summon a stationary object that surrounds you and protects you from damage. But when you use an aura, it's quite different."

"Okay. How is it different?" Rockman was more confused than ever.

"...You've never used an aura before, so you'll just have to take my word for it; But when you use an aura, it acts more like a torch of flame; as long as the user stays within the luminate radius, they're protect from harm, and the user isn't limited to any area- the aura moves with them." Forte explained slowly. "But to allow the aura to remain attached to them, the user has to exert a constant amount of energy to keep it attached. If some sort of external force, let's say, a gust of wind, were to pull on the aura and the user is unable to exert the proper amount of energy to keep it attached, then it's gone- Blown off, just like that."

"..." The blue Navi gave the other an incredulous look. "Okay, fine. Let's say that's how it works; But what if the aura's huge? How're you supposed to move it, then?"

"Then that's even better." Forte shrugged. "Larger auras take more energy to hold and maintain than smaller, more compact auras, making them much more susceptible to becoming detached from their user."

Rockman stared at the other Navi for several more moments. Blowing away someone's aura? Really?

"I'm slightly hurt by the fact that you don't believe me, Mega." Forte said, somewhat teasingly.

"It's difficult. You make it sound so easy." Rockman admitted.

Forte sighed, before taking his hand and pulling him against himself softly. "Here, I'll show you."

The dark Navi then activated the aura which he had acquired from one of the miniature Dream Viruses. That wasn't anything new; Rockman had seen Forte with this aura before, but-

It was definitely a different feeling from being inside of a barrier, and the blue Navi found that Forte's prior explanation on the difference between barriers and auras to be surprisingly accurate; while Rockman knew that using a barrier was pretty much like being under a dome-shaped shield, having used a barrier on multiple occasions before, being inside an aura was a completely different feeling. If he were to describe it, he would say it felt like laying in a body of water- It was constantly moving and shifting around its user, while outwardly maintaining its circular shape.

"...Whao."

"You feel it, don't you?" Forte asked him.

"Yeah. It's definitely different." Rockman nodded. "I think I see where you're coming from, now."

"Hn."

They remained like that for a while, with Forte holding the smaller Navi in his arms before he allowed the aura to flicker and gradually fade out of existence entirely.

"...Forte." Rockman spoke up, deciding to bring up what he'd originally want to with the other Navi. "I think, in the near future, maybe in the following days, something big is going to happen."

"Is it about that terrorist organization you pay so much attention to?" Forte tilted his head.

"Yeah." Rockman nodded. "I just learned that they've gotten hold of the final elemental programme, and if what you say about weaponizing it is true, then…" Rockman paused briefly, trying to figure out a way to get his point across without revealing that he knew more than he was supposed to. "If they have something that powerful, then they're going to use it to do something big. I'm not sure what, but I just know it."

"Hm." Forte appeared to consider this for a moment. "And I suppose you're going to do something about that?"

"I am. I can't allow them to hurt innocent people."

"..." The other Navi was silent for a while, before he sighed. "I still don't agree with what you're doing."

"...I know." Forte had made his opinion on this issue clear many times before.

"Just don't put yourself in danger." The dark Navi said as he held him tighter. "I can tolerate you doing what you're doing up to a certain point, but if I see you doing something stupid or throwing yourself directly into harm's way, I'm dragging you back here in an instant."

"I won't." Rockman smiled at the other's concern. "I promised I wouldn't, didn't I?"

"And I fully expect you to keep that promise." Forte told him as he leaned in closer. "Come here."

Rockman was momentarily surprised when the other Navi kissed him, but he quickly got over his initial shock and reciprocated his kiss, winding his arms around Forte's neck as the other placed his own hands on Rockman's waist, the blue Navi somehow found that Forte had moved the two of them onto the floor with Rockman laying down while the other Navi leaned over him.

"W-wait, I'm not…" Rockman blushed, slightly uncertain. He wasn't sure if he could handle another round with Forte. His breath hitched as the other Navi gently guided his legs apart, placing his forehead against the smaller Navi's.

"...Just once." Forte told him, and Rockman shivered, wanting the pleasure the other Navi could give him, but also doubtful that the other could exercise enough self control to stop just after the first time. The blue Navi let out small gasps and whines as Forte began to touch and stroke his soft skin as he was undressed. "I want you, now."

It wasn't long before Forte had Rockman laying bare undeath him, and Rockman cried out, jumping slightly when he felt Forte shealth himself inside him completely once more. The blue Navi's blushed deepened as he clutched around Forte's length, the stretch only slightly uncomfortable as his boy quickly began to adjust to the other Navi being inside of him.

"For-Forte…" Rockman made a small sound, gasping and whimpering slightly as Forte began to buck his hips into him, each inward thrust pushing against his sensitive opening in there. His soft insides quivered, becoming wet with slick at the repeated stimulation, allowing the other Navi to slide deep into him with ease.

"Mega…" Forte snarled, kissing him again. "Shit, you're so good to me. You're taking me in so nicely."

"A-ah!" Rockman let out a loud cry as Forte suddenly sped up in his pace, his insides shuddering and clenching down harder in over-stimulation. His entire body shock as the Navi above him rammed into him repeatedly, drawing out sharp cries and small, pleasured whines from the smaller Navi below him. Rockman closed his eyes, embarrassed at all of the reactions Forte was getting out of him.

"Does it feel good?" Forte asked him as he jerked his hips up sharply, the smaller Navi letting out a loud cry as he quivered.

"Y- Hnn…! Yes…" The blue Navi looked at the other with half-lidded eyes; despite himself, he wanted Forte. He wanted the other to continue thrusting into him, wanted him to force that innermost part of him wide open and fill him inside there…

Forte appeared pleased with his answer, practically slamming into the Navi below him now with each buck of his hips, hissing with approval when Rockman responded with several frantic cries. "That's it. Stay with me. I'll make you feel so good-" At that, he thrusted himself directly against Rockman's inner opening, groaning as he felt the blue Navi's walls clutching around him tighter. "-And perhaps I'll give you something even more than that, hmm?"

In the next following moments, the area was filled with the sounds of soft moaning and delighted cries, before the two Navies were finally finished, finding themselves in each other's arms.

Chapter Text

Forte was both incredibly annoyed and extremely amused at the same time. He'd forgotten how much time he had spent in the Undernet by now, but that little thing back from SciLabs was still following him closely.

He was incredibly annoyed, because he could feel clearly the tiredness, weariness and restlessness of the other Navi the entire time. Extremely amused, because despite all that, there was still the feeling of determination and hope that was being projected, even if it was buried underneath all of those previous emotions.

Birefly, Forte decided that he would see if he could draw out another emotion from the other Navi. Activating his levitation ability, he floated over a gap that he had determined would be too wide for the other Navi to reasonably leap across. He retreated from the area, and it wasn't long before he felt the other's realization, worry and distress began to bleed through at the back of his mind.

'I wonder what he's going to do, now.'

There was a brief moment of hesitation, before it was replaced with caution and a large amount of alertness, and Forte could only guess what the blue Navi was trying to do.

Then, a sudden wave of alarm and panic slammed into him, nearly knocking the air out of his lungs as it happened. Quickly, he circled back to where he came from before he had realized what he was doing. Peering over the edge, he saw that the other Navi climbing up the steep ledge of the cliff, before relief which he wasn't sure was completely his own flooded him.

'Shit. I probably shouldn't have done that.'

Sighing to himself, he turned back to the road ahead in case the other Navi caught up to him. While he was content with allowing the other to trail him, actually confronting the other Navi was a pandora's box in its own that he wasn't quite sure he was prepared to open- And he wasn't sure why.

Briefly, he considered the possibility that he'd permanently lost the ability to trust another being- be it human or Navi- in its entirety. After that clusterfuck of an ordeal he'd been through, he would have been perfectly content to never form another bond with anyone ever again, yet…

He twitched slightly as he felt those emotions that weren't his own beginning to bleed through to him once more as the other Navi got close- Forte could feel him just lurking around the corner, and when he stood there, unmoving for several moments, he could even feel the confusion, worry and concern seeping into the back of his mind.

It felt so genuine- It was as if this Navi had actual, human emotions instead of the basic range of emotions that were programmed into ordinary NetNavies, and at times, the other's second-hand emotions even overpowered his own; He still recalled how bitter and angry he had been just after that incident had just happened, but it was a bit difficult to stay angry when he was literally flooded with worry and concern from someone else, nearly constantly since he'd began wandering within the Undernet.

So there was that theory out of the window- If the Navi truly had malicious intent towards him, Forte would have felt it from a mile away. Forte frowned, annoyed with himself. 'What is it? It's not like me to be indecisive.'

He was brought out of his thoughts when the slight curiousness poked him at the back of his head, and Forte remembered he'd been standing there, deep in his own musings while the other Navi had been quietly observing him the entire time.

'...He's quite curious, huh.'

At least this Navi seemed genuinely kind-hearted in nature; Forte would've probably lost it ages ago if he had been subjected to the emotions of someone who wasn't as pure and perhaps more wicked than this NetNavi had been. He would've probably turned around and deleted that Navi in an instant. That blue Navi's emotions were a comfortable presence at the back of his mind, however, one that Forte didn't mind, and perhaps enjoyed, to a certain extent.

It was definitely interesting, the way how that Navi appeared to feel emotions more complex than he ever could, but he could experience now through the other NetNavi; He had been completely overwhelmed the first time he felt those emotions that were not his own- The mixture of shock, recognition, curiosity, timidness and relief had nearly knocked him off his feet, but he'd been more intrigued than anything after that first experience. Forte had wanted to see how many other emotions he could experience through the other, that he might have been unnecessarily ruthless when dealing with his enemies just to feel that mixture of awe, wonder and a hint of sadness that the other would project-

Wait a minute.

Had he just… admitted to himself that he cared what the other Navi thought about him?

Snapping to full alertness at his sudden realization, Forte began to trek forward once more, the other Navi projecting the feeling of brief surprise before he quickly followed closely after him, and Forte had to actively stop himself from running in order not to appear suspicious.

'This is ridiculous. I shouldn't give a shit what he thinks of me.' Forte told himself as he continued onwards. He'd never cared when all of those SciLab humans considered him a threat, and he definitely didn't care about how Undernet NetNavies would perceive him, with him being as ruthless as he was.

But it was a bit hard not to care, when he could literally feel what that NetNavi thought of him.

...Was this why he couldn't face the other NetNavi? Because he feared the possible negative emotions he would project if that were to happen?

'No. That's not it.' Forte reasoned to himself immediately. 'If he truly feared me, I would have known- There's no reason for me to avoid contact with him based on that. It's illogical.'

So why did he not want to initiate contact with that Navi- What did he say he was called again?- Mega?

'I'm just waiting to see if he's genuine about this.' Forte told himself, coming to a conclusion. 'I'll face him once I'm sure, but until then, I'll tolerate him, for now.'

And so, this continued on for a little while, until Mega had jumped in front of a laser beam for him.

Chapter Text

"AIIIEEEEE!"

"Mom!" Both Hub and Netto Hikari ran into the kitchen once they heard the distressed cry of their mother. At the far side of the room, dark smoke was fuming from the stove.

"Mom, are you alright?" Netto went over to his mother, helping her to her feet.

"I'm- I'm fine…" Their mother was still obviously startled. "The stove just suddenly…!"

Before she could finished, a loud explosion was heard from the outside. Heading over and peering out of the window, Hub realized that the noise had come from one of the neighbouring houses. He could see fire spewing from one of the shattered windows of their home.

"What's happening…?" The elder Hikari was already suspecting that something was up. There was no way this was a coincidence.

"Hub-san, there's an emergency broadcast!" Rockman Zero spoke out from his PET.

"What is it?"

"A series of virus attacks have occured one after another, and WWW has claimed responsibility for all of it!" Zero explained the situation. "It seems WWW has launched a full scale attack on network society!"

"That's not good!" Netto frowned as he realized what was happening. "Nii-san, let's go and see if we can do anything about it!"

"Hub! Netto! Wait!" Mrs. Hikari attempted to stop her two sons, but the twins had already ran outside of the house. The situation only got worse outside, with fires occurring all around their neighbourhood, and traffic seemed to have come to a complete halt with the traffic lights flickering on and off at random. The two twins narrowly dodged out of the way of a car as it crashed into a light pole.

"They must be launching the attack from within the city center inside the cyber world if they're able to cause so much havoc all at once!" Rockman X quickly came to the conclusion. "If we can stop the attack from there, perhaps we can prevent the situation from getting any worse!"

"Alright then, let's do it." Netto nodded. "We have to do at least do something to help!" Finding a public place to plug in, the two twins took out their PETs. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X!"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Transmission!"

As both NetNavies plugged into the city's network all at once, they instantly realized the severity of the situation; hundreds upon thousands of viruses were clawing around the cyberworld, breaking and tearing apart the network, causing a series of network malfunctions in their wake.

"What kind of viruses are those?" Rockman X wondered as he formed his hand into a buster. "I've never seen anything like them before."

"Perhaps it's some sort of specialized viruses that WWW had developed for this." Rockman Zero reasoned, turning his arm into a sword. "...There's something weird about these viruses, though…"

X didn't get the chance to ponder on his partner's statement as one of the bug-like viruses lept towards him. Raising his buster, he fired a charged shot at the virus, but instead of damaging or deleting it as the blue Navi had expected, a circular object manifested itself around the virus, protecting it from his attack as the shit collided with it instead of the virus.

"Wh-what?" Completely shocked by the turnout, X was unprepared as the virus made another charge towards him, its fangs bared as it made growling, chattering noises.

"X, watch out!"

Before the virus could latch its fangs onto X, Zero reacted, slashing his sword at the bug-like viruses, slicing through its protective barrier and deleting the virus in one fell swoop. "X! Are you alright?"

"I'm okay, thanks to you." Rockman X took a moment to calm himself. "I didn't expect that virus to have some sort of aura, though."

Rockman Zero shook his head. "Your shot had weakened its aura enough for me to attack it directly. But we definitely need to be more careful moving forward- It appears all of these viruses have an aura attached to them."

"I guess this only confirms that WWW had made this sort of virus themselves." Hub said.

"That doesn't matter; The important thing right now is to find out where they're sending the viruses from, and stop them!" His younger sibling decided. "X, can you track where the viruses are coming from?"

"I think so." His NetNavi paused briefly, assessing the situation. "It appears they're all coming from within one of the more central areas of the city."

"Alright, head over there now; If we can stop the source of the viruses, we can stop things from getting worse!"

Both Navies nodded. "Got it!"

As the two made their way towards were the viruses were being released from, more of the bug-like viruses began to attack them as they got close; while they appeared similar in shape and size, they were different in colour, and appeared to have different coloured auras as well.

"No wonder WWW managed to cause such chaos in just a short period of time; I don't imagine a lot of Normal Navies being able to handle such advanced viruses." Zero realized as he slashed at another virus that had leapt at him.

"I know." X agreed. "Virus attacks are already difficult to deal with, but if all of those viruses have each of their own individual auras…" The blue Navi trailed off, both him and his companion already knowing the unspoken implication of that statement.

It didn't take long for the red and blue Navies to reach their destination, as the two didn't concern themselves too much with fighting all of the viruses that were in their way. The two Navies stopped as they saw the wrap portal dead in the center of the city's network that was being used to transport the viruses all over the cyberworld.

"So this is where all the viruses were coming from." Zero readied himself for an attack as he raised his sword. "Now all we need to do is destroy it-"

"I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that."

"!"

Before the two Navies could react, a gust of wind had knocked the both of then off their feet, the culprit slowly floating down from the air as he revealed himself.

"Who're you?" Rockman X asked once he'd gotten back onto his feet, his buster aimed at the newcomer.

"I am Swallowman!" The Navi proclaimed, spreading his wings wide. "And WWW has placed me in charge of overseeing the destruction of this area!"

"So you're a WWW Navi as well." Zero narrowed his eyes, bracing himself. "Figures."

"I wouldn't call myself that." Swallowman seemed mildly annoyed. "I can't say I particularly care for any of WWW's agendas, but…" At this, the bird Navi grinned. "Well, they pay me surprisingly well."

"A mercenary!" X realized.

"So, here's the deal." Swallowman continued, his manner completely unconcerned. "Either you two can plug out right now and we both win as you two get to keep on functioning, and that also means less work for me. Or if you insist on fighting me, I'd have no choice but to get my hands dirty and delete the both of you." The bird Navi shrugged at that. "Your choice, really, though I'd really much prefer it if you chose the first option."

"As if we'll just do nothing and watch!" Zero snarled, slightly angered. "We'll defeat you and stop the virus attacks!"

"Alright then." Swallowman mock-sighed. "I suppose I have to take care of the two of you, then."

Then, as soon as he'd finished his sentence, the bird Navi disappeared into a gust of wind, surprising both red and blue Navies. Swallowman then reappeared in front of Zero, and with the swing of his hand, knocked the red Navi over once more.

"Zero!" Hub was alarmed.

"I'm alright!" The red Navi insisted, quickly scrambling to his feet. "I'm not letting this Navi beat me that easily!"

"Are you sure about that?"

"What?" The red Navi was confused for a brief moment, before he realized what Swallowman had meant; The bird Navi had Rockman X in a tight grip, preventing the blue Navi from moving or escaping.

"X!"

"Well, if you insist, go on and attack me, then." Swallowman taunted the red Navi.

"That's fighting dirty!" The younger Hikari yelled.

"Well, I did offer to let the two of you go, but you refused." Swallowman said, feigning innocence. He turned to Zero once more. "Well? What are you waiting for? I'm standing right here!"

"...!" Zero stood there, paralyzed. He couldn't just attack the other Navi when that meant putting his friend directly in harm's way!

"Tch. How disappointing." Swallowman said with mock disappointment. Then, his expression turned wicked. "Say goodbye to your little friend!"

Zero was alarmed as the bird Navi shot up into the air with X in his claws, Swallowman spreading his wings as if preparing for another attack. However, before he could do anything else, a shuriken had lodged itself deep into his back, causing him to drop Rockman X in shock.

"X!" Seeing his friend being dropped from such a height, Rockman Zero dashed over and caught him before he could hit the ground. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." The blue Navi coughed. "I'm- I'm fine."

"Tch." The two red and blue Navies looked over, seeing that Swallowman had fallen onto the ground as well, but his attention was no longer directed at the two of them. "...So, you're still alive."

Following Swallowman's gaze, X and Zero quickly recognized the NetNavi he was addressing. "Shadowman!"

Despite being heavily damaged, the bird Navi still kept his cool composure. "I shouldn't expect anything less than cheap shots from a NetNavi like you." He smirked at the shadow Navi.

"Funny." Shadowman narrowed his eyes. "I could have said the same for you."

Swallowman fell strangely quiet for a moment, as if assessing hus situation, before he stood back up shakily, laughing. "...Do what you must. I know when I am beaten." Then, he fell back into the wrap portal as Shadowman had leapt forward with a sword attack, slashing the portal in half and destroying it, the portal exploding shortly after, effectively preventing any more viruses from being transported over to the area.

"Shadowman…" X was once again surprised by the sudden appearance of the other Navi. "...Thanks for helping us. Again." Then, the blur Navi realized something. "Were you acquainted with that other Navi just now…?"

"I have a score to settle with him." Shadowman merely said. Then, he turned to the two Hikaris. "There is something you two must know."

"Huh?" Both of the Hikaris were confused. "What is it?"

"Right now, WWW is preparing for their final attack." Shadowman began. "They have taken over SciLabs in what they are calling the "End Game", where they will use the SciLabs computers to control the satellite systems, causing the satellites to collide into your world en mass, resulting in major casualties."

"That's terrible!" The younger Hikari gasped. Then, he appeared to have noticed something. His elder sibling seemed to have caught on as well. "Wait, WWW has taken over SciLabs…?"

"That is correct." Shadowman confirmed. "You father is currently being held hostage by WWW."

Chapter Text

Inside one of the main control rooms of SciLabs, a madman was laughing maniacally to himself.

"Finally- Finally! My plan is coming to fruition!"

From where he was, Yuichiro Hikari could only look on in horror as he witnessed the mad scientist continued his crazed ramblings inside of the observation deck.

"With the use of all four of the elemental programmes, I have finally created the perfect programme!" The mad scientist cackled. "WWW will finally be able to plunge the world into complete chaos!"

"Don't be crazy!" Yuichiro did his best to yell out from where he was bound. "That programme is still incomplete- It's impossible for humans to create the perfect programme with our current technology!"

"Hm?" The mad man didn't appear concerned in the least. "Are you still going on about that? I've seen to the creation of the programme myself- It's perfect!" He took a moment to indulge in insane laughter. "Even with my great contributions to robotics, the world has failed to recognize my genius- And such a world has no value at all! Now, all shall watch in fear and despair as their world is destroyed!"

'So that's why he's doing this?' Yuichiro felt himself go pale. 'This man- He's completely insane!'

"Doctor Hikari."

The scientist jumped in surprise. The voice had come from behind him.

"Don't worry- He can't hear us." The voice continued. "I've cut off communication from this room to the observation deck. He should be too busy to notice for a while, anyways." Then, there was a slight pause. "I'm speaking to you through this room's systems, by the way."

"Who- who're you?" The scientist was still very much shocked; SciLabs was completely taken over by WWW. It was very unlikely that someone from the outside could access the computer systems within SciLabs at this point.

"That… That's not important right now. But I'm here to help put a stop to WWW's plans." The voice seemed to hesitate.

"Huh. And I suppose I don't have any proof of that other than your word?" Yuichiro asked, still slightly skeptical.

"I'm afraid not, doctor Hikari." The voice seemed almost apologetic. "But I guess if I were with WWW, I wouldn't be talking to you right now."

"...I guess you're right about that." Yuichiro allowed himself a small smile.

"Doctor Hikari, can you tell me more about the programme he was talking about? I need to know more about the situation in there." The voice prompted him.

"So, you heard that?" The scientist frowned, trying to find a way to convey as much information with as little time as possible. "He's talking about a programme called the "Dream Aura", an aura that can withstand any attack, thus making its user virtually invincible." Doctor Hikair paused slightly at that. "But…"

"But?"

Yuichiro sighed. "Normally, I would say that the programme is imperfect; the four elemental programmes were not designed with being combined with each other in mind… But from what I managed to see from here, I'm afraid he's actually managed to circumvent the flaw within the programmes."

The voice had gone quiet for a quick moment. "What?"

"If the flaw inside the programme were still there, it could very much be exploited." Yuichiro concluded. "But as it stands now, I fear we may be truly finished."

"...I understand." The voice appeared to be considering something. "Don't worry, doctor Hikair. I have to log out of the servers now before I'm discovered, but I'll make sure the Net Police receives this information."

"Wait! Before you go…!"

"Wh-what is it, doctor Hikari?"

"I know I shouldn't be asking this of a stranger, but… I have two sons." Yuichiro said. "If you happen to see them… Tell them to take care of their mother for me, alright?"

"...It won't come to that." The voice told him, sounding strangely determined. "I'll make sure that you and your family are safe." With that, the connection was cut off.


"What do you mean?" Netto gasped. "Dad's in trouble?"

"That is exactly what I had meant." Shadowman said, crossing his arms. "Your father is currently being held hostage in SciLabs by WWW."

The elder Hikari frowned. "Then that's even more reason why we shouldn't sit around and do nothing!"

"On the contrary, I would advise against the two of you involving yourselves in this." Shadowman interrupted the two.

"What?" The shock and the bit of anger at what Shadowman had suggested was apparent in the younger Hikari's voice.

"It took all but your companion to be held against you to render you completely helpless." Shadowman gestured at Rockman X, the blue Navi appearing displeased at how the shadow Navi was using him as an example. "When you confront WWW, do you truly think they will not do the same with your father? Such indecisiveness will only leave you open to attacks." Shadowman narrowed his eyes. "If you are not prepared to face that possibility, then it is for the best that you two do not get involved."

"Hey!" His words seemed to have gotten a reaction out of Hub as well. "That's not fair! H-"

"Is that not the reality of the situation? Or am I mistaken?" Shadowman cut him off once more. "This is my final warning; If you are not prepared to face the enemy, then withdraw from this battle before you get yourselves hurt."

The twins fell silent as they considered what he'd just said, the shadow Navi sighed internally as both boys seemed hesitant about confronting the potential threat. Perhaps he had too high of hopes for the two of them.

"...Stop messing with us!" Netto's sudden outburst surprised both the shadow Navi and his elder sibling. "So what if there's a possibility of that happening? Knowing that won't stop us from doing what's right!"

"Netto-kun!" As if inspired by his sibling's words, Hub spoke out as well. "That's right- And we have each other! Together, we can overcome anything!"

"..." Shadowman was quiet for a moment, before he made an affirmative sound. "Remember what you've said. I shall be watching from the sidelines."

"Right!" Netto nodded. "Plug out, X! We're heading to SciLabs immediately!"

"Alright!"

With that, the two red and blue NetNavies plugged out of the network entirely.

"It's true that they have each other to look out for them, you know. You don't have to be so concerned about them."

Shadowman turned to the approaching Navi. "Mistress, I am not…" the shadow Navi trailed off, seeing the knowing look on Rockman's face and deciding that he wouldn't be able to argue with him on this matter. "...What shall we do now, my Mistress?"

"Well, we need to make a quick trip back to the Undernet first." Rockman said. "I need you to help me track down someone…"


"This is it! The rest of WWW should be hiding out in here! ...But-"

"This place is completely empty!" Netto quickly realized. It hadn't taken the two of them long to reach SciLabs, with the amount of urgency that they had. But instead of a gang of WWW operators as they had been expecting, SciLabs seemed to be completely devoid of people.

"What's going on?" Hub was completely baffled. "Maybe we were wrong? Could it be possible that they're elsewhere?"

Before the two twins could dwell on this issue any further, the main entrance from which they've entered SciLabs from swung open, the new comer gasping in shock as he saw the two Hikaris.

"What the- What're you two doing here?!"

Chapter Text

The two Hikari boys turned, both recognizing the newcomer instantly.

"Enzan!" Hub sounded just as surprised as the white haired boy himself.

"What do you mean what are we doing here- What're you doing here?" The younger Hikari snapped back.

"I'm here to deal with WWW and their schemes." Apparently arguing with the younger Hikari had been enough to instantly put him in a bad mood. "You two are civilians- You have no reason to be here!"

It took Netto a moment to remember that while Enzan could not be that much more older than he was, the other boy was a Net Police Officer. "Well, we're not just going to stand around and do nothing, either! We have to find our Dad!"

"That's still no reason for you to be here!" The other boy appeared to be resisting the urge to shake him.

"Guys?" Hub called out to the two from the background, and the two arguing boys looked up for a moment. The elder Hikari was standing in front of one of the flickering screens on the wall. Curious, the two other boys quickly ran over to him to see what was happening. As the image on the screen stabilized, the three of them could make out the form of a dark figure.

"Citizens of the world!" The figure spoke. "I am doctor Albert Willy, leader of the WWW organization!"

"The video feed's being broadcasted all over the city!" Enzan realized.

"In mere moments, you can say goodbye to network society as you know it!" The figure continued. "WWW has taken full control over the satellite systems, and as I speak, every major cities in the world are being targeted- The world shall be engulfed in flames and chaos!"

"So that's their final goal." Enzan murmured. "But why leave this place completely unguarded…?"

At that same moment, the elder Hikari appeared to have realized something, and had began to run down the hallway.

"Nii-san! Where're you going?" Netto yelled as he quickly followed his elder sibling. Not wanting to let the other two boys out of his sight, Enzan also ran after the two.

"I recognize that room from the broadcast!" Hub yelled back. "It's from one of Dad's offices!"

'That's awfully convenient.' Enzan thought to himself. Then, he frowned. 'But something's off. The rest of the Net Police Officers should be here by now, but I've yet to hear anything from their NetNavies. Did something happen…?'


Inside one of the access points to the SciLab systems, the NetNavies of the rest of Net Police Officers stood, unmoving and completely petrified.

"...Sorry, everyone." Rockman told the NetNavies. He'd had Shadowman paralyze them until he resolved the issue with WWW and their final scheme. "We'll return you to normal once WWW's been defeated."

"Is this really alright, Mistress?" Shadowman asked him- Wouldn't they have a higher chance of success with the additional help?

Rockman understood what the shadow Navi was implying. "What WWW has inside of there cannot be overwhelmed by pure numbers alone." The blue Navi explained. "If… if I let them go on, they would've just ended up being deleted." It was what happened to these NetNavies the last time; They had been extremely unprepared to face the Dream Virus, and ended up being completely wiped out.

Shadowman paused briefly, before he looked in the direction leading to the main control systems on SciLabs. "Is that why they've left this place completely unprotected?"

Rockman nodded. "WWW is using their ultimate weapon as their single and final line of defence."

"...Forgive me for saying this, my Mistress." Shadowman said. "But if an entire team of Net Police Officers are unable to defeat what lies ahead, then how are those three children supposed to do so?"

"That's why we need what I had you track down in the Undernet." Rockman then paused momentarily. "You do have it, don't you?"

Wordlessly, Shadowman held out what the blue Navi had asked him to find within the Undernet; A virus was squirming and struggling in his grasp, making frantic chirping and chattering noises.

Rockman smiled when he saw the virus. Gently, he held his hand out towards it. "Hey there, little guy. Remember me?"

The virus stilled and calmed instantly. There was a sense of familiarity it felt with this blue Navi that it couldn't quite place, but it decided that it liked this NetNavi that was giving out these calming signals. This Navi was much nicer than the mean Navi that was manhandling it.

Surprised by the virus' sudden change in demeanor, Shadowman had let go of it, and was further surprised when the now freed virus didn't flee or react violently, but merely allowed Rockman to hold it, sitting quietly on the blue Navi's palms.

"Sorry for taking you from the Undernet like that." Rockman told the virus. "But I'm afraid I need your help; Will you lend me a hand?"

The virus let out a small, affirmative chirrup in response, and Rockman grinned. "Thank you! Now, when we enter into the main control systems, we'll…" The blue Navi proceeded to tell the virus quickly, and it still seemed surprisingly willing to go with whatever the blue Navi had told it.

Shadowman was completely floored. From what he saw from the Mettaur Village, he'd already know his Mistress had a way with viruses, but seeing the virus' behavior change from aggressive to tame so quickly was still shocking to him. Yet, there was still a question… "Mistress… How is this virus going to help with defeating WWW?"

The blue Navi merely gave him a knowing smile. "You'll see!" Then, he turned to the path leading to the main control systems of SciLabs. "Come on; Let's go!"


"Watch in despair as my final plan comes to fruition!" The mad scientist, doctor Willy, was laughing to himself. "It won't be long now!"

'This is bad!' Yuichiro realized. 'If the satellites don't change their collision courses within seven minutes, then nothing can stop them from colliding onto Earth!"

"Hold it right there!"

Yuichiro gasped, startled when the door behind him was kicked open, but was further shocked when he saw the figures that entered through the doorway.

"Hub? Netto?"

"Dad! We're here to help!" Netto said as he ran over to his father.

"So this is where you're controlling the satellites from." Enzan narrowed his eyes as he looked up at the man still inside the observation deck. "If we plug into the systems now and defeat you, we'll be able to put a stop to your schemes."

"Ha!" Doctor Willy didn't appear concerned at all. "What can several brats like you do?"

"We're definitely not going to just stand around and watch you destroy the world!" Locating a place where he could plug in, Hub took out his PET. He looked over to the other two boys, motioning them to do the same. "Come on! Let's do this! Plug in, Rockman Zero-"

"Rockman X-"

"Blues-"

"Transmission!"

"Fools!" Doctor Wily cackled. "Your efforts are in vain! Go, delete those pathetic Navies, Dream Virus!"

As the three NetNavies plugged into the control systems, they quickly realized what the mad scientist was talking about.

"That's- That's the Dream Virus?!" Rockman X's eyes widened. Protecting the control panel was a giant bug-like virus, looming menacingly over all three of the NetNavies. "It's huge!"

"That doesn't matter!" Blues said, summoning his sword. "The control systems will return back to normal once it's deleted!"

"Wait!" Seeing this, Yuichiro attempted to stop them. "You can't just attack the Dream Virus directly!"

But the red Navi had already dashed forward and slashed at the Dream Virus with a sword attack. Seeing this, both X and Zero took this as their sign to attack, X firing multiple charged shots at the gigantic virus, while Zero also leapt in with his own slash attack.

"Did… did we do it?" X asked as they waited for the dust to settle, but when the smoke parted, the three Navies realized something terrible.

The Dream Virus was still fully functioning, and appeared to have suffered no damage at all.

"Our attacks aren't effective?!" Zero gasped.

"See what I've told you? Your struggles are worthless!" Doctor Willy laughed. "Dream Virus, delete them!"

With a snarl, the bug-like virus acted. Raising one of its huge claws, it brought it down onto the ground, creating a huge shockwave that spreaded throughout the area.

"This is impossible!" Blues yelled as he dodged out of the way of the shockwave. "Our attacks didn't even manage to put a single scratch on it!"

"That's because of the Dream Aura protecting it." Yuichiro spoke out from where he was bound.

"Dream Aura?" Hub asked. He'd never heard of such a thing before.

"It's that spherical thing surrounding the Dream Virus." His father explained. "As… As long as it's protecting the Dream Virus, no attacks can hurt or damage it."

"No… No way!" Netto appeared to have realized the severity of their situation. "Is there really no way to defeat it?"

"Now you realize your insignificance!" The mad scientist cackled. "Only five minutes remain until my plans for world destruction is realized!"

"There must be some way to defeat it!" Hub insisted, unwilling to give up. "It must have some sort of weakness, doesn't it?!"

"Indeed, it does."

Shocked by the sudden voice of another NetNavi, all X, Zero and Blues looked up to where the voice had come from, a familiar cloaked figure levitating above them.

Chapter Text

"It's the Blue Myth!" Rockman X gasped as he recognized the figure. "But why is she here now, of all places?"

"Oh? ...Heh, I see." The mad scientist, doctor Wily, appeared to have recognized the cloaked figure as well. "So, you're truly as attracted to chaos as they say!"

"Could it be…" Hub seemed to realize that something was up. "That the Blue Myth is just as attracted to disasters as she attracts them?"

"You've come to witness the end of network society, eh?" Doctor Wily appeared to have taken the appearance of the cloaked figure as confirmation of such. "In four minutes, all the major cities in the world will be doused in flames as their society is destroyed-" The mad scientist took a moment to indulge himself in laughter at that. "I'm sure it will be a beautiful sight to behold!"

"Damn it!" Blues cursed. "I should've known you would've chosen now of all times to show yourself!"

"..." The levitating figure remained oddly quiet for a moment, before looking up, a small smile crossing her features, as she addressed the crazed scientist. "You shouldn't believe all the rumors you hear, doctor Wily." Then, she raised one hand towards the Dream Virus. "Northern Wind!"

"...Huh?" Rockman X immediately noticed the gusts of air that was beginning to fill the area. "Natural wind...? Inside of the cyberworld?"

"Wait! That's not normal wind!" Blues yelled to the other two Navies as he noticed a giant cyclone beginning to form between them and the Dream Virus. "Stay back!"

Seeing the sudden appearance of a new threat, the Dream Virus roared, attempting to raise one of its claws to strike at its attacker, but even the gigantic virus seemed to have trouble staying grounded. It dug all of its bug-like appendages deeply into the ground as the cyclone approached it, snarling in rage.

"Could that be the same whirlwind that tore through the Undernet Village?" Rockman Zero wondered, with both arms raised in front of himself. "It's huge!"

"I'm glad that's not aimed at us!" X shivered to think what would have happened to the three of them if they had been swept up into that cyclone. "...But what is she trying to do?" The blue Navi cast a quick glance at the levitating figure at that thought.

"Wait a minute…!" Yuichiro Hikari appeared to have caught onto something. "Hub! Netto! Do you see the Dream Virus' aura?"

"The aura?" Both of the twins were baffled as they continued to watch as the cyclone swept across the giant form of the Dream Virus, but Netto gasped when he saw what his father was referring to. "The Dream Aura- It's flickering!"

"That's our opening!" Yuichiro nodded. "When the Dream Aura disappears, you'll be able to damage the Dream Virus directly!"

"I see!" Hub seemed to have realized just as much as well. "When that happens, we'll hit the Dream Virus with our strongest attacks to delete it and return the control systems back to normal!"

"What are you talking about?" Enzan looked at the two Hikari twins as if they'd gone insane. "I don't see anything of that sort!"

"Don't worry! Leave it to us!" Netto grinned as he took out three Battle Chips. His elder sibling did the same as the two waited for their opportunity to attack.

Inside of the computer systems, the Dream Virus was growling in anger and frustration, but unable to raise one claw to strike at its attacker without being blown away itself. The Dream Aura, however, ended up being swept up within the whirlwind itself, and when the giant cyclone blew past it, the Dream Virus was left completely open to attack.

"What?!" Doctor Wily was both enraged and shocked by this unforeseen predicament.

"Now's our chance!" Netto yelled as he saw the opportunity they've been waiting for. The two Hikari twins slotted in their Battle Chips in unison.

"Programme Advance; Zeta Canon!" Forming both his hands into a canon, Rockman X aimed at the large form of the Dream Virus before he fired.

"Programme Advance; Beta Sword!" As the bright form of the Beta Sword manifested itself in Rockman Zero's hands, the red Navi swung it at the Dream Virus, a wave of energy shot itself towards its target at the slash. The combined form of the two Programme Advances collided with the Dream Virus at full force, and without the protection of the Dream Aura, the virus screeched as it was completely annihilated on impact, the pile of debris and ash was all that remained once the resulting bright light had faded.

"No- No! This can't be!" The mad doctor was seething with barely contained anger. "I was so close-" Then, there was a scream as something within the observation deck had triggered an explosion, blowing out the glass of the room entirely.

"The control systems have returned to normal." Blues said as he assessed the situation. "The satellites are returning to their normal orbit around Earth… The crisis has been averted."

There was a collective sigh of relief among both humans and NetNavies. "Dad! Are you alright?" The two Hikari twins went over to their father and quickly unbound him.

"I'm fine, thanks to you two." Yuichiro smiled at his two sons. "You two have really outdone yourselves."

"Hold it right there." Their reunion was interrupted. Blues had raised his sword towards the cloaked figure that was now standing on the ground as they were. Besides the figure was the floating form of a virus, the virus letting out an angry chirp at the red Navi as it sensed his aggression.

"Wait a minute." Yuichiro spoke out suddenly, as if attempting to resolve the situation before it could escalate. As he accessed the room systems, one of the display screens lit up, showing clearly the cyberworld inside the computer systems. "…We've met before haven't we?" The SciLabs scientist addressed the cloaked figure. "You're that NetNavi from before, aren't you?"

"...You're very perceptive, doctor Hikari." The figure said in response.

"Well, if anything else, I must thank you for your help." Yuichiro seemed to have taken the response as affirmation. "But there's something I must ask."

"What is it?"

"During our previous conversation, I don't recall telling you what the original flaw of the Dream Aura was- Yet you appeared to have already known what it is, or you wouldn't have been able to come up with another way to exploit the possible weaknesses in the Dream Aura as you did." The scientist frowned briefly at that. "I don't mean to doubt your good will… But you must understand that this isn't exactly common knowledge; So how is it that you appeared to know all of it prior to our conversation?"

There was a long, awkward pause as both human and Navies stared at the Blue Myth, waiting her reply.

"...Alright, you got me." There was a short, embarrassed laugh. "Okay, I'll tell you. I've been investigating WWW myself before all of this had happened."

"That's why Enzan told us to be careful of you- Because you kept running into them during their investigations, right?" Hub shot the elder boy a grin as he teased.

"Hey!" The white haired boy scowled, obviously displeased.

"She's not so bad as you make her out to be, Enzan!" The younger Hikari also joined in.

"You're still responsible for the collapse of the Battle Dome and endangering hundreds of civilians." Enzan ignored Netto, directing his attention at the cloaked Navi. "What do you have to say about that?"

"...I didn't sabotage the Battle Dome, or anything, if that's what you mean." The Navi said in response. "I was just as surprised when it sank, too."

"...Like I'll believe that." The white haired boy frowned. "Blues-"

He was cut off when a loud rumble sounded throughout the computer systems the NetNavies were in. Turning to the source of the commotion, the four Navies quickly discovered the cause; From within the broken pieces of data and damaged debris, the broken and mangled form of the Dream Virus rose, snarling as it dragged itself out from within the rubble; still functioning, but just barely.

"Hehehehe... It's not over… It' not over yet…" Doctor Wily's cracked voice spoke out- The mad scientist was still alive despite the previous explosion. "I might not have been able to destroy the world, but I can still destroy this pathetic excuse for a society!" Clambering to his feet, the mad scientist gave out one final order to his weapon. "Dream Virus! Self destruct and take this entire city with you!"

With a low growl, the core of the Dream Virus began to glow a deep shade of crimson as it attempted to overload its own systems and explode itself. Gasping, the cloaked Navi rushed forward to stop the Dream Virus from doing so. "No!"

"It's too late!" Doctor Wily was laughing maniacally. "None of you can prevent it from happening this time!"

It a flash of white light, the core of the virus overloaded itself with charged energy, but the moment before it could explode, a figure shot forward, digging its hand deep into the Dream Virus' core, forcefully stopping the giant virus from imploding on itself.

"...So, this is the Dream Aura, eh?" The tone of amusement was apparent in the figure's voice. Sparks of electricity began to run down the newcomer's arm as a programme was activated.

"...!" Seeing this, the Blue Myth turned back to the rest of the NetNavies. "Stay back-!"

The area was engulfed in a blinding light once more, the fading screech of the Dream Virus was heard as it was deleted. Outside of SciLabs, onlookers watched in horror as the windows of one of the floors of the building shattered in an instant, and dark smoke began spewing out from the broken windows.

Chapter Text

"...So that's it, then." Inspector Oda said, rubbing his chin. "The 'End Game' crisis has been averted, and while some of the WWW members are still unaccounted for, it's safe to say that WWW has been disbanded with the disappearance of their leader."

"That's what worries me; the fact that doctor Wily has disappeared entirely without trace." Enzan frowned. "If he had died in the explosion, we would at least find his body." Then, the white haired boy appeared to consider something. "What did the rest of the NetNavies of the Net Police have to say?"

"It appears they were paralyzed by some sort of programme during the attack." The Inspector recounted the event. "Most of them don't seem to have a clear recollection of what happened, but some of them do recall having been confronted by a cloaked Navi."

"So, they're behind that as well." Enzan sighed. "Just another thing to add to them destroying the Battle Dome."

"Concerning that." Inspector Oda appeared to have remembered something at the mention of that incident. "We've just finished inspecting the pieces of the support beams that have been salvaged from the wreckage."

"And?"

"From what we managed to gather by observing the damage sustained by the support beams, the markings on them seemed to indicate that they have been broken due to wear." The inspector explained. "In other words, there was no clear indication of sabotage or foul play of any sort."

"..." The white haired boy's expression grew stern. Could that be true?

"On that note, I would like to suggest some future actions regarding the Blue Myth and her mysterious companion." Inspector Oda continued. "While we can effectively drop her off of the list of criminal NetNavies that we have on record, it would still be wise to keep records on any of that Navi's activities." The inspector was more wondering than speaking at this point. "Though her intentions are still unclear, I suspect she may prove to be a useful asset, sooner or later, if her previous actions are of any indication of such."

"Right." Enzan agreed. He still didn't trust those two netNavies enough not to at least keep some tabs on them.

"Finally, there's the issue with that NetNavi that mysteriously appeared and triggered the explosion of the SciLab computers." The Inspector sounded particularly worried at this. "A large portion of the data was damaged, but from the footage we managed to recover…"

"I've seen the footage, and Blues and I were there ourselves when that happened." The boy interrupted. "It's unmistakable. The NetNavi that had appeared and deleted the Dream Virus was an Undernet Navi only known as the 'Black Shadow'."

The inspector fell quiet. While the Undernet and the things within it at large remained unknown to the general public and surface NetNavies, those who are aware, however, were bound to know of the Black Shadow, rumoured to be the strongest Navi in the Undernet, and infamous for his ruthlessness and hunger for power.

"So, the Blue Myth has not only managed to attract chaos, but also the manifestation of chaos himself. The Messenger of Darkness." The inspector laughed humorlessly.

"It doesn't matter." Enzan insisted, a hint of annoyance in his voice. "If they ever appear again, I'll be ready for them."

"Hm." Inspector Oda didn't appear to want to argue on that. However, the man quickly recalled something else. "By the way, there were two other boys with you when you confronted doctor Wily, weren't there?"

Enzan realized he was referring to the Hikari twins; Hub and Netto, the two having returned home with their father not long after the entire incident had been wrapped up. "What is it?"

"It's just speculation, but those two seem to also have a knack for getting into trouble, too, don't they?" The inspector chuckled lightly at the thought. "It's fortunate they always manage to come out of it with just a little more than a couple of bruises."

"..." The statement had got Enzan thinking. He hadn't put much thought on that before, having written that up to pure coincidence, but now, the white haired boy wasn't so sure. It seemed the two twins always found a way to get themselves involved whenever the Blue Myth appeared; first, it was the incident with the rampant train; then, it was the incident with waterworks and the collapse of the Battle Dome, and just now, it had been with WWW's End Game and the Dream Virus…

'It's happening too often for it to be a coincidence anymore.' Enzan decided. 'Is there some sort of connection between them that I'm missing?'

"There's something going on between them." Enzan said out loud, having made up his mind. "And whatever it is, I'll find out. I'll make sure of that."


Once they were back in the secluded area within the Undernet and away from prying eyes, Rockman allowed himself to relax, gently elbowing the other NetNavi beside him. "Showoff."

"You could've easily done the same much earlier." Forte responded, raising an eyebrow. "You didn't."

"Well, like you said." Rockman shrugged. "I just wanted to help them, not fight all their battles for them."

A small chirp interrupted the two's conversation; the virus from before managed to sneak itself underneath Rockman's cloak during their return to the Undernet.

"So that's the virus you used to remove the Dream Virus' Aura." Forte watched closely as the blue Navi parted his cloak, attempting to let the virus out, but it appeared reluctant to do so. Perhaps intimidated by the presence of the dark Navi. "But how did you know that a virus able to create such cyclones existed?"

"He used to be quite the troublemaker a few years back." Rockman explained as he managed to coax the virus out from under his cloak, petting it gently. "I met him when he was terrorizing the local Mettaurs in the Undernet." Then, he addressed the virus. "You can go now. Don't go causing anymore trouble, okay?"

With a quick chirrup, Rockman watched as the virus floated off into the distance, before disappearing entirely into the horizon. He briefly wondered what it would get up to, in the near future.

"..." Forte appeared to have been watching the virus retreat for a moment as well, before he took Rockman's wrist. "Mega, there's something else we need to talk about."

Rockman looked at him. "What is it?"

"The fact that you blatantly saw the danger when the Dream Virus was about to explode itself, and still decided to run towards it."

The blue Navi paused. He hadn't even thought about that- He had just reacted to the situation as he would without giving it a second thought. "Forte, I-"

"No. Don't even try to defend what you did." The dark Navi cut him off. "You said you would avoid getting yourself directly involved in danger. What would have happened if the Dream Virus had indeed self-destructed with you at such a close radius?"

"..." Rockman couldn't say anything, because it had happened. In his original timeline, he had indeed very nearly been deleted by the explosion caused by the Dream Virus' destruction, and had only managed to escape that fate when Netto had found the remnants of his data scattered within the Undernet and revived him using it. "...Sorry."

"Never do stupid shit like that again." Forte insisted, gripping his hand tighter. "...I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."

The blue Navi was guilt-ridden in an instant. He hadn't even considered that. "Forte… I'm so sorry…"

"..." The dark Navi didn't let Rockman dwell on his own emotions for long, the guilt and regret the other Navi felt having an obvious impact on him as well. "...Alright. You're fine now. That's more important."

The blue Navi sniffed softly as Forte hugged him, the action calming him. When the other Navi felt that his emotions were more stable, he gently nudged the Navi in his arms. "Here, I have something for you."

Rockman watched, curious and confused as Forte took out what appeared to be some sort of data. "This is…?"

"When I deleted the Dream Virus, I took more than just the Dream Aura." Forte explained, handing Rockman the mystery data. "That's a copy of the Dream Virus itself."

Rockman gasped, nearly dropping the data in shock. "Wh-what? But why…?"

"...I thought you might like it. You seemed to have a thing with viruses." Forte murmured. "If you don't, I can take it back-"

"No!" Rockman exclaimed, a bit too suddenly. "I- I was just surprised you did that." He paused, blushing at the thought that Forte had noticed his interactions with certain viruses and had thought that he might have liked having a virus as a companion; The blue Navi couldn't quite honestly say he cared much about having a copy of the Dream Virus as a companion, but… He did appreciate the gesture. "...Thanks. I like it. A lot." He gave the other a soft smile.

"...Hn." Forte actually appeared visibly relieved. "I'm glad you like it."

Rockman didn't stop the other as Forte leaned in for a kiss, but he did tense and as the dark Navi reached both of his hands lower and squeezed his bottom.

"Forte!"

Panicking slightly, the blue Navi struggled briefly before the two of them collapsed onto the ground, with Forte landing on top of the smaller Navi as he pressed the other's chest onto the floor.

"F-Forte! Wait!" Rockman squirmed, blushing furiously as his skinsuit was ripped off. "Don't-"

"I want to give you something else." Forte breathed against his ear as he pushed himself up against the smaller Navi's opening, causing the Navi below him to gasp and tense.

'Don't… Don't say it…'

Forte kissed the back of his neck. "...I heard females conceive easier in this position."

'...!'

That was all it took for Rockman's entire body to submit to the Navi above him, shuddering and clutching tightly as the other Navi plunged into him, spreading his insides wide as he was filled to the brim. The data of the Dream Virus rolled onto the ground briefly before the sounds of short cries and moans filled the entire area.

Chapter Text

"...and that's why you should never accept any bracelets from a snake charmer."

There was a collective laugh among the table as Swallowman finished his story. Serenade took a moment to wipe the tears from his eyes before he turned to Forte. "What about you? Did anything interesting happen since the last time we met?"

"..."

He took another swig of wine- What could he say? His life had gotten pretty dull after his… retirement. "Same shit, different day."

His statement did little to affect the mood among the group; their mismatched bunch of demons, sprites and Incubi were too intoxicated at this point to notice the slight hint of bitterness in his voice.

"Well, I have something a lot more interesting." Serenade said, changing to subject expertly. "I've just found myself a mate!"

The group of friends "Ooh"ed collectively. "Wait- Don't tell me!" Slur went off instantly. "It's that caped demon, isn't it? He's so tall and dark and handsome-"

Serenade cupped a hand over her mouth before she could continue. "Shh! You're ruining the surprise!"

But it was too late. Swallowman appeared to have realized who Slur had been referring to, and he began coughing from laughter. "Oh no, oh nooooo. Of all people, why did you have to choose Mr. Stick-up-his-Ass? I almost feel sorry for you, you sweet, sweet summer child."

Swallowman ducked as Serenade reached a hand over, attempting to swat at him, and another howl of laughter echoed through the group, yet Forte found it hard for him to emphasize with them. Sighing to himself, he finished another bowl of wine before he attempted to appear not as distant as he felt internally.

"Fooorte!" Slur seemed to have noticed his aloofness as she leaned over towards him and shook him. "You're not as fun anymore ever since you've retired; Is retirement too boring for you?" Then, she gestured to Serenade. "Maybe it's about time you get mated as well; perhaps find someone who can spice up your life!"

"...As if that would happen." Forte was well aware of his reputation- No one in their right mind would willingly mate themselves to him.

"Why not?" Slur then turned to Serenade. "Serenade! You know about other realms besides the Undernet, right? Surely there's someone out there who's just as fucked up as our one-eyed demon here." Forte snarled and swatted Slur's hand away as she attempted to cup his cheek.

"Hn." Serenade, being the only Sprite among the group, was also the only one who had access to many other realms, some of which the rest of them might never even be aware of. "Well, there is some place called the 'surface'."

"Surface?" Slur asked. Forte raised an eyebrow as well. He'd never heard of such a place.

"It's on top of that huge mountain at the edge of the Undernet that no one climbs because they think it goes on forever." Serenade explained. Normally, the sprite would be more secretive in giving out information regarding other realms for fear of such information being misused, but having consumed a substantial amount of alcohol has clearly made him neglectant. "But on top of that mountain, is a series of beautiful hot springs known as the surface."

"Great. But how's that going to help Sulky McSulkface over there brighten up?"

"I was getting to that!" Serenade slapped Swallowman at the back of his head. "Ever heard of the Sirens? I've never seen one myself before, but from what I've heard from the people who have, they're beautiful, winged creatures."

"Cut the suspense, Serenade! Just get to the point already!" Slur urged him.

"Alright, fine." Serenade rolled his eyes. "Every once in a while, a Siren or two descends from the sky and bathes in the hot springs. And I've heard-" The sprite lowered his voice at this, as if it was a secret he didn't want anyone else to know. "To get a Siren as a mate, all you have to do is to steal their clothes when they're bathing, as by doing so, you take away their ability to fly."

As Serenade finished, the group fell strangely quiet for a brief moment. Then, Slur and Swallowman exploded into laughter.

"Serenade- Seriously?" Slur said in between gasps. "The feared and infamous one-eye Demon- Stealing panties from innocent Sirens!" She nearly toppled over in laughter. "What a career change!"

"And let's just assume for a moment that these rumors are true." Swallowman was crying from laughing so hard at this point. "Could you imagine being mated to the one-eyed Demon in such a way? The poor thing would be so terrified they'd cry themselves to sleep!"

Serenade was chuckling at the absurdity of the entire thing at this point as well. But Forte, one the other hand, was having an internal dialogue with himself.

'It's just a rumour.' Forte told himself. 'It's all just hearsay.'

But… it wasn't as if he's have anything to lose…

What if they'd turned out true…?

It was at that point that Forte decided that he was too drunk to continue muling over the thought, and decided on a final 'Fuck it.'

It was only several days later when Swallowman was hollering and screeching around the Undernet like a harpy; The bird could never keep his mouth shut. Not when it was such juicy gossip as-

"He's done it, the madman! He's gone and gotten himself a Siren wife!"


The trek up the pillar was not as tiring as it was tedious; while Forte was no stranger to steep terrain, the mountain was not rumoured to go on forever for nothing; the hike from the foot to the top had took him what appeared to be forever, and even though Forte was renowned to be one of the most powerful demons in the Undernet, he found his strength waning by the time he even caught sight of the thick clouds of steam coming from the top of the mountain.

'At least that part of the rumors are true.' Forte thought to himself, though he didn't allow himself to get his hopes up; The appearance of natural occurrences and the existence of some sort of otherly creatures were two entirely different things, after all.

'...The steam coming from the hot springs should be enough to cover me, at least from afar.' Forte thought to himself as he wondered how best to approach the situation, assuming that whatever Serenade had said was true. 'But I should remain quiet, for now.' He wasn't exactly doing anything honorable at the moment, and he didn't exactly wanted to be seen doing so, regardless of whether the true or not.

Quickly, he scoured through the area near and around the hot springs, deciding that if anyone was indeed bathing in the waters, those were the places they were most likely to leave their clothing, though hours of searching had still left him with nothing.

Sighing, the Demon berated himself internally. He should have known better; It was really just a rumor someone had come up with. He'd just been too intoxicated at the time to acknowledge that.

'What was I going to do if I did find a Siren, anyways?' He laughed to himself. 'Bring it back to the Undernet and take it as a mate?' Absolutely ridiculous.

Just as he was about to make his way back down the mountain, however, something had caught his eye; It was a shade of blue- Too bright and vibrate to be natural. Fanning away the thick clouds of steam with his hand, Forte lifted a slab of stone aside, revealing his prize-

It was a dress made out of gold and blue silk.

Chapter Text

Rockman sighed as he flipped through the live video feed of SciLabs; While the majority of the bugs Shadowman had littered over the place had, surprisingly, still remained undiscovered, a portion of them had gotten damaged and rendered useless due to the explosion caused by the fight with the Dream Virus several days prior. But from what Rockman had managed to gather from the remaining live feed, it seemed that activity at SciLabs had mostly returned to normal, disregarding the systems and computers on one of the top floors being completely blown out, but even that was quickly being replaced and repaired.

A soft chattering noise brought him out of his thoughts. He looked away from the datapad to see a miniature Dream Virus chewing at his cloak.

"Hey! Stop that!" Even with its small size, it still took a ridiculous amount of effort to yank his cloak away from the virus' pincers, the bug-like virus clicking softly and digging one of its legs into the ground in response.

"..." Sighing, Rockman regarded his new virus companion carefully. When he had activated the data copied from the original Dream Virus, he hadn't expected to get a tiny version of the Dream Virus. It was probably the size of any ordinary Mettaur at the moment. Though hadn't Nebula Grey also started off as a small blob-like creature to begin with before it grew to become as large and terrifying as it was?

Perhaps that also meant this Dream Virus- He'd named it Scuttlest- would grow larger when it began to consume more data, as it had tried to do with his cloak.

"...You're kind of cute, when you're not all big and scary." Rockman told the virus as he knelt down and patted it on its head. Scuttlest bobbed its head and made a soft clicking noise, and the blue Navi wondered if the virus had perhaps developed enough processing power to understand what he was saying.

"Mistress?"

Rockman looked up, seeing Shadowman approach him. "Ah, what is it, Shadowman?"

"It would appear that the Hikari twins and their Navies have found their way into the Undernet."

Rockman brought his hand to his cheek, surprised. While it was likely the two knew of the Undernet's existence, if the blue Navi's previous interactions with them hadn't already hinted them of such, knowing about it and actually finding the Undernet were two different things. Quickly, he began to consider how the twins had managed to come across the Undernet like that.

Rockman recalled his own first expedition within the Undernet; He had been lured into the Undernet by Bomberman and Elecman seeking revenge for destroying WWW, though that plan had backfired on the two former WWW Navies. The blue Navi wondered if, perhaps this was what happened to X and Zero this time around, but Bomberman had already been deleted in this timeline, and Elecman, however rash, would still have enough sense to not challenge two NetNavies on his lonesome. Besides, if that was indeed it, Shadowman would have said something about it already.

Perhaps it was by chance…? But what would prompt them to look for the Undernet so suddenly?

"Shadowman, did they have any sort of… intentions? To come to the Undernet?" Rockman asked, wanting to be certain.

"...They appear to be searching for something."

Shadowman's slight hesitation made Rockman even more curious. 'Looking for something? What could they be looking for, and in the Undernet, no less…!'

Then, a sudden thought hit him. "...Shadowman." Rockman began, growing suspicious. "Have you… Maybe perhaps, gave X and Zero a map that led to the 'Legendary Power'...?"

"..."

The shadow Navi's silence only confirmed Rockman's suspicions. In his pursuit for power in his original timeline, Shadowman had also been the one to point him in the direction of the 'Legendary Power'. The shadow Navi had given him a map picturing the nearby landscape and general direction of the shrine holding the power, but…

If Shadowman had given X and Zero the same map that he received the first time around, then it was a miracle that the two even managed to find their way into the Undernet in the first place.

Without giving it another thought, the blue Navi turned towards the direction of the Mettaur village; the two of them would be needing some serious outside help if they wanted to find their destination.


"Wait, I think this part might be that pillar over there."

"Maybe it could be that thing over by those dunes?"

Looking at the smudged, crooked lines only labeled as 'hill', Rockman X covered his face his his hand and groaned. "I'm beginning to think we've been duped."

Rockman Zero sighed as well. "I don't know how he honestly expects anyone to find anything using this map."

"I guess he's not as skilled an artist he is a fighter, huh?" Hub laughed, attempting to brighten up the mood.

"Nii-san, you're a lot smarter than I am, but come on!" Netto appeared to be losing optimism as well. "No one draws that badly. No intentionally."

The elder Hikari only made a face when he looked at the map once more. He couldn't honestly blame his younger sibling for thinking that; with the broken lines, poorly depicted, overly simplistic scenery and comically large characters labeling each of the landmarks, the map did appeared to be something that might have come from a preschooler's art class.

But perhaps the most damning of all, was that the map was complete with the words 'By Shadowman' written in dubious handwriting just near the center of the map itself.

In short, the whole thing was hilariously and ridiculously bad.

"...Huh?" X looked up suddenly. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Zero asked him, before he noticed it as well.

"Met-taur! Met-taur!"

The two red and blue Navies turned around to see a Mettaur hopping towards them.

"I didn't know there were Mettaurs in the Undernet as well." Rockman X was slightly surprised by the sight.

"It seems a bit bigger than the ones in the surface net, though." Rockman Zero pondered as he observed the virus. "And this one has some sort of arrow sticking out of its helmet…"

Having considered the Mettaur to be of no threat at all, the two Navies were unprepared when the virus leapt at the two of them, it's pickaxe raised. "Mettaur!"

"Ah!" Reacting out of pure instinct, Rockman X ducked out of the way, the Mettaur's sharp pickaxe missing him by inches, but the virus did manage to snag the map from out of the blue Navi's hands, and had begun to flee towards the distance. "The map!"

"Hey! Get back here!" Seeing this, the red Navi ran after the virus as it leapt its way over the nearby dune. When Zero reached the top of the small hill however, he found the virus underneath some sort of large gateway; It was vaguely familiar, but the red Navi couldn't quite place his hand on it.

"Met~taur! Met~taur!"

"Huh?" Zero was confused when the virus didn't appear to be running anymore, but seemed to be actively trying to get his attention. Sliding down the dune, Zero his way over to the virus and snatched the map back from it. "Sheesh… What's your deal?"

"Mettaur!" The Mettaur didn't relent. It tapped its pickaxe onto the floor repeatedly. "Mettaur!"

"Zero!" X had finally caught up to his companion. "Aren't those gates the same ones on the map?"

"What…?" Confused, Zero flipped open and took another look at the picture. It took him a moment to locate a square-shaped object that was labeled as 'gate'. Looking back up, he saw some sort of resemblance between the rectangular gate they were standing under, and the poorly depicted drawing of it. "...Huh."

"Mettaur!"

"Could it be that..." Rockman X turned to the virus in slight awe and curiosity. "Are you attempting to show us the way?"

The Mettaur bobbed its head frantically at that. "Mettaur!" Then, it took off once more.

"Hey!" X began to run after the Mettaur. "Wait up!"

"X!" Zero yelled after him. "Are you seriously trusting a virus, of all things?!"

X turned back briefly at the other Navi. "Unless you want to return to using that map?"

That was all the persuasion the red Navi needed as he ran after the Navi and virus.

Chapter Text

Forte realized, a bit belatedly, that he might have not put as much thought into this situation as he should have. The demon would have attempted to blame it on him being too intoxicated to think straight at the time, but he realized that he'd also made the decision to get drunk in the first place, too.

Beneath him was the quivering form of the Siren as it gasped and panted, some of its drenched feathers laid around it, having been broken or yanked off of its wings during their struggle. After suffering a series of scratches and cuts on his hands and forearms, Forte had ended up forcing the Siren onto the ground and held it still, allowing it to tire itself out by struggling once he noticed the other creature was nowhere near as strong as him physically. There was an attempt of a renewed struggle when Forte moved the other, the Siren's wings flapping frantically as it jerked, but that was effectively stopped when Forte had bent one of its arms behind it and continued to push it upwards until the other fell limp underneath him once more.

"...Stay." He told the winged creature as he began to relax his hold on its arm, allowing it to lay at the Siren's side. Deterred either by fear or pain- or a combination of both- the siren only shook as the demon slowly began to relent his hold on it.

He took a brief moment to observe the Siren once Forte was sure it would not try to run. It had a small, somewhat slender frame and soft pale skin that was pleasing to the eye. There was also smears of dirt and a series of cuts matted all over its skin, and Forte supposed he should at least feel somewhat regretful for bring the cause of that.

"...!" Forte blinked, and it took him a moment to realize that the Siren had turned its head and yelled something at him; At least, he thought it was. All he heard was a bunch of whistles and chirps that amounted to a bunch of gibberish to him.

Looking directly at the Siren's bright green eyes, Forte frowned. "I don't understand."

"...?" The Siren had made several more noises, looking confused, before Forte watched as it appeared to realize that neither of them could understand the other. "..."

That made the demon raise an eyebrow. Considering many creatures aren't even developed enough to form basic speech patterns, the sight that this Siren seemed able to construct concrete thought and come to conclusions by itself through observation and interpretation had made the demon pause.

He hadn't really considered whether Sirens shared the same amount of intellect as them. From what he'd gotten from Serenade, he would have assumed that the Sirens were more like slightly smarter animals. Knowing this had undoubtedly made what he was doing a lot more unsettling, even for himself. But he'd committed so much already, the demon didn't think he would be able to convince himself to change his own mind now.

Quietly, Forte attempted to pick the winged creature up as he stood, but the siren began resisting him once more, drawing its wings close to its body as it tried to jerk its wrists out from the demon's grasp. It spewed out another series of frantic chirps and whistles, and it took Forte an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out why the other was acting up again so suddenly.

"...Seriously?" Forte snarled as he watched the siren shake its head, its face blushing a bright shade of red; The siren was actually embarrassed of being seen naked. Sighing, the demon took off his cloak and wrapped it around the other creature, before attempting to pick it up once more. There was a yelp as he swept the siren up from the ground, but aside from soft quivering, the winged creature seemed to have understood and accepted what was happening, merely ducking its head and shoving its face into the cloak offered to it.

Now, all he needed to do was to bring it back down to the Undernet, though Forte doubted that the trouble would end there.


Even for Undernet standards, Forte's home was ridiculously hidden and secluded from the rest of the residents in the Undernet. That was in some part due to the demon not caring much in the way of luxuries, and in no small part due to his infamy in the Undernet.

Fortunately, the Siren didn't appear to be too bothered by the state of Forte's home. Unfortunately and understandably, it was more concerned about the presence of the demon himself. Once its feet had touched the floor, the Siren had proceeded to find the smallest cranny it could to stuff itself into, the demon's heavy cloak in contrast to the siren's slender form making it look ridiculous as it did so.

"..." The demon quickly made his way over to the siren. "Do you fear me, too?"

The winged creature didn't make a sound as it stared at him, and Forte supposed it was a foolish question to ask. The siren was obviously terrified of him after what had happened.

"I won't hurt you anymore." Forte told the other as softly as he could manage. He wouldn't deny that he might have accidentally injured the siren when he was attempting to subdue it. The siren only sniffed softly in response.

"...I don't suppose talking would help you feel better." Forte said after a long moment of the two creatures starting at each other in unnerving silence. "It's not like you're understanding anything I'm saying to you."

"..." The siren murmured something quietly and held itself tighter. And Forte regarded it carefully as he began to think about what had prompted him to bring the other creature back to his home. There was no use denying that he hadn't been thinking straight- if he had been thinking at all- when he'd made the decision, but what had he been hoping to achieve by doing so?

Was it that he wanted companionship? He wasn't a particularly socially active person, but that hadn't been the result of his retirement; He had always been withdrawn even prior to that incident, and if the demon was indeed looking for companionship, then his group of misfit friends- However annoying and unbearable they were- would have filled that role perfectly.

If it wasn't companionship, then what was it…?

Just then, a commotion outside had snapped him out of his thoughts. It wasn't usual that anyone visited his home, and the fact that there was now a group of other Undernet creatures just outside of his home had caused him to be on high alert. Then, he caught the sound of a familiar voice in the distant.

"He's done it, the madman! He's gone and gotten himself a Siren wife!"

The demon scowled, recognizing the voice instantly. Of course it was that damned bird. Swallowman must have seen him sometime during his return, and the word of him actually managing to get his hands on a Siren must have spread like wildfire.

And there was no doubt that, in Forte's mind, those other Undernet creatures had gathered out there in an attempt to confirm the rumours for themselves; it wasn't everyday that you heard of someone managing to mate a Siren.

The siren in question seemed to have noticed the noise coming from outside as well, twitching nervously. Forte turned to it.

"Stay here." He told the winged creature, before he made his way outside, not even hesitating to grab his sword on the way and threaten the intruders with violence and bodily harm.

Chapter Text

"Man, this place is like a desert!" Rockman X said as he dragged his feet though the sand. Dry wind was howling through the area as the two NetNavies attempted to make their way across the giant sand dunes. "I still can't believe such a place exists inside the net…"

"At this point, I wouldn't be too surprised if we found a rainforest inside the undernet." His red counterpart pondered. Then, in a louder tone, he said, "Hey! Are you sure we're going the right way?"

"Mettaur!" The virus yelled back confidently.

"Right." Zero rolled his eyes. "And how much longer are we supposed to tread through all this sand?"

"Mettaur!" This time, the virus sounded annoyed.

"Come on, Zero." X smiled at him. "We should be thankful he decided to help us. It's probably even more difficult for him to walk through this desert, considering how tiny his legs are."

"I guess you're right." The red Navi sighed. Then, a sudden thought hit him. "But why would a virus of all things decide to help us of all things? How did it even know where we were to begin with?" Rockman Zero lowered his voice at that. "...Does it seem a bit suspicious to you…?"

The blue Navi blinked, considering this as well. "...Do you think it could be-"

A soft sifting sound coming from the sand had cut him off. Their operators appeared to have heard it as well. "What was that?" Netto wondered.

"I think it's coming towards us." Hub said as the sound got louder. "Be careful!"

The two Navies summoned their respective weapons, just in time for a large Megalian virus to emerge from the sand, charging directly at them.

"Take this!" Sidestepping from the virus' line of attack, Zero swung his sword at it, expecting his counterattack to slice through the virus and delete it. However, before his attack could connect with the virus, a circular barrier had formed around the virus, protecting it from harm as the red Navi's sword shattered as it hit the barrier. "A barrier?!"

Sensing its opportunity, the Megalian virus turned and flew directly towards Zero, the Navi unable to react quickly enough this time as he was knocked back by the virus.

"Zero! Watch out!" As the Megalian virus turned towards him this time, X aimed his buster arm at it. He prepared his own attack as the virus began to charge at him. "Giga Cannon!"

Having been weakened by Zero's attack, X's charged cannon attack managed to pierce through the virus' barrier, deleting the Megalian as the shot exploded on contact. Once their immediate threat was dealt with, Rockman X ran to his companion. "Zero! Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." Zero insisted as he stood back up, dusting himself off. "I didn't expect that virus to have its own barrier, but I guess even Undernet viruses are much stronger than the ones in the surface net."

"And there's probably only going to be more viruses where we're going." X frowned. "We have to be careful."

"Mettaur!"

"Huh?" Looking up, Rockman X noticed the Mettaur standing on top of a sand dune not far away. It was waving its pickaxe at the two Navies and kicking at the sand with its feet.

"Mettaur!"

"Alright! We're coming!" Sighing, X ran up to where the Mettaur was, Zero following closely behind him. As they reached the top of the dune however, both of the Navi gasped at what they saw on the other side. Surrounded by the vast desert around it was a gigantic pyramid, pillars and statues made of stone lining up the sides of the staircase leading to the entrance only served to add more to its grandeur.

"It's like an actual old Egyptian pyramid!" Hub was completely in awe.

"I bet this is the place we were looking for." Netto seemed impressed as well. "I wonder what's inside?"

"Only one way to find out." Zero said as he begin to make his way up the staircase. As they reached the top, the two Navies were greeted by a pair of stone doors. Upon pushing both sides of the door open, there only seemed to be a dark tunnel, leading directly into the Pyramid itself.

"Mettaur?"

"Hm?" X turned back to where the distant sound of the Mettaur had come from, seeing the virus still standing at the bottom of the staircase. "Hey, what's wrong? Aren't you coming with us?"

The Mettaur appeared hesitant. "Mettaur!"

"Maybe it's scared of whatever's inside?" Zero wondered.

"I suppose…" It wasn't that farfetched. There were many things in the Undernet that people still can't fathom. "Well… Thanks for helping us, anyways! You stay safe out here in the Undernet, okay?" X yelled down as he waved at the Mettaur.

The Mettaur blinked at them, before it waved its pickaxe at them once more. "Mettaur!"

"Alright. Let's go inside." With that, the two NetNavies stepped through the doorway and into the dimly lit hallway inside of the pyramid, the stone doors slamming shut not several moments later behind them.

"Ah! The door!" X looked back in shock as the two were plunged into darkness, though he supposed he should have expected that.

"Stay alert. We don't know what's lurking around in the dark." Zero said as he summoned his sword, the slight glow coming from it illuminating the area they were in briefly. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something moving, the light from his sword bouncing off of whatever it was. "What's that…?"

A series of low growls and snarls answered him, and as the two Navies eyes had adjusted better to the darkness surrounding them, they saw what it was that was in the dark hallway with them.

"No way!" X gasped. "It's the same as that virus from before- and there's an entire herd of them!"

As each of the Megalians began to stir awake, the group noticed the two intruding Navies instantly. One of the Megalians let out a loud snarl, leading the charge against the two intruders, the rest of the Megalians following it just a moment later. While a single or two of the Megalian viruses might not have been much of a problem for the two red and blue Navies to take care of, both of them seemed to have come to a unanimous conclusion that an entire herd of Megalians would be too much for them to handle.

"Run!" Zero screamed, and the two Navies sped down the hallway, a group of anger Megalians tailing closely after them.

"We have to find some way to take care of these viruses somehow!" Netto said as he attempted to gauge the situation. "We can't just run from them forever!"

"We'll have to trap them somehow!" Hub frowned. "Maybe we can use the surroundings to our advantage?" Then, the elder Hikari noticed something. "Ah! Zero, X, do you see that narrow split off from the hallway over there? Maybe we can bottleneck these viruses!"

"Alright, got it!" His NetNavi nodded.

"What? Nii-san! What's that going to do?" The younger Hikari was confused.

"You'll see!" Hub smiled.

As the two NetNavies ran into the narrow corridor, the Megalian viruses attempted to follow them. However, their huge heads didn't allow more than two to squeeze into the tight passageway at a time, and even then, the viruses appeared to have trouble moving forward towards the two Navies.

X sighed in relief. "Alright, now we just have to get away-" Then, he paused. "Oh no."

Zero didn't know what X was refering to. "What is it?"

"It's a dead end." The blue Navi said as he pointed, the path before them led up to a certain point, before it was blocked off by a wall. Zero cursed quietly as he saw it.

"Nii-san, what're we going to do now?" Netto was panicking. Even if the Megalian viruses were having trouble squeezing themselves through the hallway, they would catch up to them eventually.

"Wait. This could be a good thing." Hub said as an idea seemed to have popped up in his mind. "When I give the signal, we'll use our strongest attacks against those viruses, okay?"

"What? How's that-" Then younger Hikari attempted to protest, but he seemed to have realized what his elder sibling was hinting at mid-sentence. "Oh! I see now!" He grinned. "Okay! Let's do this!"

The Megalian viruses were inching closer and close to the red and blue Navies, making growling and snarling noises in rage and anger at the intruders. X and Zero looked on nervously at the approaching viruses as more and more of them began to squeeze into the passageway, attempting to get to the two NetNavies.

"Now!" Hub yelled, then, he sent the Battle Chip data to Zero. "Programme Advance; Beta Sword!"

Netto followed his lead. "Programme Advance; Zeta Cannon!"

In a bright flash of light, X and Zero unleashed their combined attacks as the herd of Megalians, the viruses were unable to move away, being bottlenecked and cramped into the tight corridor, lining themselves up perfectly to the two NetNavies' attack as the combined power of the Programme Advances tore through the entire group in an instant, a series of loud roars were heard as they were deleted swiftly.

"That was a close one!" Rockman X sighed, wiping the sweat off his face as he watched the remainant data of the Megalian viruses fading away into the air.

"X, look over there." Rockman Zero pointed to the wall across of them. As the blue Navi looked to where his companion was pointing at, he noticed a part of the wall that was damaged, revealing a room from behind it; The two of them had accidentally revealed a secret area with their attacks.

"Do you think whatever we're looking for is in there?" Netto asked, curious but cautious.

"It's possible." Hub shared his younger sibling's sentiment. "Alright. Let's check it out."

Chapter Text

"Huh? This place…" Rockman X noticed the change in atmosphere the moment he stepped through into the hidden area that they revealed. "It feels different than before…"

"I know." Zero acknowledged as he began looking around. "This place actually looks and feels like we're in the cyberworld."

"So… Another challenger has come seeking the 'Legendary Power'..."

"!"

Both Navies turned to the source of the voice. A NetNavi was afloat in the air before them.

"Who're you?" Rockman Zero stepped closer towards the unknown Navi. "And what do you mean 'Legendary Power'?"

"My name is Pharaohman." The Navi said with an air of authority. "I have witnessed many NetNavies before you attempt and fail in their quest to obtain the Legendary Power which is hidden within this shrine."

"Zero, I think this is it." Rockman X stood closer as well. "I think whatever this Legendary Power is, that's what the map was leading us to."

The red Navi nodded in acknowledgment. "Where's this Legendary Power hidden?"

"To obtain the Legendary Power, you must prove yourselves to be worthy of it." Pharaohman explained. "Only when you defeat the four guardians in battle shall the Legendary Power reveal itself to you."

"The four guardians?" X frowned. "We're going to have to fight against four opponents at the same time?"

Zero was cautious as well. "We'll be at a disadvantage… But we've come too far to back down now." The red Navi looked at his companion. "Besides, whatever happens, we'll have each other to rely on, right?"

"Right." The blue Navi seemed more determined now, after Zero's encouragement.

"So? Will you accept this challenge?" Seeing the two Navies coming to a decision, the ancient Navi asked.

"We accept the challenge!" X answered.

"Bring it on!" Zero echoed his statement.

"Very well, then." Pharaohman raised his hands, and the area surrounding them began to glow brighter. "Awaken, the four Guardians of the Legendary Power!"

The ground below then trembled softly, and four coffins rose from the floor, a bright light shining out from all four of them as they opened. Both X and Zero shielded their eyes, and four NormalNavies stepped out from the coffins.

"Huh?" Netto Hikari was confused. "Those are the four guardians?"

"They don't look very intimidating at all…" Hub appeared disappointed as well. "But don't let your guard down! They might be really strong!"

"Yeah, right." The younger Hikari was obviously skeptical. "Alright, X! Let's defeat those four NetNavies!"

"Got it!" Turning his hand into a buster, the blue Navi dashed forward and began firing at one of the NormalNavies.

"Ha! Do you really think it'll be that easy?" The NormalNavi shifted his hand into a buster, and began to match Rockman X shot for shot, each of their attacks colliding and canceling each other out. Seeing his companion go on the offensive, Zero took it as his sign to attack as well.

"You're going down!" The red Navi yelled as he leapt towards another one of the NormalNavies, swinging his sword down at him. However, this NormalNavi was prepared as well, countering Zero's attack with his own sword, a loud clank sounding throughout the area as the two swords collided.

"You are too rash." The NormalNavi commented. "You'll never win this fight without exercising the proper amount of restraint."

His words only appeared to anger the red Navi, and Zero began to swing his sword over and over again, expecting to land a hit on his opponent, but the normal Navi somehow seemed to match him in both speed and strength, countering each one of Zero's attacks flawlessly. "How…?"

X seemed to have noticed that something was wrong as well. Still engaged in battle with the NormalNavi, he was also beginning to realize no matter how hard he attacked, the NormalNavi could meet all of his shots which the same amount of power. "All of our attacks are the exact same-" X gasped as he realized something. "Are they copying our powers and fighting styles?"

"Heh! So, you've finally figured it out!" The NormalNavi X was battling laughed as he fired another shot, countering X's charged buster shot.

"We're fighting against Navies that have our exact same strength and power…" Zero was growing nervous at this revelation. "And there's four of them… This is bad…!"

Hearing Zero's words, the more blunt of the four NormalNavies snorted. "Now you see how slim your chances of surviving are." Then, a wicked grin crossed his expression. "But you'll soon see just how great the distance between our strength and yours are!"

Raising his arm, a bright light surrounded the NormalNavi, and X watched in shock as the NormalNavi's entire body began to shift and change completely. When the light faded, the NormalNavi was no longer recognizable.

"How…!" Knowing that something was going to go incredibly wrong, X took a step back, but the NormalNavi, now much bulkier and wearing red armour, charged at him before the blue Navi could regain his composure, and with a swing of his fist, he sent Rockman X flying across the floor.

"Kuh!" X wheezed once he steadied himself. "What sort of strength…?"

"I am Fefnir!" The Navi declared. "And I have the ability to increase the strength of any of my attacks!"

"X!" Seeing the escalated situation, Zero rushed instantly to his friend's aid. Raising his sword, he attempted to strike the Navi Fefnir down with a slash. "You get away from him!"

As he swung his sword however, a blockade of ice surrounded Fefnir, shattering Zero's sword as it collided with the ice. "Wh-what?!"

"Your attacks are useless against me." Another voice said. As Zero turned, he saw another NetNavi, most likely transformed from one of the four NormalNavies, walking closer towards them, this one taking on a more feminine form and wearing light blue armour. With a wave of her hand, the ice surrounding Fefnir disappeared, and she smiled as she addressed Zero. "I am Leviathan, and my special ability can block any blade."

"They've both transformed!" Struggling to his feet, Rockman X aimed his buster at Leviathan. "Cannon-"

Before he could fire the shot, a familiar red blur flashed in front of him, the slash of a blade knocking him back. Eyes wide, X looked in shock and disbelief as the figure disappeared, just as quickly as it had appeared. "B-Blues?!"

"He is but a mere projection I have created." Turning his head, this time he saw a NetNavi wearing dark armour. "My name is Phantom. My special ability allows me to borrow the abilities of any other NetNavies."

"This is bad…" X coughed as he attempted to get back up.

"Damn it." Zero cursed. The three Navies were closing in on them. "We got careless-" Then, the red Navi appeared to have noticed something from afar. "Watch out!"

Taking X's wrist, the red Navi leapt back, pulling the other with him just in time for a barrage of energy shots to land directly in front of the two. The force of the attack nearly knocking the two Navies off their feet once more.

"Wh- what sort of attack is that?" X had never seen any attack of the sort before.

As the smoke cleared, another Navi was stalking closer towards them, this one wearing green armour. "I am Harpuia!" Raising his head high, the green NetNavi exclaimed. "My special ability allows me to fully customize all of my attacks!" Then, he spread his arms wide, gesturing to the other three Navies. "We are the four Guardians of the Legendary Power! Will you pass our trial and obtain the Legendary Power held within this shrine, or perish like all those before you?"

"So those are the original forms of the four Guardians…" X attempted to regain his composure as the four NormalNavies revealed their true forms. Briefly, he turned to his companion. "Zero…"

The red Navi remained silent, his gaze still fixated on their four opponents, but even so, the two Navies appeared to have the same realization.

They had seriously misjudged their situation.


Chapter Text

That Demon was outside, having some sort of bickering match with what appears to be a group of other creatures. The Siren's sharp ears picked up the loud noises coming from outside which basically amounted to a series of yells and snarls to him. Briefly, he wondered if he should attempt to climb out of the window on the far side of the wall, but a loud crash and the sounds of something shattering stopped him. Judging from the noises, he didn't think there was a small crowd out there, and the Siren didn't want to find out what would happen if he got caught.

'Perhaps I should find someplace to hide?' He thought to himself. He didn't have to understand whatever conversation the other creatures out there were having to know that they weren't on friendly terms, and if some sort of fight happened to break out among them, he didn't want to be caught in the middle of it. Looking around, he noticed a small cabinet. Sliding the cabinet door open and determining that he would he able to fit inside of it, the siren slipped into the cabinet and crammed himself among all the other various things inside of it. His wings were folded up uncomfortably within the tight space, but once he had settled, the Siren returned to quietly listening on whatever was happening outside.

The commotion had gotten louder now, and there was now an additional voice that was shrieking loudly over the rest of the voices. The Siren jumped when a yell and the smashing of wood was heard, before the noises gradually diminished and faded away.

Curious, the Siren pressed his ear against the cabinet door, hearing a soft creek before the sounds of footsteps approached. He managed to pick out the two voices that seemed to be talking amongst themselves; one of which he recognized to be that of the Demon's. Though he was less confident about the second voice, he believed it to have belonged to whoever was shrieking when the group of creatures were still lingering outside.

The thought made him shiver. He didn't know who that other creature was. He didn't even know who the Demon was, or what it wanted from him.

The room had fallen strangely silent, and driven by the unnerving suspense, the Siren attempted to move closer in an attempt to pick up on any sounds that might give him hints as to what was happening. Then, the cabinet door had suddenly flung open, the Siren yelping as he lost his balance and falling onto the floor outside. There was a startled cry, and as he looked up, the Siren saw another another creature standing next to the Demon who he did not recognize, confirming his suspicions.

"...?" The unknown creature began speaking, and the Siren was unsure of what to say. All he could hear was a series of clicks and whistles. But when it became apparent that this other creature was determined to get a response or some sort of reaction out of him, the Siren sighed. "I don't understand you…"

"Ah." The creature blinked. "Aetherian, is it?"

The siren gasped. "You can understand me?" He was completely surprised. As of yet, none of the creatures he had met appeared to share his dialect.

"I can speak some." The creature said as it reached into its pocket and took out a pendant. Placing it in its palms, the creature whistled something in its previous language, before holding the pendant out over his head.

"It helps you to understand the Undernet dialect." The creature explained when the Siren had shrunk back, slightly weary. Hearing this, the Siren paused, before allowing the other creature to slip the pendant over his head, feeling something click at the back of his mind as the adornment settled softly around his neck.

"Do you still understand me?" The other asked once more.

He nodded. "Yes."

His reply seemed to have caught the Demon's attention, a brief look of shock crossing its features before it turned to its companion. "What did you do?" The siren was just as surprised at the fact that he was now also able to understand what the Demon was saying.

Sighing in annoyance, the other creature turned to the demon. "I'm cleaning up after you, since you've decided to kidnap a Siren of all things without even giving it a second thought." Rummaging through its sack, the other creature took out a small pack and handed it to him, too. "Wear this when you get the chance, okay? You're going to catch a cold in the Undernet if you've only got that old, torn up cloak to wear."

"Th-thankyou." The siren took the offered package. "But, I still don't know who you are…"

"My name is Serenade." The other said, offering him a small smile. "I came as soon as I heard the rumours."

"Rumours?" The siren was confused.

"That a one-eyed Demon had brought back a siren from the surface." Serenade told him. Then, he added, a bit belatedly, "...Though I cannot help but feel I am partially to blame for this."

"Oh…" The siren hesitated, uncertain of what to say. "...Does that mean I'm… I can't…"

Serenade appeared to understand what he was implying. "No, you'll still be able to return to the surface world." He explained. "Just… just, not now."

"Why not?" The siren was confused.

At this, Serenade glared at the Demon standing besides them. "A number of people saw what happened when you were brought to the Undernet, and now the rumours of him having a Siren wife are spreading like wildfire." Serenade paused momentarily. "You… you know about how many others perceive your kind, right?"

"..." He wasn't aware of the details, but the Sirens did have their own rumours surrounding what happened to those that had mysteriously disappeared when they descended onto the surface. "I… I know some of the rumours, I think."

Serenade nodded, appearing somewhat relieved that he didn't need to explain that part of the situation to the Siren. "While many Undernet creatures are still doubtful of your existence, some are determined to confirm it." he continued. "And considering the rumours surrounding your kind and the brashness of the majority of the Undernet creatures… I hope you'll understand why it's for the best that you stay put here for a while, until the suspicion has lessened."

The siren frowned. He wasn't very comfortable being in the Undernet, considering the circumstances of how he'd got here in the first place, but he did understand Serenade's point; Not only would he be putting himself in danger if he was caught before he could return to the surface, but if other Undernet creatures were to realize that it was a viable option to kidnap and mate a Siren wife… What was there stopping other creatures to do the same to other Sirens? "...Okay. I don't really like it, but I guess I don't have much of a choice..."

Though seemingly apologetic, the other creature still attempted to comfort him. "We'll return you to the surface once we're able to." Serenade then gave the Demon another glare. "Isn't that right, Forte?"

The Demon didn't offer any verbal response, merely snorting slightly as it looked away, an unreadable expression on its face.

Chapter Text

"Watch out!"

Rockman X yelled, leaping out of the way just in time for another round of FireBlasts to miss him by inches. Not far from him, Rockman Zero wasn't faring too well either. The red Navi just managed to deflect several rounds of arrows shot by a summoned illusion of Roll.

"Damn it, they're attacking too fast for us to do anything!" Netto realized as he attempted to send Battle Chip data over to his NetNavi, but the barrage of mini bombs were effectively blocked by a barricade of ice.

"They must have some weakness of some sort!" Hub reasoned, attempting to remain calm. "If we can figure it out, then maybe we can exploit it-" The elder Hikari was interrupted when several lances shot out from floor panel below Zero, causing the red Navi to recoil back and scream when the lances exploded on impact. "Zero!"

"It's useless." Phantom appeared before the two Navies as X ran over to Zero's aid upon seeing the red Navi collapse. "Your efforts are futile."

"We've fully scanned and analyzed your fighting style even before the battle had began, the moment you've stepped into this shrine." Leviathan told them with a smile.

"Aside from being able to predict your attacks, our special abilities allow us to change and adapt to any opponent. Harpuia added.

"Your chances of winning are literally zero!" Fefnir smirked, forming his arm into a cannon. "FireBlast!"

"Barri-" The ball of fire had hit them before X could summon his barrier, the resulting explosion throwing the two Navies back. The red and blue Navies attempted to get back up, but it was obvious that they were too damaged at this point to win their battle against the four guardians.

Hub looked towards the four guardians, then slightly behind them, where the opening that they've created was still showing. An idea formed inside his mind.

"Netto-kun." He looked at his younger sibling. "I'll distract the four guardians. When I give the signal, you and X get out of here through that opening over there."

"What?" The younger Hikari was both shocked and confused. "Nii-san, what are you talking about?"

"There's no way we're winning this battle, don't you see?" Hub explained, frowning. "And it doesn't look as if we'll be getting out of this one this time…" The elder Hikari paused briefly, obviously conflicted. "But…"

"But?" Netto was suspecting he wouldn't like what his elder sibling was about to say.

"It's unlikely both of our Navies will survive this…" Hub murmured. "And if that's the case… I would rather have Zero deleted than have anything happen to you or X."

"!"

Netto just stared at his elder sibling for a long moment, unable to fathom why Hub had said what he did. Upon hearing this, X was also looking at Zero with the same expression.

"Zero… Are you really going to…" X trailed off, his voice wavering as he was unable to finish the sentence. The red Navi remained oddly silent, but the implication was clear. Before the blue Navi could say anything, however, another barrage of energy shots rained down upon them, the explosion throwing the both of them across the floor.

"What are you two muttering about?" Harpuia asked as he walked closer towards the two downed Navies. "Have you given up already?" At this, the guardian floated up into the air, raising both his hands, another ball of energy forming in between them. "Such a shame. And here we were thinking that you might be different from all the other Navies who had challenged us before."

Watching the ball of energy crackle and grow larger, Zero struggled to his feet. He summoned his blade and turned to his companion. "X! Get out of here now!"

"Are you crazy?!" X yelled back, summoning his own weapon and pointing it at the guardian. "I'm not leaving you behind!"

"This isn't the time for this!" It was Hub this time. "If you stay, you'll be dele-"

He was cut off abruptly, recoiling in shock; Netto had slapped him across the face.

"Get ahold of yourself!" Netto was yelling at this point. "Do you even hear what you're saying?"

"What are you talking about?" Hub was in a state of shock and disbelief.

"We've said that no matter what happens, we'll have each other to rely on, right?" Netto continued. "That's why I'm not going to let you do this, and I'm not going to leave Zero behind, either!"

"We've set out on this journey to become stronger together, haven't we?" X was echoing his operator's sentiment completely as he addressed the red Navi besides him. "I'm not going to run away- We started this together, and we'll finish this together as well!"

"...!"

Both Hub and Zero were stunned silent. "...That's right. We've overcome everything we faced up until now by sticking together, and having each other's backs, haven't we…" Hub said softly as he recalled the battles he and his younger sibling had, a small smile crossing his features at the realization.

"What a useless sentiment…" Harpuia was obviously not impressed. Aiming his attack at X and Zero, he prepared to fire his final energy blast at the two, when orbs of light began to light out through the dim area. "What…?"

The other three guardians appear to have noticed the change in their surroundings as well. "Wh-what's happening?" Fefnir was confused.

"This never happened before…" Leviathan was worried as well.

"Could it be!" The four guardians turned to Pharaohman, the ancient Navi had been silently observing their battle up until now. "Could it be- The Legendary Power is resonating with their will…!"

Then, within the many spheres of light shining throughout the shrine, two of the orbs descended onto the two red and blue Navies, encasing them within a bright light.

"Impossible!" The more perceptive of the four guardians quickly realized what was happening. "They've been deemed worthy by the Legendary Power itself!"

"I won't allow it!" Harpuia yelled as he fired the energy projectiles, the barrage of attacks speeding towards X and Zero, dust and smoke flying everywhere as each of the shots exploded. However, as both the light and the dust faded, the guardians and Pharaohman were completely shocked by what they saw.

The two Navies standing within the center of the wreckage were undoubtedly X and Zero, but the once blue Navi now had pale, white armour, while his companion had dark armour instead, and had a more sinister look to him.

"Wha…" Harpuia took a moment to regain his composure. "What sort of Style change is that?"

"Unbelievable…" Pharaohman uttered as he witnessed the new form of the two Navies. "Could this be the Ultimate Style and Absolute Style…?"

"What a load of bull!" Fefnir snarled, preparing another attack as he rushed forward to attack the two Navies. The other three guardians followed, also pouncing onto X and Zero. "There's still no way they can defeat the four of us-"

The two Navies were silent as the four guardians sped towards them. Then, they raised their hands in unison, creating a huge continuous wave of energy, completely knocking the four guardians back.

"What sort of power-" Realizing something was wrong, Pharaohman gasped. "Fall back-"

Then, the entire area was encased in blinding light.


In the distance, Rockman watched as the giant pyramid was completely annihilated in one fell swoop, the large structure completely brought to the ground, feeling the aftershocks of the large explosion of energy even at such a distance. Scuttlest clung onto one of his legs, while the Mettaur leaned against his other.

"They've done it." Shadowman sounded unwillingly surprised. "They have acquired the Legendary Power."

Despite himself, Rockman sighed in relief. Knowing that X and Zero shared the same relationship with their operators as he had with Netto, he had confidence that the two would be able to pass the trial of the four NetNavies guarding the Legendary Power, but being unable to interfere and only allowed to observe from a distance still made him uneasy, especially since he wasn't even able to tell what was going on in there.

But if what just happened was of any indication, then X and Zero have succeeded in their trial, and have gained the ability to Style Change in battle.

The blue Navi smiled. They would be able to defend themselves much better now; Rockman had experienced first-hand just how powerful the ability to Style Change was, and since he wasn't going to be needing it this time around, it was definitely better that X and Zero had it instead.

'I wonder what Style Change they've acquired?' Rockman thought to himself. 'Could it be the Ultimate Style like me?'

He supposed he'll just have to see for himself, once the two of them have mastered it.

Chapter Text

Once Rockman was sure that both X and Zero had returned to the surface net safely, he made his way back to the Undernet immediately. The Mettaur had returned to its village for the meantime, while Scuttlest had been trailing after him the entire time. He had just returned to his Undernet residence when Forte confronted him.

"Did you feel it?" The dark Navi asked.

Rockman blinked. "Feel what?"

"The wave of discharge energy." Forte said, frowning. "Something powerful had been released into the Undernet."

"A wave of energy…?" The blue Navi began pondering. He hadn't left the Undernet for that long, and if Forte had felt it, then whatever or whoever had unleashed that sort of energy through the Undernet had to be quite powerful…

'Wait.' A sudden thought had crossed the blue Navi's mind. 'Could it be…'

"Oh." Rockman said as he realized something. "I think I know what it was."

Forte raised an eyebrow, though he didn't question him. "Go on."

"Well…" Rockman paused briefly, gathering his thoughts. "You know about the Legendary Power that's hidden somewhere deep inside the Undernet, right?"

"I've heard rumours about it." Forte seemed to suspect where the blue Navi was going with this.

"That Legendary Power was unleashed, so that wave of energy that you felt might have come from that." Rockman laughed embarrassedly. After he had gotten the ability to Style Change in his original timeline, his power had grown exponentially, to the point that his strength was enough to rival that of Forte's, and had even allowed the blue Navi to come out on top during his first battle with the Black Shadow. In hindsight, there was no possible way Forte wouldn't be able to sense a power of that scale suddenly appearing in the Undernet. The dark Navi had probably sensed it as well when he had been the one to acquire the Ultimate Style Change.

"Huh." Forte raised an eyebrow, most likely having thought that the rumours regarding such a power were just rumours. "And how did you know that the Legendary Power was unleashed?"

"I…" The blue Navi blushed when he realized he had unknowingly said more than he was supposed to once more. "...Because, I was there. When it happened."

"Hm." The dark Naiv pressed on. "And who was it that unleashed that power?"

"It's… It's..." Rockman looked away, twirling his thumbs. His reaction was enough of an answer for Forte to guess who the NetNavi responsible for the discharge energy had been.

"Mega, seriously?" Forte sounded both annoyed and resigned at the same time. "You claim to want to keep them out of harm's way, and yet you intentionally lead them to the Legendary Power, knowing full well how dangerous it was and that their Navies could have very well been deleted?"

"I'm just trying to help them grow stronger!" Rockman blushed at having his contradicting actions being pointed out like that. "I wouldn't endanger them without reason, or without knowing that they'll be fine!"

The other Navi sighed, crossing his arms, but decided that he didn't want to argue with Rockman on this matter. "Fine. Which of them was it?"

"Huh?"

"Which of the two was the one who obtained the Legendary Power?" Forte elaborated.

"Oh." Rockman thought back to the prior events. "It was the both of them, I think."

"Both of them?" The disbelief was obvious in Forte's voice.

"Yeah." The blue Navi was beaming. "I saw it in the distance. The two of them had Style Changed. Both of their appearances were different."

"Style Change?" The dark Navi asked, never having heard that term before.

"It's some sort of sudden change to a NetNavi's code that allows them to gain special abilities, like an increase in attack strength, or the ability to fully customize all of your attacks." Rockman smiled as he explained. "But I'm still not sure what sort of Style Change X and Zero had gained, though."

The other Navi had fallen quiet, as if considering his words, before he stepped closer to Rockman. "For someone who's not interested in rumours among the Undernet, you sure do know a lot about them."

His words made Rockman pause, the blue Navi unable to read Forte's expression as the dark Navi leaned closer to him. "...Does this also has to do about whatever you are unable to tell me?"

"..." Rockman brought his hand to his cheek. He shouldn't really be surprised by how perceptive Forte was at this point. "...I'm sorry."

The conflict was apparent in the other Navi. The two of them had talked about this before, and Rockman had still maintained that there was some things he wasn't able to tell Forte, for reasons unknown to the other, and Forte had really only allowed that to slide because he couldn't feel any sort of contempt or ill-will from the blue Navi.

"Will there be a time when you're able to tell me?" Forte asked, regarding him closely.

"...I don't know." Rockman said; He would be lying if he had said otherwise- The blue Navi was still very much worried of how Forte would react to the fact that he'd been blasted to the past from the future, and that was if he even believed the blue Navi in the first place. Rockman couldn't deny that it was slightly selfish of him to do so.

Forte's expression remained unchanged, but he seemed to accept Rockman's answer for now. "...At least you're honest about that."

"Forte- I don't, I don't enjoy this, either." Rockman attempted to explain.

"I know." Forte didn't appeared bother by his attempt to defend himself. "I still don't know what it is, but I can feel it's causing you a great deal of distress." There was a slight pause. "I hope that's the only thing you're hiding from me."

"I've been honest about everything else." Rockman could say that with unwavering certainty. "I would never lie to you deliberately, Forte. And I won't keep anything from you if I can help it. You know that."

"...You better not." Now that the bulk of their concern had passed, something in Forte's tone had changed. The dark Navi reached a hand over a placed a hand on the blue Navi's abdomen. "I would hate to know if you've been hiding something else from me all this time."

"What…?" The other's sudden change in tone and behaviour confused him greatly, before Rockman abruptly realized what the other Navi was implying. His face blushing a deep shade of red instantly, and he swatted Forte's hand away from him. The blue Navi further flustered in embarrassment when the other raised an eyebrow at his reaction.

"I'm not hiding your child inside of me, Forte!" Rockman yelled, a bit too loudly. Even if he had been a female NetNavi, it would still be impossible for him to get pregnant with another NetNavi's child; NetNavies just didn't have the proper programming to allow their bodies to absorb or process the data of another NetNavi to simulate human pregnancy. At most, their bodies would just treat the foreign data as spare data and absorb it.

"Wait." Forte held him tight as he attempted to back away. "I want to see for myself."

Rockman gasped and shivered softly as Forte began to run his hands down his body, teasing and rubbing at the places where he knew the blue Navi was most sensitive, and when he had finally gotten around to Rockman's thighs, the blue Navi was already shaking, clinging onto the larger Navi as his insides tightened. He jerked slightly when Forte trailed his hand up his inner thigh, blushing when the other's fingers pressed against that opening in between his legs, feeling the slight wetness there.

"You want it now?" Forte had the gall to sound surprised.

"Who's fault is that?!" Rockman snapped back, completely flustered.

"I was just checking to see if you were with child." Somehow, Forte still maintained his innocent facade.

"You…" The blue Navi was shaking. He didn't know how to put it into words.

"Don't worry. I won't leave you hanging." Before Rockman could react, Forte had forced the both of them onto the floor, tearing off his skinsuit. The blue Navi was only allowed a moment to realize what was happening before Forte had guided his legs open, and pushed his way inside.

"Hn!" Rockman quivered, his inner walls clutching awkwardly around the larger Navi's length. His body had gotten so used to the other Navi being inside of him that the stretch was only slightly uncomfortable. "For-Forte…!"

"I've got you." The other Navi quickly took hold of his waist, steadying him as he began thrusting into him, managing to coax out a small whine from the smaller Navi with each inward push.

"Ahn… Hnn…"

"Hm." Forte bit the base of his neck lightly, just as the tip of his length nudged again the smaller Navi's inner opening. "Are you sure you're not hiding my kid in there?"

The reaction was immediate. Blushing furiously, Rockman slapped one hand over the larger Navi's mouth. "That's not- A-ah! Hh-nn, n-not true…!"

The dark Navi took hold of the smaller Navi's wrist, easily moving them away as he snapped his hips forward. The Navi below him letting out a sharp cry as that innermost part of him was rammed into with more force than before, his soft walls shuddering and clutching with every thrust, a small gush of slick already leaking out from in between his legs.

Forte wasn't deterred. Moving slightly so that he could thrust down at that spot inside of the smaller Navi more effectively, he leaned in and said against Rockman's ears. "You can't be too careful with these things."

Rockman's eyes went wide. "Forte! Don't-"

Any other protest he wanted to get out quickly descended into a series of incoherent cries and sobs, his entire body shaking and his insides clenching tightly in overstimulation as that soft opening in him was repeatedly forced against and stimulated, the slick his body produced only allowed Forte to slide in with ease despite his tightness. He came with a harsh shudder, his soft walls quivering in delight. The blue Navi whined as he felt himself being filled, the familiar warm flooding him and pooling snugly inside of him.

When Rockman had recovered slightly from his orgasm, he glared briefly at the Navi on top of him. "Asshole." He panted.

Forte was strangely quiet for a moment. Then, Rockman jumped when he felt the other Navi reach a hand, touching his other opening there-

"Forte!" Rockman yelled at him. "That's not what I meant- A-aahhn!"

"Don- A-ah! S-sto-Oh… Stop…!"

"N-Nhhhh… Ah-hnnn…"

Chapter Text

"Uh…"

Forte looked up from where he was seated, raising an eyebrow at what he saw. Leaning against the frame of the doorway was the small form of the Siren, clutching his cloak in its arms. It was now wearing a soft, purple and pale coloured dress, and Forte briefly wondered how and why Serenade would even have that sort of clothing in his possession in the first place.

The Siren's wings seemed to twitch nervously as Forte stared at it, the sight of the single-eyed Demon most likely intimidating to the other creature. It visibly took a second to work up the courage to walk forward towards him and handed the Demon his cloak.

"Here…" The Siren said, quickly. "...Thanks for, uh… lending me your cloak…"

The Demon remained quiet, unsure of how to react. He was still slightly unused to the fact that the other creature was now able to speak to him in his own language.

"...Hn." Forte murmured as he slipped his cloak back on, the familiar weight of it resting on his shoulders. "...Thanks."

Expecting the Siren to retreat back from where it'd come from, the Demon was future surprised when the winged creature sat down next to him- It was a polite distance away from him, not too far to be disrespectful, but not too close to be awkward.

"Um…" Fidgeting nervously, the Siren began speaking. "My… My name is Rockman." It then paused, as if it hadn't considered what it was supposed to say after that. "I'm… Uh, you probably already know this, but, I'm a Siren. I'm not really familiar with anything in the Undernet, but-"

"What are you doing?" Forte asked the Siren, growing more and more confused at the other creature's attempt at conversation.

The Siren flustered, the feather on its wings puffing up in embarrassment. "Isn't it obvious? I'm trying to talk to you."

The Demon raised his other eyebrow. "Why?"

"B-because." The Siren bit one of its nails. "It would be awkward otherwise, wouldn't it?"

"What?"

"I mean- I'm going to be here for a while, right?" The Siren explained. "And… It would be weird, if we didn't at least know something about each other…"

"..." The demon regarded the other in disbelief and slight curiosity. He didn't think the Siren would have wanted anything to do with him after what he's done. "Aren't you afraid of me?"

"...Kind of." The Siren admitted. "...I've never seen a Demon before. And you're sort of scary."

"..."

If anything, Forte could appreciate it for being honest.

"But that doesn't mean we should isolate each other, right?" The winged creature continued, twirling one of its feathers in between its fingers. "Besides, it would be rude of me. I'm staying in your home, after all."

"...You shouldn't associate yourself with me." Forte said, looked away. "You aren't the only one I've done terrible things to."

The Siren was quiet for a while, and Forte was content to think that it had accepted what the Demon had said, until it spoke again.

"I… I don't know what you might have done, but…" The Siren appeared to be struggling with its words. "Maybe, maybe you've did something really bad- But… I don't think you're a bad person, persey."

Forte paused, and stared at the Siren, completely confused; Bad people do bad things- If someone did something bad, then that meant they were a bad person. It was so simple. How did it not understand that?

"Well… Serenade's your friend, isn't he?" The Siren's wings were twitching nervously as it explained. "And… I think he's a nice person."

Forte frowned. "What…?"

"And, I think nice people tend to attract other nice people around them." The other continued, rubbing the side of its arm timidly. "So… Maybe you've done something really bad- I wouldn't know. But... If you were really as bad as you said you were…" The Siren trailed off, allowing Forte to draw his own conclusions with the implication he was given. "So… that's why- Bad people may do bad things, but doing bad things doesn't mean the person is inherently bad themselves."

"..."

Unbelievable.

"...So… What's this thing that you're doing?" Seeing that the Demon was obviously uninterested in continuing that conversation they were having, the Siren decided to change the subject. "...It's all a bunch of red and green pebbles…"

"It's the Undernet equivalent of chess." The Demon sighed, tapping one of the pieces lightly on the table in thought.

"Chess?" The word sounded foreign on its tongue, as if there wasn't an Aetherian word for it.

"...It's a sort of game that some creatures in the Undernet play." Forte explained. "Two people play against each other, moving the pieces on the board until certain conditions are met, of which there will be a victor and a loser."

"..." The Siren had fallen silent, and Forte was almost waiting for it to point out the obvious. "But… you're playing by yourself."

"Hm." The Demon acknowledged the fact. "I am attempting to solve one of the EndGames scenarios which may appear in the game."

"EndGame scenario?"

"An EndGame scenario occurs when it appears that one of the players have undoubtedly lost the game." The Demon said as he moved one of the pieces. "Their opponent holds the upper hand, and one wrong move could end the entire game for them."

"Then… If that's true, then how can it be solved?"

"Just like the player, every EndGame scenario has a fatal flaw. It's all about seeing it and exposing it. At such high stakes, any single move will be enough to reduce the other player to rubble."

"...Is it hard?" The Siren asked.

"Easy to learn. Difficult to master."

"...Can I try?"

Forte looked up from the board, the rejection just on the tip of his tongue until he saw the other creature's expression. The Siren actually appeared intrigued and interested, even if it didn't really understand what he was doing.

'Do you even know what you're doing?' Forte wanted to ask it. How could any reasonable creature want anything to do with their captor? Were Sirens really so dense, or did it just happened to be this one?

Sighing, the Demon cleared the board and began going over the basics with the Siren.

Chapter Text

"Forte!"

"What?"

"Internet City!"

That was how the two NetNavies found themselves wandering around the bustling Internet City in the surface net. It took some convincing on Rockman's part, but he'd manage to drag the other Navi out of the Undernet once more for another date after the whole WWW debacle. The two Navies had ditched their cloaks and helmets for the time being, and it seemed to have the desired effect; they were mostly ignored and treated just like any other surface Navi.

"Isn't it amazing?" The blue Navi asked, holding the other Navi's hand as they navigated the cyberworld city.

"...Hm." Even Forte appeared genuinely impressed. "I didn't think they would be able to create a cybernetic city of such a scale."

Rockman understood what Forte had meant. It had been a complete surprise to the blue Navi as well, when he had learned that the Internet City had been launched. The city acted as sort of a main central for all internet activities, allowing operators and NetNavies from all over DenCity to connect without having to jump from server to server, and while the Internet City also existed in his original timeline, its development and implementation was greatly sped up in this one, only launching long after the collapse of Gospel, and the scale of the Internet City he had been familiar with could in no way compare to this iteration of the Internet City. If Rockman hadn't suspected it before, this would be the final proof that he needed to confirm that whatever he had done in this timeline might have sped up the technological advancements in this timeline, directly or indirectly.

Speaking of Gospel, however…

Leaning against Forte and twirling a stray thread of hair around his finger, Rockman briefly pondered over the lack of information and activity he had managed to gather regarding Gospel. Knowing that his interference with WWW was already beginning to have a visible impact on the cyberworld only unsettled him further. He doubted that it was because Gospel didn't exist in this timeline, considering this new group was inspired by the actions of WWW. Could it be that Gospel had learned from what happened to WWW, and that had prompted them to go on high alert and stay completely off the radar? That could be possible. Sean, if he was still the leader of this iteration of Gospel, wasn't known for his genius for nothing.

...Perhaps he shouldn't have put it like that. Hadn't Sean been indoctrinated into creating Gospel by an external group of people studying the dark energy in the first place? But the blue Navi hadn't been able to find anything regarding that after scouring the Undernet for information, either.

It was worrying, to say the least.

"While I'm not sure what you were hoping to achieve by coming to the surface net, but if it was to sulk, you could have done just as well doing that in the Undernet."

Snapping back to full awareness, Rockman turned to Forte, slightly embarrassed. "Ah! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to space out like that."

The other Navi gave him a look. "I would also appreciate it if you can refrain from tying knots in my hair."

Blushing, Rockman withdrew his hand, just now realizing he'd been unconsciously playing with Forte's hair while he had been thinking. "Sorry about that." Then, he added, after a brief pause. "...I'm still surprised you have long hair though, Forte."

"..." The dark Navi looked away slightly. "Does it look bad?"

"No! That's not what I meant!" Rockman exclaimed. "It's just, unexpected." The blue Navi had never seen the other Navi without his helmet before, and had always assumed that the other would have short, messy hair like himself underneath his headgear, which was why the blue Navi had been surprised to see the long, well-kept white hair when Forte had removed his helmet. "But… I think it fits you." Rockman added. Forte's finned helmet had always given him a sort of intimidating look, like how a cobra snake would flare its hood up to appear more threatening. But the dark Navi's long, flowing hair was a complete contrast to how Forte was usually perceived by other people. It seemed to show a more gentler side of the Black Shadow that many others would probably never expect him to have.

Forte didn't say anything, but Rockman could see that the other appeared to have felt his thoughts, the blue Navi smiling to himself as he felt Forte's grip on his hand tighten slightly.

"...Huh?" Out of the corner of his eye, Rockman noticed something in one of the shops lining the paths, and Forte allowed himself to be dragged into store by the blue Navi.

Picking up the datapad from the shelf, Rockman frowned in thought as he looked over the cover of the book. It was oddly familiar, but the blue Navi couldn't quiet place where he'd seen it before.

"...I didn't know you were interested in this sort of thing…" Forte commented as he saw the cover of the book. It appeared to be some sort of action or fantasy fiction judging by the two teenage boys on the cover, one wielding some sort of steampunk gun, the other holding what appears to be a blade that would be too unconventional to actually use in battle. There were also a bunch of people with pale blue skin in the background that Forte suspected probably weren't human, and Rockman blushed when he realized how ridiculous he must appear right now.

"I- I was just wondering where I've seen this book before!" The blue Navi said, a bit too loudly.

"THAT'S ONE OF OUR BEST SELLERS, LUNAR KNIGHTS!" Apparently having overheard their conversation, one of the programmes floated over to the two NetNavies.

"Lunar Knights…?" Once again, the name was familiar to Rockman, but he just couldn't quite place it.

"THE NOVELIZATION OF THE POPULAR ANIMATION OF THE SAME NAME!" Even with its monotone voice, the programme was somehow able to sound enthusiastic about it. "PACKED FULL OF ACTION AND AN AMAZING PLOT- EVERY PAGE IS AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER!"

"Huh… So it's a novelization…?" Rockman said to himself. Then, he remembered.

'Wasn't this the same book that Serenade was reading?'

Well, if Serenade was interested in this, then it couldn't possible be too bad, could it…?

"Okay. I'll buy this. How much is it?" Rockman asked the programme.

"IT'S 5000 ZENNIES!"

"..."

Well, if anything had remained the same from his previous timeline, it was the ridiculous price tag for everything in the cyberworld.

"...Mega?" Forte gently drew his attention. Looking up, he saw that the other Navi was looking out one of the large glass windows of the shop.

"What is it?" The blue Navi didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

"Don't you hear that?" Forte asked him.

"Hear wha-" Rockman trailed off as he noticed it.

"OH DEAR!" The programme had gone from enthusiastic to worried in an instant. "WHAT'S GOING ON?"

Rockman frowned. He'd never seen anything of the sort before, and judging by the programme's reaction, he didn't think it was a natural occurrence, either.

"It's raining inside the internet…?" The blue Navi murmured as the droplets of rain outside only grew larger and louder.

Chapter Text

"Let's do this! Rockman X, Ultimate Style!"

The blue Navi raised both hands in a dramatic fashion, letting out some sort of rallying cry, before what quickly followed was a brief moment of awkward silence and then the loud round of laughter of his friends.

"Are you serious, Netto?" Dekao snorted once he'd recover from his laughter. "You didn't have to lie to us just to feel better about yourself!"

"But it's true!" The younger Hikari insisted. "We went to the Undernet and X performed a Style Change!" Then, he turned to his elder sibling. "Nii-san, tell them!"

The group of friends turned their attention to Hub Hikari, the boy unsure of what to do having the spotlight being shined on him so suddenly. "Er… W-well…"

"Come on, Netto-kun." Even Maylu seemed to have trouble containing her giggles. "It's not nice to drag your brother into this."

"Not you too, Maylu-chan!"

"Say, what's a 'Style Change', anyways?" Yaito pondered out loud. "It sounds familiar, but I'm not sure where I've heard it before…"

"I think I've heard my father discuss this before." Tohru said. "If I remembered correctly, it's some sort of sudden change in a NetNavi's code which allows them to specialize in a certain ability." Then, he shrugged. "But I don't think anyone has actually able to trigger a Style Change in their NetNavies."

"Ha! So it really was a hoax, after all!" Dekao didn't seem to want to let the matter drop, much to the younger Hikari's dismay.

"Say, have you guys heard the news?" Seeing his chance to change the subject, the elder Hikari interjected. "They've just launched the Internet City in DenCity's cyber world."

That caught the attention of the rest of the group. "Oh, that's right!" Maylu smiled. "I heard they've been developing the Internet City for a while in SciLabs- It was lucky that none of the data got damaged when WWW attacked SciLabs!"

"Huh? What's so impressive about that?" Dekao wasn't impressed. "Isn't it just another area in the internet?"

"Of course not!" Yaito exclaimed. "The Internet City is going to be the main central of DenCity's internet! Everyone can access any area in DenCity's cyberworld from anywhere through the Internet City! Do you know how incredible that is?"

"We should go onto the Internet City once we get home!" Tohru added. Dekao was mumbling something to himself in the background. "I heard it's really big! We can spend the rest of the day exploring it!"

"Alright then!" Hub said, pulling his younger sibling behind him. "We'll see you guys on the net!" With that, the two of them left the classroom.

"...Sheesh." Once they were a significant distance away from their group of friends, Netto turned to his elder sibling. "Nii-san, you saw it, too- X and Zero had Style Changed! Why didn't you say anything?"

Hub sighed. "It can't be helped. We've been trying to perform Style Change, but we still aren't able to do it. Even if we continue insisting that we could, there was no way the others would believe us."

Netto, the more stubborn of the two, was still reluctant to let it go. "I don't understand! There must be something we're missing! Both X and Zero could Style Change before, so why can't we trigger it now?"

"We'll worry about that later." Hub attempted to reassure his younger sibling. "Right now, let's just go back home and meeting everyone else in the Internet City!"


"Look at this place- It's amazing!"

Once the group of friends had returned home, they had plugged their NetNavies into the cyber world, their group of NetNavies now exploring the vastness of the Internet City.

"It's really something." Zero said as he looked around. "The scale of this city is larger than anything I've ever seen before."

"It makes sense, doesn't it?" X smiled. "They designed the Internet City to be the central point of the cyberworld in DenCity, after all."

"I noticed a lot of store vendors around the city as well." Roll added. "I guess the city is drawing in many online businesses as well, since a place that connects all internet access would mean more traffic." Then, the pink Navi grinned. "So, any ideas where we should go next?"

Before anyone in the group could answer, a loud rumble, sounding oddly like thunder, was heard throughout the city.

"...Huh?"

Raising his hand, Rockman X was surprised to feel actual droplets of water landing on his palm. Looking to Rockman Zero besides him, he saw that the other Navi had also confirmed what he had been suspecting.

It was raining in the Internet City.

"Rain inside of the Cyberworld?" Seeing the entire thing through his PET, Netto was confused by the natural occurrence inside of the internet. "Maybe it's some sort of programme they made to simulate rain inside the internet…?"

"I doubt that…" Hub appeared to have noticed something. "Look over there."

From the distance, the taller buildings inside the Internet City were disintegrating, damaged data breaking off from the building and dissipating into thin air.

"It's acid rain!" Iceman gasped. "It's eating away at the buildings!"

"If it damages the main structure of the Internet City, the city might collapse in on itself!" Roll said as she realized the possible damage the rain could cause if it continued.

"So it can't be natural rain." X frowned. "But what could be causing it?"

"I think I know what it is." Zero pointed towards the dark clouds looming over them. "Look closer."

"My goodness!" Glyde was completely stunned by what he saw; hundreds of Cloudy viruses were lining up, making small, cooing noises in unison as the rainclouds they created continued to pour. "The sky's absolutely filled with viruses!"

"Guts?" Gutsman appeared to have noticed something as well, the large Navi turning to the sound of other NetNavies screaming and running in terror as hordes of viruses began to pour in from seemingly nowhere. "Viruses are everywhere, guts!"

"This can't be just a coincidence that so many viruses just happened to gather in the Internet City all at once." X frowned. "It has to be an attack. Someone's intentionally releasing all of these viruses into the city."

"Which means they have to be sending the viruses from somewhere." Zero followed on his train of thought. "If we can locate where the viruses are being sent from, we can stop this virus attack!"

"What? Isn't that dangerous?" Roll was concerned for the safety of her friends.

"Don't worry, we'll be fine." X gave her a small smile. "Zero and I will look for the source of the viruses together. That way, we won't be caught off guard."

The pink Navi was obviously still hesitant to let the two do something that might endanger them, but she nodded. "...Alright. You two be careful. The rest of us will help with the virus situation here the best we can." There was a brief pause, before she added. "Stay safe, okay?"

"We will." Giving her one last nod, X and Zero took off. "You guys be careful as well! We'll find the source of the viruses and stop this attack!"

Chapter Text

"X, have you managed to track down where the viruses are coming from yet?" Zero yelled as a Spiky virus leapt at him, the red Navi summoning his sword and cutting the wolf-like virus in half before it could sink its fangs into him.

"I'm almost done scanning this area, give me a few more moments!" X turned, shooting a buster shot at another one of the Spiky viruses just as it opened its jaw to breath a wave of fire at the two. The red and blue Navies had been unfortunate enough to stumble across a pack of these Spiky viruses during their search, and now had to fend off the bunch of violent viruses.

Zero nodded, bringing his sword down at yet another virus, the Spiky yelping and jumping back as it was cut, but the rest of the pack were still circling them like prey. "Better hurry- I'm not sure how long we have until the Internet City collapses from the acid rain and all these viruses tearing up the place!"

"I've got it!" X's eyes lit up, he turned to one of the paths down the road. "Come on- This way!"

Zero followed his companion as he led the way, but it seems the pack of Spiky viruses didn't intent on letting the two Navies escape just like that. They ran after X and Zero, snarling and growling in rage.

"They're still following us?" Looking behind him, X turned his buster back into his hand. "Take that!" The blue Navi threw a series of mini bombs at the viruses chasing them, the explosion deleting some of the viruses, and leaving the rest of them confused as they got lost within the smoke, allowing the two Navies to escape.

"Nice one." Zero grinned at the other once they've successfully managed to loose the pack of viruses. X smiled back.

"Wait, we're here." X came to a stop to where he had determined the viruses to have come from. "Look!"

The two Navies stepped closer carefully as they saw the large crater in the middle of the ground. Looking over the edge, the hole seemed to lead completely downwards.

"This is where the viruses are coming from?" Zero asked, slightly skeptical.

"It's what my scanners picked up." X replied. Then, the blue Navi noticed something. "Ah! Zero, lookout!"

The two Navies jerked back just in time for a large Lavagon virus to shoot out from the crater, the dragon-like virus screeching and spreading its wings as it fled towards the sky, fortunately paying X and Zero no mind, but unfortunately, had gone on to set fire to the buildings of a nearby area.

"...Well, there's your proof." X turned to his companion. "Wherever the viruses are being sent from, it has to be down this hole."

"The viruses are coming from down there, huh?" Hub frowned slightly, communicating with his NetNavi through his PET. "I can't even see the bottom of it…"

"We don't have time to think about it! We have to find the source of the viruses and destroy it now!" Netto insisted. "X, let's go!"

The two Navies nodded to each other, before they took a step forward, and jumped.


"X, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." X said as he took Zero's hand, getting to his feet. The two of them had landed in a large body of water, and had just made it back to solid ground. "That was quite the fall…" Looking back up, neither of the Navies were able to see the crater from where they'd fall down from.

"...X, look." Zero appeared to have noticed something. Turning his head to where Zero was pointing at, X looked back to where they had swam up from, noticing the water seemed to be going somewhere. Then, a virus or two would appear, being swept up by the current, and carried to elsewhere.

"It seems that's how they're transporting the viruses to the city." Zero concluded, looking ahead. "If we follow the current, we'll find the source soon enough."

"Alright." Nodding, X turned to the path ahead. "Let's go!"

Wasting no time, the two Navies sped ahead, following the the trail of viruses being washed away by the current, until the path they were on led into a wide opening, the two of them being greeting by some sort of giant structure.

"Ah!" Rockman X gasped, quickly realizing what was happening. "The viruses are being dropped off into the water from there!" True to his observations, the structure appears to be pushing a line of viruses towards the current of water leading out of the area, before dropping the viruses into the water and allowing them to be carried away into the city.

"So this is where they're all coming from!" Forming his hand into a sword, Zero prepared to slice the giant machine in half. "Once we destroy it, we'll stop the virus attack!"

"I'm afraid I can't let you do that."

"!"

The two Navies reacted just in time for a slash of wave to collide into the ground before them.

"You again?!" The younger Hikari recognized that voice. He'd heard it before.

Floating down from the air, a familiar winged figure appeared before them. "...And here I thought you'd have some appreciation for suspense. Sheesh."

"You're Swallowman!" Hub recognized the NetNavi as well as he landed before X and Zero. "You're responsible for the virus attack last time, and now this- Don't tell me it's WWW who's behind this attack as well!" Realizing the bird NetNavi was a mercenary and likely working for someone, Hub didn't think he would be in charge of the virus attack himself, but most likely just overseeing the operation like last time.

"Really? WWW? Didn't you completely destroy that organization ages ago?" The Navi mock sighed. "Come on- I thought you were supposed to be the smart one!"

"Then who is it?" Netto seemed to have caught on as well. "Who's paying you?"

Grinning mysteriously, the bird Navi spread his wings. "Gospel."

"Gospel?" Hub wasn't sure what it was, but he doubted it was anything good.

"Some sort of group who seems to share WWW's goals- Whatever. I couldn't care less." With a flap of his wings, Swallowman was airborn once more. "This is the part where I would offer you the opportunity to leave, but Gospel has also paid be to do something else."

"Oh yeah? And what's that?" Netto frowned, missing the baited trap, and was completely caught off guard when the bird Navi shot forward, knocking X and Zero back as he flew into the two Navies.

"Oh, not much." The bird Navi said, non-chapantly. "They've just offered me a small fortune to delete both of your NetNavies."

"As if we'll let that happen!" Recovering quickly, X fired a charged shot at the mercenary, but the shot just bounced off Swallowman's wings as he folded them up over himself, protecting him from the blast. Sensing his opening, Zero dashed forward, swinging his sword at his target, but his attack was swiftly intercepted as the bird Navi grabbed his forearm and twisted, the red Navi yelling out in pain.

"Feh." With a flick of his hand, Swallowman tossed Zero aside, the red Navi landing with a loud thud. Turning his attention to X, an idea formed in the bird Navi's mind. "Let's see if you've learnt anything from last time."

Suspecting what his opponent's intentions were, the blue Navi fired several shots at Swallowman, attempting to defend himself, but the bird Navi was quicker, dodging out of the way of his attacks swiftly and knocking him onto the group once more. X gasped, struggling to get back up.

Slamming his foot down onto the blue Navi, Swallowman pinned him down, and all the air was forced out of X's lungs.

"X!" Alarmed, Zero wanted to rush forward to aid his friend, but was stopped when Swallowman stepped on X once more, wagging his finger at him.

"Ah-ah." The bird Navi grinned wickedly. "Once more step and I stomp your friend's pretty little face in."

"...!"

Seeing the red Navi pause and hesitate, Swallowman sighed dramatically. "And here I thought you might have learned something. Shame."

"Let him go!" Hub appeared frantic now as well.

"Tsk." Swallowman shrugged. Raising one of his hands, the bird Navi formed his hand into a sword. "Guess you should've known better, huh?"

"Stop it!" Zero screamed. "Stop it right now!"

As Swallowman brought his sword down, something happened. A bright light engulfed the entire area, blinding the bird Navi. Forced to shield his eyes, Swallowman turned to the source of the light, and was completely stunned by what he saw.

"What the fu-"

The entire area shook and trembled, before the machines were brought down in an instant.

Chapter Text

"So this is where the comotion had come from…"

Rockman was walking down the dimly lit tunnel, his hood safety back over his head. Shadowman was just behind him as the two Navies headed towards where the source of the sudden quake in the Internet City. Forte had originally wanted to accompany him, but the blue Navi had managed to convince him otherwise; considering the dark Navi's reputation, it would most like cause mass panic throughout the cyberworld if it was even just rumoured that the Black Shadow even had anything remotely to do with the virus attack. Besides, Rockman had enough faith in his own strength to know that he wouldn't be in any real danger just to investigate what was going on, but the blue Navi suspected that the other was watching from the shadows, even if he couldn't sense him at the moment.

"I suspected there were underground tunnels in the city… But I didn't think they'd even have a sewage system for damage or unwanted data…" Rockman continued pondering to himself softly. Then, suddenly, a hissing sound echoed through the hallway. The blue Navi looked down to see Scuttlest snarling and chattering at something ahead of them. He had left the small, bug-like virus with Shadowman while he was in the Internet City with Forte. Shadowman had located him not long after the acid rain had begun pouring over the city, and Scuttlest had apparently decided that he wanted to tag along, too.

"What's wrong?" Rockman asked the virus, confused by its sudden aggressive behavior.

"I do not feel any energy signals…" Shadowman was puzzled as well, before the shadow Navi trailed off, having realized what was ahead. "...It's you."

There was a brief silence, followed by a cough. "Oh, give me a break- As if I don't have enough to worry about already."

As the group moved ahead slightly, Rockman saw some sort of bird-like Navi sitting with his back leaned against the wall, and was alarmed at the extent of damage the Navi had sustained- Both of his legs appeared to be damaged, and one of his arms had broken pieces of data flowing out of it. Out of habit, the blue Navi wanted to go over to help the unknown Navi, but Shadowman had stepped in front of him, shielding him from the other Navi.

"...Shadowman?" The action both confused and unnerved the blue Navi. It was as if the shadow Navi was actively protecting him from something. "What's going on? Do you know each other?"

"...He was the Undernet mercenary Navi from the tournament." Shadowman said, albeit unwillingly, and Rockman breathed in sharply. '...So that's why he's so on edge…'

"Yes, yes, very nice to see you after all this time, how's the family, and all that shit." The Navi groaned, and fell into a coughing fit. Once he'd recovered, the bird Navi looked slightly behind Shadowman, a small smirk forming on his face. "...You know, I've suspected you were subservient to someone with how you're acting, but I never would've thought it was the fabled Blue Myth herself." He let out a short chuckle before addressing the blue Navi. "Had I known, I would have definitely presented myself better; freshened up, groomed my feathers, take a mint or two- Y'know, anything to impress the ladies."

"Don't talk so much. You're hurt." Even if he didn't know anything about the other Navi, Rockman was still concerned for him.

"Ah, so you're the sweet and caring type. I like you already." Giving Rockman a wink, the Navi turned back to Shadowman. "So? You gonna finish the job or what?"

"What damaged you?" Shadowman ignored him.

"Shit- I dunno! One moment I was about to fulfill one of my contracts, and the next moment I was attacked by some sort of monster!" The Navi coughed again. "There, I told you what you wanted to know. This is the part where you delete me now, isn't it?"

"..."

"...Weeeeell?"

"Are you actively seeking death?"

"Do you not want to delete me?"

"There would be no honor in killing you while you are unable to fight back." Shadowman frowned.

"...Only losers talk about honor." With that, the bird Navi heaved, leaning the back of his head against the wall. "Fine, if you're not going to kill me, you might as well leave me be."

"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Rockman finally spoke out. "Your wounds…"

"I'm fine. Tis but a flesh wound." The Navi flashed him a grin.

"...Alright…" Although hesitant, the Navi didn't appear to be in any danger of being deleted in the near future, but the blue Navi now suspected that whatever or whoever had caused just extensive damage to this Navi was just up ahead. Knowing that made Rockman nervous; whatever it was, he couldn't afford to take it lightly. "Let's go."

He and Shadowman walked forward, and it took some urging on Rockman's part to get Scuttlest to follow, the bug virus being unusually hostile towards the wounded Navi. Just before they were out of hearing range, the Navi yelled for them. "Hey!"

The blue Navi turned back. "What is it?"

"...I don't do this often." The Navi said. "But you have to watch out."

"I know, thanks." Rockman smiled.

"No, no, not about that." The Navi wheezed. "Whatever is up there is probably gone already. There's something else you need to worry about."

"Huh?" That made the blue Navi blink. "What is it?"

"Gospel." The Navi began. "They actually ordered a hit on you, you know. For whatever reason, they've decided that you're a threat to them."

"What?" A wave of nervousness and uneasiness washed over him. "How do you know that?"

"Because. They actually offered me a shitton of Zennies to take care of you." The Navi let out a humourless laugh at that. "I refused, of course. I may be reckless, but I'm not suicidal. No Navi in the Undernet would be stupid enough to accept, regardless of how much they're paying." Then, the Navi appeared to make an attempt to lean forward. "...Well… Except for maybe one."

Rockman fell quiet for a moment. As he had feared, Gospel had indeed learnt from WWW's failed attempt at world destruction to pick him out as a potential threat to their future plans. While he was slightly relieved that he had enough rapport- or, more likely, infamy- within the Undernet to deterre Undernet mercenaries from hunting him down, he didn't know who the wounded Navi was suggesting would confront him despite this. "Who…?"

"Hm." The Navi gave him an ominous look. "Who else... other than the Black Shadow himself?"

"..."

The blue Navi blinked. 'What?'

"He's been eyeing you ever since you appeared in the Undernet." The Navi continued, sensing Rockman's confusing but completely mistaking the cause of it. "He wants nothing but power, and sooner or later, when Gospel realizes that no other Undernet Navies are willing to take up their offer, they're going to risk it and go to the Black Shadow, offering your powers as payment." The bird Navi paused in suspense. "And trust me, it won't be pretty when that happens."

"..."

Rockman turned back around when he felt a grin tugging at his lips.

'Oh my god.'

"Don't worry about me." The blue Navi replied, once he was certain he had the laughter threatening to burst out under control. "I'll be fine."

"If you're sure." Unable to see Rockman's expression, the bird Navi continued. "I would hate it if something happened to a sweet gal like you."

Brushing the Navi's words aside, the group continued onwards. Once they were out of sight, Swallowman hissed in pain.

'Fuck. That shit was a lot harder to keep up than I expected.'

Closing his eyes, the Navi groaned, deciding that he would attempt to stand up and leave once his limbs didn't feel like falling off. The tunnel was silent for several moments, before he heard the sound of distance footsteps approaching him once more.

'...Seriously?' Swallowman cracked an eye open. 'Who is it now…?'

It was a bit hard to see in the dim light, but when his eyes had focused on the approaching figure, Swallowman felt himself go pale.

'No way- It's the Black Shadow?!'

Swallowman barely managed to suppress his fear as the Messenger of Darkness lurked closer, his dark, crimson eyes staring at him closely.

'Fuck- Fuck! I'm going to die- He's going to delete me.' The bird Navi grit his teeth, unable to move. 'Shit! If I'd known I was going to die I would've flirted with her more.'

Once the cloaked figure was just a few steps away from him, Swallowman closed his eyes, preparing for his inevitable deletion. Instead, he felt a the shape of a shadow brush over him, and the sounds of footsteps beginning to fade. Daring to open his eyes, the bird Navi realized that the Black Shadow appeared completely transfixed on the road ahead- T direction where the Blue Myth had just left to.

As the figure of the Black Shadow faded, Swallowman let out a sigh of relief that he'd been spared, but the nagging worry was still eating away at the back of his mind.

'As I suspected. She's being targeted by the Black Shadow… I hope I've warned her enough. It's only a matter of time before he catches up to her.'

Chapter Text

As expected for someone who hasn't played any chess before, Rockman was shite at it. It was beginning to remember and keep track of all the rules and minute details of the game, but the siren still appeared oblivious to the fact that it was falling for all of the most obvious traps and believing all of the demon's bluffs during their games.

Perhaps that was in some part due to the siren's inability to just focus solely on the pieces on the board. The winged creature always seemed to have something to say in between turns.

"Um… So, what's the Undernet like? I haven't heard a lot about this place from other creatures. Someone told me the Undernet was a glacier, and everyone who fell into it would freeze to death instantly. It's a lot warmer than I expected, though."

"I really like the colour blue. It's a bit strange, because most other creatures I know tend to like the colour of their eyes, since it's the first thing they see whenever they look at their reflections. But blue feels a lot softer than green. I guess that's why my dress is blue… Er, I like this dress as well, but I hope I can get my own dress back- You didn't burn it, did you?"

"I wonder who came up with these chess pieces. Is there any reason why they would use red and green? Are these scribbles words in your language on the pieces as well? They look kind of weird, like boxes, but whatever's inside was really messy. Or is this just what a "Pawn" looks like? I haven't seen one before."

"Uh… You know, I'm actually, kind of glad that you're not as bad as the rumours I heard from the other creatures."

That particular comment caught Forte attention. He never considered the possibility that the siren might have heard of him prior to their meeting, and that had made him extremely uneasy- There were some things in his past he would rather not have brought up. "Whatever they were, they're false."

"Y-yeah. I'm glad they are." The demon's sudden harsh tone appeared to have startled the siren. "I… I was really scared at first. I've heard what happens to the other sirens who disappeared while they were in the Surface."

The demon blinked, realizing he had misunderstood what the other creature- The siren hadn't been referring to him when it had talked about rumours. It was talking about other sirens that might have been kidnapped in the same manner that it had been. "What did they say happened to the other sirens?"

"I don't know." The siren frowned. "No one really knows what happened to them. They never came back." Forte noticed the tip of the siren's wings beginning to twitch and quiver- He'd been playing against the siren for long enough to have picked up on its ticks whenever it appeared to feel uncertain or nervous.

"That's why, some people began coming up with what they think happened." The siren continued. "They weren't ever good. Sirens always ended up dead one way or another in those rumours. I tried not to let those stories bother me too much- I mean, it's not like anyone had any proof that that was what happened, right?" The winged creature paused briefly, and Forte wondered if it was trying to convince him or itself with what it just said. "But, there was this one that really, really scared me."

"Was it that bad?" The demon was slightly curious as to what the sirens thought of them.

"...I was younger when I heard it. It was after one siren had gone missing, and her friend had gone hysterical." The siren looked away, its wings quivering. "I… She was very upset, and I'd tried to tell myself that's why she'd said the things she did, but… she told everyone that, that Undernet creatures th-thought that our blood cured mortality, so they- they-"

"Alright, that's enough." Seeing how distressed the siren was getting, Forte reached over and took it's hand, squeezing it lightly. "What that siren had told you- I would never do it. And especially not to you. Nothing's going to happen to you until you return to the surface, okay?"

"Y-yeah. Okay." The siren sniffed softly. "I… I don't like to think about it, either."

"Go get some rest." He didn't think the siren would be concentrate enough to continue their current round of chess after that conversation. "You can use my bed. It's that room over there."

"Is that okay? It's your bed, after all…"

"It's fine. I don't sleep much." 'And that's the least I can do to make up for kidnapping you against your will.'

The siren paused, then smiled softly. "Okay. Thanks, Forte."

The demon watched as the siren got up and left. While he didn't know exactly what the winged creature had been told, he had a brief idea of what it was judging by how severely it had affected it.

Though it was heavily frowned upon, there was a rather infamous cult in the Undernet that had a ritual of bathing in blood. It wasn't all that unlikely that this ritual had made its way into the Surface and be picked up by the sirens there.


Serenade arrived early at his home next day, dragging Swallowman with him. Forte raised an eyebrow as he looked at the incubus.

"What's he doing here?" The demon hadn't forgotten that the incubs had a hand in escalating the situation.

"Yeah! What am I doing here- Ow!" Swallowman recoiled as Serenade swatted him at the back of his head.

"Get in." Shoving the incubus forward, Serenade quickly closed the door behind him.

"You could've just asked… Sheesh." Swallowman grumbled, rubbing the back of his head.

"And we could have avoided all of this if only you could stop screaming everything you know to the world." The sprite huffed.

"Uh… Is everything okay?" The group turned to the new voice. The siren was still half-asleep, rubbing its eyes and its feathers all ruffled and disturbed unevenly. Then, the sleep appeared to leave its eyes as it recognized Serenade. "Oh- Hi, Serenade!"

The Sprite smiled and waved back, and Swallowman was already getting ideas.

"Why hello, beautiful." The incubus said as he stalked closer, the siren slightly nervous but mostly confused by the sudden newcomer showing such a huge amount of interest in it. "I suspected were pretty, but damn!"

Seeing this, the demon stepped forward to stop him, but Serenade had grabbed his hand. "What're you doing?" Forte hissed at him. "Don't you see what he's doing? Why did you even bring him over here in the first place?"

"He's not going to do anything, I promise- I'll keep a close eye on him." Serenade whispered back. "Trust me, I'd rather not have him here, but we have to mask the scent somehow."

"What're you talking about?"

"Didn't you notice? There's a very unique scent surrounding that siren- It's very subtle. Creatures like you and I won't notice unless we pay attention to it, but other creatures with more acute senses are bound to notice it."

"What?" The demon wasn't sure how to feel about the fact that he'd spend around ten minutes subduing the siren and hadn't noticed that about it. "Alright, fine. But him of all people? Really?"

"It's the quickest way than letting other scents cling onto him over time." Serenade sighed. "Remember that time I had to ventilate my entire house?"

The demon grumbled, relenting but obviously unhappy about it.

"Look, it's not all bad." The sprite attempted to convince him. "That siren's going to be bored after a while cooped up in here, wouldn't it? Maybe you can show him around the Undernet after a while."

"I thought the point of keeping him here was so other creatures won't suspect he's a siren." Forte wasn't convinced.

"That's the point!" Serenade grinned. "If anyone asks, just say he's a harpy!"

Chapter Text

"Mistress, I sense a faint energy signal ahead."

"I guess that means we're getting close."

"I recognize it." Shadowman continued. "It's Rockman X's unique energy signature."

"X?" Rockman looked at the other Navi. "What about Zero?" The two Navies, much like their operators, were never found apart from each other.

"I cannot pick up Rockman Zero's signature." Shadowman replied, narrowing his eyes. "It would appear Rockman X is alone up ahead."

That worried the blue Navi greatly. "Maybe they'd gotten separated…" Then, a sudden thought occurred to him. "Could it have been something to do with whatever had attacked that other Navi?"

"It's very possible." The shadow Navi drew his sword as they neared the end of the corridor. "I shall proceed with caution."

As the two Navies entered the open area, Rockman gasped at the sight; The place looked completely destroyed, with piles of rubble and broken data everywhere.

"We have to find X quickly." Rockman said. "He might be hurt."

Shadowman nodded, before he went over to a small pile of debris in the area. "He's over here."

The two Navies began to dig through the pile of rubble, Scuttlest even helping in his own way by sifting through the small bits of damaged data with his small front legs. Shadowman dragged the Navi out from under the rubble once they'd managed to dig him out.

"X?" Rockman shook the unconscious Navi- He appeared to have sustained some damage, but Rockman didn't see anything that was life-threatening. "X, wake up."

"...Ugh…" The Navi coughed, before his eyes flickered open. "Wh-what?"

"X, it's me."

The Navi's eyes snapped wide open as he jolted to full alertness. "Ah- It's you…" X paused for a brief moment, as if attempting to recall something. "You… You said that your name was Mega, right?"

Rockman nodded. "X, what happened? The Internet City was attacked, and a sudden quake had shot throughout the city. We found you like this at the source of all the commotion."

"I thought you might know- You tend to follow these disasters, right?" X frowned as he sat up and began to recount previous events. "Well… When the city was attacked, Zero and I tracked the source of the virus attack here-" He stopped abruptly as he realized something. "Zero! Is he alright?"

"I don't know. We only found you in here." X's reaction only confirmed Rockman's suspicions that something might have happened that separated the two. "Did something happen here?"

"Darn…" The thought that his friend had gone missing seemed to have worried him greatly. "I'm- I'm not too sure what happened myself. All I remembered was that Swallowman was about to delete me, then Zero had Style Changed and started to attack him. I got knocked out when the machine transporting the viruses into the Internet City had collapsed from one of Zero's blasts. When I woke up, I saw you guys."

Rockman felt a sense of dread overtake him as X finished retelling his experience. 'It's not what I think it is- is it?'

"Mega, I know it sounds crazy, but it's true- Zero had Style Changed!" X explained, mistaking Rockman's concern for skepticism. "I know I can't prove it, but…"

"It's okay. I know what Style Change is, and I trust you when you said Zero had the ability to perform it." Rockman told the other Navi, reassuring him. It appeared to have worked, as X visibly relaxed, letting out a sigh of relief.

"...Wait, you actually believe me?" The relief was quickly followed by surprise. "Why?"

"That's not important right now." Rockman quickly deflected the question. He needed to confirm whether his suspicion was true or not. "Can you reach your operator? Maybe Hub would know where Zero is?"

The other Navi slapped the side of his head. "Oh, that's right! Let me try…" X trailed off, frowning as he realized something. "It's no good. My communications programme is damaged. I can't reach Netto-kun."

"Here." Taking X's hand, Rockman activated the spare Battle Chip data he had for the Recovery chip, repairing the other NetNavi's programme. "Try again now."

"U-uh… Th-thanks." X blushed as he took his hand back, and Rockman tried not to let the other Navi's reaction affect him too much. This time, when X attempted to reach Netto through his PET, the connection got through, the holographic image of the younger Hikari appearing a second later.

"X! Thank goodness- You're okay!" The relief was obvious in the younger Hikari's voice. Then, his attention shifted to the two NetNavies besides X. "Ah… It's you two…"

Rockman smiled. "Hello, Netto-kun."

"Man…" The younger Hikari appeared conflicted. "I'm not sure how to feel right now… You help us out every time, but when you appear, something bad happens!"

The blue Navi sighed internally. He supposed it can't be helped- Even if his intentions were to help others, it was true that he did tend to appear whenever trouble arises.

"Netto-kun, Zero's gone missing- Maybe Hub can locate him?" X asked.

Netto's expression changed instantly. He fell strangely quiet. "Nii-san, he…"

"Netto-kun, please tell us what happened." Rockman prompted him gently. "Maybe we can help."

"I- I don't know." The younger Hikari appeared distressed. "Nii-san, he's passed out."

"What?" X was alarmed. "How did it happen?"

"I don't know!" Netto said, a bit too loudly. "It was when Zero Style Changed- Nii-san had suddenly collapsed, and I can't get him to wake up!"

X cursed quietly. First his companion had gone kissing, and now his operator's sibling had fallen unconscious, and he still had no idea what had happened.

"...I think I know what's happening." As if sensing X's thoughts, Rockman spoke out. Both Netto and X turned their attention towards him.

"What do you mean?" X was visibly worried and confused.

"Hub hasn't fallen unconscious. His consciousness has just been sent to the cyberworld."

"What?" Netto was clearly in disbelief. "How does that even happen?"

"You two already know that Programme Advance requires the full synchronization of a NetNavi and his operator, where their thoughts and emotions become one." Rockman explained. "Style Change works in a similar way, but instead of FullSyncro, it's a Perfect Synchronization which triggers a NetNavi's Style Change."

"What?!" Netto was stunned by this revelation. "There's more than just a FullSycro?"

"There is. While PerfectSyncro is similar to FullSyncro in which Navi and operators share the same thoughts and will, PerfectSyncro differs in the way that the operator's consciousness is transferred into the Cyberworld, allowing the Navi and operator to share the same consciousness." Rockman paused briefly, allowing X and Netto to take in what he'd just said. "...If I had to guess, when X was about to be deleted, Hub and Zero may have accidentally triggered PerfectSyncro, which had allowed Zero to Style Change."

"...Alright, fine. Let's just say that's what happened." X was still slightly in doubt, but he had let it slide for now. "That doesn't explain why Zero has gone missing!"

"Before I answer that, I want to ask you something." Rockman turned to X. "How many times has Zero successfully performed a Style Change?"

"...Twice. Why?"

"X, you've StyleChanged once before as well, haven't you?" Rockman continued, ignoring the other's question for now. "Do you remember what happened, or what you felt during it?"

"I…" That gave the other Navi pause. "I… I don't remember. I just recall a bright light, and when I recovered, the shrine were I had been in was completely destroyed. I don't remember what happened."

"The same thing is happening to Zero right now." Rockman said. "He still hasn't gotten used to the sudden surge of power Style Change grants you, and he's completely overwhelmed by it. Wherever he is, or whatever he's doing right now, he doesn't realize it."

"..." X regarded him closely, partly in shock, partly in weariness. "...How did you know I've also Style Changed before? How do you know that this is what's happening to Zero? How do you know any of this?"

Rockman looked away. 'Because that's exactly what happened to me when I had just gotten the Ultimate Style Change.'

"I don't have time to explain all of that right now." He said instead. "We need to find Zero, quick- Otherwise, Hub's consciousness might be trapped inside of the cyberworld-"

Before he could finish, a sudden tremble shook the entire area they were in, nearly knocking the three Navies over. Scuttlest let out a loud chirrup and clung tightly onto Rockman's ankle.

"...Mistress. I believe we may have found him." Shadowman said what the other two Navies had been thinking.

Chapter Text

"If anyone asks, just say you're a harpy."

Feeling the siren nod slightly behind him, Forte continued onward. The siren quickly grabbed onto his cloak and followed him closely, clearly nervous about being out and about in the Undernet.

Apparently, Serenade's plan was simple; stamp out the rumours before it could become fact by misleading the other creatures in the Undernet to think that he'd brought back a harpy instead of a siren. In truth, the demon was still doubtful that Serenade's plan would work; Aside from his wings and the fact that he now had the scent of a wet bird, Rockman was nothing like a harpy. Harpies were loud, obnoxious creatures, while the siren was too soft and quiet to even remotely be considered alike to harpies in their behavior.

He hoped anyone else that happened to stumble across them would merely think that Rockman was just an outlier to those stereotypes. It was also partly why he didn't take the siren to anywhere crowded. It wasn't as if he was popular with the majority of the Undernet creatures to begin with, so those two were strong incentives against going to any major towns or places or gathering with the sire. The two were currently wandering around some of the more remote places within the Undernet.

At the meantime, though, it allowed for some interesting conversations between the demon and the siren.

"I heard some Undernet creatures don't eat. Is that true?"

Forte turned to the siren, regarding it curiously. In just the span of several short days, it had grown a lot more comfortable around the demon's presence, despite their less than ideal first encounter.

"It depends." Forte told it. "Some creatures are made out of pure energy, so they sustain themselves not on food but through absorbing excess energy in their surroundings. Others might have found ways to replenish their energy, which would have made eating obsolete to them."

"Are you one of them?" The siren asked. "I mean, are you like those creatures that can be just fine without having to eat?"

The demon frowned. "What makes you say that?"

"It's just that…" Rockman shifted slightly. "I don't think I've ever seen you eat food. It's always just me."

"..."

It appears that the siren was a lot more perceptive than Forte had given it credit for. "I would rather you not talk about that."

"...Sorry, I didn't know it was a personal thing." Rockman's wings twitched. "I guess I just wanted to know more about you."

When the demon didn't reply, the other creature continued. "I mean, it's been several days already, hasn't it? I've learnt a lot about the Undernet and your friends, but I still don't know a lot about you…"

"There's nothing about me that I want you to know." Forte insisted.

"..." Bringing its hands together, the siren looked away briefly, its wings quivering. "Is it because of what you said you did in the past?"

Forte barely refrained himself from snapping at the siren at that. As if sensing his sudden spike of irritation, the siren's wings fluttered.

"I- Whatever it is you said you did, I won't think any less of you because of it!" The siren insisted. "I don't know what you did that you think was so bad- But I don't think that makes you a bad person just because of that!"

"You say that now." Forte hissed. "But you'll change your tune if I told you what happened."

"You don't know that." The siren was troubled by his defensiveness. "You're not like that now, right? If you were indeed as terrible as you say you had been, then you wouldn't have friends that cared about you."

"Is that what you really think?" The demon stepped forward, looking down onto the smaller creature. "In the Undernet, no one's intentions are truly pure, siren."

"What do you mean?" The siren asked, slightly intimidated, but mostly concerned by his behavior. "Don't you think they care about you? Isn't that why you're friends?"

"Only you would think that people become friends just for the sake of friendship." Forte narrowed his eyes. "Everyone has ulterior motives for seeking companionship, whether they are aware of it or not." Seeing the siren's expression shift from worried to confused, Forte continued. "Serenade realizes he can keep a close eye on me and make sure I'm not a threat to everyone around me by using his companionship as a bargaining chip, and Swallowman- He's a drunk fool who's incapable of paying his own tabs. And Slur-" The demon felt a shiver go down his spine at that. "...Don't even get me started on her."

"..." The siren had fallen quiet, as if it was actively trying to take in what he had just told it. It annoyed and- strangely- saddened him at the fact that the siren seemed to genuinely believe the idea of complete selflessness, and that it now had to be told otherwise.

"...Sorry, I didn't know it was like that." Rockman said softly, the tips of its wings shaking. "I guess I'm still not very used to the Undernet."

Regretting his own hoarseness and hastiness, Forte took the Siren's wrist, deciding that was enough time outside for today. "Never talk about this again. Come, let's go."


The siren was strangely quiet, and that had somehow put Forte on edge. He'd unknowingly gotten so used to the Siren constantly having something to say during their games of chess that the silence now unnerved him.

'Perhaps it's realized it actually has to concentrate if it wanted a chance to win at this game.' Forte thought to himself as he watched the light frown forming on the other's expression. 'It's a lot more familiar with the rules and what all the pieces do now, but it still lacks the finesse and subtleness that the rules won't teach you about.'

Finally, Rockman moved one of the pieces forward, and Forte narrowed his eyes. 'It's gotten brighter, too; It's realized it can't sacrifice valuable pieces too early into the game.'

The demon and siren continued their game in silence, slowly moving the pieces around the board, Forte carefully judging and attempting to determine the motives behind each of the siren's moves, and keeping a careful mental note on how the game seemed to be going, until Rockman, out of nowhere, had made a completely unconventional move that had left the demon stunned and baffled for several moments.

Forte took his eyes away from the board for a brief moment to observe the siren sat across of him. As he's expecting, the other creature's wings were twitching slightly. Something it did when it was nervous or uneasy.

'It's planning something.' Forte realized. 'Clever thing- It's actually learned deception.'

With that in mind, it took Forte much longer than he would to finally decide on which of the pieces to move, but when he did, the siren paused for only a brief moment before it moved the final piece on the board. "Checkmate."

The demon blinked. He quickly swept his gaze across the pieces on the board, before he slowly, gradually realized that he had been so completely blindsided by the siren's previous move that he had forgotten to check his other chess pieces entirely. "How…"

"Um…" Forte looked up. The siren was fidgeting. "Uh, that was… I didn't mean to do that. That was a mistake." The winged creature then paused, before elaborating. "I, I didn't mean to move that piece, but I didn't know how to tell you… You seemed really concerned about it."

"..."

Forte slumped back, unable to wrap his mind around what had happened.

'...It was just a mistake…?'

Chapter Text

From afar, Zero looked like a crooked demon straight out of the mythology of some obscure culture. Two dark, metallic wings with what appears to be lines of coding running down it had sprouted from his back, and his normally blonde hair was now bleached pale white. It Rockman didn't have the experience he had, he doubted even he could recognize that the dark, winged creature was actually Rockman Zero.

"There he is!" Rockman X had located Zero as well. "But what's he doing?"

With a flap of his wings, the rampaging Navi unleashed a large wave of energy, the sonic wave shattering the windows of all the nearby buildings, and even collapsing some of the midair pathways. Rockman activated his spare Battle Chip data for Barrier just as the wave of energy washed past them, protecting them from the wave itself and the aftershocks that followed.

"Th-thanks." X stammered, the Navi still haven't fully recovered from the shock. Another quick glance around the area showed him the extent of damage which the winged Navi had caused- While a significant portion of the damage had undoubtedly been caused by the virus attack just moments prior, X would be in complete denial if he didn't believe that the other portion of it is being caused by his friend, if the previous tremor and his display of power was anything to go by.

"It's not his fault, X." Sensing the other Navi's distress, Rockman turned to him. "He doesn't realize he's doing this. We just need to return him to his own senses."

That seemed to have the desired effect. The determined look returned to X's expression. "Right. But how can we do that?"

"...Right now, both Zero or Hub aren't conscious enough to cancel out of Style Change by themselves." Not wanting to delay things too much, Rockman attempting to explain as quickly with as much clarity as he can. "Both of their consciousness have been completely pulled under by the overwhelming power of Style Change- But, if we can exhaust their energy, we can force them to cancel out of Style Change completely, or at least, enough to pull them back into consciousness and allow them to do so themselves."

"Okay. That sounds reasonable." X appeared to agree with Rockman's line of thinking, but there was an obvious problem that Netto seemed to have notice as well.

"But how are we going to exhaust their energy?" The brunette asked. "It's not like we can just let him wreck the place until he tires out!"

"Of course we can't." Rockman agreed. "We'll let him attack me."


When Rockman himself had been the one wreaking havoc across the internet as he had been completely consumed by the surge of power the Ultimate Style had given him, the Net Police had ended up getting involved. Luring him into the location they wanted, the Net Police had a giant laser cannon hidden in the waiting, preparing to fire and delete him entirely once he got close. They had been close to succeeding as well, if Blues hadn't jumped in at the last moment and snapped him out of his frenzied state.

While it did result in him regaining enough consciousness to cancel out of Style Change himself, the experience had him brushing too close to deletion for him to feel comfortable with subjecting Zero to the same thing as well. At least, unlike last time, he will be able to stop Zero before he can leave the Internet City and flee into other parts of the cyberworld, and hopefully, he'll be able to resolve this situation quick enough before the Net Police got involved.

Walking closer to the renegade Navi just down the path, Rockman called out, attempting to get Zero's attention. "Zero, stop this right now!"

It worked. The winged Navi snapped his attention towards him, his dark wings twitching irritably.

"You don't want any of this!" Rockman continued. "Come back to your senses and stop this, Zero!"

With a snarl, Zero launched himself at Rockman, the blue Navi expecting the other Navi to retaliate in some way, but not the sudden aggression that had seemingly come out from nowhere. Reacting out of instinct, Rockman side stepped out of the way just in time for the swipe of Zero's claws to miss him barely, the Navi turning on him with another flurry of unrelenting attacks immediately.

Recovering quickly from the surprise, Rockman was prepared for the series of attacks that followed, expertly deflecting and intercepting Zero's swipes and claws with his own hands, and occasionally ducking out of the way. Yet, even if he was more experienced that the other Navi, Zero still somehow managed to keep up with him, never really letting up and giving the blue Navi a moment' respite.

Rockman dodged to the side when Zero swiped his wings sideways, the sharp edges of his wing cutting through several data cubes as it dragged horizontally across him. Rockman leapt back in order to put some distance between them, the brief moment of pause allowed him to conclude that perhaps he shouldn't be too surprised that Zero was managing to keep him on his toes- the Ultimate Style Change had allowed him to defeat Forte when he had been the one to acquire it, after all.

Zero seemed to have decided to change his strategy, his previous one of blinding slashing and swiping at his target having not yielded any result. Bringing his hands together, a ball of energy began to form and crackled within them, and Rockman instantly knew what Zero was about to do. The blue Navi stood still and mentally prepared himself- If Zero's Style Change was anything like his own, it would require a great deal of effort on his part if he wanted to come out of this unharmed.

With a flick of his wrist, Zero launched the ball of energy at Rockman, the blue Navi narrowing his eyes in concentration. Stepping out of the way of the shot's direct line of fire, he focused his energy on reflecting the shot- As expected, he felt a great deal of resistance just from the sheer force behind the shot of charged energy that had been fired at him, but with a final nudge, Rockman managed to send the entire thing hurdling back at the renegade Navi, the blast hitting him and knocking him back full force as the Navi had clearly unexpected this turn of events, bringing down a large structure as Zero collided against its surface.

Briefly, Rockman allowed himself a moment of relieve, before the pile of rubble left behind from the blast was shot into the air, and Zero emerged from all the smoke and dust.

The blue Navi narrowed his eyes. He hadn't wanted to do this, but it was the quickest way to exert all of Zero's energy without causing any unnecessary collateral damage. And while the renegade Navi was obviously hurt, it still appeared determined to tear Rockman apart, if the snarl of rage it let out was of any indication. Aiming one hand at Rockman, another ball of energy quickly manifested itself in the renegade Navi's hand.

"Wait!" Rockman's concentration was broken when X suddenly rushed into the scene, placing himself in between Zero and Rockman.

"X, what're you doing?!" Rockman yelled out in shock. He had told the other Navi to stay out of danger until he could resolve the situation. "You'll get hurt!"

X seemed to consider his words, but he also appeared strangely determined. "I- I can't just let you do everything just by yourself! Besides, Zero's my friend-" At this, he turned towards the winged Navi. "So… I have to help him as well."

"He can't recognize you right now, X!" Rockman attempted to reason. "What if he accidentally hurts or deletes you? How do you think he'll feel when he realizes that?"

"You say once we exhaust his energy, Style Change will cancel out automatically, right?" X ignored him. "He's be3n spending so much of his energy- Maybe I can get to him or Hub now!"

"X!" Rockman was unsure whether he should admire X's courage or scream at him for his recklessness. "Don't do anything you'll regret!"

Then, before Rockman could stop the other Navi, X had ran towards Zero, screaming for him to snap out of it, just at the same time Zero unleashed his charged shot at him.

Chapter Text

Rockman twirled his thumbs semi-nervously as he looked out the window. Forte hadn't talked to him since their last game of chess and the siren wasn't sure if that meant the demon was angry at him.

Briefly, he thought back to what the demon had said to him earlier that day; Rockman wasn't sure if he had understood Forte completely, but from what he had managed to gather, it would seem that the inhabitants of the Undernet had the tendency to hide their motives behind what he thought to have been kindness- At least, that's what Forte believed. The siren still found it difficult to see Serenade- or Swallowman, despite his over-enthusiasm, for that matter- in that light. It was just unfathomable to the siren.

It would be terrible, wouldn't it? To live your life not feeling happiness but instead suspicion and weariness among family or friends?

'Is this what Forte feels all the time?'

Drawing his wings closer to himself, Rockman sighed. He could only imagine how it would feel to live, believing that everyone around you had some ulterior motives for befriending you- That would be unbearable.

'...Is that why he doesn't want to tell me about himself? Because he thinks that I might have some reasons for wanting to know?'

That was horrible. Rockman didn't want Forte to live in that way.

"...Rockman?"

The siren jumped, startled and surprised. He quickly turned to the demon, curious but slightly tense- That was the first time the demon had used his name. Previously, it had always been 'siren' or 'creature'.

"Uh… I'm sorry, about the chess." Rockman said, fidgeting uneasily. "I really didn't mean to do that, and I'm sorry if that angered you."

"No, it's not about that." Forte cut him off quickly. "That was my own fault… I deserved that, anyways." The demon paused briefly, as if considering how best to explain why he felt that way. "...I was the one over-thinking things. You won fair and square. There's nothing to be angry about."

"Oh- I'm glad that's the case." The siren smiled softly. "Uh, so what is it that you wanted to talk about, then?"

"I'll tell you what you wanted to know." Forte said. "I'll tell you something about myself."

That surprised the siren, considering how the other creature had been so adamant about his past remaining a secret just moments before. "Is that- Are you okay with that?"

"I'm sure." The demon nodded. "...I'd rather tell you myself than have you learn some other way- People who spread rumours aren't exactly kind to the people they're spreading rumours of."

Rockman understood that. It was pretty much how the rumours regarding sirens had gotten completely out of hand. "Okay- I'd love to know more about you." He gave the demon an encouraging smile.

"..." Forte gave him a dubious look, before he spoke. "I'm actually blind in one eye."

"Huh?" Rockman blinked. It was such a random thing to begin with, and the siren hadn't even noticed anything wrong with the demon's sight during their several days together. "Really?"

Walking closer, Forte took Rockman's hand and guided it to his left eye- as the siren's fingers brushed across the skin underneath his eye, Rockman noticed that the demon's left eye indeed had a slight discolouration to it. It didn't have the same glow that his other eye had, but it was barely noticeable, unless one where to pay close attention to it.

"Demons aren't known for our kindness or compassion." Once Forte was sure the siren had realized that he was indeed missing the ability to see in one of his eyes, the demon continued. "Especially in a world as harsh and unforgiving as the Undernet, it was better to abandoned a child than to waste resources raising one when it wasn't likely they would be of much use to their legion."

Seeing the siren's expression shifting from confusion into realization, the demon confirmed the other creature's suspicions. "I never knew my parents."

"I'm sorry." Rockman wasn't sure what else to say.

"Don't be." Forte didn't appeared fazed by it at all. "I was adopted by my father- I still don't know what he was. He never told me, and I never thought to ask. He might have been a sprite, of all things. But he took me in and raised me as one of his own." Forte's voice had gotten softer at that. "...He had no reason to. He already had a daughter. But he took me in anyways."

"...It sounds like you had a lot of fond memories of them." Rockman said.

Forte narrowed his eyes, looking away slightly. "They taught me a lot of things, about empathy, kindness and compassion- I would have been someone entirely different if it wasn't for them."

"They sounds like nice people." Rockman smiled. "I'd like to meet them sometimes."

"..."

"...Forte?" The siren was unnerved by the other's sudden silence. "Is… Is something wrong?"

"Nothing." Forte said, a bit harshly. "That's enough. I'll tell you the rest at a later time."

And that was the end of their conversation.


Clunk!

Rockman snapped awake, sitting up instantly. It was late at night, but the siren wasn't exactly a heavy sleeper. He was naturally drawn towards the only source of light within the room- the soft beams of moonlight being filtered in through the window. It took a moment for his eyes to focus, but when they did, the siren quickly realized that he wasn't alone. A pair of bright red eyes were staring through the window directly at him.

"...Forte?" Unable to make out any distinctive features of the figure, the siren took a guess. "Are you there?"

"You're still here."

The siren's heart stopped instantly. He didn't recognize that voice at all.

"You still haven't left yet- I guess he hasn't told you about that part of his past."

"Who're you?" Rockman asked, slightly intimidated by the voice.

"You don't need to know that." The figure narrowed its eyes. "Don't worry- I won't do anything to you. I know that's not what my One-Eyed Demon would want right now- but I know you'll leave on your own accord, sooner or later."

"What do you mean?" The siren was both confused and unnerved. "What are you talking about?"

"You don't know Forte like I do." The figure continued, ignoring him. "He's a very, very bad boy. He's done a lot of naughty things in the past. Things I'm sure someone as pure and innocent like you could never accept."

Rockman kept quiet, unsure of what to say. Was this one of Forte's other friends that he didn't know about?

"I know I'll accept all of Forte, even the things he's done in the past." The figure let out a small snicker. "Can you?"

With that, the silhouette quickly retreated back into the darkness, as if it had never been there in the first place, leaving Rockman scared, confused and unable to sleep for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

Hub woke up slowly. The boy realizing with a start that he wasn't anywhere he'd recognized. The area around him glowed dimly and ominously, with orbs and clusters of data floating about.

"Netto? Zero? X?" He yelled, looking around. 'This place doesn't look anything like the real world at all- Have I somehow ended up inside the cyberworld?'

"Hub?" moments after his cry, a voice yelled back. "Is that you?"

"Zero!" The elder Hikari immediately ran towards the familiar voice, the human and NetNavi meeting each other halfway. Seeing his Navi, the brunette sighed. "I'm glad you're alright."

"Hub, what's going on? Why are you inside the cyberworld?" Zero seemed just as confused as he was at their predicament.

"I don't know." The boy frowned. "All I remembered was Swallowman attacking us, and then-" Hub paused, distracted by the area suddenly illuminating itself. As both human and Navi looked towards the distance, they saw a bright light heading towards them, the two barely having a moment to react before they were enveloped in the light.

Then, Hub woke up again, but this time, he was back in his home, in the real world.

"Nii-san! You're awake!"

The elder Hikari gasped, not expecting his younger sibling to hug him. "What happened to me?" It was the only thing the baffled and confused boy could ask.

"I'm- I'm not entirely sure myself." Slowly letting go of his elder sibling, Netto explained the best he could. "When X and Zero were attacked, you suddenly passed out, just as Zero performed a Style Change."

Netto's words reminded Hub of something instantly. Looking around, Hub quickly locate his PET, before attempting to reach his NetNavi through it. "Zero! Are you there?"

"...Y-yeah…" Zero answered grodily, the Navi appearing to have just woken up as his operator had.

"Zero, you've returned to normal!" The relief was obvious in X's voice as he helped Zero to his feet.

"What do you mean?" The red Navi didn't understand what his companion had meant. "Ah- What happened?" Zero gasped as he took notice of his surroundings- The two Navies were still inside of the Internet City, but Zero could only see the destroyed buildings and broken down pathways around them.

X appeared hesitant. "Zero, don't you remember what happened?"

"No, I'm afraid not." The Navi shook his head no.

"...Well, alright, but don't freak out, okay?" X sighed, before he began. "When we were attacked by that mercenary- Something happened. You somehow managed to trigger Style Change and became Absolute Style Zero."

"I did?" Zero was surprised, the Navi and his operator having tried and failed so many times prior to trigger the Style Change. "Does that mean we've stopped the virus attack?"

"Technically, we did, yes." X paused briefly at that, as if uncertain. "But then- you sort of went berserk, like you couldn't control your own power, and…" The blue Navi trailed off, gesturing to the ruin around them.

"..." Zero frowned. "I… I don't remember doing any of that. Did I really…?" The other Navi's sullen look told him all he needed to know.

"Zero, you need to plug out." X urged him. "Before-"

"Hold it right there! This is the Net Police!"

The two Navies' conversation was cut short. Turning to the sound, they now saw a group of what seemed to be Net Police Navies arriving onto the scene.

"Blues?" Rockman X picked out one of the NetNavies among the group instantly. "What're you doing here?"

"...Isn't it obvious? I'm here investigating the attack on Internet City." Blues said as he regarded the two NetNavies carefully. "No one leaves this area until we've gathered all the information we can."

X didn't speak a word as he unconsciously stepped in front of Zero, as if attempting to shield him from the other NetNavi- If anyone discovered that Zero had a hand in wreaking havoc on the city, he'd be taken away by the Net Police for sure. And with Blues as one of the Net Police investigating the crime, he doubted he would get a chance to explain or defend what Zero had done.

Blues seemed to have sensed that something was up with the two of them. "...You two seem unable to stay out of trouble." The Navi walked closer, his glare piercing even behind his dark visor. "All of the other Navies that were present in the city had logged out moments after the initial attack, so what are you two still doing here…?"

"You're still quick as ever to suspect other people, Blues."

"!"

The Navies all turned their attention to where the new voice had come from, Blues snarling and forming his hand into a sword as he saw the familiar cloaked figure.

"I should have known you of all Navies would have something to do with it." The Net Police Officer pointed his sword at the Blue Myth.

The cloaked Navi merely shot him a smile, before she turned and ran down one of the few unbroken paths leading away from the area, Blues immediately shot after her as she escaped.

"Surround the area, quick!" Seeing their lead officer run after the cloaked Navi, the rest of the Net Police appeared to have forgotten completely about X and Zero. "We can't let the suspect get away!"

"What… What just happened?" Zero whispered to X once the area was once again devoid of any other Navies.

"I think- I think Mega might have just protected us from the Net Police." X replied quietly.


As expected, Blues was the only Navi that had been quick enough to keep up with him. Rockman looked back briefly to see the other Navi still hot on his trail as he navigated the damaged landscape of the Internet City.

"Running isn't making you look any less suspicious!" Blues yelled somewhere behind him.

"Neither will stopping, I suppose?" Rockman said back, smiling to himself.

The other Navi didn't reply, but Rockman was surprised as a slash of wave shot past him, cutting off the path he had been about to take. In his brief moment of hesitation, Blues had leapt in front of him, blocking his escape. "Nowhere to run now."

Before Rockman could react, the red Navi once again swung his sword at him, this time managing to cut the side of his cheek as the blue Navi had been unable to duck out of the way quickly enough. Rockman winced slightly as he brought his hand to his cheek. "I don't want to fight you, Blues."

"It's not about wanting to fight or not." The Net Police Officer merely stated. "You're hiding something- And I'm going to find out one way or another!"

As Blues unleashed another flurry of attacks at him, Rockman realized that he might have horribly misjudged the situation- Not only had Blues gotten considerably stronger since their last encounter, but Rockman's confrontation with Zero had left him drained- He quickly realized he might not be able to keep up with the other Navi's barrage of attacks for long. Just as Rockman was busy thinking of a way out of this situation, Blues had grabbed his wrist.

"I've got you now!"

Eyes wide, Rockman watched as the Net Police Officer raised his sword high and brought it down, the blue Navi unable to get out of the way with Blue's hold on his wrist. Just as the attack was about to connect, Rockman's Navi emblem began to shine brightly, blinding the other Navi as the two of them were encased in a ball of light.

"Tch!" Stepping back, Blues quickly regained his composure. "What sort of trick is this?"

Blue's slash had managed to cut off Rockman's cloak, the purple fabric gliding onto the ground, and as the light faded, the red Navi gasped at what he saw.

"You- Impossible!"

Turning to him, the figure's green eyes were undoubtedly the Blue Myth's- but aside from several details, the figure before him was a near splitting-image of himself.

"You can take on the form of other NetNavies?" Blues was completely alarmed by the realization. Seeing his opportunity, Rockman retaliated, swinging his own sword against the other Navi's form- Not enough to really hurt or damage him, but enough to disable the Navi and allow him to get away.

As Blues collapsed, Rockman turned on his heels and ran, offering a yell of "Sorry!" as he quickly escaped from the scene.

Chapter Text

Shadowman carefully gauged the area around him as he neared the location his Mistress had pointed him to after he had retrieved the cloak he had accidentally left behind in the Internet City. His Mistress' virus pet was trailing behind him, its tiny legs scuttling across the floor as it attempted to keep up with the shadow Navi. Suddenly, the virus had shot forward, chattering excitedly before disappearing from his view as it rounded a corner.

"Mistress?" Shadowman could only guess what the virus' sudden enthusiasm had meant. "Are you there?"

"Yeah- Wait, don't- don't come over."

Shadowman stopped in his tracks, baffled by the other Navi's request. "...Is something the matter?"

"...No, nothing's wrong." The Blue Myth sounded oddly worried. "Just, don't freak out, okay?"

Shadowman remained mostly confused, until a Navi stepped out from around the corner. Alarmed, the Navi reached for his sword instantly, but the other raised his hand defensively.

"Shadowman, it's me!"

Shadowman blinked. He recognized that voice. "...Mistress?"

The Navi in front of him nodded. Looking at the Navi's other arm, he noticed that Scuttlest appeared quite content to be held by the Navi before him, something that it only allowed his Mistress to do. Quickly realizing that this Navi was actually his Mistress, Shadowman lowered his guard, but still very much at a lost of what was happening.

"Mistress… Your body…"

"I know." Rockman sighed as he took his cloak back from Shadowman, wrapping it around himself. For some reason, he was still in BluesSoul, and he didn't know why.

While he was familiar with Soul Unison as he also had the same ability in his previous timeline, it appeared that the ability functioned differently than the one he had known. For one, it appeared that Soul Unison didn't require another Navi transferring their data to him in order for him to use their Soul Unison- When he had first unlocked the ability to perform Soul Unison in the past, Blues had given him ninety-nine percent of his data, leaving the other Navi in a state of near-deletion, but allowing Rockman to gain all the abilities that his Soul Unison provided. That, however, obviously wasn't the case anymore.

And for two… He still had no idea how to cancel out of it. Rockman had attempted to cancel out of BluesSoul once he had successfully lost the red Navi and the rest of the Net Police, but had found himself unable to- There was no Navi to send the borrowed data back to, and Rockman found himself still in BluesSoul long after the entire ordeal had passed.

"..." Shadowman, for his part, seemed to have just accepted that there were just some things surrounding his Mistress that simply couldn't be explained. "Mistress… What about your mate?"

Rockman grimaced. He didn't know how Forte would react to it. He still didn't know how he was going to explain this to him. "I'll… I'll get to that later. Let's return to the Undernet for now."


Rockman was boiling with nervous energy when he had returned to the Undernet, Scuttlest was still chattering happily in his arms- apparently, the virus recognized him by his energy signature rather than his appearance. Pulling his hood lower over his head, he shifted nervously, still unsure of how he was going to explain the entire thing.

"Mega?"

Rockman turned and gasped, seeing Forte standing before him.

"For-Forte! It's me!"

"I know." The dark Navi didn't appear to need convincing. "I saw what happened."

He blinked, surprised. "You saw?"

Forte nodded. Then, he stepped forward, reaching for Rockman's hood. "Can I?"

When Rockman didn't protest, Forte pulled his hood back, revealing his now finned helmet and neon green visor. Forte raised an eyebrow. "...What happened, exactly?"

"I don't know." Rockman replied honestly. This iteration of Soul Unison was so different than the one he'd been used to that he didn't even know how it had activated, or how to disable it. "I'm not sure how it happened, but it seems to allow me to use his abilities…"

Forte appeared to realize that Rockman was referring to Blues. He held one of his hand out to him. "Let me see. Maybe I can find out what happened."

Rockman let go of Scuttlest, placing the small virus onto the ground allowing it to wander around on its own accord before he took Forte's hand. He shivered briefly as he felt the other Navi began to comb through his data, poking and prodding at his programmes gently. Then, Forte appeared to have noticed something. "Mega, there appears to be some sort new programme inside of your data."

Rockman nodded. It was probably the programme that had allowed him to perform Soul Unison. "Can you find out anything about it?"

"..."

"Forte…?" Rockman was slightly worried by Forte's silence. "Is something wrong…?"

"It-" The dark Navi's voice faltered slightly, before he continued. "It seems to be a less orthodox version of my Get Ability programme."

"What?" That doesn't make any sense. "How- Why would I have your Get Ability programme inside of my data?"

"..." Forte snorted. Rockman remained clueless for a second, before he saw the slight twitch of the other Navi's lips upward. Instantly, his face became a bright shade of red.

"That's not ture. It's impossible."

"Right."

"Forte! Don't patronize me!" He was completely flustered. "Just- Just figure out how the programme works, okay?!"

"I know exactly how it works. It's very similar to my own."

"Then you know how I can cancel out of this form, right?"

"Wait." The other Navi seemed to consider something. "Before that, let me try something."

"Wh-" Rockman's question was cut off when the other Navi leaned forward quickly and kissed him, Forte taking advantage of his surprise to yank the rest of his cloak off, Rockman gasped and shivered as the other Navi began touching him, firm hands gliding down his chest and waist.

"Forte!" He hissed, grabbing both of Forte's wrists. "Can't this wait?!"

The dark Navi looked at him innocently. "That would defeat the entire purpose."

"Of what?!"

"I want you. In this form." Leaning in once more, Forte bit the side of Rockman's neck softly, drawing out a startled gasp from the smaller Navi.

"Y...You can't be serious." Rockman couldn't see the appeal in this.

"You're still you, even if your body is slightly different now." Forte explained as he continued to explore Rockman's body, the Navi's frame now appeared to be more lean than slender, probably to allow more effective use of sword type weapons. His shoulder length hair, while still a dark shade of brown, had now extended to his waist, and Forte was both curious and intrigued as he ran his fingers through Rockman's hair. "I wonder if there's any other part of you that's changed?"

Before Rockman could protest, Forte had pushed him over, the two Navies landing on the ground with Forte on top of him. Immediately, Rockman began to struggle out of embarrassment more than anything as the other Navi began to remove the pieces of light armour on his upper torso and tore off the rest of his skin suit. "Forte!"

"I've got you." Forte had silenced him with another kiss, before guiding his legs apart gently. "...You still have that part of you that I love."

Rockman closed his eyes shut, his face burning bright red. "Oh my god, Forte."

"...It's your first time in this form…" The dark Navi said more to himself as he touched the soft, closed petals in between the smaller Navi's legs and felt the Navi below him tense. "Don't worry. I'll be gentler."

Rockman couldn't quite stop the small sound that escaped him when Forte pushed himself inside, the Navi letting out a sharp whine and grasping onto the Navi above him as he was entered, his body appeared to be offering a bit more resistance than usual, clenching tightly around the intruding length uncomfortably as it slid inside. True to his words, Forte seemed to be taking things a lot more slowly. Where he would have already forced himself completely inside knowing that the smaller Navi's body had already grown used to him, Forte went slow, only thrusting himself deeper into the other Navi when he was certain doing so wouldn't cause Rockman any major discomfort.

"This form of you isn't used to me…" Forte concluded as he carefully observed Rockman's reactions. "That's alright. I'm sure that can be amended."

Rockman's entire body was quivering when Forte was fully sheathed inside of him, his soft walls clutching awkwardly as it was spread wide apart. The Navi snapped his eyes open, one of his legs kicking softly and he let out another whine when Forte bucked his hips forward, the tip of his length nudging at his sensitive opening. "Hn-nnnh…"

"...You definitely feel different." Forte murmured softly, sliding his hands downwards towards Rockman's hips. "But I'll still make sure you feel good."

"A-ahn!" Rockman gasped as he felt the other Navi began to thrust into him gently, his insides becoming slick from stimulation, gradually allowing less and less resistance as the other Navi continued to roll his hips against him. Forte appeared to have noticed as much, and the smaller Navi let out an undignified yelp as the larger Navi suddenly increased the pace and depth of his thrusts. "For-Forte!"

Shuddering, Rockman's body reacted on instinct, twisting and attempting to get out from underneath the other Navi, but the tight grip on his hips prevented him from doing so.

"Feisty, eh?" Forte teased him, and Rockman blushed- Instead of silent submission, his body seemed to be reacting to the pleasure differently, struggling and thrashing to get away from the stimulation instead of quietly accepting it. "I can change that."

"Hnn!" Rockman's body jerked as Forte began to fuck him passionately, each inward push completely forcing his inner walls apart and slamming against that sensitive inner opening before withdrawing completely and thrusting forward once more. Each thrust against that spot inside of him managing to force out a sharp cry of delight and causing his entire form to quiver in pleasure. Unconsciously, the smaller Navi attempted to bring his knees together, to somehow angle himself away in an attempt to get away from the overwhelming sensations, but Forte held him still expertly, effectively forcing his body to accept everything the larger Navi was doing to him, and all Rockman could do was to whimper and cry with Forte's every move.

When Rockman came, it was with a sudden jerk as he dug his nails into Forte's forearm, dragging long lines along the other's skin. His insides shivered and clutched tightly, as if attempting to stop the larger Navi from pushing so deeply into him. Forte responded with several more thrusts, forcing that opening inside of him open before he climaxed himself, spilling himself directly inside as Rockman's body spasmed, his legs still kicking softly as if trying to get the larger Navi off of him.

"...Interesting." Forte murmured softly as the two Navies recovered, running his fingers through the smaller Navi's hair. Rockman's body was still twitching in slight awkwardness as Forte remained sheathed inside of him.

"Is… Is that what you wanted?" Rockman sighed, rolling his eyes. "Are you satisfied now?"

"Maybe." Forte said. "But I still want more."

"?!"

Before Rockman could say anything, Forte had bucked his hips into him, the smaller Navi's body reacting instinctively by kicking and squirming before he was held still once more, the short gasps and cries of want and pleasure the only thing he managed to get out as his body shuddered unwillingly in desire.

Chapter Text

Forte woke up to a somewhat distressed siren with a small pile of feathers laid next to it. Walking closer, the demon quickly realized that Rockman had been tediously grooming away his molting feathers, something he had never seen the siren do before.

"Stop doing that." Forte said as he took the siren's wrists. While he knew some other bird creatures shared the same behavior of picking out old and worn or damaged feathers from their wings, the amount that the siren was pulling out from its own was ridiculous. "That's too much. You'll have bald spots if you keep doing that."

"S-sorry." Rockman shrunk under the demon's gaze, but his wings were still twitching irritatedly. "It… It just itches, so much."

"What?" Forte was confused. "What does?"

"My wings." The siren sniffed, pulling at his hands. "It doesn't feel very nice. I haven't washed them in a while."

The demon raised an eyebrow, a question forming in his head. "...Is that why you sirens bathe in hot springs? To wash your wings?"

Rockman nodded, folding and unfolding his wings unconsciously.

"I can take you to a stream nearby." The demon offered, but the siren shook its head.

"The water wouldn't be hot enough…"

Forte frowned, remembering the thick clouds of steam that had been produced by the hot springs he'd found the siren in, but he quickly thought of an alternative.

"I know a place- Come. I'll take you."

Rockman was fidgeting nervously. He didn't like some of the stares he was getting.


 

"Calm down. They don't suspect anything."

He grabbed onto Forte's cloak tighter as he walked closely behind him. "S-sorry. It's just weird. I'm not used to so many other creatures at the same time."

"What do you mean?" The demon sounded curious.

"I've never really been in a big group before, even with other sirens." Rockman whispered quietly to him. Forte appeared to consider this.

"Why not?" The demon asked him. "Considering what your kind has to do periodically, wouldn't it be much safer to bathe in a group so some of you can look out for approaching threats?"

"..." Rockman blushed and hid his face, and Forte sighed when he deduced what the siren's reaction was implying.

"We're here."

Rockman looked up timidly. The small building they were in front of didn't look any different to the others that lined the street, but the siren could smell the faint scent of steam from boiling water. "What's this place…?"

"It's a bathhouse." Forte told him as the two walked through the door, and Rockman watched as the demon spoke to the receptionist and gave him was the siren assumed to be the currency that the creatures in the Undernet used. Rockman followed Forte once more as the demon took his wrist and he tried not to pay too much mind to the stare that followed him.

"Do… Do they know?" Rockman couldn't resist asking. He trusted Forte and Serenade not to intentionally put him in danger, but he was still worried if other creatures might have saw through their plan.

"They aren't staring because of what you are." Forte assured him. "They're doing that because of who you're with."

The siren appreciated the demon's attempt at making him feel better, but the answer had left him even more confused. "What do you mean? They're… They're looking at me because of you?"

"We're here." Forte avoided the question expertly as the two walked into a closed room, the demon sliding the door behind them shut. The siren looked in awe as he saw the large pool of water in the middle of the room, the steam rising from the near-boiling heat of the water and filling the entire area.

"Take as long as you want." The demon said. Then, he added, as if an afterthought. "I won't look, if you're worried about that."

"You're not joining me?" The siren asked. Forte had already spent so much of his time taking him all the way out here. He didn't want to force the other to wait for him too, while he cleaned out all the dust and grime that had gotten trapped in between his feathers.

"I thought you didn't like it when other sirens watched you."

"That's-" Rockman blushed. He paused briefly, trying to explain himself better. "That's… That's mostly because, I didn't really know them, a lot, and it didn't feel right because of that. So, that's why, I would be okay, if…" He stopped when he realized he was stuttering and not really making much sense anymore. "Wh-what I want to say is, I won't mind, if you don't."

"...I don't mind." The demon said, after a long pause.

"Okay." The siren smiled. "Um, then, I'll join you in the water, when I'm done."

As the siren turned and went over to one of the ledges, Forte was almost regretting his decision after the internal debate he'd had with himself wondering if it was right of him to take advantage of some unsuspecting siren to watch them strip and bathe naked at a close distance. But that still didn't stop the demon from staring as Rockman began to take off pieces of his clothing, folding them neatly before placing them into a pile. Even if the demon had seen the winged creature naked once before, he still found himself holding his breath when he saw the other's soft, pale skin slowly behind revealed underneath all that clothing,

"...Uh." Forte blinked, and it took him a moment to realize the siren had caught him staring, a soft blush on its face as it addressed the demon. "...So, are you coming…?"

It didn't take Forte nearly as long as Rockman to strip, the demon being much less careful and organized than the siren had been as he practically tore his clothes off of himself. When he turned back to the bath, the siren was already in the water, small droplets dripping from the tips of its wings as it spreaded them.

The sight had made Forte suddenly question his relationship with the siren. While the demon could admit that he was very much in the wrong for abducting the siren from its home and bringing it to the Undernet, their interaction didn't appear to reflect this at all. Kidnappers don't tend to care for the wellbeing of their victims, and the victims most certainly didn't invite their kidnappers into the bath with them.

So, why was this siren acting like this…?

"For-Forte…!"

The demon was brought back into sudden awareness. Somewhere during his internal monologue, he had joined the siren in the water and approached him from behind, grabbing both his wings firmly but gently.

"Do you fear me?" Forte asked it. He had to know.

"..." He felt the siren's wings give a soft twitch in his hands. "...I don't know."

It wasn't 'yes' like before, but the siren still held some sort of uncertainty regarding him. "Why?"

"I… I trust you, not to hurt me." Rockman looked back at him as he said. "I meant what I said, when I told you I didn't think you were a bad person. I'm still a bit scared of what you did to me on the Surface, but you haven't hurt me after that, so... I don't have to be afraid."

The siren's words made him confused and angry at the same time- He almost lashed out at it, wanting to accuse it of lying, before he realized the siren was literally in the most vulnerable position it could possible be in, completely naked with its back towards its captor. Both its wings were held tightly, yet showed no signs of struggling.

No one would give the person they fear that much leverage over them. Not willingly like the siren had.

Before he realized it, Forte's hands moved on their own accord, one taking hold of the siren's waist while the other cupping its chest, Rockman yelping in surprise at the action.

"Forte- Forte! What're you-"

Whatever the siren had wanted to say was cut off by its own whine when Forte bit the back of its neck, the hand on its waist trailing down along its hips and towards the area in between its legs. The demon heard Rockman made several startled and confused noises, before the siren's body suddenly tensed, the winged creature letting out a long cry before it went limp in his arms, shivering softly as it gasped and panted.

Then, Forte's mind suddenly caught up to what he had just done.

Chapter Text

Rockman was carefully poking at the newly formed programme inside of his data, still trying to get used to how it worked. The programme apparently had some sort of built-in library to store foreign data, and as he activated and deactivated the programme while selecting Blue's data, he found himself able to switch in and out of BlueSoul with relative ease- Something that he wouldn't have guessed could be done just a day ago. Soul Unison usually required another Navi actively sending their own data over to him for it to work. The fact that now he had permanent and instantaneous access to it was overwhelming, to say the least.

Besides from getting him acquainted with his new ability, Forte had also walked him through how his Get Ability programme worked.

"Every piece of unique data that the programme manages to scan and copy should be stored in a folder that's attached to it." Forte had told him. "You can further organize the data on your own, but by default, they should all appear there."

"So it's sort of like a Battle Chip folder? If I want a certain Battle Chip, I'll just find it in the folder and select it, right?"

The other Navi considered his comparison. "With your version of the programme, I suppose you can say that."

"My version?" Rockman was confused. "Doesn't your Get Ability programme work like that as well?"

"If you're talking about active abilities, then yes. My programme also has a library which I can access and find the ability that I want to use during battle." Forte explained. "However, mine differs from yours in that I also have a secondary library for passive abilities."

"Passive abilities?"

"Think of them as permanent upgrades." Forte titled his head. "If active abilities are like Battle Chips you use during battles, then passive abilities are like receiving a system upgrade- It doesn't directly contribute to the battle, but it definitely helps and adds up over time."

Rockman took a moment to ponder this. He supposed it made sense that was how Forte had managed to grow so powerful in time- If every enemy he had defeated had yielded him some sort of passive ability, that would allow him to rinse and repeat the same process with stronger and more powerful opponents each time, allowing his power to grow almost exponentially. But he still had a question. "Forte, you said that this new programme that I have is a version of the Get Ability programme that I've gotten from you, right?" When the other Navi gave an affirmative nod, Rockman continued. "So… So why does mine change my appearance? Is it another difference between our programmes?"

"Hm." Forte confirmed his suspicion. "It mostly has to do with how our programmes handle formatting."

"What's that?" Rockman asked him. "And why would that affect me?"

"If you wanted to grossly over-simplify things, than Navies are practically all the same- we are all made out of two key components, the frame, which basically determines our appearance, and our key-data, which determines our personality and our abilities." Forte explained. "However, that is simply not the case. Even if minute, there are differences between each Navi's frame and their key-data, and this difference is made even clearer for fully customized NetNavies, like us."

"Does that mean that the programme changes my frame, because I'm using another Navi's key-data?" Rockman guessed.

Forte grinned. "That's correct. While my programme also has the ability to format another Navi's key-data so it is compatible with my own frame, my guess is that your version of the programme handles formatting differently, in that it changes your frame so that you become compatible with their key-data instead."

While Rockman was glad that he now had access to what was basically the equivalent of Soul Unison, he wasn't sure how he felt about how the programme was handling the data. "That… that's a bit backwards, isn't it?"

"It's a bit unorthodox, perhaps." Forte shrugged. "But it achieves its purpose. Besides…" At this, the other Navi leaned in. "It has some unforeseen benefits with it, doesn't it?"

Rockman had pushed Forte away at that point, the other Navi allowing it and merely smirking as the blue Navi blushed. Deciding that he had played around with his new programme enough, Rockman canceled out of BluesSoul one last time, feeling the programme becoming dormant once more now that it wasn't being used.

"I guess I'd accidentally scanned and copied Blues' data when we were inside of the Internet City…" Rockman pondered out loud. "...Hm?"

The blue Navi looked down when he felt something poke at his ankle and saw Scuttlest attempting to climb up his leg. Rockman had quickly learnt that it was just something the virus did whenever it wanted the Navi to hold it.

"Geez… If I didn't know any better, I would say you were some sort of dog that humans kept as pets…" Sighing, Rockman picked the bug virus up, Scuttlest letting out tiny, happy chatters in response. "...You're getting kind of heavy as well…" The Navi raised an eyebrow. "Have you been feeding off spare data when I'm not looking…?"

"Mistress?"

"Ah!" Rockman turned as Shadowman approached him. "What is it?"

"I found something… some Navies, in the Undernet that you know."

The blue Navies blinked. "Who?"

"..." Shadowman fell strangely quiet for a moment, before he spoke. "Mistress… I believe you might want to see it for yourself first…"


"Your report?"

"You were right. The Blue Myth did show up not long after the operation began." Swallowman sighed. "But is that really all that surprising? She shows up every time something bad happens. She's like one of those nice, quiet girls that secretly loves bad, dangerous boys."

"And the two other Navies?" The other NetNavi didn't seem to care much other than getting the information that he wanted.

"I'll get them next time." The bird Navi frowned. "The brat nearly tore my wings off. There's no way I'm letting him walk after that."

"...Do not bother." The Navi made out of ice replied. "I have reviewed the footage from the operation. You will not achieve anything from that."

"..." Swallowman bit his tongue. As much as he hated to admit it, whatever power that Zero had unleashed upon him had left him completely outmatched, and the bird Navi doubted he would survive a second encounter, even if that was a blow to his pride.

"However, my operator is quite intrigued by this… power, that this Navi seemed to have." The other Navi continued. "So for now, your new instructions will be to observe him in battle, and gather as much information on this power of his as possible."

"Fine." The bird Navi huffed, rolling his eyes. "And the Blue Myth? You seem completely determined to eliminate her from the start, but I still don't know how you plan on getting rid of her."

"That is none of your concern." The ice Navi told him. "Now begone."

"Tch." Although displeased, Swallowman logged out of the systems. Once he was gone, a holographic image of a person flickered to life.

"It has been done." The Navi told the figure, presumably his operator.

"Good." The figure said. "Begin preparing for the next step of our plan- We mustn't allow ourselves to repeat the same mistakes WWW had…"

Chapter Text

Forte laid on his back, thoroughly regretting all of his life choices while he stared at the ceiling. He should never had accepted Serenade's invitation when he invited the group out for drinks. Should have never listened to Serenade when the sprite told him about the rumour regarding the sirens. Should have never acted on impulse and did what he had done. It was stupid. Completely idiotic.

Idiot.

"...Forte?"

The demon blinked, and turned his head towards the doorway where the siren was hiding behind. He realized he must have looked completely ridiculous to the other creature, just laying around on the floor of his own home seemingly for no reason whatsoever. "...What?"

"Are you…" Rockman blushed, ducking its head briefly. "Are you okay?"

"..."

He really wasn't. After that accident- if he could even call it that- in the bathhouse, the demon had been rendered unable to look at the other creature in the eye, and had turned his back towards the winged creature while he waited for it to clean through its feathers in awkward, unnerving silence. On the way back, the siren understandably hadn't attempted any sort of conversation which him, and now he was on the floor trying to find some sort of sense or reason as to why he had done what he did. He had no idea what to do with himself.

"I don't know." Forte said.

The siren was quiet for a moment, before it slipped closer towards him. "Are you upset with what I said?"

"What?" Forte snapped his attention towards it, baffled and alarmed. "Of course not."

Rockman appeared to relax slightly. "Then… Can you tell me why you're upset? If that's okay?"

The demon just stared at the siren in disbelief for a moment, before he sat up. "Rockman, do you have no idea what I just did to you?" He was going to wrangle himself if the other creature was indeed so clueless that it didn't realized that the demon had just practically molested it.

"It's something that two creatures do, when they're-" The siren stopped, biting its lips as its face grew bright red. "W-when, when they're really, really close."

Forte wasn't sure if the siren had meant in terms of relationship or distance when it had said the word 'close'. He hoped for his sake that it was the former. He decided to clarify. "Didn't you feel… violated?"

The siren appeared to actually consider this. Forte could almost see the thoughts going through its mind before it slowly shook its head. "I… I don't know. I felt shocked. Confused. But I didn't feel bad." Then, in a quieter voice, the siren continued. "I… I didn't know you felt that way, though. You always seemed so distant, like you disliked me, or I did something that you didn't liked."

"...I never disliked you." Forte told the siren, though he could see in hindsight how the other creature might have gotten that idea. "...It's complicated, the reason why I acted that way towards you."

"I don't understand."

"Of course you don't." Forte gave a short laugh as he considered how to explain it to the other. "...When my own parents had abandoned me, I didn't really had anything good to take away from that. It made me feel... I felt like, their affection had preconditions. And it only spiraled from there. After that, I could never really look at anything someone did and not see the possible inclinations and motives behind their actions. No one was truly pure, and everything had strings attached to it."

When the siren merely looked at him with a slight frown, Forte continued. "I guess that's why… When my father adopted me, I had trouble seeing that his kindness was genuine. Even though I was grateful for him for taking me in, I always thought that he might have wanted something in return." Sensing the siren's confusion, Forte explained. "I might have told you this before, but my father, Cossack, had a daughter, Kalinka. She was kind and caring and compassionate- the sort of girl that everyone would want to be friends with. But that also made her very vulnerable to being taken advantage of." At this, Forte met the siren's gaze, watching as realization gradually settled on its expression. "I thought that was where I came in- He wanted someone to protect his daughter when he had business to take care of. That was why he took me in."

"Was that really true?" Rockman's wings were quivering.

"No. He genuinely cared for my well being, and only ever treated me as his son, but I didn't know that at the time." The demon narrowed his eyes. "I thought I had been indebted to him, so I did everything I could to achieve my 'purpose'. When I was younger, I would get into fights with other creatures who harassed Kalinka. My father would always scold me for hurting them afterwards, but I thought the gesture had mostly been for show, for the families of the other creatures I had just beat up." Forte then grit his teeth. "...It should have stopped there, but it got worse."

"What happened...?" The siren asked, its voice quiet.

"I began taking contacts." Knowing that the siren wouldn't understand what that statement alone meant, he continued. "In the undernet… There are many different ways of obtaining power, and contracts were one of them. Most of these contracts were put out by people who offered wealth in turn of some sort of service, but there were some that offered a fraction of the contractor's powers as payment, and in pursuit to fulfil the non-existent expectations of my father, those were the ones I took."

"It wasn't easy for me, at first." Forte lifted his gaze towards the ceiling once more as he sighed. "Power was one of the more valuable resources that one could have in the Undernet, so the job that came with this payment…" Forte braced himself as he finished his explanation. "It was usually murder."

He expected the siren to recoil, perhaps in disgust, or at least in fear, but the winged creature just sat there, as if waiting for him to continue his story.

"...I wasn't really used to it. Beating people up and actually killing them weren't exactly the same thing, but once I had gotten over the initial hurdle, it became easier. Each contract I fulfilled only made me stronger, and at one point, I had even been strong enough to force the contractors into giving me a large fraction or all of their power to me." The demon paused briefly. "I had indeed become the warrior that I thought he had wanted, but I never realized I'd stray further away from the son he had actually wanted."

"Then tell them, Forte." Rockman urged him. "If it was truly a misunderstanding, then they'll understand."

"I can't." Forte hissed. He lowered his voice once he realized he had startled the siren. "I just can't, okay?"

"...Okay." The siren's wings twitched slightly, but it continued. "I… I still think you should, but I won't force you, or anything." Then, Forte looked back down when he felt something touching his hand. The siren had placed its hand on his. "I know that isn't a part of your past that you're proud of, or want to even mention, so thank you for telling me." The siren tilted its head. "I can't say that I understand why you felt what you did, or why you did what you done, but I think everyone deserves the chance to change for the better." At that, the winged creature gave him a small smile. "And, I think you have."

"..."

Before he could convince himself otherwise, Forte leaned in and kissed Rockman on the lips. He kept his movement slow and gentle, allowing the siren plenty of time to back away if it wanted, but when the winged creature remained where it was, Forte grew bolder, grabbing the siren's wrists and pulling it closer as he bit down its throat, drawing out several surprised gasps.

"Forte…" The siren was shaking, grasping onto his cloak.

"I want you." The demon told the siren, red eyes staring desperately into the other's green ones. "Rockman. Let me have you."

Chapter Text

The siren's pale skin was soft, the sheets around it a nice compliment to its slight blush as Forte peeled of its clothing bit by bit until the siren was just as bare as the first day Forte had met it.

The demon paused for a moment, wondering if he had been too hasty in his actions, but when Rockman only looked at him timidly, Forte began to remove his own clothing, feeling the other's gaze on him until he was done and their eyes met.

The siren glanced away instantly, it's face bright red as if it had been caught doing something it wasn't supposed to. "Um… Y-you look nice."

The demon raised an eyebrow. "You haven't done anything like this before, have you?"

"N-no." The siren bit one of its nails. "...Have you?"

"..."

It was Forte's turn to blush, but the demon didn't allow that to stop him for long. Leaning in, he kissed the siren once more, feeling the soft gasp and twitch of the other creature below him as his hands ran down the siren's chest and waist. While some of it was instinct, Forte was good at reading other people as well, and the demon quickly realized where Rockman was most sensitive, biting and rubbing at the soft skin as the siren's gasps and whines grew louder.

"Forte!" The siren let out a sudden yelp when Forte took one of its wings into his hands, the outcry quickly turning into a long moan when the demon ran his hand through its feathers, its toes curled and entire body shivering at the motion, and Forte wasn't sure how to feel about the newfound knowledge that the siren's wings were practically its erogenous zones when it was aroused.

Not wanting to startle the siren, Forte took his time, making sure Rockman was completely lax and compliant underneath him before he moved one of his hands down in between its legs, moving past and under its erect length, but then unexpectedly feeling a wetness down there. Baffled and surprised, the demon drew back slightly, lifting one of the siren's legs to rest around his waist, Rockman letting out a confused and dazed noise at the demon's action. Forte guided Rockman's other leg to the side, and what the demon saw stunned him.

"What the fu…"

"Is… Is something wrong?" The siren fidgeted nervously, it's wings quivering.

Forte swallowed as he watched a gush of clear fluid trailing out from the pair of soft petals in between the other creature's legs that he hadn't expected to be there. The demon had no idea how he had missed it both times when he had saw Rockman naked, but he knew he wanted to bury himself deep inside there, the demon's breath hitched as he imagined the tight heat of the siren surrounding him. 'Do all sirens have that part regardless if they are male or female? Was that how the rumours about siren wives began?'

"...Nothing's wrong." Forte said as he reached one hand towards the small slit, slipping two of his fingers inside, the wet slick allowing the two digits entry with relative ease. Rockman made a small sound, its hands grabbing onto the sheets below it as its wings quivered.

"Does it hurt?" Forte asked it, just to be sure he wasn't rushing things.

"I- hnn, I don't know…" The siren blushed, shifting around under the demon's gaze. "It feels… weird. But it doesn't hurt…Ah-hnnn…!"

Sliding his fingers deeper, Forte had curled the two digits before forcing them upwards at an odd angle. The siren's reaction was immediate, one of its wings had unfolded, flopping onto the sheets with a soft thump, while its entire body tensed. "Forte- Forte…!"

"Hn?" The demon slid in a third finger, spreading Rockman's inner walls apart just as his body gave a harsh shudder. "Did it hurt?"

"Nu- nuh, no… It f-feels- Ahn, weird…!" The siren's cries were combined with several gasps and whimpers as Forte thrusted his fingers in and out, forcing out another gush of slick in between Rockman's legs.

When Forte had finally withdrew his fingers, the siren was completely quivering below him, its face a bright shade of red. Its wings had been drawn close to its body as it gasped and whined. The demon quickly brought both of Rockman's legs around his waist, the siren out letting out a small whine as it felt something else push up against its opening.

"I won't hurt you." Forte told it as he brought his forehead against the siren's.

"O-okay…" Rockman's pupils were blown wide, appearing dazed, but not completely unaware. "I, I trust you."

That was all the confirmation Forte needed to push himself forward, forcing his entire length inside of the siren in a single motion. He hissed as the other's tight heat surrounded him, and grabbed both sides of Rockman's waist to steady himself. "Fuck…!"

"Ahn!" Rockman jerked, both of his wings flapping once, dislodging several loose feathers and sending them flying across the room. The siren then laid still, its inner walls clutching around the intruding length awkwardly as it whimpered. "It's… It's inside…!"

"It's okay." Forte attempted to sooth it, kissing the siren softly as it wriggled uncomfortably, trying to bring its knees together. "I've got you."

"Hn…! Nn-nh, a-ah…" Rockman let out a series of cries as Forte began to buck his hips, thrusting into the siren shallowly at first. The demon kept a close eye on the other's reaction as he angled his thrusts, before the siren suddenly let out a loud gasp, its insides tensing around him.

Realizing he had located where the other creature was most sensitive in there, Forte deepened his thrusts, moving one hand upwards to touch the siren's wings, rubbing circles underneath its feathers for good measure. The effect was immediate; the siren shuddered, its head rolling back as it began to sob and whine incoherently. Forte snarled when he felt the other clutch around him tighter, but the wet slick the siren produced allowed him to slide in and out with relative ease despite the added friction.

"A-ahn! For-Forte!"

"Does it feel good?" Forte asked it. He regarded the siren carefully as he continued to trust into it, each inward push drawing out a gasp and a shudder from the creature below him.

Rockman eyes were brimming with tears at this point, most likely from over-stimulation as Forte continued to thrust into that innermost spot inside of it. The siren's mouth was wide open, but all that left it was a series of long whines and startled moans as its entire body was jerked. Unable to vocalize its answer, the siren just gave a small, shy nod, just as another cry left its mouth.

"That's good." Forte bit Rockman's neck, just as another thrust had left the siren crying and shaking, its wings giving another flap. The demon gently pressed both of its wings down onto the sheets, feeling the feathers quiver in between his fingers as he continued to buck his hips forward. The siren was sobbing and gasping, its inner walls clutching desperately around him, but still somehow maintaining its gaze with the demon. "I want you, and If you want, I can keep on making you feel good."

Forte was unsure if his words had played a part in it, but he felt the siren orgasm not a moment later, the winged creature letting out a long cry just as its entire body shuddered. When the demon reached his own climax, it was with a growl as he bit the base of Rockman's throat, feeling the siren shiver as he spilled himself deep into it, the siren's soft walls clutching and twitching around him, as if attempting to pull him even deeper inside.

When Forte had recovered, he realized that the siren now laid completely still underneath him, apparently having passed out not long after its climax, the tips of its wings were still twitching slightly as it slept. Feeling tired himself, Forte laid down besides the siren, deciding that everything else could wait until tomorrow.

The next day, the two were woken up by a loud banging at the door, and the displeased screams of a certain sprite.

Chapter Text

"...Nii-san? Nii-san!"

"Huh?" Hub Hikari was pulled to sudden awareness as a hand dragged itself across his vision. It was his younger sibling, Netto. "A-ah! What is it, Netto-kun?"

"Class is over, Nii-san." The younger Hikari told him. "It's not like you to just completely space out like that… What's wrong?"

"What?" The elder Hikari looked around. True to Netto's words, the class was half-empty, most likely having left school already. Somehow, he'd manage the sit through class without even noticing it.

"...Sorry." Knowing that he wouldn't be able to hide anything from his younger sibling, Hub sighed. "It's just… I'm still thinking about what happened several days ago…"

"You mean about Zero and the Internet City?" Netto frowned. "That's not your fault, Nii-san! We were just trying to help and you didn't know that would happen! Besides, it's been three days and the Net Police still hadn't said anything about it- I don't think they suspect us!"

Hub looked down, biting his lips. "I know, but… But that doesn't mean Zero and I aren't still responsible for damaging the city…"

"Nii-san, come on! There was no way any of us would know that was what would happen!" Netto was referring to the side effect of his elder sibling's Navi going completely berserk . "Besides- We'll find some way to control it next time, so it doesn't happen again!"

"Right…" Hub supported his face with both hands. It was obvious that the boy was skeptical of Netto's words.

"We can ask Mega what she knows about Style Change the next time we see her." Netto offered.

Hub gave his younger sibling a look. "Who?"

"It's what the Blue Myth calls herself." Netto grinned. "She actually helped us when you and Zero were in Absolute Style, you know? It was how we managed to break you out of it."

"Okay…" That wasn't the part of the story which the elder Hikari doubted- Hub had realized that the Blue Myth have helped them in the past on multiple occasions, and that the mysterious Navi's presence during their encounter with the Net Police only solidified his suspicion that the Blue Myth might have been involved in some way, but… "We don't know when she'll show up. It could be ages before that, and what if we lose control during that time?"

"Now you're just worrying about things that haven't even happened yet!" Netto berated him. "Let's just go home and not worry about that right now!"

"I guess you're right." Hub blushed slightly when he realized he was completely overthinking things. "Let's go then- Huh?" Just as the boy moved to grab his bag and stand up, his PET started beeping. Hub took it out. "Zero, what is it?"

"It's a message from Yaito's Navi, Glide." The red Navi said. "Here, I'll play it."

"Netto, Hub, can you hear me?" Glide appeared frantic as he spoke out.

"We hear you. What is it, Glide?" Hub asked the Navi.

"It's Yaito- Yaito-sama is in danger!"

"Yaito's in danger? How?" The news shocked him, but Hub wanted to get a clear idea of what was happening first.

"It's been ages and Yaito-sama still hasn't come out from the bath yet!" The Navi explained.

"What?" Netto was confused. "What's so terrible about that? Girls take long baths, don't they…?"

"Yaito-sama never takes long baths! It's not good for her skin!" Glide was quick to defend his operator before getting back to the matter at hand. "She was in the middle of her bath when gas started pouring out from the ventilation systems, and I fear she may have passed out from it- I attempted to access the systems myself, but there were just too many viruses to fight through! Please, you have to help Yaito-sama!"

"That sounds terrible…!" Hub frowned.

"There's no time to lose!" Netto decided. "If Yaito's in trouble, then we have to head over now- Let's go!"


When the two Hikari boys arrived at their friend's home, they found the front door locked.

"It won't open!" Netto declared once he gave the door one final kick.

"I guess we'll just have to access the systems through the cyberworld…" Looking around, Hub quickly found a port the two could plug their Navies into. "Zero, once you get in, locate the ventilation system as soon as possible and try and find some way to stop the gas from spilling in, okay?"

"I've got it."

"X, let's go, too." Netto took out his PET. "Plug in-"

"Rockman X!"

"Rockman Zero!"

"Transmission!"

The two Navies quickly navigated through the cyberworld, successfully locating the ventilation systems after a short while.

"We're in the ventilation systems." X said through the PET as he carefully observed the area. "There seems to be sign of tampering- The place is filled with gas clouds and broken faucets."

"So it's not just some sort of malfunction?" The idea that someone was actively trying to hurt their friend worried the younger Hikari greatly. "We have to locate the culprit before anything else happens to Yaito- Hurry!"

"Roger!" With that, the two Navies ran down the pathways, attempting to locate the control panel of the ventilation systems. Once they got deeper into the clouds of gas however, several Beetank viruses leapt out from within the cybergas, catching the two red and blue Navies in an ambush.

"Zero, watch out!" Hub quickly caught sight of the oncoming viruses. "Attack Battle Chip; Z-Saber! Slot in!"

With a flash, Zero cut through the projectile shots the group of Beetanks had sent their way, countering the viruses' attacks effortlessly.

"Now to take care of the rest of them!" Seeing their opportunity, Netto followed up on Zero's counter attack. "Attack Battle Chip; Giga Cannon! Slot in!"

Forming his hand into a cannon, X took aim at the Beetank viruses and fired, the blast swiftly piercing through their armour and deleting them collectively in an instant.

"Good job, X." Now that their immediate threat was over, Zero took a moment to address his companion. X merely shot him back a grin.

"Thanks- But we've got no time to lose. We have to find the control panel or whoever's responsible and put a stop to this as soon as possible." With a goal set in mind, X began running down the paths inside the network, all the while sifting through all the clouds of cybergas inside the systems. "Come on- Let's go!"

Chapter Text

"Forte! Forte, answer the goddamn door!" Serenade had forgotten the last time he felt so angry. The sprite had wanted to see how the demon and the siren were doing. Even Swallowman and Slur decided to tag along. They were nearing the demon's residence when Swallowman gasped, and began snickering. It only took him a second to realize why the incubus was acting that way.

"Shit. What do you want, Serenade?" It took the demon much too long to answer the door for the sprite's liking.

"Forte. Did you fuck the siren?" Serenade jumped straight to the point. Forte didn't answer, only looking at him with a blank expression, the demon's silence only infuriated the sprite more. "Are you serious?! Forte, I can't believe you actually- What were you thinking?!"

"With his dick, obviously." Swallowman's comment only served to add more fuel to the fire. The incubus narrowly avoided Serenade's fist in his face.

"Unbelievable!" Serenade turned back to the demon. "Forte, where is the siren? I want to talk to him."

"Uh..." The group turned to see the siren just standing there, having wrapped itself in a bundle of sheets, and if that wasn't incriminating enough, it's feathers were unkept and stuck out of all sorts of weird angles, the winged creature yawning as it rubbed its eyes.

Serenade pushed past Forte and approached the siren. "Rockman, did he force you?"

The siren blinked, appearing confused by the sprite's serious tone. "What?"

"The demon. Did he force himself onto you?" Serenade asked it once more.

This time, the siren seemed to have understood what Serenade was implying. The winged creature blushed, before he looked away, twirling some of its feathers in between its fingers. "No... Forte didn't force me, or anything."

Serenade was unconvinced. "I won't let anything happen to you. You don't have to say that just because he's here."

"Forte didn't force me!" The siren insisted, shaking its head. Its wings twitched in embarrassment. "I… I wanted to feel good!"

The siren's particular choice of words earned it a stunned silence from everyone, while Swallowman let out a low whistle. "Nice."

Serenade wasn't amused. He walked back out of the house, grabbing Forte's arm on the way out. "We need to talk."

Swallowman merely gave the demon a silent thumbs up as Forte was dragged away, before he invited him inside. During the entire exchange, Slur had remained oddly quiet as she watched the other four creatures talk. Assuming that Forte and Serenade would only be gone for a moment, Rockman had wanted to go and put his clothes back on before he noticed Slur.

The siren stopped dead his tracks, completely petrified besides from his quivering wings. He recognized those eyes. It was the figure that had approached him deep in the night.


"...So what is it that you wanted to talk about?" Forte asked once the two were a distance away from his home. "It seems important for you to go out of your way to wake me up early in the morning."

Serenade frowned. "I came here to tell you about returning the siren to the Surface, Forte."

The demon paused. "What?"

"The plan worked. The rumours have died down now, and no one suspects anything about you bringing a siren into the Undernet." Serenade explained, staring at Forte. "So, I just thought I would drop by and tell you that it's safe for you to take it back to the Surface now."

Forte fell quiet. He'd completely forgotten that there was a reason why Rockman had stayed with him for the extended period of time. The demon had gotten so used to the siren being there that he was now unable to fathom what it would be like if the winged creature was gone.

"Forte." Serenade seemed to have sensed what the demon was thinking. "He doesn't belong in the Undernet. You have to take him back to his home."

"I don't want to."

"What?"

"I… I don't want to." Forte said. "I don't want him to go."

"So you're planning on keeping him in the Undernet?" Serenade raised his voice, almost yelling at him. "You're going to keep him here against his will?"

"I'll let him decide." Forte didn't back down. He'd made up his mind. "If he wants to return to the surface… Then fine, I'll take him back. But I won't stop him if he wants to stay in the Undernet…" '...with me.'

"You can't be serious." Serenade was both shocked and displeased by the relavantion. "The Undernet isn't a safe place for him."

"You said it just now- No one suspects he's a siren anymore." Forte argued. "Besides, I know the extent of my strength. Even if the Undernet is dangerous, I can protect him from it."

"...Fine." When it came to the demon's power, few in the Undernet can even remotely rival him. "You may be able to protect him from the Undernet- But what about you? You can't hide your past from him forever."

"I've told him." Forte said, without thinking. "He accepts me."

The sprite was visibly surprised. "You- You told him?" Then, his tone grew suspicious. "Everything?"

"...I told him why I became the way I am." The demon admitted. "I'll… I'll get to that other part later. But he'll understand. I'm sure."

"And if he doesn't?"

"Then I'll keep my word. I'll take him back to the Surface." Forte relented. "But only if he decides that's what he wants."

"Alright. I figured I should never had..." Realizing that was as far as the demon was willing to compromise, the sprite sighed. "...Why the sudden change, though, Forte? When you first brought the siren back from the surface, you had no idea what to do with him. But now, you seemed determined to keep him by your side- It's almost as if you want to take him as your mate…"

Serenade's words were something Forte had been thinking over as well- It was weird. Forte had known the siren just barely over a month and now he couldn't bare the thought of being separated from him, but he knew there was a reason for it. It was because Forte never had to worry about how Rockman saw him. He wasn't the infamous One-Eyed Demon to Rockman, he wasn't someone to be feared, or to be avoided to him. To Rockman, he was just Forte- and it was a feeling he'd missed ever since his father and sister…

"I don't know." Forte mused out loud. "Maybe… Maybe I do want to take him as a mate."

Just then, a loud crash was heard from behind them- It had come from the demon's home. The two creatures looked at each other, unanimously coming to the conclusion that something had gone terribly wrong, before running back to where they'd come from.


Forte re-entered his home to find the place in a mess. The furniture was broken, Swallowman appeared to be knocked out laying against the far side of the wall, and the siren's feathers' were all strewn across the room, some of it appeared to be broken or damaged- An obvious sign of struggle.

Instantly, Forte's eyes landed on the only creature that appeared to have been left unharmed.

"You!" He leapt towards Slur without giving it a second thought, wrapping a hand around her throat. "What did you do!?"

"Noth- Kuh! Nothing!" Slur coughed as she struggled to get out from the demon's grasp.

"Liar!"

"Forte- Forte, stop!" Serenade grabbed one of his arms. "She can't breathe!"

With a snarl, the demon threw Slur aside, leaving Serenade to deal with her as he followed the siren's feathers to the back door, the trail disappearing entirely once he got outside.

"Fuck!"

Chapter Text

As Rockman X and Rockman Zero navigated their way through the ventilation systems, the two were constantly ambushed by viruses that leapt out from the cybergas at them, but their vigilance allowed them to take care of the viruses' attacks with relative ease. It was when they got near the control panel of the systems that they noticed a problem.

"The path up ahead is cut off!" X quickly realized. Looking around, the blue Navi couldn't find another path that could allow them to reach the platform on the opposite side. "The viruses must have damaged the systems somehow. We need to go back and find another way across."

"There's no time! Yaito's life is in danger!" Zero argued. "Keep looking- There must be something we can use around here to help us across!"

X frowned. He couldn't argue with Zero's logic, but he just didn't see any way they could make it across the gap- even with a running start, it was simply too wide for the two of them to jump across.

"Mettaur!"

"Huh?"

The Navi looked up to where the sound had come from, and he saw a Mettaur virus dangling from its pickaxe on one of the higher platforms about them. Then, the virus appeared to slip and lost its grip on its pickaxe. Before it could fall into the endless depth below, the Mettaur's fall was broken by the stream of gas that was coming out from one of the open faucets in the area surrounding them, the gas launching the virus all the way from their side of the area towards the opposite platform, the virus letting out a dazed squeak as it landed, collapsing onto the floor.

"Zero!" An idea had formed in X's head. "Did you see that?"

"See what?" Zero didn't appear to have come to his conclusion.

"We can use the cybergas coming out from these faucets to get across!" X explained as he went over to one that was pointed towards the platform opposite of them, the blue Navi turning the gear to close of the flow of gas. "We'll let the pressure build up for a moment, then when it reaches its peak, all we have to do is jump in front of it and the cybergas will send us over the gap!"

"That could work." Zero said as he thought over what X had said. "But how are we supposed to get in front of the faucet and turn the gear to let the cybergas out at the same time?"

"We'll-" X blinked. He hadn't considered that. "Well… I guess I'll go across. I'm lighter, so it'll be easier to send me over. You can turn the gear and let the cybergas out once the pressure's built up."

"I suppose…" Zero accepted X's explanation, but he still appeared worried. "Are you sure you'll be okay on your own over there?"

X nodded. "I'm sure. Besides, Netto-kun will have my back."

"Alright. If you're sure." Zero stepped behind the faucet. "When you get across, go on ahead to the control panel. I'll backtrack and look for another way over and meet up with you as soon as I can."

"Got it!"

"Well, here goes." As Zero turned the gear reopening the blockage, cybergas immediately bursted out from the pipe, shooting towards X and sending the blue Navi flying. As they had planned, the force had sent the Navi across the gap, and X landed unharmed over to the other side.

"I'm across!" X yelled to his companion to let him know he was safe. "I'm heading towards the control panel!"

"Great!" Zero yelled back. "I'll find some other way across- Don't worry! I won't take long!"

With that, the two Navies headed towards opposite directions, X quickly running down the paths inside the systems and located the control panel moments later. "I've found the control panel!"

"Alright! See if you can return the ventilation systems back to normal!" Netto said through the PET.

Nodding, X stepped towards the panel, but a whirring sound alarmed him. Leaping away, X barely managed to avoid the cyclone that was aimed at him. "Who's there?" The Navi yelled, summoning his buster once he'd regained his composure.

"Ho-ho… Airman, I am called..." A voice laughed as another Navi stepped out from the shadows, blocking X's way to the control panel. "And what do we have here? An intruder?"

"You're the Navi who's responsible for the ventilation systems malfunction and the gas, aren't you!" X quickly realized. He pointed his buster at the newcomer. "Return the systems back to normal this instant!"

"Ho-ho… I'm afraid that can't be done…" The Navi let out a chuckle, the large turbine in his chest making a weird clicking sound as he did so. "Her parents have yet to pay her ransome…"

"Ransome?" Netto was both shocked and confused.

"If they value the life of their daughter, then they'll pay up, ho-ho!"

"That's why you're doing this? For money?!" X was visibly horrified.

"We won't allow that to happen!" His operator shared his sentiment. "X, we gotta stop this guy!"

With a yell, X fired a charged shot at Airman, his opponent retaliating by shooting out another cyclone from the turbine in his chest, the two attacks colliding, canceling each other out.

"Buster attacks don't seem to work against this guy…" Netto had gotten better at reading his opponents. "Then what about this- Attack Battle Chip; Step Sword! Slot in!"

Raising his hand, X's hand turned from abuster to a sword. Seeing the blue Navi run towards him, Airman summoned another cyclone and sent it at X, but this time, the Navi was prepared. Disappearing the moment before Airman's attack could collide, he quickly appeared in front of Airman. "I've got you now!"

"Are you certain?" With a heave, a huge gust of wind shot out from Airman's chest turbine, the whirlwind pushing X back and blowing him away just as he was about to bring the sword down.

"Ugh!" X scrambled to his feet instantly after the gust of wind had knocked him over and flung him to the far end of the platform. "Darn! I can't get close to him!"

"Ho-ho… Is that all?" Airman seemed amused. "I had hoped that it would be that red Navi who confronted me…"

"Zero?" That was the first Navi X could think of who wore red. "What do you mean?"

"Hm… I do not know much of it myself, but Gospel seems particularly interested in the power of his Absolute Style…" Then, Airman paused. "Ho-oh. Perhaps I should not have said that. But not matter- You won't be alive for long to care!" The turbine in Airman's chest began to spun rapidly as Airman summoned his strength. X watched in shock as three tornadoes appeared around his opponent, before merging together into one gigantic cyclone. "Triple Tornado!"

"X! Watch out!" In that moment, a figure dashed in between X and the oncoming attack. "Area Steal!"

Grabbing X's wrist, Zero yanked the two of them out of the tornado's path, narrowly avoiding being swept up and blown away by the cyclone.

"Zero!" X beamed. "You made it!"

"It's a good think I did." Zero said. "Did you notice anything about that guy's attacks…?"

"Yeah. I realized." X nodded. "Now that you're here, we'll defeat him no problem."

"Another intruder?" Airman didn't seem to notice what the two red and blue Navies were planning. "No matter! I'll delete you all the same!"

"Let's do this!" Dashing forward, Zero formed his hand into a green saber. "Z-Saber!"

"Fool! I'll blow you away!" With a heave, Airman shot another gust of wind out from his chest turbine. "Tornado!"

However, Zero seemed to have expected this. Instead of slashing his saber at Airman, the red Navi stabbed it into the battlefield, allowing him to say grounded despite the attack. "Now, X!"

"I've got you!"

"What?!" The voice had come from behind Airman, but the Navi was unable to turn- while the giant turbine in his chest allowed him to summon powerful gusts of wind, he was only able to attack in a single direction. "This can't be!"

"Giga Cannon!" With a single shot, X pierced Airman's chest, cutting off the Navi's attack short and causing him to collapse to the ground.

"Guh, you two…!" Now that his turbine was damaged, it made a loud, creaking sound as Airman spoke. "You.. You might have defeated me… But be warned- Gospel! Gospel will…!" With a final scream, the Navi exploded as he was deleted, leaving the two Navies to wonder what is it that they had just heard.


"Uh… hmm…"

"Yaito-chan! You're awake!"

"E-eh?" The girl's eyes flickered open, falling onto the two Hikari twins. "Hub? Netto?! Wha-what're you two doing in my room?!"

"Yaito-sama! You were passed out from the gas during your bath, so Hub and Netto pulled you out of the bath before anything could happen to you! Remember?" Her Navi, Glide, quickly explained the situation.

"Oh… Is that so…" Now that she was reminded, Yaito seemed to recall the events that happened before she had passed out. Then, a thought occurred to her. "W-wait a minute! If you two took me out of the bath…" She turned to the two twins. "You two saw me naked!"

"What?!" Startled by the sudden turn of events, Netto spoke without thinking. "We didn't both go in! It was just- Hhmph!" Hub had covered Netto's mouth with his hand to stop him from saying anything incriminating.

"Just?" Yaito narrowed her eyes. "That means one of you saw me naked! Which of you was it?!"

The two Hikari twins looked at each other, before they turned and ran out of the room in unison, the sounds of a very angry girl yelling after them.

Chapter Text

Slur was still coughing by the time Forte returned. Serenade attempted to stop him, but the demon easily pushed the sprite to the side.

"Start talking."

Slur clutched her neck, meeting his gaze. "I didn't do anything."

The demon's eyes narrowed. "I am going to break your arm."

"Forte." Serenade was desperately trying to stop the situation from becoming violent. "Be reasonable."

"Be reasonable? Be reasonable?" The demon now turned to him. "We left for ten minutes, and now Rockman is gone. He's never acted irrationally before. And now, the one instance she comes over, he goes missing!"

The sprite bit his lip. As much as he disliked it, that did seemed to be exactly what happened, and it placed Slur in an extremely suspicious spot.

"Oh… Fuck…" The group were interrupted by a groan. Swallowman had woken up, rubbing the side of his head. "Shit. What happened?"

"That's what I'd like to know." Forte directed the question at Slur once more, the underlying threat obvious in his voice.

"Forte, wait." Serenade seemed to have noticed something.

The demon snarled. He didn't want to take his eyes off his potential suspect.

"Look." The sprite attempted to direct his attention to where Swallowman had fallen. "It's not her."

Unwillingly, Forte moved his gaze to where Serenade was focused at. Swallowman followed the two of them, standing up and turning around the face the wall.

"Huh." The incubus mused. "And here I thought I was having another hangover."

In their haste, both Forte and Serenade hadn't noticed the large markings on the wall when they first arrived onto the scene. Swallowman stepped aside as the demon moved forward to investigate what appears to be claw marks stretched across the blank wall, touching the edges of the torn material before he cursed out loud.

"What is it, Forte?" Serenade wasn't sure what sort of conclusion the demon had come to.

"It's a dhampir." Forte said once he finished his inspection. "I'd recognize this sort of marking anywhere."

"A dhampir?" The sprite's tone changed. He looked at Forte. "You don't think…?"

"It has to be." There wasn't a single ounce or doubt or hesitation in the demon's voice. "It has to be him." The demon paused in thought briefly, before he turned to Slur once more. "You told him, didn't you?"

"Does it matter if I did or not?" Slur hissed back, fed up with being pushed around. "That siren never should have been here. Does it matter that now it's gone?"

"You…!" Forte nearly didn't resist the urge to tear her apart right then and there, but he quickly reminded himself there was something more important to worry about right now- He had to find Rockman. Locating his sword in the corner of the room, the demon moved to retrieve it, but Slur had stepped in front of him.

"Get out of my sight." Forte's could feel his patience rapidly fading.

"No." Slur was infuriatingly stubborn. "You're obsessed. It's unhealthy."

"I'm obsessed?" The demon nearly laughed at the absurdity of her statement. "Have you even looked at yourself?"

"I accepted you." Slur argued. "When everyone feared you, I approached you. When everyone told me how dangerous you were, I didn't as much shy away. Even when you killed all of those creatures, I never once bat an eye- I know you, Forte. I know everything you did, and despite all of this, I never once rejected you." At this, she paused, as if daring Forte to question her. "Can you say the same for that siren? Does it even understand what you did?"

"You're delusional, if that's what you believe." Forte stared at her, scowling. "You didn't accept me despite what I did- You got close to me because of what I did." When Slur remained quiet, Forte continued. "You think I wouldn't know? You craved infamy, and you only befriended me because of it. I never took any joy in taking all of those contracts, but you're so deranged that you get enjoyment just being associated with someone who butchers other creatures- It's a nice story to tell, isn't it? Being friends with the infamous One-Eyed Demon? In fact, you were actually disappointed when I retired." Slur was unable to argue. The demon could see right through her.

"Don't think I didn't know what you planned to do when you brought up the subject of mates with Serenade. Such a shame it didn't go as you had wanted." Forte pushed Slur to the side, making his way to the door.

"That siren won't understand." Slur yelled after him. "Once it knows, it'll fear you, just like everyone else."

"That's for him to decide." With that, the demon headed to the only possible place he knew the dhampir could be.


 

Rockman gasped once he managed to get the blindfolds and gags off of him, tossing them to the floor and pulling the sheets around him tighter. The siren still wasn't changed. All he remembered was being attacked from behind before his sight had been obstructed.

'What is this place?' The siren thought to himself, shivering. It was uncomfortably cold. 'What happened?'

"You're awake…"

The siren gasped, drawing his wings close to himself as he shrunk away from the unfamiliar voice. Rockman turned to see a figure with sharp, pointed ears and bat-like wings stalking towards him.

"Who're you?" The siren asked him, backing away until his back met a wall. The other creature was getting uncomfortably close.

"I didn't think your kind actually existed." The other ignored his obvious discomfort, bringing a hand up and taking the siren's chin in his hand, turning the siren's head as if he was inspecting him. "But you're just as pretty as the rumours said you were."

Rockman jerked his head away, eyeing the other uneasily, his reaction only drawing an amused gaze from the other creature.

"Don't worry. I won't hurt you- Yet." He chuckled. "I still need you for something. You might be familiar with a certain demon, blind in one eye?"

"Forte…?" The siren didn't know anyone else who fitted that description.

"He and I have some unfinished business." The other leered at him, and Rockman shivered. "I'm not sure if you've noticed, but his record is not exactly… clean."

"Forte's not like that anymore." The siren said. "He never even wanted to do all of it in the first place."

"...He hasn't told you." The other seemed surprised for a brief moment, before his expression changed into one more meticulous. "Of course he didn't tell you. You poor thing." As the other creature made a move to grab him, the siren began to struggle, bringing his arms up to defend himself while his wings flapped wildly in panic. He was quickly subdued when the base of his wings were grabbed, sharp claws squeezing with a force threatening to snap the delicate appendages in half.

"S-stop…" The siren's entire body was quivering. He was terrified.

"I'm going to have so much fun with you." Rockman gasped, his wings twitching when he felt a claw trail down it. He could feel the smirk on the other creature as he spoke. "You just sit tight for now. I'll tell you what he did- I'll tell you everything…"

Chapter Text

"X?"

"What?"

Zero squinted. "Is it just me, or does that virus seem oddly familiar?"

X gave his companion an odd look before he turned his attention to where Zero was motioning to. It was not long after the incident at Yaito's house, and the two Navies were now plugged into the common net while Hub made sure his younger sibling actually did his homework. The blue Navi remained mostly confused for several more moments, before he saw the white, red and black arrow sticking out of one of the helmets of the group of Mettaurs that were slowly approaching them.

"Hey!" X smiled. "It's that Mettaur that helped us find that shrine in the Undernet!"

"Mettaur!" Having already noticed the two Navies from a distance, the Mettaur made its way towards them, a group of smaller Mettaurs trailing behind it. "Met~taur!"

"Huh. So Undernet Mettaurs are really larger than those in the common net." Zero mused to himself as he watched the group of Mettaurs chirping amongst themselves. Then, the red Navi noticed one of the smaller Mettaurs appears to have bandages around its helmet where it was cracked. "Hey. What happened to this one?"

"I think that might be the Mettaur that got sent flying because of the cybergas." X's suspicion was confirmed when the Mettaur visibly shrunk and let out what appears to be a grumble at his words. "You really helped us out a lot back there- We wouldn't have noticed the cybergas coming out of the pipes if it wasn't for you. I hope you aren't hurt too badly."

"Mettaur…"

"X…" Zero appeared to have remembered something. "Back when we were looking for the shrine, there was something about that Undernet Mettaur that I wanted to ask you about."

"Huh?" X had forgotten about it completely. "What was it again?"

"When that Mettaur appeared and showed us where the Legendary Power was…" At this, Zero gestured to the larger, Undernet Mettaur. "Didn't you find it too… convenient?"

X paused, thinking for a moment. "How so?"

"It's like it knew where we were, what we were looking for, and where to find it all at the same time." Zero explained, frowning. "Don't you think that it's suspicious? To think that a virus would know all of these things…"

The red Navi's words had undoubtedly got him thinking as well. "You're right. It's a bit hard to think that a virus would know about all of this… Do you think that maybe someone had told it what to do?"

"It's possible." Zero shrugged. It was about this point that the Mettaur of interest had noticed their slight change in composure and got curious. "Mettaur...?"

X looked down, seeing the Mettaur tilting its head at them, its large eyes blinking. "Maybe we can ask it?"

Zero raised an eyebrow. "Do you think it'll work?"

"Won't know if we don't try." Making up his mind, X knelt down, meeting the Mettaur at eye level. "Hey there, little guy."

"Mettaur!"

"I just wanted to thank you for helping us out in the Undernet once again." X approached it with a friendly attitude. "But there's something I want to ask you- If you don't mind?"

"Mettaur!" The virus didn't sound aggressive at all.

"I was just wondering- Well, you seemed to know exactly what you were doing back in the Undernet." X told it. "And, we were wondering there was someone who had asked you to help us out?"

"Met-taur!" The virus replied, and X had interacted with it in the Undernet long enough for him to tell when the Mettaur was making an affirmative sound. Briefly, he glanced back up to the other Navi besides him. "I think it's saying yes, Zero."

That relavantion had undoubtedly gotten the red Navi's attention. He turned to the virus. "Who was it?"

"Mettaur! Mettaur!"

"I… I don't understand it enough to know what it's saying." X said, a bit embarrassed. "I can only tell when it's trying to express something affirmative or negative."

"Oh." Zero considered this for a moment. "Do we know anyone in the Undernet that might want to help us out?"

"Do you think…?" X turned back to the Mettaur. "Was it a blue Navi with a purple cloak?"

"Mettaur!"

"It's her, Zero." The relavantion was shocking, to say the least. "It's the Blue Myth."

The two Navies fell quiet, before Zeo finally spoke. "What should we do, X?"

"I don't know." The blue Navi was troubled as well. "It's a bit weird to think she had a hand in helping us obtain the ability to Style Change…" There was a brief pause. Then, X appeared to recall something. "Zero, do you think we can reach Mega through this Mettaur? There's so many things about Style Change that we don't understand, and it's not exactly common knowledge that we can go ask around the internet for. Mega seems to be the only one we know that seems knowledgeable about Style Change. Maybe she can tell us more about this ability."

"Do you think she'll help?" Zero still seemed slightly skeptical.

"I don't see any reason why we shouldn't at least ask." X reasoned. "If she had asked this Mettaur to lead us to the shrine, perhaps she wanted us to find this ability." The blue Navi addressed the Mettaur once more. "Do you think you can find the Blue Myth for us?"

"Met~taur!" Giving a confident, affirmative nod, the Mettaur turned and trotted off, the group of smaller Mettaurs quickly following it, the group of virus slowly disappearing from the two red and blue NetNavies' sight.


"..Mistress?"

"Huh?"

"I do not mean to question your judgement…" Shadowman began, obviously concerned. "But…There was no reason for you to put your neck out for those Navies like you had…"

Rockman turned to Shadowman, smiling lightly. "I know you're worried about me, Shdaowman, but… I had to do it." The blue Navi's smile faltered briefly as he remembered what had happened moments prior. "...I think everyone deserves a second chance to become better, even them. Besides, it's not like they had a choice, considering who their operators were…"

Shadowman didn't argue with him on that point. The shadow Navi already knew that his Mistress was kind-hearted in nature, and no amount of reason or convincing would change that. He could only be more alert on Rockman's behalf to make sure that his kindness wasn't taken advantage of. "The Net Police will notice, sooner or later."

"I know." Rockman sighed. With what he just did, it was inevitable. "I'll… I'll figure something out, when I get to that point."

Shadowman nodded, silently acknowledging Rockman's decision. Not a moment later, a small ruckus was heard from a distance away. Curious, Rockman turned to where the noise had come from, to see a small group of Mettaurs approaching them. The blue Navi grinned as he saw the Mettaur leading the group.

"Hey there, Beep." Rockman greeted the Mettaur as it ran up to him, chirping happily. The Mettaur was easily recognizable by the arrow sticking out from its helmet, and the blue Navi had a certain fondness for this Mettaur- It was the same Mettaur that had approached him during his original timeline asking for help with their cyclone problem in their village, and the same Mettaur that had led Rockman to the Legendary Power when he had originally obtained the Ultimate Style. "How are X and Zero?" He asked the virus.

"Mettaur! Mettaur!"

Having the experience of interacting with the Mettaurs in the Mettaur village in the past and now with Scuttlest, Rockman can now easily understand what the virus was trying to convey. It appeared that the two Navies had ran into some sort of trouble with an air-turbine Navi, but from what he could tell, X and Zero seemed to have made it out of it unharmed. Rockman allowed himself a sigh of relief- With Gospel on the rise and their plans unclear, the blue Navi was a bit hesitant to take a moment to tend to his own devices, especially knowing all the trouble the two Navies tended to get themselves into, which was why he was glad when Beep seemed more than happy to help him keep an eye on X and Zero while he and Shadowman and left to meet with the three Navies the shadow Navi had found in the Undernet.

"Hmm, is that so?" Rockman patted the Mattaur on its head. "Alright. Thankyou so much for helping me keep an eye on those two."

"Mettaur!" Just as the Rockman turned to leave, the virus appeared to have remembered something, calling out after him while tapping one of its feet frantically.

"What is it?"

"Met-taur! Met-taur!"

"Wh-what?" Rockman couldn't contain his surprise once the virus had finished. "Really?"

Chapter Text

The old city was deserted and inhabitable, its ruins acting much like a scar on the landscape. Forte narrowed his eyes as he neared it- If the dhampir was as into irony or symbolism as the demon suspected him to be, then there was no doubt in his mind that Forte would find him in the sanctuary, located underneath the city. He heard the other's laugh the moment he took the final steps down the staircase leading to the sanctuary.

"Whee-hee-hee…" The menacing voice bounced off the walls of the hollow structure, echoing throughout the entire area. "You've finally come…"

The demon looked up to see the winged figure of the dhampir perched atop of one of the chandeliers. He snarled. "Shademan. I should have hunted you down and killed you, too."

"Whee-hee-hee!" The dhampir was unfazed, merely spreading its leathery wings to gesture to the area around the two creatures. "After all these years, we finally meet here. Fitting, isn't it?" The chandelier made a soft ringing sound as the creature above it moved.

"The siren." Forte yelled at him. "Where is he?"

The dhampir's expression shifted briefly, before he flicked his wings, revealing the siren behind him. For a moment, the demon had wanted to draw his sword and leap at the dhampir, but Shademan seemed to have sensed his intentions. The siren let out a yelp as Shademan grabbed him by his hair roughly, angling his head upward so that his neck was exposed. "One step and I bleed him like a pig."

The demon visibly tensed, an action that did not go unnoticed by the dhampir.

"Empathy, eh?" There was a mixed combination of disbelief, amusement and anger as Shademan now turned to Rockman. "I'm intrigued. What is it that you feel, demon? Fear? Terror? Anger?"

"Let him go." Forte demanded.

"Your sword." The dhampir said, jerking the siren in his grip. "Toss it aside."

"..." The demon fell silent, but there was no hesitation when Forte took his sword and threw it away.

"...Unbelievable." It was obvious that Shademan didn't expect the demon to actually go through with his demand without so much as a second thought. "If only you could have shown the people in this city the same amount of compassion."

"I did as you asked. Now let him go." Forte said once more. "Your quarrel is with me."

"Is it now?" The dhampir's focus was now turned on Rockman, the siren's wings twitched nervously as he clutched the sheets around himself tighter. "Wouldn't you like to know why this city is abandoned?"

"Wh...What does it matter?" The siren's fear and confusion was obvious.

"I'll tell you why it matters." At this, the dhampir touched the siren's cheek with mock-gentleness. Rockman shrunk away from his hand. "This city wasn't always ruined, you know. It used to be one of the largest places of gatherings for nocturnal creature, like me, in the Undernet." As he continued, Shademan made sure to keep a close eye on Forte to make sure the demon wouldn't try anything. "It was quite a sight, little siren. Families thrived within the walls of the city, and many young, aspiring creatures would often come here to fulfil their own ambitions- Doesn't that sound nice?"

"Let go of me." Rockman didn't know where the dhampir was going with this tale, but the siren suspected it wasn't heading in a direction that he would like.

"Oh, you poor thing." Shademan snickered. "Do you know what changed? What caused the city to fall to into ruin as you see today?"

"..." The siren was breathing heavily now, clearly distressed and unnerved by the dhampir.

"It's because of that demon you care so much about." Shademan told him. "He butched everyone in the city."

"That's not true." Rockman shook his head. "You're lying."

"Oh, it's very true." The dhapmir's expression grew stern. "I said I'd tell you everything, didn't I? That demon attacked the city, unprovoked, killing everyone in his path. There were women and children, and he slaughtered them without thought. He was hellbent on destroying the city." Ignoring the siren's distress, Shademan yanked him back harshly when the siren attempted to jerk away. "But do you know what the real kicker is?"

"Stop. Stop it." Rockman was shaking. He didn't want to hear anymore.

"When his family begged him to show mercy, he turned around and killed them, too." Shademan laughed hysterically as he finished. "He murdered everyone in the city and his own family in cold blood."

"That's enough!" Forte snarled. he'd have enough of the dhampir terrorizing the siren. "I won't say it again- Let the siren go!"

"Whee-hee-hee!" With a flick of his hand, Shademan flung Rockman off the side of the chandelier. "As you wish!"

The demon only had a moment to catch the siren as he fell, pushing Rockman out of the way as Shademan swooped down from the ceiling not a moment later, barely managing to duck out of the way of the dhampir's sharp claws that were aimed at him. As Shademan cackled and continued to swing his claws and wings at the demon, Forte quickly found himself on the defensive- It would have been better if the demon had his sword with him, but Forte had tossed it away moments before, and he was unable to locate where his weapon was in the dim light.

During their fight, the dhampir had somehow managed to back Forte into a corner, the demon quickly realizing he wouldn't be able to dodge out of Shademan's next attack as the other raised both his wings, grinning wickedly.

"I've waited for this." The dhampir said, his eyes wild with fury. "You'll finally pay for everything you've done."

Gritting his teeth, Forte braced himself physically for the blow, and just as Shademan brought his wings downwards towards the demon, the dhampir suddenly faltered in his stance, gasping as his entire body jerked. "What the fuck-"

Looking down, it took Forte a moment to register the scene before him- Somehow, his sword had pierced the dhampir's chest from behind, and as Shademan collapsed, the demon blinked when he saw Rockman standing behind him, hands quivering. It didn't take Forte long to realize that the siren must have found his sword lying around somewhere in the sanctuary, before rushing to his aid by stabbing the dhampir in the back.

"Rockman." Forte stepped forward, reaching one hand towards the siren. "Are you alrig-"

The demon stopped abruptly when the siren flinched away from him, bringing his wings closer to his body as he shook and took a step back, his green eyes wide with terror.

Silently, Forte retracted his hand, but he was still concerned. "Are you… Are you alright?" He asked the siren once more, this time in a sofer tone.

"..." Rockman continued to stare at him for several more moments, both hands clutching the sheet around him tightly before he shook his head, tears forming in his eyes.

"I don't know… I don't know-"

With a wail, Forte watched as the siren before him began to cry.

Chapter Text

"Damn it, where are they? The bus is going to be here any moment!" Dekao grumbled, tapping his feet impatiently on the ground. The group of friends were at a bus stop waiting for a certain pair of twins to appear.

"I bet it's Netto, isn't it?" Yaito swung her legs off the bench she was sitting on. "He's always late! Sometimes, Hub has to drag him to school to get him to show up!"

"Come on guys, weren't both Hub and Netto really excited about this trip as well? I'm sure they'll show up any moment now." Maylu said as she looked around. True to her words, the two Hikari twins appeared down the street not a moment later and ran up to the group of friends waiting for them.

"Hey! What's the deal with you two? You're late!" Dekao yelled upon seeing the two twins.

"Sorry- Sorry!" Hub was still trying to catch his breath. "I tried to wake Netto-kun up, but…"

"Nii-san!" Netto cried, obviously embarrassed.

"It's okay." Tohru quickly stepped in, attempting to diffuse the situation. " At least you two made it just in time. Look- The bus in coming now."

As the bus arrived at the station, the group of friends got on, taking up the two back rows of the bus, the younger Hikari turning to his elder sibling as the bus started. "Phew. I'm glad we actually made it."

Hub gave him a look. "If you'd woken up ten minutes earlier, we could have avoided all of that rushing."

"Nii-san! I said I was sorry! Sheesh!" Mumbling softly, Netto looked out of the window. "I can't wait till we get to Okuden Valley, though. I wonder what it looks like?"

"I'm not sure myself." Hub mused. "But it'll be nice to spend some time with nature, wouldn't it?"

"Yeah! This is the first time we've ever gone camping, but I'm sure it'll be fun!" Then, the younger of the two appeared to consider something. "But this trip was kind of spontaneous, though. I nearly didn't make the time to go on this trip with you guys." Netto tilted his head slightly. "Why couldn't it have been next week, anyways?"

"Oh, no reason." At this, Hub looked away, his gaze meeting Dekao, Yaito and Tohru's before the four of them gave a collective nod.


Okuden Valley was a nature reserve near DenCity that was inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife, and as the group of friends got off the bus and made their way towards the campsite, they were awed by the scene surrounding them.

"It's not often that you see so many trees at once, huh?" Tohru mused as they walked up the hill.

"This is nothing compared to the vacations I go overseas!" Yaito huffed. Then, in a quieter voice, she continued. "...But I guess this is nice, too."

"There's fish in the river as well!" Netto said as he attempted to follow the river upstream with his eyes. "It seems to reach up all the way up to the campsite…"

"That's the river that powers Okuden Dam, isn't it?" Hub asked as he turned to Tohru, wondering if the other boy knew anything about it.

"That's right!" Tohru smiled briefly. "If I remembered correctly, most of Den City's electricity is generated from that Dam. We might even be able to see it in the distance once we get to the campsite."

After that, it didn't take long for the group to make it to their destination. Sometime during them setting up the campsite, Hub had approached Netto, the younger of the two was busying himself by collecting firewood.

"Netto-kun, I think Maylu-chan was just looking for you." Hub told his younger sibling.

"Huh?" Netto was confused. "What does she want?"

"I don't know." Hub shrugged. "She's down by the river, you should go meet her there."

"Alright, I guess." Dropping what he was doing, Netto left to the scene, his elder sibling looking on for several moments, making sure he was out of earshot before he turned back and said. "He's taken the bait."

All at once, Yaito, Dekao and Tohru emerged from where they had been hiding. "Do you think it'll work?" Tohru appeared uncertain.

"Trust me, it will!" Yaito spoke confidently. "Trust me, that place has the perfect atmosphere! I'm sure of it!"

"But Netto always has a thing for messing things up!" Dekao frowned. "I say we should follow them, and make sure nothing goes wrong?"

"Eh?" Hub blinked. While he had a hand in helping the group come up with this plan, he wasn't sure about spying on the two of their other friends. "Is that really okay?"

"You're right!" Yaito gasped, completely ignoring Hub's concern. "Let's go- Netto couldn't have gone far!"

The four of them quickly made their way down to where they had set Netto and Maylu up to meet. As they neared, the group could already see that the two appeared to be talking to each other. True to Yaito's words, the area indeed had a nice atmosphere, with soft, pink flowers scattered throughout the grass.

"These flowers only bloom in a very specific time of the year." Yaito seemed pleased of herself.

"Should we get closer?" Tohru asked, frowning. "I can't hear what they're saying…"

"If we go any closer, they'll see us." Hub told him. Then, the four of them held their breath as they saw Maylu gasp.

"Guys!" Dekao was the first to say something. "I think it wor-"

Then, the four of them watched as Maylu brought her hand up and slapped Netto across his face, shocking them.

"I hate you, Netto-kun!" Maylu cried as she ran away.

"What did I do now?!" Netto yelled after her, still oblivious as ever. As the four hidden friends watched the scene unfold, they let out a collective sigh.


"Pfft!"

Having watched the whole thing play out through the net, Rockman couldn't quite suppress his laughter as he watched Netto desperately attempt to figure out what he said wrong. The blue Navi couldn't completely blame him. Netto still had no idea that Maylu had a crush on him, but the extent of the younger Hikari's cluelessness still amused him to no end.

Shadowman didn't appear as entertained, but he seemed to recall something as he turned to Rockman. "Mistress? If I may ask you something?"

Rockman blinked. "What is it?"

"When you and the Black Shadow took each other as mates." Shadowman said. "Was it something akin to this?"

"Wh-what?" Rockman was confused. "Why- What made you think that?"

"That younger Hikari reminds me of you, somehow." Shadowman explained.

"..."

Rockman turned away, pulling his hood down lower over his head as he blushed. Granted, it was this iteration of Forte that had realized that Rockman might have harboured feelings of affection for the dark Navi despite him having interacted with Forte on multiple occasions in his original timeline, but he refused to believe that he was as clueless and oblivious as his operator, damn it!