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Five days had passed since the Blue Shadow sidequest. The party spent most of their time doing other sidequests and things but you won't find chapters of them doing that because they would be boring. Anyway, IF and Jacob were walking from the supermarket carrying reusable shopping bags to the Sky Harbor where Neptune and Compa were waiting for them.

"You know," IF began, "I didn't really think you were the kind for green apples. You're kind of pudgy... well, just a bit, anyway, so I figured you'd go for the chips and chocolate. Not that we don't have those but it was unexpected for you not to be the one to go for them at first."

Jacob sighed. "I'm trying to better my diet. Besides, we're going on a long trip. I want something that sustains me and is actually of benefit, not something transient like chips and chocolate."

"Fair enough, I guess." IF shifted her shoulders. "Tch… these bags are heavy."

"Thank goodness these gauntlets increase my arm strength. I can't really feel the weight. I'd offer to carry yours, IF, but I don't really have the room."

"That's alright. I understand."

"Are we there yet, by the way?" Jacob asked.

"Funny you should ask; we're here now."

True enough, Jacob and IF had arrived at the Sky Harbor where Compa and Neptune were waiting for them. The Sky Harbor portal (Jacob couldn't find a better word for it) was a bit too ornate and detailed for Jacob's taste; he preferred practicality to aesthetic. The portal seemed to be a massive grey arch made of stone and it had a massive crest at the top shaped like a sword from a JRPG. On each side of the portal was a bar fence with sets of two posts splaced evenly along it. The two posts looked like tall lances beside a smaller lance half their size and with yellow tips. The portal had a gate that looked like two doors that you'd find at the entrance to a bar in a Western movie except they were long, yellow and they didn't have those grate things. There were also three floating golden halos around the sword-crest. Leading to and through the portal was a lavender-coloured path that ended right after the portal, which made sense; this was the edge of Planeptune, after all.

Neptune was, predictably, hanging onto the top of the fence, peering over excitedly. "Ooh, look! The ground is split here!" she shouted. "Did this happen during some great war long, long ago? I betcha it was a totally crazy, epic war between some profound sort of darkness and a really great light!"

"… What's she babbling about?" IF asked.

"I'm sorry," apologised Compa. "Please be patient with her. She really doesn't remember anything… I think."

"She doesn't," said Jacob. "Characters who start out with amnesia- Neptune, get down from there!" Jacob activated his jetpack and flew over to Neptune after he dropped the shopping bags. She was trying to climb over the fence to the other side. Unfortunately, the other side didn't exist and all she'd do was fall god knows how far into clouds.

"He's gotten better with that, hasn't he?" Compa commented as she picked up the shopping bags.

"Eh, not so much." IF shrugged. "He can lean forward from take-off but he's still too scared to fly very fast. By the way," IF turned to Compa, "I've been meaning to ask; how long have you known Neptune and Jacob?"

"A few days now, starting from the night before we met you. I found Nep-Nep stuck in the ground with Jake next to her, so I pulled Nep-Nep out and treated their wounds."

IF was perplexed. "S-stuck in the ground? How? And how did Jacob survive? Neptune's a goddess but he's just a human."

"Nep-Nep fell pretty quickly and she was stuck in the ground like a carrot. I think Jacob landed on top of her, which probably broke his fall, Miss IF."

"…" IF applied her palm to her forehead after placing the shopping bag down. "That makes absolutely no sense but I don't really care. By the way, you don't have to call me 'Miss'. Just IF will be fine."

"Iffy, Compa, hurry up!" Neptune shouted, thankfully down from the fence. "The view is so stupendous from here. You two scared? Hah, I bet you are. I'm so brave!"

"More likely too dumb to live. Don't do that again," Jacob said sternly.

Compa and IF came over. "Nep-Nep, Jake's right; climbing the fence is dangerous! Don't do it."

"Aw." Neptune crossed her arms and pouted. "You guys are party poopers."

"Hey, I don't want you do die," Jacob said.

Neptune raised an eyebrow. "Really…?"


"… Really, really?"

"Yes!" Jacob said impatiently. "What are you getting at?"

"Okay, okay, geez!" Neptune stayed silent for a bit. "… So-"

"Anyway," interrupted Compa, "thank you for the shopping, Jake and Miss IF."

"I told you, call me IF."

"But why didn't you just put the shopping in Jake's disc?" Compa asked.

"Oh," Jacob began to answer, "I figured that it'd be better if you held onto the supplies rather than me. I'm kind of forgetful and I'm worried that we'll die of starvation because I forgot that we had stuff leftover."

"That's what he told me when we talked about it," said IF.

Compa nodded. "I see. Okay then." One by one, she put the shopping bags into her disc.

Neptune was still gazing out into the distance. "Wow, this is the best view ever! Sky Harbors are awesome!"

Jacob looked out into the distance as well. He wouldn't deny it; while it was nothing more than a bunch of clouds with Lastation off in the distance, he'd never seen anything like a bunch of nothing over the edge of a floating country. Or continent. Whatever this was.

"Nep-Nep, this is the Sky Harbor area, where two landmasses come in contact with one another," explained Compa. "It doesn't really mean the ground is split."

"Oh, I see. So how do I cross over? Should I jump? Should I shout 'wahoo!' as I do it?"

"Why not slap on some overalls and a red hat while you're at it?" IF jokingly asked.

"Lame," droned Jacob.

"Shut up." IF turned back to Neptune. "Actually, we use a bridge to cross over. We needed the Basilicom's permit to get the bridge lowered. Now we can use it anytime."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa." Jacob emphasised his 'whoa's by pressing his hands forward on each one in a stopping motion. "Stop right there. Did you just say you connect the landmasses with bridges?"

"… yeah? Why, what's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing. Just the fact that landmasses only seem to be within seeing distance of each other for no more than twenty-four hours and they seem to be quite far away, and you get across by lowering bridges which must be quite large and weigh quite a bit to handle the kind of traffic that you would expect from intercontinental travel. Oh, yeah; there's also the fact that the bridges have to be perfectly aligned and the Sky Harbors of both landmasses have to be facing each other. So, the bridges have to be facing the right way, they need to be fitted quickly to each other and they need to do that and stay that way for less than 24 hours."

"… What are you saying, Jake?" Compa asked apprehensively.

"I'm saying that all the dead engineers that have worked on bridges in my world are rolling in their bloody graves!" Jacob's shout caused the girls to flinch a bit. "Bridges weigh tonnes and move very slowly! Giant floating continents cannot just turn around willy-nilly and anyone who tries to make them do that is a moron because that is very energy inefficient! Let's not forget that the landmasses move very quickly if they can disappear from sight in a single day! How is this possible?"

Compa raised her hands. "C-Calm down, Jake! Maybe we should just show you."

Jacob exhaled through his nose. "This had better make sense."

The group walked through the golden gate-door things with Jacob still grumbling. All of a sudden, the party found themselves turned into fine blue data particles.

Then they drifted away.

When Jacob regained awareness of his surroundings, he found himself, Neptune, Compa and IF in a brown cave. It was like Cave #1 but it had blue crystals and tinge instead of purple. This place was henceforth known as Cave #2.

"… What just happened?" Jacob asked. "Why are we in a dungeon?"

"Jake," Compa began, "were you thinking of stone or wooden bridges? Because we don't use those."

"… Huh?"

"The goddesses did try that at one stage but they realised it wasn't a good idea, so Lady Purple Heart-"

"Hello!" shouted Neptune with cheer.

"- implemented Planeptune's advanced technology to make a different kind of bridge to link the landmasses. The other goddesses thought it was a good idea so they used it as well."

Jacob took a moment to take this all in. "Okay… So Planeptune uses super advanced technology that can do anything short of making God…"

"Uh-" Compa was about to speak but IF shook her head to signal 'no'.

Jacob sighed in relief. "Alright, I can buy that. What I don't get is why the landmasses are linked with dungeons? Can't we just teleport?"

IF explained the plot hole this time. "Apparently, the goddesses thought people would benefit from the exercise. One of the old books of the past quoted one of them saying 'Nothing like gaining a level to brighten up someone's day', or something around those lines."

"… Hold on." Jacob ran his hands through his hair and paced back and forth.

However, this set up a monster encounter with three Vorpals. They looked like they belonged in some sort of underwater dungeon, given that they had green backs with cyan underbellies, long fins complete with webbing acting as arms/wings and three spinal fins underneath them. They also had three yellow eyes, four bulb things where ears would hypothetically be and a tail with a bulb as a tip. It was only after beating them that Jacob began to wonder how they floated just off the ground.

"Be more careful next time!" IF told Jacob.

"Okay, I'm sorry! Anyway, where was I… oh yeah, dungeons." Jacob clapped his hands together. "You mean to tell me that, if people want to go to a different landmass, and I imagine they will if they don't like their current one, they have to go through a small, narrow tunnel that is full of things that want to kill them?"

"That's pretty much right," IF replied nonchalantly.

"What if the people can't fight?"

IF opened her mouth to speak but she then realised that she didn't have an appropriate answer to that question. "… I really don't know. But the monsters are low level."

"Ugh…" Jacob groaned and paced again.

Two Imps appeared. Again, they were easily taken care of. "Jacob, cut that out!" Neptune shouted.

"Jake, you should only move when you have to," scolded Compa.

"Oh, come on! It's not my bloody fault monster encounters are determined by steps walked rather than, say, encountering the monster on the field first! Are we in some sort of backwards HD remastering of some obscure JRPG from the fourth console generation? I thought we outgrew this crap around about the sixth!" Jacob ranted.

"What are you talking about?" IF asked, agitated due to Jacob being a monster magnet by virtue of not being able to stand still.

"Never mind; it's a video game thing from my world. Anyway, the landmasses are linked by tunnels of data that people walk through. Fair enough, even if just outright teleportation would be much better. What annoys me is that regular people can walk through these things and get killed because they're tourists! No wonder the monsters are killing everyone!" Jacob then turned to Neptune. "When we get your memories back and you can be a goddess again, you are going to fix this. Understand?"

"Gotcha! Leave it to me!" Neptune said confidently.

"Anyway, let's move forward." Jacob stepped forward and two Vorpals appeared. They, too, were ended quickly.

Neptune raised her finger. "Jacob-"

"Shut up."

"I hate dungeons," groaned Jacob.

"Aw, cheer up, Jacob!" Neptune gave him some rough slaps on the back, causing him to execute a backhand hit that she dodged by jumping back. "Hey! What'd you do that for?"

"I don't like being hit," he responded. "Gentle pats work just fine." Neptune gently patted him on the back. "Much better. Thanks."

"She is right, though," said IF. "We're finally here; Lastation, the Land of Black Regality."

Indeed, they had arrived. This place was much different from Planeptune; while it was indeed sci-fi, it had more of a feel of an industrial revolution with black, huge, egg-shaped power plant things virtually everywhere and with equal amounts of smoke. The clouds all around were dark.

"Wow!" Neptune seemed excited. "This place is all steampunky and spiffy and futuristic! Iffy, what landmass is this?"

"… You really don't know?" Jacob asked, incredulous. "I mean, we've been discussing travel plans to here for five days."

"Lastation, ruled by Console Patron Unit Black Heart," explained IF as if she was expecting this lapse in Neptune's memory. Either that or she didn't care. "The land is mostly obscured by industrial factories."

"So, um, does the 'theme' of each landmass match with that goddess' preference?" Neptune asked.

"I don't think so," answered IF. "The CPUs are here to protect us but humans develop the civilisation itself."

Neptune seemed bummed out by that answer. "Aw, that's so realistic."

"What is with you?" Jacob asked Neptune in disbelief. "Why do you keep looking at the world like it's just some storybook where you're the star?"

"Ah ha!" Neptune pointed sharply in Jacob's direction. He leaned back a bit. "That's where you're right! Because this is a video game and I am the star!"

Jacob groaned. "So much for that point…"

Neptune turned to Compa. "Compa, Jacob, what're your thoughts on this place?"

Compa looked around. She didn't seem very uncomfortable at all despite looking out of place. "These factories and chimneys… remind me of an industrial revolution. I'm not familiar with this kind of thing."

"I don't like this place." Jacob covered his nose and mouth with his hand. "It's too polluted here; Planeptune's much cleaner. It's like the first PS3 except one was dark, dirty, energy inefficient and oppressive in nature while the other was Lastation."

IF smiled. "I suppose it's not appealing to mainstream girls and Jacob's home isn't like this. I think it's cool. Anyway, let's go to the Basilicom."

"Why?" asked Jacob.

IF blinked. "To get information on monsters, you idiot."

"What are we going to do with that?"

"Are you brain dead?" IF shouted. "We're looking for Key Fragments which are guarded by strong monsters!"

"I know that but, as I've said before, we found the first one in a tuto-" Jacob stopped as he just had a realisation. "Hey, that's an idea; let's look up a tutorial dungeon on DungleMaps."

Compa was very surprised by this suggestion. "B-but that won't work, Jake! DungleMaps was a one-time joke so it won't work when we use it for serious reasons!"

"Well, that joke sucked and it got us onto the plot before you could even say Hyperdimension Neptunia. Blimey, that's long. Anyway, I'm willing to hedge my bets and give it a go. What's the worst that could happen?"

"B-But… but…" Compa quickly turned to Neptune, desperate to win this argument. "Nep-Nep, didn't Histoire say that the Key Fragments were guarded by strong monsters?"

"Yeah!" Neptune turned to Jacob. "And tutorial dungeons don't have strong monsters, Jake; they're tutorial dungeons!"

"Maybe Histoire was wrong?" Jacob proposed. "Hell, we're all prone to human error from time to time. Besides, we still got the first Key Fragment from a tutorial dungeon, which didn't have strong monsters." He turned to IF. "What do you think?"

IF crossed her arms and thought for a bit. "The logic's sound and I can't really fault it but… do you honestly think whoever developed this game would fumble at such a basic level?"

"God no. I'm very sure that we'll have to wander about for ten or so hours before the plot presents itself to us. Still, this is the only lead we have and I say we pursue it." Jacob faced the whole group. "All in favour please say 'aye'."

"… Aye-aye, Captain?" Neptune seemed unsure.

"Aye," said IF.

Compa looked very torn. "B-B-But…" She took a deep breath. "We're supposed to follow the plot! That's what we do as video game characters!" she shouted at the top of her voice, much to the surprise of her three companions. She then realised how out of character her action was and turned away.

"Compa…" Jacob began, looking as if he possibly found the missing piece to a particular puzzle, "are you hesitant to go along with my idea purely because, as a viideo game character, you feel obligated to do whatever the plot says no matter how stupid it sounds?"

Compa still had her back to her friends and didn't respond.

Jacob sighed. "So that's it." He walked up to Compa. "Compa, the world is in danger. At this point, following the plotted line is the least of anyone's priorities. If we don't find the Key Fragments soon enough, the entire world will be overrun with monsters."

Compa twitched. "That's why we should follow the plot. It's guaranteed to get us where we need to go."

"And where, precisely, does the plot lead?" Jacob crossed his arms. "We go to the Basilicom, get some monster info and just run around dungeons until we find something? Hate to tell you this, but that sounds a whole lot like what we're doing now. Not to mention the plot's not just going to drop in out of nowhere."

"'All good things come to those who wait'," Compa recited. "That's what my grandfather said to me."

"Wrong!" Jacob shouted, causing Compa to flinch. "Good things come to those who work hard and never give up! If something's not going your way, you make it go your way because it's not going to magically turn around and come back for you! If you don't have a door, make one. If you don't have any food, procure or prepare some. Doors and food will not appear in your lap by divine intervention for the same reason that the Key Fragments won't post where they are on their blogs for us. You don't let 'fate' decide anything; you take fate into your hands and make it dance for you."

None of the girls had a response to that.

"Right. Now, following the plot or not, we're still grasping at straws either way. In that event, I'd rather at least choose the path that's the most likely to have what we're looking for rather than make a gamble. So, what's it gonna be?"

"Aye aye!" cheered Neptune.

IF smirked. "Well, as you said, it's not like we have any better options. I'm in."

"… Okay." Compa turned around and looked up. "I'll follow."

"Splendid." Jacob turned to IF. "I don't suppose you can use your phone to find a tutorial dungeon?"

"Sure. Give me a moment." IF opened her phone and fiddled around with it. "And... there. Found one. Follow me."

After a long walk and cable car ride, the party finally found themselves at a Factory #1 dungeon.

"Hey, the layout looks almost exactly the same," Jacob noticed.

"These dungeons are artificial and filled with the weakest of monsters on purpose," IF explained. "Some people I know believe that they were made by the goddesses to prepare budding adventurers for dungeon crawls."

"Makes sense, I guess," Jacob said. "But why the goddesses would put the Key Fragments in tutorial dungeons is beyond me."

"What makes you think it wasn't Arfoire?" IF asked. "If anything, it makes the most sense; hide the Key Fragments in tutorial dungeons, let a bunch of oblivious newbies take them without knowing what they are and keep them permanently scattered because even she won't know where they are."

Jacob looked at IF, clearly impressed. "You are incredibly smart."

"Thanks," IF smiled. "I take a lot of pride in what I know."

Neptune was also amazed. "Oh, Iffy, you're beyond keen. How can you be so insightful at such a tender, young age?"

"I read a lot," IF replied simply with her usual stoic expression. "Anyway, let's get moving."

Jacob nodded. "Right."

The party walked through the dungeon and utterly annihilated the Pixelvaders and Dogoos that got in their way. Eventually, they reached the same T-shaped path where Neptune found her hammer. However, the treasure chest was already opened and emptied.

"Aw…" Neptune slumped. "I wanted another hammer."

"What would you use it for?" Jacob asked.

"Why, dual wielding, of course! Neptune, the Hammer Mistress!" Neptune's eyes suddenly got a bit sparkly. "I can see it now…"

"I can see broken bones and more missed pipes," Jacob remarked. "Anyway, what happened to dual wielding a gun and a sword?"

"Pish posh!" Neptune made a dismissive motion with her hand. "That's so last generation. Hammers are where it's at."

"Right." Jacob looked down the branching corridor. "Anyway, let's hope that whoever's been here hasn't taken the Key Fragment that may or may not be here."

"This is odd…" Compa said. "Normally, treasure chests are left unopened for the plot-important characters to take."

"That's true," IF responded. "Why on Earth is this chest open?"

"I think we should just go on," Jacob recommended. "No use just standing around."

IF nodded. "True."

The party advanced down the corridor, fully expecting to see everyone's favourite grated fence pounded into the ground. This is why they were surprised to see the thing standing up.

Something also worthy of note was that there was a teenage male standing by the fence with the hammer right next to him. Something even more worthy of note was that the male was not a silhouette, much to their surprise.

The teen looked to be about 17 years of age (for an anime male) and he had your average anime short navy blue hair. Jacob did not expect he would live to see the day where such a typical anime teen would wear a white dress shirt with a red tie, black jeans, a green survival vest and a pair of sunglasses. But the weird thing was that he was looking down at the ground muttering to himself. Not that Jacob could complain; if talking to yourself was a currency, Jacob would probably be the richest person in all existence.

"… By the goddess, I knew I should have brought that Ring of Herculean Strength with me instead of sell it. Now I'm stuck here with the cannon fodder with no way out of this tutorial dungeon. How lame I passed by that offer of C4 back at the shop…"

Everyone blinked at that last statement until Compa called out to the teen. "Um, hello?"

The teen snapped to attention in an instant and pulled out a gun at the party, which made the party tense and Jacob raise his palms towards the teen. "Who the-? Oh, huh. Wow, not everyday you see other adventures in a dungeon crawl." The teen put away the gun and stood up, causing the party to relax and Jacob to lower his arms.

"Tell me about it," IF replied. "Who are you?"

Although it was hard to tell for sure because of the shades, Jacob had a feeling that the teen's eyes narrowed. "You know, it's rude to ask for someone else's name without telling them your own."

"A moral that has been passed down from anime or JRPG to anime or JRPG for several yonks now. Anyway," Jacob walked up to the teen and extended his hand. "I'm Jacob. It's good to meet you."

The teen raised an eyebrow, but took Jacob's hand in his and gave it a shake. "I'm…well, just call me SF. Same here."

"…You understood," Jacob said, not taking his hand back and standing perfectly still.

"Oh my goodie!" Neptune shouted, "He knows about handshakes! Clearly, he and Jacob are connected in some way!"

"Wow!" Compa was equally surprised. "Are you his long lost brother? Maybe his father but from the past?"

SF couldn't help but look at Compa and Neptune as if they had two heads. He then turned to IF. "These are your friends?"

Jacob cut in. "Oh, terribly sorry. It's just that every time I offer someone a handshake, they think I want to be their blood brother or something."

"… Really?" SF stared at the pair for a moment before turning back to Jacob. "Well, whatever. Anyway, what are you four doing here?"

"We're looking for an item called a Key Fragment so that we can save the world," Compa explained, "We think it's being held by the boss in this tutorial dungeon."

"Ah." SF looked at the fence and gave it a kick. "Well, I can't get past here. I found a hammer here to break the thing down, but I'm not strong enough to lift it." He then muttered to himself, "Normally I can, but…"

"So why are you still here?" Jacob asked, "Surely you could just go somewhere else to hunt monsters?"

"I'm here on a job and, even if I wanted to leave, I can't. Stupid tutorial dungeon won't let me. It's annoying 'cause I already know how to fight but I still have to go this anyway. To kill time, I've been spending the last four hours kicking the monsters around."

IF's eyes diluted. "F-Four hours? What level are you at now?"

"Thirty, the same as I entered. Monsters here don't give jack at my level."

"T-Thirty? How are you so high right now?" Compa asked, looking shocked.

"I'm a Monster Hunter by trade. Gives plenty of experience."

"Ah, that explains it." IF nodded in understanding.

"What's a Monster Hunter?" Neptune asked.

"Gee, I dunno," Jacob replied sarcastically, "Maybe it's a person that hunts monsters? You know, like how a wood chipper chips wood or like how a hand guard guards your hand or how a cutting edge is an edge that cuts? That's just speculation, mind you."

Neptune put her hands on her hips. "You don't have to be so rude."

"Grow up and take some common sense with you." He turned back to SF. "Still, why can't you lift the hammer?"

"I think it's a faulty one the dungeon spawned. Could barely drag the thing over here." Sure enough, there were drag marks on the floor leading to the hammer. "Truth be told, I was going to start ramming the fence myself if it came down to it."

"Well, don't worry about that," Jacob assured him. "Neptune'll take care of it. Neptune?"

"Sure thing!" Neptune reached into her hammerspace and took out her own hammer.

SF blinked at the sight of Neptune's hammer. "You have one as well?"

"Get back, by the way." Jacob took SF with him, IF and Compa as they got behind Neptune, who was doing a few stretches. "Also," Jacob covered his eyes with his hand, "don't look."

"What? Why?"

"BANZAIII!" Neptune once again swung the hammer down to smash the fence. The hammer impact didn't seem to do anything because it only began to fall apart maybe a fraction of a second after she had finished swinging. In any event, she managed to get the fence down but not without flashing those behind her (except Jacob) with a view of her panties.

Neptune stood up and twirled. "The path is clear! Let us…" Her expression turned from cheery to curious. "Hey, are you all okay?"

"I'm fine," Jacob said as he removed his hand.

Compa was silent, her eyes slightly glazed and blood was, once again, running out her nose.

"… Neptune, we are so getting you shorts when we're done here," IF said, a bit surprised to have a voice full of authority.

Neptune pouted, "Aww! But I don't like 'em!"

"Too bad," Jacob said before tuning to SF. "Sorry about that. Probably should've warned you earlier."

"It's okay. I probably should've seen that one coming. I mean, she's wearing thigh-high socks and no shorts. Really pushing the Zettai Ryouki there." SF put his hand to his chin. "That hoodie jacket is deceptive…"

"Now that you mention it, yeah it is." Jacob repeated SF's gesture.

"Are you done analyzing Neptune's clothing, you pervs?" IF asked, annoyed.

"Hey, I'm just observing character design," Jacob defended, "Besides, she's too young for me."

"I don't do lolis." SF agreed.

"What? MASSIVE AWW!" Neptune whined, "I have two…well, one good looking guy and an average looking guy on my team and neither of them have any interest in my lovely body!"

"I'm not that shallow," Jacob said.

"Again, not into little girls." SF folded his arms. "Besides, I'm not technically on your team."

Neptune just grumbled.

"Um, everyone?" Compa tried to get everyone's attention. "We should go find the boss now."

"True," Jacob agreed, "Let's move, people."

"Righto." SF nodded as he went over to pick up his main weapon; a futuristic-looking katana that had a noticeable indent at the bottom of the hilt.

"Ooh, that's a cool sword!" Neptune clearly like the design. "Wanna trade for my sword?"

SF gave Neptune a hard look before saying, "No."


"For God's sake Neptune, please shut up..." Jacob massaged his forehead.

The party continued until they hit the big room. As before, there was a glowing circle on the ground.

"Compa," Neptune and Jacob said together.

"Okay." Compa walked over to the circle and rang the bell.

"You know, I could've done that." SF held up his own bell in his hand.

"Doesn't matter now," IF replied before extending her katara blades. "Here it comes!"

Neptune, Compa, and SF drew their weapons, while Jacob shook his arms and they all got into their fighting stances.

The monster, however, wasn't a Guard Vermin. Rather, it was a red dog much like the Blue Shadow, and it looked rather vicious.

"Everyone, get back!" Jacob put his two hands together.

"Huh- What the-!" SF looked at Jacob and saw him generating a four-foot energy ball in his hands.

"WRECKING BALL!" After a few seconds, Jacob shot it forward and it hit the red dog head on. The monster didn't stand a chance; the ball pushed it into the wall before dispersing and the wolf fell to the ground, looking stunned.

"…Damn…" SF was amazed at the damage to wolf took from that one attack. "How the heck did you do that?" He looked back at Jacob only to find he wasn't there. "What the-?"

"Over here…" Jacob's grunt caused SF to turn in his direction and he couldn't help but blink in surprise. Jacob had somehow managed to embed himself in the wall. "Damn recoil…" He then fell out of the wall.

SF was about to go over to help when Compa assured him, "Don't worry, he'll be fine!"

"Ol' Neptune's gonna show you some new tricks!" Neptune taunted the dog. "Now play dead!" IF also ran towards the dog with Compa in tow.

"Hey, what are you all doing?" SF asked. "Aren't you supposed to take turns or something?"

"Nah! That takes to long," Neptune shouted back as she attacked the helpless monster. "This is much quicker!"

"Really…?" For some reason, SF looked more intrigued than surprised. "Whatever, time to do the job I was supposed to…"

Eventually, the monster was quickly digitized. Neptune, Compa and IF walked back over to SF and Jacob, who managed to get himself back on his feet and limp back towards their temporary comrade. "See?" Neptune put her hands on her hips.

"That…" SF looked at all of them before he grew a bemused smile. "Wow, I thought we weren't the only ones that didn't follow that stupid turn-based combat system."

Everyone blinked as Jacob said, "Wait, what?"

"Wait, you don't follow that system either?" Compa asked.

"I'd be bad for Monster Hunting business. We fight like the guys in Devils Never Cry." SF didn't notice Jacob twitch in response to his words. "I mean, seriously, when it comes to monsters like dragons, we need to hit fast and hard."

"That makes sense." IF nodded in agreement. "Still, it's a liberating experience."

"I can tell." That's when SF noticed something glittering where the monster dog was. "Hey, what's that?"

"What's what?" IF looked at where SF was looking and saw a quarter of a black crystal lying on the ground. "Huh… well, that's unusual."

"It's definitely not a Key Fragment," Compa noted, "but what is it?"

SF walked over to it and picked it up. "Well… maybe it's worth something." He looked back at the party. You don't mind if I keep this, do you?"

"Neptune, did Histoire say anything about crystals?" IF asked, while SF blinked for some reason.

"Nope." Neptune shook her head. "She just said Key Fragments."

"Well, keep it then." IF told SF. "We don't mind."

"Ah, thanks for that." He took the crystal and stuffed it in his pocket. "Well, thanks for helping me out of this dungeon, Jacob…"

"IF," IF answered. "And these two are Compa and Neptune."

"Ah. Thank you as well."

"We're here to help those in need!" Neptune proudly declared.

"Lovely," Jacob groaned, who was levitating off the ground, bobbing here and there. "Can we leave now…?"

SF couldn't help but stare. "…How the heck are you floating?"


"…I've got to find myself one of those."

"Good luck with that."

Outside the dungeon, Neptune stretched. "Boy, that was fun!"

"We didn't get a Key Fragment, though," IF noted. "Shows that they don't always appear in tutorial dungeons."

"I better get going now," SF gave a nod and said, "Again, thanks for everything."

"Like we said, it's no problem," Jacob answered, "Have a good day."

"You too. I hope to see you all again under better circumstances."

"Same here," Neptune replied. "It was good meeting you, Essy!"

"… 'Essy'?"

"Neptune," Jacob began, "his name is SF and you will refer to him as such. Okay?"

Neptune pouted. "What do you have against nicknames?"

"Yours are stupid."

"You're not the only one who suffers from that," IF told SF. "She keeps calling me Iffy."

SF's lips quirked before he whistled. "Damn. Good thing I'm not sticking with you guys, eh?"

"Aw, why do you have to leave?" Neptune whined, trying to look like a cute puppy. "You're not a silhouette and you can fight! Surely you can adventure with us and save the world from monsters, witches and quick time events!"

"…Quick time events?" SF rubbed the back of his head. "Anyway, it sounds fun and all, don't worry about that. It's just that saving the world isn't my kind of thing. Besides, I'm kind of busy with my own problems at the moment."

"I understand," said Jacob. "Best of luck to you."

"Right back at ya. See you later!" SF waved his hand and the two parties went their separate ways.

"He was nice, wasn't he?" commented Compa as they walked.

IF nodded. "He would've been a good party member."

"Maybe he's DLC?" Neptune asked.

"Neptune, you don't buy living people," answered Jacob. "Unless… do you guys run a slavery system or something where you buy other adventurers to fight with you?"

"No," quickly responded IF and Compa.

"You don't buy living people, Neptune."

Neptune pouted again. "Well, I wouldn't mind having him in the party."

Compa gestured for Jacob to float down. "So what do we do now?" When Jacob came down to her level, she gave him a bottle of Reflex, which he drank. "Do we go to the Basilicom like we originally planned?"

"No way," Jacob answered. "It's too late and I've filled my dungeon quota for the day. Plus, my back hurts like hell. I want a place to sit down and relax."

"Fair enough," said IF as she looked at her cell phone. "I know a motel that we can stay in. Rent's okay and all the jobs we'll be doing should pay for it anyway. Sound good to you all?"

"A motel? Ew-o-rama!" Neptune stuck her tongue out in disgust. "You sure you don't have any friends or family that have a house somewhere that we can freeload in?"

"I don't," said IF.

In case you're wondering, SF is from another fanfic on called "Hyperdimensional Infinite Neptunia". It's sort of like this fic but with a different character who uses an IS, which is from Infinite Stratos.

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123icoo Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
on the next can you do fullmetal alchemist and fairy tail
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012
This fanfic will go for far too long for me to consider doing FMA or Fairy Tail. Sorry about that.
123icoo Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
Hey, I'm going through the entire plot of Hyperdimension Neptunia here. Cut me some slack, alright?
123icoo Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
ok ok chill. Jacob is so cool
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
I'm chill, don't worry.

Aw, thanks. :D
123icoo Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
your welcome
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