"...Stupid...goblins..." Lady Boros muttered in her sleep, her dreams occupied by her and Saitama's play session from the night before, "...my...gold..." She carried on, pulling the blanket that covered her closer as she did.
Unlike the last time the mono-eyed woman spent the night in Saitama's apartment building, Lady Boros wasn't sleeping in HIS apartment. Instead, when the sun was nearly gone, replaced by the slowly rising moon, she asked if it would be alright if she used one of the many vacant dwellings rather than fly back to her ship, to which Saitama said it was. Admittedly, she could've EASILY made it back in no time at all, but the idea of starting the day with him and sharing a breakfast was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, as with most plans, the likelihood things would proceed how Lady Boros wanted with no complications, especially with all that has happened recently, was tragically low.
"Saitama!" The voice of Genos could be heard coming from next door. Alongside it, a few loud knocks.
Upon hearing the voice of her disciple, Lady Boros's ears twitched, and she stirred ever so slightly in her slumber. But she was far too lost in her dream and the comfiness of the bed and its blanket to fully wake up. So even when she heard Saitama's footsteps walk to his front door, the door itself open, and the proceeding exchange between the two men, she remained where she was.
"Dude, what the hell?..." Saitama's voice greeted him, sounding groggy as he undoubtedly was asleep before the cyborg's arrival, "It's not even eight yet..." He said.
"I wanted to get clarity on the situation yesterday as soon as possible. And seven-thirty is the standard time most people are awake or close to waking up for work or school. So I assumed you'd be as well." Genos explained.
"I don't work, finished school, and I usually sleep for most of the day unless I need to go shopping or there's something worthwhile to go and fight..." He responded.
Just then, another voice called for the hero, but it was much louder due to how far its owner was from the building.
"SAITAMA!" Deep-Sea Queen shouted from down the street.
At this point, Lady Boros couldn't stay asleep any longer. Immediately sitting upright, her eye still shut; she felt empathy for her champion as she got up from her bed.
"I now understand why he chooses to live so far from others..." She muttered while stretching her arms.
Walking away from the bed and to the apartment's front door, once she pushed it open and parted her eyelids, Lady Boros finally received a visual of the situation she'd been listening to. To her right was Genos in his usual attire, Saitama stood in his doorway wearing his blue pajamas, and approaching from one end of the street below was the Deep-Sea Queen and...someone else?
"Who is that?" She wondered, confused since this new person, who appeared to be a woman, didn't resemble a Sea Folk.
"Saitama, do you know those two monsters?" Genos asked, having not met Deep-Sea Queen or her companion before.
"Uh...yeah..." Saitama confirmed, which was a surprise to Lady Boros.
"Wait, you know the second one?" She asked, now joining the conversation.
"Lady Boros! Good morning!" Genos greeted her immediately with a bow, having just now noticed her when she spoke.
"Oh! Hey, Boros!" Deep-Sea Queen greeted as well, seeing her at the same time as Genos.
However, Saitama didn't greet her like the other two. Instead, his eyes were focused solely on the Deep-Sea Queen's companion, but not in a way that made Lady Boros suspicious or jealous. If anything, Saitama's expression was a combination of shock and confusion, as if he couldn't believe that this person, unknown to her, was walking alongside the ruler of the oceans.
"Hello, Saitama!" The stranger greeted with a smile and wave. But again, it didn't strike a nerve with Lady Boros as it came across as friendly and not lustful or flirtatious.
"Excuse me," Saitama said, speaking to the two people closest to him before he hurried towards the stairwell.
Watching him speed walk in a way that neither Genos nor Lady Boros had seen before, soon he reached the ground and approached the two women walking towards the building.
"Do you know them, Lady Boros?" Genos inquired as he moved to stand closer to her.
"The one that resembles a fish, yes. She's a friend of mine. But who she has brought with her, I have no clue." She replied.
Continuing to watch from the railing as this didn't feel like either of their business, Saitama began a whispered conversation between himself, the Deep-Sea Queen, and whoever this new person was.
"Alright, explain." He requested while pointing at the winged woman, "Why're you here? Why are the both of you walking alongside each other? And why are you not trying to kill or insult one another?" He asked.
"Right? It's confusing." Deep-Sea Queen said before gesturing to her companion with her hand, "But, and I know this will sound crazy, Sky here is a changed woman!" She revealed.
"...HOW?" He asked as he squinted his eyes, finding that too absurd to be true.
"May I?" Sky Queen inquired, wanting to explain it herself.
"By all means." Deep-Sea Queen allowed.
"Saitama." She began, placing her hands in front of herself with her fingers intertwined, "After our interaction yesterday, in which I was far too forward with my approach, I spent the rest of the day thinking of what I had done and said. And...I was inexcusably rude." She said.
"...Continue." He urged, still hesitant about this but curious to see where it was going.
"When you are born as someone such as myself, it doesn't take much for your ego to become inflated. My home is above yours; I've always looked down on you and your people; I saw the world as my possession. And it is because of this; I became entitled, believing if I ever wanted anything from anyone down here, I could have it. But as I thought about our first meeting and how I behaved, I realized my first impression was nothing short of deplorable. To start with, I showed you a twisted form of respect; adoration culminated in secret, which I failed to see wasn't appropriate, for I was lost in desire. Then there were the things I said about my fellow royals and Boros, who are your companions. Regardless of how I may feel about them, I had no right to say what I did about their persons or their quality as suitors. So every action and word that I issued yesterday was not becoming of a woman of my position and caliber. And it did nothing but damage the chances of having any form of relationship with you. This is why I sought out the Deep-Sea Queen and asked her for her aid to help improve my character. And, if I'd be so fortunate, to have another chance at being close to you. Even if it should be as a companion and nothing more." She explained.
Phew, that was a LOT to take in so early in the morning. Saitama would've preferred another car being thrown into his home rather than deal with something so emotional like this. But, there was a huge problem; he had NO idea what to think or how to feel about anything she just said. Saitama has only known about this woman's existence for ONE day, and as the Sky Queen said herself, her first impression was horrible, coming across as a horny stalker.
For that reason, he turned his focus to the Deep-Sea Queen, wanting to know what she thought since the two of them had known each other for so long.
"Do you believe her?" He asked, paying close attention to what her response would be.
"Yeah. I do." Deep-Sea Queen began as she crossed her arms, "From the first day I met her, Sky's always been this arrogant bitch. No offense." She said, pausing to say that to her.
"None taken." Sky Queen assured.
"Cool. As I was saying, Sky's always seen herself and her people as the ultimate species on this planet. Everything below them was either savage or hilariously stupid. And even when the battles between all of our species began to calm down, leading towards the treaty to stop the fighting, she never once showed any humility or signs that she was regretful for the things she'd said to all of us. But when Sky came to see me last night, in addition to our walk here this morning, she's owned up to things I NEVER believed she would. Now I'm not saying that she's magically a better person, and all of her shit's worked out because I can't say that about myself, and I know Sub can't either. But just like Sub and me, I can see Sky's doing her best to change, and I think we should help her." She told him.
Letting out a sigh from how much he needed to process right now, Saitama, although still with doubts, was more willing to trust the Sky Queen was truthful with the Deep-Sea Queen backing her up like that.
"...Okay." He spoke after a few seconds before immediately holding up a finger, "But on ONE condition. Until I'm sure this isn't some kind of act, you cannot come and see me without someone else. I mean, you KISSED me in front of Sub and Deep without ANY hesitation. I don't even want to imagine what you could do if we were ever alone." He said.
"Of course. That's more than reasonable." Sky Queen agreed while bowing her head, "Thank you, Saitama. I promise I will not waste this opportunity you've graciously given me to redeem myself." She vowed.
"Saitama?" Lady Boros called from above, she and Genos still looking down on this, "Is everything okay?" She asked since they'd been talking for a good few minutes.
"Yeah! We were just clearing up some confusion because..." He trailed off, trying to think of a good reason.
"Because I was coming today for my training!" Deep-Sea Queen answered for him, "And I didn't mention I would be bringing company!" She added.
"Saitama! You're training these monsters?" Genos questioned with widened eyes.
"Okay. We need to talk." Lady Boros said as she put her hand on his shoulder, guiding him to her apartment for a second, "You REALLY need to stop saying that. You're going to get your ass kicked otherwise." Saitama and the two queens heard her say before they were out of earshot.
"Thanks, Deep," Saitama said to her for stepping in.
"No problem. Can't have anything come between you and my bestie now, can I?" She responded with a grin.
"Did you actually come to train, though?" He asked, receiving a nod.
"Mhm! We've been falling behind on that, and I'd like to get us on a regular schedule. If that's okay with you." She answered.
"Eh, sure. It'll give me something to do rather than laze about all day. And I DID agree to train you." He said before looking at the Sky Queen, "What about her?" He inquired.
"An observer. Nothing more." Sky Queen replied for herself, "I don't want to disrupt your natural routine or everyday happenings. As part of my efforts towards change, I shall not become involved with anything unless I am requested to do so." She informed.
Suddenly, the ground around them began to shake ever so slightly, just enough to where they could each feel the vibrations on the bottoms of their feet. Then, a few seconds later, a familiar head popped up from the concrete close by, and it was shocked at what it found.
"SKY QUEEN?!" The Subterranean Queen shouted in surprise, immediately squirming to get the rest of herself out of the ground so she could ready her weapons.
"Good luck," Saitama said to the Deep-Sea Queen before walking away.
"What?! Saitama!" She exclaimed, astonished that he'd just leave her to deal with this.
"I've got to get dressed. So you're in charge of explaining it to Sub." He responded before entering the stairwell.
"You'd better be quick about it too." Sky Queen chimed in as the Subterranean Queen was nearly finished unearthing herself.
"Ugh, fine. Hold on, four arms!" Deep-Sea Queen told her as she walked over.
Meanwhile, Inside Lady Boros's Ship...
Let it never be said that Doctor Genus wasn't dedicated to his work, even if it meant staying up all night. After Lady Boros and Saitama had departed yesterday, as well as when Bespectacled Worker finished talking with his partner, the masterful geneticist proposed that he be left in the care of Lady Boros's elites. Surprisingly, Bespectacled Worker agreed to this proposition; he and Bearded Worker knew they could trust Geryuganshoop and the other two to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't try anything. The reason why the good doctor felt this was necessary wasn't entirely due to his fascination with the alien technology, for although they still needed the queens' DNA, there were many other things he could do while they waited.
And an unforeseen benefit to this decision was striking up several intellectual conversations with Geryuganshoop as the night progressed and they worked alongside each other.
"I can understand your frustration," Geryuganshoop said, having just heard the end of doctor Genus's life story, "Dealing with the crew of this vessel is like speaking to single-celled organisms which only exist to carry out their predetermined purpose. Anything more complex causes them too much mental distress." He explained.
"Still, it is impressive how you, alongside your fellow elites and Lady Boros, keep everything from devolving into chaos." Dr. Genus complimented as he worked.
"Fear and death. The best tools to ensure idiots understand their place." He replied, "You'd be surprised how often one of them gets a bit too full of themselves and assumes he can take one of us. It's most amusing when it happens to be Groribas who is challenged." He informed.
"Do tell." Dr. Genus encouraged, wanting to know more.
"When it's me, I just compress the fool's body until it no longer exists. Melzargard likes to keep it simple, crush or slice them; it doesn't matter. But Groribas always makes a show out of it. First, spewing acid onto their shins and feet so they can't escape, then forming a pool beneath them so he and the crew can watch the poor stupid bastard slowly become a liquid." He described.
"Rather sadistic." Dr. Genus commented but didn't sound condescending, "And I assume Lady Boros has no issues with your methods?" He inquired.
"She approves of them." Geryuganshoop revealed, "Whether it's due to how things were on her planet, or it's just how she is. Our mistress believes those who haphazardly challenge anyone with the assumption that they'll win deserve the death they're owed." He said.
"And yet, she came all this way just to fight someone who turned out to be a god incarnate." Dr. Genus mentioned, which made Geruganshoop chuckle.
"Yes. But the lack of any challenge was enough to make Lady Boros so desperate. Even if this turned out to be a fluke, she needed to be sure in case she could finally feel...anything again." He responded.
"I can understand that. As well as respect it." Dr. Genus told him, "In my desperation, I sought to create perfection. To correct the errors of nature and make the ultimate genetic specimen. And yet there Saitama stood before me, amidst the remains of my greatest creature, having defeated it with a single punch." He recalled with a sigh.
"Was it frustrating?" Geryunganshoop asked.
"Surprisingly...no." He answered, "At first, it was shocking...then there was a period where it felt as if my soul had been crushed...but then...I realized...it was an awakening." He said.
"How so?" Geryuganshoop inquired, curious of where this was going.
"Something I hadn't considered before was how susceptible humans were to change. So often do people mutate and become greater when some kind of condition is met. If a person has an obsession with spiders? That can lead to a transformation. If a person consumes a specific item and nothing else? Their body alters itself to resemble that item. Then there are all of the changes brought on by our actions, such as my work with genetics or something similar. Humans, by default, are unremarkable and, in comparison to other lifeforms found on our planet alone, are tremendously outclassed. But what we have that different species within our world do not is the ability to transcend. What we transcend to, however, is a case-by-case situation." He explained.
"That would explain how Saitama is...whatever he is..." Geryuganshoop hummed, fascinated by the doctor's words.
"Indeed. But with Saitama, it's a unique case. The amount of unrestricted power he wields is unlike anything either you or I have seen. And there is the possibility that the answer to the burning questions we have about him is nothing more than himself. There's no greater explanation or mystery to solve; it's just him." He suggested.
"My body shivers at the possibility," Geryuganshoop replied.
Just then, the machine doctor Genus was working with emitted a beeping sound, which indicated whatever he was doing was finished.
"Finally..." He breathed out with a sigh of relief, leaning backward to savor the moment.
"Has the exhaustion of working all night caught up with you?" Geryunganshoop asked with a smirk.
"It's been some time since I've done an all-nighter like this..." He admitted while taking off his glasses so he could rub his eyes, "But it was worth it. All of the preparations needed for working with the queens' DNA are complete. All we need now is for Saitama and Lady Boros to bring it to us." He said.
"Is there nothing else you need?" Geryuganshoop asked, in case there was something more he could do.
"I need to have a chat with my handlers." He answered as he returned his glasses to their original place, "When my former facility and all of the materials inside of it were put under the Association's ownership, all of my work was confiscated for review and analysis by their brightest minds. If I can have it returned to me temporarily, it would make this entire endeavor far easier." He explained.
"I could get in contact with them for you while you rest." Geryuganshoop offered.
"That...would be appreciated..." He responded.
With that decided, Geryuganshoop left to carry out the task, leaving doctor Genus alone with his thoughts.
"I wonder if they've already acquired the necessary materials?..." He wondered right as a yawn escaped his lungs.
Back In City Z...
"Sorry I can't invite you in." Saitama apologized, now dressed in his superhero outfit, "But ya know, you can't fit inside my apartment." He added before handing out plates.
Luckily, it wasn't long ago that Saitama managed to capitalize on a very generous sale at a supermarket not too far from where he lived, meaning his kitchen was pretty stacked. Which turned out to be a good thing, as he decided to make breakfast for everyone to help kick off what was sure to be another eventful day.
"Hey, don't worry about it. We understand." Deep-Sea Queen assured with a wave of her hand while taking her plate.
"That we do." The Subterranean Queen added as she took hers, "Although, it would be nice to see the inside of your home..." She muttered to herself.
"Only now, as I've walked through the streets of this city and have seen all its details from a human perspective, do I truly realize how our size isn't the most convenient." Sky Queen admitted as she received her meal.
"Well, we are working on that." Lady Boros told them, which caught their interest.
"Wait, seriously?" Deep-Sea Queen questioned.
"Yeah...but there's something you should know..." Saitama began, a bit nervous about how they'd react to this, "The solution we came up with was...to shrink you..." He revealed.
"Shrink us?" The Subterranean Queen repeated, tilting her head slightly out of confusion.
"We know this guy; he's a scientist who knows everything about DNA and stuff, and with his help, we can reduce your size to where you're closer to something like me." He explained.
"Won't that affect us negatively? Such as having unknown impacts on our health and sapping our strength?" Sky Queen inquired.
"Not at all. I made it very clear that if ANYTHING were to happen to you, that it wouldn't end well." Lady Boros assured.
"Technically, you only said if anything happened to Deep, you'd be angry." Saitama reminded.
When she heard that, the Deep-Sea Queen slowly turned her head to look at Lady Boros, a smile spread across her face all the while.
"Don't." Lady Boros sternly said, giving the fish woman a disapproving glare.
"Fine. I won't say how flattered I am that my gal pal was worried about me." Deep-Sea Queen smugly replied, which made the other groan.
"Saitama." Genos spoke up, earning his attention, "Why are you doing so much for these-" He stopped midsentence as he remembered his conversation with Lady Boros, "...women?" He asked.
"Because I want to?" Saitama responded, unsure of how that was unclear.
"But they're-" He stopped again, this time receiving a look from Lady Boros to make sure he didn't utter the M-word, "...not your average person." He pointed out, his overly specific wording causing his mentor to squint her eye at him.
"You're really hung up on that, huh?" Saitama replied, " Look, man. It doesn't matter to me if they're a fish, made of rocks, have enormous black wings, or have other non-human features. If they're not destroying things, hurting people, or doing other bad things, then they're no different from you or me." He explained.
When Saitama told Genos his thoughts on the matter, each of the four women present had a different reaction conveyed through their expressions. First was the Deep-Sea Queen, who had a look of astonishment, as Saitama's continued humbleness and lack of concern for their differences made her respect him even more. Then there was the Subterranean Queen who possessed a look of wonder, for his words, unintentionally, bolstered her secret affection and admiration for him. Up next was the Sky Queen, and hers was arguably the most interesting as she appeared to be surprised by what he said.
And lastly, there was Lady Boros, who, as expected, was proud of her champion.
"See, Genos? This is what I was telling you before." She said.
"Yes...I believe I understand now." He replied before bowing his head to Saitama, "Forgive my rudeness, Saitama. I now see how wise you are." He apologized.
"I don't know about that..." Saitama said, feeling a little awkward at his gesture, "However, it's not me you should apologize to." He told him, referring to the Subterranean Queen.
"You're right." Genos agreed.
At that moment, everyone present would learn just how far Genos went when expressing himself or showing any form of gesture. First, he set his plate down, already having finished his food at a blindingly fast pace, then he lowered himself to the ground, sat on his knees, and fully bowed before the ruler of the underground.
"I am deeply sorry for my actions, your majesty." He told her, even going so far as to address her formally, "I hope you can forgive me for my prejudice and my hastiness in assuming you were a threat to me and the rest of humanity." He said.
"Oh, um, thank you." She responded, both flattered and caught off guard by what he was doing.
"Easy there." Lady Boros intervened, grabbing him by the back of his shirt so she could lift him back onto his feet, "No need to be so dramatic." She added.
"I dunno, I think seeing him like that is kinda sexy~" Deep-Sea Queen commented, almost including a growl with that statement.
"Don't make me get the hose again." She warned, once again using her stern voice.
"Ahem." Sky Queen cleared her throat, "Forgive me, but I believe we've gotten a bit far from the topic of our conversation. The matter of shrinking myself and the other queens?" She reminded.
"Oh, right. Thank you, Sky." Saitama said, receiving a nod from her, "As I was saying before, we got sidetracked. If all of you'd be okay with it, we can reduce your size. That way, you'd be able to go into buildings, do things that humans do without it being complicated or weird, AND, in regards to your health and strength, the doctor promised nothing wrong would happen so long as we got him the DNA he needs to do some tests before the actual procedure or whatever he'd call it. So, all we need from you guys is something we can give him to experiment with." He explained.
"Sure! No problem." Deep-Sea Queen agreed, not needing any further convincing, "If my strength remains unaltered, then I'd honestly prefer being closer to your size, Saitama. It'd make interacting with my adoring fans and you when we train SO much easier." She said before casually removing a scale from her forearm.
"Oh! If I were smaller, then I'd be able to go to that wonderful arcade you took me to, Saitama! And it'd be much easier to play the games with you!" The Subterranean Queen realized. And upon doing so, hastily made some of the hardened material on her body extend outward from her shoulder then broke it off, "I also included a small portion of the energy you see flowing inside of me; it should prove useful to the doctor." She informed.
"A feather, dear." Sky Queen offered, effortlessly removing one from the healthy plumage of her wings, "Admittedly, the idea of my wings being a bit smaller does sound nice. You wouldn't believe how much time it takes for my species to get used to having them on our backside in our youth." She shared.
Both amazed and happy by how easy that was to accomplish, Saitama carefully took each of the items from the women. But, to his surprise, he noticed that a blue arm was now extended beside hers by the time he got to the Sky Queen, and it held a long strand of pink hair.
"Boros?" He questioned as he looked at her, noticing that she seemed to be embarrassed.
"W-Well...as they were saying all of those things...it made me think about how I'm only four feet shorter than them...and I do encounter some space issues with your dwelling and your people's buildings...so...why not?" Lady Boros replied, a light blush present on her cheeks.
"Aw, Boros, you're so cute!" Deep-Sea Queen exclaimed with a grin.
"I'll kill you." She threatened as Saitama took the hair, but her friend wasn't the least bit worried.
"Let me go upstairs and get a bag to put these things in. To preserve them and stuff." He said before he walked away.
"Would you like me to bring your plates up, Saitama?" Genos asked, "It appears we're all done eating." He noted.
"Yeah, sure. Thanks, Genos," Saitama answered.
Gathering the plates and the forks resting on each of them, the cyborg followed the hero up to his apartment.
"Ooo, he's considerate too..." Deep-Sea Queen said to herself, her eyes glued to a lower part of Genos's body as he left.
"I repeat, I WILL kill you." Lady Boros threatened a second time, but still, it caused no fear in the fish woman.
"You know, this is nice." The Subterranean Queen commented with a smile, "I honestly don't think there was EVER a time when the three of us were EVER this friendly with each other." She said, "Oh, and I'm sorry to exclude you, Boros." She apologized.
"Oh no, it's quite alright. I know you three have known one another since the start of this world's history." Lady Boros assured her, "If anything, I'd like to know more about those times. If you'd be willing to share." She confessed.
"It wouldn't feel right without Ancient..." Deep-Sea Queen said with a sigh, "She and her people were around LONG before even the three of us and our people. If you want the full story, you'd need her point of view." She explained.
"That's not likely to happen." Sky Queen chimed in, "The last I saw of her and the rest of her gargantuan species, it was during an ice age. Only Heaven knows if she and her kind are still alive somewhere." She told them.
"Um...about that..." The Subterranean Queen interrupted, nervously tapping her fingers together, "We...need to have a quick talk..." She said.
Unfortunately, that awkward conversation would be delayed as Saitama and Genos appeared from the stairwell, having finished doing what they needed to in his apartment.
"Seriously, dude. You didn't need to clean my dishes." Saitama said to the cyborg, "Although, it was pretty cool how fast you were able to do it." He admitted.
"Think nothing of it. It is the least I can do for the delicious meal you allowed me to have for free." Genos told him.
"Ah, Saitama! Did you secure the pieces of our perfect forms?" Deep-Sea Queen inquired in such an over-the-top fashion.
"Mhm. When we get done training, I'll call the Association guys and have them pick it up." He replied.
"Oh, you two are training?" The Subterranean Queen asked with a slightly saddened voice, believing that she wouldn't be able to accompany them.
"Yup. But all of you can come with us." He offered, which perked her right up.
"Really? You mean it?" She asked, wanting to be sure.
"It's no problem to me." He answered before looking towards the Deep-Sea Queen, "What about you?" He inquired.
"Hell yeah! The more, the merrier!" She exclaimed, "Plus, I DID already invite Sky to come along and be a spectator, so it'd be weird if Sub were the only one left out." She said.
"May I come along as well?" Genos requested, "Although Lady Boros is my mentor, I cannot ignore the possible benefits I may receive if I trained with someone of your strength, Saitama." He explained.
"Sure. Everyone's welcome." Saitama responded, "Hope you don't mind if we do it in a canyon, ya know, to avoid destroying the city." He told them, to which they each shook their heads.
And with that, their day could officially begin, with Saitama leading the way out of City Z so they could kick off a day full of training.