He paid little heed to Rosso's choice to stay and watch. Vanguard's piercing white gaze was too busy staring back at the unyielding crimson within the new Navi's own stare. As unyielding as his gaze was, Vanguard's was unnerving, his white stare slicing through the Navi as though he were looking straight through to his very being.
In that one moment, when they locked gazes, he felt that an unspoken conversation was held. A conversation debating on their abilities, how they added up, who dared to challenge whom, and, ultimately, their resolve.
Vanguard knew what Rosso would do in this situation. There would not have even been a request for an explanation, nor the chance for them to have locked gazes. Rosso would've attacked, and fought, to the best of his ability, to protect and serve that which he believed - what was wrong was wrong, and those wrongs had to be answered for. Whether he did so out of a sense of duty or simple bloodlust, Vanguard could not yet tell - all he knew is that Rosso held beliefs true that, as much as he hated to admit it, Vanguard, himself, enforced. It wasn't too long ago that he chastised a navi for lacking resolve - he had called it weakness, even in spite of the gap in power. He had grown much since then, as had his resolve - and, yet, now, here he stood, willing to make a fool of himself to avoid conflict.
There was no need to make conflict where it did not exist, afterall. How many times more would he be able to take blatant disrespect before he retaliated, though? While his resolve for the NIA's work was not as strong as his resolve for his own, could he allow his pride to be damaged for the sake of avoiding dangerous battle?
Were the risk of deletion not permanent, and his wounds more yielding, in another time and era, he may have attacked this man on sight, regardless of his resolve. In the same light, he may have even turned on Rosso for his arrogance and bravado.
"So long as you remain civil, I have no qualms with you. As long as you are in this border space, understand . . . I am its protector. Slights against it are slights against me.
He didn't wait for a response from the Navi. That should've been all that was needed to be said, between warriors. He turned, only then noticing that Rosso was still present. Slitting his eyes, Vanguard approached the Navi in the desert coat, and stopped just in front of him. Without fear in his gaze, he met eyes with his fellow zealot. "We need to talk. If you aren't busy, I'd request a private location for discussion. An NIA room or some remote corner of Netopia, whichever is preferable."
The happenings at the border left him with more questions than answers, and he had a feeling Rosso knew more than he was letting off. Or, perhaps, there were some secrets within the NIA that Vanguard had yet to be made privy too.
This was an unexpected turn of events. The unnamed Navi had been prepared to engage Vanguard in this situation as he had in so many before... yet it did not happen. True, Vanguard gave a covert threat and a stare-down, but the situation defused before anything farther could happen.
....and that was fine.
True to his word, the Navi makes no show of force or violent motion. Instead, all that he does is look. While keeping a distance, he examines the gateway, doing his best to see if any part of it could be used. However, after a few moments he curses the situation under his breath as he turns his head away. Why must things always be so difficult?
This is also when he glances back toward Vanguard, and Rosso near him.
The flame within the Navi in the coat burned like a sun within himself. It took little more than a single glance to size him up, and to realize...
For once things could end peacefully, so the Navi remains true to his word. With no incident he walks away in silence, visibly calmer than he had been just moments before.
Vanguard would notice that Rosso still wasn't looking at him. His eyes were on the cloaked navi the entire time, as if waiting for that first move. The master stroke that would snuff Vanguard out in but a moment's notice. Something that anyone with any knowledge would know that the navi was good for, though those without that knowledge, or perhaps their own courage, would not notice in that instant. Even as he walked away, before the enforcer's gaze settled away from him and over to Vanguard.
"Guess I'll deal with him later, then. We can talk then. There's a pretty remote spot that I wanted to go and investigate anyway."
He made no attempts at hiding that the navi leaving was another one that he marked, much like Genesis before him. Both of them were targets he would be able to find later with the help of the others. Although since Genesis never tried to hide anyway, finding him would probably happen first. Knowing him, the Overlord would be making the first move. And that first move would likely be an attack on a facility he figured was in the NIA's control for information gathering. Anyone else caught up in his wake would just add on to his already substantial list of collateral damage, as they were often referred to. More like casualties, but that never slowed him down or deterred him from his efforts of attacking when he felt he had to. And that, at least, was something that Rosso would respect.
So the flames surged up as Rosso lifted off, a location being sent to Vanguard over the message for where they were heading. It was certainly a remote area, one that was being investigated and developed now. As it was under investigation, they saw fit to send him for this given how things had turned for the worst and evacuated the others. That left it up to him and Mistair to do it, which wasn't a problem as they were probably faster than the previous squad anyway.