Kuusou to Genjitsu wo Mazeru

Natan fans away the lava with a wave of grey energy that continues onwards to knock Sovest a few inches backwards.

I then snarl as a wicked purple seal appears around Sovest and sinister purple shadows begin to rend into his flesh, "This has gone on long enough… You obviously have no vessel, so shattering you will be all my pleasure! Shuunkuu no Kusari! Dokushi no Fukushuu!"

Sovest then snarls in agony as he is forced back into his normal state by the intense restrictions of my curse, "Kuso! How could a dream demon such as you be so…powerful? Not even Zukku-sama could reach your power without powering up as I have… Omae wa Bara-kagi da ka?"

I reply as I unsheathe Reasonslayer and slam it into the ground, "Bara-kagi ja nai… You old-age sentinels never got the chance to channel the true power that the modern Sentinels can access at-will… Besides, unlike Zukku, I am a Goldentongue Sentinel…"

Sovest's eyes grow wide as he chokes out weakly while I sap away the last bits of his life-force through the seal, "Kin…shi…ta? NANI? U…SO…TSU…KIIII!"

I reply with a wicked grin as I put my finger on my lips and use my shadows from the seal to slit his throat, "Ore wa usotsuki ja nai… However, this conversation is over… Sayoonara, Flamestroke-san…"

As soon as the fight concludes, Natan comes up to me and snarls with fury as he punches me in the face, "Ittai nan, Yumechi-sama? I had him! Why did you have to intervene?"

I reply with a chuckle as I gleefully lick the blood dripping from my nose, "Because he was once one of us… But, after the Divine War that they brought about, their leader, Zukku Blackrose, was slain and the other two were banished to the deepest prison in the Dream World… But, considering the rise of Elcres… It wouldn't be surprising if one of the locks was…loosened in the chaos. But even so, Sharki-sama has delegated dealing with such high-level threats to me in his absence."

Cynthia then inquires as she narrows her eyes in annoyance, "Whatever… I am full already, so can we just return to 'Genjitsu' already?"

I reply with another chuckle as I begin to dissolve the daydream, "Sure… Cynthia, you have Erucia-san bring the child back with Natan accompanying you. Sharki-sama and I have some…business to attend to before we begin checkmate."

Natan replies with a sigh as he helps Cynthia unbind the child and put her on 'Erucia''s shoulders, "Understood… And after we return the girl to her father…?"

I reply with a sinister smile as I straighten my mask and begin to swiftly walk away, "Meet me at the café known as STO… From there, we shall gather our forces against Elcres as one… But, first, I need to rendezvous with Sharki-sama so that I can direct him to the locale in question, as for some reason, Yumeji-kun has not invited him over yet, despite him being friends with the vessel in a way… Ah, I have said too much. Just be quick about it! And if you encounter any Phalosians on your way, show no mercy…"

No sooner do I walk into the afternoon sun that I am drawn into a desert wasteland…

Seriously? Who owns this place?

That is when a lithe figure with long blonde hair and sharp eyes with pupils resembling a cactus flower inquires with a no-nonsense tone, "So, whose side are you on anyways?"

I reply with a playful chuckle as I pull out some of my pens, "Depends which side you are on…"

He then turns to his vessel and says with a scowl, "Stay back, Yuuya… I should be able to handle this guy…"

I then jeer at him as I point a pen at him and crack a sadistic grin, "Oh… So you wish to oppose me? Fine then… So be it, foolish Dream Demon… Just as long as your vessel doesn't come crying to me after your tragic demise following this arrogant provocation."

He then exclaims as he holds out a cactus bloom implement, which spawns spiky tentacles that lunge at me, "Come forth! Medusa's Head!"

I reply with a chuckle as I swiftly evade the attack, "Hm… Intriguing pattern of attack…"

He replies with confusion as he raises his eyebrow, "And yet, you do not retaliate…"

I reply with glee as I lick the edge of my pen, etching my tongue with its sweet toxins, "I have no need to… I can see from how you attack that you are against Elcres… Now, if you will call off your minion hiding above…"

He replies with a scowl as the source of the tentacles suddenly disappears, parting the clouds above with a sudden boom, "What? And you tell me this now. Why?"

I reply with a sigh as my mouth twists with even more sadistic glee, "Because I can see the shared flame within your vessel's eyes and your own… Now then… Why don't we get more acquainted, whoever-you-are?"
Suddenly, his vessel interrupts with a hearty chuckle, "It is good to know you are our ally… But I must ask… Who are you again?"

The dream demon replies with a slight chuckle, "Dokushi Yumechi… The Poisoned Poet. I have heard all about your exploits, but I had to see if it was true that a being such as thee opposed Phalos… As for us, I am Cactus Dune, and this is…"

The vessel interrupts with a wide grin as he supports his head on his arms, "I am his vessel, Yuuya Aikawa! Very nice to meet you, Yumechi-san!"

I reply with a sigh as I look up pensively into the desolate sky, "As am I… But I must say that I have a need to depart at this time, as I am meeting an acquaintance of my own to discuss how we are to deal with the threat at hand."

Cactus replies with a slight bow as he ends the daydream, "I understand… A top-tier Dream Demon such as yourself is probably our secret weapon against Phalos, so I do hope to join your fight soon enough…"

I reply with a chuckle as I take my leave once more, "I just hope your zeal won't lead you towards your end…"

As I reach the rendezvous point, I hear some shouting and see an annoyed customer coming out of a restaurant with an annoyed look on his face.

Heh… Sharki's vessel seems to be living up to his potential…

However, before I can make more of a move, echoes surround me and I soon find myself in Phalos's realm…

Looks like my automatic psychic link is paying off already!

Cactus, who seems to also be surrounded by three other demons, looks at Elcres with shock as he inquires, "How did you…?"

Just as suddenly, Clione-chan reveals herself reluctantly…

So, she is showing her true colors… Intriguing.

Elcres then exclaims with glee as his artificial grin widens, "Now then, three options remain for you… Either you bow before me, die where you stand, or you help me get new allies…"

Cactus then roars as he rallies his allies alongside him, "How about we fight and WIN?"

Elcres replies with a bout of laughter as he shot a pulse of obliterating light at them, "Too bad. Whatever… Now then, it is showtime!"

Clione-chan replies as tears pour down her face, "What will happen if we keep going on this way? Won't it lead us to ruin?"

Elcres replies with a chuckle as he turns his head to Clione, "These are mere preparations…"

I then reply with a frown as I reveal myself, "Preparations…I am guessing, to bring about a new age of golden-tongue hybrids… In order to eliminate the need for vessels altogether…"

Elcres replies with a chuckle as he points his axe at me, "But why confront me now, Yumechi? There is nothing to gain… At least not yet…"

A mysterious voice replies with scorn in its tone as Sharki reveals himself as well atop a cliff overlooking the wasteland below, "We didn't come to defeat you this day. We came more out of circumstance… Wrong place, wrong time…"

Elcres replies with an annoyed tone as he attempts to cleave Sharki in half, "Shut up, you bastard!"

Sharki replies with a sigh as he evades the attack and summons a storm of meteors aimed at his foe, "Nice try… But now I have to rough you up a little before me and my cohort take our leave… Astrotechnics: Celestial Firestorm!"

Elcres snarls in agony as the meteor shower scorches his armor and rips into his flesh, "Urf… Damn this all!"

I then reply with sadistic glee as I swiftly gash multiple deep wounds into him with Reasonslayer, "Now then… Don't leave me out of the fun!"

Elcres lets out a howl of torment before he exclaims as the daydream dissolves due to his weakened state, "Fine… Round Two also goes to you…"

Once we are back in Reality, I find myself in a booth with Shiragi (or rather, Sharki) sitting across from me with a scowl on his face.

I then inquire as I fold my fingers together, "Ok then… So what is your proposed battle plan, Sharki-sama?"

He replies with a sour frown as he stands up suddenly and takes his leave, "Well, obviously, we will need to gather our forces soon, as our enemy is moving too fast for comfort… I would say, next time you see the Sheep, have her ready herself for battle…"

Very well… That was my thought too…

Then again, when it comes down to it, all Sentinels think alike…