Dream Therapy Service

Amidst the endless array of yellow tents used for guests to the Neo-Shogun Associate HQ, DragonierMan and Sparks would find a conspicuously pink and yellow tent with a small flag flying atop. Stitched into the flag was a pink "Z Z Z," which seemed to be a pretty clear indicator that that might be where the dream therapy was going to take place.

Upon reaching the tent, they wouldn't find the sorceress, Dee, who'd given them the mission. They would instead find a figure dressed in a ridiculous ensemble, starting at the top with a strange pink bag, covering the navi's head completely. A golden Z was engraved onto the front. On either side, two yellow Zs were suspended by springs from the shoulders of the navi's pink-and-yellow striped zoot-suit. The navi also wore yellow gloves and shoes. At first glance the figure seemed very tall, thanks to the strange costume, but a good bit of the height turned out to be an optical illusion thanks to the shoulders and elevated boots.

The navi was just standing in front of the tent, waving at various soldiers as they went by. A few soldiers had started to gather around, each of them speaking very quietly for whatever reason. As a result, an eerie hush had fallen over the scene.
The crowd parted as two young-adult girls lightly brushed some soldiers out of the way, leading a third, larger male through to stand in front of the strange tent. Aya and Suzume moved off to each side as DragonierMan stepped forward and looked the stranger up and down. His eyes wandered over the flashy ensemble in amusement.

"I suppose you are the 'Dream Therapist' we are here to help. I am DragonierMan, or Drago for short."

He pointed to each girl in turn. They looked like identical golden-haired girls in leather vests and skirts, though for one that had her hair in a pigtail, and the other had let her hair freely cascade down her shoulders. "Aya," he pointed to the one with the pigtail. "And Suzume," he said pointing to the other.

"Since I didn't see Sparks coming in, I assume he is already here, or will be here shortly." Drago said as he scanned over the springy shoulders of his host at the tent before turning around to watch the crowd for a moment. He turned back after he was confident he had not seen Sparks anywhere. "So, should we get started? If Sparks isn't here yet he can catch up... Also, where is General Dee?"
This is where he came from.

Sparks strolled threw the encampment looking around, not too sure of what he was looking for exactly, but kept his eyes open anyways. After walking for a while the samurai came across a tent that was unlike the rest. "Hmmmmm, this must be the place." Dragos apperance however did verify that he was at the correct location. Ignoring the audience that had gathered, he marched right up to DragonierMan.

"Well I guess we made it, better late then never right?" Joseph frowned. "Say hi, and find out what we are supposed to be doing. I don't know anything about this dang mission."

"Yes master." Sparks replied to his owner, then turned to his old buddy. "Hey there SINN... How have you been?" He spoke at a normal volume, unlike the surrounding bystanders.
DragonierMan turned to the newcomer. He looked Sparks up and down for a moment before recognition came to his eyes. He nodded curtly, "Good, you are here."

"And whom do we have here?~" Suzume asked with a coy smile as she hooked an arm around Sparks' own and patted his hand with her other hand. "A new friend perhaps?"

"He is probably the Sparks that we were waiting for," Aya said with a sigh. Her sister's antics were always a tiresome bother to her. Suzume waved Aya's comment away with her hand before brightening up and pulling Sparks toward the entrance to the tent. "Of course he is Aya. Now tell me all about your adventures with... 'SINN' did you call him? Ha! That must have been some wild times before. Tell me what he was like before the name change. Was he as handsome and brave then too? Did you two have exciting adventures? Just make sure that you don't leave any details out.~"

Aya sighed and shook her head as she followed her twin sister. Drago, however, stayed outside so he could speak to their host. "So what do we have to do to help you with this... 'Dream Therepy' thing?"
"Quiet, please! You'll wake the slumbering girls!" the tall navi warned, dropping both palms slowly to indicate "lower the volume." The gloves were comical and oversized, like a cartoon character's. "Thank you both for coming! "You'll meet the general soon enough, but now that they're all asleep, we must not disturb them. I'm married, you know, and there's nothing worse than when your partner makes noise when you're trying to sleep!" the navi assured them. "I'm Wake, the dream therapist. My wife, Fancy, is also a dream therapist. You'll meet her a little later."

"Once you're finished with your reunion, allow me to give you fine gentlemen- and ladies- the primer," Wake encouraged the group. Once they were finished up, the big navi straightened its tie and continued. "I get the feeling you all aren't too motivated about dreams... A lot of navis aren't!" their host chuckled, taking a few steps away from the tent so they could talk more freely. The voice was so muffled that it was hard to determine accent or even gender and yet the words were easy to understand. It sounded practiced. "The greater portion of navis may never experience sleep. Amongst those, the majority will never experience a dream. That means that navis who experience dreams are a tiny fraction within a tiny fraction! But turn to the works of man! Great music, art, literature, invention! Mankind derives so much from their dreams! To live without them is to live in ignorance of possibilities. A dull experience, to be sure."

"Now, the problem is that dreaming doesn't come easy to all navis. That we reason and imagine is miraculous in itself! Therefore, working backwards to produce "dreams" requires tapping into a "subconscious" that most navis have no reason to possess. After all, humans use that space to organize data that would be too much for a human to process simultaneously. We, on the other hand, have such great ability to process information that we often take it for granted. How sad to abandon imagination! Let us not! Let us dream!"

The navi's grandstanding would be insufferable to some and infectious to others, for sure. "Plus, I met my wife in a dream!" the navi chuckled, holding both hands giddily at the chin of its bag. "Maybe you all will too? Anyway, back on topic. Producing dreams for navis is harder than you think. Its about striking the right balance between the fantastic and the familiar. Navis with no such function can begin to dream on their own... but they have to be properly aligned first. The first and opening step is my dream alignment technology, which you all will see momentarily! The second is someone to serve as an anchor to the familiar. That's why I've brought you here. You will enter the dreams of the generals and serve briefly as an 'interactive element,' familiar and interactive. All you will have to do ais act as they expect of you. As for your friend here, he could probably disguise himself... Perhaps you know of someone who wears a lot of armor regularly to hide his identity? The more anchors, the merrier-"

The soldiers nearby, who had been eavesdropping, all began to edge closer.

-"except I can only allow four people in. There are nine dream link sets total... one for each general, two for you, and two for the girls... the last one is for my wife, who is asleep now. She'll be helping you with the process. I wanna see her sleeping face right now! B-but I had better not disturb her. Oh, one more thing... its against my policy to allow your operators to watch all of this. Privacy and all that! We don't want them watching everyone sleeping. So your operators will need to cut visual feed. They can still communicate through audio, however."

The soldiers all began to disperse, seeing that they weren't going to be allowed to view anything. "Well, that's the basics. Fancy will explain everything you need to do as an anchor once you're asleep. Any questions for me?" the navi concluded.
The way Suzume approached Sparks suprised him, as he wasn't used to the attention of any type of female, wehter it be program or human alike. As she started to pull him away, he attempted to stand his ground, seeing that Drago wasn't moving inside at the time. "Don't you girls think we should wait till we have been briefed on the task thats been handed too us, and I wouldn't mind seeing how my old friend SINN has been." Sparks replied, still unaware of the change his old friend had been through.

As the samurai pulled away and walked back towards Drago, the tall navi came out and interrupted the conversation before it even began. After listening to what this mission was about, Sparks was dumbfounded. He knew nothing about dreams, and was in fact one of those navi's who has never been to sleep.

Joseph, upon hearing that he would have to cut off any visual contact with his navi, wasn't exactly pleased but did as he was told. "Ending video transmission now Sparks. Make sure you keep me updated with how everything's going."

"Roger that master." He replied to his operators command, and then his attention returned to the tall navi. "My apologies, but would it be possible for you to give me a more in depth briefing of whats going on, because when it comes to dreams... I am the very bottom when it comes to experience."
Sparks pulled away from Suzume, causing her to pout up her lips. She was looking forward to getting the scoop on DragonierMan's previous life from someone who knew him before they came into existance. Aya shook her head at her sister's reaction. Sometimes her older twin could be quite the child. "Suzume, quit harassing the new guy. We have a mission to complete."

She was about to protest, but Drago brought up his hand to silence her. He turned to Sparks, "They call me DragonierMan now. Long story short: SINN suffered many terrible wounds battling viruses, becoming far too corrupted by viral data to separate his data from the viral ones. My Lord had no choice but to blend the two data-types together in order to save me. You could say that as a result I am some sort of Virus/Navi halfbreed. You can call me Drago for short.".

With that explanation out of the way, the group turned to their host. Their host introduced himself as Wake and then moved the group a few meters further away from the tent so they could talk without disturbing those already in the tent. Apparently all the Generals were already inside, asleep, and they were here to do dream therapy on them. But first Wake had to explain the whole 'dream' thing to them.

Apparently most Navis did not dream. That was truly shocking. Drago was prone to almost nodding off every now and then as things tired or bored him, especially during mission briefings. He began to drift off right then as Wake plodded through his speech. To Wake, the idea of dreams was quite interesting. But to Drago, who was more interested in the hunt then most anything else, it was not really all that exciting. His eyes glazed over a moment before he came to his senses, startled, and shook himself awake.

Perhaps he needed to get into a dream fight or something to keep his attention going.

But that could wait, as Wake continued to outline the plan, and the reason why they were there. They would be used as anchors, familiar faces to the Generals, as Wake did whatever therapy things he was going to do. Drago turned to Sparks. Sparks was an unknown to the Generals and would not be a great anchor if he wasn't put into some sort of disguise. At least, Drago assumed Sparks was an unknown. "Have you met any of the Generals of the Neo-Shogun before, Sparks?" Drago asked his colleague. "If not then I suggest you disguise yourself as the leader, Neo-ShogunMan. He is a largish man, dressed in bulky Electopian-Samurai style red armor with a black undersuit, and gleaming black demon mask. He also wears a large banner on the back of his armor displaying his emblem: a black, horned head."

Drago thought a bit more. "He is also quiet, and contemplative, and mysterious. So be relatively silent, but when you need to say something, make it short and cryptic. Remember, you are the leader. So be confident and give the orders." Then something made Drago stop for a moment. He turned to Wake, "Can you use your... what did you call it? 'Dream alignment technology,' to disguise him?" Drago asked, pointing to Sparks.
Sparks listened to his old comrades explanation of what happened to him. "Hmmm so what I have in front of me, is a much better, stronger SINN? By the name of DragonierMan?" Knowing the answer already he turned back to the matters at hand. The green samurai was being told that he would have to disguise his self as a larger, red samurai. "I'm not very good with acting, but I guess it sounds simple enough." Ready to get things started, boiling with excitement Sparks made eye contact with Wake, awaiting his answer to Drago's last question.
"No experience? That makes you the bottom, huh? That's how it was with me and my wife too... but you just have to learn to live with it!" Wake assured Sparks, nodding sympathetically. "Oh, huh? Oh... Oh! You were talking about-! Whoops, forget what I said, ha ha ha ha!" the tall navi chuckled, drawing a line in the sand with its foot. "Dreams are like... imagine being in a story that you can't exactly guide yourself, and yet you're the one narrating and creating it. Rather than being guided, it's more like the story is unfolding based on your own memories, speculation, and imagination... that is, a scene is created without proper storytelling elements, such as transition or setup. It's like your mind is wandering, but you are living the moments that you randomly recall. Dreams are just so fascinating! It's hard to summarize. Some people have dreams that are nothing but memories of their day to day life. Some have fantastic dreams where they live out experiences they can't in real life! Some have nightmares, put together either by poor rest or stress, encompassing their fears. Some people have lucid dreams... Even when I fall asleep, I can't stop thinking about my honeymuffin~"

The navi was enthusiastic about both dreams and its wife, so it continued talking about both of them for quite some time before it finally got to the point. "Oh, but yes, you'll be like an actor in these dreams. Strictly speaking, the dream won't really 'set into motion' until you appear to the general... you needn't necessarily even greet or converse with them. The sense of being alone is rather foreign to most people, so your mere presence will inject some familiarity. If you act in a way they expect, that only heightens the sense of reality... A dream, most would say, is more worthwhile the more realistic it feels. Otherwise, you're distracted by that realization and may soon wake up, besides."

Wake turned to DragonierMan and crossed its hands behind its back, nodding enthusiastically. "Good, good! That's a great idea. The Shogun is a familiar figure to all of the girls, just like you are yourself. Sparks, I will give you that persona when you enter the dream world... Of course, I should mention... you won't actually see yourself as the Shogun, nor will DragonierMan or the girls. But I assure you, the girls will! Don't worry about that," the navi chuckled. "Now, Fancy has briefing of her own to give you once you're inside, so I'd recommend you fellows hurry. She's probably a little more succinct than myself. You'll love my wife! I almost wish I could go in with you guys and see her right now, but I've got to stay to monitor things on this side."

Wake parted the sea of soldiers that had gathered around to jealously eavesdrop, leading the navis and the two girls over to the tent. Inside, the four saw five pink curtains spread, presumably each with a sleeping navi behind it (four generals and Wake's wife). There wasn't much space left in the tent apart from those curtains; the remainder of the space was occupied by what looked like a warp pad on the right side of the tent and a low stool on the left side. "I'll be sitting right there. I won't be able to see exactly what's happening inside, but I can monitor some simple readouts to see how you all are faring. You four will each proceed on to that pad to the right... when you're ready to 'wake up,' you will want to find the pad and re-enter it. I'd recommend you finish your mission by making sure that each of the four girls is thoroughly wrapped up in her dream before you leave, of course. General Dee might up your reward if you do your job especially well!"

"Here are your dream link sets," the navi continued, handing each of them a small wire device that wound around the ear or earpiece... it didn't feel very high-tech. In fact, it just seemed to sit there... it produced no sound, it didn't snap in, and it didn't ostensibly change anything when they put it on. Regardless, there was nothing further to do but leave using the pad... but the navi raised its hand once more after sitting, as if alarmed. "And remember to turn off your visual feed first! Thank you very much!" Wake concluded, then folded its hands and waited complacently.


The four may be surprised to find that there was no sensation of "falling asleep" or "waking up" after moving through the gate that supposedly led to the dream worlds of the generals. Rather, it felt just like stepping through a typical warp gate. In fact, even without the visual feed, the operators were able to see that the navis had been transported to a homepage, entitled "Fancy's Homepage."

Around the navis were four white, plaster walls, perfectly smooth... and no doors or features. The very small room held only the four of them and the pad beneath their feet. Just when they all happened to be looking the wrong way, a navi seemed to materialize out of thin air, with no teleportation into the net or through the pad. "Hello! You're looking for me!" the woman announced herself. Presumably this was Wake's wife, Fancy, as DragonierMan didn't recognize her voice or appearance at all...

And her appearance was definitely one he'd have remembered. The navi was a little short, unlike her mate, but with the type of big-breasted, wide-hipped short figure that made it hard to buy clothes in the right sizes. Her hair was a light lavender shade, done into a short-cut but voluminous bowl around her head. Her eyes were a dark pink color, wide and energetic. Perhaps most importantly, she wore a pink and yellow, vertically-striped nightgown, indecently transparent from just below the breasts and downward... the group could see she wore pink, lace panties, which clung tight and accented the width of her bottom. She wore no gloves or shoes.

"You guys have already talked to my husband, right? I'm Fancy, his wife. I hate to tell you this after you guys already listened so long, but the most important thing he hasn't told you is that he's wrong. Forget what he told you about being anchors!" she encouraged them, holding her hands behind her back and smiling wide, as if enjoying making fun of her husband. "You're not anchors... you're disruptors! The truth is, it's easy for navis to dream. Some don't, but most can... so dreaming's the easy part. Furthermore, dreams don't need to be realistic, they need to be fantastic! Nobody wants a mundane dream, right? So your goal is to act the exact opposite of how the other person expects you to act. The dream will be much more exciting if it's memorable and it won't be memorable at all if you're just acting normal!"

She gave them no time to breath, grinning and moving her hands behind her head. "Well, you might be wondering why you should trust my word over his? Cause I'm the one in the dreams all the time, duh! I'm the one who gets how it really works... he just gets some phoney readouts, that's all... but he gets so excited and it's so cute, so I let him keep it up~" she giggled. "Speaking of which, it's always exciting to see how you folks act in other people's dreams! Here, you might see some private things... if you do, be a peach and don't mention you saw them, okay? Everyone's happier with that ignorance... It's bliss!"

The navis now faced a dilemma: were they supposed to proceed with Wake's advice of being anchors, or his wife's advice of being disruptors? Decisions, decisions...

"When you're ready to keep on, go through one of the doors... They're color-coded and I think the dragon guy can say which one is which," she prompted them, spreading her arms. The four noticed new doors, colored green, blue, red, and yellow appear on the walls surrounding them. "Or let me know if I can share anything else with you. I'll be happy to walk along too if you want! My presence is pretty shocking and I've got a lot of experience with a bedroom~" she announced confidently, throwing in an innuendo for good measure.
After the introduction by Fancy, DragonierMan began pointing at the four colored doors. Explaining to Sparks what they were getting into. "Green is for General Yasu, the head general. In my opinion she is the most devoted to the Neo-Shogun cause. She is also the one that makes them dress in that scantily clad armor that most of them wear. I assume the idea is to show off their fitness. She is very serious about her duties, mostly to the leader of the Neo-Shoguns."

He pointed to the next door. "Blue is for General Dee. She seems to be the most girly of the four. A courtier and mage, she is not all of what she seems. She, like General Lee in Red, enjoy having fun. Though in Dee's case she seems to be along for the ride over any deep-seated loyalties that bind others like Yasu to the service."

He pointed to the red door. "As I said, Red is for General Lee. She is the fiery warrior of the four generals and sister to General Vee, the last in Yellow. She enjoys showing that she has a well-trained body and likes to settle things with her spear over long-winded conversations. A sentiment that I share."

Lastly he pointed to the yellow door. "Unfortunately I have not had much experience dealing with General Vee beyond a single mission. Which is funny because that mission was the mission just before this one. Regardless, she seems to be the ninja of the group. When I dealt with her she seemed pretty serious, more so even than Yasu. Yasu's seriousness stems from really believing in the cause and its leader. Vee seems detached, which makes her even more dangerous and unpredictable."

With the introductions over, he looked to his colleagues for affirmation that they understood. Specifically he was looking at Sparks, because Aya and Suzume had been with him whenever he had interacted with the generals before, whether the generals saw the twins or not. So his SPs already knew most of what Drago knew. The only thing that he pretty much left out was how Drago had ended up showing his horn-dog nature to all of the generals. And specifically, attempted to court two of them, Dee and Yasu. Though his efforts had seemingly been focused on Dee.

"So," he continued. "The question becomes which of us gets which general. As I have said, my contact with Vee has been limited. Even Suzume and Aya haven't been formally introduced to her. So if anyone was to take Yellow, it would be either you or me," Drago said as he pointed between Sparks and himself.

"Dee and Lee both have had experience with the twins, so I will let them handle that. Yasu hasn't seen them all that much, so they can't really be seen as all that familiar. That just leaves Yasu and Vee for us to chose between." He looked at Sparks up and down for a moment. "Since you are going disguised as Neo-Shogunman, I would be hesitant to pair you up with Yasu, just because she spends the most time with him. So she might see right through you. But then again, being in that specific disguise might work to your advantage, due to her undying loyalty to him."

"Anyways, I will let you choose who you want and we'll go from there." Drago said as he swept his hand out presenting the four doors to Sparks, before turning to Fancy. Aya and Suzume had remained silent throughout the speeches, watching and analyzing. Suzume seemed to be focused entirely on Sparks, a slight mischievous glint in her eyes. Perhaps she was still obsessed with probing Sparks about Drago's past. "Can you tell me what dreams they are currently experiencing, or will our insertion change the dream?" Drago asked Fancy. "As for what we will do when we are in the dreams... we'll leave that up to the individual's transgression."
Sparks listened to the second briefing very closely, although he wasn't as confused as what he was doing now, the fact that he didn't know which route to take bothered him. Would he take Wake's advice and just be an anchor or would he take the woman's advice and just wing it. Having never experienced a dream, he didn't know how to act.

Also, his buddy Drago has presented him with a choice of which general he would like to work beside. Seeing how Sparks had messed up the last mission they did together, it seemed to boost his confidence a little that the decision was his. The mistake however would keep him from choosing what seemed like the harder path. "Since you are against me going to Yasu, I will choose the yellow door, and try my luck with General Vee." Now with that solved it was almost time to begin. The group listened for Fancy's answer to DragonierMan's last question.
"Yellow, huh? I noticed your pal didn't see fit to mention that she's the only one of the four that look s like she's still in grade school! I gotta say, I think he baited you into that one!" Fancy joked. "Just kidding, just kidding. Anyway, the dreams are in progress, but I se that phrase loosely. The girls are probably walking around familiar surroundings right now, most likely something recent to them. They won't be doing much of anything, although they probably think they are, since they don't have anyone to interact with yet. It'll be kind of fun seeing generals act like drooly sleepwalkers, don't you think?" their hostess giggled, apparently not realizing that most of the generals were already pretty silly in one way or another. "In you go!"

With little warning, the navi darted behind Sparks' back and shoved with her buttocks in a comical motion, knocking him forward toward the door. It opened automatically, seemed to stretch to swallow him up, then closed again. "Alrighty, what about you three?"


Sparks found himself momentarily struggling to see as a bright light surrounded him... he soon realized it was nothing more than sunlight. In fact, it looked like he was no longer inside at all... it looked like he was on a beach. A very empty beach. The only landscape besides the (admittedly pretty) sand dunes and sparkling water was something like the bottom floor of a giant sandcastle someone had kicked over... giant in the sense of as large as a building. A giant stalk of bamboo, wider around than a tree trunk, stook out from the sand mounds behind him.

... But now he couldn't find the navi he was looking for. With a little more education beforehand,he might have known she was a ninja, but a ninja dreaming about the beach probably wasn't the first thing he was likely to imagine. Regardless, he apparently had the shogun's identity now, even if he didn't feel any different, so he ought to be able to use that to lure her out.

Of course she may also just have chosen to hide in the castle ruins. There was still enough of a wall to offer shelter. Sparks also noticed a yellow door standing behind him, seemingly with no room or wall behind it. But due to dream logic, he could easily surmise that it would take him back.
The newly disguised Sparks stumbled out onto the dreamland beach area. Wasn't all that different from the beach net that he had just left before coming to do this mission. Still not one hundred percent sure of what he should be doing, the samurai just decided to wing it. Scanning the surrounding area, nothing stuck out to him except for the single abnormal sized stalk of bamboo that was resting just behind the sand mounds.

"Should I take a look, or should I just call out to her, and maybe get a response." Sparks pondered for a moment, speaking quietly too himself. Actually being able to feel his disguise would give him much more confidence in its ability to hide his true identity, but the samurai didn't feel different at all. He slowly approached the bamboo stalk, unsure of what to expect he called out to the general. "General Vee, where are you?"
DragonierMan watched as Fancy pushed Sparks into the portal. "I guess I will do Yasu," he said in response to Fancy's question. Suzume snickered and Aya rolled her eyes at the obvious innuendo. Drago stepped into the green portal and disappeared. "I call Dee's dream. Her and I need to have a private talk anyways, woman to woman.~" Suzume said with a wink to her sister before leaping through the blue portal. Aya sighed. "I'll go into Lee's dream then," she said before walking through the red portal.
Sparks got his answer soon enough, as a far off voice answered him. He couldn't make out the words at first, but the speaker descended from the sky to address him, suspended on a kite. The kite had been set against the sun, such that unless he'd looked straight up and into the light, he wouldn't see her at all. The ninja, dressed in plain yellow pajamas that looked a little big on her and lacking her usual lower face mask, looked even more like a child than usual... except for the large kite her arms and legs were strapped into, allowing her to hang suspended in the air. She folded in her limbs to allow herself to descend, then landed nearby "the shogun." "My apologies, my lord. I was practicing to hone my abilities," she answered, while bowing onto one knee, despite the sand that would inevitably get on her pajama bottoms. Despite her words, she looked as though she was guilty about something for a moment when her face came up. "I hadn't expected to meet you... here. In the Beach area," she continued. It was clear that she was a little addled, probably some of the confusion that Fancy had mentioned earlier. She didn't sound like she knew exactly where she was.

"I was on the track of..." she began, then fell off again. Her brown hair was matted down on her head and he realized she was sweating, likely from her exposure to the sun while in full pajamas. He could tell he was going to start feeling the same way, dressed in full armor. Her large, brown eyes darted down in embarrassment, as she realized she couldn't remember who exactly she'd been chasing. "Well, they've escaped. I'm fearful that their ninja abilities are greater than I had planned for..."


After passing through Yasu's door, DragonierMan found himself transported to what looked like Mount Alexander, just as it had when he'd been there earlier... well, almost. It seemed as though the statues of Alex herself were all sharing one, very standard pose. It was likely that Yasu hadn't gotten a very good look at them earlier and, if this was indeed her dream, was reconstructing them all only from her limited memory. The door continued to stand behind him, just as the yellow had for Sparks. At the top of the mountain path, he saw the first general, waiting for him as she had been last time.

This time, however, she wasn't dressed in the indecent gold armor she had used last time. Instead, her outfit was a fairly plain, green yukata with a few designs of leaves in gold at the hem of the legs and arms. Ironically, that sleepwear covered her far more decently than anything he'd ever seen her wear before... but the snugness at the chest and hips reminded him that it was still the same Yasu. Her eyepatch was the same she always wore. "Finally, you've arrived," Yasu sighed, spotting DragonierMan. Apparently, she was accounting for him in her dream just as she had back then. He could see that on the log behind her, all of the gold armor pieces were neatly lying in a line, almost like they were arranged by a professional specializing in kinky fetish play. But she wasn't paying attention to them, so it was likely she hadn't put them there herself, or at least had no intention of using them.

"Our enemy lies in wait at the top of that hill. Are you ready?" she asked, glaring with her one good eye and frowning, as she often did. It seemed to him that she was far more confident than she had been the last time this had gone down, probably because she already, at least subconsciously, knew the outcome. But would Alex really be waiting for them up there? If someone had to play the character, there was a good chance they'd find nobody at all upon the summit.


Suzume, unlike the others, found herself inside a building, although it likely wasn't familiar to her. The interior was dark, lit only by a few torches, lining the walls that did little to offset the fact that the building had no windows and was quite spacious, although entirely open-floored. The floor and walls were all composed of even wooden planks, cool to the touch. Near the back of the room, she spotted a slight raise in elevation... on that elevated platform, a pillow for kneeling had been placed, but nobody was there to kneel. Besides that, she also noticed a... giant cake? Why would there be a giant, white-frosted birthday cake in a place like this? No telling. The blue door remained behind her, presumably providing an exit.

Most important was the general herself, who took a second to spot due to the darkness of the room. She was standing, fanning herself with a blue and gold folding fan in front of the area where someone would ordinarily kneel. Dee, of course, wasn't the type to sleep in a yukata or pajamas. Rather, she wore a blue nightie, extending only to her thighs and decorated with white, downy feathers at the low bustline. The only saving grace for her modesty was that it wasn't transparent like Fancy's was. She looked slightly offput, like she was expecting something and hadn't received it... Suzume would likely understand that there were supposed to be other characters in this scene, at least one other person, but so far, she'd been greeted by total emptiness. It looked like the world's loneliest sexy birthday party.

She didn't notice Suzume's entrance, but probably would see her whether she spoke or not momentarily, as the floor was the kind that gave at least a low thunk, if not a snappy wooden creak upon every step.


Aya found herself inside Lee's dream... it looked like they were on the outskirts of the public Neo-Shogun camp, which was perhaps a little disappointing, as she would be the only one to end up back where she just stepped inside. Eerily, she heard none of the usual bustle, probably because there were no actors to play the part of the usual soldiers. It looked like she'd walked out from the red door facing a laundry room... a little wooden hut, with washers and dryers inside. Aya might recall that some of the generals enjoyed wearing and owning permanent clothing, for whatever reason, despite the fact that most navis simply summoned clothes as it was convenient for them.

Lee was indeed standing with the drooly, sleepy face that Fancy had joked the group might see. She seemed to have no idea where she was or what she was doing, sitting just outside the laundry room on the ground. Her only clothing was a black, cotton, bikini-style bottom and matching tank top, which was likely what she slept in. Her hair looked messy around her head, like she'd rubbed her head against the pillow for a while before falling asleep.

"Drago? I thought we were going to steal all of Dee's panties... where are you?" she asked herself, lying down on her side in the dirt and resting her hands beneath her head. She moved one hand and reached around, as if searching for a cover. Finding none, she flopped the hand down lazily beside herself and frowned, looking forlorn... then closed her eyes, trying to sleep. It seemed that somehow, her sleepiness from going to sleep had carried over more than any actual goal or intent to enjoy her dream.
DragonierMan stood upon Mount Alexander, admiring the statues of Alex, once more. Unfortunately there was only one pose for all the statues, and it wasn't one of the more exotic ones. Turning towards the pathway up, Drago saw the general. Moving to join her, he noticed that she was not in her usual battle attire, but rather a yukata, known as a casual summer kimono. Drago wasn't really aware of what season it was at the present time, but since this was a dream, it could be summer for all he knew. Regardless, Yasu looked delicious. Her womanly curves outlined well under the soft fabric.

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"Finally, you've arrived. Our enemy lies in wait at the top of that hill. Are you ready?"

It struck Drago then that Yasu was far more confident in her dreams than in reality. One thing that he enjoyed more than a beautiful woman, was a beautiful woman that was also sure of herself. Back at the real Mount Alexander, Yasu had confided in him that she had lost to Alex in the past, and that she believed that she was still not strong enough to defeat her on her own. She had lost the confidence in herself that would make her strong, far stronger than she currently was. But she was currently being held back by her fear and doubt over her own abilities.

Drago nodded to Yasu, "I am ready, My General." He would use this dream to his advantage. He would play the loyal soldier, encouraging his general to glory, but make sure that Yasu took all the credit. Perhaps he could raise her confidence subconsciously so that when they returned to the waking world, she would be truly ready to face Alex and whatever else that came her way. "Lead me, and I will follow."


Suzume found herself in poor lighting. She peered through the dim and darkness as her eyes tried to adjust. Looking around, she found herself in a large sparse room of some sort. This of course made the giant cake seem all the more out of place. Wait... Why was there a giant cake in the middle of the room?

A moment later she found the reason. Apparently this was a lonely, and yet very sexy birthday party. Dee was standing nearby, dressed in a blue slip, and fanning herself to keep cool in the stifling heat. There were no windows or breezes to keep from burning up in this place. Thankfully Suzume didn't wear all that much clothing, with her tight vest and miniskirt. Unfortunately, that clothing was also made of leather, and quickly began to stick to her slickening skin.

Suzume summoned her own paper fan and made her way over to Dee, fanning herself all the while. "My oh my, what dreadful heat," she said as she stopped a few steps away. "If you are not careful, you'll melt along with that cake,~" she giggled. "Who's the cake for anyways? We both know of one man who would better enjoy a sexy birthday party thrown by you. Probably more so than whomever you are going to give this cake to. He would melt too, in your hands. Licking that frosting right off your finger.~"


Aya found herself standing right over the sleeping form of Lee, outside the laundry hut that they had stolen clothing from weeks ago. She stared impassively as Lee started talking in her sleep. Apparently she was reliving the night they did the heist. Not wasting any time, and her patience, Aya reached down and shook Lee. "Wake up, you'll catch a cold sleeping out here." If Lee stirred, then Aya would try to pull her up and lead her into the laundry hut and set her down on a pile of clean laundry. "Why are you sleeping here anyways? Don't you have your own bunk?"
Sparks got a good look at the general as he landed, thinking to himself 'She is a lot younger then expected, but I guess when it comes to navis anything is possible.' The sun was in fact beating down on the beach area, and being clad in armor was only magnifying the heat. Still not sure of what approach to take, in dealing with the unknowing situation of having to act like the shogun, the samurai would just wing it. "So let me get this right... You were tracking an enemy, and have seemed to lose them."

The young general wore a worried like expression on her face. "Hmmmm don't fret, how about we finish tracking them together?"
As Vee heard Sparks (or the Shogun, as he seemingly appeared to her) ask her a rhetorical question, she looked like she was preparing for the worst, casting her eyes down towards the sand and bowing her head. When he instead offered to help, she raised it again, looking surprised. "As you wish, my Lord," she responded, pressing one fist to her open palm in salute. "Unfortunately, there is not much of a trail, that I can discern," the ninja murmured, taking another glance around. "The ruined building you see there was like that before I began my pursuit; we haven't actually entered combat yet. She's been fleeing this whole time while protecting something..."

Vee's eyes widened as she remembered a critical detail. "The ninja I'm chasing... Is a giant! An ogre with red skin and horns. She had big... big..." she continued, making a motion with her hands in front of her chest... far, far out from her own underdeveloped chest. "I-I mean, she was big! A-A giant, that is!" Vee concluded, looking more child-like by the second. "Where could she possibly be hidden?"

But despite the things Vee was remembering, the true answer was probably that the giant, ogre-like, apparently well-endowed ninja she was chasing was likely nowhere to be found in this dream. There didn't appear to be any actors other than the two of them. Sparks was either going to have to change the subject or do some very creative thinking if he wanted the search to be anything but anticlimactic.


"Hmph. You're always a loyal soldier, DragonierMan. Except, of course, when your gender betrays you," Yasu laughed, seeming somehow friendlier than she often was. "Let's head to the summit, then... Although, I feel that I'm forgetting something... But it shouldn't be any matter," she smirked, shaking her head to dismiss her thoughts. "With my swordsmanship and your dragonic power, it should be a small task to vanquish any enemy of our Shogun."

It seemed weird, to hear her talk about her swordsmanship... During the original battle, Yasu had explained that she'd sworn off her sword until she felt fit to reclaim it. Perhaps she did feel like she'd come to that point? Or perhaps she was just forgetful in her dream. Regardless, she now had a short katana with an interesting, light-green blade held at her side, which DragonierMan didn't remember seeing earlier. Perhaps Yasu had some ability to manipulate aspects of the dream herself?

Of course, the walk to the summit was uneventful... It had been during their original visit as well, since Yasu's story, all of the sexual tension, and so forth had come before the walk. The difference, however, was that the summit itself was uneventful. Because he already knew where Alex was perched last time, DragonierMan could see as soon as he reached the last few steps of the hill that Alex wasn't going to jump down to greet them this time. Like Sparks, he was going to need to either change the direction of the events or come up with a bluff... "Enemy! Show yourself and be defeated!" Yasu commanded, disregarding the mud coating her bare feet and the hem of her robe. Strangely, wet mud was already all over the ground here, but there was no rain at all; just that slightly dim gray sky with sun shining through in a few locations. It felt very much like the scene of a battle that had already completed...


Dee turned to look at Suzume disinterestedly upon hearing her approach, then cocked one eyebrow and looked again. "Wait, you're not the ninja I hired... You're one of Drago's girls!" she concluded, not thinking that being dubbed one of his girls might be offensive to Suzume. She smiled wide and clapped her free hand to her left cheek, wiggling her hips back and forth as she laughed. "That would be sexy! I'm sure Drago would eat that right up... he's always such a good playmate," she agreed. "Not like the Shogun... Can you believe that I put on this party for him today, even hired a professional ninja to strip for him... I did all of that for him and he just blew me off for Yasu. The nerve!"

The sorceress was growling now, angry at the Shogun who, for whatever reason, was not here at his own party. Dee was making it sound like she'd already thrown the party... perhaps she had. It sounded like she was pretty disappointed with the outcome. "If the Shogun's going to act that way, perhaps I'll swear my allegiance to DragonierMan instead. He appreciates my talents and the resources that I offer the Empire," she huffed, sounding more like she was pouting than that she was suggesting DragonierMan perform some kind of coup against the leader of the Neo-Shogun Empire. "Say, where is Drago, anyway? It's unusual to see you without him." As she fanned herself, kicking up the transparent lower portion of her silk nightgown, the thing was becoming even less modest than it otherwise would be... the fabric clung to her wet skin in a way that DragonierMan might appreciate if he was present. "I do still have a cake here! Why let it go to waste?"


"Uuuuh.... Fools don't catch colds... Five more minutes," Lee urged Aya, who, among the four participants, had probably drawn the short stick in terms of getting to do anything interesting during her portion of the dream mission. Lee allowed herself to be dragged to a laundry pile, then promptly rolled over in it, bearing her face in a pair of frilly, light-yellow panties. "I dunno why I'm sleeping... I thought you and Drago were going to help me do... something... and I got tired of waiting and fell asleep... so it's your faaaaaaaawaaalt," she yawned, then reached down to scratch the lower back near her shorts in an unladylike gesture. "I do have my own bed... it's in a hut... somewhere."

Smacking her lips, Lee tried to sit up unsuccessfully, falling over with her butt in the air and her face in another pile of lacy unmentionables. Suddenly, she sat up, with a racy black thong dangling from one side of her head. It had a tiny white bow near the belly... although, with how low it would ride on a girl, it would be more likely to be near the groin than the belly. She grabbed the underwear, then held it outward, as though trying to push it into Aya's face. "Look! I saw these panties at uh... the last raid?" Lee exclaimed, then hesitated. She seemed to be having a muddled memory of the events that had occurred, which was conflicting with her reliving those events at present. "A-Anyways, who do you think they belong to?! Do you think... DO YOU THINK THEY'RE MY SISTER'S?!" she gasped, clapping both her hands and, unintentionally, the panties, to her own face.
Sparks gave his situation some critical thinking, and realized it would be a ghost chase seeing as nobody else was in the generals dream. "Hmmmm in matter of fact, I've changed my mind." The make shift shogun chuckled. "We could actually spend today getting some much needed relaxation. Besides completing this boring hunt, what would you want to be doing right now?"

The samurai was unsure how she would react to his sudden change in decision, but seeing as he had to make a decision, any decision was better then none. In the end it was sure to work out, he just hoped he wouldn't screw it up like the last mission he attempted.
The dream became curiouser and curiouser. First, Yasu seemed friendly. Then she had a sword that she supposedly sworn off. Then it looked like they already had the battle before the battle even started. And there was no Alex. "I do not see the enemy, General Yasu." DragonierMan stated as he looked around in a half-attempt at looking concerned. "Perhaps they learned about how you easily thrashed Alex before and they decided to run and hide like cowards."

He nodded to himself as if satisfied with that answer. "It was a wise move on their part, but foolhardy. It should be easy to hunt them down and give them that lesson, at your orders General." It was clear to DragonierMan that this dream was a recreation of the battle on Mount Alexander, but without one of the key players. So, he would need to actively steer the direction of the dream... And get some choice bits of info from the mind of Yasu herself. "Clearly they do not know what it takes to become Head General of the Neo-Shogunate. Not just anyone can rise to that rank after all. One must show that they are the strongest soldier in the army. After all, beating all the other generals in combat is no small feat for anyone other than you, oh great General Yasu."

DragonierMan continued to pour on the praise while putting in choice words that would elicit Yasu to potentially tell him how the structure of the Neo-Shogunate operated at its highest levels. Perhaps he could become Head General if he played his cards right. Having the other Generals under him... Heh. Oh the possibilities.


"My name is Suzume," the older twin informed Dee with a smile. Sometimes names were tricky. Plus they hadn't really talked girl-to-girl before.

Suzume's brow furrowed as Dee vented her frustration at the failed party. "You went through all that trouble and he blew you off?" Suzume said with a mocked-shocked expression as she stopped fanning herself. "The nerve that guy has! Master would never be so cruel." Suzume steamed a little with Dee, before Dee unexpectedly proclaimed that she might as well swear herself to DragonierMan. Suzume was caught off guard.

"Wait wha?" her mouth hung agape for a moment before she caught herself. Hiding her blush and expression behind her fan, she started to fan herself again. "Perhaps you should," she stated a bit quietly before Dee asked where Drago was.

"Well... The last time I saw him he was with General Yasu. She was sending him on another mission again or something. Since it seemed pretty easy, he told Aya and I to wait here at camp. We decided to go our own ways until he got back." Suzume explained. It was at least true in the sense that they were all separated, and on a mission of sorts.

Then she was offered cake. "Ooh! Don't mind if I do."


'Fools don't catch colds' huh? Aya would have to remember that for when she needed to rub that in Suzume's smug face.

Aya listened as Lee outlined in no unspecific terms why she was out here and not in bed. Apparently Lee was not only ignorant as to why exactly she was here, at this time and place, but she was also ignorant on where she even slept normally. "Which hut?" Aya pressed, sending rapid fire questions pounding into Lee. "Where is your home? Is it nearby? Why are you dressed in your underwear? What were we going to do when we got here? Does it have to do with you not being dressed? Are you trying to seduce us both? Are we raiding the laundry again? Why would your sister have such racy underclothes?"