Episode 3: Facade

When he saw the object floating among the towering skyscrapers of Neo World Captain City, a flashback of past data was activated in Sergeant Verde Buster Gundam's mind. He recalled the time Dice Gundam, together with Verde Buster's arch nemesis Arsene Gundam X, aka the Phantom Thief X, had casually broken through his security net. Though they had reconciled afterward, the humiliation of that moment still occupied large sectors of his memory.
After observing slight fluctuations in his pulse meter, Verde Buster quickly reset to standard values and resumed analysis. The enemy currently wreaking destruction all over the city varied in its details from the real Dice Gundam. That left only one solution to the puzzle. It was a mysterious entity that had taken on the facade of another. There was no doubt that this was the Samurai Mist that Zhuge Liang had informed him of. Sergeant Verde Buster deployed his rail gun, but as soon as he moved to attack, the image of Dice Gundam began to change shape. This time, the massive oscillating figure assumed the form of a giant ape. No, that's not it. This too must be a facade taken on by the Samurai Mist. Verde Buster now understood, but the enemy didn't overlook the slight time lag that occurred in the circuitry of his thoughts. Moments later, Verde Buster's vision was overcome by the bright glow of an attack beam.

By the time Nobunaga and Wukong arrived on the scene, portions of Captain City had been reduced to piles of rubble and they could not help but shudder at the foreboding sight.
It was then that they heard a voice from behind them.
"This battle has made one thing clear."
When they turned around, they were face to face with none other than Arsene.
"Old man cop! Old man burglar!"
"I'm not an old man!"
"And I'm a treasure hunter."
The fraction of a second delay in Verde Buster's attack should have left him a sitting duck for the Samurai Mist's beam.
However, he was rescued at the last second by Arsene and their coordinated counterattack succeeded brilliantly at driving the enemy away.
"According to my data... the Samurai Mist changes shape depending on who it confronts. This likely means that it assumes whatever form will most unsettle the person that sees it."
Verde Buster went on to say that the mist Arsene saw looked completely different from what he himself had laid eyes on.
"So it's true, then."
Nobunaga had a realization.
When Cao Cao confronted the Samurai Mist, it had assumed the form of his former arch-enemy, Ryofu. Meanwhile, Benjamin and Edward were confronted by the figure of Anne Bonita. Verde Buster's conclusion that the mist shifted appearance in order to unsettle the viewer was convincing.
Nobunaga himself had seen something "completely different" when he encountered the mist. In his case, however, it merely continued its strange oscillations, never assuming a clear shape. It was as if it were sifting desperately through Nobunaga's heart.

At that point, Verde Buster received an emergency transmission.
His spacial monitor activated, revealing Regina World's Ceasar Legend Gundam and Cleopatra Qubeley.
While Neo World was being attacked, they learned, that similar assaults had occurred in Regina World, Knight World, and Warrior World. In each instance, the heroes of those worlds had responded and managed to drive the enemy away. Still, the damage was severe.
"It seems the Samurai Mist is growing more aggressive with time."
When Ceasar was finished, Cleopatra issued a warning of her own.
"I had a foreboding dream. Musha World is in grave danger, more so than ever before..."

Hearing Cleopatra's words, Nobunaga's thoughts began to stir.
The Samurai Mist's form was starting to take shape in his memory, just as his inferences were changing to certainty.
The Samurai Mist that descended from the Black Star...
Its target was Musha World.

(To be continued)