|Idris Khan||Unknown Axiom||Zhuī Lóng||K.K.|
Near the Bath of Venus hot springs and spa complex in Yu-Shan, Zhuī Lóng and Idris Khan wait for Unknown Axiom so that they can start their day of pampering. A woman approaches, asking the two Exalts if they received the tickets she sent them. Idris attempts to figure out who the woman is subtly, without revealing her ignorance, but fails. As Unknown approaches and identifies the woman as Kurofa Kachina, who has changed into a female form using her Lunar charms so as to hang out with the team in a less intimidating guise. Kurofa says she is the one who secured a place at the bath houses for the party and that she wanted to spend some time with them because she hasn’t been hanging out with other Exalted ever since her party went their separate ways.
|Venus, the Maiden of Serenity||Mars, Maiden of Battles|
Unknown, Idris, and Zhuī let Kurofa join their group and make their way to the gated entrance to the Bath of Venus. An attendant alerts the party to a temporary closure, to prepare the bath house for the rare yearly visit by Mars and Venus, and the party postpones bathing and opts to visit a tea house in a nearby shopping plaza. Unknown, excited by the invitation to go drinking, immediately embraces Idris and kisses her.
|Maheka Zien Mu, Zhuī Lóng’s Brother|
At the establishment, named the Tenth Maiden’s Tea House, Idris asks Zhuī about her marriage and, after some awkward questioning and a few drinks, discovers that Zhuī married her biological brother in order to bring him with her legally to Yu-Shan. During the questioning, Kurofa asks Unknown is she can try some of the extremely potent drink she ordered. Unknown kisses Kurofa and transfer her drink to the surprised Lunar’s mouth. Kurofa kisses Unknown and the two make out until Unknwon comes up for breath and claims that Kurofa somehow drank all the alcohol that was already in her body with the kiss.
Unknown and Idris visit the bar and Idris reveals to Unknown her secret intentions for the day: to give Zhuī a makeover that makes her look less masculine. Unknown agrees to helps as she agrees that Zhuī looks too masculine. The two ask the manager for a powerful alcoholic drink, thinking they can take advantage of Zhuī’s obvious desire to outdrink Kurofa to lull her into an easily manipulatable drunken stupor.
After some haggling, the bartender agrees to give the two a massive amount of a magical cocktail. It allows them to place a compulsion on the drinkers and the two decide on something to encourage submission to a ‘full spa experience’, including lingerie and perfume shopping as well as makeovers and sensual massages. The magical concoction is poured into a giant ensorcelled glass-barrel with two integrated straws which keeps track of who consumes more liquid. The drink is brought to Zhuī and Kurofa who readily take to a drinking contest. Eventually, the barrel announces Kurofa as the winner. As a prize, Kurofa requests 15 minutes alone with Zhuī later, which she accepts.
|Idris Post-Makeover||Zhuī Post-Makeover||K.K. Post-Makeover|
Shortly, Zhuī and Kurofa, the latter of whom is actually male but has also received the compulsion to be given a makeover, drunkenly and in unison start asking about makeover. An appropriate 80’s style montage of Idris, Kurofa, and Zhuī’s makeovers commences. After trying on and purchasing lingerie, new outfits, and perfume, the four Exalts are assisted by the Heilum, Goddess of Sexually Suggestive Swimwear, in getting swimsuits for the bath of Venus.
|Heilum||Onsenna||Swimwear Idris||Swimwear Unknown||Swimwear Zhuī|
|Swimwear K.K.||Swimwear Amber River||Swimwear Insatiable Star||Swimwear Vaughn||Swimwear Litany|
The Exalts, in their new ensembles, return to the Bath of Venus. The manager Onsenna, Goddess of Bath Houses, Hot Springs, & Spas, informs them that the private room is unavailable due to the attendance Mars and Venus. They agree to visit the Exalted-only rooms, which they discover have a unisex changing rooms but partitioned onsen. Other patrons are already in the changing room. This includes Slinger’s two love interests and a circle of the new Exalt type, such as Vaughan the Vagrant and an unfamiliar male Exalt with long dark hair, facial tattoos, and a horned hairstyle. Unknown gets a strange feeling when she looks at this man, so Idris approaches him for her and inquires as to whether Unknown can see him privately. His name is Litany Against Fear, and before Idris can finish introducing herself to him, he interrupts her and says he’ll speak to Unknown in the men’s area in a few minutes.
A miniscule boar is snuffling at Litany’s feet, so Idris bends down and introduces herself, offering the boar some almonds which he readily consumes. The boar seems uninterested with her but follows her back to Unknown, where Idris relays the information. Unknown proceeds to cuddle the boar, which is known as Izzy. Idris then approaches Vaughan, whom she is intrigued with and drawn to, and asks him how he is adjusting to Heaven. He was last seen disappearing from Slinger’s land boat with The Madame, but he seems strangely at ease in the celestial bath house. She asks him if he’d like to talk to someone for advice or guidance regarding life in Yu Shan, but he declines, saying that he is open to seeing her later but not about discussing Heaven. Idris is confused, even somewhat dejected, and Vaughan disappears into the men’s section without further explanation.
Unknown proceeds into the men’s area in order to meet up with Litany, passing Vaughan as she does so. She passes on a request from Idris for another meeting in the changing room. He gives Unknown a small whistle for Idris, saying that she may use it to summon him to her in Creation, but that it will take five days’ time when she does so. He mentions having immediate business to attend to. Unknown gently urges him to at least say goodbye to Idris before he goes, and he accedes, though albeitly a bit confused. Unknown relays this message to Idris, then returns immediately to the men’s room to stay with Litany.
As Idris and Vaughan are reunited again, she asks him to join her sometime for dinner, and expresses her pleasure in their surprise meeting at the spa. He agrees but appears standoffish as usual. She attempts to explain that she can be found at her manse in the Blessed Rooftop Garden, but he looks further confused, explaining that he won’t have the time for a while, mentioning that someone must die. Idris decides not to delay him further but kisses his cheek as a good bye and for luck on his voyage. Before he leaves the room, she notices that she has a definite physical and emotional effect on him, even if he tries to hide it, and is satisfied in her efforts.
Meanwhile in the men’s area, Unknown asks Litany why he seems so familiar to her. He isn’t exactly sure but believes it may be due to them establishing a bond in a previous incarnation. He also seems to think that every Exalt of his type of Exalt is bound to one Sidereal somehow. As she starts to respond, a loud alarm sounds and the doors begin to close, sequestering bathers. Litany and Unknown run for the door and make it into the shared changing room.
|K.K. ’s warform||Swimwear Ecstatic Light||Swimwear Ailani of Melevhil||Swimwear Lintha Haquen Jaan|
Litany escapes the Baths of Venus while Unknown narrowly makes it back into the women’s section to regroup with her comrades, observing a still-drunk Zhuī receiving a massage from woman called Ecstatic Light. Kurofa is also tipsy and has morphed into a koi fish swimming lazily in the hot water. Idris ask Kurofa to change into her Quetzal Warform form so that they can evacuate. She transform and the group gets into position to make their escape, with Idris and Unknown astride Kurofa and holding onto Zhuī. A few other patrons grab on: Ecstatic, Amber River, Insatiable Star, and another new Exalt who identifies herself as Ailani of Melevhil. The women hang on as Kurofa lifts off and soars away from the chaotic open-roof onsen. As Kurofa gets closer to land, Ecstatic and Ailani jump off and Idris, taking an immediate dislike to Amber, encourages her and Insatiable to follow them.
|Swimwear Mars, Maiden of Battles||Swimwear Slinger Sooth-Salad|
Idris, Kurofa, Unknown, and Zhuī continue to Idris’s manse where they rest and recuperate. Several rumors regarding the alarm are going around, specifically that a team of Sidereal Exalted snuck into the private room to glimpse Mars and Venus in the nude. Some say that one of the prowlers was none other than Slinger Sooth-Salad, who it is said prematurely flared his anime banner.