1132/Running Out of Time

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Running Out of Time
Date of Scene: 18 February 2024
Location: Juuban Ward
Synopsis: Thousand Waves Spa and Massage Parlor is open for business, and they've got a great sale going! There's no way this is a trap, right? ...right? Well, Wako, Takuto, Amy, Karin, Kyouko, and Masato will check it out, just in case.
Cast of Characters: Beryl, Wako Agemaki, Kyouko Sakura, Adrien Agreste, Takuto Tsunashi, Amanda Faust, Karin Miyoshi, Nephrite

Thetis has posed:
The newest spa in Juuban has been the talk of all the students (and their local parents) of Radiant Heart Academy for the last week and a half. Having officially opened it's doors just a week before Valentine's Day, the management of Thousand Waves Spa and Massage Parlor had decided to win the hearts of their customers by offering a 50% off deal to all couples, and a 75% off deal to all singles to visit on February 13th, 14th, or 15th.

Given that the spa offered a variety of top service treatments... they'd been an instant hit.

The news all across the campus was that one day at Thousand Waves would restore the youthful charm to your skin, clear even the worst acme, soothe the aches and pains of life, and all around greatly improve ones physical condition, all for a great price.

Even with the Valentine's Sale over, the prices weren't bad at all, and the facility even sparked some giggling, gossipy talk about the mixed gender sauna and hot spring, where (partially clothed, of course) guests of all gender could share in the steamy goodness.

Was it any wonder the place had success at Valentine's?

The receptionist is a young woman with long blue-green hair and jade-green eyes in a pale blue mini-dress. Her hands and forearms were protected by a pair of sleek white gloves, and pinned to her chest was nametag reading Thalia. As customer's arrive, she offers each a polite smile and a warm greeting, signing in those with appointments and sending them on their way. Those who are first time arrivals without appointments are offered a clipboard to fill out the details of the services they'd like to receive.

"Welcome to Thousand Waves Spa and Massage Parlor! We're just delighted to have you. You'll be feeling those aches and pains melt away before you know it."

Wako Agemaki has posed:
50% off for couples was always going to catch Wako's eye, especially right after Valentine's Day. If she's going to be honest, though - and why not? - the main lure of the spa is less the promise of restoring youthful vigor and more the chance for her and Takuto to tease Sugata with selfies of the two of them out having fun in Tokyo without him.

Sorry, Sugata.

She doesn't bat an eye as she takes the clipboard from Thalia, just gives the woman a smile and nod like any other first-time customer might. As soon as the woman has moved off to greet the next new arrival, though, Wako promptly turns and nudges Takuto. "Takuto-kun," she says, in a soft, urgent undertone. "I think she was at the photo shoot!"

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
The why of Kyouko coming to a /spa/ is questionable. On so many levels. Except for the level that even cranky puella appreciate a little pampering now and then, and doing it in relative anonymity is a feature. The crowds of Valentine's day adorable was happily avoided, and Kyouko hoped she picked a quieter time. In theory at least.

Her hoodie and jeans and backpack do not scream 'usual spa patron', but she's paid in cash and she's got her clipboard as she considers her options on service. Without having a particularly full understanding on the difference between different servies. She's frowning deeply as she tries to sort it out.

Adrien Agreste has posed:
It wasn't as if Adrien really *needed* a spa day, but he was admittedly curious. There was always talk of Japanese spas being very, very good. For a model like himself there was of course an interest... Besides, he's a model, having good clean skin was something that was part of the job.

It's easy enough to get in with or without the sale on his part. All he had to do was mention it to Natalie and since it lined up with his career in his father's company, it was a sure thing.

He's dressed in his usual casual but supremely well kept clothes, his hair styled nicely, as he slips inside to join in the line of people. Though he does have an appointment at least. A few familiar faces are here which earn a bright smile as he risks a wave toward them. "Hey, Takuto-kun! Here with your girlfriend?" A smile is flashed to Wako as well with a polite nod of apparent approval. Taking your girlfriend to a spa? Excellent idea. "I should ask Naru along next time myself."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
Takuto, coming in with Wako and swimming tall-ly through the crowd, has his phone in hand ready to take pictures, but pockets it again when it's time to fill out forms. "Then lie on the clipboard," he says under his breath, "fake names and everything. And we can have fun until we can have fun, right?"

He digs in his other pocket for his wallet, then sees that he doesn't necessarily have to pay up front? That doesn't make sense-- but there's a girl here who he thinks he's seen at Fite Nite? Maybe? And then Adrien, fellow Sword Boy, and he waves cheerfully and gestures him over.

He calls back, "Adrien-kun! Yeah, we're here to taunt our Sugata--" Then when Adrien's close enough he asides quietly, but also loud enough for Kyouko to hear, "Wako noticed the lady at the desk is sus. Be ready to run if things get unreal."

Thetis has posed:
"Welcome to Thousand Waves," Adrien is greeted, the young woman at the receptionist's desk, and Kyouko, spending a significant amount of time over the options, is observed a moment. "Young Miss, if you would like, we offer a sampler package - thirty minute massage, followed by two hours in the sauna, mudroom, and hot spring; your choice on whether that's all in one room or a mix of the others."

As for the others... she recognizes one of those girls, doesn't she? Well, hopefully she was one of the heart broken hopefuls, and not one of the magical girls. If she was...

Well, this operation had never been meant to last.

"Alright, for those of you who've completed your forms, if you're signed up for a massage, you'll go through the door to my left. If you'd like to try our spa services first, the mudroom, sauna, and hot spring are through the door to my right. Have a wonderful day~"

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
"Um." Kyouko looks over at the offer a sompler package and then just thursts her clipboard back at Thalia. "That. I'll take that." Decision made.

She up nods at Takuto as he greets people, speaking quietly.. but not THAT quietly. There's just a little grunt of acknowledgement. She's no sense of witches, or familiars around the place. How bad can it be? It'll be /fine/. Probably.

Kyouko hesitates a moment and then moves towards the massage door. "Uh. Massage first?" She's clearly uncertain on the order of operations here.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy would *never* just, go to the spa on her own. She wouldn't know what she's doing! Fortunately, one of her friends -- maybe an NPC classmate or member of the RPG club? -- invited her out, and the opportunity to do something she sees as 'girly' *together* is something she can't say no to...

    But then when she gets there, there's a text on her phone saying her friend can't make it. She must navigate spa day... ALONE.

    Amy's not even sure what goes on at a spa. Manga has covered someone in her situation navigating the bathhouse or the hot springs plenty of times, but a spa? She's drawing a blank!

    The short girl in a red sweatshirt and skirt nervously checking her phone is handed a clipboard and just looks up at Thalia like a deer in headlights. "U-um. I've never been to a spa before. I-I. Um. What do you reccomend...?" She looks to the others, probably willing to follow along with whatever they do.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
Wako, duly, fills in both their names on the sign-in form as 'Mark' and 'Kleis'. It'd probably be more convincing if there were last names involved, but at this point she's not super concerned about this.

"Yeah, it's no good if we start something before they start something," she's murmuring as Adrien approaches. "So we might as well have our date while we can... Hi, Adrien-kun," she adds as she looks up, offering the blond a smile. Catching sight of Kyouko past him, she gives a little wave - hey, it's the girl from the self-defense-classes - then looks toward Amy when she overhears the girl floundering. "I kind of feel like we have to try the mud room, for pictures to send to Sugata-kun... but what do you want to try, Takuto-kun? Have you been before, Adrien-kun?"

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Adrien Agreste finishes signing his name on the clipboard for those with prior appointments. A glance is cast toward the apparently confused Kyouko looking over the options, and the confused Amy, so he suggests, "Massages are really nice, but if it's your first time tell them to go light." Better not to bruise that way. Though usually he just got sports massages or facials. Even then not as often as someone like him *could* get them.

With the hopefully helpful advice given he steps over to Takuto at his waving intending to greet them properly. "Oh cool--" he begins at the mention of the teasing of Sugata. He had heard of their unique relationship. He was not going to judge, he had his own circumstances going on with Naru. Though so far it hadn't become an issue with the other guy that had caught her interest. Such thoughts are dashed from his mind at the whisper, and his smile slips only a slight bit.

"Ah, thanks for the heads up," he murmers back with a soft sigh. "I guess I'll have to put 'visit a hot spring spa' back on my list of toursty things to try out." Not that this was really a hot spring, but... close enough.

Wako's question of being here before earns a shake of his head. "No, I never have. I've been to a few spas in Paris though. Mud rooms are... " He pauses to consider it. "A thing. To be honest I'm not fond of the squishing-between-the-toes thing but it does make your skin very soft after."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
Takuto glances toward Amy too, recognising her from a couple of places-- and he tells her, "There's apparently a sampler." Then he grins at Wako and Adrien. "I'm down for getting absolutely muddy. We're also practically obligated to do the hot springs-- come with us, Adrien-kun, if anything goes wrong we'll cover you. We'll be taking a lot of selfies, is that okay by you?"

He looks over Wako's shoulder at the clipboard and laughs. "Those names were so on the nose, Sarina's such a piece of work. I wonder if she'll come visit, even just to visit VP... we should send her pictures too."

Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    A spa? Not on Karin's watch!! Literally, that she might indulge in such frivolty while she's on patrol never enters her mind. How nice, then, that her patrol conveniently ends while she is passing by the Thousand Waves spa. Karin has not yet been read-in on the fact that new businesses opening is 50/50 a Negaverse plot, so she is eyeballing the place for entirely different, lack-of-knowledge-about-normal-people-things reasons. She has spent some time milling about outside, pacing and looking uncertainly at the business door, embarrassedly greeting strangers as they pass by to reduce how suspicious she looks, and only succeeding in drawing attention (and suspicion!!) to herself in the process.

    Eventually, she gathers her courage, and enters the building. She gawks. There's no better word for it. She is gawking at everything and everyone, in a, 'Get a load of this place! Who even comes here?' manner, to the other patrons who have also chosen to come here.

    Eventually she goes up to 'Thalia'.

    "Do I, um, need to make an appointment?" she asks nervously, while still trying to appear Very Serious. 8|

Amanda Faust has posed:
    The other redhead goes for the massage. Adrien mentions this too, and she nods at the advice. The blonde says they should try the mud room, and Amy just sort of nods along as Wako's tone of voice indicates confidence and knowing what she's doing, or at least, more than Amy does.

    Listening and not really *processing* as she's so anxious, mud and pictures have a vaguely positive association, she can see the appeal of WAIT HANG ON-- Amy pulls the brake cord on THAT train of thought the moment she actually processes what was said. It's obviously not what was meant, there are several problems with that! "W-what do you mean, pictures?" *Just what goes on in this 'mud room'?* She can't fathom it at all!

    At Adrien's comment she looks from him down to the back of her hand holding the clipboard, stroking her fingertips along it before looking back up at him. "I don't see how it could possibly get any softer..."

Nephrite has posed:
    A tall young man, who looks a bit older than he is, enters the business. He's wearing a white dress shirt and black slacks, and despite how simple the outfit is, he is definitely making it work for him. He returns Karin's gawk with a blank stare and polite smile, and then moves into line behind her when she finally queues up. Then he looks across the counter at Thalia.

    He stares, still showing nothing in particular in his expression. If he recognizes the woman, he doesn't show it. But he stares, with his hands in his pockets, and both Masato and Thalia knowing, individually, that Nephrite is fully capable of beating someone up without taking his hands out of those pockets, and doing it gracefully. Or he could before he was freed from Beryl, who knows about now, but it's still a piece of knowledge they both have.

    It has no reason to come to Masato's mind, of course, this piece of knowledge. But it might be more relevant in the mind of Thetis, as he leans over Karin to take a clipboard while the girl makes her awkward greetings, and scan the options.

    The whole time he is expressionless. Just generating an aura of tension while doing nothing.

    Is he onto you, Thetis? Or not?

Thetis has posed:
Thalia looks down at the new arrivals, then shakes her head. "No appointments necessary! Thousand Waves is always happy to service a new arrival! If this is your first time at a spa, I encourage you to try our sampler of services!"

She gives a quick spiel about the services included, and in the meantime, shoos off those who have signed up to go ahead and get their services started!

Her smile doesn't drop or stiffen as she sees Nephrite - Masato Sanjouin, rather, merely smiling brightly at this new customer. "Hello sir, welcome to Thousand Waves..." and the spiel starts again.

Those who walk through the hall towards massages will find themselves at the start of a long hallway with a pale green carpet and pale blue walls, small bamboo plants and paintings of serene scenery placed on the walls. At set intervals along the hall are doors; some are open, some closed. Those open are manned by by smiling masseuses, each of whom direct their new clients to enter a private room and rest on a padded bed with a whole at one end, for their faces to rest, and a small padded block, to put their feet up on.

"Thank you for joining us," they'll say to their client, "You've signed up for a thirty minute full body massage. I'll be concentrating on your back, legs, shoulders, and neck, unless you have other preferences. Inside this room, you'll see a a thin robe - please change into that, and call out when you're ready! I'll rejoin you."

And then they'll slip out the door before a single question can be asked.

As soon as the clients have called to their masseuse, the room will be re-entered, soft, calming music will start to play, and the massage will begin.

Meanwhile, those who skipped a massage in favor of spa services will find themselves in a room with very traditional Japanese decor, the hall entrance offering a place for clients to deposit their shoes before entering the hall. The wooden floors seem to be heated from below, a nice touch to avoid complaints from clients in the winter.

Before they're allowed to get any further, clients are encouraged to shower and change into spa provided robes, and then directed towards the mud room, sauna, and hot spring, at their leisure. The hot spring is an outdoor spring, of course, but the mudroom and sauna are both indoor areas, with a shower set between them for easy cleansing of the mud.

A smiling staff member offers face masks, cucumber slices, and eyemasks for any who express an interest.

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
Sure there's a contingent going for mud, but that sounds.. muddy. Kyouko arches a brow at the commentary, and in spite of that direciton being where she actually KNOWS people, she turns to follow the door for massages.

There is so much skeptic on Kyouko's expression, but she grunts softly at the direcitons and shoves her clothing into her backpack before she slips into the robe. She's really VERY uncertain about this whole 'someone else touching her' thing, but after enough time that her masseuse might be wondering if she's alright in there, she calls out to have someone join her.

The masseuse has their work cut out for them, she's tense as a board.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"I'm sure she'd like to check on Vice President," Wako tells Takuto. "We should invite her sometime. Maybe Golden Week?"

Amy's reaction has Wako's brows lifting, curiosity and vague surprise. "Nothing weird~" she assures in a cheerful sing-song, waving the clipboard a bit. "We're just going to mess with my fiance a little, that's all. So," this back to the guys, mostly Takuto: "So, the spa side, right?" She marks it down, and off they go, separating for a bit to shower and change into spa robes. She accepts the offer of cucumber slices and face mask cheerfully, already planning a silly googly-cucumber-eyes photo as she ventures curiously into the mud room for a look around.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
Keeping an eye (and an ear) on the crowd, Takuto smiles lopsidedly at Amy as Wako explains-doesn't-explain the pictures mention. "Double selfies. Group selfies too if anyone else wants in." He nods firmly to Wako, and then he's already padding down the hallway to the spa.

He definitely takes a shower as directed, padding around barefoot and kind of delighted about it, and then he finds Wako again and follows her into the mud room with his own face mask and cucumber slices. "I didn't know they were providing snacks too," he murmurs, eating one of them immediately.

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Does he mind pictures? Adrien gives a quick laugh at the very notion of it with a slight shake of his head. "I wouldn't be a model if I minded pictures. Selfies are usually more fun anyway. Only," he hesitates, growing a bit more serious as he intones, "You'll have to share them with me so I can pass them on to Naru. She'll get a kick out of it." He's about to say more, but his voice drops to a quiet, "Thanks, it'll be more fun with friends." Safer too if something *was* about to go down. His own identity remained secret though many knew him to at least be in-the-know similarily to Naru.

The Kwami in his messenger bag pinches at his elbow drawing his gaze down to his bag with a single solemn nod. He knew. It might be dangerous. He'd be careful.

Amy's flustered exclaimation causes him to glance over at her with surprise. "They meant selfies, not taking pictures of other people, I'm pretty sure." A reassuring smile is given. The remark of softer skin earns a chuckle, "You'd be surprised. The skin is actually the largest organ of the body but few take proper care of it."

All of this is remarked on before his green eyes skim over the others grouped here to the taller figure that walked in with a single blink. That was some height on him.

His attention steals back toward the others he was a bit more familiar with as people begin to be led off to the various areas. "Spa and mud room it is!"

Off the hall they go. The shower taken, the change of clothes made. Somehow his hair manages to stay up in it's usual shape in spite of being freshly washed. When cucomber slices are offered though? He declines with hands raised, "Oh, no thank you, I don't like the smell of cucumbers." A fib but a simple one as he looks over to the others. Best to keep his eyes peeled right? Right.

Then Takuto eats one causing him to pause and stare. "Ah that's not..."

Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    "Ah, yes, very good." Karin says faux-knowingly as she hears how this place works and looks at the list of options. She quickly just jots down 'Massage', along with her information, and heads towards the massage area, preparing as she is supposed to, though very flustered about it. Why does she have to remove her clothes for a massage? That sounds extremely suspect!

    She's on the same wavelength as you, Kyouko.

Nephrite has posed:
    After perusing the options as well, Masato simply checks off 'massage' and then the hot springs. He doesn't generally work with mud or dirt, that's a friend's thing. He seems perfectly relaxed once he has called in his masseuse, after getting ready. Relaxed enough to make small talk. "So, how long has this operation been going on?" he asks in an ambiguously-worded and neutral-tone. 'Operation' could mean anything. He is well-muscled without being bulky. He's clearly not a body builder. This is the kind of body that comes from active. Perhaps even in battle.

    His eyes are still open and alert.

    He is thinking about asking Naru here next time he's nearby.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Right, this is the teenage girl with a fiance. Maybe Amy *is* in an anime plot today after all...

    Masato gets a nod of recognition, and Adrien's words get a nod too. She follows the others to the spa, and before heading to the showers shucks off her clothes to reveal she's wearing a swimsuit underneath. It's her school swimsuit because she hasn't thought of shopping for one, but she doesn't think it's a bad look. Although, with her body type it might get her confused for a sixth-grader...

    She meets up with the others again in the mud room, accepting the cucumber slices but unsure what to like. Actually do.

    Takuto eats one, which is something that would *absolutely* happen in an anime episode. "No, wait... you're supposed to put them on your closed eyes, I think? Although I'm not sure exactly what we... *do* here..." She looks around for any sort of like... instructive sign on the wall, perhaps. Or just to see what the others (besides Takuto) do.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"Yeah they're... for your eyes." Wako holds a slice up to her own face to demonstrate, then kind of gives up with a little shake of her head. "It's fine, Takuto-kun doesn't have eye bags to worry about anyway." She shrugs and then eats hers, too. She's hungry.

"I don't know about you--" a very general 'you' directed to the room at large, "but I'm going to do this." She begins applying a mud mask to her face, making sure it's liberally coated. She doesn't actually say 'mud pies for grown ups' aloud, but the energy is kind of there. "And then I'm gonna get a selfie."

At some point in the background, a staffer looks in, sets out several more pairs of cucumber slices, and leaves again.

Thetis has posed:
As services are underwent, one thing quickly becomes clear: this place is legit.

The mud room is split into three discreet areas - one for men, one for women, and one open to all; the mud baths themselves are heated to the correct temperature, and even have that faintly smell scent of sulpher, indicative of the minerals in the mud.

Likewise, there are three sauna spaces, each well-constructed with pale wood. Unlike in most Japanese saunas, the heater isn't hidden - they're able to add additional water too boost the steam, if they'd like. It's recommended they not stay inside for too long - at default, there's 10% humidity, with the temperature set for 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

The hot spring is a rare natural hot spring within the city limits, and everyone who wants to enter is required to take an additional shower if they've just departed the mud bath or sauna, on account of the mud and sweat sure to be covering them. Unlike the mud bath and sauna, however, the hot spring doesn't have the option for single gender bathing - it's a single, large spring; currently, a number of guests are lounging in it, enjoying the soothing water, towels on their faces, sunk in water to their shoulders.

After Takuto eats one of the cucumbers, the spa staff member makes a face, and offers him a small handful of additional cucumbers.

"Young man, these are for your face... now, if you're going to get in the hot spring, we recommend saving that for the end, or doing it first, as you'll need to be very clean... for the mud bath, you'll carefully walk into the bath, and allow the mud to surround you. It's heated, but very comfortable, and will be a blessing to your skin - though, you children probably aren't worried about the elasticity of your skin," a wistful sigh... "For the sauna, you'll just want to make sure you cooperate with the others, and not remain inside for longer than ten or fifteen minutes at a time, as the high temperatures may make you light-headed...

Meanwhile, the three who have chosen to get massages are each having very different experiences. Sure, each room is identical, with soothing pale blue color on the walls and pale green on the carpeting, relaxing music pumped in through the speakers, and well-trained masseues taking care to massage their bodies -

But Kyouko's masseue is clearly having a time of it. She started with gentle pressure, only to pale as she realized how tense the teen was, and moving to medium,a dn then firm pressure. "Um, miss, please tell me if this is ever too much..."

Her muscles! Her muscles!!!

"Are you an athlete by chance? You should consider stretching daily, you're quite - tense."

She's going to be the one in need of a massage by the time this is done.

Karin's masseue is having an easier time of it, if only by virtue of the girl not having muscles like rocks. She massages her with medium pressure, starting with her shoulders down her back, and then working back up along the spine.

Nephrite's masseue had been taken aback by the sheer amount of him, given that he was so tall he would have to duck his head to enter. She briefly worried if the massage table would even be long enough - luckily, it just barely is! "Oh, we've been open just a short while! We started just a week before Valentine's Day, it turned out to be such a blessing in disguise..."

She prattles on as she gets to work massaging his back, taking extra care if only because there's so much young man to massage.

There's one thing that everyone will notice: while the music, massages, and services are exceptionally skilled, they aren't getting more tired, as the process goes on. Nope, if anything, it seems that they'll all find themselves feeling relaxed and energized. The massages do indeed last a full half-hour, and then the clients are helped onto their feet and then sent on to the spa.

The group already in the spa are checked on, provided water, green tea, and additional cucumber slices in regular intervals, but otherwise, left to their own devices.

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
There's something to be said for the massage really. A single person who didn't even try for small talk once she realized that she was going to have to work for it. Kyouko relaxes a little, but it really just gets it from hardned steel down to granite, and her poor masseuse is just going to have to accept that any improvement is an improvement.

"Yes." Kyouko answers simply at the question about if she's an athlete. It's close enough to the truth. "I do stretch." She doesn't discuss the details, but it's close enough.

At the end of the full half hour, the masseuse probably needs a good stiff drink, but Kyouko bows lightly in thanks, apparently able to move in spite of being tense and then she goes hunting for the spa. And likely, the others.

Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    Karin's tension is from nervousness over never having done anything like this before. She trains daily, but unlike Kyouko she's just... Not that stiff! She relaxes much faster, as well. Once she realizes this is legit. She may even have to be woken up at the end of the half hour, with a line of drool coming out of the corner of here mouth, which she will wipe away hurriedly as her head rises up off the bench. "I was awake the whole time!" she insists, without even being asked. o_o

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"...oh," says Takuto, mouth pinching a little bit as he surveys the cucumber slices. He glances uncertainly at Wako, then at Amy, then at the spa employee, and then he waits until the spa employee is gone again and eats the other one he was holding. Then he starts doing like Wako does and goes putting the mud mask on, leaving the plate of cucumber slices alone for now. For now.

"I don't mind a careful shower in the middle, I want to go in the mud first. Apprivoising should make the mud go away anyway if something happens in the middle of the squish, right?" he asks Wako. "I mean if not, it'll just be a very muddy situation. Which is fine."

Then he goes rifling through his clothes over there, with face all mud-covered, and gets his phone. He hands Wako the plate of cucumber slices, puts one half in his mouth, waits until she has slices on her eyes, then takes a selfie--

--and then steps squishily carefully down into the mud. Down, down, down, slowly, probably not slowly enough. "It feels like mud," he confides over his shoulder. "I may have made a mistake."

Adrien Agreste has posed:
"Yeah, the cucumbers are for eyes. Maybe it'll be more necessary toward finals when we're up all night studying," Adrien reasons as he moves to sink down into the heated mud baths. It seemed the others had chosen that first, so he was going to put up with the toe-squishing issue that sheds a visible shiver up his spine.

Once IN though? That was far better.

"The point is to relax. Let the heat soak into your body, relax any tension away. It's great for aches and pains too if you do sports or anything. Which I'm pretty sure Takuto-kun and I do," he adds with a grin.

Since Wako has already applied the mud to her face he opts to play along being a bit goofy and gives himself a little mud-stache before leaning in. "Picture time? Feel free to tell him I'm an international model if it helps tease him at all," he suggests jokingly with a laugh. Even if it were true.

A bit of a worried glance is cast over toward the hall with the massage rooms but... so far there didn't seem to be anything suspicious?

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"Probably?" is Wako's dubious reply to Takuto's question, with one cucumber slice on her eye and the other still uncovered. "Maybe? I don't know, it's never really been a thing before. We might find out. Maybe they'll be nice enough to wait until after we've showered."

She only leaves the cucumber slices on her face long enough for Takuto to get a selfie. Then she discards them - no longer edible - and sneaks a shot of Takuto with the slice hanging out of his mouth before grinning at Adrien. "You bet," she confirms, and leans back for a shot of the two of them, muddy faces and all, flashing a cheerful V-for-victory for good measure. "I'm definitely going to tell him that."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    At the staff member's comment about 'you children', Amy mutters, "Be careful what you wish for..." But, they explained what to do, so... In she goes, staying by the edge and lifting her hair as she steps in to keep it out of the mud and sort of drape it over the side as she slips in up to her neck. "Oh dang, this is kinda nice..." Once she can let go of her hair, she uses that hand to try and apply some mud around the face without getting the eyes, then places the cucumber slices over her eyes and slip her arms under the mud. Dang, it is relaxing.

    Takuto asks if henshin-ing takes care of the mud. "I got no idea." He's concerned about a 'muddy situation.' Amy furrows her brow briefly (and has to adjust the cucumber slices after) "If an elemelian shows up, we'll kick their ass quickly."

    She only slightly turns her head in his direction as he opines he may have made a mistake. "Y-yes. I mean, they called it the 'mud room'. What did you expect to be in here instead?"

Nephrite has posed:
    Missed opportunity then. He could have given out invitations sooner, whether for Valentine's Day or otherwise. Everyone he knows could probably use some time to relax. He is already relatively relaxed, so the massage is less strenuous on the masseuse than for some others, in regard to pressure. There's just so MUCH of him.

    Once the massage is done, he asks, "Is the young miss out front the owner of the establishment?" He'll likely be heading into the springs soon, but not before showering, and so on.

    When that comes about he will likely finally realize he recognizes some of these people. Amanda Faust (that's the one who nodded at him earlier. He was preoccupied), Adrien Agreste (from the food court that one time)... A couple others he has met but doesn't realize it, because they were all henshined at the time... He has been in proximity to Kyouko Sakura but isn't aware of it, and never actually met her.

    If only he knew that Adrien is the boy who Naru spoke of when they met for coffee after his purification.

    He just nods politely in greeting to those he knows, ignores those he doesn't, and just scans the area. Taking in his surroundings.

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Adrien Agreste poses for the picture complete with smoochy-face and thrown v-signs. He could absolutely ham it up for pictures with a friend, even if he was usually oh-so-poised. Usually. He'd managed to relax a bit more since coming to Japan since his father seemed to have lessened the overall absolute control over his life. If this picture ever got out though? He'd probably have a talking to about appropriate appearances and such.

"Not a problem at all. Like I said, just shoot me a copy to share with Naru, please." He grins again, and dips his hands into the mud to put an actual coating over his cheeks so he doesn't look TOO ridiculous. Then the relaxation continues.

At least for a bit. Then he gets out with a sigh, scooping as much of the mud off as he can before he starts for the showers. "Best not to let it dry on you though. Takes forever to get off otherwise."

Thetis has posed:
"You may wish to stretch more throughout the day," The masseue tells Kyouko, though that's all she offers before going to the front desk to inform Thalia that she'll be taking her break now, and promptly heading to the manicure area for a hand massage.

She needs it, okay.

Karin's masseue is much happier, and smiles at the poor flustered girl, "Of course you were," she says indulgently, "Now go on, off to enjoy the rest of the spa!"

Masato's chattery masseue is happy to answer questions - "Oh, Thalia? No, she's the receptionist! The owner is Rewela-san, she usually supervises spa area."

And then he too is shuttled off towards the spa area.

The mud room crew are able to enjoy a long mud soak; the mud has buoyancy that leaves them floating in hot relaxation...

The one thing everyone has in common is that when they get out, they're so relaxed, they may not notice that the world seems the slightest bit... larger. Not significantly - no one's shrunk to the size of poor Alice, consuming suspiciously labeled food and drinks, but things seem slightly - taller. Their heights are the same in relation to each other, at least...

It's probably a trick of the light.

Masato, actually in the hot spring, will notice something too - there's a surprisingly large number of kids here. Sure, there are some middle-aged folks as well, and a number of fellow teens - but is it normal for a hot spring to have ten year olds?

Nephrite has posed:
    Masato does, in fact, notice the presence of so many children. He is immediately concerned. Not 'youma plot' concerned but more 'safety for children' concerned. His actual age has always been a bit ambiguous, despite being '17' now. Perhaps it is this which lets him retain some clarity despite his very relaxed state. He gets up out of the water, and starts looking for this 'Rewela-san'. Young children aren't allowed in hot tubs for a reason. He isn't sure if 10 years is too young, but he has some Questions regardless. He is already so tall that he is probably still towering over everyone if his scale is reduced by some 'trick of the light'.

    Perhaps this will aid him in securing serious action about this matter--He slows to a stop when he hears Naru's name mentioned. Or did he? It seems to have come from a distance away. The showers, maybe? Well, that isn't as important as protecting lives right now. So he resumes his search, asking the first staffer he sees if their name is 'Rewela'. "There are health regulations in place for young children in such hot water," he explains. "May I ask who allowed them in here, and if the proper precautions have been taken?"

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"... that's fair," Takuto says after a second of staring stymied at Amy, then laughs ruefully. He does, at least, seem to enjoy it plenty once he's in there. "Definitely sending you copies," he tells Adrien reassuringly, big dumb grin on his face.

As he makes like Adrien, scooping mud off like he sees the other boy do, he nods again. "Check!" he says cheerfully, absolutely not noticing that the world is ... bigger. Something in the back of his mind does, but it goes like this: 'I can still see it!' 'See what?' 'That you're shrinking in the wash!' 'Look, Tauburn, just because YOU shrank in the wash doesn't mean I can--'

It's funny though, he's ducking a little when he doesn't have to, and being more conservative with his motion in general, and then he's back in the shower and something isn't right. Just enough for him to second-guess himself with everything he looks at as he gets the mud off.

It's still not enough for him to avoid the hot spring, though! "Come onnnn," he says, grinning, tugging on Wako and gesturing in that direction. He lets go and scoops his phone back up, this time to jam it back in his backpack with his clothes. And then it's time for the hot spring, seriously! In he goes, as carefully as he did with the mud bath.

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Adrien Agreste strides over to the showers with a momentary pause as things seem... Off. Slightly. He squints a bit, but shakes his head as he presses forth to turn on the spray of water to start rinsing the mud off of himself. "Must be a bit overhe-EAted."

THAT earns Adrien's head jerking up with a look that was a mixture of shocked and mortified. He knew that squeaky break of his voice. He'd dealt with it already several years ago when his voice began to change. Looking down at himself he stares at his hands, and the fact that the Miraculous ring he wears was sliding a bit loose on his finger as well.

"Something's wrong--" Quickly he lifts both hands to scrub over his face vigorously to remove the mud. Still dripping wet he then turns to step back out with his head snapping around looking for a mirror while the others start to rush for the springs.

"This is n-OT right!" He winces again at the cracking squeak of his voice, and he too starts to become aware of the influx of kids in the place. "Takuto, Wako, we should leave!"

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
A shower post massage, and pre getting into .. well.. now Kyouko has choices. There's voices emerging out of the mud baths, and through the showers as well. The shower that is, to be fair, one of the main reasons that Kyouko came to the spa at all. Relaxation is a feature (if unlikely), but a good fancy shower? This IS the good bit.

With a lack of desire to get dirty again after she's gotten clean, Kyouko heads for the hot springs. She looks over the people there, trying not to sigh at the reality of there being people that she KNOWS there. She is probably going to have to /talk/ to them.

Takuto is already in the water though, and she clearly isn't fussed about the ten year olds as she slides into the hot springs water herself.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
Wako enjoys the relaxation of the mud bath for a bit, though it really seems like she was more interested in getting silly selfies than anything. She's content to move along to the showers at the first sign that any of the others want to.

There's a moment or two of disorientation as she reaches to turn off the shower and misses the knob. Was it set that high...? She's frowning a little, second-guessing herself, when she emerges and Takuto sets to pulling her along. "Okay, okay...!" In the laughter that results, it all almost goes out of her mind.

Almost. But then, Adrien.

She's halfway into the hot spring when Adrien calls out in alarm. Stilling where she is, she looks up - then down at herself, patting experimentally at her chest - and then heaves the world's most put-upon sigh. "Oh, well, at least they did wait for us to shower the mud off..."

A glance toward Takuto, and then, right there in front of everyone in the hot spring, she declares:


Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    The twin-tailed brunette checks if adding on the hot springs will be extra (she's on a budget, after all. Have you seen her apartment? There's practically nothing inside of it aside from a table, bed, and a treadmill! But also maybe she just doesn't see a need for anything else, who knows, not me!) before thanking the masseuse for her excellent job, and stumbling towards the showers. Female side, obviously. She didn't bring a swimsuit or anything, since she wasn't planning to come here originally, but they provided clothes and so on, right? So it's all good!

    Eventually, she emerges into the hotsprings area, and looks around. Does she recognize anyone here?

    ...Nope! Though how many people does she know? She spent two years training with other girls who could have been a candidate to become a Hero, but none of them are here, clearly. Why would they be? They're still back on the island! ...Probably!

    Then someone is yelling, and she immediately retreats back into the locker area, and fumbles for the shelf she put her personal belongings on. More yelling.

    Time hasn't stopped. No monsters have jumped out. She doesn't see any weird crystals lying around. But she has her phone in hand regardless, just waiting for it to start its ring tone that indicates it's time to do what she has trained to do. It's a combination of anxiety and anticipation. Will this be the moment she gets to show what she's worth? To prove she was the right choice to fill the vacant position and receive power from the Yuusha System? Is this when her superiors at Taisha have finally allowed her to cut loose? Has the Shinju-sama decided to give her the opportunity to save the world?

    She waits. And listens to the panic. And stares at her phone screen as it continues to not do anything but show the time.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Some minutes in, Amy realizes that the swimsuit is kind of counterproductive here. She could try to get mud under it? No, that doesn't really work. She supposes it's not like anyone can actually 'see under the mud, so she extricates from it, finding the stretch-tight garment a little easier to remove than she would have expected.

    Once people start getting out of the mud, Amy climbs out too, keeping her back to the boys as she makes at least a cursory attempt to wipe some of the mud off. Once they've gone to the shower cubicles, she picks up her suit and runs to another one.

    Huh, the faucet and the showerhead seem higher than they did before? By like 5 or 6cm? The hell?
...Okay, shower off first, you can think about it while you do that.

    Let's see, she could measure the difference with her hand, then --
wait, if your hand shrunk, you can't estimate distances from it! You're no good at that anyway...

Why would you shrink? Did you magically do something? That doesn't make any sense. Are you sure this is the same cubicle as before? Maybe they're mounted at different heights? You can check that in a moment.

    Her thoughts go in circles as she starts to wash off, but while cleaning it comes to her attention that...

    She's gone completely flat.

    She didn't have
much, but it was hers, and it was definitely there and why the hell does she care about this so much? The hell? But more importantly, what happened?

    Amy rushes the rest of the shower just to get herself and the suit clean
enough, and she puts it back on -- yeah it is definitely looser on her than it should be, now that she's thinking about that -- and steps out of the shower cubicle, checking the height of the valve and showerhead in unoccupied cubicles.

    She's last to the springs after this delay, and Adrien is shouting. "Hey, this is gonna sound weird, but did I shrink?"

Rewala has posed:
The water of the hot springs is juvenating indeed - the years seem to melt off the longer one sits inside! Masato, who practically sprang back out within just a few moments once he noticed the younger children in the water, has only had a few short years shaved off his life - he looks like a rather tall fourteen year old.

The staff member watching the hot spring yawns sleepily, and still has to look up to speak to him. "You're looking for Rewela-san? I think she went back to the rest of the spa... or maybe not..." she yawns again.

"The clients are all let in at the receptionist's desk. If someone's too small to be here, that seems like Thalia-san's problem, not mine."

This staff member has no intention of being helpful, alas.

"If you really want to find Rewala-san, I bet you could try the sauna..."

Meanwhile, behind Masato, more bodies are entering the hot springs.

What was that about not shrinking in the wash? Takuto might have a bit of crow to eat, after this is all said and done - because on account of a nice, long mud dip, followed by a dip into the water, there's now one more ten year old hanging out in the water, his bright red hair a beacon.

Kyouko will find herself feeling a little off too, after just a short time in the water - almost like she's shrinking. Well, no, exactly like she's shrinking, because just like Takuto, she's losing a half-year by the minute, as long as she's in the hot spring.

The noise of Adrien's breaking voice - embarrassing! - plus the bright flash of Wako's transformation catches attention, and the sleepy staff member turns and stares -

"C-c-cosplayer?! In the hot spring?! Young lady, do you have no shame?! What was Thalia-san thinking letting you in here dressed like that -"

She starts stomping over to Wako, horrified.

And sweeping through the entrance of the hot spring area is a tall, severe looking women, who casts a glance at the cast and clicks her tongue.

"Rewala-san, Rewala-san just loo-" The hot spring attendant freezes. In fact, every mundane in the spring freezes, not in ice, but as though they were all playing a very determined game of freeze tag, and no one wanted to lose.

"Couldn't you children have come two days ago, so I could have avoided having to pay those paychecks? Or better yet, not come at all?" The tall, severe-looking women throws her arm up, and her appeareance seems to shatter, human guise replaced in an instant by a humanoid monster woman with pale purple skin, clam shells sprouting from her scalp and shoulders, a clam shell-styled torso piece, and a sheer seafoam green skirt, studded with sea-shells.

"For the Glory of the Dark Kingdom, you children will sacrifice your years! Give up! Enjoy your second childhoods! You -"

She might have said more, but Amy comes skidding in, looking all of twelve years old, swimsuit loose in a few places.

The youma's eye twitches.

"Not at all," she lies, badly.

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
A reprieve!

Kyouko is saved from casual small talk by the reality of things going all sorts of sideways. The squeak of Adrien's voice pulls her attention over that way and she frowns as he advocates getting the heck out of dodge, which is not the worst plan in the world.

Wako's transformation pretty much seals the deal, there's not a lot of running going to be happening, and then things got MUCH more interesting. She has about as much concern for her 'secret' indentity as Wako and Takuto do, and theres' a flash of red as the smaller, and younger puella hops up out of the water.

With pigtails. Because nothing says 'I'm even younger than before' than pigtails and apparently her henshin is all in on the trope. "I am /not/ doing my childhood over again. Once was enough." She informs the purple skinned woman. As if de-aging would make the events happen again.

Kyouko isn't taking any chances.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"What!!" squeaks Takuto, and then even more alarmed, "WHAT!! Apprivoiser!!"

And then literally right there in the water, a ten year old Ginga Bishounen has also done his whole henshin sequence right in front of Godoka and everyone. And all those other people in the hot spring have frozen! He climbs drippingly out of the water and points his finger accusingly at the purple lady. "Rejuvenation is not supposed to be LITERAL!" he says in his little kid voice, his hair such a shock of yellow and red starburst it's a statement even louder than his squeak.

He is shorter than Wako.

He is shorter than Amy.

He doesn't bother drawing his star swords, especially not indoors. No. He runs, and splat splat splat splat!! go his footsteps, directly at Rewlala and yells "CHESTO!!" before trying to just knock her over by jumping up to collide with her.

Nephrite has posed:
    He was about to lambast the lady for being such an uncouth peasant about the safety of children, when the people all freeze in place. Masato turns to look at Rewela, brushing his long brown hair over his shoulder and out of his eyes, damp as it is and thus heavier in how it hangs, and searches for the face to put to the voice yelling about the Dark Kingdom. When she reveals her true form and talks about sacrificing years, Masato just squints at the youma. "Metallia is immortal. What in the Hells does she need our years for?" Yes, he knows that's a measure of life force. He lost a decade already when he sacrificed his single use of the Phoenix to restore a certain black cat's life. So he's not exactly enthused about losing more of it. He is just annoyed that it's being used for such a nonsense purpose this time around.

    Seeing Ginga Otome, Masato sighs and flicks the green stud in his left earlobe, causing a flash of light showing the symbol of the Earth (or maybe the Golden Kingdom, if it has one) on one side, and the symbol of the College of Astrology on the other, matching the hue of his earring. His body becomes a prismatic hue for a moment as a uniform manifests where only a towel lay before. Despite the decrease in age, the uniform still fits him just fine, because magic. Boots form out of crystal on his feet, which shatters, repeating for a belt, and a mantle draping from his shoulders. Wearing the lighter colors that he wore once upon a time, in the Silver Millennium, Nephrite's transformation finishes in an instant, and he just starts walking towards Rewlala menacingly. But Takuto is already going for a body tackle so he just stops in place, and focuses on the situation at hand. First of all, those people need to be gotten out of the water, frozen in place or not.

    If he could summon a Constellation Avatar right now to help him out, that would be very convenient, but he had to pay the price of redemption after the evil he has done. That path is closed off to him. At least for now. So he rushes forth and does the physical part himself, pulling every soaking wet person out of the hotsprings in turn. When it comes to children and the elderly he can carry several at once, but not as many as he could have at his normal height/age. This will keep him occupied for a while.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"I knew it!" Wako, in all her blinged-out military-couture Ginga Otome glory, lofts into the air with her boots dripping a bit from her half-immersion in the hot spring. Her voice is a bit higher than normal, though not as much as Takuto's - she looks maybe ten. "I knew what's her name up front was at that photo shoot--"

She cuts off abruptly, mid aggrieved accusations, to stare at tiny Takuto as he launches himself at the youma. "...Wawna?"

The little robot has not shrunk, which just makes her proportionally that much bigger for once. It's not really a big difference. < Yes, Miko-sama? >

"Get my phone?"

< Miko-sama. > It's hard for the bell-like voice of an action-figure sized robot to sound exasperated, but Wawna's managing it. < The barrier? >

"Oh, right!" Flustered, Wako lifts her hands before her and calls upon the familiar energies. "ZERO TIME!"

With a rush of air and expanding energy, the sky over the open-air hot spring turns into a many-colored spangled starscape. Between one heartbeat and the next, all of the civilians vanish.

Adrien Agreste has posed:
At least Adrien had managed to catch them before they regressed in age any further! The fact that they change right then and there causes his hand to raise up clapping over his face with a little sigh. He couldn't do the same though. Already the Miraculous ring on his finger was threatening to fall off so he's forced to ball his hand into a fist. What COULD he do though?

As the others change into their henshins, or otherwise start to ask about being shorter, he turns rather calmly to walk back into the shower area with a, "I think we're yo~OUNGer," crack of his voice. He's gone just long enough to dig around the facility. Surely in the showers there would be... Ah, yes.

A moment later he returns weilding a mop, the head raised up to spin off with a quick twist and flourish. It's left abandoned on the floor leaving him with the long mop handle instead.

"This is a baaaad idea, Adrien. You should just transform," Plagg utters as the small Kwami floats up beside his ear to whisper at him. He glances to the side shaking his head. "Do we know how it would react with me being younger currently?"

Plagg has to hesitate, looking uncertain. "Nnnooooo. Just be careful!" With that the Kwami dips back into hiding as Adrien starts forward brandishing the... the mop handle... Like a sword.

With a quick movement he steps in from the side slicing the handle out toward the back of Rewlawa's knees hoping to help the jumping Takuto to fell her.

Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    Still nothing. There's more yelling. Something about the 'Dark Kingdom' (THAT'S familiar!), and as she peeks out the door, she sees a monster woman. She decides that she has to get involved. There's people in danger who can't fight for themselves. And just as she makes the decision, calling up the Yuusha System app, it starts its familiar jingle. The ring tone that indicates she's needed.

    She made the right choice after all.


    Karin presses her thumb on the screen when the flower symbol appears, and as the power of the Shinju-sama flows into her, she becomes a Hero once again.

    A pair of katana appear, one in each hand. Another pig-tailed girl appears, with a very similar color scheme to Karin's. Almost identical, in fact. Is that child another Hero? Maybe she's Gin Minowa! But she thought that her predecessor was...

    Karin rushes forth to stand at her fellow red-and-white garbed pig-tailed Hero and says, "I agree. I've already surpassed by younger self. There's no way I'd want to do it all again!" Then, she leaps up into the air, and slashes with her dual blades, creating an X-Shaped blast of flame that flies down towards the youma!

Amanda Faust has posed:
    And Amy isn't even a full 5½' (142cm) now. She's easily mistaken for a 12-year-old normally', now she looks like she could be 10 or 11! Poor Takutiny!

    She looks at the youma, and pretty quickly puts it together. "Hey, wait...!" But, everyone's transforming, so she does too--

    --and when the flames of her henshin dissipate, she, like Kyoko, has twintails, held in place by armored barretes(sp)? Hairclips? Little armor pieces that match her outfit and have little loops to hold her hair in place. The rest of the outfit is different too, armored red gloves and boots over black thigh-highs and a white, black and red leotard with an armored red collar and an armored red-and-white sort-of-skirt-thing open in front.

    Her earlier thoughts about the mudbath getting interrupted and that she is now actually this small have subconsciously bled into her outfit-change magic, it seems.

    She holds out an arm towards Rewala. "Waitwaitwaitwait!" And then looks at her glove, and down at herself, "Oh,
come on!" But... now isn't the time to think about outfits! She holds out her hand again in a 'stop' gesture. "Waitwaitwait. So you actually have the fountain of youth, that humanity's been searching for forever, and you're using it for... for what? We didn't forget our memories of the last few years, so what'd you actually take? If uh, you only used it on adults, wouldn't this be fine?"

    "...As long as you can change them back, I mean." She waves her other arm at the kids, magical and non-magical.

Rewala has posed:
Rewala can fully believe this is happening - she just wishes it wasn't! First, there's a magical girl - and then there's a regular girl, who must be magical to still be walking about, rudely ruining her first impression, and then there's a magical boy (emphasis on boy, he's tiny) and he's, oh, right ON HER BACK!

Why? Because he tried to tackle her, but he's a ten year old, he's probably ten pounds soaking wet, how much can a ten year old even weigh?

Note to the audience: do not expect youma to be smart enough to know anything but what they were specifically made to do.

He's just on hanging on her back, now, and meanwhile, there's the other one - wait, is that Nephrite? Former Lord Nephrite? Traitor Nephrite? Their queen through a desk out of a window over the treachery, Nephrite?

How much glory will she get for getting rid of him?

"Our Great Leader may be immortal, but the energy of these human years will strengthen her! She will return and rid the world of this pla- CHILD! STOP SQUIRMING ON MY BACK!"

It is so hard to posture like this!

And then, there's an attack being launched her way, a fiery x racing towards her, and she throws out her hand!


And the flames stop.


Aaaaaand now they're flying backwards to their point of origin.

"What fountain of youth? What are you talking about?! What's a founta-ARGH!"

Aaaand a mop hits her in the face.

All that, and it's a mop and a child that are disgracing her.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Zero Time! The entire place--" Tiny Takuto yells from Rewlala's back and pretty much in her ear, "--is now fair game! No lasting property damage! This is a nice spa with a real hot spring right in Tokyo, that's IMPORTANT!"

He pulls on the youma lady's headpiece, trying to take it off, stepping on her bodice's 'skirt' above the actual skirt to wriggle around to get a better grip on it. He's even got his tongue sticking out of one corner of his mouth. "Tauburn! Pose for the picture for Wako-chan~"

He is literally setting up the shot. And like Wawna, Tauburn -- who manifests when called -- is an action-figure-sized extremely fancy robot, though he looks like a cavalier with a plume on his hat and everything. And Tauburn, in fact, does pose in an exceptionally dashing manner.

In the meantime the Ginga Bishounen utterly fails to suplex Rewlala.

Once Wako gets her shot, and he stops trying to pull wrestling moves on an adult while ten years old, he climbs up that youma even further so he can use her absurd pauldrons as launch pads for getting out of the way of any potential attacks.

"Adrien!" he calls out, "You telling her to clean up her act?"

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Adrien Agreste is suddenly hit with a moment of utter clarity. Ah, he thinks. This is how Ladybug must feel when I quip around her. It was such a good one to miss out on too! Ginga Bishounen's cry earns a grin in response as he hops back deftly bringing the mop around again in a defensive position preparing once again to dive in and attack if needed--Though he's doing his best to stay OUT of harms way as the other magical types start their attacks.

"I get the feeling this place isn't as squeaky clean an operation as they want us to think," he offers back--With only one or two cracks in his voice as he does. Regardless of the jokes he looks a bit nervous. He was the currently NORMAL one here, right? Okay he hadn't been thrown out of the Zero Time, or frozen in time, but he was certainly not magically attacking in any way.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
Zero Time is safely in place, and Wawna - ever dutiful, even if she doesn't always quite understand these humans she's chosen to champion - comes wobbling through the air clutching Wako's cell phone in her little robot arms. Wako has to pause in making grabby hands for it when Rewala reverses Karin's flame X back on her - "Rude!" she calls out, throwing out one hand to create a curved shield of transparent pink light between the returning blast and Karin.

Then she's grabbing for her phone to get a shot of Tiny Takuto clinging to the youma's back, Tauburn's dashing pose and all. "Yesss..."

Okay. Time to take things seriously now. At least a little bit. "How about this--?" Another shield glimmers to life between her hands, not much larger than a softball and quickly filling with rosy-pink radiance. While the youma's still busy grappling with Takuto, Wako hauls off and slams the shining sphere at Rewala with both hands. "Ches-TO!"

Nephrite has posed:
    Nephrite finds the people he was rescuing banished. This. This phenomenon. This 'Zero Time'. This and the barriers used by Device users are what inspired him to come up with Midnight Tokyo to begin with. It's ironic, really. Now here he is, on the side of the same people who Midnight Tokyo was meant to crush, benefitting from the same ability that he was trying to counter.

    The path the Stars laid out for him is, as all things, connected to all that has come before and all that will come after. One could say that he has finally arrived at his destination.

    Turning away from the hot spring, now that he's in this strange realm of frozen time, Nephrite dashes forwards, an enchanted sword manifesting in his right hand, as he tries to run Rewlala through. "You should have taken the years for yourself, so you could have lived longer among humans," he says dead-pan, in his natural, raspy voice. His blue eyes are emotionless as he tries to end the temporary existence of the creature before him.

    The sword thrusts forth with lightning speed an edge forged by the magics of the Golden Kingdom.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    "You're trying to bring back what, some kinda Demon Lord? Okay, I guess we gotta stop that, but..." Amy looks at the others as attacks go flying. "Can you really not see the potential good we could do with this? Like..."

    She holds a hand to her chest, "this is something I lucked into, but, surely there are others that deserve it more... Everyone should get to have what I have, if they want it! And, and now there's a way!"

    "They say youth is wasted on the young, or that you can't appreciate it 'till it's gone, but now everyone can have it!" She waves her hand across where the civilians were before Zero Time started.

    "No more worrying a fall might send you to the hospital, or aching for no reason, or ruining your back and neck for days because you got out of bed wrong! We could do good with this one!"

    She slumps a bit and looks back to Rewala. "You didn't, like, get this power by draining the life out of an orphan or something, right?"

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
For the moment, the twin tailed and youthful Kyouko leans on her spear. Wherever THAT came from, as she watches all of the posturing and jumping around, and a little more posturing. She's clearly watching to see how all of the other magical.. well /kids/ now are managing with the pain in the butt woman tossing things back at people.

Kyouko has clearly taken on a managerial role for the moment, watching everyone else work. "Barrier's a good touch." She comments absently, watching some sort of sphere get tossed at Remula as well. She mmms as she watches Nephrite dashing in to stab things.

"You might want to keep on your toes if you're hitting her wiht a stick, there Mop-kid." She calls over to Adrien.

Karin Miyoshi has posed:

    Her own attack coming back at her? No one warned her that could happen!

    She calls out to the two Puella Magi, "Come on Heroes! Let's take her down before she drains all our lives away!" She doesn't know if that's a thing the monster can do, but she also didn't know the monster could stop and reverse her attacks!

    She flashes a grateful smile towards Ginga Otome for blocking the flaming X, then hurls her katana from an angle where nobody is in her way, followed shortly after by her second katana, so that if one is stopped, there's a second one coming that won't be!

    "I am Karin Miyoshi, Hero of Taisha, and champion of the Shinju-sama! You will regret giving your loyalty to a creature that doesn't care if you live or die!" A new pair of katana have already manifested in her hands, in a shower of red flower petals.

Rewala has posed:
Ginga Bishounen refusing to get off her back is a blatant disprespect that will not stand! And neither will the mop kid!!! Reaching down to her skirt, the youma seizes two of the clamshells and launches them - one at the leaping Ginga Bishounen and the other at the retreating Mop Boy.

"Fast Forward!"

And the two shells sped up to 5x speed, hurtling right for their heads!

Unfortunately, the aggrieved youma was so distracted with attacking her past tormentors, she forgot to take into account her current ones.

And thus - a ball of pink the size of a baseball strikes her in the chest.

"Argh?! What is this?! Is this an orphan?!" Followed by a sword.

"Argh! This is a sword!"

Followed by another sword. Rewala stares down at Nephrite, drawn in close, still clutching at one of the swords plunged through her.

"You... will pay... for betraying... Metallia-sama. Your suffering... it is only just -"

And then she explodes. In a shower of shell bits and dark energy.

With a twinkling chime, all of the youthified heroes are suddenly fast-forwarded through their aging process, regaining the years they'd lost to the spa.

Unfortunately, ruining the relaxation they'd gained from the mud bath, massages, and hot spring in the first place, thanks to all that growth.

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"Ugh..." Wako curls around herself in mid-air, grimacing for a moment as several years of growth reassert themselves in seconds. It's not the most pleasant feeling, but at least it's over quickly... even if she's left feeling worse than she did before they came into the spa.


"Unfortunately..." she says in Amy's direction, descending lightly to the ground. "I don't think the youma really... cares about people. At all." She breathes out a sigh and looks around to each of the others. "Everybody okay? Back to actual size?"

Amanda Faust has posed:
    'Is this an orphan'? What the hell?

    Amy's attempt to reason with the youma, and her fellow heroes was doomed from the start, it seems!

    and then TWO YEARS OF GROWTH AND MATURATION ALL AT ONCE. She clutches at her body as she drops to her knees, and ends up lying with her shoulder and head against the floor as if she was bowing desperately to someone. Her henshin drops off.

    She groans. "I'm ok... this position is more comfortable than it looks... uurgh..."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
The Ginga Bishounen twists in midair to avoid the thrown shell, then stays there, a bright blue nimbus of energy surrounding him as he hovers-- then turtles, still hovering, as shell bits and energy go everywhere and he abruptly aches.

"Noooooo," he says sadly. "I mean yes, back. But nooooo because owwww." Then he lands, and creakily de-henshins back to his hot spring towel, huge X scar visible on his chest again, and sinks into the zero time frozen water basically up over his mouth.

He says via bubbles, "Now I really need a hot soak..."

Adrien Agreste has posed:
Adrien Agreste slams the mop business end into the ground as he dodges the thrown clamshell with a baseball worthy sliiide right into the lockers of the shower. Sure he avoids being hit, but he's left slumped over hugging his knees to his chest as he re-ages back to normal. A most unpleasant thing that has him gritting his teeth and holding his breath till he's red-faced.

Breathe. Breeeathe. Risking lifting his head the blonde calls out weakly, "... Alive," from his spot as the others start to dehenshin and return to normal themselves.

A little faint laugh comes as he calls out, "Don't get how you guys do this all the time. Ow."

Wako Agemaki has posed:
Wako stands for a moment, taking stock of the generally flattened condition most of them seem to be in. "Okay," she says, and seems to come to a decision. "I'm not going to take Zero Time down just yet, all right? It won't stop anyone from leaving if you want to, but... I think we all earned that hot soak. Or a turn in the sauna, at least," she adds after glancing down at herself. "I haven't really tested how long I can keep it going, but we should have some time."

Nephrite has posed:
    "I'm sure I will," Nephrite mutters as he backdashes like an expert fighting game character when the youma explodes. He is expecting retaliation from Metallia. And more than just a wet apartment. He scans around. He recently had a major growth spurt around the time of his 17th birthday, and he has had several such spurts over the years. Having it happen all at once is new, but still... He toughs out the pain, and manages to remain looking stoic even if he would really like to go lie down right now, maybe with a nice brandy.

    But he has also given up drinking. It was a promise to Naru, and to himself.

    "Well, I had been thinking of bringing a close friend to this place, but if it turns out to be an empty building when we are released from Zero Time, then perhaps a different business will have to receive us. Good job, all. Very efficient of you." He looks towards Amy and says, "Thank you for trying. Some youma are intelligent and self-aware, like Thetis. The one who flooded the apartments of we Shitennou and our leader as retaliation for our abandoning the Dark Kingdom and Obsidian. But some are simple creatures. Fascimiles of life." He is back to his rather significant height and dimensions by now, looking much older than he is officially recorded as being, and gazing upon the place Rewlala once stood. He allows his sword to vanish. "When lives are at stake, it is better to assume it to be mindless than the opposite. It's not worth the risk."

Kyouko Sakura has posed:
"Mmm." Kyouko watches the fight from the back, still leaning on her spear. Grief seeds don't grow on trees and she's certainly not getting any from around here. She gives Karin a thumbs up as she's called out to go be a hero. "You got this."

Hey look.. they got this! Good job everyone. Not that Kyouko actually SAYS that, but she nods approvingly. And then there's a couple of years worth of growing.. she needs that massage again! They thought she was tense before, now she aches too!

"I hope the sauna is still running." She comments to the room as a whole as she turns and heads that direction. It only takes a step or two for her spear to go away, and her to return to being just plain old Kyouko again.

Karin Miyoshi has posed:
    Karin can only look around awkwardly, and mildly horrified as everyone starts growing and aging around her. She banishes her swords back into the Shinju-sama's divine power. "Um. So..." She looks at Amy, and then at Kyouko. "...Would one of you two happen to be named 'Gin Minowa'?"

Adrien Agreste has posed:
"... Flooded like..." Adrien catches those words as he comes back out from the showers looking a little bruised and worse for wear. He had no henshin to change out of, so slamming into the lockers from his slide on the slippery floor was already resulting in a red mark up his side which he does his very best to ignore. Not the first time he was bruised up.

"Ah, you're one of ... " What was his name again? Not the one that he called him but the other one. "Endymion's guys. Right, I remember that flood. He thought it came from my dorm." A hand lifts to run over his hair a single time as he risks a look over toward the springs.

"You know... I think I may take you up on that, Wako. Don't tire yourself out though."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    After Wako offers the hot soak, Amy lifts herself up and stands up, "Oh thanks..." She's back in her school swimsuit, so she's spring-ready. She takes one step and then freezes as she has a sudden thought.

    She looks down and cups her chest. They're back... ^_^ ...Why do I care about that...?

    And then she yanks her hands away and nonchalantly walks over to the hot spring and climbs in.

    Amy shakes her head at Karin. "Amy Faust. Puella Magi. 'Magical Rocket Girl Red'."

    She looks up at Nephrite. "...Thanks, but... were lives at stake, there? She didn't actually hurt anyone until it turned into a fight."

    She takes a breath and sighs. "It really coulda helped people, if we knew how that magic worked... I guess you're too young to understand..."

    Then she does a double-take and points at him, wide-eyed. "Wait, you're--!" She blinks. "...I'm glad you escaped your old boss safely. Are uh... how are you doing?"

Wako Agemaki has posed:
"Don't worry," Wako promises Adrien with a smile. "I won't push myself. Let's all just take a break before we go back." So saying, she sits down and begun taking off her boots and stockings, clearly intending to settle in for a bit.

She looks over toward Amy at the red puella's lament. "I get what you're saying, but... like I said, the youma didn't care about doing good for people. I don't think there were a lot of options there... at least, not any that wouldn't make us as bad as them."

She dips her feet into the hot spring, watching the water ripple with galaxy-colored reflections from the sky of Zero Time overhead. "Besides, the last guy I knew about who wanted to go back and relive the past... it wasn't going to work out very well. For anyone."

Beryl has posed:
===woooo spooky line break significant time pause later woooo===

"Once again, our plan was interrupted, my queen," Thetis kneels before Beryl, prepared to kneel for hours to demonstrate her penitence. She is out of her guise as Thalia, and gone from Juuban as well. She is in Beryl's office in Obsidian Tower, now, frowning. "I am sorry for our failure. Rewala has been destroyed - and our hot spring operation was foiled. We collected the human energy, particularly over that Valentine's Holiday, but -"

een Beryl flaps a hand. "A single youma was never going to be able to handle even a single of the more experienced among our enemy. Energy was collected, and that is our primary objective. Your purpose is to collect energy for our great leader. So long as you are able to do so - to hide our objectives long enough for energy to be kept - then you are a success."

Unlike others, her harsh countenance says, and this inspires a wince.

"There is... one other thing, my queen," she says hesitantly.

"What is it. Speak quickly."

"One of those who opposed us... it was Nephrite. He's fully turned against us - he even fights alongside the enemy, now!"

"I expected this," Beryl says, cold, her face turning yet harder at this news. "And yet, still, that they would dare... it has been some time since we visited damage upon them. Perhaps it is time for those traitors to truly feel the wrath of the Dark Kingdom."