The arc opens with Koyomi Araragi and Shinobu Oshino musing about the true nature of Shikigami doll Yotsugi Ononoki. Koyomi supposes that as an apparition, Yotsugi isn't well suited to life among humans, in spite of her attempts at being human-like. She was, after all, created from a human corpse, by other humans. Shinobu disputes this, saying that the human parts of Yotsugi's nature are because she needs to interact with humans, rather than a desire of hers to become human. Koyomi goes on to consider the nature of apparitions in general, concluding that apparitions are the way they are because people believe them to be so. Koyomi's monologue concludes by foreshadowing that this arc is the beginning of the end of the series. The story begins with Koyomi being woken up by his sisters, Karen and Tsukihi Araragi. Koyomi realizes that the next day is Valentine's Day, but Karen exclaims that he doesn't have the time to worry about that, as his college entrance exams are coming up soon. Karen leaves to go on a run, instructing Koyomi to prepare a bath for her. After Karen leaves, Koyomi and Tsukihi discuss why Karen hasn't joined any athletic teams. Koyomi states that Karen is a talented individual, and that by committing herself to just karate, and her half of the Fire Sisters, she is letting her talent go to waste. While Tsukihi is annoyed that Koyomi would suggest breaking up the duo, she admits that she realizes that Karen will leave on her own, to do her own thing. Koyomi recognizes the need for his sisters to wake up and be more mature about how they conduct themselves. After preparing the bath for Karen, Koyomi decides to use it for himself. He is caught by Tsukihi, who also plans on using the bath. The two briefly argue over who should get to go first, before compromising. The two bathe together. Tsukihi mentions that Nadeko Sengoku was recently released from the hospital after her ordeal as a snake god. Koyomi responds neutrally. While he is happy that Nadeko turned out okay, he knows that it's for the best if he stays out of her life. Moreover, Koyomi realizes that without a god, the shrine area will continue to accumulate dark spiritual energy, which in turn will cause more apparition problems for his town. He resolves to do his best to put things in balance before leaving for college. Tsukihi is concerned with how much pressure and responsibility Koyomi holds for himself, telling him that he shouldn't worry so much. Koyomi then realizes that his own reflection isn't showing up in the bathroom mirror. As if he had become a real vampire.