A/N: Hey everyone, The Azure Guardian here with the second chapter of InuYasha: Resonance! Apologies for taking so long to update this story, but unlike my others, the reason for it is I really want to take my time with this and make it as perfect as I possibly can be since the last time I tried rushing the story when it was under the name Threads Of Fate, it turned into a complete and utter mess and even I was ashamed of. Normally I'm not one for perfectionism and in fact, I honestly can't stand perfectionists. But for this story, I really want to make it the absolute best I can. Now then, as you read, some of you may recognize certain character names. Yes, I am adding extra characters for the story other than my new antagonist, however... I honestly suck at coming up with wholly original characters and tend to use existing characters from other works sort of like skeletons for new characters, generally taking their names and general appearance (and maybe a bit of their personality) and alter them just enough to make them different from their original counterparts. For this story we have Sakutaro Morishige (based slightly off the character of the same name from Corpse Party), Rika Furude (based slightly off the character of the same name from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, though I went out of my way to give her DD-cup breasts due to how Rika in Higurashi really wanted to succeed in saving everyone not only for that sake alone but so she can finally grow up and get some breasts), Janis (based on the character of the same name from InuYasha: The Secret of the Divine Jewel for the Nintendo DS), Akihiko Sanada (based slightly off the character of the same name from Persona 3), and Naho Saenoki (based off the character of the same name from Corpse Party). I hope you all enjoy this chapter and hopefully, I'll have the next one done and out sooner.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own own InuYasha, it is the proud property of Rumiko Takahashi and without her, we would've never gotten the Secret of the Cursed Mask game!
A week had passed since Michiru returned home. Kagome had since returned to the Feudal Era, sending Michiru a text beforehand saying that she should be back in about a month's time. In the meantime, Michiru had made an attempt to return to his normal life, which was proving to be a little on the difficult side simply due to how much time he had spent in the Feudal Era. Currently, Michiru was on the bus heading home from school wearing his standard jacket-style school uniform consisting of a white, short-sleeved t-shirt with the school's emblem over the left breast and single blue stripes near the ends of the sleeves to indicate he was a first-year highschool student, a pair of brown dress pants, and a blue necktie. He had also started wearing Kakuju's amulet that Kagome had returned to him during their meet-up on Sunday, though kept it tucked under his shirt.
(I didn't even ask Kagome about my confession to her…) Michiru thought to himself, a look of self-disappointment on his face. (Then again, she didn't bring it up either. So does that mean-)
"Hey, Michiru!" the Kururugi boy was snapped out of his thoughts as a friend of his raised his voice. "You doing okay?"
"Huh?" Michiru then realized he must've been making a weird face. "Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about something."
"Thinking?" the friend repeated before a teasing smile spread across his lips. "Is it about the other guys and how they have girlfriends? Upset that you can't get one of your own?"
"Wha?" Michiru was completely taken aback by his friend's question, causing his face to turn a light shade of red. "That's not it at all!" Everyone on the bus turned their attention towards Michiru after he yelled his response.
"Hey, stop making a scene, you idiot!" Michiru's friend berated the Kururugi boy, making sure to be loud enough for only Michiru to hear.
"It's only because you asked such a-" Michiru cut himself off as he saw a large, brown mass heading straight for the bus through the windows.
He didn't have enough time to call out a warning when the mass rammed into the bus, sending the vehicle rolling down the street as the passengers screamed in shock and terror. Once the bus came to a stop, having landed upside-down, the screams had died down to cries and whimpers of pain as most of the passengers had shards of broken window glass over their bodies, luckily none big enough to pierce through skin. Michiru groaned as he pushed himself up a little, his body sore from the impact, and looked around him.
(What just hit us?) Michiru asked himself, but then remembered what Kagome said about the Noh Mask and Soul Piper demons. (Was it a demon? But then why didn't anyone else see it?) Michiru then tried to move but groaned from the pain that wracked his body. (It hurts too much… I'll have to try using my Shikigami…) Michiru then closed his eyes and began to concentrate before chanting quietly. "Oh flowing mighty river…" In response, a familiar red, star-shaped pentagram appeared underneath the young Onmyouji and started to turn blue. "Ring with the sound of blessing…"
A soothing surge of energy then washed over Michiru and spread out to the other passengers and the driver, healing them of their injuries. The Kururugi boy then pushed himself up and shook his friend by his shoulder.
"Hey, you alright?" Michiru asked.
"Yeah…" Michiru's friend groaned a bit. "What the hell happened?"
"I'm not sure, but we should help get these people out," Michiru said.
"R-Right," Michiru's friend agreed, and the two started helping the passengers out of the toppled bus, some of them even helping the two boys until the bus was emptied.
"What hit us? Was it an explosion? We better get out of here…" some of the passengers talked amongst themselves, scared of what had transpired.
At the same time, the bus driver had just got off his cell phone and turned his attention to the passengers, "I just got off the phone with the police, they said they'll send assistance and that we should clear out."
None of the passengers raised any objections and soon everyone made their way out of the area, with only Michiru staying behind as he spied on the large Boar Demon that had rammed into the bus.
(Can no one else see it? How is that possible?) Michiru thought to himself, making a mental note that the entire area was devoid of people, then noticed the demon was looking straight at him. "Uh oh…"
Michiru had to dive away from the bus to avoid getting hit as the Boar Demon rammed into the bus, sending the vehicle flying as the young Onmyouji got up on one knee.
"No one else is here…" Michiru said as he clenched his fists. "Which means I have to take this demon on myself." The large Boar Demon turned its attention back to the Kururugi boy as it let out a loud, reverberating squeal.
"So you can see me…" the Boar Demon said. "That must mean you're of the Yokusei."
"Huh? Yokusei?" Michiru repeated to himself.
"I won't be captured by those welps again!" the Boar Demon bellowed and charged towards Michiru once again, who was barely able to roll out of the way in time to avoid being trampled on.
As the demon ran past him, Michiru quickly pushed himself up to his feet and pulled back his right arm, focusing his spiritual power as a red, fist-sized orb of spiritual energy formed in his hand.
"Shikigami, attack!" Michiru then threw his arm forward like he was throwing a baseball and launched the orb at the Boar Demon, hitting it right in the back and causing it topple over. "Alright!"
However, the demon didn't stay down for long and soon pushed itself back up. "How can you have that much power? You're just one human!"
"I've faced a lot of demons stronger than you," Michiru answered. "I suggest you stay down!" The Boar Demon let out another squeal in defiance before charging at the Kururugi boy again. "Shikigami, attack!"
Once again, Michiru threw an orb of condensed spiritual power at the Boar Demon, this time striking its left eye which caused the demon to squeal in pain as it veered off its desired course, giving Michiru enough space to jump out of the way to avoid being run over and causing the demon to tumble over when it expected to hit the boy only to have nothing in front of it. Michiru quickly turned around to face the demon and prepared to defend himself again, but then heard something else approaching him from down the street.
"Another demon?" Michiru wondered as he braced himself, but then recognized the sound more clearly as it drew closer. "Wait, a car?"
The Kururugi boy was wrong in both guesses, however, as four black, non-descript vans with tinted windows sped down the street in his direction. The vans then surrounded the schoolboy and the fallen demon, each vehicle parked in one of the four cardinal directions.
"What's going on?" Michiru wondered in confusion.
Sitting in the front passenger seat of the north van, a man in his mid-20's pulled out a hand radio and spoke into it.
"All units, let's get a barrier set up asap," the man ordered. "We won't let this one get away again."
"But sir, there's a civilian…" a voice responded in concern.
"I'll deal with it, just do your job," the man quickly replied.
"Spiritual power…?" Michiru wondered curiously as he felt a familiar energy surge from around him while looking between each of the vehicles. "Wait, a barrier?" (Are these the Yokusei guys this demon was talking about?)
The doors to the vans then opened up and a small handful of people stepped out of each. To Michiru's surprise, everyone was wearing casual, everyday clothes. If these truly were members of some group, the Kururugi boy was half expecting them to be wearing some kind of uniform like the police or Self Defense Force. Stepping out of the northern vehicle was a man in his mid-20's of average build and height with short dark brown hair wearing simple blue jeans, a white long-sleeve dress shirt, and a pair of rectangular, thin-framed glasses over his green eyes. A handgun was holstered on his right side. The man casually walked up towards Michiru and the downed boar demon, the other who came out of the vehicles standing back and not carrying any weapons.
"You there," the man addressed Michiru. "This is a dangerous area, you must evacuate."
"Are you part of this Yokusei group?" Michiru asked, causing the older man to shoot a glance at the teen.
"Where did you hear that name?" the older man questioned. (The only way he could know that name would be if he heard it from a demon. Does that mean this kid's awakened?)
Seeing the two humans distracted with each other, the boar demon got back on its feet and immediately charged at the two. The older man, however, saw the charging demon from the reflection in his glasses.
"Move!" the older man ordered as he pushed Michiru back and jumped back himself.
Michiru was confused by the sudden movement and rebalanced himself, but before he could ask what was going on, his eyes widened in pain as the boar demon rushed by and gouged out a good portion of the teen's side with one of its tusks, the sudden sensation of pain so intense that he couldn't even cry out. Michiru collapsed to his knees and held his side in an attempt to slow the bleeding, the memory of when he attempted to search for Utsugi on his own only to come across Jimuguri, a fragment of Naraku, and would have been killed by the demon if Inuyasha and the others hadn't arrived when they did to save him flashed through his mind.
"Damn," the older man cursed to himself as he watched the boar demon go by, catching the sight of Michiru's wound before stopping himself and pulling the handgun out of his holster, a black Beretta Model 92, and took aim at the demon. After charging spiritual power into his gun, the older man then fired four rounds at his target. Each bullet struck the back of one of the boar's knees, forcing it to collapse again. The older man then turned his attention to the others who had stepped out of the vehicles. "Someone get this kid a healer!"
"Yes, sir!" the others responded with salutes, making their way towards Michiru while the older man walked towards the fallen demon, still holding his gun.
As the man approached the boar demon, he saw that his shots had completely blown out the creature's knees, preventing it from ever getting back up, much less attempt to run off.
"You really are a stubborn one, aren't you Nago," the man addressed the demon. "You're the only demon I've had to hunt down twice."
"To hell with you, Yokusei…" the boar, Nago, responded with hatred in his voice. "Why should we demons be forced to hide from weak humans such as yourselves?"
"That's just how the world works. From what I hear, you demons only have yourselves to blame for almost being wiped out," the man answered. "I don't know how things were for you before and I honestly don't care, but you will abide by our laws."
"I would sooner die!" Nago snapped.
The man smirked and aimed his gun at the boar demon's head, "If you say so." Charging his spiritual power again, the man fired two more rounds right into Nago's head, killing the demon. "What a nuisance…" The man holstered his gun and readjusted his glasses, but after doing so noticed a few wounds that hadn't been on the demon before. (What's this? These aren't from my men… Could they be from that kid?)
"Sir!" the man heard someone call out to him, to which he pulled his attention away from the demon's corpse.
"What? Is the kid dead?" Was the man's first question.
"No, sir. He's healing on his own."
(What?!) The man's eyes widened in surprise, pushing his subordinate aside and rushing back towards Michiru. Upon reaching the teen, he saw that Michiru was indeed closing the wound he had received using his own spiritual power, his hands and arm were covered in blood and the area of his shirt around the wound had been stained red. "This power…" (How is he able to use it without a medium?) After healing himself, Michiru lost consciousness and fell onto his side.
"What should we do, sir?" another of the gunman's subordinates asked.
"We don't have much choice. We'll have to take him to headquarters," the man answered, then turned his attention to his subordinates. "Get the kid to my van and one group of you will return to headquarters with me. The rest of you, clean this place up. Leave no evidence we were here."
"Sir, yes sir!" all the man's subordinates responded with a salute.
The man then glanced back towards Nago's corpse for a moment, "And don't forget to get rid of the trash…" The man then made his way back to the northern van as two others carried Michiru's unconscious body on a stretcher and followed after their commander. Another handful of humans made their way to the van parked to the east and the two vehicles drove off once everyone was inside.
As they drove down the streets, the man who killed the boar demon pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and dialed a number. After about a minute, someone answered on the other end.
"It's me," the man spoke. "The demon was resisting and had to be killed."
"That's a shame," a woman's voice answered. "Then again, boars are known for being stubborn. Boar demons aren't any less an exception."
"What is it?" the woman on the other end asked.
"We found someone else who has awakened," the man answered. "It seems he had been fighting Nago before we arrived."
"I see. Were you able to identify their spiritual practice?"
"He uses Shikigami," the man answered. "Without the use of a medium."
The woman on the other end was silent for a moment. "... Interesting. When you return, I want you to bring him to my office immediately," the woman ordered.
The man narrowed his eyes slightly and readjusted his glasses, "As you wish." After hearing the other end hang up, the man put his phone away.
In the back of the van, Michiru was regaining consciousness; his eyes opening as he placed a hand on his head and pushed himself up to a sitting position on the stretcher with a light groan.
"What happened?" the teen thought aloud.
"So you're finally awake," a voice spoke up, catching Michiru's attention as the boy finally looked around his surroundings, noting he was likely in the back of a vehicle and saw four other people - all of them young men appearing to be in their late teens to early 20's - looking at him. "You took quite a nasty hit. If you hadn't been able to heal yourself, you probably would have died."
Michiru tried to recall what happened and remembered being struck by the boar demon, "Where am I?"
"We're on our way to headquarters," one of the other men replied. "Since you're awakened, it's part of our procedure."
"Awakened?" Michiru repeated.
"It's the term we use for humans with legitimate spiritual powers," another male explained, this one Michiru noticing to have pointed ears. "While few humans had spiritual powers to begin with, even fewer exist today that do and others make false claims of having such powers."
"Are you… a demon?" Michiru asked cautiously.
The man with pointed ears chuckled a bit, "Close. I'm a quarter-demon. That aside, we made sure to clean up your blood so you don't reek when we get back to base."
Michiru then looked himself over, noticing the lack of blood from his injury, though he froze upon noticing the tear and blood stain on his school uniform and let out a groan, "My parents are going to kill me…"
The first man let out a light laugh, "Don't worry, you can get it fixed before you're taken home."
Not far outside of Tokyo, the two vans drove out to the middle of nowhere. Eventually they came across what appeared to be a lone condemned warehouse with moss and vines growing over the structure and seemingly hidden by nature. The vehicles turned towards the building and its doors slowly opened, granting them access as if waiting for them. Once the vans were inside and had parked in the center of the building, the doors closed behind them and the floor started to descend. Once the lift reached the bottom of the rather deep shaft, the two vehicles drove down the connected underground tunnel until they reached a large, open space. The presence of other, similar vans gave the sense that this was meant to act as some kind of parking lot. And at the far back of the room was a three-story building that filled about half of the underground area, barely touching the ceiling and walls of this man-made cavern. Once both vans had parked, their occupants exited the vehicles, though the glasses-wearing gunman walked to the back of his vehicle and grabbed Michiru by the shoulder just as the boy was exiting.
"You're going to come with me," the man said as he shoved Michiru forward.
"Whoa! Hey!" Michiru raised his voice in surprise, not expecting to be pushed so roughly as he stumbled forward a bit. "No need to push me, I'd follow you if you just asked."
"I don't have time for this…" the gunman grumbled as he readjusted his glasses. "Our leader wants to speak with you, so I'm taking you to meet her. Now shut up and come with me." The older man then turned his attention back towards the others. "The rest of you are free to rest up until your next assignment."
The other members of the group who had exited the vehicles saluted the man in glasses to confirm his order. The man then walked towards the building with Michiru close behind, feeling as though he had little choice in the matter. Once the two entered the building and walked into the foyer, Michiru was unable to find his voice as his gaze wandered and saw a number of humans and either demons in human form or half- or quarter-demons either conversing with each other, relaxing, or carrying files or boxes of items around, making the place seem almost like some kind of corporate office building.
The teen was speechless as he saw the humans and demons interacting together like this after what he had experienced in the Feudal Era. When Michiru looked towards the back of the foyer, he saw the gunman standing by the elevator looking back towards the boy with a rather annoyed expression on his face. Feeling embarrassed, Michiru lowered his head and hurriedly walked towards the older man, ignoring everything else around him so as not to get distracted again. Once the doors to the elevator opened, the two entered and the older man pressed the number 3 button, the doors closing before taking them up in awkward silence.
After the elevator stopped at the top floor and the doors opened, Michiru followed the older man out and down the hall a fair ways until the gunman stopped in front of a door, causing the schoolboy to stop right next to him. The older man then brought his hand up to the door and knocked.
"You may enter," a woman's voice said from the other side of the door.
The older man shot a glance at Michiru as he grasped the doorknob, "Mind your manners, kid." The man then turned the knob and pushed the door open, stepping into the room with Michiru walking in right behind him. As Michiru glanced around the room, which appeared to be set up like a company's CEO room, the older man closed the door behind them and walked over to the other side of the room and stood next to an office desk.
Sitting at the desk was a beautiful woman who appeared to be in her early 20's with dark down eyes and long black hair in a hime cut that stopped at her waist, wearing a rather formal business dress consisting of a black skirt that stopped at her knees and matching suit jacket over a white, long-sleeved dress shirt that seemed barely capable of holding back her rather large chest.
"Please, have a seat," the woman directed to Michiru as she slightly nodded her head towards the chair opposite her.
Michiru wordlessly nodded and obediently sat down.
"Now then, I'm sure you have quite a few questions, but for now we'll take care of introductions. My name is Rika Furude," the woman introduced herself. "And the one who brought you here is Sakutaro Morishige, my second-in-command." The older man, Sakutaro, readjusted his glasses. "And your name?"
"Michiru Kururugi," Michiru answered with a slight bow of his head. "Are you… in charge of Yokusei?"
Both Sakutaro and Rika were silent for a moment, sharing quick glances at each other before the woman spoke up, "That is what most demons refer to us as. And since several of them believe we are suppressing them, they gave us that name as a result. But it doesn't matter what we're called, it won't interfere with our goal."
"Your goal?" Michiru parroted curiously.
"To protect our country from supernatural influences, such as spirits and demons, and work towards a more peaceful co-existence," Rika answered. "We do this by offering sanctum to any demons who prefer to live normal lives and adapt to the changing times. Otherwise we find ourselves forced to subdue or even kill the more hostile and rampant demons. I believe you've encountered one of the latter earlier today?"
"Yeah, a large boar demon," Michiru recalled the demon that had rammed the bus he was heading home on.
"That one was Nago. You may have heard that boars are quite stubborn and abrasive, well Nago embodied that completely. He detested our group and hated how much the world had changed from what he was used to," Rika then flashed a smirk as she glanced at Sakutaro. "In fact, Nago was so stubborn that he's the only demon to have ever escaped from Sakutaro."
"You don't need to mention that to a freshly awakened," Sakutaro said with a slight glare.
"Scary, scary," Rika said in feigned fear before returning her attention to Michiru. "As for why we brought you here, after hearing from Sakutaro that you had awakened, I was hoping we could possibly recruit you."
"Recruit me?" Michiru repeated. "Why? The group that showed up seemed perfectly capable from what I remember."
"It's true, everyone here is indeed capable of handling situations such as what you witnessed today, but we're always in need of spare hands," Rika answered. "As I said, our goal is to protect our country, but Japan is quite large and we're a fairly new organization, only having been established a few years ago. Finding others who had awakened isn't an easy task as only a few truly awaken to their spiritual powers. And even with other demons assisting us, our numbers are still too small to cover every area of Japan."
"I see…" Michiru said, feeling stupid for his question.
"However… it's very rare to come across anyone with your kind of talent," Rika stated with an intrigued smirk.
"Huh? My kind of… talent?" Michiru questioned, completely confused.
"Sakutaro had explained to me that your spiritual power uses Shikigami," Rika said. "An onmyouji that uses their onmyoudo without the use of a medium is a rare talent."
"Onmyouji? Onmyoudo? Medium?" Michiru questioned, still confused. "I'm sorry, but what are you talking about?"
Rika gave Michiru an incredulous look, "Do you… not know anything about your spiritual power?"
"I only know what I was taught," the teen answered. "That Shikigami is the lifeforce of the universe and affects serpentine rock."
After looking at Michiru in disbelief, Sakutaro pushed his glasses up and pinched the bridge of his nose while Rika rubbed her fingers against her temples.
"Do we really need someone like him, Ms. Furude?" Sakutaro asked his leader.
"Every little bit helps, Sakutaro," Rika answered, then lowered her hands and returned her attention back to Michiru. "Forgive us, but it will take quite a while to explain at this point. For now, I will have someone give you a tour of our base. Afterwards, you'll be brought back here and we will discuss the possibility of your recruitment."
"Um, alright…" Michiru said, not entirely sure what to make of his situation as reached over to a phone on her desk and pressed down a button.
"Janis, would you come up to my office for a moment?" Rika asked, then pulled her hand from the phone.
"Really? You're going to ask her?" Sakutaro asked with a raised eyebrow.
Rika shrugged her shoulders, "I don't see why not. And it might make Michiru here feel more at ease being shown around by someone closer to his age than someone who would make him feel threatened." Not too long after, there was a knock at the door. "You may come in."
As the door opened, a girl who appeared to be the same age as Kagome stepped in, her long, curly blonde hair held back by a red clip stopping just past her waist and complimenting her blue eyes as she wore an academy uniform consisting of a blue top with a red necktie in a gold trim, a grey skirt, white stockings, and brown penny-loafers similar to the ones Kagome wore with her school uniform, and a pair of white pearl earrings.
"You asked for me, Ms. Furude?" the girl, Janis, greeted.
"Janis, I'd like you to meet Michiru Kururugi. Michiru, this is Janis," Rika introduced the two teens to each other. "Janis is from America, but she had moved here to Tokyo some time ago. She will be giving you the tour of our headquarters."
Michiru rose from the chair he was sitting in and walked towards Janis, stopping a couple feet from her and held out his hand, "It's nice to meet you. I'm Michiru."
"Janis," the blonde girl greeted back as she reached her own hand to the boy's and they shook. "Shall we get going?"
"Lead the way," Michiru answered with a nod and the two stepped out of the room and made their way back to the elevator and to the ground floor.
"We'll start from the bottom and work our way back up," Janis said. "So, you're our new recruit then?"
"I'm… not really sure. This whole thing is completely unexpected," Michiru answered, causing Janis to giggle a bit.
"That's understandable. A lot of us were like that at first," Janis admitted, then looked over Michiru's uniform from the corner of her eye. "You're in High School?"
"Hm? Oh, yeah. I'm a first-year," Michiru answered. "Yourself?"
"Yeah, same," Janis replied. "Hey, if you decide you want to be recruited, maybe we can be study partners during down time."
"They let students study here?" Michiru asked.
"Well yeah. After all, grades are the most important thing for a High School student," Janis pointed out."Moreso than in America, that's for sure."
"Right, good point," Michiru agreed.
"And we'll also get your shirt fixed up before you leave," Janis offered.
"Ah, thank you very much," Michiru said gratefully.
Once the elevator reached the ground floor and the doors opened, the two teens stepped out to the foyer.
"So first off, this is our lobby," Janis said as she gestured her hand to the area before the teens. "It's generally used as a space for everyone to have a quick break and relax after an assignment." Janis then looked to her right. "Down that way is our indoor medical herb garden. We have a 500-year-old demon who tends to them, but he prefers to be left alone so only those with permission to gather the herbs are allowed in there."
"I see," Michiru said, taking the information in, but then his thoughts caught back to something specific about what Janis had said. "Wait, did you just say 500 years old?!"
"Yeah, I did," Janis answered casually. "Demons are long-lived beings, some of which can live for well over 1,000 years. We've never actually met any ourselves, but some of our older demons members have stated as such."
"Huh…" was all Michiru could get out, too surprised by the lifespan of a demon. (Then I wonder just how old Inuyasha, Shippo and Kirara actually are…)
Janis then turned to her left and led Michiru down a hallway that led to the eastern side of the building, eventually reaching a rather large room where the schoolboy could hear what sounded like fighting.
"This area of the building is for training purposes," Janis explained. "There's quite a few rooms with their own specializations, but it'd take awhile to go through them all. There is someone in this room I'd like to introduce you too, though."
Janis then opened the door to the room and Michiru was met with the sight of several people in the middle of training in various styles of martial arts or striking punching bags. Some though were taking a breather, wiping off sweat with their towels or grabbing a drink. Janis walked up to one person in particular who was vigorously striking at a punching bag.
"Hard at training as always, Mr. Sanada?" Janis inquired the person she approached.
After one more punch, the person took a few deep breaths to calm himself before turning around to respond to Janis, giving Michiru a better look. The person was a man seemingly in his early-30's with very short black hair, hazel brown eyes, a bit of stubble on his face, and wore a set of training shorts and shirt which were a little drenched in sweat.
"Ah, Janis. What brings you here?" the man questioned.
"Just showing the new guy around," Janis answered as she turned and motioned to Michiru. "Mr. Sanada, this is Michiru Kururugi. Michiru, this is Akihiko Sanada. He's our resident combat specialist and a bit of a training junkie."
"Hey now, don't go giving the kid any weird ideas, Janis," Akihiko warned the schoolgirl, who merely laughed a bit before the older man turned his attention to Michiru. "So Ms. Furude's looking to recruit you, is she? Well, we can always use more people." Akihiko then turned slightly to look over the room, prompting Michiru to do the same. "This room is is specifically for training those who prefer close-range combat, either through various styles of martial arts or, in the case of demons, with their claws."
"I see…" Michiru said in understanding as he let his eyes scan across the room, but then immediately stopped when he spotted someone with familiar long white hair and canine ears. "Inuyasha?!"
The person's ears twitched as the schoolboy spoke the name in surprise and they turned around to face Michiru. Indeed, the person did have long white hair in a style very similar to Inuyasha's, but their ears were slightly taller and more pointed than the dog demon's and had green eyes that looked at the boy quizzically as opposed to the fiercer amber eyes Michiru remembered. The person also wore a turquoise shirt with a tree-shaped design that had the roots sprawled across the bottom of the shirt and a pair of blue jeans, which were definitely not the red robes Michiru remembered.
"Hey, Kurama!" Janis called out to the demon with a wave of her hand, who pulled his gaze away from Michiru after a moment to wave back to Janis with a smile.
"Kurama?" Michiru repeated.
Janis then turned back around to face Michiru, "Yeah, his name's Kurama. He's a half-fox demon and aside from Mr. Sanada, he's probably one of our most experienced fighters."
"Ah…" Michiru then turned his attention back towards Kurama, who was also looking back at the boy. "Sorry! I mistook you for someone else!"
Kurama merely stared at Michiru for a bit before nodding once in understanding and returned his attention to what he was doing.
"So, do you know what kind of spiritual power you use?" Akihiko directed to Michiru, causing the two teens to return their focus on their conversation with the older man.
"Yeah, I use Shikigami," Michiru answered.
"Shikigami, huh?" Akihiko repeated with a slightly raised eyebrow. "Interesting. It's definitely quite a versatile power." The older man then decided to go into an explanation of how the organization was structured. "Now then, as for how things work here, everyone eventually gets divided up into either a Combat or Support type based on how they specialize in their spiritual power. Combat types, as the name suggests, focus on using their spiritual power for fighting. For example…" Akihiko then brought his hands up in front of his chest and focused his spiritual power, his fists soon being enveloped in a spiritual aura. "I can charge my spiritual power into my fists, making my punches much more effective against demons and spirits." Akihiko then relaxed himself and the spiritual aura faded from his hands. "We also have long-range Combat types who generally use guns, like Sakutaro, but some like to be a bit more old-fashioned and use bows and arrows. Other Combat types don't even use weapons and instead use their spiritual power to fight from a distance. Combat types, however, are generally only deployed to handle high-risk situations, such as rampaging demons. Support types, on the other hand, get sent on every mission, depending on their speciality, of course. For the most part, Support types use their spiritual powers to restrain or enhance others or, more importantly, create barriers. I guess an easier way for you to understand this type would be spellcasting classes from RPGs. So once we figure out exactly what you can do with your spiritual powers, you'll get sorted into the appropriate group."
"I see…" Michiru said, taking in the information and thinking on how he generally fought while alongside the others in the Feudal Era.
"I'm also one of the Combat types," Janis spoke up, breaking Michiru from this thoughts. "While my spiritual power is best for attacking at a distance, I can also use it to charge my naginata to be more effective at close-range combat."
"So Combat types can also be mixed range?" Michiru questioned, to which both Akihiko and Janis nodded. "Hm… Well I guess I'd probably be more of a Support type, then. I do have a couple offensive techniques, but otherwise my power seems to be more focused on assisting others, like healing injuries or making a barrier."
"Huh? You already know what you can use your spiritual power for?" Janis questioned in surprise.
"How long have you had your power?" Akihiko asked.
Michiru turned his gaze upward as he thought for a bit, (As far as the present is concerned, I'd probably only have had my powers for about a week. But in the Feudal Era…) "About three… maybe four months?"
"How were you not discovered by us for that long?" Janis questioned. "Usually we manage to find anyone who has awakened within a week."
"I'm… not sure," Michiru answered as he rubbed the back of his head.
"I guess this'll have to be sorted out at a later time," Akihiko figured, then turned his attention to Janis. "You're still showing him around, right?"
"Oh! Right, I still need to show you the second floor!" Janis directed at Michiru, almost having forgotten that she was giving the schoolboy a tour due to the conversation with Akihiko, to whom Janis bowed her head. "Thank you for your time, Mr. Sanada."
"Sure thing," Akihiko said with a nod and watched the two teens leave the room, then turned his gaze towards Kurama. (He said he mistook Kurama for someone else… Would that mean he's encountered demons before?) The older man then turned back around to face his punching bag and resumed hitting it.
After returning to the foyer, the two teens entered the elevator and Janis pressed the number 2 button, the doors closing and the elevator took the two up to the second floor. Once the doors opened, the pair of High Schoolers stepped out into the hallway.
"So this is our second floor. There's honestly not a whole lot here other than residential rooms for any demons we're able to take in or for anyone who would prefer to live here," Janis explained. "However, there is one room of importance on this floor."
Janis then made her way down the hallway with Michiru following behind her. After several minutes, the pair found themselves standing outside of a room with "Resources" on the door's label. Janis then opened the door and the two teens stepped inside.
"This is our resources room. We store any spiritual or demonic artifacts here as well as books and scrolls on spiritual practices and demon lore," Janis explained as she and Michiru walked through the room and looked over some of the various items in the room.
"Is there something you need?" a woman's voice asked from behind the teens, causing Michiru and Janis to yelp in surprise and jump forward before turning around.
Facing the two High School students was a young woman with black hair that stopped just above her shoulders with a red pentagram-shaped hair ornament on the top left part of her head and dark brown eyes behind a pair of red-framed glasses. The woman wore a maroon blazer with a plain white shirt underneath and plain red necktie, a dark blue skirt, a blue jacket tied around her waist, and crew length black socks with brown shoes.
Upon seeing the woman, Janis placed a hand on her chest and let out a deep breath to calm herself, "Geez Naho, don't scare us like that!"
"My apologies, it was not my intent to do so," the woman, Naho, spoke in a monotone voice, then glanced at Michiru. "New recruit?"
"We're hoping so," Janis answered, then turned to face Michiru. "Michiru, this is Naho Saenoki. She's in charge of the resources room. Naho, this is Michiru Kururugi."
"Nice to meet you," Michiru greeted, but when Naho stayed silent, the boy felt a little nervous.
"If you decide to join us, you're free to borrow anything from this room," Naho finally said. "But please, do not touch the artifacts. I have placed protective wards around them until we have learned exactly what purpose they serve and how to best use them safely." As Naho mentioned this, Michiru took a glance at a couple of the nearby artifacts and noticed there indeed were some paper talismans placed near the items. "If you have no further business here, please leave."
"Actually… There is one thing…" Janis said, the hesitance in her voice clear. "We were wondering if you could stitch up Michiru's shirt."
Naho slowly glanced over Michiru's torso until she saw the tear in the boy's shirt.
"Looks simple enough. Fine, take it off and hand it to me," Naho instructed.
"Alright, I'll just, uh, go between the shelves then," Michiru said, feeling embarrassed at having to take off his shirt in the company of two young women. Sure he had done so before in the Feudal Era when Kagome asked to try on his shirt due to be a different style than her school's sailor uniforms, but that wasn't any less embarrassing.
After hiding between two shelves of books, Michiru removed his shirt and held it out in the open. Naho then immediately snatched the article of clothing from the boy's grasp, took it to her desk, and pulled out a sewing needle and some white thread before starting to fix up the hole in the shirt. Luckily for Michiru, it didn't take very long and Naho soon handed the shirt back.
"Thank you," Michiru said gratefully as he took his shirt back and put it on.
"It's no problem, but be more careful next time," Naho warned. "I do not wish to interact with people any more than necessary."
"R-Right…" Michiru stuttered a bit in understanding.
"Is there anything else you require?" Naho asked.
"Nope, not at all! Come on, Michiru," Janis said quickly as she then grabbed Michiru's wrist and proceeded to pull him out of the room with her, closing the door once they were back in the hallway, at which point Janis placed her hands on the adjacent wall and rested her forehead against it. "I hate going in there…"
"Something in there you don't like?" Michiru questioned.
"More like someone," Janis answered, Michiru easily catching on that she was referring to Naho. "She's always so quiet and she easily sneaks up on people. And her eyes… I swear, they look like those of a dead fish… It's creepy…" Michiru just let out a quiet, nervous laugh, not really sure what to say. Then Janis pulled herself from the wall and turned back around to face the teenage boy with a cheerful smile on her face.
"Well, that pretty much does it for the tour. I'll lead you back to Ms. Furude's office now." Michiru nodded and the two made their way back to the elevator and rode it back up to the third floor, stopping outside of Rika Furude's office once more with Janis knocking on the door.
"You may come in," Rika voice answered from the other side.
Janis then turned to face Michiru again, "Well, good luck. I hope you do decide to join us." Janis then made her way back to the elevator, waving Michiru farewell before taking it back down to the ground floor as Michiru waved back to her.
Michiru then grabbed the doorknob and opened the door, closing it behind him as he stepped inside, noticing that Sakutaro was no longer present.
"So, what did you think?" Rika asked.
"It's definitely impressive," Michiru answered as he walked up to Rika's desk and sat in the chair opposite hers again.
"And your decision?"
"I'm… not really sure," Michiru answered. "I think I need some time to think about it."
"I understand," Rika said, then pulled out a slip of paper and a pen and began writing something down on it. "I will give you until tomorrow afternoon. If you do decide to join, head to this location and someone will be there to pick you up." Once she was finished, Rika handed the piece of paper to Michiru, who took it and gave it a quick look over. "However, I must inform you that you are, under any circumstances, not to talk about us to anyone. We are a secret organization funded by the government to handle issues that normal humans cannot see or do not believe and we would prefer to keep things that way."
"Right, I understand," Michiru agreed, putting the paper in his pocket.
"Now, I have instructed Sakutaro to take you as close to your home as he can. You will find him waiting for you outside the lobby," Rika explained.
"Thank you very much," Michiru said with a slight bow before getting up from the chair and making his way out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Rika then leaned back slightly in her chair and looked at another sheet of paper she had on her desk containing some notes she had written down, "But what exactly are you hiding that you almost let slip?"
On the note was written some information about Michiru that she had received from Akihiko while Janis was showing the boy around the second floor as well as some she dug up herself while searching the young onmyouji's name.
"Heir to Kururugi Shrine
Already familiar with own limitations of powers
Awakened for 4 months
Previous interaction with demons?
Knows a demon similar to Kurama?
Who is "Inuyasha"?"