1Shaman King is the property of Hiroyuki Takei.
All characters in the first chapter are my own creation.
This story begins just after the plane disappears and the shaman are supposed to find Dobie Village. I may mix techniques, attacks and other items in both English and Japanese. Also my story is based on the anime, not the manga.
"Well this is just great," Zach yelled out. "We're thousands of miles in the middle of nowhere, without any idea which direction to go for the next round of the shaman tournament. Don't you think the council would be kind to give us A FREAKIN' MAP!!"
My best friend then proceeded to continue to pace around the boulder I was sitting on, wearing a path into the dirt and sand.
"That is not the point. We're suppose to find Dobie Village by our own will with no help from the council," Maria, Zach's twin sister, pointed out. She was sitting on the ground against my boulder, trying to get the knot out of her whip.
The air around Zach shimmered and his guardian ghost appeared behind him, following in his footsteps.
"Listen partner, you just need to calm down for a moment. The railroads in the plains weren't built in a day, you know."
A voice hissed from around Maria's shoulders. "He'sss right. Sssettle down and think."
I sighed, twirling my knife in my hands. Zach was always the one in a hurry when it came to getting things done. He never takes a minute to think of plan on what to do. He jumps into the fire, so to speak. He doesn't put it out. How he won his shaman fights I will never know.
Maria was a strategist. She always has a plan. Without her, me and Zach would have been killed several times during the preliminaries by stray shaman who didn't pass and were looking for some sucker's oracle bell.
But regardless, I'm very happy that they are both here. It's hard growing up without anyone to help protect. In fact, growing in an orphanage in Okinawa would be hard on anyone.
My life actually started in America. I was born on October 10, 1989 under the name Jacob Sawyer. My birthplace was Tulsa, Oklahoma.
My father was Henry Sawyer, a archeologist who lived in Tulsa. He spent a majority of his life studying the history of the mound-builders who lived here nearly fifty-thousand years ago. His favorites were the witch doctors who proceeded to bury the dead with their strange rituals. He loved his work because he was Cherokee and loved to study Native Americans.
He didn't meet my mom until he was asked to give a lecture at Tulsa University on the mound-builders. She was a senior there, about to graduate with same degree as him. She fell in love with him when he invited her on one of his expeditions. They married six months after they met.
Oh, my mom was Okanami Hitomi. She was a Japanese transfer student who was interested in the Native American culture.
I was born about year after they were married. Since my dad was the only one his family, my mom wanted to show her new family to her old one in Japan. My dad agreed and we flew out a week after I was born. My dad was excited to meet his new in-laws and mom was happy to return home.
The night we arrived in Tokyo after checking into a hotel, there was a terrible fire that burned the building down. Neither one of my parents survived, nor did any of the other guests. Somehow, I was able to. The firefighters and the city officials were confused and shocked that I was untouched by the inferno.
The police identified all of the bodies and found my mom's family. They brought me to them with the intention of them adopting me. But the Okanami family was angry at my mom for moving away and marrying an American without their permission. They already chosen her betrothed and they disowned her when she refused to marry him. She fled to America when they did. Her family wanted nothing to do with me.
They contacted the American officials to see if my dad had any family that could take me but didn't find anyone. Furthermore, the American officials couldn't find my birth certificates or any other documents. They seemed to just disappear. I couldn't legally enter the United States until I became an adult.
So the Japanese government did the next best thing. They placed me in one of the best orphanages in the country. But with the publicity of the fire, I was actually offered a home from many people who wanted to adopt the famous 'Fire Child'. But the Japanese government thought that this might cause up upcry back the United States, saying the baby belonged back where he was born.
So they placed me in the Naha City Orphanage in the Okinawan Islands. My name was changed to Sawyer Kasai. I spent the next years growing up with the other orphans. I was never mistreated there; in fact, I was interviewed by the city officials once a week to see if I was being uncared for.
But I was labeled by the other orphans and workers as an outcast. For some reason, during my early years at the orphanage, I was able to speak perfect English along with Japanese, despite never being taught English. I could read and write both English and Kanji. This scared the children and workers, thinking I was some kind of freak.
Not only that, I kept complaining to my care givers that I kept hearing voices. I would be playing with my blocks in my corner of the room and someone would whisper in my ear. A child's voice. I would look around but the rest of children would be in the other corners, avoiding me. No one would believe me and made me look even worse than usual.
This continued for the next few years, until my eight birthday. By this time, I ignored the voice and didn't talk to anybody about it. But after the small birthday cake the orphanage gave me and my present, one set of new clothes, the voice became stronger. Also, objects around me began to move on their own.
I tried to ignore these things, but the kept getting worse. Eventually, windows were broken and objects kept flying towards the other kids, injuring them slightly. I got blamed for the mishaps and was punished by spending recess alone on my bed in a room where the other orphans slept. It was then and there that I realized what was happening.
A ghost was causing all of those incidents.
It happened the first day of my punishment. I was trying to read when my book went flying across the room. I yelled out but there was nobody in the room. It was then I saw the ghostly image of a young girl materializing out of nowhere and hover in front of me . I screamed for my care givers and they rushed into the room. I pointed towards the girl as she smirked and continued to hover, then disappeared. The caretakers told there was nothing there and added another week to my punishment for making up such lies.
Later that night, the girl appeared again, pushing me awake. I woke up and started to scream again when she put her and over my mouth and silenced me. This shocked me. When the kids told ghost stories, they always said that ghost could pass through objects and couldn't possible harm people physically, yet this girl could touch me.
She motioned for me to follow her. She led me through the hallways and onto the playground, where she sat on the swing. I finally got over my shock and realized that the girl was about the same age as me, wearing the standard dresses that all girls were supposed to wear. She was slightly pale and looked, well, ghostly. I could see everything except her legs. They seemed to disappear as they got lower to her feet.
She told me her name was Hana and she died at the orphanage when she got pneumonia a few days before I arrived as a baby. For some reason, her spirit wouldn't return to Heaven and she didn't know how to reach it. Over the years, she tried yelling out for help, but know one could hear her. One day she saw me in the corner one day and asked me for help. When she saw me look around, she knew I had heard her.
She became stronger over the years. She told me that being around me made her grow stronger until a point she could move objects and take a form. Now, she wanted me to help her pass on. She also wanted to be my friend after she saw how alone I was.
She gave me my greatest birthday gift of all. Friendship.
After that night, I began to look into the library for books about ghosts and the afterlife. I spent hours looking up information that would help Hana while she looked over my shoulder, reading along with me. However, this only increased my reputation as a freak. Especially with the way it seemed that I was talking to myself instead with Hana.
The workers at the orphanage grew concerned with my behavior and called a psychiatrist. He asked several questions about my health, if I was talking to myself because of bullies, if fell out of the bed on night on my head; the usual crap. Hana suggested that I shouldn't tell anybody of my ability to talk to a spirit so I just kept my mouth shut.
However, the other kids thought I was just using this ploy to crave attention. They would then push me over, ruin my art projects, pour water in my bed, and called me names like 'freak' and 'devil boy'. This continued on for years.
Hana thought this treatment was horrible so she took things into her own hands sometimes. She would throw more items at the kids, levitate their beds while they were sleeping, and make howling noises when the kids were alone. I know she meant well and I appreciated it, but she only seemed to make things worse. I never told her that, though.
Years of researching and I wasn't any closer to finding a way to return Hana to the afterlife. But she didn't seem to mind the wait. She told me she really enjoyed spending time with me. She even followed me to school when I was old enough to go to a public school. She would help me with my tests and would quiz me.
But my reputation as a freak followed me to school, as some of the orphans came to the same school as me. The rumors they spreaded about caught both students and teachers, causing pretty much everyone on campus to be wary of me.
It hurt, but I was pretty much used to it by now. As long as Hana was there with me, I thought life wasn't so bad.
That is until my twelfth birthday.
After school, I decided to take a detour back to the orphanage and stop a new ramen shop that Hana told me all the other kids were talking about. I agreed and took the route. By some weird coincidence, there was a cemetery next to street we were on.
I was talking to her when I realized she wasn't floating next to me anymore. She stopped a few meters back, staring intently at the gravestones. She didn't say anything as she floated through the bars and began to float towards the hill. I tried to call her back but she wouldn't listen to me. I ran around the fenced towards the gate, hoping over the 'closed' bar and towards the top of the hill.
Hana was just floating near a headstone, saying nothing. But I thought I heard sniffling and saw a single tear fall down her cheek. I looked down at what she was looking at and saw what drove her here.
The stone read:
I didn't know what to say. All this time, she told me she didn't know where she was buried. She didn't bother to leave the orphanage to see where the workers took her body. She didn't even know that she was dead at first.
Her grave was bare. No offerings or flowers were on her memorial stone. I was then overcome with a sudden urge to present something, anything, on her stone.
It was winter, so all the flower shops were closed for the season. I glanced around the yard, hoping to find something to present because I was broke. Then, a few stones away, was single flower growing among the weeds: a gardenia.
I picked it carefully from the weeds and walked back towards her tombstone, picking up a stray pop bottle from the trash. I put the flower in the bottle and laid it down on her stone. Then bowed my head in respect and sent a prayer to Kami.
Suddenly, my eyes were blinded by a bright yellow light. I kept them shut for a few seconds, then squinted through to see Hana surrounded by a golden aura. She had her eyes closed. Then she opened them and smiled at me.
"Thank you, you have set my soul free," she said. "All I needed was to be remembered. Now, I will see you again when you pass." Her light was brighter as it began to ascend into the sky. Before it was gone, I heard a voice whisper Good-bye and then blacked out.
I woke several hours later. It was dark and for a few moments. I thought I fell asleep, then I remembered. Hana was gone. I thought it would be great when she ascended to Heaven, that her soul would finally be a peace.
But now, I was more alone than ever before. I hugged my knees and began to cry.
It was hours before I moved. By the time I got back to the orphanage, they already locked the gate. I was stuck outside for the night. I didn't have a back-up plan so I just aimlessly wandered over the city, lost in my misery.
I didn't know what to do. I've lost my friend, never to see her again until I passed on unto the next world. It was like there was a giant hole in my chest. And with every breathe I took, the hole just seemed to get bigger
Then my situation got worse. It began to rain. The winter season was brutal this time of year. When it rained, it was almost Freezing rain. But I didn't notice my skin being chilled to the bone through my school uniform, or the cough the seemed to develop after a few minutes.
Or the fact that I literally walked into someone as they were closing up their store and I ended up on my butt.
"Hey, watch were you're going, gaki!" a voice rang out. It sounded like an old man.
I didn't bother to answer as I sat in my puddle. I just stared the man I bumped into. He was dressed in an old, graying business suit that just didn't seem to match his face. His face looked an ancient warrior, one whose pictures are in my history books. His hair was white and came to his shoulders. Their were a few wrinkles on his face, but not enough to make him look like he was dying. His eyes were this deep shade of gray, almost black.. I stared, confused
Despite his gruff attitude, I could see a small hint of concern for my situation.
"Hey, gaki, are you alright?" he asked.
I stood up and bowed for my accident. "I'm sorry, sir. I was just...distracted."
"What are you doing out here? You could freeze to death. Aren't your parents worried about you?" I saw him cringe when I shook my head.
"My parents are dead, sir. I live in the orphanage, but I was locked out tonight."
"Well that was stupid of you, baka," he scolded. He then sighed and opened his door. "Come on in. I was just getting my sign out of the rain."
I hesitated. I heard of all the stories of kidnappers taking children off the street and leaving their bodies in alleyways for the stray cats to eat. There were those horror stories the caretakers told us so we wouldn't linger in the streets when it was time to close.
The man sensed my hesitation. He looked at me and slightly smiled.
"Don't worry. My wife would be happy to have you over tonight."
My hesitation turned to eagerness as I walked into the shop. Surely I wouldn't be harmed if I was staying with a elderly couple instead of one creepy man. Besides, with the way it was raining, I think I would take my chances inside.
As I walked in, I noticed the sign on the window read, "Sofubo's Antiques"
The room was sparsely lighted by only a few candles in the back room. From what I could see, the dark room was filled with old furniture, a variety of vases and other furnishings, old kimonos dating back several decades and literally hundreds of books lining along the walls.
The old man led me through the shop and into the lit room. It was a small kitchen with the basic necessities: Fridge, oven. Except their were tiny.
An old woman was at the sink washing dishes. She was about my height, with graying hair, and a thin body. She was wearing a traditional white kimono, although I don't know why because there were no holidays or any other special occasions that I could think of.
"Hime, we've got company," said the old man.
Princess? I thought.
The woman turned around. She had green eyes that seemed to shine like emeralds and this warm face that immediately made me smile.
"Oh hello. My name is Kubai. Irasshaimase,(Welcome to our shop)" she said.
I bowed. "I'm Sawyer Kasai. Thank you for inviting me into your home."
The man behind me raised his eyebrow. "Your name means 'fire'?
"That's what the workers at the orphanage tell me."
The woman looked shocked. "You're an orphan?"
The man nodded. "I found the gaki wondering out in the rain. He got locked out for the evening."
The woman moved forward and began to push me up the stairs across the room.
"You poor thing. You are free to stay the evening with us. We have an extra room upstairs next to ours." she pointed to a door on my left when we reached the top landing. "There are some dry robes inside in the closet. I'll go make you something to eat and bring it up." She then left me alone on the landing.
I pushed the door open. Inside, was a single bedroll on the floor with a set of clean, but dusty, gray robes. The room was bare except for a window across from me, where the storm outside was still raging. It seemed like nobody had been in here in a long time.
I changed into the dry robes and waited for Kubai and the old man. They came up a few minutes later, Kubai carrying a bowl of soup. The old man stayed in the doorway.
"I'm afraid this is all we have," she told me.
I stood up and bowed to her.
"It's ok, Kubai-san. Anything sounds great."
She waved a hand away. "There is no need to be formal. Plain Kubai will work just fine. You can even call me 'obaasan'(grandmother) if you want to."
I smiled and began to eat. It was delicious, whatever it was. I eagerly ate the bowl withing a matter of minutes. As soon as I was done, I felt my eyelids begin to fall.
Kubai took the bowl from me. "Feel free to spend the night. We would love the company."
"Are you sure?" I asked. "I don't have any money to pay you."
The man grinned. "Then get out."
Kubai rounded on him. "Shut up, you old goat." She turned back to me. "There is no charge. You eyes tell me that you have a kind heart, but one that is broken. I can tell something emotionally happened to you. Something that only time can heal."
The warmth that was building up inside me seemed to vanish when I remembered why I was here. I could almost feel tears begin to fall again.
"You don't have to talk about it now, kid," the man said. "Right now, our home is your home."
The warm feeling came back again. The way the man said it, I almost felt like the other orphans who were adopted when parents who were looking for children came by. The feeling of finally finding a home. It was like a warm embrace from someone you loved. A warmth ten times better than the soup I just finished.
I bowed once more
Kubai picked up my bowl and smiled. "Your welcome. Now, you better get some rest. I'll have breakfast for you in the morning. Good night."
She then left room and went back downstairs. The old man smiled from the doorway.
"She's really happy that you're here. I haven't seen her like that in years."
I tugged at my robes. "Who did these belong to?"
The man's head went down. "A boy we adopted some time ago. He disappeared about two years ago."
The man raised his head back up. "It's quite alright. Now...." He gave me a looked that made me feel like I was in trouble. "With a surname like 'Sawyer', it sounds like your American?"
I nodded and yawned. "Yes, my father was American."
He then began to slid the door shut. "We'll talk about it in the morning. Now, get some rest."
"Wait," I asked. "I didn't get your name."
The man smiled. "My name is Nishi. But you can call me Jiji(grandfather)." The door slid shut.
I smiled and put my kunai kife back into my thigh holster. I then pulled out my pendant that was given to me for fifteenth birthday. It was black medallion with the ying-yang symbol in the center. On the border line that separated the colors, was a dragon, my zodiac animal.
"Master, the twins are fighting again. Maria is trying to strangle her brother," muttered my guardian ghost.
I groaned. "How many times have a I told you not call me master. Call me Kasai, Jacob, Jake but not master. It makes feel superior to you. You're my friend, remember?"
My ghost just shrugged. "Whatever you say, master."
I groaned again and got up to separate the twins. How they never managed to kill each other, I will never know.
"Guys, let's just head to the nearest town." I pointed towards the road. "We'll just follow the road and see where it takes us. Maybe someone can help us there."
"Yeah, we can just ask around town if anyone knows where a tournament full of ghost-wielding freaks is being held," Zach joked.
"Can't you have a positive attitude about anything?" Maria asked, smacking her brother on the head.
I just sighed and picked up my backpack. It was going to be a long trip to get to the next round of the Shaman tournament.
But it was one step closer to my dream.
I promise to have more information about the characters and their guardian ghosts in the next chapter. I just wanted to give readers background information of the main character.
Please watch out for updates. There will be more to come.