Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, Ghostbusters, or anything associated with either of them. This story is being written just for fun and enjoyment.
Chronicles of the Shikigami Master: Part One
Chapter #1: An unexpected Surprise
Author's Note: When I played Inuyasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask for the first time, I wished that another game was made where Michiru Kururugi (the male character whom you play as in the PS2 Game) could return to the Feudal Era or visit a number of different worlds. For those of you who haven't played the game and aren't familiar with it, I have written a short summary of what took place before starting this new story which takes place afterwards. Circumstances have dictated that this story be rewritten with a change to the time frame as well as minor alterations to events in order for this adventure to turn out for the best, most of the changes are small and are hardly noticeable unless you read very carefully; I apologize to all in advance for this and thank you for your attention and reviews.
Basically, Michiru had come home from school one afternoon during a Festival taking place at the Kururugi Shrine( located on the same property is part of his home as well) and went to his family's storage shed to get some amulets for his father who was helping out with the Festivities. As he walked inside through the narrow space about as wide as a small hallway, he had accidentally stepped on to a red star shaped pentagram which was painted on the floor. To late, the wooden floor boards cracked and feel apart beneath him which caused Michiru to fall through some sort of magical void which had sent him hundreds of years back to the time of Japan's Feudal Era. There he had met Inuyasha, a half demon whose father (a full demon lord) had married Inuyasha's human mother which explains his half demon state.
Immediately after Inuyasha led Michiru to a nearby village, he met Kagome Higurashi, a pretty high school girl about his age from modern Japan just like him who came to the Feudal Era under similar circumstances many months earlier. She also happens to be the reincarnation of a powerful priestess named Kikyo (whose powers of purification were passed on to Kagome)who was entrusted to guard and watch over the sacred Shikon jewel of four souls over fifty years ago in the Feudal Era. During his first meeting with Kagome, he also met a very young fox demon named Shippo who has the power to transform himself into other people or perform magic tricks that would make any modern day audience gaze in amazement and disbelief. The village he met Kagome and Shippo in is named after Kaede, a wise elderly woman(Kikyo's younger sister now grown old fifty years later) who is very kind and generous despite the fact that she makes Inuyasha mad when she argues or talks with him.
Later on after several short travels throughout mid evil Japan, Michiru meets a talented Buddhist monk named Miroku who travels all over the land using magic to perform exorcisms on evil spirits or demons as work for a living. Most of the time however, Miroku doesn't act honestly and tricks people to give him free food and more pay than what the cost of performing the exorcism is actually worth. Most if not all of Miroku's exorcisms are performed to exorcise a demon or spirit(another trick of Miroku's) that doesn't even exist to begin with. His most disturbing trait of all(one that he inherited from his father and grandfather both of whom were also monks) is his desire for lechery, which is proven by the fact that he'll walk up to a complete stranger(as long as she's both young and beautiful) and ask her to bear his children. Needless to say, all this information was quite shocking for Michiru to process as it would be for anyone from the Modern Era especially since Miroku is anything but an honorable monk.
Michiru also met Sango on the same occasion when he had met Miroku. Sango is an athletic and very beautiful warrior who travels throughout the land hunting and slaying demons as a means to earn a living(honestly, unlike Miroku). She is accompanied by a cute little two tailed cat demon named Kirara who looks harmless at a first glance, but Kirara can transform into a giant, and dangerous cat demon (nearly as big as a full grown lion)with sabre tooth fangs and has the ability to fly high in the sky while in this state. Sango often takes any spare time available to practice training with her Hiraikotsu(a giant boomerang shaped weapon carved from a bone about 5 - 6 feet long) as well as many other weapons in her arsenal, all of which are deadly and require immense skill to use. Her lack of supernatural strength or powers forces Sango to train efficiently in order to keep up her own strength during a battle that might occur so she doesn't become a burden for the rest of the team.
Michiru often felt the same way when he first began travelling around with Inuyasha and everyone else he met later on. Until he could properly use the Shikigami magic(a rare spiritual power that exists in all creatures in the Universe)which he discovered had only just awakened within himself once he first arrived in the Feudal Era, he felt the need to become stronger and began to train with Sango when ever the two of them had some free time together. As well as training with Sango, Michiru also learned how to harness and use his Shikigami powers thanks to the invaluable lessons taught to him by an elderly woman named Kakuji, who Michiru discovered much later was his great, great; great Grandmother. He also found out that a hitogata(a living doll) named Utsugi was responsible for summoning Michiru back to the Feudal Era to use him for his own personal ambitions. Even though he was just a living doll, he was a formidable opponent because he also possessed Shikigami powers which by comparison were far superior to even the most powerful spells that Michiru could cast at the time.
This training coupled with the battles he would fight against demons while travelling from one village to another prepared Michiru for a few more dangerous conflicts against an evil demon named Naraku who (fifty years ago)was responsible for cursing Miroku's Grandfather with a Wind Tunnel in the palm of his right hand which was eventually passed on to Miroku as well. In addition to this terrible act, Naraku also tricked Inuyasha and Kikyo to fight against each other over possession of the Shikon jewel. In this battle(also fifty years ago) Kikyo died from her injuries just after sealing Inuyasha against the tree of ages with a sacred arrow launched from her bow. Kagome came to the Feudal Era fifty years later through the Bone eater's well located at Higurashi Shrine. A few weeks later, Naraku massacred every member of Sango's family except for Kirara and Sango's little brother Kohaku who was taken by Naraku and forced to live under his control for a very long time until Michiru helped to rescue him. Naraku sought to gain all the Shikon Jewel Shards to increase his own evil power so he could one day kill Inuyasha and all of his companions, including Michiru. Luckily, by the narrowest of margins; Naraku was finally killed in battle by the combined strength of Michiru and his friends.
Shortly afterwards, Michiru was teleported back to his own home in the Modern Era at the exact moment in time that he had left during the doll festival of wishes during the afternoon. Although his original goal to find a way to return back home was finally accomplished, Michiru couldn't help but feel a sense of loss now that he was separated from his closest friends. He missed Sango most of all, she had been his companion during their days off in the Feudal Era, and he had developed a deeper connection to her over the course of his travels. He had even declared his love for her before being summoned back to the Modern Era, he had acted to tell her, since he might never get another chance to see her again once he returned to his own time period. Now that Naraku was dead and gone, the only task left to Inuyasha and his friends was to recover all the remaining sacred jewel shards that lay shattered throughout the land. Unfortunately, Michiru would be unable to help his friends to search for them until he could find a way to return to the Feudal Era. At long last Naraku's death had brought the most important journey of Inuyasha's companions to an end. But for the young Shikigami master, it was nothing more than a stride compared to what was about to begin much later. Although he would have no way of knowing it at the time, the beginning of his next great adventure would start not in the Feudal Era, but in the Modern Era. And that alone would set the stage for everything that would follow afterwards throughout the rest of his life. And so begins the second great adventure of the brave Shikigami Master known as Michiru Kururugi.
Roughly four and a half months passed by since that fateful day Michiru had gone to and come back from the Feudal Era, during which time he began studying history and looking up every page of information he could find about his newly discovered Shikigami powers. Unfortunately, there was no way for him to return to the Feudal Era and so all he could do was study, practice his magic when his parents weren't home; and take physical training in the back yard to become stronger like he had done with Sango during his travels with her. During the Summer vacation, this was easy since he had five weeks of free time to himself; although he hardly made any progress in finding how his magic worked. But when school started up again, it was an entirely different situation; Michiru had to work extra hard on his homework from school in order to make time for studying and training. Although his grades were average, he was a slow learner in some subjects and needed to read and check everything carefully to make sure it was done correctly. Ironically, time was both on his side and against him as well, he had to complete all his homework assignments for the second half of the school's first semester until Autumn vacation which was only five days from October 6th to the 10th. Afterwards, he then had to do the same for the first half of the second semester which would go all the way until Christmas during the Winter break.
Although he could sign out books from the school library when ever he pleased, he could only take the time to read through them once he had completed his homework; he had spent the whole summer reading through numerous books until he gradually found which topics he needed to look for which would give him the kind of information he sought. Michiru could still read and borrow books from his father's personal library at home, but the variety of topics to read about was very small. Two thirds of them were about military history while the remaining books were fiction, literature, and ancient cultures. The young boy had read all that he could from his father's immense collection of books about the Festival of Wishes, and other such festivals of Japanese culture. But he couldn't find any information on magic spells, let alone what ever magic power that Utsugi had used to teleport him back to the Feudal Era. All efforts to find a way to return had led Michiru to a dead end, and with each day that went by brought more strain to the young Kururugi boy.
The most stressful thoughts on his mind which he couldn't shake off ever since his return home nearly four and a half months ago were finally starting to cause the Shikigami user a great deal of anxiety. First off, he had Kagome's cell and home number but was unable to contact her because she had yet to emerge from the bone eater's well located at the Higurashi Shrine where she lived with her Grandfather, Mother, and younger brother Sota as well as her cat Buyo. Michiru didn't like to admit it, but he was immensely jealous of Kagome because of her ability to instantly travel back and forth without even using any of her special powers. Secondly, why wouldn't she have returned home for a while now that Naraku was dead? Surely she would have taken the time to see her family now that no one in the Feudal era was in danger, not to mention catch up on all her homework that she missed from school. Or maybe everyone was still in danger, perhaps Naraku had somehow faked his own death which could explain why she returned so she could help out Inuyasha and the others battle him again.
It wouldn't have been the first time, and that thought made the teenager worry. He even imagined that Naraku cheated death again but waited for Michiru to be summoned back to his own time just after Utsugi died. Without Michiru and his Shikigami powers, Inuyasha and his friends were that much more vulnerable and would be easy prey to the evil and twisted scenarios which that demonic monstrosity set in motion all across the land. Thirdly and finally was the problem of how he was summoned back to the Feudal Era in the first place, magic was the obvious answer. But whose? Michiru had discovered that Utsugi had acquired Naraku's help in order to summon him back in time, so only the two of them together could have accomplished it with their combined powers. And now that both of them were dead, all the answers they possessed had been taken with them. There was now no positive proof that could answer any of the questions that weighed heavily on the Shikigami user's mind that evening and until he found even a useful scrap of evidence, he was forced to do nothing but guess and do the best he could with what available resources he had.
With no means of returning to the Feudal Era or contacting Kagome, Michiru decided that all he could do was to prepare for the worst case scenario. That meant getting all schoolwork done and over with and practicing magic only when he was alone or when his parents weren't at home. When his parents were at home, the young man would take physical training outside in the backyard or read through his father's books while he sat quietly in the privacy of his room. In the event that Naraku was still alive and causing havoc in the Feudal Era, Michiru began to read military history so that he could possibly anticipate and foil what ever plans the terrible demon had set in motion. Naraku possessed both immense power and intellect, which convinced Michiru to read in order to gain as much useful knowledge as possible since he obviously couldn't match Naraku's strength and demonic power. Thanks to the books and other information sources available to him in the Modern Era where he lived, Michiru had the advantage of learning and reading the military history along with various kinds of warfare from different countries and different time periods; something Naraku didn't have.
That Monday afternoon on November 19th, Michiru had just completed his schoolwork and felt good that he was now a week ahead in all of his classes; this was because each of his teachers had generously allowed him to do the work early so that he wouldn't get into trouble in case he suddenly became absent from school. He remembered Kagome telling him that she had been absent from school for a number of times and missed weeks of classes because of her time spent in the Feudal era where she could see Inuyasha and the others. But no matter how much he wanted to return to Feudal Japan and visit them as well, that was no excuse for skipping school; especially since his parents were very concerned with his grades. Even if they weren't, he still didn't know how he had been summoned back in the first place; which meant that he could only continue on with his ordinary life until a successful breakthrough had been made in figuring out how his Shikigami powers worked. This didn't exactly help him keep his mind at ease, although he told his parents that everything was alright when ever they asked; the fact that they both suspected a change in him was evident enough to prove that he couldn't handle being stuck at a dead with no feeling of being closer to accomplishing his goal. From July 7th to November 19th and he had spent countless hours reading through any books he thought would help him out and for all his efforts, he still had nothing to show for the work he had done; the only progress he made at all in anything was through physical fitness training that he had done over the summer which made him a little stronger and more physically fit even though he was still very lean. Nevertheless, it reminded him of the times when he and Sango had trained with each other during his Feudal era adventure and he secretly imagined both Sango and Kirara practicing with him in the modern world even though he was actually all alone for every occasion so that helped to ease his mind.
As he sat at his desk in the privacy of his room, he was now taking a moment to pause and think in order to avoid losing his mind which was deeply troubled about other matters besides returning to the Feudal era. Even though Michiru's imagination was running out of control, he couldn't ignore it. Long before the Kururugi boy had been summoned to the Feudal Era, Inuyasha and the others had fought numerous times against Naraku. Even when Naraku's plans were foiled or when he had sustained a great deal of injuries from fighting Inuyasha and his friends, Naraku always escaped with his life so that he could plan other evil schemes or set up another devastating trap for Inuyasha later on in the future. Michiru and Utsugi would change all that during the battle just north of Kururugi Village, where Naraku was finally defeated in battle from which there was no escaping death. The young boy let out a yawn as he closed one of the three books he had just finished reading, all of which belonged to his Dad's library. Luckily he could borrow books from his father's library as long as none of them left the house and that they were returned to the proper shelves in the same condition they were in before they were borrowed. In addition to the three books on his desk as well as an overhead map of Tokyo with all the streets, road systems and businesses listed, Michiru also had his travel log which he used to mark his destinations while in the Feudal Era. Unfortunately the brown haired boy was so focussed on the map in front of him, that he failed to hear a pair of foot steps sneaking up from behind him while he sat at his desk.
"So this is where three of my books ran off to hide. Or should I say this is where someone ran up to hide after snatching three of my books from downstairs?" a deep voice spoke with a hint of humour.
"Uh I was just trying to figure some things out, that's all." Michiru answered with a guilty look on his face after glancing back quickly over his shoulder to see his father leaning over Michiru from behind the chair to stare at what ever it was that his son was working at so intently. "I'll put all of them back on the two different shelves when I'm done in an hour or so."
"Hmm, alright then Michiru," Mr. Kururugi replied with a smile before padding his son on the right shoulder. "Just be sure to put the books back on the right shelves and don't mix them up.
"Okay, thanks Dad." Michiru responded gratefully as he heard his mother's voice call from downstairs.
"Supper's ready dear." Mrs. Kururugi shouted, waiting for a reply so she could serve the plates of delicious food that she had just cooked on the table once she knew that her husband and son were on their way to the kitchen.
"We're coming honey," Mr. Kururugi replied, giving Michiru a look to get up and follow. "Let's wash our hands and head downstairs."
After a quick but pleasant dinner, Michiru raced up stairs to his room so he could continue with his investigating. Inside the living room, his father was sitting at his own desk which was nearly twice as large as the one in Michiru's bedroom reading through some new books he had recently purchased at a book store somewhere in Tokyo. His mother was still in the kitchen tidying up with all the dishes, but afterwards she would go outside to check the garden for weeds and to gather any vegetables that were ready to be picked. Since he had just finished supper, there was always a slim chance that Kagome had returned from the Feudal Era for a brief visit and was eating supper as well with her own family. Although it had been nearly four and a half months since his own return, Michiru was quite surprised that Kagome wouldn't have come back even once to see how he was doing or to even visit her own family. He decided he had no choice but to keep calling once every couple of weeks until she was there to pick up, the boy punched in the numbers on his cell and waiting for a response as the ringing began. He would have liked to call more often, but his own daily schedule kept him very busy and he also wanted to limit how many times he called so he could avoid being questioned by his parents; for they would undoubtedly ask who he was trying to contact over and over again and he didn't relish the idea of having to tell them that he had befriended a girl and wind up being embarrassed about it.
"Hello? Whose there?" an old impatient voice called out from the cell's speaker.
"I-I'm sorry to disturb you but I'm calling to see if Kagome's returned yet from the Feudal Era." Michiru answered, trying to be polite since it was unfortunately Kagome's Grandpa who had answered the phone again just like last time and the time before that.
"The funeral prier! What are you playing at?" Grandpa asked angrily, "Being bedridden from poisonous snake bites and with a burning fever for a week doesn't mean a person is declared dead. Where did you get that ridiculous idea from? "Who are you anyway, a teacher? Why do you always call when ever she isn't home?"
Michiru was completely speechless after hearing Kagome's Grandpa rant and rave over something so simple as a yes or no question. Unfortunately, the old man's hearing wasn't the best when it came to talking over the phone. Not that it really made a difference seeing as how the Kururugi boy could easily figure out that Kagome's Grandpa was once again trying to fake another ridiculous lie to cover up the fact that his granddaughter was still in the Feudal Era and so he couldn't see her yet. Needless to say, the Shikigami user was getting very worried as well as impatient; his chances of seeing Kagome again weren't looking very bright and he relied on her to find out how everyone else was doing. Luckily, the old man's voice died down and was replaced by the sweet and caring voice of Kagome's mother.
"Higurashi residence, how can I help you?" Mrs. Higurashi asked, hoping the caller hadn't hung up because of her Dad.
"Oh um, hello Mrs. Higurashi." Michiru answered politely. "Its Michiru Kururugi calling, I just wanted to know if Kagome's back yet."
"You don't have to say your full name when you call Michiru, you've called about twenty times already so I know who you are. Or have you forgotten that you came over to our house during the summer to see if Kagome was home?" Mrs. Higurashi reminded him yet again.
"Oh right, sorry about that Mrs. Higurashi." Michiru admitted with a little embarrassment.
"That's alright, please don't apologize; I should be apologizing to you on Kagome's behave since she's making you wait for such a long time." Mrs. Higurashi continued. "I'm afraid Kagome hasn't returned yet but when she does, I'll make sure she calls you this time before she does anything else. I know that I've been waiting for a long time as well, but at least I'm fortunate enough to see her first when she finally comes home every once in a while; my patience is running out just as fast as yours since she's lost track of time and it'll be a miracle if she can still graduate with her friends in all the classes."
"I guess she has lots of practice for losing track of time and missing out of school doesn't she?" Michiru asked humorously, making Mrs. Higurashi giggle over the phone. "I can tell you that I'd certainly never get away with that, my parents would ground me for life."
"Well perhaps I should do the same for her when she does get home, I honestly don't know how she'll manage catching up in school given that her teachers aren't too pleased with her attendance record; I guess she'll have to make up for it by getting a hundred percent on each and everyone of her school assignments if she's to pass this year." Mrs. Higurashi answered.
"Won't that be a challenge, I know I can never do that good with my homework; at least not all of it. I discovered that I didn't miss any time here when I was summoned to the Feudal Era, but that advantage doesn't help at all if you're unable to find a way to travel back and forth." Michiru replied, "I just don't understand why she hasn't returned yet now that we've finally defeated Naraku, I know she likes visiting Inuyasha and the others a lot; but the only reason I could think of for staying away for so long is that there could be some sort of emergency that's keeping her and everyone else busy."
"You aren't suggesting that Kagome's in danger are you?" Mrs. Higurashi asked with a worried tone of voice.
"No! No of course not!" Michiru answered, trying to reassure Mrs. Higurashi while checking the time on his watch . "Maybe Inuyasha just won't let her leave until she's helped to gather up all the rest of the sacred jewel shards. No that doesn't make any sense, she would just use her sit commands over and over if he tried to do that. Well I'd better get off of the phone before it gets too late, it's a school day tomorrow after all; thanks for your time Mrs. Higurashi."
"Bye Michiru, I'll make sure Kagome calls you when she finally returns so don't worry; and good luck at school tomorrow." Mrs. Higurashi replied before hanging up her phone.
After clicking off his cell phone, Michiru had unfolded his overhead map of Tokyo with all its road systems, street and business names. This would hopefully let him figure out the location of every village he had travelled too while he was in the Feudal Era, he also had his family's address to use as one reference point for Kururugi village as well as Kagome's home address to use as another for Kaede's village. Michiru hoped to locate both of them on the modern map so he could see them with his own eyes. If he compared the walking distances along with the road systems he used and wrote down while he was travelling to and from every village he visited in the Feudal Era, he just might be able to make a proper map of the entire area with all the villages accurately located so it would be a lot easier to travel from place to place. That is of course, if he ever found a way to return the Feudal Era. There was no guarantee that he could accurately locate all the villages just from a little guess work and rough travelling directions from his journal, but this helped to pass the time and put the young Kururugi boy's mind at ease if only temporarily.
After a few hours of pencil work and reading, Michiru finally finished drawing out his map. Unfortunately he couldn't test its accuracy until he arrived in the Feudal Era, but it helped put his mind more at ease since he was preparing to return someday. The hour was late and the young boy's eyes were getting heavy, it was time to turn in. School was tomorrow and now that there was only a month left until the end of the second semester's first half, Michiru would have to work extra hard since there would be both homework assignments and tests coming up as well; especially now that the days were much shorter compared with what they had been over the summer. After returning his father's books and brushing his teeth before going to bed, Michiru glanced at his newly drawn map before clicking off the lights. As he climbed into bed and pulled the comfy blanket over himself, the tired teenager rested the back of his head and neck against the soft pillow underneath. Staring briefly at the ceiling above, Michiru's eyes closed shut just as he slowly drifted into unconsciousness.
As the boy plunged into a deep sleep, his mind became crowed with images of the faces of his friends and the places he had been in the Feudal Era. As wonderful as they were to see in his unconscious state, he still longed for opportunity to see them all in real life. Michiru began to have flashbacks of all the memorable events he had experienced in his travels throughout mid evil Japan, even the smallest of them held immense value to the young Shikigami user. He remembered how he had met Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippo and began travelling to Akebi village where he met Grandma Kakuji who had helped to explain what his mysterious powers were and began to train him afterwards when ever they encountered each other during their travels. Later on he had met Miroku, Sango and Kirara after returning from a battle in Kasasagi Town where he had met Kagura and Utsugi for the first time and found out about their common enemy Naraku. All the memorable experiences Michiru had with each of his friends during his days of rest and relaxation reminded him of how important they all were. Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo. Miroku, Sango and Kirara. To him, all of them were best of friends, almost family even though he had no relation to any of them.
They had spent most of their time in the Feudal Era fighting demons and tracking down clues about Utsugi or Naraku, so there were only a few brief periods where they had some time to have fun on their own. The most memorable example, the one which Michiru especially enjoyed was when all of them tried out for the drum competition during an annual festival held at Tsuzumi village. He had watched with the audience and cheered on each one of his friends as they tried their best during their turn to play the massive instrument, and it was even more wonderful when they won all five matches, making them the winning team of the competition. If Michiru did return to the Feudal Era, they would have a fresh start and all the time in the world to enjoy life with no worries or troubles at all now that Naraku was gone and Sango had her brother Kohaku back.
Suddenly Michiru's eyes snapped open as a loud ringing noise broke the peaceful silence in his bedroom, he quickly reached out his left arm and turned a switch which ended the annoying sound in an instant. After a short pause, the Shikigami wielder realized that the cause of the unbearable noise was only his alarm clock which was set to go off and awaken him at 6:30a.m. Laying his head back down on the pillow, the young boy mentally cursed the fact that he couldn't sleep in and return to his unconscious state which had given him so many precious glimpses of his companions from the Feudal Era. Why did the all of the good dreams always happen on the days when you had to get up early every morning to go to school or to work? It just wasn't fair, and this was one peeve that would forever remain unavoidable to every human being; even one with incredible magic Shikigami powers. It was no use dwelling on something that couldn't be changed or controlled, so the teenager reluctantly rose out of bed and went to have a nice warm shower to clean up and prepare himself for the day.
Forty-five minutes later the Kururugi boy had finished getting dressed for going to the school and walked downstairs into the kitchen where his mother already had breakfast served on the table. His father had already eaten and left for work early just before 7:00a.m. His mother didn't have to go to work until an hour or so later, but she still made breakfast for herself and Michiru so at least they could eat together in the morning before leaving the house. Michiru drank his glass of orange juice first to wash out the inside of his mouth before eating his breakfast, this way his taste buds would be active so he could savour the pleasant flavour of the fried eggs and toast that lay on his plate in front of him. His lunch which his mother had also made for him was packed and waiting on the kitchen counter so Michiru could grab it after breakfast before he left for the day. Michiru was already thinking about what he would do after he got to school, check out the school library during lunch break for any useful books he could use to study any history or spells about Shikigami magic. It was the only free time he would have for the day, for he would have to come home as soon as the school day was over and he needed to travel by bus. Suddenly the young boy's thoughts were halted by a curious voice which broke the silence in the kitchen, and simultaneously brought him back to reality.
"You look fully awake Michiru, you're usually still tired on a school morning and try to stay in bed for a few extra minutes." Mrs. Kururugi said, smiling at Michiru.
"Yeah, but then I'd be running late and its not a pleasant experience rushing to school during the winter." Michiru replied while eating his breakfast. "Now that there's only a month left before the first half of second semester is over, I have to stay ahead in my classes; especially with tests coming up soon so I can have any amount of free time left over to do over stuff."
"And what sort of stuff are you referring too?" Mrs. Kururugi asked, catching her son completely off guard. "Ever since the Festival of Wishes ended, you've been spending more of your free time reading and studying than you would usually do whether or not you actually had any assignments from school. And you've also been doing a large amount of physical fitness in the backyard during the summer, I even caught a glimpse of you training with a kendo stick in the yard just yesterday before you came inside and went to your room to do your homework. Listen Michiru, I can tell that something is bothering you. Now if you're not ready to talk about it, then I understand. I just want you to promise me that you will talk about it with me or your father when you feel more comfortable with the matter, okay?"
After a brief pause to take in everything his mother had said, Michiru reluctantly gave in. "Okay, I promise." Michiru responded, still feeling uneasy that he would one day have to explain everything including his adventure in the Feudal Era where he acquired his newly discovered Shikigami magic.
Once his breakfast was done and he had another glass of orange juice, Michiru got up and washed his dishes under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher. Then the young teenager went downstairs, quickly brushed his teeth and washed his hands before racing back upstairs passed the kitchen and up another flight of stairs to get to his bedroom where his light brown backpack was waiting for him. Everything seemed to be in order, which meant it was time to leave now that he had his wallet; house keys and cell phone which had been fully recharged. After placing his packed lunch inside his backpack and giving his mom a quick hug, the young shikigami user was walking briskly until he made his way to the bus stop located near Kururugi Shrine. A bus arrived within a few moments and after paying the driver, the Kururugi boy sat down in an empty chair to wait patiently for the bus to arrive at his school. As the vehicle drove on, Michiru quickly checked a list he had written down of certain sections of the school library where he could possibly find any books with useful information that he was going to be looking for later that day, if that didn't work; he could always use the internet on the school computers. Twenty minutes later, the bus pulled in to a stop, the teenager thanked the driver before stepping outside and found himself looking at the main entrance at the front of his high school.
Michiru was fortunate that morning classes for the day didn't have lots of assignments, he quickly eat all of his homemade lunch before heading inside of the school library where he could look for some books. Except for several librarians who worked at the check out service desk by the entrance, there wasn't another person in site so the place was nice and quiet, perfect for reading and researching. The Kururugi boy pulled out the list from his pocket and began to look around from one book another, after taking another piece of paper to write down the titles and authors of any books that contained any useful information that might prove helpful. As he continued his investigating, Michiru found himself overburdened by several books he had presently taken off of their shelves in addition to the weight of his backpack and decided to set everything down on a nearby desk before he was pulled down to the floor. Once his arms were free, he opened each book to a certain page and laid them beside each other about a foot away so he could jot down any information he wanted on a fresh piece of paper which lay directly in front of him.
The young man began to get very frustrated from the lack of information that the books were telling him, so far all Michiru could get was the origins of the what he thought was the same Festival of wishes which had taken place so many days ago on July 7th when he was teleported to the Feudal Era. According to the information he was presently still reading, the Star Festival or Tanabata as it is called in Japan; originated in a Chinese folklore legend called the Princess and the Cowherd which involved the two stars Vega and Altair. Once there was a weaving princess named Orihime(Vega), who was believed to make beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa(the Milky Way or Heavenly River) for her father Tentei(Sky King or the Universe itself). Her father loved the cloth very much so she worked very hard every day to weave it, but Orihime became sad that she would never meet and fall in love with anyone because she spent every day working hard to weave the cloth. Tentei arranged for his daughter to meet a prince named Hikoboshi(Altair) who works as a cow herder and lived on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two of them met, they fell in love with one another and married shortly after.
Unfortunately, there were consequences that would befall the newlyweds after their marriage was over. Both of them neglected their work, Orihime no longer took the time to weave the beautiful cloth for her Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cattle to stray freely all over Heaven. Angered by these actions, Tentei punished the two of lovers by separating them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa and forbade them from meeting each other. Saddened by the turn of events, Orihime pleaded with her father's permission to let her meet her husband once again. Moved by his daughter's tears, Tentei allowed the two of them to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month so long as she worked hard to finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, but neither of them could cross the heavenly river because there was no bridge to use. Orihime became sad and cried so much that a flock of magpies came to her aid, they promised her they would make a bridge using their wings thus allowing her to cross over the river and meet her husband Hikoboshi on the other side. If it rains on July 7th, than the magpies cannot come and the two lovers remain separated which forces them to wait another whole year until they can meet again.
The Tanabata also known as the star festival takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when the two stars Vega and Altair, which are usually divided from one another by the milky way are able to meet according to the Chinese legend. But because the 7th month coincides with August instead of July according to the traditional Japanese Lunar calendar, the Tanabata is celebrated on August 7th in some regions of Japan while it is celebrated on July 7th in other regions. For example, the two most famous festivals are held annually in different areas; one in Hiratsuka near Tokyo in the month of July while the other takes place in Sendai a month later in August. The Tanabata festival and the Chinese legend originated in China and was transmitted to Japan during the Feudal Era and combined with traditional local customs to become an official event at the Imperial court. Different localities developing their distinctive ways of celebrating the event in either July or August depending on what regions they lived in. In modern day Japan, people celebrate this day by writing wishes on small pieces of paper, sometimes in the form of poetry be they ceremonial wishes or actual wishes. The papers are hung on bamboo, sometimes with other decorations which are either set afloat on a river or burned after the festival around midnight or on the next day.
Needless to say, this information wasn't really a big help to Michiru since there was no information on Shikigami magic or anything in the Tanabata festival which related to the doll festival of wishes which had taken place at his family's shrine. As a result, the Shikigami user was once again forced to rely on guesswork based on what he could deduce from the information in front of him. For instance, the two lovers were allowed to meet each other just once on the seventh day of the seventh month every year. The little girl he met after his return to the Modern Era had shown him a wooden doll which was to be burned after she had written the name of a special person on it, thus allowing her the chance to see that person she desired. Michiru had followed her example by getting a wooden doll himself and writing Sango's name on it, and just as it was burning in a fire he had caught a brief glimpse of her twice for a few seconds; each glimpse just moments apart from one another on the evening during the festival. On the first occasion, Michiru remembered hearing a girl's apology after someone had accidentally bumped into him from behind. Once he heard the apology, he turned around to see who the voice belonged to and stood momentarily paralyzed at the unexpected site of the very girl whose name he had written on the doll just minutes before. After calling her name, Sango's image evaporated into thin air before his very eyes. The young Kururugi boy looked up at the sky hoping and praying for the chance to meet Sango again some day, and caught yet another glimpse of her walking peacefully among the clouds above. The orange and red sky coupled with the sunlight, illuminated her transparent form as the young man's eyes remained fixed on her beautiful appearance, Michiru could swear that she was looking back at him as her lovely, smiling face brought deep feelings of warmth and tenderness inside his heart.
Suddenly the high school student was brought back to his senses by one of the three librarians, a lady probably in her late thirties who was shaking lightly him by the shoulders. Looking at her briefly, the young man realized he must have dazed out and fallen asleep for a few minutes. The kind hearted women had awoken Michiru from his unconscious state and informed him that the school bell was about to go off, she also generously offered to return all the books herself so he could leave right away without being late, the overly grateful Shikigami user thanked her again before exiting the library and walking swiftly in the direction of his next class. After what seemed like a dead slow afternoon, the rest of the school day finally came to an end; making the Kururugi boy breath a sigh of relief that he could go home and do as he pleased. Once he had gathered his school books and backpack, Michiru walked to the bus stop where he would wait for is ride home and on the way there; his cell phone suddenly started ringing. As he pulled it out of his pocket to see who could possibly be calling him at a time like this, the Japanese student's eyes widened with excitement; it was Kagome's house number.
This could only mean one possible explanation, Kagome was back again and this time; he would finally be able to see her after almost four and a half months.
About ten minutes later, a bus pulled around the corner of the school and came to a halt in front of Michiru who by now was ready and waiting patiently for its arrival. Once the bus came to a halt and the doors opened up, the high school student got on board and took a seat right by exit. Unfortunately he would first have to go home and drop off his school books and gather up his belongings that he had during his adventures in the Feudal era, he was so looking forward to catching up on lost time; and he was positive that she would be happy to see him considering that she had nothing to do but piles of homework due to her repeated long term absence from school again. After a while, the bus arrived at Kururugi Shrine and Michiru pressed the bell to signal the driver that he wanted to get off of the bus. The teenager raced home and quickly opened the door with his house keys before getting indoors where he took off his shoes so he could dart straight upstairs to his bedroom without dirtying the floor with mud and snow; he then placed his school materials on his desk and made sure he had all of his belongings including his new map, his log journal and some other items such as both pairs of old fashioned pants (Hakama) that he was given during his time in the Feudal Era. Now that he had everything, he left a note on the kitchen table to let his parents know he was out visiting a friend and that he'd be back at or shortly after supper time; and then he locked up the house before heading outside where a bus was just pulling up to take on and let off passengers.
The Shikigami user hadn't felt this excited before since the he attended the annual drum festival in Tsuzumi village with Inuyasha and the others during his travels in feudal Japan, he finally had the opportunity to meet up with at least one of his friends from the feudal period. Taking a bus ride to Higurashi Shrine made the teenager feel like he was taking a private means of transportation to place where he call his own vacation spot to get away from the everyday troubles of reality. It had been very difficult, trying to get all his schoolwork done and never knowing when Kagome would ever come back. But that phone call helped Michiru put all those stressful memories behind him, and he felt even better as Kagome's house came into view through the window. After the bus pulled in to the stop, the Kururugi boy stepped outside and on to the ground where his destination was. He had everything he needed inside his backpack that he was wearing and after taking a deep breath to ready himself for the reunion he had been waiting for, the young man walked through the gate and eventually found his way to the front door of the house. The Shikigami user made a fist with his right hand and lightly knocked on the door to let everyone know he was here, after a minute had passed he knocked on the door again; this time a little harder in case no one heard him. Something wasn't right, surely it wouldn't take more than a minute to answer the door.
"Just a second, I'll be right there," said a kind voice as the door swung open, revealing Kagome's mom. "Hello Michiru, I was afraid that you missed the phone call a short while ago. Please come inside and make yourself comfortable."
"Sorry, I didn't answer my cell phone in time when I pulled it out of my pocket." Michiru admitted in embarrassment as he gave Mrs. Higurashi an apologetic look, as he walked inside and followed her down the hall to the kitchen. "I was so excited when I found out Kagome called, so I came over as quick as I could."
"I'm sorry to say that Kagome wasn't the one who called you Michiru, she still hasn't returned yet from the feudal era." Mrs. Higurashi said with a small hint of worry in her voice as she turned around to look at the young man.
Any excitement Michiru had felt now drained away when he saw the look on Mrs. Higurashi's face after hearing those words. "I…I don't understand, if Kagome hasn't returned yet then why did you call me today?" the Kururugi boy asked with concern.
Before either of them could say anything else, Kagome's little brother Sota came inside the house and running passed the two of them in a hurry to get to the kitchen. "There's a monster outside, everybody run and hide!" cried Sota who was looking through the kitchen drawers to find any sharp knifes he could use as a weapon. Sota's grandpa who had been sitting at the kitchen table sipping a cup of tea, looked over at his grandson with a curious grin.
"Sota what an earth are you panicking about, don't tell me Buyo's grown into a giant demonic cat." the old man asked in disbelief before turning around to look down the hall as the front door flew open with a thud against the wall.
Mrs. Higurashi's eyes widened as she looked behind Michiru at what ever it was that had given Sota a good fright. The kururugi boy could tell by her expression and that of her son and father that there must be some sort of demon that had entered into their home. Michiru gave a signal that he was going to use his Shikigami powers to ward off the intruder or at least move it back outside where he could fight it without causing any damage to the house, but Mrs. Higurashi had shaken her head in an effort to warn him to stay still so as not to alarm the being. Suddenly the young man heard a hissing sound from behind him, he began to fear that the creature was some kind of demonic snake. As the hissing grew louder, he new that the monster was getting closer and the closer it got, the more nervous Michiru became. The Kururugi boy expected the creature to strike him first, so he took a few deep breaths to calm himself before reacting to the serpent's bite once it struck him. A moment later the trembling teenager felt five sharp claws lightly poking against each of his shoulders, "Fresh blood!" said a voice as Mrs. Higurashi took a photo with her camera to distract the beast with the camera's flash.
Suddenly, the Shikigami user acted instinctively without any rational thinking to control his own body. The young boy clenched his hands into fists, crouched down driving his left elbow hard into the stomach of the person who was behind him. As he spun around counter clockwise with his other arm raised up, Michiru drove his right fist into the intruder's left cheek, causing the person to stumble one or two steps back while holding the side of their face. As the Kururugi boy examined the intruder in front of him, Michiru's eyes widened with shock and disbelief. He wasn't a monster at all, he was in fact one of Michiru's traveling companions or to be more precise; the very first travelling companion that he had met upon his arrival in the Feudal Era.
"You sure know how to throw a punch Michiru, it looks like your training with Sango paid off," Inuyasha said with a grin. "But your still not strong enough to take someone like me on, maybe in ten years from now you might have a chance."
"Cat got your tongue?" Mrs. Higurashi asked as Michiru looked at her for a moment before glancing at everyone else. After a few more seconds, everyone except for Michiru started laughing and the poor Shikigami user realized this had all been just a prank.
"Don't ever do that to me again Inuyasha, because it wasn't funny." Michiru stated after giving everyone a minute to laugh.
"Oh yes it was, you were trembling with fear," Inuyasha countered, still grinning. "Not that I blame you since you had your back turned and you couldn't see it was just me as I snuck up behind you."
"Yeah and you really thought that there was a giant demonic snake behind you, but instead it was Inuyasha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Sota said, laughing all over again with his Grandpa.
"Alright now, that's enough; I think we've all had more than enough laughter at Michiru's expense." Mrs. Higurashi, giving everyone in house a look before going into the kitchen. "Now that that's over and done, we can finally sit down and enjoy a tasty hot supper."
"I gave over unexpectedly Mrs. Higurashi, won't there only be enough food for…" Michiru politely protested but was interrupted by Inuyasha as the half demon leaned across from the opposite side of the table and poked him in the arm with a pair of chop sticks.
"You don't expect to grow more muscle with just training alone do you, you have to eat up to build up so start shovelling it in," Inuyasha said, staring at a large pot of instant noodles that Kagome's mom was had just finished cooking. "If you don't, you'll stay scrawny for the rest of your life. And if that were to happen, then you'd never be able to take me on in a fight."
"Don't be shy Michiru, everyone's eating and I can assure you there is plenty of food to go around," Mrs. Higurashi pointed out as she placed the large pot on top of a breadboard that lay in front of Inuyasha, afterwards she passed around bowls of left over stew mixed with rice that she had heated up in the microwave while she made a large plate of sandwiched that she set in the middle of the table before sitting down herself.
"Inuyasha, why hasn't Kagome come back yet?" Michiru asked, knowing that everyone else wanted to know too.
"Well, she wasn't in the mood to go searching for jewel shards, and she wanted to stay in Kaede's village to help Sango take care of her brother Kohaku; at least that was the excuse she said anyway." Inuyasha answered between mouthfuls, causing Michiru's heart to skip a beat at the mention of Sango's name. "I was bored after a full day, the only entertaining moments in the village were seeing Miroku getting chewed out by Kagome after being slapped in the face by Sango a moment before on more than one occasion; she'll never give up trying to pair the two of them together no matter how much trouble Miroku causes."
After hearing Inuyasha's words, Michiru began to wonder about Kagome's reaction if she suddenly became aware of his hidden feelings towards Sango; whether it would make her happy or angry because of her match making schemes. He was well aware that she always envisioned Sango to be with Miroku even though the monk's lecherous behaviour ruined the possibility for a romantic relationship to blossom between them, at least that was the way it looked from Michiru's perspective during his time in Feudal Japan. The Shikigami user still remembered telling the demon slayer that he loved her, but he didn't know how she had taken it since he vanished before her eyes and returned home to the modern era; which led him to wonder whether the others were aware of what had passed between them given that it was now four and a half months later. Of course, Michiru knew that time in the Modern era wouldn't be the same in the Feudal era because he had gone back and forth without losing any time in his own world; and yet in Kagome's case it was an entirely different story. Unfortunately for Michiru, the matter with how Sango felt towards him would have to wait a while longer since he couldn't return to the Feudal era and see her again until he figured out more about his Shikigami magic, but at least the young boy could spent time with his good friend Inuyasha which was an unexpected surprise given that he thought only Kagome had come home today for a visit.
"Why didn't you ask Kagome if she wanted to come home for a visit?" Sota asked before grinning, "Or were you too scared that she'd use her "Sit" commands on you?"
"I'm not scared of Kagome, its just her angry temper that drives me nuts." Inuyasha declared with a hint of anger in his voice. Sota had obviously hit the nail on the head with that last question. "She can be so bossy, and she's even more angry when she doesn't get her way. She even denies it when she's mad about something else and then takes it out on me by saying sit when I ask her about it."
"That sounds like Kagome alright, especially when she finds out about the excuses I have to use to cover up the fact that she's in the Feudal Era." Sota's Grandpa added as he finished his bowl of rice and stew.
"Don't say that too loud Inuyasha, because you never know when the person you're talking about can sneak up behind you and scare you in a flash." Michiru said in a loud voice as he tried to hold back his laughter. "I for one would be very angry if I found out someone was talking about me like that behind my back, and in front of my family no less."
"Ha! Not to worry, Kagome's still in the Feudal Era right now." Inuyasha replied, still stuffing his face. As he continued to talk, everyone around the kitchen slowly caught on to what Michiru was hinting at when he spoke. "Besides, she's probably enjoying my absence so she can flirt with that scrawny wolf demon Koga. And she calls me a two timer, Ha! I would love to see the surprised look on her face when she sees Michiru and I eating lunch with her family talking about anything we want without having to worry about her bad mood spoiling the occasion."
Sota nervously spoke up "Uh Inuyasha?"
"Yeah what is it Sota? Oh come on, you don't expect me to fall for the same prank that we pulled a short time ago when I scared Michiru do you?" Suddenly Inuyasha's eyes widened as he slowly turned his head to glance behind him, he then muttered, "Uh, hey Kagome."
Everyone including Michiru and Mrs. Higurashi broke out laughing, Kagome just stood where she was glaring at Inuyasha. If Michiru's frightened state was funny, Inuyasha's was priceless as he sat in his chair under the watchful gaze of the reincarnated priestess. After a moment, she sat down beside Inuyasha and across from Michiru who presently sat to Sota's left. Kagome's mom sat at the head of the table to Michiru's left with her father at the other end. Everyone could only assume that Kagome didn't say sit only to avoid Inuyasha's head breaking the dinner table and catapulting all the food and dishes into the air before making a mess on the floor. Mrs. Higurashi gave her daughter a long and warm hug now that Kagome had finally taken the time to come back and visit her own family, Michiru just sat in his chair eating his food and counting all the memorable moments he had experienced since he walked inside Kagome's house.
"How long were you eavesdropping outside the kitchen Kagome, before or after Inuyasha started ranting and raving?" Michiru asked, still trying not to laugh at Inuyasha's misfortune.
"I came inside just when you asked Inuyasha why I hadn't returned yet," Kagome answered, "And I came back to make sure he wasn't causing any trouble while I wasn't home. I didn't expect to see you here Michiru, but its only been a few days since you left us; we only just returned to Kaede's village yesterday."
"Come again?" Michiru asked in shock, making Kagome and Inuyasha look at him with concern after hearing his uneasy voice. "I-I've been waiting for you to come home for four and a half months and you're telling me that you, Inuyasha and the others only just returned to Kaede's village yesterday?"
"What? That's crazy, I thought that you would have spent the same amount of time in the modern era as I had done in the feudal era after you left." Kagome replied in shock. "As far as I can remember the same amount of time that passed by here in the Modern era is the same in the Feudal era too, now matter which one I'm visiting; that's how it works for the Bone Eater's well anyway . You've been waiting for four and a half months while its only been almost a week for the two of us and the others living in the feudal era? B-But that doesn't make any sense!"
"Oh my goodness…" Michiru replied softly as the answer suddenly dawned on him. "When I was returned to my home here in the modern era, only a minute of time had passed since I had been gone; because it was the same day and the same hour as it was when I had walked into the storage shed at the Kururugi Shrine before I fell through the floor and was summoned to Feudal Japan."
"What are you trying to say Michiru?" Inuyasha asked, eagerly waiting for his human friend to share the answer he had stumbled on.
"The four and a half months that had passed by was the time that I had spent with everyone in the Feudal era, from the day I was summoned there shortly before Inuyasha found me outside of Kaede's village to the day when all of us had buried Utsugi inside the Kururugi Cemetery in Kururugi village just moments before I returned back home." Michiru explained, causing both Inuyasha's and Kagome's eyes to widen as they grasped the shocking reality of what had truly happened; imagining how lonely it must have been for their friend to wait for that huge length of time. "It would make sense since you were all helping me look for clues about Naraku and Utsugi as well as the battles that occurred along the course of all the travels we had taken from one village to another and so on, its no wonder why both of you couldn't visit until today because you only just returned to Kaede's village after beating Naraku near Kururugi village."
"Michiru…if its been four and a half months, then what exactly is today's date?" Kagome asked with a fearful tone in her voice.
"It was July 7th on the Doll Festival of Wishes that I went to and from Feudal Japan, but today's date is November 20th; so you've missed most of the first semester and about a month and a half of the second semester, as well as summer vacation." Michiru answered.
"But don't worry sis, I've still been bringing home all your assignments for you so you can catch up on everything." Sota cut in with a grin. "That gives you a month to catch up on about four months worth of homework if you want to get all of it done by Christmas, a lot more homework than what you're usually faced with when you've been gone for so long; you can handle it right?"
Poor Kagome sunk deeper into her chair as the harsh reality took hold of her unprepared mind, she crossed her arms on the table and buried her face them in a vain attempt to shield herself from the predicament she now had to face, all that schoolwork not counting the assignments she also had to do for the remainder of the term before Christmas arrived during the winter vacation. Everyone let out a sigh as Kagome's mom tried to comfort her with another motherly hug to assure her that everything would be alright. Inuyasha wisely kept his mouth closed for once to avoid setting Kagome off now that she was under more stress than he had seen her just minutes before. After another minute Mrs. Higurashi set a bowl of left over stew and rice in front of Kagome for her to eat so she could recover the strength that she needed to get through the immense pile of homework that lay cluttered all over her bedroom. Once she sat down again everyone continued eating until their appetites where satisfied and their stomachs were full.
"If the amount of homework is really that huge, I can try and help you get it all done Kagome; I'm been getting a little ahead in my own school assignments anyway so it wouldn't be a problem." Michiru suggested, trying to make his friend feel a little better as he stood up from his chair to place his dirty dishes and utensils on the kitchen counter by the sink.
"What? Oh thank you Michiru, that would be a great help. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Kagome cried with joy as she leapt out of her chair and darted around the table, wrapping her arms around Michiru and squeezing him in a tight hug to show her appreciation and relief. The poor kururugi boy could only blush at being in Kagome's arms while attracting the attention of everyone else in the room. Inuyasha found Michiru's state of embarrassment to be very funny and gave the Shikigami user a look which told him that he brought this upon himself. Caught up in the idea that Michiru's assistance would make her homework problem an easier task, Kagome failed to hear a clicking sound coming from the other side of the table where her little brother was standing after leaving his chair.
"Now you can have a happy photo to remember this moment after all your homework is done." said Sota, grinning after taking a photograph of Kagome hugging Michiru with his mother's camera which had been left on the other side of the table.
"Huh? Sota! You little sneak! Give me that camera, now!" Kagome shouted angrily, letting go of Michiru and racing out of the kitchen to chase after her little brother who had captured a now embarrassing moment of her and her friend on film. Mrs. Higurashi momentarily giggled in amusement, but got up to follow her children and stop the confrontation before her camera might be damaged by the two siblings. Kagome's Grandpa started to laugh when his two grandchildren had raced out of the kitchen and was joined by Inuyasha who also found the event to be equally hilarious and entertaining. Michiru could only give Inuyasha a brief glare for getting another laugh at his expense for the second time but broke out laughing as well after seeing his friend in such a good mood now that the half demon was laughing at Kagome's embarrassment thanks to the little photo Sota had taken just a moment ago.
Now that supper was over and her children had stopped fighting, Mrs. Higurashi returned to the kitchen to clean up the dirty dishes and left over food on the table before going upstairs to help her daughter sort through all the homework that had accumulated during Kagome's absence. Inuyasha and everyone else sat in the living room to play with the cat Buyo and relax for a bit. After talking about the short wrestling match over the camera which Sota had with Kagome, everyone had one final moment of laughter before Sota turned on the television and began flipping through the channels. Michiru stood up from the couch and was about to go to the kitchen to call his parents and let them know that he where he was so they could drive over and take him home when a weird commercial came on.
"Are you troubled by strange noises in the night?"
"Do you ever experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic?
"Have you or your family actually seen a spook, spectre or ghost?'
"If the answer is yes than don't wait another minute, just pick up the phone and call the professionals."
"Call the Ghostbusters, we're ready to believe you!"
"Franchises available soon, call for details."
"Hey Gramps, you don't have to turn it off. Some of us are still watching, or didn't you notice?" Sota protested as his Grandpa turned off the television.
"I need your assistance for a short while, you'll have plenty time to watch TV later. We're going to clean and relocate an ancient sword that was discovered in the ancient well at our shrine. The sooner we get done, the sooner you can go back and watch TV."
"I'll help you out, that way we can get it done much faster with the three of us." Michiru offered, following the two of them to get the sword; leaving Inuyasha with Buyo. With any luck, the task would be completed by the time Kagome had organized her assignments.
"The sword of Murakumo also known as the sword of Kusanagi is the magical sword that Susano-Oh discovered inside the body of the eight headed serpent Yamata no Orochi after slaying it in battle."
"Susano-Oh must have been very powerful to fight a creature of that size and strength," Michiru said glancing at the sword once they were inside a storage shed as he moved some other materials on a nearby shelf to make room for the sword.
"Once in a while I take it outside to clean and restore the sword, so that its still in good condition." the old man continued. "But unfortunately there's so much rust on the blade, I can't remove it from its sheath."
"I can try using my Shikigami power to try and break up the rust fragments inside, that might loosen it even so we can remove it."
Michiru replied, jumping down from a small stool to examine the sword up close before summoning his powers. "Hey Sota, there's something written on the sheath here."
"That's weird, this character means "fang" instead of "sword" which means the inscription means "Sounga" not "Murakumo." Sota remarked. "That means that this old sword of yours is just a fake Gramps, I thought something was sketchy when you claimed it was a sacred national treasure."
"Impossible! That sword was discovered by our forefathers forefather generations ago!" Sota's grandpa replied with disbelief as he searched for any records that could prove the authenticity of the sword.
As Michiru shook his head in amusement while the two family relatives were arguing with one another, he brushed his fingertips over the inscription on the sword's sheath. Suddenly what looked like a ghost's head emerged from the sheath and snapped its jaws at Michiru who moved his hand quickly to avoid being bitten. After a pause to check that he wasn't hallucinated, the Kururugi boy darted away quickly to grab his backpack just in case he needed any of his feudal era possessions to protect himself and everyone else from the sword which he summarized must contain a great deal of supernatural power. Once he returned, an orb of white light appeared above the sheath capturing the attention of everyone presently inside the storage shed.
"A spirit's head came out of the sheath and tried to bite me, the sword must have some kind of magical entity." Michiru stated, keeping his mind focussed on the sword if things got out of hand.
"Hey, look at your fingers, I didn't bite you." a loud voice spoke.
"Look Gramps, the sword just talked." Sota said, tugging at his Grandpa's sleeve in a panic.
"I am the one speaking, not Sounga." the voice replied as the sword began to shaken violently. "Oh no, the 700 year old seal is about to break. Sounga will free himself from my control, is there a strong demon nearby who can help by taking hold of the sword?"
"Sota go get Inuyasha quickly, I'll stay here if things go bad." Michiru ordered, as the young boy ran off to find Inuyasha and the others.
"What happens if there isn't a demon to take hold of the sword? Michiru asked, already afraid where this trouble was going.
"Then Sounga will escape and great destruction shall befall the people of these lands." The orb of light answered.
Michiru didn't like it, but he would have to grab the sword if Inuyasha didn't arrive in time, regardless of how dangerous it was. Inuyasha was only a half demon, which led Michiru to believe that the sword was too powerful for him to control. But what of his Shikigami magic, would that be enough to prevent a disaster from happening, and if not would the Kururugi boy be protected by his magic from the evil aura that was coursing through the sword? There wasn't much of a choice, the sword levitated by itself and made a dash to escape out into the open. Michiru grabbed on to it with both hands, but this action wasn't enough to keep the sword from getting away. The sword was still flying through the air, dragging Michiru in the process and forcing the boy to wrap his legs around the post holding up the roof which stretched over the wooden walkway that stood three feet above the ground which acted as a bridge between the storage shed and the house. The evil demonic sword clearly possessed more power than Michiru had dared to guess, it was pulling him like a rope in order to break free of his grip. His legs were no match for the unlimited strength of the levitating weapon, they eventually lost grip around the post until only Michiru's feet remained locked in place. After a few more moments, the kururugi boy had to let go of the post. It was either that or let the sword get away and place everyone in the Modern Era in danger, which Michiru couldn't let happen; even though his arms felt like they were being pulled out of their sockets.
"Hold on Michiru, I'm coming!" Inuyasha shouted, running down the hallway, followed by Kagome and her mother.
It was no use, the Shikigami user had spent all the strength his human body could generate and he had no more energy left to even let go of the sword which was causing him so much pain already. The boy's feet unlocked from the post, allowing the sword and Michiru to soar into the sky to late for Inuyasha to catch them at ground level. Everyone watched in horror as their friend was carried farther and farther away, leaving their property all behind. As they both passed through the gate of the Higurashi shrine before flying into the city, Michiru tried to adjust himself using the sword which was travelling with the sword handle in the front and the tip of the sheath behind. This made it difficult for his hands to move farther up the sheath towards the sword handle, the two of them were flying so fast; he had to loosen his grip with one hand in order to slide the sheath closer too him without loosing hold with the other. After a minute of discomfort and moving around in mid air high above Tokyo, the teenager finally had a better grip on the sheath. He was clutching the hilt of the sheath just below the sword handle with his hands while his legs and feet locked tightly together around the centre of it to stay balanced. To the people who saw him, the poor teenager must have looked like a wizard flying around on a magical sword instead of a broomstick. Needless to say, it was far from an awesome sight in the eyes and mind of the kururugi boy; for it was late November and the wind and air both felt extremely cold given how fast he was flying in the air against it.
Looking around at the surroundings around him, Michiru heart was beating like mad. He was presently flying through the streets of Tokyo only about five feet off the ground, and to make matters worse, he had no control of the direction he and the sword were flying as they shot passed cars and other vehicles on the road during that busy afternoon. The sword was slowly gaining altitude as the two of them shot through the sky, and it was heading in the direction of Tokyo bay. The last place Michiru wanted to be if anything went wrong was over the ocean and far from land. It was now evening and the sky was dark which meant he had no means to accurately navigate except for lit up buildings of Tokyo, he had to act fast before the cold made his body too weak to cope with the dangerous position he was in. To make matters worse the sword Sounga was slowly drawing itself from the sheath which the tired boy was struggling to hold on too. If it broke free of the rust, it would successfully escape and poor Michiru would find himself falling to his death with the sheath in his hands. It was a cold evening and the freezing wind made the sheath more difficult for his numb cold hands to keep a grip on. Time was running out, if he didn't grab the sword handle now, it would all be over. He was now twenty feet above the ground, and he had no idea where it was the sword was flying too. After taking a few deep breaths to prepare himself, the kururugi boy releases his right hand from the sheath and wiped the frozen sweat off on his brown pants before taking a firm grip of the sword handle.
"No! Don't do that! A mere human being doesn't have the strength or the willpower to overcome Sounga's control!" The voice shouted in a panic, as searing pain shot through the young man's hand.
Surprised by the orb of light where the voice had originated was nothing compared to the burning agony which was now spreading all over Michiru's right arm. Numerous purple plant like veins appeared out of nowhere and began to inject themselves in and out of Michiru hand until they wove themselves around the boy's right arm from the wrist to the shoulder. As this was happening, a circular orb built at the end Sounga's handle began to glow bright pink and emitted what looked like static electricity all over the sheath. The pain was unbearable and the kururugi boy could only wonder why or how he was able to endure it without losing his life. Suddenly a different and deeper voice began to speak, a voice that reminded Michiru of Naraku. Even though it didn't sound the same, it still sent a frightening feeling up and down the spine of the suffering young man.
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm surprised you didn't let go of me when you had the chance, you foolish boy." Sounga said with in a deep loud voice. "We are now above the ocean and we'll soon be beyond these lands once we leave the bay behind us. Your only alternative to avoid your death is to obey me as my host and slave, if you do so willingly; I will make you the supreme ruler of these lands. However, if you should refuse, then I will cause you extreme agony and force you under my control. If you don't die from the pain, then you'll die in battle as I use your body to slay and kill every living soul on this earth."
"AHH! I…won't be- your host. Or…your slave." Michiru replied defiantly, using any ounce of strength he could spare to get the words out as he continued to endure the ever increasing pain that shot everywhere in his body; but his right arm most of all. "Shikigami! Please Help!"
Michiru had called on his powers to try and turn the tide against Sounga which presently had the upper hand in this battle of endurance. The Shikigami user was in so much pain and in such disparate need of help that he didn't even think of a spell when he summoned his magic. A large red star shaped pentagram appeared horizontally in front of them with the centre right in line with Sounga's sword handle. The pentagram of light began to spin faster and faster with every turn in a clockwise direction.
"What! How could a mere mortal possess such powerful magic as this!" Sounga angrily shouted in surprise, unable to counter what ever spell that the Shikigami user had just cast. "NOOOOOO! AHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Michiru managed a quick smile to celebrate the miraculous turn of events which had just saved his life, at least from being controlled by Sounga. The triumph was short, for even now the Shikigami user's remaining strength was draining from him in an effort to stay balanced and keep hold over the sheath. As Sounga's cries and curses continued, the speed of the spinning pentagram was starting to open what looked like a vortex of bright red and orange light with blue and white lightning bolts striking everywhere inside. Unable to avoid or change the current obstacle that he was about to tackle, Michiru readied himself for what ever he would encounter after entering the vortex in front of him. As he slowly passed into the void, the pentagram began to bend itself and became to envelop Michiru from in front. It was as if the pentagram was stretching around him as he pushed on the centre with the tip of Sounga's handle and the magical symbol was wrapping Michiru up in a cocoon of supernatural energy which was protecting him as he continued to fly through the sky. After he was completely surrounded and protected by the shikigami magic, the kururugi boy discovered that he was still flying over the pacific ocean. He could still see clearly through the cocoon of shikigami magic which was nothing more than a protective barrier of light all around him. As the speed he was travelling at increased exponentially, the Shikigami user's vision became more blurred and translucent. Unable to stay conscious any longer, he finally passed out from sheer exhaustion and lack of oxygen.
When Michiru opened his eyes, he was lying on his back. The Sword Sounga was still in his clutches, but was inactive and silent. He was laying down in the same position as he had been in during his flight through the sky above Tokyo city and Tokyo bay. After concluding that everything was okay for the moment, the Kururugi boy slowly untangled Sounga from his stiff legs. The time on his wristwatch told Michiru that he had only been asleep for two hours or so, yet he was now fully awake and refreshed; especially after the events he had just experienced. A sudden realization came over the Shikigami user as he looked at his current surroundings, he wasn't at home or at Kagome's house. He was inside of a large bedroom that looked like the inside of a military barracks, there were five beds inside the room; one of which he had awoken on. Two of them were located to the left of the bed he was presently sitting on, and the remaining two beds were located against the other side of the bedroom. The other four beds were slightly larger than the one he had been resting on and directly in line between the end of the bed and the wall right in the open space in between was a large pole with a manhole around it for people to slide down. There was a washroom and shower area built behind the wall where the three beds rested against, and there were nine lockers against the wall to the right of the main door on the opposite side of the room from where Michiru was sitting.
Now that he was well rested and recovered, it was high time to find out just where he was; who had taken him in for the night and for what reasons. After recovering his backpack which had been place at the foot of the bed and strapping it on himself, the kururugi boy cautiously walked towards the bedroom's exit to discover the his whereabouts and his hosts. After stepping into a slightly larger room which looked like an arcade gallery, the young man quickly scanned the area in front of him with his light greyish blue eyes. To his left against the wall in the corner were several pinball machines and another manhole with a pole going for people to slide down. To his right was a kitchen counter with a stove, two sinks each with a water tap and a dishwasher built underneath. Cabinet above for dishes and a fridge to the left of the kitchen area located in the far corner against the wall. A small round table with four matching chairs surrounding it were set near the kitchen area in the open area of the room. At the other end of the large room on the left hand side was a railing to prevent anyone from falling down the stairs which were built leading up to the end of far left hand corner of the room. Nearby was a pool table and to the right of that was a small laboratory space with shelves against the wall for equipment and tools to be stored, with two or three computers located in different sections of the area. There were also several small movable tables on wheels so they could be moved around anywhere in the room for any necessary work that needed to be done.
Three men and a woman were currently in the office space talking amongst themselves as the nervous teenager approached them. "Pardon me, sorry to interrupt but could you please tell me how I came to be here?"
"Holy smokes, I thought you wouldn't wake up until at least lunch time given that you've been asleep in bed for only two hours." said a man who looked a bit chubby in the face and stomach but not too much. "We heard a sudden thud like something had fallen on top of this building's roof and when we climbed that ladder over there to investigate, that's when we found you laying unconscious while clutching a sword, we brought you inside so you wouldn't freeze to death out there. Are you feeling any better? What's your name kid?"
"Yes, I'm feeling alright; thank you for looking after me." Michiru responded, shaking the older man's hand. "I'm Michiru Kururugi, its nice to meet you. And you are?"
"Dr. Raymond Stantz, everyone just calls me Ray." The man answered as he shook the young boy's hand.
"Dr. Egon Spengler, calling me by my first or last name is fine." The taller man answered as he straightened his glasses before shaking hands with the teenager. Egon was slightly taller and thinner than everyone else in the room, his pointy noise and glasses made him look very intellectual.
"I am Dr. Peter Venkman, you will address me as Dr. Peter Venkman at all times and especially out in public without any mispronunciations." said the man who was about the same height as Ray but not as big. "Otherwise…"
"Egon calls him Peter, Ray calls him Venkman; you can call him what ever you want as long as you don't grow up to be like him."
The red haired woman with glasses interrupted, taking Michiru's attention away from Venkman. "I'm Janine Melnitz, nice to meet you and welcome to the Ghostbustas."
"Janine, you are ruining my fun." Venkman complained as everyone else chucked quietly.
"I remember seeing one of your commercials on television, could you tell me where I am please?" Michiru asked, turning to Ray.
"You are presently inside the Ghostbusters building located at Hook and Ladder 8, 14 N. Moore Street, Manhattan in New York city." Ray answered as he lit himself a cigarette.
"You mean New York city in the United States of America?" Michiru responded in shock. "What time is it right now?"
"Fifteen minutes passed four in the morning on November 19th, why is something wrong?" Egon asked curiously after checking his watch. "Hold on, let me ask a different question. How is it that you and that sword came to arrive on our roof top?"
"What I have to say may sound to crazy to make any kind of sense to all of you." Michiru warned with a little hesitation in his voice.
"Kid, we're the Ghostbusters." Venkman countered. "We get nothing but unusual stories day in and day out. If you've seen anything supernatural, then we're ready to believe you; so spill it all out."
And so with great reluctance, the young kururugi boy explained his predicament with going to the feudal era and discovering his Shikigami powers which he learned too use with the help from his great ancestor Grandma Kakuju. After getting that story explained and out of the way, the Shikigami user told the Ghostbusters about his encounter with the sword Sounga and how he thought he was transported from Tokyo Japan all across the Pacific ocean over to New York city in the U.S.A. The weird part was that Michiru had to tell the Ghostbusters everything while being hooked up to Egon's scanning machinery, which made the young teenager even more uncomfortable during his paranormal interrogation and evaluation. In case the Ghostbusters had any doubts, Michiru showed them the sword and all his belongings including some gold pieces which he accidentally left in his backpack. He even gave them a brief demonstration of his powers by healing the numerous puncture wounds on his right arm which had been left after Sounga had tried to possess him earlier during his out of control flight back in Japan, they weren't bleeding at all; but they did look very nasty and painful which is why Michiru used his magic to accelerate the healing process in order to make the wounds vanish so that his arm looked as good as new again. By the time the Kururugi boy had finally convinced the Ghostbusters that he was telling the truth, it was now 8:57a.m. in the morning and high time for breakfast for these people who had taken him in.
"What an amazing and adventurous experience for you, absolutely fantastic!" Ray exclaimed, thinking of what other events might lay in store for the young Japanese high school student. "Time travelling, using magic and flying half way around the world on a sword; WOW!"
"And I thought I'd seen and heard everything, you must be the luckiest kid on the planet." Egon added. "To experience all those events and still live to tell about it with your own supernatural powers to make any disbelievers eat their words. That would be something to see, in any city of the U.S.A."
"Okay let's not encourage our newly found time travelling magician to show off his supernatural powers." said Venkman. "The last thing we need is another visit from Walter Peckerwood, the Dickhead of the Environmental Protection Agency."
"Egon, do you have any ghost busting equipment that can be used for containing a demonic entity like this sword Sounga?" Michiru asked with concern. "It was nothing short of a miracle that saved my life when I used my magic on it, and I don't want this getting loose out in the city and putting people's lives in danger."
"The equipment we use is for catching and containing spiritual vapours and entities, I've never once had to construct a storage facility to contain an entity with an actual physical form before." Egon answered, as he drank a cup of coffee. "But I could put something together using some primary component parts from the traps and proton packs we have, I'll need you to bring the sword over here to this work table so I can measure its dimensions before we start designing a containment unit which we have to build from scratch."
"Do you have a phone that I can use to call my parents and let them know where I am and that I'm okay?" Michiru asked "I won't take long, please?"
"Mitch, do you have any idea what time it is right now? Venkman complained. "In case your watch is wrong, its 8:57 in the morning."
"There's nothing to worry about Dr. Venkman, Tokyo is fourteen hours ahead of us which puts the time at three minutes to midnight." Janine pointed out. "There's a phone right over here, just give me the number and the area code and I'll take of the rest while you help Egon examine that sword of yours."
"I knew that Janine, I was just testing you to see if you knew." Venkman replied. "Mitch, if you know any hot Japanese chicks who are single; just give them our business number and tell them to ask for Dr. Peter Venkman if they need a Ghost buster."
"Peter, enough jokes for one morning." Egon spoke up. "Make yourself useful and go downstairs to fetch three spare proton packs and traps, Janine see that he does it please…thank you."
"Go on Dr. Venkman, you heard what Egon said so get moving. I'll be down to help you in a minute or two after I've finished helping Michiru. I've called the number, you just have to wait for someone to answer." Janine said as she handed the phone to Michiru before going to other end of the room to unplug the kettle which was whistling once the water inside was boiled. "Does anyone want some more coffee?"
Needless to say, Michiru didn't have the guts to call his parents right away. He needed a few more minutes to think of the right words to use, so in the mean time he was presently waiting for someone to pick up the phone at Kagome's home. Janine returned with a tray and set five hot cups of coffee down on the table before heading downstairs to help Venkman gather the equipment. Since Michiru was stuck on the phone, Ray was helping Egon to design and construct a brand new containment unit from scratch made specifically for the sword Sounga. Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, Inuyasha was still at Kagome's house keeping everyone company. There wasn't much else to do, and he couldn't leave the Modern Era until he knew that his friend was alive and well. The phone started ringing and Kagome walked over to answer it since her mother was busy putting away all the clean dishes from the dishwasher. She would be in for one heck of a surprise when she heard Michiru's voice over the phone since it had been six hours since the boy had disappeared all because of the sword Sounga.
"Higurashi residence, Kagome speaking? MICHIRU?" Kagome shrieked, causing everyone in the room to turn and look at her. "Where are you? Are you alright? Oh you've had us worried and scared to death ever since you and that sword disappeared together."
"Yes I'm fine Kagome, I'm staying with some very friendly people who have kindly taken me in for the night." Michiru answered, exchanging glances with Egon and Ray as he continued talking. "I'm busy right now so I can't stay on the phone for very long, you understand right?"
"Yes I understand, do you have a plan of how to get back home?" Kagome asked, "Just how far away are you?"
After glancing at Ray and Egon momentarily, the Shikigami user answered back. "I'm in the United States of America, and I'm staying in New York city at the Ghostbusters' residence. Don't worry, every is okay for now so stop asking. I have to call my parents now Kagome, so I'll try calling you some other time. Okay? Okay, goodbye."
As Michiru began dialling his parents home number, using the instructions Janine had written down for him; Ray and Egon began to discuss a rather touchy and difficult problem that the Ghostbusters would be forced to tackle. Venkman finally returned with all three proton packs, one strapped to his back and the other two in each of his hands while Janine held all the traps in her arms and set them on the table where Egon and Ray would soon be working in order to disassemble the equipment so they could salvage the components for the new machine that would hopefully contain Sounga. The four adults were currently sitting down to eat breakfast while they talked about how they should go about constructing this new containment unit which was going to be a challenging task, for it was going to hold an evil spiritual entity which had a physical body in the form of a deadly sword; quite a different menace from the ones they were used to handling on a daily basis. After a long talk with his parents which had lasted an hour, Michiru could finally breath a sigh of relief. All things considered, they took it pretty well. Both of them now knew of his magic powers and of his adventure in the feudal era as well as unexpected trip to the U.S. The kururugi boy could rest a great deal easier now that that heavy burden was off of his shoulders, but unfortunately he was now stuck in a foreign country without a way to get home and his parents would have to fib to his school teachers and say that he's come down with a serious cold or some sort of legitimate reason to explain his absence for a few days.
The Shikigami user returned to the table to assist Egon and Ray on their latest experiment now that they had finished eating their meal for the morning and were ready to begin working on this project.
"Janine, you could have helped me a little more if you would have taken one of the proton packs." Venkman said, complaining about the laborious job of lifting and moving the awkward and heavy proton packs up a flight of stairs.
"Stop complaining, you're a man aren't you?" Janine countered, while sipping a cup of coffee. "As a Ghostbuster, that line of work is part of your job description. You should be thankful that I offered to carry the traps up here and save you a second trip down and up the stairs."
"Michiru, Egon and I have had a little talk about your predicament." Ray explained, "Unfortunately, you can't return the way you came without putting your life in danger again and risking the sword escaping and possessing another human host. Now you can't fly back to Japan on a commercial aircraft because you have no passport or documents which can help you get a flight other than your school ID and your citizenship card. And to make matters worse, you would have to explain how you ended up in this country without a record of conventionally entering its borders to the authorities. So until we can find out how to send you back to Japan without causing a scam or risking your life, you can live and work with us here. All the money you will make can be saved up for your travelling expenses, and if you do a great job busting ghosts than you might even get all the documented forms that you need from the city to get a flight from our country to yours. As another bonus, we can help you search for clues about your Shikigami magic when we aren't working. There's no guarantee that we'll be successful right away, but its better than turning yourself in and getting arrested for being an illegal alien. Is it a deal?"
"Time out, are you out of your mind Ray?" Venkman protested. "We have just recovered an illegal foreigner who entered our country without permission while possessing a dangerous demonic sword that can go on a killing spree, not to mention he also has supernatural powers of his own which he hasn't fully mastered yet. And as a result, he flew from Tokyo all the way to New York city, we could all go to jail and you are asking him if he wants to become a member of the Ghostbusters?"
"Yeah that pretty much sums everything up, but think of the possibilities that are available to us now." Ray answered. "This is the first time we have ever encountered a human being with supernatural powers, not to mention the sword Sounga which proves that paranormal events are taking place in the present day and in another country other than the United States. We could expand our sphere of operations around the globe and make even more money than what we're making just in New York city. Michiru here could use his magic if we ever get in a really tight spot during any paranormal investigations or eliminations that we undertake, We can't pass this up."
"Besides Peter, we are officially the only paranormal investigators operating on the face of the earth." Egon added. "Michiru did inform us that he saw one of our advertisements on TV, it was only natural that Michiru used his magic as a last resort to transport himself and the sword to our location so we could provide some assistance. He had no one else to turn to under those circumstances, and we are obligated to help any client in need of our services regardless of their age or nationality."
"Ray, this is a very risky situation we've gotten ourselves into." Janine spoke up, "Now I suggest that we keep this whole incident under wraps so we don't attract any unwanted attention that could send us all to prison. That means Michiru has to keep a low profile while he's working with us and he can't use any of his supernatural abilities unless its absolutely necessary. Preferably when no one else except us is around to see anything while you're all inside this building or outside catching ghosts."
"Yes we understand, good safety suggestion; thanks Janine." Venkman replied as everyone else, including Michiru nodded in agreement. "Okay, that makes it official Michiru. I reluctantly approve of Ray's decision to employ you as our newest member of the Ghostbusters, we'll have to give you an alias for your work suit ID patch so you don't give away your real identity. I think ROOKIE sounds appropriate for you, we can still call you by your real name when no one else is around if that puts you at ease."
"Thanks, that's perfectly fine; I understand the need for it." Michiru said as he shook hands with his new coworkers and employers a second time. "I would be glad to except your proposal and work for you, until I can find the means to return home without causing any injuries or incidents that might put all of us in jeopardy."
"Since you have to keep a low profile, we'll just pay you in cash directly as each job is completed so you don't have to go to a bank." Janine explained. "Your record of employment will have to be kept off the books and you'll receive proper training with all the equipment that you will be using to catch ghosts. I will be downstairs most of the time at the reception desk answering phone calls and text messages from local customers here in the city, and if your parents or friends call from Tokyo; you'll be the first to know about it."
This was definitely an unexpected surprise for Michiru, being flown half way around the world by a demonic sword belonging to Kagome's Grandpa, and then getting a job offer as a new employee from the Ghostbusters. The kururugi boy had spent so many battles in Japan's feudal era fighting monsters and demons with his Shikigami powers, who would have thought he would be fighting ghosts and demonic entities with modern technological weapons during the present day and in another country. Things had definitely gone out of control for the Shikigami user. Michiru had accepted Ray's proposal and joined the Ghostbusters, he had been given a brand new grey suit to wear, complete with the boots, pads; proton pack and trap. After Janine finished sowing his ROOKIE ID patch above the left breast pocket on Michiru's new work outfit, Michiru could finally get suited up and ready for training. Once he was fully dressed and ready to go back upstairs, the Kururugi boy walked over to thank Janine for doing a great job of hemming the new outfit so it would fit him perfectly. Unfortunately Janine was preoccupied on the phone so Michiru had to wait until she was done talking before he could properly thank her. As he waited patiently at her desk, his attention was drawn to the right where he could see a large bright green ghost playing "Can you guess the next flash card game?" by himself inside of a glass prison cell which didn't look strong enough to contain him.
"Ghostbustas. Is your haunting an apparition, poltergeist, phantasm, wraith, banshee, demon, spectre, tortured soul or…What, No, we do not summon dead family members then catch them so you can ask the combination to the safe...Yeah, well, same to you pal." Janine said as she hung up the phone. "The Ghostbustas are waiting for you upstairs, you better be on your way."
"Thanks for hemming my work clothes for me, they fit great now." Michiru said as Janine gave him a wink and pointed at the stairs.
Michiru went up the stairs to the lab where he saw Ray and Egon working together and so came over to offer his assistance to the two of them who were just beginning to disassemble the pieces of equipment and organize all the necessary component parts everywhere on the long rectangular work table. As they began to examine certain pieces of the equipment, Egon took out a large clean sheet of white drafting paper and started to carefully draw out a rough sketch of what the containment unit might look like; the drawing would naturally have to be altered or modified if it was necessary as the construction project went under way. Once they had finished brainstorming, the three of them began construction using a few innovations that would make the task more challenging and exciting. Michiru was using socket wrenches and other hand tools to take apart various components while Egon and Ray both worked on the examined the types of wiring from the traps and proton packs so that they would be able to safely remove it all before any cutting could take place with electric grinders and welding equipment.
By the time Michiru and Ray both disassembled all the numerous paranormal tools, Egon had finished his final draft of the design for the new containment unit and now the three of them could finally begin constructing it together; each of the various component parts and other necessary pieces were carefully and neatly organized on the table with a piece of tape attached to it so that it could be accurately labelled for identification and later to be used when it was needed. Although Michiru had never before done any kind of work like this in his life, he was willing to learn how since the Ghostbusters were generous enough to take him in and look after him until he could safely return home without incident; so this was his way of paying a debt at least in his own mind anyway. The three employees worked continuously without a stop, there was no telling when Sounga would awaken itself and try to escape by flying away again and no one wanted that to happen. Finally after four long hours of welding, bolting and rewiring; the new machine was finished construction and the three creators looked at their newly constructed invention with pride and satisfaction. Of course, they still had to test it to ensure that the device functioned properly without any problems or defects.
Although the machine was constructed quite differently with extra devices needed to perform additional functions, it was put together using the same basic functions of an ordinary containment unit even though its size was reduced significantly. Basically, it looked like an ordinary ghost trap which was twice as high and that had been stretched to a length of forty-five inches to allow Sounga to fit inside of it. Technically however, this rectangular case was built using all the electrical parts from three traps in addition to the extra metal pieces which made up the outer structure to seal all gaps and holes except for the opening in the top. Two doors with the same black and yellow paint job were attached and could open and close in order to keep the demonic sword sealed inside with no way of escaping. The three outstanding features were the two positron colliders, two heating ventilators and two nuclear accelerator units, all of which had been attached to the container. One of the two nuclear accelerators was attached to each end of the machine, this was done because of their bulky shapes and the need to have them exposed for easy access because of maintenance. The heating ventilators were built inside the center of the lower area underneath the resting place of Sounga so they were protected along with all the wiring of every component used in the new container.
The positron colliders along with all the other smaller component parts from the two proton packs were rearranged so they could be fitted inside the case without exposing any wiring or pieces that could become damaged; one unit between each heating ventilator at the center and the nuclear accelerators attached at each end. The challenging of modifying the positron colliders was the most difficult task the Ghostbusters had to face. The short thin barrel of each positron collider had been positioned at each end of the container and was modified so it could bend upward at a ninety degree angle which allowed the barrel to protrude through a small opening above the nuclear accelerators. This allowed the very end of the barrel from each device to turn, point and aim upwards and slightly inwards so that the proton stream fired from each barrel would catch and capture Sounga in a crossfire if the sword tried to resist being imprisoned before the trap's two doors could close in time. As another precaution, it was decided that the three workers would attempt to imprison Sounga inside the new container after each of them had a proton pack strapped to his back in case things got out of control.
"This piece of equipment is one of a kind, it will certainly stand out among all the tools that we use." Ray said, sipping a cup of coffee.
"Yes I think it's all the component parts put together in the form of a metallic case that makes it easy to recognize." Egon commented. "Now that we've built a container, we need to place Sounga inside and see if it will hold."
"Wait, don't lock me inside with Sounga." a voice cried out as a small orb of white light appeared on the sheath.
"That's the same orb of light which spoke to me before and while I was flying on Sounga, I had forgotten all about it." Michiru recalled as the tiny orb of light transformed into the floating spiritual entity of an old man no bigger than a facecloth with an aged face and a white beard. "I think that this orb of light is some sort of spirit used to keep Sounga sealed inside the sheath."
"Yes, you are correct young man." the spirit replied. "My name is Saya, I have suppressed the evil power of Sounga for nearly seven-hundred years. When you and your friends took us out into the open, Sounga tried to break free from my control since my power was nearly worn out. That's when you grabbed the sword to prevent it from escaping out into the open, and found yourself pulled into the sky by Sounga's immense power."
"What the blazes is going on over here Egon? Venkman asked, walking over after playing on the pinball machine at the other end of the room. "Holy smokes, what did you guys do to that sword?""They have done nothing, I have always been with this sword Sounga." Saya answered. "Do not be alarmed, I mean no harm to any of you. I only want to ask you to explain how you intend to seal Sounga inside this uh, this unusual contraption you have just finished building."
"I think it would be better to test it in order to see that it works the way we built it to work, that would be much easier than trying to explain it to you Saya." Michiru answered. "Besides, the sooner Sounga is locked up; the sooner all of us can rest our heads without having to worry about it flying away and causing harm to others.
"Alright then Michiru, if you'd please do the honours." said Ray, waiting for Michiru to pick up the sword and place it inside the container.
"I might be locked inside as well, so I must separate from the sheath before you place Sounga inside." Saya warned.
"Alright then Saya, pay attention." Michiru instructed. "When I count to three, you flee from that sheath so I can pick up the sword lay in inside the containment case. Ray, Egon. If Sounga tries to escape, you two know what to do."
"Ray, just what the heck are all of you trying to do here?" asked Venkman who could see the nervousness of everyone surrounding the table which the container and Sounga lay on top of.
"Here we go Saya, get ready." said Michiru, holding his hands just above the demonic sword still inside the sheath. "One…two…three."
Saya fled from the Sounga, thus allowing Sounga to be free from his control even though it was still inside of the sheath. The demonic sword started vibrating as Michiru picked it up and placed it inside the giant trap that had been constructed for the sole purpose of containing Sounga. Egon hit the switch and shut the doors, containing the evil aura as well as the sword itself. After a few moments of carefully examining the containment case, everyone was momentarily at ease now that Sounga was imprisoned. Michiru finally took the time to properly introduce Saya to Ray, Egon; Venkman and Janine so that everyone knew he was a friend and companion even though he was a ghost. Now that everything was under control, Michiru decided to go have a nap while everyone else continued with their own work. Although he had been awake for a very long while since he had gotten up early to go to school back in Japan, the two hour nap he had taken after his arrival had been discovered wasn't enough sleep which made him realize that he needed a much longer rest since he also wasn't used to the time change over here in New York. Seven hours later, the Kururugi boy awoke and felt much better so he could find out what his hosts were up to and how they were doing. After leaving the bedroom and arriving at the small laboratory space, Michiru found Egon doing some checkups and adjustments on a proton back currently strapped on Ray's back.
"Hey it's our new recruit, welcome aboard." Ray called, waving at the Shikigami user to come and join them. "Have a good nap?
"Pretty good, considering all that's happened in the passed twenty-fours." Michiru answered with a chuckle.
"This might be a little dangerous Ray." Egon warned, still working on the adjustments to the proton pack that Ray had strapped on his back. "But we can cope by starting at fifty percent capacity, that should keep any burning or tissue damage too a minimum."
"Hey if you're going to burn any tissue, do it to the new kid. We can't use Ray, our mortgage is in his name." Venkman cut in as Michiru looked at him with disbelief.
"I guess he's right, what's your name again kid?" Ray asked, giving Michiru an apologetic look as he removed the equipment from his back and helped the Kururugi boy strap it on his own.
"Michiru, but you can call me Mitch if that's easier for you to remember or pronounce." Michiru answered as he pulled the proton pack on his back like a heavy back pack made of metal. "Wow, this is really heavy; must take a lot of work hours to get used to the weight."
"You may feel a little tingle when you first learn to use your proton pack, ready to begin?" Egon asked Michiru, the boy nodded for Egon to continue. "Good, we've perfected an extensive and rigorous training regime that will teach you all your equipments' basic functions."
"It takes some time to achieve master throw skill, but its definitely worth the effort." Ray commented. Suddenly a blast of bright blue light raced passed the Ghostbusters as the shock wave was felt from either a paranormal explosion or a supernatural tremor.
"Was that us?" Egon asked after the tremor had stopped and everyone regained their balance.
"I don't think so, it had to be some sort of energy pulse, substantial." Ray replied. "A significant, collected and centralized necromantic convulsion; level seven or more."
"Agreed, we need EMF measurement checks now." said Egon, pulling out his PKE Meter to check for paranormal anomaly readings.
"I know the answer, but I'm going to ask anyway. Is a level seven uh whatever, bad or very bad?" Janine asked, as she came up the stairs to discover the cause of the sudden shaking.
"On a scale of one to ten…" Egon started.
"Let me guess, it's a seven." Venkman said, stating the obvious and trying to look smart.
"Let's just say we're about to get real busy." commented, just as the sound of shattering glass broke the silence in the building.
"And that is not the fun kind of getting busy is it Ray?" Venkman added.
"Look out, Slimer's escaped again." shouted Ray as he saw the broken prison at the bottom of the stairs.
"No, wait, come back." Venkman called out in a low and sarcastic voice, not wanting to come into contact with that slimy green ghost again. Michiru looked in confusion at Venkman as he started playing with one of the pinball machines, right now of all times.
"Let's move!" Ray called out as everyone except for Venkman raced downstairs to Janine's desk and down another flight of stairs into the basement where the green ghost was gazing curiously at the machinery in front of it.
"There it is, it seems oddly drawn to the containment grid." Egon said quietly to avoid alarming the ghost.
"He's been fascinated with it ever since you added the viewer to the unit. Okay, easy now Mitch. I'll talk you through this, use the proton stream to get his attention." Ray instructed. As Michiru fired his proton stream, he lost control of the pack; and the end of the stream struck the machinery unit which sent sparks flying everywhere and scared Slimer away. "No not the containment unit, that's some highly sensitive equipment your disintegrating there kid. Oops, you let one out!"
"That's my fault, I was fine tuning the interspatial casket this afternoon." Egon explained. "I'll fix it, you two get those ghosts back."
"Sorry I accidentally shot your machine Ray, I wasn't expecting such a powerful kickback from the weapon; let alone any vibration." Michiru said apologetically, following Ray as the older man lead the way to the subbasement entrance.
"He went into the subbasement and his escapee friend went with him, hmm." Ray stated as he and Michiru followed the two ghosts into the subbasement. "Come on Mitch, we've got a job for you; you're going to catch your first ghost tonight. Taking the right precautions, Slimer's harmless; more or less. I'm not sure about the other guy though. Okay, let's go get them. Oh and don't sweat the containment unit, its easy to get excited your first time out with a proton stream; Egon will fix it in no time."
After a short trip down some stairs, the two ghost busters arrived at the subbasement where the two ghosts were flying back and forth from one side of the room to the other. The darkness helped make them more visible because of their bright entities, so hopefully Michiru's first attempt at capturing a ghost would be a success. Ray came to a halt in front of Michiru so he could gave him a quick crash course on the controls and functions of the proton pack which was strapped to the kururugi boy's back.
"Now first and foremost, before things get out of hand." Ray instructed while pointing to each device on his own proton pack to give Michiru a better view of them without having to twist about to look at his own proton pack. "You want to get to know your proton pack, it can be your best friend out there in the field. Everything you need to know is displayed on the pack itself. This bar indicates your pack's heat level, you'll want to vent the pack to keep it from shorting out and resetting. For the most part, capturing a ghost is pretty straight forward; we break it into three basic steps. Zap them, cap them and trap them. Spectral entities derive all their strength from an accumulation of PK energy, blasting them with your proton stream or other offensive equipment helps to dissipate that energy. Dissipating their PK energy also makes them easier to capture. Okay now, when ever you're ready; go and blast that ghost."
Once he was given the okay from Ray, Michiru walked forward and blasted Slimer with a proton stream. "Wow, this proton stream really lights up a dark environment doesn't It?" Michiru commented.
"Do it again, see that overlay on the ghost? It indicates the current accumulation of a ghost's PKE. The more you disperse, the weaker it becomes." Ray continued, as the two coworkers attempted to blast the smiley green entity still levitating around the room. "Always listen for that loud beeping noise when you're throwing your proton stream, that noise acts as a warning to let you know that you have to vent the pack to keep it from overheating."
Despite all the combined hits from Ray and Michiru, Slimer moved too fast for either one of them to capture and the green ghost managed to escape through the wall just as Michiru's proton stream struck another blow. "Oh no, we lost Slimer." said the kururugi boy after sighing with disappointment.
"There it is!" Ray shouted. "Ugh! And I thought Slimer was disgusting; that fat old tub looks like he could use some exercise."
Michiru turned around and looked in disbelief at what he thought was Slimer floating thirty feet away at the opposite side of the subbasement, it was actually the other ghost which had escaped from the containment unit which the Shikigami user had accidentally damaged earlier with his proton stream. This Sloth ghost was coloured white like any ghost of someone's ordinary imagination, and luckily was much larger and therefore slower. Compared to Slimer, the Sloth ghost looked like a much easier target to tackle from the Michiru's point of view. After rushing forward to get a closer look and line up for an attack, the teenager fired his proton stream and struck his target dead in the center. The seconds of accurate firing caused the Sloth ghost to vomit a giant ball of green slimy residue at both its opponents, leaving them not only disgusted but partly soaking wet in the stuff. As the two Ghostbusters continued to blast the ghost with their proton streams, the kururugi boy noticed that the spiritual entity was already weakened because it constantly levitated behind several piles of stacked wooden boxes and crates to shield itself from harm. The Shikigami user blasted all obstacles in his path to ensure that the elusive target would have nowhere in the subbasement to hide which would hopefully turn the tables and prevent a second ghost from escaping out into the city as Slimer had done just moments ago.
"Alright Michiru, you've got him good and winded. Next step, cap him! You can project the capture stream or wrangler manually using this control!" Ray yelled, pointing to a switch by the firing trigger on the proton projector in his hand. "On the other hand, the pack will detect when a ghost is sufficiently weakened; and auto select the capture stream setting. Get in there and throw a capture stream on that tub of goo!"
"Gotcha!" Michiru replied, pressing the switch as he fired his weapon again and striking the restless soul square in the chest. The Shikigami user was gradually adjusting to the vibrating proton pack caused by the discharging firepower aimed at the Sloth ghost which by now had become vulnerable and found itself trapped in the capture stream entangled around it.
"Fantastic! you got it!" Ray shouted in amazement before continuing. "As soon as your ghost is in your capture stream, the slam meter begins to slowly charge. If you want to accelerate the slam meter charge, you can wrangle or counter wangle the ghost at the end of the line. Here's how you do that, watch the ghost. When the ghost makes a dash in one direction, you pull the stream quickly in the other. Don't be afraid of your positron collider Mitch! Its built specifically for capturing ghosts and combating animated monsters so just do your best and give it a shot!"
The tables had turned in Michiru's favour and the kururugi boy now learned how to efficiently use the basic functions of his proton pack to catch a ghost by himself. Ray's simple instructions combined with his words of praise gave the Shikigami user a huge boost of confidence which in turn allowed him to overcome his new enemy with overwhelming determination. After fighting with the ghost the same way a fisherman would by pulling back and forth in the opposite direction of the entangled captive, the teenager lifted the Sloth ghost high above in the air and pulled him down; slamming him hard against the brick floor. Before the ghost could recover from the shock of the impact, the spiritual entity was being pulled to the left and right again to wear him out before prepare to slam it a second time.
"Good work Mitch!" Ray commented again with delight. "A couple of good slams will take the fight out of just about any entity, slam it! Blamo! You play rough kid, I love it. Now we can move to stage three; trap him. Throw out your trap somewhere that you can easily see it and pull the ghost into proximity!"
Michiru deactivated his capture stream and tossed his trap out in a clear space on the floor about six feet in front of him, while Ray moved forward to keep an eye on the dazed and immobile entity in case it wasn't completely worn out. After repositioning himself closer to the trap and the target, the teenager aimed his projector and fired a capture stream at the Sloth ghost which had regained consciousness just before entangling itself in an attempt to escape from the two Ghostbusters. Both Michiru and Ray each had a capture stream around the spiritual escapee and were walking backwards in an effort to pull the slimy ghost towards the trap on the floor.
"There you go, perfect!" Ray shouted. "See the beckon signal coming from the closed trap? That helps you find it when things get crazy, when a trappable ghost moves in to proximity; the trap will open automatically and project the trap cone. Just guide the ghost into the trap cone and the trap will do the rest."
"This is my first attempt at catching a ghost Ray so let me take my time." Michiru replied as the trap opened up and projected a giant cone shaped beam of ultraviolet pink light. The Sloth ghost directly above was struck by glimmering pink bolts of lightning as a powerful vacuum like force slowly pulled the helpless entity down into the void. After a blinding flash of blue light from what looked like a giant camera flash or a welder's torch, the doors closed shut and the projecting light from the trap vanished once the ghost had been recaptured. Michiru looked in awe at the device on the floor, remembering how beautiful and spectacular the projected trap cone looked with the ultraviolet pink light and the brief flash of bright blue light just before the trap closed. He had never seen any kind of equipment in the modern era that could create such an electronic light show such as this, working for the Ghostbusters certainly did have its unexpected moments of entertainment. This was only the first job in the first hour of his employment and needless to say, the excited Shikigami user was certain that there would be many more to encounter later on. His moment of pause for thought was over once the silence was broken by his instructor's voice.
"And there, ooh yes! One escapee accounted for." Ray said in triumph. "Oh, and always remember to retrieve your trap."
"Did you get them?" Egon asked, whose voice was heard from the hand radio on Ray's belt.
"We're batting five-hundred, Slimer slipped out." Ray answered, as Michiru recovered his trap from the floor. "Michiru bagged his first ghost though, a very disgusting entity. Oh, and you've got to be careful about crossing the streams. In a word, don't do it."
"Basically, it could kill you instantaneously in a flash." Egon said. "Imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light; total protonic reversal is the short term we use for that outcome."
"Sounds destructive and dangerous, it's a good thing you guys are the only ones who operate using these tools." Michiru replied in shock. "It must have taken a lot of time, research and money to build and test equipment like this."
"Yes it took a lot of all that, except for the testing bit." Ray added, "Lets head back upstairs and help Egon fix the containment so we can load and lock your first captured ghost inside the storage facility."
Once Ray and Michiru were back in the basement, they helped Egon for nearly an hour to repair the containment unit until it was back to full operational status. After showing their new young employee how to safely transfer the captured Sloth ghost from the trap into the prison, the two paranormal scientists congratulated Michiru for successfully capturing his first ghost before going up to the top floor where they could change into clean and dry work uniforms. Once their dirty clothes soaked in slime were thrown in the washing machine, they put on some clean work outfits and were able to take things easy. But the time to relax was unfortunately cut short as Egon remembered that Slimer was still on the lose and had to be recaptured. Ray decided that a few more minutes of fun wouldn't hurt and so he decided to playback all the phone messages that had been sent during the day which they failed to answer because of their busy work as well as the fact that all of the messages were left by people who weren't really in need of any immediate services.
"You have seven new messages." the answering machine voice said followed by a beep.
"Emergency! Please call me back now! Outside my window, I see multiple ghosts in my garbage! They look like Hobos!" Beep!
"Well he sounded scared." Janine stated.
"You have six new messages." Beep!
"Ghostbusters, this is Manny Rapidowitz so you guys sell ghosts right? So how much for a dozen, can you give them to me wholesale? Call me, lets talk business." Beep.
"I think he's got the wrong idea, you guys don't sell ghosts, you only catch them right?" Michiru asked humorously, making the others chuckle.
"You have five new messages." Beep.
"H-Hi Janine, this is Mark. We met the other night at "I have a crush on my boss, but I'm afraid to tell him seminar? Ha. Ha. I was wondering if you would be interested in a job as my personal assistant? Call me." Beep!
"Well Janine, I didn't know you had a crush on me; I'm really touched." Venkman said sarcastically, making everyone suppress their laughter as Janine glared back at him for his remark. "So you want to out to dinner after we recapture Slimer?"
"Oh you would just love that wouldn't you Dr. Venkman?" Janine replied back with her own sarcastic tone of voice, promptly shutting him up as the man could no longer take being glared at by Janine while Michiru and the others laughed lightly at his expense. "My answer is no and since you haven't clued in yet, the phone message clearly indicated that I'm the one who's got an admirer; not you."
"You have four new messages." Beep!
"Hi, this is Ed. I hear you're looking to hire? I'm real good at catching things, just the other day I climbed up a tree and rescued my neighbour's cat. Anyway, give me a call; you won't…you won't regret it." Beep!
"Catching ghosts is way different from catching pets and animals." Michiru commented.
"You have three new messages." Beep!
"Ghostbusters, I think there's something fishy going on with the construction workers working on the building next door. They're, they're floating around and shooting rivet guns and cackle constantly. Is that supernatural or some union thing?" Beep!
"Well that certainly sounds like paranormal activity." Egon said.
"You have two new messages." Beep!
"Peter? Peter pick up! I know you're there! This is Missy from the airport last week? And the Laundromat! And the roof of the Bake! Call me back! Peter! Are you there?" Beep!
"Well Dr. Venkman, looks like I'm not the only one who's got a phone message from an admirer; or should I say from a very ticked off lady instead?" Janine asked with a grin as everyone turned to look at Peter for an explanation.
"I'm not saying anything, case closed." Venkman declared, not wanting to discuss the matter.
"You have one new message." Beep!
"Hello? Is this Ghostbusters? Is your containment unit running? Well you better catch it! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Hurry!" Beep!
"Ha. Ha. Ha. We are all very amused." Janine said sarcastically.
"That last one was a little funny, even though it was a poor joke." Michiru commented as a short laugh escaped from his mouth.
"Alright, we've got to get ready to depart if we're to recapture Slimer before he causes too much chaos; the last thing we want is for someone to accuse us of setting him free on purpose even though he actually escaped." Egon stated, getting everyone back in business so they could prepare for the task at hand.
Ray, Egon and Venkman reluctantly went downstairs to load up the car and track down the green slimy ghoul, even though it was now 10:20p.m. in New York city. Janine followed them so she could return to her desk and answer any emergency phone calls that might arise, leaving Michiru and Saya upstairs by themselves to keep an eye on Sounga's containment unit until it was time to leave. The Kururugi boy was thinking of how long it would be until he could find a way to return home to Japan and finally; to the Feudal era so he could see Inuyasha and the others again. Michiru secretly wanted to see Sango more than anyone else, and he especially wanted to know if she felt the same feelings for him as he did for her; even tough he could be met with rejection which was something he was truly afraid of. It was true that he had only known her for four and a half months, and there was no denying the fact that he had fallen in love with her over the course of his travels with her; she was very beautiful and her beauty was hard to ignore or overlook so it wasn't a surprise that she had also caught the eye of Miroku. The young Shikigami user sighed, for all of Miroku's inappropriate actions and mannerisms; the monk still had several advantages which Michiru couldn't ignore or overlook. First of all, Miroku had spent a longer amount of time with the Demon Slayer and secondly; he also lived in the Feudal era so that he could see her everyday unlike Michiru who's origins resided in Modern day Japan. Thirdly and finally, Miroku still held a place in Sango's heart even though the lecherous monk constantly flirted with any and every pretty girl he laid eyes on when ever the company of friends travelled from one village to another; which Michiru had seen with his own eyes especially during the events that took place in Oboro's Mansion as well as in Minamo village.
"I'm so relieved I don't have to keep Sounga sealed again, seven-hundred years really took its toll on my strength and power." Saya stated. "By the way Michiru, I've been thinking about how you could have protected yourself from Sounga's deadly control."
"Really?" Michiru asked with curiosity after putting aside his thoughts of Sango when Saya spoke. "Do you know how I survived?"
"Well I can't say for certain, but there are a few reasons which may have been the cause of your survival." Saya answered, trying to make the kururugi boy understand that this was just theory and not certainty. "When you took hold of Sounga by the handle while it was trying to loosen itself, you still had enough strength and willpower to resist Sounga's overwhelming evil. You accomplished something that is impossible for any human being to do regardless of whether or not they possess magic powers, my only conclusion is that Sounga was still partly sealed by my power because it was still inside of the sheath which possesses some magic of its own even if I am not near it. As a result, Sounga could not use his full demonic power to enslave your mind and body; thereby allowing you the will to resist and the ability to use your own magic even while you were under tremendous agony. An ordinary human mortal would never have the ability to resist Sounga's evil control, only a great demon with immense strength and incredible willpower could resist and subdue the evil power of that sword. Inuyasha's father was such a demon who had the power to subdue Sounga's evil so that he could wield the sword as easily as a mortal human wields an ordinary sword. To him, the sword is nothing more that a tool to be used as a weapon. But to Sounga, a mortal human is a tool which is used as a slave. The slave may wield the sword, but it is the sword who rules as the slave's master. If Sounga should possess a human, it could kill every living soul on the entire earth until no one remains and that is why Sounga is so dangerous."
"I see, but that still doesn't explain how I summoned the power to travel half way around the world in less than a minute or two." Michiru replied in confusion. "Or why I recovered just as fast after being exhausted and injured by Sounga. As far as I can remember, all I thought about while summoning my magic was to break free of Sounga's control and wishing I had a way to travel to the Ghostbusters so they could hopefully stop Sounga from causing anymore harm before I fell under its control. I can't explain the reason why I had the power at that moment, but I do know that I don't have the knowledge of any spells used for travelling through time or travelling at great speeds over vast distances. If I did have all those powers, then I would know far more about my Shikigami magic than I do right now and I would also use it to travel back in time to the feudal era where I could see all the friends I was forced to leave behind."
"Hmm. Then perhaps you unintentionally harnessed Sounga's power to use for your spell since your own power wasn't strong enough." Saya answered. "Its possible that you did it accidentally out of desperation, which is understandable given the terrifying predicament you were in while flying on Sounga high above the ocean. It seems to me that as long as you had a basic idea of what you wanted to accomplish, even if you only knew subconsciously; you knew the necessary spell to cast and all you were missing was the power needed to perform the spell. Because Sounga was still connected with you and its evil ability to overpower you was severely limited because of the sheath, it is safe to assume that your subconscious mind turned the tide against Sounga the moment you invoked your Shikigami powers to help save your life by any means necessary. The result was successfully casting that spell which brought us here, and that must have also drained Sounga's power even more which would explain why it has been so quiet and inactive since your battle of endurance. In addition, the speed you were flying at could have accelerated your body's healing process since your arm had scabs from all of the puncture wounds you got when Sounga tried to take control of you."
"Well, I won't know for sure until I can learn more spells for find a way to travel back in time to the feudal era so I can investigate." Michiru responded. "And in the mean time, I have to catch ghosts before I can even find a way to return home to my own country. So it looks as though the two of us will be here for a while, along with Sounga. I'd better head downstairs and get ready to leave with the others, you should stay up here and watch over the containment unit. If Sounga starts acting up and tried to escape from inside, float downstairs and warn Janine so she can call us while we're out tracking down Slimer. Goodbye Saya, we'll see you when we get back."
"Goodbye Michiru, good luck." said Saya, weaving goodbye while sitting comfortably on the table beside Sounga's container. "And while you're capturing ghosts, try not to be so reckless like you were when you grabbed a hold of Sounga while flying high above the ocean."
Michiru decided to remove the wet work suites which were now clean from the washer and toss them into the dyer before shutting the door. Once the time was set and the button was pushed, the machine began to do its work. At least these uniforms would be dry when they all returned just in case the clean ones they were currently wearing became soaked in slime from battling Slimer. After Michiru had strapped on his proton pack, he carefully walked down the stairs to the main floor. Janine sat at a desk in the middle of the open area at the back of the room, three filing cabinets were located directly behind her which stood between two wooden railings that ran from either side of the cabinets and stretched outwards towards the walls and the back of the room. The railings were about waist high and blocked off most of the small office space, except for two openings; one on either side to allow entry for workers and clients. Two chairs sat in front of the empty desk for clients, another one was located for Venkman to sit in while a fourth sat in the corner of his tiny office. The beautifully crafted wooden wall behind the desk was covered by work orders and newspaper cuttings which were pinned all over the surface, Venkman must have been to lazy to buy a bulletin board for his office.
Unlike Venkman's empty desk, Janine's desk had a computer, phone, and writing materials. In fact, Janine had a another desk to her left which was turned to face the wall so she could easily access it just by swinging her chair, and this desk was covered with printing paper, fax sheets and other paperwork that was separated and organized in a small loose leave box with several spaces in it. To Janine's right and left were two glass ghost containment units, the left one against the wall(which Slimer had broken out of) and the right one against the staircase which led to the top floor above. At the other end of the main floor sat the Ghostbusters car, where everyone else was currently working at. To the left against the wall were metal shelves which held various parts and pieces of different types of tools and equipment, along with comfy chairs with thick cushions that must have been used for just resting after a hard day of work. To the right was another desk that was covered in paperwork as well as four large change lockers for each employee who worked for the Ghostbusters. The kururugi boy joined the other men by the car and began reading the names on the doors, the Shikigami user was surprised to find that one of the names belonged to a person who he had never heard of or even meet before.
"Ray, whose change room is that one there? Michiru asked. "There's a name on the door I don't recognize, do you have another worker in your employment?"
"Oh yeah, that's Winston Zeddemore's change locker." Ray answered. "He's a Ghostbuster as well, but he booked today off so he could go see an opera concert. You should probably take off your proton pack and load it in the car, or else you'll never be able to sit inside."
"Yeah that's obvious, and we don't want any of our valuable equipment to get damaged before we go hunting Slimer." Venkman added.
"Relax Venkman, Michiru's proton pack is fully functional and brand new." Ray replied. "That's why Egon had to adjust the pack's power output to fifty percent capacity to keep any burning or tissue damage to a minimum just to be on the safe side."
"Hey, how come Michiru gets all the new stuff?" Venkman asked after glancing left and right at Ray and Egon with an envious tone.
"He's our new Experimental Equipment Technician." Egon answered. "Michiru is the youngest of us and has the most stamina, so he's the best candidate for the position. And if anything unexpected should occur, he can use his Shikigami magic to regain the initiative."
"He gets a cool title too?" Venkman said, obviously envious of Michiru's quick promotion.
"It means he gets to carry around a bunch of untested, extremely dangerous hardware that if not handled correctly; could blow him somewhere into New Jersey." Ray explained. "He also gets extra pay for carrying and using the stuff in the field while catching ghosts."
"Oh, this new recruit lugs around our very dangerous prototype hardware that could potentially blow us to Kingdom Com? Great, just great." replied Venkman, walking back upstairs to go use the washroom before everyone had to leave in the next few minutes.
"Huh Ray, I get the feeling that Venkman doesn't like me very much." Michiru said, sounding a little uneasy.
"Don't mind him, he's always cranky when he gets jealous." Ray answered, trying to assure the kururugi boy that everything was fine.
"He's not jealous that you've appointed me as your equipment technician after being employed for only a day is he?" Michiru asked.
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! That's a good one! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Ray responded as he broke out laughing. Egon let out a quick laugh as well before calming himself.
"He's just jealous because of how many adventurous experiences you've had, not to mention your magic." Egon answered. "Its perfectly logical that any normal person would be envious of someone else who possessed something they did not or could not have."
"Egon's right Michiru, just take a minute and look at yourself from Venkman's point of view." Ray explained. "You are an extraordinary teenager who got to travel back in time where you soon discovered your Shikigami powers which had been dormant inside you. After having an amazing adventure in feudal Japan where you learned how to use your magic, you returned home without losing any time in the modern era. Then four and a half months later, you came across that demonic sword Sounga and flew half way around the world to us where you became a member of the Ghostbusters. Everyone your age and even Venkman's age would love to be in your shoes and experience everything that you had, there's nothing more mind rattling than hearing or reading about a person whose life has been filled with so many memorable events and wishing that you could have what they had when you already know in your mind that its not going to happen."
"I think I can understand what you're getting at, everyone I know at high school would also be jealous and a little depressed if they found out about everything I've experienced in the passed four and a half months." Michiru replied, feeling a little sorry for Venkman. "At least working for the Ghostbusters has its moments of adventure and fun, I imagine that's why all of you do this kind of work."
"Oh yes, and the pay is enormous because we're the only paranormal investigators and eliminators in the country and the entire world as far as we know." Ray said as Venkman returned to the car.
"Okay, everyone get in the car so we can hunt Slimer." Venkman ordered before glancing at Michiru. "This'll be your first big city job."
"Where to Ray?" Egon asked as he opened the front passenger door on the right hand side of the car.
"The Sedgewick Hotel, it's the first place that little spud will go." Ray answered.
"Right, back to its initial manifestation point." Egon added, before getting inside the car.
"They've got a real good buffet." Ray commented as he sat in the back seat facing the opposite direction so he could keep an eye on all the equipment stored in the back of the vehicle. "Maybe we should grab a late night snack while we're there, it could hurt."
"It is a great one, with great food; pity that you have to be filthy rich to afford it everyday." said Venkman as he weaved goodbye to Janine before opening the door to the driver's side of the car. "When Winston returns from the opera, extend an invitation to join us at our table at the Sedgewick. Get in the car Mitch, we're going to perform paranormal investigations out in public. Training will be on the job tonight, try not to cause too much destruction inside of the Sedgewick Hotel or else the manager will nag and complain at us none stop."
Michiru sat in the front passenger seat on the right while Egon sat between him and Venkman who was going to drive. After starting the engine and hitting the gas peddle, the Ghostbusters raced out of the building and turned sharply to the left in the direction of the Sedgewick Hotel. For the kururugi boy, this would be his first time working as a Ghostbuster outside in the big apple of New York city. Now the Shikigami user had to be extra careful and avoid using his magic at all costs in a big public building with so many people. This would be a test of caution and courage for Michiru, especially since he was fighting without the help of Inuyasha and his friends.
Author's Note: I had hoped to finish writing this first chapter and upload it before Christmas, but some of my relatives arrived much earlier than I expected so all my writing had to be put on hold. I'm sorry but, the idea of Michiru joining the Ghostbusters was too good to pass up, especially after I started playing the Xbox 360 game. Just so everyone is aware, Michiru Kururugi is going to be working with the Ghostbusters in the United States for a few days before he flies back to Japan in order to return to the feudal era. Because of this, I plan to include some moments in each chapter where Kagome and Inuyasha get to talk with Michiru on the phone and travel through the bone eater's well to visit Sango, Shippo and Miroku in the feudal era while the Shikigami master is presently in the U.S. working with the Ghostbusters. I am a beginner when it comes to writing and fantasizing so please try to go easy on me when you review each chapter.