Prologue: Special Mission

Yeah, yeah, yeah, your old operaghost11235 is working on an anime fanfic. Look, I've known the movie Spirited Away (along with all of Miyazaki's genius works) since I was a kid and when I finally got a fanfiction account, I knew that I was missing something. Then it finally hit me when I watched it again. I was blank of ideas and I finally came with that.

New chapter will come out soon. So, first anime fanfic, so please do not criticize.

Disclaimer: Miyazaki is the complete anime movie overlord. I am nothing compared to him and I own nothing.

Prologue: Special Mission

"Master Haku! Master Haku! Master Haku, where are you?"

The spirits were searching the entire bath-house for the henchman of Yubaba. Their screams calling for him were so loud; they were bursting through the windows. They were calling everywhere, in the bathing stalls, in the balconies, in their dorms, but he was nowhere to be found. Everyone was searching for the exception of four spirits: Yubaba, Kamaji, Bôh (Yubaba's son), and Lin.

Yes, Lin.

Lin was busy eating a dumpling outside in the balcony, staring at the night skies studded with stars and the water that glowed white with the reflection of a full moon. She was in her pink uniform, her hair tied in a loose ponytail. Her arms were resting on the wooden rails. The wind blew from the sea, the smell of fresh seawater, freedom. Lin was halfway through her dumpling when she heard a voice from the shadows, hidden from the light.

"Lin, you really shouldn't be slacking off."

It was the voice of a male. It barely took a second before Lin found out who it was. At her realization, she spat out her food and started to scream.

"Haku! Get out of there! What do you think you're doing?!"

"Alright, Lin," said the voice exasperated. "Don't get your ponytail in a knot."

Out of the shadows, a guy who looked about eighteen stepped out. He was wearing an outfit similar to Lin's, except that it was blue and white. His hair was ebony black and was cut evenly at shoulder-length. His face was sort of pale, yet filled with color into the light. His eyes were golden, pure yellow that shone vibrantly. He was pretty much handsome, but to Lin, he was just hell annoying.

"Yes, Lin," he said. "What do you want?"

Lin threw her half-eaten dumpling at his face, but he swatted it aside. "Haku, do you have any idea?" she screamed. "The entire staff is looking for you!"

"Yes, Lin, I know."

She blinked in confusion. "Then why in the world were you hiding from them?!"

Haku shrugged. "I don't feel in the mood for getting another mission from Yubaba."

Lin rolled her eyes. "Haku, you're eighteen. You should take responsibility as a young adult. If it's a mission, then take it! It'll be better if you get it over with!"

"True….."

He joined Lin in looking wistfully out into the ocean. He put his elbows on the railing, his eyes lost in thought. Lin looked at him. He was in a daydream, she knew, judging by the look in his eyes. He wasn't always this emotional; he was very serious about everything, strove for perfection. Even when he found out his real name, Kohaku, he would go absent from his job often, visit his river. And he would do that annually, once a year, on a specific day. The staff never knew what day it was, or why it was so special to him, but Lin and Kamaji were both smart enough to find out. That special day was on that very moment, and Haku just came back from his visit to his river.

Lin and Kamaji knew why he did it, and they both never told him why . . . until then.

Lin took a deep breath. "You go to the human world to your river, on a specific day, because today is the day you first saw Chihiro. You want to meet her through your river, am I right?"

Haku took a sharp gasp, his eyes widened, and a blush came to his face. After he held that position, he bowed his head and let it hit the railing. "How did you know?"

"Haku, I'm not stupid," Lin answered, a small smile of satisfaction on her face, "nor is Kamaji."

Haku's head jolted up and faced Lin with wide eyes. "Kamaji too?! Does everyone know?!"

"Relax, Haku, nobody knows except both of us."

Haku breathed a sigh of relief. "Good, good."

Lin started to laugh. "Now come on, Haku, we have to get you to Yubaba. She's looking for you."

With his head bowed and her face in satisfaction, Haku and Lin left the balcony to Yubaba's office.

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When Haku reached the top floor, he was alone and all by himself. Lin left him on the top floor when Kamaji had to call her for delivering his lunch. Haku walked over to the large door and was about to reach the knocker before it spoke.

"Ah, Haku," it said with a voice in the likeness of Yubaba. "What do you want now? Came to see Yubaba? Well, she's busy, so scram."

"I came to see her because she called me." he replied. "Now let me in."

"Hmph," the knocker replied. "How rude. But I'll let you in anyway."

The doors opened by themselves, revealing a long maze in brilliant design of a millionaire's house. Haku walked through the thing, he knew the way through it, and he made his way into Yubaba's office.

Yubaba, the hag, was at her desk, signing documents. She hasn't changed a bit, her hairstyle, her attitude, and even her clothes the same. The three ogre heads went bouncing around Haku the moment he arrived in the office. Haku walked into the office until he was in front of the desk, the three heads still surrounding the river spirit. By the look on her face, Yubaba was getting annoyed with their grunts and bouncing.

"Hush!" she commanded, and then they stop bouncing. They shuffled across the floor, exiting the room.

"So," Haku said, still standing. "What is it you called me for?"

The hag looked up from her papers. "I called you here for a special mission. This is extremely urgent, and I want this to go without fail."

Haku smiled playfully. "That's what you said about the mission with the Golden Seal. Did you see how that turned out?"

Yubaba's expression turned harsh. "Enough! I know how bad the other missions went, but I want this to go COMPLETELY WITHOUT FAIL!"

As she said this, she slammed both her hands on the table, sending the papers placed on it flying everywhere. This sent Haku leaning back, afraid the witch might do something to him. She stole his name, and there are worse things she can do to him if he made another blunder. Seeing the mess, Yubaba waved her large hands, sending the papers back to the desk arranged in perfect files and piles. Haku calmed down a bit, his nerves relaxed. After all was fixed, Yubaba sat back down, Haku still standing. There was silence until the river spirit spoke.

"So," he asked with a shaky voice. "How important is this mission?"

Yubaba didn't look up when she was signing her documents. "It's regarding the Prince of the Shadow Spirits. Remember him?"

"Ah, yes," Haku replied. "That snotty little boy who always gets what he wants? He came here a long time ago."

"Yes, that boy. He's coming back."

Haku became shocked and his golden eyes widened. "What?"

"You heard me, Haku. He's going back here to become a critic. He'll stay here for a few days and rate this place from one to five stars. And we need this place to be in perfect condition, to get a perfect five stars, or we won't get any customers anymore. We need this place to be absolutely perfect."

"And so . . . what am I supposed to do?"

"You know that our customer number went down, but not tremendously down, after that human girl left . . ."

Haku took a sharp inhale. "Chihiro . . . "

"Yes, that girl. The human. I need this place to be perfect, and she's going to make this place the way I want it. So I want you to—"

"—find her?" Haku finished, smiling.

Yubaba looked up and blinked confused. "I don't know what the big deal is about this human girl, but yes. I need you to find her."

Haku smiled. "I won't let you down."

"I need her here the day after tomorrow. Is that clear?"

"I will bring her here even tomorrow if I have to!"

Yubaba shooed him away. "Well go. I have no business for you here anymore. Bring her back tomorrow if you even can. I need her here."

"I won't fail you."

Haku gave a quick bow and ran out of Yubaba's office. Yubaba blinked. Haku had never been like this about a mission, and never that enthusiastic. There was something wrong with the boy, and there must be something special about that human girl Chihiro.

Still mystified, Yubaba went back to work, signing paperwork.