“Here’s your white stone,” Bristol said to Master Raiden as she pulled it out of her bag.
“You found it?” he said with mild surprise. “Where was it?”
Bristol pointed at Oda, who had been tied to a tree in the front yard. “He did,” she said. “We found it in his house while we were rescuing some girl’s he’d kidnapped.”
“Girls?” Master Raiden asked. “Was he planning some sort of spell?”
“No,” Bristol said, shaking her head. “He’s just a possessive misogynist who thinks he’s entitled to take whatever he pleases.”
“He’s a…what?” Master Raiden asked.
“Never mind,” Bristol replied. “He’s just a trouble maker.”
“Why is he here?” Master Raiden asked.
“Bristol wants to use his power,” Michael said. “He’s a shape-shifter, and he’s telekinetic.”
“He is?” Master Raiden cried. “How have you managed to keep him on a leash?”
Bristol took out the little black box and showed it to Master Raiden. “Because science beats magic,” she said. “If he gets too far from this, the collar he’s wearing chokes him.”
“Can’t he use his powers to take that thing off?” Master Raiden asked.
“He’s tried,” Michael said. “But apparently he’s not as strong as I am.” Michael grinned at Master Raiden.
Master Raiden chuckled. “You should stay here and let me train you,” he said. “You’d be a wonderful fighter.”
“Really?” Michael asked. He looked at Bristol. “Can we stay here? You can study my grandpa’s rock and I can train.”
Bristol shook her head. “I don’t have the equipment necessary to study the stone here,” she replied. “But you can stay here and I can return the stone to you when I’m done.”
Michael took the stone out of his pocket and stared at it. Then he looked up and shook his head. “You might break it,” he said. “I should come with you.”
Master Raiden looked at the stone over Michael’s shoulder. “Is that Ginjiro’s wishing stone?” he asked.
Michael and Bristol nodded.
“What are you planning to do with that?” he asked.
“I want to study it,” Bristol replied. “We’re going to try to find a few more to see if I can figure out how they work.”
“One moment,” Master Raiden said. He wandered off to return a few minutes later with another stone. “Ginjiro and another student of mine found three of these stones years ago. They gave me one and kept one each themselves. I’ve never had any use for it, so you might as well take this as payment.”
“Really?” Bristol asked.
Master Raiden nodded.
“Thank you!” Bristol cried.
“You’re welcome,” Master Raiden replied. “Find out how these things work, then, when you bring Michael back, let me know what you found.”
“I will,” Bristol promised. “Come on, Michael.” She led the boy out of the little house.
“Bye!” Michael called back as they walked across the water again.