Mask of Flesh
Volume 3 - Scroll 5
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Nikutsugi no Men
Story and Art by Rumiko Takahashi
- Kagome returns to modern era after Inuyasha's protests and goes to school.
- Meanwhile, The Noh Mask starts searching for the Shikon jewel shards so it can gain more power.
- Kaede hears from some villagers that Inuyasha and Kagome have returned, and that Kagome was headed toward the Bone-Eater's Well. Kaede also hears that Inuyasha had a scowl on his face as he passed by. At the well, Inuyasha is yelling at Kagome, ordering her not to enter the well, saying that she can't go back to her own era. Kagome says she'll be back in a few days, but Inuyasha asks "What about the jewel? Have you forgotten you're the one that broke it?" to which she responds "What about my exams?! I'm trying to get into a good high school!" She also blames Inuyasha for her poor attendance record, and states that if she fails her entrance exams, her life is over. Then, Inuyasha appears with a large boulder. He plans on using it to seal the well so she can never return to her time, but before he succeeds, Kagome uses her Sit command on him, making him drop the boulder, and then he falls, causing the boulder to fall onto his back. Kagome says she'll return in three days, and then jumps into the well, leaving an incapacitated Inuyasha behind.
- Meanwhile, Grandpa Higurashi is using Sacred Sutras on the well in an attempt to bring Kagome back to their era. Sota is doubtful that they'll work. Grandpa then pours sacramental saké down the well, just as Kagome returns. Grandpa rejoices, thinking his spell worked. Kagome only rolls her eyes, soaked in the alcohol.
- A woman is in a cab. She tells the driver to go to Higurashi Shrine, because she has an appointment for an exorcism. She makes smal talk with the driver, telling the story of how her father passed away and so now she's stuck with a family heirloom that's supposedly cursed. A "Mask of Flesh" that they say once someone puts on, it will never come off, only in death. It originated in the warring-states era, and is said to be indestructible, even by fire. Anyone who tries to destroy the mask will die a mysterious death. At least, if you believe the legends, she says. The woman arrives at the gateway to Higurashi shrine and looks down at the box in her hand, which contains the mask.
- Kagome and Sōta both head off for school. Sōta is disappointed because Kagome didn't bring "That dog-guy" back with her. Then, the two siblings see the woman who had the flesh mask, and we see the box that she was carrying earlier has been opened. Sōta wonders if it's a customer, but when she lifts up her head, he screams, as she looks frightening. Kagome thinks to herself that her face almost looks like a Noh-Mask... The strange woman walks away, and the two siblings decide to just head for school and get away from her. Kagome wonders if it's possible that demons survived to her time.
- Later, at Kagome's school, she's greeted by her friends, who are relieved to see her. Apparently, Grandpa Higurashi had been making up ridiculous reasons for Kagome's absence, saying she had a bad back, developed gout, and was being tested for diabetes. Kagome becomes annoyed when she learns this. Then, Hōjō appears, which makes Kagome's friends squeal, as he is the 'hunk' of their class. He says he's concerned with her health, since she got Gout at such a young age. (Kagome thinks to herself about Grandpa: I'll kill him, I'll kill him... ) Hōjō gives her some therapeutic sandals and leaves, and then her friends ask her if she's going out with him. When they ask if she wants to, she says not really, to which they ask "Do you already have a boyfriend?" and "What's your type?" She describes a few traits, understanding, kind, patient, and then thinks to herself "Someone the exact opposite of Inuyasha!"
- Inuyasha is sulking, his back totally out of commission from having the boulder come crashing down on him after Kagome Osuwaried him. Kaede tells the half-demon to stop moping about and go find some jewel shards or something. Inuyasha says he can't wait until Kagome returns so he can beat her up the way she did to him.
- Back in the modern era, Kagome is studying. She looks at her bottle of jewel shards, and wonders how many more they have to collect before the jewel is whole again. She also wonders how long she'll be able to keep up the double life of part-time student, part-time priestess and jewel collector. Later, Kagome falls asleep while studying, and the Noh Mask appears at her window, looking in on her....
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Chapters 23 through 27 were adapted into Episode 11 of the Anime.
- This chapter marks the first appearance of Kagome's friends.
- In the VIZ edition, Kagome says "And there are still four more shards of the shikon jewel to go." This is obviously a translation error derived from Shikon no Tama, which means 'Jewel of four souls'.