| Spoiler warning!
Chapter 1 is a first chapter of XxxHOLiC.
Watanuki is plagued by spirits that are attracted to his blood. All he wants to do is get rid of them. One day, while running from one of these very spirits, Watanuki stumbles upon a strange shop. Suddenly, his legs move by themselves and usher Watanuki into the shop. It turns out that the shop is a shop of wishes where the owner is a time and space witch that can grant any wish or desire. She even says that the can make the spirits go away, but there is a price that Watanuki must pay in return.
Watanuki Kimihiro is not your average teenage boy. He has the supernatural talent to see spirits and unfortunately, the spirits he sees are also attracted to his blood. One day, while walking in the streets, a spirit follows Watanuki. The spirit violently pushes him to the ground and in desperation; Watanuki tells it to get away from him and bangs on the fence beside him with his hand for support. Once his hand touches the fence, the spirit dissolves and disappears. Astounded and confused, Watanuki looks that the strange house that the fence surrounds but once he steps inside the fence, his feet start to move by themselves and walk towards the house against Watanuki's own will. Watanuki's feet pul him towards the door and two girls suddenly open the doors and welcome him inside. Watanuki tries to tell the girls that he can't stay but the two girls push him inside the house saying that he is a "customer for the master!" The girls lead Watanuki to a door and there Watanuki meets a woman who tells Watanuki that he was supposed to come into the house. The woman then tells him that the fence around the house is a barrier and that's why the spirit disappeared when he touched the fence. The woman then asks Watanuki for his name and his birthday and so he gives them to her. The woman then tells him that her name is Yuuko Ichihara and that the girls that welcomed Watanuki at the door are Morodashi and Marudashi. Watanuki then says that he must go and that it was a mistake to come here but Yuuko does not let him leave and continues to tell Watanuki that it was fate that he would come here and so he cannot leave. Yuuko then asks for Watanuki to give her whatever he has in his pockets. Watanuki reluctantly hands over an old watch. Maru (Marudashi) and Moro (Morodashi) then bring Yuuko a big bowl of water as Yuuko takes out a kind of flat disk with a strange design on it. She places the disk in the water and repeats Watanuki's name twice followed by his birthday (April 1st). Then Yuuko starts telling Watanuki about his own life (like fortune-telling) such as that he moved when he was young and that he is very good with housework and finally that he can see spirits. Watanuki is bewildered that Yuuko knew these things just by following that simple procedure. Yuuko explains that anyone could find out about your past and who you are if they have your name and birth date. Yuuko then says that she will keep Watanuki’s watch as payment. Watanuki gets angry and asks Yuuko why she would keep his watch to which she replies that when someone does something for someone else, the other person must pay a price for that action and that the price must neither be more or less; it must be in balance or else there will be “mishaps.” Yuuko then explains to Watanuki that the house is really a shop that grants wishes. Yuuko says that she grants the wishes of her customers for an equal price... Such as souls. When Yuuko says she takes souls as payment for the wishes she grants, Watanuki takes it as that she kills her customers and takes their soul. Yuuko quickly corrects him and tells Watanuki that souls do not just mean “lives” but it also means that she takes things that are important to that person. Yuuko then asks Watanuki what his wish is and Watanuki says that he doesn’t have a wish. Yuuko then asks him if he wishes not to see the spirits and more importantly, that the spirits they would not be drawn to him. Without him saying so, Yuuko says that she will grant Watanuki’s wish and Watanuki is outraged saying that he never officially asked her to grant that wish. Yuuko then takes out a magic mirror and looks at Watanuki through that mirror. She then says that she can see that Watanuki is stubborn and the fair payment for his wish is that Watanuki will have to work for her part-time in her shop.