Blade in the Snow Prologue: The Mark of the Yuki-onna

I finally found the urge to write again, and took it upon myself to FINALLY get this scene in visual form.  I’m glad I did, because I think the writing muse is back in full swing, and I think I have what I need to seriously consider a Blade in the Snow sequel.

Credit to the iilustrations go to mortalshinobi.deviantart.com. 

APPENDIX:

Yuki-Onna: a subspecies of succubus, they are native to Japan and are most active during the colder seasons.  They most commonly approach their victims during snowy weather and feed on their energy through acts of passion, leaving them frozen husks should they decide to claim everything they are, body and soul.  They are considered in-tune with the nature around them and possess cryokinetic abilities in addition to their seduction and illusory magic native to all succubi.  

Blowfish Poison Kiss:  “Death that is the excess of life.”  The user kisses the victim, usually on the lips, and places a spell on them in the process.  A human’s life energy, or ki, is regulated through specific points on the body, and this kiss causes those points to work at their maximum efficiency.  As a result, the victim’s body produces a gross excess of life energy, expanding their body like a balloon and rendering them immobile.  Once the body reaches its limit, the victim’s body struggles to circulate the visceral aspects of life such as blood and oxygen…until finally, the heart gives out, euthanizing the victim, hence the name “Blowfish Poison.”  The victim dies quietly and peacefully within minutes, making it an ideal technique for female assassins who want to avoid leaving blood stains on their missions or don’t want to draw attention during the execution.

However, there is a way to save a victim…

Mark of the Yuki-onna/Mark of the Succubus: Like all succubi, Yuki-onna survive off of the life energy of mortal men drawn through acts of passion.  However, because succubi are only female, they rely on those same mortal men to continue their lineage, or more specifically, their “destined one.”  For succubi, finding their destined one is the same as finding their one true love, and they have methods to protect their destined ones from perishing when it comes time to consummate. A succubus can enhance her destined one’s body by leaving lip-shaped scars upon them, enabling the victim to survive consummation and continue supporting their “wives.”  Moreover, if the aforementioned Blowfish Poison Kiss is used prior to this moment, these marks can be used to restore the destined one’s body to its original state with the marks acting as regulators to seal and control the excess in life energy.  The result is a mate that can not only provide perpetual sustenance for her thirst, but a conclusive end to her endless search for a new mate.  

Destined One: Once a mark is received, it will remain present on the man for the rest of his days, and should the man ever be separated from the succubus that branded him, it can prove harmful.  Since the Mark is meant to act as a way to unite the couple, the victim can not be around other women, be they mortal or otherwise, lest they receive a searing sensation that stings at their body and soul.  Like any scar, the Mark can take a turn for the worse, and only the one who gave them that mark can ease the pain caused by their separation.

Maturity:  Succubi, Yuki-onna, and all subspecies are born human, awakening their vampiric natures upon reaching physical maturity.  However, it is entirely possible for her to retain her humanity should she curb her thirst for energy enough until her Destined One approaches her.  That is, though she can feed off of energy, she cannot take a soul, relying on periodic feedings as opposed to a full meal.  Though it is very difficult for her to go about her powers in this manner, should she successfully remain pure until she claims her Destined One, her humanity will be fully retained and she would be able to live her life as a human woman, though aging far slower than regular humans.  The benefits of this is that she will be immune to many of the weaknesses that come with being a demon, such as weakness to certain incantations and charms, or weakness in certain temperatures if she were a Yuki-onna.  With minimal search for life energy and no weaknesses to hinder her from moving about freely, there is no limit to what she would be capable of should someone earn her ire…

One kiss was all it would take…

One kiss…one soft, tender kiss, and Harumi would have completed her mission. Her target was exceedingly easy to approach, as she noticed the way he was fixated upon her that evening. No struggle was necessary, and indeed, he did not struggle as the effect of the kiss caused his body to puff out like a bubble. In fact, it was quite clear that he enjoyed the kiss, and as she parted lips, he was looking at her with a dreamy smile. He was silently begging her to continue, completely infatuated with this beautiful creature that was about to claim his life.

Something within Harumi stirred. Even before that kiss, she noted that he was a very beautiful youth, the pampered prince of the Miyamoto warrior clan. But those brown eyes of his…she wasn’t the only one with a captivating glance. He was too pure to die so young, as no one who deserved to die could possess such a soft gaze or gentle kiss. Now she wanted to kiss him, again, and again. She wanted him to live, so that he could teach her how to live. She no longer cared for the mission to take this man’s head, and now was concerned solely with taking his heart.

Her instincts took over, telling her one thing, “This beautiful boy…is ripe…”

kiss of the blow fish - the cure II by mortalshinobi

The desires of her latent Yuki-onna blood awakened in full bloom and she did what those desires dictated. Each kiss on his body was slow and passionate, searing his flesh and providing the relief necessary to ease the balloon-like swelling of his body. With each mark she branded him with, the wound oozed with the youth’s vitality, and the scent of his life energy only further fueled her desire for his love, matched only by his desire for hers. With each kiss, her kimono loosened further, and it began to slip off her body as she hungered for the full extent of his passion.

With most Yuki-onna, one mark was sufficient to prove her love to the man she had deemed her destined one, but Harumi branded Shun with three marks, each one more tender and passionate than the last. Those three kisses may had restored Shun’s body to its original lean form and saved his life, but working together with the life-overloading effects of the Blowfish kiss, they had most certainly left Shun a very changed young man. Whatever ambitions he might have had before this encounter, they were now superceded by the very real desire to give this woman paradise.

Although the marks had been delivered, Harumi was only just beginning with satiating her Yuki-onna urges. The kiss of a Yuki-onna, and especially the consummation, was fatal for any other human, but the massive excess of life energy that still surged through Shun’s body now being kept in check by the Marks of the Yuki-onna ensured that there would be nothing holding Harumi back from showing Shun the extent of her passion. This time, Shun was able to caress her when she kissed him on the lips, and Harumi disrobed further.

In that moment, the threat that came with abandoning her assassination mission became nonexistent, as did whatever danger that came from allowing the woman that almost killed him with her kiss, do so again. They felt quite safe in each other’s arms, and from that point onward, they would confront any danger together, as lovers. Moments before, Harumi attempted to make Shun’s belly swell to death. Now, she would allow Shun to make her belly swell with life as they began to make love in the snow.

Finally, Shun regained the strength to speak. “What is your name?”

In between passionate kisses, Harumi leaned in and whispered her answer in his ear.

Shun immediately took a liking to the name, and responded with something that he knew he would be saying for a long, long time. “Harumi…I love you.”

guyverology:

David Hayter as Sean Barker in Guyver: Dark Hero live action movie.
http://guyver-world.ru/dark-hero-guyver-movie.html

LOVE THAT SUIT. 

guyverology:

David Hayter as Sean Barker in Guyver: Dark Hero live action movie.

http://guyver-world.ru/dark-hero-guyver-movie.html

LOVE THAT SUIT. 

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Andre the Giant

Our next protagonist should need no introduction.  He’s the basis of countless fighting game characters, most prominently Hugo/Andore from the Street Fighter and Final Fight worlds, and is a household name just as much as guys like Hulk Hogan and The Rock.  He is Andre the Giant, and like many other wrestlers from this time period we’re focusing on, he had a great deal of notoriety in Japan as well as in the United States, where he was on loan from Vincent J. Mcmahon (father of Vincent K. McMahon) to other territories.

Much like in the States, Andre the Giant was a true spectacle in the Japanese wrestling world, even more so in his prime when he was as athletic and nimble as men half his size, making him a true danger for the likes of Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba, the rival promoters and stars of the two big feds, New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling.  As you might imagine, Andre was an unstoppable juggernaut that could not be deterred when he stepped over the top rope and into the wrestling ring.

Outside the wrestling ring he wasn’t much different, as one poor gangster realized one evening when he and his comrades decided to try and shake down an unsuspecting couple while Andre happened to be nearby.  Andre had just finished a show and was walking out of the arena and into town to enjoy the nightlife, and he happened to catch some commotion in an alleyway. 

It was dark and he couldn’t really make faces out of anyone, and he certainly couldn’t tell if any of them were armed with how they were huddling the couple, but that’s the kind of person Andre the Giant was: if someone was in trouble, he wasn’t going to sit idly by and leave them to their problems. 

Without saying a word, Andre walked into the alleyway, palmed the head of the man he assumed to be the leader of the pack, and lifted him off his feet so that he could toss him into a nearby dumpster.  In the cover of darkness, Andre looked as scary and intimidating as any oni, and the other gangsters quickly made themselves scarce.  The young couple soon followed after saying a quick thank you, leaving Andre and the gang leader alone.

But what happened next only further solidified Andre as the hero of the day.  Once everyone was gone, Andre reached into the dumpster and helped the gang leader out, and then led him to the nearest bar where he bought him a Japanese beer, telling him he should change his lifestyle so that they didn’t have to do this over again the next time he had a show in that town. 

With his work done, Andre drank until he decided it was time to move on to the next bar, and left the gang leader to mull over what had just transpired.

vicious-violet:

*ahem* Paging Psycho-Blue…

And just in time to start my Megaranger viewing this evening!

You know what, I was just thinking about Astronema last week!  Truly a great character, especially when she turned cyborg.  When she first arrived she highlighed a mischievous kind of evil like Tira, but then she became a cold, calculating evil a la Kazuya.  Who’s scarier?  YOU DECIDE.

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Triple H, Tajiri, and WWE

Remember what I was talking about with the Yakuza racket for professional wrestling?

WWE didn’t really care much for that when they decided to tape RAW and Smackdown in Japan during their annual tour.  After all, they weren’t some struggling Indy fed that needed to use shady dealings to fill seats.  They were the almighty wrestling conglomerate, untouchable and unstoppable after they conquered the mighty WCW to make them the ruler of the wrestling world.

They treated their tour of Japan like any other tour, but what would make this tour that much more special is what would happen at the RAW taping, where a handful of Yakuza enforcers decided to use their connections to enter the backstage area of the arena and stir up some trouble for not receiving their usual cut from the wrestling gate.  Why they would think they need that given WWE filled the house just fine without their help, who knows.

It’s unknown exactly why they were there, but the first thing they did was hunt down Tajiri, who at one time had quite a bit of Yakuza trouble when he was learning the craft in his home country of Japan.  His Yakuza troubles are well-documented, to a point where WWE once pitched a gimmick to him as the leader of a faux-Yakuza stable, but he turned it down because he didn’t want to piss off the real deal. 

They find Tajiri and bully him a bit until Triple H spotted his co-worker looking very uncomfortable around these men, and the Game jumps in and poses a question. 

"Are these men bothering you?"

The gangsters turn around and look at this thick gaijin with the big nose and tell him to mind his own business, showing them the backstage passes they acquired.  Triple H gives them the once-over and tells them that they need to give the talent more respect if they want to continue enjoying those passes.  And thus, the commotion began.

Nothing physical really happened, but Hunter and the gangsters bickered back and forth enough for the rest of the locker room to bring their attention to these guys.  It soon became clear that whoever these guys were, they were bad news, and little by little the rest of the locker room made their way over to back up their WWE brethen.  And all the while, the other gangsters were oblivious to the backup Triple H was silently calling for…

…right up until the gargantuan Paul Wight, AKA the Big Show, gently brushed up behind them and brought their attention to him.  The Big Show looked down at them the same way Q would look down at his fallen victims, and the Yakuza turned back to Triple H who offered them a choice.

"You need to go away now, or we’re going to have some problems."

Chris Jericho has attested in his second book that the WWE locker room, when you peel away all of the politics and decorum, are as much of a brotherhood as even the most loyal of armies, and would stand united against the Taliban should the situation called for it.  If the gangsters tried something that evening, the legitimate backstage pass holders would have been treated to a special bonus match.

The gangsters decided to leave, but Tajiri did not sleep well the rest of the tour.  He would call his family on an almost hourly basis to make sure that they were safe and was afraid that the WWE’s hotel would be set on fire or explode.  The tour continued as planned and everyone returned to the States safe and sound. 

If you could shorten this story into a single sentence, it would be told like this: “Triple H buried the Yakuza.”

Wrestlers v Yakuza: The Undertaker

No, I’m not just thinking about Wrestlemania.  The next story of these heated rivalry has none other than the Deadman himself, Mean Mark Calloway, better known worldwide as the famed and terrifying Undertaker.  I said that our next entry would feature a well-known wrestler, and they don’t get much more well-known than this guy.

The monster from Death Valley was no stranger to the land of the Rising Sun when this particular incident occurred.  He had done a handful of other tours of Japan before he came to the WWE, back when he was known as Dice Morgan.  You can catch one such match with him teaming with Scott Hall against Hashimoto and Saito.  But that’s not where his encounter with the Yakuza occurred.

No, this happened while he was still rocking the Deadman gimmick, visiting Michinoku Pro as WWE’s ambassador to take on fellow WWE alumnus Hakushi, who had returned to the puroresu scene as the top face of the usually high-flying Michinoku Pro.  The match itself was fine for what it was given the huge size difference between the two guys, but if only you knew about the second match Undertaker got involved in once he went behind the curtain.

Not long after he walks back into the locker room area from his match with Hakushi, an unknown man starts yelling at him in Japanese.  Undertaker gives him a curious glance before looking to continue on his way, but the stranger steps in front and starts yelling at him more.  Apparently Undertaker didn’t listen one of the rules that Michinoku Pro’s “sponsors” set forth and this guy was giving him an earful.

Undertaker was going to have none of this and pushed the guy out of his way so that he can continue on with his business.  After all, the ambassador of WWF didn’t answer to this stranger…but something he would most certainly answer to is what happened next.

A couple of seconds after the guy got pushed, he shouted for others to come out, and suddenly the locker room morphed into a re-enactment of Final Fight.  A little over half-dozen guys emerged from the corridors and made a bee line right for Undertaker with their intentions clear: to try an maim this uppity gaijin who disrespected their leader.

Key word: “try.”

With the writing on the wall, Undertaker put up his dukes and took a swing at anyone and everyone who came close to him, fighting for dear life for reasons that he didn’t know or care about.  The fight lasts for less than 30 seconds as the rest of the locker room hears the commotion and quickly comes to Undertaker’s aid, but by the time it ended, more than one of the guys were writhing on the ground clutching themselves.

One of the other wrestlers who knew both English and Japanese did his best to smooth it over, but at this point, both sides were ready for round 2.  Undertaker reportedly told the mediator, “Tell them the next man who touches me is a cripple.”  

The rest of Undertaker’s stay is anything but a pleasant tour.  He is accompanied by policemen almost everywhere he goes all the way up to his flight back to America, where he returned to the United States and told Papa Vince about what had transpired.  Needless to say, that was the last time WWE loaned a main event caliber wrestler to a puroresu fed.

Tune in next time, where the WWE once again takes center stage as the Yakuza attempt to the Game and see if they can withstand a true Burial!

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Sabu and Mike Awesome

For those of you who aren’t in the know about why I’m writing up a series on this clandestine rivalry, let me explain the link between these two professions.  Japanese wrestling in Japan, like many combat sports, have had many supposed ties to the Japanese mob as far back as professional sports became a thing in Japan following the end of World War II.  The way it works is that the Yakuza would get their hands in the results of the card so as to affect the betting odds and the way the money goes, and in return, the Yakuza “convince” people to go to their shows and buy the expensive seats.  Everyone leaves happy, and the Yakuza even get the best seats at a discounted price when all is said and done.

This practice was common as late as the 1990s, where an upstart fed known as Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMV, before that became the abbreviation for those cutscene videos in the PS1 era) was making its name known for its particularly violent brand of pro wrestling.  Athletic showcases such as the exploding barbed wire match, the Japanese death match, and El Pandita were put on display and these matches became the audition tapes that Mick Foley needed to secure a spot with WWF.  

But if you thought it was dangerous in the ring, two other ECW Originals found something deadly without having to go through a single table.  The name Sabu should be familiar to anyone who knows something about ECW, but to those who are just in this for the Yakuza stories, Sabu’s gimmick is that he’s an Arabian psychopath who will tear apart anyone he comes across in heinous high-flying ways, even if it means he potentially gets the worst of it.  Like many other Extremists before they came back stateside, Sabu sharpened his knives in FMV for a decent paycheck.  During a bout with the Gladiator, who would later become known as Mike Awesome, the battle spilled out to ringside and they went into the crowd to continue the match.

Here’s a little known fact about the Yakuza/Wrestling connection: all wrestlers are prohibited from brawling in the area where the Yakuza are.  Yes, I know that in the USA, being privy to a ringside brawl is like the coolest thing ever and the reason why you buy a front row ticket, but the Yakuza are weird like that, I guess.  Sabu wasn’t made privy to this and figured that it’d be like the States and he’d give the crowd a show.

Instead, the crowd started to attack him!  Sabu instinctively punched the dude who came at him, and like a den of hyenas, everyone around him sought to tear him apart.  Sabu quickly made his way back to the ring but the gangsters weren’t going to let him off that easy.  Realizing what was happening, Mike put himself in harm’s way to give Sabu the chance he needed to escape, and Mike trailed close behind.

By the time all of this ended, Mike and Sabu were hiding in their locker room, hoping this would blow over.  Fortunately the promoter was able to smooth it over, because there were quite a few gangsters hovering around that door waiting for them to step out, eager to shove some knives into their ribs.  

In our next installment, an even more well-known American wrestler will encounter this kind of danger, but unlike Sabu and Gladiator, he chooses a different approach to mediation…

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Stan Hansen and Hacksaw Jim Duggan

This comes from Stan Hansen’s autobiography (which, by the way, is a great read and very telling of why the territory system would not work today even if WWF didn’t rise to prominence).

Stan and Hacksaw were enjoying a night in Japan, going around town admiring the sights and drinking some beer.  They eventually come to a quiet sushi stand where they can sit down and enjoy some drinks away from the crowds and nightclubs.  Unfortunately, it does not stay quiet very long as a Japanese man peers between them and tells them in his Engrish to take off their glasses.

Obviously, telling someone to take off their glasses means you want to slug it out with them.  Stan and Hacksaw, not wanting to stir up trouble and risk deportation, ignore the guy and continue on with their business.  The Japanese guy who threatened them turns away, only to suddenly attempt to punch Hacksaw in the back.  Stan cross-counters and puts the guy on his back, and it is officially on.

The Japanese guy was not alone.  A few of his buddies were nearby and saw him get clocked by these two uppity gaijin in glasses, and they come to his “rescue.”  It is here that Stan and Hacksaw stand up from their seats and do as best they can to defend themselves.  It’s mostly a lot of shoving as they use their football background to keep the other guys from dogpiling on them while they handle whoever they can get their hands on. 

At one point, Stan screams out, “GIVE ME SOME FIGHTING ROOM!” as they tumble into a nearby restaurant.  The brawl becomes so out of control at this point that it almost destroys the restaurant’s flimsy foundations being this was the early 80s and several structures in Japan at this point still had the classic paper walls.  The restaurant owners call the police and they arrive on the scene to break things up.

As the gaijin are talking to the cops, Stan catches the guy who started everything rubbing his eye vigorously in order to make the bruise he got from Stan that much worse.  He gives him a mischief-making grin and things suddenly aren’t looking too good.  Thankfully, the promoters (I believe they were with AJPW at this point so it’d be Baba’s group) are able to take care of things and they avoid any charges.  It turns out they just had a run-in with low-level Yakuza who recently had been making a game of goading in unsuspecting gaijin athletes and then suing them for a quick buck and the delight of knowing they got a foreigner in trouble. 

There are many more stories like this.  STAY TUNED!

But a big one was Miz being in the main event at Wrestlemania. There wasn’t a better bad guy in the business than me and to watch somebody literally just get handed this and you know I was just standing there looking at everybody like… ? He likes to say,”Really?” and that was, you know, me standing there like… I just didn’t get it. It was a monumental slap in the face to somebody that has as much pride as I do. And I just figured in my world the best good guy fights the best bad guy in the best show in the year. And it was just another time I got passed over. To me there wasn’t really any validation for it. It wasn’t cause he worked harder than me, it wan’t cause he looked better than me, or he was a better bad guy. Nobody could tell me any good reason as to why I was once again you know, taking a back seat.
CM Punk’s thoughts on one Michael “Saltmaker” Mizanin, ladies and gentlemen.  If you want the definition of success, you should strive so that one day, someone says these exact words about you because you have accomplished something against all naysaying and player-hating.  Because in their bitterness and jealousy, you are also inspiring them to get on your level.