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.
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…”
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.”