|“||For the path seekers who aim to deny all human emotions... all that exists for them is the path.||”|
|Goal(s)||Achieving the pinnacle of a "path"|
Bushin (Wushen in Chinese, literally meaning “martial god”) is a secretive tribe of China. They are known as "Path Seekers", albeit, a different type than the Shiyuu and "host a violent god" within themselves. Their goal is ending all warfare by transcending humanity and giving example to all people. The only named member of this tribe in the series is Hou Ken.
Path seekers have existed since an era of constant warfare that predated even five centuries since the start of the series. Their beginnings were comprised of some of the wisest people of their time. Disheartened by the foolish nature of endless warfare and lamenting the suffering that it wrought, they gathered together in the search of an answer. They concluded that to search for a path in a world of perpetual conflict was the very definition of futile. The reason being, so long as one man held beliefs that differed from another, a conflict would be born. So long as a man still possessed passion or emotions, this world of suffering would never change. The only means of solving such a great contradiction was for every man and woman to become an existence that transcends humanity. It was from that point that the path seekers vanished from society, choosing a life of seclusion within the mountains. Dedicating themselves to the single-minded pursuit of a path. Because first, they had to serve as a model of that which transcends humanity. Such paths can vary with some meditating until their bodies turn to dust. Others, allegedly, would challenge limits of their own bodies such as trying to achieve flight by hurling themselves into gorges. The ones that more often emerge from seclusion, such as Hou Ken, would dedicate themselves to a path seeking perfection in martial prowess. They believed that if through some miracle, a single individual is able to transcend to new heights as an example to others, the greater whole of humanity will also transform and be uplifted to that level. Upon doing so, they believe humanity would transcend the perpetual conflict and suffering the Bushin see as the definition of futility.
While Clan Shiyuu originated as path seekers dedicated to refining the Priestess Dance in tribal enclaves, the Bushin is a different type of "path seekers" who are not bound by blood ties. A path seeker is someone who secludes themselves from society and dedicates their life to achieving the pinnacle of a "path". As they are all seeking different "paths", some do so alone while others do so as a group living together. The Bushin applies themselves to continue honing and refining their "martial path".
They rarely appear before others, and only do so to confirm whether or not they have achieved the pinnacle of martial skill. This only happens when a truly powerful warrior appears in their regions such as Kyou of the Six Great General, Shin and Kyou Kai. Strong opponents are seen as "offerings" to their inner "god".
One of the codes they follow is that sentimental emotions are not needed for those who seek strength and the Bushin commit themselves fully to the "martial path" in order to purge themselves of unwanted emotions.
Followers of the Bushin was known to use Wu Xing Techniques, 5 elemental-based fundamentals.
The Bushin kidnaps promising children to raise them in their ways, training the youngsters to refine their martial skill until they reach the pinnacle of their ability, attaining mastery with their chosen weapon.
The talented Hou Ken has been shown training in the forests of Zhao, hacking down giant trees with his glaive, displaying his monstrous strength.
A Bushin is a powerful fighter who is strong enough to kill multiple opponents with one slash and can move as fast as a Shiyuu despite their large frame. Most opponents cannot visually follow their moves and are killed before they realize it. They also have great agility, balance and can utilize Chi in combat. This is seen in Hou Ken's fight against Kyou Kai and Shin, as he effortlessly dodges his enemy's attacks and uses his inhumane power to overwhelm the two. The tribe possesses a superior constitution that surpasses that of a Shiyuu, and are able to read their opponent's moves.
However, even among the Bushin lies a significant variation in strength. As noted by Geki Shin (who has defeated a number of Bushin in his youth) during their duel, Houken was "different from the other Bushins" that he knew of. Shortly after, Geki Shin was slain by a single one-armed strike from Hou Ken's glaive.
The difference between the Shiyuu and the Bushin lies in the utilization of their breath during combat. The Shiyuu can go only two ways on this, either length (the duration) or "depth" (the focus), but the Bushin breaks the limits on the length which means that their Chi utilization is constantly active. On the other hand, the Shiyuu have to initiate their breath to use their Chi through the Priestess Dance. It is due to this that Kyou Shou stated that, when fighting a Bushin, a Shiyuu should aim for "extremely short duration combat" and use their "depth" instead of "length".
Kyou Kai notes that the Bushin's breath is not truly limitless, but rather honed to a length that goes far beyond what the Shiyuu consider "normal". The Bushin can also use a skill that sends Chi inside an enemy's body to destroy it from within, and Houken used this move to defeat Shin after he was struck by the Qin commander.
Their members are young talented children who are trained from an early age. So far, there have been only male Bushin shown in the series. Their attire is a cloak similar to a Mexican poncho and tattoos on the forearms. Their hairstyles and tattoo designs differ from person to person. The tribe is mainly run by males who may have been "path seekers" themselves for years in isolation. They tend to have a large, muscular build, which can be attributed to their intense training.