Shiyuu (jap.), Chiyou (chin.)
|“||A mythical clan that has been feared as demons for more than 1000 years.||”|
—Unnamed Gouma assassin about Clan Shiyuu.
Clan Shiyuu (蚩尤) is a well-known assassination clan that existed in China. A tribe that later became the Shukyou Clan served them over 200 years and respects the prowess of the clan. This is shown by the Shukyou members who were honored by her presence and knelt before Kyou Kai in front of the other assassin clans during their meeting in Qin. They are known as "god summoners" by their ancient foe, the Bushin, a branch of the path seekers that both sides had originated from more than five centuries in the past. They are currently located in the state of Wei.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Their members are young girls who are trained at an early age to compete for the title of Shiyuu. The attire differs from tribe to tribe just as the markings on the headbands are unique to each potential Shiyuu. The clan is mainly run by females who may have been potential Shiyuu that never got to fight in the ritual or those who lacked the talent needed. Elders that accompany the young girls wear their clan mark on the seams of their robes.
Training[edit | edit source]
|“||All of you shall become fodder for our larvae.||”|
— Unknown Shiyuu elder to a group of men.
Talented girls receive training from an early age and went around gaining experience until the elders need to select a new successor to the title. The young girls practice the Priestess Dance on humans under the watchful eye of an elder, going from village to village for more targets as killing becomes second nature to them.
Following a powerful code of Isshi Sōden, when the current Shiyuu disappears or dies, the elders come together to elect a new successor. Each tribe sends 2 candidates to compete in the deathmatch which was the ritual for the clan.
All selected members of the clan will fight to the death until only one victor remains. The victor inherits the Shiyuu name and the blessings of the elders.
Known Members[edit | edit source]
Kyou Tribe[edit | edit source]
Ga Tribe[edit | edit source]
Yuu Tribe[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
The Shiyuu were originally a tribe of priestess path seekers. They are said to be a legend to even other assassins and have been called monsters for their flawless skill with the sword. The clan possesses a special constitution that surpasses that of a normal human but the Shiyuu name is only ever passed down to a single individual who has proven themselves to be the strongest of each generation.
The original Shiyuu clan split into 19 separate tribes that live amongst numerous mountains in China. Each tribe dedicates itself to raising one worthy of the Shiyuu title. The only known tribes within the clan are the Kyou, Yuu and Ga tribes.
According to their teachings, the sword did not originate as a tool of warfare for the killing of men but rather, it was born as a divine instrument for the purpose of venerating the heavens. The god-fearing people would pay homage to the heavens by holding a "priestess dance" where the priestess, host to the gods, would dance amidst a sea of flames and offerings. But as time went on, people began to fear the strength of man rather than the heavens which caused the Shiyuu clan to fade into the darkness where they changed into something frightening.
One of their teachings is that sentimental emotions are not needed for those who seek strength. This is why they choose two candidates from the same tribe for the ritual of selection.
The Shiyuu is defined by 2 traits:
- A completely inhuman level of swordplay.
- The ruthless mentality capable of cutting down anyone who stands in their way, even if it is their own family.
The law states that it is forbidden for candidates to co-operate in the ritual but this rule can be overridden, by the consent of the elders, if specific candidates display skills far above the norm. Their teachings urged the Shiyuu to "never approach the Bushin" due to the vast skill difference between the two groups.
The village where Kyou Kai grew up has a secret formula for a healing salve, handed down from one generation to the next. It is strong enough to heal Shin's wounds from his first fight with Rin Ko. The medicine is very potent and occasionally, there are symptoms of rejection.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
The potential Shiyuu candidates are powerful fighters who are strong enough to kill multiple opponents with ease including other assassin clans. Most opponents cannot visually follow their swordplay and are killed before they realize it. They also have great agility, balance and can utilize chi in combat. This is seen in Kyou Kai's fights as she effortlessly dodges enemy attacks and balanced her entire body on Shin's blade.
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 "on". This is in contrast to that of the Shiyuu who 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 Shiyuu has a similar technique to the Bushin, which sends chi inside an enemy's body to destroy it from within.