A Soul Embrace is a ritualistic connection that binds two souls together, bringing them into a symbiotic relationship that grants them immense supernatural abilities. It is considered the highest form of devotion by any who have formed one, leading it to be nicknamed “Marriage of One’s Being”. Nobuyuki Honda and the succubus Delilah forming one serves as the main catalyst for a majority of the events in the entire Soul Embrace series.
HISTORY AND CONCEPT
The only known historical account of Soul Embraces exists in the textbook Demonopedia, of which very few copies remain. The only copy in Rengoku was vandalized and later destroyed by Shinkokira, thus leaving the ritual’s origins a mystery and any knowledge of it lost and forgotten to time.
All that is truly known is that the capacity to form one is present in all sentient beings from the day they are born. It is considered neutral as far as alignment between Heaven and Hell is concerned, since not only can angels and humans maintain them, but demons, as well. The practice is condemned in demon culture, however, with any violators punished with slow torture and inevitably brutal death.
HOW TO FORM A SOUL EMBRACE
The two beings pledged to the ritual join hands, one or both muttering the Plea for Union (Iungere animam meam, which translates from Latin as “Join my soul.”). From there, the Embraced Sigil (which takes the form of a triquetra and a Satanic pentagram overlaying each other) will appear beneath them, locking them in place until the ritual is complete.
The two beings take hold of each other’s forearms, symbolizing the strength of the bond they are about to make. Thus, they are united in body.
The two beings touch their foreheads together, symbolizing the link they will have that can cross even the mightiest oceans and mountains. Thus, they are united in mind.
The two beings take turns verbalizing a pledge to each other. Specific words are irrelevant so long as every one is not said lightly. Thus, they are joined in heart.
The two beings demonstrate an act of devotion and longing for one another. This act can vary, but is usually a kiss. Thus, they are joined in soul. From there, the Embraced Sigil will appear one the bodies of the two beings, one red and one blue, thus confirming that the Embrace has been fully formed and the ritual is complete.
The abilities a Soul Embrace grants to those under its influence varies from being to being. The only guaranteed enhancements are increased strength and endurance, as well as a mental link with both hosts. Under most circumstances, any further enhancements are largely dependent on the hosts’ own skills.
Interestingly, it has the capacity to pass certain skills from one host to the other, making the symbiosis of the relationship more prevalent. For example, Nobuyuki Honda’s skill with his katana led to Delilah gaining the ability to form blades from her arms, and Delilah’s nature as a succubus allowed Nobuyuki to (inadvertently) enter the dream of Kaori Funaki to do battle with the archdemon Asmodia.
- A Soul Embrace can only be formed between two beings at once.
- Gender is not a factor when forming a Soul Embrace, but species is. Two beings of the same species cannot form a Soul Embrace with one another (i.e. a human can form one with an angel or a demon, but not another human).
- Once formed, a Soul Embrace cannot be broken except through infedility. Should this occur, however, both souls will experience great pain and the connection between them will be damaged. Should the connection break entirely, both beings will die.
- One being cannot live without the other once a Soul Embrace is formed. Should one die, so will the other.
KNOWN SOUL EMBRACES
Nobuyuki Honda and Succubus Delilah
This Embrace was formed at the request of Delilah after she expressed her fear of returning to Hell to Nobuyuki Honda. He accepted the offer without much hesitation, fueled mainly by his childhood memory of her. Nobuyuki discovers one of the Embrace’s restrictions the hard way, but nonetheless abides by it and considers it as meaningful an act as marriage.
Satan and ???
Upon inhabiting the body of one of Shinkokira’s victims, Satan confirmed to the cult that she too has formed a Soul Embrace with another being. Who that being is and where he or she is now is unknown.