“You humans need to learn when to shut your f*cking mouths.” – Shiiva after Nobuyuki taunts her
Shiiva is a secondary character in Soul Embrace, making her first appearance in The Fires Rise. She is a lamia initially playing an antagonistic role, having been sent to kill Nobuyuki Honda and later Akira Hayabusa, but as her relationship with the latter grows, her allegiance begins to shift.
Shiiva in her full form measures at about fifteen feet long, though from her head to where her body first touches the ground, she stands at 178 cm, or about 5’10”. She has very long black hair that flows behind her, and as a lamia, she has a ten-foot long snake tail rather than legs. However, she can temporarily morph her tail into legs if she wants to blend in, though she isn’t used to them and will often stumble as a result.
During her time serving the underworld, Shiiva reveled in causing fear among humans, particularly ones she deemed full of themselves. She found perverse pleasure in ruthlessly devouring those sentenced for damnation, knowing that humans saw her kind as monsters, anyway, so was there any point in trying to prove them otherwise?
Despite this, she seems to house some capability for compassion, shown when she easily befriended Chiharu Hayabusa and even took pity on her brother Akira for all the pain he’d suffered. She dreads to think it may be a change of heart, knowing Hell’s punishment for such weakness.
Much of Shiiva’s past is an enigma, though one can easily assume she is at least a few hundred years old.
The Fires Rise
Shiiva made her first appearance in Chapter Three, having received orders to execute Nobuyuki Honda and any who would side with him. She cornered Nobuyuki and Akira in an alley and engaged them, gaining the upper hand and coming very close to finishing them off were it not for a fire escape ladder coming loose and knocking her unconscious. Nobuyuki and Akira then locked her in a nearby dumpster and made their escape.
Needless to say, such treatment made her hungry for revenge when she woke up, and she was able to track down Akira in the dead of night and take him by surprise. Lo and behold: though she had him in her clutches, he struck another decisive blow to her and escape yet again, though she wasted no time in tracking him to his house. She attempted to finish the job while he was sleeping, but she was then obstructed by Akira’s younger sister Chiharu.
Then the moment of confusion came: Chiharu showed no fear toward the demon and instead embraced her, believing her to be her and Akira’s deceased mother. Though initially resistant to the claim, Shiiva came around and found it strangely flattering. She saw Chiharu back to sleep and encountered Akira moments afterward. She promised she’d cease her hunting of him if he ceased his aid of Nobuyuki, telling him that he had much to live for and didn’t need to throw it away for cause he may not believe in. Akira, however, ignores her warning and demands she leave him and his sister alone before he became violent.
Since Akira was very closely related to Nobuyuki, Shiiva initially saw him as just another target. Indeed, after she re-emerged from her battle with the two, she hunted him down in the dead of night and attempted to devour him. However, she softened her stance on him after meeting his sister Chiharu, finding him cute for attempting to act tough despite his relative weakness. The revelation that she bears a strong resemblance to Akira and Chiharu’s dead mother hits her deeper than she lets on, though, and it causes her to wonder if she could perhaps change her outlook on humans altogether.
Shiiva was very surprised to find that the eight-year old Chiharu had no fear of her, mistaking the lamia for her long-lost mother and referring to her as such even after being corrected. Though confused, Shiiva found it oddly endearing that a human child would show such affection for her, and began to question whether she could see humans differently.
Shiiva plays more for stealth than other species of demons, though she can quickly swing her tail about like a whip should a situation call for it. She has enough strength in her tail to strangle her enemies with ease as well as launch herself high into the air, and with how much she weighs, said enemies can be heavily injured if she should end up landing on them.
Much like many snakes, she houses a venom in her fangs that can numb a foe or at the very least give them a painful sting. Also like snakes, she is capable of unhinging her lower jaw to devour large prey. She attempts to finish off Akira in this manner, though he strikes one of her vital points and temporarily stuns her before she gets the chance.
- Shiiva gets her name from the Hindu god of creation, who has a close association with snakes.
- Shiiva was a character added in the second draft of Soul Embrace, replacing a feline character that also served as something of an offbeat love interest for Akira.