Soul Embrace Part II: The Evils of Shinkokira is the second entry in the Soul Embrace series. It was published on Amazon Kindle on February 12th, 2017 along with Part I: The Fires Rise, and both parts are collected as one work in the paperback novel Soul Embrace Volume I: Genesis.
It will be succeeded by Soul Embrace Part III: Hollows of the Damned.
Three down, three to go. Or so Nobuyuki thinks, but the battle has only just begun. With the murderous cult known as Shinkokira now fully aware of the actions of Nobuyuki and his allies, their scheme steadily begins to escalate to the next level. The situation becomes evermore dire as those that stand against the darkness make their bravest efforts to halt it, but that darkness still dwells within their ranks, and the question remains: is Delilah truly free of the Devil’s influence? And just what is Nobuyuki’s role in the endless war between Heaven and Hell?
Chapter One – Pawns
Akira is approached in the middle of the night by Leviathan, who belittles and threatens him for daring to stand against Shinkokira. Though Akira insists he is doing it out of his friendship with Nobuyuki, Leviathan calls this relationship into question and insists Akira would be better off without him. To ensure Akira ceases his aid of her enemy, Leviathan threatens to kill Chiharu if he does not comply. To his shame, Akira agrees.
The next day at school, Nobuyuki attempts to discuss Shinkokira with Akira, only for the latter to burst out in a fit of envy and berate the former for trying to drag the less fortunate into his battle. Akira then angrily storms off after renouncing Nobuyuki, after which the school principal Jiro Sasaki has a quick word with the latter. Akira meanwhile hides out outside and is visited once again by Shiiva. After a long conversation revolving around Akira’s actions, Shiiva asks Akira what his mother would say to him if she were there with him. He responds by saying she’d tell him to do what he knew in his heart was right. Shiiva then leaves, feeling far more for Akira than she would have hoped for.
Chapter Two – Rage
Some time later, news breaks that several members of Shinkokira had been killed the previous night by a masked assailant with a shotgun, one of whom was Dai Tenshi’s student body vice president Akeno Sugihara. After a somewhat heated discussion with Tamiko Aoki, further fuelling his suspicions of her, Nobuyuki meets the others in the hallway just as Ryuuji arrives with evidence that Kazuharu has gone missing. As the conversation goes on, Nobuyuki sees Akeno Sugihara in the hallway, stopping and questioning her about her actions. She indirectly implies she had something to do with Akira abandoning them, and Nobuyuki angrily challenges her to a fight.
Up on Dai Tenshi’s rooftop, Leviathan emerges from the possessed body of Akeno and duels Nobuyuki and his allies. Though she is outnumbered, she is able to overwhelm the group until Akira arrives to help. With his help, the archdemon is defeated, Akira very nearly beating her to death out of rage. Nobuyuki then forces Leviathan to reveal that Kazuharu is being held in the Izuna Chapel on the other side of town.
Additional plot under construction…
All four initial entries of the Soul Embrace series were originally planned to be one full novel, but as the project got older, this single work was segmented into two volumes, and then again into four parts when the first volume proved too long for an Amazon eBook.
As stated in the development section of the article of The Fires Rise, the entire first volume of this series was rewritten from the ground up after I realized what I had wasn’t going where I would have preferred. The addition of Shinkokira and the desire to have at least some part of the story revolve around them ended up making this end product far different than the initial draft. There was also a desire to strain the relationship between Nobuyuki and Delilah at least a little bit, namely with Delilah being unable to control her demonic urges at certain points. These two elements ended up giving the story a bit of a horror edge to it, which I like even though it’s far from the main focus.
I can barely sit through most horror movies as it is. I’d be hard-pressed to write a story of my own in that genre.
As well, the increased roles of the secondary characters created a great sense of companionship that the first draft sorely lacked. These characters would eventually band together come Hollows of the Damned, but why wait that long to give them much needed development, right? All these combined ended up crafting a far better story, and I’m much happier with it that way.
“Wish” – Nine Inch Nails
“Toxicity” – System of a Down
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – Marilyn Manson
“Am I Evil” – Diamond Head
“Sadisgate” – Mejibray
“Rebellion” – Linkin Park feat. Daron Malakian
“Farewell Life (Arns Andersson remix)” – Nights Amore
“Angel” – Sarah McLachlan
“The Burning Bush” from The Prince of Egypt
“Empire” – Of Monsters and Men