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Mei (めい Mei?) is a Tensen that was formerly affiliated with Rien and Xu Fu but escaped after disagreeing with Rien's methods to unlock immortality.

She then resided with Hōko and soon became an ally of Gabimaru and his group in their attempt to retrieve the elixir known as Tan from Lord Tensen and escape Kotaku.

Appearance

Mei is a child with pink eyes and hair that she wears in two braided Chinese-style buns at the back of her head. She wears a red, long sleeve robe and a skirt. She also walks around barefoot.

Originally, Mei started off as a full grown woman and wore a lavender robe. However, after defying Rien, she receives a scar-like mark that runs down across her back and has her body reduced to that of a child's.

After her first use of Tao, Mei's face and body started to mature and grew about the same height as Fuchi. Her body eventually grew back to what it original was after releasing her Tao for the second time to save Gabimaru. After honoring Hōko's wish by extracting his remaining Tao to rejuvenate herself, Mei reverted back to her former child body.

Gallery

Personality

Mei is a shy and quiet girl. She is innocent and can easily be frightened when harm comes to her. Mei is especially kind and caring to the people around her that she views are her allies and can also be accepting of others when seeing their good qualities. When they first met, Mei was afraid of Gabimaru because of his intimating demeanor but after showing signs of respect towards her she wasn't afraid to come near him. Mei also has a sense of knowing what's right from wrong, believing that Rien's cruel research on humans needed to be stopped.

After being around Tamiya, Mei adopted some of his vocabulary and would communicate in his way of speaking whenever she talks to him.

History

Mei, along with Rien, were created by Xu Fu and became his first students to assist him in his research in creating an Elixir of Life. However, after Rien favored the Outer Way of Tan by sacrificing many human lives, Mei tried to stop him from going any further. This led to her having her tanden destroyed and her body reduced to a child's by Rien. Mei was also sentenced to engage in Bochu Jutsu with the Dōshi.

She eventually managed to escape Hōrai and was founded by Hōko who raised her peacefully in the abandoned village of Hōjō.

Plot

Lord Tensen Arc

Gabimaru captures Mei

Mei captured by Gabimaru.

Mei spots Gabimaru, Sagiri, Yuzuriha and Senta gazing at the village. Gabimaru senses her presence and goes after her. After being captured by him she cries from his frightening behavior. Sagiri calms her down and takes her back to the group with Hōko taken down. Hōko then persuades them into coming to the village.

While Sagiri and Yuzuriha are taking a bath, Mei supplies them with towels and leaves. She then joins the group discussing about the elixir, the island, and Lord Tensen. Hōko shows them that the elixir exist by separating its hand and regenerating it. Gabimaru looks towards Mei with his sword and asked if she is also blessed with this ability, resulting in her becoming scarred. She then goes to take a bath but is walked in by Gabimaru and Sagiri and screams in panic. Sagiri provides the two with a proper bath and offers to clean Mei. After noticing Mei's marking on her back, Gabimaru advised her that appearance do not matter and that she should not to try hide her marking. Mei notices Gabimaru's respectful behavior and finds it safe to come near him. The two then return to the lodging and rest for the night.

Mei saves Gabimaru

Mei saving Gabimaru from Zhu Jin.

Right after Gabimaru left for Hōrai and was on the verge of death from battling Zhu Jin, Mei appears besides him and helps him escape by creating a crater leading down a cliff. While asleep, the two are found by Tamiya Gantetsusai and Yamada Asaemon Fuchi. She later wakes up slightly grown up which surprises Gabimaru. After speaking for the first time to Gabimaru, he quickly asked her if she knew anything about the elixir and her strange power. Mei says that her power is called Tao but confuses them with her odd explanation. The group are then approached by the Sōshin. Wanting to know how to use Tao, Tamiya carries Mei on his shoulder and asked her to teach him how to master it while fighting the Sōshin.

Gabimaru protects Mei

Gabimaru comes to Mei's side.

Tamiya ask Mei for reports on his progress of awakening Tao as he kills the Sōshin. Mei says no because he was using too much of his strength. Tamiya then pointed to Gabimaru but Mei says that he is also using too much of his strength. After looking at her with a scary expression she starts to cry much to Gabimaru's disappointment. Mei is then captured by a Dōshi who is pleased with meeting her and addresses her in a polite manner. The Dōshi explains to them that Mei is similar to Lord Tensen and ask her to return to Hōrai for guidance. She then looks towards Gabimaru with tears in her eyes and instantly appears by her side. He explains that even though she was none of his concern he still wanted to protect her.

Gabimaru asks the Dōshi why they wanted Mei. The Dōshi explains that she is a part of their training in Bochu Jutsu where they preform sexual congress and join their Yang with her Yin, which causes her to become frighten. She continues to tremble as he explains to them her past of being banished from the palace, being scarred by Rien and given the option of dying or being part of the Dōshi's training. Hearing enough of what they had to say, Gabimaru and Tamiya stand behind Mei to defend her from the transformed Dōshi's.

Mei helps Gabimaru

Mei helping Gabimaru awaken his Tao.

After Fuchi interpreted Mei's words about Tao, Mei helps Gabimaru try to sense his Tao by touching his hand. Gabimaru finds it hard to believe that by accepting his weakness he will be able to learn Tao. However, after Mei states that strength derives from weakness, Gabimaru manages to understand and awakens his Tao. After he steps forward to confront the Dōshi's once again, Mei comments on how Gabimaru possess a huge amount of Tao. She then watches as Gabimaru dodges the Dōshi's invisible attacks. Tamiya states that Gabimaru was able to understand Tao quickly because of his ninja training, but Mei shakes her head in disagreement. The three are then shocked to see Gabimaru dispel the Dōshi's transformation.

After Gabimaru and Tamiya finish off the Dōshi, Fuchi suggests asking Mei for guidance but Tamiya thinks that it would be best for her to return home. Gabimaru tells Mei that he was still indebted to her and was willing to go along with whatever she wanted to do. Before she had a chance to make up her mind, she is shocked to see Gabimaru bleeding from his nose and faints. They then travel halfway up the valley and settle in a cave. After Gabimaru awakens, Mei provides information about what she knows about Tao and has Fuchi interpret her words. The group then decides to get some rest for tomorrow. Mei comes out to see Gabimaru and asked if he was okay. He answers that he was okay, however, Mei becomes frighten when she sees that a part of Gabimaru's Tao is missing.

The next day, the group travels up the valley to reach Hōrai. Upon making it to the top, they encounter Aza Chōbē and Aza Tōma. After Chōbē attacks Gabimaru, he counter attacks by snapping Chobe's neck, but after surviving and throwing Gabimaru to the ground, Mei warns Gabimaru that Chōbē had a large amount of Tao.

Mei creates a crater

Mei unleashes her Tao to put an end to Gabimaru's fight with Chōbē.

While fighting Chōbē, the three notices that Gabimaru is acting unusual. Mei explains that Gabimaru's Tao is acting strange and has lost the thing that made him strong. While fighting Tamiya, Tōma orders the enslaved Dōshi to attack her and Fuchi, however, Fuchi draws out his swords to guard Mei. She then watches as Gabimaru fights a transformed Chōbē while in critical condition. After Gabimaru sees an opponent to attack, Mei runs to stop him before he attempts to use up his remaining life. Mei ends the fight by releasing her Tao to create a massive crater. Gabimaru and Tōma remain save on the edge while Chōbē falls down the valley. Mei's body then matures further.

She is then given Tamiya's robe for coverage and travels with the group to the front gate of Hōrai where they meet Sagiri, Yuzuriha, Yamada Asaemon Shion and Nurugai. Seeing Mei's state, Hōko asked if she used her power which she answers yes. He then expresses his gratitude that the group kept Mei safe. She is then comforted by Sagiri after seeing the state she is in. After realizing that Gabimaru has loss his memories after shortly waking up, Sagiri pins him down to have him cooperate and restore his Tao. Tamiya thinks that they are performing Bochu Jutsu but Mei blushes saying that it was different yet similar.

The group then relocates to a cave to escape from Lord Tensen's sensory field. Mei body becomes ill and Sagiri asks Fuchi to help make a medicine for her. Fuchi agrees but demands that Mei tells him everything they need to know. Mei relays the information to Fuchi, translating that a Hōshi came to the island in search of ways to achieve immortality, resulting in the creation of the monsters and Lord Tensen who have been practicing the inner and outer way of Tao for 1,000 years. After Yuzuriha hears that a prototype elixir known as Tan has been created by Lord Tensen, she asks why they were going so far in their research. Mei answers that it is possible that they are following the will of Xu Fu, the Hōshi that created Lord Tensen.

Mei absorbs Hoko

Mei absorbs Hōko's Tao.

Mei's conditions worsens and the three see that her arm starts to transform into a tree. Mei explains that her usage of Tao is causing her to turn into a tree and has little Tao due to having a broken tanden caused by Rien. Hōko offers Mei his Tao to recover but can't bring herself to use him as a sacrifice. Hōko insists, explaining that he hopes she forgives him for not fulfilling her desire to leave the island after seeing her as his late daughter. Mei breaks out into tears honoring his final wish and tells him that she sees him as father. After extracting his Tao, Mei reverts back into a child and says goodbye to Hōko.

The vanguard party join forces

Mei joining the vanguard party in completing the mission and escaping the island.

The four then gather back to the group. Mei returns Tamiya's robe and sees that he is disappointed that her body has shrunken back to her child body. She then senses strong Tao that has just landed on the island coming from either a person or a group of people. Shion and Fuchi believe that it is Shugen and the other Asaemon who were sent as reinforcements, along with another group of criminals. While Sagiri tells everyone that Shugen will be helpful in assisting them, Shion informs them that Shugen despises criminals and gives proof by revealing the story of Shugen executing the Silver Serpent yakuza group and their families. The group moves on by listening to Shion's plan of splitting everyone into two teams for finding Tan and an escape route off the island. They also listen to his strategy of using their Tao attributes to hinder and defeat Lord Tensen. After hearing Yuzuriha's suggestion of abandoning the goal of the mission and leave the island in hiding, Shion gives everyone the option of following their own objective or working together in completing the mission. Unanimously, everyone follows Shion and chooses to cooperate in finding the elixir and escape the island together.

Palace Invasion Arc

Gabimaru promises Mei

Gabimaru promising Mei to have her see Rien and Xu Fu for the last time.

Mei provides the group with information regarding the sea monsters guarding the island and the ships located deep within the Hōrai palace as a way to escape the island. She also tells them that the elixir is located in Rien's, and her previous, laboratory. The group then sits through lessons instructed by Gabimaru and Yuzuriha on how to use Tao. Once they were done, Mei assists Tamiya after becoming exhausted from the lessons by massaging his shoulders. She is then assigned to the Escape Route Securing Team. Tamiya suggests that they send her departing without having her wait for the Elixir Team. However, Gabimaru asks Mei if there was anything she wanted to do before leaving the island. Mei confesses that she wishes to live a normal life off the island but to also reunite with Xu Fu and Rien to know why they underwent a major change in the past. Gabimaru honors Mei's request and promises to have her see the two again.

During the making of their strategy in infiltrating the palace, Mei tells them about the layout of the palace building and the temples each Tensen reside in. After finish strategizing, the group decides to make their move tonight. Mei then takes the time to explain to Gabimaru and Tōma how Chōbē managed to fuse with the Plant Tao of the Waitanhua flower. They then walk back to Mu Dan's corpse where Gabimaru takes one of his plant stingers, using the fusion of Plant Tao as his backup plan. Mei is against this idea since it is a dangerous risk and certain conditions must be met in order for someone to obtain the powers of Plant Tao. However, Gabimaru is aware of how Chōbē took control and knows what he has to do in order to do the same.

Elixir Team meets Ran

The Elixir Retrieval Team encounters Ran.

Mei joins the Elixir Retrieval Team and infiltrates the palace. The teams signals the Escape Route Securing Team that it was safe to enter and then senses the layout of the palace, which causes Mei and Sagiri to become disturbed by the corpses they sense in Rien's laboratory. They then enter successfully into the building but are met by Ran who knew that Mei would be the one to guide them.

Ran tries to have Mei return to Lord Tensen's side, revealing that the Elixir of Life has finally been completed. Mei explains that she is different from the rest of them and came to say goodbye before leaving the island. Despite his disappointment, Ran says that the Rite of Just Consumption will have to continue, which is to capture the humans and offer them as sacrifices to the grandmaster. Seeing as how their plan to avoid Lord Tensen has failed, the group moves on to their second plan of fighting against them. Gabimaru tells Sagiri and Mei to find the elixir, however, Mei warns Gabimaru that they are not in the Rentan Temple. Ran reveals that he has rearranged the layout of the palace before they arrived. He then traps Mei by controlling the Tao on the ground. While Gabimaru and Yuzuriha fight Ran, Sagiri frees Mei from her bindings and the two proceed to head to the Rentan Temple.

While heading to the Rentan Temple, Mei and Sagiri hear loud noises coming from the Dō'in Temple. Sagiri assures Mei that Gabimaru will be okay since he has a backup plan, causing her to worry since she knows what it entails. After explaining Gabimaru's next step to Sagiri, the two arrive at the Rentan Temple.

Mei and Sagiri enter the temple but see that Gui Fa is in the room instead of Rien. The Tensen then says that they are willing to spare them if they were to not move from their spot but will do the opposite if they were to take a step forward. Sagiri asks what were the purpose for the items around the them. Gui Fa explains that the items in the ritual circle are meant to tell the current status of the ones fighting against Lord Tensen. Mei then panics when Gui Fa crushes Sagiri under the weight of her Tao after she reached for her sword. Sagiri puts down her sword and explains that she does not wish to fight but rather to apologize to Gui Fa on behave of the humans that have trespassed on their island. She then asks if they would allow her group to return home safely and end the conflict. Gui Fa allows Sagiri to move and says that they will honor her request. However, Gui Fa warns them that it would be pointless to return to Japan and explains through an illusion created with Tao. They explains Rien's plan to depart and release the Paradise Butterflies on to the mainland, turning every human into Waitanhua flowers and form the giant Banko to create more perfected Tan.

Abilities and Powers

Tao

Further information: Tao

Mei possesses Water-attributed Tao and has knowledge of the principles of Tao. She is able to use it to enhance her physical strength and cause harm to her opponents despite her small body. Mei is also able to release a large amount of her Tao to create craters. However, because she has little Tao circulating in her due to her destroyed tanden by Rien, Mei's Tao usage is limited, as any large quantity she loses will cause her to mature until she reaches her original body fully exhausted and slowly turn into a tree. This side effect can only be reversed if she absorbs another beings Tao to rejuvenate herself similar to the consumption of Tan.

Trivia

  • Mei ranked 9th in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll with 390 votes.
  • On the cover of volume 6, Mei was originally depicted with golden eyes like the others Tensens but was later changed to pink on the illustration color pages.
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