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Hermits are those who touch upon the truths of this transient plane. The world beyond this one is all that has remained beyond my reach. However...that too will soon be within my grasp once your home of Woguo has been sacrificed.

—Rien (Chapter 118)


Rien ( (リエン) , Pinyin: Lián) was a Tensen-class Sennin and the wife of Xu Fu. She served as the true ruler of Kotaku, the creator of the Tensens, and was the mastermind behind Lord Tensen. Throughout her lifetime on Kotaku, Rien had been plotting and experimenting in the ways of Tao in an effort to revive her beloved late husband and had aimed to exterminate all life in Japan in order to fulfill this ambition.

Appearance

In her youth, Rien had violet eyes and hair, which made up a single large bang hanging from the left side of her face. After living for a millennium, Rien became extremely advanced in age. She had lost her hair and showed traces of twigs and leaves sprouting from her head due to suffering from Arborification.

The Tao puppets Rien controlled reflected her youthful appearance from way back and wore the same clothing, which was a white robe, a matching long-sleeved hanfu, a hakama, and black boots. For her departure to Japan, Rien had her main puppet change into Taoist robes that had a decorated pattern on the collars and belt, and wore a crown on her head. Upon her ship being hijacked, Rien loses these robes to fight more comfortably against her enemies, choosing to allow the upper half of her body to be exposed while wearing a beaded necklace and revealed her hidden gold armbands. She also had a ribbon freely float loosely around her.

In her Kishikai, Rien gained two additional pairs of arms with their own gold armbands, and three new sets of eyes; a pair underneath her originals and one on her forehead. Her skin became a dark shade and her body received a heart-shaped marking located below her clavicles and two markings resembling flaming wreaths where her abdomen, or tanden, is. Her body also produced a ring with flowers upon the back of her neck. Upon managing to survive having her plant ovule destroyed by Sagiri, a large portion of Rien's body was formed into a bundle of lotus flowers, which included a pair of misshapen wings on her back that seemed to have come from remnants of her extra arms.

Gallery

Personality

Rien wishing for Xu Fu to return to her.

Rien usually kept herself calm and collected with only her top prioritizes in mind, which was to revive her late husband Xu Fu. She was deeply determined in her goal to once again be reunited with Xu Fu, having spent countless years going through such horrendous lengths that it ended up completely costing her her humanity. Despite the Banko's many failures that resulted in her having to wait for centuries for it to be revived every so often, Rien continued to endure until she could find some way to see its completion. After encasing his body in gold, Rien made frequent reports in private to Xu Fu's gilded body and would also bow in respect, viewing it as her master and a driving force. Although Rien maintains her composure at times, she was not excluded from feelings of emotions, such as irritation and anger, which was usually when she found herself faced with things that are an interference with her plans. During her departure to Japan, Rien wept in front of Xu Fu's gilded corpse and embraced it as she expressed her desire to see him again. Later, she displayed happiness at the thought of her plans finally coming close to completion and made preparations for the momentous occasion by laying out items for a married couple. In fact, the only times she remembers being happy was when Xu Fu was still by her side. In the past, Rien was noted by the Tensens to have been much kinder and caring. However, following the start of her Arborification, Rien's apathetic personality developed since she found that time was running short for her to complete her research.

So very irritating. Listen well, human scum. I am Shinsen. All hermits surpass humanity, and I am the highest class of hermit. By nature an insect such as yourself cannot touch me.
— Rien expressing her superior status to Shugen.


Rien looking down on her opponent.

Since she had acquired transcended powers, Rien no longer saw herself as human and had a severe god complex, believing that all mortals were beneath her and that none could come close to even laying a single scratch on her in battle. She felt nothing for humanity, viewing her own race as inferior beings whose only redeeming quality is their Tao that she could use to create Tan, and was more than willing to sacrifice all human life in Japan if it meant that she could have Xu Fu back in her life again. This unfeeling attitude also applied to other living beings such as the Hōko, having used them for her research against their will and allowing the Tensens to absorb their Tao. Similar to her colleague Zhu Jin, Rien was often vexed when she had to handle confronting troublesome humans who were brave enough to fight against her, finding it absurd that her opponents would have the audacity to think that their low level capabilities could stand a chance against a Sennin such as herself. Despite her low opinion of humans, Rien did acknowledge the fact that they are not all weak and that there are a rare few who have superior capabilities, such as Gabimaru, Aza Chōbei, and Shija.

Despite being perceived as cold-hearted, Rien did possess a sense of camaraderie and compassion. After discovering Mu Dan's corpse, Rien went outside of Hōrai for the purpose of seeking out his killer and expressed her vengeful attitude after encountering Chōbei by asking if he was the one responsible for her subordinate's death. After welcoming Chōbei into Lord Tensen, Rien agreed to the human's request to leave his brother out of the Rite of Consumption ritual after cooperating with Lord Tensen. If anything, despite her neglection to humans, Rien expressed what little compassion she had by wishing Gabimaru pleasant dreams as he Arborified. After receiving words of sympathize from Gabimaru, as a married man, Rien finally learned to accept Xu Fu's passing and showed mercy by healing the wounds she inflicted on Gabimaru and Sagiri before allowing herself to move on into the afterlife.

Relationships

Family

Xu Fu

Rien and Xu Fu.

Rien is the wife of Xu Fu. She was happily married to him and was supportive of her husband's dedication to his research throughout their time on Kotaku. As time passed, Rien took care of him up until his death as his body to started to grow frail. After his death, Rien was unable to let go of his passing and chose to commit herself solely and tirelessly to finding a solution to resurrect him no matter what the means were. After preserving his body in gold, Rien viewed her husband's corpse as her master and would bow in respect while making reports. Once all her plans were on track, Rien became overjoyed of the thought that she would be reunited with Xu Fu after 700 years. However, after receiving words of sympathy from Gabimaru, Rien ultimately decided to accept Xu Fu's passing and join him in the afterlife.

Tensens

Rien alongside the other members of Lord Tensen.

Rien held a genuine attachment towards her own creations, the Tensens, as she sees them as the only family she had left after Xu Fu's death and wanted them to see each other the same way. As such, she disliked it when there was conflict within the group and believed that they should all remain united. After finding the dead body of Mu Dan, Rien felt vengeful to seek out the one who killed him, an action that strayed away from her main goals.

However, her care for the Tensens only went so far. Despite not wanting to see any harm come between the six, Rien made it clear that, as their leader, only she had the right to harm any one of them. This mainly occurred if a Tensen were to become insubordinate, which was the one thing Rien could not tolerate. If betrayed, Rien would not hesitate to cruelly punish them, as with the case of Mei in the past, having broken her tanden and sentencing her to engage in Bōchū Jutsu with the Dōshi. As a result of her merciless attitude, the Tensens came to know their place, as admitted by Tao Fa who stated that Rien was too frightening for her to defy if she chose not to follow her orders in capturing the invading humans. Rien was also willing to sacrifice the Tensens if they just so happen to meet their demise as a result of following her orders (although her confidence in their capabilities made her believe that this was less likely to happen to them). From Gui Fa's point of view, since the Tensens were simply clones of their creator, Rien would have viewed their deaths as noble self-sacrifice. Another possible reason for her being able to willingly risk their lives could stem from the fact that she knew that the Basin could reincarnate them using replica plant ovules.

Despite not being hesitant in punishing one of her own, Rien was not without suffering if it had come to this, as Mei recalled her shedding a tear at the time of her exhale. It has also been pointed out by a few of the Tensens that Rien was recognized as being much kinder in the past before her Arborification. Upon finding out from Gui Fa that the Tensens were slain (along with many other unfortunately events), Rien felt distraught despite claiming that she would accept their fates. Her orders to Gui Fa to protect the Basin also gives evidence to the fact that she was not willing to part ways with them.

Allies

Aza Chōbei

Aza Chōbei was the first human Rien encountered from the group comprising of criminals and executioners. After confronting him, Rien discovered that Chōbei's special Tao was the answer to her research and offered him a position within Lord Tensen if he cooperated instead of turning him into Tan like the rest of the humans. Upon his agreement to cooperate, Rien treated Chōbei as an ally of Lord Tensen by introducing him to their ways, having the Tensens treat him with respect, and even letting him in on their secrets. She also accepted his request in allowing his brother to join Lord Tensen after becoming a major help in anticipating the surviving human's raid on Hōrai.

Unknown to Rien during her preparations to Edo, Chōbei's alliance with Rien was cut short as he immediately betrayed Lord Tensen after reuniting with Tōma and was responsible for the deaths of Ju Fa and Tao Fa.

Enemies

Vanguard and Additional Landing Party

After only the third day of their arrival, Rien became wary of the first group of humans that were sent by Japan's shogun, having discovered a dead Mōnshin in the forest and Zhu Jin being crippled from a battle with one of them. As assurance to see to it that they did not cause any problems for Lord Tensen, Rien had the Dōshi locate to their positions on the island and have them dealt with. Rien eventually came to make an alliance with one of them, Aza Chōbei, as he possessed special Tao that was key to her research. Having discovered Mu Dan's corpse at the entrance to Hōrai, along with Chōbei vouching for their capabilities, Rien came to fully realize how remarkably strong these humans were. Upon being informed that they would come to raid Hōrai, Rien viewed them as valuable Tao specimens for the Rite of Just Consumption.

Gabimaru

Yamada Asaemon Shugen

History

Past

Rien grieving over Xu Fu's passing.

At some point during 3rd century BC, Rien was married to Xu Fu and went along in his voyage to the East to acquire the Elixir of Life for the ruler of the Qin Dynasty between 219 BC and 210 BC. Their journey in the end led them to an island where they decided to instead use their resources and knowledge of Taoism to discover the secrets to gaining immortality, resulting in many experimental creations. As part of their research, Rien used her Tao to create a clone of herself that she could remotely control. After receiving a new body, Rien used the Tao puppet to create another fabricated clone named Mei, who assisted both her and Xu Fu, along with six fabricated newborns. These seven then came to be known as Tensens.

Decades later, an elderly Xu Fu became infected with Arborification and ultimately died from his illness, leaving Rien alone and heartbroken. Refusing to accept her husband's death, Rien made a commitment to revive him, starting off by incasing his body in gold in order to keep it preserve. With the Tensens she created, Rien formed the group known as Lord Tensen to maintain order over the island and trained the six young ones in the ways of Tao. Eventually, Rien started to suffer from the same illness as her late husband and had to remain bedridden for the rest of her life. Seeing as how time was running out, Rien developed a drastic change in behavior by allowing herself to sacrifice the lives of others for the sake of her research. After coming to view the Outer Way of Tan to be a stepping stone in her plans to revive Xu Fu, Rien attempted to create a potion of immortality by extracting the Tao of the Hōko and allowed the Tensens to do the same in order to replenish their lost Tao in the midst of their training. Having found her method of sacrificing lives to be wrong, Mei tried to stop Rien from going any further but is met with punishment for her defiance, resulting in Rien breaking her plant ovule, shrinking her body down to a small child's, and sentencing her to participate in Bōchū Jutsu with the Dōshi. At some point, Rien would come to realize that Mei had managed to escape but did not concern herself with her whereabouts.

After several centuries had passed, the Hōko started to face extinction from Arborification and left the six young Tensens worried for their lives since they were at risk of dying if they were to lose their Tao source. The Tensens then came up with the idea of using humans from the mainland as substitutes and successfully managed to lure them out to the island after sending out a boat with an Arborified Hōko. As a result of extracting human Tao, which was found to be more exquisite than the Hōko, Rien managed to create a prototype elixir known as Tan and went along with the idea of luring out more humans to the island to create more as the years passed by. Rien then developed a plan of extracting the Tao from the entire populace of Japan to create the perfected Tan elixir and have it transferred over to Xu Fu's gilded corpse, thereby successfully reviving him. To see this through, Rien created the Banko in her laboratory but was met with constant failure in trying to keep the flower alive and had to wait for centuries for it to bloom once more. Rien would then continue on with her work all the way towards Japan's Edo period.

Edo Period

Lord Tensen Arc

Main article: Lord Tensen Arc

Lord Tensen having a meeting.

Rien gathers the other Tensens for a meeting to discuss matters about the humans who have been causing a lot of trouble since their arrival. After reviewing that Ju Fa and Zhu Jin have confirmed the deaths of their victims, Rien closes the meeting with a toast to Sōshi and their longevity.

Later, Rien gives a lesson to one of the Dōshi about Tao but is interrupted by Tao Fa who shows them the modifications she has done to the training area. After finishing Bōchū Jutsu training with Ran, Ju Fa asks Rien the whereabouts of Mu Dan, who answers that he is at the gate waiting for the human travelers.

Rien knocks out Chōbei and decides to take him back to the palace.

The next day, Rien finds Mu Dan's corpse and leaves the area. After entering the valley of Hōjō, Rien finds Aza Chōbei and questions if he was the one who killed Mu Dan. She then unleashes her Tao on Chōbei and becomes impressed to see that he has achieved hybridization after being infected by the Waitanhua flower down at the pit. She then attempts to examine Chōbei further and becomes shocked to see him enter into his transformation. Rien becomes overwhelmed by Chōbei and their puppet body is destroyed after Chōbei pierced their tanden. However, another Rien puppet steps out behind Chōbei and reveals the other puppets that came along with them. Rien then smiles in glee after Chōbei demonstrated his control over the Tao of the Waitanhua flower, stating that he was "beautiful", and knocked him unconscious to take him back to the palace.

Rien explaining to Chōbei the reason why he is crucial to completing her research.

After Chōbei wakes up restrained to a bed, Rien has her puppet assume its Yin form and tells Chōbei that his Tao may help in completing their research. She then undresses and says that she wishes to engage in Bōchū Jutsu as a way to help his Tao cycle and better understand it. Before Chōbei could cooperate, he demands that she tell him everything about the island, which she agrees to. Rien explains to him that the island is a laboratory meant to create and observe the immortal life of the monsters and the people known as Hōko. They also explain how the Tensens came to be and that she wishes to study Chōbei's invaluable Tao so that Lord Tensen can perfect the elixir and turn every human on the mainland into Tan. Rather than turning him into Tan as well, Rien offers Chōbei a chance to join Lord Tensen if he cooperates. Chōbei accepts and the two proceed with their engagement in Bōchū Jutsu.

Hōrai Arc

Main article: Hōrai Arc

After welcoming Chōbei in, Rien and the other members of Lord Tensen perform a Dōshi ritual. After they were finish, Rien sees Ju Fa starting a fight with Chōbei and orders him to stand down. She then has Chōbei follow her into her laboratory and shows him the Banko, a giant Waitanhua meant to process greater Tan, and tells him that she requires his rare Tao to complete her research using his limbs that she plans to pick a part. During the dissection, Rien is told by Chōbei of the possibility of the human survivors eventually invading the palace. Seeing this as an opportunity to gather more Tao for Xu Fu, Rien orders the Tensens to initiate the Rite of Just Consumption for when the time came for the survivors to come. Chōbei then makes an agreement to cooperate as long as they spare his brother Tōma.

Rien vs. Shija.

While the Tensens confront the humans for the ritual, Rien reviews the situation regarding the outcomes and presents Xu Fu the completed Elixir of Life, announcing that she is ready to depart to Japan to create more of the elixir from the humans in Japan. Later, while down at the floodgates in preparation for her departure, Rien is warned by Gui Fa that the Tensens have been defeated, the Rite of Just Consumption has failed, and the second group of humans have arrived to raid Hōrai. Rien orders the Dōshi to eliminate the intruders and for Gui Fa to go to the Main Temple Annex to protect the Basin. Rien is then approached by Shija, with a team of shinobi, who have come to stop her from leaving the island. She tries to stop Shija and their forces from burning the ships containing the Paradise Butterflies but ends up dropping her guard, which allowed Shija to quickly steal the Elixir of Life from her in the process and have the shinobi take it outside. Later, Rien senses that Zhu Jin has fused with the Banko, causing the puppet's body to react negatively.

Departure Arc

Main article: Departure Arc

Rien fighting against Shugen.

After she supposedly killed Shija, Rien sets sail on a burning ship but sees that Yamada Asaemon Shugen has arrived to stop her. Rien fights Shugen but also tries to be cautious as to not damage the ship in the process. She is then caught by Shugen's sword attack to her tanden but is unharmed since Shugen's Tao attribute is Water, and uses her Tao to puncture a hole through his chest. Shugen manages to endure the attack after Tenza's metal headband manages to slightly reduce the damage and fights Rien once more with his skill to recreate the swordsmanship of his clansmen. Rien senses Shugen's Tao is acting odd and confirms that he has the power to alter his Tao attribute after being harmed by an attack that Yamada Asaemon Shion would use. With no other option, Rien changes into her Yin form, allows the flames to rise on the ship (which she tried to subdue using Tao), and severs Shugen's right arm using a feathered fan.

Rien confronted by the survivors.

After making quick work of bringing down Shugen, Rien picks up the Elixir of Life she found next to Shugen and comes to see the golden statue of Xu Fu with delight in knowing that everything will be going as planned. Shortly after, Rien finds that her ship has been damaged by Gantetsusai and steps outside furious for the action he committed. After the survivors' ship manages to reach Rien's, Gantetsusai warns both her and Shugen (who had already regained consciousness) that someone much stronger than him will take his place to defeat them, which is revealed to be Gabimaru who jumps on to the burning ship ready to put an end to everything. Rien found her situation with the humans to be annoying and clashes with both Gabimaru and Shugen in combat. The Tensen manages to out best the two male humans but received a sudden attack by Sagiri to her tanden and finds the other humans onboard her ship ready to confront her, to which she found meaningless. As a counterattack, Rien casts an illusion upon the survivors to have them fall unconscious and decides to enter her Kishikai to put an end to their resistance.

Rien causes Gabimaru to Arborify.

After transforming, Rien blasts Gabimaru with a bolt of Tao lighting after noticing him about to use a technique against her. Rien's tanden is then stabbed from behind by Sagiri but tells her that her Tao was too weak to make a fatal blow. She then sees an opening to crush Sagiri's body with Tao manipulation but is avoided after Shugen jumps in to move her out of the way. After hearing the humans plan to escape, Rien unleashes her power to dismantle the exterior of the ship while leaving Xu Fu's room intact. She then targets Isuzu using Tao manipulation and crushes her body in front of Shugen, which caused the Asaemon to go into a blind rage. While being confronted by Shugen in the front, Rien is grabbed by Gabimaru from behind and is set on fire. However, after remembering his wife, Gabimaru's flames are ceased as his body starts to be influenced by Rien's Tao, which results in him undergoing Arborification. After wishing Gabimaru pleasant dreams as he Arborifies, Rien takes note on how her departure to Japan will go as plan while the humans will either burn within the fire or lose their will to fight. She then finds herself face to face with a persistent Shugen despite the Asaemon being badly injured.

While defending herself against Shugen, Rien becomes drawn towards the Tao being emitted by a recovered Gabimaru and Sagiri, which she found irritating. She then goes on the defense against Gabimaru and Sagiri's coordinated attacks and shots a bolt of Tao lightning to ward them off. Gabimaru pulls Sagiri out of the way of the attack and slashes Rien with Sagiri's sword. However, Rien remains standing due to the Wood hindering attribute losing the power needed after the sword was in his possession. Rien then witness Gabimaru's desperate attempt by swinging Sagiri towards her. Seeing as how Gabimaru is the one assisting Sagiri whose Wood Tao is critical to taking her down, Rien strengthens her arms and prepares to attack Sagiri before more time is wasted.

Rien defeated by Sagiri.

As she continues to fight Sagiri, Rien notices in panic as Gabimaru rushes towards Xu Fu's gilded corpse in an attempt to destroy it but sees him cease his assault. However, Rien witnesses in horror as her deceased husband's body is slashed in two by Shugen's powerful Tao-imbued sword. Having been distracted, along with her Tao being weakened from a glimpse of rage, Rien leaves herself open for Sagiri to come in to bisect her body and cut her plant ovule. The upper half of the puppet's body then falls into the ocean and begins to crumble away.

Rien reunited with Xu Fu in the afterlife.

However, Rien manages to survive, after regenerating half of her body into flowers, and blows a gapping hole in Sagiri's stomach. She then targets Gabimaru and vows in anger to take away everything from him and the other humans. As she starts to have him suffer, Rien asks him as to why he hesitated to kill Xu Fu's body. After hearing him answer that it was because he received a vision of his wife, Rien starts to envision Xu Fu's face and hears words of sympathy from him. Having looked back on the loving memories she had with Xu Fu, Rien heals Gabimaru and Sagiri's wounds and comes to terms with Xu Fu's passing. Rien then allows herself and her puppet to crumble away, which allows her soul to reunite with Xu Fu's in the afterlife.

Abilities and Powers

As a Tensen, Rien had otherworldly powers that were above those of the other Sennin below her, and was unrivalled by any mortal. Her prowess were also much stronger than the other Tensens she commanded. As such, Rien could be considered the biggest threat in the Jigokuraku manga. With little effort, she was able to push Aza Chōbei, a superhuman who obtained the powers of Flower Tao, into transforming and defeated him in an instant with a single Tao attack. While limiting her power, Rien was capable of holding her own against a squad of Iwagakure shinobi. Shija, an Iwa shinobi chosen to become Iwagakure's next strongest shinobi, admitted that not even they stood a chance at fighting against Rien in a proper fight and had to resort to using foul play. Rien was also able to defeat Yamada Asaemon Shugen, the strongest Asaemon within the Yamada clan, with little to no time wasted, and later could even handle fighting against him and Gabimaru, Iwagakure's strongest shinobi in history, simultaneously with ease. Using his special institution, which he claims is 100% accurate, Jikka concluded that even if he and the nine human survivors accompanying him were to fight Rien 10,000 times there would be no possible strategy to successfully win against her.

Intelligence

Rien dissecting Chōbei for her research.

Rien was a brilliant researcher with tremendous knowledge and understanding in the field of Taoism. With her complete understanding of Tao, along with using the concept of the Outer Way of Tao, she was able to cultivate a prototype elixir of immortality, and eventually, a perfected elixir. Along with the elixir, she was also able to create the Banko, another experimental achievement that was able to harvest more of the Elixir of Life. Other works included converting humans into loyal servants by draining them of their humanity. Rien was also a practitioner of I Ching, which she could use to read the current status of a person's lifespan and any future prophecies.

Physical Abilities

Rien had been shown to be quite formidable in close-range combat, being able to outmatch both Gabimaru and Shugen in a three-way battle with little difficulty and handled her own against Gabimaru and Sagiri's synchronized attacks. In her Yin body, Rien displayed impressive agility as she quickly moved out of the way of Shugen's close-range sword attack and then balanced herself on his blade. Using her Yang chi, Rien could opt for an increase in physical strength, as she planned to "break" Sagiri whose Wood Tao acted as the "spear" to defeat her using her six muscular Kishikai arms.

Tao

Further information: Tao

Rien's immense Tao being emitted from her puppet.

Rien possessed Earth-attribute Tao that was remarkably powerful, noted by Chōbei to be far above the other Tensens, and was a true master at wielding it. Having spent 1,000 years of training in the ways of Tao, Rien's Tao became greatly refined where others could view her abilities as god-like. As a Tao user, Rien was able to sense the presence of others, the movements and weak spots of her opponents, and enhance her physical attacks. Rien's great control allows her to fire invisible Tao bullets from a mere flick from her puppet's fingers that has enough power to puncture her enemies bodies and inflict major damage. She was able to easily defeat Chōbei in his Waitanhua Flower Tao transformation with a single Tao strike and had been shown capable of gathering her Tao in a single highly concentrated ball of energy that can cause massive destruction.

Rien controlling the Tao of flames.

Rien also had the ability to control the Tao of living and non-living things, which she first demonstrated to Chōbei by lighting an incense. During her fight with Shija, Rien controlled the flames released by the shinobi's Ninpō: Hibōshi to fire bullets with enough force to cause major damage to the other Iwagakure shinobi reinforcing them. This ability also came in handing for when the time came for her departure to Japan as she remotely controlled the Tao of her ship to set sail. Her command over the ship's Tao, as well as anything else that was destructively inorganic, had been noted to make her departure impossible to be stopped by any normal means, as she subdued the Tao of the flames that were set by Iwagakure shinobi from completely burning the ship, and could instantly repair any damage done if it were to come under attack, such as the major damaged caused by Gantetsusai's sword slash that almost came close to splitting the burning vessel in two. When controlling the Tao of living things, Rien could either kill her opponents, by simply gripping her hand to cause their bodies to be crushed, or heal their wounds.

Rien had also shown the ability to create illusions using her Tao, which she used against the human survivors to create a false moment in reality in which they managed to defeat her.

Techniques

  • Tōate (遠当, Literal meaning: Distant Strike): Rien could launch Tao from a distance as invisible projectiles, which are strong enough to cause major damage from within the targets body.

Puppets

Rien's puppets.

Rien had the ability to use her Tao to create various puppet clones of herself and could remotely control them from another location to act as a body double. Rien used one puppet to act as her main body to conduct experiments, command the Tensens, and fight against any enemies, while also having a few puppets to look after her in bed. In the event that one of her puppets were destroyed, Rien could transfer her connection over to another puppet. In addition, Rien could also create alternate puppets with their own personalities, characteristics, and will of their own, which was used to create the Tensens. This ability of Tao manipulation was considered to be unique as Gui Fa stated that not even the Tensens are capable of performing this feat. In order to maintain connection with her puppet, Rien had to keep her Tao and her control from weakening.

As Tensens, the Riens possessed the regenerative abilities of Flower Tao. Rien had been shown to regrow her fingers, eyes, and survived incineration and mortal wounds such as sword slashes. The limitation to the puppets regeneration is that they can be weakened if they were to face an opponent who is a Wood-attribute Tao user, and the only known way of destroying her puppets is if the said Wood-attribute Tao user completely destroyed their tandens, or their plant ovules.

Rien could also have her puppets switch chi's of either Yin or Yang to augment her Tao and recover any lost. As the Riens switch in and out, their sex changes to match the chi, which is put to use whenever they engage in Bōchū Jutsu training. Similar to Tao Fa's way of fighting, Rien could choose to perform a partial chi switch on parts of her puppets' bodies to acquire the specific physical attribute needed for battle, such as strengthening her six Kishikai arms by changing them into their Yang forms.

Kishikai Transformation

Rien's Kishikai Transformation.

As a Tensen, Rien could have her puppet enter a Kishikai state. Upon entering, Rien gained six arms that gave her an increase in her offensive. Her Tao abilities were heighten to where she could cause her entire ship to become dismantled by unleashing a wave of her power. Rien's perception and reflexes were noticeably much sharper, as she caught Gabimaru on time when he was about to use a technique on her and blasted him with Tao converted into lightning, similar to Zhu Jin's ability, before he had a chance to perform it. Her body became more resistant to Wood Tao users as she thought that Sagiri's sword attack towards her tanden felt like a mere tickle. Rien was also able to trigger Gabimaru's Arborification by resonating her Tao with his after physical contact was made.

Since the Kishikai exerts too much Tao, Rien could only hold the transformation for up to half an hour before she became reduced to a weakened body.

Weapons

Rien's fan.

Rien wielded a feathered fan that had great cutting power, capable of severing Shugen's right arm, and was blunt enough to knock down her opponents.

Quotes

  • (To Ran) "These successes and failures will continue at length. For centuries on end, unceasing. Our works shall bloom, wither, be born again, and once more fall to ruin. I believed it would finally survive this time...but no — the cycle goes on. Endlessly, we return to the outset. Over and over our hopes are dashed. Feeling as one might when traveling between Paradise and Hell itself."[1]
  • (To Gabimaru) "Know this, human scum. I will not suffer further damage to this ship, nor its cargo. As such...I have no terrible techniques for the likes of you. Barbaric though it may be, you will die a more visceral death."[2]
  • (To Gabimaru) "My only desire will never come to fruition. And I have reached my limit...this is the end of everything. I'll take it all from you humans too. I'll take everything."[3]

Trivia

  • Like the rest of Lord Tensen, Rien is named after a flower. "Rien" (蓮) meaning "lotus".
    • Also, like the other members of Lord Tensen, Rien shares similarities to one of the Eight Immortals, Lü Dongbin being the case since Lü was considered to be the leader of the seven deities and carried a gourd containing the elixir of immortality.
  • Rien's character also draws resemblance to Guanyin, a Buddhist bodhisattva who is said to be the goddess of mercy and compassion.
    • Guanyin is said to be capable of taking on any form and is represented as both male and female. The female form was said to be the most common for Guanyin. Rien's ability to change gender, as well as her Yin body being her preference, draws reference to this.
    • Rien's name references the flower that Guanyin is commonly associated with, as well as the Lotus Sutra.
    • Legends say that Guanyin manifested one thousand eyes and one thousand arms in order to better reach out to all sentient beings who were suffering. Guanyin would also at times be depicted with a halo. These traits are represented in Rien's Kishikai. Additionally, Rien's attire matches Guanyin's white robes.
    • Guanyin is commonly depicted with a willow branch in her right hand and a vase in her left hand. The vase contained pure water that was said to be the divine nectar of life, while the willow branch was a symbol of strength that was unbreakable and was used to bless her followers with the nectar. Rien's fan, which she wielded with her right hand, and her possession of the gourd containing the Elixir of Life, reflects the two items Guanyin carried on her.
    • Rien's struggle with the Banko's constant wilting and reviving cycle reflects Guanyin's restless ambition to free all sentient beings from saṃsāra, or the cycle of rebirth.
    • In the story Precious Scroll of Fragrant Mountain, it was said that when Guanyin's incarnation, Miaoshan, died and was sent to Naraka (hell), she had flowers blossom around her and freed the damned souls from their suffering. As a result, the Hell-like realm was transformed into a paradise, as described by Yama, the King of Hell, and decided to send her back to Earth to prevent Naraka's destruction. Rien's actions where she forces humans to go into bloom, which is believed to allow them to be free from their sins, references Miaoshin's actions in the story. The title of the manga, Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku, which refers to the setting on Kotaku that is the product of Rien's actions, references Yama's description of Miaoshin's actions in Naraka.
  • Rien ranked 33rd place in the manga 1st Character Popularity Poll.
  • Rien's alias refers to Samantabhadra (普賢菩薩, Literal meaning: Universal Worthy), a bodhisattva who is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and is a representation of practice and meditation. In Chinese Buddhism, Samantabhadra is known as Pǔxián and is associated with action, while in Japan, Samantabhadra is known as Fugen and is the protector of the Lotus Sutra. Rien's name reflects Samantabhadra's association with the Lotus Sutra.
  • Rien considered the Yin form of her puppet to be its true form, stating that the body allows for greater focus. Another reason to consider is the fact that Rien was born female. While still dabbling through the cycle of Yin-Yang, Rien was most commonly seen in her Yang body, which was evident by the fact that Ran would refer to her as "brother" (兄上, aniue).
  • In Chapter 111, Rien's attribute was erroneously identified as Wood. Oddly enough, this was never corrected in the official release of Volume 12.
  • In the Viz translation of Chapter 117, Rien identified herself to Shugen as a "Shinsen" (真仙). Since the kanji is written with a different character, replacing "god" (神) in "Shinsen" (神仙) with "true" (真) instead, Rien is most likely referring to herself as a "true immortal", since she has achieved the higher rank of Tensen, rather than the second rank of Shinsen.
  • Rien's artistic skills appeared to be simple and child-like, a trait that was passed on to the Tensens, along with her Chinese language.

References

  1. Jigokuraku Chapter 95, page 10-16
  2. Jigokuraku Chapter 117, page 8-9
  3. Jigokuraku Chapter 124, page 5-7
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