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I sighed, looking at my wife as she hemmed and hawed, trying to arrange our house in whatever vision of perfection she had in mind.

“You’re being ridiculous, you know.” I said with a chuckle as her joints continued to stiffen, causing her to almost drop one of her potted flowers.

“Oooh! Mark, stop it! This is hard enough without you stiffing me!” Jiyan huffed, she seemed startled from using the word ‘stiff’ as she often accidentally would, when she had gone too long without sex.

“Speaking of stiff-” I said as i grabbed a pillow.

Jiyan whirled around and held up her finger- she was not in the mood for ‘stiff’ jokes.

I sighed, she would come around, maybe in ten minutes as her stiffness would only settle in faster now that I pointed it out. She took her stiffness as a weakness, an ever-reminding sign that she was ‘not-fully-human’ and it irked her to no end.

Ah, my cute Jiyan is a Jiangshi, an undead mamono, known for their high intelligence and potent magic powers. 

“-Oh! Oh no!” Jiyan cried out as she dropped her favorite potted flower. Thankfully I was already prepared and threw the pillow, saving her beloved Passion Flower arrangement.

“Oh my… oh dear…” I said in mock astonishment as I walked over. I picked up the potted flower and placed it back on the dining room table and took Jiyan’s arm and bent her elbow a few times. “Seems like everything’s okay.” I lied, as her joints were a bit sluggish. “Hmmm, lets see about this.” I said, moving to her shoulders, rubbing them down, teasing the chest area near her breasts. “Nope, thats fine, hmmm.” A guided my hands up to her neck and caressed her there, feeling her blush starting to burn her cheeks, causing a heat to radiate to my chin. 

“Mark…” Jiyan whispered, backing her taught bottom into my crotch. 

“Hmmm?” I leaned forward, brining my crotch away and placing my cheek next to hers. 

“I… I think my lips might be a little stiff… and maybe my ribs on the front.” She said, between her panting.

“Oh?” I pressed back into her bottom, filling her sweet crevice with my flesh and tilted her chin up, kissed her lips, and grabbed her perky breasts. 

“Mark.” Jiyan panted, turning around and cupping my face in her hands. She adjusted her boony hat to have her talisman fall away from her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m just so worried to meet your parents. I- I just wish-” Her lip trembled and she turned away, crossing her arms over her body.

I sighed, it took a lot of distress to turn Jiyan away from making love. My heart broke seeing her like this. It was like this ever since I found her in the himalayas. At first, I thought she was a trapped climber, on an impossible ridge that demanded all my ability as a mountain climber, and more. 

She had no memory of her past life, even though several scrolls tucked into her ancient kimono’s detailed her entire life history; she was a royal scribe, apprentice to historically famous herbalist, and killed along with her family when her father was found out to be a traitor to the emperor of China. Of all her family, only she was executed with poison as to not mark or wound her body. 

Ever since I found her, and brought her to safety and to her senses… (er, well… more like her raping me to her senses as soon as she was untied….) she acutely felt distress over the fact that she was not alive, and that she was not human… well, at least, not anymore. Over and over she tried to assimilate into society, and even though humanity found a perfect, incentive-based balance to co-exist with mamono, Jiyan felt that being a Jiangshi meant she was less of a person and not more.

Hey there,I said, grabbing her hand, spinning her around into my arms again. “My parents are going to be overjoyed to see you. I mean, look at you, you’re beautiful, you are an accomplished scholar of ancient China, and even re-wrote several books on the subject thanks to your knowledge on ancient Chinese writing.” 

That was an understatement; Jiyan was the foremost authority on ancient China. Even her appearance had to re-write all history books as to how ancient Chinese people looked. Jiyan’s appearance was more akin to an anime character. Rather than the typical slanted eyes, and flatter face that was typical of the Chinese today; Jiyan almost looked European with even, angular, almost elfin features. 

I sighed, Jiyan still wouldn’t meet my eyes. “Here, lets try this.” I pulled her Talisman free, glancing upon the words; patience honor calm. “Let’s try a different one.” 

“Which one is it?” Jiyan asked, trying to look over my shoulder as I put her Talisman away.

“Actually,” I said in a moment of inspiration,  “I’m going to write a new one.” I said with a smile.

Jiyan gasped and a smile came to her face. “Really?” 

Writing a new Talisman was always a risk, sometimes she would be moody for days, as it was a stark reminder of her being a Jiangshi. And sometimes-

“-eee!” Jiyan cheered, her face carrying a different kind of blush now. 

-It was an absolute, special treat. 

I pulled out the special Talisman silk I recently received from the combined works of a Ryu and Kankutaku; their Talisman’s were legendary, second to none, and couldn’t be had at any price. 

I gave a faint smile as I opened the expertly made wooden box, remembering the gift Jiyan received from the pair who made the silk. The Kankutaku was particularly curious of the scrolls Jiyan had, and wanted to scribe a copy for herself. As a token of gratitude, she and her colleague; an ancient and powerful Ryu made three blank Talisman’s 

“Oooh…” Jiyan breathed. “You’re going to use those?” She whispered. 

I looked up. “Yeah.” I pulled Jiyan to sit next to me. “I’ve never seen you so sad, as you were just a little while ago.” I pulled one of the Talisman’s out and got the magical red ink ready. I frowned as I got the special brushes ready- I hated using Talismans on Jiyan, I kinda saw them as a form of mind manipulation. It wasn’t right to be able to alter aspects of my wife’s personality with a few strokes of a brush and a piece of paper. 

Jiyan had told me, time and time again that she could override anything I wrote, but even still… the Talismans did have an effect. 

“I got it!” I said, snapping my finger. I dipped the tip of the brush into the inkwell, marveling at its smell and the almost-syrupy texture, and wrote three characters in ancient Chinese upon the silk Talisman.

Insight

Freedom

True self

I blew on the ink, watching the vivid red darken as it dried. “What do you think?”

Jiyan shook her head and smiled. “That’s you- always wanting to stick with vague and safe qualities.” She brushed her hand on the edge of the Talisman. “You give no extra qualities, but reinforce my own.” 

I nodded, “Exactly. Jiyan, you are perfect, just the way you are. I want you to see that too. I want you to see the beauty I do.”

“Really?” Jiyan said, her lip trembling, and her eyes brimming with tears. 

“Always.”

She pulled me in, and kissed me, playfully nibbling on my tongue and buried her fingers in my hair, scratching my scalp and pressing her body to me.

“Thank you.” She breathed. She gingerly plucked the Talisman and placed it on her boony cap.

“How does it feel?” I asked.

“It doesn’t feel like anything.” Jiyan said, taking the Talisman off and placed it back on. “Nope.” 

“Huh, strange.” I murmured. “Well, maybe it will become more evident as the day wears on. Speaking of which…” I looked up at the clock. “My parents will be here in two hours.”

“Oh!” Jiyan squeaked and glanced about our large studio apartment, but her body relaxed and she exhaled. “I suppose everything looks okay.”

“Good.” I said, resuming my place behind her and placed my hands on her hips.

Jiyan placed her hands over mine and wiggled her hips to settle her bottom upon my groin. “Oh, Mark.” She moaned as I picked her up and carried her over to the bed, her jet black hair spilled across our white sheets and pillows, her light blue skin tinged pink at her cheeks and nose, contrasting her pale jade-green eyes. She pushed aside her clothes and mine, wrapping her legs around me. 

“Oh! Sorry! Sorry!” She moaned as her sharp nails dug into me, adding more to the scars that already criss-crossed my upper shoulders and back.

I said nothing, continuing to plow into her as her cries grew rapid and more intense. She brought her blood soaked fingers to my face, staring into my eyes as we came together. Her skin now completely pink and burning hot, her hair wet with sweat from her brow that poured down her face and onto her breasts.

We lay there, staring into each others eyes, panting, slowly coming down from our fiery passion. 

“By all mamono! That was so good.” Jiyan gasped.

I nodded, and carefully got up as to not get blood on our white bedding. I spared a glance over to Jiyan as I cleaned up, noticing her alternating from having her fingers down her love hole, and putting them in her mouth, her face full of contentment. I chuckled, thinking how her fellow colleagues from the historical society would take a sight like that.