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A Gift of Love
is a Shaman King Fan Fic
that currently spans 96 chapters and has been written over the course of over five years, starting in August 2006.
It begins on Tao Ren’s 16th birthday. Instead of getting another present of material value, he is given a fiancée
, Xu Pin-Mei. He’s not impressed
to say the least, and refuses her. Pin-Mei for her part is clearly infatuated with him
, and she reminds him that they had met ten years before. Despite how much he was initially against the betrothal, he eventually softens and is able to return her feelings
The first half of the story, chapters 1 - 63, deals with the couple’s fight against Pin-Mei’s grandmother, Suo,
who is intent on using her to revive her daughter/Pin-Mei’s mother Hua, who died giving birth.
The wrap up chapters follow the two into marriage and the birth of their children. The second half, from 64 onward, takes place years afterward, and mainly follow Ren and Pin-Mei’s children, though focus is still on them.
A few oneshots have also been posted, as well as “Tao Yi Gaiden”, which stars a character from the original fanfic. An alternate ending
has already been announced for A Gift of Love
Jezebel Parks, the author of the fanfiction, also began a Gift of Love doujinshi (affectionately named “GoL-D”) about six months after the story was first posted online. Only one chapter has been posted, which “Jezzy” admits is because she can’t focus on both works, as well as she had major proportion fail when she drew Ren and Pin-Mei as children.
The fanfic can be found here
- Accidental Misnaming: Tadashi's name gets mispronounced a number of times, both by Xue and Hana.
- Action Mom: Rong
- Afraid of Blood: Pin-Mei. She seems to get over it when she’s older.
- Amazon Brigade / Bodyguard Babes: The Wei family specifically raises females to become maidservants/bodyguards for the girls of whatever family they are serving.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Lien gets one against Tadashi for stealing her first kiss.
- Pin-Mei gives one to Ren, who readily reciprocates.
- Arranged Marriage: And so our story begins...
- Asexuality: Ren II outright states that he’s incapable of “loving someone in the sense that [he] want[s] to be with them forever.” Poor Lien
- Asleep in Class: It’s implied Lien does this regularly.
- Ass Kicking Pose: “S/He took a fighting stance...”
- Attempted Rape: Several times.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Averted. Ren hates Pin-Mei in the first chapter, but when she hands him a bottle of milk, Ran immediately takes this as a sign that they’re bonding.
Ran: "Darling, aren't they so cute? They're getting along already!"
- Berserk Button: Listen, we know Ren is the hero and all, and being the villain you are obligated to fight him, but don’t wound him severely or worse yet, kill him. Pin-Mei will find you.
- On a similar note, don’t so much as glare at Pin-Mei, especially where Ren can see you. Just...don’t...
- Similar-similar note: Ren II loves his sister. He’s also the captain of the Martial Arts Team. Remember this before you think teasing/beating up Lien is a great idea.
- Lien had the misfortune of finding out what happens when you mention Xue around Tadashi.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Pin-Mei. Don’t let the thin, frail body fool you.
- Same can be said for Lien and Seta.
- Little Ren II when he snaps after watching his classmates beat his sister to a bloody pulp for no reason whatsoever.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Tadashi arrives just in time to save Lien from Suoshi and his Mooks, whipping out a iron harisen and bashing them over the head. You cheer, and then he makes one wrong move and gets the snot beaten out of him.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Xue is splattered with blood when Tadashi commits suicide.
- Bodyguard Crush: The reason why Rong (initially) hates Ren.
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Used by HoroHoro on two occasions.
- Breakthe Cutie: Poor, poor Ren II.
- Breaking Speech: At the banquet celebrating Ren and Pin-Mei’s engagement, Suo somehow manages to paint Ren as a misogynist control freak who only wants to be with her so he can something/someone to control. Pin-Mei almost believes her.
- Then she tries to convince Ren to give up on Pin-Mei, breaking down all the reasons why she isn’t that great.
- Broken Bird: Pin-Mei in the first half, Lien in the second.
- Broken Pedestal: Lien's reaction to finding out Tadashi is working for Hao.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Averted. Just barely....
- Bully Hunter: Ren II after he receives Tadashi’s message about Lien being chased. How he found them is completely beyond this troper.
- Calling Your Attacks
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : HoroHoro and Rong have what they’ve both accepted is going to be a One Night Stand before HoroHoro goes back to Japan with Yoh and the others. They didn’t use a condom. Oops.
- And out of it came one of the most adorable characters of the story.
- The fact that they both accept the pregnancy and become an Official Couple, and eventually get married makes it even better.
- The Casanova: Lien claims that Tadashi is this. He’s actually more of a Charmer.
- Changing of the Guard: Literally. When Rong leaves for Japan to tell HoroHoro she’s pregnant, she has to retire from her post as Captain of the Guards. Her sister Li takes her place.
- Cherry Blossoms: Hana and Xue are walking under cherry blossom trees when Xue suddenly confesses her feelings for him.
- Chess Master: Suo and Hao.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Pin-Mei to Ren. Then again, he’s actually fighting for his life after being betrayed and stabbed by Huan, pushing Pin-Mei’s Berserk Button enough to make her Ax-Crazy, but it’s safe to say he’s probably not conscious.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Tao Yi, Ren's ancestor from 245 AD, acts like an idiot, even pretending that he's going to cop a feel from Ren, but bring up the death of his wife and insinuate that it's her own fault...hoo boy...
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Ren defeated/killed an entire human trafficking syndicate without a scratch, became covered in blood, no evidence of sweating, and he probably didn’t even blink.
- Cute Monster Girl: Gender-Inverted Trope. Ren II seems to have a decent sized fan club at school, with girls swooning over him, giving him chocolate on Valentine’s Day, and confessing their love in hopes of going out with him, despite being fully aware of his shaman heritage. Lien, on the other hand, is the target of their aggression, disrespected whenever given the chance to be, and even roughed up because Tadashi likes her, and thus she has ‘’both’’ of them. It’s almost as if they know Lien has a crush on her brother.
- Daddy's Girl: Pin-Mei’s father, from what little we see of him, eventually became this after a revelation.
- Despite being who he is, even Ren has shown that he regards Lien as his little girl.
- Xue also appears to be this, considering what they have in common.
- Dead All Along:Tadashi
- Deadly Upgrade: The Five Sword Penalty ritual Ren performs in order to channel his ancestor Tao Yi in order to better fight Suo. After meeting with the spirit, and it taking the user’s body, taking on the ancestor’s appearance, the user is trapped in a sort of limbo, chained to a cross. Every eight minutes, if even depending on how skilled the user is, a sword will stab through the user - one through the overlapped feet, one through the ribs, one into each arm, and finally one through the throat. If it gets that far, the spirit leaves, returning the body to its original form, and the user falls down dead, leaving everyone to wonder what the hell just happened.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Rens.
- Death by Childbirth: Hua dies giving birth to Pin-Mei. Being a fourteen year-old shaman prodigy with a frail body didn’t help things.
- Death Glare: If your surname is Tao, you were born with this ability.
- If you’re the fiancee/wife of the head of the Tao family, you can pull this off while smiling.
- Disc One Final Boss: Suo
- Distaff Counterpart: Word of God says that Lien was modeled to be what Ren would look like had he been female, thus the well-endowed figure, in contrast to how toned and conditioned Ren’s body is.
- Duels Decide Everything: After an argument about having to cut their vacation short, Pin-Mei claims that they will “settle this with a duel.” They fight. Ren wins. What was settled by this again?
- Pin-Mei has to answer a question in Japanese (her worst subject) before her Sadist Teacher will hand over her records so she can transfer into Ren’s school.
- Force Feeding: Played for laughs. Ren won’t move from Pin-Mei’s bedside, not even to eat, so Rong and HoroHoro strap him down and coax him into it.
- Played for real when Pin-Mei falls into a deep depression when she believes she’ll never be able to have children. Rong, with the help of a music box melody, spoon feeds her.
- Genki Girl: Xue
- Girlish Pigtails: Pin-Mei
- Good Old Ways: The Tao family in both parts seems to have shunned technology as much as humanly possible. In a deleted scene Ren, in what is supposed to be around 2014, rejects the idea of buying a computer. It’s also revealed that he believes cars are, “beneath him”, instead opting for a horse-drawn carriage.
- Rong, at the age of 18, had never been in a movie theater before.
- He finally gives in and buys a cellphone for Lien.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Never has it been implied that Ren and Pin-Mei’s sex life has suffered, even after three children.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The book of techniques Hua leaves behind for Pin-Mei.
- Happily Married: Despite a fight later in the story, Ren and Pin-Mei seem to still get along beautifully after nearly 25 years.
- Healing Hands: Pin-Mei, as per instructions left behind by Hua, who was also capable of it.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Hao to Tadashi
- Heroic BSOD: Nearly every good character has one.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Pin-Mei fatally stabs herself in the chest while she’s free of Suo’s mind control, knowing that if she didn’t, she would kill Ren because he couldn’t fight back against her.
- Human Dad Non Human Mom: Of Pin-Mei’s parents, Hua was a full-blooded shaman from a prominent family, while Zhang was a full-blooded human, making Pin-Mei half-human, half-shaman.
- I Have No Son: Ren all but disowns Ren II after being led to believe he raped Lien. He tortures him daily for a week or more, trying to get him to confess. The sad part? The boy is completely innocent.
- Important Haircut: Lien after almost being raped.
- Interrogated for Nothing: Ren whips, chokes, water boards, and threatens to kill Ren II for a rape that never even happened.
- Jerk Jock: Suoshi. Could be considered Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up since he appears in both elementary school and high school to torture the twins.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Tadashi thinks of himself as this. At least he tries.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Don’t look at Lien the wrong way. In fact, don’t even look at her. You’ll die for it.
- Legacy of Service: It's said that the Wei family has served the Qiao family for centuries, even as far back as Yi's timeline.
- Licking the Blade: Kai does this during his fight with Rong. Apparently, metal and/or blood is his “favorite taste”.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: So, we've got the main cast from the original anime/manga, plus some new additions including Pin-Mei and Rong, then everyone has kids, then the kids go to school and meet more kids, then we get new bad guys...If you count minor characters that appear in at least one chapter, there are over thirty.
- Manly Tears: Done in such a way that when Ren cries, it’s believable.
- Mating Dance: Ren and Pin-Mei at their wedding.
- Meaningful Name: Most of the minor characters are simply Chinese words broken up into what sounds like a suitable name.
- Minored In Ass Kicking: Again, both Rens.
- Multiple Endings: Yes, it’s true - there’s an alternate ending.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Subverted. Ren II tries to keep Tadashi away from Lien, but seems to fully support Seta’s attempts to go out with her.
- Mysterious Past: Nearly everyone.
- Naïve Everygirl: Young Pin-Mei and Lien. Pin-Mei more so.
- New Transfer Student: Tadashi
- Nice Guy: Seta all around.
- Nightmare Sequence: Ren has a nightmare of Pin-Mei hating him, then being stabbed by swords.
- Lien is trapped in a world of realistic nightmares thanks to Tadashi.
- Nosebleed: Seta gets one after watching Xue basically molest Lien for having a big chest, then seeing Lien poke herself and telling her brother that, "It feels funny when you poke the center."
- Not a Morning Person: Pin-Mei is, “the worst morning person I’ve ever met,” according to Ren.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: HoroHoro goes back to Japan mere hours after his one night stand with Rong.
- Opposites Attract: A pompous, hot-blooded, yet mature, genius heir to a family of assassins who up until four years before the story could have been best described as a homicidal maniac, and a scrawny, fragile, naive, ungraceful crybaby whose shamanic powers are so lacking that she didn’t qualify for the SF, and who’s obsessed with a boy she hasn’t seen for ten years. Yeah, they fall in love.
- Parental Abandonment: Pin-Mei basically grows up with no parents; one is dead, and the other was tricked into ignoring her in favor of courtesans.
- Tadashi’s mother left him soon after he was born, leaving his father to raise him alone. Actually, we find out that his father kidnapped him, and then lied to him about why his mother wasn’t around.
- Patchwork Kids: Ren II and Lien both look like almost exactly like Ren, with yellow eyes and purple (manga) hair for Ren II and navy blue (anime) hair for Lien. HoroHoro and Rong's children look like each other, though the daughter takes on HoroHoro's appearance while the son looks more like Rong.
- Percussive Prevention: Hua stabs Pin-Mei in order to prevent her from using the Soul Search Technique, which would give her the chance to find Ren and revive him, but cause her to die, thus once again preventing them from being with each other.
- Ren punches HoroHoro to prevent him from interfering with Rong’s duel with Hao.
- Petite Pride: Xue
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: Pin-Mei screams this when the head of a trafficking syndicate threatens to kill a chained up Ren - playing right into his hands, resulting in a Scarpia Ultimatum. Luckily Ren stops this from happening.
- Please Wake Up: Pin-Mei to Ren in the first part, and Lien to Ren also, but in the second part.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Pin-Mei and Lien in the first and second part respectively. Ren II also counts.
- Precision F-Strike: Pin-Mei finds Ren dead after she is revived. Understandably, she’s not pleased, but she usually substituted words for actual cursing. Not this time. Just before charging at Suo, she screams, “For the first time in my entire life...I’M REALLY FUCKING PISSED!”
- Brought to a halt by Ren after a few more swears, telling her that, “It doesn’t sound right in your voice.”
- Precocious Crush: Lien admits to having one on her father when she was younger.
- Promotion to Parent: Subverted. Rong, even from the age of 9, took care of Pin-Mei for eleven years acting like a mom, in addition to her bodyguard, the whole time. Pin-Mei acknowledges this even after she’s had children of her own.
- Raised by Grandparents: If you consider being beaten for no reason and chastised and forced to look like your mother while only being kept alive to become a human sacrifice to be “raising” a child, then this fits Suo to a T.
- Replacement Goldfish: Suo grooms Pin-Mei to be as identical to Hua as possible, including how thin she is, what color she wears, how she styles her hair, and what weapon she uses. She even goes so far as to tell Pin-Mei that she’s lactose intolerant when she isn’t, and contemplating drowning her in order to make sure she is as afraid of water as her mother was.
- Rescue Sex / Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Initiated by Pin-Mei of all people.
- Screaming Birth: Hua. Averted with Rong and Pin-Mei ([[Kuudere Rong being used to not showing pain]] and Pin-Mei outright refusing to because she thinks it will shaming Ren if she does).
- Seen It All: Tadashi is understandably baffled by the entire Tao estate, especially when a ghost begins playing a not-monopoly game. The others don’t even blink.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: In Suo-induced flashbacks of Hua’s life, a young Zhang crashes Hua’s wedding to a creepy child molester, in peasant clothes, virtually admitting he has nothing to offer Hua besides his love, and he can’t see spirits, but he’s going to give Hua the best possible life he can.
- Surprise Pregnancy: Subverted. Ren and Pin-Mei knew she was pregnant...just not with twins.
- Talking Is a Free Action: A great deal of the deaths get a nice monologue or interaction between two or more characters, mourning and pleading and saying “I love you!” over and over until the character finally dies.
- Talking with Signs: When Pin-Mei is sick and loses her voice, she somehow whips out a sign from Hammer Space to thank Ren for getting rid of a not-so-stealthy assassin.
- The Cake Is a Lie: Lien is told by Huan that if she goes up to a mountain and prays really hard, she will receive the blessing of the ancestors for her and Ren II to be together. Yeah, as in get married and have children.
- The Patriarch: Ren becomes this after assuming the role of being the head of the Tao family.
- They Do: Complete with Tear Jerker moments, and a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming from Ren.
- Third-Person Person: Xue uses third-person phrases when she's a toddler and later to cope with Tadashi's death.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: It takes about 45 chapters for Pin-Mei to use foul language of any sort. But when she does, we get this glorious attack:
Pin-Mei: ”Chuuka Kanpai - Bitch!”
- True Companions: The Tao and Usui families.
- Unstoppable Rage: We’ll say it one last time - angering Ren or Pin-Mei is not something you should be doing for shits and giggles.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ren, Lien, HoroHoro, Xue, and Aika.