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Byakuren is a major character in Yukiyasha Den. In the novel, she is considered one of the prettiest girls in her village, Yukigase, and has a deep attachment to her older brother, Tenbun, and her sickly mother.

Character

Throughout the beginning of the novel, she is portrayed as a hot-headed, cocky, arrogant and selfish young girl. Her bond with Tenbun is very close, as she relies on him as not only a brother but as a support system as well. This is demonstrated in the first chapters when she questions her appearance and pesters her brother to reassure her.

When Nuriko arrives in Yukigase, she develops a very serious and bitter rivalry towards him and she competes for Tenbun's attention and a spot in the imperial harem.

Byakuren is also very impatient and demanding, but it is revealed that part of her rash behavior stemmed from a near-death experience as a child in which the young Emperor Cai Pi saved her from an out-of-control horse when she was chasing after her violet ball. From that day on, she held a strong conviction that she will one day meet the Emperor again through the harem and thank him for saving her life.

She later develops feelings for Nuriko after his true gender is revealed, realizing that you cannot help who you love. Her emotions ultimately drive her to suicide when she faces Yukiyasha. Although Nuriko thinks of her as a little sister, much like Korin, he takes up her dream of meeting the Emperor and vows that he will live his life for both of his sisters.

Story

Byakuren yelling at Nuriko

The Emperor and I are fated to be together! Don’t speak so lightly of my love for him!
— Byakuren, Yukiyasha Den - Chapter 2

Byakuren grew up in Eiyou but when her father died and her family started to face financial troubles, they decided to move out of the city. They found themselves in Yukigase, where the villagers warned her mother that the demon, Yukiyasha, might return and demand Byakuren as a sacrifice. But their mother fell ill and they were confined to the village. Byakuren remained unaware of the local legend.

Years later, when the palace officials announce they will choose the prettiest girl from the village to join the Emperor's Harem, Byakuren is determined to beat out all the girls to fulfill her dream of meeting the Emperor. Ironically, Yukiyasha appears and the villagers all understand that it will demand a pretty virgin sacrifice in due time. The two contenders for both the harem and the demon are Byakuren and the newest resident, Nuriko, or "Korin."

Nuriko, holding the violet ball, and Byakuren

Enraged by her competition, Byakuren relentlessly bullies Nuriko. Whenever she notices Tenbun showing kindness towards her rival, she yells at him to stop immediately. As her petty behavior continues, her prejudice against Tamatama, the village cross-dresser, also grows more prominent, calling him "filthy" for having a crush on her brother.

Then, during a snowstorm, Nuriko meets her mother. She explains that Byakuren left a violet ball, her good luck charm when she went to get medicine and has not returned. Just when Nuriko finds her, a humanoid creature leaps out of nowhere and goes to attack them. This is later revealed to the readers to be Ashitare. Nuriko fights him off and leads Byakuren to a small shelter, noticing she is coming down with a fever.

Byakuren admires Nuriko's strength and the two share a bonding moment after she confesses her history with the Emperor. Nuriko then promises that he will not try to join the harem, much to her relief. When she falls asleep, he uses his clothes to bring down her fever.

Nuriko and Hotohori, holding Byakuren's ball.

They return to the village and, with Tamatama's help, Nuriko hatches a plan to campaign around town as the prettiest woman so he will be sacrificed to Yukiyasha. But Byakuren, not knowing the legend, believes that he is trying to take her place in the harem and becomes furious with him. Although she feels betrayed, Nuriko decides not to tell her the truth about the demon.

When Byakuren is ultimately chosen as a sacrifice, Nuriko interferes and takes her place. At the same time, a villager tells her and Tenbun that their mother is not well but instead of following her brother, she runs up the mountain after Nuriko. She appears during his battle with Yukiyasha and discovers his true gender. Overcome with emotion, she sacrifices herself for the Celestial Warrior. After the battle, Nuriko vows to fulfill her dream and join the harem. He then takes her violet ball to the Emperor, which he recognizes from the day he saved Byakuren.

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