A story of devotion
Barefoot with feet resting on tortoise and snake, which are his stomach and intestines respectively
Sword and 3 Mountains Seal
Stern, yet sensitive
Martial arts exponents
One of the highest-ranking deities in Taoism, Xuan Wu started out as a lowly butcher who killed without remorse.
In his later years, as his errant ways dawned on and tormented him, Xuan Wu left the slaughterhouse for a remote mountain to cultivate himself.
Once, after helping a woman in labour, Xuan Wu was washing her clothes in a river when a vision appeared, informing him that the woman was actually a goddess.
Driven by guilt, Xuan Wu dug out his stomach and intestines (he was a butcher, remember) to wash them in the river in a fatal attempt to cleanse himself. Impressed with his sincerity, the Jade Emperor made him a deity.
Meanwhile, his stomach and intestines floated down the river and turned into a demonic tortoise and snake.
Seeing how his actions caused suffering to the people, Xuan Wu returned to subdue them, turning them into his mode of transport.