Part 27: On Silver WingsEpisode 25: On Silver Wings
Last time, we won the Bronze Division championship at the Imperial Arena by defeating Crimson Khana, and got mixed up in the politics as the Guild tried to get us to poison Crimson Khana (who had "become more trouble than she's worth") during our match. Obviously, we're not down with evil schemes like this so we politely refused, but it remains to be seen how Kai Lan the Serpent takes that kind of rejection and how he decides to interfere in our matches in the Silver Division.
Remember, Soldier's the champion at this level. He'll be watching you.
Without further ado, let's get to it. If we win the Silver Division title, we earn the approval of the Lotus Assassin Executioners, not that that's particularly necessary at this point because we already completed our task for the Inquisitors a few updates ago.
Even though we've established ourselves at the arena quite nicely by now, Soldier doesn't seem to appreciate us any more than he did when we first walked in.
A demon has been added to the regular roster since your earlier victory, and since you've shown aptitude, l'm letting you face him first. This is indeed an honor, though it will not be easy. Are you ready to defeat this horror?
Wonderful. Let's see what kind of monstrosity Kai Lan has brought in.
Oh, it's just an elephant demon. I know these fellows are meant to be quite fearsome, but we've already fought one at the pirate lair and that went relatively well.
As before, elephant demons punch very hard and can't be staggered. They also move so slowly that avoiding their attacks is generally not too difficult.
Ahem. I said it's not too difficult. Much like with the toad demon in the Bronze Division, I'm playing quite aggressively here so the elephant gets a few hits in here and there.
The Stone Immortal AoE remains one of the most annoying attacks for an enemy to use against us. If you even slightly brush against one of those rocks, you get knocked down. Even when you avoid it, the enemy can just keep spamming the AoE forever and there isn't much you can do about that unless you've got some decent ranged attacks.
Fortunately, that is precisely what we have. Mirabelle may be unupgraded, but it should help us out quite a bit in this particular situation.
I think George Orwell wrote an essay about this kind of thing once.
Once Mirabelle has done her job, it's not too difficult to take the beast down by stabbing him in the junk. In this shot, it's also quite easy to see that the elephant demons have two trunks.
Kai Lan the Serpent wishes to speak with you personally. This is a rare honor. Do try to be polite. You have already been granted access to the back room of the arena, and the Serpent's private chamber is just off of it. You may as well go now and see what he wants. Oh, and one other thing. The Serpent has requested that you visitate him alone. I know you usually have a friend with you, but they'll have to remain behind for this meeting.
Well, that certainly sounds like a setup. Better be careful while we deal with the Serpent. I don't know why he would attack us since we've been told he's bet a chunk of money on us, but might as well stay on guard regardless.
This is the same room we met Lucky Cho and Sweet Poison Lyn earlier, and the Serpent's lair is obviously behind those large red doors.
Let's get this out of the way so we can get back to fighting.
At least we've got Whirlwind watching our back.
The masked giant of a man next to Kai Lan must be the Ravager, making sure we try nothing silly during this little meeting of ours.
You handled yourself well against the demonic servitor. It was a rewarding experience for us both, I'm sure. Take this as my thanks. You are a smart young woman--smart enough to know that you will get much further as my friend than my foe. You may find that certain opportunities, mutually rewarding arrangements between us, will come your way in the near future.
Of course. And I'll bet we will only have to do Kai Lan's dirty work and give him a percentage of our winnings.
Like the fountains that channel water throughout the land, I spread entertainment to the people. Right now is an interesting time for an organization known as The Guild. l have no doubt that Qui has told you about us if you didn't already know. Our organization is involved in many different activities, most of which operate below the view of the authorities of this great Empire.
Might as well hear his offer while we're here. We're not going to accept, obviously, but it'd be good to know what Kai Lan's up to.
The Guild, you see, has recently developed a vacancy in its upper echelons. A man by the name of Gao the Greater has been killed and with his death a new leader must be chosen. I intend to replace him in that role, and I need good people to back me.
If you are the one who killed Gao, then I owe you a favor. Consider rny reluctance to turn you in to the Lotus Assassins a repayment of that debt in full. There is the matter, however, of your friend, Whirlwind. I'm sure you know that he was one of the fighters here and that he left the arena, but do you know why?
If I had to guess, I'd say drinking was involved in some capacity.
Whirlwind's past is certainly a colorful one. Did he tell you that he was thrown out of the arena? Public displays of rage and drunkenness, uttered threats of murder, excessive violence, property damage and, I believe, several charges of defecating in public.
What, that's it? This is Whirlwind we're talking about, that barely constitutes half a day's work for him. There's got to be more to the story.
We couldn't let him fight as he was, so he left. His brother, Raging Ox, wisely stayed here and went on to become champion. You could reach that point yourself, you know. Indeed, that's a distinct possibility. To become champion yourself you will need my support. That means you and I will work together closely.
Let's see if we'll manage to get him to tell us more about his evil plans. Kai Lan should have realized by now that we're only humoring him in order to learn about his schemes, but I guess when you're a proper mustache-twirling villain like that you don't always think quite straight.
I think I have an idea.
Looks like Whirlwind got tired of waiting.
And that's what the world looks like through the eyes of someone about to be killed by The Black Whirlwind.
Just like last time, you will leave. I can see that this polite discussion has concluded, as so many do in your odorous presence. We may talk again. Perhaps.
Damn it Whirlwind, he was just about to tell us his villainous plan and you blew it.
Here's the lower floor of the arena, where all the creature cages are. We could've come down here before and I actually did, but there is nothing to see so I cut that bit out.
I see Kai Lan decided to send Lucky Cho down here to pester us after Whirlwind's little interruption. If he plans to fight the two of us, I can't see that ending too well for him.
So, of course, Lucky Cho is gonna try to fight us.
What an idiot.
Which fight was he watching? We curbstomped the guy.
Not the first time I've gone up against one of Kai Lan's thugs, you know. Not at all.
The arena was about the same as it is now. Qui and Kai Lan were there, and Lucky Cho, too, but he was just a runt back then.
Back then, as opposed to now? Wow, he must've been a sad sight.
Should've probably expected that...
When Ox joined up with Kai Lan, I stopped getting good matches. Ox was fighting his way to becoming champion, and doing a little work for the Guild on the side.
Soon, Ox became Kai Lan's enforcer and carried out his bidding. He'd skulk around in robes so no one would know the arena champion was a common thug. One night, I followed Ox back to Kai Lan's. I was drunk, and I was mad. I just wanted to tell Ox how dangerous Kai Lan was... convince him to leave. But Kai Lan was there, he tried to interfere. I attacked him, and Ox tried to stop me. When it was over... Ox was dead, and my axe was covered in his blood.
Huh, seems like one of the undoubtedly rare occasions Whirlwind killed someone without meaning to do so.
After that, I left. For the first time in my life. I ran. I ran, and then I drank myself into a stupor that lasted for half a year.
If you ask me, this just might be the single worst line of dialog in the entire game.
Lucky Cho's death just put you on the Serpent's wanted list. I'd really like to see Kai Lan's face if you become arena champion. 'Course, I'd rather just kill him. C'mon. Let's go.
Lucky Cho drops the Strong Arm gem, which gives a +8 boost to Intimidation but lowers both Charm and Intuition by 3. Since we mostly use the two latter skills rather than Intimidation, this gem is probably getting sold at some point in the future.
Since we lost a bit of focus in that tussle with Lucky Cho, let's just quickly head back to the focus shrine at the arena entrance. Well, after we go the entirely wrong way, because I always do that when I try to leave the arena from this direction.
This path takes us to the tavern's kitchen. I see a scrollstand over in the corner, so at least this wasn't a complete waste of time.
Ah. Lovely. I guess that is one way to make sure people don't come prying into their recipes, although I can also see this kind of thing leading to unfortunate misunderstandings.
Well, whatever. Let's talk to the gambler here.
For now, anyway. Once they find out what we did to Lucky Cho, that privilege might be revoked.
I run the straightest dice in the Imperial City. I wouldn't want to feed my children with tarnished silver, would I? Good odds and fair play, that's how I keep them coming back.
What's this favor you need me to do?
I know you're allowed to go freely into the back room past Qui's office. Would you carry a message to someone in there for me?
What message do you need me to carry?
There's a merchant in the back named Sweet Poison Lyn. She has connections with the Guild, the real authorities in this place. I want to expand my operation, but without the Guild's approval and protection, I can only take very small bets. If I made any larger transactions, they'd be quite upset.
I assume their approval has a price.
I spoke to some of the lesser Guild members, and there's a set fee that must be paid to Sweet Poison Lyn. It took me some time to save up the silver, but I have the fee. I just can't get back there to talk to Lyn and pay her directly. If you could go in there and pay her on my behalf, I'd happily repay you.
Simple enough, I suppose. Still, I hope there's a reward for this.
Eh, sure. We're only the Bronze Division champion here, so clearly we don't mind doing fetch quests for random people.
You should run back there now. The sooner you go, the sooner we can up the antes!
That's obviously what we all want, so let's head on over to Sweet Poison Lyn and talk to her about Daoshen.
I was wondering if he'd be resourceful enough. One of my associates has already told him of the cost involved. Are you here to deliver his payment?
Well, he didn't actually give us any money but did promise to reimburse us. It's only 500 silver anyway.
All right then, back to Daoshen we go.
Fantastic news. I can up the bets! Now you can wager ten or twenty-five silver on each roll! This is perfect, and I have you to thank! Thank you again for paying the fee from your own silver. Here's your repayment and a little extra for your time.
Wow, we can wager a whole 25 silver now! Untold riches await us!
Let's roll the dice, I'd like to try my luck.
That's what I was waiting to hear. So, what'll it be? Will your roll be higher or lower than mine?
Higher, of course. That's how Silver Phoenix rolls.
We're putting down the massive, massive wager of 25 silver. If you win a total of 5,000 silver from Daoshen, he won't let you play anymore, but since that'd take about three weeks I don't think that will become a problem.
What about cheating by savescumming, you ask? Well, if you win a certain number of games (20, according to the wiki) in a row, Daoshen explodes. Sadly, I couldn't find a video of this on Youtube, and I'm not going to sit there mashing quicksave and quickload until I win twenty games either. We've exploded quite a few people by now, so you should know what that looks like.
What say we try again?
Don't hold your breath. Oh yeah, if you feel like going out of your way to be a dick, you can intimidate Daoshen to give you the 500 silver without doing the favor for him and then go tell Sweet Poison Lyn that you won the silver from Daoshen. She'll then shut down his operation.
Well, this'll at least come useful while we're fighting in the arena. Let's go see what our next match is.
These are tougher than the students you faced before, but should pose no problem.
Sounds fun. Let's go beat them up.
Meanwhile, down by the creature cages...
Looks like Kai Lan has discovered what happened to Lucky Cho.
Three Reach, the old stableman, found him. He kept everyone else out.
We can trust him. What about Cho? Do we know who's responsible?
Last I saw him, he was following Silver Phoenix.
She fights next, does she not? Replace the men slated for that match with our own, and ensure that their blades are coated with extract from the ebon orchid. Even the ancient magic of this place could not neutralize that poison.
It will be done. What about Lucky Cho? There are hundreds of people here to see the new fighter. We can't carry the body out of here!
Then we don't. You must always use the resources available to you.
Kai Lan walks over to a cage containing some old friends of ours and pulls on the chain to open the grate. That cage, like every other cage down here, is empty during gameplay, so there guys weren't here when we had our fight with Lucky Cho.
Well, I suppose that is one advantage of having a bunch of cannibals as your employees.
So much for Lucky Cho. We don't care about him, though, because we've got a fight to win.
Here are the assassins Kai Lan brought in to replace our scheduled opponents. Two guys using Viper, and another two with swords.
They're still quite easily disposed of. Despite what Kai Lan said, I'm pretty sure those blades haven't been coated in anything because I got hit a couple of times here and didn't get poisoned at any point.
Sadly, we don't get to use harmonic combos on these guys because the arena's enchantments prevent that, but Storm Dragon still stuns them rather nicely and from there it's just a matter of finishing off this idiot.
Clearly not, since we weren't able to kill those people.
Those men were Kai Lan's, not mine. I keep myself as far away from that end of things as I can. You have to believe that I look out for my fighters. Just before you came up here, I received word from one of the Guild men from outside the arena. They send their apologies!
Huh, that is unexpected. I guess Kai Lan has been going solo on this one.
You are not hearing this from me, but tensions have risen between the Serpent and the Guild itself. He's making a bid for control and some... factions are quite upset. You may feel caught in the middle, but the weather sages say the eye of the storm is the safest place.
To be perfectly honest, we don't really give a shit about the Guild's politics. We're here to fight, and since we are now firmly in the Silver Division we're earning pretty decent money. Let's go see what Dr. An has for sale.
We buy Cleansed Body and Mind, Vigorous Body (Health +10, Chi -2) and Clear Mind (Focus +10, Intimidation -1) but can't quite afford Porcelain Skin, so we'll need to come back later. For now, we should continue on to our next fight.
I've decided to put you up against them. I want you to prove that our folks are superior to any "thing" the army could devise. Are you ready to show them what you've got?
At least there's quite a bit of variety when it comes to the fights here.
Here's our first fight against jade golems. We could've fought the ones guarding the dam site in Tien's Landing, but that wasn't really worth it at the time.
Okay boys, that is close enough. Golems are pretty straightforward opponents; they lumber around and try to whack us with their dual axes, and that's about it. They are immune to pretty much everything except weapon styles, but we don't need to care about that right now because we've got plenty of focus to work with.
These golems are no trouble at all. The Dragon Sword cuts them right down, especially when we're using chi strikes to boost our damage.
I say, stick to traditional soldiers. Sagacious Tien needed no machines to build the Empire!
Speaking of which, weren't these golems commissioned by Death's Hand? And now they're going to make these things stronger because of us? Oops. I hope that doesn't come back to bite us later.
Wouldn't dream of it. I believe the next match is for the Silver Division championship, so let's go have a nice chat with Iron Soldier.
We'll take care of that in the next match, new blood, trust me. I've been looking forward to taking you down a notch.
I'll talk to you later, Soldier.
I look forward to ending your career in the next match.
It's rare that the Silver Division rests balanced against a single victory on the scales of combat, you know! That's nothing compared to the skills of Silver Phoenix, who has soared so high, so quickly! Words like those spread like raging flames. Will you face Soldier now? The Silver Division championship awaits you.
Here we go. That championship is as good as ours.
We're really about to hit the big time here, judging from the elaborate intro they've decided to give us.
Might as well show off for the crowd a little bit. They've paid a lot of money to see the big title match, and we don't want to disappoint them.
Unlike us, Iron Soldier doesn't give a shit about theatrics.
This is it. We win this, and the Lotus Assassin Executioners' seal is ours. That's not the real prize here, of course. Once we win this match, we'll go on to the Gold Division and eventually take on the Ravager himself for the grand championship.
Obviously, we need to win this one first. Iron Soldier is using Leaping Tiger, so we know he moves fast and hits hard.
But then, so do we. Leaping Tiger vs. Leaping Tiger, LET'S GO
Managed to pull off a couple of fancy dodges in this fight. We're really in no trouble here, Soldier's almost done by this point.
And that's all she wrote. The Silver Division belongs to Silver Phoenix.
From here, your battles will be even harder. A test, if you will, to see if you stand a chance against the Ravager. Impress the crowd and you will have your chance against the Ravager himself. I can promise you that.
Frankly, if that didn't impress the crowd, I don't know what will.
Bah. Oh well. Let's just go prepare for our grand entrance into the Gold Division.
It would appear someone's come to congratulate us on our latest victory.
Perhaps you have potential that you are not even aware of. There may be a role in the Executioners for you after all. Why have you chosen to come here when you have already earned the favor of the Inquisitor? Do you wish the blessing of someone less corrupted?
If you will have me.
No, you are stronger than that. We will train away this timid front and tap a potential that you haven't yet dreamed of. If you survive, you will join an order unlike any other. We enforce the will of Death's Hand and the Emperor. We guard the treasures of the Empire. This will be your responsibility. Can you look on silver coins, golden tablets, or prophesied artifacts and think only of duty?
I wasn't really listening, but sure, whatever you say.
It lies at the far side of the burial ground that is the Metropolis, which you may reach through the rich section of the city. Present this token, so that they will know you. I expect great things of you. Not many of our recruits possess both the skills to become Executioners and the personality to attract such a loyal band of followers.
Well, we now know where we need to go, and we've got the means to access that place. Of course, first we'll finish our business here at the arena, and there's still a few other things we need to do around the city before we go anywhere.
I am well aware of those who come with you. Their strengths... and their weaknesses. You inspire loyalty in most of those who follow you. That will serve you well.
If you survive your training and remain in control of your senses, perhaps you will serve at my side one day.
Looking forward to it!
All in due time, Whirlwind. We're far from done here.
That said, we've completed both tasks the Lotus Assassins presented us with, so progress has definitely been made. Next time, we shall move up to the Gold Division. If Silver Phoenix wins five more matches, she'll be upgraded to Golden Phoenix!