Part 31: CHAPTER 9: The Duel - [Part I]
Kiryuu returns to Kyoto and prepares for a showdown with the imposter.
Some historical notes:
Rendai is a real region in Kansai and it surely has fields, but there is no particularly famous part of it that I am aware of. The Rendai Fields are an important location in the Yoshikawa novel and the Samurai Trilogy of films. However, it's possible that was just an invention of the novelist.
This chapter has lots of sidequests yet again, but once it's complete we'll be at 90/100 sidequests and 17/20 kakemawari jobs. So let's get cracking by crafting ourselves a nice new set of weapons to gut some bandits with.
The first thing we need is a base from the Rakugai weapon shop.
This is the [Brittle Sword], which costs 6000 mon plus 1000 mon to upgrade to max stats. It's the basis for quite a few weapons in the game.
With a [Lapis Lazuli] and an [Iron Lump] we can turn it into the [Steel Treasure Sword]. But that's what we did last time to get the sword we have now. Instead, using the locker key we picked up in the video just after entering the Country Road we can get a [White Lion Hair] that, combined with the [Brittle Sword] and a [Mother of Pearl], lets us craft....
...the [White Lion Tachi]. This has equal ATTACK to our previous weapons but much higher POWER. Its only downside is its SPEED is "normal", but with two upgrades at 6000 mon each....
...we wind up with an even better ATTACK stat and a boost to the maximum "very fast" speed. This is the best sword of that speed class that can be forged in the game. There is one other katana available right now with double the POWER stat, but it has the worst SPEED ("slow") and one "fast" sword that will be possible to craft in Chapter 11. But by that time we'll be a breath away from acquiring the best sword in the game anyway, which doesn't come from the blacksmith.
The beautiful thing about the [White Lion Tachi] is it has a partner, which we can also craft. One of the ingredients actually comes from a bounty that we'll be taking down this update, but I want to do all the blacksmith stuff together.
This is a [Brittle Wakizashi], also from the weapon store with a 500 mon charge to boost it to max level. With the [Red Lion Hair] from that bounty and another [Mother of Pearl] we can create:
The [Red Lion Kodachi]. It levels up twice times to some pretty good stats.
Let's try them on.
Our old and new stats.
And doesn't Kiryuu cut a dashing figure?
Of course, we've still got some ingredients and some money to spare, so let's see what we can do about that useless lump of steel Kiryuu's been lugging around on his back. I've really been neglecting the greatswords in this LP so far.
Well, with our max level [Iron Greatsword] we can make this. Has quite the POWER stat to cut through enemy defenses, but that lousy ATTACK strength pretty much nulllifies its usefulness. Instead, why don't we go for this?
The [Fire Drinker Tenjirou]. The stats aren't really different from our katana and it's much slower and more difficult to wield. But it has a very special gimmick that I promise to show off in the next proper update. It's also much prettier.
Now that we're properly equipped, let's get on with some of the Chapter 9 sidequests.
We'll start in Rakugai. On the southern edge of town there is a small temple, which today has a monk standing in front of it.
Excuse me, young man! Would you mind performing a task for me? There's payment in it for you.
What's the job?
I'm the caretaker of this temple, and today I have some business elsewhere. I'd like you to take care of this place while I'm away. You'll be rewarded, of course. Will you accept? I'll be sure to come back as fast as I can.
Sure, I'll do it.
Really? Thank you! Please come with me and I'll explain what you need to do.
This isn't just any temple. It's actually known as the [Knot-Cutting Temple]. Haven't you heard of it? When a woman wants to leave her husband she comes here. Usually a woman isn't allowed to get a divorce without her husband's permission. This place is here to help them with that problem. We protect wives from the men they want to leave and once they've studied here for three years they're granted divorces.
"Knot-cutting" is pretty much what he calls it. Think of it as the knot in "tying the knot" and it will make sense.
Huh. So what do you want me to do?
It's easy! Watch out for the women who come here and ease their minds. Sometimes the husbands come after their wives, so get rid of them if you have to.
Great. I'll be back soon. Good luck!
The first lady shows up straight away.
Whew! I made it. This is the Knot-cutting Temple, right?
Yeah. You want to split up with your husband?
Yes! I'm sick of being with that violent thug!
My husband drinks a lot, and when he drinks he gets mean. He hit me several times just today after he came back from the bar, and I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore so I came here.
As you might've guessed, the wife-beater isn't far behind.
Bitch! You run off on me and come here? You wanna get smacked again? Huh!?
I'm tired of you beating me all the time! Once I'm rid of you I'll finally be free!
I'm gonna beat you 'till you can't walk!
You the asshole running this place? Sorry, but she's comin' with me.
I won't let you take her. It's part of my job to keep her safe.
Then I'll have to take you down. Let's go!
I decided to use that new bokutou we constructed last chapter for this. Wouldn't want to gut a man right in front of his wife, I suppose.
Huff.... I can't breath....
Hurts, doesn't it? Now get out of here.
Are you alright, dear?
Ouch.... I'm.... okay. I guess this is.... how you must feel when I hit you. I'm so sorry, dear.
I promise from now on I'll never lay a hand on you again. And I'm going to give up drinking too. So what do you say? Will you give me one more chance? Come home with me.
STOP! BAD! DANGER!
Of course I will! Let's start over, from the beginning.
I love you!
I love you too!
Can you tell this game wasn't written by a woman?
Well, we've decided to give it another shot. Sorry to have caused you so much trouble.
I'm sure we'll get along much better now. Right, dear?
You've really saved our marriage. Thanks a lot! Goodbye.
Kiryuu stands alone, shaking his head.
(What the hell was that? Anyway, the monk's not back yet. Should I stick around?)
We can choose to give up our duties now, but the quest isn't over and we wouldn't get anything for it if we left.
It's not long before another visitor drops in.
Is this the Knot-cutting Temple?
It is. You want to leave your husband?
Yes. I can't love such a sad excuse for a man anymore.
What's the matter?
He doesn't work, he just lies around at night and spends his days playing. We're so far in debt we're about to lose our home too. I've been working and trying to pay off some of what he owes, but he just keeps spending more and more. I have to get out of that house and away from him!
Oh no! That's his voice!
Ha! I knew you'd be pulling something like this when you ran outta that house. But I'm not gonna let you. We're going home!
No! I won't spend the rest of my life slaving to pay off your debts! I can't take it anymore! All I want is to live my life and be free of you!
Please, let's talk about this.
Sounds like the lady's made up her mind.
Huh? Who're you? I don't care what kind of place you run here, you got no business butting in on family problems. If you don't step aside I'm gonna have to put you down!
"Put you down"? Honey, you're a terrible fighter.
She's MY WIFE!
This guy has just a sliver of health, so I decided to take him out in hand-to-hand. I found it kind of funny that his character name over the life bar is literally Bad Husband.
That pretty well sums up the whole fight.
Had enough? Now stop following her around.
I'm sorry, dear. Even though you didn't win, I'm so proud of how you fought for me.
No, I'm the one who should be apologizing. I made you suffer because of my irresponsibility. Please forgive me. Starting tomorrow I'm going back to work. I'm going to pay off my debts with the sweat of my brow, no matter how long it takes. Let's start over from the beginning. As long as you're with me I feel like I can accomplish anything. What do you say?
Of course! Let's begin a new life together.
I love you.
I love you too.
We're going to try again. I don't think I'll be needing a divorce after all.
Thanks a lot. You're like the best marriage counselor ever!
Oh, I'm so happy, darling! Let's go.
(What's wrong with these people?)
...... You're late.
What happened while I was gone? There's a huge lineup of people waiting outside!
Oh, Mr. Marriage Counselor!
That's the guy everyone's talking about, right?
I hear all it takes is one smack from him and your marriage is right as rain!
Me first! Hit me!
Sounds like you weren't giving out divorces so much as couples' therapy, eh?
That.... wasn't really my intention.
Well whatever you did I've never seen so many people here! From now on this place will no longer be known as the "Knot-cutting Temple". Starting today, we'll call it the "Knot-mending Temple".
It puts a much more positive spin on things, wouldn't you say? With your help, I think we can save a lot of marriages!
Now, now, don't say no just yet. Here's your pay for today.
Received [Meditating Monk Picture].
It's a picture, and you know what that means - REVELATION!
Come back and work here anytime you like.
He turns to the crowd.
Ladies and gentlemen, please form an orderly line! Yes, that's right, just like that....
(I'd better get out of here while I have the chance....)
Got 1500 Experience Points
Despite what the monk says, we can't take any more jobs here. Kiryuu clearly doesn't want to continue hooking up batterers with their victims.
The next sidequest begins in Kawaramachi.
There's a pair standing on the bridge who call Kiryuu over to them.
What is it?
The young miss would like to ask you a question.
Sir, is it possible that you live in this area?
Yeah, I do.
Wonderful! Would you mind if I asked you something?
Please hear her request.
What is it?
I was dearly hoping I might catch a glimpse of Kiyomizudera on my travels here. As a native of this region, perhaps you would know of an ideal place from which to view the famous temple in its best light.
Only the best location will do. This is the daughter of the illustrious Shirakawa Family, after all.
We were advised to ask the locals for their advice in this matter. Would you please find such a place as I have requested?
The young miss would like you to scout the area around Kiyomizudera and return with a report.
(Should I agree?)
Might as well. She's obviously rich enough.
Splendid. Then I will remain here and await your return. Please do hurry.
So obviously the next step is to jog over to Kiyomizudera.
We haven't been here in awhile. Now that Kiryuu has met the lady on the bridge there are a lot of extra NPCs hanging around the temple grounds, and each one has a different opinion about the best spot to view it from. We can accept any one of them and we'll get a different reward for each, but only one nets you a "complete" mark on the completion list and makes her really happy.
Tucked away in a corner to the right of the stairs, there is an old man.
Hallo! I'm just taking a little break, Mr. samurai. You're looking for a good spot to view the temple, aren't you? Well, take it from a local - I know the very best place.
Eh? What do you think? It's a beautiful sight and no effort to get to for an old man like me.
(Should I tell her about this spot?)
I'm gonna go with YES.
Good choice. Then I'm heading back to the fields. Have a safe journey.
We fade to black, and then Kiryuu is showing the young woman and her attendant the same view.
What do you think?
Excellent discovery, sir.
Thank you. That was a beautiful sight indeed. Give him his payment now.
This is a present from the young lady for all your help.
Received [Mother of Pearl].
In any previous chapter this would've been great, but now they're for sale at the weapon shop for just 100 mon.
Now, it's time we were off. Perhaps we will meet again someday.
Got 1500 Experience Points
As long as we're in the neighborhood, there's something else we can do on the temple grounds this chapter.
Right in the center is another old man and his dog who have a story to tell Kiryuu.
You're a warrior, aren't you?
Would you mind listening to my story? It's quite a heroic tale if I say so myself.
Kiryuu's not one to pass up a good yarn.
You will? Excellent! I promise you won't be disappointed. It's just a teensy bit long though.
(A "teensy bit"?)
I'm kind of a famous warrior myself. I've traveled the country from one end to the other fighting duels along the way. Ah, those were the days, I tell you....
My first story is about my experience during the fierce combat at the Battle of Dan-no-Ura. I cut down wave after wave of my enemies like they were toy soldiers. Oh, just thinking about it still makes me quiver!
This would be obvious to a lot of Japanese players, but the old man is full of shit. The Battle of Dan-no-Ura took place in the 12th century - more than 400 years before Kenzan.
Next.... hmm, let's see.... Ah! Kamakura! Do you know where the expression [ready for Kamakura] came from? Well... yes, now I remember! When we were stationed there we knew the enemy might attack at any time, so while we slept we kept our blades stuck in the tatami beside us so we would be ready at a moment's notice! Telling you all this really brings me back!
The expression he uses is an idiom involving the name of the city Kamakura and means something like "always prepared".
Now.... that's right! During the Honnouji Incident I was there too in fine style! I was a sight to behold, cutting down men left and right before me! Those were the days, I tell you.
Hmm, more recently.... Yes! Sekigahara! I was in Tokugawa's Army of the East too. But I guess everyone says that these days! G'ya ha ha ha!
Well, you've listened to me this far. But I know how you young people these days have trouble focusing. Do you think you really paid attention to everything I said?
We have two choices:
1. No, I wasn't really listening.
2. I remember every word.
I didn't miss a thing.
Oh? In that case answer this. When I was stationed in Kamakura, what did I say I stuck in the tatami?
Again, two choices:
1. Your sword
2. Your blade
This is a much more bullshit question in-game. First of all, you obviously can't go back and re-read the story like you can in the thread. And second of all, the two kanji look like this:
The answer is #2.
It was your blade.
Oh, you really were hanging on my every word! What a fine young man you are. Here, take this.
Received [World of Dazzling Hope Sword Guide].
Kind of an unwieldy name, but it's clearly another crafting book.
Thank you for listening. I'm sure you'll be making plenty of legends of your own.
Whew! Well, back to sidequesting.
Our next stop is the Riverside Road.
Near the north end we can find our apprentice waiting for another lesson.
Master! Please train me again today!
Whew! I think my swings are getting faster!
You're right. I can see a lot of improvement.
There's something I've been meaning to ask you, Shuutarou. Why do you want to become a strong fighter?
Just then another little boy runs up.
Rintarou! I told you to wait for me at home!
I tried, but I got hungry.
Aw man.... C'mon, why don't we go back?
He turns to Kiryuu.
Sorry, Master. Would you mind if I took my brother home now?
Sure, go ahead.
Without another word, the pair go running off south along the Riverside Road.
Time passes, and the apprentice returns alone.
So you have a little brother.
Yes. We don't have any other family so the people around Nagaya try to look out for us. But Rintarou's different from the other kids and he gets bullied a lot. That's why I want to learn from you, Master. I want to protect him.
We live over near the Cliffside Road. If you're ever out that way stop by and say hi, okay?
Shuutarou goes home for the day, so now that we're free let's take a walk along the shore.
Not far down-river we run into the two boys again, and they look like they're in trouble.
Last time you made a fool out of me, but I don't see that big tough teacher of yours around here today. Time for some payback!
Huh? Who's the little squirt? He looks like some kinda' retard! Ha ha!
Leave my brother alone!
Ah? Brother, huh? Then I guess I'll have to teach both of you a lesson!
And like lightning, Shuutarou whips out his stick and smacks the samurai down.
You leave Rintarou out of this!
Wow! That was amazing, Shuu!
You little monster! I'll get you for that!
Eh? Y-You're him! Now's my chance to get back at all of you. I'm not gonna lose again!
A couple of buddies mysteriously appear and join the fight, but they're no problem.
You okay, Rintarou?
Yeah, but that was really scary!
I saw you strike him. Your training has served you well.
Yes, sir! Thank you! I want to keep practicing and get stronger too.
..... There's nothing left for me to teach you, Shuutarou.
You already have all the training you need. I could see your strength when you defended your brother, and I realized there was still something I could learn from you too.
Me!? Um, y-yes, sir?
If I hear you tried to get back at these boys for what happened today you won't be walking away next time.
Forget it. I've learned my lesson.
Thank you for everything you've done for me, Master.
Oh, that's right! Here, please take this with you. I found it along the river bank a long time ago.
Received [Susanoo Ball].
Another crafting item.
I'll take good care of it.
Got 10000 Experience Points
And we've seen the last of our little apprentice. I'm sure he'll turn out great.
Back up at the north end of the Riverside Road a man comes running up to Kiryuu.
You have the look of a man with ambition, and boy do I have a great idea for you!
We get a chance to tell him to piss off, but we'll hear him out.
Great! You'll love it. You know what soy sauce is, right? Well, around here everybody makes their own, but up in Edo it's like nobody even knows how! So I think if we just bring them some of what they brew in this region demand will be through the roof. We can market it like a luxury food, and they'll fall all over themselves to pay through the nose!
I'm sure this is the path to millions! All I need from a fine gentleman like yourself is a small investment to get this off the ground. What do you say?
Again there's a choice. If we don't buy in this quest ends here though.
Alright. I'm in.
Excellent! How much should I put you down for?
We can do 100, 1000 or 5000 or 10,000 mon. Well, if we're gonna do this we ought to do it right.
Wow! A whole ryou! This is great. I'll get started on the business, so come and find me again later.
He runs off and Kiryuu is left a little poorer. But all we have to do is leave the area and come back.
There he is again already.
Ah! I-it's you.... Uh, how are you today?
I don't want to be too pushy, but how did things go in Edo?
Oh, well, um, you see.... I got everything packed up and ready to go, but I was in a huge hurry. Don't want to waste time, right? But then this huge storm came along and.... everything got destroyed.
Hey wait! Don't give up on me yet! I didn't lose all the money. If you want your investment back I can give you half of what you lent me. But I'm begging you to let me keep it for one more go! I know it! I know I'll succeed this time!
Another choice, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
You can keep it.
Really? You won't regret this! I'll get going right away!
So once more he runs off, and once more we just leave the area and re-enter.
I've been looking all over for you! You remember me, right?
You can give him a "Who're you?" , but what's the point of that?
Of course. How did it go this time?
I'm glad you asked. First of all, I have to thank you for believing in me from the start. The second run was a bigger success than I could've imagined!
That's good to hear.
It was HUGE! And this here is your share.
Received [2 ryou].
And this is from me just for being such a big help when I needed it most.
Received [Star Steel].
Thanks for everything you've done for me. See you!
Got 1000 Experience Points