Part 14: Sword Appreciation Assembly and Gusu Lantern Festival

Main Walkthrough

With the Sword Appreciation Assembly over and done with, Yi (and several traveling companions) have a new quest: Travel to Xungu Pass to deal with Tianlong Gang. The trip will need to be done by boat, however, which requires a lengthy excursion to Solitary Cloud Marsh Pier. This path will get you to the marsh from Gusu City:

  • Head west to the Weiyuan Security Guard Agency
  • Cross the bridge to the west of the agency
  • Continue west from the south end of the bridge, until you see Tancheng City
  • Travel southwest from Tancheng City to find Solitary Cloud Marsh Pier
It is worth noting before you head off that your three new comrades - Mowen, Yao Ji, and Ouwang Xue - are all quite powerful. If you have any outstanding side quests that were giving you trouble, this trio can help.

Check the upper deck of the pier and you'll find a familiar (and unfriendly) fellow from the beginning of Wandering Sword. You're given a choice whether or not to save him, though he dies regardless. (I found letting him die to be the more interesting choice.)

Head south along the pier, to the lowest level, and you'll find a dock. Head out onto the dock to trigger a cut scene, and a battle.

Lu Duan the Shadowy Sword

Surrounded! Your group of characters will probably be outnumbered during this battle, though not by much if you have any optional fighters. La Duan, the leader of the enemy, uses the following attacks:

  • Sword-based line attacks
  • A multi-directional line attack
  • Thunderbolt Swordplay, a diamond-shaped AOE attack
Your group will be quite a bit stronger than the many Shadowists, so send two of them west to occupy the weaker group while the rest of the party deals with Lu Duan, in the east. A few strong AOE attacks will wipe out the lesser mooks and give you plenty of room to deal with Duan. Thunderbolt Swordplay is a consistent threat, but it shouldn't be strong enough to give you too much trouble.

After the battle a friendly Boatman will take the group upriver and drop them off at Beishan Village. Leave the village and head northeast, through the mountains. The path will take you straight to Xungu Pass...

... though the Xungu Pass Guards aren't inclined to let you through. You'll have to fight another bundle of enemies. Fortunately, these guys are weaker than the Shadowists, and there's no unique NPC to get in your way. You also have as many allies as you did in the previous battle. You'll be fine.

Xungu is a dour place, and there's not a ton going on at the moment: 
  • There's an inn and a blacksmith. Not terribly interesting. 
  • Look south of the inn you'll see some stairs on your left. Go up them and onto the nearby building to find a chest containing Zhennan Wood, Dark Wood, and Coal
  • There are some tiered houses in the west. Climb the steps to the upper house, and check behind Mrs. Sun for a chest. It contains Flour and Braised Pork Tenderloin.
That's about it. Head north through the city to trigger a cut scene. You now have two options for proceeding with the quest, though you have to choose 'infiltrate at night' to get anywhere.

Head to the inn once you're done looking around and rest for the night. The group will automatically head out at night to infiltrate the manor in the north. There are Xungu Pass Guards that will attempt to stop you the whole way, though getting caught by any of them will result in a relatively easy battle. Fight or dodge your way to the north.

(Fun tip: Most of these battles 'require' Mowen, Ji, and Xue to be in your party, but they won't force any other members of your party out. Don't deploy any of the mandatory party members and they will typically show up anyway, giving you three extra combatants. This makes the fights in Xungu Pass much easier. This didn't always seem to work for me if I only deployed one or two of Mowen, Ji, and Xue, so try kicking them all out.)

There are two small houses in the far north of Xungu Pass. 
  • If you enter the western house you'll find an empty bedchamber, though when you head outside you'll be confronted by General Xu, one of the leaders of Xungu Pass. He'll order the group to surrender, and if you comply you'll get an automatic (and slightly cinematic) Game Over. Decide to break through and you'll face three waves of enemies, ending with a battle against Xu himself. This last fight is the most difficult, but Xu is a fairly humdrum swordsman who won't present too much of a challenge.
  • If you approach the eastern house you'll instead meet General Huang, whom the group wanted to find in the first place, and you'll skip the battle with General Xu.
The meeting with Huang goes the same whether you fought his troops or not, and a greater battle will break out elsewhere in the city during the meeting. Huang will ask you to go find Xu, who was apparently injured. Head south, however, and you'll discover that this was a fakeout. You need to find Xu's home.

Take a right towards the inn, then head south at your first opportunity, down an alley. You'll hit a cut scene between Xu and a shady fellow named Cao Yutian. You'll be presented with two options, though the results are the same in either case. Get ready to fight.

The Black and White Impermanence

Despite your foes being outnumbered, this battle is pretty even. The Black and White Impermanence are both powerful, and being polearm users their attacks will almost always hit multiple characters. They both have the same moveset:
  • Multi-directional line strikes that vary in range
  • A square-shaped AOE attack
  • Unity Polearm Technique, a diamond-shaped AOE attack
They can also inflict Incapacitate on your characters, restricting movement for a round. Very annoying.

The only difference here is that the White Impermanence has about 1,000 less HP, so pour all your strength into taking him out first. AOE attacks are preferable so you can hit both enemies at once, though it's not an absolute necessity. Once one Impermanence is gone the other one shouldn't prove to be as much of a bother. Gang up and surround them immediately to bring one down as quickly as you can.

You'll receive some great items for beating the Black and White Impermanence, likely including Top-Grade Chaoselixir, Top-Grade Scorchelixir, and Chiseled Tigerhead Boots.

Head back north after the fight. You'll hit a cut scene that drives Yao Ji from the party, then you'll speak to General Huang. If you choose to console him during the conversation your Affinity with him will rise. You'll receive The Art of War, the Class VI Weapon Compilation, Lotus-Bamboo Soup, Pork Stir Fry, and Martial Arts Thoughts.

Head south. A cut scene cuts in, providing the group with instructions. You now have an option:
  • Look for Yao Ji. Head directly south down the main street of Xungu Pass to hit a cut scene. Your Affinity with Yao Ji will rise, and she'll rejoin the party.
  • Go to Liao City. Yao Ji will rejoin the party as you attempt to leave Xungu Pass through its western exit. You won't receive an Affinity boost in the process, however.
Regardless of how you get Yao Ji back into the party, this is the end of the quest. You can now proceed west out of Xungu Pass and into some dustier lands that were previously inaccessible. Before you leave Xungu Pass it is worth mentioning that there are now some NPCs with side quests for you to complete:

Part 16: Back in Liao City

Main Walkthrough