5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Part 3: Ashina CastleUpdate notes

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Travel Back to the Ashina Castle Gate idol in Ashina Outskirts and open the door next to it. Sprint along the path and quickly kill the first enemy, then grapple onto the nearby roof. Ahead/to the left is the forward path guarded by some enemies, but look right and you can eavesdrop on two rats under a tree. A third rat is under a tree to the left of the other two, so stealth-kill it, then the other two (the Loaded Axe is good against them). After doing so run back to the Tengu to receive the Ashina Esoteric Text which unlocks another skill tree. The two skills in the second column- Ascending and Descending Carp- are good passives so work on getting them unlocked after Breath of Life: Light. Head back to the idol and continue along the forward path, killing several enemies/dogs in the second area. Upon entering the third area, you'll see some tall grass on the right, an enemy with his back to you, and a large sumo guy hammering the ground.
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There is another sumo enemy around the corner wall on the right and a second normal enemy a little further beyond as well. Stealth-kill the first enemy and fall back into the tall grass. You may have to inch forward to trigger the second sumo enemy to wander your way, and once he does, fall back to remain undetected. Once he turns around, stealth-kill him, then run back to lose aggro from the remaining two enemies. Once that is done, return to stealth kill the second sumo enemy, then kill the remaining normal enemy and loot items in the immediate area. The path then curves to the right and you get an Eavesdrop opportunity.
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Listen in, then kill the two enemies before moving forward into the next area.

You'll see an enemy with his back to you and a few more further in behind a fence. Entering this area triggers a battle with the Blazing Bull (VIDEO). The bull wildly thrashes around the area and will kill the enemies for you. I found it easiest to get some distance from him so he charges at you, deflect his charge so he falls down (GIF), run up and attack his head a few times, then run away and repeat. Another option is to try to run in circles so it chases you and falls down, deal some chip damage, then run and repeat. The Shinobi Firecracker can also stun him briefly. After dealing then one required deathblow, you will receive a Prayer Bead (8/40) and the Shinobi Medicine Rank 2 latent skill which further increases the potency of healing items. Two enemies will then come from the far door to check on the commotion. Kill them, then enter the doors they came through and rest at the Sculptor's Idol. Consume four prayer beads to receive the Second Prayer Necklace, acquire skills if needed, then look left and grapple across the gap to a branch.

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Eavesdrop on the two enemies on the bridge, then kill them to receive the Gatehouse Key. Grapple onto the roof ahead and you'll see a large enemy and some dogs below. Look right and you can see Ashina Reservoir and the Moon-view tower from the start of the game. Drop to the courtyard with the dogs and run past them into the door ahead, then continue forward to find a Sculptor's Idol. Rest here, then talk to the Dungeon Memorial Mob nearby. If you have 1400 sen, purchase the Prayer Bead (9/40), then consider buying coin purses with your remaining sen to prevent losing it upon death. This Prayer Bead isn't absolutely necessary now so don't worry if you can't afford to buy it (plus, you're going to want to buy a prosthetic tool for 1600 sen in the not too distant future). Continuing on leads to the Abandoned Dungeon, but you have no business there so travel back to the Ashina Castle idol.

You're going to spend some time exploring Ashina Castle and the surrounding area. There are enough Prayer Beads for the next prayer necklace, which you want before the required boss in the castle. From the idol, go through the door and interact with the Remnant. Then head left for now and open a door on the right. Open the next door and loot the items outside by the tree. Go back inside and drop off on the right, pick up the pellets, then open another door and commune with the Ashina Reservoir Sculptor's Idol. This area should start to look familiar as it's the first area you played through when you started the game.

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Eavesdrop on the two nearby guards, then kill them and the two dogs (remember that shuriken can one-shot dogs). There are a few ways to proceed from here. Beyond the doorway are several enemies that will notice you if you go that way, so instead go onto a tree branch to the left, then look to the right and grapple across to another branch. Jump over the wall and jump down to kill the alarm enemy. Beyond him, you can look right to see a grapple point that leads to the well you started the game in that now contains a Lone Shadow mini-boss. You'll deal with him soon so don't bother going that way yet. Instead, turn around and stealth-kill the enemy in front of you, then quickly retreat to avoid being detected by the gun-wielding enemy next to the building on the left. Approach the building and open the door with the Gatehouse Key, then go inside to find a Heavy Coin Purse and a chest containing Gyobu's Broken Horn, a Shinobi Tool. Exit, then sneak under the building through the hole to the left of the door. Stealth-kill then gunner enemy out the other side, then follow the path to the left and stealth kill another. There are a few enemies left in front of you- two larger enemies that you really don't want to engage directly and two normal enemies.

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A tough mini-boss stands at the entrance to the Moon-tower. Backtrack under the building and circle around the left and down some steps to stealth kill the first normal enemy, waiting until the larger guy walks away, then get behind the wall to the right. Drop down and kill then first large enemy when he turns around and the second large guy isn't looking your way, then get behind the wagon on your left so you can then stealth kill the second large guy and the final normal enemy. Should you get detected, run away until aggro fades. It's now time to face Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi (VIDEO), but the good news is that if you die, you can run to him from the idol without having to fight any of enemies in the area. Follow this path so you can get quickly to him for a stealth deathblow (GIF).

This guy is tough. Really tough. You can come back for him later when you're stronger if you want but with some practice and persistence, you can kill him now. After the first deathblow, lead him back to the open area next to the steps so none of the other enemies bother you. You need to learn the timing of his attacks to deflect, Mikiri counter, or avoid them properly. A poorly timed deflect will result in major posture damage.

He has a few swinging attacks, one with a slow double windup. Deflecting this almost always leads to a perilous thrust that can be Mikiri Countered. He may then counterattack with a fast swipe that, if deflected, staggers him briefly. Jump over his perilous sweep and take care to manage posture buildup by guarding when you can.

Defeating him rewards you with a Prayer Bead (10/40). Grapple on to the pagoda to find a Bundled Jizo Statue and then interact with the remnant inside before using the Homeward idol to return to the Dilapidated Temple. Talk to the Sculptor and he will fit the Mechanical Barrel into the Shinobi Prosthetic, allowing you access to Prosthetic Tool Upgrades. You should be able to get the Spinning Shuriken upgrade here, so do so if you can. These upgrades aren't direct upgrades but separate equippable tools, so once you leave the menu, switch to the new Shuriken in your equipment menu. Talk to the Sculptor again and Present Shinobi Prosthetic to fit a new tool and create the Loaded Spear from Gyobu's Broken Horn (Prosthetic Tool 5/10) and the Mist Raven from Mist Raven's Feathers (Prosthetic Tool 6/10), then return to the Ashina Reservoir idol.

Go left around the building and grapple across again, quickly killing the alarm enemy on the other side of the wall. Grapple across the gap to the right and interact with a non-important NPC if you'd like. Continue further to find a hole in the ground, and looking down you can lock onto an enemy below.

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This mini-boss is the Lone Shadow Longswordman (VIDEO), a more difficult version of the purple ninja that was guarding Mist Raven's Feathers at the three-story pagoda in Hirata Estate. Start the battle with a plunging deathblow from above, then prepare for another difficult battle that you can also come back for later should it prove too difficult. Like with Seven Ashina Spears, if you spend some time learning his attacks, you should be able to deflect and counter-attack to eventually defeat him. Remember that he starts a five kick combo with a low spinning kick that ends with a perilous attack that you can Mikiri Counter. His slower spinning kick is almost always followed up with a perilous sweep. Defeat him to receive a Prayer Bead (11/40), then continue into the water at the end of the area and swim to the end to find a grapple point. Drop into the Abandoned Dungeon and follow along the right side wall. When you come to a ledge, back up and do a running jump across to land on the ledge slight below and in front of you. Be very careful not to fall to the lowest part of the area or you'll aggro a Shichimen Warrior that you have zero chance to not get murdered by. Loot the Bulging Coin Purse along the path ahead, then commune/rest at the Sculptor's idol and travel back to the Ashina Castle idol.

At the top of the steps in front of the idol is another mini-boss flanked by several rifle-wielding enemies.

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Ignore them for now and look right to see a grapple point. From this ledge you can see some enemies below, another grapple point, and an enemy on a roof across the way. Grapple over and defeat him, then look back and you'll see a series of smoke plumes across the buildings ahead of you. You eventually want to make your way to the far one on the right so that you can grapple across to the ledge of the large building in the back, but for now, drop down and kill the enemies below and loot items in the immediate area.

There isn't much to this part of the castle. A single path leads between some buildings and has several more enemies and dogs. Take them out however you see fit (stealth or directly) as you move down the path and go around a wall on the left at the end to find a friendly NPC.

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Say "Yes" when asked and he will give you an item, then exhaust his dialogue so that he will relocate to the Dilapidated Temple as a vendor. You will be coming back shortly to deal with General Kuranosuke Matsumoto, the mini-boss at the top of the steps but for now, grapple onto the rooftops and make your way around to the far smoke signal, taking out enemies as you progress. There are two more to deal with once you make the grapple across to the main building, so be prepared. You'll then see a kite in the air ahead and as you approach it you'll be divebombed by an enemy, so when you see him, hold cn_L2 to guard so you don't get pummeled.

Head right at where the kite rope connects. There are several more enemies in the area so proceed with caution. Looking right at the end, you'll see a grapple point in a window but be extremely careful as there is an enemy below this window that you will run at you and explode.

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Upon entering the window you can open a chest to find a Gourd seed (4/9), then rest at the Sculptor's Idol in the corner. Travel back to the Dilapidated Temple so Emma can reinforce your Healing Gourd. You'll also notice that Fujioka the Info Broker has relocated to the right of the path that leads to Hanbei. He offers numerous items for sale including a Gourd Seed for 2000 sen which you likely cannot afford, especially since you are about to meet another NPC that sells a Shinobi Tool for 1600 sen that you want to buy. Remember to buy this Gourd Seed when you can afford it.

Fujioka also sells two memos, which give info on item locations. You already found the prosthetic Shinobi Tool in the Three-story Pagoda in Hirata Estates. The Sabimaru memo says that a special sword can be found on the bottom floor of the Ashina Castle Keep, which you will be visiting shortly. If you are worried about losing sen, feel free to buy coin purses from him. Once you are done here, return to the Upper Tower - Antechamber idol in Ashina Castle.

Before continuing, take a moment to look at your skill trees. Your skill point progress will likely be different than mine, especially if you have died and lost exp. Skills to prioritize should be:
1) Breath of Life: light in the Shinobi Arts tree (You should have this by now)
2) Grappling Hook Attack in the Prosthetic Arts tree
3) Ascending and Descending Carp in the Ashina Arts tree to deal extra posture damage with and after deflections
4) Shinobi Eyes in the Shinobi Arts tree which deals more posture damage when doing a Mikiri Counter
5) Suppress Presence and Sound in the Shinobi Arts tree to make you stealthier

Assuming you've killed all the mini-bosses I've pointed out thus far and bought the Prayer Bead I pointed out for 1400 sen, you'll be one away from an upgrade. There is one to be found in the next area, so leave the idol and head up the steps. Turn right and go to the end of the hall, then turn left and into the next room to sneak up behind a new enemy for a deathblow. These blue-robed Ashina Samurai are formidable opponents and much stronger than any other normal enemies to this point. They will deflect almost all of your attacks and can only be defeated through deflection and Mikiri Counters (or from stealth). Open the nearby door and you'll see some more enemies in this room. Wait momentarily until the samurai turns in front of you, then sneak up to stealth kill him. Look right and you'll see two more enemies walking blindly. Wait so you can stealth kill the first from behind, then move towards the second samurai who should stop at a window in the next room. Stealth-kill him. If you look left from the window you'll see an enemy sitting behind a folding screen.

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There are actually two enemies here. If you're quick you can stealth kill the first but you'll have to fight the second. Again, this Ashina Samurai is stronger and faster than other normal enemies and you'll need to deflect his attacks in order to kill him. Pay attention when attacking and always stop when your attack is deflected, which is usually after your second attack (the first will just be blocked) and be ready to deflect his counterattack. Once he is dead, approach the mural on the far wall in between the samurai statues (ignore the grapple point in the ceiling for now) and press "X" to hug the wall, activating a hidden door and moving you to a secret area (GIF). Loot the items (smash a screen to find a Heavy Coin Purse) and open the chest to find a Prayer Bead (12/40), then return to the idol and use your four prayer beads to receive the Third Prayer Necklace. If you didn't buy the Prayer Bead for 1400 sen from the NPC by the Abandoned Dungeon Entrance idol, you'll be one short. You'll want to purchase an item for 1600 sen soon so unless you think you'll have enough or both, don't worry about this particular prayer bead right now. You'll soon be dealing with General Kuranosuke Matsumoto who you saw earlier and he drops one.

Rest, then kill all the enemies again in the next room again. Once they are dead, look down into the large opening and you'll see a grapple point on the central wooden beam.

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Jump over to grapple to it, then lock onto the enemies below and toggle to the Ashina Samurai. Jump off and deliver a plunging deathblow on him, then fight off the other three enemies. This is the bottom floor of the Castle Keep as mentioned in the Sabimaru Memo. Move into the next room, pick up the items on the ground, then open the chest to find Sabimaru, a Shinobi Tool. Turn around and head to the room on the opposite side of the keep to open the locked door. This should look familiar- it's the steps that lead back to the Ashina Castle idol and the mini-boss you skipped- General Kuranosuke Matsumoto (VIDEO). You might as well take him out while you're here and if there are any issues you can rest at the Ashina Castle idol. Run out and take out his friends (there's no good way to do this, sadly), then get away to lose his aggro. Once you do, climb onto the nearby roofs to deliver the first deathblow from stealth.

Like with other enemies, you want to deflect his attacks so you need to learn his patterns. Jump over his perilous sweep and punish him after, get away from his perilous grab, and deflect his other attacks until you can deliver the second death blow, killing him and earning a Prayer Bead (13/40). Loot the nearby chest for a Divine Grass (a single-use item that heals you and cures status debuffs), then head back into the keep and to another locked door at the opposite end. If you need to rest, you'll likely want to travel to the Upper Tower - Antechamber idol, kill the nearby enemies, then drop back down to plunge kill the blue-robed samurai and his friends so you don't have to face all four of them directly. After unlocking the other locked door at the bottom level of the keep, you'll come to an outside area with water in from of you and a bridge to the right.

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Follow the path around to the right and you'll see a grapple point on a tree branch. Move to it, then jump to the ledge along the wall. There are two enemies to the left and the one with the spear is moderately tough. Stealth-kill him if you can (he drops a Heavy Coin Purse), then take out the other. There are two exits nearby- one to the bridge you just saw and a second to the right- take that one to reach a Sculptor's Idol.

Head through a door to the left of the idol to find a Dragon's Blood Droplet by some tombstones. Then head back and look over the cliff to the left of the idol to see a building with a hole in the roof.

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Drop down and into the hold to meet Blackhat Badger. You want to buy the Iron Fortress Shinobi Tool for 1600 sen, so redeem coin purses if you need to (or go farm enemies, perhaps near the Upper Tower - Antechamber idol) so you can afford it. Feel free to explore the area outside this building but there is nothing of vital importance other than a bunch of enemies and some random items. The cannon enemies in the towers are particularly dangerous, so if you choose to clear this area, treat them with caution. If you make it out to the broken bridge at the bottom, you'll see that you are across the way from an area you came through much earlier (before you ran past the giant snake that you ended up stabbing in the eye).

From the nearby Old Grave idol, backtrack and take the other exit that leads to a bridge.

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Eavesdrop on the two enemies, then kill them (stealth kill the larger samurai to make things easier), then kill the third enemy at the end of the bridge and continue forward through the large doorway and down a snowy path. Along the way, you'll be attacked by monkeys but they should pose little threat. At the end, you'll find a building with a Sculptor's Idol. Commune and rest, then head out onto the balcony and you'll see a grapple point across the gap. Go back to the front of the building to get onto the roof, then do a running jump towards the grapple points to grapple to the other side. Once you're across, take the consumable from the temple and drop down to the platform below. Go to the right side of this platform and look down to see a Sculptor's Idol below a tree branch that you can grapple to. Jump down and commune, then turn around and go to the opposite end of the platform to see a grapple point. Grapple across and quickly take out the two enemies there. Look up and to the left to see a ledge you can wall jump and climb up to. Do so to get to the next platform and follow it to the end, then climb up to the next platform above. Shimmy along the wall to the other side and you'll reach a ledge overlooking an area below.
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Jump down, take out the enemy on the right and loot the items in the area, one of which is a Prayer Bead (14/40). Then return to the Under-shrine Valley Idol.

Head forward and grapple across a gap, then kill the nearby enemy and enter a cave. Grapple left across two branches, kill an enemy, then look for a climbing point up and to the left. Grapple along a path, kill some enemies, and look up to the left to see another ledge you can climb up to. At the top, you'll find a rare upgrade material called Yellow Gunpowder and a Gourd Seed (5/9). Use the Homeward Idol to return to the Dilapidated Temple.

If you can scrounge together 2000 sen, buy the Gourd Seed (6/9) from Fujioka. Upgrade the Healing Gourd with Emma, then interact with the Sculptor to fit a new prosthetic. Create the Sabimaru (Prosthetic Tool 7/10) and the Loaded Umbrella from the Iron Fortress (Prosthetic Tool 8/10), then travel back to the Upper Tower - Antechamber idol in Ashina Castle. Clear out the nearby enemies and get to the room on the right side with a grapple point in the ceiling. Grapple up and make your way around to the next room and you'll see another hole and two enemies below.

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The farther enemy is the more dangerous of the two but I couldn't find a way to stealth kill him, so stealth-kill the other from above, turn around and kill the harmless old woman, and then kill the stronger enemy. If the two Ashina samurai in the next room rush in to investigate, you'll need to grapple up to safety and regroup. Note that you can unlock the door from this side so you don't have to go through the ceiling in the future. Feel free to engage the two Ashin a samurai if you want but there's a Sculptor's Idol in the room above that you should probably commune with first. Also, note that the wall at the end of the hall is weak and can be broken to access an area that is unimportant for now (a mini-boss will be fought here much later).

At the top of the stairs, you'll see a Remnant that you can investigate. When you are ready, open the door by the idol and prepare to fight Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze (VIDEO). This mini-boss attacks with his sword from a sheathed position blindingly fast and deals huge damage, both to health and to posture if not deflected precisely. The best way to beat him is through deflection and it's completely possible normally, but using the Loaded Umbrella makes it a lot easier. Stand face to face at the ready and when you see him go for his sword (indicated by the flash of light by his hand), immediately press cn_R2 to use the Loaded Umbrella and it should deal a ton of posture damage to him. Repeat this until you can perform both deathblows, after which you'll receive a Prayer Bead (15/40). There are a few items in this room and if you interact with the tapestry, you'll get an explanation of lightning reversal.

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At this point, the next step is to climb out the nearby window, grapple up to an area above, and face the next major boss- Genichiro Ashina. Before doing so, I suggest traveling back to Hirata Estate and killing Lady Butterfly, which is an easier battle (and her memory will improve your damage).

Note: Snap Seeds are helpful in this battle. You can go back and find 5 in the area where you stabbed the giant snake in the eye near the Underbridge Valley idol in Ashina Outskirts.

Travel to the Hirata Audience Chamber idol and continue forward into the room at the end to trigger a cutscene, followed by a battle with Lady Butterfly (VIDEO). When you were here initially you were considerably weaker, so the battle should be more manageable. The downside in waiting until now is that if you had killed her earlier, you would have gotten her memory to improve your damage output, which may have made other encounters easier.

The key to this battle is staying aggressive and deflecting everything you can. Attack her until you get deflected, then be ready for her counterattack. If she responds with a melee attack, deflect it, then repeat. If you mistime the deflect, she will follow up with two additional attacks that you want to deflect.

She may instead just jump away and throw shuriken at you. If she jumps into the air and floats, throw Shuriken to try to knock her down. While airborne, she may dodge from side to side and then throw shuriken at you, charge down to you with a melee combo, or just jump over and land behind you (causing you to lose lock on).

She has two perilous attacks: a sweep during ground combat (jump over it) and a grab from the air (run away as soon as you see the kanji).

For her second phase, she will appear in front of the Buddha statue, so be prepared to start attacking her again as soon as she drops in. Use the same technique of aggressiveness, deflection, and shurikens. When she summons the apparitions, you can either run into the middle of them and use a Snap Seed, which will destroy them all, or run away and wait for her to dispel them, which launches a volley of projectiles at you that is best avoided by getting behind a pillar.

After you deal the second deathblow, you can then perform the Shinobi Execution to kill her, unlocking a trophy:

You will also receive Memory: Lady Butterfly and a Sakura Droplet. A cutscene will then play out, after which you will awaken in the Sculptor's hut. Talk to him and "ask what the Buddha showed him" for some foreshadowing, then rest at the idol and choose to enhance attack power with Memory: Butterfly to permanently increase your attack power (from 2 to 3).

And now it's time. Head back to the Upper Tower - Ashina Dojo idol in Ashina Castle and prepare for a boss battle that takes the difficulty to the next level. Head into the dojo, out the window, and around to the right to see two grapple points. Use them to get to the level above and a cutscene will unfold, followed by the battle with Genichiro Ashina (VIDEO).

Genichiro requires two deathblows to defeat, after which he begins his second phase which requires one more deathblow. The key with this battle is to stay aggressive and attack into his blocks (usually twice), stopping when you get deflected to then react to his counterattack. He has three perilous attacks- a swipe that must be jumped over, a thrust that can be Mikiri countered, and a grab attack that you need to quickly jump away from to avoid. He can also unleash a flurry of several attacks that you should try to deflect which can result in a great amount of posture damage if done properly. He starts by rearing back, then unleashing a few attacks and then doing another windup before unleashing several more. You can also back up after the first flurry and let him whiff with the second. He almost always follows his leaping downward slash with a perilous thrust, so deflect the slash, then be prepared to do a Mikiri Counter if necessary. He will also sometimes jump into the air and shoot a few arrows at you, so guard as soon as you see this coming. You will be filling his posture meter for the deathblows and not draining his health so try to stay aggressive with him so his posture bar doesn't deplete.

After the second deathblow, his second phase starts. He almost always leads with a lunging perilous thrust that you want to Mikiri counter. Try to stay aggressive like you were with phase one and watch out for his lightning attack which you can respond to with the Lightning Reversal by jumping with the right timing, getting hit with the lightning attack, then pressing cn_R2 BEFORE LANDING to send the lightning back to him, stunning him briefly. After filling his posture meter and dealing the third deathblow you will be prompted to perform the Shinobi Execution to kill him, unlocking a trophy:

You will also receive Memory: Genichiro and learn a Ninjutsu Technique: Bloodsmoke Ninjutsu.

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Nunjitsu are techniques that can be performed as a followup to a backstab deathblow. Bloodsmoke Ninjutsu creates a cloud of smoke that disorients nearby enemies, causing them to lose track of you and allowing you to deal additional stealth backstabs (or run away undetected). Open your inventory and equip it in the Ninjutsu slot.

Commune with the nearby Sculptor's Idol, then rest and choose to enhance attack power with Memory: Genichiro to permanently increase your attack power (from 3 to 4). Walk in the open doors and talk to Emma to further unfold the story. Go downstairs, commune with the Sculptor's Idol, and then talk to Kuro, the Divine Heir. When given the choice, you must select "Obey the Iron Code, Protect Kuro" to continue (you literally cannot choose the other option).

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Exhaust his dialogue, interact with the incense burner, then exhaust his dialogue again when he walks to another location. Open the nearby window and head outside. Look to the right and you'll see a balcony around the building across the way. Head across and into the building to meet Isshin Ashina. Go through all of his dialogue options (offer him the sake for additional backstory), then return to Kuro where a note in the middle of the room says he is in the Library. Pick up the Gun Fort Shrine key next to him, then exhaust his dialogue options. Give him the Sakura Droplet to trigger a brief scene, after which you'll receive an additional resurrection node. Talk to Emma by the Sculptor's Idol (offer her sake for additional backstory), then travel to the Abandoned Dungeon Entrance idol.

From this idol, you can go back into Ashina Castle or forward into the Abandoned Dungeon. Head forward into a cavelike area with crickets and unkillable zombie enemies that are best avoided. Feel free to explore this cave as you move forward, but there's nothing too important here (there is an NPC you can talk to begin an unnecessary sidequest). You'll eventually reach another Sculptor's Idol in front of a cage.

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Commune with it, rest if needed, and continue forward into some water. Swim forward and you'll be able to climb back onto solid ground where you can kill a few enemies and find some items. This is a good place to test out Bloodsmoke Ninjutsu. Wall climb to grab on the ledge on the left, then sneak up and backstab the standing enemy. During the deathblow animation you'll see another red deathblow circle- press cn_R1 again to perform the ninjutsu technique, creating a large red cloud of smoke (GIF). Sneak around the side or back of the other enemy and backstab him when the red circle appears (locking on makes it easier). Then kill the third enemy on the other side of the platform and loot the items.

Note: You can only use Ninjutsu techniques after dealing a backstab deathblow from stealth, but the Vault Over skill in the Shinobi Arts tree allows you to deal a backstab deathblow in the middle of combat to a posture broken enemy. You can then follow the backstab up with Ninjutsu techniques in the middle of a chaotic situation.

Jump back into the water and continue forward until you see a ledge you can climb onto to perform a hanging deathblow on the nearby enemy, then climb up and kill the last enemy. You'll then come to a contraption with a lever that you can pull to call a lift.

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Do so, then pull the lever inside to be taken up to another area. Continue forward and you'll be greeted by an unseen entity and you'll see a Sculptor's Idol. Commune, interact with the tapestry on the wall, then head outside.

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