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The flowers fall and become soil, the wandering son returns home. Having stood against the lightning, the young man of the wind has seen his reputation rise.
Some admire him, while others view him askance with jealousy, all while the obsessions of history hang over them like a cloud.
Icy, iron-shod footsteps approach gradually, but what he hears is the wind, snow, and the hearth-fire...

A Strange and Friendless Road is the first act of Kaedehara Kazuha's Story Quest, the Acer Palmatum Chapter.

During the Story Quest, the Traveler helps Kazuha settle a problem with a cursed sword desiring revenge against the Shogun.

List of Quests

  1. Upon the Plain, a Purple Shadow
  2. Through the Mist, a Name Unveiled
  3. Ere the End, a Glance Back

Summary

Upon the Plain, a Purple Shadow

Wandering around Byakko Plain, the Traveler and Paimon are set on by a samurai with a sword. After managing to fend him off, the samurai realizes that they aren't Kazuha. The Traveler asks as to why he's interested in him, but the samurai refuses and leaves. The Traveler notices that they fought similarly to him and Paimon voices her concern for his safety. Having heard that The Crux are docked at Ritou, they decide to go there to warn him.

Upon arriving at Ritou, they learn from Chao that Kazuha had been called to the Tenryou Commission Headquarters. They make their way there, where they find him with Kujou Kamaji. Kamaji explains that Kazuha's clan had been wrongly blamed and thus, the Shogun wanted to restore his family name and wealth. Kazuha had become the talk of the town due to blocking the Shogun's Musou no Hitotachi, something considered inconceivible by many Inazumans, especially when eye-witnesses reported him using his friend's Electro vision, thus making people believe he had been using a Delusion instead. While Kazuha is intrigued by the offer to restore his clan's name, he hesitates about leaving his current life.

Kazuha then asks the Traveler and Paimon why they came and learns of the mysterious samurai after him. Worried about the safety of bystanders, he decides to investigate with the Traveler while Kamaji sends an alert out to the Tenryou Commission. The Traveler and Kazuha head to the Bantan Sango Detective Agency. Ryuuji is humbled to meet Kazuha in-person but is confused when he asks about any recent assaults. However, he does point out that a few days ago, two people went missing; Nagato, a collector, and Amenoma Yuuya, a samurai of the Amenoma Clan. Kazuha decides to continue the investigation and they go to the Amenoma Smithy to talk with Amenoma Tougo.

Tougo explains that his nephew's mysterious disappearance baffled him as he had never acted as such, and on the day he went missing, he gave him a cryptic look and message stating that he would bring a "great gift" back. When he went to meet Nagato, a fire broke out at the warehouse. Kazuha claims that Yuuya had attacked a friend of his, which Tougo finds inconceivable, but remarks that it could be connected with his strange behavior. They then head to the Nagato household and meet Nagato's wife Nagato Sachiko, who explains that her husband's obsession with collecting caused them to run into debt and subsequently an argument over it. The Traveler concludes they're still missing information and they decide to go to the warehouse. Kazuha believes that ulterior motives are at hand, as the sales meeting appears to have been the catalyst.

Through the Mist, a Name Unveiled

Arriving at the outskirts of the city, they find the warehouse, but the entire place had collapsed. However, Kazuha senses remnants of the Tatarigami in the area and suspects that it had put the two men into danger. Tracking the flow of the malevolent energy, they find some hilichurls rummaging about and eliminate them and discover a letter. Reading it, they learn that Yuuya had attacked Nagato for his sword and injured him. Kazuha continues following the trail to a small island off Inazuma City, where they find Yuuya. However, they soon realize that the sword is full of Tatarigami and had possessed him.

The sword introduces itself as a prized weapon of an Isshin smith, who had fled when he failed to accomplish the Shogun's tasks and exiled himself in Snezhnaya. The sword then began to possess people to return to Inazuma and prove to it that it was the ultimate weapon that the Shogun had carelessly lost. The sword then reveals its intention to possess Kazuha, having learned he had survived against the Shogun's Musou no Hitotachi and to prove that the Isshin Art is the strongest.

After defeating the sword, Kazuha tells it that it has no chance of prevailing against the Shogun, as its values went against those of the Isshin Art and it had neglected itself over the years. The sword believes otherwise and threatens Yuuya's life, so Kazuha decides to wager with it; to prove that it was still strong, he decides to have the sword possess him to see if it could stand in an actual fight. If Kazuha's perspective was correct, the sword would have to abandon Yuuya, which it agrees to. Kazuha decides to test it in battle by clearing the ronin at the Takatsukasa Clan's former secret hideout. The sword has Yuuya trail them silently.

Ere the End, a Glance Back

Arriving at the hideout, Kazuha begins to clear the area of ronin. He notes that the sword's lack of maintenance has caused it to become harder to use and that it was trying to emulate him instead of controlling him. After defeating a Kairagi, the sword completely fades of Tatarigami, causing Paimon to remark that it looks like a "piece of junk". Before they could finish the conversation, Murayama and two Nobushi arrive. Kazuha clears them with ease and the sword realizes its errors and apologizes for its actions. Wanting to redeem itself, it releases Yuuya and they explain the situation to him. Yuuya agrees to a duel and Kazuha prevails.

Kazuha reveals that the sword wants to visit the smithy and they return, with Tougo pleased to see Yuuya back again. He learns of the entire incident and expresses regret over the sword's life. He also reveals that Ryuuji and the others found Nagato badly wounded, but alive. Kazuha then reveals that the sword wishes to control him once more and decides to abandon its consciousness to be reborn anew, creating the Kagotsurube Isshin, its original name. After a brief talk about the sword's fate and Kazuha promising to support them on their journey, they decide to return to Kamaji.

There, Kamaji explains to them the situation is resolved and the Tenryou Commission has decided not to charge Yuuya for any crimes. Kazuha introduces the new sword to Kamaji and declines his offer to stay in Inazuma, not wanting to get embroiled in conflicts between the Shogunate and Sangonomiya Clan, even though Kamaji had not intended for it this way. Despite this, Kamaji offers Kazuha the Shogunate's assistance should he ever need it. After Paimon asks as to where he'll be going next, Kazuha simply tells her that he'll go wherever the wind takes him.

Characters

14 Characters appear (or are mentioned) in this Story Quest:

Other Languages

LanguageOfficial NameLiteral Meaning
EnglishA Strange and Friendless Road
Chinese
(Simplified)
陌野不识故人
Mò Yě Bù Shí Gùrén
Chinese
(Traditional)
陌野不識故人
Mò Yě Bù Shì Gùrén
Japanese阡陌で故人を知る者無し
Senpaku de Kojin wo Shiru Mono Nashi[!]
Korean낯설고 외로운 길
Natseolgo Oeroun Gil
An Unfamiliar and Lonely Road
SpanishUn camino sin amigosA Friendless Road
FrenchUne route sans amisA Friendless Road
RussianСтранная безлюдная дорога
Strannaya bezlyudnaya doroga
Thaiถนนเปล่าเปลี่ยวของผู้ที่ถูกลืม
VietnameseCố Nhân Xa LạUnfamiliar Old Friend
GermanEin fremder Weg ohne FreundeA Foreign Road Without Friends
IndonesianJalan yang Aneh dan Tak BersahabatA Strange and Unfriendly Road
PortugueseUma Estrada Estranha e Hostil

Change History

Released in Version 2.8
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