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A Swordmaster's Path Is Paved With Broken Blades is the seventh part in the Teyvat storyline Archon Quests, Chapter II, Act I: The Immovable God and the Eternal Euthymia.

Steps

  1. Find the next person who lost their Vision
  2. Wait until night for the exorcism (18:00 - 24:00)
  3. Talk to Junya
  4. Follow the suspicious person's traces (0/3)
  5. Return to the exorcism site
  6. Go to Grand Narukami Shrine to see the head shrine maiden

Dialogue

Inazuma City

(Upon approaching the dojo in the suburbs of Inazuma City)
Paimon: The third person who had their Vision taken is supposed to be a famous swordmaster around these parts.
Paimon: Paimon heard that he's the present-day master of Meikyou Shisui Art... sounds pretty impressive...
Paimon: This is his dojo, luckily there's some people around. Let's go talk to them.
Junya: Nanako, don't worry! Sensei will be fine...
Junya: Those thugs that challenged the dojo were strong, but he fought them all off in the end, didn't he?
Nanako: Maybe, but I'm still worried about him...
Nanako: Things have gotten dangerous before in the past, but it's never shaken him. This time, though... *sigh*
Junya: It's just because he's been possessed, that's all! Once the exorcism has taken place, he'll be right as rain in no time.
Paimon: Hey there... did something happen?
Junya: ...Who are you?
Junya: I don't care whether you're trespassers or just here to harass us while sensei is impaired — get out of here immediately!
Junya: Don't make me draw my blade, or you won't live to regret it!
Paimon: N—No, you got us all wrong! We just came here to... uhh...
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg We're here to become disciples.
Junya: ...Disciples?
Paimon: Yup yup! We've heard all about the mighty master of Meikyou Shisui Art. It's the whole reason we came all this way — to seek him out and ask him to train us.
Paimon: But then we got here and overheard you talking about how he got possessed, or something...
Junya: Hmm... From the way you're dressed... it doesn't look like you're from around here.
Junya: Please accept my apologies... We've had so many people trying to cause us trouble recently that we're on high alert.
Junya: You haven't arrived at the best of times, I'm afraid. Sensei got possessed recently, and he's still recovering. He's not able to take on any new disciples for the time being.
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg We can wait till he's recovered.
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg I'm not going back until I can call him my sensei.
Junya: I see you are earnest in your pursuit. *sigh* Okay, how about this — my fellow disciple Nanako and I will explain Sensei's situation to you in a little more detail. Then you can decide whether to stay or to leave.
Junya: Sensei's name is Domon, a name I'm sure you've already heard.
Junya: Though self-taught, he mastered the art of the sword to a high level. He then proceeded to defeat many other prominent swordmasters, never losing a single fight.
Junya: He once said that his goal was to become the best swordmaster in the world.
Junya: And so, even while training us, he continued to hone his own art. His fervor truly inspired us, and we trained hard, determined to keep up with him.
Junya: But then...
Nanako: Not long ago, Sensei had his Vision taken away. He hasn't been the same since.
Nanako: He says the strangest things over and over, and he refuses to let us train...
Nanako: Junya and I have discussed it, and we both think that he's been possessed by an evil spirit. So, we've asked the shrine maidens from the Grand Narukami Shrine to perform an exorcism.
Nanako: But if I'm honest... I still have my doubts over whether he'll completely recover...
Paimon: The Grand Narukami Shrine? What's that?
Junya: You haven't heard of it? It's the largest shrine on Narukami Island. The head shrine maiden is reputed to have very close ties with the Almighty Shogun herself.
Junya: Not that we'd have any means of involving the head shrine maiden, of course... But even one of the ordinary shrine maidens from the Grand Narukami Shrine would have clear power and authority to perform an exorcism.
Junya: So don't worry, Nanako. Sensei is going to be just fine.
Junya: The exorcism will take place this evening. You're both more than welcome to come and watch if you're interested.
Paimon: So... losing your Vision can cause possession? Uh, guess we should come back this evening and see for ourselves.
(Talk to Junya again)
Junya: Sensei will be fine, I'm sure of it. He's a strong person.
(Talk to Nanako again)
Nanako: *sigh* I just hope Sensei doesn't have to endure this much longer...

(Wait until night for the exorcism)
Junya: Shh... So, you decided to come? It's a good thing you didn't arrive any earlier — you would have had to witness sensei in one of his fits of madness.
Junya: Just now, when Nanako was attending to him, she heard him whispering a few names to himself.
Junya: When she asked him who the people were, he suddenly looked panic-stricken and pushed her away.
Junya: It looked like he was in great distress... He was covering his ears and looking frantically around him with bloodshot eyes.
Junya: All the while he kept calling those names — some of them we knew, others we didn't recognize, but they all seemed to be the names of swordmasters he had defeated in the past.
Junya: One of them was Anzai. He used to be a fellow disciple of Sensei's, his senior, in fact. But Sensei defeated him in a duel many years ago, and he has been a wanderer ever since.
Junya: Sensei wouldn't stop calling his name... *sigh* Thankfully, the shrine maidens managed to subdue him, so the exorcism can finally continue.
Junya: The ritual has now begun — all we can do is patiently await the result. Here's hoping Sensei will be back to his normal self very soon.
Junya: Please excuse me for a moment while I fetch some water. If he wakes up, he is sure to be thirsty.
(Junya leaves for now. As you wait, you witness an unfamiliar, suspicious figure pass by in a flash.)
Paimon: ...Huh?
Paimon: Who's that sneaking around? Uh-oh... could they be here to mess up the exorcism?
Paimon: We won't let them get away with it! Come on, let's go after them!
(Approach first trace)
Paimon: Hmm, seems they aren't here... should we keep going further up?
Paimon: Is this definitely the right place? Let's look a little further up.
Paimon: Aha! Suspicious person sighted— that's gotta be him!

Suspicious Person

(Talk to the suspicious person)
???: How... How did you... catch up with me... so quickly...
???: Are you sure you're Domon's disciples? You move even quicker than he does...
???: Unless... I guess it's been a few years. Maybe his skills have improved again?
Paimon: Um, excuse me! We're the ones asking the questions here! First off, who are you?
Paimon: And what are you doing, sneaking around these parts, hmm? You seem like bad news, mister!
???: Bad news? Hmph. I'll have you know I trained side-by-side with Domon back in the day — long before you ever showed up.
???: I don't care to talk about that time anymore... but if you must know, I am Domon's senior.
Paimon: His senior? Wait, that means you must be...
Anzai: Anzai. Yes, that's me.
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg Why did you run?
Anzai: Because I don't wish to see Domon, or anyone else associated with him, ever again.
Anzai: When we were young, we trained under the same swordmaster, studying Meikyou Shisui Art together.
Anzai: I had begun training five years before him, and everyone looked up to me as a steady and dependable older disciple.
Anzai: Practitioners of Meikyou Shisui Art seek to achieve "stillness of mind, freedom from all agitation."So the majority of disciples are indifferent to rank and reward. I was no exception.
Anzai: But Domon was different. The first thing he did when he joined was go straight to our sensei and ask him, with a beaming smile on his face, how to become the best in the world.
Anzai: Sensei scolded him, and told him that the art of the sword should not be used for such vain ends. Sensei said that coveting the title of the best swordmaster, barely days into his training, showed that he had a fickle mind, and that this would impede him from ever mastering the blade.
Anzai: I thought so too, at the time... But Domon began making swift progress in his training, and even started catching up with me.
Anzai: Only then did I realize that it was Domon who had long since freed his mind from all agitation.
Anzai: He was consumed by his singular desire to become the best in the world. He sought nothing less than perfection in the art of the sword, and nothing could deter him from this goal, no matter what stood in his way.
Paimon: Sure sounds like he meant business... So, how come you don't want to ever see him again?
Anzai: Because until he arrived, I was convinced that I would succeed our sensei as the master of Meikyou Shisui Art.
Anzai: Of all the disciples, I was the most gifted — I had trained the longest. Everyone had high expectations for me.
Anzai: Domon's arrival changed everything. When we sparred, I lost not just the match, but my pride and my status, too. I fled the dojo that day and never looked back.
Anzai: Later, I heard that he sparred with sensei, too. Sensei was advanced in years by then, and unfortunately, that match used up every last ounce of energy in his body...
Anzai: After that, I wanted nothing further to do with him. Deep down, though, I still respected his mastery of the blade, and his commitment to the art of the sword.
Anzai: So when I heard rumors that he had lost his mind, my first reaction was to dismiss them as false. How could he, of all people, have lost his mind? His mind was the sharpest of them all — he had practiced Meikyou Shisui Art to perfection.
Anzai: I decided to quietly come and see if it were true. Then, to my complete astonishment, I heard him call my name... I thought mine was a name he had long since forgotten.
Anzai: So you see — I came here not to cause him any harm. I just wanted to see for myself.
Anzai: ...Okay, you've heard my story. You should get back now — the exorcism is probably finishing.
Paimon: Hmm... Seems like we got it wrong this time. He wasn't here to mess up the exorcism at all.
Paimon: Still, Paimon's not sure we should bring him back with us... Uh, let's go see how the exorcism's coming along!

Exorcism Site

(Upon returning to the dojo)
Nanako: What? You're saying he isn't possessed?
Nanako: Does that mean he's just lost his mind? But how is that possible? ...No, I refuse to believe it. Something's clearly wrong!
Junya: Nanako, please, try not to get agitated...
Inagi Hotomi: I am sorry. With what powers I have, I can find no sign of any malignant spirit having possessed Domon.
Inagi Hotomi: But spirits may take a myriad of forms in this world, many of which I cannot claim to have witnessed myself. Thus, I dare not rule out possession with complete certainty.
Inagi Hotomi: And all is certainly not lost, for I received word not long ago that Lady Yae has taken an interest in your sensei's case.
Junya: L—Lady Yae? Is that... the same Lady Yae that I think you mean?
Nanako: The head shrine maiden of the Grand Narukami Shrine? That's wonderful news! Then Sensei will be sure to recover...
Inagi Hotomi: Correct. Lady Yae is most knowledgeable indeed, and has abundant experience in the exorcism of evil spirits and aversion of great calamities.
Inagi Hotomi: I am unable to say for certain whether an evil spirit has possessed your sensei, but Lady Yae can give a conclusive verdict.
Junya: Excuse me, Miss Inagi, but I must ask. Should we prepare a greeting gift for Lady Yae?
Inagi Hotomi: That won't be necessary. All that is required of you is your timely arrival at the Grand Narukami Shrine. Lady Yae does not like to be kept waiting.
Inagi Hotomi: I must leave now, but we will meet soon at the shrine. I wish Domon a full and speedy recovery.
Junya: Who'd have thought Lady Yae herself would have taken notice of our sensei's case...
Nanako: Do you mean to say that sensei isn't renowned enough to deserve Lady Yae's attention?
Junya: No, no, that's not what I meant at all! You misunderstand me.
Junya: I just mean... this is Lady Yae, the head shrine maiden! She has direct and close contact with the Almighty Shogun herself!
Junya: Ahem. Anyway, you should join us too, tomorrow.
Junya: Given that you've traveled all this way just to meet our sensei, we the disciples of Meikyou Shisui Art will do our best to help you.
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg I will gladly join you.
Paimon: Sure! After all, everyone seems pretty excited about Lady Yae. We're curious to meet her, too.
Paimon: Who knows, maybe we'll be able to find out a thing or two about the Raiden Shogun from her...

Grand Narukami Shrine

(Upon approaching the center of the Grand Narukami Shrine)
Paimon: D—D'you think that's Lady Yae...? No wonder Junya was so excited... she has a really striking presence...
Paimon: Also, is it just Paimon, or did she look right at us just now?
Paimon: ...Eh, it was probably nothing... It's not like she's ever seen us before.
Domon: Keep away... Keep away from me...
Domon: I gave up the art of the sword... Please, let me go, I beg you...
Inagi Hotomi: As you can see, Lady Yae.
Inagi Hotomi: Domon has persisted in this state for some time now. He appears to see those who have lost to him in duels past, gathered all around him to persecute him.
Nanako: Lady Yae, it must be a possession... right?
Nanako: This is nothing like him at all. In the past, no matter what came his way, he would always face it with a confident smile.
Yae Miko: ...
Yae Miko: I am sorry. It is clear to me that your sensei is not possessed by any evil spirit.
Nanako: But... Then, d—does that mean he...
Yae Miko: Hmm, yes. This is a change in the person himself.
Yae Miko: Unable to cope with the tremendous pressure he was under, he suffered a spiritual collapse. With his wits impaired, he finally descended into madness.
Yae Miko: As one who is thrown into the sea, though he fights back desperately against his predicament, it does nothing to prevent his descent into the depths.
Yae Miko: As for what has triggered this change, I believe it must be the loss of his Vision. For to be stripped of one's Vision is to be stripped of one's ambition.
Junya: Stripped of his ambition...? But, Lady Yae, even without his ambition, why should he suffer such a dramatic change? How does that explain his descent into madness?
Yae Miko: Your school practices Meikyou Shisui Art, does it not?
Yae Miko: "Stillness of mind, freedom from all agitation"... What a fine notion that would be, if any in this world could ever hope to achieve it...
Yae Miko: There was once one who claimed to be indifferent to rank and reward, and who fled enraged when defeated by his junior. And then there was an aged swordmaster who was aggrieved enough that he crossed blades with a disciple he himself had taught.
Yae Miko: Then, what of the one who crossed blades with his own sensei and beloved fellow disciple, and defeated them both? Can one truly remain unagitated, of still mind, in moments such as these?
Nanako: Lady Yae... I'm not sure I understand...
Yae Miko: The path of the swordmaster is filled with twists and turns. It is no small undertaking to pursue the position of greatest swordmaster in the world.
Yae Miko: It requires one to take their sword firmly in both hands and cut down the hopes and dreams of others... even those of one's closest companions.
Yae Miko: Only a deep commitment to his ambition to become the best made it possible for him to rise above the pain of these encounters — to focus on the way ahead.
Yae Miko: When that ambition disappeared, he began to doubt himself. As he battled his growing anxiety... he slowly descended into the state you see him in now.
Yae Miko: Heh... Much like a certain fatally flawed friend of mine.
Nanako: Poor Sensei... To think he's been suffering so greatly...
Domon: I'm sorry... It's all my fault...
Domon: Father, Sensei... Anzai...
Anzai: That's enough!
Paimon: Huh? Isn't that Anzai? Where'd he come from?
Paimon: Did he follow us the whole way here?
Domon: Anzai... Why are there two of you...? Is that you, or a ghost?
Domon: You're here for revenge, aren't you... I knew it would come... I never should have—
Anzai: You're right to assume that my feelings towards you are far from kindly. *sigh* But I didn't come here to settle a score.
Anzai: It's been so long now that I made peace with it years ago. You did nothing wrong that day, I just... I couldn't face the humiliation. That's why I ran.
Anzai: I don't think most of the people you beat along the way would hold it against you. On the contrary, when you cut our ambitions short, we entrusted them to you, in the hope that they might carry you further.
Anzai: Now, I know that we can't place our hopes in you any longer, since you've been stripped of your ambitions, too...
Anzai: But that is no reason to strip them of theirs! "Follow the way of the sword all the way to the highest peak."You taught them that, didn't you?
Domon: But, what if one day... the same thing happens to them...
Domon: I put everything I had into trying to become the best... but what if it was all a huge mistake, right from the start?
Domon: If there's a chance they'll end up like me one day, I'd rather they stay where they are now than go any further down this path...
Anzai: ...Have you asked them what they think?
Nanako: Sensei... After you rescued me from the hands of the pirates, I told myself I would follow in your footsteps for the rest of my days.
Nanako: I can't know whether I will suffer in my future as you do now. All I know is that here and now, in the present, I wish to continue.
Nanako: I want to keep going until the day that I can stand before everyone with my head held high and announce that I, like my sensei Domon before me, am a master of Meikyou Shisui Art!
Junya: Nanako's far from the only one... Actually, all of us think that way.
Domon: Goodness... Well, I...
Anzai: You see? You can place the ambition you once had in their hands.
Anzai: Being stripped of your ambition is something that's never happened to me, so I can't claim to understand it. But I do know what it feels like to have your ambitions crushed... that's what happened on the day that you so effortlessly defeated me.
Anzai: So, just as I once placed my ambitions onto you, it is time for you to release yours into their custody.
Anzai: You are not in the same position that I was. When I left, I had nothing to my name, but you have a great number of worthy disciples.
Domon: I... I understand.
Domon: I am sorry to have made you worry for me and for the state of Meikyou Shisui Art.
Domon: I no longer have the resolve to become the best in the world... the emptiness and suffering inside of me will not abate, so I cannot hope to still my mind and be free of agitation.
Domon: But as your sensei, I shall commit to imparting unto you everything I have learned in my life so far.
Domon: This is my promise, and I humbly ask Anzai, my senior, to hold me to my word.
Anzai: You can count on that. I'd be checking in on you occasionally anyway, just to make sure you hadn't lost your mind again...
Anzai: But I am now used to the life of a wanderer. I do not belong in the dojo anymore. So I will simply stop by once in a while to make sure you aren't cutting any corners with them.
Anzai: Well, don't just stand there staring at me. Say thank you to Lady Yae and then get yourself back home.
The Meikyou Shisui Art disciples thank the head shrine maiden, turn, and leave.
Paimon: So, even though his ambition was taken away, his disciples can take it over on his behalf. Guess that sorta solves this one, huh?
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg Yes, it seems as good of a resolution as we can hope for.
Inagi Hotomi: Traveler, a moment, please. Lady Yae has some words for you.
Yae Miko: ...So, my intuition was correct.
Yae Miko: The wind that blows from afar carries fresh life to these shores...
Yae Miko: For us to meet now is premature. Nevertheless, you set foot on these islands at precisely the right moment.
Icon Dialogue Talk.svg ...
Yae Miko: Hmm... I have high hopes for you, child. Don't disappoint me.
Paimon: Ooh, Lady Yae seems to have taken a real interest in you.
Paimon: She seems super mysterious... Paimon's so curious what she really meant by all of that...
Paimon: Hmm, we can come back to it another time. For now, we should go report back to Miss Kamisato.

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