Chapter 3.4 - Unity
Prepare to put your skills to the test, as your Orochi infiltrates the palace.
First thing to to do is glance back at the way you came in, which is recorded as Secret Passage.
Walk down the path straight ahead to soon encounter the Observable Old Gate.
To the right/north of the gate is a paper wall through which you can see the silhouette of a samurai. Crash on though and give him a taste of rebel steel.
He's not a bad fighter, but with the element of surprise you should be able to keep him on the ropes. Just remember to heal afterward, if you're badly wounded during the fight.
Exit into a training area flanked by some low buildings. Ignore the training army for a moment- there's an orochi guard behind the eastmost building here. Get the drop of him by cutting through the west side of that building, and then attacking him through the paper screen from inside.
Once he's dead, you can take a peaceful look at the practise ground, Observable as Training Warriors.
Now, go back through the screen you just broke through, back through the screen you broke to get into that building, and you should be looking at an open doorway with a cache of breakables.
Sneak around to the east side of the training ground, and edge just close enough to the gong here to look up and Observe Seijuro- the guy shouting orders.
You may alert the training warriors here, but only their commander will actually follow you farther than the training ground itself. He's a tough cookie, but not unbeatable one- just keep his students from gathering at your back.
You can also go ahead and tediously carve up all his students, but there's no special reward for doing so.
Back to the main quest- in the northwest corner of this area (very near where you took out that second Orochi), is a door into a tabled hall. Before slashing through the paper screen at the far end, Observe some tables and barrels to the right for the entry Barracks 2.
Slash through the screen to enter two joined rooms. In the second is another cache of Breakables.
Slash through the next paper screen for another shugoki fight. He's slow, and you're fast, but he's got a ton of hit points. The key is not to get impatient- use frequent dodges and light attacks to destroy him by increments. Drop your guard, and he only needs two good hits to flatten you.
Once he's felled, take a look out the window he was gazing through to Observe the View.
Go up the stairs north here, and pause to Observe the Courtyard
Use a drop attack to enter the courtyard proper (your Nobushi pal finally lends a hand). This next part is actually pretty fun- use your taunt commands to goad the elephant into charging, You can use him to flatten enemy soldiers, but the real goal is to get him to ram the gate mechanisms (they're indicated by objective markers).
Ram each one twice, then have him ram the gate to trigger the next sequence. The only trick here is to signal the elephant, then quickly arrange to be somewhere else. Your armor wasn't designed to deflect trampling.
When the gate goes down, you'll find yourself in another push-the-front conflict. Run up the first short flight of stairs, then veer right/northeast for a Breakable cache.
Now run west across the plaza to cut down yet another paper screen.
Trot over to get the Inspire pickup, then look left/south for more Breakables.
Now slash apart the near screen for secret hideaway you can Observe as Storage Room.
With that entry in your journal, rejoin the fight and sweep the vermin from the plaza. As you move the front forward, take a moment to Observe the giant samurai figure at the top of the stairs as Regal Statue.
When you go up the stairs from here, be sure to go left (west), to smash the last Breakables set.
Slaughter the archers up top and capture the point then run up the stairs to the Final Showdown room.
Seijuro's fighters will burst through the walls, but with your own own fighters handy to occupy them, it's scarcely a fight at all.
After all the buildup, the fight with Seijuro himself is a bit anitmclimactic. He packs a punch, no question, but his defense is criminally slow. Use light attacks and plenty of Zephyr Slashes to defeat him. Just watch that you don't whirl yourself into a corner, where his heavy attacks and guard breaks can hammer you down.
One extended cutscene later, and it's time to take the fight to Ashfeld.