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This area is entirely optional, though it's worth visiting if you're looking for some extra experience and loot or if you just want to complete all of the game's side quests.
1 - Arrival
After following the pathway in the southwest corner of the Market District
, you'll arrive at this small academy. After listening to a few of the students discussing Master Radiant, Master Smiling Hawk, and the disappearance of Second Brother, you'll be able to enter the school's main courtyard through the double doors at the top of the stairs.
2 - Novices
Your arrival at the school's main courtyard is met by some bickering students, followed by combat with the four novices. When you've mopped the floor with them, Third Brother Renshan will demand that you fight him instead. Before another battle can start, First Brother Kai shows up and welcomes you to the school. After witnessing your combat skill against the novices, he offers you the option to join the school. When you accept, he leaves to confirm your acceptance to the school with Master Radiant.
Your request to join is accepted, but you won't be able to meet Master Radiant just yet. You must first prove yourself by defeating each of the Brothers, starting with Sixth and making your way up to First. The only one you won't be fighting is Second Brother, whom you've already heard has disappeared. After telling you a little more about Master Radiant and Master Smiling Hawk, you'll earn 700 experience points for the whole encounter and will be cut loose to roam the school freely.
3 - First Brother Kai
After your initial meeting with him at area #2, First Brother Kai will be standing in this vicinity waiting for reports on your progress. If you decide to pursue the Closed Fist path here at the school, then you'll be sent to kill Kai as part of Master Smiling Hawk's plan to get rid of Master Radiant. Kai is very proficient with the Paralyzing Palm combat style, so expect him to be a little tougher than the brothers before him.
When First Brother Kai falls, Master Radiant will show up and demand to know what's going on. When the ghost realizes he's about to be killed (again), he slays Third Brother Renshan whiel Fourth Brother Yu and a novice try to stop you. When you've dealt with those two, you'll gain more Closed Fist points as you enter battle with Master Radiant himself.
4 - Scrollstand
The text on this scrollstand is entitled Black Leopard Style
5 - Sixth Brother Gaoshan
Once you've joined the Black Leopard School, you'll have to do battle with each of the five available "Brothers" to prove your combat prowess. Although Sixth Brother Gaoshan uses the Open Palm style, he shouldn't give you much of a challenge.
6 - Aishi the Mournful Blade
Aishi will only show up here at the school if you've been made aware of a third bounty by the Old Man in the Market District
. Once you've convinced the woman to stand and face you, you can either force her into battle or you can listen to her story. Killing her gets you a little bit of experience and silver, and will get you the promised bounty when you return to Imperial Captain Sen.
However, if you decide to listen to her story about a former love of hers letting a young boy drown, you'll learn that Captain Sen is really a dastardly man. If you then agree to help Aishi "finish her story", the two of you will be brought face-to-face with Captain Sen in the Market District
where blood is bound to be spilled.
7 - Bamboo Cask
A small amount of silver can be pilfered from this cask.
8 - Master Smiling Hawk
Once you've defeated Sixth Brother Gaoshan, Fifth Brother Shangjin, and Fourth Brother Yu, Master Smiling Hawk will send Third Brother Renshan to request an audience with you. During the meeting, you'll be asked to kill First Brother Kai and Master Radiant so that Master Smiling Hawk can take over the school for himself. If you accept, you'll immediately earn Closed Fist points and Third Brother Renshan will drop out of his match so you can challenge First Brother Kai next. If you refuse, you'll immediately earn Open Palm points and are then free to move on to Third Brother Renshan.
If you decided to pursue the way of the Closed Fist and destroy Master Radiant, then Master Smiling Hawk will reward you with 800 silver pieces, the Gem of Black Flame
, and the Hidden Fist
combat style. The only condition to this reward is that you must leave the school and never return, though you should at least stop by Master Radiant's old room to loot his urn before you leave.
If you decided to pursue the way of the Open Palm and help Master Radiant, then you can simply walk over here and challenge Smiling Hawk after your audience with Radiant. He'll give you one more chance to join him, but if you refuse he'll kick you through the eastern wall and a battle will take place in the common area. Smiling Hawk has access to a few different combat styles and he'll use them to great effectiveness. Once you get him down to about 60% health, Third Brother Renshan will enter the room and Smiling Hawk will drain his life force to feed his own and you'll be doing battle with a fully healed combatant once again. Continue wearing him down while evading his powerful attacks and he'll eventually fall. When he's dead, one of the novices will show up and escort you to Master Radiant and First Brother Kai.
9 - Whispering Willow
This burly woman is the school's headmistress, making her responsible for all of its paperwork, laundry, and cooking. She doesn't feel that she gets enough respect for carrying out these tasks and is quite bitter as a result.
10 - Third Brother Renshan
If you accepted Master Smiling Hawk's proposition to help him take control of the school, then you won't even have to deal with Third Brother Renshan. If you refused, then he'll be next on your list of challengers. Master Smiling Hawk will have given him extra training, but you still shouldn't have much trouble taking him down.
When your fight with Renshan is over, First Brother Kai will approach you and ask that you meet with Master Radiant.
11 - Scrollstand
The text on this scrollstand is entitled Master Black Leopard
12 - Vase
This vase is empty, unfortunately.
13 - Jar
The small jar underneath the stairway contains a small amount of silver.
14 - Fourth Brother Yu
After defeating Shangjin, you'll need to move on to Fourth Brother Yu. Storm Dragon is his style of choice, so expect to suffer some electrical damage during this bout.
When the battle concludes, Third Brother Renshan will show up and tell you that Master Smiling Hawk has requested an audience with you. Accept and you'll be escorted to his chamber at area #8.
15 - Fifth Brother Shangjin
After defeating Gaoshan, you'll need to move on to Fifth Brother Shangjin. He'll be wielding a staff and will therefore have a much longer range of attack than Gaoshan did.
16 - Master Radiant
There are two ways of entering this room. If you help Master Smiling Hawk take over the school, then you'll be free to loot this chamber once Master Radiant is dead. If you refuse to help Master Smiling Hawk, then you'll be brought here by First Brother Kai after defeating Third Brother Renshan.
Master Radiant is a ghost, thanks to a successful murder plot concocted by Master Smiling Hawk (or Third Brother Liu back then). Radiant tells you that Smiling Hawk discovered a technique that allowed him to harness another person's style and power, which he then used against Radiant to kill him and
steal his abilities. Apparently your power as a Spirit Monk makes you immune to Smiling Hawk's newfound technique, so you're the only one here at the school that can stop him. Therefore, Master Radiant asks you to put an end to Smiling Hawk's dastardly ways once and for all. Accept and you'll be able to walk directly over to Master Smiling Hawk's room and confront him.
When Smiling Hawk is dead, you'll be escorted back here to be congratulated by Master Radiant. The spirit can finally have peace now and he promotes First Brother Kai to take his place. Before leaving, he rewards you with the Heaven's Blessing Gem
and the Paralyzing Palm
combat style. Afterward, First Brother Kai presents you with a Gem of Inner Genius
and the Rote of the Endless Mind
17 - Master Radiant's Urn
If you help Master Smiling Hawk take control of the school, then you can loot Master Radiant's urn once he's dead. Inside you'll find 800 silver pieces and the Warrior of the Inner Eye