I wanted to weight my options well, but not only couldn’t I wield the zweihander effectively with my present strenght, I felt what few strenght I had dissappear fast, and the bonfire couldn’t help me: I had to kill something to be able to keep going. At the same time, I feared being dominated by the killing and thus become hollowed all of the same. To keep my sanity, I had to approach this with moderation somehow. Since I couldn’t really moderate the killing, I figured I had to prepare spiritually for what I was facing.
It was at this point that I saw a plump, somber fellow approach the bonfire. He rested for a while, rewarmed his estus flasks and left without saying a word. It was clear by his armor and ridiculous haircut that he was a warrior cleric. So I followed him to what must have been one of the side chambers of the Shrine before the ceiling collapsed. Standing there without doing much of anything, it was clear he was waiting for something. I tried to start a conversation, but he tried to put me off.
“Please do not spoil my focus, it is hard enough to pray while knowing the demons have taken the church above already”.
So I left him alone. I knew if I told him I was myself a follower of the Way of White, he might have given me more attention, but he was clearly more powerful than me, fully human like the Crestfallen Warrior, and I didn’t want to expose myself with any more information to anyone.
He had inadvertently helped me, however. I figured all I could do to try and keep the curse weak in my soul was to pray frequently, to try and remember what I was taught as a child, so the blessings of the Maiden could keep my heart pure enough. So I went to the main chamber of the Shrine, where a statue of the Maiden still stood. There I prayed, offered a few drops of my estus as sacrifice, and headed back to say goodbye to the Crestfallen Warrior.
“Good luck my friend, I see you are heading towards the Undead Burg, I can only wish I am not forced to kill you later today”
“Oh yes, you don’t think it can be a Lively Burg anymore, now do you?”