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In my years in this Empire I have been a wanted criminal, a bandit, a murderer, and worse. I have burned entire towns to the ground to avenge some petty dispute between lords, and led men to slaughter peasants by the score for their meager possessions. It is all too easy to lose your conscience once you have denied it. I was not always like this, but I remember all too well how my descent began.
~ Aishi the Mournful Blade describing herself.

Aishi the Mournful Blade is a minor anti-villain in the video game Jade Empire. She's a legendary criminal famous for the sadness she displays while committing her crimes. She only appears during the third chapter in the sidequest named after her.

She was voiced by Jan Alexandra Smith.

Biography

Background

When Aishi was a child, she had her father as her only family. He died more than twenty years before the start of the game, leaving Aishi alone and without direction. Unknown to her, the ghost of her father lingered in the mortal world, observing his daughter's tragic life.

Aishi met with a local bully named Sen, and she fell in love with him due to the drive and direction he displayed as a natural leader. She initially thought it was amusing to watch him tormenting the other children in the village. That ended one day when Sen pushed a young boy into a river outside of town. The child managed to grab hold of a rock and his panicked shouts for help prompted Aishi to try and help him. Sen stopped Aishi with words that would forever echo in her memory: "If we help him, he'll only tell the others what we've done. We have to let him go." Aishi relented, and the child was swept away by the current, discovered dead days later. Neither Sen or Aishi told anyone of what they'd done, but she could never forget that day.

At some point, Aishi broke up with Sen. While he prospered in life to the point of becoming a captain in the Imperial Army, Aishi went on to live a life of crime that made her famous. She was accused of most crimes, some of which were invented to account for her actions. She was known to have committed theft, murder, and worse, like burning entire towns to the ground. However, she never smiled or displayed sadistic pleasure while committing her atrocities. This uncanny display of sadness earned her the nickname of the Mournful Blade. Her crimes were a way to forget for a while her pain and the drowned boy. She was wanted in every province with a hefty bounty on her head, but her skill with dual blades protected her against bounty hunters.

The Ending of Aishi's Story

After the last Spirit Monk completes the two sidequests — collecting the bounties on Fading Moon and Creative Yukong — provided by Imperial Captain Sen, they are approached by Aishi's father who's hiding his ghostly state. He tells of a third criminal whose bounty is higher than those of the previous two: Aishi the Mournful Blade. He informs the Spirit Monk that she's in the Black Leopard School and advises them to hear out her life story.

Aishi, having grown tired of her life, has kept track on Sen's life since the fateful day they let the boy drown. Disgusted by Sen's visible lack of remorse for the boy's death, she intends to avenge the boy by killing Sen and then expiate for her own crimes. She hides in the Black Leopard School to decide on how to approach Sen.

Aishi is found in the garden of the Black Leopard School, sitting before a shrine. There's next to her a dead man who tried to claim her bounty. She warns the Spirit Monk to leave her alone or she'll duel them to the death. Once she rises up and turns to look at the Spirit Monk, she's able to tell their alignment. She will readily agree to tell her life story to an Open Palm player, but a Closed Fist player has to persuade her to do so.

If the Spirit Monk fails to convince Aishi to tell her story or decides to just claim her bounty, her death results in Captain Sen rewarding the Spirit Monk with 2500 silver pieces and the Gem of Mastery. If they decide instead to help Aishi, she proposes that the Spirit Monk will take her before Sen as a subdued prisoner and allow her to kill him before letting the Spirit Monk to claim her bounty.

AishiPreparingToKillCaptainSen

Aishi the Mournful Blade preparing to kill Captain Sen.

When Aishi's brought before Sen and she announces her intention to kill him, he cowers before her and futilely calls for the guards before trying to buy the Spirit Monk's protection with a doubled bounty. Acceptance leads to Aishi's death and the rewards of 5000 silver pieces, the Gem of Mastery and Closed Fist points. Refusal — in the form of Sen's own words to Aishi used against him — results in Aishi killing Sen. She then thanks the Spirit Monk for helping her to gain some peace, but she demands them to kill them in a duel even if she's offered a chance to walk away. This is because she doesn't want the Spirit Monk to be implicated in Sen's murder or to be accused of letting her escape. After she's killed, her father reappears and reveals his identity and ghostly state. Satisfied that his daughter's tragic story ended the way that gave her some peace, he rewards the Spirit Monk with 2500 silver pieces, the Gem of Unity and Open Palm points before vanishing.

Personality

Aishi the Mournful Blade is a deadly and merciless swordswoman with a lifetime of atrocities on her conscience. Her nickname comes from the deep sadness she displays instead of sadistic satisfaction for her crimes. Dawn Star comments her to be a strong woman who has looked death in the eye and refused to blink. She notices the harmony radiating from an Open Palm player and readily agrees to tell her story to them. She notices from a Closed Fist player their lack of peace with the world and needs persuasion to tell them her story, even though she says to have met far worse individuals.

Alone in the world since her father's death, Aishi fell in with the determined bully Sen whom she loved. While she initially enjoyed watching him tormenting other children, she was about to rescue the boy Sen pushed into a river before he convinced her otherwise. She has deeply regretted for listening to Sen and not helping the boy, unable to forget that day. Her later crimes have been done as a futile way to drown that memory. She's the foil of Sen who, despite being a highly respected imperial captain hunting criminals like Aishi, has no remorse over the drowned boy and cowardly cowers before imminent death by Aishi's blades.

Having lost the will to live, Aishi makes it her last goal to avenge the drowned boy by killing Sen before answering for her own crimes. If she kills Sen with the Spirit Monk's help, she's thankful for having gained some peace. She insists on them killing her though, saying that she won't let her helper to be implicated in Sen's murder or to be accused of letting her escape. She's first about to ask for an honorable death before she stops herself and asks for just a death, saying herself to be undeserving of honor.

Trivia

  • Aishi the Mournful Blade appears only if her sidequest is unlocked by completing Captain Sen's sidequests of claiming the bounties of Fading Moon and Creative Yukong. If the sidequest of the Black Leopard School is completed by helping Master Smiling Hawk before this, Aishi's quest cannot be unlocked due to Smiling Hawk barring the player from the school.