Many side stories in Octopath Traveler 2 seem like they’d be straightforward, but “Sword Hunter in the Decaying Temple” isn’t one of them! It sounds simple enough. The beaten Young Warrior in Sai will mention how the family sword was stolen by a thief. He’ll flat out say that the person is at the Eastern Sai Sands Decaying Temple. But going there might turn up nothing. There’s a quick trick, and it means a solo run.
What you need to do after talking to the Young Warrior in Sai is then head to the Tavern. Remove everyone from your party except for the person you chose as your main character. (If you’ve never done this before, you need to hover over the allies in your party and press Y or square, depending on your platform.) In order to get the thief to target you and show themselves, you need to head into the Decaying Temple alone.
Unfortunately, this is a daunting task! The Southern Sai Sands and Eastern Sai Sands areas both only have a danger level of 16. So getting to the Decaying Temple isn’t too bad.
However, the Decaying Temple is a level 40 area, and this optional boss is hard. Head all the way south into the back of it to meet the Sword Hunter Karma. I went into the battle with a Throne initially who was exactly at level 40 until I return with her at level 50 and with armsmaster as her secondary job.
This character will start the fight in a stance with seven shield points. Of his six weaknesses at the start, four are axe, dagger, polearm, and staff, and the dagger will remain a weakness for other stances. However, one of Karma’s stances has one shield point and no weaknesses, so keep an eye out to break an enemy who has no weakness. He also swaps into the Unbreakable Stances when he’s near death that has 15 shield points. It is weak against everything.
However, the thing to worry about during the Sword Hunter fight’s Unbreakable Stance is if you see the message “Karma’s hostility grows.” This means the boss is preparing to use Killer Karma. This will deal 9,999 damage and cause a game over, so break him immediately. Winning gets you the Young Warrior’s Keepsake Sword.
If you survive the fight, you can teleport back to Sai to finish “Sword Hunter in the Decaying Temple” in Octopath Traveler 2. For all that trouble, you’ll only get 12,000 Leaves and a Refreshing Jam. Also, if you want the Keepsake Sword for yourself as an actual usable weapon and not a key item, you can steal it from the Young Warrior by either Steal with Throne during the day or Mug with Osvald at night.
Octopath Traveler 2 is available for the Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC. A demo is available.