Continue your journey with Prima's Dark Souls 2 Guide and Walkthrough!
Editor's Note: While this is a somewhat easier path, we suggest continuing towards Heide's Tower of Flame after defeating The Last Giant. It's a longer and more rewarding route through the game.
From the bonfire near The Last Giant, head down the ladder and through the room with the lift that leads to the Last Giant boss battle. Head out the doorway and to the locked door on the right. Use the Soldier Key to open the door, then head up the stairs. Take out the two guards that attack and continue up the next set of stairs to reach the top. Do not go into the mist yet. Instead, head up the stairs to the right of the mist to find a Soul of Nameless Soldier and three Lifegems in the corner.
Boss Battle: How to Beat the Pursuer
Reward: Soul of the Pursuer, Ring of Blades
Unlike many of the other boss battles in Dark Souls 2, the best tactic against the Pursuer is to stay away from him. Wait until he readies his shield and dashes towards you, then dodge to the right and counter attack with one or two attacks depending on the speed of your weapon. Only counter attack after the dash attack, or after the Pursuer uses a full three hit attack combo, or his glowing blue stab.
All of these attacks are best evaded by moving away from the Pursuer, but if you find yourself too close to effectively move away, dodge the first two attacks of the three hit combo, then move behind the Pursuer to avoid the third attack. To evade the glowing blue stab, simply dodge to the right or left just before he attacks.
This battle is a bit longer than some of the other boss fights, but that's mainly because there are few opportunities to safely attack or even heal yourself. If you attack recklessly, the Pursuer will take advantage and you'll end up dying. Have patience and limit your offense so you only attack after a three hit combo, the glowing blue stab or the dash attack. There is a crossbow in the corner, but unless you happen to stand right next to it with the Pursuer on the opposite side of the area, it's not worth the effort.
With the Pursuer down, head through the opening in the rocks ahead, then up the stairs to the right. Examine the bird's nest to be whisked off to the Lost Bastille. Light the bonfire and then head down the path and use the broken stone to make your way across the ledge. Head around the far side of the structure to find a Radiant Lifegem and Large Titanite Shard at the end of the ledge.
Make your way back around and over the broken stone to reach the balcony. Take down the enemy and head through the doorway. Take down the crossbow enemy and dogs below. Be careful of the gunpowder barrels as you engage the enemies. Defeat them, then head through the door to find a coffer in the corner of the next area. Open the coffer to obtain an Antiquated Key and a Covetous Silver Serpent Ring.
Head back into the room and up the ladder ahead and to the left. Exit the room and move out to the main pathway to the left. Go down the path until you reach the boxes and barrels at the end. Roll through the objects to destroy them and reveal the door just beyond. Open the door and speak with Lucatiel to receive a Human Effigy. You now have two courses of action. You can continue through the other door and face off against enemies that may be tough but beatable, or you can use a Homeward Bone to go back to the last bonfire and travel to Majula to go through the route of Heide's Tower of Flame and No-Man's Wharf, an arguably easier path (although both will be difficult).