Continue your journey with Prima's Dark Souls 2 Guide and Walkthrough!
Quickly make your way up the stairs to avoid the poison enemy in the alcove to the left. Defeat the poison enemy at the top, then attack the one in the alcove in the middle of the stairs. Head to the top, take down the three enemies above, then drop down into the alcove and collect the Skeptic's Spice at the end.
Head back up the stairs and jump down to the platform below. Kill the poison enemy, then head through the doorway on the left, but watch out for the square lever in the ground. If you step on it, arrows shoot from behind you. Two enemies await in the next area, so be careful as you enter.
Near the end of the hallway, there's another enemy in the alcove to the left and the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and three Titanite Shards on the right. Open the coffer at the end to find a Heavy Crossbow +3 and 15 Heavy Bolts.
Head back out to the ledge and jump across to the stairs on the left. Enter the room and climb the ladder on the right, then make your way back around and up to the stairs to the platform you originally jumped from. Go up the stairs on the right before you reach the mist door, then continue into the room on the left and defeat the four enemies inside. The coffer in the roof is rigged with poison, and only holds a torch, so open at your own risk. Make your way through the mist door to fight the Covetous Demon.