Did manage to absolutely wreck Alexei with lucky Crushing Vermillion Bird Strikes, killed him in 23 seconds flat:
Massive luck with that one though, he activate his non i.frame moves a plenty allowing me to melt him.
Funnest part of the run was Chapter 7 and doing Chapter 11 with the True Dragon Sword where applicable. Doing that chapter with a base healthbar and no ninpo icons under your healthbar just looks so freak'n cool.
Overal the run made me a lot more confident in my skill at the game, and made me appreciate certain weapons more and more. Fun run!