I’ve cleared the Silent Sands and killed the boss at the end, but not after grinding for about two levels. I decided to do this with all the future bosses. It’s much faster time wise to just grind for a bit first and then kill the boss, than to go fail about two dozen times and then resort to grinding anyway.
Blighted blood was next, and it was sort of tough from the start, meaning I’m probably underleveled, if anything, in spite of the grinding. After some exploring and training, I finally managed to push to the second save point. I got all the items I could and went to the spot where the knights get petrified. Yunica was there, so I had to go get the Black Pearl replica from Hugo’s brother. I got it and brought it to Rado’s Annex, where the goddess fused it with the Dream Idol. I then returned to the knights with Yunica and got the medallion key I needed to get to the next boss. All this took a long time, so I ended my session. I will grind tomorrow.