The little hints are some really fun Easter eggs, and the continual use of, "unfinished tale" make this seem like it's VERY plausible that they're planning a sequel. Additionally, if they are waiting to use it as a PS5 launch title, it'd be a damned smart move.
That's what I'm calling the "top" of the area. The bottom is the other direction down the street you came up to get to the bonfire.
There's a gate at the bottom which you can unlock and takes you back to the very beginning of the game, it comes out right next to the long ladder you climbed up to get to the first lantern.
The game is a lot of trial and error and retrying and failing again, BUT, think of it as you learning the game. They intentionally made it so you can't level up at that point in the game so you have to learn that it's not your stats that need to improve, but you.
Also, exploring always pays off.
Also also, after the burning beast bro, instead of turning right onto the main square, you can also
go straight ahead, sorta to the left hand side of that area is a stack of coffins and shit which you can break through, revealing a path down for you to explore some more.