Red (Apostle form)
The Count is an obese bald man in his human form, originally slimmer and more upright before his transition into an Apostle. The Count's Apostle form is a massive brown-skinned slug creature with four legs and three sets of arms. The Count's human face is situated on above the large mouth of his apostle form's head, which has a tentacled beard.
As an Apostle, the Count is an extremely cruel man, killing 'heretics' and their families for perceived slights, and taking those not immediately executed to be eaten after his experiments. He is also one of the most gluttonous Apostles, unable to sate his hunger before the Eclipse and eating the members of the Band of the Hawk that Rickert was tending to, along with Rosine, only leaving when the Skull Knight forced him back, but showing up at the Eclipse later along with many other Apostles. Sadistic and cruel, the Count enjoyed taunting Guts while thrashing him during their fight, but panicked and became hysterical when it became clear Guts had won. The Count was also susceptible to a blind berserker rage not unlike Guts'; when he found his wife participating in a pagan orgy, his rage flared and he killed every human being in the room except for her.
There is not much insight into his life as a human. Vargas indicates that he was definitely different, more sound of mind, and still a punisher of heretics but not a dictator. Theresia, his daughter, says that he was harsh, but also fair. His best quality and possibly the only good one that remains after his ascension to apostlehood is the love he has for his family. When he found his wife participating in a pagan orgy, he was destroyed, and slew everyone except for her. He wanted to kill her too, but could not do it and tried to end his own life instead. It is this event that triggers his Behelit. Later, he spares Theresia from being a sacrifice to the God Hand, knowing that his fate will be torment in Hell if he does not sacrifice her.
Abilities and Skills
Apostle Spawn Siring: The Count is capable of infecting others with his spawn in order to amplify their strength, speed, and fighting ability, as well as take control of the infected person. So far, he has only been shown to do this to one person, namely Zondark.
Partial Transformation: Unusual for an Apostle, the Count shows the ability to flexibly transform parts of himself to his slug-like Apostle form from human state, shown both in Vargas' flashback and his first in-person assault on Guts.
Regeneration: In the case of both his spawn and himself, the Count will not take damage and can simply regenerate the damaged parts. This does not apply to his head or heart, however, as the Count was unable to regenerate from injuries dealt to his head after Guts had damaged it slightly and was unable to reattach his head after Guts had severed it from the rest of his Apostle body. According to the Count himself, each time a limb is chopped off, he grows bigger as he regenerates, leading to him getting larger and stronger the more drawn out a battle becomes.
Immense Strength: Largely owing to his sheer size, the Count is capable of burrowing through the stone floor of his castle with his Apostle body and can smash through stone pillars easily. His monstrous strength knocked Guts out cold once, and the second time Guts fought him upon recovering, he was only able to bring the Count down by using Theresia as a distraction.
Seven years before the Eclipse, the Count frequently went on heretic-hunting sessions to free his land of heretics. But upon returning to his castle, he found his wife willingly participating in an orgy held by the heretics. After killing the heretics, lacking the will to kill his wife, the Count's despair over the marital betrayal invoked his Behelit. He was then brought before the God Hand who offered him the power to escape the pain his wife caused him by offering her life to transcend into an apostle. The Count accepted and assumed his new state of being before devouring his wife. Soon after his transcendence, he began to spread a lie that his wife was taken hostage by a group of heretics and was killed during a sacrificial ritual. The Count later had his daughter Theresia placed under house arrest. From then on, the Count hunted heretics with unnatural enthusiasm; torturing, raping, and using their bodies for his own nefarious means. When his physician Vargas discovered his secret and tried to run away, the Count captured him, tortured him and forced Vargas to watch him eat his family before mutilating the man. Nevertheless, Vargas escaped with the Count's Behelit.
Golden Age Arc
On the way to the site of the Eclipse to partake in the ritual, during the night prior to the event, the Count was the among the Apostles that attack the injured members of the Band of the Hawk and was eating a member when found by Rickert. When the Skull Knight appears, the Count leaves with the other apostles to reach their destination and Griffith. Once the Eclipse goes under way with Griffith offering his group to them as sacrifices to transcend into the last of the God Hand, the Count was among the apostles that managed to take down Pippin. By the time Guts finds himself before the torn remains of his allies, the Count had hollowed Pippin's corpse to use as a lure in order to get Guts close enough for an attempted ambush. Luckily, Guts manages to evade the monster prior to Griffith emerging in his Femto form.
Black Swordsman Arc
For the next two years after his involvement in the Eclipse, the Count resumed his heretic executions until Guts came to his town and easily defeated his captain of the guard Zondark before escaping with the aid of Vargas. Remembering Guts upon seeing the Brand of Sacrifice painted on an executed girl's head with the swordsman's own blood, as well as seeing Guts showing off his branded neck at the execution grounds, the Count infused Zondark with a fraction of his being to not only endow his henchman with powers to have revenge, but also to observe Vargas from afar after he escaped with the Count's Behelit.
After the possessed Zondark is presumed to be defeated following his ambush of Guts and Vargas, the Count reappears to capture Vargas, who is no longer with Guts or Puck. After Vargas is captured, the Count sentences the revenge-driven man to death when the Behelit is not on his person. Additionally, he sets up an ambush at the execution ground in case Guts arrives to save him. However, Guts knows of the trap and stands back while Puck gets captured and given to Theresia as a pet. After nightfall, Guts enters the Count's castle and faces him directly. During the battle, the Count fights recklessly, destroying pillars and walls inside of the room. The destruction caused by the Count also manages to break the doors to Theresia's room, allowing Theresia to leave her room for the first time in years. Theresia wanders into the throne room with Guts grabbing her arm and then using her as a human shield to mortally injure the Count. Despite Puck's pleas to stop, Guts continues to attack the Count until his spilled blood flows towards the Behelit. The Count begs for help, not wanting to die. This causes an Interstice to emerge which sends Guts, Puck, Theresia and the Count into the realm of the God Hand.
The God Hand appear and the Count begs for Guts' sacrifice, so that he can be healed and reborn. While a brief fight between Guts and Griffith ensues, the Count insists on sacrificing Guts for his killing of previous Apostles. However, Void explains to the Count that Guts' life cannot be offered again, adding that that the sacrifice needs to be someone dear to the Apostle if he wants to continue living. Griffith then points out the only one that the Count can sacrifice: Theresia. Ubik then shows the girl the truth behind her mother's death. Due to his conflicted refusal to sacrifice his daughter to save his own life, the Count ends up being dragged into the Abyss by a chain of souls of which Vargas' soul is a part. Once the Interstice ceases, the Count is reverted to human form, and his bifurcated mortal body is seen laying on a pile of rubble.
- The Count is one of few character shown in color within the manga.
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