|Episode 118 (Manga)|
|Beast of Darkness|
|Romaji||Yami no kedamono|
|Volume||16 Blue Sky Elf|
|Date Released||August 31, 1998 (tankōbon format)|
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In the scorched land that was once the Misty Valley, Skull Knight sits ominously atop his horse. He is aware that it was Guts who caused all of the destruction, and wonders whether Guts can keep living on such a path. He dismounts his horse and stands before the tree Rosine once considered her home. He reaches into a small gap between its roots, and extracts her old Behelit. He opens his mouth and swallows it whole before leaving.
Guts wanders through a dark wood at night, dragging the Dragonslayer behind him using his one good hand, which is so mangled that the bone in his arm is nearly visible. He hears the voices of small spirits surrounding him, taunting him about his killing of children in the name of revenge. They say that he has a dark beast dwelling within him. The spirits all come together and form a wolf-like being, which floats along the ground just next to a shocked Guts. As it circles around him, it changes its face to look like Guts' own and explains that it was bred of bloodshed and that the more Guts kills, the more powerful it will grow. It says that Guts could one day become a monster like his friend. It changes its face one more to resemble Femto's mask, and Guts swings the Dragonslayer at it.
The one strike is enough to make Guts collapse. He is frustrated at how weak he is and how he never seems to make progress in his quest to kill Griffith.
Puck flies over the mountain range Guts is in, searching for him. His sharp ears pick up his location, and Puck flies down to find an unconscious Guts covered by small black spirits. Puck uses his chestnut shell to swat them away, and he comes to the humorous conclusion that since the spirits managed to take Guts down, and since he has just warded off the spirits, that he is therefore stronger than Guts.
Guts wakes. The first thing he sees is Puck who, with a huge burst of confidence, is taking out the attacking spirits. Puck's presence brings some much-needed levity to Guts' dark mood, as he can't take the small elf seriously. Together, they wait for morning to come and make the spirits dissipate. As they do, Guts thinks back on the spirits' words; he will become a monster if he stays on this path.
Guts stands, choosing to disregard this warning. Puck flies into his satchel, and though at first Guts is not happy about it, he decides that keeping Puck around does have a strategic value thanks to his healing dust. He allows Puck to make the satchel his mobile home.