|Episode 128 (Manga)|
|Date Released||April 5, 1999 (tankōbon format)|
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A band of mercenaries, three-hundred strong, are in the process of fleeing from an unknown opponent. They've been massacred by a lone swordsman: Zodd. In his human form, he effortlessly cuts down any mercenaries in his path.
Later, the battle over, Zodd sits atop a pile of corpses of the men he's just killed and watches some crows peck at the bodies. Zodd is bored of constantly fighting men and Apostles who are vastly inferior to him in strength and skill, his only real rival being the Skull Knight. His mind drifts to Guts, having heard that the Black Swordsman has begun to slay such powerful beings as Apostles. Suddenly, a large white hawk swoops down before him, and it says that Zodd is experiencing a vision. Zodd screams at it, yelling that he desires to fight only the strongest beings. He stands up from the corpses and quickly transforms, dwarfing the bird. He charges forwards, but the hawk is too quick; it flies mere inches above his head before zooming off. Zodd pauses for a moment, and a seam appears on his left horn. It breaks apart, along with his face, which splits in two.
Zodd awakens back to reality. The hawk was not real, and he is still sitting on the bodies of the men he's slain. However, something has changed; he isn't transformed, but the left horn of his monstrous form is sitting on the ground by his feet, and the left side of his forehead has a large gash in it, bleeding. He stares up at the sky, which is full of crows that circle around the dead bodies. Zodd hears a prophecy coming from a disembodied voice: "When the sky falls at the holy ground where blind sheep gather and erect a pillar of fire, it will come. The desired will come".
Somewhere far away, Guts and Puck come across what seems to be yet another village encountered in their travels which is completely deserted, but for many dead bodies piled high inside the church. The spirits of the dead infest the chapel, and Guts fears that they may venture out even in daytime to attack him. Puck points to a large monument composed of giant slabs of stones which are piled into archways on the outskirts of the town, explaining that the village's residents long ago organized the rocks in such a way that they acted as a shrine to elves there. The residual elven aura will prevent incubi from venturing too close.
Guts dreams of a gigantic pole, which is placed in the middle of a large pile of wood. The tip of the pole is adorned with the hawk, the symbol of the Holy See. The moon is directly overhead. A chained Casca is led atop the pile of wood and chained to the pole by a mob. They angrily throw their torches into the wood, burning Casca alive.
Guts wakes from his nightmare with a start. At first suspecting incubi were the reason for his dream, the answer is made clear when Guts notices the small, deformed figure of the Demon Child beneath an angled slab of stone, where the sun cannot reach it. Guts asks it whether it is the cause of his dream, but it doesn't answer his question. Rather, it transforms its deformed face into Casca's and utters the word "danger". Casca's face spontaneously combusts, but as though it doesn't feel any pain, the Demon Child continues to say the word over and over again. As the fire consumes it, it gives Guts the same prophecy as was given to Zodd, though in the form of a warning: "Danger... hurry... when the sky falls at the holy ground where the blind sheep gather and erect a pillar of fire... hurry... quickly..."
The last embers of what used to be the Demon Child vanish, leaving a confused Guts standing before the large stone. Perplexed at first, he quickly deduces that the Demon Child has informed him that something has happened to Casca.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit