|Episode 130 (Manga)|
|A Feeble Flame|
|Date Released||April 5, 1999 (tankōbon format)|
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Erica and Rickert lead Guts to the top of a snowy hill near Godo's house. Upon reaching its crest, Guts notices that the top is covered in swords, each uniquely made and driven blade-first into the ground. Rickert explains that, over the last two years, he forged the swords as smithing practice and used them to mark graves for each individual Hawk who died in the Eclipse, though as of yet there aren't nearly enough swords to account for them all. Guts contemplates the situation: he'd been off on a relentless quest for revenge, unable to let go of the past. Rickert, however, had been making graves for each member of the Hawks, further accepting that they are gone with each sword he makes.
Together, Rickert, Guts, Erica and Puck wander down into the cave which they'd made Casca's home. The cave hasn't changed in appearance at all, though Puck, as an elf, is able to officially confirm that elves did once live inside it. Guts is going to spend the night in the cave, safe for a night from spirits, while Rickert mends the Dragonslayer and his prosthetic arm. Before Rickert leaves, Guts apologizes for being angry with him, realizing that he has no place criticizing him. Rickert, Erica and Puck leave.
That night, Guts sits on the bed in the cave, warming himself by a campfire. He finds that two years of fighting spirits has made him develop the habit of expecting attacks in the night, and he cannot sleep because of it, in addition to being unable to sleep comfortably without his sword nearby. He thinks back on Godo's words, but visions of Griffith's raping Casca, the last thing his right eye had seen before being punctured, flash into his mind. Guts cannot bring himself to let it go.
The cave wall that Guts is leaning on has transformed into the shape of the spirit wolf he'd seen earlier in the year, the Beast of Darkness. It whispers into his ear and attempts to goad him into continuing his quest, to keep killing. Guts spins around to see the source of the whispers, but there is only the cavern wall.
Guts slowly comes the realization that he had left the Band of the Hawk and it is not his place to avenge them. He remembers how Corkus angrily accused him of abandoning them, how Judeau had told him not to rejoin since he'd already separated himself, and how Casca had told him to find his own dream, even if he had to be alone to do it.
Morning draws close, but Guts continues his introspection. He admits to himself that the one thing that prevented him from losing himself entirely in his quest was his love for Casca. He fears that, like when he left Griffith kneeling in the snow after their duel, he has just left Casca alone, and she is now gone. He then remembers the Demon Child's warning, and decides that he will save her, no matter the cost.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Casca (Flashback)
- Femto (Flashback)
- Corkus (Flashback)
- Judeau (Flashback)
- Pippin (Flashback)