Having used a small bird as a medium to observe the slaughter of Kushan soldiers, a young girl with a female Elf on the brim of her pointed hat watches Griffith from a distance. She determines him to not a savior he is called by the city residents, but a bringer of suffering to the world.
Meanwhile, attempting to convince Farnese to return to Vritannis after they set up camp for the night in the ruins of an old rural house, Serpico remembers the day he first met Farnese when they were children on a snowy night. A poor child living in the holy city of Vritannis, learning himself to be a nobleman's illegitimate son, Serpico received a locket from his ailing mother that would prove his lineage. By fate, after being beaten by fellow urchins, Serpico was found by Farnese and brought to the Vandimion mansion to be nursed back to health. Becoming Farnese's aide and bodyguard, Serpico became her confidant before meeting her father Federico de Vandimion III a year later. Serpico learned that Federico is his biological father, with the nobleman giving him full nobility status in return of concealing their familial ties. Serpico then remembered Farnese's attempt to seduce him when they learned of her arranged marriage, saving her life when she set the mansion on fire. Farnese was taken to a monastery soon after, later returning as leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights while finding comfort in burning heretics alive. While Serpico was glad she found some joy, he gradually realizes that the "heretics" the Holy See condemn are only those who feel that they must share wealth with the less fortunate. But Serpico is forced to hold his tongue when Farnese began to hunt those related to accused heretics, eventually forced to burn his own mother after she fell into deep dementia.
Elsewhere, learning that Puck's home is a utopia in the west, Guts has been been fending off more potent specters on a nightly basis as a result of his brand and Casca's being so close. Furthermore, the darkness within Guts tempts him into killing Casca so they resume their revenge-driven hunt for Griffith. Eventually, during one such nightly struggle, Guts gets possessed while protecting Casca and loses himself to the beast who attempts to strangle Casca. Though Guts stops himself in time, he destroyed Casca's trust in him as she runs off. By the time Guts finds Casca, she had murdered a trio of armored scavengers who caused her to have a psychotic episode when they attempted to have their way with her. Guts narrowly evades Casca's attempt on his life, pinning her down while being overcome with his own feelings of pent-up lust. It was only while having a nightmarish vision of mauling her while transforming into a monster that Guts snaps himself out of it.
By that time, Puck crosses paths with Isidro who had been looking for him and Guts since the incident at St. Albion. They are then joined by Serpico and Farnese, whom Isidro was stealing food from with the latter about to relieve the youth of his arm when she notices Puck. The elf brings the three over to Guts, who has since clothed Casca and tethered to a nearby tree. Ignoring Isidro's insistence to be trained, Guts asks Farnese if she and Serpico are still hunting him. But Farnese kneels down before Guts, beseeching him to allow her to accompany him in his travels.