|Episode 150 (Manga)|
|Volume||19 Blood Flow of the Dead|
|Date Released||April 5, 2000 (tankōbon format)|
|Volumes and Chapters|
Guts and Serpico are engaged in a very one-sided duel. Guts is extremely limited in the moves he can make, can barely see, and cannot draw his weapons. He is shocked at how truly gifted a swordsman Serpico is - on top of choosing the strategically perfect location which affords him all possible advantages, Serpico is also a technically masterful swordsman, and Guts is unable to read his attacks or find a rhythm to his movements. The Black Swordsman must content himself with deflecting Serpico's blade with his prosthetic hand as it is thrust forward repeatedly.
Serpico correctly guesses that Guts' current priority is reaching Casca, and he tells the Black Swordsman that the Holy Iron Chain Knights have likely apprehended her, Isidro and Nina. The statement is a lie, but Serpico is looking to provoke Guts further to throw him off his game. He unleashes a mad flurry of attacks, but is shocked by what the Black Swordsman does next.
Outside the mouth of the cave, Farnese berates her soldiers for being unable to catch the Black Swordsman while he was in its depths. She orders more and more soldiers to pour inside, searching for him. As Joachim watches, he is hit on the head by a small pebble. His attention is drawn to a shadowy part of the crevice in which the mouth of the cave lies; more pebbles are being thrown, the sound leading Joachim further into the shadows.
The one throwing the pebbles is the mysterious being, who is wreathed in shadow and is luring Joachim directly to Nina, who is right below the pathway from which she descended. She is surprised to see him alive, but he is utterly terrified by her presence. He runs back to the Holy Iron Chain Knights, alerting them to the presence of a heretic. Isidro advises Nina to run, lest she be caught and burned at the stake.
The boy lowers Casca down to solid ground. Halfway down, she manages to wriggle out of the rope tied around her waist, and bits of her old life show themselves: she innately lands on jutting edges on the cliff face to fall safely to the ground before wandering off in her usual childlike manner.
From atop the path, Isidro sees she is walking directly towards the Holy Iron Chain Knights. He ties the end of the rope around his own waist and attempts to bungee directly to the bottom of the cliff, but is tangled in the rope, dangling precariously midway to the bottom. As a result, he goes unseen by the Holy Iron Chain Knights, who leave the area. They report back to Farnese, bringing Nina and Casca with them.
Serpico is shocked to see that Guts has used his good hand to grab the thin blade of the rapier, halting the attacks. He threatens to yank the blade out of Guts' hand, but the latter only tightens his grip, unconcerned. He then uses his metal hand to punch the blade so hard it shatters, rendering Serpico defenseless. Guts raises his repeater crossbow and turns its crank, firing right at Serpico. Serpico evades the arrows entirely by diving off the edge of the path, one hand on its edge, and using his momentum to swing himself back up onto it, behind Guts.
Guts raises his crossbow again, but is taken aback when he sees that Serpico manages to swipe one of his explosive bombs and ignite its fuse. He tosses it casually at the Black Swordsman, who turns around and blocks the shrapnel using the wide Dragonslayer on his back. When he turns back around, Serpico has vanished. His path now clear, Guts continues down the cliff's ledge. Serpico, meanwhile, has hidden inside the back entrance to the cave, out of Guts' view.
A short while later, after Guts has made it to the cliff's edge and climbed to the bottom, he comes across Isidro. The boy averts his eyes and apologizes to the large man. Instantly realizing that Isidro has lost track of Casca, Guts is overcome with rage and lifts the boy by the sling that holds his sword's sheath. Guts' face is contorted with rage, but he does not harm Isidro; he releases him before calming himself and walking away, going off to look for Casca once more.
Guts is able to find Casca again, but he cannot reach her - standing on another cliff, he can only watch as the Holy Iron Chain Knights bring her to the Tower of Conviction for her trial. From the horse she is mounted on, Casca can also see Guts, and also the mysterious being on the plateau behind the Black Swordsman.