|Episode 179 (Manga)|
|The Beast Swordsman VS The Black Swordsman|
|Romaji||Kedamono kenshi tai kuroi kenshi|
|Date Released||December 24, 2001 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Reunion on the Hill of Swords
|List of Volumes|
Guts and Zodd clash swords in front of the terrified Rickert and the emotionless Griffith. Zodd is quite overjoyed at seeing how Guts managed to survive the Eclipse mostly intact. He removes one hand from the hilt of his sword and uses it to punch Guts, sending the Black Swordsman sliding along the ground on his back.
Zodd moves forward and swings his sword at Guts, but the latter uses the momentum of his slide to flip back up to a standing position, dodging the blow. He readies his sword, and Zodd meets his blade eagerly.
The two warriors clash with a tremendous fury, swinging their oversized swords so fast that their blades can barely be seen. Once they come to a natural pause in the fight, Zodd compliments Guts' fighting skill, which has improved exponentially since the Eclipse. Guts has no time for such trivial conversation and orders Zodd to move so that he may kill Griffith. Zodd refuses and tells Guts that he must be cut down in order to be moved.
The two swordsmen begin their fight anew, battling with strength and speed greatly oustripping the average human's. Being the strength-enhanced Apostle that he is, Zodd is able to keep Guts on the defensive for most of the fight. Guts is surprised at how he is able to keep up with the monster who, when they first met three years prior, he had no hope of beating. Guts shifts his gaze towards Griffith; the White Falcon that Guts so desperately searched for for two years is finally within reach, and now Zodd is the only thing standing in between Guts and his revenge. He fights even more ferociously, more determined than ever to win.
Rickert is utterly flabbergasted at the ferocity of the battle raging before him. He notices how angry Guts has grown and wonders why it all seems to be directed at Griffith.
Eventually, Guts swings his Dragon Slayer with enough force to put a chip in Zodd's blade. Not missing a beat, the Apostle reaches for one of the swords made by Rickert as a tribute to a fallen Falcon and uses it to swipe at Guts, whose sword is still locked with Zodd's own. Guts jumps backwards, narrowly avoiding the blade. With both swords now free, Zodd swings them wildly around, overwhelming Guts with the sheer number of his strikes. Eventually, Zodd notices an opening in the Black Swordsman's defense and jabs his new sword forward, ready to impale Guts.
Guts has also noticed the hole in his own defense. Thinking quickly, Guts hooks his foot around the crossguard of another tribute sword which fell during the fight and kicks upwards, sending its blade directly through Zodd's abdomen. This distracts Zodd enough for Guts to raise his sword and deflect Zodd's jab just in time. Guts is knocked off his feet and slides through the snow on his back once more. Rickert is now amazed with the intelligence both battle-savvy men fight with.
Griffith has said nothing the entire fight and has barely moved. Something stirs inside him, and he feels something he thought had long been purged from his mind. He looks at Guts with a kind of longing, and suspects that his feelings towards the Black Swordsman stem from his new human body being made of the Demon Child, who was once Guts' offspring and felt a kindred bond with him. He stares at Guts' face, which is twisted with rage.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|