After telling a cautious Guts that knowing Morgan's blight is her utmost priority, Flora learned of the Trolls attacking Enoch Village. But Flora, revealed to be near the end of her life, cannot personally deal with the beasts yet offers to send her apprentice Schierke in her stead. Flora requests Guts and his group to aid Schierke, offering Guts a talisman that would shield him and Casca from the restless spirits hunting them. Guts accepts the offer after a moment's consideration, with Flora telling him and the others that they can spent the night without fear of a nightly attack.
During dinner, Guts finds the opportunity to ask Flora what she meant by her waiting for Guts and Casca to arrive. The old witch explains that an old friend of her's from the Astral plane had informed her of their arrival. Schierke proceeds to explains that their reality is divided into three planes of existence: the physical plane where they exist, the Astral Plane where supernatural beings leave, and the realm of Ideas where all existence originated from. In the matter of the first two realms, Schierke adds that most humans used to interact with the Astral plane until the Holy See spread its doctrine and divided the mortal and Astral planes. Schierke concludes by explaining that all humans are aware of the Astral Plane at a subconscious level, thus creatures like the trolls that are born from darkest thought of humanity cannot be easily wiped from existence.
Flora takes the explanation from here, explaining the Interstice created when the mortal and Astral realms overlap where recently deceased souls reside. Flora explains the dead gradually come to terms with their fate and sink through the layers of the Astral Plane until they reach the point of no return upon entering the world of Ideas. Finishing the discussion by explaining that it knowledge gained by one who learns the magic arts.
Later, as Farnese and Puck bring Casca to the mansion's bathhouse, Guts confronts Flora about the Beherit on his person to inquire about it. Flora explains that Beherits are gateways linking the physical worlds with the deeper levels of the Astral realm where the God Hand reside. When Guts demands how to use it, the witch realizing he has no intent of becoming their apostle and realizing his goals with concern for Casca, Flora tells the swordsman that the Beherit can only be activated by a higher power. That higher power is the force that guide a Beherit to its destined user, Flora advising Guts to pray that when he discards it that the item does not return to him. Flora then explains that all members of the God Hand were human and that they answer to a superior being that dwell in the deepest part of the Astral plane where all individuality is sniffed out.
Overwhelmed by the revelations, Guts decides to let it be for now and take a bath. He walks into Schierke, who overheard the entire discussion and noticed the Brand of Sacrifice. She asks if Guts really does intend to defy the will of beings of much higher power than himself, beings who can govern fate. He replies that he will, and he leaves for the bathhouse. Schierke dismisses Guts' answer from underestimating the beings he is facing, approaching Flora to recount the inhuman feeling she felt from Griffith and his alluring of many. Flora reveals to her young apprentice that Griffith was the one who got Guts branded, advising her to not underestimate Guts' talent for defying the odds and asking her to cherish what she may learn from her upcoming journey with the swordsman Guts.
When morning has come, Schierke draws a talisman rune over Guts' brand to prevent it from attracting spirits for a few day. She then gives the others ointments which allow them greater insight into the Astral plane at the cost of the acuity of their five senses. Schierke then dumps a large pile of weapons and armor, explaining that they contained Elementals - Astral spirits that act as the equivalent of of wind, fire, water and earth in the Astral plane. Serpico receives a sylph cloak and sword, which use wind spirits that are Puck's ancestors while Isidro is given a fire-imbued salamander dagger and consecrated berries like the ones Schierke used to fend off his troll attacker. Schierke then presents a silver chain tunics for Casca and Farnese to protect them from being directly harmed by malevolent Astral beings with the latter given a silver short sword to fend herself with. Finally, Schierke presents Guts with the Axe of the Gnomes, but turns down the gift as he prefers his Dragon Slayer which gave off a feeling Schierke sensed.
Once the group leaves the mansion, Schierke informing them of their witches lived in the Interstice while Guts refusing to leave Casca behind, Flora sees the group off. She then goes back inside to see the Skull Knight, revealed to be the witch's old friend as he came to seek a favor from her as he sees Guts as a potential key piece in the world governed by causality.
Meanwhile, in Enoch Village, the women and children hide in their homes while armed men surround the entrance of a barn where a troll is eating the body of a dying man named Ted. The man's wife Hannah is among the armed men and tries to save her husband by hitting the troll with a rock, only to provoke the beast as it disarms her and proceeds to mount her. Hannah's brother Horace tries to save his sister when the troll drags her into the barn, only to be realize too late that the barn is full of trolls and he is surrounded.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
Manga/Anime Differences Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|