Casca continues her story. The Band of the Hawk gradually grew in size as time went on, and somehow they kept winning battles, despite being the children of commoners led by a child commoner. Eventually, the Hawks found themselves involved in a feudal lord's dispute. The noble in question was very well-off and influential, but his reputation stemmed from his taste for young boys. The young Casca was disgusted at the sight of the feudal lord's child slaves, but she was reassured by Griffith.
One day, following a battle, Griffith, Casca and Pippin discovered the body of a young boy who had recently joined the Hawks. While Casca never personally knew the boy, Griffith was profoundly affected by his death, realizing that the boy died to help him achieve his dream, and he acknowledged that the boy would gaze at him as though he were a hero. Thereafter, Casca's perspective of Griffith had changed from the idol she once saw him as.
A few nights later, Casca noticed Griffith standing on the balcony of the castle they were stationed at. Casca called up to him, but the feudal lord with an interest in boys was up there with Griffith, inviting him into his room. Griffith departed with him after a final glance at Casca. The following morning, Casca came across Griffith bathing in the nearby river. He noticed her and asked her not to leave. When she approached, Griffith asked her if he was unclean. She asked Griffith why he visited the lord in his room, and her suspicions that they had sex were confirmed by Griffith.
Griffith explained that he didn't simply have sex with the lord due to mutual attraction. Rather, the noble offered Griffith a sizeable warchest in exchange, which Griffith needed to curb the growing costs of maintaining the ever-growing Band of the Hawk. Griffith wanted to honor those who died under his command by achieving his dream as fast as possible. He became absorbed in his own words, and began to scratch deep gashes into his own arms. Casca interrupted his self-destructive behavior by stepping into the water and embracing Griffith from behind. When he turned to face her, his melancholy had vanished.
Casca ends her story on the note that Griffith isn't naturally strong. Rather, he forces himself to keep moving forward despite the losses he suffers. Casca believes his goal is so ambitious the losses must be worth it, and she wants to be at his side when he achieves it.