|Episode 180 (Manga)|
|Date Released||December 24, 2001 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
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Prologue to the War→
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Zodd commends Guts for having grown so strong during his two-year crusade of killing Apostle-hunting. He pulls Rickert's sword out of his abdomen and holds his own chipped Kushan horse-slayer in front of himself horizontally. Despite having been stabbed, Zodd is only getting started. He crushes his large sword in his hands and transforms, his blood boiling with excitement. Upon seeing the transformed Apostle, Rickert only just realizes that the person standing before him is Nosferatu Zodd; he'd never before seen Zodd's human form.
Guts swings his sword. Zodd intercepts it with a swipe from his claws, sending Guts flying. The Black Swordsman manages to execute a backflip in midair and land on his feet. Zodd attacks again, but Guts dodges. He jumps around to Zodd's side and swings the Dragon Slayer into Zodd's arm, cutting it along the tricep. Zodd turns his head and uses his remaining horn to launch Guts high into the air directly over Griffith, who doesn't even bother to look up at him.
Guts manages to roll upon hitting the ground, but the speed at which he lands sends him rolling along the ground until he hits a rock wall. Zodd charges forwards to finish off the Black Swordsman once and for all, but Guts sees the attack coming and barely manages to evade at the last second. However, Zodd crashes directly through the rock wall and carves a gaping hole directly into the elf cave that Casca once lived in.
Guts turns from the cave and sees Casca wandering up the hill, followed closely by Erica. Casca had followed the sensation she feels in her Brand of Sacrifice and finds herself only a short distance away from Griffith, who is standing at the crest of the snowy hill. Her eyes widen and she seems entranced, reaching out and trying to grasp at the White Falcon.
Suddenly, Zodd charges out of the cave, destroying it further and sending large chunks of stone flying through the air which threaten to crush Casca. Guts tries to run to her, but Zodd is too quick. He swipes at Guts, sending him flying into a large rock. He, Rickert and Erica watch in horror as the flying rocks fall directly onto Casca. It's only once everything stops moving and the snow settles that they see that Griffith has somehow appeared directly beside Casca and is wrapping his cape around her protectively. Even she isn't sure what happened; when she turns to face her savior, she seems surprised to see that it is Griffith.
She reaches out to touch Griffith's face, but the pain in her Brand of Sacrifice worsens. It gushes blood and she falls to her knees, whereupon Griffith removes his cape from her body. He's had enough. He calls out to Zodd, who is directly in front of Guts, still ready to fight. The Apostle stares at the Black Swordsman for a moment before obediently moving to Griffith's side and extending his hand out, palm up. Griffith steps onto it. Zodd summons his wings and takes off in flight.
Before they reach too great an altitude, Griffith turns to Guts and reiterates that his dream comes before all else. Guts doesn't answer, only staring up at his old friend.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|