|Episode 181 (Manga)|
|Prologue to the War|
|Romaji||Senki no joshō|
|Volume||22 War Cry of the Wind|
|Date Released||December 24, 2001 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
Fierce Kushan Attack →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Griffith states that he will fulfill his dream of having his own kingdom. Zodd takes off in flight, rising high into the air. From above, Griffith calls down to Rickert. He says that he will understand if Rickert comes to hate him after finding out the truth of the Eclipse. If Rickert does not, however, then Griffith will invite him to continue fulfilling his dream with him. Rickert does not understand Griffith's words. He asks what the truth is, but Zodd has already begun to carry Griffith away.
Guts raises and fires his repeating crossbow at Griffith, who does not flinch as they narrowly miss him. Rickert wraps his arms around Guts in an effort to get him to stop trying to hurt Griffith. The Black Swordsman calls out to the White Hawk, asking how he can consider nothing to have changed even after sacrificing his comrades. Griffith simply says that it's Guts' fault for not understanding his true nature before it was too late.
With that, Zodd gives a great beat of his wings, and he and Griffith soar off into the mountains which surround Godo's home. Guts watches as they fly away. Rickert demands to know the truth from him about the events of the Eclipse, but Guts does not answer.
As he and Zodd fly into the distance, Griffith feels another sensation similar to the one he felt when seeing Guts, only this time the sensation stemmed from being so close to Casca. Once more, Griffith can feel the love that the Demon Child has for its parents.
Rickert asks once more to know the truth from Guts, who finally relents and explains the events of the Eclipse to Rickert, who the only surviving Hawk besides Guts, Griffith and Casca. Rickert falls to his knees once the explanation ends, barely able to grasp the horrors Griffith inflicted upon the Band of the Hawk. It is also Puck's first time hearing about the Eclipse in detail, and he realizes that the painful sensation he feels from Casca and the mental picture it conjures up stems from the trauma she suffered during it. The elf turns to look at Casca, who is still staring up at the air where Griffith flew away, clutching her chest.
Erica surveys the ruins of the destroyed cave. Casca's home has been ruined the very day she returned. The little girl spins with fright when she hears Rickert yelling. He says that he wants to go with Guts on his journey for revenge, but Guts refuses on the grounds that Rickert would never be able to being himself to fully hate Griffith.
Erica has walked back up the hill and tearfully asks if both men intend to leave, but she runs away before either can answer her. Puck instructs Rickert to chase after her, which he does, but not before giving Guts one last glance.
Puck then turns to the Black Swordsman, asking what he intends to do. Guts is completely aware that, with the cave collapsed, Casca now has no safe place to live, and he cannot realistically continue his quest for revenge with her tagging along with him. He asks Puck if there are other elf dwellings nearby where she would be safe, but Puck can neither think of any nor approve of Guts confining her to another prison.
Puck racks his brains for an idea, and one suddenly presents itself. He clings to Guts' face out of excitement and exclaims that he knows of the safest place Casca could ever be: his home.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|