|Episode 189 (Manga)|
|Volume||23 Winter Journey|
|Date Released||July 5, 2002 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Winter Journey (2)
Fangs of Ego →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Guts, Puck and Casca continue on their journey. The strain of needing to care for Casca had already been costing Guts vasts amounts of energy, and now that she no longer trusts him he is also emotionally drained. He must force her to keep moving by way of her bound hands and her leash, but when he turns to look at her, his gaze is met with hatred and distrust.
Guts has leaned against a tree for a temporary rest but has unintentionally fallen asleep. He is woken by the frantic Puck, who tells Guts that Casca has somehow freed herself of her bindings and has wandered off. The sun will set soon, and she will be defenseless if she is attacked by spirits. Guts is immediately overcome with worry.
Nearby, a group of three armored scavengers have stopped to rest from their travels. Although they've scoured through every town they've passed through, they have been unable to find anything of value or interest, and they wonder if their lifestyle is worth the risk of discovery by the Kushan. Suddenly, one of them hears something slump down next to him: Casca has wandered over to their camp and is fishing through their bags for food. From the clothes she is wearing, the scavengers deduce that Casca is a pilgrim, and decide to regard her as a woman sent by God for their pleasure; a hollow justification for them to take advantage of her. Casca screams as they begin to pin her down.
Guts is running at full speed, hoping to find Casca before any danger can befall her. He mentally scolds himself for having lost her again like he lost her when he left on his two-year Apostle-killing crusade.
The scavengers have managed to strip Casca naked, but she hasn't stopped resisting their unwanted advances. It's only upon having her legs forced open that her mind flashes back to the Eclipse, and she succumbs to despair, screaming in terror. Guts is now close enough to hear her and hone in on her location. When he finds her, he comes across a surprising scene.
Casca has somehow managed to get her hands on one of the scavenger's swords and, channeling her prior self as the skilled second-in-command of the Band of the Hawk, killed every one of the men about to rape her. She is standing above their corpses, completely naked and covered in their blood but otherwise physically unharmed.
Guts approaches her cautiously. When she sees him, she turns the sword on him, ready to fight. She lunges, but Guts' new skills from two years of fighting Apostles allow him to easily dodge the strike, disarm her, and pin her to the ground. She struggles beneath him, but Guts is possessed by a wave of lust. Despite her trying desperately to get out from beneath him, he restrains her arms and forcibly kisses her hard on the mouth, despite his better judgment.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|