|Episode 191 (Manga)|
|Romaji||Areno no saikai|
|Volume||23 Winter Journey|
|Date Released||July 5, 2002 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Fangs of Ego
The War Demons →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Farnese's sudden request is met with an awkward pause. After a moment, she turns her head to Serpico and orders him to kneel before Guts like her. Serpico does so begrudgingly. Isidro is immediately suspicious of the pair's intent, yelling that they would only be on Guts' side until they have a chance to double-cross him and turn him over to the Holy See, but Farnese explains that she has lost her faith and no longer sees eye-to-eye with the Order.
She then says that she wants to follow Guts so that she may see the truths of the world, which only seem to reveal themselves around him. Guts has no reply beyond keeping his gaze firmly fixed on her, so Isidro is the one to speak. He asks how Farnese can fall so low as to accompany Guts after she was nearly responsible for burning Casca alive at the Tower of Conviction. He then offhandedly asks if she intends to become like a servant to him and Guts if it means she may accompany them. In response, Farnese draws her sword and slices off her twintails, shortening her hair so that it falls at chin-length. She says that she will eventually find a way to make amends for the trouble she's caused Guts in the past.
Guts finally speaks, and his words come in the form of a complaint at Farnese's theatrics. He then says that as long as she doesn't get in his way, she is free to do as she pleases, but warns that if she chooses to follow him, then harm is sure to befall her, especially where the nightly waves of spirits are concerned. Farnese and Serpico say nothing, but Isidro is eager to rise to the challenge.
Puck is somewhat baffled that Guts - who normally would have turned all companions away - is accepting traveling companions so easily. Indeed, Guts is also aware of this fact, but he finds himself in the position of needing support after traveling with a resentful Casca for so long.
In the fiefdom of Lumias, located in southern Midland, a young noble named Mule Wolflame lies in waiting in some thick underbrush along with a large group of Midland soldiers, watching a large Kushan caravan pass by on a nearby road. Still deeply loyal to Midland's royal family, Mule intends to attack the passing Kushan, but the soldiers accompanying him try to dissuade him, as they are intimidated at how outnumbered they are. Mule is the only soldier among the Midland forces who is raring to fight, partly out of wanting to avenge his fallen father and brothers, who died in the attempt to repel the invading Kushan.
A soldier with a bandaged eye name Saritus becomes the voice of the soldiers who do not want to leave their hiding place. He tells Mule that he should not be so ready to put his life on the line now that he is the last male remnant of his family. Saritus adds that he's heard rumors that the old hero of the One Hundred Year War, the White Hawk Griffith, has returned to Midland and is fighting the Kushan from within its borders. Mule is stunned to hear the news, as is every other soldier within earshot, who find it hard to believe. As Mule reconsiders his plan of attack, the sound of galloping horse hooves and screams draws his attention to the Kushan convoy; they've captured several subjects of Midland who have unknowingly wandered into their midst. Mule is overcome with anger at this new turn of events, and he leads the soldiers in a valiant charge against the Kushan.
Nobody is aware that watching the skirmish from high up on a distant hill is Griffith himself.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|