|Episode 203 (Manga)|
|Volume||24 Mansion of the Spirit Tree|
|Date Released||December 24, 2002 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Magic Stone
Enoch Village →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Morning has come, and Guts, Schierke, Serpico, Isidro, Farnese, Casca, Puck and Ivalera prepare to head to Enoch Village with Morgan. Everyone but the old man is present, since he is not expected to do any fighting. In a small room all together, Schierke helps the group prepare for battles against trolls. She draws the talisman (a small rune) over Guts' Brand of Sacrifice, which will prevent it from attracting the nightly spirits for a few days at a time before it must be redrawn. For Serpico, Isidro, Farnese and Casca, Schierke provides ointments which allow them greater insight into the Astral realm at the cost of the acuity of their five senses. Finally, Schierke dumps a large pile of weapons and armor on a table in the center of the room.
The weapons and armor have been granted protection of good spirits, and will allow their wielders to face beings of the Astral realm effectively without needing to use magic. Several of these items are possessed by what Schierke calls Elementals - spirits that act as the equivalent of of wind, fire, water and earth in the Astral realm. Ivalera comically informs the baffled Puck that the wind spirits, sylphs, are in fact his ancestors.
Schierke gifts Serpico the sylph cloak and the sylph sword. Both are inhabited by wind spirits; the cloak will allow Serpico to more easily dodge incoming attacks, and the sword (whose blade resembles feathers) allows Serpico to attack distant targets without needing physical contact. To test his new weapon, Serpico swipes at a lit candle across the room. Though the sylph sword cuts only through air, it emits a "blade" of wind that crosses the room and extinguishes the candle and cuts it neatly in half.
For Isidro, Schierke presents the salamander dagger and consecrated berries. The berries are the same as those used by Schierke when fighting off the trolls, and will only serve to drive them away. The dagger is inhabited by salamanders (fire Elementals). As a test of its abilities, Isidro stabs the blade into the wooden table. Upon impact, the dagger releases a burst of flame.
Schierke then presents a silver chain shirts for Casca and Farnese, and a silver dagger for the latter. Shierke explains that silver in general is useful in warding malicious Astral beings away. She then instructs those who've received gifts to believe in the power of the Elementals, as their power is proportionate to their wielder's belief in the Astral world.
Finally, Schierke presents Guts with the Axe of the Gnomes, but he refuses the gift, claiming that he is simply too used to using the Dragonslayer to give it up so easily. As Guts turns to exit the mansion, Schierke senses something odd from the Dragonslayer.
Everyone exits the mansion behind the Black Swordsman. Schierke explains that Flora's mansion exists on a deep layer of the Interstice which directly borders the Astral realm. When the party notices that all their wounds have healed, the young witch says that their physical bodies, which were wounded, have become more in line with their Astral bodies, which always remain in the same perfect state. The exception is only for major wounds, which is why Guts' arm, eye, and long-lasting scars have not returned or healed. According to Schierke, many magic users have made their homes in places on the same layer of the Interstice as Flora, explaining why regular beings of the physical plane cannot normally wander into their domains.
Flora exits the mansion to see the party off. Guts rejects Schierke's suggestion of leaving Casca at the mansion, wanting to remain close to her so he can protect her personally. Guts then asks the nervous Farnese to watch over Casca and protect her, boosting the nervous girl's confidence. With that, the party departs.
Flora returns inside the mansion, where she finds none other than the Skull Knight waiting for her. Their method of speaking suggests a prior history. He has come to ask her for a favor, saying that Guts may be an important piece of the world governed by causality.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|