|Episode 224 (Manga)|
|The Blaze (2)|
|Date Released||December 24, 2003 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← The Blaze (1)
The Berserker Armor (1)→
|List of Volumes|
Schierke telepathically calls out to Flora, asking why the latter is so adamant that Guts be given the black suit of armor. Flora informs her that Guts is currently vastly outnumbered by enemies outside the mansion and will not live much longer without assistance. Schierke displays more concern for her mistress than for Guts, but Flora tells Schierke that the former's time has come. She then says that, for magic-users, death is not the same as it is for regular mortals, but Schierke still fears how lonely she will be with Flora gone and the mansion burned.
Grunbeld throws a powerful hammer strike at Guts, who blocks with the Dragon Slayer. However, the impact is still such that it sends Guts flying and makes him spit up blood. He realizes that the hulking Grunbeld is stronger in his human form than many Apostles are in their transformed states. The previous mention of the Band of the Falcon creeps back into Guts' mind, sending him into a fury. He lunges at Grunbeld with a hard strike, but the latter easily blocks it with his shield. He then thrusts his shield forward and into Guts, stunning the Black Swordsman. Guts falls back-first onto the grass and looks up just in time to see that Grunbeld intends to smash him once more. Guts is able to lessen the impact somewhat by placing the flat of the Dragon Slayer between his own body and Grunbeld's hammer, but even so, several of Guts' ribs are cracked.
Guts rolls away from Grunbeld, who is surprised to see that the Dragon Slayer is completely intact after taking two heavy blows. He then turns his attention to Guts, disappointed that the Black Swordsman is barely attacking. As the Apostle speaks, Guts realizes that the wounds inflicted on him by Slan have begun to bleed profusely.
The Apostles watching Guts and Grunbeld's battle from the sidelines decide to forgo the entertainment in favor of completing their mission of burning down Flora's mansion and killing her, but they are killed by the furious Skull Knight before they can even move. Several more Apostles close in around the Skull Knight, intent on killing him, but they are dismissed by Zodd, who wants to fight the Skull Knight himself. Zodd transforms and stands ready to fight, but the Skull Knight is preoccupied with killing the Apostles that target Flora. The Skull Knight and Zodd both admit that they are fighting for something other than usurping the God Hand and worthy opponents, respectively. Instead, the Skull Knight now fights to protect Flora in her final moments while Zodd fights to distract the Skull Knight while the other Apostles carry out their mission.
An Apostle has broken into the burning mansion and finds itself directly in front of Schierke, Serpico and Isidro. It orders them to reveal Flora's location. Instead of complying, Schierke blows a lock of hair onto the Apostle, setting it alight. Serpico then aims two gusts of wind at its eyes, blinding it and allowing Schierke, Serpico and Isidro to escape. Schierke leads the two boys through the mansion to the treasure room where the black armor is located. Its very presence seems to radiate evil.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|