|Episode 237 (Manga)|
|Date Released||March 5, 2005 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← The Sound of the Sea
The Boy in the Moonlight→
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Late at night, Schierke stands before the ocean, staring out to sea. Ivalera, who sits atop Schierke's hat, asks to return to the wooden cabin, but is ignored. Guts suddenly appears behind them, clad in his Berserker Armor and the Dragon Slayer slung across his back. Like Schierke, he is unable to sleep. Schierke attempts to convince Guts to return to the cabin and try to sleep so that his wounds may heal, but he ignores her.
Instead, Guts tells Schierke of his dislike of the sea, saying that the black shapes of the swelling waves seem to try and suck people into them. This prompts Schierke to admit that she'd never before seen the ocean, and that Flora suspected it must be connected to the Astral world due to its great beauty and ability to affect people's emotions. It is only now that Schierke sees the sea with her own eyes that she understands what Flora meant.
Guts pats Schierke's head, telling the girl that if she remains so serious throughout her childhood, she will begin to age early. Schierke turns to face the sea, thinking of Flora. She tells Guts that, unlike for people of the physical world, death is not a permanent end for those of the Astral world. Instead, death is akin to ascending to a higher plane of existence, and is thus not cause for grief. But when she turns back to Guts, Schierke has tears in her eyes. She throws herself onto Guts, clinging to him and crying.
Guts and Schierke sit together on the beach, a short distance apart, with Schierke only recently having finished crying. She tells Guts that crying has relieved her in a way, and Guts concurs, accidentally admitting that he'd been pushing himself too hard ever since the escape from Flora's mansion. Though Schierke calls him out on it, she speaks lightheartedly, and they share a peaceful silence.
Ivalera sidles up to Schierke, a sly look on her face. With no subtlety, she begins to speak to herself, and Schierke realizes too late that Ivalera is basically telling Guts that Schierke harbors feelings for him. The embarrassing moment is interrupted when Guts stands up to greet the Skull Knight, who emerges from the darkness on the beach atop his horse.
Guts, knowing that the Skull Knight never makes an appearance unless something involving the Astral world or the God Hand is happening, immediately asks if there is an Apostle nearby. The Skull Knight denies this by instead giving Guts a warning: fighting in the Berserker Armor while lost to his inner demon will cause a gradual loss in Guts' senses, including blindness, loss of taste, and trembling (a symptom Guts already displays). Guts reassures the Skull Knight by saying that he won't allow the the Beast of Darkness to take over again.
Schierke supports Guts by restating his words to the Skull Knight. She then says that she recognizes the Skull Knight as the one who saved Guts in the Qliphoth and the one who fought to protect Flora at the burning mansion. Finally, Schierke asks what kind of relationship the Skull Knight had with Flora, saying that Flora would sometimes look at the Berserker Armor with an air of longing, despite knowing that it is a dangerous weapon; Schierke suspects that the Skull Knight once wore the armor.
The Skull Knight confirms Schierke's suspicions. He says that, long ago, he and Flora had a relationship similar to what Guts and Schierke currently have. The Skull Knight reverts to the previous topic of conversation, the Berserker Armor. He says that, even with temperance and Flora's talisman, it is not to be taken lightly and is still very dangerous.
Guts asks why Apostles attacked Flora's mansion. The Skull Knight answers that, now that Griffith cannot be harmed by people of the physical world due to his status as a God Hand, he has instead focused his efforts on ridding the world of threats in the Astral World the powerful witch Flora being a prime target. Schierke begins to tear up as the Skull Knight says that the next time Apostles attack, they may be being led by Griffith himself. This news affects Guts so deeply that his fists clench and his wolf helmet begins to creep up his back, ready to cover his head. Schierke screams, bringing Guts back to his senses, and the wolf helmet recedes.
The Skull Knight says that Guts' journey will once again force him to choose between protecting Casca or pursuing revenge. However, the following piece of information is optimistic: according to the Skull Knight, the ruler of Elfhelm and king of the elves, the Flower Storm Monarch, may possess the power to restore Casca's heart.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|