|Episode 243 (Manga)|
|Romaji||Chōja (Jan Ānin)|
|Date Released||March 5, 2005 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← The Roar of the Sea
|List of Volumes|
In his mind, Guts roars at the flame-creature that has spontaneously appeared before him. The creature reassures him that it is not his enemy and that the same is true for the group. It slowly reaches out and places its hand on the snout of the wolf-shaped helmet, which begins to crack. Eventually, the helmet comes close to bursting apart altogether.
In real life, Guts leaps back to stay out of reach of the flame-creature. The group, unable to see the creature, are confused by this behavior. Guts once again perceives himself to be in the black water of the ocean, only this time he is floating towards the surface rather than sinking to the bottom. The circle of moonlight that shines on Guts comes ever closer as he floats upwards, until eventually it morphs into Schierke, who reaches down to grab Guts. Guts reaches back up to her, and she drags him up the remaining few feet to the water's surface, the higher he gets, the more the Berserker Armor dissolves around him.
In real life, the wolf helmet is thrown back off Guts' head, and he regains control of himself. Isidro and Serpico rush to the kneeling Guts' side while Farnese tends to the exhausted Schierke. Guts angrily punches the ground, furious with himself for losing control to the Beast of Darkness despite the Skull Knight's warning. Schierke walks over to him and repeats the words he told her during their conversation on the beach back at him. Hearing his own words calms Guts.
Isidro comes to the conclusion that if Schierke is able to recall Guts to his own body whenever he loses himself to the Berserker Armor, then its power can be constantly used. Schierke reprimands him for his suggestion, deeming it too dangerous to Guts' health and the group's safety. However, Farnese agrees with Isidro's words, noting that the Berserker Armor is responsible for the group's survival since the escape at Flora's mansion. Guts decides to put an end to the topic of conversation, embarrassed at being praised by women and children.
As the group watch Ivalera manhandle Puck for his usual cheek, Guts observes them all regretfully due to how close he came to killing them. He has a sudden flashback to how he saw things while in the Berserker Armor, with the group momentarily becoming silhouettes once more. He then recalls the appearance of the child-shaped flame. While in his rage, Guts had not been able to determine its identity. As Guts moves away from the group, Serpico glares at him, also aware of how close Guts came to killing the group.
The group's attention is brought to Casca as she begins to moan, a short distance away on the beach. After a moment, the rest of the group realize that Casca had been the first, and so far only, person to realize that the black-haired boy has gone, nowhere to be seen. The group searches around the beach, but they turn up nothing. Schierke cannot even sense where the boy has wandered off to.
Farnese tries to reassure the dejected Casca by claiming that the boy simply wandered home. Guts silently ponders the possibility of the boy and the flame creature being the same entity. The group moves off, intending to leave the beach, though Casca is the most reluctant to leave the boy to his fate. None are aware that the boy is on the cliff overlooking the beach, watching the group take their leave.
On the ship that Schierke was able to sense during the battle with the makara, a harashada reports to his superior. According to the harashada, the lands around the bay the ship is in are now completely under Kushan control, and so the harashada's superior, a man called Daiba, who floats cross-legged in mid-air and smokes from a waterpipe, gives the order to tell the generals of the Kushan land army to advance their troops. The harashada hurries off to his duties, but Daiba is worried: one group of pishaca were unsuccessful in their mission of capturing their target. Daiba cannot fathom that there exist people nearby who are capable of defeating the magically-enhanced creatures.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|