|Episode 244 (Manga)|
|Volume||28 Supernatural Fog|
|Date Released||March 5, 2005 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Superhuman (Jnanin)
City of Humans →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Later in the day, once the group has gotten much closer to the city, the sight of large crowds of soldiers, merchants, jousts and encampments outside the city walls greatly impresses Isidro. Serpico explains that the masses of armed people are really the armies of many nations under the jurisdiction of the Holy See. As part of his previous job serving in the Holy Iron Chain Knights, Serpico has memorized the coat of arms of all the armies present, and is able to name them all.
Guts notices that Schierke appears nervous. When he asks her about it, she simply states that she finds the presence of so many armies going about their training barbaric. Serpico provides information about each of the different armies as the group passes them. Isidro gleefully listens to all the information Serpico has to say, but Guts does not listen; the sights, sounds and atmosphere reminds him of his days in the Band of the Hawk.
Once inside the city of Vritannis, Schierke becomes nauseated by the cacophony of sounds and smells that invade her all at once. Puck amuses the group by harassing several passersby who cannot perceive him. Eventually, the group comes across a mercenary recruitment station. Having knowledge of this phenomenon due to his life as a mercenary, Guts explains to the confused Isidro that a recruitment stand is basically a podium on which a mercenary band's leader will position himself as a means of advertising his own mercenary band, this being required because mercenaries, unlike armies, are not funded by the state. Potential recruits search for mercenary leaders they feel will rake in large amounts of money. The group then discusses the skills required of an effective mercenary leader. Eventually, the topic falls onto the subject of charisma. Serpico mentions that he's heard of a man whose charisma outshined all: Griffith of the Band of the Hawk. Guts falls silent, the group not knowing of his history with Griffith. Farnese, however, recalls Guts calling Griffith's name during the latter's appearance at the Tower of Conviction and begins to have her own suspicions.
Isidro has also heard of Griffith, but says that the best member of the Band of the Hawk was its Raiders Captain. Ironically, nobody in the group, besides Guts himself, realizes that Isidro is unknowingly speaking of him. The group further discuss the current status of the Band of the Hawk, which remains mysterious to them. Guts is reminded of how Grunbeld declared himself a member of the Band of the Hawk.
As the group attempt to enter the city's citadel, Schierke is stopped from advancing. Her witch's clothing has garnered unwanted attention by some guards. Serpico insists to the guards that Schierke is simply a performer. Once their backs are turned, Schierke uses magic to divert the guards' attention elsewhere, and she is able to pass between them without issue. However, Schierke's being able to hypnotize people garners even more attention by onlookers, and she is forced to hypnotize them all.
Isidro suggests that Schierke purchase different clothes so that she may disguise herself, but Schierke is adamant about wearing her current robes. A frustrated Isidro swats her hat off her head, but when it lands on the ground, it is run over by a horse-drawn carriage. Schierke bends down to pick her hat up, and when she turns to look at Isidro, he sees that she has begun to tear up at his insensitivity. She runs off into the heart of Vritannis alone.
Puck explains to Isidro that, due to Flora's mansion burning down, Schierke's clothes are all that remains to remind her of her old mistress. Guts suggests that the remaining group find lodging, saying that since Schierke is a witch, she cannot be truly harmed by the masses of Vritannis, and that they can always contact her through thought transference. However, Guts decides to send Isidro off to fetch Schierke anyways, much to the boy's chagrin.
Schierke continues to run through the city, with Ivalera at her side. The elf ceaselessly complains about the negative aspects of being in a city but is ignored by Schierke. Eventually, the two stumble into an alley devoid of people. However, they both soon notice a black, thin, floating human further down the empty street.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|