|Episode 248 (Manga)|
|Date Released||October 5, 2005 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
A Meager Supper →
|Volumes and Chapters|
The pirate captain who kicked Mule, Bonebeard, takes his subordinates' side of the argument, claiming that teaching children manners is an adult's responsibility. One of Bonebeard's underlings begs his superior to kill Mule, Isidro, Schierke and Sonia on the pirates' behalf: Bonebeard's response is to grab the wrist of his underling's partially-severed arm, tear it off completely, and bite into it, all this being a result of the pirate not addressing his boss as "Captain".
Isidro attempts to play out his fantasy of exchanging witty banter against his opponent but is interrupted when Mule wordlessly charges at Bonebeard, and they begin to fight. While Isidro mumbles complaints about Mule stealing the spotlight, Mule himself exchanges a furious barrage of attacks against Bonebeard, who easily keeps up. The captain compliments Mule's skill and is able to recognize that Mule uses a fighting style that is typical of an aristocrat.
To display the weak points of Mule's abilities, Bonebeard jumps backwards off the wharf and into a dinghy. Mule follows, but Bonebeard predicted the outcome: Bonebeard, despite having a peg leg, is much more used to fighting on unstable ground like the deck of a ship than Mule, who is having trouble simply remaining on his feet.
Mule begins to attack once more, but Bonebeard purposely rocks the boat so as to throw Mule off-balance. The former disarms the latter as he falls, and Mule winds up on his back in the boat, under the captain's sword tip. As Bonebeard ponders whether to ransom Mule for a hefty amount of coin or sell him into a Kushan harem, Isidro leaps from the wharf and brings his sword down on Bonebeard, who barely blocks in time.
Glad to have the spotlight back on himself, Isidro engages Bonebeard in combat, the fight escalating so much that the combatants are leaping from dinghy to dinghy; since Isidro's fighting style involves a lot of rolling around and swinging his sword simultaneously, his sense of balance is improved over Mule's, and he fares better than the aristocrat against the pirate.
Bonebeard calls for a lull in the battle. He claims that Isidro's fighting skill is such that he wants to offer the boy employment as a pirate, but Isidro immediately rejects the offer. However, this has given Bonebeard time to use his trump card: his peg leg conceals a hidden blade, and he kicks it up towards Isidro's chin. The boy just barely dodges, but is knocked off-balance and must roll onto another boat to remain out of the water.
Bonebeard says that while Isidro does have skill, he lacks the experience and bloodlust that is required of a successful combatant. He points his sword at Isidro and orders his subordinates to tie up the Kushan children. Though Schierke determines that she must take matters into her own hands to diffuse the situation, Sonia stops her before she can do anything. Sonia has noticed something that will turn the tide of the battle: a knight.
Isidro had unknowingly landed onto a blanket that covered an armed, sleeping knight in the dinghy. The boy's weight combined with the sudden rocking of the boat has roused him, and he furiously awakens and throws Bonebeard into the water.The knight proceeds to grab his weapon, climb onto the wharf, and annihilate the remaining pirates. Meanwhile, Mule mounts his horse and herds the Kushan children away to safety. The entire scene is watched by Guts, who is hidden from view in an alleyway.
Mule, Sonia and Schierke lead the children clear out of Vritannis, with Schierke using her magic to distract any guards who may have started trouble. When Mule wonders what next to do with the children, Sonia suggests that they be invited into "their group" (the Band of the Hawk). Mule accepts the suggestion. He suddenly snatches a cutlass out of mid-air, thrown by Isidro, who stole it from an injured pirate. Seeing as Mule dropped his sword in the water after being disarmed by Bonebeard, Isidro saw fit to provide him with a replacement.
While the boys bicker about who was most effective in the battle against Bonebeard, Sonia extends Schierke an offer to join the group to which she and Mule belong.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|