|Episode 264 (Manga)|
|Date Released||April 5, 2006 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
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Owen introduces himself to Guts, then says that he recognizes from seeing him during the latter's tenure as the Raiders Captain of the Band of the Falcon. Owen asks for Guts' name, but Guts refuses to give it, wanting to let the past remain the past. Guts turns around, eager to leave the conversation, but Owen quickly asks about Griffith's current whereabouts, thinking that Guts is still allies with the White Falcon, Griffith. Guts replies that he doesn't know and walks back to his group, leaving Owen where he stands. He only gives one cryptic hint to Owen as he walks: Griffith may be closer than Owen suspects.
Guts rejoins his group. Farnese has finished changing, so they continues on their way. Owen stares at Guts as the latter leaves and hopes that the White Falcon will return to free Vritannis from the chaos that plagues it, just like the Falcon of Light freed Midland from darkness in the people of the world's collective prophetic dream.
A ways away from Vritannis, a convoy of of clergymen of the Holy See on their way to Vritannis have stopped to allow the Pontiff to rest, as he's fallen ill. While the Pontiff sleeps in his tent, the cardinals consider the possibility that he may die, and elect to choose a candidate to ascend to the papacy in the event of the Pontiff's death. The first man they consider is Poliziano de Vandimion, a high-ranking member of the Holy See. They then discuss the fact that the current Pontiff, while a capable leader, has not achieved anything of note during his tenure as spiritual leader of the Holy See.
It turns out that the Pontiff is not asleep in his tent and can hear the cardinals' conversation. He looks back on his life: his childhood and adolescence were completely average (though he was born to wealthy parents), his joining of the church was to give the world he perceived some meaning, and his lack of initiative as Pontiff still plagues him. The Pontiff slowly dies, regretful that nothing spectacular ever came of his life.
However, the Pontiff does not die. The darkness that has enshrouded him is suddenly cast away by a bright light given off by an enormous white hawk. The hawk's head takes the shape of a man's, with long, white hair. The Pontiff reaches out to touch one of the hawk's feathers, hoping that by doing so his life will have had meaning. Only inches from the hawk's feathers, the vision vanishes.
The Pontiff wakes, still lying down in his tent, and he hears new voices outside. The cardinals listen to the message that the visitors bring, "Grasp destiny in your hand. Follow the guidance of the feathers of light". The Pontiff orders the cardinals to allow the guests into his tent: they are Mule and Sonia. The Pontiff hallucinates seeing an explosion of white feathers upon seeing their faces.
The two youngsters kneel before the Pontiff, and Mule explains that the Pontiff has been invited to meet with Mule's lord. The cardinals behind Mule are not convinced and advise the Pontiff against listening to the youths. The cardinals move to throw Mule and Sonia out of the tent, as Mule predicted, only to be stopped by the Pontiff himself, who wants to join Mule and Sonia. As the cardinals (and Mule) remain still, stunned by the Pontiff's decision, a messenger from Vritannis arrives to warn the Pontiff to stay away from the city as it has fallen under attack by the Kushan. The Pontiff interprets this as another sign that he should join Mule and Sonia. He declares his intentions to them, proclaiming that there has been a revelation.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|