|Episode 286 (Manga)|
|Date Released||December 5, 2007 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
Bubbles of Futility→
|List of Volumes|
It's the day after Guts and Zodd managed to snag their victory against Ganishka, and Roderick's ship, the Seahorse, has long since set sail. Among its occupants are Guts, Casca, Serpico, Farnese, Isidro, Schierke, Puck, Ivalera, Roderick, Magnifico, the knight, and the entire crew of the ship itself, under Roderick's command. Roderick and most of his crew are amusing themselves watching Isidro and the knight (who keeps his helmet on to hide his identity) engage in a practice duel. Isidro easily gains the upper hand with his greater agility and wily fighting style, but the battle ultimately ends in the knight's favor after Isidro accidentally lands crotch-first on the knight's weapon, a cleaning implement.
The knight berates Isidro for not fighting his opponent head-on. Puck apologizes on Isidro's behalf, but the mere sight of the elf renders the knight uncomfortable. He makes to return belowdecks to recover from the shock, but a passing crewmember reminds the knight that he was charged with cleaning the deck. The knight does so begrudgingly, mumbling about how he was brought onto the boat against his will. The next to pass by the knight is Serpico, who casually addresses the knight as 'Azan'. The knight claims that Serpico is mistaken, but his thoughts reveal that he truly is Azan, hiding his face out of shame for being cast out of the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
Roderick and his navigator discuss their current predicament. Both admit that they were put off by the new world they find themselves in - a world of elves and Apostles and possessed animals. However, Roderick says that even though the world is new, his life was still saved by people who exist in it: Guts and his party. For that, Roderick says, they will be treated with the utmost respect, especially Farnese, Schierke and Casca, the women of the group.
Farnese and Casca (and Ivalera) are belowdecks, where they continue with Farnese's magic training. Serpico stands guard outside their closed door. Schierke and Farnese rub a balm into the latter's naked body, and once this is done Farnese lies on the room's bed while Schierke sits on the floor. With Ivalera overlooking their bodies, the girls meditate their way into the Astral world.
Farnese's consciousness has successfully entered the pitch-black Astral world, but she has no body. However, with Schierke's disembodied voice guiding her, Farnese manages to give herself form. A distant point of light is formed and grows in size until Farnese finds herself back in her room on the ship. However, she can see her own body lying unconscious on the bed. She begins to panic, but is calmed by Schierke, who appears next to Farnese. The young witch congratulates Farnese's progress; she's just created her own luminous body - the form one assumes in the Astral world - and is on the way to becoming a proper magic user.The girls decide to confide in each other. Farnese tells Schierke about how she felt useless among their group, as everyone but her seemed to have an important purpose but her. In turn, Schierke tells Farnese about the misgivings she once had about humans, but says that her viewpoint has changed after traveling with Farnese and the rest of the group.
Schierke decides to bring Farnese outside. In their luminous bodies, the girls are lifted into the air by sylphs, and they fly over the ship together. Farnese can see Guts on the ship's deck far below. Guts, however, cannot see Farnese. Instead, he simply watches Casca as she marvels at the sea around her.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|