|Episode 345 (Manga)|
|Volume||39 (not yet published)|
← Witch Village
|Volumes and Chapters|
The chapter opens with the party arriving in a sort of large, wooded chapel, described as being able to fit the entirety of Flora's Sanctuary inside it. Here they meet three elderly men, archmages that govern the village alongside Gedfrig: masters Skirbil "the perplexed", Thraein "the settled", and Ginnar "the ponderous", along with their aid, Denann "the domestic".
Denann is quick to welcome back Puck and offer food and rest to Guts and his party, but Guts politely asks if they can first meet Hanafubuku, as curing Casca is the sole reason they came. Gedfring however, assures him the Elf King will still be there when they are done, and that the party needs rest and sustenance. Guts is put off, but surrenders the issue.
When asked, the party begins recounting their expedition to Elhelm, prompting one witch to say that the outside world sounds terrifying, to which Morda says that it sounds stimulating. This prompts Gedfring to mention the falcon of light and the astral world, which Guts asks him to elaborate on.
Gedfring asks if they have seen the branches in the sky, Serpico and Roderick commenting that they can be mistaken for clouds until one realizes they are visible in broad daylight. Gedfring proceeds to explain the World Tree: it is a global fissure, a creation that binds the heavens, the earth, and the underworld, similar to a Behelit in nature. Gedfring asks to see the Behelit Guts has on his possession, wondering if it is attached to him or if he is simply the means by which it travels to its true owner. Guts says he has heard this much before in a different witch wood, prompting a smile from Schierke. Puck intervenes in the conversation, swiping the Behelit comically and insisting it belongs to him.
Schierke asks Gedfring to explain the connection between the attack on her mansion and the World Tree, and Gedfring first states that the Spirit Tree Schierke called home was not unique. There are other lands associated with trees in the Interstice, and "spirit woods" is a generic term for them. Those trees, he says, have sunk their roots into those of the World Tree, like parasitic vines or mistletoe. Gedfring goes on to explain the nature of mistletoe, that it is neither of the earth nor the heavens, and describes the "spirit mistletoe" as holding back the World Tree's growth by feeding off of it, drawing on its power and preventing it from covering the world. Gedfring describes many a spirit tree as home to a sorcerer who utilizes its power and in turn maintains the balance between the physical and astral realms around their tree. Flora, as he tells Schierke, was one such sorcerer.
Gedfring says that most of the spirit trees are now ash, and that the World Tree's power is growing. He finishes by asking Guts about the Falcon of Light, seeming to understand that the two know each other. He asks who the Falcon is and what would prompt that man to become a Godhand and to link the worlds.
Guts is troubled, wishing not to discuss Griffith as he has already settled the high task of letting go of his obsession with murdering the God Hand, only to have the subject brought up at his destination. Guts gives the simple answer that he knows Griffith since their mercenary days and of his dream for a kingdom.
Gedfring, having scryed, describes Falconia, which sits underneath the World Tree, as a calm eye in a raging storm and says that it is now the only place where people can live in peace from the creatures of darkness. A nearby witch expresses fear that Guts knows the Falcon of Light, and Schierke answers that "he is a bit of a monster", though to which man she refers is unknown. Everyone else expresses their own surprise, with Isidro asking if the Falcon of Light and the Hero of Midland are one and the same. Isidro finally realizes that Guts is his idol that he brought up at Vritannis, the leader of the Band of the Hawk's captain of the raiders.
The archmages ask how Griffith could do such a thing, wondering if he even understands the means to his ends. But Guts, seeing Griffith hasn't really changed, tells them that Griffith sees the ends and means to be the same thing and that gaining his kingdom is just one more step in his mania.
Characters In Order of Appearance
- Farnese de Vandimion
- Manifico de Vandimion
- Flora (flashback)
- Griffith (flashback)